Time Line of Howard County, 1844-1987


Ed Riley - 1844-1983
These time line events were researched by County Historian and teacher, Ed Riley, Jr. and students as a project of all Howard County Students, grades 4 - 8. It is used with permission of Mr. Riley.


Cheryl Genovese - 1979 -
As a volunteer in the Genealogy & Local history Services department, Cheryl has continued to compile the timeline events to provide an overall view of the history of Kokomo and Howard County.



Jan 15, 1844 Richardville County was organized
May 1844 County government was organized
June 1844 County was divided into three townships. (Monroe, Kokomo, & Green)
Oct 18, 1844 First sale of lots took place in Kokomo
1845 Hopewell Methodist Episcopal Church was organized
1845 Russiaville was laid out
1845 David Foster built the log courthouse
1846 Poplar Grove was laid out by Robert Coate
1846 County was divided into nine townships. (Center, Ervin, Monroe, Clay, Harrison, Taylor, Howard, Jackson, & Green)
Aug 3, 1846 Preemption law was passed by Congress, and the county land was surveyed
Dec 28, 1846 County's name was changed from Richardville to Howard
1847 Chief Francis LaFountaine died
1848 The Keats sawmill and Stonebraker Mill began operations
Apr 14, 1848 Greentown was laid out by Jesse Osborn, Tarver Segrave, and Charles O. Fry
May 1, 1848 Alto was platted
June 28, 1848 Main Street Christian Church in Russiaville organized
July 4, 1848 Settlers held a barbecue for the Indians before they moved West
July 12, 1849 The Pioneer newspaper began in New London by Dr. Moses R. Wickersham
Dec 20, 1849 John W. Kern was born in Alto. (U.S. Senator and VP Candidate for William Jenning Bryan)
1850 First census of Howard Co. showed a population of 1,857
1850 James Beard bought The Pioneer, moved it to Kokomo and renamed it The Howard Tribune
1850 Ishmael Roberts, an Afro-American, registered his "free papers" with the Howard Co. Recorder
May 29, 1850 Howard Masonic Lodge #93 was chartered
1851 Two one-story brick courthouse buildings were constructed on the square
Feb 21, 1851 Kokomo's Main St. Christian Church was organized
1853 Green and Jackson Townships were divided into three townships. (Union, Liberty, and Jackson)
June 23, 1853 West Liberty was platted
1854 Indian Reserve Bank was organized. (First bank in Howard County)
1854 The first railroad came to Kokomo
Oct 1, 1855 Kokomo was incorporated
1856 Earliest mention of an Afro-American living in New London. Thomas Roberts, a free man, helped on the Underground Railroad.
1856 The first bridge over Wildcat Creek was built in Kokomo on Union St.
March, 1858 Honey Creek Twp. was annexed to Howard County from Clinton County.
May 21, 1859 Judson Baptist Church was organized.
June 3, 1860 Thomas Hendricks and Henry S. Lane debated in Kokomo.
Apr 22, 1861 The Howard Rifles, the first unit from Howard County, left for the Civil War.

1864 -1883

1867 Kokomo-New London gravel toll road was begun
1868 Construction on the brick Victorian courthouse began
1868 Crown Point Cemetery began
1869 Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized
Oct 19, 1869 10 inch snowfall
Oct 23, 1869 Howard County Agricultrual Society was organized
1870 The 1868 brick courthouse was completed
1870 Kokomo-New London gravel toll road was completed at a cost of $27,000
1870 Kokomo's population was 2,177
1871 The west side of the square burned
1872 Kokomo High School was organized with Sheridan Cox as superintendent
1873 West Middleton was laid out by William Middleton
July 25, 1873 Howard County Grange was organized
Oct 5, 1874 Contract let for the Vermont Covered Bridge
1875 Howard County began keeping birth and death records
Feb 18, 1875 KHS held its first commencement
1876 County commissioners accepted the completed Vermont Covered Bridge
1877 Jerome was incorporated
Nov 27, 1877 David Foster died
Feb 14, 1878 James Whitcomb Riley appeared at the Kokomo Opera House
1880 Kokomo's population was 4,042
Jan 20, 1881 Russiaville fire
May 30, 1881 Kokomo held its first Memorial Day
Nov 24, 1882 Macedonia Christian Church was organized
1883 Richard Brown was the first Afro-American graduate of KHS


