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Street B of Fort Wayne:
STREETS OF FORT WAYNE
Prepared by the staff of the
Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County
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One of a historical series, this pamphlet Is published under the direction of the
governing Boards of the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE SCHOOL CITY OF FORT WAYNE
B. F. Geyer, President
Joseph E. Kramer, Secretary
William C. Gerding, Treasurer
Mrs. Sadie Fulk Roehrs
PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD FOR ALLEN COUNTY
The members of this Board include the members of the Board of Trustees of the
School City of Fort Wayne (with the same officers), together with the following citizens
chosen from Allen County outside the corporate city of Fort Wayne:
James E. Graham
Mrs. Glenn Henderson
Mrs. Charles Reynolds
Fort Wayne streets keep before us the names of families and individuals who played
a large part in the growth of this city, from the time the white men arrived, through its
development into a thriving industrial center. Angus C. McCoy traced the historical
significance of many streets in a speech before the Quest Club, November 30, 1945.
Old plat records and maps, old city directories, Griswold's and Brice's histories of Fort
Wayne, and interviews with descendants of old settlers were his sources. The following
paper, with some additions which bring it up to date, is a condensation of Mr. McCoy's
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ANGUS C. McCOY
Angus C. McCoy has long been known to Fort Wayne businessmen as the president
of the Taxpayers' Research Association. The association, organized nearly twenty years
ago, was the outgrowth of a five-year plan of budget study which Mr. McCoy submitted
to a number of leading businessmen of the city In 1933.
Bom June 11, 1886, In Adams Township near Fort Wayne, Mr. McCoy has been
a lifelong resident of this area. As a youth he attended the Fort Wayne public schools
and International Business College. He later held positions as an accountant with local
firms, with the exception of one year spent with a firm of certified public accountants
His election as auditor of Allen County for the period from 1919 to 1923 began his
long career of service to the community and local government. Mayor William C. Geake
appointed him city comptroller for the period from 1926 to 1929. In 1945-46, he was
appointed a member of the Governor's Tax Study Commission, and in 1947-48, a member
of the Indiana Tax Study Commission. He has been active at several sessions of the
General Assembly as a registered lobbyist for the local taxpayers association, seeking
better tax laws and better administration of state and local government.
He is vice-chairman of an organization which has encouraged such constructive
legislation for many years, the Indiana Tax Study Committee. An Independent organi-
zation of businessmen, the group represents all segments of the economy of the state.
Mr. McCoy has been president of the KiwanlsClub, secretary of the Quest Club, and
director of the Chamber ofCommerce. He Is a member ofWayne Lodge and other Masonic
The names of Fort Wayne streets link themselves with explorers, Indian lore,
frontier days, traders, pioneers, wars, soldiers, statesmen, politicians, lawyers, and
bankers. The men who achieved distinction as workers and community leaders, who ran
the spice and gristmills, the inns and taverns, boot and carriage works, tanneries, soap
and shirtwaist factories, organ and piano plants — all are in the panorama.
Many street names are decidedly reminiscent of frontier days. Fort Wayne, the
township, and several streets Immortalize Major General Anthony Wayne. WAYNE
TRACE marks his route to Fort Greenville after the completion of his fort; ANTHONY
BOULEVARD also bears his name.
WELLS STREET and SPY RUN AVENUE are located in the section of land known
as Wells Pre-emption. Captain William Wells hod been granted the land by an act of
Congress in 1808. He was said to have been captain of the mounted spies for Anthony
Wayne, so the small brook which ran through his land became known as "Spy Run."
LIMA ROAD, the continuation of Wells Street, was known as the Lima Plank Road be-
cause it led to Lima, Indiana (now known as Howe).
PIQUA AVENUE Is a portion of the original Piqua Plank Road. Over this route
In 1812, Captain Logan escorted twenty-five women and children of the fort to Piqua in
PORTAGE BOULEVARD lies southwest, beyond Ardmore Avenue. Originally a
carrying place over land between navigable waters. It was a well-traced road. Parts of
Columbia and Main streets were formerly called Portage Road.
ALLEN AVENUE derives its name from Colonel John Allen, lawyer, statesman,
and soldier, who lost his life in the Battle of River Raisin. He was considered a hero
and admired greatly by those who laid out the county.
77i« (Did Tori 'TLQe.
OLD MILL ROAD is a continuation of Broadway and was so named because it is
substantially along the old trail which the pioneers used in coming from Decatur to the
old mill, once located near the present Oakdale bridge.
OLD FORT PLACE is the name for that portion of Main Street from Lafayette to
Clay streets and commemorates the location of the fort. LA FORT STREET, the first
street in Lakeside proper, was formerly known as Old Fort Street. It was changed in
1929 so it would not be confused with Old Fort Place.
