The Oldest City in Indiana is Even Older Than the State Itself
Indiana first became a state in December of 1816. However, the state's oldest city goes back way further than that.
Indiana became the 19th state in the United States on December 11, 1816. As you know, even before Indiana was officially a state, it was still full of thriving communities. However, the oldest city goes back much longer than you might think...oh, and it's located right here in southern Indiana.
The Oldest City in Indiana
The oldest city in Indiana dates back to the 1700s. It is located along the Wabash River and has quite a history behind it. That city is none other than Vincennes. According to the City of Vincennes:
Vincennes was founded in 1732 by Francois Marie Bissot–Sieur de Vincennes, a French military officer. This area was part of New France and the military post was built on the Wabash River to protect the rich fur trade here from the British. When the fur trade died out, this area turned to agriculture. This military post became the oldest continuous settlement making Vincennes the oldest town of Indiana.
In 1800, Congress created the Indiana Territory and named Vincennes its capital. The new territory was much larger than the State of Indiana today, including what is now Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota. William Henry Harrison became the territory's first governor and, of course, later became the ninth president of the United States. Vincennes remained the capital of what would later be the state of Indiana until 1813 when Corydon became the state capitol, before moving the capitol to Indianapolis in 1821.
The City of Vincennes goes on to talk about how it is the home of many firsts within the state of Indiana. These "firsts" include the site of the first Catholic church in Indiana, the first county, the first newspaper, the first Presbyterian church, the first Masonic Lodge, the first bank, and the first medical society. Many of these historical sites, still remain today, according to Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.