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9 V 7.201 ' 





3 1833 02299 7503 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 







OI3:^I^IJES ■BlL,A.lSrCDJE^J^:EilD, EDiTOii. 



F. W. Tebple. 


I ^ ^ ri^ ryM ry<^ 



THIS volume goes forth to our patrons the result of months of arduous, 
unremitting and conscientious labor. None so well know as those 
O who have been associated with us the almost insurmountable difficulties to 
be met with in the preparation of a work of this character. Since the in- 
^ augur ation of the enterprise, a large force has been employed in gathering 
M material. During this time, most of the citizens of the two counties have 
\ been called upon to contribute from their recollections, carefully preserved 
s^ letters, scraps of manuscript, printed fragments, memoranda, etc. Public 
0» records and semi-official documents have been searched, the newspaper files 
^ of the counties have been overhauled, and former citizens, now living out 
of the counties, have been corresponded with, for the verification of the in- 
formation by a conference with many. In gathering from these numerous 
sources, both for the historical and biographical departments, the conflict- 
ing statements, the discrepancies and the fallible and incomplete nature of 
public documents, were almost appalling to our historians and biographers, 
who were expected to weave therefrom with some degree of accuracy, in 
panoramic review, a record of events. Members of the same families disagree 
as to the spelling of the family name, contradict each other's statements as 
to dates of birth, of settlement in the counties, nativity and other matters 
of fact. In this entangled condition, we have given preference to the 
preponderance of authority, and while we acknowledge the existence 
of errors and our inability to furnish a perfect history, we claim to 
have come up to the standard of our promises, and given as accurate a 
work as the nature of the surroundings would permit. Whatever may be 
the verdict of those who do not and zvill not comprehend the difficulties to 
be met with, we feel assured that all just and thoughtful people will appre- 
ciate our efforts, and recognize the importance of the undertaking and the 
great public benefit that has been accomplished in preserving the valuable 
historical matter of the counties and biographies of many of their citizens, 
that perhaps would otherwise have passed into oblivion. To those who have 
given us their support and encouragement, we acknowledge our gratitude, 
and can assure them that as years go by the book will grow in value as a 
repository not only of pleasing reading matter, but of treasured information 
of the past that will become an enduring monument. 

April, 1884. THE PUBLISHEBS. 




Organization, Description, etc.. 

Boundary of County 

Church Societies 

Civil Townships 

County Seat 

County Seat, Re-location of. 



Extent of County 

Fairs, Agricultural 


Indian Occupation 

Location of County 

Organization of Co'unty 



Press, The 

Public Improvements 

Settlements, Early 

Societies, Agricultural 



Military Record.. 

Artillery, First Heavy 

Bounties and Oter Relief.. 

Butternuts, The 

Causes of the Cireat Rebellion 

Cavalry, Second 

Cavalry, Sixth 

Company A, Forty-third Regiment 

Companies I and K, Eighty-fifth Regiment... 

Company B, Ninety-seventh Regiment 

Company D, One Hundred and Fifteenth 

Company E, One Hundred and Twenty- 
fourth Regiment 

Company B, One Hundred and Thirty-third 

Company B, One Hundred and Forty-ninth 

Company D, ( )ne Hundred and Fifty -sixth 


Execution of a Deserter 

First Company from Clay 

Mexican War, The 

Public Sentiment 

Regiment, Tenth 

Regiment, Twenty-first -. 

Regiment, Thirty-first 

Regiment, Forty-first 

Regiment, Forty-third 

Regiment, Seventy-first 

Regiment, Eighty-fifth 

Regiment, Ninety-seventh 

Regiment, One Hundred and Fifteenth 

Regiment, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth, 
Regiment, One Hundred and Thirty-third... 
Regiment, One Hundred and Forty-ninth.... 

Regiment, One Hundred and Fifty-sixth 

Regiments, Other 

War Meetings 

Brazil City and Township 

Bonded Debt .•. 

Brazil Township 

Churches, The 


City Incorporations 145 

City Library 153 

Coal, Brazil Block 143 

Educational 151 

Iron Manufacture 145 

Mercantile and Professional 148 

Municipal Expenditures 148 

Officers, City, 1873 to 1883 162 

Officers, Town, 186() to 1873 161 

Origin of the City 138 

Postmasters 154 

Press, The 154 

Prosperity of the City 146 

Railroad Facilities. 154 

Settlers, First 142 

Taxable Property 148 

Town Incorporation 142 

Washington Township 164 

Bowling Green 174 

Churches 168 

Industries, Early 166 

Land Entries, Early 166 

Location 164 

Merchants, Early 166 

Mexican War, the Township in the 172 

Pioneer3 and their Experiences 164 

Press, The 178 

Remarkable Game of Leap Frog 167 

Schoolhouses and School Teachers 168 

Surface Features 164 

Harrison Township 181 

Births, Early 192 

Boundaries 182 

Church Historv 194 

Clay Citv 198 

Coal : 182 

Cooprider Family, The 183 

Deaths, Early 191 

Industries, Early 191 

Location.. •• 182 

Marriages, Early 192 

Middlebury 203 

New Brunswick ■ 204 

Schools 192 

Settlement 183 

Settlers, Character and Customs of Early 187 

Settlers, Other 185 

Surface Features i 182 

Taxes, Values, etc. 197 

Posey Township 205 

Churches 217, 224 

Cloverland 221 

General Features 205 

Mills, etc 213 

Mining Interests 206 

Newberg Village 226 

Pioneer Life 212 

Schools 215 

Settlement, Early 206 

Societies 223 

Staunton 222 

Villages 218 

Williamstown 218 

Van Buren Township 227 

Benwood Village 251 

Calcutta Village 251 



Carbon Village 246 

Cardonia Village 248 

Churches 236 

Early Experiences 233 

General Description 227 

Harmony Village 242 

Industries and Improvements 234 

Knightsville 244 

Lodges 243, 247 

Mechanicsburg 251 

Mining Interests 252 

Pioneer Settlement 228 

Pontiac Village 251 

Schools 2o5 

SuGAE Ridge Township 254 

Ashboro 266 

Center Point 264 

Coal 254 

Creation of Township 254 

Early Events 261 

Improvements, Early 262 

Origin of Name 2,'54 

Pioneers 255 

Religious 268 

Saline City 267 

Schools 262 

Statistics 264 

Surface Features 254 

Peeey Township 272 

Clear Creek Lodge, I. O. O. F 284 

Cory, Town of 283 

Events, Early 276 

General Description 272 

Homicide 284 

Pioneer Life 276 

Railroad 282 

Religious 278 

Schools 278 

Settlement, Early 273 

Jackson Township 285 

Area 285 

Asherville 298 

Churches 296 

Early Events 293 

General Improvements •. 291 

Location 285 

Mines 298 

Origin of Name 282 

Roads 294 

Schools 294 

Settlement by the Whites 286 

Statistical 301 

Whittington 298 

Cass Township 302 

Area 302 

Births, Early 308 

Deaths, Early 311 

Early History 303 

Elections 311 

Improvements 307 

Marriages, Early 311 

Material Prosperity 302 

Origin of Name .302 

Poland Village 313 

Religious 312 

Roads 311 

School Notes 312 

Streams 302 


Dick Johnson Township 316 

Churches 323 

Industries, Early 321 

Origin of Name 316 

Productions, Early 321 

Railroad, Indianapolis A St. Louis 325 

Schools 324 

Settlers, Early 316 

Village of Perth .-. 325 

Lewis Township 325 

Boundaries 326 

Characteristics 326 

Industries 331 

Miscellaneous Matters 332 

Past and Present 325 

Settlement 327 

Villages 331 


Bowling Green 395 

Brazil City and Township 333 

Cass Township 514 

Clay City 415 

Dick Johnson Township 522 

Harrison Township 415 

Jackson Township 502 

Lewis Township 532 

Perry Township 485 

Posey Township 445 

Sugar Ridge Township 476 

Van Buren Township 459 

Washington Township 395 


Bailey,Charles W Between 

Bolin, John Between 

Brighton , Alex ander Between 

Briley, Absalom Between 

Carrithers,James T Between 

Carter, Allen W Between 

Carter, Joseph D Between 

Carter, W. W Between 

Cofley, Silas D Between 

Compton, Isaac U Between 

Cornwell, B. F Between 

Ehrlich, Christian Between 

Ferguson, James Between 

Foulke, Silas Between 

Frump, John Between 

Hale, Levi A Between 

Harris, William M Between 

Hill, David A Between 

Kennedy, M. H Between 

Lybyer,',Salem II Between 

Muir, William Between 

Nicoson, William S Between 

Robertson, Thomas M Between 

Robinson, F. J.S Between 

pages 1 

Smith, John T Between 

Smith, Robert Between 

Thompson, Clinton M Between 

Travis, William Between 

AVheeler, A. B Between 

AVheeler, H Between 

White, John W Between 

Wilkinson, C. .1 Between 

Wilkinson, Urias Between 


Opening Chaptee 551 

Agricultural Statistics 608 

Antiquities 551 

Attorneys 607 

Auditors, County 589 

Board of Health 597 

Bridges 600 

Church Statistics : 610 

Circuit Court Record, Early 587 

Clerk, County 590 

Commissioners from 1820 to 1826 573 

Coroners, County 590 

County Board, Acts of the 565 

Crime 606 

Criminal Statistics 609 

Detective Society 605 

Early Events 562, 571 

Economic Statistics « 610 

Educational Statistics 609 

Expenditures for 1819 572 



Expenditures from 1820 to 1826 573 

, Expense of Laying out the Town of Lan- 
caster 573 

Expense of Laying out the Town of Spencer. 574 

Fair Associations G03 

Finances of County (1819 to 1825) 574 

Freshets 608 

Geology 553 

Hurricanes and Cyclones 611 

Indian History 552 

Library, County 612 

Live Stock 603 

Macadam Roads 604 

Manufacturing Statistics 609 

Medical Society, County 597 

Mineral Statistics 610 

Miscellaneous Statistics 611 

Mortality Statistics 598 

Officers, Early 564 

Origin of Name 562 

Patrons of Husbandry 605 

Press, County 591 

Price List for Taverns in 1819 571 

Production 553 

Public Buildings 600 

Recorders, County 590 

Roads 600 

Seat of Justice 561 

Settlers, Early 557 

Sheriffs, County 589 

Social Statistics 610 

State Representatives 597 

State Senators 594 

Surveyors, County 589 

Taxation 610 

Taxation Assessment for 1833 576 

Tax Levy for 1838 585 

Tax Levy for 1839 587 

Tax Lists for 1843, 1852 and 1882 588 

Telegraphic Feat, A Great 593 

Topography .553 

Treasurers, County 590 

Vital Statistics 610 

Voting Statistics 611 

Military History of Owen County 617 

Artillery, First Heavy 642 

Cavalry, Sixth 648 

Infantry, Fourteenth 627 

Infantry, Nineteenth •. 639 

Infantry, Twenty-first 642 

Infantry, Thirty-flrst 644 

Infantry, Fifty-ninth 646 

Infantry, ^^eventy-first 648 

Infantry, Ninety-seventh 652 

Infantry, One Hundred and Fifteenth 656 

Infantry, One Hundred and Fifty-ninth 657 

Grand Army of the Republic 662 

Indian War of 1811 618 

Mexican War , 620 

Owen's First Company 626 

Pensions 662 

Rebellion, The Great 624 

Revolutionary War, The 618 

Table of Enlistments and Deaths G60 

■ Veteran Soldiers' Association 662 

War of 1812 619 

War with Mexico 620 

Town of Spencer 663 

Business Interests 682 

Court House, The 669 

County Seat, Selection of the 663 

Hotels 672 

Incorporation 681 

Mails 675 

Manufactories and Industries 683 

Origin of Name 665 

Religious 676 

Residents. Early 669 

Schools 674 

Secret Orders 680 

Survey of the Town 665 

Washington Township 687 

Bridges 692 

Churches 694 

Ferries 692 

Industries. Early 691 

Officers 693 


Organization 687 

Pioneer Life 689 

Roads 692 

Schools 692 

Settlement, Early 687 

Surface 696 

Taxes 695 

Timber 696 

Water 696 

Wayne Township 698 

Churches of Gosport 716 

Development of Country 706 

Early Events 708 

Educational 709 

Gosport 712 

Incorporation of Gospcnt 715 

Industries of Gosport 720 

Lodges 715 

Pioneers, Coming of 698 

Railroads 716 

Religious 710 

Schools of Gosport 716 

Taxation Statement 711 

Value of Lands 711 

Jefferson Township 723 

Agriculture 725 

Births, Early 729 

Churches 731 

Cemeteries 728 

Coal City 7-30 

Daggett Village 731 

Improvements 728 

Marriages, Early 729 

Middletown 729 

Miscellaneous Matters 736 

New Jefferson ville 729 

Pioneer Life 726 

Settlement 725 

Stockton Village 729 

Marion Township 737 

Cemeteries 742 

Churches 743 

Denmark Village 750 

Imjirovements 742 

Lancaster Village 745 

Marion Mills 750 

Pioneer Settlement 738 

Roads 743 

School Items 745 

Steubenville 749 

Franklin Township 751 

Births, Early 760 

Burying Grounds 759 

Churches 762 

Educational 760 

Freedom Village 761 

Improvements, Early 754 

Marriages, Early 759 

Miscellaneous 763 

Pottersville 763 

Roads 756 

Secret Societies 762 

Settlement" 752 

Montgomery Township 764 

Amusements 768 

Births, Early 771 

Churches 771 

Deaths, Early 770 

Improvements, Early 769 

Industries, Early 769 

Marriages, Early 771 

Pioneers, The 765 

Santa Fe Village 774 

Schools 773 

Clay Township 774 

Braysville 782 

Early Events 779 

Educational 783 

Improvements, Early 779 

Industries, Early.......... 780 

Officers, Early Township 781 

Piney Town ., 782 

Pioneer.s, Arrival of the 777 

Pleasant Valley Village 782 

Religious 783 

Roads 780 

White Hall Village 781 




Morgan Township ; 784 

Atkinson Village 793 

Births, Early 791 

Cemeteries 791 

Deaths 791 

Early Condition of the Settlements 787 

General Desftription 784 

Improvements, etc 789 

Marriages, Early 790 

Mills, etc 789 

Religious 792 

Roads 790 

Schools 791 

Settlement 785 

Tayloe Township 793 

Churches 799 

Deaths, Early 796 

Educational 796 

Improvements, Early '. 795 

Masonic Lodge at Quincy 798 

Mill Grove Village 797 

Pioneer Settlement 794 

Quincy Village 797 

Villages 797 

Jackson Township 800 

Births, Early 804 

Burying Grounds 804 

Churches 805 

Elections 8)4 

Improvements 803 

Marriages, Early 804 

Needmore Village 805 

Schools 804 

Settlers, First 801 

Jennings Township 806 

Births, Early 809 

Cataract Village 811 

Churches 810 

Fallsboro' Village 811 

Graveyards 809 

Improvements 808 

Marriages, Early 809 

Roads sio 

Schools 810 

Settlement, Early 808 

Villages 811 

Harrison Township 812 

Cemetery 815 


Improvements 814 

Middletown 816 

Roads 815 

Schools ■. 816 

Settlement, Early 818 

La Fayette Township 817 

Cemeteries 820 

Church History 820 

Mills, Distilleries, etc 819 

Settlers, Early 817 

Schools 822 

Vandalia Village 820 

Voting Places 819 


Clay Township 929 

Franklin Township 917 

Jackson Township 955 

Jefferson Township 905 

Jennings Township 958 

Gosport, Town of. 886 

Harrison Township 959 

La Fayette Township 962 

Marion Township 909 

Montgomery Township 926 

Morgan Township 944 

Spencer, Town of 823 

Taylor Township 950 

Washington Township 871 

Wayne Township 886 


Archer, J. W Between pages 558 and 561 

Beem, David E Between pages 630 and 633 

Coffey, Abraham Between pages 594 and 597 

Fowler, Inman H Between pages 612 and 615 

Franklin, William M Between pages 576 and 579 

Goss, James M Between pages 756 and 759 

Lautenschlager, John F.... Between pages 702 and 705 

McNaught, Thomas A Between pages 648 and 651 

Medaris, Stephen D Between pages 774 and 777 

Montgomery, John S Between pages 666 and 669 

Pierson, Allen Between pages 684 and 687 

Wampler, Hezekiah Between pages 720 and 723 

Wampler, Mrs. Jane Between pages 720 and 723 

Williams, John A Between pages 738 and 741 


On page 56, eighth and ninth lines from the top, instead of " Dempsey Seybold, Sr. 
of Putnam County," read "Dempsey Seybold, Sr., of Parke County." 

Page 562, nineteenth line from top, instead of 
seat by John Dunn," read "not deeded," etc. 

Page 564, eleventli line from bottom, instead of 

Page 573, in table, instead of " Chairman," read 

Page 574, in table, at the end of the line reading, 
on the day of sale of lots," place |1.25, and omit the line following 
Ham, from Spencer to Southport, $1.25." 

Page 580, nineteenth line from top, instead of "twelve-feet wide court house 
door," read "twelve-feet wide yard at the court house door." 

Page 587, second line from bottom, instead of "resolutions of respects," read 
"resolutions of respect," etc. 

Page 605, eighteenth line from bottom, instead of " granges attempting to prevent 
the objects," read "granges attempting io pervert the objects," etc. 

' deeded for the proposed county 

Peter Zeal," read "Peter Teal." 

To Joshua Matheuy, for ferrying 
To George 




CLAY COUNTY was organized in 1825, nine years after the admis- 
sion of the State, and immediately after the removal of the seat of 
government from Corydon to Indianaj^olis. In 1818, the counties of 
Vigo and Owen were organized with range line number six west of the 
Second Principal Meridian dividing them, including the territory now 
comprised within the county of Clay. This line lies immediately west 
of Middlebury, crossing Eel River near the railroad bridge, and passing 
the woolen factory at Brazil. At that time Daniel Harris, who lived 
near Spencer, was the member of the General Assembly from Owen 
County, and is credited with having introduced the proposition to or- 
ganize the new county. Mr. Harris was a Whig, an ardent admirer of 
Henry Clay, the distinguished Kentucky statesman, and named the 
county in honor of him. In the early history, he was known familiarly 
as Old Clay and the father of Clay County. The following is a copy of 
the act organizing the county, approved February 12, 1825: 

Section 1. Be it enacted hy the General Assembli/ of the State of Indiana, 
That from and after the first day of April next, all the tract of country included 
within the following boundaries, shall form and constitute a new county to be 
known and designated by the name of the county of Clay, to wit: Beginning at 
the southwest corner of Township 9 north, Range 7 west, thence east ten miles, 
thence north twelve miles, thence east six miles, thence north nine miles, thence 
west four miles, thence north nine miles, thence west ten miles, thence south six 
miles, thence west two miles, thence south twenty-four miles to the place of begin- 

Sec. 3. The said new county of Clay shall, from and after the first day of 
April next, enjoy all the rights, privileges and jurisdictions which to separate and 
independent counties do or may properly belong or appertain. 

Sec. 3. That John Denny, of Putnam County, John Bigger, of Owen County, 
Rezin Stulby, of Vigo County, Jacob Bell, of Parke County, and James Smith, of 
Greene County, are hereby appointed Commissioners agreeably to the act entitled 
"An act fixing the seat of Justice of all new counties hereafter to be laid off." The 
said Commissioners shall meet at the house of David Thomas, in the said county of 
Clay, on the second Monday in May next, and shall immediately proceed to dis- 
charge the duties assigned them by law. It is hereby made the duty of the Sheriff 
of Owen Countj' to notify said Commissioners, either in person or by writing, of their 
appointment, on or before the first JNIonday in May next, and for such services he 


shall receive such compensation out of the county treasury of the said county of 
Clay as the Board of Justices thereof may deem just and reasonable, to be ordered 
and paid as other county claims are paid. 

Sec. 4. The County Board of Justices of the said new county shall, within 
twelve months after the permanent seat of justice shall have been selected, proceed 
to erect the necessary public buildings therein. 

Sec. 5. That all suits, pleas, plaints, actions, prosecutions or proceedings here- 
tofore commenced and pending within the limits of the said county of Clay, shall 
be prosecuted to final issue in the same manner, and the State and County taxes 
which may be due on the 1st day of April next, within the bounds of the said 
county of Clay, shall be collected and paid in the same manner and by the same 
officers, as if this act had not been passed. 

Sec. 6. The county Board of Justices shall meet at the house of David 
Thomas in said county, on the 1st Monday in November next, and then and there 
proceed to do and transact all such necessary county business as maybe required by 

Sec. 7. The said county of Clay shall be attached to the First Judicial Circuit 
and shall continue to be attached to the several counties from which it has been 
taken for the purpose of electing Senators and Representatives to the State Legisla- 
ture and the other State oflicers, and in all elections for any of said officers the citi- 
zens thereof shall vote in the same places and in the same manner they would have 
done if the erection of said new county had not taken place. 

The border lines of the co^^Qty as defined in this act have never un- 
dergone any change. The length of the county is thirty miles, the width 
from ten to sixteen miles, the average width twelve miles, making an 
area of 360 square miles, or 230,400 acres. The aggregate extent of 
border line, which describes ten right angles, is ninety-two miles. All 
the counties bordering on Clay, six in number, antedate it in organiza- 
tion. On the north lies Parke, organized in 1821; on the east, Putnam 
and Owen, 1822 and 1818; on the south, Greene, 1821; and on the 
west, Sullivan and Vigo, 1817 and 1818 respectively. 


Clay County is a part of the elevated lands of the Wabash Valley, 
lying in Western Indiana, within less than twenty miles of the Illinois 
line, and about 100 miles north of the Ohio River. The general surface 
is neither level nor hilly, but undulated. It is, therefore, not marked by 
any great topographical diversities and contrasts. With respect to the 
level of the ocean, the most elevated point within the limits of the coun- 
ty is estimated at 800 feet, the lowest at 533 feet, and .the approximate 
average elevation at 667 feet, which is within a few feet of the general 
average surface level of the State. With respect to the level of Lake 
Erie, the extremes are estimated at 227 feet above and forty feet below, 
making an approximate average elevation of 133 feet. The mean surf ace 
of the county lies 234 feet above low water mark in the Wabash at Terre 
Haute. The approximate elevation of the Feeder Dam above the Wa- 
bash at Terre Haute is 122 feet; hence, the average elevation of the 


surface of the county above Eel River, at the dam, is 112 feet. The 
bluflf on the east side of the river, on which the court house stands at 
Bowling Green, is 160 foet above the site on which the Terre Haute 
court house stands. The site of the new court house at Brazil is 165 
feet above the site of the court house at Terre Haute. The highest point 
is in the northeast part of the county, near the line of the Indianapolis 
& St. Louis Railroad, and the lowest in the southeast part, where Eel 
River crosses the county line. The most elevated point along the line of 
the Vandalia Railroad is the Wools Hill, near Newburg. In the central 
part of the county, the Grimes Hill, on Sugar Ridge, rises above 
all the surrounding contiguoas country, and is thought by many to be 
the maximum elevation in the county. In the southern part, the high- 
est point is the Sand Hill, on the old Cooprider place at Middlebury, 
which is ninety feet above the grade of the Terre Haute & South Eastern 
Railroad, at Clay City. 

The surface of the county is drained by EerRiver and its tributaries, 
and tributaries of the Wabash, hence, there are several water-shedfi, or 
summit divides of drainage, within its borders. There are two Eel Riv- 
ers in Indiana. The one in the north part of the State was named by 
the Indians "Shoa maque," meaning slippery tish, and by the exploiters 
and early settlers, Anguilla, meaning the river of eels. The eels or 
slippery fish in the stream suggested its name both to the native and the 
explorer. Our Eel River, about the same length and volume, derived its 
name from the same circumstance. This stream has three distinct 
sources. Walnut Fork, or Eel River proper, rises near Jamestown, 
Boone County, and flows southwest through Hendricks and Putnam 
Counties. Mill Creek, often called Eel River, rises near Danville, Hen- 
dricks County, and flows southwest through Morgan, Putnam and Owen 
Counties. These are the principal branches. Deer Creek rises on the 
eastern border of Putnam County, flows southwest and empties into Mill 
Creek about one mile from the confluence of Walnut and Mill, in Wash- 
ington Township, Putnam County, two miles north of the Cass Town- 
ship, Clay County line. Though Walnut is larger than Mill Creek the 
latter is the more noted, because of its rapids and falls, known as Catar- 
act, in Jennings Township, Owen County, a romantic site frequently 
visited by pleasure parties from all parts of the surrounding country. 
From the point at which the river crosses into the county, it flows in a 
direction a little west of south until it strikes the rocky bluff atBellaire. 
a distance of ten miles on the straight line, where it is deflected then 
flows in a direction a little south of west until it strikes the foot of the 
old hill, another course of ten miles, when it is again deflected, and then 
flows continuously in a southeastern direction a distance of thirteen 
miles, to the extreme southeast corner of the county. The entire length 
of the stream from the source of Walnut to the mouth, at Point Com 


meroe, including all its meanderings, cannot be accurately estimated, 
though it may be approximated at 300 miles. A straight line from the 
source in Boone County, to the confluence with White River, will meas- 
ure about 100 miles. Counting from the source of Mill Creek, the dis- 
tance is less. In its course it crosses the county twice. At a point just 
below Bellaire, it approaches within half a mile of the Owen County 
line, at the Old Hill, within two miles of the Yigo County line, and as 
it flows out of the couaty it touches within half a mile of the Greene 
County line. It divides the county into two very irregular and unequal 
sections; the territory on the east side being to that on the west as 1 to 
2^. In its circuit from the Rhodes Rock to the Owen County line, a 
distance of ninety miles, it forms a remarkable triangular shaped bend, 
presenting numerous equally remarkable horseshoe crooks all along its 
course. The distance between these two points direct, which lie on the 
same meridian, is twelve miles. 

j Eel River has not much fall in its course through the county, hence 
it is not a rapid stream. From this feature we deduce the following 
conclusions: 1. It does not abound in numerous valuable water privi- 
leges for milling purposes. 2. It readily overflows and inundates the 
lands bordering on it. 3. It affor ds facilities for navigation. There 
are several flouring mills on the stream, but at times in the dry and in 
the wet season of the year, the stage of the water is such as to render 
them inoperative. The overflowing of the stream ia both an advantage 
and a disadvantage. It contributes largely to the productiveness of the 
soil, but is detrimental to health and to crops. The river bottom proper, 
which varies from a half mile to three miles in width, has been over- 
flowed frequently to a depth varying from a few inches to six feet. 
Naturally, this overflow accumulates a great deal of drift, which tends 
to the channel as the water recedes. As a consequence, in the earlier 
history of the county, there were big drifts in the great bend, the most 
noted of which were near the Greenwell place and New Brunswick. The 
former became so dense and formidable as to divide and change the chan - 
nel of the river. These obstructions we re removed by firing and burn- 
ing them during the dry seasons. In the big drift at New Brunswick, 
cedar logs were taken out, which had fl oated down from the vicinity of 
Cataract, 200 miles above. To show that Eel River ranked among the 
navigable streams of the State, in the estimation of the pioneer legisla- 
tor, we cite the fact that in 1829 the General Assembly passed an act 
authorizing the Boai'd of Justices for Clay County to remove obstruc- 
tions , from its channel as far up as Croy's Mill, for purposes of naviga- 

The tributaries of Eel River on the east are Knob Creek, Jordan, Six 
Mile, Prairie Creek, Big Creek, Lick Branch, White Oak and Pond 
Creek; on the west, Croy's Creek, Tighlman, Mclntyre, Hog Creek, Tur- 


key Creek, Birch Creek, Clear Branch, Splunge Creek, Briley's and Ba- 
ber's Creeks. The principal of these ai*e Jordan, Six Mile and Big 
Creek, on the east, and Croy's, Birch and Splunge Creek, on the west. 
Jordan rises in Jackson, Jennings and Morgan Townships, Owen County. 
The main source is near Cataract. The three branches flow together one 
mile north of Jordan Village, a mile and a half east of the county line. 
The main stream then flows west and empties into Eel River, at Bowling 
Green. This bears the most memorable name of all the water-courses 
of the county. It was named by David Thomas, the first settler on the 
river, who came here a number of years before the organization of the 
county. On reaching the creek, as he came from the oast, and behold- 
ing the stately timber, the beautiful verdure and the fertile soil of the 
plain lying between the creek and the river, he thought of the Land of 
Promise, and, as he passed over to take possession, christened the stream 
Jordan. It is about twelve miles in length. The surface which it drains 
is uneven and rugged, some places precipitous and hilly. Six Mile rises 
in Morgan Township, Owen County, at two points a mile and a half dis- 
tant from each other. The two branches come together in the southeast 
corner of Washington Township, and flow almost directly west into the 
river at Bellaire. This stream derives its name from the circumstance 
that it is just six miles from its source to the mouth. Big Creek rises 
at different points in the northern, eastern and central parts of Harri- 
son Township. The basin of this stream blends with that of the river, 
forming one common plain. At some places, the bed of this stream is 
so superficial that it almost loses its identity, its waters being diffused 
promiscuously over the bottom. However, that part of it known as The 
Lake, more than a mile in extent, lying two miles northwest of Clay 
City, is a marked exception. Its well-defined banks, depth of channel 
and volume of water would seem to indicate that it might have been at 
one time a section of a much more pretentious stream. This and The 
Lake, at Howesville, were undoubtedly sections of the former Eel River. 
At ordinary water stage, Big Creek courses its way to Eel River through 
two channels. The natural one lies from The Lake to the southwest, 
entering the river a short distance below Woodrow's Mill. The artificial 
one, known as The Ditch, begins at a point one mile north of the Kos- 
suth road, is about five and a half miles in length, and opens into the 
river near the Brunswick bridge. This channel was cut by the State in 
1855, to drain the swamp lands, when the channel of the stream was 
also cleared as far up as the Cromwell place. Ordinarily, this is not a 
large stream, as its name would indicate, but in the wet seasons it 
spreads to such an extent as to mingle with the waters of the river, in- 
undating the common bottom. At such times, the observer could scarcely 
suggest a more appropriate name. 

Croy's Creek rises in Madison Township, Putnam County, about three 


miles northeast of Lena, flows southwest across bhe corner of Parke 
County, crosses the Clay County line half way between Lena and Cal- 
cutta, flows south through Yan Buren Township, intersects the northeast 
corner of Jackson in a southeast direction, crosses the southwest corner 
of Washington Township. Putnam County, and empties into Eel River 
on the county line, at Carpenter's mill. A west branch rises near Ben- 
wood, runs southeast and makes the junction with the main stream in 
the northeast corner of Jackson Township. The valley of this creek, 
like that of Jordan, is very narrow, bordered by short and rugged hills, 
the rocky bluffs approaching each other so closely at places as to leave 
but gorges for the passage of the stream. It is about fifteen miles in 
length, and bears the name of a family of pioneer settlers. Birch Creek 
drains the central part of the county. The creek proper is formed in 
the southwest part of Jackson Township, just above the iron bridge on 
the Brazil & Bowling Green road. The east branch rises near Knights- 
ville, the middle branch, near Brazil, and the west branch, at several 
points in the vicinity of Staunton and Newburg. These have smaller 
tributaries from different directions, which do not bear distinct names. 
From the junction, Birch Creek flows southwest, emptying into the river 
about three miles northeast of Splunge Creek Reservoir, opposite the 
Dan Harris place. The length of the creek from source to mouth is 
about eighteen miles. The principal tributaries of this stream are Wolf 
Creek on the east and Brush Creek on the west. The valley of this creek 
is wider and the surface of the lands bordering on it milder, than those 
of other streams which we have described. The valley is frequently 
flooded by sudden rises, as the middle and lower courses of the stream 
are sluggish. In very dry seasons it ceases to flow entirely. It owes its 
name to the abundance of birch timber found along its course- 
Birch Creek is historic from its immediate connection with the Wabash 
& Erie Canal, having been dammed to form a feeder at the present site 
of Saline City, and crossed by the aqueduct less than a mile above its 
confluence with the river. Splunge Creek rises in the southeastern part 
of Vigo County, flows east and empties into Eel River at the Old Hill. 
This stream, too, was made historic in the construction of the canal. By 
throwing up an embankment of two miles, reaching from the foot of the 
Old Hill to the junction of the side-cut canal with the trunk line, Splunge 
Creek bteservoir was made. This stream was named from a circumstance 
in the adventure of a pioneer merchant of Rockville, who used to make 
horseback trips to Louisville to hxiy his goods, fording the creek on the 
Terre Haute & Louisville road. Once, on the return trip, coming to 
the bank of the creek, the waters having swollen, , his faithful horse 
missed the ford, stumbled and plunged him headlong into the channel, 
hence, named Splunge (or Plunge) Creek. 

That part of the county drained by Otter Creek, including all of Dick 


Johnson and parts of Van Buren, Brazil and Posey Townships, about 
one-tenth of the area of the county, does not belong to the basin of Eel 
River, but lies tributary to the Wabash. The main creek rises in Jack- 
son Township, Parke County, crosses the Dick Johnson Township line 
three-fourths of a mile west of the northwest corner of Van Buren, and 
flows across the township into Vigo County. A second branch rises 
south of Carbon, and forms the junction with the north branch near 
Lodi. A third branch rises south of Calcutta, flows southwest, intersect- 
ing the north part of Brazil Township and the south part of Dick John- 
son. A considerable branch of this stream rises near Staunton, crossed 
by the National road near Williamstown, and forms the junction with 
the south branch at the point of its crossing the Vigo County line. In 
the southwest corner of Nevins Township, Vigo County, Otter Creek 
proper is formed, and flows into the Wabash. This stream is named 
from the otter. There is, also, on the extreme western border of Lewis 
Township, a small area drained by the Rocky Fork of Busseron, a trib- 
utary of the Wabash. 

Of the smaller streams we may name a few, specially, to show how 
local geographical names are acquired: Tighlman, in Cass Township, 
which empties into the river at the Poland bridge, bears the name of 
Tighlman Chance, one of the pioneer settlers of that locality, a promi- 
nent merchant at Bowling Green at an early day; Mclntyre, which rises 
in Jackson Township and flows into the river above the Thomas Ferry, 
perpetuates the family name of the first sheriff of the county; Scamma- 
horn, in Sugar Ridge Township, hands down to succeeding generations 
the memories of the pioneer hunter and the pioneer fiddler of the cen- 
tral part of the county; the Briley Branch and the Baber Branch, in 
Lewif Township, flowing from the west side into Eel River, bear the 
names of James Briley and Robert Baber, who were among the first to 
locate in the respective localities of these streams. 

The surface of Clay County presents a variety of soil, from the deep, 
black muck of the sloughs and marshes to the thin, gray and yellow 
clays of the uplands. On the small openings, or prairies, the low sur- 
face is a dark muck, and the high, a black sandy loam. The bottom 
land on the margin of the streams, is a rich clay loam, with a clay sub- 
soil. These loamy soils of the prairies and the first bottom are the most 
productive lands in the county, yielding bountiful crops of wheat and 
corn, vegetables and grasses, with but little attention to fertilization. 
That part of the bottom farthest from the stream and skirting the hills 
is, mostly, a tough, gray clay, with a surface deposit made by successive 
overflows. Between these extremes is a belt of second bottom, variable 
in composition. The clay soil of the flat uplands is, mostly, tenacious 
and wet, but rendered porous and abundantly productive by proper cul- 
tivation, aided by alkaline and manurial applications. It yields all the 
products adapted to this particular climate. 


Much the larger area of the county, in its primal state, is' heavily- 
timbered. On the bottoms the principal growth is the oaks — white, burr 
and water — shellbark hickory, ash, beech, gum, elm, etc.; on the margin 
of the streams, sycamore and cotton wood; and on the highest banks, 
black walnut and burr oak of the largest size. On the uplands are the 
red, black and white oaks, smooth hickory, sugar maple, beech and 
some ash, and on the strongest uplands an abundance of stately poplars. 
The undergrowth is redbud, sassafras, dogwood, papaw, black haw, 
hazel and other varieties. In the western central part of the county are 
two small openings, called Clay Prairie and Christie's Prairie, and in 
the southern part, a third one, called Puckett's Prairie. The first of 
these covers an area of ten, the second, twelve, and the third, fifteen, 
miles. Besides these, there are several smaller areas, skirting th© 
sloughs, which have the characteristics of the prairie. Bordering all 
these sections, the growth of timber is a scrubby oak, with persimmon, 
the latter being found also in clumps in the interior. 


The rock and coal strata fully attest the fact that the territory of 
Clay County has been above the ocean level from a period anterior to 
the close of the coal age in the annals of our planet. Its place is well 
down in the geological basin of the geographical plane drained by the 
Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Alternating strata of sandstone, 
shales, coal, etc., occur west to the center of the basin in Illinois. A 
boring at Knightsville gives about 2,000 feet of strata to the Lower Silu- 
rian formation, which crops out in the southeast corner of the State. The 
geological strata have an inclination to the horizontal plane, dipping 
from east and northeast to west and southwest, from twenty to thirty 
feet to the mile. No signs of violent upheaval or violent rupture of the 
strata is perceivable, excepting that slight " faults " and " horsebacks " 
occur occasionally in the coal mines. In the untold ages which have in- 
tervened since Old Ocean retired from the long, vacillating contest so 
persistently maintained after the fiat of the third day of creation, the 
retreating waters have been scooping out valleys and deepening channels 
and rivers, and ravines have a maximum depth of a hundred feet. Eel 
River, Croy' s Creek and Jordan have cut a wide and deep channel from a 
point in the northeast part of the county, breaking over the upturned 
rocks, wearing them down far to the southwest, then rebounding, cut 
their way back, and leave at the southeast corner. Many undulations 
and valleys are perceptible in the higher planes of the county, showing 
the denudations of the waters as they sought the new level of the retir- 
ing ocean, where now the heaviest rains scarce show a rivulet. Some 
grand records of the slow, persistent work of the waters and the gnaw- 
ings of the " tooth of time " are well preserved in rock volume of geo- 


logic time, in which Eel River has been carving out her present devious 
and sluggish bed. For example, we may point to the grand and bold 
escarpment in the great sand rock ledge at the base of the coal measures 
on the present lands of James Carrithers, above Bowling Green. Here 
is the rock grandly and wonderfully cut, the unmistakable work of water, 
a hundred feet above, and nearly half a mile distant from the bed of the 
river. In its bold and massive front, its cavern-like recesses, its inimita- 
bly line filigree chiselings, and its great cavernous gorge cut in the 
northeast angle of the bluff, are enough of the curious, the grand and 
the sublime to compensate one for a visit of observation and close inspec- 
tion. Near this site, at a quarry, the rock is distinctly out as a former 
shore line of the river, yet so far interior and so high above, that the 
river is not now visible from the quarry. The joint work of Eel River 
and Jordan is visible in the knobs, the sand deposits of the old eddies, 
the sand knoll and deep gulches at Bowling Green. The bluffs at Bell- 
aire and at Rhodes' s show well the work of carving out rivers on the 
bosom of Mother Earth. Whilst Eel River was cutting down these rocks 
by her falls and her cascades, her floods carved out the valley between 
the heights at Center Point and the Sugar Ridge, and cut out the broad 
valley of Birch Creek to the south. The work is no less marked, curious 
and interesting, as we go south through the county. Since the river 
channels were cut thus broad and deep, some wondrous deluge filled 
gulches, valleys, pools and lakes with a dark mud, drift of coniferous 
forests, rocks, both native and foreign, fragments of coal, and yet other 
matter, varying in thickness from a very slight covering to many feet, 
usually called " hardpan," a kind of enigma on the scroll of time, little 
discussed and yet less understood. Yet later, came the glacial avalanche 
of ice and rock, and the wreck of animal and vegetable life, called the 
"bowlder drift." Its deposit is the yellow clay with rounded pebbles 
and bowlders of granite, gneiss, trapp and other foreign rocks. Its 
course is marked on the rocks where the surface was ground off by its 
action. Its course in this county was 32° 30' 10" east of south. The 
rocks thus marked are well exposed on the Frump and the Rhodes farm, 
below Bowling Green, on the Cullen farm, half mile east of the same 
place, and, also, at the stone quarries north of the town, heretofore 
named. The lines on the planished surfaces are exactly parallel, and the 
course indicated by them is very nearly uniform in the different locali- 
ties. These rocks may be appealed to as undubitable evidence of the 
irresistible movement of some woaderful agency over the face of the 
earth from the far Northwest to the regions of the Ohio and Kentucky, 
and from the lakes down to Tennessee. In this drift is found the same- 
ness of forest and lesser vegetation — the sameness of agricultural worth 
uninfluenced by the strata beneath. Eel River and Jordan cut and ex- 
pose the subcarboniferous limestone on the northeast. Next in the 


ascending scale is a heavy bed of black slate, or shale, with nodules of 
iron ore. Two thin beds of coal occur. On these strata is imposed a 
heavy bed of sand rock, variable in character. In the north part of the 
county, on Croy's Creek, it is massive and conglomerate; at Bowling 
Green, it is irregular in its line of cleavage, and only tit for rubble walls. 
At the points named, where planed by glacial action, the rock is fine 
grained, cleaves well, cuts or saws readily into caps, lintels, copings, etc. 
In color and textui-e it excels the far famed Waverly Eock of Ohio. 
Some forty feet above this rock occurs the first bed of " block coal," so 
named by the miners, and adopted by State Geologist Cox. This 
bed of coal is usually about four feet in thickness. From seventeen to 
forty-five feet above this is the second bed of block coal, about three feet 
in thickness; and from thirty to fifty feet higher in the series is a vari- 
able bed of coal, usually bituminous, varying from one and a half to two 
and a half feet in thickness, and next in the series comes a seven feet 
bed of bituminous coal, in many instances composed of three slightly di- 
vided beds of equal thickness; but unlike each other, and still higher in 
•the series is another bed of bituminous coal, about five feet in thickness. 
The line of strike indicates, also, that a four or five feet bed, known in 
Vigo County, crosses Lewis Township, of this county. The workable 
block coal beds are dry, finely laminated, horizontally, free from sul- 
phur, and having frequent vertical seams. It burns with a bright, cheer- 
ful blaze in the grate, maintaining its block form almost as well as hick- 
ory chips, leaves no clinkers, and gives about thi'ee per cent of ashes. 
This remarkable coal deposit has been traced on the eastern edge of. the 
coal field from the Wabash, near La Fayette, to the interior of Kentucky, 
and is without a rival, perhaps, on the globe. The bituminous coal beds 
are almost equally persistent and extensive. 

Having sketched this subject briefly in the scientific sense, it is now 
in order to treat it in the economic and practical sense. The past quar- 
ter of a century has demonstrated that the market value of the surface 
products of Clay County is but nominal in contrast with the immense 
treasury of wealth beneath the surface. In practical utility and value, 
the mineral resources of the county may be classed thus: First, the coals; 
second, the building stones; third, the plastic clays. The qualities of 
the block coal fit it alike for the grate, the forge, the foundry, the fur- 
nace and the mill. Its successive use in all these capacities has been 
tested effectually, not only in Clay County, but in all the cities from St. 
Louis on the west to Dayton and Cincinnati on the east, and from the 
lakes on the north to Kentucky on the south. The available block coal 
area of the county may be estimated at twenty-five miles in length and 
six miles in width, with an average depth of six feet. These dimensions 
will give, in roand numbers, as the product of one acre, 10,000 tons, 
which, if estimated at $2 per ton delivered on the railroad within the 


couBty, will amount to $20,000 an acre. On the same basis of estimate, 
the total market value of the block coal deposit of the county is $2,000, 
000,000, a much greater value than it is possible for the surface of the 
county, with all of its improvements, public and private, ever to attain, 
and a siim double the present assessed value of the property of the State, 
both real and personal. At 6 cents a ton in its native bed, this coal is 
worth $58,000,000, equal to the value of the total agricultural products 
of the county for a period of twenty-five years. The extent and value of 
the bituminous and cannel coals, principally the former, are scarcely less 
than of the block coal. Each of these has its peculiar adaptability in 
the economy of the useful arts. With block coal for the smelting of 
ores and the production of iron and steel, bituminous coal for the pro- 
duction of heat and steam, and cannel coal for the production of gas, we 
have here, imbedded in the bowels of Mother Earth, within the limits of 
our county, in almost inexhaustible quantities, the most potent agencies 
of civilization known to the human family. The order of development 
and utilization in the progress of the county was, first, the bituminous; 
second, the block; third, the cannel — an order more natural than for- 

Forty years ago, Michael Combs, of Crawfordsville, Montgomery 
County, removed to this county, locating on the site of the town of 
Staunton. Then the owner of lands here, felling timber by heavy and 
well-directed blows, then wrestling with huge and stubborn roots until 
patience and muscle were exhausted, pui'sued his daily routine of toil, 
stimulated by the hope of a livelihood, perhaps reaping a little sui'plus 
by way of reward, wholly unmindful of the rich storehouse of wealth 
and power garnered but a few feet beneath his beaten track. But Mr. 
Combs was a close observer, and to him belongs the honor of having 
made the first discovery of coal in Clay County, as well as that of 
having shipped the first car-load on the Vandalia Railroad, in the fall of 
1852. He will be remembered by many of the citizens of the county as 
one of the early and able ministers of the Christian Ch\irch, and as a 
member of the State Senate from" 1852 to 1856. From the time of mak- 
ing this development up to 1850, aided by his son, Alexander C. Combs, 
at present a coal dealer at Terie Haute, he mined and wagoned to that 
city the supplies for the smiths and the only foundry then there. 

Block coal was first developed in the West in the vicinity of Brazil, 
but to whom belongs the honor of having first discovered it there are 
several claims and a diversity of opinion. It was claimed by Dr. A. W.. 
Knight, of Brazil, one of the most intelligent men of his day, that a 
Prof. Lawi'ence, a man of some scientific attainments, from the East, 
came to Brazil in the spring of 1853 and engaged in making brick, giv- 
ing his attention, also, to the supposed mineral resources of that section, 
and that in the same year he located the sites for the two prospective 


coal shafts, one near the present woolen factory, the other near the de- 
pot, both immediately on the line of the Terre Haute & Richmond Rail- 
road. In the spring of 1854, he began operations and sunk the one near 
the factory, but never completed it so as to hoist any coal. In the latter 
part of the summer of the same year, John Andrew, William Campbell, 
James Kennedy and David Thomas put down the excavation for the one 
near the depot, hoisting all the dirt by hand power. From the lack of 
means, or from some other cause, the work was abandoned. Several 
years later, about 1858, David C. Stunkard resumed operations by the ap- 
plication of horse-power machinery, and began hoisting and shipping 
coal. But at an earlier period than this, John Weaver opened and oper- 
ated a slope a short distance northeast of Brazil, and shipped the first 
coal sent over the Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad to Indianapolis. 
The deposit of cannel coal is but limited, as at pi'esent known. The 
only point at which it has developed and is now operated is on the 
Phipps or Cooprider place, within a mile of Clay City. The first car- 
load of this coal was shipped by Eli Cooprider to the Terre Haute gas 
works in the latter part of the year 1881. 

Of the building stones there is an abundance of sandstone, variable 
in quality in different localities. So general is the distribution through- 
out the county, that one or more quarries are accessible to almost every 
section. Some of these were opened and worked at a very early day. 
As early as 1834-85, perhaps, quarries were worked in the locality of 
Judge Wools' s, near the present site of Newburg, to supply stone for the 
building of bridges and culverts on the National road. A. species of 
limestone was also quarried in the same neighborhood and used for the 
same purpose, but did not prove to be durable. At the Bellaire and the 
Rhodes bluff, a massive rock of good qualities crops out into the river. 
Here was quarried all the stone used in the construction uf the Feeder 
Dam as "early as 1837. Here, too, were obtained the supplies for the 
building of the basements and walls of the warehouses put up at Bellaire 
from 1852 to 1857. And hei-e, too, the contractors on the river bridge 
at the dam, in 1878, quarried and boated down the stone for the abut- 
ments of that structure. There are various outcroppings around the 
margin of the Middlebury Hill. Three quarries have been in operation 
for some years — on the John Cooprider place, on the north side of town, 
on the Elias Cooprider place, a little to the west, and on the Branden- 
burg place, on the southwest. From the first of these, now known as the 
Chamberlain quarry, the stone was hauled for the building of the origi- 
nal aqueduct across Birch Creek in 1837. It now supplies, in the main, 
the building stone used at Clay City. The qualities of the product of 
these quarries are similar, excepting a difference in favor of that taken 
from the Elias Cooprider place, which admits of a polish. On the 
Sammy Risley place, west side of Eel River, a few miles above the 


Thomas Ferry, is an excellent white sandstone, which has been much 
used. At this place were obtained the supplies for the Poland River 
bridge in 1872. Near this point is, also, the generally well-known quarry 
on the former John Rocky place. This is a seamless rock. Years 
ago, though but little worked now, the Cornwell quarry, on Otter Creek, 
two miles north of Brazil, was the most noted one in the north part of 
the county. This stone is a very fine grit, and was manufactured into 
grindstones at an early day. On the Simonson place, a mile and a half 
south of Brazil, a very durable sandstone has been worked, which for 
many years supplied Brazil foundation stones, lintels, steps, etc. This 
stone is, also, a good grit. In the building of the Hooker's Point bridge, 
in 1876, the stone were quarried on the Rodgers place, near the west 
border of the county, which are pronounced a very good quality. A 
quantity was first quarried for this purpose at the outcroijping in the 
bluff of the old canal, just below the bridge, but was rejected. A supe- 
rior quality of sandstone for building and for the base of marble monu- 
ments, apparently inexhaustible in quantity, is now quarried on the M. 
H. Kennedy or Pierce place, one mile northwest of Newburg. From 
this point Brazil has drawn its supplies mostly for the past few years. 
Considerable quantities have been quarried, at different times, covering 
a period of many years, on the site and immediately to the east of the town 
of Bowling Green. Here were obtained, in 1861, the stone used in the 
building of the present jail at that place. 

If there is any limestone in the county which will serve to make a 
good quality of quick-lime, its locality has not yet been fixed by actual 
experiment. If any exists, it is to be found on Jordan. 

Of the valuable clays, there are two kinds — fire clay and potter's 
clay. The former, because of its refractory property, is used in the man- 
ufacture of fire-brick, employed when a high degree of resistance to heat 
is required, and in the construction of proof buildings. This clay has 
been mined, mostly on Otter Creek, two miles north of Brazil, where Dr. 
Mansur Wright, of Indianapolis, established works for the manufacture 
of such brick and terra cotta work in 1873, which were operated but for 
a few years. The ordinary clay brick have been made extensively in all 
parts of the county for many years. The first kiln was burned near the 
present town of Harmony just fifty years ago. 

Potter's clay is abundant, and stoneware, as it is called, has been 
manufactured in various parts of the county. Early in the '40's, perhaps, 
a shop and kiln were located at Cloverland, and another, on a smaller 
scale, on the Perry place, northeast of Brazil. Some years later, shops 
were put in operation on Otter Creek and in the vicinity by Kelsey, 
Brackney. Cordray, Sapp and others. In 1847, Truman Smith & Son 
went from Cloverland to Middlebury^ and put up the shop and kiln on the 
present Everhart place. Soon after this, another was located on the 


adjoining place by Peter Harp. In 1859, Torbert & Baker began the 
manufacture of this ware with enlarged facilities at Brazil, turning out 
from 75,000 to 100,000 gallons per annum. Prior to this date, Isaac 
Cordray was the largest manufacturer of this ware. About 1869, Samuel 
H. Brown engaged in its manufacture on a large scale at Harmony. The 
Brazil factory, which is now owned and operated by William H. Torbert, 
is the only one now in active operation in the county. 

Bog-iron, in limited quantities, is also found in Clay County. The 
principal deposit, as yet developed, is on the Cromwell place, south of 
Eel River, half way between Bowling Green and Clay City, said to be a 
mile in length and sixty feet in width. 

The supply of fresh water is abundant. Good, perennial springs are 
not very numerous, although they exist in some localities. Water is easily 
accessible by means of wells, the usual depth varying from fifteen to forty 
feet, the latter being regarded the extreme depth of the drift, or surface 
covering of the county. The hardpan is the horizon of the fresh water 
supply. Of the springs, the most worthy of note are at James Fer- 
guson's, near Ashboro, and at Thomas Kincaid's, northeast of Bowling 
Green, which possess mineral properties, diuretic, aperient and altera- 
tive in their effects. The Kincaid spring may be said to be the strong- 
est surface flow of water in the county. Perhaps the greatest depth yet 
reached in providing fresh water supplies for domestic purposes is that 
on the John Steed place, adjoining Harmony, where, after digging in the 
usual way to the depth of forty feet, a boring of eighty feet more was 
made, making a total depth of 120 feet. 


By the conditions of a treaty concluded by Gov. Harrison with the 
Delaware, Miami and Pottawatomie tribes, at Fort Wayne, September, 
1809, the Indians sold and ceded to the United States several million 
acres of land east of the Wabash, including the present territory of Clay 
County. In October, 1818, at St. Mary's, Ohio, the Delawares made a 
final cession of all their claims to the lands lying within the borders of 
the State of Indiana. The Delawares and Pottawatomies were the oc- 
cupants of this territory when the white man first became acquainted 
with it. Just at what time the white man first put foot upon the soil of 
the county may not be known, but certainly at as early a date as that 
of the war of 1812, when it was crossed by United States soldiers in the 
campaigns attending that war. It is currently said that in marching 
from Vincennes to Fort Harrison, a party of soldiery crossed Eel River 
above the site of Bowling Green, among whom was Samuel Risley, who 
afterward located near the point of their crossing. Though many of the 
Indians vacated the ceded territory as early as 1819, going to Missouri 
and Kansas, yet their camp-fires did not die out here until about the 


time of the orgaaization of the county, when many went to the Eesorva- 
tion in Miami County, and there were those who still lingered for seve- 
ral years later. There are no historical reminiscences nor traditions 
extant detailing any hostilities nor serious troubles between the natives 
and the pioneers of the county during all the time they associated. They 
seem to have been on friendly terms, and at peace. Nor did the aborig- 
inal inhabitants of the territory of this county leave behind them 
many well-defined and noteworthy marks or traces of their occupancy. 
Sandy Knoll, about a mile west of Eel River, east of a line from Coffee 
to Howesville, has attracted more attention, as such, than any other or, 
perhaps, all other points, in the county. In its primitive state, this 
knoll was elevated from four to five feet above the surrounding level, 
circular in shape, and several hundred feet in diameter. Though the 
surrounding surface is a clay soil, the mound is sand, the same as that 
on the margin of the river, which leads to the conclusion that the natives 
carried and deposited the sand. To strengthen this theory, its advocates 
assert, with a great deal of assurance, too, that the depression or chan- 
nel, yet plainly visible just a few rods to the east, was the bed of the 
river at the time the mound was made. But whether or not the natives 
made the knoll for the purpose, it is evident that they used it as a burial 
place. It has been visited frequently by curiosity seekers at home and 
from abroad. Dr. A. Briley, of Lewis Township, who is somewhat of 
an archaeologist, has given the matter some attention, and in his re- 
searches has exhumed bones, teeth, beads and other specimens. Others 
have, also, digged out similar remains. Some of the beads and trinkets 
exhumed were in a state of good preservation. Bones of the lower leg 
have been taken oat several inches longer than those of the average-size 
man, indicating a stature of seven feet. It is related that a party of 
young folks from Illinois, on a visit to friends in the locality some 
J ears ago, visited the knoll to test the truth of what had been told them 
of its history. The party consisted of several young men and women. 
They carried with them the necessary implements to make the desired 
excavations. Soon after the work had been commenced, one of the young 
men uncovered and exposed the skull of a huge Indian, of which the 
open mouth and protruding teeth presented a sight so unexpected and 
ghastly that the doubting and inquisitive Sucker scattered unceremo- 
niouly his implements of research and beat a hasty retreat. This knoll 
has not been well preserved, having been plowed over and cultivated 
for several years past, so that, partially, it has lost its identity. On the 
east side of Eel Kiver, above Bowling Green, in the Walker settlement, 
* was another aboriginal burial ground. At this point a natural elevation 
was selected. Here, too, excavations were made, and the remains of 
bodies exhumed, but not at a late date. It is related of Dr. Davis, an 
early physician of that locality, that he collected " several sackfulls of 


bones," intending to prepare an artificial skeleton for professional use, 
but was driven by public sentiment to abandon his purpose and re- inter 
them. Of their rude weapons and utensils, there remains no great 
variety of specimens. Arrowheads of different sizes, carved out of flint 
not native to this territory, but of sections of the country far to the east, 
are found on all the uplands of the county. Fragments of implements 
and utensils used in their domestic arts are not wholly wanting. 

The earliest settlements were made on the bluffs and knolls along 
the river. At that day the flats and lowlands were entirely too wet for 
settlement and cultivation. It is generally conceded that to David 
Thomas belongs the honor of having made the original settlement on 
Eel River, on the bluff on which his son, James P. Thomas, lived up to 
the time of his death, just a few years ago. As nearly as can be ascer- 
tained, he came there in the fall of 1818. Two years prior to that time, 
Mr. Thomas came to White River, near the present site of Spencer, and 
was also the first white man to settle within the bounds of Owen County. 
In the spring of 1819, Samuel Risley came from Knox County and lo- 
cated at the point which we have already designated. Here, on the 13th 
day of February, 1820, was born to him' a daughter, Eliza Kisley, the 
first white child born within the territory of the county, who is now the 
wife of Simeon Stacy, residing on the river, near the place of her birth. 
It is due to the memory of Mr. Risley, whose eventful and useful life 
closed February 3, 1868, at the age of seventy-six years, to relate an ex- 
perience which befalls but few men in the picmeer history of a State. 
Soon after his settlement on Eel River, he was chosen a member of the 
County Board for the transaction of public business, and, two years 
later, when Putnam County was organized, his residence falling within 
the bounds of that county, he became a member of the board for the new 
organization, and then, three years afterward, when Clay County was 
surveyed and stricken off, his home being embraced within its limits, he 
became a member of the board for this county. Without any change in 
residence, and within a period of five years, he was a citizen and an of- 
ficer of three different counties. He taught the first school in the count}^, 
it is said, and was one of the first Associate Judges. 

As early as 1821, the highlands and bluffs on the west side of the 
river, south of Splunge Creek, were settled by Peter and John Cooprider, 
Robert Grose and James Delay, and a year later by James Briley, Elijah 
Rawley and Elijah Mayfield. Peter Cooprider built the first cabin within 
the present limits of Lewis Township, on the Kossuth bluff, near the 
Centennial Mill, He went to the land office at Vincennes and entered 
five eighty-acre tracts of land, the first entries made in the south half o* 
the county. Two or three years later it was discovered by William 
Maxwell that a mistake had been made in executing tlie titles to Mr. 
Cooprider's lands, the Government having conveyed to him five tracts 

n./K CW^. 


lying a mile south of those selected and already partially improved. 
Ali efforts on his part to have the error corrected proved fruitless. As 
he did not want the lands conveyed to him, he abandoned his chosen lo- 
cation, crossed the river and settled on^the Sand Hill in 1823. Subse- 
quently he disposed of his tracts vv^est of the river to the best advantage 
he could, having traded one of the five eighties for a clock. William 
Maxwell and James H. Downey had previously settled on the Sand Hill 
in 1823, and very soon after the Coopriders came the three families were 
joined by Thomas G. Gallaspie and Mordecai Denny. James Briley 
built his cabin near the river, a little east of Edmond Phegley's present 
residence. Here Dr. Absalom Briley was born February 21, 1823, the first 
white child born within that part of the county lying west of the river 
and south of the Old Hill. Elijah Rawley pitched his tent on the hill- 
side at the confluence of Splunge Creek with the river, where, in the 
summer of 1823, he built the first mill ever put up on Eel River, which, 
for a number of years, cracked the corn for the pioneer settlers through- 
out a circuit of many miles. Elijah Mayfield settled on the bluff near 
the Woodrow Cemetery, where, in 1822, perhaps, was buried one of his 
children, the first white person interred within the borders of the county 
west of the river. Mayfield was the most noted pioneer hunter in 
the county. By imitating the bleating of a fawn, which he could do 
perfectly, he could collect about him all the animals of the neighboring 
forest. At one time, having made his call, a doe came up, which he 
shot and proceeded to skin. While busily engaged he heard a noise 
closely behind him, and on looking around saw a panther on a log just 
ready to spring upon him. Deliberately, he rose, reached his gun, and 
lodged a bullet between his glaring eyes. After finishing the doe, he 
proceeded to flay the panther, which measured eleven feet from the point 
of the nose to the tip of the tail. At another time while at work skin- 
ning a deer, he was startled by a crash in the brush immediately behind 
him, and on looking back saw a bear and a panther engaged in fierce 
combat. He shot the bear, when the panther scampered away. He was 
a hardy and daring pioneer, never feeling fear from any source, neither 
by day nor by night. This locality was settled, also, before the organi- 
zation of the county, by William Stewart, Levi Reed, William Shep- 
perd, and others. In 1822, William Christie settled on what is known as 
the Gilbert place, just south of the lower Bloomington road, the first 
settlement made within the present limits of Perry Township. Christie's 
Prairie, having an area of ten or twelve miles, and the post office of the 
same name, which was in existence for a number of years on the Bowling 
Green and Terre Haute mail route, were named in honor of Uncle Billy, 
as he was familiary called. His son, James B. Christie, was born in 
1824, the first white child born within that part of the territory of thB 
cuunty lying west of Birch Creek, between the upper Bloomington road 


and the Old Hill. At the time of his birth, his mother was the only 
white woman within a circuit of several miles, and several squaw3 of- 
ficiated as midwives. Before the close of the year 1824, Mr. Christie 
was joined by his brother, David Christie, and a few years later by Eben- 
ezer Gilbert and others. 

Prominent among the earliest settlements were those made on the 
hills east of the river, near the present town of Poland. Among those 
located in this section from 1820 up to 1825, were Oliver Cromwell, Nich- 
olas O. Cromwell, Jared Payton, Purnell Chance and sons, Daniel and 
Tighlman, the Andersons, Walkers, Dyars and Lathams. At the time of 
the organization of the county, 1825, this neighborhood ranked as the 
most populous one within the territory. At that date, there were no 
white settlers within the present bounds of Posey, Dick Johnson, Brazil, 
Van Buren, Jackson and Sugar Ridge Townships. In 1826, William 
McBride came from Ohio and settled on Otter Creek, north of Clover- 
land, and the same year Jacob Goodrich came from New York and built 
the first cabin on the site of the town of Williamsburg. In 1828, they 
were joined by Martin Bowles, from Virginia, and John R. Smith, from 
Ohio. About 1827, Mark Bolin settled at the present town of Harmony, 
and the year following George G. McKinley located one mile south. In 
1828, Posey Township was organized, and named by William McBride 
in honor of Gov. Posey. When twitted about the inappropr lateness of 
the name, the old pioneer replied, " Though we are a wilderness now, yet 
the day will come when we shall bloom as the rose." The same year 
an election was held for the first Justice of the Peace, when William 
McBride and Mark Bolin were the opposing candidates, the former re- 
ceiving five and the latter three votes. Soon after this, Joseph and 
Major Ringo and Morgan Bryant came from Kentucky, and settled in 
Posey Township, An incident, related to the writer by Martin Bowles, 
will serve to show what was the condition of the county as to settlements 
in 1829. In the spring of that year, one of his horses strayed away, and 
he went out in search, directing his course toward Bowling Green. After 
leaving his cabin, one mile south of Cloverland, he did not see 
another until he reached that of Levi Walker, on the site now 
occupied by the residence of Dr. Gilfillan's widow, at Center Point, 
which was the only one between his home and that of David Thomas, on 
the river. Another incident detailed by Mi*. Bowles will illustrate pretty 
clearly the inconveniences, hardships and trying times experienced by 
the pioneers of the county. In the spring of 1830, the supply of corn 
in his neighborhood was very short and money very scarce; so much so, 
that it became a matter of serious consideration with him. When out in 
the woods one day his dogs came upon an otter, which was captured and 
killed by his assistance. He took the hide to Terre Haute and sold it 
for $2.50, then ii-ent to a Mr. Baldwin's, in Parke County, and bought 


corn, which he took to Kilgore's Mil], on Big; Kaccoon, where he waited 
patiently three days until his turn came to have it ground into meal. He 
went home with a little surplus change, happy and rich from the pro- 
ceeds of the otter skin. Settlements were made at as early a day as the 
date of organization on the river, between Bellaire and Auguiila, and at 
points two or three miles south. In the fall of 1825, or earlier, perhaps, 
Daniel Harris and his son Thomas, who lived then near Spencer, went 
down White River, entered the mouth of Eel River, and came up as far 
as the Rhodes Bluff, where they found Michael Luther, on the 
present Hudson place. They were the first white men to paddle 
a canoe up Eel River. They were on a hunting expedition, and put in 
part of the winter trapping otter and muskrats on the lake between 
Luther's and the Henry Hardin place, now called the Rose Patch, mak- 
ing their home with Luther during the time. About this time, William 
Luther settled on the Wilkinson place, and Joseph Luther on the Isaac 
Stwalley place. Peter Luther and son W^illiam came in 1827 or 1828, 
driving hogs with them all the way fi-om Crawford County. Ephraim 
Walker and William Cole were among the very first settlers in this part 
of the county. Prior to 1830, this locality was settled also by Jacob 
Hudson and William Kendall. Between Middlebury and Brunswick, 
settlements were planted as early as 1827 by William Edmonson and 
James Buckallew, and a year later by Joseph Alexander and others. 
The first wagon ever seen in this part of the county was that of Joseph 
Holt, who came here from Tennessee on a visit to his daughters, Mrs. 
Edmonson and Mrs. Buckallew, in 1830. Among the first to locate in 
the central part of the county, following Levi Walker, whom we have 
already named, were Eli Melton and George Moss. Melton began the 
improvement of the C. W. Moss place in 1830. Moss first stopped on 
the Peyton, later, the Fogle place, but in 1830 bought out Melton's im- 
provement, giving him in exchange a two-year-old colt. 

The pioneers of the county, principally, came from Virginia, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas. But a very few came from the 
East. At the date of organization, there were fewer than a hundred 
families, and a total population of less than five hundred within the bor- 
ders of the county. The increase was but gradual. At the time of the 
first census following, 1830, the total population was 1,610. Bowling 
Green was the only town laid out prior to this time. But in 1831, Will- 
iamsburg, in the northwest part of the county, on the line of the pro- 
posed National road, and New Brunswick, in the extreme south part, on 
Eel River, were platted and lots put to sale, James Townsend was the pro- 
prietor of the former, anfl William Maxwell and R. A. Ferguson, proprietors 
of the latter. When the former was platted and put to record, Lots 23 
and 24 were reserved and donated for the purpose of an academy, the 
only instance of the kind in the history of the county. In 1834 a 


special act of the State Legislature was approved, providing that the 
Board of Commissioners for Clay County might change the name of this 
town to whatever name they might select. Thereafter, it was usually 
called Williamstown, and jBilltown for short. In the early times, 
this was the most important town in the county. New Brunswick de- 
rived its name, probably, from the circumstance that Mr. Ferguson, one 
of the proprietors, had been a citizen of Brunswick, N. J. From 
1830 to 1840, considerable importance attached to this place as a ship- 
ping point. Flat-boats were loaded here with the products of the sur- 
rounding country, for New Orleans. There were two yards on the river, 
near this place, where boats were built and launched. The first hewed- 
log house in the south end of the county was built at this place by Will- 
iam Maxwell. In the fall of 1827, John Cooprider and son, Elias, put 
to seed the first wheat ever deposited in the virgin soil of Clay County. 
Instead of reaping a bountiful harvest the next year, as they anticipated 
from the outlook in the spring, their crop at maturity proved to be all 
cheat. In the fall of 1828, they made a trip to the Ohio River for 100 
pounds of flour, the first ever brought to southern Clay County. 


In 1832, the National road was surveyed through the north pai't of 
the county, by the way of Williamsburg, then the only town in the coun- 
ty north of Bowling Green. In the spring of 1833, contracts were let 
for the grading and bridging of the road, and work began the same year. 
In 1835, this thoroughfare was put in passable condition. This im- 
provement aiforded an opportunity to the early settlers to earn a little 
cash money, and many of them took advantage of it. Among those who 
shoveled dirt in its construction at 62J cents a day, who afterward be- 
came conspicuous in the history of the county, may be named Morgan B. 
Ringo, Esau Presnell and Jesse B. Yocom. Mr. Ringo, by this means, 
earned the money to make his first purchase of forty acres of land, lay- 
ing the foundation for future prosperity and wealth. He became the 
heaviest tax payer in the county, and was honored with a seat in the 
State Senate in 1872. Mr. Presnell also husbanded his little means 
realized from this source, and became a wealthy merchant, land-owner 
and railroad stockholder, and was intrusted with the responsible position 
of County Commissioner from 1862 to 1865. Mr. Yocum acquired a good 
farm and home, and served as Sheriff of the county fi'om 1875 to 1877. 
Scores of others made substantial beginnings in the same way. Besides 
affording profitable employment, the building of this road made Terre 
Haute accessible to the people of the north part of the county. 

In the year 1827, the Congress of the United States made a grant of 
lands for the construction of the Wabash & Erie Canal. In 1830 and 
1831, the Legislature of the State authorized the commencement of its 



construction, and work was actually begun in 1832, on that section ly- 
ing between Toledo and La Fayette. 1 hat part of this thoroughfare 
lying between the Wabash River at Terre Haute and White River at 
Worthington, was known as the Cross Cut. This section crossed Clay 
County, intersecting Perry, Lewis and Harrison Townships. Its course 
through the county was from northwest to southeast, nearly twenty miles 
in extent. Of the several grants of land made in aid of this improve- 
ment, 37,171 acres lay in Clay County, of which 25,980 acres were after- 
ward put into market by the canal company at $2.50, 10,756 acres at 
$2, and 435 acres at $1.25. The construction of this canal was a part 
of the system of internal improvements undertaken by tlie State. As a 
summit divide between the Wabash and White River lies in this county, 
in part, both ends of the Cross Cut had to be fed from the waters of Eel 
River and its tributaries. This necessitated the construction of the 
Feeder Dam and Splunge Creek Reservoir. The building of the former 
was commenced about 1837, and completed within two years. At the 
same time, the construction of the side cut for conducting the water 
from the dam to the main canal was in progress. As the line of this 
channel lay across Birch Creek, an aqueduct across the stream was built 
in 1838. No work was done by the State on the lower section of the 
Cross Cut, between the junction and White River. Owing to the de- 
pressing effects of the financial panic of 1837, the State was unable to 
meet its obligations incurred in the progress of its internal improve- 
ments, and work on the Wabash & Erie Canal ceased in 1839. 

In 1845, tie people along the line of the proposed canal began a 
general agitation of the necessity for its resumption and completion, and 
petitioned the Legislature accordingly. In answer, on the 19th day of 
January, 1846, an elaborate bill was passed, which was supplemented by 
another in January, 1847, and operations were resumed the same year. 
Much of the work which had been previously done by the State was going 
rapidly into decay. The canal was completed to Terre Haute in the fall 
of 1849, the first boat arriving on the 25th of October. Meanwhile, the 
work was progressing in Clay County on the Cross Cut, the Side Cut 
and the Feeders. Eel River dam, and the Birch Creek aqueduct were 
rebuilt. Splunge Creek reservoir was made by throwing up an embank- 
ment across the valley from the foot of the Old Hill two miles north to 
the junction of the Side Cut with the main canal. This work was com- 
pleted in 1849, or early in 1850, and the reservoir filled with water in 
the fall of the latter year. The Side Cut, leading from the dam to the 
reservoir, a distance of seven miles, was completed and the water let into 
it in the spring of 1850, On the 1st day of May, the water from Eel 
River first reached Terre Haute through the Cross Cut. As soon as the 
channel was sufficiently filled to admit of navigation, communication was 
established between Terre Haute and Bowling Green, as slack water on 


Eel River extended as far up as the Thomas Ferry. The people of Clay 
County were very highly elated over the consummation of the work and 
its promises for the future, and not a few of them were ecstatic with en- 
thusiasm and excitement. Prominent citizens of Terre Haute and officers 
of the canal company were equally impulsive and jubilant, and over- 
anxious to open the communication and celebrate appropriately the event. 
So, on the 13th day of May, 1850, a party set out from Prairie City, 
with a small cannon aboard, bound for Bowling Green, but their launch- 
ing out proved premature, as their boat was grounded before going any 
considerable distance, and they were compelled to return and await the 
arrival of more water. Very soon after this, however, perhaps latter part 
of May or first of June, the boat Oleus made the trip, carr} ing aboard a 
number of distinguished personages, with cannon and ammunition. Men, 
women and children flocked trom all directions to witness the event, and 
the Oleus and her crew were given big ovations at the Junction, the Dam, 
Bellaire and Bowling Green, which were reciprocated by numerous sa- 
lutes from the cannon. At Bowling Green, it is said, resident citizens 
and their visitors indulged in a drunken jollification. This was the 
only trip ever made to Bowling Green by a boat plying on the main canal, 
not owned and operated by Clay Countians. The opening of the canal 
stimulated business enterprise and commercial activity. At Bowling 
Greeu, the head of slack-water navigation, the firm of Fuller, Melton & 
Kennedy, composed of Jesse Fuller, John M. Melton and Joseph Kennedy, 
built a warehouse, just below the bridge, which was afterward converted 
into a brewery, and also built the canal boat Belle of Bowling Green, 
which first went out in August, 1850, in command of John W. Ecret, 
loaded with grain, and bound for La Fayette. From this time on the 
Belle continued to make regular trips to La Fayette and Toledo, taking 
out grain and produce, and bringing back to Bowling Green such freights 
as the local bu.siness demanded. After passing from the Side Cut into 
Eel River, boats were pulled or towed to Bowling Green. As a motive 
power, to facilitate this work, the firm heretofore named constructed a 
rude tow-boat, which bore the euphoneous name. Bull of the Woods. In 
1851, a company was organized to build a small steamer to propel canal 
boats up from the dam, of which Oliver Cromwell, Sr., was the leading 
spirit, but from delay of execution the project was abandoned. Some 
years later, after the dissolution of the firm of Fuller, Melton & Kennedy, 
the Ohio, owned and operated by John W. Ecret and John M. Melton, 
mad e regular trips up to the spring of 1861, when it went out for the last 
time , taking a mixed load of produce, .^is was the last boat ever seen 
at Bowling Green. After the opening of navigation, A. H. L. Baker, 
who had real estate interests at the bend of the river, three miles south 
of Bowling Green, at the mouth of Six Mile, conceived the idea of build- 
ing up an importaut commercial center and resort at this point. Though 


his plans were much more visionary 'than substantial, he proved his 
faith by his works in the bailding of a large warehouse, and a commodi- 
ous hotel, having a large number of rooms and numerous outlooks, a 
house of greater proportions and pretensions than any hotel building now 
in the county. This building, however, was never completed and used as 
originally designed. The town which he laid out at this point in 1852 
was named Bellaire, from the circumstance that Mr. Baker had lived for 
a time at Bellaire, Harford County, Md. He, too, engaged in canaliag, 
and owned and operated the boat known as the Eight O's. The Julia 
Dean, which was owned and run by James Mushett, did business regu- 
larly at Bellaire, and made occasional trips to Bowling Green. Mr. 
Baker was succeeded in business by Lewis Row, who bought and shipped 
a great deal of grain. In 1857, Nicholas Goshorn & Son located at this 
point, built a second warehouse, did shipping for several years, and con- 
tinued merchandising up to 1865. Though this town had several stores, 
a post office, and shops for several years, there are now no marks remain 
ing on the site to indicate that it ever existed. At the dam, private in- 
vestment and improvement began at a much earlier date. The town of 
Anguilla, at first known as New Amsterdam, was laid out in 1838. As 
early as 1842 or 1843, the Wines Brothers, Terre Haute, built a large 
flouring mill and saw mill, and also engaged in general merchandising. 
The mill was run for several years, up to 1850 probably, when the ma- 
chinery was removed because of the instability of the foundation from 
the encroachments of the water. The frame afterward toppled over into 
the river and drifted away. The Wines Brothers were succeeded in the 
mercantile business by Thomas Harris, and W. F. T. McKee built a saw 
mill and a small grist mill near the site of the former ones, which he 
operated up to the time of the abandonment of the canal, shipping lum- 
ber to many distant parts of the country. There was, also, a post office 
at this place for a period of twelve or fifteen years, having been kept last 
in the building }et standing by the road side, on Jesse Allee's place, oc- 
cupied several years past as a stable. This town, too, has been vacated, 
and the passer-by does not now see that a manufacturing and business 
point, nor a canal feeder, ever existed there. Besides Eel River and 
Splunge Creek, Birch Creek was made to contribute to the water supplies 
of the Wabash & Erie by the construction of Birch Cieek Reservoir, in 
the central part of the county, to which a branch or side cut was made 
from that connecting the river with the main canal. The levee, or em- 
bankment, confining this body of water, was thrown across the valley 
from east to west between elevated grou.nds on either side, and was a 
half mile in length. A part or Saline City, and a section of the track of 
the Terre Haute & South Eastern Railroad, are now on the site of this 
feeder. This reservoir was built as late as 1853. The total extent of 
water transportation in the county, including the side cuts and Eel River 


slack water, was about forty miles. From the best information which 
we have been able to command, the Cross Cut was used for a period of 
ten years, the first boat having passed through from Terre Haute to 
Worthington in the spring of 1851, loaded with salt, and the last one, 
from Worthington to Terre Haute, in the spring of 1861, loaded with 
flour, belonging to Augustus Stark, and bound for La Fayette and Toledo. 

The construction of Splunge Creek Reservoir was very objectionable to 
the people of the vicinity, because of its supposed effects detrimental to 
health. All the ague and fever in the neighborhood were attributed to 
this cause, and the construction of Eel River Feeder and Birch Creek 
Reservoir intensified the opposition, until the public indignation assumed 
so serious an outlook as to induce the canal company to lay the matter 
before the State Legislature, and ask security against threats and vio- 
lence. The people adjacent to these feeders demanded of the canal 
company that all the timber should be removed before inundation, and 
that the water should in no place be less than two feet in depth. These 
conditions were not conceded. On the 4th of March, 1853, the I^egisla- 
ture enacted a law authorizing the Governor to appoint a committee of 
five competent physicians from different parts of the State, to visit and 
examine the feeders of Clay and Gibson Counties, and to report their 
condition and sanitary influences. This committee consisted of Joseph 
H. Cook, of Vermillion County; A. D. Gall, of Marion; John S. Ford, 
of Jackson; Samuel Grimes, of Carroll; and Matthew Smith, of Rush, 
who visited the feeders in the latter part of the summer of 1853, and 
submitted their report, which is as follows, as to Splunge Creek Reservoir: 

" This body of water covers an area of about 4,000 acres, one- fourth 
of which is covered with timber in a state of decay. 

" The grounds now covered with the waters of this reservoir were, 
previous to inundation, a low, wet and swampy bottom immediately ad- 
jacent to Eel River, which flooded it at every considerable rise. Near 
the center of this reservoir was a pond which covered from 1,200 to 
1.500 acres, which slowly dried away during the drier months of sum- 
mer, and left exposed a heavy alluvial deposit, which emitted a most of- 
fensive smell. At such time the inhabitants were sure to become the 
sufferers from intermittent and remittent fevers. The higher portions of 
these grounds were overgrown in summer with a most luxuriant growth 
of grass and vegetable matter from two to six feet high. This, too, was 
destroyed by the overflows, and left to decay after the waters had sub- 
sided. All the lower places were left full of water to slowly dry away 
by evaporation and pejjcolation. 

" These grounds have,fe^|(jKi covered with water about three years. The 
water is pui-e and clear, with the exception of that portion of it which 
surrounds the timber, which is slightly colored from vegetable extracts, 
which can in no wise contribute to the production of malaria. The wa- 

/rv ^/c^ ■ 


ter, in depth, ranges from a few inches to fifteen feet, and is in an al- 
most constant state of agitation, which greatly favors its purification. 
At the north end of the embankment there is constructed a tumble, pass- 
ing a part of the waters of Eel Kiver Feeder into this reservoir. About 
the center of the embankment is the bulkhead, passing the waters direct- 
ly into the canal. Although Splunge Creek does not furnish running 
water during the dry season, yet the reservoir is constantly in receipt of 
fresh supplies of water. The amount of water discharged over that re- 
ceived from the feeder is supposed to be about one-half inch per twenty- 
four hours; the Avater passing over the tumble and displacement both 
have a beneficial influence in preventing stagnation. The water seems 
perfectly free from all unpleasant odor, and at no point does malaria 
seem to be generated, except around the exposed margin, which is the 
portion left uncovered from the lowering of the water one-half inch per 
twenty- four hours. When standing to the northeast, along the prairie 
side, there seems to be a decided pernicious influence exerted, none of 
which is attributable to the standing timber, which is on the southeast 
border of the reservoir. 

fj " Malaria, or miasmata, has at all times, and under all circumstances, 
eluded the finest chemical analysis, and no manipulation, however deli- 
cate, has ever been able to detect its presence. We see vegetable matter 
under the combined influence of heat and moisture, we smell an un- 
pleasant and offensive odor, we see, in those exposed to those influences, 
intermittent and remittent diseases; we say malaria is the remote cause; 
but little more is known of it than that, in certain localities emitting offen- 
sive odors, certain diseases are prevalent. We call them malarious. Expe- 
rience proves that an excess of moisture suspends, to a great extent, the 
generation of this agent; and, likewise, an entire want of moisture stops 
the decay of vegetation. Therefore, malaria ceases to exist in those 
very places where a short time before the most pestilential diseases were 
prevailing. Timber, standing or fallen, divested of its foliage, can, in 
no wise, contribute to the production of this agent. The decomposition 
of the ligne(SKis fiber can but restore itself into its original gases — car- 
bon, hydrogen and oxygen — or into carbonic acid, hydrogen, or light 
carburetted hydrogen. When the cellulose connection of timber is de- 
stroyed, and the succulency dissipated, the dry process commences; and, 
though moisture may be externally applied, no malaria can be the result. 
If the ligneous fiber resolve itself into its original gases, and they are 
those mentioned, if they hold any connection whatever with miasmata, 
why does not chemical analysis make the same manifest? In the most 
marshy and pestilential portions of Italy, where no man has ever slept 
without an attack, no more carbonic acid exists in the atmosphere than 
in the most salubrious climes. If carbonic acid were generated by an 
excess of moisture, a great portion of it would be absorbed by the water, 


while the light, carburetted hydrogen, generated under these circnm- 
stances, when free, would ascend into the higher regions, where no influ- 
ence could be exerted upon the hygiene of the surrounding country. 
Carbonic acid, no doubt, may become an agent of disease when concen- 
trated, but not while slowly produced in the open air from the denuda- 
tion of ligneous fiber. 

" If the timber in falling should stop at or near the surface of the 
water, footing would be given for the growth of moss and other aquatic 
plants, none of which can, while living, contribute in the least as cause 
of disease. They would be destroyed by the fraezes of winter, and 
slowly decomposed during the warmer periods of that portion of the year, 
but little deleterious influence would be exerted. 

" There seems to be no source of malaria at this reservoir, except the 
exposed edge from the lowering of the water, and this is but small in 
comparison to the previous state of those grounds. 

"It is the opinion of this committee, that any body of fresh water, 
receiving and discharging the same amount that this reservoir does, and 
constantly kept in motion by the winds of that prairie country, could not 
alone, under the most adverse circumstances, become a source of disease. 
We are of the opinion, after carefully comparing and investigating the 
present condition of this reservoir with its previous state, that there is 
far less cause of disease at present than before these grounds were per- 
manently submerged." 

This report was far from satisfactory to those whom it was intended 
to pacify. The committee were charged with corruption. The Eel 
River Propeller of September 10, 1853, published the following brief 
editorial comment on the report: 

" We call the attention of the citizens of Clay County to the report 
on Splunge Creek Reservoir, in to-day's paper. Those who read it will 
be more than ever convinced that money is a powerful weapon with which 
to overcome difliculties." 

The report was severely criticised through the columns of the press by 
citizens in different parts of the county, and the committee charged with 
having evaded a candid investigation of the subject. 

The following is the report of the committee as to Birch Creek 
Reservoir : 

"This feeder was constructed in 1853 at a cost of $30,000, is in the 
central part of the county, and covers an area of 1,000 acres. * The soil 
is argillaceous and but little fitted for the escape of water by percolation. 
The surface is flat, covered with a layer of vegetable matter in a state of 
decay. The surface is subject to overflow from the creek and from any 
considerable rain. Numerous inundations, partially filled with stagnant 
water, strongly impregnated with vegetable matter in a most ofi'ensive 
condition, are spread out all over the entire territory. The timber is 


heavy, and composed of almost every variety of forest trees, under grown 
with brush and grass, many places so thick that it is with difficulty 
penetrated. The heavy growth of the timber does, to a certain extent, 
prevent both generation and spread of malaria. The whole presents to 
the view a most ghastly appearance, having in its very midst the elements 
of disease most common to our country. Will the submerging of these 
grounds exert a deleterious influence upon the hygiene of the surround- 
ing country? If submerged in the midsummer, when the foliage is up- 
on the ground, there would be exerted for a time a pernicious influence; 
but if submerged in the latter part of the fall or in the winter, no direct 
evil influence would be generated. 

"What effect would follow from the complete removal of the timber? 
If the timber be cut away and the direct rays of the sun let in upon its 
surface in its present condition, an infinitely worse state of things would 
follow than from the submerging of the same grounds under the most 
unfavorable circumstances. By this process, we expose vegetable matter, 
stagnated pools of water impregnated with vegetable matter and alluvial 
deposit, all the most favorable circumstances for the generation of mala- 
rious poi son. Aside from that, the destruction of the timber will give 
free circulation to the atmosphere, and malaria, rapidly generated in this 
way, would spread with greater facility, and disease would be the impend- 
ent result. In all cases where heat and moisture are present in their 
proper proportions, the effect will be comparative to the relative state of 
decay. The more readily the substances enter decomposition, the gi'eater 
will be the amount of deleterious agencies given off in a given lime. 
Of all conditions favoring the rapid generation of a poisonous agent 
from decomposition, water impregnated with such vegetable products as 
most decompose is the most favorable for the rapid generation of miasma, 
especially where these pools are shallow and stagnant, and motion and 
air are precluded. In reference to the standing timber, it can have, in 
the opinion of this committee, no bad effect upon the health of the sur- 
rounding country. 

" From inquiry, we learn that the greatest complaint against Splunge 
Creek Eeservoir comes from regions which decidedly are and ever have 
been pestilential and filled with malarious diseases, at a distance of 
from two to five miles from the Keservoir, which has claimed to be the 
great source of difficulty. There is between those persons and this body 
of water a dense forest, which all experience proves would act as a 
barrier to the spread of this poison. Then some occult cause must have 
been the executing agent in this case and not the waters of the reservoir. 
. " There is no doubt that if the grounds of Birch Creek Keservqir were 
once cleared and then submerged, an infinitely better state of things 
would exist than does or can exist under any other circumstances. But 
if those grounds were once permanently submerged with the timber 


standing, after a time all deleterious influences would be at an end; but 
while permitted to exist in its present condition, time knows no termina- 
tion to its pernicious influences, while heat and moisture are elements of 
decay. The free edges of this reservoir are also being cleared of their 
timber, which can have but little good effect. Permanently submerging 
is all these grounds want to greatly improve the health of their immedi- 
ate neighborhood. In reference to the feeder dam in Eel River, all the 
bad effects that would probably result would be from the exposure of the 
sand and mud bars in the bed of the river below the dam. These, no 
doubt, do exert an influence while undergoing the decaying process. 
The difference between this and ordinary dams for milling purposes is 
that the water in this pond remains at the same level during a regular 
stage of water, keeping entirely submerged its overflowed banks, while 
small streams are subject to constant changes, thereby exposing alternate- 
ly the sand and muddy banks to the direct rays of the sun." 

These reports exasperated the people and further intensified the oppo- 
sition to the construction and maintenance of pools and feeders on Clay 
County soil. On the 25th of January, 1854, the following notice was 
published in the Clay County Advocate: 

There will be a public meeting of the citizens of Clay County, without regard 
to party, to consult upon their interests involved in the erection and maintenance of 
reservoirs, dams and pools of water in our county, by the Trustees of the Wabash 
& Erie Canal. Said meeting to be held at the residence of George Moss, on the 32d 
day of February, 1854. Many Citizens. 

This meeting was addressed by Daniel Dunlavy, Representative in 
the State Legislature, and other citizens of the county. The sense of 
the meeting, as manifested by its proceedings, was that of hostility to 
any further prosecution of Birch Creek Reservoir works, unless all the 
timber should be removed before inundation, and the owners of the lands 
and timbers compensated for their )>roperty. Resolutions were adopted 
declaring the determination to use only legal means for the removal of 
the " nuisances," or the correction of the evils attending them. Previ- 
ous to this meeting, the opposition had appealed to the courts, and se- 
cured an injunction against the filling of Birch Creek Reservoir. The 
Trustees of the canal offered to contract the removal of the timber from 
the reservoir at the rate of $7 per acre, but failing to succeed on this 
proposition, proceeded to fill the pond. In May, 1854, the bank was 
slightly cut, but discovered in time to prevent any serious trouble. On 
the night of the 22d of June following, 100 feet of the embankment was 
cut and the body of the water let out. On the 19th of July, J. McLean 
Hanna, attorney for the State, published the following call: 

" A meeting of the citizens of Clay County, and especially those in- 
terested in the Birch Creek Reservoir, will be held at the Feed,er Dam, 
in said county, on Friday, the 28th of July, at 10 o'clock A. M., to con- 


sider the best means of arranging the difficulties which exist in regard 
to the said reservoir. Assurance has been given that two of the Trustees 
of the Wabash & Erie Canal will be present on the occasion." 

This meeting was liberally attended, and on the part of a majority of 
citizens present a compromise was effected through the influence of Mr. 
Hanna. The Trustees agreed to cut down and remove the timber so far 
&B practicable, which they practically did while reconstructing the em- 
bankment, which delayed navigation south of Terre Haute for a period 
of three months. 

On the 19th of October, Gov. Wright issued this proclamation: 

Executive Department, Indianapolis, Ind., October 19, 1854. 


Whereas, It has been represented to this department that certain evil-disposed 
persons (supposed to reside in the county of Clay), in violation of law, and to the 
disturbance of the public peace, are attempting to damage and destroy the Wabash 
& Erie Canal by firing the wiers, locks, dams and other combustible works, cutting 
the embankment, etc. ; and whereas, it is also represented that during the past seven 
months these evil-disposed persons (supposed to be few in number) have from time 
to time actually destroyed a large amount of the property of said canal; 

Therefore, That the laws may be sustained, public property preserved, and 
these offenders brought to punishment, I do hereby offer a reward of $500 for the 
apprehension, arrest and lodgment in custody of said offenders, or any of them. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the 
State this 19th day of October, 1854. Joseph A. Wright. 

A. Hayden, Secretary of State. 

But this did not allay the trouble, which assumed a more serious 
aspect in the spring and summer of 1855. On the 10th day of May of 
this year, a body of men, said to have been 100 strong, repaired to Birch 
Creek Reservoir in open day and cut the embankment so completely as to 
let out principally all the water. They were armed and disguised and 
drove away the guards who had been stationed there some time before to 
protect the work and repel any attacks which might be made. 

Immediately following this, Thomas Dowling, of Terre Haute, one 
of the Canal Trustees, communicated the following to Gov. Wright: 

Trustees' Office, W. & E. Canal, Terre Haute, May 18, 1855. 

It is my unpleasant duty to communicate to you the destruction of the Birch 
Creek Reservoir, in Clay County, on Thursday, the 10th inst. This outrage was 
perpetrated by a body of armed men at mid-day, who appeared in disguise with 
blackened faces and other concealments of personal identity. There were, it is sup- 
posed, too persons engaged in the lawless proceeding. 

It will be remembered that on the night of the 22d of June, 1854, a similar out- 
rage was committed on the same work, doubtless by a portion of the actors in the 
recent scandalous proceeding. Navigation on the canal was suspended south of 
Terre Haute for three months, causing a large (expenditure of money by the 
Trustees in repairs, and greatly embarrassing those having capital invested in boats 
and produce. Though the repairs were promptly made, no rains fell to fill the res 
ervoir, and no further use could be availed until the fall rains set in. 


In July last, after conferring with some 200 citizens of Clay County, near the 
Eel River dam, the Trustees caused all the standing timber to be cut down and 
removed so far as was practicable. The persons there assented (but three or four 
dissenters) expressed, by a vote, their entire satisfaction with the proposed expend- 
iture, and we had no reason to anticipate any further annoyance on the part of 
those living in the neighborhood. James McLean Hanna, Esq., was present at that 
meeting, and he, being attorney for complainants, and employed by yourself, fully 
concurred in the proceedings, and, by his influence, brought about the meeting pro- 
posed and held. The contract for cleaning off the timber was awarded to Mr. W. 
K. Houston, a citizen of Bowling Green, and the expenditure is somewhere in the 
neighborhood of $10,000. This outlay, let me add, was made solely to allay the 
excitement prevailing, and not because the Trustees concurred in the reasoning or 
fears of those who threatened injurious results from the standing timber. No such 
results have followed in Ohio nor elsewhere, as we are abundantly able to show, ahd 
by the testimony of those who resided for years on the margins of the Ohio and 
Indiana reservoirs. It appears, however, that, notwithstanding the sacrifices made 
for the sake of peace and pledges given at the meeting in July, the spirit of outrage 
is yet abroad, and where it is to end the authorities of the State only can determine. 
This condition of affairs should be arrested in some legal manner, but how it is to 
be done is left to the wisdom of the State government. The Trustees can do no 
more than has already been done to appease the discontent of those whose fears, 
felt or feigned, drove them to such excesses. 

The property conveyed to the Trustees for the most sacred purpose, 
has been three times destroyed by citizens of Clay County, and is still 
threatened, as the enclosed letter will show, postmarked at Brazil. 

If the State will not protect the Trustees, their officers and agents in the quiet 
and peaceable possession of trust property, it will become a question how far we 
should go in repairing it. The losses already accrued are large, and will greatly 
increase should we fail to have a supply of water for summer navigation. I do not 
wish to indulge in any harsh expressions in concluding this communication, and will 
not'charge all the citizens of Clay County with a participation in these outrages. I 
know that all good men there deplore them, and feel that their county is deeply 
involved in these scandalous proceedings. Even some of the participators, let me 
hope, will see reason to repent their ill-advised agency, and avoid similar alliances 
hereafter. Time will determine the judgment that awaits such conduct. 

I inclose a letter from Mr. Ball, the resident engineer, having charge of that 
division. His letter more fully sets forth the extent of the damage, and gives details 
of the outrage. 

This mode is adopted of communicating with you on this serious subject, affect- 
ing alike the State and her creditors. 

Very truly, Thomas Dowling, Resident Trustee. 
Gov. Wright, Indianapolis, Ind. 

The following is Engineer Ball's letter, referred to by Mr. Dowling: 

Indianapolis, May 15, 1855. 
Gov. Wright: 

Dear Sir — On last Thursday an armed force of near one hundred men assembled 
about noon, at the Birch Creek Reservoir. They were provided with drums, fifes, 
and the National flag. After making their arrangements, they deliberately cut a 
hole in the reservoir embankment and allowed all the water to flow out. But as the 
water was low, it was a work of considerable labor to make the excavation and 
remove the plank wall in the center, and the flow of water, not being very rapid. 


did not make a very large breach. Probably 1,500 cubic yards of embankment will 
fill the opening. 

Our men, stationed there to guard the embankment, were unable to recognize, 
certainly, any of the desperadoes, as they were disguised, and prevented a nearer 
approach than about three hundred yards. Attempts were made to get closer, but our 
men were fired at and driven back; fortunately no one was killed. After their work 
of destruction was completed, the scoundrels gave notice, which was communicated 
to our men, that any one attempting to repair the break would forfeit his life. 
They remained on the ground until night, then scattered to their homes. We have 
not been able, as yet, to trace any of them, although we have strong suspicions. 
I doubt not that such facts will soon transpire, as, in the hands of an efficient pros- 
ecution and an honest jury, would lead to the conviction of some of them. It is 
believed that a very considerable portion of the men engaged in the outrage live from 
five to ten and even fifteen miles from the site of the reservoir, and therefore cannot 
suppose themselves detrimentally affected by its construction. They are a lawless 
band of scoundrels who delight in doing mischief. 

You are doubtless aware that without this reservoir we can not maintain navi- 
gation south of Terre Haute during the dry summer and fall months. If the breach 
is repaired immediately, there is a strong probability of the reservoir's filling again 
in June, but it would seem to be useless to expend more money upon that work 
until some efficient means are adopted for its protection. The officers of the canal 
can take the necessary measures to guard against breaches occurring in the ordinary 
way, and we have had watchmen stationed, at the Birch Creek Reservoir to guard 
it both night and day against ordinary attempts to cut the'embankment or injure 
the works, but they have no authority to employ a military force sufficient to 
control a company of desperadoes, armed to the teeth, and determined upon the 
accomplishment of their purpose at the risk of life and limb. When this emergency 
arises, I respectfully suggest that it is the duty of the State authorities to pro- 
vide the necessary force to protect the canal, and its officers in the lawful discharge 
of their duty. After all the efforts that have been made to conciliate the parties, 
I know nothing that can be done consistent with the honor of the State, than for 
your Excellency to station a sufficient number of armed men (say fifty) to protect the 
works of the canal at that point at all hazards. 

Respectfully submitted, William J. Ball. 

The foregoing official information given by Trustee Dowling and En- 
gineer Ball was followed by the Governor's proclamation : 

Executive Department, Indianapolis, Ind., May 24, 1855. 

Whereas, It is represented to me, on reliable authority, that a great outrage 
has been committed in Clay County, Ind., by the destruction of the Birch Creek 
Reservoir, a necessary and indispensable feeder of the Wabash & Erie Canal; and, 
whereas, it further appears that an armed mob of persons, consisting of 100 or more, 
did, on the 10th day of May, instant, at the hour of 12 M., appear on the banks of 
said work, and, after firing at the guard stationed thereon, and driving him away, 
proceeded to cut the embankment of the same, discharging the water which had 
been collected, and otherwise damaging the property of the trust; and, whereas, all 
the persons engaged in that nefarious and unlawful' proceeding were disguised, by 
the appropriate concealment of blackened faces and other outward disguises be- 
fitting such a deed; and, whereas, I have reasons to believe that but few of the per- 
sons engaged reside near the Reservoir, or have just cause for complaint, if any 
exist, but are, for the most part, an organized and unlawful association of persons, 
resolved to set at defiance the legal right of persons, and the security of their prop- 
erty, as has been manifested on many occasions; and, whereas, it is the duty of 
the Executive of Indiana to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and the pub- 
lic peace preserved; therefore 


Be it knoicn, That I, Joseph A. Wright, Governor of the State of Indiana, by 
virtue of the power vested in me, do hereby offer a reward of $500 for any informa- 
tion that may lead to the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons, or 
any of them, who aided and assisted in the cutting of the embankment of the Birch 
Creek Reservoir, in Clay County, Ind., on Thursday, May 10, 1855. 

And it is further declared and made known, that the sacred promises and 
pledges given by the State of Indiana to her creditors, by the laws establishing the 
trust, and the protection that was promised and guaranteed therein, shall be faith- 
fully kept and fulfilled, so far as the employment of all regular and constitutional 
meansshallbe necessary, to arrest those lawless proceedings, and to prevent the repe- 
tition of conduct disgraceful to the actors, their aiders and abettors. To accomplish 
this, force may be necessary; in that event, I shall not fail to invoke it, for the 
safety of the work is placed under the guarantee of law, and that shall not be dis- 
regarded. The State has a deep interest in this matter, and the confiding men who 
placed a moiety of the debt due by the people of Indiana, into the canal, shall not 
have their confidence abused without an effort to save our beloved State from the 
disgrace and dishonor which these mobs would entail upon her citizens. This spirit 
of lawlessness must be met and arrested, if we do not desire to have our State a by- 
word and a reproach in the land. It will be no fault of mine if irresponsible asso. 
ciations shall control and override the written laws of the State, and become the 
avenger of imaginary wrongs. No man's property can long be secure, if armed men 
in disguise can do these things with impunity, and go unpunished and unrestrained. 

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of 
the State to be affixed, at the city of Indianapolis, this 34th day of May, 1855. 
By the Governor, Joseph A. Wright. 

Erasmus B. Collins. Secretary of State. 

A short time after the cutting of the reservoir and the official action 
of the Governor relating thereto, the Cincinnati Commercial published 
the following editorial comment: 

" We were yesterday surprised to receive a paper from Clay County, 
Ind. We did not persume that the people read the papers in that 
swampy, sloppy, soggy, sticky, stinking, stifling, stubborn, starving, sub- 
sidiary, slavoring, slavish, swinish, sheepish, sorrowfully dark, desolate, 
direful, devilish, dim, doleful, downcast, dirty, despairing, deluded, de- 
generate, dismal, dreary, drivelling, demoniac, dilapidated locality, where 
public works are destroyed, and the officers, whose duty it is to defend 
the laws, with blacked faces, trample them under feet. On first open- 
ing this paper, Ave felt hopeful, thinking there would be light shining in 
the midst of darkness, but we discovered that the Clay County Citizen 
only makes darkness visible, as it is the organ of the ' canal cutters." 

In compliance with the urgent appeal of the canal company for pro- 
tection, Gov. Wright ordered two companies of militia to repair to the 
scene of trouble, under command of John W. Dodd, of the Governor's 
staff, who acquired the title of General' in that campaign, which he has 
ever since retained. Gen. John W. Dodd, unless recently retired, is at 
present a resident and active business man of the city of Indianapolis. 
The force, preparatory to the march to the seat of war, was organized and 
equipped at Evansville. At a public meeting held at the courthouse, at 
that place in pursuance of the Governor's proclamation, a number of young 


and single men enlisted, in obedience to public sentiment, to fill up the 
ranks. The compensation was $1 per day, from date of enlistment to the 
close of the campaign. This part of the force was under the immediate 
command of John S. Gavett, then Sheriff of Vanderburgh County. On 
arriving at the Junction, some time in June, 1855, the command was di- 
vided into two detachments, about fifteen remaining camped there under 
command of Capt. Charles Denby, now a prominent lawyer of Evans- 
ville, to protect the lower reservoir, and about fifty or mure going on up 
to Birch Creek, where they occupied two old canal boats. They employed 
most of their time in fishing, chasing ducks, playing cards and shooting at 
a mark with the Clay Countians. It is said that after seeing Clay County 
riflemen knock a dime out of a forked stick, at a distance of twenty 
steps, at every shot, the army of occupation had no anxiety to bring on an 
engagement. On behalf of the people of Clay County, Gov. Wright had 
ordered Col. John B. Nees to report at the reservoir and confer with the 
commaod of the military. The result of this conference was the calling 
of a meeting of the citizens, at the old schoolhouse on the Grimes place, 
which was addressed by the officer in command, and a proposition sub- 
mitted to the effect that they should sign an agreement not to molest the 
canal property and, also, to use their influence to persuade and prevent 
others from doing the same. To this proposition, C. W. Moss responded 
in behalf of the citizens present, declining to accede. Nothing was ac- 
complished. A number of resident citizens were arrested by Constable 
William Curry, supported by Sheriff Gavett, on charge of incendiarism, 
the shanties standing on the bank of the reservoir having been fired and 
burned about the same time that the enbankment was cut. Among those 
arrested were Samuel Tribble, who was pursued and taken in custody at 
Bowling Green, and Bennett Norton, who was imprisoned one night in 
one of the old canal boats occupied by the soldiery. The accused were 
tried before Esquire John Kobinson, of Perry Township, and acquitted. 
The State was represented by John P. Usher and Willian K. Edwards, of 
Terre Haute, and the defense by James M. Hanna and John Osborn, of 
Bowling Green. At the expiration of ten days, the army of occupation 
evacuated and fell back to Terre Haute, where they were appropriately 
banqueted, and, under the influence of a basket of champagne, opened 
by William Bement, they became patriotic, made speeches and recited 
all their deeds of valor. 

Corresponding with the attempts made to render the Birch Creek 
Feeder useless, on the night of September 9, 1854, the breastwork of the 
Feeder Dam was burned to the water's edge; and in the early part of 
1855, perhaps, Splunge Creek Reservoir was drained by letting the water 
out into the canal, and then out through the waste-way at Kossuth. The 
people of Clay County, whether right or wrong in their judgment, held 
the feeders to be nuisances, which they had the right to abate in self- 



protection, and a subsequent decision of the Supreme Court covering the 
ground of controversy, almost justified them in cutting the banks. All 
this, coupled with the construction and operation of the Terre Haute & 
Riclimond Railroad, the projection and building of the Terre Haute & 
Alton, and the Evansville & Crawfordsville, led to the neglect and grad- 
ual decay of the canal interests, and but a few years later, its abandon- 
ment on the part of the canal company. 

