People of Allen County, Indiana

W Surnames

Walda, Charles F. W.

January 27, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

It’s #FirefighterFriday! Each Friday in January, we will be featuring photos and historical bios from our firefighter collection (Collection courtesy of Donald A. Weber).

Charles F.W. Walda was born July 30, 1858 in Adams County, Indiana to Karl Walda and Wilhelmine Schroeder. The family moved to Fort Wayne when Charles was a young boy.

Charles married Augusta Reinking in 1885 and they had five children: Arthur, Bertha, Laura, Emilie, and Albert.

Mr. Walda was a police officer before becoming involved with the fire department. He worked at Station No. 4 as a hoseman. In total, he spent 34 years working at the fire department.

Charles passed away at his home, 1021 Walter St in Fort Wayne on June 22, 1930 at the age of 71, after having suffered a stroke about six weeks earlier. Funeral services were held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Following the funeral, Mr. Walda was transported via firetruck to his final resting place at Concordia Cemetery.

Explore our Ft. Wayne Firefighter collection here:

1930, June 23). Veteran Fireman Succumbs. Fort Wayne News Sentinel, p. 3

Walker, Fran

Was WPTA's first black employee in the 1960's at the height of the Civil Rights movement. She was hired as a receptionist, but a new general manager wanted her to do more. "I told him if you don't like me out here - I was sassy then - make me a star and he said okay I'll do just that," she explained with a touch of that sass from her younger days. After presenting the community on-air calendar for a short time, the GM gave Grant her own program, the Fran Walker Show. See Native Hoosier young lady stars in her own TV show on page 13 in the Indianapolis Recorder January 8, 1972 on Hoosier State Chronicles Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Programand Hidden History: Curator highlights Allen County's African-American pioneers in online database by Kaitor Kposowa published February 19, 2018 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Walker, Herbert Brabander Jay

HERBERT W. "JAY WALKER" BRABANDER June 11, 1937 Chicago, Illinois - June 6, 2012 Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary and his Herbert W. "Jay Walker" Brabander1937 - 2012, Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral Home obituary with color photo.

  1. So sad to report, tonight that Jay Walker...long-time weatherman and my friend, passed away today at the age of 74. Jay...

    Posted by Melissa Long on Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012 post by Melissa Long on Facebook:

    So sad to report, tonight that Jay Walker...long-time weatherman and my friend, passed away today at the age of 74. Jay was one of the good people in the world. Loved his family, his job and his '57 Chevy. I will never forget Jay's "Snipe Nights" "Leaky skies" and most of all his little "heat wave/cold wave" waving hand with which he was mischievous! We love you and miss you Jay!

  2. So many, many wonderful tributes to our dear friend Jay. A good portion of our 5pm show today will be devoted to...

    Posted by Melissa Long on Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Thursday, June 7, 2012 post by Melissa Long on Facebook:

    So many, many wonderful tributes to our dear friend Jay. A good portion of our 5pm show today will be devoted to remembering him. We'll hear from many of you plus some of Jay's current and former co-workers. Here is a vintage photo of the 21 Alive News Team!

  3. "Herbert W. Brabander, who was known as Jay Walker during more than four decades of broadcasting in Fort Wayne, died Wednesday afternoon. He was 74. Walker was born in Chicago and had worked as a disc jockey in Boston and Ann Arbor, Mich., before coming to Fort Wayne in 1966. He made his greatest mark as the weatherman for WPTA-TV, Channel 21, where, as fellow broadcasters put it, he became a beloved fixture on the news. Walker loved his job and his audience learned to love his sometimes unconventional way of presenting the weather. The former Marine didn’t predict rain. He predicted what he called spritzles and leaky skies. Instead of predicting a clear night he’d forecast a snipe night, perfect for snipe hunts." WPTA personality Jay Walker, 74, dies by Frank Gray of The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  4. Weatherman Jay Walker Dies At 74 Indiana's NewsCenter (INC) June 6, 2012 Scott Sarvay and Daniela Salvador archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  5. 21-Alive Weather Caster Leaves Legacy In Radio And TV local radio and TV personalities June 7, 2012 by Jeff Neumeyer INC, archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  6. Herbert W. “Jay Walker” Brabander his Find A Gravememorial.

Wall, Marg

Marg Wall Documentary by Kim Wall published October 23, 2012 on YouTube and Roller Dome website

Of the Roller Dome. Born October 22, 1922 in Merriam, Noble County, Indiana, died April 21, 2015 in Fort Wayne, 92, and was valedictorian of her high school class. From her April 21, 2015 D.O. McComb and Sons obituary and Longtime Roller Dome operator Marg Wall dies at 92 by Frank Gray published April 21, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Marjorie H. Wall Fort Wayne Newspapers obituary.

  1. Documentary video Marge Wall: The Roller Dome Story available from PBS39 WFWA Fort Wayne. During live interview Marge's son said she wrote conduct rules 50 years ago and are now in Roller Dome Hall of Fame used nationwide. The only change to the rules is adding no cellphones allowed.
  2. The story of Roller Dome owner Marg Wall a week before her 90th birthday Rink queen keeps on rolling October 14, 2012 by Frank Gray in the Journal-Gazette newspaper was posted October 15, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
  3. Pillar of the community, Marg Wall, passes away at age 92 by Ian Hoover published April 21, 2015 on
  4. Member News In Memoriam: Marjorie H. Wall, Hall of Fame Recipient The Roller Skating Association is sad to inform you of the loss of long-time champion of the roller skating industry and RSA Hall of Fame recipient, Marg Wall. RSA News Date ArticleType 4/22/2015 was copied from The News-Sentinel newspaperarticle no longer online.
  5. Marg Wall Beyond Roller Dome September 21, 2020 on OrangeBeanIndiana.
  6. March 15, 2022 on Facebook Roller Dome North posted: This is the newest project for the Walls in the skating industry. My brother Kevin is one of the investor in this project with the post Who Needs Ice? Roller-Skating Comes to Rockefeller Center. A wheel-friendly rink is opening in Midtown’s famous sunken plaza, part of a rebrand of the Art Deco complex to attract more New Yorkers. The roller rink opened in April 2022, see video below:

Roller skating rink returns to Rockefeller Center posted April 15, 2022 by PIX11 News on YouTube. For the first time since 1940, a roller skating rink is open at Rockefeller Center.

Walters, Irene

The Journal Gazette’s 2012 Citizen of the year. See previous Citizens of the Year. Her job at IPFW is executive director of university relations and has an extensive list of volunteer efforts. 2004 IPFW Mastodons on Parade celebrating the university’s 40th anniversary, the Fort Wayne 1994 Bicentennial gateway markers, Kids Crossing playground at Lawton Park, worked on the effort that won Fort Wayne the title of All-America City in 1998. In 1994, as a member of the Bicentennial Committee with Mike Hawfield, Patty Martone, and Irene Walters, they were named Citizens of the Year. IPFW’s popular Omnibus Lecture Series started by Walters has brought world-famous speakers to Fort Wayne since 1995 as well as starting IPFW’s annual Tapestry event. The late Patty Martone, who died unexpectedly in July [2012], was a close friend and a frequent companion in Walters’ community service endeavors. Martone once aptly described Walters as the P.T. Barnum of Fort Waynefor her unique ability to promote a cause and persuade people to contribute toward a goal. RiverFest started as a project of Friends of the Rivers, the local river advocacy group that began because of Invent Tomorrow. Walters was a founding member of both groups. Now she is working on an even more ambitious public art project to celebrate IPFW’s 50th anniversary in 2014. IPFW’s Sculpture with Purpose program is enlisting local artists to design 50 statues that also will serve as bike racks. Copied from Irene Walters by Samuel Hoffman a December 30, 2012 article in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Walsh, Bill

55 years service as Fort Wayne police officer. After more than 50 years, city cop prepares to ride off into the sunset Bill Walsh's longevity earns praise, but also raises questions by Kevin Leininger an August 5, 2014 article in The News-Sentinel newspaper no longer online.

Wappes, George

George Wappes 22 July 1825-29 October 1902 on Find A Grave.

Wappes Road is a six mile long north south road from Ari south to almost Carroll Road around 6 miles west of the cemetery in the Huntertown area.

