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Grade School Humor Theater: Fort Wayne Has Baals

Part of my day job is to come up with material for radio shows, meaning I go through lots of news stories to find stuff about which the people you hear on the air can pontificate.  Occasionally, I hit a story that’s just too good to keep to just the radio folks.  This is one of them.

Fort Wayne, Indiana decided to allow the public to participate in the naming of its new government center.  They solicited nominations and took votes.  The leader, by a comfortable margin, is the man who served the longest tenure as mayor of the city, which you’d expect would earn him some civic honors.  Yet, the city appears to be on track to reject the vote and the nomination.


The man in question, the Longest-Tenured Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the late…

Harry Baals.

Pronounced exactly the way you think it’s pronounced.  His descendants pronounce it differently — “bales” — but ol’ Harry went with the obvious.

They HAVE to reconsider.  This HAS to be the Harry Baals Government Center.

Let’s face it.  Would you even know that Fort Wayne HAS a new government building if not for this?  Unless you live there, would Fort Wayne cross your mind for any other reason?  If they name the place after Harry, the world will know.  This has to happen.

Unless his competition includes Fire Commissioner Phil McCracken, Councilman Al Kaholic, or School Superintendent Hugh G. Rection.  Wait, wasn’t there a Police Chief named Heywood something-or-other?  Hmm….

HT: Pat White, WGL/Fort Wayne; Fort Wayne Journal Gazette


  1. Adam Lehman says:

    I’m from Fort Wayne, IN! We got a shout out on NERDIST! BOO YA!

  2. Sean says:

    University of Massachusetts Lowell has Weed Hall, it holds the Nursing Department as well as Nutritional Sciences. I took a class called Exploring the Universe there and I think many students in class may have been doing just that, making the name of the hall appropriate.

    Even the URL is a little funny, in an extremely juvenile way.

  3. Harry R. says:

    I was skimming over this and all I saw was “Grade School” and “Harry Baals” and immediately thought this article was about what people won’t stop calling me. Anyone named Harry knows what I’m talking about.

  4. Mndrew says:

    With this rejection Connecticut still holds the record for stupidest name for a gov’t structure. Officially known as the State Legislative Office Building (SLOB).