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History of Hancock County, Indiana. Binford, J. H. (John H.), b. 1844. 



HANCOCK COUNTY, Indiana, is located a little east of the geographical center of the state. It is in latitude 40° north, and longitude 86° west, of Greenwich, or 9° west from Washington, and is in townships fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen north, and ranges five, six, seven, and eight east. In size it is about an average county of the state, being composed of 307 sections, or square miles, and containing about 196,480 acres. It is bounded on the west by Marion and Hamilton, on the north by Madison and Hamilton, on the east by Henry and Rush, and on the south by Shelby, Rush and Henry. It is chiefly bordered, however, by Marion on the west, Madison on the north, Henry on the east, and Shelby on the south. Hamilton forms only one mile of the western boundary and four of the northern; Rush forms six miles of the eastern and two of the southern, and Henry forms but one mile of the southern boundary. The greatest length of the county is nineteen miles, east and west, and its greatest width seventeen miles north and south.

Hancock county was cut off from Madison and organized in the year 1828, and named in honor of John Hancock, president of the convention that adopted the immortal "Declaration of Independence."

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At the time of the organization of the county it contained but few inhabitants, and they were scattered. At the first presidential election held in the county, which occurred November 3, 1828, the whole number of votes cast were 101, and now the whole number is, according to the census of 1880, 4,170. Then the entire population of the county was about 400; now it is 17,123. Then there were, perhaps, 135 children of school age in the county; now there are 5,646. Then there was but one clock in the county; now there is one in nearly every household. Then there were no broad fields of golden grain, cut with a self-binder and threshed with a steam thresher, but only here and there a small patch cleared in the green, cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail. Then our whole territory was almost one unbroken wilderness, in which were numerous Indians, wild deer, bears, panthers, wild cats, rattlesnakes, wolves, owls, turkies, opossums, raccoons, and porcupines. This condition of affairs has changed. The Indian has bid adieu to his native hunting grounds; the church bell has taken the place of the warwhoop; the poisonous fanged serpent, at the sight of civilization, has faded away as if under the benign influence of St. Patrick. What changes have taken place! The old landmarks are nearly gone; but few of the early pioneers,—our grandfathers and their sires,—are left, and they, one by one, are fast, passing away. Our progress, from a small beginning to our present status, has cost untold toil, hardships and privations, not fully appreciated by the youug of the present generation. This book is written, in part, that their names, and the trials they underwent, may, to some extent, be perpetuated. We shall show, step by step, the progress made decade after decade. This chapter is only intended as a bird's eye view of the territory, preparatory to a more detailed account, in which the townships will be considered separately, and elaborated thoroughly, when our minds will be carried back to the brave pioneers, to learn their names and mode of living, and to follow them up amidst the hardships incident to page: 27[View Page 27] pioneer life to balmier days and more pleasant surroundings even to the present time.

Hancock county is quite flat, there being but few hills, except in the immediate vicinity of the water-courses, and .several-of these have no banks worthy of the name. Blue River and Sugar Creek have considerable banks, and Brandywine at places. Blue-river and Sugar-creek townships are rolling, and somewhat undulating, but the county, on the whole, is remarkably level, and was once considered "low and wet;" but since it has been so thoroughly drained by tile ditches, and good roads built, we hear but little complaint in that direction.

It is now considered healthful, and as free from malaria and miasmatic diseases as any of its border counties; though there was once a great deal of ague and fever, bilious fever, and considerable milk-sickness.

Our soil, generally speaking, is exceedingly fertile; indeed, almost exhaustless in resources. The black, low grounds, which in the early history of the country were considered almost worthless, and were, therefore, the last entered, are now, since being drained, found to be the richest and most productive. The first settlements in the county were made on the uplands, hills and knolls, if possible. Thirty years ago, about a hundred feet above Blue River, in the midst of a small field, there stood a tiny log cabin, without roof, window, chimney, or floor, unfinished, decaying, which the writer passed hundreds, of times when a boy, and then learned that it was begun long years since for a pioneer cottage; but in the "raising," there being little help, the proprietor was crushed by the falling of a log on nearing the gable.

The principal exports of the county are wheat, corn, hogs, cattle, horses, oats, potatoes, flaxseed, apples, hay, and sheep.

Hancock county's first exports were ginseng, venison-hams, firs, flax and tow linen.

The statistical returns of 1880 show that our county produced, on 27,752 acres, 580,207 bushels wheat; on page: 28[View Page 28] 37,072 acres, 1,187,328 bushels corn; on 1,665 acres, 45,129 bushels oats. The same year we produced 16,752 bushels Irish potatoes, 51,160 bushels flaxseed, 42,028 bushels apples, and had in our county 5,228 head of horses, 285 head of mules, 9,609 head of cattle, 9,340 head of sheep, and 23,400 head of hogs old enough to fatten. The county was once heavily timbered with a large per cent. of the best kinds of saw timber, such as walnut, poplar, oak, ash, and cherry. Walnut timber of the finest quality was once not only used for fencing and fire-wood, but was deadened and burned in log-heaps, to get it out of the way.

There are large beds of sand and gravel in various parts of the county. At least seven out of the nine townships have sufficient gravel, of good quality, to make all her roads, public and private, in good order.

The county is well watered with numerous streams, springs and wells of excellent limestone water.

Blue River, the largest stream in the county, a fine, clear, lasting mill stream, runs across the south-eastern corner of Blue-river township, entering Shelby county just below Bacon's mill. Its bottoms are broad and exceedingly fertile.

Sugar Creek, the next in size, is a clear, rapid, medium-size mill stream. It rises in the western part of Henry county, near Elizabeth City, enters Hancock county within a few rods of the north-east corner, and runs in a south-west direction to within half a mile of Warrington; thence northwest, dipping into the edge of Madison a few rods; thence in a general south-westerly direction through Brown, Green, and across the corner of Vernon; thence through Center, Buck-creek, and Sugar-creek townships, entering Shelby county a mile and a half south of New Palestine.

Brandywine Creek, a rather small-sized mill stream, rises in Brown township, about a mile west of Warrington, and runs in a south-westerly direction through Brown and Jackson townships, and to the central northern middle page: 29[View Page 29] portion of Center township, four miles north of Greenfield; thence nearly south through Center and Brandywine townships, entering Shelby county six miles south of the county seat.

Buck Creek, a small, sluggish stream, rises in Vernon township, about a mile and a half south-west of Fortville, runs south-west through Buck-creek township, across the north-west corner of Sugar-creek township, entering Marion county one mile south of the south-west corner of Buck-creek township.

Nameless Creek is a small stream. Rising in the central portion of Jackson township, it runs south-west in Jackson, and empties into Blue River on the B. P. Butler farm.

Six Mile Creek rises in Henry county, flows south through Jackson, past Charlottesville, across the corner of Rush county, entering Blue-river township at its central eastern border; thence south-west, emptying into Blue river on the Wm. Cook farm.

Little Brandywine Creek rises near the boundary line between Center and Jackson townships, runs south-west, and empties into Brandywine two miles south by south-east of Greenfield.

Little Sugar Creek, a small, sluggish stream, rises in the north-west part of Center township, and running south by south-west, empties into Sugar Creek.

Flat Fork of Lick Creek rises in the south-east part of Vernon township, runs north by north-west, enters Hamilton county one mile west of Fortville, and empties into Lick Creek. These small streams have all been ditched and cleared out near their heads.

Swamp Creek is a sui generis small stream, taking its rise in Madison county. It runs nearly south, crossing Lick Creek in Madison county and Sugar-creek in Hancock county; crossing the National road at the Robert H. Ross farm, and finally losing itself in Brandywine Creek. This stream presents the general appearance of the bed of a lost river, being from forty to eighty rods wide, filled with decayed and decaying vegetable matter, more or less page: 30[View Page 30] soft and yielding, and with a tiny, turbid stream running through the center thereof.

Little Swan Creek rises in the south-western part of Center township, runs south by south-west, crosses Brandywine township, and enters Shelby county at the southern extremity of the boundary line between Sugar-creek and Brandywine townships.

There are numerous other small streams, unworthy of notice, in various parts of the county.

[View Figure]


Hancock county is reasonably well supplied with good gravel road turnpikes, there being one hundred and eighty miles of the same, 104 of which are now incorporated and pay taxes, and seventy-six of which were once taxed, but have since rescinded their charters and gone back to the page: 31[View Page 31] public. These pikes are several in number, and were built at an average cost of $1,2000 per mile, making a total cost of $216,000. Her public reads are generally graded, and in many places graveled by her citizens in working out their road taxes, and personal privileges.

Hancock county originally consisted of three townships, to-wit: Blue-river, Brandywine, and Sugar-creek.

These townships were organized in 1828, at the time of the separation from Madison county, and each extending to the county line.

Blue-river township was reduced in size and located in the south-east part of the county in 1831, with thirty sections. Jackson township was the name assigned to the remainder of Blue-river, and was located in the north-eastern part of the county, by the commissioners, in 1831.

Brandywine township was reduced to thirty sections in the same year, and located in the central southern portion of the county.

Center township was, in 1831, located north of Brandywine township, extending three miles north and south and six miles east and west, and containing eighteen sections.

Harrison township was also organized in the same year, and composed of the remainder of Brandywine north of Center to the north line of the county.

Buck-creek was cut off from Sugar-creek in 1831, and made to extend from congressional line sixteen to the north county line.

Green was taken from the north part of Jackson and Harrison in 1832, and composed of that part of the county north of congressional line seventeen, and consisted of sixty sections; being the same territory now embodied in Brown and Green.

In the year 1833, Brown township was dissevered from Green, and made to consist of thirty sections, its present size.

In 1835, Center township was increased one tier of sections, taken from the northern part of Brandywine. page: 32[View Page 32] Vernon township was cut off from the north part of Buck-creek north of congressional line seventeen, and made to consist of thirty-one sections.

Jones township was formed in 1838, by taking two tier of sections from the north part of Sugar-creek, and a like number from the south part of Buck-creek, and composed of twenty-four sections.

[View Figure]


Union township was made up from the eastern part of Buck-creek, the western part of Harrison, and the south-east corner of Vernon, in 1838; and composed of twenty sections.

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Worth township was composed of the north part of Jackson and the north-east corner of Center, and organized in the year 1850.

At the March term, 1853, the commissioners divided Jones township between Sugar-creek and Buck-creek; Union township between Buck-creek, Vernon and Center; Worth township between Center and Jackson, and attached Harrison to Center; thereby obliterating Jones, Union, Worth, and Harrison, and leaving nine civil townships, as we now have them.

Blue-river township is located in the south-east corner of the county; Brown in the north-east; Brandywine in the south middle; Buck-creek in the west middle; Center in the middle; Green in the central northern portion; Jackson in the eastern middle portion; Sugar-creek in the south-west corner; and Vernon in the north-west corner of the county.

Thus it may be seen that the county is composed of nine civil townships, arranged in three tiers of three townships each. The eastern division, composed of Brown, Jackson and Blue-river, constitutes the first commissioner's district; Green, Center and Brandywine the second; Vernon, Buck-creek and Sugar-creek the third; the present commissioners of which are, respectively, Augustus Dennis, Ephraim Bentley and John Dye.

Hancock county was first, settled about the year 1818. Previous to the United States survey of 1819, Andrew Evans and John Montgomery, with their families, and Montgomery McCall, came into this county, and settled on Blue River. At the same time, Platt and James Montgomery, brothers of John, and Isaac Roberts, with their families, and David Stephenson, settled in Center township. In 1820, Elijah Tyner, Harmon Warrum, Joshua Wilson, and John Foster, with their families, also settled on Blue River. In 1822, Solomon Tyner, John Osborn, and George Penwell, with their families, came and settled with the others on the same historic stream. The above, and a few others, were all in the county at, and before, its page: 34[View Page 34] organization. After this time the immigrants were more numerous, the more prominent of whom we will notice in the proper place in their respective townships.

[View Figure]


Among the early incidents, which are more numerous than were the pioneers themselves, we will note the following:

The first school-house in the county was a log one, diminutive in size, and exceedingly rude in architecture, erected near Elijah Tyner's old place, on Blue River, in the year 1823.

The first male teacher who taught in the county was Lewis Tyner.

Green township claims the honor of furnishing employment to the first female teacher, Mrs. Sarah Gant.

In 1818, the first log cabin was built by Andrew Evans.

In 1824, Joshua Wilson built the first grist mill, located on the banks of Blue River. This mill was a small, one-story page: 35[View Page 35] log structure, which, soon after being erected, was sold to Henry Watts, on account of some difficulty about the obstruction of water.

In the neighborhood of John Hinchman's old farm, in Center township, now owned by Abram Hackleman, was organized, in 1820, by the Methodists, the first religious society in the county.

The first blacksmith in the county was Thomas Phillips, who had his shop on Blue River, in about 1822.

Among the first taverns in the county, was one erected by Andrew Jackson, near Greenfield, in about 1825.

Elijah Tyner, on Blue River, had the first store in the county. He was also the first to set out an orchard.

The first road in the county was an old Indian trail, known as the "Napoleon Trace," which extended through Blue-river, Jackson, and Green townships, crossing Blue River near Warrum's old home, and Sugar Creek near 'Squire Hatfield's, at a place 'known as the "Stover Ford."

When the Montgomerys, McCall, and Evans, first settled, they had to go to White Water to mill, where Connersville now stands, some forty miles distant.

McCall, when he first came to the county, cleared a few acres of ground by yoking his oxen to the grubs and pulling them out by the roots. He then climbed up the surrounding trees, and trimmed off the branches to considerable height, and with them constructed a fence around his little patch, thus making the first fence in the county.

It has been said; in illustration of the capacity of one of the rude mills, erected in what was then Vernon township, but now Center, on Sugar Creek, that Rev. Wiley Pilkenton, who was a zealous, long-winded, old-school Baptist, would put in the hopper a two-bushel grist of corn, attend a two days' camp-meeting, and return in time to toll it. This mill was located just above the Sugar Creek bridge, on the Noblesville road. In size, it was about sixteen feet square, one-story high, constructed of small logs, or poles, and covered with clapboards. A stranger was passing this mill, on a certain occasion, when page: 36[View Page 36] he vociferously ordered the girls to "hold that d——d thing till I get by!"

The following are the post-offices and villages in Hancock county:

Post-offices.—Westland, in Blue-river township; Warrington and Willow Brach, in Brown township; Cleveland and Charlottesville, in Jackson township; McCordsville and Woodbury, in Vernon township; Philadelphia and Gem, in Sugar-creek township; Mount Comfort, in Buck-creek township; Carrollton, in Brandywine township; Eden and Milner's Corner, in Green township; Binwood, in Center township.

Incorporated Villages.—Our incorporated villages are: Fortville, in Vernon township, and New Palestine, in [View Figure]
Sugar-creek township. Charlottesville has been an incorporated town for a number of years until recently, when her corporation was dissolved, and a receiver appointed.

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The public buildings of Hancock county consist, at present, of a court-house, jail and sheriff's residence, poor-house, ninety-two public school buildings, and about fifty church buildings.

The present court-house was built by Nathan Crawford, deceased, an old and honored citizen, in the year 1854, upon a contract of $14,400. It is a substantial, convenient, and commodious building, honestly built by an honest man, and is, perhaps, not equaled by any public building in the state, at as low a cost.

The poor-house is located on the National road, two and a half miles east of Greenfield, in section thirty-five, township sixteen north, and range seven east. The building is a discredit to the county, being old and dilapidated, and not at all in harmony with the wealth and dignity of our citizens. The superintendent's residence is a plain, old-fashioned, story-and-a-half brick, built many years since for a private residence. The infirmary building proper is a cheap frame, known by carpenters as a "plank house," built in the rear of, and attached to, the superintendent's residence. The building is not only cheaply constructed, and poorly ventilated, but small and wholly inadequate to the demands of the unfortunate. A new building has been contemplated for several years; but, owing to "hard times" and "indebtedness of the county," the matter has been neglected.

The county has a very elegant, commodious, and convenient jail, and sheriff's residence in front, built upon a contract of $32,900; but costing, according to the records, $75,000, without interest, before completion. The building is a brick, with stone foundation, slate roof, and neatly finished inside and out. The architecture is modern, and and the work all first-class. The sheriff's residence is large, convenient, and finished in good taste. Considerable complaint has been made on account of the number of escaping convicts, who have succeeded in cutting and breaking out; but this is not wholly owing to the weakness of the jail, but more, perhaps, to too great leniency to the inmates.

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The public school building, in Greenfield, is an elegant two-story brick, with basement, stone foundation, slate roof, and ash finish, and will accommodate nine teachers and five hundred pupils. It was built in the year 1869 and 1870 by Harmon Everett, upon a contract of $20,000, payable in bonds on the corporation of the town of Greenfield. Everett took $10,000 in bonds in part payment. The [View Figure]
architects were Ennis and Hubert, of Indianapolis. The school trustees were A. K. Branham, Philander H. Boyd, and H. B. Wilson, of Greenfield. The stone for the foundation were shipped from St. Paul, in Decatur county. The brick were shipped and hauled, in part, from Knightstown. The building was begun in April, 1869, and the first school was taught in the fall of the same year.

A comparison of the taxes, mode of collecting, property, and wealth of the county, in its early history, with the present, shows that our growth has not only been steady, but rapid. The total taxes for 1829 were $703,17. The record shows the following:

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May 10, 1832.


  • Showing the amount of county revenue that the collector stands
    charged with for the year 1832.
  • 524 polls $262 00
  • 485 horses 242 50
  • 172 oxen 43 00
  • 27 watches 13 50
  • 1 clock 50
  • 2 covering horses 5 50
  • 6,532 acres of 1st rate land 26 12
  • 10,237 acres of 2d rate land 30 71½
  • Town lots 21 68
  • Non-resident road tax 10 83
  • Total $713 19½
  • Errors 56 84
  • Balance $656 35½
  • Attest: MORRIS PIERSON, C. T. H. C.,
  • (County Treasurer Hancock County).

The summary for the year 1833 shows the total tax to have been $787.88½, signed by Joseph Chapman, C. H. C. C.; which, when interpreted, means Clerk Hancock Circuit Court. The report for 1833 further shows 616 polls, 606 horses, 168 oxen, twenty-three watches, and two pleasuring carriages; being an increase in one year of ninety-two polls, twenty-one horses, and four oxen, and a decrease of four watches and one clock, there being no clock returned for the year 1833.

The reader will observe, from an examination of the summary report given above, that the ad valorem system of taxation, now prevalent, was not then used; but a specified tax was levied on each article of a certain class, regardless of value. This system continued in vogue till the year 1836.

We give below a copy of the last report under the old specific tax system, made in 1835.

  • 8,878 acres 1st rate land $ 35 51
  • page: 40[View Page 40]
  • 23,279 acres 2d rate land 69 83
  • 1,345 acres 1st rate non-resident land, on which
    there is a road tax of 5 38
  • 5,920 acres of 2d rate non-resident land 17 76
  • $5,851.60, value of town lots 29 26
  • $3,008.00, value of non-resident lots 15 04
  • 709 horses 354 50
  • 130 oxen 32 50
  • 15 silver watches 7 50
  • 1 gold watch 50
  • 3 composition watches 1 50
  • 2 brass clocks 1 00
  • 6 covering horses 12 00
  • 684 polls 342 00
  • Total $925 28

A comparison of the two reports shows that people were increasing in numbers and wealth and could afford more time-pieces, and other luxuries. In 1835, we find one gold watch, the first ever owned and taxed in the county; two brass clocks, and three composition watches.

Under the system of specific taxation, the following were the rates till 1832: On each poll, 50 cents; on each horse, 37½ cents; on each ox, 18¾ cents; on each silver watch, 25 cents; on each gold watch, $1.00; on stallions, the rate they stood at per season; for land, half the rate of state taxes. From 1832 to 1834 the rates were: On each poll, 50 cents; on town lots, ½ cent on each $1.00; work oxen, 25 cents; horses over three years old, 50 cents; watches, 50 cents; clocks, $1.00; the tax on every 100 acres of first-rate land, 40 cents; on second-rate land, 30 cents; on third-rate land, 20 cents. In the year 1834, the commissioners adopted the following list of rates: On each poll, 50 cents; on land, one-half the state tax; on each horse, valued at over $10.00, 50 cents; on each watch and pleasuring carriage, 50 cents; on horses and jacks, the price of the season at which they stand; on each yoke of oxen over three years old, 50 cents; on each brass clock, 50 cents; tavern license in Greenfield, $15.00; in other parts of the page: [][View Page []] [View Figure]
page: [][View Page []] page: 41[View Page 41] county, $10.00; license to vend wooden clocks, $10.00; foreign goods, $10.00. These rates remained in force for two years, or until the adoption of the ad valorem system, in 1836, when the rates were fixed by the commissioners at 20 cents on each $100 of real and personal property, and 75 cents on each poll.

Prior to the year 1836, watches, clocks and carriages were considered luxuries in which only the rich were at liberty to indulge, and they were compelled to pay for the privilege. Hence, the tax on a watch, though it be ever so old and cheap, was twenty-five per cent more than the tax on one hundred acres of the best land, listed as " first-rate;" the tax on a brass clock, regardless of its cost and real worth, was just equal to the tax on two hundred and fifty acres of the best land, or five hundred acres of third-rate land; and the tax on a pleasuring carriage was equal to the tax on one hundred and sixty-six and two-thirds acres of second-rate land, or two hundred and fifty acres of third-rate land. Again, the taxes on a clock or gold watch were equal to the tax on two head of horses, or two hundred dollars in money. The policy of the law seems to have been to discourage luxuries by high taxation, and to encourage the purchasing and owning of land by making the tax on it low.

From the year 1834 to the year 1836, it cost one as much to obtain a license to vend wooden clocks or foreign goods as it did to pay the county taxes on two thousand five hundred acres of the best land, or five thousand acres of third-rate land.

From the records of the year 1836, being the first under the ad valorem system, the following report is obtained:

  • Number of polls returned, 845—at 75 cents each $635 25
  • Total valuation of property, both real and personal,
    $490,710.79—at 20 cents on each $100 valuation 981 42
  • For road purposes—at 1 cent on each $100 valuation 49 07
  • Total taxes for the year 1836 $1,665 74
  • page: 42[View Page 42]
  • State receiver—at 5 cents on each $100 $245 35
  • August 20, 1826
  • M. PIERSON, T. H. C.

Let the critical and curious reader compare the following figures, showing the taxables of the county for 1881, with the preceding, and contrast the difference.

  • An abstract of the assessment of property, real and
    personal, in Hancock county for the year 1881,
    shows the value of land to be $4,438,190
  • Value of improvements 681,195
  • Value of lands and improvements $5,119,385
  • Value of lots 217,990
  • Value of improvements 350,105
  • Value of lots and improvements 568,095
  • Value of personal property 2,138,390
  • Value of telegraph 6,455
  • Value of railroads 394,540
  • Total value of taxables $8,226,835

It may be seen from the above that the value of lands and improvements was $27.00 per acre. The total value of taxables in the county averages $43.00 per acre. According to the auditor's report, the following is a true exhibit of the financial condition of Hancock county—the amount of funds on hand June 1, 1881:

  • County funds $15,339 30
  • Interest on county bonds 1,194 20
  • Liquor License 100 00
  • Fines from justices of the peace 350 54
  • Fines from county clerk 133 55
  • Principal congressional fund 400 60
  • Principal common fund 1,069 12
  • Redemption land 45 02
  • Congressional interest due other counties 250 54
  • Congressional interest due this county 788 21
  • Township fund 3,519 27
  • Corporation fund 1,739 97
  • page: 43[View Page 43]
  • Dog fund 806 91
  • Special school fund 8,893 28
  • Local tuition fund 5,732 54
  • Road fund 2,249 82
  • Total on hand, as per report of county commissioners $42,612 27

From other official sources we learn that the county expends, annually, over $40,000 for school purposes. The amount expended for the year ending September 1, 1881, was $42,562.83. Of this there was expended for tuition $26,077.07, and for special fund $16,485.86.

In further illustration of the growth of the county and her present wealth, it may be noted that the receipts of the county for the year ending May 31, 1881, were $169,449.84, including a balance in the treasury, May 31, 1880, of $51,650.58. The expenditures, including a balance on hand of $42,612.27, are the same. Orders outstanding May 31, 1880, are reported at $695.95; orders issued within the year, $87,665.54; orders redeemed within the year, $87,973.50; orders outstanding May 31, 1881, $387.99; county bonds outstanding, $25,000.

Early in the history of our county, the poor were left to depend upon their own resources, supplemented by the gratuitous favors of their friends. But now it is otherwise. The poor and infirm, the sick and unfortunate, who are unable to care for themselves, are provided for at the county's expense. For the year ending June 1, 1880, the orders issued by the trustees of the different townships of the county amounted to $4,601.55. Of this amount Center township issued orders to the extent of $2,296.17, which was the largest amount expended by any one township, and Blue-river township issued orders for the same purpose to the amount of $54.25, being the smallest amount expended by any one township. The trustee of Sugar-creek township issued orders which foot up $92. 11, being next to Blue-river township in the ascending scale. The trustee of Jackson township issued orders to the page: 44[View Page 44] amount of $719.19, next to Center township in the descending scale.

The county is reasonably well supplied with railroads. The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis passes east and west through the central portion; the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis (Bee Line) crosses the north-western portion; and the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indianapolis (Old Junction) crosses the south-western portion. The Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western railroad company is now extending a line across the county, entering Buck-creek, crossing Center and the north-west corner of Jackson, and out through Brown. This road will probably be completed early in 1882. The county will then have about fifty-six miles of completed road. Another road is contemplated, to extend north and south through the county, past Eden and the Junction, and through Greenfield to Shelbyville. The road is completed to Anderson, and if sufficient assistance is voted along the proposed route, it will be completed through to Shelbyville. Should this road be built, as projected, there will not be a township in the county without a railroad; and without it, all but Green are partially, or wholly, crossed by roads completed, or being completed. The P., C. and St. L., being the old "Indiana Central," has a line of about nineteen miles in the county; the "Junction" ten; the "Bee Line" nearly seven; and the I., B. and W. will have twenty miles when completed.

We have four papers now published in the county; all in Greenfield. Three political news and miscellaneous weeklies, and one educational monthly.

Our people are generally industrious, moral, thrifty, and intelligent. There is less illiteracy in the county than in the average counties of the state. According to the official returns, there were, for the year 1880, but two persons between ten and twenty-one years of age in the county unable to read and write; while in Madison, on the north, there were fifty, in Hamilton there were thirty-nine, and in the state there were two thousand and forty-seven, page: 45[View Page 45] which number divided by ninety-two, the number of counties, shows Hancock, on that basis, to be above an average county. The people are naturally very conservative; and it may be recorded as a historical fact that Hancock county once bitterly opposed the establishment of free schools, as shown by the official vote, when the question was submitted to the ballot-box. Though our voting population was then comparatively small, the county stood four hundred strong against the proposed establishment of free schools, and one township is said to have cast but two votes in favor of the same. But to-day she is not inferior to adjoining counties in the support of "free schools, the hope of our country;" and the individual that would publicly advocate their abolition would be considered, if not non compos mentis, at least a relic of the dark ages.

Hancock county is the home, and has been the residence, of several prominent men—politicians, poets, and educators. Milton B. Hopkins, late state superintendent of public instruction, and A. C. Shortridge, formerly superintendent of the Indianapolis schools, and for a time president of Purdue University, were once citizens of the county. This is the home of Judge David S. Gooding, a personal sketch of whom is given elsewhere, and of the poets James A. Riley and Lee O. Harris, who have more than a state reputation.

The county is democratic by about four hundred and sixty majority.

The churches principally represented are the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, Friends, Catholic, and Dunkard. The Methodists are found all over the county; the Friends are principally in Blue-river township; the Presbyterians in Center township; and the Catholics in Center, Sugar-creek and Vernon townships.

Hancock county is not behind her sister counties in loyalty and patriotism; but has ever been prompt and liberal in response to the country's call. In the war with Mexico she furnished a full company, organized by Captain James R. Bracken, and called into the service of the page: 46[View Page 46] United States by the President, under the act of Congress approved May 13, 1846, at Madison, Indiana, the place of general rendezvous, on the 8th day of October, 1847. In the war of the Rebellion she furnished, in response to the various calls of the President, nearly twelve hundred brave boys in blue, many of whom bled and died for their country's good.

The following is the


State Senator Hon. Simeon T. Yancey Fortville. 
Representative Hon. Morgan Chandler Greenfield. 
Judge 18th Judicial Circuit Hon. Mark E. Forkner New Castle. 
Prosecuting Att'y L. P. Newby Knightstown. 
Bailiff Wm. K. Jacobs Binwood. 
Cl'k Circ't Court Ephraim Marsh Greenfield. 
Deputy Chas. E. Downing Greenfield. 
Auditor Henry Wright Greenfield. 
Deputy William Wright Greenfield. 
Recorder John W. Ryon Greenfield. 
Deputy Miss Mary Roberts Greenfield. 
Treasurer Isaiah A. Curry Greenfield. 
Deputy James L. Smith Greenfield. 
Sheriff Wm. H. Thompson Greenfield. 
Deputy John C. Dudding Greenfield. 
Coroner James R. Trees Cleveland. 
Surveyor V. Scott Fries Greenfield. 
County Attorney James A. New Greenfield. 
County Supt. Robert Alonzo Smith Greenfield. 



  • R. A. Riley,
  • David S. Gooding,
  • Lemuel W. Gooding,
  • James L. Mason,
  • Win. R. Hough,
  • Montgomery Marsh,
  • Charles G. Offutt,
  • George Barnett,
  • James A. New,
  • Israel P. Poulson,
  • James J. Walsh,
  • S. A. Wray,
  • John A. Hughes,
  • W. S. Denton,
  • R. A. Black,
  • W. W. .Cook,
  • G. W. Duncan,
  • Marshall B. Gooding,
  • William F. McBane,
  • John W. Jones,
  • William H. Martin,
  • John H. Binford,
  • A. R. Hughes,
  • Robert Collins,
  • William M. Babcock,
  • Chas. E. Rennecamp,
  • L. H. Reynolds.
Blue-river Thomas E. Hill Morristown. 
Brandywine Duncan McDougall Carrollton. 
Brown William L. Garriott Warrington. 
Buck-creek John C. Eastes Mt. Comfort. 
Center Robert D. Cooper Greenfield. 
Green Sidney Moore Eden. 
Jackson James F. McClarnon Charlottesville. 
Sugar-Creek William C. Barnard Sugar Creek. 
Vernon Samuel Arnett Fortville. 


City of Greenfield.

  • Dr. Samuel S. Boots President.
  • J. Ward Walker Treasurer.
  • William Mitchell Secretary.

Town of Fortville.

Blue-river Nathan Newby Westland. 
Brandywine Theodore L. Smith Carrollton. 
Brown Joshua P. Harlan Warrington. 
Buck-creek Mahlon Apple Oaklandon. 
Center James K. King Greenfield. 
Green William H. Warrum Eden. 
Jackson Thomas E. Niles Charlottesville. 
Sugar-creek William A. Wood Sugar Creek. 
Vernon Aaron R. Chappell Fortville. 

In the foregoing we have endeavored to take a brief general view of the county as to history, resources, and other matters of interest, which is intended to give the reader some idea of the territory to be surveyed before entering upon the work proper. This closes the first chapter, after which we will engage in more specific definite work, and will take up each of the townships in order, and speak of them separately; and will, in the course of the work, give a full detailed account of the several points mentioned herein.

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THIS township takes its name from Blue River, the principal mill stream in the township. It was organized page: 50[View Page 50] The principal streams are Blue River, Six Mile Creek and Nameless Creek. Blue River cuts off the south-east corner of the township, running through four sections, and receives from the north, in section twenty-nine, the waters of Six Mile Creek, and in section thirty the waters of Nameless Creek. Six Mile Creek is found in four sections of the south-eastern part of the county, and Nameless Creek in five sections of the central portion, entering the central northern part and emptying in the central southern part. These were once all mill streams.

The first mill in the county was a small log structure on Blue River, erected by Joshua Wilson in 1824. It was situated above the old Wolf's mill, now Bacon's mill. The latter is the only water-mill now in the township.

Nameless Creek and Six Mile Creek both had at one time small sash saw-mills and corn crackers, all of which have long since been superseded by the modern inventions and improvements.

Jesse Hunt used to run a small saw and grist-mill on Six Mile Creek, near where the Kysers now live. The writer from 1850 to 1855 spent many a day at this mill while his grist of corn was being ground, and there saw the first sawing by water-power of his life.

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John Hunnicutt run a small saw-mill on Nameless Creek for a number of years, on what is now the William Brooks farm. There was also another small mill further up the creek, near Westland Post-Office.

Blue-river was settled at least ten years before the organization of the county.

In 1818 Andrew Evans built the first log cabin in the township.

In 1822 Thomas Philips had a blacksmith shop on Blue River.

In 1823 there was built the first school-house in the township, or county, and Lewis Tyner was the first male teacher.

Elijah Tyner, in 1824, erected the first store of the township, as well as of the county; and he continued to do business at the same place until his death, in 1872. The Writer's first pair of boots came from this store. Tyner was not only a merchant, but an extensive farmer, stock raiser, and stock dealer. For a great many years he bought and drove nearly all the stock raised and sold in that part of the county, and even in the adjoining portion of Shelby county. Tyner is also entitled to the credit of setting out the first orchard in the county. He brought the trees with him from the east.

The first fence in the county was built in this township. The builder was a man by the name of McCall. It was a brush fence, made of the branches of the trees which McCall had climbed and trimmed. McCall had previously cleared a little spot by hitching his faithful "Buck" and "Bright " to the grubs and "pulling them out by the roots."

Among the first settlers of this township were Andrew Evans, John Montgomery, Montgomery McCall, Harmon Warrum, Elijah and Solomon Tyner, John Osborn, Joshua Wilson, George Penwell, the Johnses, Adamses, James and Benajah Binford, Joseph Andrews, John Brown, David Dodge, David Smith, and others, with their families, were page: 52[View Page 52] among the more prominent pioneers of this section. The Binfords came in 1826.

The township in its native state presented some fine scenery; especially in the rich bottom lands. The primitive trees were grand and stately, and some of them of enormous size. There is an oak now to be seen on the farm of Penn Binford that measured nine feet in diameter and about seventy feet to the first limb. It fell about the year 1852. It is said, by those who saw it, to have been large enough before the falling off of the bark to have made it possible to have driven an ordinary two-horse wagon and team from the butt to the first limb. The red-bud skirting the streams in early spring presented a bright picture among the green and luxuriant foliage. Pea vines spice-brush, grape-vines, and nettles, were common everywhere.

The surface in the vicinity of the streams is somewhat hilly and undulating, while on the uplands it is moderately level to gently rolling. The only portion that may be considered strictly level, is in the north-west corner. It is the dryest township in the county. It consists of first and second-rate land, and is well improved and under good cultivation. Within its limits are many prosperous farmers, with fine residences, large barns, and good fences.

Its educational and church advantages are not surpassed in the county.

Its public schools, it having none other at present, are nine in number, arranged in three tiers of three each, and numbered regularly from one to nine, similar to the numbering of the sections in a congressional township, No. 1 being located in the north-east corner and No. 9 in the south-west corner. The teachers, for the present, are as follows: District No. 1, Pleasantview, W. B. Hill; District No. 2, Temperance Hall, W. E. Scott; District No. 3, Jessups, James K. Allen; District No. 4, Hopewell, Bertha Scott; District No. 5, Westland, Jethro Dennis; District No. 6, Hardy's Fork, Mattie Coffield; District No. 7, Handy's, John M. Winslow; Distric No. 8, Gates' Harvey New; District No. 9, Shiloh, Fanny Davis.

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The churches are six in number, named and located as follows, to-wit: Shiloh, Baptist, located in the south-west corner of the township, near Elijah Tyner's old place; Mt. Olivet, Christian Union, in the central portion, near the Newby farm; Gilboa, M. E. church, in the northern central portion; Westland, Friends, in the central portion, near Westland school-house, the voting precinct; Pleasantview, Friends, in the northeastern part of the township, adjoining Samuel B. Hill's farm; Western Grove, Friends, in the central western portion, on the pike near Mahlon Beeson's farm.

The present mills and factories of the township are as follows: Bacon's Flouring Mill, water-power, previously located; Wiley's Saw-Mill, steam-power, in the western central portion; Marsh's Tile Factory, one mile west of Westland P. O.; Luse's Tile Factory, in the central northern portion.

The roads in Blue-river, like other parts of the county, were once mere paths "blazed out" through the thick timber and underbrush, which presents quite a contrast to its present graded and graveled highways. The township now has eight and one-half miles of toll pike in addition to her public unassessed roads, many of which are nearly, or quite, equal to the revenue roads.

The township has no railroad within its borders, but has five miles of the P., C. and St. L., the old "Indiana Central," on its north line.

The entire population, white and black, in 1880 was 1,258. The polls in 1881 were 217, and the scholastic population 350.

The number of acres assessed in the township for 1881 were 18,755, valued at $456,290. The improvements on the same were valued at $63,840. The total value of the personal property was put at $168,455. The total valuation of property, real and personal, was $688,585. The full amount of taxes due from the township for the current year is $6,540.47.

Among the more prominent men of the township at page: 54[View Page 54] present, especially in a financial point of view, are the following, each of whom will pay taxes to the amount of $40 and, upwards for the year 1881, to be paid in 1882:

  • Atkinson, Lurilda $46 75
  • Andrews, Robert D. 68 80
  • Anderson, James 67 19
  • Binford, Wm. P. 51 42
  • Binford, Robert 78 37
  • Binford, Joseph 79 95
  • Binford, Wm. L. 97 71
  • Brooks, Wm. 77 58
  • Butler, Joseph 64 92
  • Billman, Leander 66 38
  • Brown, Robert 72 36
  • Coffin, N. D. 60 88
  • Caldwell, J. M. 40 65
  • Catt, Jacob 69 70
  • Eakins, Levina 44 03
  • Gates, Dayton H. 71 30
  • Hendren, Jerry 40 22
  • Hackleman, Lemuel 57 51
  • Hill, Samuel B. 128 70
  • Hill, Thomas E. 44 05
  • Harold, Lemuel 57 87
  • Hunt, John 41 35
  • Hatfield, George H. 86 74
  • Jessup, Levi 47 89
  • Johns, Robison, sr. 43 08
  • Moore, William 52 93
  • New, William 115 13
  • Pitts, Samuel C. 42 01
  • Pusey, Jesse F. heirs 64 47
  • Reece, John 46 94
  • Roots, Chas. P. 124 80
  • Tyner, James M. 55 97
  • Tyner, Elbert 52 19
  • Tyner, Sarah A. 85 38
  • Warrum, Noble 72 89
  • Wolf, Jacob G. 59 18
  • Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis R'y Co. 464 23
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At the present time the township has but one justice,—Elijah Tyner,—and he is not likely to become wealthy from the profits of the office, notwithstanding that he is much of a gentleman; but he is living in a quiet community of peaceable people, who patronize the courts only in case of necessity, and hence are seldom engaged in petty lawsuits and acrimonious legal contests.

The township has one located physician, in the person of Dr. Oliver Andrews, allopathist, and son of Joseph Andrews, deceased, one of the pioneers. Much of the practice of the township is divided up between the physicians of the surrounding towns—Greenfield, Carthage, Morristown, Charlottesville, and Cleveland. Among the physicians who practiced in the township thirty and forty years ago, were: Drs. Lot Edwards, B. F. Duncan, R. E. Barnett, N. P. Howard, of Greenfield; John Clark, Patterson and Stratton, of Carthage; Whiteside and Riddle, of Knightstown; Wolf, of Morristown, and Edmundson, of Blue-river. The latter was a one-armed man, located on the Joseph Binford farm, where he also kept a small store. A few years later Dr. Newby held forth at Moore's shop, in the eastern part of the township.

B. P. Butler is the post-master, and Thomas E. Hill trustee.

Samuel Heavenridge built the first store, at Westland, in about the year 1852. It was a small log structure. He sold to Levi Reece; Reece to Ambrose Miller and Henry Newby; Miller & Newby to Calvary G. Sample, who run the store for a few years, and then sold out at public auction about the beginning of the civil war. There was no store in the place then until Wm. New opened up. New sold to Lemuel Harold and Levi Cloud; Cloud sold his interest back to Harold, who afterward formed a partnership with James L. Binford; Binford sold back to Harold, and Harold to Binford Brothers, who were burned out on the 13th of April, 1881, since which time there has been no store in the place. Joel Pusey erected a building in the eastern part of the township in about the page: 56[View Page 56] year 1855, in which he run a store for a number of years.

In politics, Blue-river is republican by about seventy-five majority, being the only strictly republican township in the county.

The magistrates of the township from its organization to date, as near as we are able to ascertain, were as follows:

  • John Osborn Unknown
  • Samuel A. Hall 1834
  • Richard Hackleman 1836
  • Richard Hackleman 1840
  • Adam Allen 1848
  • Richard Hackleman 1851
  • James Sample 1853
  • Richard Hackleman 1856
  • John Coffin 1857
  • John Coffin 1861
  • Thompson Allen 1865
  • Thompson Allen 1869
  • John O. G. Collins 1869
  • Edward L. Coffin 1872
  • Walter S. Luse 1877
  • Elijah Tyner, present justice 1878

The following are the ex-township trustees since 1859, the date at which they were empowered with authority to levy local taxes:

  • B. P. Butler 1859
  • N. D. Coffin 1860
  • James New 1863
  • Lemuel Hackleman 1865
  • B. F. Luse 1869
  • Samuel B. Hill 1873
  • Lemuel Hackleman 1877
  • Thomas E. Hill 1880

Of the men who once lived in the township, and now reside elsewhere, are: The News, of Greenfield; James P. Galbreath, of Kansas; the Binfords, of Iowa; Elias Marsh, editor of the Commercial, Portland, Jay county, page: [][View Page []] [View Figure]
David S. Gooding
page: [][View Page []] page: 57[View Page 57] Indiana; Amos Beeson, editor of the Winchester Journal, and one of the trustees of the northern prison; Milton Hodson, a former partner of Beeson's in the Journal; Prof. Penn Hunnicutt, of Iowa; Hon. Noble Warrum, Dr. M. M. Adams, and the writer, of Greenfield; Oliver Butler, attorney, of Richmond; James L. Binford and the Tyners, merchant and traders, of Morristown; Eli Galbreath, attorney, Pittsburg; Ephraim Bentley, commissioner, now of Brandywine; Prof. Joseph R. Hunt, of Indianapolis; Dr. Handy, of Arkansas; Mrs.. R. P. Hill, of Rush county, author of a book of poems; Levi Binford, druggist, Joseph Binford, farmer and banker, John Hunnicutt, carriage-maker, and Dr. Nuby, of Carthage.

Of the ex-county officers now residing in the township, we call to mind Ex-Treasurer George W. Hatfield and Ex-County Surveyor Calvary G. Sample.

William New, of Greenfield, was for a number of years commissioner from Blue-river, and William Handy state representative.

The chief exports of the township are corn, wheat, hogs, cattle, horses, apples, potatoes, and flaxseed.

The value, in the judgment of the writer, of the nine frame school-houses in this township is $4,500; value of apparatus, $400; total value of school property, $4,900.

At the presidential election for 1880, the township was republican by sixty-eight majority, the vote standing as follows: Republican vote, 175; Democratic vote, 107; Greenback vote, 18; total vote, 300. Blue-river in 1836 cast 32 votes; in 1840, 38; in 1860, 212.

The population of the township for 185o was 936; for 1860, 1,060; for 1870, 1,125; for 1880, 1,258.



The Christian church of Blue-river township, now known as Mt. Olivet, was organized in the year 1838, by page: 58[View Page 58] old Father Hubbard, in what was then known as the Allen School-House, in district No. 3. Among its early preachers were Elders Hubbard, Epplesizer and Jonathan Lineback. Its early members were Jonathan and Polly Lineback, Absalom Davis and wife, Eli and Anna Risley, John and Catharine New, and Miss Lizzie Miller. The same church was reorganized in the year 1862, by Elder W. A. Gross, at what is now called the Temperance Hall School-House, in district No. 2, with a few members, prominent of whom were Jonathan Lineback and wife, Nathan Newby and wife, and Abraham Lineback and wife. The membership at that time was about fifty-six. The present building was erected in 1871, at a cost of $1,000. It was dedicated in June, 1871, by Elder Homer. A. H. Allison built the church, and was the first preacher, followed by Elders John Burket, Davenport, and Peter Baker. Some of the present members are: Miles S. Cook and wife, Walter S. Luse, John Hackleman, Polly Lineback, and others, about forty in number. Preaching, usually, once a month.


was erected in 1879, at a cost of $2,000, being the second in the township. It manufactures about 1,500 rods of tile per annum. Has been in operation eleven years. Total amount manufactured, 16,500.


in Blue-rive township, was built in 1879, at a cost of $1,500. Capacity, 3,500 feet per day. It furnishes work for six hands, and ships lumber to Indianapolis, Buffalo and Cleveland. The mill is in the northern part of the township, a little south of the National road.


The subject of this sketch was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, in 1797. He was the second son of the Rev. William Tyner, a Baptist minister, who removed page: 59[View Page 59] from South Carolina to Kentucky in the year 1802, and from thence to Indiana in 1805, near Brookville; thence to Decatur county. At the age of twenty-one Mr. Tyner was married to Martha McCure, of Franklin county. In 1820 he came to Hancock county, or the territory now comprising the county, which the reader will remember was not organized till eight years afterward; and even Madison, from which Hancock was struck off in 1828, was not organized till 1823. In 1821, September 19, he entered eighty acres of land in Blue-river township, being the third entry made in the county. The first entry was made August 10, 1821, by Harmon Warrum, and the second August 23, by James Tyner. In 1822 Mr. Tyner married Mary Nelson, who died in 1830. In 1832 he was again married, this time to Sarah Ann Hollerston. Mr. Tyner was one of the staunch pioneers, coming into the county within two years from the first settlement made by the "pale-face." As a merchant, he was honest and accommodating, and thereby gained the esteem of all who knew him. Elsewhere we have shown that he was not only a pioneer merchant, stock-trader and farmer, but he was the first in the county to give any attention to horticulture, having set out an orchard in the year 1822, according to the best information now at hand. Mr. Tyner also acted as a kind of common carrier between the early settlers and the market. As a father, he was kind-hearted and gentle. He raised a large family, and provided well for them. As a neighbor, he was highly respected on account of his many amiable qualities. In politics, he was a whig and republican, but liberal in his views. He was a Baptist in faith, but by no means a bigot. He liberally supported the church, and every good cause found in him a friend and substantial encouragement. His remains lie buried in Shiloh cemetery, near his home, where loving hands have erected a stately monument to mark his last resting place.


Adam Allen, with his family, came to Blue-river township, page: 60[View Page 60] Hancock county, Indiana, in December, 1827. He moved into a small log cabin covered with clapboards; half of the floor was of rough slabs; the front and other half was simply the earth made smooth and pounded firm. The fire-place and chimney were very rude, made of rock, mud and sticks. It would admit a back log of six or seven feet in length. The loft was made of rough boards.

There was not then a public road in the township; only a path "blazed" through the woods to a distant neighbor's cabin. He had but one neighbor within less than a mile, and that was James Wilson, who had settled two years before on the farm now occupied by Augustus Dennis.

About 1830, while a man moving into the township was crossing the small stream that flows south, asked the name of the creek. Being told that it had none, he said: "It is a 'nameless creek;'" which name it still retains.

When the Allens came, almost the whole surface of the earth was covered with undergrowth, which consisted of spice brush, pea vines, and coarse grass. Cattle and horses subsisted on it nearly the whole year. Hogs fattened on the mast almost entirely, and were penned only for a few days before killing time, and then that they might be fed a little corn to harden the lard. There was an abundance of wild gooseberries, plums and ginseng. "The latter I have often gathered," says Thompson Allen, his son, "and dried for market, which sold at about twenty-five cents per pound." There were wolves, wild cats, turkeys, and white and black squirrels in great numbers; and in the summer and fall, when the corn was ripening, the daily employment of the boys was to scare the squirrels away from the corn field.

Mr. Allen's plow was of the old wooden mold-board kind. He cut his wheat with a sickle, and either carried or hauled it on a sled; then threshed it out with a flail on a dirt floor. If the wind was blowing, he would clean it by standing and slowly pouring the wheat to the ground in a small stream, letting the wind blow the chaff away. page: 61[View Page 61] If there was no wind, then two persons with a sheet would fan while a third poured the wheat.

For several years he had no cook stove; all the cooking was done by the fire. The johnny-cake board was as common then as a tea-kettle is now.

They had no apples, peaches, or tame fruits, but substituted pumpkins, and, of course, were very familiar with pumpkin pies. Dried pumpkins were laid up in the fall, which served for dessert when they had company or on Sunday mornings for breakfast. On one occasion Mr. Allen went out to a mill on Flat Rock, and on his return brought home with him about half a bushel of apples, the first ever seen by the children. The mother gave each of them an apple, and put the rest away in the loft, telling them that, as she now had some flour, they must not touch the apples, and she would make some pies. That night Thompson Allen woke up, and hearing the boards rattle, looked in the direction of the apples, and presently saw something white descending, which proved to be one of his brothers, who could not refrain from the unfrequent temptation of satisfying a keen appetite superinduced by that one apple.

The first school-house in the north part of the township was built on the southern part of Noble Warrum's farm, in section six, township fifteen. It was made of logs, and had five corners. It was not chinked and daubed; had no windows and but one door. A man by the name of Sanford taught the first school therein. The second school was taught by Mr. McPherson. One day a boy had done something contrary to the "rules," and the teacher, to punish him, made him go outdoors and climb up in a dogwood sapling; he then detailed another boy to stand at the foot of the bush and keep him up there.

"In 1844," says Thompson Allen, "I commenced teaching school. The price then was about thirty dollars per term of sixty-five days, about ten dollars of it being public money. The law required teachers to have certificates; but the examinations were not very rigid. Once page: 62[View Page 62] I went to Greenfield to get license. I told the examiner what I wanted. He said: 'How long will you be in town? Call before you go home, and I will have them ready. I am busy now.' I called, gave him fifty cents, his fee, and received my license, without being asked a single question.

The first man that preached in the northern part of the township was Father McClain, the father-in-law of Wesley Williams, of Jackson township.

Adam Allen was a strong, robust, honest and honorable man—a good representive of the majority of the early settlers of the country.

[We are indebted to Thompson Allen, Esquire, and James K. Allen, teacher, son and grandson of the above, for most of the foregoing facts.]


On the fifth Saturday in May, 1841, a number of Baptists met at the house of Richard Hackleman, in the south-western part of the township, to consider the propriety of organizing a church. After some consultation, they agreed to call a council of brethren, to meet at the house of Solomon Tyner on the fourth Saturday of the next month. At this council there were thirteen persons present, and they organized by choosing Elder McQuary as moderator and J. T. Price as clerk. After some deliberation the council proceeded to adopt a constitution. The names of the constituent members were as follows, to-wit: Solomon Tyner, John H. Caldwell, John M. Duncan, Jemima Tyner, Nancy Duncan, Caroline Randall, and Rosanna Caldwell; being seven members in all, which was increased to fifteen at their next meeting. Elder McQuary was their first pastor. He was one of Indiana's pioneers; a man of unusual energy and piety, and his preaching was considered powerful and impressive. His hallowed influence still survives in the hearts of many of the brethren.

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The following are the pastors in order, and the time each served:

  • From 1841 to 1852, Elder McQuary.
  • From 1852 to 1853, Elder Wm. Baker.
  • From 1853 to 1854, Elder Elias Boston.
  • From 1854 to 1857, Elder Wilson Thompson.
  • From 1857 to 1864, Elder J. G. Jackson.
  • From 1864 to 1868, Elders J. S. Weaver and D. Caudel.
  • From 1868 to 1872, Elders G. S. Weaver and A. B. May.
  • From 1872 to 1876, Elders A. B. May and Harvey Wright.
  • From 1876 to 1879, Elders Harvey Wright and D. Caudel.
  • From 1879 to 1881, Elders D. Caudel and J. F. Weaver.

The church continued to hold her meetings from house to house until the year 1854; she then erected a frame building, 30x40 feet, at a cost of $800. The house is on the pike, just north of Tyner's old store, on the south-east corner of section 26, township fifteen north, range seven-east. This house is still her place of worship.

Shiloh first asked admission, and was received, into the Lebanon Association; but afterward withdrew, and, for convenience, joined the White Water Association. It would be well to state here that Baptist churches are not under the control of a superior organization, but each church is independent. The association is merely an annual meeting for mutual correspondence. One session of the Lebanon Association and three sessions of the White Water Association have been held with this church. It was here that the Lebanon Association was held in August, 1846, at which time the great question of "Means and anti-Means" was discussed. Some churches had already divided, each party sending messengers, whose seats were contested. It was an exciting time, and party spirit ran high. Those of the means party claimed that "God quickens, regenerates and makes alive dead sinners by his spirit through the written and preached word. That God has proposed salvation in the Gospel to the world of mankind. That Jesus did not die as man, but as God." The anti-means party claimed that "God quickens page: 64[View Page 64] the sinner by the power of his spirit without the aid or instrumentality of human power. That the written and preached word is for the instruction and comfort of God's people after they have been quickened by his power. That God has not proposed salvation to any one, but has secured the salvation of all saints by the blood of Christ; and that repentance and remission of sins is a gift of God, and not the act of the creature by the free volition of his will." They also held that "Christ died as man and not as God." Other points were discussed, but the foregoing are the main ones.

This church is anti-means, and though at present numbering but thirty members, it is at peace with mankind, and enjoying a reasonable degree of prosperity.

[We are indebted to W. N. Tharp, a teacher and the church clerk, for most of the above facts.]


was born October 10, 1787, in Prince George county, N. C., and came to Hancock county in 1826, and was one of the first settlers of Blue-river township. He was married to Mary Ladd in 1817, by whom he had five children, viz.: Robert, Ann, Joseph, Benjamin, and William L. Mr. B. was married a second time to Jane Binford, to whom were born one, child. In politics, Mr. B. was a staunch whig; and, notwithstanding his father had owned and worked slaves, he was bitterly opposed to the accursed traffic, and never hesitated to denounce it in the strongest terms consistent with his Christian profession. When in health he was regular in attendance at the place of worship with the Society of Friends, the church of his choice, twice or more per week.

