Sir Georg Solti, was a Hungarian-born orchestral and operatic conductor, best known for his appearances with opera companies in Munich and London, as a long-serving music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Born in Budapest, he studied there with Béla Bartók, Leó Weiner and Ernő Dohnányi. In the 1930s, he was a répétiteur at the Hungarian State Opera and worked at the Salzburg Festival for Arturo Toscanini, his career was interrupted by the rise of the Nazis' influence on Hungarian politics, being of Jewish background he fled the harsh Hungarian anti-Jewish laws in 1938. After conducting a season of Russian ballet in London at the Royal Opera House he found refuge in Switzerland, where he remained during the Second World War. Prohibited from conducting there, he earned a living as a pianist. After the war, Solti was appointed musical director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1946. In 1952 he moved to the Frankfurt Opera, where he remained in charge for nine years, he took West German citizenship in 1953.
In 1961 he became musical director of the Covent Garden Opera Company, London. During his ten-year tenure, he introduced changes that raised standards to the highest international levels. Under his musical directorship the status of the company was recognised with the grant of the title "the Royal Opera", he became a British citizen in 1972. In 1969 Solti became music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for 22 years, he relinquished the position in 1991 and became the orchestra's music director laureate, a position he held until his death. During his time as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's eighth music director, he served as music director of the Orchestre de Paris from 1972 until 1975 and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979 until 1983. Known in his early years for the intensity of his music making, Solti was considered to have mellowed as a conductor in years, he recorded many works two or three times at various stages of his career, was a prolific recording artist, making more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets.
The most famous of his recordings is Decca's complete set of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, made between 1958 and 1965. Solti's Ring has twice been voted the greatest recording made, in polls for Gramophone magazine in 1999 and the BBC's Music Magazine in 2012. Solti was honoured by the recording industry with awards throughout his career, including a record 31 Grammy Awards as a recording artist. Solti was born György Stern on Maros utca, in the Hegyvidék district of the Buda side of Budapest, he was the younger of the two children of Teréz and Móricz "Mor" Stern, both of whom were Jewish. In the aftermath of the First World War it became the accepted practice in Hungary for citizens with Germanic surnames to adopt Hungarian ones; the right wing regime of Admiral Horthy enacted a series of Hungarianisation laws, including a requirement that state employees with foreign-sounding names must change them. Mor Stern, a self-employed merchant, felt no need to change his surname, but thought it prudent to change that of his children.
He renamed them after Solt, a small town in central Hungary. His son's given name, György, was acceptably Hungarian and was not changed. Solti described his father as "a kind, sweet man who trusted everyone, he shouldn't have, but he did. Jews in Hungary were tremendously patriotic. In 1914, when war broke out, my father invested most of his money in a war loan to help the country. By the time the bonds matured, they were worthless." Mor Stern was a religious man, but his son was less so. Late in life Solti recalled, "I upset him because I never stayed in the synagogue for longer than ten minutes." Teréz Stern was from a musical family, encouraged her daughter Lilly, eight years the elder of the children, to sing, György to accompany her at the piano. Solti remembered, "I made so many mistakes, but it was invaluable experience for an opera conductor. I learnt to swim with her." He was not a diligent student of the piano: "My mother kept telling me to practise, but what ten-year-old wants to play the piano when he could be out playing football?"Solti enrolled at the Ernö Fodor School of Music in Budapest at the age of ten, transferring to the more prestigious Franz Liszt Academy two years later.
When he was 12 he heard a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony conducted by Erich Kleiber, which gave him the ambition to become a conductor. His parents could not afford to pay for years of musical education, his rich uncles did not consider music a suitable profession; the faculty of the Franz Liszt Academy included some of the most eminent Hungarian musicians, including Béla Bartók, Leó Weiner, Ernő Dohnányi and Zoltán Kodály. Solti studied under the first three, for piano, chamber music and composition respectively; some sources state that he studied with Kodály, but in his memoirs Solti recalled that Kodály, whom he would have preferred, turned him down, leaving him to study composition first with Albert Siklós and with Dohnányi. Not all the Academy's tutors were distinguished: Solti remembered with little pleasure the conducting classes run by Ernö Unger, "who instructed his pupils to use rigid little wrist motions. I attended the class for only two years, but I needed five years of practical conducting experience before I managed to unlearn what he had taught me".
