When the new state road numbers were assigned on 1 October 1926, there was a road that was to be added to the state highway system that connected Rochester to the Illinois-Indiana State Line west of Enos. That road was given the number SR 16, at least on maps. It was described at the time in a news release as “State Road 16 – A two section east-west road. One section runs directly west from Rochester through Winamac to the Illinois state line. The other runs east from Huntington to the Ohio line, east of Decatur, passing through Kingsland, Tocsin, Magley and Decatur. The ultimate hope is to effect another truck line across the state by joining these two sections.”
By 1929, the eastern section of SR 16 was added to the maps of Indiana. The western section was, as well, but not as SR 16. It was given the number SR 14. Well, sort of. SR 14 was the designation given to a road that connected Enos, on US 41, to Silver Lake on SR 15. The western terminus at the Illinois State Line, where it dumped into a county road on the Illinois side of the border, to Enos was still given the number SR 16. This changed in 1930, when that small section of SR 16 became SR 14.
The 1930/1931 Official Highway map still shows SR 14 ending at Silver Lake, but the map also shows an authorized addition to the highway system from Silver Lake to Fort Wayne, then northeast from Fort Wayne to Hicksville, Ohio. At the Fort Wayne end of the section to Silver Lake, this would correspond to Illinois Road (or, as it was first called, Illinois State Road). My goal is to find information about Illinois Road, other that what I have here, but information has been very sparse and hard to come by. The western end of SR 14 had been removed completely, according to the maps. SR 14 now started at SR 43, south of Medaryville.
The eastern end of SR 14, by 1932, started at the Ohio state line, north east of Fort Wayne, after coming from Hickville, Ohio. It then went through Fort Wayne, west on Illinois Road, and ended at SR 43 south of Medaryville. The western section, starting at the Illinois state line west of Enos, ended at SR 53 south of Aix. The section between SR 53 and SR 43 would be listed as an authorized addition. A road that will be important later, SR 230, left Fort Wayne due east for the Ohio state line at Edgerton was added in 1932.
SR 14 would be potentially moved again, as it was removed from the Illinois state line to US 41 south of Enos, and from SR 55 to SR 53. However, there was an authorized addition to the highway system, connecting SR 14 to US 41 north of Enos, through Fair Oaks and Gifford, then curving southeastward to connect to SR 43 where the eastern section of the road connected south of Medaryville.
The following year, SR 14 would be returned to its 1932 alignment. Sort of. It is listed on the map as part of the state system, but not maintained by the state. But this is on the Indiana State Library copy, and it is hand drawn onto that map. I am not sure who did the drawing, or why. It is just there. It should be noted that the same map shows, hand drawn, the “proposed roads not in the dotted line system,” which included the SR 14 reroute shown on the 1933 map. Another road of import on the 1934 map should be mentioned here. The original eastern SR 16, that would be SR 16, was renumbered that year to US 224.
1935 showed SR 14 connecting ending at the state line road between Illinois and Indiana, traversing the entire state of Indiana, connecting to Ohio SR 18 at the state line on its way to Hicksville. In Fort Wayne, going west, it still used the old Illinois State Road, meaning the name was once again descriptive.
In 1940, with the expansion of SR 37 north of Indianapolis, the new state road would connect Indianapolis to Fort Wayne, and then towards Hicksville, Ohio, where it turned into Ohio SR 2 at the state line. Thus SR 14 northeast of Fort Wayne was made part of the new extended SR 37. But this is where the above mentioned SR 230 comes into the picture. SR 230 would be recommissioned as SR 14 at this point, still creating a SR 14 connecting Illinois to Ohio, but this time to Ohio state road 113 and Payne, Ohio.
The next change made in the road would be the removal of the section from Enos westward to the Illinois state line in 1947. It should be noted that the 1947 map also shows SR 14 on the State Line Road for one mile, where it connected to a county road in Illinois. Again, this only lasted for one year, as that section of SR 14 was removed for good from the state highway system. 1979 showed the state removing SR 14 between Interstate 69 west of Fort Wayne and New Haven, east of the city. The section from New Haven east to the Ohio State line would be removed from the state highway system in 1994
At one point, the road that is now SR 14 was planned to be a cross state highway, known as SR 16. It made the cross-state designation, but it didn’t last long and it wasn’t as SR 16. Today, the road connects US 41 at Enos to west of Fort Wayne, through Kents, Parr, Lweiston, Winamac, Rochester, Athens, Akron, Silver Lake, and South Whitley.