Wanamaker, Indiana

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Wanamaker, Indiana
New Bethel
Wanamaker, Indiana is located in Indiana
Wanamaker, Indiana
Wanamaker, Indiana
Location of Wanamaker in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 39°42′15.9114″N 86°00′34.668″W / 39.704419833°N 86.00963000°W / 39.704419833; -86.00963000
Country United States
State Indiana
County Marion
City Indianapolis
Founded 1834
Named for John Wanamaker
Government
 • Senate Patricia Miller (R)
 • House Michael Speedy (R)
Elevation[1] 840 ft (260 m)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 46239
Area code(s) 317
GNIS feature ID 440019[2]
[3]

Wanamaker is a community of Indianapolis located in southeastern Marion County, Indiana. It is situated 9 miles (14 km) southeast of downtown Indianapolis in north central Franklin Township. The community is concentrated near the intersection of Southeastern Avenue and Northeastern Avenue. The town was built along the historic Michigan Road.

History[edit]

The Adams Family[edit]

In 1825, Reuben Adams came from New Liberty, Kentucky to settle the land in the newly established State of Indiana. Adams cleared a plot of land, planted crop, and built a log cabin, after which he returned to Kentucky to bring his family to Indiana. Not long after the move to his new home Reuben became sick and died in 1826, leaving his widow, Mary Adams to raise eleven children in the Indiana wilderness. In 1834, Mary Adams had John H. Messinger lay out the town of New Bethel (the original name of Wanamaker) from a portion of her farmland. The town plat was recorded on March 24, 1834. The source of the name New Bethel came from the local New Bethel Baptist Church.[4][5]

Post Office Namesake[edit]

The Gallaudet post office was established on January 30, 1854. For a many years mail was brought by carrier from Gallaudet to New Bethel. In 1889, a post office was established in Sutherland's Store in New Bethel. The office was named Wanamaker instead of New Bethel because there was already a post office in Indiana called Bethel. The post office was named after John Wanamaker, who was United States Postmaster General at the time. The name Wanamaker over time became synonymous with the town of New Bethel. In 1914, after the store burned the post office was moved across the street to a general store and an interurban ticket office. In 1920, the post office once again moved to a new building at the location were the Sutherland Store had burned. On July 1, 1943, the post office advanced to Third Class office, and on July 1, 1952, it advanced to Second Class office. On May 1, 1960, it was made a branch of the Indianapolis Post Office. A new postal facility was built in 1965 with the dedication ceremony held March 13, 1965.[6]

For many years highway signs bore both the names New Bethel and Wanamaker. The name Wanamaker came to be accepted as the predominant local name for businesses, churches, and schools in the community. In the 1960s, the town's name was officially changed to Wanamaker after multiple proposals had been rejected by the Indiana Board of Geographic Names.[7]

In 1970, the town was annexed into Indianapolis after the city and Marion County consolidated under Unigov.

Gallaudet Station[edit]

In the 1800s, Gallaudet Station, also known simply as Gallaudet was a post office and train station on the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago Railway. Gallaudet Station was located 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Wanamaker. Because of the close proximity to the station, Wanamaker and the area south of it was sometimes referred to as Gallaudet or Gallaudet Station.[8]

Michigan Road[edit]

The main thoroughfare in Wanamaker, Southeastern Avenue, runs over the original alignment of the historic Michigan Road. Michigan Road was one of Indiana's earliest roads and the state's first "super highway". Built in the 1830s and 1840s, the road ran from Madison to Michigan City, via Indianapolis.[9]

Public schools[edit]

Franklin Township Community School Corporation schools serve the Wanamaker area. Depending on a student's grade, a student in the immediate community would attend either Acton Elementary School or Wanamaker Elementary School, Kitley Intermediate School, Franklin Township Middle School East, or Franklin Central High School.

Public services[edit]

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indiana State Police provide law enforcement for the community. The Indianapolis Fire Department serves the Wanamaker area.

The United States Post Office Wanamaker Branch provides local postal services.

Churches[edit]

  • Franklin Central Christian Church
  • Maple Hill United Methodist Church
  • Nativity Catholic Church
  • New Bethel Baptist Church
  • Wanamaker Church of Christ

Festivals[edit]

Old Settler's Day[edit]

Since the late 1980s, community service organizations have been hosting Old Settler's Day, a street fair, in downtown Wanamaker. Wanamaker's main thoroughfare, Southeastern Avenue, is closed from Northeastern Avenue to McGaughey Road for the event. Vendors set up booths the length of the avenue and sell concessions and unique products. The Classic Car Show is held in conjunction with Old Settler's Day, rain or shine. Trophies are awarded to the top three in each official car class, and special awards are presented for various achievements.[10] The festivities are concluded by a large firework show at Franklin Central High School. All the money for the firework show is donated via the community.

Highways[edit]

I-74.svg Interstate 74

Notable people from Wanamaker[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elevation on Geographic Names Information System". United States Geological Survey. February 14, 1979. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Geographic Names Information System Feature ID". United States Geological Survey. February 14, 1979. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Variant Name Citation: New Bethel". United States Geological Survey. December 31, 1981. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ Sulgrove, Berry Robinson (1884). History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana (Part 2). L.H. Everts & Company. p. 525. 
  5. ^ The History of New Bethel/Wanamaker. Indianapolis: Franklin Township Historical Society. 2003 [1984]. pp. 26–27. 
  6. ^ The History of New Bethel/Wanamaker. Indianapolis: Franklin Township Historical Society. 2003 [1984]. p. iv. 
  7. ^ "BGN Subject Folders on Geographic Names Information System". United States Geological Survey. 1963–1968. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ Sulgrove, Berry Robinson (1884). History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana (Part 2). L.H. Everts & Company. p. 526. 
  9. ^ The Historic Michigan Road. The Historic Michigan Road Association (HMRA). 2013 http://historicmichiganroad.org/directions.html |url= missing title (help). Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ Old Settler's Days

Coordinates: 39°42′16″N 86°00′35″W / 39.70444°N 86.00972°W / 39.70444; -86.00972