1827 - 1900
1825 - 1891
Hezekiah Davis came to this area with his family in 1836. He was 10 years old. He grew up an ambitious and hardworking young man. Through his industry and foresight he acquired over 1400 acres mainly on the East Side of what is now St. Rd. #5 through Shipshewana.
As the population grew, he decided that a town was needed. Knowing that transportation was critical to progress, he paid $10,000 to bring a railroad to "Davistown". He then built two large brick buildings on opposite corners of Main and Morton streets, facing the depot. Businesses were drawn to the area and Davistown became the center supplying the needs of the pioneering families.
Abraham Summey came to the area in 1851. In 1866 he owned over 500 acres on the West of what is now St. Rd. #5 in Shipshewana. As "Davistown" was developing, he developed "Summeytown" on his property. The rival developments generated animosity and suspected vandalism on both sides. This continued for several years.
In spite of the bitter rivalry between these two prominent families, Eugene Davis and Alice Summey fell in love and were married. With time, the tensions between the two factions eased.
In Jan., 1889 "Davistown" was platted as Shipshewana (named by Hezekiah's wife, Sarah Reynolds Davis, honoring a Potawatomi Indian Chief who had befriended the early settlers). In the fall of that same year "Summeytown" became the "First Summey Addition to Shipshewana". Gradually several "Davis Additions", "Summey Additions" and others were made, growing into Shipshewana as it is today.