After graduating from the Academy in 1930 Solti was appointed to the staff of the Hungarian State Opera. He found that working as a répétiteur, coaching singers in their roles and playing at rehearsals, was a more fruitful preparation than Unge
Gustav Mahler was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer, one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners. In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time. Born in Bohemia as a German-speaking Jew of humble circumstances, Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878, he held a succession of conducting posts of rising importance in the opera houses of Europe, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Court Opera.
During his ten years in Vienna, Mahler—who had converted to Catholicism to secure the post—experienced regular opposition and hostility from the anti-Semitic press. His innovative productions and insistence on the highest performance standards ensured his reputation as one of the greatest of opera conductors as an interpreter of the stage works of Wagner and Tchaikovsky. Late in his life he was director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. Mahler's œuvre is limited. Aside from early works such as a movement from a piano quartet composed when he was a student in Vienna, Mahler's works are designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists; these works were controversial when first performed, several were slow to receive critical and popular approval. Some of Mahler's immediate musical successors included the composers of the Second Viennese School, notably Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein and Peter Maxwell Davies are among 20th-century composers who admired and were influenced by Mahler.
The International Gustav Mahler Institute was established in 1955 to honour the composer's life and work. The Mahler family were of humble circumstances. Bohemia was part of the Austrian Empire. From this background the future composer developed early on a permanent sense of exile, "always an intruder, never welcomed."Bernhard Mahler, the pedlar's son and the composer's father, elevated himself to the ranks of the petite bourgeoisie by becoming a coachman and an innkeeper. He bought a modest house in the village of Kalischt, halfway between Prague in Bohemia and Brno in Moravia, in the geographic center of today's Czech Republic. Bernhard's wife, gave birth to the first of the couple's 14 children, a son Isidor, who died in infancy. Two years on 7 July 1860, their second son, was born. In October 1860, Bernhard Mahler moved with his wife and infant son, Gustav, to the town of Iglau, 25 km to the south-east, where he built up a distillery and tavern business; the family grew but of the 12 children born to the family in Iglau only six survived infancy.
Iglau was a thriving commercial town of 20,000 people where Gustav was introduced to music through street songs, dance tunes, folk melodies, the trumpet calls and marches of the local military band. All of these elements would contribute to his mature musical vocabulary; when he was four years old, Gustav took to it immediately. He developed his performing skills sufficiently to be considered a local Wunderkind and gave his first public performance at the town theatre when he was ten years old. Although Gustav loved making music, his school reports from the Iglau Gymnasium portrayed him as absent-minded and unreliable in academic work. In 1871, in the hope of improving the boy's results, his father sent him to the New Town Gymnasium in Prague, but Gustav was unhappy there and soon returned to Iglau. On 13 April 1875 he suffered a bitter personal loss when his younger brother Ernst died after a long illness. Mahler sought to express his feelings in music: with the help of a friend, Josef Steiner, he began work on an opera, Herzog Ernst von Schwaben as a memorial to his lost brother.
Neither the music nor the libretto of this work has survived. Bernhard Mahler supported his son's ambitions for a music career, agreed that the boy should try for a place at the Vienna Conservatory; the young Mahler was auditioned by the renowned pianist Julius Epstein, accepted for 1875–76. He made good progress in his piano studies with Epstein and won prizes at the end of each of his first two years. For his final year, 1877–78, he concentrated on composition and harmony under Robert Fuchs and Franz Krenn. Few of Mahler's student compositions have survived, he destroyed a symphonic movement prepared for an end-of-term competition, after its scornful rejection
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, Gioachino Rossini, whose works influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy, he participated as an elected politician. The chorus "Va, pensiero" from his early opera Nabucco, similar choruses in operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals. An intensely private person, however, did not seek to ingratiate himself with popular movements and as he became professionally successful was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region.