Dec 25, 1885 The Kokomo Public Library was established in the Normal Building with Joshua Clinton Leach as librarian
Jan 7, 1886 The first library books were loaned
Aug 31, 1886 The Crown Point Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was completed
Oct 6, 1886 Natural gas was discovered in Kokomo
1887 Kokomo Strawboard Company began
1887 Diamond Plate Glass Company began
Apr 30, 1887 Professor L. A. Tolbert ascended 1500 feet over Kokomo with his gas-filled balloon
Aug 14, 1887 Old Bob, 35-year old Civil War horse died
Nov 1 1877 Kokomo Water Works began
Sept 22, 1887 Natural gas was discovered at Greentown
1888 Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company began
1888 Rockford Bit Company began
1889 Construction began on the Seiberling Mansion
1889 Diamond Plate Glass fire
July 1, 1890 Kokomo Post Office began home delivery
1891 Kokomo's Elks Lodge was organized
July 15, 1891 Kokomo's Driving Park opened (horse racing track)
1892 Richard Bassett was the first Afro-American to be elected to the State Legislature from Howard County
1893 Construction began on Kokomo's City Hall
1893 Kokomo's population was 15,000
1893 Columbian School was built
Apr 27, 1893 The Liberty Bell stopped in Kokomo on its way to the Chicago Worlds Fair
1894 The Greentown glass factory began operations
Jan 12, 1894 The Kokomo Public Library opened in the City Hall
July 4, 1894 Elwood Haynes made his trial auto run
Oct 1894 D.C. Spraker invented the first pneumatic rubber tire at the Kokomo Rubber Tire Company
1895 William "Billy" Johnson made the first aluminum casting at the Ford and Donnelly Foundry
1895 The Pittsbugh Plate Glass Company began
1896 The Kokomo Telephone and Electric Company began
1896 The Kokomo Fence Machine Company began
Aug 15, 1896 The Kokomo Public Library opened in the stone building on Mulberry Street
1897 Great Western Pottery fire
1898 Kokomo High School burned
May 24, 1898 The Haynes Apperson Company was incorporated
Jan 12, 1901 The Kokomo Public Library opened in the Blacklidge Building
Oct 12, 1901 The American Federation of Labor was chartered
1902 President Theodore Roosevelt visited Kokomo
1902 George Kingston developed the first carburetor
Apr 6, 1902 The Knights of Columbus was organized
Sept 23, 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt spent 23 minutes campaigning in Kokomo
June 13, 1903 The Greentown glass factory was destroyed by fire


