Allen County (pop. 355,329) is Indiana’s largest county in square miles and third-largest county in population. It’s one of five Allen counties in the U.S.
The county was named for Col. John Allen (1771-1813), an Army officer from Kentucky who was killed in the War of 1812.
The county seat of Allen County is Fort Wayne (pop. 253,691), second-largest city in Indiana.
The U.S. Army built the original Fort Wayne (named for General “Mad Anthony” Wayne) in 1794 near the Miami Indian settlement of Kekionga, at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers.
Fort Wayne’s industrial history includes the first gas pump (1885) and the first domestic refrigerator (1913).
Fort Wayne’s former Pennsylvania Railroad Station (1914) is now a banquet hall and community events space called the Baker Street Station.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library, which has the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents, spread around 11 U.S. cities, has two Fort Wayne museums – both in old churches.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne dates from 1860.
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is Indiana’s fifth-largest public university, with about 13,000 students.
The NBA Detroit Pistons originated in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. Owner Fred Zollner owned a foundry that made pistons for auto engines. The team moved to Detroit in 1957.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps, Class-A Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres, play at Parkview Field (2009). The name refers to the cooking pot allegedly worn as a hat by Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman).
John Chapman (1774-1845) died in Fort Wayne and may be buried in Johnny Appleseed Memorial Park.
Actors who were born in Fort Wayne include Carole Lombard (Jane Alice Peters), Shelley Long, Jenna Fischer, and Dick York.
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