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County Organized 200 Years Ago

On December 17, 1823, Allen County was organized by an act of the Indiana General Assembly. The new county was to be named in honor of Colonel John Allen, an attorney and Kentucky state senator who was killed in the War of 1812. Fort Wayne was anticipated to be the county seat.

In 1823, there were no government buildings, so the organizers met in a local pub. According to The Allen County Court House: A National Treasure Restored, “The state commissioners who attended the county’s organizational meeting used Ewing’s Tavern, a log building known then as Washington Hall, which was located at Barr and Columbia streets, near the present-day west door to the Performing Arts Center in Freimann Square.”

There is a historic marker that sits near the location. On the marker there is a QR code with additional information about the site that links to one of the stops in the Heritage Trail Audio Tour, presented by Arch, Inc.

The State of Indiana passed the act on April 1, 1824, to create what would be the northernmost Hoosier county at that time. The celebration of Allen County’s Bicentennial will begin with opening ceremonies on April 1st of 2024.

“This is an exciting moment in the history of our county,” shared Allen County Council President Tom Harris and Chair of the Bicentennial Executive Board. “The mission of the bicentennial is that through various celebrations in 2024, we will promote county pride as we remember our history, celebrate our people, and imagine our future. You only turn 200 once. We invite people to watch for more information as we get closer to that April 1st kick-off event.”

Todd Pelfrey, Executive Director of The History Center and member of the Bicentennial Executive Board, echoed the aim of the celebration, “The bicentennial of Allen County’s establishment presents a milestone occasion to reflect on the peoples and events that shaped our community and appreciate how past generations formed the shared heritage we celebrate today.”

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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