Commentary by Robert Bowling
Twenty years before Salathiel Fisher plotted our town along the railroad, another nearby town had already established itself as the center of commerce in this part of the county. New Britton was flourishing as a railroad town, having been founded in 1851. The town had a post office, justice of the peace, school and church and was strategically located along the L.E. & W (Lake Erie and Western) Railroad. The center of town was near present day 131st Street and the railroad tracks. But perhaps its most treasured commodity was the general store owned by Sam Trittipo.
Sam Trittipo moved to New Britton in 1864 and immediately established himself as one of its pioneer citizens. In addition to running the general store, he also was postmaster for New Britton. However, in 1886, he shocked the town when he announced he was moving his business to the fast-growing metropolis of Fishers. His general store would be built along Main Street (corner of present day 116th Street and Jaycee Street). Today, the building is occupied by State Farm agent Jim Beehler.
Sam Trittipo’s arrival in Fishers was met with great fanfare and he was revered just as he was in New Britton. The year 1872 is the official year Fishers was founded but most residents in 1898 would have disagreed. They contend that although Salathiel Fisher plotted the town, Fishers wasn’t officially founded until Sam Trittipo built his store in 1886. Residents of New Britton still frequented his store and it was made easier when the railroad offered roundtrip tickets between the two towns for only 75 cents.
Although Sam Trittipo was well respected in Fishers, there were some who apparently did not like him. His store and family would be subjected to some mysterious bombings that were never solved. More on those in the next “Back in the Day” column.