Historical Timeline

Also see the Richmond Bicentennial Timeline, created by Morrisson-Reeves Library

1795 - Greenville Treaty boundary established by General (Mad) Anthony Wayne.

1803 - A wedge of land was ceded to the Indiana Territory from Ohio and named Dearborn County. It became known as the "Gore" and slices through the present-day counties of Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Randolph, Switzerland, Union and Wayne.

1805 - Richard Rue and George Holman, along with Joseph Cox and Thomas McCoy and their families, settled in Elkhorn and Abington areas of the county in 1805.

1806 - John Smith and Jeremiah Cox, Quakers from North Carolina, settled along the Whitewater River in the area that would become Wayne County.

1807 - Road built to Eaton, Ohio to connect with the "Wayne Trace", the old military road built by General (Mad) Anthony Wayne from Fort Washington (Cincinnati) to Greenville in his Indiana campaigns.

1809 - Governor Harrison signed a treaty with the Indians which opened for settlement a 12-mile strip, paralleling the Greenville boundary line.  This was called the Twelve Mile Purchase. The line crosses U.S. 40 in western Cambridge City.

1810 - Wayne County organized. County seat established in Salisbury, (Salisbury no longer exists).

1816 - Indiana becomes a state. Joseph Holman, Jeremiah Cox, Patrick Baird, and Hugh Cull, of Wayne County, participated in the writing of the 1816 Constitution of the State of Indiana.

1816 - John Smith hires David Hoover to survey first lots for a city.

1817 - Settlers, living north of town, cut the "Quaker Trace" to Fort Wayne to give them a trade outlet there.

Wayne County's original log courthouse - now refurbished and located in Centerville.1818 - Centerville declared the county seat.

1818 - 24 qualified voters vote to incorporate Richmond.

1818 - The first post office in Richmond was established. Robert Morrisson appointed as postmaster.

1826 - The only two roads entering Indianapolis in 1826 were the one from Madison, the other from Centerville.

1827 -  The National Road, now U.S. 40, was surveyed to Richmond.

1831 - The Richmond Palladium prints its first newspaper.

1834 - State Bank of Indiana opens in Richmond.

1836 - Cambridge City founded.

1836 - A covered bridge across the Whitewater River at the foot of Main Street was completed.

1836 - The Whitewater Canal began.

1847 - Earlham College founded by the Society of Friends.

1853 - First locomotive pulls into Richmond

1863 - The First National Bank was established in 1863 and is the oldest national bank in the state of Indiana and the sixth oldest national bank in the United States.

1864 - Morrisson-Reeves Library founded by Robert Morrisson.

1873 - Richmond capitalized on the location as a trading and transportation center and became the county seat of Wayne County.

1881 - The first free delivery of mail was established in Richmond on January 1, 1881.

1881 - E. G. Hill and his father, Joseph, begin a general floral catalogue business.

1885 - City of Richmond purchases the land for Glen Miller park from Colonel John Miller, the park's namesake.

1897 - The first free delivery of mail on rural route delivery began.

1905 Reid Memorial Hospital opens, a gift from Daniel G. Reid as a memorial to his wife and son.

1917 - Hayes Arboretum land purchased by Stanley W. Hayes.

1929 - Wayne County Historical Museum opens in the historic Hicksite Meeting House, built in 1864.

1946 - Earlham College-Indiana University Extension Center offers begins offering classes at Earlham College.

1948 -Harry S. Truman gives a speech in Richmond during his whistle-stop campaign. On March 1, 1948 the first fully automatic radiotelephone service began operating in Richmond, Indiana, eliminating the operator to place most calls.

1965 - a major fire ripped through the telephone building, destroying phone service for seventy percent of Richmond's 26,000 telephones. The rest, serviced out of substations, could be in contact only with each other. (View a different archive of the Palladium-Item articles with pictures.)

1966 - The Richmond-Wayne County Chamber of Commerce founded.

1968 - Explosion and fire in downtown Richmond kills 41 persons and injures 150. Clean-up spurs downtown redevelopment.

1972 - Richmond's downtown Promenade receives national landscaper's award.

1975 - New Morrisson-Reeves Library building erected on North Sixth Street.

1975 - Indiana University East occupies its' new building near U.S. 27 North and Interstate 70.

1975 - The addition of Leeds Tower enlarges Reid Memorial Hospital.

1976 - Ivy Tech Community College opens.

1987  - Richmond declared an "All-American" City by the National City League.

1997 - Uptown Richmond Project reopens Main Street through the downtown retail district.

1997 - WayNet incorporates and creates a web portal to promote Wayne County on the Internet.

1999 - Fire destroys the Swayne, Robinson & Co. building. Swayne, Robinson & Co., was the oldest family-owned foundry in America when it closed in 1997.

2000 - New National Road bridge across the Whitewater Gorge opens.

2000 - First Wayne County section of the Cardinal Greenway rail trail opens.

2002 - Whitewater Gorge Trail opens from Test Road to the former Starr-Gennett factory site.

2004 - A new bridge once again crosses the Whitewater River to connect East Main Street to West Main Street in Richmond.

2006 - Richmond celebrates its Bicentennial!

2008 - Reid Hospital moves into a newly erected facility on Reid Parkway, 1 1/2 miles north of the original facility. Wayne County is host to the Model T Centennial "party of the century".

2011 - Wayne County celebrates its Bicentennial!

2011 - Major road reconstruction projects completed with U.S. 27 and U.S. 40 West being increased to 5 lanes.

2012 - Cardinal Greenways Rails to Trails project completed, opening up a 62 mile stretch of trail from Richmond to Marion.

Detailed history of the Richmond/Wayne County Area

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Information prior to 1997 gathered from material provided by the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Did You Know?

Originally an isolated oasis for stagecoach riders traveling along the National Road, the circa 1839 Huddleston House in Mt. Auburn, Indiana is now open to visitors thanks to the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.