Jean Baptiste Rictiardviile, Frenchman and civil chief of the Miamis during the
declining days of the tribe, was given a large tract of land by the government, in ac-
cordance with the Treaty of 1818, because of the nation's recognition of his services.
Through the years the word has acquired an "s, " so that today it is RICHARDSVILLE
AVENUE. PONTIAC, Ottawa chief, was referred to as the "Napoleon of the Western
Indians"; TECUMSEH, celebrated Shawnee chief, possessed remarkable qualities for
leadership. Both names have been given to Fort Wayne streets.
Beverly Randolph, for whom RANDOLPH STREET was named, was one of ten com-
missioners appointed by Washington to visit the West. PUTNAM STREET bears the name
of Rufus Putnam, who concluded a treaty at Vincennes in 1792 with eight tribes of
Wobosh Indians. General Josiah Harmar's name is revered in the naming of HARMAR
STREET. The street's northern terminus at the Maumee is at Harmar's Ford, the place
where Harmar's army was ambushed by Little Turtle and his men. DEARBORN and PITT
streets were named after two other early forts. BOONE STREET recalls to memory the
pioneer explorer, Daniel Boone.
Northeastern Indiana is rich in the memories of the Indian, and MIAMI COURT
and STREET, OSWEGO AVENUE, CHEROKEE ROAD, WABASH AVENUE, NIAGARA
DRIVE, OSAGE STREET, ONTARIO STREET, SAGINAW DRIVE, SHAWNEE DRIVE,
ILLINOIS STREET and ROAD, KENOSHA BOULEVARD, and ONEIDA STREET are living
reminders of the days when red men stole quietly through the forests. It was not until
June, 1927, in the platting of Indian Village, that Indian names came into their own.
The following names were taken from Longfellow's epic, "Hiawatha": ALGONQUIN
PASS (Ojibway, or Lake Superior Indians), HIAWATHA BOULEVARD (the wise man,
teacher), OJIBWAY TRAIL, MONDAMIN PASS (Indian corn), MUSKODAY PASS(Mush-
kodasa, or grouse), NOKOMIS ROAD (grandmother), OWAISSA WAY (bluebird), OPE-
CHEE WAY (robin), OSSEO LANE (son of evening star), WENDIGO LANE, MANITO
BOULEVARD, and WAWONAISSA TRAIL.
Names connected with the molding of United States history — ARLINGTON AVE-
NUE, LEXINGTON AVENUE and COURT, LIBERTY STREET, SENATE AVENUE, CON-
GRESS AVENUE, CAPITAL AVENUE, SHENANDOAH STREET, and SHERIDAN COURT—
were chosen in more recent years.
French origins are apparent In MARQUETTE and CHAMPLAIN drives. LAFON-
TAINE STREET was named for an early Indian chief associated with Fort Wayne. LA
SALLE STREET bears the name of a French family traceable to the days of the fort
Charles Lasselle was the first white man known to have been born at Kekionga, and
although the spelling has been changed through the years, the street was named for him.
National figures whose names hold undiminished interest are recalled In the
naming of many streets, such as CALHOUN STREET, HARRISON STREET, CLINTON
STREET (named for DeWitt Clinton, pioneer in the movement for the construction of the
Erie Canal), and FRANKLIN AVENUE.
ROOSEVELT DRIVE in Kitch's Addition was named for "Teddy" Roosevelt. Some
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otherstreeh named for presidenh include WASHINGTON BOULEVARD, ADAMS STREET,
JEFFERSON STREET, MADISON STREET, and MONROE STREET.
Of greater interest are the names of a small group of men, enterprising and dis-
tinguished, whose decisions within the first twenty or twenty-five years of Fort Wayne's
history were to have their effect on the entire future of the city.
The first plat of the city of Fort Wayne was laid out in 1824 by John T. Barr and
John McCorkle. It contained one hundred and eighteen lots, with three streets (Clinton,
Calhoun, and Barr) running north and south and five (Wayne, Berry, Main, Columbia
and Water, which was later renamed Superior) running east and west.
John T. Barr, whose name is perpetuated in BARR STREET, was a successful Balti-
more merchant who had come West to embark on his first real estate venture; McCorkle,
born at Piqua, owner of vast enterprises, and founder of St. Mary's, Ohio, became his
associate. Although McCorkle donated to the town the site now known as Courthouse
Square (for the erection of county buildings), he died at an early age without having
a street named for him.
BERRY STREET was named for Benjamin Berry Kerchevai, fur trader. A large
tract of land northeast of Fort Wayne is known as "Kerchevai Reserve. " Although
"Berry" Kerchevai declined to lend his name to a street, his friends found a way to do
so by calling it Berry.
