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The history of early Terre Haute from 1816 to 1840. Condit, Blackford, 1829–1903 
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EARLY TERRE HAUTE

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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY

THE life of Terre Haute extends back over three-fourths of a century. In due time some one will write its history, but our purpose here is to tell of its early beginnings and growth, from 1816 to 1840, when the original village had grown so far beyond its limits that it justly could be called a city. It is true that as early as 1832, the town was incorporated. By virtue of an act of the legislature, approved January 26th, 1832, a meeting was called at the Court House, and the wheels of a city government were put in place, by the election of a long list of officers, and by dividing the town into five wards. But when we are informed that the population numbered but six hundred, and that the business was confined to the rows of buildings surrounding the Court House square, we may reasonably conclude that the village life of the town had not yet ended. Besides, this conviction is confirmed, when told that near the old Blinn house on Third street, north of Chestnut, " there was a dense forest," also that "wild deer could be seen gamboling, where the Terre Haute House now stands." Again that immediately north of Mr. Blinn, was the "range" for cattle, which was "vocal with the-ringing of cowbells;" and that many of the villagers went thither" both morning and evening, in search of their cattle;" surely all this indicates that whatever the aspirations of 1832, our town was still a village.

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From the above date, however, the population gradually increased. In 1835 it numbered over twelve hundred. In 1838 a new charter was granted by the State legislature, and under its provisions the first mayor was chosen. This same year a daily mail to Indianapolis was established. The Prairie House about this time, was opened to the public. The year 1840 was looked upon as separating the old and the new. All comers, therefore, previous to this date, may be classed as old pioneers, and early settlers. Not a few of these still remain, and they recall with pride, the olden times, before the forties. "The society in those early days was so good," said a good friend to me the other day. "There existed a marked kindliness among the people," said another. Still another, " All new comers were heartily welcomed, and every man stood ready to lend a helping hand to his neighbor."

But whether village or city, the location has had much to do with its future development. Our town was not set down in a trackless waste, but in a valley already known to history; as we were located in the Mississippi basin, on a natural thoroughfare, extending from the Lakes on the north to the Gulf on the south. In 1682, or as some say, 1679, the celebrated La Salle led a band of explorers down the Illinois river to the Mississippi, and thence to the Gulf, and took possession of all the country covered by the Mississippi and its tributaries, in the name of Louis XIV. A new empire in the new world was the ambition of this monarch, and he would name it New France. In 1688 we read, that the French had "divers establishments on the Mississippi, as well as on the Ouabache," which latter is none other than our Wabash. Again we are told, that "De Iberville conducted a colony of Canadians from Quebeck to Louisiana, by way of the Maumee and the Wabash."

The eighteenth century was rich in events, which told not only upon the political interests of the northwest, but upon our whole country as well. The national flags of France and England in turn waved triumphantly over our Wabash page: 13[View Page 13] valley: but in time, the American flag permanently displaced them. This was as it ought to have been, for the sake of the homes of the early settlers, for the sake of good government, and the common weal of all the land extending to the Pacific Ocean.

Instead of clogging the following pages with references, I would make my acknowledgmn.ents once for all, to such authorities as Bancroft's History of the United States, which is rich in material concerning the occupation of the country by the Indians. Whatever of other histories of Indiana there may be, Dillon's will always occupy a prominent place on the library shelf and student's table. Of William H. Smith's History of Indiana, in two volumes, 1897, I cannot speak too highly. The work is clear and comprehensive and as it becomes known, will be better appreciated. It covers the history of our State from 1763 to T897. Another history of Indiana is that of J. P. Dunn, Jr. The central point of interest in this work, as the author intended, is the fearful part that slavery played up to the time of the organization of the state. As throwing light upon the early political history of Indiana, this book is invaluable. The History of Indiana, by William H. English, was intended to comprise a complete history of the state, with biographical sketches of its most eminent men. He lived to complete but a single volume, which covers the early history of the Northwestern territory. Whether his purpose is ever carried out, this volume is an important contribution to the history of this part of the country, in that he spared neither time nor expense in gathering up original matter. Judge John Law's Colonial History of Vincennes is local and so far important. Butler's History of The Commonwealth of Kentucky, dealing as it does with the Northwestern campaign, covers much of the early history of Indiana. Hon. O. H. Smith's Early Indiana Trials and Sketches is a delightful book for lawyers, and laymen as well. W. W. Woollen's Biographical Sketches of Early Indiana is a desirable book for all who would make the acquaintance of the prominent men of the state who lived page: 14[View Page 14] previously to 1883. For facts in regard to the Indian, I am greatly indebted to Catlin's North American Indians, London, 1866: also to Schoolcraft's Thirty Years among the Indian Tribes, Philadelphia, 1851. The Mississippi Basin, by Justin Winsor, is an authoritative work, on account of the sources from which it is drawn; and yet it must be, that in many of the difficult questions it pronounces upon, the last word has not been spoken.

More specific and local are the Historical Notes on the Wabash Valley, by H. W. Beckwith, and the History of Vigo County by Judge S. B. Gookins, bound together in the History of Vigo and Parke Counties, i88o. If possible, more valuable is the History of Vigo County by H. C. Bradsby, 1891. These histories contain a mine of information bearing directly upon the early settlement of Terre Haute and Vigo County. As sources for the most part they are reliable as their facts were gathered from newspaper files, county records and personal interviews, and so, are of the first importance. The same may be said of the four volumes of newspaper cuttings made by the late Mr. Henry Warren, and kindly loaned to me by the family. In these volumes are preserved facts pertaining to the history of Terre Haute families and individuals, that must otherwise have passed into oblivion. I would here repeat my sincere thanks to the family for the free use of these highly prized volumes. Besides the above acknowledgments, I must not forget to express my obligations to the manyrmany friends; some of whom kindly granted personal interviews, while others replied by letter, to lists of questions bearing upon personal, family and local matters of interest. Sometimes this trouble was not small, as garrets were searched, and trunks made to yield up their treasures in the way of old and almost forgotten letters and family papers.

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CHAPTER II

THE WABASH RIVER

NAMES are the footprints of history. The hundreds of Indian names of lakes, rivers, and towns, tell of the aborigines of the country; so, English and French names indicate the fact of English and French occupation. In the names of our own river, we have illustrations of this fact. Wabash was spelled Ouabache by the French, the diphthong ou having the force of w. The early French explorers and writers spelled the word as they caught the guttural pronunciation of the Indians. Sometimes it appears as Ouabache, Oubash, or Waubache. To the musical ear of the polite Frenchman this rude and uncouth sound was offensive; hence he preferred to translate the word according to its literal meaning, and so named it, Blanch river. This is true also of the English, who disliking everything French, retranslated the name, and called it, White river. Again in turn when English rule came to an end, the American restored to the river its original name. These, as footprints, mark the progress of events as they occurred.

There is one other name, that deserves mention in this connection, in that it marks one of the earliest attempts to rob our river of its rightful name, and plainly indicates the footprint of the Jesuit Father. The name occurs but once so far as I have discovered, and may be found in the original grant of Louis XIV., to Anthony Crozat, who was high counselor and secretary of his household. The letters patent were granted in 1712, in which the king declares certain privileges to be enjoyed by the said Crozat, "to carry on trade in all the lands possessed by us bordering on the river of St. Louis, heretofore called Mississippi; also on the river page: 16[View Page 16] St. Philips, heretofore called Missouri; and the St. Jerome, heretofore called Ouabache."

The story of Crozat in his greed for gold is interesting; but the object here is simply to point out, that previously to this date, by means of public documents, the monarch learned, that the names of these rivers by the authority of Catholic missionaries and explorers had been changed; and especially that the river heretofore known as Wabash was to be called St. Jerome. All honor to the memory of St. Jerome, who flourished in the fourth century, and was the most celebrated Greek and Hebrew scholar of his age. The Church and the World are indebted to him for the best Latin version of the Bible known as the Vulgate. But instead of his great name for our little river, we very much prefer the Indian name Ouabache.

The name was doubtless suggested by the river itself, as its waters were remarkable for their clearness. So that when the Indian stood upon its banks, or rowed his bark canoe over its surface, he naturally called it Ouabache, which meant in his language, white. The once small boy of the village easily recalls, how, when he went in swimming up at the old sand- bar, the white sand glittered through the clear water, at a depth of several feet; also how the white pebbles and the mussel shells with their rainbow colors, could be plainly seen, and the delight he took in diving for them. While our river rightly rejoices in its original name, yet it must be that we are called to lament that it has lost much of its ancient glory. In times past, the wild forest and uncultivated prairies filtered much of the water before it reached the river; but now not only the surface waters with their impurities, rush through the creeks into the river; but our boasted civilization adds the contribution of its sewage. In its nature, our river was one not only with the red man of the forest, but with the wild beasts that slaked their thirst from its generous waters, and the wild fowls that rested on its bosom. But this first glory is passed; and whatever we may have thought, there was a wonderful adaptation of man, beasts, forests and water page: 17[View Page 17] courses, each to the other. So that no wonder the Indian warrior in the person of Tecumseh, in his memorable speech at Vincennes, in 181o, should say: "The sun is my father-the earth is my mother-and on her bosom I will recline." And that in the course of his speech he should add, "The great spirit had given all the country as common property to all the tribes; that they had been driven from the banks of the Delaware, across the Alleghanies, and that their possessions on the Wabash, and the Illinois were now to be taken from them. Like galloping horses, their tribes had been driven to; Wards the setting sun,--that for himself and his warriors he had determined to resist any further aggression of the whites." No one can read these noble sentiments of this proud warrior, without feeling that logically he was in the right, but the iron heel of civilization was crushing him, and all that belonged to the very existence of his people.

On a certain anniversary occasion that took place in one of our city churches in Terre Haute, one of the speakers by way of compliment, referred to the historical fact, that the Wabash for many years was considered the river that emptied into the Mississippi, and that the Ohio was one of its tributaries. This was quite natural when we recall the fact, as intimated in the previous chapter, that the Wabash was an important link in connecting the extreme north with the extreme south land. Early French writers spoke of the Ouabache as the river that emptied into the Mississippi. And even after the error had been refuted, in common parlance, it was kept alive. Without reference however, to any false claims, the Wabash was not only traversed by the hardy explorers and traders, but it was the natural water way for the red man in passing from the Lakes on the north to the Gulf on the south; and because of its being the natural thoroughfare, it may be possible, when the time comes for building the Great Ship Canal, uniting the lakes with the gulf, our Wabash shall become an important link in that grand commercial enterprise.

In closing, a brief reference to the Wabash as a very ancient river, it may not be out of place, to briefly refer to the page: 18[View Page 18] prehistoric monuments standing upon its banks, which point to other races, that have existed here, and have passed away; of whom much has been surmised, and but little known. The literature of Mounds and Mound builders is abundant, describing ancient fortifications and mounds throughout the country, and especially in Ohio, and the southern portion of Indiana; but I would here simply call attention to the fact, of existing mounds and earthworks in the adjacent counties of Sullivan and Knox. For a full description of these, the reader is referred to the Reports of State Geologists, Professors John Collett, and E. T. Cox.

One of these fortifications lies almost at our door, and we knew it not. Doubtless many of us have been in the town of Merom, and admired its high banks or bluffs, but no one said, "Come and see Fort Azatlan, the great wonder of our neighborhood." This Fort Azatlan, or Aztec fort as some prefer to call it, neither of which names are quite satisfactory, is described as situated upon a table land on the east side of the Wabash, about one hundred and seventy feet above the level of the river. On the eastern side, and on the south- western end, there are deep ravines, which serve as natural defenses. Where these are weak, they are strengthened by artificial stone walls. The length of the fortification is about twelve hundred feet; its width in the center, is some four hundred; at the north end, fifty; and at the south end, a hundred feet.

The interior of the fort contains "depressions or sinks, circular in form and varying in width from ten to twenty feet." In the interior, also on the outside, there are "burial mounds, showing that the place was quite densely populated for a long period of time."

In Knox county, near our neighboring city of Vincennes, there is a remarkable group of what are called Indian mounds. These differ in size; and there are three which are specially noticeable, on account of their peculiar shape. One bears the name of Pyramid mound; another, that of Sugarloaf mound; and a third, that of Terrace mound. The last is the largest, page: 19[View Page 19] and has a height of sixty-seven feet, with a base from east to west of some three hundred and sixty feet.

Following the river below Vincennes, there is an "immense group of mounds" at New Harmony. There is also near there on the top of one of the highest hills, "a shell heap covering an half acre, to the depth of thirty feet."

Who were these dwellers on the banks of our ancient river? Were these Mound builders one and the same with the Fort builders? Did one enslave, or drive out the other; if so, what became of the conquering race? In the line of the world's inhabitants where shall we place these peoples? Prehistoric is a very convenient word, covering up a thousand unanswerable questions; and opening up opportunities of countless theories and speculations. And yet relics have been unearthed, and facts collected, that command not only a justifiable curiosity, but, profound interest. Small mounds comparatively of little importance are known to have been located immediately north and south of Terre Haute; but they have been plowed over, and so far effaced. In a single instance at least, one of these mounds located south of the town, was examined but no relics were found of any importance.

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CHAPTER III

WABASH RIVER CRAFT

THE Indian maiden, in her beautifully wrought birch canoe, was an ideal picture of grace and of contentment. No bird upon the water could be more composed and at home. Her boat, light as to weight, on landing, she threw over head as a hood, and bore it to her wigwam. No doubt but that our river, in times past has frequently carried on its bosom, not only single canoes, but flotillas of Indian canoes of every size and variety of make.

The birch-bark canoe is the lightest and handsomest, and on account of its strength the best adapted to long journeys and heavy loads. Mr. H. W. Beckwith, in his Historic Notes on the North West, in quoting at length from M. Pouchet says in substance: the birch-bark canoes are solid and artistically made. The frames are made of thin strips of cedar, some three or four inches wide, and covered with the bark of the birch tree, sewed together like skins, and tied along the ribs with the inner bark of the roots of the cedar. They then put in cross bars to strengthen the boat, and to serve as seats. According to the size, there might be three, six, twelve and even twenty-four of these bars or seats. The seams are covered with gum. Catlin, in his Letters and Notes on the American Indians, in describing the birch canoes says: "They are generally made complete with the rind of one birch tree, and so ingeniously shaped and sewed together with the roots of the tamarack that they are water tight, and ride upon the waters as light as a cork. They gracefully lean and dodge about, under the skillful balance of an Indian; but like everything wild, are timid and treacherous under the guidance of a white man." He describes also the skin canoe of the Mandans of page: 21[View Page 21] the Upper Missouri, which is made almost round like a tub, the frame being made of willow boughs and covered with the skin of the buffalo. "The woman in paddling this awkward tub, stands in the bow, and makes the stroke with the paddle by reaching it forward in the water and drawing it to her, by which means she pulls her canoe along with considerable speed." This boat was for home use, and doubtless never appeared on the waters of the Wabash.

They had also a canoe constructed of elm bark which was comparatively frail. It is described as made from the bark of an elm tree, while yet its sap is flowing. The bark is taken off as a whole, of such length as may be desired. After dressing the rough side they turn the inside out, and introduce wooden bows for the sake of strengthening the boat, and giving to it a canoe shape. The ends are sewed up with elhn bark, and then gummed to make them water tight. These canoes, according to their length, carry three to nine persons. "They sit on their heels without moving for fear of losing their balance, when the machine will upset."

Still another style, used by the Indians, was a log canoe, or dugout, for the most part called a pirogue. This was made from the trunk of a tree hollowed out and pointed at each end. Some suppose this was done by the Indian with his dull stone hatchet; while others affirm that he used fire to aid him in the process. These boats were long and strong and much used on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Like other Indian water craft they were treacherous and hard for the white man to manage. Mr. Catlin, in speaking of his experience with a pirogue says: " At the Traverse de Sioux our horses were left, and we committed our bodies and little travelling conveniences to the narrow -compass of a modest canoe, that must most evidently have been dug out from the wrong side of the log,--that required us and everything in it to be exactly in the bottom--and then, to look straight forward, and speak from the middle of our mouths, or it was 'tother side up' in an instant. In this way embarked, with our paddles used as balance poles and propellers (after drilling page: 22[View Page 22] awhile in shallow water .... .) we started off upon the bosom of the St. Peters for the Fall of St. Anthony."

Judge Gookins, in his account of his journey from the State of New York, by the northern route in 1823, informs us incidentally, of the price of pirogues. He says: "The next feat to be accomplished was the ascent of the Miami or Maumee as it was called. We found an old French trader with a canoe constructed in a style much superior to the common pirogue; but his price, $20.00, we considered quite too high. We finally found a canoe well made and new, which we pur- chased .... but in loading found it much too small. It cost us $7.00. Then we swapped with the old Frenchman, paying him $5.00 to boot, and so we got his $20.00 watercraft for $12.00."

The above were the several kinds of watercraft the Frenchman found when he entered this country as a fur trader. He adopted the large birch bark canoe on account of its con- struction which combined lightness with strength. The pirogues, he sometimes lashed together side by side, something in the manner of a raft, and thus they became convenient for heavy loads of fur skins. There was a marked change however, when the American pioneer came upon the scene. He brought with him the family boat with its broad flat bottom, into which he could load not only wife and children, but household effects. In this way, all the conveniences of an eastern home were introduced into the western cabin, until a more comfortable house could be erected. One of the earliest recorded arrivals on the Wabash, of these boats was in 1816. It was composed of a number of families from the State of New York, known as the Markle party. "Proceeding from Olean Point on the Allegheny river, they floated down the Ohio. Reaching the Wabash, they poled up that river to Vincennes. After a stay of about two weeks the fleet proceeded up the river to Fort Harrison."

Before the introduction of the steamboat, the keel boat and the barge were the favorite water craft for carrying freight and passengers. These names were interchangeable, that is, page: 23[View Page 23] a barge was called a keel boat, and a keel boat a barge. Some of these boats were propelled by oars, and others simply by poles. These "setting poles," as they were called, were used not only for "poling" the boat up stream, but for warding off logs and sawyers. Again some of these barges were only adapted for transporting loads of wood or common freight, while others were fitted up for the convenience of passengers as well as drygoods and groceries. The labor of rowing and poling these barges up stream was excessive. In stemming a swift current, by keeping close to the shore and by the use of cars, po!es and a cordelle or tow line, a distance of six miles was all that could be made in a day.

The small barge used for local purposes, and all kinds of rough loading from its worn out and leaking condition, was called a scow. This name also fitted any old skiff or dug out.

The raft was another convenient craft, consisting of a large number of logs fastened together side by side, for the sake of floating them to a distant saw mill. I am told that on account of the demand for timber from the Wabash country, large rafts were constructed, and loaded with cargoes of home products, all of which, cargo and logs, found ready sale in New Orleans.

The skiff, or yawl, as it was sometimes called, had a canoe shape at the front end, while the back was square. These boats unlike the canoe or dugout which were propelled by paddles, were provided with row locks on the gunwales, in which oars rested for rowing.

The ferry boat was one of the necessities of the early pioneer. It was a great flat bottomed boat constructed to carry cattle, sheep, hogs, as well as loaded wagons across the river; and so was provided with high railings on either side and bars at the ends. At each end also there was attached a wide apron or bridge fastened by heavy iron hinges, thus facilitating the stepping from the shore into the boat. These boats were propelled by poles, also by oars in times of high water.

But above all the water craft of the Wabash, was our home page: 24[View Page 24] made flat boat. It was a veritable ark made to float with the current, and wonderfully adapted to carrying large cargoes of corn, pork, lard and all kinds of country produce down the river to New Orleans. Our city must never forget the grand old flat boat. It deserves to be inscribed upon our escutcheon; for to this flat boat we are largely indebted for our first start in the world. Our oldest citizens are familiar with the appearances of these arklike vessels; but comparatively few could intelligently describe their construction. I am indebted to a friend, who in his younger days was an old boatman, Mr. Jerry C. Hidden, who kindly furnished me with the following particulars. The length of an ordinary flat boat was from sixty to a hundred feet; the width from sixteen to twenty-two feet; the height about five feet. For a single gunwale or gunnel as it was commonly called, a tall poplar tree was selected, and after the trunk had been rived apart and hewed down to the proper size, the two were spliced together for the sake of the required length. Two gunwales thus prepared were firmly fastened together some twenty feet apart, planked on the bottom side, and calked with oakum, and thus made water tight. The sides were boarded up with heavy planks fastened to stanchions, with wooden pegs or pins. Here again the joints were calked with oakum. The roof covered the whole boat with the exception of an opening at one end, which was set off for bunks and for cooking. For guiding and sometimes for propelling purposes, there were great oars or sweeps on the sides, also at the end of the boat. There was also the ever present setting poles clad at the end with iron spikes. The flat boat crew usually consisted of five boat hands headed by a captain. The trip to New Orleans, from Terre Haute, was made in about twenty-one days. The hourly dangers by day as well as by night, consisted of hidden snags, also swaying snags, or old sawyers as they were called; and the thundering, rushing crevasse. These breaks in the embankments of the lower Mississippi caused by the fierce rushing of its troubled waters, were heralded by a sound resembling rolling page: 25[View Page 25] thunder, which created consternation in the minds of the most experienced boatmen; since with one sweep the mad current carried everything within its reach out into the overflowed bottoms.

The beginning of the end of the flat boat trade, was when the first steamboat appeared at our wharf, which is said to have been in 1822. The captain and his boat were welcomed by a concourse of villagers gathered on the banks of the river, and by the booming of the town cannon. Another boat followed in 1826. In due time regular packet boats had their appointed days of arrivals and departures. It was a glad sight to see "a fleet of steamboats" wending its way up the river, ladened with sugar, salt and other merchandise. These were the days of village prosperity, when our river front was graced with steamboats, loading and unloading freight; when wagons and drays crowded upon each other in carting barrels, boxes, and casks through the heavy sand and up the long hill into the town. The flat boat trade, however, was too firmly established to be entirely supplanted. In the thirties our boat yard situated north of the city on the sandy shore of the river, just below where the City Water Works now stand, was one of the centers of industry. The sawing and the hewing to the chalk line; the pounding together the frame work; the driving of the great wooden pins, and the punching home the oakum, or calking into every crack and cranny, altogether created a busy and lifelike scene.

In addition to the above Mr. D. H. Ritter, in the Bloomfield News, April 20, 1900, kindly sent me specific answers to a number of questions, from which the following facts are condensed. When sawed with a whip-saw, one tree made four pieces or half gunnels, eight inches thick, thirty-two inches wide, sloped sixteen feet at both ends. The bottom was made of two-inch planks, crosswise, pinned to streamers and in rabbets. The oar at the stern was called "the steering oar;" the one at the bow "the gouger." A White river boat 80 x 18 carried 3,500 bushels of corn. Wabash boats were larger and carried 5,000 bushels of corn. All these are average page: 26[View Page 26] figures. "The big Terre Haute boat of 1841, 130 x 29, carried 0o,ooo bushels of corn."

As suggested, however, with the coming of the steamboat there came a change heartily welcomed by the white man, but not by the Indian. The barge or keel boat, the canoes or wooden skiffs, though they surprised the Indian, yet they neither alarmed or offended him, but upon the first appearance of the steamboat, breathing out its white steam, black smoke, and belching forth its red fiery sparks, the poor affrighted Indian fled as from a huge unearthly monster. Even after explanations and assurances were given, and he had become somewhat acquainted with the workings of the steamboat, he was still superstitious and fearful, and persisted in believing that this ugly, threatening creature was an offense to the gentle river, and to the Great Spirit as well, and the only reason he could give was that the white man "biled" the water of the river to drive the angry boat over its peaceful bosom.

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CHAPTER IV

INDIAN VILLAGES ON THE WABASH

BEFORE the coming of the white man our information respecting the American Indian is largely traditional. Their writings were confined to pictures, or hieroglyphics made for the most part on the inside of the skins of animals. If these ever contained records of importance they have perished. Their hatchets, arrowheads, pipes and mortars being of stone, are almost the only lasting relics they have left behind. In this immediate region there are traditions of bloody battles fought on the Wabash between the Illini or Illinois and the Iroquois. It is not a little difficult to understand the history of the Indian tribes on account of their various divisions into different bands, under separate names. The historical element in language, points unmistakably to the fact that very many of the seemingly separate tribes once belonged to the original Algonquin race. That the Wabash valley should have been the early home of the ancient red man is not surprising. Its wild forests, luxuriant prairies, and numerous water courses, each in turn abounding with beasts, fowl, and fish, made it an ideal hunting ground. Here were herds of buffalo, and deer; flocks of wild turkeys, and waterfowl of every description; which were not hunted for sport, but for food, clothing and the coverings of their wigwams. When the white man first explored the vast territory lying east of the Mississippi river, the Miamis were in possession of the land now occupied by the State of Indiana. They were a confederate nation, made uD of the Twightwees, or Miamis proper, the Weas, or Ouiatenons, the Piankeshaws, and the Shockneys.

Prominent among the Indian villages of the Wabash was Chip-Kaw-Kay, which was situated where the city of page: 28[View Page 28] Vincennes now stands. Judge Law calls the name Chippe Coke, or Brush Wood, and says: "As to its early history . . . clouds and darkness rest upon it." He fails also in the exact date of its settlement by the French; and of its becoming a military post. After much research and no little conjecture he says by way of conclusion: "If I am right . . . the settlement of this place by the French may be dated back as far as the year 1710 or 11." As a basis of his conclusion he quotes a letter written by Father Gabriel Marest, dated Kaskaskia, Nov. 9, 1712, in which he graphically describes the country bordering on the Ouabache; that "buffalo" and "bear" abound; also that "the French have lately established a Fort on the river Wabash and demanded a missionary; and that Father Mermet was sent to them." The date of this letter and the demand for a missionary seem good grounds for Judge Law's conclusion. But other authorities are quite as confident that there was no post there till after 1715; and in the absence of any direct record, it is probable that it was established in 1720; while some fix the date about 1727. It is conceded, however, that French traders visited the village of Chip-Kaw-Kay many years previous to the date of its becoming a military post.

Ouiatenon, pronounced We-a-te-non, was another Indian village located on the Wabash between Attica and Lafayette. It was the largest of the Wea villages, and was in the center of the Beaver country. A trading post was established here by the French about the year 1720, but like other Indian villages, doubtless it was visited by French fur traders years before. There were several straggling Wea villages in this vicinity, but this was the largest. Quoting from a Paris document, Dillon says: " This river, Ouabache, is the one on which the Oui-a-te-nons are settled. They consist of five villages, contiguous to each other, . . . they are all Ou-ja-ta-nons, having the same language as the Miami, whose brothers they are, . . . having all the same customs and dress." Little or nothing is known of these Wea villages excepting traditional accounts of bloody wars with their page: 29[View Page 29] neighbors. The Ouiatenons were a warlike people, yet inclined to peace. Coming down into the range of history, it is known that they permitted other tribes to settle within their domains in preference to waging a war of extermination. The Ouiatenons like the other tribes welcomed the French fur trader for the sake of his trinkets, blankets, and especially his whiskey. They were ready to undergo any and all hardships in hunting, for the sake of securing skins to barter with the traders. This is no place to dwell upon the degrading influences of the French trader. The writings of the Jesuit fathers, and of early travelers, besides public documents, are filled with the accounts of the degraded condition of the Indian from contact with the French fur trader. There were notable exceptions, but from this time the doom of the red man was sealed.

In 1791 the village of Ouiatenon "had about eighty houses with shingle roofs." As a trading post it had ranked first in importance. A Franco-Indian civilization sprang up, which grew from bad to worse. But about this time a radical change took place, the French fur trader had gone, and in his place came the American pioneer, not to trade with the Indians, nor freely to mingle with them, but he came with his own family to find a home in the wilderness, and to lay the foundations of a civilization based upon an open Bible, upon school books, and upon the axe, the plow and the hoe. His government would possess the lands only by treaty, and would insist that the rights of the people as settlers should be respected. As Americans and pioneers they were the governors as well as the governed. They rose as one man and demanded peace, which meant protection by law and order, even at the expense of war. Treaties were made, and it must be added, were broken by both parties. The country was in a disturbed condition, and it was unsafe for the white man in the region north of Vincennes. Ouiatenon village became the center of discontent. Nothing short of its destruction would insure peace. On the 23d of March, 1791, Brigadier-General Scott with a force of eight hundred page: 30[View Page 30] mounted men was sent against the place. Although he burned the village, and destroyed the corn, he was not entirely successful. In August of the same year, however, Brigadier- General James Wilkinson completed the destruction. In his official report he states: "I have destroyed the chief town of the Ouiatenon nation, and made prisoners of the sons and sisters of the king. I have burned a respectable Kickapoo village, and cut down at least four hundred and thirty acres of corn, chiefly in the milk. The Ouiatenons (Weas), left without houses, homes or provisions, must cease to war, and will find active employ to subsist their squaws and children during the impending Winter."

There is one other Wea village which claims our special attention, from the fact that so far as its location is concerned, it was a part and parcel of our own city. It stood on the high bank of the river, on the spot now occupied by the Terre Haute Water Works. The locality is the same as that of the old Indian Orchard of our village days. Accordingly the village was known also by the name of Orchard town. This old orchard plainly indicated that this village afterwards became a small French trading post, for the habit of the French was to plant orchards and cultivate small gardens, where they settled down into village life.

The old Indian name of this Wea village was Ouiateno, pronounced We-au-te-no, and is said to have meant Rising Sun. The name was not only beautiful but most appropriate, in that from this elevated site, an unobscured view of the sun could be had as it rose over the eastern bluff, and looked down upon the wide stretch of intervening prairie. It was an ideal location for an Indian village, since the view was not only unobscured toward the rising, but also across the river far towards the setting sun. Neither could an enemy approach unseen on the river from the north or the south, since the high bank commanded an excellent outlook. What the ancient history of this village may have been, is buried in obscurity; but it requires no great stretch of the imagination, to picture these Indians hunting in our woods, chasing the buffalo on page: 31[View Page 31] our prairie, and fishing in our river. Doubtless their trails, and well worn pony paths, extended over the same ground our present streets occupy. Although history is silent we know that here the Indian gathered around his camp fires, smoked his long pipe, played his ball games, danced his war dance, and worshipped the Great Spirit.

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CHAPTER V

THE PRAIRIE

LIKE the river our prairie made possible a site worthy of an ideal village. The problem of the ages was to displace a lake some twelve or fourteen miles in length, four miles in width, sixty or more feet in depth, and make a garden spot instead. In the filling of the lake the forces employed were tremendous. Boulders, cobble stones, gravel and sand had to be transported from the far distant North. When the filling was completed, a rich loam of peculiar fineness had to be prepared, and spread over the surface. In this soil must be planted seeds of every variety, that there might spring up grasses, fruits and flowers in profusion. And so the centuries wrought. And it came to pass that the garden was made, and the seeds planted, each producing and reproducing after its kind. And so after ages and ages had intervened, when the earliest settler first looked upon this prairie, it presented a paradise of beauty. There were the gentians, fringed, the lobelias, clad in their delicate blue, and the cardinals, blazing in their brilliant red. There were wild pinks, roses, phloxes, or sweet williams. Of these last, it has been said, "in beauty and every desirable feature they rivaled the products of the hot house." In enumerating the wild flowers of the prairie, the golden rod with its bright yellow plumes must not be forgotten; neither the blue bells, snow drops nor larkspurs. Before the hand of civilization wrought havoc on our prairie, these and a hundred other varieties flourished in all their gorgeousness, or nestled in their modesty under the cover of the high grasses. And even now after three-quarters of a century of plowing, hoeing and trampling, many of these wild children of nature still survive page: 33[View Page 33] in the edges of the woods, and in neglected and uncultivated fields.

