Wells County was named for Captain William Wells who worked with the indians throughout this territory and eventually was slain as the result of an indian uprising. The name "Bluffton" was derived from the site of the town - on the bluffs, south of the Wabash River. Bluffton is the county seat of Wells County. Because Bluffton was one of the first Indiana cities to have a large percentage of paved streets, it was long ago called "The Parlor City". The beautiful tress overhanging wide and spacious streets, with the many well kept homes and fine lawns, have helped to make this an ideal Hoosier city. Many of the prominent businesses in Bluffton can trace their origin back to pioneer times exemplifying their permanence and solidarity.
Bluffton was proud to be named "1990 Outstanding Indiana Community of the Year" by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for its' significant contributions to business and commerce. Bluffton's newly renovated downtown area features many opportunities for shopping. Wells County is also located near the state's largest indoor Mall, Glenbrook Square along with other social, cultural and entertainment in Fort Wayne. There are five hotels/motels in Bluffton along with one Bed and Breakfast. The county is also the home to over 75 churches covering many denominations, showing the importance worship plays in the community.
Location Bluffton is located in the northwest portion of Indiana in the center of Wells County. It is comprised of both rural and suburban areas. Fort Wayne International Airport is just 25 miles north on State Highway One. It is easily accessible to both 1-469 and 1-69.
Business & Industry Bluffton is home to many long-established fine businesses and companies. A Fortune 500 company, Franklin Electric has been in business for over 50 years and has it's international headquarters in Bluffton. There are also many other excellent companies located in planned industrial parks.
Culture The Creative Arts Center of Wells County is one of the most respected small Creative Arts centers in the state. Its' programs include a school outreach project, adult and children education courses, monthly art exhibits, Series Musicale, and a Holiday Boutique.
The Wells County Historical Museum is a restored Victorian home built in 1882. It houses more than 10,000 carefully cataloged items oriented toward Wells County history, culture, industry and genealogy.
Education Three quality school systems, Northern Wells, Southern Wells and Bluffton-Harrison School Districts serve Wells County. These include three high schools, three middle schools and four elementary schools. Each school system Offers a complete curriculum while stressing the importance of basic learning skills. One private school, Community Christian School is located in Bluffton as are several preschools and childcare facilities. Distance learning is also available through Purdue University at the 4-H Community Center.
Recreation Recreation opportunities abound in Wells County. If you love outdoor recreation, you can spend time enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in any of the local parks. The Bluffton City Gym is located at the back section of City Hall and includes a racquetball and basketball court.
The Wabash River runs through the center of Bluffton providing beautiful scenery along with many recreational and entertaining activities to the town. The Rivergreenway Trail runs along the river from the downtown area all the way into the Ouabache State Park. This scenic walking and biking trail winds along the river across a covered bridge. It is beautiful in any season and is suitable for wheel chairs.
The Kehoe Park and Amphitheater also sits along the Wabash River. This outdoor theater on the banks of the river, provides free concerts throughout the summer and early fall. From jazz to theatrical entertainment, this community feature brings weekend excitement to downtown Bluffton.
The Ouabache State Park is located approximately two miles southeast of Bluffton. Ouabache features a wildlife exhibit, Olympic size pool with a waterslide, seasonal naturalist service, boating and fishing on Kunkel Lake, picnicking, modern campsites, hiking and cross country skiing trails, tennis and basketball courts, plus a 100 foot fire tower and large open and enclosed pavilions complete with fireplace and kitchen facilities.
The 4-H Park in Blumon features pavilions, a fairgrounds and grandstands and a new 16,000 square foot community center. This community center offers kitchen facilities, a large exhibition hall and two meeting rooms open to the public.
There are two golf courses in Bluffton: Hickory Hills, which is a 9 hole public course and The Parlor City Country Club, which features an 18 hole golf course and a spacious new club house.
On the third week of September each year, The Bluffton Street Fair highlights the community spirit with many parades, rides, exhibits and festival food.
Library The Bluffton-Wells County Library was constructed in 1991. It is located in Bluffton with a branch in Ossian. Current holdings include more than 100,000 volumes, plus periodicals, newspapers, audio and video cassettes, books on tape and C.D.s. The staff offers a variety of programs throughout the year for all ages, such as storytimes, lectures, educational and summer reading programs.
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