Noblesville Mayor Ditslear Receives Sagamore of the Wabash Award



Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear was honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award during the annual Mayor’s Charity Jubilee on Nov. 9. Mayor Elect Chris Jensen presented Ditslear with the award on behalf of Gov. Eric Holcomb, who was unable to attend.

“I was surprised, humbled and honored that Gov. Holcomb thought of me for this distinction,” said Ditslear. “I’m proud of the work we have done, the progress we have made and the outstanding reputation that Noblesville has earned. I truly love this city and the people who make up our community, and I thank the citizens for entrusting me with this honor for 16 years as their mayor.”

The Sagamore of the Wabash Award is the highest honor bestowed on a citizen by Indiana’s governor, and serves as a tribute to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state. The term “sagamore” was used by the American Indian Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.

The award says Ditslear is “... distinguished by his humanity in living, his loyalty in friendship, his wisdom in council and his inspiration in leadership.”

Since taking office in 2004, Ditslear has led Noblesville through tremendous growth and change. The community’s population has grown 57 percent to more than 61,000 residents today. By welcoming commercial development and bringing thousands of new jobs to Noblesville, his initiative and leadership guiding that growth have greatly strengthened the local economy – overseeing an increase in assessed value of taxable property by 134 percent to more than $6 billion.

While his time in office is coming to an end, Ditslear has brought about several quality of life initiatives, including a major expansion of trails which has increased to more than 100 total miles. He also has added four new city parks including the purchase of 200 acres for the future Finch Creek Park.

Ditslear oversaw the improvement and expansion of roadways throughout the city including all roundabout intersections in Noblesville. The connection of 146th Street to Interstate 69 as a major traffic artery across the city also led to Simon Property Group’s Hamilton Town Center outdoor mall, which helped fuel major commercial growth for both Noblesville and nearby Fishers to set the stage for significant regional development that continues to this day.

Under Ditslear’s leadership, the city has focused on strengthening and renovating the historic downtown through façade grants, road and sidewalk improvements and constructing the Riverwalk trail. Noblesville also recently broke ground on the Levinson, downtown’s first apartments in more than a century. The $24.3 million mixed-use project with 83 high-end apartments and a 300-space parking garage, ensures a successful and sustainable downtown for generations to come and is part of the mayor’s Noblesville NOW capital improvement plan.

Outside of being mayor, Ditslear was elected to three terms on the Noblesville School Board, and served as a board member for several organizations including the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, the Noblesville Boys & Girls Club, the Riverview Hospital Foundation, the Hamilton East Public Library and United Way of Hamilton County. On Saturday evening, it was announced that Ditslear had raised over $1.08 million for local organizations prior to this year through his charity balls.