The first recorded train robbery in the United States took place in Indiana in 1866. A gang of thieves robbed the Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad, making off with over $96,000 in cash and gold.

Whitley County, Indiana, located in the northeastern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The county was officially established in 1838 and named after Colonel William Whitley, a well-known military officer and frontiersman of the time. Before its establishment, the area was primarily inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Miami and Potawatomi.

During the mid-1800s, Whitley County experienced rapid growth and development, largely due to the completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1840. The canal served as a vital transportation route, connecting the county to major cities and markets in the region. The canal era brought economic prosperity to the county, attracting settlers and businesses.

The mid- to late-1800s saw Whitley County's transition from an agricultural community to a more industrialized one. The arrival of railroads further stimulated growth, as it allowed for easier transportation of goods and raw materials. This period witnessed the establishment of various industries, such as flour mills, sawmills, and manufacturing plants, which contributed to the county's economy and employment opportunities.

Throughout the 20th century, Whitley County experienced both challenges and progress. The Great Depression in the 1930s had a significant impact on the county's economy, but it began to recover during World War II, with the expansion of defense-related industries. In more recent years, Whitley County has seen growth and diversification in its economy, with the development of the agricultural, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. The county continues to thrive as a community that cherishes its historical roots while embracing modern advancements.

  • 1835 - Whitley County is established on April 1.
  • 1845 - Eagleson's Indian Cemetery is established.
  • 1846 - The first permanent white settlers arrive in the county.
  • 1848 - Columbia City becomes the county seat.
  • 1850 - The population of Whitley County reaches 7,379.
  • 1861 - Whitley County sends soldiers to fight in the American Civil War.
  • 1871 - The first oil well is drilled in the county.
  • 1909 - The construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad begins in Whitley County.
  • 1919 - Tri-State Telephone Company is established in the county.
  • 1930 - The population of Whitley County reaches 20,483.
  • 1965 - Tri-Lakes Sewer District is established.
  • 1970 - Parkview Whitley Hospital opens.
  • 1983 - The Whitley County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1990 - The population of Whitley County reaches 27,017.
  • 2009 - The Blue River Trail is established for recreational use.