The first railroad survey through the county was made about 1849, 
that of the Terre Haute & Richmond. A competitive line was run 
through the southern part of Parke County, and for some timn the 
choice of route was suspended in doubt. The Croy's Creek cut and fill, 
the heaviest work on the survey, was the principal objection to the Clay 
County line. To George G. McKinley, of Croy's Creek, and Michael 
Combs, of Staunton, the people of the county are largely indebted for 
the location of the road. Mr. McKinley agreed to take the contract for 
the grading of the road through the county. The heavy work on Croy's 
Creek he did himself, and sub-contracted other sections of the work. 
Among the Clay Countians who had contracts from him were Michael 
Combs, Esau Presnell and Jesse Fuller. Work was begun vigorously in 
1850, and ' proceeded from both ends of the division — Indianapolis and 
Terre Haute. Construction trains, carrying freight and passengers, were 
crossing the county in the summer of 1851. The track was completed 
and through connection made early in 1852. The first passenger train 
went over the road in April. On the 10th of May, the first round trip 
was made between Terre Haute and Indianapolis by daylight. This 
road crosses the county from east to west at an angle of twenty -five de- 
grees, intersecting Van Buren, Brazil and Posey Townships. At the 
time of its location, Brazil was the only town on the line of the survey. 
True, Harmony had previously existed, but had been vacated, and was 
then re-surveyed and revived. Auxiliary to this road, which has been 
known for many years as the Vandalia, there are several switches north 
and south, traversing the developed coal field. The length of main 
tract in the county is 13.81 miles, and that of side track 44.27 miles; 
total, 58.08 miles. The assessed value of the track of this road within 
the county is $268,070, and the value of the rolling stock and improve- 
ments, $110;072; total valuation for taxation, $378,142. The Indiana- 
polis & St. Louis Railroad was built in 1869-70, and went into opera- 
tion in July of the latter year. This road crosses the extreme northern 
part of the county, running parallel with the Vandalia, intersecting Van 
Buren and Dick Johnson Townships. At the time of the location of 
this road, there were no towns in the county touched by the survey, but 
a half dozen sprang almost immediately into existence. The length of 
main track is 10.19 miles, and that of side track 3.14 miles; total, 13.33 
miles. The assessed value of track is $95,093, and the value of rolling 



stock and improvements $29,932; total valuation for taxation, $125,025. 
In 1871, the Terre Haute & Cincinnati Railroad was projected as a nar- 
row gauge, double track, air line between the Prairie and the Queen 
City, On the 4th of December of the same year, the first shovelful 
of dirt was thrown near Lockport, by L. A. Burnett, Vice President. 
The city of Terre Haute having donated $100,000 in aid of the road on 
condition that it should all be expended in the completion of the line to 
the town of Middlebury, work was pushed vigorously on this division. 
But the narrow gauge, double track, air line features of the road were 
abandoned, and the standard gauge adopted. By the 1st of August, 
1872, the track was completed to a point twenty-six miles distant from 
Terre Haute, at the crossing of the Bowling Green & Middlebury 
wagon road, where the Champer Bros, flouring mill now stands. In the 
month of August, the road was formally opened by an excursion from the 
Prairie City to the terminus, where the event was appropriately celebrated 
by a mass meeting and grand demonstration on the premises of Henry 
Cooprider. Though the road had been graded to Coal City, six miles 
further to the southeast, the point named continued to be the terminus 
for six years. In 1879, the road passed into the hands of W. B. Tuell, 
of Terre Haute, who completed it to Worth ington before the close of 
the year. Under Tuell's proprietorship, a change in the charter was 
made, and it became the Terre Haiite & Southeastern. This road crosses 
the county from northwest to southeast, intersecting Perry, Sugar Rido-e 
and Harrison Townships. The length of main track is 16.57 miles, 
and that of side track 3.72 miles; total 20.29 miles. The assessed value 
of track is $71,488, and the value of rolling stock and improvements 
$13,771; total valuation for taxation, $85,259. The Evansville, Terre 
Haute & Chicago, usually called the Peavine, was located and built in 
the latter part of 1878. This is a coal road, or feeder, runnino- from 
the main line of the E., T. H. & C. to Brazil, 4.53 miles of the track 
lying within this county, intersecting Dick Johnson and Brazil Town- 
ships. The total assessed value of this branch road within Clay County, 
including rolling stock, is $37, 131. The North & South Railroad was sur- 
veyed and located through the county in 1869, by way of Carbon, Brazil 
Bowling Green, Middlebury and Howesville. In January, 1870, an election 
was held in the county, to determine whether a donation of two per cent 
should be made by taxation in aid of this road, which was defeated. In 
the spring following, the tax was voted in Brazil, Washington and Har- 
rison Townships, levied and collected in the former two, and refunded 
to the tax-payers in 1874. The road was graded as far south as Brazil- 
then abandoned. In 1881, the Greencastle, Eel River & Vinceunes 
Railroad was surveyed by way of Poland, Bowling Green, Clay City and 
Middlebury. 'In July of the same year, a tax was voted in aid by Cass 
and Washington Townships, but was defeated in Harrison. In 1882 the 


name of this corporation was changed to Indianapolis, Eel River & South- 
western, and a re-survey made, crossing the Terre Haute & Southeastern 
two miles southeast of Clay City. In the summer of 1881, the Indiana- 
polis & St. Louis Narrow Gauge was surveyed through the central part 
of Harrison and Lewis Townships. The Evansville, Washington & 
Brazil road was located from Brazil to Washington, Davies County, by 
way of Clay City, in 1883. Under the head of public improvements 
may be included bridges constructed by the county. The first bridge 
over Eel River was put up on the site of the present one, at Bowling 
Grreen, in 1852 or 1853, William K. Houston, of Bowling Green, con- 
tractor. This bridge was not substantially built, no stone abutments hav- 
ing been put under it, and in 1857 was pronounced unsafe. At the De- 
cember term of the Commissioners' Court, of that year, Jacob Gilbrech was 
given the contract for repairing it. In January following, the trestle 
work, put in by Mr. Gilbrech, was washed out; then again replaced by 
him in February following. But in the summer of 1858, the bridge was 
condemned, and its further use abandoned, when James P. Thomas re- 
established his ferry a mile above. In 1868, the present bridge at Bowl- 
ing Green was built by Rarick & Black, at a cost of $12,000. In 1872, 
the Poland bridge was put up by Muehler & McNamar, contract price 
$7,200. In 1876, the Hooker's Point bridge was constructed by William 
Graber and Levi Fair, at a cost of $6,300. This bridge was destroyed 
by the cyclone of May 28, 1883; then was rebuilt the latter part of the 
same year, and the first of the year following, Muehler & Notter, contractors 
on the stone work, at $600, and the Canton, Ohio, Bridge Company, con- 
tractors on the iron work, at $5,120. In 1878, the Feeder Dam and the 
Splunge Creek bridge were built by Muehler & Notter, the former at a 
cost of $8,700, and the latter, $2,000. In 1881, the first iron bridge on 
Eel River was put up at New Brunswick, Muehler & Notter, contractors 
on the stone work, at $5,449.75, and the Cleveland Bridge Company on 
the iron work, at $6,133.60. The present Jordan bridge, at Bowling Green, 
was built in 1871, by Muehler & Notter. The Birch Creek iron bridge, 
on ^Bowling Green & Brazil road, in 1878, by Muehler & Notter, and 
the Cleveland Bridge Company, the Birch Creek Reservoir Iron Bridge, 
near Saline City, in 1880, and the aqueduct bridge, in 1881, by the 
same contractors. The Otter Creek iron bridge, on the old Bowling 
Green and Rockville road, was put up in 1880 by Muehler & Notter 
and the Fort Wayne Bridge Company. There are at this time three 
wooden and two iron bridges on Eel River, three iron ones on Birch 
Creek, one on Splunge Creek, and one (m Otter Creek, put up by the 
county, at an approximate aggregate cost of $75,000. 

The first poor farm, located two and a half miles northwest of Bowling 
Green, was purchased from a Mr. Blunk, at the March term of the Commis- 
sioners' Court, 1856, for $2,100.25. The present poor farm, lying two 


miles soiithwest of Bowling Greeii, was purchased from James and 
Smith Campbell, in January, 1875, for $7,900. The contract for the 
present buildings was let to Slocum & (^o., in December, 3 875, for $10,- 
857.96. These buildings were completed and occupied the following 
year. ^ 


As already stated, the Commissioners appointed to locate the county 
seat met at the house of David Thomas, on Eel River, in May, 1825. 
Pioneer settlers of that day differ in their statements respecting the ob- 
servations taken by the Commissioners. One says that they viewed the 
uplands nearly as far west as Birch Creek; another, that their choice la^ 
between the table-land north of the Adam Moon place and the site select- 
ed, while a third says that they repaired at once to the ground chosen 
and put down the stake. This was a beautiful and attractive site, a 
green, velvety lawn, high and dry, timbered with almost perfect speci- 
mens of walnut, poplar and sugar, and very nearly on a central line 
through the county from east to west. The land on which the location 
was made had been previously entered by two citizens of Spencer, Owen 
County, who had made but a partial payment to the Government. They 
agreed to relinquish their claims on condition that the payment made 
should be refunded them, and, perhaps, the added condition that certain 
lots should be given them in the survey of the town plat. Under the 
statute then existing, Daniel Chance, who lived on the "Wilkinson place, 
west of Poland, was appointed County Agent, to procure and perfect the 
title (the citizens generally furnishing the means necessary), lay off the 
town and make disposition of the lots, which was done in the main by 
public sale. This sale, according to the recollection of citizens yet liv- 
ing, was not held until some time in the year 1827. The name Bowling 
Green may have been suggested from a fancied resemblance to the green 
plat in the city of New York, used as a bowling ground, and called the 
Bowling Green. It is worthy of note, in this connection, to say that 
the town plat was not put to record until 1837, and the patent to the 
land on which the town stands bears date 1829, executed under the ad- 
ministration of Andrew Jackson. The survey of the plat was made 
probably by James Galbraith, Surveyor of Owen County. The public 
square having been located, Philip Hedges, of Spencer, took the con- 
tract to clear off the ground, in which he was assisted by the pioneers of 
the neighborhood. We are told, too, that the contract for the building 
of the first court house and jail was let to Mr. Hedges. The original 
court house was a two-story hewu-log building about 24x30 feet, which 
stood on the north side of the street, opposite the public square, east of 
the old hotel building on the corner. The court room was on the lower 
floor, the upper floor serving for the use of county ofificers and the jury, 
though no special preparation had been made for the accommodation of 


public business. The original jail was a one-story lo^ house on the 
square, just a little to the northeast of the present court house. This 
building was about 20x20 feet, having a floor of heavy hewn logs resting 
upon sills, and extending to the outer edge of the walls, which were 
double, with poles thrust upright between as a precaution to the safe 
keeping of prisoners. These rude wooden structures were occupied in 
the transaction of judicial and official business and the confinement of 
prisoners until 1838, when a contract was let to Dempsey Seybold, Sr. , 
of Putnam County, for the building of a two-story brick court house, 
about 40x50 feet, on the site of the present one. At the same time, 
Seybold contracted the building of the County Seminary. In the sum- 
mer of 1838, he made the brick for these buildings on the vacant lot 
afterward used for school purposes, on the east side of town, and put up 
the seminary the same year. Preparatory to the erection of the new 
court house, the old jail was I'emoved a square to the east and put on the 
lot occupied by the present one, adjoining the residence of Paul J. 
Geiger. This removal and the required repairs were made by Thomas 
I. Cromwell. In the re-construction of this building a stone foundation 
was put down, another story added, and the timbers were driven full of 
spikes on the inside to make the delivery of prisoners the more difficult. 
The new court house was built in 1839, and occupied in 1840, though 
not completed until some years afterward. In this house, also, the court 
room was below and the offices above. The partitions dividing the hall 
and office rooms were of wood. This house stood until the night of No- 
vember 30, 1851, when it was destroyed by tire, consuming all the pub- 
lic records and files, excepting those of the Recorder, John S. Beam, who 
kept his books in his tailor shop on the west side of the square. The 
Board of Commissioners, William L. Cromwell, William Edmonson and 
Daniel Dunlavy, proceeded at once to re-build, and, eax'ly the following 
year, awarded to William K. Houston, Samuel Miles, Joseph R. Kenne- 
dy and Oliver Cromwell, of Bowling Green, the contract for the building 
of another two story brick, about the size of the former one, at a cost of 
$11,000, which is now standing on the same site. This house was occu- 
pied the latter part of the year 1853. During the interval of two years, 
coiirt was held in an upper room of the three-story frame business house 
on the north side of the square, until the completion of the Masonic 
Building, when the sessions were held in the new hall above, and all the 
county officers transacted their official business in the middle room be- 
low. On the 22d day of April, 1861, the contract was let to Wingate & 
Black for the building of the present jail house, for the sum of $3,750, 
which was completed and occupied within twelve months from the date 
of contract. 


The re-location and removal of the seat of justice from Bowling 
Green to a more central sito on the west side of the river have been agi- 


tated, at intervals, ever since 1887, and, perhaps, at an earlier date, -when 
it became apparent that better facilities were necessary for the accommo- 
dation of the increase in population and public business. There were 
many prominent citizens of the county who favored re-location, some of 
whom lived at Bowling Green. Among the number were those who seem 
to have been men of a speculative turn of mind. Under the old Consti- 
titution, re- locations were granted and removals ordered by the State 
Legislature, on petition direct from the people. In 1838, when the people 
were elated over the prospects for navigation by means of the side- cuts 
and feeders tributary to the Wabash & Erie Canal, Samuel Howe Smydth, 
of Bowling Green, a brilliant and rising young lawyer, having real es- 
tate adjacent to the Feeder Dam, laid out a town on the west side of the 
river, which he named Anquilla, meaning Eel. This was an intended 
county seat. Smydth was an ambitious and energetic young man, but 
failing health compelled him to abandon his project. He is said to have 
gone to Europe to regain his health, and died there soon afterward. In 
July of the same year, John Osborn platted a town on the Bloomington 
road, less than a mile east of Ashboro, on land owned by himself, but 
afterward known as the Tribble farm, which he named Jonesboro, and 
which was also a prospective county seat. A number of lots were sold 
at public sale, but from some cause the project was abandoned in a very 
short time, and the plat vacated, notwithstanding the fact that Osborn 
went to the Legislature the following winter. A new court house having 
been built, the agitation of the question ceased for a term of years, until 
the burning of the court house in 1851, when the first organized and 
formidable demonstration was made by the re-locationists. The burning 
occurred on Saturday night, before the meeting of the Legislature, which, 
under the old Constitution, convened the first Monday in December. 
Oliver Cromwell and George W. Donham, re-locationists, were then the 
Representatives from Clay in the Lower House, with James M. Hanna, an 
anti-re-locationist, in the Senate. Those favoring removal went to work 
vigorously, and voluminous petitions were poured into the General As- 
sembly, praying for location at or near the center. A bill was passed by 
the Lower House favorable to the petitioners, but when sent to the Sen- 
ate, where it met the opposition of Mr. Hanna, it was defeated. Mean- 
while, the Board of County Commissioners, then composed of William 
L. Cromwell, William Edmonson and Daniel Dunlavy, met and deter- 
mined to rebuild on the site of the former house, notwithstanding the 
adoption of a joint resolution by the General Assembly to restrain the 
board from decisive action in the premises until the people should deter- 
mine the matter. Just at this time, February, 1852, A. H. L. Baker 
laid out the town of Bellaire, which place was intended by the proprie- 
tors as a rival in the re-location contest. In 1852, Daniel Dunlavy was 
elected to the Lower House, and Michael Combs to the Senate, to repre- 


sent the county in the first General Assembly under the new Constitu- 
tion, which met in sessiori in January, 1853. At this session, on the 
14th of March, a bill was passed to re-locate the seat of justice for Clay 
County, providing for the appointment of a committee of five disinter- 
ested citizens of adjoining counties to select the site. William K. Ed- 
wards, William Allen, Isaac W. Denman, Burr McGrew and John John- 
son constituted the commission. They met at the house of George Moss, 
on Birch Creek, the second Monda}^ of April following, and thence pro- 
ceeded on their mission, putting down the stake on the present Hyland 
place, a short distance south of the Bloomington road, two miles west of 
Birch Creek, then belonging to William Kennedy, but under contract to 
Joshua Modesift. To meet this exigency and defeat removal, the anti- 
re- locationists brought suit in the Clay Circuit Court, the cause being 
entitled, " Shallum Thomases al. versus Isaac W. Denman et al," which 
was then appealed to the Supreme Court, where the act was declared un- 
constitutional and void. In 1857, or early in 1858, C. W. Moss laid out 
the town of Ashboro, although the record does not show it to have existed 
prior to July, 1860, and platted a public square of ten acres, donated 
to the county for the purpose of public buildings, on condition that it 
should be so appropriated within ten years. In December, 1858, a pub- 
lic meeting was held at Ashboro to discuss re-location to this site. But 
nothing formal seems to have grown out of this meeting. In 1860, pub- 
lic sentiment and necessity demanded a new jail, and, counter to this 
movement, was then inaugurated the first formal effort in favor of Ash- 
boro. During the following winter, the county was canvassed with peti- 
tions, and 1,635 signatures obtained. At a special session of the Board 
of Commissioners, convened March 12, 1861, to advertise for bids for 
the building of a new jail, the re-locationists presented the petitions, 
represented by Col. George D. Teter, the opposition being represented by 
George W. Wiltse. The petitions were withdrawn on the ground that 
they did not represent two-thii-ds of the qualified voters of the county. 
In February, 1871, the central re-locationists again organized a canvass 
of the county in favor of Ashboro, and presented their petitions at the 
March term, represented by R. W. Thompson, the remonstrators being 
represented by D. E. Williamson and others. After several days' spar- 
ring before the board, the petitioners again withdrew. During the sum- 
mer following, a movement was organized in the north part of the county 
in favor of Brazil, and petitions were presented at the September term, 
whon, on the sixth day of the session, the prayer of the petitioners was 
granted, and an order of the board made for the removal of the seat of 
justice to Brazil. On the 26th of October, 1871, the three Commissioners 
appointed by the Governor, C. A. Allen, of Vigo; Marshal M. Moore, of 
Putnam; and James M. Ray, of Marion, met at the court house, Bowling 
Green, and appraised the county buildings at $5,300. Exceptions to the 

•--^^^^^/^ ^__ ^^C , yiJL^^^^^tAA<2^^Co^ 


ruling of the board were filed by the remonstrat-ors, and an appeal taken 
to the Circuit Court, and afterward to the Supreme Court. But, uni- 
formly, the action of the board was sustained by the higher courts. On 
the 25th day of January, 1877, the new building at Brazil having been 
completed, the records were removed from the old court house at Bowl- " 
ing Green. The new court house was first contracted by Noah T. Keasy, 
then transferred to John G. Ackelmire and John Andrew, and constructed 
at a cost of $13,300. The new jail was built in 1878, by William Dreu- 
sicke, at a cost of $7,900 


Journalism in Clay County covers a period of thirty-six years, dating 
from the publication of the first paper, but a period of only thirty years 
of regular and continuous publication. 

The first paper published in the county was the Indiana Globe, which 
was a small folio sheet issued at Bowling Green in 1847, by Samuel 
Kridlebach. There is no file of the Globe in the county archives, nor 
can a copy of it be found elsewhere. Its history exists only in the mem- 
ory of our old citizens. From the information obtained respecting it, it 
is safe to say that the period of its publication was but short — not so 
long as six months. 

The Eel River Propeller was established at Bowling Green August, 
1853, published and edited by Samuel K. Christie. The first issue was 
made August 27, Saturday. On the 21st of September, following, pub- 
lication day was changed to Wednesday. The Propeller was a five- 
column folio, neutral in politics, devoted to education, news, agriculture, 
markets, manufactures and arts, but more particularly to the interests of 
Clay County. Mr. Christie continued the publication of the Propeller 
until December of the same year, when he sold the office to James M. 

The Clay County Advocate succeeded the Propeller, James M. Oliver, 
publisher, John Osborne, editor. The Advocate was a five-column folio, 
published Wednesdays; independent in all things, neutral in nothing. 
The publication of the Advocate, under the management' and labors of 
Oliver & Osborne, was continued about eighteen months, when the office 
was transferred to Thomas Dillon. • 

The Clay County Citizen, published and edited by Thomas Dillon, 
made its first appearance August 11, 1855. The Citizen was the same size 
as the Advocate, publishe<^ Saturdays; devoted to everything that is inter- 
esting and instructive. The Citizen was an improvement on its prede- 
cessors, but Mr. Dillon's health proved too delicate for the task he had 
undertaken. On the 3d of November of the same year, J. Hambleton, 
of the Bowling Green Institute, took editorial 'charge of the Citizen, 
Dillon continuing publisher. On the 23d of November, 1855, Dillon 
died. Hambleton continued the Citizen, as requested by Mr. Dillon, 


until May 31, 1856, when the office was sold to James M. Oliver, who 
removed to Brazil. 

The Brazil Weekly News, published by James M. Oliver, and edited 
by J. Hambleton, was lirst issued June 12, 1856. The News was the 
size of its predecessor; motto, "Our God and our Country;" issued 
Thursdays. August 7, Hambleton retired, and Oliver became both pub- 
lisher and editor. About the first of September of the same jear, A. T. 
Lansing bought the Neivs office and assumed control, but continued 
Oliver as editor until January 15, 1857. Under Lansing's management, 
the Neivs was independent in all things, neutral in nothing. July 2, 
1857, the News was enlarged to a six-column folio, and continued until 
the middle of November following, when the office was sold to Daniel 
W. Lusk, who removed it to Bowling Green, 

The Clay County Weekly Democrat, published by Lusk, appeared De- 
cember 11; George W. Wiltse, editor, C. M. Thompson, local editor. 
The following week, C. M. Thompson bought the office and became pub- 
lisher, Wiltse continuing editor. The Democrat was a six-column paper, 
devoted to Democracy — the imperishable principle of progress; its achieve- 
ments are registered in the institutions of freedom. On the first of 
October. 1858, Wiltse retired, and was succeeded by A. T. Lansing, 
Thompson continuing local editor. December 10 of the same year, the 
Democrat was enlarged to seven columns. On the 1st of June, 1859, 
Lansing's connection with the paper ceased, and Thompson associated 
with him Thomas J. Gray and N. L. Willard, Gray as principal and 
Willard as local editor. Gray, Willard & Thompson enlarged to eight 
columns, published Thursdays; a national Democratic newspaper, devoted 
to politics, commerce, home and foreign news, education, choice litera- 
ture, wit and humor, progress and improvement. Near the close of 1859, 
C. M. Thompson became sole proprietor of the Democrat office, and sold 
it to Wheeler, Carter & Co., who established the first Republican paper 
in the county. T. J. Gray then bought a new outfit and re-established 
the Democrat, with John C. Major as local editor. The new Democrat 
was a seven-column paper, published Wednesdays, with the significant 
motto, " The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their 
backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legiti- 
mately, by the grace of God. — Jefferson.'''' Under the new management, 
the Democrat made its appearance in February, 1860. June 13, 1860, 
J. C. Major was succeeded by " Nip -up," who was succeeded by Thomas 
M. Robertson in August following. 

The Weekly Hoosier Patriot, by Wheeler, Carter & Co., was first 
issued at Bowling Green, January 31, 1860; W. W. Carter, editor, and 
Enos Miles, local. The Patriot was an eight- column paper, issued Thurs- 
days, Republican in politics. As the local canvass of 1860 did not re- 
sult favorably to the Patriot and its party, its publication was discon- 
tinued October 11 of the same year. 


On the 8th of March, 1861, T. J. Gray sold to A. T. Lansing and re- 
tired from the Democrat. Lansing became principal editor and T. M. 
Robertson continued local. The Democrat was continued a seven-column 
folio, but publication day was changed to Friday. On the 27th of Sep- 
tember, 1861, Lansing sold to C. M. Thompson and enlisted in the 
United States service. Thompson continued the publication of the Dem- 
ocrat until October 1, 1862, when the office was again transferred to Lan- 
sing. The motto of the Democrat under Thompson's management — 
"Equal Rights to All; Exclusive Privileges to None"— was changed to 
" The Union,The Constitution, The Laws — Our National Triune. It can be 
perpetuated only by the preservation and success of the National Demo- 
cratic Party." The Democrat was continued by Lansing until January 1, 
1865, when it was changed to the Aurora jBo?'eaZ/s,which.was the same size 
as its predecessor, issued Wednesday. On the 1st of October following, 
the Aurora Borealis was temporarily suspended for the purpose of enlarg- 
ing the sheet to eight columns, and re- appeared on the 25th of the same 
month. TheA wrora continued uninterruptedly in the enlarged form until 
the 14th of July, 1869, when th e office was sold to Samuel B. Riley. 

The Bowling Green Constitution, under the management and edito- 
rial charge of Mr. Riley, appeared July 29. The Constitution was a 
Beven-column folio, published Thursdays; Motto — "The Constitution 
makes the Union, and there is no Union outside of the Constitution. "On 
the 1st of January, 1870, the Bowling Green Constitution was changed 
to the Old Constitution. On the -Ist of April, 1870, Riley sold the 
office to William Travis, who continued the Constitution until July 28, 

The Democratic Archives took the place of the Constitution July 28, 
and was published until July, 1873, when it was changed to Weekly 
Archives, and publication day changed from Thursday to Saturday; Motto 
— " Better Newspapers without a Government than a Government without 
Newspapers." At the expiration of four years, Mr. Travis sold the office 
to P. T. Luther and A. J. Montgomery, and retired. 

The Clay County Weekly Herald, published by Luther & Montgom- 
ery and edited by C. M. Leek, made its first appearance March 26, 1874. 
The Herald was continued a seven-column folio, same size as Archives, 
but publication day was changed from Saturday to Thursday. Under 
the management of Luther & Montgomery, the circulation of the Herald 
was increased from 400 to 1,000, which was publicly announced and ap- 
propriately celebrated on the 4th day of July following. 

The Brazil Intelligencer was started at Brazil in 1858, edited and 
published by William J. and H. Hollingsworth. The Intelligencer had 
only an editorial office at home, the composition and press work having 
been executed at Terre Haute. It was a seven-column folio, independ- 
ent, issued weekly. The Intelligencer was short-lived, having had an ex- 


istence of a few months only. No copy of the paper is on file in the 
county archives. 

The Independent, by Thomas H. Serrin & Co., edited by Serrin «fe 
Oliver, was established at Brazil in 1860. The first issue dated Decem- 
ber 20. The Independent was a seven-column paper, devoted to gen- 
eral news, literature, agriculture, religion, and commerce, etc., etc. 
The Independent office, in material and outfit, was the Hoosier Patriot 
office, which Serrin & Co. purchased at Bowling Green and removed to 
Brazil. On the 4th of July, 1861, the Independent was discontinued. 

The Home Weekly was the next paper published at Brazil. In 1864, 
A. Wright bought the old Independent office, which he used for some time 
for jobbing purposes, and in 1865 commenced the publication of the 
Home Weekly, a seven-column folio, weekly, with a " patent - inside." 
The Home Weekly was Republican in politics. It was afterward 
changed to Independent Home Weekly. In June, 1868, Mr. Wright 
sold the Weekly office to T. J. Gray, who merged it into the Manufacturer 
and Miner office. No copies of the Home Weekly are on file in the county 

The Manufacturer and Miner was established at Brazil, July, 1867, 
Thomas J. Gray, editor and publisher, with E. M. B. Hooker, associate, 
who was succeeded by J. B. F. Taylor. In 1869, Gray was succeeded 
by the firm of Ainsworth & Gray. In 1870, the Miner Publishing Com- 
pany was organized, composed of C. W. Ainsworth, Thomas J. Gray, A. 
D. Cotton, B. F. Masten, Reese P. English and John McDowell, with a 
capital stock of $6,000. Two years later, Mr. Ainsworth became the 
owner of the office, under whose proprietorship Isaac S. Herr, and after- 
ward Will P. Blair had editorial charge of the paper. Up to this time, 
the Manufacturer and Miner was a seven-column folio sheet. Republi- 
can in politics, but devoted mainly to the manufacturing and mining in- 
terests of the county. On the 1st of April, 1873, Riley & Cassell be- 
came proprietors, Cassell, editor, when the paper was changed to a five- 
column quarto, and in August following to a six-column quarto, inde- 
pendent in politics, Cassell retiring and S. R. Riley becoming sole pro- 
prietor. Subsequently, Riley changed the title of the paper to the Bra- 
zil Miner. Excepting a suspension of a couple of months in the fall of 
1878, the paper has been published regularly from the time of its first 
issue, and at this time is generally credited with having the largest cir- 
culation in the county. 

On the 24th of May, 1863, Herr, Gray & Earle made the first issue 
of the Saturday Evening Echo,at Brazil — a seven-column folio, Repub- 
lican in politics, Isaac Herr, editor, D. G. Earle, associate — which was a 
continuation of the Saturday Evening Echo, published by the same firm 
at Evansville, of which seven numbers had been issued at that place. 
On the 1st of October of the same vear, the title was changed to Brazil 


Weekly Echo, issued Thursdays, and enlarged to eight columns. In the 
same month, Gray sold his interest to Herr & Earle. Oq the 12th of 
February, 1874,. Herr & Earle sold the Echo to T. J. Gray, who con- 
tinued the paper the same size and politics. In January, 1875, the 
Clay Publishing Association bought the Echo and made it a Democratic 
party organ. In January, 1877, the office was transferred to George W. 
Deighan, who assumed entire control of the paper as the organ of the 
Democratic party, and named it the Western Mirror, which suspended 
publication in February or March, 1881. In the spring of 1881, A. F. 
Bridges bought the press and material of the Mirror office, and began 
the publication of the Brazil Register, April 28, a seven-column folio. 
Republican in politics, issued Thursdays, changed to a five-column quarto, 
September 9 following, and to a six-column quarto January 19, 1882. 
In April, 1880, Lansing & Lusk established the Argus Magnet, at Bra- 
zil, a seven-column folio. Democratic in politics, which was changed to 
a six-column quarto February 15, 1881, and named the Democrat. On 
the 30th of May, 1872, the Clay County Enterprise made its appearance 
at Knightsville, Nathan C. Martin and Riley Runyan, publishers and 
editors, a seven -column folio. Republican in politics, issued Thursdays, 
devoted to the local interests of Clay County. In August of the same 
year, the Enterprise was transferred to the Watsons, with N. C. Martin 
editor. On the 20th of February, 1873, Luther Wolfe became publish- 
er, and on the 12th of June following took full control. September 30, 
1875, the Enterprise was removed to Brazil, and on the 5th of January, 
1881, enlarged to eight columns, devoted to the manufacturing, mining 
and agricultural interests of Clay County, The Aurora Borealis was re- 
sumed by A. T. Lansing, at Bowling Green, July 5, 1871, seven-column 
folio. Democratic, issued Wednesdays, devoted to social and political re- 
form. On the ist of October following, the Aurora was removed to 
Knightsville. In March, 1872, Lansing sold a half interest to Truman 
S. White, who assumed control of the business interests of the paper. 
The latter part of the same year the Aurora was discontinued. 

On the 5th of July, 1878, the National Index, the organ of the 
National Greenback party of the county, was issued by Gray & Travis, 
at Brazil. The Index was a six-column quarto, published Fridays. 
In July, 1879, the firm of Gray & Travis was dissolved, and the National 
Index discontinued. The Clay County Revieiv was established at Bowling 
Green, February, 1877, Jason W. Brown, editor and publisher, six-column 
quarto, Democratic in politics. In September, 1878, the Review was re- 
moved to Clay City' and changed to a seven-column folio. It was pub- 
lished until August, 1879,then taken back to Bowling Green. In November, 
1880, the paper was suspended, and after an interval of nearly two years 
resumed by Mr. Brown at Saline City, August, 1882, Republican in 
politics, and then discontinued soon after the November election of that 


year. In November, 1875, the first issue of the Martz Eaglet was made 
at Middlebury, a five-column folio, issued Saturdays. William Travis, 
editor and publisher, independent in everything. The Eaglet was sus- . 
pended temporarily, July 4, 1876; resumed February 1, 1877; then 
discontinued May 22 following, and the oflice removed to Worthington. 
The Clay City Independent, a six-column folio, published Fridays, 
William Travis, editor and publisher, was begun February 11, 1881. 
On the 7th day of June, 1883, the Independent was enlarged to a seven- 
column folio. A sruall quarto monthly paper, entitled The Sunbeam, de- 
voted to education and general information, William Travis, editor and 
proprietor, began publication at Center Point, April, 1869. The com- 
position and press work on the Sunbeam were done at Indianapolis for 
one year, when, having bought the Constitution office at Bowling Green, 
the publisher issued it thereafter from that ofiice. At the expiration of 
the second year, the publisher having lost several hundred dollarR in the 
venture, r/ie Sunbeam was discontinued. In the year 1873, Harry Cassell 
published the Crusader, at Brazil, a monthly devoted to the cause of 
temperance. The Crusader lived but a few months. 


Owing to the absence of records and files for the first twenty-five 
years of the county's existence, its political and official history can be given 
but briefly, and with but approximate accuracy. The first election of county 
officers, the precincts at which the voting was done, who constituted the 
boards of election, who were the various candidates for the several offices, 
and when, where and by whom the first courts were organized and held, are 
matters of fact about which we have not sufficient data at command to war- 
rant assertions. By the act of organization, Clay County was made a part 
of the First Judicial Circuit, and on the same day that this act was approved, 
February 12, 1825, the Governor appointed and commissioned Jesse Mcln- 
tire Sherifi". On the 6th of June following, Elijah Rawley was commissioned 
Clerk of the Court, and William Maxwell and Daniel Walker, Associate 
Judges. At this time, John Ewing was Judge of the First Judicial Circuit, 
hence the first Judge to preside in the county. On the 30th of the same 
month; Elijah Rawley was also commissioned Recorder. Judging from the 
files in the office of Secretary of State, these officers must have been chosen 
by the people at the general election in August of that year. John Wheeler 
was also then chosen as the first Coroner. Under the old Constitution, 
President and Associate Judges of the Circuit Court held their offices seven 
years. The succession in the Circuit Judgeship,following John Ewing down 
to the present, may be given as follows : W. Johnson, Amory Kinney, Elisha 
Huntington, William Bryant, John Law, Samuel B. Gookins, Delano R. Eckles, 
James Hughes, James M. Hanna, Solomon Claypool, William M. Franklin, 
Solon Turman, Silas D. Cofiey. The Associate Judges were Philip Hedges, 
commissioned September 8, 1826 ; David Christie, August 27, 1827 ; Daniel 


Wools, March 4, 1831 ; Samuel Risley, September 22, 1831 ; Nicholas G. 
Cromwell, August 29, 1833 ; re-commissioned August 19, 1839 ; William 
Yocum, August 19, 1839 ; John T. Alexander, August 16, 1841 ; Fergus 
Snoddy and Owen Thorpe, August 21, 1845. By an act of the Legislature, 
February, 1831, a Probate Court was organized in each county in the State. 
The Judges of this court, as commissioned from time to time, were Daniel 
Chance, September 22, 1831 ; Jesse Burton, April 23, 1832 ; Robert W. 
Crooke, August 29, 1833; Jared Peyton, August 14, 1835; Samuel Miles 
May 28, 1838, re-commissioned September 3 of the same year ; William D. 
Farley, March 15, 1842 ; Daniel Harris, August 16, 1842. 

Under the old Constitution, as under the new. Sheriffs were elected for 
two years. Following his service, under the appointment of the Governor, 
Mclntire served two full terms, until August, 1829, when he was succeeded 
by John Rizley, who served but one term. In August, 1831, Lawrence 
Leonard was elected, and commissioned September 22 following, and in 
August, 1833, was re-elected, his second term expiring in 1835. Mclntire, 
Rizley and Leonard were all citizens of Washington Township. At the 
election of 1835, Bluford H. Bolin, of Jackson Township, was elected, who 
was succeeded in 1837 by Lawrence Leonard. In 1839, Abner Gaines Christie, 
of Perry Township, was elected, who resigned in July, 1841, when Thomas 
I. Cromwell, of Washington, was commissioned his successor, serving only 
until the 16th day of August, when Hiram C. Tribble, also of Washington, 
was commissioned. In August, 1843, George Pinckley, of Posey Township, 
was elected, who was succeeded in 1845 by Elias Cooprider, of Harrison 
Township. Charles W. Moss, of Washington (now Sugar Ridge Township) 
was elected in 1847, and re-elected in 1849. In 1851, Lot Loveing, of 
Washington, was elected, and, in 1852, re-elected under the new Constitution, 
serving until the expiration of his four years in 1855. In 1854, William F. 
McCullough, of Dick Johnson Township, was nominated and elected, and 
in 1856, was re-nominated and re-elected. He was succeeded in 1858 by 
Jeptha M. Ellington, of Lewis Township, whose successor, elected in 1860 
was Calvin Reed, of the same township. In 1862, John H. Davis, of Wash- 
ington, was elected, and was succeded in 1864 by John Cullen, of the same 
township, who was re-elected in 1866. In 1868, John Weber, of Washing- 
ton, was elected, and re-elected in 1870. In 1872, John Strauch, of Wash- 
ington, was elected, who was succeeded, in 1874, by Jesse B. Yocum, of 
Posey, who was re-elected in 1876, and died in the spring of 1877, when 
Alexander Haggart, of Van Buren Township, was appointed to fill out the 
unexpired time. In 1878, Jacob Baumunk, of Cass Township, was elected, 
and succeeded, in 1880, by James F. Lankford, of Harrison. George Stierly, 
of Jackson Township, present incumbent, was elected in 1882, the twenty- 
third Sheriff of the county. 

As Clerk of the Court and Recorder, Elijah Rawley served until Septem- 
ber 22, 1831, when Jesse Mclntire succeeded him. Mclntire was re-com- 
missioned Clerk and Recorder September 3, 1838, serving until August, 


1842, when he resigned, and Charles C. Modesitt was appointed, and com- 
missioned on the 30th day of the month to fill out the unexpired term. 
Modesitt was elected Clerk in August, 1845. In 1847, he resigned, when 
Samuel Miles was appointed, and qualified on the 17th of September to fill 
the vacancy, until the election of 1848, when George Pinckley was chosen, 
and qualified September 25. In 1852, under the new Constitution, Pinckley 
was re-elected, and re-commissioned June 6, 1853, then again re-elected in 
1856, and re-commissioned June 6. 1857. April 15, 1860, he died, and on 
the following day John C. Majors, of Washington, was commissioned to fill 
the vacancy. D. W. Bridges, of Cass, was elected in the fall of 1860, took 
charge of the office November 17, and was succeeded November 17, 1864, 
by Clinton M. Thompson, of Washington. Charles H. Knight, of Van Bu- 
ren, was elected in 1868, and on the 17th of November, 1872, was succeeded 
by George E. Hubbard, of Posey. Elias C. Kilmer, of Harrison, was elected 
in 1876, who was succeeded in 1880 by George E. Hubbard, present incum- 
bent, the twelfth Clerk of Court of the county. 

In early times, under the old Constitution, the Clerk of the Court dis- 
charged the duties of Recorder and Auditor until the business and records 
assumed such proportions as to warrant the election of such officers and the 
organization of such new departments. Recorders held seven years and 
Auditors five years. At the August election, 1845, John S. Beam, of Wash- 
ington, was elected the first Recorder, whose commission was issued on the 
21st day of the same month. In the fall of 1852, Thomas Riddell, of Jack- 
son, first incumbent under the new Constitution, was elected to succeed 
Beam at the expiration of his term in 1853. Riddell was re-elected in 
1856, and died on the 16th of September, 1860, when his son. Job Riddell, 
was appointed to fill the vacancy. Clinton M. Thompson, of Washington, 
was elected at the general election of 1860, and assumed the duties of the 
office in November following. He was succeeded in November, 1864, by 
Charles H. Knight, of Van Buren. Peter T. Luther, of Harrison, was 
elected in 1868, and succeeded, in 1872, by Ed A. Rosser, of Van Buren. 
In 1876, Lucius J. Bowman, of Washington, was elected, who was succeeded, 
in 1880, by Silas Foulke, of Perry, present incumbent, and ninth Recorder 
of the county. Jesse Fuller, of Washington, first Auditor, was elected in 
August, 1845, and was succeeded by John Osborn, of Washington, in March, 
1850, who had been elected in August, 1849. Osborn was re-elected in 
1854, his first term expiring in March, 1855, and was followed, in 1859, by 
Hezekiah Wheeler, of Posey. George W. Wiltse, of Washington, was elected 
in 1863, and was followed, in 1867, by James M. Hoskins, of Posey, who 
was re-elected at the general election of 1870, his second term expiring in 
November, 1875. James Shaw, of Brazil, was elected in 1874, to succeed 
Hoskins, and served until January, 1877, when he died. Jefferson McAn- 
nelly, of Washington, was appointed by the Board of Commissioners to fill 
out the unexpired term, and assumed the duties of the office just at the time 
of removal from Bowling Green to Brazil. James T. Casteel, present in- 



cumbent, was elected in October, 1878, and re-elected in November, 1882 
the eighth Auditor of the countj'. 

Under the old Constitution, prior to 1840, County Treasurers were ap- 
pointed b}' the County Board, whose duties were the care and disburse- 
ment of the public funds, the collection of taxes being made by the Sheriff, 
or by some one chosen specially as a Collector. Under the statute provid- 
ing for the election of a Treasurer and Collector, to serve for a period of 
three years, Allen T. Rose, of Washington, was the first man chosen for this 
position, entering upon the discharge of his duties in September, 1841. In 
September, 1844, he was succeeded by John Williams, of the same town- 
ship, who was re-elected in August, 1847, serving two full terms. John 
Picard, of Carrithers Township, was elected in August, 1850, and, having 
been chosen under the old Constitution, served to the expiration of three 
years, but his successor, Hale Columbia Conawa}', of Perry, was chosen at 
the election of 1852. Ever since that time our Treasurer has been elected 
in the even years, and installed into oflBce in the odd years. In 1854, Athel 
Staggs, of Perry, followed Conaway, and was succeeded, in 1856, by the 
election of Elias Helton, of Jackson, who was chosen to a second term in 
1858. In November, 1860, Helton died, when Analnias Lowdermilk, of 
Sugar Ridge Township, was appointed to fill out the unexpired term. John 
Gr. Ackelmire, of Posey, was elected in 1860, and re-elected in 1862. In 
,1864, John Frump, of Van Buren, was elected, and re-elected in 1866. 
Alexander Brighton, of Sugar Ridge, was elected in 1868, and re-elected in 
1870. In 1872, Roswell S. Hill, of Brazil, was elected, who was succeeded, 
in 1874, by F. W. Schromeyer, of Washington, who was re-elected in 1876. 
Leason B. Pruner, of Jackson, was elected in 1878. and followed, in 1880, 
by Joseph M. Boothe, of Washington. John W. White, of Harrison, pres- 
ent incumbent, was elected in 1882, the fifteenth Treasurer of the county. 

William Maxwell was the first County Surveyor, but the time of his offi- 
cial service cannot be given. John D. Christie was one of the early survey- 
ors. William Herron also occupied this position a number of years under 
the old Constitution. Under the new Constitution, John J. Peyton was 
elected in 1852; William Herron, 1854; John Sharp, 1856; John H. Davis, 
1858, re-elected in 1860; Samuel Terrell, 1862; George Goshorn, 1864; 
Peter T. Luther, 1866; Marvin B. Crist, 1868, re-elected 1870; Homer Hicks, 
1872, re-elected 1874; D. S. Maurer, 1876, re-elected 1878; Thomas Hy land, 
1880; T. B. Robertson, 1882, present incumbent. 

The succession in the Coroner's office prior to 1852, as nearly as maj* be 
given, is as follows: John Wheeler, Peter Barnett, David Zenor, A. F. 
Baughman, David Zenoi', Eli Deal, Jonathan Grable, Henry Moss, William 
W. Ferguson, John Wheeler, Hiram Anderson and Amos W. Laycock. 
Among those who have served in this position since 1852 may be named 
William R. Kress, James Clemens, Peter Eppert, John C. Phillips, John E. 
Slack, Franklin Tennj , James McDonald, Samuel M. Stewart, Dr. George 
Pell, and Daniel W. Bennett, present incumbent. 


The members or the Board of County Commissioners elected after the 
adoption of the new Constitution ma}' be given in the following order: First 
District, James W. Modesitt, Martin Bowles, William Eaglesfield, James M. 
Halbert, George Bingo, George Eckert, William Allen, Archibald Love, 
John J. Lynch, present incumbent. Second District, Samuel Bisley. A. B. 
Wheeler, Esau Presnell, Joseph Dial, Oliver Johnson, Henry Nees, Oliver 
Johnson (by appointment), Peter Koehler, Adam Moon, present incumbent; 
Third District, David Puckett,Calvin Reed, L. L. Osborn, T. J. Liston, Will- 
iam Rector, George W. EUenberger, William Rector, William L. Buckallew, 
present incumbent. 

With the adoption of the new Constitution, the Probate Court was abol- 
ished and the Common Pleas Court established by statute. The Judges of 
this court presiding in this county were Fred T. Brown, William M. Frank- 
lin, and Harrison Burns, within whose term of service this court was abol- 

Though organized in 1825, Clay County did not form a representative 
district within itself until 1832, when Jared Peyton was chosen the first 
member of the Lower House of the General Assembly. Under the old Con- 
stitution, Representatives were elected annually — the first Monday in August 
— while, under the new Constitution, they have been chosen biennially in 
October. The succession in representation from 1832 to 1882, just a half 
century, may be given as follows : 1832, Jared Peyton ; 1833, William 
Yocum ; 1834, Daniel Harris ; 1835, Daniel Harris ; 1836, Jesse J. Burton ; 
1837, Samuel Howe Smydth ; 1838, Samuel Howe Smydth ; 1839, John 
Osborn ; 1840, Jesse J. Burton ; 1841, John B. Nees ; 1842, John B. Nees ; 
1843, Francis B. Yocum ; 1844, Allen T. Rose ; 1845, Francis B. Yocum ; 
1846, John Lewis ; 1847, Ellas Bolin ; 1848, John T. Alexander ; 1849, 
Francis B. Yocum ; 1850, Delano E. Williamson ; 1851, Oliver Cromwell and 
George Donham ; 1852, Daniel Dunlavy ; 1854, John J. Peyton and William 
H. Gifford ; 1856, George W. Duncan and James W. Modesitt ; 1858, Lewis 
Row; 1860, Elias Cooprider ; 1862, Adam Clarke Veach ; 1864, Adam 
Clarke Veach ; 1866, John Hungate ; 1868, John C. McGregor ; 1870, John 
D. Walker ; 1872, William H. Giflford ; 1874, George W. Bence ; 1876, Isaac 
M. Compton ; 1878, Isaac M. Compton ; 1880, George D. Teter ; 1882, James 
M. Price, present incumbent. In 1880, William M. Ridpath was elected 
Joint Representative for the counties of Clay, Putnam and Hendricks, and 
was succeeded, in 1882, by Frederick J. S. Robinson. Under the old Con- 
stitution, Senators to the General Assembly were elected for three years, 
and under the new for four years. In this representation, our data do not 
go back of 1831, when William C. Linton, of Vigo County, was elected to 
represent the district composed of Sullivan, Vigo and Clay. In 1834, he 
was succeeded by George Boon, of Sullivan. J. T. Moflfatt, of Vigo, was 
elected in 1837, and re-elected in 1840, probably. R. W. Aiken, of Sullivan, 
was elected in 1843, who was followed by James Henry, of Vigo, in 1846. 
In 1849, James M. Hanna, of Clay, was elected, and was succeeded, in 1852, 


by Michael Combs, of Clay. William E. McLean, of Vigo, was elected in 

1856. During his term of service, in re-districting the State, Putnam and 
Clay were thrown together as a district, and, in 1860, Archibald Johnson, 
of Putnam, was elected, and was succeeded, in 1864, by Athel Staggs, of 
Clay. In re-districting the State again, Sullivan and Clay were organized 
into a district, and James M. Hanna, of Sullivan, elected in 1868. Hanna 
died within the term, and, in 1870, Joshua Alsop, of Sullivan, was chosen to 
fill out the unexpired time. In 1872, Morgan H. Ringo, of Clay, was elected, 
and during his term Clay and Owen were thrown together, and Inman H. 
Fowler, of Owen, elected in 1876. Isaac M. Compton, of Clay, was elected 
in 1880, and is the present incumbent. 

In the Constitutional Convention of 1850, Clay County was represented 
by Francis B. Yocum, and the Senatorial District, including the county, by 
William R. Hadden, of Sullivan. 

Political honors of a higher order than those conferred in the local 
capacity have never been thrust profusely upon citizens of Clay County. In 

1857, James M. Hanna was appointed by Gov. Willard one of the Judges of 
the Supreme Court, the first citizen of the county promoted to a State office. 
In 1868, W. W. Carter was nominated by his party for Congress, at a Con- 
vention held at Gosport, the competitor of Hon. D. W. Voorhees, and came 
within 187 votes of being elected. In the spring of 1883, Mr. Carter was 
appointed by President Arthur Revenue Collector for the Seventh District 
of Indiana. In 1878, Roswell S. Hill was nominated b}^ his party for Treas- 
urer of State, but was defeated at the election following. In 1880, Mr. Hill 
was re-nominated for the same position and elected. In 1882, he was again 
nominated and defeated. At the session of the General Assembly, 1881 > 
William M. Ridpath was chosen Speaker of the House, and in 1882 was 
appointed by President Arthur to an Indian agency at Yankton, Dak. In 
the fall of 1881, C. P. Eppert, for many years Principal of the Brazil Schools, 
was appointed by Commissioner Dudle}' to a clerkship in the Pension De- 
partment. In the spring of 1859, David C. Stunkard was chosen a juryman 
to serve in the United States District Court at Indianapolis, the first Clay 
countian honored with this preferment. 


The first efibrt on the part of the farmers and others of the county to 
organize an agricultural society was made in 1853. In the Eel River Pro- 
peller of August 27, the first issue of that paper, appeared the following ed- 
itorial on this subject : 

" There is considerable talk among the farmers of this county at the pres- 
ent time in regard to the organization of an agricultural society. We 
hope they may persevere until they accomplish their object. The farmers 
will find it much to their advantage, and should not cease working in the 
matter until a society is organized. They have a nevvspaper in the county 
now to attend to the publishing department, and there is no excuse for any 
further delay." 


Following this, a call was made for a meeting at Bowling Green Satur- 
day, September 28, when a partial organization was effected and an ad- 
journed meeting called for October 15. At this meeting it was determined, 
on motion of John Osborn, to go into a permanent organization by the elec- 
tion of officers to serve one year. John B. Nees was chosen President, 
Hale C. Conaway, Vice President, Oliver Cromwell, Sr., Treasurer, and Jona- 
than T. Grimes, Secretary. The Board of Directors chosen were Jeremiah 
M. Wyatt, Pose3' Township ; Thomas I. Cromwell, Dick Johnson ; George 
G. McKinley, Van Buren ; James Short, Jackson ; John Donham, Perry; 
David Puckett, Lewis ; Presley Owens, Harrison ; John J. Lanning, Car- 
rithers ; Thomas Sloan, Washington ; and William L. Cromwell, Cass. Calls 
were issued for subsequent meetings, of which there are no reports on rec- 
ord, but on the 15th of May, 1854, a meeting of the Board of Directors was 
held, at which it was decided to hold the first annual fair for Clay County at 
Bowling Green October 4 and 5, and a premium list was adopted and pub- 
lished. As this time came in conflict with that of the State fair, the board 
changed to October 19, one day only, when the first exhibition was held, 
and passed off satisfactorily. 

On the 20th of August, 1855, the society met and re-organized for the 
second year by the election of the following officers : William L. Cromwell, 
President ; N. D. Walker, Vice President ; Hale C. Conaway, Treasurer ; 
and John Osborn, Secretary. The Board of Directors selected from the 
several townships were Alfred West, Posey; W. F. McCullough, Dick John- 
son ; George G. McKinley, Van Buren ; William Lowdermilk, Jackson ; 
George Donham, Perry; James P. Thomas, Washington ; George Grimes, 
Sr., Sugar Ridge ; and H. H. Carrithers, Cass ; leaving Harrison and Lewis 
Townships unrepresented. On the 1st of September, this board adopted a 
premium list, and appointed the fair for the 22d and 23d daj^s of October, 
but one day only was given to the exhibition. 

On the 3d of September, 1856, the board convened, and chose William 
L. Cromwell, President ; N. D. Walker, Vice President ; Milton A. Osborn, 
Secretary; and Hale C. Conaway, Treasurer, for the ensuing year. The Di- 
rectors chosen for the third year were Alfred West, Posey Township ; W. F. 
McCullough, Dick Johnson ; Thomas Snow, Van Buren ; William Lowder- 
milk, Jackson ; George Donham, Perry; Calvin Reed, Lewis ; G. W. Dun- 
can, Harrison ; James P. Thomas, Washington ; George Grimes, Sugar 
Ridge ; and Samuel Risley, Cass. At this meeting it was determined to 
hold the fair for the year 1856 at Center Point, on the first Friday and Sat- 
urday of October. More than 200 articles were entered for competition at 
this exhibition. Martin H. Kennedy then proposed to donate four acres of 
ground for the use of the society on condition that the fair be permanently 
located at Center Point, which proposition was accepted at a meeting held 
at that place on the 8th of November following. 

The next meeting of the society' was held at Bowling Green April 8, 
1857, when all accounts and claims were audited and a number of new mem- 


bers received. The President reported that he had one-half pound Chinese 
sugar cane seed for the use of the society. By motion, it was resolved to divide 
the seed equally among Ira Allen, M. H. Kennedy, A. J. Baber and John 
Murbarger, with a request to cultivate to the best advantage and exhibit 
specimens of the product at the next annual fair. The act of the society in 
locating the grounds at Center Point, from some cause, was not regular and 
not recognized by the State Department. On the 30th of May following, at 
a meeting held at Bowling Green to consider permanent location for five 
years, A. J. Baber submitted the following proposition : " For the location 
anywhere in Lewis Township, the citizens of said township will sign 100 
members at $1 each, provide five acres of suitable land, well fenced, together 
with all necessary sheds, stalls, feed, water, etc., and $50 in cash." This 
proposition was laid on the table, and a special committee appointed to co- 
operate with the Board of Directors in canvassing for donations and further 
propositions on permanent location. On the 11th of August, at a meeting 
held at Bowling Grreen, it was determined definitely to locate at Center 
Point. Exhibitions were held annually on this ground until the expiration 
of the five years, when, in 1862, the society voted to relocate at Bowling 
Green. The war having broken out and absorbed the public attention, and 
many of those prominent in the society having enlisted in the service of 
their countrj^, active interest in matters pertaining to the society waned for 
a time. But the following year the accommodations on the ground were re- 
moved to Bowling Green, where several effoi-ts were made to revive the in- 
terest and hold the usual exhibitions. Very little was accomplished, and 
fairs were abandoned for a time. 

In 1871, an effort was made to revive the organization, several meetings 
having been called at Center Point by the Secretary, D. A. Notter. At one 
of these meetings, a committee on location was chosen, which selected the 
site adjoining the town of Center Point. This did not prove satisfactory, 
and nothing further was done that year. In 1872, farther meetings were 
held at Center Point, Knights ville and Brazil, and the preliminary steps 
taken to organize a society combining various features and interests, which 
was perfected in June, 1873, under the title of the Clay Trotting Park Asso- 
ciation, and located permanently at Brazil. The capital stock of this soci- 
ety was put at $3,000 — 300 shares at $10 each. At the permanent organi- 
zation, John G. Ackelmire was chosen President ; I. W. Sanders, Secretary ; 
John Andrew, Treasurer ; and Samuel Weaver, James R. Painter, William 
Jarboe, John McDowell, Edward McClelland, John B. Richardson, I. M. 
Compton, H. L. Ashley, J. B. Warner, S. G. Biddle and Campbell Daughert}'^, 
Directors. This society leased forty acres of ground from Abel S. Hill, for 
the period of fifteen years, for racing, Scottish games, celebrations of na- 
tional holidays, and county fairs. The first exhibition was held September 
11, 12 and 13, 1873, and annually thereafter up to the year 1877, inclusive. 
On the 1st of May, 1878, the Clay County Fair Association was organized 
to succeed the Trotting Park Association, with a capital stock of $1,550 — 


310 shares at $5 each, to run ten \^ears from the 12th day of June following. 
The first election of permanent officers took place October 2 : James M. 
Hoskins, President ; Jonathan Croasdale, Vice President ; P. F. Sharp, Sec- 
retary ; A. W. Turner, Treasurer ; Silvan Weaver, Superintendent ; and K. 
M. Wiugate, John Gr. Ackelmire and W. H. Cordray, Executive Board. 
Under the auspices of this organization, fairs have been held annually in 
the months of August and September. The present officers of this society 
are Silvan Weaver, President; William Cordray, Vice President; D. W. 
Brattin, Secretary ; A. W. Turner, Treasurer ; A. J. Montgomery, Superin- 
tendent ; and James M. Hoskins, Jonathan Croasdale and William Jarboe, 
Executive Board. 

Local fair associations have existed and given exhibitions in diflferent 
townships, especially in the southern part of the county, due mostly to the 
lively interest and persistent work of Uncle Jack B.iber, of Coffee. In 
1857 and 1858, a series of township fairs were organized by the citizens of 
Lewis, Harrison and Perry Townships. For several years, exhibitions were 
held on the Baber farm, where grounds had been fitted up with some degree 
of permanency. On the 7th of September, 1859, Harrison Township held a 
fair at Middlebury. In 1882, A. J. Baber rented grounds on the Henry 
Cooprider place, adjoining Clay City, and held a fair of four days' duration, 
the last week in September. In August, 1883, the Harrison Township Agri- 
cultural Society was permanently organized by the election of William G-ra- 
ber, President ; Eli Cooprider, Secretary ; Uri Cooprider, Treasurer ; and 
John S. Tiptoa, Superintendent. This organization leased permanently the 
grounds on the Cooprider place used the year previous, and held the first 
annual fair the first week in October. 


Where and when the first school was taught, and the first schoolhouse 
built, is an unsettled question ; but, perhaps, the first house was put up on 
the present site of the town of Poland, in 1824 or 1825. Samuel Risley 
and Jared Peyton were the first teachers in the eastern part of the county ; 
Joe Wiles, Hugh Kane, Zachariah Danny and John Neal in the southern 
part ; Francis B. Yocum, Jacob Burk and Dr. Parsons in the northern 
part ; John D. Christie and G-eorge Rsctor in the western part, and David 
Lane, John Gibson and James McGuire in the central part. John D. Chris- 
tie was the first white child born on th3 site of tha city of Tarre Hiiite. 
The teaching in the early history of the county was done, usually, 
in cabins unoccupied as dwellings. The pioneer " rural college " was 
built of round poles, chinked and daubed, with one pole cut out on 
either side, and the space closed by the use of greased paper to 
admit the light. In one end was the door, and in the other, a 
spacious fire-place. The floor was of puncheons, and the seats were 
long benches made of 'Split saplings, or of slabs, the bark side turned 
down and the split and splintered side exposed for seating accommodations. 


These houses were built, generally, by voluntary contributions of material 
and labor on the part of interested citizens in the respective communities . 
Under the statute of 1831, the finances and other features of the common 
school system were managed locally by the citizens of the several school dis- 
tricts. Having determined to build a house, each tax-payer within the 
limits of the district was required to work one day in each week until the 
house should be completed, or, instead, to pay an equivalent of 50 cents a 
day, that the labor might be employed. Teachers were employed by the 
districts on such terms as their services could be secured, making partial 
payment in such commodities as they would consent to receive. The 
Township Trustees were the Board of Examiners to certify the teacher's 
qualifications in reading, writing and arithmetic. The statute of 1843, 
which was to some extent an advance, provided for the more thorough and 
efficient organization of school districts, and conferred upon them the 
power to determine whether the tuition revenue apportioned should be 
used exclusively in payment of teachers, or partially employed in provid- 
ing grounds and houses. Under this statute, the teachers' qualifications 
were certified by a Board of County Examiners chosen by the Circuit 
Court. The names of those serving in this capacity during the ten years 
intervening between this date and the taking effect of the statutes under the 
new constitution cannot be given. Under the law of 1831, counties were 
authorized to elect School Commissioners to receive and disburse school 
funds, who served for a term of three years, which law was repealed about 
1844, and the duties of the office made to devolve upon the County Treas- 
urer. The Commissioners for the county during this period were Eli An- 
derson, Thomas Harvey, T. West and Hale C. Conaway. As heretofore 
stated, an academy building was put up at Bowling Green in 1839. County 
academies were uniformly built throughout the State. This building was 
used for school purposes up to 1859, when the first frame schoolhouse was 
built at Bowling Green. About 1860, it was sold and converted into a 
dwelling house. Among the teachers who taught in the academy were John 
Williams, Hiram Wyatt, Nancy E. Waugh, Lizzie Waterhouse, William K. 
Houston, James M. Oliver, J. Hambleton, Dr. Dodge and George N. 
Beamer. The law of 1853, under the new constitution, provided for the 
appointment of a board of three School Examiners, who held for a term of 
three years. The first appointees were James M. Lucas, Enos Miles and 
Ebenezer C. Smith. Among their successors were Aaron S. Simonson, 0. 
H. P. Ash. Jesse Purcell, James G. Miles and Carrie P. Doyle. In 1853, 
twenty-five teachers were licensed in the county. We clip the following 
from Examiner Smith's report to the State Department for that year : 

" The county in which I reside has often been complimented with being 
one of the darkest corners of the State. If this is true, a few remarks from 
one living, as I do, in a retired part of this count}' (and, I suppose, one of 
the darkest parts of it), may be of some value as affording a better view of 
the ' shady side ' than you would obtain from some other sources. In acting 


in the double capacity of Examiner and Township Trustee, I have found 
myself obliged to use, to its fullest extent, the liberal construction you gave 
to Section 9 of the school laws, in your instructions on page 58 ; and even 
then, it has been with some difficulty and considerable delay that our town- 
ship has been supplied with teachers. The law, however, on this point, in 
my opinion, is about right. The standard of popular education in our 
country is everywhere rising, and something should be done to elevate it in 
our State. And I do not see how this can be done without bringing up the 
standard of qualifications in teachers to the proper point. In endeavoring 
to make the law do its best, instead of refusing to license those whose qual- 
ifications were not such as were desirable, I have granted them in all cases 
seemingly admissible. But, at the same time, it has been my aim to be so 
thorough in all my examinations as to show the candidate wherein he was 
deficient, and give those who were rusty (as most of them were) a pretty 
fair hint to hrighten up, and I have had the satisfaction of knowing that in 
some cases this course has had the desired effect. Tedious examinations 
have been much complained of, and the fear of such may have been one 
reason why I have had so few applicants. No license has been granted to 
any one who had not some knowledge of English grammar. There is great 
want of system in the mode of giving instruction in our schools in this part 
of the country. This should be attributed to the wretched condition of our 
houses and want of uniformity in books, rather than to want of capacity in 

Ebenezer C. Smith was a scholar and graduate of one of the leading col- 
leges of New England. At the time of making this report, he resided in 
Perry Township, on the present Andy Nees place. In September, 1857, a 
joint-stock company was organized to build an academy at Brazil, and in 
March, 1859, a similar company was organized at Bowling Green, neither of 
which carried its purpose into practical execution. In March, 1861, an ad- 
vance step was taken in the legislation of the State effecting popular educa- 
tion, providing for the appointment of one School Examiner for each county 
to serve for three years, and enlarging the sphere of his duties and powers. 
At the June term of Commissioners' Court, 1861, Samuel Loveless, then 
teaching at Bowling Green, was chosen the first Examiner for the county 
under this statute. In June, 1864, he was succeeded by William Travis, of 
Center Point, who, having been legislated out of office by amendments to the 
statute at the next succeeding session, was re-appointed June, 1865. In 
June, 1868, he was succeeded by William H. Atkins, of Bowling Green. 
Three years later Mr. Travis was re-appointed, and was again legislated out 
of office at the session of 1873, when the County Superintendency law was 
enacted, providing for the election to be made by the Trustees. In June, 
1873, Mr. Atkins was elected Superintendent. In June, 1875, he was suc- 
ceeded by Allen R. Julian, of Bowling Green, who was succeeded in 1877 
by Preston B. Triplett, of Harmony. In 1879, Mr. Triplett was re-elected. In 
June, 1881, he was succeeded by John W. Stewart, of Brazil, who was re-elected 


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in 1883, and is the present incumbent. In 1853, the total enumeration 
of school children for the county was 3,804, the total school fund apportioned 
for the county, $2,280, and the total number of schoolhouses, forty -one. 
In 1868, fifteen years later, the enumeration was 5,866 ; the apportionment 
of school fund, $13,773.26, and the number of houses, ninety. In 1883, at 
the expiration of another fifteen years, the enumeration is, 9,227 ;. the ap- 
portionment of school fund, $32,372, and the number of houses, 117. Thir- 
ty years ago the total valuation of school property' in the county, real and 
personal, did not aggregate $5,000, while at this date it is $119,769. 


The first church society in the county was the Eel River Association of Pre- 
destinarian Baptists, organized as early as 1825, if not prior to this date. The 
families composing it were the Chances, Pe^^tons, Andersons, Dyars, Lathams 
and others. The first preaching was done at Purnell Chance's house, now the 
Wilkinson place, a mile and a half west of Poland. About 1828, this society 
built the first church house erected in the count}-, which was a hewn-log 
house about 20x24, with puncheon floor and two fire-places, located on the 
Chance place already named. Jared Peyton was the leading spirit in this 
movement. As the whole neighborhood of pioneers joined in the building, 
the house was open to all denominations. The first Regular Baptist minister 
at this place was a Mr. Arthur, from Owen Count}-. Oatman and Applegate> 
New-Light ministers from Putnam County, occupied the house also at a very 
early day. This denomination of Baptists now numbers a membership of 
about 200, comprising three societies, and having three church edifices, ag- 
gregating about $4,000 in value. 

The Missionar}' Baptists organized two societies in the south part of the 
county at an eai'ly day — Good Hope Church, near Middlebury, about 1832, 
and Friendly Grove Church, in Lewis Township, a few years later. The for- 
mer society built the log house on the present James Moody place, about 
1835, the first house of worship in the south half of the county. About 1839 
or 1840, the foundation of Friendly Grove Church was laid on the Joseph 
Chambers place, one mile northwest of the present site. This location was 
afterward abandoned, and the foundation put down where the building now 
stands a year or two later, on Congress land, which the citizens afterward 
bought. The first house built was an eight-square log one. The first min- 
isters in these societies were Abraham Stark, his sons, Daniel and Stephen. 
N:;^This denomination now numbers a membership of about 300, comprising 
four societies, and having three houses, aggregating $2,500 in value. 

The teachings of the United Brethren Church were first preached within 
the limits of the county by John McNamar, father of John McNamar, Esq. 
deceased, of Bowling Green, the pioneer representative minister of this de- 
nomination west of the Alleghanies, who came to Indiana prior to 1820, and 
resided near Jordan Village, Owen County, where he died and was buried. 
In 1841, the first organized congregation of this denomination was instituted 
at the Zenor Schoolhouse, on Birch Creek, in the central part of the county, 


under the ministration of Rev. Joiin Featherhoff, who was succeeded by John 
and Ephraim Shuey, Amos Hedge and Dillon Bridges, Sr. Samuel Briley 
was the first preacher of this denomination south of the Old Hill, and as early 
as 1842 a society was organized at Uncle Jimmy Briley's, on the present 
Bruce Chambers place, near Coffee. The United Brethren in this county now 
number a membership of 1,400, comprising thirteen congregations, having 
ten church edifices aggregating $12,000 in value. 

Probably the first preaching in the county by ministers of the Methodist 
Church was done at George Moss', in the central part of the county, as early as 
1833, whose house was the home of the pioneer itinerants of this denomination. 
The first house built by this church in this part of the county was the log 
one on the Lash place, called Shiloh. In the south part of the county, the 
first Methodist class was instituted at John Edmonson's, in Lewis Township, 
about 1842. As early as 1831, a Methodist class was organized at Leven 
Woolen's, on the present Phillips' place, in Posey Township. Richard Har- 
graves was the first minister. A few years subsequent to this, a congrega- 
tion was organized near Croj^'s Creek, and a log church house built, 
called Wesley Chapel. This denomination is now the most numerous, the 
most generally diffused and the wealthiest in the county, having a member- 
ship of 1,500, and no fewer than twenty church buildings, their property 
aggregating in value not less than $30,000. 

In 1833, the Cumberland Presbyterians, led by Joseph Alexander and 
John Thorlton, organized a society and built a shed 20x40 feet on the pres- 
ent Kress place, opposite the graveyard on the Sink farm, a mile southwest 
of Middlebury, where camp meetings were held annually for several years. 
Rev. McCord, of Rockville, was the recognized minister of this society. After 
the death of Alexander and Thorlton, this organization waned and dissolved. 
At this time there are four Presbyterian societies and houses, aggregating a 
membership of 350, and a total valuation of $20,000. 

The Christian Church was instituted in the south part of the county in 
1842, at the house of Elihu Puckett, on the Stager place, two and a half 
miles southwest of Coffee. The first officiating ministers in this society 
were William Brush and Richard Wright. We have no data relating to the 
early history of this church in other parts of the count}', further than that 
Michael and Job Combs, David Lane and Jesse J. Burton were among the 
first ministers in the northern and central parts of the county. There are at 
this time as many as twelve societies of Christians in the county, number- 
ing a membership of 1,000, with as many church buildings, having a total 
value of $12,000. 

The Roman Catholics have three organizations, with an estimated mem- 
bership of 1,200, and three houses, valued at $15,000. 

There are two Congregational organizations and houses in the county, 
having a membership of 60, and a valuation of $5,000. 

There are also five or six organized German Church societies within the 
county, each having a house of worship. These are Lutheran and Reformed, 
except one Methodist, or Albright. 


Any religious histor}' of the county, however brief, would be incomplete 
without mention of the Mormons. As early as 1835, they began the work of 
pfoselytism here. In that year, on their way to the West, Sidney Rigdon 
preached from his tent on the National road, near the present site of Bra- 
zil. Following this, apostles of the faith began preaching to the people in 
different parts of the county. As earl}- as 1836 or 1837, John Wietsch 
came into the vicinity of Middlebury, where he preached at intervals for 
several years, making a number of converts. Among those who left this lo- 
cality to join the church in the "West were Fielding Lankford, Frederick Ott 
and Grcorge W. Duncan. Ott and Duncan were ordained ministers. Not 
liking the surroundings after reaching Nauvoo, Duncan returned, and subse- 
quently organized the Church of the Saints, ordaining ministers in the same. 
It is due to the memory of Mr. Duncan to say that he was a man of more 
than average native ability'. In the capacity of teacher, minister and Jus- 
tice of the Peace, he ranked high among his fellow-citizens. As a member 
of the Greneral Assembly of 1857, he commanded general appreciation on the 
part of his fellow-legislators. In 1838 or 1839, a minister of this order, 
named Babbitt, came to Bowling Green and preached in the court house. 
Later, he was followed by another named Stannedge. Among their converts 
to the faith were Lee and Allen Biby, Joshua Hall, Mrs. Lane, the Sloans 
and others. 


Originally, there were but three civil townships in the county — Wash- 
ington, Harrison and Perry, named, respectively, in honor of the first Presi- 
dent, the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, and the hero of the signal 
victory on Lake Erie. In 1828, Posey Township was organized out of Wash- 
ington and Perry, and named in honor of Thomas Posey, the last of the 
Territorial Governors. A few years later, perhaps 1832 or 1833, Jackson 
Township was organized out of Washington and Pose}-, including the pres- 
ent territory of Cass and Van Buren, and named from Andrew Jackson, 
then President of the United States. In 1837, or prior to 1840, Van Buren 
and Dick Johnson Townships, were organized and named in honor of the 
President and Vice President. Some time in the '40's, Lewis and Cass 
Townships were organized and named from Lewis Cass, then a prominent 
prospective candidate for the Presidency, who had passed through Clay 
County on his way to Terre Haute early in the '40's, many citizens of the 
county having flocked to the National road to see him and honor him with 
salutations. A little later, about the close of the Mexican war, Carrithers 
Township was organized out of Washington, Harrison, Perr}- and Lewis, and 
named in honor of Alexander Carrithers, an exemplarj- 3'oung man who was 
raised in that part of the county, and who was the only Clay Countian who 
lost his life in battle in the Mexican war. The organization of this town- 
ship was discontinued in 1853, and the territory divided out among the 
townships from which it had been taken. In 1854, Sugar Ridge Township 


was organized, embracing a part of the territory of the former Carrithers 
Township. This township, at the suggestion of C. W. Moss, was named 
from the high ridge passing through the central part of it, which had been 
named " the Sugar Ridge," by the earliest settlers; John J. Peyton suggest- 
ed the name Birch Creek. Brazil Township was organized out of Dick 
Johnson and Van Buren in 1868. This is given only approximately, or 
rather, as a compromise of the various recollections and conflicting state- 
ments made by those on whom the historian must rely for information. 


The population of the county in 1830 was 1,616; in 1840, 5,567; in 1850, 
7,800; in 1860, 12,121; in 1870, 19,084; in 1880, 25,839. The ratio of in- 
crease from 1830 to 1840, was 244; from 1840 to 1850, 40; from 1850 to 
1860, 57; from 1860 to 1870, 60; and from 1870 to 1880, 35 per cent. 





THE election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States 
in 1860, as the candidate of the Republican party, was* received with 
every mark of dissatisfaction by the people of the Southern States. It was 
the climax of a great political controversy. All that reason, persuasion and 
peaceful arbitration could effect had been accomplished ; the differences re- 
mained unsettled, and now, what had formerly been but a political contest, 
was about to develop into a civil war. It was one of those supreme junct- 
ures that frequently occur in the affairs of nations, when peaceful methods 
had failed to effect a reconciliation of differences, and an appeal was about 
to be taken to the arbitration of arms. For many years previous to the 
war, the country had been divided upon a great question. That question had 
engrossed the attention of the best minds, had involved all the people, and 
the clamor of the opposing factions resounded over all the land and filled 
its legislative halls. The contest was between liberty and slavery. The 
question was : Should slavery be restricted in its territorial limits, confined 
to, and, for the time being, permitted in those States where it already existed, 
and be excluded from the new States and Territories ; or should it be pushed 
forward, and its boundaries enlarged until the institution should become 
lawful in all the States and Territories ? 

Enough had been taught by previous experience to convince the people 
that the one must finally exterminate the other, and that one or the other 
must ultimatel)' take universal and undisturbed possession of the land. 
The Republican party believed that the institution of slavery should be con- 
fined to the States where it already existed. Upon that doctrine the 
Republican party was founded ; upon that doctrine the campaign of 1860 
was fought ; upon that doctrine Mr. Lincoln was elected President of the 
United States, and to the realization of that same doctrine he devoted the 
powers of his administration. His election was regarded as the final tri- 
umph of those principles against which the Southern people had been so 
long contending. The language of the Declaration of Independence, incor- 
porated in the platform upon which Lincoln had been elected, " that all men 
are created equal," was understood to embrace the colored people, and was 
regarded as a menace against slavery. That same platform denied the au- 
thority of Congress or a Territorial Legislature to give legal existence to slav- 
ery in any Territory of the United States. 


The question of the establishment of slavery in the Territories had been 
undergoing a test for some years in the case of Kansas. That Territory 
was under a federal G-overnor, appointed by a Democratic President, repre- 
senting and endeavoring to uphold the slave interest, and to procure the ad- 
mission of Kansas into the Union as a Slave State. The Territorial Legisla- 
ture had passed an act prohibiting slavery in the Territory. The federal 
Governor had vetoed the act. A similar controversy existed over the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska, and had terminated in a similar manner. Both Terri- 
tories were asking admission into the Union as Free States, but as long as 
checked by the veto power of a federal Governor, devoted to the slave 
interest, there was no altei-native except to remain beyond the pale of the 
Union or to come in as Slave States. The importance of the acquisition of 
these Territories to the slave oligarchy will be realized, when the enormous 
scope of territory embraced in them is taken into consideration. 

For fifty years previous to the war, the slave question had been the chief 
source of agitation in American politics. Each j'ear the question had grown 
in Intensity, and it became more and more evident that a settlement of the 
matter would have to be reached in some form. It was evident that a crisis 
was approaching. It was plain to be seen that the state of things then ex- 
isting could not continue. One part of the Union was free, the other part 
slave. The two sections were hostile to one another, each jealous of its 
rights and determined to protect itself against any infringement upon the 
part of the other. It was evident that " the house was divided against it- 
self" Men of the most limited sagacity could see that this division could 
be reconciled only by the adoption of such a plan as would define the limits 
of slavery or abolish it altogether. It was necessary either to surround the 
institution with such restraints as would confine it to certain defined limits 
and prevent its establishment in the new Territories, or else to exterminate it 
alike in all the States and Territories where it already existed, and thus by 
tearing up the evil, root and branch, put the question at rest for all time to 
come. This prospect presented no agreeable alternative to the slave-holding 
people. To abolish their cherished institution they regarded as an infringe- 
ment upon their constitutional rights of property. To exclude its establish- 
ment in the new States would stunt its growth, and after lingering on 
through a period of gradual decline would result in its final extinction. The 
North and West, devoted to enterprise and freedom, would rush to so high 
a degree of prosperity that it would tower above and shadow and finally 
squeeze out the institution of slavery from the little territory to which its- 
existence had been confined. They resolved not to accept either alternative, 
except as the result of dire necessity and after every source of resistance 
had been exhausted. It was therefore with great alarm and high indigna- 
tion that the Southern people saw, in the election of Lincoln, the triumph of 
all those principles against which they had waged a political warfare, from 
generation to generation, almost since the days of the Revolution. And 
now an administration was soon to be inaugurated, hostile to the extension 


of slavery in the Territories, and which would oppose to the bitter end the 
admission of any new State into the Union under a slave constitution. The 
Southern people realized that their cause was lost unless the prowess of 
arms would restore the supremacy that had been lost at the polls. The 
inauguration of President Lincoln was regarded by the slave-holding States 
as a sufficient cause for secession, and a general clamor for war went up 
from the Southern people. The eloquence and influence of such men as Al- 
exander H. Stephens was not sufficient to stay the tide of rebellion. One 
by one in quick succession the Southern States passed ordinances of seces- 
sion. Their Representatives in Congress resigned and returned to their 
homes to assist in organizing rebellion against the federal Government. 
Having renounced all allegiance to the Union, they tore down the national 
flag, and the strange colors of a new confederacy were seen floating over 
several States of the federal Union. The North was filled with indignation 
and horror at these proceedings. Hitherto the question of slavery had been 
only a political one. The advocates of the slave doctrine embraced a large 
portion of the people even of the Northern States. But when what had be- 
fore been a question only involving the extension of slavery into the Terri. 
tories became one involving the right of secession and the dissolution of the 
Union, when what had been only a political controversy assumed the char- 
acter of rebellion, a large part of the Northern people before in sympathy 
with the cause of the Southern States became alienated from them and de- 
voted themselves to the maintenance of the Union, as a consideration para, 
mount to all questions of a political or local character. Many, however, in the 
Northern States adhered to the cause of the South, through peace and war, 
and were known even in the darkest days of the rebellion as Southern sym- 
pathizers. The part which this element played during the progress of the 
war is a part of the local history of every Northern county, and perhaps 
constitutes a feature of special prominence in the history of Clay County. 
Some attention will be devoted to this branch of our county war history in 
the subsequent pages of this narrative. 

During the winter following the election of Lincoln, the country was in 
a state of constant agitation over the prospect of civil war. It was the chief 
topic of discussion in the newspapers of the day, and at every fireside, and 
in every cabin home in the land the absorbing theme of thought and conver- 
sation was the unfortunate situation in which the Nation had become in- 
volved. If the war should once begin, it was not easy to foresee the end. A 
dire calamity was believed to be impending. The resources of both sides 
were sufficient to maintain a long and despera,te struggle. Yet gloomy as 
were the forebodings of the people, it is probable that but few realized the 
full magnitude of the crisis, nor anticipated the long years of terror that the 
Nation was doomed to witness. The winter of 1860-61 was a winter of 
gloom to all the people of the country, and it was fervently hoped that with 
the return of spring the cloud of war which shadowed the land would pass 
away. But such hopes all vanished when in April rebellion was inaugurated 


by firing upon Fort Sumter. This was the first time in the history of the 
Republic that an overt act of rebellion had been committed against the 
authoritj' of the United States. For the first time the Nation was eon- 
fronted with civil war. It is impossible to describe the indignation and 
mortification with which the news of this first act of rebellion was received 
throughout the North. The whole country was thoroughly agitated, and 
the people generally believed that all past diflferences should be reconciled 
and the united energies of the Nation should be directed to the single pur- 
pose of preserving the Union at all hazards. 

Clay County shared the general emotion. The people here, as elsewhere, 
felt that a great outrage had been committed against the dignity of the Na- 
tion, that the Union was in jeopardy, and the Government in danger of 
destruction. The firing upon Fort Sumter on the 12th of April, 1861, 
brought matters to a final crisis. When the President issued his first call 
for 75,000 troops, our people responded with alacrity, and it was not long 
until the quota levied upon the State of Indiana was full. In Clay County 
many presented themselves for enlistment who were refused. As a rule, the 
young and middle-aged men of the count}'^ were eager to get into the army, 
and every concievable device was employed to accomplish it. At Bowling 
Green, a company was enlisted and organized, about this time, by W. W. 
Carter, then a young attorney of that place. The company was all ready 
to be mustered into the service, when word was sent from headquarters at 
Indianapolis that Indiana's quota was full, and that no more men would be 
mustered into the service. Mr. Carter was elected Captain of this company. 
He went to Indianapolis to receive instructions as to what should be done 
with the company, and was told that he might disband them, or if the com- 
pany desired to retain their organization until such time as they might be 
mustered into the service, under a new call for troops, they might do that 
He returned home and submitted the question of retaining the organization 
until such time as they might be mustered in under a new call, to a vote of 
the company. The proposition was voted down, and the company disbanded 
without seeing service of any character. This is but one instance illustra. 
tive of the willingness of the people to take up arms in the national defense- 


The first company that went from Clay County was Company F, Tenth 
Regiment Indiana Infantry. This company was raised in Brazil and vicin- 
ity, and many are yet here who then enlisted. Some were killed, and others 
died in the service, and many who returned home were impaired in health 
and, after lingering through years of sickness and suffering, have long since 
passed away. Of those who survived the perils of the service in sound 
health, some have gone to distant homes, but perhaps as large a per cent of 
this company are in the county to-day as of any company that went from 
here. The company was mustered into the service April 20, 1861, at In- 
dianapolis. Ezra Olds had been elected Captain ; Demetrius Parsley, First 



Lieutenant; Isaac W. Sanders, Second Lieutenant; and Junius Hunt, Orderly 

This having been the first company that went from the county, a good 
deal of excitement natually attended its departure. The boys were uni- 
formed in blue jean suits, and, as they marched through town to the depot, 
the people, unaccustomed to military displays, were enthusiastic in their 
demonstrations of admiration and cheered them heartily as they went. The 
company was quartered at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, where they re- 
mained, undergoing discipline, for over a month. The}^ were then ordered 
to West Virginia to join Gen. McClellan's command. Many of the com- 
pany visited Blennerhassett Island on this campaign, the place famous in 
history as the spot where the conspiracy of Aaron Burr was incubated. To 
test the mettle of the new troops, they were several times called out by a 
false alarm. On one occasion, at Clarksburg, W. Va., the report was cir- 
culated that Gov. Wise was approaching with 40,000 rebel troops, and would 
shortly attack the Union forces. Company F was put vigorously to work at 
building fortifications, digging trenches and dragging cannon to the top of 
the hill. The whole army was kept in a state of violent commotion until it 
had been sufficiently demonstrated that the new troops were not of that 
mettle to flinch in the presence of danger, when it was made known that the 
whole affair was a sham, and that Gov. Wise was not within a hundred 
miles of the camp. However, the campaign was not all sham, and very 
little was play. The army soon encountered a number of skirmishes, but 
the damage to Company F was so light as not to require mention. The 
army was in the enemy's country, and battle was daily expected. It was 
not long until the two contending armies met, and the decisive battle of Rich 
Mountain followed. The Union forces were under command of Gen. Mc- 
Clellan, and were largely outnumbered by the rebel forces. In this battle, 
the Tenth Regiment, of which Company F was a part, performed an impor- 
tant service. They were detailed to deploj' as a skirmish-line and bring on 
the engagement. This the company did, and afterward remained in the 
thickest of the fight until the battle was over. During the engagement. Gen. 
M. D. Manson had his knapsack shot away, and the scanty provender which 
it contained was knocked into nothingness. The Lieutenant Colonel was 
knocked senseless at the outset of the engagement by concussion of a shell, 
which exploded near, and was not able to take any further part in the 
battle. Lieut. I. W. Sanders was shot through the right breast, the ball 
passing through the lung. He was carried from the field. Afterward he 
recovered from the wound, and is still living. Shepherd Earnhart was shot 
through the shin, and the wound taking an unfavorable turn, he died from 
the effects of it a few weeks afterward. Samuel Yocum was shot through 
the head and fell upon the field. He was carried to the rear, where an ex- 
amination of his wound at once revealed the fact that it was fatal. He 
lingered in an insensible condition fjr three days when he died. There 
were other members of Company F wounded in this engagement, and per- 



haps others killed, whose names, at this distance of time, cannot be ob. 
tained. This was the first active service the company had seen, and it was 
warm enough to give the men a fair idea of what war is. In a short time 
after this engagement the time of the company expired, and they were sent 
to Indianapolis to be discharged. Their way home was a continuous ova- 
tion. Gov. Pierpont gave them a public entertainment at one point on their 
route. In Ohio and at every city and town through which they passed they 
were gorgeously entertained and treated with every mark of gratitude and 
respect. The company was discharged and its members permitted to return 
to their homes August 6, 1861, about four months after their enlistment^ 
having served nearly a month longer than the term for which they had en- 
listed. Immediately after retuiming home, a large number of Company F 
re-enlisted in various regiments and served honorably during the remainder 
of the war. 


One of the most historic regiments in which Clay County men served 
was the Thirty-first. It was reputed to be one of the best disciplined regi- 
ments in the Western army, and b}^ its unswerving devotion to duty in all 
the trying vicissitudes of war, it acquired the honorable title of the " Iron 
Regiment." Among the officers of the armj- it was understood that the 
Thirty-first Regiment could be relied on. This regiment was composed 
largely of men from Clay, large parts of Companies B, C, E, F and H hav- 
ing been enlisted in this county. The regiment was mustered into the serv- 
ice at Terre Haute, September 15, 1861, with Charles Cruft, Colonel ; John 
Osborn, of Bowling Grreen, Lieutenant Colonel ; and Frederick Arn, a Swedish 
officer, as Major. Upon the promotion of Col. Cruft, John Osborn became 
Colonel. Subsequently, John T. Smith, now of Bowling Green, became 
Major, and was afterward promoted to Colonel. The companies were mostly 
officered by men from other counties, but Allen T. Rose, of Bowling Green, 
was elected First Lieutenant of Company B. Soon after its organization, 
the regiment moved into Kentuck}- and went into camp at Calhoun, on Green 
River. The division to which the Thirty-first belonged was ordered to Fort 
Henry in January, 1862, but found the place evacuated upon its arrival. 
From that place it was ordered to Fort Donelson, and arrived in time to 
participate in the engagement on the 13th and 14th, and was present at the 
surrender on the 15th of February, where 14,000 rebel soldiers surrendered 
themselves prisoners of war. The thirty-first was actively engaged in this 
great contest, and lost twelve killed, fifty-two wounded and four missing. 
The first Clay County man killed in the regiment was in this engagement. 
His name was James Taylor. Elijah Furguson, also of this county, lost an 
arm in the battle, and afterward died. Many other of Clay County's men 
were wounded in the engagement, and some were killed whose names can- 
not now be ascertained. After this battle, the regiment marched back to 
Fort Henry, and was thence transported by river to Pittsburg Landing. 
It fought in the memorable battle of Shiloh. on both days, losing 187 in 


killed and wounded, out of 401 able-bodied men. From the large propor- 
tion of the regiment lost in killed and wounded, it will be needless to say 
that it was engaged in the hottest of the contest. In this battle, the follow- 
ing Clay County men were killed : James M. Donham, James Cottom, John 
Low, John Jinks and a number of others. A large number were also 
wounded, who either died afterward, or were discharged on account of their 
wounds. Twenty-one were killed and wounded in Company C. The regi- 
ment lost heavily in offi'Bers in this engagement, Maj. Arn having been 
among the slain, while the gallant Col. Cruft, afterward promoted to Brig- 
adier General, was severely wounded in three places. After this sanguinary 
engagement, the Thirty-first was assigned to the Fourth Division of the 
Army of the Ohio, commanded by Gen. Nelson, and marched toward 
Corinth. It participated in the siege of that place, and engaged in a large 
number of severe skirmishes in the vicinity of the besieged city, until its 
fall, when the siege was raised. In these operations, fighting was of almost 
daily occurrence, and the regiment lost quite a number of men in killed and 
wounded. After the fall of Corinth, it moved with Buell's army through 
Northern Mississippi and Alabama into Tennessee, and was stationed at var- 
ious places in Middle Tennessee. The regiment finally moved to Louisville,. 
Ky., where it was recruited and re-organized, its ranks having been gi-eatl}' 
depleted in the various operations through which it had passed during the 
ten months previous. Col. Charles Cruft having been appointed a Brigadier 
General about this time, Lieut. Col. John Osborn was commissioned his suc- 

In September the regiment left Louisville, and started in pursuit of 
Bragg, driving him out of Kentucky. In this campaign the regiment was 
engaged in the battles of Perryville, Danville, Crab Orchard, and was en- 
gaged in a number of less sanguinary engagements in that part of the coun- 
tr}'. Having annihilated Bragg, the army was ordered in pursuit of Kirb}' 
Smith, but never succeeded in engaging him in regular battle. They had a 
sharp fight, however, with his rear guard, and captured a large number 
of his beef cattle, upon which the arm}- subsisted for some time. At 
Goose Creek, they tore up the large salt works. The army lay for a short 
time at Wild Cat Mountain, where they encountered a severe snow-storm 
and the troops suffered incredible hardships. They were exposed to cold 
and storm of unprecedented severity for that latitude, and in manj' respects 
the condition of the army suggested thoughts of Valley Forge, where, nearly 
a hundred years before, the snows of winter were crimsoned with the blood 
of their Revolutionary fathers. Shortly after these events, the regiment re- 
turned with the rest of the command to Nashville. 

In December, the Thirty-first moved with Crittenden's corps to Murfrees- 
boro, and there participated in the battle of Stone River, on the 30th and 31st 
of December. 1862, in which engagement it lost eighty-seven men in killed 
and wounded. In this engagement the position of the Thirty-first was of the 
most trying character. It was completely surrounded, and held under a 


galling fire for two hours after the remainder of the army had been driven 
back, when Gen. Rousseau advanced to their rescue and opened the way 
for their retreat. After this battle, the regiment went into camp at Cripple 
Creek, where it remained guarding a mountain pass until June. It then 
moved forward with the army to Chattanooga, and on the 19th and 20th of 
September was engaged in the battle of Chickamauga, losing four killed 
and sixty-six wounded. After this battle, the regiment went into camp at 
Bridgeport, Ala. While here, the regiment re-enlisted as a veteran organi- 
zation on the 1st of January, 1864, and in February proceeded to Indianap- 
olis on veteran furlough. On returning to the field in March, it was sta" 
tioned at Ooltewah, Tenn., and when the Atlanta campaign was commenced, 
it moved forward with the Fourth Corps, participating in the many skir- 
mishes and battles that followed. After the capture of Atlanta, the regiment 
moved northward with its corps, in pursuit of Hood's army, to Pulaski, 
Tenn., and then fell back upon Nashville. On the 15th of December, 1864, 
it participated in the battle of Nashville, after which it went as far as Hunts- 
ville, Ala., in pursuit of the defeated army of Hood. Subsequently, it 
moved into East Tennessee, and after a brief campaign in tliat section re- 
turned to Nashville, where it remained from the latter part of April until 
the "middle of June, 1865. When the Fourth Corps was transferred to New 
Orleans, it moved with it, reaching that city early in July. Joining Gen. 
Sheridan's army at New Orleans, it was transported to Texas, and marched 
into the interior part of the State, forming part of what was known as the 
" Army of Occupation." It was afterward stationed at Green Lake, Tex. 
This was about the last active service the regiment saw. It was shortly af- 
terward sent home, the war having ended, where it was received with more 
than the customary honors. 

The following list comprises the names of a part only of the Clay County 
boys of this regiment who were killed or died in the service : Elliot 
Hendrickson, Highland, died at Cripple Creek, Tenn., June 13, 1863 
John H. Neese, Poland, discharged on account of wounds at Marietta, Ga. 
James M. Reynolds, Poland, killed at Stone River December 30, 1862 
D. W. Yant, Poland, died at Calhoun, Ky., January 12, 1862 ; John T 
Close, Bowling Green, killed at Rocky Face Ridge May 11, 1864 
Alexander S. Sharp, died at Calhoun, Ky., February 15, 1862 ; James 
M. Donham, Christy's Prairie, killed at Fort Donelson ; Joseph B. Fouts, 
died at Indianapolis June 5, 1863, of wounds ; Richard M. Moore, Cleve- 
land, died at Calhoun, Ky., January 13, 1862 ; Charles G. Rector, transferred 
to Veteran Reserve Corps on account of wounds February 17, 1865 ; Will- 
lam S. Redifer, Cleveland, died at Calhoun, Ky., January 7, 1862 ; John W. 
Black, Brazil, wounded at Shiloh and not heard from afterward ; William 
Stout, died January 25, 1863, of wounds received at La Vergne, Tenn.; Will- 
iam R. Boone, died in Andersonville Prison August 15, 1864 ; Josiah D. 
Crist, died in Andersonville Prison May 31, 1864 ; David Irwin, died at 
Louisville November 8, 1862 ; David Johnson, died at Nashville of wounds 


December 15, 1864 ; Marion Judd, died at Calhoun, Ky., December 18, 
1861 ; Henr}' D. Lehman, killed at Stone Kiver January 2, 1863 ; James B. 
Letsinger, killed at Chattahoochie River July 7, 1864 ; Nesterd Bowlings 
died at Calhoun, Ky., February 4, 1863 ; George Firth, died November 14, 
1861, at Calhoun, Ky.; Hamilton Hicks, died at Evansville December 1, 
1861 ; Elijah A.. Parris, died December 20, 1862, at Louisville ; Richard W. 
Witty, died January 21, 1862, at Calhoun, Ky.; Jacob W. Deakins, drowned 
in Cumberland River May 21, 1865 ; Joseph McClain,died at Calhoun, Ky., 
March 12, 1862. 

There were a large number of Clay County men in this regiment not 
credited to the county, many of whom were lost in the service, whose names 
are not included in the foregoing list, for the reason that they could not be 


In the summer of 1862, the Sevent3'-first Regiment was organized at 
Camp Dick Thompson, Terre Haute. Company D of this regiment was 
composed of Clay County men. The regiment was mustered into the serv- 
ice on the 18th of July, and was officered by Lieut. Col. Melville D. Top- 
ping, of Terre Haute, and Maj. William Conkling, of Greencastle. At the 
time of being mustered into the service, the regiment had no full Colonel. 
Company D elected the following as its officers : D. A. Conover, of Bowling 
Green, Captain ; Edward A. Thompson, of Bowling Green, First Lieutenant ; 
Thomas Cullen, of the same place, Second Lieutenant ; T. M. Robertson, 
Orderly Sergeant. The regiment left Indianapolis July 18, 1862, for Rich- 
mond, Ky. On the evening of the 29th of August, onl}- eleven days after 
the regiment had been mustered into the service and placed in the command 
of Gen. M. D. Manson, they encountered the advance of the invading army, 
under command of E. Kirby Smith, with a rebel force of about 36,000 men, 
at a point about six miles from Richmond, Ky. Some sharp skirmishing 
ensued, in which Company D pai'ticipated, but without serious damage. 
The company assisted in taking one piece of artillery. The skirmish line 
of the enemy was finally driven back after considerable brisk firing. 

On the morning of the 30th of August, the Union forces, numbering 
about 6,000,_under command of Gen. M. D. Manson, encountered the entire 
rebel army, numbering 36,000, under Gen. Smith, and the decisive battle of 
Richmond ensued. This was one of the most hotly contested engagements 
in the entire war, considering the number of troops engaged on the Union 
side. Owing to the vastly superior number of the rebels, the Union forces 
were finally overpowered and driven from position to position, until, after a 
whole day's fighting, they were completely surrounded by the superior num- 
ber of the rebels, and most of the command were captured about dark some 
four miles from Richmond. The Seventy-first Regiment was in the hottest 
of the contest, and sustained herself nobl}-. In this battle. Company D 
lost a number in killed and wounded. The meagerness and inaccuracy of 


the official reports will prevent our giving all who were lost in this fight in 
killed, wounded and missing. Many were wounded of whom the official 
records give no account. Lieut. Col. Melville D. Topping and Maj. William 
Oonkling are known to have been killed. Sergt. Samuel N. Rule, of Staun- 
ton, received a frightful wound in the bowels, from a shell or cannon ball, 
and died the same day in the field hospital. John Inman was found to be 
missing, and, having never been heard from, is supposed to have been killed. 
John D. Walker, of Washington Township, was wounded ; Grotleib C. Haug, 
of Poland, Cass Township, received a gunshot wound in the hip, which 
crippled him for life ; Henry Markert, of Jackson Township, and Benjamin 
L. Tribble, of Posey Township, were also reported among the wounded. 
Many others were wounded, and perhaps others killed, of whom the reports 
give no account. Thomas Cullen, Second Lieutenant of Company D, was 
also wounded on the head by a saber stroke, but the injury was not of a 
serious character. The company was completely surrounded about dark) 
and while making a desperate effort to cut their way out were mostly- made 
prisoners of war. Some few escaped, but only a few. The prisoners were 
treated with humanity by their captoi-s , and pi'ovided with comfortable 
quarters and rations. The Sevent^^-first Regiment was quartered in the 
court house square, where they were kept for about three days. At the 
end of that time, they were paroled and turned out to make their way back 
to the Union lines as best they could. Most of them traveled to the Ohio 
River on foot, where transportation was furnished them to Indianapolis. 
They returned home in September, 1862. Although the members of the 
regiment had gone to their respective homes, the organization was retained, 
and a call was shortly made for them to re-assemble at Camp Dick Thomp- 
son, Terre Haute. Here they remained till December, 1862, when they 
were exchanged as prisoners and again permitted, under the laws of war, to 
take the field. The regiment, 500 strong, was at once ordered to Mul- 
draugh's Hill, Ky., and sent to guard a railroad bridge, under Lieut. Col. 
C. C. Matson. While in camp at Terre Haute, Biddle had been appointed 
Colonel of the regiment ; C. C. Matson, of G-reencastle, Lieutenant Colonel, 
and W. W. Carter, of Clay Count}^, Major. While guarding the railroad 
bridge, John Morgan came along with 4,000 rebel forces, and after a light 
skirmish, the whole command was again captured. Thej^ were paroled and 
sent back to Indianapolis, where the regiment spent the winter in the bar- 
racks. About this time Thomas Cullen resigned as Second Lieutenant, and 
Orderly T. M. Robertson succeeded him. 

J. M. Boothe was then elected Orderly Sei'geant. Shortly afterward, 
First Lieut. E. A. Thompson resigned, and T. M. Robertson was pro- 
moted to succeed him. Charles L. Rugg was elected to the office of Second 
Lieutenant to fill the vacancy caused by the promotion of T. M. Robertson. 
The following summer was spent in guarding provisions at Camp Morton. 
On the 4th of July, the regiment was ordered to Brandenburg, Ky., to meet 
John Morgan, who was raiding through the country. They did not encounter 


him, only seeing him at a distance and firing some random shots, which were 
returned by the enemy without damage. After pursuing Morgan for some 
days, the regiment again returned to Indianapolis. 

During ihese campaigns, the Seventy-first Regiment lost 215 officers and 
men killed and wounded, and 347 prisoners ; 225 of the regiment escaped 

On the 23d of February, 1863, an order was issued authorizing the 
Seventy-first Regiment to be mounted and changed into a cavalry organiza- 
tion. Two additional companies (L and M) were added. Company M was 
a Clay County compan}^ E. A. Thompson was elected Captain, Francis M. 
Campbell, First Lieutenant, and James M. Mills, Second Lieutenant. The 
subsequent operations of the regiment were confined to East Tennessee and 
Kentucky, participating in the sieges of Knoxville, and doing duty about 
Cumberland Gap, Tazewell and Mulberry Gap. December 24, 1863, a 
detachment of Clay County boys was sent out to forage for feed for the 
horses. They were attacked by a rebel force, and a fight ensued, in which 
John Braswell and W. L. Carpenter were killed, and Henry Crouse, Henry 
E. Ellis, Peter Heath and George Coats were taken prisoners. Philip A. 
Elkin, of Bowling Green, made his escape and got back to camp. Those 
who were made prisoners all died in Southern prisons. 

October, 1863, Capt. Conover was promoted to Major, and T. M. Robert- 
son was promoted to the Captaincy of the company. The regiment now 
spent some time in drilling their horses and preparing for the famous cam- 
paign of Sherman to the sea. The regiment was assigned to the calvary 
corps of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Gen. Stoneman. They par- 
ticipated in the celebrated Stoneman raid. The Sixth Cavalry, during the 
Atlanta campaign, participated in all the cavalry operations, and was 
engaged in the battles of Resaca, Cassville, Kenesaw Mountain and other 
engagements. It aided in the capture of Altoona Pass, and was the fiirst to 
take possession and raise the flag upon Lost Mountain. 

In the Stoneman raid, the Sixth Cavalry lost 166 men and officers in 
killed, wounded and captured. It was on this raid that C. P. Eppert, 
together with five other members of the compan}', were captured, and 
endured all the unspeakable hardships of Southern prison life. Mr. Eppert 
had been a resident of this county since the war, until, some three years ago, 
he procured a position in the Pension Department, and is now in that 
branch of the Government service. While here, he delivered a number of 
interesting lectures on the hardships of prison life before Grand Army Posts 
in this State and Illinois. 

On the 28th of August the regiment left Marietta, Ga., and returned to 
Nashville to be remounted and equipped. Early in September, a part of the 
regiment was sent in pursuit of Gen. Wheeler. On the 24th of September 
it left Nashville with Croxton's cavalry division, to assist in repelling the 
invasion of Middle Tennessee by Forrest. This expedition occupied twenty- 
one days, and resulted in the defeat of the rebels under Forrest at Pulaski, 


Tenn., and his pursuit to Florence and Waterloo, Ala. In the engagement 
at Pulaski, the Sixth Cavalry lost twenty-three men in killed and wounded. 
In this engagement, Maj. Carter had his horse shot under him. The regi- 
ment returned to Nashville in November. On the 15th and 16th of Decem- 
ber, it participated in the " famous " battle of Nashville, and after the 
repulse of Hood's army joined in the pursuit of the retreating enemy. Re- 
turning to Nashville, it remained there until April, 1865, when it moved to 
Pulaski with the Second Brigade, Sixth Division Cavalry Corps of the Mili- 
tary Division of the Mississippi. After some further service, the regiment 
was mustered out, October 1, 1865, at Pulaski, Tenn. It had seen much 
active duty, and had participated honorably in many engagements. On 
reaching Indianapolis, it was accorded a generous welcome. On the 21st of 
June, with other regiments, it was tendered a public reception, and addressed 
by Gov. Morton, Gen. Hovey and others. 

Connected with the history of Company D, of the Seventy-first Regiment, 
is one of the most notable incidents of the war. It was the execution of 
Robert Gay, of Clay County, by order of court martial, on a charge of deser- 
tion. The following history of the affair relating the circumstances attend- 
ing the execution is taken from a pamphlet published and extensively circu- 
lated at the time. It is an interesting scrap of history, and may with pro- 
priety be inserted here : 


Friday afternoon, a little after 3 o'clock, Robert Gay, a member of Com- 
pany D, Seventy-first Indiana Volunteers, was shot by order of Court Mar- 
tial, near Camp Morton, in this city [Indianapolis], for desertion. We be- 
lieve this is the first execution for such an offense, or any military offense, 
in the West, and the near approach of the limit of leniency extended by the 
President to deserters, as well as the solemnity of the occasion itself, makes 
it peculiarly impressive and important. The order of execution sets forth 
the offense, and the action of the court and authorities, so fully, that we 
need do no more than reproduce it here. 


Headquarters Department op the Ohio, Cincinnati, March 21, 1863. 
At the General Court Martial, which convened at Indianapolis, Ind., on the 
37th day of December, 1862, pursuant to Special Orders No. 147, of December 5, 
1862, from these headquarters, and of which Brevet Brig. Gen. Henry Van Rens- 
selaer, Inspector General United States Army, is President, was arraigned and tried 
Private Robert Gay, of Company D, Seventy-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers. 

Charge— J) esertion. 

Specification— In this: that Private Robert Gay, of Company D, (Capt. Daniel 
G. Conover), Seventy-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, duly enlisted and mustered 
into the service of the United States, did, on or about the 5th day of September, 
1862, desert his company, his regiment and the services of the United States, and 
did take the oath of allegiance to serve the enemy, to wit, the Confederate States, so- 
called, and to serve them faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomso- 
ever. All this at or near Richmond, Ky., on or about the 5th day of September, 



To which charge and specifications the prisoner pleaded " guilty." 

Finding and Sentence— The Court finds the prisoner guilty as charged, and 
does therefore sentence him. Private Robert Gay, of Company D, Seventy-first Reg- 
iment Indiana Volunteers, to be shot to death at such time and place as shall be 
fixed upon by the Major General Commanding the Department of the Ohio, two- 
thirds of the members of the court concurring therein. 

This case, which was referred for the action of the President of the United 
States having been returned for final action under the act of Congress passed at its 
recent session, authorizing the punishment awarded to those found guilty of being 
spies or deserters, etc., to-be carried into effect upon the approval of the Command- 
ing General in the field, the finding and sentence are approved; and the sentence, 
that Private Robert Gay, of Company D, Seventy-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers, 
be shot to death, will be carried into execution on Friday, the 37th day of March, 
instant, under the directions of the officer in command of the Post at Indianapolis, 

By command of Maj. Gen. "Wright. 

Headquarters District op Indiana, Indianapolis, March 27, 1863. 
This order will be executed at 3 o'clock P. M.. this day. 

Henry B. Carrington, Brigadier General Commanding. 

Headquarters 71st Reg't Ind. Vol's, Burnside Barracks, ) 

March 27, 1868. | 
The above order was duly executed at this camp, at 3 o'clock, P. M., this day, by 
shooting to death the above-named Robert Gay. 

James Biddle, Col. 71st Reg't Ind. Vol's. 

It may not be improper to add that Gray's confession of his guilt does 
not convey a full idea of its heinousness. He requested the privilege of tak- 
ing the oath of allegiance to the confederacy, and came back home 
with the written oath sewed into his clothes for perfect concealment, show- 
ing that he knew exactly the nature of his act and the importance of evading 
detection. When arrested, G-en. Carrington searched him and found the 
fatal document concealed in the leg of his pantaloons. There is, therefore, 
no room for sympathy or ground for doubt. He was fearfully guilt}'^, and 
fearfully has he expiated his crime. He was an intelligent man. and of fair 
attainments. He was, consequently, entitled to less consideration than an 
ignorant or stupid man who might be supposed to know less of the real 
nature of his offense. In his last speech, he urged in extenuation of his con - 
duct that his health unfitted him for a soldier's duties, and he was at that 
moment, just on the brink of death, in better health than he had ever been 
in his life. He said he did not feel able to do his duty, and took the oath 
of allegiance to the confederacy in order that he might not, as a paroled 
prisoner, be exchanged and forced to return to the service, but get a 
chance to stay at home. His guilt he admitted, but said it was the result 
of thoughtlessness, and not a deliberate purpose to desert his country, and 
we may charitably allow that he told the truth, without in the least im- 
pairing the justice of his sentence and death. 

We are informed that Gaj' came to this State from one of the river 
counties of Ohio, a few years before, and that previous to his enlistment 
he had been engaged in teaching school near Bowling Grreen, Clay County. 


After taking the fatal oath, he returned home to Clay County, and was there 
arrested. He was about twenty-seven years of age, rather above the average 
height, slender, and looked, as he said, by no means in robust health. Of 
his life previous to his arrival in this State, we have been able to learn noth- 
ing. He has an uncle by the name of Palmer, in Pittsburgh, we believe, 
but we have heard of no other relative. He had no family. 

Some days previous to his execution, G-ay was sent from the Soldiers' 
Home, where he had been kept after his sentence, to the county jail. His 
conduct, both in the guard house and in the jail, so far as we have been 
able to learn, was unexceptionable. He was visited in the latter place at 
regular intervals by the Chaplain of his regiment. Rev. Mr. G-rifflth, and 
Friday, previous to his departure to the scene of the execution, he was 
attended by Rev. Mr. Day, of the Baptist Church. Their lessons, it would 
seem, produced a marked and good effect, as he frequently spoke with great 
feeling to his fellow-prisoners of their wa}^ of life, and the necessity of ref- 
ormation. Deputy Sheriff Cramer informs us that after dinner, Friday, he 
called them all, including several '' street walkers " of the vilest class, 
around him, and spoke so fervently and forcibly that he moved them to 
tears. Even those abandoned, but we may hope not lost, women, gave way 
freely to feelings that must have long been strangers to their hearts. He 
conversed much about religion with all visitors, and with the officers of the 
jail, and expressed his trust in the mercy of the Almighty, and his hope of 
salvation. He was taken from jail about half past 2 o'clock, and con- 
veyed in a close carriage to the ground. On his way out, he retained his 
composure completely, conversed freely about his conduct and life, and 
seemed quite cheerful. Once he looked out of the coach window, and turn- 
ing, with a smile, said to Mr. Cramer, " Do you think if I should jump out 
of the door I could escape from you ? " "I rather think not," said the officer, 
and he went on with his conversation. This composure he retained to the 
last, and it formed a striking — we had almost said wonderful — feature of 
the terrible scene. When taken out of the carriage and walked to the place 
of execution, as he stood before the file of men who were to kill him he 
showed no mark of trepidation. Indeed, so perfectly steady were his attitude 
and step, and so unruffled his features, that several spectators never knew that 
he was the doomed man until the Sergeant Major began tying his hands. His 
dying speech was uttered without any tremulousness of tone, and without 
any of that incoherence which the most intelligent men often exhibit under 
such circumstances. His voice was clear and distinct, his words unusually 
well chosen, and his sentences well constructed. His ideas never became 
confused. If it was not wonderful self-control, it was insensibility to death 
equally wonderful in such a man. So perfect was his self-mastery, or in- 
difference, that it was not till he sat down on his coffin that we could re- 
alize that he was about to die. His calmness seemed to dissipate the sense 
of peril entirely, and it required an effort, after looking at his steady eye, 
pale, unmoved face, and unchanging attitute, to bring back the appalling 


fact which the loaded guns and solemn crowd so forcibl}- declared, that death 
was in the ver}^ act of snatching that man from earth. Even when he sat 
down on his coffin, and the Sergeant Major was blindfolding him, he calmly 
drew his knees up so as to set his feet against the side of his coffin, and 
steadied himself on his terrible seat, as if he was fixing an attitude for a 
photograph. He heard the clicking of the cocks of the guns of the firing 
party preparatory to their fearful duty, but even then, though not a second 
lay between him and eternity, his audible prayer was uttered without a 
groan or tremor, in voice or limb. We have heard of compousre and calm- 
ness in the face of death often, but we never saw such an exhibition of it 
before, and we doubt if the world can show a more remarkable one. 

The preparations for the* execution were admirably made, both by Gren. 
Carrington and Col. Biddle. To the latter was intrusted the duty of per- 
forming the execution. The former made all the preceding arrangements. 
In order to avoid the presence of a large crowd of spectators, who would, at 
the last, press upon and disturb the soldiers, and create a great deal of an- 
noyance, and to avoid the possibility of, an attempt at rescue, of which a 
good many confident hints had been thrown out the day before by the K. G. 
C.'s, the General first gave out as a secret, which he knew would be revealed 
quite as extensively as if it had been published, that the execution would 
take place at 5 o'clock P. M. And to throw off their guard those who might 
watch his movements for an intimation of the time, he kept a squad of cav- 
alry at his headquarters, with his horse ready saddled, as if about to start, 
during the whole afternoon, sent off an escort for the prisoner quietlj' by a 
back street, and never went to the execution at all. By this precaution, he 
managed to keep away thousands who would have embarrassed the proceed- 
ings and impaired their solemnity. But still enough learned the truth to 
make a crowd of two or three hundred civilians. The arrangements at the 
ground were made by Col. Biddle of the Seventy-first, to which regiment 
Gay belonged, and it is not too much to say that they could not have been 
better or more complete. There was no disturbance, no disorder, no noise, 
and no^ failure to do what was needed at the time it was needed. Though it 
may appear hardly the proper place to speak of such a thing, no one who 
saw the orderly, quiet, and complete performance of a duty so new and ter- 
rible, will refuse Col. Biddle high praise for his judicious management. The 
place of execution was the open field lying between Burnside Barracks and 
Camp Morton. Here the Seventy-first was drawn up in a hollow square, 
with the open side to the east. Into this square a number of gentlemen 
Invited to be present were admitted by Col. Biddle, and had a full view of 
the whole scene. In a few minutes after this arrangement was completed, 
the Sixty-third came up, with drums beating, and marching right past the 
carriage containing the prisoner, who leaned his head partially out of the 
window to watch them as the}- formed on the south side of the square. The 
cavalry were placed on the outside of the Sixty-third, and the artillery on 
the west and north sides. Thus a compact mass of soldiers of all arms was 


formed, leaving a little vacant space in the middle, with the fearfully sug- 
gestive opening at the eastern side. No time was lost after the preparations" 
were completed. 

The coffin of plain black walnut, with a flat lid, was brought out and laid 
in the open end of the square some distance up toward the center. An offi- 
cer stepped olf slowl}' a space of some twenty -five or thirty feet from the 
coffin to fix the line to be occupied by the firing party, and then the south- 
western angle of the square opened, and the firing party of twenty meni 
two from each company, marched in and formed in two ranks on this line. 
The spectators inside the square moved over to the left of the line. The 
soldiers, impassive as statues, changed no feature or muscle, but all seemed 
to draw a long breath as four men walked in at the open space, and stood in 
front of the coffin. The one on the right carried a small cord and a band of 
black cloth in his hands; this was the Sergeant Major of the regiment, whose 
duty it was to bind and blindfold the prisoner. Next to him was the pris- 
oner, so unmoved and calm, that everybody had to ask " Which is the 
prisoner ? " Next to the prisoner stood the Chaplain of the regiment, 
Mr. Griffith. On the left was a gentleman, a friend of the prisoner, we 
presume, whose name we did not learn. Thus stood the man who was to 
die, and the men who were to kill him ! Happil}- for the latter, the army 
regulations provide that the firing party shall not know whose gun holds the 
fatal bullet. The twenty guns are loaded, ten with ball, and ten with heavy 
blank cartridges. The soldiers who are to fire do not see the loading done, 
and draw their guns, as they come, out of a confused heap, so that no one 
can tell whether his gun contains a ball or not. Thus each man is furnished 
a reasonable probabilit}^ that he has no part in the bloodshed. 

The four men stood between the coffin and the line of soldiers a few mo- 
ments, the prisoner apparently the most unruffled of them all, and then 
Adjt. Brown, of the Seventy -first Regiment, stepped forward, and read clear- 
ly and distinctly the order of execution before quoted. The reading occupied 
two or three minutes. Then Col. Biddle stepped from the right of the firing 
party, and said, " Gay, if you have anything to say, you can say it now." 
The prisoner, without changing his attitude, with his soldier cap hanging in 
his right hand, as he had pulled it oflT when the reading of the order began, 
with his plain uniform coat buttoned over his breast, and his well-worn blue 
pantaloons tucked into his red-topped boots, without a quiver in his voice, 
or the wrenching of a muscle in his face, began : 

" Fellow Soldiers : I am about to die for the crime of desertion. I have 
done wrong. I know I have done wrong, but I did it unthoughtedly. I can 
call God to witness, before whom I must appear in a few minutes, that I did 
not mean to commit a crime. If a man ever tells the truth, it is when he is 
about to die, and 1 tell the truth when I saj' that I meant no wrong. When 
I took the oath of allegiance, I intended only to get home, so that I might 
stay, for I did not feel able for service. My health was bad. It has always 
been poor. I am in better health to-day than I have ever been in my life^ 


I meant to stay at home, and not to join the enemy. I never intended to 
desert my country. But what I did was wrong, and I confess it. I never 
realized the fate that awaited me till my sentence was read to me. Then I 
felt that I had to die. I cannot tell you how I have striven with the spirit 
in the time since that sentence was read to me. I feel that I am about to 
die a sinner. Take warning by me, and prepare for death while there is 
yet time. Labor to obtain that religion which is more precious than any- 
thing on this earth. Trj' to reconcile yourselves to God. and live as your 
duty requires. I suppose my death is needed as an example. If it will 
serve my country and warn you, I will die cheerfully. I forgive all my ene- 
mies, and everybody on earth. I have no malice against any living being. 
I forgive those who are to fire at me. There are those who thirst for my 
blood, but I forgive them, too. To you who will fire at me, I would say, 
take your aim well. Fire at the breast (laying his hand with cap in it on 
his heart), that is the place. Hold on the spot firmly. I want to die quick- 
ly. Don't let me suffer. Hold steady on the spot, and shoot at my breast. 
Again I forgive everybody, and ask those whom I have injured to forgive 

Throughout this speech, as we before observed, the prisoner's voice was 
steady, uniform, and devoid of every symptom of perturbation. 

When he had closed, Mr. GrrifSth prayed fervently, and with far deeper 
feeling than the man himself had shown, for mercy upon him, and for 
strength to bear his fearful trial. At the close of the prayer, Mr. Griffith 
and the other gentleman shook him by the hand, and bade him farewell. 

The Sergeant Major then stepped up and began tying his hands, which he 
placed behind his back voluntarily. He stood silent for a moment, and said 
something which we did not hear, but concluded : " If I could only be 
spared, I would enter the regiment again, and do my dut}^ as well as any 
man in it, or (hesitating), as well as I am able." By this time his hands 
were tied, and he glanced round the ranks, and up at the sun, as if to take 
a last look at earth. The Sergeant Major led him to the coffin, and seated 
him upon it, facing the firing party, with his back to the east. He sat a sec- 
ond, drew his feet toward him, and settled himself back on the coffin, as if 
to brace himself agxiinst the shock that was to come so soon and so terribly. 
The Sergeant Major tied the band of black cloth round his eyes, and stepped 
rapidly off to the right and front, out of the range of the guns. Then the 
prisoner, being left alone for the first time, exclaimed, " 0, that I could see 
my death," in a tone of deep sadness, which those who heard will never for- 
get. A whisper from Lieut. Sherfey to the firing party brought all the guns 
to a " ready." The clicking of the cocks was heard distinctly all around. 
The prisoner heard it, too, but he only showed his consciousness of it by 
the movement of his lips in prayer, which became audible, but not intelligi- 
ble, as the guns were lowered to take aim. " Lord God," in a low tone, as if 
part of his prayer was heard, and the crash of the guns followed instantly. 
At the explosion, he fell straight back over his coffin, without a sound or 


struggle. His feet, which rested on the coffin, were motionless. He had ob- 
tained his wish. His comrades had done their duty well and truly, and 
killed him instantly. The surgeon ran to him. " Is he dead ? " asked Col. 
Biddle. " He is dying ; he will be dead in a few moments," said the doctor. 
He gasped for half a minute spasmodically, not breathing, and was dead. 
He was lifted into the coffin, the bandage taken off his eyes, and his little 
blue cap put on his head. There were eight shot holes in his coat, seven of 
them in his breast, any one of which would have killed him almost instant- 
ly. One struck him right in the heart, but there was not a drop of blood 
visible. The bullet holes were as clean as if cut with a pair of scissors. 
Under his body upon the ground was a thick puddle of blood, for the balls 
had gone through him, and the blood ran out below. One shot struck him 
in the throat, and another grazed his shoulder. All ten of the balls struck 
him, an extraordinar}' proof of the coolness and steadiness of the men. 
The Sergeant, with his carbine in reserve, stood by the coffin, to shoot him 
in the head, and end his misery, if it had been necessary, but, much to his 
relief, the work had been surely done without him. The coffin was put into 
Undertaker Weaver's wagon, the troops were dismissed, and the most im- 
pressive and dreadful scene ever witnessed in Indianapolis, and the first 
military execution in the West, was over. 

The following extract is taken from a letter written by Capt. T. M. Rob- 
ertson, of Company D, Sixth Indiana Cavalry (Seventy-first) Regiment, from 
Nashville, Tenn., under date of Februar}', 1865, to the Atiro7'a Borealis, a 
paper at that time published in Clay County : 

"There is an incident in the personal histoiy of Jacob Lanham, Compan}' 
D, Sixth Indiana Cavalry, that deserves some notice. While Hood's army 
was in front of Nashville, the Sixth Indiana Cavalry was sent out, some- 
times alone and sometimes with other troops, to ascertain the position and 
strength of the enemy on a certain portion of the line. 

" On Sunday, December 4, the Sixth Regiment sallied forth alone, and 
in a short time was engaged in a brisk skirmish ; balls flew thick and fast 
on both sides. Corp. Karf, of Company B, was shot through the leg, break- 
the bone to shivers. The object of the reconnoissance having been accom- 
plished, our skirmishers were withdrawn from the field under a terrific fire 
from the enemy, leaving the wounded men behind. Before returning to our 
camp, a programme to advance in force, drive back the enemy and bring the 
wounded men off the field was inaugurated and afterward abandoned as ex- 
tra hazardous, if not altogether impracticable. The regiment moved off 
toward camp. Jacob Lanham lingered near the scene of action, determined, 
if possible, to save a brave but unfortunate fellow-soldier. The poor fellow 
lay moaning in an open field, a hundred and fifty or two hundred j'ards 
from the rebel line. To have walked upright into that open place, directly 
toward the rebel sharp-shooters, would have been walking into the jaws of 
death. Lanham was not reckless enough to do that ; but he went to a 
house near our skirmish line, ascended to the second story, where, from the 


veranda, he could see the whole field at a glance. His keen eye soon caught 
the prostrate form of the suflFerer, and noting the situation and the best 
route to the spot where he lay, he descended and lost no time in trying to 
reach him. But, in order tO insure his own safety and I'ender more certain 
the accomplishment of his hazardous enterprise, he got down and crawled 
on his belly until he reached him. He found him suffering intensely from 
pain and thirst, which latter he relieved by giving him a drink from his can- 
teen. But with all the precaution he had seen proper in using in res- 
cuing Karf, his own life was in imminent danger. The rebel sharp- 
shooters discovered him, and while he was making the best of his way out 
with his burden, no less than twenty-five or thirty shots were fired at him, 
many of the balls dipping the dirt in rather unpleasant proximity to him. 
He finally got him off the field by crawling and dragging the man after him. 
Having got out of harm's way, Lanham conveyed the poor fellow to a house 
near by. where surgical aid was given him ; but his leg was amputated, and 
he died in a few days." It is proper to state that this meager account is 
given without either Mr. Lanham's knowledge or consent, and the first 
inkling of it will be his seeing it in print. 

The following is only a partial list of those who were lost in Company 
D, Seventy-first Regiment, Sixth Cavalry : Russel P. Robertson, Center 
Point, died at Atlanta September 27, 1864 ; Samuel L. Rule, Staunton, died 
September 7, 1862, of wounds received at Richmond, Ky.; John Baum, 
Bowling Green, died December 25, 1862 ; John Brazill, killed at Mulberry 
Gap December 24, 1863 ; Allen Brazill, died at Louisville, Ky.; Chancj^ 
Bush, Clay County, died at Camp Nelson, Ky., January 7, 1864 ; Solomon 
Bear, Staunton, died April 22, 1863 ; Henry Crouse, Bowling Green, died 
in rebel prison at Belle Isle, February 18, 1864 ; William L. Carpenter, 
Bowling Green, killed at Mulberry Gap December 24, 1863 ; Henry C. Ellis, 
Bowling Green, died in Andersonville Prison May 14, 1864 ; Peter Heath, 
Poland, died November 10, 1864, in rebel prison at Millen, Ga.; John In- 
man. Clay County, missing at Richmond, Va., August 30, 1862, and sup- 
posed to be dead. Robert Gay, Bowling Green, shot to death by sentence 
of court martial March 27, 1863 ; John McAffee, Bowling Green, died at 
.Camp Nelson, Ky., June 24, 1864 ; William H. West, Staunton, died at 
Indianapolis May 5, 1863 ; George W. Coates, Clay County, died in rebel 
prison at Millen, Ga., November 10, 1864 ; Joseph Wells, died at Nashville 
May 6, 1865. 


Company G of this regiment was raised entirely in Clay County. The 
men who served as Captain of the company through the war at various 
times were Roswell S. Hill, of Brazil, afterward promoted to Major of the 
regiment, and in 1880 elected Treasurer of State ; Isaac S. Leabo, of Brazil, 
and Demetrius Parsley, of Brazil. The First Lieutenants were Roswell S. 
Hill, Demetrius Parsley and Robert W. Osborn, of Brazil. Mr. Hill and 


Mr. Osborn also served as Second Lieutenants during the earlier organiza- 
tion of the company. Company K, though composed largel}' of Clay Coun- 
ty boys, was officered by residents of other counties, with the exception of 
John V. Leabo, of Brazil, who was elected Second Lieutenant. This regi- 
ment has the credit of being the first complete cavalry regiment raised in 
Indiana. It was organized at Indianapolis in September, 1861, with John 
A. Bridgeland as Colonel. On the 16th of December, it broke camp at In- 
dianapolis, and moved to Camp Wickliffe, Ky., by way of Louisville. In 
February, 1862, it marched with Buell's army toward Nashville, and from 
that place it was ordered to the field of Shiloh, but did not arrive until after 
the battle. On the 9th of April, it had a skirmish with the enemy on the 
road to Corinth, and on the 15th of April engaged the rebels at Pea Kidge, 
Tenn., where a sharp battle ensued, and the regiment lost a number in killed 
and wounded. During the siege of Corinth, it was actively engaged, and 
immediately after the evacuation marched with Buell's arm^^ into Northern 
Alabama, and in the latter part of May it had a skirmish with the enemy at 
Tuscumbia, losing a number in killed, wounded and missing. The regiment 
afterward moved into Tennessee, and encountered the enemy at McMinnville 
on the 9th of August, and at Grallatin on the 21st and 27th of August, los- 
ing several in killed, wounded and missing. In September, it marched into 
Kentuckj^, and participated in the Bragg and Buell campaign, engaging the 
enemy at Vinegar Hill on the 22d of September, and at Perr3^ville on the 
8th of October. On the 30th of November, while the regiment was at 
Nashville, a detachment under Maj. Samuel Hill was highly complimented 
by Gen. Rosecrans, in special field orders, for having re-captured a Qovern- 
ment train, defeating rebel cavalry, killing twenty, and capturing 200 pris- 
oners. During the winter of 1862, it was on duty at Nashville, and thence 
moved over into Kentucky, where it remained a few months, after which it 
was ordered to return to Tennessee. On the 11th of June, 1863, it fought 
the enemy at Triune, Tenn., losing a number in killed and wounded. In the 
fall of 1863, it was on duty along the line of the Nashville & Chattanooga 
Railroad, after which it moved into East Tennessee. On the 29th of Novem- 
ber, several men of the regiment were drowned in Caney Fork, while on duty, 
ferrying. On the 29th of December, it participated in a sharp fight at Tal- 
bot's Station. While at Massey Creek, Tenn., the regiment re-enlisted, on 
the 10th of Januar}', 1864, and during the winter and spring was engaged 
in numerous scouts and skirmishes, in which a number of men were lost. 

In Ma}', 1864, the regiment moved with Sherman's army in its campaign 
against Atlanta, engaging in many skirmishes and battles, among which 
were the following : May 9, at Varnell's Station, near Resaca ; July 1, near 
Acworth ; July 28 and 30, near Newman, and August 30, near Atlanta. 
After the occupation of Atlanta, the non-veterans were ordered to be 
mustered out, and on the 14th of September, 1864, the remaining veterans 
and recruits were consolidated into a battalion of four companies, and placed 
under command of Maj. Roswell S. Hill. In November and December, 1864, 



,-*r-S ? V ^'■•^-' 4 

X^ Ono^.^^L^^-^^i 


the battalion was on dut}^ in Kentucky, and in January, 1865, was trans- 
ferred to the vicinity of Eastport, Ala. Joining the army of Greu. Wilson, 
it participated in the raid through Alabama, engaging the enemy near Scotts- 
ville on the 2d of April, and at West Point, Gra., on the 16th of April. In 
the latter battle, the Fortj^'-first suffered severely, Maj. Roswell S. Hill having 
one of his legs shot off while gallantly leading a charge. Shortly afterward, 
the regiment returned from this raid and was mustered out at Nashville, 
Tenn., on the 22d of July, 1865. In a short time afterward, it moved to 
Indianapolis, where it was finally discharged, after seeing much active serv- 
ice, during which the soldiers of the regiment endured great hardships 
and many dangers. The list of the dead in this regiment is imperfectly re- 
ported in the Adjutant G-eneral's reports, and many were killed in battle or 
afterward died of disease or wounds of whom no account is given. The fol- 
lowing is only a partial list : John Briley, Clay County, died at Bardstown, 
Ky., February 21, 1862 ; Thomas E. Jett, Clay County, died at Bardstown, 
Ky.; Daniel Breakison, Clay County, died at Corinth, Miss., June 7, 1862 ; 
John Burger, Clay County, died at Louisville, Ky., May 13, 1863 ; Henry 
Bruner, Clay County, died at Florence, Ala.; Abraham Cory, Clay County, 
died at Corinth, Miss.; John L. Cook, Clay County, died at Chattanooga, 
July 9, 1864; David Deakins, Clay County, died, place unknown; Thomas 
Downer, Clay County, died at Murfreesboro, of wounds, Jul}^ 6, 1863 ; Will- 
iam L. Downer, Clay County, died at Nashville, Tenn., December 9, 1862 ; 
Caswell Day, Clay County, died at Savannah, Gra., April 30, 1862 ; Benjamin 
B. Kizer, Clay County, died at Nashville, Tenn., June 10, 1863 ; Joseph Pef- 
fer. Clay County, died at Corinth, Miss.; James E. Rariden, Clay County, 
died, place unknown ; David Corday, Clay County, died at Nashville, Tenn,. 
October 8, 1863. List of the dead of Company K : Lemuel Crawford, died 
at Nashville April 5, 1862 ; Vinte Clawson,died at Nashville May 16, 1862 ; 
William E. Davis, died at Camp Wickliffe, Ky., March 15, 1862; Joseph 
Grandstaff, died at' Munfordsville, Ky., April 17, 1862 ; John B. Jackson, 
Brazil, died at Camp Wickliffe, Ky., February 25, 1862 ; James M. Loveall, 
Brazil, died at Quinc}", 111., June 20, 1862 ; Jasper Meriman, died at Louis- 
ville, Ky., December 13, 1862 ; David S. Myers, Brazil, died at Bardstown 
February 5, 1862 ; Milton Palmer, Bowling Green, died at Franklin, Tenn., 
April 20, 1862 ; John Hilkey, died at Nashville September 14, 1863 ; 
Charles Miller, Bowling Green, killed at Triune, Tenn., June 11, 1863 ; Will- 
iam C. Trussell, died April 28, 1863 ; John Whetstone, died at Camp Wick- 
liffe, Ky., February 26, 1862 ; Jacob Wildrick, Bowling Green, died at Bowl- 
ing Green, Ind., March 24, 1864. 


The Twenty-first Regiment, afterward First Heavy Artillery, enjoyed the 
distinction of having been out as long and of seeing as much service as any 
regiment in the late war. The regiment was organized and mustered into 
the service at Indianapolis July 24, 1861, and was mustered out at Baton 



Kouge, La., January 10, 1866, after a term of service of four years, five 
months and sixteen days. Company I of this regiment was raised exclu- 
sively in Clay County. It started to the field with James W. McMillan, 
Colonel ; John A. Keith, Lieutenant Colonel; Benjamin F. Hay, Major ; and 
William S. Hinkle, Quartermaster. Company I had for its officers Richard 
Campbell, Captain ; Walter C. Elkin, First Lieutenant ; and Samuel E. Arm. 
strong, Second Lieutenant, all of Bowling Green. Persons who were after- 
ward promoted and served as officers were Silas Bates, Captain ; George 
.W. James, First Lieutenant ; Charles F. Hogue, First Lieutenant ; Jeffrey 
Rodgers, Second Lieutenant ; Stukely Campbell, Second Lieutenant ; and 
Daniel K. Braun, Second Lieutenant. The company was composed of an 
even hundred men, mostly under the age of twenty-five years. The com- 
pany had an entire enrollment from muster in until muster out of 242, it 
having been frequently recruited to fill up its ranks, depleted by long and 
arduous duty. 

Within a week after its organization, the regiment was ordered East, 
reaching Baltimore on the 3d of August, where it was stationed for some 
time. While in this part of the country, it went with Gen. Lockwood's expe- 
dition to the eastern shore of Virginia. The regiment sailed from Balti- 
more to Newport News, from which place it embarked on the 4th of March, 
and sailed with Gen. Butler's expedition. On the 15th of April it left 
Ship Island by steamer. The regiment participated in the bombardments 
of Fort St. Phillips and Fort Jackson, after which a portion of the regiment 
landed in the rear of St. Philips and waded across the quarantine, while the 
remainder went to New Orleans. Company I went with the latter portion 
of the regiment. When this remnant of the Twenty-first reached New Or- 
leans, it was the first of Gen. Butler's army to touch the wharf, and imme- 
diately marched up into the city. The regiment then went into camp at 
Algiers, where it remained until the 30th of May, making frequent foray* 
into the interior. It also captured many steamers in Red River, and the 
sea-going blockade-runner. Fox, at the mouth of Grand Caillon, on the Gulf 
coast, also fell into the hands of this regiment. 

On the 1st of June, the regiment was landed at Baton Rouge, where it 
remained until the post was evacuated. On the 5th of August, it partici- 
pated in the battle of Baton Rouge. The whole company having been on 
picket duty brought on the engagement and skirmished in front of the ad- 
vancing enemy for three miles, beginning at 3 o'clock in the evening and 
taking its place in the line of battle about 6 o'clock. In this engagement, 
the Twenty -first fought for over three hours and a half, against an entire 
brigade, without faltering, and sustained a loss of 126 killed and wounded. 
Adjt. Latham and Lieuts. Seeley, Grinstead and Bryant were all killed in 
this engagement, together with a large number of privates. Many were 
also wounded and missing. After this the regiment went into camp at Car- 
rollton, and on the 8th of September it surprised Walter's Texas Rangers at 
Des Allemands, killing twelve and capturing thirty or forty prisoners. The 


Twenty-first went to Berwick's Bay in October, where it remained until the 
latter part of February, 1863. During its stay in this vicinity, a portion of 
the regiment was temporarily transferred to gunboats and participated in 
almost daily fights with the iron-clad " Cotton." Col. McMillan being pro- 
moted Brigadier General on the 29th of November, 1862, Lieut. Col. John 
A. Keith was commissioned his successor. In February, 1863, the regiment 
was changed to heavy artillery service and designated the First Heavy Ar- 
tillery, and in July and October, under orders from the War Department, 
two additional companies, L and M, were organized and added to the regi- 
ment. A portion of the regiment, including Company I, accompanied Gen. 
Banks up the Teche, and participated in the second battle of Camp B Island. 
Subsequently, the regiment, with the exception of two companies, was trans- 
ported up the Mississippi and took part in the siege of Port Hudson, in 
which it distinguished itself for the remarkable accuracy of its firing. The 
loss to the regiment, during the siege of forty days and nights, was twenty- 
eight in killed, wounded and missing. 

On the 21st of June, part of one company manned a light battery, in a 
desperately contested little fight at Lafourche Crossing, and on the 23d of 
June most of Company F were captured. In August, three companies, 
under Maj. Roy, accompanied the expedition to Sabine Pass, and engaged the 
enemy at that place. During the winter of 1863-64, a large portion 
of the regiment re-enlisted, and were re-mustered as veterans at New 
Orleans. Soon after, the veterans visited Indiana, when a grand i-eception 
was given them at Metropolitan Hall, Indianapolis, at which they were ad- 
dressed by Gov. Morton, Gen. Hovey, Cols. James R. Slack and John A. 

Returning to the field of the former operations, the regiment joined the 
disastrous expedition of Gen. Banks, up Red River, in March, 1864, in 
which the First Heav}^ Artillery bore an activ^e part. After this, the differ- 
erent companies were stationed at different points in the Department of the 
Gulf In April, 1865, six batteries of the regiment, under Maj. Roy, partic- 
ipated in the investment of Mobile, the reduction of Forts Morgan, Gaines, 
and Spanish Fort, and the final capture of Mobile. At the close of active 
operations, the diflferent batteries were assigned to duty at Forts 3Iorgan, 
Pickens and Barrancas, and in the works at Baton Rouge and other points 
of river defense, with headquarters at Mobile. Just outside of Spanish 
Fort, the first Captain of the company, Richard Campbell, was buried. 
About this time the war ended and the i-egiment was mustered out, Janu- 
ary 10, 1866, at Baton Rouge, crowned with the honors of a long and active 

The following list comprises the names of those who were lost in Com- 
pany I, Twenty-first Regiment, during its term of service : Eli Harris, 
Clay County, died at Carrollton La., September 15, 1862; William R. Tipton, 
Clay County, died at Baton Rouge July 15, 1862 ; Michael 0. Baura, Clay 
County, died on steamer August 7, 1862; Solomon Berger, Clay County, 


died at Pilot Town, La., May 5, 1862 ; Walter G. Cahill, Bowling Green, 
died March 7, 1862. of wounds inflicted by camp guard ; Solomon Coken- 
hour, Martz, died January 11, 1862, at New Orleans ; Martin V. Hall, died 
October 24, 1862, at Parapet ; George G. Lucas, Clay County, died July 17, 

1862, at Baton Rouge ; William Seery, Clay County, died April 20, 1863, at 
New Orleans ; James B. Triplett, Staunton, died October 5, 1865, at Fort 
Pickens ; William M. Warner, Martz, died February 11, 1864, at New Or- 
leans ; Benjamin F. Albin, Clay County, died June 15, 1864, at New Or- 
leans ; John Burk, Martz, died June 29, 1865, at Mobile ; Newton Coop- 
rider, Clay County, died September 13, 1863, at Baton Rouge ; Jeremiah 
Comstock, died November 3, 1864, at New Orleans ; Andrew Culler, Martz, 
died February 2, 1865, at Brashear City ; Reuben Fields, Clay County, died 
at Brashear City January 22, 1863 ; Samuel P. Fridley, Clay County, died 
December 17, 1862, at New Orleans ; Thomas Harbaugh, Clay County, died 
May 14, 1865, at Mobile ; James L. Hobbs, Clay County, died October 7, 

1863, at Baton Rouge ; John Kane, Clay County, died September 10, 1864, 
at Brashear City ; Josiah Nelson, Clay County, died at New Orleans March 
25, 1865 ; Moses Spencer, Clay County, died November 3, 1862, at Camp 
Parapet ; Archibald Stuckey, Clay County, died January 13, 1863, at New 
Orleans ; Lewis E. Stuckey, Clay County, died November 13, 1863, at New 
Orleans ; William S. Stuckey, Clay County, died September 11, 1862, at 
Camp CarroUton ; Solomon Smith, Clay County, died May 15, 1864, at 
Baton Rouge ; John F. Smith, Clay County, died February 20, 1864, at 


This company was composed exclusively of Clay County men. In the 
early part of the war, the men composing this company responded to the 
call of their country, the regiment having been organized and mustered 
into the service at Terre Haute September 27, 1861. Company A elected 
the following officers : John C. Major, of Bowling Green, Captain ; David 
Orman, Bowling Green, First Lieutenant ; James M. Rose, Bowling Green, 
Second Lieutenant. Capt. Major was promoted, during the subsequent 
progress of the war, to the rank of Major, and afterward was made Colonel 
of the regiment. James M. Rose was promoted to the Captaincy of the 
company, and upon his being honorably discharged, February 21, 1863, 
Warren Harper, of Terre Haute, succeeded him. The following persons 
also served as officers of the company : Samuel G. N. Pinckley and William 
T. Anderson, of Bowling Green, First Lieutenants, and William H. Mills, of 
Bowling Green, Second Lieutenant. Immediately after its muster into the 
service, the regiment was transported to the seat of war, under command of 
Col. George K. Steele. It moved to Spottsville, Ky., and thence to Calhoun, 
where it remained in camp until the latter part of February, 1862. The 
Forty-third was then transferred to Missouri and attached to Gen. Pope's 
army, and engaged in the sieges of New Madrid and Island No. 10. It was 
afterward detailed on duty with Commodore Foote's gunboat fleet in the 


reduction of Fort Pillow, serving sixty-nine days in the campaign. The 
Forty-third was the first Union regiment to land, in the city of Memphis, 
and with the Forty-sixth Indiana constituted the entire garrison, holding the 
place for two weeks and until re-enforced. In July, 1862, the Forty-third 
was ordered up White River, Arkansas, and subsequently to Helena. In 
December, it marched to Grenada, Miss., with Hovey's expedition, and on 
its return to Helena accompanied the expedition to Yazoo Pass. At the 
battle of Helena, on the 4th of July, 1863, the regiment was especially dis- 
tinguished, alone supporting a battery that was three times charged by the 
enemy, repulsing each attack and finally capturing a full rebel regiment, 
larger in point of numbers than its own strength. It took an active part 
in Gen. Steele's campaign against Little Rock, and aided in the capture of 
that place. On the 1st of January, 1864, the regiment re-enlisted at Little 
Rock, the veterans re-mustering numbering about 400. In March, it moved 
with the expedition of Gen. Steele from Little^Rock, which was intended to 
co-operate with Gen. Banks' Red River expedition. The regiment was in the 
battles of Elkin's Ford, Jenkins' Ferry, Camden and Mark's Mills, near Saline 
River. At the latter place, on the 30th of April, the brigade to which it was at- 
tached, while guarding a train of 400 wagons returning from Camden to Pine 
BluflTs, was furiously attacked by about 6,000 of Marmaduke's cavalry. A 
savage rencounter ensued, and the Union forces, being overpowered, lost 
heavily. The Forty-third lost nearly two hundred in killed, wounded and 
missing in this engagement. Among the captured were 100 and over of the 
re-enlisted veterans. After its return to Little Rock, the regiment proceed- 
ed to Indiana on veteran furlough, and reached Indianapolis on the 10th of 
June. Upon its arrival, the regiment volunteered to go to Frankfort, Ky., 
then threatened by Morgan's cavalry. It remained there until the rebel 
force left Kentucky. On its return, the regiment had a skirmish with 
Jesse's guerrillas near Eminence, Ky. Upon the expiration of its veteran 
furlough, the regiment was not returned to the field, but placed on duty at 
Indianapolis, and for nearly a year was engaged in guarding the rebel pris- 
oners at Camp Morton. After the war was over, it was one among the first 
regiments to be mustered out. It retired honorabl}' from the service at In- 
dianapolis, after a long career of active duty, on the 14th of June, 1865. 
Of the 164 men captured from this regiment in Arkansas, and taken to 
the rebel prison at Tyler, Texas, ten or twelve died. The remainder fou nd 
their way back to Indianapolis in March, 1865, and were subsequently dis- 
charged with the regiment. The following is a list of those who were lost 
in Company A, Forty-third Regiment, so far as can be ascertained, the re- 
ports of this regiment being more meager than of any other whose sketch 
we have attempted to write: Granville E.Thomas, Clay County, killed 
April 25, 1874, at Marks Mill, Ark.; Enoch Olreon, Clay County, died Jan- 
uary 16, 1865, in rebel prison at Camp Ford, Texas ; Clement Purcell, Clay 
County, died March 16, 1865, at Indianapolis ; John Sellers, Cla}' County, 
killed April 30, 1864, at Jenkins' Ferry, Ark. 



Of the Eighty-fifth Regiment, Company I was raised exclusively in Clay 
County. Company K, of the same regiment, was also largely composed of 
Clay County men. The Eighty-fifth Regiment was organized at Terre Haute 
September 2, 1862, with the late John P. Baird as Colonel. Company I 
was officered exclusively by Cla^^ Count}' men. Caleb Nash was first elect- 
ed Captain. In May of the year following, he died of disease contracted in 
Libby Prison. Afterward, James N. Gregory, of Staunton, and G-eorge 
Grimes, of Center Point, were successivel}^ promoted to the Captaincy. 
These two gentlemen were also Lieutenants in the regiment during its early 
history-. At the organization of the company, Allen W. Carter was elected 
First Lieutenant ; James T. Moss, of Ashboro, was Second Lieutenant, and 
after serving through the war, was mustered out as First Lieutenant of the 

Of Company K, Lewis Puckett, of Coflfee, was elected Captain ; A. P. 
Hungate, of CoflS'ee, First Lieutenant ; and Thomas Friers, of Coflfee, Second 

Shortly after the organization of the regiment, it proceeded to Coving- 
ton, K}-. After the rebel army had retreated out of Kentucky, the regi- 
ment marched to Lexington and Danville, and remained at the latter place 
until February, 1863. It then moved to Louisville, and embarked on boats 
and proceeded to Nashville, Tenn., from which place it marched to Franklin. 
The brigade to which it belonged was composed of the Thirty-third Indiana, 
the Twentj'-second Wisconsin, Nineteenth Michigan and Eighty-fifth Indi- 
ana, and was commanded by Col. John Coburn. Early in March, 1863, the 
brigade was ordered from Franklin to resist the progress of Gen. Forrest's 
army, and to drive him back to Spring Hill. On the 5th of March, the brigade 
encountered the enemy and made an attack upon him at Thompson's Station, 
driving .the rebel forces back in confusion for some miles. Col. Coburn 
now encountered Gen. Forrest with five brigades, who were strongly foi'ti- 
fied behind stone- fences, when a desperate confiict ensued, the battle lasting 
from five to six hours. Finally, after being surrounded and completely over- 
powered, the brigade was compelled to surrender, but not until all of its 
ammunition had been exhausted. This was the fii'st engagement in which 
the Eighty-fifth had taken part, and it fought most valiantly, changing front 
three times under a severe fire. The loss of the regiment was heavy in both 
killed and wounded. After the surrender, the captured brigade was marched 
sixteen miles to Columbia, and thence to Tullahoma, suffering during the 
march from want of food, exhaustion, and exposure to rain and cold. The 
men were compelled to remain out, uncovered, one whole night, without food 
From Tullahoma they were transported to Chattanooga, and thence to Rich- 
mond, where they were placed in Libby Prison. Happily, they were not 
long exposed to the horrors of a rebel prison, and on the 31st of March they 
were released and returned to Indianapolis. During the sixty days of its 
captivity, the Eighty-fifth suffered exceedingly from ill usage, and quite a 


number died along the line of its march and in the prison at Richmond. 
In June, 1863, after the exchange, the regiment was again sent to Tennessee 
and stationed at Franklin, where it engaged in more or less skirmishing and 
fighting, until Bragg's army fell back. It then marched to Murfreesboro, 
and remained in that vicinity all summer, fall and winter, guarding the rail- 
road from Nashville to Chattanooga, in the performance of which duty it 
was frequently upon the track of raiders and guerrillas. On the 20th of 
April, 1864, it began its march, with Coburn's brigade, to join the Twentieth 
Corps, and immediately entered upon the campaign against Atlanta. It 
participated in every important engagement of the campaign, as well as in 
numerous skirmishes. It was in the terrible charge against Resaca, in the 
battles of Cassville, Dallas Woods, Golgotha Church, Culp's Farm and Peach 
Tree Creek. At Peach Tree Creek, Coburn's brigade was the first to receive 
the charging forces of the enemy, deploying in single line, and when the 
Eighty-fifth opened fire upon the rebels, they were not over fifty feet from 
its front. The destruction of life was terrible to the enem3\ When the 
Union line charged the enemy, sweeping him back to his works, the ground 
in front of the Eighty -fifth was piled with dead and wounded rebels. Upon 
its front, between the place where it met the enemy and where it halted at 
the top of the hill, fifty-three rebels were buried in one grave. The regi- 
ment also took part in the struggle before Atlanta, and was present at the 
fall of that place. The Eighty-fifth also participated in Gen. Sherman's 
campaign from Atlanta through Georgia, and on the 12th of December came 
upon the enemy's lines at Savannah, where it remained in front of the ene- 
my's works for ten days. After the fall of Savannah, the division to which 
it belonged was the first to cross the border into South Carolina, driving 
the enemy's cavalry before it. The regiment then lay in the swamps near 
the Savannah River, with its brigade, until February, when it started on the 
campaign through South Carolina. In March, two divisions of the Twen- 
tieth Corps attacked the army of Johnston, at Averysboro. The Second 
Brigade of the Third Division charged the rebel works through an open 
field, and in this movement the Eighty-fifth was the directing regiment. 
The charge was most gallantly made under a terrible fire, under the eye 
of Gen. Sherman. The Union forces swept in over the rebel works, taking 
many prisoners and three pieces of artillery. In this maneuver, the 
Eighty-fifth suffered severely in killed and wounded. At Bentonville, the 
regiment moved with its division to the field, where all seemed lost. After 
that long and hurried march, the troops took position and formed in line 
with precision, and during the day the Eighty-fifth moved to four positions 
upon the field, under severe fire, and aided in building a line of works to 
cover the flank. After this it moved to Goldsboro, from whence it marched 
in the campaign against Raleigh, and upon the surrender of Johnston it 
marched to Richmond, looking as visitors upon Libby Prison. From Rich- 
mond, the regiment moved to Washington, where it was mustered out of the 
service on the 12th of June 1865. It proceeded to Indianapolis at once, 


where it was finall}'^ discharged, and its surviving members disbanded to 
seek their respective homes, and to resume the peaceful vocations of life. 
From the 15th of May, 1864, to the date of its discharge, the Eighty-fifth 
lost in killed and wounded 147 men. The following is only a partial list of 
the dead in Companies I and K: 

Company I. — Richard S. Hamilton, died at Lexington, Ky., March 20, 
1863 ; George W. Lucas, Harmony, died at Nashville, Tenn., March 25, 
1865; Stephen Tucker, Clay County, killed at Thompson's Station, Tenn., 
March 5, 1863 ; John F. Congelton, Clay Count}', died at Atlanta October 
21, 1864 ; Lloyd W. Conway, Ashboro, killed at Thompson's Station March 
5, 1863 ; Michael Coal, Center Point, died at Columbia, Tenn., March 22, 
1863 ; David A. Clark, Clay County, died at Lexington, Ky., November 16, 

1862 ; Reece Donham, Staunton, died at Nashville, Tenn., March 24, 1863 ; 
Marion Lyglet, Staunton, died at Nashville April 10, 1863 ; John Gr. Mitch- 
ell, Clay County, died at Indianapolis September 20, 1862 ; William Mor- 
ton, Clay County, died at Nashville March 13, 1863 ; Samuel Mowery, Clay, 
County, died at Nashville March 9, 1863 ; William Roberts, Clay County, 
died at Staunton, May 1, 1863 ; Ira B. Slack, Clay County, died May 16, 1864. 
of wounds ; Samuel Tribble, Clay County, died at Lexington, Ky., January 
16, 1863 ; Daniel F. Wright, Clay County, died at Hickman's Bridge, Ky., 
December 27, 1862. 

The following of Company K died during the service : Charles Ault, 
killed at Peach Tree Creek, Ga., July 20, 1864 ; James Shepherd, killed at 
Thompson's Station, Tenn., March 15, 1863 ; Gideon F. Mattox, died at 
Richmond, Va., March 28, 1863 ; Daniel Archer, died at Pulaski, Tenn., 
April 28, 1863 ; Henry T. Crist, died at Murfreesboro, Tenn., July 25, 1863 ; 
Jackson Cooper, died at Nashville, Tenn., April 6, 1863 ; Wilson Filbert, 
died at Annapolis, Md., April 6, 1863 ; Jacob Freedley, died at Richmond, 
Va., March 27, 1863; Andrew Lawson, died at Louisville, Ky., February 6, 

1863 ; Isaac M. Listen, killed at Thompson's Station March 5, 1863 ; Dan- 
iel L. Musgrave, died at Danville, Ky., February — , 1863 ; Hiram Morris, 
died at Danville, Ky., February 10, 1863 ; Samuel R. McCoy, died at Dan- 
ville, Ky., February — , 1863 ; William H. Nelson, died at Chattanooga, 
Tenn., June 28, 1864; Lewis Slaughter, died at Nashville, Tenn., March 3, 
1863 ; Jonah Worth, died at Nicholasville, Ky. 


Company B of the Ninety-seventh Regiment was mustered mostly in 
Cla}' County, in the vicinity of Poland, but it embraced also a number from 
Owen Count}'. Upon its first organization, in the summer of 1862, the com- 
pany elected James Watt, Captain ; Luther Wolfe, at present editor of the 
Clay County Enterprise^ First Lieutenant ; and John Delgan and Andrew 
J. Coffman served as Second Lieutenants. Mr. Wolfe was afterward pro- 
moted Captain of the company. The Ninety-seventh was mustered into the 
service at Terre Haute September 20, 1862, with Robert F. Catterson as 




Colonel. It was soon ordered to the front, and proceeded to Memphis, Tenn., 
where it was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division, Seventeenth 
Army Corps. The regiment was assigned to duly near Memphis, and ac- 
companied Gen. Grant's movements toward Vicksburg by overland route. 
The army met with a disaster at Holly Springs, which delayed its move- 
ments and rendered the expedition unsuccessful. The regiment then re- 
turned to Moscow, Tenn., and remained on duty at that place until it was 
placed in Gen. Sherman's army, then in the rear of Vicksburg, watching the 
movements of the rebel General Johnston, who, with a large army, threat- 
ened to break the investing lines of the Union army and raise the siege of 
Vicksburg. On the 4th of July, 1863, Vicksburg surrendered, and Sherman's 
army at once moved toward Jackson, marching fifty miles through dust and 
heat in a country almost destitute of water. The advance guard of the army 
reached the works in front of Jackson on the 9th, and soon invested the place. 
The regiment was engaged in a constant series of skirmishes until the 16th, 
when the enem}' evacuated the place and the Union army entered the city. 
The regiment then returned to Big Black and rested for a short time. 

On the 13th of September, in pursuance of a militar}^ order to Grant 
and Sherman to send all available forces to Corinth to co-operate with Rosen- 
crans in resisting the rebels under Gen. Bragg, the regiment moved with 
its division to Memphis, and in the latter part of October entered Tuscum- 
bia, Ala. Soon after, the army was ordered to Bridgeport, and after a march 
of over four hundred miles, with little or no rest for three successive nights, 
crossed the Tennessee River and took^art in the battle of Chattanooga on 
the 25th of November, 1863. In this battle the Ninety-seventh took an 
active part and sustained the loss of a number of men in killed and wounded. 
Shortly afterward, the army moved to the relief of Gen. Burnside in East 
Tennessee. Having accomplished this result, the regiment marched with 
its column over one hundred miles, and went with its corps to Scottsboro, 
Ala., where it remained until the opening of the Atlanta campaign in May, 
1864. The Ninety-seventh was engaged around Resaca during the early 
part of May, having been assigned to the Third Brigade, Fourth Division of 
the Fifteenth Army Corps, under the command of Gen. John A. Logan. 
The movements finally culminated on the 14th and 15th of May in the battle of 
Resaca, in which the regiment participated. The battle resulted in the de- 
feat and retreat of the enemy during the night. The corps to which the 
Ninety-seventh belonged followed in pursuit of the enemy, and again en- 
countered and repulsed him at Dallas, the regiment taking part in the battle. 
On the 1st of June an encounter took place with the enemy at New Hope 
Church, and on the 15th a sharp affair was had at Big Shanty, the Ninety- 
seventh being engaged. On the 27th, an assault was made upon the enemy's 
works on Kenesaw Mountain, which resulted disastrously. On the next day, 
the army moved to Turner's Ferry and threatened the enemy's rear. The 
rebels at once abandoned their position and fell back. On the 9th, the rebel 
army crossed the Chattahoochie River. Our army marched in pursuit, and 


on the 18th the advance reached the Augusta Railway, near Decatur, de- 
stroyed the enemy's works, and then marched to Decatur. On the 22d, the 
enemy made a fierce assault along the whole Union front, and, after a san- 
guinary battle, was repulsed. In this engagement, Gen. McPherson was 
killed. The regiment was engaged in the operations around Atlanta, and 
on the 28th of Jul}' participated in one of the numerous battles in front of 
that place. Gen. Logan's Fifteenth Army Corps, to which the Ninety- 
seventh belonged, was conspicuous in this battle, being chiefl}^ engaged in 
the fight. 

On the 29th of August, the Ninety-seventh moved with its corps on the 
flanking march around Atlanta, and was engaged in the battle of Joues- 
boro. In October, the regiment joined in the pursuit of Hood, and had a 
sharp fight at Little River, Ga., on the 25th. On the 12th of November, the 
regiment started with Sherman's army on its march to the sea. On the 22d, 
it participated in the fight at Griswoldville, Ga., repulsing a large body of 
the enemy. On the 8th of December, it was again engaged at Little Ogee- 
chee River, and on the 21st entered the city of Savannah. After a short 
period of repose, the regiment moved with its corps in Sherman's army 
through the Carolinas, being present at the capture of Columbia on the 15th 
of February, 1865, and at the battle of Bentonville, N. C, on the 21st of 
March. It then moved to Goldsboro, and thence marched by the way of 
Richmond, Va., to Washington, D. C, where, on the 9th of June, 1865, it 
was mustered out of the service and its members returned to their respect- 
ive homes, having seen the cause for which it fought triumph. 

During its service, the Ninety-seventh lost in killed, 46 ; wounded, 146 ; 
died of disease, 149. It had three color bearers killed in the numerous 
battles in which it was engaged, and it marched a distance of over 3,000 
miles. The regiment returned to Indianapolis on the 13th of June, where 
it received a public reception, and was addressed by Gov. Morton and Gen. 

The following is a list of the killed and wounded in Company B, as nearly 
correct as it can be made at present : Jesse Anderson, Poland, Claj^ County, 
died at Lagrange, Tenn., January 26, 1863 ; John J. Meek, died at Camp 
Sherman, Mississippi, August 28, 1863 ; Isaac Creech, Poland, killed at 
Kenesaw June 15, 1864; William Coffman, Poland, died at Memphis, 
Tenn., October 9, 1863 ; James S. Watts, Poland, died at Nashville, Tenn., 
November 22, 1863 ; Alvin Beaman, Cataract, died at H0II3' Springs, Miss., 
January 1, 1863 ; Stephen B. Dudley, died at Louisville, Ky., February 28, 
T865 ; W. M. Fraker, died at Lagrange, Tenn., March 2, 1863 ; William 
Gaston, died at Newbern, N. C, April 18, 1865; Moses Hewett,. Poland, died 
at Lagrange, Tenn., February 17, 1863 ; Lemuel F. Hammond, died of 
wounds at Camp Sherman, Mississippi, August 6, 1863 ; James Jenkins, 
Poland, died at Keokuk, Iowa, February 26, 1863 ; Jeflferson Kelum, Poland, 
died at Paducah, Ky., August 13, 1863 ; John McCullough, Poland, died at 
Scottsboro, Ala., March 13, 1864 ; Samuel M. Nees, Poland, died at Jackson, 


Miss., Jul}' 17, 1863 ; James L. Strong, Cataract, killed at Jackson, Miss., 
July 16, 1863 ; Buren Vanhorn, Poland, died at Lagrange, Tenn., March 
14, 1863 ; James H. Young, Cataract, died at Lagrange, Tenn., January 13, 


In the summer of 1863, President Lincoln made a requisition on the 
Grovernor of Indiana for a number of six months' regiments. The war had 
been in progress for over two years, and it was hoped that the resources of 
the Southern Confederacy were so far exhausted that the war would termi- 
nate within the period of six months. One regiment was to be raised in each 
Congressional district in Indiana. Company D, of the One Hundred and 
Fifteenth Regiment, was raised in Clay Count}-, and organized b}' the elec- 
tion of Isaac W. Sanders, of Brazil, Captain ; Wesley B. Shaw, of Brazil, 
F'irst Lieutenant, and William L. Young, of Staunton, Second Lieutenant. 
The One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment was mustered into the service at 
Indianapolis August 17, 1863, with John K Mahan as Colonel. On the 
16th of September, it left Indianapolis and proceeded through Central Ken- 
tucky to Nicholasville, where it joined the command of Glen. 0. B. "Wilcox, 
then on its way to East Tennessee. The four regiments of six months men 
■were placed in a brigade, and Col, John R. Mahan assigned to the command 
of it. On the 24th of September, the regiment moved with its brigade from 
Nicholasville for Cumberland Gap, passing through Crab Orchard, Mount 
Yernon, London and Barboursville, Ky., and reaching Cumberland Gap on 
the 3d of October. Remaining there a short time, it then marched south- 
ward, passing thi'ough Tazewell and crossing the Clinch River, Clinch Mount- 
ains and Halston River, and entering Morristown on the 8th. On the 10th, 
the regiment reached Blue Springs, where the enemy was engaged and 
driven from its position on a commanding hill, and thence pursued some fif- 
teen miles. The regiment then moved to Greenville, whence, after a short 
stay, it was ordered to Bull's Gap, where it was engaged for some time in 
fortifying the mountain passes. While there the command suffered for want 
of food and clothing, the men subsisting on quarter rations, without sugar 
or coflfee, and frequently subsisting on parched corn. Many of the soldiers 
were thinly clad and without shoes, and their sufferings from exposure to 
the cold were exceedingly severe. 

From Bull's Gap the regiment moved to Clinch River, reaching Sycamore 
about the middle of December, whence it was marched to Walker's Ford. 
During the winter, the One Hundred and Fifteenth was kept on duty in the 
mountains of East Tennessee, marching almost shoeless over rough roads, 
and enduring many hardships. The result of this campaign was that the 
hospitals at Cumberland Gap were filled with sick and exhausted soldiers, 
who were subsequently transferred to Camp Nelson, and thence sent to 
Xouisville and Indianapolis. Returning to Indianapolis for discharge on the 
10th of February, the regiment was publicly welcomed by citizens at a 


reception held in tlie State house grounds on the 12th of February, 1864, 
and addressed by Gov. Morton and Gen. Carrington and Mayor Caven. In a 
few days afterward the regiment was discharged from the service. 

Company D sustained the following losses, as shown by the reports of 
the Adjutant General: Elias Steel, Clay County, died at Cumberland Gap 
December 27, 1863 ; Albert J. Boone, Clay County, died at Cumberland 
Gap December 18, 1863 ; Hiram Christopher, Clay County, died at Camp 
Nelson, Ky., December 16, 1863 ; Henry D. Hendrix, Clay County, died at 
Greenville, Tenn., October 25, 1863. 


Company E, of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment, was 
mustered in Clay County, though its officers were selected from other parts 
of the State. This regiment was formed by the consolidation of three com- 
panies raised for the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth in the Sixth Congres- 
sional District, and seven other companies raised in the Fifth Congressional 
District. The regiment rendezvoused at Richmond, and was mustered into 
the service March 10, 1864, with James Burgess as Colonel. On the 19th, 
it left Indianapolis by rail for Louisville. Thence it proceeded to Nashville, 
where it arrived on the 24th of the month, and was assigned to the division 
of Gen. Hovey. Early in April, the regiment, with its division, left Nash- 
ville and marched to Athens, Tenn. The Twenty-third Corps, to which the 
One Hundred and Twenty-fourth was assigned, arrived in front of Buzzard's 
Roost on the 8th of May. A demonstration was made by Gen. Schofield 
upon the strongly fortified position of the enemy, the regiment losing one 
killed and two wounded. A portion of Sherman's army having penetrated 
Snake Creek Gap, the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth moved with its 
division through the Gap and crossed the Oostanaula River near Tilton. The 
column then passed to the left of Resaca. On the 18th, the regiment moved 
to Calhoun. The next day it moved to the right of Kingston, skirmishing 
along the railroad. On the 21st, the regiment moved to the right,' encoun- 
tering the enemy, and brisk skirmishing ensued. The two following days 
were also passed in pressing the enemy's retiring columns. On the 25th, 
the regiment moved to Cartersville, and, throwing up temporary works, 
remained for some days. A few da^^s later, it moved to Burnt Hickory, 
where it again constructed works. On the 1st of June, the regiment moved 
by way of AUatoona, and, after sharp skirmishing, took position near Lost 
Mountain. Temporary works were constructed, and for two days sharp 
fighting was had with the enemy. The skirmish line then advanced toward 
the works of the enemy, the regiment advancing in support under a heavy 
fire of artillery and musketry. The next morning the Union forces moved 
upon the enemy's works and found them evacuated. The regiment then 
took position on the right of Kenesaw Mountain near the enemy's position, 
where it dailj' worked closer to his intrenchments, and kept up an incessant 
picket firing, greatly annoying him. On the 23d, the One Hundred and 


Twenty-fourth advanced close up to the enemj^'s works on Kenesaw Mount- 
ain, and skirmished with his sharp-sliooters. The picket-firing and skir- 
mishing continued until the morning of the 3d of Jul3% when the rebel Gen. 
Johnston, finding himself in danger of being cut off from Atlanta, suddenly- 
abandoned his strong position on Kenesaw Mountain and fell back to 
Smyrna Church. While on a march from Chattanooga to Decatur, the regi- 
ment encountered the enemy, and brisk fighting ensued, resulting in the 
defeat of the enemy and the capture of the town of Decatur. Constant 
skirmishing was kept up between the contending armies until the 21st, when 
the Union forces reached a position upon the steeps of Atlanta. On the 22d, 
the Sixteenth Army Corps, under Gren. Dodge, to whom the One Hundred 
and Twenty-fourth Regiment had been assigned, was attacked by Hardee's 
army corps. A furious fight ensued, resulting in the defeat of the rebels 
with great slaughter. The regiment then assisted in the siege of Atlanta, 
being engaged day and night digging intrenchments, or skirmishing with the 
enemy. On the 30th of August, a bold and decisive movement was made, 
resulting in the evacuation of Atlanta by the rebel army. After these oper- 
ations the regiment withdrew, with its corps, to Decatur, where it arrived on 
the 8th of September, and rested for a few weeks in pleasant quarters. On 
the 4th of October, the One Hundred and Twenty -fourth moved with its 
corps in pursuit of Hood. The enemy was encountered on the 12th, and a 
sharp battle ensued. The army then moved to Resaca. After some further 
marching and skirmishing in this section, the regiment was embarked on 
railroad cars and transported to Nashville, Tenn., where it arrived on the 9th 
of November, and was placed under command of Gren. Thomas in the 
Twenty-third Corps. Shortly afterward, the regiment moved to Pulaski. 
On the 23d, it arrived at Columbia, where it constructed temporary breast- 
works, and spent some days in skirmishing with the enemy. From this 
point the regiment, in Gren. Schofleld's command, commenced falling back, 
and had a brisk skirmish with the enemy at Spring Hill, where Company C, 
of the Ohe Hundred and Twenty-fourth, was captured by the enemy. The 
regiment then moved to Franklin, where it arrived on the morning of the 
30th, and took position in line of battle. The enemy made a number of 
assaults upon the position of the Union forces, but was each time repulsed 
with severe loss. The regiment then fell back to Nashville and took up its 
position to the right of Fort Negley, where it was employed for some weeks 
in constructing defenses. The One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment 
took part in the battle of Nashville, and afterward joined in the pursuit of 
the enemy. Early in January, 1865, the regiment marched to Cincinnati. 
Here it was transported by rail to Washington, D. C, where it embarked 
upon transports and proceeded to Morehead City, N. C, where it landed on 
the 27th of February. On the 6th of March, the regiment marched with 
Gen. Schofield's column along the railroad toward Kingston. At Wise 
Forks, the enem}' was encountered and heav}' skirmishing ensued on the first 
day. On the 9th, the enemy being greatly re-enforced, made an assault upon 


the Union forces, and, after a severe battle, was repulsed, and retreated with 
great slaughter and in much confusion. From this point the Union forces 
moved to Goldsboro, where a juncture was formed with the main body of 
Sherman's army which had marched from Atlanta after the capture of that 
place. After some further movements in this locality, the regiment was 
mustered out of the service at G-reensboro on the 31st of August, 1865, and 
at once proceeded to Indianapolis, where it arrived on the 10th of Septem- 
ber with 532 men and thirty-three oflScers. Here the regiment received a 
public reception, after which its members dispersed to their respective homes. 
The following list shows the loss in part sustained by Company E of this 
regiment during its term of service : James P. Tribble, Ashboro, died at 
Jeffersonville, Ind., December 22, 1864; Thomas J. Hadden, Sr., Brazil, 
killed at Atlanta, Ga., August 6, 1864; James T. Baum, Bowling Green, 
died "at Terre Haute, Ind., March 5, 1864; John V. K. Bowling, Terre 
Haute, died at Washington, D. C, February 27, 1865 ; Benjamin F. Boar, 
Clay County, died at Jeffersonville, Ind., June 6, 1864 ; Francis P. Bailey, 
Terre Haute, died at Chattanooga July 4, 1864 ; Thomas J. Chapman, 
Staunton, died at Knoxville, Tenn., July 9, 1864 ; Joseph S. Cox, Staunton, 
killed at Wise Fork, N. C, March 10, 1865; Thomas Deeter, Staunton, died 
of wounds at Newbern, N. C, March 12, 1865 ; Sylvester Gregor, Center 
Point, died at Louisville, Ky., February 7, 1865 ; Benjamin F. Harrell, 
Bowling Green, died at Nashville, Tenn., Ma}- 2, 1864 ; Stephen Jaycox, 
died at Knoxville, Tenn., July 11, 1864 ; Andrew J. Loyd, Bowling Green, 
died at Terre Haute, Ind., March 13, 1864 ; William A. Monce, Bowling 
Green, died at Nashville, Tenn., January 12, 1865 ; William Monce, Bowling 
Green, died at home March 3, 1864 ; Daniel Melton, Ashboro, died at Fort- 
ress Monroe March 16, 1865 ; Reuben E. Overton, died at Chattanooga, 
Tenn., September 20, 1864 ; John F. Hardin, Clay County, died at Knox- 
ville, Tenn., June 9, 1864 ; William M. Smith, Staunton, died at Nashville, 
Tenn., January 30, 1865 ; William L. Siner, Harmony, died at Washington, 
D. C, February 17, 1865. 


This was a one-year regiment, and was organized under a call made in 
December, 1864, for eleven regiments from the State of Indiana. Company 
B was recruited entirely in Clay County, and its members were largely en- 
listed in the vicinity of Bowling Green. Its first Captain was Thomas B. 
Reeder, of Bowling Green, who was afterward^ promoted Major. William 
H. Boothe and John Hoffa, both of Bowling Green, were afterward succes- 
sively elected Captains of the company, and both of these gentlemen had 
formerly served as Lieutenants. James Willigman, of Bowling Green, was 
Second and First Lieutenant of the company at different times, and Jeptha 
D. Porter, of Bowling Green, also filled the office of Second Lieutenant. 
The whole regiment was recruited in the Seventh Congressional District, and 
was oroanized at Indianapolis on the 1st day of March, 1865, with William 


H. Fairbanks as Colonel. Immediately after its organization, it was ordered 
to the seat of war, and left for Nashville, and was a few weeks afterward 
sent to Decatur, Ala., in which vicinity it did duty until it was mustered 
out of the service. While stationed at that place, the regiment received the 
surrender of the rebel forces commanded by Gens. Roddy and Polk, to- 
gether with large quantities of arms and munitions of war. On the 18th of Sep- 
tember it proceeded to Nashville, Tenn., where it was mustered out on the 
27th of September, 1865, by reason of the war being ended. It saw less 
service than many other regiments, but it did the duty assigned it well, and 
returned home with an honorable record. It arrived at Indianapolis in a 
few days after its muster-out, with thirty-five officers and 870 men, where it 
met with a public reception and was addressed by a number of distin- 
guished men, after which it was finally discharged. The One Hundred and 
Forty-ninth Regiment also contained a number of Clay County men in Com- 
panies A, D, and F, besides Company B, all of whom were from Clay 


Company D, of this regiment, was composed largely of Clay County 
men. The regiment was composed of five companies, two of which were 
recruited in the Seventh Congressional District. The battalion was organ- 
ized at Indianapolis on the 12th day of April, 1865, with Charles M. Smith 
as Colonel. On the 27th of April, it left Indianapolis and proceeded to 
Harper's Ferry, and during its term of service was engaged in the Shenan- 
doah Valley. On the 4th of August, 1865, it was mustered out of the serv- 
ice at Winchester, Va., and returned home, arriving at Indianapolis on the 
7th, with seventeen officers and 380 men for final discharge. After attend- 
ing a public reception at the Capitol grounds, it marched to Camp Curring- 
ton, where it was finally discharged. It was a one-year regiment, but owing 
to the closing of the war was retained in the service only a little over three 
months. The regiment lost a number of men in the service. 


This company was also furnished from Clay County. It elected for its 
officers Ezra Olds, Captain ; Isaac W. Sawders, First Lieutenant ; and David 
C. Stunkard, Second Lieutenant, all of whom were from Brazil. The reo^i- 
ment enlisted for 100 days, but served for nearly six months. The regiment 
was mustered into the service at Indianapolis on the 17th day of May, 1864, 
with Robert V. Hudson, of Terre Haute, Colonel. It left at once for Nash- 
ville, Tenn., whence, after a short stay, it was ordered to Bowling Green, 
Ky.. where it remained on duty for some weeks. From that place, it went 
to Bridgeport, Ala., in which place and vicinity it was engaged during the 
largest part of its term of service, doing guard duty and encounterino- the 
enemy in a number of brisk skirmishes. The regiment lost a number of 
men during its term of service, mostly by sickness. It saw a great deal of 
hard service, though it was not engaged in much hard fighting. 



There were also numbers of Clay County men in the Eleventh Indiana 
and in the Thirteenth Indiana, as well as many others in other regiments, 
not credited to the county, and whose names therefore cannot be known 
after the lapse of so long a period of time. Also the Fourteenth Indiana 
contained some of the best soldiers that Clay County furnished. In this 
regiment, a large part of the Bowling Green Band enlisted as musicians. 
This regiment passed through a number of toilsome campaigns and hard- 
fought battles. Peter Schaffer, of Poland, who was a member of this regi- 
ment, was killed at the first battle of Winchester, Va. 

We have endeavored in the foregoing narrative to give a brief history of 
each regiment that contained any considerable number of Clay County men. 
The county perhaps furnished as many soldiers as any county in the State, 
in proportion to its population at that time. It appears, from the best 
authority obtainable, that there were about 2,000 enlistments from Clay 
Count}^ during the progress of the war. The county was generally prompt 
in meeting the calls for troops, and, with two exceptions, her quotas were 
filled without resort being had to drafts. The first draft occurred in Octo- 
ber, 1862. The officers of the draft were Hezekiah Wheeler, Commissioner ; 
A. P. Boyer, Marshal; Dr. J. N. Wardlow, Surgeon. October 17, 1863, 
there was a call for troops. Clay County's quota being 141, which was filled 
without draft. There were calls made in February, March and July of 1864, 
the quota for this county, for all three calls, being 679 men. It was met 
b}' 418 enlistments, 107 re-enlistments as veterans, and 129 men were drafted, 
leaving a deficit of 25. There were a number of other calls which were 
promptly met. 


The amount of money expended in Clay County for local bounties, re- 
lief of soldiers' families and miscellaneous military purposes during the war, 
is shown by the following tabulated statement. 

The Commissioners of the county appropriated $85,000, and the several 
townships made the following appropriations in addition : 

Posey Township $5,000 

Dick Johnson Township 3,500 

Van Bmen Township 4,000 

Jackson Township 2,000 

Perry Township 2,000 

Lewis Township 2,500 

Harrison Township 6,000 

Washington Township 5,000 

Cass Township -. 1,500 

Sugar Ridge Township 1,200 

. This makes a grand total of $115,000. In addition to these public 
donations, a large amount was raised through the instrumentalit}^ of chaH- 
table societies, of which one existed in almost every school district, under 
the name of Soldiers' Aid Societies. 






While the army of the North was at the front fighting the battles of the 
nation, it will be remembered that it did not receive the united support of 
the people whose cause it was endeavoring to maintain. No lines could be 
drawn which would define the geographical limits of the North and the 
South. The spirit of secession throughout the nation was like the leaven 
in the loaf ; it had penetrated the whole mass, and even those sections the 
most remote from Southern interests and influences were infected with the 
rebel sentiment. From the very beginning, there was a strong element in 
the Northern States opposed to the war whose conduct was rather calculated 
to encourage the rebellion than to suppress it. It may be only charitable to 
suppose that, at first, a majority of this class opposed the war rather out of 
humanitarian motives, and to avoid what they believed to be an unwarrant- 
ed shedding of blood than from any sympathy they may have felt for the 
cause of the seceded States. Many of this class were doubtless conscien- 
tious in opposing the war, and were in favor of the G-overnment adopting any 
plan to put a stop to it. They were willing to let the South secede, and to 
see the Union dissolved ; they were willing to allow the Southern States to 
return to the Union with or without slavery ; in fine, they were in favor of 
making any concessions, without regard to the honor and welfare of the 
nation that would end the war. 

The sentiment against this class was very bitter, perhaps unjustifiably 
so. The war party recognized no middle ground, and would tolerate no 
excuse for refusing to support the administration in the prosecution of the 
war. " He who is not for us is against us," was a maxim in those days, and 
every man opposed to the prosecution of the war was treated as a disloyal 
subject. In many instances, the arrogance of the war party amounted to 
persecution. Persons opposed to the war were subject to constant indignity 
and insult, and surrounded b}' a social and even religious ostracism, which 
was calculated to intensify their opposition to the war rather than to win 
them to its support. The controversy invaded the social system ; was car- 
ried into the schools ; broke up churches, and engendered bitterness between 
friends and neighbors, until it seemed the opposing elements onh' lacked 
organization to bring them together in martial array. Many of the 
peace party had lost near relatives in the Union army, and the}' regarded 
them as unnecessary sacrifices, which might have been avoided had concili- 
atory measures been adopted at the outset. After this class had been per- 
secuted by the war party through a period of years — for what at first was 
an honest opinion — they had learned to hate the administration so bitterly 
that anything would have pleased them better than to see it succeed 
in conquering the rebellious States. This, however, was not the worst class 
of opponents of the administration. There was, in every Northern State, a 
large element whose instincts inclined them to sympathize with the South. 
They were rebels at heart, and hoped from the outset to see the contest ter- 
minate favorably to the Southern confederac}'. They denounced the war as 


a war of invasion and conquest, which was being waged without right, and 
in violation of every instinct of justice and humanity. The^^ did every- 
thing in their power to render the war unpopular with the people ; to dis- 
courage enlistments ; to resist drafts, and to destroy the power and authority 
of the Government. This class generally, for many years prior to the war, had 
stood upon the same political platform with the States in rebellion. They had 
fought many a political campaign side by side with them ; they had contended 
for the supremacy of the same principles, and voted for the same candidates 
before the war, and why should they desert them now? They did not. Not that 
any part of the Northern people had any interest in the struggle in common 
with the people of the South ; but the tie which bound them together was 
rather a political one, strengthened by long years of cultivation and growth. 
It was one of those instances in which devotion to party was stronger than 
devotion to the country. While the Union army was standing between the 
country and its enemies, to meet and roll back the advancing tide of rebell- 
ion, these very men, whose property and homes were being protected, were 
holding secret meetings, organizing plots and conspiracies against the Grovern- 
ment, and doing all in their power to embarrass the administration in the 
successful prosecution of the war. In some instances, this disloyal element 
went to the extent of procuring arms, drilling under cover of secrecy, and 
in several places in Indiana uprisings of armed insurrection were actually 
planned, but happily thwarted by the vigilance of the Union authorities 
before they had been carried far toward execution. The opposition to the 
administration in most places was organized into what was known as the 
Knights of the Golden Circle and Sons of Liberty. Clay County was no 
exception to the general rule, and here this disloyal spirit flourished to its 
highest extent, and brought forth its accustomed fruits. 


When it was seen that war was inevitable, the supporters of the cause 
set to work vigorously to create a sentiment in favor of the Union and to 
encourage enlistments. War meetings became common. Schoolhouses and 
churches, court houses and all available buildings were used as places for 
holding public meetings. One of the first and most noted meetings of this 
character held in Brazil was in a frame church which stood just south of 
Main street, in the early part of August, 1861. About that time, the people 
became thoroughly excited and alarmed over the situation. The war had 
been in progress for some months ; several battles of more or less impor- 
tance had been fought, and the sickening details of bloodshed were constantly 
in the ears of the people. Everybod}^ was anxious to hear the great issues 
then before the country discussed. The simple announcement of a public 
meeting was sufficient to draw together a large part of the people of a whole 
community. On this occasion, the house was literally jammed. Hon. D. 
E. Williamson, now an attorney at Greencastle, was announced as the 
speaker.* By some means, it so transpired that Hon. D. W. Voorhees, then 


a member of Congress, was present, and was called upon for a speech. He 
responded, and charged the entire responsibility for the war upon the Re- 
publican party. He asserted that the rt'bellion never would be put down 
by force of arms, and staked his reputation upon the ultimate failure of the 
Union cause. His speech created great indignation, and many who had been 
his former friends and supporters retired from the meeting, determined in 
the future to pay their allegiance to the party of the administration. Mr. 
Williamson afterward spoke, and at the conclusion of the meeting a number 
of recruits were raised. Col. Teter, though at the time a Democrat, was a 
strong supporter of the Union cause, and made a number of speeches advo- 
cating the prosecution of the war. 

Perhaps the most vigorous local worker in the cause was Maj. W. W. 
Carter. He canvassed the whole county, accompanied by a martial band, 
and held war meetings and made speeches in almost every schoolhouse and 
church in the county. A large meeting of this character was' held in 1862 
on the farm at Alfred West, south of Staunton, which was attended by the 
whole neighborhood. It was addressed by Col. G-raft Cookerly, of Terre 
Haute, and Maj. Carter. At the conclusion of the meeting, the usual call 
for enlistments was made, and a large number responded. Similar meet- 
ings were held at all the small towns in the county. The lai-ge attendance 
which was always present at such meetings indi cated that the people were 
wrought up to a- high degree of enthusiasm. Enlistments became common, 
and to see the 3'oung men donning the uniform of their country and leaving 
the farm for the army became a thing of almost daily occurrence. But, in 
proportion as the enthusiasm of the war party kindled, the opposition in- 
creased in bitterness. It became almost impossible to hold a public gath- 
ering of any kind whose tranquility was not disturbed by broils and fights. 
Even religious gatherings were frequently interrupted by political fights, and 
many congregations were entirely broken up on account of the political dis- 
sension that existed among them. 


During the progress of the war, the Northern sympathizers with the rebel 
cause acquired the appellation of " Butternuts," a term which was probably 
applied to them on account of the resemblance in color between the butter- 
nut and the rebel uniform. As many organizations and classes of men had 
done before them, they afterward adopted the name which had been ap- 
plied to them by their enemies in derision and contempt, and so far from 
the name being regarded by them as a reproach, it became their especial 
pride. The butternut was adopted as the emblem of secession, and pins 
made of that material were extensively worn to show sympathy for the 
rebel cause. The wearing of these butternut breastpins became a prolific 
source of contention, and many riots, in which more or less blood was shed, 
resulted from the custom. Whenever a war man encountered a Butternut, 
he felt it his bounden duty to tear the disloyal emblem from his person. 


which in those times was regarded as the greatest insult that could be in- 
flicted. One instance is related to have transpired, either in this county, or 
in the edge of Putnam, where a pin of this kind was torn from the coat of 
the wearer, in church, during the progress of meeting. The usual riot fol- 
lowed, to the great annoyance of religious services, if indeed it did not break 
the meeting up altogether. On one occasion a Democratic Count}" Conven- 
tion was in progress in the court house at Bowling Green. A number of 
soldiers happened to be at home, on furlough, at the time, and many citi- 
zens of war proclivities chanced to be in town during the day. At the 
close of the convention, the usual catalogue of disloyal resolutions was pre- 
sented for ratification. They would, doubtless, have been ratified without a 
dissenting voice had not an outside influence interfered to prevent it. It 
so transpired that the men of the opposite party got information of what 
was going on, and man}' repaired to the court house to witness the proceed- 
ings. Maj. Carter happened to come in. He was at once called upon b}' 
the war men for a speech. He responded in a speech of some length, en- 
deavoring to illustrate the odiousness of such a proceeding. He denounced 
the resolutions as treasonable in the rankest degree, and poured out much 
vituperation upon the heads of the authors of the resolutions. The situ- 
ation became exceedingly interesting. A warm time was evidently brewing. 
One by one, the members of the convention began to drop out, and one by 
one the war men began to come in, until, at the close of Maj. Carter's speech, 
the meeting had undergone a complete transformation, and instead of being 
an anti-war convention passing treasonable resolutions, it had become a 
loyal meeting, raising cheers for the Union. 

The most positive demonstration of disloyalty, however, occurred in the 
early part of July, 1863. About that time, John Morgan, with a rebel 
force of about 5,000 men, had invaded Indiana. Relying upon assistance 
from the anti-war element in this State, he hoped to accomplish serious 
damage to the Union cause here, and perhaps effect the conquest of the 
State. At that time, the treasonable organizations in this State had reached 
their most effective development. Large numbers of men are believed to 
have been armed and under effective discipline. A general insurrection was 
planned, which was to be carried into execution as soon as Morgan's raid 
had progressed far enough to insure its success. 

In this affair the Butternuts of this vicinity were not behind their 
brethren in other localities. 

About this time, movements were set in operation for the organization of 
a rebel auxiliary force, to be drawn from the northern part of this county 
and from the Raccoon regions of Parke County. A place of rendezvous 
was established in Van Buren Township, on the farm of John Trump. Re- 
cruits came pouring in from all points of the compass, and soon a force, es- 
timated at 500 armed men, was collected. In this place they remained for 
about two days, concealing as far as possible their movements. The Union 
people got information of the remarkable gathering, however, and prepara- 


tions for resistance were begun without delay. It was understood that the 
force was to advance upon Brazil and take possession of the place. They 
had gone so far as to have made arrangements for hay and corn for their 
horses, when they should establish their quarters in Brazil. The blood of 
the Union people began to boil at these proceeding and they determined to 
oppose the movement even though bloodshed should result. Great excite- 
ment existed, and it was feared that the atfair would not only result in the 
loss of life, but that in the riot and confusion which should follow a conflict, 
the town would be set on fire, and a general destruction of property would 

At this time there were two companies of soldiers, of limited experience 
in actual warfare, in Brazil, and these, together with such other forces as 
could be improvised for the occasion, were all that could be mustered for 
the defense of the town. The two companies were the Home Guards, com- 
manded by Capt. Carne}', and the Brazil Guards, commanded by Capt. Olds. 
Both companies were armed with regulation guns provided by the Govern- 

The Union forces having got information of the intended movements of 
the attacking force, put themselves in readiness to repel them. It was ascer- 
tained that upon a certain day the attack upon the town was to be made. 
Word was sent to Gov. Morton, who at once dispatched Gen. Streight to 
come here and take command of aflfairs. The attacking forces were separat- 
ed into two divisions. The Eastern division, consisting of about 300 men, 
were to come in from the East, and the Western division were to make the 
attack on the west of the town, both divisions acting simultaneously. 

The Union force was arranged to resist both divisions as best it might. 
The Home Guards,' numbering about 100 men, were to encounter the Eastern 
division, and the Brazil Guards, with a force of citizens, were to meet the 
Western division. Gen. Streight arrived on the morning of the contemplated 
attack, and proceeded without delay, accompanied by D. C. Stunkard, to 
meet and parley with the Eastern division, and if possible to persuade and 
intimidate them from their purpose. He advanced to their lines and began 
to parley with them. A gun was drawn upon him, but the General coolly 
remarked that he had had whole regiments of guns pointed at him, and 
went on with his speech. He advised them not to attempt to come into 
Brazil, for if they did they would be met by a resolute resistance, and 
bloodshed would inevitably result. It appears his warnings had the de- 
sired effect. At any rate, the insurrectionists dispersed and were seen no 
more. Returning to town, the General, accompanied by Eli Hendrix, re- 
paired to the camp of the Western division, and held a similar parley with 
them, which had a similar result. The exact object that the movement was 
designed to accomplish has never been entirely understood. Many believe 
that, acting in concert with other organizations of a similar character 
throughout the State, the purpose was to march to meet and form a junct- 
ure with John Morgan, and assist in turning the State over to the rebels. 


Others are of the opinion that the movement had no definite purpose at all, 
but was simply gotten up as a demonstration of hostility to the war, to dis- 
play the power of the opposition and to intimidate the Union authorities. 
Be that as it may, the movement had comparatively a harmless termination, 
and, from the readiness with which it yielded to opposition, it may reasonably 
be presumed that nothing really serious was contemplated. 

But notwithstanding these dissensions, the return of peace was hailed 
with almost universal joy. After long years of conflict in the field, with 
contention and anxiety at home, it seemed as if the climax in the great con- 
test had been reached and passed. The end of the war seemed to be ap- 
proaching. The hopes of the people were almost daily refreshed with the 
news of victory, and it seemed that a few more months would restore peace 
to the long-distracted nation, with a Union more effectual and enduring, and 
a constitution more fully consecrated to Liberty. And so it proved to be. 
The seceded States felt that their cause was lost, the spirit of the rebellion was 
effectually broken, and the armies reluctantly laid down their arms and re- 
turned to their allegiance to the Union. Soon the long absent ones, emaciated 
by exposure and sickness, tanned by southern suns and begrimed by the 
dust and smoke of battle, began to return, and were once more restored to 
their friends and families. But though many years have rolled over since 
the last gun of the rebellion was fired and its last sword surrendered at 
Appomattox, time has not yet obliterated from the minds of men the mem- 
ory of that mighty contest, nor worn from the face of society the marks of 
its avenging blows. 


Clay County furnished two companies for the Mexican war. The first 
military experience had by the men of Indiana was in this war. Company 
D, Second Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, was raised in this county in the 
vicinity of Bowling Glreen. The regiment was mustered into the service at 
Terre Haute in July, 1846, with John Osborn, of Bowling Green, Captain; 
Allen T. Rose, First Lieutenant, and John T. Alexander and Joshua Moore, 
Second Lieutenants. The regiment was commanded by Col. Jim Lane. Im- 
mediately after being mustered in, the regiment was transported to the field, 
of operations, and, at different periods of the war, fought under the com- 
mand of Gens. Taylor and Scott, participating in many of the most san- 
guinary battles of the war. After an honorable record, the regiment re- 
turned home in the early spring of 1848, after the close of the war. 

Company H, Fourth Regiment Indiana Infantry. — This company had the 
following officers : Mr. Cochran, Captain, Terre Haute ; Mr. Cole, First 
Lieutenant. John Mullen, of Vigo County, and Mr. Lee, of Vigo, were 
elected its Second Lieutenants. The Colonel was Mr. Gorman, of Bloom- 
ington, and Gen. Dumont was elected Lieutenant Colonel. The regiment 
was mustered into the service in June, 1847, at Terre Haute, and started at 
once for Mexico, where it was placed in the command of Gen. Taylor. It 



yfSLS engaged in the battles of Humantley, Puebla, Atlixico, and participated 
in a large number of sieges and skirmishes of greater or less importance. 
At Vera Cruz it was transferred to the command of Gen. Scott, and in the 
brigade commanded by Gen. Jim Lane. The regiment was stationed at 
Puebla, as a garrison, from November, 1847, to March, 1848, at which time, 
the war having been brought to a termination, it was sent home and dis- 
charged, after an honorable service of nearlj^ two years. 

When the war of the rebellion broke out in 1861, many of the veterans 
of the Mexican war were among the first to enlist, and became useful sol- 
diers on account of their practical knowledge of military aflfairs. Many, 
however, had passed that period of their lives at which their services to the 
country were useful, and remained at home, interested spectators of passing 
events, but generally with their sympathies and influence on the side of 
their country. 




^ I ^HE National road, traversing Indiana from east to west, in open- 
-J- ing to the ambitious Eastern emigrant the boundless and undevel- 
oped West, deserves particular mention in that splendid system of inter- 
nal improvements in which the statesmanship of the days of Clay and 
Webster has its most enduring monument. It became at once a thorough- 
fare for a large proportion of Eastern enterprise traveling westward in 
the accomplishment of a noble purpose. But while contributing to the 
development of what is more truly the West, it opened up to a class of 
thrifty, energetic settlers,the rich fields of the Hoosier State, for many miles 
on either side. It also led to the establishment of numerous towns and 
villages that proved to be convenient trading points to settlers as well as 
to the tens of thousands, who, in covered wains, pushed on, in their 
dream of home and wealth, to the more remote territories beyond. Many 
of these towns and villages became important trading points and popu- 
lous commercial marts before the near approach of the railroad caused 
them to be almost, if not entirely, abandoned. The National road has 
long since been superseded by parallel railway lines as the highway of 
Western emigration; and while it is kept in tolerable repair for the most 
part, it is a thing of the past, as scores of dilapidated or deserted trad- 
ing points, scattered along its route, indicate; thus pointing clearly to 
one characteristic by which the present age is distinguished from its 
predecessors. But not all of these National road towns have disap- 
peared. Some, being on the route of the railroad, became important 
railroad centers, populous cities and marts of trade, and are glorious with 
promise of the future. Among these are Richmond, Indianapolis, the 
ambitious capital city, and Terre Haute, the beautiful city of the prairie, 
through all of which the road forms the principal street. 

Brazil is a National road city; that is, the National road forms her princi- 
pal street, and she doubtless owes something of her early growth to the road; 
but her origin cannot be traced to this fact wholly. Har mony had been laid 
out about the year 1840, and, even prior to this, Willi amtown, four miles 
west of Brazil, was at that time the trading point for the surrounding 
country for many miles in all directions. The only important crossing 
where it seemed a town might be located was the junction of the Na- 
tional and Rockville, Bowling Green and Spencer State roads, two miles 



west of Brazil, where the well-known Kennedy tavern, still standing, 
was built about the year 1824. Perhaps the only reason why a town 
was never located there was the fact that Mr. Kennedy was sole pro- 
prietor of 200 acres of valuable farming land centering there, and 
did not wish to part with it for even that purpose. Brazil owes her ex- 
istence to the faith and enterprise of her founder, Mr. Owen Thor-pe. 
Mr. Thorpe was not pleased with the outlook before Harmony, and not- 
ing a lack of that energy at Will iamstown which the times seemed to de- 
mand, he purchased, in 1838 or 1839, a tract of land lying between Me- 
ridian and Factory streets in the present city of Brazil, and extending 
from the Vandalia Railroad on the south to Morton street on the north. 
What is now Meridian street was a part of a county road that inter- 
sected the Rockville & Bowling Green road a few miles south of the 
city, and was thus a minor and unimportant thoroughfare. Mr. Thorpe 
was pleased with the vision that opened before him, however, and time 
has but demonstrated the wisdom of his faith. 

Brazil, as originally laid out by Mr. Thorpe, January 4, 1844, con- 
sisted of twenty-eight lots, beginning with the southeast corner of Main 
and Meridian streets, and extending as far east as Madison, now Wal- 
nut. The northern boundary was Jefferson street, and the southern 
Jackson, An addition was made to the original plat January 9, 1845, 
reaching a tier of lots north of Church street, thence east to Walnut. 
Lots 29 and 30, on the first of which Turner's Hall now stands, as well 
as Lots 31 to 33, on the former of which the Commercial Bank now 
stands, were a part of the addition. In laying out the original plat, Mr. 
Thorpe appeared before John Osborne, a Justice of the Peace, and tes- 
tified as to its being his voluntary act. Jesse Mclntire was then County 
Recorder. In his addition, Mr. Thorpe donated Lot 42 for school pur- 
poses. The lot was about forty feet square, and was at the southeast 
corner of Church and Walnut streets. A log building was erected on 
the lot in the same year by private donations, the only outlay of cash be- 
ing $4.45, the cost of glass and nails. This building was designed for 
Bchoolhouse, church house and town hall; but it was used mostly by the 
Methodists as a house of worship until the erection of their frame^ edi- 
fice in 1858. This was the lay of the town until gradually extended 
east and west by the addition of John Hendrix, Sr. , and others, the 
first being in 1857. At the time of the incorporation as a town in 1866, 
South Meridian and North Franklin were the thoroughfares north and 

The name of Brazil was suggested by Mr. William Stewart, famil- 
iarly known as "Yankee Bill." When approached for his suggestions 
concerning a name, he was reading a copy of the New York Herald, in 
which was an account of interesting occurrences in Brazil, South Amer- 
ica. This fact suggested to Mr. Stewart the name by which the town was 


called. The name seems to have been happy. At that time there was 
perhaps no other post office by that name in the United States, and its 
infrequency now preserves its identity. It might have been named after 
some one of its early settlers; but no one was more deserving than Mr. 
Thorpe himself, and while his name shall be preserved on the page of his- 
tory, we should all be glad the town was not named Thorpville,or even 
Thorp sburg. 


The first settler in the vicinity of what is now Brazil was Mr. James 
Campbell, who entered a quarter section of Government land in 1838, 
the site of his log cabin beiDg where the old Hendrix homestead now 
stands. The next settlers were Reuben Yocum and his son James; 
John S. Yocum, who in 1835 was Justice of the Peace in Dick Johnson 
Township; James Hull, Dr. W. H. Gifford, Jonathan Croasdale, Dr. A. 
W. Knight, in whose honor Knightsville is named, Solomon Hicks, 
Kile Kirtley and others. 

In 1845, John Hendrix, Sr., moved to Brazil from Centerville, Wayne 
County, purchasing the Campbell farm. Mr. Hendrix erected the same 
year a blacksmith and wagon shop at the northwest corner of Main and 
Meridian streets. He disposed of his shop in 1852 to his sons Eli and 
John, who kept the business up at the old stand till 1878. The Hendrix 
corner is the best known business stand in the county, especially among 
farmers, whose wants have been supplied there for nearly forty years. 

Brazil existed as a trading point, however, even before the laying-out 
of the town. In 1838, Owen Thorpe opened up a general store on the 
southeast corner of Main and Meridian streets. He was succeeded shortly 
afterward by James Rose, who brought a stock of merchandise from 
Bowling Green. Next came John Witty, from Pleasant Garden, who 
sold out to Thomas Harvey, of Bowling Green. Olds & Brackney had 
also dealt in dry goods and gi-oceries. In 1840, the first tavern of the 
place was erected by Kile Kirtley. The building is still standing at the 
northeast corner of Main and Meridian streets. 


The order of the Board of Commissioners constituting Brazil an in- 
corporate town bears date of September 1, 1866, The application, ac- 
cording to the official account, was signed by " D. W. Bridges, T. M. 
Robertson, et al.," including, in compliance with the law, at least one- 
third of the legal voters of the territory, which latter included 189 acres, 
extending from Desart street on the west to Lambert on the east, and 
from Morton on the north to the Vandalia road on the south. The fol- 
lowing are the names of the streets: Main, Jackson, Knight, Church, 
Methodist, Morton, Desart, Atlantic, Sherman, Grant, Depot, Meridian, 
Lincoln, Franklin, Washington, Factory, Cass, Lambert, McDonald and 


Front. The order called a'meefcing of the voters " in the frame church 
house on Lot 6, Brackuey's Addition to the town of Brazil, on the first 
Monday in October, 1866, for the purpose of determining by ballot 
whether or not the said territory shall be incorporated. " The proceed- 
ings were published in the Brazil Independent Home Weekly, then but 
recently established by Rev. A. Wright. Mr. Joseph P. Liston was 
President of the Board of Commissioners, and the transcript has the 
signature of Mr. George M. Wiltse, then Auditor of the county. 

On the day appointed for the election, Messrs. I. M. Compton, E. 
Montgomery and I. W. Sanders were qualified as Inspectors, with Mr. 
Montgomery as Clerk; 141 votes were cast, of which 132 were in favor 
and 9 opposed. The proper returns were made to the Commissioners at 
their December term of court, through Maj. W. W. Carter. The town 
was divided December 6 into three districts, and at the same time an 
election was ordered to be held "at the law office of Mr. I. M. Compton, 
on Lot 1, in Mr. John Hendrix, Sr.'s, First Addition to the town of Brazil, 
December 18, 1866, for the purpose of electing one School Trustee, one 
Trustee for each of the three districts, one Clerk, one Marshal and As- 
sessor and one Treasurer for said town, to serve until the first Monday in 
May, 1867, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified." 
The total vote polled was 122. The election resulted as follows: Trust 
ees, First District, J. G. Ackelmire; Second, Jacob Thomas; Third, 
Thomas Desart; School Trustee, Evelyn Montgomery; Treasurer, Eli 
Hendrix; Clerk, Dillon W. Bridges; Marshal and Assessor, Samuel Hol- 
lingsworth. The Board of Trustees met in Mr. Compton's office imme- 
diately after the election, and qualified. Mr. Desart was made Chair- 
man, a position which he filled for three consecutive years. At a meeting 
of the board held December 27, an order of business was adopted, and on 
the 29th ordinances from one to five were passed. The ordinances, from 
the exigencies of the case, were quite elaborate, and covered the general 
points of municipal government. 


Meanwhile, the celebrated block coal, which has given Brazil a nation- 
al fame, had been discovered in rich deposits underlying northern and 
western Clay County. The coal at once attracted attention by its adapt- 
ability to manufacturing as well as domestic purposes. Prof. Cox, then 
State Geologist, in his report in 1871, gives the following analysis of 
the coal: Specific gravity, 1,296; weight of one cubic foot, 81 pounds; 
fixed carbon, 55.25; ashes, 1.50; coke, 56.75; gas, 39.85; water, 3; 
total volatile matter, 43.25; color of ashes, white. Concerning its ex- 
tent, he says: " The entire coal area of Clay County comprises about 300 
square miles, or 192,000 acres; and the total depth of coal over this area 
is twenty- eight feet nine inches. This depth of coal will give as the 


product of one acre 10,500 tons of coal, or, for the entire area, over 
2,000,000,000,000 tons." The block coal mined in this vicinity has 
creditably emerged from every test to which it has been put, and has 
even come off best when compared with the boasted products of other 
fields; while its extent is simply inexhaustible. Prof. Cox places the 
latter modestly, although it was then accurate enough ; but when two 
layers were discovered under the first, as was the case before his next 
report was published, he admitted the half had not been told. Coal has 
since been discovered and is being profitably mined in various and wide- 
ly separated parts of the county- Coal shipments began in 1853, when 
Messrs. Weaver & Olds disposed of a car load to Indianapolis purchas- • 
ers. The coal was hauled from Otter Creek, where it was stripped, by 
horses and oxen, and the car was loaded on the side track of the Terre 
Haute & Richmond Railroad in the city. It was regarded as quite an 
achievement to ship a whole car load of coal at once. Mr, D. C. Stunk- 
ard, who was then in business in Brazil, enlarged his stock so as to in- 
clude coal, which for two or three years he bought and sold in large 
quantities. Among the early operators were Henry Earnheart, John 
Weaver, Ezra Olds, Prof. Lawrence (formerly State Geologist of Massa- 
chusetts), Indianapolis Rolling Mill Company, John Kennedy, William 
Kennedy and John Andrews. These men were the pioneer coal operators 
in this district. The excellent quality of the coal, with the enterprise 
of the operators, conspired to make Brazil well known at that early day, 
and in 1845 the outlook was favorable for the development of the miner- 
al and the consequent growth of the town. But this was not to be at 
once. The times of panic set in in 1854, when business generally was 
paralyzed throughout the country by the uncertain and fluctuating value 
of moneys then in circulation. Following this came the war. The coal 
interests revived, however, in 1863. Daring this year, Mr. Samuel 
Strain and Messrs. John and Alexander Crawford leased ground of Dr. 
A. W. Knight where Knightsville now stands, and operated successfully 
a shaft; while at about this time Mr. John Andrews succeeded in induc- 
ing men familiar with mining to come here from Scotland. As a result, 
Brazil began to build up. Without interruption, the coal interests have 
advanced, until now, within the district, there are scores of mines, shafts 
and slopes, that are operated by over 3,000 miners. The mines are 
reached by the north and south branches or coal roads, the property of 
the Vandalia, and each several miles in length. The shipments now 
amount to about 5,000 cars a month, in handling which five engines 
are constantly employed. The Vandalia has also a second track from 
Brazil to Knightsville, connecting the coal roads, and enabling the com- 
pany to handle the vast shipments without interfering with the other 
business of the road. 



The excellency of the Brazil block coal for smelting iron led to the 
estalishment of furnaces, rolling mills and foundries, which entitle 
Brazil to rank beside Pittsburgh and other large manufacturing centers. 
The pioneer of these enterprises is the blast furnace in Brazil. This 
was erected and put in operation in 1867. The record regarding it on the 
minutes of the Town Council bears date of May 17, when Messrs. D. C. 
Stunkard and George P, Shaw, in behalf of the ludianopolis Furnace & 
Mining Company, petitioned for the right-of-way on Grant street for a 
switch. The petition was granted, '* after due deliberation," according 
to the record, " for the purpose of securing the greatest good to the 
greatest number, and believing that centralized capital invested as the 
company propose will be conducive to that end, not only by furnishing 
employment to a large number of laboring men, mechanics and others, 
but by bringing to light and testing the value of our mineral wealth, 
which might not be done even in this century, if centralized capital is 
not encouraged to locate in our midst." The principal stockholders 
were Messrs. D. M. Root and Daniel Yandes, of Indianapolis, and 
Messrs. D. C. Stunkard, George P. Shaw and others, of Brazil, the cap- 
ital being $150,000. It was put in successful operation in eight or nine 
months, and was run with profit for a short time when it shut down, 
with perhaps no other motive than to afford opportunity for the larger 
stockholders to gobble up the smaller. During the period of its idle- 
ness, Mr. Yandes died, Mr. Root became insolvent, the iron market stag- 
nated, and the price of pig iron materially declined as a result of the re- 
duction in the tariff. The furnace finally fell into the hands of Messrs. 
Garlic & Collins. It is now operated by the Central Iron & Steel Com- 
pany, who purchased it in 1882 for about $20,000. The furnace has a 
capacity of twenty- four tons a day. Its original success led to the es- 
tablishment of other furnaces in Knightsville and on Otter Creek, on the 
correct theory that the location of all such manufactories is in the vicin- 
ity of fuel, it being more practical to ship the ore. These fui'naces have 
all gone down, with the exception of the one in Brazil, the result of 
causes in themselves natural, and not at all connected with the facilities 
afforded by this locality. 


Brazil was incorporated as a city in May, 1873, her population being 
estimated at 3,200. The oflSlcers were as follows: Mayor, J. G. Ackle- 
mire; Clerk, Joseph L. Hussey; Treasurer, John Stewart; Marshal, F. 
M. McBride; Assessor, D. C. Cooper; Councilmen, long term — David 
Klinger, First Ward; A. R. Collins, Second; J. Stough, Third; short term 
—French Triplett, First Ward; A. W. Turner. Second; D. D. Reed, Third. 
The Mayor's bond was fixed at $5,000, the Treasurer's at $30,000, the 
Marshall's, Assessor's and City Attorney's at $2,000 each. 


Beginning with 189 acres in 1866, Brazil has grown to be a city of 
long distances and no little territory. In 1873, she boasted seven dry 
goods stores, tive drug stores, seventeen groceries, two hardware stores, 
one china store, one flouring mill, one planing mill, one saw mill, on& 
woolen factory, a blast furnace, a foundry, six churches, two public 
schools. The city now has a population exceeding 5,000, and while not 
occupying much more territory, that territory is more compactly 
built over, and the number and character of her residences and stores 
have been increased and improved materially. 

By the act of the Commissioners, the seat of justice was removed in 
1875 from Bowling Green to Brazil, at the petition of more than sixty 
per cent of the qualified voters of the county, and the court house and 
jail were erected at once. This served to give Brazil an air of perma- 
nency, as well as to add to her citizenship a number of valuable members 
in county officers as well as others. 


The growth of Brazil during the next seven years was steady. The 
year 1882 deserves special mention on account of the number of substan- 
tial business blocks erected. Among these were the Thomas Block, in- 
cluding Compton & McGregor's addition, as well as the additions of 
John T. Morgan, begun in 1881; Shannon & Fast's Block, J. P. Hauck & 
Son's, and J. G. Bryson's, the whole worth $100,000. The most sub- 
stantial event of the year, however, was the location here of the rolling 
mill. The Central Iron & Steel Company had just organized and were 
casting about for a location. They had received bids from Terre Haute 
and Greencastle, but they proposed to locate in Brazil on consideration 
of $15,000 donation. This sum was raised in January and work was at 
once begun. The rolling mill was completed and in running order with- 
in a year. 

The Central Iron & Steel Company has a stock capital of $100,000. 
Among its stockholders are D. W. Minshall, P. Deming and R. S. Hill, 
of Indianapolis; M. A. Johnson, of Chicago; Maj. Collins, W. C. Hall, 
C. S. Andrews, J. G. Bryson, J. E. Sherfey and Edward Wilton, of - 
Brazil. Maj. Collins is President, andW. C. Hall, Secretary and Treas- 
urer. The mill operates a twenty-inch muck mill, a twenty-inch bar 
train, a ten-inch guide mill, an ore pulverizer, three steam shears and 
two steam hammers. In connection with the furnace, it gives employ- 
ment to 150 men. 

The Brazil Foundry and Machine shops of Messrs. Crawford & Mc- 
Crimmon, which are worthy of special mention, were established in 1869. 
The success that has crowned the efforts of these gentlemen, while com- 
plimentary to their business management, at the same time speaks well 
for Brazil as a location for such enterprises. 


In May, 1875, Ordinance No. 89 was passed, providing for the issu- 
ing of fifty bonds of $500 denomination, for the purpose of constructing, 
maintaining and operating a system of water works. The bonds were 
made payable semi-annually at nine per cent interest, ten maturing six- 
teen years fi'om date of issue, and ten more annually till all are matured. 
The Council were constituted ex-ofiicio Water Works Committee, with 
power to contract, purchase and perform any necessary work. The 
Council proceeded at once to business. Thirteen acres of ground were 
purchased of Mr. A. S. Hill, at $2,600, and an engine-house was erected. 
Two large steam pumps, manufactured by Messrs. Dean Bros., of Indi- 
anapolis, with a capacity of four-inch stream of water 100 feet high, 
and with an ability to withstand a pressure of 175 pounds to the square 
inch, were purchased at a cost of $4,800. The pipe was purchased of a 
Louisville house, and consisted of a mile of eight-inch pipe, 4,000 feet 
of four-inch pipe and 2,000 feet of six, with a capacity of 300 pounds to 
the square inch. The price paid was $39. 60 per ton. The contract 
called for the delivery of the pipes by the 10th of the next month. Mr. 
W. B. Shaw was employed as engineer, and his salary was fixed at $900, 
which was afterward increased to include house rent, an addition for 
residence purposes having been made in 1878. A well or cistern, twen- 
ty-five feet in diameter and twenty deep, was originally built for the 
water supply; but the growing demands of the city soon called for some- 
thing more capacious. This demand now amounts to three and a half 
millions of gallons a month. This necessity led to the building of the 
reservoir in 1883. This reservoir covers several acres to a sufficient 
depth to afford all the water that any demand may require. 

Brazil from an unpretentious and unpromising beginning has become 
a city of more than 5,000 inhabitants. The center of vast coal fields, 
she is a manufacturing center, and is intimately connected with the 
growth and prosperity of the district and industry. Prof. Cox thinks 
Indiana, with her great coal-fields, will supply the new West with iron 
and steel. This faith realized will make Brazil a manufacturing city 
whose magnitude cannot now be well depicted. The sources of her pros- 
perity are as permanent as they are interesting. The numerous addi- 
tions that have been made to her incorporate limits, the number and ele- 
gance of her homes and business blocks, the character of her enterprises 
and the spirit of her people, all point to a future more glorious than her 
founder ever saw in rapt vision. 


Brazil has a bonded indebtedness of $62,000, as follows: Water- works 
bonds, at nine per cent interest, $28,500; schoolhouse bonds, at eight per 
cent, $17,500; same, at six per cent, $7,000; same, at eight per cent, 
$8,000; floating debt, $1,700. This indebtedness was incurred in the 


erection of necessary schoolhouses and in the construction of water 
works. Few cities in the State have incurred so little expense in setting 
up a municipal government, considering the character and worth of the 


The cost of administering her government is as follows: Mayor, $300; 
Treasurer, $500; Clerk, $400; Marshal, per month, $40; City Attorney, 
$150; water works engineer, $900; six Councilmen, each $50; police, 
per month, $40; making a grand total of all expense, including some 
items not enumerated, of $4,000. The bond of the Treasurer is fixed at 
$40,000. In 1873, the Mayor's salary was $500, the Clerk's $400, the 
Treasurer's $200. The bond of the latter was then $30,000. At the in- 
corporation of the town in 1866, the Marshal and Treasurer were placed 
under bond of $500 each, and the Clerk of $100. The Clerk was al. 
lowed a fee of $1 a meeting. The Marshal was paid in all cases as a 
Constable for arrest and service of process, five per cent for collections, 
and $1.50 for making his report. 


The taxable property of the city, according to the last report of the 
Assessor, is as follows: Lands, $22,215; improvements, $47,623; addi- 
tional improvement, $5,140; lands and improvements, $74,000; lots, 
$147,433; improvements, $263,542; additional, $22,000; lots and im- 
provements, $434,615; personal, $328,764; grand total, $838,357. The 
number of polls is 672. This showing indicates that Brazil is able to 
provide for her wants. 


The following mercantile branches are represented in Brazil: 

Dry goods — The Trade Palace, J. M. Hoskins & Co.; the New York 
Store, J. A. Carpenter & Co.; the Bee Hive, Turner & Kieth; W. P. 
Richardson & Co. ; Kruzan Bros. ; Dave Hawkins, Jackson Andrews & 

Groceries— S. E. Gonter & Co. , C. A. Fisher, A. S. Decker, T. 
Welker, Kruzan Bros., Daniel Hunt, Smith & Jones, Hussey & Kelley, 
N. D. Ellis, J. P. Hauck & Son, Bevis & Krider, A. M. Oswalt, F. M. 
Wright, L. C. Turner, Grinslade Bros., G. R. Shultz. 

Clothing — S. Siegle, S. Isaacs, W. D. McCullough, Falkner & Lang. 

Hardware — J. G. Bryson, R. A. Kerfoot, Moore & Montgomery, Kel- 
logg & Triplett. 

Drugs— J. P. Hysung, H. & F. Nussel, S. Herr, Campbell & 
Smith, J. D. Sourwine. 

Boots and shoes — W. F. Schrowmeyre, F. J. Wehrle. 

Bakeries — Kruzan Bros., Shannon & Co., William Plumb. 



Saddlers — D. G. Cooper, B. C. Pittenger, O. A. Adams. 

Furniture — J. E. Sherfey, J. W. Ecret. 

Banking — The Commercial Bank, the Brazil Bank. 

Planing mill-rMcDowell & Co., Wilder & Halstead, C. W. Reed. 

Foundry — Crawford & McCrimmon. 

Hotels — The Uigby House, HendrixlHotel, Clay House. 

Livery stables — Nance & Weaver, J. F. Lankford, E. Rigby. 

Flouring mills — The Brazil Mills, H. R. Irwin,! manager; the City 
Mills, Maj. Collins, manager. 

Tailors— J. Dickson, F. W. Thimm. 

Lawyers— W. W. Carter, Holliday & Byrd, J. A. McNutt, W. P. 
Blair, Matson & Luther, Knight & Knight, G. W. Curtis, McGregor & 

Ministers — H. M. Middleton, Methodist Episcopal Church; T. Cal- 
vin Stewart, Presbyterian Church; Father Preirard, Catholic. 

Jewelers— D. W. Brattin, S. S. Pnllen & Son. 

Dentists— S. H. Lybyer, W. J. Wolfe. 

Book stores — T. M. Robertson & Co., W. A. Lambert. 

Photographists — E. A. Elsam, J. T, Davies. 

Pottery— Torbert & Baker. 

Coal operators — The Brazil & Chicago Coal Co., the Brazil Block 
Coal Co., Watson Bros., Crawford & West, Teter & Brighton. 

Carriage-maker — R. M. Stunkard. 

Abstracters, real estate agents, etc. — Jarboe & Holliday & Byrd, 
Matson & Luther. 

Insurance — I. Jarboe, Pruner & Brighton. 

Physicians— W. B. Hawkins, Gifford & Black, J. F. Smith, R. H. 
Cuibertson, J. M. Price, W. B. Morgan, T. A. Glasco. 

Publishers — S. B. Riley, the Brazil Miner; Luther Wolfe, the Clay 
Comity Enterprise ; Lansing & Lusk, the Democrat; A. F. Bridges, the 
Brazil Register. 