Mr. B. was a very plain-spoken man, yet kind-hearted, and ever ready to help the worthy poor. He was also very conscientious, and although he loaned a great deal of money for his time, he was never known to accept more than six per cent. interest, nor usury in any form. By industry, strict economy, and the avoidance of all vicious page: 65[View Page 65] and luxurious habits, he succeeded in amassing a neat fortune, and was thereby enabled to do much for charitable purposes, and to give each of his five children a quarter of a section of good land, and as much more in ready cash. He died August 19, 1863, aged seventy-five years, eleven months and eighteen days, and was buried according to the simple custom of the Friends at the Walnut Ridge burying-grounds, in Rush county, Indiana. His first wife died in 1822, and was buried in North Carolina, and his second December 14, 1867, at the age of seventy-nine years and nine months, and was buried beside her husband.


The subject of this sketch is a native of Clinton county, Ohio. Date of nativity, March 31, 1807. He was principally raised in North Carolina; came to Milton, Indiana, in 1828 and remained till 1831, when he came to Hancock county, and shared with the few settlers the privations and hardships of frontier life. The roads were to make, the forests were to clear, the wild animals to exterminate, and the physical man to provide with food, clothing and shelter. The first winter Mr. Coffin was in the county he, in common with many others, did without bread for weeks at a time, owing to the mills being frozen up so that they could not grind, there being no steam mills in those days. They lived on potatoes, pumpkins, and wild game.

Mr. Coffin has traveled quite a good deal, has a retentive memory, and takes great pleasure in telling of the sights. From 1850 to 1852 he lived in Iowa; thence he wended his way across the plains to the gold regions of California, where, for two years, he had an experience brighter in imagination than in reality. From California Mr. C. returned to Iowa, by way of Panama, New York and Chicago. But still not contented with any point yet visited between the Atlantic and Pacific, save on the fertile, salubrious soil of old Hancock, he determined to retrace his steps, and accordingly, in 1865, permanently page: 66[View Page 66] located in Blue-river township; where, with the wife of his bosom and the companion of his travels, he is enjoying a peaceful old age; and would, doubtless, take pleasure in telling the reader a hundred fold more than we have recorded.

Mr. C. is a square-built, muscular man, a good Mason, a republican, and an orthodox Friend.


Mr. Dennis was born in Virginia in June, 1827; came to Hancock county in 1844; was married to. Miss Jemima C. Tyner in October, 1847. Mr. D. was bred on a farm, and has given that branch of industry his whole attention. He came to the county a poor boy, with only twelve and one-half cents in his pocket, and worked at eight dollars per month. He now has a good farm in fine state of cultivation.

Mr. D. is an uncompromising democrat, yet he accords to others what he asks for himself—liberty to think and act for himself. He has ever since early manhood been identified with some religious society, connecting himself first with the Methodists, and later becoming a member of the Friends Society, as it best suited his opinions and convenience, without the sacrifice of any vital principle taught by the church of his first choice.

Mr. D. was elected county commissioner for the first commissioner's district in 1878 over Elisha Earles, a worthy opponent, by 3,000 majority.

He has always taken a decided stand on the side of temperance, both by example and precept, and even hesitated to qualify as commissioner, owing to the relation of the office with the licensing of the traffic.


(Furnished by his son, Honorable Noble Warrum.)

Harmon Warrum was a Kentuckian by birth, the son of an Englishman who went to Kentucky from Pennsylvania page: 67[View Page 67] in an early day, and who was recognized as an expert with the rifle, and also a proficient backwoodsman, being constantly employed as scout and trailer. He died when the subject of the above sketch was quite a child, leaving him in the care of an uncle, whose name was Thomas Consley, on whom fell the duty of educating him for the stern realities of frontier life which he was destined to experience. After arriving at majority, he became a rather cool, self-possessed man, endowed with great courage and physical ability. He was quick to resent a wrong and never forgot a kindness. He was an active, strong man, having fought, wrestled and run with both whites and reds, but never vanquished.

He came to Indiana about the year 1807, and in 1809 or 1810 married a young lady of English descent, who had lately emigrated from Georgia. Her name was Edith Butler. I was born in 1819, and when about four years of age my father moved to Hancock county (then a part of Madison), and settled on Blue River, in the southern part of the county, and took a title for the land now owned and occupied by Dayton H. Gates, Esq. This was the first piece of land entered in the county; he alse entered the last piece situated on Swamp Creek—the first on August 10, 1821, and the last on January 16, 1854.

When he first came to Blue-river it was a dense wilderness for miles and miles; no sound save the rustling of the leaves, the moaning of the wind, and the angry voice of the storm cloud; no music broke the calm stillness of the summer air save the buzzing of mosquitoes, the howling of the ravenous wolves, or the fierce yell of the prowling panther; no noisy hum of laboring factories; no clanking hammers in dusty shops. No, the great work-house of nature, covered with the blue canopy of heaven, walled in only by the horizon, and lit up by nature's lamps, sufficed. Then we heard no ringing of Sabbath church bells; no locomotive whistle. Had a train of cars passed through the country at that time, the pioneers would have declared it haunted.

page: 68[View Page 68]

Our nearest neighbors, about seven or eight miles distant, living on Brandywine, were the families of Roberts, Montgomery and Stephenson; but after awhile here came the Tyners and Johnses; also, Penwells, Watts and Wilsons to our immediate neighborhood. But neighbors living then at a distance of eight or ten miles apart were more neighborly than those of to-day in adjoining lots. Well, as neighbors kept coming, cabins were being put up in every direction. Everything in a bustle, and all at work that could work. The pioneer cabin was cheaply made and easily constructed. Ours was built of round logs, notched to lay closely together; the roof was of four-foot clapboards, weighed down by poles laid across each course of boards; then there was what was termed the "eaves bearer," a log laying parallel with the ends of the cabin, and projecting about eighteen inches over the wall; a good splitting stick was selected, split through the center, placed on the ends of the "eaves bearer," and notched for the roof boards to butt against; this was called the "butting pole"; a door-way was sawed out, and the logs were used as steps; then a window was cut, a single opening; we called it a window because it was the largest hole in the cabin to let in the light; it was made by placing sticks across as a frame-work, on which a piece of greased newspaper was placed; through this the light shone like dim moonshine through the room; the chimney was built of sticks and mud, and was called "cat and clay chimney." While this rude hut was being constructed by father, mother, a hired hand from a distance, and my oldest sister, the family were living, with all of their household goods, in a hollow sycamore tree.

After moving into our new house, we furnished it with a couple of one-legged bedsteads, produced by father's own hands; and he not being a professional mechanic, they were, consequently, not so stylish as those from the factories of to-day. But I rested just as easy on them as many do to-day on their seventy-five dollar bedsteads.

Then the doors were of puncheons pinned together. page: 69[View Page 69] Such a thing as a nail was not to be had. The hinges were of wood, and the door-latch, a wooden catch, or trigger, which, when shut, was opened from the outside by pulling a string, one end of which was fastened to the latch, and the other, passing through a hole in the door above, hung outside, so that those who wished could enter. To lock the door, you would pull the string inside. Hence the stereotyped expression, "the latch-string hangs out."

Half the floor, which was made of puncheons lying loosely across the sleepers, was not finished for about a year after we moved into our cabin home. The hired man soon left, declaring that he would stay no longer where the air was black with gnats and mosquitoes. Said he: "If they were the size of me, I would fight them; but they are just a little too small and too many to keep company with." I have seen the air darkened by flies, gnats, and mosquitoes, a number of them weighing over a pound: but I can't say that it would take a small number.

The winters passed on slowly, but we had always an excellent supply of venison on hand. Being an excellent marksman, father's table groaned under the abundant supply of turkies and deer; but it was an impossibility to procure salt with which to preserve the venison. It was then necessarily taken through a process called "jerking." This operation was performed by cutting the fleshy parts of the body of the deer, cross-grained, into thin slices, which were duly placed on splits and hung inside of our "cat and clay chimney" and garret to dry, after which process it would keep from months to years. When in very great need of salt, father would make his way back to Wayne county in quest of that rare article. I remember on one occasion, after his journey of riding one horse and leading the other, on whose back the salt was strapped, that when we had removed the bag of salt, we removed the hair also, for the brine caused by the melting of the salt had lain bare the sides of the horse.

The first mill of the neighborhood was at Fall Creek Falls, afterwards called Fall Creek Mills. The distance page: 70[View Page 70] being about twenty-five miles, father imagined it quite convenient for milling. And as he was a skillful backwoodsman, and had some knowledge of the route and locality, it was agreed that he should take his yoke of oxen and the fore wheels of his wagon, and with a "turn of corn" for himself and each of his neighbors, cut his may through to Fall Creek Mills. Preparing himself with ammunition and his gun, followed by his trusty dog, he "blazed" his way through the thick forest. And after receiving his grinding, he started upon his homeward journey; at night, "coralling" his oxen and making his bed under his cart, he made his dog lie at his feet as a protection from the wolves. One night the wolves approached where he was laying, and the poor dog kept crawling higher and higher until he lay on father's face. He awoke and frightened the wolves away. When he returned home, after being absent four or five days, he was sure to bring in some four or five pairs of venison hams, the same number of deer skins, three or four wild cats, and about a dozen raccoon skins. Those deer skins were very useful, as I was clothed almost entirely in buckskin, dressed by my father's hand and cut and sewed with whang, or thongs, by the hand of my mother. Father always kept on hand from six to a dozen dressed deer skins. And when my mother would treat me to a new pair of buckskin breeches, I felt very proud, and would hang on to my old ones as long as possible to save my new ones for Sunday. Occasionally I was presented with a buckskin hunting-shirt, a loose at the bottom and tight at the top arrangement similar to a sack coat, having a cape which hung over the shoulders, fringed all around by splitting the cape into threads for some two or three inches from the edges, similar to the fly-nets we cover horses with to-day. I have attended dances where all of the young men were incased in their buck-skin suits. Then the girls were neatly attired in plain dress. Little did they care for outside show. They lived for something higher than an earthly fancy. They looked not after the fashions of the day. They had pride, it is page: 71[View Page 71] true, but wisdom too. Their pride was for their home and country, and they labored for its upbuilding. They were good for the sake of goodness, and truer, better wives were never known. And in a few years they became very attractive to me, especially the younger ones. It seems that it did not take as much to beautify them then as now. I thought them the most beautiful of God's creation. None of those humps and tucks and frills, nor ribbon and lace and birds tails placed on top of their heads.

Prayer-meetings were organized, to which ladies would walk a distance often of from four to five miles; but the meetings were held almost always in the day-time. On one occasion it was announced that the Rev. James Havens (father of George) would preach at the widow Smith's cabin, on a certain night. Night meetings being few, I attended, as much through curiosity as anything else, it being a rare thing to hear preaching; it was always exhorting. Some time during service the dogs got to fighting at the door, causing considerable confusion, which soon subsided; then the Rev. Havens took time to remark that the devil and the dogs always attended night meetings.

Almost every pioneer who attended church on the Sabbath, came with gun on his shoulder; and if a deer or wolf crossed his track, and a favorable opportunity presented, he killed it. They were wide-awake and always on the lookout. And thus they were supplied with provisions. Father once killed three deers without, probably, moving from his tracks. The way of it was this: Father was out on a hunting expedition, walking through the forest, gun on shoulder, and I was riding a little distance behind, when we suddenly came upon three good-sized deer—one was an old one, while the others were apparently yearlings—grazing peacefully along, until the well-known crack of my father's rifle laid the old one low; the fawns stood watching their mater in the agonies of death until father, twice reloading, placed a veil between them and the painful sight—one falling dead on the spot, the other running some fifty yards before falling. I was, on page: 72[View Page 72] that occasion, on horseback, a very common thing, for the purpose of carrying in the game; frequently coming loaded with a dozen turkies. Usually in cool weather we tore out the entrails from the deer, and placing the end of a pole in the body would run it up a tree, thus preventing the wolves from making a meal of it; and, if there was snow on the ground, we visited them soon, and, lashing them together with withes, hitched them to a horse and dragged them home on the snow. If there was no snow, we took them the best way possible.

Often a bear would lurk forth and attack some lonely pioneer's hog-pen, or poultry-house, or sheep-fold. Father kept his sheep in a pen a little in the rear of the house. This was to be able to protect them from the wolves, whose growls and snarls were heard many times at the fold. As a surer way of protecting the sheep, father went to Wayne county and procured two savage curs. They could drive away or whip any wolf, but were never able to hold them until assistance arrived. From constant running, dogs were taken with a disease called the "slows." Father thought a great deal of his dogs, but lost them. One was bitten by a rattlesnake and died. It was no uncommon thing to kill from twenty to twenty-five black rattlesnakes in a day.

On one occasion my father returned from Shelby (there was no Shelbyville then, there being only a small blacksmith shop where it now stands), followed to the house by a pack of wolves.

Soon after Mr. Penwell settled in our vicinity. He came to father's house one morning and solicited his assistance, telling him that a large bear had attacked his hogs, killing one and devouring it within a stone's-throw of the house. They got father's bear dogs on the trail, and followed it as far as the Big Swamp, on Brandywine, where all trace of it was lost, never getting sight of it but once. Our experience in backwoods life was full of such incidents.

A large eagle had built a nest, not far from our house, page: [][View Page []] [View Figure]
Wm. R. Hough
page: [][View Page []] page: 73[View Page 73] in a very large sycamore tree. After a great many trials, my father brought his trusty rifle and unerring aim to bear upon this "monarch of the clouds," and brought him to the ground severely wounded. He was then attacked by the dog, who soon drew off much the worse for the wear, having the skin ripped open at the back and hanging down on either side. When at last he yielded, we stretched his wings apart, to find that they were eleven and one-half feet from tip to tip.

About this time there was a tanyard, the first there had been in the county, established a short distance south of Cleveland, by a Mr. Wood. To this we went for our tanned hog-skin, with which we soled our moccasins. It wore very well; but if left too near the fire, the soles would curl up and burst off, and were to be tacked on every morning; so it became necessary for us to rise quite early for that as well as for earning our daily bread, which was some times more than half pumpkins, meal being scarce; this was called pumpkin bread.

Pumpkins being our only fruit, so to speak, we took pains to preserve them. First, we peeled them, hung some of them on poles, placed some of them in the garret, and some in the lower room, to dry. Frequently they were boiled, mashed fine, spread thin and smooth on a board, and dried into what was called "pumpkin leather." This was reserved for use when the pumpkins were gone. This was made into delicious pumpkin pies.

  • The country was new and the people were few;
  • But what there were, were brothers;
  • They'd never eat this savory meat
  • 'Til they shared it with their brothers.

The first physician in my father's house was an old doctor from near where Freeport now stands, an old and venerable physician by name of Dr. Tracy. The second was Dr. Lot Edwards, one of the first doctors in Greenfield. The settlers in those days were principally their page: 74[View Page 74] own M. D.'s, using roots and herbs instead of drugs and liquors. The medicinal properties of plants were learned, to a large extent, from straggling Indians, whom the settlers saw quite often, sometimes in small tribes.

These old pioneers, when gathered together, were not quarrelling over the political issues of the day. They left that to those occupying the higher positions. They were not in the habit of gathering to listen to flighty orations, but simply sitting around giving their hunting narrations, encounters with bears, strugglings against want, and sufferings from mosquitoes. The world turned the same then as now, and turned just as easily, too. And I firmly believe that were our country thrown back into a wild condition, where nature's handiwork alone shone forth; replace these smooth, unbroken meadows with mighty branching oaks, towering maples and spreading beech; let deer, with arched necks and stately step, their haughty antlers bowed as they graze from the abundance of wild grass lining the little rivulet, abound; let the hoarse and angry growls of ever-famished wolves be heard; the rustling of the leaves and breaking of limbs, over which the sluggish bears are stalking; together with the life-like cry of unseen panthers, the howling of wild cats and the screaming of eagles, and people it with the same people of to-day, it would go to the dogs, and the people eventually starve. This arises from a different kind of education. Those pioneers were men of iron wills and nerves of steel. They were endowed with a knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. Truth and honesty beamed from every countenance. They were industrious as well as adventurous. Though they loved the wild and savage backwoods life, they were working for the promotion of civilization. They knew none but the school of experience. At their touch the mighty monarchs of the forest turned to dust and ashes. At their glance the wild beast cowered. For their children and their posterity they toiled and denied themselves the luxuries of civilized life. "The latch string always hung outside of the door," so page: 75[View Page 75] that the weary pilgrim of life might enter. You had but to ask, and you would receive. They toiled. They practiced self-denial. For what? For their children. For the upbuilding of a civilized country. Have they not achieved success? Look around you. Whence came these cities and towns, with their factories and shops and mills and beautiful buildings and churches? Whence. came these lovely farms, with their orchards of luscious fruits, their fields of waving corn, their ripe meadows, and gem-like lots of golden wheat? Had you an ear for nature's song, these would fill your ears with praises for those hardy pioneers, some of whom, much to the discredit of those for whom they toiled, are still in the field, a few of them barely keeping want from their doors. They lived, as God intended you and I and every one should live, by the sweat of the brow, determined to earn their bread before eating it. Many of them, like Columbus, never lived to enjoy what they achieved, but we hope are repaid by heavenly comfort.


This meeting was established in the Eleventh Month, 1864.

The society held its meetings for ten years in a log house formerly used as a potter's shop, located a few rods north of the present building.

Prominent among its first members were Elias Marsh, Isaac Beeson, John Hunt, Elihu Coffin and Mahlon Beeson.

The first minister that ever preached in the house was Asenith Clark (Dr. Dugan Clark's mother), followed by Luther B. Gordon, Mahlon Hockett, Mary Rogers, Jane Jones, and several others. The present minister is Joseph O. Binford.

The house now in use was built in the year 1874. It a handsome, substantial frame building, size 36x44, erected at a cost of $1,400.

Regular meetings are held twice every week. The page: 76[View Page 76] mid-week meetings occur on Fourth Day (Wednesday). The monthly meetings alternate with Westland.

The organization is in a healthy, flourishing condition. Present membership, one hundred and sixty-five.

A Sabbath-school in connection with the church has been kept up the year around ever since its organization. Present superintendent, Thomas L. Marsh. Average attendance, fifty.

The organization term themselves Friends, but are generally known as Quakers.

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[View Figure]



THIS township takes its name from Brandywine, the principal stream in the township. It was organized in 1828, and then consisted of the entire central part of the county, what now constitutes the second commissioner's district, to-wit: Brandywine, Center and Green townships. In 1831, it was reduced in size to thirty sections, its present length east and west and one mile greater north page: 78[View Page 78] and south. This reduction was made by striking off Center and Harrison townships, Center then consisting of eighteen sections and Harrison of the remainder north. In 1835, Brandywine township was further reduced in size one tier of sections, six miles long on the north, which was added to Center. From 1835 to the present she has remained unchanged.

It is located in the central southern part of the county, and is bounded by Center township on the north, Blue-river on the east, Sugar-creek on the west, and Shelby county on the south. In extent, it is six miles east and west and four miles north and south, being the smallest township in the county. It is all located in township fifteen north and ranges six and seven east. Two tiers of sections on the west are in range six, and four on the east are in range seven. The range line dividing the two fractional congressional townships of which Brandywine is composed, runs past J. G. Service's land, dividing the farm of B. F. Wilson.

The principal streams are Brandywine and Little Sugar Creek. The former enters the township on the north line, one and one-half miles west of the north-east corner, and flows south by south-west through the township, passing out through section thirty-two into Shelby county. Little Sugar Creek is a small stream, which rises in the south- western part of Center township, enters Brandywine township on the northern line, one mile east of the north-west corner, and flows south four miles to within one mile of the southern line; thence south-west, entering Shelby county at the south-west corner of the township. Both of these streams are small and sluggish, and not now considered available for water-power; hence this township, unlike Blue-river, Sugar-creek, and others, intersected by larger streams, has no water-mills at present; yet, in the early history of the county there were two small mills on Brandywine—one in Harrison township and one in Brandywine.

The first grist-mill in Brandywine township was built page: 79[View Page 79] by N. Swim in the year 1826, and located on Brandywine Creek, in the central part of the township. Swim afterwards attached a small saw-mill; but soon sold out to Geo. Troxwell, who added a tiny bolt to run by hand. Troxwell was a man of considerable enterprise. He carried on a hatter shop at the mill, and also built a still-house near by. The water some times got too low to grind, when the people patronized a small horse-power "coffee-mill" on the Dickerson farm, then in Brandywine, now Center, township.

William Wilkins run a saw-mill in the south-east part of the township for several years.

There is at present no flouring mill in the township. There was one at Carrollton run for a number of years, but recently moved away.

In 1856, H. and J. Comstock erected a steam saw-mill in Carrollton. It was burned down a few years since, and was rebuilt by Wm. Gordon. It is now owned and run by James Boyce.

Brandywine township was first settled in about 1820. Isaac Roberts and family came in 1819. Prior to which there were located: David Stephenson, James Montgomery, and a Mr. Rambo. Soon afterward came James McKinney, Jonathan Potts, James Montgomery, N. Swim, George Troxwell, James Goodwin, J. H. Anderson, Robert and James Smith, Jacob and Joseph Zumalt, and William Lucas. Among the oldest present residents of the township are : Mrs. Isaac Roberts, J. P. Banks, John Roberts, William Thomas, sen., Mrs. Andis, Richard Milburn, Wellington Collier, and Alfred Potts.

This township is rather level, with portions undulating. No swamps. The soil is good.

The township once abounded in fine timber in great quantities, similar to that in adjoining townships. She has recently sold off her walnut and large quantities of the oak.

Brandywine has fourteen miles of toll-pike and three page: 80[View Page 80] miles of railroad. The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indianapolis cuts off the south-west corner of the township.

The first school-teacher in the township was Abraham Vangilder.

The first birth was Mercer Roberts, daughter of Isaac Roberts.

The first burial in the township was Emily Roberts. The next, a child of James Montgomery. The latter in 1824.

The first man married in the township was Zedric Stephens, who was married in a shed covered with brush. The supper consisted of spice-wood tea, corn-bread, venison and hominy.

The first church house was built of logs and puncheons, by voluntary labor, in 1830, on the farm of James Smith. It was burned down in 1858. The first ministers were Hale, Horn, Vangilder, and a blind man by the name of Hays.

Brandywine township has seven public school-houses, numbered and named as follows, and at present supplied with eight teachers, whose names are set opposite the respective numbers:

District No. 1 Sugar Creek Allen Bottsford. 
District No. 2 Cowden's John F. Peck. 
District No. 3 Pleasant Hill Henry W. Buck. 
District No. 4 Porter's Vickie Wilson. 
District No. 5 Scott's James White. 
District No. 6 Lows' Chas. A. Reed. 
District No. 7 Carrollton W. H. Glasscock. Allie Glasscock. 

The estimated value of school-houses, including seats and the grounds, is $5,000; value of school apparatus, globes, maps, etc., $200; total value of school property, in the judgment of the writer, $5,200. Total number of school children, 416.

The population of the township in 1880 was 1,216; number of polls, 207. The population in 1870 was 1,061; in 1860, 986; in 1850, 826.

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The township is democratic by about one hundred and forty majority. At the presidential election for 1880, the vote stood as follows: Democratic vote, 203; Republican vote, 57; Greenback vote, 22; total vote, 282.

This township has 15,245 acres of taxable land, valued at $351,940; improvements valued at $41,370; value of lots, $1,116; improvements on same, $3,245; value of personal property, $108,520; total value of real and personal property, $506,235.

The township will pay, in 1882, for this year's taxes, $5,717.85. The following will show who pays $40.00 and upwards of this amount:

  • Andis, Isabelle $41 25
  • Andis, J. R 65 30
  • Andis, Morgan 52 40
  • Banks, J. P. 45 10
  • Bentley, T. E. 60 60
  • Comstock, J. W. 51 25
  • Comstock, Jas., heirs 54 00
  • Duncan, Eph. 55 45
  • Espy, Paul 50 05
  • Gates, Henry 62 75
  • Hutchinson, Smith 75 50
  • Hackleman, Abe 49 20
  • Jeffries, Uriah 57 40
  • Low, Julia A. 52 10
  • Laribee, F. W. 42 05
  • McDougall, D. and D. 47 55
  • Milborn, Richard $170 05
  • Milborn, Leonidas 48 30
  • Milborn, Wm. A. 178 50
  • Porter, W. H. 67 10
  • Porter, J. W. 67 85
  • Parnell, James 72 50
  • Pope, Sarah 45 00
  • Roberts, John 41 60
  • Randall, Ed. 42 55
  • Service, J. G. 46 80
  • Smith, T. L. 56 95
  • Thomas, J. S. 40 00
  • Tyner, James 62 80
  • White, J. Q. 52 25
  • Wilson, W. F. 57 65
  • Wilson, B. F. 78 65

This township has one brass band.

There are three churches in the township,—one Christian, one Radicl Methodist, and one United Brethren.

Carrollton, on the Junction R. R., is the only village in the township, a full description of which appears elsewhere.

Cowden's School-house, in the central northern part, is the voting precinct.

Duncan McDougall, a native Scotchman, a teacher, page: 82[View Page 82] farmer, tile manufacturer, democrat and a gentleman, is entrusted with the school interests of the township, and the care of her poor in addition to other minor matters.

B. F. Wilson and T. W. Laribee preside over the scales of justice in this township. The following are the ex-justices of the township, with the date of election, since her organization, from the best information accessible:

  • Benjamin Spillman 1828
  • Orange H. Neff1830
  • Joseph Chapman1831
  • Joseph Thomas 1832
  • Eleazer Snodgrass 1836
  • Abram Liming 1842
  • G. Dillard 1842
  • Abram Liming 1847
  • Henry Lemain 1847
  • Mark Whitaker 1849
  • Abram Liming 1852
  • Mark Whitaker 1855
  • Abram Liming 1856
  • Mark Whitaker 1859
  • Abram Liming 1860
  • Benjamin F. Goble 1863
  • Alfred Potts 1865
  • Andrew J. Smith 1868
  • Geo. W. Askin 1867
  • Alfred Potts 1870
  • Uriah Low 1872
  • Ephraim Ward 1874
  • John Q. White 1876
  • Uriah Low 1876

The following are the township trustees, with the date of their election, from the time they were empowered with authority to levy local taxes: William Service, the father of J. G. Service, was elected in 1859, and served for ten years. Andrew Williamson was elected in 1869, and served his township faithfully till the election of his successor. J. G. Service was elected in 1874, and continued till the election of the present trustee.

William Wilkins, ex-county sheriff, who died in office during his second term, was from this township.

William Thomas, jun., ex-sheriff, and James Tyner, ex-commissioner, are both residents of the township.

It was here that Ezekial Wright, aged twenty-five, and Thomas Hughes, aged eighteen, were instantly killed by the falling of a tree, April 19, 1849. Mr. Wright's only daughter is now the wife of A. T. Brown.

In this township William Alyea was killed by the falling of a limb, in about the year 1860.

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Near Carrollton, a son of Henry Carrington was killed by the cars soon after the railroad first passed through the place.

The chief exports of the township are corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, horses, and flaxseed.



This little village is located in the south-west part of the township, on the C., H. and I. R. R., about seven miles south-west of Greenfield. The railroad gave the station at this point the name of Reedville, but the town has always borne the name above.

It was laid out by Hiram Comstock, on the 25th of February, 1854, and consisted of twenty-five lots. The first and only addition ever made to the town was by Rev. M. S. Ragsdale, in 1870.

It contains a school-house, one church, one steam sawmill, two merchants, one grain shipping firm, two blacksmiths, one wagon-maker, one physician, two carpenters, one painter, one postmaster, one shoe-maker, and one barber.

It has a daily mail and United States express. The present business men are:—

  • Merchants—
    • LUCAS & SON.
  • Blacksmiths—
  • Wagon Maker—
  • Painter—
    • JOHN PECK.
  • Merchants and Grain D'l'rs—
  • Carpenters—
  • Shoe-maker—
  • Physician—
    • J. W. LARIMORE.
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  • Barber—
  • Postmaster—
    • JOHN D. LUCAS.
  • Express Agent—
    • L. BORING.

Among the first business men of this little burg were : John Elmore and the firm of Andrews and Roseberry, merchants; Hiram Comstock and Warren King, physicians; Frank Lucas, blacksmith; Martin Eakman, wagon-maker, and William Eskew, shoe-maker. The first post-master, O. H. P. McDonald.


in Brandywine township, located one and one-half miles north of Carrollton, and organized in the year 1831, first met at the private house of William Thomas, senior.

The following were among the original members: William Thomas, sen., father of Ex-Sheriff Thomas; Elizabeth Thomas, Helry Thomas, John Baker, Elizabeth Baker, William McConnell and wife, James and Margaret Anderson, and Eleazer Snodgrass.

The first preachers were Elders John Gregg, D. Holt, and J. P. Banks.

The meetings were afterwards held in a log schoolhouse one mile north of Carrollton.

The present house was built in the year 1869, at a cost of $2,000, and dedicated by O. A. Burgess. Size of house, 38x48.

The following are the present trustees: John S. Thomas, Robert Davis, and Henry Fry.

Among the more recent Elders were Arthur Miller, David Franklin, Robert Edmondson, and Elder Bennett. The present preacher is Elder Coffield.

This church has a good Sunday-school, organized about 1869. Present superintendent, Robert Williamson. Average attendance, forty-five.

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was organized in the year 1840, and located one mile east of Carrollton.

Among the first members were George Muth and family, Mrs. Higgenbottom, John Elmore and wife, Mrs. Hoagland, and others.

The meetings of the society were held in George Muth's house until 1850, when a substantial frame house, costing $1,400, was built.

The first ministers were George Muth, Amos Hanaway and Rev. Father Ball.

About 1866, they sold their house to the Radical Methodists, who are still holding forth in the same house, with Rev. Callahan as their present minister.

The United Brethren removed the class to Carrollton about the year 1879, and held their meetings in a small building formerly the old public school-house. Present minister, Rev. McNew.

This church has a prosperous little Sunday-school. Willard Low, Esq., superintendent. There are several small Sunday-schools in the school-houses. In 1865, the Brandywine Union Sunday-school was organized at Cowden's School-house. J. P. Banks, superintendent. Robert Williamson has been superintendent for about eight ears. There are also Sunday-schools at Porter's, Scott's, and Pleasant Hill.


The Brandywine Township Brass Band was organized October 10, 1880, with the following members: Aaron W. Scott, Edgar B. Thomas, J. W. Thomas, Charles Scott, John Liming, Carson W. Rush, Emanuel Smith, Frank Kinder, James Scott, William Scott, John Gwinn, and Aaron Alyea. All young men living in the township. Cost of instruments, $146.

Their first teacher was Isaac Davis, of Greenfield.

Officers: Frank Kinder, president; J. W. Scott, treasurer; Charles Scott, secretary.

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The subject of this sketch was born May 10, 1810, near Dayton, Ohio. He came to Fayette county, with his parents at the age of eighteen.

He run on the river as flat boatman for four years from Kanawha Salt Springs, W. Va., to New Orleans, at fifty cents per day.

In 1832 he came to Hancock county and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Brandywine township, where he remained till his death, in 1866.

His remains rest in Mt. Lebanon cemetery, near his farm.

He was a successful, prosperous farmer in his time.

He raised three sons. J. W. and F. M. Porter are both respectable citizens and prosperous farmers in their native township. William H. Porter is engaged in butchering in Greenfield.


This good lady, the mother of John Roberts, is the oldest resident citizen in Brandywine township, having come to the "new purchase" prior to the organization of the territory into Madison county and settled on the farm now owned by Marion Steele.

She was married in New York just at the close of the war of 1812. Her husband was a faithful, valient soldier of said war. They came through on foot, carrying their effects, and crossed the Ohio River in an Indian canoe. They settled in the dense forest, making a temporary room by piling brush against a large log and covering it with bark until they could erect a small pole cabin.

There was at that time no roads, and not a mill within thirty-five miles. Beat hominy, venison and spice-wood tea were the chief eatables.

During the Indian troubles following the "Indian massacre" in Madison county, of which this later formed a part, her husband and Mr. Rambo went to Pendleton, the page: 87[View Page 87] county seat at that time, to attend the trial and act as guards. There was great uneasiness all over the country at this time, the whites not knowing at what time they might be murdered by the justly indignant Indians. These two women remained alone during their husbands' absence at the trial, a full account of which will be found further on. During this time one evening Mrs. Roberts, hearing considerable noise, opened the door to discover the trouble, when Mrs. Rambo, more thoughtful, bid her come in, which she did just in time to escape the jaws and claws of a hungry panther, which prowled around and over the cabin and against the door till the morning light.

Mrs. Roberts tells of another narrow escape from a panther on a certain occasion when she and her little boy, eight or ten years of age, were in the rye patch. She was laying up the gap, when the little boy said, "Mother, what is that in the weeds?" She, seeing that it was a panther just in the act of springing on the boy, snatched him from the spot, and, putting him in front of her, made for the house; but it was not so easy to escape the cunning of the blood-thirsty panther, which intercepted their path in the rye and sprang for the boy, who, being active, barely succeeded in escaping unhurt. The mother, in seeing the ferocious beast alight on the spot where her darling boy had just saved a precious life, was so frightened that she was unable, for some time, to move from the spot.

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[View Figure]



THIS township took its name from Prior Brown, one of the first settlers. It was organized and incorporated in the year 1833, at which time it was struck off from Green, of which it had formed the eastern part for one year, prior to which it had been a part of Jackson for a similar time, and preceding that a part of Blue-river for three years.

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Brown not being one of the original townships, like Blue-river and Brandywine, just described, and Sugar-creek, yet to consider, it now becomes necessary to digress a little and introduce a map and explanations, in order to make clear to the mind of the young reader the origin and early history of the township now under consideration, and of the other non-original townships to follow.

Explanations, Suggestions, and Historical Facts.—In order to comprehend the descriptions of the origin and early history of the county and several townships, the reader should study carefully our outline maps and history connected therewith; also the wall map published in 1875 by the senior member of this firm. To show the number of the townships and their exact size and location by maps, would require eight illustrations. We hardly deem it necessary to give all; but with what we shall introduce, page: 90[View Page 90] together with the printed history, the student may easily comprehend the various political changes.

Let the reader ever bear in mind that the county consisted of—

In 1828, three townships—Blue-river, Brandywine and Sugar-creek.

In 1831, seven townships—Center, Jackson, Harrison and Buck-creek being added.

In 1832, eight townships—Green being added.

In 1833, nine townships—Brown being added.

In 1836, ten townships—Vernon being added.

In 1838, twelve townships—Jones and Union being added.

In 1850, thirteen townships—Worth being added.

In 1853, nine townships—Harrison, Jones, Union and Worth being annihilated.

With this brief outline, in connection with the maps given, to which we shall often refer, the reader may readily locate any and all of the civil and congressional townships, present and historical.

Location, Boundary, Size, Topography, Timber, etc.—Brown township is located in the north-east corner of the county, and is bounded by Madison county on the north, Henry on the east, Jackson township and Henry county on the south, and Green township on the west. It is the only township in the county that is not partially bounded by Center.

In dimensions, Brown is six miles east and west and five miles north and south; and, consequently, consists of thirty sections. It is all located in township seventeen north and ranges seven and eight east, the west tier of sections being in range seven and the remainder in range eight east.

In topography, the face of the township is mainly level, though somewhat undulating in the vicinity of the streams; soil, limestone deep, rich and lasting; subsoil, gravel and clay.

It was once heavily timbered with beech, sugar-maple, page: 91[View Page 91] oak, elm, walnut, cherry, and poplar, and especially abounded in fine oak. The destroying angel passed over this township and selected out the fine walnut and poplar and claimed them for his own.

It is almost wholly an agricultural and grazing district. The only manufactories in the township, outside of the flouring mills, are a saw-mill and a tile factory.

Streams.—Sugar Creek enters the township at the north-east corner and flows south-west three and one-half miles to the center of section twenty-one, and within half a mile of Warrington; thence north-west, dipping into Madison county at the north-west corner of section eight; thence south-west, passing out on the west line of the township, one and a half miles south of the north-west corner, on the west middle line of section thirteen. Brandywine rises west of Warrington, in section twenty, runs south by south-west and passes out of the township one and a half miles east of the south-west corner, and near the middle southern line of section thirty-one. Willow Branch rises in the Western central part of the township, in the eastern part of section twenty-four, and flows south two miles; thence west, passing out a half mile north of the south-west corner. The Pedee rises in the south-east part of the township, flows north-west four miles, passes Warrington on the north-east, and empties into Sugar Creek in section seventeen. Brandywine, in Brown, is a small, torpid stream. The first of these streams once furnished limited water-power for "corn-crackers" and "muly saw-mills," but has no mills on its banks to-day. The last two are short, sluggish brooks, rising in wet, marshy land and flowing through level territory, are of little use save for drainage.

Earliest Land Entries.—The first land entered in the township was on July 3rd, 1830, by Prior Brown, being the east half of the north-east quarter of section thirty-three, in township seventeen north, and in range eight east. The second entry was made on December 2d of page: 92[View Page 92] the same year, by Isaac Davis. This land was then in Blue-river township.

First Settlers.—Among the first settlers of the township were: Prior Brown, after whom the township was named; John and Ezekiel Morgan, Geo. Nance, Mr. Davis, Perry Wilson, Sarah Baldwin and her family of seven children, Morgan McQuery, the Johnses, Nibargers, Sparkses, Hiatts, Seth Walker, Mosby Childers, Stephen Harlan, and Thomas Collins. All of whom are gone to the happy hunting grounds beyond the rolling river, and with the spirit's eye look with pleasure on the pleasant surroundings of their posterity, now enjoying the fruits of their labors. At a later date came Alfred and John Thomas; Jonas Marsh, the father of William, Montgomery, Ephraim, and Dr. John L. Marsh; William Bussel; Aaron Cass, grandfather of Annetta Cass, murdered in Green township; John Hays and Joel Cook, steady, prosperous farmers.

First Election.—The first election in the township was in 1834, held at the residence of Barzilla Rozell. The ballots were cast in a hat, and covered with a kerchief. There were no complaints of "stuffing the ballot box" in those halcyon days.

Mills, muly and modern.—The first grist-mill in the township was simply a corn-cracker, built by Stephen Harlan in 1835, and located on Sugar Creek, one and one-half miles north-east of Warrington, near where the Concord church now stands. This mill was run successfully for several years, when Harlan abandoned it and erected a new one on a more extensive scale lower down the stream propelled by an overshot wheel. The older citizens declare that the wheel was too large and set too high to secure the proper fall for the water, which in the dry season was low; so that on the occasion of letting the water into the race, it passed down very slowly till it came to a craw-fish hole, when it suddenly disappeared, to the utter chagrin of the enterprising miller and the amazement of the rural spectators.

In about 1852, Lane & Co. built a sash saw-mill in the page: 93[View Page 93] central southern portion of the township, which they run for a number of years, when they sold to Dr. S. A. Troy, who refitted it and kept it in operation for two years, and then traded it off, and it was moved away.

Daniel Blakely, in about 1836, erected a small saw-mill on Sugar Creek, near Nashville, which fed upon the choice logs of the vicinity for a number of years.

A Mr. Jenkins built a steam saw-mill in the north-east part of the township in 1850, and run it for a considerable length of time.

Harlan & Brown, about 1855, erected a steam saw-mill near the old Harlan mill, referred to above, which was successfully operated for, probably, ten years.

Trees & Company erected a steam circular saw-mill in Warrington about 1863, just across the road east from where the present flouring mill now stands.

A little west of Nashville, on the pike, Allen Walton & Brother built, about 1868, the largest and most successful circular saw-mill ever erected in the township, if not in the county, which continued in operation till 1879, when it was removed.

Roads.—This township is reasonably well supplied with good public roads, many of which have been graded and graveled by her enterprising citizens. There are in the township nine and three-fourth miles of toll pike, besides about six miles surrendered to the public. To this township belongs the credit of having the first gravel road toll pike in the county, built in 1859, and known as the "Knightstown and Warrington Gravel Road."

Railroads.—This township has no railroad completed. The I., B. and W. are extending a line through the county, which will pass through the township, entering at the south-west corner and passing out near the central middle line on the east.

Synopsis.—Brown township has four churches, to-wit: Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, United Brethren, and Christian.

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There are three secret orders in the township—Masons, Odd Fellows, and Daughters of Rebecca.

It has two villages,—Warrington and Nashville,—and two post-offices,—Warrington and Willow Branch. The former is the only voting precinct.

She has a tile factory, flour mill, saw-mill, three pikes, one county officer, one mill stream, two border counties, and is democratic by about sixty majority.

Teachers and Schools.—The names and numbers of the schools, and the teachers at present employed, are as follows:

District No. 1 Sparks Miss Laughlin. 
District No. 2 Clifton P. H. Copeland. 
District No. 3 Garriott W. P. Bussel. 
District No. 4 Buchanan S. N. Ham. 
District No. 5 Warrington M. J. Scuffle. 
District No. 6 Mays Jennie Kitterman. 
District No. 7 Brewer Rose M. Thompson. 
District No. 8 Democrat Lucy Morris. 
District No. 9 Spiceland W. J. Thomas. 

Remarks.—These several schools are numbered similar to the numbering of the sections in a congressional township, No. 1 being found in the north-east corner and No. 9 in the south-west, there being three tiers of houses of three each. The Buchanan school-house is located in the western middle part, near J. N. Martindale's farm. The senior member of this firm once swayed the green birch with regal authority at this point, and had the honor of having under his instruction the future county clerk, Ephraim Marsh; Dr. John L. Marsh; and Dr. David Myers, since deceased. At the old original Spiceland school-house, Dr. J. G. Stuart, of Fortville; Wm. Sagers, and Montgomery Marsh, also received his instruction.

In 1838, Montgomery Marsh attended a school located just north of the Buchanan, the building of which was made entirely of buckeye logs. The teacher was David McKinsey, now in the poor-house of this county.

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Population and Polls.—The scholastic population of Brown for 1881 is 489. Polls, 243. Population for 1850, 878; for 1860, 1,161; 1870, 1,329; for 1880, 1,400.

Vote.—The number of votes cast in Brown in 1836 were 52; in 184, 110; in 1860, 205; in 1870, 235; in 1880, 328. Her vote for President in 1881 stood: Republican, 125; democratic, 186; independent, 17.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—Brown township has 19,248 acres of assessed land, valued at $423,620. Her improvements on the same are valued at $53,810. Value of town lots, $2,330; with improvements on the same valued at $6,380. Personal property, $158,605. Total value of real and personal property, $644,745.

Taxes.—This township is assessed for the current year, to be paid in 1882, for $7,141.45 taxes. Of this amount, the following men pay $40 and upward, viz.:

  • Armstrong, T. heirs $ 43 10
  • Armstrong, Thos. H.56 75
  • Bussel, M. P.57 70
  • Bridges, John61 24
  • Collins, R. J.54 00
  • Collins, J. F.49 95
  • Cook, J. F.67 55
  • Combs, John70 70
  • Copeland, Lewis98 90
  • Eakins, W. S.57 75
  • Enright, Robert42 55
  • Forts, J. heirs80 80
  • Foust, H. E. & J.44 15
  • Harlan, S. heirs48 55
  • Hamilton, J.47 75
  • Howrin, T. J.62 60
  • Holliday, F. heirs55 60
  • Hays, J. B.43 90
  • Hays, Wm. M.64 25
  • Hays, R. R.58 05
  • Hatfield, W. E.64 90
  • Johns, Mat50 25
  • Martindale, J. N.$ 70 70
  • Martindale, E. J.44 15
  • McDaniel, J. A.88 50
  • McCray, S.68 40
  • McCray, John100 15
  • Mays, John55 00
  • Reeves, B. F.91 90
  • Reeves, Elijah heirs70 80
  • Reeves, Jane86 75
  • Risk & Hosier110 90
  • Sparks, W. A.40 15
  • Thomas, M. J.51 45
  • Thomas, John M.197 85
  • Trees, Wm.91 40
  • Trees, J. R.43 70
  • Trees, J. W., sen.78 25
  • Thomas, A. B.48 05
  • Vanderbark, J. W.86 20
  • Wilkinson, B.49 80
  • Woods, Robert80 00
  • White, J. W.42 35
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Murders, Suicides, and Remarkable Deaths.—It was in this township that a Mr. Bell, brother of Senator Bell, of Madison county, was eaten by the wolves in 1838. His body was found by Mosby Childers north-west of Nashville in a badly mutilated condition. His bones, and fragments of his clothing and pocket-book, were picked up in different places. Cause of death never known.

In 1832, a child of Vincent Cooper was frozen to death on the banks of Sugar Creek, in this township. It had wandered from home and was lost.

In the early history of the township a man by the name of Tullus committed suicide, by hanging, within one hundred yards of Warrington.

In 1856, William Mitchell, a young man, was killed by horse-racing, being thrown against a tree by the horse taking an opposite side of the tree from what the rider intended he should, and supposed he would, take.

Alfred Jones' wife committed suicide in 1875, by hanging in a small house near her residence. Cause unknown. Her husband was absent from home at the time.

Township Trustees.—The following are the names of the township trustees from the time they were empowered with authority to levy taxes, together with the date of their appointment:

  • Wm. L. Garriott 1859
  • Montgomery Marsh 1861
  • B. F. Reeves 1863
  • J. W. Trees 1864
  • Wm. Marsh 1865
  • Wm. L. Garriott 1878

It will be seen from the above that William Marsh held the office of trustee for more than a dozen years, and we speak from our own personal knowledge in testifying to his earnestness and efficiency. William L. Garriott sways the scepter at this date, being the first and last trustee in the township under the new regime. Attorney Marsh and Esquire Reeves carried the township safely through the perilous times of the civil war.

Justices of the Peace.—The following are the justices page: 97[View Page 97] of the peace for Brown township from its organization to the present time. We copy from the records since 1840. Prior to that time we find no records either in our own court-house or at Indianapolis in the state records.

  • Barzilla Rozell Unknown
  • Seth Walker 1836
  • Robert Eakin 1840
  • Daniel Wilkinson 1840
  • Robert Eakin 1845
  • A. D. Childers 1848
  • Neville Reeves 1850
  • A. D. Childers 1853
  • Robert Eakin 1855
  • A. D. Childers 1857
  • Benjamin McCarty 1858
  • Wm. L. Garriott 1862
  • Benjamin McCarty 1862
  • Benjamin F. Reeves 1866
  • Benjamin McCarty 1866
  • Alfred F. McKinsey 1870
  • Benjamin F. Reeves 1870
  • Benjamin F. Reeves 1874
  • H. B. Collins 1876
  • Benjamin F. Reeves 1878
  • Joseph Garriott 1880

Esquires Reeves and Garriott hold the scales of justice in Brown at present.

Ex-County Officers.—Brown township, like Virginia, the mother of Presidents, has not been wanting in furnishing county officers.

Among these ex-officers we call to memory Ex-Auditor Lysander Sparks, one of the pioneers of the township. His father was the first merchant in Warrington.

Captain Taylor W. Thomas, deceased, late resident of Center township, was elected and served as sheriff from Brown.

Wm. G. Caldwell, one of the staunch resident farmers of Brown, was the immediate predecessor of William Wilkins as sheriff of the county.

Of the ex-commissioners were Seth Walker, Daniel Wilkinson, and Nevil Reeves, all honest, honorable, "well-to-do" farmers.

Ex-Prosecuting Attorney M. Marsh and Ex-County Surveyor James K. King were both elected in Brown township.

There may be others; but as there is no record of the page: 98[View Page 98] residence of the various county officers, it must be taken from memory and hearsay, which are not always reliable.

Exports.—The chief exports of Brown are corn, wheat, hogs, cattle, horses, lumber, and flaxseed, with small quantities of apples, potatoes, and sheep.



was laid out near the center of the township, on the Fort Wayne State road, by John Oldham, on the 6th of October, 1834, and consisted of forty-eight lots. The first and only addition to the original plat was made by Dr. Wm. Trees on the 13th day of April, 1877, and consisted of eight lots.

Warrington is about fifteen miles north-east of Greenfield, on the Knightstown and Pendleton turnpike, the extremes of which are its shipping points.

It has no railroad, except in prospect. The I., B. and W., when completed, will have a depot within about one and a half miles.

It has two churches, three lodges, a school, flouring mill, two stores, a postoffice, and other essentials to a small village.

It has been the voting precinct since 1834.

The Knightstown and Anderson daily stage passes through Warrington.

It has a daily mail, with Henry C. Garriott postmaster.

The post-office was kept for many years by Samuel Blakely at his private residence, between Warrington and Nashville.

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Among those who did business in earlier days we note:

  • General Merchants—
    • JAMES K. KING,
    • J. R. TREES,
    • TREES & MARSH,
  • Physicians-
    • C. C. LODER.
  • Harness and Shoe Maker—

The following are the present business men:

  • General Merchants—
    • H. C. GARRIOTT,
  • Physicians—
    • R. D. HANNA,
  • Undertaker—
    • WM. L. GARRIOTT.
  • Boot and Shoe Maker—
  • Blacksmith—
  • Harness Maker—
    • LEVI COOK.
  • Tile Manufacturers—


located two miles north-west of Warrington, on Sugar Creek, was laid out December 30, 1834, by Blakely and Kennedy, and consisted of thirty-two lots, most of which have been sold for delinquent taxes.

The only business now in the place is blacksmithing, by Morgan Whistler.

In the ,early history of the place, Elisha Thornburg kept a general store, followed by Allen White and others for a short time.


is located in the south-west part of the township, on the page: 100[View Page 100] stream Willow Branch, from which it derives its name. The place contains eight dwellings, a store, blacksmith, painter, physician, post-office, a ware-room, and a saw-mill.

The first business done in the place was in 1874, by A. B. Thomas, who established a store and accepted the appointment of postmaster for Willow Branch, when the office was removed from across the line in Green, where it had been kept for a number of years by Jonathan Smith, a farmer and merchant.

The business of this place is done by A. B. Thomas, merchant, grain and implement dealer; Henry Kenyon, blacksmith and carriage maker; George Fowler, painter; H. B. Ryon, Physician; and Pleasant Manlove, proprietor of the saw-mill.

Mail tri-weekly. Bruce Thomas postmaster. Railroad "a-coming," to pass within a half mile.


was organized October 29, 1838, at the house of Stephen Harlan. Morgan McQuery was chosen moderator and Jacob Parkhurst clerk, with the following members: William Sparks, Jane Wilkinson, Hiram Harlan and wife, Charity Wilson, Jane Ross, and Stephen Harlan and wife.

The way of life and salvation has been definitely pointed out from time to time during the history of the church by the following Elders, to-wit: Daniel Cunningham, John F. Johnson, Thomas Smith, John Sparks, J. F. Collier, S. D. Harlan, and T. S. Lyons; the latter of whom is the present preacher.

The first meetings were held in private residences until the existence of log school-houses, which accommodated the congregation for a number of years, terminating in 1855, when the present frame building, thirty-four by thirty-six feet, was erected and completed in good style, and dedicated in 1856 by Elder John Sparks. The first trustees were Cicero Wilkinson, William Wright, and Jacob B. Hamilton.

This society is of the regular Baptist faith and order.

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The White Water Association has often held its annual meetings at this place.

Present membership, thirty-seven. Church clerk, J. P. Harlan.

Adjoining the church on the east is a cemetery, where many of the pioneers lie slumbering. First interment, Caroline Mays.


The Methodist Episcopal Church had a small society in the early history of the township near Nashville. Among the first members were John Kennedy and wife, Mariah Wilson, Samuel Griffith and wife, Elizabeth Walker, wife of Seth Walker; Sarah Newkirk, John Nibarger, Sarah Nibarger, and Amanda Childers.

This society met at private residences in the winter time, and at the log school-houses during the warm season, until they built a church in 1839 at Nashville. It was constructed by voluntary labor. The chief contributors were Samuel Griffith, John Kennedy, Seth Walker, Thomas Collins, David Noble, Dr. William Trees, and Thomas W. Collins. They continued to meet here till 1856, at which time the building became unfit for use, and a school-house near by was brought into service until 1859, at which time this society united with a small organization at Warrington and erected the present building, known as Zions Chapel, located at a midway point, being two miles north of Warrington and one and three-fourth miles east of Nashville. The Warrington wing held their meetings at the house of Dr. William Trees, one of her generous and most liberal members, prior to the coalition with the Nashvilleites. This building was burned in July last; but at this date they are rebuilding at an estimated cost of $1,100. Present minister, Rev. John Thomas.


of Warrington, organized a meeting about 1859, and worshiped page: 102[View Page 102] in Zions Chapel till 1871, at which time they built a neat, good-sized frame building in Warrington, at a cost of $2,400. The new building was dedicated in the same year by Bishop Edwards. The minister was Milo Baily. The trustees were John W. Trees, John Bridges, and Thomas Armstrong. The present minister is Rev. Felix. Presiding Elder, Milton Wright. The membership is numerous. The society is in a flourishing condition, and has upon its church rolls some of the best and most influential men of the township.


This church was first organized near Elizabeth City, and was known as the "Six-Mile Church." It was organized about the year 1838 by Peter Rader, who was its first pastor. Having quite a number of the best citizens as members, it continued its usefulness for several years at this point. Death and removals having crippled it so much, it was discontinued here as a church organization; but subsequently reorganized near Warrington, where the following Elders preached occasionally: Robert Low, Drury Holt, John Walker, and Silas Mawzy; all of Rush county. The meetings at first were held at private houses and log school-houses in the immediate neighborhood. The society struggled long and hard to build a house in which to worship; but were unable to accomplish the object, being low in spirits and few in numbers, and, in 1862, disorganized. In March, 1877, the society took fresh courage, and was again, established, or reorganized, by Elder Robert Edmonson. J. N. Martindale and John McCray were chosen Elders, and John Vandyke and C. C. Loder deacons. H. C. Garriott, clerk. The church edifice is very well located in Warrington; is a handsome frame, thirty-six by fifty-four feet, constructed at a cost of $1,650, and will seat five hundred persons. It was dedicated December 25, 1877, by Elder Wiley Ackman, who preached for the society two years, followed by Elder David Franklin, page: 103[View Page 103] who was succeeded by Elder Cornelius Quick, the present pastor. The society is in a prosperous condition, with a membership of eighty. On the 20th day of March, 1877, J. N. Martindale, John Vandyke, and W. L. Garriott were elected trustees.

[We are indebted to W. L. Garriott, Esq., of Warrington, for the above facts.]


The Warrington Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, No. 531, was chartered May 22, 1877, with the following officers: William Marsh, W. M.; J. A. Hamilton, S. W.; A. C. Walton, J. W. The charter members were, in addition to the above officers, Wm. G. Caldwell, F. M. Graham, John Vandyke, Wm. M. Hayes, H. B. Wilson, and Robert Blakely.

The following are the present officers: Wm. Marsh, W. M.; J. A. Eakin, S. W.; J. A. McDaniel, J. W.; Wm. Trees, Treasurer; J. D. Hedrick, Secretary; G. W. Coon, S. D.; J. S. Orr, J. D.; F. M. Graham, Tylor.

The past masters of this lodge are W. G. Caldwell, William Marsh, and George W. Summerville.

The lodge is in a prosperous condition, and owns a lodge-room valued at $800. The total membership is twenty-five. Nights of meeting: Wednesday evening, on or before the fulling of the moon in each month.

There was a lodge of Masons in Warrington organized in 1856, prior to the above, which continued for ten years, when the lodge-room was consumed by fire, the charter surrendered and the organization discontinued till the establishment of the above.

Among the first members of the original lodge were the following: W. P. White, J. K. King, Lysander Sparks, John Vandyke, James McCray, Moses Cottrell, J. A. McDaniel, Wm. Marsh, W. G. Caldwell, Thomas Walker, F. L. Seward, Andrew Vandyke, Ananias Conklin, and James Daugherty.

page: 104[View Page 104]

I. O. O. F. No. 411 (WARRINGTON).

This lodge dates from the issuing of their charter May 21, 1873.

The charter members were William Trees, J. D. Newkirk, J. G. Trees, William Kenyon, and Henry C. Garriott.

Officers: R. R. Hays, N. G.; William Kenyon, V. G.; John G. Trees, Secretary; William Trees, Treasurer.

The total membership at present is forty. It is in good condition financially and otherwise. It owns the room where it meets, built at a cost of $1,000. Regular night of meeting, Saturday evening of each week.


Friendship Lodge No. 138 of the Daughters of Rebecca was organized in Warrington in 1874. Date of charter, December 16, 1874.

Charter members: C. C. Loder, Jennie Loder, W. H. Power, William Marsh, Sarah Newkirk, William Trees, Henry C. Garriott, John Miller, M. L. Miller, William Kenyon, J. D. Newkirk, Matilda Trees, and A. M. Smith.

The regular meeting of the society occurs on Thursday on or before the full moon in each month. The meetings are held in the Odd Fellows' hall.


was born in Brown county, Ohio, on the second day of May, 1828. In the fall of 1837 his parents moved to Rush county, Indiana, and three years later came to Hancock county and settled on Brandywine Creek, in Brown town-ship, their home being a rude log cabin in the wilderness. His father had a large family of small children, and he, being the oldest, was compelled to work out from home to aid in maintaining the family.

By the time he was grown he had obtained, what was considered in those days, a good education, and taught page: 105[View Page 105] school in the winter and worked at moulding brick in the summer.

On the first day of November, 1849, he was married to Caroline Harlan, a daughter of Stephen Harlan, one of the first settlers of the county. The result of this union was ten children—five girls and an equal number of boys, eight of whom are still living.

In the summer of 1863 he united with the Baptist church, and is still a member thereof.

On the 25th of March, 1873, he had the misfortune to lose his wife, who was a most estimable lady, and sincerely mourned by all who knew her. On the 15th day of August, 1874, he was again married, choosing for his companion Nancy Garner, with whom he is still happily living.

Mr. Reeves is well-known throughout the county, and perhaps no man in his township enjoys in a higher degree the confidence and esteem of the people; and, as a result, he has held many offices of trust. In 1851 he was appointed school trustee by the county auditor, and in the spring of 1858 was elected township trustee, and again elected in the spring of 1862. In the spring of 1866 he was elected justice of the peace, and was re-elected in 1870, 1874, and 1878, having served continuously for fifteen years in that capacity, and, probably, married more people than any man in the county. In addition to his duties as justice, Mr. Reeves attends to a large share of probate business.

By his thrift and industry he has secured to himself one of the best farms in the county; and now, in the evening of his days, surrounded by all the comforts of life, and enjoying the confidence and esteem of all who know him, he can look back over the record of a life well spent and forward to a crown well won.

Dr. H. J. Reeves, a young physician of good standing in "Liztown," Henry county, is his son. Another son is teaching school and studying law, preparatory to entering the legal profession.

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was a native of the old "Palmetto State," and dates his earthly career back to the first year of the present century. He came to Hancock county in 1834, and settled in Brown township, on the farm which he entered, and where he lived and died. He was, consequently, one of the first settlers in this section.

Mr. Harlan was married, near Connersville, to a Miss Sparks, a tall, slender, noble woman, still living beyond her three score and ten.

The first brick house and the first mill in the township were built and owned by Stephen Harlan, who was not only an enterprising, thrifty farmer, but a miller and millwright, having built two grist-mills and a saw-mill, the first in 1835.

He was a zealous member of the Baptist church. It was at his house that the meetings of this society in Brown were first held.

This liberal-hearted, brave pioneer "shuffled off the mortal coil" and bade adieu to earthly scenes April 19, 1877, and was buried at the Concord Baptist church among his brethren in the faith.


a native of the "Buckeye State," was born in Green county, just at the beginning of the second war with the mother country. He emigrated to Hancock county in 1830 and settled on Sugar Creek, near the Concord Baptist church, in Brown township. He was married to Miss Julia Ann Walker in 1837. She dying, he was married the second time to Margaret Asbury April 3, 1845; and a third time to Sarah Mead, on February 20, 1853. He had three children by his second wife. He obtained all of his wives in sight of his farm.

Mr. Nibarger was a consistent member of the M. E. church, a thrifty farmer, an exemplary man, and a good citizen.

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a native of the "Keystone State," began his earthly pilgrimage about the year 1765. He came to Kentucky at the age of nineteen, being about the year 1784, and under-went the hardships of a Daniel Boone life. He lived in a "block-house," with other families, as a protection from the ill-treated, wily red man, who encompassed them about so closely that they were compelled to place guards at the house while a few of the men worked in the adjoining field.

From Kentucky he went to Ohio, to engage in the United States survey, which he followed till the Indians became so hostile he was compelled to decline further employment. From Ohio he came to Rush county, just as she was first being peopled by the "pale face," where he remained for a few years; thence to Hancock county, Brown township, in 1836, where he remained till his death, in about the year 1847, at the good old age of eighty-two. Mr. Thomas was fond of frontier life, and was truly a pioneer from first to last.

He left four sons and an equal number of daughters, viz.: Martha, Elizabeth, Margaret, Nancy, Alfred, John M., David, Ephraim and Taylor W.; five of whom are living at this date, three sons and two daughters, all useful good citizens.

Mr. Thomas was a highly esteemed citizen that under-went the hardships incident to pioneer life. His remains lie buried in the Pleasant Hill cemetery, on the line between Jackson and Brown townships.


of Brown township, was born May 9, 1806, in Gallia county, Ohio. He was married in the twentieth year of his age to Miss Sarah W. Bray, of the same state, where he remained for three years; then, with brave hearts and determined hands, they set out to seek their fortune in the unknown forest, and, in 1829, stopped in Madison county, bought a little farm and remained four years; thence to page: 109[View Page 109] Hancock in 1833, where, for $400, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of good land in the native green. Here he toiled and endured the privations of a pioneer till 1834, when his companion died and left him in the wild woods with five little children to care for. In a short time he married Rachel Blakely, with whom he shared the fruits of industry for forty-four years.

Mr. Collins succeeded in raising a large family, and provided well for their wants. He set off eleven children with over $3,000 each, and provided for the widowed mother her life-time.

Mr. Collins attached himself to the M. E. church in 1837, and remained an earnest, faithful member till death. He was ever a liberal supporter of church and schools, and ready to lend a helping hand to the advancement of every good cause. He died July 9, 1878.


Dr. William Trees, of Warrington, Brown township, Hancock county, Indiana, is a native of the "Buckeye State," born in Clermont county September 9, 1816; and is, therefore, able to compare ages with the State of Indiana, and lose but little by the comparison.

He emigrated to Rush county, Indiana, in 1826, while the county was yet new, and Hancock county not known, and studied medicine in Milroy with the well known medical firm of Doctors Day and Sharp, active physicians of their time. He then attended lectures, and took a course of study and instruction in the Indiana Medical Institute, receiving a diploma of which the following is a copy:


Unto whom this may come, greeting:

Know ye, that Mr. William Trees having completed all the requirements of this institution, and been duly examined according to its regulations in the various branches of medical science, and found to be well qualified therein,

We, therefore, by the power invested in us by the act of page: 110[View Page 110] incorporation of this body, do authorize him to practice medicine, surgery, and obstetrics, and recommend him to the favorable notice of the profession and the patronage of the public.

DAVID A. COX, President. WM. H. MARTIN, Secretary. H. G. SEXTON, R. ROBBINS, R. T. BROWN, DAVID A. COX, WM. H. MARTIN, I. HELM, Board of Examiners. Dated at Rushville, May 6, 1839.

Dr. Trees moved to Warrington, his present home, June 10, 1841, where he soon built up a good practice, an impregnable character, and a name that will go down to posterity loved and honored by all.

Dr. Trees has been a liberal, consistent, zealous member of the M. E. church ever since its organization in Warrington. As previously remarked, it was at his house the meetings of this society were first held in Brown township.

The Doctor is an intelligent, social gentleman, and generally well informed.


a native of the "Ancient Dominion," was born in Lancaster county in 1796. His father moved to East Tennessee in 1800. In 1837 Mr. Marsh came to Hancock county, where he remained till his death, in March, 1877. While in Tennessee he followed wagon-making for about ten years; but after coming to Hancock county he successfully engaged in farming.

Mr. Marsh was married in Tennessee to a Miss Kennedy, by whom he had five children: George, Henry, Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Mary Jane; the first of whom is now living in Missouri, and Henry is well known to our citizens. By his second wife (who was a sister of the first) he raised six children: William, Montgomery, Matilda, Martha, Ephraim, and John; the latter three of whom are natives of the township, the others are Tennesseeans. page: 111[View Page 111] The youngest is a practicing physician; Ephraim is county clerk; Montgomery is one of the older attorneys of the county; and Martha is the wife of William Pratt,

Mr. Marsh was one of the early settlers of the township who helped to clear the forests, make the roads, and convert the wilderness into broad grain fields. Though not a member of any church or secret order, he was a firm, honest, exemplary man, unpretentious and devoid of deceit, He died on his farm, and his remains lie buried at the McQuary graveyard, near his home, where loving hands have placed a plain monument to mark the final testing place of his mortal remains.


The subject of this sketch was born in Brown township, this county, December 27, 185 1. At the age of eighteen he entered the office of Dr. William Trees as a medical [View Figure]
student. In 1872 and 1873 he attended a course of lectures in the Louisville Medical College. The next year he attended the Ohio Medical College, receiving the page: 112[View Page 112] degree of M. D. at the close of the term. He was the youngest member of the graduating class, having just attained his twenty-first year. After leaving college, in 1874, he located in Warrington and entered upon the practice of his chosen profession. The following year he married a daughter of John W. Trees. In the spring of 1877 he moved to Greenfield, put out his shingle, and entered upon a lucrative practice. In the fall of 1879 he commenced the publication of a medical journal, which soon gained an extended reputation. During the winter of 1880, 1881 he delivered a course of lectures in the Indiana Eclectic Medical College. In addition to his professional duties, he has contributed papers on scientific and medical subjects to various journals.

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[View Figure]



THIS township took its name from the stream that flows through it, which, in turn, is supposed to have derived its page: 114[View Page 114] name from the numerous "buck" once found on its banks. It was struck off from Sugar-creek in 1831, and then consisted of the territory now embodied in both Buck-creek and Vernon. For five years it consisted of sixty-seven sections, when, in 1836, it was reduced to thirty-six sections, its present size, by striking off the northern portion, which took the name of Vernon. In 1838, Buck-creek was still further reduced in size (see map on p. 32) by striking off two tiers of sections from the south and adding to Jones township and one tier from the remainder on the east and adding to Union township, leaving it diminutive in size, of only twenty sections, from 1838 to 1853, at which time it was restored to its former size of six miles square, which it still retains. It is located in the central western portion of the county, and is bounded on the north by Marion county and Vernon township, on the east by Center, on the south by Sugar-creek, and on the west by Marion county. It is all located in township sixteen north and ranges five and six east. Township line sixteen forms its southern boundary and seventeen its northern. Two tiers. of sections are in range five west and four in range six. The range line extends a half mile west of Mt. Comfort.

The surface in general is very flat, the only rolling portion being in the south-west corner. The surface being low and wet, was once rather uninviting for settlement. It was very heavily timbered with beech, oak, ash, elm, sugar-maple, walnut and poplar, and especially abounded in fine burr oak. It has been ascertained since being cleared and drained that it is very productive. The soil is a black loam. The low portions previously thought unfit for tillage proves to be the most productive.

Streams.—Buck-creek, a small, sluggish mill stream, enters the township on the north line, at the north-east corner of section five, and flows in a general south by south-west direction through the center of the township, a half mile east of Mt. Comfort, passing out on the south line near the south-west corner of the township. This stream page: 115[View Page 115] has no banks at all in the township, except for about a mile through the Fish farm, on the south line. It has, therefore, been found necessary and expedient to deepen the channel in order to reclaim the overflowed land along the stream. Sugar Creek, a brisk mill stream, the largest in the township, cuts off the south-east corner of section twenty-seven, and extends through section thirty-four.

First Settlement and Land Entry.—This township was first settled about the year 1827, in the southern portion. The first entry of land was made in the year 1822, January 18, by George Worthington, being the south-east quarter of section thirty-four, in township sixteen north, in range six east. The second entry was made by John Chamberlain, and the third by John Smith.

First Settlers.—The first settlers in this township were James Burris, John Shirley, Thomas Craig, William Smith, William Arnett, Obadiah and John Eastes, J. A. Dunn, Thomas Rodgers, Isaac Snider, John Dance, Daniel Skinner, Archy Smith, Benjamin Percell, Charles Fish, Landis Eastes, Hance Steel, and the Beechman family. Burris, Smith, Rodgers, and Dance were from Ohio; Shirley and Craig were from Kentucky; Snider from Virginia; and Skinner from Delaware. At a little later date came George Grist, Joseph Wright, J. W. Shelby, John and Samuel Steel, John and William Collins, Jacob Smith,: W. A. Dunn, Lawrence and O. O. Harvey, E. Scotten, S. Arnett, Owen Griffith, J. H. Murphy, J. W. Campbell, and the Barnards and Parkers.

Births, Deaths, Marriages, etc.—The first child born in the township was Permelia Craig, the wife of O. O. Harvey. The second, Archibald Smith, son of Jacob Smith.

The first death was Thomas Rodgers, buried at the Scotten graveyard in about 1833.

The first burial at the Arnett graveyard was Jennings Henderson, who was found frozen to death, one mile from his home, in 1847. He had gone to Greenfield to get his page: 116[View Page 116] gun repaired, and starting home late, night overtook him, and the next morning was found dead.

In about 1847 James Burris, a very industrious, quiet man, and one of the earliest settlers in the township, after giving some directions to his son, left the house, and going into the woods, sat down by a tree and opened the veins in his arms and bled to death.

The first grown person buried in the Steel graveyard was a daughter of Hance Steel. The first in the Dunn graveyard was the mother of William A. Dunn. The first in the Millard graveyard was Sarah Hodges, a sister of William A. Dunn. The first in the Snider graveyard was the wife of Isaac Snider. The first in the Eastes graveyard was Lucinda Arnett, wife of William Arnett, junior.

The first marriage in Buck-creek township was that of George Shirley and Fanny Crump.

Among the first physicians were Doctors John H. Sanders, Lyman Carpenter, and J. W. Hervey.

Ebenezer Scotten was the first blacksmith in the township. George Grist, located near Mt. Comfort, is the only son of Vulcan following the trade in the territory now under consideration.

The first resident preacher was Stephen Masters, and the second Philip Thurman. The first postmaster was Robert Wallace. The first teachers were Philip Masters and a Mr. Tisdell.

The first school-house of any kind built in the township was erected near Isaac Snider's, senior, in the south-west part of the township. It was quite a rude affair.

Mills.—This township being poorly supplied with water-power, her streams being small and sluggish, she has not been noted for pioneer water-mills. The first and only primitive grist-mill propelled by water-power was a small hominy mill on Buck Creek, north, near Mt. Comfort, erected in the year 1854 by William Eastes, and of short duration. The next mill was a steam corn-cracker and saw-mill located west of Mt. Comfort, about the year 1860, built by Corbin. It burned down in a few years, page: 117[View Page 117] and was never rebuilt. Whitlock built a steam sash saw- mill in 1863, which was operated some four years, and then moved out of the township. A steam saw-mill erected. by McLain and Buroaker, in 1869, located one and a half miles east of Mt. Comfort, was run several years, when it was moved north-west of Mt. Comfort two and one-half miles, where it was operated a short time, and where a portion of the mill and machinery still remain. Maulden and Hopkins erected a steam circular saw-mill on the south side of the road, a few rods east of Mt. Comfort school-house, in the year 1874, which was operated a few years, when it was burned; but shortly rebuilt, run about two years, and then removed to Oaklandon, in Marion county. Ebenezer Steel erected a large tile factory on his farm, one and one-half miles north-east of Mt. Comfort, about the time the ditching enterprise first struck the county, which was kept in operation, doing an extensive business, for a series of years, or till all the immediate section of country was thoroughly drained.

The above are the only mills of which we have any account, save the two circular saw-mills now in operation; one of which is known as the Wilson mill, being located on the Adam Wilson farm, in the central eastern portion of the township, and the other erected the present season by Ebenezer Steel on his farm, located on the I., B. and W. R. R., about a mile north-east of Mt. Comfort.

Merchandising.—From an examination of the old records in the auditor's office, we ascertain that in the year 1832 John Eastes was licensed, according to law, to vend merchandise in Buck-creek township. His place of business was in the southern portion, where he kept a few staple articles in accordance with the demands. There is no record of further business at this stand. The settlement soon extended farther north in the township, covering the northern portion as well as the southern, which was first settled, thus making it necessary, for convenience, to change the place of business to a more central location. Thus originated, the first store at Mt. Comfort, kept by Charles page: [118][View Page [118]] [View Figure]
page: 119[View Page 119] Ray; since which the following firms have held forth from time to time: Robert Church, Church > Vanlaningham, John N. Eastes, Woods > Steel, W. J. Woods, Church > Thomas, Woods > Eastes, D. G. Hanna, J. W. Jay, and Smith > Bro.; the latter of whom were succeeded by the present merchant and postmaster, S. S. Smith.

Educational.—This township has nine frame schoolhouses, numbered, named and supplied with teachers for the present term as follows, to-wit:

District No. 1 Black Hawk Frank Tibbett. 
District No. 2 Boyd's E. E . Stoner. 
District No. 3 Offenbacker N. P. Whittaker. 
District No. 4 Wallace Robert Hurley. 
District No. 5 Mt. Comfort Laura Dance. 
District No. 6 Mints William Whittaker. 
District No. 7 Griffith Moses Bates. 
District No. 8 Russel S. S. Eastes. 
District No. 9 Burris M. O. Snyder. 

These houses are numbered east and west as a boy would drop hills of corn in a row running in the same direction; No. 1 being in the north-east corner of the township and No. 9 in the south-west. The buildings are all plain, medium-sized frame houses, plastered and painted and covered with shingles, and each consists of a single room. The greatest want in an educational line at present, perhaps, is more apparatus. The nine school-houses are estimated worth $4,000; apparatus, $100; total, $4,100. Total number of school children, 492. Township institutes in this township have generally been well attended, interesting and profitable; more so than the average township, owing to the interest manifested by the trustee in the matter.

Synopsis.—This township has four churches, viz.: two United Brethren and two Methodist Episcopal; one post-office—Mt. Comfort; one voting precinct—School-house No. 5; two circular saw-mills; a pike; one county officer; one deputy; two mill streams; nine school-houses; one page: 120[View Page 120] railroad; five ex-county officers; one store; and a democratic majority, on the vote for President in 1880, of twelve.

Roads.—Buck-creek township has less graveled road than any other township in the county, there being only three and one-half miles of toll pike within her borders. This is owing, no doubt, to her lack of gravel-pits, being, as previously remarked, low and wet., The roads are less improved and in worse condition in this township than in any other in the county.

Railroad.—The Indiana, Bloomingtan and Western Railway Company has just extended its line through this township; but have established no station as yet.

Population.—The population of Buck-creek for 1850 was 420; for 1860, 999; for 1870, 1,227; for 1880, 1,460. In 1860 there were five colored persons and no foreigners, and in 1870 there were thirty-one foreigners and no colored.

Vote and Polls.—The vote for 1860 was 189; for 1870, 217; and for 1880, 357. The vote for President in 1880 stood as follows : Republican, 166; democratic, 178; independent, 13. Polls for 1881, 279.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—The number of acres of land assessed for taxes for 1881 is 22,620, valued at $528,895; improvements on the same, $37,545; value of personal property, $160,830; total, $727,270.

Taxes.—Total amount of taxes assessed against her for 1881, to be paid in 1882, $646,326. Of this amount, the following men pay $40 and upward:

  • Arnett, Jane $ 56 71
  • Boyd, D. D. 48 08
  • Craig, Sabie 95 00
  • Campbell, J. W. 44 80
  • Crump, C. F. 42 08
  • Duncan, J. W. 56 38
  • Eastes, John C. 42 78
  • Fink, Henry 54 80
  • Griffith, Owen 41 45
  • Hanna, E. D. 96 24
  • Huntington, S. $ 56 28
  • Herr, Kasper 47 46
  • Parker, G. W. 50 54
  • Steel, Samuel 106 39
  • Steel, Ebenezer 151 36
  • Steel, Hance heirs 110 35
  • Steel, Frank 243 03
  • Stoner, Daniel 51 86
  • Smith, Wm. sen 168 90
  • Sanford, F. M. 46 72
  • page: 121[View Page 121]
  • Hanna, T. J. 59 28
  • Harvey, O. O. 49 61
  • Thomas, Ephraim 68 56
  • Wright, Joseph 78 74

The levy for each one hundred dollars in this township is seventy-eight cents. *

Ex-County Officers.—Buck-creek was the home of Bazil G. Jay, ex-county auditor; Mordecai Millard, ex-sheriff; and John Collins, ex-commissioner; all deceased, but green in the memory of the older citizens. On her fertile soil and broad plains still flourish Joshua W. Shelby, ex-sheriff, and Ephraim Thomas, ex-commissioner, prominent men well-known throughout the county.

Productions.—Buck-creek is almost wholly an agricultural and grazing territory, there never having been any manufactories in the township, save a tile factory, saw-mill, and a hominy mill, which did only a local business. Owing to the great abundance of burr oak in this section, it is probable that when the new I., B. and W. Railroad is completed there will, for a time, spring up a lively trade in lumber for staves, heading, etc. There is also an abundance of white elm poles, used in making hubs, which will probably be used.

Physicians.—There being no located physicians in this township at present, the northern part of the township, for medical skill, call on the physicians of Fortville and McCordsville; the eastern and southern part go to Greenfield and Philadelphia; and the western to Cumberland and the above points. Dr. J. W. Hervey, of Indianapolis, named in the foregoing as one of the pioneer physicians, still has considerable practice among his old friends in the western portion of the township. The old citizens say that at one time nearly all the practice of the township was done by the said Dr. Hervey and the following physicians from Greenfield, viz.: Drs. Lot Edwards, B. F. Duncan, N. P. Howard, and R. E. Barnett.

* To ascertain the assessed valuation of a man's property, real and personal, divide tax by the levy, which will give the number of hundreds.

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Justices of the Peace.—Though the people of this section are quiet and peaceably disposed, it has been necessary, in compliance with law and the needs of the community, to have disciples of Blackstone to settle the petty differences arising between people; and for this purpose, the following justices of the peace have been appointed from time to time in and for said township, to-wit:

  • Morgan Brinegar 1831
  • Owen Jarrett Unknown
  • Wyatt Denney Unknown
  • Esq. Peas Unknown
  • William Arnett 1841
  • Bazil G. Jay 1841
  • William Arnett 1845
  • John H. Murphy 1848
  • John Eastes 1849
  • Mordecai Millard 1852
  • R. A. Dunn 1853
  • J. W. Shelby 1856
  • Joseph Wright 1856
  • T. J. Hanna 1860
  • Joseph Wright 1860
  • W . C. Wray 1864
  • Allen Scotten 1864
  • Joseph Wright 1865
  • James McKean 1867
  • Joseph Wright 1869
  • G. W. Parker 1872
  • Joseph Wright 1873
  • G. W. Parker 1876
  • Edward Rose 1878
  • Wm. McConnell 1880

The present acting judges of law and equity, in which township officers have jurisdiction, are Esquires Rose and McConnell.

Township Trustees.—In the early history of the county trustees were scarcely more than mere nominal officers, having but few duties, subject to various changes. The following are the names of those acting, with dates of election, from the time their duties were enlarged, and their powers so increased that they could levy a local tax :

  • Ephraim Thomas 1859
  • Wm. L. Harvey 18 63
  • Henry R. Clayton 1865
  • J. W . Shelby 1867
  • O. O. Harvey 1869
  • Wm. M. Wright 1876
  • John C. Eastes 1880

Remarks.—The needy poor of this incorporated portion of the county look to John C. Eastes for assistance in the day of adversity; the farmer calls on him for pay for page: 123[View Page 123] his sheep killed by the hungry hounds; and the faithful teacher pays him a visit at the close of the term (if necessity does not prompt an earlier call) to receive remuneration for his services.

Families.—Buck-creek is the home of the Steels, Parkers, Wrights, Shelbys, Easteses, Dunns, Smiths, Harveys, Craigs, Collinses, Grists, and Arnetts; all prominent, well-known families.

It was once the home of Professor A. C. Shortridge, ex-superintendent of the Indianapolis public schools, and late president of Purdue University.

Upon her fruitful soil once trod the veritable Lorenzo Dow, the "Quaker Methodist" itinerant preacher, who had more than a national reputation for his zeal, industry and peculiarities. Here he entered land, a fuller account of whom will appear elsewhere.

Here lived, in his peculiar style, the eccentric John D. Hopkins, and still lives the industrious Mrs. Sabie Craig, perhaps the most extensive, successful, industrious, practical lady farmer in the county.

Murder and Suicide.—Here occurred the Kennedy tragedy, in which Thomas Kennedy killed his own daughter, the wife of George Hudson, for which he was sentenced to the penitentiary for life; but was in the course of a few years, through the intercession of his attorney, T. D. Walpole, pardoned, after which he returned to his own neighborhood, where he remained till his death, which occurred only a few years since.

It was in this township that James Norman became tired of terrestial scenes, and determined to put an end to his earthly pilgrimage, which he accomplished by hanging himself in the south-east part of the township, in about the year 1861.

With this brief outline, we close the general review of the township. A more specific account of many of the Matters mentioned herein will appear in the next chapter.

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was organized about the year 1836, and was originally known as Sycamore Chapel. Among the first members. were Thomas Craig and wife, Hiram Crump and lady, John Cochanhour and helpmeet, Miles Burris and wife, Jeremiah Beach and wife, Obadiah Eastes and lady, A. Cooper and family, and Mother Burris.

The first ministers were Revs. Edwards, Landy Havens, Morrow, George Havens, J. B. Birt, and Millender, some of whom are still living as valient soldiers of the cross.

Meetings were originally held, before the building of the Sycamore church, at the private residences of Daniel Skinner, Thomas Craig, and Obadiah Eastes.

In 1840, the first church building was erected, and continuously used till 1863, when it was burned. The society was without a place to worship till 1870, when it erected the present building, a neat frame, at a cost of $1,000, and known as Hopewell Chapel.

This organization has upon its church rolls but few members, and is, consequently, not strong, and have preaching only semi-occasionally.


was organized by Rev. C. Harvey, in the year 1872. Among the first members were the said Harvey and wife, Samuel S. Smith and wife, D. D. Boyd and wife, William Vest, Jackson Apple and lady, and William Horton and family.

This society had no building in which to meet for the first two years of its existence. In 1874, it erected a neat,. handsome church building, at a cost of $1,450. Dedicated by Dr. Robison.

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The trustees are D. D. Boyd, Hamilton Welling, and Samuel Smith.

The first minister in charge was Samuel Lamb, followed by Freeman and John Cain; they by Freeman and R. H. Smith; the last of whom served till 1875, when the Fortville circuit was divided and the Pleasant Grove church attached to the McCordsville circuit. Since which time the following divines have led the flock: R. B. Powell, T. J. Elkin, and G. N. Philipp, the last of whom is the present minister.


The United Brethren perfected an organization in Buck-creek township about the year 1856, and held their meetings in private residences and log school-houses till the year 1858. In January of this year, Washington McConnell, Thomas Preble, and Jackson Price were elected by the Quarterly Conference as trustees to build a church, to be called Union Chapel. At this time, D. Stoner was presiding Elder and Thomas Evans preacher in charge. The circuit was called Pleasant View, and belonged to White River Conference.

The first sermon preached in the building was on Christmas evening, 1858. On the following day (Christmas) the funeral of John Underwood, senior, who donated the ground on which the church stood, was preached.

Meetings have been continuously sustained since its organization, notwithstanding the building was burned in 1880.

The circuit has been presided over from time to time by the following Elders:

  • A. King,
  • A. E. Evans,
  • J. Myers,
  • A. Hanway,
  • John Vardeman,
  • R. B. Beatty,
  • Wm. Nichols,
  • Halleck Floyd,
  • R. B. Beatty,
  • W. Wit,
  • W. C. Day,
  • Lewis Crawford,
  • D. O. Ferrell,
  • Halleck Floyd,
  • J. Pruner,
  • Milton Wright,
  • M. Cabrich,
  • W. C. Day,
  • D. Stoner,
  • Thomas Evans,
  • Alexander Carrol,
  • page: 126[View Page 126]
  • C. Smith,
  • A. B. Dary,
  • William Hall,
  • P. S. Cook,
  • Alexander Carrol,
  • Monroe Gronendike,
  • Thomas Evans,
  • Amos Hanway,
  • T. H. Halstead,
  • A. E. Evans,
  • D. Stoner,
  • J. M. Ware,
  • D. Stoner,
  • Thomas Evans,
  • A. Davis,
  • Simon B. Irvin,
  • Henry K. Muth,

The preachers in charge for the time were William Gossett, Irvin Cox, A. C. Rice, I. Tharp, and Henry Huffman. I. Tharp preached but one sermon till he was thrown from his sulky and had his leg broken, and Henry Huffman finished out his term.

The present Elder is Milton M. Wright, and the minister in charge F. M. Demunbren. The charge is attached to the Warrington circuit.

The more marked revivals were during F. Evan's first year, T. H. Halstead's ministry; and William Gossett's supervision, when there was quite an ingathering of souls.

This society was doubtless established through the instrumentality of J. B. Collins, local preacher, since gone to his long home, and of precious memory to many.

[We are indebted for the above facts to James H. Murphy, an obliging, Christian gentleman.]


an exceedingly eccentric man, came to Hancock county about the year 1843, and built a pole shanty in the woods of Buck-creek, about four by seven feet, covered it with dirt, and daubed it inside thoroughly to the exclusion of all light and air, save at the small entrance, about fifteen inches wide and five feet long, which was closed by a single blue board called a door. The furniture consisted of a rude stool, on which he sat, made by his own hands; a primitive writing table, at which he spent much of his time; and a small sheet-iron stove, which he carried on his shoulder from Richmond, Indiana, and at the same time, under his arm, the fancy door for his contemplated rustic home.

Mr. Hopkins was a single man, and lived alone, not so page: 127[View Page 127] much from choice, perhaps, as from force of circumstances. Physically, he was large, strong, and vigorous, weighed two hundred pounds and upwards, of florid complexion, and had sandy hair, inclined to redness. Mentally, he was truly sui generis, loved sport, courted flattery, inclined to poetry, and imagined himself the "preacher, poet, orator and philosopher of the age." He spent much of his time in writing hymns, poems, and political songs, which he would sing on seasonable occasions. He has been denominated a monomaniac on the, subject of religion. He termed himself a "good gathering preacher," and did finally succeed in gathering a half dozen or more joiners in the township to his little band, which he termed "The good gathering army." To this little "army" he preached for some time, composing his own hymns and texts, never adopting anything, knowingly, from even the best authors. Of him it may truly be said that he was never guilty of plagiarism. His poetry was not classic nor polished by any means, nor was it faultless in meter and figure; but was like much of the early spring poetry, mere doggeral.

He courted a certain prominent young widow of energy and means and portly appearance, and for a time apparently received some encouragement, which prompted him to compose a number of songs expressive of his feelings relative thereto.

During the political campaigns he was especially an object of interest. For ten cents he would make either a whig or democratic speech, it was immaterial which. Indeed, for a dime he would make a public speech on the street on a goods-box, or any public place outside of a house, on any subject, political, religious, or scientific, or sing a campaign song, adapted to either party, or sing a "sabie song," which was one of his love effusions. After singing one of his ballads, he would pass through the audience and offer them for sale. A single dime would pay the bill for the entire lot, which he had been at the trouble and expense of having-printed.

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In dress Mr. H. was not less odd than in other respects. He seldom wore a hat, coat, or boots, save in the coldest weather, and his pants he had usually rolled up to the knees. He was exceedingly strong and active, and preferred jumping a fence to opening a gate. Mr. Samuel Harden says that he saw him, a few years since, in Anderson, and invited him home with him for dinner, which he accepted, ate heartily, took his departure, and leaped over the fence rather than open the gate, though it was convenient and in good working order.

The last seen of Mr. H., in Greenfied, was about three years since. Of his present whereabouts we are not reliably informed. We heard that he was located in Missouri, on a good farm of his own, doing well, which, if true, he will probably remain there for some time.

The chorus to one of his songs used to run thus:
  • "John D. Hopkins always remains the longest
  • Where the pot boils the strongest."


is a native of Union county, Indiana, and dates his earthly career to June 16, 1815. He is the oldest son of Joshua Shelby, sen., who came to Sugar Creek township in 1835, and died there in 1839.

The subject of this sketch was married to Nancy Dunn, sister of Wm. A. Dunn, in 1839, who was also an early settler. He served in the capacity of trustee and justice of the peace in his township for six years-two in the former and four in the latter. He was elected county sheriff in 1852, over G. W. Sample, a popular candidate, and after serving thirteen months, he resigned for the more congenial, healthful pursuit of agriculture. He is a fearless, staunch democrat; but as a whig was elected to the above office.

Mr. Shelby and his amiable companion were pioneers in the wild woods of early Buck Creek, and, as such, endured many privations and hardships incident to pioneer page: 129[View Page 129] life. The following are the names of their children: Catharine F., Samuel N., Sarah J., Lydia, Elvira and John F., six in all.

Mr. Shelby is not a member of any church, for reasons best known to himself. Though rough in speech and exterior, he is social, kind-hearted and well disposed.


was born November 13, 1842. He was married to Mary C. Coleman (whose parents came from South Carolina), January 7, 1866. Mr. P. was elected to the office of justice of the peace in 1872, and held the position for eight years, with general satisfaction to his fellow citizens. Mr. P. is also a teacher of some considerable experience in the schools of his township, and prides himself on being an unflinching democrat. Mr. P. is especially possessed of I the distinguishing characteristics of the family industry and economy, and has, thereby, succeded in accumulating considerable means for a young man, owning a fine farm under a good state of cultivation. The following are his children's names: Clinton, Dora A., Mary J., and William; four in all.


was born September 3, 1819, in Franklin county, Indiana. He came to this county with his father, William Arnett, in 1831, and settled in Buck-creek township, where he lived, bearing a good name, till his death, which occurred February 13, 1879. His last remains peacefully rest beneath a stately monument erected by loving hands. The deceased was an active, influential member of the Masonic order, in which he took the greatest delight. Early in life he was a member of the Baptist Church; but at the time of his death was not associated with any religious order. Mr. A. filled creditably the office of trustee for several years; and, also, that of "enrolling officer" during the late civil war. By industry, good habits, and page: [130][View Page [130]] [View Figure]
page: 131[View Page 131] economy, he succeeded in acquiring a large estate. In appearance Mr. A. was large, portly and athletic, weighing two hundred pounds, and of fair complexion. Unto his kind oversight were committed the following children: Sarah A., Mary, Isabelle, Elizabeth, Lucinda, and William H. His widow, still living, resides on the old homestead.


a distant relative of Ex-Governor Joseph Wright, is a native of the "Keystone State," beginning his earthly career in 1810, December 27. He came in early youth with his parents to Butler county, Ohio, where he remained a few years; thence to Wayne county, Indiana, where he remained till the year 1832, when he was married to Elizabeth Stephens, of that county, and afterwards removed to Buck-creek township, Hancock county, Indiana, where he has since resided. Mr. Wright is the father of Auditor Henry and Deputy Auditor William M. Wright. He served in the capacity of justice of the peace in his township for twenty years. When Mr. W. first came to the township it was one vast wilderness, inhabited by wild animals; but by determined hands and a strong will he has succeeded in making a commendable transformation. Amid all these changes and vicissitudes of life. Mr. W. has been encouraged and strengthened by the companion of his bosom, a noble woman. God bless her! Mr. W. is an uncompromising democrat, yet accords to others what he claims for himself, the right to vote his sentiments. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and no good brother ever knocks at his door without receiving admittance. Unto him were born the following children: John W., Mary, Henry, Isom S., Celia, and William M.; all of whom are still living, save John W. and Celia.


was a native of North Carolina, born in 1794, where he lived till 1837. In 1822 he was united in the holy bonds page: 132[View Page 132] of wedlock to Miss Jane McCullough, of the same state. In company with his companion he emigrated to Hancock county, Indiana, and settled in Buck-creek township, in 1837. Mr. J. was from birth and education a democrat unwavering; and, as such, was elected to the office of county auditor in 1855, which position he held creditably and satisfactorily for four years. Mr. Jay also served as justice of the peace for some years, with credit to his judgment and good sense. He was a man of firm character, honest and conscientious, and was an influential member of the Masonic order, by which he was buried June 17, 1860, at the Hodge cemetery, in Buck-creek township, where, by his side, the companion of his life was laid in February, 1876. His children were Eliza A., Mary J., Margaret C., John H., Martha A., James W., Susan F., and Amanda A.


of United Brethren was organized, about the year 1860, on the land of William Shaffer, but was afterwards moved farther south, on the opposite side of the road, where it now stands. The society was organized by Thomas Evans, followed by Rev. Hanway.

The following were among its first members: John and Isabelle Parker, Isaac Wilson, Thomas Price, James Wilson and wife, William and Margaret Wilson, Lewis Barnard, Mary Barnard, James Wallace, Sarah A. Wallace, and Cynthia Barnard.

The following are the present trustees: John Parker, James Wilson, and Thomas Price.

The society is not very strong in numbers, and have services only once a month. The house is a log, and wholly insufficient for the demands of the audience and the times, and the society contemplate building, at an early date, a new house near the residence of G. W. Parker.


Last, but not least, of the prominent men and remarkable page: 133[View Page 133] characters of this historic township is that of the Rev. Lorenzo Dow. Not until recently, when the dusty records and the earliest inhabitants were being consulted for material out of which to make this history, and some of the discoveries were made public through the paper, was it known but by a few that this truly pious, eccentric, and remarkable man ever set foot on Hancock's fertile soil, or owned land within her borders; but such is the the case. A. T. Hart and, possibly, others testify to having heard him preach in Greenfield. R. A. Smith says his father heard him in Rush county. Dow, in his journal before us, which we have twice read, speaks of passing through the "New Purchase," * and of being next at Louisville, Ky.

The "entry book" in the recorder's office shows that Lorenzo Dow, in 1826, May 8, entered the north-west quarter of section thirty-five, in township sixteen north, in range five east, containing one hundred and sixty acres. This was then, of course, a part of Madison county. The land is now located in the south-west part of Buck-creek township, section thirty-five, of which it forms a part, being the corner section. The land is now owned by Spencer Huntington, and lies on the Marion county line. Dow died in Georgetown, D. C., February 2, 1834, and his second wife, Lucy Dow, on the 13th day of December, 1838, deeded the same land to Hector H. Hall, and in the deed says: "It is the same land owned by my deceased husband, the Rev. Lorenzo Dow, situated in Hancock county."

It is authoritatively reported that Dow lived on his new entry for a short time; and a place is pointed out in a certain bank, about ten or twelve feet high, on the farm where Dow dug a cave and spent a portion of one season.

Auditor Wright says he has authority for saying that a number of children in the vicinity were named Lorenzo D. in honor and memory of him, occasioned by said residence.

* This section of country was at that date termed the "New Purchase."

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History is full of apparent contradictions, which are often, difficult to explain owing to our lack of sufficient information. I well remember a glaring contradiction in U. S. History which claimed my attention while pursuing the study. One author stated that there were one hundred of the Puritan Fathers on the May Flower, and another asserting that she bore up a precious cargo of one hundred and one souls. Why this discrepancy? I queried, there being no note of a death; and I determined to look it up. A number of authors were examined before I discovered the explanation which harmonized the statements of the apparently conflicting authors. The number was one hundred on starting, but on the way was increased to one hundred and one; and I have since had the pleasure of seeing the cradle in which that extra pilgrim was rocked on the briny deep. I first read Dow's journal in the backwoods of Arkansas about thirteen years ago, and then observed a little laughable contradiction, which I am still unable to satisfactorily explain. Lorenzo Dow, on page 212 of his "Journal," says he and Peggy were married on September 3, 1804. Peggy Dow, in her "Journey of Life," 12th. edition, page 610, says that she and Lorenzo were married late in the evening on September 4, 1804. The query is how that could be. Future generations in Hancock county may be equally puzzled over the real cost of our present jail and sheriff's residence. The records show that it was contracted to be built for $32,900. We say that it cost $75,000; but it has otherwise gone down in history as costing over $100,000. Why this discrepancy? Possibly owing to adding interest to the original cost in one case and not doing so in the other.

After fully examining and weighing all the evidence, parol and written, we are of the opinion that the veritable Lorenzo Dow twice preached in Greenfield, and entered land in Hancock county, which, after his death, there being no other legal heirs, his wife deeded to said Hector H. Hall.

Lorenzo Dow was in many respects a most remarkable page: 135[View Page 135] man. Though physically slender and frail, his indomitable will and wonderful zeal spurred him on to the accomplishment of more work than is seldom ever allotted to one man to perform. Though he was a public preacher less than forty years, it is probable that more persons heard the gospel from his lips than from any other divine since the days of Whitfield. He traveled extensively in England and Ireland, and repeatedly visited almost every portion of the United States. He wrote a number of books and lectures, and particularly a history of his own life, so singularly eventful and full of vicissitudes. He would have a thousand appointments out at one time. On a certain occasion he was speaking from a pine stump, I think, in North Carolina, when he announced that in one year from that day, at that hour, he would (God permitting) preach from the stump on which he was standing. Time rolled on, and when the appointed hour arrived, notwithstanding a thousand appointments were to be filled in the meantime in accordance with promise, he was standing on the identical pine stump preaching to a large audience.

Dow was a Methodist in principle, and though not a member, was held in high esteem by many who knew him best and acknowledged his loyalty to truth and honesty of purpose. He was exceedingly conscientious, and though very poor and often wanting for the necessaries of life he repeatedly refused handsome sums of money tendered him by his admiring hearers and children in the gospel for fear of its being a stumbling block in his way, and thereby retarding the progress of the gospel. He was very eccentric in dress, manners, and style of preaching, which attracted much attention, while his shrewdness and quick discernment of character gave him a wonderful influence over the masses that daily assembled to hear him. Some supposed him possessed of supernatural powers, even to the discernment of thought and the "raising of the devil." It is recorded of him that at one time, when he was traveling in the south, he asked permission to remain over night. The woman of the house informed him that, as her husband page: 136[View Page 136] was not at home, she could not accommodate him. As was unusual with him, he insisted, as there were no houses near, the country being sparsely settled. But she positively refused till he told her that he was a preacher, and would sleep in the stable, if he could do no better. This information, together with his long hair and odd dress, suggested to her who he was, and she inquired if he were not Lorenzo Dow. Being answered in the affirmative, she waived her objections and decided that he might stay; probably more out of fear that evil might befall her than through any real desire to have him in the house. Mr. Dow put up with her for the night, and at the usual hour retired in a back room, where he had not long been till he heard a man arrive, whom he soon discovered was not the woman's husband. A series of jokes passed between the two, which continued with a good deal of pleasantry till about midnight, when a rap at the door announced the arrival of the husband. Surprise, alarm, and consternation followed. There was but one door to the rude house, and at it stood the husband seeking admittance. To be caught there at that unseasonable hour of the night, without a valid excuse, would possibly create suspicion, and at least secure him a sound threshing. To escape seemed impossible. Just at this critical juncture, when the boasted ingenuity of man failed, the quick perception of woman, as in most cases of emergency, found an expedient. Near the foot of the bed stood a large gum half full of raw cotton, in which she hurriedly buried the visitor; then, as composedly and calm as a June morning, turned around and admitted her husband. But his lordship had been to the grog-shop, and, in, his own conceit, was wise and wiry. "Hush, hush," said the wife, as the husband blundered in and roared out: "Thunder and potatoes, Mag, and why didn't you open the door?" "Hush, my dear, hush ! Lorenzo Dow is in the house." "Oh, blood and tobacco ! and is it Lorenzo Dow, the man who raises the devil?" "Sure it is; and why don't you be still?" "Oh, by Saint Patrick, he shall come forth, page: 137[View Page 137] and you shall see the devil before you sleep!" So, blundering into the bed-room, Mr. Dow was compelled to come forth; and nothing would satisfy the husband but that Lorenzo must raise the devil. Mr. Dow protested, and urged his inability to perform such wonders; but no excuse would satisfy the determined, uncompromising husband. He had heard that Dow could raise the devil, and now, that he had him in his house, nothing would satisfy him but that he must do it. Finally, Mr. Dow consented on the condition that his lordship "stand at the door and deal him a few good thumps as he shall pass forth, but not so hard as to break his bones." This his lordship agreed to do, and stationed himself accordingly. All things now ready, Lorenzo, taking the candle in his hand and walking up and down in the room, touching it quickly to the dry cotton, said: "COME FORTH OLD BOY!" when out jumped the hidden sinner all in a blaze, and breaking for the door, a living mass of fire, made good his exit; but not without a sound blow over the shoulder from the husband's cudgel. The job was now complete. Lorenzo had raised the devil, and the husband thought it a supernatural performance by the eccentric Yankee preacher.

As a further illustration of his influence over the people and their firm faith in his supernatural powers, we will give, in brief, the story of the "Cock and the Dinner Pot." One night after Mr. Dow had retired to bed after a hard day's travel in Virginia, a crowd assembled in the barroom of the inn to enjoy their revelries, as was the custom in those times in that part of the country. Toward the "wee small hours" of the morning it was announced that one of the company had lost his pocket-book, and a search was immediately proposed. Whereupon the landlord remarked that Lorenzo Dow was in the house, and that if the money was there he knew he could find it. Accordingly Lorenzo was rudely called forth from his warm bed to try his powers in finding the lost treasure He first inquired if any of the party had left since the money was lost; and being informed in the negative, then said Lorenzo page: 138[View Page 138] to the landlord: "Go and bring me your large dinner pot." This created no little surprise; but as supernatural powers were universally conceded, his directions were unhesitatingly obeyed, and the pot was brought and set in the middle of the room. "Now," said Lorenzo, "go and bring the old chicken-cock from the roost." This was accordingly done, and the pot was turned over the cock. "Now," said Lorenzo, "let the doors be locked and the lights extinquished." Which being done, he said: "Every person in the room must now rub his hands hard against the pot, and when the guilty hand touches the cock will crow." Accordingly all came forward and rubbed, or pretended to rub, the pot; but no cock crew. "Let the candles now be lighted," said Lorenzo; "there is no guilty person here." "If the man ever had any money he must have lost it some place else. "But stop," said Lorenzo, when all things were prepared, "let us now examine the hands." This was the essential part of the arrangement. An examination was instituted, when it was discovered that one man had not rubbed against the pot. The others' hands were all black with the soot of the pot, as proof of their innocence. "There," said Lorenzo, pointing to the man with clean hands, "there is the man who picked your pockets!" The guilty one seeing his detection, at once acknowledged his crime, and gave up the money.

Numerous' other interesting circumstances are related tending to show the ingenuity of the man and his insight into human nature, but we will not take time to rehearse them. Much of the oddity and eccentricity of Dow was the result of necessity, especially that part belonging to his dress: much of it was natural and in accordance with constitutional make, and a part was, doubtless, designed, and aided in the accomplishment of his great object in life. He lived to be fifty-seven years old, thirty-nine of which he spent in the public ministry.

Hancock county may well be proud in claiming him as one of her citizens, and the reader may reasonably page: 139[View Page 139] excuse the writer for occupying a little extra space in giving this biographical sketch.

Since the above was written, we have received an 'interesting letter from Judge Hector H. Hall, of Indianapolis, formerly of this county, in answer to a letter of inquiry in reference to various disputed points pertaining to Dow, which we insert in full.

November 23, 1881. "MESSRS. KING & BINFORD

"Gentlemen: I received your letter of inquiry in reference to Lorenzo Dow, and in reply I send you a copy of his will, taken from the records of New London county, Connecticut.

"I bought one hundred and sixty acres of land from Lucy Dow, second wife of Lorenzo Dow. Peggy Dow was his first wife. Dow never lived on the land, but had twenty acres deadened. I had the twenty acres grubbed after I bought it, the first work done by me. Dow built no mill that I ever heard of. In the same section a man by the name of Lawson lived one winter, and slept in one half of a hollow log. Lawson afterwards traded the land for a saw-mill on Sugar Creek, near Philadelphia, subsequently called Black's Mill, I believe. Many of these books of which you speak (L. Dow's works) I understood were in the possession of John Givens, of Indianapolis, now deceased. Givens paid the taxes on the land before I bought the same of Lucy Dow.

"'L. Dow' was marked on the beech trees near the four corners of the land. I think it was the only land owned by him in the west at the time of his death. The trees have all since died or been cut down.

"I sold the farm to Spencer Huntington about eight years since.

Yours truly, H. H. HALL."

We give below, as a matter of literary, legal and historic interest, a copy of the will above referred to, taken direct from the records in Connecticut more than forty :years ago. The will bears an indorsement, showing that it was "presented for record 19th March, 1834."


"I, Lorenzo Dow, of Montville, in the county of New page: 140[View Page 140] London, and State of Connecticut, considering the uncertainty of life, do make and ordain this as my last will and testament.

"I direct, in the first place, that all my just debts and personal charges be duly paid and discharged, and all the residue of my estate, both real and personal of every nature and kind, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Lucy Dow, to be at her disposal as she may think fit, including my patent family medicine; and I do hereby constitute and appoint my said wife, Lucy Dow, sole executrix to this my last will, hereby revoking all former wills by me made, and ratifying this, and this only, as and for my last will and testament.

"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and. seal this 5th day of April, A. D. 1825.

"Signed, sealed, published, and performed by the testator as and for his last will and testament.


"In presence of us, the subscribers:


"MONTVILLE, March 14, 1834.

"Personally appeared Mariann Minard, late Mariann Dolbeare, and being duly sworn, did depose and say that she saw Lorenzo Dow, the testator, sign the above written will; that she, as a witness, subscribed her name thereto in his presence and in the presence of Ralph Hurlbut and Eliza Miller, the other witnesses, and that in her opinion the said testator was, at the time of making said will, of a sound disposing mind and memory, and that we saw him declare the same to be his last will and testament.

"Sworn before me:


"Justice of the Peace.

"Recorded from the original by

"J. ISHAM, Clerk."

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[View Figure]



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THIS township derived its name from the central location which it occupied. Being partially bounded by all the townships save Brown, it was very appropriately named Center. The original Center township was named and organized in the year 1831, just three years after the organization of the county.

At the date of organization Center was composed of eighteen sections, being in extent six miles east and west and three miles north and south, and was, therefore, the smallest township in the county. * In the year 1835 Center township was increased from eighteen to twenty-four sections, by taking one tier of sections from the north of Brandywine and adding to the south of Center. This size it retained for eighteen years, or till the year 1853, at which time Harrison township and a part of Union and Worth were added to it, bringing it up to its present size of fifty-four sections, and making it by far the largest township in the county. From 1853 to the present there has been no change in the geographical outline of the township.

In extent it is eight miles north and south and seven miles east and west, and would, therefore, contain fifty-six sections were it a perfect rectangle; but the two sections. wanting in the south-east corner to make it such belong to Blue-river. It is bounded on the north by Vernon and Green townships, on the east by Jackson and Blue-river, on the south by Brandywine and Blue-river, and on the west by Sugar-creek and Buck-creek. It is located in townships fifteen and sixteen north and in ranges six and seven east. Township line sixteen passes through the court-house, and township line seventeen forms the northen boundary. All that portion south of the court-house is in township fifteen north, and the remainder of the township in sixteen north. Two tiers of sections on the western portion of the township are in range six east, and the remainder in seven east. Range line seven, which thus

* See map on p. 89 for size of Center from 1831 to 1835.

page: 143[View Page 143] divides the township, is located at the second cross roads west of Greenfield, and divides the M. T. Willett farm, and is found in the center of the first road west of the S. T. Dickerson farm.

Surface, Soil, Drainage, and Productions.—The surface is generally level, and especially in the central northern and central eastern portions and several sections north-west of Greenfield. Along the streams in places it is slightly hilly, and for a short distance back undulating.

This township once contained considerable third rate land as well as first and second; but since being cleared, ditched and cut up with good roads there is reported but little third rate land.

For the last few years much attention has been given to tile ditching, and under the recent ditch laws a number of public ditches have been put through the flat, swampy portions, whereby hundreds of acres have been reclaimed.

The chief productions are corn, wheat, oats, flax, hogs, horses, cattle, Irish potatoes, and the products of the forest and factory. In 1880 she produced 113,004 bushels of wheat, 163,625 bushels of corn, and 10,740 bushels of oats; being on an averave per acre equal with the best in wheat and corn, and excelled in oats only by Sugar-creek and Blue-river. For the same year she reported 1,669 tons of hay, 1,140 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 7,000 pounds of tobacco. Center produces more tobacco than all the rest of the county.

Streams, Names and Location.—Sugar Creek enters the township on the north line, about one and three-fourth miles east of the north-west corner, and flows south by south-west, passing out through section twenty-six, about three and a fourth miles north of the south-west corner.

Brandywine enters the township on the east line, one and one-half miles south of the north-east corner, flows south-west a half mile; then north-west one and one-half miles; thence south-west to the south-west corner of section sixteen; thence south, running east of Greenfield, and passing out of the township on the John Hinchman farm.

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Little Brandywine rises near the center of section fourteen, in the central eastern portion of the township, and flows south-west and empties into Big Brandywine a half mile west of the bridge spanning it north-west and near Hinchman's old residence.

