Fort Wayne - Encyclopedia

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FORT WAYNE, a city and the county-seat of Allen county, Indiana, U.S.A., 102 m. N.E. of Indianapolis, at the point where the St Joseph and St Mary's rivers join to form the Maumee river. Pop. (1880) 26,880; (1890) 35,393; (1900) 45,115, of whom 6791 were foreign-born; (1 9 10, census) 63,933. It is served by the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton, the Fort Wayne, Cincinnati & Louisville, the Grand Rapids & Indiana, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, the New York, Chicago & St Louis, the Pennsylvania and the Wabash railways, and also by interurban electric lines. The site of the city is high (about 770 ft. above sea-level) and level, and its land area was in 1906 a little more than 6 sq. m. The streets are laid out on a rectangular plan and bordered by a profusion of shade trees. The city has several parks, including Lawton Park (31 acres), in which there is a monument in honour of Major-General Henry Ware Lawton (1843-1899), who lived in Fort Wayne for a time, Lake Side Park (22 acres), Reservoir Park (13 acres), Piqua Park (r acre), and Old Fort Park (4 acre), which is on the site of Old Fort Wayne. The educational institutions include the German Concordia Collegium (Lutheran), founded in 1839, and having 220 students in 1908, and the state school for feeble-minded youth (1879). The city has a Carnegie library. Fort Wayne is one of the most important railway centres in the Middle West, and several railways maintain here their principal car and repair shops, which add greatly to the value of its manufacturing industries; in 1905 it ranked first among the cities of the state in the value of cars constructed and repaired by steam-railway companies. The other manufactories include foundries and machine shops, iron and steel mills, knitting mills, planing mills, sash and door, car-wheel, electrical machinery, and woodenware factories and flour mills. In 1905 the total value of the factory product of the city was $15,12 9 ,562, showing an increase of 34.3% since 1900.

The Miami Indians had several villages in the immediate neighbourhood, and the principal one, Kekionaga (Miami Town or Great Miami Village), was situated on the E. bank of the St Joseph river, within the limits of the present city. On the E. bank of the St Mary's a French trading post was built about 1680. In 1749-1750 the French fort (Fort Miami) was moved to the E. bank of the St Joseph. The English occupied the fort in 1760 and Pontiac captured it in May 1763, after a siege of more than three months. In r 7 9 0 the Miami villages were destroyed. In September 1794 General Anthony Wayne built on the S. bank of the Maumee river the stockade fort which was named in his honour, the site of which forms the present Old Fort Park. By the treaty of Greenville, concluded by General Wayne on the 3rd of August 1 795, a piece of land 6 sq. m. in area, including the tract of the Miami towns, was ceded to the United States, and free passage to Fort Wayne and down the Maumee to Lake Erie was guaranteed to the people of the United States by the Indians. By the treaty of Fort Wayne, concluded by General W. H. Harrison on the 7th of June 1803, the tract about Vincennes reserved to the United States by the treaty of Greenville was described and defined; by the second treaty of Fort Wayne, concluded by Harrison on the 30th of September 1809, the Indians sold to the United States about 2,900,000 acres of land, mostly S.E. of the Wabash river. In September 1813 Fort Wayne was besieged by Indians, who withdrew on the arrival, on the 12th of September, of General Harrison with about 2700 men from Kentucky and Ohio. The fort was abandoned on the 19th of April 1819 and no trace of it remains. The first permanent settlement here was made in 1815, and the village was an important fur-trading depot until 1830. The opening of the Wabash & Erie canal in 1843 stimulated its growth. A town was platted and was made the county-seat in 1824; and in 1840 Fort Wayne was chartered as a city.

See W. A. Brice, History of Fort Wayne (Ft. Wayne, 1868); John B. Dillon, History of Indiana, from its Earliest Exploration by Europeans to the Close of the Territorial Government in 1816 (Indianapolis, Ind., 1859); and Charles E. Slocum, History of the Maumee River Basin, from the Earliest Accounts to its Organization into Counties (Defiance, Ohio, 1905).

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