The educational interests of Brazil have kept pace with her material 
progress. The philanthropic forethought of her founder led to the erec- 
tion of a schoolhouse for the convenience of her citizens before there was 
any town except in name, and in advance of any house of worship. Later, 
two substantial houses served as seats of learning — the Webster School- 
house and the Old School Presbyterian Church building. The latter 
was occupied usually by select schools taught by such successful instruct- 
ors as Mrs. Mary B. Hussey and Rev. Edwin Post. Soon after the 
organization of Brazil into a corporate town, in May, 1868, the School 
Trustees, Messrs. H. Wheeler, F. M. Kruzan and Rev. A. Wright, 
editor of the Independent Home Weekly, waited upon the Town Trustees 
with an important measure. They had been made the recipients of a 


liberal donation by Mr. John Hendrix, Sr., of an acre of ground on what 
is now North Meridian street, for school purposes. Realizing the neces- 
sity of the step they were about to take — and time has but revealed their 
wisdom — they announced their intention of building a schoolhouse — not a 
little affair, but one such as the growing young city demanded, a graded 
school building in keeping with similar structures in other cities. They 
asked the town to issue $10,000 in bonds in accordance with the act of 
the General Assembly of the State of Indiana of March 11, 1867. Messrs. 
George A, Knight, I. M. Compton and D. W. Bridges were appointed a 
committee to draft an ordinance and report at the next meeting. The 
ordinance, No. 23, reported at the next meeting, May 19, provided 
for the issuing of $10,000 in bonds of $100 denomination. One-fifth of 
the amount was to be paid two years from the date of issuing, and one- 
fifth at the end of each year thereafter till paid. The bonds were made 
payable to bearer, were interest bearing and exempt from taxation for 
town purposes, and were redeemable by the Town Treasurer when due. 
The bonds seem to have gone off slowly, only $3,500 worth having been 
sold by August 11. This was not regarded as sufficient to begin work with. 
At the request of the School Trustees, I. M. Compton, Jacob Thomas, 
Samuel Strain, E. Montgomery and D. C. Stunkard were constituted a 
committee to act in conjunction with the School Trustees in urging the 
citizens to invest. Mr. D. W. Bridges was appointed Commissioner to 
sell bonds in September. His bond was placed at $6,000. In 1869, 
steps looking toward the redemption of the bonds were taken in a tax of 
50 cents levied on every $100 worth of real and personal property, and 
$1 on each poll. The sales progressed slowly. However, sufficient 
money was realized to enable the Trustees to proceed with the erection 
of the building. In May, 1870, the town itself purchased $500 worth of 
the bonds. The original $10,000 was found inadequate, and in July, 
1870, Ordinance No. 34 was passed, providing for $8,000 more, iu bonds 
of 1100 denomination, payable one- fourth August 1, 1874, and one -fourth 
yearly till all are paid. The building was completed in 1870. It is a 
substantial structure, having six commodious apartments, with a capacity 
of 380 sittings. This is the story of the Meridian Street Schoolhouse — 
a monument to the foresight and wisdom of the founders. 

Meridian Street Schoolhouse was not destined to long meet the re- 
quirements of Brazil. In April, 1875, Messrs. E. Hendrix, W. E. Tor- 
bert and S. Gunrere, School Trustees, urged upon the City Council a 
necessity which had long been apparent —another school building. For 
three years the board had been compelled to rent churches, halls and 
private residences, in order to secure accommodations for the increasing 
number of school children. They had bought an acre of ground in Lam- 
bert's Addition, thus securing favorable location and had adopted plans 
for a four-room house. They therefore asked for an appropriation on 


the following basis: Ground, $1,600; building, $10,000; furniture $100; 
miscellaneous, $700. The enumei-ation for school purposes in 1874 
showed a school population of 841. The report of the Superintendent 
of Public Instruction in Indiana showed that in towns and cities the size 
.of Brazil, where convenient buildings and other accommodations favored, 
65 per cent of the school population attend school. This would give 
Brazil an attendance of 546. Hon. M. B. Hopkins urged accommoda- 
tions for every child of school age; but the board felt that provision 
should be made for at least three-fourths. Their petition was granted. 
On the 18th of May, provision was made in bonds of $500 denomination, 
at 8 per cent interest, interest payable semi-annually, both principal and 
interest payable at the First National Bank of New York. The first 
series or class was made due in six years, the remaining divisiouH annu- 
ally till all are paid. 

The school population had increased to 1,117 in 1882, with an aver- 
age attendance of 583, the enrollment being 713. Hence suitable prepara- 
tion had to be made to meet the increase. This was done by the pur- 
chase of the Congregational Church on Washington street, and fittino- it 
up into at least temporary quarters at a cost of about $2,000. The util- 
ity of the building is in the outlet to the other buildings, of more 
advanced scholars, which it affords. 

The following parties have served the city in the capacity of School 
Superintendent: Alpheas Odell, E. R. Smith, W. P. Eppert, M. S. 
Wilkinson, J. C. Cregg, A. D. Hurst. 


The City Library is deserving of mention in connection with the edu- 
cational history of Brazil. The Library Association was organized Feb- 
ruary 24, 1879, with forty stockholders, and a capital of $52.50. The 
Directors were A. O. Baldwin, Maj. Collins, Allen Walker, E. S. Holi- 
day, Q. A. McCracken, R. H. Irwin and William Spears. E. S. Holiday 
was elected President, and R. H. Irwin Secretary. The funds of the 
association were raised by membership fee, private donation and festi- 
vals, the latter through the co-operation of the Ladies' Literary Society, 
an organization worthy of notice, which was organized in 1878, and 
which has flourished ever since. The first purchase of books was made 
the following June. The amount invested was $107. The purchase 
consisted of forty seven works, in eighty-one volumes, and embraced 
master pieces of history, fiction and poetry, both ancient and modern. 
Other additions were made from time to time by private donation as well 
as otherwise. In December, 1880, the library was augmented by the 
addition of the McClure Library, consisting of 199 volumes, and in 
March following by the library of Mr. Pliney F. Sharp, of 200 volumes. 
The library now numbers over 1,100 volumes, and is worth something 


more than $1,000. This entitles it to a tax of one cent on every $100 of 
taxable property in the township, (See Revised Statutes, 1881.) This 
revenue amounts to $100 annually, which sum is to be used for the 
purchase of books. The officers of the association are: President, O. A. 
Baldwin; Secretary, J. Croasdale; Treasurer, R. H. Irwin; Librarian, 
L, O. Schultz; Directors, J. Croasdale, L. I. Brighton, Mrs. J. W. Rich- 
ardson, Mrs. Dr. W. B. Hawkins, Mrs. L. O. Schultz, Mrs. J. A. Decker. 


Newspapers are educators, and the press is worthy of mention here. 
The pioneer was the Weekly News established in 1855 by J. M. Oliver. 
The News was purchased by A. T. Lansing, and moved to Bowling 
Green in 1857. The Intelligencer was next (1858). It was published by 
William Hollingsworth, but was short-lived. The Brazil Independent, 
T. H. Serrin and J. M. Oliver, publishers, followed in 1862. After a 
career of eighbeen months, it was sold to Rev. A. Wright, and merged 
into the Independent Home Weekly, which in turn was succeeded by the 
Manufacturer and Miner (T. J. Gray, publisher), in 1867, which became 
the property of its present owner, S. B. Riley, in 1876. The Brazil 
Weekly Echo was established in 1872, by Herr, Gray & Earle, which in 
1876 passed into the hands of P. T. Luther. The Western Mirror was 
established in 1876, by G. W. Deighan, and became the property of A. 
F. Bridges in 1881, who established thereof the Brazil Register. The 
Clay County Enterprise, Lutber Wolfe, publisher, was established in 
Knightsville in 1871, and removed to Brazil a short time afterward. The 
Democrat, Lansing & Lusk, publishers, was the outgrowth of the Argus 
Magnate, which was established in 1880. 


The following have served as Postmasters in Brazil, in the order 
named: Owen Thorpe, Joseph Hall, Eli Hendrix, D. C. Stunkard, E. S. 
Hussey, T. M. Robertson, present incumbent. 


At present Brazil is reached by the Vandalia Railroad only. The 
Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad has a branch extending from Clin- 
ton to Brazil; but it has no passenger traffic. Several roads are projected, 
which, if built, will make Brazil a railroad center; among these are the 
North & South and the Brazil, Washington & Evansville Railroads. The 
first named, traversing the State along its coal belt, will do much to open 
to Northwestern markets the coal trade, and can but be important. 


Methodist Episcopal Church. — The Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Brazil was organized at the residence of Mr. James Hall, near the corner 


of Main and Franklin streets, in 1839, with Mr. James Raridan as Class 
Leader, and with Eevs. Cornelius Swank and Ezra L. Kemp as preachers 
in charge. Rev. Allen Wiley, D. D., was then Presiding Elder. Among 
the original members were Mr. James Raridin and wife; Mr. James 
Hull, wife and daughter; Mr. Joel Thorpe and wife; Mr. Benjamin 
Hedges and Mr. Samuel Butts. The new appointment was added to the 
Terre Haute Circuit, Vincennes District. There had been Methodist 
preaching in the neighborhood previous to this. Indeed, other organiza- 
tions had been effected, but this was the organization out of which the 
present society is the outgrowth. As early as 1826, the Methodist itiner- 
ant had penetrated western Clay County in Honey Creek Circuit. In 
1835, Kev. Aaron Wood, D. D. , was Presiding Elder of the Vincennes 
District at which time it included Otter Creek Mission, with Rev. 
Isaac Owen as preacher in charge. One of the preaching appointments 
was Hedge's Tavern, opposite the Stough homestead, one-half mile 
west of the city. In 1843, the society met at the residence of Mr. 
Owen Thorpe, at the southeast corner of Main and Meridian streets, 
from which it moved a year later to the log school and church house as 
well as town hall, at the corner of Church and Walnut streets. In 
1856, the frame church building, which was succeeded by the present 
brick edifice, was begun. It was not finished, however, till 1858. It 
was formally dedicated August 28, 1858, the Rev. William M. Daily, 
D. D., LL. D., the President of the Indiana University, at Blooming- 
ton, delivering the discourse. Rev. Samuel HoUingsworth was then 
pastor pro tem., and Rev. John Kiger, Presiding Elder. The building 
cost about $1,500. The society at that time numbered about eighty, and 
did not rank above the nine other appointments with which it was 
associated. These appointments were Croy's Creek, Pleasant Garden, 
New Salem, Wesley Chapel, Shiloh, Newburg, Lowdermilk's, Moss' and 
Simonson's Schoolhouses. Of the $400 ministerial claim allowed in 
that year, Brazil was assessed $82.80. 

■'At a Quarterly Conference held Janiiary 29, 1877, a committee, with 
authority to solicit subscriptions for the new building, was appointed. 
The committee consisted of Messrs. B. F. Kruzan, D. W. Bridges, C. E. 
Wilder, Daniel Smith and Eli Hendrix, and Rev. Thomas Meredith. 
The success of the enterprise was secured at the beginning by a sub- 
scription taken during the session of that Quarterly Conference, and by 
its members, with a single exception, of $3,700. This was about a third 
of the sum needed. 

The plan of the new building was devised by Mr. Charles Epping- 
houser, of Terre Haute, Ind. The contract was let at once to the lowest 
responsible bidder, Messrs. Ackelmire and Slocum. The corner-stone 
was laid July 29, just six months from the date of the first subscription. 
Rev. J. W. Green, Presiding Elder, delivered the sermon on the oc- 


easion to a large audience. He was assisted in the conduct of the usual 
ceremonies by Revs. Thomas Meredith and F. M. Pavey. The Brazil 
Silver Cornet Band was present, and rendered appropriate sacred music. 

Among divers mementos deposited in the corner-stone were a Bible, 
a copy of the contract for the construction of the building, copies of the 
Brazil papers, and of the Western Christian Advocate, a brief summary 
of the history of Methodism in Brazil, information concerning the pres- 
ent condition of the society, the name of the preacher in charge, and 
Presiding Elder, specimens of paper currency and of gold and silver 
coin, with many things besides, both known and unknown. 

The new building was dedicated January 13, 1878, Rev. Thomas 
Bowman, D. D. , LL. D., one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, officiating. Among those present were representatives of former 
pastors and Presiding Elders, Revs. J. W, Green and F. M. Pavey, and 
Rev. J. W. T. McMullen, D. D., Presiding Elder, Rev. W. W. Hibben, 
of Indianapolis, Professors J. C. Ridpath and L. L. Rogers, of the In- 
diana Asbury University, Greencastle, Ind., with citizens of adjoin- 
ing towns and cities. At the close of the sermon, $2,700 were secured in 
cash and subscriptions. The building, thus freed from all incumbrance, 
was presented by Mr. D. W. Bridges, oq behalf of the trustees, for 
dedication. The impressive disciplinary service created a profound im- 
pression upon the minds of the large audience — the largest perhaps 
that had ever assembled in religious worship in Brazil. 

The new building is constructed after the modern Gothic style of ar- 
chitecture. It represents, in its transept and circular dome, as in its 
graceful main tower, together with its small tower at the junction of its 
transverse roof, the elements of a cathedral. It is cruciform in design. 
Internally, it is a marvel of convenience as well as a thing of beauty. 
The basement affords a large lecture-room, suitable as well for Sunday 
school and other purposes, together with a suite of two rooms adapted 
to various usage. The audience room is on the second floor. Here are 
a semicircle for the choir and pulpit, a gallery, beneath which and con- 
necting with the audience room by folding doors, is a handsome parlor, 
at either end of which is a small room opening into a vestibule, and 
suitable for class and other meetings. The seating capacity of this floor, 
including the gallery, is about 800. The audience room itself, with ita 
pointed high ceiling, and its ample windows of stained glass, ornamented 
with delicate tracery, in harmony with its scientific open-timber roof, 
is indeed a gem. It is constructed on the best principles of acoustics. 
In fact it is a hugh bell, so complete in arrangement that, when the air 
registers are open, the minister's voice, undisturbed by the slightest 
echo, can be distinctly heard not only in the gallery and throughout the 
spacious audience room with the apartments connected with it, but also 
in all the rooms of the basement below. Added to this is assurance of 


perpetuity contained in strong brick walls upheld by prominent massive 

The entire cost of the building, including incidental expenses, was 
less than $12,000. Of this amount, only two-thirds were expended on 
the building itself. The bell was originally a gift from Mr. Eli Hendrix 
and others, and is not included in this expense. It entered upon its 
mission in 1860. Considering its beauty and convenience, the new build- 
ing cost a remarkably small sum. Altogether, it is a credit to Brazil and 
an honor to those who built it. 

The new building is called Hendrix Chapel, in honor of Mr. Eli 
Hendrix, partly because of his muniticence in its erection, and partly be- 
cause of his long and intimate connection with the society. From 
early manhood he has been one of its members. He assisted in 
building the log church in 1844. He aided materially in the erection 
of the frame church in 1856-58. But he will be remembered for his 
social worth. As a Sunday School Superintendent, and as a Class Leader, 
kind-hearted, with a pleasant word and a smile for every one, he has de- 
voted to the up-building of the society the flower of his manhood. It is 
fitting that he should have this local monument to perpetuate his name. 
But Hendrix Chapel is not one man's monument alone. It commemo- 
rates all who gave so cheerfully of their means, either much or little, 
toward its erection. It is likewise a monument to the fathers in the min- 
istry and in the laity who laid the foundations on which the society 
stands. In dark days, without hope of reward, but with sublime faith 
in God, they toiled on in the face of unpromising beginning. But the 
wilderness and the solitary place were glad for them, and the desert re- 
joiced and blossomed as the rose. Most of them have passed away by 
death and otherwise, but their work remains. In the beautiful church 
edifice in which their successors now worship they have equal honor. It 
is at once a monument for both. 

The Methodist Church has been an important influence for good in 
the community. Hundreds have been converted from lives of wickedness 
through its instrumentality, and have become good citizens and zealous 
workers in the exaltation of the race. The most remarkable revivals of 
religion of late years were under the ministry of Rev. J. E. Brant (1865- 
68), during which period the society was advanced from a circuit to a 
station; and Rev. F. M. Pavey (1874-76). The Methodist Episcopal 
Sunday School was organized in July, 1858. It has flourished ever since. 
The society now has a strong membership. Besides a church edifice, it 
owns a neat parsonage property. Rev. H. M. Middleton is pastor. 

First Presbyterian Church. — The First Presbyterian Church of Brazil 
was organized in 1858, at which time a society of New School Presby- 
terians was constituted by Revs. J. G. Willson and Ransom Hawley, who 
were appointed by the Greencastle Presbytery for that purpose. The so - 


ciety was composed of R. N. Westfall and wife, John Wallace and wife, 
Abraham Chambers, John Hendrix, Jr., Hannah D. Morrow and Joanna 
Hendrix. The same year, Lot No. 6, Brackney's Addition, was pur- 
chased, and a plain but substantial house of worship erected. The Trust- 
ees were Dr. A. W. Knight, John Hendrix, Jr., and R. N. Westfall. 
Meanwhile a society of Old School Presbyterians was organized at about 
this time, and the brick edifice on the corner of Jackson and Franklin 
streets was erected. Rev. N. S. Palmer was the first pastor, and under 
his ministry the church was built. The two societies were united in 1865, 
Revs. J. B. Crow, of Crawfordsville, and H. L. Dickerson. of Green - 
castle Presbyteries, being the Commissioners. S. Strachan and Thomas 
Desart were constituted Elders of the newly organized society. The 
present church edifice was erected in 1875-77, at a cost of $7,000. It 
was dedicated by Rev. Joseph Tuttle, D. D. Rev. J. H. Meteer was then 
pastor. The Trustees were James G. Niblock, J. G. Bryson, W. H. Zim- 
merman, James Lodge. The chapel was built in 1882. at a cost of over 
$1,000. The society now has considerable numerical and financial 
strength. The pastor is Rev. T. Calvin Stewart. The Trustees are W. 
H. Zimmerman, J. G. Bryson. The Deacons are W. P. Blair, C. H. 
Russe, Dr. S. H. Lybyer, William McDonald and S. Holden. The 
Elders are E. S. Hussey, S. Strachan, J. Hendrix, Dr. A. W. Hawkins. 
The following ministers have served the church: Ransom Hawley, N. S. 

Palmer, Sims, M. A. Jewett, Henry S. Little, J. Hawks, S. B. Tag- 

gart, George E. Lamb, J, H. Meteer, J. D. Jones, E. W. Fisk, D. D., 
T. C. Stewart. At no extended period has the society been without a 
regularly installed pastor, although for some time without a house of 
worship. When the brick house was burned in 1871, Hendrix' s Hall was 
rented, and was occupied till the completion of the new building in 1877. 
The church has always maintained a Sunday school, and has been a force 
in the moral education of the community. 

Christian Church. — The Christian Church in Brazil has had a some- 
what checkered existence, so far as its early history is concerned. Its 
first organization dates back to about 1858, but its progress during the 
first fifteen years that followed was slow, the expenses of its organization 
falling almost wholly upon Mr. John L. Webster and Mr. B. F. Shattuck. 
During this period, the church was ministered to by Elders O. P. Badger, 

A. C. Layman, F. A. Grant, Z. T. Sweeney, George Sweeney, 

Tibbetts and A. J. Frank. The congregation then held its meetings 
from house to house, or in hired halls. The death of Mr. Shattuck, and 
the removal of Mr. Webster caused the church to go down. In 1875. 
Elder William Holt, and W. W. Curry, Universalist, held a discussion 
in Brazil, on future punishment. In April, 1877, eleven persons met in 
Wheeler's Hall and formed the nucleus of the present organizatiun, and 
employed Elder G. L. Harney to preach for them. He was soon sue- 

///'^J^V, 7ie<^ ^M.r^ 


ceeded by Elder Boor, Terre Haute, and he by Elder W. T. Sellers in 
September, 1879, who has rendered efficient service in the erection of 
a church edifice and in building up a society. This elegant brick house 
of worship, on Washington street, was built in 1880-81 at a cost of 
$3,000. It was dedicated September 4, 1881, by Elder A. W. Gilb(»rt, 
of Rushville, Ind. — the membership numbering 175. The Eldership con- 
sists of Messrs. Alpheus Dillon, A. J. Kidd and W. D. McCullough. 

Catholic Church. — In 1868, the Church of the Annunciation began 
meeting in private residences and halls in Brazil, with a view to organi- 
zation. In the spring of 1869, the church building formerly occupied 
by the Old School Presbyterians, corner of Jackson and Walnut streets, 
was purchased by the now organized society as a house of worship. 
Shortly afterward, the building was removed to Lots 22 and 23, in Shattuck's 
Second Addition to Brazil, adjoining which the new edifice now stands. 
Its original cost was about $200. After removal, the building was im- 
proved to the amount of $600. The membership, consisting of about 
thirty families, or about 100 members, was organized by Father Minard 
McCarthy, of St. Mary's of the Wood, in Vigo County, Ind. The soci- 
ety was quite prosperous from the date of its organization. The society 
now has four very desirable lots, which are occupied by their church and 
school ^buildings. In 1879, they began the erection of a new and beauti- 
ful modern church edifice, at a cost of about $13,000, which was finally 
completed and dedicated September 9, 1883. The following are the 
names of the Fathers who have had charge of the society following Rev. 
Miniard McCarthy: Rev. F. M. Mousette, 1877-80; Rev. H. Pierard, 
the present incumbent, 1880. The school connected with the church was 
organized in 1882, and is under the charge of the Sisters of Oldenburg, 
Ind. It is systematic and successful. 

There are in the city, besides the churches already named, a Baptist 
Church, a United Brethren Church, an Evangelical Alliance Church, and 
an organization or two among the colored folk. Thus the moral force 
of Brazil is arrayed against the powers of evil. 


The following is a list of the officers of the town of Brazil, in the 
\ order in which they served: 

1866— (Elected December 18, to serve till first Monday in May, 1867) 
Trustees — First District, John G. Ackelmire; Second, Jacob Thomas; 
Third, Thomas Desart, President. School Trustee, Evelyn Montgomery; 
Treasurer, Eli Hendrix; Clerk, Dillon W. Bridges; Marshal and Asses- 
sor, Samuel HoUingsworth. 

1867 — Trustees — First District, J. G. Ackelmire; Second, Jimathan 
Croasdale; Third, Thomas Desart, President. School Trustees, First 
District, F. M. Kruzan; Second, H. Wheeler; Third, Abraham AYright; 


Treasurer, Eli Hendrix; Clerk, D. W. Bridges; Marshal and Collector, 
Isaac W. Sanders; Attorney, Isaac M. Compton. 

18(58 — Trustees — First District, J. G. Ackelmire; Second, Elisha 
Adamson; Third, Thomas Desart, President. School Trustees, First 
District, F. M Kruzan; Second, H. Wheeler; Third, A. Wright; Treas- 
urer, E. Hendrix; Clerk, D. W. Bridges; Marshal, Assessor and Collector, 
Calvin Keed; Attorney, I. M. Compton. 

1869— Trustees— First District, Archibald Love; Second, W. R. Tor 
bert. President; Third, Elias Bigby. School Trustees — First District, 
George A. Knight; Second, James W. Kellar; Third, H. Wheeler; Treas- 
urer, Thomas M. Robertson; Clerk, D. W. Bridges; Marshal and Asses- 
sor, I. W. Sanders; Attorney, I. M. Compton. 

1870 — Trustees — First District, J. G. Ackelmire, President; Second, 
John L. Webster; Third, E. Montgomery. School Trustees, First Dis- 
trict, George A. Knight; Second, J. W. Kellar; Third, H. Wheeler. 
Treasurer, George P. Stone; (>lerk, D. W. Bridges; Marshal, Assessor 
and Collector, James R. Painter; Attorney, Samuel W. Curtiss. 

1871 — Trustees — First District, E. W. Smith, A Love, President; 
Second, John McDowell, James W^ l\ellar; Third, George P. Shaw. 
School Trustees, First District, Dr. W. H. Gifford; Second, Alexander 
Strachan; Third, H. Wheeler. Treasurer, Jacob Thomas; Clerk, E. 
Montgomery; Marshal, Assessor and Collector, J. R. Painter; Attor- 
neys, Messrs. Knight & Stone. 

1872— Trustees— First District, Dr. J. C. Gifford, N. T. Keasey 
Second, Major Collins, President, J. W. Kellar; Third, D. D. Reed 
Treasurer, Jacob Thomas; Clerk, F. M. Howard; Marshal, J. R. Painter 
Attorney, George P. Stone. School Trustees (April 3, 1883), First Dis- 
trict, A. Love; Second, James Shaw; Third, Ezra Olds. 

THE CITY OFFICERS, 1873-1883. 

1873 — Mayor, John G. Ackelmire ; Clerk Joseph L. Hussey; Treas- 
urer, John Stewart; Marshal, F. M. McBride; Assessor, D. C. Cooper; 
Councilmen — First Ward, David Klinger, French Triplett; Second, A. R. 
Collins, A. W. Turner; Third, John Stough, Daniel D. Reed. 1874— 
To take the place of F. Triplett, A. W. Turner and D. D. Reed -First 
Ward, James A. Newton; Second, John McDowell; Third, George Ely. 

1875 — Mayor, Simon Herr; Clerk, A. W. Sowars; Treasurer, M. Law; 
Marshal, J. H. Torbert; Assessor, P. F. Sharp; Councilmen, First 
Ward, David Klinger; Second, A. ^Y. Turner; Third, George Jones. 
1876— First Ward, James McDonald; Second, S. G. Biddle; Third, H. 
Wheeler, O. Calhoun. 

1877— IVrayor, E. S. Holliday; Clerk, L. O. Schultz; Marshal, J. H. 
Torbert; Treasurer, M. Law; Councilmen — First W^ard, F. J. Wehrle; 
Second, Jacob Thomas; Third, Dr. J. C. Giflford. 1878— First Ward, 
James A. Newton; Second, P. F. Sharp; Third, H. Wheeler. 


1879— Mayor, E. S. Holliday; Clerk, L. O. Schultz; Treasurer, E. 
Rigby; Marshal, J. H. Torbert; Councilmen — First Ward, A. Haggart; 
Second, J. P. Hysung; Third, Dr. J. C. Gifford. 1880— J. C. Britton, 
First Ward; P. F. Sharp, Second; Daniel Hunt, Third. 

1881 — Mayor, E. C. Kilmer; Clerk, George E. Law; Treasurer, L. 
O. Schultz; Marshal, F. M. McBride; Council— First Ward, R. W. 
Stewart; Second, C. B. Reddie, H. Menough; Third, Dr. J. C. Gififord. 
1882— First Ward, Thomas Kerins; Second, D. B. McCrimmon; Third, 
J. H. Mercer. 

1883— Mayor, W. R. Torberfc; Clerk, George E. Law; Treasurer, 
L. O. Schultz; Marshal, F. M. McBride; Councilmen —First Ward, E. 
W. Smith; Second, John Fast; Third, W. D. McCullough, Jefferson 


The action of the Board of Commissioners constituting Brazil Town- 
ship bears date of December, 1868. The petition was signed by J. B. 
Richardson and 175 others, the reason assigned being the simple con- 
venience it would confer upon citizens of the territory. It was carved 
out of Van Buren and Dick Johnson Townships, and its history prior to 
its organization belongs to that of those townships. Mr. D. W. Bridges 
was appointed Trustee. George P. Stone, Dr. R. H. Culbertson, Jacob 
P. Hysung, Jacob Thomas, and Thomas Henderson, present incumbent, 
have served as Trustees. The following is the taxable property of the 
township as reported by the Assessor in 1883: Lands, $69,166; im- 
provements, $26,300 ; additional improvements, $1,140: lands and im- 
provements, $96,506 ; lots, $4,128; improvements, $9,755 ; additional 
improvements $520; lots and improvements, $14,403; personal, $93,671 ; 
grand total, $204,580 ; polls, 179. 




WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP is situated on the east side of Clay 
County, and is about in the middle of the county north and south. 
Eel River flows through the township in a southwesterly direction, cross- 
ing the north line near the center, and passing out a little to the west of 
the southwest corner. Jordon Creek enters the township near the northeast 
corner, and flows in a southwest course and empties into Eel River, near 
Bowling Green. Six Mile Creek flows through the south part of the 
township, and empties into Eel River, near the old site of Bell air. On 
the west side of the river are Mclntire and Hog Creeks, both of which 
flow in a southeast course and empty into Eel River. About one-fifth of 
the township is bottom land, and remarkable for its fertility and produc- 
tiveness. The balance of the surface is more or less undulating, and 
well adapted to the cultivation of most all cereals, grasses and fruits. 
This township was originally heavily timbered, but that reckless waste 
which has c^iaracterized so many localities is part of the experience here, 
and yet in some localities the "monarchs of the forest" are still to be 
seen. Immense numbers of staves and timber for various purposes, to- 
gether with a vast amount of lumber, are annually shipped away. 

At one time, most of this township, or at least that part of it east of 
Eel River, was one magnificent orchard of sugar maple, some specimens 
of which are stilJ preserved. I'here were also a very great variety of 
native trees of the more common and important varieties, such as the 
swamp maple, red oak, white oak, black oak, burr oak, jack oak, buckeye, 
gum, poplar, sassafras, hackberry, elm, box elder, redbud, iron wood, beech, 
phim, cherry, black walnut, butternut, white ash, black ash, dogwood, 
hickory, sycamore, locust, basswood, lynn, quaking asp, willow and 
mulberry. The township is abundantly supplied with stone of the 
coarser varieties, which is easily worked, and suitable for foundations, 
piers, etc. The township is also underlaid with coal, but it has never 
been very extensively worked. 


In the spring of 1813, David Thomas came from Hardy County, Va., 
to Owen County, Ind., and put up a cabin, and remained there, on or 
near the present site of Spencer, for one year. In March or April, 1814, 


he moved across the country, cutting out a road as he came, and located 
on Eel River, about one miie north of the present site of Bowling Green. 
His family consisted of himself, his wife and nine children — four boys 
and five girls. At this time there was a small Indian town, of perhaps 
some forty wigwams, on the hill on the opposite side of the river. Mr. 
Thomas bought out these Indians and paid them for their land in green 
corn or roasting ears. He assisted the Indians in moving their wig- 
wams and traps across the hollow on to the nest hill, and they assisted 
him to build his cabin, and he continued to live on good terms and in 
peace with the Indians until they left the county. Mr. Thomas remained 
on this farm until his death, in 1860, he being then ninety years of age. 
At the time of his settlement, his nearest neighbors were the families of 
John Dunn, Philip Hart, John Bartholomew, Thomas McNaught, Capt. 
Bigger and Hartman Bean, who had about this time located on the south 
bank of White River, opposite where Spencer now stands, in Owen 
County. The cabins of these early settlers were without chimneys or 
floors, and for mattresses they used moss. They bad milk and plenty of 
wild meat, such as venison, turkey and squirrel, with bear meat occa- 
sionally, but all hands were destitute of breadstufif. They, however, 
had dried venison, which they called " jerk," and a plenty of beech-nuts 
and acorns, and on these they would subsist until such time as they 
could get a turn of corn from Vincennes. These old pioneers were gen- 
erally expert in the use of the rifle, but it would be well to remember 
that this was some twenty years before percussion caps were invented, 
or before a lucifer match was made. After the death of David Thomas, 
the old homestead where he settled passed into the hands of James P. 
Thomas, one of his boys, and who died on the same premises the 8th of 
February, 1882, at the advanced age of seventy-two years and thirteen 
days. Since the death of James P. Thomas, the place has passed into 
the hands of James M. Campbell. 

In the year 1818, the people of Washington Township had to go to' 
Honey Creek, in Vigo County, to get their grinding done. Sometimes 
they would go to Fort Harrison Prairie to a horse mill. There were no 
roads, but they would follow the blazes that had been made by some 
woodsman, or follow an Indian trail. By common consent, honey, gin- 
seng, deer and " coon " skins were a legal tender, and all one had to do 
to replenish his exchequer was to get his " sang digger " and go to 
the woods. Occasionally a man would pay the County Clerk for his 
marriage license in " coon " skins. Bridal tours were unknown in those 
primitive times and divorces were not yet invented. Hon. N. G. Crom- 
well, one of the Associate Judges, was called on by Mr. Byrd Light to unite 
him and Miss Kate Lucas in marriage. The Judge accompanied Mr, 
Light to the residence of George Zenor, where Miss Lucas was stopping, 
and after a brief social chat by the parties, Mr. Light said: " Well, 


Katie, if you are ready, come along and let us close this matter up," and 
it was closed; and this is a fair sample of weddings in those days. 

In the year 1817, Samuel Rizley located on the present site of Bow- 
ling Green. During the year 1818, John Talbott, Sachronis Dyers, 
William Runnells, John and Peter Cooprider settled. During the fol- 
lowing year, John, Jacob, Joshua, George and Thomas Moss located; also 
the Walker and Wheeler families. All these persons settled in and 
about the present town of Bowling Green, which was the oldest settle- 
ment in the county. 


The first entry of land in Clay County was made by Caleb Cum- 
mings and David White on the 18th day of August, 1818, and included 
160 acres of land in Section 19, Town 11. The same year entries were 
made in Section 7 by Coleman Puethe and Benjamin Parks. In 1819, 
Robert Taylor, John Chambers, James Parks and Israel Boone made 
entries, also, in Section 7, and James Paxton made an entry in Section 
18. The next entries we find were made in 1823 by Daniel Walker and 
Davis Walker in Section 6. The next year, Daniel B. Walker made an 
entry in Section 5. In 1826, Jesse Mclntire entered a tract of land, and 
about this time he fell into the creek and came near losing his life, and 
this mishap resulted in giving a name to Mclntire Creek. In 1825, Til- 
man Chance made an entry in Section 30, and in 1828 John P. Coop- 
rider entered part of Section 17. John Rizley and Jacob Hoffman made 
entries in the year 1829. John Hatton located in 1830, and in 1831 Na- 
than D. Walker, James Crof ton, James H. Downing, Charles Fitzgerald, 
Jacob Bolick and Matthew White made entries. In the following year, 
Malancha Landerlin made an entry, and was followed in the year 1833 
by James Reynolds and Thomas Robertson. In 1834, Thomas Busye, 
and in 1835 Lee Rybie took out a patent. It was no uncommon thing 
for a person to put up his cabin and clear off a "patch" on Congress land, 
and such persons were known as " squatters," and it was not considered 
healthy for a stranger to come in and take up a tract of land that was 
encumbered with a squatter. Some very exciting races, however, would 
occur when a couple of the first settlers would happen to want the same 
piece oE land. The rigtt to take up the land was generally conceded to 
the one making the best time in getting to the land office. 


In 1825, Abner Hill brought a stock of goods to Bowling Green and 
opened the first store there. Jesse Mclntire, Melton & Jones were also 
pioneer merchants. Mr. Jones was also Justice of the Peace at the same 
time. About 1831, Jesse Burton was one of the leading merchants, and 
also figured some in politics. Soon after this time, Ranson Akin and 
George Grimes engaged iu selling goods. For several years all the lum- 


ber used about town was manufactured with the whip-saw. Hickman Car- 
rel built the first mill in the township. It was on Jordon, and was a saw 
mill, but afterward he put a " corn-cracker " in it. Carrel married a 
Birchtield, acd afterward died in Bowling Green. Joseph Holt built a 
horse mill in town, and ran it awhile and did considerable grinding. 
Carpenter & Downey erected a saw mill some two miles up Jordon. and 
manufactured a large amount of lumber. For a number of years the 
people of Washington Township went to the mill of Oliver Cromwell, 
some six miles up Jordon, to get their corn ground; but to get their 
wheat ground they went to Rawley's mill on Eel River, not far from 
where Neil's mill now stands, in Lewis Township. In 1836, a good mill 
for the times was built at Anguilla, a little town that was laid out near 
where the feeder dam was erected. This mill did a good business, but 
it was carried away by the flood of 1847. Hickman Carrel built a saw 
mill for Jesse J. Burton on Jordon, on the present site of the Bowling 
Green Mills, in which they afterward put in a small set of buhrs to 
grind corn. This mill was partially destroyed by fire, and after the 
death of Mr. Burton it was purchased by Henry Moss and Joseph Kintz- 
ley, who rebuilt the mill and converted it into a pretty fair grist mill. 
After they had run it for a few years, they sold it to James Luther, and 
he to Nelson Markle, and it afterward passed through the hands of Mr. 
Flavert to Henry Sholl. 

Henry Moss put up the first wool-carding factory that was erected in 
the county, near the northwest corner of the public square; ran it a few 
years and sold it to Samuel Heaston, who moved it first to the farm where 
Adam B. Moon now resides, and soon after moved it to Iowa. Samuel 
Miles built a carding factory in 1848, and ran it two or three years, but 
it was burned down, and a year or two after Miles & Huston built a 
steam grist mill. Mr. Cunningham started a tan-yard just north of where 
the Methodist Church now stands. Mr. Samuel Miles put up a tan-yard 
where Mr. John Geckler still continues the business. Mr. Miles died here 
in 1876, at a good old age, respected by all who knew him. 


The people of Washington Township have always been of a free, 
frank, open-hearted, hospitable type, fond of amusement and fun. At 
one time, after quite a number had been engaged in a game of leap-frog, 
and being started out on the Spencer road, Thomas I. Cromwell and 
Henry Moss continued the game until they reached Sponcer, a distance 
of sixteen miles. They remained in Spencer over night, and enjoyed a 
good time, and the next morning they took up the game where they left 
oflf, and over the hills and across the valleys they continued until they 
reached the place of starting the day before. 



The first schoolhouse built in the county was a small round-log house, 
sixteen feet long and twelve feet wide, erected about two miles north of 
Bowling Green, on the north line, and near the northwest corner of the 
farm of William H. Boothe, aad in the winter of 1821 Samuel Eizley 
opened the first school ever taught in the county in a regular schoolhouse; 
but Harvey Peas had taught previous to this, and perhaps taught the first 
school in the county, in one room of the residence of David Thomas. 
For several years after this, schools were taught according to the " article," 
and not so much according to the law. The article generally specified 
that spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic to the rule of three would 
be taught. If a student took with him to school a grammar or geog- 
raphy, it was sent back, because it was not in the article. It was also 
generally specified in the article that the school should be "open." This 
meant that each scholar should spell and read aloud while studying his 
lessons, and one could generally tell when he was within a quarter of 
a mile of the schoolhouse. 

To Mr. Samuel Eizley, one of the first teachers, was born the first 
white child within the bounds of the township — -a daughter, now living, 
and the wife of Simon Stacy, and residing on or very near the spot of 
ground on which David Thomas, the first settler, located. 

There are in Washington Township, outside of the corporation of 
Bowling Green, ten schoolhouses in which public schools are maintained 
more than an average of six months each year. 4>' 

The County Asylum, consisting of a farm of 160 acres and an excellent 
brick edifice suitable for the purpose, and which is of the value of $20, - 
000, is situate in the southwest part of the township. 


German. — In the north part of the township and in the vicinity of 
Poland, German settlers were found as early as 1837. In the year 1839, 
we find the names Ahlemeyer, Nesse, Stutz, Gilbrich and others. The 
last-named gentleman died in February, 1840. A few months previous 
to his death, however, he had helped to clear away a piece of forest and 
prepare a place for a cemetery and church lot. It was on this occasion 
that, while sitting upon a fallen tree, they organized themselves, in a 
rather primitive manner, into a body politic, and elected as their first 
Trustees Ueni-y Ahlemeyer, Louis Stutz and John Horsch. In 1850, we 
find the following German names, in addition to those already men- 
tioned: Franke Schror, Telgemeyer, Knueppe, Thoene, Sonnefeld, Spel- 
bring, Borckhold, Mersch, Bohley, Rothenberger, Teepe, Neimeyer, Katt- 
mann, Schultz, Kortepeter, Hoff, Wittenberg, Wiewinner, Truttier and 
Bauman. Some of these names are not found in the neighborhood now. 
The first pastor of this congregation was the Rev. Gerhard H. Zumpe, 




who was born in the year 1803, at Lotte, in the Kingdom of Prussia. 
He was educated in Bei'lin, the capital of Prussia, and immigrated in 
1832. The majority of the first members of the congregation had left 
Germany at the same time, and with them he stayed at different places 
in this country until at last they all found a resting place near Poland, 
Ind. As was incident with all pioneer settlers, it was difficult to 
provide food and clothing for themselves and families, but close econ- 
omy and hard labor have made them all well-to-do farmers. These 
Germans are of a peaceable, moral and religious nature. They brought 
from their fatherland the source of this, their pious inclinations, viz.: 
The Bible, hymn book and Heidelberg catechism; and being taught and 
believing in the communion of saints, and that this should find a visible 
expression even this side of the grave, they organized a congregation, or 
church, and adopted certain rules for their government the 6th day of 
September, A. D. 1840. They then and there elected the Rev. Gerhard 
H. Zumpe their pastor, also one Elder in the person of William Ahle- 
meyer, and Hemy Schror they elected Deacon. Mr. Schror is still liv- 
ing. The confession of their faith is laid down in the Heidelberg cate- 
chism, it belonging to the orthodox confessions of the land. The con- 
gregation was organized with thirty-one members, representing thirteen 
families. The salary of the pastor for a number of years did not exceed 
$40 per annum, and during a pastorate of twenty years it did not ex- 
ceed $250 per year, besides the aid rendered him in clearing forty acres 
of land he had received from his father-in-law, Mr. Jacob Bauman. 
Believing in education, both secular and religious, they soon felt the 
need of a schoolhouse, which they erected in the year 1842. It was a 
structure of common logs and was used for religious services on Sundays 
until the year 1844. Previous to the building of this schoolhouse, they 
worshiped in private houses. In 1844, a log church was built which 
was thirty feet long and twenty-four feet wide. This house cost about 
125 in cash, the members doing the work themselves. It was, of course, 
quite a primitive structure; the seats, for instance, consisting of hewn 
planks or puncheons, resting on trestles. The congregation, having in 
the meantime increased in numbers and wealth, on the 1st day of Jan- 
uary, 1854, resolved to build a new frame church, the corner-stone of 
which was laid April 15, 1854. The Trustees at this time were William 
Franke, F. Ahlemeyer and Carl Wittenberg. Mr. Ahlemeyer is yet liv- 
ing. The contractors were F. R. Teepe and Henry Franke. They agreed 
to build the frame work forty-five feet long, thirty feet wide and fifteen 
feet from floor to ceiling, for $570. The pulpit and seats were given by 
contract to Gerhard Sonnefeld, the whole to cost when completed $925. 
In this house these people worship to-day, but as the congregation 
has outgrown it, they have had it in contemplation for some time to 
build a new house for the accommodation of the large number that 



gather there each Sabbath to worship. The present membership num- 
bers 206. 

In 1865, the congregation bought twelve acres of ground not far 
from the church, with a house, barn and orchard on it, for $900, to be 
used as a parsonage. On this lot they erected, in 1871, a new dwelling 
at a cost of $814. Four years previous, a new schoclhouse had been 
built at a cost of $410. A pipe organ was purchased in 1863 at a cost 
of $200, which was replaced a few years ago by a Mason & Hamlin 
organ at an additional cost of $100. This congregation meets promptly 
all its expenses, and is out of debt. The Rev. Mr. Zumpe continued 
his relations as pastor, with the exception of one year, until 1866, when 
the Rev. P. Jorris was called, who has served continuously as pastor 
with great acceptability to the present time. Mr. Jorris takes rank as 
one of our ablest divines, and is beloved by his congregation, and highly 
respected by all who know him. He receives an annual salary of $500, 
besides the free use of the parsonage. Since 1852, the congregation has 
given to benevolent objects about $4,000. The total expense for build- 
ing, salary, etc., amounts to about $15,000 or $16,000. This church 
holds its ecclesiastical relation with the "General Synod of the Re- 
formed Church in the United States," and should not be confounded 
with " The Reformed Church in America." 

Other Congregations. — There are six other houses for public worship 
in the township outside of Bowling Green. The Methodists have two — 
one near the old site of Bellair, and the other in the east side of the town- 
ship. Both of these are good houses. The United Brethren have two — 
an excellent one two miles west of town, and a log house in the south- 
east part of the township. The Christian denomination have two — one 
in the south part of the township, and one in the northwest part. Both 
of these are good buildings. 


The old militia system of the State, which had been devised at an 
early period in its history, had about died out, although there were 
occasional calls for the militia to meet for regimental drill, when the 
military spirit of the township was aroused again by the declaration of 
war against Mexico. Gov. Whitcomb had scarcely made his call in 
1846 for three regiments of volunteers before steps were taken that 
resulted in raising a company of Clay County volunteers, which consti- 
tuted Company D, Second Regiment Indiana Volunteers, commanded by 
Col. Jim Lane : 





John Osborn, Captain Clay Co. 35 

Allen T Rose, 1st Lieut Clay Co. 34 

John T. Alexander, 2d Lieut. Clay Co. 36 

Joshua Moore, 2d Lieut Clay Co. 25 

Thomas Grimes, Q. M. Sergt. Clay Co. i 23 

William L. Shields, 1st Sergt. Clay Co. i 26 

Henry Moss, 2d Sergt Clay Co. ! 26 

Elihu E. Rose, 3d Sergt Clay Co. I 22 

John M. Melton, 4th Sergt . . Clay Co. 23 

Nathan Burchfield Clay Co. | 26 

Absalom Hall. Clay Co. ; 22 

Randall Chance Clay Co. 

Adam Huffman Clay Co. 

Erwine Blumb Clay Co. 

John F. Branham Owen Co. 

Hukey Brown Clay Co. 

Samuel Blunk Clay Co. 

Miles Brush Clay Co. 

Wilburn Brown Clay Co. 

William Blackman Parke Co. 

Thomas I. Cromwell. 

Winston Crouse 

Henry C. Cameron... 
Timothy Chambers . . 
Alexander Carruthers 

Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 

William Crouse Clay Co. 

Squire L. Case 

Joshua Deal 

Benjamin Deal . . 
John Dalgarn.. .. 
Frederick Eckerd 

Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 
Clay Co. 

John B. Evans Clay Co 

Isaac Ferguson Clay Co. 

Sidney H. Golson Clay Cu. 

Charles D. Gilbert Clay Co. 

John F. Gillaspie Clay Co. 

Ebenezer Gilbert Clay Co. 

John Hudson Clay Co. 

Thomas F. Hensley Clay Co. 

Jacob Hudson ....'. Clay Co. 

Elisha Horn Clay Co. 

Adam Howk, Jr Clay Co. 

Moses Harvey Clay Co. 

Peter Huffman Owen Co. 

John B. Jones Clay Co. 

Thomas Jenkins Clay Co. 

David Jones Clay Co. 

William Kendall Clay Co. 

Abraham Kendall Clay Co. 

John Kendall Clav Co. 

Elisha Kendall Clay Co. 

John Long Clay Co. 

James Leonard Clay Co. 

Paschal Lapere Vigo Co. 

Samuel Moss Clay Co. | 

Charles W. Moss Clay Co. 

James Marshall Clay Co. 

Nathan Myers Clay Co. 

Augustus S. Nations Owen Co. 


; 32 
I 22 



4 March 12, 1833 Putnam Co., Ind. 
6 Jan. 1, 1833. .. Putnam Co., Ind., 
2 Dec. 13, 1832. . ,Clay Co., Ind 

1 April 4, 1844. .jClay Co., Ind.. .. 
4 ;Feb. 9, 1835.. .'Morgan Co., Ind. 


Feb. 3, 1846.. . Dearborn Co., Ind. 

i April 24,1828 Clay Co., Ind 

I I June 24, 1844 Owen Co. , Ind 

Aug. 2, 1836. . Clay Co.. Ind 

April 2 or 3, '35 Germany 

. . . i 

5 Nov. 30, 1826. 

Morgan Co., Ind 


Nov. 24, 1842. 

Clay Co., Ind 


May 8, 1842. . . 

Clay Co., Ind 


May 2, 1839. . . 
Aug, 22, 1830. 

Clay Co., Ind 

Clermont Co., Ohio. 


Dec. 24, 1840. . Clay Co., Ind 



July 8, 1844... Clay Co., Ind 


1 Dec. 22, 1843. . Clay Co., Ind 


July 11, 1837.. Clay Co., Ind 

j June 30, 1821 York Co., Penn 

( Nov. 26, 1841|Tippecanoe Co., Ind. 



July 23, 1844. . Clay Co. , Ind 


Aug. 18, 1837.. Clay Co., Ind 





Nov. 29, 1842 . Clay Co. , Ind 









James M Oliver 

Clay Co 1 18 


Stephen P O'Brien 

Clay Co. 

Clav C,n 


William Fatten, Jr 


Reason Phipps Clay Co. 

William Richardson jClay Co. 

Benjamin Randall Clay Co. 



Littleton L. Sumpter 'Owen Co. 27 

William H. Sparks Clay Co. 20 

William L. Thompson ;Owen Co. 21 

Zech J. Tantrees Clay Co. i 24 

Thomas Wakefield Owen Co. 19 

Dec. 29, 1842.. 'Owen Co., Ind 

i i 

Daniel D. Walker Clay Co. 23 

Franklin Waddle Clay Co. 

Richard Walker, Jr Clay Co. 

William W. Walker, Clay Co. 

Jesse Walker Clay Co. 

John Wakefield 'Owen Co 




Feb. 8,1838... 

Vigo Co., Ind 


Warren W. Walker Iciav C,n. 


Alexander Carruthers was wounded at the battle of Buena Vista, and 
died a few days after, and was buried at Saltillo, Mexico. William Ken- 
dall, John Hudson and Wilber Brown died of disease. Kendall and 
Hudson were buried at Camp Belknap; Brown was buried at Brazos Bar. 

As indicative of the enthusiastic spirit of the people generally, it is 
only necessary to state that Dr. William B. G-wathmey and Dr. Charles 
Moore gave notice through the colums of the Indiana Globe that " fami- 
lies of volunteers would^'be prescribed for and attended during the absence 
of the company gratuitously." 


Clay County was organized by an act of the Legislature in 1825. 
The same act also appointed Commissioners to locate the county seat. 
The high land on the opposite side of Eel River and the present location 
came in competition befoi'e the board, but its decision was in favor of 
the present site. The town was built on the land entered by David 
White and Caleb Cummings, on the 18th day of August, 1818. Daniel 
Chance was appointed County Agent, and he employed James Gallatly, 
an eccentric citizen of Owen County, to survey and lay out the town. 
The sale of lots was made in 1826 or 1827. The first term of court was 
held some time in the year 1826; John Ewing was Presiding Judge, 
and Daniel Harris and Nicholas G. Cromwell were Associates. The 
first county officers were: Clerk and Recorder, Elijah Rawley; Treas- 
urer, Daniel Chance; Sheriff, John Rizley; County Agent, Daniel 
Chance; first Representative in State Legislature, Daniel Harris. The 
County Commissioners were Samuel Rizley, John Downey and Tilman 
Chance. Mr. Rizley had been one of the Commissioners of Putnam 
County, and was afterward Commissioner of Owen County, and after- 


ward held the office of County Commissioner in Clay County, but all 
this time resided in the same house. The first court house was built of 
logs, and erected in the year 1827. It remained till the year 1838, when 
a brick court house was built on the public square, which stood till 1852, 
when it was destroyed by fire. The county immediately commenced the 
erection of the present building, on the ground occupied by its prede- 
cessor. It is a plain substantial structure, and cost the county $10,000. 
It is yet in a good state of preservation, surrounded by a nice grass 
sward and pleasantly shaded. The building is owned by the town, and 
used as a hall for lectures and various kinds of entertainments. The 
county jail was erected the same year in which the first court house was 
built. It was of hewn logs, and on the plan of all such prisons. When 
the second court house was erected, a jail was also built of brick, which 
still remains. It originally cost the county $5,000. It now belongs to 
the town, and is a good, substantial building, well preserved. 

In 1869, the place was incorporated as a town. It was divided into 
three districts, and one Trustee from each district elected. From the 
First District, Enos Miles; from the Second, William H. Atkins; and 
from the Third, James Shaw, were chosen. These districts are now rep- 
resented in the above order by William H. Miles, John E. Thomas and 
Samuel J. Kendall; Frederick E. Keifner is Clerk and Treasurer, and 
Noah Rodenberger is Marshal. The town was incorporated several 
years previous to the present organization, but the thing not proving 
satisfactory, it was "busted up." 

Philip Hedges procured the contract of clearing off the ground for 
the public square, but as he was to receive a very small sum for the 
work, the people generally volunteered to assist him, and the occasion 
was made a kind of protracted holiday, in which both men and women 
took a lively interest. While the work was in progress, one Cypress 
came along with a quarter of beef which he had won at a shooting match- 
Some of the boys invited him into a grocery to drink, and during his ab- 
sence, others were busy roasting his beef on a large brush heap that had 
been made near by. After the meat had been roasted and devoured, a 
collection was taken, and Cypress was paid for his beef, and went on his 
way rejoicing. While the men were engaged in rolling the logs, Rev- 
John Dunham came along, and, at the invitation of the hands, he 
hitched his horse to a tree, and all hands seated themselves around, 
while he delivered the first sermon that was preached on the ground 
where Bowling Green was afterward built. It is said that after Brother 
Dunham had dismissed his audience, they made him dance a jig', but 
Uncle Oliver Cromwell says he was there, and that was not the fact. The 
Rev, Mr. Billings, a Baptist minister, preached in the vicinity some time 
before this, and about 1820 organized a Baptist Church some four miles 
south of here. 


The Methodists organized the first church in Bowling Green, but 
preached and held all their meetings in private houses and the school - 
house till the year 1848, when they erected a substantial brick house of 
worship, in which they have maintained preaching regularly ever since. 

The Presbyterians commenced building a church in 1852, and in about 
one year afterward they sold the undivided one-half of the house and lot 
to the Baptists, and the Baptists completed the house in 1854. 

The Baptist Church was organized here in September, 1853, with 
nine constituent members. Mrs. Jalia A. Campbell and Mrs. Jane Cook 
are the only original members that are now living. Soon after the organ- 
ization of the church, they bought a half interest in the Presbyterian 
Church, and in 1872 they purchased the other half in fee simple. The 
first minister called was B. T. Herring, and then, in about the following 
order, they have had John Ward, Wilson Trent, Robert Moore, James 
Buchannan, Elder Harvey, Jesse Buchannan, G. W. Terry and T. J. 
Beaman. The present Deacons are James Taggart and George W. 

The present organization of the Christian Church was the result of a 
remarkable protracted meeting and revival, conducted by Elders James 
Blankenship and William Black, in 1866. In 1867 they built a 
large, commodious frame church, which was dedicated ^by Elder 
Black in May, 1868. David S. Stillwagon and Loyd B, Harris were 
the Elders elected, and David Orman, Clinton M. Thompson and Leroy 
Keith were the Deacons. The present officers are John Frump and D. 
S. Stillwagon, Elders; and John W. Wood and John Murbarger are the 

In the year 1875, the town erected an excellent graded school build- 
ing at a cost of $8,000, in which schools of a high order have been main- 
tained. The Principals of the schools have been Profs. Farraby, Homer 
Hicks, Maston S. Wilkinson and W. S. Williams. 

Clay Lodge, No. 85, A. F. & A. M. was organized in the year 1849, 
under dispensation from the Grand Master, E. Denning, and was char- 
tered May 29, 1850, with John Osborn, Master; Merryman Elkin, Senior 
Warden, and Oswald Thomas, Junior Warden. In January, 1883, the 
fraternity had their hall, together with charter, books, jewels and furni- 
ture, destroyed by fire. The present officers are Dr. E. P. Talbott, W. 
M. ; Samuel J. Kendall, S. W. ; Lewis Kalber, J. W. ; Jacob Royer, S. 
D. ; Henry Tressel, J. D. ; Henry Moss, Secretary; C. M. Thompson, 
Treasurer, p?'o tent., and John Wood, Tiler. 

Lodge No. 513, I. O. O. F., was organized the 18th day of Novem- 
ber, 1875. The charter members were Homer Hicks, Lenox Gwathmey, 
Thomas N. James, S. S. Feullen and Samuel Dalton. The present offi- 
cers are Martin Boyer, N. G. ; Lewis Kalber, V. G. ; Charles J. Fer- 
guson, Treasurer; and Lenox Gwathmey, Secretary. 


Pnrity Lodge, K. and L. of H., No. 275, was organized March 27, 
1880, with H. H. B. Miles, Parintha Miles, Ernst Muehler, Eliza Muehler, 
Jacob H. McKinney, Indiana McKinney, William Mayrose, Regina May- 
rose, Philip A. Elkin, Alice Elkin, George Sinders, Percilla Sinders, 
David Notter, Jane Notter, O. O, Bence, Sarah Bence, Kate Bence and 
Lewis Kalber, as charter members. The present ofiQcers are Catharine 
Kalber, Protector ; Lida Davis, Vice Protector; Lewis Kalber, Secre- 
tary : H, H. B. Miles, Financial Secretary ; Sarah Bence, Treasurer ; 
Salina Kendall, Chaplain ; Parintha Miles, Guide ; William Mayrose, 
Guardian, and O. O. Bence, Sentinel. The Trustees are Ernst Muehler, 
William Mayrose and O. O. Bence. 

The following persons have kept hotel in Bowling Green, to wit: 
George Anderson, Barnet Hall, Daniel Zenor, John D. Thompson, 
Thomas Harvey, A. T. Lansing and Mary Cromwell. The town has 
always had the reputation of having good hotels. 

Jesse J. Bui'ton, Thomas Harvey, James Gildy, John S. Beam, Clin- 
ton M. Thompson, Richard Campbell, O. H. P. Ash, James M. Vial, 
James M. Miles, Samuel Miles, Lewis W. Rice, William H. Miles, 
Samuel G. N. Pinkley and Abner Bohannan have all served the people 
here as Postmaster. 

Bowling Green has been noted for the talent of its local bar. Samuel 
Howe Smith, a pioneer lawyer, was a young man of eminent ability. He 
served a term in the Legislature, but he died prematurely with con- 
sumption, William Farley was also an attorney here in early timeg. 
Henry Secrest, who became quite eminent as a lawyer, once lived and 
practiced here. Deland R. Eckles formerly lived here, and practiced his 
profession. He was the preceptor of Deland E. Williamson, who studied 
and practiced here, and afterward became Attorney General of the State. 
John Osborn was first a dry goods merchant here, and then studied law 
and served the county for eight years as Auditor, and was also a member 
of the Legislature. He was Captain, and commanded a company in the 
war with Mexico, and went into the ai'my as Lieutenant Colonel in the 
Thirty-first Indiana Regiment in the war of the rebellion. Allen T. 
Rose first learned the trade of a stonemason, then studied law, and be- 
came eminent in the profession. He was in the military service of the 
county in the war with Mexico, and also in the late war, and in both he 
held the rank of First Lieutenant. William Wirt Carter was raised and 
educated in Clay County, and is a lawyer of recognized ability. He 
entered the military service in the Sixth Indiana Cavalry, and served 
during the war, coming out with the rank of Major. He is now Internal 
Revenue Collector for this district. Silas D. Cofifey was for several 
years a partner of Maj. Carter, and was equally eminent in his profes- 
sion. He is now Judge of this judicial district. Mr. George W. 
Wiltse was also a prominent lawyer here, and served the county as 


Auditor. The present members of the bar residing here are Hon. George 
D. Teter, John Tressel and Col. John T. Smith. 


The first paper published in the county was established in Bowling 
Green, in June, 1846, by S. H. and W. M. Kridelbaugh, and was called 
the Indiana Globe. 

In 1851, Samuel Christy commenced the publication of the Eel 
River Propeller, which he continued about a year, and then sold 
out to Osborn and Oliver, who changed the name of the paper to Clay 
County Advocate. They published the Advocate two years, and sold 
out to Thomas Dillon, who changed the name of the paper to Clay 
County Citizen. Mr. Dillon died in 1855, and the Citizen fell into the 
hands of James Oliver. Mr. Oliver moved the paper to Brazil, and 
established the Brazil News. In 1857, he sold the News to A. T. Lansing, 
who moved it back to Bowling Green, and sold out the same year to A. T. 
Lusk. Mr. Lusk got out one issue, and sold out to our fellow-townsman, 
Clinton M. Thompson, and the publication of the Clay County Democrat 
was commenced, and for about seven years was continued under his 
supervision and management. Connected with him, however, at different 
times, were Thomas J. Gray, N. L. Willard and T. M. Eobertson. For 
a considerable time Mr. George W. Wiltse was employed to edit the 
political department, and the Democrat took rank alongside the best 
papers in the Congressional district. The Clay County Democrat was 
sold to the Republicans, and its name changed to Hoosier Patriot, and was 
edited by William W. Carter. The Patriot was afterward sold to Mr. 
A. B. Wright, who moved it to Brazil. 

The new Clay County Democrat was established by Thomas J. Gray, 
but in a year, or less, he sold out to A. T. Lansing, who continued its 
publication until 1863, when he changed its name to Auroi^a Borealis, 
and in 1866 he sold out to Samuel B. Riley, who changed its name to 
Old Constitution. 

This was succeeded by the Democratic Archives, edited and published 
by Mr. William Travis. 

Mr. Lansing revived the Aurora Borealis in 1870, but afterward 
moved it to Knightsville, in this county. 

The Clay County Herald was established in 1874 by C. M. Leek, 
and at the expiration of about a year he sold out to the Clay Publishing 
Association, who continued the publication of the paper, under the 
editorial managment of A. J. Montgomery and Peter T. Luther. Some 
time after the county seat was moved, in 1875, Jason W. Brown com- 
menced the publication of the Clay County Review, which he afterward 
moved to Saline City, in this county.* 

* Simon Hirech, in 1875, commenced the publication of the Clay County Deutsche 2ei7«n;,and continued 
it about a year. 


Several of those connected with the Press and its history, in this 
place, have been men of more than average ability as newspaper writ- 
ers, the most sprightly of which were, probably, Thomas Dillon and 
Samuel Christie. 



IN the wonderful changes which the present age has witnessed, the 
period of vision and hypothesis has gone by. Fact has assumed 
the place of abstract theory, and practice has rejected speculation from 
her throne. In nothing are the changes of the present age more strik- 
ingly illustrated than in the wonderful improvement and advancement 
of our own country, especially the great West. But a few years ago, 
and this country was the home of the red man and his kindred. Less 
than a century has passed, and the Indian of " falcon glance and lion 
bearing" has disappeared, and Cooper's " Last of the Mohicans" preserves 
in romance the story of the race. From a wilderness infested with sav- 
ages and wild beasts, the country has been reclaimed and transformed 
into an Eden of loveliness unsurpassed in all that goes to make men 
happy, notwithstanding the poet has sung of 

" A clime more delightful than this, 
The land of the orange, the myrtle and vine." 

The history which attaches to every portion of our country increases 
in interest as time rolls on. Its wonderful development and advance- 
ment are more like magic tales than actual occurrences, and its vast re- 
sources the wonder of all nations. No section but has its traditions, and 
no spot, however small, but is more or less historical. It is, doubtless, 
pleasing to the excursive mind to push back into mildew and mold of fche 
semi-unknown and revel in conjecture and fancy, and it is no less grat- 
ifying to the reader, whether he reads for amusement or instruction. 

Mankind delights in the skill which portrays in harmonious colors the 
possibles and the might-have-beens and re-incarnates the crumbling skel- 
eton of antiquity and clothes it in the apparel which toilsome research has 
conceived to be the most fitting and appropriate. But the task of the 
present writer is allied to none of these. Its merit will depend upon an 
accurate statement of facts, stripped of any attempt at poetic veneering 
or the charm of soiind. Many of the matters with which he is called 
upon to deal and which it is his duty to rescue from the shadows which 
will soon deepen into darkness are within the memory of persons still 
living, now gray-haired and venerable, but who came in the strength and 
vigor of their youth to subdue forests and to endure the trials and priva- 
tions incident to pioneer life. 



Harrison Township, which forms the subject matter of the following 
pages, is the largest division of Clay County, and bears no inconsider- 
able part in its history and development. It embraces an irregular area 
of territory lying in the southeastern part of the county, with the follow- 
ing boundaries, to wit: Perry and Sugar Ridge Townships on the north, 
Owen County on the east, and Lewis Township on the south and west. 
The surface of the country is gently undulating, the more uneven portion 
being near the northern boundary and along Lick Creek, where are a 
number of hills of various sizes and altitudes. The township is well 
watered and drained, Eel River, the largest stream of the county, flowing 
along the northern and "southern borders and afifording an outlet for sev- 
eral creeks of considerable size which traverse the county in almost 
every direction. Big Creek flows through the northern part and receives 
a number of tributaries, the largest of which is Lick Creek, which 
passes in a westerly direction through the central part of the township. 
Pond Creek rises in the east central part, and, flowing a southerly course, 
empties into Eel River. White Oak heads near the central part and 
flows in a southwesterly direction and empties into Eel River in Section 
29, Town 10, Range 6 west. A large ditch, made by the State in the 
year 1854, for the purpose of straightening Big Creek, flows into Eel 
River due south from the central part, and affords an ample means of 
drainage for that part of the county through which it passes. Adjacent 
to the majority of these wator-courses are stretches of low bottom lands, 
possessing a black, sandy soil, which, for fertility, cannot be surpassed 
by any other portion of the county. Back from the streams are what are 
termed the flats, where a clay soil predominates, which, though not so 
good for general farming as the bottoms, produces the small grains and 
cereals in abundance. The more elevated portions of the township are 
characterized by a clay soil also, and are well adapted to wheat culture 
and stock-raising, the native grasses being nutritious and very hardy. 

The entire face of the country when first seen by white men was 
covered with dense forests of valuable timber, such as walnut, poplar, 
hickory, beech, elm, ash, white oak, burr oak, red oak, hard and soft 
maple, sycamore and elm, the last two varieties being confined prin- 
cipally to the immediate vicinity of the water-courses. The value of the 
timber has been very great, and during the hard times, culminating in 
1873 and on till 1876, was what furnished the principal resource of the 
people for paying debts and buying the necessaries of life. 


Underlying all parts of the township are vast beds of the finest qual- 
ity of block coal, and a number of rich mines have been developed in 
various localities. 


The first mine was opened in the year 1873, near Clay City, by Wood- 
ruff & Trunkey, of Chicago, and is known as the Markland Shaft. The 
coal lies eighty-five feet below the surface, and the vein worked at the 
present time varies in thickness from two feet ten inches to three feet 
and a half, and the yearly production is estimated at 15,000 tons. When 
operated to its full capacity, an average force of thirty-five men is em- 
ployed, and the capital invested is 115,000. 

The Barrick Mine, on the farm of Mr. Barrick, two and a half miles 
southeast of Clay City, on the Terre Haute & Southeastern Railroad, was 
opened in the year 1882 by Messrs. Hatfield, Price & Roberts. The 
mine is well equipped, and a large force of men is constantly employed. 

The coal interest of Harrison Township is still in its infancy, and 
the future augurs well for the industry, which at no distant day promises 
to become quite extensive, as men of ample means are already prospect- 
ing for locations for mines. 


Congressional Townships 9 and 10 north, Range 6 west, which form 
the greater part of Harrison, were surveyed by the Government in 1815, 
and the lands placed upon market subject to entry one year later. No 
purchases were made, however, until the month of October, 1818, at 
which time patents were obtained for portions of Section 31, Town 9 
north, Range 6 west, by John Gray, James Maxwell and John Maxwell, 
none of whom ever occupied their lands as settlers, and it was not until 
about the year 1823 or 1824 that the first pioneer home seekers made 
their appearance and began making improvements in the wilderness. 
These were James H. Downing and his brother-in-law, William Maxwell, 
natives of Kentucky, both of whom selected claims about a half mile 
south of the site of Middlebury. Here they erected two small pole cab- 
ins for the purpose of holding their lands, which task being done they 
went back to Orange County and remained until the following spring, 
when they returned with their families. For a period of about eighteen 
months or two years they were the only white persons living within the 
present area of the township, and during that time they made respectable 
clearings around their cabin, and raised tolerable crops of corn and veg- 
etables, the first efforts at agriculture ever attempted in Harrison. Down- 
ing is remembered as a noble specimen of a class of men developed by 
the times whose prominent virtaes were hospitality, good nature and a 
charitable regard for the welfare of others. 

He took a lively interest in inducing substantial settlers to locate in 
his neighborhood, and assisted them in securing good lands, which made 
him very popular with all new-comers. At the first election ever held in 
the township, he was chosen Justice of the Peace, an office he filled very 
acceptably for several consecutive terms. He was a citizen of Harrison 


until 1834, at which time he sold his land to Peter Cooprider and moved 
back to his native State, where his death occurred many years ago. 

Maxwell appears to have been a man of more than ordinary tal- 
ents, and was appointed first Surveyor of the county in the year 
1826. He sold out a few years later to David Owens and emigrated to 
Arkansas. In the spring of 1825, John Cooprider came to the township 
and settled near the village of Middlebury. He had previously made a 
settlement in the township of Lewis, where, in 1821, he entered, as he 
supposed, 400 acres of land, intending to make it his home. After mak- 
ing a few improvements, he ascertained that there had been a mistake 
made in the description of his lands, the tracts which he really entered 
lying over a mile south, and were at that time in possession of another 
person. The land on which he settled had been purchased in the mean- 
time, and so he had nothing to do but to look out for another location, 
and, with the loss of the greater part of his fortune, he came to this 
township and took a claim as noted above. Mr. Cooprider was born in 
Pennsylvania, but left that State in 1805, emigrating to Kentucky, where 
he remained two or three years, at the end of which time he moved to 
Indiana Territory and settled in Vigo County, then an almost unbroken 
wilderness in possession of the Indians. On account of exposure and 
the various hardships incident to a life in the Western wilds, he became 
seriously afflicted, and at the time of his settlement here was in no con- 
dition to perform any great amount of manual labor. With the assist- 
ance of his sbns and wife, who was in every respect a helpmeet, and who 
was not ashamed to be seen wielding an ax, a small beech- log cabin, 
14x16 feet, was hastily constructed, and answered the purpose of a dwell- 
ing for a number of years. The family of our pioneer at that time con- 
sisted of six childi-en, and Mr. Cooprider's mother, an aged lady, with 
whom the hardships and rough diet of a backwoods life did not agree, as 
she had been accustomed to better things where she formerly lived. The 
manifold privations and adverse circumstances which early settlers in a 
new and imdeveloped country are compelled to encounter were experi- 
enced in a marked degree by this pioneer family, and for several years 
they were denied many of the common necessaries of life, such as bread, 
groceries and wearing apparel. Their little stock of meal became 
exhausted soon after their arrival, and there being no mills in the coun- 
try, and the nearest market place being almost 100 miles distant, they 
were compelled to do without the " staff of life " until a small corn crop 
could be raised. They used the breasts of wild turkeys and a kind of a 
squash known as "cashaw" for bread, which, when baked well and 
dipped in venison tallow, answered as a tolerable substitute. The grand- 
mother, however, did not take kindly to such a bill of fare, and day by 
day sighed for " cake," until at last Mr. Cooprider determined to gratify 
her wishes, and sent one of her sons on horseback to a settlement in Har- 
rison County, about 120 miles distant, for a sack of flovu-. 


After an absence of over a week, the boy returned with the precious 
material and the family enjoyed a grateful feast, the happiest one of the 
lot being the good old mother. Their corn crop had matured suffi- 
ciently by this time to afford them meal, which was manufactured in a 
mortar, made by burning a hollow in a large block of wood, the grain 
being crushed with an iron wedge. An improved mill was afterward 
made out of two large ash blocks, hollowed out with an ax and securely 
fastened together with strong wooden pins. In the meantime, the work 
of clearing up their farm progressed slowly but steadily, and all able to 
handle an ax were put into the woods to assist in removing the trees and 
underbrush, and in time a goodly number of acres were fitted for cultiva- 
tion. Mr. Elias Cooprider, son of John Cooprider, came to the new 
country with his father, and says that he worked in the clearings day 
after day with his mother and chopped races with her. Their first ground was 
broken, or scratched over rather, with a one-horse shovel plow, and the first 
crop produced consisted largely of potatoes, squashes, beans and a small 
amount of corn. In the fall of 1826, Mr. Cooprider sowed the first wheat 
ever planted in Clay County, which made a very poor yield, owing to the 
cold winter, which froze the greater part of it out. When grandmother 
Cooprider was apprised of the probable failure of the wheat, she actually 
burst into tears, as she had been counting the days until it should 
ripen, and the prospect of living another year on "corn pone" proved 
a sad blow to the poor old lady. She was not doomed to be entirely dis- 
appointed, however, for a small portion of the grain matured, and suffi- 
cient was saved to furnish them bread a part of the time, and to raise a tol- 
erable crop the following year. Mr. Cooprider was an honored resident of 
the township, until the 19th day of March, 1877, at which time he was 
summoned to that rest prepared for all those who have acted well their 
parts here. A number of descendants live in the township, and are 
among its most worthy and substantial citizens and business men. 

Elias Cooprider, from whom the above and many other facts were 
obtained, is the oldest living settler in the township and the oldest native 
Indianian in the county, having been born in Harrison County several 
years before the State was organized. 


In the fall of 1825 came John L. Grillaspie, a brother-in-law of Coop- 
rider, and settled on the site of Middlebury, where he started the first 
blacksmith shop in the township, bringing his tools with him. He was 
a native of Virginia, and resided on his purchase until the year 1836, at 
which time he went with several others on an excursion to New Orleans, 
and died while on his way home. 

Frank Strader and his son Jesse came prior to 1829, and settled two 
miles south of Middlebury, where they remained about seven or eight 


years, when they moved to Terre Haute, and later to Illinois. They 
were hunters rather than tillers of the soil, and spent the greater por- 
tion of their time in quest of game, or in fishing, the streams at that 
early day being alive with tine varieties of the finny tribe. They afterward 
gave considerable attention to raising cattle and hogs, selling their stock 
to speculators, a business which paid them very well. 

An early settler deserving of special mention was one Daniel Harris, 
who came to the country in company with the Indians and trapped for 
some time along Eel River. He was born in Virginia, but being of a 
roving disposition he left his native clime in an early day and found his 
way into Ohio, when that State was on the outskirts of civilization. The 
date of his arrival in this part of the county was not learned, but is sup- 
posed to have been some time prior to 1828 or 1829. Being pleased wi+h 
the country, he selected a claim in the northeastern part of the town- 
ship, on Eel River, and later entered the land where William Connolly 
lives. In 1853, he sold this farm to William Levitt and moved into 
Sugar Ridge Township, where he died the following year. He assisted 
in surveying the greater part of the county, and had the honor of being 
the first Probate Judge. 

About the year 1830 came John B. and Alexander Poe, two advent- 
urous Kentuckians, who settled in Section 7, Town 10 north, Range 6 
west. They were hunters and stock raisers, and led a kind of nomadic 
life, moving about from place to place, never accumulating sufficient 
money to enable them to enter land. They resided in Harrison but a few 
years, afterward moving to Greene County, where Alexander became a 
Uiinister of the Christian Church. Charles Inman, a transient settler, 
came about the year 1830, and is remembered as a pioneer of the true 
backwoods type. 

Zaachriah Denney became a resident as early as 1829, settling about 
one mile southwest of Middlebury, on land which had been previously 
entered by James Hickey. He was a man of fine abilities and education, 
and taught the first school in the township; his death occurred in 1839. 
His son, Mordecai Denney, came the same time, as did also his sons-in- 
law, David White, Jacob Van Trees and James Defore, and a man by 
the name of Blevins, all of whom settled near the central part of the 

Another settler, whose arrival dates as far back as 1827 or 1828, was 
Ivan Rawley, who secured a valuable tract of land on Eel River, in Section 
9, Town 10 north, Range 7 west. He cleared a fine farm here, and in 
1831 erected the first brick residence in the county. He seems to have 
been a man of many peculiarities, and lived an isolated life, dying in 

Among the many arrivals of the years from 1830 to 1840 may be 
noted Isaiah Duncan, who founded a settlement in the southeast part, 


where George Duncan now lives; William Cole, W. Buckalew, J. Buck- 
alew, Joseph Alexander, William Edmonson, Joel Owens, Presley Owens, 

Larkin Cash, Baker, William Luther, William Owens, Peter Luther 

and James Luther. The following persons purchased land from the Gov- 
ernment principally between the years 1819 and 1836: Caleb Jessup, John 
Walker, Philip Zenor, John Long, Joseph Graham, Michael Luther, 
Frederick Halfacre, George Toney, J. T. Alexander, J. P. Dunn, Omer 
Tousey, George Tousey, William Sullivan, G. W. Pratt, G. M. Thatcher, 
Joseph Griffith, G. P. Buell, Andrew Wilson, Henry Gibbs, Nicholas 
Crist, J. B. Poe, Ephraim Walker, Jonathan Owens, A. L. Killion, Lar- 
kin Lankford, F. Lankford, Joel White, Azariah Bean, Dakin Baker, A. 
D. Phipps and others. 


One cannot write history as a blind man goes about the street. Facts 
are transparent, and through them we catch gleams of other facts, as the 
rain-drops reflect the rays of the sun, and the beholdfa- sees the splendors 
of a rainbow. We are writing of common men, whose lot it was to 
plant civilization in the Western wilds, and in so doing they displayed 
the virtues which render modern civilization a boast and a blessing. 
Those early days cannot be reproduced by any prose of the historian. 

The pioneers had a thousand years behind them, and in their little 
space of time they made greater progress than ten centuries had wit- 
nessed. Theirs was a full life, and they did so much that it is difficult 
to recognize the doers. Of their constancy, one may judge by the fact 
that but few went back to their ancestral homes. 

Life in nearly all new countries is almost the same, and the pioneers 
of Harrison were no exception to the general rule. There were among 
them many noble men, whose lives exerted a wholesome influence in so- 
ciety, and again there were others of a different cast, whose morals were 
bad, and whose removal from the country was hailed with delight by the 
lovers of law and order. As a general thing, however, the state of soci- 
ety was good, and the few settlers were a " law unto themselves," as to 
the leading obligations of our nature in all the relations in which they 
stood to each other. The turpitude of vice and the majesty of moral 
virtue were then as apparent as now. and were regarded with the same 
sentiments of aversion or respect which they inspire at the present time. 

The punishment of lying, dishonesty, and many of the prevalent 
vices consisted of "hating the offender out," as they generally expressed 
it. This mode of chastisement was the one most generally adopted, and 
was a public expression in various ways of a general sentiment of indig- 
nation against such as transgressed the moral maxims of the community 
to which they belonged. 

At house raisings, log rollings and harvest parties every one was ex- 


pected to do his duty faithfully. A person who did not perform his 
share of labor on these occasions was looked upon with contempt by his 
fellows, and when it came his turn to require like aid from his neigh- 
bors the idler soon felt his punishment in their refusal to attend his 

Of course, their manner of living was rude, owing to their surround- 
ings, yet with all their rudeness, they were given to hospitality, and 
freely divided their rough fare with a neighbor or stranger, and would 
have been offended at the offer of pay. 

On the other hand, they were revengeful in their resentments, and 
the point of honor sometimes led to personal combats. 

Election and muster days were generally the times set for the adjust- 
ment of such differences, and if a good article of fighting whisky could 
be obtained, a rough-and-tumble knock-down would be the result, and 
each belligerent had his "best friend" to see fair play. 

Their sports were such as might be expected among a people who, 
owing to their circumstances, as well as education, set a higher value on 
physical than on mental endowments; and on skill in the use of the 
rifle in hunting than on any accomplishments or fine arts. The athletic 
sports of running, jumping and wrestling were the pastimes of the boys 
in common with the men. Shooting at marks was also a favorite diver- 
sion, and the skill of a man's aim often determined to a great degree 
his standing in the community. 

They had weddings in those days, and these linger with us to some 
extent yet; but those good old fashions and "infairs, " where are they? 
The wedding was at the bride's, and the "infair, " a kind of wedding 
number two, at the house of the groom's parents. Both meant to eat, 
diink, dance and be merry. Two days and two nights, with often a long 
horseback ride in the meantime, and the fi'olicking and dancing went on, 
and what dancing! not the dizzy waltz of this degenerate day and age, 
not the bounding polka, the delightful schottische, or any of the other 
modern fashionable dreara-walks, but while the fiddler kept time with 
his foot to the inspiriting tune of the "Arkansaw Traveler," "money- 
musk" or the "lightning jig," the merry frolickers raced over the 
puncheon floor in the good old ginger-blue style of the hoe-down which 
filled with joy their innocent hearts, and their legs with soreness and 
pain. But the Virginia reel, the hoe-down, the jig and the infair are 
gone, and their places are taken by the rather tame wedding tour, and 
the published list of presents from friends and foes. 

I The state of society which existed at that early period was well cal- 
culated to call into action every mechanical genius. There was in almost 
every neighborhood some one whose natural ingenuity enabled him to do 
many things for himself and neighbors, far above what could have been 
reasonably expected; with the few tools which they brought with them 


into the country, thoy certainly performed wonders. Their plows, harrows, 
with wooden teeth, and sleds were, in many instances, well made, and 
the cheaper ware, which comprehended everything for holding milk and 
water, was generally well executed. 


The first saw-mill in the township was built by Elias Cooprider, in 
Middlebury, about the year 1849, and operated by ox-power. It was in 
use about seven years, and during that time manufactured both lumber 
and meal, and seems to have been well patronized. The machinery was 
afterward moved to New Brunswick, and used in the construction of a 
combination mill at that place. Mr. Cooprider run the mill several 
years at Brunswick, and finally sold out to Marion Dalton, who, after 
operating it a short time, allowed it to fall into disuse. 

The first mill for grinding grain in the township, and perhaps the 
first in the county, was constructed by T. L. Cooprider, and stood not 
far from Middlebury. It was a very simple affair, operated by horse- 
power, the buhrs being manufactured from native rock by Mr. Cooprider. 
It was in operation about eight or ten years, and did a very good busi- 
ness for a mill of its capacity. About the year 1847, Joel Owens built a 
horse mill in the north end of the township, which was kept in operation 
until the erection of the Middlebury steam mill, some fifteen years later. 
Many of the early settlers used hand mills for grinding grain, by means 
of which a coarse article of flour and meal could be made. These mills 
were constructed on a very primitive plan, and consisted of two circular 
stones set in a gum, or hoop, the upper one being turned by means of a 
long pole, which was sometimes placed in an opening in a joist over- 
head. The last mill of this kind was operated by Joseph Griffith, who 
was also one of the earliest blacksmiths of the township. In 1850, or 
thereabouts, a tannery was started in the northeast part of the township, 
by Jacob Shawacre. It was in operation until about the year 1870, and 
did a paying business. 

An early industry was a small distillery, operated by W. Lankford, 
in the southwestern part of the township. Mr. Lankford brought the 
"still" from Kentucky, and operated it on a limited scale for a short time. 


The first death in Harrison occurred about the year 1827, at which 
time Midian Chamberlain, a temporary resident, departed this life. Elias 
Arthur died in the fall of 1827, and was laid to rest in the old Middle- 
bury Graveyai'd, being the first interment made therein. The cemetery 
was laid out by Thomas Gillaspie, and is said to have been the first place 
consecrated to the burial of the dead in Clay County. Among the early 
deaths were two children of William Maxwell, Elizabeth and Joseph 



Cooprider, and several children of John Cooprider, all of whom were 
buried in the cemetery mentioned. 

The Cole Graveyard, in the northeastern part of the township, was first 
used as a place of interment about the year 1836 or 1837, and among 
those laid to rest there in an early day were William and Elizabeth Cole. 

The Greenwell Graveyard was used as a burial place many years ago. 
Jonathan and Visa Owen, and a man by name of Purvis being buried 
there as early as 1837 or 1838. In addition to the cemeteries mentioned, 
there are a couple of private burying grounds in the township, and a 
graveyard in the southern part known as the Sink Graveyard, which was 
laid out in 1872. 


The first marriage that took place in what is now Harrison Township 
was solemnized under very peculiar circumstances, the particulars of which 
are as follows: The principal parties to the affair were Peter Cooprider, 
Jr., and Nancy, daughter of Lewis White, who lived just across the line 
in Owen County. The time was the winter of 1824, the year before the 
organization of Clay County, which then formed a part of Vigo County, 
with the seat of justice at Terre Haute, where Mr. White went to pro- 
cure the papers necessary to give legal sanction to the union. Know- 
ing that the marriage had to be performed in Vigo County, and being 
undecided as to the location of the dividing line, the wedding party, to 
make matters svire, went a considerable distance in the woods, and when 
they arrived upon what they knew was safe territory. Squire Downing, 
standing in snow about half boot-top d«ep, spoke the words which made 
ihe happy couple one, and with merry hearts the jolly crowd returned to 
a bounteous feast which the generous father-in-law had provided. The 
joyful occasion terminated with a lively hoe-down, and some of the boys 
present — now gray-haired and venerable great-grandfathers — ascribe their 
first gentle drunk to a barrel of metheglin provided by the wise fore- 
thought of Mr. White. 

Another early marriage was solemnized a little later, the contracting 
parties being Jacob Cooprider and Polly White, daughter of James 


Ann Brush (n^e Cooprider), daughter of John and Elizabeth Coopri- 
der, was the first white person born under the present limits of Harrison, 
her birth occurring in the year 1826. Elizabeth Gillaspie, daughter of 
Thomas and Susan Gillaspie, was born one year later. 

No better eulogium can be pronounced upon a community or upon its 
individual members than to point to the work they have accomplished. 
Theories look fine on paper, or sound well when proclaimed from the 


platform, but it is the plain, honest work which tells on society. Thus, 
not only the township, but the entire county took an early interest in the 
cause of education. All the main settlements established schools as soon 
as they could support them. 

As the population increased, and in the natural course of human 
events, children also, schoolhouses were built, teachers employed, and 
other improvements made in the facilities for education. 

The first school in the township was taught about the, year 1828, by 
Zachariah Denney, in a little log cabin which stood a short distance south 
of Middlebury. 

The house was erected by the neighbors for the purpose, and the 
school was supported by subscription, and attended by about twenty-five or 
thirty pupils. Another school in the same house was taught later by a man 
from Kentucky by name of Rout, who is remembered as a very competent 
instructor for that time. The second school building was a hewed log 
structure, erected on the farm of George Wiltse, about three-quarters of 
a mile southwest of Middlebury, and was first used in 1832 by Isaac 
Richart. The second term was taught by William W. Ferguson, after 
which the house was destroyed by fire. Another building was afterward 
erected on the same spot, and was used until the law providing free 
schools went into efifect. A schoolhouse was bailt in the Duncan settle- 
ment in aa early day, and one in what is known as the Horton District, the 
first teacher in the latter place being Rev. B. D. C. Herring, a Baptist 
preacher of Owen County. 

A log building on the Weaver farm south of Middlebury was erected 
about the year 1850, and is still standing. Another house of the same 
kind was built about the same time on the Smith place, southeast of Clay 
City, and stood about ten years, at the end of which time it was aban- 

A house was erected in the northeast corner of the township, in an early 
day, and stood on the farm of Ed White. Early teachers in that locality 
were William Long and J. Barnhart. 

The township was supplied with public schools about the year 1848, 
at which time the old buildings disappeared, and a better class of houses 
took their place. The schools of Harrison have ever been noted for their 
efficiency and high standing, and some of the best country schools to be 
found anywhere are in this township. Much credit is due to old teach- 
ers, among whom'may be mentioned William Brothers, David Alexander, 
A. J. Tipton, W. H. Long and John Hanie. 

The teachers for 1882-83 were William Chilson, Lizzie Travis, D. P. 
Love, D. T. Cromwell, Mattie E. Witty, F. J. W. Toelle, W. S. Tipton, 
James B. Arnett, William Arnett, A. M. Storm, W. H. Long, VN . B. 
Schwarts, Hattie Chilson, Maurice Markle, N. B. Markle, S. A. Travis. 
H. H. Harris and S. B. Everhart. 


Enumeration of children for the above year, 1,168. 

Revenue for tuition, 13,710.92. 

Trustees. — The following are the Trustees of the township since the 
year 1859, to wit: William Brothers, H. Bi-others, Henry Bolick, Robert 
Dalton, Peter Barrick, Henry Shideler (the only Republican ever elected 
to office in the township), John White, and Eli Cooprider, the present 

Other officials of the township at the present time are William Graber, 
Jacob Buzzard and Cyrus Davis, Justices of the Peace, and James Low- 
ery. Constable. 


The religious history of Harrison dates from its first settlement, 
many of the pioneers having been active members of different churches 
in the countries from which they moved. In the new country, with its 
sparse population, there were comparatively few stationary ministers yet. 
A number, embracing several denominations, traversed this region in an 
early day, forming an itenerant corps, and visited in rotation every settle- 
ment, town and village. Unsustained by the rigid precepts of law in 
any privileges, perquisites, fixed revenue, prescribed reverence or author- 
ity, except such as is voluntarily acknowledged by the clergy, those early 
preachers found their success depended upon their own efforts, and with 
an untiring zeal for the great cause, mixed, perhaps, with a spice of earth- 
ly ambition, they went forth to their work, traveling from month to month 
through deep forests, and enduring many hardships for the good of 
humanity. Their preaching was of a highly popular cast, its first aim 
being to excite the feelings and mold them to their own; hence excite- 
ments, or, in religious parlance, " awakenings " or revivals, were common 
in all this region. Living remote from each other, and spending much 
of their time in domestic solitude in vast forests, the appointment for 
preaching was often looked upon as a gala-day or a pleasing change, 
which brought together the neighbors from remote points, and enabled 
them to associate together and interchange social congratulations. Mr. 
Cooprider is our authority for the statement that one John Benham 
preached the first sermon in Harrison as early as the year 1827. Of Mr. 
Benham but little is known, save that he was an eccentric character, 
styled himself an evangelist belonging to Christ, and preached very much 
after the manner of the celebrated Lorenzo Dow. The circumstance of 
his visit to this community, as described by Mr. Cooprider, is as follows: 
Learning of the existence of the little settlement near Middlebury, he 
sent an appointment to John Cooprider, saying that he would hold re- 
ligious services at his residence nine months from that day at 10 o'clock 
sharp. Of course the neighbors had ample time to circulate the appoint- 
ment, and at the stated day several of the settlers' families assembled at 
Cooprider's dwelling, the majority of them more through a spirit of ciuri- 


osity than anything else. They waited until almost 10 o'clock, and 
were on the point of leaving for their respective homes, when a tall, 
athletic looking stranger came walking to the door, and inquired if the 
house was Mr. Cooprider's place. Being answered in the affirmative, the 
evangelist, for such he proved to be, said that he had an appointment 
" to preach here, and as the hour had arrived he would begin services at 
once." At the conclusion of his discourse, which was a very able one, 
the preacher went away, and was never seen in the neighborhood after- 
ward. Another early preacher was Rev. Hugh Barnes, of Owen County, 
who held services at Cooprider's house as early as 1830. Later came 
Eev. C. P. Farmer, who made Cooprider's dwelling a regular preaching 
place, visiting the neighborhood regularly every four weeks for about one 
year. A class was afterward organized by Rev. Mr. Hill, consisting of 
seven or eight members, among whom were John Cooprider and wife and 
John Gillaspie and wife, with the families of several other neighbors. The 
society was sustained until about the year 1855, and at one time num- 
bered about forty members. 

An organization of the Presbyterian Church was effected about the 
year 1833, at the residence of Joseph Alexander in the southwest part of 
the township. It was organized by the labors of Rev. Mr. Hicks, and its 
history covered a period of six or seven years. Itinerant ministers of the 
United Brethren Church were among the pioneers of the township, and a 
society of that denomination was organized in an early day at the village 
of Middlebury, where they still have a substantial house of worship, and 
an active membership. 

Good Hope Bcqjtist Church of Middlebury is an old society. Its 
history is given by Mr. Travis as follows: " The first church organization* 
effected in Harrison Township dates as early as 1830. On the 28th day 
of August, that year, a meeting was held at the residence of David White, 
father of Ed White, on what has since been known as the Huddleston 
place, a mile and a half north of Clay City, which was attended by Elder 
William Stansell, Benjamin Kercheval, Elijah Casen and Asa Frakes, of 
Prairie Creek, and Zachariah McClure and John Hodges, of Union, 
brethren who came for the purpose of aiding in the organization of the 
new class. 

"Elder Stansell was chosen Moderator,and John Hodges,Clerk. David 
White, Polly White, Joel Owen, Patsy Owen and Sophia Denney consti- 
tuted the original membership of the newly organized church, which they 
christened Good Hope. The meeting was held for a time at Mr. Den- 
ney's, near the present house of G. W, Wiltse, one mile west of Middle- 

"About 1832 or 1833, the log church one mile south of Middlebury was 
erected, the first chm-ch building in the county. Up to 1839, the class 
had no regularly installed pastor, but was assisted at times by William 


Stansell, Abraham Stark, Asa Frakes and Samuel Sparks. In 1839, 
the church called Elder B. C. D. Herren as first pastor, who served six 
years, when at his request in June, 1845, Elder W. J. Sparks was called, 
who served until 1849, and was followed by Elder James Beaman, who 
labored with the church until some time the following year. Elder Her- 
ren was again called in 1850, and in 1854 was succeeded by Elder George 
Crist, remaining until 1857, when Elder Elias Cooprider was called, 
who, by the assistance of Elders Crist, Slavens and Huntsberry at times, 
continued until 1876, when Elder Samuel Huntsberry succeeded him 
one year. Then Elder Cooprider was again called in 1877, and served 
two years, assisted by Elder Arnett the first year. 

" In 1880, Elder J, B. Arnett was called for one year, since which time 
there has been no regular pastor. Elders Cooprider and Arnett preach 
at times, with occasional visits from other brethren. 

" About the year 1869, the work of building the present edifice in the 
town of Middlebury was begun. Very slow progress was made in its 
construction, and it was not completed until the close of the year 1873 — 
that is, completed for dedication. On the 2d day of December, that 
year, the dedication took place; the services were conducted by Elder S. 
M. Stimson, At the time of its design and erection, this was the largest 
church building in the county. G-ood Hope Society grew from its in- 
cipiency of few members in the wilderness, to a membership of 185. It 
now numbers 133 members." 

German Reformed Church. — This society was organized in the year 
1860, with about fifty members, a large portion of whom formerly be- 
longed to a Lutheran Church which stood in the northeastern part of 
the township, and which, for some reascm, was abandoned a few years 
prior to the above date. Meetings were held in the old Lutheran build- 
ing until the year 1874, at which time their present neat temple of wor- 
ship was erected at a cost of $1,400. The present membership is 110, and 
the church is enjoying a reasonable degree of prosperity under the pas- 
toral care of Rev. J. Matzinger. L. Frank is Superintendent of the 
Sunday school, which has an average attendance of sixty scholars. 

Evangelical Association. — This church is situated in the northeastern 
part of the township, and dates its origin fi'om the year 1860, at which 
time it was organized at what is known as the Liberty Schoolhouse, with 
an original membership of about twenty-five persons. The schoolhouse 
was used for a preaching place two years, when a log house of worship 
was erected on ground donated by John Liechti. It has since been re- 
modeled and weather-boarded, and is a very comfortable building at the 
present time. The organization was brought about by Rev. William 
Wessler, who preached two years, after whom came the following pastors 
in the order given, viz.: Jacob Klieber, two years; William Buckman, 
two years; C. Wessling, two years; John Caufman, two years; C. Hiem, 


two years; M. Kronmiller, two years; JobrL_B«ek, two years; then C. 
Hiem again for eighteen months; William Luering, one year; John 
Caufman came in again and served six months; the next pastor's name 
was not learned; G. N. Hallwachs, two years, after whom came N. J. 
Platz, the present pastor. The present membership of the church is 
seventy, and the attendance of the Sunday school will average about 150 
throughout the entire year. 

Middlehury Christian Church was organized by Elder Joel Dillon, in 
the year 1871, with eleven members, whose names are as follows: L. A. 
Hale, M. Hale, C. DeBerry, Charles Caton, Rebecca Caton, Mrs. Wiltse, 
Jane Tipton, Catherine Tipton, Emma Tipton, Madison Pipes and Ellen 
Pipes. Elder Dillon preached three years and was succeeded by A. C. 
Layman, who remained two years, after whom came A. S. Lowdermilk, 
who preached for t\vo years. Since the latter's pastorate, the society has 
been without regular preaching, though services are conducted at 
intervals by Elder Williams, of Lancaster. The society has no house 
of its own, and meetings are held in the Baptist Church. Present mem- 
bership, about forty. 

Clay City Methodist Episcopal Church. — The first meetings of this 
society were held at the Middlebury Schoolhouse by Rev. E. C, Boaz, who, 
in 1873, organized a class of about twelve members. 

After meeting one year at Middlebury, the organization was changed 
to Clay City, and the schoolhouse there was used for a preaching place 
until 1874, at which time the present beautiful temple of worship was 
erected, but not dedicated uniil three years later. It is a frame build- 
ing, 30x45 feet in size, and represents a value of $1,500. John L. Pitner 
was the first pastor, and preached eighteen months. Following him 
came, in regular order, L. S. Knotts, for two years; John Laverty, one 
year; John T. Smith, one year; John Welker, one year; E. C. Haghes, 
one year; D. Harvey, six months. The present incumbent is Rev. Mr. 
Wilson, a young man of fine abilities, and well liked by his congrega- 
tion. Present membership, thirty. 


In the year 1852, the real estate of Harrison was assessed at $64,274; 
improvements, $19,088; personal property, $29,641; total value of taxa- 
bles, $114,400; total taxes, $798.41. Number of polls, 112. 

One year later, taxes were paid on 29,329.97 acres of land valued at 
$75,215; improvements, ??19,313; personal property, $45,152. Num- 
ber of polls, 145; total taxes, $1,727.02. 

For the year 1870, number of acres, 39,899.10; value of lands, $272,- 
789; value of improvements, $99,547; value of personal property, $132,- 
572; total value of taxables, $510,797; total taxes, $7,647.78. Num- 
ber of polls, 358. 


For the year 1882, number of acres, 40,357.21 ; value of lots, $5,854; 
value of iniprovements on lots, $24,780; value of personal property, 
$151,643; total value of taxables, $767, 325; "total taxes, $13,238.08. 
Township revenue for all purposes, $10,000. Number of voters, 786. 


This live little city, the second business place in the county, is an 
outgrowth of the Terre Haute & Southeastern Eailroad, and was sur- 
veyed in the month of June, 1873, and recorded under the name of 
Markland. It is situated on the southeast quarter of Section 3, Town- 
ship 10 north, Range 6 west. The original plat comprises four blocks 
of twelve lots each, each lot being fifty feet wide by one hundred and 
fifty feet deep. Maple and Clay streets run east and west, and are in- 
tersected at right angles by Main and Market streets, running north and 
south, all of which are sixty- five feet wide. The town was laid out by 
Barbara Storm, and the first addition made on the 16th day of June, 
1883, by E. F. Cooprider, consisting of four blocks subdivided into forty- 
four lots of the same size as the first surveyed. 

Lankford's Addition of sixty-four lots was surveyed in the month of 
March, 1875, and embraces a part of the northeast quarter of the south- 
east quarter of Section 30, Township 10 north. Range 6 west; Larkin 
Lankford, proprietor. 

Storm's First Addition was made in April, 1880, and consists of thirty 
lots. In December, 1882, John R. and Henry Lankford made an addi- 
tion of ninety-seven lots, and one school lot, and in March, 1883, Storm's 
Second Addition of twenty lots was surveyed and placed upon record. It 
will be seen from the above that the village limits embrace an area 
sufiiciently large to make a city of four or five thousand inhabitants, and 
from the wonderful accounts given of its growth by ardent friends of 
the place, we are led to believe that its arrival at that population is some-, 
thing more than a mere possibility. Eli and E. F. Cooprider were 
among the first to erect dwellings in the village, and the former pat up 
the first store room in the northwest part, which he stocked with a gen- 
eral assortment of merchandise. He sold goods for six months, at the 
end of which time he was succeeded by H. J. Long. The Burger Brothers 
kept the second store and brought on a large stock of goods, which they 
sold as partners until 1882, when the firm dissolved, each one going into 
business on his own responsibility. H. Grismer & Co. came next, with a 
dry goods store, and erected a building in the western part of tdwn on 
Front street. He remained from 1875 until 1878, and in the latter year 
was succeeded by William Graber. John Long & Son commenced 
business in 1877, and continued one year, at the end of which time they 
closed out. Among other merchants who came when the town was new 
were Jacob J. Baker, Acklemire & Co., J. F. Hyatt and M. L. Jett, the 


last of whom started the first drug store. Charles Cady was the first 
blacksmith and W. J. Warners the tii*st worker in wood. 

Industries. — Clay City Mill was brought to the town in 1879 by 
Messrs. Overholser & Silvius, the building having formerly stood in 
Bowling Green. After its erection here, it was supplied with new and 
improved machinery, and operated by the above-named parties for one year 
and a half, when they sold out to D. Champer, the present proprietor. 
The building is a three- and- a-half story frame structure, 40x65 feet, and 
represents a value of $12,000. It has four run of buhrs, and a capacity of 
about 100 barrels of flour per day. 

Depot Mill was erected in 1881 by Motter & dinger, who operated 
as partners for a short time, when the latter disposed of his interest to 
F. Burger, who sold it a little later to Daniel Harris. Motter afterward 
sold his interest to T. W. Toney, who also purchased Harris' share, and 
is the proprietor at the present time. The mill is four stories high, con- 
tains three run of buhrs, and grinds on an average about 300 bushels of 
wheat per day. 

Clay City Saw Mill was brought to the village about the year 1878 
by J. W. White, who operated it until the spring of 1883, at which time 
it came into possession of the present owners, Messrs. Warner & dinger. 
It occupies a large building near the railroad, and does a handsome 

In the year 1880, Mr. Clutter, of Terre Haute, established a stave 
factory, which he operated very successfully for two years, giving em- 
ployment to a number of workmen. It is not in operation at the present 

A stave factory on an extensive scale was started in the year 1875 by 
Messrs. Gressmer, Kussell & Brinkman. They manufactured material 
for tight barrel work, vast quantities of which were shipped to Chicago 
and other places. It was in operation until 1880, at which time it was 
moved to Oakland City. A brickyard was started in 1880 by the Con- 
nolly Brothers, who ran it one season. 

The present brickyard was started by — Burman, and is operated at 
the present time by the Graber Brothers. 

Physicians. — The following representatives of the medical profession 
have practiced the healing art in the village at different times, viz. : K. 
A. Baldridge, W. S. Duncan, Drs. Smith and Black. The present M. D.'s 
are H. C. Wolfe, D. T Zook, Dr. Brouilette, S. P. Burns and M. Freed. 

Bank. — Messrs. Thompson, Jett & Wiltse established a private bank 
in the year 1882. Thompson was chosen President, and M. L. Jett. Cash- 
ier. A fine brick building on the corner of Front and Fifth streets was 
afterward erected at a cost of $5,000. The bank represents a capital of 
$85,000, and is doing a good business. 


Lodges. — Mark's Lodge, No. 360, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Mid- 
dlebury on the 27th of January, 1871, with the following charter 
members to wit: William K. Kress, David Cook, W. B Brown, J. F. 
Lankf ord and R. Horton. The first officers were : W. R. Kress, N. G. ; 
D. F. Cook, V. G.; L. A. Hale, Secretary, and K. Horton, Treasurer. 
Officers at the present time are: W. B. Brown, N. G. ; John O'Neil, V. 
G.; J. W. Hays, Secretary; David Owens, Permanent Secretary; J. F. 
Wyatt, Treasurer. The lodge held its meetings at Middlebury until 
the year 1881, at which time the organization was moved to Clay City, 
and a hall rented of M. L. Jett. One year later, the place of meeting 
was changed to Fleshman's Hall, which has been used ever since. 

Clay City Lodge, No. 562, A. F. & A. M., was organized at Flesh- 
man's Hall in 1880, with a good membership, among whom were "Si.. L. Jett, 
I. B. Harris, A, J. Fulkerson, Calvin Ames, James Fetrow, C. C. Fess- 
ler, F. M. Dowthy, Samuel Silvers, William Calhoun, James Cooper, 
Robert Moffitt, Joshua Frantz and Edward Champer. First officers were: 
M. L. Jett, W. M.; A. J. Fulkerson, S. W.; L B. Harris, J. W.; Charles 

C. Fessler, Secretary ; Robert Guthrie, Treasurer ; A. L. Witty, S. D. ; 
James Campbell, J. D. ; J. G. Fleshman, S. S. ; George Schlegel, J. S. ; 
and George Wagoner, Tiler. The following are the officers at the pres- 
ent time: M. L. Jett, W. M. ; Charles Fessler, S. W.; P. B. Burns, J. 
W. ; Homer Harris, Secretary ; Bartlett Cuse, Treasurer ; George W, 
Wagoner, Tiler; A. L. Witty, S. D.; James Campbell, J. D. ; J. G. 
Fleshman, S. S., and John O'Neil, J. S. The present membership is 
twenty-five. The place of meeting is Jett's Hall. 

Clay City Lodge, No. 40, A. O. U. W., was organized March 20, 1878. 
On the charter appear the following names: A. J. Asbury, H. J. Grisner, 

D. I. Zook, Ivan V. Harris, Pius Long, W. H. Payne, Matthew L. Jett, 
John B. Hendrick, Levi Damer and John Row. At one time the organ- 
ization was in very good circumstances, but at present there are but few 
members belonging, and meetings are not held regularly. 

Clay City Lodge, No. 2240, Knights of Honor, is a flourishing organ- 
ization with forty-one members. It was organized in 1880 with sixteen 
charter members and has been growing in favor ever since. The fol- 
lowing officers were the last elected: H. H. Hyatt, Dictator; George J. 
Kayser, V. D. ; Casper Rader, Assistant D. ; William Graber, Treasurer, 
and J. C. Wilber, Reporter. Meetings are held on Wednesday evenings 
in Griffith's Hall. 

Uncas Tribe, No. 68, Red Men, dates its history from the 4th day of 
April, 1882, at which time the following persons went into the organi- 
zation, viz.: I. B. Harris, J. F. Hyatt, W. H. Carlisle, B. F. Halstead, J. 
C. Wilber, Richard Bryson, J. W. White, C. C. Fessler, N. B. Markle, 
Homer Harris, D. M. Freed, George Schafer, J. W. Danhour and 
William I. Warner. The lodge is in good working order, the member- 


ship at the present time being 36. The following list comprises the 
officers: J. F. Hyatt, Sachem; C. C. Fessler, S. S.; N. B. Markle, J. S.; 
H. H. Harris, C. of R.; W. H. Carlisle, K. of W., and D. F. Halstead, 

Mutual Love Lodge, No. 221, Daughters of Rebecca, was organized 
November 1, 1882, with twenty-two charter members, a number which 
has since increased to thirty-tive. The first officers were: David Owens, 
N. G. ; Almira Carlisle, V. G. ; Dora Hosly, Secretary, and Amanda 
Owens, Treasui-er. At the present time, the several officers are filled by 
the following persons: J. G. Fleshman, N. G. ; Almira Carlisle, V. G. ; 
Maria Hosly, Secretary; David Owens, Per. Sec, and Amanda Owens, 

The Knights and Ladies of Honor have an organization, established 
in January, 1883, with eleven members. Meetings are held on Saturday 
evenings of each week, and the membership at the present time numbers 

An organization known as the Knights of Universal Brotherhood was 
established in January, 1882, and continued its meetings until a few 
months ago, when the society disbanded. 

We close this brief sketch of Clay City with the following register of 
its business: F. M. Dorothy, general store; Graber Bros., dry goods 
and miscellaneous articles ; Thomas Watts, general stock ; Joseph 
Lieber, general store ; John Burger, general stock. The Black Brothers 
handle miscellaneous merchandise, as does also Abraham Bui-ger ; 
Smith & Rader handle boots and shoes; M. L. Jett and J. W. Danhour, 
druggists; James F. Hyatt, groceries and queensware; A. J. Fulker. 
son, gi'oceries; J. W. Hays, groceries; L. G. Castland and J. H. Hodges 
& Co., restaurants; Joseph Wilber, harness shoj); J. G. Keyser, boot 
and shoe maker; S. Rinehart, barber and photographer; Curtis Black, 
dealer in boots and shoes; William Travis, editor and proprietor of the 
Independent, a sketch of which will be foimd elsewhere; T. J. & J. J. 
Watts, livery stables. There are also two good hotels in the city. 


