“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Barr And Columbia

Where Allen County Began

Barr And Columbia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 1, 2022
1. Barr And Columbia Marker
Inscription.  Allen County was created on April 1, 1824, by a December 1823 act of the Indiana General Assembly. The newly created county was named for Col. John Allen of the Kentucky militia who had helped relieve the siege of Fort Wayne in 1812 and who was killed in the River Raisin massacre near Detroit in 1813.

Four commissioners named by the General Assembly were in Fort Wayne in May 1824 to oversee the organization of the county. The governor named Allen Hamilton, an Irish immigrant, to be the first sheriff (until one could be elected). The first election of county officers took place on May 22, 1824. The newly elected commissioners then named the other officers of the county, set the tax rate, and established fares, licenses, and prices for hotel meals and rooms, stable rents, and liquor sales.

The first meetings and elections were all held in Alexander Ewing's log tavern, known as “Washington Hall,” located on the corner of the muddy intersection of Barr and Columbia streets. Ewing's Tavern was the first to be built in Fort Wayne, with a rival tavern being constructed shortly thereafter by William Suttenfield on
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the opposite corner. The first circuit courts in the county sat alternately in each tavern until a courthouse could be built. The first grand jury sat at Ewing's Tavern in August, followed by the first session of the circuit court and the first election of justices of the peace.

Samuel Hanna, one of the first judges of the circuit court, as shown in a lithograph of about 1850. (Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society).

Presented by the Journal-Gazette Foundation

For more information, contact: Arch an organization for historic preservation
Erected by Arch.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is April 1, 1824.
Location. 41° 4.9′ N, 85° 8.225′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Marker is on E. Main Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. This Barr And Columbia Street Intersection (here, next to this marker); The Wabash And Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); The Nickel Plate Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bicentennial Heritage Trail (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Major General Anthony Wayne
Barr And Columbia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 1, 2022
2. Barr And Columbia Marker
(about 400 feet away); Journal Gazette Building (about 600 feet away); Pirogue Landing (about 600 feet away); The Old City Hall (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Wayne.
Barr And Columbia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 1, 2022
3. Barr And Columbia Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on May 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 72 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 6, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2023