The belief that MAIN STREET would become the busiest thoroughfare and that the
city would some day extend east and west induced Barr and McCorkle to plat the down-
town properties on Calhoun Street in a north and south direction. Years later, it was
necessary to replat the lots so the buildings could front on Calhoun Street.
The name of Benjamin ARCHER, Jr., whobought the entire northeast quarter of the
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square bounded by Calhoun, Harrison, Berry, and Wayne streets for $31 .50 in 1825, and the
names of two sons, SHERAAAN and PERRY, are retained in street-naming.
VANCE AVENUE recalls the name of Captain Samuel C. Vance, who was re-
ceiver of public moneys In 1823. John Wilt, for whom WILT STREET was named, en-
tered the land office. DAVIS STREET was named for Anthony L. Davis, first clerk of
the court, which opened August 9, 1824. BRACKENRIDGE STREET honors a family
established here in the early 1830's, but the street is first mentioned in a plat recorded
By far the most important figure in Fort Wayne's early history was Samuel Hanna,
honored in the naming of HANNA STREET. He was connected at one time or another
with every worthwhile enterprise; he pioneered in the movement for the Canal and rail-
road, served in the legislature, and donated the land for the site of the city hall and
market place. The Hanna family consisted of twelve sons and one daughter, Eliza. The
Hanna, Suttenfield, Nuttman, and Hayden families are interrelated, and their surnames
or given names have been perpetuated in many of the city's streets. Some of the names
which stem from the Hanna family are ELIZA and OLIVER streets. Eliza Hanna Hayden
was the wife of Fred Hayden; the family name is associated with Hayden Park and HAY-
Francis Comparet, who founded the Fort Wayne branch of the American Fur Com-
pany and whose family traced Its ownership of land In the United States to the year 1729,
has his name perpetuated in two streets. FRANCIS STREET is recorded as early as 1839,
although COMPARET STREET was not so named until later in Fort Wayne history.
According to a plat recorded in 1855, the first street south of Lewis Street was
originally named Hamilton, in honor of Allen Hamilton, president of the Branch Bank of
Indiana. It later became Montgomery, for Allen Hamilton's son, and is now EAST DOUG-
LAS AVENUE. Later, a street in the southeast part of town was called HAMILTON
AVENUE by a group of civic-minded men. MARGARET and JESSIE avenues are said to
stem from the Hamilton name. Jessie L. Williams, who was Hamilton's partner in the
City Mills and chief engineer for the Canal, married Miss Susan Creighton, honored in
the naming of CREIGHTON AVENUE.
The Edsalls, Samuel and William, originated the Bluffton Road. Samuel was one
of the builders of the first courthouse in 1831. He and his partner, William Rockhiil,
at one time owned and operated two sawmills. Samuel Edsall's home later became the
Old Westminster property, which inspired the naming of Westminster Place (now a part
of Thieme Drive) and COLLEGE STREET. UNION STREET was originally called Edsall;
the present EDSALL AVENUE is in the eastern part of the city, in the addition once
owned by Simon Edsall. JANE STREET also stems from the Edsall name.
In 1839 William Rockhiil platted Rockhi 1 1 's Addition. The original plat shows
that an additional space of thirty-five feet on each side of Market Street (now known as
BROADWAY), between Main and Berry streets, was "reserved for a market. " The city
of Fort Wayne still owns these two spaces. Broadway is 66 feet wide, of which 42 feet
is paved, leaving 12 feet on each side for the sidewalk. The Rockhiil name has been
identified with Fort Wayne history since the 1820's, and William Rockhiil was connected
with the political, educational, and commercial life in this city until the Civil War.
ROCKHILL STREET was among the first streets to be recorded. HOWELL STREET may
have been named for Howell Rockhiil, son of William and also an important figure in
Fort Wayne history.
The first street south of Bass Street, from Fairfield Avenue east to Hoagland Ave-
nue, was once called Cclerick Street, taking its name from David H. Colerick, attor-
ney. The present COLERICK and ANTOINETTE (which also stems from the Colerick
family) streets are in the southeast part of the city.
We can associate THOMPSON and SCOTT avenues with Dr. Lewis G. Thompson,
one of the earliest practicing physicians, and Moses Hardpine Scott, Dr. Thompson's
The Fairfields, whose name is perpetuated in FAIRFIELD AVENUE, were first in
a number of things--first to operate a canaiboat, first tobuild a frame dwelling in South
Wayne, and first to bring carriages to Fort Wayne in 1835. Asa Fairfield graded what
is nowCreighton Avenue, using earth to fill up the swampland, through which Fox Ave-
nue was cut sometime later.
EWING STREET recalls W. G. (the first man to be admitted to the bar in Allen
County)and his brother, G. W. Ewing. They were sons of Colonel Alexander Ewing, who
came here in 1822 and is credited with having established a pioneer tavern — the one in
which Allen County was organized. Ewing's Addition, laid out in 1840, included
FULTON STREET, which terminated at the Canal. (Undoubtedly Robert Fulton, the
man most interested in the improvement of canal and steam navigation, was its inspira-
DeGROFF and NELSON streets perpetuate the name of Isaac DeGroff Nelson,
who once owned the SENTINEL, served as state representative, authored the Nelson
Railroad Bill, and was one of the organizers of the Wabash Railroad. MINER STREET
recalls the name of Byron D. Miner, who was also active in bringing the railroad to Fort
McCULLOCH STREET reveres the name of the "father of the national banking
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system" and Secretary of the Treasury under Lincoln, Johnson, and Arthur. Hugh
McCulloch came to Fort Wayne in 1833, at the beginning of his long career.
It is through Colonel Thomas Swinney, who married Lucy Taber, daughter of Paul
Taber, that this city now owns Swinney Park, originally a part of the Thomas Swinney
farm. SWINNEY AVENUE, SWINNEY COURT, and SWINNEY PARK PLACE bear his
name. Cyrus Taber (remembered in the naming of TABER STREET), Mrs. Swinney 's
brother, owned a very valuable parcel of land which was a part of the original military
Henry Rudisill came here on Christmas Day, 1829, as the representative for John
T. Barr. He is greatly revered as one of the founders of the Lutheran church here.
RUDISILL BOULEVARD, running from Broadway beyond McMillen Park, now bears his
LEWIS and WALLACE streets have tie-ins. Major Samuel Lewis was the land
commissioner appointed by John Quincy Adams in 1827. His wife, Mrs. Kathryn Lewis,
was the daughter of Andrew Wallace, sister of Governor David Wallace, and aunt of
General Lewis (Lew) Wallace.
SUTTENFIELD STREET is a name coupled with the first part of the 1800's. Mrs.
Laura Suttenfield, wife of Colonel Suttenfield, who was bom in Boston but lived in
Fort Wayne seventy-two years, actually spent a number of years within the palisades of
the fort. The Suttenfields were the first to erect, in 1814, a log house near the comer
of the present Columbia and Barr streets.
Many street names tie in with our earliest mills and distilleries. A steam sawmill ,
built by William Coombs and Samuel Edsall on the north side of the Canal in 1848, was
located near the site of the present COOMBS STREET bridge. Both street and bridge
gain their names from the mill. Wines's Mill was established by Marshall S. Wines, an
associate circuit court judge, "at a dam thrown across the Maumee River near the foot
of Hanover (Woodlawn Mill). " A plat recorded in 1867 designated a then unnamed street
as "the road to the Wines's Mill. " This became HANOVER STREET. On the same plat
appeared College Street, in more recent years changed to SCHICK STREET for Professor
George Schick of Concordia College. The present WINES STREET is described as "1
west of North Anthony Boulevard. "
Samuel Lillie, pioneer tavern owner, married Emily, a sister of Hiram A. Philley,
another pioneer, at whose farm Johnny Appleseed frequently stopped. PHILLEY AVE-
NUE and EMILY and LILLIE streets are all present-day street names; the latter two are
in sections of land once owned by Lillie. EVANS STREET bears the name of S. Cary Evans,
active businessman and later head of the Merchant's National Bank. TRENTMAN AVE -
NUE was named for John Trentman, owner of the Dayton House, then located at the
corner of Wayne and Clay streets.
HUMPHREY STREET can be traced to the 1830's. James Humphrey's marbleworks
was located at the present site of Fulton and Main streets. It was he who drew up the
plans for the combined market house and town hall. Jered D ARROW and his family came
here in 1836, traveling by pirogue. The family name is retained in an "east and west"
avenue from Clinton Street to Hoagland Avenue. FRY STREET and RUMSEY AVENUE
are associated with the families of Jacob Fry, who came from Pennsylvania to start a
tanning business, and Philo Rumsey, merchant and later landlord of the Rockhill House.
Other street names associated with that era are BURGESS STREET, for Eben Bur-
gess (who had bought the large tract of land from Samuel Honna which later became
New Haven), and DeWALD STREET, in honor of the man who established a wholesale
dry goods company. DWENGER AVENUE was probably so named for Joseph Dwenger,
one of Fort Wayne's early bishops. J. B. White, an ardent Scotchman, gave GLASGOW
AVENUE its name.
Some names can be attributed to the opening of the Wabash- Erie Canal, July 4,
1843. CASS STREET, which was named for Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan, orator at
the Canal celebration, was originally described as "south from river to Berry, between
Ewing and Maiden Lane." The present Cass Street is the first east of Wells Street.
