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1833 00094 6704 

Gc 977.201 D35HA v, 1 
|Harding> Lewis A. 
I Hi STORY OF Decatur Cduhtv: 








Member The American Historical Association; author, "The Preliminary 

Diplomacy o£ the Spanish-American War," a study in international 

law, "The Call of the Hour," "A Few Spoken Words," etc. 

With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 







1915 7- 

Indianapolis, Indiana 

mm County Public Ubioiy 


The historian, who, as Schlegel says, is "a prophet looking back- 
wards," in these jubilee days of Indiana's first centennial, respectfully dedi- 
cates this work both to the memory of the pioneers of Decatur county and 
those departed, to keep their memory fragrant, and to the people of the 
future for the inspiration this record may be to those who follow in the 
never-ending flight of future days. 



In writing the history of a county, the local historian is confined to 
a relatively small unit and is not expected to go outside the limits of the 
county except so far as to make explanatory the relation of the county to 
contiguous counties or to the state at large. The historian is also handi- 
capped by all the tradition which is handed down through succeeding genera- 
tions, traditions with little or no historical background and bordering on the 
romantic. While tradition is often connected with history, it does not often 
carry with it the substratum of fact which should characterize real historical 
narrative. Personal feelings and quixotic whims find expression in the 
tales of our forbears and are repeated so often that they are finally accepted 
as the truth. The purpose of the editor of this history is to separate fiction 
from fact ; to present in a simple and succinct manner those facts which 
will show the place of Decatur county among its sister counties in the state; 
to preserve for future generations the story of the privations and hardships 
which confronted our good forefathers almost a century ago. 

The editor, prior to this time, had gathered a lot of mis-information as 
to the early events of eastern Indiana, and especially as to that part of the 
state now included within Decatur county. However, careful investiga- 
tion has proven that, in most instances such supposed facts were nothing 
more than romantic tales, interesting, but with no basis of truth. Thus the 
editor of this history was deprived of what he had considered a large 
amount of valuable historical data, but in the elaboration of this work it 
has been the constant aim to get exact historical information. This history 
is an attempt to present the real truth about the growth of he county, and 
every e\ent which would not stand the historical test has been discarded. 
Thus, many tales of romance are necessarily omitted : many supposed facts 
have been found to be without the semblance of truth, and hence find no 
place in this volume. 

This history seeks to give such a review of the origin and development 
of the county as will make it possible for the people of today and of the 
future to appreciate the lives and labors of those who ha\-e made this 

county what it is now. We are proud of its towns, its broad culti\-ated 
tields, its schools and churches, its beautiful homes. People take a par- 
donable pride in living in a county where peace and harmony dwell, where 
the people enjoy those blessings vouchsafed to them by the laws of an in- 
dulgent nation. 

In order that the present generation may breathe the same spirit which 
animated the pioneers of this county, it is necessary to go back to the time 
when the Indian roamed this part of the state; when the beaver plied his 
trade unmolested by the white man; when the uncut forest and undrained 
swamps presented more terrors than the wild inhabitants thereof. It will 
be necessary to tell of the time when France had control of this territory 
and of the time when England drove the French from this country. The 
Revolutionary War bears on the history of Decatur county and it comes 
in for a share of attention; the War of 1812 is still closer allied with the 
historv of the county and it is briefly noticed. 

\\'e ha\e tried to recite these facts so that the coming generations may 
become familiar with them and thereby have a clearer understanding of the 
sterling men and women who have preceded them. May this presentation 
imbue us with a greater lo\e for our county, our state and our nation, and 
may we highly resolve that the achievements of the past shall inspire the 
present and future generations in Decatur county to still higher and greater 



All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past ex- 
ertion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone 
before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities 
and state. The development of a new country was at once a task and a 
pri\-ilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the 
present conditions of the people of Decatur county. Indiana, with what they 
were one hundred years ago. From a trackless wilderness and \-irgin land, 
it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of 
wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid indus- 
tries and valuable agricultural and mineral productions. Can any think- 
ing person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the 
aspirations and efi^orts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foun- 
dation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? 
To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, 
political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception 
is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preser\e facts 
and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite 
the present to the past, is the moti\e for the present publication. A spe- 
cially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the sketches 
of representative citizens of this county whose records deser\'e preservation 
because of their worth, efi^ort and accomplishment. The publishers desire 
to extend their thanks to the persons who have so faithfully labored to this 
end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Decatur county for the uniform 
kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their 
many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Decatur County. Indiana," before the ci.ti- 
zens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they ha\e carried out the 
plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every biographical sketch in the work 
has been submitted for corrections to the party interested, and therefore 
any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for whom the 
sketch was prepared. Confident that our efl:'ort to please will fully meet the 
approbation of the public, we are. 





First White Man in Northwest Territory — English and French Claims — 
Three Successive Sovereign Flags Over Present Indiana Territory — Pass- 
ing of the Indians — Battle of Fallen Timbers — Northwest Territory — Early 
Settlements — Activities of the Traders — French and Indian War — Pontiac's 
Conspiracy — Northwest Territory and Quebec Act — Revolutionary Period- 
George Rogers Clark and His Campaign — First Surveys and Early Set- 
tlers — Ordinance of 1787 — First Stage of Government Under the Ordinance 
— Second Stage — Organization of the Northwest Territory — Representative 
Stage of Government — First Counties Organized — First Territorial Legis- 
lature of Northwest Territory — Division of 1800 — Census of Northwest 
Territory in ISOO^Settlements in Indiana Territory in 1800 — First Stage of 
Territorial Government — Changes in Boundary Lines of Indiana — Second 
Stage of Territorial Government — The Legislative Council — The First Gen- 
eral Assemblies — Congressional Delegates of Indiana Territory — Efforts to 
Establish Slavery in Indiana — The Indian Lands — Organization of Coun- 
ties — Changes in the Constitution of Indana — Capitals of Northwest Terri- 
tory and of Indiana — Military History of State — Political History — Gov- 
ernors of Indiana — A Century of Growth — Natural Resources. 


Location and Size of Decatur County — Geology and Physiography — The 
Soils in Detail — Miami Silt Loam — Upland Clay Loam — Miami Sand Loam — 
Mechanical Analysis of Decatur County Soils. 


Early Settlement — Opening of Government Land Office at Brookville — 
First Land Patent to John Shellhorn — Probable First Settler, John Fugit — 
Eighty-nine Land Entries the First Year — Newcomers in 1821 — One Hun- 
dred and Forty Votes Cast in County That Year — Creation of Decatur 
County — First County Election — Beginning of Law and Order — First Gen- 
eral Election — Court House History — The Tree on the Court House Tower 
— The County Jail. 


County Commissioner System from 1822 to 1824 — Board of Justices — Second 
Group of County Commissioners — Second. Board of Justices — General County 
Officers from Date of County Organization to 1915 — Notes on Early Elec- 
tions — Roster of State Senators and Representatives. 



Date of Organization of the Several Townships — The Squatter — The First 
Settler in Adams Township — County-Seat Hopes Shattered — Early Mail Fa- 
cilities — Primitive Conditions — Early Wearing Apparel — Wolves Numerous 
and Rattlesnakes Abundant— Fever and Ague^Wild Game — Distilleries — 
Pioneer Schools — St. Omer — Visions of Railroads — Education — Early Sub- 
scription Schools — Teacher Killed by Pupil— Village of Adams — Downey- 
ville — Rockville's "Boom" Punctured — St. Paul — Varied Industries — Disas- 
trous Fires — Clay Township — Buck-run, Clifty, Middlefork Settlement, Duck 
Creek, Milford, Burney, Wyncoop — Fugit Township — First Store in County 
at Spring Hill — Kingston, St. Maurice, Clarksburg — Jackson Township — 
Forest Hill, Waynesburg, Alert, Sardinia — Marion Township — Millhousen 
and Other Villages — Clinton Township — County Poor Farm — Sandusky — 
Salt Creek Township — Newpoint, Smith's Crossing, Mechanicsburg, New 
Pennington and Rossburg — Sand Creek Township — Westport, Letts and 
Harris City — Washington Township Almost Exact Center of the County. 


Song of an "Inland Town" — Site of Present County Seat Entered by Thomas 
Hendricks in 1820 — Location of County Seat in 1822 — Prices Paid for First 
Lots — City's Early Growth — Queer Regulations — Incorporation — Fire De- 
partment — Police Department — Waterworks and Sewerage System — City 
Hall — Street Paving — Business and Professional Directory in 1915 — Mileage 
and Valuation of Telegraph and Telephone Lines in County — Greensburg 
Improvement Association — Commercial Club — Business Men's Association — 
Greensburg Chautauqua — Associated Charities — Postoffice — Public Library — 
Young Men's Christian Association — Municipal I'^inancial Statement — City 
Ofificers and Heads of Departments. 


Early Rural Schools and Primitive Curriculum — Treating of Pupils at 
Christmas Time — Roll of Pioneer Teachers — Qualifications of Teachers — 
Decatur County Seminary and Noted Alumni Thereof — Private Schools — 
First Free Schools — Graded Schools — Teachers' Gatherings — Normal Schools 
— Lincoln Flag Raising Creates Riot — School Supervision — First School 
Building in Greensburg — Creation of High School System — Township and 
Village Schools — Consolidated School System — School Athletics and Domes- 
tic Science and Agricultural Training. 


Marked Religious Change During Past Three-Quarters of a Century — Fore- 
fathers Not as Good as Usually Painted — Sermons Worked Out With Aid 
of Flask — Primitive Houses of Worship — Baptists and Methodists First to 
Come — Interesting Reminiscences — Methodist Episcopal Churches — Organ 
to Blame for Schism — Methodist Protestant Church — Pastor's Unique Court- 
ship — Early Ministerial Experiences — African Methodist Church — First 
Methodist Sermon in County in September, 1822 — Baptist Churches — First 
Congregation Antedated Organization of County — Presbyterian Churches — 
First Congregation Organized in 1823 — United Presbyterian Church — 


Christian Churches — Beginning of Butler College — United Brethren in 
Christ — Pentecost Church — German Lutheran Church — Episcopal Church — 
Church of God — Christian (Xewlight) Church — German Methodist Episco- 
pal Church — Christian Science Society — United Brethren — Catholic Churches 
— Oldest Parish in County at Millhousen. 


Judicial History of Decatur County — Marked Changes Under the Constitu- 
tion of 1852 — A Mystery of the Olden Days — Early Murder Trials — Step- 
ping-Stone to Congress — Early Bar History — Prominent Figures of the 
Bench and Bar — Roster of Decatur County Attorneys — Dean of the Bar — 
Some Interesting Reminiscences. 


Citizens Bank of Greensburg — Third Xational Bank — Greensburg Xational 
Bank — Westport Xational Bank — Clarksburg State Bank — Alert State Bank 
— The St. Paul Bank — Newpoint State Bank — Burney State Bank — Greens- 
burg Building and Loan Association — Union Trust Company — Workmen's 
Building and Loan Association — St. Paul Building Association — Decatur 
County's Only Bank Failure. 


Free and Accepted Masons and Allied Organizations — Knights of Pythias — 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows — Modern Woodmen of America — Im- 
proved Order of Red Men — Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks — Hay- 
makers — Loyal Order of Moose — Knights of St. John. 


Greensburg Department Club — Kappa Kappa Kappa — The Cycle — The 
Mothers' Circle — The Progress Club — The Woman's Club — The Tourist 
Club— The Fortnightly Club— The Research Club— Literary Club of 1914— 
Married Ladies' Musicale — The Cecilians — The Athenaeum. 


.A Woman Probably the First Medical Practitioner in County — Roster of 
Earl}' Physicians and Those Now Practicing in County — Interesting Rem- 
iniscences by Dr. J. H. Alexander — Decatur County Medical Society — 
Trained Xurses — Opticians — Pension Board. 


Apostrophe to the Newspaper — Reckless Use of Adjectives — Struggles of 
the Early Editors — Greensburg Chronicle, First Paper in County, Started . 
in Spring of 1830 — Orville Thompson's Review of Decatur County News- 
papers Vp to the Year 1895 — "Unmarked and Forgotten" Papers — Present 
Newspapers of the County. 


Greeley's Estimate of Indiana Farmers — Flax, Most Important Crop of the 
Pioneer, No Longer Cultivated — Leading Breeders of Fancy Stock — Cattle 


Feeding — Tomato-Growing Industry — The County Agent — Agricultural 
Statistics — County Agricultural Society — Waynesburg Farmers' Club — 
Farmers' Club of Springfield — Farmers" Institute — Patrons of Husbandry — 
Decatur County Fairs. 


Blazed Trails and the Wilson Trace — First Movement Toward Roads — 
Turnpikes — Water Transportation — Railroads of Decatur County — Greens- 
burg Union Depot — Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Line — Railroad 


Pronounced Anti-Slavery Sentiment — Decatur County Colonization Society 
and Its Rival, the Anti-Slavery Society — Bickerings Between Neighbors and 
Schisms in Churches — Main Trunks of "Underground Railroad" — Its Officers 
and Conductors— The Donnell Rescue Case and Other Incidents — Fugitive 
Slave Law — Knights of the Golden Circle. 


Soldiers of the Revolution in Decatur County — The Case of Hugh Mont- 
gomery — Soldiers of the War of 1812 — Mexican War — The Civil War — 
Roster of Commissioned Officers — Regiments Represented by Decatur 
County Soldiers — Wilder Battery — Artillery and Rifle Companies — Greens- 
burg Band Goes to Front — Decatur County Losses: Killed in Action. Died 
of Wounds and Died in Prison— Morgan's Raid — A War-Time Convention — 
Riot in Greensburg — Civil War Statistics — Relief for Soldiers' Families — 
Roll of Honor — Grand Army of the Republic — Woman's Relief Corps — 
Daughters of the American Revolution. 


Immigration from the Fatherland — Teutonic Settlements in Decatur County 
— .A Self-Reliant People — Maximillian Schneider and the Millhousen Settle- 
ment — List of Naturalized Citizens. 


State Politics from 1816 to 1824 — Straw Votes at County Musters — First 
Presidential Election — Rapid Increase in Voting Population — iMrst County 
Election in 1823 — First Township Elections — Election During Civil War — 
Bitter Contest of 1S60. 


Efforts to Emulate the Bard of .^von- Poets of More Than Local Fame- 
Some' Interesting Samples of Decatur County Poetry — The Late Will Cum- 
back and Others Who Have Brought to the County a Measure of Literary 
Distinction — Lewis A. Harding and "The Call of the Hour." 


Primitive Mills of the Pioneers— The First Tanyard— Blacksmiths Manu- 
facturers of I'arm Implements — Early Woolen Mills — First Furniture Fac- 


tory — Manufacturing Industries in 187-1 — Greeley Limestone Company — 
Contractors — Meek Ice Company — Bromwell Brush and Wire \\'orks^ 
Garland Milling Company. 


Scene of "The Hoosier Schoolmaster" — Well-Known Residents of the 
Clifty Neighborhood Typified in Celebrated Novel — Doctor Smalley's Part 
in Famous Robbery Conspiracy — List of Leading Taxpayers in 1862— Popu- 
lation Statistics — Temperance Movement and "Wet" and "Dry" Vote in 
1847 — Woman's Christian Temperance Union — Decatur County People Who 
Have Risen to Distinction — Odd Fellows' Home — The Old Seminary — .-V 
Religious Revival — A Band Tournament — "Sartor .Resartus" — .^ Versatile 
Preacher — Record-Breaking Pioneer — Sun Eclipsed by Wild Pigeons — A 
Story for Men Only — Greensburg's First Lawyer — Doddridge Alley — 
Bound Boys — The Estray Pound — Politics in 1842 — Whig Barbecue of 1844 
—Overland Trip to Oregon — Old-Time Debating Society — Anti-Masonic 
Movement — A Civil War Debate — Early Greensburg Libraries — Orthogra- 
phic Contests — Lincoln in Greensburg — First Sunday School in County — 
Decatur County's Only Lynching — The Agaphone — Pioneer Cold Storage — 
A Gunpowder Plot — To "Buss" or not to "Buss" — "Aunt Jane" W'arriner's 
Well — -A Two-Dollar Prayer — Center of Population — Dripping Springs 


Abolitionism 399 

Adams Baptist Church 234 

Adams Christian Church 263 

Adams M. E. Church 224 

Adams Township — 

Boundaries of 95 

County Seat Hopes 97 

First Postoffice 98 

First Settlers 96 

Adams Village^ 104 

African Methodist Church 220 

Agricultural Society 385 

\gricultural Statistics — _ 384 

\griculture 379 

Alert 132 

\lert State Bank 301 

Anti-Masonic Movement 526 

Anti-"Spooning" Club 531 

Apostrophe to Newspaper 365 

Artillery and Rifle Companies 427 

Athenaeum, The 340 

Attorneys of Decatur County 283 

"Aunt Jane" Warriner's \\'ell 532 

Authors and Poets of Decatur Co.-_ 479 

Bachelors' Club 


Band Tournament 


Banks and Banking 



Battle of Fallen Timbers 


Battle of Tippecanoe 


Beginning of Law and Order 


Bench and Bar of Decatur Co 


Benevolent and Protective Order 

of Elks 


"Blazed Trails" 


Board of Justices 


Bound Boys 522 

Burney 118 

Barney State Bank 302 

Butler College, Beginning of 259 


Catholic Churches 27Z 

Cattle Feeding 381 

Cecilians, The 338 

Census of Indiana 59 

Census Statistics 508 

Centenary Methodist Church 214 

Center of Population 533 

Christian Churfhes 257 

Christian (Xew Light) Church 269 

Cliristian Science Society 270 

Church of God 269 

Churches of Decatur County 204 

Circuit Court Judges 279 

Citizens National Bank of Greens- 
burg 298 

Citizens of Distinction 513 

City of Greensburg 155 

Civil War 420 

Civil War Debate 527 

Civil War Riot in Greensburg 442 

Civil War Roll of Honor 447 

Civil War Statistics 444 

Clark, Gen. George Rogers 37 

Clarksburg 129 

Clarksburg Christian Church 261 

Clarksburg M. E. Church 222 

Clarkslnirg Presbyterian Church 253 

Clarksburg State Bank 301 

Clay Township — 

Buck Run 113 

Burney US 

Churches 116 

Clifty Settlement 113 

Duck Creek 115 


Clay Township — 

Manufactories 116 

Middlefork Settlement 114 

Milford 116 

Schools 115 

Village of Needmore 113 

Wyncoop 119 

Clifty 113 

Clinton Township — 

Boundaries 137 

County Farm 140 

Early Mills — - 138 

Sandusky 139 

Settlement of 137 

Timber Industry 139 

Williamstown 140 

Commissioners, Early Acts of 87 

Conductors of "Underground Rail- 
road" 399 

Consolidated Schools 195 

Constitution, Changes in 52 

Counties, Organization of 51 

County Agents 382 

County Agricultural Society 385 

County Auditors 90 

County Clerks 90 

County Colonization Society 398 

County Fairs 388 

County Farm 140 

County Officers 87 

County Organization 69 

County Recorders 90 

County Seat 155 

County Seminary 185 

County Sheriflfs 89 

County Treasurers 89 

County's Losses in Civil War 431 

Court House History 77 

Courts of Decatur County 278 

Cumback, Will, and Other Poets— 479 


"Dare-to-do-Right Club 510 

Daughters of the American Revo- 
lution 461 ■ 

Decatur County in Civil War 420 

Decatur County's Creation 7i 

Distilleries 101 

Distinguished Citizens of County— 513 

"Donnell Rescue Case" 400 

Downeyville 105 

Dripping Springs Garden 533 

Dry Fork Baptist Church 241 


Early Elections in County 470 

Early Greensburg Libraries 527 

Early Mail Facilities 98 

Early Ministerial Experiences 219 

Early Murder Trials 280 

Early Rural Schools 182 

Early Settlement of County 69 

Eccentric Pioneer 521 

Editorial Difficulties 366 

Education in Decatur County 182 

Educational System of Indiana 61 

Edward Eggleston 504 

Eighty-third Regiment 455 

Election in Civil War 476 

Elections, First in County 74,76 

Episcopal Church 268 

Estray Pound 524 


Farmers Club of SpringhilL—- 385 

Farmers Institute 386 

Fifty-second Regiment 453 

First County Election 74, 473 

First Free School 187 

First General Election 76 

First Highway Petition 390 

First Lawyer in Greensburg 521 

First National Bank Failure 305 

First Presidential Election 472 

First Railroad in County 393 

First Sunday School in County 529 

First Threshing Machine 379 

First Township Elections 474 

First White Men in Territory ii 

Forest Hill 132 

Fortnightly Club 336 

Fredonia United Brethren Church— 266 

French and Indian War 35 

Fugit Township- 
Boundaries 119 

Churches 128 

Clarksburg 129 


Fugit Townsliip — 

Early Schools 125 

Kingston 128 

Land Entries 122 

Settlement of 120 

Spring Hill 129 

St. Maurice 129 

When Laid Out 119 

Fugitive Slave Law 406 


Geology of Decatur County 63 

German Lutheran Church 268-270 

German M. E. Church 270 

Germans and German Influence 464 

Government, Representative Stage 

of 42 

Governors of Indiana 58 

Graded Schools 187 

Grand Army of the Republic 455 

Greensburg — 

Associated Charities 173 

Business Directory 161 

Business Men's Association 169 

Chautauqua 171 

City Hall 160 

City Officers 181 

Commercial Club 167 

Early Growth 157 

Fire Department 159 

Improvement Association 166 

Incorporation 158 

Location of County Seat 156 

Merchants in 1844 157 

Municipal Statement 180 

Newspapers 367 

Original Plat 155 

Police Department 159 

Postoffice 174 

Prices for First Lots 156 

Public Library 176 

Queer Regulations 158 

Sewerage System 161 

Song of an Inland Town 155 

Street Paving 160 

Union Depot 395 

Water Works 160 

Young Men's Christian Ass'n 177 

Greensburg B. and L. Association.- 302 

Greensburg Baptist Churches 237 

Greensburg Christian Churcli 258 

Greensburg Department Club 329 

Greensburg National Bank 300 

Greensburg Presbyterian Church 250 

Greensburg Regimental Band 428 

Greensburg's Foremost Citizen 290 

Gunpowder Plot 531 


Harris 148 

Haymakers' Association 326 

Home-made Apparel 99 

Hospitals for Insane 61 


Immaculate Conception Parish 274 

Improved Order of Red Men 324 

Independent Order of Odd Fellow's 319 

Indian Lands SO 

Indian Struggles 41 

Indiana, Boundary of 47 

Indiana Capital, Changes in 54 

Indiana Territory 44 

Industries of Decatur County 497 

Iroquois Indians Hostile 34 


Jackson Township — 

Alert 132 

Early Settlement 131 

Forest Hill 132 

Present Officers 131 

Primitive Schools 131 

Sardinia 133 

Waynesburg 132 

When Established 130 

Jail History 83 

Justices, Board of 88 


Kappa Kappa Kappa 331 

Kingston 128 

Knights of Pythias 315 

Knights of St. John... 328 

Knights of the Golden Circle 407 



Land Surveys, Present System of__ 39 

La Salle's Explorations 33 

Lawyers of an Early Day 283 

Legislative Council 48 

Legislature, First Territorial 43 

Letts 147 

Liberty Baptist Church 23S 

Lincoln in Greensburg 528 

Liquor Question in 1847 510 

Literary Club of 1914 337 

Literary Glimpses 1_ 479 

Little Flat Rock Baptist Church__ 234 

Local Option Election 511 

Lone Tree Chapter, D. A. R 462 

Long Overland Trip 525 

Lower Union L^nited Brethren 

Church 267 

Loyal Order of Moose 327 

Lyncliing in 1879 529 


Mails, Early 98 

Mapleton United Brethren Church. 266 
Marion Township — 

Churches and Schools 134 

Millhousen 135 

Settlement of 134 

Other Villages 136 

Married Ladies' Musicale 338 

Masonic Order in Decatur County- 307 

Medical Profession 341 

Medical Society 363 

Methodism in Greensburg 209 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 208 

Methodist Protestant Church 215 

Mexican War 419 

Middle Branch M. E. Church 227 

Milford -- 116 

Milford M. E. Church 225 

Military History of Indiana 55 

Military Record 408 

Millhousen 135 

Modern Woodmen of America 322 

Morgan's Raid 439 

Morgan's Raiders Defied 407 

Mother's Circle 333 

Mt. Aerie Baptist Church 244 

Mt. Carmel M. E. Church 222 

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church 233 

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church 241 

Mt. Pleasant Church 223 

Mowrey Chapel 262 


Natural Resources of Indiana 60 

Naturalized Citizens of County 465 

New Pennington M. E. Cliurch 228 

Newpoint 141 

Newpoint Christian Church 264 

Newpoint M. E. Church 227 

Newpoint State Bank 302 

Newspapers of Decatur County 365 

Ninetieth Regiment l_— 455 

Normal Schools 189 

Northwest Territory, Census of 44 

Noted Robbery Conspiracy 505 


Odd Fellows' Home 515 

Officers in Civil War 420 

Official Roster 87 

Ohio Company, The 35 

Old County Seminary 517 

Old-Time Debating Society 526 

One Hundred and Forty-Sixth Regi- 
ment 439 

One Hundred and Thirty-fourth 

Regiment 438 

One Hundred and Twenty-third 

Regiment 438 

Opposition to Slavery 398 

Opticians 364 

Order of the Eastern Star 313 

Ordinance of 1787 39 

Organization of Northwest Terri- 
tory 42 

Organization of the County 69 

Organization of Townships 124 

Orthographic Contests 528 

Pap Thomas Post, G. 
Patrons of Husbandry 
Pension Board 


Pentecost Church 267 

Physicians of Decatur County 341 

Pigeons Eclipse Sun 520 

Pioneer Churches 205 

Pioneer Cold Storage 530 

Pioneer Industries 497 

Pioneer Schools 101 

Pioneer Trails and Wagon Ways___ 390 

Poets of Decatur County 479 

Political History of Indiana 57 

Politics in 1842 524 

Pontiac's Conspiracy 36 

Population Statistics 508 

Presbyterian Churches 246 

President Judges 278 

Presidential Election of 1860 478 

Primitive Conditions 98 

Private Schools— 187 

Progress Club 334 


Quebec Act, The 36 


Railroad Statistics 396 

Railroads of Decatur County 393 

Rattlesnakes Abundant 100 

Record for Office-holding 519 

Red Ribbon Club 510 

Relief for Soldiers' Families 445 

Religion 206 

Religious Revival in 1869-70 518 

Representatives 92 

Research Club 336 

Revolutionary Period 36 

Revolutionary War Veterans 408 

Roads and Transportation 390 

Rock Creek Baptist Church 245 

Rockville, First Town in County — 106 
Rossburg Baptist Church 242 


St. Clair's Defeat _• 34 

St. John's Parish at Enochsburg — 275 

St. Maurice 129 

St. Maurice's Parish III 

St. Omer— 

Aspirations Blasted 104 

Churches 103 

First Building 102 

Missed by Railroad 102 

Schools 103 

St. Paul— 
"Big John" 112 

Churches and Schools 108 

Disastrous Fires 111 

First Mill in County 107 

First Paul Cabin 107 

Founder of 106 

Industries and Commerce 109 

Railroad Booms Town 107 

St. Paul Bank 301 

St. Paul Christian Church 264 

St. Paul M. E. Church 225 

St. Paul Schools 201 

St. Paul's Catholic Church 275 

Salem Baptist Church 111 

Salt Creek Township — 

Boundaries 140 

Last Laid Out 140 

Newpoint 141 

Present Officers 141 

Settlement of 141 

Smith's Crossing 143 

\'illages of 143 

Sand Creek Baptist Church 229 

Sand Creek Township — 

Boundaries of 143 

First Settlers 144 

Harris 148 

Letts 147 

Present Officers 145 

Sardinia Crossing 150 

Westport 145 

Sandusky 139 

Sandusky \i. E. Church 221 

Sardinia 1'33 

Sardinia Presbyterian Church 253 

Sardinia United Brethren Church__ 267 

Schools of Greensburg 192 

Schools of the Pioneers 101 

Secret Societies and Fraternities — 307 

Senators, State 91 

Sent Bill for Prayer 532 

Settlement of the County 69 

Seventh Regiment 424 


Seventy-sixth Regiment 436 

Sheriffs, 89 

Sidelights on History of County 504 

Sixty-eighth Regiment 436 

Slavery, Rejected in Indiana 50 

Slaves Held in Decatur County 407 

Smith's Crossing 143 

Social and Literary Clubs 329 

Soil of Decatur County 64 

Soldiers of Civil War 424 

Soldiers of the Revolution 408 

Soldiers of War of 1812 411 

Soldiers of War With Mexico 419 

Spelling "Bees" 528 

Spring Hill 129 

Spring Hill Community Church 256 

Squatters 96 

State Politics at Early Date 470 

State Pride 62 

State. Representatives 92 

State Senators 91 

Stock- Breeders 380 

Supervision of Schools 191 


Tax Payers in 1862 507 

Teachers' Gatherings 188 

Teachers, Qualifications of 184 

Tecumseh 33 

Temperance Movement 509 

Territorial Delegates to Congress— 49 

Territorial Government 46 

"The Hoosier Schoolmaster" 504 

Third National Bank of Greensburg 299 

Thirty-seventh Regiment 433 

Tomato-growing Industry 382 

Topography of Decatur County 63 

Tourists' Club 335 

Towns and Townships 95 

Township Schools 195 

Townships and Towns 95 

Trained Nurses 363 

Treaty of Paris i3 

Tree on Court House Tower 81 

Turnpikes — 391 


"Underground Railroad" 398 

Union Baptist Church 245 

Union Trust Company of Greens- 
burg 303 

United Brethren in Christ 265 

United Presbyterian Church 254 


Vincennes, Capture of 37 

\'incennes, Oldest Indiana Settle- 
ment 38 


War of 1812 411 

War-Time Convention 441 

Washington Township — 

Boundaries 150 

Center of County 151 

First Settlers 152 

McCoy 154 

Present Officers 154 

Quarry Switch 154 

Washingtonian Organization 509 

Water Transportation 392 

Wayne, Gen. Anthony 34 

Waynesburg 132 

Waynesburg Christian Church 264 

Waynesburg Farmers' Club 385 

Wesley Chapel 220 

Westport 145 

Westport Baptist Church 241 

Westport Christian Church 262 

Westport High School 199 

Westport National Bank 301 

Whig Barbecue of 1844 525 

Wild Game 101 

Williamstown 140 

Wolves Troublesome 100 

Woman's Christian Temperance 

Union 511 

Woman's Club 335 

Woman's Relief Corps 458 

Workingmen's B. and L. Ass'n 304 



Ainsworth, Charles I. 688 

Alexander, Clay 952 

Alexander, Frank S. 1109 

Alexander, John H., M. D. 632 

Alley, Jonathan L. 1008 

Allison, Francis M. 747 

Anderson, Hamlin 1160 

Anderson, Nicholas 1143 

Anderson, Robert 1067 

Angle, William M. 752 

Annis, James X. , 693 

Apple, Solomon 1045 

Ardery, David' A. 572 

Armstrong, Alfred M. 842 

Armstrong, Francis D. 856 

Askin, Clifford G. 943 

Aultman, Henry M. 575 


Ballard, Daniel J., M. D. 756 

Ballard, Harry W. 1207 

Beck, John W. 703 

Bentley, Alexander . 1126 

Black, Jacob 1162 

Black, John C. 1071 

Blackamore, David M. 552 

Blackmore, Lawrence O. (.deceased) 1010 

Blackmore, Lawrence O. 1015 

Blankman, Bernard H. 728 

Blankman, Henry 1196 

Boicourt, William T. 1042 

Boling. Albert 800 

Boling, George W. 771 

Boling, Walter T. 767 

Bonner, Judge Samuel A. 851 

Bonner, Walter W. 734 

Bostic, James M. 1111 

Bostic, Watson 983 

Bowman, Henry C. 806 

Boyd, Harry .. 543 

Bracken, John Locke 544 

Braden. Luther D. 618 

Braden, Richard J. 587 

Bruns, Benedict 906 

Buckley, Daniel 914 

Burney, John W. __. 799 

Bush, James N. 773 

Bussell. Smith B. 741 

Byers, James M. 999 


Carman, Ira C. 986 

Clark, Ira 711 

Clark, Samuel 894 

Cline, James 978 

Cobb, Jasper 640 

CoUicott, Rev. John 1029 

Collins. John R. 885 

Cory. Joseph 792 

Cory, Walter B. 615 

Corya, John W. 1018 

Crawford, George S., M. D. 784 

Crisler. Will J. 547 

Crist, Scott F. 1204 

Cuskaden, John T. 789 


Davis, Daniel 695 

Davis, Edward W. 880 

Davis, James B. 782 

Davis, James G. 992 

Davis, Robert J. 1098 

Davis, William 1014 

Day, Thomas E. 1031 

Deem, John W. 709 

DeMoss, John W. 824 

Denham. Benjamin F. 1123 

Deniston, John H. 1194 

Deniston, William H. 1117 


Deupree, Clarence C. 1174 

Deupree, Everett L. .__' 1037 

Deupree, Thomas M. 1175 

Dietrich, Otto F. 779 

Donnell, Edwin D. 1079 

Douglas, Dilver E., M. D. 930 

Draping, Henry A. 974 

Duffey, Thomas 642 


Eckhart, Leroy A. 107S 

Eddelman, Edgar 1119 

Elder, Oliver C. 698 

Elliott, Daniel W. 1138 

Elliott, Marion M. 1131 

Elliott, Theodore 993 

Emmert, Harry 730 

Emmert, Jacob 749 

Emmert, Len J. 550 

Erdmann, George E. 559 

Evans, John G. 960 

Evans, Milton E. ^ 1133 


Fear, John 1085 

Fear, William S. 1097 

Fee, Edwin S. 933 

Foley, Gen. James B. 568 

Foley, John J. 560 

F'ord, Lafayette 597 

Fry, Henry 831 

Fulton, Samuel D. 1129 


Galbraith, Francis I. ._1215 

Garrison, Joseph W. 608 

Gartin, John G. 1088 

Gaston, J. Minor 936 

Gibson, Estill A. 1012 

Glass, Jacob C., M. D. 834 

Goddard, William 661 

Greeley, Clarence E. 797 

Grover, Dr. Charles B. 816 

Guthrie, John G. 924 


Habig, Anthony 127 

llahn, Valentine 920 

Hamilton, Chester 1170 

Hamilton, Everett : 610 

Hamilton, Frank 656 

Hamilton, James F. 738 

I-lamilton, Luther D. 1183 

Hamilton, R. Ray 941 

Hamilton, Robert C. 570 

Hamilton, Thomas E. 878 

Hamilton, Thomas M. 907 

Hanks, Samuel B. 991 

Harding, James L. 864 

Harrod. Cecil G., M. D. 984 

Harwood, Cyrus D. 759 

Hays, John C. 948 

Heger, Michael 821 

Hess, George L. 1210 

Hill, Clarence L. 1156 

Hillis, Alexander 975 

Hite, Edgar E. 818 

Hitt, Sherman B., M. D. 596 

.Hoeing, Bernard A. 918 

Holcomb, Daniel Wesley 912 

Flolcomb, John W. 840 

Holmes, Mrs. Dorcas E. (McLain) 581 

Holmes, Webster H. 950 

Hopkins, Harry S., D. D. S 1047 

Howard, James 1017 

Hudson, Millard A. 690 

Hughes, Jason B. 696 

Hungerford, Walter 874 

Hunter, John 1004 

Isgrigg, William H. 814 


Jackson, Edward A. 988 

Jackson, Samuel L. 636 

Jackson, William E. 1034 

Jameson, Barton W. 1137 

Jenkins, Myron C. 1164 

Jewell, Allen 1001 

Jewett, Israel D. 1053 

Jewett, Lorin A. 1059 

Johannigmann, Mathias 931 


Johnson, John 788 

Jones, Clifford F. 677 


Kanouse, John R. 774 

Kelly, Samuel 1145 

Kennedy, Simeon H. 1198 

Kercheval, Clarence F., M. D. 562 

Kercheval, James T. 862 

Kessing, Edward 1200 

Ketchum, Francis G. 1191 

Ketchum, William S. 1064 

Kincaid, Gilbert G. 662 

Kirby, Henry C. 1077 

Kitchin, Guy E. 626 

Kitchin, Joseph B. 826 

Kitchin, Thomas J. 639 


Lathrop, Harry 910 

Lathrop, James B. 724 

Lawson, William A. 1000 

Layton, Jephtha 977 

Lee, Orlando 1052 

Link, Albert 964 

Littell, Mrs. Benjamin F. 1028 

Littell, George S. 539 

Littell, Sam V. 699 

Logan, Aaron 1203 

Logan, Aaron L. 686 

Logan, George A. 889 

Logan, Henry H. 832 

Logan, John 844 

Logan, John H. 765 

Logan, Will W. 859 

Lowe, Arthur J. 584 

Lowe. Edward C. 674 


McCoy, Curtis 904 

McCoy, Sutherland 592 

McCoy, William M. 604 

McCracken, Hugh T. 634 

McKee. Harley S., M. D. 902 

McLaughlin, James C. 648 


Manlief, Omer T. 884 

Meek, Adam 658 

Meek, George M. 763 

Meek, John T. 1185 

Meek. Robert S. 576 

Menzie, George 721 

Messier, Cornelius 714 

Metz, George W. 846 

Metz, John H. 624 

Miers, Morgan L. 760 

Miers, Willard A. 981 

Miers, William H. 946 

Miller, Charles P. 1166 

Minor, Joseph S. 966 

Mires, John A. 1006 

Mobley. William H. 794 

Moenkedick, Joseph 980 

Moor, George W. 1082 

Moore, Huber C. 804 

Morrison, Clyde C, M. D. 1211 

Mount, Harry H. 716 

Mowrey, Nelson Til 

Mozingo, Henry 972 

Mulford, Fred E. 876 

Mulroy, Anthony B. 780 

Myers, Judge David A. 1213 

Myers, George M. 1101 

Myers, James A. 646 

Myers, John T. 1003 

Xesbitt. Charles M. 1187 


Oldham, Eber J. 916 

Ortman, Bernard 901 

Osborn, John E. 768 

Owen, John S. 1140 


Patterson. Joseph 603 

Pavy. John T. 776 

Perry. Dan S 606 

Perry. George S. 823 


Pleak, Ezra L. 1056 

Pleak, Strauther Van 1170 

Porter, Alexander 1152 

Porter, Edward A., M.D. 1105 

Porter, James 654 

Power, Ernest D. 682 

Powner, James L. 995 

Powner, John C. 685 

Pulse, William C. 612 

Pumphrey, Cyrus W. 1026 

Pumphrey, Edward 1022 

Pumphrey, Francis M. 956 

Pumphrey, James A. __1021 

Puttmann. John J. 898 


Redelman, George F. 888 

Redelman, Henry M. 958 

Reed, George N. 678 

Remy, Charles E. 953 

Riley, Eden T., M. D. __. 557 

Riley. Hon. Zachariah T. 1039 

Risk, Charles F. -1073 

Robbins, Charles C. 1157 

Robbins, John E. 1120 

Robbins, John E. . 535 

Robertson, John F. 1103 

Robertson, Josiah W. 967 

Robertson, Lafayette 1062 

Robertson, William W. 1050 

Robison, James B. 704 

Ruhl, Max 812 

Russell, Albert C. .. 579 

Russell, John F. 554 


Sands, Linton W. 670 

Scheidler, George M. 820 

Schroeder, John H. 882 

Scott, Robert 629 

Scott, Walter 629 

Sefton, George W. 705 

Shafer, James H. 1146 

Shafer, Wilson M. 854 

Shaw, Col. Benjamin C. 997 

Shaw, John J. 1134 

Shaw, Thomas N. 754 

Shera, Isaac 848 

Shortridge, James M. 786 

Shuperd, George W. 1065 

Smalley, Reuben 701 

Smiley, Thomas K. 736 

Smiley, William 650 

Smiley, William F. 620 

Smiley, William G. 668 

Smith, William S. 564 

Spears, John W. 1024 

Stark, Randolph 891 

Stevenson, Thomas H. 644 

Stewart, Samuel H. 718 

Stott & Company, W. T. 745 

Stott, Richard T. 802 

Stout, Frank C. 647 

Styers, Jesse H. 836 

Styers, William G. 1094 


Talbott, Abram H. , 672 

Taylor, Albert G. 1061 

Taylor, Isaac H. 940 

Taylor, John W. 1072 

Templeton, Charles S. 1048 

Templeton, Nelson M. 652 

Thomson, Henry 707 

Throp, James B. 808 

Throp, Wesley 810 

Thurston, Jacob L. 1141 

Townsend, Henry 1107 

Travis, Louis O. 1206 

Tremain, John W. 1115 

Trimble, Oscar B. 928 

Turner, Rev. James W.. A. M., D. D. 969 
Turner, Rollin A. 600 


Updike. William G. 743 

Urich, Rev. John A. 720 


Van Pleak, Strauther 1170 

Venner, Abram F. 1086 


Waits, Isaac D. 1068 

Walker, Elmer E. 922 


Wallingford, John X. 617 

Weadon, Frank M. 926 

Weadon, George A. 1190 

Welch, Oliver F., M. D 1192 

Welsh, Glanton G. 664 

White, Isaac W. 692 

Willey, Andrew S. 680 

Williams, Andrew 1113 

Williams, Richard A. 1178 

Willoughby, Andrew M. 566 

Wood, James M., M.D. 1083 

Wooden, Elmer E. 588 

Woodrtll, William C. 622 

WoodtiU, William S. 627 

Woodruff, John H. 1100 

Woodward, Charles W. 594 

Worland, Charles W. 896 

Wright, Caleb S. 1148 

Wright, Londa 791 

Wright, Wilbur B. 1168 

Wynkoop, Isaac X. 1092 

Zoller, Charles 583 




The first white men to set foot upon the Northwest Territory were 
J'"rench traders and missionaries under the leadership of La Salle. This was 
about the year 1670 and subsequent discoveries and explorations in this 
region by the French gave that nation practically undisputed possession of 
all the territory organized in 1787 as the Northwest Territory. It is true 
that the English colonies of Virginia, Connecticut and Massachusetts claimed 
that their charters extended their grants westward to the Mississippi river. 
However, France claimed this territory and successfully maintained posses- 
sion of it until the close of the French and Indian War in 1763. At that 
time the treaty of Paris transferred all of the French claims east of the 
Mississippi river to England, as well as all claims of France to territory on 
the mainland of North America. For the next twenty years the Northwest 
Territory was under the undisputed control of England, but became a part 
of the United States by the treaty which terminated the Revolutionary War 
in 1783. Thus the flags of three nations have floated over the territory now 
comprehended within the present state of Indiana — the tri-color of France, 
the union jack of England and the stars and stripes of the United States. 

History will record the fact that there was another nation, however, 
which claimed possession of this territory and, while the Indians can hardly 
be called a nation, yet they made a gallant fight to retain their hunting 
grounds. The real owners of this territory struggled against heavy odds 
to maintain their supremacy and it was not until the battle of Tippecanoe, in 
the fall of 181 1, that the Indians gave up the unequal struggle. Tecumseh, 
the Washington of his race, fought fiercely to save this territory for his 
people, but the white man finally overwhelmed him, and "Lo, the poor Indian" 
was pushed westward across the Mississippi. The historv of the Northwest 


Territory is full of the bitter fights which the Indians waged in trying to drive 
the white man out and the defeat which the Indians inflicted on general 
St. Clair on November 4, 1792, will go down in the annals of American 
history as the worst defeat which an American army ever suffered at the 
hands of the Indians. The greatest battle which has ever been fought in the 
United States against the Indians occurred in the state of Ohio. This was 
the battle of Fallen Timbers and occurred August 20, 1794, the scene of 
the battle being within the present county of Defiance. After the close 
of the Revolutionary War the Indians, urged on by the British, caused the 
settlers in the Northwest Territory continued trouble and defeated every de- 
tachment sent against them previous to their defeat by Gen. Anthony Wayne 
at the battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. Although there was some trouble 
with the Indians after this time, they never offered serious resistance after 
this memorable defeat until the fall of 181 1, when Gen. William Henry Har- 
rison completely routed them at the battle of Tippecanoe. 


Ohio was the first state created out of the old Northwest Territory, 
although Indiana had been previously organized as a territory. When the 
land comprehended within the Northwest Territory was discovered by the 
French under La Salle about 1670, it was a battle ground of various Indian 
tribes, although the Fries, who were located along the shores of Lake Erie, 
were the only ones with a more or less definite territory. From 1670 to 
1763, the close of the French and Indian War, the French were in possession 
of this territory and established their claims in a positive manner by exten- 
sive exploration and scattered settlements. The chief centers of French 
settlement were at Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Fort Crevecour 
and at several missionary stations around the shores of the great lakes. The 
French did not succeed in doing this without incurring the hostility of the 
Iroquois Indians, a bitter enmity which was brought about chiefly because 
the French helped the Shawnees, Wyandots and Miamis to drive the Iroquois 
out of the territory west of the Muskingum river in Ohio. 

It must not be forgotten that the English also laid claim to the North- 
west Territory, basing their claim on the discoveries of the Cabots and the 
subsequent charters of Virginia, Massachusetts aqd Connecticut. These 
charters extended the limits of these three colonies westward to the Pacific 
ocean, although, as a matter of fact, none of the three colonies made a settle- 
ment west of the Alleghanies until after the Revolutionary War. New York 



sought to Strengthen her claim to territory west of the Alleghanies in 1701, 
by getting from the Iroquois, the bitter enemies of the French, a grant to the 
territory from which the French and their Indian alHes had previously ex- 
pelled them. Although this grant was renewed in 1726 and again confirmed 
in 1744, it gave New York only a nominal claim and one which was never 
recognized by the French in any way. 

English traders from Pennsylvania and Virginia began in 1730 to pay 
more attention to the claims of their country west of the Alleghanies and 
north of the Ohio river. When their activities reached the ears of the French 
the governor of French Canada sent Celeron de Bienville up and down the 
Ohio and the rivers and streams running into it from the north and took 
formal possession of the territory by planting lead plates at the mouth of 
every river and stream of any importance. This peculiar method of the 
French in seeking to establish their claims occurred in the year 1749 and 
opened the eyes of England to the necessity of taking some immediate action. 
George II, the king of England at the time, at once granted a charter for the 
first Ohio Company (there were two others by the same name later organ- 
ized), composed of London merchants and enterprising Virginians, and the 
company at once proceeded to formulate plans to secure possession of the ter- 
ritory north of the Ohio and west of the Mississippi. Christopher Gist was 
sent down the Ohio river in 1750 to explore the country as far west as the 
mouth of the Scioto river, and made several treaties with the Indians. Things 
were now rapidly approaching a crisis and it was soon evident that there 
would be a struggle of arms between England and France for the disputed 
region. In 1754 the English started to build a fort at the confluence of the 
Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, on the site of the present city of Pitts- 
burgh, but before the fort was completed the French appeared on the scene, 
drove the English away and finished the fort which had been begun. 


The crisis had finally come. The struggle which followed between the 
two nations ultimately resulted in the expulsion of the- French from the 
mainland of America as well as from the immediate territory in dispute. 
The war is known in America as the French and Indian War and in the 
history of the world as the Seven Years' War, the latter designation being 
due to the fact that it lasted that length of time. The struggle developed 
into a world-wide conflict and the two nations fought over three continents, 
America, Europe and Asia. It it not within the province of this resume of 



the history of Indiana to go into the details of this memorable struggle. It is 
sufficient for the purpose at hand to state that the treaty of Paris, which 
terminated the war in 1763, left France without any of her former posses- 
sions on the mainland of America. 


With the English in control of America east of the Mississippi river and 
the French regime forever ended, the Indians next command the attention 
of the historian who deals with the Northwest Territory. The French were 
undoubtedly responsible for stirring up their former Indian allies and 
Pontiac's conspiracy must be credited to the influence of that nation. This 
formidable uprising was successfully overthrown by Henry Bouquet, who 
led an expedition in 1764 into the present state of Ohio and compelled the 
Wyandots, Delawares and Shawnees to sue for peace. 


From 1764 to 1774, no events of particular importance occurred within 
the territory north of the Ohio river, but in the latter year (June 22, 1774), 
England, then at the breaking point with the colonies, passed the Quebec 
act, which attached this territory to the province of Quebec for administrative 
purposes. This intensified the feeling of resentment which the colonies 
bore against their mother country and is given specific mention in their list 
of grievances which they enumerated in their Declaration of Independence. 
The Revolutionary War came on at once and this act, of course, was never 
put into execution. 


During the War for Independence (1775-1783), the various states with 
claims to western lands agreed with the Continental Congress to surrender 
their claims to the national government. In fact, the Articles of Confedera- 
tion were not signed until all of the states had agreed to do this and Mary- 
land withheld her assent to the articles until March i, 1780, on this account. 
In accordance with this agreement New York ceded her claim to the United 
States in 1780, Virginia in 1784, Massachusetts in 1785 and Connecticut in 
1786, although the latter state excepted a one-hundred-and-twenty-mile strip 
of three million five hundred thousand acres bordering on Lake Erie. This 


strip was formally relinquished in 1800, with the understanding that the 
United States would guarantee the titles already issued by that state. Vir- 
ginia was also allowed a reservation, known as the Virginia Military Dis- 
trict, which lay between the Little Miami and Scioto rivers, the same being 
for distribution among her Revolutionary veterans. There is one other fact 
which should be mentioned in connection with the territory north of the 
Ohio in the Revolutionary period. This was the memorable conquest of the 
territory by Gen. George Rogers Clark. During the years 1778 and 1779, 
this redoubtable leader captured Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes and 
thereby drove the English out of the Northwest Territory. It is probable 
that this notable campaign secured this territory for the Americans and that 
without it we would -not have had it included in our possessions in the treaty 
which closed the Revolutionary War. 


One of the most interesting pages of Indiana history is concerned with 
the capture of Vincennes by Gen. George Rogers Clark in the spring of 1779. 
The expedition of this intrepid leader with its successful results marked him 
as a man of more than usual ability. Prompted by a desire to secure the 
territory northwest of the Ohio river for the Americans, he sought and ob- 
tained permission from the governor of Virginia the right to raise a body of 
troops for this purpose. Early in the spring of 1778 Clark began collecting 
his men for the proposed expedition. Within a short time he collected about 
one hundred and fifty men at Fort Pitt and floated down the Ohio to the 
falls near Jeffersonville. He picked up a few recruits at this place and in 
June floated on down the river to the mouth of the Tennessee river. His 
original intention was to make a descent on Vincennes first, but, having re- 
ceived erroneous reports as to the strength of the garrison located there, he 
decided to commence active operations at Kaskaskia. After landing his 
troops near the mouth of the Tennessee in the latter part of June, 1778, he 
marched them across southern Illinois to Kaskaskia, arriving there on the 
evening of July 4. The inhabitants were terror stricken at first, but upon 
being assured by General Clark that they were in no danger and that all he 
wanted was for them to give their support to the American cause, their fears 
were soon quieted. Being so far from the scene of the war, the French 
along the Mississippi knew little or nothing about its progress. One of the 
most important factors in establishing a friendly relation between the Amer- 
icans and the French inhabitants was the hearty willingness of Father Gibault, 


the Catholic priest stationed at Kaskaskia, in making his people see that their 
best interests would be served by aligning themselves with the Americans. 
Father Gibault not only was of invaluable assistance to General Clark at 
Kaskaskia, but he also offered to make the overland trip to Vincennes and 
win over the French in that place to the American side. This he successfully 
did and returned to Kaskaskia in August with the welcome news that the 
inhabitants of Vincennes were willing to give their allegiance to the 

However, before Clark got his troops together for the trip to Vincennes, 
General Hamilton, the lieutenant-governor of Detroit, descended the Wabash 
and captured Vincennes (December 15, 1778). At that time Clark had only 
two men stationed there, Leonard Helm, who was in command of the fort, 
and a private by the name of Henry. As soon as Clark heard that the British 
had captured Vincennes, he began to make plans for retaking it. The terms 
of enlistment of many of his men had expired and he had difficulty in getting 
enough of them to re-enlist to make a body large enough to make a successful 
attack. A number of young Frenchmen joined his command and finally, in 
January, 1779. Clark set out from Kaskaskia for Vincennes with one hundred 
and seventy men. This trip of one hundred sixty miles was made at a time 
when traveling overland was at its worst. The prairies were wet, the 
streams were swollen and the rivers overflowing their banks. Notwithstand- 
ing the difficulties which confronted him and his men, Clark advanced rapidly 
as possible and by February 23, 1779, he was in front of Vincennes. Two 
days later, after considerable parleying and after the fort had suffered from 
a murderous fire from the Americans, General Hamilton agreed to surrender. 
This marked the end of British dominion in Indiana and ever since that day 
the territory now comprehended in the state has been American soil. 


Historians have never agreed as to the date of the founding of Vin- 
cennes. The local historians of that city have always claimed that the 
settlement of the town dates from 1702, although those who have examined 
all the facts and documents have come to the conclusion that 1732 comes 
nearer to being the correct date. It was in the latter year that George Wash- 
ington was born, a fact which impresses upon the reader something of the age 
of the city. Vincennes was an old town and had seen several generations 
pass away when the Declaration of Independence was signed. It was in 
Vincennes and vicinity that the best blood of the Northwest Territory was 


found at the time of the Revohitionary War. It was made the seat of justice 
of Knox county when it was organized in 1790 and consequently it is by 
many years the oldest county seat in the state. It became the first capital of 
Indiana Territory in 1800 and saw it removed to Corydon in 18 13 for the 
reason, so the Legislature said, that it was too near the outskirts of civiliza- 
tion. In this oldest city of the Mississippi valley still stands the house into 
which Governor Harrison moved in 1804, and the house in which the Terri- 
torial Legislature held its sessions in 1805 is still in an excellent state of 

Today Vincennes is a thriving city of fifteen thousand, with paved 
streets, street cars, fine public buildings and public utility plants equal to any 
in the state. It is the seat of a university which dates back more tlian a 


The next period in the history of the territory north of the Ohio begins 
with the passage of a congressional act (May 20, 1785), which provided for 
the present system of land surveys into townships six miles square. As soon 
as this was put into operation, settlers — and mostly Revolutionary soldiers — • 
began to pour into the newly surveyed territory. A second Ohio Company 
was organized in the spring of 1786, made up chiefly of Revolutionary 
officers and soldiers from New England, and this company proposed to estab- 
lish a state somewhere between Lake Erie and the Ohio river. At this junc- 
ture Congress realized that definite steps should be made at once for some 
kind of government over this extensive territory, a territory which now in- 
cludes the present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and 
about a third of Minnesota. Various plans were proposed in Congress and 
most of the sessions of 1786 and the first half of 1787 were consumed in 
trying to formulate a suitable form of government for the extensive terri- 
tory. The result of all these deliberations resulted in the famous Ordinance 
of 1787, which was finally passed on July 13, 1787. 


There have been many volumes written about this instrument of gov- 
ernment and to this day there is a difference of opinion as to who was its 
author. The present article can do no more than merely sketch its outline 
and set forth the main provisions. It was intended to provide only a tem- 
porary government and to serve until such a time as the population of the 


territory would warrant the creation of states with the same rights and 
privileges which the thirteen original states enjoyed. It stipulated that not 
less than three nor more than five states should ever be created out of the 
whole territory and the maximum number was finally organized, although it 
was not until 1848 that the last state, Wisconsin, was admitted to the Union. 
The third article, "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good 
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of educa- 
tion shall forever be encouraged," has given these five states the basis for 
their excellent system of public schools, state normals, colleges and uni- 
versities. Probably the most widely discussed article was the sixth, which pro- 
vided that slavery and involuntary servitude should never be permitted within 
the territory and by the use of the word "forever" made the territory free 
for all time. It is interesting to note in this connection that both Indiana 
and Illinois before their admission to the Union sought to have this pro- 
vision set aside, but every petition from the two states was refused by Con- 
gress in accordance with the provision of the Ordinance. 