June 13, 1904 Kokomo Country Club organized
1905 Franklin D. Miller purchased the Seiberling Mansion
1905 Kokomo's population was 18,857
Jan 30, 1905 Carnegie Public Library opened
June 11, 1905 The Kokomo Glass and Manufacturing Company was destroyed by fire.
1906 Elwood Haynes invented Stellite, the wonder metal
May 19, 1908 State GAR encampment was held at Kokomo
July 10, 1908 John W. Kern of Alto was nominated for VP to run with William Jennings Bryan
Dec 2, 1909 Kokomo's Moose Lodge was organized
Dec 13, 1909 Kokomo Motor Cycle Company was incorporated
1911 The YMCA opened
1912 Good Samaritan Hospital was established by the Sisters of St. Joseph
Feb 22, 1912 Five to six foot snow drifts
Mar 22, 1913 The great Kokomo flood began
Feb 1914 First steel was produced by Kokomo Steel and Wire Company
March 24, 1914 The 1898 Kokomo High School burned
Nov 4, 1914 George Kingston purchased the Seiberling Mansion
1915 Stellite Division of Union Carbide Corporation was founded by Elwood Haynes
1916 Howard Township's schools were consolidated
June 18, 1916 The sycamore stump was moved to Highland Park
Sept 12, 1916 The cornerstone was laid for Union Township School
Feb 12, 1917 "A ROMANCE OF KOKOMO", silent movie filmed in Kokomo, opened at the Isis Theater
Mar 12, 1917 Ice storm
May 25, 1917 Howard County American Red Cross was organized
1918 The Superior Machine Tool Company made the first American howitzer shell for World War I
1918 The Libery Pressed Metal Company made the first aerial bomb with fins
1920 John Powell developed the first mechanical corn picker
1920 Indiana Bell Telephone Company began
July 11, 1920 Hailstorm
Sept 20, 1920 Douglass School opened
Oct 15, 1920 Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Kokomo
Aug 7, 1922 The Kokomo YWCA opened
1923 Armstrong-Landon fire
July 4, 1923 The greatest assemblage of Ku Klux Klan members in history converged on Kokomo andMelfalfa Park for a mighty Konklave.
Nov 24, 1923 A museum opened in the basement of the Carnegie Library


Oct 21, 1924 A marker was dedicated on the site of the first cabin in Howard County
1925 The Haynes Automobile Company and the Apperson Brothers Automobile Company closed
April 13, 1925 Elwood Haynes died
Oct 30, 1925 75th anniversary edition of the Kokomo Tribune
1926 Carl Molin invented dirilyte golden-hued tableware
1927 Kokomo Steel and Wire Company ws absorbed by Continental Steel Corporation
1927 Howard County's 1868 brick courthouse torn down
1928 Kemp Brothers Canning Factory canned the first tomatio juice
Aug 1929 Kolux Company began operations
Aug 1929 Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company closed
Sept 29, 1929 Kautz Field was dedicated
1930 Union Bank began
Mar 1931 The last known timber wolf in Howard County was killed
1936 Construction began on the present Howard County Courthouse
1936 Delco Electronics came to Kokomo
1937 Chrysler Corporation came to Kokomo
Mar 19, 1937 Russiaville fire
Oct 20, 1937 Present Howard County Courthouse was dedicated
1938 Delco produced its first push-button car radio
Sept 9, 1938 The last interurban departed from Kokomo
1939 Lowell Thomas did a radio broadcast from the Frances Hotel and lectured at Haworth Gym
1940 Carver Center began
1941 Kokomo's NAACP regained its charter
June 8, 1941 The seashore Pool opened
Dec 1941 Globe American Corporation manugactured its first all-metal lifeboat
1942 Bunker Hill (now Grissom) was built by the U.S. Navy
Feb 1942 The Carnegie Library shipped 1,000 donated books to an army air base in Illinois as a part of the National Victory Book Campaign
Nov 1943 Globe American Corporation manufactured the life raft nicknamed "Kokomo Kid" for World War II


