Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

The formation and naming of territories, counties, and townships in the United States follows a rather interesting pattern. In 1803 the United states purchased a large area west of the Mississippi river; known as Louisiana Territory. Several years later, however, we find the name Louisiana applied only to the area around the mouth of the Mississippi. In 1803 Indiana territory included approximately what is now the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. by 1816 the name Indiana applied only to what is now the State of Indiana.

This practice of dividing an area, but at the same time holding the original name and applying it to one small part of the area has been followed in regard to counties and townships also.

For years the land which now is Kosciusko county was a part of Knox county. Later it became, in succession, part of Allen, Cass and Elkhart counties.

Vincennes, Fort Wayne, Logansport, and Goshen were at one time county seats of this region. It might be noted here that there was no white settlement in the area which became Kosciusko county until the period when Goshen was the county seat.

In 1833 Turkey Creek township included all of what is now Kosciusko county and was attached to Elkhart county. Three years later Kosciusko county was organized and Turkey Creek township was reduced to an area of 126 square miles. In 1838 it was further reduced to its present size of 36 square miles.

The area now comprising the nine central and southern townships of our county was once Wayne township. The townships of Jefferson, Prairie, Franklin, Clay and Jackson were all larger at one time than they are now. Creation of new townships reduced them in size.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Jan. 27, 1953