|Introduction||Historical Background||Chronology||Geography||Biography||Technology||Ownership and Financing||General Bibliography|
Fort Wayne was incorporated as a city in 1840.
After a decade-long struggle, the city built a water works that began service on December 14, 1880. The system was designed by Josiah D. Cook with a reservoir 97 feet above the level of the court house that would be filled by two steam engines, an efficient one of 3 MGD and a less-efficient back-up engine of 2 MGD. Cook felt this was less expensive than a system of direct pumping, which would have required to complete sets of pumping apparatus. Holly engines were selected and the reservoir was only partially completed for several years, so the system functioned mostly as a regular Holly water works system, with a Holly triple-expansion engine added in 1891.
|"Map of Fort
Wayne, showing the Pipes, Reservoirs, Wells, &c. for the
Proposed Water Works,"
Fort Wayne Sentinel, July 26, 1879, Page 1.
The system was rebuilt in the 1930s.
Water is supplied by the city of Fort Wayne.
1870 The Indianapolis News, December 6, 1870, Page 1.
Mayor Randall, or Fort Wayne, and J.L. Pillsbury, of the Columbus Water Works, are in the city inspecting the efficiency of the Holly Water Works. It is designed to introduce the Holly system in Fort Wayne.
Wayne. New Water Works in Prospect," The Pittsburgh Daily
Commercial, July 4, 1874, Page 1.
Active measures are being taken by the Merchant's Exchange of this city to establish a system of water works. It is not yet known what particular kind but it is not very likely to be the Holly.
1875 Our water supply : a communication to the mayor and Common Council of Fort Wayne, by Jesse L Williams, July, 1875 [Williams was a prominent civil engineer who worked on canals and railroads.]
Works," The Fort Wayne Sentinel, July 29, 1875, Page 4.
Abstract of Mr. Williams' Pamphlet.
Works," The Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 29, 1875, Page 4.
Full Text of the Report of the Special Committee.
Wayne Water Works," Chicago Tribune, March 16, 1876, Page 7.
Last night the City Council, by a vote of 12 to 5, decided to erect water-works and issue bonds for that purpose. The estimates prepared by Moses Lane, of Milwaukee, provide for 22 miles of pipe and place the cost of the works at about $350,000. There is much jubilation over the result, as the people have been fighting for water-works for many years, but could never incude the Council to take action before.
Water Works," The Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 11, 1879,
Page 2. | Part 2
Excerpt from J.D. Cook's report on the Peru Water Works.
1879 Water works! : important facts relating to water works and the report of J. D. Cook, water works engineer = Wasserwerke! : wichtige Thatfachen in Bezug auf Wasserwerke und Bericht des Wasserwerks-Ingenieurs J.D. Cook
1879 "Map of Fort Wayne, showing the Pipes, Reservoirs, Wells, &c. for the Proposed Water Works," Fort Wayne Sentinel, July 26, 1879, Page 1.
Fort Wayne Sentinel, December 18, 1880, Page 2.
Our water works can now be said to be completed. Water is in the main pipes and ready to be tapped for the dwelling or factory.
of Allen County, Indiana.
Page 107: Water-Works of the City of Fort Wayne
On August 5, 1879, the citizens of Fort Wayne authorized, by a majority vote, the construction of a system of Water- Works, and at the same time, the following gentlemen were chosen as Commissioners to execute their construction: Charles McCulloch, Henry Monning and Chris Boseker. Afterward, J D. Cook was employed as engineer, to superintend the construction, at a salary of $2,500 per annum. Subsequently a salary of $150 per annum was affixed for each of the Commissioners on October 21, 1879, the following contracts were let:
Two engines and four boilers from Holly & Co., Lockport, N. Y., S30,500.
Pipe and pipe laying, R. D. Wood & Co.. Philadelphia, $126,380.70.
Valves, Ludlow Valve Co., Troy, N. Y., $3,377.30.
Hydrants, Mathews' Hydrant Co., of Philadelphia, $8,490.
Reservoir, construction of building, etc., on the Olds property, John Lahgohr and M. Baltes, $59,627.36.
Engine-house, Moellering & Paul, $8,490.
The whole amount now foots up at $236,865.36. Mr. Cook's estimate was S270,000, and deducting the aggregate contracts from the estimate of Mr. Cook, there is $33,134.36 to fall upon fur contingencies.
This completes the work as far as the contracts are concerned.
At this time, October 22, the first ground is being broken and all necessary preparations are being made to prosecute the work on to completion.
Page 120: Water-Works of the Wabash Railroad.
These works are located on the east bank of the St. Mary's River, on the north side of the Wabash Railroad. The buildings are frame. The pumps, two in number, are known as the Worthington Duplex. The following is an exhibit of their capacity, etc.: Two steam boilers, locomotive build, used alternately; discharge pipe, four inches ; suction pipe, six inches ; water pressure, 120 pounds to the square inch ; one tank, with a capacity of 1,200 barrels, located near the water-works; one tank, with a capacity of 2,800 barrels, located near the round-house. Ten tons of soft coal are used per week ; about 200,000 gallons are pumped per day; the pumps are used in turn about everv three days.
Works," The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 11, 1881, Page 4.
The Test Made of Pipes, Hydrants and Facilities. Eleven streams thrown at one time, some of them one hundred and fifty feet high. A large crowd of people gather at the corners to witness the test and getting a ducking.
Annual Report of the Trustees, Clerks, Consulting Engineer, and Engineer.
Fort Wayne Water Works," by J. D. Cook, Fort Wayne Daily Gazette,
May 12, 1881, Page 4.
A History of our Water Works from Their Inception - The Report of Consulting Engineer J D Cook, to the Council. To the Trustees of the Fort Wayne Water Works.
