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Warsaw History
The week before Christmas 2012, Warsaw's City Hall moved from 302 E. Market Street to 102 S. Buffalo Street. Learn about the history of the former bank building which was transformed into the new City Hall. A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony took place on May 11, 2013. 


Not much information was recorded in the early days. However, in 1850 Warsaw was the largest village in the county with a total population of 304. There were 64 residential homes in Warsaw, most valued at less than $1,000. Warsaw had a population of 752 when it was incorporated as a town on March 25, 1854. Since 1875, there have been 22 mayors who have served the City of Warsaw. Learn more about Warsaw history.

1845 1855 1875 1885 1900 1950

1836: Kosciusko County was formally organized in 1836. It is the fourth largest of the State's 92 counties, containing 558 square miles. The County contains more than 100 lakes, which are directly responsible for the tourist and recreational economy of the County. Kosciusko County today continues to be one of the leading agricultural producing counties in the State.

Warsaw, named for the capital of Poland, was platted October 21, 1836 and was incorporated March 8, 1854 with 752 inhabitants. Warsaw was a village for about 18 years. Early Warsaw contained traders, trappers, and merchants supplying manufactured goods to the area's farmers. Because of its central location in the County's lake region, tourists soon began visiting Warsaw and eventually made permanent residences in the City. Industry soon followed. The abundant water supply, growing labor force, close proximity to markets and energy sources provided industry with the basic needs for successful operations.

The first plat of Warsaw was filed by W. H. Knott, proprietor, on October 21, 1836. Matthew D. Springer built the first house in Warsaw. It was a tamarack pole cabin on the north edge of the tamarack swamp, which included all the land immediately east and south of the Big 4 RR passenger depot. It was also used as a tavern. The Warsaw Post Office was established February 11, 1837, and Jacob Baker was its first postmaster. The first industries to arise in Warsaw were the blacksmith shop on South Buffalo Street of Phillip Lash and the chair shop of John Giselman on the northwest corner of Detroit and Main Streets, which were both opened in 1836. H. Higby started the first furniture shop in 1837.

The first election for officials of Kosciusko County was held on Monday, April 4, 1836. A sheriff, three commissioners, two associate judges, clerk-auditor, recorder, surveyor and coroner were elected. Between 1837 and 1839, the County built two courthouses. When the County Commissioners advertised for bids, William Cosgrove and his brother were successful in acquiring the contract to construct the courthouse. The first, at the northeast corner of Center and Indiana Streets, burned down before it was used. The second was on the west edge of where the first was located, and was used until 1848 when the present courthouse in the center of the Courthouse Square was completed.


1845: In August of 1845, the Kosciusko Republican was the first newspaper published in the county, by Charles L. Murray in the town of Monoquet. It was soon followed by the Warsaw Democrat in 1848, operated by T. L. Graves. The Kosciusko Republican was then taken over by Reub Williams and G.W. Fairbrother, and they started The Northern Indianian in January of 1856 (weekly, every Thursday).

Through the years, it became the Daily Times. During 1938, the corporation purchased the Warsaw Union, publishing all three editions daily. Because of scarcity of help during WW II, publication of the Warsaw Union, as well as the Daily Times morning editions, were dropped in 1942. The Times and Union were then consolidated into the evening Times-Union. The Times-Union began publication of its Saturday edition as a morning newspaper in 1980.

Reub Williams was born in Tiffin, Ohio in 1833. He served as Brevet Brigadier-General in the Civil War, and continued as the dominant force in the conduct of the Northern Indianian until his death on January 15, 1905. The firm of Reuben Williams & Sons, by which the Times-Union was published through 1998, was formed in April 1904.


1848: Two acres of land was given by Richard L. Britton at the northeast corner of Smith and Hickory Streets to be used for a graveyard. It was deeded to the County Commissioners in 1848; the deed was recorded in 1857. In the early 1870s, the Big Four RR was built along the west side of this graveyard. The old graveyard was used about 37 years. In 1874, Dr. Jacob Boss gave the city a tract of land on the south shore of Pike Lake for use as a cemetery. This property would now be the west part of Oakwood Cemetery. Ironically, Dr. Boss was the first person whose body was buried there, and his monument is one of the finest on the grounds. The old cemetery on Smith Street was destroyed when the bodies were transferred to the new cemetery.

1853-1854: The railroad era began in Kosciusko County when the Pennsylvania Railroad (Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad) reached Pierceton in May of 1853. It was completed to Warsaw in November of 1854, and soon afterward a station was built. George Moon was the first agent at Warsaw. The north/south extension of the Big 4 RR (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis) through Kosciusko County was a railroad movement from Michigan. The section between Goshen and Warsaw was completed and the first train left Warsaw going north in August of 1870.