He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida, with three late masterpieces: his Requiem, the operas Otello and Falstaff. His operas remain popular the three peaks of his'middle period': Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, the 2013 bicentenary of his birth was celebrated in broadcasts and performances. Verdi, the first child of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini, was born at their home in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto in the Département Taro and within the borders of the First French Empire following the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza in 1808; the baptismal register, prepared on 11 October 1813, lists his parents Carlo and Luigia as "innkeeper" and "spinner" respectively. Additionally, it lists Verdi as being "born yesterday", but since days were considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. Following his mother, Verdi always celebrated his birthday on 9 October, the day he himself believed he was born.
Verdi had a younger sister, who died aged 17 in 1833. From the age of four, Verdi was given private lessons in Latin and Italian by the village schoolmaster, at six he attended the local school. After learning to play the organ, he showed so much interest in music that his parents provided him with a spinet. Verdi's gift for music was apparent by 1820–21 when he began his association with the local church, serving in the choir, acting as an altar boy for a while, taking organ lessons. After Baistrocchi's death, Verdi, at the age of eight, became; the music historian Roger Parker points out that both of Verdi's parents "belonged to families of small landowners and traders not the illiterate peasants from which Verdi liked to present himself as having emerged... Carlo Verdi was energetic in furthering his son's education...something which Verdi tended to hide in life... he picture emerges of youthful precocity eagerly nurtured by an ambitious father and of a sustained and elaborate formal education."In 1823, when he was 10, Verdi's parents arranged for the boy to attend school in Busseto, enrolling him in a Ginnasio—an upper school for boys—run by Don Pietro Seletti, while they continued to run their inn at Le Roncole.
Verdi returned to Busseto to play the organ on Sundays, covering the distance of several kilometres on foot. At age 11, Verdi received schooling in Italian, the humanities, rhetoric. By the time he was 12, he began lessons with Ferdinando Provesi, maestro di cappella at San Bartolomeo, director of the municipal music school and co-director of the local Società Filarmonica. Verdi stated: "From the ages of 13 to 18 I wrote a motley assortment of pieces: marches for band by the hundred as many little sinfonie that were used in church, in the theatre and at concerts, five or six concertos and sets of variations for pianoforte, which I played myself at concerts, many serenades and various pieces of church music, of which I remember only a Stabat Mater." This information comes from the Autobiographical Sketch which Verdi dictated to the publisher Giulio Ricordi late in life, in 1879, remains the leading source for his early life and career. Written, with the benefit of hindsight, it is not always reliable when dealing with issues more contentious than those of his childhood.
The other director of the Philharmonic Society was Antonio Barezzi, a wholesale grocer and distiller, described by a contemporary as a "manic dilettante" of music. The young Verdi did not become involved with the Philharmonic. By June 1827, he had graduated with honours from the Ginnasio and was able to focus on music under Provesi. By chance, when he was 13, Verdi was asked to step in as a replacement to play in what became his first public event in his home town. By 1829–30, Verdi had established himself as a leader of the Philharmonic: "none of us could rival him" reported the secretary of the organisation, Giuseppe Demaldè. An eight-movement cantata, I deliri di Saul, based on a drama by Vittorio Alfieri, was written by Verdi when he was 15 and performed in Bergamo, it was acclaimed by both Demaldè and Barezzi, who commented: "He shows a vivid imagination, a philosophical outlook, sound judgment in the arrangement of instrumental parts." In late 1829, Verdi had completed his s
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era. Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position, he chose to stay in the capital. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies and operas, portions of the Requiem, unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35; the circumstances of his death have been much mythologized. He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, chamber and choral music, he is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music.
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, Joseph Haydn wrote: "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years". Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria, née Pertl, at 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg; this was the capital of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, an ecclesiastic principality in what is now Austria part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was the youngest of seven children, his elder sister was Maria Anna Mozart, nicknamed "Nannerl". Mozart was baptised the day at St. Rupert's Cathedral in Salzburg; the baptismal record gives his name in Latinized form, as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. He called himself "Wolfgang Amadè Mozart" as an adult, but his name had many variants. Leopold Mozart, a native of Augsburg, was a minor composer and an experienced teacher. In 1743, he was appointed as fourth violinist in the musical establishment of Count Leopold Anton von Firmian, the ruling Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.