CLAY STREET suggests the name of Henry Clay, who wrote that he would like very much
to attend the Canal celebration but could not do so, as it was harvest time and his crops
Franklin P. Randall, Civil War mayor, wasauthor of the city charter, which be-
came a law in 1840, and designer of the city seal. RANDALL STREET and RANDALIA
DRIVE were named for him. RANDALL ROAD bears the name of Perry A. Randall, a
cousin and founder of the Randall Hotel.
Persons associated with the '40's were reflected in street names also. BUETER
AVENUE bears the name of a family which traces its advent here to B. H. Bueter in
1848. The Beavers, Augustus Caesar and D. S., together with their cousin Henry Leiter,
walked all the way from Dayton, Ohio, to the Hiram A. Philley Inn on the original Phil-
ley farm. They entered the lumber business and acquired extensive ground on Broadway
between Nuttman and Rudisiil. BEAVER AVENUE retains their name.
George W. Wood was the first mayor of the incorporated city of Fort Wayne and
lived in the approximate vicinity of the present WOOD AVENUE, just east of Wells
Street, before the bridge. FRENCH AVENUE honors Charles G. French, who served
as one of our city councilmen. HOAGLAND AVENUE takes its name from the Hoag-
land family. Pliny T. Hoagland came to Fort Wayne in 1845 and was influential in the
building of the first railroad. He also served as a state representative and state senator.
The story of the '50's would not be complete without the following names: Alfred
P. Edgerton (EDGERTON STREET), who, for ten years, served as general manager of the
Canal; Charles Butler (BUTLER STREET), trustee of the Canal until 1875 when it went
into receivership, who figured in the titles to all Canal lands; John H. Bass (BASS
STREET and BASS ROAD), who became interested In the Fort Wayne Machine works and
later founded the St. Louis Car Wheel Company; John Cochrane (COCHRANE STREET),
president of the Caledonian Society; Schuyler Wheeler (WHEELER STREET), who served
as state representative in 1850; Kerr Murray (MURRAY STREET), bom in Scotland, later
founder of the extensivegas manufacturing plant of Kerr Murray Manufacturing Company,
Alfred D. Brandriff (BRANDRIFF STREET), stove manufacturer; J. D. Nuttman (NUTT-
MAN AVENUE), a prominent banker; Henry Baker (BAKER STREET), a mill owner who
laid out Baker's Addition, and Maurice Cody (CODY AVENUE), a prominent Irishman
engaged In the ice business.
McKINNIEand FLEMING avenues were given their names by Mrs. William Mc-
Kinnie, daughter of William Fleming (who came here from Dublin at the beginning of
the '50's, served as state treasurer, and at one time owned the SENTINEL). Her father-
in-law. Captain Henry McKInnie, operated the "McKinnie House" in the '60's; William
McKinnie was for many years landlord of the Wayne Hotel. The name McKinnie Avenue
was once changed to Lexington; however, the citizens protested, and it regained the
name of McKinnie Avenue; so we have Lexington Avenue west of Calhoun Street and
McKinnie Avenue east of Calhoun Street.
STURGIS STREET represents the Dr. Charles E. Sturgis family name. Dr. Sturgis
owned property on Berry Street near the old Westminster Girls' Seminary. A sister of
Mrs. Charles E. Sturgis (Lavina, who became Mrs. Walker) is remembered in the naming
of LAVINA STREET.
The name of Townley Avenue has been changed, and the street is now the con-
tinuation of Rudisill Boulevard (east of Anthony). Jonas W. Townley was councilman in
1852, and Robert W. Townley, his brother, was also a lawyer. DUBOIS STREET was
named for John B. DuBois, a justice of the peace, or one of his descendants.
Stephen B. Bond, along with Judge Taylor and Judge Ninde, induced a Mr.
Packard, an organ builder, to come to Fort Wayne in the 1870's after the Chicago fire.
Mr. Packard was the first superintendent of the Packard Company piano plant, and
PACKARD AVENUE was named for him. Another street. Organ Avenue, which took its
name from the plant, later became KINSMOOR AVENUE. BOND AVENUE is vacant
at present, although at one time Charles D. Bond lived on the street. The Bond family
established itself here as early as 1842.
John Orff owned considerable land near the present Lindenwood Cemetery. In
addition to ORFF AVENUE, three other streets, MONTCLAIR AVENUE, EDWARD STREET
and TYLER AVENUE, stem from the Orff name. The latter was a son-in-law, and the
others were sons of the Orffs. DOSWELL AVENUE was named for H. J. Doswell, who
landscaped Lindenwood Cemetery.
Barthold & Sons, for whom BARTHOLD STREET was named, owned the first boat-
yard located on the Feeder Canal in Bloomingdale. OAKLEY STREET takes its name
from the Oakley family; both Mayor Chauncey B. Oakley and his father were identified
with the civic life of the city.
