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History of Hendricks County, Indiana. Hadley, J. V. (John Vestal), 1840–1915 





Hendricks county has a central position in the state, the county seat being nearly in the exact center from north to south and twenty miles west of the center on an east and west line. Its geographical position is between parallels 39 and 40 degrees north latitude and meridians 86 and 87 west longitude. The exact position of Danville is 39 degrees 40 minutes north latitude and 86 degrees 30 minutes west longitude. In extent, the county was intended to be twenty miles square, but the surveyors' correction line, which passes through the northern part of the county, destroys its quadrilateral shape, and makes it more than half a mile wider at the north than the south. However, owing to irregularities in the surveys, which were caused by the passage through the county of both the second principal meridian and a correction line of the government surveys, the county averaged just twenty miles square until the year 1868, when a strip two miles in width, extending from the meridian line west to Mill creek and containing twenty square miles, was added to the county from Morgan county, which makes the area of the county four hundred and twenty square miles. The county is bounded on the north by Boone county, on the east by Marion county, on the south by Morgan county and on the west by the counties of Putnam and Montgomery.

The general elevation of the surface of Hendricks county is much higher than the surrounding country, except portions of Boone and Putnam counties. Passing through the county from south to north, from near Clayton to Lebanon, in Boone county, is a natural water-shed, which divides the waters of Eel river and Sugar creek from the waters of White river, and at a point three miles northwest of Danville, at Mount Pleasant church, it attains an elevation of more than one thousand feet.

The general surface of the county is level or gently undulating. Though the streams in many places have eroded deep, narrow valleys, there are but few acres in the county which, on this account, cannot be cultivated and not one which cannot be made useful for grazing purposes.

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The streams which make the natural drainage of Hendricks county are the White Licks, Big, Little, East and West forks, Abner's creek, Mill creek, School branch and Eel river. The east and north parts of the county are drained by the White Licks, the southwest by Mill creek and the northwest by Eel river. Owing to the elevation of the land, but few springs are found in the county, thought pure water in great abundance is obtained at no great depth by digging through sand and clay. Originally the county was covered by a dense forest, composed of every variety of timber, trees and under-growth found in this latitude, with an extraordinary amount of the more valuable kinds, popular, walnut and the oaks. After the Indians were gone and the annual burning of the woods ceased, there grew up a dense under-growth, and the highways of the early settlers consisted of narrow trails through the woods, the thickness of which may be illustrated by the statement of a pioneer that when driving cattle from place to place they often tied handspikes across their foreheads, which prevented them from leaving the trail.

In all parts of the county the soil is productive for cereals, grasses and fruits.


No official survey has ever been made of Hendricks county until the spring of 1914, but the publication of this report, having been delayed by the United States government printing department, will not be issued in time for this work. However, good information is at hand.

The entire county is covered by a glacial drift formation from ten to three hundred feet in depth. This formation is composed of sand, clay and calcareous substances, boulders, fragments of crystalline rocks, remains of ancient animals and vegetable life and extensive moraines of gravel.

The drift in Hendricks county rests upon a stratum of Devonian sandstone, known to geologists as the Marshall or knob sandstone. It is soft, brittle and shaly and unfit for economic uses. This sandstone ceases to appear near the eastern line of the county and it is probable that in the southeast corner of the county, the black slate of the Hamilton group, which underlies the Marshall sandstone, may be found. Near the western border of the county sub-carboniferous limestone overlaps the sandstone. The drift formation is composed of a disintegration and decomposition of almost every variety of rocks, soils, the remains of animal and vegetable life and various mineral elements.

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As an introduction to the history of Hendricks county it is fitting that a brief survey of the history of the state of Indiana should be given, not for the purpose of teaching the reader the course of events which make up Hoosier history, but for the subordinate purpose of building a foundation for the county history, a preparatory word to lead the reader to a better understanding of this work.

Not until the years 1670-2 did the first white travelers venture so far into the great Northwest as Indiana or Lake Michigan. Claude Dablon and Claude Allouez, two intrepid Frenchmen, then visited what is now the eastern part of Wisconsin, the northeastern portion of Illinois, and probably the portion of this state north of the Kankakee river. In the year following M. Joliet, an agent of the French colonial government, and James Marquette, a missionary stationed at Mackinaw, explored the country around Green bay, and along Fox and Wisconsin rivers as far westward as the Mississippi river, the banks of which they reached on June 17, 1673. They descended this river a short distance and returned by way of the Illinois river. At a village among the Illinois Indians, Marquette and his followers were received with friendly hospitality and made guests at a great feast of hominy, fish, dog meat and roast buffalo. In 1682 LaSalle explored the West, but it is not known certainly whether or not he entered the territory now embraced in Indiana. He took possession, however, of the whole Mississippi region in the name of France, and, in honor of the king, he named it Louisiana. Spain at the same time claimed the region around the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently the two nations clashed.


At this time the country now comprising the state of Indiana was held by the Miami confederacy of Indians, the Miamis proper, originally the page: 28[View Page 28] Twightwees, being the eastern and most powerful tribe. Their villages were few and scattering. These Indian settlements were occasionally visited by Christian missionaries, fur traders and adventurers, but no permanent settlement was risked by the whites. The Five Nations farther to the east, in the New England states, comprised the Mohawks, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Senecas. In 1677 the number of warriors in this confederation was two thousand one hundred and fifty. About 1711 the Tuscaroras retired from Carolina and joined the Iroquois, and the organization then became known as the Six Nations. In 1689 hostilities broke out between the Indian tribes and the French colonists of Canada, and the following series of wars served to check the purpose of Louis XIV and to retard the planting of French colonies in the Mississippi valley. Missionary efforts, however, continued with more failure than success, the Jesuits allying themselves with the Indians in habits and customs, even encouraging inter-marriage between them and their white followers.


The English, who were envious of the French, resorted to every method to extend their territory westward. Both nations secured aid from various Indian tribes, and a bloody and merciless warfare continued for many years. France continued in her effort to connect the Canadian country with the gulf of Mexico by a chain of trading posts and colonies, which further increased the jealousy of England and really laid the foundation for the French and Indian war, which terminated in the treaty of 1763 at Paris, and by which France ceded to Great Britain all of North America east of the Mississippi river, except New Orleans and some contiguous territory. The British policy, after getting control of the Indian territory, was still unfavorable to its growth in population. In 1765 the number of French families within the limits of the Northwestern territory did not exceed six hundred. These were in settlements around Detroit, along the Wabash river, and in the neighbor, hood of Fort Chartres, Cahokia and Kaskaskia on the Mississippi river. Of these families, eighty-five resided at Post Vincennes, fourteen at Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash and in the neighborhood of the confluence of the St. Mary and St. Joseph rivers. The colonial policy of the British government opposed any measures which might strengthen the settlements in the interior of this country, lest they become self-supporting and independent of the mother country. Thomas Jefferson, the wise statesman and governor of Virginia,, saw from the first that actual occupation of western lands was the only way to keep them out of the hands of foreigners and Indians. Accordingly he page: 29[View Page 29] engaged a corps of scientific men and sent them to the Mississippi river to ascertain the point on that stream intersected by latitude thirty-six degrees thirty minutes and to measure its distance north to the Ohio. In that quarter he intrusted the military operations to General Clark, with instructions to select a strong position near the named point and erect a fort and garrison the same for protecting the settlers, and then to extend his conquest toward the great lakes on the north. Conforming to his instructions, General Clark erected Fort Jefferson on the Mississippi, a few miles above the southern limit. The result of these operations was the addition to Virginia of the vast Northwest territory. The fact that a chain of forts was established by the Americans in this region convinced the British commissioners that we had entitled ourselves to the land. During this time minor events were transpiring outside the territory in question which later promoted the settlement in what is now known as Indiana.


George Rogers Clark, a resident of Kentucky, but a native of Virginia, some time in the spring of 1776 formulated a scheme of more rapid settlement in the Northwest territory. That part of Kentucky was occupied by Henderson and Company, who pretended to own the land and set a high price on the same. Clark doubted the validity of their claim, and wished to make a test of it, and adjust the control of the country so that settlements might be fostered. He called a meeting of the citizens at Harrodstown, to assemble June 6, 1776, and consider the claims of the company, and consult with reference to the interests of the country.

This meeting was held on the day appointed and delegates elected to confer with the state of Virginia as to the propriety of attaching the new country as a county to that state. Many causes prevented a consummation of this object until the year 1778. Virginia was favorable to the enterprise, but would not take action as a state. Governor Henry and a few others, however, assisted Colonel Clark all they could. Clark organized an expedition and took in stores at Pittsburgh and Wheeling, and proceeded down the Ohio to the falls, where he built some light fortifications.

Clark's original plan was to take Vincennes, but he changed it on account of an erroneous idea as to the strength of the garrison at that place. He left the Falls of the Ohio on June 24, 1878, and, with one hundred and fifty-three men, floated down the Ohio, reaching the mouth of the Tennessee river four days later. He then landed his men and marched them to Kaskaskia, page: 30[View Page 30] reaching the quaint little French village on the night of July 4th. Clark had no difficulty in winning the French inhabitants to the American cause and a few days later the people of Cahokia also took the oath of allegiance to the Americans. Clark now had Kaskaskia and Cahokia and only Vincennes remained to be secured. Clark wanted some of the people of Kaskaskia to go to Vincennes and win over the inhabitants of the village and finally Doctor Lafont and Father Gibault, a Catholic priest who had charge of the Wabash mission, undertook the task. On July 14, 1778, these two emissaries left Kaskaskia with a small retinue and within a few days were at Vincennes. Two days after their arrival they had won the people to the American cause and had the deep satisfaction of gathering all of the French inhabitants in the church, where they took the oath of allegiance. An officer was elected; the fort was garrisoned; and for the first time an American flag was raised on Indiana soil.

Father Gibault returned to Kaskaskia about the first of August and brought the glad news to Clark. but just at this time a new trouble was threatening Clark. His men were leaving him because their enlistment had expired and, since he had no authority to extend it, he was in grave danger of losing the larger part of his force. But Clark was not to be dismayed. He made some liberal promises and finally succeeded in getting one hundred of them to re-enlist, filling the vacancies with French volunteers. Clark now placed Capt. Leonard Helmn in command of Vincennes and made him superintendent of Indian affairs on the Wabash. As the summer and fall of 1778 wore away the British were planning to capture Vincennes and late in the fall Gen. Henry Hamilton moved down the Wabash with a force of thirty regulars, fifty Canadian volunteers and four hundred Indians. He reached Vincennes December 15th and found Captain Helm and one other man in the fort. Captain Helm stood by a loaded cannon with a lighted match in his hand as the envoys of General Hamilton approached the fort and shouted out that no one should enter the fort until he knew what terms would be given. General Hamilton assured him that he could march out with all the honors of war-- and Vincennes became a British post.

On January 29, 1779, Clark, who was still at Kaskaskia, heard of the fall of Vincennes and determined to retake the place. He gathered together about one hundred and seventy men, and on February 5th started from Kaskaskia, crossing the stream of the same name. The weather was wet and the low-lands covered with water. He had to subsist on such game as he could kill en route. The men underwent great privations, wading through acres of water to their hips, and suffering intensely with the cold. However, Colonel page: 31[View Page 31] Clark shared all of the hardships of the men and asked nothing of them which he would not undergo himself. They reached the little Wabash on the 13th, and two days were occupied in crossing the swollen stream. They found the roads no better, but marched down and reached the Embarrass on the 17th of the month. The next two days were consumed in attempting to cross the angry stream. Finally canoes were constructed and the entire force crossed the main stream, and then found the lowlands entirely under water and ice which had formed recently. His men refused to proceed. All of Clark's persuasions had no effect upon the half starved men. In one company was a small drummer-boy and also a sergeant who stood six feet and two inches high. Clark ordered him, the sergeant, to mount the boy on his shoulders and plunge into the water. He did so, and the small drummer beat the charge from his position, while Clark, sword in hand, followed. This maneuver was electrical, and the men, with a cheer, followed their leader. On arriving within two miles of the fort Clark halted his men and sent in a letter demanding surrender, to which he received no reply. He next ordered Lieutenant Bayley, with fourteen men, to advance and fire on the fort, while the main body of men moved in another direction and took posession of the strongest portion of the town. Clark then demanded Hamilton's immediate surrender, on penalty of being treated as a murderer. Hamilton refused indignantly. Fighting began and continued for over an hour, when Hamilton proposed a three days' truce. Clark, characteristically, sent word that nothing but unconditional surrender was satisfactory. In less than an hour the surrender was dictated by General Clark. This was on February 24, 1779.

Of this expedition, of its results, of its importance, as well as of the skill and bravery of those engaged, a volume could well be written. The expedition has never been surpassed in modern warfare, when we consider that by it the whole territory now included in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and a part of Minnesota was added to the Union, and so admitted by the British commissioners in the treaty of peace in 1783. Clark reinstated Captain Helm in command at Vincennes, with instruction to subdue the marauding Indians, which he did, and soon comparative quiet prevailed on Indiana soil. The whole credit of this conquest belongs to Colonel Clark and Francis Vigo.

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By the conquest of Colonel Clark, Indiana came within the territory belonging to Virginia. In January, 1783, the General Assembly of the Old Dominion resolved to cede this territory to the general government of the United States. The proposition made by Virginia was accepted by the government and the transfer made early in 1784. The terms were that Virginia was to be reimbursed for all expenses incurred in exploring and protecting settlers in the territory; also that one hundred and fifty thousand acres of land should be granted to the soldiers who, with Colonel Clark, had made the famous expedition. After all these matters had been attended to, in the spring of 1784, the matter of governing this section of the west was referred to a committee of Messrs. Jefferson, of Virginia, Chase, of Maryland, and Howell, of Rhode Island, which committee, among other things, reported an ordinance prohibiting slavery in the territory after 1800, but this article of the ordinance was rejected. The Ordinance of 1784 was passed April 23d and remained the fundamental law of the Northwest territory until July 13, 1787. The ordinance of 1787 has an interesting history. Much controversy has been indulged in as to who is really entitled to the credit of framing it. The honor was held by several men jointly, among them being Nathan Dane, Rufus King, Timothy Pickering, Thomas Jefferson and Manasseh Cutler. Mr. Jefferson had vainly tried to secure a system of government for the Northwest territory excluding slavery therefrom. The South, however, invariably voted him down.

In July, 1787, an organizing act without the slavery clause was pending, which was supposed to secure its passage. Congress went into session in New York City. July 5th, Dr. Manasseh Cutler, of Massachusetts, came to New York in the interests of some land or speculators in the Northwest territory. He was a courtly gentleman of the old-school type and had won the confidence of the Southern leaders. He wished to purchase five million, five hundred thousand acres of land in the new territory. Jefferson and his administration desired to make a record on the reduction of the public debt, and this was a rare opportunity. Massachusetts' representatives could not vote against Cutler's scheme, as many of their constituents were interested in the measure personally; Southern members were almost committed. Thus, Cutler held the key to the situation, and dictated terms, which were as follows:
  1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever.
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  3. Providing one thirty-sixth of all lands for public schools.
  4. Be it forever remembered that this compact declares that religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall always be encouraged.

Dr. Cutler planted himself on this platform and would not yield, stating that unless they could procure these lands under desirable conditions and surroundings, that they did not care to purchase. On July 13, 1787, the bill became a law. Thus the great states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were consecrated to freedom, intelligence and morality. On October 5, 1787, Congress elected General Arthur St. Clair governor of the Northwest territory. He assumed his official duties at Marietta and at once proceeded to treat with the Indians and organize a territorial government. He first organized a court at Marietta, consisting of three judges appointed by Congress, himself being president of the court.

The Governor, with his judges, then visited Kaskaskia for the purpose of organizing a civil government, having previously instructed Major Hamtramck at Vincennes to present the policy of the new administration to the several Indian tribes and learn their feelings. They received the messenger with a cool indifference, which, when reported to the governor, convinced him that nothing short of military force would command compliance with the civil government. He at once proceeded to Fort Washington to consult with General Harmar as to future action. In the meantime he intrusted to the secretary of the territory, Winthrop Sargent, the settlement of the disputed land claims, who found it a hard task, and in his reports states that he found the records so falsified, vouchers destroyed, and other crookedness as to make it impossible to get at a just settlement, which but again proves that the "graft" of the twentieth century existed decades before this word had been coined.

The general court in 1790 passed stringent laws against the sale of intoxicating liquors to Indians and also to soldiers within ten miles of any military post; also prohibiting any games of chance within the territory.

The consultation between St. Clair and General Harmar ended by a decision to raise a large military force and thoroughly chastise the Indians. about the head of the Wabash river. Accordingly, Virginia and Pennsylvania were called upon to muster eighteen hundred men at Fort Steuben, and, with the garrison of that fort, join the forces at Vincennes under Major Hamtramck, who proceeded up the Wabash as far as the Vermillion river, page: 34[View Page 34] destroying villages, but without finding an enemy to oppose him. General Harmar, with one thousand four hundred and fifty men, marched from Fort Washington to the Maumee, and began punishing the Indians, but with little success. The expedition left Fort Washington September 30th, and returned to that place November 4th, having lost during that period one hundred and eighty-three men killed and thirty-one wounded. General Harmar's defeat alarmed as well as aroused the citizens in the frontier counties of Virginia, thinking the Indians might invade that state.

The governor of Virginia called out the militia along the upper borders of that state; at the same time Charles Scott was appointed brigadier-general of the Kentucky militia now preparing to defend the frontiers of that state. This excited Congress and a war board was appointed, consisting of five members. On March 9, 1971, General Knox, secretary of war, wrote to General Scott recommending an expedition against the Indians on the Wabash. On March 3, 1791, Congress invested Governor St. Clair with the command of three thousand troops, and he was instructed by the secretary of war to march to the Miami village and establish a strong and permanent military post. After that was accomplished he was to seek the enemy with all his available forces and make them feel the effect of the superiority of the whites.


Although seriously damaged, the Indians were far from subdued. The Canadians and English along the border gave them much encouragement. In September, 1791, St. Clair moved from Fort Washington with a force of two thousand men and a number of pieces of artillery. November 3d he reached the headwaters of the Wabash, where Fort Recovery was later built, and here the army camped, consisting of one thousand four hundred effective men. The following morning the army advanced and engaged a force of twelve hundred Indians. Here the American army was disastrously defeated, having thirty-nine officers and five hundred and thirty-nine men killed and missing, twenty-two officers and two hundred and thirty-two men wounded. Several pieces of artillery and all their provisions were taken from them. The property loss was estimated at thirty-two thousand dollars. There has always been some disposition to blame General St. Clair for this awful defeat, but his recent biographer, John Newton Boucher, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, proves conclusively that he was not to blame. Be that as it may, he resigned his commission after that battle and the work was taken up by General Anthony Wayne, of Revolutionary fame, who organized his forces page: 35[View Page 35] at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in October, 1793, moved westward at the head of an army of three thousand six hundred men. He proposed an offensive campaign. The Indians still held that the Ohio river should be the boundary line between the United States and their lands.

Major-General Scott, with about sixteen hundred volunteers from Kentucky, joined the regular troops under General Wayne on July 26, 1794, and on the 28th the united force began their march for the Indian towns on the Maumee river. Arriving at the mouth of the Auglaize, they erected Fort Defiance and on August 15th the army advanced toward the British fort at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee, where, on the 20th, almost within reach of the British, the American army gained a decisive victory over the combined forces of the hostile Indians and a considerable number of Detroit militia at the battle of Fallen Timbers. The number of the enemy was estimated at two thousand, against about nine hundred American troops actually engaged. As soon as the action began this horde of savages abandoned themselves to flight and dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving Wayne's victorious army in full possession of the field. The Americans lost thirty-three killed and one hundred wounded; the loss of the enemy more than doubled this number.

The army remained three days and nights on the banks of the Maumee, in front of the field of battle, during which time all the houses and cornfields were consumed and destroyed for a considerable distance both above and below Fort Miami, as well as within pistol shot of the British garrison, who were compelled to remain idle spectators to this general devastation and conflagration among which were the houses, stores and property of Colonel McKee, the British Indian agent, and general stimulator of the war then existing between the United States and the savages. On the return march to Fort Defiance the villages and corn fields for about fifty miles on each side of the Maumee were destroyed as well as those for a considerable distance around the post.


On September 14, 1794, the army under General Wayne commenced its march toward the deserted Miami villages at the confluence of St. Joseph and St. Mary's rivers, arriving October 17th, and on the following day the site of Fort Wayne was selected. The fort was completed November 22d and garrisoned by a strong detachment of infantry and artillery under the command of Colonel John F. Hamtramck, who gave to the new fort the name of "Fort Wayne." The Kentucky volunteers now returned to Fort Washington, page: 36[View Page 36] and were mustered out of service. General Wayne, with the federal troops, marched to Greenville and took up his headquarters for the winter. Here, on August 5, 1795, after several months of active negotiation, this gallant officer succeeded in concluding a general treaty of peace with all the hostile tribes of the Northwest territory. This treaty opened the way for the flood of immigration for many years, and ultimately made the states and territories now constituting the mighty Northwest.

Up to the organization of the Indiana territory there is but little history to record aside from those events connected with military affairs. In July, 1796, after a treaty was concluded between the United States and Spain, the British garrison, with their arms, artillery and stores, were withdrawn from the posts within the boundaries of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, and a detachment of American troops consisting of sixty-five men under the command of Captain Moses Porter took possession of the evacuated post of Detroit in the same month.


On the final victory of the American army in 1796 the principal town within what is now the state of Indiana was Vincennes, which comprised only fifty houses, but presented a thrifty appearance. There was also a small settlement where Lawrenceburg now stands, and several smaller settlements around trading posts, and the total number of civilized inhabitants in the territory was estimated at four thousand eight hundred seventy-five.

Indiana territory was organized by act of Congress May 7, 1800, the material features of the Ordinance of 1787 remaining in force and the people being invested with all the rights and advantages granted and secured by that ordinance.

The seat of government was fixed at Vincennes. On May 13, 1800, William Henry Harrison, a native of Virginia, was appointed governor. John Gibson, of Pennsylvania, was made secretary of the territory. The government for Indiana territory went into active operation on July 4, 1800, and General Harrison called together the first territorial Legislature or Council January 12, 180l. From this time to 1810 the chief questions under discussion were land speculators, African slavery and the hostile views of the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, and his brother, the wily Prophet.

Up to this time the sixth article of the Ordinance of 1787, prohibiting slavery, had been somewhat neglected and many French settlers held slaves; many slaves had been removed to slave-holding states. A session of page: 37[View Page 37] delegates elected by popular vote in the new territory met December 20, 1802, and petitioned Congress to revoke the sixth article of the old ordinance. Congress failed to grant this, as well as many other similar petitions. When it appeared from a popular vote in the territory that a majority of one hundred and thirty-eight were in favor of organizing a General Assembly, Governor Harrison, on September 11, 1804, issued a proclamation, and called for an election to be held in the several counties of the territory January 3, 1805, to choose members of the House of Representatives, who should meet at Vincennes, February 1st. The delegates were duly elected and assembled as ordered, and they perfected plans for territorial organization and selected ten men whose names were sent to President Jefferson and the President chose five of the number to act as members of the Council. The first General Assembly or Legislature of the territory met at Vincennes July 29, 1805.

On July 30th the Governor delivered his first message to the Council and House of Representatives. Benjamin Parke, who came from New Jersey in 1801, was the first delegate elected to Congress.

The first newspaper published within the territory of Indiana was the Western Sun, first issued at Vincennes in 1803, by Elihu Stout, of Kentucky, and first named the Indiana Gazette, but changed to the Sun July 4, 1804.

In 1810 the total population of Indiana was 24,520. There were then reported 33 grist mills, 14 saw mills, 3 horse mills, 18 tanneries, 28 distilleries, 3 powder mills, 1,256 looms, 1,300 spinning wheels; value of woolen, cotton, hemp and flax cloth, $150,059; of nails, 30,000 pounds; of wine from grapes, 96 barrels, and 50,000 pounds of maple sugar.

The territory of Indiana was divided in 1805, when the territory of Michigan was established to comprise practically the same territory which it has today. In 1809 Illinois was set off and Indiana was left with practically its present limits. For the first half century after the settlement Vincennes grew slowly.

The commandants and priests governed with absolute power; the whites lived in peace with the Indians. The necessaries of life were easily procured; there was nothing to stimulate energy or progress. In such a state of society there was no demand for learning and science. Few could read and fewer still could write their own names; they were void of public spirit, enterprise or ingenuity. Not until the close of the war of 1812 and 1814 did Indiana take on her vigorous growth, and since then she has kept pace with her sister states. In 1815 the total white population was sixty-three thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven. On February 13, 1813, the;= Legislature in session at Vincennes changed the seat of government to Corydon. page: 38[View Page 38] Governor Posey took Governor Harrison's place May 25, 1813, for the latter was engaged in subduing the enemies of this country.

Up to 1811 a man must own at least fifty acres of land before he was entitled to cast his vote. To become a member of the Council he must possess five hundred acres of land, and each member of the Legislature must needs own two hundred acres.

In 1814 the territory was divided into three judicial districts. The Governor appointed the judges and the compensation was fixed at seven hundred dollars per annum. The same year two banks were authorized, the Mechanics Bank of Madison, with seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the Bank of Vincennes, with a capital of five hundred thousand dollars.


The last territorial Legislature convened at Corydon December 14, 1815, and petitioned Congress for authority to adopt a state constitution and maintain a state government. Congress enacted the proper legislation and Indiana was made a state. On May 13, 1816, an election was held for forty-three delegates to a constitutional convention. That body met at Corydon, June 10th to 29th, Jonathan Jennings presiding, and William Hendricks acting as secretary.

The representatives in the constitutional convention were able men. The constitution they there formed for Indiana in 1816 was in no wise inferior to that of any other commonwealth in the Union at that date.

The first state election was held the first Monday in August, 1816, and Jonathan Jennings was elected governor, Christopher Harrison, lieutenant governor, and William Hendricks, representative to Congress.

The close of the war of 1812 and 1814 was followed by a great rush of immigrants to the new state and in 1820 the state had more than doubled its population, having at this time one hundred and forty-seven thousand one hundred and seventy-eight inhabitants. This date was the beginning of prosperity for Indiana, and at this time begins our history of the county of Hendricks.

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The history of the early settlement of Hendricks county would be worthy of treatment in a separate volume were the records and other sources of information in regard to those days in existence. At that time the importance of keeping such things was not realized, and consequently few can be obtained. The settlement of Hendricks county occurred early in 1820, within six years of one hundred years ago. Many of the people in the county today remember of hearing their fathers and mothers recount the thrilling tales of pioneer life in the early period of log rollings, husking bees, barbecues, cabin raisings, hunts and the thousand and one other incidents which were a part of the early life. Settlements were miles apart and social intercourse was difficult, so these entertainments afforded the only opportunities for the people to congregate, and these periods were generally months apart. So the pioneer lived alone with his family in the silent and mighty forest, sallying out before dawn to shoot the game or to cast a line in the stream nearby for the day's food supply. The meat of the wild game and the rough cereals raised in the patch of cleared ground provided the principal sustenance for the family; the clothes were manufactured by the women, who sat for days before the loom; linsey-woolsey and homespun, adorned with the skins of small animals, were the popular weaves. The good mother was the teacher of the children also; meager teaching it was, but thorough.

Relative to the early settlement, it is well to quote a few paragraphs from the writings of Logan Esarey, an authority on Indiana history. He writes:
"The attempt to better their economic condition was no doubt the cause that led a great majority of the immigrants to come to Indiana in the early period of its statehood. They were encouraged and many of them grossly deceived by the advertisements in the Indiana papers. The Western Sun and the Sentinel of Vincennes, the Indiana Republican of Madison, the Intelligencer and the Ledger of Richmond, from which the following data has been collected, are full of the most glowing accounts of the prosperity of this western world. Judged from these papers, there was bustle and activity everywhere. Cotton gins, ox mills, grist mills, salt wells, rich mines of silver and page: 40[View Page 40] gold, steam saw mills, card mills, breweries were in need of laborers everywhere. Dozens of towns, each sure to be a metropolis, were springing up and in which lots could be bought for a trifle and on credit. A steamer one hundred and sixty-six feet long was on the ways at Jeffersonville. Another would soon be launched at Bono to ply on the branches of White river. Indiana seemed to be a bee-hive of industry, glowing with opportunity for the poor and industrious. "The period from 1816 to 1825, while the capital was at Corydon, was one of unprecedented immigration into Indiana. The settlers crowded up the waterways beyond the middle of the state. The number of counties in the state rose from thirteen to fifty-two. Almost all of the territory south of White river was organized and the line of settlement was pushed well to the north of the National road. The latter had not yet been opened and practically all of the settlers came by way of or across the Ohio river."

The long, weary journey in a covered wagon, over rough hills, through tangled valleys, fording streams, slow, tortuous miles traveled, made the final stopping point inviting to the settler, even if it consisted of but a convenient nook in the forest or a sequestered spot on the banks of a stream, for it meant home wherever it was. The first nights were spent under the wagon-canopy or in a lean-to hastily erected of branches and grasses. The pioneer immediately began the erection of his cabin, hewing the logs and notching them into place. A fireplace was constructed in one end of the small hut, made of sticks and mud, and the fire therein afterward served the purpose of light, heat and as a cook-stove. The furniture of the interior was as rough as the cabin itself; three-legged stools, puncheon floor, a bed built against the wall, and a small table generally comprised the interior of the shack. The walls, through which numerous breezes penetrated, were hung on the inside with animal skins, that is, if such skins were procurable. However crude these homes might have been, the health and sturdiness of the occupants was mighty, and many of those who live today in luxury and idleness would swap their all for this strength of body and mind.

A great part of the land in central Indiana in those days was swampy. Sloughs were scattered through the forests and were far from healthy. Ague among the settlers was an established illness, and the best remedy was quinine and whiskey, the latter in quantities. Fevers, the intermittent kind which attend malaria, were frequent too. The people believed many peculiar things about these ailments and the fear of miasma and germ-laden atmosphere was wholesome.

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Much more could be narrated in this chapter of the first days in the life of Hendricks county, but for the sake of unity these other facts are assigned to the other parts of the book, following closely their respective subjects.


At St. Mary's, Ohio, in 1818, a treaty was negotiated by Governor Jennings, General Cass and Judge Benjamin Parke, men who acted as government commissioners, with the Indians. The red men gave up all title to their unceded land south of the Wabash river, except reservations, which included the territory in central Indiana, out of which thirty counties have been laid off, among them Hendricks county. This was the largest of the fifty-two purchases which were required to obtain from the Indians all of the land in the state of Indiana. In the terms of this treaty it was stated that the Indians should have possession of their improvements and reside in the country for a period of three years, after which time a portion of them would have to go upon reservations, but the majority of them were to be transported beyond the great Mississippi river. The government surveys were stipulated to begin immediately, and the ceded lands to be opened to settlers. Prior to this time the land now forming Hendricks county had been occupied by the tribe of Delaware Indians, but, not being located on any of the great war trails or fighting grounds, there were no large Indian villages or Indian improvements in this district. Hendricks county land was used principally as a hunting ground.

The government plans were carried out and the survey started at once. Hendricks county was on the meridian line from which the beginning was made, and accordingly it was surveyed first in 1819. This survey started a great flood of immigration to every corner of the new purchase. In wagons, on foot, horseback, the sturdy men came to build their homes here. Locations were indefinite and the settlers merely contented themselves with finding a convenient spot and then starting a clearing wherein to build their log homes. The Indians were not hostile; in fact, they were very friendly and assisted the home-seeker in many ways. Their knowledge of the hunting and fishing grounds was often a great help to the stranger.

Although the year specified for the removal of the Indians beyond the Mississippi was 1821, it was not until 1826 that the last of them departed. When the first white men came to this county a large band of Indians was found camping on White Lick and Eel rivers. The former they called page: 42[View Page 42] Wape-ke-way, meaning "white salt;" and the latter they termed Sho-a-mack, which meant "slippery fish."


In the territory now known and designated as Hendricks county the first settlement was made in the spring of the year 1820 on White Lick creek. The band of settlers who made this initial location, a few miles south of Plainfield, was composed of Bartholomew Ramsey, Samuel Herriman, Harris Bray, John W. Bryant, James Dunn, George Dunn and Ezekiel Moore.

The nearest settlements to this location were along the Wabash river, and in order to establish communication and a road for the transportation of supplies, these men cut a trail through the woods and bushes, and gave it the name of the Terre Haute trail. It passed through Hendricks county about a mile south of what was later the National road, and in this same year of 1820 Nathan Kirk, one of the settlers, afterwards one of the associate judges of the county, located on this trail in the southwest corner of the county and kept a public tavern. He later transported his goods to Clinton county and became the founder of the town of Kirklin. Kirk's prairie was also named after this man.

In the spring months of 1821 Thomas Lockhart, Noah Kellum and Felix Belzer made settlement on the East fork of White Lick, in the southeast corner of what is now Guilford township. Belzer was the most notable of these three men, due to his reputation as a hunter. The tradition is that he killed one hundred and twenty-five deer within a year after he settled in this county. It was in this year, 1821, that the first death occurred in the county, that of Uriah Carson, who had come from Ohio and entered land from the government. He died at the home of Felix Belzer. In the autumn of 1821 William and Thomas Hinton, James Thompson and Robert McCrackin settled on the West fork of White Lick, in the territory now comprising Liberty township. Quite a number of other families settled in the territory now comprising Guilford and Washington townships in the following year of 1822, among them being Jeremiah Hadley, David Carter and Jonathan Hadley, who took the three adjoining farms on the hill immediately east of Plainfield.