In March 1854, Andrew J. Power and John Rogers petitioned the County Commissioners that Warsaw might be incorporated as a town. According to law, they represented more than one-third of the voters within the limits of the town intended to be incorporated. The census taken on February 4, 1854, indicated there were 752 residents within the town limits.

After Warsaw had continued under town government for 21 years, its people decided that it had reached its majority and was entitled to a municipal form. Several years passed as a town before the efforts of the citizens to provide adequate educational advantages and a reasonable measure of protection against fire took definite form. The year 1858 was most fruitful of the earlier times in these regards. It was during this year that the first public school of Warsaw was opened. In charge was Professor D. T. Johnson, who subsequently was Principal of the grade school. It is said that the building contained three rooms on the ground floor and one large room above. Five teachers were employed.


1855: The Kosciusko County Agriculture Society was formed in 1855, followed with a fair in 1856 which was held on the courthouse lawn. The Society purchased various acreage sites over the years to hold the fair. The Society disbanded in 1877 following financial difficulties. The Fair Association was formed in 1915. Stocks were sold to individuals in the community and the first fairs were held on the streets in the town of Warsaw. In 1937, 4-H clubs and vocational agriculture organizations became a part of the fair, and two years later the Purdue Extension Home Economics Clubs were invited to participate.
The current fairgrounds property was purchased in 1945 from Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Jackson. The Women's Building was built in 1945 for the first fair by the husbands of the Home Economics Clubs. Other buildings were gradually added for future fairs. The racetrack was built in 1949 for horse races and car races (closed in 1990).

The organization began having financial difficulties in the late 1950s and developed what is now "Fairlane Addition," leaving the fair organization owning 68 acres. With re-organization in 1960, the organization became a member corporation. Through joint efforts by the Fair organization and Shrine organization, the Shrine Community Building was built in 1963. Enduring financial difficulties and improvement needs throughout the years, with continued persistence the organization received 501C-3 not-for-profit status in October of 1997. A Financial Advisory Board and Executive Board were structured in early 1998, and the Fair Board looks forward to forming a long-range plan to utilize the fairgrounds for enjoyment by the entire community.


The Kosciusko County Agriculture Society was formed in 1855, followed with a fair in 1856 which was held on the courthouse lawn. The Society purchased various acreage sites over the years to hold the fair. The Society disbanded in 1877 following financial difficulties. The Fair Association was formed in 1915. Stocks were sold to individuals in the community and the first fairs were held on the streets in the town of Warsaw. In 1937, 4-H clubs and vocational agriculture organizations became a part of the fair, and two years later the Purdue Extension Home Economics Clubs were invited to participate.

The current fairgrounds property was purchased in 1945 from Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Jackson. The Women's Building was built in 1945 for the first fair by the husbands of the Home Economics Clubs. Other buildings were gradually added for future fairs. The racetrack was built in 1949 for horse races and car races (closed in 1990).

The organization began having financial difficulties in the late 1950s and developed what is now "Fairlane Addition," leaving the fair organization owning 68 acres. With re-organization in 1960, the organization became a member corporation. Through joint efforts by the Fair organization and Shrine organization, the Shrine Community Building was built in 1963. Enduring financial difficulties and improvement needs throughout the years, with continued persistence the organization received 501C-3 not-for-profit status in October of 1997. A Financial Advisory Board and Executive Board were structured in early 1998, and the Fair Board looks forward to forming a long-range plan to utilize the fairgrounds for enjoyment by the entire community.


1858: By the Fall of 1858, the town had quite an array of frame structures, and several of them had already been scorched or more seriously damaged and others had gone up completely in flames. The Volunteer Bucket Brigade had been outgrown and quite a collection of the real wide-awake citizens gathered at the courthouse to discuss ways and means of organizing a regular fire department. The capacity of the town treasury was stretched to the utmost and no funds were available for that purpose.

The outcome was a joint stock company which issued shares of $5 each and shortly raised enough money to purchase a second-hand fire engine. Although this was the nucleus of a fire department, this initial organization was not, strictly speaking, a public institution. A permanent organization of the department was effected in February of 1859. Chief of the first Warsaw Fire Department was Joseph A. Funk.

