Peoria, Miami County, Indiana
|Elevation||705 ft (215 m)|
|GNIS feature ID||441011|
Peoria is an unincorporated community in Butler Township, Miami County, Indiana. Named for the Peoria Clan, a subgroup of the Miami Indian Nation that still inhabits Miami County, Peoria has deep roots in the integration of Native Americans and Indiana settlers in the mid-19th century.
Established in the 1840s by the Litzenberger brothers, Peoria was once known as "Pucker Brush." The white settlers found prosperity similar to that experienced by the Native Americans in this region of the Mississinewa River. A ford and trading post made Peoria a convenient stop for people between the nearby communities of Peru, Wabash and Marion. It is located near the Miami Indian historic trading grounds known as "Seven Pillars."
Peoria was laid out in 1845 by Isaac Litzenberger. Litzenberger soon opened a store. When the railroad was built in Miami County, it was not extended to Peoria, and the town declined.
The Peoria Church and Peoria Cemetery are the only remaining institutions from the pioneer days. Peoria Church was founded by an early Butler Township settler, Benjamin Hahn. Hahn and his wife Anna lost their firstborn son in the area of Pucker Brush and decided to stay. In a revival meeting in 1856, Hahn had a Christian conversion experience and started a church on his homestead. The congregation is an independent community church with many connections to Hahn and other pioneer families. There are 75 members and the congregation remains active in the community as a house of worship and provider of charitable assistance in the community.
Mississinewa Reservoir and other attractions
In 1962, the Army Corps of Engineers began the Mississinewa Lake Dam project and moved the church and cemetery about 1/4 mile. The reservoir is still a year-round attraction for hunters and fishermen and a summer draw for boaters, swimmers, campers and hikers. There are a number of fishing and state recreation areas adjacent to the reservoir.
Other area attractions include the Frances Slocum Burial Site and Cemetery (a Miami Indian shrine), the Chief Richardville home, the Peru Circus Hall of Fame, Cole Porter's family farm, the "Old Fashioned Garden" (popularized by Cole Porter) and Seven Pillars.
Students from Peoria attend Maconaquah Schools.
Peoria is located at Missinewa River. Non-agricultural lands are predominantly wooded by native Indiana hardwoods.. The terrain is rolling and bisected by the
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Bodurtha , Arthur Lawrence (1914). History of Miami County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests. Lewis Pub. p. 198.
The Legacy of Peoria United Methodist Church by Betty Robison Ames and the late Edith Winn, and the late Anna Faye Wimmer, published by the Church in 1993. Annual volumes were published for five years following.
Peoria, an unpublished novel by Pastor Brian Daniels, 2006.
Peoria Cemetery records, held by the Peoria Cemetery Board and sexton.
Peoria Church records, located at the Church, 5575 E 325 S, Peru, Indiana, 46970.