Mar 1944 KHS boys basketball team was runner-up at the state tourney
Mar 22, 1944 KHS Haworth Gym burned
July 4, 1944 Kokomo celebrated its centennial
Dec 18, 1944 SS Kokomo Victory Cargo Ship was launched
1946 First National Bank began
Aug 12, 1946 Indiana University purchased the Seiberling Mansion
1947 Delco manufactured the first signal-seeking car radio
June 15, 1948 Carver Center was dedicated
Oct 15, 1948 President Harry S. Truman campaigned in Kokomo
1949 Cuneo Press of Indiana began operations in Kokomo
1949 American Legion Post 6 won the national American Legion color guard competition
July 16, 1949 WIOU radio station began broadcasting
1950 Memorial Gym was completed
Jan 1950 Kokomo flood
May 8, 1950 St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church was dedicated
May 8, 1950 99 day Chrysler strike ended
May 22, 1950 YWCA broke ground for a new addition
May 24, 1950 Howard Masonic Lodge #93 celebrated its centennial
Oct 1, 1950 Lake Central Airlines added Kokomo to their Cincinnati-Chicago route replacing Delta Airlines
Oct 30, 1950 The Kokomo Tribune published its centennial edition
Nov 2, 1950 U.S. 31 Bypass was opened
Nov 25, 1950 4 ft. snow drifts and 60 MPH winds
Dec 14, 1950 KHS vocational building was dedicated
Aug 1954 Kokomo and Center Twp. schools were consolidated
Dec 30, 1954 The county commissioners burned the last note on the present courthouse
1957 The Howard Co. Historical Society moved the Vermont Bridge to Highland Park
1957 Delco manufactured the first all transistor car radio
1961 KHS won the state boys basketball tourney


1964 Kokomo Mall opened
July 22, 1964 Kokomo Morning Times began publishing
1965 Indiana University Kokomo campus completed
1965 Chrysler transmission plant opened
April 11, 1965 Palm Sunday tornado!
Sept 30, 1965 Carnegie Public Library was closed because it was unsafe
Nov 1965 Carnegie Public Library demolished
Dec 15, 1966 Present Kokomo Public Library was occupied
Jan 23, 1967 Present Kokomo Public Library opened
1968 Haworth High School was completed
Apr 17, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy and wife Ethel campaigned in Kokomo
May 3, 1968 Senator Eugene McCarthy campaigned in Kokomo
1970 Delco completed a new plant on the 31-Bypass
1970 Indiana University Kokomo held its first commencement
Dec 16, 1970 Main Street Christian Church burned
1971 The Hotel Frances burned
1972 The Howard Co. Historical Society got possession of the Seiberling Museum
Aug 12, 1973 The Seiberling Museum opened
Dec 31, 1973 10 inches of snow
April 1975 Kokomo Reservoir Park being developed
1977 Union Bank Building was torn down
Jan 27, 1978 17 inches of snow with 30-65 MPH winds
1978 Kokomo Reservoir Park dedicated
1978 New Union Bank Building opened (now Society Bank)
1978 New Post Office opened
Nov 12, 1979 Delco announces they are to build a plant in Mexico to open in Summer of 1980
May 25, 1980 Janet Shirer, Bon Air teacher, is stabbed to death—a Kokomo unsolved Crime
Sep 8, 1980 Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan appears in parking lot of Kokomo Mall on campaign stop
Jan 1, 1981 Kokomo Public Library becomes Kokomo-Howard County Public Library
Dec 29, 1982 Country Western singer Sylvia, a Northwestern High School graduate, attains a gold record of her hit single “Nobody”
1983 New City Hall opened
Dec 29, 1982

Country Western singer Sylvia, a Northwestern High School graduate, attains a gold record of her hit single “Nobody”

Feb 6, 1984

Kokomo-Center School Corporation board approves plans to revamp School usage to K-4, 5-7, 8-9 at the KHS building, and 10-12 at Haworth Building

May 25, 1984

Haworth High School graduates its final class

Aug 8, 1984

Kokomo native Judi Brown wins Olympic silver medal in women’s 400 meter hurdles

May 5, 1985

Civic Center Tower for senior citizens is dedicated

Jul 30, 1985 Western School Corporation bars Ryan White from attending classes
Feb 17, 1986 Continental Steel closes—leading to unemployment and pension default
Jun 13, 1986 Matterhorn Productions Group of Los Angeles comes to Kokomo to begin Work on “Terror Squad” starring Chuck Connors, filmed at the old Kokomo High School building and areas around Kokomo
Apr 14, 1987 A bomb explodes in the sheriff’s office at the Howard County Courthouse, Killing the bomber and injuring 4 others