History on the Town of Pendleton

Content Courtesy of the Town of Pendleton’s website. Visit here for more information.

“Pendleton, Indiana’s recorded history begins in December 1818 when John Rogers, the first non-native settler to the area, built his home near the falls on Fall Creek. As time passed, more people made their way to the region, always settling near the falls—the community source of water and power.

In 1821, Thomas Pendleton laid out the original town plat and gave it his name. The town’s name never changed (although it was occasionally misspelled as “Pendelton”).

By 1823, Madison County (where Pendleton is located) had officially been formed by the State of Indiana. A modest cabin near the falls was the governmental center.

In the following year, one of the saddest chapters in the area’s history took place. A Native American family was murdered by five white men several miles east of Pendleton. Four of the five men were found and brought to justice in Pendleton. Of those, three were sentenced to death and hanged within sight of the falls. It was the first time in the history of the United States that whites received capital punishment for the murder of Native Americans.

In 1843, noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke in Pendleton. Historical accounts suggest that Douglass’ life was in danger from would-be assassins. Through the compassion and bravery of members of the town, he escaped.

By the early 1900s, water was no longer the main source of power in Pendleton. Gas was fast becoming the fuel of choice. During this era, several glass and tile manufacturing facilities called Pendleton home.

Through the 20th century Pendleton continued to grow, all the while remaining committed to responsible planning. That foresight made the town the unique place it is today—an ideal home for residents and businesses alike.”


Some of Our Favorite Places to Eat

  • Falls Perk Coffee House
  • Invited to the Table
  • Catellos Italian Art Cuisine
  • The Bank
  • Sophie’s Bagels
  • Promise Coffee Roasters
  • Jimmie’s Dairy Bar


Some of Our Favorite Parks to Visit

  • Falls Park
  • Falls Park North Entrance
  • Pendleton Sports Complex
  • Fall Creek Golf Club


As we continue exploring the Pendleton area, feel free to share some of your favorite places to visit with us!