Historical Markers in
St. Joseph County, Indiana

A Champion of Farmland to Parkland A Window To Our Past Ball-Band Factory Battell Park Camp Rose Chaplain Corby of Gettysburg Clarke Peace Memorial Coach Frank Leahy Council Oak Dodge Manufacturing Company First Bridge First Dam Across The St. Joseph River / Power Race From a Letter of The Rev. Edward Sorin, CSC Hamilton Church Cemetery Hamilton Methodist Church Harold C. Urey Historic Cross Relocation Home of Hon. Schuyler Colfax Howard Park Huggart Settlement Indiana Territorial Line Jewish Cemetery Site Kamm & Schellinger Brewery Knute Rockne La Salle's Camp Lincoln & Dixie Highways Lou Holtz Michael A. Berticelli Mishawaka Civil War Soldiers Monument Mishawaka Fish Ladder Mishawaka High School Mishawaka Wars of the Nation Memorial Mother Angela Gillespie, C.S.C. New Carlisle Civil War Memorial New Carlisle Founded New Carlisle World War II Honor Roll Normain Heights Subdivision Notre Dame Fieldhouse Old College On This Site South Bend Was Founded People Make the Difference Perkins Windmill Pierre Freischutz Navarre Log Cabin Porter (Rea) Cemetery Replica of the Statue of Liberty Riehle Playing Field Robert Rene Cavalier Sieur DeLaSalle Rooted in Studebaker History Schuyler Colfax Sisters of the Holy Cross Sisters of the Holy Cross Marker Relocation Site of Home of Schuyler Colfax St. Joseph County Civil War Monument St. Joseph Iron Works The Historic Lincoln Highway The Mishawaka Academic and Normal Institute The Sons of Israel Synagogue Thomas A. Dooley, M.D. '48 University of Notre Dame Band Vetville Walkerton World War II Memorial
The state's capital, Indianapolis, was originally founded in 1821 as a planned city to serve as the new state capital. It was named after the Indiana tribes that once inhabited the area.

St. Joseph County, Indiana has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Miami and Potawatomi, were the original inhabitants of the area. European settlers began arriving in the early 19th century, with fur traders establishing outposts along the St. Joseph River.

In 1820, St. Joseph County was officially formed and named after the river that runs through it. South Bend, the county seat, was established in 1831 and quickly became a center of commerce and industry. The area's fertile farmland and proximity to shipping routes contributed to its growth, attracting businesses such as Studebaker, Oliver Chilled Plow Works, and Singer Sewing Machine Company.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, St. Joseph County saw significant industrialization. The automotive industry, in particular, played a key role in the county's development. South Bend became a major center for automobile manufacturing, with companies like Studebaker and Bendix Corporation employing thousands of workers. In addition to manufacturing, the county also experienced growth in education and health care, thanks to the presence of University of Notre Dame and a thriving medical community.

St. Joseph County has faced various challenges throughout its history. The Great Depression and the decline of the automotive industry in the mid-20th century had a significant impact on the local economy. However, the county has shown resilience and adaptability, diversifying its economy and focusing on sectors such as education, healthcare, and tourism. Today, St. Joseph County continues to be a vibrant and flourishing community, with a rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of community pride.

  • 1680s: Native American tribes, such as the Potawatomi, inhabit the area that would later become St. Joseph County.
  • 1820: St. Joseph County is established in the Indiana Territory.
  • 1823: South Bend, the county seat, is platted and named after its location on the bend of the St. Joseph River.
  • 1830: The University of Notre Dame is founded by Father Edward Sorin.
  • 1852: The first railroad, the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana Railroad, reaches St. Joseph County, fostering growth and economic development.
  • 1874: The St. Joseph County Public Library is established as a subscription library.
  • 1922: The Studebaker Corporation, a prominent automobile manufacturer, opens its new plant in South Bend, becoming a major employer in the region.
  • 1965: Studebaker ceases automobile production, leading to a significant economic decline in the county.
  • 1988: The College Football Hall of Fame relocates to South Bend, bringing increased tourism to the area.
  • 2004: St. Joseph County celebrates its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its establishment.