Not least among the charms of our prairie were the trees of the wood, which fringed its edges on every side. They were the noblest specimens of the forest, indicating excellency of soil and climate. Prominent among these were the walnuts, the black and the white, the hickories, in their several varieties, the sturdy oaks, the black and the white, the great poplars, white and yellow, and the magnificent maples, hard and soft. Besides, without attempting a complete list, there were the elms, the long white armed sycamores, the beeches, the wild cherries, and the locusts, with their sweet- scented white racemes or clusters, and delicate leaves. These latter transplanted along the streets, were for years the pride and glory of our village sidewalks.

The woods on either side of the prairie seemingly craving a place in the sunshine jutted out into the open, and sometimes separated from their fellows nestled together in small groves which added much to the beauty of the landscape. These islands of shade and shadow were not only a relief to the eye, but a resting place for beast and bird.

Still fresh in the memory of our early settlers is the wild cherry tree grove on East Chestnut street, where the Terre Haute and Indianapolis R. R. depot was first located. It was the home of flocks of blackbirds, whose chirping and noisy din in time of ripe cherries presented a lively scene. In the center of the prairie to the north and east of the town, stood what was familiarly known as Early's grove. The place is still marked by a few old stumps of trees, but its beauty and glory are gone. Besides these there were little clumps of plum trees, red and black haws, and crab-apple trees which nestled together in separate families as if avoiding too close contact with other trees.

Among the groves, also in the adjacent woods, nut bearing trees abounded. The nuts of the black walnut were rich, and those of the butternut, or white walnut were very delicate. The shell barks were preferable among the hickory nuts. page: 34[View Page 34] Then there was the pecan, rich in flavor and much superior to those brought here. There was also the delightful hazel- nut, which grew in thickets of tall bushes, which were cruelly grubbed up and torn from their places, to make room for the demands of civilization. Those of us who were boys previous to 184o remember distinctly the thickets of hazel bushes that grew " up on sixteen," which had to give place to town lots and village houses.

Next to the nuts came the small fruits, from the luscious wild strawberry on the hillside and the patches of blackberries in the openings of the woods, to the plums and the cherries, not forgetting the wild grapes whose dependant vines chose the sturdy trees as arbors. Then there was the May apple, and also the paw-paw. These paw-paws, yellow and luscious, were the delight of the small boy, but the horror of his mother. Sometimes the firm orange is found difficult for some people to manage in eating, but the paw-paw by its softness was hopelessly unmanageable.

As accessories to the prairie with its grasses, flowers and groves, were the beasts and the birds that gave variety and life to the scene. Here before the coming of the earliest pioneers, the buffalo roamed and fed, and the bear stole out of the adjacent wood for water to quench his thirst, and the wolf, hated and feared, though comparatively harmless, scampered over the prairie. Here also was the gentle deer, the timid mother with her more timid fawn, fleeing for fear where no fear was. And then the birds, resting in the groves, or feeding on the seeds of tall grasses, sailing in the sky above, or on the waters below, were here in the greatest variety. The wild turkeys went in gangs; the geese and ducks in flocks; and bevies of quails were everywhere,making joyful and home-like the neighboring fields or the vacant lots in the village with their familiar call of Bob-Bob-Bob-White. The friendly and gentle robin redbreast, the harbinger of Spring, visited the dooryards, or from some tall tree sent forth its plaintive cry at early morning and at the approach of evening. Very pleasant are the memories of our earliest residents, page: 35[View Page 35] as they recall the number and beauty of our native birds. There were the parrakeets in flocks, proudly decked in red and green, the blackbird, seemingly always on the wing, the voluble bobolink, the catbird, warbling its borrowed notes, the meadow lark, whose distant calls lent a charm to the adjacent fields; the delightful little wren with its inspiring notes, bespeaking a kindly heart, so kind that it could not scold, though sputter away as it might; and still other varieties, but too much civilization drove them hence, and only a remnant remains to remind of their former glory.

Although the first glory is passed, a second is to come. Our heritage is great. The wild waste must become the cultivated field. The possibilities of our garden spot can only be realized by the subduing and cultivating hand of man.

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CHAPTER VI

FORT HARRISON

INDIANA territory was organized May 10th, 1800. The seat of government was fixed at Vincennes, and General Winm. H. Harrison on the 13th of the same month, was appointed governor. About this time the Indian tribes on the Wabash were stirred up in opposition to the surrendering of their lands to the whites. Incited by Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, they entered into a confederacy against the whites. In July, 1811, the Secretary of Virginia authorized Gov. Harrison to call out the militia of the territory; also at his discretion to order Boyd's regiment of the United States Infantry to proceed at once against Prophet's Town, at the mouth of Tippecanoe river. On the 26th of September, of the same year, he set out on the march to the Upper Wabash, and on the 3d of October, encamped on the east bank of the river, some two miles north of the Indian village of Rising Sun, or Orchard Town, i. e., the future location of Terre Haute. Delighted with the location he proceeded on next day to carry out his intention of erecting a fort. Tradition fixes upon this point as the place where a bloody battle had been fought, which was called by the old French settlers, Bataille Illinois. While engaged in building the fort, the Governor received word from friendly Indians of the Delaware and Miami tribes, of the increasing hostility of the Shawanee Prophet and his confederates. That the Prophet's "tomahawk was up against the whites--that nothing would induce him to take it down unless the wrongs of the Indian were redressed." On the night of the tenth of October, some Shawanee Indians approached Harrison's camp while engaged in building the fort, and wounded one o'f his sentinels. page: 37[View Page 37] On the twenty-eighth of October, 1811, the fort was completed.

The following account of the construction of the fort was originally taken from a lecture delivered by General Charles Cruft before the Vigo Horticultural society some years ago. "The inclosure was an hundred and fifty feet square, a stockade of heavy timber. The two corners to the west were the block houses, forming the outer walls, and the eastern corners were bastions two stories, and projecting from the second story sufficiently to command the outside of the walls in two directions. These were pierced on each face with embrasures above and below to fire upon the enemy; and guard against an approach to set fire to the building. The western line towards the river was formed by the soldiers' barracks, these were merely strongly built log huts. The entrance or gate was on the east, on the north side was the guard house, and on the south side, the well and magazine; the stables, shed, etc., for the stock were on the north side." By the request of the officers, the fort was named after the General, and called Fort Harrison.

Col. James Miller with a small garrison was left in command of the fort, and Harrison with a force of some nine hundred men, resumed his march towards Prophet's Town: On the fifth of November, 1811, the army arrived within nine miles of the town, and on the sixth, the General sent out scouts that he might determine the exact position of the enemy. He also moved his encampment in sight of Prophet's Town. Every precaution was taken in the way of putting out picket guards, while the soldiers received orders to sleep on their arms. Notwithstanding all this on the morning of the seventh, before daylight, an attack was made by the Indians. Although at a great disadvantage the troops got themselves into line, and when daylight came, by desperate fighting the Indians were totally defeated. This was the famous battle of Tippecanoe. The battle ground lies near the city of Lafayette. The grounds were purchased from the Government by General John Tipton, who was an ensign in page: 38[View Page 38] one of the companies engaged in this battle, and presented by him to the State as a Park. Harrison's army returned, by the way of Fort Harrison to Vincennes. The far-reaching effects of this victory can scarcely be overestimated. One of the chief results was the overthrow of the Prophet's influence. He had so worked upon the superstition of the Indians, that they believed, that protected by the Great Spirit, the bullets of the white man could not harm them. Tecumseh was in the South pleading for a confederation of all the tribes to drive out the white man from the Northwest. [View Figure]
FORT HARRISON IN 1812.
He was greatly chagrined and discouraged when he returned and learned what his brother had done in entering upon the struggle before his plans of a federation had been perfected.

It is well understood that the campaign of Harrison, as well as those of Wilkinson, Harmar and others, had opened up the valley of the Wabash to the knowledge of the whole country. The soldiers carried home with them glorious accounts of the beauty of the Wabash Valley, the mildness of the climate and the fertility of the soil. The result was that prospectors, page: 39[View Page 39] and bona fide settlers, pressed into this country in advance even of Governmental surveys.

In 1812 Captain Zachary Taylor of the 7th U. S. Infantry was placed in command of the fort. On Thursday, Sept. 3d, two young men, who were making hay only a short distance from the fort, were shot by the Indians. Taylor was suspicious of trouble. Although sick himself at the time, and many of his men incapacitated because of illness, he at once left his bed and gave out warning, that an attack by the Indians might be expected at any time. On the evening of the 4th the sentinels began firing. Soon it was discovered that the Indians had set fire to the block house on the southwest corner. The fire raged ,fiercely, and threatened the whole structure. The yells of the savages, the cries of the women and children in the fort and the raging of the fire, were enough to make the stoutest heart quail. The commanding officer was equal to the occasion. The fire was extinguished and strong breast works were made to take the place of the burned gap. All through the dark night the Indians kept up their firing, but at daybreak they sneaked away fearing the deadly aim of the sharpshooters from the fort. They succeeded, however, to keep out of rifle range, and to drive eff some seventy head of cattle.

In his official statement Capt. Taylor reported only the loss of two killed and one wounded, and "these by their own carelessness." Among others in the fort at the time were John Dickson and Jonathan Graham with their families. In the many accounts of this fearful night honorable mention is made of the women and children, who, so soon as they recovered from the first shock, carried water to put out the fire, and molded bullets for the riflemen. Captain Taylor immediately sent messengers by canoe down the Wabash to Gov. Harrison for aid, and considering the distance relief soon came. This Captain Taylor was none other than he who gained an enviable reputation as an Indian fighter, and as "Old Rough and Ready" was elected President of the United States. Maj. J. T. Chunn was the commandant at page: 40[View Page 40] the fort in 1815. He was succeeded by Maj. R. Sturgis, who commanded the place till 1822, when the fort ceased to be a military post.

This account of the fort would be incomplete without some reference to Drummer Davis, who drummed his drum a little harder than ever, during that dreadful night of Sept. 4th, 1812. It was a common saying, that "with Zach Taylor to do the fighting and Davis the drumming, they could whip all creation." Davis was a deserter from the British at Detroit, and joined Harrison's army. Afterwards he became a citizen of Vigo county. When quite old he lived with his son-in-law across the river from Terre Haute. He was the center of attraction at 4th of July celebrations, and on election days. We are told that when the surveyors were laying out the Durkee ferry road, that they came up to Davis, who was sitting upon a knoll over which the road wou'd naturally pass. In answer to their inquiries, he said: "My comrades were buried here. I helped to bury them; the road shall not run over their graves while I live." His demands were heeded, and the noticeable turn in the road made then and there, remains, as I am told, to this day. Davis lived till 1847, and doubtless there are many yet living who recall with deep interest the patriotic rubadub, rubadub, rubadub-dub of Drummer Davis' drum.

As a matter of historical interest special efforts have been made to gather from every possible source a complete list of the earliest pioneers who took refuge in the fort. Among these there is no one who has been so fully written up as Joseph Liston. This is no place to discuss the claims, and counter claims set up as to the turning the first furrow in what is now Vigo county, which is a matter of small importance excepting as it indicates the earliest pioneers, who came here to establish homes for themselves and their families. In a published account of an Old Settler's meeting in Terre Haute in 1875, Martin Adams said: "I came with my father in 1809. We stopped at Curry's prairie; there we met Joseph Liston: Drake and others, deliberating whether they page: 41[View Page 41] would come to Fort Harrison prairie. They were in fear of hostile Indians. Joseph Liston said if any one would join him he would go. The two Adamses, Drake, my father and myself joined him, and we came with three wagons. This was in April, 1809. That spring I saw Joseph Liston plow the first furrow in the beautiful prairie. . . . . My father plowed that spring, where now the eastern portion of the city of Terre Haute is built. I can only determine its location as being west of a creek (Lost Creek) that disappeared on the prairie in a swamp, and was east of the timber that lined the Wabash. His plowing was for the Miami Indians, and I did the driving for him. There were two villages of Indians here at the time, pretty close together; one was on a high rise that overlooked the river." This doubtless was We-au-te-no, known also as Orchard Town. " The squaws were very much delighted . . . because if we had not done the work they would have to do it. . . . . Out on the other edge of the prairie we built our huts."

In another account, but not in this connection, Mr. Liston says: "In 1811, I turned the first furrow that was plowed in what is now called Vigo county, on the road leading from Terre Haute to Lockport, on what is represented as the Dean farm. I with my father Edward Liston, William G. Adams, William Drake, Reuben Moore, and Martin Adams, broke, fenced and planted seventy-five acres of corn, and sold the corn raised to Harrison's army, while building the fort near the Wabash river. Since that time I have not been absent from Vigo county to exceed four months at any one time. During that time I was engaged through the war pursuing Indians, who were committing depredations on the settlement below, and burying the dead, who were killed by them. Isaac Lambert, John Dickson, a Mr. Hudson, Mr. Chatery and Mr. Mallory, all cultivated the land under the protection of the fort."

The above testimony of Joseph Liston and Martin Adams is to be highly prized, but there were others besides those whom they mention that should be added to the list of page: 42[View Page 42] these earliest pioneers, such as Samuel Middleton, Harold Hayes, who are known to have been here at the building of the fort. " Mr. Hayes died in 1820 and was buried in the old Indian Orchard grave yard." A modest sandstone is said marks his grave. Mr. William Naylor for many years a resident of Terre Haute was among the earliest pioneers. He was in Harrison's army and helped build the fort. He was in the battle of Tippecanoe, and was a great friend and defender of Gen. Harrison. In 1811 he stood upon the spot where Terre Haute now stands, and "saw no sign of habitation except the smoke from the Indian wigwams in the distance."

Aunty East, as she was familiarly known, was an occupant of the fort. She became the wife of Joseph East, a chair- maker of the village, some of whose wares are still extant and testify to the conscientious work of the maker. Mrs. East lived to a good old age. She was fond of relating her experiences with the Indians. They made free to enter her house and to take whatever they could lay their hands on.

On one occasion in driving from the fort into the village, an Indian stopped her vehicle in the road, and wanted to "swap horses." She consented but as soon as he left to bring his horse, she whipped her horse into a run, and got to the village in safety. Mrs. Matilda Taylor was also an occupant of the fort. She was a daughter of Isaac Anderson, who was an orderly sergeant in Harrison's army. She was brought to the fort when eight years of age. In 1824 she was married to William Taylor. Their home was on North Third street. In the later years of her life she recalled much of life in the fort. Among other things she saw the Indians when in the act of setting fire to the fort. Mrs. Taylor's daughter is the wife of Mr. Isaac Ball, our respected citizen. Mr. Ball is a native of New Jersey, and came to Terre Haute in 1847. During all these years as city undertaker, also as a private citizen, a neighbor and friend, he has earned and sustained an enviable reputation for great sincerity, and uprightness of character. Deserving of mention is the name page: 43[View Page 43] of the celebrated pioneer, Thomas Puckett, who was in the fort in 1814. His home was in the southeastern part of Fort Harrison prairie. Puckett's lane for some reason, became prominent as an early land-mark. The memory of Puckett is intimately connected with a romantic story of his capturing a bear single handed and driving it from the woods to his home.

In his official report of the attack on the fort, Captain Taylor incidentally says: "There were nine women and two children whose husbands and fathers had taken refuge in the fort. Already mention has been made of their heroism in aiding in the defense of the fort. Pages might be filled with the recorded accounts of the narrow escapes and hardships of these earliest pioneers which covered a period extending from 1809 to 1815. During this period Liston was a leading spirit. He is credited with building the first cabin in the county, near the present site of Terre Haute, the floors, and roof of which were covered with bark. He was employed as a scout to give warning to the settlers, when there was danger from marauding bands of Indians, when whole families would take refuge in the fort. In addition to what has already been said, I cannot forbear adding a condensed account of the hardships endured, as given by Judge Gookins in his History of Vigo county. Unfortunately no names are given. He says: "Two families came here and built cabins near Walnut Springs, some three miles from the fort. In the absence of the men, who had gone to procure corn for seed and food, two Indians in war costumes, entered the cabin. The grandmother offered them food and after gorging themselves, they quietly departed, leaving the women in hourly fear of their return. A few days after these same families learned that a band of Indians were out on a marauding expedition, and heeding the warnings, they gathered up their effects and fled to the fort. It is recorded that Captain Taylor saved these families on another occasion, from the tomahawk and scalping knife, but no particulars or dates are given. page: 44[View Page 44] Brown and McCarty, two men from the fort about this time were drawn into ambush, by the gobbling of the Indians in imitation of wild turkeys; and were shot and scalped." In 1814, about two years after Taylor's gallant defense of the fort, two Frenchmen ventured out of the fort to gather plums, in a grove, some distance away. Seeing signs that the Indians had been there they hurried back to the fort. Reinforced with some ten others, they returned to the grove where the Indians awaited them. Five of the men were killed and one wounded. The wounded man was taken to the fort and afterwards to Vincennes in a canoe, but died soon after he arrived there. This period of Indian hostilities closed in 1818. The Indians gathered together and speedily sued for peace. And while the security of the settlers was not perfect, yet a new era had already begun to dawn.

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CHAPTER VII

FORT HARRISON--CONTINUED

THE second period of pioneer life in the Wabash valley extends from 1816 to 1823. The history of the times and especially the character of the pioneers justify this division. As we have seen, the earliest comers from 1809 to 1815 were a brave, hardy people. The women, as well as the men, were not lacking in courage in their combined efforts to establish western homes. But in 1815-16 by treaty and by purchase millions of acres of land were now in the possession of the Government. The battle of Tippecanoe and especially that of the Thames, where the great Tecumseh was killed, settled the question of peace not only with the Indians but with Great Britain. The pioneer now was a prospector. He would buy large tracts of land, either as an individual or as an agent of a land company. He would select town sites, build grist-mills, lay out roads, set up fences, establish courts of justice, postoffices, open stores, in fact would do all that was needful in developing the country. True the Indian was abroad in the land, and although friendly, the Old fort as a refuge, could not as yet be dispensed with. It was at the fort where for the most part all who came by water landed. It was the "head house," whatever that may mean, for all the settlers in the Wabash valley. It was a boarding house for all who chose to enjoy its hospitality.

In 1815, Joseph Richardson and Abram Markle came to the fort on horseback. They were prospecting for homes in the Wabash valley. They were delighted with the "beautiful land," and after remaining some time, returned for their families. Preparations fully made, they crossed the Alleghany mountains to Olean, on the Allegheny river. Here three page: 46[View Page 46] boats were built, one by Mr. Richardson, one by Mr. Markle, and one by Captain Daniel Stringham. Besides the owners and their families, there was Joshua Olds and his family; also the Redford family, the father of whom having died on the way here. This family then consisted of the widow, four sons and one daughter. The daughter was afterwards married to John F. King, for many years a prominent druggist in the village. The Stringhams were a large family. One of the sons left home before the family came to Indiana, and in time became the "eminent Rear Admiral Silas H. Stringham." One of the daughters married Judge Randolph H. Wedding, who was a familiar personage on our streets, though his home was in the country. There were still others in the company, and together they formed "the first important colony that came into Vigo county." They floated their boats down to Pittsburg, then down to the mouth of the Wabash, and then poled their way up to Fort Harrison. On the 4th of July, 1816, when this little flotilla landed at the fort "a salute of fifteen guns was fired, as they hove in sight. The garrison was out in their gayest uniforms, and when the women and children began to clamber up the banks, the soldiers and officers hurrahed, and threw up their caps." The welcome was a hearty one, and long to be remembered by the members of this new colony, and by their descendants as well.

Mr. Joseph Richardson was the father of Geo. B. and Sarah Elizabeth, whose ages respectively at the time of landing at the fort, were twelve and three years old. Sarah E. afterwards became the wife of Dr. Edward V. Ball, who was a life-long physician in Terre Haute. Mr. Richardson in his prospecting tour, had already selected a farm on Fort Harrison prairie, which he expected to purchase, and so brought with him in his boat, farming implements. He also brought with him a covered family carriage, which was the first carriage in Vigo county. It is said that the carriage did not long retain its leathern top, since the Indians stealthily cut off strip after strip, till it was all gone. Mr. Richardson page: 47[View Page 47] secured a small cabin, near the fort for his family. Soon afterwards he was called to Washington on business. About this time there was dissatisfaction among the Indians, which so increased as to create more or less alarm among the whites. Mrs. Richardson had been greatly annoyed by the Indians. She kept on her bureau a bright metal dish, and a silver castor. The Indians would enter the house, seize these articles, swing them over their heads, exclaiming: "In one moon" or "two moons," as the case might be, "this will be mine." Finally the Indians decked in their war paint danced in front of the settlers' cabins. They said it was their beggar's dance, as they were going on a hunt and wanted provisions for their squaws. Late the next night Mrs. Richardson was warned to go into the fort, as the Indians were crossing the river with muffled paddles, and evidently meant mischief. She remained in the fort for three days, when she determined to face all dangers, and take her family to Vincennes. This was done by the help of two boatmen. It is recorded that at the time of her leaving, the Indians lined the shore of the river, and watched her movements in silence; but when the boat was pushed off, "they jumped to their feet and shouted: 'Brave Squaw! Brave Squaw!' "It is further said, "that Mr. Richardson instead of purchasing the farm was compelled, in order to secure money that he had loaned, to take land in Clark county, Illinois; where he laid out the town of York. Thus Vigo county was cheated of one of her earliest and best settlers." But we have with us at this writing many of his descendants, who are among the most reputable families of the city.

Mr. Abram Markle was a remarkable man. He was a stalwart, the right kind of material to build up a new country. He was born in Ulster county, New York. His family was one of the most prominent in the county. When quite young, he went to Upper Canada. Here he acquired fame and for- tune. He became a member of the Provincial parliament, but in the breaking out of the war in 1812, he returned to his home in New York, and entered the army with the rank of page: 48[View Page 48] Major, for this his property in Canada was confiscated. i:e United States commissioners, however, made him large grants of land warrants, and extra pay. He was forehanded therefore when he landed at Fort Harrison. With these warrants he took up several sections of land, among which was a large tract including the spot where Fort Harrison now stands. In building his grist-mill on Otter creek he became a benefactor to the whole of this Wabash country. Before the erection of this mill, the new settlers were compelled either to grate or pound the corn, for there was no mill to grind it short of Vincennes. Markle's mill therefore was a center of activity. The burring of the stones was music to the farmer's ear, as he drove up his horse or ox wagon, well filled with sacks of corn and wheat; or rode up astride of a single sack, thrown across the back of his horse, to wait his turn to have his grain ground. Mr. Markle's eldest daughter married Nathaniel P. Huntington, noted as the first lawyer, who opened an office in Terre Haute. Major Markle died in 1826 at the age of fifty-seven years. He left a large family.

Mr. Curtis Gilbert, a native of Middletown, Connecticut, arrived at Fort Harrison in December, 1815, with a stock of goods from Vincennes. The goods were taken from the keelboat and deposited in the fort. In the summer of 1816, he established a trading post at the mouth of the Vermillion river. In the fall of that year, he was taken sick and compelled to return to the fort. On December 4th, 1817, he was commissioned as Postmaster at the fort; and continued as such till October 26th, 1818, when the office was removed to the village of Terre Haute.

General Peter B. Allen was one among the early pioneers. He was born in Massachusetts, but came directly to Indiana from the State of New York in 1818, by the usual route, "down the Ohio," "up the Wabash," " by keel boat." He entered large tracts of land, northeast of the city. Among his large family of children, his daughter Catherine was married to Curtis Gilbert; his son Henry, served in the war of 1812; page: 49[View Page 49] and his son Ira, in the Black Hawk war. The Terre Haute Aliens, Edward B. and George M., also Nathaniel, are the lineal descendants of General Peter B. Allen, of pioneer memory.

It must not be forgotten that the fort was honored by the presence of Mr. Chauncey Rose, who, as a prospector, stopped as a day boarder. In a published account of an old settlers' meeting held in Terre Haute, September, 1875, at which a paper by Mr. Rose was read by Col. R. W. Thompson, who presided. The following is a brief extract: "In the fall of 1817 I traveled in the States of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, looking for a locality at which to reside and engage in business. I spent several days in Terre Haute: it had been laid out the previous year. The following winter I spent in Kentucky. Favorably impressed with the location in and about Terre Haute, I returned and became a resident. In April, 1818, there were but two cabins in Terre Haute, occupied respectively by Dr. C. B. Modesitt, and William Mars. The nearest boarding place was at Fort Harrison, where I boarded, where also the county officers boarded at a house kept by Mrs. Stewart. The fall was very sickly and many settlers staid at the fort. Friendly Indians in various numbers and different tribes roamed in the neighborhood..... The first settlers were intelligent and worthy pioneers, a very superior class of men and women."

It is with the greatest pleasure that I republish the words of one whose honored name is daily on the lips of rich and poor, old and young, of our citizens. It falls to the lot of few men to become so prominently enthroned for all time in the hearts of a grateful people. By his munificent benefactions we have the Rose Ladies Aid Society, the Rose Polytechnic, the Rose Orphan Home, and the Rose Dispensary. Some time, nay, let it be a time not far hence, when our city in grateful remembrance of her munificent patron, shall set apart large grounds for a Chauncey Rose Park; in the center of which shall stand a bronze statue of Chauncey Rose.

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But as yet Mr. Rose is a young man, seeking a location to du business. He makes the fort his headquarters. He rides across the prairie to Mr. Abram Markle's cabin, where he talks of land and land sales; especially of a large tract lying due east of the new village of Terre Haute; of his grist x;ill at Roseville; of the removal of the Postoffice from the fort to the village; of the closing up of the fort; and of the new arrivals at the village. A village made possible by the fort, but which in turn makes the existence of the fort un- necessary. The former must increase, but the latter must decrease. The fall of the fort is therefore a matter of congratulation rather than regret. It marks the close of the earliest pioneer period. All comers will henceforth arrive either by land or by the river at the village, concerning whose site and builders we are now ready to hear. But one parting word is due the Old fort before entering upon the next chapter.

In 1822 the fort ceased to be a military post. Of necessity it must from that date have begun to fall into decay. It is well understood that many of the old logs of the fort were worked into a one-story house, which afterwards was cov- ered with weather-boarding and stands just at the rear of the place where the fort stood. These old logs now hid from view, some old trees, and a big stone sunk in the ground, which you search in vain to find, are all that remain to tell of the history of the place. By no means! for here to the delight of the eye of the visitor is the high bluff commanding an extensive view to the east, also to the west, with the approach of the river from the north and its graceful curve as it recedes to the south and west, all of which must ever remain to mark the spot where Fort Harrison once stood.

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CHAPTER VIII

THE FOUNDING OF THE VILLAGE

TERRE HAUTE was laid out in 1816, the same year in which our state was organized. The original plat comprised thirty- five blocks, and was bounded on the north, by Eagle street; on the east, by Fifth street; on the south, by Swan street; on the west, by Water street. Of these blocks, one was set off for a public square; a part of another for a church, the site of the old Asbury M. E. Church on the northwest corner of Poplar and Fourth streets; and a part of another, for a school building, the present site of the 1st Ward City School- house. The land office records at Vincennes, show that Joseph Kitchell entered the tract of land now occupied by Terre Haute; also that on Sept. 19th, 1816, only a few days afterwards, the same tract was sold to the Terre Haute Land Company. This company consisted of Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt, of Louisville, Kentucky; Abram Markle, of Fort Harrison; Hyacinth Lasselle, of Vincennes; and Jonathan Lindley, of Orange county. There was an amended plat filed in 1819; also in 1820-21. In one of these a lot was reserved for a cemetery.

In regard to the original site, there is some confusion. We are all familiar with the name of Old Terre Haute, which lies some three miles south of us. The distinctive word "Old" seems to indicate that this was the original location of the town. One authority so affirms, and gives as a reason for the change, that when the company learned that the great National road was to cross the Wabash three miles above, they moved the town thither. Even Judge Gookins was led away by the plausibility of this statement, and says in regard to the change: " Probably the principal reason was page: 52[View Page 52] that the national road already projected, would cross the Wabash at this point." But the incongruity lies in the fact, that while the town was laid out in 1816, the work on the road through Indiana, was in 1835-1840. After the above was written, the following statement was pointed out to me on page 308 in the Appendix of the Early History of Illinois, Sidney Bresse, 1884; "Congress by the act of 1816, authorized the construction of a national road from Cumberland, in Maryland, to the Ohio; and by the act of 1825, directed its continuation through the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and to the seat of government of the State of Missouri." This is specific and satisfactory, but as everything bearing upon the choice of the location of our city is of profound interest, I quote in substance the following from H. C. Bradsby's History of Vigo County, 1891.

William Hoggatt was a civil engineer, employed by the Company to lay out the town. James Boord seems to have been his assistant, and resided with him in Orange county. Jonathan Lindley was a member of the Land Company. He was a Quaker, a man of prominence, as he represented Orange county in the first State legislature. In 1816, Hoggatt after riding up and down the river, and having decided upon our present site, informed Mr. Lindley of the place he had selected. Mr. L's reply was: "William, don't thee think, that thee has made a mistake? Don't thee think, that thee should have selected Old Terre Haute, or Fort Harrison?" Mr. Hoggatt explained, that while Fort Harrison was a beautiful place, yet the river bends to the west, and the bottom runs out just below the fort; and that while Old Terre Haute stands on a high bluff, the same objection holds; that by the turn of the river, the bottom encroaches on the east side. "But where I have selected the river runs straight, the land is high, a beautiful place for a town. If built here it will some day become a great city." "Well, well," said Lindley, " William, thee is an engineer, and thee should know."

All praise to engineer Hoggatt and to the good Quaker page: 53[View Page 53] sense of Jonathan Lindley, the representative of the Land Company. So much for the selection of the site, but whom shall we thank for she name?

We are told that the French fur traders as they passed in their pirogues up and down the Wabash, gave the name of Terre Haute to all the high banks along the river. So that the name was waiting for the town; and it made no difference where it was located, whether at the fort; or what was called Old Terre Haute; or at our present location. There may or may not be something in a name, but when nature suggests, and man rightly interprets, the result is likely to be good. In this case, at least, it was most happy. But how the poor name has suffered in its pronunciation at the hands of the unlettered Hoosier, and of the would-be educated Yankee. A minister of the Presbyterian Church in one of our eastern states, wrote to his brother, who resided here, inquiring how he should pronounce the name of the village; "Was the pronunciation to be as if spelled Tā-rā Hó-tā?" No one misunderstands the name on the lips of a native Hoosier, though he calls it, as if written: Tar Hŭt, Tar Hūte, Terry Hŭt, Tarry Hŭt, or Tarry Hawt. From the first, however, the pronunciation of the name by our townspeople has been as if spelled: Tāre O'te; and then our name as a people, should be pronounced, Tare-O'-te-ans.

It is well nigh impossible to form a correct idea of the picturesque situation of the village, from our present flat and level streets. The roll of the prairie, which was a ridge running, north and south, parallel with the river, was a delight to the eye. Then there was a gully at the crossing of Chestnut and Third streets, which served as a drain to carry to the river the excess of water from the plateau above. Where the Normal School building now stands, was regarded and spoken of as " On the hill," as the ascent on Mulberry street towards the east proved. Then the outstretching prairie was on a bright morning, an inspiration. In the common parlance of those early days, we went "Up the prairie," "Down the prairie," or "Across the prairie." page: 54[View Page 54] Besides the prairie did not, as would now appear, extend to the river. Tall sycamores with their great trunks, and extended white arms, lined the immediate banks; while other forest trees with oak saplings, and hazel bushes, flourished up on what was called " Sixteen," and as far east as Fifth and Sixth streets. While every stroke of the axe and every driven stake of the engineer, has been in the interest of civilization, yet it has been at the expense of the natural beauty of the landscape.