1902 - George Wappes Dies Suddenly - Well-Known Farmer Expires While Sitting in his Chair The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Friday, October 31, 1902, Page 3. This newspaper obituary says he was buried in the Warcup Cemetery is now known as Fairview Cemetery.

1902 - Farmer's Death Was Sudden - George Wappes Expires at Opdyke Hotel - born Germany

Article from Nov 5, 1902 Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) 1902, George wappes
1902 - Farmer's Death Was Sudden - George Wappes Expires at Opdyke Hotel - born Germany Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wednesday, November 5, 1902, Page 8

Ward, L. C.

Page 6, L. C. Ward Our New Principal, in The Caldron by Fort Wayne High and Manual Training School (Fort Wayne, Ind.) 1915 for Central High School was shared March 11, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

Wardlaw, Larry

Wardlaw is The Journal Gazette's Citizen of the Year in 2011, " a senior vice president for account services with the Asher Agency, a local advertising and public relations firm. He is also a devoted community volunteer who has served an astounding list of civic, charitable and fine arts organizations." from an article in The Journal Gazette newspaper no longer online. See previous Citizens of the Year. Larry Wardlaw named a ‘Sagamore of the Wabash’ August 30, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

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Warfield, William E.

Born September 19, 1870 and died in August of 1936 at the age of 66. He was the first African-American allowed to live on Douglas Street. He was a real estate investor and he owned a 21 room house at 450 Montgomery Street which was later changed to Douglas Street. He rented rooms to black performers who were refused lodging at any white hotels in the Fort Wayne area. In Addition, he had a contract with Pennsylvania Railroad to provide room and board to black waiters who worked in dinning cars for the railroom. Warfield was also very talented musically, he composed the song, "We Love Old Fort Wayne", which was performed at the opening of the Lincoln Tower in 1930. For more information, visit the Fort Wayne African-America Historical Museum on Douglas Street.

  1. You can view the William E. Warfield Diaries lists of links at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, or browse in the William E. Warfield Diaries to click Search to see image links to 46 chronological items or 45 random items in the 1909-1936 diaries of William E. Warfield (1870-1936) of Fort Wayne at the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  2. We Love Old Fort Wayne
    "We Love Old Fort Wayne" music images posted January 29, 2024 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook. Two copes of the title:"We love old Fort Wayne" are at IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana  at Indiana University.
  3. Early African Americans find local life a constant struggle from 1900-1909: THE ERA OF OPTIMISMby Shannon King in 1000 to 1900 in Fort Wayne History Stories About Time Periods in I Remember History online tour of Summit City history from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  4. March 25, 2021 post by Genealogy Center on Facebook:

    Thank you Input Fort Wayne and Kara Hackett for such an excellent article on legacy of Black leaders in Fort Wayne history, featuring William E. Warfield and his diaries, a collection that lives digitally within our Community Album.


    Getting to know the ‘ignored legacy’ of Black leaders in Fort Wayne history by Kara Hackett posted Wednesday, March 24, 2021 in Input Fort Wayne. The article is also archivedin the Marsha Smiley Collection: African/African American Historical Museum Highlights pageat The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

  5. Several photos were posted March 12, 2022 and his "We Love Old Fort Wayne" music January 29, 2024 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
  6. February 3, 2023 post by the Genealogy Centeron Facebook:

    February is Black History Month - each Friday this month, we will be featuring stories to recognize and highlight Fort Wayne's African American heritage.

    Today, we are featuring William E. Warfield. Mr. Warfield recorded his personal experiences in a collection of diaries. These diaries are available to view here:

    Considered the city’s first black real estate investor, William E. Warfield was born in Maysville, Kentucky on September 19, 1870. When Warfield was twenty, he came to Fort Wayne and worked as a waiter in the dining room of the Randall Hotel for several years. On Valentine’s Day 1898, he married Edna Underwood – the couple had two children: William and Velma.

    Warfield acquired and invested in a number of properties. In 1899 he purchased and moved into a twenty-one-room house at 450 East Douglas Avenue. He was the first of his race to live on the street. This served as both his family home as well as lodging. Discrimination was prevalent at the time, so African Americans were not able to stay in hotels or eat at the local restaurants. Warfield rented rooms in the Douglas Ave. house to local people and traveling performers - the rooming house was very popular.

    Other properties that Warfield acquired included 501 E. Brackenridge St (Holman). He also owned a farm, an additional rooming house on Calhoun St. and several other properties.

    Mr. Warfield had many interests. He was a writer, poet, and composer. He published Fort Wayne’s first Black newspaper, The Vindicator.

    He died on August 6, 1936, survived by his wife, children, and four grandchildren.

    Beatty, J. D., & Robb, P. (2006). History of Fort Wayne & Allen County, Indiana, 1700-2005. M.T. Pub. Co. (1936, August). Warfield. Fort Wayne News Sentinel, p. 2

  7. February 6, 2024 post by the The History Center on Facebook:

    The nineteenth century saw African-American migration to Fort Wayne and elsewhere in Allen County. Whether removing themselves from the post-bellum South, seeking jobs in the more economically stable North, or simply moving because they now had the freedom to do so, by 1900, 276 Black residents had relocated to Fort Wayne and many more traveled through the city on their way to Canada seeking as much distance between them and the post-bellum South as possible. William Warfield, born on September 19, 1869 in Kentucky, came to Fort Wayne in 1890. He worked as a waiter in the various hotels in town and is considered to be the city’s first Black real estate investor. He owned properties throughout downtown and the county. In 1909, he purchased and moved to 450 Montgomery St, (today East Douglas) a large 21 room home, which served as a family home and rooming house. He later also purchased 501 Holman Street, a farm on Bass Road, land near Southgate Plaza and others. Warfield is known for keeping extensive diaries on city life and also published the first Black newspaper in our city, The Vindicator. After 46 years, William Warfield died at Methodist Hospital on August 7, 1936. #sociallyhistory

Waterfield, Richard Dallas

Born in Fort Wayne IN in 1944, the youngest of the three children born to Richard Hobbs and Anne Kendrick McGill Waterfield. See his Mr. Waterfield bio on Waterfield Capital, LLC. Mr. Waterfield attended South Side High School, graduating in 1962.

Watters, Paul

November 7, 2018 post by The History Center on Facebook:

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the art of photography grew in popularity and Fort Wayne saw the establishment of several photography studios during this time. Paul Watters, a 1947 graduate of Central High School, began his photographic career in 1949 while working at A & I Leather & Camera Shop. In 1949, he purchased his first camera, a Crown Graphics 4 x 5 (pictured here), which he donated to the History Center in January of 2011. Watters had three studios in Fort Wayne beginning in 1950: 2223 Miner Street, 3121 South Calhoun Street and 3635 Lake Avenue. His work included weddings and commercial business; however, after 1972 the Watters Photography Studio focused primarily on portraiture, with a concentration on school photography. Paul Watters retired in 2000, leaving a 50 year legacy of premium photography in Fort Wayne. Here we share Watters continuing legacy within our community of budding photographers. #sociallyhistory

Wayne, General Anthony

See our Anthony Wayne page.