The public library was formed by 1885 and for many years was conducted by the City School Board, until the Warsaw Library Board was organized in 1915. A.G. Wood was a member of the first Library Board. The library was first housed in the basement of the Center Ward School. Planning to erect a more suitable building, the Board appealed to the Carnegie Corporation for financial assistance, to which they were granted $15,000. Property was purchased at the corner of Detroit and Center Streets, and the new library was ready for occupancy in 1917, with a collection of less than 5,000 volumes. An addition was made to the initial structure in 1966, and the Warsaw Community Public Library completed an extensive expansion program in 1998.


1864: One of the best known businesses was Phillipson's, a clothing store for men and boys that for most of its existence was located at the northeast corner of Buffalo and Market Streets. It was founded in 1864 by Marcus Phillipson and was in business for over 90 years, closing in the late 1950s. Known far and wide for its clothing, Phillipson's was also an important meeting place in the county.

The Moon Block was built in 1868 by (former mayor) George Moon. The third story was home to the K.P. Lodge. The second floor contained the first telephone central office and other offices. A.G. Wood (also a mayor) had his attorney office in the building, and the Post Office was in the corner room for several years. The Moon Block was the building on the southeast corner of Market and Buffalo Street; it burned in 1961.


1867: Warsaw was incorporated as a City on March 15,1867.

1875: A vote was taken on April 19, 1875 to decide whether to incorporate as a city. 278 votes were for and 200 against. Therefore, on May 4, 1875, the first city officers elected to office were: Hiram S. Biggs, Mayor; Charles H. Ketcham, Clerk; Edward J. Greene, City Attorney; S.B. Clark, Treasurer; and Joseph A. Wright, Marshal. History of Warsaw Mayors There were three wards with six councilmen elected: 1st Ward - T.C. Stuart and S.W. Chipman; 2nd Ward - D.R. Pershing and A.J. Bair; 3rd Ward - J. McMurray and N. Nutt. A vote was taken on April 19, 1875 to decide whether to incorporate as a city. 278 votes were for and 200 against. Therefore, on May 4, 1875, the first city officers elected to office were: Hiram S. Biggs, Mayor; Charles H. Ketcham, Clerk; Edward J. Greene, City Attorney; S.B. Clark, Treasurer; and Joseph A. Wright, Marshal. History of Warsaw Mayors There were three wards with six councilmen elected: 1st Ward - T.C. Stuart and S.W. Chipman; 2nd Ward - D.R. Pershing and A.J. Bair; 3rd Ward - J. McMurray and N. Nutt.

1880: Gas street lights were lighted for the first time in Warsaw in August of 1880. A new courthouse was built in 1882. The gas street lights were replaced by electric lights beginning in 1897. Gas lights were used in homes and other buildings until about 1915. Telephone lines were first strung in 1882 with Dr. Eggleston having the first phone.

Late in September 1885, the first ground was broke for the water works at the foot of Buffalo Street. Water and light was initially furnished to consumers by the Winona Electric, Light & Water Company. It originated in the old Warsaw Water Company, which was organized in 1886. An electric light plant was erected at the north end of Buffalo Street near the water works.Gas street lights were lighted for the first time in Warsaw in August of 1880. A new courthouse was built in 1882. The gas street lights were replaced by electric lights beginning in 1897. Gas lights were used in homes and other buildings until about 1915. Telephone lines were first strung in 1882 with Dr. Eggleston having the first phone.

Late in September 1885, the first ground was broke for the water works at the foot of Buffalo Street. Water and light was initially furnished to consumers by the Winona Electric, Light & Water Company. It originated in the old Warsaw Water Company, which was organized in 1886. An electric light plant was erected at the north end of Buffalo Street near the water works.


1885: The Warsaw Summer Resort Association was founded in the fall of 1885 for the purpose of improving and developing the natural advantages of Warsaw as a summer resort. Hiram S. Biggs, a Warsaw attorney and judge, was president of the association. The intention of this group was to buy the ground between Center and Pike Lakes and turn it into a park. The idea materialized into Lakeside Park and a resort called Mineral Beach. They also planned to build a ship canal from Center Lake to Pike Lake. It was dug for 15 cents per cubic yard, for a total cost of $2,200. The CW&M RR built a bridge that boats could go under, and the PRR donated a bridge for Detroit Street. The association ended about 1895 when the park was divided into small lots and sold to Warsaw citizens at $100 each.

The Hotel Hays was located in a stylish brick building on the southeast corner of Indiana and Center Streets. It was owned by Elijah Hays, a former blacksmith. It opened in September of 1885. In its early days, the hotel was lighted with gas lights, had 44 rooms for overnight guests, and two large conference rooms. Later the building was expanded to 54 guest rooms. The Hotel Hays also had a gift shop and a dining room.