The town or village of Middlebury is situated in Section 31, Town 
10 north, Range 6 west, and owes its origin to John Cooprider, Sr., who, 
in 1836, laid it out for the twofold purpose of securing a post office and 
inducing immigration to this part of the county. Among the first per- 
sons to piu-chase lots in the new village were Elias Cooprider, J. W. Fer- 
guson, J. Mitchell and Dr. William Hill. Ferguson erected the first 
residence, a hewed-log building, near the central part of the town. Dr. 
Hill was the first physician, and John Brash kept the first store, in a little 
log building which stood near the southern limits of the village on Main 
street. Mr. Brush remained in business about twelve years, and dui'ing 


that period disposed of a great deal of merchandise, W. R. Kress 
brought the second stock of goods to the place, and erected a building 
on the west side of Main street, near the central part of the town, which 
he occupied about six years, at the end of which time he sold out to M. 
L. Jett & Co., who continued the business several years longer. Joel H. 

Buckalew, V. Church, Cofer, Thomas J. Cromwell & Co. , P. Ever- 

hart & Co., Cooprider & Kress and Stiernagle & Co. did business at 
different times during the history of the village. 

Among the early mechanics were Larkin Lankf ord, S. R. Dale, James 
Sheels, Levi Dietrick, Frederick Ott and David Miller. Being remote 
from any trading point, Middlebury early became a lively business cen- 
ter, and at one time there were four or five good stores in the town, 
besides a number of shops of different kinds, and other industries. A 
large steam flouring mill was erected in the year 1858, by a Mr. True- 
blood, who operated it about four years, when it was purchased by John 
Burke & Son, who afterward sold out to L. Brown & Sons. Later it 
came into possession of a Mr. Mottle, who moved it to Clay City. 
The building of the Terre Haute & Southeastern Railroad through the 
country, and its terminus for a couple of years at Clay City, only one 
mile distant, and the rapid growth of the latter place in consequence, 
proved a disastrous blow to the business of Middlebury, and from that 
time its fortunes began to wane. Business men removed from the place 
and took their wares to the new city, and an effectual check was put upon 
its further development, and at the present time it is but a shadow of its 
former self. There are three small stores at the present time, kept by 
John Fair, A. J. Harris and J. J. Baker, respectively. 

Dr. Hall is the practicing physician of the place, and is one of the 
successful M, D.'s of the county. 


The site of this town is located on Eel River, and occupies a 
portion of Section 19, Town 9 north, Range 6 west. It was laid 
out in February, 1831, by A. R. Ferguson and William Maxwell. Mr. 
Maxwell was then County Surveyor, the first one ever commissioned in 
the county. The site of the town is on the north bank of the river, at 
the wagon bridge crossing between Middlebury and Howesville, all of 
which is now inclosed in farm lands and in cultivation. For a number 
of years the place did considerable business in staves, hogs, pork, poul- 
try and grain, which were flat-boated to New Orleans. A boat- yard was 
located at this place, where a number of boats were constructed and 
launched every year. John Lee was the leading merchant of the town, 
who carried on the exchange of dry goods, coffee and whisky for the 
commodities of the community. Just above, a distance of two miles or 

* Prepared by William Travis. 



less, Thornton & Alexander also carried on a boat-yard. All the lumber 
for the boats at the Brunswick yard was whip-sawed, Sampson and Will- 
iam Phipps, bi'others, acting as the motive power, both of whom are yet 
living. The town sustained its reputation as a business point for a num- 
ber of years, but was finally abandoned, on account of the advent of rail- 
roads and other modern innovations. 


RECURRENCES to the past, with the recollections and associations 
which make it pass in life-like review before our mental vision 
will continue to be, as of yore, a source of satisfaction, especially when 
they connect themselves with incidents reflected back from our own ex- 
periences. These reminders vanish with the life of the participants, 
when no landmarks remain to save us the pictures faintly delineated on 
the tablets of memory, the impressions of which ai'e only retracings from 
the remodelings of others. To preserve these from forgetfulness before 
they have lost their distinguishing originality is the work devolved upon 
the writer of history. History fails in its great mission when it does not 
preserve the life features of the subjects committed to its trust. Local 
history, more than any 'other, commands the most i nterested attention, 
for the reason that it is a record of those who in times gone by traveled 
the thorny pathway of life as our companions, acquaintances and friends. 


Posey Township embraces an area of thirty-six square miles of terri- 
tory lying in the northwestern part of Cla}^ County, and includes the 
whole of Congressional Township 12 north, Range 13 west, which was 
laid off by the Government survey in the early part of the year 1816. 
The civil township was formed at the general division in 1825, and orig- 
inally included the present townships of Dick Johnson, Van Buren, and 
a part of Jackson. Its outlines were modified at various times, and it 
was not until about the year 1830 that the division was reduced to its 
present area. The face of the country may be described as rolling, with 
undulations of a somewhat abrupt nature along the ravines which trav- 
erse the township in various directions, though in but few places is the 
land too broken for tillage. The soil is not the best for agricultural 
purposes, especially on the elevated portions, where it is rather thin and 
of a heavy, clayey nature; the land skirting the different water-courses 
possesses a black sandy loam, more fertile than the clay soil, and better 



adapted for general farming. Agriculture has been the chief resource 
of the people until within the past few years, the principal productions 
being wheat, corn, rye, oats and the other cereals and fruits indigenous to 
this part of the State. The township was originally covered with a dense 
forest growth, the leading varieties of timber being walnut, maple, pop- 
lar, several species of oak, beech, hickory, ash and elm, the greater part 
of which has long since disappeared before the settler's ax. Much val- 
uable timber was ruthlessly destroyed in clearing up the land, and saw- 
mills were among the earliest industries, 


This division of the county is very rich in mineral wealth, especially 
coal, of which large deposits are found at different places throughout the 
township. Mining is rapidly becoming the leading industry, and some 
of the most extensive and best worked mines in the State are found here. 

The first mine in the township was opened in the year 1851, on the 
farm of Nathan Williams, in Section 10. This mine was developed un- 
der the supervision of the Indianapolis Coal Company, of which Mr. 
Williams was a prominent stockholder. The first car load of coal ever 
shipped from this county was taken from this mine, and it was in suc- 
cessful operation until the year 1860. In 1851, the Highland Coal Com- 
pany was organized and commenced prospecting in Section 16, where a 
shaft was sunk. A switch was laid to the mine from the T. H. & I., by 
means of which vast quantities of coal were shipped. 

The Ehrlich mines, known as the Eureka and Newburg shafts, near 
the village of Newburg, were opened about eleven years ago, at which 
time they were known as the Reffert banks. They were purchased by 
Peter Ehrlich & Co., some time later, under whose management they 
have become among the most extensive mines in the county. The num- 
oer of men employed at the present time is 150, and the yearly produc- 
tion of coal is estimated at 85,000 tons. The coal produced by the Eu- 
reka mine is block coal; that taken from the Newburg mine is known 
as coking coal. In the latter mine are about six miles of track, and 
eighty acres have been dug out. ■ 

A large mine operated by Wheeler, of Brazil, is situated near New- 
burg, and a number of smaller mines have been developed in different 
parts of the township. 


The lands of this township were surveyed and opened for settlement 
as early as the year 1816, and the first entry made three years later by 
one Donald McDonald, who selected the southwest quarter of Section 5 
and the northwest quarter of the same section, though it does not appear 
that he ever improved his land or was identified with the county as a 
citizen; no facts concerning such an individual being remembered at the 


present fcime. The earliest known attempts at white settlements within 
the present limits of Posey were made about the year 1823, but the de- 
tails of these events are very meager and somewhat enveloped in specu- 
lation. The site of these pioneer settlements was in the northern part 
of the township, near the villages of Cloverland and Williamstown, on 
the old National road There appear to have been several families at 
these two places, the majority of whom were merely claim seekers, who 
remained but a comparatively short time, when they disposed of their 
improvements and moved further west. Among these is remembered 
Thomas Moore, who squatted on Section 20 in the fall of the year men- 
tioned, and constructed a rude pole cabin, about 14x16 feet, in which 
his family passei the following winter. Like the majority of early pio 
neers, Moore was a skillful hunter and spent the greater part of his time 
in quest of game, doing but little toward improving his claim, which he 
could not enter on account of his inability to pay the Government price 
for the land. He afterward sold his improvements to Artemas Gilbert 
and secured a small amount of land within the present limits of Jackson 
Township, where he resided for a number of years. About the time that 
Moore made his first improvements, certain claims (number unknown) 
were established in the central and southern portions of the township, 
none of which appear to have been permanent. The construction of the 
National road through the county served as an inducement to immigra- 
tion, and in the year 1828 there was qaite a settlement at Cloverland, 
consisting principally of workmen on that highway, whose residences 
were only temporary. Permanent settlers, however, began to arrive, and 
a few months after work on the road began, there was living near the 
site of Cloverland a man by name of Huffman, who made an entry of 
land some time in the year 1828. He was a native of North Carolina, 
and came to the wilderness of Indiana for the purpose of securing homes 
for himself and children, of which he was the fortunate possessor of a 
goodly number. Like most early settlers, he came to the new country 
with a very meager outfit of this world's goods, but being a man of con- 
siderable energy, and knowing no such word as fail, he at once went to 
work and soon had a good farm cleared and under successful cultivation. 
He made entries in the names of the different members of his family, 
and in time became possessor of large tracts of real estate, much of 
which is in possession of his descendants at the present time. Another 
early settler, whose aiTival dates from 1828, Was Peter Tonguit, a native 
of Ohio, who squatted near Cloverland, on land which had been 
previously entered by Dr. Modesitt, of Terre Haute. Tonguit could not 
be termed a model farmer by any means, the extent of his plantation be- 
ing a few rods of ground cleared around his mansion, an impo8in>'' struct- 
m-e containing a single apartment, with dirt floor, stick chimney and no 
windows. Neither was he noted for his industry, although he could 


claim the honor of being the first " skilled " artisan in the township, 
having been a veritable knight of the last and wax ends — a cobbler — 
and as such managed to eke out a scanty subsistence for himself and 
family by making and keeping in repair the delicate cowhide brogans 
worn by the early pioneers. He afterward found employment on the 
National road, and finally drifted out of the settlement and out of the 
minds of the settlers, and nothing has been heard of him for many 
years. Prominent among the pioneers of the township was William 
Yocum, who came here from Kentucky in the year 1827, and entered a 
tract of land in Section 4 a few years later. In company with him came 
his sons, Levi, John, Isam, Jesse and Frank, all of whom became lead- 
ing citizens of the county and were prominently identified with its growth 
and development. Mr. Yocum was a man of much more than ordinary 
intelligence and business tact. He took an active part in the political 
questions of the day, and was several times elected to represent the 
county in the Lower House of the State Legislature. He was a resident 
of Posey until the time of his death in 1840. Of his sons who came 
with him, but one (Frank) is living at the present time, of whom a more 
extended notice will be found in the biographical chapter of Dick John- 
son Township. Jacob Goodrich, a son-in-law of Huifman, came in an 
early day and made the second entry of land on the 23d of April, 1828. 
He was a single man when he first arrived, and as poor as the proverbial 
church mouse, but by selecting eligible claims and selling them to home 
seekers, he soon found himself in possession of sufficient wealth to secure 
a home of his own. He entered the east half of the southeast quarter of 
Section 4, and at once began improving his place by erecting thereon a 
small cabin, into which he introduced a " helpmeet " soon afterward. 
His maiTiage to Miss Huifman was the first event of the kind solemnized 
within the present limits of the township. During the years 1829 and 
1830, many claim-seekers appeared, though but few actual settlers. In 
the latter year, James Town-send, Daniel Wools, John R. Smith, Joseph 
Ringo, Jacob Moore, William McBride and Artemas Gilbert arrived, all of 
whom became permanent residents. The first named located near Will- 
iamstown, where he entered land and remained eight years, at the end 
of which time he sold out and went back to his native State of Ken- 
tucky. Wools settled in the northeastern part of the township, but took 
claims in several sections. Unlike most early settlers in a new country, 
he was a man of considerable means, which he invested in lands, and in 
time became one of the largest owners of real estate in the township. He 
was an active politician, and at one time served the people as Probate 
Judge, besides filling positions of minor importance in the township. 
One son, Amos, is living in Posey at the present time. Smith was a 
native of Canada. He settled a short distance north of Cloverland, on 
land which is in possession of his children. Ringo came from Ken- 



tucky in an early day, and for a number of years was one of the leading 
citizens of the county. Moore squatted about two miles south of Staun- 
ton Village, and later entered land in the southern part of the town- 
ship, where he died a number of years ago at the advanced age of one 
hundred and five years, the oldest man that ever lived in the county. 
McBride selected his home north of Cloverland. At the first election 
held in the township, he was chosen Justice of the Peace, receiving five 
votes out of eight cast. Gilbert came from Ohio and purchased a claim 
in Section 20, on which Thomas Moore had previously settled. He made 
a good farm, which he afterward sold to Lovell Corbin, and moved to 
one of the Western States. He was a man of intelligence and culture, 
and taught the first school in the township early in the year 1830. 

In the year 1831, Joseph Hoskins came to the township, and settled 
in the northern part on the National road, where he opened a tavern for 
travelers on that highway, and such other guests as saw fit to accept his 
hospitalities. His house was part log and part frame, and for a number 
of years was a favorite stopping place, having. been well known for many 
miles along the road, and the genial landlord was never in want of pay- 
ing guests. Be it said in praise to his memory that his wayside inn 
was conducted upon strict temperance principles, a thing unusual in 
those days when " fire-water " was the common beverage of old and 
young. Hoskins is remembered as a very strict and conscientious church 
member, whose life was a practical demonstration of the pure doctrine he 
professed, and his word was revered as law in the community where he 
resided. In the spring of 1832, N. H. Modesitt located in the township, 
and was joined the following autumn by his brother, James W., who is 
still living. The former moved his family to the new country by water, 
landing at Terre Haute after a long voyage from his native State, Vir- 
ginia. From Terre Haute, then but a mere outpost, our pioneer came to 
the little settlement at Cloverland, and purchased a claim upon which a 
few temporary improvements had been made a few years previous, by a 
squatter by the name of Swall. James W. was induced to immigrate to 
the new country on account of the flattering descriptions his uncle and 
brother gave of the land, and made his first trip on horseback for the pur- 
pose of selecting and preparing a home for the reception of his family; he 
entered eighty acres of land immediately after his arrival, and lived with 
his brother until he had erected a cabin and fitted a few acres of ground 
for cultivation, when he returned home after an absence of fifteen months, 
walking as far as Louisville in order to take a boat. He returned with 
his family the following year, and commenced life in the wilderness, af- 
ter the true backwoods style, doing all his farming with a single horse, 
and supplying his table from the bountiful store of game which at that 
time afforded the early settlers their chief means of subsistence. Mr. 
Modesitt has lived to see the wilderness in which he located fifty years 

1 1 


ago transformed into a rich agricultural region, and from his own humble 
beginning in the backwoods has been developed one of the largest and 
best improved farms in the county. Other settlers came in from time to 
time, among whom can be named Martin Bowles, a native of Virginia, 
who entered land in Section 18, in the fall of 1832; Major Ringo, who 
settled near Cloverland; Alfred West, who made a farm in Section 17; 
Jacob Eppert, a native of Ohio, who settled in the same locality; Jon- 
athan Yocum, a relative of William Yocum; Nathan Williams, a man 
prominently identified with the early coal interest of the township, and 
Henry Rule, who located in Section 31. The last named was one of 
nature's true noblemen; his veracity was never called in question, and 
the saying, "as honest as Uncle Henry," became proverbial throughout 
the community. 

Among those who secured land in the township by entry, prior to 1836, 
were Micajah Philips, Achor Boor, Samuel Havens, A. M. Rector, John 
Short, Washington West, Jacob Girton, D. T. Hedges, Elijah Wools, M. 
Brackney, Levi Brackney,. Edmund Wools, Amos Wools, Samuel Reffert, 
Harrison Reffert, Thomas Conacher, David Williams, Hiram Fortner, James 
Thomas, John Scott, John Brit^^on, David McBride, Noah Layton, Peter 
Eppert, Philip Hedges, James Campbell, C. B. Modesitt, J. H. Els- 
worth, O. H. Smith, Solomon Myers, James R. Ross, Stephen Crabbe, 
John Crabbe, Jcjhn Frump, W. McFarland, Christy, Zachariah McClure, 
Homer Johnson, John Milroy, and a number of others whose names were 
not learned. 


The early settlers of Posey found no royal pathway to affluence, and 
for many years hard work and manifold privations were the common lot 
of all who sought homes in the wilderness. There is, of course, a great 
similiarity in all the pioneer history of the West during the same period; 
there were the same log-rollings, house-raisings and amiasements that pre- 
vailed in the other new settlements, all of which were diversified occa- 
sionally with indulgence in distilled spirits and personal rencontres re- 
sulting in disfigured features, though the citizens of Posey bore a repu- 
tation for peacefulness even in those days. No such encountres with 
Indians, bears and wolves, as one reads of in the lives of Boone and 
Crockett, took place here, though the old hunters of that day could enter- 
tain you by the hour with their tales of the pursuit of the deer. The 
barking of the wolves was a familiar sound, but carried with it no alarm 
save for the safety of the pigs and calves, which had to be penned in tight 
inclosures at night in order to protect them from the fangs of the hungry 
scourges. The wolves were generally very cowardly, and would flee upon 
the approach of man; but when emboldened by hunger, they have been 
known to try to get into houses at night, causing no little alarm to the 
inmates. Mr. Modesitt relates that upon one occasion while he was ab- 


sent from home, wolves siiri'ounded his cabin in great numbers and tried 
to get inside through the chimney, which had been built but few feet 
above the fire-place. Their bowlings were terrific, and of course Mrs. 
Modesitt and the children became very much alarmed. The ferocious 
beasts would run and jump against the chimney in order to reach the top, 
and came very nearly succeeding, when they were frightened away by 
Mrs. Modesitt, who climbed to the top of the building with several fire- 
brands which she hurled into their midst. They returned to the charge 
several times, and the heroic woman was kept busy hurling the fiery mis- 
siles, which in time had the effect of driving them away entirely, much to 
the relief of the little family, none of whom slept any more that night. 
Corn was the principal crop raised for a number of years, 'and afforded 
food for both man and beast. Potatoes were raised in an early day also. 
But no attempts were made to raise wheat until about the year 1836, owing 
to the wet condition of the soil. A failure in the corn crop was sure to 
entail great suffering upon the settlements. Such a failure occurred in 
the year 1830, at which time the price went up as high as $2 and $3 per 
bushel. Mr. Bowles relates that in that year there was but little money 
in the country, and the settlers were compelled to subsist almost wholly 
on game, which was very plentiful and easily procured. One day, 
while hunting, his dogs killed an otter. Mr. Bowles took the skin to 
Terre Haute and sold it for $2.50; then went to Mr. Baldwin in Parke 
County and spent the money for a bushel of corn, which he took to the 
Kilgore Mill on Raccoon Creek, where he waited three days to have it 
ground into meal. He returned home with a little surplus, and felt quite 
rich from the proceeds of the otter skin. The first wheat raised in the 
township yielded about seven bushels per acre. It was cut with the old- 
fashioned reap-hook, threshed with a flail and marketed at Terre Haute 
for the enormous price of 45 cents per bushel. For a number of years, 
Terre Haute was the nearest market place, where the settlers disposed of 
venison hams, deer skins, coon skins, wild honey and ginseng, the only 
articles of commercial importance the country afforded at that time. 
Some of the early farmers raised a great many hogs, to fatten which re- 
quired no outlay of money and but little trouble, the woods during the 
fall of the year affording vast quantities of " mast " upon which the ani- 
mals fed. 

Pork found a ready market at Terre Haute and brought from $2 to 
13 per hundred in Illinois money, worth about 50 cents on the dollar. 


The first saw mill in the township was erected by John Huffman 
shortly after his arrival, and stood near the northern boundary. It was rf 
water mill and did a very good business, fiirnishing much of the lumber 
used in the construction of the early houses at Cloverland and Will- 


Flour and meal were first obtained at Terre Haute, and later at a 
little mill on Otter Creek, in Vigo County, which was kept running night 
and day in winter time, owing to the low water during the other seasons 
of the year. Other sources of supplies were Eawley's mill on Eel 
River, in the present township of Lewis, and Kilgore's Mill on Big Rac- 
coon in Parke County, both of which were kept running until they out- 
lived their usefulness. The first grist mill in Posey was constructed by 
Thomas Vest, in Section 24, and was operated by horse-power. The 
buhrs were manufactured out of native rock, and constituted the entire 
machinery. The building was a mere shed resting upon four forks 
driven into the ground, and was made large enough to shelter several 
teams. Each person bringing a grist was obliged to furnish his own team 
to do his grinding, and many were the hurryings to get to the mill first, 
as it required several hours to convert a single bushel of corn into meal. 

People from a distance brought provisions enough with them to last 
several days, and the scene around the mill sometimes presented the ap- 
pearance of an emigrant encampment, there being frequently eight or 
ten persons waiting their respective turns. Vest operated the mill a short 
time, when he disposed of it to other parties, who moved it to the north- 
east corner of the township, on land belonging to Nathan Williams. It 
was in operation five or six years, at the end of which time it was allowed 
to fall into disuse. 

In the year 1850, Thomas Moore erected a saw mill in the western 
part of the township, which supplied a long-felt want in that community. 
So eager were the neighbors to have the mill built, that they turned out 
en masse, made the frame-work themselves, and raised the building 
gratuitously. Moore supplied the boiler and machinery, and for a num- 
ber of years did a flourishing business, hauling lumber to Terre Haute, 
and shipping it down the Wabash. Moore operated it until his death in 
1863, at which time it passed into the hands of his sons. They re- 
modeled the machinery, and have continued to run it until the present 

The Cloverland steam flouring mill was erected in the year 1856, by 
Messrs. Echelmeyer & Carpenter, who operated it as partners until 1861, 
when the former sold his interest to a man by the name of Falls. It 
passed through several hands, and was completely destroyed by fire in 
the year 1881. The building was a good frame structure, two and a half 
stories high, and contained three run of buhrs, with a grinding capacity 
of fifty barrels of flour per day. A few years prior to the erection of 
the above, a steam mill was commenced at Staunton Village, and com- 
pleted about 1854. It was first run as a saw mill, by the Carter Brothers, 
who afterward added an extra story and supplied a corn buhr. Messrs. 
Doyle & Co. became the owners a few years later. They remodeled the 
machinery, built an addition to the original building, and supplied two 


wheat bubrs. They operated it as a combination mill until 1861, at 
which time the entire structure was destroyed by a storm. It was after- 
•ward rebuilt by a man by the name of Graham, and by him sold to the 
Carter Brothers, who built a large addition, and refitted the mill until 
they made it capable of producing from 150 to 200 barrels of flour per 
day. It passed through several hands, and was last owned by Miller & 
Carpenter, who did an extensive business in grinding and shipping 
grain. The mill was in successful operation until the year 1881, at 
which time, the building was completely destroyed by fire. An early saw 
mill stood in the northwest corner of the township on McBride's Creek, 
from which it received its motive power. It Avas constructed by William 
McBride, and did a fair business for about fifteen years, at the end of 
which time it was allowed to fall into disuse, on account of the creek 
dam washing out. 

An early industry at Williamstcwn was the tannery, operated by a 
man by the name of Cook, some time prior to the year 1840. It was kept 
running several years, and the proprietor realized some wealth from it 
during the time it was in operation. In the year 1864, a small distillery 
was started near Staunton by one Eobert Rosebro, who worked it a couple 
of years, when finding himself unable to pay the revenue demanded by 
Uncle Sam, the enterprise was abandoned. 

The present mill at Staunton was erected in the year 1881 by Mr. 
Gilbert. It is operated by steam, has three run of buhrs, manufactures 
the patent process flour, and has a grinding capacity of thirty barrels of 
flour per day. It is operated at the present time by G. W. Gilbert, who 
has a fine local trade, and who reports his business good. 

But limited satisfaction was derived in tracing the early school his- 
tory of Posey, many interesting facts and incidents relating thereto hav- 
ing been lost through the lapse of time. Long before the law authoriz- 
ing a system of public schools was in force, the pioneers of this part of 
the county took steps toward the education of their children in the pri- 
mary branches of learning. Comparatively few of the early settlers were 
men of letters, most of them having been children when the matter of 
education in the States where they were brought up was yet considered 
of minor importance. And yet these people seemed to fully realize the 
losses they had sustained in the neglect of their own schooling, and were 
therefore anxious to do the next best thing, by making amends in the 
case of their children. 

The first school in the township was taught by Artemas Gilbert, near 
the village of Cloverland, as early as the year 1834. A small cabin that 
had been occupied by a squatter was used for the purpose, and the't^rm 
lasted two months. The teacher was paid by subscription, the tuition 


per scholar being $1.25, which multiplied by twelve, the number of 
pupils, gave our pedagogue a compensation o^ $7.50 per month. Gil- 
bert taught several terms in the township during the early days of its 
history, and did more perhaps toward arousing a feeling for education 
than any other man in the community at that time. An early teacher 
was C. B. Cole, who taught a term in the southern part of the township 
about the year 1836, using for the purpose a vacant cabin, which the 
neighbors fitted up with a few temporary benches and rough puncheon 

The first house erected especially for school purposes stood in the 
western part of the township, on the farm of Brooks Modesitt. It was 
an insignificant cabin, constructed on the usual pioneer plan, with punch- 
eon floor, stick chimney, large fire-place, and with but few conveniences 
for the comfort of the luckless urchins who were compelled to spend the 
long, dreary day within its walls. Gilbert taught several terms in this 
house. The first public money for school purposes was drawn by the 
township in the year 1839, and devoted to the construction of a school- 
house in the southern part of the township, in what was known as the 
Hurricane District, at that time District No. 3. The history of this 
building is a very interesting one, and from the old township records we 
copy the following: 

"Hurricane District was organized August, 1839, and a committee 
to select a building site was appointed, consisting of John Carter, John 
R. Smith, Robert Grass, William Pettit and William Ringo." Further 
on we read: " The committee met on the 30 day of August and selected 
a site to bilde said schoolhouse on it being in the southwest corner of 
John Eppert's land: received by the inhabitants of said district 16 day 
of September 1839 appointed to commence Said house." Not a very 
transparent report, to be sure, yet it seems to have been received by " said 
inhabitants " without a dissenting voice. The first board elected for this 
district was composed of John Eppert, William Noel and George Car- 
penter; the board organized by electing Noel Treasurer. The house was 
commenced in 1840, but several years elapsed before its completion, ow- 
ing to a lack of funds in the treasury. In 1840, District No. 3 drew, as 
its portion of the public fund, $50 in " Illinois money," $20 of which 
was borrowed by I. L. Yocum, J. H. Modesitt and Levi Yocum going his 
security. On June 6, 1841, we find the following quaint record: 

District order no. one order on treasury of district no 3 Mr. William Noel Sir 
please let Mr. Jos. Shull have that note belonging to the third district in township 
12, north range 7 west on John L Yocum J H. Modesitt and Levi Yocum 

John Eppert 
John Eppert trustee 

George Carpenter 


Immediately following the above appears: " District order no. two," 
which reads as follows: " Sir Mr. Noel pay to the undersigned citizens 
of District no 3 ten dollars in Illinois money for the purpose of gitting 
glass for schoolhouse in above mentioned district letting the money go 
for what it will fetch George Carpenter John R. Smith Jonnathan Kel- 
sey L Smith Martin Bowls Robert Grass." The ten dollars went for 37| 
cents on the dollar. 

It seems that considerable difficulty was experienced in completing 
this houne, as no one cared to furnish material or do any work, unless 
assured of a more substantial remuneration than that afforded by the de- 
preciated "Illinois" currency referred to. Finally, a public-spirited 
citizen, who had faith in the township's ability to pay, came to the front, 
as the following record will go to show: " Mr. William McBride agreed 
to furnish the lumber for the schoolhouse and wait for the pay until we 
draw good money again from the township treasury as the Illinois money 
is no account 1842." 

The following receipt, dated one year later, shows that Mr. McBride's 
faith in the township was not misplaced: 

Reed, of William Noel Treasurer ten dollars for lumber for schoolhouse in 
district no 3. town 13 north range 7 wesi this 5 day of April 1843. William Mc- 

In the year 1845, there were living in the township 133 children be- 
tween the ages of six and twenty-one years. In that year, Milton P. 
Carter drew $30 of public money for teaching three months, and one 
year later James Batts was paid out of the township treasury the sum 
of $70, for services as teacher for six months. Other early teachers were 
S. Carpenter and W. P. Carpenter, E. L. Rort, L. H. Mahan, C. P. 
Doyle, R. M. Philips, W. W. Carpenter, Nancy Grass, Miss Wyatt, 
John Wyatt, Laban Dickerson and W. P. Carter. In the year 1848, the 
school section belonging to this Congressional township was sold, and 
two years later new districts were set off and buildings erected. At the 
present time there are eleven good schoolhonses in the township, seven 
of which are frame and four brick. The teachers for the school year 
1882-83 were M. R. Yocum, P. H. Veach, H. C. Tribble, Perry Morgan, 
E. F. Griffin, R. H. Modesitt, John Northway, T. B. Robinson, G. W. 
McBride, W. F. Yocum and T. C. Green. To compensate these teachers 
required the sum of $2, 500. The enumeration for 1882-83 shows that 
573 children of proper school age are living in the township. Since the 
year 1859, the Township Trustees have been the following, to wit: A. C. 
Yeach, Henry Rule, George Ringo, James M. Hoskins, C. W. Bailey, 
Artemas Gilbert, Philip Boor, and C. G. McClintock, the present incum- 


The religious history of this township dates from the first settlement, 
though there were no churches organized for a number of years later. 


Religious services were held from house to house, and it was some time 
before any of the denominations gained suflScient strength to erect places 
for public worship. The first regularly organized church of which there 
is any authentic record was the Cloverland Baptist Church, which dates 
its history from about the year 1840. The society was organized with 
eight or nine members, and meetings were held at different residences 
for a number of years, when a log building was erected near the village. 
The first preacher was Elder Zachariah McClure, a man well and favor- 
ably known throughout the county for his piety and sterling integrity. 
Another early preacher was Elder J. W. Denman, who ministered to the 
little charge eight or nine years. 

The little log structure at the village was used by the society until it 
became too small to accommodate the constantly increasing audiences, 
when a substantial frame structure was built at a cost of $1,400. It 
stood near the village until a few years ago, when it was torn down, and 
rebuilt at a point about three miles south, where it still stands. The so- 
ciety has been kept up for over forty years, and at the present time num- 
bers about forty communicants. The present ministers are Elders Jo- 
seph Coltharpe and John Syster. The Christians organized a society at 
an early day at Cloverland, and met for public worship at the Baptist 
meeting-house. Their preachers were Elders Michael and Job Combs, 
who ministered to the society at intervals during the time it was in exist- 
ence. The society was disbanded a number of years ago, and a new 
organization effected at Staunton, which will be referred to in the history 
of that village. 

The Methodists held services at different places in the township dur- 
ing the early years of its history, as did also the Christians, or, as they 
are more familiarly known. New Lights. The early schoolhouses were 
used for religious purposes, and ministers of different denominations fre- 
quently conducted public worship in them. Itinerant preachers of the 
United Brethren Church preached regularly at the different school build- 
ings, but no society of their denomination appears to have been organ- 
ized until within a comparatively recent period. At the present time 
they support an organization near Cloverland, where they have a house 
of worship in conjunction with the New Lights. Both societies are well 
sustained, and are reported in good condition. 


WilUamstoivn, one of the oldest settlements in the township, is situ- 
ated on the National road, near the northern boundary, and was at one 
time the most important trading point in the northern part of the couoty. 
It was an outgrowth of the National road, and dates its history from 
the beginning of that highway, at which time a few residences were 
erected by the workmen, and a small stock of goods brought to the place. 

^VC>^'^J^(^ ,-^aA^te^ 


Among the early buildings was a tavern for the accommodation of the 
few travelers passing through the country, but the name of the landlord 
was not learned. The Van Buren Post Office was established about the 
year 1833, on the National road, a short distance west of the present city 
of Brazil, at a private residence, where it was kept for a few months, and 
afterward moved to Williamstown. The name of the office was never 
changed, and it was kept at the village until the year 18G0, at which 
time it was discontinued. The last Postmaster was Joseph Wardlow. 
Several stores were started at the village in an early day, all of which 
did a good business. Among the early merchants was a man by the name of 
Fortner, who sold goods for eight or ten ^ears, when he closed out his 
stock and was succeeded by a Mr. Shadrack. The village continued to 
grow in importance as the county increased in population, and at one 
time its prospects for securing the county seat were rather flattering. Its 
hopes for obtaining the seat of justice were doomed to be shattered, and 
when the T. H. & I. Railroad was constructed through the county, a few 
miles distant, the fortunes of the place began t(^ wane. The railroad 
and the growing city of Brazil proved its death blow, and its business 
men and mechanics sought other and more remunerative places. The 
city of great expectations finally died, and at the present time a few old 
dismantled houses are the only remains of its former greatness. 

Cloverland. — The village of Cloverland is situated in the northern 
part of the township, on the National road, and dates its origin from 
about the year 1834, although quite an extensive settlement had been 
made near its site several years prior to that date. The original plat was 
made by Dr. Charles Modesitt, of Terre Haute, and consisted of forty 
lots, to which several additions were subsequently made. The causes 
which led to the birth of the town were the construction of the National 
road, the general demand of the sparse settlements for a trading point, and 
the desire on the part of the proprietor to realize a fortune from the sale 
of lots. The village early became the most prominent business center in 
the county, and served as a distributing point for a large area of country, 
before the days of railroads. Among the first merchants of the town 
were Jesse Redifer and James Lucas, both of whom kept general assort- 
ments of merchandise, and carried on an extensive business. Later came 
John Lucas, and a man by name of Hamer. Carpenter & Hoskins car- 
ried on an extensive business about the year 1865. The firm was after- 
ward changed to Carpenter & Robinson, and a few years later the stock 
was purchased by McBride & Moore, Moore afterward purchased Mc- 
Bride's interest, and is in business at the present time. Prior to the 
construction of the T. H, & I. R, R., Cloverland enjoyed a fair degree of 
prosperity, but with the completion of the road the city took a downward 
grade, owing to the growing city of Brazil, which absorbed its business 
interests. At the present time the village is but a mere hamlet, about a 


dozen houses, and looks little like the flourishing pioneer town of former 

Staunton. — This thriving little town was laid out on the 12th day of 
August, 1851, and is situated in Section 16. It sprang into existence on 
account of the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Eailroad, and early acquired 
some prominence as a trading and shipping point. The plat was sur- 
veyed by William Herren for Lewis Bailey, proprietor, who placed the 
lots upon the market at once. " Sandy" Wilson was among the first to 
purchase real estate in the new village, and erected the first house, a 
residence and store building combined, where Swanda's store now stands. 
He brought a small stock of goods to the place, and was in business two 
or three years, when he closed out his store and left the village. The 
next were Hare Harrison and Eobert West, who came in about two years 
later. They erected a good frame building on Jefferson street, north of 
the railroad, and did a good business for five years, at the end of which 
time the store was purchased by Wheeler & Carter. This firm sold goods 
for a number of years. Wheeler afterward closed out to Carter, who in 
turn disposed of the business some time later and started a store at 
another place. An early store was kept by Milton Carter, in a small 
building which stood in the northern part of the village. He kept a 
miscellaneous assortment of merchandise, and was in business but a 
short time, closing out to F. Graham, who succeeded him in the same 
building. George Whidden started a store in the Wheeler and Carter 
building a short time after the latter quit the village, and did a thriving 
business for several years. Other merchants were J. & J. Wardlow, who 
kept a large stock of goods; Hoffman & Carter, and Wheeler, Bridges 
& Co. The first hotel was built by Jacob and Joseph Travels, near the 
railroad, and kept first by Jackson J. Vest, who ministered to the trav- 
eling public for several years. It is still standing and serves the pur- 
pose of a wareroom at the present time. 

William Ensinger and Levi Barb were the first mechanics in the vil- 
lage, starting blacksmith shops soon after the town was surveyed. The 
first cooper was Charles Lynd. In the year 1863, Frederick Weisman 
engaged in the tannery business and started a yard in the northeast part 
of the village, which he operated until the year 1867, when he sold out 
and left the place. The last owner of the tannery was Joseph Vest. 
The first physician was Dr. Wiley; since his time, the following medical 
gentlemen have practiced the healing art in the village, viz.: I. H. Haw- 
kins, James Wardlow, Dr. Kester, Dr. Hyatt, M. N. Fossion, Dr. Kiser, 
Dr. Porter, Dr. Davis, J. C. Maxey, Dr. McCorkhill, F. B. McCullough, 
Dr. Gerstmyer, Dr. Western, Dr. Lazear and Dr. E. L. Larkins. 

In the year 1873, the village took upon itself the dignity of an in 
corporated town. The first officers were David Hofi'man, President of 
the Board of Councilmen. F. J. James and David Carmickle, Council- 


men; W. F. Yocum, Clerk ; Philip Ripple, Assessor, and B. F. Wil- 
loiighby, Treasurer. 

The officials at the present time are William Stewart, F. B. McCul- 
lough and Joseph Halter, Councilmen; Samuel H. Cooper, Clerk; J. G. 
Scott, Treasurer, and J. W. McGlassen, Marshal. 

The first schoolhouse in the village was erected in the year 1856, and 
stood a short distance south of the Christian Church. It was a frame 
building and was in use until 1872. 

George Teter and Mrs. James were early teachers. The present com- 
modious brick building was erected in the year 1869. It is a frame 
structure, 48x50 feet in size, contains four large-sized rooms, and cost the 
sum of $5,000. 

The first School Board was composed of the following gentlemen: H. 
McClure, Joseph Somers and John G. Biller. 

Philip Miller, Joseph Somers and Philip Bon comprise the present 


Staunton Lodge, No. 415, I. O. O. F., was instituted in the month of 
June, 1873, with the following charter members, to wit : B. F. Wil- 
loughby, L. G. Howard, D. H. Hatfield and Riley Brown. 

The first officers were B. F. Willoughby, N. G. ; D. S. Howard, V. 
G. ; L. G. Howard, Secretary, and Albert Webster, Permanent Secretary. 

The organization was effected in Schwinda's Hall, where meetings 
were held for six months, when the lodge was moved to the Huffman & 
Carter Hall. The latter place was used as a meeting place until the year 
1881, at which time the organization was changed to Wardlow's Hall, 
where meetings are held at the present time. 

The present officers are B. F. Willoughby, N. G. ; James Wallace, 
V. G. : William Reeder, Recording Secretary; Joseph Somers, Permanent 
Secretary; J. M. Craig, Treasui-er; D. S. Bower, District Deputy; Will- 
iam Tib bets, Samuel Cooper and W. K. Booth, Trustees. 

At the present time there are forty-four members belonging to the 
organization, and the society is reported in excellent working order. 

Staunton Lodge, No. 27, I. O. G. T., was organized in 1882 with 
thirty members. Meetings were held in Lanem's Hall a few months, 
when the organization was changed to Wardlow's Hall, which is the 
meeting place at the present time. This society has done a very good 
work in the village, where its influence for good is felt in a very marked 
degree. The present membership is about fifty. The officers in charge 
at the present time are Charles Hutchinson, W. C. T. ; Mrs. Lida Ander- 
son, W. V. T. ; James Lawson, Recording Secretary, and Dr. Payne, 
Financial Secretary. 

The Masonic fraternity formerly maintained an organization in the 
town, but for some reasons unknown the society was abandone<i several 
vears aafo. 


The Knights of Labor have a large, flourishing lodge in the village, 
which is well attended. It numbers among its members many of the 
leading citizens of the community, and is a recognized factor in promot- 
ing the interests of the laboring class. 


Staunton Christian Church is one of the oldest religious societies in 
the township, and has ever been an aggressive organization. The neat 
temple of worship in which the congregation meets was erected in the 
year 1856, at a cost of about $800. The church, owing to deaths, re- 
movals, and other causes, is not as strong in numbers as formerly, there 
being only about sixty members at the present time. Ah nothing of the 
early history of the chui'ch was learned, we will be obliged to let it pass 
with the above brief notice. 

Staunton M. E. Church dates its history from the year 1859. It was 
organized by Rev. Emery Brandt with six members, whose names are as 

follows: William West and wife, Somers and wife, Mrs. Col. Teter 

and Mrs. Carrie P. James. The little society held meetings at the resi- 
dences of different members for some months, and afterward used the old 
schoolhouse for public worship. 

The New Light Church was placed at the disposal of the congrega- 
tion shortly after its completion, and was used until the year 1878, at 
which time the present handsome temple was erected. It is a frame 
building, with a seating capacity of 250, and represents a value of 
$2,100. At the time of the organization, the society was attached to the 
Center Point Circuit in the Southern Indiana Conference. It was trans- 
ferred to the Northwestern Indiana Conference about the year 1870. 

Rev. Brandt preached for the congregation one year, and did much 
toward establishing the society upon a substantial basis. Other early 
pastors were Revs. Harris, Moore, Morris, Coffin, Head and Lawson. 
Later came Revs. Tunnicliffe and Daniels. The present incumbent is 
Rev. Calvert, Present membership, about thirty-five. Class lead- 
er, B. F. Danner. Trustees are Joseph Wardlow, Philip Boor, J. M. 
Anderson, John Ringo and B. F. Danner. Mrs. James is Superintend- 
ent of the large, flourishing Sunday School, which has an average at- 
tendance of eighty-tive scholars. 

Christian, or Neiv Light Church. — In the year 1875 Elders J. T. 
Philips and Absalom Carney held a meeting at the Staunton Schoolhouse 
and organized a society, which took upon itself the name of Staunton 
Christian Church. The class met in the schoolhouse for a short time, 
and afterward fitted up a vacant store building belonging to George 
Hubbard, where public worship was held at intervals for one year, at 
the end of which time their present church edifice was erected. 

A lot was purchased in Holmes' Addition, and a substantial frame 


structvire erected thereon, at a cost of about $1,800. This is one of the 
most CO mmodious church buildings in the township, and will comforta- 
bly seat 800 persons. The first regular pastor of the church was Elder 
William D, Smith, who ministered to the society one year. He was suc- 
ceeded by Elder A. J. Acres, whose pastorate extended over a period of 
four years. Then came Elder Simmonds for one year, after whom came 
Elder Hutts, who remained the same length of time. At the expiration 
of Hutts' pastorate. Elder Acres was again called by the church, and 
preached for one year, after which there was no regular pastor for two 
years. At the present time Elder Hutts is serving his second term as 
pastor, and the society is reported in good condition, with a membership 
of fifty. The present church officials are John L. Miller, Clerk; Fred- 
erick Miller and W. Modisitt, Deacons; John McBride, John L. Miller 
and Jonathan Craig, Trustees. 

Staunton Lutheran Church was first organized in the year 1854, near 
the southeast corner of the township. It was then known as the St. 
John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and sustained a good membership. 
The first house of worship was a small log building, and was in use 
a number of years. As the congregation increased in numbers, the 
house became too small, and the advisability of erecting a new building 
began to be discussed. When the time came for building, some of the 
members wanted to move the organization to Staunton, while others 
were in favor of erecting the new structure on the same spot where the 
old one stood. This caused a division in the congi'egation, and the part 
desiring the location at Staunton erected the present building in 1870. 
That part favoring the old location erected a neat structui'e there one 
year later, and still maintain their organization. 

The house at Staunton is brick, 35x40 feet in size, and represents a 
capital of about $1,400. The first preacher in the old church was Rev. 
John F. Lautenschlager, who is still ministering to the church in the 
southern part of the township. The original members of the old congrega- 
tion were Peter Tiefel, John Holdefer, Conrad Hofman, M. Hofman, John 
Hofman, M. Romas, Charles Hofman, Frank Wedel, John Dormer, Paul 
Deivlein, David Krach, George Krach and Frederick Steirn. The pastors 
who have ministered to the Staunton congregation are the following: 
T. H. Jaeger, August Everbach, Frederick Girkenmyer, F. W. Wilch- 
ers and Theodore F. Hahn, all of whom were born in Germany and edu- 
cated for the ministry in the United States, at Columbus, Ohio. Num- 
ber of members at the present time, thirty-three; average attendance of 
the Sunday school, twenty. 

We close the sketch of Staunton with the following exhibit of its 
business: There are two large dry goods and general stores kept respect- 
ively by Wardlow & Boor and George Scherb; Webster & Van Cleve 
keep a general assortment of merchandise; Webster & McClintock make 


groceries a specialty; Thomas Varley, groceries; M. Lehiner, groceries 
and saloon; Drs. L. S. Byers and — Dillman, druggists; Mrs. Maxey,mil- 
liner; T. H. Varley, cabinet-maker; J. W. Lamson, blacksmith; Philip 
Boor and D. S. Maurer, hotels; Wesley Guthrie, barber; G. W. Gilbert, 
proprietor of mill; James T. Lucas, railroad agent. 

The village boasts of about 450 inhabitants, a large proportion of 
whom work in the adjacent coal mines. 


This little hamlet is an outgrowth of the Vandalia Railroad, and 
dates its history from the year 1852, at which time the plat was made 
for J. M. Modesitt, proprietor. 

The development of rich coal mines in the vicinity had a tendency 
to induce settlement at this point, and the town has been known prin- 
cipally as a shipping point for coal. Samuel Honeter, Wilson M ontgom- 
ery, Henry Jones and Luther Cook were the first to purchase lots and 
erect residences in the village, which they did soon after the survey was 
made. Modesitt & Cook brought the first stock of goods to the place, 
and erected a store building near the railroad. They conducted a fair 
business for two years, when the stock was purchased by Wilcox & Co., 
who in turn sold out to W. Forsythe after remaining in the village 
about one year. Among other merchants were W. Fortner, Oliver & 
Fortner, Fred Mackle and John Minney. 

The present business is represented by the grocery and provision 
stores of David Carmichael, William Haywood and James Kane. There 
is one shoe-shop kept by Daniel Hanlin, a carpenter and wood-w orking 
establishment by Joseph Fravel, and a saloon where the thirsty can re- 
gale themselves with good lager, "fortj-rod" and "lay-'em-straight,'* 
in quantity and quality according to demand. The village boasts of a 
population of 200 souls. 





VAN BUREN originally formed a part of Posey Township, from 
which it was separated about the year 1829, and organized with its 
present area. The date is not given as definite, as the record describing 
the township's formation was destroyed when the court house burned in 
1852. It includes the greater part of Congressional Township 13 north, 
Range 6 west, and was named in honor of Martin Van Buren by an 
ardent admirer of that President. Its boundaries are Parke and Putnam 
Counties on the north and east ; Jackson Township on the .south, and 
the townships of Dick Johnson and Brazil on the west. 

The greater portion of the surface is somewhat uneven and broken, 
especially in the north and west, while the southwest corner is compara- 
tively level, and contains some excellent farm lands. 

Adjacent to the streams by which the township is traversed the land 
is cut, divided and subdivided into innumerable bluffs and hills of all 
sizes, shapes and altitudes. Many deep ravines wind among these hills 
toward the streams which flow through the county in various directions. 

The township cannot be termed a good agricultural region, as the 
soil is principally of a heavy clay nature, and poorly adapted for general 
farming. In the southern portion, however, the land is more fertile, 
and when carefully tilled returns fair crops of wheat, corn, rye, oats, 
barley and grass. Stock-raising as an industry is engaging the attention 
of many of the farmers ; but the leading business is coal-mining, in 
which the majority of the citizens are interested. 

Coal underlies the greater portion of the township, forming an inex- 
haustible supply, a fact which has led to the development of many rich 
mines, among which are several of the most extensively worked ones in 
the State. 

The most important water- coux'se is Croy's Creek, which flows a 
southerly course through the eastern part of the township, entering in 
Section 7 and leaving from Section 35. The south branch of Otter 
Creek rises in Section 17, flows a southwesterly course, and plays an 
important part in the drainage of the county. Beside the above-named 
streams, there are several other creeks of minor importance traversing 
the county in various directions, none of which are designated by any 
particular names. The surface of the township was originally covered 


with a dense forest growth, the leading varieties of timber being black 
walnut, several kinds of oak, hard and soft maple, hickory, beech, ash 
and elms. The best part of the timber was cut away many years ago, 
much of that standing at the present time being of recent growth. Much 
valuable timber was destroyed by the early settlers in clearing their 
farms, which if standing to-day would be worth more money than the 
lands would bring at the highest market price. 


Three-quarters of a century ago, the present area of Van Buren was 
a wilderness, undisturbed by the innovation of the white man. Predatory 
savage tribes were the sole' possessors of the soil, and wild beasts, both 
numerous and ferocious, lurked in the woods and among the hills which 
afforded them natural hiding places. Occasionally a few adventurous 
hunters and trappers, lured by the presence of abundant game, would 
locate along the streams, where they erected temporary habitations, but 
made no further improvement, spending their time in the enjoyment 
of their favorite pursuit. 

They were sojourners rather than settlers — the spume which crested 
the tide of advancing civilization — and, having a large region wherein 
to choose, soon drifted to other localities. Their names and history 
have alike been forgotten. In the year 1825, appeared the first actual 
settlers in the persons of Matthew Cox and James Eoberts, who made a 
tour of observation through the country for the purpose of selecting sites 
for homes. They were natives of Henry County, Ky., and made their 
first journey on horseback. 

After selecting claims, and erecting thereon the necessary improvements 
to hold the same, they returned to their native State, where Cox remained 
one year, moving back with his family in the fall of 1826. Roberts 
entered the land, where the village of Knightsville now stands, but did 
not move on to it until the fall of 1831. 

In the meantime, Green McKinley, a Kentuckian also, came to the 
new county, and entered land one mile southeast of Harmony Village 
where his son-in-law, Richard Pell, lives. The date of his arrival is fixed 
in the spring of 1826. He moved his family to their new home in a 
small cart, an undertaking attended with many serious difficulties owing 
to the wild condition of the country through which they were obliged to 
travel, and the absence of anything like a well-defined roadway. Much 
of the way led through unbroken forests, where roads had to be cut out, 
which occasioned much delay, and many days were consumed before their 
destination was reached. Upon his arrival, Mr. McKinley went to work, 
and soon had a temporary pole cabin erected which served as a habita- 
tion until the following autumn, when a more comfortable and commo- 
dious log house was built. Our pioneer seems to have been a man of 






rare energy, a true type of the frontiersmau, and no great time had 
elapsed before he had a comfortable home carved out of the wilderness. 
For lifty-five years he was an honored citizen of Van Buren, and did as 
much as, if not more than any other person for the moral and physical de- 
velopment of the township. Mr. McKinley was a leading and influential 
member of the Methodist Church, and may be appropriately termed the 
father of Methodism in this division of the county, giving liberally of his 
means for the dissemination of the Gospel ti-uths, acd for the building 
of houses dedicated to the worship of God. He died in the year 1881, 
leaving descendants in this and adjoining townships. 

The journey of Matthew Cox to his possessions in the new country 
was replete with many incidents, and twelve days were required to make 
the trip. The different members of the family were obliged to walk and 
cut ou^ roads for the one small wagon on which were loaded the few 
household effects and provisions necessary to begin life in the backwoods. 
Mr. Cox settled near the present site of Knightsville, and used his 
wagon for a habitation until a cabin could be erected. His first house 
was unique in pattern and design, having been constructed upon a very 
simple plan, four forks being driven into the ground, upon which as 
many poles rested, the whole inclosed and covered with rough clap- 
boards, made with a common chopping ax. At the end of six months, 
Cox succeeded in clearing three acres of ground upon which small crops 
of corn and potatoes were raised, being the second successful attempt at 
farming in the township. At the first election in the township in 1828, 
Mr. Cox was chosen Constable, a position he filled for many successive 
years. He was a resident of Van Buren until the year 1846, at which 
time he died while working on the Wabash & Erie Canal in the south- 
ern part of the county. Samuel Cox, a son of the preceding, came to 
Indiana with his father, and has been a citizen of the township fifty- 
seven years. During that long period, he has resided within one mile 
of the original homestead, and is the only original settler of the town- 
ship living at the present time! 

In 1826, there were living in the township, in addition to those 
enumerated, the families of John Darting and Moses Parr, both of whom 
settled in the fall of the year mentioned. The first named was a native 
of Virginia, and a pioneer of the original backwoods type. He entered 
the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 35, upon which 
he made a few improvements, but by far the greater portion of his time 
was spent in hunting, and he early acquired the reputation of being a 
skilled rifleman. He reared a large family of sons, all of whom par- 
took of the father's adventurous nature in a very marked degree. In the 
year 1848, he disposed of his farm, and moved into the adjoining county 
of Putnam, where several of his descendants are still living. Parr came 
from Kentucky and settled in the southeast part of the township on 


Croy's Creek, where he took a claim and made a few temporary improve- 
ments. He derived his chief subsistence from hunting and trapping, and 
lived a wild, free life in the woods untrammeled by the fetters of society, 
for the usages of which he had the most profound contempt. He re 
mained a resident of the township for seven years, when he sold his im- 
provements and moved to Western Illinois. 

During the year 1827, the population of the township was increased 
by the following additions, i. e. , John Graves, Isam Steed and George 
Williams. Graves moved to this State from North Carolina, and settled 
two miles northeast of Harmony ou the farm at present owned and occu- 
pied by his daughter, Mrs. Williams. Steed came from Carolina also, 
and settled on Graves' claim, where he lived until he entered laud of his 
own. He was a man of intelligence and culture, and taught the first 
school in the township as early as the year 1836. Williams immigrated 
from North Carolina and entered a tract of land near the village of Car- 
donia, where his widow still lives. 

The following year Mark Bolin, David Murphy and Joseph Mostetler 
became residents of the township. The first named entered land east of 
Harmony, where James Morgan lives. He earned the reputation of be- 
ing a good citizen, and was one of the earliest Justices of the Peace in 
Van Buren. Mostetler located on the northeast corner of the township, 
where he entered a good tract of land. He was an unmarried man, or 
in common parlance, an old bachelor, and lived by himself, deriving his 
chief support from the sale of cattle and hogs, of which he raised large 

He associated but little with the other settlers, and had been dead 
four or five days before the fact became known throughout the neighbor- 

Other settlers who came in an early day and shared in the hardships 
of frontier life were Elias Owens, who settled in Section 25, where he is 
still living; Reuben Yocum, who settled in Section 32; Jacob Bell, who 
located near Calcutta Village, and Joseph Case, an old man, who settled 
in the northeast corner of the township, and Isam Wright, who entered 
land in Section 13, all of whom became residents prior to the year 1832. 
In the latter year, Addison Pratt settled a short distance east of Har- 
mony in Section 34, and entered eighty acres of land, which he sold a 
few months later and moved to Illinois. He was a near relative of Orson 
Pratt, one of the leading lights of Mormonism, and joined his fortunes 
with the ' ' Latter-Day Saints " at Nauvoo. He was with Joseph Smith 
when the latter was killed, and crossed the plains to Salt Lake City 
where he afterward became a prominent man in the church. 

Joseph Mostetler, a relative of David Mostetler, was an early settler 
also. He located in the northern part of the township, where he con- 
structed one of the first distilleries in the coiinty. Elias Stallcup came 


about the same time as the foregoing, and was joined a few months later 
by Jacob Girton, both of whom located in the eastern part of the town- 
ship, where they secured real estate and became prominent citizens. 
Jonathan Branson and John Deakin both came in 1834, the former of 
whom is still living where he settled in the northeast part of the town- 
ship. The latter was a character deserving of special mention, a very 
Hercules in strength, whose greatest delight was hunting, by means of 
which he supported his family. He was a peaceable man, but when once 
aroused nothing suited him better than a rough-and-tumble knock-down, 
out of which his antagonist was sure to come with a mashed head or 
broken bones. 

Other settlers came in from time to time, but the limits of our space 
forbid any more than a mere mention of the names of some of the ear- 
liest ones. In the year 1835, the following settlers obtained land by- 
entry, to wit: Benjamin Bell, John Britton, John Dunne, James Town- 
send, John Cromwell, Jacob Wagle, James Yocum, Henry Yocum, Da- 
vid Barber, James Edwards, D. T. Hedges, David Murphy, Thomas Ho- 
gan, George Snodgrass, James Logan, George Myers, Thomas Small and 
Jacob Savage. Other early entries were made by Stephen Girton, M. 
Canby, Arnold Nandern, Edward Tatnall, Samuel Poff, Miles Lauder- 
baugh, M. Stallcup, David Earber, Samuel Graves. Charles Earber, 
Charles Butler, Solomon Vancammon, John Denney, Solomon Carpenter, 
John Wilson. B. H. Boling, John Deane, W. C. Hall, James Burke and 
Joshua Batts. 


This comprises the early settlement of Van Buren, as far as we have 
been able to learn its history. The early struggle of the pioneers, with 
hardships, trials and other objects calculated to deter them, is but a rep- 
etition of those experienced by all early settlers in a new and uninhab- 
ited country. Those early times cannot be reproduced by any prose of 
the historian. Many daring deeds performed by unknown heroes have 
passed into oblivion, and many of nature's great men who won signal vic- 
tories in the hard-fought battles with nature in the wilderness now lie in 
obscure and unknown graves. The first year in the new settlement was 
generally the most difficult, as the little stock of provisions frequentlv 
gave out and many hardships were endured in order to obtain the nece.s- 
saries of life; but after the first crop was gathered there was generally 
a sufficiency for home consumption, husbanded away with scrupulous 
care. The forests generally supplied the meat from the bountiful store 
of game, in quantity and quality according to demand. Deer were so 
numerous that it was no uncommon sight to see as many as fifty in a 
herd, and settlers have been known to shoot throe and four while stand- 
ing in their door yard. Deor skins and venision hams, with wild honev 
and ginseng, were the principal articles .sold by the early settlers, or 


exchanged for groceries and dry goods, with the "hucksters" who made 
semi-annual trips through the country for the purpose of collecting 
such produce. Like all new countries, this part of the country was 
greatly overrun by wolves, which proved very destructive to the settlers' 
stock, 80 much so that pigs and calves had to be penned in tight inclosures to 
save them from being killed. Perhaps the most dangerous animals and 
the ones most greatly to be feared were the wild hogs which infested 
the woods in great numbers. They were fleet of foot, very ferocious, and, 
when annoyed, were formidable enemies, before which the bravest hunt- 
ers would have to flee. Upon one occasion a hunter shot and wounded 
one of these animals, and its cries soon brought several others to the spot. 
Before the sportsman had time to reload his piece, they were close upon 
him, and he was obliged to take refuge in a tree. His dog fought them 
for a short time, but was soon overpowered and literally torn into shreds 
by the savage beasts. 

After killing the dog, they turned their attention to the hunter, who 
was compelled to remain the greater part of one long afternoon in his 
airy perch waiting for the beasts to take their departure, which they did 
when night came on. 

Many of these hogs were slaughtered by the early settlers and the 
meat marketed at Terre Haute, where it sold for about $2 per hundred. 

As settlers increased in numbers, a common cause was made in meet- 
ing the wants of each other, helping for help again. The idea of assist- 
ing another for a pecuniary consideration never intruded itself into the 
minds of the pioneers in those early days. No greater insult could have 
been offered than a hint that money was required to pay for a neighbor's 
help. If a cabin were to be raised, or a iield of logs to be rolled, all the 
occasion demanded of the neighbors far and near was a knowledge of the 
time and place, distance being nothing, and other less pressing engage- 
ments had to succumb in order to render the needed assistance. 


For a couple of years after the date of the first settlement, considera- 
ble difficulty was experienced by the pioneers in obtaining breadstuffs, 
and many devices were resorted to in order to procure the "staff of 
life. " The most common way was to crush the corn in a mortar made by 
hollowing out the top of a firm oak or hickory stump. The pestle was 
usually an iron wedge made fast to a sweep overhead which could be 
worked up and down with considerable force. Families who had no such 
contrivances soaked corn and grated it upon a common tin grater, one of 
which was found in almost every household. 

The first mill in the township was constructed by Green McKinley, on 
his farm, and operated by hand. It was a very rude affair, the machinery 
consisting of two home-made buhrs, one of which was turned by a stick. 


Mr. McKinley made it for his individual use, but it was afterward 
placed at the disposal of the neighbors, who kept it running pretty con- 
stantly until other mills were erected. About the year 1842, several 
neighbors constructed a small water mill on Brush Creek, three miles 
from Harmony, and operated it successfully for seven years. The 
machinery consisted of two buhrs, and a simple bolting apparatus which 
had to be operated by hand. It ground very slowly, and persons bring- 
ing grists were often obliged to wait one or two days for their respective 

The first frame house in the township was erected by Green McKin- 
ley about the year 1845. He built the first brick house also, which is 
still standing on the National road a short distance from Harmony. 
James Towusend planted the first orchard shortly after his arrival, many 
trees of which are still standing. The second orchard was set out by 
Elias Stallcup in the northern part of the township. 

The first impulse of the people, upon whom devolved the responsi- 
bility of giving form and character to society in primitive Van Buren, 
was to inaugurate a system of education whic h should in the future 
insure a safe foundation for permanent prosperity. Hence schools were 
established at an early date, and were well sustained and patronized. 
The first sessions were held in private dw ellings, but, as the population 
increased, more roomy buildings were required, and a number of log 
schoolhouses were erected in different localities. 

The first term was taught by Isam Steed, in a small vacated cabin 
which stood a few miles north of the village of Harmony. 

This school numbered perhaps ten or twelve pupils, was supported 
by subscription, and lasted two and a half months. 

Previous to the schools, the settlers living in the northern and eastern 
parts of the township sent their children to school in Dick Johnson 
TowQship, where a couple of terms were taught as early as 1834-35. 

Mr. Cox states that he walked from his father's house, which stood on 
the present site of Knightsville, to a school on Frank Yocum's place in 
Dick Johnson Township, a distance of five miles. He attended school 
there one entire winter, missing but two or three days during a three 
months' term. The first building set apart especially for school purposes 
was a small log structure built by the neighbors, on Green McKinley 'a 
farm. It was first used by Benjamin Carman, who taught several suc- 
cessive terms. It was used a great many years, and finally rotted down. 
An early schoolhouse stood in the northwest part of the township, on 
John Pell's farm. It was built as early as 1845, and first used by Isam 
Steed. Joshua Howard was an early teacher at the same place. The 
first frame schoolhouse was erected by Green McKinley about the year 


1862. It stood on his farm, and was in use until quite recently. The first 
public money was drawn by the township in the year 1849. 

At the present time there are twenty four schools in the township, to 
support which required for tuition, during the year 1882-83, the sum of 
$4,000. The enumeration taken in the spring of 1883 returns the names 
of 1,362 pupils. The following list comprises the teachers who had charge 
of the schools in 1882-83: 

Harmony Schools — A. L. Boor, Principal; Sallie Prather, Delia 
Steed and Anna Ferguson, Assistants. 

Knightsville — J. W. Love, Principal; Alice Wilson, Mattie Dickson 
and Emma Dickson, Assistants. 

Cardonia — C. W. Crouse, Principal; Laura Hendricks and Mary Mc- 
Crary, Assistants. 

Benwood— A. L. Somers, Principal; Scott Pell and Emma Ellis, 

Carbon — D. J. Pell, Principal; names of assistants not learned. 

Other teachers in the township were W. E. Carr, Miss Jacks, William 
Rawley, Mrs. Jennie Grady, William Pell, A. J. Braden, John Rawley, 
Hiram McQueen and Belle Jones. 

The Township Trustees, since 1859, have been the following, to wit: 
John Frump, H. R. Hice, John Steed, John Trippett, John Orme, L. C. 
Turner and Harry Hicp. 


The history of Christianity in Van Buren may be termed coeval with 
its earliest settlement. The first preacher of whom there is any authen- 
tic account made his appearance in the country about the year 1830, and 
was of the Christian denomination, among which were found many of 
those pioneer soldiers of the cross who preceded or followed close in the 
wake of civilization in Southern Indiana. Elder Case, the pioneer min- 
ister of the township, preached his first sermon at the residence of George 
Lucas, an early settler who lived a few miles north of Harmony, where 
he continued preaching at intervals during several ensuing yeais. 

■ A Methodist minister by the name of Dickeson preached at an early 
day in the Stallcup neighborhood, where the first religious organization 
was effected in the year 1839. This was known as the Ebenezer Church, 
and was organized at the residence of Pell. Among the early mem- 
bers were John Pell and wife, Elias Stallcupand wife. Miles Lauderbaugh 
and wife, and others whose names were not ascertained. Early pastors 
were Revs. Smith, Bartlett and Dickeson Pell's residence was used as a 
place of public worship until the Stallcup Schoolhouse was erected, after 
which services were held in that building. The schoolhouse was used 
for about fifteen years; when a house of worship was erected in the same 
neighborhood. The organization was maintained until the year 1875, 
at which time, owing to some difficulty with the Presiding Elder con- 


cerning " Quarterly Meetings," the society disbanded. The house was 
afterward purchased by the United Brethren, who organized a class into 
which many members of the Methodist organization were received. This 
society is in a flourishing condition at the present time, with a good mem- 
bership, ministered to by Rev. Thomas Buck. Their house of worship 
is a comfortable frame structure, 30x60 feet in size, and represents a 
value of about $1,000. 

Harmony Methodist Eiyiscojoal Church.— This society was organized 
in the year 1855, by Rev. Joseph Asbury, at the residence of John Beau- 
champ, Avho lived in the northern part of the township. At the first 
meeting the following persons were enrolled as members, viz. , Samuel 
Barnes and wife, Robert Cryer, John Beauchamp and wife, John Parr 
and wife, and D. J. Pell. 

For one year after its organization, the little society met for worship 
at Beauchamp's residence, during which time many converts were added, 
and the organization was placed upon a substantial footing. In the year 
1856, the class moved its place of meeting to the McKinley Schoolhouse, 
on the National road, where services were held for two years, at the end 
of which time the congregation had so increased in numbers that a more 
commodious place of worship became necessary, and steps were taken to 
erect a building in keeping with the growing organization. Mr. Mc- 
Kinley donated ground, and a frame building, 30x40 feet, was soon erected 
thereon at a cost of $800. For twelve years this edifice was used, when 
by mutual consent of the members it was decided to move the orgaiiiza- 
tion to the village of Harmony. The house was taken to the village, and 
used until two years ago, at which time it was sold, the title to the prop- 
erty beiDg made to some of the members of the United Brethren Church 
of Harmony. 

A large and fine brick edifice was erected in the year 1881, and named 
McKinley Chapel^ in compliment to Mr. McKinley, who was untiring in 
his efforts for the good of the church, and who gave more substantial aid 
toward the building than any other person. The house is 50x70 feet in 
size, will comfortably seat a congregation of 800 people, and cost the 
sum of $5,000, Outside of Brazil, it is the finest temple of worship in 
the county, and an ornament to the village. 

For thirty years, this church has enjoyed a reasonable degree of pros- 
perity under the charge of the many preachers sent by the conference to 
minister to her people. A few familiar names of some of those worthy 
men are called to the minds of those acquainted with the church during 
the years of its history — such as James Williamson, George Asbury, 
Braudt. Beck, Harrison, Cox, Keen, Guild, Drake, down to the present 
pastor, N. Green. 

The membership of the church is in good condition, and the society 
stands to-day, as it has stood for thirty years, like a "city get upon a 


hill," radiating its light, shedding its beneficient influence all around, 
in harmony with the community for good, and in fellowship with its sis- 
ter churches. Its substantial membership and its admirable Sunday 
school speak well • for its continued usefulness. The present church offi- 
cials are R. D. Pell and Walls, Class Leaders; James Crooks and 

Miller, Stewards; R. D. Pell, James Crooks, Samuel Brown, George 
Riddle and John Zeller, Trustees. Rev. N. Green is Superintendent of 
the Sunday school, which boasts an average attendance of 100 <scholars. 

North Union Christian Church at Cardonia was organized at the 
village sehoolhouse in the year 1852, with an original membership of 
twenty -three. The first services were conducted by Eld Isaac Nicoson, 
Sr., under whose labors the society increased in members and influence 
until ten years later, when a beautiful house of worship was erected. 
The majority of the members of the organization were men of limited 
means, and the edifice was constructed principally by voluntary contri- 
butions or work. Daniel M. Easter donated a desirable lot, and a frame 
building, 26x36 feet, was erected thereon, costing the sum of $600. Elder 
Nicoson was the faithful and energetic pastor at intervals for twenty-five 
years. Other preachers who ministered to the congregation at difi"erent 
times were Elders John Easter, Ezekiel Wright, — Marshall and Price. 

Unfortunately for the well being of the church, a serious difficulty, 
the nature of which was not ascertained, sprang up a few years ago, re- 
sulting in a complete dismemberment of the organization, and at the 
present time no services are held, the beautiful house of worship stand- 
ing idle. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." 

The Methodists have a flourishing organization at the village of Car- 
bon, and a good frame house of worship. The society is increasing in 
membership, and their congregations and Sunday school rank with the 
first in the township. 

At the same place, the Missionary Baptists sustain a good society, the 
history of which was not learned. They have also a neat temple of 
worship, capable of seating 200 persons, and representing a capital 
of several thousand dollars. 

Knightsville Methodist Episcopal Church. — The origin of this society 
dates back to the year 1876, at which time a meeting was held in the 
village, conducted by Rev, James W. Harris, for the purpose of effecting 
an organization. A goodly number responded, and among the members 
i-eceived during that year were the following, viz.: R. M. Holingsworth, 
Eiias Arthur, Martha Arthur, Caroline Creed, ^\. K. Duerson, M. F. 
Duerson, Susan Dickson, "William H. Fitch, Elizabeth Fitch, Abbie Good- 
ale, Adam Gold, Elizabeth Harrington, Amanda Holingsworth, Alexan- 
der Haggart, William Haggart, J. L. Hudson, Laura Hunt, Jenuie Hunt, 
Elizabeth Hews, Mark Hews, Mary Hudson, Anna Hendrickson, William 
Lawell, Mary Lloyd, W. D. McClintock, K. M. McClintock, Mary and 


^<t-^^e' 7 v/ 


George Markle, Emma Plumb, Leonard Raridan, Nancy E. Skinner, G. 
W. Starr and I). N. Slater. Tbe first pastor who ministered to the 
church was Rev. F. M. Pavy; since then the following pastors have had 
charge of the chui'ch: J. W. Harris, J. G. Morrell, John E. Steele, T. M. 
Guild and T. F. Drake. The present incumbent is Rev. N. Green, who 
divides his time between this and Harmony chvu'ch. The present mem- 
bership numbers about sixty. The house of worship in which the con- 
gregation meets is a beautiful frame building, located near the central 
part of the village. It was erected in the year 1883, and cost about 
$1,000. Sunday School is maintained the entire year, with an average 
attendance of 175 scholars. At the present time it is imder the efficient 
management of Albert Watts, Superintendent. 

The church officers at the present time are Albert Watts and William 
Richai'ds, Class Leaders; J. N. Dilley, Albert Watts and William Rich- 
ards, Stewards; F. M. Sigler, J. N. Dilley, Albert Watts, William Rich- 
ards and E. L. Winklepleck, Trustees. 

About the year 1868, a small Presbyterian "society was organized at 
Knightsville by Rev. Matthews, assisted by Thomas Watson, Sr. The 
organization was effected in the village schoolhouse, and sustained about 
eighteen months, when by mutual consent the society disbanded. The 
last pastor was Rev. — Griffith. 

Harmony United Brethren Church was organized in the year 1876, 
with a small membership. The schoolhouse was used as a meeting place 
until 1881, at which time the society purchased the Methodist Church 
property, and refitted the old building at a cost of a couple of hundred 
dollars. The first pastor was Rev. Cowgill, who preached one year. He 
was succeeded by Rev. George Watson, who remained the same length 
of time, and in turn was followed by Rev. — Tagul, who also preached 
one year. Then came Rev. — Johns for one year. His successor was 
Rev. — Miller, after whom came the present incumbent, Rev. Thomas 
Buck. At the present time there are forty members belonging to the 

Roman Catholic Church of Carbo7i -was organized in the year 1875, 
with a membership of about thirty-five families, a larger number than 
belongs at the present time. The organization was brought about by 
the labors of Father Miner, who was instrumental in having the neat 
house of worship erected. This is a frame edifice, and originally cost 
about $1,000. The second pastor was Father Benedict, after whom came 
Father Mosette. The priest in charge at the present time is Father 
Pearrard, of Brazil. 

Cardonia Congregational Church was organized a few years ago by a 
missionary from one of the Eastern States. A small but comfortable 
house of worship was erected, and the organization has been accomplish- 
ing a good work in the village and neighboring country. The congre- 


gation at the present time is rather small, but strong in faith and good 
works. They are looking forward to a prosperous future. 


This village was an outgrowth of the old National road on which it 
is situated, and dates its origin from the completion of that highway, al- 
though no plat was made until the year 1864. It occupies a beautiful 
location on the Vandalia Railroad, about three and a half miles north- 
east of Brazil, and is a town of about 800 inhabitants, many of whom 
are engaged in coal mining. Adjacent to the village are several large 
shafts, and the town is noted as an important shipping point for coal. 
The first survey of the lots was made November 30, 1864, by George 
Gorham for Isaac Marks, proprietor. 

Frazier's Addition was made in June, 1866. Mark's Second Addition 
was platted in July, 1866. In May, 1867, Isaac and John Marks made an 
addition. Frazier's Second Addition to the plat was made in the year 
1867; Eckert's Addition in 1868; Mark's Fourth Addition in 1868. 
The area embraced within the present limits is sufficient for a city of 
6,000 inhabitants, and the growth of the town has never come up to the 
expectations of the proprietors. 

The first settler upon the present site of Harmony appears to have 
been one Owen Tharpe, who erected a small board house, as early as 
1832, which he stocked with goods for the accommodation of the work- 
men on the National road. He remained here about three years, when 
he closed out his stock and moved from the place. Green McKinley was 
a contractor on the National road, and for some months kept a small 
stock of goods at bis residence, where Eichard Pell now lives. He 
afterward moved his stock to the present site of the town, and pur- 
chased a small house which had been built and occupied for a residence 
by John Graves. He started a saw mill which he ran in connection 
with his store, and was in business until about the year 1852. The saw 
mill was purchased by Isaac Marks who afterward sold it to H. Halstead. 
The village remained a mere hamlet of a few cabins until the comple- 
tion of the T. H. & I. R. R. , when a new impetus was given the place and 
several parties purchased and improved lots. Among these was James 
Robinson, who bought a small house near the railroad, which he stocked 
with a general assortment of merchandise, and for a number of years 
did a flourishing business. Halstead was a carpenter, and built several 
houses which he disposed of to new-comers at reasonable prices, for 
the purpose of inducing settlers to locate in the village. 

Among the first to purchase lots were Samuel Cox, John M. Killion, 
William Evans. David Cox, Fred Boyer, John Zeller and John Wilson, 
the latter of whom was the first blacksmith. The village grew but 
slowly until the discovery of coal in the neighborhood, and the build- 


ing of the rolling mill and blast furnaces by the Indianapolis Coal & 
Iron Company in the year 1867. These establishments stood about one 
mile northeast of the town, and were in operation five years. About 
fifty men were employed, the majority of whom lived in the vil- 
lage. The company finally closed their mill owing to the excessive 
i-ates charged for shipping the raw material, and high taxation which the 
county refused to lessen. 'Tis said that the venture of starting the mill 
and furnace here resulted in a loss of several thousand dollars to the 
proprietors. The loss of the furnace and mill was severely felt by the 
village, but the development of the rich coal mines compensated in a 
great degree by inducing miners to locate here. 

Early merchants, additional to those enumerated, were David Cox, who 
kept in the Eobinson building; Jackson Poff, his successor, and Robert 
Wingate. Zeller & Riddle bought Wingate's store prior to 1867, and 
are in business at the present time, with one or the largest and best se- 
lected stocks of goods in the county. C. G. Ferguson came to the village 
in 1867, and engaged in the mercantile business, renting a room of Sam- 
uel Cox. In 1881, he erected a substantial two-storj^ house on the 
principal street, where he keeps a fine assortment of general merchan- 
dise. Another early merchant is John L. Stephens, who came some time 
prior to 1860, and is still doing business with good success. 

In addition to the three merchants named, the following persons, do- 
ing business in the village, are George Adamson, groceries and provis- 
ions; Sydney Marks, groceries; Thomas Thomas, hardware; Smith & 
Terry, druggists; James Crooks, drugs; James Boyd, drug store; Mrs. 
Marks, milliner; John Adamson and Quincy Anderson, blacksmiths; F. W. 
Moury, shoe shop. There are two hotels kept respectively by William 
Evans and Mrs. Preston. The disciples of the healing art in the village 
since its origin have been Drs. Potts, Siddons, Thompson, Brown, Chap- 
man, J. Brown, A. F. Tully and G. W. Finley. 

The Harmony Mill was built in 1873. It is a frame building three- 
stories high, manufactures the patent process floui' and is operated by 
steam. The present proprietors are Messrs. Smith and Terry and the 
Brown brothers. 

Several years ago, there were two pottery shops in successful operation, 
but of late they have not been worked. 

The first schoolhouse in the village stood near the southern limit. 
It was built in an early day and used until 1869, when a new one took 
its place. The present handsome building was erected in 1875, and cost 
$2,800. It is two stories in height, contains four large -sized school 
rooms, and is an ornament to the town. 


Clay Lodge, No. 368, I. O. O. F,, was instituted June 9, 1871, by 
D. D. G. M. Thomas E. Hays, of Brazil. On the charter appear the 


following names: J. B. Harris, E. Davis, William Griffith, John N. 
Killion, W. McPheeters, E. John, John Steed, J. F. Weaver, James R. 
Killman, Samuel D. Williams, John W. Jones and Columbus Baughman. 
Held meetings in Adamson's Hall for two years, when the organization 
was moved to a building south of the railroad, where they still meet. 
The lodge purchased this building for $1,400. The financial resources 
of the organization is as good as any in the county, being $5,000. 

At the present time there are seventy members belonging. The of- 
ficers last elected were Samuel Defenbaugh, N. G. ; William Chesterfield, 
V. G. ; J. M. Vickery, Secretary, and W. D. Griffith, Treasurer. 

Count Robin Hood Lodge, No. 8, Independent Order of Foresters, 
was organized December 28, 1877. The organization was changed in 
1881 to the United Order of Foresters, No. 57. The original member- 
ship consisted of twenty-seven, which has since increased to sixty-two. 

The officers at the present time are John C. Hughs, C. R.; Philip 
Boyer, V. C. R. ; George Patterson, Treasurer; James B. Dally, Finan- 
cial Secretary; Owen Quigley, Recording Secretary; Peter Reynolds, S. 
W. ; Joseph Came, J. W. ; Thomas Short, S. B. ; David Thomas, J. B. ; 
Sidney Monk, Edward Matthews and Thomas Thomas, Trustees. 

The Masons at one time sustained a good lodge in the village, which 
was well attended for several years. For some reason unknown it was 
disbanded a few months ago. 

The Knights of Labor have a strong organization at the present time, 
which is a recognized power in the place. It is well sustained, and num- 
bers among its members some of the best citizens of the village and sur- 
rounding country. 

The A. O. U. W. also have an organization which is not reported in 
good condition at the present time, and no meetings are now held. 

The Indepeyident Order of Good Templars have a good lodge here, 
which is doing a very commendable work in the cause of temperance. 
Several members attribute their reformation to its influence and the so- 
ciety promises to do good work for humanity in the future. 

Kilpatrick Post, No. 58, G. A. R., was organized in the fall of 1881, 
with fifteen members. Meetings are held in Smith & Terry's Hall, and 
the organization is reported in good condition. 


The history of Knightsville proper dates from July, 1867, at which 
time the original plat was surveyed by T. C. Bailey, for Austin W. 
Knight, proprietor, although a small village sprang into existence a few 
years previous. The events which led to the birth of the town were the 
building of the iron furnaces and rolling-mill by the Western Iron Com- 
pany in 1866. These establishments stood in the eastern part of the 
village, and for eight or nine years did an extensive business, manufact- 


uring pig iron from, ore brought from Missouri. The rolling-mill occu- 
pied a large building, aad the entire business required from 250 to 300 
men night and day to operate it. The expense of freighting iron ore 
such long distances was necessarily very great, which, with the high taxes 
the company was obliged to pay, induced the proprietors to remove their 
machinery from the place, which they did in 1875, taking it to Cleve- 
land, Ohio. 

In the meantime, a coal shaft was sunk near the central part of the 
village, by the Indiana Coal & Iron Company, which did a large busi- 
ness, and served to make the place a good trading and shipping point, 
A second shaft was sunk some months later in the southwest part of the 
village, and named the Town Shaft. Business men were soon attracted 
to the place, and in 1867 Messrs. Barnett & Witty opened the first store, 
on the corner of Chism and Crawford streets, where P. H. Davis keeps 
at the present time. The firm handled a general stock, and did business 
as partners for about two years. William C. Hudson started the second 
store on Crawford street a few months later, and sold goods for five years, 
at the end of which time he closed out his stock and left the place. 
Messrs. McCullough & McGregor engaged in business about the same 
time as the foregoing, and erected for the purpose a good store building 
on Crawford street. 

Davis & Collins kept a store where John Cook's saloon stands, and a 
man by name of Woodruff sold goods in a building which stood opposite 
the rolling mill. Other early business men were Alexander Parks, D. 
O. Elliott, Winklepleck & Nicoson, Amos Hutchinson and R. M. Holings- 

The business at the present time is represented by D. H. Davis, deal- 
er in general merchandise; E. L. Winklepleck, general store; F. M. 
Sigler, dry goods; Porter ^ Co., general stock; Alex Parks, groceries; 
William T. Davis, grocery store; C. A. Withers, druggist; James N. 
Dilley, drug store; Andrew Oswalt, groceries and provisions; Alexander 
Haggart, stoves and tinware; John Lyons, groceries; Morgan & Co., 
general stock; D, H. Morgan, grocer and confectioner; William McDon- 
ald, groceries, and Mrs. Peck, millinery store. J. J. Nicoson, black- 
smith; Daniel Osborne, wagon-maker; Felix Mercer, harness shop; and 
John Schrepperman, shoe shop. The first physician in the place was 
Dr. W. J. Dickson, who is still practicing here. Other medical men who 
have been located in the village at different times were Drs. C. C. Stokes, 
Thomas, Lynch, Hollingsworth, McClintock, Dunn, Starr, Sams, Thorn- 
ton, Witty and Palmer; present physicians are W. J. Dickson, F. G. 
Thornton, D. O. Thomas and B. F. Spellbring. 

In the year 1872, the village was incorporated, and the following 
board of officers elected: WilJiam C. Hudson, F. Sullivan and William 
Watson, Trustees; D. H. Davis, Treasurer; Amos Hutchison, Clerk, and 


S. C. Nickerson, Marshal. The present officials are the following to, 
wit: Hugh Clemens, George Myrick and Alexander McCallum, Trustees; 
Alexander Haggart, Clerk; Joseph Daily, Treasurer, and Hugh Aikin, 

The first schoolhouse stood on Main street, and was erected by the 
Western Coal & Iron Company. The first teacher was a Mr. Mack, 
hired by the company. The house was used for school purpose s about 
five years, at the end of which time it was changed into a meeting-house, 
and a new building erected. The last house stands in the southwestern 
part of town. It is two stories high, contains four commodious rooms, 
and cost the sum of $2,500. The Masonic fraternity and Odd Fellows 
have good lodges in the town, as have also the Knights of Labor. 

The following additions have been made to the town: Nicon's Addi- 
tion in 1868; Witty's Addition in 1869, and Watson's Addition the same 
year. The village has a population of about 1,200, and is the shipping 
point for several of the largest coal mines in the State. 


This live little town is situated in the northeastern part of the town- 
ship, on the I. & St. L. E. R. , of which it is an outgrowth. It is es- 
sentially a mining town, the majority of the population working in the 
different shafts adjacent to the village. Among the first settlers in the 
place were James Throop, Stewart Shirkey, V. Trousell and P. Hay- 

A. L. Witty kept the first store in a building which he erected on First 
street near the railroad. He sold goods for about eight years, when the 
stock was purchased by John Webster, who closed out one year later on 
account of financial embarrassment. Dr. B. F. Witty came about the 
same time as his brother, and erected a business house a few months 
later on the same lot. He sold goods at intervals for six or eight years, 
and was the first physician in the place. An early store was kept by 
Tuttle & Jones, of Indianapolis, who erected a business house' opposite 
the depot, where they kept for three years, at the end of which time the 
stock was purchased by Huff & Darnall, who in turn sold out a few 
months later. Huff going into the bakery business and Darnall moving 
to Terre Haute. The house was afterward used by H. D. McCormick. 
In addition to the merchants mentioned, the following persons and firms 
did business in the village at different times: J. D. Bence, of Greencas- 
tle, Hamilton & Sons, John Craig, John Hart, L. B. Pruner, J. W. Sys- 

ter, A. Tyler, A. S. Maxwell, Morton & Easter, Durand, E. Adamson, 

E. H. Adamson and Charles Stryker. The growth of the village for sev- 
eral years after its origin was rather slow, but the development of the 
mining interests gave the place new impetus, and it became in time quite 
a prominent trading point. By 1875, the population had increased to 


such an extent that the village was incorporated. The first Board of 
Trustees was composed of the following gentlemen: George Wilson, 
Tiley, and John Hathaway. John Walker was elected first Clerk. 

J. A. Kerr, James Brooks and William Morton comprise the present 
board. The present Clerk is John Beeson. 

The medical profession has been represented in the village by the 
following disciples of Esculapius: Drs. Slocum, Witty, Hamrick, Bence, 
Matson, Ferguson, Burch, Johnson and Ellis. The present M. D.'s are 
W. H. Van Sandt, G. M. Pell and L. G. Brock. 

Carbon Lodge, No. 506, A. F. & A. M., was organized August 3, 1874, 
with the following charter members: G. W, Bence, E. S. Halliday, John 
T. Craig, F. H. Gardner, R. B. Bailey, Duncan McCallum, Daniel 
Clark, A. L. Witty, B. F. Witty and L. T. Farabee. First officers were: 
J. H. Throop, W. M. ; B. F. Witty, S. W. ; John T. Craig, J. W. ; E. S. 
Halliday, Secretary. Last officers elected were: J. H. Throop, W. M. ; 
G. M. Pell, S. W. ; J. C. Leachman, J. W. ; R. G. Owens, Secretary, and 
Samuel Elwell, Treasurer. The lodge is in good condition, with a mem- 
bership of twenty-two. Meetings are held io Throop's Hall. 

Vivesco Lodge, No. 1915, K. of H., was organized in December, 1879, 
with eighteen original members. The society has been in prosperous 
condition ever since, and numbers fifty members at the present time. 
The present officers of the lodge are John Hutchison, P. D. ; William 
Scores, D. ; Edward M. Inglert, F. R. ; J. T. Hutchison, S. R. ; Griffith 
Owens, V. D.; Jacob Egloff, Treasurer; Joseph Blower, Asst. V. D. ; J. 
G. Jones, Guardian, and David Wadkins, O. S. 

George Crust Post, No. 149, G. A. R. , organized in the spring of 
1883 with twenty members. The following are the officers: E. A. Ras- 
ser, Commander; Charles Weheres, Sr. V. C. ; Neal McDonald, Jr. V. C. 

In addition to the above societies, the Good Templars and Knights 
of Labor have well sustained organizations in the village, the latter of 
which is constantly increasing in nmnbers and influence. 

Business Register.— The present business of the town is represented 
by the following: W. E. D. Barnett, general store; C. M. Stetson & Co., 
general store; L. Black, general stock; J. H. Throop, drugs and gro- 
ceries; Grace Morgan, confectioner; Lydia McDonald, millinery and gro- 
ceries; Joseph Blower, restaurant; I. P. Walker, restaurant and gro- 
ceries; Carl Geisberg, bakery; R. Hay ward, general merchandise. There 
are in the village two blacksmith shops, two shoe shops, one barber shop 
one livery stable, one butcher shop, two good hotels and four or five (too 
many) " sample rooms." 

The population of the town is about 900, and its future outlook is as 
encouraging as its most ardent friends could desire. 



This little mining town is situated on the southeast quarter of the south 
east quarter of Section 18. It was laid out by the Clay Coal Company, in Sep- 
tember, 1871, and at the present time boasts of a population about 500 souls, 
the majority of whom are engaged in the different mines of the surrounding 
country. The first business house was built by the mining company, and 
occupied by C. Sharp. It stands near the central part of the village, and is 
used at the present time by W. D. Black, who keeps the largest stock ol' 
goods in the place The second store building stood opposite the one 
named, and was occupied by a man by the name of Berger. It was burned 
about the year 1877. After Berger came Isaac Barnott, who sold goods 
for about ten years, when he closed out and moved to Brazil. 

At the present time, there are two large general stores, kept respect- 
ively by W. D. Black and A. P. Hand; two grocery and provision stores 
by Crosser & Harry and John L. Morgan; two drug stores by B, F. 
Witty and Dr. Morton. 

The post office was established shortly after the town was laid out, and 
named Alexander. W. D. Black was the first Postmaster, a position he 
has held continuously to the present time. 

Cardonia Lodge, No. 589, 1. O. 0. F. , was instituted December 29, 1881. 
Charter members names are as follows : J. J. Nicoson, David Suttie, H. 
C. Crawford, Edward Wilton, John Bray, Andrew Graham, F. Whit- 
marsh, Henry Newman, Edward Crosser, J, J. Coakley, Elisha Marks, 
Samuel Camps, James Hays and William Spiers. First officers: Henry 
Newman, N. G. ; Jesse J. Nicoson, V. G.; E. Crosser, Secretary; F. 
Whitmarsh, Recording Secretary. Present officers : F. Whitmarsh, N. 
G. ; Samuel Camps, V. G. ; H. C. Crawford, Per. Secretary ; Andrew 
Graham, Recording Secretary, and T. H. Nicholson, Treasurer. Present 
membership, 55. 

Cardonia Lodge, No. 1448, K. of H., was organized March 3, 1873, 
with twenty-five members. At the present time there are forty-five 
members belonging. The officers are : C. J. Jenkins, D. ; Henry New- 
man, V. D. ; William Smith, Assistant V. D. ; Jacob Porter, Rep.; James 
Hays, Financial Rep. ; Robert Peel, Secretary. 

Cardo7iia Lodge, No. 901, I. O. G. T., dates its history from 
December, 1881, at which time it was organized with twenty-six members. 

Officers at present time are : John Calderwood, W. C. T. ; Mrs. John 
Childs, W\ V. T.; Lindley Martin, W. Chap.; James Suttie, W. Sec; 
Mrs. L. Morton, W. A. S. ; J. L. Suttie, W. F. S. ; John McCrea, W. 
Treas., and John Brown, W. M. 

A lodge of the Chosen Friends was organized October 11, 1882, with 
forty-four members, and is in a flourishing condition at the present time. 
The Knights of Labor Lodge, No. 299, was organized in January, 1882, with 
an original membership of 22. Their membership has increased very 




rapidly during the last year, and at the present time the society is the 
most flourishing organization in the village. 


This is a mining village of about 300 inhabitants, situated in the 
northern part of the township. 

The first citizens of the place were M. Navin, John Bailey, John 
Moran and B. Hand, all of whom purchased lots and erected residences 
thereon shortly after the plat was made. John McClaren kept the first 
store and sold goods for four years, when he closed out his stock. The 
second merchant was A. P. Hand, now of Cardonia, who kept in the Cas- 
teel building about eight years. After him came F. M. Sigler, who oc 
cupied the same building one year. His successor was Henry Hice, the 
present gentlemanly merchant, who has been doing business for three 
years. John Murphy started a small store in the year 1882, and is in 
business at the present time also. The village has one of the best 
school buildings in the township. It is a two-story frame structure, with 
four rooms, and cost the sum of $2,600. It was erected in the year 1880, 
and stands in the southeast part of the village. 


Pontiac is a mere hamlet of a couple of dozen houses, situated about 
one mil« south of Carbon, on the proposed line of the I. N. & S. R. R. 
It was laid off as a speculative venture by Aaron Lovell in October, 1871, 
and comprises 14.80 acres in the northeast quarter of Section 7. On 
account of the railroad not being constructed, the growth of the village 
was rather premature, and it failed to come up to the expectations of the 
proprietor. It contains at the present time a few residents, but no busi- 
ness of any kind is represented. 


Mechanicsbm-g was laid out in March, 1871, by Elisha Adamson, on 
the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 4, Township 
13 north, Range 6 west. It is a mere hamlet, with but few residences 
and a post ofiice. At one time there was a fair store and blacksmith 
shop, and the place acquired some prominence as a business point, but 
the neighboring villages sapped its vitality, and its utter extinction is 
only a matter of time. 


Calcutta is situated on a part of the east half of the northwest quar- 
ter of Section 4. It was surveyed by M. B. Crist for John M. and Sarah 
Brown, proprietors, August, 1870, and is, like other villages of the town- 
ship, an outgicwth of the mining interest of the country. It is a small 
rambling village, possessing few, if any, inducements to business men, 
and has a population of about two dozen families. 




We have no information at hand concerning the discovery of coal in 
Van Buren Township, or under what circumstances the first mine was 
opened and developed. The first mine of any importance was the one 
opened by the Indianapolis Rolling Mill Company, near the village of Har- 
mony. The Star shaft, belonging to the same company, was developed a 
few years later than the one first named, and was operated until the year 
1875. When running at its fullest capacity, the mine required the work 
of 150 men, and the daily production was about twenty flat car loads of 

The company afterward leased a large tract of land nr^rth of Har- 
mony, and sunk a shaft, known as the Diamond Mine, which they suc- 
cessfully operated for a period of five years, at the end of which time it 
was purchased by John Stephens, the present proprietor. 

The Niblock Shaft, sunk by the Chicago Coal Mining Company, is in 
the northern part of the township, near the village of Carbon. It was 
opened in the year 1874, since which time from 80 to 100 men have 
been employed. About fifteen car loads of coal are mined every day. 
Near Carbon is a very extensive mine, operated by the Litchfield Coal 
Mining Company. It was opened about five years ago, and at the present 
time requires the labor of 200 men to operate it. The average daily 
production is from 350 to 400 tons. 

The Hancock Shaft, operated by Zeller & McClennen, was opened about 
the year 1879. This mine represents a capital of $20,000, and has a 
yearly capacity of 30,000 tons, to mine which requires the labor of fifty- 
four men. The above firm operates the Briar Hill mine also, which pro- 
duces an annual yield of 58,000 tons, and employs an average force of 
146 men. It was opened about the year 1875, and represents a capital 
of $35,000. 

The Watson Coal & Mining Company, which was organized in the year 
1873, operates several mines in this township, the largest of which is the 
Gartsherrie No. 2, which has a daily capacity of 500 tons, and employs 
200 men. Gartsherrie Mine No. ] was opened in the year 1869. The 
average daily capacity is 450 tons, and a force of 225 workmen is re- 
quired to operate it. 

The Cornwall Shaft, owned by the same company, was opened in the 
year 1879. The capital invested is about $25,000; 140 men are em- 
ployed, and an average yield of 300 tons of coal produced. The com- 
pany formerly operated the Dominion and Garfield Mines, both of which 
have been abandoned, the coal supply in them being exhausted. 

A company, under the firm name of Brown, Powell & Weagel, was 
organized in February, 1883. They have a mine near the village of Car- 
donia, on land leased from the Indiana Coal Mining Company. The 
gentlemen composing the firm are miners by occupation, and put on the 
market annually about 10,000 tons of coal. 


The Veach Mine, near Cardonia, is operated by J. F. Moody, and 
has a capacity of 5,000 tons per year. Another mine, not designated by 
any particular name, situated near the above, is owned by the same party, 
and represents a capital of $1,000. 

The Jackson Shaft, in the northern part of the township, was opened 
in the year 1873. It was operated by the Jackson Coal & Mining Com- 
pany, and produced as high as 400 tons per day. 

The Buckeye Mine was opened in the year 1873, by Smith, Reed & 
Co., who operated it until the fall of 1879, at which time it was pur- 
chased by the Jackson Coal & Mining Company. 

In 1868, the Benwood Mine was opened by the Weaver Coal Company. 
It was afterward leased by B. F. Maston, and abandoned in 1874. 

In addition to the above, there are a number of other extensive mines, 
besides several smaller ones, of which we cannot speak particularly, not 
having received the necessary information. Perhaps no other similar 
area in the State is so rich in mineral wealth, and it is certain that in no 
other section is so much capital employed. The population of the town- 
ship is made up largely of miners, and the business is constantly on the 



BY a. N. BEKKT. 


OTJGAR RIDGE originally formed apart of Washington Towuship, and 
k3 dates its history as a separate division from the year 1854. At the 
March term of the Commissioners' Court of that year, the following order 
creating the township was placed upon record: 

Now the board proceeds to consider the petition heretofore presented for the 
division of Washington Township, whereupon it is ordered that said Washington 
Township be divided and a new township be organized to be called Sugar Ridge 
Township, of Clay County, Ind., of the territory described and bounded as follows, 
to wit: Commencing at the northwest corner of Section 2, Township 11 north, of 
Range No. 6 west; thence south on the line dividing Sections 2 and 3, 10 and 11, 14 
and 15, 22 and 23, 26 and 27, 34 and 35 in said township, to where said line inter- 
sects Eel River; thence with said line to where Burch Creek enters into it; thence 
up Burch Creek to where it crosses the range line between Ranges 6 and 7 ; thence 
north with said line to the northwest corner of Section 6, in Township 11 north. 
Range 6 west; thence east between Tow'nships 11 and 12 to the place of beginning; 
and it is further ordered that Grimes Schoolhouse be the place of holding elections, 
and that Charles W. Moss be appointed Inspector of Elections for said township, 
and that the Auditor advertise the election immediately. 


Since the above there have been no changes nor attempted changes 
in the township record. Sugar Ridge is well watered and drained. Eel 
River, the largest water-course in the county, forms the southern boun- 
dary and affords an outlet for a number of smaller streams which trav- 
erse the country in various directions. On the western border is Burch 
Creek which forms the dividing line between Sugar Ridge and Perry 
Townships. It flows a southerly course and empties into Eel River at 
the extreme southern part of the township, and is an important factor in 
the drainage of this part of the county. Numerous small streams with 
no particular names flow in difi'erent directions, afibrding abundant stock 
water, and giving the township an easy natural drainage. The surface 
of the county is considerably diversified, being rather broken along the 
water- courses in the southern part, and gently undulating in the central 
and northern portions. In Section 21 is an elevation known as Grimes 
Hill, the highest point in Clay County. 

The county is heavily timbered with the usual varieties, sugar maple 
predominating, a fact which gave the township its name. Beech, the 
different varieties of oak, poplar and hickory, are the next most numer- 


OU8, while on the low grounds skirting the water- courses elms grow to 
gigantic sizes. Coal is found in various parts of the township, although 
but few mines have been developed, owing to the absence of facilities 
for transportation. A bank has been opened by Mr. McKinley on his 
farm near the town of Center Point, which is perhaps the most exten- 
sive, while others have been developed in various localities for home use 
and neighborhood purposes. Sugar Ridge is, and perhaps will be for 
years, an agricultural township. The soil is almost as greatly diversi- 
fied as the surface, a black, sandy loam predominating in the more even 
portions, and a clay soil in the southern part among the hills; while the 
black loam is not so deep here as in some of the townships, yet the pecu- 
liar formation of the surface is such that there will never be waste for 
the stored plant- food that will be here for ages. For grass and the 
cereals, it may be prepared to equal any township in the county. Already 
in wheat it stands among the first, both in quantity to the acre and in 
quality. It may not in the end prove the best of corn land, but in all 
else Sugar Ridge can take place in the front rank. 


The settlement of Sugar Ridge dates as far back as the year 1820, at 
which time a few " squatters " came to the county and located along 
Burch Creek in the western part of the township. They came for the 
purpose of hunting and trapping, and seemed to lead an aimless biit con- 
tented life, satisfied with rude, temporary pole huts, and with what the 
woods and streams afforded them in way of sustenance. They were self- 
exiled from the civilization of the older States, and by choice roving 
nomads, who sought the solitude of the pathless woods, the dreariness of 
the wilderness waste, in exchange for the trammels of civilized society. 
Of the latter, they could not endure its restraints, and they exhibited the 
utmost indifference for its comforts and pleasures. Their souls yearned 
for freedom — freedom in its fullest sense, applied to all property, life, 
and everything here and hereafter. Among the first of these transient 
settlers, if not the first, was one Rev. Thomas Little, who settled about 
the year 1819 or 1820, at the Burch Creek crossing, a short distance 
west of Centre Point, where he took up his abode with the Indians. 
These Indians had several villages in the central and southern parts of 
the county, and were indifferent as to the coming of the white settlers. 

We have no doubt that Little was the first white man who ever lo- 
cated within the present limits of Sugar Ridge, but the facts concerning 
him are very meager. He is remembered as a splendid specimen of the 
coon-skin pioneer exhorter in many respects, and was one of the first 
Gospel proclaimers in this part of the State. It is not known to what 
particular chm-ch he belonged— perhaps he did not know himself — but the 
records leave us no doubt it was that broad, liberal, catholic faith and 


practice which led all to meet on a common level, and worship the same 
God, irrespective of creed or dogma. He lived hard, preached brim- 
stone sermons, and eked out an existence for himself andfamily with the 
aid of his rifle, an instrument which he carried with him in all his wan- 
derings. He was uo namby-pamby, band-box divine, neither was he a 
Beecher or Talmage. He was simply a humble, sincere, great pioneer 
missionary, and as such went meekly forth upon his mission, waking the 
echoes of the primeval forests, and making reprobates tremble, and many 
a tough old sinner fall upon his knees and plead with Heaven for forgive- 
ness. Of the years intervening between his childhood and his back- 
woods preaching, little or nothing is known. Ha was here; as to how, 
whence or why he came, no one asked, perhaps no one cared. The pe- 
riod of his residence in what is now Sugar Ridge was about nine years, 
at the end of which time he departed, going no one knew whither. 
The land on which he located was afterward entered and improved by 
C. Kensley. 

Another character who made his appearance about one year after the 
preceding was. Thomas Rizley, who settled in the northern part of the 
township, on Burch Creek, where he took a claim and cleared a small 
patch of ground. The time of this pioneer was chiefly taken up in 
hunting and trapping, and 'tis said that in all his wanderings through 
the woods he went barefooted, wearing shoes only upon important occa- 
sions, which were very rare. The cabin which Mr. Rizley erected upon 
his claim was a model of simplicity in every respect, constructed of logs, 
and consisted of a single apartment, which answered the fourfold pur- 
pose of kitchen, bed room, dining room and parlor. It was in size about 
14x16 feet, barely high enough to stand erect in, covered with a rough 
clapboard roof, held on by heavy weight-poles, and having uo floor but 
the bare earth. The furniture and utensils were in harmony with the 
building, as ware also the articles of apparel worn by the family. De- 
spite their isolated condition and unfavorable surroundings, the family 
led a wild, free life, and seemed supremely contented with their humble 
lot. The date of Rizley's departure from the township is not positively 
known, though it is supposed to have been prior to the year 1830. 
Another " squatter" who came as early as 1822 was James Walker, who 
settled on Birch Greek, in the northern part of the township, where he 
built a small cabin, but made no further improvements. He was like the 
ones referred to, a hunter, and maintained his family by selling and trad- 
ing skins and venison, which he carried to Terre Haute and other market 
places. He remained in the settlement four or five years, when he dis- 
posed of his cabin and moved to the State of Illinois. Two brothers, 
John and Jacob Schammerhorn, were probably the next settlers. They 
were Grermans, and located temporarily in the northern part of the town- 
ship, and proved themselves valuable acquisitions to the community on 


account of their skill in several mechanical pursuits. John Schammer- 
horn was a man of roving tendencies, and had spent a great deal of his 
time among the Indians, with whom he traded during the early days of 
the country's settlement. Both of them left many years ago, and noth- 
ing is known concerning their destination. About the year 1823 came 
Charles Drake and a man by name of Mast, the former squatting in the 
neighborhood of Rizley's claim, and the latter near the present site of 
Ashboro. Of Drake but little is known, save that he belonged to a class 
of people developed by the times, whose principal occupations were hunt- 
ing and trapping. 

Mast is remembered as a man of tremendous physical organization, a 
very giant in strength and stature. He came from the mountainous re- 
gions of Tennessee, and was coarse, rude, and as wild as his worst sur- 
roundings, but withal brave, honest, and generous to a fault. At home 
he was an easy, good-natured favorite, well liked in the community, but 
when outside of his neighborhood, and under the influence of whisky, 
which seemed to arouse all the fire of his rough nature, no one was more 
feared, as a blow from his maul-like fists meant nothing less than broken 
bonesor a mashed head. In his native State he had followed the avocation 
of grindstone cutter, and after settling here he worked at his trade to 
some extent. The first load of marketing ever sent from this part of the 
country contained two grindstones, which he cut from native rock. They 
were hauled to the city of Bloomington, and exchanged with numerous 
other articles for groceries, dry goods, etc. , Mr. Mast making the trip. 
Mast left the country about the year 1836, and moved further westward. 
This brings the record of the settlement down to the year 1830, at which 
time George Moss, a native of Kentucky, moved his family here, and 
located near where his son, Maj. C W. Moss, lives, about midway be- 
tween the villages of Ashboro and Center Point. One year later he pur- 
chased from a squatter named Melton, a claim in Section 9, on which a 
cabin had been erected and a few acres cleared and fitted for cultivation. 
He entered this land in 1831. and resided upon it for forty years, dying 
in 1871 at an advanced age. He was a prominent farmer and stock- 
dealer, one of the enterprising citizens of the township, and possessed in 
a marked degree the qualifications of the honorable business man. Two 
sons, Jacob and Charles W. , came with their father to the new coiinty, 
and have been prominent residents of the township for a period of fifty- 
two years. (See biographical sketches.) Christian Kintzley came the 
same year with Moss, and entered land in the northern part of the town- 
ship, where Thomas Little had previously settled. William Drake came 
a little later, and entered land in Section 4, where Levi Fogle lives. He 
was the father of a large family, and died as early as 1840. Several de- 
scendants live in the county at the present time. The earliest permanent 
settlers in the southern part of the township were Mrs. Graves, James 


Carroll, John Huffman and Samuel Steed. The first named was a widow 
lady. She moved from the northern part of the county about tlie year 
1831, and resided in this township but a few years, dying in a very early 
day. The different members of her family sold out and went West 
shortly after her death. Carroll was a native of Kentucky, and a hatter 
by trade. He became the owner of a good farm, and worked at his trade 
at intervals. Huffman became a prominent citizen, and died in an early 
day. Steed was a character deserving more than a passing notice, and 
an illustrious example of what a man of energy and determination can 
do in the face of adverse circumstances. He and his wife arrived at 
their new home on foot, and with all their earthly possessions except an 
ax and saw tied up in a pocket handkerchief. He immediately went to 
work felling trees for a house, which, with the help of his wife, was soon 
erected and ready for occupancy. He cleared his first ground upon 
rather a novel plan, cutting down but few trees, climbing them instead 
and removing the limbs with his saw, so that the sun's rays could reach 
the earth unobstructed. His wife, who was in every respect a helpmeet, 
assisted in the hard drudgery of clearing, piling and burning the branches 
as fast as they fell to the ground. A few weeks of hard labor sufficed to 
lei the sunshine upon about an acre, but how to prepare the soil for 
planting was now a puzzling question, as Steed possessed neither horses 
nor plow, nor could they be obtained in the sparse settlement. He had 
not even a hoe, and was too poor to buy one. Nothing daunted, how- 
ever, he went to work and made a long, sharp hoe out of his saw blade, 
with which a few rods of ground were digged over and planted in squashes 
and beans. After the seeds were safely in the grouDd, he hired out to a 
neighbor to chop, for the enormous sum of 25 cents per day. By hard 
work and niggardly economy, he saved, in the course of a few years, 
enough money from his scanty earnings to enter forty acres of land. To 
this tract he afterward added another forty, and as the years went by he 
found himself in possession of a good farm, and in easy circumstances. 
By skillful management he in time became one of the largest land own- 
ern in the township, and was considered one of the leading farmers in 
the southern part of the county. The land upon which he originally set- 
tled is owned at the present time by the Barnhards. His death occurred 
a number of years ago. 