Wearley, Bob

Grew up in Woodburn, 33 years in aviation, owned a commercial heating and cooling filter business. Read Hughes pilot recalls his career Regales audience at book signing; met many celebs by Paul Wyche published December 21, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Weatherhogg, Charles

Charles Weatherhogg was an American architect who was known for his role in the modern development of Fort Wayne, Indiana and the structures he designed throughout the Northern Midwest of the United States. He was born on April 15th, 1872 in Donington, Lincolnshire, England, to Henry and Jane Weatherhogg and attended school in Donington. Read his October 18, 1937 obituary, then the rest of his story including a list of some of his buildings at Charles Weatherhogg by ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage) . Charles R. Weatherhogg lists his work on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. His local projects listed here link to Wikipedia pages:

  1. Hoagland High School (Heritage Elementary). Set to be demolished in 2020
  2. Louis Curdes House
  3. Neizer-McMillen House (McMillen Mansion) at 1345 Westover Road in Southwood Park
  4. Noll Mansion demolished in 1974.
  5. North Side High School
  6. Journal-Gazette Building
  7. Central High School (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
  8. Fairfield Manor
  9. Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Wedge, Eric

Baseball player at Northrop High School, play at Wichita State and briefly in the major leagues before pursuing a career as a manager with Cleveland Indians from 2003 to 2009, earning American League Manager of the Year in 2007, and the Seattle Mariners from 2011 to 2013. 2017 new position with Toronto Blue Jays as field coordinator. See Eric Wedge takes break from Blue Jays for Fort Wayne camp by Reggie Hayes published January 27, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Weitzman, Oscar and Ophelia

Oscar died in 1989 at the age of 98, they were married for 30 years, but had no children. Ophelia died on the day after Christmas in 2012 at the age of 93. Oscar Weitzman started working at Fort Wayne General Electric in 1904 when he was 13 years old, earning 7 1/2 cents an hour. He worked there for nearly 50 years while his wife, Ophelia, was a school teacher at Fort Wayne Community Schools. The couple worked hard and saved, and both died in their 90s. August 25, 2014 IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein announced that the Weitzmans had left the university $3.4 million for student scholarships. Read their story IPFW gets $3.4 million bequest Late couple’s gift for 2 annual scholarships by Vivian Sade published August 26, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Weldon, Mark

Retired zoo curator Mark Weldon will leave lasting impact on Fort Wayne Children's Zoo by Kevin Kilbane published January 28, 2016 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Welday, Susan

Age 27, anchorwoman and reporter for, died September 26, 1981 after three operations at Parkview Hospital. She was hospitalized August 8 with a rare bacterial infection that affected her intestinal system. Miss Welday was known for her broadcasts of "Trouble Shooter" and "Wednesday's Child." In each of the broadcasts she was trying to help people. " Trouble Shooter " helped people with any sort of problem. "Wednesday's Child" was developed to give homes to unadopted children. When Miss Welday died, it was a great shock to the viewing audience. She has definitely left her mark upon our city, one which will not soon be forgotten. Copied from page 26, Class of 1982 Legend Yearbook of North Side High School. The Arlington, Va., native started at the station in 1977 as a reporter. Also from National News Brief published September 26, 1981on UPI Archives. She is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery with her parents Robert J. (1920-2013) and Jane C. Welday (1922-2004) in Columbarium 1 M-31-5 on Find A Grave. Susan was discussed July 3, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

Wells, A. M.

May 21, 1879 Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel newspaper describes the shooting of the former coroner by a horse thief on his farm outside the city onthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Wells, Earl B.

1929-2004, started Fort Wayne Children's Zoo on 54 acres in Franke Park. Discussed July 28, 2015 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.

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Wells, William

Biographical sketches of General Nathaniel Massie, General Duncan McArthur, Captain William Wells [page 183-196], and General Simon Kenton: who were early settlers in the western country by McDonald, John, 1775-1853, Publication date 1852, on

The death of Captain Wells by Dougall, Allan H., Publication date 1958, on
FOREWORD The character of William Wells remains an enigma, for his life has long been obscured by conflicting accounts of his role in Indian affairs. At one time, William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, thought him untrustworthy and believed that he should be removed from his position as Indian agent. Wells often appeared to his contemporaries as a turncoat and a traitor to his own people because of his sympathy with the red men. Other accounts, chiefly by his military associates, are earnest tributes to his strength and valor. Captain Allan H. Dougall, author of the following article, considered Wells only a "celebrated Indian fighter. "Captain Dougall relates the death of Wells at the Massacre of Fort Dearborn, on the site of the present city of Chicago. His account first appeared in the FORT WAYNE DAILY GAZETTE, December 18, 1887. The Boards and the Staff of the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County reprint the item in the hope that it will interest and inform local readers. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation have been changed to conform to current usage.

Namesake for Wells Street. Remembered with the William Wells Celebration starting in August 2010. Text below was from Wells Street festival celebrates namesake by Aaron Organ published August 7, 2010 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

"adopted son of famous Miami Indian chief Little Turtle who would go on to serve as a spy for city namesake Gen. Anthony Wayne. As an 11-year-old boy, Wells was found in Kentucky during a Miamian raid of settlers. According to lore, Wells vigorously fought off the Miami, prompting Little Turtle to intervene and order the boy not be harmed, but taken hostage. Soon later, Little Turtle adopted the young Wells. As a man, Wells asked to leave the tribe, which Little Turtle allowed. Wells became a courier and spy for the army of Anthony Wayne, the city's namesake. He would eventually marry Little Turtle's daughter, and one of the couple's descendants would become a mayor of Fort Wayne. Wells died Aug. 15, 1812, when, while leading settlers from Fort Dearborn near Chicago to Fort Wayne, the troupe was attacked by Miami warriors. Wells was killed and beheaded, and his heart was cut out and eaten – by foes hoping to gain his courage, lore says. His name appears in the form of Wells Street, as well as Spy Run Avenue and Spy Run Creek, made notorious by Wells and other spies who legend says used the creek as a trail while shuttling between settlements on behalf of Gen. Wayne."

  1. Massacre at Fort Dearborn by Carmen Doyle April 3, 2013 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  2. Re-evaluating "The Fort-Wayne Manuscript": William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation a 31 page article by William Heath in Volume 106, Issue 2, June 2010 of the Indiana Magazine of History journal in the archives at Indiana University Scholarworks.
  3. William Wells William Wells had a knack for gathering intelligence that made him indispensable to the U.S. military during the early years of the Republic by Joshua Shepherd published January 15, 2019 in the
  4. William Wells and the Indian Council of 1793 10 page article edited by Dwight L. Smith, contributed by Mrs. Frank Roberts published in Volume 56, Issue 3, September 1960 of the Indiana Magazine of History journal in the archives at Indiana University Scholarworks.
  5. William Wells the Miami Apekonit by Tom Castaldi, local historianposted October 31, 2013 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  6. William Wells’ tale captivates author by Rosa Salter Rodriguez about a 2008 book and upcoming 2013 biography published August 2, 2012 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  7. William Wells to be honored Saturday on namesake street 2012 celebration was the subject of the newspaper article by Hana Hawash August 3, 2012 The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  8. William Wells (soldier) at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
  9. Wells Street (Chicago) Wells Street is a major north–south street in Chicago. It is officially designated as 200 West, and is named in honor of William Wells, a United States Army Captain who died in the Battle of Fort Dearborn. Between 1870 and 1912, it was named 5th Avenue so as not to tarnish the name of Wells during a period when the street had a bad reputation. Copied from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia which references: Ask Chicagoist: Wells Street or 5th Avenue? by Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Mar 28, 2007.

Wheel of Fortune

Several Fort Wayne people have been on the television game show and recenlty promoted on social media.

  1. April 11, 2017 the Summit City appeared
  2. January 24, 2019 Danielle Frecker
  3. November 5, 2019 Ginger Nelson will spin the wheel
  4. March 17, 2020 Christian Dixie first appearance
  5. May 8, 2023 Christian Dixie returns to Wheel of Fortune and stuns us — AGAIN
  6. August 7, 2023 Winning once wasn't enough for Christian Dixie

Whistler, George Washington

Was born May 19, 1800 at the military outpost of Fort Wayne son of commandant Major John Whistler (1756–1829) and his mother Anna Bishop. His father, helped build the 1816 fort on what was then the western frontier a part of the great Northwest Territory. His father, John Whistler, had been a British soldier under General Burgoyne at the battles of Saratoga in the revolutionary war, later enlisted in American service. See George Washington Whistler on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. His son James Abbott McNeill Whistler was the artist who painted Whistler's Mother. For more see John Abbott McNeill Whistler on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. There is a book about Whistler's Fatherthat can be borrowed for 14 days from Internet Archive.

