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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Whitley County Whitley County

Whitley County

Whitley County

Whitley County Legacy Projects

Whitley County Facts

Whitley County was named for Col. William Whitley, who was killed at the decisive American victory at the Battle of the Thames in the War of 1812.

The Whitley County Historical Museum is housed in the Columbia City home of Thomas Riley Marshall, Indiana Governor and 28th Vice President of the United States.

About the courthouse: Brentwood Toland was the architect and the building was completed in 1890.

Little Turtle, or Mishikinaakwa (in Miami-Illinois) (c.1747 – July 14, 1812), was a chief of the Miami people, and one of the most famous Native American military leaders of his time. He was born in what is now Whitley County, Indiana, at either a small Miami village by Devil’s Lake, or at a larger nearby village known as Turtletown.

He led his followers in several major victories against United States forces in the 1790s during the Northwest Indian Wars, also called Little Turtle’s War. In 1791, they defeated General St. Clair, who lost 600 men, the most decisive loss by the US against Native American forces ever.

Little Turtle retired to a spot near present-day Columbia City, Indiana.

Little Turtle was honored with a traditional military type funeral at Fort Wayne, Indiana.  A small memorial stone has been placed in his name which reads:

This site honors the great Chief of the Miamis, Meshekinoqua, “The Little Turtle,” son of the great Chief Acquenacque. He is held in the hearts of his people, allies, and foes with the greatest of honor and respect for his courageous valor and peacemaking.

County Seat: Columbia City
Year Organized: 1835
Square Miles: 335.57