1881 Fort Wayne, from Engineering News 8:406 (October 8, 1881)
1882 Fort Wayne, from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.
Annual Report of the Fort Wayne Water Works, for the year ending April
Page 3: It is to be regretted, now, that we undertook to build a Reservoir, but as it is so nearly completed and when finished will be useful in many ways, we use its completion this season. The contractors having abandoned the work, the city should finish it and hold their bondsmen responsible, as provided for in the contract.
Partnership," Fort Wayne Daily News, July 1, 1884, Page 1.
Proposed 1876 contract with canal to provide water.
Fire Insurance Map from Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana., March,
Sheet 1: Water Facilities
History of our Water Works, by Ex-Officals," Fort Wayne Daily
News, August 20, 1887, Page 1.
How $200,000 were saved by defeating the Lane Plan. The Cook plan provides more and better service at half the cost.
1888 "Fort Wayne," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.
Fire Insurance Map from Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.
Sheet 1: Water Facilities
1890 "Fort Wayne," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.
1891 "Fort Wayne," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.
1895 Seventeenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1895.
1896 Eighteenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1896.
1897 Nineteenth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1897.
1897 "Fort Wayne," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.
1898 Twentieth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1898.
1900 Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1900.
1901 Twenty-Third Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1901.
1902 Twenty-Fourth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1902.
Fire Insurance Map from Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.
Cover sheet: Water Facilities
Sheet 70: Reservoir park
Sheet 111: Water works
Sheet 115: Pump House number 2
1903 Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1903.
1904 Twenty-Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1904.
1905 Twenty-Seventh Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1905.
1906 Twenty-Eighth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1906. | also here |
1907 Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1907.
1908 Thirtieth Annual Report of the Trustees of the Water Works, of Fort Wayne, Ind. for the fiscal year ending December 31st, 1908.
1909 Annual Report of the Water Works Department of Fort Wayne, Indiana for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1909.
1910 Annual Report of the Water Works Department of Fort Wayne, Indiana for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1910.
1911 Annual Report Water Works Department for the year 1911.
1913 Annual Report of the Water Works Department year 1913. | Also here |
1915 Report of the Water Works Department for the year 1915
pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana, by Bert Joseph
Pages 506-507: THE YEAR 1879 gave to Fort Wayne its original waterworks plant and its first telephone system. During 1875, the agitation for a municipally-owned waterworks system for Fort Wayne resulted in earnest activity for preference in the councilmanic election of 1876.
The owners of the disused feeder canal, which brought the waters of the St. Joseph river into the city limits from a point seven miles north of the town, sought to sell the artificial waterway to the city under the claim that the water supply was sufficient and the quality satisfactory. Two factions engaged in a controversy over the advisability of using the canal water, while others were firm in the belief that the entire question should be deferred for further consideration. The council, however, engaged a competent hydraulic engineer, Moses Lane, who prepared and submitted plans for a system of water supply. The canal owners offered to construct a plant in accordance with the Lane plan at a cost of $380,000, including the laying of 21.18 miles of pipe and the erection of a standpipe five feet in diameter and two hundred feet high.
A majority of the members of the council favored the use of the canal water, but their further action was stopped by a restraining order secured by certain citizens, and before the time set for the point at issue a councilmanic election was held which resulted in the defeat of every candidate who favored the use of canal water.
The successful candidates, together with the hold-over members, were N. H. Putnam, C. Hettler, E. L. Chittenden, E. Zorbaugh, W. H. Withers, D. B. Strope, Joshua Holmes, Henry Schnelker, C. F. Pfeiffer, W. T. McKean, J. B. White, M. Baltes, C. A. Munson, D. L. Harding, T. Hogan, Silas Tam, Frank Wittenburg and John Wilkinson.
On the 15th of May, 1879, the council authorized the waterworks trustees, Henry Monning, Charles McCulloch and C. Boseker, to employ J. D. Cook, of Toledo, a competent hydraulic engineer, to prepare plans for a waterworks system. These plans contemplated the building of a reservoir—the same, in fact, as was finally constructed—but the council did not favor the reservoir idea. At a special election, however, the people declared in favor of the plan by a vote of 2,593 to 591. Ground was broken in the fall of 1880. The work, exclusive of the reservoir, cost $236,865. The reservoir was later built at an expense of $20,000.
Many citizens favored the plan to pump the water from the St. Joseph river. The owners of the feeder canal urged its purchase by the city, and a third element succeeded in inducing the council to decide to use the waters of Spy Run creek, which flows into St. Mary's river at a point between the Clinton street and Spy Run avenue bridges. Little realizing that the supply would soon prove inadequate, the city erected its pumping station on this little stream, near Clinton street, and equipped it with a valuable low-pressure engine capable of pumping 3,000,000 gallons daily, in addition to which there was also installed a high-pressure engine and a battery of boilers to equip a first-class pumping plant.
Near this pumping station (No. 1), which is operated in connection with the municipal light and power plant, a reservoir was constructed. During the first summer of the history of the waterworks plant a serious drought made necessary the tapping of the feeder canal and the use of its impure water. Originally, about twenty miles of pipe was laid, and from this small beginning the present great system has been developed. All of the water is now drawn from deep rock wells. There are three widely separated pumping stations.
1924 Atlas of Fort Wayne, Indiana
1933 The Story of Fort Wayne's water system : dedication souvenir, by Carl J. Suedhoff
1962 "Fort Wayne," from Public Water Supplies of the 100 Largest Cities in the United States, 1962, US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1812, by Charles Norman Durfor and Edith Becker
1981 City of Fort Wayne Water Works, 1931-1981
© 2019 Morris A. Pierce