The ordinance contemplated two grades of territorial government. 
During the operation of the first grade of government the governor, his secre- 
tary and the three judges provided by the ordinance were to be appointed by 
Congress and the governor in turn was to appoint "such magistrates and 
other civil officers in each county and township as he shall deem necessary 
for the preservation of the peace and good will of the same." After the 
federal government was organized a statutory provision took the appoint- 
ment of these oflicers out of the hands of Congress and placed it in the hands 
of the President of the United States. All executive authority was given 
to the governor, all judicial authority to the three judges, while the governor 
and judges, in joint session, constituted the legislative body. This means 
that during the first stage of territorial government the people had absolutely 
no voice in the affairs of government and this state of affairs lasted until 
1799, a period of twelve years. 


The second stage of government in the territory was to begin whenever 
the governor was satisfied that there were at least five thousand free male 
inhabitants of the age of twenty-one and above. The main difference be- 


tween the first and second stages of territorial government lay in the fact 
that the legislative functions were taken from the governor and judges and 
given to a "general assembly or legislature." The ordinance provided for 
the election of one representative for each five hundred free male inhabitants, 
the tenure of the oftice to be two years. While the members of the lower 
house were to be elected by the qualified voters of the territory, the upper 
house, to consist of five members, were to be appointed by Congress in a 
somewhat complicated manner. The house of representatives was to select 
ten men and these ten names were to be sent to Congress and out of this 
number five were to be selected by Congress. This provision, like the ap- 
pointment of the governor, was later changed so as to make the upper house 
the appointees of the President of the United States. The five men so selected 
were called councilors and held office for five years. 


The period from 1787 to 1803 in the Northwest Territory was marked 
by several bitter conflicts with the Indians. Just as at the close of the French 
and Indian War had the French stirred up the Indians against the Americans, 
so at the close of the Revolutionary War did the English do the same. In 
fact the War of 181 2 was undoubtedly hastened by the depredations of the 
Indians, who were urged to make forays upon the frontier settlements in the 
Northwest Territory by the British. The various uprisings of the Indians 
during this critical period greatly retarded the influx of settlers in the new 
territory, and were a .constant menace to those hardy pioneers who did ven- 
ture to establish homes north of the Ohio river. Three distinct campaigns 
were waged against the savages before they were finally subdued. The first 
campaign was under the command of Gen. Josiah Harmar (1790) and re- 
sulted in a decisive defeat for the whites. The second expedition was under 
the leadership of Gen. Arthur St. Clair (1791), the governor of the Territory, 
and was marked by one of the worst defeats ever suffered by an American 
army at the hands of the Indians. A lack of knowledge of Indian methods 
of warfare, combined with reckless mismanagement, sufficiently accounts for 
both disasters. It remained for Gen. Anthony Wayne, the "Mad Anthony" 
of Revolutionary fame, to bring the Indians to terms. The battle of Fallen 
Timbers, which closed his campaign against the Indians, was fought August 
20, 1794, on the Maumee river within the present county of Defiance county, 
Ohio. This crushing defeat of the Indians, a rout in which they lost twelve 
out of thirteen chiefs, was so complete that the Indians were glad to sue for 



peace. On June lo, 1795, delegates from the various Indian tribes, headed 
by their respective chiefs, met at Greenville, Ohio, to formulate a treaty. A 
treaty was finally consummated on August 3, and was signed by General 
Wayne on behalf of the United States and by ninety chiefs and delegates of 
twelve interested tribes. This treaty was faithfully kept by the Indians and 
ever afterwards Little Turtle, the real leader of the Indians at that time, 
was a true friend of the whites. While there were several sporadic forays 
on the part of the Indians up to 181 1, there was no battle of any importance 
with them until the battle of Tippecanoe in the fall of 1811. 


The first governor of the newly organized territory was Gen. Arthur 
St. Clair, a gallant soldier of the Revolution, who was appointed on October 
5, 1787, and ordered to report for duty on the first of the following February. 
He held the office until November 22, 1802, when he was dismissed by Presi- 
dent Jefferson "for the disorganizing spirit, and tendency of every example, 
violating the rules of conduct enjoined by his public station, as displayed in 
his address to the convention." The governor's duties were performed by 
his secretary, Charles W. Byrd, until March i, 1803, when the state officials 
took their office. The first judges appointed were Samuel Holden Parsons, 
James Mitchell Varnuni and John Armstrong. Before the time came for 
the judges to qualify, Armstrong resigned and John Cleves Symmes was ap- 
pointed in his place. The first secretary was Winthrop Sargent, who held 
the position until he was appointed governor of Missis-sippi Territory by the 
President on May 2, 1798. Sargent was succeeded by William Henry Har- 
rison, who was appointed by the President on June 26, 1798, and confined 
by the Senate two days later. Harrison was later elected as the first dele- 
gate of the organized Northwest Territory to Congress and the President 
then appointed Charles Willing Byrd as secretary of the Territory, Byrd's 
appointment being confirmed by the Senate on December 31, 1799. 


The Northwest Territory remained under the government of the first 
stage until September i6, 1799, when it formally advanced to the second or 
representative stage. In the summer of 1798 Governor St. Clair had ascer- 
tained that the territory had a population of at least five thousand free male 
inhabitants and, in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787, 


was ready to make the change in its form of government. On October 29, 
1798, the governor issued a proclamation to the quaHfied voters of the terri- 
tory directing them to choose members for the lower house of the territorial 
Legislature at an election to be held on the third Monday of the following 
December. The twenty-two members so elected met on January 16, 1799, 
and, pursuant to the provisions of the ordinance, selected the ten men from 
whom the President of the United States later chose five for the Legislative 
Council. They then adjourned to meet on September 16, 1799, but since 
there was not a quorum on that day they held adjourned sessions until the 
23rd, at which time a quorum was present. 

At the time the change in the form of government went into effect there 
were only nine counties in the whole territory. These counties had been 
organized either by the governor or his secretary. The following table gives 
the nine counties organized before 1799 with the dates of their organization 
and the number of legislators proportioned to each by the governor : 

Date of Number of 
County. Organization. representatives. 
Washington July 27, 1788 2 

Hamilton January 4, 1790 7 

St. Clair April 27, 1790 i 

Knox June 20, 1790 1 

Randolph October 5, 1795 i 

Wayne August 6, 1796 3 

Adams July 10, 1797 2 

Jefferson July 29, 1797 1 

Ross August 20, 1798 4 


The twenty-two representatives and five councilors were the first rep- 
resentative body to meet in the Northwest Territory and they represented a 
constituency scattered, over a territory of more than two hundred and sixty- 
five thousand square miles, an area greater than Germany or France, or even 
Austria-Hungary. It would be interesting to tell something of the delibera- 
tions of these twenty-seven sterling pioneers, but the limit of the present 
article forbids. It is necessary, however, to make mention of one important 
thing which they did in view of the fact that it throws much light on the 
subsequent history of the Northwest Territory. 



The Legislature was authorized to elect a delegate to Congress and two 
candidates for the honor presented their names to the Legislature, William 
Henry Harrison and Arthur St. Clair, Jr., the son of the governor. The 
Legislature, by a joint ballot on October 3, 1799, elected Harrison by a vote 
of eleven to ten. The defeat of his son undoubtedly had considerable to do 
with the subsequent estrangement which arose between the governor and his 
legislature and incidentally hastened the division of the Northwest Terri- 
tory. Within two years from the time the territory had advanced to the 
second stage of government the division had taken place. On May 7, 1800, 
Congress passed an act dividing the Northwest Territory by a line drawn 
from the mouth of the Kentucky river to Fort Recovery, in Mercer county, 
Ohio, and thence due north to the boundary line between the United States 
and Canada. Governor St. Clair favored the division because he thought it 
would delay the organization of a state and thus give him a longer lease on 
his position, but he did not favor the division as finally determined. He was 
constantly growing in disfavor with the people on account of his overbearing 
manner and he felt that he would get rid of some of his bitterest enemies if 
the western inhabitants were set off into a new territory. However, the 
most of the credit for the division m.ust be given to Harrison, who, as a dele- 
gate to Congress, was in a position to have the most influence. Harrison also 
was satisfied that in case a new territory should be formed he would be ap- 
pointed its first governor and he was not disappointed. The territory west 
of the line above mentioned was immediately organized and designated as 
Indiana Territory, while the eastern portion retained the existing govern- 
ment and the old name — Northwest Territory. It is frequently overlooked 
that the Northwest Territory existed in fact and in name up until March i, 


The division of 1800 left the Northwest Territory with only about one- 
third of its original area. The census of the territory taken by the United 
States government in 1800 showed it to have a total population of forty-five 
thousand three hundred and sixty-five, which fell short by about fifteen thou- 
sand of being sufficient for the creation of a state as provided by the Ordi- 
nance of 1787, which fixed the minimum population at sixty-thousand. The 
counties left in the Northwest Territory, with their respective population, 


are set forth in the appended table, all of which were within the present state 
of Ohio, except Wayne : 

Adams 3,432 

Hamilton 14.632 

Jefferson 8,766 

Ross 8,540 

Trumbull 1,302 

Washington 5.427 

Wayne 3,206 

Total 45,365 

The population as classified by the census with respect to age and sex is 
interesting and particularly so in showing that considerably more than one- 
third of the total population were children under ten years of age. 

Males. Females. 

Whites up to ten years of age 9.362 8,644 

Whites from ten to sixteen 3.647 3.353 

Whites from sixteen to twenty-six 4.636 3.861 

Whites from twenty-six to forty-five 4.833 3.342 

Whites forty-five and upward 1.955 ^.395 

Total 24,433 20,595 

Total of both sexes 45.028 

Total of other persons, not Indians 337 

Grand total 45,365 

The above table shows in detail the character and distribution of the 
population of the Northwest Territory after the division of 1800. It is at 
this point that the history of Indiana properly begins and it is pertinent to set 
forth with as much detail as possible the population of Indiana Territory at 
that time. The population of 5,641 was grouped about a dozen or more 
settlements scattered at wide intervals throughout the territory. The follow- 
ing table gives the settlements in Indiana Territory in 1800 with their re- 
spective number of inhabitants: 


Mackinaw, in northern Michigan 251 

Green Bay, Wisconsin 50 

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 65 

Cahokia, Monroe county, IlHnois 719 

Belle Fontaine, Monroe county, Illinois 286 

L'Aigle, St. Clair county, Illinois 250 

Kaskaskia, Randolph county, Illinois 467 

Prairie du Rocher, Randolph county, Illinois 212 

Settlement in Mitchel township, Randolph county. 111 334 

Fort Massac, southern Illinois 90 

Clark's Grant, Clark county, Indiana 929 

Vincennes, Knox county, Indiana 714 

Vicinity of Vincennes (traders and trappers) 819 

Traders and trappers at Ouitenon and Fort Wayne 155 

Fur traders, scattered along the lakes 300 

Of this total population of nearly six thousand, it was about equally 
divided between what is now Indiana and Illinois. There were one hun- 
dred and sixty-three free negroes reported, while there were one hundred and 
thirty-five slaves of color. Undoubtedly, this census of 1800 failed to give 
all of the slave population, and it is interesting to note that there were efforts 
to enslave the Indian as well as the negro. 

All of these settlements with the exception of the one in Clark's Grant 
were largely French. The settlement at Jeffersonville was made in large 
part by soldiers of the Revolutionary War and was the only real American 
settlement in the Indiana Territory when it was organized in 1800. 


The government of Indiana Territory was formally organized July 4, 
1800, and in a large book kept in the secretary of state's office at Indianapolis, 
there appears in the large legible hand of John Gibson the account of the first 
meeting of the officials of the Territory. It reads as follows : 

"St. Vincennes, July 4, 1800. This day the government of the Indiana 
Territory commenced, William Henry Harrison having been appointed 
governor, John Gibson, secretary, William Clarke, Henry Vanderburgh & 
John Griffin Judges in and over said Territory." 

Until Governor Harrison appeared at Vincennes. his secretary, John 
Gibson, acted as governor. The first territorial court met March 3, 1801, 


the first meeting of the governor and judges having begun on the 12th of the 
preceding January. The governor and judges, in accordance with the pro- 
visions of the Ordinance of 1787, continued to perform all legislative and 
judicial functions of the territorv until it was advanced to the representative 
stage of government in 1805. The governor had sole executive power and 
appointed all officials, territorial and county. 


During this period from 1800 to 1805, the territory of Indiana was con- 
siderably augmented as result of the organization of the state of Ohio in 
1803. At that date Ohio was given its present territorial limits, and all of 
the rest of the Northwest Territory was included within Indiana Territory 
from this date until 1805. During this interim Louisiana was divided and 
the northern part was attached to Indiana Territory for purposes of civil and 
criminal jurisdiction. This was, however, only a temporary arrangement, 
which lasted only about a year after the purchase of Louisiana from France. 
The next change in the limits of Indiana Territory occurred in 1805, in 
which year the territory of Michigan was set off. The southern line of 
Aiichigan was made tangent to the southern extreme of Lake Michigan, and 
it so remained until Indiana was admitted to the Union in 1816. From 1805 
to 1809 Indiana included all of the present states of Indiana, Illinois, Wiscon- 
sin and about one-third of Minnesota. In the latter year Illinois was set off 
as a territory and Indiana was left with its present limits with the exception 
of a ten-mile strip along the northern boundary. This strip was detached 
from Michigan and this subsequently led to friction between the two states, 
which was not settled until the United States government gave Michigan a 
large tract of land west of Lake Michigan. Thus it is seen how Indiana has 
received its present boundary limits as the result of the successive changes 
in 1803, 1805, 1809 and 1816. 


The Ordinance of 1787 provided that whenever the population of the 
territory reached five thousand free male inhabitants it should pass upon the 
question of advancing to the second or representative stage. Governor Har- 
rison issued a proclamation August 4, 1804, directing an election to be held 
in the various counties of Indiana territory on the nth of the following 
month. In the entire territory, then comprehending six counties, there were 


only three hundred and ninety-one votes cast. The following table gives 
the result of this election: 

County. For Ad\-ance. Against Advance. Total. 

Clark 35 13 48 

Dearborn o 26 26 

Knox 163 12 175 

Randolph 40 21 61 

St. Clair 22 59 81 

Wayne 000 

Total 260 131 391 

It will be noticed that there is no vote returned from Wayne and this is 
accounted for by the fact that the proclamation notifying the. sheriff was not 
received in time to give it the proper advertisement. Wayne county at that 
time included practically all of the present state of Michigan and is not to 
be confused with the Wayne county later formed within the present limits of 
Indiana. As result of this election and its majority of one hundred and 
twenty-nine in favor of advancing to the second stage of government, the 
governor issued a proclamation calling for an election on January 3, 1805, of 
nine representatives, the same being proportioned to the counties as follows : 
Wayne, three; Knox, two; Dearborn, Clark, Randolph and St. Clair, one 
each. The members of the first territorial legislature of Indiana convened 
at Vincennes on July 29, 1805. The members of the house were as follows: 
Dr. George Fisher, of Randolph; William Biggs and Shadrach Bond, of St. 
Clair; Benjamin Parke and John Johnson, of Knox; Davis Floyd, of Clark, 
and Jesse B. Thomas, of Dearborn. This gives, however, only seven repre- 
sentatives, Wayne county having been set ofif as the territory of Michigan 
in the spring of this same year. A re-apportionment was made by the 
governor in order to bring the quota of representatives up to the required 

The Legislative Council consisted of five men as provided by the Ordin- 
ance of 1787, namely: Benjamin Chambers, of Dearborn; Samuel Gwath- 
mey, of Clark; John Rice Jones, of Knox; Pierre Menard, of Randolph, and 
John Hay, of St. Clair. It is not possible in this connection to give a detailed 
history of the territory of Indiana from 1805 until its admission to the Union 
in 181 6. Readers who wish to make a study of our state's history can find 
volumes which will treat the historv of the state in a much better manner 



than is possible in a volume of this character. It may be noted that there 
were five general assemblies of the Territorial Legislature during this period 
of eleven years. Each one of the five general assemblies was divided into 
two sessions, which, with the dates, are given in the appended table : 

First General Assembly — First session, July 29, 1805; second session, 
November 3, 1806. 

Second General Assembly — First session, August 12, 1807; second 
session, September 26, 1808. 

Third General Assembly — First session, November 12, iSio; second 
session, November 12, 181 1. 

Fourth General Assembly — First session, February i, 1813; second 
session, December 6, 1813. 

Fifth General Assembly — First session, August 15, 1814; second session, 
December 4, 181 5. 


Indiana Territory was allowed a delegate in Congress from 1805 until 
the close of the territorial period. The first three delegates were elected by 
the Territorial Legislature, while the last four were elected by the qualified 
voters of the territory. The first delegate was Benjamin Parke, who was 
elected to succeed himself in 1807 over John Rice Jones, Waller Taylor and 
Shadrach Bond. Parke resigned March i, 1808, to accept a seat on the 
supreme judiciary of Indiana Territory, and remained on the supreme bench 
of Indiana after it was admitted to the Union, holding the position until his 
death at Salem, Indiana, July 12, 1835. Jesse B. Thomas was elected Octo- 
ber 22, 1808, to succeed Parke as delegate to Congress. It is this same 
Thomas who came to Brookville in 1S08 with Amos Butler. He was a 
tricky, shifty, and, so his enemies said, an unscrupulous politician. He was 
later elected to Congress in Illinois and became the author of the Missouri 
Compromise. In the spring of 1809 the inhabitants of the territory were 
permitted to cast their first vote for the delegate to Congress. Three candi- 
dates presented themselves for the consideration of the voters, Jonathan 
Jennings, Thomas Randolph and John Johnson. There were only four 
counties in the state at this time, Knox, Harrison, Clark and Dearborn. Two 
counties, St. Clair and Randolph, were a part of the new territory of Illinois, 
which was cut ofif from Indiana in the spring of 1809. The one newspaper 
of the territory waged a losing fight against Jennings, the latter appealing for 


support on the ground of his anti-slavery views. The result of the election 
was as follows: Jennings, 428; Randolph, 402; Johnson, 81. Jonathan 
Jennings may be said to be the first successful politician produced in Indiana. 
His congressional career began in 1809 and he was elected to Congress four 
successive terms before 1816. He was president of the constitution conven- 
tion of i8'i6, first governor of the state and was elected a second time, but 
resigned to go to Congress, where he was sent for foiir more terms by the 
voters of his district. 


The Ordinance of 1787 specifically provided that neither slavery nor any 
voluntary servitude should ever exist in the Northwest Territory. Notwith- 
standing this prohibition, slavery actually did exist, not only in the North- 
west Territory, but in the sixteen years while Indiana was a territory as well. 
The' constitution of Indiana in 1S16 expressly forbade slavery and yet the 
census of 1820 reported one hundred and ninety slaves in Indiana, which 
was only forty-seven less than there was in 1810. Most of these slaves were 
held in the southwestern counties of the state, there being one hundred and 
eighteen in Knox, thirty in Gibson, eleven in Posey, ten in Vanderburg and 
the remainder widely scattered throughout the state. As late as 181 7 Frank- 
lin county scheduled slaves for taxation, listing them at three dollars each. 
The tax schedule for 18 13 says that the property tax on "horses, town lots, 
servants of color and free males of color shall be the same as in 1814." 
Franklin county did not return slaves at the census of 1810 or 1820, but the 
above extract from the commissioners' record of Franklin county proved con- 
clusively that slaves were held there. Congress was petitioned on more 
than one occasion during the territorial period to set aside the prohibition 
against slavery, but on each occasion refused to assent to the appeal of the 
slavery advocates. While the constitution convention of 181 6 was in session, 
there was an attempt made to introduce slavery, but it failed to accomplish 


The United States government bought from the Indians all of the land 
within the present state of Indiana with the exception of a small tract around 
Vincennes, which was given by the Indians to the inhabitants of the town 
about the middle of the eighteenth century. The first purchase of land was 
made in 1795, at which time a triangular strip in the southeastern part of the 


State was secured by the treaty of Greenville. By the time Indiana was ad- 
mitted to the Union in iSi6, the following tracts had been purchased: Vin- 
cennes tract, June 7, 1803; Vincennes treaty tract, August 18 and 27, 1804; 
Grouseland tract, August 21, 1805; Harrison's purchase, September 30, 1809; 
Twelve-mile purchase, September 30, 1809. 

No more purchases were made from the Indians until the fall of 1818, 
at which time a large tract of land in the central part of vtie state was pur- 
chased from the Indians. This tract included all of the land north of the 
Indian boundary lines of 1805 and 1809, and south of the Wabash river with 
the exception of what was known as the Miami reservation. This treaty, 
known as St. Mary's, was finally signed on October 6, 1818, and the next 
Legislature proceeded to divide it into two counties, Wabash and Delaware. 


As fast as the population would warrant, new counties were established 
in this New Purchase and Hamilton county was the tenth to be so organized. 
This county was created by the legislative act of January 8, 1823, and began 
its formal career as an independent county on the 7th of the following April. 
For purposes of reference, a list of the counties organized up until 1823, 
when Hamilton county was established, is here appended. The dates given 
represent the time when the organization of the county became effective, since 
in many instances it was from a few months to as much as seven years after 
the act establishing the county was passed before it became effective. 

1. Knox June 20, 1790 15. Orange Feb. i, 1816 

2. Clark Feb. 3, 1801 16. Sullivan Jan. 15, 1817 

3. Dearborn Mch. 7, 1803 17. Jennings Feb. i, 1817 

4. Harrison Dec. i, 1808 18. Pike Feb. i, 1817 

5. Jefiferson Feb. i, 1811 19. Daviess Feb. 15, 1817 

6. Franklin Feb. i, 181 1 20. Dubois Feb. i, 1818 

7. Wayne Feb. i, 1811 21. Spencer Feb. i, 1818 

8. Warrick Apr. i, 1813 22. Vanderburgh ___Feb. i. 1818 

9. Gibson Apr. i, 1813 23. Vigo Feb. 15, 1818 

ID. Washington Jan. 17, 1814 24. Crawford Mch. i, 1S18 

11. Switzerland Oct. i, 1814 25. Lawrence Mch. i, 1818 

12. Posey Nov. i, 1814 26. Monroe Apr. 10, 1818 

13. Perry Nov. i, 1814 27. Ripley Apr. 10, 1818 

14. Jackson Jan. i, 1816 28. Randolph Aug. 10, 1818 



29. Owen Jan. 

30. Fayette Jan. 

31. Floyd Feb. 2, 1819 40 

32. Scott Feb. I, 1820 

33. Martin Feb. i, 1820 

34. Union Feb 

35. Greene Feb. 5, 1821 

36. Bartholomew Feb. 12, 1821 

37. Parke Apr. 2, 1821 

I, 1819 38. Morgan Feb. 15, 1822 

I, 1819 39. Decatur Mch. 4, 1822 

Shelby Apr. i, 1822 

Rush Apr. I, 1822 

Marion Apr. i, 1822 

1821 43 



Putnam Apr. i, 18:; 

Henry June i, 1822 

Montgomery Mch. i, 1823 

46. Hamilton Apr. 7, 1823 

The first thirteen counties in the above list were all that were organized 
when the territory of Indiana petitioned Congress for an enabling act in 1815. 
They were in the southern part of the state and had a total population of 
sixty-three thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven. At that time the total 
state tax was only about five thousand dollars, while the assessment of the 
whole state in 18 16 amounted to only six thousand forty-three dollars and 
thirty-six cents. 


The Constitution of 1816 was framed by forty-three delegates who met 
at Corydon from June 10 to June 29 of that year. It was provided in the 
Constitution of 1816 that a vote might be taken every twelve years on the 
question of amending, revising or writing a wholly new instrument of gov- 
ernment. Although several efforts were made to hold constitution conven- 
tions between 1816 and 1850, the vote failed each time until 1848. Elections 
were held in 1823, 1828, 1840 and 1846, but each time there was returned 
an adverse vote against the calling of a constitutional convention. There were 
no amendments to the 1816 Constitution, although the revision of 1824, by 
Benjamin Parke and others was so thorough that it was said that the revision 
committee had done as much as a constitution convention could have done. 

It was not until 1848 that a successful vote on the question of calling a 
constitution convention was carried. There were many reasons which in- 
duced the people of the state to favor a convention. Among these may be 
mentioned the following: The old Constitution provided that all the state 
ofiicers except the governor and lieutenant-governor should be elected by the 
legislature. Many of the county and township officers were appointed by 
the county commissioners. Again, the old Constitution attempted to handle 
too many matters of local concern. All divorces from 1816 to iS^i were 


granted by the Legislature. Special laws were passed which would apply to 
particular counties and even to particular townships in the county. If Nobles- 
ville wanted an alley \'acated or a street closed, it had to appeal to the Legis- 
lature lor permission to do so. If a man wanted to ferry people across a 
stream in Posey county, his representative presented a bill to the Legislature 
asking that the proposed ferryman be given permission to ferry people across 
the stream. The agitation for free schools attracted the support of the edu- 
cated people of the state, and most of the newspapers were outspoken in their 
advocacy of better educational privileges. The desire for better schools, for 
freer representation in the selection of officials, for less interference by the 
Legislature in local affairs, led to a desire on the part of majority of the 
people of the state for a new Constitution. 

The second constitutional convention of Indiana met at Indianapolis, 
October 7, iS'50, and continued in session for four months. The one hun- 
dred and fifty delegates labored faithfully to give the state a Constitution 
fully abreast of the times and in accordance with the best ideas of the day. 
More power was given the people by allowing them to select not only all of 
the state officials, but also their county officers as well. The convention of 
1850 took a decided stand against the negro and proposed a referendum on 
the question of prohibiting the further emigration of negroes into the state 
of. Indiana. The subsequent vote on this question showed that the people 
were not disposed to tolerate the colored race. As a matter of fact no negro 
or mulatto could legally come into Indiana from 1852 until 1881, when the 
restriction was removed by an amendment of the Constitution. Another 
important feature of the new Constitution was the provision for free schools. 
What we now know as a public school supported at the expense of the state, 
was unkr.own under the 1816 Constitution. The new Constitution estab- 
lished a system of free public schools, and subsequent statutory legislation 
strengthened the constitutional provision so that the state now ranks among 
the leaders in educational matters throughout the nation. The people of the 
state had voted on the question of free schools in 1848 and had decided that 
they should be established, but there was such a strong majority opposed to 
free schools that nothing was done. Orange county gave only an eight per 
cent vote in favor of free schools, while Putnam and Monroe, containing 
DePauw and Indiana Universities, respectively, voted adversely by large 
majorities. But, with the backing of the Constitution, the advocates of free 
schools began to push the fight for their establishment, and as a result of the 
legislative acts of 1855, ^^S7 ^"^ 1867, the public schools were placed upon 
a sound basis. 


Such in brief were the most important features of the 1832 Constitution. 
It has remained substantially to this day as it was written sixty-five years 
ago. It is true there have been some amendments, but the changes of 1878 
and 1 88 1 did not alter the Constitution in any important particular. There 
was no concerted effort toward calling a constitutional convention until the 
Legislature of 1913 provided for a referendum on the question at the polls, 
November 4, 19 14. Despite the fact that all the political parites had de- 
clared in favor of a constitutional convention in their platforms, the question 
was voted down by a large majority. An effort was made to have the ques- 
tion submitted by the Legislature of 1915, but the Legislature refused to 
submit the question to the voters of the state. 


The present state of Indiana was comprehended within the Northwest 
Territory from 1787 to 1800, and during that time the capital was located 
within the present state of Ohio. When the Ordinance of 1787 was put in 
operation on July 17, 1788, the capital was established at Marietta, the name 
being chosen by the directors of the Ohio Company on July 2, of the same 
year. The name Marietta was selected in honor of the French Queen, Marie 
Antoinette, compounded by curious combination of the first and last syllables 
of her name. 

When Indiana was set off b}; the act of May 7, 1800, the same act 
located the capital at Vincennes where it remained for nearly thirteen years. 
The old building in which the Territorial Assembly first met in 1805 is still 
standing in Vincennes. In the spring of 1813 the capital of the territory 
was removed to Corydon and it was in that quaint little village that Indiana 
began its career as a state. It remained there until November, 1824, when 
Samuel Merrill loaded up all of the state's effects in three large wagons and 
hauled them overland to the new capital — Indianapolis. Indianapolis had 
been chosen as the seat of government by a committee of ten men, appointed 
in 1820 by the Legislature. It was not until 1824, however, that a building 
was erected in the new capital which would accommodate the state officials 
and the General Assembly. The first court house in Marion county was built 
on the site of the present building, and was erected with a view of utilizing 
it as a state house until a suitable capitol building could be erected. The state 
continued to use the Marion county court house until 1835, by which time an 
imposing state house had been erected. This building was in use until 1877, 
when it was razed to make way for the present beautiful building. 



Indiana has had some of its citizens in four wars in which United States 
has engaged since iSoo: The \A'ar of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil 
War, and the Spanish-American \\'ar. One of the most important engage- 
ments ever fought against the Indians in the United States was that of the 
battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 181 1. For the two or three years pre- 
ceding, Tecumseh and his brother, the Prophet, had been getting the Indians 
ready for an insurrection. Tecumseh made a long trip throughout the west- 
ern and southern part of the United States for the purpose of getting the 
Indians all over the country to rise up and drive out the white man. While 
he was still in the South, Governor Harrison descended upon the Indians at 
Tippecanoe and dealt them a blow from which they never recovered. The 
British had been urging the Indians to rise up against the settlers along the 
frontier, and the repeated depredations of the savages but increased the hos- 
tility of the United States toward England. General Harrison had about 
seven hundred fighting men, while the Indians numbered over a thousand. 
The Americans lost thirty-seven by death on the battlefield, twenty-five mor- 
tally wounded and one hundred and twenty-six more or less seriously 
wounded. The savages carried most of their dead away, but it is known that 
about forty were actually killed in the battle and a proportionately large nuiu- 
ber wounded. In addition to the men who fought at Tippecanoe, the pio- 
neers of the territory sent their quota to the front during the War of 1812. 
Unfortunately, records are not available to show the enlistments by counties. 

During the administration of Governor Whitcomb (1846-49) the United 
States was engaged in a war with Mexico. Indiana contributed five regi- 
ments to the government during this struggle, and her troops performed with 
a spirit of singular promptness and patriotism during all the time they were 
at the front. 

No Northern state had a more patriotic governor during the Civil War 
than Indiana, and had every governor in the North done his duty as conscien- 
tiously as did Governor Morton that terrible struggle would undoubtedly 
have been materially shortened. When President Lincoln issued his call on 
April 15, i86j, for 75,000 volunteers, Indiana was asked to furnish 4,683 
men as its quota. A week later there were no less than 12,000 volunteers 
at Camp Morton at Indianapolis. This loyal uprising was a tribute to the 
patriotism of the people, and accounts for the fact that Indiana sent more 
than 200,000 men to the front during the war. Indiana furnished prac- 
ticallv seventy-five per cent of its total population capable of bearing arms, 


and on this basis Delaware was the only state in the Union which exceeded 
Indiana. Of the troops sent from Indiana. 7,243 were killed or mortally 
wounded, and 19,429 died from other causes, making a total death loss of 
over thirteen per cent for all the troops furnished. 

During the summer of 1863 Indiana was thrown into a frenzy of excite- 
ment when it was learned that General ^Morgan had crossed the Ohio with 
2,000 cavalrymen under his command. Probably Indiana never experienced 
a more exciting month than July of that year. ^lorgan entered the state in 
Harrison county and advanced northward through Corydon to Salem in 
Washington county. As his men went along they robbed orchards, looted 
farm houses, stole all the horses which they could find and burned consider- 
able property. From Salem. Alorgan turned with his men to the east, having 
been deterred from his threatened advance on Indianapolis by the knowledge 
that the local militia of the state would soon be too strong for him. He hur- 
ried with his men toward the Ohio line, stopping at X'ersailles long enough 
to loot the county treasury. ^lorgan passed through Dearborn county over 
into Ohio, near Harrison, and a few days later. Morgan and most of his band 
were captured. 

During the latter part of the war there was considerable opposition to 
its prosecution on the part of the Democrats of this state. An organization 
known as the Knights of the Golden Circle at first, and later as the Sons of 
Liberty, was instrumental in stirring up much trouble throughout the state. 
Probably historians will never be able to agree as to the degree of their 
culpability in thwarting the government authorities in the conduct of the war. 
That thev did many overt acts cannot be questioned and that they collected 
fire arms for traitorous designs cannot be denied. Governor Morton and 
General Carrington, by a system of close espionage, were able to know at all 
times just what was transpiring in the councils of these orders. In the cam- 
paign of 1864 there was an open denunciation through the Republican press 
of the Sons of Liberty. On October 8 of that year the Republican news- 
papers carried these startling headlines : "You can rebuke this treason. The 
traitors intend to bring war to your home. Meet them at the ballot box 
wh.ile Grant and Sherman meet them on the battle field.'' A number of the 
leaders were arrested, convicted in a military court and sentenced to be shot. 
However, they were later pardoned. 

The Spanish-American War of 1898 has been the last one in which 
troops from Indiana have borne a part. When President JMcKinley issued 
his call for 75.000 volunteers on April 25, 1898, Indiana was called upon to 
furnish three regiments. \\'ar was officially declared .\pril 25, and formally 


came to an end by tlie signing of a protocol on August 12 of the same year. 
The main engagements of importance were the sea battles of Manila and 
Santiago and the land engagements of El Caney and San Juan Hill. Ac- 
cording to the treaty of Paris, signed December 12, i8g8, Spain relinquished 
her sovereignty over Cuba, ceded to the United States Porto Rico and her 
other West India Island possessions, as well as the island of Guam in the 
Pacific. Spain also transferred her rights in the Philippines for the sum of 
twenty million dollars paid to her for public work and improvements con- 
structed by the Spanish government. 


It is not possible to trace in detail the political history of Indiana for the 
past century and in this connection an attempt is made only to survey briefly 
the political history of the state. For more than half a century Indiana has 
been known as a pivotal state in politics. In 18 16 there w'as only one political 
party and Jennings, Noble, Taylor, Hendricks and all of the politicians of 
that day were grouped into this one — the Democratic party. Whatever 
differences in views they might have had were due to local issues and not to 
any cjuestions of national portent. Questions concerning the improvements 
of rivers, the building of canals, the removal of court houses and similar 
cjuestions of state importance only divided the politicians in the early history 
of Indiana into groups. There was one group known as the White Water 
faction, another called the Vincennes crowd, and still another designated as 
the White river delegation. From 1816 until as late as 1832, Indiana was 
the scene of personal politics, and during the years Adams, Clay and Jackson 
were candidates for the presidency on the same ticket, men were known 
politically as Adams men, Clay men or Jackson men. The election returns 
in the twenties and thirties di.sclose no tickets labeled Democrat, Whig or 
Republican, but the w'ords "Adams," "Clay," or Jackson." 

The question of internal improvements which arose in the Legislature 
of 1836 was a large contributing factor in the division of the politicians of 
the state. The Whig party may be dated from 1832, although it was not 
until four years later that it came into national prominence. The Democrats 
elected tb.e state officials, including the governor, down to 1831, but in that 
}ear the opposition party, later called the Whigs, elected Noah Noble 
governor. For the next twelve years the Whigs, with their cry of internal 
improvements, controlled the state. The ^^'higs went out of power W'ith 
Samuel Bigger in 1843, ^'^^ when they came into power again they appeared 


under the name of Republicans in 1861. Since the Civil War the two parties 
have practically divided the leadership between them, there having been seven 
Republicans and six Democrats elected governor of the state. The following 
table gives a list of the governors of the Northwest Territory, Indiana Terri- 
tory and the state of Indiana. The Federalists were in control up to 1800 
and Harrison and his followers may be classed as Democratic-Republicans. 
The politics of the governors of the state are indicated in the table. 


Of the Territory Northwest of the Ohio — 

Arthur St. Clair 1787-1800 

Of the Territory of Indiana — 

John Gibson (acting) July 4, 1800-1801 

William H. Harrison 1801-1812 

Thomas Posey 1S12-1816 

Of the State of Indiana — 

Jonathan Jennings, Dem. 1816-1822 

Ratliff Boon, Dem. September 12 to December 5, 1822 

William Hendricks, Dem. 1822-1825 

James B. Ray (acting), Dem. Feb. 12 to Dec. 11, 1825 

James B. Ray, Dem. 1825-1831 

Noah Noble, Whig 1831-1837 

David Wallace, Whig 1837-1S40 

Samuel Bigger, Whig 1840-1843 

James Whitcomb, Dem. 1843-1848 

Paris C. Dunning (acting), Dem. 1848-1849 

Joseph A. Wright, Dem. 1849-1857 

Ashbel P. Willard, Dem. -___iS57-i86o 

Abram A. Hammond (acting), Dem. 1860-1861 

Henry S. Lane, Rep. January 14 to January 16, 1861 

Oliver P. Morton (acting). Rep. 1861-1865 

Oliver P. Morton, Rep. 1865-1867 

Conrad Baker (acting), Rep. 1867-1869 

Conrad Baker, Rep. 1869-1873 

Thomas A. Hendricks, Dem. 1873-1S77 

James D. Williams, Dem. 1877-1880 

Isaac P. Gray (acting), Dem. 1880-1881 

Albert G. Porter, Rep. 1881-1885 


Isaac p. Gray, Dem. 1885-1889 

Alvin P. Hovey, Rep. 1S89-1891 

Ira J. Chase (acting), Rep Nov. 24, 1891 to Jan. 9, 1893 

Claude Matthews. Dem. 1893-1897 

James A. JMoiint, Rep. 1897-1901 

Winfield T. Durbin, Rep. 1901-1905 

J. Frank Hanley, Rep. 1905-1909 

Thomas R. Marshall, Dem. 1909-1913 

Samuel R. Ralston, Dem. 1913- 


Indiana was the first territory created out of the old Northwest Territory 
and the second state to be formed. It is now on the eve of its one hundredth 
anniversary, and it becomes the purpose of the historian in this connection to 
give a brief survey of what these one hundred years have done for the state. 
There has been no change in territory limits, but the original territory has 
been subdivided into counties year by year, as the population warranted, until 
from thirteen counties in i8'i6 the state grew to ninety-two counties by 1859. 
From 1 81 6 to 1840 new counties were organized every year with the exception 
of one year.' Starting in with a population of 5,641 in 1800, Indiana has 
increased by leaps and bounds until it now has a population of two million 
seven hundred thousand eight hundred and seventy-six. The appended table 
is interesting in showing the growth of population by decades since 1800: 

Per Cent 

Census Decades. Population. Increase. of Increase. 

1800 5,641 

1810 24,520 18,879 334.7 • 

1820 147,178 122,658 500.2 

1830 343.031 195.853 1331 

1840 685,866 342,835 99.9 . 

1850 988,416 302,550 44.1 

i860 1,350,428 362.012 36.6 

1870 1,680,637 330.209 24.5 

1880 1,978,301 297,664 17.7 

1890 2,192,404 214,103 10.8 

1900 2,516,462 324.058 14-8 

1910 2,700,876 184,414 J.-^, 


Statistics are usually very dry and uninteresting, but there are a few 
figures which are at least instructive if not interesting. For instance, in 1910, 
1,143,835 people of Indiana lived in towns and cities of more than 2,500. 
There were S'22,434 voters, and 580,557 men between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-four were eligible for military service. An interesting book of statistics 
from which these figures are taken covering every phase of the growth of the 
state is found in the biennial report of the state statistician. 

The state has increased in wealth as well as population and the total state 
tax of six thousand forty-three dollars and thirty-six cents of 1816 increased 
in 1915 to more than six million. In 1816 the only factories in the state were 
grist or saw mills ; all of the clothing, furniture and most of the farming tools 
were made by the pioneers themselves. At that time the farmer was his own 
doctor, his own blacksmith, his own lawyer, his own dentist and, if he had 
divine services, he had to be the preacher. But now it is changed. The spin- 
ning wheel finds its resting place in the attic ; a score of occupations have arisen 
to satisfy the manifold wants of the farmer. Millions of dollars are now in- 
vested in factories, other millions are invested in steam and electric roads, still 
other millions in public utility plants of all kinds. The governor now receives 
a larger salary than did all the state officials put together in 1861, while the 
county sheriff^ has a salary which is more than double the compensation first 
allowed the governor of the state. 

Indiana is rich in natural resources. It not only has millions of acres of 
good farming land, but it has had fine forests in the past. From the timber 
of its woods have been built the homes for the past one hundred years and, if 
rightly conserved there is timber for many years yet to come. The state has 
beds of coal and quarries of stone which are not surpassed in any state in the 
Union. For many years natural gas was a boon to Indiana manufacturing, 
but it was used so extravagently that it soon became exhausted. Some of the 
largest factories of their kind in the country are to be found in the Hoosier 
state. The steel works at Gary employs tens of thousands of men and are 
constantly increasing in importance. At Elwood is the largest tin plate fac- 
tory in the world, while Evansville boasts of the largest cigar factory in the 
world. At South end the Studebaker and Oliver manufacturing plants turn 
out millions of dollars worth of goods every year. When it is known that 
over half of the population of the state is now living in towns and cities, it 
must be readily seen that farming is no longer the sole occupation. A sys- 
tem of railroads has been built which brings every corner of the state in close 
touch with Indianapolis. In fact, every county seat but four is in railroad 
connection with the capital of the state. Every county has its local telephone 


systems, its rural free deliveries and its good roads unifying the various 
parts of the county. All of this makes for hetter civilization and a happier 
and more contented people. 

Indiana prides herself on her educational system. With sixteen thousand 
public and parochial school teachers, with three state institutions of learning, a 
score of church schools of all kinds as well as private institutions of learning, 
Indiana stands high in educational circles. The state maintains universities 
at Bloomington and Lafayette and a normal school at Terre Haute. Many of 
the churches have schools supported in part by their denominations. The 
Catholics have the largest Catholic university in the United States at Notre 
Dame, while St. Mary's of the Woods at Terre Haute is known all over the 
world. Academies under Catholic supervision are maintained at Indianapolis, 
Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Rensselaer, Jasper and Oldenburg. The. Method- 
ists have institutions at DePauw, Moore's Hill and Upland. The Presby- 
terian schools are Wabash and Hanover Colleges. The Christian church is 
in control of Butler and Merom Colleges. Concordia at Fort Wayne is one 
of the largest Lutheran schools in the United States. The Quakers support 
Earlham College, as well as the academies at Fairmount, Bloomingdale, 
Plainfield and Spiceland. The Baptists are in charge of Franklin College, 
while the United Brethern give their allegiance to Indiana Central University 
at Indianapolis. The Seventh-Day Adventists have a school at Boggstown. 
The Dunkards at North Manchester and the Mennonites at Goshen maintain 
schools for their respective churches. 

The state seeks to take care of all of its unfortunates. Its charitable, 
benevolent and correctional institutions rank high among similar institutions 
in the country. Insane asylums are located at Indianapolis, Richmond, 
Logansport, Evansville and Madison. The State Soldiers' Home is at 
Lafayette, while the National Soldiers' Home is at Marion. 

The Soldiers and Sailors' Orphans' Home at Knightstown, is main- 
tained for the care and education of the orphan children of Union soldiers 
and sailors. The state educates and keeps them until they are sixteen years 
of age' if they have not been given homes in families before they reach that 
age. Institutions for the education of the blind and also the deaf and dumb 
are located at Indianapolis. The state educates all children so afflicted and 
teaches them some useful trade which will enable them to make their own 
way in the world. The School for Feeble Minded at Fort Wayne has had 
more than one thousand children in attendance annually for several years. 
Within the past few years an epileptic village has been established at New 
Castle, Indiana, for the care of those so afflicted. A prison is located at 


Michigan City for the incarceration of male criminals convicted by any of 
the courts of the state of treason, murder in the first or second degree, and 
of all persons convicted of any felony who at the time of conviction are 
thirty years of age and over. The Reformatory at Jeffersonville takes care 
of male criminals between the ages of sixteen and thirty, who are guilty of 
crimes other than those just mentioned. The female criminals from the 
ages of fifteen upwards are kept in the women's prison at Indianapolis. A 
school for incorrigible boys is maintained at Plainfield. It receives boys be- 
tween the ages of seven and eighteen, although no boy can be kept after he 
reaches the age of twenty-one. Each county provides for its own poor and 
practically every county in the state has a poor farm and many of them have 
homes for orphaned or indigent children. Each county in the state also 
maintains a correctional institution known as the jail, in which prisoners are 
committed while waiting for trial or as punishment for convicted crime. 

But Indiana is great not alone in its material prosperity, but also in those 
things which make for a better appreciation of life. Within the limits of 
our state have been born men who were destined to become known through- 
out the nation. Statesmen, ministers, diplomats, educators, artists and 
literarv men of Hoosier birth have given the state a reputation which is 
envied by our sister states. Indiana has furnished Presidents and Vice- 
Presidents, distinguished members of the cabinet and diplomats of world 
wide fame; her literary men have spread the fame of Indiana from cnast 
to coast. Who has not heard of Wallace, Thompson, Nicholson, Tarking- 
ton, McCutcheon, Bolton, Ade, Major, Stratton-Porter, Riley and hundreds 
of others who have courted the muses? 

And we would like to be living one hundred years from today and see 
whether as much progress will have been made in the growth of the state as in 
the first one hutidred years of its history. In 2015 poverty and crime will be 
reduced to a minimum. Poor houses will be unknown, orphanages will have 
vanished and society will have reached the stage where happiness and con- 
tentment reign supreme. Every loyal Hoosier should feel as our poetess, 
Sarah T. Bolton, has said: 

"The heavens never spanned, 
The breezes never fanned, 
A fairer, brighter land 
Than our Indiana." 


;f.c)i.ogy and topography. 


Decatur county is in the southeastern part of Indiana, one county 
removed from the Ohio 1)oundary, and two remo\-ed from the Ohio river. 
Its greatest length is twenty-one miles, greatest breadth the same. Its area 
is approximately three hundred and seventy-five square miles. 


Geologically, there is very little diiTerence between this county and 
Jennings. In the deepest stream jjeds in the southern part of the county 
the soft limestones of the Hudson River formation appear. These outcrops 
are small and of no practicable importance, since they contribute nothing 
to the soils and are in themselves of no value. The southeastern third of 
this county is underlain by the Niagara limestone, perhaps the most valuable 
stone in the state, after the oolitic. In Decatur county it lies, as a rule, close 
to the surface, usuall)' at depths of four to twelve feet on the level, out- 
cropping on stream banks, and occasionally being found only at depths of 
thirt}' feet. It is a very valuable rock commercially in this county, being 
quarried extensi\-ely at Xewpoint, Westport, St. Paul and in many small 
local quarries. The product is used for building stone, especially for trim- 
ming, for abutments, for flagging in sidewalks, and in a crushed state for 
macadam and for concrete construction. From the standpoint of soils, it is 
of importance chiefly from the fact of its resistance to weathering, which 
has resulted in very flat uplands. The northwestern half of the county is 
underlain at depths of five to forty feet by the corniferous limestone, a softer 
rock as a rule than the Niagara. Finally, the entire surface of the county, 
except near the streams, is covered with a mantle of glacial waste, which 
effectively covers the underlying rocks o\er practically all the county. 


The topography of the county is a product of two great factors — the 
Niagara Hmestone and the arrangement of the drift. The latter is disixjsed 
in behs of one to five miles in width crossing the county from southwest to 
northeast. In the northwest corner there occurs a till-plain where the sur- 
face is nearly level, rolling in gentle waves and only a little broken by streams. 
Then comes a belt about four miles in width of upland — a glacial moraine. 
This is followed by another till-plain, from six to ten miles in width, gently 
rolling, with occasional knolls and swales, somewhat cut by streams. This 
is followed by a second ridge, averaging five miles in width, with the remain- 
ing southeastern corner occupied by a flat plain of loess. Under the last fea- 
ture lies the Niagara limestone, at an average depth of seven feet. The 
streams are comparatively of little importance in this county as agents in 
bringing about the present surface, since this surface would be practically 
the same if the streams had not come into being. Their courses have been 
largelv determined by the belts of drift. 


In describing the soils of this county, one can do no better than take 
them in their order from one side of the county to the other. At the outset, 
it is evident that one factor which has been of the first importance heretofore 
will have little to do with the soils here, namely, the character of the under- 
lying rock. It is probable that not an acre of tillable soil in this county has 
resulted from the disintegration of the underlying rock, but has, on the con- 
trary, been carried here through the agency of the ice from some region to 
the north. We shall begin our discussion of the soils in this county with a 
soil which is known as the Miami clay loam. 

This soil occurs in a small area in the extreme southeastern corner of 
the county. It is part of the great area of this soil which occurs in Ripley 
county. It is there described as a yellow clay, sometimes almost white 
where it is dr}-, with mottles of darker yellow in its deeper portions. This 
soil is underlain with blue till, and in most places grades into that form of 
glacial waste imperceptibly. It consists almost entirely of clay, with a small 
aclnfixture (usually less than five per cent) of sand. There are practically 
no gra\el pebbles in it. It is a pretty good material for tile and brickmaking, 
and has been used considerably for that in the past. From the farming 
standpoint it is poor. Grasses do fairly well, and wheat. Fertilizing must 
be constantly done, and, away from the streams, tiling. 





This soil is distributed so as to cover almost one-third the area of the 
count}-. It forms a belt in the southeastern part of the county, almost the 
full width of the territory on the south, and narrowing to about five miles 
on the north. It must be understood that this soil is not uniform through- 
out its extent. An average sample would show about sixty per cent clay, 
twenty per cent silt, fifteen to eighteen per cent fine sand, and some little 
gravel in spots. As one approaches the Miami clay loam, however, this com- 
position changes until the sand is reduced to five per cent or less, and the 
clay correspondingly larger in amount. It is impossible to use any hard 
and fast rule in separating these areas, but the presence or absence of gravel 
pebbles gives about the line as mapped. Going to the northwest, as one 
approaches the ridge, this soil becomes sandier on account of the outwash 
from the moraine, and is to be distinguished from the Miami sandy loam 
because the latter has no clay subsoil, while the silt loam has. 

The ;\Iiami silt loam is a yellow to brown soil with a subsoil usually 
darker in color, and much streaked and mottled with iron oxide. A few con- 
cretions of bog iron ore occur in this soil, and a good many glacial pebbles. 
Rarely bowlders are found, sometimes of large size. The subsoil grows 
heavier and more tenacious as one digs deeper, and at four to eight feet is a 
very stifif clay. It is not, however, blue till ; and this character serves to 
distinguish the ^liami silt loam from the Miami clay loam. The farming 
value of this soil varies considerably with reference to the place of observa- 
tion. Down near the Miami clay, this soil is very much like its neighbor — 
poor, ill-drained and not valued very highly. It is flat and swampy by nature, 
due to the closeness to the surface of the Niagara. Tiling must be resorted 
to constantly, and the soil is so poor that often a field will not repay the 
expense of drainage. Practically the only good crops are grasses, and some- 
times wheat, if fertilizer enough be used. As one approaches the ridge, 
howe\-er, the increasing percentage of sand results in a looser soil, permitting 
much of the rainfall to soak into the soil; tiling helps here, also. Then the 
Niagara is here somewhat deeper, and the surface, therefore, more rolling. 
In this sandier region corn can be grown with success, as well as wheat and 
grass. Some of the best farms in Decatur county are in this region, close 
to the foot of the ridge. They owe their superior fertility solely to the out- 
wash from this ridge, for at distances of two to four miles out from it corn 


makes onl}' half a crop. It is said that one can tell within five rows where 
one soil begins and the other ends. 


A belt some four miles in width succeeds the Miami silt loam, which 
has been called here the upland clay loam. It has been so called for two 
reasons. First, much of it is really upland, standing visibly higher than the 
till-plains on either side. Secondly, the knolls appear to be principally clay, 
and very often are entirely of that material. It must not be understood that 
this belt is a continuous ridge, extending as a well-marked divide from one 
corner of the county to the other. It is, on the contrary, a belt of hill and 
hollow. It is made up of a great number, possibly five hundred, low, rounded 
knolls, with swales or sags between. The knolls average, perhaps, thirty 
feet higher than the plains, and the swales are probably about at the plain 
level. The soil of the typical knoll is yellow in color at the surface, grading 
into a darker yellow at depths of two to four feet. It is made up principally 
of clay, with a good deal (about ten per cent.) of fine sand in its composition. 
Besides these, it contains, here and there, small pockets of gravel, and often, 
at depths of sixteen to thirty feet, a gravel base; and huge boulders are often 
found in these gravel bases. In the swales, the soil is sandy, with little clay 
in evidence. It is black or brown in color, due to the presence of much 
humus. Usually, at depths of six to ten feet, sheets of clay are found, which 
dip upward in every direction, forming a little saucer-shaped depression, in 
the middle of which lies the lowland. Many of these little hollows were 
unoduljtedly, in a former age, lakes. Some of them are still marshy, and 
practically all require tiling. The soil here is remarkably fertile, ranking 
with any in the state. It is great corn soil, and is rarely planted to anything 
else, unless it be clover. The knolls, on the other hand, are better for wheat 
and grass. A farm in this belt is a joy forever, with its capacity for varied 
crops, with its excellent drainage, and the abundance of pure water which 
can be had by driving wells into the gravel at the base of the hills. Very 
little fertilizer is used here aside from the barnyard products and clover. 
There are many fine farms in this belt. 


The Miami sand loam occupies a belt averaging five miles in width lying 
west of the ridge soil. It is, as the name implies, a "light-colored glacial 


soil." It is, however, light-colored only on the knolls and knobs, which occur 
plentifully in its surface, interrupted by extensive lower grounds. It is a 
typical till-plain, uninfluenced by anything except glacial action. In general, 
it would be called level, varj'ing throughout the county probably less than 
fifty feet between its highest and lowest points. Yet there is not a flat farm 
in the area, and not many single fields so flat that cultivation is difficult. A 
good deal of tile is used in the lower grounds, and is said to yield a high 
income on the investment. The knolls, which make up perhaps ten per cent 
of the total area, are far less fertile than the lowlands. They contain con- 
siderable sand, and give up their water content easily, either by evaporation 
into the air or by conduction into the nearby lowlands. In a dry summer, 
even of average dr\ness, they therefore usually yield far less than the swales. 
They make up so little of the total surface, however, that one forgets their 
shortcomings on account of the superior excellence of the lowlands. These 
areas, which often are two hundred acres in extent, are the banner corn soils 
of Decatur county. They are carefully farmed also, being put in clover 
every fourth or fifth year. Oats are good here also, and, over this soil 
area, wheat }'ields well enough to be a very important crop, especially on 
farms where the knoll land is much in e\'idence. Occasionally throughout 
this area occur drumlins, whose graceful swells have tempted every farmer 
owning one to build his house upon it. Some of the famous farms of this 
county have, as no little part of their claim to honor, the beautiful situation 
of the homestead on one of these hills, commanding a view of every field of 
the estate. A particularly large and beautiful one of these drumlins can be 
seen from the cars of the Big Four railway and the interurban about one-half 
mile east of Adams. 

The remainder of the soils in this county belong to one or the other of 
the soils already described. In the extreme northwest corner is a little tri- 
angle of Miami sandy loam, and just east of this there is a small belt of up- 
land clay loam. Along the larger streams there occur little strips of bottom 
ground (mapped as Waverley) which differ little from the surrounding 
slopes, and are of such little extent as to need no extended description. These 
bottoms are usually not more than one-fourth mile in width, and are com- 
posed of material washed from the neighboring uplands. As a rule, they are 
pretty wet and require tiling, but when drained they are valuable little fields. 

