Wapakoneta, Ohio

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Wapakoneta was an important site to the Ottawa Indians before they left Ohio. By 1798, the Shawnee Indians had made Wapakoneta one of their principal towns. By 1808, there were reports of more than five hundred Shawnees, Senecas, and Mingo Indians living at Wapakoneta. Among them was Black Hoof, an important Shawnee leader.

The Indians of Wapakoneta adopted agricultural methods that missionaries from the Society of Friends had introduced to them. The Indians worked to prove that they had indeed adopted the life of the white settlers. Wapakoneta was the location of the first sawmill and gristmill in northwest Ohio. In 1810, the United States sent a government agent to help the Indians. This did not last since the federal government removed the agent for failing to submit appropriate reports.

The Shawnees and Senecas continued to live at Wapakoneta until the United States forced them to leave in 1831. The Treaty of Wapakoneta and the Treaty of Lewistown resulted in the removal of the Shawnees and Senecas to Kansas.

White settlers quickly replaced the natives. In 1848, the Ohio legislature created Auglaize County out of parts of Mercer and Allen Counties. Wapakoneta became the county seat. For the next 150 years, Auglaize County residents primarily sustained themselves through agriculture, although several additional industries existed in the city by the late nineteenth century. Wapakoneta had 2,800 residents in 1880 and saw an oil and natural gas drilling industry develop in the area. It was also claimed that the town produced more butter churns than any other single location in the United States during this same time period. In 2000, more than nine thousand people called Wapakoneta home. Many residents found employment at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company or Amcast. Among Wapakoneta's most famous inhabitants was Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum, operated by the Ohio Historical Society, is located in Wapakoneta.

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