Little Sugar Creek rises in the south-west part of the township and flows south, passing out about a mile east of the south-west corner.

Swamp Creek, which is simply a slough, enters the township on the east half of the north line of section four and flows nearly due south two and one-half miles, and is, for the time, lost in Brandywine.

First Entry and Early Settlers.—The first entries of land in Center township were in the south-east part, in sections four and nine, by Platt Montgomery, Robert Burton, Isaac Roberts, and David Vangilder. The first entry was made September 12, 1821, by Platt Montgomery, being the east half of the south-east quarter of section nine, in township fifteen north, in range seven east, and is now owned by Levi Elsberry's heirs and Abram Hackleman. The second entry was the eighty-acre tract on which Wesley Addison lives, entered by Robert Burton May 10, 1822. The third entry, by Isaac Roberts, on July 12, 1822, forms a part of the Marion Steele farm. The fourth was by David Vangilder, the west half of the north-west quarter of section nine aforesaid.

The first settlements in this township by the whites were made about the year 1819, from one to two miles south-east of where Greenfield now stands. Among the first settlers were Platt Montgomery, Corda Glandon, Samuel B. Jackson; Moses, David, and Abraham Vangilder; Jeremiah Meek and his two sons, Cornwell and Joshua; John and William Carr, Benjamin Spillman, Elisha Chapman, Jared Chapman, Joseph and Henry Chapman; Morris, Harry and Ovid Pierson; John and William Justice, Lydia Jones, James Hamilton, and John Wingfield. Samuel B. Jackson was the first tavern-keeper, holding forth in a log house said to be the same house now standing south of the page: 145[View Page 145] flax factory. He left the country under a cloud of suspicion, being accused of killing one of his guests, who was traveling through the state on the National road, supposed to have considerable money, and was never seen nor heard of after stopping with Jackson. Jeremiah Meek is said to have been the first settler in Greenfield. Cornwell Meek was a stock trader and dry goods merchant. Joshua Meek was recorder for twenty years. Joseph Chapman was a prominent public man, a fuller account of whom appears elsewhere. James Hamilton was a prosperous merchant, the father of Moses W. Hamilton. John Wingfield and Benjamin Spillman were two of the donors of the original plat of Greenfield.

First Preacher, Birth, Death, etc.—The first preacher in the township was Moses Vangilder, a Methodist exhorter. The first physician, Jared Chapman. Jared C. Meek was the first child born in Greenfield. The first death in Greenfield was a daughter of Benjamin Spillman. The first blacksmith was William Rice. The first church was the M. E. The first grocery store was kept by John Justice, and the first general store was kept by W. O. Ross.

Mills and Factories.—The first mill in the township was built in 1825, by William Pierson, on Sugar Creek, five miles north-west of Greenfield. It ground corn and wheat, and had a bolt to run by water. This mill burned down in 1846.

The next mill in the territory under consideration was built by William Curry, six miles north by north-east of Greenfield, in the year 1835, and was used to grind corn and wheat, and had a bolt worked by hand.

Isaac Willett built a mill on Sugar Creek, near Cedar Grove church, four miles north-west of Greenfield, in 1838. This was a grist-mill with a bolt to run by water. It continued in operation till after 1850.

The first steam saw-mill in the township was built in the year 1848 by Captain J. R. Bracken and John Templin, and located in the eastern part of Greenfield, a few rods south-west of the Hancock Flouring Mills. The first page: 146[View Page 146] engineer was Major A. K. Branham. In 1852, the weather-boarding and roof were burned off. The frame was saved. This mill cut a quantity of the lumber for the plank road in 1852. It was a sash saw-mill.

Benjamin Cox erected, in the southern part of Greenfield, about 1860, a steam saw-mill, which is still in operation; but recently removed to the south-west part of the city.

About 1862, a circular saw-mill was erected south-east of the old depot, which was run a few years and then moved away. About the same date was erected a steam circular saw-mill about three miles east of Greenfield, on the railroad, which did an extensive business for a number of years.

In 1869 G. W. Curtis & Bro. erected a steam saw-mill two and one-half miles from Greenfield, on the Lysander Sparks farm, which was run about three years, when it was moved three and one-half miles north of Greenfield, on the west side of the Greenfield and Pendleton pike. Here it was burned down and rebuilt in 1878, where it is still in operation.

Aaron Little, a few years since, built a circular saw-mill six miles north-west of Greenfield, which has recently been moved to Buck-creek.

The first tanyard in the township was erected by Henry Chapman, in the bottom north of the stone culvert on the National road, in the east part of town, in the early history of the county. It did an extensive business for the time. Chapman sold to Samuel Henry, who soon formed a partnership with Nathan Crawford, who, after running it successfully for a time, sold to A. T. Hart. Hart conveyed to Randall & Milton. Randall sold to Milton, in whose hands it went down. H. B. Wilson, P. M., run a tannery in Greenfield from 1865 to 1873.

In 1855 there was erected in Greenfield, in the south-west part, a steam flouring mill by Nathan Crawford, Samuel Longinaker and Freeman H. Crawford, which continued in successful operation till about 1860, when it page: 147[View Page 147] was burned down. After a lapse of a few years it was rebuilt by a Mr. Chaney. It soon passed into the hands of Hiram Woods, during whose ownership it was burned in July, 1869, and soon rebuilt. It is now owned and run by Alexander, New & Boots, and has recently been refitted and supplied with the modern improvements and adapted to the manufacture of the "new process."

In 1872 Joseph Boots, J. B. Fouch, and Samuel E. Gapen erected a steam flouring mill, now known as the "Hancock Mills," owned and run at present by Nelson Bradley and W. G. Scott under the firm name of Scott & Co. Gapen sold his interest to the other two partners, Boots and Fouch. After a time Fouch sold to Smith and Hogle, and they to Nelson Bradley in 1874. Boots conveyed his interest to W. G. Scott in 1878.

The steam planing-mill and furniture factory of Williams Brothers & Hamilton, located in the south part of the city of Greenfield, was erected in 1870, by H. J. and A. P. Williams, and run for a time, when Moses W. Hamilton bought an interest, and the new firm continues the same to this date.

In 1876, the desk factory and planing-mill of G. W. Puterbaugh was erected by A. E. Teal and George W. Puterbaugh, in the south-west part of the city, and run for three years under the firm name of Teal & Puterbaugh, when Teal conveyed to Puterbaugh, the present proprietor.

F. M. Gilchrist, in 1876, built, in the south-east part of the city, a desk factory and planing-mill, which he operated till 1879, when he conveyed to J. E. Brown, the present proprietor. During the present summer Brown was burned out; but has recently rebuilt, with an addition of a saw-mill.

In 1875 Cammack & Sons started a flax factory in a two-story brick building in the eastern part of the city, erected through the enterprise of William S. Wood, and owned and controlled by the Hancock Manufacturing Association. This factory, like nearly all others ever started in the county, met with the misfortune of being burned; page: 148[View Page 148] but was soon rebuilt, but not to its former height. It is now owned and controlled by Henry L. Moore & Son.

Gordon & Son, about 1877, built a steam saw-mill in the south-west part of Greenfield, which is still in operation.

In 1876 George Newhall erected a steam saw and planing mill south of the railroad, in the west part of town. It run two or three years, when it met with the common fate of such mills, and was never rebuilt.

Charles Cammack established a heading factory in 1880, run by steam-power furnished by Puterbaugh's engine, which did an extensive business till the summer of 1881, when it was stealthily removed between two days by parties from Anderson claiming ownership thereto. Prall & Puterbaugh, in the summer of 1881, attached a second heading machine, which is doing a lively business.

In 1868 a woolen factory was built by Morris Pierson, and located south of the railroad, opposite the old depot, and was successfully operated for a time by Craig & Minick, and then by Scofield, when it met the common fate and succumbed to the flames; and, unfortunately for the farmers and wool-growers of the county, was never rebuilt. Roads.—Center township, in her early history, had no roads, but what were used as such were mere paths. The first road in the county was the old State road; the next was the National road, which was laid out prior to the location of the town of Greenfield. But the first good road, as an improvement over the dirt and corduroy, was the National plank road, built by a company in 1852. Prior to the "late unpleasantness" there was not a single gravel road in the township; but since that time Greenfield has been made the focal point from which radiate finished gravel pikes to all the cardinal, and even sub-cardinal, points of the compass. She has at this date twenty and one-half miles of toll pike and fourteen miles of non-tollable, ten and one-half miles of which were once corporation roads, but have recently surrendered their charters. For a few years after the war a wonderful stride was taken in the improvement of roads. Under the recent free pike page: 149[View Page 149] law two gravel pikes are now being built in the township, viz.: the Fortville pike and the Frost pike.

Railroads.—Center township has two railroads crossing her territory. The P., C. and St. L. has a line seven miles within and along her borders, valued at $51,310, and pays a tax of $677.66 in the township and $180.91 in Greenfield. The I., B. and W. has a line of seven and one-half miles, not yet taxed, now completed. Each road has a station in the township. Greenfield is on the former, and the Junction on the latter.

Educational.—Close on the heels of the first settlers of the territory were the industrious, stern pedagogues characteristic of the times. Though our forefathers often suffered for the essentials of life, and had few of the luxuries, nevertheless they fain would have at least some of the rudiments of an English education. Perhaps the first school taught in the township was in a diminutive pole cabin, which stood on a knoll south of the railroad, between the two cemeteries. The second stood on the spot now occupied by the Vanwie house, owned by Thomas Carr; the third on or near the Rardin vacant lots, and north of Tindall's livery stable. The first frame school-house in the town was built contemporary with the plank road in 1852. It was finally sold to the Catholic church, and now, enlarged and repaired, and located on the old grounds, it forms their place of worship. From this time on small frames began to take the place of the rude, floorless "make shifts " heretofore occupied for school purposes. The writer once heard the late Milton B. Hopkins speak of receiving his first lessons in the English rudiments in one of those primitive floorless school-houses in this township during an exceedingly cold winter.

Among the first "masters" and "school-marms" of the town were Mrs. L. S. Church, Caroline Depu, Mr. Coy, Mr. McCoy and a Mr. Fisher. The first teacher in the north part of the township (then Harrison township) was Joseph Anderson, who held forth in an old deserted residence on William Martin's farm. His terms were rather page: 150[View Page 150] high for the times, being $1.50 per term or quarter, owing to his boarding himself, being a married man. His pay he took in money, trade and promises, and on the latter he failed to realize encouragingly.

Number and Name of Houses and Teachers.—The following table will show the names of the public schoolhouses and their present occupants as instructors:

District No. 1 Shepherd John H. White, Sr. 
District No. 2 Macedonia William Kiger. 
District No. 3 College Hill Emma Parnell. 
District No. 4 Nebraska Oliver Stoner. 
District No. 5 Ash Grove Cassius M. Curry. 
District No. 6 Independent O. H. Tibbett. 
District No. 7 Boyd's Mrs. R. H. Craig. 
District No. 8 College Corner O. P. Eastes. 
District No. 9 Judkins A. N. Rhue. 
District No. 10 Frazier William Elsberry. 
District No. 11 Danners Maud Everett. 
District No. 12 White Haven V. H. Finnell. 
District No. 13 Junction  W. H. Craig. 
District No. 14 Woodbine E. W. Felt. 
District No. 15 Slabtown Iduna M. Smith. 
District No. 16 Benevolence Newton Goble. 

The city of Greenfield has two schools, one for the colored and one for the white children. The former use a rented room. The teachers for the public school (for a cut and account of the building see page 38) for the present year are as follows, to-wit:

  • Superintendent Prof. J. W. Stout.
  • Principal high school Miss Mary Sparks.
  • Room No. 7 Miss Ida Anderson.
  • Room No. 6 Mrs. Kate Applegate.
  • Room No: 5 Miss Mattie Sparks.
  • Room No. 4 Miss Ida Geary.
  • Room No. 3 Miss Laura Pope.
  • Room No. 2 Miss Eva Williams.
  • Room No. 1 Miss Anna Harris.
  • Teacher colored school C. B. Gillim.
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Value of School Houses and Apparatus.—Center township has sixteen school-houses, five brick and eleven frame, valued at $9,600, including grounds, furniture and out-buildings. Her maps, charts, globes and other apparatus are valued at $400. Total value of school .property in the township, exclusive of the city, $10,000. In Greenfield, the school realty is valued at $20,000 and the apparatus at $200; total, $20,200.

Scholastic Population.—The scholastic population of Center, for 1853, was 498; for 1860, 752; in 1870, 754; in 1880, 753 For Greenfield, for the last three decades, the figures were respectively 351, 417, 653.

Township Trustees.—The following are the names of the trustees, with the time of their appointment, since 1859, at which time the office assumed some dignity and importance:

  • John Foster59
  • John H. White61
  • William Frost62
  • Robert Barr63
  • J. W. Walker64
  • William F. Pratt68
  • S. T. Dickerson70
  • James McClarnon74
  • William Potts78
  • Robert D. Cooper80

Remarks: John Foster, a portrait and sketch of whom appear elsewhere, had the honor of being not only the first sheriff of the county, but the first trustee also under the new regime. He was re-elected, and consequently held the office for two years, the term of office for a number of years being but one year. White, Frost and Barr each ruled right royally for one year. J. W. Walker, S. T. Dickerson and James McClarnon each looked after the poor and pedagogues for four years. Robert D. Cooper holds the purse strings at this date.

Churches.—Center township and the city of Greenfield are reasonably well supplied with churches, the former having six, viz.: four Methodist and two Baptist, and the latter one Methodist Episcopal, one Presbyterian, one Christian, one Catholic, one Missionary Baptist, and one African Methodist Episcopal-six in all. Most of the buildings page: 153[View Page 153] are good frames, a few are substantial bricks; a more specific account of which will appear further on.

Population.—An examination of the census reports of this township for a few decades shows a steady, rapid growth. Only thirty years ago, or in 1850, she had a population of 806, and nine of which were colored; ten years later she reports 2,529, and seventeen colored, an increase of over 200 per cent. In 1870 she had a population of 3,464, and thirty-one colored. The last census gave her a total, including Greenfield, of 4,284, a remarkable increase of 531 per cent in thirty years. Greenfield, in 1860, just before the civil war, had within her corporate limits 738 souls; in 1870, 1,173; in 1880, 2,012.

Polls and Vote.—For 1881, Center township has 395 polls and Greenfield 372. Last year Center reported 373 taxable polls and Greenfield 321, a handsome increase at both points, and especially in Greenfield.

Center township, for voting purposes in general elections, is divided into two precincts. At the first precinct, the court-house, all those citizens being legal voters of the city and township residing east of State street and the road extending through the township north and south cast their ballots; and at the second precinct, a small building across the street west from the court-house, those vote living west of the above points. The total vote of Center township for 1860 was 485; for 1870, 717; for 1880, 1,034, with a democratic majority of 152 for 1880, the vote standing: Democratic, 581; republican, 429; independent, 24.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—Center township being the largest in the county, reports 32,290 acres of land, valued at $784,465, and improvements on the same same valued at $120,080, being an average of about $28.00 per acre. The personal property in Center, exclusive of Greenfield, is valued at $270,250. Value of telegraph lines in Center, $1,320. Total value of taxables in Center township, $1,167,900.

Taxes.—Center township paid taxes to the amount of page: 154[View Page 154] $867.83 for 1842, and $6,945.66 for 1860; for 1881 she pays the sum of $13,666.64. The levy on each $100 is $1.12. Of this amount, levied in 1881, to be paid in 1882, the following men pay fifty dollars and upwards:

  • Addison, Wesley$ 82 30
  • Amack, T., heirs57 30
  • Banks, A. J.54 71
  • Barnett, R. E.65 35
  • Black, Jerome67 87
  • Bussell, William66 44
  • Braddock, Henry79 33
  • Boyd, P. K.137 00
  • Baldwin, Evaline72 29
  • Boyd, P. H.195 78
  • Barr, H., heirs55 44
  • Bradley, Nelson66 58
  • Bradley, William109 69
  • Catt, Jacob109 87
  • Citizens' Bank90 82
  • Duncan, M. T.77 70
  • Duncan, J. M.53 66
  • Elsberry, Jackson141 16
  • Ellis, Charlotte A.74 42
  • Forgy, Marion52 50
  • Finnell, J. S.99 17
  • Foster, J. R.58 23
  • Frazier, William135 57
  • Gooding, D. S.117 60
  • Holland, Thomas62 76
  • Hunt, Nathan114 27
  • Hamilton & Williams58 97
  • Heffernan, John61 85
  • Hagen, J. H., heirs54 26
  • Hackleman, A.55 13
  • Hart & Thayer115 92
  • James, Sylvester70 90
  • Longinaker, Letta67 31
  • Lineback, J. T.50 12
  • Martin, William79 96
  • Martin, Sampson80 98
  • Ryon, J. W.52 47
  • Roberts, Thomas147 14
  • Rardin, I. C.63 28
  • Sebastian, W. O.106 19
  • Swope, Mary E.74 60
  • Slifer, Jacob161 96
  • Steel, Marion98 02
  • Sparks, F. M.115 11
  • Smith, Abner264 72
  • Sears, William73 96
  • Simmons, J. B.62 72
  • Tague, G. G.71 29
  • Wright, E. N.107 72
  • Willett, M. T.81 30
  • Walker, W. C.84 56
  • White, John H.79 13
  • Wiggins, Charles A.52 62
  • Walsh, Ellen51 52
  • Wilson, J. T.105 08
  • Zike, William72 35

Greenfield has in her corporate limits, other than lots, 251 acres of land, valued at $10,645; the improvements on the same are estimated at $13,775; value of lots, $177,580; value of improvements, $227,655; value of personal property, $355,690; value of railroad property in the city, $12,810; value of telegraph lines in the corporate limits, $270.

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Total taxables of Greenfield are assessed at $785,355; the levy is $1.49 on each $100. Greenfield was assessed for 1860, and paid in 1861, the first year that she had a separate duplicate, $2,071.46, and in 1870 she paid $7,979.24, a comparison of which with the present taxes shows a rapid stride in this direction. The total taxes assessed against her for 1881, payable in 1882, are $13,039.04. Of this amount the following persons, partnerships, and corporations pay fifty dollars and upwards, viz.:

  • Adams, M. M.$ 51 91
  • Alexander, New & Boots152 65
  • Bradley, Nelson 85 00
  • Baldwin & Pratt79 86
  • Banks, A. J.121 65
  • Boyd, Simmons & Boyd56 62
  • Boyd, P. H.443 05
  • Burdett, W. C. 234 16
  • Crawford, F. H.107 58
  • Chandler, Morgan60 38
  • Citizens Bank474 74
  • Duncan, George W.86 80
  • Edwards, Catharine66 02
  • Furry, Sanford60 09
  • Gant, Thomas A.97 38
  • Grose, E. B.57 34
  • Gooding, D. S.74 35
  • Gooding, Matilda57 88
  • Glidden, F. E.73 16
  • Greenfield Banking Co226 25
  • Hughes, J. A.104 94
  • Hart, A. T.144 98
  • Hart & Thayer106 24
  • Hough, W. R.273 98
  • Howard, N. P., Sr.121 29
  • Heffernan, John67 05
  • Hinchman & Swope50 52
  • Hamilton, M. W.62 95
  • Hamilton & Williams74 95
  • Hauck, J.J.71 36
  • Jackson & Bro.59 60
  • Mitchell, William147 90
  • Marsh, W. & P. A.86 39
  • Moore, H. L.111 90
  • Mason, J. L.103 15
  • Morgan, J. M.90 40
  • Marsh, Ephraim204 40
  • New, J. A.70 07
  • New, A. J. & J. A.119 95
  • Offutt, C. G.64 94
  • Paullus, M . L.59 86
  • Poulson, I. P.76 63
  • Randall, G. T.227 82
  • Rardin, John, heirs58 56
  • Slifer, Jacob, Sr.110 86
  • Swaim, Reuben77 18
  • Thayer, H. B.50 66
  • Thayer, E. P.66 66
  • Thayer, Lee C.115 96
  • Williams Bros. & Hamilton103 42
  • Walsh, Ellen50 96
  • Walker, J. Ward88 80
  • Wood, Frances J.69 50
  • Walker & Co., J. Ward76 29

Remarks.—The reader will observe that in Center and page: 156[View Page 156] Greenfield we have given in the list of heavy tax-payers only the names of those paying fifty dollars and upwards, while in most of the townships we record those paying forty dollars and upwards. We make this difference on account of the difference in the levy. A man paying fifty dollars taxes in Greenfield is not assessed on as much property as one paying forty dollars in Buck-creek.

Law and Esquires.—Older than the history of the county is the provision for the convenient adjustment of petty difficulties and grievances among the citizens of a township at a trifling expense to the erring parties. The township system for promoting justice include two officers only—a justice and constable; the former acts as judge and clerk, and the latter is the executive officer, and corresponds to the sheriff in his duties.

The first justices acting in the territory now under consideration were Benjamin Spillman, Lucius Brown and O. H. Neff, all of whom served some time between the organization of Brandywine township and the formation of the original Center township, and hence were really justices of the peace in and for Brandywine township. The first justice of the peace for Center township proper after her organization was Joseph Chapman. W. O. Neff was elected in 1831, followed by Jonathan Dunbar, elected in 1834.

  • George Tague1834
  • William Justice1836
  • W. A. Franklin1841
  • William Sebastian1842
  • William Cushman1842
  • Harry Pierson1846
  • Thomas H. Fry1847
  • G. Y. Atkison1848
  • Erastus Church1848
  • John Rardin1848
  • Joseph Anderson1849
  • Jonathan Tague1850
  • Leonard Hines or Kines1850
  • Joseph Matthews1851

The above, it must be borne in mind, were the justices in Center proper during her twenty-two years' existence in her original diminutive size, as shown on page 89. During this same time the following persons served in page: 157[View Page 157] Harrison township, which now forms the northern part of Center, viz.:

  • Isaiah Curry1831
  • William Martindale1831
  • John Martin1835
  • William Martindale1835
  • John Martin1840
  • J. D. Conway1843
  • John Martin1845
  • J. D. Conway1848
  • John Martin1850
  • W. C. Walker1850
  • E. B. Chittenden1851

From 1853, the date of the organization of Center township into her present size, the following esquires have served the people:

  • John Rardin1854, 1858
  • James B. Rawlins1854
  • Joseph Matthews1856
  • William J. Foster1860
  • W. P. Cragan1860
  • George Barnett1862, 1870
  • John Rardin1862, 1866
  • Isaac Mullen1870, 1874
  • W. C. Walker1870, 1874
  • George Barnett1874, 1880
  • John W. Walker1874, 1878
  • James H. Thompson1878
  • James W. Wilson1880

Remarks: It will be observed that John Rardin served one term in the original Center township, being elected in 1848, and went out of office in 1870. John Martin served continuously for eighteen years, dating from 1835 to the termination of Harrison, in which he served. Mr. Martin was also elected in Center after her accession, but declined to serve. George Barnett, Esq., served one term in Sugarcreek township; afterwards, in 1862, was elected in Center, and is still holding forth. The present acting justices of the township are Esquires John W. Walker, George Barnett and James W. Wilson, all residents of the city. James H. Thompson served about half his term, when trouble from shortcomings in office overtook him, and he married a respectable lady of the city, obtained her ready cash; and skipped the county, and is now paying the penalty of a wasted life in a poor-house in Southern Indiana. The amount of business done by some of the early justices was very limited indeed. The first justice in Harrison page: 158[View Page 158] township, Isaiah Curry, served one year and died; the only business coming before him during that term was the advertising of an estray.

It is authoritatively said of another pioneer justice of this township, that in rendering judgment in a case of assault and battery, in the absence of definite instructions and a knowledge of the law, he assessed a fine of so much for "assault" and so much for "battery."

First Settlers of Harrison Township.—William Curry, for a time county commissioner, built the first grist-mill in the township. Joseph Anderson was the first school-teacher. William Martindale, the second justice in the township, became eccentric on religious matters, and took the name of "Buck Martindale." Among the other first settlers were John and David Kingen, Richard Frost, John page: 159[View Page 159] Carr, John Johnson, Jeremiah Hagan, John L. Garwood, Richard Guymon, John Martin, William Anderson, Elijah Leary and Isaiah Curry. John L. Garwood was one of the jurymen who tried the Whites for the Indian murders on Fall Creek, near Pendleton, in 1824. The first burials in the Curry cemetery were Allen Curry and Lucinda Simmons, son and daughter of William Curry.

First Business.—The first business of this section was with Elijah Tyner, of Blue-river township, who bought the venison hams, furs and ginseng of the pioneers, and sold them a few of the staple articles in exchange. Some of the trading of this section was done at Indianapolis, Pendleton and Raysville about this time. The first store in Center township was in Greenfield, about the year 1826, a fuller account of which will appear further on. We have no knowledge of any store in Center township, outside of Greenfield, during her entire history, other than the one now kept by Dr. George Tague, in the north-east part of the township, where the new post-office, Binwood, is kept by the proprietor of the store.

Ex-County Officers.—Center township, and especially that part of it incorporated as Greenfield, like Virginia, the "Mother of Presidents," has been truly liberal and patriotic in furnishing her quota of county officers to serve the people.

This was the home of Lewis Tyner, a pioneer merchant of Greenfield, and the first county clerk, being elected in 1828. Here resided John Foster, the first sheriff, and afterward representative for three terms and county treasurer. Greenfield was the home of Joshua Meek, the first recorder, who filled the office for twenty-one years. Henry Watts, the first treasurer, elected in 1828, was from Brandywine township. This was the home of Elisha Chapman, one of the three original commissioners who divided the county into townships.

In the little town of Greenfield resided Dr. Leonard Bardwell, the second physician and the first representative from this county.

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In Greenfield lived John Templin, a merchant, and the first auditor, being elected in 1841, the first date at which the State laws required that officer.

Here also lived Meredith Gosney, the first county surveyor and also school commissioner. He died in Green township.

Here lived in their day Thomas D. Walpole, senator and representative; Joseph Chapman, representative and clerk of the court; Joseph Matthews and John Alley, representatives; William Sebastian, John T. Sebastian, John Hager and Henry A. Swope, county clerks; Nathan Crawford and Samuel C. Duncan, treasurers; Jonathan Dunbar, Joseph Anderson, John Osborn and William H. Curry, sheriffs; John Milroy, Levi Leary, Frances O. Sears and N. H. Roberts, recorders; Isaac Willett, Nathaniel Henry, Abram Rhue, William Curry, Benjamin Spillman, Jacob Tague and Hiram Tyner, county commissioners; George Y. Atkison, joint representative, representative, and county clerk; James Rutherford, county clerk and school examiner; and Morrison Pearson, county treasurer and surveyor.

Still living and residing among us in the territory under consideration are the following well-known, honorable citizens, ex-officers: David S. Gooding, probate judge, senator, representative, and prosecuting attorney; James L. Mason, senator, joint representative, and school examiner; William R. Hough, senator, district attorney, and school examiner; Reuben A. Riley, representative, prosecuting attorney, and school examiner; John H. White, representative; Charles G. Offutt, representative; Morgan Chandler, sheriff, clerk, and representative; Jonathan Tague, auditor; A. C. Handy, auditor and representative; A. T. Hart, treasurer; L. W. Gooding, recorder and prosecuting attorney; William Mitchell, recorder by appointment; Jacob Slifer, commissioner; William Fries, school examiner and surveyor; James A. New, school examiner.

Here, also, lived William R. West, recorder and probate judge, now living in Anderson, and John Hinchman, county commissioner, who now resides in Rush county.

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Murders, Suicides and Remarkable Deaths.—In 1833 John Hays, an ex-sheriff of Rush county, was burned to death at the burning of the first log jail in the county, located on the south part of the public square. Hays kept a boarding-house on the corner now occupied by Doctor Boot's residence. He drank immoderately; became jealous of one of his male boarders; reason and judgment were dethroned; and he determined to wreak out his vengeance on somebody. Being indiscriminate in his selections, he entered the Milroy family and committed an assault and battery, for which he was confined in jail. In his account of the matter, he said he dirked and clubbed them as frogs, and they turned to "Milroys." Hays was the only one at the time incarcerated in the jail, which he set on fire, and was smothered and partially burned to death before the fire was discovered. From the "Illustrated Historical Atlas of Rush County, Indiana," by J. H. Beers & Co., we copy the following: "The second session of the circuit court met on the 3rd day of October, 1822. The sheriff, John Hays, did not appear this term, nor does his name hereafter appear on the record as officiating as sheriff. From other sources it is known that the unfortunate man became insane, wandered out to Hancock county, was placed in jail in Greenfield, set fire to the jail, and was consumed with it ere he could be rescued. An awful death to die!" But few people remain to recall the sad occurrence.

Mrs. Harris, wife of George Harris, hung herself, in March, 1845, with a skein of yarn attached to one of the joists. She was a woman in middle life, and nothing definite is known as to the cause of the act. Strange as it may seem, this was done while Mr. H. was asleep in the same bed from which she arose; and he knew nothing about it till morning, when he awoke to find the lifeless form of his wife cold in death. He did not delay to inform the coroner, but cut her down at once, when Mr. Thomas B. Miller, acting coroner, was informed, and proceeded to hold an inquest, and rendered a verdict: "Came to her page: 162[View Page 162] death by hanging. Cause unknown." This occurred on Brandywine Creek, on the land now owned by Thomas B. Miller, in Center township, about six miles north-east of Greenfield.

Isaac Stuart was born in Guilford county, North Carolina, April 23, 1796. He married Miss Sarah Johnson, who was seven years his junior, in his native county, December 8, 1822. In 1829 they immigrated to Indiana, and stopped one year in Wayne county and a similar time in Henry county, then removed to Rush county, six miles south of Knightstown, where they remained until July 14, 1835, when they made a permanent settlement in Harrison township, Hancock county, Indiana, where he remained until his death. Here, in the green woods, he carved out a home and reared his family, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow, never owing any man a cent. He accumulated some property, and on the night of December 28, 1846, at eleven o'clock, he was awakened by hearing some one walking across the room. Supposing it to be his son, Dr. John G. Stuart, who was practicing medicine at Charlottesville, and frequently stopped there when belated, he told him that the hired girl, Charlotte Reeves, was in the bed. On hearing the old gentleman speak, James Wise, a robber, turned, and rushing upon Mr. Stuart, struck him over the head with a large club (which is still in possession of the family), felling him to the floor. Mr. Stuart attempted to grapple with him, when he was struck again, and pushed out of the door, to receive another blow, this time from another robber, named Bodkins, which knocked him senseless. The two then entered the house, and demanded of Mrs. Stuart the money. She gave them all in the house at the time, about $I25-eleven in paper, the rest in silver, twenty-eight dollars being in quarters. After Wise received the $128 he called for $1,000 more, in reply to which Mrs. Stuart told him that was all that they had about the house; that Isaac had just loaned out $1,000; and that if he wanted to kill her he would have to do so, as they had no more. Whereupon he knocked her down page: 163[View Page 163] and beat her nearly to death, vainly attempting to compel her to hand over the $1,000 (which it was impossible for her to do). When the doctor arrived the next morning, the first thing that greeted him was the pigs licking up his parents' blood. The neighbors soon came in, and organized two searching parties of eleven each, and went to the houses of the guilty parties, but failed to find them at home. The companies then separated, one starting for Pendleton and one for Huntsville. One man was sent forward who should recognize, speak to, and pass the suspected parties, and give the rest the signal; and when near where George Mingle now lives they met Wise on horseback. They captured him, and soon took Bodkins also. On taking them in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart they immediately recognized them, although they were blackened the evening before, and they were taken to Indianapolis and committed to jail, there being at that time no jail in Hancock county. Their trial came off in February, 1847, and on the 12th of February they were sentenced to the penitentiary, Wise for twelve years and Bodkins for six. The latter died in about eighteen months, and Wise was pardoned by Governor Joseph Wright, on a petition on which the names of the Stuart family were forged. Mr. Stuart never fully recovered from the injuries, never being able afterwards to attend to business, and after being paralyzed eighteen months, during which time he was as helpless as an infant, he died August 6, 1859. As a last request he ordered that as he had never owed anything in life, all his funeral expenses should be paid before he was buried, which was done. Mrs. Sarah Stuart, whose injuries were less severe, is still living with relatives, at the age of seventy-eight, loved and respected by all who know her.

William S. Wood committed suicide by taking sulphate of morphia and chloroform, at the Union depot, Indianapolis, September 30, 1875, aged thirty-seven years. The cause of this sad occurrence was financial difficulties and large forgeries, a full account of which were given by him in his dying statement and confession, published at the page: 164[View Page 164] time in many of the city and county papers of the state. On the 28th, two days before his death, he took two policies in the Masonic Mutual Benefit, for his children, to the amount of $5,000, and $7,000 in the Franklin for his wife and children, and he had previously taken $2,500 in the Union Mutual, or Northwestern, of Milwaukee. Among his forgeries last made were his father's and father-in-law's names to a note for $4,000, payable in the First National Bank of Cambridge City, Indiana; and the names of Pratt & Baldwin, Marion Forgy, J. W. Ryon, and Thomas Wood to a note for $1,000, which he discounted at the Citizens' National Bank of Indianapolis. Of his forgeries he said, which was doubtless true, that he "never intended that any one should know it or have a cent to pay for him." But the financial crisis was too severe. The shrinkage of values, the high rates of interest, and the difficulties experienced in borrowing money at any rate drove him to desperation, and for the time dethroned reason and judgment. Mr. Wood was one of the most enterprising citizens of the county. Starting in the grocery business in a limited way in Greenfield, in 1862, with but little capital, he had greatly extended his business; then in the hardware and implement trade, speculating in land and lots; was the prime mover in erecting the Citizens' Bank (of which P. H. Boyd, John B. Simmons, Abiram Boyd, W. S. Wood, and I. P. Poulson were the stockholders); he built the two-story brick in the east part of town, since known as the flax factory, then owned by the Greenfield Manufacturing Association, of which he was president at the time of his death. At heart Mr. W. was a good man; a little vain, but exceedingly charitable; and was one of the most liberal members of the Christian church. He was at the time of his death Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias for the state; president of the school board in Greenfield; superintendent of the Christian Sunday-school; and an active, energetic man, who was greatly missed by the community. In person he was square-built, heavy-set; weight, 160 pounds; dark features and dark hair, a keen page: 165[View Page 165] eye, healthy and temperate; of nervous, sanguine temperament; five feet eight inches in height, quick-motioned and dignified bearing. He left a wife, the oldest daughter of William L. Garriott, and three children to mourn his loss, and fight life's battles all alone, unaided by paternal guidance and a father's strong arm. Mr. Wood's education was limited, never having had the opportunity of attending school but for a short time; but by observation, quick perception, and a retentive memory, he had partially made up the loss; and being of an imaginary turn of mind, a fluent talker, and possessed of a strong voice, he was considered a good extemporaneous speaker on all ordinary occasions and subjects. The last public speech he made was on Monday morning, September 27, I875, in the collection room in the public school building, in Greenfield. Those who heard it will remember it as at least good for an extemporaneous effort. The writer knew him well, and on that Monday morning, the beginning of the school year, had met him a few minutes before the time for opening, and invited him, as the president of the board, to be present and make a few appropriate remarks to the children on entering on their year's work, which he accepted, as he usually did such invitations, on condition that he found the time. Little did we think while following him in his speech through the Elysian fields, and drinking deep of the crystal fountains, that he was then contemplating so rash an act, to be returned to us in three short days a lifeless form.

In this township, about four miles north-east of Greenfield, lived William Frost, well known throughout the county as a local politician, thoroughly posted in the current history of the county, a successful farmer, an unwavering democrat and once a trustee of Center township, who came to an untimely death by falling from the top of a willow tree, near a cranberry patch north of town, where he had stationed himself to watch for a fox which he supposed would pass that way for its place of resort. On Friday morning, January 19, 1877, Mr. Frost, in company with William Martin and William Creviston, page: 166[View Page 166] started out on a fox hunt. Frost being a good marksman, it was decided that he should take a station near the said cranberry patch, the fox rendezvous, while his companions should drive them up. In order to be unobserved by the fox, Frost took a stand in the fork of an inclining willow tree, some twelve or fifteen feet from the ground. Noon coming on, and Martin and Creviston being tired, finding no fox, and supposing that Frost had left the woods, went home. But as Frost failed to return home that evening, his family became uneasy, and early next morning instituted a search. About nine o'clock he was found dead in the snow under the tree where he had stood. From the scars on and about his head, and broken teeth lying in his mouth and driven into his split jaw, it was supposed that he had relied too much on a small limb, which would strike him about the shoulders as he stood in the tree, and which had broken and let him fall to the frozen ground head foremost, dislocating his neck and producing instant death.

On the evening of August 30, 1876, there occurred, in the northern part of Center township, just east of the Junction, one of the most shocking, horrible and diabolical tragedies ever enacted in the county, which resulted in the murder of James Reedy, a cripple, by his father, Jerry Reedy, in a drunken quarrel between the two after returning from Greenfield, where they had taken a load of melons, sold them, and partook freely of fire-water, or better called devil's water, which drowned reason, smothered judgment, obliterated natural affection, and drove the actors to desperation and deathly combat. In a quarrel about "bossing" the household, each of them claiming that high prerogative, the butt end of a buggy whip was broken across the head of young Reedy, breaking down the bridge of his nose, and two or three flesh cuts inflicted on the father, terminating with a horrible death gash in the skull of young Reedy, from the edge of an axe in the hands of a crazed, enraged and excited father. According to the statement of Mrs. James Reedy, the only witness of the terrible tragedy, the parties had returned from town about four o'clock, and both page: 167[View Page 167] [View Figure]
page: 168[View Page 168] declined to partake of the supper prepared for them; that James was lying on the floor asleep, when Jerry struck him a few licks with the whip and told him to get up, which originated the quarrel terminating as above. Young Reedy died in a few hours, leaving a young wife and an unborn child. Jerry Reedy said that while in Greenfield they drank together, each four glasses of whisky; that he remembered nothing about using the ax on his son, and after becoming sober and rational, wept over the act and mourned the loss bitterly. But past acts he could not recall; the life taken he could not return; and notwithstanding his sense of shame, grief and remorse of conscience, he must suffer the penalty of an infracted law, and is now serving out a ten year's sentence in the penitentiary south. This is the result of giving way to the first glass. Had poor Jerry Reedy never begun the use of intoxicants, he might have escaped the disgrace of being a worthless sot and murderer, and have gone down to his grave with a clear conscience and the approval of Heaven. What a grave commentary on the common habit of dram drinking. Let the unconfirmed and uninitiated take warning, and "touch not, taste not the unclean thing," remembering that reliable statistics show that nine-tenths of the crimes of the civilized world are the result thereof; that the accursed habit fills our jails, penitentiaries and alms-houses of various kinds, and is the mother of pauperism, illiteracy, illegitimacy, crime and high taxes, and produces untold toil, suffering, and despair by unnatural widows and helpless orphans, left unaided to fight life's battles. "Oh! that men would consider, and heed wisdom's ways ere it is too late."

In this township, on the fair grounds, at the south end of floral-hall, on the morning of June 26, 1875, William Keemer died of what Mark Twain denominates "throat trouble." The facts in the case are too fresh in the minds of the peoplo to need much rehearsing. Keemer was a tall, strong mulatto man, about twenty-six years of age, who had committed a rape on Mrs. Jerusha E. Vaughn, wife of Mr. William Vaughn, then of Blue-river township, page: 169[View Page 169] for which he was caught and placed in the county jail at Rushville, where he remained one night, when fears were entertained of violence, and he was removed to Greenfield after night, and placed in the new jail. On the following morning, at half-past twelve o'clock, about 150 masked men, realizing the enormity of the crime, and fearing the technicalities and uncertainties of law, determined to take the law in their hands for the time, and see that justice was speedily meted out. They entered the jail, broke into Sheriff Thomas's room, forced the keys from him, unlocked the cell doors, and took their prisoner by force, placed him in a spring-wagon drawn by a gray horse, and marched to the place of execution, as aforesaid. The testimony is that the wagon was backed up to the fatal spot and a cotton rope placed around his neck, when he was asked if he had anything to say; in reply to which he said: "Men, you are doing a great wrong," which he repeated, and the wagon was driven out, and the frail frame was left writhing and dangling between the certainties of earth and the uncertainties of the future, with the dark waters of death near by. After life was extinct a placard was pinned on his bosom, to be read by hundreds the next morning, of which the following is a copy: "It is the verdict of 160 men from Hancock, Shelby and Rush that his life is inadequate to the demands of justice." After life was pronounced extinct by one of the city physicians, who was present as a spectator, one of the masked men arose and announced in slow, measured tones something like the following: "Comrades and spectators: The scene just enacted was done in no spirit of bravado or revenge, but to vindicate in some degree an outrage upon an innocent, unprotected woman, and to give protection and security in the future to your wives, as well as mine. Now, if any one, be he officer or citizen, divulge the secrets of this night, he shall surely suffer (pointing to the hanging man) in the same way." The crowd then dispersed. The next day an inquest was held, and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above facts. The corpse was then cut down, page: 170[View Page 170] placed on Frank Barnett's old dray, and taken to an undertaking establishment, and after being gazed on by hundreds from the county and town, was taken that night, about eleven o'clock, and deposited in its last resting-place on the county farm, "unwept, unhonored and unsung." Not being a citizen of Greenfield, he could not be buried in the new cemetery without the payment of the required fee of two dollars, and no one was found to advance the money; hence, with the box in a wagon and "Buffalo Bill " to dig the grave, his last remains were deposited as aforesaid. Thus ended the earthly, career of William Keemer. We are no apologist for mob law; but if it is ever justifiable, this was one of those cases.

It was in this township, about five miles north-east of Greenfield, that Samuel Derry "came to his death by stabs and wounds inflicted in and upon his body, by a knife or knives, by Harrison Kingen and Lucinda Kingen," on the 26th day of July, 1873, from which he died on the 30th. It will be remembered that the immediate cause of the fatal affray was a tiny gosling, the ownership of which was in dispute. On the day before the culmination of the trouble Lucinda Kingen, wife of Harrison Kingen, and sister of Samuel Derry, had gone to the house of her brother and driven away the said gosling. This act revived an old feeling existing between the families, and on the Saturday following the three parties met in the public highway, near the residence of said Derry, which resulted in a fatal fight, in which it seems a club, brick and knife were freely used. While there were several cuts on the body of Derry, in the opinion of the physicians the wound in the back, extending into the cavity of the chest, was the immediate cause of the death of Derry. A post mortem examination also disclosed the fact that the stomach and part of the intestines had passed upward through the cut in the diaphragm into the chest, and lay in front of the heart and lungs, rather on the left side, where the lung was collapsed. The coroner's jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts. This was considered one of the page: 171[View Page 171] most shocking murders that ever occurred in the township. Considering the relationship of the families and the insignificant differences between them, it was wholly unnatural and unaccountable, and is certainly a sad commentary on family feuds and petty strifes. Hereby two families were ruined, and their happiness forever destroyed.

It was in this township, also, at the Judkins schoolhouse, that Theodore Gant was struck over the head with a wooden poker by his teacher, on March 8, 1870, which resulted in his death on the same evening.

There have been a number of other strange sudden deaths in this township, which we will notice briefly: Lewis B. Paris was found dead and badly mutilated on the railroad, west of the depot, in November, 1865; supposed to have been murdered and thrown on the track. Jesse McKinney was killed by the cars, at the depot, in 1860. John Tacket was killed in 1863, a few rods east of the depot, by the cars striking him in the head. He was standing beside the track, leaning too far over. John Crush was killed, it is thought intentionally, in a similar manner, on July 29, 1875. Henry H. Baxter, a shoemaker, fell dead at the Dunbar corner, April 13, 1872. He left in 1852, and had returned on a visit. W. F. Barnard was killed in November, 1878, on the Washington Duncan farm, by a pole falling on his head at a barn raising. David T. Davis's daughter committed suicide by drowning in Brandywine, near her home, a few years since. A Mr. Johnson, in the early history of the county, drowned himself in a pond north-east of the Junction. Henry Ford, an elderly man, dropped dead in the woods, in the presence of Sylvanus Campbell and David Deshong, December 26, 1876. In February, 1869, a man by the name of Chambers was killed at the Brandywine bridge, by his head striking against the top thereof. On the 15th of October, 1873, a man whose name was unknown was killed in the same manner and place. Shortly after, perhaps in 1874, a brakeman was killed at the depot in Greenfield by his head striking the projecting roof.

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Exports.—The exports of this township and town are mainly the products of the farm, forest and factory, and consists of corn, cattle, hogs, horses, flaxseed, flax-tow, staves, heading, school desks, lumber, potatoes, butter, eggs, hay, wool and furniture.

Remarks.—With this general view of the township we close the present chapter. Many of the points herein merely alluded to will receive more attention in the next chapter, entitled "Center Township—Continued," and also further on in the book.



Greenfield, the county-seat, metropolis, and only city in the county, was laid out in June, 1828, by five commissioners, appointed for that purpose by the legislature of 1827 and 1828. The original plat consisted of sixty acres, owned and donated by Cornwell Meek, Benjamin Spillman, and John Wingfield. The town was named by the first three commissioners of the county, viz.: Samuel Vangilder, Elisha Chapman, and John Hunter.

The instructions by the legislature to the said commissioners were to locate the seat of justice of Hancock county on the National road, midway between the east and west lines of the county. It is said upon reasonably good authority that Cornwell Meek and Benjamin Spillman measured the county from east to west with a string, in order to ascertain the center thereof, and future location of the prospective county-seat.

In order to settle a disputed point relative to the method by which the county acquired title to said original plat of page: 173[View Page 173] sixty acres, we produce an abstract from the old original commissioners' record, embodying the report of said five state commissioners:

"At a special term of the board of county commissioners of the county of Hancock, met at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, in the said county, on the 7th of April, 1828, it is ordered by the board * [that] a report returned to the board of county commissioners of Hancock county by the honorable board—the James Smock, Thomas Martin, James Anderson, Levi Jessup, [and] Richard Blackledge, commissioners appointed by the state legislature of Indiana, to meet at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, in said county, for the purpose of locating the seat of justice in and for Hancock county, aforesaid, is [be] received by said board [of county commissioners] as is specified in the same, [report aforesaid] and ordered to be filed by the clerk of said board, [of county commissioners] spread on record, as follows, to-wit:


"'Pursuant to an act of the general assembly of the state of Indiana, approved December 24, A. D. I827, James Smock, Thomas Martin and Levi Jessup, three of the commissioners appointed by the aforesaid, met at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, in said county of Hancock, on Monday, the 7th day of April, A. D. 1828, and after being sworn as the law directed, proceeded on the discharge of the duties of our appointment. On Tuesday, the 8th day of April, John Anderson appeared, and was sworn as commissioner appointed by the act aforesaid; and on the same day Richard Blackledge appeared, and was sworn as a commissioner appointed as aforesaid; and after examining the several sites shown to us, and duly considering all the donations offered, we have unanimously agreed to accept a donation of sixty acres of land donated by Cornwell Meek, John Wingfield and Benjamin Spillman, bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning on the line dividing sections thirty-two and thirty-three, in township sixteen north, range seven east, where

* The words and phrases in brackets are Supplied by the author, to complete the grammatical construction and make sense.

page: 174[View Page 174] the National road crosses said line; then a running north thirty rods from the north side of said road, and the same distance south from the south side of said road; thence west on lines parallel with said road one hundred and sixty rods, to the open line of section five north and south, to contain sixty acres, which we have selected as a permanent seat of justice for the county of Hancock. And it is further agreed and allowed by us, that the donors aforesaid be allowed every fourth block in that part of town respectively donated by them, in manner following, to-wit: John Wingfield and Benjamin Spillman to be entitled to every fourth block, the county commissioners having first choice, and that Cornwell Meek be allowed every fourth block on that part of town donated by him, the said Cornwell Meek to have the first choice in the first four blocks, and afterwards for the county commissioners to have the first choice. And it is further agreed by us, that the donors aforesaid be allowed to remove buildings, rails, boards, and board-timber already sawed off which may be included in their respective donations; and we have further received donations by subscriptions amounting in cash and labor and lumber to $265; and furthermore, we have taken bonds on the donors aforesaid for the conveyance of the land above described, which, with the paper containing the subscriptions aforesaid, is submitted to the county commissioners.


"It is ordered by the board [that] the seat of justice of Hancock county shall be known and designated [by] the name and title of 'Greenfield, the seat of justice of Hancock county.'

"It is ordered by the board that Jared Chapman, agent of Hancock county, be and is hereby invested, and is hereby authorized, to make and form a plat for the further instruction of the board of commissioners, to lay off the town of Greenfield into lots, and that he present the same to the next term for inspection.

"It is ordered by the board that the said agent shall advertise at least in sixty handbills, and shall distribute the same, the page: 175[View Page 175] terms of sale to be as follows, to-wit: One-fourth of the purchase money down, and the balance in three equal annual payments.

"It is ordered by the board that the said agent shall survey and lay out the aforesaid town into blocks against the first Saturday of June next; and that the commissioners and donors do meet on the same day, and make choice agreeable to the report made by the board of state commissioners to the county commissioners, May 5, 1828.


The original plat, it will be observed from the above report, was just sixty rods wide, extending thirty rods on either side of the National road, and a half mile in length. The original plat consisted of a public square and thirty-four blocks, divided into one hundred and sixty-one lots.

It may be of some interest to the young to know not only the size, but the boundaries of said original plat. The east line thereof runs just west of Martin Lineback's residence and Morgan Chandler's property. Benjamin T. Rains resides on the north-east corner lot. The north line extends along the alley south of Dr. Martin's residence, and forms the north line of the Catholic church. Thomas Carr, Sr., resides on the north-west corner, and John Ryon on a central west lot. The south line of the old plat forms the north line of the old seminary lot, and runs just south of Nelson Bradley's residence.

Additions.—From time to time a number of additions have been made to Greenfield and the original plat, numbering more than a score in all. The first addition was made by Edward K. Hart, a brother of A. T. Hart, on March 4, 1839, and consisted of twelve blocks, fifty-six in-lots and twelve out-lots, and lies south of the old plat and east of State street, except one tier of lots, which lies on the west.

The second addition was made by Morris Pierson, on the 14th of April, 1853, and consisted of six blocks, divided page: 176[View Page 176] into fifty-four lots, located about the old seminary, which it surrounds, except on the north.

The third addition was made by Meek & Hart, on the 23rd of July, 1853, and consisted of four blocks, fifty-one in-lots and twelve out-lots, located north of the western portion of the old plat. The writer's residence is in this addition.

The fourth addition was made by Morris Pierson, being his second addition to the town, on the 28th of February, 1854, and consisted of twenty-three in-lots and four out-lots, located due south of Pierson's first addition, and extending the whole length thereof.

The fifth addition was made by the railroad company, on the 28th of July, 1854, and is located in the south-west corner of the original plat, and west of Pierson's first addition, and consisted of three blocks and fifteen lots, the third block not being divided into lots.

The sixth addition was made by Captain James R. Bracken; said addition declared null and void.

The seventh addition was made by Fletcher & McCarty, on the 24th of December, 1860, and consisted of eighteen lots, located west of the old addition and north of the National road.

The eighth addition was made by Nelson Bradley, on the 23rd of September, 1867, and consisted of eleven blocks and forty-four large lots, located east of North State street and north of the old town plat.

The ninth addition was made by Benjamin Elder, on the 20th of April, 1870, and consisted of thirteen blocks and ninety-two lots, located north-west of the old plat and west of Meek & Hart's addition.

The tenth addition was made by Thomas Snow, on the 19th of August, 1870, and consisted of fifteen lots, located on the west side of North State street.

The eleventh addition was made by Wood, Pratt & Baldwin, on the 5th of June, 1871, and consisted of seven blocks and fifty-six lots, located east of the old plat and north of the National road.

page: 177[View Page 177]

The twelfth addition was made by William C. Burdett, on the 2nd of July, 1871, and consisted of forty-seven lots, located west of Elder's addition.

The thirteenth addition was made by Wood, Pratt & Baldwin, being their second addition, on the 28th of October, 1871, and consisted of nine blocks and seventy-eight lots, located north of their first addition and east of Bradley's addition.

The fourteenth addition was made by Wood, Pratt & Baldwin, and called their first addition of out-lots, on August 30, 1871, and consisted of seven out-lots of various sizes, from one to seven acres each, and located east of their first addition.

The fifteenth addition was made by William Teal, on the 17th of October, 1871, and consisted of twenty-four lots, located west of Burdett's addition.

The sixteenth addition was made by Wood, Pratt & Baldwin, on the 26th of October, 1872, and known as their second addition of out-lots, and consisted of four out-lots of several acres each, located east of Hart's addition.

The seventeenth addition was made by John Hinchman, on the 2nd of June, 1873, and consisted of ten lots, located north of Fletcher & McCarty's addition.

The eighteenth addition, known as Stewart's addition, was made by Ithamer Stewart, on the 3rd of July, 1873, and consisted of four blocks and twenty-eight lots, located in the west part of town, south of the National road.

The nineteenth addition, known as O'Donnells' addition, was made by O'Donnell & Brother, on the 28th of May, 1874, and consisted of twenty-one lots, located in the south-west part of town.

The twentieth addition was made by Wm. S. Woods, and known as Woods' addition, on the 12th of May, 1875, and consisted of thirty-seven lots, located south of the National road, in the east part of town.

The twenty-first addition was made by John Hinchman, and known as Hinchman's second addition, on the 2nd of June, 1875, and locatad between the school-house page: 178[View Page 178] lot and the National road, and consisted of ten lots, the central two of which the city council bought and appropriated as a street.

The twenty-second addition was made by Morgan Chandler, on the 4th of June, 1875, and consisted of five lots, located south of the National road and east of the old town plat.

The twenty-third and last addition was made by Wm. C. Burdett, and known as his second addition, on the 10th of October, 1877, and consisted of twenty lots, located in the north-west part of town, north of Teal's addition. *

Cemeteries.—Greenfield has two cemeteries, and has had none others. The first, now known as the "Old cemetery," was donated to Hancock county by Andrew P. Jackson, May 9, 1843, and located south-east of the original plat of the town of Greenfield. It is not very large, and, consequently, has been about full for several years. The first burial here was Docia Spillman, a daughter of Benjamin Spillman, who died in September, 1828, aged fourteen years. Here lie slumbering the men who cleared the forests, and established the little county-seat that should become the future city of Greenfield. Here lies buried much of the early history of Greenfield and the country surrounding. Here, beneath moss-covered monuments, lie the business men and their companions of forty and fifty years ago. Dear to the memory of many is this sacred spot, around which clusters fond memories and hallowed associations of other days. Sacred, solemn place! Stranger, step gently over her unmarked graves—

  • "Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest,
  • Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood."