Silas Tarn and Oscar A. Simons owned the undivided half of Lillie's Out Lots 29
and 30 and called the street therein TAM STREET. SIMONS STREET is near Tom in the
CAMP ALLEN DRIVE gets its name from Camp Allen, once the recruiting center
and campground for soldiers of the Civil War. LAWTON PLACE, which honors the
name of Major Henry W. Lawton, is a silent reminder that Major Lawton, who always
considered Fort Wayne his home and rose to the heights in military fame, lost his life
on Luzon. His grave is In Fort Wayne.
The inscription on the old iron bridge across the Maumee at ANTHONY BOULE-
VARD reminds us that it was once known as Walton Avenue. A number of business houses
located along that street still retain the name Walton.
The first street north of Taylor Street was once designated as Cherry (the present
CHERRY STREET is in Nebraska), and is now known as STOPHLET STREET. The Stophlet
name is connected with the history of Fort Wayne as early as 1824, when Samuel Stoph-
let served as one of the collectors of taxes.
BALTES AVENUE was named for Michael Baltes, contractor and building supply
dealer In the '70's. KINNAIRD AVENUE bears the name of Alexander Kinnaird, a
Scotchman, who came here in the '60's and at one time owned approximately six hun-
dred acres of land in the vicinity of Kinnaird Avenue. NUSSBAUM AVENUE Is named
for Peter Nussbaum, who was also prominent in that era.
ABBOTT STREET was named in 1879 by Rosetta B. Abbott. However, the name
of William T. Abbe' is linked v/ith the history of the '50's. He came here from Maine
and became a merchant, county auditor, and real estate dealer.
WINTER STREET was established by a city ordinance passed April 25, 1876,
naming the streets in Hough's Out Lots. When Colonel H. B. Reed platted his area in
1878, he named the center drive REED STREET. ECKART STREET takes its name from Fred
Eckart, founder of the Eckart Packing Plant.
WEISSER PARK AVENUE, which acquired its name from the park, was originally
land owned by Manuel Weisser, who established a tanning business. At the time the
city purchased the land for a park, the street already bore the name of Force Street;
but, because of the confusion with the spelling of Fourth Street, it was changed from
Force to Weisser Park Avenue. ILLSLEY DRIVE was once the long driveway which led
to the lllsley family mansion.
Beginning with Samuel Hanna, and down through the years, men of the bar have
been associated with Fort Wayne's history, and their names have been revered in the
naming of city streets. ZOLLARS AVENUE was named for Judge Allan Zollars, who
settled here in 1866. FAY DRIVE bears the name of Judge James A. Fay, whom Gover-
nor Baker appointed to be the first judge of the Allen County criminal court. WILD-
WOOD AVENUE designates the name of Judge Lindley Ninde's estate, which later be-
came a part of the present Lutheran Hospital grounds. When the Ninde family moved
there, it was practically a wilderness or "wildwood, " which suggested the name.
FOSTER PARKWAY, west and east, the latter formerly known as Boerger Avenue,
takes its name from Foster Park, which of course, was named for the Fosters, Samuel and
David. FRANKE DRIVE is named for J. B. Franke, who donated land for the park to the
Plat book records dated 1889 indicate that the heirs of John H. Wefel platted
Wefel's Heirs' Addition and included WEFEL STREET. JACOBS AVENUE retains the
family name of John H. Jacobs whose home was situated on "Jacob's Hill, "north of the
EDNA STREET was named for Edna Reuss, granddaughter of C. L. Centllvre,
founder of the brewery established in Civil War days. Centlivre Avenue has since be-
come a continuation of State Boulevard.
STATE BOULEVARD, or at least a section of it, was once called Griswold. It
was an unnamed country road when a mail carrier named Griswold had the route. There
was confusion over directing moil to the residents on the road, and Griswold appealed
to C. F. Kettler, superintendent of letter carriers, who said, "Why don't you call It
Griswold?" Later the name was changed to State Street, which takes its name from the
State School. The present GRISWOLD DRIVE is named for Bert Griswold, Fort Wayne
FENKER and ROUSSEAU avenues are named for Herman R. Fenker, former town-
ship trustee, and Ben Rousseau, who promoted an addition off the Miller Road.
William L. Huffman, for whom HUFFMAN STREET is named, made a plat of hi*
property in Bloomingdale.
LANTERN lER STREET gains its name from August J. Lanternier, who, in 1895,
owned the entire block (with the exception of six lots) bounded by Anthony Boulevard,
Lanternier, Simons, and Winter streets. FOX AVENUE is named for August Fox, brother
of Louis Fox, whose homestead was at the comer of Fox Avenue and Walnut Street.