As suggested by William Hoggatt, the engineer, the natural course of the rivermade practicable the laying off of parallel streets, directly north and south. Third street or Market, as it was called, was intended to be, by its extra width, the main avenue of the village. Besides, this avenue extended on the north, into the pack horse and wagon road to Lafayette; and on the south, it connected with a similar road leading to Vincennes. This Lafayette, and this Vincennes road linked together by Third or Market street constituted what was known as the Old State road. The outlook therefore at this time for commerce or trade, was north or south, either by the river or by these roads. There was no public road east or west, as Indianapolis was not laid out until 1821. But when a public road was opened from Indianapolis, we became in the best possible sense, a cross-road village, with our center at the crossing of Main and Market streets. It is this geographical position that has given our city an advantage from the first, for not only did the great National road come to us but the great Trunk railways, also, in their traversing of the country from east to west.

As yet, however, we are but a single remove from a paper town. The town was laid out Oct. 25, 1816, and the first sale of lots took place Oct. 31st, of the same year. In 1817 there were but two cabins, of which one was built by Dr. Charles B. Modesitt, and the other by William Mars. But the year 1817 was one of preparation. There were new comers not only to occupy the. village, but desirable colonies to take up the farms in the adjacent country. These latter were a most page: 55[View Page 55] important element for the building of a village. As yet we were in Sullivan county. There was a prospect, however, of the erection of a new county, and when done, it was a foregone conclusion that our village would be the county seat. This will be treated in the next chapter.

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CHAPTER IX

FOUNDING OF THE VILLAGE--CONTINUED

By an act of the legislature of Indiana, approved by the Governor,Jan. 21St, 1818,Vigo countywas erected. Whether this was or was not a surprise to the Terre Haute Land Company we are not informed; but evidently it was a matter of rejoicing to all concerned in the immediate future of the newly platted town. It seems natural, however, that the Land Company should have been kept apprised of the doings of the legislature, since Jonathan Lindley was one of its influential members at the time. At any rate the company were on the alert and quick to act, as we find them dining the new commissioners at the fort. This was in part a necessity as the fort was the "head house" of the county; but behind this there was a method and an evident purpose. It was the golden opportunity of the Land Company, and they improved it by liberal offers; and when the bid of $4000.00 was made as a bonus, the commissioners accepted it, and from that time Terre Haute became the County Seat of Vigo county. Already the Land Company as proprietors of the town, had provided a public square for a Court House; and now the commissioners with the liberal donation in hand, set about the building of the same, which was completed for occupancy in 1822.

The success of the new town is now assured. The lot purchasers can now with confidence go forward and build. Dr. Charles B. Modesitt was among the early prospectors. He had faith in the town. He was a large purchaser of lots at the first sale; and then returned to Old Virginia for his family which consisted of a wife, son and daughter. They traveled for the most part on horseback. The daughter, page: 57[View Page 57] who was quite young, was seated in front of her father, with a pillow for her saddle. This daughter afterwards became the wife of Mr. Chauncey Warren, one of our early and most respected citizens. Dr. Modesitt was educated as a physician and after settling in Terre Haute practised his profession. His name, therefore will be found in the chapter on Early Physicians; but he was evidently a man of affairs. He had the reputation of building the first log-house in the village. It was made of round logs. He afterwards built a two-story hewed log house, on the corner of Third and Poplar streets. He established a ferry across the Wabash in 1818. The boat was flat-bottomed; and was pushed by poles, when the river was low; and propelled by oars when it was high. There is a question whether this was the first ferry, as another record states that Touissant Dubois was licensed to establish a ferry at Terre Haute Nov. 10, 1818.

Among the early pioneers and builders, was Henry Redford, who came with the other members of his family, and landed with the New York colony at the fort in 1815. He built the celebrated Eagle and Lion on the southeast corner of First and Main streets.

Another early pioneer, who has already been referred to as an occupant of the fort, was Curtis Gilbert. He was a pioneer of the village, and a heavy land purchaser. He lived to see his out lots platted and his farms also, that laid adjacent to the city. So soon as the question of the County Seat was settled in 1819, he arranged for the erection of a large two-story frame house on the northeast corner of Ohio and Water streets, suitable for public purposes. The upper part of the building was occupied by the County court, and the lower story by the Postoffice. Mr. Gilbert was the first clerk of Vigo county; and by successive elections served in that capacity for twenty-one years. The duties of the office at that time, included that of recorder and auditor. It is said that the records kept by him "are as precise and beautiful as copper plate." Mr. Gilbert was prominent in all public movements that had for their end the prosperity of the village. page: 58[View Page 58] In 1824 he was placed on the Board of Trustees of the Vigo county library. In 1834 he took part in the organization of the Branch Bank of Indiana, and was made director. Our village was most happy in having such men as Curtis Gilbert among its founders. The descendants of Mr. Gilbert are among our most worthy citizens of to-day. Mr. Gilbert was born in Middletown, Conn., 1795, and died in Florida at the home of his daughter in 1877.

Judge Demas Deming was another early pioneer. He was born in Berlin, Conn., in 1787. After completing his education in his native town, he entered the regular army as second lieutenant. After serving two years he resigned. In 1818, he came to Terre Haute and at once engaged in merchandizing. He purchased large tracts of land lying east of the town. His life-long residence on South Sixth street still stands a prominent land mark. Mr. Deming was one of the Associate judges, with Judge Joseph Jenckes, and Hon. Thomas H. Blake. As the Common law of England was the standard in the courts of this country, the Associate judges were not compelled to be professional lawyers. Common sense and a keen sense of right and justice were the main requisites of a good Associate judge. Judge Deming helped to organize the Terre Haute Board of the State Bank of Indiana in 1834. He was one of the directors and was chosen president and served in that capacity for eighteen years. After his decease his widow resided for many years with her children in the old homestead. Her maiden name was Patterson. Her father came from Ireland and settled at Vincennes in 1814. The munificent gift of Mrs. Deming, of a large tract of ground located east of the city on the side of the bluff for a City Park, will keep fresh in memory the Deming name for years to come.

In addition to what has been said in a previous chapter, a few more words are due to the memory of Chauncey Rose as a far-sighted business man. After traveling as he tells us, over several states, he foresaw the probabilities of the Wabash valley in the immediate neighborhood of Fort Harrison. He page: 59[View Page 59] at once became a permanent settler and heavy land owner. Next to permanent settlers, the county needed grist mills. Such a mill he built on Raccoon creek, a place which became known as Roseville. So soon as pioneers pushed into the village of Terre Haute, he saw an opening for a country store; and so he became one of the successful merchants as early as 1824. Mr. Rose was brought up on a farm, and he gratified his taste in this direction, in the management of the broad acres adjoining the east and northeast portion of the town.

As the years passed and the canal fever subsided, he was the first to grasp the possibility of a railroad; which in due time resulted in the Richmond and Indianapolis Railroad. Successful in every advancing step, this of all others proved the greatest enterprise, not only for the city, but for himself also, as it brought into market his farm lands.

His wealth grew apace. To his own were added by inheritance the vast accumulations of a brother in New York city. And it became a grave question with him how to make a wise disposition of it. He is said to have remarked to a friend: "Other people have trouble to make money, but my trouble is how to dispose of it." In this difficult task, his good sense and foresight did not fail him. First of all he chose wise counselors. Among these, by way of eminence, should be mentioned the lamented Col. W. K. Edwards, a man with whom he could advise; and whose advice he could accept. In many of Mr. Rose's original papers the hand and brain of Mr. Edwards are visible. Col. Edwards was probably the only man who could have given a correct list of Mr. Rose's private benefactions. We only know in general, that he gave an half million here, and an half million there.

In July, 1869, he endowed the Ladies Aid Society of Terre Haute with ninety thousand dollars. By a graceful act of the Society, in January, 1892, the name was changed to the Rose Ladies Aid Society.

His noble gift to Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, page: 60[View Page 60] amounted to some eighty thousand dollars. This was doubtless prompted by his sister, Mrs. Israel Williams, who with her husband resided in Terre Haute for a number of years; both of whom were deeply interested in this young college. In New York city once the home of his deceased brother, Mr. Rose invested two millions of dollars in the founding of three separate beneficent institutions. In Charlestown, South Carolina, he made large donations to several worthy objects of public charity. I have already spoken of the three magnificent institutions reared to his memory in Terre Haute; but besides these he made liberal provisions for a library in the State Normal School; also for the aid- ing of worthy students in the same institutions. He endowed the Vigo County Providence Hospital. Besides the above who shall tell of his private benefactions, concerning which he said nothing to his most intimate friends. Mr. Chauncey Rose was born in Weathersfield, Connecticut, Dec. 24, 1794, and died in Terre Haute Aug. 13, 1877, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. As a village and a city Terre Haute owes a lasting debt of gratitude to the memory of Mr. Chauncey Rose.

There are numberless pioneers who came in this period from 1815 to 1824, whose prominence as merchants, lawyers, doctors and business men demand immediate attention; but to avoid confusion I have thought best to classify and so consider them in separate chapters.

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CHAPTER X

POSTOFFICE

As intimated in a former chapter, the Postoffice was here before the town. The duties of the office could not have been onerous; but Mr. Gilbert as Postmaster rendered important service to the department at Washington, by helping to locate new offices in Indiana. When his office was moved from the fort to the village, in October, 1818, there were less than a dozen log cabins in the town. Mr. Gilbert having been elected County clerk, Mr. John M. Coleman received the appointment of Postmaster, in his stead. If reports can be credited, Mr. Coleman set up at once a free delivery system. To understand this it must be remembered that a man's hat in those days was a very important part of his outfit. He used its tall crown as a receptacle for his big red silk handkerchief, his gloves, and any other loose articles he might be carrying. It is said Mr. Coleman readily converted his big hat into a letter pouch. The letters deposited in the hat, with the handkerchief to hold them in, he cheerfully started forth on his rounds. Meeting a friend for whom he had a letter, he would doff his hat, and deliver the same, provided the friend had the required twenty-five cents postage. If not, the letter was returned to the hat, and sometimes to the dead letter office, at Washington. In writing to friends, often such words as the following were used: "Please don't write, unless there is something important to communicate. We have everything in abundance here, excepting money." Even those who had money to spare, often scanned the outside of a letter in doubt as to whether to take it from the office. As an occasion for such doubts, a gentleman took out a letter addressed to him, and found a notice from one of page: 62[View Page 62] his debtors which read: "That he had taken the benefit of the bankrupt law." The Wabash Courier (1832) suggests that correspondents prepay postage, and adds: "Two letters received from one person consumed one-eighth of the subscription price in postage."

Even at so exorbitant a charge as twenty-five cents for a single letter the department at Washington was too often the loser, when we consider the long distances, the sparseness of population, and the condition of the roads. The stage coach companies at that day had much to contend against, especially in the badness of the roads. The coaches and mud wagons told the story as they came into town covered with yellow clay. Travelers had endless stories to tell, of walking up the hills, also of carrying fence rails to pry the stage out of mud holes. These tales of travelers were all within the range of possibility; but the stories of the stage driver in the bar-room of the country tavern, were remarkable if not altogether credible. Possessed of a vivid imagination, he was the center of attraction, as he related his wonderful experience on the road. There was one locality, between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, called the Devil's half acre, that was so bad, that draw as he might upon his imagination, he scarcely awakened incredulity in his hearers. In solemn soberness, he would relate how more than once he lost sight of his leaders as they plunged along through this fearful slough. Entering into particulars he would describe the fearfulness of the place; the darkness of the night; the names and disposition of his horses; how well they behaved in their desperate struggle; how they seemed to comprehend the work before them, and knew just what to do. In the fiercest of the struggle, he never cracked his whip, nor uttered a word, unless gently to quiet and encourage them. By the way of contrast, he would draw a highly colored picture of the behavior of some of his passengers, when requested to leave their comfortable seats, and help the horses by prying up the wheels of the stage. Then the good Yankee aunties for the sake of amusement, were given a prominent place in the page: 63[View Page 63] story; especially some old lady who bemoaned the day she ever left her comfortable home on the hillside, to find a grave in this dreadful country.

It was a magnificent sight for the small boy, in those early days, to witness the stage driver four in hand, drive into the village; to hear the blast of his long tin horn, and the crack of his whip; altogether it was something that impressed itself indelibly upon his memory. Every small boy likes a whip, but a stage driver's whip was his ideal; something to admire, but not to handle. The whip itself was a work of art. The stock was of tough hickory, long, slender, and elastic, with a heavy butt end, ornamented sometimes with flat silver rings, and sometimes with bone knobs; having a lash scientifically plaited of thin strips of leather, on the end of which was attached what was called the cracker, made of plaited sewing silk. To crack the whip near to the tip of the ears of his leaders was an accomplishment even for an expert driver. This was possible by bending over and reaching forward, as the stock of the whip was four feet and the lash ten feet long. I have this from a friend and fellow-townsman who in his early days had been a stage driver, and whose stage had been honored by such notables as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, and Stephen A. Douglas.

At the back of the stage there was an attachment called the boot for trunks and especially for mail bags. These boots were wooden racks strongly fastened to the rear of the stage body, covered with heavy leather flaps, which were buckled down with strong straps. A commendable degree of pride showed itself in the movements of the driver, as he drew his horses up in front of the village Postoffice, and stepped down from his high seat, and took from the boot the mail sacks and delivered them to the Postmaster. But all this display and western dash was in turn displaced by the steady going mail wagon; and the monotonous rip, rip, rippity, rip of the iron wheels of the railway coach. Times change. Manners change. In losing we gain; and in gaining we lose.

It was a new era when the Pony express was put on the page: 64[View Page 64] road as a swift mail carrier. The boy on his pony galloping over the old yellow bridge on the National road, and sounding his horn as he came into town, is a pleasant reminiscence of the days of 1840. In the growing demand for news from the far off east, the Pony express was appreciated when compared with the slow and lumbering four-horse coach.

The sources of information in respect to early Postoffices and Postmasters are limited; and yet I supposed that the records at our city Postoffice would give lists of Postmasters, with their terms of service; also the locality of office, up to 1840. But in calling on my friend, Mr. Frank E. Benjamin, I was assured that his office contained no such ancient records. Mr. Benjamin's knowledge of Terre Haute Postmasters extended back to the time of Mr. Joseph O. Jones, with whom he had often conversed in regard to the affairs of the office, during Mr. Jones's incumbency. The facts, however, so far as I have been able to gather them may be stated as follows: there seems to be no question but that the office was first established at Fort Harrison, and that Mr. Curtis Gilbert was commissioned Postmaster on Dec. 4, 1817. He continued in this office till Oct. 18, 1818, when it was moved to the town, and located in a frame building on the northeast corner of Ohio and Water streets; when Mr. John M. Coleman was appointed Postmaster. All this as noted above, was in 1818, and seems reliable, although there are counter statements as to where it was first located.

How long the office remained in the Gilbert building is uncertain. There is a statement apparently reliable, that some time previous to 1824, Mr. William Linton erected a frame building near the southeast corner of Main and Third streets, which was occupied by him as a store and Postoffice. In this Mr. Linton is made to act in the double capacity of store- keeper and Postmaster; but another chronicler relates: that Mr. John M. Coleman held the office till 1828, when Mr. John F. Cruft was appointed in his stead. He was succeeded by Mr. Frank Cunningham. There is a break here till Dr. George Graff was appointed, who held the office till 1839, page: 65[View Page 65] when he resigned and Mr. J. O. Jones was appointed by the Postmaster General under President Van Buren. The Post- office was located in Dr. Graff's office on First street, north of Main, Mr. Jones, however, soon moved it to a one-story brick on the north side of Ohio, an extension in the rear of Mr. Henry Rose's store, whichwas on the northwest corner of Second and Ohio streets. Here the business increased, and Mr. Jones received a commission for four years from Feb. 1841, from President Van Buren. This is said to be the first presidential appointment. Not a few of the old residents of 1840 easily recall the little one-story brick Postoffice around the corner on Ohio street, with its array of numbered private boxes; and its square opening in the center, for general delivery. The rentals of the boxes were the perquisites of the Postmaster.

But what about the mail service previous to 1840? The Terre Haute Register, a pioneer paper established in Terre Haute in 1823, has the following record, Dec. 1826: "Terre Haute has advanced to the dignity of a weekly mail." In 1825 mail stages ran three times a week to Cincinnati, by the way of Indianapolis; three times a week, to Louisville, and Evansville; twice a week to Lafayette: and once a week to Springfield, Illinois.

In 1841 the mails arrived by stages and horse-back, from the east, daily; from the west, three times a week; and from the south, three times a week. Already in the mail service, and in almost every line of activity, the town in 1840 was claiming cityhood, and was fast becoming what it claimed to be.

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CHAPTER XI

THE FIRST COURT HOUSE AND JAIL

SO soon as the Commissioners had decided upon Terre Haute as the County seat, they began to arrange for the building of a Court House. In the meantime, by the act of the legislature, at Corydon; all courts of justice should meet at the house of Truman Blackman, near Fort Harrison, whence they might adjourn to any other suitable place near the center of the county. Tradition has it, that they did on divers occasions adjourn to meet on a certain big log, suitable on account of its size, nearness to the fort, and coolness of shade. This for tradition, is well enough, as it is in keeping with the times; but the facts are that adjourned meetings were held in the same log house of Truman Blackman, till coming to the village, when the meetings were held at the Eagle and the Lion, and in the upper story of the frame house built by Curtis Gilbert.

The facts in regard to the building of the Court House are meagre; but from entries made in the public records under date of May 13, 1818, we learn, that Nathaniel P. Huntington was allowed $10.00 for drawing up bonds; John M. Coleman $350.00 in part pay for building foundations; William Durham $400.00 in part pay for building walls, Elihu Hovey and John Brocklebank $300.00 in part pay for building Court House. In November, 1818, the public records show that Charles B. Modesitt was allowed $25.00 for "clearing off the public square." Evidently the work of building the Court House began in 1818, though it was not completed till 1822.

The building was of brick and in size and architecture quite suitable for the purpose intended. The east door. with page: 67[View Page 67] its broad arched transom, was quite imposing. The interior was elaborately but plainly finished with elevated box seats, rising one above the other, and reached by steps in the several aisles. The south side thus seated was for the accom- modation of the people. A center aisle ran through the center of the building, from east to west, separating the north part of the room, which was for the express use of the court. Here was the judge's elevated bench or long desk, which was reached on either side by steps guarded by heavy railing: immediately in front of which on the floor, the lawyers had their long tables; while the jurors had their elevated box seats on the left of the judge's bench

[View Figure]

THE FIRST COURT HOUSE, 1818-1866

At this bar we are told began the career of some of the most noted lawyers of Indiana. Such men as Thomas H. Blake, James Whitcomb, Elisha M. Huntington, Edward A. page: 68[View Page 68] Hannegan and others, mention of whom will be made in the proposed chapter on Early Courts, Laws and Lawyers.

The Court House was not completed till 1822, and then only the lower part was finished. It was not only the County house for all court business, political gatherings, and for holding elections, but the Town house for all public meetings of the citizens. Here churches were organized, lectures delivered, Sunday schools taught, and sermons preached, by local as well as circuit riding preachers. It is a matter of record that Joe Smith and Sydney Rigdon sometime in 1834-35 held meetings in our Court House, in defense of Mormonism. Crowds attended to hear these exponents of this new religion.

While the old Court House was still in its prime, Col. Francis Vigo, after whom our county had been named, paid a visit to Terre Haute, by the urgent invitation of prominent citizens. This visit occurred July 4th, 1832. His home was in Vincennes, and though he was now past ninety years of age it is said that he retained much of his natural vigor, both of body and mind. As an honored guest every attention was shown him. That he was greatly pleased with his visit appears from an article in his will which was written two years after, as the will is dated Dec. 9, 1834. The article reads: " Whereas, The county of Vigo, has been named after me, and I feel towards it and its citizens a great degree of esteem and affection for many favors conferred and services rendered me, especially by the inhabitants of Terre Haute: it is my will, wish, and desire and earnest request that if the claim aforesaid is recovered, and the amount due me, paid to my executors, that thev or some one of them, shall pay out of the sum $5oo to the county of Vigo, to be laid out, by the commissioners of said county, or in such other mode as shall be deemed most desirable by said county, in the purchase of a bell for the court house of said county, on which shall be inscribed 'Presented by Francis Vigo.'"

The claim of Francis Vigo, referred to above, was for page: 69[View Page 69] money loaned to the government by which Gen. Geo. Rogers Clark was able to provide rations for his soldiers in their march for the recapturing of Vincennes in 1779, which had fallen into the hands of the English. The part that Col. Vigo and Father Gibault took in this campaign cannot be set forth here, but suffice it to say, that next to Gen. Clark they were important factors in this first grand effort in wresting all this Northwest country from the hands of the British. The story of the unsuccessful efforts of Col. Vigo to have his just claim recognized by the Government is pathetic, in that it came too late to minister to his private relief. It dragged along for about one hundred years before it was finally allowed. The original amount loaned by Col. Vigo in 1779 was $11,387.40 for which he received four drafts on the financial agent of Virginia, a Mr. Oliver Pollock, of New Orleans. When at last these drafts were allowed by Congress, the principal and interest amounted to some $50,000. This final judgment was rendered in 1875, and the money was paid over in 1876. The $500 set apart by the will was paid by the executors; and the county records show that this was done by our late fellow townsman, Mr. T. C. Buntin, a distant relative of Col. Vigo, in April, 1876. The village Court House of 1818-1822, where Col. Vigo intended his bell should find its place, was declared unfit for further use and ordered to be torn down about the year 1868, but in August, 1884, the corner stone of our present magnificent structure was laid, and the commissioners were only too glad to carry out the wishes of Col. Vigo, and use his bequest as a nucleus in the purchase of a bell and clock for the new building. In order to satisfy me and others that may be interested, as to the diligence of the commissioners in the discharge of their duty, my son, H. A. Condit, clambered into the belfry and found the following lettering on the bell: "BY HIS WILL $500 OF THE COST OF THIS BELL WERE PRESENTED
BY FRANCIS VIGO TO VIGO COUNTY, IND.,
A. D., 1887."
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The names of the County commissioners as inscribed on a metal plate, and nailed to the framework of the bell, are as follows: "LEVI W. DICKERSON,
ASA M. BLACK,
SANFORD S. HENDERSON."

The State legislature which met at Corydon, Warren county, in its act approved by Jonathan Jennings, not only honored itself and Col. Francis Vigo, but placed the citizens of the county under lasting obligations, by bestowing the name of Francis Vigo upon our county. He was a man whose character and patriotic deeds rendered him worthy of such honor. Col. Francis Vigo was a Sardinian, born in. Mondovi in 1740. By way of eminence he was called "The Spanish Merchant." He came to New Orleans, which was then under the government of Spain, in a Spanish regiment. He soon left the regiment and became an Indian trader. Ascending the Mississippi to St. Louis, he entered into the fur trade with the Indians, and by honest dealings was successful, not only in accumulating money, but a knowledge of Indian character, both of which he patriotically devoted to the cause of America against England. The story of Col. Vigo ought to be familiar to every citizen and there is no lack of information in the histories of our State. He died at Vincennes in 1836 having reached the advanced age of ninety-six years.

But to return to our theme which embraces the building of a jail, as well as Court House. The former soon became a necessity. Curious enough the records of the first term of the Circuit court held in the village, July 24th, 1818, Thomas H. Blake, presiding, show that the sheriff, Truman Blackman "filed a formal protest against the county of Vigo for failing to provide a good and substantial jail." As an illustration that this protest was needed, it is related of a case, brought before Fisher R. Burnett, as justice of the peace, in which certain parties were sued for trespass. Goodwin page: 71[View Page 71] Holloway, the constable, arrested the defendant and brought him before the justice. There being no jail, he was compelled to leave the prisoner in the charge of "the court." But as " the court " was unwilling to lay aside its dignity and play the part of sheriff, the defendant simply bowed himself out of the court room into the street.

The first jail we are told was built on the south side of Swan, between First and Second streets. The old records show that on Nov. 10th, 1818, Henry Redford was allowed $60 part payment for building a jail in Terre Haute. Another is somewhat more specific and says: "The jail stood on the south alley corner, on Swan street, between First and Second," and adds: "It was built of smoothly hewed logs, the floor being of the same. Light was admitted by a small grated window." Capt. William Earle, in his reminiscences says: "I remember of one person being confined in it; that was black Dan, for stabbing Bill, another negro; he made his escape, digging away one of the floor logs, which was rotten."

From the records of May, 1826, we learn that a second jail was ordered to be built. William Durham, John F. Cruft, and Thomas Parsons were appointed the committee, and given the following instructions: "The rooms to be eighteen feet square in the clear, two stories high, the ground room to be ten feet, the upper room nine feet high in the clear; to be built of good white oak timber; the foundation to be good stone; and also to build a frame the same size as the jail, for the purpose of accommodating the jailor, to be attached to the jail with a passage between six feet wide and under the same roof." This building was located on the corner, of Walnut and Third streets. This building stood till 1854-5, when it was replaced by a brick and stone structure. This latter building still stands as a land-mark on the northwest corner of Walnut and Third streets. The present jail was completed in 1882.

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CHAPTER XII

TAVERNS AND TAVERN KEEPERS

IN 1817 we find Henry Redford engaged in erecting a log house on the southeast corner of First and Main streets, which afterwards became the far-famed Eagle and Lion. It is described as having a front porch extending the whole length of the building. It was built of hewed logs. Afterwards a frame addition was added, and the whole weather- boarded. The exact date of the completion of this house is fixed by the fact that the first celebration of the Fourth of July in the village, took place in this building in 1817. It is recorded, that in June, the house was near completion. "The roof was on, and the floors laid, and Mr. Redford was pushing the work to be in readiness for the approaching Fourth of July, and the large company that was expected." Prominent among the number that assembled were Major Chunn and his officers, Lieutenants Sturgis and Floyd. Drs. Clark and McCullough, and several other gentlemen, together with the ladies made up the happy crowd from Fort Harrison. Guests also came from the country around, and as far south as "Shakers' prairie," in probably what was then Knox county. The band from the Fort furnished the music. There was an oration and the reading of the Declaration of Independence. There was also a great dinner served, finished up with patriotic toasts. The festivities of this first celebration of the Fourth of July in Terre Haute was rounded up with a grand ball at night.

This was a grand send off for the Eagle and Lion, and established its reputation for years afterwards. It was the traveler's rest, the villager's boarding house, and a common place of resort for the sake of hearing or telling some new thing. The great barroom, with its generous fire place, and page: 73[View Page 73] broad hearthstone was the central place of meeting for the townspeople, especially during terms of the courts, when lawyers from far and near gathered around the great fireplace. Everything was big, the dining room especially. It had its one purpose, with its tables and chairs, but could be easily cleared to accommodate gatherings either for dancing or preaching.

The tavern was known as the Eagle and Lion, from the painting on the sign board, which was fastened between two large posts. The painting represented an eagle picking out the eyes of a lion. The happy ending of the recent war with England was fresh in the mind of the painter, as he pictured the triumph of the Americans over the British. The house, however, with its generous appointments, was but a part of what constituted a great tavern in those early days. There was the big stable, the interior of which was lined on either side with hospitable stalls; its loft filled with hay, and its bins with oats and corn. The horse must be cared for as well as the man, for the energy that moved the country was stored in the muscles of the horse. Not only so but this "horse power" was the standard for computation of all other powers. Then the stable had its ample yard, filled with wagons and coaches. It was a busy place at the times of the outgoing and incoming of the stages.

The Eagle and Lion was the stopping place of at least one famous man. In 1831 Terre Haute was honored by the presence of Henry Clay. The chroniclers of the times tell us that it was an event of great local interest. The great Senator, " was met several miles from the village by a large number of citizens, and escorted into town. His approach was announced by the roar of artillery. He stopped at the Eagle and Lion." An address and a reply were among the proceedings of the occasion. In regard to the keepers of this tavern, facts are very limited. I find no statement to that effect, but probably Mr. Redford at first kept the house himself. This seems to be implied in the following extract from a letter written by Lucius H. Scott, years afterwards, who page: 74[View Page 74] in speaking of events occurring in 1817, says: "Henry Redford had just erected his house, and it was the first tavern ever opened in Terre Haute. The house was afterwards kept by Robert Harrison and still later by Capt. Wasson." Capt. James Wasson was one of the familiar names of early Terre Haute. He was a native of Connecticut and came here in 1816. He must have had charge of the tavern for a long time as it was familiarly known as the Wasson House. He was a sailor before coming west. He was somewhat brusk in manner, but kind. Some years ago in tracing out the exact date of the first organization of a Presbyterian church in Terre Haute, by Rev. David Monfort, I found the following record in an old trustee book. After setting forth the date of the organization, and election of elders with their names, it stated that " Messrs. William C. Linton, John Britton, and Capt. James Wasson were elected trustees." This was in 1828. Mr. Wasson lived to the age of sixty- five years " and was universally respected."

Samuel McQuilkin was another prominent tavern keeper in the early days of the village. It is claimed by some that he built the first tavern on the northeast corner of Third and Main streets. It was a large two story frame with its big sign post. On the sign was painted a war horse fully caparisoned, and rearing as if impatient to get into the battle. Mr. William Earle, in his much quoted letter says: "We boys always called the McQuilkin house 'The Light Horse tavern.' "There are no dates given, but it is understood that Mr. McQuilkin sold the building and invested in lands across the river where Macksvillle now stands, which is the town laid out by Mr. Samuel McQuilkin and named McQuilkinsville, but for short has ever been known as Macksville. As to the question of which was the first tavern erected, Mr. Lucius H. Scott speaks from personal knowledge when he says as quoted above: "It," that is the Redford House, "was the first tavern ever opened in Terre Haute." At the same time it is recorded that the McQuilkin. House was a rival to the Eagle and Lion.

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To throw some light on the expense of traveling at this early date, it may be noted here, that in licensing taverns, the County commissioners fixed the rates for a single meal at twenty-five cents; and a night's lodging at twelve and a half cents. For a horse, stable and hay for one night was twenty-five cents; oats and corn were extra.

In 1819 it is recorded that George Kilpatrick was licensed to keep a tavern; also tavern keeper's license was granted the same year to James Cunningham. Indicating the growth of the village and of ideas as well, the name tavern, sooner or later, was superseded by that of Hotel, or House. Hence there was the well known Dole House, kept by William Dole, the proprietor; Stewart House with Matthew Stewart as proprietor. Besides these were the National Hotel, kept by William McFadden, the old Early Hotel and the Wabash Hotel. All these had their necessary creaking sign boards, hospitable stables, and roomy wagon yards. Last but not least, each had a little belfry on the top of the house, with its high-toned bell, which called the willing boarders, three times a day, to their meals. The ringing of the tavern bell must have been an important function at least at the Burton Hotel, kept by Johnny Burton, an Englishman, on the Northeast corner of Cherry and Fifth streets. Burton must have been the most popular landlord of his time, since his name has been perpetuated in song by the darky minstrels of the day. I quote a single stanza as it has lingered in my memory from that day to this:
  • "I comes to Terre Haute
  • And puts up at Burton's hotel,
  • I blacks de Gemmen's boots
  • And rings de dinnah bell."

In 1838 Mr. Chauncey Rose completed the Prairie House. His plans were kept back till he began the work of building, when the villagers shook their heads in doubt; some said: "It is too far from the center of town." Others prophesied: "That boarders would not walk so far for their meals." page: 76[View Page 76] Still others: "It is rightly named as it stands way out on the prairie." At first it did stand vacant, seemingly confirming the "I told you so" of the wise ones. But a change came. The sound of internal improvements was heard through the land, and our village was the natural center so far as river, canal, and the proposed National road were concerned. There is a chapter here in the history of internal improvements that is full of interest; but whatever the mistakes and failures, a new order of things sprung up, and our State was better for the experience, and especially our town. The building of the National road brought hither Eastern men of capital and brains. And so did the canal enterprise; and though these enterprises in a manner failed, yet they gave a start to Terre Haute and also to the Prairie House, as it was the stopping place of the leading spirits in these public enterprises. The house was first opened by Mr. Barnum, and soon gained the reputation of being one of the best hotels in the State, a reputation which it has maintained from that day to this.