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In the year 1824 the population of the county was estimated to be one thousand people, settled mostly in the regions in the southeast, with a few settlers near the present site of Danville, Nathan Kirk and Jere Stiles in the southwest corner, and Noah Bateman and a few others along Eel river. The portion of the county now occupied by Union, Middle, Brown and Lincoln townships was then a mosquito-infested swamp, and no settler had the boldness to risk his health by settling there. As late as 1830 there were not more than thirty settlers within this locality. The more rapid and thicker settlement of the other portions of the county was due in a large measure to the better drainage facilities. The northeastern portion of the county was also settled slowly. The building of the Cumberland or National road through the south part of the county in 1830 gave a great advantage to the southern part, this road being a highway for the tide of immigration to the far West. Many of these transcontinental travelers found reason to stop in this locality and remained and became permanent residents. Practically every farmer kept open house; every home was a hotel, and many of the settlers became moderately wealthy by their hospitality.


The first mill constructed in the county was a horse-mill on East fork of White Lick. It was built and owned by James Tomlinson. The first water-mill was built by John P. Benson on Rock branch in Eel River township in 1826. The first merchandise was sold in Danville by James L. Given. The first resident attorneys were Judge Marvin and Colonel Nave, the latter locating in Danville in 1832, where he was engaged in the practice of law for more than fifty years, until his death, in 1884. In the summer of 1823 the two first school houses were built in the county, one in Liberty township, below Cartersburg, and the other on Thomas Lockhart's land in Guilford township, and in them W. H. Hinton and Abijah Pierson taught the first schools in the county. In this paragraph it is well to mention that the first birth in the county was that of Silas J. Bryant, who was born in Guilford township in 1820, the son of J. W. Bryant.


The first marriage license issued by the county clerk was for: the marriage of James Reynolds and Rachel Demoss on November 17, 1824. page: 44[View Page 44] Samuel Jessup, the first justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. In this same month Charles Merritt and Jemimie Leaman were married by Aaron Homan, a justice of the peace.

The first land deed was made on November 3, 1825, between Samuel Woodward and his wife, Abigail.

The first will recorded in the county was that of Uriah Hults, a farmer.


The act organizing the county of Hendricks was approved on December 29, 1823. The county was named in honor of William Hendricks, then governor of the state of Indiana. The act follows:

"Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That from and after the first day of April next, all that part of the county of Wabash included in the following boundary, viz.: Beginning at the southeast corner of section 20, in township 14 north, of range 2 east, thence west twenty miles to the east line of Putnam county, thence north with said line twenty miles, to the northwest corner of section 18, in township 17, in range 2 west, thence east twenty miles, to the northwest corner of Marion county, thence south twenty miles with said county line, to the place of beginning, shall form and constitute a new county, to be known and designated by the name and style of the county of Hendricks.

"Sec. 2. The said new county of Hendricks shall, from and after the first day of April next, enjoy all the rights, privileges and jurisdiction which to separate and independent counties do, or may properly belong and appertain.

"Sec. 3. That William Templeton, of Lawrence county, William McCulloch, of Monroe county, Calvin Fletcher, of Marion county, Abel Cole, of Shelby county, and John Smiley, of Johnson county, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners, agreeably to an act entitled, 'An act for fixing the seats of justice in all new counties hereafter to be laid off.' The commissioners above named shall meet at the house of the late William Ballard, in said county of Hendricks, on the second Monday of July next, and shall immediately proceed to discharge the duties assigned them by laws. It is hereby made the duty of the sheriff of Morgan county to notify the said commissioners, either in person or by written notification, of their appointment, on or before the first day of June next; and the said sheriff of Morgan county shall receive from the said county of Hendricks so much for his services as the county commissioners, who are hereby authorized to page: 45[View Page 45] allow the same, shall deem reasonable, to be paid out of any moneys in the treasury of said county, in the same manner that all other moneys are paid.

"Sec. 4. The circuit courts and all other courts of the county of Hendricks shall meet an be holden at the house of the late William Ballard in said county of Hendricks, until suitable accommodations can be had at the seat of justice in said county, when they shall adjourn the circuit courts thereto; after which time all the courts of the county of Hendricks shall be holden at the county seat of Hendricks county, established by law. Provided, however, that the circuit court shall have authority to remove the court from the said house of the late William Ballard to any other place in the said county of Hendricks previous to the completion of the public buildings, should the said court deem it expedient.

"Sec. 5. The board of commissioners for the said county of Hendricks shall within twelve months after the seat of justice shall have been selected, proceed to erect the necessary public buildings thereon. They shall also hold a special session on the first Monday in May next, for the purpose of appointing an assessor and transacting such other business as may be necessary.

"Sec. 6. The said new county of Hendricks shall form a part of the counties of Montgomery and Putnam, for the purpose of electing senators and representatives to the General Assembly, until otherwise directed by law.

"Sec. 7. The same powers, privileges and authorities that are granted to the qualified voters of the county of Dubois and other counties named in the act entitled, 'An act incorporating a county library in the counties therein named,' approved January 28, 1818, to organize, conduct and support a county library, are hereby granted to the qualified voters of the county of Hendricks, and the same power and authority therein granted to, and the same duties therein required of the several officers, and the person or persons elected by the qualified voters of Dubois county, and other counties named in the said act, for carrying into effect the provisions of the act entitled, 'An act incorporating a county library in the county of Dubois, and other counties therein named,' according to the true intent and meaning thereof, are hereby extended to and required of the officers and other persons elected by the qualified voters of the county of Hendricks.

"This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage."


According to the provisions of this act, the men selected began to investigate several claims made for the location of the county seat. Many page: 46[View Page 46] localities were at work striving for the honor, among them the community near George Mattock's tavern, two miles east of Belleville, where a town had been laid out named Hillsboro. This site was discarded in favor of a location as near as possible to the geographical center of the county, and on the second Monday in July, 1824, the site of Danville was chosen. Four men, Daniel Beals, George Matlock, Robert Wilson and James Downard, being the owners of land in four sections having a common corner, each donated twenty acres touching the common corner for the benefit of the county seat, all of which was laid out into public square and town lots.

Thomas Hinton was appointed agent of the county, and on October 20, 1824, he placed on file a plat of the town of Danville. The lots were immediately put up at a public sale, and this continued for three days. An order was made by the commissioners for fifteen gallons of whiskey to assist the purchasers in making their selection. Samuel Herriman, the coroner, was the distributor on this occasion. The price paid for the lots ranged from three to one hundred and fifteen dollars. The latter price was given by Mr. Hulse for the lot on the northeast corner of Main and Washington streets. The lot on the southwest corner brought the next highest price.

The court house was completed and the first term of court held in Danville in April of the year 1826. The building was constructed of peeled hickory logs and cost one hundred and forty-seven dollars. The jail was of the same material.

The first county commissioners were Thomas Lockhart, Gideon Wilson and Littlebury Blakely. They divided the county into nine townships, of nearly equal area, and there was sufficient population in but four of the townships at that time to give them a civil organization. The first representative of the county in the General Assembly was Lewis Mastin.

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In the extreme northeast corner of Hendricks county lies Brown township, comprising about twenty-five square miles of land in townships 16 and 17 north, ranges 1 and 2 east. On the north the township is bounded by Boone county, on the east by Marion county, on the south by Lincoln township and on the west by Middle township. White Lick creek, passing through the western side of the township, drains the largest portion of the land, although Eagle creek carries a large quantity of water from the high country along the eastern border. The soil of Brown township is rich and productive, the nature of the ground being rolling. The central portion is for the most part very level and, before the excellent system of drainage used today, was swampy and of little value. The clay and alluvial soil found in Brown township is without a superior in the county or middle Indiana and is now worth a high price per acre. Practically every acre is under cultivation and made to yield to the utmost of its productiveness without impoverishing the soil.


Until the year 1863 Brown township included what is now Lincoln township. Brown township was named after James Brown, who was the first settler within its boundary. David Sparks, however, was the first white man in this territory; he came in the year 1827, three years before any definite settlement had been made in this portion of the county. Owing to the unfortunate location of the township it has no railroad or interurban line, but the general fertility of its soil largely makes up for this deficiency.


The first general election in Brown township was in 1828. From the poll book and tally sheet the following is taken: "At an Election held at page: 48[View Page 48] the hous of James Brown on the 4th day of August 1828 for the purpos of Electing one Govinor one Lieutenant Govinor one Representator to Congress one Sinitor one representative to State Legislater one Coriner the following is a list of the number of votes taken and also the number Each Candidate receivs." There were twelve voters at this election, namely: James Brown, Joseph Runion, Joshua Newham, William Harris, Thomas Nash, Daniel Newham, George Tyler, James R. Smith, Shannon Foster, Edward Railsback, Jesse Smith and Nathaniel W. Hults. Politically, the township has been strongly Democratic from the beginning.


The statement has been made that Brown township holds a singular place among the other townships, by not having the usual transportation facilities and the lack of towns. This fact by no means is evidence that the township is behind the others. The farmers are intelligent and capable and the farms they manage are modern and well kept. The science of agriculture has not been a neglected art in this locality, in fact it has been much encouraged, and the tiller of the soil embraces every opportunity to improve his knowledge of the best methods of cultivation.

Roads in this township are excellent, of macadam and gravel and in a high state of improvement. This lends quick access to the railroads and other points in the county. Telephones, both local and long distance, have enabled the people to come into closer communication with their fellows. Schools are now set to a standard of high efficiency, the consolidated school system rapidly coming into effect.

Not only has the farmer paid attention to his farm land, but he has built his residence and his buildings in the most up-to-date fashion. All conveniences are found in the present farm home the same as in the city. Electric lights, telephones, steam heat, water power and sewerage systems are but a few of these.

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In the center of Hendricks county is located the township of Center. It is in townships 15 and 16 north, ranges 1 east and 2 west, comprising about forty-six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Union and Middle townships, on the east by Middle and Washington, on the south by Liberty and Clay, and on the west by Clay, Marion and Eel River townships. The west fork of White Lick creek, its tributaries, and Mill creek drain the land within the bounds of this township, supplemented today by a very efficient system of artificial drainage. With the exception of the deep, precipitous valley worn through the center of the township by White Lick, the nature of the land is undulating and level. The highest elevation of land in the county is in Center township, gradually sloping away to the border. Woodland once covered this territory, but it has now been reduced to a minimum. It embraces a body of land unexcelled for grazing and of very high rank for fruit and grain production.


It is recorded that the earliest settlement was made in Center township in the year 1823. Very few people ever lived in this portion of the county until after the platting of the town of Danville, from which time it began to grow.

There was a general election held in Center township on August 7, 1826, votes being cast for congressman, senator, representative, sheriff and coroner. There were about two hundred people in the township at that time and sixty-six persons voted. The list of voters was as follows: Francis Barbee, Thomas Hinten, Richard Christie, Elijah Thompson, Dickison Thompson, James Thompson, Jeremiah Cutbirth, Thomas Nichols, William Moore, George Moore, Thomas Shelton, Jonathan Wyatt, Nathaniel Kirk, Thomas page: 50[View Page 50] Irons, Ezekiel Moore, William Crane, George Moore, Jr., Moses Williams, William Moore, Sr., John Green, Samuel Gwinn, John Bryant, John Ristine, Martin Cooper, David Downs, Eli Townsend, Samuel Harriman, Thomas Howell, Thomas J. Walker, John Hanna, Thomas B. Clark, David Adams, Robert Cooper, Lemuel Hopkins, Joseph Dunn, George W. Pope, William Herron, Stephen Cook, Jesse Cook, Silas Bryant, Abel Stanley, Levi Kindman, Eli Morris, Job Osborn, Daniel Clark, William Pope, B. Dunn, Andy Clark, John Dunn, John Calor, James Downard, Preston Pennington, Nimrod Harrison, James Logan, John Moore, John Downs, James Williams, David Matlock, Stephen Annel, Thomas Walker, Jefferson Matlock, P. S. Dickens, David McDonald, Levi Jessup, George C. Brightman and Erasmus Nichols.


Because of the location of Danville, the county seat, Center township today occupys in some respects the foremost place among the twelve townships of the county. In richness, in agriculture and kindred vocation, she is not superior to all of the townships, but holds a high position and is deserving of much credit. The taxpayers are loyal and willing to support any movement for the good of the township and consequently civic pride and intelligent interest in the country has gained a prominent place. The land surrounding Danville is very good farming ground and a visit to the numerous estates will convince the critic that the most modern and efficient methods are used by the farmer in the cultivation of his soil. The homes dotting the broad farms are attractive and equal to the home of the man with urban advantages, something which twenty years ago would have been believed impossible. Telephones, excellent roads, railroads and interurban lines, all contribute to the easy communication with all parts of the county and the state capital. Distance has ceased to be a factor in present-day life. The schools of Center township are of the first class, the religious life is pronounced, and behind all there is a spirit of goodfellowship, progress and industry which prophesies greater and greater things to come.


In the year 1824 the first dwelling was constructed on the site of Danville by Daniel Clark. This structure was a log cabin. Immediately after the location of Clark's cabin several other settlers came to the immediate vicinity and made their homes. By the following winter there were quite a number page: 51[View Page 51] of people living in the neighborhood-- in fact, sufficient in number to start a school. The first man to teach here was Wesley McKinley. Doctor Garrett was the first physician to administer to the ill. A hotel, or rather, a log tavern, was opened to the public by Levi Jessup, the first county clerk. He was succeeded in this business in 1828 by Col. Thomas Nichols, who came to Danville in that year and became sheriff of the county. Nichols also interested himself in building houses. In 1829, he constructed, at Danville, the first brick school house in Hendricks county.

In another chapter it is stated that the town of Danville was officially laid out by Thomas Hinton on October 20, 1824.

Immediately after this, cabins began to spring up and with the first one erected by Clark were many, just as unpretentious, but inviting. James L. Givin set up a small store on the north side of the square and there the first merchandise was sold. Flour was not among his stock, however, and people were compelled to go to Indianapolis after that product. The first court house, constructed of peeled hickory logs, cost one hundred and forty-seven dollars. The jail, made of the same material, was back of the building recently occupied by the Thompson jewelry store. It was considered impregnable, with its thick walls, small, high windows, puncheon floors and dungeon The first hotel, then called a tavern, was a large, rambling two-story building situated on the lot now occupied by Beck's restaurant. With its square and multipaned windows, massive door and large chimney, it was a picturesque building. Along the alley was a long, mossy trough, hollowed from a log, from which horses were watered from the tavern well. This tavern was a busy place, especially when court was in session. Those who attended court had to travel over many miles on horseback, through sloughs and forests, over fallen trees, across streams and every other obstacle which impeded the journey of the early traveler. Arriving at the tavern door, cold, tired and hungry, they found rest and food in plenty. The food was not served by courses, or miniature quantities in side dishes, but was literally piled upon the table, the chief dish often being a whole roast pig.


The record of incorporation of the town of Danville reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned, President and Clerk of an election held at the court house in the town of Danville, on the 24th day of January, A. D. 1835, agreeably to an order of the Board of County Commissioners, within arid for page: 52[View Page 52] the county of Hendricks, at their January term, 1835, for the purpose of electing five Trustees to serve the corporation of said town of Danville, do certify that at the election aforesaid, we, the undersigned, President and Clerk as aforesaid, after being duly sworn according to law, did proceed to lay off the said town into five districts, as follows, to-wit: District No. One is composed of Blocks No. I, 2, 3, 14, 15 and 16; District No. Two, of Blocks Nos. 17, 18, 19, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34; District No. Three, of Blocks Nos. 4, 13, 28 and 35; District No. Four, of Blocks Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12; District No. Five, of Blocks Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 36, 37, 38 and 39; and after the division of the said town into districts, and the same being made known to the qualified voters thereof, who then proceeded to elect one trustee from each district, whereupon the following persons were duly elected, to-wit: Disrict No. 1, Henry G. Todd; District No. 2, Jubal Lee; District No. 3, Charles B. Naylor; District No. 4, James M. Gregg; and District No. 5, William S. Crawford. The foregoing certificate, given pursuant to the revised code for such case made and provided, together with an act entitled 'An act amendatory of the act entitled an act for the incorporation of towns,' approved February 2, 1832. Given under our hands and seals, this 27th day of January, 1835.

"J. M. GREGG, President. "HENRY G. TODD, Clerk."

After some years under this town charter, it was surrendered, but renewed and the town reincorporated in the year 1859.


About the time of the incorporation of Danville the young town was becoming a centering place for the farmers of the county and was regarded as a particularly beautiful place. At that, the appearance of the village was far from what the present dweller would call attractive. The street at the northeast corner of the square was almost a marsh, although steps had been taken to fill it in. The present hollow, a square south of the college, now being filled and a street put through, then extended westward to the McCurdy block and on Tennessee street there was a bridge across it. At the west end of the hollow was a spring of pure water, as there was also in the court house yard. When an election was held in the town some of the voters would get thirsty and depart for the spring in the hollow to get a drink. However, their source of supply was a keg hidden in the bushes alongside the spring.

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The main business portion of the town was on the north side of the square. The first brick business room was constructed by Colonel Nave in 1832. It was a square law office, almost comparable in size to a piano box, but was considered elegant then. The second brick building was located on the spot now occupied by Darnell's "Yaller Front." Before it was erected the first postoffice stood there. The postmaster, who was a saddler, plied his trade in the front room. All the stores at this time were general stores, that is, they kept every article of merchandise desired by the settler from dry goods and groceries to plows.

This, in a measure, supplies the reader with a picture of the early Danville. The town has never grown to city proportions, but the improvement since those early times have been timely, and as thorough as if the town had enlarged to ten thousand population.


The man directly responsible for the naming of the county seat of Hendricks county was Judge William Watson Wick, one of the pioneer jurists of Indiana. He was judge of the fifth circuit, composed of Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Greene, Owen, Marion, Hendricks, Rush, Decatur, Bartholomew, Shelby, Jennings and Johnson counties. Judge Wick was holding court in Hendricks county when the commissioners were discussing what to name the county seat. The Judge had a brother named Dan and in honor of him he urged the commissioners to adopt the name Danville, which was done.


From the manuscript of H. Henry, one of the first men in Danville, the following is taken:

"I came to Danville in August, 1858. That year was, in the language of the farmers, a wet year. The train upon which we came waded through what Major Verbrike would have called 'a wilderness of mud and water' and it made the trip from Cincinnati to Cartersburg in eight hours, which was considered fast time in those days. Coming up to town from Cartersburg in Keeney's hack, I had for fellow passengers Professor Tarr and Clint Petty. The Professor was on his first trip to town to make arrangements to organize the Danville Academy. He was dressed as a minister and was full of missionary zeal. I was loaded for Indians and wild game, and carried a double-barreled shot-gun. Petty was armed with a stone pipe, loaded with page: 54[View Page 54] long-range tobacco, and, being on his own native soil, he 'got the drop' on the bear hunter and the missionary at once. The Professor looked at my gun and turned up his nose at Petty's pipe, which had made him sea-sick, while he said, 'Please, sir, do not smoke the pipe in this hack.' Petty answered, 'Stranger, I will compromise with you. I will hold my head outside of the window.' The Professor looked at me and my gun as if he wished to shoot the pipe, but I never said a word. I became a silent partner in the compromise with the ways of the wild and woolly west.

"On our arrival in town we were met by the immortal Boone O'Haver, who was the self-appointed keeper of the gates of the city. Boone directed Professor Tarr to the home of a good Methodist brother. Then he took my gun in his hands and escorted me and the oil-cloth carpet sack over to Henry Howell's grocery on the east side of the square, where he introduced me to the 'boys.' Boone gave me a hearty reception. He went in the grocery and brought out a mammoth watermelon and cut it and made the usual mistake of quoting Scripture and crediting it to Shakespeare, by saying to the crowd: 'Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.'

"The first thing I remember concerning politics after coming to Danville was a joint discussion between Martin M. Ray and Albert G. Porter. The slavery question was, of course, the bone of contention. The orators talked much about 'border ruffians' and 'bleeding Kansas' and had much to say about 'squatter sovereignty.' After the speaking, a tramp shoemaker named Cary Maul, who had gathered the impression that 'squatter sovereignty' was an individual, a bully who had set down on all the government lands in the West and had caused all the political troubles, declared that he would go to Kansas and 'put a hole through Old Squatter Sovereignty.' He added that if Nebraska Bill did not look out he would get shot, too.

"James Peters, a journeyman musical instrument maker, who made dulcimers for Vinson Hamblin in Samuel Hawkins' chair shop, was a genius that only a Charles Dickens could describe properly. He resembled Julius Caesar. He was a college graduate and had, before coming to Danville, been a clerk of a court in Ohio. Peters had met a disappointment in love and had made an unsuccessful effort to drown his sorrows in opium and liquor. One day, while under the influence of liquor, he threw a bucket and a bundle of ax-handles through the show-window of a drug store and would have painted the town red if it had not been for the officers of the law. When the marshal and his deputies arrived at Squire Singer's office with Peters there was a large crowd there to see the fun. The Squire was scared and his hand page: 55[View Page 55] trembled so that he was unable to write. Peters stood before the court with the skirt of his blue cloth coat, which the officers had torn while making the arrest, dragging on the floor. He said in a voice which would have done credit to Edwin Forrest, addressing the crowd, 'We did not come here to praise Caesar, but to bury him.' Then he walked around the railing and took the pen out of the trembling hand of the justice and made the necessary entries on the docket, instructed the prosecutor as to his duties, worked in the capacity of attorney for both sides of the case and so expedited the business of the court that the trial lasted only a few minutes. He paid his fine and went to Armstrong's tailoring shop for repairs. Peters and Judge Marvin used to discuss for hours the subject of astronomy. They had, according to Welshans, completely covered the walls and floor of the room with diagrams of the heavens and the earth, drawn in chalk. Peters had taken the contrary side in the argument in order to draw the Judge out. The debate closed by the Judge calling Peters a blank fool. Peters was living in Springfield, Illinois, when Lincoln was nominated and he wrote to Alf. Welshans a nice letter describing the jollification held at Lincoln's home.

"Warner Vestal, editor of the Hendricks County Ledger, requested Peters to read the proof of a long article he had written for that paper. Peters took the proof slips to his room and in about two hours he came back with the slips together with an exhaustive criticism on the article longer than the original. Vestal said, 'I can not make the corrections on your article in time to go to press.' Peters said, 'My article? I have written nothing that needs correcting.' 'You wrote the whole business,' said the editor. Peters had written the first article when intoxicated and did not remember it. He was at himself when he read the proof. The article was put on the dead galley rack, but the proof slips and the criticisms were kept as object lessons by the editor and printers for many a day. Peters met his fate in Libby prison near the close of the war.

"Thomas N. Jones was a many-sided character and a good citizen. He was fond of all kinds of innocent amusements and at almost every entertainment he was a star performer, always appearing in a comedy of blunders. Whether it was the mind-reading phrenologist or the gag of the circus clown or the mystifying ventriloquist or the simple twist of the wrist of the street fakir, Tom always took the cake as the victim of every trick and joke. During the years that the 'Sons of Temperance' wave swept over the country, that society held a temperance celebration at Indianapolis. On the day of the grand parade, Tom was in command of the Hendricks county division. The weather was very hot, the people in the parade were very thirsty and a page: 56[View Page 56] committee was supplying drinking water, which they carried in buckets. Tom's division had been served with a drink, but it did not satisfy Tom and he arose in his regalia and 'fuss and feathers' to the attitude of a magazine picture of 'Washington crossing the Delaware,' and yelled at the top of his voice, 'More water for the Danville delegation.' The grotesqueness of the commander's efforts to get drinks for the banner temperance delegation was too much for the spectators and they responded with laughter and applause. And Tom's words were passed along the line and were the toast of the day to which tin cups rattled and beer glasses clinked. To the day of Jones' death, he never heard the last of 'More water for the Danville delegation.'

"One day at a circus he assisted Richard Hemming, the celebrated rope-walker, in a tight rope act. Hemming carried Mr. Jones under the rope by straps looped to his feet. When the walker arrived over the dustiest spot in the ring he let Mr. Jones fall in the dirt to the infinite delight of the audience, who greeted him with the usual encore. To this day tight rope and Tom Jones are twin geraniums. The secret order known as the Sons of Malta did not have a lodge in Danville, but Jones never missed anything. He went to Indianapolis and joined and very nearly met his death during his initiation into the order. The practical jokers worked him up to a fever heat until he almost sweat blood, then let him fall from a great height into a tank of ice water. He admitted that this experience took the conceit out of him, but don't you believe it."


The officers of the town of Danville in 1914 are: F. H. Huron, C. E. Allred, H. S. Curtis, W. L. Holman, Simon Hadley, trustees; Charles T. Clark, clerk; James V. Cook, treasurer; Thomas R. Harney, engineer; John Hume and C. W. Gaston, attorneys, and W. T. Lawson, health officer.

In eleven blocks in Danville the streets are paved with brick and there is in addition twelve miles of macadam streets and many miles of cement sidewalks.

An extensive sewerage system is now being placed in Danville, the cost of which is to be close to twenty thousand dollars. A septic tank for the purification of the sewage is constructed east of town.

The Danville water works, a municipal plant, supplies the town with pure water from artesian wells.

The water used in Danville is without a superior in the United States. It comes from flowing wells and is almost entirely pure. It is also of high page: 57[View Page 57] medicinal value. The formal analysis follows: Solids, 33.9; chlorein, faint trace; ammonia, none; nitrates, nitrites, none; total hardness, 8.65. It is medicinal in quality. Not a case of typhoid fever has been contracted in the town since this water has been used.

The Danville Light, Heat and Power Company, a corporation owned by Indianapolis capital, is the largest of its kind in the county and one of the largest in the state. It is considered a model plant. It is worth about one hundred thousand dollars. This company supplies power not only for Danville, but also for Plainfield, Clayton, Pittsboro and Brownsburg, also many farm houses. It is the ambition of this concern to supply the power for every factory in Hendricks county. The power house is fitted with all the modern machinery to be found in plants of its kind. The town of Danville is considering a new system of street lighting, to replace the old style now in use.


The Danville Commercial Club was organized on January 20, 1911. The organization is governed by a constitution and by-laws, which provides a fee of five dollars for membership and fifty cents dues per month for each member. They also provide for numerous committees, among which are the executive committee of seven members, boosting committee of ten members, an advertising committee of five members, and from time to time special committees are appointed to carry out worthy projects.

Early in its career the club organized a boys' band, which has continued to be a success to the present time. The club has, among its many aims, the following: to secure more factories, better mail and transportation facilities, to decrease danger at car crossings by reducing speed limit and to urge the installation of proper signals, to 'create a suburban residence city, to keep the town clean and the atmosphere pure, to create better business conditions by securing better markets for farm products.


In harmony with the cultured life of Danville, there are several social clubs, which, in themselves, form an important part of the town. Charity, high moral standards, patriotism, civic honor, education, purity of life, honorable ambition, are sentiments that mark the right growth of a city and these sentiments have been promoted by the noble women of Danville, individually and in club life and organized concert of action. All these clubs do their page: 58[View Page 58] part to lighten burdens, .to broaden education, and to promote the graces of true culture.

The Social Dozen is a club with a membership limited to fourteen. It is an embroidery club and its object is to do variegated needlework, besides the social side.

The Afternoon Circle was organized February 8, 1907, and its object is to acquire excellence in embroidery work.

The Bay View Study Club was organized in Danville in February, 1912, with sixteen charter members. Its membership is limited. The object of the club is to take up current and literary topics for discussion, as well as travel subjects.

The Embroidery Club was organized in 1898 by Mrs. James McCoun and Mrs. John W. Trotter. It was originally called the Who, When and What Club. The name signifies the character of the club.

The Browning Club was organized on September 12, 1891, with a membership limited to twenty-five. The object of the club is that the members get better knowledge of the poet, Browning, and consequent mental and moral development. The poetic study is not entirely confined to Robert Browning.

The Philomathean Club is a literary organization which started October 13, 1909.

The Cozy Club was organized about 1900 for the purpose of improvement in the use of the needle.

The J. O. Club has for its purpose social development and mutual instruction in the art of domestic science.

The Charity Coterie was organized in December, 1908, and the motto, "Do Something for Somebody" adopted. The field of work for this club is a large one, including charitable work of every kind and care for the town, attention to social life and various pursuits.

The Up-to-Date Club was organized in October, 1898, and was to be made up of the young married women of the town, whose object was to keep in accord with the history of current events, the improvement and pleasure of themselves and their homes. Domestic science is studied, also literature and kindred subjects.

The Modern Priscilla Club devotes its energies to the study of literature and the art of embroidery.

The Half Century Club, to which none are eligible except those over fifty years of age, has for its object sociability.

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In February, 1902, the president of the Commercial Club, Mord Carter, wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie, explaining the needs of the town for funds to build a library building, which resulted in an offer from Mr. Carnegie to donate ten thousand dollars for the erection of the building, provided that the town would make a levy that would raise on thousand dollars per year and provide a suitable site for the building. The Commercial Club, ladies' clubs, college faculty, town trustees, school board and citizens came forward with aid and a literary board was organized under the acts of 1901. A lot was purchased by popular subscription and the plans submitted by S. C. Dark, of Indianapolis, Indiana, were accepted. A contract was let to W. C. Halstead & Company of Franklin, Indiana, for the erection of the building. The township afterward came in under the provisions of the law and made a levy of one-tenth of a mill on each dollar and the town a levy of one cent on the dollar, the two levies raising about one thousand five hundred dollars annually for the support and building up of the library.

The building was dedicated on September 5, 1903. The ladies' clubs raised about three hundred dollars for books and many other volumes were donated, making in all about one thousand volumes. The number of volumes in the library in May, 1914, is about five thousand. Most of the leading magazines of the country are taken. There are enrolled upon the books of the library at this latter date nineteen hundred and sixty readers. The present board consists of the following: Dr. Joel T. Barker, Henry C. Hadley, Mrs. Mattie A. Keeney, Mrs. Josephine K. Thomas, Mrs. J. D. Hogate, Charles Z. Cook, W. C. Osborne, John W. Whyte and Thad. S. Adams. Dr. Joel T. Barker is president; Thad. S. Adams, vice-president; Henry C. Hadley, treasurer; Mrs. Josephine K. Thomas, secretary; Miss Lou Robinson, librarian, and Mrs. Martha L. Scearce, assistant librarian.


The postmasters who have served in Danville since the beginning, with the dates of their appointment, are as follows: James M. Buckner, April 1, 1825; William S. Crawford, February 18, 1829; Levi Jessup, June 1, 1829; William S. Crawford, April 19, 1831; George W. Powell, July 14, 1853; William W. Matlock, January 30, 1853; William McPhetridge, February 9, 1857; Herman Smith, August 14, 1858; S. R. Craddick, March 30, 1861; page: 60[View Page 60]HENDRICKS COUNTY, INDIANA. Aaron Homan, October 30, 1866; Mary Davis, March 12, 1867; J. M. Gregg, Jr., March 17, 1869; C. F. Hall, May 14, 1877; A. H. Kennedy, March I, 1883; A. P. Pounds, August 2, 1886; J. R. Williams, July 18, 1888; Martin Englehart, August 5, 1889; R. W. Wade, March 5, 1894; Alfred Welshans, February 18, 1898; Wilbur Masten, February 19, 1906; Charles P. Hornaday, March 25, 1910; William A. King, March 10, 1914.

The Danville postoffice is a second-class office, having six carriers and six rural routes. A postal savings department is also conducted.


While the Civil War was in progress the First National Bank of Danville was organized with $60,000 capital, September 24, 1863, under the new law of Congress enacted a few months before and entitled an "Act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States stocks, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved February 25, 1863. The incorporators were: Samuel P. Foote, Simon T. Hadley, Christion C. Nave, James T. Hadley, Archibald Alexander, Elisha Hobbs, Alfred Hunt, Jeremia Johnson, John Miles, Jediah Hussey, Jesse Hockett, Edmund R. Hadley, John Bishop, David G. Wilson, Allen Hess, James McMurry, Samuel S. Russell, Cyrus Hunt, Leander M. Campbell, Oliver P. Badger, John Hadley, Levi Pennington, Thomas Nichols, Josiah Garrison, Julius A. Jeger, Milton Lindley and Amiel Hunt. Simon T. Hadley was the first president and Samuel P. Foote the first cashier. The bank was authorized to commence business on December 11, 1863, and was the one hundred and fifty-second chartered bank in the United States. The bank opened its doors in a building a few doors south of its present site. At a later date it was moved to the Estep block, north of the court house. It moved to the present location upon the erection of the building in 1897. The present officers of the bank are: WV. C. Osborne, president; F. J. Christie, cashier; Charles Z. Cook, assistant cashier. The present capital is $100,000; deposits, $350,000; surplus, $40,000. The bank charter has been twice renewed, once in 1883 and again in 1903.

The Danville Trust Company was incorporated March 29, 1899, with a capital of $25,000. It was organized by Cyrus Osborne, Mord Carter, Thomas J. Miles, M. T. Hunter, William C. Osborne, E. R. Robards and Alva B. Smith. Cyrus Osborne was the first president; William C. Osborne, vice-president, and Mord Carter, secretary. The present officers are: Cyrus Osborne, president; Thomas J. Cofer, vice-president, and William C. Osborne, page: 61[View Page 61]HENDRICKS COUNTY, INDIANA. secretary. The capital stock is still $25,000; deposits, $80,000, and surplus, $7,000. The company was chartered in 1899.

