The Council House
The Council House was used by the Commissioners during negotiations and preparations of the Treaty of 1826. Following the completion of the Treaty signing, it continued to play an important role in the development of the area. In the spring of 1827, the Samuel McClure family relocated from Ohio and lived a short time in the Council House. They are regarded as the first permanent settlers in Wabash County.
In 1830 the First Post Office in Wabash County was established in the building with David Burr as Post Master. In 1832 David Burr utilized the Council House to award contracts for the construction for the Wabash and Erie Canal. In 1834 Mr. Burr and Hugh Hanna platted Wabash Town at the site. For a short time in 1834, the Council House was used for a school.
Following the establishment of Wabash in 1834, David Burr and Hugh Hanna began holding meetings and strategy sessions in the building in an attempt to get Wabash designated as the County seat. In 1835 Wabash won a close race with Lagro and was designated as the county seat.
Another early settler who left a commercial impact was Robert Hars (or Heares, Harse, Hoise and Horse). He was a friend of John Tipton. In fact, Tipton thought so highly of Hars that he recommended him to run a post office at Treaty Grounds, making him the first Post Master in Wabash County. The post office was established on January 9, 1828.
Hars was encouraged to open the first public house in Wabash County at the Treaty Grounds. He used some of the cabins for his inn. He and his wife Mary ran the public house until it was purchased by David Burr.
One of the most important settlers to Treaty Grounds was David Burr. He took over several of the cabins used by Robert Hars. Burr continued to run the public house and lived in another cabin nearby. Eventually, he also became the Post Master but he ran the post office out of his home.
William H. Coombs was the first attorney in Wabash County. He stayed at Burr’s hotel which he claimed was the best in all of northern Indiana.
Images: A picture of the Council House (upper right); A group of reenactors in period costume pose in front of the Council House for an August 2018 event (lower right). Background is an early picture of the revitalization of the grounds to create the park.