Indiana: Tippecanoe County

Tippecanoe County (pop. 172,780) is southwest of Carroll County.

It’s the only Tippecanoe County. The name apparently came from the anglicization of “Kethtippecanoogi,” a Miami Indian term meaning “place of the succor fish people.”

The Battle of Tippecanoe took place in 1811 near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers. U.S. forces led by William Henry Harrison fought Native Americans associated with Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (“The Prophet”).

The county seat of Tippecanoe County is the city of Lafayette (pop. 67,140).

Tippecanoe County Courthouse (1884)

Lafayette is served by two Amtrak trains: the “Cardinal,” between New York City and Chicago, and the “Hoosier State,” between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Big Four Depot (1902)

Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose, Jr.), lead singer of the rock band Guns N’ Roses, was born in Lafayette in 1962 and grew up there.

Lafayette participated in the first airmail delivery in U.S. history, in 1859. A hot-air balloon took off from Lafayette, bound for New York City. It only made it 30 miles – in the wrong direction.

The 123 letters eventually reached NYC.

The Lafayette Theater (1938) hosts concerts and a variety of other events.

West Lafayette (pop. 29,596) is across the Wabash River, to the west of Lafayette. It’s the home of Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant university, founded in 1869. Purdue has about 39,000 students.

Boilermaker statue (2005)

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), the first man on the Moon, was a Purdue graduate, in aeronautical engineering.

John Wooden was a three-time All-American basketball player at Purdue. He graduated in 1932 with a degree in English.

“The Wizard of Westwood”


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