In closing this chapter, the old residents of 1840-50 will not object to have their memories refreshed by a reference to an episode in the life of the Prairie House, when the late Mr. T. C. Buntin had charge. It will be remembered that an English family traveling in their own conveyance, from Indianapolis to St. Louis, stopped at the Prairie House for a single night, but by the sudden illness of the father, the family were detained some weeks. They had large means and were prospecting for a location to make an English home. Incidental to this main purpose, the father with the help of his daughter proposed to publish.a book to contain an account of America and her people as seen through English spectacles. Whether the guests of the Prairie House were aware of it or not, they had:
  • "A chiel amang them
  • Taking notes, and faith
  • He would prent 'em."
page: 77[View Page 77] And so it was when the family returned to England, they published their book. And singularly enough, though in their travels they had visited some of our prominent cities, and most remarkable localities; yet our village and locality so attracted their attention that they named their book THE WABASH.

The Prairie House with its worthy host, Mr. T. C. Buntin, and its numerous guests together with quite a number of our leading citizens came in for a double share of honorable mention. It may not be generally known, but I am told that there are several copies of this book in the hands of our citizens. One copy, at least, is cared for by Mr. Arthur Cunningham, the obliging Librarian of the State Normal School.

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CHAPTER XIII

CHURCHES AND MINISTERS

BAPTISTS

THE First Baptist Church was organized in the old brick school house on the corner of Fifth and Walnut streets, in July, 1836, with nine members, as follows: Rev. Samuel Sparks and wife, Joseph Cooper and wife, Henry Thomas and wife, William Stark and wife, and Mrs. Massa Pound. Father Sparks served the church for about eight years, preaching one Sabbath in each month, sometimes in private houses, and sometimes either in the Court House, or in the old brick school house. Rev. George C. Chandler for a time was engaged as an assistant pastor. In 1847 Rev. Joseph A. Dickson was settled over the church giving his whole time to the work. The Universalist church building was leased as a place of worship, and the church began to take on new life. Many influential members about this time moved into the town.

The first church building erected by this people was begun in 1847. The location was on the west side of Fourth street, between Mulberry and Eagle. At the first, the house was inclosed and only the basement finished. On Sept. 10th, 1861, this building was destroyed by a wind storm. This was an unlooked for calamity, but in due time a chapel was built on the west end of the lot located on the northwest corner of Cherry and Sixth streets. Some years afterwards the commodious building now occupied by this congregation was built. One can understand that there must have been some staunch men and women to build up so successfully from such small beginnings.

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As intimated this people look back to the pastorate of Rev. Joseph A. Dickson as the beginning of their strength. Since then the church has had some strong and devoted pastors. Among these and deserving of mention are such names as Reverends David Taylor, Joseph Brown, S. M. Stimson, Charles R. Henderson, --- Wheeler, Lycurgus Kirtley, John S. Holmes, and the present pastor, Rev. George H. Simmons, D.D., who, after resisting the repeated invitations of a sister church at Peoria, Illinois, at last yielded and the Baptist pulpit is now temporarily vacant.

One of the earliest pioneer churches of Vigo county was that of the Union Baptist, which was organized in Pierson township in 1822 by Rev. --- Pierson, after whom Pierson township was named. He came into the county in 1820. A log house was first put up, afterwards one of brick was built. Old Joseph Liston, of pioneer memory, was not only a member of this church, but clerk of the session from 1824 to 1855. Good brethren of the Baptist church, as you have an honest pride in the heroism of these noble pioneers, look up these old records, and have them placed in a fire-proof safe. It is recorded of Liston that as an Indian scout employed by Gen. Harrison, he did more for the protection of the cabin-homes of the early settlers than any other one man.

CATHOLICS

The first Catholic church erected in Vigo county was located at St. Mary's on the west side of the river, about three miles from Terre Haute, in 1837. It was a small frame structure, and put up by Father Bateaux, who was the first resident priest. This parish became the center of influence, not only as the home of the Sisters of Charity, but the nucleus of the St. Mary's Academic Institute, an account of which will be found in the chapter below on Schools and School Teachers

The frame building was burned in 1842, when a brick house took its place. Father Bateaux was the active pastor page: 80[View Page 80] of this church till 1842, when he moved to Boston, Mass. He was succeeded by Rev. A. Parrett, who remained till 1844. The missionary work of Father Bateaux doubtless began some years before 1837, as I learn from another source, that he commenced his work "in a log cabin ten feet square in which he officiated with a board placed on logs for an altar."

St. Joseph's was the first Catholic church built in Terre Haute, on the west side of Fifth, between Ohio and Walnut streets, and is said to have been erected through the efforts of Father Bateaux of St. Mary's parish, in 1837. Previous to this date he had done missionary work in this region. Evidently Terre Haute was a missionary station till 1842, when Rev. G. P. Lalumiere took charge. He says: "I found in Terre Haute a real edifice, well furnished." And again he records the fact, "that the few families, who assembled, lived long distances apart; but little to encourage and much to discourage." His field covered a wide territory, extending from Vincennes to Lafayette, and from Clay county on the east to the town of Mattoon, in Illinois, on the west. Father Lalumiere became the first resident priest of the St. Joseph's parish. He was a pioneer missionary, and was born in Vincennes, Indiana, in 1804. He lived here and ministered to the parish till he removed to Vincennes. He died in 1857. He was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him, and was greatly revered by his parishioners.

CHRISTIANS

This denomination was late in laying its foundations, even in the county, and yet we are assured that the first church founded in Fayette township, was by the Christians, or Disciples, as some prefer to be called. Unfortunately there are no particulars recorded, not even dates. The Central Christian church was organized in Terre Haute in June 28th, 1841, by Rev. John O'Kane. A permanent place of worship was secured in 1846 on South Fourth street, opposite the City page: 81[View Page 81] Hall. In 1852 a reorganization was effected with nineteen members, and " such good men as William Begg, A. P. Law, and Benjamin Cooper, were called in turn to take charge of the little flock." Rev. L. H. Jamison was chosen pastor in 1854. He was succeeded in turn by Reverends J. P. New, A. D. Fillmore, and W. F. Black. During the labors of these three evangelists, "some men since prominent in the business world, became members." In 1865 Rev. James H. McCullough was called to the pastorate. About this time the congregation resolved to build, and accordingly a new church building was erected on Mulberry street between Sixth and Seventh. When Rev. McCullough retired, the membership amounted to about two hundred, and from this date the success of the church was assured. While not financially strong, the church has been able to command the services of strong men, who have been successful, and made their presence felt not only in the church, but in the community as well. Following Rev. McCullough the list comprises such well known names as Reverends H. W. Cure, B. B. Tyler, G. P. Peale, J. H. McCullough (recalled), Geo. W. Sweeney, H. O. Breedon, Benjamin L. Smith, J. L. Brandt, A. J. Frank, F. A. Morgan, W. W. Witmer, William Mullendore, and L. E. Sellers, the pastor now in charge.

CONGREGATIONALISTS

The Pilgrim churches of Connecticut held a State conven- tion as early as 1798, and declared their purpose to christianize the new settlements of the United States. Accordingly a tour of exploration was made by Samuel J. Mills and J. T. Schermerhorn in 1812, through Indiana territory, under the auspices of the churches of Connecticut and Massachusetts. These were followed by other missionaries, among whom was Rev. Nathan B. Derrow ; but no church of this denomination was organized in Terre Haute till Dec. 30, 1834, when Rev. Merrick A. Jewett organized the First Congregational church, with the following members: page: 82[View Page 82] Amory Kinney, Joab Corwin, Thos. Desart, Robert Brasher, Alexander Ross, Thos. L. Bishop, Mrs. Nancy Warren, Mrs. Mary C. Gilbert, Mrs. Elizabeth Cruft, Mrs. Julia McCabe, Mrs. Mary Wasson. This list was furnished me on request, by Mr. L. F. Perdue as found by him in an old record book.

In 1837 a lot was purchased on the southeast corner of Cherry and Sixth streets, where a brick building was erected which was dedicated on July 2, 1837. This house was dismantled by a wind storm on the evening of Wednesday, April 23, 1853. In 1857 a new structure was built at a cost of some $20,000. In 1871 this building was enlarged or rather rebuilt at nearly double the cost of the first house. The funds were raised in part at least by the sale of pews, which sold as high as from $160 to $440 each. On the roll of buyers stood such names as "Hager, Hite, Dowling, Thompson, McKeen, Warren, Crawford, Tuller, Deming, Farrington, Gookins, W. K. Edwards, Ryce, Bement, Potter, Cook, Ross, and so on ad infinitum."

Rev. Dr. Jewett was a remarkable man and in many respects adapted to the people among whom he was called to labor. In 1842 this church took upon itself new life in that it experienced a genuine revival of religion. In this work the pastor was aided by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, who was at the time a pastor of a Presbyterian church at Indianapolis. As the result of this revival an hundred members were brought into the church.

In 1848 for the sake of organizing a Presbyterian church, by request a joint letter of dismission was granted to John F. Cruft, Elizabeth Cruft, Joseph Miller, Margaret Miller, E. V. Ball, Sarah E. Ball, A. C. Potwin, Helen Potwin, F. R. Whipple, Mary P. Whipple, Zenas Smith, Hannah Smith, James Cook, J. B. L. Soule, Jordan Smith, and Mary E. Cruft, who, as will be seen below, were organized into a Presbyterian church by Rev. William M. Cheever.

Dr. Jewett continued pastor of the Congregational church in the faithful discharge of his duties till 186o, when page: 83[View Page 83] on account of failing health he resigned. He died in Texas at the home of one of his sons, on April 3, 1874. As the years pass by the early members of the church if possible grow in their appreciation and loving remembrance of Dr. Jewett. His remains were brought here for interment. In the funeral discourse pronounced by the pastor, Frank E. Howe, he expressed not only his own appreciation, but that of others, when he said: "He (Dr. Jewett) stood prominent as a preacher in all this region . . . . As we met in the association, there was no man that was heard with better attention, and with marks of greater favor. And as one of his old friends said to me the other day: 'He could preach six times a week, and we were always proud of him.'"

After a pastorate of some twenty-six years, Dr. Jewett was succeeded by a long list of worthies, whose memories are fragrant in the minds and hearts of the members and friends of this church. The list begins with Rev. Dr. Lyman Abbott and closes with Rev. Dr. W. A. Waterman, the present pastor.

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CHAPTER XIV

CHURCHES AND MINISTERS--CONTINUED

EPISCOPALIANS

ST. STEPHEN'S Protestant Episcopal church was organized in Terre Haute in April or May 15, 1840. The members so far as I can learn were: Mrs. David Danaldson, Mrs. William Krumbhaar, Mrs. William J. Ball, and Mrs. Dr. Blake. In the spring of 1840, the Right Rev. Bishop Kemper, who was on his way to St. Louis, stopped here and was induced to remain over the Sabbath, and hold public services. This is thought to have been the first Protestant Episcopal service celebrated in Terre Haute.

In the organization of the church, Col. Thomas H. Blake, and William F. Krumbhaar were elected wardens, and Dr. E. Daniels, Levi G. Warren, Jacob Bourne, and John Routledge were elected vestrymen. By the good offices of Bishop Kemper, Rev. Charles Prindle was sent here, and by invitation became rector of the parish. We are told that the first regular services were held in the jury room of the old Court House. Rev. Mr. Prindle remained but a short time, yet he is pleasantly remembered by many who were not connected with the church. He was succeeded in 1842 probably (although dates given do not agree) by Rev. Robert B. Croes. Mr. Croes is well remembered as a pains-taking school master, as well as good preacher. He came in the fall of 1842. The corner room in the brick building known as the McCall block, which still stands on the southeast corner of Third and Ohio streets, was used both as a church and school house. During the rectorship of Mr. Croes the first church building was erected June 9, 1845, on the west side page: 85[View Page 85] of Fifth between Main and Cherry streets. The new church building on the southeast corner of Seventh and Eagle streets, was erected at a cost, including the price of the lot, of $17,ooo. The house was completed and occupied in 1863. Since the times of Rectors Prindle and Croes, the church has enjoyed the services of Reverends Drs. Charles P. Clark, and D. D. Van Antwerp, W. G. Spencer, Chauncey Fitch, Thomas Mills Martin, Thomas R. Austin, S. Burford, S. N. Dunham, Drs. Delafield and Stanley, and the present incumbent, the Rev. John E. Sulger, who took charge of the parish in 1896.

METHODISTS

The Methodist circuit rider was early on the Indiana field. The hospitable cabins of the earliest pioneers were thrown open to their preachers and in fact to the preachers of every evangelical denomination. By appointments therefore, the people gathered gladly for public worship, whether in the pl ivate cabin, the school house or the shady grove. Rev. Jonathan Stamper, chaplain of the Kentucky volunteers preached in Fort Harrison in 1812. The list of early Methodist appointments, in this region comprised the following: Reverends James McCord in 1818; William Medford, 1819; McCord, again, 1820; John Shrader, 1821; James Scott, 1822; David Chamberlain, 1823; H. Vanderburg, 1824; Samuel Hull, 1825; Richard Hargrave, 1826; G. R. Beggs and S. C. Cooper, 1827; J. Hadley and B. Stevenson, 1829; W. H. Smith and B. Phelps, 1830. In 1831 Rev. Edward Ray was sent to Terre Haute "as an experiment," whether or not a station could be established, but "he was returned to the circuit." In 1833 the town was made a station with Rev. Smith Robinson as minister. It is recorded in this connection, that "Mr. John Jackson and three others pledged, and paid $400" towards his salary. Mr. Robinson died in 1836, and was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Bartlett. He in turn was succeeded by Reverends John Daniels in 1837 and E. Patrick in 1839-40.

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In 1833-4 a small brick chapel was erected on the corner of Fourth and Poplar streets. This served the congregation till 1841, when Asbury chapel was built on the same lot. A noble work was carried on in this chapel for half a century, when during the pastorate of Rev. Isaac Dale, a new location on the northwest corner of Seventh and Poplar streets was purchased, and a new building erected at the cost of $42,000. This was completed during the period of Dr. Hickman's incumbency, who, being called to the Vice Chancellorship of Depauw University, was succeeded by Rev. Demetrius Tillotson, the present pastor.

The history of the Methodist churches in Terre Haute would be incomplete without a notice of the organization of Centenary church, and the erection of its building on the northeast corner of Seventh and Eagle streets. It looks upon Old Asbury as the mother church. The movement for a separate organization began in 1865. Its first membership consisted of some two hundred persons. We are told that too much credit cannot be bestowed upon the late Rev. William Graham, through whose efforts the separation was effected. The first pastor of Centenary church was Rev. Leander C. Buckles, by the appointment of conference in September, 1866. The church building was made ready for dedication Dec. 3d, 1866. The successors to Rev. Buckles have been numerous, including some noble men, who not only did good work for the church, but were an honor to the town. Rev. Worth M. Tippy is the present pastor.

PRESBYTERIANS

Rev. Nathan B. Derrow, a pioneer missionary, visited Terre Haute in 1816. He was sent out by the Connecticut Missionary society. Still another missionary, Rev. Orin Fowler, made a tour as far North as Fort Harrison in 1819. Rev. Charles C. Beatty made a missionary tour through this region under the auspices of the General Assembly in 1822. Dr. Beatty once gave the writer an account of this tour, page: 87[View Page 87] especially of his visit to Terre Haute. He preached in the ball room at the Eagle and Lion. He was entertained by Major Whitlock, who was the receiver of the United States Land office and who afterwards removed to Crawfordsville.

Another missionary under date of 1820, describes a tour across the Wabash river by way of the Hopewell church. Our respected pioneer citizen, the late Harry Ross was accustomed to tell of these Hopewell people holding big meetings in the Court House. On such occasions each villager in attendance brought a tallow candle as a contribution towards lighting the house.

The first permanent minister to settle here was Rev. David Monfort. He came in the fall of 1827, from the Presbytery of Cincinnati. The church was not organized till May 17, 1828, and was made up of the following members: Samuel Young and Margaret Young, his wife; Samuel Ewing, and Mary Ewing, his wife; John McCulloch, and Margaret, his wife; Mr. James Beard and Jane, his wife; Mrs. Phcebe Monfort, Mr. O. Dibble. Mr. Samuel Young and Mr. James Beard were chosen and ordained as elders. Ten members in all. Messrs. William C. Linton, John Britton, and Capt. Tames Wasson were elected trustees.

Mr. Monfort remained but a short time owing to sickness in the family, and the death of his wife and daughter. After his resignation, Rev. Michael Hummer came, and was chosen pastor of the church, which then consisted of the following members. Amory Kinney, Ephraim Ross, Zenas Smith, Thomas Desart, Alexander Ross, William Young, Mrs. Elizabeth Desart, Mrs. Charlotte T. Condit, Mrs. Julia McCall, Mrs. Hannah Smith, Miss Mary King, Miss Catherine Boudinot, Mrs. Mary Ross, and Mrs. Mary Young, together with the original elders, Messrs. Samuel Young and James Beard, making in all sixteen members. The record of this meeting is dated May 16. 1833. Just how long Mr. Hummer remained we are not told but there was a division in the church and a large proportion of the members withdrew page: 88[View Page 88] under Mr. Hummer. They held services in the Old brick school house on the northwest corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. In 1834 the Congregational church was organized absorbing probably the most of Mr. Hummer's members.

In the meantime Rev. Matthew Wallace took charge of the old church. He was instrumental in the erection of a frame building on the northwest corner of Fifth and Poplar streets. He was succeeded by Reverends C. Allen, J. N. Shannon, Thomas P. Gordon. Under the pastorate of Dr. Gordon a new brick structure was erected on the southeast corner of Seventh and Mulberry streets. Mr. Gordon was succeeded by Reverends Geo. Morrison, J. E. Lapsley, and Alexander Sterrett. Mr. Sterrett continued his ministry till the union of this congregation with that of the Baldwin or Second Presbyterian church, which occurred Dec. 3rd, 1879.

The Baldwin church was organized by Rev. William M. Cheever, Dec. 31, 1848, and was composed of a colony from the Congregational church, of which there were sixteen members in all, whose names are as follows: Joseph Miller, Margaret Miller, his wife; E. V. Ball, M.D., Sarah E. Ball, his wife; John F. Cruft, Elizabeth Cruft, his wife; A. C. Potwin, Helen Potwin, his wife; F. R. Whipple, Mary Whipple, his wife; Zenas Smith, Hannah Smith, his wife; Mary E. Cruft, James Cook, J. B. L. Soule and Jordon Smith. Messrs. Joseph Miller and J. B. L. Soule were elected elders and were ordained by Rev. W. M. Cheever. In the pastorate of this church Mr. Cheever was succeeded by the following ministers: Joseph G. Wilson, H. W. Ballantine, Daniel E. Bierce, Henry S. Little, Blackford Condit, and Edward W. Abbey.

On Dec. 3rd, 1879, these two churches, viz., the First Presbyterian and the Baldwin, the name of the latter having been changed to the Second Presbyterian, were united under the name of the Central Presbyterian church of Terre Haute; Rev. Thomas Parry was chosen pastor. During his pastorate the church building was remodeled. After his resignation, page: 89[View Page 89] sixty-one members were given letters for the sake of organizing the Washington Ave. Presbyterian church. This church was organized in 1884, and at this writing has a substantial brick building on the southeast corner of Washington Avenue and Sixth street. Rev. William Torrance, D. D., is the present pastor of the Central, and Rev. Frank M. Fox, of the Washington Avenue church.

UNIVERSALISTS

The first Universalist church of Terre Haute was organized May 8th, 1841, with twelve members. The first church building was erected on the corner of Fourth and Ohio streets; Rev. John Kidwell officiated at the dedication. The membership increased to the number of thirty-nine. This building served the congregation for twenty-five years; when in 1866, preparations were made for the erection of a new building. A handsome lot was secured on Eighth, between Cherry and Mulberry streets. The house was of brick and was completed in 1869, at a cost of some $10,000.00, the seating capacity accommodating 350 persons. The membership at this time amounted to over one hundred. It is said that this organization originated in a debate between Rev. B. F. Foster and some other clergyman. The church enjoyed the services of quite a number of pastors. There are no dates, but the list below gives the names in the order of service: "Rev. B. F. Foster, John Kidwell, George Knapp, James G. Burt, Henry Jewell, S. G. Gibson, F. C. Brooks,-- Manford, -- Allen."

The church building was bought a few years since and fitted up for a Library building. While the house and its location were adapted to church purposes, there was much opposition to purchasing it for a City library. But possibly the city was wise in thus finding a resting place for its library, till the times should become ripe. or the way be opened, for a suitable location upon which should be erected a building worthy of our City. And just now our daily papers announce page: 90[View Page 90] a proposition from Mr. Demas Deming to donate delightful and ample grounds on Ohio street between Sixth and Seventh streets, also the sum of fifty thousand dollars in cash for the erection of a building to be known as the Deming Library Building. There are certain conditions attached to this proposal to which the city will doubtless accede.

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CHAPTER XV

SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL TEACHERS

FROM the first, the school teacher was in demand. In 1817 a young man arrived at Fort Harrison from Vincennes, on foot. There were among others at the fort a Mr. Dickson and his family. Induced by the Dicksons, and "for the want of something to do," he opened a school in Honey Creek township, the settlers building a small cabin for the purpose. This young man was Lucius H. Scott, who afterwards became so favorably known as a successful business man in our town. This enterprise failed on account of the illness of Mr. Scott; but it goes to show the anxiety of our early settlers to plant schools for their children. The order was, first the home cabin, and then the log school house, both of which were used for church purposes, till a church building could be put up. It is a mooted question as to who was the first teacher in our village. An advertisement in the first newspaper published in Terre Haute is reliable so far as it goes to show that R. W. Gail taught school here in 1824. It announces that he would receive "most kinds of produce in Payment for tuition." Doubtless there were school teachers before Mr. Gail of whom we have no record. We have the testimony of Rev. Welton M. Modesitt that Joseph Thayer was the first teacher to open a school in Terre Haute. This we find confirmed in the reminiscences of Mr. William Earle, who is claimed to be the first male child born in the village of Terre Haute. These reminiscences are readable, not only for the cold facts, but for the warm style in which they are written. He was a land boy, but became by choice a man of the sea, as his language bears witness. In regard to Mr. Thayer, he says: "Joseph Thayer was my first school master. He page: 92[View Page 92] was a man of very steady habits during vacations, that is steady at the whiskey bottle; but in term time he was never known to drink. We boys had to mind how we carried sail, or we would get our head sheets flattened on the wrong tack. Yet he was kind." Again he writes: "We once had a school master by the name of Rathbone. I remember nothing of him, except that the big boys locked him in one Christmas, and burnt brimstone beneath the floor. This was great sport." He tells of another teacher, a Mr. Brown, "who took the starch out of our sails." These all relate to what happened previously to 1823; but no exact dates are given. So we are somewhat at sea as to really who was the first teacher. Very possibly there were teachers prior to Joseph Thayer, notwithstanding he was Mr. Earle's first teacher.

In 1827 the Old brick school house was built on the northwest corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. The location now is occupied by the Catholic Female Academy. If I am rightly informed, a portion of the old wall of the brick school house was built into, and constitutes a part of, the wall of the Academy building. This our first public school house was intended for church, for Sunday school, as well as day school purposes. The prime movers in this enterprise were: Judge Amory Kinney, John F. Cruft, Elijah Tillotson, Moody Chamberlain, Thomas Houghton, Russell Ross, Enoch Dole, and Matthew Stewart. It stands on record that "the people liberally all contributed their mite to this important building." Some subscribed brick, others lumber, and still others a certain number of days' work." It is added: "little money was subscribed."

Mr. Charles T. Noble was among the early teachers in this school. He was not only active himself, but instrumental in interesting others in school work. He came to Terre Haute in 1823 and in 1825 became a permanent resident, till his death. He spent the early years of his manhood as a teacher, but afterwards was active in town affairs. He never lost his interest in children, as many who were once small boys can testify.

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Mr. Nathaniel Preston was another teacher in the Old brick school house. He taught there till he entered the State Bank as a clerk. He was afterwards elected as cashier. Mr. Preston was a native of Vermont, and was married in Terre Haute to Miss Charlotte Wood. Their home first was in the Bank building, now the Old Curiosity Shop. Afterwards he purchased the stone residence with its extensive grounds on Poplar street, where he lived until his death. For many years Mrs. Preston has been a member of the Rose Ladies Aid Society and still discharges the exacting duties of a corporate member.

Still another teacher in this school was Hon. W. D. Griswold, whose name will appear among the lawyers. He was a native of Vermont, and a personal friend and schoolmate of Mr. Preston. They were both educated, and were typical Terre Haute gentlemen.

Among the boys who attended school in this building, and made their mark in the world, were such men as: Gen. Charles Cruft, mention of whom will be made in the chapter below on Courts and Lawyers. Mr. Cruft began the study of the classics here under Mr. W. D. Griswold. Francis S. McCabe, D.D., was a Terre Haute boy. He was a pupil of Charles T. Noble in the Old brick school house. He also reckons W. D. Griswold as one of his early teachers. Mr. McCabe was graduated from Wabash College in 1846, and was honored with the title of D.D. by the same institution. He was graduated from the Theological Seminary, at Au- burn, N. Y., in 1852. He served the Presbyterian church of Peru, Indiana, from 1852 to 1867; the First Presbyterian church of Topeka, Kansas, from 1868 to 188o, and the Third Presbyterian church of the same city from 1880 to 1887. Dr. McCabe was born in Terre Haute in 1827. Throughout his long life he has been recognized as a man of more than ordinary ability, and of sterling worth. In Mr. McCabe our little brick school house made a valuable contribution to the churches of Kansas City and of the whole state, as he has been since 1870 Stated Clerk of the Synod of Kansas.

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Rev. Welton M. Modesitt is another village boy, who attended school in the Old brick school house. He came with his parents to Terre Haute in 1816. He was the son of Dr. Charles B. Modesitt, one of the earliest pioneers of the town. Welton was educated for a lawyer and graduated from the State University at Bloomington, and entered at once upon the study of law at Cincinnati, Ohio. He practised law in Terre Haute for three years, when like many before him he switched off into the ministry. His theological course was pursued at Lane Theological Seminary, in Cincinnati, from which he was graduated in 1846. Four years were spent with the Congregational churches of South and West Vigo, when Mr. Modesitt removed to the State of New York. He served two years in the Union army as chaplain of a New York regiment, made up of men from Buffalo and vicinity. From loss of eyesight, he was compelled to retire from the active ministry. Notwithstanding advanced age and com- plete loss of eyesight, he enjoys his annual visits to his Terre Haute relatives and friends.

Mr. C. W. Barbour, one of Indiana's prominent lawyers, was in his early boyhood a pupil at the Old brick school house. Further notice of him will be found in the chapter on Courts and Lawyers.

Mr. Benjamin Hayes deserves to be numbered among our earliest teachers. He taught on the corner of Third and Oak streets. He came with his wife from New England, but the exact date is not known. School teaching was not, as with so many others, a stepping-stone to something supposed to be better; but it was his life work. It would be interesting to know how many of the old residents to-day can say: "I went to school to Benny Hayes." Doubtless there are many, some of whom would add: " when he taught in the County Seminary," others, "when he taught in the white frame school house on the northwest corner of Sixth and Cherry streets." while still others, "when he taught in the basement of the Congregational church." Mr. Hayes's dictum was: " A boy must go through the arithmetic three times, and do every page: 95[View Page 95] sum, before he can be said to know how to cipher." He was not a man-of fine finish, but of strength. He possessed a sturdy character, and was a man of great moral worth. When age began to overtake him, he took up his residence with his son at Normal, Illinois, where he remained till his death. As it was most befitting, his remains were brought back to Terre Haute for burial. He rests in Woodlawn Cemetery.

About the year 1835 or '36, Miss Phoebe Miller, a sister of Mr. Joseph Miller, a pork merchant, taught a school for small children on West Chestnut street, opposite the residence of her brother. The school house was small and built of logs, with a puncheon floor. The children sat on long wooden benches, without backs, with their feet dangling towards the floor, except when they stood up in line before the teacher, and spelled to their own delight: b-a, ba; b-e, be; b-i, bi; or, b-a, ba, k e r, ker, baker.

Later a Mr. Moses Beach, a Jersey man, kept a school in the south part of the village, below Mr. Murrain's tan yard. This teacher's pride was to make good readers and spellers; and the ambition of the scholar was to "go up head," by spelling down his less successful competitors. To reach the head of the class was no small triumph, especially if the class was made up of some " good spellers." But to hold the place on Friday night, and take your place at foot of the class on Monday morning, was a triumph worth all it cost.

In the early forties, there was a more pretentious school taught by an Episcopal clergyman in the McCall building, which still stands on the southeast corner of Third and Ohio streets. His name was Rev. Robert B. Croes, who was highly respected not only as a minister but as a competent teacher.

Perhaps the best classical teacher of those days was Mr. Provost. He taught in the basement of the Congregational church. He was a teacher by profession, scholarly and successful. He won the regard of his pupils; and doubtless there are many yet living who would gladly hear concerning his welfare after he left Terre Haute. He was a page: 96[View Page 96] gentleman of the old school, somewhat precise in speech and manner. He was careful of his dress, which was plain and in the best of taste. He had one peculiarity, at least, which is a very small thing to recall and especially to record; but it made a deep impression. He wore his hair parted behind. This was evidently a fad of the day. I now recall but one or two other gentlemen in the town who affected this style. Possibly there were more, but why magnify so small a matter. His school was well patronized.

One cannot think of the Provost school without recalling many of the boys and girls who were in attendance. I have one specially in mind. He was a small boy, among small boys, and we called him Bill. As we grew older, we softened it down to Will, and then, as evidence of great respect, to William E. To aid in sketching his character by a single stroke of the pencil, I would quote a verse from one of Wordsworth's beautiful sonnets, which reads:

"The child is father of the man."
The truth here expressed is proverbial, and finds a good illustration in the example before us. To know the man is to have known the boy, as there exists the greatest similarity. In externals as to build and general address, they were the same. The same also in style of dress, plain and becoming. Then as to character, there were the same elements of uprightness and manliness. He was as willing then as now to do you a favor. Many of his frierfs to-day might insert between these lines marked examples of this characteristic. Then, the standing of the boy in school was typical of the standing of the man, in our community. To know therefore the man, in the person of Hon. William E. McLean, is to have a very correct idea of Mr. Provost's pupil, whom we as small boys called, Bill.

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CHAPTER XVI

SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL TEACHERS--CONTINUED

IN hastily passing I must not forget to mention a school taught by Seymour Gookins in the basement of the Congregational church. Mr. Gookins stood high in the community, not only as a teacher, but as a man. Like all good teachers he had the interests of his scholars at heart.

Besides the list would not be complete without the mention of a classical school taught by Prof. Moses Soule. About this time the days of subscription schools were being numbered. The growth of population demanded an increase of facilities for all classes of children. Far-sighted citizens realized that unless public provision was made, their children would grow up in ignorance. So as early as 1835 a meeting was called at the Court House, for the purpose of considering the propriety of erecting a County Seminary building. This was by no means a rash move for already "public funds provided for in the different sales of real estate, had become sufficient to justify the step." In due time, therefore, a contract was entered into with William Naylor and William Wines to build the Vigo County Seminary. Accordingly it was erected on the high ground now occupied by the State Normal School. This was a step in advance, but there were better things in store. Without attempting to trace the story of the purchase of the County Seminary by the city; and how by striking hands with the State, there was secured to the city the State Normal School; I would simply add that the demand for free schools was everywhere. It was voiced in the legislature by statesmen, as well as by public educators; also by the public press. One of the causes that did much towards waking up the people on the subject of free schools, was a Series of Papers page: 98[View Page 98] addressed to the legislature, signed by "One of the People." The part that Terre Haute had in this, was that while the papers were penned in the neighboring town of Crawfordsville, by Caleb Mills, D.D., a professor in Wabash College; yet through the instrumentality of Mr. Israel Williams, who was a special friend of Prof. Mills, and was then a prominent pork merchant of our city, the articles were published in pamphlet form in the office of David S. Danaldson.