Mow down the briers; pluck up the weeds; fill up the sunken graves; repair the broken down fences; strew flowers over the graves; and let not the immortal spirits view

* The additions in every case, except the first, bear the name of the proprietor. The ordinal numbers, from one to twenty-three, of the additions we have given to show the order in which they were made.

page: 179[View Page 179] the ungrateful neglect of their mortal remains. In 1868, March 3, the county commissioners deeded the Old cemetery to the city of Greenfield, which now has the management and control of the same.

The New cemetery was purchased by the city of Greenfield, April 28, 1863, for $450, and surveyed and entered of record the 30th day of June, 1865, and consisted of a little over six acres It is located in the south-east part of the city, due south of the Old cemetery. It is laid out into blocks, lots, streets and alleys, with a circle in the centre. It has four blocks and four hundred and twenty-one lots. The south-east block is only partially divided into lots, but left for a common burying-ground. It has a drive way around it, and across it at right angles, and is reached by a well graded and graveled street. The plan of the grounds is good; but the drives, or streets, are unmade, and the grounds unkept, save in a careless, parsimonious manner unbecoming the dignity of the city.

[View Figure]


Early History.—The land from which Greenfield was carved was entered in 1826 and '27 by the donors aforesaid. The town was laid out in the woods by Jared Chapman, the county agent, who was authorized to sell and convey on behalf of the county all unreserved lots. The first lot sold was to John Anderson, the deed bearing date of June 4, 1828. The first to settle on the town site were Cornwell Meek, Morris Pierson, Dr. Lot Edwards, William Carr, page: 180[View Page 180] and Lewis Tyner. The first business house in Greenfield was built by John Justice, some time prior to the organization of the city. It was a primitive structure, made by settling posts in the ground, and weather-boarding and covering with clapboards. The first frame building was erected in 1830, by Benjamin Spillman. The first dwellings, like the stores, were also cheap, rude structures, made of poles, and the better ones of hewed logs. A few years later saw-mills became more plentiful and convenient, when small frames superseded the primitive cabin. The first frame of any note was built by James Hamilton (Moses W. Hamilton's father) as a two-story tavern stand, located near where the Guymon house now stands. The next was erected by Jonathan Dunbar on the opposite side of the street, and is a part of the Walsh property. A little later was erected the Gooding corner, a portion of the lumber of which was sawed by hand with a whipsaw. This building was used as a tavern, and was the finest frame of the town at the time. East of it, on the north-west corner of the public square, was a pond from three to five feet deep, used by travelers to wash off their horses. It was afterwards drained by a blind ditch, passing out north-east under Hart & Thayer's store.

The first courts were held in a log house located a little south of the Gooding corner. The papers were kept in boxes and barrels, and stowed away miscellaneously, without much, if any, classification.

Postoffice.—The amount of postal matter at that date was very limited, scarcely sufficient to justify the keeping of an office; indeed, it is said that for a time while Joseph Chapman was working for "Uncle Sam" as postmaster he carried the postoffice and its contents in his hat, as a convenience to the public and himself. There need have been no complaint of "posting bills," crowding, loud talking and smoking in the postoffice in those halcyon days.

Sidewalks.—The sidewalks up to this date were generally made, if at all, by placing boards and plank either cross or lengthwise. Even up to the time of the civil war, page: 181[View Page 181] twenty years ago, there were but few brick sidewalks, and no gravel. It is said that Dr. N. P. Howard made the first brick sidewalk in the town.

First Business Bricks.—The first business brick in the town was built by Hugh Wooster and Cornwell Meek, recently torn down by Thomas Randall, and known as the Edwards drug store. The next, perhaps, was the Williams brick, recently removed by Williams and Crawford, and built by Meredith Gosney. The Walker corner, at a little later date, was built by Wooster and Templin.

Private Residences.—About this date a few good residences were erected. Among the first was a two-story frame by Dr. Lot Edwards. Later the A. J. Banks residence, built by A. M. Patterson; the P. H. Boyd residence, built and owned by Dr. B. F. Duncan; the A. T. Hart residence, built by Cornwell Meek; the Dr. N. P. Howard, senior, residence, built by T. D. Walpole.

Other Buildings.—At the time of the building of the Banks brick by Patterson, he also erected the two-story frame on the corner, south, used as a stove store. Patterson used it as a hatter shop. The Christian church, the oldest church building in town, was built about this time, long before the building of the court-house, and was used for about two years as a court-room. The county seminary was built in 1842, and a frame on the Catholic church lot in 1852. The court-house and Masonic hall were erected in 1854.

Remarks.—The plank road was built in 1852 and the railroad about 1853. Let the reader, in imagination, go back to 1854, a very important era in our history, and take a view of Greenfield. All the buildings mentioned above were built during, or prior to, that date, and most of them standing. There were then two churches—the Christian and Methodist; the latter was not the present brick, but a frame due south, now used as a residence; the Masonic hall was then new—the largest and grandest building in town; the Catholic church building was then used as a school-house; the most of the business houses then were page: 182[View Page 182] frames; the streets and sidewalks only partially graded, and-none of them graveled.

Fires.—About 1839, the fire fiend fought furiously with Greenfield, destroying all the business portion on the north side of Main street between the tavern, located ,about where the Guymon house now stands, and State street. Several business men lost all their stock, A. T. Hart being one of them.

Previous to the building of the Walker corner, Joseph Chapman erected a three-story frame hotel (or tavern, as such buildings were then called), on the corner now occupied by said Walker brick, in which Elijah Knight was keeping tavern, and controlling a large frame stable, both of which were burned, and about fifteen horses were lost.

In 1857 another frightful fire raged in the town, destroying all the buildings between Dr. Howard's residence and the Walker corner.

Among the other fires from time to time we note the complete destruction thereby of two flouring mills, two planing mills, one flax mill, one extensive pump factory, a woolen factory, a ware-house, a stable containing four horses, and several dwellings of more or less value.

It will be seen that Greenfield has had a full share of fires for the time, sufficient at least to give her liberal citizens a reasonable warning to provide ample protection. Greenfield to-day is unprepared for a big fire, like some that have visited her in the past, and is liable at any time to sustain a loss many times greater than the cost of an engine, cisterns, and other means of protection; but we trust that she will not be "penny wise and pound foolish " always. History is of little practical use save as it teaches us lessons for the future; and judging from the past history of our county-seat, we can't be too careful in providing a defense for the frightful fire fiend.

Incorporation as Town and City.—Greenfield was incorporated as a town in 1854, and grew gradually, yet slowly, till 1867, when it took a stride forward and improved rapidly in buildings and graveled streets, and increased page: [183][View Page [183]] [View Figure]
page: 184[View Page 184] proportionately in population. She was incorporated as a city in 1876, with a population of 2,023.

Location.—It is handsomely located on the west side of Brandywine Creek, and from its location admits of easy drainage, and is laid out with broad and commodious streets at right angles, which afford an open view.

Streets and Sidewalks.—Prior to the close of the war there were few, if any, graveled streets in Greenfield; after that for a few years there was considerable graveling done, and but little grading. In 1876, after the incorporation as a city, * she begun in earnest the grading and graveling of streets and sidewalks, and continued the same with unabated energy to the present. The first street thus made was Pennsylvania, by John R. Johnson, contractor. North State street was next made, by Thomas B. Miller, contractor; then Fourth street and Bradley street, by Comstock; followed by Walnut street, South State street, South Pennsylvania street, Mechanic and Main streets, besides a number of alleys, by Faurot & Brown, contractors. The sidewalks were in all these cases graded and graveled at the same time. The most extensive improvement of the time was the grading and graveling of Main street, the paving of her sidewalks, and bouldering of her gutters, the present season.

Synopsis.—Greenfield now has many handsome residences, commodious business houses, and good public buildings, constructed in modern style. Outside of the county buildings, she has two substantial bank buildings and banks, three brick churches and one frame; one large two-story brick school-house, with slate roof and stone foundation; two flouring mills, three planing mills, one furniture factory, a flax factory, a heading factory, three saw-mills, an iron roof factory, one railroad, telegraph and express lines, three printing presses, four papers; lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Red Men,

* Under town laws streets are built out of the common fund, while in a city the improvements are paid for by the abutters on the street.

page: 185[View Page 185] Good Templars; also, merchants, grocerymen, druggists, saloonists, mechanics, doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, editors, poets, eight pikes, and twenty-three additions, covering an area of one square mile.

First Doctors.—The first practitioners of the healing art were Drs. Lot Edwards, Leonard Bardwell, Jared Chapman, B. F. Duncan, Simon Alters, Hiram Comstock, R. E. Barnett and N. P. Howard, two of whom are still holding forth in Greenfield.

First Attorneys.—At the first term of court, on the 24th of March, 1828, there were admitted to the bar, on motion, Calvin Fletcher, Henry Gregg, Marinus Willett and Charles H. Verder; the most of whom, however, were non-residents. In 1846, the attorneys were: David M. C. Lane, J. H. Williams, T. D. Walpole and David S. Gooding.

Remarks.—At this date, 1846, which was prior to the time of the railroad, the Dayton and Indianapolis stage passed daily east and west through Greenfield. John Templin & Co. and A. T. Hart & Co. were the principal merchants. William Sebastian was postmaster.

First Business Men of Greenfield.—Among the first settlers and business men of Greenfield were John Justice, who had the first grocery store, some time prior to 1828; O. M. Ross, who had the first general store, also prior to 1828; William and Lewis Tyner had a store in 1828; and the following men were subsequently licensed to vend merchandise, as shown by the old records in the auditor's office, viz.: James Parker, James Hart, A. H. Freeman, Jared Chapman, Samuel Duncan, Joseph Chapman, Nathan Crawford, E. & R. Tyner, John Mongle, James Hamilton (father of Moses W. Hamilton), E. & D. Troxwell, Samuel C. Duncan, Robert Wilson, John Harris, C. S. Perkins, Joseph Andrews, John White (not Hon. John H.), Eli Gapen, Joseph Stallord, Dunbar & Clark, T. W. Smart, William Bussell (not the present William B.), Burton & Co., Milroy & Clark, Calvin McRay, Tyner & Chittenden, W. H. Curry and A. T. Hart. All of the above were page: 186[View Page 186] licensed, previous to 1834. A. T. Hart, the last named of the above, was licensed in 1833. After this date we will note only a few, viz.: George Tague (father of Jonathan and G. G.), Cornwell Meek, Wooster & Wood, and Foley & Gooding.

First Taverns.—Prior to 1828, the date of the establishment of the county-seat, S. B. Jackson and Jeremiah Meek supplied the wants of the traveling community at their taverns and stables, the former holding forth in the bottom, near Brandywine, and the latter in Greenfield. We have no record of their being licensed. John Branden was the first licensed tavern-keeper; he held forth on the Gooding corner, followed by James Hart, then Asa Gooding, at the same stand. Elijah Knight held forth in a three-story frame, about the same time, on the opposite corner. All of the above did business some time prior to 1840. We could trace the subject up to 1852, the date of the new constitution, at which time the license law for merchandising and tavern-keeping ceased, but we deem it inexpedient. From then on we have no official records to instruct us, but must depend on living witnesses mostly.


  • Merchants—
    • Hart & Thayer,
    • J. Ward Walker & Co.,
    • William C. Burdett,
    • Jackson & Bro.,
    • Lee C. Thayer.
  • Druggists—
    • F. H. Crawford,
    • E. B. Grose,
    • V. L. Earley.
  • Druggists and Grocers—
    • Boyd, Hinchman & Co.,
    • George F. Hammel.
  • Banks—
    • Greenfield Banking Co.—Nelson Bradley, president; Morgan Chandler, cashier.
    • Citizens' Bank—P. H. Boyd, president; J. B. Simmons, cashier.
  • Real Estate Agents—
    • John A. Hughes,
    • Myers & Alexander,
    • George W. Duncan,
    • J. H. Binford.
  • page: 187[View Page 187]
  • Loan Agents—
    • John A. Hughes,
    • John H. Binford,
    • George W. Duncan.
  • Grain Merchants—
    • M. W. Hamilton,
    • William Marsh.
  • Grocers—
    • J. J. Hauck,
    • T. A. Gant,
    • Sanford Furry,
    • W. S. Gant,
    • G. F. Hauck,
    • Q. D. Hughes,
    • Alexander & Son,
    • Richard Hagen,
    • Alexander, New & Boots.
  • Harness Makers—
    • S. E. Gapen,
    • J. M. Dalrymple.
  • Agricultural Implements—
    • A. J. Banks,
    • Baldwin & Pratt,
    • D. H. Goble.
    • Corcoran & Wilson.
  • Jewelers—
    • F. E. Glidden,
    • L. A. Davis.
  • Butchers—
    • W. H. Porter,
    • Cook & Dennis.
  • Hardware Dealers—
    • A. J. Banks,
    • Baldwin & Pratt.
  • Sewing Machine Agents—
    • Sidney LaRue,
    • Roland LaRue,
    • L. Young,
    • Thomas O'Donnell.
  • Millers—
    • Alexander, New & Boots.
    • Scott & Co.
  • Private Banking—
    • John A. Hughes.
  • Railroad Agent—
    • Moses W. Hamilton.
  • Telegraph Operators—
    • William H. Scott,
    • Marion Philpot.
  • Hotel Keeper—
    • Jackson Wills.
  • Brick Masons—
    • S. S. Spangler,
    • A. N. Fitz,
    • N. Meek,
    • A. Keeley,
    • T. Johnson,
    • S. Wysong.
  • Launderer—
    • Harry Spangler.
  • Fire Insurance Agents—
  • Iron Roofing—
    • Smith, Johnson & Co.
  • Smiths and Wagon Makers—
    • Walker & Morford,
    • Lineback & Barr,
    • Huston & King,
    • S. W. Wray.
  • Smith and Machinist—
    • J. R. Abbott.
  • Blacksmith—
    • William Newhall.
  • Boot and Shoe Dealer—
    • G. T. Randall.
  • Boot and Shoemakers—
    • G. W. Dove,
    • Millikan & Beecher,
    • M. S. Walker,
    • W. C. Eskew.
  • Undertakers—
    • Williams Bros.& Hamilton
    • Corcoran & Lantz,
    • Trueblood & Alford.
  • Carpenters—
    • Cochran & Flippo,
    • J. J. Walker & Son,
    • H. C. Hunt,
    • S. O. Shumway,
    • Samuel Tulley,
    • John Coffield,
    • A. J. Heron,
    • Benjamin Price,
    • Lace & Everett,
    • J. Roland,
    • B. Raines.
  • Saloon Keepers—
    • W. G. Richie,
    • J. T. Farmer,
    • R. J. Scott,
    • J. Hanley,
    • M. Carey,
    • A. Hafner,
    • Jesse Roberts.
  • Physicians—
    • R. E. Barnett,
    • Howard, Martin & Howard
    • J. A. Hall,
    • E. I. Judkins,
    • M. M. Adams,
    • S. S. Boots,
    • L. A. Vawter,
    • O. M. Edwards,
    • J. W. Selman,
    • J. Francis.
  • Buggy and Carriage Dealer—
    • J. M. Morgan.
  • Stoves and Tinware—
    • Knight & Kirk Bros.,
    • A. J. Banks.
  • Tailors—
    • E. E. Skinner,
    • P. W. Naughton.
  • Bakers and Restaurateurs—
    • John Bohm,
    • James Demaree.
  • Painters—
  • Stone Dealers—
    • Farout & Brown,
    • John B. Chappius.
  • Lumber Merchants—
    • Gordon & Son,
    • B. Cox,
    • J. E. Brown.
  • Lumber and Coal—
    • E. W. Wood.
  • Planing Mills—
    • Williams Bros.& Hamilton
    • G. W. Puterbaugh,
    • J. E. Brown.
  • Driven-Well Men—
    • George Reece,
    • Carter & Hudson.
  • Heading Factory—
    • Prall & Puterbaugh.
  • Desk Factory—
    • G. W. Puterbaugh,
    • Williams Bros.& Hamilton
  • Carriage Makers—
    • W. E. Harris,
    • Lineback & Barr.
    • S. W. Wray.
  • Piano and Organ Agents—
    • F. E. Glidden,
    • Thomas Mitchell.
  • Furniture Factory—
    • Williams Bros.& Hamilton
  • Dentists—
    • E. B. Howard,
    • R. A. Hamilton.
  • Dress-Makers—
    • Mrs. Sallie Ferren,
    • Mrs. L. Stratton,
    • Mrs. Anna Bourgett,
    • Mrs. J. A. Watson,
    • Miss Josie Alford,
    • Miss Maggie Galbreath,
    • Mrs. Rosa Powers.
  • Milliners—
    • Mrs. Sallie Ferren,
    • Mrs. J. J. Carter,
    • Miss Iona Williams,
    • Miss Emma Lineback,
    • Miss Alice Carter; also assistant book-keeper.
  • Plasterers—
    • E. Geary,
    • J. Norman,
    • M. Pratt,
    • William W. Webb.
  • Draymen—
    • John R. Johnson,
    • B. F. Barnett.
  • Roof Painters—
    • Brown, Morris & Co.
  • Barbers—
    • George L. Knox,
    • Lewis Young,
    • Gus Suess.
  • Flour and Feed Store—
    • George Baker.
  • Auctioneer—
  • Livery and Sale Stables—
    • J. M. Morgan,
    • A. C. Gambrel.
  • Feed Stable—
    • John E. Tindall.
  • Photographer—
    • W. T. Webb.
  • Street and Ditch Contractors—
    • Farout & Brown.
  • Preachers—
    • J. F. Rhoades.
    • J. H. Hawk,
    • W. K. Williams,
    • J. B. Sparks,
    • WV. S. Campbell.
  • Gunsmith—
    • B. T. Rains.
  • Flax Factory—
    • Henry L. Moore & Son.
  • Dealers in Nursery Stock—
    • J. K. Henby,
    • R. P. Brown.
  • News Stand—
    • Lea Sullivan.
  • Printers—
    • William Mitchell,
    • R. J. Strickland,
    • Republican Company.
  • Sign Painters—
    • James Meek,
    • E. G. Rouyer,
    • L. M. Rouyer,
  • Paper Hangers—
    • James Meek,
    • E. G. Rouyer,
    • Frank Crawford.
  • Teachers—


  • Mayor—William J. Sparks.
  • Marshal—W. W. Ragan.
  • Clerk—E. C. Boyden.
  • Attorney—W. H. Martin.
  • Treasurer—James A. Flippo.
  • Engineer—J. D. Williams.


  • F. E. Glidden,
  • Enos Geary,
  • J. C. Alexander,
  • Samuel Gordon,
  • P. H. Boyd,
  • J. H. Bragg.
page: 191[View Page 191]



February 14, 1849, the dispensation was issued by Elzur Deming, Grand Master, and A. W. Morris, Secretary, to the brethren at Greenfield. The following are the original officers and members under said dispensation: James Rutherford, W. M.; Harry Pierson, S. W.; J. R. Bracken, J. W.; George Tague, Orlando Craine, James Shipman, Nathan D. Coffin and Morris Pierson, members. The first initiation was that of Dr. R. E. Barnett. A charter was granted to Lodge No. 1O1, by the Grand Lodge, on the 28th of May, 1850. The lodge was organized under the charter on the 20th of the following June. The officers were: James Rutherford, W. M.; Harry Pierson, S. W.; J. R. Bracken, J. W.; Morris Pierson, Treasurer; John Templin, Secretary; R. E. Barnett, S. D.; Jonathan Ralls, J. D.; E. D. Chittenden, Tyler.

Prior to 1854 the lodge had no building of their own, but held forth for a time in the old seminary building. During this year the lodge, having grown in size and wealth, began the erection of a handsome three-story brick building, the most commodious in the town. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies by Deputy Grand Master Elijah Newlin, on the 15th of August, 1854.

The present officers are: George W. Dove, W. M.; W. S. Fries, S. W.; Lee O. Harris, J. W.; Nelson Bradley, Treasurer; S. E. Duncan, Secretary; Ephraim Marsh, S. D.; M. F. Williams, J. D.; Benjamin Price, Tyler; William F. Pratt, Steward; Joseph Baldwin, Steward. The present trustees are Ephraim Marsh, F. E. Glidden, and S. W. Barnett.

From the date of organization to the present this lodge has initiated two hundred and three members. The membership at this date is about seventy. The lodge is in page: 192[View Page 192] good working order, out of debt, and owns desirable property worth $6,000. It has expended for charitable purpurposes $2,000. Their regular communications occur on Tuesday evenings on or previous to the full moon of each month.

I. O. O. F., No. 135.

Greenfield Lodge, No. 135, I.O. O. F. was instituted July 26, 1853. The lodge was organized in the old courthouse; afterwards removed to the third story of the Walker block; from there to the county seminary, where, for several years, the lodge prospered; but preferring a more central location, the trustees sold the seminary and took a lease on a new hall in Howard's block. In the course of time the increase of membership, added to the desire on the part of many to have a hall of their own, caused the lodge to instruct their trustees to contract with William C. Burdett for a third story on his new brick in which to hold its meetings. Since 1876 the lodge has occupied its own spacious hall, which is conveniently arranged, neatly furnished, and affords a pleasant retreat for its large membership.

The following officers conducted the instituting ceremonies in the organization of the lodge, viz.: Theodore P. Haughey, Deputy Grand Master; Past Grand Cameron, G. W.; Fred. Bragg, Grand Secretary; A. Cotton, Grand Treasurer; W. N. Lumis, G. M.

The following were the charter members: N. P. Howard, George Armstrong, M. W. Hamilton, Simon Thomas, and John R. Boston.

The following members were initiated on the first evening, viz.; Robert A. Barr, M. G. Falconbury, Benjamin Deem, Eli Ballenger, James H. Leary, Benjamin Miller, John D. Barnett, and Chelton Banks.

The first election of officers resulted as follows, to-wit: George Armstrong, N. G.; N. P. Howard, V. G.; John D. Barnett, Secretary; Jonathan Dunbar, Treasurer.

This lodge had received up to the first of January, page: 193[View Page 193] 1877, $10,122.75. The lodge is out of debt, in good working order, with money in the treasury.

This lodge has been called on to mourn the loss of twenty-one members, to-wit: Robert A. Barr, W. R. Barrett, Benjamin Deem, Henry R. Hanna, Jacob Drake, W. E. Hart, William Wilkins, John D. Barnett, John Osborn, Ezra Fountain, Willard Low, Jonathan Dunbar, B. W. Cooper, Joseph Conner, Nathan Crawford, Enoch Leachman, Henry A. Swope, John H. Bentley, Henry R. Clayton, Frederick Hammel, and John D. Barr.

The present officers are as follows: T. J. Bodkins, Noble Grand; A. J. Herron, Vice Grand; W. T. Snider, Recording Secretary, C. T. Cochran, Permanent Secretary; H. J. Williams, Treasurer. Encampment officers—M. L. Paullus, Chief Patriarch; Q. D. Hughes, High Priest; I. C. Rardin, Junior Warden; James A. Flippo, Senior Warden; W. T. Snider, Scribe; N. P. Howard, Treasurer.


was instituted February 29, 1872. The following were the first officers and charter members, viz.: R. E. Barnett, V. P.; W. S. Wood, W. C.; H. J. Williams, V. C.; Ephrpaim Marsh, R. S.; J. A. New, F. S.; E. Geary, B.; E. P. Thayer, G.; S. W. Barnett, I. S.; W. F. Pratt, O. S.; Joseph Baldwin, Milton Peden, G. W. Dove, J. J. Pratt, A. P. Williams, Q D. Hughes, J. D. Vannyes, John W. Ryon, B. L. Gant, Calvin Sowder, Jackson Wills, and Marion Forgey.

This lodge was organized and held forth till 1880 in the three-story brick on the corner of Main and State streets, when they removed to Furry's block, on West Main street, where they have a commodious room conveniently arranged.

The present officers are: S. W. Barnett, P. C.; Lee Sullivan, C. C.; W. W. Butts, V. C.; H. Snow, ——— Prelate; E. Geary, K. of R. and S.; Charles Cammack, M. of L.; John S. Huntsinger, M. of C.; L. Morford, M. page: 194[View Page 194] of A.; A. Everett, O. G.; Thomas Bodkins, I. G. The membership at this date is twenty-eight.


was organized on the 27th day of February, 1879, with the following officers installed for the first quarter: W. C. T., F. E. Glidden; W. V. T., Kate Applegate; W. C., George W. Duncan; W. S., James J. Walsh; W. A. S., William J. Barrett; W. T., Samuel E. Duncan; W. M., William J. Sparks; W. D. M., Clara New; W. I. G., Annie Wright; W. O. G., John Wright; R. H. S., Miss Mattie Hall; L. H. S. Lenna Banks; P. W. C. T., John W. Jones; first representative to the Grand Lodge, John A. Dobbins; last representative, Mrs. J. F. Rhoades.

The present corps of officers are: W. C. T., John A. Dobbins; W. P. C. T., George W. Duncan; W. V. T., Miss Annie Williams; W. S., William W. Ragan; W. F. S., William W. Matthews; W. T., Noah W. Carr; W. M., John Maithre; I. S. G., Samuel C. Hutton; R. H. S., Mrs. J. F. Rhoades; L. H. S., Mrs. W. K. Williams; W. C., W. K. Williams; Trustees, John A. Dobbins, J. F. Rhoades and Thomas E. Johnson.

The lodge organized with forty-nine members, and the average attendance for each year since its organization has been forty-five. The lodge meets on Monday evening of each week. Lodge hall, third story, over Walker's store, in the city of Greenfield, Indiana. The first Good Templars lodge of Greenfield was organized about the year 1869, by Sister Jackson, of Jeffersonville, and known as the Good Templars of Greenfield, No. 194. Among the first members of this lodge were L. E. Rumrill, J. A. Dobbins, G. W. Duncan, J. A. New, Mrs. Anna Offutt, Mrs. Lou Scott, Miss Hattie Havens, S. M. Shumway; S. M. Walker, and G. W. Dove. The lodge met and organized over Randall's store, and continued in successful operation for a time, and finally declined and surrendered her charter.

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of Greenfield was organized July 30, 1855. The plans for the organization of this church were conceived and completed in the house where R. P. Brown now lives. Dr. B. F. Duncan and John Wilson were watching by the bedside of a sick friend, near the hour of midnight, when the idea was conceived and arrangements were made. Among those who petitioned the Indianapolis Presbytery for this church were Mrs. T. D. Walpole, Dr. B. F. Duncan, John Foster, Captain J. R. Bracken, John A. Richey, Alexander Crocket, and Gen. John Milroy. The request was granted, and the committee to organize consisted of the following eminent divines, viz.: David Monfort, David Stephenson, and Colonel James Blake. The committee, on the date aforesaid, met in the old M. E. church, on south State street, and perfected an organization, and received the following members into full communion, viz.: Gen. John Milroy, Dr. B. F. Duncan, John A. Richey, Alexander and Elizabeth Crocket, Mrs. Martha Meek, Hugh Gambrel and wife, John Foster and wife, Misses Nancy P. and Mary J. Crocket, Ellen Sturk, Miss Isabel Clency, and Samuel and Mary Creveston. Of the fourteen who petitioned for this church, only three are living, to-wit: Mrs. T. D. Walpole, Mrs. J. T. Lineback, and Mrs. J. C. Meek. And only two are living of the seventeen who united with the church at its organization, viz: Mrs. J. T. Lineback and Mrs. J. C. Meek.

The following are the ministers who have served this church from the date of its organization to the present, with the date of appointment and time served:

Appointed. Served. 
Rev. David Monfort 1855 3 years. 
Rev. William Sickles 1859 1 year. 
Rev. I. T. Iddings 1860 2 years. 
Rev. M. H. Shockley 1862 1 ½ years. 
Rev. Abbottt 1865 6 months. 
Rev. Isaac W. Monfort 1866 4 years. 
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Rev. Eben Muse 1871 6 months. 
Rev. John Dixon 1872 4 months. 
Rev. J. B. Logan 1873 10 months. 
Rev. C. T. White 1874 2 years. 
Rev. J. B. Lowery 1877 1 year. 
Rev. L. L. Larimore 1878 2 years. 
Rev. Jameison 1880 5 months. 
Rev. J. H. Hawk 1880 13 months. 

The founder and first minister of this church, Rev. David Monfort, was a remarkable man, of great spirituality, positive in character, and beloved by all who knew him. He is said not to have been a profound preacher, but a volumnious talker, tender-hearted, sympathetic, of good executive ability, and a fine judge of human nature. He received into the church one hundred and twelve members. He is still remembered as the founder of a day school, that was conducted in the Masonic hall for eight years. At this date the public schools of Indiana were in their infancy, and of little force; but this school, under the management of Monfort, assumed a high standard in point of education.

The total number of members received into the communion of the Presbyterian church of Greenfield from the date of its organization, in 1855, to the present was about four hundred. Present membership, one hundred. The church worshiped in the Masonic hall for thirteen years, and has worshiped in the present building for fourteen years. Their building is a handsome, substantial brick, 44x76 feet, and a gallery capable of seating one hundred and twenty-five adults. The whole church will seat six hundred persons. It was dedicated on the 27th of December, 1868, by Rev. Robert Sloss, assisted by Dr. Monfort, of Cincinnati. Cost of building, $10,500. At the close of the services on the day of dedication, there were subscribed $3,097 to complete the building. The present pastor is Rev. J. H. Hawk, the last, but by no means the least, of the shepherds of the flock. Mr. Hawk is an page: 197[View Page 197] extempore speaker, a good conversationalist, and has succeeded in adding a goodly number to the church.

There is in connection with this church one of the best Sunday-schools in the county. It was organized cotemporary with the church, starting out with fourteen adults and children all told. Rev. David Monfort was the first superintendent, Dr. B. F. Duncan assistant, and Joseph Mathers secretary. In 1857 Robert Hall, recently of Cambridge City, was elected superintendent, and Dr. E. I. Judkins secretary. In 1861 Dr. R. E. Barnett was elected superintendent, and the secretary's book shows that on the same day $106 were raised to pay the prizes due the school—a very respectable sum to raise in a Sunday-school more than twenty years ago simply for prizes. Dr. Barnett continued to serve in this capacity for sixteen consecutive years, with credit to himself and honor to the school. Q D. Hughes served as secretary for fourteen years constant and faithful. The infant class of this school is under the efficient instruction and oversight of Miss Sue Wilson, assistant postmaster, who has had charge of the babies for more than a dozen years. Her class swarms semi-annually, sending off new colonies to be directed by others. This school has enjoyed nearly fourteen hundred Sabbaths, or about four years of Sunday-school instruction. H. B. Wilson, our present postmaster, has been an efficient and faithful bible school teacher a greater portion of that time. In 1864, the school had enrolled one hundred and fifty-six scholars, and the growth has been steady to the present date. R. E. Barnett is now superintendent and George Wilson secretary.


The early history of Methodism in Greenfield and vicinity can only be given in an incomplete and fragmentary form. The first class known was organized in a cabin which stood near the present residence of Wesley Addison.

Some of the earliest settlers of Greenfield were Methodists, page: 198[View Page 198] among whom may be named the families of Abram, Samuel and Moses Vangilder; Major Stephens and Jeremiah Meek; and a little later James Parks, John Rardin, Jacob Tague, Dr. Lot Edwards, Richard Guymon, and others. The earliest settlers found the Methodist itinerant wending his way through the almost unbroken forest searching for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, carrying with him the Word of Life, at as early a date as 1828. As early as 1830 Greenfield became the headquarters of a circuit, with a large number of appointments scattered widely, which were supplied with preaching once in four weeks. Since that time frequent changes have occurred in the boundaries of the circuit as the population increased, and as the growth of the church demanded, until the spring of 1878, when Greenfield became a station. The names of all the pastors cannot be given prior to 1837, nor can the order of their pastorate since that time be given with certainty in every case.

The following are the names and date of service, as nearly as can be given: Rev. James Havens and Rev. Tarkington were the first preachers in charge; then Rev. Swang; ——— Bradley, in 1837; J. B. Burt, in 1838; Frank Richmond and Charles Morrow, 1839 to 1840; George Havens, in 1840; John L. Smith, in 1841; J. S. Donaldson, in 1842; ——— McNally, appointed in 1843, died during the year, and the year was completed by ——— Manly; Joseph Barnick, in 1844; George W. Bowers, two years; ——— Beasly, two years; J. W. Smith, one year; J. M. Mershon, one year; Eli Rammel, one year; Frank Richmond, appointed in 1852, died during the year, and Elisha Earl, a well-known local preacher, was appointed to fill the vacancy; S. M. Campbell, one year; J. R. Davis, one year; C. C. Cooper, died while in charge, and Elisha Earl completed the year; J. S. McCarty, one and one-half years; William Anderson, two years; Michael Black, one year; John Hill, two years; J. W. White, one year; George W. Bowers, three years; Charles Martindale, two years; H. J. Lacy, three years; George Havens, page: [199][View Page [199]] [View Figure]
page: 200[View Page 200] three years; L. R. Streeter, five months; I. G. Brown, seven months; Y. B. Meredith, one year; J. F. Rhoades is now completing his third year as pastor.

Among the class-leaders of the church are George W. Dove, Jonathan Tague, C. W. Gant, and O. M. Edwards. This office is about the same as that of deacons or elders in some other churches.

The society was without a house of worship for a long time; but through courtesy of public officials, used a log school-house, on North State street, and the old log court-house, on the north-west corner of State and South streets, south of the Gooding corner, and afterwards in the first brick court-house. In 1841 a church was erected on the west side of South State street, south of and near the railroad. This building is now occupied for a dwelling. The growth of the society and surrounding circumstances demanded better accommodation for religious worship, and accordingly, under the efficient leadership of Rev. George W. Bowers, the present structure was begun in the year 1866, and completed in 1867 and dedicated free of debt by the lamented Dr. T. M. Eddy. The building is a plain, comfortable brick, 40x72 feet. In 1878, the church was repaired and greatly improved in appearance, and provided with gas fixtures, which lights the large audience-room completely. The work was done under the pastorate of Rev. Y. B. Meredith. The church has owned four parsonages. The first parsonage stood on East North street. The second one stood on the east side of State street, just north of the railroad. About twenty-three years ago the parsonage on West Main street, now owned by E. P. Thayer, was purchased, and sold in 1875. The present one is a large, substantial, handsome two-story building adjoining the church building. It was erected in 1876, under the direction of Nelson Bradley, J. Ward Walker and A. P. Williams, and is valued at $2,000. The value of the church and parsonage is estimated at $10,500. The membership of the church is about two hundred. More than sixty of this number have been page: 201[View Page 201] added within the last two years under J. F. Rhoades' pastorate. Every department of the church is in fine working condition. The society has not been in debt for a number of years. There is a large and prosperous Sunday-school attached, with an average attendance of about one hundred and fifty. Collection, from two to five dollars per Sabbath. Nelson Bradley superintendent and Eddie Thayer secretary.


On the 15th day of August, 1827, a few individuals of the Baptist faith met to discuss the propriety of adopting a constitution and establishing a place of worship, which resulted in a decision to extend a cordial invitation to John Caldwell and brethren, of Blue-river township, and Abram Smock and brethren, of Bethel church, to "come over into Macedonia " and lend a helping hand. Accordingly, on the 19th day of August there was a meeting at the house of Mr. Samuel Jackson, with the ministers and members aforesaid present; and after preaching by Elders Smock and Caldwell, followed by an investigation of the faith of the prospective members, they were constituted into a church, to be named and known as Brandywine church. The following persons were received into membership, and given the right hand of fellowship, viz.: Samuel and Rachel Jackson, Benjamin and Jane Spillman, and James and Elizabeth Reeves. The church bore the name of Brandywine till the 2nd Saturday of August, 1838, at which time the members gave it the name of Mt. Gilead, by which it is known to this day.

The following have been moderators, viz.: Benjamin Spillman, Elders ——— McQuary, Thomas Martin, C. Hood, T. Martin, William Baker, David Caudel, ——— Zion, G. S. Weaver, William H. Curtis; the last of whom is the moderator at this date.

This church is located four miles north-west of Greenfield, page: 202[View Page 202] on the Noblesville road, on the west side, in a small grove. The building is an old frame, antique in style and void of paint.


is located about five miles north-east of Greenfield. Methodist meetings in this neighborhood were first held about 1830; but not till 1834 was there a permanent organization, and meetings were held for a time at the private residences of Moses Vangilder, James Park, and others, till 1843, when a log meeting-house was erected near by where the present frame now stands. At that date, and until within the last few years, this charge belonged to the Greenfield circuit. In 1866, the old log was superseded by a neat frame, costing $1,300. It was dedicated by J. W. T. McMullen. The first pastor was Rev. Barwick. The first class-leader was William Martindale. The present pastor is Rev. H. Woolpert. A Sunday-school is sustained during the summer season.


located five miles north-west of Greenfield, on the banks of Sugar Creek, was organized in the year 1838. Among the first members were James Gant, Jeremiah Gant, John Alexander, H. Hunt, Robert Wilson, and Thomas Smith. In 1840 they erected a log church, prior to which time they had no regular place of meeting. In this log house they held forth and prospered till 1872, when they erected the present neat frame, at a cost of $1,000.. Among the shepherds who have fed the flock at this point were John Burt, George Havens, John Millender, G. W. Bowers, and Emerson and Beasley. The first trustees were John Alexander, Hezekiah Hunt, and Robert Wilson. This charge is now attached to the Philadelphia circuit. The present minister is H. Woolpert.

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in the north-west corner of Center township, on the banks of Sugar Creek, was organized about 1838, in a log school-house near where the present house stands. Among the first members were Owen and Andrew Jarrett, Martha Swope, William and Polly Jones, John Alley, Riley Taylor, John and Nancy Lewis, Samuel Henry and wife, and Martha Chapman, wife of Hon. Joseph Chapman. This organization moved quietly along with reasonable success till 1850, when, under the ministration of Eli Rammel, a remarkable revival was had, in which over one hundred were added to the membership of the church. In 1853, the society had so grown in size and means that it decided on the building of a house, which resulted in the erection of the present frame, by Henry L. Moore, at a cost of $800, and is now attached to the Philadelphia circuit.


was organized in 1865, from a remnant of a band that existed during the war, and prospered till 1874, when it was reorganized and equipped, with considerable change in the membership. There having been no record kept of the organization, we are unable to give the names of the members, with any degree of certainty, during her early existence. The following are the names of the present organization, viz.: Isaac R. Davis, Thomas Carr, John Davis, Charles Davis, Abijah Davis, Penn Bidgood, Geatano Ponti, Quinn Johnson, Frank Barr, and Charles Carter. The members are uniformed, and supplied with good instruments, at a cost of $250, and a band wagon worth $600.


The subject of this sketch was. born October 27, 1830, one mile east of Fountaintown, Shelby county, Indiana, where he remained with his father on the old homestead page: [204][View Page [204]] [View Figure]
page: 205[View Page 205] till the date of his marriage with Nancy Wiggins, of Hancock county, in the twenty-second year of his age.

Mr. D. engaged in the stock trade at the age of eighteen with George Roberts. Their first speculation was in sheep, purchased north of Greenfield, of Harlan Reeves and others in that neighborhood, at fifty cents per head for the choice of the flock. His next trade was with Hugh Wooster, of Greenfield, of whom he purchased fifteen large, choice steers, at $15 each. When they were turned out of the large woods pasture, on the farm now owned by John T. Lineback, to drive to town, they bounded off through the woods and brush and over the logs at such a rate that Mr. D. got completely lost, and came on to Greenfield to await results. In the course of an hour Mr. Wooster put in an appearance with the cattle, telling Dickerson that he was not worth a "continental copper" to drive stock, or he could get through the brush fast enough to keep up with an old man like him. Mr. D. has been in the stock trade in Hancock county for thirty-three years, and has probably bought and sold more stock than any other man in the county; and we may add, has always enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his customers and the public generally. He also filled the office of trustee of Center township for two consecutive terms, during which he took great interest in the schools, and encouraged both pupil and teacher by frequent visits.

Mr. D. is a liberal, public-spirited man, and has taken great interest in organizing pike companies, and encouraging the citizens of the county to construct good gravel roads, to which he has always been a liberal subscriber. It was through his management that the Greenfield and New Palestine gravel road was completed, which was probably the most difficult road of the kind ever made in the county, owing to the distance to which the gravel had to be hauled, being on an average of more than two miles. Mr. D. also organized the Center and Brandywine Pike Company, and was one of its most liberal subscribers.

He was one of the first children born on Brandywine, page: 206[View Page 206] and, consequently, has seen a good deal of pioneer life. He says that the first apple that he ever saw growing was in the orchard of James Smith, about five miles south of Greenfield. He recollects the first frame house, sawed boards and painting, in the neighborhood. It was on the farm of Robert P. Brown, built by the late Jacob Foglesong. When Mr. D. first saw Greenfield, there were but two houses south of Main street; one, he thinks, was Mr. Offutt's and the other was near where Mr. Paullus' new residence now stands. The first public gathering which he recollects attending was "muster," on "muster day," at James Goodwin's residence, now owned by John Richey, of Brandywine township. He attended school on Hominy Ridge, and was one of the boys that helped to carry Jackson Porter on a rail to Brandywine before he would "come down" with the cider, apples and ginger-bread. Mr. D. says he well recollects when there were more still-houses in Brandywine township, Hancock county, and Van Buren township, Shelby county, than there were school-houses; and that it was a very common thing for the neighbors to send to the still-houses for beer, and use it in the place of milk to drink. But notwithstanding the evils of that day, the young folks had their sport and amusement of many kinds. In the fall and winter seasons there would be a wood-chopping and quilting in the neighborhood about once a week, and a dance at night. Then there were the apple bees, pumpkin peelings, flax pullings, and corn-husking—all sources of amusement. When the Mt. Lebanon church was organized, a great number of the young joined, and held out faithful for a season; but when the time for parties arrived, no small number would persist in dancing, greatly against the rules laid down by old Fathers Muth and Havens, the clerical advisers of that time. Mr. D. well remembers seeing one young fellow arraigned before one of the old fathers, charged with the sin of dancing. His reply to which not being satisfactory, he was told that it would not be tolerated. "Then," said the youngster, "take my name off the church book. I page: 207[View Page 207] only intended to join through the sickly season." Mr. D. is in harmony with the doctrines of the Christian Church, and has ever been liberal in the support of the same. He is a democrat in principle, though not dogmatic in his views, and was always opposed to slavery. Mr. D. is president of the New Palestine gravel road, and has several times served as president of the Hancock Agricultural Society, and has ever been an enterprising, energetic citizen.

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[View Figure]



Name and Organization.—This township took its name from John Green, the first settler, or at least one of the first settlers thereof. It was organized in 1832, and then consisted of sixty sections, the same territory now embodied in Brown and Green. It was taken from the north page: 209[View Page 209] part of Harrison and Jackson, which in 1831 extended to the north line of the county, their southern boundary being the same as shown on map, page 89. In 1833 Brown was taken from the east part of the original Green township, leaving it composed of thirty sections, the present size. *

Location, Size, Boundary, etc.—Green township is located in the central northern portion of the county, and in extent is five miles north and south and six miles east and west, being uniform in size with Brown and Blue-river. It is bounded on the north by Madison county, on the east by Brown township, on the south by Jackson and Center, and on the west by Vernon. It is located in township seventeen north and in ranges six and seven east. The west tier of sections is in range six east, and the remainder in range seven east. The range line runs one mile west of Eden, and forms the east line of Thomas McClarnon's farm.

Surface, Soil, Drainage, and Productions.—The surface is generally level and slightly undulating, with the exception of a small portion bordering along Sugar Creek. The greater portion of the soil is a black loam, rich and productive, and portions of the uplands a good clay, both red and blue. There is but very little third-rate land in the township at this date, since the recent attention given to tile draining and public ditching. The chief productions are hogs, cattle, wheat, corn, horses, oats, flaxseed, and Irish potatoes. She has no factories, and owing to her distance from the railroad heretofore, she has not drawn so heavily on her forests as her sister townships have done. In 1880 she produced from 3,094 acres, 52,598 bushels of wheat; from 3,362 acres, 92,796 bushels of corn; from 349 acres, 8,027 bushels of oats; being about an average township of the county. For the same year she reported 753 tons of hay, 266 bushels of Irish potatoes, and 905 lbs. of tobacco.

* For a fuller history of the organization and boundaries see pages 31 and 90.

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Streams.—Sugar Creek * takes a general diagonal course across the township. It enters on the east line; one and one-half miles south of the north-east corner, and runs one mile north-west; thence two miles south-west into section twenty-two, in the middle tier of sections; thence in a general westerly course, passing Eden on the north, through sections twenty-one, twenty and nineteen to the center of section twenty-four; thence in a south by south-west course, passing out of the township at the north-west corner of section thirty-six.

A small stream rises on the south line of section thirty-two, runs north by north-west, and flows into Sugar Creek on the west line of section nineteen.

Swamp Creek extends through sections thirty-two and twenty-nine, and enters Sugar Creek near the center of section twenty.

First Land Entries and First Settlers.—The first land entered in Green township was by William Shortridge, on the 26th day of May, 1829, being the northeast quarter of section nineteen, township seventeen north, in range seven east, lying north of Eden. John Green and Andrew Jackson made entries a little later in the same year.

The first settlers were John Green, from whom the township was named; William Rickard, Miles Walker, Thomas Dorson, John Hanger, Vincent Cooper, John L. Alford, Abraham Rhue, Robert Walker (father of Rev. Miles Walker), Thomas L. Fuqua, and John Denney; all of whom settled prior to 1833. Afterwards came Jonathan Horniday, Isaiah and Jesse Jackson, John Forgy, Willliam Thomas; Joseph, William and Jesse Roberts; Jacob and William Amack, James Walker, Edward Barrett; George Henry, associate judge; Samuel Henry, William Galbreath, and John Myers. Most of the above have long since bid adieu to terrestrial scenes; but are still green in the memory of many of the older citizens who will read these names. Many of them we are unable to

* To locate the streams accurately, observe our section map at the head of this chapter.

page: 211[View Page 211]learn much about, except that they were representative pioneer men, modest, unassuming, never aspiring to office, industrious, hardy and hospitable. Their names are doubtless written in the Lambs Book of Life, and are now found in the history of the county, to be handed down to the third and fourth generations, and remembered as the forerunners of a brighter civilization. There are doubtless others who might, with propriety, be placed in the list; but to name all would be tedious.

First Election, etc.—At the first election held in Green in her original size, as shown on page 89, there were but nine votes cast. The election was held at the residence of Morgan McQuary. The first election in Green after Brown was struck off was held at the residence of John Hanger. The votes were cast in a hat, and covered with a kerchief. We hear of no complaints and serious charges of stuffing the ballot-boxes in those primitive days.

Historical Anecdote.—In June, 1833, Rev. Miles Walker, John Walker and Vincent Cooper, caught thirteen young wolves, about the size of a six months' cur dog, in the hollow of a log. They brought the scalps to Greenfield, and the county gave them a credit of fifty cents per scalp on their taxes, and the state paid a reward of the same amount in money. Before they could avail themselves of the bounty of either state or county, however, they had to comply with the law requiring them to take an "iron-clad" oath that they had never raised a female wolf, nor owned a male dog part wolf, for the last ten years. The policy of this requirement was to prevent citizens raising wolves for their scalps, and the reward obtained therefor. Wolves were numerous at this early date, and very destructive to sheep, and especially to lambs and pigs, insomuch that it was impossible to raise them without penning.

A Few First Things.—The first preacher in Green township was Stephen Masters, one of the pioneer preachers of the county, who is reported as the first and one of the first in all the north-western portions of the county. The first teacher was Miss Eliza Moore. The first physician page: 212[View Page 212] was Paul Moore. The first death was that of Samuel Walker, buried at the Baptist church, in the west part of the township; being the first burial also. The first road was the blazed route from Greenfield to Pendleton, the county-seat of Madison county. The first miller was George Mason. The first school was near Eden. The first church building was by the Baptists. The first church organization was by the Methodists. The first merchant was George Henry, father of Attorney Charles Henry, of Anderson. The first post-office was at Eden. The first tanners were Dudley Eakes and J. Price.

Mills.—In 1835 George Mason had erected the first water-mill, grist and saw mill combined, in the township, located on Sugar Creek, north-east of Eden. Indeed, it was the first mill of any kind in the township.

In 1836 William Beeson erected the second water-mill in the township. It was located about two and one-half miles east of Eden, and cracked corn and scratched logs for several years.

Subsequently Bragg & Guy built the first steam sash saw-mill in the township, near Eden. It was traded and sold several times, burned down in 856, rebuilt by Samuel Archer, and finally moved away.

Dr. Samuel A. Troy, in 1865, put in operation a circular saw mill, three miles east of Eden, operated it for a time, and then sold to Trueblood & Barrett. Barrett sold to Walker, and the new firm, Trueblood & Walker, moved it on the Henry land, south-west of Eden. It was then run for a time by Cooper & Roberts, and finally moved away.

A steam saw-mill was operated on H. B. Wilson's farm, three miles east of Eden, for a few years. It was moved away about 1878.

About 1873, a steam saw-mill was set in operation at Milner's Corner, by Walton, Rule & Milner, which required about eighteen months to devour the saw timber in that vicinity, when it departed. A steam saw-mill was built at Eden, by C. Mingle, about 1875, and is still in operation.

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Stephen V. Tucker erected a steam saw-mill at Milner's Corner in 1880, which is still running.

There are no factories nor flouring mills in the township; though there is a good opening for both, and especially should the North and South railroad come through, as contemplated.

Roads.—Green township has twelve miles of toll pike, and ten miles the charter to which has been surrendered. The Greenfield and Pendleton pike extends across the township from north to south. There is a line extending from Eden to Warringotn; one from Eden to McCordsville; another from Eden to Fortville; and one from Eden to Milner's Corner. The last three lines do not extend to Eden directly, but intersect the North and South pike, near thereto, so that the several points mentioned are reached by pike.

Green is the only township in the county without a rail-road, and she recently voted $10,000 to the prospective Anderson and Shelbyville road, which, it is thought, will pass through Eden.

Educational.—"'Tis education forms the common mind; as the twig is bent the tree is inclined." The first settlers, though void of a finished literary and classic education, and not even possessing the rudiments in many cases, yet they began early to give some attention to the education of their children, and small schools were sustained in the winter months in the more thickly settled neighborhoods where enough children could be gotten together to constitute a school, and a teacher could be secured to teach the young idea to shoot at from twenty to forty dollars per quarter and "found," or "board round." Among the first "school-masters" and "school-marms" of this section were Miss Eliza Moore, a relative of the present resident Moores of the township; George Henry, afterwards associate judge and representative; David McKinsey, a faithful, efficient instructor for the time, but now among the unfortunates faring in the county infirmary; and Sanford and Jehu Lewis, brother pedagogues. The page: 214[View Page 214] first school-house was built in 1836, and located a short distance north-east of Eden. It was one of those primitive "educational institutions" made wholly of saplings and split boards, without paint, putty, glass, iron, or modern patent fixtures of any kind. Soon after this there was one of a similar kind in the north-east part of the township.

Green, however, like other townships outside of Center, was opposed to the establishment of free schools. In the vote of the county on the free school question in 1848, she cast seventy-five votes for "free school" and ninety-one votes for "no school"; and in 1849 the vote stood, "free school," forty-five; "no school," one hundred.

The following table will show the names of the public school-houses in Green and the present instructors:

No. 1 New Hope Wilson Dobbins. 
No. 2 Cass J. H. Barrett. 
No. 3 Christ W. S. Porter. 
No. 4 Walker's W. W. Stanley. 
No. 5 Eden J. W. Ryckman. 
No. 6 Ferrell Rena Wilson. 
No. 7 Crane Pond Charles H. Shank. 
No. 8 Michigan J. E. White. 
No. 9 California Howard E. Barrett. 
No. 10 Purdue Lafayette Trittipo. 

Green township has ten small frame school-houses, valued at, including grounds, furniture and outbuilding, $4,000. Her maps, charts, globes and other school apparatus are valued at $100. Total value of school property in the township, $4,100.

There has been a gradual, steady decline in the number of school children in this township since 1853, the first enumeration. The enumeration for 1853 was 474; for 1860, 406; for 1870, 388; for 1880, 384; and for 1881, 353; a decrease of 121 in the last twenty-eight years.

Township Trustees.—The following list shows the names of the trustees and their date of appointment from 1859, at which time they were empowered by law to levy page: 215[View Page 215] a local tuition tax, and the office assumed some dignity and significance:

  • Meredith Gosney 1859
  • Edward Valentine 1861
  • Joseph Barrett 1865
  • Edward Valentine 1866
  • Andrew H. Barrett 1869
  • William L. McKinsey 1874
  • Sidney Moore 1880

Remarks: Meredith Gosney, who figures extensively in the early history of the township, was the first trustee under the improved school law. He held the office for two terms of one year each. Edward Valentine carried the township through the perilous times of the civil war, being four times elected. Andrew H. Barrett was the first trustee who had the opportunity of voting for county superintendent of schools. We have dipped salt with "Andy" more than once. May he live long and prosper. William L. McKinsey held the office longer than any other trustee who has filled the place. Sidney Moore looks after the poor and pedagogues at this date.

Churches.—This township, for reasons unknown to the writer, is not as bountifully supplied with good buildings especially dedicated to the worship of the author of all good as her sister townships; but possibly what she lacks in numbers she makes up in the efficiency of the few. Green reports three church buildings, viz.: Two Methodist Episcopal and one Christian. But it must be borne in mind that Green has no saloons or billiard halls, and, perhaps, less evil to counteract.

Population and Poll.—An examination of the United States census reports for the past few decades shows a slow growth for a time, and recently a decline in the population. The report for 1850 gives her 1,019 souls; for 1860, 1,007; for 1870, 1,177; and for 1880, 1,166; a growth in twenty years of one hundred and fifty-eight and then a decline in the last ten years of eleven, for which we are scarcely able to account, considering her steady growth in wealth, good roads, and other improvements. But page: 216[View Page 216] there is a great tendency among the young in this fast age to leave the monotony of the country and seek the town and city. The railroad enthusiast would make an argument in favor of railroads out of the circumstance; and, indeed, it is rather a singular circumstance, if such it may be called, that the only township without a railroad should be the only one declining in population. The stickler for plain dress, rather than frivolous fashions, would say that it is owing to her having no dress-making establishments and milliner shops. The falling off in numbers seems not to have been among the men and boys for the last ten years. There was only a loss of four school children during the decade, while there was an increase of thirty-one taxable polls, the numbers standing thus: Taxable polls for 1870, 190; for 1880, 221; and for 1881, 231; showing an increase of forty-one taxable polls in eleven years. But we will state the facts and figures, and leave the reader to draw his own conclusions. The polls in Green for 1840 were 130; in 1850, 149; in 1860, 178.

