Fort Wayne is a city in northeastern Indiana, USA and the county seat of Allen County. Fort Wayne is Indiana's second largest city after Indianapolis. As of 2007, the city has an estimated population of 248,637, making it the 70th largest city in the U.S.. In 2005, the combined metropolitan population was 565,606. Nearly equidistant from Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit, it has historically served as a transportation and communications center for the region, and an incubator for many products and companies.
Fort Wayne is named after Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne. The United States Army built this last in a series of forts near the community of Kekionga, the largest of all Miami villages, which is located where the St. Joseph River and St. Marys River join to form the Maumee River.
In the mid-20th century, Fort Wayne was a major manufacturing center of the northeastern United States. Major employers included General Electric, Westinghouse, International Harvester, and Tokheim gasoline pumps. Phelps Dodge, Rea Wire, and Essex Wire comprised the largest concentration of copper and enamel wire manufacturing in the world.
In the latter half of the 20th century, shifts in manufacturing patterns led to the reduction of the number of manufacturing plants and jobs. However, as of 2006 the top employer of full-time employees in Fort Wayne is General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly (2981 employees) where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks are assembled.
Reflecting the transition of the city's economy to health services, aerospace and communications engineering, insurance, and consumer services, other non-governmental employers within the top ten (ranked by number of full-time employees in 2006) are: Lutheran Health Network, Parkview Health Systems, ITT Aerospace & Communications Division, Lincoln Financial Group, and Scott's Food & Pharmacy.
Population by year
The first census, performed in 1744 on the order by the governor of Louisiana, revealed a population of approximately forty Frenchmen and one thousand Miami.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 205,727 people, 83,333 households, and 50,666 families residing in the city. There are 90,915 housing units at an average density of 444.6/km² (1,151.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 75.45% White, 17.38% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.91% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. 5.78% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 83,333 households out of which 31.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.9% are married couples living together, 14.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% are non-families. 32.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.41 and the average family size is 3.08.
In the city the population is spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $36,518, and the median income for a family is $45,040. Males have a median income of $34,704 versus $25,062 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,517. 12.5% of the population and 9.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.5% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Fort Wayne has a large number of bars and music venues. However, the night life in Fort Wayne does not center around the downtown area like most cities. Although downtown Fort Wayne is home to the Embassy Theater and the Grand Wayne Center, the downtown night life is generally located on the small strip named Columbia Street or "The Landing" near the City County Building. A few dance clubs and the corner bar "Columbia Street West" (Current Name) which is home to the Midwest Original Music Showcase (MOMS) occupy this area. Fort Wayne is home to Piere's, the largest bar/club in the Midwest. In 2006, Piere's was rated 4th in the entire world for ticket sales in 21+ venues.
Fort Wayne's first park, the 0.2 acre (800 m²) Old Fort Park, was established in 1863. The newest park, the 170 acre (690,000 m²) Salomon Farm Park, was established in 1995. As of 2005, the city had 87 parks covering 2,199.55 acres (8.9 km²).
For the complete list, see List of media in Fort Wayne, Indiana
The major newspaper in the city is the independent Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, a daily that has more than twice the circulation of the city's second daily, the Ogden Newspaper Group-owned Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. The two dailies have separate editorial departments, but under a joint operating agreement, printing, advertising, and circulation are handled by Fort Wayne Newspapers, Inc., which is 75 percent owned by the News-Sentinel, 25 percent owned by the Journal Gazette.
The city also is served by several free weekly and monthly alternative and neighborhood newspapers, including two that serve the African American community, Ink and Frost Illustrated. Another independently owned free entertainment weekly, Whatzup, has flourished, boasting a average weekly readership of around 50,000. Whatzup also organizes a popular Battle of the Bands event through each summer, as well as a local art & entertainment awards show called The Whammies.
WGL, Fort Wayne's first radio station, began broadcasting in 1924; it currently broadcasts "oldies" and CBS newscasts. WOWO, the city's second radio station, began broadcasting in 1925; it is now a news and information station, featuring local and network news from Fox and ABC. The city has two National Public Radio stations, WBNI and WBOI, both on FM.
