Home to numerous winding rivers, creeks and reservoirs, Wabash County is named for the largest of these, the Wabash River. The County was formally established on January 30, 1833. Wabash City was first incorporated in January 1849. Joseph A. Matlock was elected the first mayor of Wabash.
On January 26, 1856, the first passenger train arrived in Wabash. The railroad continued to play a major role in the development of the County. The big Four Railroad (the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad) were persuaded to build shops in Wabash.
The City of Wabash is probably best known for the distinction of being the first electrically lighted city in the world. The historic event took place at eight o'clock on the evening of March 31, 1880.
The county is now largely agricultural and much of Wabash County is rich bottom land on which large crops of corn, wheat, and soybeans are produced. In 2009, Wabash County was host to two new companies and three expansions, which generated a total of $40.6 million of new investment and 42 new jobs.
In 2011 Wabash had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $33,469. This PCPI ranked 39th in the state and was 94 percent of the state average, $35,689, and 81 percent of the national average, $41,560. The 2011 PCPI reflected an increase of 6.6 percent from 2010. The 2010-2011 state change was 4.9 percent and the national change was 4.4 percent. In 2001 the PCPI of Wabash was $25,502 and ranked 39th in the state. The 2001-2011 compound annual growth rate of PCPI was 2.8 percent. The compound annual growth rate for the state was 2.4 percent and for the nation was 2.9 percent. This data provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis BEAR Facts.