The Danville State Bank was organized in 1904 by a stock company. The officers of the bank at present are: S. H. Hall, president; J. K. Little, vice-president; O. M. Piersol, cashier; O. P. Humston, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; deposits, $160,000; surplus, $17,500.


The Danville public schools graduated the first class in the year 1880. This class consisted of but one member, Belle Kennedy. Since that time there have been nearly three hundred and fifty graduated. The largest class was graduated in 1910, consisting of twenty-three members. Many of the graduates have continued their studies in higher institutions of learning, but a majority have entered upon their life work without any other training than that given in the high school. The people of Danville have spared no expense in giving the young people of the community the advantages enjoyed by the most favored in the state.

The first brick school house in the county was built at Danville in 1829. The second free school, as it was called, was a two-story frame, situated on the lot across the street south from the old college building. This burned in the fall of 1872. The following year another school building was constructed, but in 1878 fire destroyed it to such an extent that it had to be nearly entirely rebuilt. The present high school building was completed in 1900.


The first court house in Danville was constructed of peeled hickory logs and the jail, back of the present location of Thompson's jewelry store, was of the same material. In the year 1830 a second court house was built and was a square, brick building. The third court house was completed in the year 1862 and cost sixty thousand dollars. The building was considered a substantial one and of elegant architecture for the time. The first floor was taken up mainly by the county offices and on the second floor was the court room, considered one of the best in the state. The building was surmounted by two towers, upon one of which was an observatory. This court house performed good service for many years or until eight-thirty o'clock on the night of January 9, 1912, when the whole roof collapsed, completely wrecking the upper floor of the building. Fortunately, it was an hour when the place was page: 62[View Page 62] deserted or there would have been fatalities. Court had been held that very day; also for many weeks noises of cracking had been heard, but unheeded.

The county council held a meeting on Monday, January 22, 1912, for the purpose of discussing the building of a new court house. There was no definite action taken, due to two factions in the council and much difference of opinion. On February 3d, however, they met again and appropriated two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars for the erection of a new court house. Bonds were ordered issued. The work of advertising for bids, etc., went on and the contract was awarded. Clarence Martindale is the architect of the new court house structure. The first thing done was the razing of the ruins of the old court house. This was done, most of the bricks being deposited in the fill at the east end of Marion street. The corner stone for the new court house was laid on May 29, 1913, with fitting ceremonies.

The new court house, now well along in the process of construction, is to be one of the most efficient and beautiful in the state of Indiana. The house is constructed of Bedford oolitic stone and the best steel. The inside wainscoting and corridor floors are to be of marble. The court room is to have monolithic floors, art glass sky-light and ornamental plaster ceiling. The dimensions of the court house are one hundred and eleven by one hundred and forty-two by one hundred and thirteen feet and forty-eight feet in height. The two court rooms, the grand jury room and the county surveyor's office are on the third floor, the principal county offices are on the second floor, and on the first floor are the minor offices, the county superintendent's office, rest rooms, Grand Army of the Republic room. The building is to be heated by steam and lighted by electricity. A modern ventilating system is installed and a vacuum cleaning apparatus. An electric elevator will run the entire height of the building. This building has a copper roof and is considered absolutely fire-proof. The architecture is of the Renaissance style mainly, with features of other architectural designs. The natural lighting of the building is an important asset. P. H. McCormack Company, of Columbus, Indiana, are the contractors.


The present jail building in Danville was erected in the year 1869. In January, 1865, the county board of commissioners ordered the sheriff "to sell at public outcry to the highest bidder the old county jail, reserving all the iron and stone in said building to the county, also to sell the old fence around said house." This was done and it was ordered that Martin Gregg page: 63[View Page 63] be appointed to examine jails in other counties and employ an architect to give a draft and estimated cost of such a building and report on the same. Pending the erection of the new jail the jury room in the north side of the old court house served the purpose of a bastile. The cost of the jail was approximately thirty thousand dollars. In 1914 a new heating plant is being installed.


Western Star Lodge No. 26, Free and Accepted Masons, at Danville, was organized under dispensation February 10, 1846, and the charter is dated May 30th following. James L. Hogan was the first worshipful master; J. D. Parker, senior warden, and William L. Matlock, junior warden. Col. Thomas Nichols, a pioneer justice of the peace, was the first man initiated into this lodge. This lodge now has a membership of about one hundred and seventy-five.

Danville Chapter No. 46, Royal Arch Masons, was chartered May 23, 1860, with Reece Trowbridge as the first high priest. E. Singer was the first king and Jacob Fleece, scribe. The chapter has a present membership of one hundred.

Colestock Council No. 26, Royal and Select Masters, at Danville, was organized under dispensation, August 24, 1868, and chartered in July of the following year. The council now has about seventy-five members.

Danville Chapter No. 39, Order of the Eastern Star, was chartered in 1879, with T. S. Adams as worthy patron, Eliza M. Johnson as worthy matron, and Mary E. Cooper as assistant matron. There are fifty members of the Eastern Star now.

Silcox Lodge No. 123, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized January 14, 1853, by John W. L. Matlock, Ohio Cleveland, R. H. Morehead, Theodore P. Hoy, George F. McGinnis, J. B. E. Reed and J. S. Harvey as charter members. John W. L. Matlock was the first noble grand; H. S. McCormick, vice-grand; William Astley, secretary; D. G. Wilson, treasurer; J. G. Mulligan, outer guard; William Jeffers, inner guard; D. D. Hamilton, R. C. S. Maccoun, James H. Taylor, R. Cope, stewards. This lodge has a present membership of one hundred and fifty.

Matilda Lodge No. 47, Daughters of Rebekah, at Danville, was chartered February 24, 1871.

Danville Lodge No. 48, Knights of Pythias, was organized June 12, 1874, with twenty-eight members. The first officers were: C. W. Wynant, page: 64[View Page 64] past commander; Thomas N. Jones, chancellor commander; Charles H. Dill, vice-commander; W. H. Hess, prelate; D. B. Keleher, master-at-arms; Lee Hunt, master of exchequer; Washington Gregg, master of finance; J. C. Waterous, keeper of records and seal; J. T. Clark, inner guard; Jesse Cummins, outer guard.

Tuscarora Tribe No. 49, Improved Order of Red Men, at Danville, was organized June 5, 1874, among the prominent members being E. M. Tinder, Henry Howell, W. T. Linn, James T. McCurdy, Aaron Hart, J W. Hart and James O. Parker.

Application having been made in due form for the organization of a Grand Army of the Republic post in Danville, a dispensation was granted and General James R. Carnahan, in company with a number of comrades from George H. Thomas Post, of Indianapolis, reported on the evening of mustering the post. The meeting was held in the court room and an organization effected and officers elected. This was on April 27, 1883. Fifty-six comrades were mustered as charter members and this number quickly mounted to well over a hundred. The first officers included such men as: Alfred Welshans, commander; John Messler, and James J. Bell, Thomas J. Coffer, Daniel Kelleher, Charles W. Stewart, John W. Tinder, H. Hall, Leroy H. Kennedy, William H. Nichols and Stanley A. Hall. The roster of the post, taken in May, 1913, numbered forty-four men.

The post is gradually growing smaller, each year many of the veterans being called from the ranks by death. However, the post is active here and each year Memorial Day is sacredly observed. The Sunday schools, Central Normal College and citizens generally unite with the post in the strewing of flowers and reviving the memories of the deceased comrades.


Perhaps one of the most remarkable facts about Daville, considering its size, is that the town boasts of a public park. Ground for this park was purchased in 1913 at a cost of two hundred dollars an acre for twenty acres. The Commercial Club pushed this deal until the city decided to buy the property. The city employed a landscape gardener, who has planted about two thousand trees and shrubs on the ground. A baseball diamond and grandstand have been constructed and this summer it is planned to obstruct the stream, which flows throught the grounds, and a bathing beach created.

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The land surface of Clay township is in most respects similar to the rest of the county. The township is one of the smaller ones and is drained by the three forks of Mill creek. The land is practically level, with slight valleys made by the streams, and the drainage, now aided by artificial means, is adequate. The quality of the land in this township is good. The farmers have managed, by skillful cultivation and intelligent study, to derive large profits from the soil and are to be commended, especially for this work and progress. The St. Louis division of the Big Four railroad, the Vandalia, and the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern interurban line traverse the township and, supplemented with an excellent system of gravel and macadam roads, make the township strictly a modern one and a pleasurable location in which to live.


The township was formed by separating from the north end of Franklin township three tiers of sections of land and taking three sections off the southeast corner of Marion township, thereby giving Clay township an area of twenty-four square miles. This organization was executed by the board of county commissioners in the year 1845.

The poll book of the first election, held at Springfield, in Clay township, August 3, 1846, gives the names of one hundred and one voters. They were Peter Long, Wesley Hardwick, Joshua F. Huckings, Mordecai Samuels, Abraham West, Benjamin Pickett, Caleb Hunt, Thomas J. Hadley, Erasmus Nichols, Milton Asher, Phineas Moon, Eli Hodson, Job Hadley, Henry Bland, Robert Harvey, Mencher Coe. John Candiff, John Harlan, John Gambold, Phineas Tomilson, Ransom Estes, Edward B. Estes, John Johnson, Mathias Alaster, Carver Benboel, Timothy Swain, Clark Hill, David Mastin, Henry Coats, James Wright, William Talbot, Hiram D. Jones, Elijah Anderson, Isaac Miracle, William H. Dalton, Harvey Stanley, Samuel Stanley, page: 66[View Page 66] Francis Huckings, Edward Tomilson, Miles T. Richardson, Allen Pearson, James Pearson, George Tincher, Henry B. Goolman, Winson Yates, Jesse Turbeville, Jonathan Mendenhall, Hugh McKee, Harvey Richardson, Tandy Scott, Elijah Wright, Solomon Rushton, Benjamin Gaeres, Joel Haggins, Eleazer Hunt, Jabez Watson, John Wright, Thomas C. Parker, Milton White, John Stanley, William S. Benbow, Charles Green, Robert Walker, Edward Newham, Jacob Workrider, Jesse Watson, Albert Hunt, John Newham, William Mann, A. Edwards, Jesse M. Hackett, James Acres, Alfred Hunt, Ellis King, Henry Wise, Asahel Mann, William Tancher, Alexander Adams, Robert B. Stanley, Nathan Harvey, Blake Swain, William Hayworth, John Harrison, Silas Dixon, William Benbow, Nathaniel Hadley, Jeremiah Smith, Eli Phillips, John Edwards, Samuel Phillips, Joseph Morris, Wesley Pearson, Elihu Dixon, Elam Benbow, Price F. Hall, James Hayworth, John Hancock, William Cosner, Joel W. Hodson and William Beechardson.


The first settlement in Clay township was made near the year 1825. The exact identity of the first settler is not known, but among the families which came prior to 1832 were those of Obadiah, George and John Tincher, John Hadley, Joel and Jesse Hodson, William Benbow, Doctor Kersey, Newbry Hunt, Abraham West, Nicholas Osburn and George Hancock.


The village of Pecksburg was named in honor of the first president of the Vandalia railroad. The village is located near the east line of Clay township on section 31. The plat of Pecksburg was officially recorded on May 24, 1853. Some of the earliest settlers in the neighborhood of Pecksburg were David Wreitzel, John Sheerer and Daniel Wreitzel. They settled two miles south of the present village in a very early day and constructed a log church of the Lutheran denomination. This afterwards was abandoned and a frame built in Pecksburg, which still stands, about sixty years old. It is not used at present, however. Abraham West had a grist mill near here in the early days, but sold out to John Sheerer. When the Vandalia was built, through the village, Sheerer opened the first store, having a general assortment of goods.

The village at present is very small, comprising but one general store, in charge of Mr. Wreitzel, a descendant of David and Daniel Wreitzef, and page: 67[View Page 67] a few houses. The Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern interurban line, Brazil division, and the Vandalia railroad pass through here.


Two miles west of Pecksburg, on sections 2, 3, 34 and 35, is the town of Amo, one of the voting places of the township. This village was laid out in 1850 by Joseph Morris and was originally Morristown. The first house in this village was constructed by William Tomlinson. The present town has a population of about three hundred people and is incorporated, this having been voted in 1913. The board of trustees is composed of G. G. Hunter, J. S. Carter, H. C. Summers; C. C. Burch is clerk and W. A. Barker is marshal. The town of Amo bears the appearance of prosperity and will in all probabilities have a marked growth in the next few years. The incorporation has been a good thing for the town and the business men have planned to make the most of it.

The First National Bank, of Amo, was organized on January 20, 1906, by John Kendall and others. J. N. Phillips was the first president of the bank; H. C. Summers, the first vice-president; John Kendall, cashier; W. H. White and E. B. Owen, second and third vice-presidents. The capital stock is $25,000, the deposits amounted to $88,168 and the surplus is $5,000. The present officers are as follows: E. B. Owen, president; George W. Christie, vice-president; J. N. Phillips, cashier; Milber Kendall, assistant cashier. This bank opened for business on July 23, 1906.

Amo Lodge No. 701, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has a present membership of over one hundred. The lodge was instituted in 1899. Amo Tribe No. 503, Improved Order of Red Men, has seventy-five members.


Reno is a small village located in Clay township on section 30. The village originated with the building of the Indiana & St. Louis railroad, now the Big Four, in 1870. The official plat of the village was recorded on December 10, 1870. The town in 1914 is exceedingly small and with no industrial activity.


The village of Hadley, in Clay township, is a railroad station on section 23. The official plat was recorded March 28, 1872.

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It is unfortunate that more of the early history of the town of Coatesville is not obtainable. Even the official plat of the town has been lost. The town, however, was orginated sometime in the late sixties and quickly became a prosperous community. The town, by the census of 1910, had a population of four hundred and seventy-two people, but this is conceded to have grown to nearly six hundred in 1914.

The town was incorporated in the year 1909 and the present officers are: Trustees, Marvin Hunt, R. C. Knight and James Davidson; clerk, Clarence Shortridge; marshal, O. E. McCammick. The town is supplied with electricity from the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Company.

The business houses and residences of the town of Coatesville are attractive and orderly, in fact, to the visitor the town presents an aspect of civic pride and a progressive community. Everything is modern, the streets are well cared for and trade is excellent. The citizens claim that there is not a poor merchant in the town. A new high school was constructed in 1911 and is a model of its kind.

The Coatesville Bank was organized in May, 1902, by Messrs. Beck, Moffet and Reeds. It was reorganized in 1906 as the First National Bank, commencing business on January 1, 1907. The first officers were: W. T. Beck, president; F. P. Moffett, vice-president and James M. Reeds, cashier. The first capital stock was $6,000, the present capital is $25,000, with $125,000 in deposits and $8,500oo surplus. W. T. Beck is the president in 1914; Jesse Masten, vice-president, and C. D. Knight, cashier. The bank was chartered in 1906.

Coatesville Lodge No. 357, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized November 27, 1870, with the following first members: Joel T. Tinder, Wallace Snowden, William Lakin, William Newkirk, Alva W. Sanders. There are now one hundred and twenty-five members.

Coatesville Lodge No. 391, Knights of Pythias, has one hundred and twenty members.

Coatesville Lodge No. 695, Free and Accepted Masons, has fifty-three members.

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Eel River township is in the extreme northwest corner of Hendricks county. It is bounded on the north by Boone county, on the east by Union and Center townships, on the south by Marion township, on the west by Putnam and Montgomery counties. The natural drainage of the most of this township is excellent; the east and west sides are rather flat and not adequately drained by the streams, although the farmers have at this time provided artificial means which remedy this deficiency. In the southwest corner of this township are found many high elevations, some of the hills below the juncture of Rock Branch and Eel River rising one hundred feet above the bed of the stream and now covered with a luxuriant second growth of timber. Five good-sized streams enter the township near the southwest corner, merging into Eel river. The picturesqueness of these stream valleys, the rich, wooded banks rising from them and the well-arranged farm lands lying behind, supplies beauty of landscape unequaled in the county. It is the garden sport of Hendricks. The land in this locality is uniformly good and is well adapted to any kind of cultivation.

The Ben-Hur division of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern line crosses the northeast corner of this township.


In the spring of 1824 the first white settlers came to Eel River township. They were Noah Bateman and Reuben Claypool and they located a mile south of North Salem. They were followed in the fall of that year by John Claypool and John S. Woodward. Among the others who located in this township, previous to 1830, were James Trotter, Henry Bales, J. and Martha Page, John P. Benson, Robert Covey, Enoch Davis and his sons, William, Frank and Jesse, William Dewitt, Dr. Collins, Andrew Clifton, page: 70[View Page 70] James Campbell, Mr. Crum and the Penningtons. John Benson built the first mill in the county on Rock Branch in the year 1826. This structure lasted but a few years when Mr. Crum built a mill on Eel River, not far from the site of the former mill. About the year 1830 a distillery was started near Crum's mill. This was the first in the county.

The date of the organization was somewhere near the year 1828, four years after the organization of the county.


The citizens of Eel River, at an early date, passed what was known as a "stay law," in defense of their property, which was often taken and sold by the constable. Whenever the constable advertised any property for sale the club would meet on the night before and carry a number of boulders which they piled on the ground as a notice to the constable not to offer the property for sale.


The first general election held in Eel River township was on August 7, 1826. The men who voted at this election were Abel Pennington, Lewis Benson, Jacob Shoemaker, William Turner, Jacob Crum, A. Jones, James Fowler, Jesse Turner, John Warker, Hampton Pennington, Daniel Turner, John Woodward, John Turner, David Evans, Edward Turner, William Hinton, David Claypool, W. Jones, Christian Hartman, John Fowler, Noah Bateman, Y. L. Huggs, John Claypool, Alva Benson, Little Huggs and William Fowler.


To describe Eel River township of today the same words used in the account of the other civil divisions might be used. The township has no large settlements, but has developed in agricultural lines during the past score of years until now it occupies a marked position in the county. The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton railroad traverses the township, east and west, near the center and the Peoria division of the Big Four and the Ben-Hur interurban line cross near the north part of the township, providing direct intercourse with the chief markets of the state. The schools have grown and become modern in every respect, following the new thought of consolidation. The people of the township have directed a large part of their efforts to the betterment of the roads. The old dirt road, with its sloughs and dangerous page: 71[View Page 71] holes, has been replaced by excellent gravel and macadam highways. The farms are cultivated according to the latest practices employed over the country and along with care for proper cultivation has become a pride in the appearance of the field, the equipment and the residence. Many a farm home viewed by the traveler in Eel River township is impressive and suitable for the largest cities.


North Salem is the only village in Eel River township. It was laid out in 1835 by John and David Claypool and John S. Woodward. The town has always been a prosperous one, even from the beginning, a new life having been given by the building of the railroad, now the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad. The United States census report for 1910 gives the population of North Salem as five hundred and sixty-nine, which number had grown proportionately larger in the past five years.

The place was incorporated as a town in May, 1899, and town officers elected. The offices in 1914 are filled as follows: Trustees, J. H. Page, Harry Seaton and Harry Dean; clerk, Smith Davis; marshal, Virgil Robbins. About ten years ago the town installed an acetylene plant, for residence and street lighting. This public utility was recently improved and enlarged and is now worth four thousand dollars.

The North Salem Bank was organized in 1891 by Pritchard & Son, of Illinois, and in 1893 the business was purchased by the present owners and has since been controlled by home people. C. W. Davis is president of the bank, G. B. Davis, cashier, and J. B. Fleece, assistant cashier. The average deposits amount to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

North Salem Lodge No. 142, Free and Accepted Masons, was chartered on May 25, 1853, and was the first secret order in the town. This lodge is in good condition now and has a membership of ninety.

North Salem Lodge No. 158, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was chartered on April 15, 1865, with the following first members: William Adair, John S. Woodward, James White, John M. Hensley, James Shakles and H. W. Hackley. This lodge today has a membership of one hundred and fifty-eight.

North Salem Lodge No. 291, Knights of Pythias, has at present sixty-five members. This lodge was organized about ten years ago.

Joe Fleece Post No. 383, Grand Army of the Republic, at North Salem, was mustered, in September, 1884, with ten charter members. This post is not active at the present time.

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In the extreme southwest corner of the county is located Franklin township, containing parts of township 14 north, ranges 1 and 2 west. It is bounded on the north by Clay township, on the east by Liberty, on the south by Morgan and Putnam counties, and on the west by Putnam county. The soil level is comparatively flat in the northwestern and southeastern portions but in the central part it assumes a rolling character. Mill creek and its tributaries drain the township in the central and west and Mud creek drains the southeastern part. These streams are small but of great value to the land. For cultivation the soil of Franklin township is unsurpassed in Hendricks county, especially for corn. It has a rich, alluvial quality, free from sand and alkali, and is of high productiveness.


Judge Nathan Kirk was the first settler in the township of Franklin. In 1820 he located on Mill creek, where it was crossed by the old Terre Haute trail, and in this place he kept a sort of tavern, a resting place for the weary traveler. Jeremiah Stiles, the founder of Stilesville, was the next settler of whom there is any account. He came in 1823. He was followed shortly by the following: John Swart, John and Isaac Wilcox, John Eslinger, David Orsborn and Jacob Reese.

The date of the organization of the township is in doubt, but it is certain that it was very shortly after the organization of the county. Jere Stiles was the first justice of the peace. Samuel Wicks was the first merchant in the township, in Stilesville, which had been laid off in 1830, and Doctor Mahan was the first physician.

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At Stilesville, on August 1, 1831, was held the first general election of the township. Forty voters were registered on the poll books. Their names follow: William Shipley, Jonathan Sparks, Joseph Petty, Jacob Reese, Jeremiah Stiles, James Kelly, John Brown, George H. Keller, George Morris, George Hancock, Henry Reese, William Thomas, Peter Pearson, Thomas Wood, Edward Shipley, Samuel Wick, Daniel Austin, Lorenzo D. Cleghorn, James Walls, Isaac Odle, William Scott, Charles Smith, Silas Rustin, William Wilcox, Absalom Snoddy, Samuel Gerber, Monroe Cleghorn, Joseph Cleghorn, William Snoddy, James Pritchett, Eli Lee, Frederick Cosner, William Becknell, Joshua Rustin, James Bray, James Wiece, John Hancock, Silas Bryant, Nicholas Osborn and Garry Morris.

The vote at this election was counted by James Walls and Silas Bryant, as judges, with Thomas Wood and John Hancock as clerks, and Jeremiah Stiles as inspector.

Until the election of 1856 Franklin township was very strongly Whig in sentiment, then became Republican. The Democrats have recently become the strongest party in the township.


To give a proper description of the present Franklin township would require much more space than is available here. In a word, the township has become one of the best in the county and her institutions, schools, churches, commercial activities, etc., have grown rapidly in the past twenty years or so. Railroad facilities are poor in this township and the chief town, Stilesville, is entirely removed from the steel lines of transit. Nothwithstanding this deficiency, the excellent roads and the automobile have enabled the farmer and business man to maintain adequate communication with the rest of the county. And, too, the telephone, both local and long distance, have been a great factor in the growth of Franklin township.


Stilesville was laid off as a village in 1828 and a small settlement started. The opening of the national road through this county, in 1830, passing directly through Stilesville, made the town of some importance in the early day, but now the place has been forced to the rear by the absence of either page: 74[View Page 74] railroad or interurban line. Passengers are transferred to Amo, four miles northeast, in order to reach the steel lines.

At first, Stilesville was a stopping place for emigrants bound for the West and it became quite popular. The town has since kept pace with modern progress and now presents a neat and attractive appearance. It is not an incorporated town. Among the new features of the town is the new high school building, constructed in 1912 at a cost of twenty thousand dollars. Good accommodations may be secured in Stilesville; in fact, in most respects it has overcome the handicap of being without railroad facilities.

The Citizens State Bank was organized in the year 1913 by a stock company. It succeeded the bank owned by E. R. Robards. The first officers were John E. Hicks, president; B. W. Anderson, vice-president; Chester G. Pike, cashier. These officers are the same now, except the office of vice-president, which is filled by Charles W. Robards. The bank was chartered May 27, 1913. The capital stock is $25,000; the deposits, $65,000 and surplus,. $2,200.

Larabee Lodge No. 131, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized at Stilesville in May, 1852. This lodge is still in existence and has good support, having sixty-five members.

Stilesville Lodge No. 538, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized fifteen years ago, and now has one hundred and twenty-five members.

Enoch Alexander Post No. 265, Grand Army of the Republic, at Stilesville, was mustered in the fall of 1833 with thirteen charter members. This post is not active at the present time, many of the comrades having passed away.

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Guilford township is situated in the southeast corner of Hendricks county; is bounded on the north by Washington township, on the east by Marion county, on the south by Morgan county and on the west by Liberty township. White Lick creek flows through the central portion, the East fork thereof and Clark's creek through the east side, and the West fork of White Lick, with a small tributary, across the west side. This network of streams supplies perhaps the best natural drainage system of any township in the county. The water adds greatly to the value of the land also; the uplands are rolling and the stream valleys are fertile and of high productive quality. Walnut, poplar and maple timber was at one time thick over this township, but this has been reduced by the encroachments of agriculture to a very small per cent. of the original.


Guilford township was the first in the county to be entered by white settlers. This was in the year 1820. In that year Samuel Herriman, James Dunn, Bat Ramsey, Harris Bay, John W. Bryant and George Moore settled on White Lick, south of Plainfield. near the Morgan county line. Here they set up their cabins, cleared ground and raised a few small crops of corn and potatoes. In the spring of 1821 Noah Kellum, Thomas Lockhart, Mr. Plummer and Felix Balzer settled on the East fork, and Matthew Lowder, Jesse Hockett and Robert Tomlinson on White Lick, south of Plainfield. In the spring of 1822 Jeremiah Hadley, Jonathan Hadley and David Carter settled on adjoining lands on the hills immediately east of the present town of Plainfield and were the first to locate in that neighborhood. In the same year James Downard settled on the state farm. In 1824 Guilford township contained more people than all the other townships combined. The Friends were the majority of the early settlers and to this day this religious page: 76[View Page 76] denomination is strong in the township. The civil division was named in honor of Guilford county, North Carolina, by Samuel Jessup, due to the fact, doubtless, that a large number of the emigrants came from that place.


Samuel Jessup was the first justice of the peace in Guilford township and in Hendricks county. He was elected in the autumn of 1822, under the jurisdiction of Morgan county, to which Hendricks county was attached for two years for judicial purposes before its organization. Mr. Jessup was elected by the first political campaign in the county. John and Samuel Jessup, on East fork, were also candidates, and Gideon Wilson, near Shiloh. There were fifteen voters below and eight in Wilson's vicinity. A caucus was held in the Fairfield neighborhood, and it was found that there would be no election if all the candidates remained in the field, and as Samuel had the most votes it was decided that John should withdraw from the race, which he did, and Samuel was chosen.

The poll book of the first general election held in Guilford township, on August 7, 1826, at the house of John Jessup, gives a list of forty-two voters, which is manifestly incomplete, namely: Timothy Jessup, Thomas Lockhart, James McClure, John White, Noah Kellum, Isaac Sanders, Harmon Hiatt, Adin Ballard, Benjamin Sanders, Henry Bland, Robert Tomlinson, Joseph Chandler, John Hiatt, Elihu Jackson, Joseph Ballard, Charles Reynolds, Pratt W. Jessup, Joseph Jessup, Joel Jessup, John Hawkins, Lee Jessup, Abijah Pinson, John Jessup, Joseph P. Jessup, Levi Cook, Henry Reynolds, Timothy H. Jessup, James C. Tomlinson, Joseph Cloud, John Lemon, John Carson, . David Stutesman, James Ritter, William Merritt, Solomon Edmundson, John Ballard, David Ballard, Robert Lemon, Joseph Hiatt, Jesse Kellum, Thomas R. Ballard and John Harris. Guilford township has always been Republican in politics, following from the support of the Whig party.


Because of the location of Plainfield, the second town in the county, Guilford township is perhaps next to the leading, if not the leading, civil division in the county. It has the advantage in not only having a good population, but in having exceptional land, rich and fertile, and capable of producing record crops. The farmers are of the best class in the state and are all in a prosperous condition. The appearance of the farms, the buildings page: 77[View Page 77] and the residences is the strongest testimony to this fact. Much attention has been given to the roads of the township. Gravel highways, and many macadamized, form a network over the division. Two railroads and two interurban lines cross the county, all going into Indianapolis.


The town of Plainfield is the second town in the county in size. It was laid out by Elias Hadley and Levi Jessup in the year of 1839. Thomas Worth built the first frame house in the town and Worth & Brothers were the first merchants.

In 1839 Plainfield was incorporated as a town, and the officers of the election made the following report:

"We, the undersigned president and clerk chosen and qualified according to law, do hereby certify that we did, on the morning of the 25th of May, 1839, lay off the said town into five districts, to-wit: That the town lots lying east of Center street and north of the national road shall be known as the first district; that the lots lying east of Center street south of the national road shall be known as the second district; that the lots lying between Center and Mills street south of the 'national road, shall be known as the third district; that the town lots lying between Center and Mills streets, north of the national road, shall be known as the fourth district; and that the town lots lying west of Mills street shall be known as the fifth district.

"And we do further certify that David G. Worth, Eli K. Caviness, James M. Long, Andrew Prather and James M. Blair were duly elected trustees of the town of Plainfield according to law.

"DAVID G. WORTH, President. Attest: ISAAC OSBORN, Clerk."

At this election the following twenty-three persons voted: Daniel Barker, David G. Worth, M. G. Taylor, David Barker, Jesse Hocket, James M. Blair, A. C. Logan, A. Prather, Luther Sikes, James M. Long, James T. Downard, Eli K.. Caviness, M. G. Corlew, Joel Hodgin, Muling Miller, Thomas J. Worth, Benjamin Lawrence, David Phillips, V. C. Gitchens, John Shelley, Isaac Osborn, Isaac Holton and William Osborn. These were among the prominent first settlers of the town of Plainfield. This incorporation charter was later given up, due to unsuccessful attempts at town government. Township rule was considered to be the best. However, on June 25, 1904, th town of Plainfield was again incorporated as a town. In the second page: 78[View Page 78] incorporation the first officers were: M. M. Fraser, J. A. Johnson and John L. Gunn, trustees; Charles R. Harvey, clerk; Jacob Wickliff, marshal. The present town officers are as follows: Joseph Pruitt, Charles Harvey and E. E. Watson, trustees; R. M. Hadley, clerk and treasurer; Frank Fields, marshal.

The Plainfield water works is a municipally-owned plant, built in 1913, at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars. Electricity is supplied by the Danville Light, Heat and Power Company.


The town of Plainfield had a population in 1910 of one thousand three hundred and three. The town has the appearance of a much larger city; the residences are commodious and of pleasing architecture and the business section has the air of prosperity and civic excellence. The town is reached by the Vandalia and the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern lines and much commercial and social intercourse is held with the city of Indianapolis and other towns on the lines.

The Citizens' State Bank of Plainfield was organized in 1889 by George W. Bell. It was chartered in that year and in 1909 this charter was renewed. The first officers of the bank were: Harlan Hadley, president; John A. Miles, vice-president; George W. Bell, cashier. William Lewis, Ezra H. Cox, T. F. Roberts, David Hadley and John R. Weer were associated with the institution. The present officers are: John L. Gunn, president; John M. Brown, vice-president; Emil B. Mills, cashier; Ralph B. Hornaday, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; deposits, $145,000; surplus and undivided profits, $30,000.

Plainfield Lodge No. 286, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized October 21, 1862, with the following officers: Amos Easterling, worshipful master; Caleb Easterling, senior warden; Amos Alderson, junior warden; Madison Osborn, secretary; Carey Regan, treasurer; N. Y. Parsons, senior deacon; William D. Cooper, junior deacon; Thomas Powell, tyler. This lodge is now Plainfield Lodge No. 653, and has a good membership.

McCarty Lodge No. 233, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Plainfield, is over forty years old. They now have a membership of one hundred and sixty.

Plainfield Lodge No. 50, Knights of Pythias, has a membership of two hundred and is very prosperous.

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There is also a tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men and a camp of the Modern Woodmen of America in the town.

Virgil H. Lyon Post No. 186, Grand Army of the Republic, at Plainfield, was chartered June 11, 1883, with forty members. This post is not active at the present time, due to the decease of so many members.


The Plainfield library is a partial realization of the dreams and desires oaf some of the women of Plainfield. Feeling the need of such an institution in the town and believing an honest effort to establish such a means of directing and cultivating the literary tastes of the young and satisfying the demands of the old would be rewarded by success, the Woman's Reading Club asked the local Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Friday Club to enter into an association for the above purpose. A corporation was formed and a board of trustees appointed. With these organizations as charter members, the association membership was increased by adding the name of any person in the township who gave a dollar or more in money or books. Donations in both were solicited, with the result that in a short time the library opened with about four hundred volumes and money to buy more.

The opening took place in June, 1901, and work began in a front room of a private residence on Main street, with Mrs. Edward Lawrence as librarian. She served until the fall of 1903, when failing health compelled her to resign, and she was succeeded by Miss Melissa Carter.


Just a mile from Plainfield is located the Indiana Boys' School. It is a beautiful place, well kept, and an admirable home for the class of boys sent within its grounds. This school was established by the Legislature of Indiana in 1867, under the name of "The House of Refuge for Juvenile Offenders." In 1883 this name was changed to "The Indiana Reform School for Boys," and in 1903 to the present title, "The Indiana Boys' School." The institution is governed by a bi-partisan board of control of four members appointed by the governor for a term of four years. The present board is: Harry T. Schloss, president; Joseph B. Homan, of Danville, vice-president; Guy H. Humphreys, treasurer, and George Webster, Jr., secretary. Guy C. Hanna is superintendent of the institution.

