Tippecanoe County was formed in 1826, named for the English interpretation of the word “Kethtippecanoogi”, a Miami Indian term meaning “place of the succor fish people”. By 1840, Tippecanoe County had 13,724 residents. By 1850 the number had risen to 19,377, of whom 7,547 had been born in Indiana.
Among the first European settlers of Tippecanoe County was John Hoover, who obtained the land forming the current Wea Farm homestead from the government in 1824, and Aaron Huffman, who bought adjoining land from the government in 1834. That same year Aaron married the daughter of James Smyth Franklin, who had settled in the area from Ohio by 1814. Aaron and Sarah Carter Franklin bought the current Wea Farm homestead from John Hoover in 1855. Since this time the farm has seen the birth and rearing of many Shropshire sheep, Shorthorn and Angus cattle, Poland China pigs, and 7 generations of Huffman, Thompson and Kirkham children.
Lands within the Wabash River Valley have been occupied by indigenous peoples since long before Europeans settled here in the early 1800's. The Wea tribe of the geat Algonquin Nation were a dominant people in this area by at least 1680. Wea Creek Orchard lies very close to the border between the Great Plains of the Midwest and Eastern Forests that characterized the early United States. As such, this land was inhabited by large game and predators of both habitats. We have found artifacts that have been difficult to date precisely, and could be indicative of hunting activities that could be as old as 10,000 years. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has registered our farm as a documented archeological site.
The farm is owned and operated by three families who are descended from the pioneers who purchased the farm in 1855. The farm has been owned by our family continuously since that time.
The farm is incorporated under the name “Patrius Ara” which, in Latin, means “land of our fathers”. We take great pride in our heritage and we are working to maintain the buildings and grounds as near as possible to the original. There are two bank barns overlooking the creek which were used to house Shropshire sheep, Shorthorn cattle and Poland China pigs as well as horses and chickens. The barn lofts stored hay for the livestock and the land around the buildings was grazed.