History of Hebron and Boone Township, Indiana
The History of Hebron is intertwined with that of Boone Township. For this reason, both will be mentioned here. The land in Boone Township was opened for settlement by virtue of a treaty between the United Sates Government and the Pottawattomi Indians in 1832. In the early spring of 1835, Judge Jessie Johnson, first judge of Porter County’s Probate Court, with his family became the first white settlers in Boone Township. He was closely followed by the Isaac Cornell Family who settled on land just east of Hebron. The Simeon Bryant family followed, settling on land one and one half miles south of Hebron.
The first white native of Boone Township was born on April 16, 1837. She was Margaret J.Bryant, daughter of Simeon Bryant. The fist school house was built of logs in 1837. During this time, several worship groups were started. One of those groups was responsible for Hebron’s name. The Bethlehem Church of Associated Reform Presbyterian was organized on July 28, 1838 by Reverend Hanna. The members of that congregation later changed their name from Bethlehem to Hebron.
The first frame building was built in 1849, by Mr. McCune. It was originally used as a way station along the stagecoach route between Detroit and St. Louis. After the coming of the railroad in 1836, the Inn continued to serve as a resting place for travelers, as well as for sportsmen who came to hunt and fish along the Kankakee River. Today, the Stagecoach Inn is still in the original location at 127 North Main, and serves as a historical museum.
Some visitors may still be able to see evidence of a railroad that passed through the heart of Hebron. The new Walgreens’ store sits where the railroad depot used to call home. The railroad depot was moved in 1994 to its present location behind the Stagecoach Inn. It has been fully restored by the Hebron Historical Society and is used as a railroad museum.
In the late 1800’s, Hebron saw a rapid growth and some of the citizens saw a need to incorporate. Hebron was incorporated March 5, 1890. A census was taken on October 2, 1886 showed a population of 663. Today we have a population of over 3,700.
In 1890 we had one town Marshall. He also supervised road work and the lighting and caring for the gas street lights each evening. Today we have one chief, seven full-time officers and many reserve special officers and a 24 hour dispatch center. Their duties are to protect, serve and enforce the laws.
Crest Knoll was the first large subdivision added after World War II. Appearing in 1957, it covered 22 acres on the northwest corner of town. A short time after, Fairlane Subdivision was added on the southwest side of town. In the 70’s, Ganz Subdivision took over the development of the Frame Subdivision on the west side. Park Place, the largest housing development Hebron had ever seen, began shortly after. Located on Hebron’s northwest side, Park Place provides housing for several hundred residents in the form of single family dwellings and apartments.
Hebron’s newest subdivision, Brookwood, is under development on the northeast side of town. Brookwood offers 129 single family lots at very affordable prices. On the southwest side of town, Rivers Edge Subdivision has 39 single family lots available. Hebron is blessed with having many apartments throughout town. Misty Glen is Hebron’s newest apartment complex with over 80 1, 2, & 3 bedroom apartments. Also, eleven townhouses are scheduled to be built in Park Place.
Hebron’s industrial park is beginning to see a steady growth. Located on Hebron’s eastern side, the industrial park is home to many businesses.
The town of Hebron faced a sewage problem in 1969. Under the direction of the Indiana Water Pollution Control board, Hebron began construction of a sewage collection treatment system. Total cost was approximately $847,000. This system proved effective until 1981 when the plant needed some improvements at the cost of $81,000. The town continued to grow, and in 1990 Hebron saw the need to make some major improvements and built a plant that could accommodate future growth. The project cost $4.3 million dollars.
The Hebron Water Company was formed in 1914. Water lines were laid, and Hebron had its own water system. In some areas throughout Hebron, those original lines are still in use today, but they are more rare each year as the replacement plan continues. In 1962, $200,000 in improvements were made. A new water plant with chlorination facility for protection, filters for iron removal and softeners were some of the much needed improvements. Most recently, improvements were made to the water plant, including new panel controls at a cost of $62,000. Also, the Town received a new primary main under Main Street in 2002 with the help of the State of Indiana, who shouldered most of the costs. In 2003, the new Water Plant, at a cost of $3.8 million, was put online with 650,000 gallons of water storage, 4 new high-producing wells, and an improved computer-controlled treatment control to improve safety and water quality. Hebron consistently rates in the top of water taste tests in Indiana.
All 3 Hebron Schools: Hebron High School, Hebron Middle School, and Hebron Elementary School have been expanded to accommodate the growth of the town. Our library is the only Carnegie library left in Porter County. In 1995 the building was expanded due to the growth of the town. The library is operated by the Porter County Library System.
Hebron’s future is looking great: we have a new, state of the art High School, our Main Street was recently improved with new sidewalks and streetlights, and our Main Street Downtown Beautification project has brought back the homey, happy, and safe hometown that people miss in today’s living.