Vote.—Green township for 1860 cast 184 votes; for 1870, 229; for 1880, 286; with a democratic majorty of fifty-four for 1880. The vote stood: Democratic, 170; republican, 116. The voting precinct is Eden.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—Green township is assessed on 19,194 acres of land, valued at $372,110, and improvements on the same valued at $101,050, being an average of about $25 per acre. Value of lots, $1,625; value of improvements on same, $9,120. Value of personal property, $129,670. Total value of taxables, $613,595. The total value of taxables for 1839 was $60,930, less than one-tenth of the amount for 1881.

Taxes.—Green township paid taxes to the amount of $599.19 in 1842, $836.18 in 1850, $3,465.52 in 1860, $5,652.34 in 1870, and the levy for 1881, to be paid in 1882, is $6,528.44; an examination of which shows a rapid growth in taxation. The levy on each $100 is ninety-four cents.

The following list shows the heavy tax-payers in Green page: 217[View Page 217] township; being a complete showing of those who will pay $40 taxes and upward in 1882:

  • Alford, John$ 41 38
  • Alford, S. L.41 00
  • Barrett, E. H.53 32
  • Barrett, William, heirs66 79
  • Barrett, Isaac S54 95
  • Boots, Joseph44 38
  • Barnard, R. Y.152 43
  • Baity, D. H.64 03
  • Bulett, G. A.40 00
  • Collins, William47 72
  • Crist, John67 97
  • Cupp, Peter43 77
  • Cass, James F.84 48
  • Franks, M. L.61 69
  • Franks, G. P.41 51
  • Henry, Samuel65 20
  • Hunt, Jehu104 54
  • Jackson, John55 57
  • Jarrett, Neri$ 63 78
  • Keller, E. E.100 83
  • Keller, J. W.61 34
  • Keller, J. M.83 15
  • McCarty, J. P.60 22
  • Mingle, Adam43 69
  • Moore, P.J., heirs71 91
  • Martindale, J. N.50 43
  • Olvey, L. D.82 63
  • Piper, J. M.58 86
  • Ryon, J. S.40 45
  • Roberts, Leander90 17
  • Smith, Jonathan47 34
  • Trueblood, J. M.44 39
  • Troy, C. H.74 65
  • Wilson, H. B.82 69
  • Wilson, Archibald62 90
  • Wilson, William70 06

Law and Esquires.—The policy of our law is to bring justice near the door of every man, to offer an opportunity for the convenient adjustment of petty grievances at the least possible expense to the people. For this purpose Indiana, following in the wake of the English custom, wisely embodied in her constitution a provision for the election in each township of a competent number of justices of the peace, who shall continue in office four years. These officers are empowered to act in both a ministerial and judicial capacity. Ministerially, in preserving the peace. Judicially, as when he convicts for an offense. In the prosecution of said policy, the following men have filled the office of justice of the peace for a time, being elected at the dates set opposite their names:

  • John L. Alford1833
  • Andrew J. HatfieldUnknown
  • John FurgasonUnknown
  • Miles Walker1850
  • Michael Copper1853
  • Wm. Cook1858, 1862, 1866
  • page: 218[View Page 218]
  • Elijah S. Cooper1841, 1846
  • James Jones1843
  • W. R. Ferrell,1846, 1855, 1859, 1878
  • John Price1848
  • M. M. Addington1848
  • William Barrett1849, 1854
  • R. M. Fuqua1863
  • Isaac Barrett1867
  • J. M. Trueblood,1869, 1873, 1877
  • W. T. Hamilton1870
  • William Collins1880

Remarks: John L. Alford was the first justice in the township. Twelve of the above number served one term each. Elijah S. Cooper and William Barrett filled the office for eight years each. William Cook and J. M. Trueblood were each three times elected. W. R. Ferrell, who was first elected thirty-five years ago, is now on his fourth term. Ferrell and William Collins preside at the scales of justice in the township at this date. About half of the above have bid adieu to earthly courts, to appear at the bar Divine before the Judge Supreme of all the earth.

First Business.—The first business of this section was done at Pendleton, where the pioneers went to exchange their furs, ginseng, venison, and porkers, for a few of the staple articles. For milling they went to Fall Creek. The first stores in the township were at Eden, a central point for the first settlements. Among the first merchants were George Henry, C. & J. Lewis, J. & E. McPherson, J. A. Alford, the "Squire," and Hiram Barrett. Later were Brandt & Fry and Barrett & Co. Very early in the history of the township Dudley Eakes run a tannery in the south-west part of the township, on Leander Roberts's farm. His vats consisted of large troughs made of walnut. Later John Price had a tannery in Eden. In 1850 Speagle carried on a blacksmith shop in the eastern part of the township. Jonathan Smith opened a store at Willow Branch in 1853, and was the first postmaster on the establishing of the post-office in 1854.

Physicians.—The first settlers of Green, in case of serious sickness, called for aid on the medical talent of Pendleton and Greenfield. The first resident physician page: 219[View Page 219] was Paul Moore, followed by William Loder, Jones & Edwards (the latter of whom is now holding forth in Greenfield), and J. J. Carter.

Ex-County Officers.—This was the home of George Henry, associate judge, county surveyor, and representative. Here lived Andrew T. Hatfield, representative; Elijah S. Cooper, county treasurer; Samuel Archer, sheriff; and Robison Jarrett, commissioner. Jonathan Smith, ex-commissioner, is still among the living.

Prominent Families,—This is the home of the Barretts, Ferrells, Mingles, Walkers, Robertses, Wilsons, Jarretts, Alfords, Coopers, Henrys, Moores, Crists, Troys, Collins, Kellers, Barnards, Franks, Cooks, Smiths, McKinseys, Baitys, Truebloods, McClarnons, and Olveys.

Murders and Fatal Accidents.—In, or about, 1831, two men, who were from Madison county, camped out in the woods, and built a fire beside a dead tree, as a protection against the wolves, and retired for the night, during which the tree set on fire fell on one of them. The other built a pen around him, to prevent his being devoured by the wolves, while he procured assistance to remove the log from the body.

Michael Crist, father of John and George, was found dead in the public highway, near the Crist school-house, April 26, 1876. Aged eighty-five years.

On the 8th of May, 1877, William Cook, Esquire, was found dead in the woods beside a log, near where he had been cutting wood.

A boy by the name of Johnson was killed at the Cooper saw-mill, a few years since, by a saw-log rolling over him.

The most foul, atrocious, diabolical and unnatural murder that we are called upon to record in the history of the county was perpetrated, on the night of June 7th, 1878, in Green township, on the persons of Mrs. Sarah Jane Wilson, aged forty-three years, widow of the late Woodford Wilson, and her little niece, Anaretta Cass, aged six years. The strange, sad news of this atrocious double murder page: 220[View Page 220] soon spread throughout the county, and before noon of the next day hundreds of people could be seen rapidly making their way to the sad scene, and surrounding the house were hundreds more, filled with anguish and anger at what had transpired. By whom and just how this scene was enacted, has never been legally determined. The plain facts in the case are about as follows: Mrs. Wilson and [View Figure]
her little niece lived alone on her farm, about two miles east of Eden. They were at peace with the world, having harmed no one, and anticipated no trouble or personal violence from any body, and had only taken the usual precaution of locking the doors and windows, not deeming it necessary to go to the trouble and expense of having additional company to stay with them of nights. Next morning Mrs. Wilson was found dead, lying on her face on the page: 221[View Page 221] floor in the sitting-room, in her night clothes, partially covered with a thin comfort. Anaretta was found on the floor near the door of their bedroom, lying almost naked. The bodies were examined by good physicians, which developed the fact that they had come to their deaths by strangulation from pressure of the thumb and fingers of the left hand of a man, the marks of the ends of the fingers [View Figure]
being plainly visible on either side of the trachea. It is left to circumstantial evidence, "theory and reason to determine the cause and manner of this double crime. It is supposed that the party, or parties, by some means gained entrance to the rear of the house, committed the rash act, and made his, or their, exit at the front door, breaking a glass beside the door in passing out. The theory is supported by the fact that the broken pieces of glass were page: 222[View Page 222] found on the porch and none on the inside of the room. Considerable effort was made to discover the guilty parties, but to no avail. Time and eternity may develop the facts, but as yet it is shrouded in mystery. We only know that two innocent lives were violently and suddenly plunged into eternity by some hellish fiend in human form. Who can look at the portraits of the innocent victims, and contemplate the atrocity of the crime, without feelings of holy indignation?

Recapitulation.—Green township contains thirty sections and 19,194 acres; has one mill stream, two smaller streams, one border county, four border townships, two steam saw-mills, ten school-houses, three church buildings, four churches, one lodge, one village, two post-offices, five pikes, one prospective railroad, 1,166 inhabitants, 353 school children, 231 polls, 286 voters, $4,100 worth of school property, $131,260 worth of personal property, $9,115 worth of lots and improvements, $473,220 worth of land and improvements, 177 male dogs, two (?) female dogs, $613,595 worth of taxable property, thirty-seven men who pay over $40 taxes each, fifteen ex-justices, two acting justices, six ex-trustees since 1859, six ex-county officers, one living ex-county officer, a fertile soil, several hundred acres unditched, an abundance of saw timber, no want of rail timber; a limited amount of fish, squirrels, quails and rabbits; a healthful climate, three physicians, a republican trustee, no saloons, no billiard halls, a moral community, a declining population, an increasing valuation, and a democratic majority of eighty.

page: 223[View Page 223]



The modern Eden, once known as Lewisburg, was laid out on the 21st of August, 1835, by—the records fail to show whom, but the older citizens say by Alford—and consisted of thirty-five lots. The first and only addition to this date was made by Levi Archer, on the 26th of April, 1871, with seventeen lots. It is a small village, on the south bank of Sugar Creek, near the center of the township, eight miles north of Greenfield and seven south of Pendleton, on the pike. It has one church, a district school, a pleasant location; a post-office, with mail tri-weekly, L. A. Riggs, postmaster; and the following business men, to-wit:

  • Merchants—
    • L. A. Riggs,
    • Joseph Canohan.
  • Painter and Carriage Maker—
    • E. P. Lawrence.
  • Steam Saw-Mill—
    • B. F. Moore.
  • Wagon Makers—
    • B. J. Jackson,
    • A. H. Barrett.
  • Boot and Shoe Makers—
    • Trueblood & Jarrett.
  • Physicians—
    • John A. Justice,
    • W. A. Justice.
  • Undertaker—
    • J. M. Trueblood.
  • Carpenter—
    • A. J. Popink.
  • Blacksmiths—
    • A. J. Taylor,
    • Henry Curtis,
    • Green Osborn (a little east of town).


The second post-office in the township is known as Milner's Corner, located in the central eastern part of the township, on the line between Green and Brown. It is page: 224[View Page 224] about thirteen miles north-east of Greenfield, and derived its name from James Milner, in 1850. There has never been a plat of the place made and recorded, and, consequently, no additions.

The first store at this point was kept by David McKinsey, an ex school-teacher, followed by John Dawson, Henry Milner, Nimrod Davis, Joseph Decamp, Caldwell & Keller, William and Joseph Bills, S. A. Troy, Tague & Brother, and W. Vanzant. The present merchant is Charles H. Troy. The post-office was established in 1868; the first postmaster was Nimrod Davis; the present employee of Uncle Sam is Charles H. Troy. The previous physicians were D. H. Myers, S. A. Troy, George Williams, and Charles Pratt; the present physician is S. A. Troy. The blacksmiths are Vandyke and Manning; the wood-workmen are Josiah Long and Joel Manning. It has a steam saw-mill, owned by L. Tucker, previously mentioned; capacity, five thousand feet per day; employs four hands. Mail tri-weekly.


The first meetings of this order, in the early history of the township, were held near Eden, in the private dwellings of Blackburn, Thomas Dorson, Robert Walker, and Robison Jarrett. The first ministers were Stephen Masters and James Vess. The first itinerant minister was Rev. Donaldson, followed by Revs. John Leach and Frank Richmond. In 1838, the society erected a log house at Eden, near where the present frame stands, in the east part of town. Here it held forth till about 1860, when it erected the present building, a commodious frame, at a cost of $1,500. It was dedicated by Rev. John McCarty. Near by is a cemetery, where slumber many loved ones that have died in the faith, and are now members of the church triumphant. The first burial here was Enos Jarrett. The present minister is Rev. John S. McCarty. The society is in a flourishing condition. A page: 225[View Page 225] very interesting revival has recently been experienced, which has added a goodly number to the church roll. This charge formerly belonged to the Greenfield circuit, and was supplied by the Greenfield minister.


In an early day there was an M. E. church building and organization in the Roberts neighborhood, south-west of Eden, called the Roberts Chapel. The first members are dead. Some lost their zeal, others found it about as convenient to worship at other points, and the organization went down and the membership was scattered.


While the Methodists had the first society in this township, the Baptists built the first church house. It was a small log, eighteen by twenty feet, erected in 1830, and located one and one-half miles west of Eden, near the line between Green and Vernon townships. Elder Morgan McQuery organized the society, and preached there for several years, followed by Charles McCarty and others, when the organization moved to Vernon township. The old graveyard near by still remains to mark the place of the first church in Green township, as well as a number of the first burials. The first interment in this lonely spot was Samuel Walker.


is located in the north-west part of the township. Benjamin Legg, John H. Huston, Snodgrass, Joseph Winn and Lawson Fuqua were among the first members. Elders David Franklin and W. F. Ackman were for a time its ministers. Elder J. W. Ferrell preached there nineteen nights during a revival, and had nineteen accessions. The building is a good frame, the church is in a prosperous condition, and a lively Sunday-school is sustained page: 226[View Page 226] in connection with it. Several of the most prominent and influential persons of the vicinity are members of this church, and throw their influence on the side of truth, morality and Christianity.


was born in Green county, East Tennessee, March 7, 1823. He came with his parents to Wayne county, Indiana, in 1829, thence to Madison county in 1830, when the country was new and the forests unbroken. There he [View Figure]
labored on the farm with his father and brothers till he arrived at majority, when he began the study of medicine at Pendleton, the county seat, with Dr. Thomas Jones. After taking a course of study, he located at Eden and began the practice of medicine with Dr. William S. Loder. Aspiring to loftier attainments, and a fuller understanding of the abstruse mysteries of materia medica, he determined on a regular college course of reading and lectures, and consequently had the honor of graduating at the Cincinnati Medical College in the spring of 1856.

In 1860, April I7th, he was joined in marriage with page: 227[View Page 227] Miss Sarah J. Smith, with whom he lived happily to the day of his death. He was a consistent member of the M. E. Church for more than forty years. During his long and extensive practice, he made hosts of friends and but few enemies. He was a man of noble impulses, generous and hospitable, in whom the people had the fullest confidence. He died on the 29th of January, 1879, after a very short illness, in his fifty-sixth year, leaving the companion of his bosom and two promising boys to mourn his untimely death.

In the death of Dr. Carter the community lost an attentive, skillful physician, the church a faithful member, and the family a kind husband and an indulgent father. His family now reside in Greenfield; the boys are young men, the older of whom will graduate at the Indianapolis Medical College shortly.

EDEN LODGE, No. 477, F. A. M.,

was chartered May 26, 1874. The charter members were L. H. Riggs, E. S. Bragg, G. Morrison, A. H. Trueblood, D. H. Alford, T. T. Barrett, Samuel Alford, J. W. Green, G. W. Hopkins, and A. W. Powell. The lodge has never been large, but is healthy and prosperous, with a present membership of twenty-four. The present officers are: D. H. Beaty, W. M.; W. A. Justice, S. W.; H. B. Wilson, J. W.; A. H. Trueblood, S. D.; John Crist, J. D.; Isaac S. Barrett, Treasurer; A. H. Barrett, Secretary; J. W. Anderson, Tyler; Samuel Alford and J. M. Trueblood, Stewards. Its meetings occur on Saturday evening on or before the full of the moon of each month.


In 1845, the Episcopal Methodists organized a class three miles east of Eden. Their meetings were held for a time at the Barrett school-house. As the society increased in strength and numbers, it determined on a place of worship under its own control, which resulted in page: 228[View Page 228] the building, in 1854, of a convenient frame, at a cost of $1,200, which was recently fully repaired and put in good order, and dedicated by Rev. Frank Harding. The present preacher is Rev. H. Woolpert. They have regular services. There is no graveyard in connection with the church property, but they use one located north, on the banks of Sugar Creek, where the mortal remains of the late lamented murdered Mrs. Wilson and her niece were buried.


was born at Batavia, Clermont county, Ohio, August 27, 1827, and is, consequently, in his fifty-fifth year. He was left an orphan at the early age of ten years. The family [View Figure]
being poor, he was at once thrown on his own resources. He learned the trade of cabinet-maker; came to Anderson, Madison county, in the spring of 1847; thence to New Columbus, where he continued to work at his trade; and in April, 1849, was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Abner Cory. He then moved to York, in Delaware county, where he began the study of medicine with Dr. page: [229][View Page [229]] [View Figure]
page: 230[View Page 230] John Horn. His wife died shortly after, when he again moved to New Columbus, and continued his studies with Dr. Weyman. In 1854 he was a second time married; this time to Martha Manning. He then attended a course of lectures at the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical College; then returned and located near Bunker Hill, this county; thence to Cleveland, where he formed a profitable partnership with Dr. Amos Bundy, which continued for five years; thence to his farm in Green township, where he practiced for several years. He was a candidate for representative before the democratic nominating convention in 1868, and was defeated by the Hon. Noble Warrum by three votes only. In 1870 he moved to Fortville, and was the prime mover in organizing the Fortville band, which, in honor of its founder, was named the "Troy Band." While there he was in partnership with Drs. Stuart and Yancy. The Dr. is now located at Milner's Corner, where he has an extensive and lucrative practice.


was organized at the Crist school-house on the second Sunday in April, 1871. On the day of organization, after praise and prayer by the brethren, Elder Gavin Morrison was chosen moderator, and G. W. Hopkins clerk. Elder M. Lummis, of Kentucky, aided in establishing this church. The following are the original members: G. W. and Henrietta Hopkins, Gavin Morrison and wife, William Lummis, S. F. Baker, Ira and Jane Shafer. This society has never been large, and consequently unable to erect a place of worship of its own. It has had no regular pastor for several years.

page: [231][View Page [231]]


[View Figure]



Name and Organization.—This township took its name from "Old Hickory," President of the United States, at page: 232[View Page 232] the time of the formation of the township. It was organized in 1831, at which time it was struck off from the north part of Blue-river, having its present southern boundary and extending to the Madison county line on the north, and consequently embodied the same territory now included in Jackson and Brown. In 1832 Green was formed, embodying the territory now included in Brown and Green. In 1833 Brown was formed from the east part of Green. Hence, from 1831 to 1832 Madison county formed the northern boundary of Jackson, and from 1832 to 1833 Green formed said boundary. From 1833 to 1850 Brown, Harrison and Green constituted said boundary. From 1850 to 1853 Worth and Harrison formed her northern boundary. Since 1853 there has been no change in her boundaries.

Location, Boundary, Size, etc.—It is located in the central eastern part of the county, and is bounded on the north by Brown and Green townships, on the east by Henry county, on the south by Rush county and Blue-river township, and on the west by Center township. In extent it is six miles square, and hence contains thirty-six square miles. It lies in township sixteen north, and is in ranges seven and eight east, one tier of sections on the west being in range seven east and the remainder in eight east. The range line runs past Brown's Chapel, Leamon's Corner and Bunker Hill.

Surface, Soil, Drainage, and Productions.—The surface for the most part is quite level; especially in the north-eastern, central southern, and central western portions. Along Six Mile, Nameless and Brandywine creeks there are occasionally low banks, and a somewhat hilly and undulating surface for a short distance therefrom.

The soil in the creek bottoms is a loose brown or black loam, rich and productive. On the level upland may be seen a limited soil with a subsoil of red or white clay, excellent for grass and meadow and fair to good for the ordinary cereals.

There has been considerable tile ditching put in by the page: 233[View Page 233] enterprising farmers of this township since the close of the American civil war, by which no small amount of land has been greatly improved and reclaimed.

The chief productions are stock and grain, viz.: Hogs, cattle, corn, wheat, horses, sheep, flaxseed, and oats; to which may be added small quantities of potatoes, grass, hay, apples, butter, eggs, and chickens. In 1880, Jackson township produced, on 4,050 acres, 72,905 bushels of wheat; on 4,782 acres, 88,805 bushels of corn; on 380 acres, 7,600 bushels of oats; and on 544 acres, 1,088 tons of hay.

Streams.—Brandywine Creek enters the township on the north line, two and one-half miles east of the north-west corner, in section five, and runs south-west to near the center of section seven; thence north-west about a mile; thence in a south-west course, passing out of the township on the west line in section twelve, about one and one-fourth miles south of the north-west corner.

Six Mile Creek enters the township on the east side, one mile south of the north-east corner, takes a general south course, passes on the west and near Charlottesville, and leaves the township near the south-west corner of section thirty-five.

Nameless Creek rises in section sixteen, near the center of the township, runs south-west about three miles to the east side of section twenty-five; thence south by south-east, passing out of the township one and a half miles east of the south-west corner.

Willow Branch has only one mile of its course in Jackson, all found in section one, in the north-west corner, where it flows into Brandywine.

First Land Entry and Original Settlers.—The first land entered in Jackson township was by William Oldham, on the 20th of November, 1824, being the north-west quarter of the north-west quarter of section twenty-three, in township sixteen north, in range eight east. The second entry was by Thomas Ramsey, on the 21st of July, 1825.

Among the first settlers were William Oldham, John page: 234[View Page 234] Forts, John Catt, Bazil Meek, David Templeton, Samuel arid John Dilla, James and Benjamin Forts, Mr. Lackey, John and James Sample, Andrew Jackson, Sanford Pritchard, Samuel Thompson, Absalom Davis, James Vanmeter, James Bartlow, Henry Woods, David Longinaker, Valentine Slifer, John Magart, Thomas Ramsey, and John Shields. At a little later date came John Burris, Joseph Hall, John Thompson, J. P. Foley, Jacob Slifer, John Parks, the Barretts, Hatfields, John Bevil, William Wolf, Jacob Brooks, Richard Earles, Samuel Smith, and John Stephens.

The naming of the above will call to the minds of many of our readers fond recollections of earlier days, when they received the counsel and instruction of these hardy pioneers, most of whom have gone to the happy hunting grounds, no more to undergo the privations and hardships incident to pioneer life. They are gone, forever gone! No more their forms shall we behold! But their works live after them. They labored long and well, and we have entered into their labors. They sowed seed that shall bring forth fruit many years hence. Their children and children's children now rise up and call them blessed. Long may their names live fresh and green in the hearts of their legatees.

A Few First Things.—The first church was by the New Lights; the first school teacher was Leartus Thomas; the first miller was John Forts; the first landlady was Mrs. Landis, recently deceased; Mr. Lackey sold the first whisky; David Johnson was the first merchant; the first road was the old State road; the first county road in the township was viewed by Daniel Priddy, David Heimer and Jacob Slifer; Isaac Barrett, about 1840 and later, cultivated a nursery at Charlottesville, and later in the north-east part of Center township; Abram Huntington had a blacksmith shop in the north-west part of the township prior to 1840, where he forged bolts in Vulcan style for several years.

Mills and Factories.—The first water mill in Jackson page: 235[View Page 235] township was built by John Forts, in about the year 1827, and located on Six Mile, one mile north of Charlottesville. It was a genuine "corn cracker," of the primitive pattern.

Some time prior to 1833, David Longinaker built a water sash saw-mill on Six Mile, about a mile above the Forts corn cracker. It was run by different parties, and finally had steam power attached.

In about 1855, a steam sash saw-mill was put in operation on Henderson McKown's farm, four miles north of Cleveland. It was run for several years, then moved on Joseph Higgins' land, and was recently moved away.

Walton & Rule erected a steam circular saw-mill at Leamon's Corner, about the year 1860. It was run for some time, then moved to Cleveland, afterward to Eden, where it is still in operation.

James R. Bracken, afterwards captain of a company from this county in the Mexican war, erected a tannery about a half mile north-west of the Pleasant Hill M. E. church, about the year 1844, where he made the leather for the farmers' "horse-hide collars," "dog-skin gloves" and "cow-hide shoes," for a few years, when it went down.

In 1869, T. L. Marsh & Draper erected a tile factory in the central western part of the township, which was run for a few years, when Marsh sold to Draper, who is still manufacturing.

Roads.—The first road in this township was an old trail extending across the new purchase, known at the time of the formation of the township as the State Road, and later on as the old State road, built many years prior to the National road, which was the second in the township. The third was called a county road, laid out in 1835, and extended from the Longinaker saw-mill, two miles north of Charlottesville, on the county line, to * Charleston, on Sugar Creek, in Green township, where Mrs. Wilson and niece are buried. This road was a continuation of a Henry

* In the early history of Hancock county, a town was laid out in Green township, just north of H. B. Wilson's farm, and named Charleston. No record was ever made of the plat, and the town was a failure.

page: 236[View Page 236] county road, extending from Knightstown to the said Longinaker saw-mill. Nearly all the roads in this part of the state, prior to 1835, run from one business point to another, regardless of "land lines." None of the early roads corresponded with the cardinal points of the compass. As the settlements began to increase in number, short routes were blazed out to suit the convenience of the settlers. There are no toll pikes in the township at this date. There are fifteen miles of pike that have been returned to the districts, and their charters cancelled. We are unable to state just how much graveling has been done in working out the road taxes and personal privileges; but considerable, we are assured. The National road passes through this township, a distance of six miles, no portion of which is graveled, and there is no other road in the county that so much needs it at this time. It is really an eyesore and a discredit to the county. If the road can not be built in any other way, we would suggest to the liberal citizens along the line its construction under the free gravel road law of March 3, 1877, as amended March 1, 1881, which will exempt their land from taxation in purchasing the toll roads of the county, under the act concerning the purchase of toll roads, and providing for their maintenance as free roads, approved April 9, 1881. Her citizens will then have something of value to themselves, tangible and convenient in lieu of their money and taxes for free roads.

Railroads.—The P., C. and St. L. has a line of six miles on the southern boundary of the township, on which the company has two stations, viz.: Charlottesville and Cleveland. The I., B. and W. crosses the north-west corner of the township. Construction trains are passing over the line, but no stations are yet established.

Educational.—The first schools in this township were "pay schools," taught by itinerant school-masters, about the year 1833. They were not the most efficient teachers by ,any means; indeed, they made no claims to greater knowledge than was necessary to teach reading, page: [237][View Page [237]] [View Figure]
page: 238[View Page 238] writing, and "ciphering to the double rule of three." There were citizens of the township better qualified, that could have taught better schools than many of these tramp, teachers, but the pay did not justify, and besides they were not naturally so disposed; and hence the grave responsibility was shifted to the shoulders of the professionals, who taught from Castle Garden to the Gulf. Schools were sustained but three months in a year, or a quarter of thirteen weeks. As the township increased in numbers and wealth, the interest in education was found to keep pace, and schools were sustained for a greater length of time, at increased pay, which commanded better teachers.

In the vote on the free school question in 1848, to decide whether the state should adopt a free school system, Jackson voted against the proposed change, her vote standing: "Free school," 101; "no school," 114. But Jackson has the honor of being more progressive, on this question especially, than the majority of her sister townships, as may be seen by comparing her vote in 1848 with that of said townships, and with her own in 1849, when she voted for the proposed system, her vote standing: "Free school," 108; "no school," 105; being one of the three that voted for free schools in the final vote in 1859. This township has two brick and ten frame school-houses, numbered, named, and supplied with teachers for the present school year, or term at least, as follows, to-wit:

District No. 1 Conklin Sadie Homer. 
District No. 2 Simmons Ella Bussel. 
District No. 3 Bunker Hill Lizzie G. Smith. 
District No. 4 Leamon's Corner William M. Lewis. 
District No. 5 Center Ora Staley. 
District No. 6 Loudenback Fannie Pierce. 
District No. 7 Addison J. P. Julian. 
District No. 8 Cleveland George Wilson. Cynthia Fries. 
District No. 9 Brown's Chapel George Burnett. 
District No. 10 Extra No school. 
District No. 11 Extra A. E. Lewis. 
District No. 12 Charlottesville S. C. Staley. Jennie Willis. 
page: 239[View Page 239]

These twelve houses are estimated to be worth $8,000, including the grounds, furniture and out-buildings. The apparatus is estimated at $100. Total value, $8,100. The above figures includes the Charlottesville house, which belongs to a company, and is estimated at $3,000. One of the serious needs of this township is more and better apparatus, and a fuller appreciation of the importance of the same by the school officers and teachers, that said apparatus may be properly cared for after it is purchased and placed in the buildings; that the maps may not be taken for window curtains and the globes for foot-balls. Charlottesville for many years, and until recently, was a separate corporation for school purposes.

School Trustees.—The following are the names of the trustees from the time they were empowered with authority to levy local taxes, and the office assumed some dignity and importance to the people:

  • Burd Lacy1859
  • David Priddy1863
  • Philip Stinger1867
  • George W. Williams1869
  • James B. Clark1871
  • A. V. B. Sample1874
  • Henderson McKown1878
  • James F. McClarnon1880

Remarks: Burd Lacy and David Priddy held the office four terms each in succession. James B. Clark was the first trustee under the improved school law of 1873, and the first in the township that voted for county superintendent of schools. A. V. B. Sample filled the office for two terms of two years each. Philip Stinger, George Williams and Henderson McKown each served two years. James F. McClarnon looks after the poor, educational and financial interests of the township at this date.

Churches.—Jackson township has seven churches, representing five denominations, to-wit: Three Methodist Episcopal, one Protestant Methodist, a Missionary Baptist, a Christian, and one Friends; a fuller account of which will appear further on.

Population.—An examination of the census reports of page: 240[View Page 240] this township for a few decades shows the following, to-wit: Population for 1850, 677. The population of Worth township, the greater portion of which is now included in Jackson, was, for the same year, 718. We therefore conclude that a fair estimate for the territory now included in the corporate limits of Jackson township would be 1,300 for the year 1850. In 1860, the reports give her 1,680; in 1870, 1,849; in 1880, 1,928. An examination of the above shows a steady, natural growth in population, which speaks well for the township as a whole. Charlottesville, in 1869, had 190 souls; in 1870, 414. Cleveland, in 1860, had 112; in 1870, 118. We have no official report of either of these towns for 1880 separate and distinct from the total of the township; but from personal knowledge would say that the former has about held her own, while the latter has lost, and can not compare in numbers, wealth or appearance with her statu quo ante bellum.

Polls and Vote.—The polls for Jackson in 1840 were 176; in 1860, 273; in 188o, 326; in 1881, 345. Her vote for 1840 was 178; for 1860, 331; for 1870, 371; for 1880, 445. Her last vote for President was as follows, to-wit: Republican, 214; democratic, 210; independent, 21. Jackson has two voting precincts—one at Cleveland and the second at school-house No. 5.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—This township reports 22,170 acres of land assessed at $547,020; and improvements on the same valued at $74,505, being an average of about $28.00 per acre; the personal property in Jackson, exclusive of Charlottesville, is valued at $220,750; value of telegraph, $680; value of the P., C. and St. L. railway line in Jackson, $14,450; value of lots, $985; value of improvements, $3,475; making a total valuation for taxation of $861,865, exclusive of Charlottesville, which is assessed on eighty-three acres of land valued at $2,320, with improvements on the same valued at $3,280; value of lots, $7,445; improvements, $21,180; personal property, $55,315; telegraph, $75; railroad, $3,785; total valuation, $93,400. The grand total valuation page: 241[View Page 241] of real and personal property in Jackson, including Charlottesville, is $955,465 for 1881.

Taxes.—Jackson township paid taxes to the amount of $953.97 in 1840 on $157,204 worth of property, and $5,258.63 for 1860 on $612,030 worth of property; for 1870, $8,376.93 on $769,380 worth of property; for 1881 she pays the sum of $8,514, including Charlottesville. Of this amount the following men are assessed $40 or more for 1881, to be paid in 1882:

  • Addison, John$ 61 20
  • Braddock, Addie B. 98 60
  • Braddock, N. W. 94 98
  • Boyer, Samuel 55 12
  • Barrett, Edward 54 36
  • Barrett, E. A. 45 52
  • Derry, Joel 42 26
  • Earl, Elisha 82 80
  • Evans, Joseph 51 50
  • Fort, Martin, heirs 42 60
  • Fort, C. H. 72 38
  • Glasscock, John 52 58
  • Loudenback, J. A. 45 08
  • Loudenback, Henry 91 40
  • Low, J. D. 44 64
  • McClarnon, David 61 52
  • Oldham, William 42 60
  • Rock, Charles 197 68
  • Roland, Chapman 41 28
  • Simmons, J. B. 316 60
  • Simmons, W. H. 84 78
  • Simmons, N. D.$ 87 08
  • Simmons, J. S. 84 94
  • Smith, Anthony 98 84
  • Scott, George 40 58
  • Scott, E. H. 73 66
  • Scott, Robert 69 68
  • Slifer, Jacob, Sen. 44 80
  • Smith, Richard 111 12
  • Thomas, W. M. 49 94
  • Thomas, James, Sen.44 72
  • Thomas, David 51 84
  • Thomas, L. B. 58 38
  • Vanderbark, J. W. 45 43
  • Vanmeter, James 45 12
  • Walker, Meredith 109 80
  • Warrum, Noble 194 64
  • Williams, Wesley 175 40
  • Williams, A. E. & C. 46 12
  • Williams, S. F. 64 02
  • Williams, Thomas 56 74

In Charlottesville the following pay $40 and upwards: P. J. Bohn, $72.38; J. A. Craft, $122.82. Bohn and Craft have recently moved out of the corporation to their farms.

The levy is eighty cents on the $100 in both Jackson and Charlottesville.

Law and Esquires.—Jackson township has always been page: 242[View Page 242] well supplied with justices, as the following array of names, with the date of election, will show:

  • Basil Meek1831
  • Samuel ThompsonUnknown
  • David Templeton1832
  • Robert McCorkle,1834, 1838, 1842, 1849, 1854
  • Henry Kinder1841
  • Edward Barrett1845
  • James P. Foley1846
  • G. Y. Atkinson1848
  • John A. Craft1849, 1856
  • John Stephens1850
  • Andrew Pauley1855, 1860
  • Thomas M. Bidgood1858
  • John Reeves1859
  • Ellison Addison1859
  • W. M. L. Cox1860
  • William Brooks1862
  • Cyrus Leamon1864, 1872
  • G. J. T. Dilla1864
  • James McClarnon1865
  • John H. Scott1866
  • G. W. Landis1867, 1872, 1876
  • Elijah C. Reeves1868, 1872
  • Lafayette Stephens1869
  • Ira Bevil1870, 1874, 1878
  • John W. Wales1876
  • John E. Leamon1880
  • William R. Williams1880

Remarks: The last two named persons are the present acting justices of the township. Basil Meek was the first justice in the township. Samuel Thompson, the date of whose election we have given "unknown" owing to there being no record of the matter, was most probably elected in 1831 or 1832. Robert McCorkle gave such general satisfaction to litigants and those interested, that he was five times honored with the votes of his constituents. Ira Bevil and G. W. Landis were each three times clothed with judicial powers. John A. Craft, Andrew Pauley, Cyrus Leamon and Elijah C. Reeves were each three times called into the forum, and invested with legal authority to hear and try all causes over which such courts have jurisdiction. Many of the above have been solicited longer to preside, but declined in favor of private life, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Perhaps, in listening so often to the gaseous, bombastic effusions of the tyro in the legal fraternity, they had come to agree with Wirt, in his sentiment that "There is a great deal of law learning that is dry, dark, cold and revolting; an old feudal castle in page: 243[View Page 243] perfect preservation." Or it may be that they too often have seen the verification of the old proverb: "Laws catch flies, but let hornets go free."

Ex-County Officers.—Jackson township has furnished a goodly number of brave men, willing to spend and be spent for their country's good. Here lived, in their day, the following representative men: Jacob Huntington, treasurer; James P. Foley, representative; Basil Meek, the third sheriff of the county; Richard Williams and Jordan Lacy, commissioners. Among the living we call to mind, Noble Warrum, revenue collector and representative; John Addison, representative and commissioner; John Barrett, treasurer in 1850; George W. Sample, sheriff in 1872 by appointment; John R. Reeves, recorder in 1870; J. H. Landis, surveyor; John S. Lewis and Jacob Slifer, senior, commissioners. The majority of the county officers of this township, in contrast with the most of her sister townships, are still living. Green has but one living ex-county officer.

This is the home of several prominent families that have grown up with the township, and become fully identified with her interests; liberal, public spirited citizens, ever ready to encourage any enterprise tending to propagate truth and promote virtue. For a fair list of such citizens, to save, recording here, see our roll of patrons for Jackson township on the closing pages.

Murders, Suicides, and Remarkable Deaths.—Under the above topic we have but little to add for this township, and we are glad of the fact. It is always a painful duty to be called upon to record such sudden, sad departures. Life is a treasure; to live is sweet; and that any should adopt the beautiful meter, but false sentiment of Campbell, is sad:

  • "Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen;
  • Count o'er the days from anguish free;
  • And know, whatever thou hast been,
  • 'Tis something better not to be."
page: 244[View Page 244]

Better by far to adopt the sentiment of Milton, and abide our time in patience:

  • "Nor love thy life, nor hate; but whilst thou livest,
  • Live well; how long, how short, permit to Heaven."

Anthony Maxwell committed suicide by hanging, in the hollow between Cleveland and the railroad station, about the year 1833. He was a married man, aged thirty, very tall. He was buried at Gilboa.

James Steele was killed in January, 1838, by the falling of a tree.

In 1875, Frank Smith committed suicide by hanging, with a leather strap, in his barn. Cause unknown.

William Guy, a brakeman on the P., C. and St. L. R. R., kicked a boy by the name of Weaver off the cars while in motion, at Charlottesville, which killed him. A trial was had at Greenfield, in which the brakeman came clear.

Exports.—The chief exports of Jackson township are corn, wheat, hogs, cattle, horses, oats, potatoes, flaxseed, lumber, fruits, and the products of the hennery and dairy.

Synopsis.—Jackson township, a namesake of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, organized in 1831, contains thirty-six sections, has four border townships and two border counties, one mill stream, three smaller streams, two railroads, eight miles of railroad line, two stations, ten frame school-houses, two brick school-houses, fourteen teachers, $8,000 invested in school-houses and $100 in apparatus, six hundred and fifty-eight school children, seven ex-trustees since 1859, seven church buildings, five denominations, three political parties, three hundred and forty-five polls, a population of 1,928, four hundred and forty-five voters, two voting precincts, 22,254 acres of land, valued at $549,540; improvements worth $77,785; value of town lots, $8,430; value of improvements on them, $24,655; value of telegraph line, $755; value of railroads, $18,235; grand total, $955,265; has one hundred and seventy-five male dogs, ten female dogs, one tile factory, page: 245[View Page 245] no mills, two villages, two post-offices, forty-four men who pay $40 or upwards of taxes, twenty-four ex-justices, two acting justices, thirteen ex-county officers, eight living; fifteen miles of public pike, no toll pike, two express offices, two telegraph offices, a democratic trustee, a republican assessor, an increasing population, a fertile soil and enterprising inhabitants.



is located on the National road, eight miles east of Greenfield, on the east bank of Six Mile Creek. It is pleasantly located in a beautiful country. It has about four hundred and fifty inhabitants. It has a good school-house, built by a company at a cost of $3,500; a daily mail, telegraph and express offices, and other conveniences suitable to a town of its size. It was laid out by David Templeton, and filed of record the first of June, 1830, with fifty-six lots.

The first addition was made by James P. Foley, on the 21st of February, 1854, * and consisted of four blocks and fifty-eight lots, located south of the old plat.

The second addition was made on the 8th of February, 1869, by F. Smith, and consisted of twenty-eight lots, located north of the old plat.

The third addition was made by Frank Smith, on the 8th day of February, 1869, known as his second addition, and consisted of five lots, located south of the National road and east of the old plat.

* The dates given of the making of the various additions are the dates of recording, which completes the legal steps to constitute an addition.

page: 246[View Page 246]

The fourth addition was made by —— Walker, on the 9th of February, 1869, and consisted of five lots, located in the north-west corner of the town.

The fifth addition was made by —— Chandler, on the 8th of February, 1869, and consisted of four lots, located between the old town plat and the creek.

The sixth addition was made by —— Watson, on the 8th of February, 1869, and consisted of nineteen lots, located east of the old plat and Foley's addition.

The seventh addition was made by Philip Stinger, on the first of March, 1869, and consisted of four lots, located east of the old plat and north of the National road.

The eighth addition was made by —— Earl, on the 14th of June, 1869, and consisted of four blocks and twenty lots, known as Earl's first addition, located east of the old plat and Stinger's addition, and north of the National road.

The ninth and last addition, known as Earl's second addition, was made by Earl, on the 9th of February, 1870, and consisted of three blocks, fifteen lots, and a school block, located east and adjoining his first addition. The present brick school-house is on this addition.

The land from which Charlottesville was carved was entered by Josiah Vanmeter. The town was laid out in the woods by David Templeton, in 1830. The first to settle in Charlottesville was Michael Hendricks, moved from Henry county by Lewis Davis; followed by Sibbetts, who kept the first tavern. Thomas Lackey kept the first saloon, or "grocery," as then termed. The following were among the general merchants from time to time: David Johnson, John Haers & Bro.; David Templeton, James P. Foley, Richard Probasco, William Thornburgh, Hutton & Overman, Cyrus Overman, J. A. Craft, and P. J. Bohn.

The first business houses and dwellings were small pole buildings, followed by more stately hewed log structures, in turn superseded by small frames after the location of the water-power saw-mills on Six Mile. Later still better page: [247][View Page [247]] [View Figure]
page: 248[View Page 248] houses, in harmony with the times and means of her citizens.

At present a portion of the town extends over the line into Rush county, which forms two miles of the southern boundary of Jackson township. The railroad is on the line, or about so. The saw-mill and the Friends church, though belonging to Charlottesville, are in Rush county.


  • Merchants—
    • Walker & Conklin,
    • Lafayette Griffith,
    • Grass & Hatfield.
  • Grocers—
    • Philip Stinger,
    • W. H. H. Rock,
    • John Roland.
  • Grain Dealers—
    • William Thornburgh,
    • Enoch Pearson,
    • J. E. Hatfield.
  • Druggists—
    • W. H. H. Rock,
    • John Roland.
  • Physicians—
    • Daniel Grass,
    • George Dailey,
    • William Cox,
    • Thomas B. Hammer,
    • J. E. Wright.
  • Wagon Maker—
    • Henry Kinder.
  • Tinner—
    • William Niles.
  • Shoemakers—
    • Joseph Shultz,
    • Jerry Goddard,
    • Daniel Burk.
  • Blacksmiths—
    • Frederick & Hammer,
    • John S. Thomas,
    • W. M. L. Cox.
  • Plasterers—
    • Thomas Niles,
    • Charles Niles,
    • William Caldwell.
  • Milliners—
    • Adaline Owens,
    • Achea Wilkison.
  • Carpenters—
    • James Pratt,
    • William Rail,
    • Madison Davis,
    • Samuel Grass.
  • Agricultural Imp. Dealer—
    • John S. Thomas.
  • Livery-stable Proprietor—
  • Hardware Dealer—
    • R. C. Niles.
  • Harness-Maker—
    • John McGraw.
  • Music Dealer—
    • B. F. Stinger.
  • Postmaster—
    • Joseph Shultz.
  • R. R. Ag't and Operator—
    • J. E. Hatfield.
  • Wheat Fan Manufacturer—
    • Isaiah Rhoades.
  • Preachers—
    • Mrs. Amy Fulghum,
    • Rev. I. N. Rhoades.


is located six miles east of Greenfield, on the National road, near the P., C. and St. L. R. R. It was laid out on the 8th of July, 1834, by E. Wood. The original plat consists of sixty-four lots. It was originally called Portland, and went by that name till about 1855.

Before the railroad was built, when the traveling was done by stage, and moving to the west and returning was by wagons, Portland was a thriving little place, which not only afforded accommodations for the weary traveler, but supplied a considerable scope of country with the staple dry goods and groceries. For a number of years the Dayton and Indianapolis stage passed east and west daily through this little burg. And there were for several years two good-sized taverns in the place, one on either side of the road. Remnants of the same still remain as a memento of brighter days.

We are in favor of railroads; they are a blessing to any country as a whole, but their tendency is toward centralization, the building up of the cities, capitals and county seats, and the dwarfing of towns, taverns and travelers' inns; a verification of Christ's declaration that "To him that hath, more shall be given; and to him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath."

Cleveland now has one good frame M. E. church building, a two-room frame district school-house, page: 250[View Page 250] post-office, express and telegraph offices, and the following business men:

  • Merchants—
    • J. E. Thomas & Bro.
  • Physicians—
    • M. M. Hess.
    • Dr. Trees.
  • Blacksmith—
    • Nathan M. Dugal.
  • Painter—
    • Joseph R. Kinder.
  • Grain Dealer—
    • G. W. Hatfield.
  • Postmistress—
    • Miss Emma A. Bidgood.
  • Grocer—
    • Miss Emma A. Bidgood.
  • Carpenters—
    • Winfield Lane.
    • John H. Scott.
  • Wagon-Maker—
    • Robert H. Ross.
  • Shoe and Boot Maker—
    • Ira Bevil, Esq.
  • Railroad Ag't and Operator—
    • Oliver H. Reese.

The saw-mill recently run at this place has been removed.

Dr. S. A. Troy, of Milner's Corner, and Dr. Amos Bundy, deceased, once held forth as the physicians of this place.


is the name of a post-office sustained for a number of years in the central western portion of Jackson township. The office was discontinued in the summer of 1881. The name took its origin from the Leamon family, on whose lands the Leamon school-house, the first in the township, and the post-office were built. There was never a plat, and consequently no additions to the place. For a few years past, and until recently, there was a small store, a saw-mill, a post-office and a blacksmith shop at Leamon's Corner; but they all served their day, and in time were moved away.

page: 251[View Page 251]


The first school taught in this township, was by Robert Sanford, in a log house on the old State road, on the land now owned by Noble Warrum. James Loehr taught the second school in the township, in a house near the National road, on the land now owned by Noble Warrum. The third school was taught by Robert Sanford, in a house on or near the National road on the land now owned by John Thompson. A school was taught in this same house by a man by the name of Goldsmith.

The first house built in the township for school purposes was the Leamon school-house, which took its name from the fact of its being built on the lands of William Leamon. Edward R. Sample taught the first school that was taught in the house. As a compensation for his services, he received thirty-six dollars for a term of thirteen weeks, he boarding himself. The house was a log structure, about eighteen by twenty-four feet, heated by a huge fire-place, and lighted by a flight of oiled paper that extended along the entire south side of the building. The ceiling and roof were made of clapboards, and the scholars using for seats the soft side of a lind sapling, split open, into which four pins were driven for legs. Several terms of school were taught in this house by Burd Lacy, A. T. Hatfield, George W. Sample, William Sager and others, the wages never being more than from thirty to thirty-six dollars for a term of thirteen weeks, the teacher either boarding himself or boarding around among the scholars, which practice was very common in those days.

The next house built in the township for school purposes was on the south-east corner of the lands of Andrew Jackson, north of Charlottesville, on the banks of Six Mile creek. Jesse Leonard was one of the principal teachers at that point.

The next house built in the township was about one mile north and one-fourth of a mile east of Cleveland, on the land now owned by Elisha Earl. This house was page: 252[View Page 252] called " Backwoods College," being built right in a thick woods. Those most prominent in the building of this house were John Parkhurst, Abraham Craft and John Sample. It was a hewed log house, about twenty-four by twenty-eight feet, well lighted, and nicely ceiled overhead. This school was largely attended. John A. Craft taught the first school in the house, and was succeeded by James Sample, Thompson Allen, C. G. Sample, H. H. Ayres, and a man by the name of Miller, who, by the way, was quite a poet.

The next school-house built in the township was in the town of Charlottesville, in the south-west part of the town, right on the steep banks of Six Mile Creek. I know but little of the early pedagogues at this place.

Before the free school law was passed, schools were taught in different parts of the township by Nathan Fish, Dr. Nichols, John McIntire, H. H. Ayres, John H. Scott, George W. Sample, Burd Lacy, George W. Hatfield, Milton Heath, Catharine Stephens, Penelope Heath and William Sager.

When the free school law went into effect, David P. Priddy, George W. Sample and William Leamon were elected first trustees, and they, together with Allen T. Hatfield as clerk, constituted the first board of township trustees.

Under their administration the first nine houses were located. Soon after the location had been decided upon, George W. Sample was appointed route agent on the P., C. and St. L. R. R., and resigned the office of trustee to enter upon the duties of route agent. Elisha Earl was appointed to fill the vacancy, and the houses were built as the first board had located them. At the expiration of William Leamon's term of office, Daniel Crane was elected a member of the board of trustees. When the law was amended so as to have but one trustee, instead of three, Burd Lacy was elected and served one or two terms. David P. Priddy was next elected for several terms in succession. He was in office when the county treasurer's page: 253[View Page 253] office was robbed, and had deposited in the safe a considerable amount of the common school and township funds, and this was also taken. Mr. Priddy made good the loss to the township. Right here I cannot forbear saying that, in my opinion, this was wrong. His successors in office, in their regular order, were Philip Stinger, George W. Williams, James B. Clark, A. V. B. Sample, J. H. McKown and James F. McClarnon.

School-house number ten, or extra, was built on the lands of George W. Sample, in the year 1859. A. V. B. Sample taught the first school in the house, and it was here that some of the best teachers in the township received their start. The Addison school-house was built a few years later, and was numbered seven, it taking the number of the Charlottesville school, Charlottesville having become an incorporated town, managing its own school fund.

Number eleven, or the first brick house built in the township, was on the farm of Burd Lacy, and was erected by A. V. B. Sample during his term of office as trustee.

The second brick, or Leamon's Corner school-house, was built by James F. McClarnon. J. H. McKown was the contractor on both houses, and they are an honor to the township, and reflect much credit on the contractor.

Among those who have figured largely as teachers in the common schools of this township are T. W. Hatfield, William M. Lewis, A. V. B. Sample, J. H. Landis, Dr. A. B. Bundy, J. N. Sample, A. E. Sample, E. W. Smith, Ancil Clark, E. A. Lewis, George Burnett, Channing Staley, Eva Brosius, George W. Williams, R. H. Warrum, Vint. A. Smith, Ed. Scott, Edwin Braddock, Wallace A. Simmons and John E. Leamon. A. V. B. Sample is the veteran teacher of the township, he having taught a little more than one hundred months, and served three years as school examiner of the county.

The educational interest of the township is good, and our home teachers will compare favorably with those of any other township in the county or state.


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In 1835, Moses Braddock opened the doors of his. dwelling to receive the itinerant ministry. During this year Benjamin Cooper, a superannuated minister of the Ohio conference, moved into the neighborhood and commenced preaching the gospel. In the same year came Alfred Thomas. In 1836, F. C. Holliday and John F. Truslow were preachers in charge of the Knightstown circuit, to which Pleasant Hill belonged at that time. In 1837, W. W. Hibben and James Hill were ministers, during which time a small class of twelve members was formed, viz.: Polly Burris, Margaret Braddock, Nancy Braddock, Barbary Braddock, Benjamin Cooper, Nancy Cooper, Alfred Thomas, Jane Thomas, John M. Thomas, Matilda Thomas, and David and Mary Thomas. Alfred Thomas was the first steward and David Thomas the first class-leader.

In 1838, the members and neighbors, by voluntary-labor, built a log house for the purpose of holding worship and school. This house was a rude affair indeed. The seats were split poles, and the fireplace would take in wood six feet in length. Along the north side was a narrow window, with oiled paper for light. In 1839, L. P. Berry preached the first sermon in the house. Isaac Barrett taught the first school in the same. In 1840, George Havens and Greenley McLaughlin were on the aforesaid circuit. In 1841, D. F. Straight and D. W. Bowls were appointed on the charge. At the close of this year Pleasant Hill was placed on the Greenfield circuit.

In 1852, under the pastorate of Rev. Francis M. Richmond, a new house was erected at a cost of $1,000. The house was dedicated by Rev. Richmond, the preacher in charge, a noble man of God.

The first trustees were John Jones, George Fisk, Elisha Earls, John M. Thomas, and David Thomas. The present trustees are the, said John M. and David Thomas, Robert McClarnon, Henry McComas, and L. B. Thomas. page: [255][View Page [255]] [View Figure]
page: 256[View Page 256] The present preacher is I. N. Rhoades. A Sunday-school was opened in this church in 1839, by David Thomas, and has been kept up in the summer and fall ever since.


In the early history of the township the Baptists held meetings regularly for a time in the north-west part of the township, at the house of Silas Huntington. The pastors were Revs. Dilla and Cunningham.

About the same time the New Light society built a log meeting-house in the north-east part of the township, and held forth for several years.

Both of these denominations have gone down, and we have been unable to get a full history thereof.


The first meetings by this society were held in a school-house just south of town, on the banks of Six Mile. The first class-meeting was in 1850. The preachers in charge at that time were Stout and Kinman. The present building was erected in the year 1855, and services have been sustained ever since. The building is a good frame, and will seat three hundred and fifty persons. Some of the best citizens of Charlottesville belong to this branch of the church militant, and are willing workers in propagating truth and virtue. Present preacher, I. N. Rhoades. Services semi-monthly. The present class-leaders are John T. Hatfield and A. T. Foley.

The Methodists at this point were enterprising in Sunday-school work, having organized a school about 1848, being prior to the establishment of a church. The first superintendent was James P. Foley, followed in succession by Edward Raymond, John A. Craft, Anthony Fort, Samuel Hall, Mr. Stanton, Asa Allison, Martin Fort, Henry Carroll, A. T. Foley, Andrew Overton, Joseph Shultz, James B. Sparks, Cyrus Overman, John T. Hatfield, page: 257[View Page 257] and Thomas W. Hatfield. The present superintendent is John T. Hatfield. The school is in good condition, and regular and prompt in attendance.


was "set up" some time after the civil war. It is a branch of the Walnut Ridge Meeting, four miles south thereof. William Thornburgh, Joel Cox, Henry Bundy and John Taylor were early members, and still belong to the flock. Mrs. Amy Fulghum is the present preacher. The house is located in the south part of town, just across the railroad, and is, consequently, in Rush county; but as the membership mostly reside in Charlottesville, and the church is really a part thereof, we think it proper to give it at least a passing notice. The house is a plain frame, capable of seating two hundred and fifty persons. The membership is not numerous nor wealthy, but pious and practical, and generally found in attendance not only on First Day, but at the "mid-week meetings." Some of the best temperance meetings ever held in Charlottesville were in this meeting-house.

