Place:Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, United States


NameFort Wayne
Alt namesFt. Wayne
Fort Miamisource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Ft. Miami
Frenchtownsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Kekiongasource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 892-893; USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Kiskakonsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Miami Townsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Omee Townsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Post Miamisource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
Twightwee Villagesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18005424
TypeCity
Coordinates41.117°N 85.117°W
Located inAllen, Indiana, United States     (1600 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Fort Wayne is a city in the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Allen County, United States. Located in northeastern Indiana, the city is west of the Ohio border and south of the Michigan border. With a population of 253,691 in the 2010 census, it is the second-most populous city in Indiana after Indianapolis, and the 75th-most populous city in the United States. It is the principal city of the Fort Wayne metropolitan area, consisting of Allen, Wells, and Whitley counties, a combined population of 419,453 as of 2011. Fort Wayne is the cultural and economic center of northeastern Indiana. The city is within a 300-mile (482.803 km) radius of major population centers, including Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington, and Milwaukee.

In addition to the three core counties, the combined statistical area (CSA) includes Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, and Steuben counties, with an estimated population of 615,077.[1]

Fort Wayne was built in 1794 by the United States Army under the direction of American Revolutionary War general Anthony Wayne, the last in a series of forts built near the Miami village of Kekionga. Named in Wayne's honor, the European-American settlement developed at the confluence of the St. Joseph, St. Marys, and Maumee rivers as a trading post for pioneers. The village was platted in 1823 and underwent tremendous growth after completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal and advent of the railroad.[2] Once a booming manufacturing town located in what became known as the Rust Belt, Fort Wayne's economy in the 21st century is based upon distribution, transportation and logistics, healthcare, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and financial services.[3] The city is a center for the defense industry which employs thousands. There are also many jobs through local healthcare providers Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network.

Fort Wayne was an All-America City Award recipient in 1982, 1998, and 2009. The city also received an Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1999.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

Native Americans and New France

This area at the confluence of rivers was long occupied by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. The Miami tribe established its settlement of Kekionga at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers. It was the capital of the Miami nation and related Algonquian tribes.

In 1696, Comte de Frontenac appointed Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes as commander of the outpost.[4] The French built Fort Miami in 1697 as part of a group of forts and trading posts built between Quebec and St. Louis. In 1721, a few years after Bissot's death, Fort Miami was replaced by Fort St. Philippe des Miamis. The first census in 1744 recorded a population of approximately 40 Frenchmen and 1,000 Miami.[5]

British control

Increasing tension between France and Great Britain developed over control of the territory. In 1760, France ceded the area to Britain after its forces in North America surrendered during the Seven Years' War, known on the North American front as the French and Indian War. In 1763, various Native American nations rebelled against British rule and retook the fort as part of Pontiac's Rebellion. The Miami regained control of Kekionga, ruling it for more than 30 years.[5]

US Invasion of Native American land

In 1790, after the United States achieved independence, President George Washington ordered the United States Army to secure Indiana Territory. Three battles were fought at Kekionga against Little Turtle and the Miami Confederacy. Miami warriors defeated U.S. forces in the first two battles. General Anthony Wayne led a third expedition resulting in the destruction of Kekionga and the start of peace negotiations between Little Turtle and the U.S. After General Wayne refused to negotiate, tribal forces advanced to Fallen Timbers, where they were defeated on August 20, 1794. On October 22, 1794, U.S. forces captured the Wabash–Erie portage from the Miami Confederacy and built Fort Wayne, named in honor of the general.

