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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Geneva Downtown Historic District Geneva Downtown Historic District

Geneva Downtown Historic DistrictGeneva Downtown Historic District

Location: Line and High Streets, Geneva. (Adams County, Indiana)

Installed: 2006 Indiana Historical Bureau, Adams County Community Foundation, and Geneva Proud/Geneva Chamber of Commerce

ID# : 01.2006.1

Text

Side one:

Adams County formed 1835. Geneva incorporation 1874 included early towns Alexander and Buffalo. During 1890s oil boom, population and businesses grew. Fire destroyed much of town 1895; Geneva Board of Trustees banned wooden buildings, mandated stone, iron, or brick buildings along part of Line Street.

Side two:

By end of 1895, twenty-four new brick business buildings completed here. District (144-455 East Line Street) retains look of late 1800s commercial center because most buildings were constructed concurrently, as evidenced by architectural details. Listed in National Register of Historic Places 2002."

Keywords

Business, Industry, and Labor, Historic District, Neighborhoods, and Towns, Buildings and Architecture

Annotated Text

Adams County formed 1835.(2) Geneva incorporation 1874(3) included early towns Alexander and Buffalo.(4) During 1890s oil boom, population and businesses grew.(5) Fire destroyed much of town 1895;(6) Geneva Board of Trustees banned wooden buildings, mandated stone, iron, or brick buildings along part of Line Street.(7)

By end of 1895, twenty-four new brick business buildings completed here.(8) District (144-455 East Line Street)(9) retains look of late 1800s commercial center because most buildings were constructed concurrently, as evidenced by architectural details.(10) Listed in National Register of Historic Places 2002.(11)

(1) The official title for the listed district is Geneva Downtown Commercial Historic District, 1882-1951. Historic Indiana, 2003-2004: A Guide to Indiana Properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places (Indianapolis, 2002), 12. (B00548)

(2) Adams County was formed by statute of February 7, 1835, effective upon publication of the statute. The county was organized, with county commissioners, by an act of January 23, 1836, effective March 1, 1836. George Pence & Nellie C. Armstrong, Indiana Boundaries: Territory, State, and County (Indianapolis, 1933), 224. (B00549)

(3) Indiana State Archives finding aid supplied by Davenport Geographic Information Service, January 14, 1998. (B00550)

(4) According to Ronald L. Baker, citing Works Progress Administration files, the town of Alexander, named for Alexander Hill, was platted in 1838 by Charley Lindley. Buffalo platted in 1853 by David Studebaker. Post office established in Limberlost in 1841. He writes that Alexander and Buffalo consolidated as Geneva in 1871. Ronald L. Baker, From Needmore to Prosperity: Hoosier Place Names in Folklore and History (Bloomington, 1995), 143. (B00552)

Wayne Guthrie indicates that the incorporation of Geneva was January 27, 1874, and included Alexander, Buffalo, and the railroad station named Geneva, which was completed in 1872. "Hoosier Author, Town Shared Name, " Indianapolis News, September 1, 1971, 53 c. 1. (B00553)

Baumgartner provides more detail, but agrees with the information in "Hoosier Author, Town Shared Name." "The Town of Geneva, " in Alan S. Baumgartner, Geneva- and Area- Centennial, 1872-1972 (Geneva, 1972), 7 - 9. (B00554) Limber Lost post office established 1841; post office changed to Geneva [the railroad station] in 1872. J. David Baker, The Postal History of Indiana, 2 vols. (Louisville, Ky., 1976), 2: 970. (B00555) Email (B00556)

(5) "Statistics of Population, " Census Book, Table 5, p. 118, from STATS Indiana, Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, http://www.stats.indiana.edu/population/PopTotals/historic_counts_cities.html (accessed April 13, 2005); (B00557) "Geneva, " Geneva Herald, December 20, 1895; (B00558)

(6) "Geneva in Ashes, The Enterprising Oil Town Swept by Fire, " The Fort Wayne Journal, June 13, 1895. (B00560)

(7) Geneva Board of Trustees minutes, June 12, 1895. (B00561)

(8) "Geneva, " Geneva Herald, December 20, 1895. (B00558)

(9) Historic Indiana, p. 12. (B00548)

(10) "Geneva Downtown Commercial Historic District, " National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, United States Department of Interior Natioanl Park Service, p. 1 and section 7, p. 1. (B00563)

(11) Historic Indiana, 12. (B00548)