There are few counties in the state w'hich are any better farmed than 
Decatur, especiall}- on the sandier portions. In the southeast corner the 
heavy clay soil limits farming practically to the grasses and small grain, but 
in at least eighth-tenths of the county any crop suitable to the latitude can 



be grown successfully. On the typical corn lands corn yields as well, year 
by year, as anywhere in the state, and the same farm which yields a "bumper" 
corn crop may, the same year, yield a good wheat crop on the more clayey 
knolls. Grasses thrive in the wet bottom grounds, and good water is easily 
obtained. All conditions are favorable to stock raising, and much of the 
corn of this county goes to market as fat hogs and cattle. Such a method, 
of course, cannot be otherwise than good farming, since practically every- 
thing is returned to the soil, and in Decatur county most of the farm lands 
are continually increasing in value. The excellence of transportation has a 
great deal to do with farm values here. There is scarcely a farm in the 
county farther than six miles from a railway, and the vast majority are 
within three miles. An excellent system of macadamized and gravelled 
roads connects almost everj^ community with the railway. 


Soil -, 


I mm 


Miami Clay Loam. 



Very fine sand. 







Miami Sandy Loam. 


Soil 4-6% 

Subsoil 5.8% 


Very fine sand. 






Earl}' in the spring of 1820 the Federal government sent out several 
squads of surveyors to lay out the "New Purchase," lands acquired from 
the Delaware Indians by the treaty of St Mary's (1819), embracing all of 
the eastern and central part of the present state of Indiana. Mose of these 
surveyors were young men, some of whom were inexperienced; but they 
were all well endowed with high animal spirits and bodily vigor. 

Thev worked their way through the wilderness, much of which had 
never before been traversed by white men, cutting their way through thickets 
with axes, wading swamps and fording rivers, sleeping out at nights, wher- 
ever they happened to be when the sun sank, and enduring much keen dis- 
comfort in order that the land might be surveyed and opened for settlement. 

Farms and towns are still laid out in accordance with this original 
sur\'ey, and whenever a section is large by a few acres or small by a hundred 
or so, the cause can be directly traced to mistakes made by these pioneer 
engineers, the men who ran their blind lines through the forests. In one 
section of the "New Purchase" there is a point toward which all lines in 
that part of the country tend to veer. It is said that in 1820 a distillery 
stood at this place, and that, thinking of it, the surveyors unconsciously let 
their instruments veer in its direction. 

Decatur county was surveyed by men who li^■ed here and who later 
became leaders in the community, which grew up rapidly after the "New 
Purchase" was thrown open for settlement. The survey of what later be- 
came Decatur county was made by Thomas Hendricks and Samuel Hueston, 
with four assistants. Hendricks was a native of Westmoreland county, 
Pennsylvania, and it is presumed he got the job of surveying this section 
of the "New Purchase" through his brother, William Hendricks, who was 
then governor of Indiana. His assistants were neighbors whom he brought 
from Pennsylvania with him. 


In October of the year 1820, a government land ofhce opened at Brook- 
ville; the surveyed land was ready for settlement and the tide of immigra- 


tion began. The first land patent issued in wliat is now Decatur county 
was to John Shellhorn, for what has since been known as the SheUhorn 
farm, between the Big and Little Flatrock, on the Moscow road. The Shell- 
horn family still retains this property for which its ancestor received a 
patent from the United States government, October 3, 1820. 

Shellhorn took his claim near the junction of the Big and Little Flat- 
rock, thmking that it would probably be but a short time until that place 
would be chosen for a county seat. He laid out the town of Rdckville and 
then waited for his visions of towering spires to materialize. But the legis- 
lature, in fixing the boundaries of Decatur county, threw Rockville into one 
corner of the county and Shellhorn's dreams were gone forever. He died 
a few months later. Rockville has never appeared upon a map of the count3^ 

Two of John Shellhorn's neighbors, James Hobbs and James Wise, took 
out land patents six days later, Hobbs locating one mile east of the present 
site of Clarksburg, and Wise one mile south of where that town is now lo- 
cated. Although Shellhorn was the first to enter land in Decatur county, 
he was by no means the first settler. No sooner was the ink on the treaty 
of St. Mary's dry, than the tide of immigration to the "New Purchase" be- 
gan. All along the border were bold spirits waiting for this unknown 
country to become the property of the government. No sooner had the 
Indians renounced all claims to it than the settlers flocked into it. 

By the treaty of St. Mary's, all land located between the Whitewater 
on the east and White river on the west, north of the old boundary line, 
was made the property of the national government. All along the borders 
of this territory were pioneers waiting for the Indians to be shoved out. 
No sooner was the treaty made than the movement of the pioneers began. 

Probably the first to reach Decatur county was John Fugit and his 
sori, John. Griffy Griffiths, with his wife and son, Ishmael, came next. 
Then came the remainder of the Fugit family; the wife, four sons, a daugh- 
ter, and a Mrs. Garrison. Later in the spring Cornelius and Jesse Cain, 
Elias Garrard, William McCoy and their families arrived settling in the vi- 
cinity of Clarksburg. 

About the same time a settlement was made on Little Flatrock, east 
of Milroy, which has produced a number of men of high distinction, among 
them being Dr. Raymond T. Brown, William J. Brown, three times a mem- 
ber of Congress, and Admiral George W. Brown, of the United States navy. 
Farly in the spring of 1820, a number of families settled in the Clarksburg 
and Springhill neighborhoods, among them Dr. Andrew^ Rankin, David 


Martin, Cornelius Cain and Andrew Rankin. About the same time Seth 
Lowe and William Custer settled in the Kingston neighborhood. 

F"rom the date of the first entry to the end of the year there were 
eighty-nine land entries. Some of these were for as much as half a sec- 
tion, but most of them were eighty-acre tracts. The entries this }-ear. by 
township, follow : 

Fugit township — John Hicklin, Nathan L.ewis, John Schultz, Robert 
Lochridge, John Lochridge, William Henderson, George Kline, George Bry- 
son, Edward Jackman, Jesse Robinson, William Penny, Griffe Griffiths, Cor- 
nelius Cain, George Craig, John Short, Jesse Cain, John Davison, Moses 
Wyley, Richard Tyner, James Henderson, George Cowan, Joseph Hender- 
son, David Martin, \A^illiam Lindsey, Joseph K. Rankin, Thomas Martin, 
Thomas Thorp, Adam Rankin, Martin Logan, Alex Logan, James Logan, 
Robert Imlay, Daniel Swem, Elias Jarrard, Thomas E. Hall, Charles Collett, 
William Payden, James Hobbs, David Stout, James Saunders and Joseph 

Washington township — Benjamin Drake, William Ross, Joshua Cobb, 
John Marrs, Thomas Hendricks, James Wooley, James Elder, Robert Elder, 
Andrew Elder, Adam R. Meek, Joseph Pryor, Allen Pryor and William 

Sand Creek township — Elijah Davis. 

Adams township — John Shellhorn, John M. Robinson, Jonathan Paul, 
Isaac Sandford, Jonathan McCarty, Joseph Owens, David Jewitt, Thomas 
Price, Manley Kimble, John G. Dawson, Abraham Heaton, George Evans, 
William Copeland, Abner Leland, William Pearce, Edward Sweet, James 
H. Brown, Jacob Sidner, Peter Zeizler, Philip Isley, John Wood, McCoy 
McCarty, John Hizer and Peter Weathers. 

The entries of this year were nearly all along the northern line of the 
county, but ten being near the center and two south' of it. The entries the 
following year were mostly in the same section, the early settlers endeavoring 
to get closer to the larger water-courses, as the latter afforded drainage. 
The more level sections, now the best land in the county, were then worth- 
less, as no system, other than natural drainage, was then known. 


Newcomers in 1821 were as follow: 

Fugit township — James Moss, Samuel Martin, George Marlow, Daniel 
Robertson, James Oliver, Seth Lowe, Nathan Smith, George Underwood, 


George Kendall, George Donner, Gideon Jenks, William Braden, Robert E. 
Donnell, Edgar Poe, Jacob Blackledge, Nathan Underwood, Thomas Cross, 
Sam Githens, Robert Hall, Charles Swearingin, John Wilcoxin, John Hop- 
kins, Samuel Donnell, Ralph Williams, Sampson Alley, William Smith, 
Nathan Lewis, Isaac Darnell, Daniel Caldwell, J. J. Stites, Henry Roberts, 
Henry McDonald, Samuel Donner, Robert Wilson, Edward Davis, Cyrus 
Hamilton, Zenas Darnell, Lewis Hendricks, John Chanslow, Thomas L 
Glass, Daniel Bell, William W. Marlow, Peter Miller, Jacob Miller and 
Benjamin Snelling. 

Adams township — William Harbard, Edward Tanner, William Peter- 
son, Robert McCarty, Enoch McCarty, Martin Adkins, Jacob Johnson, Rich- 
ard Guthrie, Henry Gullion, Sarah Smith, Lewis Owens, Peter Smith, 
Austin Clark and William Brown. 

Clay township — Doddridge Alley, Josiah, Dayton, M. H. Williams, 
George Craig, William L Lowrey, Elijah Craig, Daniel Pike and Eli Pike. 

Clinton township — Jesse Womack, John Montgomery, Joseph Weihart, 
Daniel Crume, Thomas Craig, Joseph Jones, Jacob Underwood, Israel Har- 
ris, John Logan, Nathan Sidwell, James Carter, John Thomson, Robert 
Montgomery, Henry Glass, Moses Vanlew, Matthew Campbell, George 
Donner, Robert Wilson, Nathan Thorp, Joseph Chambers, Joseph Clark, 
William Hamilton, Robert Drake, Michael Swope and William Ryan. 

Washington township — John Davis, John Moore, John Walker, Benja- 
min Walker, Alvah H. Graves, Joseph Rutherford, Hugh Montgomery, 
Henry Montgomery, Andrew Horsely, Elijah Tremain, Samuel Logan, 
Erastus Lathrop, James Richardson, David Williamson, John House, J. P. 
Richardson, Otha White, Eli Eggleston, Philip Dayton, John Nelson, David 
Dalrymple, Charles D. Misner, William Hendrickson, Samuel Hamilton, Rob- 
ert Hamilton, Nathaniel Patton, James E. Hamilton, John Logan, William 
Elder, William Floyd. Robert Retherford, Joseph Retherford, James Sefton, 
Barlow Aldrich and Zachariah Townsend. 

Sand Creek township — Daniel Herron, Nat Roljbins and William Rob- 

Marion townshii^ — Dudley Taylor and John Robbins. 

Save for a very few exceptions these entries were made for actual 
settlement purposes, and within a year most of the owners had taken pos- 
session of their property. At a special election in 1821 there were one hun- 
dred and forty votes cast, and as the law required a residence in the state 
of a year before a man could vote, it is probable that this did not number 
more than half the male citizens of the county. 



Decatur county originally formed a part of Delaware county, an im- 
mense tract of land ranging east to the Ohio line and north to, and including, 
the present county of Delaware. But in 1821 the state Legislature provided 
for breaking up this territory into smaller units, and appointed commissioners 
to locate county seats for Decatur, Shelby and Rush counties. 

In the days when Decatur county was a part of Delaware, there was 
no law to govern the community; for Delaware county was a civic organi- 
zation without entity — a great stretch of territory extending from the ague- 
cursed Driftwood bottoms until lost in the swamps of the IMississinnewa and 
Wabash rivers. There were no courts of justice; no vested police powers, 
each man being a law unto himself. There is a tradition, howe\er, that the 
elder Fugit had been a justice of the peace in Franklin county and that he 
brought his commission and docket with him, performing marriages and 
dispensing justice to all coming of their own accord to seek it. Those 
wishing to enter the matrimonial state were compelled to go to Brook\-ille 
to secure the marriage license. 

In the legislative act creating Decatur county, its boundaries were fixed 
as follows: "Beginning at the southwest corner of section 18, in township 
8, north of range 9, east of the principal meridian; thence north fifteen miles 
to the southwest corner of section 6, in township 10, north of range 8, east; 
thence east three miles to the southeast corner of section 33, in township 
II, north of range 8, east; thence north seven miles to the northwest 
corner of section 34, in township 12, north of range 8, east; thence east 
eighteen miles to the west boundary of Franklin count}- ; thence south with 
said boundary to the north line of Ripley county; thence with the old boun- 
dary line to the north line of Jennings county, thence west with the Jen- 
nings county line to the place of beginning." 

Commissioners appointed to select sites for the county seats of the three 
counties named were Edward Ballinger, Henry Ristine, Green P. Webster, 
and Abraham Dumont. This commission decided to meet on May 7, 1822, 
to select a county seat for this county, but, for some unexplained reason, only 
Ballenger reached Greensburg, which had been selected as the meeting place. 
Another meeting was fixed for June 12, on which date Greensburg was se- 
lected as the county seat; parts of tracts of land offered by Thomas Hen- 
dricks and John Walker being accepted. The tract accepted contained one 
hundred acres. 



Four donations of land were offered for the county seat, although the 
records show only two. The first was the Hendricks donation of sixty 
acres, bounded by Lincoln street, Main street, and Central avenue, in Greens- 
burg. The Walker donation lay just south of this and contained one hun- 
dred acres, extending from Broadway to Lincoln street. In addition, Joseph 
English offered a site two miles southwest of the present county seat and 
Richard Hall offered land three miles northeast of the city. 

There was considerable bad blood existent for a tinie on account of the 
selection of the county seat. Charges were freely made that Hendricks and 
Walker had been guilty of log-rolling at Shelby ville and Rushville. Prob- 
ably the most satisfactory location, from the viewpoint of the present day 
would have been the English site, but no one in that day had the sHghtest 
notion that eastern Sand Creek, and southern iMarion and Salt Creek town- 
ships ever would be settled. 

The site having then been fixed, the board of commissioners proceeded 
to lay off the city of Greensburg, and fixed Monday, September i, 1822, 
for the first sale of lots. 


Upon approval by the governor of the special act of the Legislature 
creating the county, Henry H. Talbott was appointed temporary clerk and 
William Ross, sheriff, until an election could be held. The sheriff was 
charged with the duty of dividing the county into three commissioner dis- 
tricts, calling an election and seeing that the same was properly conducted. 
As Ross decided that he would be a candidate for the sheriff's office, it 
was deemed improper that this office should be filled by an election at a 
time when he was, by necessity, in charge of the polls. Accordingly, selec- 
tion of the sheriff was deferred until the regular election in the following 
August, when Ross was badly worsted by Doddridge Alley, who was just 
then entering upon his office-holding career. 

Complete returns of this first county election, held May 14, 1822, fol- 
lows : 

Clerk of circuit court — John B. Potter, 38; Henry H. Talbott, 49; 
James H. Brown, 34; John B. Fugit, 31. 

Recorder — John B. Potter, 34; Henry H. Talbott, 46; James H. Brown. 
14; John B. Fugit, 22. 

Associate judge — Martin Atkins, 47; Joshua Cobb, 31; John Lin- 


ville, 45; John Fugit, 48; James C. Dayton, ig; Daniel Crunie, 7; John 
Driver, 1 1 ; Enoch James, t,2. 

County commissioner, eastern district — Seth Lowe, 96 ; Wilham Hender- 
son, 45; George Marlow, 21. Central district — Wilham Parks, 45; Will- 
iam Courtney, 14; John Parks, i. Western district — William Harhord, 69; 
Green McCarty, 37; Doddridge Alley, 19; Paul Brown, 39; Jonathan Mc- 
Carty, i. 

At the first meeting of the county commissioners the following offi- 
cials were appointed : Overseers of the poor — Fugit township, William Cus- 
ter and Joseph Henderson : Washington township. Robert Ross and William 
Floyd; Adams township, Jonathan McCarty and David Jewitt. Fence view- 
ers — William Leopold, Robert Imlay and George Marlow, Fugit township ; 
Abraham Miller, Jonathan Davis and Andrew Horsley, Washington town- 
ship, and David Johnson, David Forester and Joseph Bennett for Adams 

The board then appointed John Hi)pkins as county treasurer for one 
year, and Enoch McCarty was ap]3ointed lister of taxables. At the next 
meeting the names of Thomas Hendricks and David Montague were certified 
to the governor for his selection of a county surveyor. The appointment was 
given to Hendricks. The next appointment to be made was that of county 
agent, which was given to John B. Potter. His first work was to lay ofi the 
town of Greensburg, after which he turned his attention to the erection of a 


The following grand jury was empanelled and charged on Monday, 
October 7, 1822: John Hopkins, foreman; Alley Pryor, Joseph Henderson, 
Nathaniel Robbins, Fielding Lamasters, Lewis Pleakenstalver, Isaac Dar- 
nell, Robert Harbord, John M. Robinson, Griffe Griffiths, John House, Will- 
iam M. Smith, Tobis Donner, Joseph Rankin, John Forsyth and Andrew 

This jury was in session only one day, its members recei\-ing seventy- 
five cents each for their services ; and returned eight indictments, all of which 
were for assault and battery. Those indicted were Patrick Hudson, William 
Thorp, Abraham Miller, Madison Redding, Isaac Parnell. Lodwick Cook, 
David Stout and McCoy McCarty. 

Says the record further : "This day ai)])eare(l in open court, ]\Iadison 
Redding, who entered a plea of guilty;" and their honors, after due delib- 



eration and taking into consideration the magnitude of the offense, "made 
his fine in the sum of six and one-fourth cents." 

When Talbott appeared at the first session of court to file his bond as 
clerk, objection was raised on the grounds that he was not of the legal age, 
and that he was not a resident of Decatur county. Says the record, "Joseph 
A. Hopkins moved to reject the bond, which the court, after mature delibera- 
tion, overruled." It seems appropriate in this connection to say a word 
concerning Talbott. It has fallen to few men to serve the public so long or 
in so creditable a manner as was given to Henry H. Talbott. He so 
thoroughly won the esteem of his fellow citizens that it was impossible for 
anyone to defeat him when it came election time. He served as clerk con- 
tinuously until the new constitution was adopted in 1852. He was a patriot 
in the truest sense of the word, and although he was sixty-one years old when 
the call was issued for volunteers in 1861, he proffered his services. They 
were declined, on account of his years; so he accompanied the troops as a 
sutler. During the battle of Phillipi he seized a gun and followed his com- 
rades into the fray. He died July 21, 1872. 

At the first annual election, August 5, 1822, electors voted for a governor, 
lieutenant governor, a representative for the seventeenth Congress, to fill a 
vacancy, a congressman for the third district, a sheriff and a coroner. The 
following vote was cast: 

For Governor — Fugit. Washington. Adams. Tolinl. 

William Hendricks 68 52 48 168 

Julius Howe 3 — — 3 

For Lieutenant Governor — 

Ratliffe Boone 36 27 33 96 

Erasmus Powell 34 2"] — 51 

William Polk 13 14 27 

David Maxwell 10 i __ 11 

For Congress (vancancy) — 

Jonathan Jennings 49 13 42 104 

Davis Floyd 5 28 5 38 

For Congress (third district) — 

John Test 28 39 18 85 

Ezra Ferris 7 n 29 47 

Samuel C. Vance 31 12 __ 43 


























For SheritT — Fugit. 

Doddridge Alley 7 

William Ross 28 

James Saunders 5 

William Loyd 21 

For Coroner — 

William Custer 18 

Robert Shields s- 

Jonah C. Dayton 12 

There was at this time but one party in the state, the National Republican. 
and voters cast their ballots according to their individual preferences. Two 
years later this party split, part going with Andrew Jackson and part with 
Henry Clay. 


The first board of county commissioners met on the 14th day of i\Iay, 
1822, at the house of Thomas Hendricks, a double log building, one story in 
height, on what is now known as Taylor avenue, Greensburg, near where 
East street crosses the avenue. Hendricks' house was used as a court house 
until 1825. In that year it was proposed to build a court house, and the 
following transcript of page 121 of the first book of the record of the com- 
missioners' court shows the specifications that were drawn up for it : 
"The State of Indiana 
"Decatur County 

"At a special meeting of the board of Justices of Decatur County on 
Saturday the 15th day of January, 1825, for the purpose of drafting a plan 
for a Court House. 

"The Hon. George W. Hopkins, Zachariah Garton, Robert Church and 
Dillard Drake, Justices. 

"This day the board proceeded to draft a plan for a Court hmise for 
the said County of Decatur upon the following plan, Towit. The founda- 
tion to be built three feet high and to be one foot above the ground at the 
highest part of the ground, to be laid in a workmanlike manner with good 
stone and lime mortar, three feet thick at the bottom and twenty-two inches 
thick at the top to be battered on each side equally — forty foot square. The 
walls of the first story twenty-two inches thick forty feet square of good 
brick fifteen feet in the clear, laid in a workmanlike manner, the front a 
flemish bond and good sand brick. One double pannel door in front lined 


with inch plank on the back, with good and suffecient lock, and a bolt at the 
bottom on each door, the door sill cut out of stone to extend at each end! 
six inches in the wall twenty four inches wide of a suitable thickness, the 
door to be eight feet high in the clear & five feet wide in the clear, and a 
circular glass top, the front of the house to be to the east, two windows on 
each side of the door, of 24 lites each eight by ten. The North and South 
sides of the house, to be a door in the center of each wall eight feet high 
and five feet wide in the clear a double batten door, with good locks & bolts 
at the bottom of each door. One window on each side of the doors of 24 
lites. 8 by los — A stone sill at the bottom of each door of the same descrip- 
tion as the sill of the front door. On the West side to be a window in the 
Centre six feet from the floor to the bottom of the window of 30 lites 8. 
by 10. with a circular glass top. One window on each side of 24 lites 8. by 
IDS. of the same heighth as the other windows. 

"The second story of good brick 13 feet high in the clear. The walls 
eighteen inches thick the front of good sand brick and laid a flemish bond, 
One 36 lite window in front 8. by los with a circular glass top. And one 
24 lite window on each side of it. And 3 windows on each of the other 
sides of the house of 24 lites each, eight by los. four fire places in the sec- 
ond story one in each corner of the house. A plain Cornice. The roof 
nine feet pitch, to be covered with good joint shingles five inches to the 
weather, shingles eighteen inches long. Cupelo twelve feet in diameter — 
eight square, sixteen feet high, and a circular top, a circular window in each 
square with Venetian shutters and necessary arrangements to receive the 

"Four posts 15 inches diameter eight square, to be set on pillars of 
Stone in the first story, the pillars to be sunk three feet in the ground, three 
feet and a half square at the bottom to be equally battered to the top to a 
square of 22 inches to be 12 feet apart in the Center of the house; two gird- 
ers to extend across the house 12 feet apart from the center of each and rest 
on the posts named, the girders to be 15 inches wide and 12 inches deep and 
the joists to be 12 inches deep by 3 inches thick, to be framed in the girders 
two feet apart from the Centre of each joist. The frame of the Second 
Story to be similar to the frame of the First Story. 

"The stairs to start from the South east Corner of the house, and ascend 
to the passage. The window and door frames to be made in a workmanlike 

On March 7, following, the order was issued to receive bids for the 
construction of the building. The order is here given in full : 


"Ordered that the Court house he huilt on the Public Square iu the 
town of Greensburgh and that the Centre of the Square be the Centre of the 
house, to be completed on or before the first day of I\Iay, 1827. And the 
tenns of payments as follows, four hundred dollars to be paid on or before 
the 25th of December next, and the balance to be paid in three equal annual 
enstalments thereafter. Bond and approved Security will he required of the 
purchaser in a penalty of double the sum that the building is sold for. The 
person or persons bidding the same oft" and failing to Comply with the Con- 
ditions above Stated, will forfiet the sum of fifty dollars to be recovered by 
suit in the name of the County Agent to be applied to the use of the County 
in building said house. The person bidding off the same shall give bond 
and security as above stated within fifteen days from this date." 

On Monday, November 6, 1826, the board of justices, which was now 
made up of George W. Hopkins, president; Wesley White, William E. Craw- 
ford, Griffe Griffiths, W^illiam Fowler, Samuel Bryan, James Donnell and 
Zachariah Garton, gave notice of the "sale" of some more work on the new 
court house. This time it was for some minor work, and, from all that could 
be deteiTnined, the building was ready for occupation by the specified time 
in May, 1827. 

This building was occupied until 1854, when it was condemned by the 
board and the work of its demolition commenced that summer. However, 
on June 8, 1853, the commissioners — Smith Reiley, B. H. Harney and H. S. 
Burke — appointed B. W. Wilson, I. G. Monfort and B. H. Harney as a com- 
mittee to draft plans and specifications for the construction of a new court 
house, "the whole cost of said house, when completed and furnished, not to 
exceed thirty thousand dollars." This committee reported on Septeml^er 7, 
its report was accepted and it was dismissed. The commissioners then 
employed Edwin May to superintend the construction and appointed B. W. 
Wilson, I. G. Montfort and B. H. Harney to act as a building committee 
and as the representatives of the commissioners. May was instructed to 
consult with them on all contracts, payments and changes in the original 

On March 6, 1854, the contract for the stone work was let to W. W. 
Lowe and Jacob M. Hiltertrand. But it was not until June ig, 1855, that 
the contract for the brick work was placed. It went to R. B. Thomson and 
Henry H. Talbott for four dollars and twenty-nine cents per thousand bricks 
actually used, the waste and soft bricks to be deducted from the kiln count. 
The contractors were to furnish all labor, tools, "including hods, ladders 
and all necessary apparatus for the raising of the bricks on the tower and 



Other parts of the building, at their own cost and charges," but the county 
was to furnish "brick, Hme and sand, water in the wells in the public square, 
together with all the scaffolding and nails." A bid was made by N. T. 
Horton; of Cincinnati, by the pound for the frame for the galvanized iron 
roof and the iron doors, window shutters and stairs. He asked thirty-seven 
and a half dollars per hundred square feet for laying the iron roof. The esti- 
mated cost of the new house on the plan as first acceiDted vv^as forty thou- 
sand dollars, but the plans were changed and departed from until, when 
completed, it, with the improvements of the grounds and the iron fence 
around it, cost the county close to one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. 
As early as 1885 the remodeling of the court house was discussed in 
the commissioners" court, and on June 12, 1888, the board of commissioners, 
after consideration of the project, decided that the county treasury was too 
depleted for any such step to be taken at that time; however, they directed 
that such be done in the spring of 1889, and on December 10, 1888, they 
ordered the auditor to secure plans and specifications. At a special session 
called on January 30, 1889, the proposals submitted by McDonald Brothers, 
of Louisville, were accepted and the contract of drafting plans and specifi- 
cations awarded to them. On ^larch 18, 1889, bids were received for 
"remodeling the court house" and for "heating the court house." The con- 
tract for the first was awarded to J. C. McGarvey & Brother, of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, for twenty-seven thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine dollars, with 
two thousand one hundred dollars reduction for certain changes that might be 
made. The highest bid was for thirty-seven thousand seven hundred and fifty 
dollars. Security was ordered to be presented on the following 25th of March. 
But it was on March 26, and not March 25, as stated by the tablet on the 
west wall of the corridor in the court house, that the contract was approved 
and the cost, after several changes, set at twenty- four thousand, nine hun- 
dred and ninetv-nine dollars. The heating contract was awarded to I. D. 
Smead & Company, of Toledo, Ohio, for twenty-seven hundred and fifty 
dollars. The contract for furnishing the court room, library, the judge's 
private office, and the offices of the clerk, sheriff, recorder, superintendent 
of schools, treasurer and auditor was given to the Grand Rapids Furniture 
Company, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, on February 7, 1890. The building 
was inspected and accepted by the commissioners and architect on March 
14, 1890, "excepting the painting, and a part of the wainscot in the obscure 
portions of the corridors, the clearing out of the cellar and refitting the 
same." The commissioners at the time the contract for remodeling was 


let were, Everett Hamilton, Henry Steining and Ezra Guthrie, and when 
the building was accepted, Henry Steining, Ezra Guthrie and Augustus 

In 1903 the building was in need of repairs and on March 7 the com- 
missioners — Jethro C. Meeks, Uriah' Privett and Jesse Styers — awarded H. 
L. Shute the contract of making certain repairs, for fifty-two hundred dol- 
lars. At this same session of the commissioners, plans for a hitchrack were 
submitted by the engineer, J. W. Craig, and accepted. Bids were ordered 
to be received for the sale of the old fence about the court house square park 
at this same meeting. 


In the summer of 1870 a citizen of Greensburg, whose name posterity 
has not preseiwed, was examining the court house tower with a spyglass, 
when he noticed, springing from the third crevice above the water sheet on 
the east side of the tower, one hundred and ten feet above the ground, a 
small twig. From that day down to the present time the fame of the tree 
on the tower has been heralded throughout the world. Apostrophes, prose 
epics, poems galore and even songs have lieen written about it. Strangers 
to the city always ask to he shown the curiosity the first thing, many not 
being convinced that there is such a tree until they actually see it. 

The first picture of the tree appeared in a local paper in the issue of 
January 10, 1879, when the court house and tree were shown in connection 
with an advertisement of St. John's Lone Tree Medicine Company. Since 
that time the tree has been exhibited pictorially all over the world, and 
postal cards by the tens of thousands have convinced a dou1)ting world that 
such a tree really exists. By 1884, according to one of the local papers, 
the bole of the tree was four inches in diameter and the tree itself was nine 
feet in height. Some time during the latter part of the seventies other trees 
sprang up on the tower, and at one time no less than seven were casting 
their shade over the tower. This grove was allowed to flourish until the court 
house was remodeled in 1888, when it was deemed necessary to remove 
some of them. The largest tree of the forest was getting of such dimen- 
sions that it was threatening to tear up the roof, and since it was a ques- 
tion of either saving the tree or the roof, the tree had to be sacrificed. Three 
other small trees were removed at this time. Since then all the others have 
died except the one on the northeast corner. At the present time (1915) 


this one tree is about eighteen feet high and has a bole of about five inches 
in diameter. Strange to say, it never seems to be affected by the summer 
droughts, but remains green even when the trees in the court house j^ard are 
showing the effects of dry weather. 

Among the many poems written about this famous tree, the one by 
D. Eckley Hunter, then of Washington, Indiana, and an instructor in the 
teachers' county institute at the time, is the best which has come to atten- 
tion. Professor Hunter read it at the close of the session, August 22, 1884. 
Mr. Hunter has a fairy. to explain the origin of the tree and then draws a 
moral. The complete poem has fourteen stanzas, but onl}' eight of them are 
here given : 


The wonders of nature are many, I ween, 

They come to my mind in a shower; 
But where may so wondrous a wonder be seen 

As the grove on the top of the tower? 

It troubled my dreams, it puzzled my brain, 

Till Ina and Pearl with a flower. 
Came in and the wonderful wonder made plain 

Of the grove on the top of the tower. 

They said they were rambling — Pearl told me herself — 

And stopped to admire that flower 
When in it a fairy they heard tell an elf 

Of the grove on the top of the tower. 

(What the fairy said) 
It is many and many a year ago 

Since the men who wielded the power 
Determined to plant and determined to grow 

A grove at the foot of the tower. 

They planted, they watered and they waited long 

For the shade of the leafy bower; 
At length the reward of their labors came 

In the grove at the foot of the tower. 

Then angels looked down from their home above. 

And smiled on these men of power; 
And said, "We'll plant, yes, plant them a grove 

On the topmost stones of the tower." 

It is thus they smile on deeds below 

That are done for a future hour; 
And that none forget, they have caused to grow 

A grove on the top of the tower. 


May God bless the angels, and God bless the men 

Who plant for a future hour. 
And God bless the shade of the maples, and then 

The grove on the top of the tower. 


Until the organization of Decatur county, residents in this part of the 
"New Purchase" had been Hving without law, so consequently there were 
no legal punishments for transgressions. But with the organization of the 
county and the formation of a local government, a jail was rendered neces- 
sary. The board of commissioners, meeting on February ii, 1823, ordered 
the construction of a log jail and at a subsequent session, fixed its specifica- 
tions as follows : 

"To be twenty by twenty-four feet square; the walls to be of stone and 
two and one-half feet thick, laid with good lime mortar, and every hole to 
extend through the wall. The first story to be seven feet high; one window 
in the lower story to be fourteen inches square, to be bounded with solid 
rock three feet in length and not less than fourteen inches thick, the bars 
to be one and one-half inches square, well riveted to the frame and to be four 
squares of three inches." 

The room last described was the dungeon, intended for the incarcera- 
tion of prisoners of the worse type. Entrance to it was effected through 
a trap-door in the floor of the upper story. Construction of the upper 
story was very similar to that of the lower, save that those confined there 
got fresh air from two windows, instead of one. This room was intended 
for keeping prisoners jailed for minor offenses. 

A narrow stairway on the outside of the building led to the door of 
the upper room, the only entrance to the jail. This building stood on the 
west side of the court house yard until 1832. It was very poorly con- 
structed, and incapable of detaining anyone who really wanted to get out. 

According to tradition, Hiram Hendricks, who, with Robert Church, 
did the stone work on the building, was the first person to be incarcerated 
therein. As the story is told, Hendricks was jailed for debt upon com- 
plaint of Owen O'Reiley. The next morning, when O'Reiley went to jail 
for the purpose of interviewing his debtor he found him seated outside, 
looking regretfully at a huge hole, which he had cut through the wall in 
order to get to the fresh air. 

On May 4, 1830, the board ordered that "the Agent of the County, 
be instructed to sell to the lowest bidder the repairing of the jail of said 


County in the following manner, towit, the sides of the Upper Story thereof 
to be lined with oak plank one and one-half inches thick to be set up and down, 
well secured at the bottom and top and lined across the same with three- 
quarter poplar plank, tongued and grooved and nailed with good six-penny 
nails not to exceed three inches apart on the whole face of the lining and 
that the lining be turned around the door and windows to the grates and 
likewise the fixing of the trap door and some convenient wa}' to be made 
to descend to the lower room of said jail, the whole to be completed in a 
good workmanlike manner by the first day of October next." 

But in 1832 it was decided that a new jail was needed and the follow- 
ing order is taken from page 204 of the commissioners' court records : 

"Ordered by the board that the sheriff of the county do proceed after 
(after giving three weeks' notice in the Political Obscn'cr) to sell on the 
2d Saturday in June next, at the door of the court house in Greensburgh, 
the building of a jail for said county of the following description, to wit : 

"To be of hewn timbers not less than twelve inches square, the whole 
of the timbers to be eighteen feet long, a double wall, the corners dove- 
tail notches, the inside walls to extend and notch on the outside walls, a 
space between the walls of six inches to be filled with wide rocks set on 
edge, the under floor to be the same as the wall with stone between, the 
logs crossing each other, the foundation or joist course of the floor and 
the bottom rounds of the outside walls to be of white oak, the timber of 
the balance of the walls of good, sound wood such as beach, sugar, etc., 
two windows in the lower story one on the west and the other on the east 
side of the house, opposite each other of the following description, six 
inches in height and four feet wide to be filled with grates of iron one 
inch square, three inches apart, to stand up and down and to pass through 
a bar of iron half an inch thick and three inches wide to cross the grate in 
the center, the bar to extend in the timbers two inches, a plate of rolled 
iron half an inch thick and to extend in the walls a proper distance, the 
rolled iron to cover and be well spiked on the jams around the windows, 
the logs of the walls to be notched close and the inside walls to be laid in 
lime mortar. The second floor to be of one tier of logs hewn twelve 
inches in thickness, the edges hewn square. The second story to be in like 
manner of the first, with a tier of joists one foot thick, laid close, resting 
on the inside wall, and butting against the outside wall to be hewn to a 
thickness of twelve inches, the edges squared and one tier crossing them 
in the same manner to extend out for the room to stand on — and window in 
the upper story similar as in the lower story — one door of common size 


to be cut in the end well on the north side, in the upper story a door frame 
to be made as wide as the thickness of the walls and well fastened in both 
walls, the frame to be of white oak four inches thick and to be lined on the 
inside on the walls, and the frame well spiked to the walls with sufficient 
iron spikes, not less than eight inches long. The shutter to be two and a 
half feet wide and six feet high, to l^e made of two-inch oak plank, made 
double, well si^iked together with strong iron spikes, a strong lock with 
double bolts to lie well imbedded in the door with a sufficient key — Iioth 
sides of the door to be entirely lined with strong sheet iron nailed on with 
one nail to every three inches, a sheet of hammered iron, half an inch thick, 
twelve inches long and eight inches wide to be set in the frame with strong 
spikes to receive the bolt and to be bent so as to cover the inside of the 
frame. A substantial stairwaj' to be erected on the outside of the jail to 
reach the door with a good platform, the timber of white oak ; the build- 
ing to be well covered with shingles, the gables weatherboarded, the eaves 
boxed and plain cornice, the corners of the house to be neatly turned down, 
a hatchway to be made in the center of the second floor two feet and a half 
square with a sufficient shutter lock and key. The doors to be hung with 
strong wrought iron hinges. The whole of the work to be completed in a 
strong workmanlike manner. Stories to be seven and one-half feet high 
in the clear inside. The building to stand on a stone foundation of one 
foot underground and six inches above the surface of the earth three feet 
thick, to be of good stone, laid in a workmanlike manner. The grates in 
the windows to be set in a frame in the center of walls to be made strong 
and rabited in the logs two inches, the inside of the frame to be lined with 
iron half an inch thick, well spiked on. And the logs where they are cut 
to make the windows to be lined with rolled iron half an inch thick, well 
spiked on. 

"The whole to be completed by the fourth Alonda}- in October next. 
The payments to be made when the work is completed by orders drawn on 
the treasury of the county. One bid reserved for the use of the county. 
We undertake to give bond and security to the acceptance of the sheriff 
for the faithful performance of the work. 

"And it is further ordered that the sherifif, at the time and place afore- 
said, sell the old jail on a credit until the first of January next, for the best 
price he can obtain for the same, one bid reserved for the use of the county 
— bond and security required. 

"And it is further ordered that George O. iNIcCoy be appointed to 


inspect the work of the new jail as it progresses, who will report the same 
to this board." 

The report of the day's session is signed by Seth Lowe, George W. 
Hopkins and Edward Tanner, commissioners. 

On June 15, 1859, the board of commissioners passed a motion to 
remove the county jail from the corner of the court house square and 
ordered the sheriff and auditor of the county to purchase a suitable site, 
and to remove all material from the old to the new site. A site on the 
north side of West Main street, a half block from the public square, was 
selected and the old jail was removed in September, 1859. Edwin May 
was engaged, at the price of two hundred and fifty dollars, as the architect 
and superintendent of construction. Bids were received for the construc- 
tion of the building on September 30, 1859, and the contract awarded to 
Henry H. Talbott and Richard B. Thompson. The contract price of the 
building and the date of its acceptance by the board could not be ascertained. 

This building was in continuous use as the county jail until 1880. 
On March 10, of that year, the commissioners made it a matter of record 
in the minutes of their court that they had "visited the jails of Shelbyville 
and Columbus, with the view of better determining plans for erecting a 
jail in this county." On April 13, 1880, the commissioners, S. H. Logan, 
Wren Grayson and Henry W. Badeker, accepted the plans and specifica- 
tion for a new jail submitted by Edward Carlisle, an architect. At a spe- 
cial session on May 20, 1880, bids for its construction were examined and 
the contract awarded to Rosebrough & Company, of Greensburg, for eleven 
thousand three hundred and fifty dollars and the old jail was sold to Rich- 
ard J. Braden, the highest bidder, for three hundred and fifty dollars cash. 
However, on the next morning, May 21, Rosebrough & Company refused 
to accept the contract and the work was let to the next best and lowest 
bidder, the Greensburg Limestone Company, of Greensburg, for twelve 
thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars. The new building was to be 
built on the site of the old one and was to be completed by October i, fol- 
lowing. This building is still in use as the county jail. 




Four distinct boards of county commissioners and two boards of jus- 
tices have had charge of the atYairs of Decatur county since its organization. 
The first board of commissioners held office from 1822 to 1824. It was then 
succeeded by a board of justices, composed of two justices of the peace from 
each township. This board held its last meeting on July 4, 1831. A board 
of three county commissioners then had charge of affairs until 1835, in 
which year a board of eighteen justices was created. The latter board held 
sway until June 7, 1847, in spite of the fact that the Legislature, in 1842, 
had dissolved such boards in Indiana. The Decatur county board was dis- 
solved by a special act of Legislature, January 14, 1847. A board of three 
commissioners then took office and when the new constitution was adopted, 
in 1852 this arrangement was continued. The three commissioners held 
full sway until 1899, in which year the legislati\ e act creating county councils 
restricted their powers to a limited extent. 

The first board of county commissioners met on May 14, 1822, at the 
home of Thomas Hendricks, in Greensburg, and were sworn in by H. H. 
Talbott, clerk of the county, through appointment by Governor Jennings. 
This board was composed of Williams Harbord, William Parks and Seth 
Lowe. The first action of this board was to divide the county into three 
township, Fugit, Washington and Adams. The first day of June was then 
fixed for holding township elections. Superintendents of the school sections 
were then named as follow : Thomas Thorp, James McLain, Thomas Hen- 
dricks, Nathaniel Robins and Paul Brown. Enoch McCarty was appointed 
tax lister and John Hopkins, treasurer. 

When the three original townships were laid oft', Fugit township had 
the same boundaries as at present; save that a strip one and one-half miles 
wide and four miles long has since been stricken off and attached to Clinton. 
Adams township contained all its present territory, and, in addition, a strip 


two miles wide and four miles long, that has since been added to Clay, and 
all of Clinton except the Fugit strip, above mentioned. The remainder of 
the county lay in Washington township. 

Even in that early day, the high cost of living was sufficiently assertive 
to demand attention. The board accordingly fixed the following prices that 
might be charged by ta\-ern keepers: Rum and wine, fifty cents a half pint; 
whisky, twenty-five cents a pint; French brandy, fifty cents a half pint; 
meals, twenty-five cents, and a night's lodging, twenty-five cents. 


The first board of justices met on September 6, 1824. There were 
eight members of this board, there then being four townships in the county. 
The board was composed of the following justices of the peace: Robert 
Church, George W. Hopkins, James Caldwell, Zachariah Carton, Griffe 
Griffiths, Dillard Drake, Edward Turner and James Donnell. Other mem- 
bers of this board, before it passed out of existence in 1831, were Milton N. 
Williams, John McCarty, Samuel Bryan, Dan Bell, Robert Church, Wesley 
White, J. S. Forsythe, Davis Jewitt, Thomas Hamilton. G. W. Hopkins, 
W. E. Crawford, William Fowler, James Saunders, Alex M. Elliott, William 
Switzer, J. K. Rankin, Benjamin Jones, Ebenezer Douglas, T. C. Pemberton 
and Thomas Horton. 

This board was followed by a second group of county commissioners 
composed of Seth Lowe, a member of the first board, George W. Hopkins 
and Edward Tanner. Thomas E. Pemberton later filled a vacancy on this 
board. The most important matter to receive the attention of these early 
county officials was the location of highways, and many pages are given 
in the records of their early meetings to such business. This board held its 
last meeting on January 5, 1835, and was followed by a board of eighteen 
justices, there then being nine townships in the county. 

The second board of justices met on March 2, 1835, it being composed 
of the following: Zachariah Carton, Ezra Lathrop, James Howard, R. M. 
Jamison, Thomas Powers, John Hazelrigg, Theophilus Lee, Samuel Will- 
iams, James Johnston, David Jewitt, Nathaniel Robins, W. E. Crawford, 
J. G. Kindall, John Scriptor, John Plymate, Enoch James, Dan Barker and 
James Lewis. The only new members upon this board in the next tweh'e 
years were Henrv Critzer, Robert Kennedy, Dan Barker and Ebenezer 

The county again returning to the board of three commissioners in 


1847, the following commissioners were elected: Henry S. Burk, Tom 
Powers and Seth Lowe, the latter of whom had twice previously been a mem- 
ber of this body. New members elected in 1850, were Smith Reill}' and 
Barton H. Harney. This board passed out of existence in 1853, following 
the adoption of the new constitution. Commissioners were then elected as 
follows: Caleb Stark, Andrew ]\IcCoy and William Alagress. Since that 
time the board of commissioners has managed the business affairs of Decatur 
county. The present count}' commissioners are Charles W. Worland, 
\\'illiam H. Logan and John W. Tremain. 

The office of sheriff' has been an elective one from the beginning of the 
state and was so provided for by the constitution of 1816. The first sheriff, 
William Ross, was appointed by the governor when the county was formed, 
to take charge of the first election. He served only from March until 
August, 1822. Doddridge Alley was the first elected sheriff. He was fol- 
lowed by John Parks, who was elected in 1826 and again in 1828. When 
Parks had collected the taxes for the latter year, he bought a large drove of 
horses and started with them for Ljmchburg, Virginia. He was never heard 
of afterward. Abraham Hendricks was appointed to serve out his un- 
expired term. 

The other incumbents of this ofifice have been : John Thomson, 1829-33 ; 
James Morgan, 1833-37; Wyatt R. Henderson, 1837-41: Abraham Hen- 
dricks, 1841-45; Michael Swope, 1845-49; John Imlay, 1849-52 (died in 
office); John D. Wilson, 1852-53; Joseph V. Bemusdaffer, 1853-57; Ed- 
ward A. Jocelyn, 1857-61; Philip Mowrer, 1861-65; Charles Sherman, 
1865-67; Charles Woodward, 1867-69; Henry Reddington (died before 
taking ofifice) ; Charles Wooward, 1868-70 (by appointment), Giles E. White, 
1870-74; James Fiscus, 1874-76; John A. Meek. 1876-78; Andrew J. Smith, 
1878-80; John W. Stout, 1880-84; Merrit C. Welsh, 1884-88; George S. 
Dickey, 1888-92; Taylor F. Meek, 1892-96; W^illiam T. Stott, 1896-1900; 
Jeff C. Davis, 1900-04; Jacob Biddinger, 1904-08; S. N. Patterson, 1908-12; 
John W. DeMoss, 1912. 


General Foley, the first holder of the office, had two opponents at the 
election, James Johnson, an independent ^^'hig, and John Thompson, the 


regular nominee. Although Foley won the first election in a walk, he was 
defeated, when he asked for re-election, by Captain James Saunders. 
Saunders served one term and declined a renomination. One of the songs 
of his campaign was : 

"Get out of the way, ye geese and ganders, 
Folks can't come it 'gainst Old Jim Saunders." 

From the time the county was organized until 1841, the county treasurer 
was appointed by the county commissioners, or the board of justices, for one 
year. Since the office was made elective, it has been filled by the following: 
James B. Foley, 1841 ; James Saunders, 1844; Abraham Hendricks, 1847- 
50-53-55; Robert Cones, 1856-58; James Morgan, 1860-62; Thomas B. Perry, 
1864; William L. Miller, 1866-68; Benjamin F. Henry, 1870; Conway O. 
Lanham, 1872; Charles Zoller, 1874; Henry C. Stockman, 1876-78; Angus 
M. McCoy, 1880-82; Wilham D. Dailey, 1884-86; John W. Nation, 1888-90; 
John P. Thompson, 1892-94; Dyar C. Elder, 1896; George P. Shoemaker, 
1898-02; George W. Lanham, 1902-06; Oscar B. Trimble, 1906-10; I. L. 
Doles, 1910-12; Albert Boling, 1912-16. 


The recorder's office was filled by the county clerk for several 3fears, 
the clerk also acting as county auditor. Henry H. Talbott performed the 
triple duties of clerk, auditor and recorder until 1841, in which year the 
office of auditor was created by the Legislature, after which he continued 
to act as clerk and recorder until 1859. 

Successors to him as county clerk have been elected in the following 
order: James Gavin, 1863; Ira G. Grover, 1867; John M. Stevens, 1875; 
Evander F. Dyer, 1879; John G. Garrison, 1883; Jesse M. Thompson, 1887; 
Alfred Gaines, 1891 ; Marine D. Tackett, 1899; M. C. Jenkins, 1903; J. W. 
Rhodes, 19 11, and George W. Fraley, 19 15. 

Putnam Ewing followed Talbott as recorder in 1859 and since that 
time the office has been filled by the officers whose names follow: James 
R. Cox, 1863; William B. Harvey, 1867; Edward Kessing, 1875; James E. 
Mendenhall, 1879; Rufus P. Hamilton, 1885; Aaron Parker, 1895; Marsh 
Thomas, 1903; Newton Paramore, 191 1 (died in office), and James A. 
Meek, 1912. 

County auditors have been elected as follows: Andrew Dyer, 1841 ; 
Joseph Remusdaffer, 1855; William H. Reed, 1859; John D. Spillman. 


1863; Frank M. Weadon, 1871 ; John L. Dobyns. 1875; James Kennedy. 
1882; John J. Puttman, 1890; Coleman T. Pleak, 1894; Frank E. Ryan, 
1902; Linton \V. Sands, 1910, and John C. Barbe, 1914. 

Andrew Dyer, the first county auditor, was re-elected three times and 
held the office for a period of fourteen years and three months. The records 
do not disclose the reason of this seeming irregularity. Dyer was defeated 
for a fifth term by Remusdaffer. Of the first eight men who held the office 
of county auditor, none was a native of Decatur county. Dyer came from 
Tennessee, Remusdaffer and Weadon from Virginia, Spillman and Dobyns 
from Kentucky, Reed from Franklin county, Kennedy from Union county 
and Puttman from Ripley county. 


Decatur county has been represented in the state Senate since 1825, 
on which year it was served by James Gregory, who represented sexen 
other counties. It had no senator of its own until 1836, by which time it 
had so increased in population that it was given separate representation in 
the upper house of the Legislature. This continued until 1869, when, in 
order to maintain an equitable representation in the Senate, the county was 
again thrown into a joint-senatorial district. Decatur county has had the 
following representation in the state Senate : 

1825-6 — James Gregory, joint senator. Hamilton, Marion, Madison, 
Henry, Shelby, Decatur, Rush and Johnson counties. 

1826-7-8 — James Gregory, joint senator, Decatur, Shelby, Johnson and 
Morgan counties. 

1829 — James Gregory, joint senator, Decatur, Shelby and Morgan 

1830 — James Gregory, joint senator, Decatur, Shelby and Johnson 

183 1-2-3 — Thomas Hendricks, joint senator, Shelby and Decatur 

1834-5 — William Fowler, joint senator, Shelby and Decatur counties. 

1836 — William Fowler, senator, Decatur county. 

1837-45 — ^James Morgan, senator, Decatur county. 

1846-S — Joseph Robinson, senator, Decatur county. 

1849-50 — James Morgan, senator, Decatur county. 

185 1 — Robert H. Crawford, senator, Decatur county. 

1853-5 — W. J. Robinson, senator, Decatur county. 


1857 — John F. Stevens, senator, Decatur county. 

*t 1 858-59 — J. F. Stevens, senator, Decatur county. 

*ti86i — Richard Robins, senator, Decatur county. 

1863 — Joseph Pleak, senator, Decatur county. 

*ti865 — Dan R. Van Buskirk, senator, Decatur county. 

1867 — ^Vill Cumback, senator, Decatur county. 

*ti869 — WilHam J. Robinson, joint senator. Rush and Decatur counties. 

1 87 1 — WilHam J. Robinson, joint senator. Rush and Decatur counties. 

*t 1 872-5 — George B. Sleeth, joint senator. Rush and Decatur counties. 

*t 1 877-9 — WilHam A. Moore, joint senator. Rush and Decatur counties. 

*ti8'8i — Francis M. Howard, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1883 — Francis M. Howard, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

*ti885 — Francis M. Howard, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1887 — Francis M. Floward, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1889 — S. J. Carpenter, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby bounties. 

1891 — Cortez Ewing, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1893-5 — Albert E. Wray, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1897 — Everett F. Stroup, joint senator, Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1899-1901 — W. W. Lambert, joint senator, Bartholomew and Decatur 

1903-5 — M. E. Xewhouse, joint senator, Bartholomew and Decatur 

1907-9 — William E. Springer, joint senator, Bartholomew and Decatur 

1911-13 — Emanuel Trautman, joint senator, Bartholomew and Decatur 

1915 — E. A. Norman, joint senator, Bartholomew and Decatur counties. 

^Special session, 
t Regular session. 


Being organized by the Session Laws of 1821, Decatur county first 
secured representation in the House of Representatives of the state Legisla- 
ture in its eighth session, 1823. It has since been served by representatives, 
by joint representatives and by botli. The representation of the county in 
the lower house has been as follows : 

1823-5 — Thomas Hendricks, joint representative. Rush, Decatur, Shelby 
and Henrv counties. 


1825-6 — Thomas R. Stanford, joint representative. Rush, Henry, 
Decatur and Shelby counties. 

1826 — Doddridge Ally, representati\e, Decatur county. 

1827-30 — Thomas Hendricks, representative, Decatur county. 

183 1 — Doddridge Ally, representative, Decatur county. 

1832-3 — \A'illiam Fowler, representative, Decatur county. 

1834-5 — Samuel Bryan, representative, Decatur county. 

1836-7 — James Elder, representative, Decatur comity. 

1838 — Abram Plendricks. representative, Decatur county. 

1839 — Martin Jamisun, representative, Decatur county. 

1840 — James Blair, representative, Decatur county. 

1841 — James Saunders, representative, Decatur county. 

1842-3 — James Montague, representative, Decatur county. 

1844 — Ralph Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 

1845 — William J. Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 

1846 — P. Hamilton, representati\e, Decatur county. 

1847 — Philander Hamilton, representative, Decatur county. 

1848 — James Morgan, representative, Decatur county. 

1849 — William J. Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 

1850 — Robert H. Crawford, representative, Decatur county. 

185 1 — John Stevens, representative, Decatur county. 

1853 — Alex. L. Underwood, representative, Decatur county. 

1855 — Samuel A. Bonner, representati\e, Decatur county. 

1857 — Davis Batterton, representative, Decatur county. 

*t 1 858-59 — William J. Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 

*ti86i — Ira C. Grover, representative, Decatur county. 

1863 — Daniel \^an Buskirk, representative, Decatur county. 

*ti865 — William H. Bonner, representative, Decatur county. 

1867 — William A. JNIoore, representative, Decatur county. 

*i-i869 — Oliver P. Gilham. representative: David M. Stewart, joint 
representative: Decatur and Rush counties. 

1871 — William T. Strickland, representative: Benjamin T. Hill, joint 
representati\'e : Decatur and Rush counties. 

*i872-73 — George Goudie, representative: John D. Miller, joint repre- 
sentative : Decatur and Rush counties. 

*ti875 — John ^^^ Shaw, representative: Barker Brown, joint represen- 
tative : Ripley, Rush and Decatur counties. 

*ti877 — Zachariah T. Riley, representative: Arch M. Kennedy', joint 
representative; Ripley, Rush and Decatur counties. 


*ti879 — John S. Donnell, representative; Chester E. Faulkner, joint 
representative; Ripley, Rush and Decatur counties. 

*ti88i — James B. Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 
1883 — Oscar L. Pulse, representative, Decatur county. 
*ti885 — Erastus L. Floyd, representative, Decatur county. 
1887 — William R. Pleak, representative, Decatur county. 
1889 — James B. Robinson, representative, Decatur county. 
1 89 1 — Jacob L. Doll, representative, Decatur county. 
1893-5 — Marshal Newhouse, representative, Decatur county. 
1897 — William H. Goddard, representative, Decatur county. 
1899 — John W. Holcomb, representative, Decatur county. 
1 90 1 — Noah T. Rogers, representative, Decatur county. 
1903 — Henry B. Sherman, representative, Decatur county. 
1905-7 — Webb Woodfill, representative, Decatur county. 
1909 — Jethro C. Meek, representative, Decatur county. 
191 1 — S. B. Eward, representative, Decatur county. 
1913-15 — W. J. Kincaid, representative, Decatur county. 

* Special session. 

t Regular session. . ' 



The townships of Decatur county were organized by the county board 
in the following order: Washington, May 14, 1822; Fugit, May 14, 1822; 
Adams, May 14, 1822; Sand Creek, May 2, 1825; Clinton, July 6, 1829; 
Marion, May 3, 1831 ; Jackson, in March 1834; Clay, March 3, 1836; Salt 
Creek, September 6, 1836. 