The Warsaw Summer Resort Association was founded in the fall of 1885 for the purpose of improving and developing the natural advantages of Warsaw as a summer resort. Hiram S. Biggs, a Warsaw attorney and judge, was president of the association. The intention of this group was to buy the ground between Center and Pike Lakes and turn it into a park. The idea materialized into Lakeside Park and a resort called Mineral Beach. They also planned to build a ship canal from Center Lake to Pike Lake. It was dug for 15 cents per cubic yard, for a total cost of $2,200. The CW&M RR built a bridge that boats could go under, and the PRR donated a bridge for Detroit Street. The association ended about 1895 when the park was divided into small lots and sold to Warsaw citizens at $100 each.

The Hotel Hays was located in a stylish brick building on the southeast corner of Indiana and Center Streets. It was owned by Elijah Hays, a former blacksmith. It opened in September of 1885. In its early days, the hotel was lighted with gas lights, had 44 rooms for overnight guests, and two large conference rooms. Later the building was expanded to 54 guest rooms. The Hotel Hays also had a gift shop and a dining room.


In 1885, Revra DePuy pioneered the orthopedic industry when he started DePuy Manufacturing in 1895 to make wire mesh and wooden splints, becoming the world's first commercial manufacturer of orthopedic appliances. Mr. DePuy hired Justin Zimmer in 1905 as a splint salesman. Zimmer then broke away from DePuy in 1927 to start his own orthopedic company, Zimmer Manufacturing. Additional orthopedic companies have since evolved in Warsaw, now known as "The Orthopedic Capital of the World."

1903: The Winona Interurban was an electrified trolley car system that was organized by the founders of the Winona Assembly at Winona Lake. The first interurban cars went into operation during the summer of 1903. The line was developed to transport people from Warsaw to the assembly grounds at Winona, but by 1910 it had grown to about seventy miles of tracks that ran not only to Winona, but to Goshen on the north and Peru on the south.

The Winona Company was organized after the Pennsylvania Railroad announced in 1902 that it would eliminate a siding that PRR trains had been using to take people from Warsaw to Winona Lake. Rather than lose convenient rail service, the assembly founders started the Interurban Company. Families rode the interurban to visit relatives, for excursions to the county fair, or to go shopping. Also, teachers going to school or people going to a doctor's appointment also used the interurban. There was even a baseball league made up of teams from towns along the line.

At the height of the summer, as many as 15,000 people a day rode to Winona. Passenger service was available on the Winona line until 1938. It was discontinued because of loss of riders due to competition from automobiles and the Great Depression. Freight service on the Winona Interurban ended May 31, 1952.The Winona Interurban was an electrified trolley car system that was organized by the founders of the Winona Assembly at Winona Lake. The first interurban cars went into operation during the summer of 1903. The line was developed to transport people from Warsaw to the assembly grounds at Winona, but by 1910 it had grown to about seventy miles of tracks that ran not only to Winona, but to Goshen on the north and Peru on the south.

The Winona Company was organized after the Pennsylvania Railroad announced in 1902 that it would eliminate a siding that PRR trains had been using to take people from Warsaw to Winona Lake. Rather than lose convenient rail service, the assembly founders started the Interurban Company. Families rode the interurban to visit relatives, for excursions to the county fair, or to go shopping. Also, teachers going to school or people going to a doctor's appointment also used the interurban. There was even a baseball league made up of teams from towns along the line.

At the height of the summer, as many as 15,000 people a day rode to Winona. Passenger service was available on the Winona line until 1938. It was discontinued because of loss of riders due to competition from automobiles and the Great Depression. Freight service on the Winona Interurban ended May 31, 1952.The Winona Interurban was an electrified trolley car system that was organized by the founders of the Winona Assembly at Winona Lake. The first interurban cars went into operation during the summer of 1903. The line was developed to transport people from Warsaw to the assembly grounds at Winona, but by 1910 it had grown to about seventy miles of tracks that ran not only to Winona, but to Goshen on the north and Peru on the south.

The Winona Company was organized after the Pennsylvania Railroad announced in 1902 that it would eliminate a siding that PRR trains had been using to take people from Warsaw to Winona Lake. Rather than lose convenient rail service, the assembly founders started the Interurban Company. Families rode the interurban to visit relatives, for excursions to the county fair, or to go shopping. Also, teachers going to school or people going to a doctor's appointment also used the interurban. There was even a baseball league made up of teams from towns along the line.

At the height of the summer, as many as 15,000 people a day rode to Winona. Passenger service was available on the Winona line until 1938. It was discontinued because of loss of riders due to competition from automobiles and the Great Depression. Freight service on the Winona Interurban ended May 31, 1952. (View the city letterhead used in 1938. Note the colorful pictures on the reverse side.)


