Inhabited for centuries by cultures of indigenous people, Wabash County was formed in 1820. French explorers and traders encountered the Miami beginning in the 17th century. Wabash is the English spelling of the earlier French name, Ouabache, which was derived from the French version from the Indian name, Wabashike, (pronounced wah-ba-she-keh), which means “pure white. Much of the River bottom is white limestone, but unfortunately, is now obscured by mud. The county’s largest city and the County Seat is, of course, Wabash. Wabash has claimed to be the first electrically lighted city in the world, however, history indicates that only the courthouse grounds were lighted. They had used a carbon arc light which was invented by Charles Brush in 1870. On March 31, 1880, four 3,000 candle power lamps were suspended from the top of the courthouse, connected via telegraph wires to a threshing machine, which provided its power. Wabash County is also the home of Manchester University.