On May 14, 1822, the county commissioners established Adams town- 
ship with the following limits : Beginning at the county line on the township 
line dividing townships 10 and 11, range 8, thence east with the township line 
to the line dividing sections 32 and ^^, range 9, township 11; thence north 
to the southwest corner of section 21 in the town and range aforesaid; 
thence east to the southwest corner of section 23, range 9, township 1 1 ; 
thence north with the section line to -the southwest corner of section 14, 
thence east to the southwest comer of section 17, range 10, township 11; 
thence north with the section line to the county line ; thence west with the 
county line to the northwest corner of said county ; thence south with the 
county line to the place of beginning. 

This was one of the three original townships laid out in the county, and 
has been cut down three different times: First, by the formation of Clay 
township in 1825, sections 27, 26, 25, 30, 34, 35, 36 and 31, township 11, 
range 8, being cut off to give Clay its present size ; second, when Clinton 
township was formed, Adams suffering the loss of fourteen whole sections 
and five half-sections, township 11, range 9, as follow: 2t,, 24, 14, 13, 18, 
II, 12, 7, 2, I, 6. 35, 31 and the half sections, 34, 3, 10, 15 and 22; third, 
two sections, 19 and 20, township 11, range 9, were added to Washington 
township. This left the limits of Adams rather ill defined and after the 
last cut was made from this township, is found the following extract in 
the minutes of the commissioners' records: Adams township limits (Vol. i, 
page 135) : "On May 2, 1825, the limits of Adams township were rede- 
fined by the board of justices as follows : Beginning at the county line on the 


range line dividing ranges 9 and 10; thence south fi\'e miles to the southeast 
corner of section 24, range 9, township 1 1 ; thence west to the county line ; 
thence with the county line to the place of beginning." 


Prior to 1818 a small portion of southeastern Indiana, only, had been 
purchased from the Indians and partially settled. In that year a treaty was 
concluded with various triljes of Indians, by which most of the land in the 
interior of the state, south of the Wabash river and not previously purcliased, 
was deeded to the United States. Immediately, emigrants began to push their 
way into the "New Purchase," as it was called. The lands were not yet sur- 
veyed nor ready for sale; still, choice selections could be made preparatory 
to purchase when the land should be offered for sale — the "squatter," in the 
meantime, clearing a small piece of ground in some eligible situation, where 
he hoped soon to buy. This small tract, with the game, which was abundant, 
produced sufficient to satisfy his wants. 


The first white man to take up his abode in Adams township is believed 
to have been John Gullion. He came from Switzerland county, and was an 
old Revolutionary soldier — said to have been perfectly irrepressible and 
uncontrollable in battle. He had been shot through the cheek and mouth in 
some of the battles of that war, and was greatly disfigured. It is believed he 
visited the country above Big Flatrock in the fall of 1818, building a "shanty" 
and, perhaps, clearing some ground in the bottom near where the Michigan 
road crosses that stream. In the spring of 1819 he moved his family and 
took up his pemianent residence. In the same spring, Abraham Heaton set- 
tled about one mile further up that stream. He cleared land and raised a crop 
of corn in the bottom just below the mouth of Little Flatrock, in what in 
later years has been known as the Manley Kimble bottom. 

In November, 181 9, Edward Tannor arrived and settled on the school 
section near where Nelson Jewett now lives, building a shanty and covering 
it with laark taken from an al^andoned Indian shanty near 1>y. In the spring 
of 1820, Heaton was joined by Peter Zeigler and Philip Isley, who raised a 
crop of corn in the same bottom, Iniying corn of Heaton of the previous 
year's raising, at one dollar in silver per bushel. 

The Miami tribe of Indians were still in the country. The new settlers 


hunted with them, and Hved on terms of mutual friendship. In the fall of 
1820, the land, having been surveyed, was offered for sale at Brookville. 
Abraham Heaton bought one hundred and sixty acres where he had located. 
Peter Zeigler bought one hundred and sixty acres, which was soon after- 
ward sold to Martin Adkins, and is now owned by Joseph D. Pleak. He also 
bought one hundred and sixty acres just west of the present site of St. 
Omer, on which he lived until within a few years. Jonathan McCarty 
bought one hundred and sixty acres where the Michigan road crosses Big 
Flatrock; J. M. Robison, two hundred and forty acres immediately south of 
McCarty's, and J\Ir. Sanford, one hundred and sixty acres east of the same. 
Jonathan Paul entered a half section or more at the falls of Mill creek, near 
to the present St. Paul, and was one of the first, if not the very first, to 
erect a mill in the county. Col. \X. \V. Pearce entered one hundred and sixty 
acres one mile northwest of St. Omer, on the Michigan road, and William 
Peterson, one hundred and sixty acres just east of the present site of St. 
Omer. John Shelhorn entered lands between Big and Little Flatrock, and 
erected a mill on the latter stream about the time, or soon after, that Paul 
built on }ilill creek. Of course, these were small affairs compared with 
modern mills. They were devoted mostly to grinding corn, but were provided 
with bolts which were turned by hand and each customer had to turn his own 


Shelhorn also, in 1821, laid oft' a town on the bluft' immediately above 
the confluence of Big and Little Flatrock, called Rockville, which was the 
first town laid oft' in the county. The county line not yet having been 
established nor the county seat located, it was hoped to make it a county seat. 
The town plat is recorded at Brookville, and the only e\'idence of its existence 
in our records is in the records of deeds to certain lots — Main street and 
Broadway being given as part of the boundary. The site was a beautiful 
one for a town, but, failing to be made a county seat, all further effort to 
Iniild up a town was abandoned. 

David Jewett entered a considerable tract of land just east of Shelhorn, 
on Little Flatrock. Daniel Stoggsdill arrived either in the fall of 1820, 
or verj' early in 1821, and was the first minister of the gospel in this section 
of the country. His home was in the corner of Washington township, yet 
the church which he founded, and to which for a long time he ministere.d, 
was in Adams, with whose people he would be more properlv classed than 


anywhere else. The same may be said of Richard Guthrie, who settled 
in 182 1, in the corner of Clay, just below the present town of Adams. Solo- 
mon Turpin entered one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clifty, where 
the Michigan road crosses that stream, and Jonas Long, it is believed, the 
same year entered eighty acres one mile farther west, just east of the present 
town of Adams. Rev. Joel Clark entered lands in the east part of the town- 
ship in 182 1, where Phillip Martin subsequently lived. He was a Baptist 
minister and quite an old man at that time. His son, Austin Clark, was a 
Methodist exhorter and, in connection with Jonathan Tindale, who came at 
the same time, established the first Methodist society in the township. Archi- 
bald Clark, a brother of Austin, settled on Little Flatrock, near the center of 
the township. Joseph Lee came in the fall of this year and settled on the 
school section. Enoch McCarty, Hershon Lee, Daniel Howard, and perhaps 
others, were in the county, but had not at this date, entered lands with a pros- 
pect of becoming pennanent residents. 

Enoch James, a young man who had accompanied a family to which 
he was related, was the first to procure a marriage license in the township, 
and, it is believed, in the county. He was married in the spring of 1822. 


Jonathan McCarty and Edward Tannor were the first justices of the 
peace, elected in 1823. The first postoffice was established in 1822, or 1823; 
\'V. W. Pierce was postmaster. The mails were carried on horseback from 
Lawrenceburgh to Indianapolis, once in two weeks, and afterwards weekly. 
The streams were all unlaridged, and in times of high water, which sometimes 
continued for weeks, the mail carrier had no means of crossing but to swim. 
A canoe was usually kept at the crossing, and sometimes he would go over 
in that with the mail bags, swimming the horse by the side of the canoe ; but 
if the canoe happened to be on the other side, or no one could be found to 
row it, he would plunge boldly in, protecting the mail bags as best he could. 
Samuel Frazier was for a long time the carrier, a good-natured, lively young 
fellow, and, let the weather or streams be what they would, he seldom failed 
to get the mails through on time. He was long remembered by the old set- 
tlers on that route. 


This sketch would be imperfect if it did not give some idea of the 
state of the country and of the difficulties these first settlers had to encounter, 


yet no description can give to one who never saw the country in its native 
wildness, any just conception of what it was. Half the country seemed to 
be under water, hence settlers mostly selected lands near water courses, where, 
the lands being more broken, dryer situations could be found. In passing 
from Flatrock to Clifty, in the spring of the year, and sometimes a good 
part of the year, water from one to three feet deep would have to be waded 
for near half the distance, the scene being enlivened by the croaking of 
innumerable frogs, and occasionally by a deer which went bounding through, 
or over, the thickets of spice and other underbrush. 

Of roads there were none that deserved the name. Wilson's "trace," 
from Napoleon through by the present site of Greensburg and on to Flat- 
rock, and perhaps farther west; Freel's "trace," which, branching off from 
the former at the big fallen timber, ran through by the forks of Clifty and 
on to Connersville ; and another from Brookville, through or near the present 
town of Clarksburg and on to the settlements on Clifty and Flatrock, were 
the roads followed by settlers. The trees along the route were merely 
"blazed," and a few brushes cut out. The logs that could be easily removed 
were taken from the track, and others were frequently crossed by piling 
chunks on each side which enabled the teams to draw the wagons over. 

There were no mills in the country, and meal was made by pounding 
corn in a mortar. This was made by burning a hole a foot or so deep in a 
solid sugartree, beech or other log, setting this up on end and erecting over 
this something exactly like a well sweep, only, in place of rope or chain to 
attach to a bucket, was a pole with the butt end down, .and fitted nicely to 
the shape of the mortar. A small portion of corn was put in at a time and 
pounded till sufficiently fine, and the coarse parts removed by a sieve. This 
process, hard and tedious as it was, was easier for most than going to mill — 
the most convenient being four miles below Brookville. Colonel Pierce, who 
was the first to sow wheat in the township, and perhaps in the countv, that 
being in the fall of 182 1, was compelled to go to that distance to get it ground 
— taking two days to go and two to come back. 


It was some years before a store was established in the township, the 
nearest being Benson's, where Spring Hill now is, and at Arthur Major's, 
two or three miles below the present St. Paul. But very little store goods 
sufficed in that day: all articles of wear were home-made; spinning and 
weaving were a part of the regular employment of the women of every 


household, wool being carded into rolls for spinning by hand, and flax was 
frequently partly prepared for spinning by the same hands; some, before 
flax could be raised, substituted nettles, which grew luxuriantly on bottom 
land to the height of three or four feet; when they had lain sufficiently 
long to become rotted, they were prepared the same as flax, and made a 
very good article of linen. Garments were made with but little regard to 
fashion. The men sometimes wore what was called a hunting-shirt, fringed 
round the edges with red or blue fringes, and a coonskin cap, with the 
striped tail hanging down the Ijack — these being the only efforts at style. 

The women wore dresses of home-made linsey, or linen striped with 
indigo or copperas color, to suit the taste, exactly such as can be seen at 
the present day worn by emigrants from the mountainous regions of Ten- 
nessee and North Carolina. Deerskins were, after a home tanning, con- 
verted into moccasins. Some of the more well-to-do aspired to shoes (boots 
were not thought of), but one pair usually lasted a good while, and so care- 
ful were the girls of their shoes, that it was the custom, when they w'ent to 
meeting, to carry their shoes and stockings in their hands, putting them on 
only when they arrived within a short distance of the meeting-house. Hats 
were frequently made of buckeye splits, plaited and sewn together, and were 
quite a stylish article when new, the only draw-back being that after two or 
three wettings they turned a mouldy, dirty-looking brown color that was 
anything but handsome. 

^^'olves, though not very numerous, were still troublesome to those 
who attempted to keep sheep. Rattlesnakes were abundant, and, though a 
source of great dread, yet accidents from this source were not frequent. On 
one occasion about seventy were killed in one day near Paul's mill, where 
they had crawled out from their den in the rocks. This was considened 
rather better than an ordinary day for snakes. 

Horses were turned out. after work, to range in the forest, as it was 
impossible to procure food otherwise, the precaution being taken to fasten 
a bell to the neck in order that they might be easily found in the morning. 
But, as the season advanced, the malaria from the swamps, coupled with 
the continued hardship and exposure, began to tell on the settlers, and nearly 
all were afflicted with chills and fever. Some continued to shake until Christ- 
mas, others recovering in a few days or weeks ; sometimes they were scarcely 
well enough to attend the sick, yet very few cases were fatal, whether from 
the mildness of the malady or the scarcity of doctors, it would be impossible 
to tell. 



One year was noted for a wonderful l)eech mast. This l^rought in the 
pigeons by the millions, squirrels also, and the wild turkeys in vast numbers. 
It was no uncommon thing to see the whole heavens covered for hours at a 
time, like a cloud, with pigeons going to the roost in the evening or return- 
ing in the morning. Squirrels were so thick as to, in some instances, destroy 
whole fields of corn in the fall; the trees left standing gave them shelter, 
so that they ra\-aged all parts of the field alike. Squirrel hunts were some- 
times made to try to exterminate them, and it was not uncommon for one 
man to kill one hundred and fifty in a day. Turkeys, too, were so abundant 
that frequently only the breast was sa\'ed to dry, the balance of the carcass, 
though fat and fine, being thrown away. Hogs multiplied rajndly and, 
feed being abundant in the woods, they soon sought their li\ing there alto- 
gether, and became as wild as the deer. Almost everyone had wild hogs 
in the woods and those who had not. bought a real or pretended claim from 
someone else; these claims never ran out or became worthless while the 
hogs lasted, there being no first mortgages to come in, as in later times, to 
swallow up all minor interests. In the fall or beginning of winter it was 
the custom to go to the woods, strike a camp, and hunt and kill wild hogs 
till enough were secured for the year's supply. The hogs, being almost 
wholly unmarked, few could tell their own from others, nor did they seem 
at all particular, the fact that one had a claim being thought sufficient to 
justify him in taking the first he came to. 


The temperance reformation had not yet commenced and all classes 
used whiskey as a regular beverage. To supply this want, whiskev being 
thought indispensable, still-houses were very early erected, and there have 
been as many as six in a township, though not all in operation at one time. 
They have long since disappeared, yet their influence probably long sur- 
vived them. 


Amidst all disadvantages, the interests of education, morality and re- 
ligion were not wholly neglected. Rude school houses were put up by the 
voluntary aid of contiguous neighbors. A log was usually cut out of the 
wall on one side and over this greased paper was pasted, this serving for a 


window. Under this was the writing-desk — a board laid on pins, driven in 
the wall ; and the seats were split puncheons, without backs. The teachers, 
sometimes, very well matched the school house, while some would compare 
very well with those of the present day. People with such rude surround- 
ings sometimes gained a very good practical knowledge of arithmetic, going 
clear through and doing every sum in a single quarter, a feat that under 
modern teaching is seldom accomplished under three or four, so little do 
the surroundings of a scholar have to do with his ad\-ancement. 

The present officers of Adanis township are: Trustee, L. A. Jewett; 
assessor, Ed Shower; advisory board, William Larrigan, J. S. Townsend 
and Manford Slifer; road supervisors, Ed Hoffman, T. M. Fa\or, George 
Smith and Thomas Teitsort. 

The little village of St. Omer is located in section 2, Adams township, 
and appeared on the horizon for the first time in 1834, when it was laid out 
by John Griffin and A. Major. It is on the old Michigan road and was for- 
merly an important trading center of Adams township. Scattered along 
either side of the famous old thoroughfare, which is the main street of the 
little village, may be seen quaint old cottages, once the home of happy and 
contented people. The first building in the town dates from 1830. The 
Michigan road was once an Indian trail which wound its way through this 
country, and, from the opening of the "New Purchase" to settlement, the 
trail became the main road from the southeastern part of the state to the 
new capital at Indianapolis. With the opening of the Michigan road by 
government and state aid, in the early part of the thirties, taverns sprang 
up at intervals throughout its entire length, and these taverns, in many in- 
stances, became the centers of hopeful villages. In St. Omer may still be 
seen a few buildings which were once used as taverns. The Wilder prop- 
erty was once such a tavern. 


In the early forties, St. Omer began to see visions of a railroad, but the 
vision was all the people ever saw. The present Big Four was first planned 
to run through the village, but subsequent surveys showed that it would miss 
the town by about two miles. Another projected road which was to pass 
through St. Omer was a line from Greensburg, part of which was actually 
graded. However, this line never materialized, and since that time the town 


has given up hopes of ever ha\-ing a railroad. This projected road explains 
the huge cuts and fills which may still be seen along the Michigan road be- 
tween Greensburg and Shelbvville. The work had even proceeded so far 
that part of the abutments for the bridge across Flatrock were in place. 
Thousands of dollars were expended, to say nothing of the time and labor 
and blasted hopes. 

An interesting incident connected with this \isionary railroad was a 
clan feud between the Irish laborers of Shelb}-\-ille and those stationed at 
St. Omer. So bitter became this strife that they took their old flint-lock 
muskets with them to their work day after day and stacked their arms along 
the right of way, to be used in case trouble might arise. Several skirmishes 
actually occurred and some blood was shed, but there were no fatalities. 

Few people know that the timber was prepared for the construction of 
a depot in St. Omer, but such was the case. The depot was to stand on a 
spot just south of the later residence of Wesley Wilder, but when it was 
decided to change the route of the railroad, the timbers were hauled to St. 
Paul and became a part of the residence of Joseph Eck. So much for the 
railroad history of St. Omer. 


The subscription school furnished all of the education for the young- 
sters of St. Omer before the adoption of the new Constitution in 1851. 
^Vhen the system of free schools came into operation, in that year, St. 
Omer was divided between two school districts, one school house being in 
the village and the other in the woods near where John Leach later lived. 
This did not prove satisfactory and in 1856 the citizens of the village 
secured a graded school and placed it in the hands of Franklin Pearce and 
Samantha Mann, the mother of Dr. E. Jewett. A few weeks after school 
began, Mr. Pearce was hit on the head with a stick of wood in the hands 
of one of his pupils, and killed. Whether it was accidental or intentional, 
is uncertain. The school was one of the best in this section of the state at 
the time. Latin, German, algebra, music and other higher branches were 
included in the curriculum. The present school building was erected in 1879. 


There have been three churches in St. Omer, the Methodist Episcopal, 
Presbyterian and L^nited Brethren. The Presbyterian church was destroyed 


l)y fire several years ago and never rebuilt, tradition saying that the church 
was burned as the result of some courageous preacher pointing out in too 
plain a manner the future destiny of a certain young man whose agricultural 
efforts were devoted to the sowing of the wrong kind of oats. The history 
of the other churches is given elsewhere in this volume. 

St. Omer has never boasted of a large population and today can scarceh^ 
claim over half a hundred. There were never any factories of any import- 
ance in the village, but from the earliest history of its career there were 
artisans capable of supplying most of the local wants. Plows, wagons, sad- 
dles and harness, hats, beds and many other articles have been made here in 
a small way. Coopers, butchers, blacksmiths, wood-workers, carpenters, and 
even tailors, have pursued their trade here in the past. At one time there 
were four general stores, two drug stores, a hotel or two, and the ubiquituous 
saloon in St. Omer, and all of them appeared to thrive. John F. Harwood 
opened the first hotel and Harvey Vaupelt established the first store. Today 
there is not a single store in the village, the proximity of St. Paul, two miles 
away, having made it impossible for a local merchant to continue in business. 


The history of this once prosperous little hamlet cannot be dismissed 
without mentioning an interesting dream of its former inhabitants. Before 
the Civil War, St. Omer entertained aspirations of being a county seat. A 
project, fathered by some politicians, proposed to make a new county out 
of parts of Decatur, Shelby and Rush counties, with St. Omer as the county 
seat. However, so much opposition was encountered that the proposal never 
did anything more than raise the hopes of the guileless people of St. Omer. 
The promoters of the new county even went so far as to select the site for 
the new court house, the site being located across the road and west of 
Smith's garage. The failure of the new-county scheme and the shifting of 
the railroad, two miles to the west, was the death-knell of St. Omer. Its 
oldest citizens can still tell of the halcyon days when they fondly imagined 
great things for the town. They planned for its future with every confi- 
dence in the promises of the railroad people, and likewise gave every 
encouragement to the county-seat proposal — l)ut, alas, it was all in vain. 

The village of Adams is situated on the Big Four railroad and also the 
interurban line. It is only five miles from Greensburg and in the extreme 


southern part of the township bearing the same name. The village was laid 
out by Aaron H. Womack, January i, 1855, two years after the completion 
of the railroad through this township. It is located in the center of a rich 
agricultural district and, although there has been a great falling off in the 
population of some of the smaller towns since the general influx to the cities 
began, Adams has continued to grow. Mr. Womack was the first merchant 
in the village, although William Gouldsbury is credited as being the first 
settler. Mr. Gouldsbury erected the first residence in the town and also 
established the first industrial enterprise in the form of a blacksmith shop 
and wagon works. Around this nucleus soon gathered a prosperous settle- 
ment of industrious, intelligent and progTessi\'e people. 

Adams was incorporated in September, 1877, for school purposes, but 
the school was taught only one term under corporate management. Confu- 
sion and jealousies arising among the officers and citizens, it was determined, 
by a unanimous vote, to abolish the corporation and return to the manage- 
ment of the township trustee. 

The business interests of Adams in 191 5 are as follows: Auctioneer, A. 
F. Eubank; barber, George Baumgartner: blacksmith, J. S. Hichney and I 
N. Con, John Inman, Charles Adkins; boarding house, Mrs. Mae Long- 
street; contractor, James Inman; elevator, Albert Boling; general merchan- 
dise, Arthur Toothman, J. J. Mull, Walter Marshall; implements, L. R. 
Davis; livery, William Jackson; meat market, A. R. Coy; physician, M. A. 
Tremain; paper hanger, Ed Shauer; restaurant and confectionery, A. R. 
Coy; veterinary, Morton Tanner. 

Adams has a well organized band of fifteen members, with Justin 
Guthrie as leader. They were organized in the winter of 19 13 and ha\e 
two thousand dollars invested in instruments. This band has recently pur- 
chased new uniforms and renders concerts during the summer months for 
the entertainment of the townspeople. 

Adams is accommodated by the Big Four railroad, with A. R. Coy as 
agent, and also the electric line, with Arthur Toothman as agent. Grace 
Jackson is the present postmistress. The town has a population of four hun- 
dred people. 


Downeyville is a small hamlet in Adams township. This village was 
never platted and, although the name covers considerable space on the county 
map, there are only four or five houses in the cluster that marks the town 
limits. The business interests, which consist of a general store, are con- 
ducted by J. F. Downey & Sons. 



Few of the present generation know that the first town laid out within 
the present Hmits of Decatur county was located in Adams township. 
Shortly after land in the "New Purchase" was offered for sale at Brook- 
ville, Abraham Heaton bought one hundred and sixty acres in section 6 of 
Adams township. In the early part of the following year John Shelhorn 
entered a tract in the same section and these two men conceived the idea of 
laying out a town above the confluence of Big and Little Flatrock. The 
county of Decatur had not yet been organized and no one, of course, knew 
how much territory the new county might include. Heaton and Shelhorn 
hoped to induce the authorities to select the site of their proposed town for 
the county seat and when they laid out their town provided for a public 
square. On the Franklin county records may still be seen the town of Rock- 
ville, which these two enterprising Yankees laid out in the early spring of 
1 82 1. The plat was recorded at Brook ville, February 19, 1821 (Deed record 
E, page 76), and shows one hundred and eight lots. The streets were one 
chain in width and seventy-five links in length. The plat shows the following 
streets : Main, Broadway, Walnut, Water, Mulberry and Market. While 
the site was a beautiful one, the proprietors never realized anything from 
their patriotic efforts to make it a town. During the following year the 
locating commissioners placed the county seat of the new county at Greens- 
burg and thus blasted any hopes that Heaton and Shelhorn might have en- 
tertained for their town. The present town of Downeyville is in the neigh- 
borhood of this long- forgotten, prospective county seat of Decatur county. 

The town of St. Paul came into existence at the time the Big Four 
railroad was built through Decatur county, in 1853. The town is on the line 
between Decatur and Shelby counties, although the greater part of the town 
is in Decatur county. Jonathan Paul was the first settler to locate on the 
present site of St. Paul, entering all of section 33, township 11, range 8, 
except eighty acres; the patent for this large tract being dated October 20, 
1820. The Pauls came from Jefferson county, Indiana, where one of the 
members of the family had laid out the town of Madison. A sister of Jona- 
than Paul became the wife of William Hendricks, congressman. United 
States senator and governor of Indiana. 


The original Paul home in Adams township, Decatur county, was a log 
cabin near the road, at the foot of the present Paul Hill cemetery, at St. 
Paul. There was a semblance of a village many years before the town was 
laid out, the hamlet being known as Paultown. The older residents still 
speak of the place as Paultown, but few of the present generation are aware 
of the first name. 

The first Paul cabin burned a few years after it was erected and another 
log structure was built on the same spot, which ser\'ed as a home for the 
family until the erection of a substantial brick building. The contract for 
the erection of the brick house was let to Daniel French, who made the 
brick near where the house was built. The evidence of this worthy con- 
tractor's work still stands in St. Paul and bids fair to stand for many years 
yet to come. Shortly after getting his first cabin erected, Paul established a 
rude mill on Mill creek, a short distance above where the later Paul mill 
stood. This first mill — and it was probably the first mill in the county — 
was not much larger than a smoke-house, but it served the purpose for which 
it was built. He ground only corn and this was done in an old-fashioned 
hand "hopper." 

A few years after Jonathan Paul put his first mill into operation, his 
son, John Paul,. built another inill a short distance below the old mill and 
operated it by water-power. Sometime later John Paul saw that there was 
an excellent water-power site at the confluence of Mill creek and Flatrock 
and proceeded to build a woolen-mill on the west side of Mill creek near 
where it empties into Flatrock. He built a dam across Mill creek and the 
race which he constructed may still be seen. John Paul also had a saw-mill 
near the same place, deriving his power for its operation from Flatrock. 
The two mills were close together and it was his original intention to utilize 
the same race for both mills, but such a plan was found impracticable. These 
two mills gave employment to several men and were the means of attractmg 
a number of families to the little hamlet of Paultown, or "Bull Town," as it 
was frequently called. In the spring of 1847 the two mills were swept away 
by a flood and Paul also saw his dam across Flatrock disappear at the same 


From 1847 to 1854 was a period of depression in the once thriving vil- 
lage, but with the building of the railroad through the place in the latter 
year, things began to look more auspicious. Paul rebuilt his mill, and, with 
the assistance of his son-in-law. Erastus ]\I. Flovd, laid out the town into 


lots; giving it at the same time, the name of St. Paul. From that time 
forward the town had prospered and today is one of the best trading centers 
in the count}'. By 1859 the town had increased in population until fnat year 
saw the erection of thirty buildings. According to a local account, there 
were the following enterprises in St. Paul in 1859: Merchants — Caldwell 
& Dorsey, Drummond & Buell, Ridlin & Company, John DeArmond and 
Benjamin Jenkins ; steam and water mills — George Wooden ; cabinet shop — • 
Hann & Raymond; two hotels; woolen factory — John Paul, and a number 
of other industries. 

A word should be said regarding the old Paul mill, which no longer 
greets the eye of the fisherman as he wanders along Mill creek in search of 
chubs and slickjacks. Amateur photographers no longer compete in efl:'orts 
to get the best pictures of the building, with its quaint overshot wheel. The 
old mill was razed in 1909 and nothing now remains of an industry which 
was once a boom to the settlers who flocked from far and near to take their 
turns in getting their grist ground. Never again will the curious gather 
to watch the water, freed from the race by the lifting of the old water gate, 
rush down over the wheel and fill the buckets. The hum of the old French 
burrs is silenced forever; no more will the youth of the village, stripped to 
the skin, stand under the falls of the race overflow ; no more will boys borrow 
the old miller's spade, with which to dig worms when fishing in the old mill 
race; no more will they parch corn on the top of the old box-stove, fired 
with cobs, and listen to the miller's stories of pioneer days. 


The first school house in St. Paul stood on the site of the store now 
owned by the Benning Brothers, and the second one was located where 
Walter Hungerford's residence now stands. School was also held for a 
time in the second story of Oddfellow hall, now the carriage and buggy fac- 
tory of Jacob Johannes. During the early seventies a school was main- 
tained in both the Methodist and Catholic churches. After leaving Odd- 
fellow hall, the public school was stationed in the building now owned by 
Henry Neidigh, which was also used for religious purposes at the same 
time. In 1870 the school district built a school house about one hundred 
feet back of where the present school building now stands. This building 
was used until it was destroyed by fire in 1901, and, until the completion of 
the present building in the following year, the Floyd building was used for 
school purposes. 


The first church building dates from 1857 wlien the different denomi- 
nations of the town erected what they called a union church. Each denom- 
ination interested in the erection of this edifice was to be allowed to use it 
at regular intervals, but it seems that, owing to the predominance of the 
Lutherans, it was commonly known as the Lutheran church. However, 
other denominations used it for services for a few years. Just when the 
Lutherans gained complete control of the building is not known; hut it is 
certain that it was unused several years previous to the time the Christian 
church got possession of it in 1874. The Christians seemed to ha\'e rented 
it until 1892 when they purchased it and made many extensive improvements 
in it. The Methodists built about 1858 and the Catholics in the same year. 
I'he first Methodist church burned in 1892 and in the same year the present 
church was erected. The Catholics are still using the church thev built in 


The stone industry in St. Paul was started in the 'fifties bv John Scan- 
Ian, who established a stone quarry south of town, which gave emplovment 
to a large number of men. Later, William Lowe established a quarry at the 
junction of Mill creek and Flatrock, on the site of the old woolen-mill. 
Later H. C. Adams opened a quarry opposite the Lowe quarry on Flatrock. 
In 1 913 P. J. McAuliffe, who had leased the Lowe quarry, some years 
previously, closed the quarry as a result of the extensive damages suffered 
by the March flood of that year. In 1907 Greely Brothers built a large 
stone crusher on Flatrock east of town. This is one of the largest concerns 
of its kind in Indiana and produces from fifteen to twenty car loads of 
crushed stone daily. In addition to crushed stone for road material, a large 
amount of what is locally known as "dimension" stone is quarried. This 
stone ranks second in the state to Bedford stone and is shipped for building 
purposes all over the United States. It was used in the construction of the 
custom house at Cincinnati and in the state house at Indianapolis. The 
only other industry of any importance now in St. Paul is the buggv' factory 
of Jacob Johannes. This was established by the present proprietor in 1878 
and has been in continuous operation since that year. Formerly carriages 
were manufactured as well as buggies, but at the present time only buggies 
are made. The factory has an annual capacity of one hundred buggies and 
on an average of se\-enty-five are now made each year. Only first-class 
vehicles are turned out and the product finds a ready sale, despite the heavv 
inroads which the automobile has made in the vehicle industry. In addition 


to the manufacture of buggies, Mr. Johannes does a large amount of repair 

The first merchant in St. Paul was a man by the name of Hungate, 
who sold a little of everything, as was the custom in those days. The busi- 
ness enterprises of the town change from year to year, and scarcely a year 
passes that there is not some change in firms. New enterprises are being 
added from year to year, and it is impossible to predict what a new year 
will bring forth. 

A survey of the business and professional interests of St. Paul in the 
summer of 1915 discloses the following: Automobiles, St. Paul Hardware 
Company; bakery, St. Paul Baking Company; barbers, Jacob Wise, William 
Favors, Carl Brooks; blacksmiths, Merritt Copeland, ManHef & McAuliffe; 
buggy factory, Jacob Johannes ; building and loan association, George W. 
Boling, secretary; bank, St. Paul Banking Co., Orlando Hungerford, owner; 
cement products, Joseph Eck ; carpenters, George W. Swartz, Albert Hay- • 
mond, Miller Brothers; dentist, Leshe Rivers; drugs, Dr. D. J. Ballard, 
H. H. Gladish; elevator, William Nading; feed and milling products, W. 
T. Bolhng; flowers, Mrs. H. W. Ballard; furniture, Charles H. Wiley; gen- 
eral stores, R. D. Templeton, L. A. Jewett & Son, A. B. Mulroy; groceries, 
Benning Brothers, John B. McKee, James Embry; harness, Garrett & Con- 
rad ; hardware, Boiling & Thompson, I. W. Martin ; hotel, Diltz & Adams ; 
ice dealer, F. M. Favors; ice cream parlor, Mrs. H. H. Gladish; insurance, 
Mrs. John Harwood, George W. Boiling; interurban agent, Joseph Miller; 
implements, W. W. Townhend; jeweler, C. F. Kappes; livery, Ottis 
Thompson; lumber and building supplies, John Sinipson & Son; meat mar- 
ket, Carl G. Wolfe; millinery, Mrs. B. F. Mason; moving pictures, Howard 
& Pleak; newspaper, St. Paul Telegram^ O. C. Pearce, editor; notions, B. 
F. Mason; painter and paper hanger, Amos Dodds, Orla Wadkins, Pearce 
& McAulifife; plumber, Garrett & Conrad; physicians, G. J. Martz. F. M. 
Howard, Earl Jewett, D. J. Ballard, William R. Turner ; pool rooms, Charles 
Neal, Wallace McCain, Bush Brothers; rural mail carriers, Clarence Ket- 
chum, Orla Guess, Denzel Doggett ; restaurant, Joseph Miller; stock buyer, 
Carl G. Wolfe; saloons, George Hess, Jasper Linville (both on the Shelby 
county side); Standard Oil Company agent, Charles Ross; tinner, George 
Scheiderman; undertaking, Charles H. Wiley; veterinarian, W. R. Chrisler. 



There was prol^ably more excitement in St. Paul during the summer of 
1912 than any time since the Civil War. Beginning on December 22, 191 1, 
there were a series of seven fires, in number, which wrought up the inhabitants 
of the little town to a high pitch of excitement, and if the guilty parties, sus- 
pected of being the cause of the fires, had been caught after the seventh fire, 
they might have expected severe treatment at the hands of the indignant 
citizens. The first fire took the elevator; the second, John West's residence; 
the third, the Big Four depot; the fourth, February 5, 1912, the drug and 
general store of Daniel Hazelrigg, as well as the postoffice, which was in 
his building. Hazelrigg's loss was about three thousand dollars, most of 
which was covered by insurance. The most destructive fire was the fifth one. 
On Alarch 12, 1912, the stores of A. F. Hier & Son and John R. Turner were 
burned to tiie ground and by this time the citizens began to investigate mat- 
ters. Many indications pointed to incendiaries and detectives were engaged 
to ferret out the cause of the many fires which had come so close together. 
But there was still more excitement yet to come. On May 3, 1912, the store 
and residence of William Kelso burned with all of their contents. The bark- 
ing of a dog in the middle of the night wakened the Kelso family and enabled 
them to save their lives. By this time the inhabitants of St. Paul were on 
the border of a panic and there was a mass meeting to decide upon somie 
definite plan of action to find out the cause of all these many fires. How- 
ever, the fears of the people gradually subsided and nothing was done. Just 
about the time that they had come to the conclusion that the fire-bug had 
decided to burn no more buildings in the town, the new residence of Dr. J. 
W. Bell burned to the ground on the night of July 10, 1912, and the seventh 
fire had occurred. According to the newspaper accounts, the same dog which 
had warned the Kelso family two months previously again appeared on the 
scene and, by his barking, awakened the Bell family. This was the first fire 
in which lives were nearly lost, Mrs. Bell being severely burned before she 
escaped from the house. As might be expected, the people of St. Paul were 
aghast at this final calamity, and determined to leave no stone unturned in 
an efifort to solve the cause of the seven fires which had taken place within a 
period of seven months. But it was to no avail ; the mystery ne\er has been 
solved, although some people had strong suspicion as to the guilty parties. 
Fortvmately, this fire of July to has been the last one inflicted on the suffering 



Ill the summer of 191 1, there arrived a big dog in St. Paul via the box 
car route. A brakeman, on opening a car, was astonished to see a dog of 
unusual size leap out and run down the railroad track. This particular dog 
was destined to become the hero of the fire-stricken town in the summer of 
1912. He was a friendly sort of a canine and was soon a favorite of every 
one in the town, and the whole town shared in providing him with dainty 
bones and all those delicacies dear to the palate of a dog. When the assessor 
came around in the spring of 191 2 and began to inquire concerning the 
ownership of the dog, he was told that the dog belonged to the town. Such 
an ownership was a puzzler for the assessor and he was in a quandry how 
to collect the two dollars from the town. But he was soon to find out to 
what .degree the dog had endeared himself to the citizens of the town. The 
business men took up a collection for "Big John," and thus satisfied the 
craving of the law and thereby gave the dog another year of legal existence. 

This is only half of the interesting story of this dog. The grateful 
citizens wanted to show their appreciation of his valuable barking and finally 
decided to present his dogship with a gold collar. The collar bore the engrav- 
ing, "Big John. Hero. May 3, 1912, St. Paul, Ind." This inscription will 
enlighten the world where he mingles that this canine is a real hero, and that 
in St. Paul, Indiana, a dog has appreciati^'e friends. 


Clay township was organized in March, 1836, and was laid off by the 
board of commissioners of Decatur county at their March term for that year. 
It is bounded as follows, to-wit : Beginning at the county line on the section 
line dividing sections 22 and 2"], town 8, range 11 ; thence east four miles to 
the northeast corner of section 30, town 11, range 9: thence south eight miles 
to the township line dividing townships 9 and 10 : thence west to the county 
line; thence with the county line to the place of beginning: 

This township bears the distinction of being the only one in the county 
which contains an entire congressional township. It is composed of the 
whole of township 10, range 8, and six sections of town 10, range 9, six sec- 
tions of town II, range 8, and two sections of town 11, range 9. After this 
township was organized, and evidently on the same day, the board made 
the following entry on the record: "Ordered that sections 4, 5. 6, 7, 8 and 9, 


in range 8', township 9, l)e attached to the township of Clay." This gives 
the township its present limits. 

The history of the settlement of Clay township may be divided into four 
parts, namely: The Buck-run settlement; the Clifty settlement; the ]\liddle 
Fork settlement and the Duck Creek settlement. 


The first to settle here was Milton Williamson, who, in 1822, with his 
family, located in the northeast part of the township. William Hartford and 
Bartemus Johnston, soon afterward (the same year), moved in and settled 
on this section. These three assisted each other in raising houses, clearing 
lands, and soon succeeded in establishing pleasant and comfortable houses — 
for that time. 

In 1823 Caleb Stark settled on the c|uarter south of. and adjoining, the 
other three, the farm known as the Buck-Run spring, on the Vandalia road. 
He held the office of county commissioner at the time of contracting for and 
during the erection of the present court house. He lived to see the fruits of 
his labors in the development of many of the other interests of the county. 
The same year, Daniel Stoggsdell (or, "Elder" Stoggsdell) settled on Buck- 
Run, just above Mr. Stark, in which region, and afterwards throughout that 
and adjoining counties, he preached the Gospel in "God's first temples," the 
groves. He was many years ago gathered to his fathers, but "his works 
do follow him." 

In 1823 David Johnson settled on the "quarter" north of Mr. Stark, 
where he lived until the year 1834, when he moved to Missouri. In the same 
year, George W. and Jeremiah V. King, emigrants from Maryland, settled 
in the same section. In 1835 George W. removed to a farm adjoining the 
small village of Needmore (since changed to ]\Iilford — the name being 
derived from the fact of a mill being erected at the ford, near that place), 
where he died some years thereafter. 


In 1823', Doddridge Alley, an industrious and energetic farmer, removed 
from the Saltcreek settlement, in Franklin county, and located on Clifty. 
about one mile north of the place where Milford now stands. He was elected 
the first sheriff of the county, serving four years, and afterwards served two 
years in the state Legislature. ^Nlany amusing anecdotes are told of him 


(some of which have some foundation of truth), and one of which is here 
related : 

On being elected to the Legislature, he started on his journey to the 
capital, on horseback, and arrived there in due season; but, on being ques- 
tioned by the clerk, it was found that he had forgotten his credentials. So 
he returned on his long, weary ride to obtain them. After a long night's 
ride he again made his appearance at the capital, and, on examination, his 
papers proved to be correct, when he was told that he was entitled to his 
seat. He replied: "No! no! I thank you; I have been riding hard all night, 
and I would rather stand." The clerk, accordingly, gave him the privilege. 
He lived on the farm he first settled on until the year 1861, when he died and 
was buried in a stone wall enclosure, with a beautiful monument upon it, 
which he had erected during his life. 

John Brinson was the founder of the town of Milford. In 1824 he 
removed to that place, and established a drinking saloon ; he lived there about 
five years, and then left for parts unknown. In the same year William 
Crawford moved to this place, made a plat of the town and lived there until 
1837, when he moved to Missouri. Elijah Martin settled three-fourths of 
a mile north of the town, in the same year, and in a short time moved away. 

In 1823, William Richie settled near Milford. where he lived until the 
year 1834, when he died. Mr. Richie was an old Revolutionary soldier, and 
was the first man buried in the graveyard in Milford. By his side sleep two 
of his comrades, William Crawford, and George W. King, Sr., who died in 
the ninety-third year of his age. 


In 1824, John Fugit, afterwards associate judge of Decatur county, settled 
in the central part of the township, on Middle Fork creek. He held the office 
of judge for a number of years, and died in the year 1846. James O'Laugh- 
lin settled, in the same year, in the same part of the county. He lived there 
a considerable length of time, from whence he moved to Milford. Richard 
Johnson settled at the same time and place, and died a resident of the same 
place. Walter and Jackson Braden settled in the year 1824, about two and 
one-half miles southeast of Milford, where they improved a considerable 
portion of the land. Jackson died at this place, in the year 1850. Walter 
Braden, a few years ago, removed to Greensburg, where he resided until his 
death. Thomas H. Miers settled one mile east of Milford, on the land 


adjoining \\'alter Braclen on the north, in the year 1824, and died at tlie same 
place in 1847. Samuel B. Todd, in the same year, settled about one and a 
hall miles south of Milford on the land which has long been known as the 
Hittle farm. He lived there until 1837, when he removed to Illinois. Abel 
Todd, a brother of the above, settled two and one-half miles southeast, on 
the land where James Byers later lived. He li\'ed there a short time, and 
removed to Iowa, where he died. David Douglass, a minister of the New- 
Light persuasion, settled in the year 1824, on the land later owned by Nelson 
Mowrey. He preached in the settlements adjoining him, lived to a good old 
age, and died on his farm. Patrick Ewing came from Kentucky in the year 
1826, settling on the land adjoining Mr. Douglass. He built a rude log hut, 
and in the yard there grew a small sprout about the size of a riding whip. 
He spared it, and it grew to a great tree of four feet in diameter. Under 
its boughs he reared a family of fifteen children. 


McClure Elliott, in the year 1824, settled on Duck creek, three miles 
west of Milford. William J. Lowrie, in the same year, settled two miles 
southwest of ^Milford, where he lived until 1852, when he died, and was 
buried by a large concourse of Sons of Temperance. 


The first scho'ol house was built on Dodridge Alley's land, in 1825. It 
was built of logs, with a fire-place occupying one end. Logs were sawed out 
at each side, greased paper being put in their place. This composed the 
model house of that time. Middle Fork school house was built in 1826. 
Buck Run and Duck Creek school houses were built in 1827. These school 
houses were used for preaching and for various other purposes. Harvey 
Harbinger was the first teacher in the Buck Run settlement and afterwards 
taught in the other districts. In 1836 the township was divided into districts. 
At this time the houses in the townships were built of logs. In 1837 a frame 
school house was ereced in Milford. This was the first structure here for 
school purposes which was built of frame. In a few years afterward frames 
were erected, which have now become useless, and brick school houses have 
been erected over the township. 



The Baptist, Methodist, New Light and Presbyterian denominations 
held meetings in the various school houses, from 1825 imtil 1832, when the 
Hardshell Baptists erected a church. In 1842 the Methodists erected a church 
in Mil ford. The Christians, in the year 1843, built a church in Mil ford. 
Salem church, near Milford, was built in 1833, ^Y the Associate Baptists. 
The history of the churches is found in another chapter. 


The first mill was established by Jesse Fugit, a son of Judge Fugit, in 
1825, and was run by horse-power. The first water-mill was built by Eli 
Critser, in 1826, near Adams, where the relics of the old Doddridge Alley* 
mill now stands. In 1838, James Rose erected a woolen factory one-half 
mile west of Milford, which was run by horse-power. Edward Warthin 
established a distillery near the same place in 1836, the only one ever erected' 
in the township; it continued for about five years. A tan yard was estab- 
lished in 1830 by a man named Wilkinson, on the land of Doddridge Alley.' 

The present officers of Clay township are as follows : Trustee, Francis' 
M. Pumphrey; assessor. William Wilson; advisory board, J. W. Corya, 
Frank Tompson ; road supervisors, John Kanouse, James Cor}', Ewing 
Arnold and Morgan J. Ewing. 

Clay is now the wealthiest township in the county, with the exception 
of Wasliington. The Columbus, Hope & Greensburg railroad runs east and 
west through this township and gives the inhabitants of this locality a ready 
outlet for their produce to the leading markets. It also has one railroad 
station on the Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville railroad, which cuts off a' 
small corner of the southeast part of the township. 


Milford is the oldest town in this township. It was platted and laid 
out by James Edwards, August 25, 1835, and was originally known by the 
name of Needmore; but just why this little village was encumbered with' 
such a name is left to the imagination of the reader. Later additions to the' 
original plat were made by William Crawford, George W. King, Silas Craig,' 
James L. Fugit and James Marshall. 

The first merchant to open a store in Milford and offer his wares for' 


sale was John Brinson. Mr. Brinson also bears the distinction of being the 
first merchant in Clay township and was well patronized by the early settlers 
who had taken up claims in this part of the county. The first millers to 
locate in this part of the county were the Critsers, who owned several mills 
along Clifty creek and for a time had a monopoly on the milling industry in 
this section. Their monopoly was contested for a time by William Burton, 
who owned and ran a horse-mill near Mil ford, to which he attached con- 
siderable importance. ]Mr. Burton put up a strong opposition for a time, but 
soon abdicated to the Critsers and left them in full sway. The first tannery 
was built and operated by James Wilkinson and ;\IcClure Elliott and fur- 
nished all the leather goods for the early consumption of the county. John' 
Henderson was the first blacksmith to settle here and ply his trade, and 
was familiarly known to the early settlers of the time, far and near, as' 
"Jackie." ^Ir. Henderson ironed the first wagon in this county for Fielding 
Peak. The first steam engine in this township was owned and operated by 
Edwin AVarthin, in 1836 or 1837. It was used to drive the machinery of a 
mill on Clifty creek, a short distance below Milford. This mill also bears 
the distinction of being the first steam grist-mill, with a bolting apparatus, in' 
the county. This was a great advertising asset to the owners, for it attracted' 
settlers from all parts of this section to see the mill in actual operation. 
Before this advancement, the mills had been run by water power supplied 
by Clifty creek. 

It is impossible to trace the various business changes in Milford from 
the beginning of the town down to the present time. The business interests 
of 1915 include three stores, owned by E. E. Lewis, J. E. Goff and Harry 
Peterson. The Lewis store is a well-stocked general mercantile establish- 
ment and is one of the best general stores in the county. The stores of Goff 
and Peterson carry only a small stock of groceries and depend for their 
patronage on the restaurants which they run in connection. Mr. Lewis also 
operates a restaurant and soda fountain in connection with his store. The 
village has one blacksmith, Lincoln Vandiver. There is no factorv of any 
kind in the town, although Albert Sanders operates a flour-mill on Clifty 
creek, a half mile from town. His mill is run by water power when there 
is plenty of water and by a gasoline engine at such times as the water power 
is insufficient. The professional interests of the village are represented by 
Dr. George S. Crawford, who has been practicing in the place for a period 
of forty years. The history of the lodges of Milford (the Masons and Odd 
Fellows) and the churches (Methodist and Christian) will be found in their 
respective chapters elsewhere in this volume. The town is incorporated for 


civil purposes only. The present town clerk is Doctor Crawford. The town 
once had a population of four hundred, hut now has only about one hundred. 

The village of Burney, in Clay townhsip, on the Columbus, Hope & 
Greensburg railroad, was laid out on May 2, 1882, by James C. Pulse. It 
has enjoyed a steady growth from the beginning and is now a thriving town, 
with flourishing business enterprises and many attractive and comfortable 
homes. A fine, modern school building and two churches, Methodist and 
Baptist, take care of the educational and religious life of the community. 
The business and professional interests in 191 5 are as follows: Bank, Burney 
State Bank; barber, Thomas J. Henderson; blacksmith, J. E. Wasson, G. M. 
Miner & Son; carpenter and contractor, Edward Clapp; coal dealer, Sidner 
& Price; dentist, Frank Davis; elevator, Sidner & Price; express, American 
Express Company; garage. Smiley & Dean; general store, A. E. Howe, J. C. 
Hayes, H. C. Lawrence ; hardware, McCullough Hardware Co. ; hotel, Mrs. 
M. J. Luther, Mrs. Clay Alexander ; livery. Clay Alexander ; lumber, Padgett 
& Son ; meat market, W. S. Miner ; music teachers, Alice Arnold, Mrs. Elsie 
Gartin ; notary public, L. T. Howell, Fannie Johnson, W. W. Barnes ; photo- 
grapher, F. W. Kean; physician, C. G. Harrod, Edward Porter; painter, 
Thomson & Luther; postoffice, W. S. Miner; paper hanger, Miers & Gal- 
braith; restaurant, F. W. Kean, W. S. Miner; real estate and insurance, L. 
T. Powell; saw-mill. Otto Detrich; shoe cobbler, Frank Hiner; station agent, 
J. S. Miner; stock l^uyer, Pumphrey & Son, Davis & Davis, W. W. Lane. 

Burney is justly proud of its band, which was organized in the spring 
of 191 5. Although at this time it has been practicing but a few months, it 
has already given concerts which were well received. It is under the direc- 
tion of George Dunn, of Adams. The members of the band are as follows : 
Cornets, Herbert Lawson, Lora Hayes, Walter Bailey, Ralph Howe, Roscoe 
Arnold, AValter Galitine, Robert Champ and Russell Emlay; baritone, John 
Christian ; alto, Jasper Spaugh and James Galbraith ; tenors, Harry Jackson 
and H. C. Miner; clarinets, Ernest Miner and L. D. Lambert; trombones, 
Fred Luther, T. J. Hendrickson, Edwin Gibson and Roy Emlay; melophone, 
Clarence Thomson; tuba, Burney Jackson; bass, Clifford Thurston; snare 
drum, Plenry Emlay; bass drum, Charles Gartin. 


Wyncoop is the next town in size in this township. It was platted on 
February 2^, 1881, by James Wyncoop and bears the founder's name, 
although the name of the postofifice has been changed to Horace. This town 
is situated on the North Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville railroad, in the 
extreme southeastern part of the township. 

The business interests of the town in 1915 are confined to a general 
store, owned by E. A. Gibson, and a blacgsmith shop, operated ijy Clyde 
Purvis. The station agent, Orlando Robbins, also buys grain. The post- 
master is Mr. Gibson. The town has less than a dozen houses and a popula- 
tion of about thirty. 

Ewington completes the list of towns in Clay township. This was 
formerly a postoffice for the convenience of the country people, but the rural 
free delivery has taken away its usefulness and at present only the name 


Fugit township was one of the three original townships laid off by the 
board of commissioners on May 14, 1822. The other two townships were 
Adams and \Vashington, the latter of which embraced considerably more than 
the southern half of the county. Fugit township, as originally set off, con- 
tained all the territory now within its limits with the exception of sections 
T,2, 5, 8 and 17, and half sections 33, 4, 9 and 16. These four full and four 
half sections are now in the eastern, part of Clinton township. They being a 
part of Clinton when it was organized July 6, 1829. 

The original limits of the township as defined by the commissioners on 
May 14, 1822, are as follow: Beginning at the county line on the line divid- 
ing townships 10 and 11; thence west with township line to the southwest 
corner of section 35, range 10, township 11 ; thence north with the line divid- 
ing sections 34 and 35 to the southwest corner of section 26 in the township 
and range aforesaid; thence west with the section line to the southwest cor- 
ner of section 28, in range 10, township 11 ; thence north with the said sec- 
tion line to the southwest corner of section 16, range 10, township 11 ; thence 
west with the section line to the southwest corner of section 17, range 10, 
township 1 1 ; thence north with the said line to the county line : thence east 
with the county line to the northeast corner of said county ; thence south 


with the county line to the place of beginning (Commissioners Record, Vol. 
I, page i). 

The next change in the territorial limits of Fugit township was made 
on March 7, 1825, at which time the board of justices issued the following 
ambiguous order: "That part of Washington township which lies east and 
north of a road \-iewed from Henderson's to the county line near Alexander 
McCall's, including said road, to be attached to and made a part of Fugit 
township" (Board of Justice Records, Vol. I, page 128). Just where this 
strip was located is impossible to determine from the records, since it is not 
defined by section, town or range. However this slip on the part of the 
board of justices was rectified on May 2, 1825, when the commissioners 
re-defined the township limits in the following definite manner : Begin- 
ning at the county line, on the range line dividing" ranges 9 and 10; thence 
south on said line to the southwest corner of section 19, township 11, range 
10 ; thence east two miles ; thence south one mile ; thence east two miles ; 
thence south one mile to the township line dividing townships 10 and 11, 
thence east with said line to the county line ; thence with the lines of the 
countv to the place of beginning ( Board of Justice Records, Vol. I, page 
128). Subsequently, on May 3, 1830, the board of justices ordered that the 
west half of section 21, township 11, range 10, which lies in Clinton town- 
ship be and the same is newly attached to the township of Fugit in the said 
county of Decatur (Vol. H, page 87). This gives Fugit township its present 


Several families had settled within what is now Fugit township before 
the county of Decatur was organized in 1822. The county was carved out 
of the "New Purchase," which had been bought from the Indians in the fall 
of 1818, although the lands were not ofifered for sale at the Brookville land 
office until the fall of 1820. During the winter and spring of 1818, seven 
families came over from near Matamora, Franklin county, and "squatted" in 
what is now Fugit township. This was probably the first effort toward a 
permanent settlement in the new territory. Just about the same time, there 
were three other settlements in the southeastern part of the "New Purchase" 
— one on Flatrock, in Rush county ; a second on Haw creek, in Bartholomew 
countv; the third on Big Flatrock, in Shelby county. Of course, these first 
seven families could enter no land here, as it had not yet been surveyed; 
who they were, where they finally located, and whether they became perman- 
ent settlers in the countv later on has not been determined. Nearlv one hun- 



dred years have elapsed since that day and no records are availaljle to trace 
the mysterious seven families. 

It is taken hy common consent that the Fugit family were the first real 
settlers in what is now the townshi]) bearing their name. John F"ugit, and 
his two children, John and Mary, came to the township in the latter part of 
February, 1819. They selected a site for their cabin and, while engaged in 
putting it up, were joined by Griffy Griffith, his wife and son, Ishmael. The 
Griffiths located one mile west of Clarksburg, where they lived until the death 
of the father and mother. 

After Fugit and his son had their rude caiiin ready for occupancy, the 
whole family, consisting of the father, mother, four sons and two daughters, 
made this township their permanent home for a number of years. The 
Fugits entered no land and citizens of the township have never agreed as to 
the exact spot where the old Fugit cabin stood. Some have maintained that 
they settled northeast of Clarksburg, while others hold that they located one 
mile east of Clarksburg on land later entered by Benjamin Snelling. Still 
others believe that the F'ugits squatted on the old Luther Donnell place. 
Strange to say, neither James L. Fugit, one of the sons of the old pioneer, 
nor Mary, a daughter (who became the wife of David Garrison), could 
identify the exact spot where their father had settled. They had removed 
to Clay township in 1825 and when they revisited their first home in the 
county, several years later, the surroundings were so changed that they were 
unable to agree as to where the family cabin had stood. It is probable that 
it was on the Donnell farm, which had been entered by Thomas Donnell, Sr., 
in 1822. They douljtless purchased the impro\'ements on the place from 

At the first election in 1822, John Fugit was chosen as.sociate judge. 
His daughter, Sarah, married Joseph Webb, and this was the first marriage 
in the county. The license was secured at Brookville in the fall of 1819 
and the marriage took place presumably in the log cabin in Vugk township. 
John Fugit died at Mil ford (Cliffy) in 1844. At the present time the Fugit 
line is not represented by any male bearing the name in the county. 

