The Hanna homestead

from the archives of The News-Sentinel

One of the most prominent men in the early days of Fort Wayne was Sam Hanna, a pioneer, merchant, judge, canal builder and railroad man who came to Fort Wayne in 1819 when he was only 22 years old.

And one of the largest and most beautiful homes in the early days of Fort Wayne was the house Hanna built on East Lewis Street in 1844.

The house featured two matching porticoes and was considered one of the most stunning examples of Greek Revival architecture ever erected in Fort Wayne.

Although the house was built by Hanna, it is almost as well known for having served as the home of Fred Hayden, who in 1873 married Sam Hanna's daughter Eliza. Hayden also was prominent in Fort Wayne in those days, serving as judge and a prominent businessman.

The house's later years are clouded in obscurity. The old home served as a home for displaced children during the Depression and was then allowed to deteriorate as the years passed.

The house was finally town down in 1962. One historian at the time was heard to say,``Better gone than the shape it was in.'' And so passed the home of one of the founders of Fort Wayne.

Today, the former Hanna homestead is remembered simply as the name of a park - the Hanna Homestead Park, which stands in the place occupied for 120 years.

--Sept. 19, 1982

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