History

In 1829, Dr. Joseph Knox built a cabin on the Wabash River about five miles below the present county seat of Bluffton. Two years later, Allen Norcross settled on the opposite bank. From 1834 to 1836, the area saw rapid immigration. Early settlers faced a 5-8 day journey by horse to carry their grist to a mill some 60 miles through the wilderness. Some drowned on the journey. (See more about early history...)

Wells County was created February 7, 1835 out of territory attached to Allen, Delaware, and Randolph counties. Since then, there have been no boundary changes. Organized in 1837, the county was named in honor of Indian agent William Wells, son-in-law of Chief Little Turtle.

Further information about the history of Wells County is available online from The Wells County Historical Society.

Today, the following sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

*Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Bluffton
*John A. Grove House, Bluffton - News article about Grove House
*Stewart-Studabaker House, Bluffton (105k .gif)
*Villa North Historic District, Bluffton
*Wells County Courthouse, Bluffton View 1, View 2

For more information, please visit the National Register of Historic Places website.

People

The 1990 census showed the largest ancestry groups were persons of German, English, and Irish descent. The county's 1990 population was 99.5% white. About one-third of the population was living in urban areas at that time.

About 50 churches and synagogues serve the county's estimated 26,000 residents. The largest denominations are United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and United Presbyterian Church.

Geography

Located south of Fort Wayne in the east-central part of the state, Wells County is ~370 square miles. Most of the county has a fairly level surface, broken by slightly sloping landscapes along major rivers, creeks, and their tributaries. The area is home to many species of trees, especially white oak, pin oak, yellow-poplar, sweetgum, northern red oak, American beech, sugar maple, and white ash trees.

Much of the land is in farms. Primary crops are corn, soybeans, winter wheat, oats, and hay; livestock includes hogs and pigs, milk cows and milk production, hens and pullets; fruits and vegetables include apples, tomatoes, and sweet corn.

"Geology, Topography, and Natural History," from 1887 Wells County history book


Communities

Township organization dates

1837Jackson
Jul 1837Rock Creek
Jul 1837Harrison
Apr 6 1840Jefferson
Jan 4 1841Nottingham
Mar 1 1841Chester
Mar 1 1841Lancaster
Apr 1842Liberty
1846Union

County Seat, Bluffton

Bluffton, 1910

Towns

Unincorporated Communities

Craigville, Curryville, Dillman, Domestic, Five Points, Greenville, Greenwood, Jeff, Keystone, Kingsland, Liberty Center, McNatts, Mount Zion, Murray, North Oaks, Nottingham, Petroleum, Phenix, Reiffsburg, Riverside, Rockford (Barbers Mills), Tocsin, Toll Gate Heights, Travisville, Villa North, Wellsburg, and Zanesville.

Neighboring Counties

Be sure to check the INGenWeb Project pages for the counties neighboring Wells County!

Adams County
Allen County
Blackford County
Grant County
Huntington County
Jay County

Wells County INGenWeb Main Page
INGenWeb Project Main Page | USGenWeb Project | WorldGenWeb Project

Cathy Burnsed / Tallahassee, Florida / cathy@gardenour.com

This page was last updated on Thursday, 31-Jul-2014 22:18:58 MDT