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History of Pawnee

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A Chronological Retelling of The Events That Shaped Pawnee.[1]

Timeline Edit


  • May: Rev. Luther Howell of Terre Haute plants first flag in Wamapoke soil, claiming it as white, Christian territory. Consecrates First Lutheran Church.
  • June: The Native American Wamapoke Tribe expresses confusion over Rev. Howell’s actions, pointing out that they had lived here for hundreds of years. Rev. Howell listens intently.
  • June: The Wamapoke Indians are politely asked to leave Pawnee.
  • July: Wamapoke Indians forcibly removed.
  • Pawnee incorporated as a town; second and third Lutheran churches founded.


  • First mayor, Charlton Sharpspeed, takes the oath of office.
  • Mayor Sharpspeed resigns due to corruption/sex scandal.


  • The trial of Chief Wamapo. He was accused of "being Indian", which was punishable by death.


  • Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth Lutheran Churches founded.
  • Sarah Nelson Quindle exposes her elbow outdoors. She is set adrift on Lake Michigan in punishment.


  • Pawnee’s first schoolhouse built. This one-room school boasted two teachers, and taught children aged 3 to 28.


  • Reverend Turnbill officiated a wedding between a white woman and a Wamapoke Indian chief. The secret ceremony was beautiful and romantic. But then word got out and the reception was a bloodbath. Fortunately, there were two survivors. Unfortunately, they were both horses.


  • Mayor Everett Falwell resigns due to corruption/sex scandal. Replaced by Pawnee’s first non-Lutheran mayor, Charles Calloway.
  • Mayor Calloway resigns due to corruption scandal.

1906 – 1923: Pawnee’s Fire Period



  • Great Pawnee Fire of 1910


  • Pawnee Downs, used for horse races and cock fights, burns to the ground.


  • A Jewish ornithologist who was headed for the Mississippi River took a wrong turn, and wandered into Pawnee looking for directions. The mayor at the time had never seen a Jewish person before, and, believing him to be some kind of rare alien creature, placed him in the zoo's abandoned otter cage.

1914 to 1917Edit

  • The Terrible Three Year Fire Of Pawnee


  • First firehouse, ironically, burned to the ground.


  • June 8: In what became the most famous of Pawnee's fires, the Pawnee Bread Factory burns to the ground. Thanks to the heroic actions of then-mayor Walter Percy, the secret recipe for Pawnee Pumpernickel is saved, and that delicious treat is still made today! (Also, 33 people perish in the fire. We honor their memories.)
  • Suspected arsonist Arthur Dansbury-Witt convicted of forty counts of arson, sentenced to immolation in a public square. Thousands cheer at his burning, which is held in the center of Ramsett Park. Fire used to execute Dansbury-Witt spreads to newly-rebuilt Pawnee Downs, burns it to the ground.


  • Pawnee schoolhouse burns to the ground, spreads rapidly to newly-rebuilt Pawnee Downs and most of the west side of the city. This is Pawnee’s largest fire to date, and clears Dansbury-Witt’s good name.


  • Re-sodding of entire city; end of Fire Period.


  • Local lady anesthesiologist and recluse, Agnes Porter accidentally invents trans fats while mixing chemicals in her basement laboratory. Aggie becomes the “toast” of the town – and her products are spreadable on “toast!”


  • Pioneer Hall is constructed within City Hall.


  • End of World War II


  • A traveling magician comes to Pawnee and pulls a rabbit out of his hat, the superstitious citizens of Pawnee then burn him at the stake.

1974 to 1976Edit


  • Mayor Stuart Knudson is pushed out of a helicopter while handcuffed by Serbian mafia members. His body explodes upon impact.



  • Pawnee makes national Top 100 Cities lists, selected as “#76 Best Place To Own A Horse,” and “#4 Most Obese City.”


  • Local actress Vivica B. Fox, star of a Wendy’s commercial, returns triumphantly to Pawnee to take the lead in Pawnee’s Summerstage production of “Our Town” which plays to mixed reviews.


  • Eagleton, Indiana is de-incorporated, and reabsorbed into Pawnee. The area formerly belonging to Eagleton is known as "Old Eagleton".


  • Former Pawnee Councilwoman Leslie Knope is elected Governor of Indiana.


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