Boys are received on commitments from the courts of the state between page: 80[View Page 80] the ages of eight and seventeen. On a general charge of incorrigibility or delinquency, boys are received between ten and seventeen and on a criminal charge between eight and sixteen. All boys are retained here until they reach the age of twenty-one years, unless sooner released by the board of control under general rules. At present these rules are such that with good conduct a boy may gain his release on parole in eighteen months. The average time is a little under two years. Boys may be returned to the institution at any time for the violation of their parole while under twenty-one years of age. A statute proposed by the executive officers of the institution was enacted by the Legislature of 1913, giving the board of control the right to finally discharge any boy over the age of eighteen years. Under this law six hundred and one boys already on parole have been discharged.

The present number of inmates, which has remained nearly stationary for the past year, is about five hundred and sixty. One hundred of these are colored boys. The institution had, four years ago, six hundred and ninety-nine boys. The falling off has been due to the overcrowded condition of the school and the pressure exerted on the courts to hold boys out as long as possible.

The ordinary capacity of the institution is four hundred and twenty-six. A new building for housing purposes, Washington Barracks, is now under construction and will accommodate eighty boys. It will replace an old building. A new school house is being constructed also, named Charlton school, in honor of Major T. J. Charlton, superintendent of the school for twenty-one years. The institution is supported entirely by direct appropriation from the Legislature. In 1910 the total maintenance co:t was $113,284.74; in 1911, $107,164.81; in 1912, $102,224.63; in 1913, $100,583.66.

The purpose of the institution is the reformation of criminal and incorrigible boys. School is maintained the year round. The course covers the eight grades of the common school system. Two graduations are held each year, spring and fall. Sixteen boys were graduated in September, 1913. During the twelve months each grade is given a two-weeks vacation out of doors. A director of music and a physical director are included in the teaching force. The schools are in charge of a school principal, who is an experienced school man.

The institution maintains the following shops and trades: Manual training, printing, carpenter, blacksmith, shoe shop, plumbing, tinshop, bakery, laundry, barber, tailor, paint shop, florist, farm and garden and telegraphy. All the furniture of the institution is built at the manual training page: 81[View Page 81] shop. The printing office does all of the job work for the institution and issues monthly and weekly-publications. The ordinary repairs of the institution are kept up by the carpenter, painting, plumbing, blacksmith and tin-smith forces. The garden produces a large variety of vegetables for the institution's use. An orchard of twenty-five acres produces five thousand bushels of apples yearly. These are all consumed by the boys. The farm, of three hundred acres, produces all the feed used by the institution and a large quantity of wheat per year, which is milled into flour. This year's crop of wheat amounted to over eighteen hundred bushels and last year's corn crop to five thousand bushels.

The institution owns five hundred and twenty-seven acres of land and has fifty-four buildings. The place is heated by steam and is lighted by electricity produced at the institution's central power plant. It has its own water works system, equipped with fine, pure water wells pumped by electric pumps. The power plant also supplies steam for cooking and for the steam laundry. It has a capacity for nine hundred horse power.

The officers, including everybody employed, number sixty. These are all appointed by the superintendent and are subject to dismissal at his pleasure. The present board of control started two years ago, with the erection of the new chapel, to gradually rebuild the entire institution. The plan of housing in the future will include barracks, cottages and buildings, with single rooms for the boys.


The first school taught in the Central Academy at Plainfield was in 1881-2. This school was originated and supported by four quarterly meetings of the Friends' church, Plainfield, Fairfield, White Lick and Danville, until the year 1912, when the support of the school was transferred to the Plainfield quarterly meeting alone. It is a commissioned high school with a four-year course, having now thirty pupils and three teachers, including Simon N. Hester, the principal. The old building was burned in 1905 and in the next year a new one was constructed at a cost of ten thousand dollars. The first building was a two-story brick, with four rooms above and one below; the new one is the same, with the addition of a basement.

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Liberty township is the middle division of the three southern townships, being bounded on the north by Center and Washington townships, on the east by Guilford, on the south by Morgan county and on the west by Franklin and Clay. There are nearly forty-nine square miles within the area, in townships 14 and 15 north, range 1 east and 1 west. It is the largest of the twelve townships in the county.

The ground level in the north and east parts is high and rolling, while the southwestern part at one time was low and swamp, but is now made into valuable land by the judicious system of drainage established. West fork of White Lick crosses the northeast corner of the township and-Mud creek rises in the north central part and passes out near the southwestern corner, thus affording adequate outlots for successful drainage of the township.


About two miles east of the present town of Belleville, on the West fork of White Lick, in October, 1822, the first settlement was made in the township by William and Thomas Hinton, James Thompson and Robert McCracken. William Pope and his son, James N., who was then sixteen years old, came in the spring of 1823, which year also brought into the township George Matlock, James R. Barlow, Samuel Hopkins, William Brown, William Ballard, David Demoss, John Cook, Moses Crawford, John Hanna, Thomas Cooper, George Coble and Jonathan Pitts. William Hinton was the first teacher in the township and county, in the fall of 1823, in a school house which had been built that fall, one-half mile south of Cartersburg. Thomas Hinton was the first justice of the peace and William Pope, a Baptist minister, did the first preaching. He organized the first Baptist church in Hendricks county, in his own home, in the late months of the year 1823.

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The first brick dwelling house in the county was built in 1830 for Jesse Cook, just south of Belleville, by Joseph V. Pope and William Hinton. The act authorizing the organization of Hendricks county designated the house of William Ballard, which was on the old Terre Haute trail, south of Belleville, as the place of holding the courts, but William Ballard died before the county was formally organized and George Matlock, who kept tavern on this trail a mile east of Ballard's, laid off a town which he called Hillsboro, and made a strong effort to get the county seat located there. He failed in this and met his death in 1825 as the result of a combat with his brother-in-law. Consequently, the Hillsboro project was a failure.


Joshua Marshall, one of the earlier settlers of Liberty township, wrote the following prior to his death, of his experience in coming to this new country:

"In the autumn of 1826 my father, William Marshall, of Surrey county, North Carolina, emigrated to Indiana and settled in the south part of Hendricks county, I being then in my nineteenth year. Evan. Davis, my brother-in-law, with his family, came at the same time and settled nearby. At that time most of the land belonged to the government and settlements were scattering. We frequently went as far as five miles to help each other raise our log cabins and stables. A few settlers had preceded us, Edward and Joseph Hobson, William Rushton, John Cook, and sons, Levi, Jesse and Stephen, with their families, Edmond Cooper, Jefferson Matlock, Rev. William Pope, Thomas Irons, Judge Little, William Herron, William Townsend, Joshua Hadley, Bowater Bales and others.

"Not having saw mills, we felled a tall gray ash and cut it into four by six lengths, split out puncheons, dressed the ends to a uniform thickness and then laid them on sleepers. They were jointed with saw and ax and made a good floor. We split out clapboards for roofing and door shutters. We had plenty of elbow room and were anxious for our neighbors to help. build our cabins and roll logs so as to get them out of the way, in order to raise a little corn for our bread and to feed our stock. We were mostly poor, yet contented, and looked forward to better days and more conveniences. We were all neighborly and kind to each other.

"Danville had been laid out into lots and a few cabins were being built. David Matlock and others had settled nearby and were opening farms. Religious privileges were scarce, not a church or school house, to my knowledge, page: 84[View Page 84] being then in the county. The Friends had formed a society and worshipped in a log house near Mooresville, in Morgan county. Rev. Pope, a Baptist minister, then living near where Cartersburg now is, preached frequently in his own house to attentive, though small, audiences; and we were glad thus to meet, hear preaching, and form each other's acquaintance. In the spring of 1829 Joseph Tarkington, a Methodist minister, established a preaching place at the house of Edmond Cooper, then residing on Mud creek, at the crossing of the Indianapolis and Terre Haute road (Terre Haute trail), and there a class was formed of six members, Evan and Rebecca Davis, Mother Cooper and two daughters and Hannah Snodgrass. Shortly after this, in June, 1829, at a two-days' meeting held in Putnam county, I joined the church and invited Rev. John Murser to come to Hendricks county and preach at my house. At the appointed time he came, and seven joined the church. Three weeks later he came again, and seven more joined. Thus a society was formed in the settlement where Salem church now stands. In August of the same year Evan Davis, Father Crutchfield, Bowater Bales, myself and others commenced work on a hewed-log church, which was raised in the presence of an 'assembled multitude.' About this time Evan Davis built a saw mill on White Lick and there we had our lumber sawed out for flooring and seating. Evan Davis was class leader and I was assistant. By Christmas there were seventy-five members. In the summer of 1884 I visited Salem church and found the old log church had been removed and in its stead was a beautiful frame building, nicely painted and finished inside and out. Nearby stood a handsome brick school house. Surely this wilderness has. 'budded and blossomed like the rose.'"

Could Mr. Marshall view the Liberty township of today, thirty years after his visit, he would learn that this was but the beginning of the prosperity and beauty of the community.


There were thirty-nine voters in the general election held in Liberty township on August 2, 1830. The names follow: Evan Davis, Joshua Marshall, Jacob Harper, Abraham Woodward, Lewis Cooper, Samuel Gwin, Thomas Cooper, Edmond Cooper, Cornelius Cooper, George Dawes, William Rushton. George Rushton, John Cook, Jonathan Mills, William Allen, James Hewett, Michael Kirkum, Jesse Allen, William Marshall, William Korby, Nathan Snodgrass, Joshua Rushton, Joel Wilson, Silas Gregory, Bowater page: 85[View Page 85] Bales, Cornelius Johnson, Jesse Rushton, Joshua B. Hadley, Robert Cooper, John Mills, Thomas Harper, William Townsend, Nathan Cook, Robert H. Irvin, Silas Rushton, Martin Cooper, Eli Moon and Jesse Whippo.

The Whig and Republican tickets have always been predominant in Liberty township.


On sections 33 and 34, in the northwestern part of Liberty township, the town of Clayton is located. It was platted in the year 1851 by George W. Wills and contains about eleven acres, which tract was purchased from Elizabeth Wills. The first name of the town was Claysville, in honor of Henry Clay, the Kentucky statesman. However, the name was changed to Clayton because there was another town in Indiana having the former name.

The first house in Clayton was constructed by Thomas Potts and the second by Lewis T. Pounds, both of them being frame structures. The first store was opened by Parker & Foote, the second by Richard and James Worrel and the third by Morrison & Thomas, near the year 1852. The first hotel was built by George W. Wills and operated by Ephraim Hartsuck. The first justice of the peace was Amos S. Wills, elected in 1852. The first flouring mill was built in 1852 by John Miles and James Worrel.


The population of Clayton in 1910 was four hundred and ninety-seven, which has grown to six hundred since. On March 16, 1909, the town was incorporated as a town. The present town officers are: R. L. Ader, W. A. Coble and S. E. Edmondson, trustees; Alvin Woodward, clerk; Lorenzo D. Johnson, treasurer; Lee H. Smiley, marshal.

Electric service is supplied Clayton by the Danville Light, Heat and Power Company, and includes street and residence lighting. Lorenzo Mabe has control of the water system, under contract whereby under certain conditions the city will get the ownership in a number of years. Fire plugs are placed at advantageous points in the town.

The Clayton of today is a prosperous, progressive and beautiful little city. Trade is excellent among the business houses and the social life of the town is of high standard. Good communication is available by way of the railroad or interurban to the capital city and other towns in the southern part of the county.

The People's Bank and Trust Company was organized in June, 1912, page: 86[View Page 86] by the citizens of Liberty township. R. A. Edmondson was the first president; C. E. Kelly, secretary; Amos L. Mitchell, vice-president; R. A. Edmondson, Amos L. Mitchell, Charles B. Worrell, William Peck, W. F. Martin and Charles West, directors. The present officers are the same. The capital stock is $25,000. The bank was chartered on June 11, 1912.

The Clayton State Bank was organized in 1912 by Albert Johnson & Company. Albert Johnson was the first president; J. C. Walker, the first vice-president, and L. D. Johnson, the first cashier. The office of vice-president at present has no incumbent. The bank was chartered in 1912.

Clayton Lodge No. 463, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized on May 29, 1873, with the following charter members: John Harrison, James H. Rynearson, William E. Howland, Thomas F. Dryden, Nelson Sowder, Amos S. Wills, John N. Wills and W. C. Mitchell. The first officers, appointed by the grand lodge at Indianapolis, were: Amos S. Wills, worshipful master; James H. Rynearson, senior warden, and Thomas F. Dryden, junior warden. The lodge at present is in good condition and has a membership of over a hundred.

Clayton Lodge No. 205, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in 1859 at Belleville and in recent years moved to this town. The lodge is in good condition and has one hundred and twenty-five members.


Next to Danville and Stilesville, Belleville is the oldest town in the county. It was laid out by William H. Hinton, Lazarus B. Wilson and Obadiah Harris in 1829. The construction of the national road through the village, which soon followed, greatly stimulated its growth and it increased rapidly in population. It soon became the social and educational center of the county. But, with the completion of the Indianapolis & Terre Haute railroad, in 1850, passing more than a mile north of the village, the town of Belleville began to retrograde and now is but a very small village of one hundred and fifty people.

The first house was built by William H. Hinton, who also kept the first store.

Belleville Lodge No. 205, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in April, 1859, by John O. Gilliland, Dr. L. H. Kennedy, James T. McCurdy, Z. S. Reagan and Dr. R. C. Moore. This lodge has since been moved to Clayton, a mile north.

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On section 31, in the northeast corner of Liberty township, is situated the village of Cartersburg. The village owes its existence to the Vandalia railroad, the construction of which caused the village to be laid out in 1850 by John Carter, after whom it was named. The first lots were sold on January 1, 1850. Van Matlock and Simon Hornaday started the first store and soon established Cartersburg as a good trading point for produce. John Biddle later bought land and set up a store. In 1854 William H. Oliver bought land of Biddle, which lay north of the railroad, and laid the tract out in lots, which he offered for sale. He donated certain lots to the Methodist Episcopal church. Land was also bought on the south of the railroad in the John Carter farm and west of gravel road was laid off in lots. This gravel road is now the main street of Cartersburg.

The village of Cartersburg is perhaps one of the most beautiful spots in Hendricks county, due in no small measure to the orderly rows of stately trees which line the streets. Great care was exercised in the sixties to plant these trees and now the village is enjoying the benefits.

Belleville Lodge No. 65, Free and Accepted Masons, has a membership of forty in Cartersburg. Although small, the lodge is in good condition. Cartersburg has a population of about two hundred and fifty.

The Cartersburg magnetic springs supply a large amount of water to the state. It is a mineral water and was first found in 1887 on Dobbin's farm, five miles southeast of Danville.

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Lincoln township is located on the eastern boundary of Hendricks county, bounded on the north by Brown and Middle townships, on the east by Marion county, on the south by Washington township and on the west by Middle township. The township was organized in 1863, by a division of Brown township into two parts. White Lick, flowing through the western part, breaks the otherwise almost level ground of the township. The land along this stream valley is rolling and very fertile. The level portion of the area is of rich, alluvial quality in most places, but in spots is composed of clay, which is not highly productive. Plenty of timber once covered the land in this township, but, as in other parts of Hendricks, this has been removed from the path of cultivation.


In the autumn of 1824 James Brown made the first settlement in the territory destined to become Lincoln township. After him and previous to the year 1830 came G. W. Tyler, William Harris, Daniel and Thomas Newman, Daniel Brown, William Merritt, Robison Turpin, Caleb Shirley, John Given, Larkin Dollahite, James Shirley, Thomas Nash, Harvey and T. H. Barlow, the latter settling with their father, Enoch, in 1828, just outside the limits of Brownsburg. In 1830 and immediate years Asa McDaniel and sons, Joel Smith and sons and Peter Metsker located in the vicinity of Brownsburg.

The first justice of the peace in Lincoln township was Edward Railsback. Swain's tavern, on the road two miles east of Brownsburg, was one of the noted spots of the early day. This inn was a gathering place for the settlers and a very popular one.

Politically, Lincoln township has been very changeable, Republicans and Democrats having at different times controlled the township vote.

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Although one of the smallest townships in the county, Lincoln is important. Agriculture is the main industry and in the town of Brownsburg there is strong evidence of civic and commercial pride. Two railroads and one interurban line increase the value of the township land, together with the good roads, the latter an universal feature of the entire county. The country bears the mark of improvement and modern life and is an example of the qualities which have made Indiana one of the first states in the Union. Good farms, schools, homes, roads, telephones, fences, drainage system, are but a few of the factors which make Lincoln township today a first class one.


The town of Brownsburg is located on section 11, in the northern part of Lincoln township. The town was laid out by William Harris in 1835 and first named Harrisburg, but upon the establishment of the postoffice was changed to the present name. B. M. Logan was the first merchant in the town.

Brownsburg was incorporated in the year 1848, in which year the board of commissioners ordered a chairman, clerk and five trustees elected. The election was held on June 24, 1848, and resulted in the choice of the following: Chairman, Henry H. Moore; clerk, T. J. White; trustees, William M. Dinwiddie, T. J. White, Sam Betts, Gaten Menifee, James Davidson. Ten votes only were cast at this first election. This corporation did not last long, however. In 1870 it was revived and has continued ever since. The present officers are: Trustees, I. N. Mugg, R. A. Fuson and Elza Henson; clerk, Harry H. Hughes; treasurer, Harry Johnson; marshal, John T. Ellis.

The present population of Brownsburg is about nine hundred, the official census in 1910 having been eight hundred seventy-six. The only public utility at present in the town is that of electricity, which service is supplied by the Danville Light, Heat and Power Company. There is a branch factory of the Ladoga Canning Company, a tile factory, grist mill and saw mill in the list of industries. Brownsburg is the only town in Hendricks county at this date which allows licensed sale of liquor.

Brownsburg, both in the business and residential part of town, is neat and attractive. It is a substantially built town. Business conditions are reported as being excellent. Social life also plays a prominent role in the community.

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Brownsburg Lodge No. 241, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized in 1859 with the following members: J. T. Davidson, H. W. White, J. P. Welshans, William Harris, William McDaniel, Joseph Holloway and S. M. Potts. The lodge has a good membership now and is very prosperous.

Brownsburg Lodge No. 377, Knights of Pythias, was instituted in 1898. There are now one hundred and forty members.

Brownsburg Lodge No. 188, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in 1857. The charter of the lodge was surrendered at the time of the opening of the Civil War, but was renewed in 1866. This lodge has again become inactive.

There is also a tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men at Brownsburg.

John A. Hollett Post No. 242, Grand Army of the Republic, was mustered in in the fall of 1883, with eleven members and named after a gallant soldier of the Seventy-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. This post is no longer in active condition.

The Hunter Bank was organized in April, 1907, by M. T. Hunter, C. L. Hunt, Jane Frank, Julia H. Huitt. The bank succeeded the firm of Cope & Hunt, bankers. M. T. Hunter was the first president, and C. L. Hunt the first cashier. These officers are the same now. The first and present capital stock is $10,000; the deposits total $210,000, and the surplus is $3,000. The bank was chartered in April, 1907.

The Brownsburg State Bank was organized in 1908, succeeding the Brownsburg Bank. The first officers were: W. F. Evans, president; J. L. Marsh, cashier; J. S. Tharp, vice-president; Grandison Eaton, assistant cashier. The present officers are: W. F. Evans, president; I. N. Mugg, cashier; J. S. Tharp, vice-president, and Ollie Miller, assistant cashier. This bank was chartered on April 1, 1908.

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The boundaries of Marion township are as follows: On the north by Eel River township, on the east by Center and Clay, on the south by Clay and on the west by Putnam county. The surface in most places is undulating and in some spots flat. There is a clayey subsoil throughout the entire township, making the ground more productive for the raising of grasses and thus making the business of stock raising equal to crop cultivation as the principal industry. There are no large streams, but several small ones flowing toward the two creeks, Mill and Eel river.


Marion township was settled later than most of the other townships, due to its position in the middle west of the county. Naturally the tide of immigration first touched the southern parts of the county, along the main stream channels, and Marion township was then considered a remote district. It was not until two years after the organization of the county, which was in 1824, that permanent settlements were made here. The first settlers were Thomas Samuels, Xury West, John and Isaac Hays, Daniel, Thomas and David Higgins, who settled in the township from 1826 to 1827. From 1828 to 1832 Paul Faught, Moses Cavett, William Blackketter, William and Harvey Buntain, G. W. Turner, Wesley Morgan, Peter Vannice, Thomas Chadd, John Hancock, James McCown and William Hays settled in different portions of the township.


The poll book of the general election held August 3, 1836, at New Williamsburgh gives the names of thirty-one voters. They are as follows: William Hodges, Elijah Sutton, David Fox, Henry Tomlinson, William Bailey, Abraham Lewis, Alexander Bryant, William Tomlinson, James page: 92[View Page 92] Turner, Bradford Samuel, R. W. Shannon, Jeremiah Culbertson, Joseph Lewis, Jr., James Maccoun, John Higgins, Jacob Fox, Henry Bland, William Hayworth, John Mahan, John Robins, Jordan Denny, William Robins, John Vicory, Joseph Robins, Wesley Morgan, Hiram Tomlinson, B. S. B. Parker, Moses Tomlinson, Jeremiah Hunt, Martin Hancock and Thomas Higgins. The political record of Marion township has been Democratic since its organization.


The intelligent cultivation of the soil, the pride in home, and the striving for better things and higher ideals, the qualities which characterize a prosperous and modern community, are no better exemplified than among the people of Marion township. The accomplishments of the people of this civil division of Hendricks county are testimonials to this condition. To the observer much seems to have been done in the last score of years. Roads have been built up, new farming methods have been adopted, schools have been improved, elegant residences have been constructed, churches have been increasing, telephones installed, and numerous other things added in order to keep step with the progress of civilization.


New Winchester was laid out in 1832 by Wesley Morgan and James Bronaugh. It is located a little west of the center of Marion township and is seven miles west of Danville, on the Rockville road. The town today is very small, having but a hundred inhabitants. The most attractive feature of the town is the new brick school house, containing the high school, erected in 1908 at a cost of twenty thousand dollars.

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Middle township is located in the north tier of townships, being bounded on the north by Boone county, on the east by Brown and Lincoln townships, on the south by Lincoln, Washington and Center townships and on the west by Center and Union. The township was originally located in what was known as the "black swamps," the greater part of it being deficient in natural drainage. Artificial drainage has, however, largely remedied this defect in the last ten years. The intense growth of deciduous trees, oak, poplar, walnut, maple, ash and many other species, were evidence of a rich virgin soil. There are no large streams; the soil surface is nearly level; wheat and oats and corn are the main crops.


In the first organization of Hendricks county, Middle township, as it is now, was geographically located in the north central portion of the county and was one of the nine civil divisions. It included not only its present area, but also all of what was afterward known as Union township. Its location and physical condition had much to do in determining its settlement and progress. Some physical defects in the land above mentioned had the tendency to make settlement here slower than in other parts of Hendricks. The first settlement made in the township was in the year 1830 by Lemuel McBee. His cabin and first clearing were in the western part of what is now Pittsboro.

Richard Richardson was next, whose cabin, in section 6, township 16, was on the spot where Miles Hession recently resided. In three years' time other settlements were formed by the following families: The Spicklemires, Samuel Hill, the Hales, Thompsons, Wells, Holtsclaws, Jonas Lipe, Hezekiah Dunick, Philip Waters and Jack Parker. This group of early pioneers erected the first cabins and formed the nucleus of community life. At this time no roads were known except neighborhood trails, marked by blazing the page: 94[View Page 94] trees, the one leading through the township from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville being the most prominent and bisecting the township. The herculean task of the pioneers was now begun. The rearing of cabins, rolling logs, cutting out highways and constructing bridges was begun. A great percentage of the pioneers came from Mason, Fleming and Bourbon counties, Kentucky, and from Ohio, the Carolinas and Virginia, a splendid stock. The Watsons, Dillons, Weavers, Reynolds, Walters, Philips, Moneys, Smiths, Crabbs, Veaches, Kennedys, Craggs, Touts, Jones,. Caywoods, Hughes, Herods in the succeeding decade came and entered or bought land.

The township was organized in 1833 and James Parks was the first justice of the peace.


Since the beginning of the seventies improvements have steadily advanced in Middle township. The sickle, scythe and cradle, used by the pioneers and wielded by muscular power, were relegated to the past when the reaper, mower, binder and other modern implements came into operation. The description of the other townships of the county apply equally well to this township, for the development has been the same. The farms, rich in alluvial soil, are well drained and cleared of stumps and rocks. Miles of wire fencing have taken the place of the old rail fence. Farm houses and barns, many of them spacious and modern, contribute largely to the wealth of the community. Twenty-two miles of gravel road and twelve miles of rock road have been constructed in the township and turned over to the county to keep in repair. Seventy-five miles of post roads make possible the excellent system of rural free mail delivery.


The town of Pittsboro was originally platted by Simon T. Hadley and William Matlock. It was first called by Mr. Hadley Pittsburg, and afterward changed to the present name in order to have the name of the town and postoffice agree.

Pittsboro's first store was in a small log room and kept by Basil Tout. It was located on the corner lot now owned by the bank. He was succeeded by James Hoadley and James Barker. John Vaughn built a frame building on the lot where the Sawyer block now stands in 1844. He kept a general store, with plenty of whiskey for sale. Vaughn sold out to John C. Parker, page: 95[View Page 95] who, early in the fifties, erected a brick store on the corner where the Hayworth block now stands. It burned in 1884. Thomas Hoadley, one of the first physicians, built a two-story frame where A. C. Dunn's property is now located.

Aaron Keith was the first man in the town who made furniture. Elias Leach and Isaac B. Waters were other early craftsmen.

In 1867 the Big Four railroad was built through Pittsboro and then began a new era of prosperity. Business became better and the town grew. In 1873 Daniel Feely established a stave factory and operated it until 1886. Thousands of cords of oak, elm and ash were brought from the sloughs, cut into staves and shipped to outside markets. Many farmers paid off mortgages by disposing of surplus timber.


Pittsboro is now a thrifty and well-ordered town of about five hundred inhabitants. The social and commercial, as well as religious, tone of the town is excellent. The community is advantageously located on the Ben-Hur interurban line and the Big Four railroad, and consequently much business is transacted with other markets.

The Pittsboro Bank was organized in 1897 by Isaac Palmer, Jesse Smith and Steve Cline, the two latter acting as president and cashier, respectively. The present officers of the bank are: E. W. Sawyer, president; C. G. Olsen, vice-president; Glen C. Tolin, cashier; Miss Alcie Ridgway, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $10,000; the deposits amount to $84,000; and the surplus is $4,000. The bank was chartered in the year 1905 under the new banking laws.

Pittsboro Lodge No. 342, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized on January 22, 1870. John N. Shirley, William N. Crabb, Lewis Watts, James Adams, Amos Hoak and J. M. McLean were the charter members. It was the outgrowth of the Brownsburg lodge. The lodge erected its present home in 1874. The lodge is now in good condition, having a membership of over one hundred.

Pittsboro Lodge No. 428, Free and Accepted Masons, was instituted in 1871 by John Burton, deputy grand master. Its home was in the second story of E. A. Parker's store building, then occupied by A. C. Weaver. This lodge did not last long. It became defunct in 1882, when the grand lodge called in its charter. The present lodge, No. 620, was instituted by Jacob page: 96[View Page 96] Smith with thirteen charter members. Beginning under dispensation in 1893, it was chartered in due and ancient form May 25, 1899. Its first officers were: Sabert S. Offutt, worshipful master; Chester H. Weaver, senior warden; W. D. Lewis, junior warden; George D. Junken, secretary. Its present membership is seventy-one. The stated communications are the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month at their hall in the Sawyer block.

Thomas Ashby Post No. 451, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in the old school building September 8, 1886, with the following charter members: A. C. Weaver, W. D. Lewis, R. T. Dorman, H. T. Kirk, E. M. Weaver, J. M. Wills, S. S. Wills, W. H. Milam, George W. Tidrick, W. B. McClung, Jacob C. Waters, Lewis Buergelin, Thomas Brooks, Charles P. Cox, Joe Williamson and Samuel James. At eight P. M., April 8, 1886, a delegation of comrades came up from Danville and assisted in the organization. The first officers of the post were: A. C. Weaver, post commander; William D. Lewis, senior vice-commander; Richard T. Droman, junior vice-commander; Henry T. Kirk, officer of the day; Ellis M. Weaver, officer of the guard; James M. Wills, adjutant; S. S. Wills, quartermaster; George W. Tisrick, sergeant major; William B. McClung, quartermaster sergeant.

Thomas Ashby Woman's Relief Corps No. 231 was organized March 25, 1899, with eighteen charter members. Mrs. Marian McVey French was installed first president; Etta Jordan Palmer, treasurer, and Mrs. Eva Lewis, secretary.

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Union township is located in the northern tier of the county, bounded on the north by Boone county, on the east by Middle township, on the south by Center, and on the west by Eel river. The land surface is generally level, with rolling land in the southwest and northwest corners. Like Middle township, the natural drainage is very poor, but has been aided considerably by artificial tiling. The land in this township is valuable today and it is easy of cultivation.


The first white settlement was made in Union township in the year 1828 by John Matlock and John Fowler. Isaac Veiley entered the land where Lizton is now located, in 1828, but did not move to his holdings until 1831. Prior to 1835 the following located in this township: Archibald Alexander, James and William Leak, their sons, William Montgomery, John Pritchett, Claiborne Davis and the Plummers. The bad drainage of the township hindered the rapid growth of the colony, the same as in Middle, and it was not until 1840 that the settlement assumed any size whatever. The cabins were small and far apart and the clearings were mostly unproductive. One of the advantages of the pioneer was that the stock brought with them would live in the woods all winter and usually do well. This was especially so with swine, and soon after the arrival of the first settlers wild hogs became very abundant in the woods and all those who had ever had a hog go astray had a lawful claim upon the common herd. In the autumn of the year, after the acorns and the other mast began falling, these hogs became fat and were hunted down by the settlers with dog and gun, the same as the bear and deer. The settlers often caught them in traps. When desirable to catch them alive, this was always necessary and was accomplished by making a log pen so high that they could not jump over and arranging a trap door page: 98[View Page 98] to which a string was fastened. Corn was then scattered in trails in different directions through the woods to entice the swine into the pen, when a man secreted high in a tree top would spring the trap.


The poll book for the presidential election results in this township in the year 1852 gives the names of fifty-one voters. The list is as follows: Jackson Griffith, R. D. Northcutt, Melzer Ward, William F. Darnell, James Leak, Benjamin G. Hiatt, John Pritchett, Claiborne Davidson, Tyra Stocker, Meredith Leach, Philip Stickleman, George Wilson, Solomon Adams, J. P. Lewis, William Northcutt, James Reed, Ezekiel Davidson, Joseph Edwards, Parry Burk, E. Hutchins, James Adams, William Joseph, Thomas Northcutt, John A. Leach, Henry Lewis, Thomas C. Pritchett, Benjamin L. Rainy, Doctor Buzzard, John Gregory. R. S. McDaniel, James E. Montgomery, William Hins, James Dingemore, John D. Fear, William D. Lane, S. T. Lewis, John D. Hiatt, William S. Johnson, Anderson Leach, Isaac Burnett, Samuel T. Scott, Thomas C. Parker, Larkin C. Eperson, Samuel Reynolds, Enos Leach, Leland Leak, John Nouringer, Francis A. Scott, Johnson Brookshire and J. H. Herrick. Politically, the township has most always favored the Democratic ticket.


The growth and progress of Union township has kept pace with the development of the neighboring townships. The class of people are generally the same and the improvements have been equal. The land in Union township is now very valuable, this value increasing by the knowledge of proper cultivation and care which has in recent years come to the entire county of Hendricks.


Lizton is the only town in Union township. It was laid out by Jesse Veiley in 1837 and named by him New Elizabeth, in honor of Mrs. Veiley. The name was contracted to Lizton when the postoffice was first established.

Lizton never assumed a forward place in Hendricks county, although it has always been a substantial town, with good business and prosperous and public-spirited citizens. The population now is about two hundred and fifty. The town was incorporated in 1909. The present officers are: George page: 99[View Page 99] Thompson, Clarence Storms and A. Gibson, trustees; I. E. Voris, clerk; Jesse Tharpe, treasurer.

The Bank of Lizton, organized by Marion Bailey and others, commenced business on December I, 1910. Mr. Bailey was the first president; W. E. Leachman, vice-president; James T. Leak, cashier, and George Huber, assistant cashier. The same officers are now active. The capital stock is $10,000; deposits, $85,000, and surplus, $1,000. Certificate of authority was issued to this bank on October 19, 1910.

Lizton Lodge No. 342, Knights of Pythias, was organized about ten years ago and now has one hundred and sixty members.

Iona Tribe No. 231, Improved Order of Red Men, has one hundred and ten members.

An Odd Fellows' lodge existed here once and was prosperous, but later

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On the east line of Hendricks county is located Washington township, bounded on its north side by Lincoln and Middle townships, on the east by Marion county, on the south side by Guilford and Liberty, and on the west by Center township. White Lick creek flows across the west side of this township and the East fork of this same creek touches the southeast corner. Along the creek valley the land is rolling and fertile; the central and eastern portion of the civil division is very level and, before the day of artificial drainage, was rather swampy. It was not, however, equal to other townships in this respect. The early growth of timber, now gone, was largely composed of beech, but embraced many valuable varieties. The soil is clay and alluvial, being well adapted to grasses and grain.