Whistler, John

Born in Ireland, he was a Major in the United States Army, (1756-1829) . He was sent on the Harmar Campaign of 1790, and was severely wounded in St. Clair's Defeat of 1791. He was a lieutenant in the Legion of the United States, promoted to captain on 1 July 1797, and breveted to major during the War of 1812, and was the fort commander who helped build the 1816 Fort Wayne. See John Whistler and Fort Wayne (Fort) with a list of Commanders on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

White, Alton

He grew up in Winnipeg. White came to Fort Wayne as a rookie in 1965 to play for the Komets. He was the first black player to play for the Komets, Alton White broke color barrier with Komets, pro hockey by Blake Sebring published January 18, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper

White, Bill

Local activist opposed injustice. He he didn't seem to have any immediate family. Bill White died unexpectedly last month. by Kevin Kilbane published March 14, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

White, James

Built the White Fruit House and descendant Edward White, a Gemini and Apollo-era astronaut was the first American to walk in space. James B. White, born in 1835 Scotland, came to Fort Wayne in 1854 by packetboat on the Wabash & Erie canal. In 1892 with his son John organized the White National Bank which later merged with First National Bank. A descendant of this family was Edward White, a Gemini and Apollo-era astronaut and the first American to walk in space. From July 10, 2006 Fort Wayne Reader article. White Fruit House became the Grand Leader department store from newspaper article on Great Memories & History of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Has a lengthy biography on page 144 of the History of the Maumee River Basin book. Allen County Public Library printed a short book now on Internet Archive Captain James B. White, Fort Wayne soldier, merchant, banker (1957). - Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County. cn Includes bibliographical references .

Captain James B. White, Fort Wayne soldier, merchant, banker, Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County. cn, Publication date 1957 on

White, Reverend Jesse

The Civil Rights leader 1955-2001 leader home is a local historic landmark. The Journal Gazette newspaper published an article about it April 20, 2010. Reverend Jesse White, Sr.'s Memorial is at the Southeast corner of Lafayette and Wallace Streets, it also includes a "Prescription for Living the Good Life" by Dr. Rudy Kachmann.

August 13, 2018 post by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook:

Prolly driven by this memorial hundreds of times. We were "Out in the Field" recently, and took this photo of the Reverend Jesse White, Sr.'s Memorial at the Southeast corner of Lafayette and Wallace Streets, it also includes a "Prescription for Living the Good Life" by Dr. Rudy Kachmann.

White Loon (Wa-pe-mung-ah)

Chief of the Miami Indians was a resident of southwestern Allen County and died in 1876 at Roanoke at the age of 107.

White, Solomon

One of, if not the, last African-American to play on a professional baseball team until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier 50 years later. That professional team was Fort Wayne’s entry in the Western-Interstate League. ... His work with New York’s Cuban Giants in 1894 apparently caught the attention of the Fort Wayne organizer/manager, C.F. Jewell. Jewell hired White to play second base for the city’s entry into the new Western-Interstate League. ... By White’s own historical account of the early Negro Leagues he was the last African American to play on a professional white team in the East. Read his story Batter Up! by Mark Meyer on The History Centerblog February 7, 2013.

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Whiting, Captain Ira C.

Pioneer days captain of an canal boat between Cincinnatti and Toledo, and Toledo and Fort Wayne. He brought many people and goods to early Fort Wayne. In the early 1860's he became a Fort Wayne businessman. His June 14, 1895 Fort Wayne News obituary had been on Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana on Facebook.

Wichman, Sharon Lynn

Born May 13, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated in 1970 from R. Nelson Snider High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During the Mexico City Summer Olympics 1968 Wichman won the gold medal in the 200-meter breast stroke, set an Olympic record with a time of 2:44.4 and won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke. She practiced at the local Club Olympia Pool one of only 4 pools in Indiana certified as an Olympic pool. Club Olympia closed April 28, 2009. She married David Jones in 1973, and lives in nearby Churubusco, Indiana. She has two sons.

October 23, 2022 post byFort Wayne Sports History on Facebook:

October 24

In 1968, Sharon Wichman wins the gold medal in the 200 breast stroke.

When Sharon Wichman started competing in the mid-1960s, there was a boys swimming team at Snider High School, but not one for girls. A few years later, Wichman said she was the only female swimmer she knew of at the time.

Quickly Wichman became a role model for other female athletes, as she won a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in the 200-meter breast stroke. Her time of 2:44.4 set an Olympic record, and she also won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breast stroke. Besides being the first American woman to win a gold medal in the event, at only age 16, Wichman became the first Fort Wayne athlete to earn an Olympic gold medal.

``For about a year, my world was wonderful,'' she remembered in 1997. She married David Jones in 1973. ``I gave a lot of talks. People were so excited back then that I would tell them, when they asked me to speak, that I could do a Q & A. They'd ask questions for two hours. That keeps you going and excited.''

After competing in the U.S. Nationals in 1971, Wichman decided not to defend her gold medal in 1972, saying she wanted to experience the normal life of a teenager.

``I didn't realize how goal-orientated I was until I tried to swim afterward,'' she said. ``I had already done the only thing I ever wanted to do in swimming. Just to swim for swimming's sake was not what I wanted to achieve the rest of my life.''

Wichman-Jones lives in Churubusco and has two sons. She often speaks to local groups about her athletic career and her 1985 decision to become a born-again Christian.

Page 8-9 of The safari by R. Nelson Snider High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Publication date 1969 on
The XIX Summer Olympics varied from jello rights to battles for both a bronze and a gold medal for Snider Olympic champion Sharon Wichman. Sharon, a junior, returned from Mexico City in the wake of her Olympic victories in the 100 and 200-meter breast stroke events. Never before has R. Nelson Snider High School been so honored by the performance of one of its students. And never before has the entire student body and faculty been so proud of anyone. Because of her dedication not only to Snider, but the entire United States, Snider is proud to name her as its representative. The Fort Wayne community has paid tribute to Sharon through various radio and television broadcasts, assemblies, and ceremonies. ABOVE: The senior section sounds its praise of Sharon's accomplishment with a mighty round of applause. LEFT: Sharon beams rather shyly as her fellow students honor her with a standing ovation during the special homecoming ceremonies for her at Snider.

  1. Sharon Lynn WICHMAN 1968 Mexico City at
  2. YAAAU008 is a photo of 1st place Sharon Wichman with 2nd and 3rd place finishers at
  3. Sharon Wichman (USA) Honor Swimmer (1991) inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  4. FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1968 gold on International Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees states: If you had two wishes that might come true, what would they be?  This was the question Sharon was asked on a guidance questionnaire in  1965 at Chester T. Lane Junior High School.  Sharon's first wish was, "To get a gold medal in the Olympics."  Little did she know that her wish would come true.
  5. See her 1969 Snider Yearbook photo with medal posted October 23, 2015, 1969 school assembly and more 1969 yearbook photos on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
  6. Jones remembers winning her Olympic gold medal Churubusco woman was Olympic medalist in 1968 posted Aug 2, 2016 on
  7. She is No. 13 Golden Girl with photo of the TOP 50 Northeast Indiana's Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century by The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  8. Fort Wayne sports history: Wichman wins Fort Wayne's first Olympic gold More Information Swimmer sets Olympic record at Mexico City Games June 25, 2013 by Blake Sebring at The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  9. See also Sharon Wichman on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia and Wikipedia list of people from Indiana
  10. Photo and discussion April 4, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
  11. Going for Gold: Olympian Sharon Wichman’s New Mission August 17, 2021 by Alyson R. Quinn A place atop the podium was only the beginning. on Prison
  12. 50 Year Lookback of 1968 Mexico City Olympics: Kaye Hall, Sharon Wichman Score Upsets for Team USA on Day Seven; Burton Wins; Gary Hall and Hickcox Dual on Swimming World Magazine.
  13. Happy Birthday Sharon Wichman !!! by Meg Keller-Marvin May 14, 2021 on International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  14. Her story with photos was posted October 23, 2022 onFort Wayne Sports History on Facebook.

Fort Wayne's Sharon Wichman won gold medal in 1968 as a 16-year old student at Snider HS posted Jul 12, 2021 by WANE 15 News on YouTube
Fort Wayne's Sharon Wichman won gold medal in 1968 as a 16-year old student at Snider HS.

Wiehe, Ferdinand

Hull-Wiehe House, 721 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, 1962 in the Indiana Landmarks Wilbur D. Peat Collection at Indiana Memory digital library at
Hull-Wiehe House. 721 W. Wayne Street, West End Historic District, Fort Wayne, Allen County. L. O. Hull original owner, Ferdinand H. Wiehe present owner. Romanesque Revival, c. 1890 Wing and Mahurin architects. (Page 160). Two other photos online.

This Hoosier Homestead farmhouse on Leesburg Road preserves both an example of how a middle-class farm from the late...

