History

Wells County, Indiana
Your Definition of Community


From a doctor who joined in the first attempted balloon flight over the North Pole to Indiana's first State Forester, the people and products of Wells County have contributed to not only their own, but to a much larger community.

Named for William Wells, a valued scout and captain for General Anthony Wayne and an adopted son of Miami Indian Tribe Chief Little Turtle, Wells County early established itself as a great community to call home.  Visitors to Bluffton will often hear the city referred to as, "The Parlor City", earned after this municipality became one of the first in the State to pave streets.  Older residents still recall sitting on their community's front porches, or "parlors", on warm summer evenings to visit neighbors or wave to bypassing friends.

Bluffton, the county seat, is home to one of the more memorable courthouses found in Indiana. This massive, Romanesque style structure possessing a 140-foot clock tower and impressive sandstone carvings continues to serve the residents of Wells County in many of the same ways when constructed in 1891.

Ouabache State Park linked to Bluffton by a scenic, five-mile paved pathway that follows the historic Wabash River, offers a breathtaking, panoramic observation from one of the few fire towers still available in the state.  Visitors take in an eagle-eye view of Indiana's last remaining year round bison exhibit, the 1,104 acre property featuring modern and primitive camp sites, and Kunkle lake offering fishing, canoeing, and other opportunities to any guest wishing to get away.

Wells County history impacts the world!  When Dr. Walter N. Fowler, a Bluffton surgeon, took off with the daring Walter Wellman Polar Expedition, little did he and the entire expedition know they paved the way for the more famous Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett expedition in 1926.  Another Wells County famous son is Charles Deam, Indiana's first State Forester. Starting out as a pharmacy owner, his career transformed into one that lead to authoring what is considered classic books on trees and shrubs of Indiana, still sought out by the scientific community.

Throughout the county, small businesses are growing at an unprecedented rate and playing a crucial role in growing the communities. Fine jewelry & clothing stores, florists, custom designs, and haute cuisine satisfy a taste for luxury without big city prices.  And shopping for fun or for food is easy throughout Wells County. Few can resist the aroma of fresh-baked goods at the famous corner bakery in Ossian, or equally appealing scent of hardwood-smoked ham from a much sought-after Ossian meat processor.

Yet that entrepreneurial spirit, solid work ethic, and willingness to roll up sleeves and embrace the future is what provides stability and continued growth for employers as well as employees.  Wells County is home to a wide array of industries that manufacture anything from artificial valves necessary to sustain human life to snacks found on the most dedicated football fan's tailgating menu.  Ownership ranges from local private entrepreneurs to multi-national firms.  The agribusiness community also thrives in Wells County where new technology ranging from bio-fuel, to wind energy, to high-tech animal feeding operations is embraced and supported.

It's the quality of life and community spirit that brings people back to Wells County.  On any warm summer weekend, hundreds of visitors line the Wabash River banks at Kehoe Park, an inviting outdoor concert venue, to enjoy local and regional artist filling the Bluffton skies with music during the Summer Concert Series.

Where else but Wells County can business and arts combine to improve the quality of life? Joined to Kehoe Park by a footbridge over the Wabash River, The Wells County Arts, Commerce, and Visitor's Center is a shining example of arts and commerce coming together  to build this one-of-a-kind achievement.  At least eight gallery exhibits a year, a wide variety of fine art opportunities for adults and children, dancing, receptions, and Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development activities continually fill the Centre's halls.

And no discussion focusing on Wells County can go without mentioning the Bluffton Street Fair, a week-long community festival that brings past and present Wells County residents and thousands of visitors together to revel in a 10 city block celebration of food, music, and entertainment!

Whether it's enjoying the miles of walking/biking paths in the Town of Ossian's 65-acre park, to the Town of Markle's well-known swimmin' pond at the Fish and Game Club, to the 16,000 square foot community center in the middle of the Wells 4-H park, to a simple wave to your neighbors in the communities of Poneto, Uniondale, Vera Cruz, or Zanesville; Wells County is not only a great place to visit, but better yet...it's a great place to call home.

Take a look at your definition of community at www.wellscoc.com.