Besides, the matter of free schools was no new thing to Terre Haute educators. In 1827 an advertisement appeared in our village paper, signed by Charles T. Noble and Samuel Hedges, which reads in part as follows: "The subscribers believing that schools in which youths are taught those branches that enable them to transact the customary business of life, are preferable to those Sunday schools, at which recitations in spiritual hymns and songs are the principal exercises, do hereby give notice, that they will attend at C. T. Noble's school room, on Sunday of each week, and give instruction gratis in the branches usually taught in common schools, and in algebra * * * . Strict attention will be paid to scholars that may be put under our care * * * ."

Certainly as an advertisement the above is unique, and withal significant. Sunday schools were evidently a well known institution in early Terre Haute. But passing the question here raised, my object in citing the above is to show that there was already, in the minds of active educators, a necessity that some steps should be taken by which free instruction might be given to children, whose parents were not able to pay the required quarterly tuition. While the step proposed was inadequate, yet the suggestion must have been far-reaching, showing that something ought to be done, which could not be effected by an individual, but by a combined effort of all the people, by subjecting themselves to taxation. This in the course of time was done, thus making Indiana one of the leading states in the way of free schools. But here as before, the tracing of the particulars is chronologically beyond my limit; yet I must add, that while the page: 99[View Page 99] movement in our locality was hampered at the first, in its final success it has filled our city, to the great joy and benefit of all, with school houses, school teachers and school children.

Again there has always been a prevailing idea, that Terre Haute would become an educational center; hence various efforts have been put forth to establish institutions of a high grade, to accommodate those from a distance as well as those at home. About the year 1835 an effort was made to found a Seminary for girls on South Sixth street. It was an individual enterprise. I am assured by Mr. John W. Cruft that the two-story double frame house, which stood for so many years on the northeast corner of Sixth and Oak streets, and occupied by his father as a residence, was originally built for a girls' school. The testi- mony of Rev. Aaron Wood in regard to this seminary is, that Rev. Smith L. Robinson was appointed to preach in the Terre Haute district. He also projected a female seminary, and had ample subscription, and a house erected. A lady principal was sent for, and came by stage from the far off State of Maine, but she died in a few days after her arrival. Rev. Mr. Robinson was called away into another conference, and so while this effort was a failure, it shows, at least a desire for a school in Terre Haute for young ladies.

The Covert College for Young Ladies, built on South Sixth strect was for a decade of years, a success, and proved a most desirable addition to our city, as it brought to us teachers of talent, and accomplishments. The standard of the school was high and it attracted students frcm a distance. Rev. John Covert, the founder and president of the school, had the reputation of being a superior financier, and yet the school in time went down. The building still stands and is occupied by St. Anthony's Hospital. Very much of the above might be said in regard to the effort to build up Coates College which was located in the residence formerly occupied by Judge S. B. Gookins, on Osborn, between Third and Sixth streets. But the effort is of so recent a date, I can only refer to it.

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It is known possibly, to only a comparative few, that Mr. Chauncey Rose seriously contemplated founding and endowing a College for young ladies in Terre Haute. He gave the matter much thought as to its internal workings; also as to the plans and specifications of the buildings. He went so far as to make ample provisions for the same, in his will. But afterwards, he changed his mind, as every think- ing man has a right to do, and instead, substituted for it, the Rose Polytechnic Institute, a school of technology for young men. The great success of this institution, argues that Mr. Rose made no mistake in changing his purpose, and yet there is a lingering thought as to what might have been, had a Western Wellesley College been planted in the Mississippi valley, on Fort Harrison prairie, in the town of Terre Haute. In its inception, though the Polytechnic Institute had a rival, it has none now, as it stands in the fore front with the leading technical schools of the country, and so far upholds the idea, that Terre Haute is and of right ought to be, an educational center.

The same may be said of our State Normal School which from its foundation has always been prosperous but never more so than at the present, under the successful management of a Terre Haute boy, a son of a pioneer physician. The father gave his son the advantages of the public schools of the day, and then proposed to make a farmer of him, but the young man possessed of a natural thirst for knowledge soon returned and was enrolled as a member of the first graduating class of the State Normal. This was a good beginning for William W. Parsons. He was afterwards connected with the school as professor, vice president and president. To this last position which he still occupies, he was elected in 1885, to succeed President George P. Brown. Terre Haute has reason to be proud and is proud of the State Normal School.

There is one other school that has done its full share in building up the reputation of Terre Haute as an educational center. The story of its founding and marvelous growth, page: 101[View Page 101] reads more like a fairy tale, than actual history. That an accomplished daughter of one of Napoleon's generals should leave her native land accompanied by five others like minded with herself, to found an institution of learning in the woods of Indiana, seems more romantic than historic. And so instead of a literal wilderness, where these good women actually engaged, as veritable pioneers, in gathering the brush into heaps for burning, we find now extensive grounds elegantly laid out, also green houses and flower gardens that bespeak taste and refinement. So likewise instead of the single house which good farmer Thralls was willing to share as a shelter for these pioneers, and the little log chapel, and simply the foundations for the academy building; we find buildings along side of buildings, in the best style of architecture, with every possible convenience for carrying on the work of education.

The plain history of St. Mary's Institute which was planted in the woods of Indiana, four miles west of Terre Haute, reads: "that on Oct. 22, 1840, six sisters of Providence, who came from France through the earnest solicitation of the Bishop of Vincennes, also by the cooperation of Father Bateaux, arrived by stage at St. Mary's, which was to be their future home. Mother Theodore, the founder of the institution, is said to have been a woman remarkably endowed with gifts both of intellect and heart. She laid broad foundations for Christian education, and refined womanhood, and St. Mary's Institute shall ever stand as a noble monument to her wisdom, sacrifice and zeal.

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CHAPTER XVII

EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS

ONE of the first necessities of organized society is a court of justice. So we find that one of the first moves, while as yet we were a territory, was the organization of courts of law. As a local member of society, the individual for protection, yields his rights into the hands of society, as represented by legal tribunals. Such surrender implies presupposed intelligence, and uprightness, on the part of the community. Security of individual rights and local order go hand in hand.

The General Assembly convened at Corydon in August, 1814, divided the territory into three circuits, and "invested the Governor with power to appoint a President judge in each circuit, and two Associate judges of the circuit court in each county." Among other requirements these President judges were to be "learned and experienced in the law." There was more or less dissatisfaction in the workings of the judiciary system as it existed in the territory. In 1816 there were important changes made, so that the judiciary powers of the State were vested in "one Superior Court, in Circuit Courts, and such inferior courts as the General Assembly might establish . . . . The Circuit Court was to consist of a President and two Associate Judges; the Presidents of the Circuit Courts were to be elected by the General Assembly, in joint session, and the Assistant Judges by the voters of the counties. Each county was to have two Associate Judges; the President alone or in connection with one of the Associate Judges could hold a court and the two Associates in absence of the President could hold a court, but could not try capital or chancery cases."

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The existence of Associate judges explains one thing in the early history of our town, which to many who were uninitiated, was inexplicable; and that was the fact of there being so many gentlemen who were always addressed and known as judges; and yet they never laid any claim to being lawyers by profession. Among these were such men as Judge Deming, of whom mention has already been made; Judge Jesse Conard, whose name will properly appear in the chapter on Newspapers and Editors; Judge James T. Moffatt who was born in New York city, Oct. 2, 1791. He resided for some years in New Jersey, whence he moved to Vincennes, Indiana, in 1818, after stopping a short time in Ohio. In 1829 he came with his family to Terre Haute. He purchased property on North Second street, and built a brick house, which was the home of the family for many years, till he moved into his new house, on the north side of Mulberry, between Sixth and Seventh streets. Judge Moffatt was a carriage maker by trade, but having a taste for politics, he served for many years as Probate or Associate judge. From 1837 to 1843 he served his district in the State senate. He was a delegate to the Whig convention in Baltimore when Henry Clay was nominated for the presidency. In 1849 he was appointed Postmaster of Terre Haute, which position he held for four years. Judge Moffatt was a member of the City council for several terms. He was an active Mason. Mr. Moffatt was faithful in all the public trusts committed to him. He died in 1861.

Judge Randolph H. Wedding was another one of the honorable Associate judges. He came into Indiana in 1817. For the most part he resided in Parke county. "His life was remarkable for the sterling traits of character he exhibited, and for the stirring scenes in which he was a prominent actor."

Another prominent pioneer and Associate judge was John Jenckes, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, 1790. As a prospector he was on the ground as early as 1816, but did not settle permanently until 1818. He purchased property east of the town. He served as Associate judge in the page: 104[View Page 104] first court held in the county. He was elected as State senator while yet the State capital was at Corydon.

Judge John H. Watson was a banker, and his name will appear in the chapter on Banks and Bankers, and yet we understand as an Associate judge, he could sit on the bench, and rightly be called judge.

There were others who as prominent citizens were honored by seats on this bench, but the above are sufficient to illustrate the one thing in question; also how in those early days men of stalwart characters were appreciated.

The first Circuit court in Vigo county was held on the fourth Monday in April in 1818, before Moses Hoggatt and James Barnes as Associate judges. They adjourned to meet at the house of Henry Redford on the following day, and here among other business, an application for divorce came before the court, brought by Eleanor Garber against Peter Garber alleging abandonment. Evidently the court did not propose to be hasty, as it allowed the case to go over to the next regular term of court when it was duly granted.

The first term of the Circuit court before a full bench was held at the house of Henry Redford in Terre Haute, on July 24, 1818. Thomas H. Blake, President judge of the first Judicial circuit, presiding.

Before proceeding further, one word should be spoken in regard to the early laws of Indiana, for prior to courts and lawyers there must be laws. In 1807 we read in Dillon: " The common law of England, all statutes or acts of the British parliament made in aid of the common law, prior to the fourth year of the reign of King James the First (and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom), and also the several laws in force in this territory, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as of full force, until repealed by legislative authority, or disapproved of by Congress." To illustrate the majesty of the law, and to show its far-reaching influence, take the single enactment in the ordinance of 1787, containing the provision by which the Northwest territory ceded to Congress by the Commonwealth of page: 105[View Page 105] Virginia, should ever be free from the curse of human slavery. This saved Indiana as a territory, and when statehood was sought in 1816, this same prohibitory clause found its way into the constitution, notwithstanding the indefatigable efforts of the proslavery element in the territory, to have it rejected. In a revised and improved form therefore we have the prohibition in Art. I, Sec. 37 of the Constitution which reads: "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude within the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. No indenture of any negro or mulatto, made or executed out of the State, shall be valid within the State."

As early as 1807, Messrs. Jones and Johnson published a Revised Code of Indiana Laws, which was adopted by the legislature. In 1815 there was issued by General W. Johnston at Vincennes, "A Compend of the Acts of Indiana." There must be a copy of this book in our city, but like Pidgeon's History of the Fort, inquiry fails to find it. From a lengthy description of the volume, I take it that it is something of a curiosity. In the preface, the author tells us: "In the Compend I have been as laconic as practicable and to render my work serviceable and acceptable, I have spared no pains to analyze the Territorial Statutes, commencing with the revised code of 1807, and ending with the acts of 1814. And to methodize the matter in the plainest manner, has been my aim. The complicated state in which the Statutes of our Territory are at present, from the variety of its acts upon the same subject, suggested to me the necessity of analysis. To be of some service to my country and not pecuniary reward has been my excitement."

Following the preface is a certificate signed by Isaac Blackford, Davis Floyd, G. R. C. Sullivan, A. Buckner, H. Hurst, W. Prince and John Johnson, to the effec., that they had examined the manuscript, and gave it as their opinion that " the design was well conceived, and the subject matter disposed of in considerable order."

The pioneer lawyer was a circuit rider in the literal sense page: 106[View Page 106] of the word. First he must provide himself with a horse that could swim the swollen streams as well as trudge through the muddy roads. Then he must possess the needful saddle bags to carry not only wearing apparel, but law books and papers. He must be provided also with an overcoat or blanket and green leggings. Thus equipped he starts on his journey for the County seat, where court convenes, though it be sixty miles away.

We have been accustomed to limit the trials of early circuit riding to the missionaries, and especially to Methodist preachers, but the pioneer lawyer, as he is better understood, comes in for his share of the honors. If there were trackless wagon roads, and lonely pack horse trails, to be followed, he followed them. Or if there were creeks to be crossed, he crossed them. The map of the State at that time was made up of crooked snakelike lines indicating great and small water courses. The horseback traveler knew, or was supposed to know the names and distances apart of these several streams, and the best fording places.

These were the days of horses and "horse talk." Every lawyer had his favorite horse, and he knew from experience how to appreciate him. One owned "Wrangler," which cost him sixty dollars; another "Old Gray," for which he paid eighty dollars; still another "Big Sorrel," a sixty dollar horse. Hon. O. H. Smith in his delightful book entitled, "Early Indiana Trials," closes a long list of horses and their owners by saying: "And I rode Gray Fox that cost me $90." That he had occasion to praise his horse, I venture a short abstract of one of his sketches: "I had twenty miles to ride and no time to be lost. Giving Fox the rein he approached the bank of the creek with its rapid current, and without a moment's hesitation, with a quick step, plunged in, and swam beautifully across the main channel, but the moment he struck the overflowed bottom, on the opposite side, the water about four feet deep, he began to sink and plunge. The girth broke. I seized the stirrup's leather, to which my saddle bags were fastened, with one hand, the long page: 107[View Page 107] mane of Fox with the other, and was gallantly dragged through the mud and water to the main land."

That pioneer lawyers were subjected to accidents by floods especially, I venture another illustration taken from the Biography of Indiana, Chicago 1875. Judge Blackford on one of his trips to Vincennes from Indianapolis, came very near losing his life. " Mounted on a stout horse with overcoat, leggings, and his saddle-bags full of law books, he undertook to ford White river near Martinsville, while the river was swollen by a freshet. He and his horse were swept down the stream, but eventually landed on an island He was rescued by a farmer. Having dried his law books and clothing, he waited a couple of days for the water to fall, when he proceeded on his way."

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CHAPTER XVIII

EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS--CONTINUED

AMONG the early arrivals in Terre Haute, was Attorney Nathaniel P. Huntington. He came soon after the erection of Vigo county, to attend the first meeting of the Circuit court, which was held on the fourth Monday of April, 1818. There were other lawyers of this circuit present, but as Mr. Huntington came to make his home here, the court appointed him prosecuting attorney, pro tem. for Vigo county. Nathaniel P. Huntington is spoken of as "a man of fine abili- ties, and who ranked among the ablest lawyers in the profession, and who was only cheated of great eminence by his early death."

Another prominent pioneer lawyer on the field perhaps earlier than Mr. Huntington was Hon. Thomas H. Blake. He was the President judge of the first Judicial court at its first term before a full bench at the house of Henry Redford, July 24, 1818. His commission. was signed by Jonathan Jennings, the first governor of Indiana; and bore the date of May 14, 1818. He practised law in the village as early as 1817. In 1826 he was sent to Congress. In 1842 President Tyler made him the commissioner of the General Land Office. Captain Earle says of Col. Blake: "He was six feet in height, and well proportioned, light hair, neatly trimmed side whiskers, well brushed forward, always well dressed, the ruffle of his shirt standing out beyond his vest, with a smooth glossy hat, polished boots . . . in short, Col. Blake was the greatest man in Terre Haute in my youthful imagination except Maj. Lewis."

At this meeting of the court, among others that were admitted to the bar, were Lewis B. Lawrence and Charles page: 109[View Page 109] Dewey. The latter became eminent as a lawyer, and for many years was one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Indiana. Our only claim upon Judge Dewey, therefore, is that he was admitted to the bar in Terre Haute. Mr. Lawrence, however, took up his residence, and opened an office. Beyond the recorded statement, that he was the legal adviser in all the steps taken in the establishment of Vigo county, scarcely anything is known of him. It is somewhat strange that one so prominent should not have found some chronicler to perpetuate his memory, and yet we are told that there was as yet "no learned bar to pass resolutions, nor newspapers to give flattering obituary notices."

Early in the list of Terre Haute lawyers appears the honored name of Judge Elisha M. Huntington. Bespeaking something of the popularity of the man, he was familiarly called Lish Huntington. I fail to gather data as to his early life, and as to his first coming here. The first mention of a date is in the shape of a card in the WesternRegister of May, 1827, simply announcing E. M. Huntington as a practising attorney. The date of his appointment as commissioner of the General Land Office does not appear, but in January, 1837, he was appointed President judge to succeed Amory Kinney. He resigned this position in 1841, and in May, 1842, the Senate of the United States confirmed him as judge of the United States District Court of Indiana. Hon. O. H. Smith, in his Sketches of Early Indiana Trials, says of Judge Huntington: "He was comparatively a young man when appointed by President Tyler to the U. S. Judgeship, but he discharged the duties of the office to the entire satisfaction of the bar." He adds further: " His mind is of a high order, his judgment good, and his courtesy to the bar such as to make him highly esteemed by all.'

Among our pioneer lawyers Hon. James Farrington held a prominent place. As a public spirited citizen, as well as a learned lawyer, he left his impress upon the community. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1798. He came to the West and located at Vincennes; but in 1822 settled in page: 110[View Page 110] Terre Haute. He was elected to the legislature in 1825, and in 1831-32. In 1833-34 he was our State senator. He was the first cashier of the Terre Haute Branch Bank of the State. During the existence of the bank, he was its financial adviser, and one of its prominent directors. In all his legal and business relations, Mr. Farrington was careful, correct, and prompt. In 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln assessor of the Seventh U. S. Internal Revenue District. He closed a life of honor and usefulness, in the seventy-second year of his age. The descendants of Mr. Farrington in our community are proud of the family name, and are guarding well its honor.

Amory Kinney was born in Bethel, Washington county, Vermont, April 13, 1791. He first emigrated to the State of New York. Having been admitted to the bar, he came West and settled in Vincennes. In 1824, he was admitted as a member of the Terre Haute bar. He was elected to the legislature in 1830o. In 1831 was appointed President judge by Gov. Noble. In 1833 he was candidate for Congress. He was again elected to the legislature in 1847-8. In 1852 upon the establishment of the Common Pleas court he was elected judge of the court for a term of four years.

The name of Judge Kinney was synonymous with honesty, and uprightness. As a citizen he was universally respected. Without pushing himself into notice, he was prominent in the good work of establishing schools and churches. A quiet substantial man and public servant, he made for himself an enviable record. He died while on a visit to his old home in Vermont in the sixty-ninth year of his age. There are many among us who recall with pleasure the unassumed dignity and kindliness of Hon. Judge Amory Kinney. General references will be found elsewhere to Judge Kinney.

Closely allied in social and church relations, and business interests to Judge Kinney was Samuel Barnes Gookins. For years they were associated in the firm of Kinney, Wright and Gookins, in the practice of law. Judge Gookins, in an account written by himself, of his coming to Terre Haute, page: 111[View Page 111] says: " On May 5, 1823, I set out from the home of my boyhood in the town of Redman, Jefferson county, New York, to reach the West by a new route. Our company consisted of my mother, a brother of twenty-three, and myself, not quite fourteen." They came by the northern route and on the i8th of June, 1823, landed at Fort Harrison, and then dropped down to Terre Haute, having made the trip in six weeks and two days. The mother died in 1825, and in 1826, Mr. Gookins apprenticed himself to J. W. Osborn, editor of the Western Register. Afterwards he was associated with John B. Dillon in editing the Vincennes Gazette.

Mr. Gookins by the advice of Judge Kinney began the study of law in Mr. K.'s office, and was admitted to the bar in 1834. In 1850 he was appointed by Governor Joseph A. Wright, though of opposite politics to the Judgeship of the Circuit court. In 1851 the new constitution having been adopted whereby many changes were required, Judge Gookins was put forward and elected to the legislature. He served on many committees the most important being that of the reorganization of the courts. By the new constitution, the judiciary was made elective by the people. Cooperating with prominent members of the profession a vigorous effort was made to keep the choice of judges, especially of the Supreme court, out of the range of politics, but it was unsuccessful. He held the position of judge of the Supreme court for three years, when he resigned. He practised law in Chicago from 1858 to 1875. Judge Gookins stood high in the profession. As a life long citizen he was proud of Terre Haute, and was quite ready to claim it as his native city growing up here as he did from childhood. He died in Terre Haute in 1880.

Solomon Wright was among our prominent citizens, and early took up the practice of law. He must have been of that class of men, who attend to their own business, as very little can be learned concerning him. Mr. Earle says: "Solomon Wright was a hatter by trade, and worked for Mr. McCabe, but being of a studious turn took to the law, which page: 112[View Page 112] he practised successfully for many years. I never heard him make but one speech in court, and that was on a murder trial, at Marshall, Ill. I took dinner with him that day, and we rode home in the night, through the almost unbroken forest." Mr. Wright was for a number of years a member of the prominent law firm of Kinney, Wright and Gookins.

George W. Cutter was one of Terre Haute's bright young men. He was related to the family of Mr. Osborn, our pioneer editor, and studied law in the office of Judge Kinney. He opened an office for the practice of law. He was also elected a member of our State legislature. He was doubtless more of a poet than a lawyer or politician, and so his name will appear below in the chapter on Early Poets and Poetry.

Cromwell Woolsey Barbour, as a Terre Haute boy, attended school in the Old brick school house on the northwest corner of Fifth and Walnut streets. At an old settlers' meeting held in Terre Haute, Mr. Charles T. Noble, who was one of our village schoolmasters said: "I want it understood that C. W. Barbour was one of my pupils; and I would say further that Mr. Barbour was a good boy at school." He attended college at Bloomington, Indiana, about the year 1829. After leaving college he entered the law office of Judge Isaac Blackford, at Indianapolis. In 1835 he was admitted to the bar and formed a partnership with Hon. R. W. Thompson, which proved to be one of the strongest firms in the State. In 1850 he was elected a member of the Constitutional convention. He helped to lay firm foundations. Especially in the matter of public education, he is said to have been the "leader in that body." In 1852 he was elected president of the Prairie City Bank. In 1861 he removed to his farm in Fayette township, which consisted of three hundred and fifty acres of land, beautifully situated, well watered and wooded. He enjoyed for many years an ideal home surrounded by a large and happy family. He was married in 1840 to Derexa, the accomplished daughter of Benjamin Whitcomb. Mr. page: 113[View Page 113] Barbour passed away at his home on May 5, 1889, in the eighty-first year of his age.

There was something in our little town in early days that made it attractive to eminent men. Gov. James Whitcomb was among the number. He came to Terre Haute in 1841, and opened a law office. He enjoyed quite a reputation for scholarship, and already was a prominent member of his party. In 1843 he was elected governor and from the governorship "was rotated by his party" to the Senate of the United States. "As was said of Martin Van Buren, he preferred going fifty miles to see a man in political matters to writing him a single letter on the subject." Mr. Whitcomb was born near the town of Windsor, Vermont, in 1795. He died in New York, Oct. 4, 1852. He was buried at Indianapolis. Although our claim is slight, yet we are glad to recognize his citizenship with us, though he resided here but a short time.

Edward A. Hannegan was another eminent man, who was attracted to Terre Haute. His expressed wish was that if he could not have a residence in Terre Haute, he would have his remains buried there. This wish was complied with, and in 1859 his body was brought here from St. Louis and was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery. I searched in vain for the grave of this eminent Indiana Senator, and only by the aid of the janitor with the number of the lot, could it be found. Instead of an imposing monument there stands only a very small headstone bearing no date, but simply the name: E. A. HANNEGAN. Mr. Hannegan was a native of Ohio. In early life he removed to Lexington, Kentucky. Then he came to Indiana, and settled at Covington, where he made his home for many years. His career was a brilliant one at the bar, and in politics. First he served his district in the State legislature, and afterwards was sent to the United States Senate, where he was recognized as second to none as a brilliant page: 114[View Page 114] orator. But a dark cloud settled upon his life. Others have pierced its depth, and brought to light all the fearful circumstances, but in so short a sketch it is well to pass over this, and in closing say: Mr. Hannegan, by a sacred wish, entrusted his ashes to our keeping, and his friends ought to see that a permanent stone mark the place of his burial.

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CHAPTER XIX

EARLY COURTS, LAWS AND LAWYERS--CONTINUED

THE names of W. D. Griswold, and John P. Usher are almost inseparably connected. As lawyers they began business in Terre Haute together in 1839. Of their first meeting at the Prairie House, kept at that time by Mr. Theron Barnum, Mr. Griswold writes: "Here on a frosty morning in the fall, as I left the breakfast table, I was followed first by a young strange guest, and meeting face to face before the bright grate, we nodded our respects, and opened up a talk which was the introduction to an intimate business, and brotherly association and intercourse of fifty years. I had been in Terre Haute about a year and a half (half of the time as a teacher). I had a compound lodging and office in the one-story building at the corner of Second and Cherry streets." From a long and successful career as a lawyer Mr. Griswold became a prominent railroad man, and in time removed to St. Louis.

The career of Mr. Usher was even more brilliant in that when he was made a member of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, his reputation became national. It is said, however, that he appeared at his best as "a court and jury lawyer." He too drifted into railroad affairs, when he accepted the position offered him by the Union Pacific Railroad. This was the occasion of his removal to Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Usher's death occurred in 1889. He was born in Madison county, New York, in 1816. His residence here was on Ohio street, the same now occupied by Mr. H. Hulman.

There were two lads who started in life as Terre Haute school boys; and sooner or later chose the study of law as a profession. One of these was Blackford B. Moffatt, the son page: 116[View Page 116] of Judge James T. Moffatt, who was among the early pioneers of the village. Blackford went to school to Mr. Benjamin Hayes. He also attended the high schools taught in the town. In these schools he prepared for Bloomington College, from which he was graduated in 1844. He also was graduated from the law department in 1851. Admitted to the bar, he opened an office in Terre Haute and met with flattering success. Mr. Chauncey Rose spoke of him as one of the most promising young lawyers of the town. He is still remembered by many of his old clients, who speak enthusiastically of his skill in managing cases, and his thorough grasp of the law. In the midst of his career, however, he was cut down by death, which occurred May 21, 1864.

Charles Cruft was the other lad referred to above. He was born in Terre Haute Jan. 12, 1826. His father, John F. Cruft, was a pioneer merchant. Being educated himself, and embued with the New England love of learning, he gave his son all the advantages of our village schools. His early teachers were Miss Bishop, Charles T. Noble, and W. D. Griswold. He was then sent to Wabash College, Crawfordsville, then under the presidency of Rev. Charles White, D.D., who has been termed, "The ideal College president." He was graduated in the class of 1843. In furthering his plans he engaged as an assistant teacher in the Classical school taught by Rev. Robert Croes, on the southeast corner of Third and Ohio streets. He was employed as clerk in the State Bank, after which he studied law in the office of his old preceptor, W. D. Griswold. Mr. Cruft was admitted to the bar in 1848. For some time he was actively engaged in railroad affairs. After this he formed a law partnership with the lamented John P. Baird. It is recorded of this firm: "That the brilliant genius of Col. Baird as a pleader and court advocate, was equalled only by General Cruft's ability as an adviser and counselor, and to the latter fell all the office details in the innumerable causes in which they acted." There was no law firm stood higher than the well known firm of Baird and Cruft.

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General Cruft's war record gave him a national reputation. He entered the service as Colonel of the celebrated Thirty-First Regiment, Indiana Volunteers; and was mustered into service Sept. 20, 1861. The regiment went immediately to the South by the way of Evansville, and was with Grant at Fort Donelson, and Shiloh. For remarkable gallantry at Shiloh, Cruft was promoted to the rank of Brigadier general, July 16, 1862. In the simple record of the battles participated in, lies a volume of history that can never be written pertaining to the bravery and heroism of both officers and men.

Perhaps nothing can be written that will give so correct an estimate of the warrior and the man, as his own noble sentiments delivered in his address at the reunion of the army of the Cumberland, at Chicago in 1868. He said: " Your example in quietly returning to your homes from the bloody scenes of four years of war, is full of meaning and instruction. The lesson to be learned from such conduct was not lost to the world. To-day the monarchs of Europe wonder how it was done. All civilization is astonished to know how one million of volunteer soldiers, who have fought to a successful issue the most malignant civil war which time has yet recorded, have quietly stacked their arms, and betaken themselves to civil pursuits." Such commendation and appreciation is healthy reading, and bespeaks the mind of a royal as well as loyal American citizen.

It is recorded of General Cruft that during his long career in the Masonic fraternity, as well as in the G. A. R. and other Military organizations, "he displayed a most wonderfully retentive memory of names and faces, and could place with great correctness all the brothers and comrades with whom he may have come in contact." But the final record must be written. General Charles Cruft died of heart disease after a short illness on the morning of March 24, 1883.

William K. Edwards emigrated from Kentucky into Indiana in 1820. He was related on his mother's side to Gen. Zachary Taylor, who afterwards became president of the page: 118[View Page 118] United States. Col. Edwards was graduated from the State University at Bloomington, in 1841, under the presidency of the distinguished Rev. Dr. Wylie. He opened a law office in Terre Haute in 1843. In 1845 he was elected a member of the State legislature. Subsequently he was returned to the legislature on three different occasions, and at one time served as Speaker of the house. He enjoyed the reputation of being "the best posted parliamentarian in Indiana." As an Odd Fellow he was Past Grand Master of the State, and was active in the work of organizing and building up sister lodges. He was prominent as a politician, but was "signally free from partisan bitterness." As a citizen he stood ready to serve the community in humble as well as high places. Col. Edwards was the chosen confidential adviser of Mr. Chauncey Rose. His counsel was not only sought, but followed. He was prominent as a Mason as well as an Odd Fellow. He was widely known throughout the State; and everybody at home knew Col. Edwards. He was a gentleman of the old school, friendly, polite and approachable. To know Col. Edwards was to respect him. His death occurred in Terre Haute Sept. 25, 1878. "The announcement called the whole State to put on the emblems of mourning." Friends from home and abroad gathered at his funeral to pay their last respects to the honored dead.

Harvey D. Scott was a native of Ohio, but came to Terre Haute in 1838. He studied law in the office of Hon. R. W. Thompson; and after his admission to the bar was associated with him in the practice of law for some eight years. In 1852 he was elected as a member of the State legislature, and in 1855 was sent to Congress. In 1858 he was made treasurer of Vigo county and was reflected in 1860. He was elected State senator in 1868 for four years; and in 1872 was reflected for a second term. Mr. Scott stood high in the community as a man and a citizen. He was plain, honest, and unassuming. His friends sometimes thought he was too honest for his own good, as he would often advise his page: 119[View Page 119] clients "to keep out of the law." In a long political career he was so considerate that he commanded the respect and praise of those who sharply disagreed with him. Mr. Scott on account of ill health removed to California, where he died.

Hon. Richard W. Thompson was born in Virginia, June the 9th, 1809. He traces his ancestry back to revolutionary patriots. In his reminiscences, he refers with just pride to the hospitable home of his boyhood where "Old men of Revolutionary fame, friends of Washington, who were specially friendly to Washington's idea of a 'strong central government,' assembled and discussed great questions of State." He was thus early imbued with the Washingtonian principles and so far was a whig in politics. In 1831, Mr. Thompson came to Indiana and stopped at Bedford, where he taught school; clerked in the store of a prominent merchant of the place; began the study of law in private, also under the tutorship of Judge Dewey, who afterwards was one of the able judges of the Supreme Court of Indiana. Called upon on Fourth of July occasions, Mr. Thompson's natural gifts as an orator were soon discovered, as well as the natural trend of his thoughts towards political subjects. He was sent to the State legislature in 1834, and reelected in 1835, and in 1836 was sent to the Senate. He declined to run as candidate for a second term. He formed a partnership for the practice of law with Hon. George C. Dunn. In 1840 he accepted the position of elector in the Harrison campaign. In this memorable campaign Col. Thompson made a national reputation as a political orator. In 1841 he was elected to Congress, but declined a second nomination. In 1842 Mr. Thompson came to Terre Haute to make a permanent home. And here we must stop, for to attempt even in outline, to trace the progressive steps of this ever successful man at the bar, on the stump, in the halls of Congress, in the cabinet of the United States, would require a volume instead of the allotted page or two of this chapter.

