KOSCIUSKO COUNTY —In January of 1966 the Kosciusko County Historical Society was formed. One hundred sixty-five persons attended the first meeting held at the courthouse. From that beginning fifty years ago, the society has grown to nearly 500 members and has become the caretaker of the Old County Jail (now a museum), the Chinworth Bridge (Greenway Trailhead), and the Pound Store in Oswego (oldest commercial building in county). But the society does not only preserve historical sites, they also are the caretakers of the official county records, and business, family and personal histories.
Packerton, an unincorporated community in Monroe, Jackson, and Clay Townships, is 920 feet above sea level. It is located 9 miles to the South Southeast of Warsaw. If you could walk a straight line from Packerton to Warsaw, with an average speed of 2.2 miles per hour, it would take four to five hours to make the trip. A horse and buggy averaging 3.2 miles per hour would take a little over three hours.
It so happens that the main north and south street of the village is the line between Clay Township on the west and Monroe Township and Jackson Township on the east and the street leading east from the business district is the line between Monroe and Jackson townships. Thus the location of the village is unique in that its citizens owe allegiance to three different trustees. It might be that in years gone by the three trustees all had their offices in the village.
Packerton was named after John Packer who came to this crossroad settlement in April 1866. Packer was born in 1836 in Ohio. His parents were Quakers. Packer built mills and dealt in lumber in a big way.
Packerton was officially laid out in 1882 when the railroad was extended to that point. It was thought it would become a boom town because of the new railroad. When the railroad was completed and the first train came through, John Packer was honored by the company by being the first citizen allowed to board as a passenger and take a ride. It was a great day for Packerton.
About 1890, Packerton was a village of perhaps 500 people. The main businesses were the blacksmith shop and the saw mill.
The forty-first session of the United Brethren Conference was held there in August, 1885.
A post office was established in 1881, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1926.
The Packerton Moraine in north-central Indiana derives its name from the village of Packerton, and is considered to be a large interlobate moraine between the Saginaw and the Erie lobes. (A moraine is a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges.)
Today Packerton is the site of the Hoosier Landfill which accepts municipal and commercial waste products and provides analytical testing of materials.
The Kosciusko County Historical Society is celebrating its 50th year in preserving county history. Help support the Society’s efforts by becoming a member. Send name and address along with $25 for a family membership to KCHS, PO Box 1071, Warsaw, 46581. With a membership comes our quarterly publication, The Thaddeus Magazine, which contains fascinating stories of the county’s history.