1950-2000: Warsaw's economy is still influenced by the seasonal influx of tourists and recreation seekers. Its industry is wide and diversified, providing job opportunities for all people seeking employment. Yet, the City continues to serve its surrounding agricultural community by providing necessary markets and services.

Important dates in the development of Warsaw during the 20th Century include:

1950-1960s

Agrarian economy shifts to industrial - Arrival of Da-Lite Screen, R.R. Donnelley Printing Company, and orthopedics.

1953 - North Bay Drive Addition is annexed.

1955 - Meadowbrook Addition and Oak Glen Estates are annexed.

1956 - Springhill Acres Addition is annexed.

1958 - Original Master Plan is adopted.
Fairlane Subdivision and Hodges Addition are annexed.

1962 - City of Warsaw = 2.83 square miles, 2.55 land / .28 water. Eastern Corporation Limit - Patterson's Woodside Addition (residential) just east of Parker Street.





1963 - Windbrae Addition and Springhill Acres 2nd-4th Additions are annexed.
Rolling Hills (residential) Subdivision is annexed.

1967 - Western Corporation Limit - Industrial expansion with the construction
of Boggs Industrial Park.

1968 - Commercial Development Expansion - Construction of commercial development begins with Lake Village Shopping Center which includes K-Mart.

1969 - Northern and Southwestern Corporation Limits - The current southwestern part of the City,which includes Rozella Country Club, is annexed. Most of this area, however, is presently utilizing septic sewer systems.
Also, the area between Anchorage Road (200 North) and Springhill Acres Subdivision north of Pike Lake is annexed (area adjoining Patterson Road and Husky Trail).


1970's

Major Thoroughfare Completed - The four-lane U.S. 30 Highway, a major east-west route, bypasses the City.

Southern Corporation Limits - A large number of residential developments are annexed along the western edge of Winona Lake, County Farm Road, Ranch Road, and Highway 15 South.

1972-1979 - Commercial and Industrial Development along U.S. 30 - Kosciusko Community Hospital is annexed on the northeast side of the City; DePuy, United Telephone Company, and L.M. Berry Company are annexed, pushing the eastern boundary to its current location.


1975-1980

Residential Expansion - Patterson's Timber Ridge Estates, Wayside Terrace, and Helser Addition, Eastgate Apartments are established on the northeast side of U.S. 30.

1979 - Current Master Plan is adopted in June.




1981-1985

1982 - The Kosciusko County Jail and Court Complex is completed.
1984 - First City Planner is hired for Warsaw.
1985 - North Pointe Development - Combination of commercial and residential zoning north of U.S. 30.


1986-1989

1988 - Marketplace Shopping Center was constructed on Frontage Road, which included anchor store J.C. Penney.

1989 - Northern Boundary Redefined - Industrial development along the Indiana Highway 15 North corridors annexed. This now forms a contiguous boundary with the Warsaw Municipal Airport.

1990-1995

1990 - Land area has nearly tripled since 1962, as the City of Warsaw incorporates 7.8 square miles, a 206% increase. In contrast, the population has only increased by 3,700 people, a 51% increase.

New Warsaw Community High School is erected in the southern part of the City.
Patterson Place and Eisenhower Park Subdivisions initiate residential growth.

1991-92 - Resurgence of Commercial Development - Commerce Village and Wal-Mart Shopping Center further commercial development along the U.S. 30 eastern corridor.

1993 - Downtown TIF District is established (Tax Increment Financing) - Completion of CentralPark and Zimmer Headquarters.

1994 - Haldewang Subdivision (commercial and industrial).

1995 - Lake Village Shopping Center Expansion (Blockbuster Video, Party Shop).


1996-1999

1996 - Hotel Expansion along U.S. 30 Corridor - (Super 8, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express), Silver Fox Ridge and Chapman House (Senior Housing Opportunities), North Park Plaza (Commercial Development is platted along Highway 15 North), and Mallers-JoynersCinema(developed in North Pointe Subdivision).

1997 - Comprehensive Plan is revised.


2000-2005

2002 - Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse constructed a new store on SR 15 North, along side the new Wal-Mart store that relocated from the east side of town.

2004 - The City celebrated its Sesquicentennial. A four-sided street clock was installed on the north side of Central Park in June 2005 to commemorate Warsaw's 150 years.

80-lot Pheasant Ridge Subdivision on Ranch Road
32-lot Tigers Retreat Subdivision on Ranch Road
80-lot Park Ridge Subdivision on Ranch Road


Learn more about Warsaw




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