Whitley County (pop. 33,292) is north of Huntington County. The only other Whitley County is in Kentucky. Both were named for William Whitley (1749-1813), a hero of the War of 1812.
The county is last, alphabetically, among Indiana’s counties. It has the highest number (92) on Indiana’s license plates.
The county seat is Columbia City (pop. 8,750). Columbia City and Whitley County, located just west of Fort Wayne and Allen County, have been growing consistently for many years.
Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925), Indiana governor and U.S. vice president under Woodrow Wilson, practiced law in Columbia City for many years.
The Whitley County Historical Museum is located in Marshall’s Columbia City home.
The town of South Whitley (pop. 1,751) was the birthplace, in 1947, of country singer Janie Frickie.
South Whitley was formerly known for its annual Fall Festival, featuring bed races.
The town of Churubusco (pop. 1,796), named for an 1847 battle in the Mexican-American War, is known as “Turtle Town, U.S.A.” because of the mythical giant snapping turtle called the Beast of Busco that lived in a local pond.
NEXT: ALLEN COUNTY