History of Spencerville, Indiana
Spencerville is located on the St. Joe River north and east of Fort Wayne.
In the early 1800's the American nation was growing. The frontier was
moving west and moving rapidly. Indiana's population by 1840 was over 25
times larger than it had been just 30 years before in 1810. The Fort at Fort
Wayne had been built in 1794 and settlers in Indiana were killed by warring
Indians as late as 1812 and in Illinois in 1832.
Spencerville was the first community settled and built in DeKalb County. The
St. Joe River, which originates in Ohio and flows to Fort Wayne, where it
meets the St. Mary's River, and they merge to form the Maumee River. The
Maumee then flows to Lake Erie at Toledo, Ohio.
Early Life on the River
In those days, building on a waterway was
common, as the river helped with
transportation of people and the shipment of
goods. The flowing water was also the source
of power for mills.
These early settlers were soon into exploiting
the assets of the area. Wood was needed
locally and in more settled areas. A sawmill
was in place and running by 1845. Even
earlier in the late 1830's a grist mill was operating. The mill had two sets of
grinding wheels, one for wheat and one for corn.
From these early beginnings the area developed with the ebb and flow of
August 17, 2013
compare to a
on the historic
Enjoy a delicious homemade dinner
provided by Dutch Heritage Baking &
Catering, while listening to the relaxing
dinner music by Ken Jehle and enjoying
the beautiful views from the rustic
Dekalb County Historian
Visit the Dekalb County
Historian page on Facebook
for lots of information and
Supper on the Bridge
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