Shortly after the Fugits and Griffiths had located here, in the spring of 
1819, they were joined by five other families: John and Elisha Jerrett 
(Gerrard), Jesse and Cornelius Cain and William McCoy. John Jerrett 
died in the spring of 1820, and was, as far as is known, tlie first one to die in 
the county. A daughter of Jerrett, Xellie by name, was born in the fall of 
1 819 and was the first white child to be born in the county. The Cains 
settled near Spring Hill, but a few years later moved into Rush county, where 


Jesse lived until his death. George Cain emigrated to the west and within 
a few years the family name disappears from the records of both Decatur 
and Rush counties. McCoy first located near Grififith and then moved over 
into what is now Adams township north of Downeyville. The McCoy family 
have been prominently identified with the history of the county from its 
beginning down to the present time. Ishmael Grififith married a daughter 
of William Walters, near Kingston, and at his death left two sons, John and 
James. John was accidentally killed near Downeyville and James served in 
the Civil War as a member of Company F, Seventh Indiana Volunteer 
Infantry. This disposes of all the important incidents connected with the 
immigrants of 1819. 

During the spring and summer of 1820 the land in this county was 
surveyed by Col. Thomas Hendricks and in October of that year it was placed 
on sale at Brookville. However, before the land was formally opened for 
settlement the settlers began to pour in at a rapid rate. In the summer and 
fall of 1820, the following families located in what is now Fugit township: 
Seth Lowe, William Custer, George and Samuel Donnell, James Saunders, 
Nathan Lewis, James and Moses Wiley, Robert Hall, Rev. James Hall, David 
Stout, Joseph Rankin, John Bryson, Adam Rankin, William, Joseph and 
James Henderson and Joseph A. Hopkins. 


The first land entry was made on October 9, 1820, by James Wiley, 
who entered one hundred and sixty acres in section i, township 10, range 11. 
John Shelhorn and John M. Robinson entered tracts shortly afterwards. 
From the 9th of October. 1820, to December 31, there were fortj^-eight 
entries in what is now Fugit township, while there were only forty-five entries 
made in all the rest of the county. 

These forty-eight pioneers were as follows : James Wiley, John Shel- 
horn, John M. Robinson, George Kline, John Bryson, James Saunders, 
Joseph K. Rankin, Thomas Martin, Griffy Griffith, David Martin, Cornelius 
Cain, Joseph Henderson, Edward Jackman, William Henderson, William 
Lindsey, George Marlow, Adam Rankin, Joseph A. Hopkins, Thomas Throp, 
Samuel A. Githens, Robert Imlay, Daniel Swem, John Hicklin, Aquilla 
Cross. William Custer, John Shutz, Martin and Alexander Logan, James 
Logan, William Pruden, John Dawson, Elias Garrard, Charles Collett, John 
Linville, James Hobbs, Jr., Robert E. and Henry Hall, Thomas Hall, Moses 
Wiley, George Donnell, John Smart, Robert and John Lockridge, Richard 


TN'ner, George Cowan, James Henderson and Xathan Lewis. The striking 
fact of these entries is that practically ever_vone entering the land was a 
i)ona fide settler on the land he entered. Only two or three never l)ecanie 
residents of the townships. 

During 1821 there were fifty-nine additional entries in the township — 
thus making a total of one hundred and seven entries before the county was 
organized in the spring of iS'22. .\s a matter of fact, there were a number 
of entries in the township between January i, and May 14, 1822, the date on 
which the township was formally organized. It seems there were only 
thirteen entries during the whole of 1822. 

The fifty-nine entries of 1821 were as follow: James Oliver, David 
Robertson, Samuel Marlow, Henry Glen, Jacob Blacklege, John Wilcoxon, 
Jesse Womack, Robert Wilson, Adam R. Meek, George Marlow, William 
Braden, Jacob Underwood, Columbus McCoy, Hugh McCracken, Nathaniel 
Smith, Henry McDaniel, John Lockridge, Jacob F. Miller, Isaac Donnell, 
John Hopkins, Zenas Powell, Da\'id Caldwell, Lewis Hendricks, Charles 
Swerengin, George Kendall, John Chanslor, Samuel Donnell, Thomas I. 
Glass, Jonathan J. Stites, William ~SL Smith, John Thompson, Thomas Cross, 
William M. Smith, Seth Lowe, Thomas Hamilton, Cyrus Hamilton, James 
Moss, Peter Miller, George Kendall, William Lippard, Jesse Cain, Jesse 
Robinson, George Conner, William Penny, Henry Roberts, William Snelling, 
Edgar Poe, Sampson Alley, Edward Davis, William Marlow, Benjamin 
Snelling, George Craig, James Sefton, Daniel Bell, Daniel Ryce, Frank 
Kitchin, Nathan Underwood, Ralph Williams, James Caldwell, Samuel 
Donner and David Robertson. It will be noticed that some of these men 
entered more than one tract in that year; some had entered land in the 
pre\'ious year also. 

The entries of 1822 were as follow : David Vancleave, James McCracken, 
R. B. Donnell, Andrew Calloway, John, D. Henry, John P. ^Mitchell, John 
Smart, Joseph Snelling, William Kennedy, Sarah Linville, Marv ]\Iunns 
and William Munns. The year 1822 practically closed the sale of govern- 
m.ent land in Fugit township. Not all of the land was yet taken, but that 
which was left was a narrow strip on the eastern side of the township, known 
as the "Poor Woods," and was not entered until after the thirties. Most of 
it was taken up by German immigrants, who have succeeded in making it 
as productive as most of the rest of the township. The first German settlers 
in the township were George Schellings, Antwa Charles and John Arnold. 
They were stone masons and found plenty of work in their profession. Else- 
where in this volume is a special chapter on the German element in Decatur 


county, together with a hst of the Germans who became naturahzed citizens 
of the county. 

It might be well at this point to make mention of the colored settlement 
in Fugit township. Early in the forties a few colored families located a few 
miles east of Clarksburg and by 1852 they numbered about seventy-five souls. 
Some of them owned small farms, but the most of them depended for a liveli- 
hood on working on the farms of the white citizens. They took an active 
part in helping fugitives slaves to make their way across the county and over 
into Union count}^ Their participation in the "underground railroad" 
enterprise is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. When the fugitive slave 
law of 1852 was passed many of them left the county, some going to other 
parts of the state and many of them finally reaching Canada. There is now 
only one left in the township, Margaret Wilson, of Kingston. 


As has been stated, Decatur county began its independent career on May 
14, 1822, on which day the commissioners held their first meeting. On this 
day the whole county was divided into three townships, Washington, Adams 
and Fugit. The county commissioners appointed ofificers for each town- 
ship, those for Fugit being as follows: Isaac Darnall, inspector of elections; 
Henry Hoblas, constable; Thomas Throp, superintendent of the reserve sec- 
tion (school section) in township 11, range 10; William Custer and Joseph 
Henderson, overseers of the poor; William Leopard, Robert Emily and 
George Marlow, fence viewers. On this same day (May 14, 1822) the com- 
missioners ordered elections to be held at the house of Thomas Throp, the 
first election to be on June i, following, for a justice of the peace. 


The first store in the township, and perhaps in the county, was started 
at Spring Hill by James Conwell, of Laurel (Franklin county), in 1823. 
Conwell was a thrifty trader and established the store here as a branch of his 
large store in Laurel. He placed Martin Benson in charge of the store at 
Spring Hill. The first postot^ce was at this place and John Bryson became 
the first postmaster. Bryson was later an associate judge. Nathan Lewis 
had a corn-cracker, operated by horse-power, early in the twenties. Later 
Lewis converted his mill into a bark grindery and pulverized slippery elm, 
dogwood and sassafras barks for the Eastern markets. Edward Jackman 


was the first to install a carding machine and found plenty of husiness to keep 
him busy. William Henderson was interested in a number of enterprises; 
he operated a grist-mill, a carding factory and a distillery and found a ready 
sale for the products of all three establishments. He was located a short dis- 
tance east of Spring Hill. A grist-mil! was operated at an early date about 
a mile south of Kingston by a man named Smith. Lewis Lacker opened up 
a tan yard on the farm later owned by Everett Hamilton and furnished the 
community with leather for several years. Joseph Henderson opened the 
first tavern in the township a short distance east of Spring Hill. 


The early settlers of Fugit township were very much interested in edu- 
cation and shortly after they located here they began to make provisions for 
educating their children. In 1901 Camilla Donnell, a descendant of one of 
the most prominent families of the township, prepared a paper on the "Early 
Schools of Fugit Township," and the historian is indebted to her excellent 
article for the main facts concerning the schools of the township. Just 
where the first school house was located is not definitely known, although it 
is certain that schools were kept in log cabins for some years before a school 
building was erected. There appear to have been three or four schools in 
operation in> 1823-24 in as many different neighborhoods. They were situated 
in the midst of thick woods and blazed trails led the way to the school house 
door. The first school in the Kingston neighborhood was held in an empty 
log cabin on the line between the farms then owned by Seth Lowe and Aquilla 
Cross. Whether Samuel Donnell, a man well known in early religious, edu- 
cational and reform movements, or Samuel Henry, an intelligent farmer and 
excellent scholar, was the first teacher has not been established. Both taught 
at one time or another in the township. Elijah Mitchell, who taught at 
various places over Decatur county, was another of the early wielders of the 
rod. Still other teachers were the Misses Howe, two Eastern women, who 
conducted a school at the home of the first Presbyterian minister, Mr. Lowry. 
All the schools were subscription schools up to 1832 and the teacher was 
usually compelled to take his pay out in farm produce. In aliout 1832 the 
township was organized into school sections and recei\-ed a small amount of 
money from the sale of school lands. A few school houses were built in the 
township about this time and three months sessions were held. Alost of the 
buildings were also used for subscription schools for a few months in addi- 
tion to the three months of public school. In 1833 the first brick school 


house in the township, and probably in the county, was erected on the farm of 
Cyrus Hamilton, in the field southwest of his house. Rev. James McCoy, 
Elijah Mitchell, Davis Henry and many other excellent old pioneers taught 
in this building. 

A second district school building was built a little later on the old 
Throp farm, near the homestead of -Vndrew Robison. It was known as the 
Robison school house until its subsequent removal to Carmel. A third school 
house of the early days stood on the farm of Martin Benson, later owned by 
Warder Hamilton. The salaries of these faithful teachers were very meager. 
The mother of Camilla Donnell (then Mrs. Minerva Bartholomew), who 
taught at the brick school house and also at the Benson school, received only 
eight dollars a month. But it must be remembered that able-bodied men 
were glad to work for twenty-five cents a day in the early history of the 

About 1845 ^ school was established by Rev. King, a Presbyterian 
minister, in the town which still bears his name (Kingston). A private 
school w;as also taught by Rev. Cable, another Presbyterian minister, near 
Kingston. These two excellent schools so weakened the Brick, Benson and 
Robison schools that they were finally abandoned. The houses were sold or 
moved away and the district school was permanently established in the village 
of Kingston about 1852 or 1853. Rev. Benjamin Nyce, an educator of 
great originality and ability, became its head, and it entered on a career of 
unparalelled usefulness and prosperity. 

In 1853 William Dobyns, for Clarkslxirg, Thomas Hamilton, for 
Kingston, and James Bonner, for Spring Hill, were appointed a board of 
township tru-stees, one retiring each year. Their duties were to arrange the 
township into school districts, provide suitable buildings and engage teachers. 
Other members of the school board at different times were Henry Kerrick, 
S. A. Donnell, J. H. Cartmell and George Kennedy. This board of three 
members continued at the head of the township schools until 1859, when 
Luther Donnell was elected trustee under the new law. He had complete 
charge of the schools of the township and since that time the affairs of the 
schools have been concentrated in the hands of one man. While the board 
of three had charge of affairs, the Kingston school was established in the 
Presbyterian church, which had been bought for that purpose. 

The new Constitution of 1852 provided for a system of free public 
schools and funds were set aside for one building for each school district. 
The public-spirited citizens of the three larger districts — Clarksburg, Kings- 
ton and Spring Hill — raised enough money by private subscription to erect 


two-stor}' buildings in their respecti\-e towns, the law providing only suffi- 
cient money for one-story buildings. 

The first Spring Hill school was housed in one of the traditional empty 
log cabins. It stood on the big hill, just east of the present road, on the farm 
of James Martin. It was begun not earlier than 1824, since its first teacher, 
Thomas Meek, the assessor of a large part of the Spring Hill community, 
did not emigrate from Kentucky until 1823. Its second teacher was William 
Marlow. Another early school was held in the old Bryson homestead, but 
the Martin school seems to have been the forerunner of the Spring Hill 
district school. 

Probably as early as 1835 a district school house was built on the farm 
of Adam Rankin, not far from the present school site. It was afterward 
rebuilt and enlarged and remained in use until the erection of the two-story 
brick building early in the Civil War. It was burned down in 1894 and 
replaced by the present one-story building. Among the teachers of Spring 
Hill may be mentioned some men who later made a reputation in the world 
— such men as Stanley Coulter, now of Purdue University; Rev. Thomson, 
of Tarkeo, Missouri; R. M. Miller and Marshall Hacker were principals of 
the Spring Hill school at various times. 

The Carmel neighborhood was the home of John Bell, one of the earliest 
and best-known teachers in the township. Its early school history has been 
lost in oblivion, but it is probable that early schools were held in the cabin 
near the home of Andrew McCoy and in a deserted shop on the McCracken 
farm. The first district school in the Carmel neighborhood was built on 
the farm of Jacob Miller sometime in the thirties. It was probably in use 
until the fifties when it was succeeded by a second building. The third 
building is now in use, a neat and comfortable structure which meets all of 
the modern requirements. 

The Clarksburg community had some of the earliest settlers and 
undoubtedly some of the earliest private schools. Unfortunately, it seems 
impossible to get exact data concerning them. The best known of these 
schools was held in a cabin on the farm of Luther Donnell. Another early 
private school was held in the home of Nathan Lewis. It is probable that 
the first district school was located on South Main street, in ai building 
which had been used as a residence. Mrs. Minerva Bartholomew taught in 
1837 in an empty shop in the eastern part of the town. The forerunner of 
the present village school was located opposite the residence of J. N. Moore. 
Among the early teachers of Clarksburg may be mentioned Elijah Mitchell, 
John Bell, Joseph Rankin, George McCoy and Nimrod Kerrick. Of these 


early teachers Nimrod seems to have been the most successful and best 
beloved. A two-story brick building was erected in 1856 in Clarksburg on 
the present school site and remained in use until about 1880 when a four- 
room building was erected. In 19 10 a modern, eight-room brick building 
was erected. 

Sufficient has been said of the early schools of Fugit township to show 
that its public-spirited citizens were keenly alive to the value of good schools. 
The fact that so many men and women have gone out from the schools of 
the township well equipped to take their place in the world is ample evi- 
dence that the schools have been doing their work well. Clarksburg now has 
a consolidated school and gives a four-year commissioned high-school course. 
The schools will rank well with any in the state and the citizens of the com- 
munity may take a just pride in the work they are doing. There are seven 
teachers in the town and five teachers in the rural schools of the township in 


The history of the many churches of the township may be found in 
the special church chapter. Fugit township has been a peculiarly religious 
community. Most of the early settlers were Presbyterian in faith, although 
the Methodists and Christians have been strong enough to establish churches. 
The Germans who settled in the county were nearly all Catholics and they 
support a strong congregation at St. Maurice. y\t one time or another there 
have been three Presbyterian, two Methodist, one Christian and one Catholic 
church in Fugit township. 

The officers of Fugit township are as follow: Trustee, Albert T. Brock; 
assessor, David D. Morgan; advisory board, Clinton B. Emmert, Walter 
Scott and Carl E. Brown; supervisors of roads, Frank Winger, John Han- 
diges and Jacob Mauer. 


Situated in the southeastern corner of Fugit township is the pretty 
little village of Kingston, which was laid out in 185 1 by Seth Lowe and 
others. It was one of the first settled points in the county and there was a 
straggling village there many years before it was formally platted and an 
attempt was made to make it a town of any importance. The town has 
grown up around the Presljyterian church, formerly known^ as the Sand 
Creek congregation, but now called the Kingston church. The complete 
history of this interesting church is given in the church chapter elsewhere in 


this volume. A general store, run by ^^^ K. Stewart, and a blacksmith shop, 
operated by Harry Walker, are all the industries of the town at the present 
time. The town has a population of about fifty souls. 


As its name indicates, the town of St. Alaurice is of Catholic origin. It 
was laid out by D. Montague, August 12, 1859, primarily because of the 
Catholic church whicli was located here. It is in the south central part of 
Fugit township and is the center of the Catholic population of this part of 
the county. The present enterprises include the following: General store, 
Frank Kramer; tailor, ]\Iartin Moser ; saw-mill, Benjamin Moorman; black- 
smith, Albert W'alke. There are less than fifty people in the town. 

A postoffice was maintained at Spring Hill in the northwest corner of 
Fugit township, but it has long since been discontinued. The first settlers of 
Decatur county located near this point and the first store in the county was 
established here by James Conwell. When Clarksburg began to grow in 
importance, Spring Hill rapidly declined and today there is only one build- 
ing left on the site of the once thriving village — the Spring Hill Presby- 
terian church, the most beautiful country church in the county. In this case 
the best part of the village has survived the longest. 


The town of Clarksburg was laid out, April 9, 1832, by Woodson Clark, 
who had, however, bestowed his name on the little village prior to that date. 
Clark erected the first house and James Wiley, who entered the first land in 
Fugit township, put up the second log cabin. The town is one of the oldest 
in the county and had it been fortunate to attract a railroad it would 
undoubtedly have become a trading center of importance. It is surrounded 
by a rich farming community and the high character of its citizens from 
.the beginning has made it a favored section of the county. Its churches 
and schools have always taken a prominent part in the life of the commu- 
nity and their influence has been such that the people of Clarksburg and 
Fugit township have taken the lead in many of the religious, educational and 
reform movements in the countv. ]\Iuch of the earlv historv of the town is 


covered in the discussion of Fugit township, while the churches, schools and 
lodges are treated in special chapters. 

Clarksburg has always been an excellent trading center, despite the 
fact that it is several miles from a railroad. Daily hacks make the trip to 
Greensburg, and now a large automobile truck makes a round trip daily 
with freight and passengers. The main industries of the town in 191 5 are 
as follows : Apiarist, Alexander M^alker ; bank, Clarksburg State Bank, A. T. 
Brock, cashier; barber, Clarence Cornelius, George Rogers; blacksmith, W. 
W. Gross, John Brodie, Charles Brown; carriage painter, Elmer Hutton; 
carpenter, James Moore, Morgan & Hall; drugs, A. C. Shumm; flour-mill, 
C. B. Emmert ; garage. C. C. Jeffrey Smith, French & Martz ; general store, 
Fred Lampe, Homer Russell, D. R. Higgins ; hardware, H. C. Doles ; hotel, 
Mattie Miller; harness, James L. Burns; livery, Jasper Jackson, George 
Davis ; millinery, Mrs. Emma Shumm ; paper hanger, C. L. Sample ; paint- 
ers, A. C. Burns, John Bruner, John VonRissen, Glen Gross, M. B. Hite; 
photographer, C. B. Harrell; pool room, Waldo McGuire; physician, C. M. 
Beall, Prosser E. Clark, W. E. Thomas, J. L. Smith; restaurants, Morgan 
Brothers. Monte Linville; saw-mill, C. B. Emmert; stone and brick mason, 
Peter Christy; truck driver, Oscar F. Kuhn (daily auto trips to Greens- 
burg) ; veterinary. A. E. Alexander; well digger, J. W. Christian. 

The town receives a sealed pouch daily from the Greensburg postoffice. 
J. L. Smith is the postmaster. The town has never been incorporated. 


Jackson township was established by the board of commissioners, 
March 3. 1834. It is bounded as follows: Beginning at the southwest 
corner of the county, thence north to the township line, dividing townships 
9 and 10, thence east four and a half miles to the center of section 2, on the 
north side thereof; thence south to the Jennings county line; thence west 
to the place of beginning. These limits have never been changed. 

Jackson township was among the last to be settled, as its soil was 
black and wet and the early settlers sought land with natural drainage, that 
could be cultivated early in the spring. Since farmers have learned the use 
of tile ditches, Jackson township has come into its own and its burr oak flats 
are now considered the equal of any farming land in the county. Follow- 
ing the subdivisions of the original government survey, most of the farms 


in this township are square or oblong, and the roads run on section lines, 
which make it very convenient in getting about. 

Among the early settlers of the township were Plenry Hawk and 
Enoch Foster, who came from Ohio; Daniel Sullivan and Charles Guinea, 
who came from Jefferson county, and Samuel Eli, from Union county. 
These men are supposed to have settled in Jackson township in 1828. Others 
who came soon after were: Samuel Thomson, William Evans, Adam Hall, 
Adam Petree, Abram Barrett, James Wheeldon, William H. Eddleman, 
John Chambers, Chesley Woodard, Daniel Eddleman, William and James 
Chambers, Eliza Moncrieg and Jack Herring. 

William Evans built the first saw-mill in Jackson township and the 
first church in the township was built by the Baptists upon land donated 
for that purpose by Charles Woodard. Early school teachers of the town- 
ship were P. N. Bishop and John McCleary. The first school building was 
built in 1834 on the farm entered by William Evans. Unlike the present 
comfortable school houses of the township, this early building was very 
primitive. It had a puncheon floor, clapboard roof and door, split sapling 
for seats and the large fireplace had only a dirt backwall. The only writing 
desks were rough boards on two sides of the building, supported by pins 
driven into the walls. Light was provided through windows made of oiled 

Writing of this early school, J. A. Dillman, one of its first pupils says: 
"McCleary was too tender hearted to whip, but one day some of us boys did 
something that it was necessary to punish us for in order to maintain his 
authority. Eight of us were sent to the woods and each of us brought in 
a good-sized beech 'gad'. Then he paired us off and made us whip one 
another, lap-jacket fashion, only that one of us whipped at a time. I was a 
weakly boy of ten, and my opponent was a big boy of fourteen, with a pair 
of buckskin breeches and a fawn-skin vest with woolsey blouse. I whipped 
first and laid it on light, hoping that my friend would do the same — indeed 
it was no use to strike hard, for you might as well have tried to hurt a 
rhinoceros ; but when it came his turn he brought down his "gad' like whip- 
ping a balky ox, while I yelled and screamed with pain. But then ends of 
justice were satisfied and so were McCleary and the big boy." 

The southern part of the township was crossed by a railroad in the 
eighties and thus the farmers got a much easier access to the markets. Along 
the railroad sprang up the flourishing towns of Sardinia and Alert. Other 
towns in the township are Waynesburg and Newburg (Forest Hill). 

The present officers of Jackson township are as follow: Trustee, Sam 


Kelly; assessor, William Barton; advisory board, Albert Moncrieff, Jacob 
Thurston, John H. Cooper; road supervisors, Ed. T. Fraley, Walter Shaw, 
Dan Carnes and William Golay; justice of the peace, Joseph A. Burns. 


The town of Forest Hill was laid out on IMarch 17, 1852, by Newberry 
Wheeldon as Newburg. It is an inland village, in the extreme northern part 
of Jackson township, and is two miles from the Michigan division of the 
Big Four railroad. The fact that it does not have railroad connection has 
made it impossible to enjoy much of a growth. It is a pleasant little \illage, 
with good, well-shaded streets, and a quiet air of prosperit)-. A Presby- 
terian church and a modern two-room school building take care of the 
religious and educational life of the community. It was once incorporated 
for both civil and school purposes, but the village did not prove large enough 
to support itself as an independent communit}'. The present interests are 
confined to the following: Blacksmith, J. K. Devening; general store, E. T. 
Fraley; grocery, A. W. Crigler; physician, M. C. Vest (county coroner); 
restaurant, Emmett Watson. The present population is about one hundred 
and twenty-five. 


Waynesburg was laid out in the central western part of Jackson town- 
ship by George Lough on November 4, 1844. It is three miles from a rail- 
road and for this reason has never become a town of any importance. The 
fifteen houses of the town shelter a happy community who find employment 
in the various enterprises of the town or on farms in the vicinity. The stores 
are those of Thomas Burch, George Himelich and Henry Purvis. A saw- 
mill is operated by William Barton and Frank Van Scyoc. John Cornelius 
is the village blacksmith. 


James Bannister is the patron saint of Alert, a town which he laid 
out on August 30, 1886. It is located in the southeastern part of Jackson 
township, on the Chicago, Terre Haute & Eastern railroad, and is a thriving 
business little place which lives up to its name. Several years ago there was 
a two-story sash saw-mill here which did a big business for many years 
before it was finally closed down in 1876. The logs were cut with a cross- 
cut saw instead of. a circular saw, a fact which explains why it was a two- 



story building. A bank has l^een recently established in the town and a can- 
ning factory was built in the summer of 191 5, which was ready to handle 
the crop of that year. 

The business and professional interests of Alert in 191 5 included the 
following: Bank, Alert State Bank; barber, Albert Jordan; blacksmiths, A. 
B. Blazer, Earl Wright ; canning factory, Frank Doty, Jr. ; dentist, C. L. 
Hill; elevator, Blish Milling Co., of Seymour, Edward Talkington, man- 
ager; garage, John Saters; general store, S. B. Leach, W. E. Wolfer; har- 
ness, J. H. Burns; house mover, Jacob Wolfinger; postmaster, Thomas J. 
Morton; \-eterinary. Raymond Bannister; woodworker, Ora Clayton. 

In 1914 the railroad company built stock sheds at Alert and a large 
amount of stock is now shipped from the town. Large quantities of hay 
and grain are bought annually by the Blish Milling Company, of Seymour, 
through its local agent, Edward Talkington, and his assistant, Earl 
Arnold. The Alert Telephone Company has sixty-two patrons on its own 
line, which is operated through an exchange in charge of J. C. Nicholson. 
It has free service with all exchanges in Decatur and Bartholomew counties 
and pay connection with the Bell and Independent long distance lines. 
Samuel Kelly, who lives at the edge of town, has one of the best small fruit 
farms in Decatur county and ships a large amount of fruit to the city 


Sardinia, the largest town in Jackson township, was laid out on May 
17, 1865, by J. S. Harper and fifteen others. For a number of years J. S. 
Harper operated one of the largest stores in the state here, but too much 
credit forced him out of business. The historian was told that when he 
closed his store he had ninety thousand dollars w'orth of accounts due him. 
Certainly no man could keep a business going on such a basis. Harper built 
what is still probably the largest house in the county — a magnificent nine- 
teen-room, brick mansion, which cost upwards of twenty thousand dollars. 
He lived in regal style and his many colored servants and lavish entertain- 
ments are well remembered by the older citizens. As long as he was in the 
town Harper was its main attraction and with the closing out of his busi- 
ness the town settled down to a quiet existence which still continues undis- 
turbed by the whirl of the outside world. The postoffice was formerly called 
Big Creek. 

The present interests of the town, few in number, include the following : 
Barbers, Roscoe McKelvey, Earl McGovern; blacksmiths, Samuel Ammer- 


man, Albert Cornelius; flour mill, George Claypool; general store, McNelan 
& Anderson ; grocery, Harry Taggart ; hardware, John Gross & Son ; hotel, 
John Bowen ; ice cream parlor, Wilson & Vanblaricuni ; livery, John Bowen ; 
saw-mill, John Gross & Son ; station agent, W. H. Petree ; stock buyer, John 
Dennison, John Smith. 


Marion township, originally a part of Washington township and later 
of Sand Creek township, was organized by authority of the county commis- 
sioners on May 2, 1831, when its boundaries were defined as follows: 
"Beginning at the Washington township line on the section line dividing 
sections 27 and 28, township 10, range 9; thence north on the section line 
to the county line; thence eastwardly with the line of the county and Salt 
Creek township to the Washington township line; thence west with the line 
of Washington township to the place of beginning." 

The population of Marion township is largely German. The northern 
half of the township is rolling and in some places the land is rough and 
broken. The eastern and southern portion is flat and was originally covered 
with oak, maple and gum. A good share of it is poor woods land. The 
first church in the township was that of the Immaculate Conception at Mill- 
housen, which was erected in 1840, when Maximillian Schneider donated 
forty acres of land for this purpose. The first school house was also built 
by the Catholics and was placed close to the church. Maximillian Schnei- 
der, who was one of the leading spirits in the new community, kept the first 
store, which was located at Millhousen. Later he sold the store to Barney 
Hardbeck, who had built the first mill at Millhousen. The first mill in 
Marion township was erected by a man named Bush and was located on the 
banks of Sand creek. 


The first settlers of Marion township, as indicated by the original land 
entries, were : John Robbins, Sampson McConnell, Abisha Matherly, John 
McConnell, James Parnell, John Hazelrigg, DilHard Hazelrigg, John Line- 
ville, Thomas McLaughlin, Jonathan Thompson, Isaac Ricketts, Dudley 
Anderson, W. White and Thomas Fortune. Other early-comers were John 
Myres, John and Hiram Fortune, Sarah Anderson, James Hooten, Dudley 
Taylor and John Morton. 


Earl}' German settlers were Maximillian Schneider, Christian Ruhl, 
Theodore Frey, Frank Rubard, George and Francis Verkamp, Henry Pulse, 
Gabriel Pulse, John and Adam Hessler and Theodore Willmer. In another 
chapter is given an account of the Germans and their part in the county's 

The present officers of jMarion township are as follows: Trustee, Dan 
Holcomb; assessor, Frank Vaske; advisory board, John B. Rolfes, Anthony 
Schroer and Simeon H. Kennedy; road supervisors, John- Vanderpohl, 
Leonard Alexander and Bernard Kohrnian ; William Forket, justice of the 
peace; William J. Robinson, constable. 


Alillhousen is a Catholic village located on Squaw run, in Marion town- 
ship, ten miles southeast of Greensburg. Maximillian Schneider, who set- 
tled here in 1838, donated forty acres of land on June 29, 1840. to Bishop 
La Halandiere, of Vincennes, for the purpose of establishing a church and 
laying out a town. The name Millhousen was adopted for the proposed 
town in honor of Mr. Schneider's native town of the same name in Ger- 
many. The first settlers were composed of emigrants from various parts of 
Germany, among whom were thirteen families, most of whom were mechan- 
ics. All were poor and dependent upon their daily labor for subsistence. 
In 1840 a plain chapel, twenty by twenty-four feet, was erected, and ten 
years later a larger building, thirtj'-eight bj- sixty feet, was built on the same 
site. In 1857 a parochial school was added. The present church is one 
hundred and forty bj' fifty-five feet, and has a beautiful tower in which is a 
large clock. 

There have been several business enterprises in the town in the past, 
but changing conditions have seen the disappearance of most of them. The 
first store and postoffice was kept by Maximillian Schneider. Barney Harde- 
beck followed Schneider in the same store. Hardebeck also built the first 
mill in the town, a woolen-mill which was run under several different man- 
agements until the early eighties. Other owners of this same mill were 
B. Zapfe & Brinkman, followed by Zapfe alone. Hardebeck again took 
charge of the mill after Zapfe and, while he was operating it a second time 
it was burned. He at once rebuilt it and continued to run it until it was 
permanently closed down. 

The town was once larger than it is today and formerly boasted of a 
population of about four hundred; today there are approximately three 


hundred in the town. The business and professional interests in 1915 in 
Millhousen are as follows: Barbers, Joseph Pfeifer, John Green; Black- 
smiths, Edward Henninger, John and Louis Scheidler; brick and stone 
masons, John Green, Frank Klosterkemper ; carpenters, Theodore Schneider, 
Anthony Reisman; drugs. Dr. J. C. Glass; flouring-mill, Joseph Herbert & 
Sons; general store, B. W. Zapfe, Philomena Moorman; hack line (Mill- 
housen & Greensburg), Andrew Butz; harness, Joseph Herbert & Sons; 
hotel, Ferdinand Wittkemper ; ice cream parlor, Mrs. MoUie Herbert ; livery, 
Edward Henninger; painter and paper hangers, Joseph Pfeifer, John Her- 
bert, Anthony Reisman; photographer, Louis Scheidler; postmaster. Dr. J. 
C. Glass; physicians, J. C. Class, Nicholas Bauman; saw-mill, Joseph Her- 
bert & Sons; tinner, Louis Scheidler; saloons, Will Link, Ferdinand Witt- 
kemper; wagon makers, George Scheidler, Charles Henninger. 

Millhousen is not on a railroad and thus is seriously handicapped in 
various ways. The mail comes daily from Greensburg in a sealed pouch. 
B. W. Zapfe runs an automobile truck daily between Millhousen and Greens- 
burg and hauls all of his goods from the county seat. Zapfe also runs two 
huckster wagons the year round. The Millhousen Telephone Company, a 
local concern, has one hundred and twenty-six subscribers. The exchange 
is now located in B. W. Zapfe's store. 

The town has three public buildings — a town hall, with a seating capac- 
ity of one thousand, a solid stone jail, with two cells, and a fire engine house. 
The town has recently completed four large fire cisterns, which are so located 
as to provide ample protection for the whole town. Four years ago there 
was a destructive fire in the town which burned the hotel, saloon and livery 
stable of John Spander, the store of J. W. Hardebeck and the dwelling house 
of Barney Koors. The town now has an excellent eight-man-power fire 
engine, which is capable of throwing water over any building in town. 
Edward Henninger is the present fire chief. 

The town was platted on April 10, 1858, and has been incorporated for 
several years. The town officers for 1915 are as follow: Clerk, Will Dai- 
ley ; councilmen, George Walters, first ward ; Edward Henninger, second 
ward; Anthony Harping, third ward; marshal, John Stuehrenberg. 


Gaynorsville is located in Marion township and, although never platted, 
is given a place on the county map. There are about ten families in this 
little village. This is merely a country trading point and its business inter- 



ests, which consist of a general store and blacksmith shop, are taken care of 
by Enoch Parker & Son. 

Smyrna is also a small hamlet in Marion townshi]:), but only a small 
cluster of houses marks the place at present. 

Layton's mill is only a voting precinct in Marion township. 


On July 6, 1829, on the petition of Isaac Seright and others, the board 
of justices organized Clinton township, with the following limits : Begin- 
ning on the county line at the center of section 34, township 12, range 9; 
thence south to the Washington township line; thence east five miles to the 
center of section 21, township 11, range 10, on the south line of said section; 
thence north to the county line ; thence west with the county line to the place 
of beginning (volume II, page 43). 

The original limits as prescribed by the board of justices who organ- 
ized this township, have remained the same with two minor exceptions. On 
September 7, 1829, the board of justices ordered that sections 19 and 20, 
township II, range 10, be stricken ofif from Clinton township and attached 
to Washington (volume II, page 47). On May 3, 1830, the board of jus- 
tices "ordered that the west half of section 21, township 11, range 10, which 
lies in Clinton township, be and the same is newly attached to the township 
of Fugit in the said county of Decatur." With these changes, the township 
stands today as its first boundaries were given. 

The same board which ordered the organization of Clinton township, 
at the same meeting ordered the first election to be held in the township at 
the house of George McLaughlin on the last Saturday in July, 1829. This 
election was held for the purpose of electing two justices of the peace. Ben- 
jamin Jones was appointed election inspector. Alexander Hamilton and 
John Small were appointed as overseers of the poor for that year (1829). 
James Hudson, Robert Wilson and Joseph Lindsay were appointed as first 
fence viewers (volume II, page 44). In 1830, Joseph Lindsay and James 
Wilson were appointed as overseers of the poor. 


It is impossible to determine who was the first settler in this township, 
but it is improbable that there was anyone with a fixed habitation there 


before 1821. There were no land entries from this township during the 
first year after it was open for settlement, which leads to the supposition 
that there were people living there who wished to protect their claims to 
their places of residence. 

The first known settler was Jesse Womack, who entered a small tract 
of land early in 1821. Others who came immediately afterward were John 
Montgomery, Thomas Craig, Daniel Crume, Joseph Jones and Joseph Wei- 
hart. Among those who came later, this year were Matthew Campbell, Rob- 
ert Wilson, James Carter, John Thomson, Israel Harris, Henry Glass and 
George Donner. 

Among the other early settlers who located here and contributed to the 
early progress and history of the township are : Reuben Johnston, who 
came here from Virginia with his family, and died in 1857; David Munns, 
who was one of the early Kentucky pioneers ; also William Ruddell, from 
Kentucky; Thomas Power, Robert Crawford, John Lyons, William Sefton, 
William Bird, Baily Johnston, Josiah Kemble, Elijah E. Smith, Peleg 
Wheeler, George Butcher, A. E. Rankin, D. Cramer, Benjamin Jones, Philip 
Martin, Edward Ricketts, Dr. Abram Carter, Gabriel Harrold, William 
Jones, Robert Wilson, Joseph Lindsay and Andrew J. Dale, who came here 
from South Carolina, are all numbered among the early settlers of the town- 
ship and contributed toward its settlement and advancement. 


The first grist-mill in this township was built by John and William 
Hamilton, two brothers from Virginia, who settled here. This mill was 
erected in the year 1822 and the power to run the machinery was furnished 
by Clifty creek. A short time after this mill was erected, another mill, 
which was only used for cracking com for feed, was constructed by Thomas 
Lanham for William Buchanan, the proprietor. This mill was located on 
the South fork of Clifty creek, and was well patronized by the settlers in 
this locality, as meal was used more extensively for breadstuff than it is at 
the present time. About the same time, the first saw-mill was erected by a 
Mr. Douglas on the south fork of Clifty creek. This mill was well pat- 
ronized and the owner was doing a thriving business, but his prosperity was 
to be short-lived, for he met with an accident in the mill which cost him his 
life. The first horse-power mill was introduced and placed in operation on 
the farm of Thomas Powell, near the poor farm. Mr. Powell owned and 


operated this mil! for a number of years, and at that time it was quite an 
ad\'ancement from the old form of water-power mill. 

The county poor farm is located in Clinton township. 

The first church in the township was built by the Christians. This was 
erected near the residence of Nathan P. Swails and was known as the Cliffy 

The general surface of this land is unbroken and slightly undulating 
and there is no great extent of broken land in the township, although it has 
excellent drainage from the different branches of Cliffy creek which flow 
through the township. The land all drains to the southwest and the soil 
is uniform and of an equal quality. There is no other township in the 
county which can boast of so few acres of waste or untillable land as Clinton. 

The timber furnished one of the greatest industries in this township 
in the early days, stave-mills being the chief consumption of this natural 
resource. The forests consisted chiefly of walnut, poplar, sugar, elm, burr 
oak, hackberry and beech, but since the timber has become scarce the ener- 
gies of the settlers have been turned toward agricultural pursuits, and this 
is yielding equally as great results as did the timber products of old. The 
blue grass land in the southeastern portion of the township rivals even the 
famous blue grass districts of Kentucky, and has no equal in any part of 
the home state. 

Another great asset to the farmers of this section is the North Vernon, 
Greensburg & Rushville railroad, which runs through the township. It 
enables them to place their products on the markets of the leading cities and 
furnishes railroad facilities for all the different lines of transportation. 

The trustee of Clinton township is Henry Mozingo, and Orville Garrett 
is assessor. 


Sandusky, the only town in Clinton township, was laid out along the 
Michigan di\'ision of the Big Four railroad on October 7, 1882, by Olliver 
C. Sefton. The building of the railroad through the county has made San- 
dusky a shipping point of importance, especially so since it is the nearest 
market for most of Fugit and a part of Adams townships. The business 
interests of 191 5 include the following: Blacksmith, Harrell & Cowan, W. 
O. Rozell; carpenter, A. T. Stanford, Stillman Bros., Elmer Ruddell; ele- 
vator, Sandusky Farmers Elevator Company, Jesse Anderson, manager: 
general store, Horace McDowell; hardware and implements, Horace Mc- 
Dowell ; livery, Charles Ray ; painter and paper hanger, Fleetwood & Seright : 



saw-mill, Steward & Tilley; station agent, A. C. Thorpe; warehouse, H. C. 
Doles, of Clarksburg. 

J. T. Stanford operates a stone crusher a short distance from the town 
and furnishes most of the crushed stone used on the roads in the township. 
In the spring of 191 5 about forty of the leading farmers of the community 
surrounding Sandusky formed a company to operate the elevator at the 
town and are making extensive repairs to the building which they acquired. 
They intend to put in a grinding outfit and handle food stuffs of all kinds. 
A gas company, composed of Knox, Hall & Williams, has four wells, which 
furnish an abundant supply of gas for the town. They give a flat rate of 
one dollar a month for a stove and furnish one light. Additional lights 
cost fifteen cents. a month. The county farm, of one hundred and sixty 
acres, is located a mile southwest of Sandusky. Superintendent D. A. Bur- 
roughs now has twenty-seven inmates on the farm. 

Williamstown is a joint Decatur and Rush county town, and is located 
on the county line in Clinton township. 


Salt Creek township bears the distinction of being the last township 
laid out in the county. It was established by. the board of county commis- 
sioners of Decatur county, September 5, 1836, and, as recorded in the rec- 
ords of that date, its boundaries were as follow, to wit: "Beginning on 
the Franklin county line on the line dividing townships 10 and 11; thence 
west to the northwest corner of section 2, township 10, range 10; thence 
south to the northwest corner of section 26, township 9, range 10; thence 
east two miles ; thence south one mile ; thence east to the Ripley county line ; 
thence north to the place of beginning." This was taken verbatim from the 
record books of the county commissioners (volume III, page 104), but there 
seems to be some discrepancy in this record, as seen by following the line 
of boundary, for it would not strike the Ripley county line. The error may 
come in supplying the name Ripley when in fact the Franklin county line 
was meant. 

The next record which we have defining the boundary of this township 
is given as follows, to wit : "Beginning on the Franklin county line on the 
line dividing townships 10 and 11; thence west to the northwest corner of 
section 2, township 10, range 10; thence south five miles; thence east two 
miles; thence south one mile; thence east one mile; thence south one mile 


r>OT'P.I.F, I.OAD (IF ril.F.S. TN FKKT I.OXC. iTT IX 1 >K( ATI" 


to the Ripley county line; thence northeast with the Indian boundary line 
and north with the Franklin county line to the place of beginning." 

Although the soil of Salt Creek township is not so productive as that 
of other subdivisions of Decatur county, its thrifty farmers, most of them 
of German descent, have brought the land to a state of dependable produc- 
tion, have erected commodious barns and substantial dwellings, so that, in 
most respects. Salt Creek township takes a high rank among tlie nine town- 
ships of Decatur county. 


Robert Ross and John Harding were two of the first six men to settle 
in Salt Creek township. Others who made homes in this township at an 
early date were : James Cook, William Barclay, Parkinson Barclay, Eli Pen- 
nington (who later laid out New Pennington), Lewis Castor, Wilson Ross, 
William Hart, Charles McHugh, John Calicott, Robert Atte, William 
Walker, Milton Walker, George Osborn and John Snediker. 

Salt Creek township abounded in game in -the days of the early 
settlements, and the pioneers of this locality never had any trouble getting 
a supply of bear meat, but, of course, pork was a scarce article until bruin 
had been exterminated. Wild turkeys were seen in the vicinity of Xew Pen- 
nington as late as 1875. 

The general character of the soil of this township is clay. However, it 
responds readily to scientific farming, so that, with careful attention, it pro- 
duces a profitable crop every year. Salt Creek township timber is mostly 
oak and gum, of which a large amovmt has been sold for the manufacture 
of furniture. 

The township was crossed by the Big Four railroad, from east to west. 
in 1853, this being one of the earliest railroads in the state. Newpoint and 
Smith's Crossing are located on the railroad. 

The following- are the present officers of Salt Creek township : Trustee, 
Harley S. McKee ; assessor, Elza O. Walker; advisory board, William Schil- 
ling, Isaac Parmer, Sr., and Henry Travis; road supervisors, Clarence Col- 
son, Rudolph Kramer and Taylor Ramer; justice of the peace, William Haas. 

The town of Xewpoint is located in Salt Creek township on the Big 
Four railroad. It was laid out on November 11, 1859, by Ebenezer Nutting 
and has enjoyed a steady growth from the beginning'. A struggling village 


had existed at this place ever since the raih-oad had been buik in 1854, but 
it was five years later before it occurred to an enterprising proprietor that it 
would make a good site for a town. The stone industry has always been the 
chief business of Newpoint, and the stone quarry of J. J. Puttmann, a mile 
north of town has employed more men than any other enterprise in the com- 
munity. He has employed many men and has the only quarries of import- 
ance in the township. 

Among the men earlier connected with the commercial life of Newpoint 
were: George Brown, Joel Colson, W. E. Barkley, James Hart, Warner 
Clark, Leander Storks, John Lewis Hilliard. On September 2, 1866, Mr. 
Hilliard began his long and honest career as a clerk when he sold the first 
order in the store of W. E. Barkley, which stood on the site of the store now 
owned by George W. Metz. Joel Colson made to the town of Newpoint the 
addition which bears his name. From its founding, Newpoint has always 
been the chief trading and shipping point in the township and remains so at 
the present time. 

The town is incorporated and divided into three wards. The town clerk 
is Robert Carr, and John W. Snedeker officiates as marshal. A volunteer 
fire department is maintained, which has proven equal to every emergency 
thus far. Three fire cisterns, a hand-power fire engine, hooks, ladders and 
an ample supply of hose are kept in the town house. A stone jail takes care of 
such ofi^enders of the law as need incarceration. The town is well lighted 
with gas, street lights being located at appropriate intervals all over the town. 
The Newpoint Gas, Oil and Mineral Company has ten wells in the imme- 
diate vicinity and sells its gas for fifteen cents a thousand. There is plenty 
of gas for both light and fuel. John Giberson owns the local telephone line 
and maintains a switchboard at his home, half a mile northeast of town, 
which connects with about seventy-five patrons. The White River Cream- 
ery Company, of Cincinnati, has a shipping station at Newpoint, in charge 
of Sanford S. Starks. Starks was granted a state license as milk tester by 
the state examining board on June 7, 191 5. From forty to sixty gallons of 
cream are shipped daily from Newpoint to Cincinnati. 

The business and professional interests of Newpoint in 19 15 include 
the following: Bank, Newpoint State Bank; barber, Henry Wolf and 
James Myers; blacksmith, George Cornelius and Ephraim Deen; carpenter, 
Adam Hoover, James Blaire and Peter Grove; general store, H. M. Loyd, 
G. W. Metz, John Hofif and George Myers; grist-mill, Germany & King; har- 
ness, Benjamin Kaneve; hardware, J. J. Puttmann & Company; jeweler, 
E. F. Starks; livery, Fred Wolf; meat market, Fred Wolf; millinery, Mrs. 


Henry Ennebrock ; painter and paper hanger, Robert Moulton ; phj-sician. 
Harley S. McKee and Joseph Coomes; restaurant, Ruth Gouge and Frank 
Hooten; saloon, Peter Schuh ; saw-miU, J. J. Puttmann and T. E. Day; 
stock buyer, Wolf & Barnard; wholesale liquor dealer, Greensburg Mercan- 
tile Company, William McWilliams, manager. 

The present officers are as follow : Councilmen, George A. Redelman, 
Henry Ennebrock, Al Thomas ; clerk, Robert Carr ; treasurer. Will Thomas, 

smith's crossing. 

Smith's Crossing is now only a flag station on the Big Four railroad. 
It is situated in Salt Creek township, about two miles west of Newpoint. 
This little hamlet was laid out, January 2, 1859, by R. S. Ward. For many 
years a postoftice was maintained here under the name of ^^'inters\•ille. but 
it was discontinued with the establishment of the rural free deliver)-. There 
are only three or four houses in the place at present, and the only business 
interest is the store of Mrs. Edward Little. 


There are three small places in Salt Creek township which appear on 
the maps of Decatur as towns, but none of them can hardly be said to 
deserve the title now. The first of these is Mechanicsburg, which was laid out 
by Robert Garrison and others, October 10, 1846. The next is New Pen- 
nington, which was laid out by Eli Pennington in 1851 and bears the 
founder's name. Last, but not necessarily least, comes Rossburg. which 
was laid out by D. Montague, founder of the town of St. IMaurice, March 
16, 1836. 


Sand Creek township was organized lay the board of justices on May 
2, 1825, with the following boundaries: "Beginning at the county line on 
the township line dividing townships 9 and 10, range 8; thence east seven 
miles; thence north two miles to the line of Washington township; thence 
due east with the said township line to the county line; thence south f with 
a westerly direction) with the county line to the southwest corner of the 
county; thence north with the county line to the place of beginning." On 


July 6, 1829, on the petition of Francis Myers, the board ordered "that sec- 
tions 30 and 31 in township 10, range 9, be attached to and made a part of 
Sand Creek township." 

Sand Creek township was formed from the southern part of Wash- 
ington, and, Hke Washington, in its original boundaries was much larger than 
it is at present. As established originally, it embraced the townships of 
Sand Creek, Jackson, Marion and a portion of Salt Creek, but between the 
years 1825 and 1836 its boundaries were greatly reduced by the formation 
of the latter townships. The present limits of this township have not been 
reached through a definite location of its own boundaries, but by the bound- 
aries of the townships which were established from its territory and bound 
it on three sides. The present limits are as follow : "Beginning at the 
Jennings county line, on the section line dividing sections 9 and 10, town- 
ship 8, range 9; thence north to the Washington township line; thence west 
from the northeast corner of section 28, township 10, range 9, two miles; 
thence south two miles to the northeast corner of section 6, township 9, 
range 9; thence west two miles and a half to the center of section 2 on the 
north side thereof; thence south to the Jennings county line; thence east on 
the Jennings county line to the place of beginning." 

As a whole, Sand Creek township is uneven and contains several kinds 
of soil, from rich black lands on the Sand Creek bottoms to the poor land 
common in Salt Creek and Marion townships. Part of the township is very 
hilly and broken. 


Elijah Davis was the first settler in Sand Creek township, so far as 
can be ascertained. He took out a claim in 1820, the only man to do so that 
year. In 1821 three others l^ought government land and made homes for 
themselves in this township. They were Daniel Herron, Nat Robbins and 
William Robbins. 

Four years later, when the township was organized, it had grown but 
little in population, as but nine votes were cast in the first township election 
held in 1825 for the office of justice of the peace. Just one-third of the 
male population that had reached the age of twenty-one was then willing to 
serve the public, there being three candidates for the office. Nat Robbins 
was elected. 

James Holmes, John Bagley, Robert Courtney and Samuel Stevens are 
supposed to have settled in Sand Creek township during the same year, but 
if they did, they merely "squatted" until they could raise sufficient cash to 


purchase government land. Other early .settlers were John RobJjins, Simeon 
Sharp, Daniel Meredith, William Schultz, John Cann and Samuel De Armond. 

Samuel Stevens built a brick house in 1834 and about the same time 
Simeon Sharp opened a tavern where Westport now stands. Elijah Davis 
and John Robbins both started water-mills and some time after William 
Robbins built a horse-mill, so that the early settlers were not altogether 
dependent upon the waters of Sand creek and Millstone creek for their 
bread. The first church in the township was organized by Samuel Strick- 
land, of the denomination then styled "Campbellites." 

The present officers of Sand Creek township are as follow: Trustee, 
James .Armstrong; assessor, Jesse Blauvelt; road supervisors, James L. Gay- 
nor, first district; Ransom O. Davis, second district; Charles Brannon, third 
district, and James McFall ; advisory board, George M. Keith, John A. Jack- 
son, William A. Barclay; James R. Scott, justice of the peace. 

Westport is located in Sand Creek township on the North Vernon, 
Greensburg & Rushville and the Chicago, Terre Haute & Eastern Railroads. 
This little village was laid out on March 23, 1836, by Simeon Sharp and 
Hockersmith Merriman, and has enjoyed a steady growth from the begin- 
ning. A marked proof of the growth is shown by the fact that it was nec- 
essary to lay out an addition in 1838 for the accommodation of people who 
wished to locate here. This was made by John Cann, and other additions 
followed soon after. 

The first house was built in the town by \Villiam Shultz, who also kept 
the first store. Mr. Shultz seems to ha\'e been a man of manv trades and 
callings, for he is also accredited with being the first physician in West- 
port. Frank Talkington was the first blacksmith to ply his trade here. 
John Conwell served as the first postmaster. 

Westport is noted for its excellent stone cpiarries in close pro.ximity 
to the town. .The product of these quarries is a high-grade building stone, 
which will bear favorable comparison with that of any other section of the 
state. It is also used quite extensively for curb and gutter, and many car 
loads of crushed stone are shipped from the quarries annually. At present 
it is under the management of a Cincinnati corporation and bears the name 
of the Westport Stone Company. John Ballman, of Cincinnati, is the pres- 
ent superintendent and he is ablv assisted bv J. L. Tackson, of Westport. 


The output varies from three to five carloads per day and in times of rush 
orders for crushed stone as much as sixty to seventy carloads extra are put 
out per month. This has been one of the greatest factors in making West- 
port among the most progressive business towns of the county. 


The business and professional interests in Westport in 191 5 are as fol- 
low : Barber, Rousie Boicourt, J. N. Keith ; bank, First National Bank ; 
bakery, Westport bakery, Jacob Bacher, manager; basket maker, W. J. 
Richardson; blacksmith, Carl Keith; contractor, Moir and Davis, James 

E. Burk, Benjamin Benifield; drug store, Conwell and Harding; dentist, 

F. M. Davis; furniture and undertaking, J. F. Hamilton Furniture Com- 
pany; general store, George B. Hendrickson, Frank Manuel, J. T. McCul- 
lough, W. T. Stott & Co. ; garage, Ned Burney ; grocery, Pete Barnes ; hard- 
ware, Westport Hardware Company. Cox and McGinnis, managers; Whalen 
& Ostymer; grain company, Tyner Grain Company, Glen Gartin, man- 
ager; hotel, Joe Tucker, Eva Lowe; harness, C. E. Pierce; insurance, Levi 
Burns, T. W. Robinson; jeweler, H. J. Riedenbach; livery barn, Albert Rob- 
bins; milliner store, Etta Boicourt; meat market, J. H. Retherford; optician, 
J. M. Burk; paper hanger, Bert Ross, E. A. Shaw; physician, O. F. Welch, 
Charles Wood, J. A. C. Reiley, J. P. Borroughs; plasterer, Samuel Grayson; 
plumber, Walter Waterman; restaurant and confectionery, H. D. Richard- 
son, William McCullough ; shoe cobbler, B. P. Rogers; tailor, Rogers; stock 
buyer, Mr. Tyner; undertaker, J. F. Hamilton; veterinary, Claude Keith; 
wagon maker and wood worker, Frank Pope; watchmaker, J. M. Burk; 
Westport , Stone Company ; Westport Amusement Company, Alex Cornutt, 

There are few towns in this section of the country which present in 
their business associations a more reliable and intelligent class of men, or 
whose enterprise is more clearly rewarded by an established and growing 
trade, than Westport. Although its population may not be so large as other 
towns with which it competes, yet its aggregated commercial transactions 
will scarcely be found excelled by any town of its class in the state. It is 
accommodated by two railroads which give it an excellent outlet to the dif- 
ferent commercial centers. J. L. Houston acts as agent for the Big Four 
and Charles Hunt serves in a like capacity for the Chicago, Terre Haute 
& Southeastern (Southern Indiana). W. S. Sanders is the postmaster and 
three rural routes serve the country people with mail from Westport. The 


Courier Independent, managed by J. ]\[. Keith, furnishes the community 
with local items of interest and also aids in every way possible in boosting 
the interests of the town. 

