Wayne County was a major gateway to the west on the Old National Road and helped nurture the country into a great nation. As the first firm foothold in Indiana, it was the bright heart of the state and the key to the future to all who made it this far. Those in need were fed, clothed and prayed for, and then they pressed on. It was the crossroads apex of America, and many famous visitors traveled here.

To read about 'Famous Visitors to Historic Wayne County' scroll through the list below and click on the famous names to read more about their visit.

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name.)

Jane Addams, social reformer, Nobel Peace Prize winner

Marian Anderson, world-famous contralto

Mary Margaret Anglin, grand American stage diva

Susan B. Anthony, pivotal women's rights leader

Louis Armstrong, jazz immortal

Gene Autry, singing cowboy superstar

L. Frank Baum, author of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'

Bix Beiderbecke, jazz innovator

Buffalo Bill, frontier showman

William Jennings Byran, orator and statesman

Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, arctic explorer

Hoagy Carmichael, popular American composer

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States

Jack Dempsey
, heavywight boxing champ

Joe DiMaggio, baseball legend

Frederick Douglass, ex-slave and abolitionist

Amelia Earhart, world-famous aviatrix

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Elsie the Cow, advertising icon

Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist, orator, philosopher

Stepin Fetchit, first black film superstar

Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States

George L. Fox, distinguished 19th Century comic

Strickland Gillilan, Irish humorist

Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States

Eliza Harris, famous fugitive slave & character in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States

Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States

Josiah Henson, famed escaped slave and basis for 'Uncle Tom'

Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States

Helen Keller, inspirational icon of physically challenged

John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Robert F. Kennedy, presidential candidate, Attorney General

Martin Luther King, Civil Rights icon, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

The Liberty Bell, American Independence icon

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

Lincoln’s sons, Robert & Tad, survivors of the slain president

Joe Louis, credited as greatest of all time boxing champion

Marx Brothers, classic Hollywood film comedians

Carrie Nation, anti-whiskey bar-smasher

Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States

Annie Oakley, internationally-famed sharpshooter

Ernie Pyle, revered World War II journalist

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

John L. Sullivan, boxing's first modern world heavyweight champ

Billy Sunday, world renown 'fire and brimstone' preacher

William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States

Tecumseh, great Native American leader and warrior

Tom Thumb, famed circus performer

Von Trapp Family, acclaimed Austrian family singers

Mark Twain, American literary humorist

Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States

"Blind" Tom Wiggins, autistic savant slave prodigy

Oscar Wilde, author, playwright, sophisticated wit

Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States

Wright Brothers, inventors whose innovation changed the world


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February 19, 2019