A remarkable life was that of our late fellow townsman, page: 120[View Page 120] Col. Thompson. Coming here in 1842 he looked into the faces of our earliest pioneers, and took by the hand our latest citizens. Not only so, but looking back to his earliest childhood with easy grasp he was able to span the life of the Nation, having come in contact with those who had conversed with Washington. Terre Haute has reason to congratulate herself in having possessed so eminent a citizen, and so grand a man as the late Hon. Richard W. Thompson.

For an estimate of Mr. Thompson's life it is sufficient that I refer to published account in Encyclopedias, Magazines, and Biographical sketches; but I cannot refrain from briefly speaking of a single achievement which will form an important stone in the arch which shall ever commemorate his memory. I refer to His Personal Recollections, of Sixteen Presidents, from Washington to Lincoln. The book is unique in that it portrays the underlying political principles that agitated the country during the several administrations of the period described. Instead of an abstract discussion or tame description, Mr. Thompson pictures in a familiar manner, but with a classic pen, the exact portraiture of leading Statesmen as they pass into the Congressional arena, and act their several parts. It is a revelation almost to follow the author in his thorough exposition of political principles held and defended by these great antagonists; and to see how the weal or woe of the country seemed to hang in the balance. In his familiar and reminiscent treatment of the principles themselves and the conflicts to which they led, lies the charm of the book.

The national reputation of Mr. Tihompson reflects favorably upon Terre Haute, since it was the home of this venerable man for almost sixty years.

Richard Wiggington Thompson died Feb. 9, 1900 in the ninety-first year of his age. His funeral was imposing as it was befitting that it should be. Representatives from different cities of our own as well as other States were present to do honor to the distinguished dead. His body was laid at rest in Highland Lawn Cemetery.

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However gratifying it might be to speak individually of a long list of eminent lawyers, members of the Terre Haute bar, headed by such men as Hon. Daniel W. Vorhees and Hon. Thomas H. Nelson, who by reason of the overlapping of men's lives seem cotemporaneous with the early comers previous to 1840, yet we have already overstepped our chronological limit, and as there must be a stopping place, it is well to stop here.

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CHAPTER XX

EARLY PHYSICIANS

BEFORE the physician with his magic saddle bags, was the pioneer grandmother, who by gifts of mind and heart, and large experience, was the good angel of the neighborhood. A call to a sick bed no matter what the weather, or time of night, was a call to go on a ministry of mercy. Taught by her mother before her, she knew herb teas that would warm a chill or cool a fever. Almost every neighborhood had such a gifted noble-hearted .woman, whose life was beyond praise.

The pioneer doctor, however, pressed hard upon the footsteps of the earliest settlers. He was a most welcome guest, in the lone cabin where sickness had entered the door before him. Neither winter's cold, summer's heat, nor darkness of the night, stood as an hindrance to the performance of his professional duties. His faithfulness can only be measured by the confiding trust imposed by his patients.

For the most part our early physicians traveled their rounds on horseback, with their saddle bags thrown over their saddles. The contents of these bags was a never ending curiosity to the small boy, who was permitted to stand at the table, where the doctor was serving out his little powders. There were innumerable vials, small and great; well folded packages, securely tied, containing white, red and variegated powders; also little cases filled with sharp lances; and big cases with a variety of instruments, some of which were for wrenching out human teeth; for the doctor was expected to meet every emergency, and to cure every human ill. It is true there were chronic and deep-seated difficulties, but for page: 123[View Page 123] the most part sickness was confined to malarial troubles. The newly up-turned sod, on account of the rotting process, which so soon followed; and the rank growth of succulent weeds in the bottoms, subject to the overflow of creeks and rivers, engendered a malaria, which poisoned the atmosphere, and produced sickness that at times tested the highest skill of the physician.

There was one sickness that medical knowledge could not fathom. A dreaded disease commonly known as "milk sickness." It prevailed in the fall of the year; but neither the observation of the farmer, nor the book knowledge of the physician could determine its origin. Some thought the cow contracted it from the water, others from some peculiar wild grass or weed, but no one could certainly determine. Of this, however, they were sure, to drink the milk, or eat the flesh of a diseased animal was to contract the disease. The infected districts confined themselves to certain streams of water, or dry prairies; but no farmer would admit that his farm bordered on such a district. Sometimes persons would suffer for years without knowing the real nature of their illness; at other times they would die in the course of a few months. The disease was not confined to this section of the country, but was common especially in the extreme South. But what science could not do in discovering or in eradicating, time has done, so nothing has been heard for the past half century of� this once dreaded "milk sickness."

Among our earliest doctors were those who came with the army to Fort Harrison. The first among these was Dr. Richard Taylor, who was the military surgeon under the command of Captain Zachary Taylor. After leaving the command, he is said to have settled in Parke county, where he died in 1830. Doctor McCullough and Middleton were military physicians under the command of Major Chunn. Dr. William Clark was also at one time in the fort. He with others answered all official calls from early settlers residing near the fort.

Dr. Charles B. Modesitt concerning whom reference has page: 124[View Page 124] been made, enjoyed the reputation of being the first pioneer physician in Terre Haute. While he was a man of affairs, he was duly qualified as a physician and surgeon. "He had an extensive practice, and deservedly ranked with the most eminent of the profession in Western Indiana." He was born in the State of Virginia in 1784, graduated from Prince William College in 18o8. He moved to Ohio near Cincinnati in 1814, and to Terre Haute in 1816, where after an active life he died in 1848.

Mr. W. W. Woolen, in his Biographical Sketches, tells of a very slight claim early Terre Haute had upon John W. Davis, M. D. It seems that Dr. Davis came into Indiana in 1823 and settled at Carlisle, Sullivan Co. Thinking to better his prospects, he moved to Terre Haute in the spring of 1826. Discouraged on account of sickness in his family, he returned to Carlisle. In 1828, he was induced to run for the legislature, but was defeated by our townsman, William C. Linton. In 1829 he was elected Associate judge and from that date his political prospects were assured, as he was often elected to the State legislature, also to Congress. was sent as a foreign minister to China, and by appointment was made a Territorial governor. "And all these places" it is said, "he filled with credit to himself and to his adopted State." In the above we detract nothing from the first claim of Carlisle, the home of this much honored man for so many years, where he died in 1859 and in whose cemeteryr his remains rest.

Dr. Lawrence S. Shuler was without doubt the most noted surgeon among our pioneer physicians. This position has been freely acceded to him by his medical brethren. He was born in the State of New York in 1790, and was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York city in 1815 or 16. In 1825 he came to Terre Haute, having practised some time in Vincennes. Soon after he entered into partnership with Dr. E. V. Ball, who had been his student at Vincennes, and who by his request had also removed to page: 125[View Page 125] Terre Haute. This copartnership continued till the decease of Dr. Shuler in 1828, at Vincennes while on a visit there for rest and recuperation, at the age of thirty-seven years. One among his many extraordinary operations, at that early day, was the restoration of sight to a little girl of eleven years, from congenital blindness. The child staid at his house for several months, and when her vision was restored, Mrs. Shuler, wife of the doctor, states that "the child was almost bewildered with joy at the wonders before her. Colors were with difficulty learned, and her friends were only known for a long time, by the sound of their voices. When the father came for her, he was a stranger, to her eyes, but a father when he spoke." Other quite as successful operations, accounts of which he kept in his notebook, might be repeated, but this is sufficient to show the enviable reputation, gained by one who was just entering upon a course of wide usefulness. His good name and fame are kindly cherished by his many descendants, who reside in other parts of the State as well as in this city; also by numerous friends of the family.

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CHAPTER XXI

EARLY PHYSICIANS--CONTINUED

DR. EDWARD V. BALL, as intimated above, was a student under Dr. Lawrence S. Shuler, and came to Terre Haute by his solicitation, in 1826, where they entered into the practice of medicine together. Dr. Ball was a native of Hanover, New Jersey, and was born in i8oo. He continued his profession in Terre Haute for some forty-seven years, up to a short time before his death, which was in March, 1873. Dr. Ball was a Christian gentleman of large common sense and of inexhaustible forbearance, as well as a successful and conscientious physician. That he was selected by Dr. Shuler as a partner, while as yet but a student, speaks much in his praise. Besides through a life-long practice, he held among his patrons some of the best families of the city. Many of whom could say with a good deal of satisfaction: "Dr. Ball was the physician in my father's family, and is now my own family physician."

For many long years no figure was more familiar on our streets, or on the long open roads stretching over the prairie, than that of Dr. Ball, sitting in his sulky behind a young and often unbroken colt. The "sulky" was a two- wheeled affair, with a chair-shaped seat with springs, fastened to shafts which in turn were fastened to the axle tree. Add to this skeleton of a cart, a narrow floor for the feet, finished with a dash board, and you have the Doctor's gig. His horse and gig standing at the bars of a country cabin, or at the gate of a village house, was a sign of sickness and suffering within. Like many other physicians, Dr. Ball was a great admirer of the horse, the younger and more spirited the better.

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Dr. E. V. Ball was married in 1828 to Miss Sarah E. Richardson, daughter of Mr. Joseph Richardson, of Fort Harrison memory. It was this Mrs. Ball, who when a child, resided in the fort with the rest of the family, when her mother, her father being absent in Washington on business, took passage with her children in an open boat for Vincennes, manned by two Frenchmen. Mrs. Ball survived her hus- band for several years, honored not only for her true womanhood but as one of the pioneers of our town. She was in full sympathy with her husband in his life work. The names of Dr. and Mrs. Ball are sacredly cherished by a large family connection, who are residents of our city, and by a large circle of surviving friends.

Dr. Septer Patrick was originally from the State of New York. "He practised medicine on the Wabash, and in this place until his head was whitened, enjoying the confidence and respect of his medical brethren and the entire community." He was brusk in his manner even to seeming roughness, yet back of this he was kind hearted, and as sympathetic as a child. And though often misunderstood his patients were fully aware that he had their best interests at heart. He was a close observer, and by his knowledge and skill was eminently successful. During the gold excitement, he removed to California with his family, where he died in 1858, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.

Dr. Richard Blake settled in Terre Haute in 1832. He was a native of the State of Maryland and was graduated from the Medical College at Baltimore. He is highly spoken of as an accomplished physician and gentleman. He sustained an honorable position in all the relations of life. "Although he abandoned the practice of his profession at an early period," yet he always referred to the profession, and science of medicine with pride. Dr. Blake suffered from chronic trouble which " gradually wore away his life." For the sake of rest, he visited his old home in Maryland, where he died in 1856 at the age of eighty-eight years.

Dr. J. W. Hitchcock was at one time a partner with Dr. page: 128[View Page 128] Septer Patrick. "Their office was on First street in the same row with Dr. Modesitt, also of Wasson's tavern, McCabe's hat shop and Osborn's printing office." To illustrate something of the hardships of the physician, Dr. Hitchcock related in a published letter, his own experience. Told in few words it was as follows: It was in 1831 while in partnership with Dr. Septer Patrick, a man from Christie's prairie below Lockport, called and said " his wife had gaped her jaw out of joint." It fell to Dr. Hitchcock to answer the call. It was in the midst of winter, and the roads down in the country were almost impassable. He found and relieved the sufferer, and as he returned in attempting to cross Lost Creek at the usual ford, to use his own language, "the ice proved too weak . . . and broke through at every step; I urged my horse forward. His forefeet would be upheld till he raised our whole weight upon it, when it would break; about the middle of the stream my horse became discouraged, he stood shaking as if alarmed. I dismounted and broke the ice to the shore, yet he would not move. I tried to lead him, and talked to him in soothing terms, but to no purpose. I was freezing and became desperate; going behind him I plied the lash as never before. He plunged forward in perfect terror to the shore and then stopped to wait for me." The doctor, we are glad to add, arrived home safely. His only reward was the satisfaction of rendering relief to a poor sufferer.

In a long list of business men enumerated by Judge Gookins in his History of Vigo county, residing in Terre Haute about the year 1830, he gives among the physicians the name of Dr. Thomas Parsons, who was a native of Maryland. His ancestors on the paternal and maternal side were respectively Irish and English. He emigrated to Kentucky while yet quite a boy, and resided there till he was about eighteen years of age. Dr. Parsons came to Indiana in 1819, dividing his time between Terre Haute and Vincennes, but finally settled in Terre Haute in 1822-23. Here he studied medicine and practised his profession successfully for thirty years. page: 129[View Page 129] In the latter part of the forties, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Ryman, who was a native of Kentucky. In the spring of 1850, during the gold excitement, he went to California, but returned to Terre Haute after two or three years. Soon after this he removed with his family to his large farm in Douglas county, Illinois, where he made his home till his death in 1885, at the age of eighty-seven years.

Dr. Maxwell W. Wood was a copartner with Dr. S. Patrick. Afterwards he became a surgeon in the United States navy. Dr. Ezra Reed, a special friend, in 1875, wrote concerning him: " Surgeon Maxwell W. Wood now senior of the United States Navy has ranked at every period of his life, as one of the most distinguished medical officers of the navy, and to whom this branch of the service is largely indebted for radical and important professional improvements. Ile long presided at the head of one of the naval bureaus in Washington City." Dr. Wood was the eldest son of Mrs. Charlotte Wood, widow of the late John Wood, a native of London, England. The father was a captain in the war of 1812. The mother was born in New Jersey, and came with her children to Terre Haute in 1835. She died at the advanced age of eighty-eight years and three months, mourned by her devoted children and grandchildren and a large circle of friends.

Dr. John Wood was also a son of Mrs. Charlotte Wood. He followed his profession for a number of years in Terre Haute, and numbered among his patients "a large proportion of the leading citizens of the place."

Dr. Ebenezer Daniels was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. He is said to have been ambitious to excel in his profession, and was correspondingly industrious. He excelled as a surgeon, and was partial to that branch of the profession. How early Dr. Daniels came to Terre Haute I have no data to determine. He died of pneumonia in 1847, when about fifty-six years old. Dr. Reed, in writing up our pioneer physicians, paid this tribute to Dr. Daniels: "I have rarely seen any one who could more page: 130[View Page 130] readily bring to light latent difficulties at the bedside, or more skillfully suggest proper remedies.

Dr. Ezra Reed was born near Marietta, Ohio, August, 1811. He was brought up on a farm. He worked during the summer and went to school in the winter. He attended the Ohio University for three years, where his brother was a professor. His natural ability and strength of mind revealed themselves upon a slight acquaintance. Dr. Reed loved books, and gathered together an extensive library. His books took a wider range than his profession showing that he possessed a broad literary taste.

As a physician Dr. Reed stood high in his profession. He was a friend of the poor and always stood ready to serve them professionally.

I have searched in vain to find the date of his first coming to Terre Haute, but his career was a long and successful one. It falls to the lot of few physicians to enjoy the confidence of a community as thoroughly as did Dr. Reed. He died in 1877, at the age of sixty-six. The flags of the city were displayed at half mast in his honor. Members of his profession, the leading citizens of the town, in fact the whole community united at the funeral, in honoring the man who had done so much for the poor, as well as the rich.

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CHAPTER XXII

NEWSPAPERS AND EDITORS

As early as 1823 seven years after its founding, Terre Haute had a newspaper. The first number was issued July 21, 1823. It was a "four column paper about twelve by fourteen inches in size." The first edition is said to have consisted of two hundred copies; a small but safe beginning, considering that the article of paper was scarce, and readers comparatively few, to say nothing as to subscribers. The supply of paper came from Louisville. Bad roads and low water were serious hindrances; on these accounts the newspaper did not appear regularly, and then sometimes in a half sheet. At such times, ordinary wrapping paper from the stores was used. The subscription was fixed at two dollars per annum. This little sheet was a forerunner of civilization, planted on the extreme frontier. It was here to record the events in the wilderness, as well as to keep our little village in touch with the doings of the eastern world, and hence appropriately named the Western Register.

The first number contained a variety of notices such as an account of the recent Fourth of July celebration at which Thomas H. Blake delivered the oration; that a regular line of keel boats would ply between Terre Haute and Shawnee- town, freight taken on the most accommodating terms; that Dr. Modesitt's ferry was ready to accommodate all whowould favor him with their patronage; Postmaster Coleman advertises a list of uncalled for letters; the editor himself requests that "letters on business be post paid;" a most important suggestion as the postage was twenty-five cents for a single letter. In the column of foreign news, there is a notice of a declaration of war between France and Spain. The second page: 132[View Page 132] number contained seventeen advertisements. One would question whether a paper on so small a scale could be on a paying basis. Each issue, at the first, was a seven days' wonder, as on Saturdays, the day of publication, the people are said to have gathered from the country, as well as the town to greet its appearance.

The editor and proprietor of this little pioneer sheet was John W. Osborn. His home was originally in Canada. His father, Capt. Samuel Osborn, was a naval officer in the British army. In 1812, at the breaking out of the war, Mr. Osborn already a professional printer, came into the State of New York, where he remained till 1816. In 1817 he came to Indiana, and published the Western Sun, at Vincennes. Here the practical question to be met was the right of kidnapping, or in other words the fearful wrong of insisting upon property rights in former slaves, notwithstanding the grand provision in the new Constitution. Rich and influential citizens of Vincennes were ready to send their negroes into Kentucky, where by sale they might realize something for them. Then there were those who descended into the miserable business of kidnapping these free negroes of Indiana and running them off to the south, for the sake of selling them. Editor Osborn met this question squarely in his newspaper, advocating the carrying such cases into the courts, and up to the Supreme court. For which he was hated by the pro-slavery men, of whom there were not a few. He was openly threatened with violence, as was also Judge Amory Kinney, who was one of his supporters, and who resided in Vincennes at the time.

In 1823, Mr. Osborn loaded his press into a wagon, and set out for Terre Haute. The dangers of the journey from high water were not insurmountable, but when an ignorant driver lost his way, the case was different. And so in attempting to cross a stream in a wrong place, the wagon was overturned, and its precious burden landed in the water. This was thought to have been prearranged by the enemies of a free press, but no positive evidence was at hand. Mr. page: 133[View Page 133] Osborn found negroes in Terre Haute, but no false claims of our citizens of property rights in them. He found, however, if possible, a greater evil which was the prevailing curse of intemperance. Here his paper was made to take a kind but firm stand. He condemned the drink but not the drinker. It is said that when two farmers came for their papers on Saturday night, being too drunk to return home, he kept them all night, gave them a good breakfast and sent them home sober. They were ever afterwards his staunch friends. In 1828-9 by reason of ill health, Mr. Osborn was compelled to give up the care of the paper.

The name of Amory Kinney appears as its editor, and in 1830-2 that of S. B. Gookins. Mr. Osborn after spending some time on his farm, again undertook the role of a publisher, by establishing the Ploughboy at Greencastle. In this he espoused the causes of agriculture, temperance and education. He was one of the founders of Asbury Uni- versity, and one of its first trustees. In 1838 he removed with his paper to Indianapolis, changing the name to the Indiana Farmer and Stock Register. While there he was elected to the position of State printer. When the war of the rebellion broke out he moved to the town of Sullivan, and established a paper which he named The Stars and Stripes. Endowed with indomitable courage and perseverance together with strong convictions of right, John W. Osborn was fitted to become the first pioneer editor of early Terre Haute.

The Wabash Courier was the successor of the Western Register, that is, in 1832 the Register was merged into the Courier by Thomas Dowling, as editor and proprietor. Mr. Dowling was a native of Ireland. He came to the United States with his parents when quite a lad. He was ap- prenticed in the office of the National Intelligencer at Washington City. In 1832 he came to Terre Haute, where as intimated above, he published the Wabash Courier. The times were favorable as the town was fast filling up. The great lack was houses to accommodate the people. Everybody was hopeful. There was progress everywhere. Internal page: 134[View Page 134] improvements were the questions of the hour. The great enterprises on foot were the National road, the Wabash and Erie canal, and even Railroads were beginning to be seriously spoken of. The Indiana State Bank and its branches, one of which was established here, were signs of progress. The interest of the Newspaper must not be suffered to lag.

Mr. Dowling, in establishing the Wabash Courier, had the ability, tact, and experience which eminently fitted him to become, as he was soon recognized to be, one of the first editors in the State. After ten years' control of the Courier, he disposed of it and founded the Express. He displayed in the editorship of this paper the same energy and ability in keeping his paper in the lead. In 1836 Mr. Dowling was elected to the State legislature, and proved to be an able debater, and wise legislator in the many important public interests of the day. He was afterwards appointed one of the trustees of the Wabash and Erie canal. As a public- minded citizen none stood higher. He was ready to serve the community and he did serve them as City councillor, and as County commissioner. Like all men, Mr. Dowling was not perfect, but unlike many, he was able, upright, generous, social, and greatly appreciated by his friends. Mr. Dowling died in 1876, leaving a widow and several children, and a host of friends to mourn his loss. In natural gifts Mr. D. was many sided, but in the history of Terre Haute he will be best remembered as a Newspaper editor.

In 1841, Mr. Dowling sold the Wabash Courier to Judge Jesse Conard, who was its editor for some twenty-five years. There was a change in the management but not in the politics of the paper. It continued as an exponent of whig principles. Mr. Conard possessed literary ability, but not the push and open frankness of Mr. Dowling. In holding control of the paper so many years, he proved his editorial ability. He came here from Chester county, Pennsylvania, and not only as an editor but as a public spirited man, commanded the respect of the community. He was elected as a Probate judge hence his rightful claim to the title. As to his literary page: 135[View Page 135] ability it appeared in his paper, and also in his two novels, one of which, Stephen Moreland, was published at Phila- delphia, and the other, Mount Echo, at Cincinnati, after he came to Terre Haute.

In the sale of the Wabash Courier, we are told that the mutual agreement was, that Mr. Dowling should not establish another newspaper in Terre Haute till after a period of five years. In the meantime, however, Mr. Dowling saw clearly a good opening, and his brother John, upon receiving the information, came from Washington in 1842. "After his arrival the Terre Haute Express as a weekly paper, was given to the public, with John Dowling as publisher."

This was the origin of the Terre Haute Express in 1842. The paper was run by the Dowlings till 1845, when it was sold to Mr. David S. Danaldson. " The birth of the Express was in a room in the second story of the Linton block fronting on Main street." From here Mr. Danaldson moved it to an old frame, on the northeast corner of Main and Fourth streets, and then to a one story frame, next to the Old Town hall, on corner of Ohio and Third streets.

It seems too bad to break the story of the Terre Haute newspaper, just at the point where it is growing in interest. There was never any lack of politics in Terre Haute for newspaper purposes; but previously to 1838, when Mr. J. P. Chapman on July 4th sent forth the first number of his able paper the Wabash Enquirer, but one fire had been kindled under the political pot; henceforth, however, not only one, but sometimes three and four distinct fires were kept ablaze and therefore there was no lack of heat and fierce political strife.

As a matter of public interest I cannot forbear giving a condensed account of the first Daily, issued in Terre Haute. For the extended account we are indebted to James B. Edmunds, a Terre Haute boy, who was the editor and proprietor of the Terre Haute Journal. In 1851, Judge Jesse Conard of the Wabash Courier, resolved to start a daily. His purpose was that the appearance of the paper should be a surprise. But incidentally Isaac M. Brown, foreman of the page: 136[View Page 136] Express office, learned of the plan of the Courier editor. Ambitious and jealous for his own paper, he at once went to Mr. Danaldson and explained that the Express office was thoroughly manned and furnished so that it could in every way outstrip the Courier in the matter of a daily issue. He soon gained Mr. Danaldson's consent. Therefore the first issue of a Terre Haute daily paper was made by the Express on May 12th, 1851.

Mr. David Danaldson will be remembered by the Press fraternity as the publisher of the first daily paper in Terre Haute; yet we do not forget that he came to Terre Haute in 1835, and engaged at once in merchandizing with his brother, John Danaldson. He was also a member of the firm of Ripley & Danaldson, in which he continued till 1861, when he opened a claim agency. Mr. Daniel Danaldson was a native of Kentucky, and was born in 1809. He died at an advanced age. His widow, Auntie Danaldson as she was familiarly called, survived him for some years. She was beloved by her earliest and by her latest friends. When Mrs. Danaldson passed from us our city suffered loss. Not only her immediate family but friends and acquaintances were conscious that a light had gone out in our community.

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CHAPTER XXIII

STORE KEEPERS AND PORK MERCHANTS

A DIFFERENCE of opinion prevailed as to who opened the first store in our village, till the question was settled by Mr. Lucius H. Scott, who in a letter says in substance: "As an agent for Messrs. Wasson & Sayers of Vincennes, in November, 1817, I rented a room of Dr. Modesitt, and had it fitted up for a store room. Though delayed by the freezing of the river, the goods were received and the store opened for business on the 1st of January, 1818. These were the first goods ever opened for sale in Terre Haute. John Earle did not arrive till the autumn of that year." This enterprise of Mr. Scott could not have been a success, as the store was closed in May, 1818.

Few men were better known or more highly esteemed in the community than this young pioneer merchant. In 1822 he was employed by Josephus Collett, who was also a pioneer merchant of the town, to start a country store at Roseville, Parke county, where he remained for some four or five years. Returning to Terre Haute he says: "I erected on the corner of Ohio and Market streets a residence which was the first brick dwelling ever erected in Terre Haute." This building still stands as a substantial land-mark of early days. Further reference is made to Mr. Scott in a former chapter. He spent the later years of his life in Philadelphia, where he died in 1875.

The John Earle, to whom Mr. Scott refers, was four or five months behind him, i. e., in setting up his store. He has honorable mention in the list of settlers in 1816, and built a story and a half house, part of logs and part frame on the corner of Water and Poplar streets. The store was in the log portion of the building. How long Mr. Earle was engaged page: 138[View Page 138] in store keeping, we are not informed. He was the father of the celebrated Capt. William Earle, who at an early age left his home " to pursue his chosen calling, a sea-faring life." His celebrated letter dated, Bark Emily Morgan, at sea, March 25, 1875, contains invaluable reminiscences of Terre Haute previous to 1823. Capt..Earle enjoys the reputation of being the first male child born in Terre Haute.

Stephen S. Collett and Josephus, his brother, were among the earliest settlers of Terre Haute. They came from Pennsylvania, and were originally of English and Dutch descent. The exact date of their coming is not known; possibly it was before 1820. They opened a store on the north side of the public square, midway between Second and Third streets. The building was a " two story frame with a red roof." In 1821, however, Stephen S. Collett was married to Sarah Groenendyke, who was a native of New York. In 1822 the firm set up a branch store at Roseville, under the management of Lucius H. Scott as intimated above. The brothers evidently were forehanded and had little taste for the confining business even of a country store, and so they purchased large tracts of land in Vermilion county, and engaged in farming on a large scale, at the same time giving more or less attention to public affairs. They moved from Terre Haute in 1826. Stephen was sent to the State legislature for several terms; also to the Senate. In 1843 while a member of the Senate, he died.

The brother, Josephus, was a special friend of both Judge John Porter, and Ned Hannegan as he was familiarly called. It is recorded that they entered together into a compact, that the one who died first, should, if possible, return to his friends, and give them words or tokens of what was going on in the other world. Judge Porter was the first to die. Mr. Hannegan at once visited Mr. Collett. The name of Mr. Porter was not referred to till bedtime, when Mr. Hannegan, on being shown to his sleeping room nervously, and abruptly said: " Joe Collett, has John Porter been back to page: 139[View Page 139] you?" Mr. Collett said: "No; has he appeared to you?" "No;" said Hannegan, "and now I know there is no coming back after death. John Porter never broke his word." The name of Collett through the descendants of these brothers is an honored name not only in Terre Haute, but throughout the State.

Mr. Isaac C. Elston was among our earliest merchants. His name is mentioned as early as 1818, with the Collets, Blakes, and Whitlocks. In 1823 he appears in a recorded list of Grand jurors. How long Mr. Elston remained in Terre Haute we are not informed, but sooner or later he was with Major Whitlock attracted to Crawfordsville where he was a successful and life-long banker.

Mr. George Hussey was also one of our early pioneer merchants. He was a native of the city of Baltimore, and came to Indiana in 1818. He stopped for a time at Vincennes, but in 1820 came to Terre Haute. He at once opened a store in the village, but like the Colletts and most of the early comers, his ideal in coming to the west was the possession of broad acres, and so he soon deserted the little village store for a farm near the town. It is recorded of Mr. Hussey "that having enjoyed the advantages of the schools in Baltimore during his early life, he was well fitted to aid his children in acquiring an education." While a familiar form on the streets of the village he continued to reside during his life on his farm.

The Linton Bros., William C. and David, engaged quite early in the business of store-keeping. We have no exact date of their first arrival in Terre Haute, but it was sometime previous to 1821. The public records show that at the August meeting of the Circuit court in 1821, William Linton was one of the board of commissioners, having been recently elected. At one time their store is spoken of as located near the southeast corner of Main and Third streets. Again at a different period doubtless, on the corner of Main and Second streets. They continued in business together till 1835, when they died within a few months of each other.

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David Linton built the Linton mansion, which it really was, at that early date, 1830. The building was located in the center of large grounds on the corner of Ohio and Sixth streets. This building still stands as a land-mark of early days. Some few years ago it was moved forward to Ohio street, and its ample rooms fitted up for business offices. William Linton had more or less taste for public life. He served with credit in the State senate, and at the time of his decease, was on his way to New York as State commissioner on important business. Through such men as William C. Linton of whom there was no lack, early Terre Haute enjoyed a reputation for strict commercial honesty. My good father in common with, shall I say, all the citizens of the town, entertained the highest regard for William C. Linton. I recall one story at least he used to tell in regard to Mr. L. and his store, which reflected somewhat upon his clerks and some of the villagers. At the time Mr. Linton was absent in the east purchasing goods. In due time with other merchandise, a large cask was received, and being opened was found to contain salted codfish. The clerks and the villagers in the store at the time, from the rank smell, pronounced the fish spoiled, and a drayman was summoned to haul the cask out on the prairie and empty it. The wise Paddy, knowing the rich delicacy of the codfish did not lie specially in its odor, notified some of his friends of the dump on the prairie, and they eagerly shared the prize among themselves. The story lost nothing by being repeated, and remained a standing joke for a long time.

John F. and William S. Cruft were also prominent pioneer merchants. John F. was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in i8oo. Mr. Cruft came to Terre Haute in 1823, and was followed by his brother William S. in 1824. Their first store was on the corner of Water and Ohio streets. In 1826 the store was moved to a two story frame building with a red roof. half way between Second and Third streets on Ohio. In 1827 the firm established a branch at Carlisle, of which the brother, William S., took charge. In 1828, Mr. John F. page: 141[View Page 141] Cruft was postmaster. For political reasons he was removed by President Jackson in 1830, and was succeeded by Francis Cunningham. In after years he engaged in pork-packing. He was an active member of the Congregational church. He died in 1862.

William S. Cruft, while he engaged in business pursuits, was inclined to be literary in his tastes. In connection with Mr. W. D. Morgan, he established an academy at Carlisle. In 1845 he returned to Terre Haute, where at the early age of forty-three years, he passed away. An obituary in Mr. D. S. Danaldson's paper at the time, speaks in the highest terms of W. S. Cruft. He was a member of the Presbyterian church. One sentence from the obituary reads: "As a citizen, husband, and father, virtues so cluster around him, that few ever enjoyed such an enviable reputation." The descendants of these brothers still abide with us, of whom we cannot speak too highly.