The first settlement in Washington township was made in the northeast corner, near the site of Shiloh church, by Robert Wilson, Gideon Wilson and Elisha Kise in the year 1822. The next year Daniel Tryer, Aaron Homan, the Griggs family, Joseph Fausett and others came into the same neighborhood in the same year, 1823, James Dunn, John Givens, Abner Dunn, for whom Abner's creek was named, and others, settled on the west side of the township on the above named creek. James Dunn settled on the Rockville road. Among those who came into the township within the next few years were David Cox, Alexander McCammock, Enoch Barlow and his sons Harvey and Harrison, the Thornbroughs, Hurons, Huffords and Gossetts.

This township was one of the four which were organized at the same time as the organization of Hendricks county and received its name from George Washington at the suggestion of Aaron Homan, who was the first justice of the peace and married the second couple to be wedded in the county.

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The first general election in Washington township was held August 7, 1826, at the home of Daniel C. Hults, and eleven persons voted. These were: Sidney Williams, Daniel C. Hults, James Merritt, Joseph Runyan, Isaac Williamson, Daniel B. Tryer, James Higgenbotham, Joseph Phillips, William S. Merrill, Robert Wilson and John Triggs. In its political history, Washington township was at first Whig and after the death of that party followed the fortunes of the Republican organization.


Avon, the capital of Washington township, is at a point very near the center of the township. The first settlement of the neighborhood was about the year 1830. Among the first settlers were the Hurons, the Rosses, the Gossetts, the McClains, the Jenkinses, Abram Harding, Absalom Payne, Dr. Malone, R. J. Barker, G. W. Merritt and James Siggurson. It was dense forest everywhere; deer and wolves were a common sight; but in small clearings little cabins of round logs sprang up and in a very short time this became a "neighborhood." The whole settlement was made up of people of energy and enterprise who came here to make a home that was to be their home, so their plans took in the question of church and school and roads and a postoffice. In 1833 Absalom Payne, who entered the land and lived where J. H. Wear now lives, was commissioned postmaster of Hampton postoffice, with a weekly mail carried on horseback from the east to the west, but no one remembers where from or where to. In a few years Mr. Payne tired of the empty honor and the office passed to Dr. Malone, where J. H. Winings lives, and a little later to W. T. Ross, where E. E. Blair now lives. Mr. Ross also tired of the office and, no one else wanting it, is was allowed to die, and Hampton was no more. In 1852 O. J. Huron, newly married, was persuaded to accept a commission as postmaster, naming the office White Lick and locating it in his log cabin, one-fourth mile west of present Avon. Just three months satisfied Mr. Huron and White Lick died and was laid away, in memory, besides Hampton. Along in the fifties John Smoot began making visits here as a pack-peddler; soon he added a horse and wagon and came weekly, and, after a time, about 1858, leased ground and built a small room in the corner of J. H. Ross's yard, where William Shipman now lives: Smoot emptied his pack and put a few more items on a few shelves, page: 102[View Page 102] and this was the beginning of the town. But Mr. Ross was a strong Republican and Mr. Smoot an ardent Democrat, and it was not long until Smoot moved his store to Democratic ground, across the road, on the land of John Dickerson, and thus, at the very first the town began to move. Mr. Dickerson not being willing to sell a lot to Mr. Smoot, the latter sought one elsewhere and, November 1, 1862, R. J. Barker deeded Smoot a half acre a mile farther west and the following winter he moved his store on a couple of log-sleds to his own lot; this was the third town-site. Mr. Smoot prospered and enlarged his store and added more goods, and in 1867 he headed a petition to Washington for a postoffice, and for R. M. Bartley to be made postmaster, but no name was suggested for the new office, and the authorities used the first name on the petition; when Mr. Bartley's commission, dated April 28, 1868, reached him it gave the office the picturesque name, Smootsdell, located it in Smoot's store and gave us two mails a week, carried horseback from Plainfield by D. S. Barker. When the I. & St. L. railroad was being surveyed, the man who, with a blue pencil, marked the stakes, made fun of the name of our postoffice, and said, "I'll name the town." Artistically he pencilled "New Philadelphia" on a stake and drove it down. When the road was completed the company drove another stake, with "Avon" painted on it. The people liked the name and petitioned to have the postoffice name changed to Avon. This was done and Smootsdell was laid away beside Hampton and White Lick. In May, 1871, Mr. Smoot sold all his property, building, lot and goods to Mr. Bartley and moved to Kansas. A little later the Barker brothers erected a building at the railroad crossing, put a stock of goods in one room, the other being used by the company. The Barkers soon tired of the store and quit, then J. L. Middleton, in 1875, added a general store to his shoe shop south of the railroad. In 1889 E. T. Huron was made postmaster and purchased the Middleton store. In 1893 William Taylor became postmaster. Mr. Taylor was full of enterprise and built a new postoffice building and put in a stock of goods, and Avon, for the first time, had three stores at one time. From the very first there was a rivalry among the people as to the location of the postoffice and the future town; the east side wanted it and the west side wanted it more. The Big Four folks soon learned of this feeling and sought to use it in securing bonuses. The station was at first a half mile west of the Plainfield road, then on the road, then three-fourths of a mile east, where trains stopped at an old box-car in the middle of a farm for passengers, and patrons carried trunks down the tracktill they were tired, then changed hands and carried again. The west side page: 103[View Page 103] complained and grumbled, than begged and finally won the station, and thought themselves secure; but in 1891 private citizens bought a little yellow dwelling and moved it to the crossing a mile east, and the company slid its telegraph office into it. The old sad look came again to the west-sider's face; the company saw the look and smiled, then moved their station also to the yellow dwelling, using it for all purposes until 1894, when, with generous help of east-side citizens, the company erected a neat three-room building. The east-side countenance broadened; the little yellow building was moved back and a stock of goods put in and, for a little while, Avon had four stores, three at the west side and one at the east, a mile away, but trade was backward and the new store soon closed, the yellow dwelling was sold again and this time was moved three miles away, when it ceased to worry the west side, with her three stores and the postoffice left. In 1900 the first rural free delivery in the county, and among the first in the state, was established in Danville, route No. 1, and its first delivery was made April 2d, of that year. While this has proven one of the greatest blessings ever bestowed on the common people, it crippled the Avon postoffice, reducing the salary from thirty-five dollars to six dollars per quarter, and when, on November 1, 1902, the first Plainfield route was opened and passed the Avon postoffice door, the office was discontinued, and now Hampton, White Lick, Smootsdell and Avon all lie buried side by side. But the town survived, holding its own till the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern traction line was opened, September 1, 1906, when it began to improve and has continued to do so, until today its two general stores sell several times the amount of goods sold then, and property values have about trebled.

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The year 1824 is the first year in Hendricks county in which politics entered, and thirty-seven votes were cast for President, as follows: Jackson, 6; J. Q. Adams, 1; Clay, 30. At that time there were no party alliances; personal popularity, ability and influence were the main factors determining the failure or success of a candidate. Jackson carried the county in the campaigns of 1828 and 1832, the first time by a majority of forty over John Quincy Adams and the second time by one hundred and nine over Henry Clay. In the year 1836 the Whigs were victorious. Martin Van Buren was the Democratic candidate for President and William Henry Harrison, the Whig. There were one thousand one hundred and twenty-one votes cast in Hendricks county that year, and of this number the Whigs received seven hundred and thirty-one, a majority of three hundred and forty-two.

The campaign of 1860, just prior to the opening of the Civil war, was a hot one in this county. Abraham Lincoln was the nominee of the Republican party, Stephen A. Douglas of the Northern Democrats, John C. Breckenridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the Constitutional Union party. The campaign was an exciting one and, as history records, Lincoln was the victor, although he received only two-fifths of the popular vote in the United States. The split in the Democratic party made this result possible. A heavy vote was polled in this county, Lincoln receiving two thousand fifty votes; Douglas, one thousand eighty-three; Breckinridge, two hundred forty-four, and Bell, forty-one. Eight of the townships voted for Lincoln; Eel River, Middle and Union townships gave their pluralities to Douglas.

In the presidential election of 1864 George B. McClellan, the first commander of the Army of the Potomac, was placed in the field against Lincoln. McClellan received in Hendricks county but eight hundred thirty-two votes, against two thousand six hundred and twenty-two for Lincoln. Much excitement page: 105[View Page 105] and bitter feeling existed in Hendricks county during this election. Many threats were made by ardent supporters of the war and it was deemed necessary for the polls to be guarded to prevent violence against some voters supposed to belong to a treasonable order. Two townships, Brown and Union, gave a majority for McClellan.

In an uninterrupted series the elections proceeded every four years until 1912 with the Republicans in the lead. The campaign of 1912 and the split in the Republican ranks is fresh in the mind of the reader. In this year Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic nominee, received the plurality of votes cast in Hendricks county.

Following is a summary giving the vote in the different Presidential elections from 1828, also a roster of the county officials from the date of the organization of the county:


In the election of 1828 the Democratic ticket, Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun, received 204 votes in Hendricks county, and John Quincy Adams and Richard Rush, Whigs, received 164.

In 1832 Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, Democrats, received 483 votes, and Henry Clay and John Sergeant, 374.

In 1836 the result was: William H. Harrison and Francis Granger, 731; Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson, 389.

In 1840 the county gave a substantial majority to William Henry Harrison over Martin Van Buren, the vote being: Harrison, 1,189; Van Buren, 651.

In 1844: Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen, Whigs, 1,262; James K. Polk and George M. Dallas, Democrats, 844; James G. Birney and Thomas Morris, Liberty, 26.

In 1848: Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, Whigs, 1,158; Lewis Cass and William O. Butler, Democrats, 775; Martin Van Buren and Charles A. Adams, Liberty, 173.

In 1852: Winfield Scott and William A. Graham, Whigs, 1,252; Franklin Pierce and William R. King, Democrats, 980; John P. Hale and George W. Julian, Free Democrats, 156.

In 1856: John C. Fremont and William L. Dayton, Republicans, 1,680; James Buchanan and John C. Breckenridge, Democrats, 1,378; Millard Fillmore and Andrew J. Donelson, Americans, 72.

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In 1860: Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, Republicans, 2,050; Stephen A. Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson, Northern Democrats, 1,083; John C. Breckenridge and Joseph Lane, Southern Democrats, 244; John Bell and Edward Everett, Constitutional Union, 41.

In 1864: Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, Republicans, 2,622; George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton, Democrats, 832.

In 1868: Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax, Republicans, 2,973; Horatio Seymour and Francis P. Blair, Jr., Democrats, 1,462.

In 1872: U. S. Grant and Henry Wilson, Republicans, 2,834; Horace Greeley and B. Gratz Brown, Democrats, 1,626; Charles O'Conor and John Q. Adams, Straight-out Democrats, 4.

In 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler, Republicans, 3,014; Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks, Democrats, 1,912; Peter Cooper and Samuel F. Carey, Greenback, 231.

In 1880: James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, Republicans, 3,196; Winfield S. Hancock and William H. English, Democrats, 1,994; James B. Weaver and B. J. Chambers, Greenback, 218; Neal Dow and H. A. Thompson, Prohibitionists, 4.

In 1884: James G. Blaine and John A. Logan, Republicans, 3,003; Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks, Democrats, 2,069; Benjamin F. Butler and Alanson M. West, Greenback Nationals, 162; John P. St. John and William Daniel, Prohibitionists, 88.

In 1888 Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton, Republicans, received 1,211 majority over the Democratic candidates, Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman.

In 1892: Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid, Republicans, 3,020; Grover Cleveland and Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrats, 2,028; John Bidwell and J. B. Cranfill, Prohibitionists, 215.

In 1896: William Jennings Bryan and Arthur Sewall, Democrats, 2,365; William McKinley and Garret A. Hobart, Republicans, 3,409; Joshua Levering and Hale Johnson, Prohibitionists, 33; John M. Palmer and Simon B. Buckner, National Democrats, 18; Rev. Charles E. Bentley and James H. Southgate, National, 46; Charles H. Matchett and Matthew Maguire, Social Labor, 1.

In 1900: William J. Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson, Democrats, 2,359; William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, Republicans, 3,426; John G Woolley and Henry B. Metcalf, Prohibitionists, 154; Eugene V. Debs and Job Harriman, Social Democrats, 1.

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In 1904: Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks, Republicans, 3,434; Alton B. Parker and Henry G. Davis, Democrats, 2,174; Silas C. Swallow and George W. Carroll, Prohibitionists, 215; Thomas E. Watson and Thomas H. Tibbles, Peoples, 18; Eugene V. Debs and Benjamin Hanford, Socialists, 5; Charles H. Corrigan and William W. Cox, Social Labor, 2.

In 1908: William J. Bryan and John W. Kern, Democrats, 2,546; William H. Taft and James S. Sherman, Republicans, 3,231. In 1912: Woodrow Wilson and Thomas R. Marshall, Democrats, 2,337; William H. Taft and James S. Sherman, 1,439; Theodore Roosevelt and Hiram W. Johnson, Progressives, 1,495; Eugene W. Chafin and Aaron S. Watkins, Prohibitionists, 142.

1826-28-- Josiah F. Polk. 1868-72-- John V. Hadley. 
1828-31-- Calvin Fletcher. 1872-76-- Addison Daggy. 
1831-33-- Willis G. Condit. 1876-80-- William H. Ragan. 
1833-36-- Lewis Mastin. 1880-84-- Simpson F. Lockridge. 
1836-42-- Alexander Little. 1884-88-- Leander M. Campbell. 
1842-45-- Archibald Alexander. 1888-92-- Silas A. Hays. 
1845-48-- Samuel A. Verbrike. 1892-96-- Albert W. Wishard. 
1848-51-- Jonathan S. Harvey. 1896-00-- Enoch G. Hogate. 
1851-52-- John Witherow. 1900-04-- James M. Barlow. 
1852-56-- John Witherow. 1904-08-- Empson T. Lane. 
1856-60-- Solomon Blair. 1908-12-- Horace L. Hanna. 
1860-64-- Solomon Blair. 1912-16-- Thomas L. Neal. 
1864-68-- Thomas J. Cason. 
1826-28-- Thomas J. Matlock. 1835-36-- Christian C. Nave. 
1828-29-- Thomas J. Matlock. 1836-37-- Thomas Nichols. 
1829-30-- Samuel Wick. 1837-38-- William T. Matlock. 
1930-31-- Lewis Mastin. 1838-42-- Samuel Brenton. 
1831-32-- Lewis Mastin. 1842-43-- Henry H. Marvin. 
1832-33-- Lewis Mastin. 1843-44-- Benjamin M. Logan. 
1833-34-- Thomas Nichols. 1844-45-- William T. Matlock. 
1834-35-- Christian C. Nave. 1845-46-- Jonathan S. Harvey. 
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1846-47-- Jonathan S. Harvey. 1876-78-- Edwin T. Lane and James 
1847-48-- Jonathan S. Harvey. W. Morgan. 
1848-49-- David Wade. 1878-80-- Jonathan Burch and Geo. 
1849-50-- Samuel A. Russell. W. Snoddy. 
1850-51-- George Fleece. 1880-82-- W. M. Ridpath and James 
1851-52-- Ebenezer S. Watson. G.Miles. 
1852-54-- Joseph H. Ballard. 1882-84-- Enoch G. Hogate and J. 
1854-56-- Henry G. Todd. H. Fleece. 
1856-58-- John Davis. 1884-86-- Silas A. Hays and J. H. 
1858-60-- Levi Ritter. Fleece. 
1860-62-- James Burgess and Thos. 1886-88-- Jacob H. Fleece. 
J. Cason. 1888-90-- Cyrus L. Stanley. 
1862-64-- James M. Gregg. 1890-92-- M. G. Parker. 
1864-66-- Charles F. Hogate and 1892-94-- James W. Hamrick. 
John T. Burns. 1894-96-- James W. Hamrick. 
1866-68-- Leander M. Campbell and 1896-98-- James M. Barlow. 
B. F. Thomas. 1898-00-- James M. Barlow. 
1868-70-- Allen Furnas and Milton 1900-02-- William B. Vestal. 
A. Osborn. 1902-04-- John T. Hume. 
1870-72-- Allen Furnas and Milton 1904-06-- Horace L. Hanna. 
A. Osborn. 1906-08-- Horace L. Hanna. 
1872-74-- Jesse S. Ogden and Allen 1908-10-- Mord Carter. 
Furnas. 1910-12-- Mord Carter. 
1874-76-- William H. Ragan and J. 1912-14-- John J. Dugan. 
W. Morgan. 
1852-53-- Fabius M. Finch. 1882-88-- Joshua G. Adams. 
1853-59-- Stephen Major. 1888-94-- John V. Hadley. 
1859-65-- Fabius M. Finch. 1894-00-- John V. Hadley. 
1865-66-- John Coburn. 1900-06-- Thomas J. Cofer. 
1866-72-- Cyrus C. Hines. 1906-12-- James L. Clark. 
1872-78-- Livingston Howland. 1912-18-- George W. Brill. 
1878-82-- Jacob B. Julian. 
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1852-56-- James M. Gregg. 1862-65-- Charles A. Ray. 
1856-60-- Joseph H. Farley. 1865-70-- Solomon Blair. 
1860-61-- John Coburn. 1870-73-0 Solomon Blair. 
1861-62-- John A. Beale. 

In 1873 the business of this office was transferred to the circuit court of the county.

1829-32-- William H. Hinton. 1843-50-- George P. Ellis. 
1832-35-- Levi Jessup. 1850-- Abraham Bland. 
1835-43-- Henry H. Marvin. 

The business of this office was transferred to the common pleas court.

1827-30-- Samuel Jessup. 1844-50-- James McCown and James 
1830-32-- Samuel Jessup. Green. 
1832-34-- Thomas Lockhart. 1850-51-- William Tomlinson. 
1834-37-- Gideon Wilson. 1851 (vacancy)-- Jonathan Cope. 
1837-44-James McCown and Gideon 1851 (full term)-- Peter Curtis. 

At this time the business was taken over by the circuit court of the county of the new constitution.

1844-46-- Abraham A. Hammond. 1862-64-- William W. Leathers. 
1846-47-- William Herod. 1864-66-- William W. Leathers. 
1847-48-- Wyatt A. George. 1866-68-- Joseph S. Miller. 
1848-49-- Wyatt A. George. 1868-70-- Daniel W. Howe. 
1849-51-- Henry H. Marvin. 1870-72-- Jesse S. Ogden. 
1851-52-- David Wallace. 1872-74-- Thomas J. Cofer. 
1852-56-- Hiram Brown. 1874-76-- Thomas J. Cofer. 
1856-58-- P. S. Kennedy. 1876-78-- Joshua G. Adams. 
1858-60-- William P. Fishback. 1878-80-- Richard B. Blake. 
1860-62-- William P. Fishback. 1880-82-- Newton M. Taylor. 
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1882-84-- William T. Brown. 1898-00-- John McCormick. 
1884-86-- William N. Harding. 1900-02-- Everett Cooper. 
1886-88-- Joseph B. Kealing. 1902-04-- Charles V. Sears. 
1888-90-- Harrison T. Tincher. 1904-06-- Charles V. Sears. 
1890-92-- Thad S. Adams. 1906-08-- Edgar M. Blessing. 
1892-94-- David F. Hill. 1898-10--- Edgar M. Blessing. 
1894-96-- Otis E. Gulley. 1910-12-- Charles V. Sears. 
1896-98-- Otis E. Gulley. 1912-14-- James P. Snodgrass. 
1852-56-- Joseph S. Miller. 1866-68-- William W. Woollen. 
1856-57-- James A. Crawley. 1868-70-- William Irin. 
1857-60-- Richard H. Litson. 1870-72-- David V. Burns. 
186-64-- John C. Bufkin. 1872-- Robert E. Smith. 
1864-66-- William W. Waller. 

At this time the business was taken over by the circuit court of the county.

1830-37-- Simon T. Hadley. 1878-82-- William F. Haynes. 
1837-44-- James M. Gregg. 1882-86-- William R. McClelland. 
1844-51-- Joshua D. Parker. 1886-90-- E. G. Hogate. 
1851-55-- John Irons. 1890-94-- David Hadley. 
1855-59-- John Irons. 1894-98-- Melville C. Masten. 
1859-63-- Levi Ritter. 1898-02-- Zimrie E. Dougan. 
1863-67-- Levi Ritter. 1902-06-- John C. Taylor. 
1867-70-- A. M. Luke. 1906-10-- James M. Adams. 
1870-74-- Lotan W. Jenkins. 1910-14-- Charles E. Edwards. 
1874-78-- William Irvin. 
1844-47-- James S. Odell. 1858-60-- Daniel B. South. 
1847-50-- Edmund Clark. 1860-62-- Stephen W. Hardin. 
1850-52-- Harmon Brittain. 1862-64-- Oliver W. Hill. 
1852-54-- Harmon Brittain. 1864-66-- Erastus F. Hunt. 
1854-56-- Nicholas T. Hadley. 1866-68-- Erastus F. Hunt. 
1856-58-- Daniel B. South. 1868-70-- John H. Lewis. 
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1870-72-- John H. Lewis. 1892-94-- John Z. A. Maltern. 
1872-74-- Hiram T. Storm. 1894-96-- Perry R. Tulley. 
1874-76-- Lewis S. Watts. 1896-98-- Oliver M. Piersol. 
1876-78-- Alfred Welshans. 1898-00-- William N. Lakin. 
1878-80-- Wyatt Osborn. 1900-02-- Oscar Hadley. 
1880-82-- Enos C. Hornaday. 1902-04-- John E. Vestal. 
1882-84-- Rodney Jeger. 1904-06-- James A. Clay. 
1884-86-- Henry Hadley. 1906-08-- James W. Dempsey. 
1886-88-- Marion Eaton. 1908-10-- Jacob E. O'Neal. 
1888-90-- George W. Nave. 1910-12-- George W. Macomber. 
1890-92-- Joseph K. Little. 1912-14-- George W. Macomber. 
1844-50-- Allen Hess. 1882-86-- John Kendall. 
1850-55-- Allen Hess. 1886-90-- J. T. Barker. 
1855-59-- Allen Hess. 1890-94-- N. C. Brewer. 
1859-63-- Francis R. Crawford. 1894-98-- William H. Nichols. 
1863-67-- Lawrence S. Shuler. 1898-02-- Charles M. Caviness. 
1867-70-- W. M. Hess. 1902-06-- David Mills. 
1870-74-- W. M. Hess. 1906-10-- W. N. Nichols. 
1874-78-- Elisha H. Hall. 1910-14-- Lewis W. Borders. 
1878-82-- William H. Nichols. 
1830-37-- Simon T. Hadley. 1874-78-- George Rawlings. 
1837-44-- Simon T. Hadley. 1878-82-- John A. Osborn. 
1844-51-- Simon T. Hadley. 1882-86-- Adrian A. Parsons. 
1851-55-- Simon T. Hadley. 1886-90-- T. B. Kinnan. 
1855-59-- Simon T. Hadley. 1890-94-- James E. Humston. 
1859-61-- Jacob H. Fleece. 1894-98-- William L. Wilson. 
1861-62-- Daniel B. South. 1898-02-- William L. Wilson. 
1862-66-- Jesse Ogden. 1902-06-- Ellis M. Weaver. 
1866-70-- John L. Brown. 1906-10-- John S. Duckworth. 
1870-74-- William Patterson. 1910-14-- John S. Duckworth. 
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1847-52-- Job Hadley. 1882-84-- Charles M. Griggs. 
1852-54-- Eldred Huff. 1884-86-- Charles M. Griggs. 
1854-56-- F. M. Johnson. 1886-88-- John W. Trotter. 
1856-58-- Joseph H. Dennis. 1888-90-- John W. Trotter. 
1858-6--- Cyrus Rogers. 1890-92-- Joshua Hunt. 
186-62-- Cyrus Rogers. 1892-94-- John W. Trotter. 
1862-64-- Cyrus Rogers. 1894-96-- John W. Trotter. 
1864-66-- Cyrus Rogers. 1896-98-- John W. Trotter. 
1866-67-- Homer C. Carpenter. 1898-00-- W. F. Franklin. 
1867-70-- Job Hadley. 1900-02-- W. F. Franklin. 
1870-72-- Job Hadley. 1902-04-- W. F. Franklin. 
1872-74-- Joseph A. Clark. 1904-06-- John W. Figg. 
1874-76-- Joseph A. Clark. 1906-08-- John W. Figg. 
1876-78-- Joseph A. Clark. 1908-10-- John O. Kain. 
1878-80-- Joseph A. Clark. 1910-12-- John O. Kain. 
1880-82-- Joseph A. Clark. 1012-14-- Theodore W. Garrison. 
1826-28-- William Faught. 1864-65-- John R. Armstrong. 
1828-30-- Robert Williams. 1865-66-- John Harrison. 
1830-31-- Read Case. 1866-67-- John Harrison. 
1831-33-- William Gregory. 1867-68-- S. L. Hawkins. 
1833-35-- C. B. Naylor. 1868-70-- George W. Wayland. 
1835-44-- Wesley McKinley. 1870-72-- C. Ohaver. 
1844-45-- Christian C. Nave. 1872-74-- Warren Ohaver. 
1845-47-- Pemberton S. Dickens. 1874-76-- Elias D. Johnson. 
1847-48-- J. S. Harvey. 1876-78-- William P. Ayers. 
1848-50-- Jonathan Irwin. 1878-80-- Benjamin Hayden. 
1850-51-- Elijah Huff. 1880-82-- Eldridge C. Wills. 
1851-52-- Edward S. Meek. 1882-84-- William M. Hutchings. 
1852-54-- Henry W. Hackley. 1884-86-- Mit Phillips. 
1854-56-- John J. McMullen. 1886-88-- R. F. Harper. 
1856-58-- Thomas N. Jones. 1888-90-- B. M. Tomlinson. 
1858-60-- Thomas N. Jones. 1890-92-- B. M. Tomlinson. 
1860-62-- Samuel L. Hawkins. 1892-94-- Eldridge C. Wills. 
1862-64-- Samuel L. Hawkins. 1894-96-- O. H. Barnhill. 
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1896-98-- William White. 1906-08-- Henry S. Curtis. 
1898-00-- Henry S. Curtis. 1908-10-- George G. Allred. 
1900-02-- Henry S. Curtis. 1910-12-- George G. Allred. 
1902-04-- Henry S. Curtis. 1912-14-- John D. Hendricks. 
1904-06-- Henry S. Curtis. 
1826-27-- John Dunn. 1872-74-- Samuel L. Hawkins. 
1827-28-- Samuel Jessup. 1874-76-- Samuel L. Hawkins. 
1828-31-- Thomas Nichols. 1876-78-- Asbury Bryant. 
1831-33-- Thomas Nichols. 1878-80-- James M. Emmons. 
1833-35-- James Siggerson. 1880-82-- James M. Emmons. 
1835-36-- James Siggerson. 1882-84-- Abraham Douglass. 
1836-43-- Edmund Clark. 1884-86-- William P. Ayers. 
1843-44-- J. D. Parker. 1886-88-- Woodson Bryant. 
1844-46-- Thomas Nichols. 1888-90-- Jonathan S. Marshall. 
1846-48-- Thomas Nichols. 1890-92-- William C. Clements. 
1848-50-- James Stutsman. 1892-94-- John T. Taylor. 
1850-52-- Samuel Melogue. 1894-96-- John T. Bell. 
1852-54-- Samuel Melogue. 1896-98-- William B. Bryant. 
1854-56-- Cornelius Ohaver. 1898-00-- Henry I. Eaton. 
1856-58-- Cornelius Ohaver. 1900-02-- A. A. Figg. 
1858-60-- Reuben S. Ward. 1902-04-- A. A. Figg. 
1860-62-- Thomas Nichols. 1904-06-- I. J. Mendenhall. 
1862-64-- Thomas Nichols. 1906-08-- I. J. Mendenhall. 
1864-66-- Edmund H. Straughan. 1908-10-- John C. Robbins. 
1866-68-- Edmund H. Straughan. 1910-12-- John W. Ader. 
1868-70-- William H. Calvert. 1912-14-- James N. Gentry. 
1870-72-- William H. Calvert. 
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The county of Hendricks is jurly proud of the heroic part played by her sons in the great drama of the sixties. The news of Lincoln's nomination by the Republican party for the Presidency of the United States was received with great rejoicing in Hendricks county and particularly in Danville, the county seat. Early the following spring their rejoicings were changed to great nervous excitement.

The following notice appeared in the newspapers:


"All persons within, the county of Hendricks who are subject to military duty are hereby requested and notified to be and appear in Danville on Saturday the 20th day of April, 1861. War is on hand and our whole safety depends on thorough military organization.


"Colonel 6th Military Dist."

Hendricks county had at this time less than seventeen thousand inhabitants. Under the call for seventy-five thousand volunteers the quota of Indiana was fixed at six regiments. The response was hearty from all parts of the state and from none more so than in Hendricks. Being but an hour's travel by rail from Indianapolis, the first company raised in this county was one of the first to be accepted by the United Sates. From that time on the county sent enlisted men into the field, until a total of approximately two thousand had been enrolled, sixty-five per cent. of the voting strength.


Scores of men and women are yet living who remember that awful April day when the news came that Sumter had fallen, that Lincoln had called for troops, and that, be it long or short, the most terrible of all wars, a civil war, was upon the people.

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The issue of the Ledger of Saturday, April 20, 1861, told the story locally and generally. Fort Sumter surrendered on the afternoon of April 13th and this was the first issue after that event. And it appears that so great was the excitement that this issue was not printed until Monday, the 22nd. The news of the attack and fall of Sumter is given in a series of official communications showing the progress of the fight from day to day, the last dispatch from Charleston reading: "Fort Sumter has been unconditionally surrendered. The fort was taken possession of tonight."

When the news reached Danville all business was suspended and men stood about the streets discussing, almost in a whisper, the future of the land. Men doubted if a company could be organized in Danville. Joseph S. Miller thought it worth while to try and, going to his law office, he drew up a muster roll, signing it himself first. Then he went out on the street and name after name was added and public enthusiasm increased with each signature.

Under the, heading, "War Spirit of Old Hendricks," the Ledger tells of this as follows:

"The President's call for men was received here on Monday last. On Tuesday Joseph S. Miller headed a list of volunteers. On Wednesday the Governor was petitioned to appoint Hon. James M. Gregg colonel of the county militia. On Thursday his commission came and he gave notice to all liable to do military duty to meet him for immediate service and organize the militia in every township. On Saturday morning the town was alive with people from all parts of the country. The volunteers, numbering over fifty, were formed into line before the Odd Fellows' hall and a national flag was raised from the roof of the building amid the shouts of the people and the roar of musketry. Colonel Gregg then responded to a call for a speech. Messrs. Campbell, Colonel Nave, W. L. Gregg, S. A. Russell and V. Lingenfelter also spoke and one hundred and eight men enrolled themselves. Their captain, James Burgess, was offered and accepted by the governor and they leave this evening. In the meanwhile, L. S. Shuler commenced another company, continued all day Sunday and this evening will tender a second full company to the governor."

Among those who signed was Warner L. Vestal, editor of the Ledger, and his enlistment caused the following to appear in the paper:

"The editor and proprietor, W. L. Vestal, having volunteered in the service of the United States, has put in John Irons as editor and agent during his absence. Four of our compositors, W. P. and George Gregg, J. N. page: 116[View Page 116] Vestal and B. B. Freeman, having also volunteered and the Devil, W. H. Carnes, having gone with the captain of the company, the news room is left with no other force than the old stand-by, the former foreman, T. O. Thompson. The paper will probably be behind for an issue or so. But unless another call is made by the government the Ledger will be on hands as usual after all hands have got the hang of the new arrangement."

That the paper was late in being published is evident, for, although it was dated April 20th, the following item concerning the departure of the Hendricks county volunteers tells of an event which happened on the 22nd as follows:

"One hundred and eight of as gallant fellows as ever dared to meet a foe left our town Monday evening, April 22nd. Hon. James Burgett, captain; P. S. Kennedy, Esq., first; Joseph S. Miller, Esq., second; and W. P. Gregg, Esq., third lieutenants. Such unanimity of purpose was never witnessed among our people before. Parties now date this back no further than Monday the 15th inst. The bombardment of Fort Sumter proved to be a great uniter of parties in this county. In fact, there is but one party, that of the Stars and Stripes, in old Hendricks and it is dangerous to avow any other principles. So hot have matters become that one fellow here had nearly been slaughtered at the meeting here on the 20th inst. by mistake. Swords and bayonets flashed around him like lightning and but for prompt assistance his life would have been out of him in twenty seconds."

It is unfortunate for this generation that more of the local scenes are not described in the issue of the Ledger, but the excitement was too great, the tension too strong to write. Editorially, the Ledger said:

"It becomes our duty this week to announce the lamentable fact that war has been inaugurated in our own country by the rebels of the Confederate states. The attack made on Fort Sumter by the rebels was successful. Major Anderson has been compelled to surrender and, however humiliating it may seem to others, we can not but regard it as a point gained. We will now find out whether we have a government or not, and if we have, woe be unto those who have for years been plotting its ruin. The people in this part of the country are a unit for the Union. We know no man as a Republican, a Douglas or a Breckinridge Democrat. Party lines have been abandoned and, although it has been predicted that in case of an attack upon the government the North would be divided and the rebels receive the support of a strong party here, we are of the opinion that not one company can be found north of Mason and Dixon's line who are willing to assist the traitors. page: 117[View Page 117] The present state of affairs is much to be regretted, but we of the North can not help it. For four months every act of aggression, of insult, and insolence has been done in the secession states against the government and people of the American nation, which can possible be conceived except the actual conflict of arms. This has come and henceforth we have to hear the sound of war and the combat of battles. The record is made up. The position admits of but two sides. He who is not for his country is against it. Let every loyal heart now rally to the country. Let the flag be borne aloft and the battle will end with a victory for the Union, for humanity and the world."

