Fort Wayne, Indiana

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City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
Official flag of City of Fort Wayne, Indiana Official seal of City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
City flag City seal
City nickname: "The Summit City"
Location of City of Fort Wayne, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
County Allen
Mayor Graham Richard (D)
Physical characteristics
127 km²
     126.6 km²
     0.4 km²
     Total (2003)
402,087 (metropolitan area)
     220,486 (city proper)
Latitude 41°4'42" N
Longitude 85°7'36" W
Time zone
     Summer (DST)
     EST (UTC−5)
Official website: City of Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is a city and the county seat of Allen County in northeastern Indiana. As of the 2000 census, as recertified in June 2003, the city had a total population of 220,486. It is named after a U.S. military fort established in 1794 by Gen. Anthony Wayne where the St. Joseph River and St. Marys River join to form the Maumee River.



Historically the site was known as Kekionga, the traditional capital of the Miami nation. In the 1680s, French traders established a trading post at the location because it was the main portage between the Great Lakes via the Maumee River and the Mississippi River via the nearby Little River branch of the Wabash River.

The French built the first fort on the site, Fort Miamis, in 1697 as part of a group of forts built between Quebec and St. Louis. Forts Miamis was replaced by Fort St. Philippe in 1722.

Increasing tension between France and Britain developed over the territory. In 1760, after defeat by British forces in the French and Indian War, the area was ceded to the British Empire. The fort was renamed "Fort Miami."

In 1763, various Native American nations rebelled against British rule and retook the fort as part of Pontiac's Rebellion. The Miami regained control of Kekionga, a rule that lasted for more than 30 years.

In 1794, under the command of General Anthony Wayne, the United States army captured the Wabash-Erie portage from the Miami and built a new fort near the three rivers. Fort Wayne was named for the general.

Eventually, the portage was replaced by a canal in the mid 1800s. Fort Wayne's significance as a waterway portage lost national prominence as the railroad system developed in the United States. For nearly a century it was an important railroad center between New York and Chicago.

Most of the population growth occurred in the 19th century with immigration from Germany and Ireland. The large numbers of Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches reflect this. German-language newspapers were published into the 20th century.

Allen County courthouse.
Allen County courthouse.

Law and government

Fort Wayne has an elected mayor, clerk and city council-style of government.

Executive - mayor

Fort Wayne's mayor is Democrat Graham Richard, who has served in the post since January 2000. He was elected to a second term in 2003.

He is a world class thinker about the opportunity of bringing communications tools for all citizens of Fort Wayne.

City clerk

Democrat Sandra Kennedy has been Fort Wayne's city clerk since 1983.

Representatives - common council

The Fort Wayne Common Council is a nine-member legislative group that serve four-year terms. Six of the members represent specific districts; three are elected city-wide as at-large council members. The council elected on November 4, 2003 will serve until December 31, 2007:


Modern Fort Wayne is set in a productive agricultural area, but has always been an important transportation hub. Founded at the confluence of three rivers, the city was the summit of the Wabash-Erie Canal. Fort Wayne also sits at the high point between two Indiana watersheds; hence its nickname, "Summit City."

Current Fort Wayne straddles Interstate 69, and is served by Norfolk Southern, Conrail and CSX rail lines as well as Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field regional airport.

Fort Wayne skyline.
Fort Wayne skyline.

Physical geography

For a regional "summit," Fort Wayne is fairly flat. There are some local wetlands and gravel pits. The soil is the deep dark brown earth characteristic of the Midwest.

Major parks

Fort Wayne's first park, the 0.2 acre (800 m²) Old Fort Park, was established in 1863. The newest park, the 170 acre (690,000 m²) Salomon Farm Park, was established in 1995. As of 2004, the city had 87 parks covering 2,199.55 acres (8.9 km²).


In the mid-20th century, Fort Wayne was a major manufacturing center of the northeastern United States. Major employers included General Electric, International Harvester (left Fort Wayne in 1983), and Tokheim gasoline pumps (sold in 2003). Phelps Dodge, Rea Wire, and Essex Wire comprised the largest concentration of copper and enamel wire manufacturing in the world. In the latter half of the 20th century, shifts in manufacturing patterns led to the reduction of the number of manufacturing plants and jobs, and Fort Wayne could be counted among the relatively stagnant "rust belt" cities of the northeast.

