Waynedale was the dream of a man to have a community in which anyone could build a home to his own design and enjoy suburban life. This unincorporated town of approximately 3,000 residents was situated about three miles southwest of Fort Wayne on State Roads 1 and 3, and was founded on February 15, 1921 by Abner Elzey.
The founder, on a cold December day in 1920 while standing on the southeast corner of the Lower Huntington Road and the present Old Trail Road, pointed to the southwest toward the James Cunnison farmland and proclaimed it an ideal location for a community.
The town built on the location and its surrounding area, stands as a memorial to Mr. Elzey.
Naming the community was difficult.
Mr. Elzey originally considered naming the town “Ilowdale” after his only daughter and son respectively, but he changed his mind and named it, finally, “Wayne” (for Fort Wayne) and “Dale” (for his son).
Abner was both an embalmer and a minister, a combination not uncommon in those days, and he went on to become one of the first founders and the first pastor of Waynedale United Methodist Church. He remained vital and active in the community his entire life.
Though buildings have changed, cars are different, and things have modernized, the scenes are all recognizable. Though Waynedale became annexed into Fort Wayne on August 10, 1957, the people are still the same great people; they haven’t changed.
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