Kokomo, Indiana

kokomo indiana

Kokomo, Indiana

kokomo indiana

Kokomo, Indiana


Early history and Incorporation
The Miami man Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo, who is thought to have been one of Chief Richardville's four sons and the last of the Miami people's chiefs, inspired the name Kokomo. The town was “the ornriest town on world,” according to legend, therefore David Foster, the “Father of Kokomo,” called it after the “ornriest Indian on earth. It is believed that Kokomo was born in 1775 and passed away in 1838. The only piece of official evidence for his existence is a trading post record showing that he paid $12 for a barrel of flour for his “squaw.”

His remains were supposedly found in 1848 while a saw mill was being built, and they were re-interred in the “north-east corner” of the Pioneer Cemetery.  A Thorntown Miami named Ko-kah-mah, whose name is transcribed as Co-come-wah in the Treaty at the Forks of the Wabash in 1834, is said to be the inspiration for the name Peru Miami, according to local legend. The diver is how that name was rendered (an animal that could swim under water).

The population of Miami in Howard County (known as Richardville County until 1846) had decreased to roughly 200 by 1840 as a result of different removals. On the south side of Wildcat Creek, in the Village of Kokomo, was the main settlement. Indian routes connected Kokomo with Frankfort, Thorntown, Peru via Cassville, and Meshingomesia via Greentown (all along the Wildcat). Near the junction of the reserve border line and Wildcat Pike, David Foster operated a trading post in Howard County at the time where he engaged in both legal trade and the shady sale of alcohol to the Miamis on public property.

Foster was asked for a donation from his sizable holdings by the commissioners appointed to build the county seat soon after Richardville County was established in 1844. He possessed 67 divided lots in the business center and 552 acres (223 ha) of farmland in 1846, according to tax records. Foster's log home, log barn, and a few Miami huts were the only improvements in the area that is now Kokomo at the time of the request. Foster turned down the commissioners' request for a donation of the more fruitful property south of Wildcat Creek and instead gave 40 acres (16 ha) of “swampy” and heavily forested territory north of the creek.

Henry A. Brouse requested that the town of Kokomo be incorporated in a petition to the Howard county commissioners in June 1855. A new election was held on October 1, 1855, after the first one was cancelled (for unknown reasons). The board gave the go-ahead to incorporate after receiving a 62-3 vote in favor.

Kokomo held elections on March 31, 1865, in order to become a city. Nelson Purdum was chosen to serve as the first mayor after the resolution was approved.


Natural gas boom In Kokomo, Indiana

For some decades, natural gas had been developed in Pennsylvania and Canada; most recently, it had been developed in Findlay, Ohio. A.Y. Comstock, who had promoted the Frankfort and Kokomo Railroad, and D.C. Spraker, who would later become president of the Kokomo Rubber Company, were among a group of locals who circulated a memorandum in March 1886 seeking subscribers (at $100 each) for the purpose of boring for gas at a depth of at least 2,000 feet (610 m) below ground. 22 required subscribers weren't found until September. South of Wildcat Creek, the first rig was created. the well was sealed on October 6, 1886, after natural gas exploded from it.

The finding sparked the Indiana Gas Boom together with the well in Eaton, which started producing a little before Kokomo's.  Elwood Haynes moved to Kokomo to work as a supervisor for a gas firm with operations in Kokomo and Howard County as a direct result of this finding. The inexpensive and plentiful natural gas in Kokomo attracted the Diamond Plate Glass Company, which is now a division of PPG Industries, to the city in 1887.  Stained glass production at the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Works began in Kokomo in 1888, and it has continued ever since.


Cities of Firsts Kokomo, Indiana

Elwood Haynes is seen driving his 1894 Pioneer in a photograph taken around 1910.
A growing number of enterprises drawn to Kokomo as a result of the natural gas boom led to important technological advancements. Kokomo is formally referred to as the “City of Firsts” due to these technological and industrial accomplishments. Elwood Haynes tested his early internal combustion engine car in Kokomo on July 4, 1894, among other things, making it a pioneer in American vehicle manufacturing. Over the following several years, Haynes and his collaborators constructed a number of different automobiles; in 1898, the Kokomo, Indiana-based Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company was founded for the purpose of mass-producing commercial automobiles. Haynes later created stainless steel flatware in 1912 to provide his wife with plates that wouldn't tarnish. The first push-button automobile radio was created in 1938 by General Motors (now Aptiv) Delco Radio Division.