Posted by ARCH, Inc. on Thursday, May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook:

This Hoosier Homestead farmhouse on Leesburg Road preserves both an example of how a middle-class farm from the late 19th century looked and the heritage of the F. Wiehe family that lived and worked there. This Queen Anne T-plan home was built c. 1885 and has been unaltered. The brick structure has a cross gable roof and features two interior chimneys and one exterior chimney. It has front and back porch, the front porch with a projecting slant roof with decorative spindles. Originally owned by Ferdinand Wiehe, the farm is recognized as a Hoosier Homestead Farm by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. ARCH is proud to present this edition of Throwback Thursday, part of its service as the historic preservation organization serving the greater Fort Wayne area, made possible by ARCH members and donors. Thank you.

Williams, Arthur

Photo of Arthur Williams
FWPD photo

For Black History Month on February 12, 2019 the Fort Wayne Police Department recognized Officer Arthur Williams by posting his photo with this information on their Facebook page: Officer Williams was born in Fayetteville, NC, October 12, 1877. He was hired as a patrol driver on February 14, 1918. During his career Officer Williams served in the capacity as a patrol driver, a patrolman and detective. He wore badge #94. He worked protecting the city until his death on August 11, 1940.

Williams, Henry Martyn

January 24, 1843-August 11, 1917 from Find A Grave, one of the original lot owners in Lindenwood, he is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery. In 1890, Henry M. Williams with his wife Mary Hamilton donated the land that would become Williams Park. Interestingly, it was first called Piqua Park before it was given its current name in honor of Henry Williams in 1907.

  1. Monuments and Statues by Henry M. Williams in a full page 24 July 1911 Fort Wayne Daily News newspaper article. Were these 12 monuments ever built and placed in Fort Wayne?
  2. Mentioned several times in The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River Volume 1 by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph) such as page 465 where it states under Old Fort Park: Henry M. Williams later placed about the tract an iron fence and erected in the park a flagpole.
  3. His caricature is on page 165 in Men of affairs in Fort Wayne : reprinted from the Fort Wayne sentinel, 1907, Publication date 1907 on Also #88 at Men of Affairs in Fort Wayne at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  4. Mentioned on page 109 of the book Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office Volume 85 by United States. Patent Office · 1899 and page 565 in Electric Railway Review Volume 8 1898 with photos Tracks Bent by Heat By the courtesy of Henry M. Williams, of Fort Wayne, Ind., we have received photographs, two of which are here reproduced, showing the tracks of the Fort Wayne Consolidated Electric railway as bent by the heat on July 8, last. It was necessary to change the grade of the street, and as soon as they were uncovered the heat of the sun so expanded them as to kink them as shown. in Google ebooks.
  5. Page 258 14270 no. 5, 1911 in Catalog of Copyright Entries Works of art... · Volumes 5-6 1911 and Catalog of Copyright Entries Part 4, Volumes 5-6, published by Library of Congress, Copyright Office.has: Williams, (Henry M.), Fort Wayne, Ind. [14233 Design for a soldier's monument. © May 6, 1911; 2c. May 18, 1911; K 24386. in Google ebooks.

Williams, Jesse Lynch

Chief engineer for the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1832. Born May 6, 1807 near Danbury, North Carolina, grandson of Judge John Lynch, founder of Lynchburg, Virginia. Parents, Jesse and Sarah, members of the Society of Friends moved to Cincinnati early in the ninetieth century and to Wayne County, Indiana by 1819.  A devoted member of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne. At age 26, he was elected to be an elder of his congregation. In 1854, Williams was appointed chief engineer for the Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Williams to be a government director of the Union Pacific in the great transcontinental railway project. He died in 1886 and was buried in Lindenwood Cemetery. Read more in The Master Engineer of the Wabash and Erie Canal by Tom Castaldi published June 5, 2014 in the History Center Notes & Queries blog.

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Wilmot, James C.

May 11, 2023 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook:

This unique one and a half-story gable-front home is in the Historic West Central Neighborhood. Built in 1872, its first owner was James C. Wilmot, his wife Ellen and four children. From England, Wilmot owned a paint shop on Clinton Street. He also did house, sign, banner and ornamental painting. By 1904, Maurice L. Jones, founder of the Jones Camera Shop, 112 West Wayne Street, was living at that address. He lived there until 1935. This home is laid on a stone foundation, the house is sided with wood clapboards, and a wide band of trim accents the front gable. A shed roof porch is supported by turned posts. ARCH is proud to present this edition of Throwback Thursday, part of its service as the historic preservation organization serving the greater Fort Wayne area made possible by ARCH members and donors. Thank you. 

Wilson, Euell A.

All-American career at Bishop Dwenger Saints high school football team. He planned to play at Indiana University, but enrolled at Triton Junior College in River Grove, Ill. In November 1992, Wilson died in his sleep. Justice B. Hill, former sports editor at The Journal Gazette had been looking for a signature moment for the annual SAC football/volleyball banquet that evolved into a sort of high-school version of the Heisman trophy award. The December 25, 2012 Carrying on his legacy Euell Wilson lives on through center’s work and SAC award story by Greg Jones High school sports editor of the Journal Gazette newspaper lists the Euell Wilson Award Winners. The Euell A.Wilson Center (EAWC) History says: was founded May 1993 in honor of Euell A.Wilson who was a standout athlete in the city of Fort Wayne. Euell, the son of Christopher and Shirley Woods, was born December 5, 1972, and died November 13, 1992, at the age of nineteen. He touched many lives through his humble and caring nature. There is a Euell Wilson Center Facebook page. Throwback Thursday: Euell Wilson published October 8, 2015 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Wilson, Genois

A Book Full of Fort Wayne Firsts! (VIDEO)by Eric Olson Indiana NewsCenter March 12, 2013 Genois Wilson, Firefighter by Carol Butler - about Genois Wilson the first female Fort Wayne firefighter in the department’s history on her web page City’s first female firefighter subject of new children’s book by Frost Illustrated Staff March 12, 2013. Author hopes book about Fort Wayne's first woman firefighter inspires children to achieve their goals by Kevin Kilbane published March 22, 2013 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. As Good a Fire Laddie as Many of the Boys April 12, 2013 by Nicole Griffetts, education coordinator on the History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Winch, Fannie

Fannie Winch first woman police officer
November 28, 1956 newspaper clipping

Miss Fannie M. Winch, Fort Wayne's first policewoman in 1913, died in 1956, age 89.

A January 13, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook has her photo and more on the Fort Wayne police department.

Miss Fannie Winch was appointed to serve as Fort Wayne's first police matron: her services commenced in November. Copied from page 552 in the The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on

Found on page 13 in the The Police Journal Volumes 1-5 1917 on Google eBook.

Although named as a police matron Miss Fannie M Winch is really a policewoman She frequently patrols the downtown district at night and takes charge of young girls found loitering about The girls are either sent home or ordered into the matron's office More than one young girl has been saved from the downward path by the prompt action of Miss Winch The patrolmen are all under instructions to work with the matron when she requests it but they are seldom called for she prefers to obtain results by other than strong arm methods She investigates all cases called to her attention especially those regarding delinquent girls and her office and home hours are always at the disposal of those under her charge.

Fannie Winch

Trivia: there is a Winch Street on the east side of Fort Wayne. No idea if related.

Wing & Mahurin Architects

Wing & Mahurin, architects, Fort Wayne, Ind on"... a record of a few of the many buildings erected from plans prepared by us and under our supervision, and many sketches on file in our office of public institutions, municipal buildings, schools, churches, residences, etc. ..." from Wing & Mahurin, architects, Fort Wayne, Ind by Wing & Mahurin Publication date 1896.