The central part of the township was not settled as early as the lo- 
calities mentioned, probably on account of its distance from any water- 
course. In the year 1833, Hiram Tribble entered land near the village 
of Ashboro. He was a native of Tennessee and a local politician of 
some note, having served as Sheriff of the county a few years after his 
arrival. Robert Tribble, a brother of the preceding, settled near the 
same place, on land at present owned and occupied by Jacob Steiwalt. 
He met a violent death two years later, by being crushed beneath a fall- 




5'' j«(^' W % 

f^T/tie/J <W^//^^/^<?'/* 


ing tree. David Lane settled near Ashboro also, and was a man of 
considerable prominence in the community. He was a preacher of the 
Christian Church, and conducted religious exercises in various places 
throughout the township during the early days of the country's history. 
After his death, which occurred many years ago, his family became Mor- 
mon proselytes and joined their fortunes with that sect in Utali. Prom- 
inent among the early pioneers was Thomas Carithers, a Kentuckian, who 
settled near the site of Saline City, where Mr. Jamison lives. He sold 
to Jonathan Grimes about the year 1840. Jacob Bilderback came in an 
early day, and was a resident of the township twenty years, at the end 
of which time he moved to one of the Western States, where he is still 
living. George and Jonathan Grimes came from Vii-ginia. The for- 
mer settled near Ashboro and became one of the wealthest men in the county. 
The latter lived on the Jamison farm until the completion of the canal 
reservoir, when he sold out and moved to Minnesota. Ezekial Jenkins 
and M. H. Kennedy were early settlers. The first named settled in the 
eastern part of the township on land which he afterward sold to George 
Grimes. Later he moved near the central part, where he still lives. 
Kennedy settled at Center Point, and was the proprietor of that village. 
He still lives upon his first farm and is one of the prominent citizens of 
Sugar- Ridge. The foregoing list comprises the early settlers as far as 
we have been able to learn. There may be other names entitled to a 
mention, but the brief space allotted to this chapter forbids of further 


The first wheat in the township was raised by Geoi-ge Moss, from 
seed obtained at Spencer, in Owen County. Mr. Moss carried the seed 
from Spencer on horseback, a distance of twenty-five miles, an under- 
taking attended with many difficulties on account of the absence of any 
thing like a road. The first crop was husbanded away with scrupulous 
care and sown the following year. The second crop made a good yield, 
and supplied the entire neighborhood with seed. The early settlers 
made large quantities of maple sugar which they exchanged for mer- 
chandise at Terre Haute and Bloomington. Mr. Moss hauled the first 
load of produce to the latter place as early as 1835. 

George Moss, Jr., son of George Moss and brother of C. W. and 
Jacob Moss, was the first white person born within the present limits of 
Sugar Ridge. Mr. Moss is fifty-one years old at the present time, which 
carries the date of his birth back to the year 1832. Other early births 
occurred in the families of Mr. Jenkins and Hiram Tribble. 

It is not known when the first death occurred nor where the first 
interment was made. The death of Robert Tribble, to which reference 
has been made, was among the first. He was buried in the Grimes 
Graveyard, near the central part of the township. A Mr. Holmes, whose 


death occurred in an early day, was laid away in the same place. The 
Ashboro Cemetery was consecrated to the burial of the dead as early as 
1843. The first interments there were Benoi Moss and John Knighten. 
Mrs. Jacob Bilderback died in the southern part of the township, at an 
early day, and was buried in what is known as the Harris Graveyard. 
The largest burial place at the present time is the Center Point Ceme- 
tery, which was laid out by M. H. Kennedy. 

The earliest marriage traceable was solemnized about the year 1836, 
the contracting parties being Jacob Moss and Zorada, daughter of 
Ezekiel Jenkins. Jacob Bilderback and Mrs. Kobert Tribble were 
married a few years later, 


The forming of the canal reservoir was an era in the history of this 
township which the old settlers are not likely to forget. It submerged 
many acres of ground and was the source of a great deal of annoyance 
to the citizens living in the vicinity, who made the trouble mutual by 
cutting the embankments in many places, and allowing the water to es- 
cape. The history of this transaction, and the part the State took in 
quelling the disturbance occasioned thereby, is given more fully in the 
general county chapters. The first mill in the township was built about 
the year 1837, and stood in the southern part, on the canal, near the 
feeder dam. It was built by a company, and operated by a Mr, Mills, 
who did a fair business as long as the building stood. The house, like 
the one belonging to the " foolish man," was built upon the sand, and 
the first freshet that cime washed out the foundation and the building 
fell. A few years later, a second mill was erected at the same place, by 
a man by name of Jessup, who operated it a short time. These were 
both water mills, and received their motive power from the canal. Jon- 
athan Grimes built the first frame house in the township on the farm 
where William Jamison lives, near Saline City. The date of its erection 
was about the year 1842, or perhaps a little later. Other early frame 
houses were built by Daniel Fisher, M. H. Kennedy and Major Moss. 
The first brick dwelling was erected by George Grimes on his farm near 
the village of Ashboro. George Moss set out the first orchard soon after 
his arrival in 1831. The second orchard was set out by Samuel Steed, 
in the southern part of the township, where several of the old trees are 
still standing. An orchard on Ezekiel Jenkins' farm was set out in an 
early day, several trees of which bear fruit at the present time. 

Owing to the fact that permanent settlements and improvements 
were slow in what is now Sugar Kidge Township, schools were " few and 
far between" in those early days. Educational facilities were scarce, and 


books were few and limited to those who could afford them. Several 
years had elapsed from the date of the first settlement before any schools 
were organized or houses built within the present boundaries of Sugar 
Ridge. The settlers living in the western part sent their children to 
the schools of Washington Township, while those whose homes were near 
the northern boundary patronized a school in the Zenor neighborhood, 
in the township of Jackson. The first house erected for school purposes 
in Sugar Ridge stood near the site of Center Point, and was first used 
by Manuel Jenkins, who taught several consecutive terms therein. No 
certificate of qualification was required at that day, and we are unable to 
speak of Mr. Jenkins' attainments as an educator. Suffice it to say, 
however, that he was kept out of charity as much as anything else, being 
unable, owing to a serious affliction, to make a livelihood at any other 
pursuit. The second schoolhouse was built of. unhewn logs, and stood a 
short distance from the village of Ashboro. The Steed Schoolhouse was 
built as early as 1842, and stood in the southern part of the township, 
on the land of "Samuel Steed. Among the early teachers at these two 
houses are remembered James Marshall, George O'Brien and a man by 
the name of Bailey. All the early schools were supported by subscription, 
and generally lasted about three months of the year. In 1842, the pro- 
priety of securing free schools began to be discussed, and met with much 
unreasonable objection from a certain class of persons whose loftiest 
ideal of life rose no higher than houses and lands, plenty of fat swine, 
pockets lined with money, and full stomachs. One of these enterprising 
citizens, and, by the way, a wealthy man, was accosted by a friend of the 
project, who asked him to lend his influence in favor of the schools. 
The reply was characteristic of the man, and may betaken as an exponent 
of a very wide feeling at the present day. When urged for his support 
he said, " Why, sir, I am an enemy to it. What good comes from schools, 
anyhow? Do they help us to make money? I kin raise as many and as 
fat hogs as any other man in the kentry, an' I ain't got no eddication 
at tall. They are only for the purpose of fetchin' up children to make 
'em think they are better then their dadies and mamies." This enter- 
prising man said much more to the same efifect, which, though very forci- 
ble logic, proved unavailing in arresting the schools, as they came on 
over the head of all such formidable opposition. The first public money 
was drawn about the year 1843, but it was not until 1850 that the 
township was divided into districts, and supplied with new schoolhouses. 
There are at the present time five districts and as many schoolhouses, 
all of which are in fair condition and well furnished. The building at 
Center Point contains two large-sized rooms, and cost the sum of $2,000. 
The teachers for the years 1882 and 1883 were: Milo A. Campbell, R. W. 
Moss, A. P. Moss, T. F. Hyland, Hattie L. Dilsaver, W. T. Moss and 
George Henricks. There was paid the above teachers for their services 
the sum of |1,720. 


The enumeration for 1883 shows 461 children of proper school age 
living in the township. D. W. Barhart is the present efficient trustee. 


The voting population of the township in 1860 was 116. The total 
value of taxables that year was $188,047. Of this amount, $48,553 was 
personal property. The record shows the amount of taxes to have been 
$1,895.38. In 1870, the township's real estate, outside the villages, 
was appraised at $133,009. Improvements were returned at $42,155. 
Lots and improvements, $20,980. The amount of taxes assessed was 
$4,198.79. The record of 1880, shows the number of acres of land out- 
side the towns to have been 17,313.64. Appraised at $83,157. Personal 
property, $34,797. Lots and improvements not including Center Point, 
$5,875. Total amount of taxes assessed, $3,267.16. 

In 1880, taxes were paid on 18,377.61 acres not including land within 
the corporate limits of Center Point; taxable value of land, $184,063; 
improvements, $14,586; lots and improvements, $6,745; personal prop- 
erty, $52,265, making an aggregate of $257,659; total taxes, $4,208.68. 
Polls, 228. 


Some towns have grown up where they are from the very nature of 
things. A water power or a crossing of roads gives rise to a factory or a 
little store, and by gradual accretion there comes to be an assemblage of 
houses, and an increase of business, which at length necessitates the laying 
out and incorporation of a village. Other towns have their origin in the 
speculative minds of men. Thus it was with Center Point. In the early 
settlement of the State, and its organization into counties, there were 
wide-awake business men, who found it to their interest to be on hand 
and participate in these organizations, for the purpose of assisting in 
locating the county seat. While the village of Center Point is not as old 
as the county, it was laid out for the ostensible purpose of securing the 
seat of justice, to which it seems entitled on account of its close prox- 
imity to the geographical center of the county. The original plat was 
placed upon record the 18th day of September, 1856, and shows sixteen 
lots and two streets, i. e., Main and Cherry. It is situated on Section 4, 
Town 11 north. Range 6 west, and occupies one of the most beautiful 
locations in the county. In September, 1858, M. H. Kennedy, propri- 
etor of the village, made an addition of fifty-six lots to the original plat. 

Joseph Ridinger built the first house in the village for a hotel. It is 
used at the present time for the post office. M. H. Kennedy erected a 
number of residences, which he rented and sold as the population of the 
place increased. The first store was kept by Silas Watts of Poland in a 
building on the main street, luiilt by M. H. Kennedy. Watts sold goods 
for about three years, at the end of which time he disposed of his store 


and moved from the village. Esau Presnell and M. H. Kennedy opened 
the se ond store in the same building, and ran it as a firm ten years, 
when Presnell became sole proprietor. He continued the business about 
ten years, doing a very large business, and amassing considerable wealth. 

John Sincney started a store several years later, and continued it a short 
time. An early merchant was a man by name of Jessick, who sold goods 
for five years, at the end of which time, the stock was purchased by a Mr. 
McGreggor, who in time sold to Burtner, Pierce & Carpenter, after doing 
business about two years. Other merchants of the village were George 
Grimes, Dr. Kennedy, Peter Carithers and Messrs. Kritzer & Brewer. 
The first blacksmith was Martin Shaffer, who located in the village im- 
mediately after the lots were surveyed. 

Mr. Kennedy operated a large saw mill just north of the village for 
a number of years. This was the first manufacturing establishment of 
the place, and was run by Mr. Kennedy about twelve years, when he sold 
to a man by name of Milligan, who afterward disposed of it to the Ep- 
perd Brothers. It ceased operation about six years ago. 

The Center Point Steam Flouring Mill was built by M. H. Kennedy 
in 1858, at a cost of $6,000. It is a frame building, three stories high, 
contains four buhrs, and has a capacity of fifty barrels of flour per day. 
A woolen factory was attached in 1859 by Messrs. Holingsworth & Diet- 
rick, who operated three years, at the end of which time the machinery 
was sold and moved to Terre Haute. The present proprietors of the flour- 
ing mill are S. Thomas & Son. A man by name of Clark built a pottery 
shop in 1864. He sold it two years later to Daniel Gilbert, who did a 
fair business for several years. A second shop was started a little later 
by a man from Ohio, whose name was not learned. It was in operation 
about three years. Drs. Kennedy and Gilfillian were the first medical 
gentlemen to locate in the town. Other physicians who practiced here 
from time to time were Drs. Black, Mendenhall, Witty and Grimes. 
The present M. D.'s are Drs. E. A. Rundell and Benjamin Holmes. 

The village was incorporated in the year 1872. The town officers at 
the present time are the following, to wit: M. H. Kennedy, Andrew 
Miller, Robert Perry and L. Bailey, Trustees. James McCurley, Clerk, 
and W. N. Grimes, Marshal. W. R. Kennedy, W. V. Russell and M. S. 
Wilkinson comprise the School Board. The first schoolhouse in the 
village stood near the Methodist Church, and was in use about five years. 
It was replaced by the present commodious structure in the year 18 — . 
This building is frame, two stories high, contains two large-sized school- 
rooms, and represents a value of $2,500. 

The present business of the town is represented by the following 
exhibit: Ashmore & Russell, general store; M. Wilkinson, general stock; 
John Kennedy, drug stoi'e; Allen Shafifer, blacksmith and wagon-maker; 
L. Bailey, hotel. Population, about 500. 


The following statistics were copied from the tax duplicate of 1883: 
Value of lots, $1,590; improvements, $3,930; value of lands within the 
corporate limits, $4,850; improvements on same, $2,240; personal prop- 
erty, $10,643. Tax assessed on the above, $339.17. 

This village is situated on Section 17, Town 11 north, Range 6 west, 
and dates its origin from the year 1858, at which time the lots were sur- 
veyed for C. W. Moss, proprietor. Mr. Moss was operating a large saw 
mill at that time in the vicinity, and the town was in one respect an 
outgrowth of his business, which was very extensive. 

The question of removing the county seat from Bowling Green was 
at that time being discussed, and the hope of securing its re- location at 
this point was one other motive in inducing Mr. Moss to lay out the 
town. As a consequence of its failure to obtain the coveted prize, the 
growth of the village has been very slow, although it still claims to be a 
city of large expectations, and its friends are sanguine of a brilliant fut- 
ure. Among the first who purchased real estate in the town and erected 
residences were A. Loudermilk, Daniel Wright, Israel Kryfczer and An- 
drew "Wheeler. The first store was opened by M. Greenburg, who sold 
goods for about five years, when his building and stock were destroyed 
by fire. Joseph Adams was the next merchant, and William Grimes 
came a little later. They were followed by the firm of O'Brien & Moss, 
which was afterward changed to Miller & Moss, who continued in busi- 
ness until they were burned out. Other business men were H. Haas, E. 
Barrows, A. J. Moss, John McGinnis and John C. Moss. There is one 
good store at the present time, one cabinet shop and one wagon shop. 

A large steam grist mill was built in 1868 by J. T. Moss & Co. It 
was a three-story frame building, contained two buhrs, and was erected 
at a cost of $9,000. The entire structure was completely destroyed b}' 
fire in the year 1872. The present mill was built in the spring of 1875 
by Oliver Cromwell. It is a steam mill also, but constructed on a small- 
er scale than the former, and represents a value of about $2,000. The 
present proprietor is James Bunton. 

Ashboro Lodge, No. 251, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 16, 1866, 
with the following charter members, to wit: Ananias Loudermilk, Fran- 
cis M. Stoops, William R. Bryant, E. Krytzer, Charles W. Moss, A. B. 
Wheeler, John J. Shupe, Q. M. Moss, George Grimes and David Killion. 
The first elective officers were A. Loudermilk, N. G. ; Charles W. Moss, 
V. G. The lodge was organized at the residence of A. Loudermilk, 
where meetings were held until 1869, at which time a hall was erected 
over Moss & O'Brien's store. This building was burned May 23, 1878, 
but rebuilt the same year. The membership has decreased considerably 
during the past few years, although the society is reported in good con- 


dition at the present time, being out of debt and owning property valued 
at $1,000. The last officers elected were Mason O'Brien, N. G. ; Samuel 
Moss, V. G. ; and Dr. T. C. Green, Secretary. 


Saline City is situated in the southwestern part of the township, on 
the C. & T. H, R. R., of which it is an outgrowth, and dates its his- 
tory from the completion of said road. The original plat was laid 
out by Henry Jamison as a speculative venture, and consists of 100 in- 
lots and eight outlots. The streets running north and south are Pick- 
etts, Depot, Wood and Burnett; crossing these at right angles are First, 
Second, Third and Fourth streets, all of which are sixty- five feet in 
width. Warren's Addition was laid out in August, 1872, by James 
Warren, and consists of twenty lots. Jamison' s Addition of twenty lots 
was made in the year 1873. By an act of the Board of Commissioners, 
of September, 1872, the name was changed from Saline to Saline City, 
on account of there being another village and post office of the former 
name in the State. The first lots sold were purchased by Pickett & 
Jenks, of Terre Haute, and Edwin Barnett, soon after the town was laid 
out. The first residences were erected by James Long and a man by the 
name of Hoyt. Pickett & Jenks built a large stave factory on Wood 
Point, near the railroad, in the latter part of 1872, and operated it ex- 
tensively for several years thereafter. The present proprietors are 
Messrs. Patton & Forsythe, who do a large business. Daniel Barnett 
built the first hotel, which he kept for two years, and then retired from 
the business, renting the property to other parties. 

The first stock of goods was brought to the place by Pickett & Jenks, 
and kept for sale in a building on Wood Point, not far from their factory. 

Their successors were E. Nutting & Co., who sold goods about four 
years, when the stock was purchased by Patton, Forsythe & Co., the 
present proprietors. B. F. Holmes kept the first drug store, engaging 
in the business soon after the town was laid out, and continuing until 
1873, at which time he disposed of his building to J. & J. Wardlow. 
Dr. Pickens erected a store building, which he sold in 1873 to Z. T. Bar- 
nett, who occupies it at the present time. James Herron, Daniel Man- 
ning and John Huckle were the first mechanics of the place. 

The first physician was Dr. McCorkle; the present M. D. 's are Drs. 
Gantz and Griffith. 

Present Business. — Z. T. Barnett, general store; A. L. AVitty, general 
store; Wardlow, Evans & Co., drugs, groceries, boots, shoes and notions; 
Ed Coflfey, drag store; John Beeson, groceries; Mrs. Coffey, millinery 
store; D. P. Manning and M. Barber, blacksmiths; hotel, H. Hirchfield; 
livery stable, Butler Ray; warehouse, Z. T. Barnett. In addition to the 
above there is a saw -mill, operated by Fred Fender. In connection with 


the stave factory, Messrs. Patton, Forsythe & Co. handle and ship lum- 
ber. The village is situated in the midst ot' a rich agricultural region, 
and enjoys good facilities for transportation, by means of the railroad, 
and boasts of a population of 400 souls. 


The introduction of Christianity into Sugar Ridge was cotemporary 
with its first settlement. The " voice in the wilderness " was among the 
pioneers, calling sinners to repentance long before any organization was 
in existence or house of worship erected. The early ministers were God- 
fearing, good men, who preached without a choir, and a bugle solo in 
church would have called upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon 
them. They may have been ignorant, but, tired with a holy zeal in the 
cause of their Master, they smote his Satanic majesty, hip and thigh, wher- 
ever they could find him, and did nuich toward counteracting the preva- 
lent evils of the times. The first preacher was Samuel Little, to whom 
reference was made in a preceding page. Elder David Lane, of the 
Christian Church, conducted public worship at different residences in a 
very early day, and organized a small society in the Tribble neighbor- 
hood prior to 1830. This organization was abandoned after a few years, 
and never renewed. 

A Methodist missionary by name of Owens, organized a class in an 
early day at the residence of George Moss. Among the early members 
were George Moss and wife, Miss Moss, Amos Laycock and family, and 
William JNIarshall and family. Others were added from time to time, 
and the society finally grew into a strong organization with its meeting 
place at Ashboro. A house of worship was erected at Ashboro in the year 
1858, at a cost of $500. Among the early pastors, are remembered 
Eevs. Samuel Cooper and Shively. Later came Revs. Beck, Ravenscroft, 
Tolbert, Kiger and many others whose names are not learned. The so- 
ciety was first attached to the Carlisle Circuit. It was afterward a point 
on the Lockport, Bowling Green, Terre Haute and Center Point Circuits. 

The society was abandoned in 1878. The last preacher was Rev. 
John Bruner. 

Center Point Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the year 
1855, and is an offshoot of the old Ashboro congregation. 

The following were among the early members: John McGinnis and 
family. Henry Mitchell and family, John McCracken and family, Thomas 
Milligan and family, and Henry Lash and family. A log building was 
erected the same year in which the society was organized, and stood 
about three-quarters of a mile east of the village. It was used as a 
meeting place until 1873, at which time a neat frame structure was built 
in the southeast part of the town, on ground donated by M. H. Kennedy. 
This house cost the sum of $1,200, and is a credit to the congregation. 



The church is in good condition at the present ti-me, with a membership 
of seventy-five. Rev. J. V. Moore is the pastor in charge. 

United Brethren Church of Center Point was organized as early as 
the year 1843, at an old log schoolhouse which stood a short distance 
from the village. Among the early members were Amos Hedge and 
family, Nathan Gibbons and family, J Eversole and family, Joseph 
Eidinger and family, John McCurly and family, J. Hunt and family, 
Daniel Breuers, Henshaw, and Mrs. M. H. Kennedy. The congrega- 
tion used the schoolhouse for a place of worship about nine years, when 
they built a frame church in the village, costing $1,000. In 1876, a 
second house of worship was erected. It stands in the western part of 
the village and is a large frame building, capable of seating 500 persons, 
A parsonage was afterward built near the church, and the entire property 
represents a capital of over $3,000. Revs. Hedge, Griffith, Briley andElwell 
were early pastors. Since 1860, the church has been ministered to by 
the following pastors: William M. Givens, John Cotman, J.G. Shuey, 
J. Allenbaugh, J. Watson, R. L. Brengle, J. Buntner, William H. Long, 
Jacob Sheets, A. J. Newgent, J. L Brandenburg, Hiram W. Huston and 
William Matson. 

In the year 1859, Missionary Baptist societies were organized in 
Ashboro and at Center Point, with a good membership. Services were 
held in the Ashboro Methodist Episcopal Church as long as the society 
at this place had an existence, which was but a few years. The society 
at Center Point was abandoned in a comparatively short time. Their 
ministers were Revs. Stewart, C. B. Allen, — Smock, — Nivens, and 
— Moore. 

Saline Presbyterian Church. — This church was organized in 1875 at 
the Nulley store building, and numbered twelve original members. A 
building was erected the same year on ground donated by Henry Jamison 
and cost 11,500. It is 40x60 feet, and is one of the neatest church 
edifices in the township. From some cause not learned, the organization 
was abandoned a couple of years ago, and the beautiful building is 
standing idle at the present time. 

Saline Methodist Episcopal Church was organized 1876 at the 
Presbyterian meeting house, with nine members, and attached to Centre 
Point Circuit. The following pastors have ministered to the church in 
the order named: Revs. — Rannells, John Bruner, — Baxter, — Jones, 
E. L. Hughes, and J. V. Moore, present incumbent. 

A house of worship is in process of erection to cost about $1,300, 
and the society is reported in good condition, with thirty-five members. 
Thomas Johns is Superintendent of the Sunday school, which has an 
average attendance of forty scholars. 





PERRY TOWNSHIP lies in the western part of Clay County, with 
the following boundaries, to wit: Posey Township on the north, 
Sugar Ridge on the east, Lewis and a portion of Harrison Township on 
the south, and Vigo County on the west. It is somewhat irregular in 
shape, and embraces an area of about forty-five square miles, the greater 
portion of which lies in Town 11 north, Range 7 west, while about ten 
Sections in the southern part are included in Town 10 north, Range 7 
west. Eel River is the principal water-course, and forms the boundary 
between Perry and Harrison Townships, flowing in a southwesterly di- 
rection. Burch Creek the second stream of importance, is the boundary 
between Perry and Sugar Ridge. It flows a southwesterly course, and 
empties into Eel River, in Section 15, of Township 10, Range 7. Brush 
and Crooked Creeks are both affluents of Birch Creek, and empty into 
the latter stream, near the southeast corner of the Township. Clear 
Branch rises near the village of Cory, flows a southerly course, and emp- 
ties into Eel River. In the western part of the township, are Big Slough 
and Splunge Creek. The land is generally level, except along the eaHtern 
border where the country is somewhat undulating, though in no place is 
it too broken for farming purposes, 

Christy's Prairie occupies the northwest corner of the township. It 
was formerly very wet and covered with a dense growth of willows, hut 
since being drained it is considered the most fertile and valuable portion 
of land in the township. 

There are small prairies in various parts of the township, all of which 
are known by names peculiar to their localities, and give to the country 
decided advantages as an agricultural district. The prairie soil is a deep 
black loam, resting upon a subsoil of clay, and is easily cultivated. It is 
very fertile, and some of the finest farms in the county have been de- 
veloped from this wet land, which was formerly looked upon with much 
suspicion by the early settlers. 

The timbered portion of the township has a clay soil, not so well 
adapted as the black loam for general farming, but well calculated for 
the production of fruit and the smaller cereals. Agriculture is the prin- 
cipal occupation of the people, and good land sells for as much as in any 
other division of the county. The country is well adapted to stock-rais- 


ing, having rich natural grasses and an abundance of water, facts which 
are leading many men to engage in the business as a specialty. 


Far beyond the dense woodlands of Indiana, beyond where Ohio's 
placid waters roll toward the Mississippi, came the pioneers of this sec- 
tion of the country. Many of them left homes of comfort behind, others 
but small farms upon which they had lived and rented year by year, and 
which barely yielded them a support. All came to better their condition, 
to secure cheap lands, where they could found homes for themselves and 
posterity. Their journey thither through an almost unbroken wilderness, 
where lurked dangers seen and unseen, was a hard one, and well calculated 
to discourage men of lesser energy. Strong, however, in the faith of their 
undertaking, the bold pioneers cut loose from the associations of home, 
and the present advanced civilization of the township stands an en- 
during monument to their energy and perseverance. The settlement of 
Perry dates back to the year 1825. Look at the dates 1825 and 1883; 
fifty-eight years stand between these two mile stones. Almost two gen- 
erations have come and gone since the first pioneer made his appearance, 
and constructed his humble cabin in the wilderness solitude. Early in 
the spring of 1825, William Christy, a native of Ohio, came to this part 
of the county, and located near the central part of the township, at the 
head of the prairie which bears his name. The journey of the pioneer 
family to their new home was made in a small wagon, and many dif- 
ficulties were experienced before reaching their destination, owing to 
spring freshets and the absence of roads, obstacles which rendered travel- 
ing well-nigh impossible. After selecting his claim and constructing 
thereon a rude pole cabin, Mr. Christy began backwoods life in earnest. 
A small patch of ground was cleared and planted in vegetables the first 
season, but our pioneer's family obtained their chief support from the 
bountiful supply of game which infested the woods and prairies. The 
nearest neighbors were a tribe of the Indians, who had two small villages 
a short distance south of Christy's residence. These Indians treated the 
family with the most profound respect, a compliment which was re- 
turned, and a mutual friendship sprang up between them which contin- 
ued unalloyed as long as the red men remained in the country. Christy 
hunted with his savage neighbors, participated in many of their amuse- 
ments, and allowed his children to freely associate with them, so that in 
a short time all members of the family learned to speak the Indian lan- 
guage fluently. 

The Indians left about the year 1827. Small parties returned occa- 
sionally thereafter for the purpose of hunting, and during their sojourn 
paid many friendly visits to our settler's family, whom they held in 
grateful remembrance. Christy entered a tine tract of land in the town- 


ship, and was the first man to improve the wet prairie lands, which were 
looked upon by early settlers as totally unfitted for farming purposes. 
He became one of the leading citizens of the township, and his de- 
scendants are among the substantial business men of the country. John 
Crossley, a brother-in-law of Christy, came in the year 1826, and settled 
in the same locality, where he entered and improved a good piece of 
land. He came from Warren County, Ohio, and was the first preacher 
in this part of the country. David Christy was, perhaps, the next per- 
manent settler; he entered land a short distance east of his brother's 
place, and became a prominent man in the community, having been uni- 
versally respected on account of his stern integrity and high sense of 
honor. He had been a soldier in the Indian war, and was with Gen. St. 
Clair, when that ill-fated commander was so overwhelmingly defeated by 
his savage enemies. In that engagement Mr. Christy received a serious 
wound in the leg, from the effects of which he never recovered. A son- 
in-law of David Christy, by the name of Riggle, came in an early day 
and settled in the eastern part of the township, near the former's claim. 
He was a Kentuckian, and in every respect a reputable citizen. Ezekiel 
Pitts located in the southern part of the township as early as 1828, and 
was the first person who settled in that locality. The above mentioned 
pioneers were the only residents within the present limits of Perry, prior 
to the year 1830, at which time William Christy came and entered land 
in the eastern part of the township. He was a nephew of David and 
William Christy, and a splendid type of the daring backwoods hunter of 
fifty years ago. Nothing pleased him better than rambling through the 
woods in quest of game, and as a skillful rifleman he had but few equals. 
It is related of him, that upon one occasion, while accompanying his 
family to church, he chanced to spy a bear track in the snow, which so 
excited him that he left the good wife and children to find their way to 
the house of God as best they could, while he started in pursuit of bruin. 
He followed the trail for several days, and was absent from home so long 
that his family became alarmed, and a party of several neighbors went 
in search of him. He was met a few miles from the settlement making 
his way homeward, very much crestfallen on account of the bear having 
been killed by a rival sportsman. Upon another occasion, he found in a 
large hollow log a litter of young wolves, which he desired to take alive, 
and sent his young son into the opening for the purpose of fetching the 
animals out. The cries of the cubs soon brought the mother wolf to the 
spot, which attacked Mr. Christy in a very savage manner. She came 
very nearly getting into the log before he succeeded in killing her. Mr. 
Christy was a citizen of the township until about the year 1848, when 
he sold his farm and moved to Texas. In the year 1828, George Dun- 
ham, Aaron Fagan and David White, all of Warren County, Ohio, came 
to this part of the country for the purpose of selecting homes. They 


secured land near the central part of the township, and after having en- 
tered their respective claims went back to Ohio, where George Dunham re- 
mained until 1833, when he moved his family to the new country. In the 
meantime Abel Dunham, brother of the preceding, entered land in the west- 
ern part of the township, but did not move to it until about the year 1833 or 

They are both living at the present time, the former in the village of 
Cory, and the latter on his farm in the western part of the township. 
They are both men of prominence in their respective communities, 
George having served the township as Justice of the Peace in an early 
day, and later, in various other official capacities. Ebenezer Gilbert set- 
tled in the township in the year 1832, locating in the Christy neighbor- 
hood, where he became the possessor of a good farm. He came from 
Ohio also, and was for many years one of the prominent citizens of 
Perry. One daughter, Mrs. Jane Jelffers, lives in the township at the 
present time. Thomas West, an Ohioan, settled near the present site of 
Cory in the fall of 1833. He came the year previous for the purpose of 
securing land, and purchased the claim on which Ezekiel Pitts had 
located, erecting thereon a comfortable hewed- log house, the first structure 
of the kind ever built in the township. John Dunham, cousin of George 
and Abel Dunham, came in 1833, and located near the central part of 
the township. He was joined the same year by John Hickson, who made 
the trip from his home in Ohio on horseback. After entering a tract of 
land in Sections 17 and 20, Mr. Hickson returned for his family, moving 
them out the following year. Later came his father, Amos Hickson, 
and a brother, Charles, both of whom located not far from Cory Village, 
in the western part of the township. James Jeflfers was an early pio- 
neer, but the exact date of his arrival was not ascertained. A settlement 
was made in the eastern part of the township in an early day by the 
families of Richard and Peter Brock, and several others whose names 
were not learned. They did not remain long, however, and left the 
country as early as 1837. Robert Barnett came to the township in 1835, 
and purchased land to which his family was moved two years later. He has 
been a prominent citizen of Perry for forty- eight years, and at the present 
time is enjoying the old age of a well-spent life on a beautiful farm de- 
veloped from the wilderness by his own exertions. Robert Stoojis, Will- 
iam Huff, William and M. Stoops, were among the pioneers of Perry, 
but, aside from their names nothing concerning them was learned. 

The first entry of land in Perry was made in the year 1822 by Min- 
erva Bundy, in Section 17 of Town JO north, Range 7 west. Other 
early entries were made by William Norris, John Crossly and Elijah 
Rawley, all of whom secured their lands prior to 1830. The following 
parties, additional to those mentioned, became owners of real estate in 
the township prior to 1837, to wit: Moses Rawdin, Richard Ayer, John 


Crum, Abijah Dunham, Josiah Snoddy, T. P. Hartley, E. W. Wright, 
Amos W. Hedges, Stephen Hawley, W. D. Lee, John Robertson, George 
W. Rector, Micajah Philips, John Rector, Elias Curry, Amos Gillman, 
Israel Price, David Wheeler, Racliel Silvers, Keziah West, James Ter- 
rell, Elijah Reese, William Walker, Charles Butler, Susanna Ball, S. W. 
Edwards, William Sullivan, George W. Pratt, George M. Thatcher, 
Omer Tousey, George P. Buell, Peter Chamberlain, N. H. Modesitt, 
George Willis, Dennis Deming, Michael Mann and Thomas West — the 
majority of whom became residents. 


The first birth in the township occurred in the family of William 
Christy as early as the year 1828, at which time a son, James, was born. 
Sarah Jane Dunham, now Mrs. Bannon, was probably the second white 
person born in Perry. She is the daughter of George and Sarah Dun- 
ham, and dates her birth from October, 1833. John S. Dunham, son of 
Abijah and Margaret Dunhaiu, is fifty years of age, and was born shortly 
after his parents moved to Clay County. Susan, daughter of John Dun- 
ham, was born in the year 1834. 

The earliest marriage traceable occurred in 1834, the contracting 
parties being John C. Crossley and Mary Ann West. The ceremony was 
performed by Rev. Isaac W. Deming, a pioneer preacher of the Baptist 
denomination. Joseph Dunham and Lucinda Jeffers were joined in the 
holy bonds of matrimony about the year 1836. An early marriage was 
that of William See lye to Sarah Jane West, as early as 1837. Ira Dun- 
ham and Cynthia Townsend assumed the responsibilities of married life 
about the same time. 

The first ground consecrated to the burial of the dead was the Chris- 
ty Graveyard, laid out by William Christy on his farm about the year 
1837 or 1838. There were laid away Betsey Clark, Mrs. George Dun- 
ham and a child of Henry Christy. John Crossley was the first of the 
original settlers to be summoned away by death. He departed this life 
in 1838, and was followed two years later by his wife, both of whom 
now rest in the old Christy Cemetery. Other early deaths were David 
Christy and wife, Mrs. Mclntire and John Reece. 


For many years during the early history of this section of the coun- 
try, the pioneer's life was by no means an enviable one. Their trials were 
numerous, and the obstacles they were called upon to encounter would 
discourage the bravest heai-ted of the present day. Yet, hard as was 
their backwoods life, it had its seasons of recreation — if such could be 
called recreation. Raisings, log-rollings, etc., served to bring remote 
settlements in contact, and on such occasions they recounted various inci- 


dents and talked over old times, thus relieving the monotony of their 
isolated situation. Light hearts, strong constitutions and clear con- 
sciences made the toilsome hoars pass pleasantly, and old men now liv- 
ing, whose youths were spent amid the stirring scenes of those times, 
look back with pleasure to the old days as the most enjoyable period of 
their lives. The first duty of the pioneer was to provide a shelter, and 
their rude cabins were hastily constructed, daubed with mud and covered 
yith rough clapboards held to their places by weight poles. The floors 
were often nothing but Mother Earth, made smooth and compact 
by constant usage, or of rough puncheon, which, hewed with a 
common chopping- ax, made a tolerably good surface. The furniture was 
in keeping with the building, and generally consisted of a couple of 
bedsteads, a rough stand, or table, and two or three chairs. Pewter 
plates and cups were common, and the huge open-mouthed fire-place, 
surrounded by pots, skillets, pans and other utensils, served the twofold 
purpose of heating and cooking. Stoves being unknown on the frontier 
in those early days, corn-dodgers baked in an oven, and Johnny-cake 
baked on a board before the fire, with venison prepared in various ways, 
were considered food tit for the gods. Perhaps no other township in the 
county was settled by a more intelligent and moral class of citizens. 
Society was good, much better than at the present time, if we can rely 
upon the statements of old pioneers now living. Of course the people 
had their amusements, consisting principally of various athletic sports and 
horse-racing, which were sometimes enlivened by a too free use of " fire- 
water," and as a result some festive gentleman was very apt to go home 
with an optic or two slightly discolored. Such occurrences were very rare, 
however, and the township has always sustained the reputation of being 
a peaceable and law-abiding community. Terre Haute was the nearest 
market place, and deer skins, " coon skins," maple sugar and venison hams 
were the principal articles of traflSc. Some of the early settlers killed 
and marketed the wild hogs which were found in the woods in great 
numbers. This pork sold for from $1.50 to $2.50 per hundred, a part of 
the pay being taken in goods and a portion in depreciated "Illinois 
Canal Scrip." Meal was obtained at Terre Haute, or from Rawley Mill, 
in the southern part of the county, on Eel River. During extremely 
cold or muddy weather, when the condition of the country precluded the 
possibility of going about, some of the early farmers manufactured 
their own meal, crushing the corn in an old-fashioned mortar made by 
hollowing out a solid block or the top of a stump. In 1828, David 
Christy made a hand mill, which was used by the neighborhood for a 
couple of years. The machinery consisted of two home-made buhrs set 
in a " gum." A mill was constructed by George Wills as eai-ly as 1834, 
and stood in the northeastern part of the township. It was a small, log 
building, contained two buhrs manufactured out of "nigger-heads," and 


was operated by horse power. It was in operation about ten years, and 
did a good business for a mill of its capacity, having been extensively 
patronized by the citizens of Perry and adjoining townships. 

The first frame house in the township has built by John Crossley. 
The earliest orchards were set out by the Christys, John Crossley, George 
and Abel Dunham. 


It was some time after the date of the first settlement before the 
rudest log schoolhouse was constructed or schools organized. The peo- 
ple were sparsely scattered in sparse neighborhoods. They were poor in 
this world's goods as a rule. Teachers were scarce, and so were books. 
The f rst schoolhouse was erected about the year 1845, and stood a short 
distance south of Cory, on John Hickson's place. It was a hewed log 
structure, and first used by Samuel Long. Other early teachers at the 
same place were Milton Piercy and William Lewis. The Riddle School- 
house stood east of Cory about three miles on the Riddle farm. It was 
a log building also, and was in use a number of years. James Riddle 
was the first pedagogue who wielded tbe birch in this primitive backwoods 
college. He was succeeded by H. Wheeler, who taught several consecu- 
tive terms. Milton P iercy taught at the same place also. The Washing- 
ton Schoolhouse stood in the northwestern part of the township on land 
which belonged to J. D. Early, of Terre Haute, and was erected about 

the year 1843. Among the early teachers at this place were Hout, 

George andE. M. Rector. Free schools were supplied in the year 1844, 
and the first teacher to draw from the public fund was Mrs. Sarah 
Jeffers, who taught at what was known as the Jackson Schoolhuuse. She 
was paid $10 per month for a term of four months. At the present time? 
there are twelve school buildings in the township, all of which are frame, 
the majority of them being in good condition and well supplied with all 
the modern educational appliances. The enumeration for 1883 shows 
that 672 children between the ages of six and twenty- one years are liv- 
ing in the township. The amount of money paid teachers for the school 
year of 1882-83 was $2,500. The last corps of teachers was the follow- 
ing, to wit: William P. Foulke, D. W. Denney, Albert Cromwell, H. W. 
McNamar, G. W. Payne, William M. Earley, Oscar Van Cleve, Laura 
Moore, Lida Mcintosh, Mollie Ewart and M. J. Pittenger. 

Trustees. — The following list comprises the trustees since the year 
1860, viz. : William Herron, A. H. Nees, John Dunham, Martin V. 
Miller, William Miller, D. H. Foulke, W. J. Witty, John M. Nelson, 
Job C. Congleton, Lewis Dunham and John F. Fennell. 


The first religious services in Perry, of which anything definite is 
known, were conducted by Elder Isaac Denman, a pioneer preacher of 


the Old School Baptist denomination. Like all the early preachers who 
preceded or followed in the wake of civilization in the West, Denman 
was a man of great piety, and spent his time traveling among the 
sparsely settled portions of this and adjoining counties, preaching with- 
out money and without price, and assisting in the organization of many 
early churches of his sect. He was a resident of this county until about 
the year 1878, at which time he mel with a violent death by being 
crushed by an engine on the I. & St. L. Railroad. 

The first religious society was organized at the Jackson Schoolhouse 
by Elder William Eldredge, who was also a minister of the Baptist 
Church. The date of the organization was not ascertained, though it is 
supposed to have been prior to the year 1843. Among the early mem- 
bers were Thomas West and wife, Mrs. John Hickson, Nancy Reece and 

George Dunham. Elders Daniel Sharks, Nathan Staggs, Starks, 

John Case and Abraham Starks preached for the society as long as it 
maintained an existence, which was about six or seven years. Owing to 
some misunderstanding among the members, a division finally occurred, 
resulting in a complete abandonment of the organization, a portion of the 
communicants uniting themselves with the coagregation which met at 

Methodism in Perry. — The history of Methodism in this township 
dates back to about the year 1849, at which time a small class was organ- 
ized at the residence of Robert Bennett, consisting of ten or twelve 
members, among whom are remembered the following, to wit: Isaac 
Cheesman and wife, Robert Bennett and wife, William Cheesman and 
wife, Milly Oliver, Charity Cheesman and Robert Rector, the last named 
being class-leader. The organization was effected by Rev. Elisha Long, 
who preached for the little society at intervals for two or three years. 
Services were held at Bennett's residence until about the year 1856 or 
1857, when, on account of small numbers, the organization was aban- 

Center Church* — In the year 1858, a re-organization of the original 
class was effected by Rev. O. Barnett with the following members : John 
Foulke and wife, M. H. Piercy and wife, William Harris and wife, and 
A. H. Neece and wife. The place of meeting was a schoolhouse situated 
about one and a half miles east of Cory Village, which served the con- 
gregation until the year 1865, at which time a house of worship was 
erected and named Center Church. The building was erected on ground 
donated by Andrew Neece, and cost the sum of $1,300. 

In 1859, Rev. Hamilton was pastor, assisted by Rev. Walters, the 
class at that time belonging to the Princeton and Lockport Circuit. In 
1860, it was made an outpost of the Highland Mission with Rev. J. E. 
Brand, pastor, who served acceptably until the year 1862, at which time 

*From notes prepared by Dr. J. A. Modesitt. 


Rev. Asa Beck took charge and preached for one year. The next pastor 
was Rev. Coffin. After him came Rev, Irwin, who served until 1865, at 
which time Rev. Downey was appointed to the circuit. He remained but 
six months of his time, the unexpired term being served by Revs. Will- 
iam Laurence and Rev. John Williams. Rev. Samuel Denney was pastor 
in 1867, Rev. J. V. Moore in 1868, Rev. Pisher in 1869, Rev. Hurning 
in 1870. Other pastors have been the following, to wit: 1871-72, Rev. 
Gaskins; 1873, Revs. Boos andMcCormic; 1874, Rev. McCormic; 1875, 
Rev. A. F. Bridges; 1876, O. H. Tansey; 1877, Rev. Daniel; 1878-79, 
Rev. George Asbery. 

During the latter' s pastorate it was decided to move the organization 
to the village of Cory. A neat, substantial house of worship was erected 
the latter year at a cost of $1,400. The building is frame, 35x50 feet in 
size, with a seating capacity of about 300 persons. Rev. Asbery was 
succeeded by Rev. John Lauerty, who remained on the circuit until the 
year 1881, when Rev. J. F. McGregor assumed pastoral control. The 
pastor in charge at the present time is Rev. L. M. Rhodes. The church 
is in flourishing condition, numbering seventy-five members. The Sab- 
bath school, which has an average attendance of 110 scholars, is under 
the efficient superintendency of Dr. James A. Modesitt. 

A society of the Christian Church was organized in an early day at 
the residence of John Crossley, near the northeast corner of the town- 
ship, and maintained for a number of years. Thomas and Benjamin 
Snoddy were early preachers, and labored for the congregation as long 
as it had an existence. 

Cory Christian Church. — This society was organized March, 1881, 
by Elder T. P. Marshall, of Rockville, with seventeen original members, 
a number of which has since increased to thirty-four. The village 
schoolhouse is used for a meeting place, and Elder Marshall still preaches 
for the church. 

The Missionary Baptists have a strong organization near the village 
of Cory, and a neat frame house of worship. The society is in good 
condition, and numbers among its members many of the influential citi - 
zens of the county. 


The construction of the Cincinnati «& Terre Haute Railroad was an 
era in the history of Perry, and since its completion the business of the 
country has increased in a very marked degree. Lands have advanced in 
value, and a new impetus been given the development of the township, 
owing to market facilities which have been brought to the very doors of 
the citizens. The road crosses the township from east to west, and 
passes through one of the richest agricultural regions in the county. An 
immediate outgrowth of this road was the village of Cory. 


One -half of this town is situated on the north side of the southeast quar- 
ter of Section 20, Town 11 north, Range 7 west, and one-half on the south 
side of the northeast quarter of the same section, town and range. The 
original plat was surveyed by C. N. Demorest, County Engineer, for 
John S. Dunham, Oliver Staggs and Newport Staggs, proprietors, and 
consists of forty-three lots and six streets, two of which run north and 
south, the other four running east and west. The plat was entered for 
taxation April 8, 1872, and the village christened Cory in compliment to 
a gentleman of that name residing in Terre Haute. 

The first addition to the town was made December, 1873, by John S. 
Dunham, and consisted of ten lots. Samuel Lucas' Addition of seven 
lots was made June 13, 1881. In December, 1881, John S. Dunham 
made a second division, consisting of ten building lots and a square for 
schoolhouse. Among the first to purchase real estate in the village were 
O. Rankin, who built a business house and residence near the central 
part, on the corner of Wright and Depot streets. Dr. O. James, who 
erected a building to be used for a drug store, C. A. West, H. R. Wyatt 
and Mrs. Sarah Richards, all of whom erected residences in different 
parts of the town. The first store was kept by John S. Dunham and H. 
R. Wyatt in a small building which stood a short distance outside of the 
plat, and consisted of general merchandise. The house in which the 
store was kept was afterward moved to the town, and stands near the 
central part at the present time. The above firm did business about six 
months, at the end of which time Wyatt bought the entire stock and sold 
goods about three years, when he closed out and left the village. O. 
Rankin's drug store was the second business house in the place. Mr. 
Rankin conducted a successful business for about three or four years, 
when he sold to T. O'Brien, who, in turn, disposed of the stock two 
years later. D. H. Hatfield opened a store in the Rankin building in 
1877, and continued in business about three years. 

The first mechanic was Philip Hutchison who started a blacksmith 
shop in 1874. The Elkhorn Mill was built by O'Brien & Jeffers in 
1879, and stands near the railroad, at the crossing of Centre street. 
The building is frame, 30x40 feet, exclusive of engine room, four stories 
high, and cost the sum of $12,000. It was operated by Messrs. O'Brien 
& Jeffers about one year, at the end of which time the latter became sole 
proprietor. After running it one year, he sold out to Moorehart & Fer- 
rell, the present owners. The mill has three run of buhrs, with a grind- 
ing capacity of 100 barrels of flour per day, and is doing a very extensive 

The Cory Post Office was established in the year 1872, and O. Rankin 
appointed Postmaster. The present Postmaster is Webster Lucas. 


The present business of the city is represented by the following : Zenor 
& Butt, general merchandise; M. Stuckwish, general stock; Lucas & 
Son, dealers in boots and shoes; Mrs. J. S. Dunham and Mrs, Moore, 
millinery stores; Glick & Son, undertakers; Drs. O. James and James 
A. Modesitt, druggists; O'Brien & Dunham, agricultural implements; 
Glick & Clark, blacksmiths; W. S. Gummery, blacksmith; and David 
Lawell, butcher. In addition to the above, there are two " sample rooms," 
where the very best " old Bourbon," " Johnson County " and all the other 
vile decoctions, warranted to make dead drunk at thirty paces, can be 
obtained in any quantity, according to demand. The village boasts of a 
population of 350 souls, and its future outlook is as encouraging as its 
friends could desire. 

Clear Creek Lodge, No. 449, I. O. O. F., was instituted April 17, 
1874, with the following charter members, viz., Philip Hutchinson, John 
L. Reece, Samuel Slavens, John R. Stoops", i\ M, Stoops and Joseph G. 
Wilgus. The first officers were J. G. Wilgus, N. G. ; John L. Reece, V. 
G. ; and Samuel Slavens, Secretary. Meetings were held m John S. Dun- 
ham's warehouse for three months, when the organization was moved to 
the Cory House. A hall was built in 1875. The present officers are Na- 
thaniel Dimham, N. G.; John W. Clark, V. G. ; John S. Dunham, Secre- 
tary; John R. Ferrell, Dr. O. James and John S. Dunham, Trustees. 


A few years ago, Cory was the scene of a terrible tragedy in which 
Joseph Dunham, a very estimable citizen, met a violent death at the 
hand of his son-in-law, Elijah Batey. It seems that the two had some 
difficulty growing out of a misunderstanding concerning a wheat crop, 
and very bitter feelings were engendered. After several ineffectual 
attempts to adjust their differences, it was mutually agreed to lay the 
matter before arbitrators, chosen by both parties. The arbiters met in 
the schoolhouse, and during their investigation Batey, who was a 
very passionate man, became enraged at some remark dropped by Dun- 
ham, and shot the latter dead in the room. He was arrested, and sent 
to the penitentiary for a period of four years. 




JACKSON TOWNSHIP embraces a geographical area of thirty -six 
square miles, lying in the northeastern part of the county, and is Town 
12 north, Range 6 west of the Congressional survey. As originally formed, 
it included Cass Township, and was reduced to its present limits about the 
year 1843, and named iu honor of Andrew Jackson. It is bounded on 
the north by Brazil and Van Buren Townships, on the east by Cass Town- 
ship and Owen County, on the south by Washington and Sugar Ridge 
Townships, and on the west by Posey and a portion of Brazil Township. 
The surface of the country is what would be termed level, having no high 
hills, but is gently undulating, and was originally covered with a dense 
forest of valuable timber, such as walnut, poplar, white oak, burr oak, 
red oak, beech, hickory, elm, the various kinds of ash, hard and soft 
maple and some sycamore on the low lands skirting the water-courses. 
Of the timber, the most valuable has long since disappeared, some of it 
into fencing, some into houses and barns, some into fuel, and very much 
of it in the early days before its value was fully realized, and before a 
market was accessible, vanished in the flames and smoke of the clearings. 
That which escaped early destruction at the hands of the settlers has 
since been greatly reduced in quantity, owners in some cases almost pay- 
ing for their farms from the proceeds of their timber sales, and still find- 
ing in their possession a handsome surplus with which to meet needed 
improvements. It is proper to state that a great deal of valuable timber 
remains, as many farmers have been careful to leave sufficient standing 
upon their lands for all practical purposes. 

Several water-courses traverse the township in various directions, 
chief of which is Burch Creek, which flows south from Section 18, and 
crosses the southern boundary from Section 32. East Branch heads in 
Section 6, in the western parts of the township, from whence it takes a 
southerly course and unites with Burch Creek in Section 30. The cen 
tral and southeastern parts of the township are watered and drained by 
Croy's Creek, a stream of some importance, flowing a southeasterly course 
from Section 7. Mclntire Creek flows through the southeast corner and 
afifords ample drainage for that part of the country. The township pos- 
sesses a variety of soil, the greater portion of which is well adapted to 
agriculture and stock-raising. The surface of the country is sufficiently 
undulating to require no artificial drainage, except in the southwest 


corner of the township, where there are a number of acres of wet prairie 
lands where ditching is needed to develop the soil's fertility. 

As an agricultural region, Jackson deservedly takes a front rank, 
and her farms are among the most extensive and best improved in the 
county. Corn and wheat are the staple productioas, although large 
crops of the other cereals are raised and much attention is given to 
grass, to which the soil in many localities seems well adapted. 


Congressional Township No. 12 north, Kange 6 west; was surveyed 
by John McDonald in 1815, at which time the land was placed upon 
market subject to entry, although no actual settlers came in for a num- 
ber of years thereafter. A few hunteys and transient squatters made 
temporary improvements at various times along the different streams 
where they located for the purpose of hunting and trapping, but the first 
real pioneers who became owners of the soil did not make their appear- 
ance until about the year 3 829 or 1830. It is probable that the first 
actual settler was one James Green, a North Carolinian, who had previ- 
ously lived in Washington Township, where he moved as early as 1824. 
In the winter of 1828, he selected a claim within the present limits of 
Jackson, locating in the south corner on Burch Creek, where he erected 
a small log cabin and fitted for cultivation about three or four acres of 
ground. He was a hunter rather than a tiller of the soil, and exp^i- 
enced but little difficulty in procuring the necessities of life for his fam- 
ily, whose wants were few and easily satisfied. He was a skillful marks- 
man, a hunter by instinct, and woe to the luckless bear or deer upon 
which he "drew a bead," as none such were ever known to escape his 
deadly bullet. As a bee hunter he was equally skilled, and from the 
sale of honey which he carried to Terre Haute sufficient money was ob- 
tained to purchase dry goods and groceries for his family, and to keep 
himself in ammunition, tobacco and whisky. He collected a great many 
swarms of bees which were hived in hollow " gums," and for a number 
of years these afforded him his chief source of revenue. In about the 
year 1842, he disposed of his claim and moved into the adjoining county 
of Putnam, where he afterward became the possessor of a good farm, but 
it is said that he never gave up the sport of hunting, which he loved as 
he loved his life. 

John Stui-devant came from North Carolina in 1830, and settled on 
the east half of the southwest quarter of Section 28, which land he en- 
tered one year later. He became a prominent citizen, and was identified 
with the township until the year 1840, at which time he sold his farm 
to Esau Presnell and moved into what is now Cass Township, where his 
death occurred many years ago. 


Prominent among the earliest pioneers of Jackson was Thomas 
Wheeler, who moved from Washington Township in the year 1832 and 
settled on Section 30, where he lived until 1858, at which time he moved 
to the village of Ashboro, in the township of Sugar Ridge. Mr. Wheeler 
was a native of Kentucky and a man of character and rare business qual- 
ifications. He was descended from a long-lived ancestry, and possessed 
a rugged constitution, which enabled him to successfully overcome many 
of the hardships and privations of pioneer life, before which others of 
less physical energy were obliged to suctjumb in their prime. He died 
at the village of Ashboro at the ripe old age of ninety-eight years and 
ten months. A son, Capt. A. B. Wheeler, one of the leading business 
men of the county, lives in Brazil at the present time. He came to the 
township with his father fifty-one years ago, and has seen the county 
developed from a wilderness to its present high state of civilization and 

Other settlers who came in 1832 were Thomas Vest, George B. Zenor, 
James Edwards, William Moore, Thomas L. Moore, David Moore, Levi 
Cromwell and George Lucas. The first- named came from Kentucky, 
and was a man of character and influence in the little pioneer community 
where he was highly respected by all his neighbors and friends. He 
subsequently moved to Posey Township, and later to Iowa, in which 
State his death occurred many years ago. 

Zenor was a Kentuckian also, but had lived for several years in an 
adjoining township before selecting land in Jackson. He settled in the 
southwest corner of the township, near the Wheeler place, and entered 
land in Section 30 the same year of his arrival. The farm on which he 
located is at present owned and occupied by his son, Thompson Zenor. 

Edwards located in the western part of the township, and entered 
the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 19, where he lived for 
about ten years, at the end of which time he disposed of his farm and 
emigrated to Illinois. 

Thomas and William Moore were brothers-in-law, and natives of 
Kentucky. The former settled in Section 19, not far from the site of 
Hoosierville, where he made a good farm, on which he lived until the 
time of his death many years ago. 

William located in the same vicinity, and is remembered as a man of 
many peculiar characteristics and eccentricities. He was known through- 
out the country as "Angular Billy," partly on account of his singular 
physique and partly to distinguish him from another man of the same 
name, who came to the county the same year and settled in the same lo- 
cality. "Angular Billy" numbered his friends by the score, and was 
very popular in the community where he lived, affording much innocent 
amusement on account of his singular manners and the wonderful facil- 
ity he had of "murdering the King's English. " He was a devout member 


of the Methodist Church, and when " moved by the spirit " could shout 
longer, louder and with more vehemence and meaning than anybody else 
in the entire country. It required but little excitement to work his 
sensitive feelings up to the shouting point, and the manner in which he 
cried "gullory to God!" made many hardened sinners envy the happi- 
ness he enjoyed on such occasions. " Billy's" religious life, however, 
did not consist wholly of singing hallelujahs and shouting praises to his 
Maker, but his actions were in strict harmony with the faith he pro- 
fessed, and no one was more free from the taint of hypocrisy. It is re- 
lated of him that upon one occasion during the progress of a camp meet- 
ing he was called upon to lead the audience in prayer, and at once began 
supplicating the Throne of Grace in stentorian tones. It happened that 
his favorite horse Charley was taken very sick the same evening, and just 
previous to the meeting he had. sent his son Riley home to administer 
some medicine to the animal. The son returned to meeting during the 
progress of the prayer mentioned, but no sooner did he enter the house than 
the audience was snrprised to hear Brother Billy say, in the midst of his 
petition, "Riley, how's Charley?" Upon another occasion, at the close 
of a very successful revival, he gave expression to his feelings in the fol- 
lowing terse sentence: "Bless God, Brother Dickison, the Methodist 
Church has been at a low dibble, but thank God she has taken a new 
risin'." Moore resided in Jackson for a period of twenty-five years, 
when he sold his farm and emigrated with a number of other families to 

David Moore came from Kentucky about the same time as the fore- 
going, and settled in Section 8, where he still resides. He has been a 
prominent citizen, and has served the township in various official 
capacities, having been Trustee for a number of years. 

Levi Cromwell entered land in Section 32, and sold to Amos Hedge a 
few years later. George Lucas came from North Carolina and located 
in the northeast corner of the township, where he entered and improved 
a farm in Section 1. About this year came William Moore, or " Bottom 
Bill," as he was designated by the settlers, to distinguish him from 
" Angular Bill," already mentioned. There was a wide dissimilarity 
between the characters and general make-up of the two men. " Bottom 
Bill " having been the pugilist and reputed " best man " in the entire 
country. He was a true type of the backwoods hunter developed by the 
times. A roystering, rolicking, fighting, whisky-drinking bully, whose 
greatest delight was a drunken riot or knock-down, in which his superior 
physical strength was acknowledged by all. When sober, he was a peace- 
able man, but when his wild nature was roused b} a too free use of " fire- 
water," he became a regular terror, and was universally feared in the 
community. He settled in Section 19, where he lived a few years, after- 
ward selling out and moving to Illinois. 


(^trCc^t-^ — • 


Amos Hedge came to the township in 183-1:, and selected a home in 
Section 30, where he developed one of the finest farms ia the county. 
He was a man of superior talents, a prominent minister of the United 
Brethren Church, and did as much as, if not more than other man in the 
moral advancement of his comnjunity. He died about ten years ago. 

James Roberts settled in Section 1 in 1834, and became a leading 
business man and stock-dealer. He subsequently moved to Missouri, 
where his death occurred a few years since. 

About that year came Alfred Helton, John Slack, William Slack, 
Stephen Loudermilk and his son William, all of whom secured lands, 
and became permanent residents. Of the above number, William Slack 
and William Loudermilk are living in the township at the present time. 
During the year 1835, the population of the towuyhip was increased by 
the following additions, to wit: Preston Morgan, who entered land in 
Section 6; Achor Heany, in Section 7; Elijah Bowling, in Section 11; 
Abraham Bull, Section 12; John Reifet, Section 18; William Slack, Sec- 
tion 21; Henry Tilley, Section 24; Samuel Stigler and John Latham, in 
the same section; William Smith, Section 25; John Tucker, Section 28; 
James Butt, Section 30, and Richard Green in Section 26. Moore 
Mcintosh, William Mcintosh, Alfred Bowling, Bluford Bowling, William 
Bowling, Uriah Hicks, James Scarlet, Nathan Clifton and Marmaduke 
Brackney came as early as 1836. During the latter year, entries were 
made in different parts of the township by the following persons, to wit: 
James Murphy, Aaron Robbs, James Roberts, Solomon Lucas, Daniel 
Reffet, Thomas Roberts, Daniel Piatt, John Boston, George Ely and 
Esau Presnell. In 1837, lands were secured by John Wood, George Hull, 
Fenelon Harrison, James Harlin, Daniel Kumler, Jacob Crooks, Andrew 
Zeller, B. H. Bowling, John Tiffy, Parry P. Jones, Samuel Hull, Ludwick 
Ernest, William Mousey, John Learry, Peter Mousey, Isaac Butt, Sam- 
uel Terl, Joseph Johnston, M, Lowder, John Lintz, E. Lowder, William 
Lowder, Henry Albright, Thomas Jacobs, C. Lowder, W. D. Mosley, 
JanTes Green, John Luther, William Budge, Lewis Green and P. Mcin- 
tosh. The entries of 1838 were made by Alexander Williams, John Zel- 
ler, Benjamin Bonebrake, Ellis Johns, Conrad Bonebrake and John 

Settlers continued to arrive until 1853, at which time all the Govern- 
ment land was entered, and the greater portion of it improved. 


The development of Jackson during the early years of its history was 
very slow, on account of the wet condition of the soil, the prevalence of 
malarial diseases, and the absence of mills, market places, and the facil- 
ities for communication, etc. Corn and potatoes were the first crops 
raised, and with game, afforded the early settlers their chief means of 



subsistence. The first articles of commercial importance were ginseng, 
" yellow root," honey, maple sugar, venison, deer and coon skins. These 
articles were exchanged at the nearest market places for groceries, shoe 
leather and what few dry goods the pioneers needed, The majority of 
families manufactured their own wearing apparel, and the spinning- 
wheel was to be seen in almost every household. The houses in which 
the pioneers made their homes, were of a similar kind to all early habita- 
tions erected in a new country. The majority of them were rude struct- 
ures of unhewn logs, covered with clapboards rived from some convenient 
oak, and containing but a single apartment. They were daubed with 
clay mortar and afiforded a tolerable shelter from the rain and cold. At 
one side of the room a very large fire-place was erected, from which rose 
a stick and mortar chimney. The unthinned wilderness supplied an 
abundance of fuel, and in that day with such splendid facilities for 
destruction, quantity was an object of little importance. The family 
food was cooked by the open fire, cook stoves being at that time unknown. 
The furniture for the interior was simple and inexpensive, and provided 
without much difficulty. There was no neighborhood rivalry in the mat- 
ter of ornamentation or extravagant display. In the absence of a more 
convenient and sightly bedstead, one was frequently improvised by insert- 
ing the ends of two small poles between the logs at a proper distance apart, 
while the ends within the room were laid upon forked sticks driven into 
the ground through holes made in the puncheon floor. Upon these was 
laid the foundation for the bed proper. 

In many instances, the furniture for the entire house was of this 
cheap and primitive character. If a light were needed at night, it was 
supplied by a tallow dip or by burning shellbark hickory. 

Notwithstanding the crudeness and unalloyed simplicity of all these 
arrangements, notwithstanding the extreme toil and hardships of life in 
the wilderness, here was to be found home, happiness and personal lib- 
erty. No prince could have greater affection for his palace, nor lord for 
his castle, than these dauntless pioneers cherished for their cabins. 

Floiir and meal were first obtained at a little mill on Croy's Creek, 
in Putnam County. The mill ceased operations in an early day, after 
which the settlers of this part of the country took their grists to a little 
mill in the village of Reelsville. in the same coimty. 

The first mill of any kind operated in this township was constructed 
by James Green for his own use. It was operated by hand, ground very 
slowly, but seems to have been extensively used by the citizens of this 
and adjoining townships, until better machinery was put in operation 
elsewhere. Green afterward erected a small water-mill on Burch Creek, 
which manufactured meal only. It was a rude log building, and con- 
tained but one buhr, which was kept running almost constantly in order 
to supply the increasing demand for meal. It was built in 1832, and 


kept running thereafter about ten years, at the end of which time it was 
abandoned, on account of better mills having been built in the county. 

In the year 1836, a mill was built in the northeastern part of the 
township, on Croy's Creek, from which it received its motive power. It 
was constructed by Shiel York, and manufactured both meal and flour, 
the latter of which was bolted by hand, each person bolting his own 
grist. The mill was partly frame and partly logs, and was in successful 
operation about ten years. 

An early industry of the township was the distillery of Samuel Stig- 
ler, erected some time prior to 1840, and kept in operation for about 
eight or ten years after that date. This enterprise afforded a ready mar- 
ket for the surplus corn of the neighborhood, and at the same time sup- 
plied the inhabitants with a grateful beverage, which they were not ac- 
customed to doing without. In those good old days, before a revenue 
on distilled spirits was known, a gallon of the stuff could be obtained 
for from 15 to 17 cents, the price of a bushel of corn of first-rate quality. 
Shiel York operated a small distillery in connection with his mill, but 
did no extensive business, owing to his limited facilities forwoi-k. Both 
these distilleries have long since disappeared, and at the present time 
no vestige of either remains to mark the spots they occupied. 

Pavid Stunkard erected the first steam saw-mill in the township a 
number of years ago, and did a large business in manufacturing and 
shipping walnut and poplar lumber. The mill stood in the northwest 
part of the township. It ceased operations many years ago, having out- 
lived its usefulness. The last owners were David and James Stunkard. 
Another early steam saw mill stood in the northeast corner of the town- 
ship. It was built and operated by a man by name of Zeller, who did 
a good business with it until improved portable mills were brought to 
the country, when it was abandoned and allowed to fall into decay. A 
number of smaller mills have been erected at different times throughout 
the township, and several are in operation at the present time. 


The first orchard in Jackson was planted by John Tucker, on his 
farm in Section 29. Several trees of this orchard are still standing, and 
bear good fruit. Samuel Stigler, William Slack and Amos Hedges set 
out orchards shortly after their arrival in the county. 

The first death in the township was a child of Levi Cromwell, who 
died in the year 1834. The interment was made in the Zenor Grave- 
yard, the drst ground set aside for the burial of the dead. The second 
cemetery was laid out in the year 1840, and is known as the Union Grave- 
yard. It lies near the central part of the township, and is the principal 
place of burial at the present time. Many of the eai'ly pioneers men- 
tioned sl«>ep in the somber shades of these quiet cities of the dead. Some 


of their graves are marked by appropriate monuments, reared by the lov- 
ing hands of a grateful posterity, while others have finished their life 
work, and "sleep the sleep that knows no waking " in graves unmarked 
by the simplest epitaph. Croy Creek Graveyard is in the northwest part 
of the township, and was laid out as early as 1838 or 1839. There is 
another cemetery in Section 36, at the Lutheran Church, which was first 
consecrated to the burial of the dead about fourteen years ago. The 
first marriage solemnized in Jackson took place about the year 1832, the 
contracting parties being William Slack and Margy Loudermilk. 

Of the roads existing at that early period, very little can be said, be- 
cause they were few — if perchance there were any which truth will 
permit to be dignified by the application of so respectable a title. 

The township was divided at an early day into several road districts, 
each two miles wide; yet it was impossible that much could then be done 
in the way of this class of improvements. Highways were petitioned 
for, granted by the County Board, and laid out and worked at periods, 
but the labor put upon them was in the nature of things productive of 
only temporary benefit. During wet seasons of the year, they were al- 
most impassable for any kind of conveyance or vehicle, on account of 
their muddy condition. No plank roads were ever laid within this town- 
ship, nor were any pikes ever constructed, although the need of such 
highways has always been apparent. Corduroys were built in many 
places, and traces of them may yet be seen. Such conveniences as mod- 
ern bridges were of course unknown in the early day. The water-courses 
within the township were in most places easily fordable, except during 
rainy seasons, when they became raging torrents, and swept away every- 
thing of a movable nature upon their banks. If a bridge over any 
stream was found necessary, one was quickly constructed by throwing 
from bank to bank the trunks of two trees parallel with each other, upon 
which were laid slabs flat side down, split from other trees, thus proving 
a safe and substantial passage until carried away, which was frequently 
the case, by some extraordinary freshet. The township at the present 
time is well supplied with highways intersecting each other at proper 
intervals, all of which are in fair condition. What the country especially 
needs is a thorough system of pikes, which could be constructed at mod- 
erate cost, as there are extensive deposits of gravel in several localities, 
which are easy of access. 


Education in the mysteries of books is acquired with a difficulty in 
all pioneer settlements, which may differ in degree, but not in kind. It 
is not a matter of wonder that the means of learning should be limited 
to the smallest and rudest proportions; the wonder is that under such 


circumstances they should exist at all. With any other people they 
probably would not. But American settlers, wherever they went, carried 
with them the ruling idea that their first duty was to build themselves 
homes, and the next to establish schools for the education of their chil- 
di-en. The first school in what is now Jackson Township was started in 
the Zenor settlement and taught by one Ezekiel Jenkins, in a little 
cabin erected for church and school purposes, as early as the year 1832. 
William Slack, Alfred Bowling and B. H. Witty afterward taught at 
the same place. 

The second schoolhouse was built a few years later, and stood in the 
western part of the township on Croy's Creek. It was first used by Al- 
fred Bowling, and afterward by his brother Bluford, both of whom were 
connected with the educational interests of the township for several 
years. The Union Schoolhouse was built in Section 17, and. like those 
referred to, was used for church purposes also. The first teacher em- 
ployed in this building was Alfred Bowling. Elias Helton was also an 
early teacher at the same place, and did very efficient work considering 
the difficulties under which he labored. The Heany Schoolhouse was 
built at an early day, and stood on land which belonged to a Mr. Brack - 
ney. The first pedagogue here was William Heany, who taught some 
years prior to 1846. 

All of the first schoolhouses were log structures built by private 
means and labor, and the teachers were paid by subscription. The cur- 
riculum of study embraced reading, writing, arithmetic, with Webster's 
Spelling Book, while here and there a more ambitious pupil would vent- 
ure on a timid excursion into the mysteries of grammar and the wonders 
of geography. The latter study when it was taught, was learned to great 
extent by the singing method in which the whole school would join in 
thundering chorus. Spelling was a favorite study, and thei'e were classes 
graded along from the simple word of two letters to the mighty jaw- 
breaker of seven and eight syllables, reserved for the champion of the 
spelling matches. Prior to 1846, the schools were supported entirely by 
subscription, and in no instance were they kept open for a longer period 
than three months in a year. The teacher's compensation varied from 
$8 to $12 per month, board included, which meant a certain number of 
days spent with each patron during the term. Beginning with 1846, 
public schools, for which teachers were paid from the public fund, com- 
menced to make their appearance; but were few and far between for 
a number of years. 

They have gradually increased with the constantly multiplying pop- 
ulation until the present day. Terms have lengthened, the wages of 
teachers have increased, the old log houses have disappeared, and in 
their place have come substantial frame structures with all the appli- 
ances for comfort and instruction which the ingenuity of the age has 


suggested. The number of school edifices in the township is now eleven. 
Of this number nine are frame and two are brick. One of them, the 
Center Schoolhouse, near Asherville, is a large two-story building, in 
which the township graded school is taught. During the school term of 
1882-83, each of the eleven buildings was open upon the fall term of 
seven and a half months. The schools were last taught by Alfred Davis, 
S. S. Wheeler, C. F. Rummel, Albert Payne, James Knox, B. A. Bul- 
lock, McLean Johnson, J. P. Koehler, — Ferguson, Henry Bence, Will- 
iam Long and W. E. McCullough. For 1882-83, the revenue for tuition 
was $1,395. The number of children in the township between the ages 
of six and twenty-one years is 838, nearly all of whom attend the 
different schools. 


The good seed carried by emigrants is usually sufficient to begin the 
work of raising society to a higher level of civilization, and their trans- 
forming power counteracts those demoralizing influences which tend to 
social degeneration and disruption. These Christian influences are act- 
ive in their conflicts with evil, and attractive in social power, and they 
usually act as a nucleus around which will gather those influences neces- 
sary to carry society onward to a state of comparative perfection. We 
may see by comparison with the past how much has been done in this re- 
spect. The progress and triumph of Christian truth, the great superstruct- 
ure on which all society which approximates perfection must rest, is also 
made apparent. It is thus seen that no other power but Christian truth 
can vitalize, expand, harmonize, direct and control the forces which un- 
derlie and build up the great fabric of society. This was true of the 
early settlers of Jackson. It is much to their credit that they were 
mostly a Christian people, and laid the foundation of religious organi- 
zations in an early period of their occupation of the country. The 
Methodist circuit riders were the forerunners of Christianity in the wl- 
derness of this part of the county. They traveled over the country on 
foot or horseback, gathering the scattered settlers together, preaching the 
Gospel to them and forming them into societies. Ministers of the United 
Brethren Church came in an early day and assisted in the good work of es- 
tablishing the cause of Christ on a firm basis. They made their regular 
rounds, preaching at private houses, groves, schoolhouses, or any place 
where they could succeed in gathering an audience. Among the earli- 
est Methodist preachers was Eev. Bridges, a pious and able minister, 
whose life was spent in going about doing good. He preached at the 
Croy Creek Schoolhouse, where a small society was formed in an early day, 
and at the residence of Thomas Wheeler and others. Revs. A. W. 
Hedge and James Scarlet were among the earliest preachers of the 
United Brethren Church. The former organized a society at the Zenor 
Schoolhouse, which was kept up for a mimber of years. Rev. John 


Dunham preached for this and other societies during the early days of 
their history. 

Scarlet organized a class at the Union Schoolhouse as early as 1840, 
which consisted of a good membership. To this society belonged in an 
early day Nathan Clifton and wife, Alexander Helton and wife, James 
Scarlet and wife, Margy Slack, and several others whose names were not 
learned. The society passed through many vicissitudes, but has always 
maintained an organization. A building was erected in the year 1855, 
a short distance east of Whittington, and served the church until about 
three years ago, when a re-organization was effected, and the building 
remodeled. The society is known as the Union Church, and numbers 
fifty members at the present time. Their house of worship is a model 
of neatness, and with improvements recently added represents a capital 
of about $1,500. The pastor in charge^at the present time is Rev. Will- 
iam Malston. 

Mt. Olive Methodist Ejjiscopal Church was organized about the year 
1857, at the residence of Stephen Loudermilk in Section 29, near the 
southwest .corner of the township. The original membership consisted 
of the following persons and their families, to wit: Stephen Louder- 
milk and wife, Joseph Dietrick and wife, A. B. Wheeler and wife, John 
Gibbons and wife, and Alfred Bowling. After its organization the soci- 
ety was moved to a neighboring schoolhouse where services were held 
for one and a half years, at the end of which time a neat temple of wor- 
ship was erected on land donated for the purpose by A. B. Wheeler. 
The house is frame, 26x36 feet in size: cost about $800, and was dedi- 
cated by Rev. Samuel Denney, Rev. Joseph Asbury who effected the 
organization was the first pastor, and preached for one year. He was 
succeeded by Rev. ]\Ir. Cunningham, who remained the same length of 
time. Then came Emery E. Brandt, who was followed by Samuel 
Denney. Since the latter' s pastorate, the church has been ministered to 
by the following: William Davis, — Gaskins, John Bruner, Mr. Coff- 
man, — Reynolds, — Baxter and J. V. Moore, the last named being 
pastor in charge at the present time. 

The Croy Creek Methodist Church is one of the oldest and most influ- 
ential religious organizations in the township at the present time. It 
has a substantial membership, including many of the best citizens of the 
county, and is reported in good condition. The society meets in a neat 
frame building, capable of seating fi-om 250 to 300 persons. 

Asbury Chajjel Methodist Episcopal Church is an aggressive society, 
which meets in a substantial house of worship situated a short distance 
north of Whittington, on the Brazil & Bowling Green road. It has a 
good membership and is ministered to at the present time by Rev. J. V. 
Moore. In addition to the foregoing the Lutherans have a society and 
house of worship in Section 36, and the Christians an organization at 
the village of Ashersville. 



This live little towH is situated on the southeast quarter of the south- 
west quarter of Section 15, and embraces a plat 556 feet long by 541 feet 
wide. It was laid out by John Asher purely as a speculation, and dates 
its history from September, 1873. An addition was made to the original 
plat November 14, 1874, by A. J. Wolfe. The first building in the vil- 
lage was erected by William Asher, and used by John Vonewitz for a 
store. This store consisted first of drugs and groceries, and later of a 
general stock. Mr. Vonewitz was in business about eighteen months^ 
when the building he occupied caught fire and burned, destroying almost 
his entire stock. The second store was kept by D. M. Barnett, who sold 
goods about three years, at the end of which time he sold out and left 
the place. Other merchants who had done business here at different 
times were J. C. Nedlinger, Philip Scherb, W. T. Asher, B. F. Witty, 
Peyton & Jones,Peyton & Tressell, L. D. Tressell and W. D. Wolfe. Present 
merchants are F. M. Snyder, who keeps a large general store and is doing 
an extensive business; W. M. Peyton, general store; Mr. McCullough, 
drugs and groceries, and Dr. Miller, whc» makes drugs a specialty. 

The first blacksmith was George Stierley, the present eflScient Sheriff 
of Clay County. He built up an extensive trade, and was bought out 
seven years ago by John Stierley who runs the shop at the present time. 
The village is a good trading point, and boasts of a population of 200 
souls. It is situated on the South Branch switch of the Vandalia Rail- 
road, and is the shipping point for the Globe and ^tna coal mines, 
which are located near by. 


The town of Whittington was laid out by John Ackelmire, John 
Andrews and Robert Wingate, and is the outgrowth of the mines which 
were opened in the vicinity about the year 18 — . 

A post o£&ce was established the year the village plat was sm-veyed and 
named Hoosierville, with Noah Auman, Postmaster. The first store wae^ 
kept by Sturdevant & Auman in a building that had been previously erected 
by Dr. Lynch. The second stock of goods was brought to the place by 
L. Pruner, who continued in business about three years, when he sold 
to Scott Zenor, who in turn sold to David Barnett some time later. Bar- 
nett is still here and doing a good business, with a large general stock. 
John R. Moore keeps a good store also. The citizens of the place re- 
ceive a daily mail from Brazil, and the town has become, during the last 
three years, quite a good business point. 

It has a population of about one hundred, the majority of whom 
work in the neighboring mines. 


The raining interests of this township have been constantly increas- 
ing in importance, and at the present time there are several large minea 

\ -4 H 

^^^^^>ri^^ :^^^^2^^^-:;r/^*-^^^^>0 



in successful operation. Coal is found in all parts of the township, but 
the largest deposits seem to be in northern and western portions. The 
largest of these mines at the present time, ^tna, operated by the Wat- 
son Coal & Mining Company, and located near the village of Ashersville. 
About 125 men are employed in the shaft, and its yearly capacity is from 
45,000 to 50,000 tons. The amount of capital employed is aboiit $70,000. 

The Globe Mine was opened by J. L. Stephens in 1874, and is situ- 
ated near the line dividing Van Buren and Jackson Townships. 

The average number of men employed in this mine is about seventy- 


The earliest county records accessible are those of the year 1852, 
all previous to that time having been destroyed when the court house 
burned. From the tax duplicate of that year we copy the following 
figures on Jackson Township: Value of lands, $64,274; improvements, 
$19,088; personal property, $29,641. Polls, 112. Amount of tax as- 
sessed that year, $798.41. 

For the year i860— Personal property, $69,842; total value of tax- 
ables, $295,314. Polls, 182. Total taxes, $2,120.03. 

For the year 1870— Number of acres for taxation, 22,786.67; value 
of lands, $245,549; value of improvements, $53,045; valuf of per- 
sonal property, $104,443. Total value of taxables, $403,027. Number 
of polls, 264. Total amount of taxes, $6,500.17. 

For the year 1880— Value of lands, $278,128; value of improve- 
ments, $47,354; lots and improvements thereon, $6,027; value of per- 
sonal property, $123,067. Total value of taxables, $465,276. Number 
of polls, 419. Total amount of taxes, $6,190. 

For the year 1882 — Number of acres for taxation, 22,798.23; value 
of lands, $296,004; value of improvements, $50,291; value of lots 
and improvements, $7,006; value of personal property, $117,698. Total 
value of taxables, $470,999. Total taxes, $6,878.32. 

The census of 1880 gives the township a population of 2,026 souls. 
The first voting place was at the residence of Alfred Bowling in Section 
16. It was afterward changed to the Lucas Schoolhouse a little further 
north. The present voting place is Center Schoolhouse near Ashersville. 





CASS, the smallest division of Clay County, containing an area of only 
twelve square miles, was called into existence by an order of the 
Commissioners' Court, which took effect in the year 1840, and named in 
honor of Michigan's great statesman, Lewis Cass. It originally formed 
a part of Jackson Township, and was organized as a separate division 
upon petition of its citizens, who urged the measure as a matter of con- 
venience. Its territory is included in Town No. 12 north, Range 5 west, 
and is bounded by the following divisions, viz. : Putnam County on the 
north, Owen County on the east, and the townships of Washington and 
Jackson on the south and west respectively. Eel River is the principal 
water- course. It flows through the township from north to south, cross- 
ing the northern boundary near the line, separating Sections 20 and 21 
and leaving from Section 31. The surface of the country is gently roll- 
ing, except along the river where the land stretches away into the level 
bottoms for considerable distances on both sides of the stream. The soil 
varies in different localities, that of the bottoms being a black sandy 
loam of great depth and fertility, while on the higher land it is of a 
lighter nature, clay mixed, but very productive. 


As is well known, Cass is pre-eminently an agricultural township, and 
compared in size and population, there are among its inhabitants a 
greater number of comfortably situated owners of the soil they till than 
in any other section of the county. In short, we doubt, notwithstand- 
ing the absence of manufactures, and the entire want of such public 
works as generally go hand in hand with a community's wealth and 
greatness, whether a section can be pointed to within the entire State, 
where an area containing an equal population, or a population contained 
within an equal area, can be found possessing in a greater degree the 
elements of material prosperity and genuine rural felicity than can here 
be seen. 

The value of land in this township is higher than in any other part 
of the county, varying from $60 to $100 per acre, while many farms 
could not be purchased for almost double the amount last named. To 
sum up its material advantages in a very few words, we may truthfully 
say that, as to varied and delightful scenery, good highways, pleasant 


drives, interesting natural and historical landmarks, and an intelligent, 
refined and hospitable people, Cass, beyond question, can claim a foremost 
position; while in everything which tends to make a country prosperous, 
its people contented with their lot, and others contented with them, it 
occupies no second place. 


That portions of Cass Township were, at one time in the remote past, 
inhabited by a pre-historic race possessed of many of the attributes of 
civilization, is quite probable, as evidences of their handiwork have been 
discovered in various localities. Who were these strange people ? Whence 
came they, and whither did they go ? These questions must forever remain 
to form a melancholy interest in the wondrous past, and a mystery which 
neither time, nor circumstance, nor science, nor the more wondrous future, 
may reveal. But since their time, another race has come and gone ; 
gone from their ancient homes and hunting-grounds, though not yet 
extinct. This part of the county seems to have been a favorite rendezvous 
for the red men ; and at the time the first settlers came there were several 
villages at different places along Eel Eiver, and one near the site of 
Poland, which numbered several hundred inhabitants. Here were rich 
hunting grounds, which the Indians were loth to leave, and, when the time 
for their departure arrived, they manifested considerable reluctance in 
going away, so much so that serious trouble came very nearly resulting. At 
one time the settlers organized a company for the purpose of compelling 
them to quit the country, but no hostilities were inaugurated, although 
considerable excitement grew out of the movement. The majority of the 
Indians left about the year 1820, though parties of them returned at 
stated intervals thereafter for the purpose of hunting, fishing and barter- 
ing with the settlers. The first white settler within the present limits of 
Cass Township was one Samuel Rizley, who made the first entry of land 
on the 21st day of Decerhber, 1818, selecting for his home the northeast 
quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 81, where he erected a small 
cabin, into which his family was moved the following year, Rizley was 
a native of Kentucky, and immigrated to this State in company with his 
father-in-law, David Thomas, settling first in Owen County before the 
county of Clay was called into existence. With the probable exception 
of a few families, who lived at that time near the present site of Bowling 
Green, his settlement here was the first in the county, at least the first 
permanent settlement of which we have any aiithentic account. The 
country at that time was an unbroken wilderness, peopled only by savages, 
with whom our pioneer maintained the most friendly relations, and who 
returned his good will with many exhibitions of respect. They came 
often to the settler's cabin, but never did any harm, further than milking 
the cows occasionally when they found them at a safe distance from the 
bouse. Rizley appears to have been a man of good business qualifications, 


and in an early day served as Corjimissioner in Owen County, and in 
later years filled the same position in Clay. He served the county as 
Probate Judge during the early days of its history, and was one of the 
first Associate Judges also, besides filling several minor offices, as Town- 
ship Trustee and Justice of the Peace. He was a resident of Cass for a 
period of fifty-four years, dying, in 1873 at an advanced age. Several 
members of his family are living at the present time, one of whom, Mrs. 
Stacy, whose home is near Bowling Grfeen, was the first white child born 
in Clay County. Another daughter, Mrs. William Cromwell, lives in 
Cass Township, within a half mile of where she was born sixty-two 
years ago. 

The second land entry was made January 6, 1819, by Joel Dickison, 
who obtained a patent for the northeast and northwest quarters of Section 
29, although he does not appear to have been identified with this part of 
the county as a citizen. 

In the year 1819, Parnell Chance and his sons, John, Daniel and 
Filmore, came from North Carolina and settled near the central part of 
the township, in Section 29, where Charles Wilkinson now lives. 

The first named entered land in Section 32 the year after his arrival, 
and lived upon it until the time of his death in 1848. John was a 
physician, and a minister of the Old School Baptist Church. He left the 
country in an early day, going to Arkansas, in which State he was hanged 
by guerrillas during the war. Daniel entered land in Section 32, and 
was for many years an honored citizen of the township. He sold out a 
number of years ago, and emigrated with several others to Illinois. 
Among the very first settlers was James Crafton, who located near the 
village of Poland about the same time that Rizley came to the county, 
or perhaps a little later. He appears to have been an easy going, lazy, 
good-natured sort of a character, with no particularly bad traits, yet not 
entirely free from imperfections. He entered a tract of land in Section 
21 in the year 1823, and was a resident of Cass for many years, after- 
ward selling out and moving into the adjoining township of Washington. 
John Sturdevant, a North Carolinian, settled in Section 21 as early as 
the fall of 1820. He was a frontiersman, and spent the greater part of 
his time hunting and trapping, doing but little in the way of improving 
land. He became the possessor of real estate in ] 829, entering the land 
upon which he first settled, and which continued to be his home until 
1853, when he sold and moved to Iowa. In the year 1820, Luke Dyar 
came to the township, and settled not far from Poland Village. He was 
accompanied by his sons, Caleb and Luke, Jr., both of whom were men 
grown, and who became prominently identified in the development of the 
country. The same year came John Latham, who settled in Section 21, 
on land which he sold in 1853 to Robert Smith. Latham was an odd 
character, whose besetting sin was selfishness, on account of which he 


became very unpopular in the community where he resided. The year 
1821 was signalized by the arrival of Reuben Anderson, Alexander Willy, 
Levi and Joshua Cromwell. 

Anderson came from North Carolina, and located near the village of 
Poland, where he acquired a valuable tract of real estate. Willy settled 
near the central part of the township, and entered land on which the 
village of Poland was afterward laid out. 

The Cromwells were among the prominent pioneer families of Clay 
County, and figured conspicuously in the early settlement and develop- 
ment of Cass and adjoining townships. They were Virginians, and 
lineal descendants of Oliver Cromwell, of England, and possessed many 
of the characteristics which distinguished that great commoner. Levi 
Cromwell settled near Poland, and early achieved the reputation of a 
daring and skillful hunter. Later, he followed the occupation of a 
teamster, and freighted goods from Louisville for the various settlements 
of Clay, Owen and Putnam Counties. He appears to have been a man 
of roving tendencies, and, in the year 1836, sold his land to Col. John 
B. Nees, and started on a journey to Oregon, but died before reaching 
his destination. 

Joshua Cromwell was an uncle of the preceding, and entered land in 
Section 27, where he lived until the year 1836, at which time his death 
occurred. Nicholas Cromwell, a brother of Joshua, came a couple of 
years later, and settled on land adjoining the Rizley farm, which he 
entered in 1836. He was a son-in-law of Rizley, and a man of character 
and influence in the community where he resided. He took an active 
part in the organization of the county, and had the honor of being elected 
its first Treasurer and Sheriflf, performing the duties of both offices and 
finding plenty of leisure at the same time. 

In later years, he served in various official capacities, both in the 
county and township, and was one of the Associate Judges at the time of 
his death in 1853. Two sons of this stanch old pioneer are living in 
the county at the present time, one of whom, William, is the oldest liv- 
ing settler of Cass Township, and Oliver, ex-County Representative, is 
now living near Ashboro, in the township of Sugar Ridge. The land on 
which Mr. Cromwell lived, and which was his home during the period of 
his residence, is owned and occupied at the present time by G. W. 

Jared Pay ton was an early settler, coming in 1824 from Harrison 
County. He entered land in Section 27, and earned the reputation of 
being a good citizen. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, 
and was elected in the year 1828 to represent the county in the State 
Legislature. His sons, John M. and E. B. Peyton, came the same time. 
The former was at one time elected Representative. The latter at the 
present time is a distinguished jurist of Kansas, and is serving as Judge 


in the city of Emporia. Other early settlers prior to 1830 were Solomon 
Brandenburgh, who located near Poland; Evan Morgan, who improved 
a farm in the same neighborhood; William Coffman, John Acrea, Isaac 
Mace, Casper Rader, Eli as Syster, John Tolbert, Jacob Mclntire, Will- 
iam Graves, Robert Wilkinson andSamael Sloane. Samuel Stigler came 
in 1832, and purchased land of William Graves. He became a promi- 
nent business man, and served as Township Trustee in a very early day. 
Willis Phigley came about the same time, and was a resident of the 
township until 1863, at which time he moved to Greencastle, where he 
still resides. Joseph Zenor, Harvey Pease and George Zenor were early 
settlers, and date their arrival from about the year 1830. 

Prominent among the settlers of 1836 was Col. John B. Nees, who 
demands more than a passing notice. The following sketch of his life in 
connection with the history of the township was furnished by Mr. A. F. 
Bridges : 

" Col. Nees was a native of Tennessee, but he removed with his par- 
ents to Indiana, then a territory, in 1815, settling in what is now Union 
County. He was then but ten years of age. In 1836, he became a resi- 
dent of Cass Township, where he resided uninterruptedly till his death, 
which occurred May 19, 1882. 

"Col. Nees was a man of education in advance of the time and place 
in which he lived. He was well versed in both the German and the En- 
glish languages, and was conversant with the intricacies of common law. 
In the early settlement of the county, he rendered invaluable service in 
pointing out fertile lands, and especially in assisting his German friends 
in the entry of their farms. With rare foresight, he dealt largely in 
land, his object in buying and selling being to surround himself with 
good neighbors. To his zeal in this direction is largely due the fact that 
Poland and the excellent region adjoining it was occupied in an early 
day by a thrifty and moral class of people. He was a public- spirited 
citizen, and labored for the good of the community in which he 
lived. He assisted in the erection of a brick church building in Poland, 
which for a quarter of a century or longer was used by the Methodists as 
a place of worshij). He also assisted in the erection of a German Church 
south of Poland, as well as the Presbyterian Church erected in the village 
only a few years ago, thus laying the foundation for the moral, as well 
as the material developn3ent of the community. He was generous and 
philanthropic, and took delight in helping others, frequently to his own 
disadvantage. He recognized the native talent and earnest effort of 
young men with whom he came in contact, many of whom acknowledge 
thwr success in life to be due to the assistance and encouragement he 
gave them at the beginning of their career. Among these is Elisha B. 
Peyton, of Emporia, Kan. He frequently addressed his fellow -citizens 
upon the issues of the day, being a fluent and forcible speaker both in 


English and German. His public spirit and his interest in others, to- 
gether with his personal merit, were recognized by the people of Clay 
County, who twice__^sent him as their Representative to the State Legisla- 
ture (1841-42), and who imposed upon him other important trusts. In 
later years he was urged by his party to run for Congress, and twice re- 
fused a nomination for the position." 

Among other early settlers deserving of mention can be named John 
Cagle, Isaac Mace, Casper Rader, Thomas Sloane, Uriah Hicks, Alexan- 
der Highnot, Nathan Clifton, Jacob Reed, Samuel Owen and James Cash, 
all of whom obtained land by entry. 

The early pioneers of Cass were, perhaps, more fortunately situated 
than the first settlers in any other part of the county. The soil was more 
easily tilled, and produced more abundant crops, and with the exception 
of the ague during a small portion of the year the county in the main 
was very healthy. There were no hostile Indians to encounter, and no 
very ferocious beasts to guard against; yet, notwithstanding these advan- 
tages, the pioneers were compelled to undergo many hardships, as the 
distance from market places made it difficult to obtain wearing apparel, 
groceries and other conveniences necessary to sustenance and comfort. 
They practiced self-denial, for they left behind them the comforts and 
abundance of their old homes. Few in numbers at first, they were strong 
in faith and courage, and developed a character of which their descend- 
ants need not feel ashamed. Their necessities made them ingenious, 
their hardships made them brave, and their fewness made them sociable. 
Their community of wants and dangers made them sympathetic and help- 
ful of each other. However scanty their fare, it was shared with the 
neighbor or stranger with a free- heartedn ess that gave relish to the plain 
repast. However small and unsightly their cabin, its room and bed and 
genial warmth were divided with a cordiality that sweetened the welcome. 
Their social life was adorned with the graces of liberality and true friend- 
ship. They did wisely and well their peculiar work of laying the foun- 
dations, that their posterity might build upon them. 


The first mill in the township was made by Samuel Rizley for his 
owQ use, and operated by " man power. " The buhrs were manufactured 
from two "nigger heads," and set in a large gum, and when operated by 
a strong man could make a fair article of meal. The mill was placed at 
the disposal of the neighbors, who used it for several years. 

About the year 1842, Michael and Henry Nees erected a mill 
near the central part of fhe township, on Dyar's Branch, from which it 
received its motive power. This mill supplied a long-felt want in the 
community, and during the time it was operated did a good business, 
having been extensively patronized by the settlers for many miles around. 


It was a small building, contained three set of buhrs and was in opera- 
tion about two years, at the end of which time it was allowed to fall in- 
to disuse on account of the creek dam washing out. 

A water-mill was built on Eel River, in the north part of the town- 
ship, as early as 1844, by John Acrea and son. The original building 
was a small frame, and the machinery was of the simplest description, 
and used only for grinding, or rather cracking corn. It did a good busi- 
ness for a mill of its capacity, and during the early years of its history 
was kept running almost constantly in order to supply the extensive 
demand for meal. 

In later years, it passed into the hands of other parties, who improved 
the machinery by adding wheat buhrs, and in time it became the chief 
source of supplies in the northwestern part of the county. It is wtill in 
operation, the present proprietor being Adam Carpenter. 

Several small distilleries were in operation in an early day by 
Samuel Stigler, Luke Dyar, - Sturdevant, Samuel Rizley and Casper 
Rader, They were all conducted upon a primitive plan, and their pro- 
duction was principally consumed by the community, as whisky, in those 
good old times, was the common beverage of young and old, male and 
female. It was the genuine article, made without the use of poisonous 
compounds, and was exchanged for corn at the rate of one gallon for a 

The first brick house in the township was built by Samuel Rizley, 
about the year 1840. The second brick house was built some years 
later in the village of Poland, and is still standing. 

William Cromwell erected the first frame residence and still occupies 
it. An early frame house was built in Poland, by Samuel Stigler. 

The first orchard was set out by John Latham shortly after he set- 
tled in the county. Nicholas Cromwell, Reuben Anderson, Joshua 
Cromwell and Samuel Rizley set out orcliards in an early day, the latter 
bringing seeds and grafts from North Carolina, and supplying many of 
the neighboring farms with trees in after years. 


The first birth, to which reference has already been made, occurred 
in the year 1819, in the family of Samuel Rizley, and was the earliest 
event of the kind in the county. 

The child born on that occasion was Eliza Rizley, now Mrs. Stacy, 
who is still living near Bowling Green. Susan Rizley, wife of William 
Cromwell, and sister of the preceding, was born August 13, 1821, and 
is still living a short distance from her birthplace; Mary Ann Cromwell 
was born in the year 1826. Other early births occurred in the families 
of Luke Dyar, Reuben Anderson and Parnell Chance. 


H ^ 




It cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty whose was 
the first death in ihe township, though it is supposed to have been a 
man by name of Beaman. who died prior to the year 1828. He was 
buried on the Rizley farm, where a graveyard was afterward laid out. 
Polly Rizley, daughter of Samuel Rizley, was buried in this cemetery as 
early as 1831, and Charles Scammahorn was laid away about the same 
time. The Dyar Graveyard was laid out near the central part of the 
township in the year 1830, and is the resting place of many of the early 
pioneers mentioned in the preceding pages. 

Among the first buried here were Alexander Willy and wife, Reuben 
Anderson and Isaac Anderson and their wives, Luke Dyar, Mrs. Dyar 
and a man by name of Green 

The Wilkinson Graveyard was an early burial place, though not so 
old as the ones mentioned. Here were biiried Robert Wilkinson and 
wife, Uriah W^ilkinson, together with their respective families, all of 
whom died in an early day. 

In addition to the cemeteries enumerated there are two others in the 
township, one on the Latham farm and one on William Cromwell's 


The earliest marriage traceable was solemized in the year 1828, the 
contracting parties being James Crafton and Sarah, daughter of Joshua 
Cromwell. The ceremony was performed by Squire Samuel Rizley. 
Wesley Peyton and Nancy Chance assumed the responsibilities of mat- 
rimony about the same time; as did also Christopher Brannem and 
Tabitha Chance. Other early marriages Avere Nathan Clifton to Nellie 
Chance, and Esau Presnell and Nancy Green. 

The first highway through Cass was the road leading from Green- 
castle to Bowling Green. It was laid out as early as 1826, and crosses 
the township from north to south, following the river. A road on the 
opposite side of the river was established about the same time, and in 
the same general direction. They are both state roads and extensively 
traveled at the present time. The Martinsville & Terre Haute road 
was cut out in 1826 or 1827, and passes through the central part of the 
township from east to west. It is a State road also, and in good condition. 


The first election within the present limits of Cass was held at the 
Nees Mill before the township was formed. The first voting place after 
the township organization was at the residence of Luke Dyar. The first 
election took place in 1843, and was for the purpose of electing a Jus- 


tice of the Peace. The successful candidate upon that occasion was 
Wesley Myers, who received in all about fifty votes, enough to make a 
handsome majority. 

The place of voting was afterward changed to the village of Poland, 
where the polls have been kept to the present time, 


Education received early attention in this township, and as soon as 
there were children enough in a community a school was established. 
The first sessions lasted from two to three months of the year, and were 
supported by subscription, the teacher frequently taking corn, deer skins 
and other articles as a part of his remuneration, which at the best was 
but meager. Among the first pedagogues, if not the first, was one Har- 
vey Pease, who taught in a little cabin near Eel River, where Henry 
Kizer lives. Benjamin Payne taught in a rude hut which stood on the 
Rizley farm, and Jared Peyton wielded tbe birch of authority in an early 
day where the village of Poland now stands. Peyton was a man of cult- 
ure, and earned the reputation of being a fine teacher. He was after- 
ward the county's representative in the State Legislature, being the first 
person honored with that office. He was identified with the schools of 
the township for several years, and exerted a good influence in the cause 
of education. 

An early school was taught near Poland by a man by the name of Mc- 
Guire, while David Herald taught as early as tbe year 1830 in the old 
Baptist Church which stood on the Chance farm. A log schoolhouse 
was built in an early day on the farm of Nicholas Cromwell, and first 
used by Elisha B. Peyton. Timothy Lucas was an early pedagogue at 
the same place, as were several others whose names were not ascertained. 
In the year 1843, the township was divided into several districts, and 
frame buildings erected. Public money was first drawn that year, and 
since that time the schools of the township have been advancing until 
now they are among the best supported and most ably conducted in the 

Trustees. — Among the earliest Trustees of the township were Samuel 
Rizley and Col. John B. Nees. Since 1859, the following persons have 
had charge of the office, to wit: John B. Nees, Frederick Ahlemoire, 
Elias Syster, William Tenney, Frederick Tapey, Adam Trussoll and 
Thomas Burns. 


The pioneer preachers in this part of the county were of the Old 
School Baptist denomination, and held public worship from house to 
house several years before any permanent organization was effected. 
The Eel River Church was organized on the farm of Parnell Chance, 
prior to the year 1880, and is said to be the oldest religious organiza- 


tion in the county. A log bou8e of worship was erected in an early day, 
and was in use until a few years ago, when a neat frame edifice was 
erected. The church has always sustained preaching, and has been a 
great power for good in the country, numbering amtjng its communicants 
at the present time many of the substantial citizens oE the community. 
The present membership is about fifty, and the organization is reported 
in good condition. Elder Joseph Coldtharpe is the present efficient 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Poland dates its origin from 
about the year 1843. A brick house of worship was erected in the year 
1852, and used until the year 1875, at which time it was torn down, and 
a more comfortable and convenient frame structure built on the same 
spot. , The house is 35x45 feet in size, and is a model of neatness, cost- 
ing the sum of $1,600. 

The number of communicants at the present time is forty-two. Rev. 
William Switzer is pastor. 

The officials are John J. Huffman, Class Leader; John R. Foreman 
and John J. Huffman, Stewards; Robert Smith, Charles J. Wilkinson, 
John R. Foreman, John J. Huffman and Solomon Reynolds, Trustees. 

The Poland Presbyterian Church was organized about tlie year 1865 
by Rev. Thomas Milligan, with a small membership. Services were 
held in the Methodist house of worship for about four years, at the end 
of which time the society found itself in condition to erect a building of 
its own. Their edifice, a substantial frame structure, stands in the west- 
ern part of the village, and represents a value of $1,500. Rev. Thomas 
Milligan was pastor of the church for a period of about twelve years, 
and during that time did much toward establishing the society upon its 
present firm footing. Rev. E. W. Fisk succeeded Milligan, and has been 
the regular pastor ever since. 

There are at the present time the names of about fifty members upon 
the church records. 


This neat little city is situated near the central part of the township, 
and owes its origin to the general demand of the community, for a trad- 
ing point and post office. The survey of the original plat was made in 
the year 18 — , the enterprise being brought about chiefly through the ef- 
forts of Col. John B. Nees, who was always the warm friend of the village, 
and one of its proprietors. The town site occupies a portion of the lands 
formerly owned by William Crafton, Isaac Anderson and Tillman Chance, 
who assisted in laying the village out. 

The town's first houses were rude log cabins of the most primitive 
fashion, but after a few years a better class of dwellings was erected, 
and in time the village became quite a prominent trading point, and gave 
considerable promise of becoming a flourishing city. The absence of 


railroad communication, together with its location, prevented business 
men from locating here, and the town's growth has, as a consequence, been 
rather slow. 

Robert Anderson* and Elisha Peyton were among the first to purchase 
lots an4 build residences in the new city, and a man by name of Whit- 
tenberg kept the first store. His place of business was a little log house 
which stood on Lot 2, in Block 4, where he sold goods for about three 
years, when he erected a brick store room on the corner of Main and 
Jackson streets, where he continued his business one year longer, at 
which time he closed out and left the town. 

From R. L. Keith's " Reminiscenses of Early Merchandising in Clay 
County," we copy the following concerning Mr. Whittenberg: "He 
kept a little store and wagoned all his goods from Terre Haute in an old 
one-horse wagon. He traded for such ' truck' as the people had to sell, 
and did quite a nice business for those early days. Now, this man Whitten- 
berg was a dy leaf in the history of Clay County. He spoke with a 
broken accent, and at times tore the 'Queen's English' to pieces in an 
alarming manner. Among other things Whittenberg bought, was butter. 
An incident is here connected with his early merchandising which will 
explain how an old German established the bottom of the scale on which 
the greasy substance has since slid up and down. Early in his career as 
a buyer, he paid at the rate of 8^ cents per pound or three pounds for 25 
cents. But he soon found that whenever he told anybody what he was 
paying for butter, owing to his broken accent, he made a laughing stock 
of himself. All of his customers could not understand German, and he 
could not successfully quote the prevailing price to the English-speaking 
ones. This was very embarrassing to him and he finally declared that 
from now, henceforth and forever, as long as time should last, the price 
of butter should never be less than 10 cents. The boys around the vil- 
lage used to play all manner of pranks on the honest old Dutchman, and 
'rile' him just to see how mad he could get, until finally he swore that 
if they did not ' let up,' he would import a genuine Limburger cheese, 
cook it in a kettle in the middle of the street, and poison every mother's 
son of them." 

The second stock of goods was brought to the village by Col. John B, 
Nees and E. B. Peyton, who erected a business house on the southeast 
corner of Main and Jackson streets, now occupied by John Stwalle & 
Son. They conducted a flourishing business for several years, and were 
afterward succeeded by Robert Wingate, who ran a branch store, his 
main business house being at Bowling Green. The branch store was 
conducted under the management of Elisha B. Peyton, now the Hon E. 
B. Peyton, a prominent jurist of Emporia, Kan. Mr. Keith in his rem- 
iniscences relates the following amusing incident: " Peyton had sued 
one of the good class leaders of his church, and the old fellow felt con- 


siderably hurt over it, so he gathered up his Testament and church Disci- 
pline, went to Poland, called at the store and told Brother Peyton that he 
would like to have a word with him. Peyton asked him up stairs, and 
when they got there, the good old Deacon said, ' Let us have a word of 
prayer.' So they both bowed down upon a lot of old rags, and the old 
man prayed long and loud for Brother Peyton and afterward read him a 
lesson from the discipline. ' Lish ' began to feel uneasy, and asked the 
old fellow what he was driving at, and he told him that he had committed 
the unpardonable sin of suing a brother. After a deal of exhortation, 
Peyton ordered the suit dismissed, renewed the old man's note, and 
everything went sailing again as usual." Other merchants who did bus- 
iness in the village from time to time were F. Geiger, William S. Walker, 
Lawrence Athey, Adam Trussell, John C. McGreggor, John Hufifman, 
Keed & Strauch, Philip Nelson & Son, Nelson & I'oreman, Stwalley & 
Hufifman and several others. , 

Business Pursuits. — Peter Eodenberger, Philip Fritz, Silas Watts 
and William Black were early mechanics. The mechanics of the present 
time are William Teany, William Keiser, Samuel C. Hoover and I. B. 
Anderson, blacksmiths; Henry Werrenyer and Thomas Admire, wagon- 
makers; Willaim Werrenyer, John ^Anderson, James Anderson and 
George Admire, carpenters; Tressell & Kattnian, harness -makers; Lewis 
Baumunk, shoe-maker; John H. Schwer, house and sign painter. 

The mercantile business at the present time is represented by the fol- 
lowing firms: Tressell & Kattman keep a large stock of general merchan- 
dise, and have a flourishing trade; Stwalley & Son handle a general 
stock also, and report their business good. There is one tine drug store 
kept by Frank Spellbring. 

