History of Fishers, Indiana

Fishers, Indiana
has a rich history, filled with pioneers, important statesmen and women, wars, and civil rights victories. The history of Fishers is shot through with references to William Conner, whose name still graces one of the top living history museums in the United States, Conner Prairie. William Conner was Fishers’ first white settler. He was a true Renaissance man from the 1800’s: a scout, a trader, the founding father of Fishers business, a politician and a leader of his community.

Doing Indy video about Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana

The story goes that he built a cabin along the shores of the White River and opened a trading post there, mainly dealing in fur. Later, as the community which was to become Fishers came into being, Conner’s business endeavors branched out to include land speculation, farming, distillation of spirits and milling. The famous Indianapolis museum of Conner Prairie contains William Conner’s original brick house and farm and is located on Conner’s original property.

During the early 1800’s, nearby Indianapolis was voted the state capital of Indiana, which proved to be an auspicious advantage for the future community of Fishers.

The year of 1824 marks an interesting point in Fishers history. It was during that year that the first white men were hanged for murdering Indians. William Conner, whose wife was an Indian, had an important hand in this turning point of U.S. history.
The construction of the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad in 1849 brought added life and interest to the area, and the Fishers Train Station still brings in tourists from around the state every year. In 1872, Fishers was officially platted. The name of the town at that time was Fisher’s Switch, but it was also called Fishers Station. It was not until 1908 that the name was changed to Fishers.

Video of the Indiana State Fair train pulling in to the historic Fishers Train Station in Fishers, Indiana

Downtown Fishers, Indiana

The population of Fishers in 1963 was only 350, but less than ten years later, it had doubled. Since then, Fishers’ population count has soared exponentially, and now hovers around 65,000, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation.