Indiana: Wells County

Wells County (pop. 27,636) is west of Adams County. The only other Wells County is in North Dakota.

The county was named for Capt. William A. Wells (1770-1812), who was captured and adopted by the Miami Indians in Indiana. When he was killed in the War of 1812, Potawatomi Indians cut out his heart and ate it, in honor of his bravery.

He had three wives – 2 Native Americans and an Army officer’s daughter.

The county seat of Wells County is the city of Bluffton (pop. 9,897), on the bluffs of the Wabash River.

Wells County Courthouse

Bluffton was historically known as “The Parlor City” because its paved streets (at a time when many streets were not paved) made the city “as clean as your parlor.”

Binghamton has the same nickname.

The Wells County Historical Museum is in the historic Stewart-Studabaker House.

Built in 1882

U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), from New York City, spent most of his childhood summers on his grandfather’s farm near Bluffton.

Former Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish was born in Bluffton. He was “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2012 NFL draft – the last person picked, at 253rd overall.

Drafted by the Colts

Ouabache (pronounced “Wabash”) State Park, on the Wabash River, is east of Bluffton.

Fire tower


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One comment on “Indiana: Wells County

  1. Rick Dodds says:

    I particularly enjoyed the stories of the demise of Captain Wells, and about The Parlor City

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