Column: Agricultural abundance ingrained in state's destiny




By the time Europeans reached Indiana in the 1600s, our economic future was already set. Cornfields stretched for miles along the river valleys and colorful vegetables filled gardens tended by Native Americans.

Indiana was destined to be an agricultural state. Climate and topography made it so.

In 1794, after Gen. Anthony Wayne’s army defeated Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo, Ohio, his troops spent days destroying Indian grain fields throughout the Maumee River Valley and toward present-day Fort Wayne.

One soldier told of maize plantations, bean patches, apple-tree stands and potato plots. Wayne himself said he’d never “beheld such immense fields of corn in any part of America, from Canada to Florida.”

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