Hoosier Dusty Files - April 20, 1839 - Wabash and Erie Canal Opened to Logansport

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

April 20, 1839 - Wabash and Erie Canal Opened to Logansport
By autumn, 1838 workers had dug the channel for the Wabash and Erie Canal through to Logansport, Indiana. However, the official opening was not until the following spring on April 20, 1839.
The 1818 Treaty with the Pottawatomie, signed by the Pottawatomie Tribe and Commissioners of the United States Governor Jonathon Jennings, Lewis Cass, and Benjamin Parke opened up the area that became Logansport. After the treaty signing, settlers began moving into the area. By 1828, the population was sufficient to form a county, which became called Cass County after Lewis Cass. The fertile land at the union of the Eel and Wabash Rivers was an ideal spot to begin a settlement. According to local lore, the new town received its name because of a shooting contest between Hugh McKeen, an early settler, and Colonel John B. Duret. The winner would get to choose the name of the new town. Duret won the contest and chose the name, Logan’s Port, naming if for an Amerindian scout for William Henry Harrison during the War of 1812 named Captain Logan.
Captain Logan (c. 1774 - November 25 1812)
Captain Logan (James Renick-Logan) served as a valuable scout for William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. There are two versions about the origins of Captain Logan’s ancestry, one that he was half-Shawnee/half European and the other that he was full-blooded Shawnee. Harrison admired Captain Logan, and the scout gained fame in Indiana due to his exploits in the service of Harrison. Thus, when Logansport incorporated in 1838, it chose the name Logan’s Port, naming it for the new port the Wabash and Erie Canal provided and Captain Logan. The name became shortened to Logansport.
Transportation Hub
Logansport's location along the Wabash and Erie Canal provided a means for its early growth. The Michigan Road, which traveled from the Ohio River through Indianapolis to Michigan, also went through the town. Later, railroads provided a dependable means of transportation after the demise of the canal.
Historic Attractions in Logansport
Cass County Historical Museum
1004 East Market
Logansport, IN
Dentzel Carousel
1208 Riverside
Logansport, IN
For information on the lodging, dining, shopping and other attractions of Logansport, contact:

Cass County Visitor's Bureau
PO Box 281
311 S 5th St
Logansport IN

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning