Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Most of the early settlers of our county came to the prairie lands in the north central section. Levi Lee saw the need for a trading center for the area, and in August 1835 he laid out a village on the land which he owned. This town was appropriately named Leesburg after its founder.

At this time Kosciusko count was not organized, but it was generally understood that the area would soon become a county. As Leesburg was the center of activity, it expected to become the county seat. This village had one big disadvantage, however. Because of the slowness of travel in those days, it was imperative that the seat of justice be in the geographical center of the county. Leesburg was six miles north of center. Most Indiana counties were laid out so that a man living in one corner of the county could ride on horseback to the county seat, pay his taxes, and ride back home in the hours of daylight.

In December of 1835 the citizens of Leesburg sent a petition to Indianapolis asking the state legislature to detach a six mile strip of land from the southern extremity of the county. This would have placed the center of the county nearer to Leesburg and would have probably increased her chances of becoming the seat of justice.

The petitioners made a serious mistake however, in not sending two or three people down to Indianapolis to lobby for the "clipping" idea. E. M. Chamberlain, the representative from this area, introduced a bill in the house which was referred to a committee, but as there was no one to lobby for the bill, it died in committee.

In February of 1836, Kosciusko county was organized with the six mile strip left on the county. Five commissioners were appointed to locate the county seat. They selected the site which later became Warsaw, because it was the geographical center of the county.

It is interesting to note that had the state legislature done this "clipping", Silver Lake, Sidney, Beaver Dam, Packerton and the southern part of Claypool would not be in our county today.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Mar. 10, 1953