The town was incorporated in 1859 for civic and school purposes. The 
following are the present town officials : R. D. Patrick, clerk ; Ed Whalen, 
treasurer; J. H. Retherford, Joe Tucker and Carl Davis, councilmen; school 
board, John Morris, president; Benjamin Gunder, secretary; Edward Davis, 
treasurer. A volunteer fire department is maintained, with E. G. Davis as 
chief, and has rendered excellent service on every occasion which has arisen 
that demanded their service. A hand-power lire engine, hose truck, hooks, 
ladders and an ample supply of hose are kept in the town engine house. In 
1910 the town suffered a very disastrous fire which destroyed a hotel and 
livery barn, hardware store, opera house, millinery store and dwelling. The 
total loss was estimated at fifteen thousand dollars, but this fire-swept dis- 
trict was soon rebuilt with modern and much more substantial buildings. In 
1913 the corporation purchased a town hall of the Red Men. The second 
floor is used for meetings, but the first floor is used for the fire apparatus. 

Westport has a Standard Oil station, which is under the management of 
George Kelley. At present the town has a population of eight hundred. 

Recently a Commercial Club has been formed, to promote the civic and 
moral improvement of the town and also aid in any commercial enterprise 
which may desire to locate here. 

The village of Letts, situated on the Michigan division of the Big Four 
railroad, was laid out on September 30, 1882, by Joab Stout and others. 
Letts is one of the late towns laid out in this county and has had a very pros- 
perous existence in its thirty-three years of life. It is situated in the center 
of a rich farming land and each year its exports in grain are enormous. 
Recently two new store buildings were erected, which add to the prosperous 
business atmosphere of the town. 

The business interests of Letts in 1915 are as follow: Barber, H. L. 
Williams; blacksmith, J E. Carder; bank, Letts State Bank; contractor, 
Moore & Crise; elevator, Moore & Crise; garage, J. E. Carder, also gasoline 
station and sub-agency for Buick cars; general merchandise, W. A. Taggart 
& Company, Letts Merchandise Company, John McCammon, manager ; hard- 
ware, Letts Hardware Company, K. L. Adams, manager; hotel, J. Henry 


Gibson & Sons ; livery and feed barn, J. Henry Gibson & Sons ; harness shop, 
Samuel Ketcham; physician, J. A. Welch; restaurant, Alice Gardner. 

The postmaster is George W. Davis. The railroad station is known 
by the name of Letts Corner and O. E. Hedrick is the agent. Letts is sup- 
plied with ice by the Meek Ice Company, from Greensburg, which makes 
trips once a week. The population of the town is estimated at three hundred. 

No town in Decatur county has experienced a greater change in the past 
quarter of a century than Harris City, which was once the center of the larg- 
est blue-limestone quarry of stratified rock in the state, if not in the United 
States. From this quarry have been shipped thousands of car loads of 
stone and when it was in the height of its prosperity it frequently turned out 
more than a hundred car loads of stone a week. Three hundred people 
were dependent on the operation of the quarry and the Inisy hum of indus- 
try which pervaded the place was an apparent indication that the place would 
one day become a town of some importance. 

But today it is all changed. The quarry has closed down; the few 
remaining houses are nearly all deserted; the once neat homes of the thrifty 
German laborers are surrounded with sweet clover; the din of the 
hammer is stilled; the cheery ring of the blacksmith's anvil no longer greets 
the ear; the towering derricks, the smoking engines, the hurrying feet of the 
hundreds of employees — all have disappeared. Where once massive blocks 
of stone were piled waiting for the skilled hands of the workmen, may now 
be seen a waving field of fragrant sweet clover. 

This is the simple narrative of the energy and enthusiasm of one man — 
and this is the story: 

Morgan's men were riding through the counties of southern Lidiana 
in July, 1863, and some of them chanced to pass by what is now Harris 
City. One of these same men must have been looking for a future place 
to locate, or at least one of them returned to Decatur county immediately 
after the close of the Civil War and made a close examination of the spot 
which had attracted his attention on that hot sultry day in July, 1863. 

This man was B. B. Harris, the founder of the town which bore his 
name and the man who was responsible for the opening of the quarry which 
was destined to become one of the largest of its kind in the whole country. 
By 1869 Harris had the quarry opened and was turning out considerable 
stone, although he was badly handicapped because he was so far from a 


railroad. However, the possibilities of the quarry were so apparent that he 
had little difficulty in organizing a hundred thousand dollar company in 
1873. . The company made Harris president and manager and five years 
later the business had reached such dimensions that it was deemed impera- 
tive to build a spur of track to Greensburg, six miles away. The right of 
way, the building of the track and the purchase of a railroad engine entailed 
an expenditure of fifty thousand dollars, but the increased business brought 
about by the better shipping facilities was sufficient to pay for the heavy out- 
lay. The company had secured a contract for a large amount of stone to 
be used in the new state house at Indianapolis and this fact was largely 
responsible for the building of the railroad to Greensburg. In fact, they 
could not ha\e taken the contract without so doing. At the same time they 
were furnishing stone for the United States custom house at Cincinnati. 
Three thousand carloads of stone went out from this rjuarrj' for the state 
house and six thousand for the Cincinnati custom house. At least ten thous- 
sand car loads of this stone was sold to Proctor & Gamble for their immense 
soap factor)^ at Ivorydale, a suburb of Cincinnati. The company also fur- 
nished the stone for the abutments of the Chesapeake & Ohio bridge at Cin- 
cinnati and the stone for hundreds of other railroad bridges. The stone for 
the cells in the !\Iansfield, Ohio, reformatory were cut in this quarry and 
smoothed with chilled shot in the local }-ards. There is no machinery which 
will smooth this stone on account of its excessive hardness, and all the stone 
had to be smoothed by hand. 

The company built thirty-seven houses for its employees and erected 
a large three-story boarding house which would accommodate two hundred 
men. The business prospered until the latter part of the nineties, but the 
hard times of 1897, combined with the poor management of Harris, forced 
the company into bankruptcy. In the following year W. C. Patton took 
charge of the quarry and operated it until 1904, when S. B. Eward became 
the sole owner and manager. Eward had been connected with the company 
since the beginning and was thoroughly familiar with every detail of the 
business, having for many years been the treasurer. Eward continued to 
operate the quarry until his death, December 31, 19 14, although very little 
stone was quarried for a few years before his death. The use of cement 
had made such heavy inroads into the business that the sale had dropped 
sharply away. In addition, the equipment was getting old, the track was 
too light to stand the heavy freight cars which had come into use, and, in 
short, the quarry was closed for the simple reason that it had ceased to be a 
profitable enterprise with the present demand and prices. The quarry and 


the one hundred and fiftj'-three acres of the old company are now the prop- 
erty of L. D. Eward, of Greensburg. In 1914 thirty-one of the houses of 
Harris were moved away. The store is owned by Mr. Eward, after having 
passed through several hands in the past c|uarter of a century. What the 
future of the quarry may be is entirely problematical ; the stone is still there 
in abundance, only eleven acres of stone having been removed. In order to 
put the quarry in operation again it would be necessary to rebuild the rail- 
road track to the quarry switch, a distance of four and a half miles, and 
install a complete equipment for getting out the stone. Undoubtedly the 
cjuarry will be opened some day, but only the future can tell when the black- 
smith's anvil will again ring. Until then the fragrant sweet clover will 
reign undisturbed and the silence will be broken only by the wayfarer who 
stops to inquire what village once occupied this picturesque spot. 


Sardina Crossing is a flag stop on the Big Four Railroad. A postof^ce 
was maintained here for a number of years and bore the name of Harpers, 
but the rural free delivery has long since taken its place and at present noth- 
ing remains to mark the town. 


On May 14, 1822, the county commissioners established Washington 
township with the following limits : Beginning at the county line on the 
line dividing townships 10 and 11; thence west with said line to the south- 
west corner of section 35, range 10, township 11; thence north with the line 
dividing sections 34 and 35 to the southwest corner of section 26; thence 
west with the section line to the southwest corner of section 28, range 10, 
township 11; thence north with said section line to the southwest corner of 
section 16, range 10, township 11; thence west with the section line to the 
southwest corner of section 14, range 9, township 11 ; thence south with the 
line dividing sections 22 and 23 to the southwest corner, of section 23, range 
9, township 11; thence west to the southwest comer of section 21, range 9, 
township 1 1 ; thence south with the line dividing sections 28 and 29 to the 
township line dividing townships 10 and 11 ; thence west with the said line to 
the county line; thence south with the county line to the southwest corner of 
said county; thence with the county line to the place of beginning. 


Washington township as originally laid ont embraced the entire south- 
ern half of the county and contained more square miles of territory than 
Adams and Fugit combined. It comprised the territory from which the 
townships of Washington, Sand Creek, Marion, Jackson, Clay and a part of 
Salt Creek were later formed. 

On May 2, 1825, the board of justices re-defined the limits of Wash- 
ington township as follow : Beginning at the county line on the township 
line dividing townships 10 and 11, range 11; thence west on the township 
line to the southwest corner of section 35 ; thence north one mile ; thence west 
two miles ; thence north one mile ; thence due west seven miles to the north- 
west corner of section 29, range 9, township 11; thence south six miles to 
the southwest corner of section 20, range 9, township 10; thence due east 
to the county line; thence with the count}- line to the place of beginning 
(volume I, page 136). 

But this was not to be the final boundary of this township, for, in 1836, 
Salt Creek township was organized and Washington underwent another 
change of boundary. The limits of the township as permanently defined are 
as follow: "Beginning at the northwest corner of section 29, township 11, 
range 8; thence south six miles on the section line dividing sections 29 and 
30, township II, range 8, to the northwest corner of section 29, township 
10, range 9; thence east nine miles to the Salt Creek township line; thence 
north on the section line dividing sections 22 and 2^, township 10, range 
10, to the northeast corner of section 34, township 9, range 10; thence west 
two miles; thence north two miles; thence south one mile; thence west to 
the place of beginning." 

Washington was one of the three original townships laid out by the 
board of county commissioners of Decatur county, when it held its first 
meeting at the home of Thomas Hendricks, May 14, 1822. The two other 
townships were Fugit and Adams. The board fixed the first day of June as 
the date for holding a township election for selection of two justices of the 
peace and fixed the place for holding it at the residence of Thomas Hen- 
dricks. Richard J. Hall was appointed inspector. 

This township is located in almost the exact center of the county and 
contains fifty-four square miles of territory. According to the census report 
of 1910, the entire population of the township, exclusive of the city of 
Greensburg, was one thousand four hundred and eight. The entire town- 
ship is underlaid with a bed of limestone, which has proved of utmost value 
in the construction of highways. 

On account of the good roads, the productivity of the soil, and nearness 



to the county seat and shipping facihties, land in Washington township has 
always commanded a high price in the real estate market. Most of the farms 
have good buildings and are well impro\'ed. As a result, farms frequently 
sell at one hundred and fifty dollars an acre and even higher figures. 


The first settlers of the township were Thomas Hendricks, Elijah Davis 
and Benjamin Drake. Thomas Ireland, Samuel Logan and Samuel Hous- 
ton came about the same time. Houston was a surveyor and is supposed to 
have been the first justice of the peace in Washington township. He died 
a few years after the organization of the county. 

Hendricks himself was a surveyor and had surveyed the greater por- 
tion of Decatur county for the federal government in 1820, when engineers 
had been sent out to run lines through the "New Purchase." His assistants 
were Houston, the two Stewarts, Logan and Sam Gageby. He was by all 
odds the leading spirit in the new community, as he came of stock richly 
endowed by nature for leadership. He was a brother of William Hendricks, 
second governor of Lidiana, and an uncle of Thomas A. Hendricks, later 
vice-president of the United States. He built the first house, conducted the 
first tavern therein, and later opened the first hotel in the county on the site 
of the present DeArmond Hotel. He entered the first land in Washington 
township in October, 1820. 

About the same time, Re\'. James Lathrop, a Vermonter, who had 
reached Dearborn county, entered land in Washington township and then 
went back to Dearborn county to bring on his family to the new settlement. 
While making preparations for his removal, he fell ill and died. The respon- 
sibilities of the head of the family of ten children then fell upon his son, 
Ezra, father of Rev. James B. Lathrop. 

Ezra Lathrop, with a younger brother and a hired man, then came to 
Washington county and made preparations for caring for the remainder 
of the family, when it should arrive. In the spring of 182 1 the widow and 
family came to Decatur county and settled on land that had been entered by 
her husband and improved, through erection of a log cabin, by her sons. 

Next among the early settlers came Henry H. Talbott, a young Vir- 
ginian, who promptly made love to and married one of the five Hendricks 
daughters. The two Stewart brothers had previously formed matrimonial 
alliances with the Hendricks family. Talbott possessed an excellent educa- 
tion and was unusually adept with a pen. He was clerk of the county for a 


long period, and his early records are still considered marvels in penmanship. 

Talbott was an unusnally talented representative of a type that made its 
presence felt in each new community in the days of county organization. 
They were the seekers after office, and early records of Indiana counties 
show that it was a very common custom for politicians failing to land jobs, 
in one county when it was organized, to quit the county and try their luck 
again in the next one organized. Talbott, however, had not }et attained 
his majority when he came to Washington township. Talbott and Robert 
Murphy, who came with him, boarded at the Hendricks house. Talbott 
brought some goods with him and started a store, which may have been 
the first one in the township, although this distinction is also claimed for a 
man named Riley. The ne.xt newcomer was David Gageby, who had resided 
at Vernon. He started a cabinet shop on the northwest corner of the public 
square. He was later joined by his brother James. David then turned his 
attention exclusively to carpenter work, leaving the management of the shop 
to his brother. Other early settlers were Martin and John Jamison, hat- 
ters. In 1 82 1, William Lloyd settled on what is now called the Madison 
road, about two miles south of Greensburg. He brought with him from 
Jefferson count}', where he had stopped a few months, a number of hogs 
and cattle. Rattlesnakes killed off a good many of the cattle and a good 
share of the hogs wandered away into the woods and were lost. 

Thomas Perry emigrated from Bath county, Kentucky, to Washington 
township in 1823 and settled four miles east of Greensburg. Samuel and 
John McConnell, two other Kentuckians, also came about the same time. 
Both were powerful and muscular and possessed great physical courage. 
It is related that, while living "on the dark and bloody ground," John McCon- 
nell was once beset by two Indians. He whipped them both and took away 
from one a very business-like war club, which he preserved as a trophv of 
the encounter. 

Others who found homes for themselves in ^Vashington township 
before the organization of the county were Rev. John Strange, John House, 
Samuel Anderson, Jeptha Conner, William Bell, Daniel McCormick, Joseph 
English, John Messinger and David Messinger. Most of these settled in 
the southeastern part of the township. Still others who settled in the town- 
ship alMut this time were : Abraham Garrison, Thomas Chinn, Benjamin 
Walker, Benjamin Drake, Otha White, Paris Aldrich. George Hopkins, 
Robert Elder, John Hazelrigg, Matthew, William and James Elder, Thomas 
Doles, John and Elijah Davis and John Robbins. 

Before John McConnell settled here, the land he later occupied was 


held by a squatter named Gartin. William Ross, first sheriff of the county, 
and William Parks, a member of the first board of county commissioners, 
were among the earliest to arrive. 

Washington township has two villages marked on the map. The first 
of these is McCoy, which was platted on August ii, 1871, by J. C. Adams, 
but this failed to materialize and at present nothing remains to give sem- 
blance to a town. Quarry Switch was the point where the switch from 
Harris connected with the Big Four. At this point the Big Four branches, 
the Columbus, Hope & Greensburg branch going west and the Michigan 
branch going south. 

The officers of Washington township are as follow : Trustee, Charles 
S. Williams;- assessor, Henry C. Snell; advisory board, Dan S. Perry, 
Joseph B. Kitchen, Charles I. Ainsworth; board of supervisors, P. L. Doles, 
Oliver A. McCoy and Nathan A'andivier; justices of the peace, William W. 
Dixon and Thomas W. Hamilton; constables, William Dorsey and Reuben 



SONG OF AN "inland TOWN. 
Apropos of the Flood of 1913. 

If I could write a poem like Jim Riley ust to write, 
If I could ketch his rhymiii' scheme in which the words unite 
With a movin' kind o' music that'll start your sluggish blood — 
I would sing a song of Greensburg where we didn't have no flood. 
The scen'ry 'long ole Gas Creek don't compare with Brandywine, 
And we're glad the bloomin' Wabash and Ohio, broad and fine, 
And the other ragin' rivers are miles and miles away — 
Ruther be an "inland town" — kind o' like it thataway. 

A little taste o' trouble 'mong our neighbors, left and right. 

Helps us 'preciate our home town more'n oratory might. 

When the trains are kind o' backward and we're missin' half our mail, 

When the juice is ofif the cable and the rust is on the rail. 

Then we realize the blessin's and the comfort's that we've got — 

There may be places just as good, but there's heaps o' them that's not. 

We hev counted all our noses and we've called our little roll. 

And there's nary one a missin', not a single bloomin" soul. 

Now the streams are in their channels and the trains are comin' back. 

And the juice has hit the trolley and the rust is ofif the track. 

— Smiley Fozvlcr. 

The original plat of Greensburg was located on the southeast quarter 
of section 2, township 10 north, range 9 east. This tract was entered by 
Thomas Hendricks on October 27, 1820, and there is little doubt but), 
that this shrewd Yankee selected this particular tract because he thought 
it would be near the center of a county, which would be organized within the 
the next few years. At that time the territory now within Decatur county 
was a part of Delaware county, then unorganized. Franklin county had 


civil and criminal jurisdiction over this part of Delaware county, and all 
marriage licenses and town plats are found recorded in the court house at 
Brookville up until Decatur county was organized, in the spring of 1822. 

Greensburg was laid out on August 26, 1822, by John B. Potter, and, so 
tradition says, was named, at the request of Mrs. Thomas Hendricks, in 
honor of her old home town in Pennsylvania. An interesting story is told 
regarding the naming of the town. Mrs. Hendricks had four charming 
daughters, all unmarried, and the question of the selection of the name for 
the new town was left to a vote of the men of the town, most of whom were 
unmarried. Seventeen of these men were young unmarried fellows and 
the desire to stand in the good graces of the four handsome daughters was 
the decisive factor in the selection of the name of Greensburg. 

The act providing for the organization of the county made provision 
for a commission of five men to locate the county seat, and this commission 
reported on June 14, 1822, that they had selected Greensburg as the seat of 
justice. Thus the hopes of Hendricks were realized and the first settler had 
the satisfaction of knowing that he had been fortunate enough to enter the 
tract on which the future county seat was to be located. Unfortunately, 
records are not available which will disclose the early history of the town. 
It takes no stretch of the imagination to picture the log cabins which 
clustered around the public square. In fact, it was not until i860 that the 
last log house on the public square was razed. It stood on the west side 
of the square, north of the alley, and had been occupied for many years by 
W. T. Green as a chair factory. The lot is now occupied by the meat market 
of McCormick & Richey. 

It is interesting to note the prices paid for the first lots sold in the 
embryonic city. On July 28, 1822, the county board of justices appointed 
John D. Potter "to proceed immediately to laying off the town of Greens- 
laurg, to-wit : Public square in the center and lots extending two squares north, 
two squares east and two squares west." He laid off sixty-four lots, eighty 
by one hundred and sixty feet. He was ordered to have thirty-five acres 
grubbed, although the persons doing this work had to agree to wait one year 
for their pay. The sale of lots took place on the first Monday' of Septem- 
ber, 1822, and on that date thirty-six lots were sold, most of them being 
around the public square, although a few were sold on Broadway, Franklin 
and North streets. The highest price paid for a single lot was the one now 
occupied by the DeArmond hotel, the drug store of Joseph Moss and 
Eubanks' grocery. Thomas Hendricks bought this lot for one hundred and 
twenty-one dollars. The cheapest lot brought twelve dollars and forty-six 


cents and is now occupied by Dr. J. H. Alexander on East North street. The 
lot on which Col. Thomas Green's home stands brought twenty-four dollars, 
thirty-seven and one-fourth cents. The lot occupied by Wirt Woodfill's 
store, the Kessler bakery, the Habig real estate office and the Knights of 
Pythias block was sold to Barlow Aldrich for eighty and a half dollars. 
However, he repented of this rash act in bidding so liberally and refused to 
give a note for the same. This lot was later sold at a private sale. The 
thirty-six lots sold on this first day brought one thousand, five huntlred and 
seventy-two dollars and eight}--one and one-fourth cents. The records dis- 
close the fact that not one of the lots is in the hands of any of the heirs of 
the man who bought it at this sale. It was not until the May term, 1823, 
of the county board that Thomas Hendricks received the residue of the 
thirty dollars, forty and one- fourth cents which he charged the board for 
surveying the town and for whiskey which he furnished the agents on the 
days of the sale of the lots. 


The town had a steady growth from the beginning, and, on February 
4, 1837, fifteen years after it was laid out, it was incorporated by an act 
of the Legislature. James Blair, Caleb Luther, Isaac House, John Thom- 
son, James Freeman, James Lusk and William B. Ewing were appointed to 
serve as trustees until January, 1838. The legislative act further pro\ided 
that tippling- houses should not be licensed for less than three nor more 
than ten dollars a year. 

From a local paper of 1844, it has been ascertained that the most prom- 
inent business concerns of Greensburg at that time were as follow: D. 
Stewart & Sons, drugs and groceries ; A. G. Stout & Company, general store ; 
W. P. & J. F. Stevens, dry goods; Henry Sefton, plow maker; Lathrop & 
Cooley, hat factory; J. & W. W. Freeman, general merchants; Bryan & 
Hueston, Forsyth & Gilham, Hall & Callen, tailors; John Mackey, saddler; 
Belmont & Ricketts, cabinet makers; Robinson & Houser, carriage builders; 
I. T. Gibson, grocery: J. S. Scobey, J. & S. W. Robinson and S. Over- 
turf, attorneys. A gazeteer of 1845 credits Greensburg with a^ population 
of twelve hundred and says that the flourishing town had seven blacksmith 
shops, employing a total of seventeen men; four wagon shops, employing 
ten men ; four shoe shops, with eight men ; two cabinet shops ; two tan yards 
and two carding machines. 



Some ludicrous ordinances have been gleaned from the old records 
of Greensburg. In 1857, an ordinance was passed limiting- the speed of all 
vehicles to four miles an hour, and it appears to have been more rigorously 
enforced than the speed laws of today. The records disclose one citizen 
who drew a fine of one dollar for venturing to drive at a perilous speed of 
more than four miles an hour down the main street. This ordinance soon 
disappeared, however, and the citizens were free to travel on the streets at 
a more rapid pace. In 1861 an ordinance forbade owners of hogs to permit 
them to run at large unless they had rings in their snouts. Old residents 
tell how the pigs of the citizens around the public square rooted for grub 
worms in the court house yard. Convenient mud holes were provided on 
the streets around the public square for the pleasure of the hogs. In 1862, 
Marshal Eudaily took up some hogs belonging to G. B. Roszell for not wearing 
the required rings in their snouts and advertised the ringless porkers for sale. 
Before the day of the sale, however, the owner slipped the hogs out of town, 
and for a time the city meditated bringing suit. 


Greensburg was incorporated as a city in 1859, and the first city election 
resulted as follows: Mayor, R .B. Thomson; clerk, F. M. Weadon; treasurer, 
B. H. Harney; assessor, Amos Sparks; engineer, D. Batterton; marshal, 
George Pilling; councilmen ; first ward, D. Lovett and Thomas Sefton; second 
ward, D. Moss and I. T. Phares; third ward, J. A. Boyer and Henry Doles; 
school trustee, B. W. Wilson. 

The corporation has grown steadily from year to year since that time 
and fully merits the title of city. As its railroad facilities have improved, 
factories of various kinds have been located in the city, and today thousands 
of dollars are paid out weekly to workmen in a score or more establishments. 
The seven thousand people who claim Greensburg as their home are justly 
proud of its industrial position, of its schools and churches, its well-managed 
]ni])lic utilities, its enterprising merchants and the general high standard of 
citizenship which prevails. 



The Greensburg- fire department was organized in 1874, with Arthur 
Hutchison serving as the first chief. This was a vokinteer company, made 
up of three hundred men, who served without any remuneration for their 
services. A hand-power engine and one thousand feet of leather hose were 
purchased for six thousand dollars. Later, each volunteer fireman who was 
a property holder was exempt from taxes to the value of seven dollars and 
fifty cents, but non-property holders received nothing for their services. 

Some years later a horse was purchased to pull the hose reel, but the 
hook-and-ladder was still pulled by hand. After the city waterworks was 
installed in 1889, the engine was disbanded and a new wagon and hose were 

The fire chiefs who have served since ]\Ir. Hutchison are as follow : 
D. C. Elder, Ralph Buckley, W. I. Johnson, W. S. Harvey, James Randall, 
W. L Johnson and the present incumbent, Joseph Kelly. Tom Morgan drove 
the first team and he was followed by Dick Morgan, William Weathers. 
Bill Dwire drove the hose reel wagon and was followed by Bud Alyea, Bud 
Short and Link Beeson. The present drivers are James Robbins, driver of 
the hook-and-ladder wagon, and Robert Alexander, driver of the hose 
wagon. These men stay in the fire-engine house and receive sixty dollars 
per month. Mr. Isaacs was the first engineer and was followed by Mat 
Jackson, Billy Tussey and William Kirkpatrick, who served until the water- 
works was put in. 

The present volunteer fire department consists of the chief, assistant 
chief and sixteen members of the squad. The chief receives one hundred 
and twnty-five dollars per year for his services, the assistant chief receives 
seventy-five dollars and the members of the squad receive sixty dollars. A 
complete list of the fires is kept. From 1882 until 1902, there were two 
hundred and forty fires. The year 1893 had the greatest number in any 
single year. There were twenty-four in that year, seven of which came in 
August, two on the loth and two on the nth. 


The police department in Greensburg began with one marshal, who, 
alone, kept the quiet and peace of the town for a number of years. Later, 
another man was added to the force and two men served in the capacity 
until 1904. George Dickey was the first chief, with four men under his 


charge. He began his term as chief in 1906, and served for four years, 
although he was on the force for eight years. W. I. Johnson, the present 
chief, was appointed by the mayor in 1910. John Louden is the day pohce- 
man, who assists the chief. James Underwood and Harry Lacey serve as 
night men at the present time. The headquarters of the poHce force are 
located in the city hall. 


The Greensburg waterworks was organized in 1889, and the plant was 
completed in 1890. The Greensburg waterworks is a private corporation, 
with the following officers : David A. Meyer, president ; Harry Emmert, vice- 
president and general manager; J. B. Kitchin, secretary and treasurer; Will 
H. Robbins and W. W. Woodfill, who complete the board of directors. 

The water is taken from thirty wells, which are the property of this 
company. The entire cost of the plant is placed at two hundred thousand 
dollars. Two large reservoirs, with a capacity of one million gallons, are 
provided in case of fire and also to insure a surplus supply. There are 
eighteen miles of mains, which cover the entire town and furnish water for 
private use and also for factories, railroads, etc. A direct-pumping system 
is used and two pressure pumps, with one and one-half million gallons 
capacity per day, respectively, have been installed. This company furnishes 
its patrons with water at a flat rate or by meter. 


The first street paving in Greensburg was done in 1909, when Main 
street was paved with brick throughout its entire length of one and one- 
eighth miles. An interesting fact concerning the paving of this street relates 
to that part traversed by the interurban traction line. The track had been 
laid several years previously, Init there seems to have been nothing in the 
franchise which they got from the city of Greensburg to compel them to 
pave their own tracks. Neither was the traction company compelled to do 
any repairing along their right of way. In 1913. Broadway, Franklin and 
part of North streets were paved with tarvia. The other streets of the city 
are well graded and macadamized. 


The Greensburg city hall is located on the west side of South Broadway, 
in tiie first block off the public square. It is a brick structure and was 


erected in 1874 at a cost of eight thousand dollars. It is two stories in 
height, the first floor being devoted to the fire department and the second 
floor to various city offices. The mayor, chief of police and city clerk have 
private rooms, while there are bedrooms for the dri\'ers of the fire-trucks. 
The largest room is the council chamber, which also serves as a city court 


Greensburg began the installation of a sewerage system several years 
ago and has added to it as the corporation limits were extended and the 
population increased. Owing to the fact that the city is not on a water- 
way, it has been compelled to provide an artificial means for the disposal of 
its sewerage. This is done in what is known as a disposal plant, which was 
installed in 1906-7, at a cost of eighteen thousand dollars, and has proven 
very satisfactory. The disposal plant takes care of the sewerage by auto- 
matic syphons, and for this reason the plant does not need the constant atten- 
tion of an attendant. The street commissioner, who has general charge of 
the plant, makes daily trips to it in order to see that it is working properly. 


Abstractors — P. T. Lambert, J. H. Parker. 

Agricultural Implements — Bonner, Hart & Ryan ; H. O. Craig & Com- 

Art Studio— H. M. Aultman, J. W. Beck. 

Attorneys— T. E. Davidson, J. K. Ewing, Oscar G. Miller, Goddard & 
Craig, E. E. Hite, Tremain & Turner, Lewis A. Harding, William F. Rob- 
bins, Osborn & Hamilton, J. H. Parker, M. C. Jenkins, F. Gates Ketchum, 
Roy E. Glidewell. 

Auctioneers — Earl Storms, A. F. Eubank, Earl Gartin. 

Automobile Dealers — E. E. Arbuckle, Roy Privett, Mrs. C. C, Low, 
Harlan Overleese, Miss Anna Stewart, E. C. Phelps. 

Auto Garage — Goyert's Rapid Garage and Auto Agency, Frank J\Ic- 
Cracken, Roy Privett, A. P. Powell. 

Automobile Radiator Company — Take-Apart Radiators. 

Bakeries — Gem Bakery, Henry Kabey, Zoellner Bakery, F. Kessler. 

Banks — Citizens' National, Greensburg National, Third National, Union 
Trust Company. 

Barber Shops — George O. Baumgartner, W. E. Golay, W. F. Martin, 
W. S. Meadows, ]. F. Strausburger, James Andrews. 


Bazaar Stores — The Fair, Morris Five-and-Ten-Cent Store. 

Bicycles and Sundries — Albert Gilham, L. N. Marlow. 

Bill Posters — Fred Seitz & Sons. 

Billiard Rooms — DeArmond Hotel, James Ford, Pierson Cigar Store. 

Blacksmiths — C. F. Brown, Brodie & Ricketts, S. E. Cline, Wade Coil, 
Hiram Collins, William Espy, Charles Ferris, Arthur Terrell. 

Boiler Works — Joseph L. Luchte. 

Bottling Works — Michael O'Conner. 

Bowling Alley — Pierson Cigar Company. 

Brick Manufacturers — W. H. Isgrigg & Son. 

Buggies and Carriages — Haas & Son, Isaac Layton, George Mont- 

Building and Loan Associations — Greensburg Building and Loan Asso- 
ciation, Workmen's Building and Loan Association. 

Building Material — Jones Lumber Company, Pulse & Porter, Strickland 
& Trester. 

Cab and Transfer Lines — Big Four Liver)-, Charles Beeson, Powell & 

Carriage Painter — Edward Roberts. 

Cement and Drain Tile — Greensburg Commercial Club, Allen Brothers. 

Chiropractor — Dr. H. Dennis. 

Cigar Manufacturers — William Oliver, Harry Suttles, Erdman & Sons. 

Cigar Stores — John Ford, Pierson Cigar Company. 

Clothing — Carter & Company, Huber Clothing Company, L'onclad 
Clothing Company, J. M. Woodfill's Sons. 

Coal Dealers— D. M. Blackmore, Ewing & McKee, R. S. Meek & Sons, 
Clifford Jones. 

Concrete Building Blocks — F. W. Willey. 

Contractors — Allen Brothers, Barringer & Tumilty, Edward Dille,, 
James Duncan, W. H. Isgrigg & Son, Joseph Kelley, M. McCormack, Pulse 
& Porter, J. A. Roszell, Smith Brothers, Williams & Son. 

Dentists — Orlando Burns, F. C. Eddelman, A. E. Gilchrist, A. O. Hall, 
H. S. Hopkins, C. A. Kuhn, E. D. McLaughlin, R. J. Russell. 

Drugs — J. H. Batterton, Henry & Company, Magee's Pharmacy, Joseph 
S. Moss, St. John & Guthrie. 

Dry Goods — Dalmbert & Company, The Enterprise, George W. Magee, 
Minear Dry Goods Company, W. W. Woodfill. 

Electric Company — Greensburg Electric and Gas Company. 

Express Companies — Adams, American. 


Feed Dealers — D. M. Blackmore, Nading Elevator Company, J. M. 
Hornung & Son. 

Florists — Ira Clark & Company, W. C. Konzelman, R. Burtsch. 

Flour Mills — Garland Milling Company, Hornung Mills. 

Foundries — Greensburg Foundry and Machine Works. 

Funeral Director.s — Kirby Bros., E. G. Schultz & Company, Eugene 

Furniture Dealers — Woodward & Christian. E. A. Rankin, E. G. 
Schultz & Company, Styers & Son. 

Gas Companies — Citizens Gas and Supply Company, Greensburg Gas 
and Electric Company, Muddy Fork Gas Company, Sand Creek Gas and 
Oil Company. 

Groceries — Fred Wetzler, Bee Hive Cash Grocery Company, Crooks, 
D. A. Morris, Woods & Gray, A. L. Everhart. Golden Rule Store, Louis 
Huber, Linegar Brothers, James Littell, Samuel V. Littell, J. C. Marshall, 
New York Grocery, People's Grocery, Robert Huber, Sherman Doles, Lit- 
tell & Stewart, Sturges & Wilson, Max Penn, Norman Eubanks. 

Groceries (wholesale) — W. H. Robbins & Company. 

Hardware — Bonner, Hart & Ryan. Corbett & Robe, Barnard, Garver & 

Hair Dresser — Mrs. James Eaton. Mrs. A. J. Kendall. 

Harness — J. Haas & Son, James H. Randall, Charles W^oods. 

Hardwood Lumber — E. E. Doles, N. G. Swails, Frank Donnell. 

Horse Buyers — J. H. Christian, Hunter &: Crews, Carl Swift. 

Hotels — Cottage, DeArmond, Espy House, Portland. 

Hides and Furs — Samuel Levenstein, Weaver & Company. 

Ice Cream and Confectionery — John Cosmas, Frank S. Kabey. Amer- 
ican Candy Kitchen, George Kessler. 

Ice Cream Manufacturer — Link & Kabey. 

Ice Manufacturers — Meek Ice Company. 

Insurance Agencies — Albert Morgan, Mrs. C. C. Lowe, A. Habig, 
A. L. Howard, Miller & Ryan, J. H. Parker, Charles Zoller, Patrons of 
Husbandr\-, Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Company, ]\Iendenhall & 

Jewelers — George W. Clemons, J. W. Owens, Philip H. Spohn, C. H. 
Thomson & Company, C. D. Tillson, C. B. James. 

Junk Dealers — Samuel Levenstein, W. H. Weaver & Company. 

Justices of the Peace — W. W. Dixon, C. E. Shields. 

Job Printing — Charles Childs, All City Papers. 


Livery Barns — Applegate & Parker, Big Four Livery and Feed Barn, 
J. F. Clemens, George S. Littell, Moss House Livery. 

Loans and Rentals — William Flemming, A. Habig, L. E. Laird, P. T. 
Lambert, Oscar G. Miller, J. H. Parker, G. M. Thompson, Charles Zoller, 
Frank Ford. 

Loans and Chattels — Capital Loan Company. 

Lumber Yards — Jones Lumber Company, Pulse & Porter. 

Machine Shops — Joseph L. Luchte, Greensburg Foundry and Machine 

Meat Markets — Louis R. Bobrink, H. Kammerling, McCormick & 
Richey, Robert Huber. 

Millinery — Dalmbert & Company, Lena Littell, Anna Wheeldon, Mary 
L. Hatfield, Minear Dry Goods Company. 

Monuments — South Park Monument Works. 

Musical Instruments — George Lanham, Christopher Link, J. W. Owens. 

Newspapers — Standard, Democrat, Nczvs, Rez'iew, Daily Times, Graphic. 

Optometrist — C. C. McCoy, Phillip PL Spohn. 

Osteopath — G. C. Flick. 

Physicians— P. C. Bentle, Charles Bird, F. P. Bitters, D. E. Douglass, 
C. B. Grover, T. B. Gullefer, C. F. Kercheval, C. C. Morrison, E. T. Riley, 
L M. Sanders, R. M. Thomas, Paul R. Tinsdale, D. W. Weaver, B. S. 
White, James S. Woods, S. V. Wright. 

Planing Mills — Greensburg Planing Mills. 

Poultry Fanciers — C. J. Loyd, J. F. Strasburger, A. Goyert, C. Brown. 

Poultry Remedies — A. Lowe. 

Poultry Supplies — C. J. Loyd & Company. 

Produce Merchants — Goyert & Company. 

Restaurants — Benjamin Meyer, Michael O'Conner, Seitz, Garrett 
Sparks, J. P. Phillips, J. Turaschi. 

Second-Hand Dealers — Oscar Sparks, J. E. Mobley, J. W. Jackson. 

Shoe Repairer.s — John Doertlinger, George Tekulve, Michael McCor- 

Shoe Dealers— Donnell & Son, Edkins & Son, L Carl Mitchell, Roy C. 
Kanouse, Styers & Son. 

Sign Painters — James Duncan, Blaine Ham, Morton Davis. 

Steam Laundry — Greensburg Sanitary Laundry. 

Stone Quarries — Greensburg Limestone Company. 

Telegraph Company — Western Union. 

Telephone Companies — Central Union, Decatur County. 


Transfer Companies — Greensburg Transfer Company. 

Tailors— Will C. Ehrhardt, J. D. Ford, W. C. Hann, D. R. Kerr, George 
J. Kratt, H. L. Wittenberg, Ware & Gassier. 

Upholstering — E. G. Schultz & Company, E. A. Rankin. 

Vacuum Cleaning- — J. W. Parrish. 

A'^eterinarians — C. B. Ainsworth, A. D. Galbraith, I. B. Levy, L. A. 

Wire Factory — Bromwell Brush and Wire Goods Company. 


The first attempt in Decatur county to secure local telephone service 
was made in June, 1900, when two hundred leading citizens of Greensburg 
and farmers of the vicinity, at a mass meeting, organized the Decatur Tele- 
phone Company, and made provision for the sale of stock, erection of lines 
and the installation of a switchboard at Greensburg. Since its beginning, 
the concern has had its share of ups and downs, but now is in a very com- 
fortable financial condition, with more than two thousand subscribers. 

Stock was sold at twenty-five dollars a share and the company was 
capitalized at thirty thousand dollars. At the beginning, there were about 
one hundred subscribers. The first officers of the company were: S. L. 
Jackson, president; Morgan Miers, vice-president; Charles Zoller, Jr., sec- 
retary, and J. H. Christian, treasurer. These officers, with C. P. Miller, 
formed the board of directors. 

In 1902 the telephone companies at Westport and Letts Corners sold 
out to the organization, and by this deal three hundred additional subscribers 
were added to the Greensburg exchange. Some time later the Newpoint 
Telephone Company and the Alert Telephone Company arranged to lease 
the privilege of the Greensburg exchange and the one hundred patrons of 
these two companies are now served free. 

H. C. Stockman, then county treasurer, had the honor of introducing 
the first telephone used in Greensburg and Decatur county. In November, 
1877, he opened a private line between his office, in the court house, and 
his grain elevator, six squares away on Monfort street. It was a great 
curiosity and many Greensburg residents heard their first "hello" over this 

The Greensburg switchboard is of the highest type now in use and is 
designed for both speed and secrecy. It is know as the North automanual 
system and is a combination of the automatic and the old-style switchboard 


Only a few operators are needed at this board, and they are unable to hear 
conversations that take place on the various lines. 

Recently the company has been making an annual profit of eight per 
cent., which is given to stockholders in the form of reduced rates. Stock- 
holders are limited in voting to four shares and all business of the com- 
pany is transacted at an annual stockholders' meeting, which is always largely 
attended. There are now about one thousand stockholders. The present 
officers of the company are: C. P. Miller, president; W. V. Pleak, vice- 
president; J. H. Christian, secretary and treasurer, and F. S. Chapman, 
general manager. 


The total mileage and value per mile of all telegraph and telephone 
lines in Decatur county are as follow : 

Miles. per Mile. 

Western Union Telegraph Company 385 $55 

American Telephone and Telegraph Company 391-2 75 

Central Union Telephone Company 516.5 36 

New Long Distance Telephone Company 40 46 

Decatur County Telephone Company 1,659 23 

Napoleon Telephone Company 7 10 

Zenas Independent Telephone Company 12.5 20 


The Greensburg Improvement Association had its birth in 1892, when the 
Baxter Carriage Company, of Cincinnati, hunting another location, sought to 
secure a manufacturing plant in Greensburg. There were a number of con- 
cerns manufacturing cheap buggies in the Queen City, and the town had fallen 
into disrepute from the carriage manufacturer's standpoint. A number of 
prominent citizens of Greensburg pledged themselves to provide the neces- 
sary funds to build a plant, and arrangements were made to move the plant 

• Then some difficulties arose between the company and the Greensburg 
people, and the latter, for self-protection, incorporated the Greensburg 
Improvement Association. The first officers were Marshall Grover, president; 
W. B. Hamilton, vice-president, and D. A. Myers, secretary. Other mem- 
bers of the board of directors were Louis E. Lathrop and Henry Christian. 


The difficulties were amicaljly adjusted and the association purchased 
one hundred and ten acres adjoining the city on the northwest, known as the 
Meek farm, which it spHt into town lots and sold, netting a profit of about 
thirty thousand dollars, which was applied to the erection of a suitable plant. 

The company operated for a few years, but could not breast the hard 
times of 1896, and went into a receivership". When its affairs were wound 
up, the plant was sold to the Lincoln Carriage Company, headed by W. B. 
and Edward Austead, of Connersville. This company operated the plant 
successfully until 1905, when it was wiped out by fire, the entire brick 
building being destroyed, with a loss of one hundred thousand dollars. 

The plant was partially rebuilt and a hay bailer company, organized 
to commercialize a new invention, was launched, but this concern was unsuc- 
cessful and the building is now occupied by the Ivelly Manufacturing Com- 

At least one growing concern had its inception and start in Greensburg. 
This was the Greensburg chair factory, which is now located at Anderson, 
Indiana. The company outgrew its space here and received an oiTer of a 
free factory site in Anderson. Local stockholders were bought out and the 
factory moved. It has grown to be one of the best manufacturing enter- 
prises of Anderson. 

The Greensburg Improvement Association now owns the Kelly plant 
and a number of lots which were parceled from the original plat and never 
sold. These plats contain five acres each and are suitable for improvement 
as suburban homes. 


Recognizing the fact that no city grows and accumulates wealth, save 
under wise direction and careful safeguarding of its interests by its own citi- 
zens, leading business and professional men of Greensburg took steps, in 
1906, for the organization of a commercial body, which would afford these 
essentials for the future welfare of their municipality. 

The first meeting was held in the office of the mayor, March 5, 1906, 
when a committee was named to draw up plans -for organization and draft 
a constitution and by-laws. This committee was composed of George E. Erd- 
mann, Harry Lathrop, Charles M. Woodfill, Dan S. Perry, C. D. Tillson, 
Oscar G. Miller and James E. Caskey. At a later meeting, the constitution 
prepared was adopted and Walter W. Bonner became the first president. 


Other officers elected were: Charles Zoller, Jr., vice-president; Oscar Miller, 
secretary, and Dan Perry, treasurer. 

The entei-prise was made a stockholding concern and six thousand and 
forty dollars was subscribed. A tract of land was bought and sold in town 
lots, netting the club a profit of three thousand, five hundred dollars, which 
was made the nucleus of a factory fund. A hay-bailer factory and a shoe 
factory were brought to Greensburg, but both discontinued operations after 
a short time. A large number of factories which sought sites in Greens- 
burg were, after careful investigation, refused financial assistance, and many 
thousands of dollars thereby saved local investors. 

Since its organization, the club has always maintained a very substantial 
balance. The latest report of the treasurer places the assets of the organiza- 
tion at four thousand, nine hundred and thirteen dollars. Most of it is 
invested in short-time securities, so that it can be made available at any 
time needed. 

When the automobile manufacturing fever was at its height, and mush- 
room plants were springing up in all parts of the state, a company was 
organized in Greensburg for the manufacture of a six-cylinder car, to be 
called the Hamiltonian. The sum of fifty thousand dollars was raised and 
the company was incorporated. Some steps were taken toward opening a 
factory, and then the entire matter was dropped. Officers of this company 
were : W. W. Bonner, president ; Harry Woodfill, vice-president ; C. P. Cor- 
bett, secretary and treasurer, and Harry Hamilton and D. A. Myers, direc- 
tors. Although this company had the endorsement of the commercial club, 
it was in no sense an organization undertaking. 

New directors of the organization elected in 1913 were: Locke Bracken, 
John H. Batterton, C. C. McCoy and Ed. G. Schultz. The holdovers were 
John F. Russel, Roy C. Kanouse and James E. Caskey. John F. Russel 
served that year as chairman, C. C. McCoy was elected secretary, and Roy 
C. Kanouse was re-elected treasurer. 

Stockholders in the club authorized the directors to sell the Skeen 
building, which the organization owned, to George Montgomery. Af r. Mont- 
gomery had recently lost his place of business through fire. The building 
was sold to him at a price somewhat less than its estimated worth, as it is 
the desire of the organization to foster any enterprise which tends to build 
up the city. 

At a later meeting, that year, Edwards Doles applied to the board for 
a loan at less than the usual rate. His spoke and rim factory had been 
burned and he wished to rebuild. The Commercial club responded to his 


request and loaned him several thousand dollars at very liberal rates and 
on very easy payments. 

In 1914, J. F. Russel, James E. Caskey, Roy C. Kanouse and E. G. Schultz, 
directors, whose terms expired that year, were re-elected. Georg E. Erd- 
mann was elected to membership on the directorate, taking the place made 
vacant by the removal of Locke Bracken. John H. Batterton was elected 
president, the other officers remaining unchanged. 

In 1914, the club pledged fifteen hundred dollars to secure the A. L. 
Lewis plant, located at Marion, Indiana, for Greensburg. The offer was 
accepted by the Marion company, which is now a permanent fixture, with 
bright prospects of becoming a large manufacturing plant. Old directors 
and officers were re-elected in 191 5. 

Since its formation in 1906, the present Commercial Club has accom- 
plished a great deal for the city of Greensburg and the citizens thereof. The 
worth of a commercial club is not always to be measured by the number of 
manufacturing plants it secures for a city, but more often by its success in 
sifting out the good from the many fraudulent schemes offered to gain 
the public confidence. A commercial club is a guide post, or financial 
advisor to a city, to clear the wa_v to safe investment, and the Greensburg 
Commercial Club has ever been on the alert, truly active in behalf of the 
best interests of the city. 


Co-operation is the watchword of modern business. Lawyers and phy- 
sicians, recognizing the value of mutual helpfulness, long ago, organized 
county, state and national organizations and used these bodies for the purpose 
of furthering their professional work through more efficient ser\-ice. Fol- 
lowers of tha other professions were not slow to fall in line. 

The retail merchant has, in almost e\'ery instance, been the last to avail 
himself of the advantages of co-operation. The keen competition of present- 
day business life has in a measure been responsible for this condition, ^^'hile 
retailers realized that there was a great economic waste through purely inde- 
pendent business methods, for a long time they felt themselves jjowerless to 
change conditions. 

If John Smith, deadbeat. beat a hardware store out of a hill, the owner 
of the grocery, who had previously lost through extending credit to Smith, 
laughed in his sleeve at the owner of the hardware store. It was amusing 
to learn that some other unfortunate had run counter to the bill-beating 


Smith. The groceryman nursed liis feelings in secret for a time and then 
turned to laugh at the deadbeat's ne.xt victim. 

After a while, Smith made the rounds of all the places where credit 
was obtainable and then found but two courses open to him — either he must 
pay his bills as he contracted them or move out of town. Now, the merchants 
of his town knew that he would not pay his bills, but they had paid high for 
their knowledge. 

This sort of thing went on for years. Perhaps Smith left town, but 
others of his kind, under the same or other names, came in his place and the 
economic loss continued, a heav)' drain not only upon the merchants, but 
also upon honest customers who were saddled with a goodly portion of the 
merchants' losses. 

At last, the retailers roused themselves. They were confronted with 
the knowledge that if credit was to be e.xtended at all, in fairness to the man 
who paid cash, it must be extended wisely. Accordingly, various merchants 
arranged for exchange of confidential credit information. In a short time 
every merchant in town was attracted by the idea and an organization was 

Four times the business men of Greensburg have attempted such an 
organization and three failures have resulted. They relied largely upon 
word-of-mouth information and transacted what little business they had 
through officials chosen from the standpoint of popularity rather than from 
any unusual ability in organization work of this nature. Consequently, each 
of these three organizations, started under most auspicious circumstances, 
worked energetically for a time, lost efficiency, lingered for a time and then 
passed out of existence so cjuietly that even the professional dead-beats 
scarcely knew the exact hour of their passing. 

The Greensburg Business Men's Association, the Greensburg merchants' 
fourth co-operative venture, was organized May 6, 1914. It differed from 
its predecessors in that it had a central office, with a paid secretary to do the 
work of the organization and look after details which had formerly been 
neglected by volunteer workers. 

The first officers of this organization, who still manage its affairs, were 
Samuel Bonner, president: George Parish, vice-president; D. A. Betterton, 
treasurer, and Harry Lathrop, secretary. These officials are assisted in the 
management of organization matters by the following men, who, with them, 
comprise the directorate of the association: Clyde L. Meek, W. W. Bonner, 
Walter W. Crisler, Lemuel Dobyns, Roy C. Kanouse, Mort Richey, E. G. 


Shiiltz, Robert St. John, George Slioemaker. Charles Thomson, C. P. Corbett 
and W. C. Pulse. " 

Besides guarding its members against losses through unwise credit 
extensions, through its confidential exchange file, the association also protects 
them against loss at the hands of promoters of \'alueless advertising schemes 
and itinerant peddlers. Members of the association agree to pay out no 
money to solicitors of any kind unless they ha\-e recei\-ed the sanction of a 
special committee. 

This committee is composed of three men, whose identity is unknown 
to the general membership and to one another. They report upon each appli- 
cant to the president and if two approve his project he receives the commit- 
tee's sanction before he begins his canvass. During the first year of its 
existence, this committee passed upon twenty proposed advertising schemes 
and declined to sanction all but four. The estimated saving to the merchants 
of Greensburg through protection from the unworthy sixteen was placed at 
four thousand dollars. 

Membership dues in the association were one dollar a month, and 
Greensburg merchants found its assistance so valuable that all but eight 
business men in the city had identified themselves with it before the end of 
its first year. At the end of its first year the organization had one hundred 
and ten members, eleven of whom li\'ed in Adams, St. Paul, Letts, Sandusky, 
Newpoint and other parts of the county. 

As a result of this co-operati\e venture, a better feeling grew among 
business men of Greensburg and the organization aimed at larger under- 
takings. Membership meetings are held each month and are well attended. 
During the summer a "Big Wednesday" is held once a month and special 
entertainment features are offered to bring citizens of Decatur county to 
Greensburg. The association conducts an annual street fair, works for good 
roads, sanitary living conditions and is a twenty-four-hour-a-day booster for 
Greensburg and Decatur county. 


In the last decade, a large number of chautauqua programs have been 
offered in cities and towns through the Middle West. In some instances, the 
public has held aloof or, at best, taken but a mild interest in efforts made by 
public-spirited citizens to bring the best in music, in oratory and kindred arts 
to them at prices so low as to belie their real worth. In such locations, the 
Chautauqua was a failure from the start and was rarely repeated after the 
first attempt. 


But in places where there is a genuine pubUc interest in matters of 
political importance, where there is a real appreciation of music, where people 
are alive to other things which make for sound knowledge and a more than 
veneered culture, the chautauqua has taken deep root and is accomplishing 
results which can be obtained in no other manner. 

The success of the Greensburg Chautauciua Association, which offered 
its first program in 191 1 and has occupied the field ever since, speaks well for 
the citizenship of Greensburg and Decatur county. As was of necessity the 
case, the first chautauqua held in Greensburg was something of an experi- 
ment. No one knew whether the event would prove a splendid success or an 
ignominous failure. In order to make the experiment, it was necessary that 
some one should guarantee the promoters against loss. The merchants of 
the city readily agreed to become guarantors of the undertaking and the first 
program was announced. It was so popular and so successful from every 
standpoint, that it was repeated the following year without first securing a 
list of guarantors and has been so conducted ever since. For business reasons, 
the association was incorporated in 1914, under the laws of Indiana, as an 
organization to promote general culture, and not for profit. 

Management of the Greensburg chautauqua is vested in the board of 
directors of the association, together with James L. Loar and James Shaw, 
of Bloomjngton, Illinois, who were largely responsible for the introduction 
of the chautauqua in Decatur county. These men had been engaged in the 
business in Illinois for some time, but made their first attempt to conduct a 
program away from home in Greensburg. 

Although the association has, in several instances, made money from 
its programs, it has, in all cases, given its patrons the benefit, by spending it 
the following year upon better and more expensive numbers. Since the first 
year, all meetings have been held at West Academy. The program is given 
about the middle of August and usually lasts ten days. 

The following celebrities, among others, have spoken from a Greens- 
burg chautauqua platform : William Jennings Bryan, Richmond P. Hobson, 
Senator Thomas P. Gore, George W. Bain and Bishops Quayle, Hughes and 
McDowell. Innes' and Vatales' bands have given concerts and some high- 
class dramatic talent has added variety to the programs. 

Officers and directors of the association are: J. W. Craig, president; 
Dr. C. R. Bird, vice-president; G. G. Welsh, treasurer; Will Ehrhardt, secre- 
tary; Dr. P. C. Bentle, E. C. Jerman, Judge Hugh Wickens, R. C. Kanouse, 
Bert Morgan, Mrs. J. F. Goddard, Mrs. Alex. Porter and Miss Edith Patten. 
Mr. Ehrhardt is platform manager. Although the chautauqua grounds are 


not exceptionally attractive as a camping place, a considerable number of 
patrons camp there each season. 


The Associated Charities of Greensburg was organized in response to a 
definitely-felt need in November, 1906, and has been in active operation 
since 1907. Charities, public and private, had. of course, existed in the city 
previous to this date, but the board of directors, recognizing the necessity of 
placing the matter of relief upon the most sensible and most practicable 
working basis by bringing into co-operation all charitable agencies, so that 
they should not duplicate each other's work, such as keeping of records, friendly 
visiting among the poor and the organization of charitable effort so that 
it might be directed more effectively. Their first endeavor was to obtain a 
general secretary, who should organize and push forward the work. They 
were very fortunate in securing the ser\ices of Airs. Emma Sefton, who, for 
five years, discharged the duties with exceptional intelligence and devotion. 
Besides the general secretary, the chief agency of the work is the board of 
nine directors, representative men and women, who give their services 
gratuitously and have no other object in view than the proper care of the 
unfortunate. Monthly meetings are held and the general operation and 
policy of the association are under their direction. Four of the members 
of the board. Airs. F. P. Montfort. vice-president; C. ^^^ AVoodward, treas- 
urer: Alargaret Drake, secretary, and Harry Lathrop, have served continu- 
ously since the organization of the society. George Erdmann, president; 
John F. Russel, I. Carl Alitchell, Airs. Emma Hamilton and Robert St. 
John have since been elected directors. Mrs. Carrie F. Meek, the present 
general secretary, has served in this capacity for almost three years and has, 
with a singleness of purpose, endeavored to increase the scope and usefulness 
of the society. Its methods ha\'e been worked out slowly by careful experi- 
ment. Many of its cherished ideals are as yet unrealized, but each year 
some new things are accomplished that had before been unattainable. 