PHENIE STREET was named for Phenie Michael (Mrs. Charles H. Bales), who was
a daughter of Herman Michael, from whom MICHAELS AVENUE takes its name. A
daughter of the pi ;,.eer Rudisill family married Henry Freeman, for whom FREEMAN
STREET was named.
When Howell Rockhill laid out the addition where the Rolling Mills located, he
named three streets for his good friends, Henry C. Berrhoff (BERGHOFF STREET), Judge
John Morris (MORRIS STREET), and Henry Monning (MONNING STREET). Three other
men, because of their connections with the Commercial Club (later the Chamber of Com-
merce) and the role each played in bringing the Rolling Mills to this city, were honored
in having streets in the same addition named for them; they were Frank Culbertson
(CULBERTSON STREET), Henry Beadeli (BEADELL STREET), and W. F. Graeter (GRAETER
SIDNEY and LUMBARD streets carry on the name of Sidney Lumbard, realtor and
insurance man, whose father established the agency in 1863. BOLTZ STREET acquired
its name when Frederick C. Boltz laid out an addition south of the city. ROMY AVE-
NUE was given its name by R. L. Romy, Sr., who also named IDA AVENUE for his
daughter. BOWSER AVENUE perpetuates the name of the founder of one of Fort Wayne's
major industries. GRIFFIN STREET was named for William M. Griffin, at one time
president of the Wayne Pump Company.
Plats of Rockhi 1 1 's Addition list Locust Alley (later called Eureka, and again
changed to CLAIR AVENUE, its present name) and Water Street (later changed to SU-
PEARL STREET and AAAIDEN LANE are probably derived from street names in New
York City. Pearl Street in New York was considered second only to Wall Street in the
early days, just as Columbia Street here was the business center for many years, and
Pearl Street the next street "over. " Maiden Lane is also located in the Wall Street dis-
trict in New York City. Before the Nickel Plate Railroad was established, its present
right-of-way was the old Canal. The street just north of Columbia faced the Canal, and
since the docks for the packet boats were located there, it became known as DOCK
Approximately one hundred and fifty streets represent given names of men and
women. Many undoubtedly were named for members of the early families and ore in-
dicated on the early plats. However, we know the history of only a few of them. We
will probably have to remain "in the dark" over the naming of such streets as "Cor-
neille, " "Henrietta," and "Juliette"; but we know that CONSTANCE, CATHERINE,
and ELEANOR avenues were named by John Vesey for three nieces. VESEY AVENUE
can be attributed to Judge W. J. Vesey.
Two of the foremost flyers of their day were honored in the naming of BAER ROAD
and LINDBERGH BOULEVARD. Famous poets, writers, and biographers are represented
with GREELEY STREET (Horace Greeley), EMERSON AVENUE (Ralph Waldo Emerson),
and LOWELL STREET (James Russell Lowell).
Eighteen streets bear state names; many others bear names similar to towns and
cities elsewhere in the United States, such as BROOKLYN AVENUE, DALLAS AVENUE,
and NORFOLK AVENUE. The origin and history of all of them would very likely be as
interesting as that of only two, Euclid Avenue and Cleveland Street (now McKEE STREET),
which adjoin each other. Euclid was a famous Greek mathematician, and his name was
chosen for a city near Cleveland. These cities, in turn, were the inspiration for the
naming of EUCLID AVENUE and Cleveland Street.
Albert H. Schaaf named CORNELL CIRCLE for his Alma Mater. Institutions of
learning are also the inspiration for the naming of all the streets in Poinsette Park, as
follows: PRINCETON AVENUE, YALE DRIVE, HARVARD DRIVE, WELLESLEY DRIVE,
STANFORD AVENUE, TRINITY BOULEVARD, CAMBRIDGE BOULEVARD, and PUR-
Not a few streets have taken on names reflecting their location, enviroment, or
the industrial life which built itself about the area, such as DIVISION STREET, UNI-
VERSITY STREET, STADIUM DRIVE, and CHURCH STREET.
LUTHER STREET was previously called Penn, but it was changed in 1922. SUM-
MIT STREET is suggestive of Summit City, a terni which has long applied to Fort Wayne.
It has been suggested that DUCK STREET may have acquired its name from the fact
that the ducks swam there whenever the water backed into the street due to the over-
flow of the river. WILT STREET very likely was named for I. M. Wilt, or possibly for
one of his descendants. There is a legend attached to DEVIL'S HOLLOW ROAD— the
farmers who drove through there in the spring of the year would find it very muddy and
consequently would "swear like the very devil . "
Several people were under the impression that HENSCH STREET was named for
Judge Samuel M. Hench, but although he was a venerable gentleman, the street was
not named for him. Mr. William Link, a nephew of Judge Hench, called attention to
the difference in the spelling of the names and added that the Hensch name bears some
connection with the Beck family, who laid out Beck's Addition in Bloomingdale.