In recent decades growth based on a more diverse economy has resumed. General Motors opened the Truck and Bus Assembly operation in the 1980s. Fort Wayne employs many in the transportation and logistics sector, with Sirva, Norfolk-Southern railroad, Triple Crown Intermodal, and Kitty Hawk Air Cargo combining for more than 2,500 local jobs. National defense is also an increasingly important component of the local economy, with ITT and Raytheon employing more than 1,000 people each. While the homegrown Lincoln National Corporation has changed names and relocated its headquarters to Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial still employs about 1,500 professionals in the city and contributes millions of dollars annually to local charities and civic causes.



Fort Wayne is the largest city in Allen County, Indiana. This map shows its relations with nearby municipalities and major roadways. Unincpororated towns are marked with a dark red dot.
Fort Wayne is the largest city in Allen County, Indiana. This map shows its relations with nearby municipalities and major roadways. Unincpororated towns are marked with a dark red dot.

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 205,727 people, 83,333 households, and 50,666 families residing in the city. In 2003, the Census Bureau revised the population of Fort Wayne upward to 220,486 to reflect neighborhood annexation after 2000. There are 90,915 housing units at an average density of 444.6/km² (1,151.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 75.45% White, 17.38% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.91% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. 5.78% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 83,333 households out of which 31.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% are married couples living together, 14.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% are non-families. 32.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.41 and the average family size is 3.08.

In the city the population is spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $36,518, and the median income for a family is $45,040. Males have a median income of $34,704 versus $25,062 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,517. 12.5% of the population and 9.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.5% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.




Fort Wayne is the 104th-largest television market in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research.


  • WANE-TV, CBS affiliate, - channel 15
  • WDFM-LP, Independent - Channel 26
  • WFFT-TV, Fox affiliate - channel 55
  • WFWA-TV, PBS member station - channel 39
  • WFWC-CA, Independent - channel 45
  • WINM-TV, TBN affiliate - channel 63
  • WISE-TV, NBC affiliate - channel 33
  • WPTA-TV, ABC affiliate - channel 21


  • WANE-DT, CBS and UPN affiliate - DT channel 31
    • Channel 31.1 - WANE-TV simulcast
    • Channel 31.2 - UPN affiliate - UPN FORT WAYNE
    • Channel 31.3 - weather radar
  • WFFT-DT, Fox affiliate - DT channel 36
  • WFWA-DT, PBS member station - channel 40
    • Channel 40.1 - WFWA-TV simulcast
    • Channel 40.2 - PBS children's programming
    • Channel 40.3 - PBS39 Encore
    • Channel 40.4 - Annenberg/CPB Channel
  • WINM-DT, TBN affiliate - DT channel 12
  • WISE-DT, NBC affiliate - DT channel 19
    • Channel 19.1 - WISE-TV simulcast
    • Channel 19.2 - NBC Weather Plus
  • WPTA-DT, ABC affiliate - DT channel 24


  • WAJI-FM 95.1
  • WBCL-FM 90.3
  • WBNI-FM 88.7
  • WBOI-FM 89.1
  • WBTU-FM 93.3
  • WBYR-FM 98.9
  • WCYT-FM 91.1
  • WFCV-AM 1090
  • WFWI-FM 92.3
  • WGL-AM 1250
  • WCKZ-FM 94.1
  • WXTW-FM 102.3
  • WGOM-AM 860
  • WGLL-AM 1570
  • WJFX-FM 107.9
  • WJHS-FM 91.5
  • WKJG-AM 1380
  • WLAB-FM 88.3
  • WLDE-FM 101.7
  • WLYV-AM 1450
  • WMEE-FM 97.3
  • WMRI-FM 106.9
  • WNHT-FM 96.3
  • WOWO-AM 1190
  • WPDJ-AM 1300
  • WSHI-FM 106.3
  • WQHK-FM 105.1
  • WVSH-FM 91.9
  • WXKE-FM 102.9

Sites of interest

Architecture of note



School district

Sports teams

Former sports teams

Notable natives and former residents

Religious centers

Cultural impact

Film/TV shot in Fort Wayne

Famous fictional characters from Fort Wayne

Sister cities

Fort Wayne has three sister cities:

External links

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