The firm of Rose & Warren moved their store from Roseville to Terre Haute in 1823, and reopened it on Second street near the corner of Ohio. For years it was among the leading stores of the town. While yet at Roseville with Mr. Chauncey Rose as sole proprietor, Mr. Chauncey Warren was engaged as a clerk. After some three years he was taken in as partner. In 1832, some years after the store had been moved to Terre Haute, he purchased Mr. Rose's interest, and assuming control, associated with himself his brothers, William and Levi. Chauncey Warren "was one of the typical, sturdy and self-made men of the county." He was a quiet man, but was known and respected for his unyielding integrity. He is pleasantly remembered by many of his acquaintances as full of humor and a great story teller. On account of a serious affection of his eyes, he was compelled in 1842 to retire from the store, which he sold to his brother, Levi G. Warren. He was for years one of the directors of the Terre Haute Branch bank.

Mr. Chauncey Warren came with his father's family to Indiana in 1820. As indicated above he came to Terre Haute page: 142[View Page 142] in 1823. He was born in New Hampshire in 1800. In 1832 he was united in marriage to Miss Frances Elizabeth Modesitt, daughter of Dr. Charles B. Modesitt, one of our earliest pioneers. Mr. Chauncey Warren died at his home on South Sixth street, June 18, 1868, leaving a devoted family and many friends to mourn his death. His widow, Mrs. Frances E. Warren, still survives a comfort to her children, and a joy to her friends and neighbors.

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CHAPTER XXIV

STORE KEEPERS AND PORK MERCHANTS--CONTINUED

As indicated in the previous chapter, Mr. Levi G. Warren was a prominent merchant, having purchased the stock of his brother. He afterwards became president of the old Terre Haute Branch bank. He was interested in pork-packing, in real estate, and railroads. Mr. Warren was a prominent member of the Episcopal church. He was united in marriage to a sister of D. S. Danaldson. The union was blessed with three children, and to this day children and grandchildren rise up to revere the memory of their parents.

Mr. William B. Warren became a partner with his brother in 1834. He was afterwards connected with Dr. J. R. Cunningham in the drug business. He then engaged extensively, for some years, in pork-packing. He was elected president of the Gas Light Company; also served for years as director of the National State Bank. Without strain or haste, but with due care and industry, from a very small beginning he accumulated a fortune. He was married in 1850 to Miss Sue Whitcomb of Clinton. Mr. Warren died from a stroke of apoplexy Dec. 17, 1884, at the age of sixty-eight, leaving a wife, son and daughter to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and loving father.

In 1811, Benjamin McKeen emigrated from his native state, Kentucky, into Indiana, and for a time resided in Knox county. In 1823 he came to Terre Haute. He purchased large tracts of land east of the village, and prided himself on being a farmer. Yet his tastes led him toward traffic and trade, and for years he was engaged in shipping the produce of the country in flat boats to New Orleans. In 1849 he was interested in pork-packing with James Johnson, or "Uncle page: 144[View Page 144] Jimmy," as the flat boat men familiarly called him. In 1852 he was engaged in the same business with Mr. W. B. Warren and Alexander McGregor. Mr. McKeen was also asso- ciated in the pork trade, for a number of years, with his son Samuel. He was born in 1803, and died Dec. 22, 1866. Through the industry and integrity of the early pioneer, the McKeen name borne by so many of his descendants is an honored name in our community.

The Ross family came here as early as 1824. Their names will appear in the chapter entitled Trades and Tradesmen, since their first business was that of making brick. Russell, Harry and James, however, in due time engaged in mer- chandizing. They were upright and careful men, and highly appreciated for their moral worth. Their store was on the west side of the public square, where like their brother merchants they sold calico at twenty-five cents a yard. Russell died in middle life; but Harry and James lived to a good old age. They were life-long members of the Congregational church. The store was a fixture in Terre Haute for some twenty years. Mr. Harry Ross was a director of the First National Bank of Terre Haute. For many years also he served as a member of the City council. He was not only a member, but deacon of the Congregational church. Uncle Harry, as he was familiarly called, lived to the remarkable age of ninety-seven years. He passed peacefully away, leaving behind him sons and daughters to the third generation to revere his memory.

Mr. Joseph Miller was born in Oswego, New York, in 1796, He was among the early pioneers, coming to Terre Haute in 1817. For a time he followed the milling business; but when Mr. B. I. Gilman, a pork merchant from Cincinnati, Ohio, built a packing house in Terre Haute in 1824, Mr. Miller bought out the establishment, so that he may be said to have been the pioneer pork packer of our town. He continued the business for a number of years, most of the time in partnership with Jacob D. Early. Their pork and lard were shipped in flat boats to New Orleans; whither, like other pork page: 145[View Page 145] merchants, Mr. Miller was accustomed to journey by stage and steamboat to look after the sale of his goods. Mr. Joseph Miller stood high among the early merchants of the town. lie was an elder in the Presbyterian church. He died on July 12th, 1878, leaving a widow and several children to mourn his loss. At this writing the widow, Mrs. Margaret Miller, survives not only as an early pioneer, but as an honored and aged citizen. Mrs. Miller was born in the State of Virginia, Dec. 25, 18o05. The hundredth mile-stone will soon be in sight. She is most tenderly cared for at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary M. Morris, the wife of our fellow townsman Richard A. Morris, whose home for so many years has been on Mulberry street.

For many years before entering into the pork trade, Mr. Jacob D. Early was engaged in general merchandizing in the village. After a long and successful partnership with Mr. Joseph Miller he built a packing house of his own. He was the first among our pork merchants to put up sugar-cured meats. Mr. Early was a native of Kentucky. He came to Vincennes in 1817, and thence to Terre Haute, where he continued in the pork-packing business till his death, which occurred in 1869, at the age of seventy years. He left behind him not only large wealth, but also an honored name. He was a genial gentleman, and a friend of young men just starting in life. His descendants in this city of whom there are many, are justly proud of the ancestral name, and sacredly cherish the memory of their first Terre Haute an- cestor, Jacob D. Early.

But space fails for making mention of others, and still others, who were prominent in early days as pork merchants and produce shippers. The list would include such persons as Farrington, Williams and Boudinot, under the name of John Boudinot and Co.; Paddock and Co.; Wilson and Co.; John Duncan, "who was well known to the trade, as a packer of English meats;" Reiman and Co.; Humaston and Co., and James Johnson.

There were others, who were on the ground earlier, who page: 146[View Page 146] were prominent as merchants and citizens. Among whom, deserving of honorable mention, are such names as Samuel and John Crawford. They came from Ireland and soon acquired the well deserved reputation of being "model business men." Their store was on the west side of the public square. Mr. Samuel Crawford took an interest in public affairs, and was elected as the first town treasurer, in 1832. In after years he succeeded Mr. Rose as president of the Terre Haute and Indianapolis R. R. Co., which position he held till his death in 1857. There was Henry Rose the brother of Chauncey Rose, who kept a store on the northwest corner of Ohio and Second streets. There was also, Mr. Alexander McGregor, who came to Terre Haute in 1833, and opened the first stock of hardware in the town. His career as a merchant and as a railroad and bank director was a long and honorable one. Mr. John Scott was also prominent among our early merchants. He engaged first in general merchandizing, afterwards in the drug business. Later he was made treasurer of the Terre Haute and Indianapolis R. R. Co. He was a native of Watertown, New York. Mr. Scott died in Terre Haute at an advanced age. John F. King kept for many years a large drug store in the town. In an early day Judge Dewees kept a small store in the center of the village. Judge Elijah Tillotson had a watchmaker's shop on the west side of First between Ohio and Poplar streets, "which had a bow window in which he hung his watches." About the year 1831 Thompson and Condit opened a country store on the northeast corner of Main and Market streets. They were engaged in shipping the products of the country to New Orleans. In the Courier of August, 1832, "this firm " advertised for a large number of flat-boats, which they wished to purchase. Mr. D. D. Condit of this firm, was born in Hanover, New Jersey, Oct. 21st, 1797. His father was a Presbyterian minister. On his mother's side he was related to the Daytons of Revolutionary fame. He was educated in the parish schools, and then learned the carriage making trade. He was employed at page: 147[View Page 147] once, however, by an uncle as clerk in a wholesale establishment in the South. He engaged in the same business in New York city before coming to Indiana in 1828. In 1831 he settled in Terre Haute with his family. Like others, his intention was to invest in broad acres, but the river trade to New Orleans was at its height, and hence his partnership with Mr. Thompson. The firm was very prosperous till the universal crash of 1837. After settling the business as best he might, he fell back upon his trade. For some time he resided with his family on a farm. Later in life he reengaged in store keeping with his son, J. D. Condit. Mr. Condit was married to the half sister of Judge Blackford, February 3rd, 1824. He died January 24th, 1877. His remains were interred in Woodlawn Cemetery. J. D. Condit came with his parents in 1831. He was born in Hanover, New Jersey, Sept. 17th, 1825. He prepared for college at the Provost High School. He attended Wabash College, under the presidency of Dr. Charles White. He was engaged in the dry goods business for a number of years. In 1863 he removed to Indianapolis and afterwards to Chicago, Illinois. He died in Chicago March 31st, 1900oo, at the advanced age of seventy-five years. At his own request his remains were brought to Terre Haute for interment.

From the above extended list of prominent pork merchants and produce shippers we understand that Terre Haute in an early day had an outlet to market on floating boats that needed neither wheel or paddle to propel them. Add to this that corn would grow on our prairie for the planting, and hogs would fatten in the fields of corn with little or no care, so that very soon our river front was lined with slaughter and packing houses, and our streets in the fall and winter with droves of hogs; and we have some of the occasions of the prosperity of early Terre Haute.

This last scene of droves of hogs spoken of was common, and yet it was not a common scene. The unthinking surging mass were driven, they knew not where, but the drovers knew, and took every precaution to carry out their purpose. page: 148[View Page 148] The headsman, either on horseback, or on foot, led the way scattering corn, thus enticing the hogs to follow; at the same time uttering a country call that the pigs understood, but a pencil cannot express in letters. Men were stationed on either side at the crossings of the streets, and alley-ways, to prevent the wayward from escaping. Then came the regular drovers with sticks urging the mass forward. Still behind these, were two or more men, each having in charge a very fat porker, who notwithstanding the most patient urging, could not keep up with his fellows; and would sooner or later find a place in one of the wagons in the rear, provided for such tired out stragglers. There may be more excitement in witnessing the cowboys herding their cattle on our Western prairies, and more sympathy evoked in watching the California sheep herders driving their immense flocks across the country, but for downright business and scenic effect, our village street scene had its distinctive characteristic and local interest.

The prosperity of Terre Haute as a village, and for many years after it grew to be a city, was phenomenal; and was largely due to the pork trade. It is said for a time we were in danger of losing our beautiful and appropriate name, Prairie City; and ever afterwards to be ridiculed under the name of Hogopohs. But the decline of the pork traffic, saved us from this ignominy. While railroads are chargeable with the destruction of our river trade, yet the era of railroads brought other elements of prosperity that compensated a thousand fold for our seeming loss.

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CHAPTER XXV

TRADES AND TRADESMEN

LAWYERS, merchants, doctors and preachers, are essential personages in the make-up of a prosperous village, but they need to be preceded, or at least attended, by carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, shoemakers and all manufacturers, who make things with their own hands. Skilled workmen cannot be dispensed with in the building up of a village. It is noticeable in the history of a village, that whatever there is of gradual growth, the blacksmith's shop comes first.

It is the center of industry and life. So the blacksmith by common consent is the important man of the village. Clad in heavy leathern apron, with brown arms bared to the elbows, sturdy and strong, he is always a picturesque personage. Especially is this true when with his great tongs he snatches the burning iron from the forge, and places it on the anvil, where now with heavy and now with light blows, he fashions it at his will.

The man of to-day may congratulate himself, if in his boyhood, he was familiar with the night scenes at the village blacksmith's shop. There was the lurid glare, the shower of sparks, the sound of the anvil, which combined made a lasting impression upon the imagination. There was action, harmony, and a veritable chorus, when the attendant with sledge in hand dealt alternate strokes in perfect time, now heavy, now light, and now desisting; all under the magic leadership of the village smith. The music always the same, but never twice alike by reason of the abounding variety. Old as the most ancient forge and new as the modern smithy, it had in it more of nature than of art. This scene appealed to the genius of a Verdi, who by a somewhat page: 150[View Page 150] what successful imitation, has given to us his interpretation of what he rightly calls: "The Anvil Chorus."

Our village possessed not a few of these smiters, or rather smoothers of iron, as the original word means. They were skilled workers, making with their own hands the horseshoe, the plowshare; also bolts, bands, chains, rings, hooks, plates, and skeins, in a word all irons needful for a well finished wagon; besides any useful article in iron or steel could be manufactured to order by this ingenious smith. Among the many who had shops in the village I will mention only one. The name of William Mars will be readily recalled by our oldest citizens. He would hardly answer to the portraiture as drawn by our poet Longfellow; and yet he was a veritable Village blacksmith. He was one of the first settlers in the village. His log shop was the first of its kind in the town. It was built on the northeast corner of First and Poplar streets. Mr. Mars was short, heavy set, brusk, honest and capable. In later life he always carried a walking stick, an emblem of authority, as he was elected to the office of marshal when the town was first incorporated in 1832. It is recorded that "Uncle Billy had a great contempt for writs, summonses and mayor's courts, and did the whole of that kind of business himself. He fined the man wherever he found him; and what was remarkable, there never was an appeal taken from his judgment."

The wagon maker, as well as the blacksmith, was literally a manufacturer. The wheels and gearings of a wagon throughout, he fashioned by hand from the raw material. It was a trade to which the candidate had to serve a regular apprenticeship, beside having a natural tact in that direction. To put up a wagon constructed in every part by hand, whose wheels should have the right dish, and should play easily on the arms of the axles, under the heaviest loads, required knowledge and skill. This also may be said of the carpenter. He must make his own doors, sash, blinds, and mantels. True the rude cabin required no skill in the builder; but soon better houses were called for; and some of the oldest residences page: 151[View Page 151] still standing in our city will show the skilled work of the village carpenter. The palatial residence, as it was called at the time of its construction, built by Mr. David Linton, is a good example. As to the names of some of our earliest carpenters the public records of 1818 show that "Elisha Hovey, and John Bronklebank were allowed $300.00 part payment for building the Court House." The Court House, however, was of brick, and there were residences as well as business blocks of the same material soon to follow; and from whence were the brick to come? The answer is at hand; as it is a well authenticated fact, that in an early day the Ross Brothers made the brick of the town. There were six of these brothers, who entered at once upon the manufacture of brick. They continued together in the business for some twenty years, when the partnership was dissolved, and part of them engaged in merchandizing. The family came from the State of New York. They were of Scotch descent, and of Presbyterian birth. They came to Terre Haute in 1824, when there were about forty or fifty houses in the place.

In early days the brick yard was a place of activity and enterprise as well as of curiosity to the small boy. The process of brick making was comparatively primitive and for that reason more interesting. The work of tramping the clay by horses in the long pits; the moulding in the well soaked and sanded boxes, which were divided into six sections corresponding to the size of the brick intended; the carrying off and depositing the contents of these boxes on the sanded yard, to be dried in the sun; the careful placing the now sundried brick in the kiln for burning; and the opening up of these kilns after fifteen or twenty days, and loading the brick into wagons for delivery in the town; constituted a unique scene of early enterprise and industry. For the above particulars I am indebted to my friend, Mr. John Ross, a veteran brickmaker of our city.

There was a very early call for brick masons in the village, as the Court House was begun in 1818. From the old records page: 152[View Page 152] we learn that on " May 13, 1818, William Durham was allowed $400.00 in part payment for building the walls of the Court House." The building was not completed till 1822. In 1827, Lucius H. Scott erected the first brick building in Terre Haute.

Perhaps in the early settlement of our town no State contributed to the list of our tradesmen so liberally, as the little State of New Jersey. This was true, in almost every line of industry; and especially in brick laying, and plastering. There are several names deserving of mention, and all hailing from New Jersey; but perhaps Mr. Zenas Smith was the earliest on the ground. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1796. He came to Terre Haute in the spring of 1831. He died at the advanced age of eighty-one years. It has been well said of Mr. Smith that "his reputation for honesty and integrity was unquestioned." He was a man of positive convictions, and bore the stigma of being a cold water man. But to his credit be it said, not a few of his workmen bore testimony of his helpfulness in this regard.

Like every cunning artificer in iron, wood, or clay the millwright was a necessity in the very beginning of the building of the village. Before his coming the corn and wheat were pounded in mortars, or taken to some distant mill to be ground. Sometimes the millwright was called a wheel- wright, for while the ordinary carpenter could construct the building for the mill, there must needs be the skill of the wheelwright, to make and put in machinery. The man and his wooden wheels are things of the past; but in those days they were an absolute necessity. The word wheelwright is quite obsolete. It once meant a wagon maker or any worker in wood, who manufactured wheels; but in pioneer days, it was limited to the building of mills. And now though superseded by the machinist, this primitive man as a promoter of power once had his place. There were millwrights and mill builders, but among the very earliest was Mr. Joshua Olds, who came in 1816. He was a native of Massachusetts, but came with his family from the State of New York. He page: 153[View Page 153] built the first mill in this region known as Markle's mill, on Otter creek; also the Rose mill at Roseville. The Olds's family did not reside in the limits of the village, yet his skill and work were of the utmost importance to the well being of the town and country. He died at Montezuma in 1848.

The shoemaker's shop, though small, with its little tin sign, was a representative of one of the chief industries of the town. But before the shoemaker there must be the leather maker, that is the tanner. Hides and pelts abound in the greatest variety; and the oak trees in our forests, with their thick bark stood ready to furnish the required tannin. In a word the raw materials awaited the coming of the man, who should possess the requisite knowledge and skill to produce soft and pliable leather. As I remember there were two tan yards in the village, in an early day, one of which was in the north, and the other in the south part of the town, owned respectively by Mr. Hussey and Mr. McMurrain.

Among our first shoemakers, there were doubtless cobblers, who were adapted to the task of making and repairing the coarse stogy boot; so there were skillful craftsmen, who could make the delicate slipper, and a boot of the latest style. His shop was small, but it stood as a representative of one of the leading industries of the town. Early and late he sat on his bench plying his waxed ends with their bristle tips; or rapidly driving the little shoe peg home by a single stroke. Wedded to his trade, happy and contented with his work, respected by his neighbors, he was a useful man in society, and his lot was an enviable one. I remember one such man at least, and his name was Thomas Desart. He came from the State of New Jersey; and was among our oldest citizens. He was one of the first deacons in the Congregational Church. He lived to the advanced age of seventy-six years; and was always held in the highest esteem by his friends for integrity of character. Mr. Desart died at Brazil, Indiana, in 1875, having removed thither a few years before his death.

One of the most enterprising and noisy trades in the village was the coopering business. For large shop room, piles of page: 154[View Page 154] staves, and hoop poles, great heaps of shavings, and day and night poundings, the coopershop could scarcely be excelled. If the workman is known 'by his chips, then the cooper was a grand worker, for the heaps of shavings, especially when fired at night, bore unexampled testimony. The enterprising pork trade, and, shall I add, whisky trade also, created large demands for oaken kegs and barrels of the best workmanship. Jabez Casto was one among our village coopers. He was a tall, well proportioned, broad shouldered man, with an unsullied reputation for honest and upright dealing. He came from Pennsylvania by the way of Ohio to this country in 1829. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. After 1852 he engaged in the farming and milling business. "He died here in 1879."

The butcher's trade was early represented in our town. Doubtless at first the butcher peddled his wares; but a market house was among our first public buildings. The building was located at the intersection of Ohio and Market streets. Each butcher in clean white apron had his stall, with its long bench for a counter, and a big round block for cutting and chopping his meat. On market mornings the interior of the building and especially the stalls were well lighted with great lamps with their reflectors. Market mornings came three times a week; and began even before the breaking of the day; so that the villager with his market basket on his arm, could be seen winding his way in the early gray of the morning to the town market, where the best cut was served to the first comer. Farmers improved these market days by being present with vegetables and fruits. Before returning home therefore each villager had his basket well stored with provisions as fresh as the crisp air of the early morning.

I will mention but one other leading industry of the town which is that of the hat maker. It must have 'been a promising business, as several hat shops were opened very early in the history of the town. Robert S. McCabe was a prominent hatter; so was Robert Brasher. As head gear, a hat page: 155[View Page 155] once out of style, is simply comic. Whether the crown is high or low, the brim broad or narrow; or whether the hat is of the stove pipe, or slouch variety; the effect is the same. The thing is sufferable only on the ground that it is fashionable, or at least not altogether out of style. A copy of the Western Register, dated 1835, lies before me, with a hatter's illustrated advertisement. The hat of that day as here represented, is bell shaped as to the crown; and broad as to the brim. Another picture of a hat worn a few years later, shows an extra tall small crown, straight as a stove pipe, with a very narrow brim. But suffer an excerpt from a description written by one who had been in these shops, and was acquainted with the proprietors. With this I close this chapter. From the style, the author will be recognized as Capt. Earle. "Mr. Robert Brasher was a hatter by trade, and was one of those good, pious quiet Christians inside and out, that we read of, but seldom see. He was a tall, spare man, and the veins on the back of his hands were very large. He made excellent hats with three trifling faults, viz.: uncouth in shape, too soft in body, and altogether too durable. I used to delight in the snap, snap, snapping, and in the twang, twang, twanging, of that long bow of his, as he beat up his fur."

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CHAPTER XXVI

MONEY, BANKS AND BANKERS

BY money we understand legally authorized coin, or paper, to be used as a medium of exchange. In general it may mean any article adopted by legal authority, as a convenient substitute for coin or bank notes. It is said before the Revolutionary war, in Virginia, and in Maryland, tobacco was used as such a substitute. Salaries of public officers, and taxes also were made payable in tobacco. Without any legal authority, but by mutual consent, coon, muskrat, and other fur skins; also corn, wheat flour, whiskey, tallow, and other like articles were taken in payment of debts, and used in the absence of coin or bank notes. By way of confirmation, and as a matter of curiosity, I insert the following notice from the Western Register, dated February 18th, 1830, it is signed by the editor, and by way of emphasis he does not spare capitals. It reads: "Good Flour, Whiskey, Corn, Wheat, Tallow, Beeswax, Clean Linen and Cotton Rags will be received for debts due this office, until the first day of April. After that cash will be expected from all whom subscriptions com- menced with, or before the first No. of the Sixth Vol. of the Register." In the same issue, salt is advertised for sale at cash prices, for which pork and whiskey will be accepted in exchange. Again a dry goods merchant says: for all debts due him, he will accept in payment deer skins, feathers, tallow, besides other such like articles. In small traffic this mode of exchange as mutually convenient could be managed, but for larger transactions money was a matter of necessity. We are not surprised therefore to learn, that while as yet Indiana was a territory, there was a loud demand for the organization of banks.

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Brief mention only can be made here of the first banks established. The story is a sad one and constitutes a long chapter in the early struggles of our State. It would seem that mismanagement and abuse, financial folly and madness, unlimited inflation, and reckless speculation joined hands, and each strengthened the hands of the other. It was business for the banks to print, sign, and loan their notes. It was business for the speculator to borrow and invest his money in enterprises great and small. The risk of going beyond one's depth, and the certainty of a day of reckoning, did not seemingly enter into the mind of either the one or the other.

The beginning of this condition of affairs was in 1817, when in accordance with the act of the First Constitutional Convention, the bank of Vincennes was adopted by the legislature of Indiana as a State bank. Several branches were also established. It was not long however before serious charges of fraud and mismanagement were brought, and the result was that the notes of the State bank and its branches, "except those of the Bank of Madison became wholly worthless." On account of these financial troubles as well as others, the years 1821, 1822 and 1823 are pointed out as bad years for Indiana.

The State however weathered the storm, and in 1832, by reason of internal improvements and the flow of population, bright prospects were opened up for the immediate future. Consequently there was a pressing demand for a legal currency which was possible only through the organization of a State bank. In 1834 therefore the legislature chartered the State Bank of Indiana. The charter was to run twenty-five years. Branches of the Bank were established and "were to be mutually responsible for the redemption of all bills issued; but each bank was to have its own profits." Among other wise provisions of the charter, "the bank was not at any time to suspend specie payment." Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the prime movers of this charter, neither upon the State bank officials for their carefulness and financial ability in the management of the affairs of the Bank.

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By such management the Bank became a blessing and an honor to Indiana, giving her a reputation throughout the country and even abroad; as it is stated that Indiana bonds at this time sold at a premium in London. It is a familiar fact and one that should be generally known that "no bank in the country was ever more carefully conducted or more uniformly successful in its operations than the State Bank of [View Figure]
OLD STATE BANK, 1834
Indiana." I quote this the more readily, as it literally applies to the standing, conduct and management of our own Terre Haute Branch Bank.

In 1834 the Terre Haute Branch Bank was organized with the following directors: Demas Deming, Chauncey Rose, page: 159[View Page 159] Curtis Gilbert, J. Sunderland, J. D. Early, James B. McCall, David Linton, and Samuel Crawford. Demas Deming was chosen president, and James Farrington cashier. In due time the bank was comfortably ensconced in a stately building erected for its accommodation on the south side of Ohio, between Second and Third streets. Its tall massive columns supporting a plain entablature, made an imposing front porch, which at that early day gave to the building quite an architectural appearance. Mr. Edwin J. Peck, who was afterwards president of what is now the Vandalia R. R., superintended the construction of the building, as he did also the bank buildings at Madison, Lafayette and South Bend.

It was a period of almost unexampled prosperity throughout the whole country. There was no end to the building of railroads, canals, plank roads; but by a gross perversion this prosperity stimulated reckless speculation. Eastern banks were soon in the throes of convulsions, and closed their doors. As banks could not meet their financial obligations, neither could business firms, nor individuals. This was the crash of 1837 that wrought wreck and ruin throughout the land. Though on a firm and safe basis the State bank and our Branch bank suspended for over a year, and then resumed specie payment. To the honor of the management, when our Branch bank wound up its business, it met every demand by paying dollar for dollar. The same was true of the Mother bank; and yet the storm continued. The State could not borrow money to meet its obligations. In 1839, the legislature in seeking temporary relief authorized the issue of State scrip. This made bad worse. These were days of Red-dog, Blue-pup, Wild cat and Shin plaster currency. Notwithstanding the fearful mixing of politics and finances, and the chartering of a new bank, to be called the Bank of the State, all of which in the eyes of many, threatened the absolute ruin of the commonwealth; yet through the level heads of a few financiers, the newly organized bank under the special control of Hon. Hugh McCulloch "entered upon a career of high honor."

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As a matter of personal gratification I would gladly speak at length of some of the men, who have nobly sustained the solid reputation of our city banks, but our limit forbids. I refer to such life long Terre Haute bankers as Mr. Preston Hussey, whose career began very early in the Old State bank, and who occupies to-day a position held for years, as president of the Terre Haute National State Bank; Mr. W. R. McKeen, who also began his career in the Old State bank, and after some years organized what has been known since 1855, as the McKeen Bros. Bank; and Demas Deming, whose father was the first president of the Old State bank, and from whom he inherited the taste and gift for banking business, has been a bank president from almost his youth up, and enjoys a well earned reputation as an able financier.

To go back to village days in 1839, John H. Watson established the first private bank in Terre Haute. The issues of this bank were known as " Watson's notes." In the great scarcity of a circulating medium, these notes were highly appreciated. Mr. Watson's honesty and credit were unquestioned; and hence his notes passed current in the community. Judge Watson provided in his will for the redemption of all his outstanding paper. After his death the bank was conducted on the same foundation, and commanded the same confidence as in the days of Judge Watson, by Mr. Patrick Shannon. This copartnership was entered into in 1856, and continued till 186o, when Mr. Watson retired.

The Old State bank building, which for so many years housed our Branch bank, served its day, and served it well; and now stands as a venerable landmark of early village days. For some years it was occupied as a family residence, then as a piano store; but later it was transformed into a veritable Museum, or Old Curiosity shop. Mr. Zebulon Heaber- lin is the proprietor. His ideal is that his collection shall comprise anything and everything that bears the mark of age. An old musket is the more highly valued for its broken fire lock; and a primitive spinning wheel, if by age it has lost its power to spin is thereby the more highly prized. No matter page: 161[View Page 161] how common an article, and rude its make, as a relic it has a story to tell, and in this lies its charm. Incidentally however, the junk-shop element, that is the possibility of the usefulness of an article, though discarded by its owner, is not lost sight of. Therefore, whatsoever things are useful, though discarded by their owners, or whatsoever things bear the marks of age, or emit the delicate smell of antiquity, find a welcome place in this collection.

A single word in regard to money. In pioneer days where did our money come from? I answer first, much was brought by permanent settlers for the purpose of purchasing lands. Then the paying off the soldiers of 1812 by the- Government distributed no little money through the country. Again in prosecuting the river trade with New Orleans, our merchant shippers brought home literally bags of Spanish gold and silver; and not infrequently these bags were the long woolen stockings of the merchant such as were commonly worn in those days. Then in the flourishing days of the pork trade, Eastern capitalists were quite willing to advance money for investment. Notwithstanding all these sources, money was scarce and as a resort Bank notes and State scrip were used as substitutes. Naturally enough these substitutes drove into hiding whatever of gold and silver there was in the banks, or in the hands of the people; but still our trade demanded, and our banks on demand paid out, specie. Every business house had its cash drawer, and every man provided his pocket with a strong and long leathern purse to hold his cash.

In these latter days we speak of dollars, dimes, and nickels; but in village days we talked dollars, bits, fippenny bits, and for short, bits and fips. The bit was equal to twelve and half cents, or a Spanish real; and the fippenny bit was worth six and a fourth cents. Many not liking the trade lingo, spoke of shillings one, two, three, and so up to eight, which constituted a dollar; or reckoned their change as 12 1/2, 37 1/2, 62 1/2 and 87 1/2 cents; but for short on the street it was a bit, two bits, three bits, five and so on to eight bits. There were big copper cents in circulation, but they were not much in demand. page: 162[View Page 162] Their value was so small, that the small boy even refused to load his pocket with them. The fip he did not despise as he could buy a dozen black marbles with it; but at best it was only a trifling picayune, and he cared little for it; but with two bits in his pocket, he was ready to take in the glories of the Fourth of July, or go with his father or big brother for a day, at the Fall or Spring races.

It is here that our broad acres with their generous yield of fruits and grain exerted a broadening influence upon the minds and characters of men. In dealing, they never stood upon five cents in change. In early days picayunish men were scarce. "No man cared to have his character estimated by so small a standard of value.

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CHAPTER XXVII

FIRES AND FIRE COMPANIES

IN the early history of our village, the first organization of a fire company was in a sense no organization, that is, the Village Bucket-line brigade was a voluntary affair. By common consent every villager, old and young, was a member. Next to the ringing of the bell of the public crier, and his loud cry; a child lost! nothing appealed to the sympathies of the community so strongly, as the midnight cry of, fire! fire! fire! The words were taken up by every villager as he issued from h's gate, bucket in hand, on the run, guided by the light of the blazing building. At the fire every man was his own chief, and with a quick eye was called to see, and to do, the most needful thing. So each one quietly found his place either in rescuing the sick and helpless; in carrying out furniture; in manning the pumps or wells; in falling into lines for passing the full buckets of water and returning the empty ones, to be again refilled; or it may be in standing upon the roof and fighting the flames with the buckets of water as they were passed up to him. The fiercer the fire the harder the fight, in which every volunteer was enthusiastic; knowing that his work was important though his place was only in the bucket line. This Village Bucket-line brigade held sway till 1838; when by action of the Common council the first hand engine was purchased. This was a real live engine; and was named the Hoosier. Though but a hand engine, to be worked and pulled by hand, yet it was worthy of having a house and a special keeper in the person of Thomas Houghton. The same year the Common council appointed the following fire wardens; "First ward, John Crawford; Second ward, Zenas Smith; Third ward, Thomas Houghton; Fourth page: 164[View Page 164] ward, John S. Burget; Fifth ward, Thomas C. Clayton. These gentlemen were appointed to hold office for five years.