A Bible school was organized in this church cotemporary with its establishment, which has been successfully sustained ever since. While the school does not have as much form as many others, it succeeds in doing solid work in a quiet way.


was organized about the year 1838, and located two miles north of Charlottesville. The building was a small frame, which cost about seventy dollars in money and a handsome donation in labor. It was dedicated by Rev. John Burt. The first preachers were said John Burt and Kelly, Havens, Beemer, McMahan, Statler, and Layton. The first members were Henry Woods and wife, Benjamin Fort and wife, Ann Probasco, William Oldham and wife, Rolla Ramsey and wife, James Lakin and wife, Isaac page: 258[View Page 258] Hill and wife, Reuben Loudenback and wife, Anthony Fort and wife, Andrew Jackson and James P. Foley and wives, and Miss Oldham, now Mrs. P. J. Bohn.

This church has long since gone down, and the old building has been removed; but the old graveyard still remains to mark the place dear to many. Among the first burials here were Sarah Foley, daughter of John P. Foley; John Bartlow and Mary E. Bohn. Beneath the green grass and the encroaching wild briers of this lonely spot rest the mortal remains of several whose faces were once familiar to the older citizens.

The first trustees of Six Mile church were Benjamin Fort, Rolla Ramsey, Andrew Jackson, Anthony Fort, and William Oldham.

In an early day Henry Woods and James P. Foley became bitter enemies, and finally had a frightful fight. Shortly after which there was a protracted meeting held at a school-house, one mile north of Charlottesville, at which those two parties were in attendance, and were alike convicted and went to the mourners' bench. Neither knew that the other was there. At about the same time both were converted and professed religion. The two arose about the same time, and seeing each other, each embraced the other in his arms, both claiming to be in the wrong in their difficulty. From that day until death these parties were warm, faithful friends, and members of the M. E. church, and died in the faith.


was organized September 8, 1839, by Elders John Walker and Peter Reader, at the house of Daniel Priddy. Among the first members were Aaron Powell, Elizabeth Powell, Sisson Siddle, Lemuel Perrine, and Charlotte Tygart. The first clerk was Sisson Siddle. The first deacons, elected May 8, 1841, were Aaron Powell and Meredith Walker. The first elders, appointed in August, 1842, were Peter Furman, Jordon Lacy, and Samuel Smith. page: 259[View Page 259] The first house was erected in 1841, and known as Nameless Creek church. The second house was built in 1852, and was named "Union Meeting-house." Prior to the building of the church house, meetings were held at the private residences of Daniel Priddy, Peter Furman, and John Street. At this date there are about three hundred names on the church roll. David Franklin has been the regular minister ever since 1844.

This church is located about three-fourths of a mile north of the center of the township, and school-house number five, known as Center.


In the year 1838, the Revs. Joseph Williams, James Bedson, and ——— Hannafield held a camp-meeting and organized a society in the neighborhood of Wesley Williams's, in Jackson township. Soon after a log church was built and occupied with varied success till 1861, when the old log church became unfit for a place of meeting. Some of the members having moved away and others died, an organization was effected of the remaining number by the Rev. D. S. Welling, in the school-house on Robert Smith's farm, who, with William Leamon, James M. Clark and William Williams, were elected trustees. Revs. Harvey Collins, Thomas Shipp and S. M. Lowden were among the successive pastors. In 1868, Thomas Shipp was again pastor, and Robert Smith, J. M. Clark, C. G. Sample, John N. Leamon and Peter Crider were the trustees. During this year the house of worship, known as Brown's Chapel, was built by J. B. Clark, and dedicated in October by George Brown, D. D. There has been a regular succession of pastors ever since. Rev. J. S. Sellers is the present preacher. Robert Smith, William Crider, Thomas Williams, W. Slifer and C. Gibbs are the trustees. This house is located one mile north of the National road, and a mile east of the west line of the township, near school-house number nine.

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SARDIS LODGE, No. 253, F. A. M.

The above-named lodge was organized under dispensation, January 25, 1860. The names of the charter members are as follows: John A. Craft, Richard Probasco, Joseph Loudenback, J. N. Chandler, Dr. A. B. Bundy, Ellison Williams, Thomas M. Bidgood, George W. Sample, John Shipman, John Thompson, Jr., William W. Thornburgh, Albert White, Joseph J. Butler, Joseph R. Hunt, John Hunt, Samuel B. Hill, Edward Butler, Temple Stewart, Andrew Pauley, Ambrose Miller, Thomas Conklin, S. A. Hall, C. E. Allison, William Cook, Joshua Moore and John Kiser.

The dispensation authorized the foregoing Masons to meet in the town of Charlottesville, Indiana, in the second story of a building on the north side of Main street, the first story of which was occupied by John A. Craft as a dry goods store. John A. Craft was the first worshipful master, Samuel B. Hill was the first senior warden, and C. E. Allison was the first junior warden.

The lodge continued to meet and work under this dispensation until the 29th day of May, 1860, when, at the annual communication of the grand lodge, a charter was granted, and Sardis Lodge, No. 253, was duly constituted, and took her place among the sister lodges of the state.

For a number of years the lodge continued to meet and work in the room where it was first organized; but when John A. Craft built his new business room on the south side of the street, a lodge room was fitted up in the second story of it, and furnished in the very best of style, and the lodge changed to more comfortable quarters. Here it continued to meet and work until the 2nd day of June, A. D. 1878, when the building and everything pertaining to the lodge, except the records, was destroyed by fire.

There being no room in the town that could be obtained, suitable for lodge purposes, and the membership feeling that they were unable to build, surrendered their charter on the 20th day of December, 1878, to the most worshipful page: 261[View Page 261] grand master, Robert Van Valzah, who appointed A. V. B. Sample his special deputy to settle up the business of the lodge, and Sardis lodge became a thing of the past.

Thomas B. Wilkinson was the first who applied for and received the degree of Masonry in this lodge, and Elijah C. Reeves and A. V. B. Sample were the next.

Among those who filled the station of worshipful master in the lodge are John A. Craft, A. V. B. Sample, Jesse Leaky and I. B. Smith.

From the issuing of the dispensation to the surrendering of the charter, this lodge never lost but two members by death, to-wit: Andrew Pauley and Thomas Conklin, both of whom were buried with masonic honors in the Simmons cemetery, one on the anniversary of St. John, the Baptist, and the other on the anniversary of St. John, the Evangelist.


in Jackson township, was established in 1878. Meetings were first held at the school-house at Leamon's Corner. The building is a neat frame, erected in 1879, at a cost of $500. It is located in section twenty-four, in the west part of the township. The first trustees were Joseph O. Binford, Aaron White and John S. Lewis. Among those who have preached here are J. O. Binford, M. M. Binford and Winbern Kearns.

The society is young and small. The house will seat about two hundred persons. Ex-county commissioner John S. Lewis is a member of this organization.


was organized July 19, 1852, at Pleasant Hill, about three miles north of Leamon's Corner. The first house of worship was erected about two miles east of the "corner," in 1856. The present house was erected in 1878. It stands about one mile west of the "corner."

page: 262[View Page 262]

The church is, in good condition, with a present membership of one hundred and twenty-six. Within the past ten years six clergymen have officiated here, and ten within the last twenty years. The present minister is Elder W. K. Williams, who preaches once a month. A weekly prayer meeting has been sustained for over three years without cessation.

The first pastor of the church was Elder Michael White, who acted as moderator at the time of its organization. Elder A. Dana was present, Anthony C. Brammer was the first church clerk.

Among the original members are the following: William and Elizabeth Brammer, Samuel E. and Sarah Wilson, James Brammer, John O. and Julia A. Moore. John O. Moore is still living, and resides within a half mile of the church.

The members of this organization sustain an interesting Sabbath-school, with an average attendance of fifty. Benjamin Clift, A. C. Dudding and S. W. Felt have officiated as superintendents, the latter of whom is the present incumbent. The school is in a prosperous condition.


was born July 8, 1818, in Wayne county, Indiana. When he was but a small boy, he moved with his father to Hancock county, and settled on Blue River. At the early age of fourteen, Noble Warrum left home to embark in the busines of life, having nothing to rely upon but an undaunted energy, a spirit of enterprise—which he possessed by nature—and a resolution to practice industry and frugality. He selected agriculture as his pursuit, to which vocation he still adheres. His success as a farmer show that he must have exercised a discriminating judgment in directing his operations, and practiced habitual promptness in executing them.

Mr. Warrum's educational advantages were very limited. He attended only the old-fashioned log school-houses, page: [263][View Page [263]] [View Figure]
page: 264[View Page 264] and even that assistance was afforded him only for the space of nine months. Having from early age an ardent desire for knowledge, he seized all opportunities and improved every means of mental development, and thus, by reading, by reflecting, and by the study of human nature, has been enabled to do much for the culture of a mind by nature strong and active. In the strictest sense, he may be said to be a self-made man. Eminently of a practical turn of mind, he has never made any department of literature a special study.

During his whole life Mr. Warrum has been a resident of Hancock county. In 1839, he was appointed county collector, an office now substituted by that of county treasurer. He received this appointment from the county commissioners before he was of age, and entered upon its duties in 1840, when barely eligible. At the expiration of. the four years' term of office, he was elected county assessor by a large majority. In 1860, he received the unanimous nomination of his party for representative of the county to the legislature, and was elected by about one hundred majority over the party vote. Since then he has served two terms in the same responsible position. As a representative, he was not only watchful and attentive to the interests of his own constituents, but always evinced an earnest desire to promote those of the state at large. He won the confidence and esteem of his constituents by his fidelity; and his sound judgment, conservative views, and independent disposition, made him a valuable representative. Since 1856, Mr. W. has been connected, with the Masonic fraternity. His religious belief is the universal salvation. In politics he has always been a democrat of the Jefferson and Jackson school.

Mr. Warrum has married three times. First, to Miss Rosa Ann, daughter of Richard Williams, of Hancock county, Indiana, February 16, 1842. Mrs. Warrum died August 27, 1862, leaving one son, Richard H. Warrum, In April, 1863, he married Miss Maria A. Wood, daughter of Rev. Wytteel A. Wood, an emigrant from Virginia. page: 265[View Page 265] She died December 27, 1873, leaving three sons, Noble, Henry and Mack, and one daughter, Rosa Ann. On December 19, 1877, he married Miss Mary Jane, daughter of Abner Cory, late of Madison county.

In stature, Mr. Warrum is a little above the medium size. He possesses a strong constitution, cheerful and vivacious spirits, and a kind and hospitable disposition.


commissioner of Hancock county, was born in Preble county, Ohio, January 22, 1820. He is the son of John, and Sarah Addison, formerly of Randolph county, North Carolina. His father removed to Indiana in 1827, and located in Rush county, where young Addison labored with untiring zeal in clearing the forests and tilling the soil. During the winter he attended the common schools of the county, where he obtained the only schooling he ever enjoyed. He remained with his parents until he was twenty-one years of age, when he was married; and receiving the gift of a small tract of land from his father, he moved on it and began his exertions for an independent living. On January 17, 1854, he removed from Rush to Hancock county, and purchased a farm in Jackson township, where he now resides. In the autumn of 1861 he was elected treasurer of Hancock county, a position in which he distinguished himself by efficient and careful attention to his duties. In 1868, he was again called to the duties of official life, being chosen a representative to the state legislature. Again, in the fall of 1874 he was placed on the board of county commissioners, and served as such for six years.

Mr. Addison has always contributed liberally to the various public enterprises of his county. He aids and encourages county and district fairs, and takes great interest in improvements in stock raising and agriculture. He has been a faithful member of the Christian church since page: 266[View Page 266] [View Figure]
page: 267[View Page 267] 1840. He is now, and always has been, a steadfast democrat, casting his first presidential vote for James K. Polk.

He was first married to Miss Nancy Hall, daughter of Curtis Hall, of Henry county, Indiana, on the 13th of February, 1840. She died November 24, 1866, and he was married the second time to Miss Ellen Jane Coltrain, of Henry county, Indiana, on the 9th day of January, 1868. He is the father of ten children—nine by his first wife and one by his second. Mr. A. is now enjoying private life on his farm in Jackson township.


was born in Indiana Territory, in what is now Franklin county, in 1811, May 12th. In the following year he removed with his parents, Joseph H. and Charity Williams, to Wayne county, Indiana, where he was raised. Mr. W. was converted and joined the M. E. Church at the early age of fifteen, and has been a faithful, consistent member ever since; a greater portion of which time he has been a class-leader, and always a faithful worker in the cause of the church and Christianity.

He was married in the year 1834 to Catharine Harden, who is also a consistent member of the same religious denomination.

In 1837, Mr. Williams, with his wife and one child, moved to Jackson township, and settled in the woods in a log cabin; stuck a pole in a hollow stump, to which he tied his horses, having no other stable for two months. Here he worked hard and lived hard to secure a starting point, and by patient industry and strict economy, he has gained a competence amply sufficient to support him and the wife of his bosom in their declining years; indeed, Mr. W. is one of the heavy tax-payers of the township, as a reference to our list will show.

To Mr. W. were born eight children, five of whom are living, married and doing well. See his portrait in another part of this book.

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was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania. His parents were of German ancestry. He came to Indiana in the spring of 1839, and during the following fall came to Charlottesville. At the age of eighteen years, he entered a shop as an apprentice in the carriage and wagon making business. He next engaged in carpentering for a season. In the year 1863, he began the dry goods business in Charlottesville, and for full eighteen years he occupied the same room at the same business. Sixteen years of this time he was sole proprietor. On the 4th of February, 1881, he sold out his stock of goods to Messrs. Walker & Conklin, the present proprietors. Mr. Bohn has lately moved out on his farm, just west of town, and erected a handsome two-story frame dwelling, where he proposes to look after his farming interests, and spend the remainder of his days in the quiet, healthful seclusion of rural pursuits.

In 1856, Mr. Bohn was married to a daughter of William Oldham, one of the first settlers, with whom he is still happily living.


was instituted January 3, 1867, by E. H. Barry, at Charlottesville, Indiana. Among the charter members were: John R. Johnson, Joseph Evans, Drure Holt, W. S. Johnson, Abraham Miller, W. S. Hill, Thompson B. Burtch, R. B. White and George Chandler.

The present officers are: Lee M. Rock, N. G.; John T. Hatfield, V. G.; J. E. Hatfield, Secretary; John Thomas, Treasurer; James Pratt, permanent Secretary; Thomas E. Niles, D. D. M. G.

This lodge is financially in good circumstances, owning a hall of its own, over Roland's drug store, where the members meet each Saturday evening. The lodge is out of debt, and its property is worth $1,000. Present membership, thirty-three.

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was born in Warren county, Ohio, in 1802. She was married the first time in 1825, in Fayette county, and in March, 1830, came to Charlottesville, being one of the first settlers in the place. Mrs. Landis and her first husband kept the first "tavern" in Charlottesville for the accommodation of the traveling public. The moving westward at that time, and for several succeeding years, was so great that Mrs. Landis in one instance counted ninety wagons—prairie schooners—in sight at one time. Often hundreds passed by daily.

In 1834, Mrs. L. was left a widow, and went to Lafayette to reside with some relations, where she met George W. Landis, to whom she was married in 1836. The two made one soon came to Charlottesville, and at once set about erecting the building for an inn, in which Mrs. Landis recently died.

In 1870, Mr. Landis died, since which time, to the date of her death, she resided at the old stand with her only boys, Esquire George W. Landis, and J. H. Landis, ex-county surveyor. Mrs. Landis was for a time a member of the Lutheran church in Charlottesville, till it went down. She then joined the M. E. Church.

Mrs. Landis was truly one of the pioneer women, and in her declining years took great pleasure in reiterating early reminiscences of Charlottesville and vicinity. Mrs. L. was well acquainted with David Templeton, who laid out Charlottesville; with William Oldham, still living, who. entered the first land in the township. Also, with Charles White, Andrew Jackson, William Woods et al. of the early settlers previously mentioned.

Mrs. Landis's sons, G. W. and J. H., are the oldest. native-born residents in Charlottesville.

On the 9th day of January, 1882, Mrs. L. was called from works to rewards, and her mortal remains quietly repose in the old Six Mile cemetery.

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was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, September 1, 1824. At the age of twelve he came to Hancock county, and located in Jackson township, where he has since resided. Young Craft, at the age of twenty, learned the trade of plane maker of Peter Probasco, father of Henry Probasco, of Cincinnati, at which business he worked in said city during the years of 1846 and 1847, after which he came to Charlottesville and carried on the same business in the building which then stood on the ground now occupied by the Craft store. In 1857, Mr. Craft left Charlottesville and located on his farm, a short distance north; but not succeeding as he desired, and health failing, he returned in 1864 and became a member of the firm of Rock, Morris & Craft, dealers in dry goods and groceries. In 1849, Mr. C. was married to Miss Eliza A. Fries, daughter of the late Daniel Fries. During the rebellion Mr. C. entered the Union army, was promoted to captain, and served with credit to himself and country until his health failed, when he returned home, and for months was not expected to live. Mr. C. and wife have a family of two girls and a boy to cheer them along the journey of life. For several years he was justice of the peace, and has ever been a staunch republican and good citizen. In the fall of 1881 Mr. C. retired from business and moved on his farm, where he is now enjoying the quiet seclusion and healthful duties of rural pursuits.


postmaster in Charlottesville, was born in York county, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1825. His ancestors were of Dutch extraction. Mr. S. came to Charlottesville in 1857, where he has since resided. He is a boot and shoe maker by trade, and for a number of years has followed that business. The building in which the post-office is page: 272[View Page 272] located, and in which Mr. Shultz has his shop, was built by him in 1859.

Mr. S. has been twice married. First, to Margaret Dungan, in 1858, by whom he had three children, none of whom are living. The second time to Miss Margaret Brown, in 1878. Mrs. Shultz is well-known in Greenfield as Miss Maggie Brown, a former teacher in the Greenfield graded schools under the superintendency of the writer.

Mr. Shultz is a consistent member of the M. E. church, a Mason in good standing, and an unwavering republican.


The subject of this sketch was born in Wilkes county, North Carolina, December 10, 1814. He moved with his father to Rush county, Indiana, at the age of fifteen, where he lived until the year 1837, at which time he moved to Jackson township, this county, where he resided until the date of his death, which occurred on the 10th day of January, 1882, at the age of sixty-seven. In early life Mr. W. became a member of the Christian Church, and continued a consistent member the remainder of his life. Having carried a clear conscience void of offense to God and man, he expressed his willingness to die, and said he had no fears of death. Mr. W. was a republican till the later years of his life, when he became an independent. He was an industrious, progressive farmer, and succeeded in amassing a handsome amount of property. Physically, he was a large, square built, robust, broad-shouldered man, with dark eyes and hair, high cheek bones, and a firm countenance, denoting a power and will to act.

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Name and Organization.—This township took its name from Sugar Creek, the principal stream in the township. page: 274[View Page 274] It was organized in 1828, at the date of the organization of the county, being one of the three original townships, and at that date included all the western portion of the county that now constitutes the third commissioner's district, viz.: Sugar-creek, Buck-creek and Vernon. In 1831, it was reduced in size to thirty-six sections, its present dimensions. In 1838, it was still further reduced by striking off two sections from the north part, which constituted the south half of Jones township from 1838 to 1853. In 1853, the commissioners abolished Jones township, and Sugar-creek again resumed her former size of thirty-six sections, which size and outline she has retained to this date.

Location, Size, Boundaries, etc.—Sugar-creek township is located in the south-west part of the county, and in extent is six miles square, being uniform in size with Jackson and Buck-creek townships. It is bounded on the north by Buck-creek, on the east by Center and Brandywine, on the south by Shelby county, and on the west by Marion county. It is located in township fifteen north, and in ranges five and six east. The west two tiers of sections are in range five east, and the remainder in range six east. The range line runs one and a half miles west of Palestine, and forms the east line of the Schramm farm, and the west line of Rev. W. Nichols's farm.

Surface, Soil, Drainage and Productions.—The surface is level and slightly rolling, except along Sugar Creek, which is hilly and broken. The soil is generally black loam, exceedingly fertile and exhaustless in resources. At this date there is really no third-rate land in the township, and but a limited portion of second-rate, since it has been so thoroughly ditched. No other township in the county has given so much attention to drainage as Sugar-creek. Long before tile ditching was thought of in Hancock county, the enterprising, industrious German farmers of this township had elevated their farms from two to five feet by sinking blind wooden ditches and large open ditches through most of the low, black lands; and since the page: 275[View Page 275] introduction of tile, these same close calculating, practical farmers, have not been behind in their use. The chief productions are corn, wheat, hogs, cattle, barley, oats, flaxseed, horses, and Irish potatoes. Sugar-creek produces more barley than all the rest of the county.

This township gives especial attention to wheat, and has a greater per cent. of its lands thus cultivated than any other township in the county, and her average per acre is equal to the best. In 1880, from 5,443 acres, she produced 97,974 bushels of wheat; from 4,530 acres she produced 145,670 bushels of corn; from 816 acres, she produced 16,320 bushels of oats. The same year she reports 501 tons of hay and 2,900 bushels of Irish potatoes, being the poorest report for hay, and the best of Irish potatoes in the county.

Streams.—Sugar Creek enters the township near the north-east corner, on the north line, and runs west of Philadelphia and east of Palestine, passing out of the township near the south-west corner of section thirty-two, on the central southern line.

Buck Creek enters the township a half mile east of the north-west corner, and takes a south by south-west course, passing out on the west line, one and one-fourth miles west of the north-west corner.

First Land Entries and First Settlers.—The first land entry in Sugar-creek township was by George Worthington, on the 18th day of January, 1822, being the north half of the north-east quarter, and the north-west quarter of section three, in township fifteen north, in range six east. The second entry was made by Jacob Murnan, in 1823.

Among the first settlers were Jacob Jones, Amos Dickison, Jonathan Evans, Samuel Cones, Jacob Murnan, George Williams, Thomas and Richard Leachman, George Robison, Reuben Barnard, father of William C. Barnard; David McNamee, Benjamin McNamee's father; Andrew Magahey, John Delany, William True, J. A. Leonard, John Dye, Mr. Weston, Jacob Schramm, Albert Lange, page: 276[View Page 276] Mr. Heffermeier, Andrew Fink, Anton Wishmeier, Anton Kirkhoff, Christian Schildmeier, A. and J. Hudson, William Brown, Mr. Trevis, and many others.

The reading of the above names will call to mind in a number of our readers, many who have long since bid farewell to mortal scenes, and entered upon an inheritance "immortal, incorruptible, and that fadeth not away." Personally we knew but few of them, and have been unable to write a sketch of each, but we are assured upon good authority that all of them are worthy of the notice given, being modest, unassuming, practical pioneer men, seldom aspiring to office or honors, but ever industrious, hardy and hospitable. Others there may be equally worthy, whose names are not found here, owing to the frailty of the memory of man; but if such be the case, let their friends rest assured that in that great, unerring, unabridged history, kept by the recording angel, in which is recorded all the acts of mankind, their names will be found written in perfect order.

A Few First Things.—The first church was the M. E.; the first teachers, Samuel Valentine and Eliza Barnard; first preacher, Rev. Hawes; first physician, Dr. Kellogg; first miller, Stephen Bellus; first merchant, John Delany; first grocer, Amos Dickison; first post-office, Sugar Creek, at Palestine; first postmaster, Amos Dickison; first blacksmith, Reuben Barnard; first school, near Palestine; first tanner, John E. Bailey; first roads, Brookville and old State roads; first death, Mr. Mattox; first railroad, the Indiana Central; first village, Philadelphia.

Historical Anecdote: The said John Delaney sold goods in the south-west part of the township, on the Brookville State road. He sold his goods at a good profit. When asked what per cent. he made, he replied that he was not a scholar; and knew nothing about per cent.; but when he bought goods for one dollar and sold them for two, he didn't think he lost anything.

Mills and Factories.—The first mill in the township was a small water mill, erected some time prior to 1828, by page: 277[View Page 277] Stephen Bellus, on Sugar Creek, about two miles north of Palestine. It was both a grist and saw mill in a small way, and continued in operation, passing through several hands, till about 1872, when the dam washed out and the mill went down. Among those who owned this first mill after Bellus sold out were Amos Dickison, Myron Brown, Uriah Emmons, George Kingery and Lewis Burke. Burke died, and his heirs run the mill for a few years, till it met with the fate aforesaid, and succumbed to the elements.

In 1832, Black & Bro. erected the second water mill in the township. It was a small saw-mill, located on Sugar Creek, about one mile south of Philadelphia. It run for a number of years.

Lewis Burke, in an early day, erected a water saw-mill on Sugar Creek, north by north-east of Palestine, and below the Bellus mill. The Burke mill is still in operation. It is a saw-mill, and unlike most early water mills, never did any grinding.

In about 1850, Kelley & Bro. erected the first steam saw-mill in the township. It was located about a mile west of Philadelphia, and run for a few years, then moved away.

In 1857, Thomas Tuttle had erected a steam flouring and saw-mill, combined, located about two miles south-west of Palestine, and operated for a number of years.

In 1856, James B. Conover built a steam saw-mill about a quarter of a mile west of Sugar Creek, on the National road. It passed through several hands, and was moved away in 1859.

In 1855 or '56, W. W. Matthews erected a steam saw-mill in the central northern part of the township, which was run by Matthews & Reed some four years, and then removed.

In 1856, a two-story steam flouring mill was erected in Palestine, by Gates et al., at a cost of $5,000, with three run of stone. Gates operated it for about nine years and sold to Scott & Davis, and they to Joseph Conner. The page: 278[View Page 278] mill has been put in good repair by the present proprietor, A. P. Hogle, who has added new machinery and the modern improvements.

Rufus Black, a few years since, put in operation a steam circular saw mill at Philadelphia, which is still running and doing an extensive business.

The mills now in operation in Sugar-creek township are six in number, viz.: The Burke saw-mill, the Hogle flouring mill, the Black saw-mill; the Stutsman mill, near Gem; the Gesler steam saw-mill, in Palestine; and the steam grist-mill in Philadelphia. The Stutsman saw-mill was built in 1871 by Nicholas Stutsman. It burned down in 1879, but was immediately rebuilt, with a planer attached, and put in good running order.

At the early date of 1832, Reuben Barnard, father of Trustee William C. Barnard, carried on a blacksmith shop on his farm, in the south-west corner of the township.

In 1845, John E. Baity opened a tanyard on the McNamee farm. He did a local business, furnished a market for oak bark, had about twenty vats, and operated for four years.

In 1847, Alexander Ogle started a small tannery in a log house near Philadelphia, which he operated for a number of years after the Baity tannery had ceased.

Thomas Swift also carried on a tanyard near Palestine soon after the going down of the Baity tannery. The first tile factory was erected in 1855, on Jacob Schramm's farm, and was operated for about four years by Weaver.

The next tile factory was erected on the Reasoner farm, by Wicker & Brother. It has changed hands a number of times, but is still in operation.

In 1869, Shellhouse, Spurry & Armstrong erected a tile factory two miles east of Palestine, which is now in operation by Freeman & Reasoner.

Roads.—Sugar-creek township in her early history, much like her sister townships, had no roads worthy of the name, but mere paths, pointed out by the blazed trees, page: 279[View Page 279] meandering through the thick forest. The first roads in the township were the Brookville and old State roads. The next was the National road. The Brookville road run through Palestine, diagonally through the township, on a bee line from Brookville to Indianapolis. The old State road crossed the northern part of the township, passing through Philadelphia. Prior to the late civil war there was not a single gravel road in the township. But since that time there has been sixteen and one-half miles of toll pike built by companies, besides considerable graveling done in working out road taxes and personal privileges.

Railroads.—Sugar-creek township has two railroads crossing her territory. The P., C. and St. L. has six miles running through the northern tier of sections; the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indianapolis road passes through the south-west part a distance of seven miles; making a total of thirteen miles in the township, valued at $170,025. Telegraph lines extend along each of the roads, the total valuation of which is $2,235. The Pan-Handle has two stations in the township—Philadelphia and Gem. Palestine is the only one on the Junction.

Educational.—The first school-houses in this township were pole cabins, covered with clapboards, suppled with "cat and clay" chimneys and puncheon floors. The first three were located at nearly the same time: one near New Palestine, one at Philadelphia, and one in the German settlement, near the center of the township. The first teachers were Samuel Valentine, Richard Lindsey, Eliza Barnard and Mr. Barnard. These teachers, like others at this date, were employed by the quarter, of thirteen weeks, at from thirty to thirty-six dollars and "found"—i. e., they boarded around among the patrons. As the township filled up, and new settlements were made, additional schools were established and better houses erected, in accordance with the demands of the times, until at present she compares favorably with the older and earlier settled townships. The page: 280[View Page 280] following are the numbers and names of the houses and the teachers employed therein at this date:

District No. 1 Philadelphia Charles Rennecamp, Addie Wright 
District No. 2 Brown Ella Bottsford. 
District No. 3 J. W. Jones. 
District No. 4 C. M. Carr. 
District No. 5 Caraway's W. B. Bottsford. 
District No. 6 N. P. Brandenburg. 
District No. 7 Palestine W. A. Wood, Roscoe Anderson, Jennie Buchel. 
District No. 8 B. F. Ewbank. 

These eight houses—seven frame and one brick—are valued at $4,500; apparatus, $150. This is exclusive of the German school, sustained by private enterprise, and located in the central western part of the township. The number of school children in the township under consideration in 1853 was 554; in 1860, 712; in 1870, 690; in 1881, 704. An examination of which shows a fluctuating scholastic population not easily accounted for. Why there should be a less number of school children in 1870 than in 1860, let the citizens answer. More remarkable still is the fact that she has fewer school children to-day than she reported just prior to the civil war. Sugar-creek is one of the three townships in the county that, in the final vote on the free school question in 1849, voted for free schools, her vote standing, "free school," sixty-eight; "no school," forty-one. In her former vote, however, in 1848, on the same question, she voted against free schools, her vote standing at that time, "free school," forty-seven; "no school," fifty-four; being a majority of seven against the proposed establishment of free schools.

School Trustees.—Below we give the names of the township trustees, with the date of their election, since 1859, at which time they were clothed with power to levy page: 281[View Page 281] local taxes, and the office assumed some dignity and worth to the people:

  • Robert P. Brown1859
  • E. H. Faut1865
  • Edward P. Scott1872
  • William C. Barnard1874
  • David Ulrey1876
  • William C. Barnard1878, 1880

Remarks: Robert P. Brown, the first trustee under the new regime, held the office for four terms, and Ernst H. Faut for six. E. P. Scott was the first to vote for county superintendent. David Ulrey and William C. Barnard are the only trustees that have held two terms each since the change of the law, lengthening the term of office to two years. Said Barnard looks after the financial interests of the township, the poor, pedagogues, and compensates the farmers for their sheep killed by dogs, at the present date.

Churches.—Sugar-creek township has six churches, representing three distinct Christian denominations, to-wit: Two M. E. churches, three German and one Christian, a special account of each of which will be given further on.

Population.—An examination of the census reports for the last few decades develops the following facts, to-wit: Population for 1850, 793; 1860, 1,646; 1870, 1,897; 1880, 2,099. It will be observed that the stride from 1850 to 1860 was remarkably great, being an increase, apparently, of over one hundred per cent.; but it must be remembered that in 1850 Sugar-creek township was only two-thirds its size in 1860. Our remarks at the head of this chapter show that Jones township, from 1838 to 1853, included part of the territory now embodied in Sugar-creek. Jones, in 1850, reported a population of 670, and as half her territory was added to Sugar-creek, a proportionate and fair estimate for the territory embodied in every census report of the township since 1850 would be 1128. This township far surpasses any other in the county in her reports of the number of foreigners. In 1870, she had 245 foreigners, while the highest numbers reported by other townships were ninety-four in Center and seventy-five in Vernon, and page: 282[View Page 282] a total of 420 in all the townships of the county save Sugar-creek. The foreigners in Sugar-creek are mostly Germans, industrious farmers, who have clustered around a little nucleus early planted in the township.

Polls and Vote.—The polls for Sugar-creek in 1840 were eighty-six; in 1854, 219; in 1860, 259; in 1870, 385; in 1880, 509. She cast, in 1860, a vote of 343; in 1870, 485. In 1880 her vote for President stood as follows: Democratic, 308; republican, 190; independent, eleven, being a democratic majority of 118. This township has two voting precincts: first, at New Palestine; second, at Philadelphia.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—This township reports 21,805 acres of land, valued at $503,475; value of improvements on the same, $97,215; value of lots, $1,985; improvements on the same, $5,395; value of personal property, $269,115; value of railroads and telegraph, previously given; total value of taxables, exclusive of Palestine, $993,590.

Taxes.—Sugar-creek township, in 1840, paid $417.64; her assessment for 1881, to be paid in 1882, is $7,982.24. The levy is eighty-two cents on each $100 on all the taxable property in the township, excepting Palestine, which is ninety-two. The following men of the township pay taxes of $40 and upwards in 1882:

  • Black, Rufus$ 86 32
  • Briar, Charles 94 06
  • Briar, W. F. 70 00
  • Barnard, Eliza 49 90
  • Caraway, Samuel 46 39
  • Freeman, Benjamin 265 37
  • Faut, E. H. 53 71
  • Faut, E. W. 90 65
  • Fowler, Benjamin 61 65
  • Fink, Henry 116 54
  • Fink, John 55 20
  • Gundrum, C. 100 47
  • Hawk, J. C. 63 36
  • Hittle, George$55 78
  • Knape, C. H. 61 83
  • Kirkhoff, Anton 75 60
  • Lantz, J. G. 94 30
  • Langanbarger, A. 46 04
  • Meier, Henry 78 40
  • Murnan, G. 43 10
  • Miller, F. C. 41 27
  • McNamee, Benjamin 83 10
  • Murlow, Henry 45 84
  • Murlow, H. A. 54 75
  • Moon, W. H. 41 35
  • Nichols, William 54 65
page: [283][View Page [283]]

[View Figure]

page: 284[View Page 284]
  • Ostermeier, C. H. $42 77
  • Parish, Thomas 81 24
  • Pitcher, J. M. 44 74
  • Rosener, C. F. 49 42
  • Richmond, A.F.G. 58 54
  • Schlosser, Peter, heirs 105 48
  • Stutsman, Nicholas $ 46 84
  • Schildmeier, A. 156 13
  • Schramm, August 142 97
  • Schramm, Gustavus 158 13
  • Weber, Henry 49 74

In Palestine the following men pay $40 or more:

  • Espy, Paul $365 65
  • Ely, J. M. 51 47
  • Eaton, W. T. 62 00
  • Eaton, W. T., & Son $ 48 76
  • Vansickle & Smith 45 51

Law and Justice.—Our first law-makers very wisely adopted the policy of our mother country, of bringing justice near the door of every man, rich or poor, whereby an opportunity is offered for the speedy, convenient and inexpensive adjustment of petty grievances, civil or criminal. The constitution of 1852 authorizes the election of a competent number of justices of the peace, by the voters in each township in the several counties in the state, who shall continue in office four years, and whose powers and duties shall be prescribed by law. In the prosecution of this contemplated township system for promoting justice, the legislature enacted laws for the election by the people of two officers only, a justice and constable, the latter for a term of two years, who is the executive officer, and corresponds with the sheriff in his duties. The former acts as judge, clerk and treasurer. Sugar-creek township has always been well supplied with these ministerial, judicial, and executive officers. The first of these acting in the territory under consideration were George Leachman and Charles Atherton, the exact date of whose election we are unable to ascertain, there being no record of the same in the clerk's office to our knowledge, though we have made diligent search. Succeeding these were the following, elected at the date set opposite their names, viz.:

  • George Leachman1843, '49, '54, '58, '66, '70
  • G. W. Robison1844
  • George O'Brien1846
  • page: 285[View Page 285]
  • Adam Hawk1851, 1860
  • George Barnett1856
  • W. H. Dye1868
  • E. S. Bottsford1872
  • Henry A. Schreiber1874
  • George W. Kingery1878
  • John M. McKelvey1880

For the fifteen years that Jones township existed, the south half of which was attached to Sugar-creek after her dissolution, the following ex-justices officiated, being elected at the dates set opposite their names, some of whom properly belonged to Sugar-creek, but just who and how many we cannot say with absolute certainty; hence we give the full list, and the good citizens of the two townships,—Sugar-creek and Buck-creek, which absorbed Jones,—may give honor to whom honor is due, and place the credit where it belongs:

  • Charles AthertonUnknown
  • Dan'l Skinner1840, 1845, 1850
  • Charles Atherton1843
  • Isaac Travis1846
  • Joseph Marshall1849
  • Abraham Stutsman1851
  • John H. Hazen1852
  • Allen Caylor1852

Remarks: There were probably one or two justices in Jones elected prior to 1840, our first date given, but we have been unable to ascertain their names. The practice in this and other counties has been to elect one or more justices immediately after the organization thereof. Esquire Leachman, we are reliably informed, began his administration contemporary with the organization of the county, and served continuously till some time after the date of his election in 1870, officiating longer, perhaps, than any other man in the history of the county. He served at least eleven terms, or forty-four years, possibly longer. Adam Hawk and Charles Atherton each served two terms. Daniel Skinner filled the place for twelve years. None of the others, we believe, were re-elected. Esquires George W. Kingery and John M. McKelvey preside at the bar of justice at this date.

Ex-County Officers.—Sugar-creek township has furnished a number of popular men willing to subject their page: 286[View Page 286] private interests to the popular good, and endure the scathing, sarcastic, criticisms always heaped upon our public servants by their antagonists and political opponents. Here flourished in their day the following chosen men, to stem the tide and oppose the current of petty jealousies, and paddle safely over the billowy waves the little county bark with her precious cargo of glittering gold and immortal souls: Samuel Shockley, commissioner and representative; William McCance, Enos O'Brien, John O'Brien, and William H. Dye, ex-commissioners. All of the above are with us no more, save in memory, records and history. Still living among us, and well-known to the readers of these lines, are the following: R. P. Brown, treasurer and sheriff; E. H. Faut, treasurer; Edward P. Scott, commissioner; J. V. Coyner, surveyor; and John E. Dye, present commissioner of the third district.

Murders, Suicides, and Remarkable Deaths.—We will first call the attention of our readers to one of the most shocking, heart-rending, irrational, fatal family feuds that it has ever been our painful duty to record—one which resulted in the cold-blooded murder of an innocent wife and the suicide of an excited, crazed and drunken husband. The plain facts in the case, as near as we can gather from circumstantial evidence, are about as follows: George Knapp, a man of dissipated habits, lived about one mile west of Palestine in 1845, the date of the occurrence of this sad tragedy. It was Pentecostal Sabbath, the family had been to church in the forenoon, returned home and ate dinner together, when Mr. Knapp, being intoxicated, and somewhat quarrelsome, as usual under such circumstances, accused Mrs. Knapp of infidelity; and reason being dethroned by the vile destroyer and arch demon, Rum, he gathered up an ax and wildly menaced it before her face, and threatened to spill the life-blood of her whom but a few short years before he had solemnly pledged in divine presence, before living witnesses, to love and cherish, protect and defend, as long as life to them should be spared. Mrs. Knapp, fearing page: 287[View Page 287] fatal results, fled from the house, followed by her antagonist, who struck her on the head and felled her to the ground, where he continued his unmerciful attack, striking her twice with the edge of the ax, once in the shoulder and once in the breast, causing immediate death. Seeing her lifeless form covered with gore before him, partial consciousness returned, and with a sense of his awful crime realized, went into the house and, with a razor in hand, stood before the glass and cut his own throat, partially severing the trachea; but still not satisfied, he left the house and pursued the children with murderous intent, who escaped him by seeking refuge in a pond. Being unable to reach them, he returned to the house, and was found by the neighbors in the frightful condition aforesaid, breathing through the recently made orifice in the wind-pipe. He had two small children, a boy and girl. The girl afterward married, and, from what we can learn, is still living. The boy died a few years after the tragedy just related. Henry Meier owns the Knapp farm where this sad scene transpired.

In March, 1851, a man by the name of Sellers froze to death near Philadelphia. He was supposed to have been intoxicated.

In 1861, Mr. Bidgood was killed by a team at the toll-gate.

In 1863, James Murnan was accidentally shot and killed by a friend.

In 1871, a son of Joseph Morford was killed by being thrown from a horse. Anton Wishmeier, in the same year, fell from a load of straw and was killed.

In 1868, a man by the name of Foley was instantly killed by the cars.

In 1872, Mrs. Thomas Alexander was burned to death by using coal oil in endeavoring to start a fire.

In 1880, Emerick Brock committed suicide by hanging, near Palestine. A child of Anton Schildmeier was burned to death by coal oil.

In June, 1871, a man by the name of John Jacobi was page: 288[View Page 288] instantly killed by his own reaper in a harvest field. His son was driving the horses, when they became frightened, and started to run. Mr. Jacobi, aiming to get to the heads of the horses, was knocked down by the tongue of the reaper, and, falling in front of the sickle, was caught by the guards, one arm cut off and his head severed from the body. His wife, seeing the heart-rending scene, rushed to the spot, near by, gathered the bleeding head to her arms and bosom, and rushed in wild delirium into the house, scarcely conscious of what she was doing. Mr. Jacobi was about sixty-five years of age.

Exports and Imports.—The chief exports of Sugar-creek township are wheat, corn, hogs, cattle, horses, flaxseed, potatoes, barley, oats, lumber, fruits, carriages, wagons, and the products of the hennery and dairy. Her imports are chiefly farming implements, dry goods, groceries, hardware, glass and wooden ware, hats, caps, boots, shoes, notions, blooded stock, improved seed, literature, medicines, wines and liquors, clocks, watches, jewelry, coal, iron, paints, oils, varnishes, and leather.

Recapitulation.—Sugar-creek township contains thirty-six sections, 21,805 acres; has one mill stream, one smaller stream, two border counties, three border townships, two steam flouring mills, three steam circular saw mills, one water saw-mill, one steam planing factory, two tile factories, eight public school-houses, one denominational school, eleven public school-teachers, six church buildings, two lodges, two villages, three post-offices, seven pikes, two railroads, 2,099 inhabitants, 704 school children, 272 polls, 509 voters, $4,650 worth of public school property, $372,310 worth of personal property, $170,025 worth of railroad stock, $2,235 worth of telegraph, $602,790 worth of land, $35,235 worth of improvements on same, 245 male dogs, thirteen female dogs, $1,132,195 worth of taxable property, forty-two men who pay over $40 taxes each, eight ex-justices, two acting justices, five ex-trustees since 1859, nine ex-county officers, four living ex-county officers, one acting county officer; a fertile, well-drained soil; a page: 289[View Page 289] limited quantity of saw and rail timber, sixteen and one-half miles of toll pike, thirteen miles of railroad, three railroad stations, two telegraph lines, a healthful climate; fish, squirrels, quail and rabbits in small quantities; eight physicians, a democratic trustee, a declining scholastic population, an increasing valuation, and a democratic majority of 118.



a pleasant little village, is located on the west bank of Sugar Creek. It was laid out by J. Evans, on the 1st of October, 1838, and consisted of fifteen blocks and thirty-six lots. It is now on the C., H. and I. railroad, on a bee line about thirteen miles south-east of Indianapolis. It has three churches, a two-story frame school-house, a steam flouring mill, and one saw-mill; merchants, druggists, physicians and mechanics suitable to a town of its size; a post-office, express office, daily mail, and about six hundred inhabitants.

The land from which Palestine was carved was entered by John Weston, on the 1st day of May, 1824, being the west half of the south-east quarter of section twenty-nine, in township fifteen north, and in range six east. The first addition was made by Gundrum, on the 18th day of February, 1854, located west of the north part of the old plat, between the railroad and State road, and contained twenty-three lots. A second addition was laid out by Waltke, on the 7th day of August, 1867, and consisted of twenty-six lots, located between the railroad and the State road, and west of Gundrum's addition. The third addition was page: 290[View Page 290] made by Anderson, on the 10th of April, 1872, and consisted of forty-three lots, located west of Waltke's addition, and a part south of the State road. The fourth addition was laid out by Kirkhoff, on the 9th of October, 1873, and consisted of six lots, located west of the old plat and south of the State road. The fifth addition was made by Kirkhoff, known as Kirkhoff's second addition, on the 2nd day of January, 1875, and consisted of ten lots, located south of Waltke's addition and east of the southern part of Anderson's addition.

The cemetery at New Palestine was laid out by Elizabeth Cones, on the 20th day of December, 1870. It consists of forty-one lots, with alleys.

The first business done in this little burg was on a small scale, and consisted mainly in bartering porkers, whisky, ginseng, furs and venison hams for staple groceries and notions. The dry goods were mostly manufactured at home. The first business houses of this place were crude structures, indeed. The better ones seen at this early date resembled somewhat our cut of the first house in Greenfield, seen on page 179. Among the first merchants of Palestine in her primitive days were Amos Dickerson, Andrew Magahey, John Delaney, Robert King, W. and S. S. Johnson, Joseph Cones, and J. Evans. We cannot spare the space to trace all the business men and their various changes from the first to the present; but will pass over the intermediate merchants, and endeavor to give a pen picture of her present business and business men, that our sons and daughters, grandchildren and future posterity, may see us to-day as we are, with more clearness and certainty than we are permitted to view the status of our country long years since, owing to the imperfect records handed down to us.


  • Merchants—
    • J. A. Schreiber,
    • Eaton & Son,
    • Vansickle & Smith.
  • Boot and Shoe Makers—
    • John Buettuer,
    • Fred Waltke,
    • Charles Woerner.
  • page: 291[View Page 291]
  • Druggists—
    • H. A. Schreiber,
    • Espy & Espy,
    • D. J. Elliott.
  • Carriage Makers—
    • E. H. Faut & Bro.
  • Harness Maker—
    • H. Richmond.
  • Undertakers—
    • R. L. Murphy,
    • Calvin Bennett.
  • Cabinet Maker—
    • Lewis Schmits.
  • Painter—
    • Eli Stout.
  • Silversmith—
    • D. J. Elliott.
  • Physicians—
    • Paul Espy,
    • J. M. Ely,
    • B. F. True,
    • C. H. Kirkhoff,
    • Jacob Buchell,
    • L. C. Ely.
  • Hotel Keeper—
    • M. Hinchman.
  • Grain Dealer—
    • A. P. Hogle.
  • Stock Dealer—
    • B. F. Freeman.
  • Notary Public—
    • Samuel T. Hook.
  • Miller—
    • A. P. Hogle.
  • Saw-mill Prop'r—
    • Fred. Gesler.
  • Blacksmiths—
    • A. G. Smith,
    • G. Guysen,
    • E. H. Faut & Bro.
  • Wagon Maker—
    • Christian Chleeter.
  • Butcher—
    • Adolph Kuirihm.
  • Carpenters—
    • Calvin Bennett,
    • Charles Richmond.
  • Plasterer—
    • John Armstrong.
  • Tinner—
    • Francis Cloud.
  • Cooper—
    • William Everson.
  • Restaurateur—
    • L. S. Foglesong.
  • Barbers—
    • D. W. Place,
    • George Frunkenstein.
  • School Teacher and Assessor—
    • William A. Wood.
  • Surveyor and Engineer—
    • J. V. Coyner.
  • Gardener—
    • Elijah Ayers.
  • Postmaster—
    • W. T. Eaton.
  • Express and R. R. Ag't—
    • Edward Bussell.
page: 292[View Page 292]


Philadelphia, named in commemoration of the city of brotherly love, is located four miles west of Greenfield, on the National road. The P., C. and St. L. R. R. runs by it. It contains a two-story public school building, one saw-mill, a flouring mill, post-office, express office, daily mail, druggist, grocer, merchants, mechanics, physicians, and other necessaries to a village of her dimensions. Philadelphia was laid out by the records fail to show whom, on the 11th day of April, 1838, being about six months prior to the laying out of New Palestine. The original plat consists of one hundred and two lots and six out-lots. The first and only addition was made by Clark, on the second day of April, 1864, and consisted of nineteen lots, located south of the old plat. Among the first business men of this place were: Charles Atherton, Sen., general merchant and post-master; Allen McCane, Joseph Marshall, G. W. Willett, Samuel McConaha, J. B. Sting, J. B. Conover and O. S. Meek. First physicians, Dr. Hodson McCallister & Son, J. H. Hazen, W. H. Dye, G. T. Rennick and H. B. Tilson. We will not consume space in giving a full list of the business through her entire history, but will now come up to the present, and furnish for this date a


  • Merchants—
    • Meek & Bro.,
    • Burk & Atherton,
    • J. H. Scotton.
  • Drugs and Groceries—
    • G. C. Ewbank.
  • Physicians—
    • W. R. King,
    • G. C. Ewbank.
  • Wagon Maker—
    • John Stutsman.
  • Butcher—
    • Edward Atherton.
  • Shoe and Boot Makers—
    • O. P. Martin,
    • A. Gibson.
  • Millwright—
    • Wm. Ransom.
  • Steam Flouring Mill—
    • Black & Atherton.
page: [293][View Page [293]]

[View Figure]

page: 294[View Page 294]
  • Blacksmiths—
    • Stutsman & Elliott.
  • Harness Maker—
    • A. P. Atherton.
  • Steam Saw Mill—
    • R. Black & Co.
  • Postmaster—
    • S. Burk.

Remarks: Prior to the construction of the old Indiana Central R. R., there was a vast amount of travel and moving to the west in wagons, on the National road, and for a number of years the Dayton and Indianapolis stage passed east and west daily through this little burg, at which time the chief business of the place, like others of its kind along this main line of travel, was inn or tavern keeping. Relics of these old buildings, where the westward bound, weary traveler was nightly found, still remain, tottering, but telling monuments of an earlier stage of civilization.


Gem post-office was established in 1878, on the P., C. and St. L. R. R., in the central northern part of the township, and Andrew Stutsman was the first postmaster. The first store at this place was kept by Nicholas Stutsman, seven years prior to the establishment of the post-office. There never was a plat made of the place, consequently no additions. It has a general store, kept by J. Townsend; a boot and shoe shop, by Joseph Coon; a blacksmith shop, by Isaac Stutsman; a steam saw-mill, by Nicholas Stutsman; a daily mail, James Townsend, P. M.


About the year 1835, the Methodists organized a class at Philadelphia. Among the first members were Owen Griffith, wife and two daughters; William Brown, wife and daughter; Mrs. Willett; Charles Atherton, Sr., and wife; Jonathan Horniday and wife, Thomas J. Smith and wife, and Joseph Grey and lady. The first ministers were J. B. Burch, Rev. Edwards and Landy Havens.

page: 295[View Page 295]

The society worshiped in school-houses and private dwellings until the year 1853, when the present church building was finished. It was dedicated in June of the same year by Bishop Ames. The house is in good repair, and capable of seating three hundred persons. Present Minister, H. Woolpert.

The first camp-meeting held in this vicinity, was by Rev. James Havens, in 1837.

In connection with this church, a Sunday-school was organized in the year 185O, which has continued to grow in numbers and usefulness till they now have an interesting and prosperous school, with an average attendance of eighty. S. Burke, present superintendent.


Palestine, was organized in the spring of 1851, with the following members: J. D. Faut, Christina Faut, A. Kirkhoff, Mariah Kirkhoff, Conrad Gundrum and wife, John Lange and lady, John Manche and wife, Henry and Elizabeth Fink, and Jacob Lange and wife. The first ministers were Philip Deor, Rev. Wilke, and L. Heis. In 1852, the organization erected a house, at a cost of a thousand dollars. The first trustees were J. D. Faut, Conrad Gundrum, A. Kirkhoff, John Manche, and Henry Fink. The present trustees are Conrad Gundrum, A. Kirkhoff, J. Lantz, Jacob Kratz, and Charles Reasoner. Present minister, Rev. John Ficken. To this church belong some of the staid, sturdy German farmers and substantial men of the township.


New Palestine, was organized September 4, 1870, on the following platform: "We, the undersigned, members of the body of Christ, agree to congregate ourselves together for the worship of the true God, and the edifying of each other in love; to be governed by the word of the Lord, page: 296[View Page 296] exclusive of the doctrines and commandments of men." Signed by the following names of original members:

  • Michael H. Hittle,
  • Elizabeth R. Hittle,
  • Sanford Furry,
  • Henry Bussell,
  • Malinda Bussell,
  • Albert Freeman,
  • Harriet Freeman,
  • Ethelbert Richardson,
  • Malinda Richardson,
  • Margaret Kamerian,
  • Rachel Kamerian,
  • Minerva Wheeler,
  • Lavina Pitcher,
  • John R. Armstrong,
  • Eliza J. Armstrong.

The above organization was effected in the school-house at Palestine, under the pastorate of Elder W. R. Low. Being denied the privilege of longer worshiping in the school-house, the organization met in the railroad depot. In 1871, the society erected a house, large and substantial, at a cost of $1,550, exclusive of ground, which was donated by H. P. Anderson. The building was dedicated on the 25th day of November, 1871, by Elder W. R. Jewel, of Danville, Indiana, and a thorough organization was effected by electing George B. Richardson, M. H. Hittle, John P. Armstrong, J. M. Pitcher, and H. P. Anderson, deacons. Elder W. T. Hough was the successor of W. R. Low, followed by Lockhart, John A. Navitz, W. H. Bowles and Robert Blount. There has never been a re-election of officers from the date of the organization till the present, though some have died, and others moved away. The church is in good condition, with a membership of over sixty. The said John A. Navitz, during his labors with the organization, in the winter of 1876-77, held a very interesting, largely attended debate with a Soul Sleeper preacher, by the name of Sanford.


The first German church in Sugar-creek township, known as the Albright German Church, was organized in the year 1836, in a block-house three miles west of page: 297[View Page 297] Palestine, and consisted wholly of Germans who had recently arrived from the principality of Hamburg, Germany. Most of them were financially poor, but spiritually rich; and in setting about to supply the wants of the body, they would fain supply the soul with food also, and hence delayed not in associating themselves together as one grand Godly family, made up of about twenty-five private families. Their spiritual wants were first supplied by a priestly patriarch named Kiebler, followed by Rev. Mr. Muth, a preacher of the United Brethren.