Since its origin, the village has been blessed by the following disciples 
of the healing art, viz.: Drs. Hoflman, Collins, Browning, Muntz, 
Mulinix, Kiser, Cornell, Fisher, Hendrix, Bryan and Stone. The pres- 
ent medical men are T. A. Elliott, W. L. Chamberlain and Newton 

The tirst schoolhouse in the village was a little log structure, and 
stood on the northeast corner of Main and Jackson streets. It was built 
in an early day and was in use until about the year 1872, at which time 
it was vacated and the present large two-story building erected. The 
present house contains two rooms, and cost the sum of $1,300. The last 
teachers were Samuel Nees and J. M. Dollison. 




DICK JOHNSON TOWNSHIP was named in honor of Hon. Richard 
M. Johnson, of Kentucky, and embraces an area of twenty-one and a 
half square miles of territory, lying in tbe northwest corner of Clay 
County, It originally formed a part of the large township of Posey, 
from which it was separated in the year 1828, and organized as a distinct 
division. The principal cause which led to the formation was the difficulty 
experienced by the early settlers in reaching the voting place, which 
was situated near the site of Staunton Village, a long distance from the 
northern part of the township. No division of the c(»unty contains as 
much broken and unprofitable land in proportion to the number of acres 
as Dick Johnson, quite a large area in the southern part being too broken 
and hilly for cultivation. Among the hills, however, are valleys and 
bottom lands, rich in decayed vegetable matter, and capable of produc- 
ing large crops of corn, wheat and the other cereals and fruits usually 
grown in this part of the State. About two-thirds of the township is 
level, confined to the northern, eastern and western portions, where 
are to be seen some ofj.the best improved farms in the northern part of 
the county. The township is heavilyHimbered with the varieties indig- 
enous to this part of the State, beech, hickory, oak, poplar and maple 
predominating. At one time there were quantities of black walnut, but of 
late years it has almost entirely disappeared. South and North Branches 
of Water Creek, with their affluents, afford the principal drainage, the 
former flowing a westerly direction through the southern part of the 
township, and the latter rising near the town of Carbon, and flowing an 
irregular course through the northern part. 

The township is rich in mineral wealth, especially coal, large deposits 
of which are found in various localities. Along the line of the I. & St. 
L. R. R., in the northern part of the township, extensive mines have 
been developed, and are in successful operation at the present time. 

Building stone of a superior quality is found in different parts of the 
township, and a large quarry has been opened a few miles from the coun- 
ty seat, affording employment for a number of workmen. This stone is 
extensively used in this county, and large quantities have been shipped 
to various parts of the State. 


The settlement of Dick Johnson Township dates back more than a 


half century. The first white people who came here were from Ohio, 
Kentucky and the Carolinas, and consisted of transient settlers or squat- 
ters, who were lured to the country on account of the abundance of game. 
They were hunters, rather than tillers of the soil, and made but few im- 
provements, moving about frum place to place, and generally leaving the 
country upon the appearance of the permanent settlers. It is known that 
several of these transient residents were living in the country as early as 
1820, but their names and facts concerning them have been forgotten. 

The first entry of land in the township was made October, 1820, by 
Jesse Kisor, who obtained a patent for the east half of the northwest 
quarter of Section 19. Kisor lived in Vigo County, and was never iden- 
tified with this township in the capacity of a citizen. The first perma- 
nent settlers of whom anything definite could be learned were Simeon 
and Patrick Archer, two brothers, who moved here from Ohio as early as 
the year 1823. They located in Section 11, where the former entered 
land one year later, being the second entry in the township. But little 
can be said about those two men, save that Patrick was an exemplaiy cit- 
izen and a member of the Baptist Church, while his brother was the 
exact opposite in character and conduct, and was but little respected in 
the community on account of his dissipated habits. They both died 
many years ago, leaving descendants, a few of whom are still residents 
of the township. In the year 1826, Daniel Webster entered land in Sec- 
tion 10, and an improvement was made upon it a few months later by one 
Luke Acres, a Virginian, who moved to the country in the fall of 1825. 
Acres was a very poor man. Upon his arrival in the new country, he found 
himself the possessor of an ax, a couple of old horses, and a few house- 
hold goods representing a value of about $10. He hired to Mr. Web- 
ster, and worked for him four years, earning sufficient money in the 
meantime to enable him to enter land of his own. He afterward became 
a man of considerable prominence, and earned the reputation of being a 
man whose word was revered as law in the community where he lived. 
His death occurred in the year 1850. The land which he entered lies in 
Section 15, and is at present owned and occupied by his son-in-law, San 
ford Sampson. An early character of the township was a man by name 
of Johnson, familiarly known as " Club Foot" Johnson, on account of the 
almost entire absence of those useful appendages known as feet, he hav- 
ing lost them one bitter winter night while sleeping off the effects of a 
three days' spree in a quiet snow drift. He was a good type of a class 
of men developed by the times, whose greatest delight was roystering, 
drinking, fighting and in the hundred and one other amusements common 
among the backwoods generation of fifty years ago. To hunt a little, 
frolic much, steal when favorable opportunities presented themselves, go 
to town often, and never miss a general election day, and get "glorious," 
and fight till night, j ust for fun, was the pleasure and delight of his 


worthless life. We mean no offense to the readers of the prize-ring lit- 
erature of to-day by informing them that even in the early times there 
were men here nearly as big fools as they. Their intelligence, like these, 
had a strong admixture of the bull dog and hyena. Their real worship 
was an image of the bullet head and thick-necked tribe of bruisers. It 
is the base-born admiration of the thug that makes such characters pos- 
sible among civilized men. 

There were redeeming traits often about the fighting bully in those 
olden times. He was the foundation upon which the present thugs may 
place their first start in the world, and from the good that was in him, 
his successors have wholly departed, until they now present an instance 
of perpetual degeneration and total depravity. " Club Foot " had but 
few redeeming qualities, and he was universally disliked by his neigh- 
bors, many of whom could not conceal a smile of satisfaction when the 
news of his demise was made known. 

A couple of sons who inherited the father's bad traits, and none of 
his better nature, grew up to be moral ulcers on the community. One of 
these hopefuls shot and killed Col. Bell, a prominent citizen of Vigo 
County, under the following circumstance^ : It appears that considerable 
thievery had been committed in the neighborhood, from time to time, and 
suspicion rested upon the Johnson boys, whose proclivities in that direc- 
tion were well known. They became alarmed, and, fearing that Mr. Bell, 
who was the leading citizen of the community, might ferret the matter 
out, determined to place themselves upon the safe side by putting him 
out of the way. While riding alone in the woods one day, Mr. Bell met 
the two boys who were out hunting. He spoke to them and rode past a 
considerable distance, paying no further attention. All at once the 
woods resounded with the sharp crack of a rifle and Mr. Bell fell from 
his horse to the ground, shot in his back. The boys took to the timber, 
thinking of course that the shot had the desired effect, but such was not 
the case, as Mr. Bell lived about a week and gave information which led 
to the aiTest of the miirderer. The boy was supposed by some to be 
crazy, at least he manifested symptoms of insanity while in jail, and died 
a short time after his incarceration. 

Benjamin Johnson, a brother of " Club Foot," came about the same time 
and settled near the northern boundary of the township. He was a bet- 
ter man than the former, though he could not boast the attributes of a 
saint by any means. No descendants of those families are living in the 
county at the present time. Daniel Webster became a citizen of the 
township about the year 1830, settling upon land which had been entered 
in his name four years previous. He was a Virginian by birth, and 
the father of a large family, several members of which are prominent 
citizens of the county at the present time. Lewis and Hiram Fortner 
settled in the southwest corner of the township in 1829, and entered 


'^*1f^*% 1^ f 



y^^^dy^i o^aiiJ 


land one year later. They immigrated from Kentucky,and were preachers of 
the Christian or New-Light Church. Alexander Cabbage came in 1830, 
and located where his son Arnold Cabbage lives in the southwestern part 
of the township. An early settler was Absalom Davenport, who came 
from North Carolina and made a home in Section 11, about the year 1826 
or 1827. Travis Davenport, brother of the preceding, came a few years 
later and entered the land where Joseph Webster lives, in Section 9. 
He was a good man and served as Justice of the Peace soon after the 
township organization. 

In 1830, the following persons, additional to those enumerated, were 
living in the township: John Downing, John S. Yocum, James Smith 
and George McCullough. Later came James Yocam, Jacob Yocum, 
Henry Hensley, Michael and Job Combs. The last two were prominent 
ministers of the Christian Church. 

Other settlers who came in an early day and shared the hardships of 
frontier life, were John Ball, John Wisner, John Stewart, P. C. Ditty, 
George Hensley, James Brinton, G. W. Archer, J, M. Halbert, Nathan 
Compton, Berry man James, Jonathan Yocum, Frank B. Yocum, Daniel 
Dunlavy, John Scott and John Britton, all of whom became residents and 
land owners prior to 1837. Early entries by non-residents were made by 
Samuel Miller, William Nichols, Daniel Wart, Marshall Beaty, Pleasant 
White, Green James, J. K. James, Mary Huffman, Benjamin Hedges 
Samuel Campbell, Samuel Butt, Homer Johnson, Philip Hedges, Daniel 
Wools, Stephen Crabbe and George Myers. The population increased so 
rapidly after 1836, that it would be impossible to give each settler a 
notice. The last tract of Government land in the township was taken up 
in 1842. 


The majority of the early pioneers of Clay County were men of mod- 
erate circumstances, and came here desirous of bettering their fortunes. 
Like all pioneers, they were kind to a fault and ever ready to do a favor. 
The immigrant upon his arrival began at once preparations for a shelter. 
During this period the family lived in a wagon, or^ occupied a temporary 
habitation made of poles, with no floor except the earth, and no windows 
except the interstices between the logs forming the walls. Should the 
time of arrival be in the spring, this simple structure sufficed for a house 
until the crops were sown, when a more comfortable abode was prepared 
for winter. The first really profitable industry in this part of the coun- 
try was the gathering of wild honey. The forests were favorite places 
for wild bees, and therefore nearly every tree was a hive where they 
lived and gathered their sweet treasures from the blossoms of the woods. 
The honey was gathered and the wax strained, aad both became the 
really money-producing products of the country. Honey, bees-wax, gin- 
seng, venison, turkeys, pelts and furs were the only things possible to 


send to market to exchange for such articles as the people wanted. The 
early comers had to have powder and tobacco, and some of them found 
whisky to be a necessity. For everything else they could kill game. 
The first season, usually, they had to buy corn for bread, but the emer- 
gencies were frequent when this could not be got. In many families 
coffee was unknown. An instance is related, for the truth of which we 
will not vouch, of a man who was quite sick, and who imagined that a 
cup of coffee would bring him health. In his young days he had been 
used to the beverage, but after moving into the backwoods had been 
obliged to do without his favorite cup. A neighbor was sent to procure 
the coffee, but where he obtained it the story-teller did not say; at 
any rate it was procured. When he returned he gave it to the daugh- 
ters and told them to make some for their father. They took it out and 
examined it for some time, when they went to the old people and in- 
quired if they made it like other "bean soup.'' All families did not live 
in this way. There were then, as now, great differences in the forethought 
and thrift of the people. Many even when here before the county was 
organized lived in generous plenty of such as the land afforded. Meat 
of superior quality and in varieties that we cannot now get was within 
the easy reach of all, but in everything else to eat or wear they were far 
behind us now, and so was the whole country. 

The first crops grown were usually corn and vegetables, the wet con- 
dition of the soil precluding the p(<ssibility of raising the smaller cereals. 
About the year 1830, the first crop of wheat was harvested. It made a 
generous yield, and from it came the seed that in after years made much 
<tf the wheat bread of our people. The first orchards were set out about 
the same time, with trees brought from one of the older States. Until 
these orchards commenced bearing, the settlers tasted no other fruit ex- 
cept that which grew wild in the woods. These were crab apples, plums, 
grapes and wild cherries, and the variety of nuts found here. There 
were but few early mills in the township; the settlers obtained their 
breadstuffs from the older settled portions of the county, where horse and 
hand mills were put into operation in a very early day. Some of the 
farmers made their own meal by crushing the corn in mortars, a descrip- 
tion of which will be found in another chapter. Others used the common 
tin grater, a useful article found in almost every household. The first 
lumber was manufactui-ed with a whip saw, and was used for floors. The 
majority of the settlers, however, could not afford such lumber, and made 
floors for their cabins of puncheons, hewed smooth with a common chop- 
ping ax. 

The first saw-mill in the township was built by a man by the name of 
Hallet, and stood near Lodi, on a small creek, from which it obtained its 
motive power. It was operated at intervals for several years, but did no 
extensive business, owing to the scarcit}' of water in the creek. A man 


by the name of York built a small mill on Otter Creek, in the northern 
part of the township in an early day, and operated it with moderate suc- 
cess for three or four year?. It was built for a saw-mill, but a corn buhr 
was afterward attached. John Wisner constructed a small corn mill on 
Otter Creek, also, and supplied the northern settlement with meal for 
several years. The machinery was of the simplest description, consisting 
of two hand-made buhrs set in a gum, bound around and held together 
with tough hickory withes, and a small water-wheel, which made about 
twenty revolutions per minute. The neighbors say it was a very " fero- 
cious" afifair, for no sooner had it crushed one grain of corn than "it 
bounced right upon another." 

In the year 1852, Joseph Carter built a large steam saw-mill on his 
farm in the southern part of the township, which proved a very satisfac- 
tory venture. An interest was afterward purchased by John Carter, and 
together they operated it about one year, when the building caught fire 
and burned to the ground. A new mill was built on the same spot the 
following year, and is still in operation, doing a good business. The 
Nicoson Steam Saw Mill is situated in the northern part of the township, 
where it has been in successful operation for about four years. The pro- 
prietor is William Nicoson, who reports his business fair. 


The religious history of the township dates back to tlie first settle- 
ment, many of the early pioneers having been active members of different 
churches in the States from which they emigrated. 

Elder William Yocum was an early minister of the Christian Church, 
and held public worship at various places in the township as long ago as 
1825, but no organization was effected until four years later. The Bee 
Ridge Christian (New Light) Church was organized in 1829, at the resi- 
dence of Lewis Fortner, with a good membership. Among early mem- 
bers were Lewis Fortner, A. F. Cabbage and F. B. Yocum. 

The present house of worship was erected in the year 1870. It is a 
frame structure, 20x36 feet in size, and contains a commodious audientie 
room, with a seating capacity of about 250 persons. The society has 
always maintained religious services, and is one of the aggressive organ- 
izations of the county. The present ofi&cials are F. B. Yocum, John T. 
Philips and John M. Acres, Elders; William F. Downing, Deacon; L. 
O. S. Stewart, Clerk and Treasurer; F. B. Yocum, A. D. Cabbage and 
Solomon Garner, Trustees. W. T. Anderson is Superintendent of the 
Union Sunday School, which has an average attendance of sixty scholars. 

Lodi Christian Church. — This society dates its history from the year 
1835, at which time an organization was effected at the Acres School - 
house with about thirty members. The chief movers in the organization 
were Elders Job and Michael Combs, both of whom preached for the 


congregation for a number of years; another early preacher was Elder 
S. Crabbe. The society used the schoolhouse for a meeting place for a 
number of years. A re- organization was effected in the year 1873, and 
a neat house of worship erected at a cost of about $1,300. The building 
is frame, 30x40 feet, and stands near Lodi, on ground donated by J. M. 
Halbert. Since 1840 the society has been ministered to by the follow- 
ing pastors, viz., Nathan Wright, Ezekiel Wright, — McCoy, — Daily, W. 
Black, Eeuben A. Webster, Theodore Marshall, Harrison Williams and 
Hezekiah Williams. The pastor in charge at the present time is Elder 
William Nicoson. Present membership, about thirty. 

Fairview Christian Church was organized at the Washington School- 
house in the northern part of the township in 1876. The organization 
was brought about by Elder Harrison Williams, and at the first meeting 
the names of sixty members were enrolled, the majority of them coming 
from neighboring congregations. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse 
until 1881, at which time the present neat house of worship was built. 
The building stands on ground donated by William Compton, is 24x36 
feet in size, and represents a value of $1, 100. Elder Williams was suc- 
ceeded in the pastorate by Elder Axline, who remained with the church 
only five months. The third pastor was Elder William Nicoson, who 
preached at intervals for two years, at the end of which time Elder Heze- 
kiah Williams took charge, and remained nine months. At the close of 
Williams' pastorate, Nicoson again took charge of the church, and is 
preaching for the congregation at the present time. The church is in a 
flourishing condition, numbering fifty members, among whom are many 
of the substantial citizens of the township. Elder William Nicoson and 
S. B. Crabbe are Elders; R. M. Compton and F. Brown, Deacons. A 
good Sunday school is sustained, with an average attendance of forty- 
five scholars. Elder Nicoson is Superintendent. 


Education was not neglected by the pioneers, and schools were estab- 
lished very early. The first sessions were generally taught ih vacant 
dwellings or small log cabins erected for the purpose, and were attended 
by the children for many miles around. Those early school buildings 
were constructed upon the simplest imaginable plan, and but little 
money was required to furnish them with the necessary seats, desks, etc. 
They were built of unhewed logs, covered with clapboards, and in size were 
generally about 12x14 feet. The chimney was of sticks and mortar, while 
the fire-place was large enough to take in almost a cord of wood, and 
such large back logs were used as to keep fire through the long intermis- 
sion from dismissal in the evening to school call in the morning. Teachers 
were required to be at their posts of duty as soon as they could get there 
of mornings, and the day's work was finished only when the gathering 


darkness made studying impossible. Among the early pedagogues are 
remembered R. Hobbs, F. McCullough, James Davenport, Omer Hicks, 
John Kennedy, Parke Philips, W. Wolfe and Kate Philips. 


The building of this road was an era in the history of this part of the 
State, and Diek Johnson Township came in for its share of the general 
prosperity which followed the completion of this great internal improve- 
ment. It gave the people facilities hitherto unknown to them, furnished 
markets, and was the direct means of developing the rich coal mines 
throughout the northern part of the county. The road passes through 
the, northern part of the township. It was completed in the year 18 — . 


This village was situated among the " loveliest of the knobs," and 
was surveyed November, 1870, by T. D. Johns for Michael McMillan, 
who laid out the town as a speculative venture. The plat occupies a 
part of the southwest quarter of Section 2, and originally consisted of 
twenty lots, sixty feet wide by 120 feet deep, two streets running north 
and south — i. e., Walnut and Cherry, each of which is sixty feet wide, and 
two streets — Poplar and Cherry — running east and west, fifty feet in 
width. The village is an outgrowth of the I. & St. L. Railroad, and 
aflfords a tine shipping point for coal. The population is largely com- 
posed of miners, who find employment in the Iron Mountain Mine near 
by. There is a post office, a boarding house, kept by Mrs. King, and a 
store of general merchandise kept by Mr. Vigo, a very energetic and suc- 
cessful business man. 



" The verdant fields are covered o'er with growing grain, 

And white men till the soil where once the red men used to reign." 

IT is difficult to realize as we travel along the highways that traverse 
this beautiful township, and note the broad acres of well-tilled soil 
and stately farmhouses where the happy husbandman lives in the midst of 
plenty and content, that less than three-quarters of a century ago, these lux- 
uriant farms were covered with dense forests, peopled by a few wandering 
bands of savages, and formed part of a vast, unbroken wild, which gave 
but little promise of the high state of civilization it has since attained. 
Instead of the primitive- log cabin and board shanty, we now see dotting 


the country in all directions comfortable and substantially formed man- 
sions of the latest style of architecture, graceful and convenient. We see^ 
also, the church structures of different denominations, and well-built 
schoolhouses at proper intervals. Her fields are laden with the_choicest 
cereals, her pastures alive with numerous herds of the finest breeds of 
stock, and everything bespeaks the thrift and prosperity with which the 
farmer in this fertile region is blessed. 


Lewis is the southern township of Clay County, and is irregular in out- 
line, being eight miles long from north to south, four and a half miles from 
east to west in the northern part, while in the southern part it extends from 
the eastern to the western boundaries of the county a distance of nine 
miles. Its principal system of drainage is Eel River, which lies partly 
on the eastern boundary, intersecting the territory from a point near the 
old mill to a point near what is known as the Woodrow place. There are 
four creeks in the township. Halliday Creek rises on the border of 
Greene County, near the village of Jasonville, with one prong or branch 
flowing in from a point a short distance north of the county line. It 
flows in a northwesterly direction and empties in Eel River near what is 
known as Phipps Ferry. The stream took its name from an old settler 
who owned the land where it crosses the old Loaisville & Terre Haute. 
Baber Creek rises at different points, but the main stream flows an east- 
erly direction, and empties into Halliday Creek, about a half mile above 
its mouth, west of the old Wabash &, Erie Canal. It took its name from the 
circumstance of Mr. Baber having a little mill on it in an early day. 
Briley Creek, named for James Briley, one of the early pioneers of the 
country, flows a northeasterly course, crossing the old Louisville road, at 
the Briley farm, and emptying into Eel River, near Woodrow' s mill. 

Lanning Creek has its source in Vigo County, near the town of Cen- 
terville, and flows in an easterly direction, emptying into Eel River, a 
short distance from Neal's mill. It was named for John Lanning, a man who 
came to the country in an early day and took an active part in its develop- 
ment. " Lewis," says an old settler in a sketch of the country published 
several years ago, "is the only township in the county in which honor has 
been done exclusively to the pioneers in the naming of its streams or in 
the christening of any other geographical features." From the location 
and general course of these streams, it will be seen at once that the phys- 
ical aspect of the country is that of an inclined plane, sloping to the east 
with a water-shed or dividing ridge in the western limit or margin of the 
township. The western and middle sections are undulating, portions be- 
ing broken and hilly, while in the south and east the land is more even^ 
consisting principally of bottoms and prairies. 

Sandy Knoll, a mile above Howesville, is the most interesting and 


noted place in the township. It was evidently, in ages long past, used 
as a place of burial by some prehistoric race, as human nkulls and 
other parts of the skeleton have been exhumed at diflferent times, also 
well preserved specimens of pottery and other relics. It has attracted 
the curious from all parts of the country, and many investigations 
have been made and fine specimens carried away. Other evidences of 
the Mound -Builders exist in various places along Eel River; but long 
centuries have forever closed to the vision of man their true name; their 
history and religion, their stay and extinction. 


Lewis was one of the first settled parts of Clay County, the pioneers 
arriving as early as 1821. In September of that year, Peter Cooprider, 
grandfather of Elias Cooprider, of Harrison Township, moved tu the 
country in company with William Shepherd, and settled on the west 
bank of Eel Hiver, at what is known as Kossuth Bluff. They both 
came from Harrison County and were undoubtedly the first white men 
who ever made improvements within the present limits of the township. 

Cooprider was born on the ocean a number of years before the dawn- 
ing of the present century, and passed his youthful days in the State of 
Maryland, where he learned the blacksmith trade. He afterward emi- 
grated to Pennsylvania, and later to Kentucky, from which State he 
came to Indiana, when the country was an almost unbroken wilderness, 
settling in what is now Harrison County. He moved his family to this 
township in a one-horse cart, and made a few improvements, but did not 
become the possessor of real estate during the period of his residence. 
He died in an early day, and his descendants, down to the fourth gener- 
ation, are now almost men and women grown. 

Shepherd located south of Kossuth Bluff, near Sandy Knoll, where he 
remained but a few years, afterward emigrating West. He paid but lit- 
tle attention to the cultivation of the soil, spending the greater por- 
tion of his time in hunting, trapping and raising hogs, and was in 
every respect a jolly frontiersman, whose wants were few and easily sat- 
isfied. Jacob Cooprider, Sr., came about the same time, and John 
Cooprider, son of Peter, made the first entry of land in Section 4, Town 
9 north, Range 7 west, in the fall of 1821. He moved his family here 
that year and remained upon what he supposed was his homestead, until 
the spring of 1825, at which time, owing to a discrepancy in the descrip- 
tion of his land, he moved to the present township of Harrison, where 
his death occurred about six years ago. 

In the winter of 1821 or 1822, Noah Delay and James Gross settled 
on Eel River a short distance below Sanders' mill. They belonged to a 
class of people usually found on the frontier, and were of no especial 
advantage to the country. Tbey hunted and trapped with the Indians, 


and were considered bad characters by the early settlers, but few of whom 
cared to have any dealings with them. The site of their settlement is 
now overgrown, and it is difficult to designate the exact spots where their 
little cabins stood. 

John Mayfield, a character similar to the ones just named, came as 
early as 1822, and "squatted" on Eel River, not far from where the 
former resided. He possessed but few if any redeeming qualities, and 
rumor had it that he was a fugitive from justice, coming here to avoid 
arrest for murder. After remaining in the community for a few years, 
he left and went West, much to the relief and satisfaction of the 

In the year 1822 or 1823 came James Briley, from Harrison 
County, and settled on Eel River near Sanders' Mill Point. He made the 
journey to his new home under very unfavorable circumstances, his only 
means of conveyance being a single pony on which his wife rode and 
carried what few household goods they possessed, while he trudged on foot 
the entire distance and drove a cow, which, with the pony, constituted the 
greater part of his earthly possessions. He afterward became a promi- 
nent stock-dealer, and was for a number of years one of the leading 
business men of the township. His son, Dr. Absolam Briley, was born 
soon after the family came to the township, and is one of the oldest na- 
tives of Clay County living at the present time. 

Robert Baber became a citizen of the township about the year 1822, 
and located one mile south of Sanders' Mill Point. 

Peter Stark, Daniel Goble and Edward Braden came a little later, 
and settled on prairie land in the southern part of the township. 
Prominent among those who came in a very early day was Elijah Raw 
ley, a native of Kentucky, who settled near Old Hill, where he entered 
a large tract of land, and in after years became very wealthy. He was 
at one time the largest owner of real estate in the county,'and was also 
the pioneer mill builder. He was a man of considerable ability, and 
served as first Clerk of the county. The following circumstance is re- 
lated by an old settler: " When Mr. Rawley entered the land on which 
he built his mill, at Old Hill, he took out his title in the name of Min- 
erva Rawley, his little daughter by a former wife. Thirty years later, 
her husband, Jordan Beauchamp, entered suit for possession of the prop- 
erty belonging to his wife, and the matter was hotly contested by Mr. 
Rawley. This continued in different courts about six years, breaking up 
both parties, the land afterward selling to satisfy costs, fees, etc. From 
the effects of this blow he never recovered, and his death occurred about 
the year 1868 in the Vigo County Infirmary, being at that time a com- 
mon pauper." 

The Puckett family, consisting of David, Elihu, Joseph and Lewis, 
came prior to 1830, all of whom secured homes in the southern part of 



the township and became model farmers. J. T. Listen, Samuel Cham- 
bers, Peter Stout, George Hooker and John Lanning settled near the 
central part of the township as early as 1830 or 1831, and about the 
same time came John B. Poe, William Muir and David Hill, and located 
in the southern part. Other early settlers were John Edmonson, a min- 
ister of the Methodist Church, Thomas Fires, James Scotchfield, Henry 
Crise and Nicholas Criss, all of whom became owners of real estate. 
The following, who came a few years later, can be classed among the 
early settlers: E. M. Stout, D. J. Payne, John Chambers, Marshall 
Chambers, Samuel Stout, Thomas Stewart, A. H. Crist, George P. Buell, 
J. P. Dunn, and others. 


Rawley's Mill, the first ever erected in the county, was built in the 
year 1826 or 1827, and stood on Eel River, not far from Old Hill. The 
mill house was a small round-log cabin, and the machinery was of the 
simplest description, consisting of two hard grit-stone buhrs and a small 
bolting apparatus operated by hand. The mill received its motive power 
from the river, and was in operation until the year 1839, at which time 
it was allowed to fall into disuse, and the old building gradually rotted 
down. The site was afterward destroyed by the Wabash & Erie Canal, 
and at the present time no vestige of the old mill remains to mark the 
Spot where it stood. In the year 1837, Joseph Sanders built a mill on 
Eel River, which was but a small improvement on the one described, 
which it greatly resembled in both building and machinery. It was in 
operation but a short time. The site was purchased in the year 1860, 
by Woodrow & Co., who built thereon a large frame merchant mill, 
three and a half stories high, and furnished with two run of buhrs. The 
mill is operated by the same parties at the present time, and is doing an 
extensive business. 

Lucius Hooker built a water-mill on Eel River, at what is known as 
Hooker's Point, about the year 1860. It was a combination mill, and 
during the time it was in operation did a good business. It was after- 
ward destroyed by fire. About the year 1864 or 1865, Mahlon Neal &Co. 
bought the site and built the large four-story frame mill, which is still 
standing. This is the largest mill in the township and one of the best 
in the county. 

A Mr. Baber erected a small tub mill at a very early day on Baber 
Creek, which had one buhr, and did but little business, 


There are no towns of any note in Lewis, although a couple of small 
hamlets sprang into existence during the early days of the country, one 
of which stood on Eel River. It never achieved any prominence as a 
business point, and was abandoned many years ago. 


Another town was laid out at the time the Wabash & Erie Canal 
went into operation, near the river, a short distance south of the Cen- 
tennial Mills, at a point directly west of Middlebury. The place was 
named Kossuth, and was laid out by J. M. H. Allison in the year 1850. 
This circumstance named the public road leading from Middlebury west 
to the river. 

Howesville was laid out by Eobert Howe in the year 1856, and is sit- 
uated in Section 36, Town 9 north, Range 7 west. 

For several years Mr. Howe kept a small store, which, with a post 
office and blacksmith shop, was the only feature that gave the place 
any special prominence. Howe was succeeded in business by William 
Muir, who increased the stock, and for several years carried on an exten- 
sive trade. One small store at the present time represents the business 
interests of the place. The Presbyterians have a good society at the vil- 
lage and a neat house of worship. 


The first Justice of the Peace elected in Lewis was George Hooker; 
then followed in order J. J, Lanning, Samuel Chambers, John Pickard 
and R. M. Stark. 

The last Board of Trustees was composed of the following gentle- 
men, to wit: Peter Stark, Mahlon Neal and Joseph T. Liston. 

The first sermon ever preached in the township was delivered by Rev. 
Richard Wright, of the Methodist Church, at James Briley's residence, 
soon after the latter came to the country. 

Friendly Grove Baptist Church is the oldest religious society in the 
township. It was organized about the year 1847, with a good member- 
ship, the early preachers being Revs. Chambers, Stark and Liston. 
Their first house of worship was a peculiarly constructed building, hav- 
ing twelve corners, and contained one of the largest audience rooms in 
the county at the time it was erected. It was replaced about the year 
1858, by a frame building costing the sum of $1,200. The pastors of 
the church have been as follows: Abraham Stark, David Stark, George 

Criss, Elias Cooprider, Kindall and George Marlow. The present 

pastor is James Barr. Present membership, about 120. 

The Christians have a good society in the southwest part of the town- 
ship and a fine house of worship. Oak Grove Church is a Methodist or- 
ganization, and is reported in good condition. 

From 1850 to 1857, a period of seven years, Lewis Township had 
seven road districts, seven Supervisors, seven school districts, seven 
Directors, seven teachers, seven families, each having seven children 
enumerated for school purposes, seven township officers (three Trustees, 
two Justices of the Peace and two Constables), and among the voters 
were seven Crists, seven Puckets and seven Starks. 



JOHN G. ACKELMIRE was born in Prussia January 12, 1827, and 
came to America with his parents, landing in Baltimore in March, 1833. 
They remained there until 1834, when they came to Terre Haute, Ind., 
where his father died. In 1835, he moved with his mother and sisters 
to Cloverland, Clay County, where his mother was married to a black- 
smith, with whom our subject served an apprenticeship at the trade. In 
1848, he bought the interest of his step-father, and carried on a very ex- 
tensive and lucrative business until 1854, when he, with J. A. Carpen- 
ter, built the first st^am flouring mill ever erected in Clay County. This 
enterprise proved a grand success to the young speculators. In 1860, 
Mr. Ackelmire was nominated by his party for the office of Treasurer of 
Clay Coimty. About this time the dark days of the rebellion were dawn- 
ing, and Mr. Ackelmire took his stand as a war Democrat, and was elected. 
Before the close of the term, he had become so popular with the masses that 
he was the unanimous choice of the voters of the county, and was elected 
a second time withovit opposition. He had sold his interest in the mill 
to his partner, and at the close of this term he moved to Brazil, where 
he assisted in building a woolen mill, and at the same time managing a 
dry goods store, and in 1871 he Avas elected Mayor of the city. At this 
time he had become a heavy contractor and builder, and erected the Ack- 
elmire Block, the Cruzan Block, the Methodist Episcopal Church, besides 
a number of very tine residences, and later built the beautiful court 
house of Clay County, on which he lost considerable money. Mr. A. is a 
first-class builder, and he has done much toward beautifj'ing and im- 
proving the city. On July 2, 1850, he was married to Sarah A. Good- 
rich, who bore him four children. She died September 8, 1876, He 
was next married, on October 16, 1877, to Nellie Bussell. who was born 
in the County Clare, Ireland. To this union have been born two chil- 
dren, only one of whom is living, 

HENRY L. ASHLEY (deceased) was born in Milton, Vt.. on March 
28, 1825. At the age of eight years, he was taken to Alexandria, Licking 
Co., Ohio, where he lived until the breaking-out of the Mexican war, 
when he enlisted, and was placed in the Quartermaster's Department. In 
the autumn of 1848, he came to Terre Haute, Vigo County, where, on 
April 24, 1850, he was married to Mary J. Britton, and soon became as- 
sociated with his father-in-law, John C. Britton, in the commission bus- 
iness. In 1857, he removed to Brazil, where he improved his farm to 
such a degree that it was one of the most beautiful and attractive homes 
in Clay County. Here he remained until his death, which occurred on 
Februaiy 23, 1882. He left a widow and three children, thev being as 


follows, viz. : Jolin B., an only son, and two daughters, one being mar- 
ried. Mrs. Ashley and children have now over 200 acres of the most 
valuable land in Clay County, with the richest veins of block coal, sev- 
enty feet from the surface, underlying it. It is the farm on which was 
sunk the first successfully worked coaJ shaft in the vicinity of Brazil. 

FOSTER BARNETT was born in Fluvanna County, Va., as a slave, 
on May 9, 1851. He had no educational advantages, and at the age of 
sixteen years obtained his freedom; when Lincoln's Emancipation Proc- 
lamation took effect, he went to work as a laborer on the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Railroad, where he worked until the completion of the road, when, in 1878, 
he located in Brazil, where he has been engaged in mining coal, which 
he has successfully followed ever since. On May 27, 1877, he was mar- 
ried to Gracie Allen, who has borne him three children, only one of 
whom is living — Elizabeth, one dying in infancy, and Daisy A., dying 
at the age of two years. Mrs. Barnett was born in Virginia on March 
21, 1861, and moved with her parents to Brazil in 1875. Mr. Barnett 
is a very industrious, economical man, and has saved his earnings from 
the mines until he has now a title clear to a neat, commodious little 
home. When he came to Brazil he could neither read nor write, but he 
began immediately to take an interest in societies, applied himself to 
books during his leisure hours, and he soon acquired a knowledge of 
both accomplishments, and for five years he has been Secretary of the 
church of which he is a consistent member. He is also a member of the 
O. O. F. , of which order he has for two years been Secretary. 

DANIEL W. BENNETT was born in the State of New York March 
15, 1831, and is the eleventh of thirteen children of John P. and Han- 
nah (Baker) Bennett, he being a native of Vermont, and his wife of New 
York. Daniel grew to manhood on a farm, had very fair educational 
advantages, and at the age of fifteen he left home and engaged himself 
as a farm laborer at $3.50 per month the first year, and higher wages the 
next year. He remained with this farmer until he was twenty. At the 
ao-e of twenty-two, he was married to Rachel Anna Vanorder, who bore 
her husband one child — Ida Stevens. His wife died in 1856. He was 
next married, in 1859, to Phebe A. Harker. One child is the fruit of 
this union — Anna K. In 1855, in the meantime, he engaged in steam- 
boating, on the Mississippi River, and continued in that business until 
1862, when he returned to Ohio and to farming; remained there until 
1869, when he moved to Illinois, remaining there on a farm two years; 
thence to Vigo County, Ind., digging coal three years, aod thence to 
Brazil, where he now resides, following coal mining. In the summer of 
1882, he was nominated and elected by the Democratic party as Coroner 
of the county, which office he now holds. Mr. Bennett is a member of 
the Baptist Church, also of the Knights of Honor, and the Knights and 
Ladies of Honor. In politics, he is a Democrat. 

THOMAS H. B. BENNETT was born in Missouri March 17. 1840, 
and was the sixth of ten children of Thomas and Melinda (Bird) Ben- 
nett, both natives of Virginia, and of Irish extraction. His grand- 
father was a Revolutionary soldier, and saved the life of his brother, 
who was taken prisoner while serving on the other side. Thomas, at 
the age of fourteen years, commenced life for himself, his father being 
dead, working at farming until the war broke out, when, September 24, 
1861, he enlisted in the Eighth Kentucky Infantry, Company D. He 
met the enemy, under Gen. Morgan, at Shelbyville, Tenn. He partici- 


pated iu the battles at Franklin, Nashville, Bardstown and Perryville, 
Barbersville and Banton Ferry, where Henry Smith fell; thence to Stone 
River and Murfreesboro, being engaged nine consecutive days; thence to 
Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, where he with twelve comrades lirst 
planted the stars and stripes. Returning to Kentucky, he commenced 
trading in coal, transporting it down the Kentucky River. His marriage 
occurred February 25, 1865, to Mary E. Fowler. Six children were 
born to them, viz. : Melinda (wife of B. Brown), John S. , Catherine, 
Francis M., Thomas H. B. and Robert Lee. Mr. Bennett is politically 
a Democrat. He is now a coal dealer in Brazil, and a much respected 

PARIS BIGGERSTAFF was born in Ohio on January 8, 1853, and 
is the eldest of three children of William and Samantha (Berger) Big- 
gerstafif, both natives of Ohio, but the former of Irish, and the latter of 
German origin. Our subject was raised on a farm, and had medium ed- 
ucational advantages. He came with his parents to Clay County, Ind., 
in 1865, and at the age of twelve years he worked at manufacturing 
ties for the Vandalia R. R. Company, which he followed until 1867, when 
he moved with his parents to Newburg, Clay County, and was there en- 
gaged for two years in delivering a large contract of wood for the same 
road. Then they moved to Knightsville, Clay County, and embarked in 
the hotel, livery and drug business, which they followed for eight years, 
and then our subject left home, and, in December, 1876, engaged in the 
retail liquor business at Asherville, Clay County, which he has followed 
successfully for four years. From there he went to Center Point, this 
county, continuing for one year in the same business, and then, in 1881, 
he located in Brazil, where he established his present retail liquor hcmse,' 
and where, at No. 89 East Main street, he has remained ever since. On 
May 6, 1879, he was married to Alice Nagle, a native of Clinton County, 
Ind. Three children have been born to them, viz.: Willie, Jennie and 
Nellie. Mr. Biggerstaff is a man of enterprise and spirit, a strong ad- 
vocate of public improvements, and ever ready to relieve the distressed. 
He is a member of the Knights of Honor. Politically, he is a stanch 

J. M. BOOTHE, ex-Treasurer of Clay County, was born January 3, 
1841, in a log cabin near Bowling Green, and lived, on the same spot 
until he was twenty-two years of age. His father, Thompson Boothe. 
was born in Harrison County, Ind., on January 16, 1808, and moved to 
Clay County in 1822. The history of the family is rather obscure, but 
it is known that the ancestors first settled in Virginia, and are of Welsh 
origin; that they always resided near the frontier, and consequently their 
educational facilities were meager. The subject of our sketch was the 
only member of his father's family who could read and write, and it had 
no knowledge of anything except of the hardships incident to the life 
of a pioneer. The grandfather died in Harrison County in 1821. He 
left nothing for his family, as he had buried the gold and silver which 
he had accumulated during his life, intending to invest it, in the 
near future, in a home in the West. Unfortunately he had neglected to 
reveal to any member of his family the place where he had hidden his 
money, and he died so suddenly that the secret died with him. No mem- 
ber of the family ever discovered the hiding place of this wealth, and it 
is not known that it was ever found. Thus the widow and her eight 
children were left destitute. The mother of our subject was born in 


Shelby County, Ky. , in 1808, and was the daughter of David Thomas, 
who was a Virginian, and who settled in Vincennes, Ind. , on the 
spot where Terre Haute now stands, and then moved to Eel River, near 
Bowling Green, and died there. In July, 1862, Mr. Boothe enlisted in 
Company D, Seveaty-first Indiana Infantry, and served until the close of 
the war. The life of a soldier was a hard one for him, as he was sick 
during eighteen months of his term. When he first enlisted, he was 
made a duty Sergeant, but was never promoted, in consequence of ill 
health, except once, and then he was made First Sergeant, on June 4, 
1864. After the war, he remained at his old home about tAvo years; then 
went to Iowa, remaining there two years; then returned to Bowling 
Green, Ind., and embarked in the drug trade, remaining in that business 
about eleven years, and was elected Treasurer of Clay County in the year 
1880. At the expiration of his first term as County Treasurer, he made 
the race for re-election, but was defeated by a small majority. 

DANIEL K. BRANN is the sixth of a family of seven children of 
Henry N. and Moriah (Garner) Brann, and was born in Butler County, 
Ohio, on February 6, 1841. He lived on a farm during his eai'ly years, 
having good educational opportunities, and taught school at the age of 
sixteen. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-first Indiana 
Infantry, and participated in many of the battles of the Peninsula, under 
McClellan. In December, 1863, he was transferred to Battery I, First 
Indiana Heavy Artillery, on his " veteranizing," and came home on a 
thii'ty days' furlough. At the expiration of his furlough, he joined his 
command, and was sent to Baton Rouge, La. ; thence to Brazier City, 
after the surrender of Forts Jackson and St. Phillips; thence to New 
Orleans, and thence to Mobile Bay, where he participated in the siege of 
Forts Morgan and Gaines; and thence to Fort Pickens, Fla., remaining 
there six months, after which he went to Baton Rouge, La., where, on 
January 15, 1866, he received his discharge. He returned home and en- 
gaged in Mr. Stunkard's mills, as head sawyer, remaining there six years, 
three of which being foreman in the yard. At the end of this time, he 
became employed as a coal miner, which business he has industriously 
followed to the present, he being now an operator. He was married, on 
January 25, 1874, to Araminta Miller, a native of Clay County. Mr. 
Brann is a member of the I. O. O. F. , also of the Knights of Honor, 
and also of the Knights of Pvthias. 

REV. DILLON BRIDGES, the youngest of a family of twelve 
children of Dillon and Catherine (Somers) Bridges, was born near Har- 
per's Ferry, Va., on December 25, 1794. In 1800, his father moved to 
Kentucky, settling near Flemingsburg, where he soon after died, leaving 
his family in destitute circumstances. In the home of his mother he 
grew to manhood, enjoying such educational advantages as Kentucky at 
that early day afforded. In 1813, when eighteen years of age, he enlisted 
under Gen. Harrison, his Captain being David Gooding. On October 5, 
he participated in the battle of the Thames. His term of enlistmeat 
expiring, he returned to Flemiugsbm-g, where he soon after re-enlisted. 
The war of 1812 having closed before the expiration of his second term, 
he received his discharge and returned again to his home. In 1815, he 
was married to Lydia, daughter of Rev. Joel Haven, and uncle to Rev. 
James Haven, an early pioneer of the Gospel in the days of Cartwright 
and Strange. In 1819, he removed to Wayne County, Ind., and became 
at once a leader among the religious people with whom he was associated, 


and soon obtained a license to preach in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
As an itinerant, he spent fifteen years. In 1889, he settled on a farm at 
Tvhat is now Jordan Village, Owen County. Removing from there in 
1850, he settled on a farm of eighty acres, one mile northwest of Poland, 
Clay County. When his son, Dillon ^\., was elected Clerk of the Clay 
County Circuit Court, in 1860, he accompanied him to Bowling Green, 
thence to Brazil in 1864, where, in October, 1866, he died, b^ing fol- 
lowed two years later by his widow. Mr. Bridges was a man of powerful 
physique, of robust constitution, possessing deep religious experience, and 
magnetism over an audience. He was a good singer, a man of remark- 
able power in prayer and exhortation, and an acceptable preacher of the 
Word. Dillon Wayne Bridges, youngest son of the Rev. Dillon Bridges, 
was born in Wayne County, Ind., March 21, 1882. Removing to Owen 
County with his parents in 1839, he enjoyed but few educational advan- 
tages. In his youth he divided his time between farm work and a clerk- 
ship in Poland, Clay County, to which place he moved with his parents 
in 1850. From 1856 to 1860 he was a Justice of the Peace at Poland. 
In 1860, he was nominated by the Democratic party for Clerk of Clay 
County, and elected. At the expiration of his term, in 1864, he en- 
gaged in the mercantile business in Brazil, becoming a member of the 
firm of Wheeler, Bridges & Co. In 1879, the fii-m sold out, and Mr. 
Bridges retired from business. He was the first Town Clerk, having 
served from 1866 to 1871 . He took an active part in the removal of the 
county seat from Bowling Green to Brazil. He was a candidate for 
Mayor of Brazil in 1878. but was defeated with his party. On Sep- 
tember 5, 1849, he was married to Lucinda, daughter of George Daves, 
of Owen County. Four children have been born to them, viz. : John 
Wesley (deceased), Albert Fletcher, Iva (Hurst), and Flora. Rev. Albert 
F. Bridges, A. M., son of Dillon W. Bridges, was born near Poland, 
Clay Co., Ind., August 22, 1853. The first seven years of his life were 
spent on the farm. In 18C0, he removed with his parents to Bowling 
Green, where he enjoyed excellent educational advantages in select 
schools. In 1864, he became a resident of Brazil. On September 15, 
1 868, he entered the Asbury University, at Greencastle, Ind. , from which 
institution he graduated in 1874, with the degree of A. B. In the win 
ter of 18,66, he \^as converted, and joined the Methodist Episcopal 
Church at Brazil, and on June 18, 1870, was licensed to preach, although 
only sixteen years of age. At the close of his college life, in June, 1874, 
he entered, in September following, the Indiana Annual Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Salem, Ind., and spent the succeeding seven 
years in the itinerancy of his church. In April, 1881, he purchased the 
Western Mirror, a weekly newspaper at Brazil, and issued the first num- 
ber of the Brazil Register on the 28th of the month. The success of 
this paper was assured from the start, and has been well patronized by 
the general public. In politics, the paper is Republican. Besides look- 
ing after the interests of his paper, he frequently lends his services to 
various pulpits in the county. Mr. Bridges has acquired an enviable 
reputation in his literary productions, being a clever writer, and, in the 
midst of his editorial drudgery, he is pursuing literary studies, and has 
in preparation for the press one or two literary ventures. 

ALEXANDER BRIGHTON, Cashier and Secretary of the Commer- 
cial Bank of Brazil, was born in Wayne Countj, Ohio, April 29, 1834, of 
parents Isaac and Elizabeth Brighton, natives of Pennsylvania, and of 


Scotch and English lineage. The subject of this sketch was reared on a 
farm, and had only the advantages of short, winter schools until he was 
fifteen years of age, when he made a tour over the country to California, 
being gone one year, and returned by water via the Isthmus of Panama 
and New Orleans. After returning home, he remained until he was 
twenty years of age, attending the common schools in winter, and in 
1854 came to Owen County and worked as a day laborer for one year; 
thence to Clay County, where he engaged as a hand in a saw mill, where 
he remained one year, making occasional trips to Terre Haute with boats 
loaded with lumber. In 1855, he began teaching school in winter seasons 
and farming in summer, until, in 1864, he was elected Real Estate Ap- 
praiser of Clay County, In 1866, he served as Deputy Auditor of the 
County; in 1867, as Deputy Treasurer; in 1868, he was elected to the 
office of County Treasurer by the Democratic party; in 1870, he was re- 
elected. At the expiration of this term, he engaged in the real estate 
business quite extensively until 1875, when he and Mr. Teter established 
the first bank that was ever established in the county seat of Clay Coun- 
ty, with Mr. Brighton as President. This was successful for two years, 
when, in the latter part of 1877, the bank was removed from Bowling 
Green to Brazil, Ind., where it was re-organized under the firm name of 
Brighton, Hubbard & Teter. After eighteen months' successful run, 
the bark was again re-organized — Mr. Hubbard retiring — under the 
name of the Bank of Brighton & Teter — Mr, Brighton as President, Mr. 
Teter as Cashier. It continued under this name until March, 1883, when 
it was incorporated under the State laws under the name of the Com- 
mercial Bank — Mr. Teter as President, Mr. Brighton as Cashier. Mr. 
Brighton is an enterprising and much respected citizen of Brazil and 
Clay County; is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having taken the 
degree of Knight Templar; is also a member of the I. O. O. F. ; of the 
Order of Red Men, of the Chosen Friends, etc. He has traveled through 
Central America, Mexico, Canada, etc. Mr. Brighton is quiet, genial, 
and of undoubted integrity, as well as a fine business man. 

GEORGE A. BYRD, of the firm of Holliday & Byrd, attorneys at 
law, real estate agents and abstracters, of Clay County, Ind., was born 
in Montgomery County, Ind., on September 3, 1850, of parents William 
and Elizabeth (Britts) Byrd, the former a native of Kentucky, .the latter 
of Virginia. The parents located in Indiana in 1829, settling in "Mont- 
gomery County, where they remained on the farm first owned by them; 
the father dying February 22, 1861, the mother still living on the 
farm. Our subject lived on a farm until he was sixteen, when, in 1865, 
he enlisted in Battery L, Second United States Light Artillery. The 
war of the rebellion being over, he served in the Indian war in Oregon, 
Idaho, Washington Territory and California, suffering all the hardships 
incident to camp life on the frontier and a campaign among the Indians, 
On November 2, 1868, he was discharged at Fort Hancock, Washington 
Territory. When he returned home, he entered the Hopkins Academy, 
at Ladoga, Ind., where he remained until the close of the school year of 
1870. He then entered Asbury University, at Greencastle, Ind., and 
remained two years. Having completed his studies there, and having 
read law for two years prior to this, in 1872 he entered the Law De- 
partment of the University at Ann Arbor, Mich., graduating from there 
in 1874, after which he returned to Middlebury, Ind., and formed a law 
partnership with G. W. Wiltse, with whom he remained three years. In 

^-^t^^s-^ • 


1877, he removed to Brazil, and followed the practice very successfully 
until 1879, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Holliday, with whom 
he is now associated. The tirm is doing quite an extensive law business, 
holding at least their share of patronage, and they have the finest set of 
abstract books in the county. On September 29, 1874, he was married 
to Lethe E. Miller, of Montgomery County. They have had two childi-en, 
only one of whom is living, viz., Lena Maud, born December 11, 1875. 
Mr. and Mrs. Byrd are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity. For five years he served as 
County Attorney. Politically, he is a Democrat. 

JOHN CADDY, proprietor of the " Miner Arms Saloon," at East 
Brazil, was born in Shropshire, England, December 5, 1829. Raised in 
a mining district, he had no education, but at the age of eight years was 
set to work in the mines to make his own living. At the age of thirteen 
years, he weut into an adjoining shire, where he followed the same bus- 
iness for nineteen years — for the first few months receiving 12 cents a 
day. In 1870, he emigrated to the United States, landing in New 
York, but going immediately to Huntingdon County, Penn., where he 
engaged in mining a short time, going thence to Bloomington, 111. , and 
in 1874 coming to Clay County, Ind., where he followed mining success- 
fully until March, 1882, when he established his present business. Mr. 
Caddy was married in February, 1878, to Sarah Winters, of Brazil. One 
child (now deceased) was born to them. Mr. Caddy is a member of the 
Knights of the Universal Brotherhood. He is still hale and active. 

JEREMIAH CALEY, inventor of Caley's Adjustable Frame Sulky 
Plow, Cultivator and Stalk Cutter, was born in Pennsylvania, 
March 6, 1846. In 1868, he moved from there to Edgar County, Hh, 
and, having previously served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith trade, 
he worked at it in Illinois, in connection with farming, until 1881, when 
he moved to Brazil, where he yet resides, prosecuting his trade. On 
November 22, 1865, he was married to Catharine Grader, a native of 
Pennsylvania. To them have been born five children, viz.: Clara, 
Laura, Charles, John and Lillian. They are both members of the 
Christian Church, and strong supporters of the temperance cause. Mr. 
Caley is a man of unusual energy and industry, and possesses an invent- 
ive mind, which has produced several useful appliances of farm machin- 
ery. In 1879, he first conceived the idea of his combination plow, cultiva- 
tor and stalk cutter, which, in the way of farm machinery, has never 
been excelled for utility, and out of this he is certain to realize a life- 
time competence. 

WILLIAM W. CARTER, a citizen of Brazil, Clay County, Ind. , 
was born in Warren County, Ohio, September 10, 1836, and is the son 
of John and Jemima (Patton) Carter, the former a native of Virginia, 
the latter of Maryland, and of English and Welsh lineage. His pater- 
nal grandfather was a Revolutionary hero, having been a soldier under 
George Washington at the final surrender of Yorktown. For a short 
time his father was a teamster in the second contest with Great Britain. 
In October, 1837, he moved with his parents to Clay County, Ind. , and 
settled in Posey Township. The locality at that time was little el^e than 
a vast expanse of unoccupied territory, and here, amidst the surround- 
ings of a rural home, began the career of yoimg Carter; and here he was 
taught the use of the ax, the mattock and the hoe. His early schooling 
was that afforded by the rude pioneer schoolhouse, yet good use was made 


of these meager facilities, so that, at the age of seventeen, he entered the 
Literary Department of Asbury University, where he remained two years. 
While at college, he aided himself by cutting wood around town at 10 
cents the hour. At the end of this time he decided to qualify himself 
for the law profession, and entered the law office of Hon. R. W. Thomp- 
son and Hon. H. D, Scott, the former now an ex-Secretary of the Navy, 
and the latter an ex-Member of Congress and Judge of the Circuit Court, 
and began reading the text books. This, however, continued but a short 
time, when, for the purpose of augmenting his exchequer, that he might 
take a course of study in a law school, he again repaired to the farm, 
and, in 1857, he entered the Law Department of the Asbury University, 
where, in the spring of 1859, he graduated with honors, and immediately 
after located in Bowling Green, then the county seat of Clay County, 
and entered upon the practice of the law. A few months subsequently, 
he became associated with Hon. D. E. Williamson, of Greencastle, Ind., 
and from the outset Mr. Carter demonstrated that his profession was well 
chosen, for he rapidly adapted himself to its requirements, and steadily 
acquired a lucrative business At this time Clay County was largely 
Democratic in politics, and there never had been a newspaper, except 
Democratic, published in the county until Mr. Carter started the Hoosier 
Patriot, a weekly Republican newspaper, which lived, however, only from 
January to December, 1860. Mr. Carter had become initiated into the 
intricacies of his profession, when he considered it his duty to take his 
place among the Union hosts against secession. He enlisted as a private 
in Company D, Seventy-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry, July 22, 1862, 
was mustered in August 18, 1862, and went immediately to the front. 
At the call for the first 75,000 troops for three months, he raised a 
company at his home, but when he reported for duty the call was filled, 
and he was compelled to disband his company, and from this time up to 
the date of his entry into the service, he assisted in the raising of troops. 
The first engagement in which he participated was the battle of Rich- 
mond, Ky., August 30, 1862, where the Federal forces were defeated by 
E. Kirby Smith, and where a large portion of his regiment was captured, 
including himself. It was at this desperate encounter that the brave 
William Conkling, Major of the regiment, was killed. Thus an impor- 
tant vacancy was to be filled, and a combination of circumstances pointed 
to Private Carter as the man for the place. After the prisoners had been 
paroled, the regiment went to Camp Dick Thompson, at Terre Haute, 
Ind., and remained there until the last of December, 1862. An exchange 
of prisoners was effected in the September preceding, and the regiment 
was again ready for active service, but a Major was wanting, and Decem- 
ber 13, 1862, there occurred the remarkable instance of commissioning a 
private soldier to the command of a battalion — of promoting Private Car- 
ter, over the heads of all the commissioned and non-commissioned officers 
of the regiment, to the rank of Major, some of these officers being avowed 
aspirants for the position. Commencing with the January following this 
event, his regiment was stationed at Indianapolis, guarding rebel prison- 
ers chiefly, until July 4, 1863, when it was recruited and changed to the 
Sixth Indiana Cavalry. John Morgan making his raid after this into 
Indiana and Ohio, the Seventy-first was sent to the Ohio River to inter- 
cept the movement, and spent some time at Louisville, New Albany, and 
on the river. During the succeeding September and October, the battal- 
ion was stationed at Mount Sterling, Ky.; in November, at Somerset, 


Ky. ; and in December, it went to East Tennessee, via Cumberland Gap, 
where it was engaged jn several severe skirmishes. About this time, the 
regiment suffered great privations and hardships while in East Tennes- 
see, on account of insuflScient food and clothing. Its next order was to 
return to Mount Sterling, Ky. From Mount Sterling it went to Paris, 
and then to Camp Nelson, and afterward conntituted a part of Gen. Sher- 
man's army, and soon after crossed over the mountains, and joined the 
main army near Dalton, Ga., about the 10th of May, 1864. Maj. Carter's 
command remained with Gen. Sherman's command until his forces 
reached Atlanta, participating actively in most of the great battles of 
that memorable campaign, and then it returned to Nashville, Tenn. , 
where it went into temporary encampment in Camp Smith. While in 
Camp Smith, at Nashville, Maj. Carter was ordered with his command 
to Pulaski, Tenn., where, September 27, 1864, his regiment participated 
with other troops in a stubbornly contested engagement with Gen. For- 
rest. At this battle the Major commanded a brigade, being the oldest 
officer in it, and was complimented for his gallantry on the field by Gen. 
Croxton. Forrest retired from the State, and Maj. Carter retui'ned to 
Nashville. At this time, Maj. Carter was attacked with a severe illness, 
came home, and was confined to his bed for several weeks. In the mean- 
time, his regiment participated in the battle of Nashville. December 15 
and 16, 1864. Soon after this battle, however, the Major joined his 
command at Edgefield, remaining there until March, 1865. He and his 
regiment were then ordered to Pulaski, where, on the last of June, 1865, 
they were mustered out and sent home. History teems with the con- 
flicts, difficulties, and ever diversified career of this gallant regiment, 
and of the hardships and privations it passed through; and yet no one 
has said it ever shrank from duty. The course of Maj. Carter was ever 
praiseworthy and commendable. He was brave and resolute, and showed 
great regard: for the welfare of his men, by whom he was highly es- 
teemed. After the close of the war, Maj. Carter returned to Bowling 
Green, and at once resumed the practice of the legal profession. In 
1868, he was the Republican candidate for Congress, making the race 
against Senator Voorhees, by whom he was defeated by only 128 votes. 
Two years later, Mr. Voorhees carried the district against Hon. Moses 
F. Dunn by over 1,400 majority. In 1868, Maj. Carter formed a law 
partnership with Hon. Silas D. Coffey, which continued till March, 1881. 
In May, 1877, the firm of Carter & Coflfey moved to Brazil, now the 
county seat of Clay County, where they have since been located. In 
politics, Maj. Carter is a zealous Republican. In 1878, he was placed 
at the head of the Republican county ticket for Representative to the 
Legislature, against his expressed wishes, but, the county being largely 
Democratic, of course he was defeated. June 16, 1869, he was married 
to Lucy E. Campbell, an amiable young lady, and daughter of John S. 
and Julia A. Campbell, of Bowling Green. The couple have two chil- 
dren, viz., Olive and Howard C. As an attorney, Maj. Carter takes 
rank with the most eminent lawyers of the State; as an advocate, he 
stands at the head of the Clay (bounty bar; as a public speaker, he has 
few, if any, who have more distinguished themselves on the stump. He 
is a gentleman of high personal honor and integrity, and as a result has 
the confidence and esteem of all who know him. April 5. 1883, he was 
appointed and commissioned by President Arthur Collector of Internal 
Revenue for the Seventh District of Indiana, vice Hon. Delos W. Min- 


shall, resigned, his pvincipal competitor being Capt. J. B. Hager, of 
Terre Haute. Maj. Carter qualified by filing a boijd in the sum of |100,- 
000 as Collector, and $10,000 as Disbursing Agent, which last named 
position was conferred upon him by the Se^'retary of the Treasury. He 
entered upon his duties May 1, 1883. To give an idea of the responsi- 
bilities attaching to the office, it is remarked that the Collector had un- 
der his supervision fifteen deputies, clerks, gangers and storekeepers, and 
collected revenue at the rate of more than $1, 500,000 annually. Soon after 
he assumed the duties of the office, the First and Seventh JJistricts were 
consolidated, Gen. J. C. Veach retiring from the First, and Collector 
Carter taking charge of the new district, which is still known as the 
Seventh. August 1, 1883, he entered upon the duties of Collector of 
the new district, which is composed of thirty-three counties, and yields 
an annual revenue of nearly $2,000,000. About thirty employes are un- 
der his charge, and no fears are entertained that the public money will 
not be faithfully collected and accounted for. During his service 
in the army, Maj. Carter, like most other soldiers, passed through some 
hardships, and had many narrow escapes. At the battle of Palaski, 
Tenn., he had his horse shot under him; in the winter of 1863-64, while 
conducting a reconnoissance, in East Tennessee, the Major's command 
suddenly encountered a large force of the enemy's cavalry, and, while 
making a personal investigation as to their position and numbers, he was 
fired upon by an invisible portion of the rebel command, who were not 
more than forty yards distant; yet he escaped without a scratch. We 
have not space in which to record all the events in the life and times of 
this remarkable man, but enough is given to demonstrate the fact that 
he is one of the representative, and one of the most distinguished citizens 
of Clay County, Ind. 

JAMES T. CASTEEL was born in Madison County, Ind. , on Sep- 
tember 2, 1845, of parents Franklin and Martha A. (Dunlavy) Casteel, 
of Spanish and German extraction, great- grandfather Dunlavey hav- 
ing been banished from Spain on account of orthodox faith. Franklin 
Casteel was a native of Ohio, his wife of Kentucky. He was married in 
October, 1844, in Madison County, Ind. James was reared on a farm, 
and his facilities for an education were rather meager. On the breaking- 
out of the war, he enlisted in Company I, Sixty-seventh Indiana, the 
first battle he participated in being that of Munfordsville, Ky. ; thence the 
march to and siege of Vicksburg. On May 18, 1865, he returned home 
and engaged in saw- milling and speculating, and in 1874, he and his 
brother opened on his father's farm a coal mine, which proved a success. 
In the same year, he engaged in the mercantile business at Benwood, and 
continued in this business until he received from the Democratic County 
Convention the nomination for the office of County Auditor. Up to this 
time he had kept up his general speculation, but, closing out his business 
in the autumn of 1878, he again entered the campaign with his usual de- 
termination to succeed, and was elected by a reasonable majority, filling 
the office with such credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents 
that, in 1882, he was re-elected to the same position, which office he is 
now filling. In politics, he is a zealous Democrat. In 1872, he was 
elected Justice of the Peace, which office he was holding when elected 
County Auditor. On September 3, 1866, he was married to Miss O. J. 
Taylor, daughter of Giles and Elizabeth Taylor, of Clay County. They 
have had five children, viz., Minnie, Emma, Weby, Frank and Bence^ 


alJ of whom are living. Mr. Casteel is a member of the Masonic frater- 
nity and of the Knights of Honor. 

SILAS D. COFFEY was born on a farm in Owen County, Ind., on 
February 23, 1839. His parents were Hodge R. and Hannah Coffey, the 
former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of North Carolina. Our 
subject's early education was acquired through the medium of the com- 
mon schools of that day, until, in the year 1860, he entered the State 
University at Bloomington, where he remained until the breaking-out of 
the late rebellion, when he enlisted, lirst in the three months' service, and 
then for a year. When President Lincoln issued his 75,000 call, his 
regiment, the Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, responded, and was mustered 
in for three years, or during the war. He remained on active duty un- 
til June, 1863, when he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, 
serving with it until the term of his enlistment expired the next year. 
The Fourteenth Indiana Infantry won an enviable reputation in the 
held, and of its number none were more deserving than Mr. Coffey. 
When he reached home, he determined to enter into the practice of the 
law, and for that purpose formed a partnership with Allen T. Rose, a 
prominent and influential member of the bar at Bowling Green. In the 
autumn of 1868, this connection was dissolved by mutual consent, and 
another one formed with Maj. W. W. Carter, which continued until 
after Mr. Coffey was appointed Judge of the Circuit Court. In 1866, he 
was the candidate on the Republican ticket for Prosecuting Attorney for 
the district composed of the counties of Owen, Greene, Clay and Putnam, 
Ind., making the race against Hon. John C. Robinson, but the district 
being largely Democratic, he was of course defeated. In 1873, he was 
candidate for Circuit Judge in Clay and Putnam Counties, and the same 
reason operated to prevent his election, although running far in advance 
of his ticket. His opponent was Judge Solon Turman, of Greencastle, 
Ind. On March 25, 1881, Mr. Coffey was appointed by Gov. Porter to 
fill the unexpired term of Judge Turman. In June, 1882, he was nomi- 
nated, by acclamation, by the Republican Judicial Convention for the 
same position. The counties of Clay and Putnam being intensely Dem- 
ocratic, it was at the time supposed to be impossible to elect a Repub- 
lican nominee, but in the fall he was elected over the Democratic candi- 
date, James J. Smiley, by a majority of 655, carrying his own county 
(which gave a Democratic majority of 190 on the State ticket) by a ma- 
jority of 128. November 1, 1864, Judge Coffey married Miss Caroline 
L. Byles, daughter of William and Sarah Byles, of Baltimore, Md., and 
to Ihis union have been born one son and three daughters. As an attor- 
ney. Judge Coffey has achieved an enviable reputation; as a gentleman, 
he is possessed of fine social qualities, is quiet and unobtrusive, and of 
undoubted integi-ity. He also stands high as a member of the Masonic 

HON. ISAAC M. COMPTON was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, 
March 30, 1832, and was the tenth child of Nathan and Jane (Hankins) 
Compton. The father was of English -German descent, the mother of 
French; he moved with his father to Clay County, Ind., in October, 
1837, his father settling on a farm five miles northwest of the new city 
of Brazil, where he lived until his death, July 19, 1857. Mr. Compton 
remained on his father's farm, having only the advantages of the com- 
mon schools, until his eighteenth year, when he engaged in the occupa- 
tion of a carpenter, which he followed for a few years, when he entered 


a dry goods store, at Brazil, as clerk, where he remained until about the year 
1860, when he opened, on his own account, a grocery store, which he 
successfully ran until 1865. August 4, 1862, he enlisted in the Seventy- 
eighth Indiana Infantry; was elected First Lieutenant of Company Gr, 
by his comrades, and sent with his company to Munfordsville, Ky., and 
on September 14, 1862, participated in the battle fought there, and on 
the 17th of said month, at the same place, after being engaged in battle 
for two days, was taken prisoner, paroled, and sent home. Having de- 
termined to adopt the law as his profession, after several years' close ap- 
plication, he was, in 1866, admitted to the bar as a practitioner, and 
formed a copartnership with Hon. Milton A. Osborne, of Green castle, 
Ind. This partnership expiring in the year 1871, he formed a like re- 
lationship with S. W. Curtis, which partnership was of short duration, 
but from January 1, 1874, to May, I877,''he was a partner of Charles E. 
Matson. In October, 1879, the present firm of McGregor & Compton 
was organized. In 1854, Mr. Compton was elected Assessor of Van 
Buren Township, and re-elected in the year 1856; at the election in 
April, 1857, he was elected Justice of the Peace of said township, and 
re-elected to the same office in the year 1861. In 1872, Mr. Compton 
received at the hands of the Democrats the unanimoiis nomination as their 
candidate for Representative to the State Legislature. That being the 
Greeley year, the Republican was the successful party, and he, with 
the balance of the Democratic ticket, was defeated. In 1876, he was 
again a candidate before the primary election for the same office, and 
was Qominated, receiving a majority of 856, and was at the October elec- 
tion elected by 301 majority. In 1878, he was again nominated, receiving 
999 majority at the primary, and was at the election in October re-elected 
by 320 majority; at the regular and special session in 1877 (the Legislature 
being Republican), he was a member of and served on the committees of 
organization of courts, rights and privileges, railroads, and was chair- 
man of the special committee on mines and mining, and at the regular 
and special sessions he was chairman of the committee on mines and min- 
ing, and served as a member on the following committees, viz. : On ju- 
diciary, railroads, on mileage and accounts, and on the joint committee 
on public buildings. At the session of 1877, he introduced House Bill 
No. 66, known as Compton' s Ventilation Bill, an act providing for the 
safety of the coal roiner, which passed the House, but was defeated in 
the Senate; and at the session of 1879, he introduced House Bill No. 7, 
known as Compton's Ventilation Bill, an act providing for pure air and 
protection for the miner in the bank, and providing for a lien on the works 
for their (the miners') pay, which was passed by the House without a dis- 
senting vote, and afterward passed by the Senate, and received the 
approval of the Governor and became a law. In 1880, his party again 
called him as their leader, and elected him Joint Senator for the district 
composed of the counties of Clay and Owen, giving him the nomination 
without opposition. In the contest which preceded the election, Mr. 
Compton acquitted himself as an able and sagacious politician, and, al- 
though compelled to battle against the combined forces of the Repub- 
lican and National parties, he was elected by 1,620 majority, carrying 
Owen County by 782, and his own county by 838 majority, while the re, 
mainder of the county ticket, except Representative, was defeated. His 
Senatorial record is brilliant, and full of important achievements, he 
having (the Senate being Republican at its regular and special sessions of 


1881) served on the following standing committees, viz.: Organization 
of courts, mines and mining, on lands and on federal i-elations. At that 
session he introduced a bill, which passed both Houses, amending the 
mining law so that the mine inspector was appointed by the Governor, 
and was paid a salary out of the State Treasury. At the session of 
1883, he was chairman of the committee on the organization of courts, 
and on mines, mining and manufacturing, and served as a member on 
the following standing committees, viz.: Insurance, railroads and tem- 
perance. In 1859, Mr. Compton became a charter member of Brazil 
Lodge, No. 264, A. F. & A. M., also a charter member of Brazil Lodo-e, 
No. 215, I. O. O. F. In politics, h« has always been a zealous Demo- 
crat, but never a bitter partisan. In 1883, Mr. Compton was selected 
chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, and by his energy and 
skillful management, the county was redeemed from the Eepublicans, the 
Democrats electing the full county ticket, and carrying the county on the 
State ticket by 190 majority, and on the Congressional by 268 majority. 
He was chairman of and presided over the Democratic Congressional 
Convention, held at Rockville, in 1883, that nominated the party's 
candidate for Congress. Mr. Compton was the lirst attorney for the 
town of Brazil; also the first attorney for the city of Brazil, when it was 
organized into a city government. On November 3, 1853, Mr, Compton 
was married to Mary A., daughter of Benjamin F. Elkin, of Bowling 
Green, Ind. Two children, living, were born to this union — Lizzie, the 
wife of J. B. Smead, and Charlie W. Mrs. Compton died on May 24. 
1879. Mr. Compton was next married, on September 5, 1883, to Mrs. 
Mary E. Winn, a native of New York, but for several years a resident 
oi this county. Mr. Compton has rendered much valuable service to his 
cuy, county and State; is a safe, shrewd and careful man in his busi- 
ness, and, as a citizen, esteemed by all who know him. 

WEAVERS & CORDERY, manufacturers of stone pumps, Brazil, 
Ind. This firm was organized in 1873, and established near the same 
location occupied at present by their factory. They started with an in- 
vestment in the business of about $500. In 1879,they erected their pres- 
ent brick factory, at an estimated cost of $4,000, and represents an invest- 
ment ©f nearly $8,000. employing from six to ten hands, at an annual 
expense of about $6,000. Its manufacturing capacity is 1,500 to 1.800 
pumps per annum, with a full demand for all manufactured, and recently 
running behind on orders. The members of the firm ai-e as follows: D. 
W.,Silvin and George Weaver, sons of John Weaver, and W. H. Cordeiy. 

CRAWFORD & McCRIMMON, proprietors of the Brazil Foundry 
and Machine Shops, Brazil, Ind. C. W. Crawford, senior member of the 
firm, was born in Pennsylvania February 2, 1836. At the age of six- 
teen years, he went on the river as an engineer, after a time enterino- a 
machine shop at Wellsville, Ohio, where he served an apprenticeship, 
after which he went to Minnesota, setting machinery for some months. 
He then resumed his business of engineer on a boat, pursuing it until 
1860, when he entered Fort Pitt Canaon Foundry, where he staved seven 
years. In January, 1875, ]Mr. Crawford married Artie Wright, of Col- 
lier, W. Va. In October, 1869, he came to Brazil, purchasing an inter- 
est in the already established firm of Springer & Co. , which, after his 
connection with it, did a thriving business. D. B. McCrimmon, junior 
member of the firm, was born in Scotland October 27, 1839. and emi- 
grated to America with his parents in 1849. In 1866, he came to Brazil, 


engaging with the Otter Creek Coal Company, where he remained three 
years, when, in 1869, he purchased an interest in his present business. 
At that time the building was an old wooden structure, which is now re- 
placed by a substantial two-story brick, where they employ twenty-five 
men at a daily expense of $40, making the sum of $15,000 paid annually 
for labor, and with a business that compares favorably with that of large 
cities, and a capital of 135,000, and manufacturing engines, pumps and 
machinery. Mr. McCrimmon was elected to represent the Second Ward 
in the City Council, which position he now fills. His marriage occurred 
November 13, 1876, to Miss M. Stevenson, a native of Scotland, but a 
resident of Brazil. In politics, Mr. McCrimmon is a Republican. He "•. 
is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He is a genial, social gentleman, ..<vi 
and one to whom the city owes much for his enterprise in public im-.^^ 
provements. - , » 

JONATHAN CROASDALE, a retired druggist of Brazil, was born:,^ 
in Bucks County, Penn., August 26, 1813, and is the son of Joseph"-*^' 
and Nancy Croasdale, natives of Pennsylvania, the former of English, 
and the latter of Welsh ancestry. Jonathan was reared on a farm, but 
learned the tailor's trade, working at it from the age of sixteen years 
until nearly forty, being engaged in other business part of the time. He 
was proprietor of a hotel in Pennsylvania several years. In 1834, he 
came to Ohio, working at his trade in various towns. In 1837, he mar- 
ried Hester Ann Pearch, a native of Pennsylvania. Eight children were 
born to them, only one of whom is now living, the wife of J. D. Sour- 
wine. Another daughter was the wife of J. W. Sanders, who murdered her, 
in 1878, while crazy with drink. Mr. Croasdale located in Clay County, 
Ind.,in 1853, where Brazil now stands, and has seen the place grow fror 
wilderness to a beautiful city of 4,500 inhabitants. Soon after co4 
ing to Brazil he established a drug store, which he kept about twQutJ 
four years, when he retired from active life. Mr. Croasdale, in 1864°, - 
Lincoln's last call for troops to suppress the rebellion, enlisted, and in 
four months returned on account of the close of the war. He has tilled 
with credit several civil offices, as Justice of the Peace, Notary, City 
Councilman. Being very active for a man of his age, he still attends 
to business, having been appointed administrator of the estate of .S. Gun- 
dletinger; he is also insurance agent. Mr. Croasdale is a Quaker, while 
his wife is a Baptist. He is a Knight Templar, being a member of 
Royal Arch Chapter of A.' F. & A. M.; also of the I. O. O. F. and 
Knights of Pythias, Knights of Universal Brotherhood, Order of Chosen 
Friends, Knights of Honor, and Improved Order of Red Men. In poli- 
tics, he is a Republican. At the last election, he was elected Justice of 
the Peace. Mr. Croasdale has done much to advance the social as well 
as business interests of Brazil, and is a much respected and honored 

R. H CROUCH, A. M., Principal of the Lambert Street City School, 
Brazil, is the son of Samuel J. and Sarah J. (Fulton) Crouch, the former 
a native of Indiana, and of German and English extraction, the latter a 
native of Virginia, of Welsh and English ancestry. The subject of this 
sketch was born in Putnam County, Ind., November 13, 1855, and with 
his parents came to Brazil in his childhood, his father dying there in 
1869. His educational advantages were good, and he availed himself of 
them, entering the high school at Brazil when it was organized, in 1870, 
and remaining until 1873, when he entered Asbury University-, Green- 


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castle, Ind., from which he graduated in 1877, receiving a medal for ex- 
cellence in mathematics. After graduating, he adopted teaching as a pro- 
fession, and was engaged in schools in Putnam County until 1880, when 
he was offered a position in the Brazil Schools. Since then, he has been 
Principal of the Staunton and Bowling Green Schools, and is now Prin- 
cipal of the Lambert Street School in Brazil. Mr. Crouch is much es- 
teemed as an educator, and, although young, fills the highest place with 
credit. is marriage occurred December 27, 1882, to Anna, daughter of 
H. and Effie Wheeler, pioneers of Clay County. Mrs. Crouch is an ac- 
complished lady, and was for many years an esteemed teacher in the pub- 
lic schools of Brazil. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal 

SAMUEL W. CURTIS, an attorney at law, Brazil, Ind., was born in 
Owen County, Ind., March 5, 1838, and is the second of seven children 
of Joshua and Sarah (Coffee) Curtis, natives of North Carolina. His 
parents came to Owen County in 1836, his mother dying in 1863, and 
his father still living in Spencer. Samuel was reared on a farm, and 
had very good opportunities for an early education. He entered the 
University at Bloomington in 1853, attending at intervals until the year 
1859, when he graduated in the profession of law. During the same 
year he went to Missouri, where, on September 22, 1860, he was married 
to Saralda F. Campbell. In October following, he returned home on a 
visit. Just then the war was upon us, and Missouri not a desirable place 
to live in, and Mr. Curtis and wife lived on his father's farm until 1865, 
when he returned to Missouri, remained there until November following, 
when he retm-ned to Spencer, Ind., and studied a short time in the law 
office of A. T. Rose, opening then an office on his own account. In 
April, 1869, he left the place of his birth and came to Brazil, where he 
opened an office, and has ever since been doing a lucrative business as a 
lawyer, although among the legal lights of Brazil there is much compe- 
tition. To Mr. and Mrs. Cm^tis have been born seven children, five of 
whom are still living — Laura V,, born January 7, 1862; Joshua, born 
April 5, 1864; Crude R., born May 10, 1866, died May 4, 1872; Emma, 
born February 1, 1868; Mattie, born December 23, 1870; Maggie M. 
(deceased), and Isaac W. , born September 2, 1874. In politics, Mr. 
Curtis is a Democrat, but not a bitter partisan. He is a charter member 
of Lodge No. 676 of the Knights of Honor. He is a man of public 
spirit, and a worthy citizen. 

JOHN W. ECRET, general dealer in furniture and undertakers' 
goods, Brazil, Ind., was born in Salem County, N. J., September 15, 
1823, and was the only child of Joseph and Elizabeth A. (Bryant) 
Ecret, natives of New Jersey. His mother died when he was but eight 
months old, and he had no school advantages, but in later years he ac- 
quired a good business education. He was raised on a farm, and at the 
age of twenty- two he made a start in life, and engaged in farming, and 
working as a day laborer as opportunity offered. In 1850, he engaged 
in the cabinet-maker's trade at Bowling Green, remaining in the shop 
only one year, when he was appointed Deputy Clerk of the county, re- 
maining in this position nearly three years, when he commenced to run 
a canal boat. He followed this until 1861, when he was again appointed 
Deputy Clerk of the county. This position, however, he held only one 
year, in consequence of a severe attack of neuralgia, which caused him 
the entire loss of one of his eyes, and an injury to the sight of the 


other. After partially recovering, he went into the Sheriff's oflfice as 
Deputy, and remained there until July, 1863, when he enlisted in Com- 
pany M, Sixth Indiana Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, 
returning home in May, 1865. During his term of service, he was in 
many very important scouting and skirmishing expeditions; was with 
Sherman at Marietta and Resaca; was under constant lire for nearly two 
months, suffering all the hardships, anxieties, privations and dangers of 
camp and lield life. After he returned home, he engaged in farming, in 
connecticm with the carpenter's trade, teaching in the public schools a 
part of the winter seasons, until, in 1870, he embarked in the hotel 
business in Bowling Green, remaining there until 1872, when he was 
given the position of Deputy Recorder of Clay County, holding that 
position four years, at the end of which time he began the business of 
abstracting titles. In 1880, he was made Deputy Sheriff under his son- 
in-law, remaining in this office two years, after which he established his 
present business. On September 11, 1845, he was married to Rebecca J. 
Knott. Six children have been born to them; five of these are living — 
Milton P. T., Harriet E., Joseph C, Calista M. and John W. Elizabeth, 
the eldest, died at the age of two years. Mr. Ecret has been a stalwart 
Republican, politically, ever since the organization of that party; also a 
member of Brazil Lodge, No. 215, I. O. O. F.; also a member of the Order 
of Chosen Friends, and a strong advocate of the cause of temperance. 

JOHN EVANS, engineer of the City Water Works of Brazil, is a 
native of Wales, born in 1855. He emigrated to America in 1868, and 
for several years worked at blacksmithing and in machine shops, com- 
ing in July, 1875, to Clay County, where he engaged as engineer for a 
coal company, and remained with them three years. He then came to 
Brazil, serving the Watson Coal Company in the same capacity, until 
August, 1881, when he was appointed engineer of the City Water Works, 
a position which he fills to the entire satisfaction of all. He is an able 
engineer and machinist, and a temperate and courteous gentleman. Mr. 
Evans married, Juno 22, 1879, Esther, daughter of John Evans, of Jack- 
son Township. Two children have been born to this union — John D., 
aged four years, and Mary A., sixteen months. Mr. Evans is a member 
of the I. O. O. F., tilling the highest office in the gift of the brethren, 
in Lodge No. 215. He is also a member of the Masonic fraternity. In 
politics he is a Republican. 

JOHN E. R. EWING was born in Wyandot County, Ohio, and 
was the eldest of a family of five children of John, Jr., and Mary A. 
(Hall) Ewing, natives of Holmes County, Ohio. The father of the sub- 
ject of this sketch was a member of the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry, and 
died in the United States service at St. Louis, Mo., in September, 1862; 
his mother still lives. John E. received a good education, and at the 
age of twenty years engaged in teaching school, following the pursuit 
SIX consecutive years, being highly esteemed as an instructor of the young. 
In 1880, he began the study of law, and is now reading with McGregor 
& Compton, also practicing his profession. Mr. Ewing was married, 
September i 6, 1880, to Sophia, daughter of Nicholas and Ann Schwartz, 
an amiable and accomplished lady. Two children have been born to 
them, viz. : Renie Annie, aged nineteen months, and an infant unnamed. 
Mr. Ewing is a member of the I. O. O. F. He and his wife are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics, Mr. Ewing is a Re- 


SILAS FOULKE was born May 30, 1841, in Guernsey County, Ohio, 
and was the eldest son in a family of eight children of John and Sarah 
(Hartley) Foulke. The genealogy of the Foulkes has been preserved 
from about 1400. The great-great-grandfather of the subject of this 
sketch, having emigrated to America from Wales in 1698, landing at 
Philadelphia July 17 of that year, purchased 700 acres of land near that 
city, and called it Guyned, or North Wales. During the voyage, a ma- 
lignant disease broke out, causing many deaths, but none in his family. 
Samuel Foulke, the great-grandfather, donated supplies to the Kevolu- 
tionary soldiers, but being a Quaker participated no further. Judah 
Foulke, the grandfather, came to Ohio in 1818, locating in Guernsey 
County, where he died, aged eighty-six years. John Foulke, the father, 
was born in Pennsylvania in 1817, moved with his parents to Ohio, set- 
tled in 1852 in Clay County, Ind., where he died April 17, 1878. Will- 
iam P. Foulke was one of the largest donators to the Hall expedition to 
the North Pole, and the place where they spent the second winter was 
named, for him. Port Foulke. Another of the family was Governor of 
Dakota from 1864 to 1868. These are the ancestors from Risid Blaid of 
the Pool, who was Lord of PenJyn, a division of Wales, to Silas 
Foulke, the subject of this sketch, making a genealogy of over 500 years. 
Silas spent his youth on a farm, where his scliool advantages were lim- 
ited, and at the age of twenty years, July 28, 1861, he enlisted in the 
United States service, in the Thirty-first Indiana Infantry. He partici- 
pated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shi lob, and all the engagements 
around Corinth; then in the long march from Corinth to luka, Miss., 
Tuscumbia and Florence, Ala.; thence to Nashville, Tenn., Bowling 
Green and Louisville, Ky., after Bragg; then at I'erryville, and in the 
engagement with Kirby Smith, at the foot of Wildcat Mountain. He then 
returned to Nashville, Tenn., and on the last of December marched on 
Murfreesboro. He was also in the battle of Stone River, in the Tulla- 
homa campaign; also at Chattanooga and Chickamauga. In 1863, he 
"veteranized," and was in all the engagements connected with the At- 
lanta campaign; also under Gen. Thomas, at the battles of Nashville and 
Franklin, Tenn., against Gen. Hood, following the remnant of his army 
into Alabama, remaining there until spring, when they marched through 
to East Tennessee, when he participated in his last battle, at Asheville, 
N. C. Fi'om there they returned to Nashville, Tenn., when, about June 
1, 1865, he went with the command to New Orleans, *and to Matagorda 
Bay, Tex., returning December, 1865, to Indianapolis, where he was 
finally discharged January 15, 1866, having served four and a half years. 
After his return from the war, he followed farming until 1880. Having 
since the war been an active Republican, and popular with his party, 
they placed him on the ticket for County Recorder, to which office he was 
elected by a large majority, and is now serving. Mr. Foulke was mar- 
ried, in 1869, to Jane Cade, who died in 1871, leaving one child, viz., 
Charles C. In 1872, his second marriage occurred, to Sarah Trimer. 
Five children have been born to this union, viz.: Jesse M., Arpie E., 
John R., Barney A. and Katie Mr. Foulke is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity; also a member of the G. A. R. He and his wife are mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

WILLIAM H. GIFFORD, M. D , was born in Mason County, Ky., 
on April 23, 1814, and is the fifth of seven children of Elisha and Ann 
(Tennis) Gifford, the former a native of New Jersev, the latter of Penn- 


sylvania. Williara was raised a farmer. He was, in his younger days, 
the recipient of common school advantages. In 1831, he came with his 
parents to Putnam County, Ind. ; at the age of twenty, he and a few 
other young men formed a class, under the tutelage of Judge Farley, of 
Greencastle, Ind., for two terms. In 1835, he entered the office of a 
physician for the reading of medical text books, studying two years, then 
entering the Transylvania Medical College at Lexington, Ky. In this 
college he took one course of lectures, and in 1838 he located in Posey 
Township, Clay County, as a practicing physician, remaining there in 
successful practice until 1864, when he located in Brazil, remaining here 
in continuous successful practice until the year 1881, when, in conse- 
quence of his declining years, he was compelled to retire to private life. 
Mr. Gifford has also been an active, influential politician. As early as 
1854, he was elected to the State Legislature by the opponents of the 
Democratic party. Since the organization of the Republican party, he 
has been its supporter, and in 1872 he was chosen its standard bearer 
for another legislative term, and was elected. He served one term as a 
member of the School Board of Brazil. On May 5, 1843, he was mar- 
ried to Almira Curtis, a native of New York. To them have been born 
five children, three of whom are living, viz.: Joseph C. (now a promi- 
nent physician of Brazil), Eliza (Yocum), Josephine. Mrs. Gifford dy- 
ing October 1, 1862, he was next married to Elizabeth J. Matthews. 
Three children have been born to them, only one of whom is living, viz., 
Martha J. This wife died February 29, 1869. On November 10, 1872, 
he married, for his third wife, Emeline B. Cooper, of Philadelphia. Dr. 
Gifford is a member of the Order of Chosen Friends, and is one of the 
pioneers of Clay County, and in the development and improvements of 
the county much is due to his enterprise and public spirit. 

JOSEPH C. GIFFORD, son of W. H. and Almira (Curtis) Gifford, 
was born September 7, 1842, in "Williamstown, Clay Co., Ind. He re- 
ceived the best advantages of education the country afforded, spending 
three years at the academy of Annapolis, Ind., leaving in 1857, and re- 
raaining at home until April, 1861, when he enlisted in Company F, 
Tenth Indiana Infantry, and served until July, 1861, when he returned 
home and entered the Union Christian College at Merriam, Ind. He re- 
mained but a short time, again enlisting in the United States service as 
First Lieutenant, Company B, Seventy-tirst^Indiana Infantry. In Jan- 
uary, 1863, he resigned, but again enlisted as a private in Company F, 
One Hundred and Thirty-third Indi'ana Infantry, under the one hundred 
days' call, and served his time. In 1865, he accepted a position as clerk 
in the Superintendent's office of the Adams Express Company in Cin- 
cinnati, where he remained one year. In 1866, he began the study of 
medicine with his father, Dr. W. H. Gifford, attending lectures at Rush 
Medical College, Chicago, in 1867 and 1868, after which he commenced 
practicing with his father. In 1869, he returned to college and graduated. 
He then resumed the practice of medicine, first with his father, then 
with Dr. Duffield, afterward with Dr. Glassgo, then alone until 1882, 
when he formed a partnership with Dr. S. D. Black, his present partner. 
He is a skillful surgeon, and has an extensive practice. He has been a 
member of the City Coancil eight years. In politics, he is a Repub- 
lican. His marriage took place August 3, 1869, to Mary E. Page, an 
estimable lady of Clermont County, Ohio. Three children have been 
born to them, viz. : William H., born June 3, 1870; Joseph C, May 14, 


1874; Fannie G., June 15, 1882. Dr. Gifford is a member of the 
Masonic fraternity, Lodge No. 241, and Brazil Chapter, No. 59. 

JOHN C. GKEGG was born near Xenia, Greene Co., Ohio, March 
7, 1844. His father was John Gregg, who was the only surviving son 
of John Gregg, who came to America a year or two before the Revolu- 
tion, and who was one of the first to enlist in the patriot army. He 
served through the Revolutionary war, under Gen. Washington, from 
the battle of Long Island to the surrender at Yorktown. After the close 
of the war, he came West, and settled on a tract of land near Xenia, 
Ohio, where he died at the age of eighty -five years, leaving two sons and 
one daughter. The daughter and one son died within a year, leaving 
John the only surviving member of the family. The mother of John 
C. Gregg was Mary I. Gregg, whose mother, Mary Stewart, came from 
Scotland at the age of twelve years, in 1788, and died in 1877, aged 
eighty-nine years. John C. Gregg, our subject, entered the Sopliomore 
Class at Monmouth (111.) College in September, 1862. The following 
year he studied at Miami University, and after serving awhile in the 
army, in the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Ohio Infantry, he returned 
to Monmouth, and graduated from that institution, at the head of his class, 
in 1865. He immediately began teaching, and has continued in that 
work up to the present. In 1867, he took charge of an academy at Rich- 
land, Ind. There he married Susan A. Welty, of Oxford, Ohio. He 
then took charge of the public school at Milroy, and afterward at Tipton, 
and in 1877 was elected Superintendent of the Brazil City Schools, which 
position he still holds. While teaching others, he has himself been a 
close student, and has a thorough knowledge of surveying, botany, nat- 
ural science and the higher mathematics. Under his management, the 
schools have advanced until they are equal to the best to be found in 
cities of this size in the State. 

SOLOMON GUNDELFINGER (deceased) was born in Waunkheim, 
near Stuttgart, in the province of Wtirtemberg, Germany, near the Black 
Forest, December 11, 1845, and was the son of David and Hannah Gun- 
delfinger. Solomon emigrated to America at the age of eighteen years, 
stopping first at Peru, Ind., going thence to Indianapolis, thence to 
Brazil, in 1866, where the rest of his life (with the exception of a short 
time in Litchfield, 111.) was passed. In 1867, he opened a clothing es- 
tablishment which he carried on until his death. He was an energetic 
business man, and was identified with the growth and prosperity of the 
city of Brazil. His beautiful residence and one of the most commodious 
business blocks in the city remain monuments of his industry and suc- 
cess. He was an active Mason, filling with ability the highest offices 
within the gift of the brethren. In business, he was diligent and affable, 
commanding the respect and friendship of all He was mai:ried, March 
17, 1870, to Maggie, daughter of Elias and Susannah Helton, an accom- 
plished lady. Five children were born to this union, viz. : Rudolph, 
born December 23, 1870; May, born July 9, 1874; Harry, June 24, 1876; 
Blanche, August 17, 1878; and Grace, October 20, 1880 — all born in 
Brazil except Rudolph, who was born in Litchfield, 111. Besides the 
savings of many industrious years, Mr. Gundelfinger, with his usual fore- 
thought, had insured his life for a handsome sum, thus leaving his 
family comfortable. 

WILLIAM B. HAWKINS, a physician and surgeon of Brazil, Ind., 
was born in Washington County, Penn., on August 28, 1818,and was reared 


in town. He attended school until he graduated, in 1835, in the classical 
course, at the age of eighteen years, and immediately commenced reading 
for the medical profession with Dr. John Wishard, with whom he studied 
four years, including his lecture courses, at the end of which time he 
graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College in 1840, receiving 
the degree of A. M. from the Washington, and M. D. from the Jefferson 
branch. In April, 1840, he commenced practice in Connellsville, Fay- 
ette Co., Penn., where he remained ten years. In 1848, the panic and 
distress of the country caused the loss to the Doctor of nearly $10,000, 
which he had accumulated in his practice. He gathered up what little 
means he had left and started for Canton, 111., but when he arrived at 
Cincinnati, Ohio, the city was suffering from the cholera plague, and 
the boats had ceased to run. He in his dilemma secured the position of 
surgeon to the out-door poor of the Sixth Ward, which he held one year, 
at the end of which time he moved to Terre Haute, Ind., and practiced 
there until 1854, establishing, in the meantime, with a partner, a drug 
store. At the end of two years, he sold out his interest and removed to 
Prairieton, same county, where he remained in a lucrative practice for 
thirteen years, when, in 1867, lie removed to Brazil, where he has since 
resided, actively engaged in the practice of his profession. On October 
15, 1840, Dr. Hawkins was married to Christiana Darling, a native of 
Scotland. Jo them have been born six children, three of whom are liv- 
ing, viz.: Alice, wife of Judge Cosson, of Somerset, Ky. ; Charles, who 
was a member of the Thirty- first Indiana Infantry during the late war; 
and James. Mr. Hawkins died on February 20, 1866, at Prairieton, 
Ind. He was next married, on March 12, 1867. to Mrs. A.bby Daniels 
McLain, who was born on January 31, 1831, in Washington County, 
Ohio, and was educated at the Marietta Female Seminary. At the age 
of fifteen, she was an assistant in the primary department of the graded 
schools of Marietta, after which she returned to school and completed 
her education, and was married. After this event, she taught school 
seventeen years in Kentucky, Iowa, Ohio and Indiana, While teaching 
in Terre Haute, she became acquainted with Dr. Hawkins, and soon after 
married him. After their location in Brazil, she taught one year in 
Grade Four of the public schools, Mrs. Hawkins is the author of a 
book entitled "Hannah, the Odd Fellow's Orphan," a very popular pub- 
lication of 230 pages. She is also the author of an interesting story, 
entitled " Jot, the Newsboy," a Masonic war story. This story has been 
published as a serial, but will soon appear in book form. For many 
years she has been a popular writer for several first-class journals. She 
has borne her present husband one child, viz., Robert Warren, born 
January 7, 1871. She has one daughter by her first marriage, viz., Mar- 
garet, the wife of J. M. Nees, of Poland, Clay County. Mrs. Hawkins 
is an earnest, conscientious advocate of female suffrage. 

THOMAS HENDERSON was born in Holmes County, Ohio, Sep- 
tember 20, 1831. He was raised as a farmer, but at the age of nineteen 
he commenced serving time at the trade of wagon-maker. He came to 
Brazil in 1854, and worked as a journeyman for twenty-six years, and 
for two years was in the furniture business. In 1865, he enlisted in the 
Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry, and served one year, being stationed in 
Texas the principal part of his term of service. At the close of the war. 
he located permanently in Brazil. In 1882, Mr. Henderson was nomi- 
nated and elected Township Trustee by the Republican party, and he is 


now filling the office with credit and ability. He was married on April 
28, 1856, to Nancy Stunkard, a native of Clay County. Eight children 
have been born to them, seven of whom are living, viz.. Alma E. (the 
wife of Michael Fisharber), Mary E., Lola, Robert, Anna, William, Har- 
ley H., Stewart I. (dying at the age of twenty-one years). Mr. Hender- 
son and wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
he is a member of the Chosen Friends. Politically, he is a stanch Re- 
publican, though not a political aspirant; is an upright, energetic and 
unassuming gentleman, and a much respected citizen. 

ELI and JOHN HENDRIX, blacksmiths and manufacturers of farm 
implements, of Brazil, Ind., are the sons of John and Nancy Hendrix, 
who were the parents of ten children. Eli was born in Wayne County, 
Ind., on March 30, 1825; John, in same county, on February 29, 1828. 
They both came to Clay County with their parents in 1845, both having 
served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith's trade prior to their set- 
tlement in Brazil. On their arrival in the then new place, they began 
work at their trade with their father, who, soon after turning his atten- 
tion entirely to farming, left the manufacturing entirely to the boys, 
whose business so soon increased that the capacity of the shops had to be 
greatly enlarged; and, in 1866, their manufacturing had increased to 
such an extent as to necessitate the employing of about thirty hands. The 
farm wagons, which they turned out, alone amounted to near $20,000 per 
annum. They manufactured the first steel plows ever made in the coun- 
ty. In 1867, they inaugurated the process of a reduction in their busi- 
ness, as it was becoming too " heavy " for them, unless they added new 
and expensive machinery and appliances. They continued to gradually 
reduce their business until 1878, when they sold out, having at this time 
an extensive agricultui'al implement establishment. In 1867, the firm 
■erected the Hendrix Block, on the corner of Main and Meridian streets. 
Prior to this time, in 1854, they built the best frame business building 
on Main street, at that time, and since that time they have erected a 
large number of residences. They are thoroughgoing, industrious men, 
and liberal givers to all public and benevolent enterprises. Politically, 
they are uncompromising Republicans. Each is a member of the Mason- 
ic fraternity, of the I. O. O. F., Eli being also a member of the society 
of Chosen Friends, and one of the oldest members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. He contributed $2,000 toward the building of the " Hen- 
drix Chapel," which was named after him. John is a leading member of 
the Presbyterian Church; also of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, 
and a Knight Tem})lar. They are both worthy citizens, being highly es- 
teemed wherever they are known. 

E. S. HOLLIDAY, an attorney at law and City Attorney of Brazil, was 
born in March, 1842, in Dearborn County,Ind., and was reai'ed on a farm. 
Having had very fair school advantages, at the age of sixteen years he 
began teaching in the public schools, until July, 1861 , when he enlisted 
in Company K, Tenth Kansas Infantry. He participated in all the en- 
gagements of the Army of the Frontier — Prairie Gri'ove, C ane Hill, etc., 
and several engagements with the hostile Indians of the frontier. He was 
mustered out of service in August, 1864, returned home, and took up the 
profession of teaching and attending school alternately, being compelled 
to earn his collegiate expenses. In 1869, he entered the office of John Over-' 
mier, of North Vernon, Jennings County, to read the text books in law, and 
remained there until 1873, teaching school at intervals to pay expenses. 


He commenced practicing law in Clay County in 1873, and has been 
there ever since, having become a prominent lawyer. lu 1877, he was 
elected Mayor of Brazil, and was re-elected to the same position in 1879. 
In 1882, he received the nomination, at the hands of the Republican 
party, for Representative to the State Legislature, but was defeated by a 
few votes. In 1883, he was elected a member of the School Board, and 
also City Attorney of Brazil, which positions he now holds. In 1879, he 
formed a partnership with Mr. George A. Byrd, his present partner; also 
in the abstract and real estate business, and the firm is prosecuting a 
very lucrative business. In the year 1873, he was married to Lina 
Gregg, a native of Bartholomew County. He is a member of the Ma- 
sonic fraternity and of the G. A. R. 

W. A. HOSKINS was born in Kentucky, on October 17, 1840, of par- 
ents Preston and Rebecca (Day) Hoskins, the former a native of Ten- 
nessee, the latter of Virginia. Both parents died in Centralia, 111., the 
father in 1857, the mother in 1869. Our subject was raised on a farm, 
and had no educational advantages until he was twenty years old, when 
he entered the college at Lebanon, 111., remaining there two years, and 
graduating from a commercial college in St. Louis, Mo. He then en- 
tered a dry goods store at Centralia as clerk, remaining with the firm 
three years. At the end of this time he went to work in a supply store 
for the Illinois Central Railroad Company, which, after several months' 
management, he left to accept the position of fireman on the road. This 
position he filled for three years, when he left in consequence of an ac- 
cident to his train. From there he went to Jackson, Tenn.. where he ac- 
cepted the same position on the Mobile & Ohio R. R., but in a few 
months was promoted to locomotive engineer, which he followed one 
winter, and then went into the railroad shops to learn the machinists' 
trade, and remained there three years. During this time he was mar- 
ried to Josephine Vance. Leaving the shops, he went to Danville, 111. , 
and commenced digging coal. At the end of a year, he moved to Kan- 
sas City, Mo., and worked in a packing house; was also employed one 
year as fireman, and one year as engineer of the City Water Works; 
thence back to Centralia, 111., where he took a contract for the city, and 
worked in the rolling mill for eighteen months; thence to Missouri, 
where he spent the summer, and thence to Brazil in 1880, where, after a 
short season of labor in the blast furnaces, he purchased, in January, 
1882, the store he now owns, and since which time he has been very 
successful in his business, having a first-class and remunerative trade in 
second-hand goods. Mr. Hoskins is the father of two children, viz., 
Mary R., aged eleven years; Elisha V., aged nine years. He is a mem- 
ber of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics a stanch Republican. 

GEORGE E. HUBBARD, Clerk of Clay County, Ind. , was born in 
Morgan County, Ind., on April 29, 1843, and is the son of John S. and 
Abigail Hubbard, natives of North Carolina. His father is a lawyer by 
profession, and still lives in Morgan County, his wife dying in 1865, 
George E. was the youngest of four sons, and lived on his father's farm 
until he was twenty-one, when he commenced to work as a day laborer on 
a farm for himself. His opportunities for educating himself were fair. 
At about the age of twenty-two years, he engaged himself at Amo, Hen- 
dricks County, to a grain dealer, and remained with him until February, 
1865, when he enlisted in Company H, Eleventh Indiana Regiment, 
Zouaves, and served as Company Clerk. At the close of the war he 


was hoBorably discharged, returned home, and engaged in the grain 
trade at Greencastle, which he followed successfully for two years; then 
removed to Staunton, Clay County, and engaged in the drug business, 
continuing in this until the year ]872, when he accepted, at the hands 
of the Republican party, the nomination for the office of Circuit Clerk of 
Clay County, and was triumphantly elected. Selling oiit his business 
he moved to Bowling Green, then the county seat, and took personal 
charge of the duties of the office. At the close of his term, he declined 
to be a candidate for re-election, but moved to Brazil and engaged in the 
business of banking, under the firm name of Brighton, Hubbard & Teter, 
in which he continued until the autumn of 1878, when he retired from 
the firm, and accepted the Chairmanship of the Republican Central Com- 
mittee; did a lucrative business in general trading, and in 1879 erected 
one of the finest residences in Brazil. In 1880, he was again nominated 
and elected Circuit Clerk, and still holds that position, the office, how- 
ever, on account of his failing health, being managed by his able 
Deputy, Mr. Joseph Van Ayer. On December 25, 1872, he was married 
to Rebecca A. Ayer, the daughter of John M. and Mary Ayer, of Clay 
County, Ind., but natives of Ohio. Mrs. Hubbard has borne her hus- 
band two children, viz., George A., age nine years; John Jay, age five 

CHARLES HUTCHINSON was born in New York City March 18, 
1850, of parents unknown, and, with a numbeir of other children, 
brought West, when quite young, to find a home with strangers. His lot 
was cast in Clay County, Ind., where he has, with heroic fortitude, borne 
the buffets of "outrageous fortune," and manfully struggled against 
fate, until now he ranks with the most respected citizens of Clay Coun- 
ty. Owing to his position, he was wholly deprived of school privileges, 
but has by his own efforts, studying in idle moments, acquired a fair 
business education, mostly gained since he became a man. Mr. Hutch- 
inson has followed the trade of harness-maker. He served as Marshal 
of the city of Bowling Green; was elected Constable of his township 
several times, and after he came to Brazil filled the office of Deputy 
under Sheriff Lankford, and has served on the police force since Decem- 
ber, 1882, and has shown himself a man of nerve. He was married, 
January 11, 1874, to Harriet Ecret, of Bowling Green, whose parents 
were pioneers in Clay County. Two children have been born to this 
marriage, viz., Charles J. and Flora, aged nine and seven years. Mr. 
Hutchinson is a member of the society of Chosen Friends. 

J. P. HYSUNG, the representative druggist of Brazil, carrying a 
full line of drugs, a well -selected stock of oils, mixed paints, varnish, 
calciminers' and painters' supplies, established himself in trade in 1869, 
and can always be found here. He was born on February 11, 1886, and 
is the youngest of four children of Frederick and Mary (Mann) Hysung, 
who were natives of Pennsylvania, and of German descent. Mr. Hy- 
sung was reared on a farm, and acquired a fair education through the 
medium of common schools. He remained on the home farm until May, 
1861, when he enlisted in Company C, Eighth Ohio Infantry, in the 
call for three months' men. At the expiration of his terra, he re-enlisted 
in the same company and regiment for three years. His regiment was 
a part of the Army of the Potomac, and participated in all the promi- 
nent battles, viz., AVinchester, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg, 
Chancellorsville, and the five days' engagement of the Wilderness. At 


the Wilderness he was wounded in his left side, and sent to the hospital 
at Fredericksburg, thence to Washington, D. C., and thence home on a 
thirty days' leave of absence. While at home, he was ordered to join 
his company at Cleveland, to be mustered out of the service, and in July, 
1864, he received his honorable discharge. In 1863, Mr. Hysung was 
promoted to the First Lieutenancy. On his return home, he remained 
with his father on the farm until 1867, when he came to Clay County, 
Ind. , and settled in Brazil, embarking in the business of bookseller and 
newsdealer, on a capital of $60. In 1879, he established himself as a 
druggist, at his present stand, and his trade amounts to upward of 
$10,000 per annum. In view of the fact that Mr. Hysung commenced 
life with no money or friends, he has been exceedingly prosperous in his 
business relations, as he owns his stock in trade, a fine residence, and 
seven tenement houses. In October, 1868, he was married to Emma 
Poor, of Clay County, but a native of Maine. Mrs. Hysung has borne 
her husband three children, two of whom are living, viz., Winnifredand 
Forest F. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church. During the 
years 1881 and 1882, he was Township Trustee, and for two years a 
member of the City Council. He is Chief Patriarch of Iron City En- 
campment of I. O. O. F., is Past Chancellor of the K. of P., and Past 
Commander of Gen. Canby Post, ISTo. 2, of G. A. R. In early life, Mr. 
Hysung was a Democrat in politics, but in later years has been a stanch 
supporter of Republican principles. 

PROF. T. N. JAMES, teacher in the high grades of the Brazil Schools, 
was the third in a family of seven children of George W. and Ruth 
(^^Vance) James, and was born in Vigo County, Ind., November 27, 1849. 
The elder James settled in Dick Johnson Township in 1829, and married 
in 1844, and where he and his wife lived until a short time previous to 
her death, which occurred in 1850, while residing in Vigo County. The 
subject of this sketch passed his early youth on a farm, with only the 
advantages of a common school, but, by studious habits, he acquired a 
good education, entering Bloomingdale Academy at the age of nineteen 
years, and remaining three years. In 1869, he engaged in the profes- 
sion of teaching, which he has since followed, first in country schools, 
but since 1873, he has held a position in the city schools. Prof. James 
is considered an able instructor. He is also a strict moralist, and a 
strong advocate of temperance, practicing what he preaches, using no 
intoxicating drinks nor tobacco. Mi*. James' marriage occurred March 
4, 1875, to Orpha J. Hobson, of Parke County, Ind. Four children 
have been boi'n to this union — Eva E., Milton T., Jessie J. and Ruth. 
Politically. Mr. James is a Republican, also a friend of progress. 