Elsewhere the Ledger says: "Hon. J. M. Gregg has been commissioned by the governor as colonel of the sixth military district of Indiana. Mr. Gregg is a Democrat and was delegate to the Charleston convention. In this hour of our country's distress we are glad to see that all party lines are obliterated and that all go for the glorious flag and Union which have conferred so many blessings upon us as a people. The appointment of Mr. Gregg is a good one and he will do all in his power to enforce the laws and sustain the union."

The Ledger also says: "On Tuesday (the 16th) an effort was made to organize a company of militia here to be tendered to the governor for the maintenance of the government and the enforcement of the laws. Before night twenty-six men were enrolled. At the meeting Tusday night several more signified their willingness to serve their country and the company will soon be made up. Wednesday morning another meeting was held and the company proceeded to the election of temporary officers. The band played martial music and everything was astir. After marching around to the commons east of town Captain Kennedy proceeded to drill the new company. Colonal Nave's hall was secured and there in the evening the company drilled again. The greatest excitement and enthusiasm prevails and all men of all parties are determined the government shall be sustained at all hazards. The stars and stripes are floating from stores, offices and other buildings."

Local mention is made of the marriage on Sunday, April 21st, of George Gregg and Miss Annie Vawter and Charles F. Hogate and Miss Julia Depew. The Ledger says: "The boys left with their company for the national service the following day, leaving their newly-made wives praying for their safe return."

The original muster roll of this first company from Danville, the one used at Indianapolis April 24th when the company was sworn into the service of the United States, is as follows:

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It bears the names of James Burgess, captain; Peter S. Kennedy, first lieutenant; Joseph S. Miller, second lieutenant; Charles F. Hogate, Orion A. Bartholomew, Will C. Banta, Warner L. Vestal, sergeants; Joseph B. Homan, William M. Walker, Virgil H. Lyon, Hubbard B. Lingenfelter, corporals, Miltiades Cash, drummer; James Landon, fifer; Joseph Allison, Samuel Armstrong, A. Beard, William Bartley, James J. Beyy, Americus Bland, Jefferson J. Bolt, Simeon Buchanan, Franklin J. Burcham, Jesse T. Burhop, Albert S. Burgan, Dennis Brewer, Harrison Brown, Benjamin A. Cord, James M. Crane, Thomas J. Crane, Jonathan P. Curtis, Robert M. Curtis, John Emmons, Allen C. Evans, James C. Faulkner, George Filer, Robert V. Franklin, Brook B. Freeman, James P. Gilland, Jeremiah Givens, George Gregg, William P. Gregg, James Hackley, Joseph Hackley, Jacob N. Holtsclaw, Marshall Holtsclaw, William G. Homan, Erastus F. Hunt, Frank H. Huron, William W. Irons, William M. Jenkins, Moses Kebner, Thomas J. Kirtley, Edward D. Lotshar, James T. Matlock, Aquilla S. McCormick, William T. Miller, John S. Moore, John O'Haver, William F. Parker, William Pearson, Jewett J. Perkins, Samuel R. Perkins, George Richards, Marcus D. L. Robins, Madison H. Rose, James Scearce, John T. Scearce, Nathan J. Scearce, John W. Smith, William D. Smith, Charles Stephen, Joshua C. Thompson, Orlando Todd, John N. Vesta. Jonathan Wadley, John C. Walker, Alfred Welshans.


On July 8, 1863, news came to Indiana that a large rebel force under command of Gen. John H. Morgan had crossed the Ohio river near Mauck port and was moving on Corydon, Indiana. Governor Morton at once issued a call and within forty-eight hours sixty-five thousand men had tendered their services. Thirteen regiments and one battalion were organized for the emergency. In the second of these, known as the One Hundred and Third, were seven companies from Hendricks county. The regiment left Indianapolis by rail on the evening of July 11th and reached Vernon the next morning at three o'clock. Here Colonel Shuler impressed a number of horses and, mounting one hundred and forty-six men from his own command and that of Colonel Gregory's, moved in pursuit of Morgan. These troops came in sight of Morgan's rear guard on the afternoon of the I3th, captured several stragglers, skirmished with detachments of the enemy near Harrison, Ohio, and entered that town shortly after Morgan's rear guard had departed. Next morning the pursuit was resumed and continued as far as Batavia, Ohio, page: 119[View Page 119] when, upon learning of Morgan's capture, the command returned to Indianapolis and was mustered out July 16th.

Lawrence S. Shuler was a colonel; Virgil H. Lyon, lieutenant-colonel; Samuel J. Banta, major; and Frank Coons, adjutant, were the higher officers in this regiment. Other officers were William H. Calvert, Richard Duddy, Tyra Montgomery, John Franklin, William M. Brown, William Little, Aquilla S. McCormick, Joseph Wood, Jesse S. Ogden, Joseph O'Haver, Robert Curry, William F. Parker, Joseph Allison, James L. Smith, Erastus F. Hunt, Scott Miller, David T. Cox.


The following will show the number of men from Hendricks county and the companies and regiments in which they served during the Civil War. These figures are compiled from Adjutant-General Terrell's reports and include re-enlistments and substitutions, so that the list is not exactly true, but as much so as possible to obtain.

Regiment. Company. Number of Men. 
Seventh (three months) 77 
Seventh (three years) 110 
Seventh (three years) 108 
Seventh (three years) 44 
Eleventh 19 
Twenty-first 32 
Fifty-first 106 
Fifty-first 78 
Fifty-third 62 
Fifty-fourth (three months) 84 
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Regiment. Company. Number of Men. 
Fifty-fourth (one year) 87 
Fifty-fifth (three months) 
Fifty-ninth 22 
Seventieth 86 
Seventieth 35 
Fourth Cavalry (Seventy-seventh Regiment) 31 
Seventy-eighth E  
Seventy-ninth 94 
Ninety-eighth  69 
Ninety-eighth 35 
One Hundred Seventeenth 100 
One Hundred Seventeenth 101 
Ninth Cavalry 82 
One Hundred Twenty-fourth 46 
One Hundred Thirty-second 89 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 60 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 34 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 10 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 13 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 20 
One Hundred Forty-eighth 16 
Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry 


Total 1,772 


In the Seventh Regiment, James Burgess was a captain; P. S. Kennedy and J. S. Miller, lieutenants; and in the three-years service W. C. Banta was captain, A. M. Luke, V. H. Lyon, J. V. Hadley, J. W. Adams, lieutenants; page: 121[View Page 121] in Company H, S. J. Banta and E. D. Bryant were captains, M. D. L. Robbins, Jonathan Wadley and R. M. Curtis were lieutenants. In Company F of the Twetieth, John Kistler was a captain. In Company A of the Twenty-seventh, Samuel Porter and J. F. Parsons were lieutenants. In the Fifty-first, W. W. Scearce, J. W. Sheets, J. H. Fleece, Milton Russell, J. A. Givins, Samuel Lingerman, D. W. Hamilton, George Gregg and G. H. Adams were captains; W. A. Adair, John Emmons, Harvey Slavens, W. H. Harvey, A. T. Dooley, C. E. Stephens and George XWV. Scearce were lieutenants. In the Fifty-third, W. L. Vestal was a colonel; H. C. Perkins, adjutant; J. W. Scearce, adjutant; Robert Curry, captain; W. D. Smith, lieutenant. In the Fifty-fourth (three months), J. H. Gray was captain of Company H; J. W. Lakin and T. J. Kirtley, lieutenants. In the one-year service of this regiment W. H. Neff was commissioned captain; D. D. Jones and B. F. Davis, lieutenants. In the Fifty-fifth, Frank A. Coons was a lieutenant, but later became captain in the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth. In Company B of the Fifty-ninth, WV. A. Rogers and S. W. Minter were lieutenants. In the Seventieth, James Burgess became colonel and Leroy H. Kennedy was surgeon; in Company A, Z. S. Ragan and W. C. Mitchell were captains; J. M. Rogers, J. F. Banta and J. J. Wills were lieutenants. In Company K, J. T. Matlock and J. C. Hadley were captains and O. A. Bartholomew was lieutenant. In the Fourth Cavalry, L. S. Shuler became a colonel; T. R. Lawhead, adjutant; Henry Cox, surgeon; J. W. Smith, captain; William Irvin and J. W. Tinder, lieutenants. In Company E of the Seventy-eighth, A. J. Lee was commissioned captain; Snoddy Anderson and John Harrison, lieutenants. In Company C of the Seventy-ninth, Eli F. Ritter was a captain; in Company F, Benjamin T. Poynter was a lieutenant; in Company K, J. W. Jordan and D. W. Hoadley were captains; Tyra Montgomery and A. T. Stone, lieutenants. In the Ninety-eighth, J. B. Homan, Tilberry Reid, John Worrel and B. F. Thomas were captains; L. D. Robinson, surgeon; J. C. Hussey, B. A. Reid, lieutenants. In Company H of this regiment, J. F. Parsons and Nehemiah Rawlings were lieutenants. In Company A of the One Hundred Seventeenth, Isaac Wantland was captain; T. J. Kirtley and J. H. Harris, lieutenants. In Company B, W. S. King was captain; T. S. Marshall and C. F. Hogate, lieutenants. In Company I of the Ninth Cavalry, V. H. Lyon, William Robbins and T. J. Cofer were captains; W. H. Calvert, J. S. Watts and T. J. Conaty, lieutenants. In Company D of the Hundred and Twenty-fourth, John Kistler, Van L. Parsons, M. K. Stanley and A. M. Williams were lieutenants. In Company H of the One Hundred and Thirty-second, page: 122[View Page 122] W. S. King was a captain and Z. K. McCormack and J. M. Emmons, lieutenants. In Company B of the One Hundred Forty-eighth, J. H. McClure and E. M. Woody were lieutenants; in Company C, R. M. Curtis was a captain; N. J. Scearce and M. D. L. Brown were lieutenants; in Company K, S. J. Banta and J. M. Odell were captain and lieutenant respectively.


The county gave bounties to volunteers during the war amounting in all to $27,750, while the several townships paid the following amounts: Center, $16,000; Washington, $30,000; Liberty, $35,000; Franklin, $10,000; Clay, $20,000; Marion, $36,000; Eel River, $45,000; Union, $20,000; Lincoln, $10,000; Brown, $21,500. This made a total of $266,250.

Not content with this, the local authorities also resolved to care for the needy families of volunteers and for this purpose the county appropriated at various times amounts aggregating $50,200. Each of ten townships contributed $1,000.

The relief work at home was energetic and prompt. Whenever money could not be obtained by asking, it was appropriated.


A draft became necessary in Indiana in the fall of 1862, and the enrolling commission made the following report for Hendricks county: Total militia, 2,443; total volunteers, 1,352; total exempts, 506; total conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, 150; total volunteers in service, 1,271; total subject to draft, 1,787. But two townships in this county were behind in their quotas, Union and Eel river. The former was required to supply nine and the latter twenty-three to this draft.


Hendricks county did not supply a full company to the Indiana militia during the Spanish-American war. The declaration of war by Congress and President McKinley's call for troops in the month of April, 1898, brought great excitement to the county and many recollections of the days of 61.

On Friday night, April 22, 1898, an immense crowd gathered in the court room at Danville. The college band played lively airs and a Cuban flag waved from the gallery. Solon Enloe called the mass meeting to order page: 123[View Page 123] and Judge John V. Hadley was elected chairman, following which election the latter made an address. Enloe followed, then George C. Harvey, C. W. Stewart, Thad S. Adams, O. E. Gulley and Messrs. Hack, Lane and Young of the Central Normal College. Solon Enloe then moved that a roll be prepared for those who were prepared and willing to go the front. While the band played patriotic airs and Judge Hadley waved the flag, one hundred names were affixed to the roll. A committee was appointed consisting of Enloe, Harvey and Julian D. Hogate, and these men went to Indianapolis to inform the Governor that they were ready.

Some disagreement in the election of officers resulted in the disbanding of the company. The men most eager to serve their country and flag, however, were not to be thwarted, so they went to Indianapolis and enlisted. They were sworn in on Tuesday night, May 10th, and that night returned home to say good-bye. The public responded and accorded them a reception and banquet. A list of the men, most of them in the Second Regiment, who went from Hendricks county to the war follows: E. M. Swindler, O. O. Marshall, Charles Sims, J. M. Gregg, R. D. Warner, Oliver Sears, Walter Thomas, Aquilla Miles, Rome Phillips, Frank H. King, Albert Ayres, David Stutesman, Claude Adams, Herschell Hall, Solon Enloe, Guy Roach, Edgar Pennington, Fitz Roberts, Oat Johnson, J. W. Estep, Ralph Beauchamp, Orlando Davis, Clark Howell, Charles Temple, Harry Stephenson, J. Bolen, Sigel Bolen, James Bowen, William King.

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In this day of huge metropolitan newspapers and up-to-the-minute news stories, it is hard to realize the handicap under which the newspaper of fifty, or even thirty, years ago labored. Facilities for receiving and publishing news had not reached the point of perfection attained today. The editor of today is a business man, a manager, a news medium; years ago he was a moulder of public opinion, a controller of local politics. The paper was known by the editor, but now the editor is known by the paper. Crude hand presses, meager supply of type and other simple paraphernalia of the early printing shops have given way to the linotype, power presses which turn out over a hundred papers a minute ready for the subscriber, and other wonderful inventions and methods used in modern newspaper production.

In Hendricks county the growth of the newspaper has been very substantial, although it has been retarded by the close proximity of Indianapolis and the large dailies there. The resident of Danville and other larger townships is enabled to receive the city paper almost as soon as a local edition. The papers in Hendricks county have been restricted to weekly editions due to this fact alone, for otherwise the population and interest of the county would warrant more frequent issues.


The year 1846 saw the beginning of journalism in Hendricks county. In the spring of that year the Danville Advertiser was established, with Joseph Graham as publisher and Dr. H. G. Todd as editor. Doctor Todd and several other enterprising citizens bought the press and gave it to Mr. Graham for the sole purpose of giving the town of Danville a newspaper. In size, the Advertiser was a six-column folio, composed almost exclusively of reading matter. Very little advertising matter found its way into the page: 125[View Page 125] sheet. Politically, the paper was Whig. The paper was established to promote the interests of this party and it continued so during the period of it existence. After a few years, the paper changed hands and from then on had a varied career, having several owners, appearing under several names, until 1856, when it came out as the Danville Republican. Under this title it was issued until the spring of 1864.


On the day of April 23, 1856, the first issue of the Hendricks County Union was published by W. P. Gregg & Company. The paper was decidedly in favor of war. At the top of its first page it printed each day, "To preserve the Union, soldiers must fight at elections as well as fight in the field." The name Union was selected instead of Republican in order to gain the support of the war Democrats, which in large measure it accomplished. The paper was under splendid editorial management and met success from the very start. The above mentioned firm continued to publish this paper until July 14, 1856, when Col. Lawrence S. Shuler, a soldier, became sole proprietor, with Col. James M. Gregg as editor and Gideon B. Thompson in charge of the local department and assistant in the management of the business. Colonel Shuler continued to publish the paper until April 20, 1865, when he sold it to James L. Singer, who became editor and publisher and remained as proprietor of the newspaper until March 15, 1866, at which time John N. Scearce bought the office. Mr. Scearce continued in charge for over thirteen years and changed the name of the paper to the


Under Scearce's management the paper had a very prosperous career. During a part of this time Dr. A. Furnas was agricultural editor and contributed largely to the value and interest of the paper. In 1866 O. H. Smith was educational editor. On the 2nd of January, 1879, Mr. Scearce sold the Union to J. E. Sherrill, who had begun the publication of the Danville Republican. Sherrill merged the Union into the Republican, but the new paper was of short life. On January 30, 1879, less than one month after the suspension of the Danville Union, another Hendricks County Union came into existence.

The new firm was South, Hathaway & Company, and the paper at once struck the public favorably, there being something of advantage in the old name Union. In a few weeks Mr. Sherrill sold his Republican office and page: 126[View Page 126] business to the new Union firm, S. F. Wishard and James B. Greene being added to the proprietors. A. G. South soon left the company and in a few months Mr. Greene also retired, the paper being continued by Hathaway and Wishard. On August 4th of the same year Mr. Wishard sold his share to John R. Rankin and Hathaway and Rankin were proprietors until November 7th, when O. H. Smith bought out the interest of Mr. Rankin. Smith became editor and in December, 1880, bought out Robert F. Hathaway's share of the paper, thus becoming sole editor and proprietor. On February 11, 1882, he sold to Parker & Bowen of the Republican, who continued to issue the Union from their office for about two months on account of certain advertising contracts.


Mr. Bowen and J. O. Parker had established the paper known as the Hendricks County Republican on the 13th day of October, 1881. This paper is now, after an existence of over thirty-three years, the leading paper of Danville. On February 10, 1883, Mr. Bowen sold his interest in the office to William N. Crabb and the paper was published by Crabb and Parker, with Mr. Parker as editor and manager until the month of April, 1883. After Mr. Bowen's departure Samuel F. Wishard was local editor for one year. In March, 1884, Mr. Bowen returned to the paper, with which he was connected as local editor until April, 1885. In this month Crabb and Parker sold to Moffett and Riddle, who continued the publication to good advantage. John C. Ochiltree was the next proprietor, followed in the year 1890 by Julian D. Hogate, who, in 1914, is still successfully publishing the Republican. It is the leading newspaper in the county, having a circulation of about eighteen hundred. It is a six-column quarto, issued Thursday of each week. The paper is neat in appearance and is strictly a news sheet The Republican plant turns out a quantity of high class job printing in connection with the issue of the paper.


Two newspapers were at one time moved to Danville from the town of Plainfield. Both papers bore the name Progress. The first was in 1877 by John N. Vestal, who suspended after six months, and the second occasion was in May, 1883, when George V. Mechler made a like venture. He, too, found the venture unsuccessful.

The Democratic party has been represented editorially in Danville. page: 127[View Page 127] The first newspaper of that political faith bore the sanguinary title of The Butcher Knife. It was founded in 1856 by George Gregg. Four years completed the life of this sheet and it died amidst the strong Union sentiment at the opening of the Civil war.

The Danville Indianian was established in 1870 by a group of men from Greensburg. Soon after it became the property of a stock company and afterward, for a time, it was in charge of Doctor Haggart, who was followed by two brothers named Ray. In 1872 the office was purchased by C. N. Walls, who remained in control until the fall of 1875, when the office and material were sold and transported into Illinois.

In February of the year 1878 E. D. King established the Democrat and remained as its editor and publisher until August, 1879, building up a strong and influential paper. At the latter date mentioned he sold the office to M. A. Barnett, who, in turn, closed out the office in October, 1881, to James O. Parker of the Republican. Just prior to this, E. D. King returned from a year's trip in Colorado and founded, on September 15, 1880, the


which is now the leading Democratic paper of the county. The paper was started during a presidential campaign and found a fertile field in which to grow. It at once assumed an important position and today (1914) it still holds that reputation. At one time its editor was indicted for libel under the Grubbs law, but so obviously unfair was the action of the partisan grand jury that Mr. King was never brought to trial, the judge of the court quashing the indictment and throwing the case out. In August, 1882, E. D. King retired from the managerial helm of the Gazette and from then until August 1, 1884, it passed through the hands of several proprietors. At that date it came into possession of William A. King and John W. Cravens. Cravens disposed of his interest in a few months and Mr. King became sole proprietor. He holds this position today, after thirty years of valiant service for the Democratic party. Just at present he holds the office of postmaster of Danville, in connection with his editorial duties. The paper is a weekly, published on Thursday, being a six-column quarto and with eleven hundred subscribers. The paper has been uniformly successful throughout the many years of its existence. High class job printing is also made a specialty at the Gazette plant.

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There have been almost as many papers started in the town of Plainfield as there have been in Danville. The first one was called Once A Week, being founded by John A. Deem in 1862. After a short run this was suspended. John N. Vestal afterward attempted to make the paper a success. under the name of the Citizen. After publishing it for some time, he sold it to Charles S. McNichols, who issued a paper for a period under the name of the Tribune.


On January 1, 1879, George V. Mechler established the Plainfield Progress, which he ran successfully for several years. Mechler was a Democrat of the first water and the community was Republican, so he compromised and published his paper as an independent sheet. In this venture he was successful and, thinking to gain more prestige at the county seat, he removed to Danville in May, 1883. At this place he was soon obliged to suspend publication. Immediately after his removal Horace G. Douglass and J. A. Fullen began the issue of a paper under the old name of the Plainfield Progress. These men issued their first number on May 31, 1883. Fullen withdrew after a time and moved west. Douglass retained control, however, until May 12, 1884, when he obtained an appointment at the Reform School and sold the office to A. T. Harrison. The Progress was at this time a five-column quarto. This paper was published until September 5, 1904, at which time it was succeeded by the


established by P. WV. Raidabaugh. From May, 1910, until June, 1912, C. C: Cumberwrite had control of the paper. At the latter date Fred E. Warner became the editor and proprietor and is still in this position. The paper has a general circulation, is six column, eight page in style, and is Republican.


J. J. and H. E. Hennon came from Roachdale, Putnam county, in July, 1884, and until March, 1885, published the North Salem Reporter. This was a six-column quarto, independent in politics. In the month last mentioned, however, Messrs. Hennon returned to Roachdale.

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In 1892 the North Salem Herald was established as an independent newspaper. It is still in operation, a weekly six-column quarto, and is edited by John H. Wetz, who took charge January 1, 1914. Previous to this date Samuel Sherman Waters' held the office of editor. The paper has a circulation of five hundred.


The Clayton Weekly Press was established on January 6, 1914, succeeding the Clayton Enterprise. The Enterprise had been established by a Mr. McDaniel, and was later owned successively by Harrison F. Weesner, then by H. E. and Paul Hathaway. The Clayton Weekly Press is an independent Democratic paper, with a circulation of six hundred. The paper is an eight-page quarto, patent insides. Cal Sinninger is the editor and owner of the paper.


In the year 1881 A. S. Clements established a paper in Brownsburg known as The Modern Era. It then changed to the name Brownsburg Courier, and later to the present title. It is a very prosperous paper in 1914, with a circulation of approximately one thousand. It is a six-column quarto, independent in politics, and is issued weekly by U. S. Watson, the editor and publisher. Previous to Mr. Watson's management Charles A. Sedgwick, Walter Burns, Carey Gaston, John R. Sheehan, G. A. Johnson and Charles A. Hughes presided over the destinies of the paper. Mr. Watson assumed control on June 10, 1912.


There have been quite a number of religious publications issued in Hendricks county within the past years, most of them devoted to the Friends denomination. There was the Friends Bible School Teacher, with twenty-five hundred circulation, a quarterly magazine of sixty-four pages for Sunday school superintendents and teachers; the Friends Advanced Quarterly, thirty-two pages, with a circulation of seventeen thousand, for the main body of the Sunday schools; the Friends Intermediate Quarterly for younger classes in the Sunday school, thirty-two pages and seven thousand circulation; the Friends Lesson Sheet, weekly, two pages, forty-five hundred circulation, page: 130[View Page 130] for general study in Bible schools; the Youth's Friend, eight pages, illustrated weekly for young people, seventeen hundred circulation; Child's Lesson Leaf, for the primary department of the Sunday school, four-page weekly, thirty-two hundred circulation. The Africa Record, eight pages,. missionary information, published quarterly, and with fifty-five hundred circulation.

These publications were all edited and published by P. W. Raidabaugh and were moved to Plainfield from Chicago in 190l, and were transferred to the American Friends Bible School Board, located at Fairmount, Indiana, on January 1, 1914.


The Pittsboro Sun was established in January, 1893, by Frank C. Harrell. It was bought by E. C. Weaver during its first year of life. He placed it on a firm basis. On December 25, 1898, Samuel James became the owner, remaining in charge until June, 1911, when he sold to Evart Watson, a young man who made good in the twenty months that he conducted the paper. In February, 1913, the Sun again changed hands, Gregory Walden, of Howell, Michigan, becoming its publisher.

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The medical profession in Hendricks county had its beginning before the organization of the county, for of all the professions in which man is engaged that of medicine is the first demanded. True it is that great progress has been made in the science since its introduction into Hendricks county, but nevertheless, the early patient probably had as much confidence in the methods of the pioneer physician as the present-day patient has in the most advanced methods. Trust and dread did occasionally go hand in hand in administration of the first doctor's treatment. There was the lancet, to take from the patient all the blood he could spare and still live, hoping thereby to destroy the tenement of the demon disease and force him to seek some other abode. Another indispensable remedy was, "the Spanish-fly blister," which was applied on the same theory, indiscriminately upon adult and child. Calomel and blue-pills were common remedies for most diseases determined by the doctor's diagnosis, and a sure remedy when the doctor's diagnosis left uncertainty in his mind. To work out of the human system the calomel and blue-pills, after they had done their savage work, gamboge, castor-oil and senna, one or all of them, were freely administered. The accepted theory of the profession at that early day was if the patient survived the first course, it was soon repeated until the patient, in the opinion of the doctor, was only suffering from the remedies. The surgeon in those early days of frontier life ranked with the skilled carpenter and blacksmith. In fact, the former made the doctor's splints and other appliances of wood, and the latter made his operative cutlery, forceps and other implements of steel.

If the physician in those early days, with his multiplied trials to contend with and groping in the darkness, could become enthusiastic in his efforts to carry conviction to others, what might be his exulting joy now, since the light of intervening years of scientific progress and investigation has so changed the theory of disease and remedies. Both medicine and surgery have made greater progress in harmony with scientic truth in the last half century than during all previous history. Medicine, however, with its component sciences and surgery, is not alone in this rapid and wonderful progress, which page: 132[View Page 132] is world wide, but there has been a general awakening in the world of thought during this recent period, discovering and inventing the most wonderful aids to modern life. We can but marvel when we endeavor to tabulate the innumerable lists. This revolution has placed medicine, as a profession, a long way on the road of science. As nature, with its most intricate vital forces, is the superior physician and first in charge of every case of human disability, the present doctor is now on such friendly terms with nature that he lends rational assistance to his superior and thereby gives most welcome aid to the afflicted.


On the 29th day of April, 1854, the medical society of Hendricks. county was organized at Danville. The doctors signing the constitution were Henry G. Todd, D. J. Depew, J. A. Comingor, David Todd, Risdon C. Moore, Henry H. Moore, Thomas P. Seller, Wilson Lockhart, J. Joel Wright, Leroy H. Kennedy, Thomas B. Harvey, Henry Cox, B. Bartholomew and V. F. Harvey. Henry G. Todd was elected the first president; Wilson Lockhart, vice-president; J. Joel Wright, secretary; Leroy H. Kennedy, corresponding secretary; Henry Cox, treasurer; Thomas B. Harvey, Bradley Bartholomew, Henry H. Moore, censors.

The constitution was as follows: "We, the undersigned practitioners of medicine and surgery in the county of Hendricks and vicinity, for the purpose of promoting harmony and good fellowship, and of elevating the cause of medical and collateral science, associate ourselves under the following constitution:
  • "Article 1. This association shall be denominated the Hendricks County Medical Society.
  • "Art. 2. The officers of this society shall consist of a president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer and three censors, all of whom shall be elected by ballot, annually, and each officer shall serve until his successor is duly installed into office.
  • "Art. 3. Any regular and reputable practitioner of medicine may become a member of this society, by signing the constitution, paying into the treasury two dollars, and complying with such other regulations as may be hereafter provided by law.
  • "Art. 4. Any distinguished literary gentleman may become an honorary member of this society, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any regular meeting; provided that notice to that effect had been given at any previous meeting of the society.
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  • "Art. 5. The society shall have power to form a library and a cabinet of specimens, in the various departments of natural science, and pathological specimens and illustrations, both from the donations of individuals and other societies, and by levying taxes and fines, agreeable to the regulations which may be hereafter provided by law.
  • "Art. 6. This society may open a correspondence with similar associations in this state and such others as it may from time to time direct.
  • "Art. 7. This society shall meet at such times and places and engage in such deliberations as may from time to time be agreed upon, and may enact by-laws for its government, not inconsistent with this constitution.
  • "Art. 8. The society may admit honorary members upon compliance of the applicant with the same forms as are prescribed for the admission of bona fide members, except that no initiatory fee shall be required. He shall not be permitted to vote, nor shall he participate in any of the proceedings except by express permission of the society.
  • "Art. 9. One-third of all the members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but on all subjects involving the rights, interests or standing of any member, a majority of all the members shall be present.
  • "Art. 10. This constitution may be amended at any stated meeting of the society, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present; provided, the amendment has been prosposed, in writing, at a previous meeting."


The society continued from year to year until the opening of the Civil War, when, most of the members having enlisted, so few were left to hold meetings that they were discontinued until the year 1866, when the times for its regular meetings, specified in its by-laws, were observed, and have been ever since.

At the annual meeting of the State Medical Society, in 1872, as a basis on which to organize this society under the statute relating to voluntary associations, passed resolutions providing for the incorporation of county medical societies. It was not, however, until the annual meeting of 1875 that the requisite number, twelve counties, reported to the secretary of the state society. The state society, now having adopted the delegate system of representation from incorporated auxiliary county societies, the Hendricks County Medical Society, at one of its regular meetings, in the year 1875, changed its constitution, as was thought, to comply with the state society. The delegates from the Hendricks county society were admitted at the page: 134[View Page 134] annual state meeting in 1876. However, the constitution of the Hendricks society was defective in regard to its seal. When this fact became known, most of the physicians of the county who were not members of this society organized a new society, and, as a result, at the annual state meeting in 1877 there were two sets of delegates, each claiming to represent the Hendricks County Medical Society. The committee appointed to straighten out the matter took cognizance of the fact that the old society in Hendricks had acted on good faith and the mistakes in the constitution were not voluntary; therefore they allowed the old society to continue, after that trouble had been remedied and the constitution rewritten.

Before 1890 the physicians who had been enrolled upon the books of the society were T. J. Adams, B. Bartholomew, J. T. Barker, J. H. Brill, J. A. Comingor, Henry Cox, Amos Carter, D. J. Depew, A. Davidson, T. F. Dryden, M. F. Depew, C. R. Dixon, J. A. Eastman, T. Evans, Thomas E. Ellis, F. C. Ferguson, C. E. Farabee, J. N. Green, Thomas C. Graham, Thomas B. Harvey, W. F. Harvey, W. J. Hoadley, A. Heavenridge, G. H. F. House, G. K. Hurt, L. H. Kennedy, Wilson Lockhart, W. T. Lawson, H. H. Moore, R. C. Moore, B. Mendenhall, J. W. Mansbridge, J. H. Orear, J. A. Osborne, J. H. Oscar, M. G. Parker, J. S. Ragan, Thomas R. Seller, F. W. Smith, H. C. Summers, J. T. Strong, H. G. Todd, David Todd, R. C. Talbott, J. J. Wright, J. F. White, C. A. White.


In the list of present-day physicians, as compiled by the state society, the following are serving their profession in Hendricks county :

George G. Allred, Joel T. Barker, Thomas R. Barker, Thomas J. Beasley, W. J. Hoadley, F. H. Huron, Wilson T. Lawson, W. M. O'Brien, Mary A. Soper, Charles A. Underwood, Charles A. White, of Danville; A. P. W. Bridges, Amos Carter, Ernest Cooper, John S. Ragan, James C. Stafford, Clarkson B. Thomas, of Plainfield; M. W. Brooks, A. K. Gilbert, R. E. Jones, D. Monroe Reynolds, of Clayton; James P. Cope, of Bridgeport; A. W. Davidson, John L. Marsh, A. E. Rhein, Thomas G. Smith, of Brownsburg; John S. French, William H. Harrison, E. F. King, Oscar T. Scamahorn, William H. Terrell, of Pittsboro; Alexander Hamilton, of Cartersburg; John D. Hendricks, of Lizton; Leora F. Hicks, Benjamin F. Little, Thomas J. O'Brien, of Stilesville; Charles F. Hope, Stephen Hunt, U. S. Wright, of Coatesville; Maria A. Jessup, of Friendswood; Charles A. McClure, of Belleville; B. M. O'Brien, of New Winchester; E. R. Royer, Oscar page: 135[View Page 135] H. Wiseheart, of North Salem; H. C. Summers, W. H. White, of Amo; Frederick N. Wright, of Hazelwood.


The first doctor in the town of Danville was Doctor Garrett. No data is available as to his practice here. Doctor Collins was an early comer to Eel River township. James H. Heady was one of the first in North Salem. R. C. Moore and L. H. Kennedy were the first practitioners in Belleville. In Stilesville there was Jonathan N. Green; in Clayton, Doctor Lyon and C. T. Lawrence; in New Winchester, William Robbins and T. T. Brazier. T. P. Burk was an early doctor in Lizton. In Pittsboro and Middle township the first physicians were Doctors Witty, Hoadley and Cloud. They were practitioners of the allopathic school.

