Historic Wolcott House
How We Got Here
The founder of our town of Wolcott was born in Lockport, New York, in 1819. His early education was in Richmond NY. Later, Anson Wolcott taught school and then moved to Louisiana where he studied law. Returning to New York, he became a successful lawyer, practicing before both the Supreme Court of New York State and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Also a businessman, he became interested in real estate investment. In the 1850s Indiana was a prime focus of land speculation. Anson arrived in Indiana in 1858 and held original holdings of more than 2,000 acres. In 1861 he plotted the town of Wolcott and arranged for a railroad station by that name. He built a large grain elevator and became active in farming and politics. During the Civil War he served briefly in the Union Army and was active in the state and federal government on behalf of Indiana's govenor at the time, Oliver P. Morton. Anson was elected to the Indiana Senate in 1868 on the Republican ticket. Being interested in the farm and currency problems of the day, he broke with the party in 1876 and ran for govenor on the third party Greenback ticket. Throughout his life he was active in business and politics both in Indiana and other parts of the country. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Knights Templars and Scottish Rite.
Anson's wife, Georgiana Sayen de Mosquera Wolcott, was important in the early cultural development of the area. They had one son, Eben, who also became prominent in Indiana business and political matters. When Georgiana died, Eben was only 11 years old. Anson Wolcott passed away at his home in Wolcott on January 10, 1907 and is buried in the Meadow Lake Cemetery south of town. Eben and his wife Lida had two sons, Ryland and Roger. Eben and both of his sons were educated at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN. Roger Wolcott was best known for being a sponsor of an Indianapolis 500 race car driven by Roger Ward in the late 1950s. Ryland had three daughters, Nancy, Jean and Katrina. Nancy was married to actor Buddy Ebsen.
The "Land Baron" era in Indiana history impacted the settlement of the northwestern part of the state. The area was prairie with wet swamps, and sand hills and was considered less than desirable for settling. This changed in the 1850s as a number of land promoters from the east bought up large acreage and had ditches dug to drain the land, which then proved to be some of the best farmland in the country. Taking advantage of the railroads being built Westward, many towns in the area were founded being named after the Land Barons. These include Wolcott, Fowler, Kentland, Boswell, Brook and Earl Park. As the value of the land increased the parcels were sold in smaller holdings.