Kouts is a close-knit community built on character and pride, and is rich in history.
Kouts was originally set up by Barnhardt Kouts (Kautz) as a village at the junction of the Erie and Pennsylvania (Panhandle) railroads. Soon after in 1865, the first post office was formed and by 1881 there were about 500 people who called Kouts home. Besides offering residents the benefits of being a station for two railroads, the Kouts area was also important to early settlers for its abundant fish and furs due to the nearby Kankakee River.
Official records show that the town was originally named Kouts Station in 1867, then changed to Kout in 1882 and finally Kouts in 1890.
It was incorporated in 1921, when electricity first came into town.
You can learn much more about Kouts history by visiting the “Indiana Room” at the Kouts Public Library.
This unique treasury of local and state history is filled with memorabilia and photos of town events, the town centennial, past, and present businesses and organizations, the Heinold family, bound copies of the Kouts Times and Kouts Courier, school yearbooks, sports history, and general Indiana history.
Kouts and the Kankakee River
The Kankakee River has played an important role in the history of the Kouts area. Its natural beauty makes it a great destination for nature lovers, history buffs, and families looking for a place to spend a relaxing afternoon.
The Collier Lodge site has earned status on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, pictures of artifacts, and a membership application, visit www.kankakeevalleyhistoricalsociety.org
For festival lovers, the Kankakee River is also the site of the Aukiki River Festival. Named after the Native American name for the river, this event is held each year on the same weekend as Porkfest and offers history enthusiasts the opportunity to celebrate the history of the Grand Kankakee River.
The festival takes place at the Collier Lodge at 1092 Baums Bridge Road and features authentic French Voyageur, Native American, Fur Trader, and Civil War re-enactors and encampments; blacksmith, archaeology, and basket weaving demonstrations; historical music; food and kids crafts.
Kankakee Valley Historical Society