Fort Wayne's first television station was WKJG-TV, which began broadcasting in 1953. Today the city is served by a handful of television stations as the 106th-largest media market. Broadcast network affiliates include WANE-TV (CBS), WFFT-TV (FOX), WISE-TV (NBC), and WPTA (ABC). Fort Wayne's PBS Member station is WFWA. Religious broadcasters include WINM and W07CL.
UPN and The WB were primarily local cable television channels, also broadcast as digital television sub-channels on the WANE and WPTA, respectively. The CW Network and My Network TV also are cable-only for many Fort Wayne market viewers as they are broadcast by digital sub-channels of WPTA and WISE, respectively, and not broadcast on an NTSC channel.
Fort Wayne and its suburbs are the home to a number of notable architectural structures, including:
Fort Wayne is the home of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), with an enrollment of 11,755 is the 5th-largest public university campus in Indiana. The city also holds the main campus of the Northeast Region of Ivy Tech Community College, the second-largest public community college campus in the state. Indiana University (IU) maintains the third public higher educational facility in the city with the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education, a branch of the IU School of Medicine.
Fort Wayne's private colleges and universities include religious-affiliates and secular institutions. Religious-affiliated schools include the University of Saint Francis (Roman Catholic), Concordia Theological Seminary (Lutheran), an Adult Learning Center of Concordia University Wisconsin (Lutheran) and Taylor University Fort Wayne (Evangelical Christian) and Indiana Wesleyan University (Wesleyan Church). Non-religious colleges and universities include the Indiana Institute of Technology (IIT) as well as regional branches of Tri-State University, Indiana Business College and International Business College.
As the largest city in Allen County, Fort Wayne geographic boundaries extend into each of the four elementary, middle and high school districts in the county. Most of Fort Wayne Community Schools is located within the Fort Wayne city limits; the district also extends into Pleasant Township on the south and into unincorporated areas of Wayne, St. Joseph and Washington Townships. Most of southeastern and parts of eastern Fort Wayne lies within the East Allen County Schools district, while the northern and northwestern part of the city lies in the Northwest Allen County Schools district. The 2006 annexation of a large swath of Aboite Township extended Fort Wayne into the remaining school district in the county, Southwest Allen County Schools.
Beside its "Summit City" nickname, Fort Wayne also is informally called the "City of Churches" by some of its residents; a nickname that stretches back to the late 1800s when the city was the hub of regional Catholic and Lutheran faiths. Until the building of the Lincoln Bank Tower in 1929, church and cathedral spires dominated the city's skyline.
Fort Wayne is the principal see-city of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend whose region includes Northeastern and North central Indiana. The principal cathedral of the diocese is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located in downtown Fort Wayne.
As of May 2006, three national Christian congregations were headquartered in Fort Wayne: the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association, Missionary Church, Inc. and the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (formerly Evangelical Mennonite Church).
Many celebrities, politicians, writers, inventors and business were born or raised or made their mark in history while living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Perhaps one of the most enduring famous residents of Fort Wayne was pioneer horticulturalist and Swedenborgian missionary, John Chapman, who is better known in American folklore as Johnny Appleseed, buried in Johnny Appleseed Park. Another famous resident (but also not a native) of Fort Wayne was Philo Farnsworth, best known for inventing the first completely electronic television.
A regional center of the arts, Fort Wayne has been the birthplace of stars of Broadway, film and television. These include film actress Carole Lombard, and television actors Shelley Long of Cheers, Dan Butler of Frasier, Dick York of Bewitched, and Jenna Fisher of The Office. Fashion designer Bill Blass was born in Fort Wayne, as was author and mythology expert Edith Hamilton, and her sister, Dr. Alice Hamilton.
Many business leaders were born or raised in Fort Wayne, including Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International, Angie Hicks, founder of national consumer network Angie's List, and industrialist Fred Zollner, founder of the National Basketball Association and the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (later renamed the Detroit Pistons).
Fort Wayne natives who entered politics include former U.S. Surgeon General Leonard Andrew Scheele, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia E. Ross Adair, and former United States Secretary of the Treasury and first Comptroller of the Currency, Hugh McCulloch, the namesake of Fort Wayne's McCulloch Park.
The following links are references for more information or provided source material for the information provided in the above article: