The history of the City of Wayne dates back to about 1824, when George M. Johnson, first settled in the area and built his log home on what is now the center of Wayne's commercial district.
Two years later, in 1826, Stephen G. Simmons bought Johnson's property and operated a hotel on the site. In 1830, Ezra Derby, acquired all of Simmon's holdings and in 1834, he recorded the first plat of the community. This settlement first became known as Derby's Corners. Ten families, two stores, one school, and a tavern made up the entire area.
The settlement attracted a steady stream of pioneers and by 1869, incorporation was effected, the area of the new municipality being exactly one mile square and the population reached 833. The name Wayne was adopted in honor of Revoluntionary War hero, General Anthony Wayne, whose military expertise secured the area for the United States.
In 1871 the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad extended its line through the City of Wayne to Plymouth Township. This became a very important rail junction for the area, bringing more transportation facilities to industry and commerce. The Michigan Central Railroad had already extended its tracks from Detroit to Ann Arbor, and this added to the city's popularity.
The community continued to show steady growth, with new retail enterprises opening to cover the needs of its population. A new school replaced the much smaller original building, and churches were opened for almost all denominations.
The Weekly Review published by J.N. Steers printed out its first issue in 1871, making the City of Wayne one of the first towns in Wayne County, outside of Detroit to have an established newspaper.
In 1887, the Prouty & Glass Carriage Company developed the industrial division of Wayne. By 1906, the first telephone was installed, and in 1909, Detroit Edison Company, began to furnish the town with electricity. In cecession after this, the factories of Harroun Motors, Enot Foundry, the Industrial Wire Cloth Products Company, and the Deceleco Company all established here, with great success. By 1927, the Graham-Paige Motor Corporation bought the Harroun Motors Plant and enlarged the structure and began the production of automobile bodies.
The greatest industrial expansions came during World War II, when the Federal Government bought out Graham-Paige, remodeled entered into lease with the Bendix Corporation, for the production of military aircraft motors and landing struts. The Stinson Aircraft Corporation headed by Eddie Stinson, one of aviations early "greats", had already built its new plant on the Wayne Industrial Airport.
Willow Run Airport, only eight miles away, was constructing the Consolidated Vultee B-24 bomers. This concentration of war production activity led to a demand fo workers, and thousands of people swarmed to the area for jobs.
Private builders erected over 700 homes in and around Wayne to accomodate the influx of people. The Federal Government established the Norwayne Federal Houseing Project of 1900 family units, and the Wayne Park Dormitory and Trailer Home Project.
With population growth, came sudden problems such as water supply. The Village had installed a new system before the War, but demand quickly made this inadequate. A 36-inch main was laid connecting Wayne to the water system of Detroit to accomadate the supply problem.
Schools were filled to the limit, making it necessary to build 3 new elementary schools, a middle school, and a new High School.
Many of Wayne's residents have been employed for years, even generations, in the many phases of the automobile production and distribution plants.
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