The Girls' Cooking School, the fifth session of which is now being held, 
is one of the most helpful and practical departments of the association's 
work. The thirty girls enrolled are taught to cook, wash dishes, set the 
table and to serve. The excellent quality of the food prepared by them and 
the neatness and skill displayed attest how effectively instruction is given. 
The linen loan department, maintained by the AVoman's Christian Temperance 
Union, contains almost everything needed in a sick room and has carried 


comfort and cheer into many homes. An employment bureau is maintained, at 
which a registration is made of both employers and men seeking work. This 
department has done some excellent work in relieving distressing situations 
by helping the heads of families to find employment. Each year a number of 
vacant lots are given out for gardening purposes to families that' need them. 
Complete records of over four hundred cases of persons applying for assist- 
ance are on file in the office of the association. These are not for public 
inspection, but are kept in order and up to date, that intelligent aid may be 


After the incorporation of the town of Greensburg, the following letter 
was drafted, asking that a postofiice be established there: 

"Greensburg, Indiana, September ii, 1822. 
"Hon. Return J. Meigs, Postmaster General of United States : 

"The undersigned respectfully represent that a postofiice is much wanted 
at Greensburg, Indiana. This place is selected as the seat of justice for the 
county of Decatur, established and organized at the last session of the Legis- 
lature of this state; it is situated on the waters of Sand creek, forty-four 
miles southeastward of Indianapolis, and on the mail route leading from 
Lawrenceburg by way of Napoleon, to that place. 

"They recommend — '■ for the appointment of postmaster 

and request that the oflice papers may be directed to Madison, from which 
place they can be speedily transmitted to this. They further request that the 
mail route aforesaid be put into immediate operation."' 

From the fact that no names are attached and no one is recommended 
for the office of postmaster, it is to be inferred that this was probably the 
first draft of the petition. 

The first postofiice in Greensburg was established when the town was 
first laid out and Thomas Hendricks was the first postmaster. The next 
was Andrew Davison, Democrat, appointed by Andrew Jackson in 1829, 
who served until William Henry Harrison took office. Then, in 1841, 
Davison resigned, whether of his own volition or by request, is not known. 
I-Iis successor was Silas Stewart. 

The Greensburg Repository for May, 1841, says: "Barton M. Harney, 
Esq., has been appointed postmaster at this place, in the place of Silas Stew- 
art, resigned. We believe this appointment will give universal satisfaction. 
Bart is an uncompromising Locofoco, an honest man, a good tailor, a clever 


fellow, and we doubt not that he will make an accommodating and efficient 

Harney did make a good postmaster — for one day. When he recei\ed 
his commission, he removed the postoffice sign and the few mail pouches to 
his tailoring establishment. After conducting the office for one day he con- 
cluded that patrons of the office were damaging his stock. That same night 
he moved the "office" back to its old location and appointed John Stewart, a 
drug clerk, deputy postmaster. 

John B. Covington, a Democratic editor, was appointed postmaster in 
1854, and had the office on the north side of the square. Later, he sold his 
newspaper to \\'illiam \'an Horn, and the postmastership was transferred 
with it. The next postmaster was John Watson, during whose term the office 
was located near the railroad. 

During the war the postmaster was John J. Hazelrigg. He was fol- 
lowed by James King. While King was postmaster the office was in the 
basement of the Presbyterian church. George H. Dunn, his successor, held 
the office for the longest period in its history. He was appointed by Presi- 
dent Grant in 1869 and served until 1886. His deputies were Sam McGuire 
and George Dunn, Jr. 

Henry E. Black served as postmaster from 1886 until i8go. His 
deputy was Miss Ida Black. The office was then located on South Franklin 
street. Thomas Hendricks was appointed to the office in 1890 and Stephen 
Rogers in 1894. 

The next postmaster was James E. Caskey, during whose administration 
both urban and rural free delivery was established, and the business of the 
office correspondingly increased. While Caskey was postmaster, the safe was 
blown open and a small amount of money and stamps abstracted. A. M. 
Willoughby, editor of the Grcciisbiiry Rcz'icK'. was appointed postmaster in 
1902, and served four years. He was followed in 1906 by L. D. Braden, 
editor of the Greensbnrg Standard.. Mr. Braden made way, in 1910, for 
Bert Morgan, v\-ho served until 1914, when the present incumbent, George E. 
Erdmann. was appointed ]>y President ^Vilson. 

There are now thirteen rural routes radiating from the Greensbnrg 
office, supplying Decatur county farmers with daily papers and placing them 
in close touch with the city by means of the parcel post, which has shown a 
wonderful development during the past j'ear. Including messenger bo3's, 
twenty-five persons in all are now emploj-ed at the Greensburg office. 

No county in the state surpasses Decatur for completeness of service, 
it is said. Patrons of the rural routes leading from Greensburg are peculiarly 


fortunate in their service, as they, in most instances, receive their mail in 
the forenoon. Carriers get away from the office and sometimes ha\'e their 
routes half covered, when carriers from other offices are still waiting for the 
morning mail train to arrive. 

The chief rural free delivery center of the county is Greenshurg, which 
has thirteen routes leading from it. In addition, it supplies postoffices at 
Millhousen, Cliffy and Clarksburg. Rural routes are also operated from the 
Letts Corner, Westport, Newpoint, St. Paul and Burney postoffices. 


The inception of the Greenshurg public library dates from the latter 
part of 1901, when A. J\I. Willoughby, then mayor of Greenshurg, opened 
correspondence with Andrew Carnegie regarding a donation for a library iu 
this city. Correspondence was continued with Mr. Carnegie, which resulted 
in his making a proposition to furnish fifteen thousand dollars for the erec- 
tion of a building, providing the city would furnish a suitable site and agree 
to support the library. In May, 1902, a vote was taken at the regular city 
election on the cjuestion of taxing the city for the support of the library and 
the resulting vote was practically unanimous in favor of the imposition 
of the tax. On August i, 1902, the city council accepted Mr. Carnegie's 
gift formally and passed resolutions authorizing the levying of the library 

The next question was the location of the proposed building. The 
council ad\-ertised for property suitable for a library site and, after consider- 
ing several locations, the site of the W. A. Watson foundry, on North 
Michigan avenue, was chosen. The council paid six thousand dollars for 
the lot, Mr. Watson donating one thousand to the city, which, with a donation 
of eighteen hundred dollars by citizens, reduced the amount paid by the city 
to thirty-two hundred dollars. 

In October, 1902, a library board of seven members was appointed, as 
follows: By the judge of the Decatur circuit court, Hon. Will Cumback, 
Hugh D. Wickens and Mrs. Ida L. Ewing; by the common council, Mollie 
Zoller and Thomas E. Davidson; by the school board, Mrs. Anna C. Grover 
and M. D. Tackett. The board met at the house of Mrs. Grover on October 
24 and organized by electing the following officers : Will Cumback, presi- 
dent; Hugh D. Wickens, vice-president; Mollie Zoller, secretary; Thomas E. 
Davidson, treasurer. Several architects submitted plans for a building and, 
after careful consideration, the firm of Harris & Shopbell were employed to 


furnish the plans and specifications. On April i6, 1909, Pulse & Porter, of 
Greensburg, were awarded the contract for the construction of the building, 
the contract calling for $10,725. This did not include the heating plant, 
which was awarded to Watson Sons, of Terre Haute, for $741.63, and the 
wiring and plumbing to Watson & Company, of Greensburg, for $450. This 
brought the total cost of the building up to $11,916.63, of which amount the 
architects were to receive four per cent. The remainder of the fifteen-thou- 
sand-dollar donation of Mr. Carnegie was applied to the furnishing and in- 
terior decoration of the building. The cornerstone was laid on August 21, 
1903, and on January 24, 1905, the library board formally tendered the com- 
pleted building to the citizens of Greensburg. On the following day the 
library was opened for the circulation of books and during the decade which 
has elapsed since that time the library has continually increased in usefulness 
to the community. 

The present library board is composed of the following : Samuel Bon- 
ner, president ; Mrs. Kate Minear, vice-president ; Mrs. Ida L. Ewing, secre- 
tary ; j\Irs. Will Pulse, Charles PI. Ewing and Oscar G. Miller. Bessie 
Montfort was the first liljrarian and served in this capacity until her death, 
on September 17, 1905. Her father, I-'rank P. Mcjntfort, was then elected 
librarian, and still continues in that capacity. The library now has a total 
of eight thousand \-olumes on the shelves and a wide \-ariety of standard 
magazines. The records show that in June, 191 5. aljout eleven hundred 
persons were taking advantage of the library. 


In 19 1 5 there was completed in Greensburg what is probably the finest 
Y. ]\I. C. \. building in the United States for a city of its size. Certainly 
there is no building in Indiana which approaches it in completeness. Another 
distinctive feature of this building is the fact that it is the gift of one man, 
and he not only gave the money for the site, the building and its equipment, 
but also an endowment fund for its perpetual maintenance. As far as is 
known, no other Young Men's Christian Association building in the world 
has been established under such conditions. 

Xelson ]\[owrey is responsible for this magnificent building, which will 

stand as a tribute to his philanthrophy for many generations yet to come. As 

a youth, Mr. Mowrey was deprived of educational advantages and it has 

been his desire for several years to do something for the city of Greensburg 



which would help the boys and young men of the town to improve their 
opportunities. It was not until, after careful investigation and long confer- 
ences with intimate friends, that he decided to build and endow a Young 
Men's Christian Association building for his native city. 

On July 30, 1914, Mr. Mowrey made a donation of sixty thousand dol- 
lars for the purchase of a site and the erection and equipment of a Young 
Men's Christian Association building. But his beneficence did not stop here. 
Realizing the difficulty which a city of this size would have in maintaining a 
building of this size, he provided for a permanent endowment fund of forty 
thousand dollars, which was to be kept intact, only the interest to be used 
for maintenance. Since making this original gift of one hundred thousand 
dollars, Mr. Mowrey has made an additional donation of twelve thousand 
five hundred dollars in order that the building and grounds might have 
certain desirable improvements. 

When Mr. Mowrey made his original donation he provided for a board 
of ten representative citizens of Greensburg (he being one of the number), 
and this board became the incorporators of the Young Men's Christian 
Association. These incorporators included himself and nine other citizens 
of the city, as follows : Dr. C. C. Morrison, D. A. Myers, E. C. Jerman, 
Robert Naegel, C. P. Corbett, George P. Shoemaker, Frank Bennet, R. C. 
Kanouse and Henry Hodges. Furthermore, Mr. Mowrey designated the 
first seven of the^e men as a board of directors. The directors at once, 
organized, with the following officers: Frank Bennet, president; D. A. 
Meyers, vice-president ; E. C. Jerman, secretary. Mr. Bennet resigned in 
November, 1914, to move to California, and Dr. C. C. Morrison was elected 
president to fill the vacancy. In order to keep the number of incorporators 
up to the local requirement, W. W. Bonner was selected to fill the vacancy 
created by the resignation of Mr. Bennet. The board of trustees consists of 
D. A. Meyers, R. C. Kanouse and Henry Hodges. 

As soon as the two boards were organized, steps were taken at once to 
select a site, to plan the building and equip it in such a way as to make it as 
good as any in the country. Many sites were suggested before the present 
location on North Broadway, a half block from the public square, was finally 
selected. This site, purchased from Doctors Kercheval and White, has a 
frontage of one hundred and twenty and a depth of one hundred and sixty 
feet. Several architects submitted plans, but those of Shattuck & Hussey, 
of Chicago, were finally selected. The contract for the building was let on 
February 15, 1915, to W. H. Isgigg & Son, of Greensburg, the same to be 
completed by the 15th of the following October. 


The main building is seventy by one hundred feet, with annex extending 
thirt}-seven feet in the rear. It has a basement and two stories, with a total 
of thirty-eight rooms. The style of architecture is known as early English 
and the architects have succeeded in designing a building which combines 
beauty and utility. 

The basement has three educational rooms, separated by accordion doors 
so that the rooms can be thrown together for banquet purposes. Two hun- 
dred people can easily be seated in the three rooms. A kitchen, completely 
equipped, adjoins these three rooms. It was the desire of Mr. Mowrey that 
the girls and women of the city might have accommodations in the building, 
and for this reason a ladies' rest room, cloak, locker and toilet rooms are 
provided in the basement for their use. An outside entrance is provided for 
the ladies. Furthermore, the basement is so arranged that they have access 
to the swimming pool and it is the intention to set aside certain days in each 
week when the girls and women may have the use of the pool. On the oppo- 
site side of the basement from the ladies' quarters, are found the lockers and 
toilet rooms for the boys and men. The distinctive feature of the basement 
is the swimming pool, which is twenty by sixty feet, with maximum depth 
of nine feet. The pool itself, as well as the room in which it is placed, is 
floored with tile and a wainscoting of the same material extends around the 
room. The pool extends back into the annex of thirty-seven feet, which has 
been previously mentioned, the whole of the annex being roofed by a sky- 
light. The rest of the basement is taken up with the heating plant and coal 
room. It should be mentioned in this connection that it was thought desirable 
to have additional coal space and Mr. Mowrey A'ery generously provided for 
an outside underground bin, adjoining the boiler room, which has a capacity 
of two car loads. The basement, as originally planned, had a cement floor, 
but, at the suggestion of the board of directors, Mr. Mowrey made an addi- 
tional donation for a terazzo floor. This flooring is used in all the base- 
ment except the pool room, which is of tile, and the boiler and coal rooms, 
which are of cement. 

The first floor is reached by marble steps from the front of the building. 
The vestibule has two doors, the right door opening into the men's side and 
the left door into the boys' department. Between the two doors, facing the 
outside door, is a magnificent bronze plaque of Mr. JNIowrey in bas-relief. 
The rooms set aside for the men are provided with books and magazines and 
wholesome games of various kinds. The reading room faces the front- and 
is a large, airy room, with beautiful appointments. The boys' rooms, on the 
left, correspond in a general way to those of their elders on the right. The 


secretary's office is placed in such a manner that he can oversee not only the 
rooms of the men and boys, but also the gymnasium, which occupies the rear 
of the first and second stories. The gymnasium extends the full height of 
the first two stories and is surrounded with a gallery. In this room are found 
all the latest physical appliances, while the room is amply large enough for 
basket ball, hand hall and various other kinds of indoor sports. ,\ cork 
running track is also provided. The office of the physical director adjoins 
the gymnasium. 

The second floor contains seventeen dormitories, which are to be rented 
to members of the association. This floor is provided with shower baths and 
toilet rooms. As has been said, the gymnasium extends through the first and 
second floors. 

The building is heated with hot water and lighted by electricity. Noth- 
ing but the best of material was used in its construction and the board of 
directors have taken pride in making this building the equal, to say the least, 
of any building of its kind in the country. The grounds are surrounded 
with a nine-inch coping, which adds not a little to the general attractiveness 
of the building itself. A croquet ground is provided in the southwest corner 
of the grounds and a tennis court in the northwest corner. It was an after- 
thought of Mr. Mowrey to provide for the paving of the alleys, which are on 
the side and rear of the grounds. 

Such, in brief, is a description of one of the most unique buildings which 
has ever been erected in the United States. Mr. Mowrey has taken an active 
interest in the building from the start and the board of directors have found 
in him a sympathetic assistant in their labors. To Dr. C. C. Morrison, as 
president of the board, should be given a large amount of credit. As the 
closest personal friend of Mr. Mowrey, he has tried to carry out his wishes 
in a faithful and conscientious manner and Mr. Mowrey is free to ack- 
nowledge the indebtedness which he owes to Doctor Morrison. The other 
members of the board have labored no less zealously to make this building 
what it is and the city of Greensburg owes a debt of gratitude, not only to 
the donor of this magnificent building, but to the men whom Mr. Mowrey 
chose to take general management of his gift. It is to be hoped that the 
boys and young men of Greensburg will properly appreciate this building 
and that it will mean a better citizenship and a better cit^^ 


The finances of the city are in the hands of the clerk, who, at the end of 
each year, issues an annual statement showing the financial condition of the 


city. The city clerk, Cortez Patton, furnished the following financial state- 
ment for the }ear ending December 31, 1914: 


Schools bonds, issued August 15, 1899 $22,500.00 

Refunding bonds issued December 30, 1909 20,000.00 

School site bonds, issued June i, 1912 6,500.00 

Miscellaneous 439-00 

Total $49,439.00 

Assets $60,705.00 60,705.00 

Excess of assets over lial)ilities $11,266.00 


Regular receipts $35,347.00 

Special improvement assessment 3,342.00 



Regular $39,731.00 

Carnegie Library Board 2,419.00 

Interest and principal on bonds 3,236.00 


Deficit for year 5,497.00 


The present officers of the city of Greensburg are as follow : Mayor, 
James E. Alendenhall ; clerk, Cortez Patton; council. Wesley Lanius (first, 
ward), Harry Mount (second ward), Marion Allen ( third ward), Thomas 
Tumilty (fourth ward), and two-at-large, Frank Magee and I. B. Levy; 
chief of police. W. L Johnston; chief of the fire department, Joseph Kelley; 
health officer. Dr. B. S. White. 

The churches, schools, lodges, newspajjers, banks, building associations, 
railroads and industries of Greensburg are referred to in separate chapters. 



The educational history of Decatur county faUs into two divisons, the. 
period from the organization of the county, until 1853, when the present 
system of public schools was adopted, and from that date to the present. 
Free schools were provided for by the Constitution of 1851, but it was 
not until two years later that they went into operation. From 1822 until 
1853 there was not a single free school in Indiana, for even the old academies 
were supported, in part, by tuition. 

All education was obtained in what were known as subscription schools, 
parents paying the teacher so much a term for each pupil they sent to school. 
Teachers were not examined and taught only the rudiments of reading, 
writing and arithmetic. The three R's formed the basis of all work in the 
school room, although in the more pretentious institutions geography and 
history were taught. 


The usual school term in Decatur county during the early days was 
three months, and the school day began early in the morning and lasted until 
sundown. The teacher would be at his desk at sunrise and the first pupil 
to arrive at the school house would be the first to recite. This privilege of 
reciting first was much sought by those more eager for knowledge and there 
was usually keen competition among the star pupils, and consequent early 
rising. There were a few drones, however, who cared little Avhether school 
kept or not, and therefore, as if to show their contempt for learning, would 
come straggling in about ten o'clock, or in plenty of time for the noon recess. 

Early schools were -held in vacant log cabins, chinked with mud, pro- 
vided with puncheon seats and oiled-paper windows. Text books were the 
American Primer, Dilworth's and Webster's spelling book, Guthrie's or 
Pike's arithmetics, the English Reader, the Bible and, sometimes, Weem's 
"Life of Washington." This last book was a novel, but won a place in the 
list of text books because of the excellence of the moral carried by the cherry 
tree story. 


School houses were not provided with bells in those days and when 
Ihc teacher wished to call his pupils from play, he would step outside, pound 
upon the side of the school building with a stick and shout, "Books! Books!" 
at the top of his voice. 

Pupils studied "out loud," and the resultant bedlam was autliljle for 
some distance from the Ijuilding. The experienced teacher could tell in an 
instant when some youth wa\'ered in his pursuit of learning or sought to 
engage in conversation, at the expense of his lessons. 

Sometime near 1840 Miss Jane Bartee taught a school in the southern 
part of the county. She must have possessed an ear for both rhyme and 
rvthm, for she gave her school rules a metrical embodiment. The follow- 
ing classical fragment is still extant : 

"No rippin', no tearin'. 
No cussin', no swearin', 
No clingin', no swingin', to trees." 

The father of this poetical school ma'am was a justice of the peace, and, 
by virtue of that ofhce, a member of the count}- board, which performed the 
duties of the present-day county commissioners. When the board met in 
Greensburg, Mr. Bartee would walk thither, barefooted and garbed in 
undyed homespun, and, thus attired, enter upon his official duties with all 
due dignity. 

Teachers were expected to treat their pupils at Christmas. Whisky 
and sugar were common delicacies for teachers to serve to boys and girls 
at this glad season. Sometimes a teacher, with more than ordinary moral 
and physical courage, braved public opinion and declined to treat on this 
occasion. Often it went hard with him. x\ Mr. East, teaching in Marion 
township, once declined to follow precedent in this respect. He was seized 
by the larger boys and hustled most ingloriously toward a nearby pond. 
He yielded to the inevitable just in time to escape a ducking. 

Singing was a common method used by teachers in inculcating fami- 
liarity with multiplication tables and geographical facts. The pupils sang 
their tables through, from the "twos" to the "twelves," forward and back- 
ward, and then, with what spirit they had left, swept into the strains of the 
geography song, the first line of which went something like this : 

"Maine, Maine, Augusta, on the Kennebec river; Maine, Maine, 
Augusta, on the Kennebec river." 

Some of the early teachers who had charge of schools in Decatur 
county during the twenty years following its organization were : J. H. 


Rankin and William Alarlow, Springhill ; John Goddard, Clinton townshi]) ; 
"Uncle Jack" Bell and John Hopkins, Mt. Carmel ; Sam DonneU, Samuel 
Henry, James AlcCoy, William Thomson, Kingston; Tom Peery, Elijah 
Mitchell, Enoch Tackett, J. S. Guant and Garrard Morgan, near Greenshurg, 
and Joe Patton, Samuel Sebaugh and James Brockmare, in Greenshurg. 


In the early days, not much preparation was required in order to 
"teach school." The pedagogue looking for a school for the winter, with an 
opportunity to "board round" and so eke out his scanty earnings, went to 
the townshi]) trustees, applied for a place, and if they liked his appearance 
he was hired without much of an examination into his qualifications. In 
most cases, the trustees themselves were men with very little education and 
would not presume to f|uestion the ability of anyone seeking a position as 

When examinations were given, they were usually oral and, in most 
cases, delightful farces. In the early days, so the story goes, a young woman 
applied to Doctor Moody for a license to teach. Doctor Moody was a mein- 
ber of the board of county examiners. He asked her a few questions and 
then gave her the following certificate : 

"This certifies that Miss can read a little and write a little." 

In 1S35 Dr. S. H. Riley, then a young man, wanted a license to teach 
and presented himself at the drug store of County Examiner Daviess Batter- 
ton, in Greenshurg. Mr. Batterton wrote down a question upon a slate and 
Riley, seated upon a box, would write the answer upon paper. Meanwhile 
Mr. Batterton would wait upon a customer or two and then write down 
another question. When the examination was completed, Batterton wrote 
out a teacher's license for Riley. 

Residents of Springhill called a meeting on July 2, 1843, ^or considera- 
tion of methods for improving the common school system. George Ander- 
son presided and E. Mitchell acted as secretary. The following organiza- 
tion was effected: Adams Rankin, president; William Anderson, secretary; 
W. M. Herrick, Rev. James Worth and John Bell, directors. Rev. Hugh 
Maime and P. Hamilton were rec|uested to address the meeting at a future 



In 1818 the Legislature passed a law providing fcr a trustee for each 
count}-, whose duty it should be to accumulate and invest funds arising from 
exemption money and fines, for the establishment of a secondary school in 
each county, to receive pupils from township schools and fit them for the 
State University. This law was superseded in 1824 by an act providing for 
county seminaries. The Greensburg seminary was authorized by an act of 
the Legislature on January 20. 1832. 

In 1833, ele\-en years after its organization, Decatur county a\ailed 
itself of this law. A sufficient sum had been raised from sources mentioned 
to build a seminary. The location selected was the corner of Franklin and 
AIcKee streets, one square from the railroad. Contract for its erection was 
awarded to Jacob Stewart, who completed the building in 1834, at a cost of 
two thousand dollars. Stewart had formerly been a land surveyor under 
Colonel Hendricks. 

The first trustees of the institution were: James Freeman, James Elder, 
Abraham Garrison, Benjamin Jones, [Morton Atkins, David Montague, 
Da\'id Johnson and Samuel Donnell. 

The old building, which is still standing, is a large, square, two-story 
brick structure, surmounted Ijy a brick cupola. The grounds about the 
institution covered an entire block, giving the few pupils a considerable 
amount of territory over which to romp and play. The seminary was opened 
in September, 1834, but, like other institutions of this character in the state, 
it relied entirely upon tuition fees to pay teachers and meet other expenses. 
The day of free schools was still far distant. 

James G. [May was the first instructor. He had been emplo\-ed as 
assistant teacher for a time at Salem and was well (|ualified to take charge 
of the institution. He was assisted by his wife and sister and Elias Riggs, 
a Princeton man and uncle of Riggs Forsyth, at one time head of the old 
First National Bank. The first pupils were Orville Thom])son, Oriegon 
Thompson, Camilla Thompson and James B. Lathrop. 

May was succeeded, in 1840, by Abram T. Hendricks, a graduate of 
Hanover College, who taught for one year and then quit to enter the ministrv. 
While he was in charge of the seminary he had the valuable assistance of his 
younger brother, Thomas A. Hendricks, who later became \-ice-president of 
the United States. 

Dr. J. B. Lathrop. who was one of the first students at the old seminary, 
remembers Mr. Hendricks verv well, as he and the man who later became 


governor of Indiana and then vice-president, read Virgil together in the old 
building. The last time Mr. Lathrop met the distinguished man, Mr. Hend- 
ricks told him that, while he didn't know whether or not he had accomplished 
much good in the world, he did know that he had many pleasant recollections 
of days spent at the old seminary. 

Speaking of Mr. May, the first instructor, Mr. Lathrop says: "He was 
assisted by his sister. Miss Elizabeth May. I can say for him tliat, while he 
licked them every day, the bo3's who went to school to him have a profound 
reverence for his memory. ■ T remember that he was very anxious to organize 
a Latin class. I was nine' years old and was one of its first members. Mr. 
May taught later in Salem and New Albany. He taught until he was eighty- 
two years old. When he became so old that he was no longer wanted in 
town, he went out into the country to teach." 

The next superintendent of the seminary was Philander Hamilton, a 
product of the institution which was placed in his charge in 1841. When 
but a small boy, he met with an accident and was badly crippled. He first 
studied in the seminary under James May and later graduated from Hanover 
College. He managed the institution for one year and then retired to edit 
the Grccnshiirg Sentinel. Hamilton turned a year later to the study of law 
and died after practicing a few years. He served one term in the Legislature. 

Francis P. Monfort, graduate of Oxford College, and later a Presby- 
terian minister, followed Hamilton. He is said to have possessed marked 
ability as a poet. Monfort was assisted by Agnes Neal until 1844, when he 
was succeeded by Dr. Andrew M. Hunt, later founder of Sioux City, Iowa. 

Davies Batterton, an Indiana University man, was the last head of the 
seminary. He took charge of the institution in 1847. I'"* 1852 the new 
state constitution abolished the seminary system, the building was sold and 
the money applied to the school fund. As Greensburg was not incorporated 
until 1859, the building was rented and maintained by private enterprise as 
a grammar school. 

Arnong students at the seminary who achieved success in later life were: 
Thomas A. Hendricks, LTnited States senator and vice-president of the United 
States : Dewitt C. Rich, who represented Jennings county in the Legislature ; 
John F. Ewing, who became a successful lawyer at Burlington, Iowa; James 
N. Sander, noted Presbyterian minister; Orville Thompson, printer, soldier 
and writer, and James B. Lathrop, minister and banker. 



About 1840 Benjamin X'yce and his sister Elizabeth conducted a school 
in a small building on the site of the present county jail. Miss Nyce taught 
the smaller children and her brother the larger ones. Eight years later a 
subscription school was started on Jackson street by Miss Martha Ann 
Gageby. Dennis Coakley, an Irishman, had a school during the spring of 
1849 on North Franklin street. Another school was opened in the base- 
ment of the Presbyterian church in 1850 by Rev. David Monfort and INIiss 
Alary Carter. In 185 1 jNJrs. Luther taught a subscription school in a little 
one-room frame house on West Washington street. 

Later, pri\'ate schools were started for those who wished to secure a 
higher education than they could obtain in the public schools. Miss Abbie 
Snell, a New Englander, taught a class of twenty regular high-school sub- 
jects in the rear of the present Greensburg National Bank building. Associ- 
ated with this school was one taught by Miss Hood, later Mrs. James Bonner. Snell later married Judge Bonner. Miss Hood, with the assistance of 
Belle Carroll, conducted a school in the liasement rif the old Presbyterian 
church. It was organized in 1869 and continued until 1875. 


The first free school in Greensburg was opened r)n July 20, 1857, with 
four teachers: Mrs. McCollough, Miss Eunice Paul, B. V. West and I. G. 
Grover. Text books used were : McGuffey's readers, Ray's arithmetic, 
Pineo"s grammar, Goodrich's history, Bullion's languages, Comstock's philos- 
ophy and chemistry, and Davies's legends. The higher branches were taught 
by Mr. Grover. The first school trustees under the new system were ^^'. \\". 
Lowe, A. I. Hobbs and B. H. Harney. The primary department, taught 
by Mrs. McCollough, was located in the basement of the Baptist church ; 
the next grade, taught by Miss Paul, met in the basement of the Presb}-terian 
church, and the other two teachers held forth in the seminary. 


The first graded school in Greensburg was in 1861. It was conducted 
in the basement of the old Baptist church. Miss Drucilla Warthin was prin- 
cipal and Aliss Rebecca Richmond, assistant. The school was free for town 
pupils, but those coming from the country were charged six dollars for the 


three-months term. The curricuhim embraced philosophy, algebra and 
ancient history, in addition to the common school branches of learning. 

Upon the organization of this graded school, Doctor Moody, A. R. 
Forsyth and J. B. Lathrop were named trustees. There was only sufficient 
money to run the school for a term, with no allowances for incidentals. 
Money was raised to hire a janitor by assessing each pupil fifty cents. 

It was during this term that Doctor Moody displayed true Solomonic 
wisdom in settling a rather delicate matter. One of the patrons of the 
school came to him and protested because a little negro girl was attending 
the school. He said he would take his own daughter out unless the colored 
pupil was removed. The colored girl was very light in color, while the pro- 
testing citizen's daughter was a very dark hj-unette. "Very well," said Doc- 
tor Moody. "We will send a man around tomorrow to pick out the negro. 
If he picks out the negro, she goes out, and if he picks out your child, she 
goes out." The irate citizen was content to drop the matter. 

By the school law of 1853, civil township trustees were authorized to 
establish a sufficient number of public schools to care for the education of 
all white children. Negroes and mulattoes were not to be admitted ; neither 
could they be taxed for school purposes. 

The following old petition, presented by Greensburg colored people to 
the school board, is preserved in the public library : "We, the colored people 
of the city of Greensburg, respectfully ask you that our children be admitted 
to all the rights and privileges of the public schools. We beg to say that we 
make this request for the reason that there are not sufficient colored chil- 
dren in the city to justify the organization of a separate school for them." 
The petition was signed by J. W. Therman, Richard Lewis, Mitchel Tracy, 
W. B. Scott, S. Crewett, W. Sanders, John ?^Iorgan and George W. Lee. 
Richard Lewis was the father of a subsequent graduate of the Greensburg 
high school who became professor of mathematics at Hampton Institute. 

In 1870 a separate school for colored children was operated for a time 
in rooms over the First National Bank, with a Miss Anderson as instructor. 
The project was abandoned after a short trial. 

teachers' gatherings. 

The first recorded gathering of Decatur county pedagogues took place 
in Greensburg in 1857. Two teachers in Sand Creek township, Kidd and 
Chaffin by name, had been raising a considerable amount of rhetorical dust 
in arguments on corporal punishment. Debates had been held in various 


parts of the township, and they arranged to conduct a debate in Greenslnirg, 
in order that teachers from all parts of the county might be present. 

Fifteen teachers assembled in Harney's hall to hear the two worthies 
present their arguments. But. before either of them could take the floor 
and open the meeting, ^V. H. Powner arose and, after pointing out the futil- 
ity of such a discussion, proposed that an organization be effected for 
improvement of methods of instruction. The suggestion was followed and 
Davies Batterton was elected president and J. .\. Dillman, secretary. Neither 
of the authorities upon corporal punishment was given an opportunity to 
loose their floodgates of oratory. The first teachers' association met in 
Greensburg the first Saturday in December, 1859, and the last Saturday of 
the same month a permanent organization was effected with Davies Batter- 
ton at the head. 

This organization conducted the first teachers' institute in August, i860. 
G. W. Hoss, later state superintendent of public instruction, was the lecturer. 
The following year an institute was held at Clarksburg. 

Probably the first class of any kind to be conducted for the benefit of 
teachers was one held in ^lilford, in August, 1862. This institute was in 
session five weeks, with an attendance of forty-five. One of the nienil)ers 
of this class was Elizabeth Riley, who later became Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart. 
The instructors were County Examiner \\'illiam H. P(iwner, J. B. Mallett, 
G. W. Stotsenberg, Jacob Dillman and a Mr. Merritt. At the end of the 
term a written examination was conducted. Most of the male teachers left 
in the middle of the tenn, when news of a Confederate raid was received, 
to volunteer for home defense. 

Those who were successful in passing the examination received a 
teacher's license, issued by the county examiner, which had been written by 
J\lr. Sinks, a writing teacher. The county examiner delivered them in per- 
son and collected a fee of fifty cents from each person who secured a license. 
A local newspaper of that day made the following pertinent comment on 
the meeting: "Professors Powner and Merritt have solved two important 
problems : First, that institutes in this county are a fixed fact and will be 
held annually, and, second, that this county has no need to import teachers 
to conduct normal schools." 


Need of some educational advantages for professional teachers was 
first officially recognized in 1870, when a county normal school was con- 


ducted by C. W. Harvey, although we find the following article in the 
Standard files of 1862 : "The Decatur County Normal School closed its first 
session of six weeks on August 15, at Milford. Dr. D. S. Welling, Prof. G. 
Hoss and Prof. W. H. Venable were the lecturers, and held an examination 
the last week. There were enrolled sixteen males and thirty-one females, 
whose names are given. R. W. Miers, L. H. Braden and Misses Maggie 
Logan and Louisa Marshall and Mrs. Mary Sefton still survive." 

Thirty teachers attended this training school of 1870, which continued 
for three weeks. Although the results accomplished were of great value, 
no effort was made to give another normal course until 1879, when E. L. 
Duncan and Dr. J. A. Carr, then county superintendent, conducted a six- 
weeks course at Adams, which was attended by thirty-five teachers. 

In 1880 Messrs. Duncan and Carr held their first normal in Greensburg. 
It continued for six weeks, was, attended by sixty-four teachers and closed 
with the county teachers' institute. The feature of this course was the pro- 
fessional instruction given by Mr. Duncan. The following summer, C. L. 
Hottell, principal of the Clarksburg schools, opened a normal school, which 
had only a fair attendance. 

A third nonnal course was given in Greensburg in 1892 by W. P. 
Shannon, George L. Roberts and C. T. Powner. Other courses of a similar 
character were given in Greensburg in 1893 and 1897. Most of them lasted 
for six weeks and were held for the purpose of making an academic review 
of the common branches. Lectures were also given upon psychology and 
other subjects, with the idea of fitting those attending to pass teachers' 

Since the passage of the act requiring all candidates for teachers' 
licenses to have taken a prescribed course in normal work, this training has 
been given at state institutions and other educational centers, and the county 
normal is a thing of the past. In its time it did a great deal of good, and 
many teachers received excellent preparation for the school room by attend- 
ing its sessions. 


Today the American flag flies over every school house in the country. 
There was a time when it was not customary to display the national ensign 
from such places, and an attempt to fly it over the school house in Milford 
caused considerable trouble, resulting in the arrest of a number of promi- 
nent citizens there. In honor of the election of Abraham Lincoln, two of 
his ardent supporters raised a flag above the school house. That same night 


it was taken down by others, who saw in the action an affront to themsehes. 
Another flag was secured and placed upon a pole in the school house yard. 
This pole was cut down and the flag removed. At the next session of court 
ten Milford men were required to answer to charges of riot. 

During the Civil War the schools of the county were closed for one 
year, on account of financial troubles. Trustees had been hiring teachers a 
year before money with which to pay them became available. The Leg- 
islature passed a law requiring the necessary mone}- to ht in the township 
funds before teachers could be retained. This made it necessary to close 
the schools until operating funds could be secured. During this period a 
large number of subscription schools were conducted. 


Before the creation of the office of county superintendent by act of the 
Legislature in 1872, the duties of that position were discharged by school 
examiners. There were at first three examiners for each county, but later 
the number was reduced to one. The powers of the school examiner were 
slightly broader than those wielded by the board of examiners. The first 
examiner to be appointed was William H. Powner, who was given the office 
in i860. J. B. Mallett took the office in 1866. He was followed by James 
R. Hall, who served until the reappointment of Mr. Powner in 1871. Pow- 
ner then held the position until it was abolished. 

Establishment of the office of county superintendent in Decatur county 
did not work the marked changes which were experienced in other parts of 
the state. Powner, who had been school examiner, was continued in charge 
of the schools of the county, at a slight increase in salary, with but slight 
changes from the duties he had been performing during the ten years pre- 

In 1873, under the amended superintendency act, the l3oard of counts- 
commissioners appointed Philander Ricketts superintendent. The amend- 
ment to the original law curtailed the salary of the office and also reduced 
its powers. Ricketts served for a year and then tendered his resignation. 
Meanwhile, the amended law had been declared unconstitutional by the 
supreme court. The board of county commissioners then, in 1876, appointed 
James L. Carr. John H. Bobbitt was appointed the following year, and, 
after serving for a short time, resigned. W. B. Ryan was appointed to com- 
plete the unexpired term. Mr. Carr then held the office for a term of two 
years. J. H. Bol^I^itt was elected in i88t and served for three terms, or 


until 1887. He was again a candidate for the office in this year, but was 
defeated by John W. Jenkins in a close contest. Eighty-six ballots were 
taken by the township trustees before either candidate secured a majority 
of the votes. 

County superintendents elected since that time have been : L. D. Bra- 
den, 1889: John ^^■. Jenkins, 1891 : E. C. Jerman, 1897; Edgar Alendenhall. 
1903, and Frank C. Fields, 191 1. 

The school enumeration for IDecatur county for 1872, as taken by 
Superintendent W. H. Powner. was seven thousand and fifty-eight. The 
number of school children in the county, according to the latest enumera- 
tion is fi\-e thousand ninety-eight. 


The first school building in Greensburg was completed in 1863 by R. B. 
Thomson, contractor, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars. It was located 
on Monfort street, midway between North and Washington streets, on what 
was then known as the Luther lot. The erection of this building was begun 
by the town school board, composed of Samuel Christy, W. A. Donnell and 
Barton Wilson. Two additions were later added to this lot. The high 
school addition, a two-story affair, was erected in 1876, and used until the 
present high school building was opened. 

When the first building was in the course of construction a workman 
fell from its walls and was killed. For many years the tradition lingered 
that the ghost of the unfortunate mechanic lurked in the basement of the 
building, and many a child held to the straight and narrow path of school 
discipline through fear of being sent to the basement in punishment for mis- 

The real beginning in earnest of the schools was not until 1862, when 
the "seat of learning" was transferred from the "old seminary" in the south- 
east part of the city, to the present site on West Washington street. The 
location of this site was made by popular vote. 

B. F. Brewington was superintendent when the new building was first 
used in the fall of 1862, and he remained four years, being succeeded bjy 
J. R. Hall, who was at the helm in 1866-67, '^"d J. W. Culley in 1867-68. 
The school had grown in 1867 until the enrollment was six hundred and 

A new era dawned on the schools in the fall of 1868, when Prof. C. W. 



Harvey became superintendent. He remained at the iiead of the schools for 
thirteen years, and by his planning and firm executive ability he set the schools 
upon a higher plane of usefulness than they had ever been before. At the 
conclusion of his term in 1881 there were eight hundred and twenty-six 
pupils in the schools and fourteen teachers employed. 


Near the close of Professor Harvey's first year, 1869, the high school 
department was instituted in the same building' where the common branches 
were taught. Until 1875, when the high school addition was erected, the 
school had the competition of the private school which was managed by Mrs. 
Abbie Bonner. 

The Greensburg high school began its career on September 5, 1869, 
with Miss Rebecca Thomson as principal. Rev. J. R. Walker, a native of 
Ireland and a well-remembered United Presbyterian preacher, was professor 
of languages. Prof. C. W. Harvey was superintendent, but was' ill and not 
able to be in school the first week. Miss Thomson came here from Rising 
Sun in 1868, and went from here to Franklin College. 

Other teachers of the schools at this time were : Mary Howells, Cin- 
cinnati; Mehitable Fowler, Troy; Amelia Holby, Kate Cunningham, Mary 
Wilson, Almira Thomson, Bell Carroll and Mrs. Rebecca Rhiver. 

The first high school commencement exercises were held at the Baptist 
church on May 19, 1871. There were two graduates. Miss Ida R. Stout and 
Miss Anna Myers, who afterward won distinction in the New York jour- 
nalistic field. On this memorable occasion the two young- lady graduates 
read essays which were ]ironounced creditable productions by the hearers. 

There were five graduates at the second annual commencement, which 
was held at the Christian church. Those who were members of the class of 
1872 were Mollie Paul, Mary Christy, Jennie Williams, Lizzie Shirk and 
Lou Pope. Mr. Pope later became head of a Chicago educational concern. 
In 1873 Ida and Herschel Wooden and Belle White were granted diplomas. 
There were about fifty students in high school at that time. 

The grade teachers then were as follows : Rebecca Rhiver, Seymour 
Pierce, Allie Thomson, Mamie Wilson, Lizzie Dobyns, Mary Howells. Ame- 
lia Holby, Mary E. Wilson, Maggie Stoner and Mary Elcock. 

The high school grew steadily in popularity as people perceived its value 
and in a very few years classes of considerable size were being graduated. 


As years went by, more and more students saw the necessity of secondary 
school training and entered the high school direct from the common branches. 

In 1876 the attendance had so increased that added quarters were ren- 
dered necessary, and a brick addition, fifty by eighty feet, was built, in 
1877, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars. The trustees then were W. A. 
Donnell, Samuel Christy and Doctor Bracken. The addition is still in use 
for the grades. The first principal of the new high school was W. P. Shan- 
non, who served until 1882, when he became superintendent of the cit}' 
schools, succeeding Superintendent Harvey. Mr. Shannon died on Decem- 
ber 16, 1897. 

C. T. Hottell became the principal when Mr. Shannon ^\■as given the 
superintendency. He was followed by David Curry and George L. Roberts. 
Mr. Roberts served the high school for ten years and then went to Indiana 
University in the summer to take his Bachelor's degree. He returned to 
Greensburg for the following school year, and upon the death of Mr. Shan- 
non was appointed to take the superintendency. He remained here until 
1901. and then went to Frankfort, and later to Muncie. He is now at the 
head of the department of education in Purdue University. 

The next high school principal was Edgar N. ]Mendenhall, who served 
six years and resigned in 1903 to become county superintendent. Superin- 
tendent Roberts was succeeded in 1901 by D. M. Geeting, former state 
superintendent of public instruction, a man of broad experience, who was 
thoroughly acquainted with all branches of school work. He served until 
1903, and then left Greensburg to become deputy state statistician, a posi- 
tion he held until his death. Superintendent Jerman, the present incum- 
bent, succeeded Professor Geeting in 1903. 

There have been graduates every year e.xcept 1883, when the high 
school course was enlarged and another year's work added. There have 
also been five colored graduates from the Greensburg high school, but none 
of recent years. The enrollment in 1908-09 had been the largest up to that 
time. It was as follows: High school, 184; West building, 679; East build- 
ing, 284. Total, 1,147. 

The high school had reached such proportions by 19 12 that it was 
deemed necessary to provide larger and more modern quarters. The con- 
tract was let on August 16, 1912, for the erection of a new high school build- 
ing by Trustees W. C. Woodfill, John F. Russell and Dr. R. M. Thomas. 
Pulse & Porter were awarded the contract for $65,410.09. It was con-;pleted 
in the winter of 191 4, and, although not entirely finished, the high school 
classes were first held in the new building in the winter term of that year. 


There have been 753 graduates from the Greensl:)urg high scho<;)l in its 
forty-six years of existence, 267 boys and 486 girls making up tlie hst, ac- 
cording to the figures gleaned from the Standard. 

The Greensburg schools have attained their high state of development 
through a long series of educational efforts, and tiie good citizens of this 
city deserve a great amount of praise in contributing so nobly to this cause 
and standing behind all educational ventures which have been carried on b^' 
the different heads from the beginning of the school S3'stems. The high 
school stands today in the front ranks, and in looking back over the educa- 
tional history of the county it can be seen that the early seeds of education 
which were sown by such illustrious men as Professor May and others are 
being reaped by our present generation in their modern building and the 
up-to-date instructors. 


The present status of the schools in Decatur county may be discussed 
by townships. Adams township has three consolidated schools and one 
district school. The largest of these schools is located at St. Paul. This 
is a commissioned high school and its history and developments will be 
taken up later. The next consolidated school in this township in point of 
size is located at Adams. This school is equipped with a modern building 
and, in addition to the regular grade work, three years of high school work 
are taught. Four hacks serve as a means of transportation to the children 
who attend this school and five teachers administer to the intellectual wants 
of the children. The third consolidated school is located at St. Omer. The 
regular grade work is taught in this school, but the high training is secured 
at St. Paul. The district school is supplied by one teacher, who has charge 
of all the grades. 


Cla}- township has within its limits two consolidated schools and two 
district schools, in addition to a joint district school which accommodates the 
pupils from Clay and Sand Creek township and is located on the township 
line. The largest of these consolidated schools is located at Burney. This 
is a commissioned high school and affords excellent opportunities to the 
pupils of this section for high-school training. The children are furnished 
with seven hacks to bring them to the seat of learning in the township and 
the school is well attended. Although the building is large and the school 


has been provided with sufficient teachers to accommodate them in the past, 
still in the last few years, owing to the general trend of children from the 
district schools to the consolidated schools, the capacity of the school has been 
crowded to the limit and plans are already under way to enlarge the present 
building in order that the increase in enrollment can be properly taken care 
of. Clifty is also provided with a consolidated school, but only for grade 
work. This school has three teachers who administer to the grade pupils. 
Two district schools are located in the rural districts of the township and 
are each supplied with one teacher, who has charge of all the grades. 


Clinton township was originally divided into four school districts, each 
district being accommodated with a one-room school building. The school 
enumeration of Sandusky having increased, it was necessary to add another 
room to the building there. 

The first steps toward consolidation were made in 1894 under rather 
singular circumstances. A teacher had been hired to teach the school at 
district No. 2. When the day arrived for the opening of the school year 
the teacher was present, but not a pupil put in his appearance, as they had all 
entered the Sandusky schools. The teacher continued going to the school 
and finally the trustee compromised with her for one-half of her salary. 
This was the beginning of consolidation in Clinton township. 

The enrollment steadily increased and in 1896 another room was added. 
In 1900 one school hack was introduced for the transportation of children 
to and from the Sandusky schools. The second district school to be aban- 
doned was district No. 4, which occurred in 1905. The following year the 
third and last district school was abandoned, with the resignation of the 
teacher in charge of that school. 

This left Sandusky the center of the schools of Clinton township and, 
with the added enrollment from the other three districts, the school build- 
ing was not large enough to accommodate the pupils. In August, 1907, 
another room was added to relieve the congestion. In 1898 the two-year 
high school course was oft'ered and in 1907-08 the rooms were divided and 
a teacher placed in charge of each room. The state superintendent's report 
shows that Clinton was the first township in the state to have a completely 
consolidated school, with necessary conveyances to carry the children to and 
from school. All was progressing very nicely until January 21, 1910, when 
the entire building and its contents were destroyed by fire. The term of 


school was unfinished and it was necessary to finish the school in the Metho- 
dist church and three private dwellings. 

In the spring of the same year (1910) Trustee E. L. Meek let the 
contract for a $15,750 school building, which was to be erected during the 
summer. The building is located on the north side of town and on the Ft. 
Wayne pike. It is on the site of the old building, but the grounds were 
enlarged by the purchase of an acre of ground. This building was completed 
in the fall of 1910 and school was held in it for the first time that year. The 
building is one of the most beautiful, modern and well-equipped consolidated 
school buildings in this part of the state. There are three rooms on the first 
floor for the different grades and the second floor is taken up with the eighth- 
grade room, high school room and auditorium. 

The enrollment for 19 15 in the high school was seventeen. There 
were four grade teachers and the high school superintendent. The teachers, 
and grades over which they have charge, are as follow : Kirby Payne, high 
school; Carrie Thackery, seventh and eighth grades; Janie Martin, fifth 
and sixth grades; Mary Cushman, third and fourth grades; Mabel 
McDowell, primary. The basement is divided into two large play rooms, 
one for each. sex. Six hacks are utilized in transporting the children to and 
from this seat of learning. Consolidation has pro\ed successful in Clinton 
township on account of the small size of the township and the excellent 
financial condition at the present time. 


Fugit township has not made such rapid advancements in the lines of 
consolidation as some of her sister townships. The only consolidated school 
in this township is located at Clarksburg. This school received its commis- 
sion in 1913, graduating the first class in 1914. This school is well attended 
and has a very modern course of study. Kingston has one of the most 
unique schools in the county. A new country school building was erected, 
at a cost of thirteen thousand dollars. It was the intention of the founder 
to form a community school. This building has two rooms, with a large 
assembly room in the basement, covering the entire first floor, and is modern 
in every respect. One striking feature of this building is the lighting system 
which includes a large skylight. At present only one teacher is employed 
in this school and the attendance the past year was only twenty. A Catholic 
school is located at St. Morris. This building is owned by the church, but 
the teachers are employed by the township and are approved by the citizens 


of this parish. The building has two rooms and two teachers are regularly 
employed. There are also two district schools in this township. 


Jackson township has the greatest number of consolidated schools, no 
district schools remaining in this township. The live consolidated schools 
in this township are located as follows: Newburg, VVaynesburg, Alert, Big- 
horn and Sardina. The four first-named schools have only two teachers, 
who administer to the wants of the children, while the last named has three. 
Two years high school work is taught in all of these schools, in addition to 
the regular course of study for the grades. 


Marion township, owing to its unfortunate location in not being sup- 
plied with the proper railroad or interurban facilities, has made no advance- 
ment in the line of consolidation. The condition of the roads in this town- 
ship make consolidation almost an impossibility. There are eleven district 
schools located over this township and one teacher supplies each of these 
schools. There is also a parochial school, located at Milhousen. Four 
teachers are employed to administer to the children of this locality. One of 
these teachers, however, is employed by the public, the church exercising 
power in the choosing of this teacher. 


Salt Creek township has lately made rapid advancements in the consoli- 
dation of its schools. In 1909 a school building was erected at Newpoint, at a 
cost of twelve thousand dollars. This school maintains a three-years high 
school, in addition to the grade work. There are also three district schools 
remaining in this township, which have not been changed by the consolida- 
tion. Among those, who, in more recent years, served as teachers in the 
schools of Salt Creek township, are: G. M. Gard, Ellen Moody, James D. 
White, John H. Bobbitt, Dennis O'Dea, H. W. Jenkins, Mrs. H. W. Jenkins, 
Ed Glidewell, Grover C. Harding. J. G. CoUicott, now superintendent of the 
Indianapolis city schools, received his elementary education in this township, 
as did also Lewis A. Harding, prosecuting attorney, and Anna B. Collins, of 
Indiana University. Fred Baas was principal of the Newpoint schools in 
1915- ^ , j'i^l 



Sand Creek township has one consohdated school, located at Letts. 
This school building has been remodeled and affords very modern and com- 
modious quarters for the young aspirants for knowledge. This school also 
presents a commissioned high school course of study and the enrollment for 
the past year totaled forty-four. Westport also has an ui>to-date high 
school, with an enrollment of eighty-five. There are six outlying district 
schools in this township, which ha\e not experienced the ad\antages of a 
consolidated district. 


Washington township has two consolidated grade schools, supplied with 
two teachers each. There are also three district schools in this township, 
which cannot be consolidated. The high school students of this township 
are accommodated by the Green.sburg high school, which is dealt with in its 
proper place. 

Summarizing the different township schools of this county, it can be 
easily seen that there is a marked advancement toward consolidation and 
centralization. The citizens of this county, as in other counties, are begin- 
ning to realize the greater advantages which can be gained from a consoli- 
dated school, which affords more high-salaried teachers and better educa- 
tional facilities than could be received through many scattered one-room 


The first school at Westport was taught in the year 1845 by ^ Mr. Bid- 
dinger. This school house was a one-room log building, having seats around 
the wall, a large stove in the center of the room and recitation benches 
arrayed in a quaint manner around the stove. These benches and seats were 
made of rough-hewn logs which were not promoters of comfort. The ses- 
sions of the school during the first winters after the building was erected 
never exceeded three months and the average attendance was estimated at 
about thirty. 

In 1859 this log building was replaced by a two-story brick structure, 
erected on the site of the old log school house. The upper room was used 
as a town hall, but soon the school attendance was increased and conse- 
quently this was used for class purposes. iNIr. Strickland taught the first 
school in this new brick building. He also was the first teacher to introduce 


high-school studies in the curricuhim of the school course. When he retired 
from the field of teaching this work was dropped and was not taught again 
until the present school building was erected. Under Mr. Strickland's leader- 
ship the attendance of the school was increased, the average then being 
about sixty-five pupils. Two teachers were regularly employed and, some 
years, the attendance was increased until it was necessary to add another 

The increased attendance also brought about the necessity for larger 
and more modern quarters, but this could not be provided at that time, so a 
frame room was built for a temporary means of relieving the congestion. 
The publication of a weekly school paper was begun about this time and 
became quite an interesting factor among the students. After the building 
of the railroad, the attendance of the school rapidly increased and the school 
soon boasted of an attendance of one hundred and twenty students. The 
majority of these were enrolled at the brick building, as the frame room 
was only used for the primary grades. The average length of the term was 
from six to seven months, and from three to four teachers were employed. 
The present building was erected in 1896. It was originally a two- 
story brick building, containing four rooms and two halls. The average 
attendance at that time was about two hundred and twenty-five and from 
four to five teachers were employed. In 1909 the building was enlarged 
by the addition of two new rooms. The original two upper rooms were 
converted into one large auditorium and a laboratory, and a recitation room 
was also added to the basement. 

The school was commissioned in 1909-10 and additional improvements 
have been made to the building since that time. The school is furnished 
with modern equipment and devices, is both comfortable and attractive and 
has an average attendance at present of two hundred and eighty. The 
school has been under the leadership of Supt. Oscar W. Holmes since its 
commission to the first grade ranks. Superintendent Holmes is a graduate 
of Indiana State Normal School and ranks with the foremost educators of 
the day. Since its commission Westport high school has graduated eighty 
students from its ranks who are now engaged in various callings. 

.\thletics is a great factor in the regular work of the school life. 
Domestic science and agriculture have also been added to the curriculum 
of studies. The common school attendance averages two hundred and the 
high school attendance is placed at eighty. Seven teachers are employed. 



The history of the St. Paul schools, as with all of the early schools of 
Indiana, hegin with the little log school house. In the year 185 1, when the 
surrounding country was one vast wooded territory, with scattered settle- 
ments, there was established a small school in the little village of St. Paul. 
This was the beginning of an educational program, the end which has not 
been reached, but is still pushing ever higher. The interior of this room 
was characteristic of all the early log school buildings. A large fireplace 
occupied one end of this building, and at the opposite end was a small plat- 
form, on which the early pedagogue held his sway. The desks were made 
of half logs, with their flat face hewn smooth, and the seats were similarly 
constructed. Along the wall was a long, smooth, wide board used for writ- 
ing. The three R's — reading, writing and arithmetic — were the only sub- 
jects taught. Such was the beginning of the school system in St. Paul. 

About the year 1856 the quarters of the school was changed to a frame 
building, but this was only a temporary change. The next move was to the 
second story of what was then known as the Ridlen building, but is now 
occupied by Mr. Johannes' buggy shop. Some of the teachers who saw 
active service there were Mr. Madison, George Stotsenburg, David Sutton, 
Dr. and Mrs. Ballard. Spelling was one of the chief diversions in the schools 
of this time and many good spellers were developed. 

