Total Population:

1,579 

Total Households:

583 

Government Structure:

City Council 

Major Employer:

 

Uniroyal Goodrich 

Brief Early History: 

Woodburn began as a station on the Wabash railroad called Phelps Station.  It was located on the edge of the "Great Black Swamp" which was densely forested and populated with numerous flocks of pigeons and many deer, which made it popular for hunting but was a barrier to early settlement.  The construction of the canal and railroad lines in the area made the drainage conditions worse.  Woodburn was platted in 1865 by Joseph K. Edgerton and Joseph Smith.  In 1871 a massive forest fire destroyed most of the forested areas.  After the fire, growth of the town came to a standstill and eventually declined to almost nothing.  In order to address the drainage issues, a ditch, referred to as "Edgerton State Line Ditch" was dredged along the Indiana / Ohio state line.   The ditch improved drainage flow and turned the swamps into good farming ground which revived the town and allowed it to grow once again.  In 1895 William Gernhardt platted an addition to the town which he called Shirley City after James Shirley.  The town was incorporated under the same name and was known for a time as the smallest incorporated town in Indiana.  In February 1956 a special town meeting was held and the name was changed back to Woodburn. 

 

 

 

 

 

Source for Demographics:     U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000

 

 

 

 

 

Sources for History:

 

 

       

 

 

B.J. Griswold and Mrs. Samuel R. Taylor, History of Fort Wayne and Allen County. Vol. 1 Robert O. Law Company, Chicago: 1917

 

 

 

 

 

Glass, Wendell C., The towns of Allen County 1967

 

 

 

 

 

Woodburn Centennial History 1965

 



Copyright © 2005 - 2017 City of Fort Wayne. All Rights Reserved.