Timelines for Allen County, Indiana

Life is a snapshot in time. Our current life and everything we do will soon be tomorrows past. Timelines help put historical events in chronological order of when, where, who, sometimes how revealing interesting things we might not think to look for and provide insight to information we might find no where else. Timelines can also clarify claims of who did something first, or first recorded an event when similar events occur in different places around the world. Often the information was not known worldwide at that time so whoever made the first publicized claim gets credit even if someone did it first. Names for places, objects, and living things are often credited to the first to publish the name even when native people already had a name for it.

One such claim is Philo T. Pharnsworth who many in the United States say invented television, while some claim John Logie Baird a Scottish engineer was first. Philo came to Fort Wayne to live and build a factory. Similar claims are made about who was first to build, buy, or use automobiles, airplanes, and more. Timelines help clarify who really was first, or at least reported and recorded something first as we go back in time when printed communication was slower, more local, and maybe not as widely reported and recorded for history as easily as in todays always connected online digital world.

Another example of time changing a published fact is at Lieut. John Townsend Young's death a plaque was dedicated at Lindenwood Cemetery in his honor on May 30, 1941 as the Last Allen County Survivor of the Civil War which was disproven in 2011 when it was revealed that 100-year-old Private Richard Gottlieb Foss, Co. A, 16th Pennsylvania Calvary died January 21, 1945 at his daughter's home in Fort Wayne. See our Civil War page for more information.

Partial solar eclipses occur every few years around the world. Only a few total solar eclipses crossing over the USA and Indiana have been recorded. Those on our timelines include June 24, 1778, June 26, 1869, March 7, 1970, and April 8, 2024.

Date of Last Total Solar Eclipse Butler University

Date of Last Total Solar Eclipse in Indiana This graphic shows the date of the last total solar eclipse at any given locale in the state of Indiana. It has been as nearly 1200 years since Hoosiers in East central Indiana have had total solar eclipse. From Butler University > College of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium

🌒✨ Today, as we look up to witness the celestial ballet of the eclipse, know you’re not alone in awe and wonder –...

Posted by Smithsonian Libraries and Archives on Monday, April 8, 2024

Monday, April 8, 2024 post by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives on Facebook:

🌒✨ Today, as we look up to witness the celestial ballet of the eclipse, know you’re not alone in awe and wonder – across the globe, eyes will (safely!) be turned skyward with you.

✨📚 While we take this moment to explore the sky, let’s also remember that there’s a universe of knowledge waiting to be explored and consider embarking on an intellectual journey through our collection of 21 libraries and archives.

Photos from our collection:

1. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory staff, Secretary Samuel P Langley, travel to Wadesboro, NC, to observe an eclipse of the sun. (May 28, 1900)

2. Camera to be used in solar eclipse expedition on board the dirigible U.S.S. Los Angeles (January 24, 1925)

3. Demonstration of how to safely watch an eclipse. (July 11, 1972)

Indiana map 1823

You can zoom into the upper right northeast area of the map to see Fort Wayne on the three rivers St. Joseph, St. Marys, and Maumee with Spy Run and the Portage connecting with the Wabash River in this map: Indiana. Lucas, Fielding Jr. 1823. Full Title: Indiana. Drawn & Published by F. Lucas Jr. Baltimore. Author: Lucas, Fielding Jr. Date: 1823. This historical cartographic image is part of the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com, a large collection of online antique, rare, old, and historical maps, atlases, globes, charts, and other cartographic items. Read more about the Collection. Or you can view the entire David Rumsey Map Collection in Insight.

Allen County was created by legislative act on April 1, 1824. County officers were first elected May 22. The plat for the town of Fort Wayne accepted by the board of county commissioners designated a half square for use as a courthouse site and lots on which to locate “a seminary of learning”, and “a church, to be of no particular denomination, but free to all”. John T. Barr of Baltimore, Maryland, and John McCorkle of Piqua, Ohio gave lots to the county that were intended to be sold so that sale proceeds could be placed in the county treasury. These lots were part of a tract purchased by Barr and McCorkle from a government land sale. Copied from page 81 in texts Fort Wayne, gateway of the West, 1802-1813: Garrison orderly books, Indian Agency account book by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927, Publication date 1973 on Archive.org by way of the Allen County S1645, B66 1783-1882 collection at the Manuscripts & Rare Books Division Indiana State Library.

February 28, 2022 post by WTIU Public Television  on Facebook:

With nearly 6,000 miles of hiking, pedestrian, and biking trails within its borders, Indiana boasts a wide range of recreational trails. The Hoosier Way: Trails of Indiana takes viewers on a tour of some of Indiana’s finest outdoor nature trails, hikes, rails-to-trails conversion projects, and urban trails systems, revealing the beauty and wonder of our natural habitats.

A preview of The Hoosier Way: Trails of Indiana and a shorter 56:46 minute version is on their website.

Open well

September 25, 2023 post by the Indiana DNR Division of Forestry on Facebook:

ARCHAEOLOGY: Watch your step when walking in the woods, you may encounter a historic well! Many Indiana settlers dug open, stone-lined wells by hand around their homesteads to provide water for their families and livestock. While some of these ground-level wells collapsed after the homestead was abandoned, plenty across the state are still open today and can be a safety hazard to unsuspecting wanderers. The Division of Forestry mitigates open wells near State Forest trails for the safety of our visitors and staff.

For more Indiana Archaeology information, please visit: https://www.in.gov/dnr/historic-preservation/!

City Directories

Where did your family live in any particular year? Check the city directories page that are also posted year by year from 1859 through 1920s on the timeline pages. After 1923 city directories are sporadically available online with most not online, but are available in the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


  1. Fort Wayne History is Stories about time periods beginning with 1000 to 1900 Millennium milestones in Fort Wayne and I remember Fort Wayne online tour of Summit City history from the archives of no longer published The News-Sentinel newspaper which has many online articles scattered around their website.
  2. Fun facts for the Indiana Bicentennial by Steve Warden was published June 15, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  3. History Journal features and stories of historical interest from the archives of The Journal Gazettestarted posting almost weekly stories in November 2018. It was previously known as Throwback Thursday with stories from their archive of newspapers going back to the 1800s and a collection of photo negatives beginning in the early 1940s. A History Journal indexed by decade is a chronological index of History Journal features and other stories of historical interest with lots of 1940s and newer articles not easily found elsewhere.
  4. The Indiana government has two monthly timelines "On this day" happenings in Indiana History and Hoosier History Highlights. The Indiana Historian has their magazines organized by topics online.
  5. Weather Observing History at Fort Wayne and Timeline from 1839 Weather History at Fort Wayne at Weather.gov.
  6. Fort Wayne Weather Records Fort Wayne, Indiana weather averages and records from 1897–2022 based on data made available by the NOAA. at ExtremeWeatherWatch.com. The highest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne, Indiana was 106 °F which occurred on June 28, 2012. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne, Indiana was -24 °F which occurred on January 12, 1918.

Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Libraryhas over 125 collections of photographs.

The mDON mastodon Digital Object Network has various collections such as:

  1. Englehart Cartoons - Bob Englehart editorial cartoonist for the Fort Wayne The Journal Gazette newspaper donated almost 400 cartoons and drawings in 1991
  2. Fort Wayne Area Election Returns Precinct by precinct election results for elections held in Allen County, Indiana from 1852 to 1967.
  3. Fort Wayne Area Government Information
  4. Fort Wayne Area History Collection 
  5. History Center Digital Collections
  6. Omnibus Lecture Series
  7. Political Memorabilia -- Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics

An Historical Timeline for Indiana, 1614-1911 by Bill Dollarhide published March11, 2014 on GenealogyBlog.com.

Timeline Trivia

There are a lot of trivia items in the timelines. Here a just a few:

  1. Who built the earliest known mill?
  2. What is one of Fort Wayne's earliest newspapers?
  3. Who was Fort Wayne's first dentist?
  4. When did Fort Wayne first start numbering streets?
  5. What is Gesetze des Staates Indiana : passirt in der Extra-Sitzung?
  6. When was the last of the old fort demolished?
  7. When did the first railroad start construction in the city?
  8. When was the first Indiana state fair?
  9. When did the first city free schools open?
  10. What was the first theater to open in the city?
  11. When was Fort Wayne first called the Summit City?
  12. When was the first day of school in Fort Wayne?
  13. When was the first Fort Wayne City Directory?
  14. When was the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception built?
  15. When did Abraham Lincoln stop in Fort Wayne?
  16. When did construction on the brick third courthouse start?
  17. When did Governor Oliver P. Morton call for volunteers to join the Union Army during the Civil War?
  18. Who was the Fort Wayne born youngest Civil War soldier to serve the longest amount of time in the Union army?
  19. When did Congress pass the Legal Tender Act making paper money "greenbacks" legal tender?
  20. What Indiana medical doctor patented the Gatling gun?
  21. When was the first Fort Wayne police force orgainized?
  22. When did The Journal Gazette newspaper start publication?
  23. When and where was the first Civil War battle in Indiana?
  24. Why was a woman almost tarred and feathered near Leo?
  25. When did the Fort Wayne Police Department begin?
  26. When did Congress pass The Coinage Act of 1864 changing the composition of coins and adding the phrase In God We Trust?
  27. When was the Kekionga baseball team orgainized?
  28. What were the first paved streets in Fort Wayne?
  29. When was the Indiana State Fair held in Fort Wayne?
  30. Which amendment formally abolished slavery in the United States?
  31. When did Congress authorize minting of the nickel coin?
  32. When did Indiana ratify the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including former slaves recently freed?
  33. When did a 19th century flood inundate the city, covering the Nebraska neighborhood and going all the way north and east to Spy Run Creek?
  34. When did the city's first three hospitals, Hope, St. Joseph and Lutheran, organize?
  35. When did the U.S. first celebrate Memorial Day?
  36. When did the city's first African Methodist Episcopal Church organize?
  37. When was the Transcontinental Railroad with four ceremonial gold and silver spikes completed?
  38. When did Indiana ratify the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the denial of voting rights based upon race or color of skin?
  39. When and which President signed the U.S. Weather Service into law?
  40. When and which amendment gave African American men the right to vote?
  41. When did the Old Settlers Association form and print meeting highlights and lists of names in the local newspaper?
  42. What year did the city's first women's organizations form and bring Susan B. Anthony twice to Fort Wayne a few years later?
  43. When was the first professional baseball game played in Fort Wayne?
  44. When did the first horse drawn carriages go into service?
  45. When was the Catholic Cemetery established?
  46. When did the U.S. pass the first immigration law?
  47. When did the newspaper ask the city to restore and maintain the Old Fort property?
  48. When did the first medical school open quickly followed by arrests of local grave robbers?
  49. When did Alexander Graham Bell receive a patent for the telephone and make the first phone call?
  50. When was Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer defeated and killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn and who were the two men from Fort Wayne with him?
  51. When did the first city hospital open?
  52. When did Fort Wayne get its first water works and phone service?
  53. When was the first electrically lighted city in Indiana?
  54. When did Fort Wayne Jenney Electric start?
  55. When did the federal government direct states to record birth, marriage, and deaths at the county level?
  56. When did Thomas Edison flip the switch on America's first power plant in New York?
  57. When and where was the first lighted baseball game in Fort Wayne and some claimed in the world?
  58. Who and when was the last man hanged to death in Fort Wayne?
  59. When did the nation change to Railroad Time eliminating 23 time zones in Indiana?
  60. When did they lay the cornerstone on the Statue of Liberty in New York? When did the statue arrive from France?
  61. Did you know Fort Wayne Jenney Electric arc lamps lite the Statue of Liberty when it was lighted in New York?
  62. When was the Statue of Liberty dedicated?
  63. When did Fort Wayne's Sylvanus Bowser introduces the first gas pump to the world?
  64. When did Chief Geronimo the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signal the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest?
  65. When did George Eastman patent the Kodak roll-film camera thereby allowing widespread photography of everyday living?
  66. When did Fort Wayne switch from horse drawn to electric streetcars?
  67. When was the last white-tailed deer seen in Indiana before they were re-established in the 1940s?
  68. When did the first automobile come to Fort Wayne?
  69. When was the first automobile seen driving around Fort Wayne? Are these the same events - more research needed!
  70. When did Fort Wayne play the first football game?
  71. When did the first Fort Wayne library room open, the first library?
  72. When did Robison Park open?
  73. When was the first professional baseball league?
  74. Did Indiana really try to pass a law about the math pi value?
  75. When did Indiana law require doctors and nurses to receive a license?
  76. When was the historic Allen County Court House cornerstone laid and then open for business?
  77. When did rural mail delivery start in Allen County?
  78. When did the first voting machines come to Indiana
  79. When did Fort Wayne renumber houses and change street names?
  80. 2016 Indiana Bicentennial weekly posts
  81. When did the state of Indiana encourage formation of local historical societies and preservation of county records?
  82. When did Indiana begin to regulate cocaine, opium and morphine without a prescription?
  83. When was a week long horse racing event held in Fort Wayne?
  84. When was the second time Fort Wayne renumbered houses?
  85. When did Ford sell their first Model A car?
  86. When did Indiana pass the first motor vehicle speed limits?
  87. When did Indiana first register motor vehicles?
  88. When did Indiana outlaw first cousin marriages?
  89. When did an American woman who marries a foreign national lose her citizenship?
  90. When did Ford's first Model T leave the production line?
  91. When was the first radio broadcast?
  92. When and who was the woman who made the first solo flight in Fort Wayne?
  93. When and where was the first weather bureau office opened in Fort Wayne?
  94. When was the Foster Park dedication?
  95. When did Indiana adopt the state song On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away?
  96. What month was the 1913 flood - worst flood in Fort Wayne history?
  97. What was living thing was prohibited for sending in the mail in 1914 by the Postmaster?
  98. When was the idea of the Lincoln Highway revealed?
  99. What migratory bird was hunted to extinction in 1914 when flocks formerly miles long darkend the sky for hours as they flew overhead?
  100. When did the Penn Central Railroad Stataion better known as Baker Street Station open?
  101. When was the first transcontinental telephone line completed connecting the east and west coast phone lines?
  102. When was the first electric traffic light installed in the U.S.?
  103. What school and when was the city's first high school football team?
  104. When was the first city professional football team?
  105. When did the a mile long procession open the Lincoln Highway between New Haven and Fort Wayne?
  106. When did 50,000 people meet the Liberty Bell in Fort Wayne?
  107. When did 10,000 people attend the opening of the Harmar School?
  108. When was the Fort Wayne Centennial Pageant The Glorious Gateway of the West at Reservoir Park?
  109. When did Indiana adopt the state flag?
  110. What was the name change from the Fort Wayne City Hospital?
  111. What important history book was published in 1917?
  112. When did the Allen County Chapter of the American Red Cross begin?
  113. When did the United States declare war on Germany and enter World War I?
  114. When did the Selective Service Act pass requiring males between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to register for the draft which provides a nice source of genealogy information?
  115. When was the Presidental Proclaimation Alien Enemies Act requiring alien males and females register providing a unique source of genealogy information on those immigrants?
  116. What was the lowest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne?
  117. What bank was originally named the German American National Bank?
  118. When did Daylight Savings Time first begin in Indiana?
  119. When did prohibition begin in Indiana?
  120. What year on the the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month did World War I end?
  121. What future president went skilly dipping in Lawton Park?
  122. When did Indiana ratify the 18th Amendment - Prohibition Act that outlawed alcoholic beverages?
  123. When did Indiana pass laws banning German from being taught in any public, private or parochial schools?