Settlement permitted by Treaty of St. Mary's

The first settlement started in 1815. In 1819, the military garrison abandoned the fort and moved to Detroit. In 1822, a federal land office opened to sell land ceded by local Native Americans by the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818. Platted in 1823 at the Ewing Tavern, the village became an important frontier outpost, and was incorporated as the Town of Fort Wayne in 1829, with a population of 300. The Wabash and Erie Canal's opening improved travel conditions to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, exposing Fort Wayne to expanded economic opportunities. The population topped 2,000 when the town was incorporated as the City of Fort Wayne on February 22, 1840. Pioneer newspaperman George W. Wood was elected the city's first mayor. Fort Wayne's "Summit City" nickname dates from this period, referring to the city's position at the highest elevation along the canal's route.[2] As influential as the canal was to the city's earliest development, it quickly became obsolete after briefly competing with the city's first railroad, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway, completed in 1854.

Modern history

At the turn of the 20th century, the city's population reached nearly 50,000, attributed to a large influx of German and Irish immigrants. Fort Wayne's "urban working class" thrived in industrial and railroad-related jobs. The city's economy was substantially based on manufacturing, ushering in an era of innovation with several notable inventions and developments coming out of the city over the years, such as gasoline pumps (1885), the refrigerator (1913), and in 1972, the first home video game console. A 1913 flood caused seven deaths, left 15,000 homeless, and damaged over 5,500 buildings in the worst natural disaster in the city's history.

As the automobile's prevalence grew, Fort Wayne became a fixture on the Lincoln Highway. Aviation arrived in 1919 with the opening of the city's first airport, Smith Field. The airport served as Fort Wayne's primary commercial airfield until Baer Field (now Fort Wayne International Airport) was transferred to the city in 1947 after serving as a military base during World War II.

Fort Wayne was hit by the Great Depression beginning in 1929, with most factories cutting their workforce. The stock market crash did not discourage plans to build the city's first skyscraper and Indiana's tallest building at the time, the Lincoln Bank Tower. By 1935, the New Deal's WPA put over 7,000 residents back to work through local infrastructure improvements, including the construction of new parks, bridges, viaducts, and a $5.2 million sewage treatment facility.

The helped the city prosper once again. Between 1950 and 1955, more than 5,000 homes were built, many in large subdivisions in rural Allen County. In 1950, Fort Wayne's first bypass, Coliseum Boulevard, opened on the north side of the city, followed by the city's first arena, War Memorial Coliseum, bringing new opportunities for suburban expansion. The Coliseum was home to the NBA's from 1952 to 1957. The opening of enclosed shopping malls and the construction of Interstate 69 through rural areas north and west of the city proper further drove the exodus of retail from downtown through the 1960s. According to the Fort Wayne Home Builders Association estimates, more than 80 percent of new home construction occurred outside the city proper in the 1970s.

Like many cities in the Rust Belt, deindustrialization in the 1980s brought urban blight, increased crime, and a decrease in blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods continued declining as residents and businesses sprawled further into rural Allen County. A 1982 flood forced an evacuation of 9,000 residents, damaging 2,000 buildings, and costing $56.1 million (1982 USD, $137 million 2015 USD).

The 1990s marked a turnaround for the city, as local leaders focused on crime reduction, economic diversification, and downtown redevelopment. By 1999, Fort Wayne's crime rate decreased to levels not seen since 1974, and the city's economy recovered, with the unemployment rate hovering at 2.4 percent in 1998. Clearing blighted buildings downtown resulted in new public greenspaces, including Headwaters Park, which has become the premier community gathering space and centerpiece in the city's $50 million flood control project. Fort Wayne celebrated its bicentennial in 1994.

The city continued to concentrate on downtown redevelopment and investment in the 2000s. The decade saw the beginnings of its transformation, with renovations and expansions of the Allen County Public Library, Grand Wayne Convention Center, and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. In 2007, the $130 million Harrison Square development was launched, creating Parkview Field. Suburban growth continued, with the opening of Fort Wayne's first lifestyle center, Jefferson Pointe, and the half-billion dollar Parkview Regional Medical Center in 2012.

Research Tips

Visit the Allen County Public Library's Genealogy Center[1] web page. You will find a link to Allen County Resources under Databases, Free Databases.

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