IGNATIUS JARBOE, member of the Clay County Abstract Company, 
established in February, 1882, and fire and life insurance agent, 
Brazil, Ind., was born in Vigo County, Ind., August 15, 1841, of parents ' 
Peter and Ann (Elder) Jarboe, both natives of Kentucky. They located 
in Vigo County in 1832, where they remained until their death, the 
mother dying in 1857, the^father in 1874. Ignatius spent his earlier 
years on the farm, and at the age of eighteen he began teaming in Terre 
Haute, Vigo County, which he followed until 1862, when he enlisted in 
Company C, Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, and served until he was mus- 
tered out in camp near Washington, D. C, in 1865. In July, 1864, near 
Dallus' Woods, on the skirmish line, he was wounded in the right arm. 
After the close of his term he returned home to Terre Haute, and worked 


for the American Express Company until 1866, when he went to Arkan- 
sas and West Tennessee, and remained there until 1868, when in August 
of that year he settled in Brazil, in the grocery trade, following it until 
1876, when he established his present insurance business, which repre- 
sents some of the best insurance companies in the country. On June 18, 
1878, he was married to Nancy E. Lightfoot, a native of Illinois. He 
and his wife are members of the Church of the Annunciation. Polit- 
ically, Mr. Jarboe is a Democrat. 

CHARLES JONES, a member of the firm of Smith & Jones, doing 
an extensive business in the retail grocery trade, and located on East 
Main street, Brazil, Ind., was born in Wales on August 14, 1852, landed 
in New York City in July, 1870, and remained a short time in Pennsyl- 
vania, going thence to Perry County, 111., where be engaged in coal 
mining. In March, 1872, he came to Brazil and formed a partnership 
with his present partner in a bakery, in connection with the grocery 
business; but in 1879 they abandoned the bakery trade, and turned their 
attention wholly to their grocery, having now one of the oldest estab- 
lished houses in the city, carrying a stock of nearly $4,000, and doing a 
business of from $14,000 to 115,000 a year. He was married, in Terre 
Haute, on July 25, 1876, to Ella Bowers, who is of German descent, but 
a native of Ohio. They have had two children — Lagoro and Emma. 
Mr. Jones is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the Ancient Order 
of United Workmen, of the Order of iForesters, of the Universal Brother- 
hood, and of the Order of Odd Fellows of Wales. By his industry and 
frugality, Mr. Jones has accumulated more than a competency for his 
remaining days. 

ROBERT L. KEITH, of the firm of the Bee Hive dry goods estab- 
lishment of Brazil, Ind., was born in Putnam County, Ind., April 7, 
1841, and was the son of Isaac and Nancy J. (Wingate) Keith, both na- 
tives of Virginia, and of English extraction. The elder Keith was an 
extensive farmer and stock-raiser, and Robert spent his youth upon the 
farm, having fair educational advantages, and considerable business ex- 
perience. After attaining his majority, he engaged in dealing in stock 
two years, after which he came to Bowling Green, then the^ county seat 
of Clay County, and established a dry goods store, which he successfully 
carried on until 1869, when he opened a livery stable, which he kept 
until 1875. when he removed his livery business i to Brazil and bought 
the Bee Hive store, carrying on both; also dealing extensively in real 
estate, suffering severe financial losses, but satisfying his creditors, and 
managing his business without failing, in the panic of 1873. It has 
taken Mr. Keith several } ears to recover from these misfortunes and get 
on the same financial footing. In 1860, October 17, he married Rebecca, 
daughter of Peter and Eliza Smock, of Southport, Ind. Four children 
were born to them, two of whom are living — Minnie M. , wife of J. M. 
Hoskins, Jr., and Ernest R. Nellie died at the age of three years, the 
other in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Keith have been members of the Chris- 
tian Church fifteen years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity 
and Knights of Pythias. In 1863, he sent into the service a substitiite, 
namod Taylor Bosley, as his own business was so extensive he could not 
leave it without ruining himself financially. Mr. Keith, in 1883, re- 
ceived a patent on an invention called Keith's Adjustable Attachment to 
Buggy Tops, by which the top may be lowered, or raised, by a lever, 
while the person is in the seat or on the ground. It has become popular. 


THOMAS KERINS, retail dealer in foreign and domestic wines, 
whiskies and brandies of the finest quality, also beer, ale, and all kinds 
of domestic goods; also, fine tobaccos and cigars — County Saloon, East 
Main street, west of the court house. He was born in County Galway, 
Ireland, in December, 1850. He grew up on a farm, having had only 
meager educational advantages, and in 1864 he emigrated to this coun- 
try, locating at Richmond, Ind., where for two years he was engaged as 
a water-carrier on the railroad; at the end of this time, he became a ped- 
dler, traveling over the States of Indiana and Ohio on foot. At the 
end of three years, he went to Indianapolis, and for three years worked 
at a glass factory. In October, 1872, he came to Brazil, where he has since 
resided. His first employment here was for the Brazil Blast Furnace. 
He worked for this company six years. In 1879, he became bar-tender 
at Ingleby's j^lace; in 1880, he embarked in the saloon business for him- 
self, and he has successfully followed it ever since. In the spring of 
1882, Mr. Kerins was placed on the Republican ticket for Councilman 
from the First Ward; was elected and is serving the city with faithful- 
ness and ability. On November 21, 1872, he was married to Ellen 
O'Donnell, a native of Marion County, Ind. To them have been born 
seven children — John, Maggie, Mary, Nellie and Elizabeth, the remain- 
ing two having died in infancy. Mr. Kerins and wife are both members 
of the Church of the Annunciation. He is also a member of the society 
of Hibernians, the Catholic Knights of America, and in politics a Re- 

JAMES F. LANKFORD was born in Clay County, Ind., on July 
8, 1845, and is the oldest son of Harvey Lankford, a native of Ken- 
tucky, who located in Clay County in 1842 as a farmer. In 1861, he 
enlisted in the Forty-third Indiana Infantry, was transferred to an Indi- 
ana Battery, and died at St. Louis, Mo. James F. was raised a farmer, 
and received a limited education in the primitive schoolhouses of the 
county. At the tender age of sixteen years, he enlisted, on February 
11, 1862, in Company G, Fifty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and participated 
in the sieges of New Madrid, Island No. 10 and Corinth, and the siege of 
and assault on Vicksburg, and the battle of Mission Ridge, going thence 
to Huntsville, Ala., where he re-enlisted as a veteran, and came home on a 
short furlough. In the spring of 1864, he returned to the field, and was 
with Sherman's command in its grand " march to the sea," and in all its en- 
gagements in that campaign back to Raleigh, N. C, thence to Louisville, 
Ky., via Washington, D. C., where, at the close of the war, he received 
his honorable discharge. Returning home, he engaged at the carpen- 
ter's trade, which he followed two years, and then purchased a one-third 
interest in a saw mill in Clay County. This not proving a profitable 
venture, at the end of three years he sold out his interest, and embarked 
in the blacksmithing and wagon -making business at Middlebury, Clay 
County, where he remained until the year 1880, a period of twelve years, 
eight years of which time he was proprietor and manager. In July, 
1880, he was nominated by the Republican party for Sheriff of Clay 
County, and, althoiigh the county was strongly Democratic, he was suc- 
cessful at the ensuing election. At the close of this term, he was re-nom- 
inated for the same position, but was defeated by the usual Democratic 
majority. He then purchased the livery and feed stable in Brazil, which 
he now manages with success. On December 19, 1872, he was married 
to Calista M., the daughter of J. W, Ecret, a pioneer of Clay County. 


Four children have been born to them — Pius, Flora, Elva and Letha. 
He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., I. O. O. F., K. of H., and the 
G. A. R. In politics, he has always been a stalwart Republican. 

VOORHEES T. LANSING, editor-in-chief of the Democrat, was 
born in Bowling Green, Clay Co., Ind., June 20, 1860, his father, A. 
True Lansing, being a pioneer editor of the county. At an early age, 
Voorhees entered his father's office, serving a thorough apprenticeship 
at journalism, and after being engaged some time on the Terre Haute Ex- 
press, he came, in 1873, to Brazil, and entered the office of the Clay 
County Miner. In April, 1880, Mr. Lansing, in connection with H. M. 
Lusk and William Walker, established the Aryus Magnet, a journal ad- 
vocating Democratic principles. In February, 1881, the firm was 
changed to Lansing & Lusk, who changed the name of the paper to the 
Democrat, which they now have on a sound basis, and doing a successful 
business. Harry M. Lusk, junior member of the firm of Lansing & 
Lusk, was born in Hudson, Summit Co., Ohio, January 3, 1861, where 
he remained until 1873, when he came with his parents to Brazil, Ind., 
and in 1877 commenced learning the printer's trade in the office of the 
Western Mirror, where he remained until he engaged in his present bus- 

GEORGE E. LAW, City Clerk of Brazil, was born in Bowling Green, 
Clay Co., Ind., July 31, 1858. He was the eldest son of a family of 
eight children of Marmaduke and Rebecca A. (Clemens) Law, both 
natives of Ohio. Having always lived in the city, he had good educa- 
tional advantages in common branches. In 1870, he came to Brazil, and 
followed the occupation of teaching writing-school for two years; then, 
being crippled from scrofula, he engaged in canvassing, which he fol- 
lowed for some time saccessfully. He then engaged as Deputy Recorder, 
remaining in this capacity for one year, being then elected City Clerk, 
in May, 1881. He filled this position so creditably that he was reelected. 
He is able and trustworthy, and is possessed of a high spirit of enter- 
prise and advancement in public matters ; is a good book-keeper, and has 
filled that position for a number of business firms. He has also had lim- 
ited experience as a reporter. 

GEORGE W. LEVIS, a printer by trade, was born in Butler County, 
Penn., on May 5, 1842, and spent his early youth principally in a store, 
his father being a merchant. At the age of sixteen, he began the study 
of medicine, which he kept up until he entered a medical school at Cleve- 
land, Ohio, where he took one course of lectures, and in 1860 he com- 
menced the active practice at West Middlesex, Mercer Co., Penn., with 
his brother, continuing until 1861, when he enlisted in Company C, 
Fifteenth United States Infantry, for three years. He participated in 
the battles of Shiloh, Tenn., and Corinth, Miss., thence on a march back 
to Kentucky. One night, while on duty near Nashville, Tenn., his de- 
tachment was attacked by the enemy, and Mr. Levis received severe 
wounds from a heavy saber, on the right hand and on the head. This 
disabledjhim several weeks, he being the most of the time in the hospital 
at Nashville. Very soon after he joined his regiment, he participated in 
the battle of Stone River, where he was wounded, losing the third finger 
of the left hand. On the second day of the battle, he was taken prisoner, 
and sent to Libby Prison, having to care for his own wound, with no 
medical treatment except rags and sweet oil. Here he remained for three 
months, suffering all the horrors and tortures of prison life. After his 


release, he was returned to the Union lines at City Point, thence to An- 
napolis, Md., where he received care and clothing, and thence to Camp 
Chase, Ohio, where he was discharged September, 1865, by reason of his 
disabilities, but in about two months he re-enlisted in the Third Penn- 
sylvania Cavalry, in which regiment he served until the close of the war. 
For nearly four years he was a soldier, and as one of his country's de- 
fenders he has left a brilliant record. After his return home, he worked 
as a printer in various places until 1872, when he purchased the Watch- 
man, at Tainaroa, 111. After nearly one year's publication, he sold the 
office and again worked as journeyman, and in 1873 was made foreman 
of the Shelbyville Leader, and remained there until 1874, when he, with 
a partner, became publisher of the Newton Press ; at the end of a year 
he went to Olney, 111., and took the foremanship of the Times; thence to 
Greencastle, Ind., where he assximed the management of the Banner, 
remaining there five years ; thenee to Terre Haute, Ind., where he pur- 
chased an interest in the Saturday Night. In a short time, however, he 
came to Brazil, and engaged as a printer on the Clay County Enterprise, 
where he is now. On April 21, 1872, he was married to Louisa Arnold, 
a native of Illinois, born May 13, 1853. They have two children, viz., 
Joseph Albert and Carrie Edna. He had one child by a previous mar- 
riage — Walter Benson. Mr. Levis is a leading member of the I. O. G. T. ; 
is industrious and attentive to business. 

W. D. LONG, proprietor and manager of the Clay Hotel, Brazil, 
Ind., was born in Shelby County, Ky. , in 1820, and came to Indiana in 
1854, and farmed until 1865, when he embarked in the mercantile trade 
at Bowling Green. This he followed for eight years, when he ran a 
hotel at the same place for two years, when, with a view of giving his 
children better educational advantages, he moved to Greencastle, Putnam 
County, where he also continued in a hotel. At the end of three years 
he returned to Bowling Green, and remained there until 1882, when he 
moved to Brazil and took the management of the Clay Hotel, which 
hostelry he is now conducting with profit to himself and satisfaction to 
his patrons. His house is a popular resort for the weary traveler. 

ARCHIBALD LOVE, County Commissioner of Clay County, was 
born in Scotland January 15, 1826, and is the eldest of seven children 
of John and Agnes Love, both of Scotch extraction. The father was a 
miner, and Archibald was reared as one, and has followed that occupa- 
tion to within the last seven years. In 1845, he was married to Jeannette 
Hamilton, who was h Highland Scotch lassie. To them were born six 
children, four of whom are living, viz., John, Charles, Agnes and Jesse. 
Mr. Love emigrated to the United States in 1839, and located not far 
from Pittsburgh, Penn., following mining for about three years; then he 
was a contractor on the tunnels of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad; 
also superintended a tunnel on the Steubenville & Indiana Railroad. 
In 1854, he removed to Cloverland, Vigo County, remaining there one 
year, when he purchased some land in Jackson Township, Clay County ; 
remained on it seven years, still following mining, however. He opened 
a mine on his farm, where he lost, during the years 1873 and 1874, be- 
tween $3,000 and $4,000. Never yielding to reverses, however, he, in 
1861, moved to Brazil, where only one mine had yet been opened in 
the vicinity, and was employed as a miner for one man nine years. In 
the meantime, he purchased an interest in a mine, but disposed of it 
about the year 1869, but still continued the management of mines for 


some time, when, in 1873, he retired from the business entirely, and oc- 
cupied his time in looking after his various investments in town proper- 
ty and land, owning two small farms and a number of pieces of property 
in Brazil, which, through industry and strict economy, he had accumu- 
lated. His wife dying March 28, 1876, he married for his second wife 
Mrs. Calasty Ward. This event occurred January 1, 1877. Mrs. Love, 
his present wife, has borne her husband three children, viz., Mary, Anna 
and Martha. In 1880, Mr. Love became the candidate of the Republican 
party for County Commissioner, and was elected. He has always been a 
stanch Republican in politics. He has been a consistent member of the 
Presbyterian Church since he was twenty years of age; is also a member 
of the Universal Brotherhood. He is an upright citizen, a good neigh- 
bor and a worthy official. 

PETER THOMAS LUTHER, junior member of the law and real es- 
tate firm of Matson & Luther, was born in Harrison Township, Clay 
Co., Ind., October 18, 1844, and was the eighth of eleven children of 
William and Charlotte (Stroud) Luther, and of German descent. The 
father came from North Carolina to Indiana in 1818, and settled on a 
farm in Crawford County. The subject of this sketch is the only sur- 
viving member of the family. He attended common school until nine- 
teen years of age, then taught school until he attained his majority, when 
he entered the university at Bloomington, Ind., where he remained until 
1866. After his return home, he was elected by the Democrats to the 
office of County Surveyor, and filled the place two years. Before the ex- 
piration of his term, he was nominated for County Recorder, and, his 
past official record being satisfactory, was elected by a handsome major- 
ity, and served faithfully four years. His party, confiding in his ability 
and integrity, placed him, in 1872, upon their ticket for Clerkof the 
Circuit Court, but there being a political revolution, the whole Demo- 
cratic ticket was defeated. He then formed a law partnership with 
Samuel M. McGregor, at Bowling Green, which continued until 1874, 
when he assumed the management of the Clay County Herald, the Dem- 
ocratic organ, leaving it in 1875 to become editor and publisher of the 
Weekly Echo at Brazil, which he ably and profitably managed two years, 
when he left the journalistic field to again enter the political arena. He 
served as Deputy Clerk one year, and as Deputy Sheriff two years. He 
then resumed the law, also making abstracts of title of Clay County, in 
partnership with Bowman, who retired in 1882, when the present firm 
was established. Prior to the year 1873, he had accumulated a hand- 
some fortune, which was swept away in the panic of that year. Mr. 
Luther was married, August 29, 1867, to Mary E. Crist, of Clay Coun- 
ty. Five children have been born to this anion, viz., Minnie R. , AVill- 
iam Pitt, Nellie and James (~)rist (deceased), the other dying in infancy. 
Mr. Luther holds to the faith of the Seventh -Day Adventists. He is a 
member of many of the leading secret societies, and a strong advocate of 

SALEM H LYBYER, son of Daniel S. P. and Rachel (Carpenter) 
Lybyer, was born in Vigo County, Ind., September 9, 1845, being the 
third in line of eight children. His parents immigrated from Pennsyl- 
vania and settled in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1839, and in the sixth year of 
his age the family moved to Putnam County in same State, which still 
continues to be the family home. His father being a fai'mer, his early 
years were spent in the toil and hardships so peculiar to farm labor in 


pioneer days. In the winter months, he had the advantage of the public 
schools to which he walked a distance of two and one -half miles, the terms 
being only from two to three months in length, and the teachers being 
remarkable more for their skill in the use of the rod than for their great 
scholarship. At the age of ten, he commenced the study of Ray's Higher 
Arithmetic, and, as was the usual custom, he continued this study for five 
consecutive years, each terra commencing again at the beginning of the 
book for the benefit of the new scholars and those entering from the pri- 
mary class, and at the end of the fifth year the class had been so thor- 
oughly drilled in the mysteiries of " vulgar fractions," that there was 
nothing the big boys were more familiar with, unless it was " playing mar- 
bles," " three-cornered cat," or "bull pen." Vivid recollections of the 
master's skill in the use of the rod appear to be indelibly stamped at 
least upon his memory, especially upon one occasion when he was in- 
vited to remain after school hours in the evening, but concluded to take 
''French leave;" the teacher being, however, the faster runner of the 
two, he was again returned to the schoolhouse, where a double dose of 
witch-hazel was freely administered. The greater part of his youthful 
education was, however, received at home, sitting by the fireside, reading 
and studying by the dim light of the fire place or a tallow dip. On the 
2l8t of August, 1863, and in the seventeenth year of his age, he enlisted 
as a recruit in Company C, of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry, his brother 
Andrew being a member of this company, and it having already been in 
service about eighteen months. Being so small, so youthful in appear- 
ance, and of such light weight — only weighing 117 pounds — they hesi- 
tated to accept him. He, however, was enlisted as a bugler for the com- 
pany, but, on being mustered in, peremptorily refused to act in this 
capacity, giving as his reason that he did not propose to blow a horn at 
the rebels while they were shooting bullets at him. Within a week 
after joining the regiment, they were ordered by rail to Lexington, Ky., 
and from there marched eastward some forty miles to Mount Sterling, 
where they were detailed to look after the " bushwhackers " and " illicit 
distilleries." From here they were ordered in November about 100 
miles further southwest, to Somerset, Ky., and started on a raid to 
Jamestown, Tenn., some seventy-five miles distant, passing the battle- 
field of Mill Spring, where the gallant Gen. Zollicofifer fell; thence back 
to Somerset. From here Company C was ordered to Camp Pitman, 
where they met Maj. Gen. Foster, and acted as his escort to Tazewell, 
Tenn., where they arrived just after the battle of "Walker's Ford." 
Here the boy soldier, for he was the smallest and youngest in the com- 
pany, had the honor of being detailed to act as orderly and courier to 
Gen. Foster, a post not only of danger, but also of responsibility, and 
which he held until Gen. Foster was sent to Knoxville to relieve Gen. 
Burnside of the command of the Army of East Tennessee; the regiment 
in the meantime arrived at Tazewell, and were deployed as guards at the 
different fords on Clinch Kiver, to prevent the enemy getting possession 
of Cumberland Gap, the only available place for miles to cross the 
mountains, and thereby protect the rear of our army at Knoxville. The 
Company was next detailed to guard a telegraph office at Thorn Hill, 
which connected with Foster's army, who were at this time being driven 
westward down Powell's Valley by Gen. Longstreet, and on the 14th of 
December, at 4 P. M., word was sent by the pickets that a body of the 
enemy's troops were coming westward down the valley on the north side of 


the mountain, and were only a few miles distant. A battle was imaging on the 
other side of the mountain between the two armies only about six miles 
away, and the Captain ascended the mountain to get a view of the en- 
gagement, and in the excitement of the moment the Lieutenant in charge 
took the Company and advanced to meet the rebels coming down the 
valley, but they soon discovered that it was no Kentucky bushwhacking 
skirmishing that they had now on their hands. The rebel brigade was 
led by Gens. Carter and Jones, and in less than thirty minutes the com- 
pany was completely routed. Those who were not taken prisoners either 
crossed the mountaias to the main army or found their way back to 
Tazewell, and only seven of the whole company saved their horses and 
camp equipage, the two Lybyer boys being among this number, although 
at one time being within seventy-five yards of the enemy; but while the 
horses of the enemy were tired and jaded, theirs were fresh and they 
made a safe retreat, dashing forward to the music of the bullets which 
the " Johnnies " sent whistling about their heads. 

These seven heroes succeeded by a great effort in reaching the sum- 
mit of Clinch ^Mountain this same night, and there witnessed one of the 
grandest sights of the rebellion. Side by side in five parallel lines on 
each side lay the two great armies, their camp tires stretching for miles, 
and only apparently about one hundred yards distant from each other, 
and here while preparing their evening meal, there was kept up a contin- 
ual tire, from the guns of the skirmishers, with an occasional charge up- 
on one side and a stubborn resistance on the other, and the boom and 
flash of the heavy artillery was a sight long to be remembered. These seven 
cavalrymen of Company C here, upon the top of the mountain, spread 
their blankets and, tired and hungry, found refreshing sleep, and in the 
morning after a short council they determined to return on the south side of 
the mountain as far as the Clinch Gap, and if possible look up their com- 
rades, but to their surprise they found the Gap deserted, even by the One 
Hundred and Seventeenth Indiana, sixth months men, who had been detailed 
to guard it, and who had evidently abandoned the pass at the approach 
of the rebels, leaving behind them nearly all their camp equipage and 
retreating to the main army. Here the little band, who had been fasting 
for almost twenty-foui- hours, taking advantage of what the One Hundred 
and Seventeenth had left behind, had quite a feast, and supplied them- 
selves with rations for their future march. From this point they 
passed down the mountain road about two miles to the place where they 
had encamped the day before, but found the camp completely deserted. 
They remained here until about 9 o'clock in the morning, when they 
started toward Tazewell, but had gone but a short distance when they 
met Maj. Carter, who had been sent to th(nr relief with a squad of about 
sixty men, and with instructions to scour the valley and find what had 
become of Company C. They however informed the Major that, so far as 
they knew, they seven were all that remained of the company. They joined 
the squadron and returned toward their old camping ground, but before 
reaching it they ran into a large body of rebels, who seeing their ap- 
proach, concealed themselves until the squadron was almost upon them, 
when they opened such a raking fire as compelled them to fall back and 
leave the enemy in undisputed possession of the valley. It was after- 
ward ascertained that the rebels who routed Company C, in continuing 
their raid also captured twenty-one of Uncle Sam's six-mule army 
wagons, loaded with sugar and cofifee, which were being sent as supplies 


to the main array. The boys under command of Maj. Carter returned to 
Big Springs, six miles south of Tazewell, and went into camp. It was 
on Christmas afternoon, and just as Andy Lybyer had made a pot-pie out 
of a big Dominic rooster that had crowed at the boys the day before, 
and had baked a pan of nice biscuit, he was taken down with a severe 
chill, and, unable to eat any of the dinner he had so carefully pre- 
pared, was ordered back to the hospital at Tazewell. On the fol- 
lowing day the squadron having been ordered to Tazewell, !S. H. Lybyer, 
on their arrival, went immediately to the hospital to see his brother, 
whom he found in a very neglected condition, having had nothing but a 
cup of water since the day before, and lying on the floor with a blanket 
for a pillow, and another for a cot. The case was reported, a Surgeon 
was called, the patient prescribed for, and S. H. Lybyer was ordered by 
the Captain to turn over his horse and go to the hospital and take care 
of his sick brother, who was one of the bravest and best soldiers in the 
company. The patient grew much worse during the night, having an 
attack of brain fever, and for forty-eight hours raved like a madman, bat 
it gradually wore oif, and he became more rational. He then advised 
his brother to lay in a good siipply of rations, and take the best care of 
himself, and then sent home a loving message, which meant that his 
fighting of battles were over, and that death was most likely to claim an- 
other victim. These were the darkest days in the history of the subject 
of this sketch. The strong arm and superior judgment of this elder 
brother had guided and protected him in many a time of peril and need, 
had stood by him on the skirmish line and on the battle-lield, and when 
tired, hungry and faint, provided for his most pressing wants; it was that 
he might be near to him that he was anxious to enter this part of the serv- 
ice, and to lose him now was a trial which was more than he could bear. 
But throiigh the kindness of a merciful Providence, his life was spared, 
and he was so far restored to health that after a lapse of about six weeks, 
when a raid was made upon Tazewell by the enemy, he with others was 
removed to Cumberland Gap, and was fully restored. Mr. Lybyer thinks 
that this part of the army was more neglected and suffered more than 
any other, many of them being young and raw recruits, and unaccus- 
tomed to the hardships of a soldier's life. Fortunately for our boy sol- 
dier, the three most severe months of the winter campaign were spent in 
waiting upon the sick and wounded in the hospital. In April, the regi- 
ment was oi'dered to Camp Nelson, where they were attached to Gen. 
Stoneman's cavalry corps, about 7,000 strong, and here equipped for the 
famous march across the mountains — a march of about 300 miles to Sher- 
man's army without hub or spoke — one of the most celebrated marches on 
record, considering the great disadvantages they had to contend with. 
Some of the principal engagements in which they took part were Dalton, 
Resaca, Adairsville, Kingston, Cartersville. Burnt Hickory, Altoona, 
New Hope Church, Pumpkin Vine and Pine Ridge, and were the first 
troops to scale the dizzy heights of Lost Mountain. They then drove 
the enemy in their front to the Chattahoochie River, and compelled them 
to cross. On the 4th of July, 1864, they were in saddle all day, and 
drove the enemy back six miles, and refused even to dismount for re- 
freshments until night admonished them to halt. At other times they 
made their meals upon the wild huckleberries which grew in such a 
spontaneoiis abundance, but were scarcely more numerous than the rebel 
bullets which whistled about their ears while they were picking and par 


taking of ihem. On the day before the evacuation of Resaca by the 
rebels, two men from each company in Stoneman's command were se- 
lected as a detail, and ordered to report at headquarters. The Lybyer 
boys were selected from Company C. These 125 select men were taken 
in charge of by Maj. Keo. chief of staff to Gen. Stoneman, and one of 
thfi bravest and most daring officers in the army, and on the next after- 
noon at 4 o'clock, this squadron, under the command of the gallant Major, 
and supported by a brigade of cavalry, found themselves upon the rear of 
the rebel army. With turpentine, balls, pitch and matches, they made 
a charge on the town opposite Resaca. and on the bridge connecting the 
two places, and over which the rebels would be compelled to retreat. 
They reached the bridge and tired it, and the rebels, seeing the great 
danger to which they were about to be exposed, charged with infantry 
upon them, turned their heavy guns, and opened with a raking fire of 
grape and canister upon the brave band, and compelled te m to retreat, 
and quenched the flames; and thus, with many other daring exploits, did 
they constantly harass the enemy durini/ the four weeks of their raid, 
and before they were returned to their respective commands. 

On the 22d of July, the day on which the noble Gen. McPherson fell, 
and the Union forces lost 2,000 men, Mr. Lybyer was captured and taken 
to East Point, seven miles south of Atlanta, where he was kept with 
other prisoners on half rations for three days, when they were marched 
in the direction of Andersonville, Ga. On the morning of the third 
day's march, July 27, he performed one of the most daring feats of his 
army career — a decision prompted only by the feeling that from a rebel 
prison there was no escape save in death, and a life which was worse 
than death; and fully aware of the danger of the undertaking, he deter- 
mined, if possible, to make his escape, and through the kindness of a 
merciful Providence was successful, and very soon afterward fell in 
with a fellow prisoner, Lieut. George W. Bailey, of the Sixth Missouri 
Infantry, and whose method of escape was remarkably strange and pecul- 
iar. During the night while they lay in camp, he dug a shallow trench 
in which he placed himself, and with the assistance of his fellow prisoners 
so carefully covered himself that all suspicion of the living con- 
tents of the newly made grave was allayed, and as soon as the 
guard had departed with the prisoners, he resurrected himself and 
struck out for a more congenial clime. Of the 200 officers in the hands 
of the rebels, Lieut. Bailey was the only one who would undertake the 
perils necessary to make the escape. These two wanderers, Lybyer and 
Bailey, now set out to return to the Union lines, keeping on the east of 
the rebel lines, and after traveling two nights in the most cautious man- 
ner they found themselves on a plantation owned by John A. Clark, 
about ten miles east of Jonesboro, and about thirty miles south of Atlan- 
ta, and herH they received the kindest attention from two old colored 
people. Uncle Pate and his wife, while waiting for Sherman's army to 
drive the rebels from Atlanta, or for a raiding party whom they might 
join; the only one they heard of being that of Gen. McCooli, but being 
four miles south, and whose movements were so rapid on account of rebel 
pi-essure, that it was not deemed advisable to make the attempt. The 
owner of the plantation, Mr. Clark, was a true and faithful rebel, and 
every morning found him in Jonesboro, seeking for news, and on his re- 
turn one of his daughters, a very beautiful and accomplished young ladv, 
would take the newspaper, and tripping over to the negro quarters, read 


them all the news, the negroes on our behalf being specially interested, 
and ten minutes later the news was delivered to the fugitives who were 
concealed in a thicket about 100 yards from the negro quarters. Here 
they remained about four weeks, their only amusement being an occasion- 
al fishing excursion, or lying in the cane patch and watching the darkies 
dancing io the back yards of their quarters. There was little danger of 
being molested so long as they remained in the woods, as the white folks 
never went there at that time, for fear of meeting a Yankee, and the 
most faithful friend of the Union man was the negro. Finally, becom- 
ing fearful that their presence might be discovered, Mr. Lybyer took some 
rations of corn bread in his haversack, and bidding good bye to Lieut. 
Bailey and his faithful colored friends, and having for a guide a power- 
ful young negro who belonged to the owner of the plantation joining 
Clark's on the east, but who feeling that he had been badly misused left 
his master about three years previously and secreted himself among 
his colored brethren of the adjoining plantations, but had even spent 
many a night with the negroes at home, he started out with a light 
heart. They took a northeasterly course, traveling all night and 
part of the next afternoon, and by sunset arrived at the south bank of 
South River, some sixty miles southeast of Atlanta, it being a point where 
a friend of the guide was known to cross the river at this hour, in a 
skiff, returning from his work. Finding their man, and dismissing the 
guide with thanks (for it was all he had to give), Mr. Lybyer crossed the 
river, and was guided several miles that same night, resting then until 
the evening of the next da3% when he was again taken in charge by the 
negro who had rowed him across the river. They continued their jour- 
ney to a point where he was directed how to find the Georgia Railroad, 
running east from Atlanta, and which he struck about daybreak, and at a 
point about fifty miles east of Atlanta. Starting westward along this 
railroad, but avoiding the towns and villages, he traveled on the whole 
day, and in the evening reached Stone Mountain, just fourteen miles 
east of Atlanta, fully expecting to find the Union army near this, but was 
sadly disappointed, as upon inquiring of an old gentleman he learned 
that the " Yankees " had fallen back several days before, and were sup- 
posed to be still on the retreat. 

Fearfully disappointed, but far from being discouraged, he took again 
to the woods, and started in the direction of the Chattahoochie River, a 
distance of twenty miles, and traveled until midnight; and weary by 
travel, and exhausted by hunger and want of sleep, he sank down on the 
grass under a small pine and immediately fell asleep. Awaking just 
before daylight and encouraged by the thought that before the setting 
of the sun, if no misfortune would overtake him, he should strike the 
Union lines, he started off at a brisk walk feeling perfectly safe at such 
an early hour, but he had gone but a short distance when he was startled 
by a whistle directly in front of him, and apparently very close, and a 
minute later a horseman rode up, and passed him unobserved on the 
left, and in a moment another horseman appeared on the scene, passing 
by on the right, but hidden among the briers. The first horseman halted 
near by, and returned almost to the spot where the boy lay concealed 
among the briers, but while the fugitive could distinctly see the enemy, 
he could not be seen by them, as it was scarcely light enough to discover 
objects lying on the ground. While the enemy were thus maneuvering, 
young Lybyer had quietly taken off his boots, and deliberately but cau- 


tiously walked across behind the horseman on the right, and passed 
within twenty-five yards of him, and after getting out of the pine under- 
growth made about the best time that a scared youth could make under 
the circumstances. Some distance on he struck a creek, and traveled in 
its bed for about half a mile to avoid being tracked by the Southern 
bloodhounds which were of far greater terror to escaped prisoners than 
the most unrelenting rebels. In the course of his wanderings that day, 
which was on the 29th of August, and still keeping at a safe distance 
from the houses of the plantations, he happened to pass a patch which 
had contained water melons, and but a single very choice one remained 
which, no doubt, the good man of the house was reserving for seed, but 
which Providence had in reality left there for the wandering boy; so 
seizing the coveted prize, and forgetting all about bloodhounds, he again 
struck for the woods, and finding a safe and convenient resting place, 
indulged in a luxury which was the most refreshing thing that he ever 
ate, and to this day to talk of a Georgia melon makes his eyes glisten 
with moisture. At sundown that evening, after a tiresome and perilous 
day's journey, evading the enemy and keeping at a respectable distance 
from houses and fields, he heard voices in the distance, and determined 
to investigate when it grew a little darker, and which turned out to be a 
heavy skirmish line in the woods, but as yet could not tell whether 
friends or foes. He concluded to risk the consequence and steal through, 
but on his first attempt, getting too near the reserve line, he had to re- 
treat and make another attempt, which in doing,he ran against the limb of 
a fallen tree, which caused him to change his course, and in doing so, 
came close to a vedette who was sitting in the underbrush, and as the vedette 
stood up they were within two feet of each other, and in the twilight 
young Lybyer could distinctly see by the uniform that he stood face to 
face with a terribly scared Yankee, and to whom he took great pleasure 
in surrendering. He was then taken to headquarters, and after the 
usual examination ordered to be fed, and once more, after wandering 
about for five weeks, and through many dangers, he lay down in peace 
to rest and sleep under the " glorious stars and stripes." He afterward 
ascertained that when he had reached Stone Mountain, our troops had 
fallen back on the Chattahoochee to re- enforce our lines there, which was 
the base of supplies, while the right of the army was thrown forward 
and around Atlanta, striking the Macon Railroad at Jonesboro, and caus- 
ing the evacuation of Atlanta just eight days after he was picked up on 
the skirmish line. After the fall of Atlanta, he went into the city and 
learned that his regiment had been on the Stoneman raid to Macon, 
where they had been surrendered by Stoneman, but although he sold the 
goods he was unable to deliver them, as a great many had cut their way 
through the rebel lines, and after many hardships and dangers returned 
to the Union lines, and were then sent back to Nashville, Tenn., to be 
remounted. Lybyer, receiving a pass from the Post Commander, re- 
turned to Nashville, and one morning, just as the boys were at breakfast, 
walked into camp, where he received a hearty welcome by his brother 
and all his comrades. He was somewhat surprised to learn that the boys 
were expecting to see him return at any time, as it had been predicted by 
both officers and men that the rebels would never get young Lybyer into 
a rebel prison. 

After rejoining the regiment, they again took the field and assisted 
in driving Gen. Forrest out of Tennessee, and were in their saddles 


twenty- one consecutive days, returning to Nashville in October. From 
Nashville they were next ordered to Dalton, where they expected to go 
into winter quarters, but very soon were again under marching orders to 
Chattanooga, where they encamped in the valley between Lookout 
Mountain and Mission Ridge to intercept Gen. Hood. From Chatta- 
nooga they were ordered again to Nashville, where they arrived after 
some skirmishing, just before Gen. Hood surrounded the city, and were 
stationed on the extreme left of the line of defense, and where they had 
several sharp encounters with the enemy; from here they were sent across 
the river to the north part of the city, to guard the fortifications in that 
direction, but in the beginning of December, 1864, they were again 
ordered to the main line of defense, and placed on the extreme right 
near the river, where, on the morning of the 15th, in connection with the 
main army, they took a prominent part in the general engagement which 
drove Hood from his position, scattered his army, practically closing 
the war in Tennessee and giving to Gen. George H. Thomas a name 
that will live as long as the history of the rebellion is remembered. 
They then went into winter quarters at Edgefield, Tenn. , where they re- 
mained until spring, thence to Pulaski, Tenn., and in June the veterans 
of the regiment were mustered out, having served their three years, and the 
remaining recruits were consolidated with the Fifth Indiana Cavalry. 
In July — now in Company F, of the Sixth Regimont — the company was 
sent to Columbia, Tenn., and detailed for special service. Soon after- 
ward they joined the regiment en route to McMinnville, where after a 
short stay they were ordered to Murfreesboro, from which place, on the 
15th day of September, 186B, they were mustered out of the United 
States service, and returned home, rejoicing that the war was ended. 
During the next three, years, Mr. Lybyer remained on the farm, saving 
his earnings with a view to acquiring an education, and spent the year 
following in the Union College at Merom, and the two following years 
in Asbury University. He then began the study of dentistry with Dr. 
A. C. Fry, of Greencastle, Ind. , where he remained for five years, in the 
meanwhile doing work at several points in the counties of Clay, Vigo 
aad Owen, and on July 18, 1875. was married to Miss Jennie S., daugh- 
ter of Albert G. and Jane E. (Howe) Layman, of Putnamville, Ind. 
This union has been blessed with three children — Albert Howe, aged 
seven, a bright boy who knew the alphabet before he was two years of 
age, and a fluent reader of English at the age of five, and who has a re- 
markable memory; the second child, Estes L., is aged five; and Daniel 
H., aged two years. In November, 1875, Dr. Lybyer located in Brazil, 
Ind., where he has ever since remained ; and by his close application to 
business, his integrity, his charity and his generally acknowledged pro- 
fessional ability,have gained the confidence and esteem of the community 
in which he resides, and he is at present engaged in the largest and most 
lucrative practice ever enjoyed by any dentist in Clay County. The 
Doctor is a member of the Presbyterian Church, his wife being a Meth- 
odist. In 1881-82, he was the acting Superintendant of the Presbyte- 
rian Sunday School, and for two years President of the Clay County Sab- 
bath School Union, and at the end of his second year, in June last, the 
following complimentary resolutions were passed by the society. Dr. 
Lybyer, retiring President, served two years with great acceptability, and 
leaves the Union in good working order for his successor. The follow- 
ing resolutions were adopted by unanimous vote: 


Whereas, Dr. S. H. Lybyer has faithfully served the Sabbath School Union as 
President for the past two years and retires at his own request; and 

Whereas, Our Union has greatly prospered under his efficient management; 

Resolved, That this convention tender Dr. Lybyer its heartfelt thanks, and bid 
him a Godspeed in all his efforts during life ; and further 

Resolved, That this convention commends him to all Christian people as an up- 
right, courteous and Christian gentleman, and entitled to their fullest confidence. 

He is also an earnest advocate of the cause of temperance, and a 
member of tbe Grand Army of the Republic. 

FRANCIS M. McBRIDE, Marshal of Brazil, was born in Clay Coun- 
ty, Ind., June 8, 1835, and was the third in a family of four children of 
David and Rhoda (Vest) McBride, his father being of Scotch and his 
mother of French-Irish lineage. Francis was reared on a farm, but 
served an apprenticeship at the blacksmith trade, following it three 
years, when ill-health compelled him to return to the farm, and that and 
mining coal occupied his attention until 1868, when he moved to Brazil 
and embarked in the grocery business, continuing in this until the 
" strike " of 1870, when he contributed to the amount of nearly $8, 000 to 
the relief of deserving idle miners. At this time, in May, 1870, he dis- 
posed of his store, and accepted the appointment of Deputy Marshal of 
Brazil, and the same aiitumn was elected Constable of Brazil Township, 
on the Republican ticket, filling both positions until 1873, when he was 
elected Marshal of the city, which he filled creditably for two years, when 
he was again elected Constable, a portion of the past two years acting as 
Deputy Sheriff, when, in 1877, he went on the police force ; served until 
May, 1881, when he was again elected Marshal. He filled the office with 
such credit to himself and satisfaction to his friends and constituents 
that in 1883 he was re-elected JMarshal, which office he still holds. De- 
cember 11, 1856, he was married to Miss R. McGill, a native of Ohio, 
and of German origin. Eight children have been born to them, three 
only of whom are living, viz., Mary Bell (Lyons), Humbert and Cala, 
the others dying under seven years of age. Mr. McBride is a member 
of the A. F. & A. M., the A. O. U. W., Order of Foresters, and the Im- 
proved Order of Red IVten. He is an enterprising, public-spirited, up- 
right, genial gentleman. 

A. J. McCULLOUGH, a citizen of Brazil, Ind., was born in Rush 
County, Ind., on December 8, 1836, and is the fourth child of James^ 
and Nancy McCullough. In 1839, they moved to Decatur County, Ind., 
thence, in 1843, to Clay County. While living with his father, our sub- 
ject worked on the farm and made shingles and staves until he was 
eighteen years old, when he left home and occupied himself as an en- 
gineer until, in 1859, he again employed himself on a farm. In No- 
vember, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Indiana Infantry, 
marched over the mountaius of Virginia and Maryland, and, on May, 
1862, was mustered out of the service. In the following July, he re- 
enlisted in Company K, Seventy- eighth Indiana Infantry, for sixty days, 
and was taken prisoner at JMunfordville, Ky., September 17, 1862. He 
was paroled and mustered out of the service about September 25, 1862. 
After his return home, he entered a drug store as clerk, and also read 
medical works. In Jitly, 1863, he purchased a provision store, where he 
did business until January, 1865, when he disposed of his business and 
enlisted in Company A, Forty-third Indiana Infantry, remaining until 
the close of the war, when he retm-ned home and again ensraged in the 


provision business. In 1867, he sold out and became a partner of Mr. 
Croasdale in the drug business. At the end of a year, he sold out and 
became a photographer; continued in this business five years, when, in 
1875, he abandoned it, on account of ill health, and accepted the ap- 
pointment of Deputy United States Marshal of Indiana. His term as 
Marshal expiring, he was elected Township Assessor, which office he now 
holds. On May 16, 1863, he was married to Melissa J. Davis. She is 
a native of Butler County, Ohio. One child has been born to them, a 
son, who was born June 20, 1864, and who died at the age of three 
months and twelve days. IMr. McCullough has been for twenty- one 
years a member of Brazil Lodge, No. 215, I. O. O. F.; is also a member 
of the Improved Order of Red Men, of the Chosen Friends, and of the 
G. A. R. ; also of the Good Templars. In politics, he is a Republican. 
He has been very successful in all his undertakings, being now engaged 
in the real estate business. 

W. D. McCULLOUGH, City Councilman of Brazil, also proprietor 
of a clothing establishment, on East Main street, was born in Clay 
County, Ind., March 13, 1843, and was the', sixth of nine children of 
James and Nancy (Fort) McCullough, both natives of Kentucky, but 
locating in Clay County, Ind., in 1843, where they both died, she in 
1850, he in 1864. The subject of this sketch passed his youth upon a 
farm, with common school advantages. In July, 1861, he enlisted in 
Company B, Forty-first Illinois Infantry. He pai'ticipated in the^battles 
of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, being wounded at both places, at the latter 
seriously. He was also at the siege of Corinth, at Coldwater and Vicks- 
burg, Jackson, Tenn., and many lesser engagements. He was also in 
Sherman's ''march to the sea," and was honorably discharged in July, 
1865, having served over four years. Mr. McCullough, after his return 
from the war, engaged in farming until 1868, when he came to Brazil, 
entering Rothschild's clothing store, as a clerk, where he remained until 
1879. He then formed a partnership with A. C. Ford, of Cincinnati, 
which continued until May, 1883, when he bought his partner's interest, 
and now owns one of the best clothing establishments in the county, 
carrying $10,000 worth of stock, and having an extensive trade. In 
May, 1883, he was elected Councilman of the Third Ward, which office he 
fills with ability. He wasj married, April 25, 1869, to Miss R. M. 
Stogdon, a native of Ohio. One child, Inez B., born August 5, 1872, is 
the fruit of this union. Mrs. McCullough has been an invalid ten years 
from the effects of rheumatism. Mr. McCullough is an Elder in the 
Christian Church, and a member of Lodge No. 215, I. O. O. F., having 
held the highest offices in that and the Encampment. He is also a mem- 
ber of the Order of Foresters, and of the G. A. R. In politics, he 
is a Republican. He is a much^ respected citizen, and a genial gentle- 
man. ^ 

SAMUEL M. McGregor was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, 
January 17, 1850, and was a son of John C. and Caroline (Scott) 
McGregor, of Scotch lineage, who located at Flora, III, in 1863, moving 
to Clay County, Ind., in 1865, where the elder McGregor practiced his 
profession of medicine, and was elected by the Democratic party, in 
1868, to represent the county in the Legislature. Samuel M. enjoyed 
good school privileges, and being an apt scholar was, at the age of six- 
teen years, fitted for teaching, which calling he followed in 1866 and 
1867, in Clay and Putnam Counties. In 1868, he entered Wabash Col- 


lege, remaining until 1871, when, his health failing, he was compelled to 
leave. The same year, he entered the law office of Enos Miles, of Bowl- 
ing Green, and was admitted to the bar in July of the same year. In 
1872, he was elected, by the Democratic party. District Attorney for the 
counties of Putnam, Clay, Owen and Greene; but in 1873 the Legis- 
lature abolished the office, and he established an office in Bowling Green, 
where he had a lucrative practice. In 1876, Mr. McGregor was a candi- 
date for the office of State Senator, to represent the counties of Clay and 
Owen, but owing to the rivalry between Bowling Green and Brazil, grow- 
ing out of the relocation of the county seat, he was defeated, another 
candidate having been nominated from Owen County. In 1877, the 
county records being moved to Brazil, Mr. McGregor moved his office to 
that place, where he foi'med a partnership with Senator Compton, which 
still exists. In 1882, he was nominated for Proseciiting Attorney, for 
Clay and Putnam Counties, and was elected by an almost unanimous 
vote. He was married, September 17, 1875, to Belle F., daughter of 
Col. J. C. and Henrietta Majors, an accomplished young lady of Clay 
County. To this union have been born two children, viz. : Maud, aged 
seven years, and John M., aged fourteen months. 

WINFIELD SCOTT McGEEGOR, Deputy Sherifif of Clay County, 
is the third child of Dr. J. C. and Caroline (Scott) McGregor, and was 
born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on Februaiy 5, 1851. He was reared 
in a town where he had ample school advantages, and acquired a good 
common English education. He went with his parents to Illinois in 
1864, where they remained until 1866, when they located in Clay Coun- 
ty, Ind., where he has since resided. At the age of seventeen, he com- 
menced teaching in the public schools of the county. Some of the time 
he was a clerk in a dry goods store, but in 1873 he taught his last term 
of school in Harmony, Clay County. In 1874, he accepted the position 
of Deputy in the Treasurer's office, which position he held for four con- 
secutive years. During the last year of his term, he was a prominent 
candidate before the Democratic primary convention, but was unsuccess- 
ful. In 1879, he was the Democratic candidate for County Clerk, and 
was elected, but in the election of 1880 he was defeated, as was also the 
whole ticket. After leaving the Treasurer's office, he occupied the posi- 
tion of bank teller, which position he held until he made the unsuccessful 
race for County Clerk, after which he engaged himself as book-keeper at 
Terre Haute for a wholesale leather house, but illness in his family com- 
pelled him to resign that position and move on his father's farm, where 
he remained until November, 1882, when he received the appointment of 
Deputy Sherifif of Clay County, which office he now holds. On Decem- 
ber 26, 1877, he was married to Bettie R., daughter of W. J. and Phil 
adelphia (Radford) Campbell, both natives of Kentucky, and both de- 
ceased. Mrs. McGregor was born April 14, 1857. They have one child, 
viz.: Minnie Violet, born July 24, 1880. Mr. McGregor is one of those 
whole-souled, suave gentlemen whom it is a pleasure to meet. From his 
childhood he has been a zealous partisan of the Democratic faith. 

JAMES A. McNUTT, attorney at law, Brazil, is the youngest of 
two children of James H. and Evaline McNutt, the father being a native 
of Ohio, of Scotch Irish lineage, and a physician by profession. The 
subject of, ^ this sketch was born in Perrysville, Vermillion Co., Ind., on 
January 6, 1839; and from the time he was two years old — at which 
time his mother died — he was raised by his grandfather, having, however, 


good educational advantages, attending, in the meantime, the Crawfords- 
ville school two years. Leaving school in 1860, he located in Gosport, 
Ind. , and embarked in the dry goods business, continuing five years, then 
went into milling; and this proving not a successful venture, in 1868 
he sold out the interest he owned in the mill and commenced to read 
law at spare hours. In 1870, he was appointed Chief Clerk in the In- 
ternal Revenue office at Gosport, where he remained until 1878, at which 
time the office was abolished. Practicing law and studying in the mean- 
time, in 1874 he located in Brazil,- where he has remained ever since, 
actively practicing his profession. In 1876, he was the Republican can- 
didate for the position of Prosecutor of the district composed of the 
counties of Clay and Putnam, but was defeated, the district being strong- 
ly Democratic. In 1878, he was appointed by the Council of Brazil as 
City Attorney, which position he filled with ability for four years. On 
July 24, 1862, he was married to Catherine Schermerhorn, a native of 
Indiana. To this union have been born six children, four of whom are 
living, viz.: Blair S., Louis M., Evaline and Mary L., the other two 
having died in infancy. 

CHARLES E. MATSON, the fifth of nine children of John A. and 
Margarette M. (Woelper) Matson, was born in Brookville, Franklin Co., 
Ind., November 22, 1849. The father located in Franklin County, prac- 
ticed law, and was the Whig candidate for Governor of Indiana in 1849 
against J. A. Wright. He was a native of Ohio, of Irish lineage; the 
mother of Pennsylvania, and of German extraction. Charles E. grew to 
manhood on a farm, with good school advantages. At the age of thirteen 
years, he entered the Asbury University, remained there a year, when, in 
1864, at the age of fourteen years, he enlisted in Company B, Forty-third 
Indiana Infantry, and at the close of the war received an honorable dis- 
charge. He returned to the University, where he remained three years, 
returning then to the farm, where he commenced to read law with his 
father, and after his father's death with his brother, the Hon. C. C. Mat- 
son. He remained there until 1873, when he moved to Brazil, and 
formed a law partnership with Senator Compton of that place. This 
relation existed until 1877, and in 1878 he received the nomination, at 
the hands of the Democratic party, for Prosecutor of the district com- 
posed of the counties of Clay and Putnam, and was elected. At the end 
of the term of two years he was re-elected. At the close of this term, he 
formed a partnership with Peter T. Luther, in the law and abstract busi- 
ness. The firm command a very lucrative business, and rank with the 
leading attorneys of the county. On May 13, 1880, he was married to 
Elizabeth E., daughter of Col. William L. and Margaret Farrow, of 
Greencastle, Ind. One child has been born to them, viz., Jessie E. , born 
July 2, 1881. Mr. Matson is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the 
Knights of Honor, and of the G. A. R. 

JOHN T. MORGAN, wagon manufacturer at Morgan's Crossing, was 
born in Henry County, Ky., July 25, 1829, and is a sun of Preston and 
Rhoda Morgan, both natives of Kentucky. When the parents came to 
Indiana there were two sons, the subject of this sketch and William, who 
assisted in surveying the Vandalia line from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, 
afterward serving as engineer on the same road until killed in a collision 
at Terre Haute in November, 1881. Mr. Morgan spent his early youth 
upon a -farm, and at the age of eighteen years commenced working at the 
blacksmith and wagon -maker's trade, which he has followed most of his 


life. In 1850, Mr. Morgan drove a team through to Council Bluffs, 
soon returning to Indiana, and resuming his trade, in which he was very 
successful, acquiring a handsome property. At one time he owned 
eighty acres of the city of Brazil, for which he realized over $100 an 
acre, but the panic of 1872-73 found him a heavy indorser for parties 
who failed, and the savings of years were swept away. In spite of these 
reverses and other misfortunes — he having been totally blind four years — 
he makes a comfortable living. Mr. Morgan's marriage occurred Sep- 
tember 29, 1851, to Phcebe Eaglesfield, of Indianapolis. Three children 
were born to this union, viz., William (who was killed in a railroad col- 
lision near St. Louis, March 4, 1879), Mary, and Charles (deceased). Mrs. 
Morgan died in May, 1865, and in 1869 Mr. Morgan married Margaret 
Bolin, who has borne him seven children, viz., Freddie, Kittie, Flora, 
Eugene and Nellie, the others dying in infancy. 

JOHN MOSHER is owner and manager of the retail liquor estab- 
lishment, located on the northeast corner of Main and Meridian streets, 
in the city of Brazil, Clay Co., Ind. Mr. Mosher established himself at 
his present place of business in September, 1881, since which time he 
has had a wonderfully successful trade ; and bis gentlemanly deportment 
and liberal, fair dealing, are rewarded by the best patronage of any 
house in its line in the city. He has always in stock the finest articles 
of imported and domestic whiskies, wines, beers and ales, tobaccos and 
cigars. The place is always neat, orderly and quiet. 

FEED NUSSEL was born in Clay County, Ind., January 3, 1858, 
and is the youngest of a family of eight children of George and Barbara 
Nussel, both natives of Germany, who emigrated to America in 1842. 
Fred spent his youth upon a farm, but was given the best educational 
advantages, entering college at the age of eighteen years, at Merom, Ind. , 
where he remained one year. Being compelled, by failing health, to 
rest awhile from study, he left, but the following year entered the Cen- 
tral Indiana Normal College at Ladoga, graduating in 1881. For sev- 
eral years, he had been studying medicine, and after graduating in his 
collegiate course, he attended lectures at Rush Medical College, Chicago. 
He then practiced niedicine in Ashersville, Ind. , successfully and profitably, 
until Jaunary, 1883, when he came to Brazil and purchased a drug store, 
and is doing a thriving business, being considered a skillful chemist and 
druggist, and one of the prominent young men of the county. In poli- 
tics, Mr. Nussel is a Republican. He is also a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, Lodge No. 541. 

B. OBERDORFER, sole proprietor of a wholesale and x'etail liquor 
store, Brazil, Ind., was born in Germany September 19, 1846; emigrated 
to America in 1865, and began clerking in a dry goods store in Peoria, 
111., where he remained eleven years, going thence to Cincinnati, where 
he engaged in the wholesale jewelry trade, in which he met with good 
success. In 1882. he came to Brazil and established his present busi- 
ness. His sales are $25,000 per annum. Mr. Oberdorfer is one of the 
energetic German business men of the city. He is a member of the 
Masonic fraternity. He was married at Evansville, Ind., June 27, 1880, 
to Bertha Ichenhauser, an accomplished lady of Louisville, Kv. 

JOHN T. PRICE, M. D. (deceased), an only son of J. M. Price, of 
Brazil, was born May 11, 1855, in Clay County, Ind.. and enjoyed the 
best of educational advantages, and at the age of twenty-one years en- 
tered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, from which institution he 


graduated in 1879. He returned to Brazil and immediately entered 
upon the practice of his profession of medicine with the brightest pros- 
pects for the future. On September 25, 1879, he was married to Nel- 
lie, daughter of Alexander Brighton, a banker of Brazil. Nellie was 
born, April 5, 1863, in Clay County, Ind., and is an educated and ac- 
complished lady. They were enjoying their happy married life, as only 
the honest and virtuous can enjoy, until his death, which event occurred 
on December 26, 1882. He died in his office from an ovei'dose of chloro- 
form, supposed to have been taken to alleviate pain, as he had been frequently 
a sufferer from severe attacks of headache, the effects of cerebro-spinal 
meningitis. Dr. Price was a young gentleman of fine ability, an agree- 
able associate, and possessed very liberal views, as well as a kind and 
benevolent heart, and was honored and respected by all who knew him. 
He was loved and cherished by his family and young wife, who were 
left to mourn the loss. From his business sagacity in his profession, he 
left a oompetancy to his widow, who also received $4,000 on a policy of 
insurance on his life. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Price has be- 
come the mother of a bright little girl, viz., Mary J., born May 21, 
1883. Also, since his death, she has shown great business ability, and 
is very successfully managing his affairs. 

SIDNEY S. PULLEN, jeweler, Brazil, was born in Scott County, 
Ky., July 26, 1829, and was the son of Gonel B. and Anna Pulien, both 
natives of Kentucky, he of German and Scotch descent, she of Scotch 
and Welsh lineage. In 1832, the parents came to Crawfordsville, Ind., 
where they remained until 1845, when they moved to Bloom ington, Ind. 
Sidney never attended school but one year until he was old enough to 
maintain himself and pay his own expenses, but worked with his father, 
who was a baker, and also learned the shoe-maker's trade, which calling 
he followed seventeen years, when he entered the printing office of his 
brother, who was editor of the Bloomington Bejwrter, and, after working 
at the printer's trade three years, was obliged, on account of failing 
health, to abandon the business. He then became his father's partner 
in a bakery, and followed that trade until 1865, when, having accumu- 
lated some means, he started a jewelry establishment, hired a foreman, 
and worked with him until he became a skillful workman. His marriage 
occm-red January 9, 1853, to Eliza K. Baker. To this marriage were 
born six children, viz., Isaac M., William E., Maggie L., Charles S., 
Elizabeth (deceased) and Flora, who died, aged five years. Mr. Pulien 
and his wife joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1852, and for ten 
years he has been Class Leader. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., 
United Workmen and Knights of Honor. In politics, he is a Republican. 
Coming to Brazil in 1868, when the city was in its infancy, Mr. Pulien 
has. by his exemplary conduct, risen to high social and business standing. 

CHARLES W. REED, attorney at law and real estate agent, Brazil, 
Ind., was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 13, 183 3. He enjoyed the 
best school advantages the place afforded, which were, at tbat early period, 
somewhat limited. When sixtf^en years of age, he was apprenticed to the 
carpenters trade, serving three years. He then went to New Orleans, 
working one year; thence to Mobile, where he stopped a year, then going 
to Louisville, wliere he remained until 1840, when he moved to Ohio, and 
engaged in farming, first in Brown County, Avhere he remained eight 
years, going thence to Georgetown, where he worked at his trade. He 
was soon elected County Commissioner, serving six years; at the same 


time being Justice of the Peace, and also Postmaster, filling some office 
during his stay there. In October, 1859, Mr. Reed came to Jackson 
Township, Clay County, Ind., settling on a piece of wild land, which, 
after working three years, he was obliged to leave on account of his 
health. He then moved to Brazil, and resumed his trade, which he fol- 
lowed vmtil 1872, when, on account of age, he left it and engaged in in- 
surance business, also being Justice of the Peace and Notary auvl attor 
ney, doing a successful business. In May, 1832, Mr. Reed was married 
to Mahala Staton, in Green County, Ky. To this union were born ten 
children, five of whom are living, viz., C. W., Mary A. (wife of Jadge G. 
P. Tyler, of Brown County, Ohio), Hannah (wife of Philip Devore), L. 

C. and F. P. Mrs. Reed died in April, 1880. Mr. Reed's second mar- 
riage occurred November, 1882, to Mrs. Biddle^ with whom he is now 
living. Mr. Reed is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is also 
one of the oldest and most active members of the Masonic Lodge, No. 
264, of Brazil. His life has been an active, useful one, having served as 
Justice twenty-eight years in Ohio and Indiana, besides holding other 
official positions of trust. In politics, he has been, until within a few 
years, a leading Democrat, voting first for Andrew Jackson. 

JOHN B. RICHARDSON, merchant, dealer in dry goods, carpets, 
notions, etc. , started in trade in Brazil, corner of Main and Meridian 
streets, in the fall of 1865, buying the stock of general merchandise of 

D. C. Stiinkard, at a cost of $11,000, and doing the first year a business 
of $36,000. His present business house was erected at a cost of $10,000, 
and is well shocked. Mr. Richardson was born in Clark County, 111., 
August 28, 1828, and was the son of John B. and Mary B. (Parker) Rich- 
ardson, the former a native of New York, the latter of Maine. The 
maternal great-great-grandfather came from Wales in 1692, and leased 
for ninety-nine years the ground where Philadelphia now stands. The 
father of our subject came to Vigo County, Ind., in 1816, and located 
on Fort Harrison Prairie, where night after night he was obliged to seek 
safety at the block-house. After a sojourn of two years, he returned 
East, soon coming West again with his parents, this time settling in 
Clark County, 111., in the town of York, where he was successfully en- 
gaged in business until 1860, when he retired. He became an extensive 
land owner aloug the National road and Wabash River, and land he 
entered in 1835 is now owned in the family. He was a prominent busi- 
ness man in York, and served as Postmaster there thirty years. In 1865, 
he removed to Brazil, where he died in 1869, and his wife still lives, 
aged eighty-three years. The subject of this sketch, at the age of sev- 
enteen years entered the Military Institute at Georgetown, Ky., and 
after a three years' course graduated in 1847, soon after engaging as 
book-keeper in Terre Haute, where he remained five years. He then en- 
gaged in mercantile pursuits in the same place until 1864, when he 
entered the United States Medical Purveyor's Department, and served 
until the close of the war. Since his return home, he has been in buai- 
nes^ in Brazil. Politically, Mr. Richardson is a Republican, and a 
prominent man in his party. In June, 1883, he was elected School 
Treasurer. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. 
His marriage occurred August 19, 1858, to Mary E. Potter, of Terre Haute. 
Five daughters were born to this union, two of whom survive, viz.: Em- 
ily A. and Anna Clint. Mrs. Richardson is a member of the Congrega- 
tional Church. 


WILLIAM MARION RIDPATH was born iu Putnam County, Ind., 
October 14, 1845, and is the son of James and Rachel (Kelsey) Ridpath, 
natives respectively of West Virginia and Indiana. The mother of Will- 
iam M. died a few days after the birth of the latter, who was reared by 
Mrs. Sally Ridpath, wife of his uncle Abraham. Our subject was trained 
to farming, but as a lad at school was given more to athletic sports than 
to study, and gave evidence of that robust vigor which has ever since 
marked his career. At the breaking-out of the late war, he enlisted, at 
the early age of seventeen, in Company H, One Hundred and Fifteenth 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, his burly form and a little judicious prevar- 
ication carrying him through the preliminary examination. The terrible 
winter of 1863 fourid him at Cumberland Gap, where he and his com- 
panions were for many days obliged to subsist on dry corn; yet, notwith- 
standing all his hardships, he re enlisted, at the expiration of his term 
of service, in the First Heavy Artillery, and was sent to Baton Rouge. 
At that point, he did garrison duty during the summer, winter and au- 
tumn of 1864-65, was prostrated by malarial fever, and was discharged 
at New Orleans July 23, 1865. In August he returned home, being still 
two months under twenty years of age. He then set to work diligently 
to repair his neglected education, attended Thornton Academy, then 
under charge of his brother, Prof. J. C. Ridpath, and subsequently 
entered Asbury University at Greencastle, in his native county, graduat- 
ing in 1870. He then became a student of law in the office of William- 
son & Daggy, at Greencastle, and after a time engaged in practice, in 
partnership with his preceptors, at Brazil. February 9, 1875, he married 
Miss Sarah J. Cole, daughter of Robert Cole, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 
and to this union have been born three children — Paul, December 28, 
1875; Mary, December 13, 1877; and Nellie, December 4, 1880. As a 
lawyer, Mr. Ridpath soon rose to a fair rank, but his business capacity 
constantly outran his legal lore. His active disposition was better grati- 
fied with the transactions of trade than with the conflicts of the bar. In 
the arena of business, he began to distinguish himself, and at the same 
time showed a great liking for politics. He made considerable money 
by trading in real estate, especially in the rich coal lands, for which the 
neighborhood of Brazil is justly celebrated. In 1876, he was made 
Chairman of tho Republican Central Committee of Clay County, and the 
campaign of that year flourished under his management. In 1880, he 
was nominated for Joint Representative of the counties of Putnam, 
Hendricks and Clay, and notwithstanding a Democratic majority against 
him at the outset, he was elected over his competitor by nearly a thousand 
votes. The polls showed that he even had sixty -four votes more than the 
Hon. A. G. Porter, the popular candidate for Governor. Not satisfied 
with this success, Mr. Ridpath now aspired to the Speakership of the 
body to which he had been elected. Notwithstanding his age and inex- 
perience in parliamentary matters, he was again successful, receiving the 
caucus nomination of his party over several able competitors, and being 
daly elected Speaker of the House. It was noticed from the first that, 
not only in the occupancy of the Chair but also in the more critical 
duties of constituting committees and expediting the business of the 
Assembly, his abilities and good judgment were conspicuous. A large 
amount of important legislation was transacted during the session, and 
Mr. Ridpath retired from the chair, followed by the applause and hearty 
good wishes of the membei-s of the House. During the year 1881, Mr. 


Ridpath resumed his duties as a lawyer and business man at Brazil. In 
the spring of 1882, he received the appointment from the General Gov- 
ernment as Indian Agent at the Yankton- Sioux Agency in Dakota. Re- 
pairing thither in June, he took charge of the Post, sixty-five miles above 
Yankton, on the Missouri River, and there he is at present residing, in 
the satisfactory discharge of his important duties. His wife is the 
Matron of the Government School, and all of his assistants have been 
selected with careful regard to fitne.=is and efficiency. In person, Mr. 
Ridpath is of the medium height, but is very heavily and solidly built. 
His weight is from 200 to 215 pounds. His complexion is fair; his eyes 
a light blue. His manners are pleasing and affable, his address court- 
eous and frank. In public speech, he has great directness aud force. 
His method is extemporaneous, and his abilities are much more marked 
in this style of speech than in the set eftbrts of written address. He is 
in some sense a born politician, and if the future does not disappoint pres- 
ent expectancy, the country is likely to hear from him in still wider and 
more honorable fields of usefulness. 

SAMUEL BALDWIN RILEY, editor and publisher of the Brazil 
Miner, was born in Wayne County, Ind., May 19, 1836. His early 
youth was spent upon a farm, where he had no advantages, not being 
able to read when eighteen years of age. He then entered school, re- 
maining until he could teach; then taught and attended school alter- 
nately until 1857, when he wenf. to Illinois, entering college and study- 
ing law with ex-Gov. A. C. French, graduating in four years, with the 
degree of LL. B. In October following, he commenced the practice of 
law in INIartinsville, Ind., where he remained one year, removing in Au- 
gust, 1863, to Bowling Green, entering the office of George W. Wiltse, 
as partner. He soon established an office of his own, and had a large 
and lucrative practice, in which he continued until 1873, when he pur- 
chased the Brazil Miner. The paper then had a circulation of 400, 
which by his excellent management has increased to 1,200. It is the 
leading Democratic paper of the county, and known as the "laborer's 
friend." In 1860, Mr. Riley stumped Southern Illinois for Stephen A. 
Douglas. While practicing law, he had accumulated some wealth, and 
had invested in real estate, being the largest land owner in the county 
at one time, prospering until the panic of 1873 came, and owing to the 
dopreciation of real estate, and having his name as security on others' 
paper, he lost heavily. He, however, did not take advantage of the 
bankrupt act, and is still paying old claims. His marriage occurred 
July 14, 1865, to Mary E. Coghill, who died in 1873, leaving one son 
and two daughters — Robert M., Lenore and Annabelle Lee. Mr. Riley 
is public-spirited, and a liberal contributor to benevolent enterprises. 

THOMAS B. ROBERTSON, Surveyor of Clay County, Ind.. was 
born August 27, 1853, in Franklin County, Ohio, and was the eldest of 
two children of George T. and Lavina J. Robertson, the former a native 
of Virginia and of Scotch extraction, the latter of Delaware and of Eng- 
lish lineage. In September, 1860, the parents settled in Jackson Town- 
ship, Clay County, Ind., where Thomas spent his youth upon a farm, be- 
ing given the best school advantages the country afforded. In 1870, he 
entered the graded school of Staunton, acting as janitor of the building, 
during the fall and winter terms, to earn money to pay his tuition in a 
select term in the spring, riding eight miles night and morning, as he 
was not able to pay his board. Pursuing his studies after he left school 


while working upon the farm until in November, 1872, he received a 
teacher' s county certificate and commenced teaching school the following 
December. Conducting this school successfully, he, at the close of it, 
was engaged for an unfinished term in a school that had been refused him 
on account of his youth and inexperience. After the close of this school, 
he entered the Normal School of Terre Haute, where he remained while 
his earnings of the previous winter lasted; then worked on the farm in 
summer; taught school winters, going back to the Normal School in the 
spring, until 1876, when, on account of the death of his father, he was 
obliged to leave school, being the only dependence of his mother and 
sister. From that time until 1882, he farmed summers and taught win- 
ters. In 1880, he was nominated for County Surveyor by the Demo- 
cratic convention, but was defeated; but being again nominated by the 
same party for the same position, he was elected by a large majority, 
and is now serving with ability. 

THOMAS M. ROBERTSON, the fourth son of William and Cath- 
arine (Shively) Robertson, was born December 30, 1833, in Ross County, 
Ohio, and is descended from the Robertsons of Scotland. His great- 
grandfather was a native of the city of Edinburgh. His grandfather was 
a soldier in the Revolution, and his father did military duty in the war of 
1812. His parents moved from Ross to Logan County, Ohio, in 1837. 
He was raised on a farm, and had very limited educational advantages, 
attending a district school about three months in the year until he was 
eighteen years of age. He came to Indiana in 1851, and settled in Clay 
County; taught school for a short time, and in 1858 got employment as 
a clerk in the dry goods store of Oliver H. P. Ash, in Bowling Green, 
where he remained three years. In 1860-61, he was one of the editors 
of the Clay County Democrat. When the war of the rebellion broke 
out in the spring of 1861, he enlisted in the first company raised at 
Bowling Green, but the quota from the State being tilled before their 
muster, the company could not be accepted and was disbanded. In 
1861-62, he was Deputy Clerk of the Common Pleas and Circuit Courts, 
under Dillon W. Bridges, Clerk. In July, 1862, there was a call for 
300,000 men for three years, when he enlisted as a private in Company 
D, Seventy-first Indiana Volunteers, afterward known as the Sixth Indi- 
ana Cavalry. On the organization of the company, he was appointed 
First Sergeant. When Gen. Kirby Smith invaded Kentucky, in August, 

1862, the Seventy-first Indiana was hurried off to that State to assist in 
checking his advance. Sergl. Robertson was with his regiment in this 
campaign, and participated in the battle of Richmond, Ky. , August 
30, 1862. In this battle he was taken prisoner, but was paroled and 
sent home. On being exchanged, he was sent to Kentucky again, and was 
again captured at Muldraugh's Hill, December 28, 1862, by John Morgan's 
forces, which numbered about 3,000 cavalry, while the Seventy-first In- 
diana had but 500 men who were guarding a railroad bridge at Muldraugh's 
Hill. Sergt. Robertson was appointed Second Lieutenant January 17, 

1863, and was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant February 18, 
1863. The regiment being changed to cavalry. Col. James Biddle com- 
manding, it was sent to Mount Sterling, Ky., and during September and 
October, 1863, scouted through the eastern part of the State. On Octo- 
ber 16, 1863, Lieut. Robertson was promoted to the office of Captain of 
Company D, Sixth Indiana Cavalry, and was constantly in command 
of his company until the expiration of their term of service. During 


the winter of 1863-64, he was in East Tennessee, at Cumberland Gap, 
Powell's River, Mulberry Gap and Tazewell. The regiment was mounted 
on fresh horses at Mount Sterling, Ky., in April, 1864, and attached to 
the Cavalry Corps of the A.rmy of the Ohio, under the command of Gen. 
George Stoneman; joined Gen. Sherman's army in front of Dalton, Ga., 
May 11, and was on active duty throughout the Atlanta campaign, being 
more or less engaged in the battles of Resaca, Cassville, New Hope 
Church, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain and Chattahoochee River. 
In August, 1864, the regiment was sent to Nashville, Tenn., and formed 
a part of the force, under Gen. Rousseau, that drove Forrest out of the 
State, participating in the battle which was fought at Pulaski, Tenn., 
September 27, 1864. Capt. Robertson participated in the campaign 
against Hood, and was in the battles of December 15 and 16, 1864, at 
Nashville, in which Hood's army was routed and almost destroyed; his 
regiment being in Gen, R. W. Johnson's division, of Gen. Wilson's 
cavalry corps, on the extreme right of Gen. Thomas' army. He was 
honorably mustered out of the service at Pulaski, Tenn., June 27, 1865. 
In 1866, ho located in Brazil and engaged in the mercantile business as 
junior partner of the firm of Wheeler, Bridges & Co., which he followed 
for thirteen years. In 1867, he was a candidate on the Republican ticket 
for Auditor of Clay County, but the county being strongly Democratic 
he was defeated by something less than the usual majority. He 
held the office of Treasurer of the town of Brazil one year; and at the 
first election for city officers in 1873 he was a candidate for Mayor on 
the Republican-Temperance ticket, but was beaten by nineteen votes. 
In 1876, many of his political and personal friends desired him to make 
the race for Representative in the State Legislature, but he declined to 
go before the nominating convention. He was appointed Postmaster for 
the city of Brazil in 1879, by President Hayes, and at the expiration of 
his term in 1883 was re-appointed by President Arthur. He was mar- 
ried, May 16, 1866, in Bowling Green, to Miss Eunice Buell, who was 
born and reared in Venice, Butler Co., Ohio, and is a descendant in the 
eighth generation from William Buell, who came from England to Mas- 
sachusetts in 1630. Mr. Robertson is also engaged in the book and sta- 
tionery business in company with D. W. Brattin, and is doing the lead- 
ing business in that line in that town. 

MICHAEL RYAN was born in South Wales, and is of Irish parent- 
age. He had no school advantages, working at coal digging at the age 
of twelve years, having to aid a widowed mother and two sisters. He 
followed different pursuits, railroading, keeping tavern and saloon, until 
1871, when, having an opportunity to sell his tavern to advantage, he 
emigrated to this country with his family, being fourteen days on the 
ocean. He settled in Brazil in June, 1871, and immediately began min- 
ing coal, and being industrious and economical, he, in 1873, was able to 
build a house near Harmony, where he engaged in the grocery and saloon 
business, and his business proving profitable, he built another store south of 
Brazil, and accumulated sufficient means, in 1881, to erect the fine build- 
ing he now occupies, paying $60 a foot for the land. He does saloon 
business amounting to $5,000 annually, and his property is free from 
incumbrance. Mr. Ryan was married in Wales, in December, 1863, to 
Mary Jones. One child was born to them, viz., Matilda (now Doyle). 
Mr. Ryan became a Mason in 1872, but was suspended by the order in 


1875 on account of his business. He is an enterprising citizen, and a 
good business man. 

LEWIS O. SCHULTZ, Justice of the Peace and City Treasurer, was 
born in Winchester, Va., June 9, 1808, He was reared in a city, and 
had the advantages of the best Southern schools of that day. In 1837, 
he moved to Terre Haute, Ind., where he remained twelve years in the 
mercantile trade, in connection with river boating. In 1865, he moved 
to Brazil, bringing with him a drug store, which he ran nearly two 
years, when he sold out and became a candidate on the Kepublican ticket 
for the office of Justice of the Peace, and was elected, filling the office 
with ability. At the close of his term, he was elected City Clerk, which 
position he held two terms, in the meantime being again elected Justice 
of the Peace, and filling both offices at the same time with credit to 
himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He was then elected to the 
office of City Treasurer, and at the end of the term he was re elected to 
the same position, which he is now filling in connection with the office 
of Justice of the Peace. To these different offices he was always elected 
by the Republican party, but his honesty and fair dealing always 
brought to his standard a strong Democratic following. In 1849, he 
was married to Mary J. Sparks, a native of Illinois. To them have been 
born four children, viz., Catharine, now the wife of Mr. Watson, of the 
Watson Coal Company; Fred, a city druggist; Mary and Louis, twins. 
Mr. and Mrs. Schultz are honored and consistent members of the Pres- 
byterian Church. 

WILLIAM B. SCHWARTZ was born in Holmes County, Ohio, July 
1, 1858, and is the thirteenth of a family of fourteen children of Nicholas 
and Barbara (Kuatz) Schwartz, the former a native of Switzerland, the 
latter of Italy. In 1852, they emigrated to this country, settling in 
Holmes County, Ohio, on a farm, where they still live. William grew 
to manhood on a farm, enjoying the advantages of common schools un- 
til, at the age of eighteen years, he entered the Normal Department of 
the Humboldt School at Pittsburgh, Penn., remaining there eight 
months. He then returned home and assisted his father on the farm 
until the following winter, during which he taught a term of school in 
Holmes County. At the close of this term, he entered the Millersburg 
Normal Academy; remained there two years, graduating from the insti- 
tution, in the scientific course class, in 1881. He again returned home 
and taught another term of school in his native county, at the close of 
which making a tour of pleasure and recreation through Missouri and 
Kansas. On his return through Missouri, he taught one term on the 
frontier of that State, returning to Ohio at its close, where he completed 
his studies in common law. He at the end of this time moved to Brazil, 
and was admitted to the. bar February 2, 1883, since which time he has 
been in the active practice of his profession. Mr. Schwartz is one of the 
promising professional young men of Clay County, and is in possession 
of literary attainments and an energy which bid fair to place him in 
the front rank of the legal profession. 

SHANNON & FAST (William H. Shannon and Jonathan M. Fast), 
confectionery and restaurant, are the leaders in this enterprise, estab- 
lished in 1872, and which has continued successfully ever since. They 
started with a capital of $1,500, and now own and occupy one of the fin- 
est three-story business houses in the city. The building is 24x120 feet. 
On the first floor is the restaurant, a room 100 feet deep, back of which 


is the kitchen. On the second floor is a fine ice cream parlor, which is 
often used for private parties, for oyster suppers and other social feasts. 
On the third floor is found the Masonic Hall. The basement is used for 
a bakery, for preparing ice cream, etc. The building is situated on the 
corner of Center and Main streets, Brazil. The senior member of the 
firm is a native of Ashland County, Ohio, born January 22, 1849, and 
the only son of Samuel and Sarah (Van Tilburg) Shannon. Samuel 
Shannon was a farmer, and lived his entire life in Ashland County, Ohio. 
He died in 1851, his wife in 1860. William was only two years old 
when his father died, and after the death of his mother, which event oc- 
curred when he was eleven years old, he went to live with his gx'andfather, 
Henry Van Tilburg, with whom he lived until he was fourteen years old. 
He acquired a very fair education at the common schools of that day. 
At fourteen, he was apprenticed to a baker and confectioner for three 
years, receiving as compensation his board and $50 per year. After 
working on a farm about two years, in 1868 he came "West, and, after 
many successes and some reverses, he found himself part owner and pro- 
prietor of a fine and prosperous business. In October, 1877, he was mar- 
ried to Hannah Reddie, a native of Ohio. Two children have been born 
to them, viz., Charlie, and Eddie (deceased). Jonathan M. Fast, the 
junior partner of this firm, is a native of Ashland County. Ohio, born 
May 16, 1839, and is the fourth of eight children of George and Sarah 
(Brink) Fast. He was reared on a farm, and acquired a fair education 
from the common schools, and about six months' attendance at a high 
school. When he was twenty-one years of age, he assumed charge of the 
farm, remaining in control until 1872, when he sold out. gathered to- 
gether his personal effects and came to this county, and went into busi- 
ness with Mr. Shannon. After three years, he again sold out and re- 
turned to his former home and engaged in farming and dairying. At 
the end of three years, he again disposed of his property and returned to 
Brazil and purchased a one half interest in his present business, Mr. 
Fast was married, April 3, 1869, to Vernelia F. Shannon, of Ashland 
County. Ohio. Two sons have been born to them, viz., Elza Delbert and 
William. Mr. Fast is a stanch Republican, and a member of the Order 
of Chosen Friends. Mr. Fast's father is still alive, and is a hale, hearty, 
healthy old gentleman, seventy-five years of age. 

BENJAMIN F. SHATTUCK (deceased) was born in New York 
June 4, 1813. and located in Vigo County, Ind., in 1820, and in the year 
1847 he moved to Clay County. His first wife, by whom he had seven 
children, died June 25, 1851, and May 18, 1852, he married for his sec- 
ond wife Moriah James, who was born in Monroe County, Ky. . Novem- 
ber 20, 1830. He lived in Williamstown, Clay County, until the autumn 
of 1855, when he located where Brazil now stands. He bought a large 
quantity of land, a gi'eat deal of which is now owned by his estate. To 
this last marriage have been born eight children, five of whom are living, 
viz., James F.. William S.. Anna M., Ulelah B. and Charles. In 1870, 
he erected the fine brick edifice the family now occupy. June 14, 1871, 
Mr. Shattuck died, biat he left his bereaved family in independent cir- 
cumstances. Since his death, Mrs. Shattuck has remained in her beauti- 
ful home, and manages her business with the aid of her advisors. Her 
children are all married, except Ulelah and Charles. These are at home 
with her. i»Irs. Shattuck and her whole family are members of the 
Christian Church. 


VOLNEY B. SHATTUCK, one of the police force of Brazil, was 
born in Vigo County, Ind. , March 10. 1846, and was the son of B. F. 
and Tirzha (Snoddy) Shattuck, pioneers of Vigo County, coming there 
in 1820. The father died June 14, 1871, the mother* June 24, 1851. 
Volney spent his youth on a farm with very limited educational privi- 
leges, but by industry and application acquired a fair business education. 
In 1864, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted in the One Hundred 
and Thirty-third Indiana Infantry, and was stationed at Bridgeport, Ala., 
until the close of the war. After his return home, he followed teaming 
and the livery business; also kept a grocery, but it not proving profitable, 
he sold out in 1877, and served as Deputy under Sheriff Hagart, also 
serving in the same capacity under Lankford, after which he was appointed 
Policeman. In the spring of 1881, the police force was reduced to two 
men, the choice of the board being Mr. Shattuck and Mr. Charles Hutch- 
inson. Mr. Shattuck was married, September 16, 1869, to Bessie Pierce, 
a native of Ross, Herefordshire, England. To this union have been born 
six boys, live of whom are living, viz. : Roy L., Ralph P., Volta, Austin 
M. and Scott. The other died in infancy. 

SAMUEL SIEGrEL, proprietor of clothing and merchant tailoring 
establishment in Brazil, was born in Ross County, Ohio, February 1, 
1855, and was educated in Cincinnati, where he graduated in 1870. In 
1879, he located in Brazil, as successor of J. Rothschild, and having sold 
out the stock in June, 1883, he purchased the mammoth stock of clothing 
of S. Gundeltinger (deceased), from the administrators, and in Septem- 
ber following moved into the beautiful store room built by deceased, where 
his ability and fair dealing have won for him a remunerative patronage, 
and where may be found one of the largest and best stocks of goods in 
the county. Mr. Siegel was married, January 4, 1882, to Fannie Gundel- 
linger, a native of Germany, where she was educated. One child has 
been born to them. Mr. Siegel is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lodge 
No. 215. 

ED. W. SMITH was born in Forsyth County, N. C, on July 20, 
1843, and spent a part of his youth on a farm, and part in a machine 
shop, having had only common school advantages until he arrived at 
maturity, when he was engaged to work in a barrel factory. At the 
breaking-out of the war of the rebellion he enlisted, in May, 1861, and 
was wounded at Winchester, Va. He entered the service as an Orderly 
for the Colonel of the regiment, but was mustered out with the rank of 
Captain in 1865. On his return home at the close of the war, he en- 
gaged in the carpenter's trade, and became an expert mechanic, in the 
meantime attending one term of school. In June, 1866, he came to Co- 
lumbus, Ind., and thence to Brazil, where he now resides. When he came 
to Brazil, he had no means, but immediately engaged in the business of 
a house carpenter, in which he was very successful, and scpn became a 
contractor, he having erected many of the best business blocks and the 
finest residences in the city. On January 29, 1869, he was married to 
Anna Pate, a native of Kentucky. Mrs. Smith has borne her husband two 
children, viz.: Jessie A., aged seven years, and Bertha B,, aged two 
years. Mr. Smith is one of the energetic business men of Brazil, and 
his industry and business tact have made him the owner of several tine 
pieces of residence property, in desii*able locations, and he is considered 
one of the leading contractors and builders of the city of Brazil. He is 
a member of the Masonic fraternity, an Odd Fellow, and is in politics a 


Republican. Ho has been a member of the School Board for two years, 
and is now a member of the City Council. 

J. FKANK SMITH. M. D., i's the fifth son of George W. and Mariah 
(Shelley) Smith, natives of Ohio. Frank was born in Terre Haute, Vigo 
Co., Ind., on March 12, 1858, and had the school advantages that town 
afforded until he was eight years of age, when he moved with his father 
on the farm, where he remained for five years; thence to Brazil, where 
he has since resided. In 1875, at the age of seventeen, he commenced 
the study of medicine and surgery with Dr. T. A Glassgo, a physician in 
Brazil, with whom he remained two years, when he entered the Medical 
Department of. the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After a 
course there, he commenced the active practice of medicine and surgery 
at Clay City, where he immediately commanded a lucrative business, and 
where he remained four years. In 1882, he sought a better field for his 
talents, and found one in Brazil, where he located, and where his daily 
increasing practice and wonderfiil skill and success in complicated cases 
of surgery show him to be well up in his reading, and well adapted to 
his profession, and he is rapidly placing himself in the front rank of 
men of medicine and surgery in Indiana. He was married, on May 15, 

1881, to Mollie Barnett, an accomplished lady of Putnam County, Ind. 
One bright little girl is the fruit of this union, viz., Shelley, born Feb- 
ruary 23, 1882, and one son, viz., Lester, born September 27, 1883. 

A. J. STAPLETON, proprietor of grocery. East Main street, Brazil, 
Ind., was born in Vermillion County, Ind., February 27, 1841, and was 
a son of William and Elizabeth (Mossbarger) Stapleton, who came to Clay 
County in 1851, where the father died the same year. Mr. Stapleton, 
being left without a father at so tender an age, had no educational ad- 
vantages, but having an inquiring mind he acquired sufficient knowl- 
edge for business purposes, and has by his own exertions gained a com- 
petence, working at coal mining from 1861 to 1883, when he established 
his present business. He was married, in 1865, to Virginia Weir. Five 
children were born to them, two of whom are living, viz. : William H. 
and Inez M. In 1880, Mr. Stapleton lost his wife, when, on August 10, 

1882, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Easter. She has two children by her 
former marriage, viz. : Elmer and Josephine. Mr. and Mrs. Stapleton are 
members of the Christian Church. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., 
Caledonia Lodge, No. 589, and his wife of the Rebekah Degree of the 
same lodge. He is a member of the Knights of Honor, and his wife of 
the Ladies of Honor, No. 676, Olive Lodge, at Brazil. Mr. Stapleton is 
energetic, favoring all public improvements, moral and temperate in his 
habits, and an honored citizen. 

GEORGE STEARLEY, Sheriff of Clay County, Ind., was born in 
Wittenberg, Germany, on January 27, 1848, and is the son of John and 
Rosanna (Burkhart) Stearley, natives of Germany. The father was a 
weaver by 'trade, but followed farming after his marriage, and came to 
this country in 1851. George was reared an a farm, and had no oppor- 
tunities for an education whatever, but the knowledge he possesses he 
acquired through his own perseverance, aided by an intellectual and ed- 
ucated wife, since his marriage. He worked for his father until he was 
twenty-two, then branched out for himself; learned the blacksmith trade 
at Bowling Green, the then county seat of Clay County, following this 
business until 1880, when he sold his shop to a younger brother and en- 
gaged in the saw mill business, which he still manages. On October 20, 


1869, he was married to Elizabeth Duteel, daughter of August and 
Josephine Duteel, of Clay County. To them have been born seven chil- 
dren, five of whom are living, viz.: William, Josephine, Lena, Louisa 
and an infant unnamed. He was elected Trustee of Jackson Township, 
Clay County, in 1876; was re-elected in 1878. Before the expiration of 
this last term his popularity secured him, at the hands of the regular 
Democratic Convention, the nomination for Sheriff of Clay County, but 
a revolution in politics having taken place, he was defeated, with the 
whole Democratic ticket. But Mr. Stoarley possessed true courage and 
an invincible will; in 1882, again entered the held for Sheriff, was victor, 
and is now filling the office with credit and ability. Mr. Stearley has 
accumulated a considerable amount of this world's goods, but his kind 
and benevolent traits of character have been a financial disadvantage to 
him, inasmuch as they have compelled him liquidate debts of his friendH 
amounting to several thousands of dollars. He and his family are mem- 
bers of the German Evangelical Church. He is also a member of the 
Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Honor, and the Knights of Labor. 

ROBERT S. STEWART, proprietor of a meat market on East 
Main street, Brazil, was born in Butler County, Ohio, July 15, 1832, 
and was a son of Robert S. and Sarah (Myers) Stewart, the former a na- 
tive of Connecticut, and of Scotch lineage, the latter of Pennsylvania, 
and of German ancestry. In the winter of 1843, the parents located in 
Clay County, Ind. Robert's school advantages were meager, being con- 
fined to two or three months in a log schoolhouse in the winter. W^heu 
quite young, he worked at the plasterer's trade; afterward apprenticed to 
a wagon-maker, working the first two years for $50, and followed this 
trade five years. In 1856, Mr. Stewart established a meat market in a 
little log house in Brazil, and has continued ever since in the business, 
and been successful. He now does a business of from $30,000 to $40,- 
000 per annum, and has accumulated considerable wealth, principally 
invested in real estate in Brazil and farms adjoining. He was married 
in March, 1862, to Rebecca Brackney. Four children have been born to 
this union, two of whom are living, viz. : Adelbert, aged twenty years, 
employed in the shop with his father, and Katie, aged ten years. Mr. 
Stewart is a member of many of the leading orders of the city, and en- 
titled to much credit, as a pioneer, in advancing the business interests 
of the city. Politically, he is a Republican. 

JOHN STEWART, a farmer, near Brazil, was born in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, October 15. 1826. In 1841, at the age of sixteen yeai-s, he came 
to Indiana with an older brother, and together they worked at the 
plasterer's trade, doing all the work of that kind in Brazil for many 
years. After he came to Clay County, he served an apprenticeship at 
wagon-making with Joseph Hall, which trade he followed eiyht years 
in connection with his plastering. He also kept a meat market with his 
brother, who is still in the business, he having lately devoted his atten- 
tion to farming. Mr. Stewart was married, August 29, 1850, to Lucina, 
daughter of Marom C. Hall, a native of Vermont, and one of Putnam 
County's pioneers. Nine children have been born to this union, six of 
whom are living, viz. : Sarah, wife of J. Young: John W., Charles, Mar- 
vin, Robert and Harriet, the two latter still at home. Mr. Stewart came 
here when the place was a wilderness, and has done much toward devel- 
oping the resources of the country,, and has accumulated, by industry 
and economy, a fine property, and from his wealth gives liberally to all 


public enterprises. He and his brother donated the court house grounds, 
and have helped to build all the churches of the city. Mr. Stewart 
served two years as City Treasurer; has been on the School Board several 
terms, and in 1882 was elected Superintendent of Roads. He is a mem- 
ber of the Masonic fraternity, Brazil Lodge, No. 264, of which he was 
Treasurer four years. He also belongs to the Knights of Honor, and he 
and his wife are members of the Knights and Ladies of Honor, and are 
esteemed citizens. 

JOHN S. STOUGH was born on December 23, 1835, and is the son 
of Joseph and Elizabeth (Frick) Stough, natives of Pennsylv ania. He 
located with his parents in Ohio in 1851, working there on a farm until 
April 1, 1856. He is the second of a family of eight children. For 
three years he served as an apprentice at the carpenter trade. As a 
builder, after his apprenticeship, he erected many fine buildings in Bra- 
zil and vicinity. He is the manager and proprietor of one of the best 
blacksmith and wagon making shops in the county. He established 
this business in 1871, and employs four hands at an annual expense of 
$1,580, but his shop yields him an annual revenue of $3,500. On April 
20, 1860, he was married to Mary S. Whitington, who died in 1881. 
Soon after her death, he remarried. Some time ago Mr. Stough was 
elected as a member of the City Council from the Third Ward of Brazil. 
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, I. O. O. F., Knights and 
Ladies of Honor, and of the Chosen Friends. In the societies of Odd 
Fellows and Knights and Ladies of Honor he has filled all the offices. 
In politics, he is a Democrat. 

WILLIAM Y. STUART, a carpenter and millwright of Brazil, 
Ind., was born in Hampden County, Mass., February 13, 1817, of Eng- 
lish parentage. He spent his earlier years, up to the time he was eleven 
years old, on a farm, when he moved with his parents to the State of 
New York, remaining there a few years; thence to Ohio, remaining there 
two years, and thence to Clay County, Ind., where the father died. Our 
subject settled in Clay County in 1838, and there he has since resided, 
with the exception of a short time in Michigan. He had fair educational 
advantages, having taught several terms of school in Ohio, Indiana, and 
the first term of school ever taught in the the town of Brazil. He learned 
his trade, which he has constantly followed up to this day; built the 
first houses in the city of Brazil; had the honor of giving the town its 
name, and bringing the post office to the place; has filled several of the 
township offices, and was appointed by the Commissioners on the organ- 
ization of Dick Johnson and Brazil Townships. Mr. Stuart has been 
one of the useful pioneers of the county, having given much ^valuable 
aid in its and the city's development. In 1844, he was married, but his 
wife died in 1857. He was next married in 1859, the second wife dying 
in 1870; and in 1873, he married his third wife, she dying in 1881. Mr. 
Stuart has nine children living, his eldest and youngest daughters now 
being with him at his home. In politics, ho is a zealous Democrat. 

JACOB THOMAS (deceased) was born in Union County, Ind., May 
26, 1829. His youth was spent on a farm, and he followed that pursuit, 
also running a saw mill until, meeting with reverses, he in 1859 went to 
the gold regions of Colorado, assisted in building the first log cabin 
where Denver now stands, and remained there until 1864. Then, having 
been very successful, he returned to Clay County, Ind., purchased several 
farms, also owned one third interest in the woolen mills of Brazil. He 


also dealt largely in real estate for many years. Mr. Thomas was mar- 
ried, December 13, 1849, to Rebecca A. Pell, born in Lewis County, Ky., 
May 27, 1834. coming to Van Buren Township with her parents in 1840, 
where they died. One child was born to this union, viz., John Charles, 
born February 7, 1859, died October 23, 1868. Mr. Thomas died in 
Brazil February 18, 1880. Since his death, Mrs. Thomas has erected 
two tine business buildings in the Thomas Block, and now owns her 
third interest in the entire Ackelmire Block, which was built by her hus- 
band in connection with Ackelmire & Turner. She also owns a number 
of residences, vacant lots, and an interest in the woolen mills. Mrs. 
Thomas contributed generously to the erection of the following build- 
ings, viz.: $1,100 to the Methodist Episcopal Chapel, $500 to Asbury 
University, $50 to the Brazil Rolling Mills, $100 to the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church at Harmony. She is a lady of great benevolence, and of high 
standing in the community. Mrs. Thomas is a member of the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union, President of the Women's Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal 

HENRY TILLY was born in North Carolina May 16, 1805, of i ar- 
ents, John and Minnie Tilly, natives of North Carolina, and of Eng- 
lish and Irish extraction. Henry was reared on a farm, and enjoyed no 
educational advantages. On June 14, 1825, he was married to Mary 
Hooker, a native of North Carolina, and born in November, 1807. Two 
children have been born to them— Bui-ley E., and Susanna, the widow 
of Elicis Helton (deceased). With this daughter, Mr. Tilly and wife now 
reside, in Brazil. Mr. Tilly came to Indiana in 1830, locating in Hen- 
dricks County, and lived on leased land until 1837, when they moved to 
Clay County, where they entered and purchased eighty acres, now in a 
high state of cultivation, and which they still own. He lived on and 
worked this farm until 1879, when he moved to Brazil. He and his wife 
have been consistent members of the Baptist Church for nearly forty 
years. He was a strong supporter of the old Whig party, but since the 
Republican party came into existence he has been a zealous advocate of 
its principles. Mr. Tilly is one of the pioneers of Indiana and Clay 
County, and is a most worthy citizen. Mrs. Susannah (Tilly) Helton 
was born on December 20, 1828, and was married to Elias Helton on 
October 28, 1846. He was born on December 10, 1824. Two children 
were born to this union — Mary E., born August 3, 1847, and Margaret 
M., born June 27, 1851. Mr. Helton was a native of Kentucky, and 
came with his parents to Clay Count.- in 1837. Prior to 1857, Mr. Helton 
had filled several important township offices, but in 1857 he was elected 
by the Democrats to the office of County Treasurer. At the close of 
his term, he was re-elected to the same position, hut was not permitted 
by Providence to complete his second term, as he died on November 30, 
1860. His two daughters were married — Mary E. to T. Rairden, who re- 
sides in Terre Haute, Vigo County, and Margaret M. to Mr. Solomon 
Gundeltinger (deceased). 

WILLIAM R. TORBERT, Mayor of the city of Brazil, and manu- 
facturer of stoneware, was born December 31, 1829, in Georgetown, Es 
sex County, Del, and was the only child of Laurence R. and Nancy 
(MoCauley) Torbert, both natives of Delaware. The family came to 
Ohio in 1832. where William had the advantages of the common schools. 
He moved to Brazil with his parents in 1855, and in 1858 established 


the factory which he still owns and successfully runs. Id 185G, Mr. Tor- 
bert took an active part in the organization of the Kepublican j)arty of 
Clay County, having, previous to that time, been a Whig. Soon after 
Brazil was incorporated, he was appointed one of the Trustees, in which 
capacity he served many years, also being a member of the School Board, 
of which he has been Treasurer since 1874. Having by his faithful serv- 
ice won the esteem and confidence of the people, he, in 18S3. was 
chosen Mayor of the city. Mr. Torberfs marriage occurred December 8, 
1858, to Paralee Cromwell; eight children have been born to this union- 
Oliver C, Linna, Tryphena, Zorada, Estelle, Laurence, Katie and Ed- 
ward. Mr. Torbert is a member of the I. O. O. F. He is public spii- 
ited, working for the welfare of the people, and an advocate of ]aw and 

JAMES TRACKWELL, a pioneer of Indiana, was born in Monroe 
County, W. Va., June 14, 1811. His early youth was spent on a farm, with 
no school advantages, and at the age of twenty -one years he commenced 
work as a riverman, being a crew hand five years, then receiving a position 
as pilot, which place he retained ten years. During this period, he encoun- 
tered many hardships and dangers, having run on all the navigable rivers 
from the mouth of the Arkansas to the upper lumber regions, his principal 
route being from Cincinnati to Nashville and St. Louis. At the age of 
thirty-seven years, he quit the river life, and resumed his trade of painting, 
which he had learned in his youth, and which he has followed since, with 
short intervals of farming. In 1854. he came to Rush County, Ind. ; 
then to Clay County, where Brazil now stands, on what is known as the 
Shattuck estate, and living here since, having seen the wild country develop 
into a beautiful city. In 1846, Mr. Track well married Miss H. White, who bore 
him six children, dying in September. 1875. He was next married, April 
7, 1877, to Mrs. Eliza, widow of James Young. Mr. Trackwell and wife are 
members of the Baptist Church, he having been a church member since 1847. 
He has always been a temperate man. 3Irs. Trackwell, after the death of 
her first husband, James Young, which occurred in 1862, came with her six 
children to Brazil, where she supported herself, and raised her family, by 
hard work, at the end of five years owning a house that cost g 1,600. all made 
by her own exei-tions with what little assistance her young sons could give 
her. She now commenced taking boarders, which business she followed 
successful]}' nine years, when, her family being all settled, she married Mr. 
Trackwell. Her son, LaFayette Young, was born July 10, 1859, in Rich- 
mond, Ohio, coming at an early age with his mother to Brazil, where he 
received moderate schooling, at the age of fifteen years commencing to learn 
the painter's trade, whicii trade he has since followed. He was married. May 
28, 1882, to Mrs. Naomi Stewart, who died the following June, since which 
event Mr. Young has resided with his mother and step-father. He is indus- 
trious and much respected. 

CHARLES W. WEAVER, liveryman, of the firm of Weaver & Nance, 
was born in Van Buren Township, Clay Co., Ind., November 18, 1853, and 
is a son of John C. and Margaret (Huff) Weaver, natives of West Virginia, 
and of German extraction. John C. Weaver was a farmer by occupation, 
and in 1838 emigrated with his family to Clay County, Ind., and was a 
pioneer. He built a water-power saw mill, which he operated for a number 
of years, to which he afterward attached a corn-cracker, and thus prepared 
food for the people for miles around, and by his industry acquired a good 
home. He was the parent of eleven children, and died in Van Buren Town- 
ship in August, 1880, having buried his faithful wife six months before. 


Charles was the youngest child ; was reared to industry, and acquired a 
fair education from the common schools. Previous to engaging in his pres- 
ent business, he was a fax'mer and stock trader. He and his partner, Mr. 
Nance, are now using two large barns filled with good stock and vehicles, 
and doing a good business. Mr. Weaver is a shrewd and capable business 
man, and has been successful. In addition to his livery business, he has a 
Sne farm of 160 acres on the National road, east of Harmony, which is well 
cultivated and improved, having good buildings, orchard, etc. He is also 
owner of a 200-acre farm in Cumberland County, 111. Mr. Weaver is one of 
the most enterprising and promising young men in this township and county, 
and in politics is a Democrat. September 4, 1881, he married Miss Victoria 
McKinley, of this county. 

FRANK J. WEHRLE, owner and manager of the two mammoth boot 
and shoe houses on Main street, Brazil, was born in Newark, Ohio. He 
located in the city of Brazil, Ind., in 1870, and engaged as a boot and shoe 
manufacturer. This he followed until 1877, when he established the Main 
street store. By close attention to business and fair dealing, he had, at the 
end of three 3^eurs, so increased his trade that a branch store was estab- 
lished in addition to the original. He now handles the largest stock of 
boots and shoes shown bj' any firm in Western Indiana, and his honesty and 
business ability are rewarded by an unequaled patronage. 

ABSALOM B. WHEELER was the eldest of three children of Thomas 
and Frances (Thompson) Wheeler, natives of Kentucky. The parents 
located in Harrison County, Ind., about the year 1820, but, in 1825, removed 
to Clay County, where they both died, the father in his ninety-ninth year (he 
having been a soldier in the war of 1812), and the mother at eighty-eight 
years of age. The father's father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, 
and died at the age of one hundred and eight years, the mother's father at 
the age of one hundred and four years, the former being interred in the 
Sloan Cemetery, and the latter in the Zenor Cemetery, near Bowling Green. 
The subject of this sketch was born in Clay County April 30, 1825 ; was 
reared on a farm, and enjoyed rather limited educational advantages ; yet 
close application and industry in after years, although under very unfavora- 
ble circumstances, he succeeded in acquiring a good business education. He 
began life for himself at the age of nineteen as a common laborer, his com- 
pensation being from $6 to $7 per month. At the end of eighteen mouths 
he leased land and went to farming. At the end of eight 3'ears, he owned 
eighty acres of land, which he traded to his father for eight}^ acres of the 
home farm, to which he eventually added 120 acres more. Thus he pros- 
pered until the panic of 1873, when he was a heavy loser by indorsing for 
those who failed ; but by close application to business and economy, in a 
few years he recovered, and, in 1879, moved to Brazil, where he has since 
been engaged in the fire and life insurance business. In 1845, he was mar- 
ried to Jane Lowdermilk. To this union have been born eight children, all 
living in Clay County except one, who resides in Parke County. His wife 
died August 10, 1878. He was next married, July 13, 1879, to Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Babbitt. Mr. Wheeler is one of the first children born in Clay County, 
and is consequently a representative pioneer of the county. In 1855, he 
and his wife united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for twent}'- 
two years he has filled in the church an official position, and is still a con- 
sistent member, his wife dying in that faith. In 1864, he enlisted as First 
Lieutenant in Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-third Indiana Infantry, 
and was honorably discharged in the autumn of the same year. 

H. WHEELER, a retired coal operator of Brazil Ind., was born in Cler- 
mont County, Ohio, April 21, 1827. In the fall of 1835, he removed with his 


father to Clay Count}', Ind., where he grew up on a farm, working during 
spring and summer and attending school during winter. By close applica- 
tion, he acquired a good common school education, and at the age of 
eighteen years began teaching, which occupation he followed for about eight 
years very successfully. On July 20, 1851, Mr. Wheeler was married to Effie 
Harp. She was born in Claiborne County, Tenn., on September 5, 1824. 
Seven children were born to them, viz., Rachel, born June 2, 1852 ; William 
0., October 11, 1854; Perry L., October 17, 1856 ; Ann E., October 4, 1859 ; 
David H., December 8, 1861 ; Phil Sheridan, June 8, 1864, and Iva May, May 
19, 1867. In 1854, Mr. Wheeler entered into the mercantile business in Staun- 
ton, Clay Co., Ind., in partnership with Allen W. Carter. They continued in 
business together till the fall of 1859, when Mr. W. was elected Couiity Audi- 
tor, being the first and only Republican ever elected to that office in the county. 
In 1863, he was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by G-eorge W. 
Wiltse. In January, 1864, he removed from Bowling Green to Brazil, where he 
again engaged in the mercantile business, in partnership with D. W. Bridges 
and John G-. Ackelmire, the firm name being H. Wheeler & Co. During the 
summer and fall of this year (1864), they also built, and put in operation, 
the large woolen mill, known as the " Brazil Woolen Factory," and which is 
still being run by Messrs. A. W. Turner & Co. In March, 1866, Mr. Ackel- 
mire retired from the firm, and Capt. T. M. Robertson, the present efficient 
Postmaster of Brazil, became a member of it, the style of the new firm being 
Wheeler, Bridges & Co. Mr. Wheeler continued at the head of this firm till 
April, 1879, when the business was sold out to D. Hawkins, his son-in-law. 
In 1868, Mr. Wheeler was chosen by the City Council a School Trustee, and 
served in that capacity till 1872. At that time (1868), Brazil, with a pop- 
ulation of 2,000, had but one small schoolhouse, barely suMcient to accom- 
modate sixty to seventy -five pupils. The importance of erecting a new and 
commodious school building was apparent but how to raise the funds was 
the question. The City Council was asked, and consented to issue the bonds 
of the city to the amount of $8,000. These bonds were placed in the hands 
of Mr. Wheeler lor sale, but the city having little reputation, and no credit 
in the money marts of the country, it was found very difficult to negotiate 
them at any price. Mr. W. S. Hubbard, of Indianapolis, finally consented to 
purchase $3,000 of them if Mr. Wheeler, and the firm of Wheeler, Bridges & 
Co., would indorse them, and guarantee their prompt payment when due. 
This they did, and thus the first money was obtained for building the large 
and commodious schoolhouse on North Meridian street. It comprises six