  1. See our Guy M. Mahurin and Marshall S. Mahurin sections.
  2. Drawing showing the home of Marshall S. and Cora (Diggins) Mahurin at 2902 Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne was posted August 1, 2015 on The Indiana Albumon Facebook. The home is gone and the Lutheran Foundation is located on its former site on the SW corner of Fairfield and Home Avenues.
  3. J.F. Wing and Marshall S. Mahurin built the Indiana State School for Feeble-Minded Children in Fort Wayne, Allen County Orphans’ Home, Lindenwood Cemetery Vault and Crematory, stone school buildings such as Hunterown Village School, Zion and Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the St Rose of Lima Catholic Church (1888) in Monroeville, Brookside the John H. Bass Mansion, S. J. Peabody mansion in Columbia City and more in Indiana and Ohio. Their 1884 Victorian mansion at 801 West Berry Street, in the late 1890s was home to Sentinel newspaper publisher Edward A.K. Hackettis, is being restored in 2018 with photos in this article KEVIN LEININGER: Two old homes have escaped the wrecking ball, and one is a diamond in the (very) rough by Kevin Leininger published March 29, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  4. Historic Preservation page at West Central Neighborhood Association mentions Wing & Mahurin.
  5. Starting on page 9 under Honest Architecture by Marshall S. Mahurin, Fellow A.I.A in The Ohio Architect Engineer and Builder Volume XXVII May, 1916, Number 5 shows photos of Mahurin projects mentioning Mahurin 32 times in Google eBook
  6. Wing & Mahurin office for architecture has a list of projects at
  7. Wing & Mahurin list of projects on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Local Architecture Projects

  1. Allen County Orphans’ Home
  2. John H. Bass Mansion, aka "Brookside," NRHP-listed
  3. Hon. R. C. Bell Residence
  4. Dr. D. S. Brown Residence
  5. Central Fire Station
  6. Engine House No. 3, 226 W. Washington Blvd., NRHP-listed
  7. Fort Wayne City Hall, built 1893, Richardsonian Romanesque-style government building, (John F. Wing and Marshall S. Mahurin), NRHP-listed
  8. The Fort Wayne Saengerbund Building
  9. Indiana State School for Feeble-Minded Children
  10. Lindenwood Cemetery Receiving Vault and Crematory (also a number of private vaults)
  11. Marshall S. Mahurin Residence
  12. The McDonald & Taylor Fire-Proof Building
  13. Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1126 S. Barr St., (Wing & Mahurin), NRHP-listed
  14. St Rose of Lima Catholic Church (1888) in Monroeville
  15. US Post Office and Courthouse, 1300 W. Harrison St., (Mahurin, Guy), NRHP-listed
  16. One or more works in Williams–Woodland Park Historic District, roughly bounded by Hoagland and Creighton Aves. and Harrison and Pontiac Sts., Fort Wayne, Indiana (Marshall S. Mahurin), NRHP-listed
  17. White National Bank
  18. The Zion's Lutheran Church
  19. Thomas & Donna Neshek Residence, Elkhorn, WI (Marshall S. Mahurin

Wire, Dan

Citizen of the year 2017: Dan Wire published December 31, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper and January 1, 2017 Facebook post. My Hometown: The man with the boat by Sara Schaefer published May 20, 2017 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Wires are honored for service to rivers, Wells Street A couple synonymous with efforts to revive the city's rivers and the Wells Street corridor has been awarded the 2017 Vandeveer Impact Award from the Allen County Commissioners by Kevin Leininger published September 29, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. See previous Citizens of the Year. See our Rivers page. A January 11, 2023 post by Maumee Watershed Allianceon Facebook stated: Thank you Allen County Soil and Water for nominating the MWA's Dan Wire for the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts' prestigious Friend of Conservation Award! This award recognizes individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to soil and water conservation in Indiana. Congratulations Dan! #allenswcd #friendofconservation

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Woebbeking, Herman

THE PICTORIAL HISTORY OF FORT WAYNE INDIANA by B.J. Griswold published 1917, page 616, HERMAN WOEBBEKING Herman Woebbeking, born in Adams county, Indiana, November 15, 1875, is a son of Henry and Wilhelmina (Buuck) Woebbeking, one of the well known families of their section of the country, concerning whom mention is made in a sketch devoted to the life of another of their sons, William Woebbeking, a successful Maumee township farmer. Herman Woebbeking had his education in the common schools of Adams county and he might be said to have been meagerly educated in view of his five years of schooling. However, he was one who ever made the best of such opportunities as come his way and is today one of the well informed men of his community despite his early disadvantages. He began farming in Maumee township when he was about ten years old and has been active in that township and occupa- tion from then to the present time. Today Mr. Woebbeking is the owner of a farm of 160 acres in Maumee township, on which place he has made all modern improvements consistent with progressive and successful farming. Mr. Woebbeking was married on November 16, 1900, to Miss Minnie Lessenhop, daughter of William and Minnie Lessenhop, both native Germans. Mrs. Woebbeking came to Fort Wayne in 1893 with her mother, following the death of the husband and father. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Woebbeking -- Herman, Jr., Hilda, Arthur, Melinda, Laura, Herbert and Martin. Mr. Woebbeking has held no offices and is a member of no lodges. He is a Democrat in politics and with his family has membership in the German Lutheran church.

Submitted before 2009 by Jane Hunter Hodgson, Tucson, Arizona:, see also the Hunter Hodgson Webpage 2004 archive

Woebbeking, William

THE PICTORIAL HISTORY OF FORT WAYNE INDIANA by B.J. Griswold published 1917, page 618, WILLIAM WOEBBEKING Three generations of the family here named have contributed to the agricultural and industrial development of the state of Indiana in their respective localities, and a fourth generation is growing up to take its place in the world's work. William Woebbe- king is the son of Henry and the grandson of the first American ancestor, the latter coming to America, in 1844, and bringing his family with him. They settled in Adams county and the German immigrant became one of the substantial and successful farming men in his community. After his death, his son, Henry, who had hitherto been engaged in carpentering business, turned his attention in the operation of the home farm and continued actively in that work until his death, in 1913. Henry Woebbeking was born in Germany, in 1832, and was twelve years of age when he first saw America. He married Wilhelmina Buuck, who was born in Adams county of German parents, and who survives her husband at this writing. They were parents of eleven children, named Mary, Fred, (deceased), Carl, Ernest, Theodore, Henry, William, Herman, Paul, Martha, and Sophia, all living but the first, third and fourth. William Woebbeking was born in Adams county on September 21, 1873, and with his brothers and sisters had his education in the common schools of Adams county and the Lutheran school in Adams county. He began farming in Maumee township, Allen county, and it is there he is to be found active in his chosen enterprise at this time. He is the owner of a well developed farm of one hundred acres and his enterprise, industry and general good management have won him a place among the successful farming men of the township. The place is well equipped according to the best modern standards in agriculture and general farming is carried on, with special attention to the breeding of Shorthorned Durham cattle. On October 16, 1902, Mr. Woebbeking was married to Miss Minnie Rekeweg, a daughter of Deiderick and Louisa (Korte) Rekeweg, and they are the parents of two children -- Luella and Welma, the latter deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Woebbeking are lifelong members of the German Lutheran church and Mr. Woebbeking is Republican in politics. He is not active in local politics, though fulfilling all the demands of good citizenship, and has no lodge memberships. He is content with his home life and finds occupation in the many duties afforded by the proper operation and management of his home and farm.

Submitted before 2009 by Jane Hunter Hodgson, Tucson, Arizona:, see also the Hunter Hodgson Webpage 2004 archive

Wolf, Fred W.

In 1913, Fort Wayne, Indiana, invents the first refrigerator for home use, a small unit mounted on top of an old-fashioned icebox and requiring external plumbing connections. Copied from Household Appliances Timeline on from a post October 10, 2015 on Facebook by Stucky Brothers.

Wolf, Samuel

Was co-founder with Myron E. Dessauer in 1896 of the Wolf & Dessauer store.

December 29, 2022 post by Lindenwood Cemetery on Facebook:

Samuel Wolf - 1868-1960. Lindenwood Cemetery final resting place - Section Y - Lot 109.

Wolfcale Family

October 20, 2023 post by Dead Fred's Genealogy Photo Archive on Facebook:

Taken 1909 Wells Co.,IN /on porch l-r /

Della May Wolfcale Sparks born 23 Jan 1881 Wells Co.,IN died 15 Mar 1966 Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN buried 17 Mar 1966 Prospect Cemetery Wells Co.,IN-daughter of James Wolfcale & Mary Ann Sowle /

Mary Ann Sowle Wolfcale born 18 Feb 1840 Trumbull Co.,OH died 6 Feb 1919 Wells Co.,IN buried 7 Feb 1919 Prospect Cemetery Wells Co.,IN-daughter of Isaac Sowle(1810-1887) & Victory Cotton(1818-1895)-widow of James Wolfcale(1832-1886) /

on edge of porch l-r /Thelma Ilean Sparks born 11 Feb 1908 Wells Co.,IN died 18 Apr 2002 Gunnison,Gunnison,CO buried 22 Apr 2002 Lindenwood Cemetery Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN-daughter of Lucion Otis Sparks & Della May Wolfcale /

Lucion Otis Sparks born 6 Jun 1879 Hancock Co.,IN died 15 Mar 1918 Wells Co.,IN buried Prospect Cemetery Wells Co.,IN-son of Emerson Barber Sparks(1850-1919) & Lovicy Gunn(1854-1921) /

Hadley Sparks born 12 May 1906 Wells Co.,IN died 22 Nov 1977 Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN buried 23 Nov 1977 Greenlawn Memorial Park Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN-son of Lucion Otis Sparks & Della May Wolfcale /

James Orval Wolfcale born 6 Oct 1890 Wells Co.,IN died 13 Oct 1955 West Palm Beach,Palm Beach,FL buried Sunrise Memorial Gardens Muskegon,Muskegon,MI-son of Isaac James Wolfcale(1871-1937) & Mary Ellen Shady(1866-1945) /

on steps l-r /Flossy Ivonne Shady Summers born 7 May 1882 Wells Co.,IN died 15 Oct 1970 Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN buried Greenlawn Memorial Park Ft. Wayne,Allen,IN-daughter of William Henry Shady(1858-1937) & Victory Eliza Wolfcale(1861-1940)-wife of Ira Abraham Summers(1884-1951) /

Maynard Waldo Sparks born 30 Apr 1905 Wells Co.,IN died 3 Jun 1977 # Elkhart,Elkhart,IN buried 6 Jun 1977 Horeb Cemetery Wells Co.,IN-son of Lucion Otis Sparks & Della May Wolfcale /

Eschylus Hillard Sparks born 26 Jul 1902 Wells Co.,IN died 31 May 1947 Warsaw,#Kosciusko,IN buried 3 Jun 1947 Oakwood Cemetery Warsaw,Kosciusko,IN-son of Lucion Otis Sparks & Della May Wolfcale

Everyone Listed In This Photo:

Della Sparks
Eschylus Sparks
Hadley #Sparks
Lucion Sparks
Maynard Sparks
Thelma Sparks
Flossy #Summers
James Wolfcale
Mary #Wolfcale

Wolff, Helena

Born in 1836, died in 1925. Union Army nurse and one of Fort Wayne’s better-known Civil War personalities. She nursed wounded in military hospitals in Cincinnati, Louisville and Nashville, publicly received by both President Lincoln and General Grant, received a citation for bravery from Gen. Logan for service to the wounded, and attended patriotic gatherings of Civil War heroes for over 20 years after the war’s end. Read more in In Celebration of Women's History Month: Fort Wayne Women remembered at Lindenwood Cemetery by Nancy McCammon-Hansen published March 12, 2014 in History Center Notes & Queries blog.

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Wood, James J.

April 12, 2018post by The History Center on Facebook:

James J. Wood was born in Ireland in 1856. His family left Ireland and immigrated to the United States in the 1860s. Wood moved to New York City in 1864. He established himself as an accomplished and innovative electrical engineer, patenting his first invention in 1880. By 1885, Wood was installing the first floodlight system for the Statue of Liberty. In 1888, Fort Wayne Electric Light acquired the factory of Excelsior Electric Company in Brooklyn, New York. The factory was operated by what was referred to as the “Fuller-Wood Company,” a business of which Wood was an integral part. In 1890, Wood’s operations in Brooklyn were transferred to Fort Wayne under the direction of Ranald T. McDonald, one of the founders of Jenney Electric. Wood moved to Fort Wayne and worked with McDonald until his colleague died in 1898. The Fort Wayne Electric Light Company was purchased by General Electric and became Fort Wayne Electric Works. Wood became the factory manager and continued to produce inventions that changed the way modern American’s lived and worked.

Over the course of his career Wood was granted 240 patents placing him on the same level as many great inventors in American history. On this day in 1904, Wood was granted two of those patents. The first for an improved Electric Arc Lamp which reduced the noise of operation and provided greater efficiency; the second invention was a bending machine which bent metal tubes and bars to specified shapes more quickly and easily. This bending machine allowed for greater maneuverability around obstructions when designing electrical devices. Attached are photos of the patents granted to Wood on April 12, 1904 with sketches of his originally conceived idea. #sociallyhistory

  1. James Wood – Jenney Inventor by Tom Castaldi orignially published June 2010, recently published September 1, 2015 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  2. Biography of James J. Wood posted September 30, 2012 at blog.
  3. Woodhurst Community namesake.

Wood, Sol A.

Judge December 31, 1918 The Fort Wayne News and Sentinel reviews his taking charge of the Allen Circuit Court November 16 on . Namesake for the Sol Wood Home openedthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebookin 1953, then the Wood Youth Center, replaced with the Juvenile Justice Center opened in 2004 ordered by Retiring Judge Sims noted for anti-porn campaign, juvenile justice efforts by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel newspaperFebruary 15, 2013. See 2003 photo onthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. See his FamilyTreeMaker page.

Woodson, Roderick Kevin

Born March 10, 1965 in Fort Wayne, played defensive back and a variety of offensive skill positions at Snider High School. Named Parade and USA Today All-American, all-state his junior and senior seasons and Indiana Mr.Football in 1982. Full scholarship to Purdue University. Held 13 individual records, tying the school record with eleven career interceptions. Ranked in the top ten in career interceptions, solo tackles, total tackles, passes deflected, and kickoff return yardage as a Boilermaker. Played cornerback and safety in the National Football League (NFL) for seventeen seasons. 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and on January 28, 2001 the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV championship team. Also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, wearing the jersey number 26 throughout his career. Holds the NFL record for interception returns for touchdowns (12), and named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. 71 career interceptions is third-most in NFL history. Inductee of the Class of 2009 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009. From his retirement in 2003 to February 2011, Woodson worked as an analyst for the NFL Network on NFL Total Access and Thursday Night Football, and as a color-commentator for the Big Ten Network. He spent the 2011 season as the Raiders' cornerbacks coach. Copied from Rod Woodson on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

  1. November 29, 2011 long post on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
  2. Was a Legendary Locals of Fort Wayne, by Randolph L. Harter, Craig S. Leonard .
  3. Snider grad Rod Woodson elected to College Football Hall of Fame by Thomas Shott - Purdue Sports Information published January 8, 2016 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
  4. Purdue’s Rod Woodson elected to College Football Hall of Fame by Purdue Sports published Janaury 8, 2016 on archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
  5. Woodson named to college Hall Previously honored by Purdue, NFL by staff and wire services published January 9, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  6. the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook

    November 26, 2023 post by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Facebook:

    On November 26, we look at the career of the legendary No. 26, Rod Woodson.

    You can learn more about Woodson when visiting the Hall of Fame.

    Visit The Hall:

Works Project Administration - WPA

The WPA In Indiana (5/6/21) published May 6, 2021 by Indiana Historical Society on YouTube.
If you look hard enough around Indiana, you can see the legacy of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and other New Deal agencies at almost every turn. Created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat the effects of the Great Depression, this program put thousands of Hoosier back to work. Join historian Glory-June Greiff as we travel around the state to explore some of these lasting projects.

  1. See our Civilian Conservation Corps - CCC section.
  2. Question 22: 1940 Census Provides a Glimpse of the Demographics of the New Deal Summer 2012, Vol. 44, No. 2 | Genealogy Notes by Ashley Mattingly at The National Archives. Has a section The Civilian Conservation Corps with links to CCC, WPA, and NYA records in our National Archives Catalog, The first year of the CCC, and CCC enrollee records. Another section is Works Progress Administration with lots of references at the bottom of the page.
  3. The Works Progress Administration was established by Executive Order No. 7034, dated May 6, 1935. This action was taken by the President under the authority of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, approved April 8, 1935. from The Works Project Administration in Indiana which started August 1, 1935. A search of the Indiana University Archives shows over 600 pages with something related to the WPA.
  4. The National Archives has a large collection of WPA and HRS records for Indiana with over 12,000 results on file. The National Archives has branch offices across the country, so requested files can be sent to a district office in your region. Also, check the Library of Congress for manuscripts and HRS records. Copied from THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION AND THE HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY by Joy Neighbors, (South Central District) in THE WPA AND THE CCC IN INDIANA page 21 of Indiana Genealogist Vol. 32 No 02 June 2022 by the Indiana Genenealogical Society.
    1. National Archives:
    2. Library of Congress: WPA:
    3. HRS:
  5. Records of the Work Projects Administration [WPA] at Guide to Federal Records at The National Archives.
  6. The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library Digital Collection search shows over 20 titles for WPA in Indiana and 300 WPA searches.
  7. Internet Archivesearch for WPA shows over 2,300 titles, Works Project Administration over 47,000 titles, WPA Indiana over 30 titles, Works Project Administration Indiana over 150 titles.
  8. Building Indiana State Parks — Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) at Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
  9. Works Progress Administration (WPA) updated June 10, 2019, originally published July 13, 2017 on
  10. In The 1930s, Works Program Spelled HOPE For Millions Of Jobless Americans by Ron Elving, published April 4, 2020at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  11. General Article: The Works Progress Administration (WPA) at American Experience.
  12. Works Progress Administration at Today in History at The Library of Congress.
  13. A photo titled Annual Greater Fort Wayne Picnic 1941 at the Memorial Park pavilion was posted April 22, 2022 on Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne Private Facebook Group. Memorial Park Pavilion – Fort Wayne IN on describes the park as “A significant addition to the park occurred in 1941, with the construction of a large stone pavilion on high ground west of the memorial grove. Architect Leroy Bradley designed the pavilion, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided the labor and materials. The stone was salvaged from old foundations, sidewalks and bridge abutments, and hand-hewn oak beams supported the roof. The west wing of the pavilion was designed to house a park caretaker, and the east wing contained restrooms.” This paragraph is from page I.4 of the 138 page MEMORIAL PARK Cultural Landscape Report History, Existing Conditions, Analysis & Rehabilitation Plan with photos, drawings and more at

Worthman, Jack

Wife of 62 years, Bettina Worthman of New Haven; sons, Jeffery R. Worthman of St. Croix and Martin L. (Donna) Worthman of New Haven; daughters, Lisa L. Chiddister of Fort Wayne, Alice L. (Fritz) Martin of Columbia City, and Faith E. (Craig) Wise of Grabill; a sister, Joan (Ron) Flohr of Fort Wayne; 11 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren from Former County Commissioner Jack Worthman dies Business background benefited public, friends say by Kevin Leininger published November 15, 2013 by the The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Current News Team, and 2000 News Team - from Internet Archive Internet Archive Wayback Machineincludes Jennifer Blomquist, Keith Edwards, Jane Hersha, Sandra Jones, Diana Lee, Victor Locke, Melissa Long, Michael Morrissey, Jeff Neumeyer, Eric Olson, Dean Pantazi, Corinne Rose, Curtis Smith, Jay Walker, Mark Wolf, Marti Wrightsee also Wright, Marti - Wikipedia.

Wright, Frank Lloyd

His only house in Fort Wayne is the Usonian Haynes House built in 1952 at 3901 North Washington Road discussed in the article Images of city’s only Frank Lloyd Wright home to be auctioned June 5 by Kevin Leininger published May 31, 2019 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Also known as the 1951 John Haynes House on See Haynes House.

2131 Forest Park Boulevard was designed by one of his students prominent Chicago architect Barry Byrne and built in 1914 from Preservation and Cultural Research of the Franke Park Master Plan. The John B. & Amelia Franke House at PrairieSchoolTraveler and shown in photos from an October 12, 2020 Tweet by JoshLipnik from the 1924 Western Architect publication. November 22, 2023 post with by Carol Kalp on Frank Lloyd Wright Nation on Facebook and shared November 29, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook

Wright, Patricia “Pat” Jean Koch

Her city championships came at Orchard Ridge Country Club, Fort Wayne Country Club, Foster Park Golf Course, The Elks Country Club (now Coyote Creek), Lakeside Golf Club and Brookwood. Copied from Pat Wright, one of the best amateur golfers in northeast Indiana history, dies at 97 Justin A. Cohn | March 20, 2023 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Patricia Jean Wright obituary at Hearld-Tribune. 

Patricia (“Pat”) Jean Koch Wright, 97, passed away Feb. 16, 2023 in Sarasota, Florida. Pat is survived by her daughter Gail, grandson, Steven (Michelle) Duerst, great-granddaughter, Emma Duerst, and granddaughter Jenna Duerst (fiancé Phil Baier). Also surviving is her son, Timothy (Ann) Wright, and grandchildren Heather and Eragon Vick, Amy, Jasmine, Kayla Taylor and Ava Ridge.

Pat was born March 24, 1925 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Benjamin Lafeyette Koch and Maria Paulina Stein, the baby of eleven siblings who all preceded her death.

Pat was a successful amateur competitive golfer, winning nine Fort Wayne Women’s Golf tournament titles. She still holds the record today for three back-to-back wins. Pat also won the Indiana State Women’s Golf Tournament in 1968. She achieved 11 holes-in-one and played many golf courses around the world.

In the early 1950’s Pat and her then-husband Bill, opened Wright’s Driving Range and Miniature Golf in Fort Wayne which is still operational today under current owner Bobick’s.

March 24, 2023 post by WANE 15 on Facebook:

In the early 1950s, Wright and her husband founded Wright’s Driving Range and Miniature Golf in Fort Wayne, which later became Bobick’s Golf under different ownership, according to an obituary sent to WANE 15.



Born in Fort Wayne on March 24, 1925, Wright competed as an amateur golfer in tournaments hosted by the Fort Wayne Women’s Golf Association (FWWGA) and won a record nine FWWGA City Tournaments from 1955 to 1969 from Celebration of life honors Bobick’s Golf founder Pat Wright by Clayton McMahan, March 24, 2023 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.



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Wyall, Mary Anna Martin Marty

Born January 24, 1922 in Liberty, Union County, Indiana, died March 9, 2017 in Fort Wayne. In Her Honor: The Marty Wyall Story 7 minute YouTubepublished April 3, 2013 at IndianaStateMuseum. Donnelly interviews WWII pilot for Library of Congress archives for Veterans History Project, Marty Wyall, 94, was a Women Airforce Service Pilot in WWII by WANE Staff Reports published February 8, 2016 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. WASP recalls taking flight Last one in Indiana, 94, tells of ferrying planes in WWII by Brian Francisco published February 9, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. This WASP Couldn’t Wait to Fly by Kayleen Reusser published January 23, 2017 on Marty Wyall kept WASPs' contributions, legacy alive She may have been the last living WASP originally from Indiana by Kevin Kilbane published April 27, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. She was a participant in a July 19, 1999 Cocoa Beach, Florida NASA Headquarters Oral History Project Edited Oral History Transcript. Former WASP tells senator of her experiences by Brian Francisco published February 8, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Wybourn, David

1878 Nov 4 Born to William Wybourn and Maria Catherine McKeeman in Allen Co IN 1880 Census with parents 1896 Graduated high school Monroeville, IN 1896-1898 Taught school 1898-1902 Attended Fort Wayne Medical College. See David Wybourn page.

Wybourn, John A.

1876 May 10 Born to William Wybourn and Maria Catherine McKeeman in Madison. See John A. Wybourn page.

Wybourn, William

1848 Sep 18 Born in New York . See William Wybourn page.

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Wyneken, Friedrich Conrad Dietrich

Wyneken Biography on Friends Of Wyneken website, second president of the Lutheran Church - Missouri on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, his farm house still stands from early Adams County and Save the Pastor Wyneken house was restored by the Friends of Wyneken and is also mentioned in General History of Fort Wayne on Concordia Theological Seminary web site. See Wyneken House.

Wyss, Thomas

State Senator when retiring after 30+ years, Mayor Tom Henry proclaimed June 10, 2014 Senator Tom Wyss Day in the City of Fort Wayne.

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