to the Allen County
Community Album. The Allen County Public Library is pleased to offer
access to these collections. These collections are continually being expanded
and enhanced. Additional collections will be added as time and resources
The Historic Photographs were originally part of the Allen County Public
Library’s Indiana Collection Vertical File. The images consist primarily
of photographs donated to the library from various sources, including
private collections and the Fort Wayne newspapers. Some library staff
members photographed buildings or places of interest and donated snapshots.
Although there are photographs from all over Indiana, most have a Fort
Wayne or Allen County emphasis. There are some photos from the 1880s and
1890s, but most date from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The library still
maintains the original photographs in its special collections. While not
comprehensive, this collection provides an interesting look at the Fort
Wayne that was.
Fort Wayne and Allen County History Collection:
This collection, continually expanding through the cooperative efforts
area citizens, contains images of people, places, and organizations in
Fort Wayne, Allen County, and northeast Indiana. These images have been
provided to the library for the Allen County Community Album, or the original
photographs have been loaned to the library to scan and mount in the album.
As it grows, this collection will become an increasingly important complement
to the Historic Photos Collection in capturing the memories of this community.
P. Randall Collection:
Franklin P. Randall (1812-1892) was an attorney, state legislator, and
Fort Wayne's "Civil War mayor." With his wife Mary Jane (Reed)
(1829-1912), he was the father of seven children. The family was prominent
in Fort Wayne society. One daughter, Mrs. Caroline Fairbank, was a leader
in the local Women's Suffrage movement. A son, Alfred "Larry"
Randall, opened the city's first automobile dealership, and his wife,
Grace (Hayden), also came from a prominent local family. The photograph
collection contains images dating from the 1850s to the 1920s and consists
mainly of portraits of members of the Randall and Hayden families and
their friends, as well as pictures of the Randall home at the corner of
Lafayette and Berry streets.
Elmhurst High School Memories
Elmhurst High School closed its doors in the summer of 2010 after almost
80 years educating young people in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Many who walked
through its halls have fond memories of the school, including the 2009
Girls Basketball State Championship, 1984 Regional Title in Boys
Basketball, and the Elmhurst Jazz Festival held from 1970 to 1994. James
Hardy, who plays for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, set records in the
Summit Athletic Conference while playing basketball for Elmhurst. More than
two thousand images of the school and its history are presented here.
Contact The Genealogy Center if you have images you’d like to contribute to
this Community Album.
Fighter Photographs Collection:
The Fire Fighter Photograph images are from the collection of Donald A.
Weber, a retired professional fire fighter and photographer, as well as
from the personal collections of fire fighters Mr. Weber knew or with
whom he worked. Not only do these images portray the important work of
the Fort Wayne Fire Department over many decades, they also provide glimpses
of Fort Wayne buildings, fire fighting equipment, and streetscapes no
longer in existence.
Harter Postcard Collection
This collection of Fort Wayne, Indiana postcards was assembled over a period of more than thirty-five years by the author of Postcard History: Fort Wayne, Randolph L. Harter, with the assistance of his wife Patricia K. Harter. This rare collection has been gifted to the ACPL by the Harters, and pictorially covers 20th century Fort Wayne, with the majority of the images coming from the “Golden Age” of postcards, a period from about 1905-1917. Included in this valuable collection are several thousand views covering Fort Wayne schools, hospitals, parks, hotels, restaurants, retailers, business and industry, transportation, government buildings, aerial and street views, vistas and local fire, flood and train disasters.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod–Indiana District Photographs
The Indiana District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), originally the Central District, was organized in 1857 in Fort Wayne. This online collection consists of various pictures during numerous conventions of the district, and pictures of the leaders and officers of the church body as well as church buildings. A number of the earlier conventions were held on the campus of Concordia Theology Seminary in Fort Wayne.
/ Ternet Collection:
This collection consists of a large number of images collected by Lois
Ternet, long-time editor of the Monroeville News. Dating from the 1870s
to the twenty-first century, the photographs serve as a documentary record
of the people, buildings, and farms of the town of Monroeville and Monroe
Township, located in the southeastern corner of Allen County. Hundreds
of people, most identified, appear in the images, often in poses that
reflect the ordinary activity of life in this rural community. The collection
includes some aerial photographs, as well as many images of local buildings,
businesses, sports teams, and the interurban.
Nickel Plate Road Collection:
This collection contains pictures of the elevation of the Nickel Plate Road (now the Norfolk & Southern) from the opening of bids and groundbreaking (December 15, 1953) to the dedication (October 4, 1955). This enormous project cost $9 million and entailed building seven grade crossings and elevating the tracks west for two miles between Coombs Street and Fairfield Avenue. All photos were taken by Sgt. Ellsworth Crick, photographer for the Fort Wayne Police Department, and were the official recording of the progress of the project.
Quest Club Papers
The Quest Club was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1911 as a venue for exchanging economic and commercial information among business leaders. Over time, the scope of the club broadened to include a wide range of other topics, such as history, science, literature, ethics, politics, religion, and current events. The club attracted many business and civic leaders, who were assigned to present papers on these topics, usually outside of their chosen fields of expertise. The papers are a rich trove of information about what leaders thought on a variety of subjects.
Quest Club Papers Recordings
Some of the Quest Club presentations were audio-recorded. A number of these recordings have been digitized and are presented here.
Summer Storm 2012
On Friday, June 29, 2012, an unusually strong thunderstorm known as a "derecho" moved through much of the Midwest. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana area were left without power; countless buildings and many properties were damaged from fallen trees. This collection represents photographs contributed by the community to document this event.
Woodburn Historical Society:
The Woodburn Historical Society Collection consists of photographs
depicting life in the town of Woodburn and surrounding Maumee Township
from the late nineteenth through twentieth centuries. The collection
includes a number of postcard views of Woodburn, a portion of which
was also known as Shirley City, as well as aerial views and a number
of snapshots. Many of the snapshots were taken in the post war era
of 1947. The collection also contains photographs of several of the
town's founders and civic leaders, as well as pictures of schools and
rare images of two of the early log cabins in the township.
in Allen County
The Allen County Public Library received the community's help to document
specific days in Allen County, Indiana. We asked residents to take
photos of what happened in our county for twenty-four hours on these
dates, and here are the results:
April 26, 2006 | February 21, 2007 | March 7, 2008 | April 16, 2009 | March 20, 2010
Teen Photography Contests
Sponsored by the Young Adults' Department of the Allen County Public Library, these photography contests provide a venue for showcasing teen talent in our community. Each year link provides the winners and their photographs for that particular year.
2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
For additional information, please contact:
The Genealogy Center
Allen County Public
P.O. Box 2270
Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270