Four years he married Anna Maria in Salzburg. Leopold became the orchestra's deputy Kapellmeister in 1763. During the year of his son's birth, Leopold published a violin textbook, Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, which achieved success; when Nannerl was 7, she began keyboard lessons with her father, while her three-year-old brother looked on. Years after her brother's death, she reminisced: He spent much time at the clavier, picking out thirds, which he was striking, his pleasure showed that it sounded good.... In the fourth year of his age his father, for a game as it were, began to teach him a few minuets and pieces at the clavier.... He could play it faultlessly and with the greatest delicacy, keeping in time.... At the age of five, he was composing little pieces, which he played to his father who wrote them down; these early pieces, K. 1–5, were recorded in the Nannerl Notenbuch. There is some scholarly debate about whether Mozart was four or five years old when he created his first musical compositions, though there is little doubt that Mozart composed his first three pieces of music within a few weeks of each other: K. 1a, 1b, 1c.
In his early years, Wolfgang's father was his only teacher. Along with music, he taught academic subjects. Solomon notes that, while Leopold was a devoted teacher to his children, there is evidence that Mozart was keen to progress beyond what he was taught, his first ink-spattered composition and his precocious efforts with the violin were of his own initiative, came as a surprise to Leopold, who gave up composing when his son's musical talents became evident. While Wolfgang was young, his family made several European journeys in which he and Nannerl performed as child prodigies; these began with an exhibition in 1762 at the court of Prince-elector Maximilian III of Bavaria in Munich, at the Imperial Courts in Vienna and Prague. A long concert tour followed, spanning three and a half years, taking the family to the courts of Munich, Paris, The Hague, again to Paris, back home via Zurich and Munich. During this trip, Wolfgang met a number of musicians and acquainted himself with the works of other composers.
A important influence was Johann Christian Bach, whom he visited in London in 1764 and 1765. When he was eight years old, Mozart wrote his first symphony, most of, transcribed by his father; the family trips were difficult, travel conditions were primitive. They had to wait for invitations and reimbursement from the nobility, they endured long, near-fatal illnesses far from home: first Leopold both children; the family again went to Vienna in late 1767 and remained there until December 1768. After one year in Salzburg and Wolfgang set off for Italy, leaving Anna Maria and Nannerl at home; this tour lasted from December 1769 to March 1771. As with earlier journeys, Leopold wanted to display his son's abilities as a performer and a maturing composer. Wolfgang met Josef Mysliveček and Giovanni Battista Martini in Bologna, was accepted as a member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica. In Rome, he heard Gregorio Allegri's Miserere twice in performance, in the Sistine Chapel, wrote it out from memory, thus producing the first unauthorized copy of this guarded property of the Vatican.
In Milan, Mozart wrote the opera Mitridate, re di Ponto, performed with success. This led to further oper
Elwood Haynes "Bud" Hillis is a former U. S. Representative from Indiana. Born in Kokomo, Hillis attended Kokomo public schools, he graduated from Culver Military Academy, 1944. B. S. Indiana University, 1949. J. D. Indiana University School of Law, 1952, he served in the United States Army in the European Theater with the rank of first lieutenant from 1944 to 1946. He retired from the Reserves in 1954 with rank of captain in the infantry, he commenced practice in Kokomo. He served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth General Assemblies, he served as a delegate, Indiana State Republican conventions from 1962 to 1970. Hillis was elected as a Republican to the seven succeeding Congresses, he was not a candidate for reelection in 1986. He resumed the practice of law, he is a resident of Colorado. On March 17, 2010, Bud Hillis was honored for his years in public service at the Howard County Lincoln Day Dinner, held at the Kokomo Country Club in Kokomo, Indiana. Bud Hillis is a younger brother to renowned choral director Margaret Hillis.
Their father, Glen R. Hillis, was the Republican nominee for Governor of Indiana in 1940, losing by less than 4,000 votes, his maternal grandfather and namesake, Elwood Haynes, was an automobile pioneer. United States Congress. "Elwood Hillis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-03-19 Appearances on C-SPAN This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It hosts many notable performing arts organizations, which are nationally and internationally renowned, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera. A consortium of civic leaders and others led by, under the initiative of, John D. Rockefeller III built Lincoln Center as part of the "Lincoln Square Renewal Project" during Robert Moses' program of urban renewal in the 1950s and 1960s. Respected architects were contracted to design the major buildings on the site, over the next thirty years the diverse working class area around Lincoln Center was replaced with a conglomeration of high culture to please the tastes of the consortium. Rockefeller was Lincoln Center's inaugural president from 1956 and became its chairman in 1961, he is credited with raising more than half of the $184.5 million in private funds needed to build the complex, including drawing on his own funds.
