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1004 E. Market St.

Logansport, Ind., 46947


A Brief History of Cass County

BEFORE 1826, the French
interacted and traded with the Native American tribes living in the Wabash Valley. Those tribes were the Pottowatomie and Miami. The Wabash River translated in Native American means “the river that shines white.” Prior to American settlement, the French called it the “Quabache.”

A treaty signed in October of 1826 opened much of the north central portion of Indiana to settlement, marking the beginning of the end for tribes in Indiana. In 1838, the last of the Pottowatomie were removed to Kansas in what has become known as The Trail of Death.

One battle took place in Cass County. On August 7, 1791, on orders from Washington, D.C., to scatter the native Miami tribes, General John Wilkinson led 525 Kentucky troops against the village of Old Towne. In the battle, six warriors, two women, and a child were killed. Two of Wilkinson’s men also died during the battle. The site of Old Towne is just northeast of Adamsboro on the Eel River.

The first permanent settler in Cass County was Alexander Chamberlain, arriving on December 23, 1824. In August of 1826, he built a small round log cabin on the south bank of the Wabash River opposite the mouth of the Eel River. He was the first to establish a tavern and hotel within the county limits.

The most important early resident of Cass County was General John Tipton. He was head of the Indian Agency at Fort Wayne, Ind., and in 1828 he persuaded the federal government to allow him to move the agency to the area that would become Logansport. Tipton was later instrumental in routing the Michigan Road and the Wabash & Erie Canal through the county. 

Logansport has had a long-standing tradition as a transportation center. From the time it was platted in 1828, Logansport grew quickly with improvements in transportation. The Michigan Road, the most important north-south highway in Indiana, came to Cass County in 1832. Railroads were the most important factor in the growth of Cass County towns like Walton, Galveston, Royal Center, Lucerne, Twelve Mile, Clymers, and New Waverly.

Cass County experienced a flood on March 26, 1913.  The Wabash crested at a depth of 25.33 feet. Some sections of Logansport on the west side were under twelve feet of water. Other floods in the county’s history have occurred in 1857, 1883, 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1959.

The impact of the Wabash & Erie Canal on Logansport and Cass County is second only to the Railroad boom of the 1860s. The Wabash & Erie Canal connected Lake Erie at Toledo with the Ohio River at Evansville, Ind. The canal arrived in Logansport in 1838. The first boat to come to town was “The Clyde.” Cass County towns such as Lewisburg and Georgetown witnessed booms directly attributed to the canal. These points on the canal brought in farmers produce covering north central Indiana and shipped it to places like Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, and Albany, N.Y. Mismanagement of the canal — along with the introduction of the railroad — led to its demise in 1875.

Many cars were manufactured in Indiana during the early part of the century. Logansport produced two models, the Bendix and the Revere. While the Bendix only made a few vehicles, the ReVere operated here from 1917-1926 making more than 2,600 automobiles. Read more about the ReVere Motor Co. here.

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