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The first Methodist Episcopal class that was organized in Hendricks county was at the home of Robert Wilson, near the present Shiloh church, in the winter of 1828 and 1829. Soon afterwards classes were established at North Salem, Danville, Stilesville, Wesley Chapel and near Lizton. At the first quarterly meeting for the White Lick circuit, held at Robert Wilson's on October 25, 1828, there were present John Strange, Joseph Tarkington, Peter Monicle, Robert Wilson and Wesley Monicle; Aaron Homan, Gideon Wilson and Elisha Kise were appointed a committee to make an estimate of the amount necessary to build a meeting house near Robert Wilson's. Early the next season plans were made and the house constructed, and it was the first Methodist meeting house in the county. There was not much money available at that time and the sums given by the different classes would seem pitifully small today, but they were given with a generous spirit and undoubtedly went much farther than they would now.

At the quarterly conference held in Danville, August 4, 1838, it was ordered that P. S. Dickens, Daniel McCreary, Hezekiah Smith, Asa Beck and Elijah M. Crawford be appointed a committee to divide the Danville circuit into two separate circuits; also at the same time it was ordered that S. B. Caywood, R. C. Russell and H. Rammel be appointed a committee to form an estimate of the probable cost of building a church in Danville. At a subsequent conference William Henton, R. C. Russell, William C. Cline, James Logan and Samuel Brenton were elected trustees for the Danville church, which was erected in 1840 on the same lot upon which is located the present church. This church was occupied for public worship until 1865, when it was converted into a parsonage and the chapel of the Danville Academy was fitted up and used for church purposes.

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Before this time the church society in the town of Danville had taken the lead in educational matters by organizing and building up the Danville Academy, which was operated under the management of the quarterly conference. This enterprise commenced in 1858 and lasted until 1868. Among the prominent educators who, at different times, had charge of this school were Professors Tarr, Lummis, O. H. Smith, J. L. Rippetoe and James Scull. About eighteen thousand dollars were spent by the Methodists of Danville in this undertaking. In the spring of 1878, twenty years after the beginning, the society transferred, for a small sum, all of the school property to the Central Normal College.

In that year the present Methodist church was begun in Danville and finished at a cost of ten thousand dollars. It was dedicated on the 26th of January, 1879. Milton Henton, Moses Keeney, Bloomfield White, B. N. Beale and N. T. Hadley were trustees during the erection of the present church building.

Danville was organized into a station in 1853. Before that among the preachers who had preached in the circuit were J. Tarkington, Joseph White. Asa Beck, Israel Lewis, D. F. Streight, Hezekiah Smith, Frank Richmond, J. B. Demotte. After that came C. S. Burgner, N. L. Brakeman, Samuel Godfrey, Allen Gurney, George Warner, Luther Taylor, D. F. Barnes, T. C. Workman, F. Taylor, Nelson Green, Thomas S. Webb, Francis M. Pavey, Samuel P. Colvin, George W. Bower, James H. Claypool, Joseph C. Reed, R. D. Utter, J. H. Hull.

The first Sunday school organized by the Methodists in Danville was opened in the old brick school house located on lot 1, block 23, with Henry Rammel as leader. After this organization had continued for one year it disbanded and then there was a union Sunday school, with John Baker as superintendent. This school met in the old Presbyterian church on lot 1, block 15. This continued for one year, when the Methodists withdrew and, as a society, were interested in no school until 1840. At this date they organized again into a Sunday school with John Green as superintendent. The school lived two years. At a political meeting in the old court house on Saturday night, in the latter part of October, 1844, there happened to be in attendance Hezekiah S. McCormick, Milton Henriton and William V. Bishop. In a conversation held at that time they resolved that a Methodist Sunday school should be started the next day week. Notice was accordingly given page: 138[View Page 138] and on the set date the school started with a membership of fifty. The Sunday school is still in existence and has an excellent membership.

The Methodist Episcopal church, at Stilesville, has been organized about seventy-five years. Services were held for many years in the old school house and in 1850 the society built a new church which cost them about sixteen hundred dollars. Among the early members were Isaac Smart, William Cline, John Clark, John Richardson, James Borders, Joseph Bishop, Edward Jackson, Elijah McAnich and their wives. Some of the early ministers were James Williams, Joseph Woods, J. F. Woodruff, Silas Gaskin, Bridges, Miles, Woods, W. W. Pewett, William Ginnis, Asa Beck and J. V. R. Miller. The present church at Stilesville is in charge of Rev. Ramsay. A brick church was built in the nineties, costing three thousand dollars. There is a good membership of over a hundred.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Cartersburg was formed in the winter of 1856-7 by Rev. Jesse Woodward, with John Biddle, William Little, Richard Poe and their wives, Mrs. Brady and others as the first members. Their first house of worship was built in 1857 at a cost of seven hundred and fifty dollars. It was of frame and located in the northwest part of the village. A brick church was erected in 1897. Rev. Eckhart is the present pastor, having charge of a congregation of one hundred people.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Coatesville was organized in the thirties. Their first house of worship was destroyed by fire about 1860 and a new one was built the same year at a cost of two thousand dollars. Revs. J. B. Combs, Jesse Hill, D. W. Risher, Nelson Green, John McDaniel, W. D. Davidson, B. H. Bradbury, E. Mason were a few of the earlier pastors. Rev. Smock is in charge at present. The church has a substantial house of worship and the membership is about eighty-five.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Plainfield has been an organization nearly seventy years. Among the early members of this church were O. H. Dennis, Riley Taylor and wife, Alexander Worth (founder of the society) and wife, William Owens, Sebastian Hiss, Fred Trucks and Mrs. Higgins. Revs. Dunlavy, Switzer, Green, Johnson, Beard and Siddell were among the early pastors of the Plainfield church. Rev. Williams is the present pastor. There are about one hundred and fifty members.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Brownsburg was the second to be organized in the town. Some of the early pastors were I. P. Patch, T. M. Webb and John B. Demott. Rev. Weidman is the pastor in charge at this date, and has succeeded in maintaining the high standard of the church. There is a good membership and a new brick house of worship.

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The Methodist Episcopal church at Amo was organized in the year 1867. The first church house was completed in that same year at a cost of two thousand dollars. Among the first members were William H. Tush, Winfield Hines, John McAninch, Wesley Johnson, M. W. Cosner, John M. Champion, Herbert Fencer, John Gaspar, S. F. Tincher, James E. Ralston, with their wives, Mrs. Lucinda Stanley and Mrs. Nancy Newman. The pastors have been F. M. Pavy, B. H. Bradbury, Thomas Bartlett, J. F. McDaniel, W. C. Davidson, Nelson Green, B. W. Risher, Nelson Green, Jesse Hill, J. B. Combs, Elihu Mason, Rev. Smock is the present pastor of the Amo church. The church has a good membership and is prosperous.

The first house of worship in Pittsboro was erected in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal society. Simon T. Hadley offered to donate lot 2, block 2, to any congregation which would build a church. Arch and John Alexander, William Tincher, Nathaniel Helton and their families were the charter members. The elder Alexander sawed lumber in his water mill on his farm below town, and a house was built a short distance west of the present building. Rev. Enoch Wood was the first minister. Park Poynter and Nathaniel Gossett were its local preachers for years.

The Methodist Episcopal church at the town of North Salem was organized over eighty years age. Reuben Claypool was a Methodist minister and preached to his neighbors in their private cabins from the earliest date, and about 1833 a class was formed. Among the prominent early members were John S. and Charity Woodward, John Claypool, wife and children, Chester and Martha Page, Mrs. Jerusha Covey, and William and Eleanor Jones and family. A church was built by the society before the war, costing twelve hundred dollars. J. L. Smith, T. F. Drake, W. Fletcher Clark, David Hadley and D. P. McLain were among the early ministers. The church is now in good condition, with a membership of one hundred and fifty.

Before any church organization existed, in Washington township, the Methodists held religious services regularly at the home of John and Dorcas Gossett. Then a class of ten or twelve charter members was organized, a yearly camp meeting was established on the land of Seth Hurin, one-fourth mile west of present Avon. In 1842 a frame church was erected just south of the camp ground. The labor on this building was almost entirely performed by the membership. Rev. Joseph Marsee was pastor as well as one of the chief carpenters, and each day at the noon hour he preached a short sermon to the men and to their wives who came bringing them dinner. In 1875 a second church was built on this same lot and was dedicated October page: 140[View Page 140] 10th. This building, thirty-two by forty-six feet in size, cost complete six-teen hundred dollars. T. C. Webster was pastor during the building. The building was still in good condition when the grade for the traction line was made in the winter of 1903, and it was found that the church was so cut off from the road by the grade that the building must be moved or a new one erected. The latter course was chosen. The entire membership, and members of other churches, as well as those with no church relation, contributed generously. The building was completed at a total cost of five thousand dollars, and, on October 2, 1904, was dedicated, without a cent of debt and without a collection. Rev. H. C. Riley was pastor during the time of building. The size of the building is forty-two feet in the extreme, with a square tower, with entrance through its vestibule to both the main and Sunday school rooms. The building is of Poston paving brick, rock faced, and with stone trimming, and is a neat and substantial structure. In addition to this church there are in the township two other Methodist churches, Shiloh, three miles east, and Bartlett's, three miles west.

The Methodist Episcopal society dates from 1833 in Union township. At this date a class was formed at the house of William Montgomery, who was leader. Among the early members were Mr. Plummer, Sally Bargan, Claiborne Davis and John Pritchett. The church building was located one half mile south of Lizton.

The first church organized in Washington township was at the house of Robert Wilson in 1823. This is now the Shiloh church. It was the first Methodist Episcopal church organization in the county and the fourth one of any denomination. There were afterwards three other churches in the township of the Methodist Episcopal faith, namely: Shiloh, Wesley and Bartlett's Chapel. Regular Baptist churches were located at Abner's creek and Salem.

The African Methodist Episcopal church at Plainfield was organized about forty-five years ago. It met for a long time at the Morgan school house, two and a half miles from Plainfield, and in 1879 commenced holding its services in the village. The church erected in that year cost about six hundred dollars.


The Disciples, or Christian, church was organized in the fall of 1844. at Danville, by Love H. Jameson, of Indianapolis. The charter members were Allen Hess and wife, Asa S. White and wife, James Odell and wife, page: 141[View Page 141] Wesley B. Sears and wife, Wesley Bell and wife, Margaret McPhetridge, Celia Cake and Samuel A. Verbrike and wife, all of whom are now dead. The first officers were Allen Hess and Asa S. White, elders; Wesley Bell and James Odell, deacons. The organization was effected at the home of Asa S. White and for years afterwards the society met to worship in private homes and in the old court house. In the year of 1852 the congregation was sufficiently large to build a frame church, in which it worshipped for more than twenty years. The church had no resident ministry for many years, but was periodically visited by such men as L. H. Jameson, Thomas Lockhart, N. Waters, William Jarrett, John O'Kane, O. P. Badger, A. I. Hobbs and others. After the Civil War William R. Jewell settled with them as the regular and only pastor. He was followed by U. C. Brewer, W.. H. Blanks, W. S. Tingley, George G. Peale, Ira J. Chase, A. J. Frank, S. O. Conner, A. L. Orcut, A. L. Conner, U. G. Martin, E. E. Daugherty, E. E. Moorman, Charles Goodnight, A. Leech and the present pastor, W. E. Anderson.

A handsome brick house of worship was erected in 1874 at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars. It has, however, recently been demolished and a more pretentious building is now in process of construction on the same spot on greatly enlarged grounds at a cost of fifty thousand dollars. The new structure was induced by the munificent gift of thirty-five thousand dollars, by Edgar E. Shirley, as a memorial to his father and mother. The new building will be institutional in character. It will embrace not only an auditorium for worship, but an assembly room for the Sunday school, divers class rooms, a kitchen, a banqueting hall and a gymnasium. The latter will be equipped with appliances for all modern physical exercises, such as swings, bars, in-door ball games, etc. It will be supplied with about one hundred lockers, lavatories, etc., and will be set apart on certain evenings of the week for the use of the girls and certain evenings for the boys of the town, without reference to church affiliations. A governor or governess to attend each open evening.

The church membership, at the time of organization in 1840, numbered thirty. In 1884 it had increased to two hundred and sixty and now has an enrollment of four hundred and four.

The Sunday school was organized in 1852, Moses Cavitt being the first superintendent. The present average attendance is two hundred and twenty and James P. Snodgrass is the superintendent. The church has also been efficient in religious and social activities usual to church work. The Christian church, at Clayton, was organized December 7, 1863, by Rev. Thomas Lockhart and O. P. Badger. Samuel B. Hall and John R. Ballard page: 142[View Page 142] were chosen as the first elders and George Acton and James Ferguson, deacons. The charter members were sixty-three in number. The church built in 1865 cost over twenty-six hundred dollars. Among the early pastors were Thomas Lockhart, O. P. Badger, Jameson, Sherman, Canfield, Miller, Jewell, Frank and Brewer. Rev. Scofield is the present pastor and the membership is one hundred and twenty-five.

The Christian church at Stilesville was organized and their first house of worship erected in 1842. This building was of frame and cost one thousand dollars. Among the first members were Daniel Osborne, John W. Bryant, John R. Robards, George W. Snoddy, James Snoddy and their families. After using their first church over thirty years, a brick edifice was erected, costing twenty-five hundred dollars. George W. Snoddy was a preacher in this church over forty years, dying in April, 1882. A. J. Frank, of Greencastle, took charge after his death, then A. M. Connor, Gilchrist. Rev. Beard is the present pastor. The membership numbers seventy-five.

The Christian church at Plainfield was organized in March, 1830, with the following as the first members: David Cox and wife, John Hadley, Jonathan Hadley, David Carter, Ezekiel Hornaday, Hiram Hornaday, Hiram Green, Abijah Cox, with their wives, and Alexander Shover, seventeen in all. They soon built a hewed-log church and in that primitive structure, half a mile north of the present site of Plainfield, they worshipped for five or six years. They then erected a frame church in the village, using the same for twenty years, when it was succeeded by a brick structure, built on the site of the frame, at a cost of three thousand dollars. Among the first ministers were Revs. Michael and Job Combs, Lewis Comer, John Secrest, Oatman, and John O'Kane. Rev. Shields is now in charge. There are two hundred members enrolled.

The Christian church at Pittsboro was organized February 25, 1854. A church was built in the same year at a cost of two thousand dollars. It was later used as a residence. This first church was located on ground now owned by the Pierson sisters. It was erected by James Cundiff, an uncle of Mrs. E. W. Sawyer. This membership was organized by the venerable Thomas Lockhart. He ministered to the spiritual needs of this congregation for years and was succeeded by Elders Luke Warren and James Canfield. Its charter members were from the families of the Wells, Parkers and Hills, who were before that members at Brownsburg. This house served for the triple purpose of sanctuary, school and dwelling until 1889, when it was purchased and razed by Douglas Baker and the site occupied with a dwelling. page: 143[View Page 143] The second church was built in 1873. It has since been remodeled and made more modern. Frank Sumner is the present pastor. The membership is one hundred and ninety.

The Christian church at North Salem was organized in 1837, with Charles Fleece and Thompson Farmer as elders. O. P. Badger, D. Collins, W. B. F. Treat, A. J. Frank, William Holt and A. Plunkett were among the early pastors. In recent years this church divided over a controversy in regard to an organ and now there are two Christian churches in Salem. Rev. H. E. Kelsey is in charge of the larger and the smaller obtains supply.

The Christian church, in Brownsburg, is the oldest in that town and the second to be organized in the township of Lincoln. It was organized in 1835 by Thomas Lockhart, with seventeen members. John L. Parker and V. Cress were the elders. The society constructed a brick church in 1859, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. Rev. William L. Newlin is the pastor now. The church has a strong membership.

In Union township the first preaching was done by Gilbert Harney, of the Christian denomination. In 1837 Gilbert Harney organized at the house of Archibald Alexander, a church, with Mr. Alexander, Joseph P. Lewis, Samuel C. Carrington and their wives, with a few others, as members. A church was built about 1875 and has been prosperous since.

In Middle township the Christian church was the first to be organized. The Baptist was second and then the Cumberland Presbyterian.


The Presbyterian church at Danville was organized in 1832. Among the leading early members were Daniel McAuley and wife, Jacob K. Moore and wife, Alexander Morris and family, Henry G. Todd, Samuel King and Eliza McPheeters. Among the pastors who have served this congregation have been Revs. Samuel G. Lowry, Hill, Moody, Chase, Theophilus Lowry, Henry Hammer, Samuel Wishard, Henry L. Dickerson, G. D. Parker, N. S. Dickey.

The first house of worship was erected on the corner lot north of the present standpipe. It was frame, substantially built, the sleepers of whole logs, slightly flattened on one side, on which rested the floor. This building was used for public worship on the Sabbath and a subscription school was taught by the old-time pedagogues during the week. Some of the charter members of the congregation walked to church from what is now a part of the "Abe Eastes farm," a distance of nearly four miles, and had to cross the page: 144[View Page 144] creek northeast of town on a foot log. Henry Ward Beecher attended and preached here during meetings of the presbytery. It is reported that a Sabbath school was conducted at which "Uncle George Rich" led the singing with a violin.

At the building of the next church, now the Knights of Pythias hall, about 1850, the old building was purchased by George Wayland, who put in a ceiling and converted it into a carpenter shop and later into a residence, and as such it served until leveled in 1891, when the heavy timbers made fuel for a family for more than two years. The new church was not fully completed and dedicated until December 29, 1858, when Amos Jones, one of the early ministers, came and assisted in the dedication. Rev. H. L. Dickerson came in the spring of 1858. Ministers who had previously served the church were Revs. Cole, Post and Lee. Rev. Dickerson came direct from Lane Seminary, with his bride, who had been a teacher in a female seminary on Walnut Hills, and they at once began to plan better things for this church. He resigned after twenty years of faithful service. During the pastorate of Rev. Dickerson he had organized White Lick church. During his absence the pulpit was supplied by Dr. Fisk, of Greencastle, and Rev. R. B. Herron On June 1, 1877, Rev. Dickerson returned and again took up the work here and at White Lick, but deaths and removals had so depleted the membership that it was found impossible to sustain a regular pastor, so Rev. Dickerson removed to Indianapolis, from which point he supplied vacant churches in every direction from that city.

On July 30, 1882, the Danville congregation decided to organize as a Cumberland Presbyterian church, with a large majority of the working members as charter members of the new organization. Among them were J. O. Wishard and wife, Isaac Piersol and wife, W. T. Lawson and wife, James Reed and wife, Asa Martin and wife, Charles R. Rose, Emma Piersol Barnett, Mary E. Warner, Elizabeth Scearce, Mary Cooper, J. B. Harlan, Ruth Cash and Ella Nave, together with Charles Hadley and wife, Stanley Hall and wife, Asa Black and wife, and Lawrence Vannice, who had removed to this vicinity from the New Winchester and Groveland Cumberland congregations. This new organization proceeded to erect a new building, in which they now worship. Work on the church was begun in the spring of 1884 and completed in November of the same year and dedicated November 30th. It cost sixty-two hundred dollars.

In April, 1883, the Indianapolis presbytery, on petition of the members of the old church who did not see fit to go into the Cumberland organization, page: 145[View Page 145] reorganized the church, with Henry G. Todd, Robert R. Downard and Isaac R. Lawson as elders, and Marshall Todd and Frank J. Christie, deacons. Dr. H. G. Todd was afterward elected clerk of the session. Rev. G. D. Parker was secured as a supply until February, 1885, when Rev. N. S. Dickey came and labored faithfully, but the field was small and the church grew weaker until, in April, 1890, by resolution of presbytery, the church was dissolved at the request of the home mission committee.

On May 25, 1906, the reunion of the Cumberland Presbyterian and the Presbyterian churches of the United States was consummated at Decatur, Illinois, and is now known as the Presbyterian church of the United States of America. The Danville church, by a vote, concurred in this action of the general assembly.

This church has had as pastors and supplies Revs. Witherspoon, Whatley, Penick, Halsell, Hudgins, Rogers, McKnight, Prather, Yokely, Mahr, Danley, Giuchard, Christensen and W. H. Gray.

In the early thirties the Cumberland Presbyterians of Liberty township were perfected into an organization by Rev. Alexander C. Downey at Belleville. They, in common with other religious organizations in our early days, had no stated house of worship, but met from house to house or held services in some school house, mostly, however, in what was known as the Mitchell school house, situated on the west side of the road leading south from Clayton and at the short bend just south of the national road.

The minutes of the sessions having become lost, Wabash presbytery authorized the elders to procure a new book and enter therein the names of such members as were known to be in good standing. This was accomplished in January, 1841, when thirty-eight names were enrolled. Of these, Samuel Little, of Plainfield, now nearing the ninety-second anniversary of his birth, was a charter member and his niece, Rebecca Harden, of Indianapolis, some eighty years of age, are the only ones known to be among the living.

In 1851, upon a lot donated by Richard Worrell, and a short distance south of the present location, was erected a house for worship. The contractor was Ferdinand Hopwood, who was assisted by D. N. Hopwood, Frank W. Beckwith, William A. Ragan and Moses Kebner.

Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Ragan were the first to be received into membership in the Clayton church. This was on March 27, 1853.

The first Christmas tree in Clayton was held in this church on Christmas eve, 1866. In 1869 the first church organ was purchased by Taylor Wills, who acted as organist for eight years.

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In 1872, not liking the location, a lot was bought of Joseph L. Rhoades and Messrs. Dr. C. T. Lawrence, Henry Lincoln and William A. Ragan were appointed a committee to remove the church and refit it for use. This building having been occupied something over half a century as place for worship and also showing the marks of time, in May, 1901, it was decided that a more suitable location and a building adequate for the needs of the times were absolutely necessary, The church appointed Messrs. Columbus F. Edmondson, Thomas Edmondson and Howard Mitchell, who performed their duties by selecting a site more centrally located and erecting thereon a building forty-nine by fifty-eight from out to out, having an auditorium and two Sunday school rooms, all of which may be easily thrown together as occasion demands. The seating capacity is about four hundred and may be increased to five hundred by crowding. The building is heated by a hot air furnace, lighted by a gasoline plant and seated with chairs. A new three-hundred-dollar vocalion organ was secured. The cost of the location, building and furnishings footed up about five thousand dollars. Samuel Little, before mentioned, is supposed to be the oldest living elder, having been ordained in 1832.

W. A. Ragan was Sunday school superintendent for over thirty years. For twenty years John Cornett led in the singing and Amos S. Wills was secretary of the Sunday school.

Much of the credit for the structure was due to the untiring zeal of the pastor, Rev. Elmer J. Bouher.

The following pastors have been in charge here at various times: Alexander Downey, Samuel C. Mitchell, James Ritchey, Joseph Hannah, W. T. Ferguson, D. D., Elam McCord, H. D. Onyett, D. D., A. Randolph, W. D. Hawkins, B. F. Ivy, L. P. Witherspoon, A. H. Whatley, Thomas Penick, J. P. Halsell, Charles Wilson, J. L. Hudgins, J. L. McKnight, Josephus Latham, A. T. Carr, Elmer J. Bouher, and Rev. Frank, the present incumbent.

The Presbyterian church at Brownsburg was organized by George Long in 1865. He raised the sum of twenty-three hundred dollars to be used for the construction of a church building. Revs. Beach, McKee, Mayo and H. L. Dickerson were a few of the first to occupy the pulpit. Rev. Beeson is the present pastor. The church has a membership of one hundred and is prosperous.

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The Regular Baptist church at Danville was organized in the year 1823, having the distinction of being the first religious organization in the county and also of having been organized before the county. Some of the early members were William Faught and wife, Thomas Flathers and wife, Joel Jelf and L. T. Pounds. Elder J. W. Thomas preached for some time prior to the year 1836. Elders William Hardin and Thomas Hooten each served for a number of years. The latter's back was broken by a falling shed and he died a year after the accident. Elder Erasmus D. Thomas commenced his labors here before the war.

The church has had three houses of worship. The first, a log structure, was used until 1852, when a new frame building was constructed. This house was used until 1903, when the present building was built. The regular services of the church are held monthly on the second Saturday and Sunday following in each month. Elder E. W. Thomas, the son of Erasmus D. Thomas, has served the church continuously.

The Missionary Baptist church was organized November 9, 1850, by members from the Belleville church. Prominent in this movement were Moses Cavett and wife, Rufus Tharpe, Richard Christie and David Downs. A house of worship was built, which cost about twelve hundred dollars. The money for this building was raised chiefly through the efforts of the wife of the first pastor. This church society is now discontinued in the town of Danville.

The Baptist church at Cartersburg was constituted March 21, 1864, with Rev. R. M. Parks as pastor and the following first members. H. D. McCormick and wife, R. T. McCormick and wife, A. S. McCormick and wife, Matilda Christine, William, Nancy, Sudy, Cynthia, and Moses Tomlinson, James and Sarah Hayden, John A. and Sarah Veatch, Isabel Silch, Joseph K. and Elizabeth Little, Hazzard and Margaret J. Woodhurst, Anna Martin, Sarah A. Snodgrass, Oliver P. Garr, Susan Dilley, Charles Maddox, Greenberry Baker, James Roach, George Hufford, Hannah Owens. R. T. McCormick was chosen the first clerk. The society erected a frame church in 1868 at a cost of seven hundred dollars. R. M. Parks, B. A. Melson. W. Trent, J. W. Sherrill, F. M. Buchan and J. W. Crews were among the first pastors. Rev. Buchanan is now in charge.

The White Lick Baptist church was the first of any denomination organized in Hendricks county. It was formed March 27, 1824, by Elder page: 148[View Page 148] William Pope, with the following members: Thomas Hinton and wife, James Thompson and wife and Chris. Pope. This little band met at the house of Elder Pope for several years and in 1831 built a church at Belleville, a frame building. After a number of years the church was divided, a portion going to Clayton and organizing the Missionary Baptist church. Many of the first members having died, the Belleville church went down, and finally became defunct and the church building torn down. This church was moved to Pittsboro in 1887. Elder E. A. Williams has been preacher for several years. The membership is about fifty.

The Baptist church at North Salem was organized before the Civil War and a building erected during the war at a cost of one thousand dollars. Among the first members were Preston Pennington, Elizabeth Ballard, Susan, Levi, Mary and Eliza Pennington, Thomas, Susan and George Barber, John N. and Mary V. Clemens and Eaton Bales. Rev. Fuson is the present pastor.

The Baptist church at Amo was organized near the time of the opening of the Civil War in 1861. A year or two after the organization a frame church was constructed, costing two thousand dollars. Among the early members were Elijah Wheeler, Harding Tincher, Milton Bland, Hiram Bland, Samuel Hubbard, and their wives. The first regular pastor was Rev. Edwards. Following him came Rev. Wilson G. Trent, Moore, Sherrill, L. A. Clevenger, R. N. Harvey. Rev. Tedford now fills the pulpit.

The Missionary Baptist church at Stilesville was organized about eighty years ago. The frame church first used was constructed in 1840. Among the early members of the society were David Boswell, Abraham Bland, James Walls, Moses Crawford, Josiah Garrin, their wives, and Mary Reese. A brick church was completed in 1882, at a cost of three thousand dollars. Among the early pastors were Revs. John Jones, Benjamin Arnold, John Mugg, Jacob and John Rynearson. Rev. J. E. Sherrill is the latest pastor.

The Missionary Baptist church at Clayton was founded March 11, 1854, by John Vawter, Jacob Rynearson, M. Elliott, Davis Boswell and Moses Crawford, who held letters of dismissal from the Belleville church, and a number of others, fifty-eight in all. The first trustees elected were Richard Worrell, Francis Edmondson and John Rynearson. Rev. Hackleman is the pastor in 1914.

The Missionary Baptist church at Coatesville organized their church in 1871, and built a frame church in 1873 at a cost of twelve hundred dollars. Revs. Sherrill, Jesse Buchanan, John F. Crews, G. W. Terry. Rev. J. E. page: 149[View Page 149] Sherrill also preaches at this church. Rev. Richard Oliphant is in charge of the Primitive Baptist church at Coatesville.

The Missionary Baptists at Plainfield have had a regular organization for about sixty years. Among the first members were Adam Jones and wife, Orrin Bonner and wife, Samuel McCormick and wife, William Douglass and wife and children. After a time the society purchased the church which had been occupied by the Friends and used the same for a number of years. In August, 1884, they dedicated a fine brick church, which cost about three thousand dollars. Rev. Bell is the pastor today.

The Regular Baptist church was the first to be organized in Middle township. The Spicklemires, Keeneys and Newman families were among the charter members. Their church building was erected on grounds now comprising the old White Lick cemetery east of Pittsboro, about the year 1837. The earliest preachers were Harrison Darnell, Thomas Hooten, William Hardie and Peter Keeney. Its membership increased with succeeding years until it was one of the strongest associations in the county.

The first church organization in Eel River township was that of the Regular Baptists, which was organized at Round Town by the Penningtons and others, at an unknown date.

William Pope, a Baptist minister, did the first preaching and organized the first Baptist church in Hendricks county, in his own house, in the autumn of 1823.

The Center Valley Baptists have a church building, dedicated in October, 1906.


The Western yearly meeting of Friends was organized in September, 1858, the first members being Eleazer Bales, Charles Moore, Matthew Stanley and Robert W. Hodson, with their families. At the time of the organization the large new building could not accommodate the crowd. Barnabas C. Hobbs, of Bloomingdale, Indiana, was the first presiding clerk and Shiles Moore, of Plainfield, the first treasurer. The women members organized a separate meeting, with Drusilla Wilson, of Indianapolis, the first clerk. Separate sessions of the men and women were continued until 1893, since which time the whole body has met together. The yearly meeting has enjoyed nearly a half century of prosperity. She experienced one schism in 1877, but fortunately this was scarcely felt in any of its limits except Plainfield.

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On March 28, 1913, the splendid church building of the Friends yearly meeting burned. Experts came to contract for the building of a new structure and upon examining the walls of the old church, found that they were eighteen inches thick and sunk ten feet to hard-pan. This wall could not be duplicated without great cost, so the new structure was built upon the foundations of the old. It was opened on March 8, 1914, having cost nearly seventeen thousand dollars. One-third of the building is for the local society and the rest for the yearly meeting. The local society has a membership of five hundred. E. J. Carter is pastor. The Western yearly meeting is composed of one hundred and ten churches and the meeting is held on the Tuesday before the third Sunday in September.

The Friends church at the town of Amo was organized about the year of 1840. A log church was constructed as the first house of worship, but this was quickly succeeded by a frame structure, which was used for forty years and then gave way to the new structure, which was completed in the fall of 1883, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. Among the early members of this society were Philip Johnson, John Cosner, Annuel Edwards and Asael Hunt.

The Friends church in Danville was organized in the year 1874 with about forty charter members, among them Henry and B. F. Howell, Wyatt Osborn, William F. Hamrick, William Cox, John Warnock, John McPheters and their wives, Mrs. J. W. Estep and E. L. Smith. Within a year steps were taken toward building a church, which was completed in 1876 at a cost of four thousand dollars, located on the corner of Cross and South streets. There were but few resident members of the church when the first effort was made to enter this field. John K. Howell, Anna Mills and William S. Wooton were the first ministers in the early organization of this church. John Henry Douglas dedicated the house of worship; David and Sarah Hadley were the first pastors, being in charge at the time the church building was erected. The parsonage was built in 1885. Since the organization of the church evangelistic services of more than passing interest have been held by John Henry Douglas, Nathan and Esther Frame, George Willis and Mary Moon. The following persons have been pastors of the church: William S. Wooton, Caleb Johnson, Mahlon Perry, Abbie Trueblood, Orvil Jones, Howard Brown, Thomas Brown, Robert Pretlow, Sarah M. Hadley, Hannah Pratt Jessup, Zeno Doane, Fred Smith, David Hadley, Willis Bond. The church has never failed to sustain a regular means of grace, and has always maintained a good Sunday school. The present membership is considerably over one hundred.

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Other churches of this denomination in Hendricks county are at Bridgeport, Fairfield, Union Hill, three miles south of Plainfield, and Hadley.


St. Malachy's Catholic church at Brownsburg is first written upon the records under the date of August 26, 1867, and this was made by Rev. D. J. McMullen, through whose efforts the church building was constructed. Very Rev. Aug. Bessonies was there February 20, 1869, and the first resident priest began his work there on October 2d of that same year. He was succeeded after a time by Rev. Dennis O'Donavan. The latter served some years at this point and then exchanged with Rev. Thomas Logan, of Greencastle, where he remained a year or two. Returning in 1877, he found the parish in debt for certain improvements made by Father Logan and O'Donavan denied the validity of the debt. Bishop Chatard took the opposite view and to secure the creditors gave a mortgage on the church property. Father O'Donovan contested the right of the Bishop to do this and the court decided for the latter. The Bishop then asked and obtained from the supreme court a writ of ejectment against the priest, who also lost a subsequent suit for fifty thousand dollars damages for loss of employment, etc. During these troubles mass was regularly held at private houses or in a rented hall by Revs. Patrick Shepherd, Casper Seiler, Charles Curran and E. J. Spelman. The first church was built in 1900, at a cost of twenty-five hundred dollars. The fine new structure recently completed has cost thirteen thousand dollars. Father John A. Walsh is the pastor and the congregation numbers eighty families.


The first religious meetings in Franklin township were held by the New Lights and John Smart and Thomas Woods did the preaching. This denomination organized a church at Orsburn's horse mill, which was the most noted place in the township until 1835. At this mill the Christian church was organized by Thomas Lockhart in 1832.

A Lutheran church at Pecksburg was organized in the sixties. William Tinster preached for several years and in 1882 removed to Mud Creek. This church is not active at present.

A Holiness society exists at Cartersburg, with twelve members and in charge of Rev. George Stephenson.

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At the house of William Ballard, on October 25, 1824, was held the first term of the circuit court. Then the county was in the fifth judicial circuit. The presiding judge was William W. Wick, commissioned by Jonathan Jennings on January 2, 1822. The associate judges at the same time were Nathan Kirk and James Downard, whose commissions were-issued by Governor William Hendricks on July 26, 1824. Levi Jessup was clerk of the court.

The men who acted as grand jurors this first session were Thomas R. Ballard, foreman, Daniel B. Tryer, Jesse Kellum, Pollard Baldwin, John Hawkins, David Demoss, Noah Bateman, John Fowler, John Ballard, James Thompson, Abijah Bray, Adin Ballard, Moses Alderson, Thomas Gilbert, David Ross and Samuel Jones. Jonathan Jessup was selected to attend to the grand jury. Hervey Gregg was the prosecuting attorney.

In this session of court Calvin Fletcher, Gabriel Jones, Mr. Johnson and Daniel B. Wick were admitted to the bar. On the following day Craven P. Heister was also admitted to practice as an attorney.

On this day the first case came up for trial. It was that of Joshua W. Redman vs. Benjamin Benson, for debt. This case was continued. James Brown vs. William H. Henton was then called and tried. This closed the October term, the next beginning in the following April.

On April 25th the first case was tried before a jury, being the case of Brown vs. Hinton, for debt. The men who composed the jury were James McClure, Abijah Pinson, Ezekiel Hornaday, John Leaman, John W. Bryant, James Dunn, Samuel Woodward, Stephen Cook, Thomas Lockhart, David Demoss, David Ballard and Robert Cooper. The result of the trial was a judgment in favor of the plaintiff for thirty dollars.

So ran the trials for a number of years after the establishment of the court. The first really important case was in February, 1827, against Samuel page: 153[View Page 153] K. Barlow for killing George Matlock-charged with manslaughter. He was tried in August and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary, but he was granted a respite until the first day of the next term, Thomas Lockhart, Samuel Jessup, John Ballard and Abel Stanley giving a bond of three hundred dollars for his appearance.


The first probate court was held in Hendricks county in April, 1825, and Nathan Kirk and James Downard were associate judges. At this meeting the wills of Uriah Hults and William Ballard were admitted to probate.


The list of judges who have served in the different courts of Hendricks county down to the present time will be found in the official summary of county officers.


James M. Gregg was one of the first active attorneys in Hendricks county. He was born in 1806 in Patrick county, Virginia, and came to Hendricks in 1830. After being employed as dry goods clerk by James J. Given in Danville for a season, he became a deputy in the county clerk's office. In 1834 he was made county surveyor, and was later elected to the office of county clerk. At the close of his term of office as clerk he began the practice of law which he followed exclusively until his death with good success. He served one term in Congress, also one in the Legislature, and died in June, 1860.

Simon T. Hadley was another of the early attorneys in the county. He was born in North Carolina in 1801, taught school for a time, and in 1826 came to Hendricks county and settled in Danville. He filled the offices of clerk and recorder in this county, serving as both for seven years and as recorder alone for twenty-two years. He was president of the First National Bank in Danville for many years. Mr. Hadley never studied law as a profession, his practice being confined almost exclusively to probate matters, conveyancing and the writing of contracts. He was so reasonable in his charge, and possessed so fully the confidence of the people of the county that it was not at all infrequent for a citizen and his wife to drive over muddy roads in a two-horse wagon fifteen or twenty miles to get Uncle Simon to write a deed or other simple contract.

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Christian C. Nave was also among the first and also among the most prominent of the Hendricks county lawyers. He was born in eastern Tennessee in 1803. He was educated for the legal profession and in the fall of 1831, at the age of twenty-eight years, left his native state for Indiana on horseback and after some investigation and inspection, arrived and settled in Danville, December 17, 1831. He had traveled all the way from his eastern Tennessee home to Danville through the woods on horseback, and when he arrived his total belongings was his mount, a few articles of wearing apparel in his saddle bags, a copy of Blackstone's Commentaries, a pistol, and five dollars in money.

Before he had permanently located himself in the county seat of Danville, he was called upon to defend, for a nominal fee, a citizen for the murder of his neighbor. It was Nave's opportunity and right well he recognized it. Being naturally of great energy and shrewdness, he at once set about the construction of a defense, in what was generally thought to be a desperate case, which resulted not only in his client's acquittal, but also in extending Mr. Nave's reputation as an able advocate throughout central Indiana and which served him well and brought him many good fees throughout his subsequent action and eventful career. He was the subject of many amusing anecdotes, never accused of wrong or unprofessional conduct. He led the Third Indiana Regiment into Mexico as colonel, was liberal and public spirited and died in Danville in 1884. He was unfaltering in the study and practice of his profession up to the hour of his death, in his eighty-second year, and in his last sickness had his daughter sit by his bedside and read to him all the current opinions of the supreme court as they appeared.

Leander M. Campbell, a Kentuckian, was admitted to the Hendricks county bar in 1854. He was an educated man, had been a previous school teacher. He had a remarkable memory and seemed always to have at hand, ready for immediate use, any legal principle or ruling that had ever before attracted his attention. His social qualities were of the very best and his acquaintance with the people of the county was so thorough that he used to say there was not a family living in the county for a period of five years that he could not tell its blood and marriage relations with all other families in the county.

In making up of juries and in the examination of witnesses this thorough acquaintance with the people was a great advantage he had over his opponents in a trial.

He was a forceful and lucid speaker, carrying always the air of sincerity page: 155[View Page 155] and always put forth his best endeavor to win his cases in the circuit court. He disliked the supreme court and seldom appealed a case-- seldom had an occasion to appeal, for he was renowned as a "verdict getter." He enjoyed up to the time of his death, in 1890, a large and lucrative practice in central Indiana and in his prime was generally regarded as the Napoleon of the Hendricks county bar.

Peter S. Kennedy, another Kentuckian, was contemporaneous with Mr. Campbell and was generally regarded as his yoke-fellow. He was a ripe lawyer, a good writer and really enjoyed presenting his argument to the supreme court better than to the circuit court or jury. In 1865 he moved with his family to Crawfordsville, where he spent the balance of his days.

In 1866 there came to the Hendricks county bar Jesse S. Ogden, a Virginian, who, for brilliancy in letters, eloquence in speech and loveableness in social intercourse, never had a superior, and perhaps never an equal, at this bar. Mr. Ogden left his mountain home in 1858 to seek his fortune in the West. He arrived in Danville in November, impecunious, but full of ambition. His first job of work was to undertake, with a negro, to cut ten cords of wood for Levi Ritter for ten dollars. He entered the Danville Academy as janitor in 1859 and thus, in services, he paid his tuition for two school years and until August, 1861, when he left his school and enlisted in the Seventh Indiana Infantry. On the 22d of March, 1862, at the battle of Winchester, Virginia, he received a severe wound in the right hand-in fact, three of his fingers were literally carried away with a minie ball and thus he was disqualified for further army service. He returned to Danville, was elected recorder of the county and while serving in that capacity spent his idle hours in reading law. He subsequently attended law school at Indianapolis and was admitted to the bar in 1866 and took up the practice of law as his life work. He at once took high rank at the bar and was elected prosecuting attorney in 1870. He was a hard worker and a close thinker and seldom went before court or jury without having the merits of his case and the law well in hand and also his course of procedure and the points in his argument fully determined. His eloquence was not excelled in central Indiana. Its excellence consisted chiefly in its grace of delivery, sweet musical voice and superb selection of his words. He spoke with ease and energy, without being boisterous, and never put himself forward or overtaxed his audience. In 1869 he formed a partnership for the practice of his profession, with his friend and comrade in the army, John V. Hadley, which partnership continued happily and profitably until Mr. Ogden's death, on February 20, 1897, in the thirty-eighth year of his age.

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Many other members of the local bar deserve special mention, but space forbids. The bar from the beginning has always maintained, for strength and character, a high place among the bars of the state. It has been uniformly composed of citizens of high character-enterprising, moral, debt paying, temperate, with a very rare exception and strictly honorable with the court and with each other professionally. It has always been held that a promise or statement of fact to an opposing attorney relative to a pending cause was as binding as an order of the court. Except in cases where opposing counsel desires the facts relied on in the record preparatory to an appeal, an affidavit for a continuance or other matter is unknown to the Danville bar. If delay is desired the counsel desiring appears before the court in the presence of his opponent and states his reasons for the request. The request is often resisted, but the facts as stated upon which it rests are never called in question. The effect is that the bar is always on the most friendly terms.

Quite a number who had their early and first training at the Danville bar afterwards became eminent lawyers and jurists elsewhere. Solomon Blair, William Irvin, Joshua G. Adams and Newton M. Taylor were afterward elected to the bench in Indianapolis. Richard B. Blake was the first judge elected to the superior bench in the city of Spokane under the organization of the state of Washington and continued thereon for years and until he voluntarily resigned to take up in the city a general practice more lucrative. Enoch G. Hogate was called years ago to become dean of the law school of the State University where he still presides with great credit to himself and profit to the young men under his instructions.

John V. Hadley was the first member of the local bar elected to the circuit bench, then composed of Marion and Hendricks counties. He was first elected in the fall of 1886, re-elected in 1892, elected to the state supreme bench in 1898 and re-elected to the latter in 1904, and voluntarily retired therefrom January 2, 1911.

Thomas J. Cofer, by appointment and election, occupied the local circuit bench from the fall of 1898 to the fall of 1906.

James L. Clark was elected in 1906 to succeed Judge Cofer and in January, 1913, was appointed by the governor to the public utilities commission and is now serving thereon with much credit for fairness and commercial comprehension.

George W. Brill was elected in 1912 to succeed Judge Clark and is now occupying the bench with ability and general satisfaction.

The Hendricks County Bar Association is now composed of the following page: 157[View Page 157] gentlemen: Thad S. Adams, Levi A. Barnett, Edgar M. Blessing, James L. Clark, Thomas J. Cofer, Zimri Dougan, James A. Downard, George E. Easley, S. A. Enloe, Fred D. Ensminger, D. P. Etris. William J. Goff, Otis E. Gulley, Horace L. Hanna, Geo. C. Harvey, Drennen Harvey, George Harvey, Jr., C. L. Hollowell, Robert T. Hollowell, John Hume, C. E. Gaston, J. W. Nichols, George T. Pattison, Charles V. Sears, J. P. Snodgrass, John C. Taylor, John W. Trotter, Alf. Walters, and William Westerfield.

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The growth of education in Hendricks county has been very rapid. From the very beginning of the county until the present day the thought of education has been a predominate one. The first settler thought of the learning which should be imparted to his child and until the day of school houses, or the teacher who "boarded around," the child drew his letters at his mother's knee. Of the early schools and school houses there are many interesting things which have been written. The sturdy beech trees for the most part supplied the material from which the first school houses were constructed. The walls were built of the trunks, the puncheon floors, log seats and desks arranged around the wall were likewise split from the trunk of forest trees. Heat was forthcoming from a huge fireplace at one end of the cabin; windows were opened by sawing out sections of logs and placing in the opening a rude sash, with oiled paper in place of glass.

The course of study provided by the stern pedagogue was nearly as crude as the house in which he taught. Geography, reading, spelling and arithmetic and writing were the standard subjects and whenever a pupil exhibited a dislike to them he was often helped over the difficulty by the beech rod, which reposed on two pegs above the master's desk. It is told that many of the early masters were possessed of very little more knowledge of their subjects than the pupils. Many a bright youngster came to grief because he took exceptions to assertions of his teacher.


In the summer of 1823 two school houses had been built, one of them in Liberty township, half a mile south of Cartersburg, and the other on Thomas Lockhart's land in Guilford township. William Hinton and Abijah Pinson were engaged as teachers. In 1824 a school was taught in Danville by Wesley McKinley. The first school in Eel River township was taught about 1829 in a house a half mile southeast of North Salem, by William Dewitt. It was said this man had fled from New Orleans for some crime, joined a page: 159[View Page 159] pirate vessel, and with it sailed more than once around the world, finally leaving the vessel to seek a new life in the North. He was a man of intelligence and one of the best of the pioneer instructors. He died in North Salem, it is said, at the unusual age of one hundred and fifteen years. The first school in Franklin township was taught in 1831 by Judiah White, one mile south of Stilesville. The district consisted of two townships. Thomas Barker was successor to White in this school. He was a good teacher, but somewhat fond of "red-eye." Often, at noon recess, he would go to the village and return in an intoxicated condition and then would devote the afternoon to amusing the scholars by his antics. In 1831 Eli Lee taught the first school in Stilesville, in connection with his trade of shoemaker. Alfred Lineberry taught the first school in Middle township in 1835 on Samuel Hill's farm, for ten dollars per month.


Much progress had been made in the schools of the county at the beginning of the seventies. Then was the beginning of definite organization. The log school house had long disappeared from the county. By the year 1884 there was even a vaster improvement. At this date there were 108 school buildings. 54 of these were brick and the rest of frame. There were 4,000 pupils in attendance at the brick schools, out of 7,082 in the county. There were 147 teachers, 85 of them male. The total school enrollment of this year was but 5,836. The total expenditures for school purposes in 1884. amounted to $94,303.86.


The common schools were first provided for by the constitution of 1816. The Legislature of 1837 provided that land sold for taxes and escheated estates should be used for public school purposes. The law provided that any public school district might draw fifty dollars from such fund for the erection of a school house. This was for the encouragement of the common schools. In 1848 the people of a district could vote for or against a tax to maintain schools from three to six months. In 1850 a special tax was authorized. The greatest impetus given the common schools came from the constitution of 1851. "Knowledge and learning generally diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all equitable page: 160[View Page 160] means, moral, intellectual, scientific and agricultural improvement, and to provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of common schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge and equally open to all." Section 2 of article 8 provides for the common school fund, the principal of which can never be reduced.

In 1855 free schools were authorized in cities and towns. The grade schools and the high schools have grown up since 1873. The academies were converted into public schools and high schools in most cases.


The county institute was established in the year 1865. In 1901 the act of 1865 was amended so that if twenty-five teachers were in attendance, thirty-five dollars could be drawn from the county treasury; if forty were in attendance, fifty dollars; if seventy-five, one hundred dollars. In 1907 the auditor was given power by the Legislature to draw his warrant upon the treasurer for one hundred dollars for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the county institute regardless of the number of teachers in attendance.

In some instances the efficiency of the township institute has been impaired through the indifference of a few teachers. For the purpose of eliminating this handicap it has become necessary to create conditions unfavorable to the development of this indifference, so that the responsibility may be fixed and co-operation attained. To this end a monthly report has to be made to the county superintendent by each institute. This report will show the enrollment, explain the cause of tardiness, absence and other irregularities, and will show in per cent. the chairman's estimate of each teacher's preparation for the day. If each teacher makes careful preparation of all the Reading Circle work and any special topic that may be required individually, the chairman reports the work well done.

Approximately three thousand dollars were spent in Hendricks county in 1913 for the support of the township institutes.

The county agriculture agent will soon be at the service of the teachers in township institute work. Joint sessions will be arranged for his convenience, so that all teachers may have the opportunity of gaining practical information which he will impart in the interest of vocational education.


In the first survey of western lands, congress set apart a section of land in every township, generally the sixteenth, for school purposes, the disposition page: 161[View Page 161] of the land to be in the hands of the residents of the respective townships. In 1829 the township was provided with three trustees elected for one year at the September election. These members appointed a clerk. The duties of the trustees were to divide their township school lands into convenient sizes for sale and set a minimum price, not less than a dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. It was the duty of the school commissioner to sell the lands thus divided to the highest bidder.

The law of 1838 provided that a civil township should have three township trustees, selected for a term of three years, one elected each year. These appointed a clerk and a treasurer. These officers were to build roads and care for them and divide the township into school districts. There were in each school district three district trustees whose duty it was to examine and employ teachers. In 1849 one district trustee was provided for each school district in place of three. His duties were practically those of the three. He was paid seventy-five cents per day, as were also the township trustees.

In 1859 the "civil township was declared a school township," and "the trustee for such a township shall be trustee, treasurer and clerk." It was this law which created the present township trustee, though subsequent legislation has added much to his list of duties and largely increased his power.

In 1865 the voters of a school district met the first Saturday in October and elected one director. The duties of this official were to call meetings of the district voters and preside. The meeting could appoint the teacher for the district; determine the branches to be taught in addition to the common branches provided by law, and could set the term of school under two limitations. The power of employing and paying teachers belonged to the township trustee.

In 1873 the district meeting with the director lost the power of appointing the teacher. The duty fell into the hands of the township trustee. From this time to the present the office of director has gradually fallen into disuse.

In 1883 the Legislature placed some limitations upon the trustee's power in employing teachers which were removed by the act of 1901. Under this act, although the advisory board since 1899 has limited his power in two directions, viz., tax levies and the number of days he may be employed as trustee, the trustee is in complete control of the schools of his township. He has the authority to ask patrons, while taking the enumeration, what their preferences are, if any, and thus has a guide in selecting his teachers for the next year. This custom has grown out of the directors' meetings and taken their place.

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The trustees of Hendricks county in 1914 are: Brown township, C. F. Pennington; Center, J. W. Whyte; Clay, William Hunt; Eel River, S. D. Noland; Franklin, T. R. Ruark; Guilford, B. W. Anderson; Liberty, C. E. Shields; Lincoln, B. A. White; Marion, Obed Underwood; Middle, R. L. Dillon; Union, J. T. Hocker, and Washington, C. M. Roark


The county superintendent was given large duties by the text book law of 1889. He makes the requisition for all books used in the county; he is the bookkeeper for each of the school book contractors; and he collects from each corporation handling the books as well as from the various dealers. A recent act of the Legislature, however, relieves the superintendent of all these duties except the matter of making requisitions.

The county superintendent has the general superintendence of the schools of his county. He must attend each township institute at least once in each school year and as often thereafter as possible, and preside over and conduct its exercises. He shall visit schools while they are in session for the purpose of increasing their usefulness and elevating, as far as practicable, the poor schools to the standard of the best. He must conduct teachers' institutes and encourage other like associations and shall labor, in every way, to elevate the standard of teaching and to improve the education of the schools of the county. In all controversies of a general nature arising under the school law, the decision of a county superintendent must first be obtained. It is his duty at all times to carry out the orders and instructions of the state board of education and the state superintendent of public instruction. The same Legislature which enumerated the above duties of the county superintendent also relieved him of the supervision of cities and towns with superintendents.


There are high schools at present in Hendricks county at the following towns: Amo, Clay township; North Salem, Eel River township; Stilesville, Franklin township; Plainfield, Guilford township; Clayton, Liberty township; Brownsburg, Lincoln township; New Winchester, Marion township; Pittsboro, Middle township; Lizton, Union township, and Danville, Center township. All of these high schools are commissioned by the state board of education with the exception of those at New Winchester and Lizton. The latter is to be commissioned this year. The total enrollment in 1913 was six page: 163[View Page 163] hundred and forty-eight, with thirty-one teachers. The high schools are well regulated in the county and a course is divided into semesters of a half year, sixteen weeks each. Thirty-two credits are required for graduation, with music and drawing in addition. A system of uniform high school text books was adopted by the state board of school book commissioners on July 24, 1913, for a period of five years. This regulation does not restrict the work of the schools, for the books allowed are many and excellent texts. The high schools in the county are in excellent condition, all attention being turned towards modeling them after the most modern laws promulgated by the leading minds in the educational and legislative world. Athletics are being featured and meets are held annually, beginning with 1914, in which all the high schools of the county join. This has a tendency, and a strong one, of drawing the students closer together and promoting a healthier and better spirit. The county, as compared with the others in the state, ranks among the first six in educational excellence. Nearly all of the high schools are housed in new buildings, built according to the most scientific and hygienic rules of school house construction. New structures are going up at present at Hazlewood, Avon and Amo, the latter to cost twenty-nine thousand dollars. Consolidation is the ultimate aim of every township, and this is being largely effected. In Brown township, as there is no town, an effort will be made to establish a community center.


The total enrollment for the year 1912-13 by townships is as follows: Brown, 170; Center, 236; Clay, 428; Eel River, 427; Franklin. 231; Guilford, 563; Liberty, 528; Lincoln, 425; Marion, 227; Middle, 304; Union, 243; Washington, 222, making a total of 4,004. Danville had enrolled 448 pupils, which raises the grand total to 4,452. This number includes the pupils in grade schools and the high schools together.

In the county there were 425 pupils enrolled in commissioned high schools; in certified high schools, 202; in non-certified high schools, 17; in private or parochial schools giving primary or secondary instruction, 74.

There were 152 teachers employed in the schools of the county in 1913. who were paid for their services, $76,844.58.

There are seventy-eight school houses in the county, seventy of them being brick and eight frame. The estimated value of all this school property is $395,500.

There were, in 1913, 6,020 volumes in the school libraries.

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The enumeration of the pupils in school attendance in the county issued in May, 1914, places the number at 5,309, showing a net loss of 74 over last year.


The chief educational feature of Hendricks county is the Central Normal College, located at the county seat, Danville. The college is a normal school for prospective teachers and supplies a need in the educational world which, not so many years ago, was an unsatisfied one.

The school had its origin back in the year 1876, at Ladoga, Montgomery county, Indiana. Prof. W. F. Harper and Prof. J. W. Dart were the founders of the school and the first term under their management saw but forty-eight students enrolled. The outlook at that time was far from encouraging and the existence of the school continued solely on account of the far-sightedness and courage of the two founders. They worked unceasingly for the good of their school and their efforts were crowned with success. At the end of the first year twelve students, having completed the course prescribed by the institution, received the degree of Batchelor of Science. Near the close of the year, Professor Darst having resigned, Frank P. Adams, of Kentucky, came and assisted Professor Harper and was afterward president of the college.

The second year of the school's existence opened in an encouraging manner. Many students came and it became evident that larger accommodations would have to be secured in order to care for the increased attendance. Efforts were made to raise enough money to build a school house adequate for the need and many people interested themselves to the extent of giving cash. However, there were others who refused to aid. This lost the school to Ladoga. On May 10, 1878, arrangements having been made, vehicles supplied by the people of Danville went over to Ladoga and hauled the teachers, their hundred and seventy-five students, and their personal belongings, including the school apparatus, over to Danville. The old Seminary building was remodeled for the use of the school. This building had been the home of the Methodist Academy. The procession through the country and the reception given in Danville were events of great importance. The good people of Danville opened their homes to the teachers and students and school was not interrupted. Classes were resumed in the new location as if nothing had ever happened. By popular subscription the citizens of Danville purchased the Academy building and the Methodist Episcopal church page: 165[View Page 165] deeded the property to Prof. William Harper and he deeded it to Professor Adams in 1879.

On November 25, 1882, Professor Adams was called by death, at the age of thirty years.

The institution was the property of Professor Adams and before his death he requested his wife, Mrs. Ora Adams, to assume the presidency, with Prof. John A. Steele as vice-president. Every friend of the college rallied to the support of the new officials, so that there was no check in its educational or financial progress. The college building was improved, a large boarding house erected and a handsome residence constructed for Mrs. Adams.

But misfortune was again to come. In 1884 Professor Steele became ill with tuberculosis and in May, 1885, passed to his death. During the illness of Professor Steele his work gradually passed into the hands of Charles A. Hargrave, who, since April, 1883, had been his assistant in class and office. He was known as the secretary and treasurer of the college and through him the plans of the college were executed.

On July 10, 1889, President Adams was married to James A. Joseph. Desiring to be relieved of public duties, she promoted Professor Hargrave to the presidency. Miss A. Kate Huron was made vice-president and Professor Joseph, secretary and treasurer. At the close of the school year in 1890 Professor Joseph assumed the presidency. He had already begun the erection of a large additional building, now known as Chapel Hall, just across the street west of the original building. The attendance increased and additional instructors were employed. The enrollment the spring term of 1891 was seven hundred and seventy-one students.

In August, 1900, a stock company of eighty citizens of Danville bought the college of Professor and Mrs. Joseph. From that time on it has been managed by a board of trustees. The first board consisted of the following members: Thomas J. Cofer, president; G. L. Spillman, secretary; Townsend Cope, I. N. Estep, H. S. Dickey, Jonathan Rigdon, C. A. Hargrave. College officials were elected as follows: Jonathan Rigdon, president; G. L. Spillman, vice-president; C. A. Hargrave, secretary and treasurer. In 1903 both Professor Rigdon and Spillman resigned. Their successors were A. J. Kinnaman and G. W. Dunlavy. Doctor Kinnaman resigned in 1906 and Professor Dunlavy was made his successor, and John W. Laird was elected vice-president. Professor Dunlavy's health failed in two years and he retired to take up farm life. Professor Laird was elected president and still holds this position. Prof. H. M. Whisler was made vice-president.

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In 1911 the college was reincorporated, under a new Indiana law, without capital stock, the stockholders donating their stock. It is controlled by a self-perpetuating board of trustees, serving without compensation. The board is as follows : Otis E. Gulley, president; George T. Pattison, secretary; W. C. Osborne, J. D. Hogate, Mord Carter, Dr. W. T. Lawson and C. A. Hargrave.

The institution stands high with the educational public and receives a large patronage. The attendance for the summer term of 1912 was seven hundred and four students. Up to this time the college has been self-supporting. It has never had any help to pay operating expenses. It has been entirely independent of church, state or endowment. Former students now fill Indiana state offices as follows: S. M. Ralston, governor; Charles A. Greathouse, superintendent of public instruction; Philip Zoercher, reporter of supreme court; Edward Barrett, state geologist; E. W. McDaniels, assistant reporter of supreme court; John W. Spencer, judge of supreme court; Edward W. Felt, judge of appellate court; James L. Clark, Thomas R. Duncan, members of state utilities commission; Thomas C. McReynolds, member of Panama exposition commission.


This library had its beginning in the private library of a few scarce volumes of the first president of the college in 1876. For many years it contained numerous good books loaned by the professors of the college. Additions were made from year to year by purchase and donations until the number of volumes reached into the thousands, exclusive of statistical reports that are still kept, but not given shelf room.

The books have been carefully selected, the needs of the students and the college alone being considered. The general public have always been invited to use the library, but not many have accepted on account of the special character of the books. That the selections have been wisely made is known from the use of the library by the students. Those taking literary courses may be found there every day. The library is located in Chapel Hall.


In the thirties a log house was erected in the southeast part of Belleville, and was later supplanted by a frame structure. In 1852 Dr. L. H. Kennedy, John Miles, Thomas Irons, James Hadley, Dr. R. C. Moore formed a stock page: 167[View Page 167] company with a capital of five thousand dollars for the erection of an imposing and commodious brick structure for the housing of an academy. The articles of association were written by a Danville lawyer named for Witherow. Early in 1853 the new building was begun and on July 23, 1853, was dedicated by Governor James A. Wright. Shortly before the dedication L. M. Campbell, a Kentuckian, opened a school in the old frame building. He continued until November, when he joined hands with Prof. J. R. Woodfill, of Ripley county and the two moved into the new brick and began the first term of school in the academy. This academy is now out of existence.

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Hendricks county is one of the richest agricultural counties in the state. In addition to this, there is a large amount of stock raising done in the county. The presence-of valuable grazing land in all of the townships is accountable for this. The tilling of the soil, with its kindred vocations, however, is the greatest industry in Hendricks.

The county has an area of four hundred and eighty square miles or three hundred seven thousand two hundred acres. Very nearly two-thirds of the population live in the country. The farmers own about nine-tenths of the taxable property. The soil of the county is well adapted to cereals, especially corn, wheat and oats. The leading cereal grown is corn, a yield of one hundred bushels per acre being not uncommon. The average to the acre, however, is about forty bushels and aggregates about two million bushels per annum.

Wheat comes next to corn, with an average of fifteen bushels to the acre. In an ordinary wheat year the county produces about four hundred and fifty thousand bushels. Oats is not raised as extensively as corn and wheat, but is considered a profitable crop for feeding purposes. Over four hundred and fifty thousand bushels are produced each year, being worth in the neighobrhood of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. There are about forty thousand tons of hay put in the mows annually, and scarcely a day passes but that you may see several loads on the way to the Indianapolis markets. Most of the hay is timothy. Clover is raised in abundance for seed and for its fertilizing qualities and is considered one of the most profitable crops in the county.

Every farm in the county has some kind of fence around it and most of the fences are in good condition. Quite a number of the old rail fences are yet to be seen, some board, hedge, picket, barbed wire, but chiefly woven wire page: 169[View Page 169] Tiled ditches, which are in general use, have greatly increased the productiveness of the soil.

The county has many fine herds of Hereford, Shorthorn, Jersey and Guernsey cattle. Thousands of stock cattle are bought at the stock yards and fed on the pasture land. These pasture lands are mostly bluegrass, but little inferior to the bluegrass regions of Kentucky. Hogs and sheep are raised extensively and are a very profitable part of present-day farming. Poultry is also raised extensively and there is scarcely a farm but has chickens, geese and ducks.

The finest and most expensive homes in the country have been constructed by the farmers. Many of them have been equipped with all modern improvements and conveniences.

It will be interesting to the reader to present the following figures, taken from the United States census report of 1910:

Number of all farms in Hendricks county, 2,786; land area, 261,120 acres; land in farms, 254,159 acres; value of all, $28,677,219; in 1900 the value of farm lands was $14,776,661; of domestic animals, $2,518,444. The total value of crops for the year 1910 was $2,580,853. Of this amount $2,075,821 was the value of cereals and $3,949 the value of other grains and seeds. Hay and forage was worth $300,262; vegetables, $90,637; fruits and nuts, $50,739; and all other crops, $59,445.


The progress of the good roads movement in Hendricks county during the past few years has been truly remarkable. It is a fact that during the year 1910 there were only two and eight-tenths miles of gravel road constructed under the law for improving highways in the county. It was at this point that the improvement of highways began. By the year 1912 there was a total of two hundred and forty-seven miles of gravel road in the county. Today there is about five hundred miles of improved, gravel and macadam road in the county. The expenditures for road viewing and surveying in 1911 was $63.10; for bridges, $41,895.49. The township gravel road bonds outstanding in 1911 amounted to $294,587.91.


From the state statistician's report for 1913 there are many interesting facts concerning Hendricks county. They are as follows:

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The total population of Hendricks county is 20,840 people, male, white, 10,533; female, white, 10,002; colored, male, 225; colored, female, 76; Indians, Japanese and others, 4; foreign-born, white, 172; number of dwellings, 5,204; number of families, 5,262.

To give some idea of the court business for a year, the following is given for 1910: Number of cases filed, 200; disposed of, 201; venued to her counties, 7; venued from other counties, 15; children's cases in juvenile court, 2; letters of administration issued, 48; guardianships issued, 19; decrees of foreclosures entered, 3; sheriff's sales, 22; adjudged of unsound mind, 9; marriage licenses issued, 140.


An old book in which the general store accounts were kept in an early day gives many items of curious interest. It is recorded that on June 7, 1836, Abbird Thompson bought "1 caster hat" and "1 hymn book" for thirty-five cents. Another is that Mrs. Stephen Stephenson bought in 1836 "5 yards of calico" for $1.56 1/4. John Scott bought "1/2 pound of powder" for twelve and a half cents, and "one-half dozen flints" for six and one-fourth cents. Jesse Baker bought "1/2 gallon of whiskey" for 37 1/2 cents and John Collins bought "1 comic almanac" for twelve cents.


In the month of February, 1903, the children from the Orphans' Home were transferred to other homes. The girls were taken from here to the Fort Wayne Home for Girls and the boys were taken to White Institute in charge of the Friends in Wabash county. Some other boys were taken to Brightside, near Plymouth, Indiana.


There are three game preserves in Hendricks county stocked with various kinds of imported pheasants. The first lies in the southwest corner of Guilford township and extends into Marion county. It contains fourteen thousand acres, sixty per cent. of which is in Hendricks. One-fourth of it is timberland, mostly level, some of it rolling, with ravines and gulleys. Flowing through it from north to south is Clark creek.

The second preserve lies near the center of the county two miles north page: 171[View Page 171] of Danville. It contains sixty-five hundred acres of land, one-fifth of which is in timber, with much copse and underbrush. A small per cent. of the lands are hilly. Most of them are level, but some of them rolling. White Lick creek, with its tributaries, supply it with water.

The third preserve lies south of the center of the county, in Clay and Franklin townships. It contains sixty-two hundred acres, one-fifth of which is in woodland, with much copse and underbrush. The lands are rather level. The east and middle branches of Mill creek supply the water. Neither has yet proved successful, chiefly on account of hawks.

The first interurban car ran into Danville at 11:05 a. m., August 30, 1906, over the Indianapolis and Western, now a division of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern.

On July 4, 1907, the Brazil division of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern was opened to Terre Haute and in the same year the Ben-Hur line was opened from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville, passing through Brownsburg, Lizton and Pittsboro.

1910.  1900. 1890. 
Brown 862 1,032 1,093 
Center 3,145 3,349 3,221 
Clay 1,832 1,677 1,673 
Eel River 1,867 1,986 1,905 
Guilford 3,188 2,707 2,609 
Liberty 2,213 2,452 2,578 
Lincoln 1,603 1,474 1,452 
Marion 1,046 1,090 1,097 
Middle 1,584 1,644  1,837 
Union 1,106 1,239 1,362 
Washington 1,387 1,395 1,382 
Franklin 1,007 1,247 1,289 


In 1824 there were approximately six hundred people in Hendricks county: in 1830 there were 3,975; in 1840, 11,264; in 1850, 14,083; in 1860, 16,953; in 1870, 20,277; in 1880, 22,981; in 1890, 21,498; in 1900, 21,292; and in 1910, 20,840.

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