The center's three buildings, David Geffen Hall, David H. Koch Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House were opened in 1962, 1964 and 1966, respectively. While the center may have been named because it was located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, it is unclear whether the area was named as a tribute to U. S. President Abraham Lincoln; the name was bestowed on the area in 1906 by the New York City Board of Aldermen, but records give no reason for choosing that name. There has long been speculation that the name came from a local landowner, because the square was named Lincoln Square. City records from the time show only the names Johannes van Bruch, Thomas Hall, Stephan de Lancey, James de Lancey, James de Lancey, Jr. and John Somerindyck as area property owners. One speculation is that references to President Lincoln were omitted from the records because the mayor in 1906 was George B. McClellan Jr. son of General George B. McClellan, general-in-chief of the Union Army early in the American Civil War and a bitter rival of Lincoln's.
Architects who designed buildings at the center include: Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Public spaces, Hypar Pavilion and Lincoln Ristorante, The Juilliard School, Alice Tully Hall, School of American Ballet, Josie Robertson Plaza, Revson Fountain, President's Bridge and Infoscape Max Abramovitz: David Geffen Hall, original design of Josie Robertson Plaza Pietro Belluschi: The Juilliard School. Modified by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with FXFOWLE Architects Gordon Bunshaft: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Wallace Harrison: the center's master plan, the Metropolitan Opera House, original design of Josie Robertson Plaza Lee S Jablin: 3 Lincoln Center, the adjacent condominium built by a private developer Philip Johnson: New York State Theater, now known as the David H. Koch Theater, original design of Josie Robertson Plaza and original Revson Fountain Eero Saarinen: Vivian Beaumont Theater Davis and Associates: The Samuel B. and David Rose Building. Billie Tsien, Tod William: The David Rubenstein Atrium Hugh Hardy/H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC: The Claire Tow Theater WET Design: Revson Fountain The first structure to be completed and occupied as part of this renewal was the Fordham Law School of Fordham University in 1962.
Located between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, from West 60th to 66th Streets in Lincoln Square, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the complex was the first gathering of major cultural institutions into a centralized location in an American city. The development of the condominium at 3 Lincoln Center, completed in 1991, designed by Lee Jablin of Harman Jablin Architects, made possible the expansion of The Juilliard School and the School of American Ballet; the center's cultural institutions make use of facilities located away from the main campus. In 2004, the center expanded through the addition of Jazz at Lincoln Center's newly built facilities, the Frederick P. Rose Hall, at the new Time Warner Center, located a few blocks to the south. In March 2006, the center launched construction on a major redevelopment plan that modernized and opened up its campus. Redevelopment was completed in 2012 with the completion of the President's Bridge over West 65th Street; when first announced in 1999, Lincoln Center's campuswide redevelopment was to cost $1.5 billion over 10 years and radically transform the campus.
The center management held an architectural competition, won by the British architect Norman Foster in 2005, but did not approve a full scale redesign until 2012, in part because of the need to raise $300 million in construction costs and the New York Philharmonic's fear that it might lose audiences and revenue while it was displaced. Among the architects that have been involved were Frank Gehry. In March 2006, the center launched the 65th Street Project – part of a major redevelopment plan continuing through the fall of 2012 – to create a new pedestrian promenade designed to improve accessibility and the aesthetics of that area of the campus. Additionally, Alice Tully Hall was modernized and reopened to critical and popular acclaim in 2009 and the Film Society of Lincoln Center expanded with the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Top
Kokomo is a city in and the county seat of Howard County, United States. Kokomo is Indiana's 13th-largest city, it is the principal city of the Kokomo, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Howard County. Kokomo's population was 46,113 at the 2000 census, 45,468 at the 2010 census. On January 1, 2012, Kokomo annexed more than 7 square miles on the south and west sides of the city, including Alto and Indian Heights, increasing the city's population to nearly 57,000 people. Named for the Miami Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo, called "Chief Kokomo", Kokomo first benefited from the legal business associated with being the county seat. Before the Civil War, it was connected with Indianapolis and the Eastern cities by railroad, which resulted in sustained growth. Substantial growth came after the discovery of large natural gas reserves, which produced a boom in the mid-1880s. Among the businesses which the boom attracted was the fledgling automobile industry. A significant number of technical and engineering innovations were developed in Kokomo in automobile production, and, as a result, Kokomo became known as the "City of Firsts."
