October 14th, 2020
I took a short walk from my office today to visit the Wells County Historical Museum. I was greeted by a volunteer of the Wells County Historical Society, Scott Elzey who graciously provides guided tours when the museum is open. The museum is quite a magnificent structure with an elaborate exterior. The inside is just as detailed. With 3 levels (and beyond!) of historical relics, you are sure to find something to spark interest. The building is well maintained by volunteers who love to keep history alive. There are many names you will see over and over again whether they be business founders, leaders in politics, or active community members. A few memorable topics of my visit include local business’s such as Corning Ware, Bliss Hotel along with more insight to the Bluffton Free Street Fair when it was called the Agricultural Exposition.
There was so much history to unfold in each room and I could have spent far longer than the two hours I was there.
Wells County at one time was a full of oil fields, hence the name of Petroleum for one of the communities in Nottingham Township of Wells County.
William Wells, whom Wells County was named after was an adopted son to Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle and a captain to General Anthony Wayne yet never stepped foot on county land.
Charles C. Deam; drug store owner, botanist, and Indiana’s first full-time forester is worth discovering further at the Wells County Public Library in the ‘Indiana Room’. In addition, his work of the hybrid White Oak/Chinquapin oak named after him can be found here.
Indiana’s deadliest train wreck took place in Kingsland in 1910 killing over 40 on board passengers. One of these passengers happened to be young Lloyd Brown, a student of Indiana University, son of Jonathon Lloyd Brown and Nancy Caroline Miller Brown. Mr. & Mrs. Miller built and owned the house on 220 E Washington Street. This house still stands and is home to the Washington Street Inn bed & Breakfast.
Bluffton was home to one of the three King Piano Factories which created elaborate and well built pianos. The Factory closed during the Great Depression.
Whether business, disaster, or biology and nature strikes your fancy there is something to strike interest at the museum.
Check out their webpage and hours here to go on your own journey through time! There is so much more to explore!