Kosciusko County was ceded by chiefs of the Miami nation, Papakeechie and Wawasee, on Oct. 27, 1832. Kosciusko County was officially established on Feb. 7, 1835.
The county was named after the Polish general Thaddeus Kościuszko who served in the Revolutionary War, and worked alongside George Washington with the idea of creating the United States Military Academy at West Point.
While the county is named after this Revolutionary War general, the only confirmed veteran of the Revolutionary to have lived in Kosciusko County is Adrian Anglin, who is buried at Stoney Point Cemetery in Clunette. A number of notables have also made a mark on Kosciusko County, including John Dillinger, who with the help of Homer Van Meter, robbed the Warsaw Police Department on April 13, 1934.
Four renowned writers have lived in Kosciusko County during their youth.
Theodore Dreiser lived in Warsaw for four years, from 1885 to 1889; the 1951 movie “A Place in the Sun,” which won an Academy Award, is based on his book “An American Tragedy.” His brother, Paul Dreiser, wrote the Indiana State Song, “On the Banks of the Wabash.”
James Whitcomb Riley, who became known as the “Hoosier Poet,” lived in Warsaw at several different times.
Ambrose Bierce, a famous journalist, lived in Warsaw with his brother while he worked as a “printer’s devil” on the old Northern Indianian. In 1916, he left his post as editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and disappeared in Mexico.
The list of facts below was compiled with the help of Kosciusko County Historical Society and Jail Museum and Yesteryear of Clunette as a tribute to the 180th anniversary of the month that the land was brought in to the country:
Oswego is known as the first village in the county, however, Leesburg, is the oldest town that remains incorporated. It was surveyed in 1835 by Levi Lee.
The first school was in Van Buren Township. It was started in 1835, with John G. Woods as the first teacher.
The Methodist Episcopal Church in Plain Township is thought to be the oldest in the county. It was conducted out of Charles Ervin’s home. Ervin’s family also claims the title of first permanent residents of the county.
The grist mill that sat along the banks of the Tippecanoe River was established in 1835 by Levi Lee and is likely the first in the county. It is said that the river would become so full of carp in the Spring that the water would run red from carp being pushed through the mill.
The Pound Store Museum is known as the oldest standing commercial building. It opened for the first time in 1838, as an Indian trading post.
The Kosciusko Republican’s first issue was published in 1845 through Whig Republican Charles Murray. It came out of Monoquet and was later moved to Warsaw.
Located on the same square as the Warsaw courthouse, the first courthouse was completed in 1848.
First Fire Department
A Warsaw Fire Department was established, after a series of small fires, on Feb. 16, 1859.
The first county library was established in Warsaw between 1858 and 1885, however the exact date and location of the library is not known.
First Music Venue
The Warsaw Opera House may have been the first entertainment venue in the county. Either way, it still holds the title for being the only opera house in the area. It opened in 1874 and was open for 40 years.
First Mail Delivery
The Leesburg post office hired their first mail delivery man and horse on July 10, 1899.