A substantial portion of Kokomo's employment still depends on the automobile industry. The following is a list of all the buildings in Kokomo, that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Elwood Haynes House Kokomo City Building Kokomo Country Club Golf Course Kokomo Courthouse Square Historic District Kokomo High School and Memorial Gymnasium Lake Erie and Western Depot Historic District Learner Building Old Silk Stocking Historic District Seiberling Mansion The settler tradition says Kokomo was named for Kokomoko or Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo, shortened to Kokomo, said to have been one of the four sons of Chief Richardville last of the chiefs of the Miami people. Folklore holds that he was 7 feet tall and falsely gives him the title of "chief." David Foster, known as the "Father of Kokomo," claimed that he named the town Kokomo after the "ornriest Indian on earth" because Kokomo was "the ornriest town on earth." Kokomo is thought to have been born in 1775 and died in 1838. The only documentary proof of his existence is a trading post record of a purchase of a barrel of flour for $12 for his "squaw."
His remains were discovered during the construction of a saw mill in 1848 and re-interred in the "north-east corner" of the Pioneer Cemetery. The tradition of the Peru Miami is that the town was named after a Thorntown Miami named Ko-kah-mah, whose name is rendered Co-come-wah in the Treaty at the Forks of the Wabash in 1834; that name was translated as "the diver". As a result of various removals, by 1840 the Miami population in Howard County was reduced to about 200; the principal settlement was the Village of Kokomo, on the south side of Wildcat Creek. Indian paths connected Kokomo with Frankfort and Thorntown and led to Peru by way of Cassville, to Meshingomesia by way of Greentown. At the time David Foster had a trading post in Howard County, near the intersection of the reservation boundary line and Wildcat pike, where he engaged in both legitimate trade and illegal sale of alcohol to the Miamis on government property. Shortly after Richardville County was organized in 1844 the commissioners appointed to establish the county seat approached Foster for a donation from his substantial holdings.
At the time of the request the only improvements in what is now Kokomo were Foster's log house and log barn and several Miami huts. The commissioners sought a donation of the more fertile lands south of Wildcat Creek, but Foster refused, donating instead 40 acres north of the creek—land, thickly forested and "swampy." The terms of the donation required that Foster build a courthouse on the land, but he was excused and Rufus L. Blowers was promised $28 to build it, he was penalized $2 for construction delays. The log courthouse was completed in 1845. In June 1855 Henry A. Brouse petitioned the board of Howard county commissioners to incorporate the town of Kokomo; the original election was not held, but another took place on October 1, 1855. After a vote of 62–3 in favor of incorporation, the board so ordered it. On March 31, 1865, an election was held for Kokomo to assume a city government; the resolution was passed, Nelson Purdum was elected the first mayor. In anticipation of business that the court would bring, Kokomo began a quick growth from the time that lots were first sold on October 18, 1844.
David Foster was granted the first license to sell merchandise in Kokomo at the December 1844 commissioners meeting. Two more merchants were licensed in March 1845. John Bohan, who would become a major shop owner, justice of the peace and investor, moved to Kokomo in December 1844, erected the first two story frame house, not only in Kokomo, but in all the county. After the enactment of the 1846 pre-emption law, settlers attempted to secure homesteads in the surrounding lands. In 1848 Stonebreaker's Mill, 10 miles west of Kokomo, began operations. By 1850 Kokomo had a newspaper, when James Beard purchased the printing equipment of the New London Pioneer and set up the Howard Tribune. By 1851 county business was so brisk that the county ordered the construction of two more court buildings, both one story brick affairs, 18 by 36 feet; the county auditor and treasurer occupied one building, the clerk and recorder occupied the other. On April 1, 1854, Kokomo's first bank, the Indian Reserve Bank, was organized