Kokomo is also known as the “City of Firsts” in the food sector. The first canned tomato juice was created in 1928 by Walter Kemp, Kemp Brothers Canning Co. in response to a request from a doctor looking for instant food for his clinic. The first mechanical corn picker, created by John Powell in the early 1920s, was also invented in Kokomo. The first Ponderosa Steakhouse, which debuted in Kokomo in 1965, was based there. The first McDonald's with a diner inside debuted in Kokomo and was known locally as “McDiner.” Nationally, this McDonald's theme was a failure. The “McDiner” eventually shut down and was reopened as a standard McDonald's restaurant.

The following inventions are associated with Kokomo:

  • Elwood Haynes successfully tests his “horseless vehicle” for the first time in 1894 on Pumpkinvine Pike, which is now Boulevard east of Indiana 931. (formerly U.S.31.)
  • D.C. Spraker at the Kokomo Rubber Tire Company invented the first pneumatic rubber tire in the US in 1894.
  • 1895 – William “Billy” Johnson of the Ford and Donnelly Foundry created the first aluminum casting.
  • George Kingston invented the Kingston carburetor in 1902.
  • Elwood Haynes made the initial discovery of the cobalt-base alloy Stellite in 1906.
  • Elwood Haynes created stainless steel tableware in 1912 in response to his wife's request for tarnish-resistant crockery.
  • 1918 – The Superior Machine Tool Company developed the Howitzer shell that was utilized in World War I.
  • 1918 – The Liberty Pressed Metal Company created the first aerial bomb with fins.
  • John Powell invented the automated corn picker in 1920.
  • In order to produce motor tires in large quantities, William Swern Sr. created the first tire-building machine in 1923.
  • In 1928, Walter Kemp of the Kemp Brothers Canning Company developed the first canned tomato juice in response to a doctor's need for baby food.
  • 1938 – General Motors Corporation's Delco Radio Division developed the first push-button automobile radio.
  • The US Navy's Kokomo Kids, produced by Globe American Stove Company in 1941, were the first all-metal lifeboats and rafts.
  • 1947 – General Motors' Delco Radio Division developed the first signal-seeking automobile radio.
  • The Delco Radio Division of General Motors created a transistorized signal-seeking automobile (hybrid) radio in 1956. This radio's circuitry included vacuum tubes and transistors.
  • The 1956 Chevrolet Corvette automobile models have this transistorized car radio as an option.
  • 1957 saw the introduction of an all-transistor automobile radio by General Motors' Delco Radio Division as standard equipment for the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham vehicle model.


White Ryan of Kokomo, Indiana

1989 saw Ryan White attend a fundraiser in Indianapolis.
When Ryan White was dismissed from school because of his sickness in the mid-to late 1980s, Kokomo functioned as a metaphor for the country's early ignorance and misunderstanding of AIDS. White, a teenager with hemophilia, acquired HIV through tainted blood products (Factor 8). At the time, state jail systems frequently collected blood products. Plasma from a large number of donors was combined to create Factor 8. Later, the plasma underwent heat treatment to render HIV and Hepatitis inactive.

The adolescent had been attending Western Middle School, which is located in Russiaville, but was shunned by his peers, had to have lunch alone, and was made to use a different bathroom. In Kokomo, a sizable number of parents and educators came out in favor of preventing White from attending school. Following a drawn-out administrative appeals process with the school system, White and his family were the targets of threats of violence and even had a gunshot thrown through the window of their Kokomo home. White became a national celebrity and spokesperson for AIDS research and public awareness as a result of the case's media coverage. The White family relocated to Cicero, Indiana, from Kokomo in 1987. Ryan was welcomed by staff and students at Hamilton Heights High School in adjacent Arcadia.


Fuel Tower
Since it was built in 1954, the Kokomo Gas Tower has represented Kokomo. The tower stood 378 feet (115 meters) tall and could hold 12,000,000 cubic feet of air (340,000 m3). The gas company planned to tear it down in 2003 due to hefty maintenance expenditures of $75,000 a year and up to $1,000,000 to paint it. Before making this choice, many options were considered, including one that would have made the tower into a massive Coca-Cola commercial. Controlled Demolition, Inc. destroyed the Gas Tower on September 7, 2003, around 7:30 a.m. (CDI). Public sales of the tower's fragments raised $20–$30 for Bona Vista and a projected Kokomo technology incubation center, respectively.

Many detached garages and sheds were also completely destroyed. A Kokomo receipt was found 30 miles away in Marion. The tornado's path was remarkably similar to one taken by another tornado that occurred on November 17, 2013. Scientists have found that the southern half of the city has been impacted by nearly every tornado that has hit Kokomo.


What is Kokomo Indiana famous for?

Kokomo is formally referred to as the “City of Firsts” due to these technological and industrial accomplishments. Elwood Haynes tested his early internal combustion engine car in Kokomo on July 4, 1894, among other things, making it a pioneer in American vehicle manufacturing.



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