See List of United States immigration laws at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

  1. American state papers : documents, legislative and executive, of the Congress of the United States ... is early United States documents from the 1st Congress, 1st session April 30, 1789 through the 25th Congress, March 1, 1838 with links to all the 38 volumes on the bottom of the page on Internet Archive.
  2. There are over 18,500 volumes listed under United States Congress on Internet Archive.

The origins of some of our units of measurement: A foot was length of a man’s foot. An inch was the width of a man’s...

Posted by A Daily Dose of History on Saturday, March 30, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024 post by A Daily Dose of History on Facebook:

The origins of some of our units of measurement:

A foot was length of a man’s foot.
An inch was the width of a man’s thumb. King Edward II of England later ruled that an inch was the length of 3 grains of barley placed end to end lengthwise
A cubit was the distance from one’s elbow to the tip of one’s middle finger.
A yard was the distance from one’s nose to one’s thumb, with the arm outstretched.
A hand was the width of a man’s hand.
A fathom was the distance between the fingertips of a man’s outstretched arms.
A rod was the length of the left feet of 16 men lined up heel to toe.
A furlong was the distance a team of oxen could plow without resting.
An acre was the amount of land a team of oxen could plow in a day.
A mile was a thousand paces—a pace being two steps.
A league was the distance a man could walk in an hour (about three miles).

The image is a 16th century German woodcut depicting the measurement of a rod. 

Back to top

Page updated: May 6, 2024