In 1839, the Council ordered the following premiums to be awarded; For the first hogshead of water delivered at the fire, three dollars; for the second, two dollars; and for the third, one dollar; and after that, for every hogshead, till the fire was extinguished, twenty-five cents. Mr. H. C. Bradsby, to whom we are largely indebted for the leading facts respecting the village fire department, says in his History of Vigo county: "When a fire alarm came every drayman in town started on a mad race to the fire; but first it was helter skelter for the river, where his hogshead was quickly filled. It was a wild and exciting scramble of odd looking men, and old drays, and spavined horses." He describes a drawing by John B. Hager made over sixty years ago, in which drayman Foreman is in the lead, with his dray tipping, and his hogshead spilling its water. He is closely followed by Sam Earle. Old Lot, the colored drayman, is hard after them with mule and whip. Altogether it is an animated scene.

The Council is now more than persuaded, that the time has come to spend some money for protection against fires; and so following up the purchase of an engine, they ordered in Jan. 1840, an appropriation of three hundred dollars for the construction of a public cistern in each ward. A full outfit for a hook and ladder company was purchased, and the following gentlemen organized themselves into such a company; T. A. Madison, foreman; John Crawford and A. L. Chamberlain, laddermen; F. McGrew and James Hook, axmen; John Warner and P. H. Hardy, hookmen; Zenas Smith and R. Miner, ropemen; John O'Brien and Mahlon Newman, pikemen; William Ramage, steward; William Porterfield, secretary; and John Crawford, treasurer.

The first engine company was organized with Samuel Crawford, captain; Jonas Seely, first lieutenant; Noah Beymer, second lieutenant; Rufus St. John, third lieutenant; Samuel Musselman, fourth lieutenant; Stephen Stratton, page: 165[View Page 165] engineer; and H. Fairbanks, treasurer. "On the rolls of the company appeared the names of such men as Messrs. Jacob D. Early, John Dowling, Wait Williams, George C. Warren, Joseph Graff, Z. C. Hovey, Thomas Parsons, J. O. Jones, Richard Blake, H. Fairbanks, D. S. Danaldson, Alexander McGregor, L. G. Warren, james Farrington, Tom Dowling, Rufus St. John, H. Westfall, Curtis Gilbert, L. Surrell, and Robert Wharrv."

"In February, 1840, fire guards were appointed and in pursuance of the order regulating the same, organized themselves into a company, with Demas Deming, captain; James Wasson, first assistant; Thomas H. Blake, second assistant; Joseph Cooper, third assistant; and page: 165[View Page 165] Chauncey Rose, fourth assistant." All the above rosters deserve special mention as showing that the town was wide awake in the way of fire organizations, and that our most influential citizens stood ready to take an active part. It will be noted that these companies were made up of volunteers, and that these organizations were the foundations of the Old Volunteer Fire Department.

The first hand engine, as intimated above, was purchased by order of the Common council in 1838. It was manufac- tured by Messrs. Merrick and Agnew, of Philadelphia. The price paid was $511. It was named the Old Hoosier. It did good service for a number of years, till it was literally worn out, when it was taken to the Wallace foundry on First and Wabash streets to be remodelled. When repaired, the name was changed to the Deluge. After the purchase of Vigo No. 2, and the Mohawk, this engine was stationed at the engine house on North Lafayette street, and renamed the Northern Liberty. This our first engine was sold by Fire Chief J. D. Bell to parties in Litchfield, Illinois. As yet its whereabouts is unknown, although the newly organized Old Volunteer Firemen's Association have made diligent inquiries for it.

The second engine, the Old Vigo, was bought in 1855 from a manufacturing company in Boston, Massachusetts. The price paid was $701 and with other accessories the bill amounted to $1,100. It was stationed at the engine house on South Fourth street. The engine remained in Terre Haute till 1867, when it was sold to the town of Jasper, Indiana, where it remained till 1898, at which time it was repurchased by the firm of D. W. Watson Sons of our city, and brought back to Terre Haute.

The Terre Haute Evening Gazette had a photograph taken of this engine, and a copy of the same appeared in its issue of July 1, 1899, in an illustrated article on the history of the Old Volunteer Firemen's Association. To this article I am glad to acknowledge my indebtedness for some important facts rendered in this chapter. As a reminder of old times, and as a kindler of enthusiasm, this engine since its return, page: 167[View Page 167] has been a success. Funds were raised by subscription among the members of the above association, and the engine was purchased from the Watson Sons. The members of the association are proud of their pet, and stand ready to fall into line with it, on all grand street parades. It is at present housed for safe keeping in the basement of the Court house.

The third engine was the Mohawk, purchased in 1857. It was a double decker. It was stationed at the engine house on South Fourth street. After years of service it was sold to the town of Litchfield, Illinois. All effort to learn of its whereabouts as yet have proved in vain.

The fourth engine owned by the city, the Northern Liberty, was bought in 1858, at a cost of $1,337. "This was the first of piano box engines and the most powerful water thrower of all the hand engines used in Terre Haute." It was sold to the town of Crawfordsville, Ind., where it remained for three or four years; when it was sold to some town in Illinois.

The fifth and sixth engines were ordered to be purchased in December, 1869. They were similar to the Northern Liberty. Each one cost $1,250. They were named respectively, Niagara No. 1, and Vigo No. 2. The Niagara was sold to Crawfordsville and Vigo No. 2 to the town of Effingham, Illinois. These engines were all hand engines. The double deckers were worked by sixteen men, eight on top, and eight on the ground, that is at each end. The piano box style was fitted with side breaks, and worked by ten men on each side. For much of the above information I am indebted to Mr. F. H. Spicer, who was at one time a member of the Old Volunteer Firemen's Association.

Like all other great enterprises of our city, the real history of our present Terre Haute Fire Department, began after 1840 or 1850, and yet the Old Bucket-line brigade, that did such good service for so many years, and the Old Volunteer Fire Company, must lie at the foundation of this history, and will possess an element of interest that will grow with the city's growth.

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It would seem that the stick chimney and the great fire places of the early cabin would have been conducive to frequent fires; also the tallow candle fixed in a socket composed of three nails in a board, for a holder, or in hot tallow dropped on the corner of the table, desk or sill of the window, which when cool held the candle firm, would have proved still more dangerous, as they were everywhere present in workshops, school-houses, and especially in the Old Court House.

It was an almost unheard of thing, however, for fires to originate under either of the above circumstances. And yet there were fires and fires from the first; and they became more frequent after the introduction of imperfect flues, stoves, and explosive lamps. The burning of Mr. Hager's distillery, south of the town, near the river, will not be forgotten by those who witnessed the raging colored flames as they mounted up into the dark sky. There was another distillery owned by John F. King, located northeast of the town, which was completely destroyed by fire. One of the first fires recalled by our early villagers was "the burning of the store of Stephen P. Cammack on the northwest corner of First and Walnut streets." Still another mentioned by the same person was, "a cooper shop on Cherry, between Third and Fourth streets, owned by Montgomery Francis."

The Old Bucket-line Brigade was not able, neither was the Old Volunteer Engine companies, to cope with the largest fires, but in their day, they were efficient, and for their success and good work let them ever be remembered.

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CHAPTER XXVIII

CANAL, NATIONAL ROAD AND RAILROAD

THE agitation in regard to internal improvements, began previous to 1825. The necessity for a market for the productions of the country, other than by our waterway, to the South was realized by the people, and pressed upon Congress as well as upon our State legislature. In 1824, Thomas H. Blake, our representative in the State legislature, introduced the first measure looking to the building of the Wabash and Erie canal. Congress, in 1827, made large grants of land to aid in the construction of this same canal.

From a speech delivered in Congress by John Test, of Indiana, printed in the Western Register, Terre Haute, under date of Feb. 18, 1830, we gather that our congressmen were urgent, that the interest of the West must not be overlooked in the matter of distributing money for internal improvements. The arguments of Mr. Test have a zealous ring. In 1832 contracts were let for the building of the canal, and till its completion the work was pushed. In 1843 it was finished in part and in 1850 it was completed and the water turned on.

It was a time of rejoicing, when the first canal boat arrived through the Wabash and Erie canal at our town. In 1852 the whole line to Evansville was opened up. The day however for canals had passed. Railroads were uppermost in the minds of progressive citizens. The canal enterprise lasted but about ten years. During this period it brought prosperity to the town if not to the stockholders. After it was abandoned some of our enterprising citizens made an effort to keep boats running to Worthington, for the sake of trade, but this was given up in about two years.

There were many engineers attracted to Indiana by the page: 170[View Page 170] extensive system of internal improvements upon which the State had entered. Therewas onewho deserves special mention, who came to Terre Haute to found a permanent home, and this was Mr. William J. Ball, who came in 1833, and was soon engaged as the chief engineer in the building the Wabash and Erie canal. And in due time he earned "The high reputation as one of the most accomplished officers in the service of the State." On the transfer of the management of the canal from the State to trustees, Mr. Ball, in 1847, was appointed as resident engineer to the active duty of superintending the construction, from Coal Creek to Evansville. In 1850 he became chief engineer of the Evansville and Crawfordsville Railroad. For several years he was connected with Railroad enterprises; and in all the responsible positions in which he was placed, he added to his reputation as a faithful public servant.

Mr. Ball was a native of Ohio. "In 1842 he was married to Miss Julia Creighton, daughter of Hon. William Creighton, member of Congress from the Chillicothe district in Ohio." In the esteem of her friends she was possessed of superior qualities of mind and heart. Her memory is held very dear by her immediate friends and especially by her surviving children. Among these are Messrs. William C. and Spencer F. Ball, the successful editors of the Terre Haute Gazette. Mr. W. J. Ball, the subject of this short sketch, was of Quaker lineage, and " held always to that beautiful and simple faith." He was a man of culture and natural refinement. Mr. Ball was born at Waterford, Loudon county, Virginia, January 1st, 1814, and died at his home in Terre Haute April 20, 1874.

Prominent in the history of internal improvements, was the building of the National road. Early in the century the General government agitated the building of a grand thoroughfare connecting the city of Baltimore with the Mississippi river. At that early day it was an enterprise worthy of the Government. Indiana was alert to the advantages that would accrue to her citizens; and Terre Haute as before page: 171[View Page 171] intimated, was inspired with new life and energy. In 1834, a force of workmen began the construction of the road through Vigo county. The roadbed was thrown up, stone culverts built, bridges erected, all of which meant much for our county and town as well as for the State. Heaps of stone were brought to the bank of our river, for the building of a bridge; but the bridge was never built.

Enterprising men, not a few, flocked into Indiana by reason of the building of this road; but we here point to a single individual in the person of Charles Wood as most worthy of mention. He came here in company with Major Ogden of the United States army, who was the Government superintendent. Mr. Wood was taken into his office, a position he held till the work on the road was abandoned. He afterwards became one among the first organizers of the Terre Haute and Richmond railroad. He was elected secretary of the first board of trustees and held his position till his death. Mr. Charles Wood was the son of an honored mother, Mrs. Charlotte Wood, who came with her family to Terre Haute in 1835. Mr. Wood was a gentleman of the old school, friendly but dignified. He was born in the city of Baltimore, in November, i81o, and died at his home in Terre Haute in June, 1866, leaving behind him a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn his loss.

The prosperous outcome of Terre Haute as a village can scarcely be understood without some knowledge of the building of the Terre Haute and Richmond Railroad. It was conceived in the mind of Chauncey Rose, and carried forward to completion by his indefatigable zeal. In this, as in his other enterprises, Mr. Rose associated with himself competent advisers and helpers. One such person was Mr. John Brough, who had been successful in the management of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad. Another, was Charles R. Peddle. Before coming to Indiana, Mr. Peddle held a responsible position in the Railroad shops at Reading, Pennsylvania; and previous to his coming to Terre Haute, he had a similar position at Madison, Indiana. Mr. Peddle was a young man, page: 172[View Page 172] and proved to have the knowledge and push that suited Mr. Rose. They went at once to Boston, to buy four engines. The responsibility of the purchase and transportation, was put upon Mr. Peddle. In that early day the matter of transportation, of such heavy freight, was no easy task. Sometimes the engines had to be pulled over bridges, through the streets of cities, and loaded into Lake vessels. "At Toledo two canal boats were brought into the service, and two engines put into each boat." One of the boats came directly through to Terre Haute, the other went by way of Cincinnati, and Madison, to Indianapolis.

The road was completed in 1852. Mr. Rose was its first president. William Baugh its first engineer; Mr. John Scott was its first treasurer; and Mr. Sylvester Huestis was its first superintendent. Mr. Huestis was the father of Mr. Ed. Huestis, who has held for years a responsible position on this road notwithstanding the many changes in its management. Upon Mr. Rose's resignation, Samuel Crawford succeeded him as president till 1857, when he in turn, was succeeded by Mr. Edwin J. Peck.

Mr. Peddle was born in Philadelphia in 1819. He continued in the service of the road in various capacities till his death, which occurred at his home in Terre Haute in 1893, leaving to his widow and surviving children, an honored and spotless name. Mr. Peddle was married to Miss Mary Ball, daughter of Dr. E. V. Ball, and granddaughter of Mr. Joseph Richardson, who with his family were among the earliest pioneers and occupants of Fort Harrison.

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CHAPTER XXIX

EARLY POETS AND POETRY

GEORGE WASHINGTON CUTTER came to Terre Haute while yet a young man. He was related to the family of our pioneer editor, John W. Osborn. Mr. Cutter studied law in the office of Judge Amory Kinney. He was elected as a member of our State legislature, before removing to Covington, Kentucky; where he again took up the practice of law. He served in the war with Mexico; and afterwards became a Treasury clerk in Washington city. It is an unpleasant task to record that the career of George W. Cutter was a sad one. Few young men start in life with such bright prospects. His memory is still cherished in Terre Haute, as he was while here, a young man of promise, of high ideals and of noble purposes. After he left us, however, "his prospects were blighted and his last years rendered miserable by intemperance." But we have learned to separate between the man and the drink; to love the one and hate the other. We have but to read Mr. Cutter's poems to learn the nobility and generosity of the man; and although his life was bitter, yet not a word of complaint escapes his pen.

George W. Cutter, by profession was a lawyer, by birth a poet. His poems were printed in book form under the title of Buena Vista and Other Poems, by Morgan and Overend, Cincinnati, 1848. In the preface, by the way of apology, for publishing his work, he says: "In the first place, my vanity was somewhat excited by the very favorable and flattering impression some of these poems have made, not only on the minds of my distinguished countrymen, but also in the very highest literary circles in Europe." Another consideration he says was this; "When about to leave the country for the page: 174[View Page 174] seat of war, in Mexico, flattered by the kind expressions of my friends, I believed the publication might be of some pecuniary benefit to my wife during my absence." He further adds: " From various causes the publication was delayed till my return; but this, however, enabled me to add the poem of Buena Vista, to the former collection."

Mr. Cutter was not a man of one poem, and so an apparent injustice may be done by offering but a single illustration of his work. The Song of Steam, however, which is inserted below, must ever form the key of the poetical arch that shall commemorate his memory as a poet. There is no need to speak of the poetic grasp of its conception, neither of its vigorous tone, and happy expression; for left to itself it will speak for itself.

It may not be known to many of the old friends of Mr. Cutter, that he put forth a second edition of his book, enlarged by the addition of several new pieces, bearing the title of Poems National and Patriotic, Philadelphia, 1857. At which time a competent and appreciative critic wrote: "The finest of his compositions is The Song of Steam, which is worthy of the praise it has received, of being one of the best lyrics of the century. The Song of Lightning, written more recently, is perhaps next to it in merit." I give below The Song of Steam with only two or three stanzas omitted.
THE SONG OF STEAM
  • Harness me down with your iron bands,
  • Be sure of your curb and rein;
  • For I scorn the power of your puny hands,
  • As the tempest scorns a chain.
  • How I laughed as I lay concealed from sight,
  • For many a countless hour,
  • At the childish boast of human might,
  • And the pride of human power.
  • When I saw an army upon the land,
  • A navy upon the seas,
  • Creeping along, a snail-like band,
  • Or waiting the wayward breeze;
  • page: 175[View Page 175]
  • When I marked the peasant faintly reel
  • With the toil which he daily bore,
  • As he feebly turned the tardy wheel,
  • Or tugged at the weary oar;-
  • When I measured the panting courser's speed,
  • The flight of the courier dove--
  • As they bore the law, a king decreed,
  • Or the lines of impatient love--
  • I could not but think how the world would feel,
  • As these were outstripped afar,
  • When I should be bound to the rushing keel,
  • Or chained to the flying car.

******

******

******

******

  • In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine,
  • My tireless arm doth play,
  • Where the rocks never saw the sun decline,
  • On the dawn of the glorious day.
  • I bring earth's glittering jewels up
  • From the hidden cave below,
  • And I make the fountain's granite cup
  • With a crystal gush o'erflow.
  • I blow the bellows, I forge the steel,
  • In all the shops of trade;
  • I hammer the ore and turn the wheel,
  • Where my arms of strength are made;
  • I manage the furnace, the mill, the mint;
  • I carry, I spin, I weave;
  • And all my doings I put into print,
  • On every Saturday eve.
  • I've no muscle to weary, no breast to decay,
  • No bones to be "laid on the shelf."
  • And soon I intend you may "go and play,"
  • While I manage this world myself.
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  • But harness me down with your iron bands,
  • Be sure of your curb and rein;
  • For I scorn the strength of your puny hands,
  • As the tempest scorns a chain.
Mrs. Persis Jones was born in the eastern part of New York, January 17th, 1820. While yet a child she was brought to Terre Haute. She was married, January 26, 1844, to Mr. J. O. Jones, who served our town as Post-master under four presidents. Mr. and Mrs. Jones celebrated the fifty-second anniversary of their wedding on January 26th, 1896. Al- ways a home keeper, Mrs. Jones bestowed her first thoughts upon her family; and yet she found time to gratify a literary taste for poetical composition. In 1874, she was chosen a member of the Rose Ladies Aid Society, where she has been active in promoting the beneficent ends and purposes of the society. At the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary, Mrs. Jones read by request, an historical poem, which is a good illustration of her work in this line. After devoting several stanzas to the origin of the Society at the time of the breaking out of the Civil war, setting forth the activities of the ladies in raising and dispensing funds for the relief of the families of soldiers, also their work in the hospitals; she goes on to tell how their success up to the close of the war, pointed to the continuance of their efforts in behalf of the worthy poor of the city. She emphasizes the fact, that Mr. Chauncey Rose came forward with a munificent gift, and thus or- ganized the Society upon a permanent financial basis. And now she continues
  • They've seen the widow's lonely home,
  • Made cheerful through their mite,
  • They've seen the children clothed, and fed,
  • And housed, a happy sight!
  • They've ministered to lame, and sick,
  • Kept aged ones from fear
  • Of destitution, while the end,
  • Of life, was drawing near.

******

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******

  • The "Ladies' Aid," that honored name,
  • A talisman shall be,
  • To uplift thankful, grateful hearts,
  • From depths of poverty.;
  • The children nurtured by their aid,
  • Shall happy voices raise,
  • And all the good they may have done,
  • Shall utter forth their praise.

Mrs. Ida Harper's report of this anniversary meeting, published in the Terre Haute Daily Express, contains the following reference to this poem and its author. "One of the most valuable members, Mrs J. O. Jones, who must think in rhyme and speak in verse, her whole nature is so full of poetry, read a graphic and beautiful poem, which will be published in full." And it was published not only in newspapers at the time, but in the Seventeenth Annual Report of the Society, May 1st, 1887.

Mrs. Jones' pencil dealt with natural, as well as social themes. As a specimen of her manner in treating the former, a few stanzas are here inserted, from her Song of Coal.
THE SONG OF COAL
  • 'Twas the voice of coal, I heard it say,
  • I am powerful, strong and good,
  • I kindle the fires for warmth and light,
  • And send to the hungry food;
  • The fires of corn burn out the soul,
  • I burn for human good.

******

******

  • I will smelt the ores, and forge the steel,
  • The iron shall melt in my way,
  • And the craft of a million industries,
  • Shall bow to my regal sway.
  • The night shall be crowned with stars of light,
  • Blazing up at my will alway.

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  • The electric fire shall lend its flame,
  • To carry the work along,
  • And over, and round, and about the earth,
  • The bands shall be welded strong;
  • And the glow of my fires shall illumine the earth,
  • As I work with the busy throng.
The files of our city papers, which are the grand archives of the history of our town, contain fugitive pieces of other Terre Haute poets, but their time falls far on this side of our chronological limit; yet there is one song, the subject of which is so in harmony with these chapters, that I take the liberty of inserting a portion of it here. It was sung to the tune of America at the Reunion of the Old Settlers held in Terre Haute, Sept. 1875. The author, Judge Thomas B. Long, will be readily recognized by his work.
HAIL TO THE PIONEERS
  • Hail, to the pioneers!
  • Who, in departed years,
  • Here sought their fame;
  • Fearless of care and toil,
  • Thoughtless of warlike spoil,
  • Brave to subdue the soil,
  • Hither they came.
  • Unlike those heroes, who
  • Ploughed the wild waters through
  • New worlds to find;
  • Each left some happy home,
  • Not from mere love to roam,
  • But for the good to come
  • Yet to mankind.
  • Hard was their lot and life,
  • Bitter and stern the strife,
  • They must endure;
  • Yet, with unfailing will,
  • Backed by strong hands and skill,
  • Each knew his place to fill--
  • Steadfast and sure.

******

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******

  • Welcome, survivors, then!
  • Hail, their successors!--men
  • Of the same race;
  • Here let old tales be told
  • Till the old scenes unfold;
  • Songs sung the loved of old,
  • Welcome the place!
After the above, I am emboldened on the same ground of appropriateness, to give a selection from one of our earliest Indiana poets, entitled: "The Hoosier's Nest." Oliver H. Smith gives the entire poem in his "Sketches of Early Indiana, Cincinnati, 1858." The poem was originally written for the Indiana Journal, as a New Year's Address, in 1830o. Mr. John Finley, of Richmond, the author, was born in Virginia, in 1797. He came to Indiana while a young man. He is well known also as the author of the widely circulated poem, Bachelors' Hall. As an evidence that it was deservedly so circulated, take two of its stanzas:
BACHELORS' HALL
  • Bachelors' Hall; what a quare looking place it is
  • Kape me from sich all the days of my life!
  • Sure, but I think what a burnin' disgrace it is,
  • Niver at all to be gettin' a wife.
  • See the ould Bachelor, gloomy and sad enough,
  • Placing his tay-kettles over the fire;
  • Soon it tips over--Saint Patrick! he's mad enough,
  • If he were present to fight with the Squire.
Indiana ought not to suffer the name of John Finley to be forgotten if he had written only this one poem; but our obligations are redoubled, since he pictured in prophetic numbers, the glories of our rising State. The following are the closing stanzas of his realistic poem, entitled:
THE HOOSIERS' NEST
  • I'm told in riding somewhere West,
  • A stranger found a Hoosier's Nest,
  • page: 180[View Page 180]
  • In other words a Buckeye Cabin,
  • Just big enough to hold Queen Mab in.
  • Its situation low, but airy,
  • Was on the borders of a prairie;
  • And fearing he might be benighted
  • He hailed the house, and then alighted.
  • The Hoosier met him at the door,
  • Their salutations soon were o'er.
  • He took the stranger's horse aside
  • And to a sturdy sapling tied.
  • Then having stripped the saddle off,
  • He fed him in a sugar trough.
  • The stranger stooped to enter in,
  • The entrance closing with a pin;
  • And manifested strong desire
  • To seat him by the log-heap fire.
  • Where half a dozen Hoosieroons,
  • With mush and milk, tin-cups and spoons,
  • White heads, bare feet and dirty faces,
  • Seemed much inclined to keep their places;
  • But madam, anxious to display
  • Her rough but undisputed sway,
  • Her offspring to the ladder led,
  • And cuffed the youngsters up to bed.
  • Invited shortly to partake,
  • Of venison, milk and Johnny-cake,
  • The stranger made a hearty meal,
  • And glances round the room would steal.
  • One side was lined with divers garments,
  • The other, spread with skins of varmints;
  • Dried pumpkins over head were strung,
  • Where venison hams in plenty hung;
  • Two rifles placed above the door,
  • Three dogs lay stretched upon the floor--
  • In short the domicil was rife
  • With specimens of Hoosier life.
  • The host, who centered his affections
  • On game, and range and quarter sections
  • Discoursed his weary guest for hours
  • Till Somnus' all-composing powers,
  • Of sublunary cares bereft 'em;
  • And then--No matter how the story ended--
  • The application I intended,

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  • Is from the famous Scottish poet,
  • Who seemed to feel as well as know it,
  • That burly chiels and clever hizzies,
  • Are bred in sic a way as this is.
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CHAPTER XXX

A PARADISE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

THE predominating fact in home life is that of birth, or adoption. This constitutes the foundation of all family and national life. The African is content amidst burning sand, and the Eskimo, amidst eternal snow; and yet in all reason a home in a mild climate is preferable to either. If therefore our lot has been cast in America, we have whereof to be glad. The early pioneers were lavish in their praises of the Wabash valley, and especially of Fort Harrison prairie. To them it was a garden spot with its carpet of green, irregular beds of flowers, abundance of wild fruits, green groves, singing birds; and with all, watered by the clear sparkling Wabash. If it were all this to the eyes of the pioneer, what must it have been to their children, whose natural life was the drinking in of the freedom inspired by broad acres, bright sunshine, and balmy air.

All this may have been true of the prairie, but what of the village? Without exaggeration, it was beautiful for situation and a joy to its inhabitants. Located on the high banks of the Wabash, overlooking the prairie on the east, having broad streets lined on either side with rows of the beautiful locust tree, the residences being built upon ample grounds and surrounded by private gardens and orchards, our village from the first was noted for its beauty. Natural advantages are desirable, but it is the inhabitants that make a town. In this our village was highly favored, since its earliest settlers were for the most part, young and enterprising, and were from such states as New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia. They came to build homes, and lay broad foundations in the way of page: 183[View Page 183] schools, colleges and churches, as well as for industrial and commercial enterprises. And in all this they were making a paradise for their children. But while the parents were thus engaged what did the children do? Answering in respect to the girls, first of all, they went to school; while as yet the school-houses were constructed of logs with puncheon floors, and seats without backs. So also when desks and comfor- table seats were introduced the girls were there, and their side constituted the better half of the school-room. In the second place, they helped their mothers at home; if too small for other services, they rocked the cradle, an important function in every happy household; and though the labor was light the trust was appreciated. The thousand and one little acts of service possible to the child were an inspiration and a joy.

Next to work comes play, which is the vital business of child life. " Sallie, you come over to our house this afternoon, and we will play dolls." This meant two hours of imaginary house-keeping, which for variety and intense interest, a whole day of the real thing could not equal. If the play house were in the back yard, with its cupboard filled with broken china and glass, and with an extemporized oven, with real fire and mud cakes, all the better. Every season brought with it a variety of social games. Among these were the ball, the hoop, the jumping rope. Then there were guessing and other games, that will remain as long as children are children; such as Hull gull, played with beans and peas; Heads or points, played with pins; Jackstones, also Jackstraws. This last is an ancient game, brought by our forefather's children from across the water; and although very common in our village days seems to have become a lost art. It is a social game and may be played by two or more, each armed with a hook made by a pin bent at right angles, and stuck into a wooden handle. The straws were made of pine, light and lithe, about three and a half inches long, and numbered according to their shape. A plain straw would stand for one; when slightly crooked at the end, for ten; when with a spade-shaped end, page: 184[View Page 184] for twenty; those that were dart-shaped, for fifty; and so according to their make; some standing for an hundred, and even a thousand. The set was made up of a small number of the higher, and a corresponding large number of the lower grades. The game could be played on a table, chair, or school bench. The play began by holding the set clasped in the hand a few inches above the table and letting them fall into a confused mass. The object of the player is to draw out from this tangled heap, as many as possible, of the highest numbered straws, without in the least moving their neighbors. In case of such disturbance, the next player takes her turn. The one that succeeds in hooking out the largest number of high standard straws gets the game. It seems that little girls in London, in the long ago, played with straws made of iron or bone, which instead of being numbered were made to represent Kings, Queens, Lords and Servants. Of course the player that could capture the greatest number of kings, queens and other great dignitaries would win the game.

The game of Jackstones is also ancient and was quite a favorite with the children of the village. Originally it was played with the smallest bones of a sheep's leg, or with pebbles. It was called by the Scotch, Chuckie stones. It is now played with small marbles, small bits of iron, the latter often cast for the purpose. The game begins with tossing the stones up and catching them on the back of the hand, and then follows a variety of movements such as: Pigs in the pen, Job's coffin, One span, Two span, which are quite bewildering to witness, or to hear described. It may be played by one or more, and by boys as well as girls; but it is the small girl's game, and she is supposed never to tire of it.

But what part had the boys in the enjoyments of this happy village? In many things the joys of the children were in common, and yet the boy had a reputation to sustain as a small boy; and hence, what the sister liked he must dislike. If she liked school, he did not; but preferred the freedom of the country lane, or the river bank, for there never were such river banks. If she played with her kitten he took a naughty page: 185[View Page 185] pleasure in teasing it. Dolls and broken china were his horror; and as for cradle rocking, he submitted under protest, believing it to be an injury to the brain of the child. He thought physicians ought to petition the legislature to make a law against cradle rocking. Then as to imaginary playwork, he would have none of it. When he worked, he worked; and when he played he played. Besides to command his respect the game must involve determined effort; and if need be, desperate struggle. He liked the foot race, the wrestling match, town ball, shinney club, and for the sake of superior skill the game of quoits or horse shoes, for the playing of which in the absence of horse shoes and round iron rings, flat rocks were used. Skating was his ideal sport. His ambition was to possess skill as well as endurance. This was his boy nature. He delighted to do hard things. In splitting wood be preferred the stick with a big knot. He would tackle a heavy weight for the joy of lifting it. Such boys, for all boys were not such, when at school would pick out the hardest words in the spelling lesson; the most difficult numbers in the multiplication table; the hardest sums in the arithmetic lesson; for the real pleasure of mastering them. His horse must trot or gallop; his skiff must head up stream. There was real sport in an old dug out that leaked, provided an old tin pan could be found, "to bail her out."

The village was proud of such boys and the boys were proud of the village. No other spot afforded such natural advantages, and none such a neighborhood; for all the villagers were neighbors one with another. Besides, where could such homes be found, with their board fences and white picket gates, and occupied by such fathers and mothers. Our village boy respected his father, but loved his mother. The father went forth to his daily toil in the office or shop; he guarded the threshold. The mother was the home; she kept sacred the hearth stone. The man of sixty or seventy of today, if asked in regard to his parents, would say: My father was the guide and pride of my youth, but my mother was, and is still, the inspiration of my life.

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I cannot close this chapter without mentioning at least one other excellence pertaining to our early village life. On account of our youthfulness as a town, there were as yet but few grandmothers, among us; but this lack was largely atoned for by the presence of any number of kindly faced aunts. This motherly relation was by no means limited to natural kinship; so that by way of adoption, all the boys and girls could have as many aunties as they liked. Children are quick to discriminate, and only the worthy ones were so adopted, and familiarly recognized. Pages could be filled with names of those who were thus honored. By their presence our village was richer, and the children were made happier by reason of this beautiful custom. A custom that did much in making our village an ideal village and a PARADISE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS AS IT REALLY WAS.


THE END.

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