Contemporary with the organization existed the German School Society, whose duties were to supply the children with facilities for securing a secular education, and a knowledge of the catechism. In 1841, the first German Lutheran minister, Rev. J. G. Kuntz, came to Indianapolis, took charge of the German church at that place, and preached for the new society, first once every four weeks, then tri-weekly. The society becoming more numerous and wealthy, at the special instance and request of their pastor, said Kuntz, they extended a call to Rev. A. Brandt to come and live among them to preach and teach, which call he accepted. Brandt was followed by Revs. Hermeon and A. Scheurmann. In 1853, said Kuntz was returned, and a new church was built in the central western part of the township, on the land previously owned by the school society, on which was situated two block houses, a dwelling and school-house. This society was known as the German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's congregation. The building was a frame, 35x50 feet, constructed by a young man named Kaiser, at a cost of $1,200. It was dedicated on the 27th of November, 1859, by Rev. Frick. Rev. Kuntz was connected with this church, as pastor and schoolmaster, for more than thirty years. The writer had the pleasure of calling on him in the school-room, assisted by his daughter, in 1874. The room was a small log structure, located on the south side of the road, in the north-east corner of the north-west quarter of section twenty-four, near said Zions church. The house was full page: 298[View Page 298] of children. Teachers and students were industriously engaged. Since which time a new school-house has been erected, with the modern improvements.


was organized in 1830, in a school-house near where the present public school building stands. Among the prime movers and first members of this organization were David and Catharine McNamee, George H. and Mary Robison, Thomas Swift and wife, Lewis and Phoebe Burk, Joseph and Elizabeth Conner, John and Sophia Ashcraft, Joseph and Elizabeth Munger, Adam Hawk and wife, Whitfield True and wife, Dr. B. F. True and wife, Henry and Nancy Gates, Benjamin Freeman and wife, Benjamin and Mary Ann McNamee, William Leachman and wife, Dr. J. M. and Mary Ely, Hiram Chambers and wife, John Jones and wife, H. Hough and wife, Jane McVey and Eliza Jones. The first trustees of this society, were Thomas McVey, Dr. J. M. Ely and David McNamee. The present building was erected in the summer of 1856, and dedicated in September of the same year, by Thomas Eddy.

The ministers who have presided here, from time to time, are as follows: James Conner, J. L. Smith, J. W. T. McMatlin; Revs. Wright, Wray, Rosecrans and Ransdell; Patrick Carlin, Robert R. Roberts, John C. Sharp, Jesse Miller, F. M. Turk, Augustus Lewis, B. F. Morgan and George W. Winchester. Present preacher, W. B. Clancy.

The house is in good repair, well painted; size, 35x45 feet; seating capacity, 400. The society owns a parsonage, paid for and in good repair. Present membership, 126; cost of house, $1,800,

The following are the present trustees of the church: William Nichols, Henry Gates, Benjamin Freeman, Benjamin McNamee and D. J. Elliott.

The Sabbath-school, established in connection, holds its session every Sabbath the year round. Average attendance, page: 299[View Page 299] seventy-five; present superintendent, A. P. Hogle; secretary, Charles Ballard; librarians, Minnie Rodgers and Laura Ballard; treasurer, Jennie Buchell.


The citizens of New Palestine, in harmony with the progressive spirit of the times and country, nearly two decades since organized the musical talent of the place into a brass band, well furnished, equipped, and supplied with a wagon, at a total cost for instruments, uniforms and wagon, of $1,150; in addition to which liberality, they expended for instruction and music, $400; for incidentals, perhaps $50, making a total expenditure to the boys and their friends of $1,600. The charter members, not included in the present membership, were Walter Waterson, James Arthur, Henry G. Mickle, Albert H. Dix, Charles Haynes, Thomas J. Elliott, and J. M. Freeman. The present members are: Smith T. Nichols, * John H. Garver, George W. Nichols, William F. Anderson, John Westlake, Fred Freagel, William Gundrum, John Carson, Marshall Waterson and Harry Garver. This band is in good working order, and is equaled in the county in its efficiency and ability to charm and hold spell-bound its audiences by the Greenfield band only, whose leader has been their main instructor, and it is surpassed by none, notwithstanding the acknowledged ability and recognized efficiency of the other good bands of the county. It has been our good pleasure to hear this band discourse on different occasions to enrapt audiences such euphonious, harmonious music as seldom wings its way to the ear of mortal man; and should they so direct their steps as to have the good fortune to enter the celestial city, they will doubtless be chosen to augment that innumerable company which surrounds the throne, with golden instruments and harps in their hands, ever singing, blowing, playing and rejoicing, as only angels can do.

* The italicized names above were also charter members.

page: 300[View Page 300]


a native of the "Buckeye State," dates his earthly career from the 30th day of September, 1827. At the tender age of six, he moved with his father, David McNamee, and settled in Sugar-creek township, two and one-half miles north of Palestine, where he still resides on the old homestead which his father entered. At this early date, Mr. McNamee says he knew of but one log cabin between the Brookville and National road. A few scattering cabins were to be found on the bluffs of Sugar Creek and Buck Creek, and wild game of various kinds existed in abundance. At the age of twenty-two, Mr. McNamee joined his destiny with Mary Ann Irons, September 9, 1849. The fruits of this union have been eight children, four of whom are living. Catharine, the eldest, is the wife of Prof. Morgan Caraway, principal of the Fortville graded schools. The second, James W., and his wife reside in Fremont county, Iowa. The remaining two daughters, Emma and Mollie, are living with their parents. Mr. McNamee and his amiable wife have been consistent members of the M. E. Church for thirty-two years.


The above-named lodge was organized under a dispensation of the G. M., in January, 1869, by which authority F. M. Hook was appointed worshipful master; J. P. Armstrong, senior warden, and C. H. Shellhouse, junior warden of said body. The first stated communication of this lodge occurred January 30, 1869, at which meeting the grand master appointed the rest of the officers necessary to perfect the organization, viz.: E. P. Scott, treasurer; B. Westlake, secretary; B. F. Stutsman, senior deacon; C. Bennett, junior deacon; J. P. Vernon, tylor. These, with the three appointed in the dispensation, constituted the officers of said lodge No. 404. On the 25th day of May following, a charter was received from the page: [301][View Page [301]] [View Figure]
page: 302[View Page 302] grand lodge. The order now being firmly established, peace and harmony prevailing, the close of the year 1869 found the lodge with bright prospects before it. The present officers are J. P. Armstrong, W. M.; Eli Stout, S. W.; T. P. Vernon, junior warden; J. C. Vansickle, treasurer; E. P. Scott, secretary; W. A. Eaton, S. D.; A. P. Hogle, J. D.; O. P. Hobbs, tylor. This lodge has had several public installments, and public addresses by John V. R. Miller, W. H. Bowles, and other bright lights. Among those the death of whom the lodge has been called upon to mourn are F. M. Hook, its first master; B. Westlake, the first secretary; and more recently, Prof. Aaron Pope, the latter of whom, though young in Masonry, was twice master of the lodge. Gone, all gone! but not forgotten. Though the lodge mourns its loss, the members rejoice in a consolation of meeting them in that celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides, and the tylor admits none but the true and tried.

[We are indebted to J. P. Armstrong for the above facts.]


The first German who entered land in Hancock county was Carl Julius Leopold Albert Von Bonge. He was born November 24, 1798, in Liegnitz, Silesia, Prussia, Germany. Having received a classic education, he adopted the profession of law. Owing to political difficulties with the Prussian government, he was compelled to leave his native country. He therefore selected, fled to, and adopted the United States, "the land of the free and the home of the brave." He first settled in Zanesville, Ohio, then for a time resided in Cincinnati, when in the year 1828, in company with his young wife, he emigrated to Hancock county, to what is now called the German settlement, and entered a quarter section of land. Albert Lange, a schoolmate and colleague in his profession, who also fled the country from the same cause, came over at the same time, and entered a quarter section adjoining that of Mr. page: 303[View Page 303] Bonge. For a number of years they cleared up, fenced, and made a home in the swamps. Mr. Lange sold his 160 acres eight years after, and settled in Terre Haute, where he was mayor of the city for a time, and auditor of Vigo county for a number of years. He was three times the nominee of the republican party for auditor of state, to which position he was elected in 1860, and filled the place of trust with credit to himself and honor to the people. Indeed, Mr. L. was a prominent citizen of the state until his death. Mr. B. sold his quarter section also about twelve years after entering. He then settled over the line in Cumberland, Marion county, where he resided and engaged in the mercantile business. Here he lived, a useful citizen, to a good old age, and died only a few years since; and his pioneer wife, the first German woman that ever located in this prosperous German settlement, is still living. She was born in 1813, at Heil Bron, in the kingdom of Wurtemburg, Germany, and was married to said Carl Julius Leopold Albert Von Bonge in the year 1831, at Dayton, Ohio.

By the location and influence of Mr. Bonge and Mr. Lange, a German doctor, by the name of Ronenberg, who came from Buckeburg, Schaumburg-Lippe, Germany, established himself near them. Through the influence of these three worthy, prominent men, numerous others were induced to follow. Among the first were Geo. Nolener, John Schreiber, Mr. Wolframm, Chas. Oswold, Mr. Linbricht, Anthony Wishmeier, Benj. Rothe, Jacob Schramm, Andrew Finck, Christian Schildmeier, Wm. Reasoner, Charles Brewer, Ludwig Richmann, Wilhelm Rushaubt, Anthony Kirkhoff, Anthony Meier, Daniel Faut and John Grene. These were a few of the pioneers who settled here from 1830 to 1840, followed by many of their relatives, friends and acquaintances, each of whom cast in his might to make the German settlement what it is to-day—the garden spot of Hancock county. As before stated, they have their churches and schools, and are taught honesty, industry and frugality. Let the young page: 304[View Page 304] from the above history learn the lesson that "it is an ill wind that blows nobody good;" that a kite rises against the aerial current, and not with it. The hanging of John Brown was the hanging of slavery; religious persecution in England planted the pilgrim fathers on Plymouth Rock, and political differences in Prussia, Germany, drove Carl Julius Leopold Albert Von Bonge and the Hon. Albert Lange to America, to form the nucleus around which should cluster the persecuted and poor, the young and old of their native countrymen, to aid in converting the marsh into the meadow, the forest into fields, and the deep, tangled wildwood into beds of roses and broad acres of golden grain. Long live their memory.


The subject of this sketch, a native of Hancock county, was born May 31, 1843, and was the third son of Reuben Barnard, a prominent citizen, farmer and stock-raiser of Sugar-creek township.

Educational advantages being limited at the time he was growing up, he received instructions from his father during the winter months, and worked on the farm in the summer. In the year 1862, he entered Butler University, and remained there three terms, gaining the esteem of the faculty and advancing rapidly. In the fall of 1863, he entered Bryant's Commercial College, at Indianapolis, and completed a regular course of book-keeping, with its collateral branches, March the 5th, 1864.

He was married May the 29th, 1867, to Amanda Gibson, of Marion county, Indiana, since which time he has been actively engaged in farming and stock raising, and has been very successful. His thrift and industry have gained for him the admiration of the community.

Mr. Barnard has been three times elected trustee of the township, and as often elected secretary of the county board of education, and perhaps has done as much to raise page: [305][View Page [305]] [View Figure]
page: 306[View Page 306] the standard of our common schools as any person that has held the office of township trustee in the county.

Mr. Barnard is a young man, of nervo-bilious temperament, medium height, dark complected, strong and vigorous, with black hair, a piercing eye, and an active mind.


The subject of this sketch was born in Shelby county, about five miles south of Palestine, on September 16, 1844. His father was in moderate circumstances, and unable to give his son a collegiate education; but might have given him an opportunity to attend the public schools of the district, had he fully appreciated the importance of an education. Hence young Mr. P. was compelled to live in comparative ignorance until large enough to labor with his own hands, and thereby obtain means to purchase books and enter school of his own accord. But being allowed to attend school in the winter only, when the weather was too bad to work on the farm, his education reached no farther than the elementary principles of the fundamental branches.

At the age of twenty, Mr. P. was married to Miss Nancy J. Murnan, of his native neighborhood. Here, on a rented farm, he began his efforts for an independent living. His wife lived but little more than a year, leaving her husband the care of an infant child, which lived but three months after its mother's death. Mr. P. being now left alone in the world, and feeling unsatisfied with his preparation for life's duties, he resolved at once to prepare himself for teaching. Though his education was so very limited, yet, by close application at leisure hours, and without attending school, in a little more than a year he was enabled to obtain license, and began teaching. He first held forth at Fairview school-house, in the fall of 1867, in which, as in subsequent terms, he was very successful. In January, 1871, he was again married. This time to Miss Louisa W. Vernon, of Shelby county. In page: 307[View Page 307] 1873, he moved to Palestine, and was engaged in the employ of Eaton & Gates for three years, and in that of Schreiber & Brother for two years, with the exception of two winters devoted to his favorite pursuit. In the fall of 1877, he was elected principal of the McCordsville graded schools, which position he filled with entire satisfaction to all parties interested. While residing here he was elected county superintendent, to fill the unexpired term occasioned by the death of W. P. Smith. This position he [View Figure]
held to the date of his death, being twice re-elected and twenty-seven months in office. During all of this time Mr. P. was in harmony with the progressive educational spirit of the age, faithfully and conscientiously carrying out the advanced movements of his predecessors and inaugurating others as necessity and the spirit of the times demanded.

Mr. P. was a young man of great energy, enterprise, and considerable originality, and was the proprietor and chief founder of the Home and School Visitor. Mr. P. from the age of sixteen to the date of his death was a faithful member of the Methodist Protestant Church, and page: 308[View Page 308] for ten years was a devoted Mason. He was twice master of the lodge at Palestine, took the chapter degrees at McCordsville in the, summer of 1879, and the council degrees in May 1881. He died at his residence in Greenfield, Thursday, July 21, 1881, aged thirty-seven years, and his remains peacefully repose in the New cemetery in this city.


a native of the "Buckeye State," dates his earthly career to 1827, October 12. At the early age of two, in company with his parents, he came to Marion county, Indiana, where they remained until the fall of 1855, when, at the age of twenty-eight, he came to Palestine, sugar-creek township, and engaged in merchandising with Burk, Espy & Co., at which business he continued for about nine years, being a member during this time of different firms. In 1864, Mr. F. moved out on his farm, adjoining the town on the east, where he has resided ever since, and has been engaged in farming, stock-raising, merchandising and stock-trading. Mr. Freeman has been constantly in the goods trade since entering the county—though unable, from a pressure of business, to give it his personal attention—but has devoted the major part of his time to farming and stock trading, being one of the most extensive stock dealers in the county and the owner of over eight hundred acres of first-class land.

Mr. F. was married in 1855 to Mary Ann, daughter of John Maple, of Rush county. The fruits of this union are four children, three boys and one girl, all of whom are unmarried, except James A. Mr. F. has been a consistent member of the M. E. Church for more than forty years. Ever since the organization of the republican party, in 1856, Mr. F. has been a staunch member thereof. Not from policy, but from principle, though never in office nor aspiring in that direction, prefering the quiet seclusion of rural pursuits. In person, Mr. F. is tall, strong and page: [309][View Page [309]] [View Figure]
page: 310[View Page 310] portly, of a sanguino-nervo-bilious temperament, has light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, and a dignified bearing, nearly six feet in height, and two hundred pounds in weight.


a native of Johnson county, Indiana, removed with her parents to Sugar-creek township about the year 1860, when but a mere child. Here she has remained ever since. Her parents dying some few years ago, together with her elder sister, made her pathway rather a rough one for a while, but it is smoother now. Though her opportunities for an education were limited, being confined mainly to the public schools of the township, yet, by industry and close application, she has prepared herself for teaching, and has had some eight years' experience in the public schools of the county, but is now giving her attention mainly to literary work; from a small beginning in the county papers over a norm de plume, then in numerous sensational works, Frank Lesley, Chimney Corner, and New York Ledger, and not until more recently has she appeared over her own signature in the Indianapolis Journal and Herald, Chicago Inter Ocean, New York Sun, and other metropolitan papers.

The writer is well acquainted with the subject of this sketch, having been associated with her in the first normal school of the county and as superintendent of the Greenfield graded schools, and also had the honor of licensing her to teach in the public schools, and can freely credit her with manifesting the will to rise under adverse circumstances.

After the death of her father, E. S. Bottsford, Esq., she was appointed administratrix of the estate, and has taken the responsibilities of the head of the family. We give an extract from one of her poems, for want of space here, in a future chapter.

page: [311][View Page [311]]



[View Figure]



Name and Organization.—This township, which bears the name of the final resting place of the mortal remains of the first President of the United States, was organized in 1836, and was taken from the north part of Buck-creek. In 1838, four sections were struck off from the south-east corner to form a part of Union township, but in 1853 were replaced, since which time she has maintained her present size and boundaries.

page: 312[View Page 312]

Location, Boundaries, Size, etc.—Vernon township is located in the north-western part of the county. It is bounded on the north by Hamilton and Madison counties, on the east by Green township, on the south by Center and Buck-creek, and on the west by Marion county. In extent it is seven miles in length and five miles in width, with four sections out of the north-west corner, and is, therefore, composed of thirty-one sections. It is one of the two townships in the county with an irregular outline. Its greatest length is east and west. It lies in township seventeen north, and is in ranges five and six east, two tiers of sections on the west being in range five and the remainder in range six east. The range line runs one mile east of McCordsville, one-third of a mile west of Woodberry, and forms the east line of H. Caldwell's and John McCord's farms.

Surface, Soil, Drainage, and Productions.—The surface is exceedingly level throughout almost the entire township, and especially in the western part; indeed, it is the only township in the county in which we have been unable to find a few hills. Along Flat Fork, and for a short distance back therefrom, the surface is slightly undulating, and section nine, in which Fortville is located, and through which Flat Fork passes out of the county, is considerably rolling and somewhat hilly.

The soil is of black or brown loam, deep, rich and exhaustless in resources, with the exception of three or four sections, which have more or less a clay soil.

Prior to the use of tile, a considerable number of small wooden ditches and a few open ditches were sunk in the township. Since the location of a tile factory within her borders, a number of tile ditches have been put in by her more enterprising citizens. But she is still in need of vastly more. Indeed, in comparison with other townships as to drainage, she is behind; and we would suggest the construction, by her liberal citizens, of a few broad, deep outlets under the new ditch law, approved April 8, 1881, which provides not only for the construction of a ditch, page: 313[View Page 313] but the keeping in repair, and, in short, is simple and complete in itself, and superior to any other drainage law ever placed upon our statute books, not excepting the act providing for the draining and reclaiming of wet lands, approved March 9, 1875. In drawing these comparisons between the townships in surface and drainage, we speak not from guess-work or hearsay, but actual observation. The writer has a number of times been on every public road, in many of the residences, and all of the school-houses in the county, and know whereof we speak.

The chief productions are wheat, corn, hogs, cattle, flaxseed, potatoes, fruits, flax straw, lumber, horses, oats, and the products of the hennery and dairy. In 1880, Vernon township produced on 2,644 acres, 39,660 bushels of wheat; on 3,727 acres, 77,200 bushels of corn; on 332 acres, 9,960 bushels of oats; on 509 acres, 763 tons of hay; being the fewest acres and fewest bushels of wheat of any township in the county, and also the fewest bushels of corn.

Streams.—Sugar Creek, the largest stream in the township, passes through the south-east corner to the extent of about one mile, cutting off a small portion of section thirty-five. Buck Creek rises in the central portion of the township, flows south by south-west, and passes out near the south-west corner of section thirty-two. Flat Fork, a very small stream, rises near the south-east corner of section twenty-seven, meanders north about two and one-half miles; thence north-west, passing out of the township about three-fourths of a mile west of Fortville, near the south-west corner of section nine. It is ditched nearly the entire length, and has no banks.

First Land Entry and First Settlers.—The first land entry in this township was made by George Crim, on the 16th day November, 1826, being the east half of the south-west quarter of section twenty-nine, in township seventeen north, and range six east. The second entry was made by Samuel Henry, in the same section, and in the same month and year.

page: 314[View Page 314]

Among the first settlers were John Brooks, Joe Winn, Richard Stokes, Nathan Blackburn, Micajah Shull, David Fisher, the Crossley family, the John Robb family, Tarleton Walker, William and Sarah McCord, George Pritchet, Jacob Smith, Hiram Duncan, John Caudel, George Chappel, George Jackson, Jehu Denney, and Arthur Morrison. There are doubtless others who are entitled to a place in the above list, but their names have escaped our observation. The reading of the above will call to the minds of our readers pleasant memories of earlier days and hallowed associations with these brave frontier men, almost all of whom have gone. Forever gone! but not forgotten. They have left "foot-prints on the sands of time; foot-prints which, perhaps, another, sailing o'er life's sturdy main, seeing, shall take heart again."

A Few First Things.—The first preachers in the township were Rev. Wyman and Thomas Jenkins; first doctors, J. W. Harvey and Hiram Duncan; first merchant, Perry Fort; first school-house, near McCordsville; first road, Noblesville road; first mill, at Fortville; first postmaster, Thomas Noel; first postmaster at Woodbury, David Brown; first postmaster at McCordsville, H. M. Thompson; first pike, Noblesville road; first land entry, by George Crim; first graded school, at McCordsville; first lodge, Masons; first teachers, foreigners; first railroad station, at Fortville; first marriage, David Caudel and wife, in 1836; first teacher, Thomas Sherman. The first election was in August, 1836; the ballots were thirteen in number, twelve democratic and one republican, all cast in a hat.

Mills and Factories.—The first mill in Vernon township was a steam saw-mill, built in 1849, by Noel & Co., at Fortville. In 1853, said Noel & Co. erected a steam flouring mill in Fortville, and it was run for several years, when it met with the common fate of mills and factories in Hancock county, and returned to mother earth in dust and ashes.

In 1854, E. H. McCord erected, in McCordsville, a page: [315][View Page [315]] [View Figure]
page: 316[View Page 316] steam flouring mill, which was successfully operated for a number of years, when it met with a similar fate, and succumbed to the forked flames of the ferocious fire fiend.

In 1854, Hooker & Son built a steam grist and saw mill in Woodbury, which soon met with the like fate, being overcome with the warm embraces and enveloping sheets. of fiery flames.

In 1857, John Sample built and operated a shingle factory for a time.

There was a heading factory and woolen factory successfully operated for a time at Fortville, but each non est at this date.

There is running at this time, in the suburbs of Fortville, a steam flouring mill and a saw-mill. There is also a steam saw-mill in operation at McCordsville.

Aaron Littleton operated a tile factory for a number of years, using the machinery formerly used by Eb. Steele in Buck-creek, in a tile factory in that township.

An extensive tile factory has been in operation for several years a short distance south of Fortville, which has supplied the township with almost all the tile she has ever used. There is also a planing mill, a flax factory and a stave factory located near this same town.

Andrew Hagen, ex-county treasurer, has an extensive flax-straw factory and grain elevator in Fortville. There is also a heading factory at Fortville, and an extensive grain elevator at McCordsville, operated by T. J. Hanna.

Roads and Railroads.—The roads in this township, like Buck-creek and other smaller sections of low, wet ground, were, until within the last few years, merely dirt and corduroy roads slightly improved, and at times almost impassable. During the pike fever which swept over this county, this township, like others, was similarly affected, which resulted in the construction of about twenty-five miles of toll pike, nineteen of which are now tollable, in addition to a few miles which have been returned to the road district. It has a line running from Fortville to Greenfield, one from Eden to McCordsville, and one from page: 317[View Page 317] Fortville to Pendleton pike, in addition to a few other short lines.

This township has one railroad extending diagonally across the township a distance of about seven miles, known as the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis R. R., or "Bee Line," for short, on which the company has three stations in the territory under consideration, viz.: Fortville, Woodbury and McCordsville. Telegraph lines also extend along the track of this company.

Educational.—The first schools in this township were subscription, or pay schools, taught by itinerant schoolmasters, and occasionally by a resident, for about three months during the winter season. The non-resident teachers usually taught by the term, or quarter, and boarded among the patrons, each of whom agreed to furnish him with board and lodging his proportionate length of time. Among the first school-houses, all of which at this early date were mere pole cabins, were: One on Robbs's farm, one-half mile south of McCordsville; one two miles east of McCordsville, and one in Fortville. There was no public school money at this time, except a small interest income from the congressional township school fund. There was no special school tax, and hence the state did not build the houses nor furnish fuel. Wood, like board, was usually furnished by the patrons, in proportion to the number of scholars subscribed. Teachers usually agreed only to give instruction in spelling, reading, writing, and arithmetic, to the single rule of three.

This township, in the vote on the free school question in 1848-9, like her sister townships, was decidedly opposed to the inauguration of the proposed system. Her vote in 1848 stood: "Free school," forty; "no school," seventy-four. In 1849 her vote stood: "Free school," seventeen; "no school," one hundred and two; being a majority of eighty-five in favor of the old system, and, next to Buck-creek, the smallest vote in the county in favor of the constitutional amendment providing for a state system, in which tuition should be free and equally open to all. page: 318[View Page 318] Since that time, however, Vernon has brought herself up in harmony with the progressive spirit of the times on the subject of education, and other intellectual and moral enterprises for the advancement and amelioration of mankind.

The following will show the numbers and names of the public school-houses in Vernon, and the present instructors:

Dist. No. 1 McCordsville J. W. Smith, Supt.; Jessie S. Jackson, Frank O. Forts, Ella Thompson, Assistants
Dist. No. 2 Worth Trittipo. 
Dist. No. 3 Ed. Crumbaugh. 
Dist. No. 4. Denney's Frank Smith. 
Dist. No. 5. Cook's Lawrence Durach. 
Dist. No. 6. Duzan's Quittman Jackson. 
Dist. No. 7. Woodbury J. W. McCord. 
Dist. No. 8. Cushman's C. Vanlaningham. 
Fortville M. Caraway, Prin.; A. E. Cummins, Anna Chittenden, Alice Cory, Assistants

This township has nine school-houses—seven frames and one brick-valued at, including ground, furniture and out-buildings, $12,000. Her maps, charts, globes and other school apparatus are valued at $400. Total value of school property in the township, including Fortville, $12,400. These buildings are mostly cheap frames of one room and no suitable out-buildings. Fortville and McCordsville each have commodious, substantial two-story bricks, well supplied with furniture, creditable alike to the people and trustees, under whose supervision they were erected. There has been a gradual increase in the scholastic population since 1853, the first enumeration. The returns for 1853 gave the township 469; enumeration for 1860, 636; for 1870, 712; for 1881, 751; two hundred and twenty-six of which, in 1881, were reported for Fortville.

Township Trustees.—The following list shows the page: 319[View Page 319] names of the trustees in Vernon .township, from the time of the election in 1859, at which time the law was so changed that one trustee performed the duties previously devolving upon three trustees and a clerk, together with additional duties, so that the law may be worthy of historical notice:

  • Perry J. Brinegar1859
  • Levi Thomas1861, 1865
  • G. W. Stanley1863
  • Andrew Hagen1866
  • Stokes Jackson1876
  • Samuel Arnett1880

Remarks: Brinegar and Stanley each held the office two years; Thomas, three years; Hagen ten and Jackson four years. Hagen filled the office longer than any other man in the township. The financial interests of the township are now entrusted to Samuel Arnett.

Churches.—This township is reasonably well supplied with churches: The M. E.; Christian and Catholic in Fortville; one M. E. in McCordsville; one Baptist in the eastern part of the township; one Dunkard society in the south-east part, and one M. E. at Woodbury, a special account of each of which we will give you further on.

Population.—An examination of the census report of this township for a few decades, shows the following, to-wit: Population in 1850, 908; in 1860, 1,637; in 1870, 2,518; in 1880, 2,306.

Remarks: It must be borne in mind that the territory embodied in Vernon was not so large in 1850 as in subsequent periods. From 1850 to 1853, Union township included within her borders the south-east corner of Vernon. Union reports for 1850, 522 inhabitants; hence a fair and proportionate estimate for the inhabitants in the territory now embodied in Vernon in 1850 would be 1,038. In our reports above of the population, we have included in Vernon township both Fortville and McCordsville. McCordsville in 1870 had 168 inhabitants; Fortville in 1870 had 387. We have no official reports of the number of these two places for any other dates.

page: 320[View Page 320]

Polls and Votes.—A voter in Indiana, at this date, is any native born, or naturalized foreign born male citizen, of sound mind, twenty-one years of age, there being now no distinction as to color, the only bar being sex, non-naturalization, disfranchisement and non compos mentis. The poll in Indiana is any legal voter under fifty; hence, the distinction between polls and voters is marked and considerable, the latter being much the more numerous. The polls for Vernon township in 1840 were 96; 1850, 121; 1860, 254; 1870, 232; 1880, 582. Her vote in 1860, 309; 1870, 412; in 1880 her vote stood democratic, 318; republican, 254; independent, 10; democratic majority, sixty-four. We do dot give the vote prior to 1853, for the reason that before that time voters could cast their ballots at any precinct in the county, and any reports prior to that time would not be a fair showing for the townships. This township has two voting precincts: First, at Fortville; second, at McCordsville.

Value of Real and Personal Property.—This township reports 19,936 acres of land, valued at $446,460, exclusive of Fortville; improvements on the same, valued at $68,840, being an average of about $26 per acre. Value of lots, $4,720; value of improvements, $10,800; value of personal, $150,835; value of telegraph, $730; railroads, $104,-115; total value of property in Vernon township, exclusive of Fortville, $786,800. Fortville reports 120 acres of land, valued at $1,920; improvements on same, $3,725; value of lots, $17,180; value of improvements, $39,640; personal property, $47,425; telegraph, $30; railroad, $12,850. Total value of taxable property in Fortville, $122,820.

Taxes.—To obtain a correct idea of the growth in wealth of the township, the reader should compare the taxes of tho earlier decades with the present. This township paid taxes to the amount of $412.86 in 1840, on $62,711 worth of property; $590.89 for 1850, on $71,405 worth of property; $3,140.80 for 1860, on $411,910 worth of property; for 1870, $7,841.31, on $567,025 worth of property. Vernon pays $9,903.60 of this amount. The page: [321][View Page [321]] [View Figure]
page: 322[View Page 322] following men are assessed for $50 and upwards for 1881, to be paid in 1882:

  • Apple, J. J.$127 20
  • Blanton, Hiram 63 84
  • Brown & Brown75 42
  • Boyd & Hough109 20
  • Brooks, Madison51 60
  • Brooks, Samuel96 22
  • Caldwell, Harvey130 66
  • Cushman, Isaac81 52
  • Crossley, Henry121 92
  • Davidson, H. S.59 82
  • Denney, Alfred116 14
  • Denney, J. W.86 44
  • Davis, A. C.91 60
  • Fort, Washington50 40
  • Ferrell, Mary79 20
  • Fred, Israel61 00
  • Guild, H.63 00
  • Guinn, Joseph's heirs55 20
  • Hanna, E. D.89 16
  • Hanna, T. J.75 54
  • Jackson, A. G.71 14
  • Kelly, Pat51 68
  • Kingen, Samuel58 08
  • Lane, Jacob50 88
  • McCord, William51 28
  • McCord, Elias100 98
  • McCord, Jacob77 88
  • Merrill, J. S.101 96
  • Morrison, Wm.116 82
  • Shore, William56 02
  • Shultz, James58 62
  • Shultz, Jacob53 58
  • Stokes, Richard54 78
  • Streight & Streight67 20
  • Stottenger, H.55 20
  • Thomas, J. H.64 54
  • Thomas, David66 60
  • Vail, Aaron93 70
  • Walker, Tarlton57 82
  • Winn, Joseph115 42

The levy is $1.20 on each $100 worth of taxable property. Of the total amount of taxes paid in the township, as reported above, Fortville pays $2,212.05. Of this amount, the following men, in 1882, will pay $50 or upwards:

  • Crist, G. P.$ 57 74
  • Hagen, Andrew123 38
  • Record & Voorhes84 28

The levy in Fortville is $1.61 on each $100 worth of taxable property.

Justices of the Peace.—Vernon township, though rather young in years, can compare favorably with older townships in her array of ex-justices, as the following list of names, accompanied by date of election, will show:

  • John S. Apple 1837, 1841
  • Lewis P. Peal 1864
  • page: 323[View Page 323]
  • Jehu Denney 1838
  • William Caldwell 1840, 1855
  • Walt. Denney 1845
  • William F. McCord 1846
  • Jesse Cook 1850, 1869, 1878
  • Elias McCord 1852
  • Azel Hooker 1856
  • Thomas R. Noel 1857
  • Smith McCord 1860, 1868
  • Solomon Jackson 1860
  • William Anderson 1864
  • William H. Foley 1866
  • Emil Lenz 1869, 1878
  • William G. Scott 1871
  • Dennis Tobin 1872
  • J. B, Galbreath 1872, 1876
  • Lewis Chappel 1874
  • Jacob Denney 1878
  • O. P. Hastings 1878
  • James W. McCord1880
  • Cicero Vanlaningham 1880

Among the ex-justices of Union township during her existence from 1838 to 1853, which, as we have previously remarked, included four sections now constituting the south-east corner of Vernon, were:

  • James Reeves 1840
  • David W. O'Dell 1841
  • William B. Martin 1845
  • Levi Leary 1846, 1851
  • E. N. Wright 1850
  • R. N. Dunn 1853
James W. McCord and Cicero Vanlaningham are the present acting justices of the township. From 1828 to 1831, during the time that Vernon township belonged to Sugar-creek, her petty strifes were settled by George Leachman; and from 1831 to 1836, during which time Vernon was embodied in Buck-creek, Morgan Brinegar, Owen Jarrett and Wyatt Denney were invested with legal authority to hear and try all causes over which such sub-judges have jurisdiction. Esquires Brinegar and Denney, who are reported as the first justices in Buck-creek on page 122, always resided in the territory now embodied in Vernon township. Most of the above are still with us, active, prominent citizens, well-known in the township, and not entire strangers to most of our readers. John S. Apple, William Caldwell, Smith McCord, Emil Lenz and J. B. Galbreath were each twice clothed with judicial power. Jesse Cook gave such general satisfaction to litigants and others interested, that he was three times page: 324[View Page 324] honored with the votes of his constituents. Others of the above have been solicited longer to preside, but declined in favor of private life, preferring contentment in home duties to the labor and emoluments of office, remembering, perhaps, the injunction of Shakspeare—
  • "We must not make a scare-crow of the Law,
  • Setting it to fear the Birds of Prey,
  • And let it keep one shape, till Custom maketh
  • Their Perch, and not their terror."

Ex-County Officers.—Vernon has contributed her mite in forming the various corps of county officials to serve the people as their agents and servants in local matters. Among those who were called in their day to serve the people, we note John Myer, auditor, and William P. Brokaw, commissioner. Among the living we call to mind Elias McCord, Reason Perry, and David Caudell, commissioners; Smith McCord, representative; Andrew Hagen, treasurer; and S. T. Yancey, senator.

Murders, Suicides, and Fatal Accidents.—Eli Prickett was killed by Benjamin Copper in 1866, at Fortville.

John Trittipo lost his life at a party, in a row, one mile south of Woodbury, on New Year's evening, 1857, at the house of Thomas Olvey.

A daughter of Levi Myers was accidentally shot September 17, 1862, from which she died the day following.

Sanford Cummins, a young man about thirty years of age, committed suicide in the fall of 1878, in his uncle's store in McCordsville. Mr. C., a young man of excellent parentage, had previously been a trusted clerk in the store, and had the confidence of his employer and the respect and esteem of the customers and all who knew him; but having contracted the habit of tippling and its accompanying evils, he lost respect for himself, and, for some reason, his position in the store; and, while under the influence of intoxicants and reason dethroned, he was caught one evening in the store abstracting money from page: 325[View Page 325] the vault. Being arrested, he begged time to shave himself before being taken to the county jail, which request was granted. After lathering his face, with razor in hand, he stepped to a mirror and, with one monstrous stroke, severed the trachea and the carotid artery, and fell a lifeless form. The cause of this sudden terminus to a promising life, as assigned by himself a short time prior, was whisky and its resultant evils. Let the young take warning. Shakespeare says:
  • "Oh, thou invisible spirit of Wine,
  • If thou hast no name to be known by,
  • Let us call thee—Devil!
  • * * * * * *
  • Oh, that men should put an enemy to their mouths,
  • To steal away their brains!
  • * * * * * *
  • One draught above heat makes him a fool;
  • The second mads him; and a third drowns him."

Recapitulation.—Vernon township, organized in 1836 with an irregular outline, contains thirty-one sections, one incorporated town, and two villages; has three border counties, three border townships, one railroad, five pikes, one mill stream, two smaller streams, three railroad stations, seven frame school—houses, two two-story graded school buildings, fifteen teachers; $12,000 invested in school-houses, $400 in apparatus; 771 school children; has had six ex-trustees since 1859, five of whom are living; has five Christian denominations, six church buildings, seven lodges, three political parties, 2,306 population, 582 voters, two voting precincts, nineteen miles of tollable pike, a number of miles of non tollable pike, forty-three persons who pay over $50 taxes each; has had seven ex-county officers, five of whom are living; has a host of living ex-justices, two extensive grain elevators, one flax mill, one steam flouring mill, two steam circular saw mills, one planing mill, one tile factory, one heading and stave factory, 20,064 acres of land, $527,570 invested in land page: 326[View Page 326] and improvements, $106,270 worth of lots and improvements, $163,680 worth of personal property, $720 worth of telegraph property, $117,265 worth of railroad property, two express offices, two telegraph offices, three post-offices, nine physicians, a republican trustee, a democratic assessor, merchants, druggists, grocers, mechanics, saloonists, an increasing valuation, a decreasing population, a fertile soil, industrious citizens, two attorneys, two acting justices, a number of notaries, 187 male dogs, five (?) female dogs, and a democratic majority of sixty-four.



once called Walpole, in honor of Thomas D. Walpole, but now Fortville, i. e., Fort's Town, was laid out by Cephus Fort, on the 12th day of February, 1849. It is located on the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis R. R., north by north-west of Greenfield thirteen miles. It is on the banks of Flat Fork, within a mile of the Madison and Hamilton county lines. It is pleasantly located; in a rich grain growing district. The original plat consisted of forty-one lots. The first addition was made by Shull, on the 20th of February, 1855, and consisted of five lots, located on the north-east of the original plat. The second addition was laid out by Noel, on the 16th day of December, 1856, and consisted of fifteen lots and several large lots, located north-east of the old plat, between the railroad and Staats street. The third addition was made by Vanvelzer, on the 17th of December, 1856, and consisted of twelve lots, located south-west of the old plat, and on page: [327][View Page [327]] [View Figure]
page: 328[View Page 328] the north side of the railroad. The fourth addition was laid out by James Merrill, the records fail to show when, and consisted of fourteen numbered lots, located south-east of the old town. The fifth addition was made by Garrison Asbury, on the 19th day of August, 1872, and consisted of nine lots, located on the south side of the railroad, south-west of the old plat. The sixth addition was laid out by Record & Voorhes, on the 17th of February, 1873, and consisted of twenty-six blocks, designated by the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet, containing 356 lots, located south of the railroad, and east of Merrill's addition and the old plat. The land from which it was carved was entered by Alfred Shortridge, on the 5th of January, 1835, being the south-east quarter of section nine, township seventeen north, and range six east. Staats made, perhaps, the first addition to the town, on the north of the old plat, but as we fail to find the proper records of the same, we are unable to give further reliable information relative thereto. Crouch also made an addition of which there is no record.

Fortville is a thriving business point, convenient to Indianapolis, on the Bee Line; is a good market, has a population of 500, with a grain elevator, mills, factories, merchants, grocers, druggists, physicians, mechanics, a two-story brick school-house, U. S. express and daily mail, and other conveniences seldom possessed by a town of its size.

Business and Business Men.—The first business of this place was very limited, and of a simple nature, and consisted mainly in bartering the few products of the pioneer frontier men for staple groceries and medicines, dry goods being mainly manufactured by themselves. Among those who first did business in this place were Perry Fort, Noel & Co., Joseph Chitwood and the firm of Tague & Chandler. Thomas R. Noel, the first and present postmaster, has served almost continuously since the establishment of the office. Andrew Hagen was postmaster for a time, during Buchanan's administration. Noel has also been page: 329[View Page 329] railroad. agent ever since the completion of the road, in 1853.


  • Merchants—
    • Josephus Bills,
    • Rash & Lefeber,
    • William M. Baker.
  • Druggists and Grocers—
    • Gray & Walker,
    • Brewster & Thomas.
  • Blacksmiths—
    • Ross Kellum,
    • Jarrett & Yaryan,
    • Jacob Stoehr.
  • Hardware—
    • T. H. Vanzant.
  • Shoe Makers—
    • John Smail,
    • Frank Copper.
  • Restaurateur—
    • George P. Crist.
  • Livery Man—
    • William Hardy.
  • Butchers—
    • R. P. Brown,
    • Manford & Meikle.
  • Barber—
    • Thomas Gardiner.
  • Harness Maker—
    • T. C. Simmons.
  • Restaurateur and Grocer—
    • Elizabeth Hutton.
  • Und'rt'k'r and W'g'n M'k'r—
    • McCarty & Son.
  • Carpenters—
    • L. W. Crouch,
    • Brewster & Treher,
    • Patterson & Kimberlin.
  • Grain Dealers—
    • Hagen & Shultz,
    • McClarnon & Co.
  • Millers—
    • McClarnon & Co.
  • Saw-mill Proprietor—
    • Henry Brown.
  • Stave Factory—
    • C. E. Harris.
  • Tinner—
    • Elmer West.
  • Flax Mill—
    • Andrew Hagen.
  • Planing Mill—
    • L. W. Crouch.
  • Attorneys and Notaries—
  • Physicians—
    • J. G. Stewart, & Son.
    • J. M. Jones,
    • S. T. Yancey,
    • T. K. Sanders.
  • Hotel Keepers—
    • C. P. Thomas,
    • Isaac Wiseman.
  • P. M. and R. R. Agent—
    • Thomas R. Noel.


a comparatively new and thriving little town on the C., C., C. and I. R. R., fifteen miles north-west of Greenfield, and about the same distance north-east of Indianapolis, is pleasantly located, and surrounded by rich, fertile soil, in the central western part of the township. It was laid out on the 11th day of September, 1865, by James W, Negley, with thirty-five lots. The first addition was made by Hiday, on the 11th day of February, 1869, and consisted of twenty-eight lots, located on the railroad, south-west of the original plat. The second addition was made by Bradley and McCord, on the 21st day of May, 1873, and consisted of thirty-nine lots, located south of the first plat. The third addition was made by Nelson Bradley, on the 31st day of August, 1873, and consisted of sixty-seven lots, located south of Bradley & McCord's addition. The fourth and last addition was made by McCord, on the 4th day of September, 1873, with eight lots, located east of original plat. The cemetery at this place was laid out by the I. O. O. F., on the 16th day of March, 1871, with one hundred and five lots and streets and alleys.

McCordsville has a two-story brick township school building, grain elevator, livery stable, saw-mill, merchants, physicians, carpenters, a butcher, and other conveniences essential to the prosperity of a village of this size, numbering about three hundred inhabitants. It has also a U. S. express and daily mail. The land out of which McCordsville was carved had been entered by John H. Robb, on the 25th day of October, 1835, being the north-east quarter of section twenty-six, in township page: [331][View Page [331]] [View Figure]
page: 332[View Page 332] sixteen north and range five east. Dr. J. W. Hervey, now of Indianapolis, was the first resident physician. Among. the first business men were William Emery, Nelson Bradley, and a Mr. Littleton. Others have done business in the place from time to time, but we must hasten on to give a


  • General Merchants—
    • Harvey Caldwell,
    • H. N. Thompson,
    • Hanna & McCord.
  • Hardware and Groceries—
    • Israel Fred.
  • Druggist—
    • Michael Quigley.
  • Physicians—
    • Thomas P. Hervey,
    • John D. Cory.
  • Restaurateur—
    • Thomas McCord.
  • Livery and Feed Stable—
    • Moses N. Craig.
  • Stock Trader—
    • Aaron Vail.
  • Cooper—
    • J. W. Negley.
  • Blacksmiths—
    • James M. Wright,
    • Nelson Gaskins.
  • Butchers—
    • Craig, Stokes & Morrison.
  • Carpenters—
    • J. K. Kimberlin,
    • George W. McCord.
  • Wagon Maker—
    • Eli Chevis.
  • Saw Mill—
    • William Brooks.
  • Grain Dealers—
    • T. J. Hanna,
    • H. N. Thompson,
    • McCord & Hanna.


a tiny burg on the C., C., C. and I. R. R., between Fortville and McCordsville, soventeen miles north-east of Indianapolis, was laid out on the 12th of December, 1851, by Ellen Wood, with thirty—two lots. It has had no additions. Among the first business men of this place were page: 333[View Page 333] John Bills, Azel Hooker, Garrison Asbury, William and Joseph Bills, Taylor & Lockhart, Martindale, Taylor & Brown, P. J. Brinegar and G. W. Shultz. This place once did some business, but since the completion of the railroad, and the development of McCordsville and Fortville, it has lost somewhat its pristine glory. There was once a railroad agency and warehouse here for several years, with Thomas Hawkins as agent. The warehouse was burned down, and the agency was discontinued. Its present merchant is David Brown. The sick and infirm are looked after by Dr. B. B. Witham. Its blacksmiths are J. W. Peik, John Olvey and G. L. Morrow. Postmaster, David Brown. Among those that have been in the government service at this point are J. C. Bills, Garrison Asbury and P. J. Brinegar. Woodbury has one church, a district school, one store, a blacksmith shop, post-office and railroad station, a central location, and plenty of room for future development.

MANITAU TRIBE, No. 53, I. O. R. M.,

was organized January 8, 1875, at Fortville. The first officers of this Indian Tribe were J. H. Treher, sachem; Andrew Kappes, senior sachem; G. H. Jackson, junior sachem; C. V. Hardin, chief of records, and Garrison Asbury, keeper of wampum. The lodge organized under favorable circumstances, with about twenty members, and is still on the war path and around the camp fires with increasing numbers. Its present officers are: C. V. Hardin, S.; Thomas Toby, S. S.; Nat. Lake, J. S.; Andrew Kappes, keeper of wampum. Total membership, twenty-eight. Concil meetings and camp fires kindled Wednesday evening of each week.


There was for a number of years a temperance organization in Fortville, in addition to a Good Templar lodge. In February or March, 1879, D. B. Ross, of Indianapolis, page: 334[View Page 334] in connection with the Christian and M. E. churches, conducted a revival, during which six hundred persons signed the pledge. A branch of the National Christian Temperance Union was organized, with J. B. Anderson as president, S. H. McCarty vice-president, Irena Anderson secretary, Mrs. Dr. Stuart treasurer, and a board of five managers. A constitution was adopted, making the officers elective semi-annually. S. H. McCarty, J. B. Anderson and J. C. McCarty have been the presidents of the order. Meetings weekly or semi-monthly have been sustained continuously since the date of organization. The work has mainly been done by home talent, prominent among whom were Elder J. W. Ferrell, and Revs. J. S. McCarty and J. F. Rhoades. Other ministers and temperance lecturers have participated in the work. They have done good practical work, having succeeded in defeating applications for license till at this date there is not a licensed saloon in the place.


This lodge was granted a charter May 26, 1857. The first officers were James L. Dunnaha, W. M.; Eastley Helms, S. W.; George W. Kinniman, J. W.; James H. Perry, treasurer; Hiram Dunnaha, secretary; Samuel Arnett, S. D.; Peter Staats, tylor. The present officers are Samuel Arnett, W. M.; Perry King, S. W.; M. Jarrett, J. W.; J. Jarrett, treasurer; A. R. Chappel, secretary; A. C. Davis, S. D.; Volney Davis, J. D.; A. J. Brandenburg, tylor; Reuben Patterson and Joseph Bills, stewards. The lodge owns a comfortable, commodious hall, with the appropriate emblems of the order, in the second story over Bills's dry goods store. The order is in a flourishing condition, with a total membership of thirty-eight. The regular meetings occur on Saturday evening on or before the full of the moon in each month.

EDWARDS LODGE, No. 178, I. O. O. F.,

was instituted October 10, 1856, at Fortville. Charter page: 335[View Page 335] members: J. H. Perry, R. C. Pitman, C. P. Thomas, H. H. Rutherford, A. Staats, T. W. Heisin, Peter Morrison, J. B. McArthur, Peter Staats, Sen.; J. S. Merril, Wood Browning, Silas Helms, J. T. Russell, J. S. Edwards, G. H. Arnold, and A. Birchfield. The first officers of this lodge were: James Perry, N. G.; R. C. Pitman, V. G.; C. P. Thomas, sec'y, and H. H. Rutherford, treasurer. The present officers are: T. H. Vanzant, N. G.; F. W. Brewster, V. G.; J. H. Treher, sec'y, and Andrew Kappes, treasurer. This lodge took its name from Hon. William R. Edwards, formerly mayor of the city of Terre Haute. The order owns the room in which they meet, and the members seem to be dwelling together in friendship, love and truth. The stated meeting, occur Friday evenings of each week. Total membership, twenty-six.

The Daughters of Rebecca, a branch of the Odd Fellows, composed of women, hold their meetings in the same room each Saturday evening. Their lodge is known as Fortville Lodge, No. 80, and was chartered March 29, 1872. The first and present officers include some of the most noble women of Fortville.

MCCORDSVILLE LODGE, No. 338, I. 0. 0. F.,

was instituted in the upper room of the Thompson warehouse, November 17, 1869, with the following charter members: Green McCord, N. G.; J. H. Thomas, V. G.; Aaron Vail, sec'y, and William McCord, treasurer; C. W. Hervey, David Brown, P. A. Raber, J. Bills, J. H. Helms, John Dunham, J. W. Negley, Alfred Bills, Israel Fred, William Sapp and Sylvester Gaskins. The lodge continued to hold its meetings in the original room, until an increase of numbers made it necessary to obtain a new hall, whereupon the lodge purchased a convenient and commodious room, in a brick building owned by Caldwell & Steele. Here the order, pleasantly located, in a room well furnished, has grown financially and numerically, until it can boast of forty-five active members, together page: 336[View Page 336] with an orphan fund of nearly $400, and a general fund of $2,400. The present officers are: A. J. Gale, N. G.; Frank Klepfer, V. G.; J. P. McCord, sec'y, and John W. McCord, treasurer. The oldest member of the lodge is William Morrison, who was initiated at Pendleton Lodge, No. 88, on the 8th of May, 1854.


was organized under dispensation in 1852, and was granted a charter in 1853. The lodge held its meetings for a time in the second story of Elias McCord's house. B. G. Jay, W. M.; Dr. J. W. Hervey, S. W.; Nelson Bradley, J. W. This lodge was removed to Oakland in 1853, and, retaining its old number, was known as Oakland Lodge, No. 140.


was fully organized under a charter granted May 25, 1875. Among the first officers were Thomas P. Hervey, W. M.; Henry Crossley, S. W.; Ebenezer Steele, J. W. The present officers are Henry Crossley, W. M.; James H. Kimberlin, S. W.; James H. Wright, J. W.; Dudley Hervey, secretary; Elias McCord, treasure; Jesse H. Jackson, S. D.; Andrew J. Stanley, J. D.; E. Chevis, tylor. To this lodge belong some of the sturdy men of McCordsville and vicinity. The lodge is not large, but prosperous. A chapter (No. 44) of the Masonic order was organized at McCordsville on the 23rd day of May, 1860. A council was established under a dispensation granted on the 8th day of March, 1881. The Masonic order at McCordsville has a splendid room, well furnished, and the lodge is in a healthful, prosperous condition financially and otherwise.


was organized in 1854, in the then little town of Fortville. page: [337][View Page [337]] [View Figure]
page: 338[View Page 338] The following named members had, for a year prior to the Fortville organization, constituted a class across the line in Hamilton county: Peter Staats and wife, Martin Shaffer and lady, Mathias Shaffer and wife, Hiram Rutherford and wife, R. C. Pitman and lady, Henry Humphreys, wife and mother, and Mrs. Stuart. They held their meetings during this time in private dwellings, barns, unoccupied houses, and on one occasion they had preaching in a saw-mill. Rev. L. W. Munson observed that he had preached in the forests, fields, and out-of-the-way places, but never before in a saw-mill. The society becoming more numerous, in 1856 erected a frame church, large and substantial, which was dedicated by Rev. Thos. Bowman, D. D. Among the first ministers were Revs. M. Wyman, Eli, Rammel, James Black, J. S. McCarty, and L. W. Munson. The present minister is J. S. McCarty.

In connection with this church is established one of the best Sunday-schools in the county. Below is a summary report for the year 1878: Average attendance, one hundred and forty-seven; smallest attendance, eighty; largest attendance, two hundred and twenty-four. There was donated by all of the classes for the year, $121.51. Received from sale of journals, $7.22. The number of papers distributed during the year were: Everybody's Paper, 1,200 copies; Sunday School Advocate, 2,400 copies; Good News, 1,200 copies; Picture Lesson Paper, 1,000 copies; Temperance Alliance, 1,200; Berean Lesson Leaves, 1,400. We have sufficient evidence before us fully establishing the fact that this is one of the most live, progressive, well disciplined, liberal, truth-seeking, Bible-searching Sunday-schools which it is our privilege to notice in this history. This school was organized in 1856. The first superintendent was Martin Shaffer, followed by William M. Baker, the present superintendent, who has held this position of trust and honor for more than twenty-three years.

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in Fortville, was built in 1869, under the ministration of D. J. McMullen, who was followed by Revs. J. B. Crowley, Logan, Fabel, Victor, et al. Among the first Catholics in the place were Patrick Kelly, George Voucher, John Callahan, Charles Bird, Daniel Mack and Thomas Tobin. The congregation consists at this time of sixteen families. Services are held on the third Sunday of each month. The membership are in peace and harmony, and the organization is in a healthy condition, performing its prescribed functions with efficiency.


was organized in the year 1852, in a log school-house, in the south-east corner of the township. Among the first members were Alfred Denney and wife, George and Nancy Kingery, William Thomas and lady, Burto W. Jackson and helpmate. Among those who have pointed out the way of life and salvation in this corner of the moral vineyard are E. Caylor, D. Harmon, B. Bowman and George Hoover. The first communion was held at the private residence of Alfred Denney, in the year 1854, conducted by E. Caylor and G. Studebaker. The organization has held its meetings for a number of years in the school-house on Alfred Denney's farm. The present membership is from fifty to sixty, including our old friend and Mexican veteran, Alfred Denney.


was built in the year 1874, at a cost of $1,100, and dedicated by Samuel Lamb. The first trustees were Franklin Dunham, John Sample and John Hooker. Meetings were held prior to the building of the house, in a school-house, one mile north. The first members were few but faithful, and the seciety has continued to grow to this date, The page: 340[View Page 340]