Not many people know that SOUTH WAYNE AVENUE gained its name from the
town of South Wayne, once a separate corporation with Creighton Avenue as its north-
em boundary and the town hall located at the corner of Lincoln and Indiana avenues.
RIEDEL PLACEgained its name from John M. C. Riedel, a local architect. COLE-
MAN AVENUE was so named by the realtors for Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Coleman, who
were the first to build on a lot in "Crestholme" Addition in 1917. ELMHURST DRIVE was
the name chosen by Mrs. Emma Adams Fitch. KIRKWOOD DRIVE, laid out by Frank
Fisher for Will Jones, was given Mrs. Jones's maiden name.
Seventy-six streets were given new names or rechristened in 1929, the culmina-
tion of many months' tedious work on the part of the city council . Actually, during the
proceedings, a proposal was made to change all street names to numbers to conform to
the Salt Lake City Plan. This would have blotted out all knowledge and memory of the
foremost families of their day and of the founding fathers who laid the civic, religious,
and business foundations of this city. Not all the changes are recorded, but just to men-
tion a few: WALLACE STREET, in order to become one continuous street, took Jones
Street, Hemdon Street, Hamilton Avenue, and Highland Drive; WILDWOOD AVENUE
caused Lukens, AAarshali, Lambert Drive, and Clifton Avenue to pass from the scene, so
far as names were concerned.
A century ago, it was customary to name streets for families or personalities in the
national limelight. However, in the 1900's, a realtor frequently sought names which
had specific sales appeal. English names are reflected in several street names, espe-
cially when James Peddicord chose the names for KENSINGTON BOULEVARD and PEM-
BERTON DRIVE, and Albert H. Schaaf chose DRURY LANE and PEMBROKE LANE in
Southwood Park. He also chose the names SEMINOLE CIRCLE (on old Indian name) for
the "inside circle" and RADIAL LANE for "the connection. " FLEETWOOD AVENUE is
also an English name; a soldier under Cromwell (there is a CROMWELL COURT in Fort
Wayne) bore that name, and a town in England is named Fleetwood.
Rivers and waterways influenced the naming of a group of streets: ST, JOE
BOULEVARD, ST. MARY'S AVENUE, and MAUMEE AVENUE, from rivers of those
names; RIVERMET AVENUE, which ends at St. Joe Boulevard; EDGEWATER AVENUE;
LAKE AVENUE, because of the artificial lake near by; DELTA BOULEVARD, for Delta
Lake in Lakeside; and EASTBROOKand WESTBROOK drives, because they border brooks.
Five streets, HURON STREET, ONTARIO STREET, Erie (later changed to Berry
Street), MICHIGAN AVENUE, and SUPERIOR STREET, were named for the Great Lxikes.
FOREST PARK BOULEVARD was given its name by Louis Curdes, prominent realtor.
The family name is also carried on in CURDES AVENUE. WHITEOAK DRIVE refers to
the predominance of beautiful white oak trees once growing along its way.
PRANGE DRIVE and KORTE LANE are family names retained when the farms were
taken over and platted. BRANNING AVENUE was a part of the Ernest H. Branning
farm, later platted by Henry E. Branning, Sr. HOFER AVENUE retains the name of
Theobald Hofer, father of A. K. Hofer, surveyor. BEGUE STREET, which lies between
East Wayne Street and the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad, retains the name
of a prominent contractor named Begue. The old homestead was located at Wayne and
THIEME DRIVE was named in honor of Theodore F. Thieme, founder of the present
Wayne Knitting Mills, who was born in Fort Wayne in 1857. About 1910, he improved
a section of riverbank by removing the brush and rubble which littered the bank and had
tons of dirt brought in to form a tiny park, to which he also added a concrete retaining
wall. When this was accomplished, the city finished the stretch to Swinney Park.
While there is not authentic information on the naming of MORTON and HEN-
DRICKS streets, it is a fact that Indiana governors bore these names. Oliver P. Morton
was Indiana governor from 1866 to 1872 and was the honored guest at the State Fair here
in 1865. It was William Hendricks, governor from 1822 to 1825, who appointed Allen
Hamilton to the office of sheriff of Allen County in 1824.
C Streetis all that remains of three little streets once called "A, " "B, " and "C. "
They were little jogs south of Wayne Trace in the vicinity of Selling's "First and Last
Place. " "A" and "B" lost their existence to the encroachment of business.
The story is that the present Gay Street bridge once marked a train stop where
fashionable and intellectual passengers, frequently from Washington or New York, would
alight to be conveyed by carriages to the Hanna home. Because of the many "gay"
groups which traveled back and forth, the street acquired the name GAY STREET, and
the bridge became known as "the Gay Street bridge. "
.^ JAN 90