After several years, the school again shifted and this time established 
in the building which is now the home of Henry Neidigh. The growth of 
the schools had reached such proportions at this time that two rooms and 
two teachers were required. Among the names of the teachers who served 
at this time were James Scull, Mrs. D. J. Ballard, Eunice Paul, Charles 
Powner, George Stotsenburg and Doctor Ballard. One of these who is 
especially remembered by the pupils is Charles Powner. Mr. Powner was 
a near-sighted man, of little training, and the boys found plenty of time and 
opportunity for fun at his expense. It was during this period of school that 
the people became divided on religious and ix)litical views and this, in turn, 
split up the school system. There were then established three different 
schools, besides the remnant of the public school. They were located as 
follows : One in the Methodist church, one in the Catholic church, and one 
in the Floyd building. The latter was a private school established by the 
Madison and Woodard families, the former being sectarian schools. This 
factional difference was soon adjusted and in 1870-71 a new school build- 


ing was erected on the site of the present high school building. This was a 
large, square, brick building erected by Trustee Benjamin Jenkins. It con- 
tained six class rooms and a large assembly room. Each morning the entire 
school would gather in the large assembly room for the opening exercises, 
which consisted of singing, etc. 

Gradually the courses were enlarged by the addition of a few high 
school subjects, but the exact date of this is unknown, although the first 
graduates of this one-year course are given as Flo Hoover and Frank Ray. 
The first teacher in that high school was Mr. Alcott. This was merely an 
incentive toward the greater work of making this a standard high school. 
A short time later a three-year course was added and this was maintained 
until the old building was destroyed by fire. The teachers who assisted 
in the old building were Mr. Lewark, principal; Mr. Jewett, number four; 
Mrs. Jewett, number two, and Mrs. Viola Palmerton, number one. 

The building was destroyed by fire in 1901 and work was immediately 
begun on the erection of a new building, but this was not accomplished in 
time for school work that winter and, in consequence, school was held in 
the rooms of the Kanouse and Floyd buildings. In 1902 the building was 
completed, but the courses of study remained the same. A little later the 
standard for Indiana high schools was raised by the Legislature and Mr. 
Crawley was placed in charge of the schools. Too much praise cannot be 
given to Mr. Crawley for his efl^orts in raising the St. Paul schools to their 
present standing. The advancement of this high school has been marked 
and, with the assistance of the patrons, Mr. Crawley has been able to meet 
all of the demands of the state board of education and keep St. Paul high 
school in the first rank of commissioned schools of the country. It was 
commissioned in the fall of 191 1. 

Nearly all lines of work are now demanding a high-school education. 
Competition is driving men in every field of endeavor to make better prepa- 
ration. As a result, advanced schools for farming, business, theology, medi- 
cine and law are demanding that students shall have completed a standard 
four-year high school course before taking up their college or advanced 
work. The patrons of this school have fully realized this and, in order that 
their children might be able to go forth into the world and cope with gradu- 
ates from other schools on an equal footing, they have seen to it that their 
high school should add all of the different advanced courses in learning 
and ofi^er every inducement for the home training. 

The high school has graduated approximately thirty-five students in 


their four years of commissioned standing. Professor Crowley have served 
as superintendent for the school for thirteen years and deserves a good por- 
tion of the praise due this high school. There are seven teachers and two 
hundred students at present in grades and high school. The high school 
alone employs three teachers and has an enrollment of fifty students. 



Tliere is no more potent factor in the life of any community than the 
church, and the influence of an active denomination is measured by the 
wholesome spirit which may be found in the community. More than ninety 
years have elapsed since the first settlers of Decatur county made their per- 
manent homes here, and within that time more than ninety churches have 
arisen in the county. Many of them ha\'e long since closed their careers, but 
the good which they accomplished still remains. There are those who main- 
tain that the people of today are not as religious as the pioneers of the state, 
but things religious are not to be measured by human standards. The mere 
fact that there are fewer churches in Decatur county today than fifty years 
ago does not argue that the people are any the less religious; neither does it 
imply that the life of people is of a lower standard than it was in the "good 
old days," which some like to think were nearer the millenium. 

Churches may come and churches may go, but a better civilization is 
not gauged by the mere number of churches. Many factors have entered into 
the disappearance of the rural church, and not the least of these is the shift- 
ing of population from the country to the towns and villages. For this same 
reason, there are hundreds and even thousands of public schools throughout 
Indiana which have been discontinued within the past twenty-five years. 
Many a neighborhood which had from fifty to seventy-five school children 
half a century ago cannot even support a school with the minimum number 
of twelve required by the law at the present time. This ever-increasing drift 
from rural to urban centers affects not only the church and the school, but 
our national life along all lines. Nor does it mean, in any sense of the word, 
that we are becoming less religious because of fewer churches, or more ignor- 
ant because of the abandonment of so many rural schools. 

There can be no questioning the fact that Decatur county has passed 
through a marked religious change during the past three-quarters of a cen- 
tury, nor can it be denied that things might be better. Yet it must be admit- 
ted that the people of the county are living lives today much closer to the 
Ten Commandments than ever before. History tells us that our good fore- 


fathers were not al\va}'S as good as we have usuahy pictured them ; could 
we of today see them in their daily life we would be surprised at some of 
the things they did. The great majority of them drank — and drank 
whisky; they were very profane; they were prone to fight: they grafted in 
public affairs just as has been done since ; they had many shortcomings which 
we have not been accustomed to associate with them. Yet, they were relig- 
ious — though the preacher often worked his sermon out with the aid of a 
whisky flask. In those cold churches of the twenties and thirties the bottle 
was called upon to supply the heat denied by the old fireplace or rude sto\e. 
It was the way people lived in those days; in their view a bottle of whisky 
was as essential to the fanner on harvest day as the bottle of machine oil 
is today. 

Under truly pioneer conditions did our forefathers live for many \ears, 
and to see them file into church on Sunday morning in the thirties, one would 
certainly think so. An old settler, writing in 1830, tells of going to church 
at Westport. "where most of the congregation was barefooted. Some wore 
moccasins, some buckskin breeches and hunting shirts, with coon, fox or 
'possum-skin caps on their heads. Alany of the caps were ornamented with 
fox tails. One old man and his spouse rode to the meeting on a Iiig red 

According to the custom of the period, the men sat on the left side of 
the center aisle and the women on the right. Husbands and wives and sweet- 
hearts went to and from church together, but sat apart during services, lest 
their attention be distracted from the parson's discourse. 

Says Mrs. Alartha Stevens, writing of a Greensburg church of early 
days: "Then ladies used to sing treble, and you would often hear a lady 
away above the congregation. They thought it was fine, but, under the new 
way, the men sing the tenor. The hymns were lined, as it was then called. 
Two lines would be given out by the minister or clerk, then sung by the 
congregation, then two more lines would be read and sung." 

Our forefathers in Decatur county did not worship in beautiful churches, 
but gathered in their own homes, in school buildings, in groves when the 
weather permitted, and even in barns. They neither grumbled nor com- 
plained, but were joyful and happy with the lot Providence had seen fit to 
give them. Their services were very irregular : they had no Sabbath schools 
and no musical instruments. Without any of the modern attractions which 
are now deemed a necessary part of the church, they worshipped in a quiet, 
simple and very unostentatious manner. Often weeks must pass without a 
regular minister, and then some pioneer conducted the services, if not in an 


orthodox manner, yet with that true Christian spirit which found favor with 
the Giver of all good things. In these humble meetings — and often the lit- 
tle band did not number over a dozen — they thanked God for what He had 
vouchsafed them and asked Him to continue His blessings toward them. 
And who is there to say that they did not do all they could to advance the 
kingdom of Heaven. 

We want a religion that softens the step and tunes the voice to melody 
and fills the eye with sunshine and checks the impatient exclamation and 
harsh rebuke. A religion that is polite, deferential to superiors, courteous to 
inferiors, and considerate to friends; a religion that goes into the family 
and keeps the husband from being cross when the dinner is late and the wife 
from fretting when he tracks the floor with his muddy boots, and makes 
him mindful of the scraper and doormat; keeps the mother patient when 
the baby is cross, and amuses the children as well as instructs them; cares 
for the servants besides paying them promptly; projects the honeymoon into 
the harvest moon ; makes a happy home like the Easter fig tree, bearing in 
its bosom at once the beauty of the ripened fruit. We want a religion that 
shall interpose between the ruts, gullies and the rocks of the highway of life 
and the sensitive souls that are traveling over them. And who shall say 
that the simple faith of our forefathers was not as potent in bringing all 
this about as the religion preached today. 

The Baptists and Methodists were the first to establish churches in 
Decatur county, and they were closely followed by a number of other denom- 
inations. The Presbyterians and Christians (erroneously called the Camp- 
bellites) were early in the field, and by the middle of the last century more 
than fifty churches were scattered throughout the county. The Protestants 
had the field to themselves until 1840, when the first Catholic church was 
established, and since that year the Catholics have steadily grown in power 
and influence. They have many strong congregations in the county, most 
of their members being of German birth or descent. But, whether Protest- 
ant or Catholic, the influence of the church is always exerted in behalf of 
cleaner living and for a higher conception of the brotherhood of man and 
the fatherhood of God. 

In the discussion of the churches of Decatur count)' it seems best to 
submit a list of all the churches, both acti\e and discontinued, which have 
appeared at one time or another in the history of the county. For the pur- 
pose of location, they are given by townships, and by section if in the rural 

It may be a surprise to many people of Decatur county to know that 


there have been more than ninet}' different church organizations in the county 
since its organization in 1822, but a study of the rehgious history of tlie 
county reveals the fact that there have been that many in existence at one 
time or another. A surprisingly large number of these churches are now 
discontinued and many others are struggling with a few members and irreg- 
ular services. 

Churches representing the following denominations ha\'e been found in 
the county: African Methodist Episcopal, Baptist (three kinds). Christian 
(Campbellites), Christian (Newlights), Christian Science, Christian Union, 
Episcopal, Free \\'ill Methodists, Holiness, Lutheran, ]\Iethodist Episcopal. 
Methodist Protestant, Pentecostal, Presbyterian (two branches). United 
Brethren and Catholic. 

In many cases the location of the church is designated by section. Where 
the section is given it refers to the section, township and range of the par- 
ticular civil township. The list follows: 

Adams Township — Baptist, Adams, ^It. [Nloriah ( discontinued ) and 
New Litde Flat Rock; Catholic, St. Paul; Christian, Adams and St. Paul: 
Methodist, Adams, St. Omer (discontinued), St. Paul and Shiloh (discon- 
tinued); Presbyterian, St. Omer (discontinued): Union church, section 34: 
United Brethren, St. Omer and Union Chapel. 

Clay Township — Baptist, Burney and Mt. Hebron (discontinued); 
Christian, Cliffy: Methodist, Clifty and Burney; unknown, section 36, south. 

Clinton township — Christian, section 2 ; Methodist, Sandusky. 

Fugit Township — Catholic, St. Maurice ; Christian, Clarksburg ; ]\Ieth- 
odist, Clarksburg, Mt. Carmel and St. Maurice (discontinued); Presbyter- 
ian, Memorial (section 20), Kingston, Clarksburg and Springhill. 

Jackson Township — Baptist, Dry Fork (discontinued), Mt. Pleasant, 
Sardinia, and Mt. Pisgah (discontinued); Christian, ^^'aynesburg■ ; Chris- 
tian Union, Alert: Methodist, Alert, Asbury (discontinued) and Wesley 
Chapel; Presbyterian, Forest Hill and Sardinia (discontinued); United 
Brethren, Sardinia. 

Marion Township — Baptist, Sandcreek, Rock Creek and Antioch ; Cath- 
olic, Millhousen; Christian, Antioch (discontinued): Methodist, Burke's 
Chapel and Mt. Pleasant: unknown, section 27. north. 

Salt Creek Township — Baptist, Rossburg; Catholic, Enochsburg; Chris- 
tian, Mechanicsburg and Newpoint; German Lutheran, section 26: German 
Methodist, section 23 ; Methodist, section t,2. 

Sand Creek Township — Baptist, ]\lt. Aerie. Letts, Friendship, Westport, 


and section 28; Christian, Westport; Methodist, Westport, Letts, section 23 
and section 18, south; United Brethren, Fredonia; unknown, section 4, east. 

Washington Townsliip — Baptist, Liberty. Sandcreek (moved to Mar- 
ion township); Baptist, section 28; Christian (NewHght) : Methodist, sec- 
tion 15, south. 

Greensburg — African Methodist, Baptist, CathoHc, Christian, Christian 
Science. F.piscopal, Holiness, Lutheran, Methodist Protestant, Methodist 
Episcopal (two churches), Presbyterian. 

One difticult}' in locating these churches is in identifying the church 
with the local name. Three Sand Creek churches, two Antiochs, two Alt. 
Pleasants, two Mt. Moriahs and two Flat Rocks have been found. One 
church still shelters two separate congregations — Lower Union — in Marion 
township. The Baptists call it Rock Creek and the United Brethren know 
it as Lower Union, the oldest title by which the people of that neighborhood 
know it. One of the Antiochs was torn down several years ago, moved to 
Greensburg and is now the home of the Pentecostal (Holiness) band of 
worshippers. Another place of worship in the county seat enjoys the sug- 
gestive title of Ark. 


In 19 1 5 there were eighteen active Methodist churches in Decatur 
county, as follow, the names of the pastors also being given: Greensburg, 
First, J. H. Doddridge; Greensburg, Centenary, J. Ed. Murr; Greensburg, 
Colored, T. W. Daniels ; Milford, J. A. Gardner ; Adams, J. A. Gardner ; 
Westport, T. J. Lewis ; Letts, T. J. Lewis ; Mt. Pleasant, T. J. Lewis ; Burk's 
Chapel, T. J. Lewis ; Clarksburg, C. E. Hester ; Sandusky, C. E. Hester ; Mt. 
Carmel, C. E. Hester; Newpoint, H. A. Broadwell ; Middlebranch, H. A. 
Broadwell; New Pennington, H. A. Broadwell; Alert, William De Hart; 
Wesley Chapel, William De Hart; Burney, Joseph H. Laramore. 

Although there were Methodist meetings in Decatur county at a very 
early date, little is known of the activities of this denomination before 1835, 
as most of the work was done in small classes and no records of them were 
kept. But it is known that among the first settlers of this county were 
hardy, two-fisted Methodist ministers, ready to turn a hand in the clearing 
and at other rough toil or to preach, pray and exhort. Uncultured and 
unkempt as most of them were, yet they brought with them a message that 
could not pass unheeded, for they were marching in the vanguard of a mili- 
tant denomination. 


M'TisT ciintcn. 





Most of these early ministers of the gospel have been forgotten, the 
names of many of them have been lost, forever, and stately temples tower 
high on the sites of the rnde calkins in which they first summoned sinners 
to repentance. The names and deeds of a few of them are still preserved 
through the lapse of almost a century. 

James Murray was the first of the Methodist circuit riders to enter the 
"New Purchase."" Then there was James Havins, "Old Samuel"" they called 
him, who for fifty years rode circuits and served as presiding elder. There 
were John Ha\-cns and John Linville, camp-meeting singers, well worthy of 
the name, who would compare most favorabl}' with the evangelistic singers 
of today. Xor should Daniel Stogsdill be forgotten, "old Dan Stogsdill," 
who walked more miles, organized more churches and preached more free 
sermons than any other man in Decatur county. And last, there was James 
Hobbs, one of the first setders at Clarksburg, and an old man then. "Preacher 
of the gospel — ordained,"' he styled himself. Besides, there were many 
others, but their names have been lost to the historian. 


During the ninety-three years which have elapsed since 1822 the Meth- 
odist church has been an active factor in the religious life of Greensburg. 
Its history, like that of Ancient Gaul, may be divided into three parts, for in 
the ninety-three years there have been no less than three separate congrega- 
tions in the city — and all three claiming to be founded on the doctrines as 
enunciated by the Wesleys. The historian in attempting to follow these 
three distinct congregations from their inception down to the present time is 
seriously handicapped by not having access to all the several church records. 
Then again, there is no question which excites such violent prejudices as does 
the religious question. The causes leading to the various divisions in the 
Methodist church in Greensburg are fairly well defined, yet an impartial 
historian in such a case would not dare to rely altogether on what people 
have to say concerning the matter. The following discussion of the First 
Methodist, Centenary and Methodist Protestant churches of Greensburg is 
based on church records which ha^•e been examined, on articles appearing 
in the newspapers at the time the various di\-isions occurred, and, finally, on 
personal interviews with people representing each of the three churches. An 
attempt has been made to treat the question from a historical and not a 
doctrinal viewpoint. 



It should be stated in the beginning that there was only one Methodist 
Episcopal church in Greensburg up to the spring of 1866, the year when the 
first division occurred which resulted in the establishment of the present 
Centenary church. These two congregations still maintain their separate 
organizations. The third Methodist church was the result of a split in the 
congregation of the Centenary church in the spring of 1877, but this third 
branch has long since disappeared. With this brief statement of facts, the 
history of the First Methodist church, the only one in the city from 1822 to 
1866, is taken up and followed to the time of the great schism of 1866. 

In a ponderous volume, entitled "Church Record," the history of the 
beginning of Methodism in Greensburg has been preserved. While Rev. 
Charles Tinsley was pastor of the First Methodist church in 1881, he pre- 
pared a "History of Methodism in Greensburg, Indiana," which appears 
on the first few pages of the above mentioned "Church Record." His 
account was undoubtedly prepared with a view of presenting the main facts 
and the historian uses it verbatim : 

"John Robbins, who is living at this date (September 13, 1881), in 
Greensburg, states that he settled near Mt. Pleasant Methodist Episcopal 
church, March 28, 1822, four miles south of Greensburg. The first Metho- 
dist sermon he heard in the county was about September of the same year 
by Rev. James Murray, of the Connersville circuit — then of the Ohio con- 
ference — at the double log cabin of Col. Thomas Hendricks [in Greens- 
burg]. Mr. Robbins immediately afterward received authority by letter 
from Mr. Murray to organize a class, which he did at his own house, and 
from this [grew] the first religious organization in the county. After this 
he [Roblains] attended the organization of the Baptist church at Sand 

"The members of this first Methodist class were John and Ruth Rob- 
bins, Robert Courtney, Elizabeth Garrison, John H. Kilpatrick and Mary, 
his wife — seven persons, and soon afterward [they were joined by] Jacob 
Steward, A. L. Anderson, Mary Garrison, Tamzen Connor, Lydia Groen- 
dyke. Rev. Wesley White and wife Elizabeth, and James and Polly Arm- 

"When the Greensburg class was formed Jacob Stewart was transferred 
to it. [Where he had previously belonged is not stated.] The Robbins 
neighborhood has remained a preaching place ever since. In 1834 a log 


church was buiU and cahed Mt. Pleasant — it was about twenty- four by 
thirty feet, and in 1870 this was replaced by the present frame of about 
thirty-six by fifty feet, at a cost of three thousand dollars. [This is the 
church four miles south of Greensburg.] The most remarkable revival at 
this place was conducted by Landy Cravens, when sixty persons united with 
the church. Rev. George Winchester, the present [1881] pastor of the 
Greensburg church, to which this society belongs, says it is the strongest 
society on the circuit. It now [1881J has a membership of eighty and is 
properous. [This whole paragraph seems to have no connection with the 
Greensburg church, but it given just as Rev. Tinsley wrote it.] 

"Aaron Wood succeeded Mr. Murray for two months in the fall of 
1823. He preached at Greensburg, Robbin's, McClain's, Emlie's, John Mil- 
ler's and John Shultz's in the county. Mr. Wood attended camp meeting on 
Shultz land, September 22, 1823, but, meeting Jesse Hale at John Havens' 
house, he found he [Wood] was in the bounds of Mr. Hale's circuit and 
withdrew. [At this point in the narrative of Rev. Tinsley he gives a list 
of the pastors of the Greensburg church from 1822 to 1866, and then a list 
of those serving the First Methodist church up to the time his article was 
written in 1881. The complete list of pastors will be given later in the 

"I'^ather Robbins and Ezra Lathrop recollect the preaching of Jesse 
Hale at Col. Thomas Hendricks' house, where all preachers were welcome. 
Mr. Hendricks was a Presbyterian, yet a generous-hearted gentleman. His 
first cabin was situated near where Porter's old saw-mill stood. He built 
the first house on the public square and invited the preaching to that house. 
John Havens, a local preacher, who supplied the circuit, probably organized 
the first class. It consisted, perhaps, of Jacob Stewart and wife, Silas Stew- 
art and wife, John Ford and wife, Jared P. Ford and wife, Martin and 

Nancy Jamison, Isaac Plue and Plue. John F. Roszell and his 

brother Kehemiah were members in 1826. John Ford was class leader and 
a good one. The Roszells and Plues were blacksmiths — the former the 
first in the county. 

"Rev. Joseph Tarkington was appointed to the circuit, then called the 
Rushville circuit, in the fall of 1829. William Evans, his assistant, was 
married by Tarkington, the latter still being single. Evans lived in a log 
cabin on the corner of Franklin and Central avenues. Brother Tarkington's 
first sermon was in the grand jury room of the court house — southwest 
upper room. There were about thirty persons present. This room was 
frequently used by the Presbyterians and Baptists. Reverend Lowrey was 


the Presbyterian minister and Rev. Daniel Stogsdale, the Baptist minister. 
Jacob Stewart was the class leader and steward. James Freeman was a 
local preacher. It was a four-weeks' circuit." 

Thus closes the history of "Methodism in Greensburg," as written by 
Rev. Charles Tinsley in 1881. He devotes two pages and a half to a brief 
summary of the lives of Joseph Tarkington, Asbury Wilkinson and Lewis 
Hurlbut, but of the history of the church since 1829 there is no account. 
It is to be regretted that he did not go into a discussion of the memorable 
division of 1866, but of this schism he makes no mention whatever, nor, 
of course, says anything of the split in the Centenary church in 1877. It is 
to be hoped that the Reverend Tinsley was a better preacher than he was a 
historian. In this "Church Record" is given a list of the probationers from 
March 7, 1863 (Martha Carter), to August 28, 1892 (David Mason Mur- 
phy). There is a record of several classes, but most of them are undated, 
the last date appearing being September, 1887. An "Alphabetical Record 
of Members in Full Connection" occupies several pages and was evidently 
started after the division in 1866, since the first date noticed is October 6, 
1867. The last date of the reception of a member is June 12. 1892. Thirty- 
four marriages are recorded, dating from December 25, 1867 (William I. 
Grant and Indiana Mendenhall), to June 8, 1873 (Tamor McGranahan and 
Ellen Millis). The ministers have indicated the fees they received and it 
seems that the bridegrooms rated their brides at varying values. Some paid 
the minister nothing, some one dollar, other two dollars, several ten dollars 
and one man (Albert T. Beck) gladdened the preacher's heart with twenty 


The Methodists gradually grew in strength and influence from the 
beginning and when the schism of 1866 occurred they were by far the 
strongest church in the city. The first house of worship was built on lot 66 
in 1834. The lot was purchased, February 23, 1834, for twenty-five dollars. 
This remained the home of the congregation until 1849, when a two-story 
brick, forty-five by sixty feet, was built on the lot now occupied by the 
church. For a quarter of a century the congregation worshipped in this 
building and it was while they were still using it that dissension arose which 
ultimately divided the congregation. During Doctor Gillett's pastorate 
arrangements were made to erect a new house of worship. 

The present building was finished and dedicated on December 12, 1875. 
Bishop Bowman, of St. Louis, preached the dedicatory sermon and the news- 


paper account of tlie meeting says, "Many wept as the elotjuent bishop 
touched the sympathies of the many hearts that were moved by his elo- 
quence." Reverend Johnson, of Spring Hill, and Rev. C. P. Jemkins, of 
Centenary, were in the pulpit. Hon. Will Cumback made a statement at the 
close of the sermon that the church had cost thirty thousand dollars and 
that twentji'-two thousand seven hundred dollars had already been raised. 
There was still two thousand dollars of unpaid pledges. The Bishop asked 
for six thousand dollars and the generous assemblage raised four hundred 
dollars more than this amount before the meeting closed. David Lovett and 
Doctor Bracken gave five hundred dollars each; Mr. Cumback, ^\'alter Bra- 
den, John and William Thomas, three hundred dollars each. The Iniilding 
is fifty by ninety feet and will accommodate six hundred in the auditorium. 
The church spent about six thousand dollars in impro\ements in 1912. The 
present membership is about seven hundred. 


History records that every innovation introduced into our social fabric 
is met with more or less opposition. An enumeration of all the causes which 
have lead to schisms in churches would reveal some very interesting things. 
Before the Civil War the question of slavery divided thousands of congre- 
gations into two rival camps. The use of intoxicants has been a prolific 
cause of dissension, and at least one church in Decatur county split on this 
question. Secret societies have been the means of creating hundreds of new 
congregations, especially in the United Brethren church. Missionary work, 
and even Sunday schools, ha\-e been opposed in Baptist churches in the past, 
and thus have arisen "Hardshell" and "Softshell" Baptists. But of all the 
nonsensical causes for church divisions, the question of music seems to the 
modern way of thinking- the most ludicrous. Just why so many of our good 
forefathers should have thought that an organ was an instrument of the devil 
is hard to say — but they did. Not only were many of them violently op- 
posed to instrumental music, but they refused to associate in church relation- 
ship with those who countenanced such an innovation. 

And the innocent organ — which today peals forth in both Methodist 
churches in Greensburg — was responsible for the schism of 1866. Christian 
charity and forbearance were thrown to the winds : the precepts of the thir- 
teenth chapter of Corinthians were forgotten; "lo\e thy neighbor as thyself" 
was relegated to oblivion ; men and women who had worshipped in the same 
pews for years, who had knelt around the altar rail in humble confession to 


their Maker, now separated their ways. And the innocent organ was to 


Rev. J. B. Latlirop, of Greensburg, then presiding elder, presided over 
the meeting on March i, 1866, when one hundred members withdrew from 
the 'First Methodist church (which before the schism had two hundred and 
seventy-eight members) for reasons above stated. Services were held in the 
high school building until the church was ready for occupancy. On March 
18 they bought a lot for a new building; ten days later they fonnally organ- 
ized a church; on April i they began work on their new building, although 
the cornerstone ^yas not laid until August 25, 1866. By the last day of the 
year the lower story was ready for the first service, the sermon on that occa- 
sion being preached by Rev. F. C. Holliday. The building remained unfin- 
ished during 1867, and in Januai-y of the following year work was resumed 
and the auditorium completed. The dedicatory services were held on July 
12, 1868. The building cost nineteen thousand dollars, of which amount the 
late Gabriel Woodfill contributed fifteen hundred dollars. This building is 
still in use, although extensive improvements were made on it in 19 12. A 
new furnace, choir loft, inside stairway, opera chairs, hardwood floor, new 
roof and a refrescoed auditorium were the main improvements. Six months 
were consumed in making the repairs, which cost a little over five thousand 
dollars, three thousand of which had been raised before the church was reded- 
icated on Sunday, April 6, 1912. Bishop D. H. Moore, of Cincinnati, 
preached the sermon, and at the end of his discourse appealed for help to 
cancel the debt. The sum of $1,009.80 was raised at the morning service, 
and the amount was increased to $1,288.55 at the evening service, leaving a 
debt of only $836.45. A parsonage, adjoining the rear of the church, had 
been constructed in 1904, under the ministry of Rev. J. E. Fisher. During 
the present pastorate of Rev. J. E. Murr the church has been cleared of debt. 

The Centenary church, born under the influence of those opposed to the 
use of the organ in the church, waxed and grew strong. A revival under 
Rev. G. L. Curtis in 1867 resulted in the addition of sixty new members, 
and another revival during the winter of 1869-70, under the same pastor, 
added eighty-two more to the membership. The present membership is 
three hundred and fifty. About twelve of the charter members are still liv- 
ing. In June, 1867, a Sunday school was organized, which has continued to 
hold regular services from that date. Wesley Chapter, Epworth League, 
was organized February 23, 1893, and it has been a potent force in the life 


of the church during its whole existence. The league now has a member- 
ship of forty-seven. 

It has been said that the church grew in strength from year to year, 
but history must record a lamentabe division which took place in the church 
in 1877. Starting out with the avowed determination of never allowing an 
organ in the church, the passing of years brought about a change of senti- 
ment in some of the members. Before a decade had passed away it was 
discovered that some of the children were drifting to the Sunday school of 
the First IMethodist church, and incjuir}^ revealed the fact that the hated 
organ was the cause of the deflection. The death of some of the more radi- 
cal anti-organists, the wise foresight of some of the leaders, and the wish to 
keep the congregation together, finally was the cause of an organ being 
installed, for Sunday school purposes only. Evidently the once despised 
instrument had won some friends in the church, and it was not long before 
the organ was being carried upstairs for church services. This was more 
than some of the members could stand. Just as they had split off from the 
mother church in 1866, so did they decide to do the same thing from the 
Centenary congregation — and thus we come to the third and last division in 
Methodism in Greensburg. 


In July, 1877. fifty-two members of the Centenary church withdrew 
their membership and at once proceeded to build a church on Broadway 
across the railroad. It was a frame building, thirty by forty-five feet, and 
cost thirteen hundred dollars. They were not put to an expense for musi- 
cal instruments, their outlay in the musical line being confined to a nominal 
sum for hymn books. But there was one fact which the)' had evidently not 
considered. They were, in a sense, outside the pale of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, and were not recognized by the conference. They dropped the 
suffix Episcopal and denominated themselves the Methodist Protestant 
church. They added some members to their original roll, and at one time 
had a membership of something more than a hundred. The main families to 
throw their support to this third branch of Methodism in Greensburg were 
those of Gideon Drake, John Robbins, J. E. Roszell, James L. Fugit, Calvin 
H. Paramore, D. Patton, J. B. Roszell, John A. Turner and C. Boring. They 
continued to hold together as a separate congregation until the early eighties, 
when the organization was disbanded. Some of the members returned to 
one or 'fhe other of the two IMethodist Episcopal churches, some joined other 


churches, but most of them, being well along in years at the time of the 
division in 1877, have long since gone to the King of that kingdom where 
church schisms are unknown. 


The discussion of A'lethodism in Greensburg cannot be dismissed with- 
out reference to an effort made in 1909-10 to unite the .First and Centenary 
churches. At that time Rev. T. K. Willis was pastor of the Centenary 
church and William G. Clinton was presiding elder. At that time the Cen- 
tenary church was not in a very flourishing- condition, and Rev. Willis became 
convinced in his own mind that the best interests of Methodism would be 
served by a union of the two churches. He talked over the matter with 
some of his parishioners and advised them to take out their letters from the 
Centenary church and place them in the First church. Quite a number fol- 
lowed his suggestion, although their action was deplored by a large portion 
of the Centenary congregation. Rev. Willis communicated with the presiding 
elder. Rev. W. G. Clinton, in regard to the union of the two churches and 
the latter came to Greensburg, called a meeting of the official board of the 
Centenary church and ordered them to disband and unite with the First 
church. Evidently the presiding elder had been misinformed in regard to 
the feelings of the congregation, for he found that most of them were ^'ery 
much opposed to the union. The church absolutely refused to follow his 
order, and consequently nothing was done by the church as a congregation. 
However, some individual members withdrew and affiliated with the First 
church, while others withdrew their membership and still have the letters, 
having never placed them with any church. At the time the papers of 
Greensburg took up the agitation, and it seemed to be the opinion of those 
whose articles appear in the papers that the union of the two churches was 
a very desirable thing. This movement toward union, which came to a cli- 
max in 19 10, has been the last concerted effort looking toward a consolida- 
tion of the churches. Shortly after this both began to make plans for the 
complete overhauling of their buildings, and since then have spent more than 
twelve thousand dollars in improvements. At the present time there does 
not appear to be any hope of a union for many years yet to come. 



Tiie following ministers have served the Greensburg First Methodist 
Episcopal church: James Murray and I. Taylor, 1822; Aaron Wood, Jesse 
Hale and George Horn, 1823; John Havens, 1824; Stephen Beggs and John 
Strange, 1825; N. B. Griffith, 1826; James Havens and John Kerns. 1827-28: 
Joseph Tarkington and William Evans, 1829: J. B. Sparks and J. C. Smith, 
1830: S. W. Hunter and J. Kimble, 1831; C. Bonner and C. Swank, 1832; 
Joseph Tarkington, 1833: W. M. Dailey, 1834; C. Bonner.' 1835 ; J. Scott 
and L. ]\I. Ree\-es, 1836: C. Bonner and A. Bussey, 1837: A. Bussey, Mel- 
ville ^^■iley and E. G. Wood, 1838: W. B. Ross, 1839: G. C. Beeks, 1840; 
J. W. Sullivan. 1841 : F. C. Holliday, 1842: J. S. Barwick, 1843: J. A. 
Brouse, 1844: James Havens, 1845; C. B. Davidson, 1846: J. W. Sullivan, 
1847; E. H. Sabin, 1848: J. B. R. Miller, 1849; James Crawford, 1850-51 ; 
S. P. Crawford, 1852: A. Wilkinson, 1853: A. Nesbit, 1854; W. W. Hib- 
ben, 1855-56: Joseph Cotton. 1857-58: W. W. Snyder, 1859: J. W. Mellen- 
der, 1860-61; E. D. Long, 1862: S. Tincher, 1862: Charles Tinsley, 1863- 
64; W. Terrill. 1865-66. 

With the schism of 1866 begins two separate Methodist churches in 
Greensburg and both have been independent charg-es from that date down to 
the present time. The following ministers have served the First church: 
R. M. Barnes, 1866-69: S. T. Gillette. 1870-72: M. L. Wells, 1873-74: L. 
G. Adkinson, 1875-76: Sampson Tincher, 1877-79: Charles Tinsley, 1880- 
81; John G. Chafee, 1881-84: E. L. Dolph, 1884-88; E. B. Rawls, 1888-92; 
J. W. Dashiell, 1896-97; F. S. Tincher, 1897-1900: John Poucher, 1900-01; 
George H. Murphy, 1901-05; A. R. Beach, 1905-08; S. S. Penrod, 1908-10; 
M. B. Hyde. 1910-13; J. H. Doddridge, 1913 to the present time. 


The following ministers have had charge of the Centenary church : J. S. 
Winchester, 1866-67; G. I. Curtis. 1867-71; R. R. Roberts, 1871-73: Har- 
vey Harris, 1873-75: G. P. Jenkins. 1875-76; J. W. Mellender, 1876-78: W. 
S. Falkenburg, 1878-80: J. H. Doddridge, 1880-82; C. C. Edwards, 1882- 
85; R. D. Black, 1885-88; W. W. Reynolds. 1888-92; L. D. Moore, 1892- 
95; W. P. Barnhill, 1895-96; J. Wesley Maxwell, 1898-1901 ; John Mach- 
lin, 1901-03; J. E. Fisher, 1903-06; A. L. Bennett, 1906-08; J. U. Brown, 


1908-09; T. K. Willis, 1909-10; H. H. Sheldon, 1910-13; J. W. Wasburn. 
1913-14, and J. Ed. Murr, the present pastor. 


Airs. J. H. Alexander, wife of the oldest physician in Greensburg, is 
the daughter of Joseph Tarkington. She has preserved her mother's account 
of her father's very ministerial courtship. It runs as follows: 

"One Sunday in the spring of 1831, as I was on horseback riding home 
from John Cottom and Amanda Clark's wedding, he rode up by my side 
and asked me if I had any objections to his company, and I said I did not 
know as I had. He had been stopping at father's on his rounds of the cir- 
cuit. It was one of his homes. Mr. Tarkington, some time after this, about 
a month before we were married, as he was starting away on his circuit, 
handed a letter to my father, which is as follows : 

" 'August 30, 1 83 1. 
" 'Dear Brother and Sister, — You, by this time expect me to say some- . 
thing to you concerning what is going on between your daughter and myself. 
You will, I hope, pardon me for not saying something to you before I ever 
named anything to her, though she is of age. Notwithstanding all this, I 
never intended to have any girl whose parents are opposed. Therefore, if 
you have any objections, I wish you to enter them shortly. I know that it 
will be hard for you to give up your daughter to go with me; for I am 
bound to travel as long as I can, and of course, any person going with me 
must not think to stay with mother and father. 

" 'Yours very respectfully, 

" 'J. Tarkington.' 

"Father thought that there would be so many dangers, with suffering 
and poverty, in being a minister's wife, tliat it was a very serious matter, and 
though he was a man of very few words, he told me as much, while he 
appeared to be very gravely affected. But he wrote a note and gave it to 
him when he came around next time, which is as follows : 

" 'September 4, 1831. 
" 'Reverend Sir: — You express a wish to know if I have any objections 
to you forming an affinity with my daughter Maria, to which I would reply : 
If you and my daughter are fully reconciled to the above proposition, which 


I liave no reason to doubt, I do hereby assent to the same; nevertheless, if 
such a union should take place, it would be very desirable, if you should 
settle down here, that you would not be too remote from us. 
" 'Yours most respectfully, 

" 'S. AND M. Slauson. 

" 'Pleasant township, 

" 'Switzerland county, Indiana.' " 

But before the Reverend Joseph rode home with the fair j\Iaria from 
the wedding, he had a disagreeable duty to perform. In accordance with 
Methodist discipline, he could not speak of love or matrimony until he had 
■"consulted his brethren." He hastened to see his presiding elder and, with- 
out disclosing his secret, said : "I am thinking of getting married before 
next conference." The elder replied, coldly, "I reckon you are old enough, 
if you ever intend to," and the interview ended. Shortly after he had "con- 
sulted" the presiding elder, the ride referred to occurred. 

For many years the Reverend Tarkington rode circuits all over Indiana. 
When superannuated he came to Greensburg to spend the remainder of his 
life. He died in 1891, two years after the death of his wife. He was born 
in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1800, and gave practically his entire life to the 
service of the church. 


Rev. Joseph Tarkington, in his autobiography, writes of his early expe- 
riences in Greensburg as follows : 

"The fall of 1833 conference was held at Madison, and I was sent to 
the Greensburg circuit. When we came to Greensburg things appeared dis- 
couraging. The town had been visited by typhoid fever and many had died 
— Doctor Teal, George Robinson, Mrs. Silas Stewart and others. There 
had been no religious services for some time. There was no Methodist 
church. I preached in private houses, and in David Gageby's cabinet shop, 
where the Rogers house now is, on the northwest corner of the public scjuare. 
I went to work visiting the sick and praying for them. It was a long time 
before Silas Stewart got restored from his sickness to health of body and 
mind. Until he got to walking about he thought he owned the town. 

"The church members were collected together and had prayer meet- 
ings in private houses, such as Freeman's, Rozell's, Stewart's, and sometimes 
in the old court house. Preaching was had in the old court house, but it was 


a hard house to preach in. In the spring I got fifteen dollars from Silas 
Stewart, five dollars from Jacob Stewart and five dollars from James Rob- 
inson and bought the lot that ]\Ir. F. Dowden owned on Franklin street, and 
built the house that is now on the lot. 

"The Greensburg circuit was cut out of the Rushville circuit in 1828. 
In 1833 it had appointments at Greensburg, Robbins', Burke's, W. Braden's, 
Cox's, George Miller's, Biggott's, Gray's, Sharpe's, T. Perry's and also at 
Burney's, south of where Milford now is. 

"We lived in a little frame house which stood where S. Bryant built on 
Franklin street. There the Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists had one 
place of worship. David Gageby was chorister for all alike. The Presby- 
terian preacher was Rev. Lowrey, the Baptist was Rev. Daniel Stogsdell, 
and we would all meet together. One would preach, another exhort and the 
third pray. There was no complaint of large meetings, although some per- 
sons would come from eight to ten miles to attend." 


There have never been many colored people in Greensburg, and at the 
present time (1915) there are only ten families. In the latter part of the 
seventies the colored people established a Methodist class and held meetings 
at private homes and in rented rooms. At one time they held services in a 
room at the southwest corner of the public square. About 1880 they built 
a frame house of worship at the corner of Lincoln and North streets, and 
this has remained their church home since that time. The church records 
are not available, but it is known that the following ministers have served 
the church: Jasper Siler, 1906-08; C. P. Smith, 1908-10: Clayton A. D. 
Evans, 1910-11 (died before the end of his first 3^ear and his wife filled out 
his year); Mrs. Clayton A. D. Evans, 1911-12; W. T. Anderson, 1912-13; 
William Kelly, 1 913-14; T. W. Daniels, 1914 to the present time. The trus- 
tees of the church are Samuel T. Evans, Adolphus Frazier and W. S. 
Meadows. The stewards are Mrs. Irene Hood, W. S. Meadows and Adol- 
phus Frazier. The president of the Mite Missionary Society is Mrs. W. S. 
Meadows. The Sunday school of fourteen pupils is under the superintend- 
ency of W. S. Meadows. The church now has about twenty active members. 


Wesley Chapel, located one and one-half miles north of Sardinia, in 
Jackson township, was organized in 1830. For the first five years services 


were held in the homes of the memhers and the preachint;- was very irret;u- 
lar. Regular class meetings were held. ho\ve\er, and the infant churcli grew 
in strength from year to year. By 1835 there were sufficient memhers to 
warrant the erection of a house of worship, and a hewed-log church was 
raised on an acre of ground donated by Daniel Shafer, one of the leaders 
in the society. Here the little band worshipped for nearly twenty years be- 
fore they felt strong enough to build a more pretentious structure. In 1854 
the old log house was torn down and replaced by the frame building which 
is still in use. The records of the church are not a\'aila1:)le and conse(|uently 
it is not possible to give a list of the charter members or the faithful pas- 
tors who have served the church during the eighty-five years of its exist- 
ence. Several years ago ^^'esley Chapel was considered the strongest rural 
church in the Southeastern Indiana conference. It was often remarked that 
a minister, after a two- or three-year pastorate at Wesley Chapel, was eligi- 
ble to the office of presiding elder. There is scarcely a notable minister of 
the conference who has not at one time or another served as pastor of this 
church. Of recent years the church has lost many of its strongest members 
by death or removal and it is now but a shadow of its former self. The 
church is now on the Elizaljethtown circuit and is served by William De 
Hart. The present membership is thirty-six. 


The Methodist Episcopal church at Sandusk}' was organized in 1887 
by Rev. F. S. Potts and S. W. Troyer, with the following charter members : 
Mr. and Mrs. John Harrell, Albert and Kate Higgins, Mrs. Phillip Harrell, 
W. O. Rozell and others whose names have not been preser\ed. Until 1892 
ser\-ices were held in private homes and school buildings, but in that year a 
substantial frame building was erected, which is still used by the congrega- 
tion. The church has maintained a steady growth from the beginning and 
now numbers one hundred and thirty members. A Sunday school and an 
Epworth League are important auxiliaries of the church and exert a whole- 
some influence on the church and the community in general. The following 
pastors have served this church : F. S. Potts and S. W. Troyer, S. W. Troyer 
and James Gillespie, J. W. Allen and H. O. Frazier and J. T. Jones; D. 
Ryan and D. C. Benjamin, C. E. Hester, J. L. Brown and W. G. Proctor, 
;A. X. ;\Iarlatt and C. C. Bonnell and E. I. Larue, E. P. Jewett, L. M. 
Edwards and A. L. Bear, F. A. Guthrie and P. W. Coryea, F. M. Westhafer 
and J. L. Brown, T. J. Anthony, J. W. Dashiel. W. ^L Creath, J. E. Side- 
bottom and C. E. Hester. 


The Sandusky church was first attached to the Milroy circuit, a large 
circuit in charge of two ministers, until Rev. F. M. Westhafer took charge 
in 1905. At that time Sandusky and Shiloh churches were made a separate 
circuit and placed in charge of Rev. T. J. x^nthony, through whose efforts 
a parsonage was built at Sandusky. It was called the Shiloh circuit until 
the Shiloh church was discontinued, and then the Sandusky circuit was 
organized, with Sandusky, Clarksburg and Mt. Carmel churches, in charge 
of one minister. At the present time it is listed in the conference minutes 
as the Clarksburg circuit, although it is still composed of the same three 


The early history of the Clarksburg Methodist church dates back to 
the beginning- of the settlements in the county. Concerning its first mem- 
bers and ministers very little is known, but the same men who preached in 
the other Methodist churches of the county from the beginning also filled 
the pulpit at Clarksburg. The location of the church has been changed at 
least once. For many years it was at the head of a circuit including Mt. 
Carmel, Wesley Chapel and Stips Hill (Franklin count30. The present 
building in Clarksburg was erected about 1856 and the church property is 
valued at fifteen hundred dollars. The congregation numbers one hundred 
and twenty and maintains an active Sunday school and Epworth League. 
It has always been a strong congregation. 


The Mt. Carmel Methodist church had its inception in 1823, when a 
few members met at the home of John Miller, which stood just north of the 
present residence of Maggie Thorp. The first members were the families of 
Linville, Hobbs, Jarrard, Griffiths and Hobbsin. The first pastors were 
probably Aaron Wood and John Havens. Shortly after the organization 
of the class, Daniel and Nancy Bell joined the society. During 1824-25 
Rev. James Hanes was the pastor. This church was one of the leaders in 
the temperance movement in the county and early organized a Washington- 
ian Society, every member of the congregation signing the total abstinence 
pledge. Their first house of worship was a rude log structure, and this has 
been succeeded by three successive buildings, each being demanded because 
of the ever-growing congregation. For many years the church took an active 
part in the life of the community which it seeks to serve, but within the past 


few }-ears deaths and removals ha\-e decreased the membership until now 
there are only about thirty members. At the present time the church main- 
tains neither a Sunday school nor an Epworth League. However, this chuich 
had the honor of establishing one of the first Sunday schools in the county, 
and for a long time kept it in operation. It is impossible to give a complete 
list of all the pastors, with their dates of service, but practically every pastor 
of the Clarksburg church also preached at the Mt. Carmel church. Among 
the pastors who have had charge of this congregation may be mentioned the 
following, arranged chronologically as nearly as possible : Nehemiah B. 
Grifiiths (1826), Robert Burns and Isaac Elsburg (182S), Amos Sparks 
(1829), Isaac Kimball, Elijah Burriss, William Evans, E. Whitten, Amos 
Bussey, Charles Bonner, O. H. P. Ash, M. Wiley, Joseph and William Car- 
ter, Hayden Hayes, James Conwell, John Winchester, Williamson Gerril, 
John H. Bruce, Lewis Hurlburt, Jacob Whitman, Samuel P. Crawford, John 
Wallace, Lemuel Reeves, Wesley Wood, Benjamin F. Gatch, Joseph Mc- 
Crea. The dates of the remainder of the pastors have been found : J. V. R. 
Miller, 1851 ; Landy Havens, 1852 ; G. P. Jenkins, 1853 ; John I. Tevis, 1854; 
Robert S. Beswick, 1856; Benjamin F. Gatch, 1858; Landy Havens, 1859, 
J. C. Crawford, i860; Jacob Whitten, 1861 : Jacob Whitman, 1862; W. A. 
Thompson, 1863; J. S. Winchester, 1864-67: R. A. Lameter, 1868; J. S. 
Alley, 1868-73; J- D. Pierce, 1874; G. E. Neville, 1877: Isaac Turner, 1S79; 
James McCaw, 1880-82; G. W. Winchester, 1882-85; J- H. Norton, 1885; 
J. D. Current, 1886; D. C. Benjamin, 1887; G. C. Clouds, 1888; Andrew 
Ayer, 1890; James P. Maupin, 1891-93; Charles Ward, 1895-96; George 
Reibold, 1896-98; D. A. Wynegar, 1898-00; William Telfer, 1900-02; M. 
S. Taylor, 1902-06; H. D. Sterrett, 1906-08; T. J. Anthony, 1908-10; E. 
L. Wimmer, 1910-11; L^. 'SI. Creath, 1911-12; J. E. Sidebottom, 1912-14; 
C. E. Hester, since 191 4. 


The first Methodist sermon preached in the county was delivered by 
James Murray, in September, 1822, in the home of Thomas Hendricks, 
then the only house in Greensburg-. The first class to be organized in the 
county was at Mt. Pleasant, about four miles south of Greensburg. The 
story is told that John Robbins, one of the early settlers, was at work near 
his cabin, when two men approached on horseback and bid him the time of 
day. They talked for a while and then Robbins said: "You men look like 
Methodist ministers." The strangers admitted that they were and said that 


they were on their way to attend conference. Robbins wanted them to stop 
a while and organize a class, but they stated that they had no time to spare 
then, but that they would gladly do so on their return. One of these horse- 
men was John Strange, an early minister. 

When conference was over the men returned and organized a class in 
Robbins' cabin. Another story is to the eifect that Robbins himself organ- 
ized the first class at the direction of James Murray. At any rate, the mem- 
bers of this first class were John and Ruth Robbins, B. Courtney, Elizabeth 
Garrison, J. H. Kirkpatrick and his wife Mary and Nat Robbins — seven 
persons. Later additions were James and Polly Armstrong, Jacob Stewart, 
A. L. Anderson, Nancy Anderson, Mary Garrison, Tamzen Connor, Wesley 
and Elizabeth White and Lydia Groenendyke. 

The first church was built in 1834 and called 'Mt. Pleasant. It was a 
log structure, twenty-four feet wide and thirty feet long. This building was 
used until 1854, when a new church was built. The present pastor is T. J. 
Lewis, who has built up the church until it numbers one hundred and thirty 


The Adams Methodist church was organized January 14, 1859, by the 
Rev. Jesse Brockway, of Milford circuit. The church was organized with 
seven members : William Ryan, Mary E. Ryan, Barnard Young, Jane Young, 
Minerva Young, J. W. Deem and Lemuel Deem. Some time later, Jona- 
than Tindall and family and George W. Kirby united with the church. Jona- 
than Tindall was appointed class leader. 

Reverend Brockway preached until the conference of 1859 and was 
followed by Rev. Jacob Montgomery. In i860 the class was placed on the 
Westport circuit by the Rev. Joseph Tarkington. A subscription was taken 
by the Reverend Tarkington in the spring of 1861 for the erection of a 
church at Adams. The trustees chosen were J. G. White, J. T. Hamilton, 
D. N. Hamilton, T. W. Deem and William Ryan. 

Rev. James Tarkington, G. W. Pye and T. S. Turk preached until the 
conference of 1861, when Rev. P. J. Rosencrans was placed in charge. He 
served one year and Rev. J. B. Lathrop was sent in the fall of 1862. The 
church was built during his pastorate. The building committee was G. W. 
Kirby, Lemuel Deem and William Ryan. The church was erected by Ander- 
son Stevens and dedicated on January 14, 1863, by Rev. Samson Tincher, 
the presiding elder. Adams was then taken into the Milford circuit, with 
Rev. James McCann as pastor. The Sunday school was organized on Easter 


Sunday by Rev. P. J. Rosencraiis. The church now has a membership of 
one hundred and sixty-two and is served by Rev. J. A. Gardner. 


The ^Nlilford Methodist Episcopal church, which is one of the original 
outposts of Methodism in Decatur county, was organized in 1834, at the home 
of Samuel Burney, by Rev. William Bail}-. Early records of the church have 
disappeared, but it is known that the Rev. Joseph Tarkington was the first 
pastor appointed to the charge. He was followed by a long line of min- 
isters, earnest, hard working and pra}'erful, who, with dauntless courage 
and matchless energy, wrought a church in surroundings that were none too 

The ministers who served this church have been the following : William 
Daily, James Scott and C. M. Ree\es, Amos I'usey and Allen ^^Mley, Elijah 
Whittier and C. Carey, T. Hurlburt and Edward Burris, L. Havens, Jacob 
Miller, John Reisling, John T. Keely, Seth Smith, C. 1>. Jones, Lewis Doles, 
Lundy Havens and John S. Lewis, Nimrod Benick, John Winchester and 
J. Crawford. 

In 1854, during the pastorate of John Winchester, the church was erected 
at a cost of nine thousand dollars. Following Reverend Crawford, came 
Rev. Jessie Brockway, during whose pastorate the Adams church was added 
to the Milroy circuit. Since then the two charges have been tended by the 
following ministers : Jacob Montgomery, J. S. Barnes, W. F. Maulsin, James 
McCann, T. B. McClain, J. S. Winchester, F. S. Woodcock, J. C. White. 
M. H. Mullin, J. N. Dashiel, John Machlan, J. R. T. Lathrop, T. N. Jones, 
T. Kennedy, H. Morrow, T. D. Keys, W. R.Plummer, S. C. Clouds, S. A. 
Morrow, 1900-03; H. M. Elwyn, 1903-4: C. R. Sylvester, 1904-06; P. E. 
Edwards, 1905-09: J. T. Perry, 1909-12: C. E. Smith, 1912-13, and J. A. 
.Gardner, 1913 to the present time. The present membership of the Milford 
church is one hundred and ten. 


The Methodists organized a class in St. Paul about 1857, and for a time 
met in the upper room of the building now occupied by the Johannes buggy 
factory. The early records of the church were destroyed when the parson- 
age burned in 1914, and hence the earlv history of the church is lacking in 


mao}^ of the minor details. About 1858 a union church was erected in the 
town and it seems to have been used principally by the Methodists and the 
Lutherans. The fact that the Lutherans outnumbered the Methodists caused 
the church to be usually known as the Lutheran church. This building was 
bought by the Christian church in the seventies and is still used by them. 

During the Civil War the ^Methodists erected a house of worship, which 
remained in use until it was burned down in 1891, during the pastorate of 
Rev. S. ^V. Troyer. The same year the congregation erected the present 
building. Extensive repairs, to the amount of twelve hundred dollars, were 
made on the building in 1913, while Rev. E. T. Lewis was pastor. The pul- 
pit was changed from the end to the side of the building and a choir loft 
was installed in the rear of the pulpit. The pews were changed and art 
windows and frescoing added to the general attractiveness of the interior. 

A parsonage was acquired early in the se\'enties and when it was burned 
with all its contents in the spring of 1914, the present beautiful parsonage 
was erected, at a cost of eighteen hundred dollars. 

Eor a number of years the St. Paul church was in the St. Omer circuit, 
but in 1866, at the close of the first year's pastorate of Robert Roberts, it 
was placed in the St. Paul circuit, where it has since remained. The min- 
isters since 1859 have been- as follow: S. B. Falkinburg, 1859: Asbury 
Wilkinson i860; H. M. Lore, 1861 ; J. H. Stallard, 1862: Joseph Tariving- 
ton, 1863: G. M. Hunt, 1864: Robert Roberts, 1865-66; William A. Thomp- 
son, 1867; J. S. Winchester, 1868-69; J- Crawford, 1870; B. F. IMorgan, 
1871; W. S. Jordan, 1872; Asbury Wilkerson, 1873; M. Black, 1874; Landy 
Haven, 1875; M. H. Molen, 1876; J. D. Pierce, 1877; William Evans, 1878; 
J. McCaw, 1879; J. D. Pierce, 1880-81; J. T. Pell, 1882-83; J. W. 
McLain, 1884; D. C. Benjamin, 1885; Henry Morrow, i885-88; G. 
W. Winchester, 1889-90; S. W. Troyer, 1891 ; T. K. J. Anthony, 1892; J. 
P. Maupin, 1893-94; D. A. Wynegar, 1895-97; G. H. Reibolt, 1898-99; H. 
C. Pelsor, 1900-01; H. D. Sterrett, 1902-03; C. R.. Stout, 1904-05; C. W. 
Maupin, 1906; J. W. Cordrey, 1907; J. L. Brown, 1908-10; C. S. Whitted, 
1911; E. T. Lewis, 1912-13; S. L. Welker, 1914 to the present time. St. 
Paul has been in the following districts: Greensburg, 1859-62; Lidianapolis, 
1862-68; Lawrenceburg, 1868-71; Greensburg, 1871-73; Indianapolis, 1873- 
76; Connersville, 1876-1915. The present district superintendent is Rev. 
V. W. Tevis. 



The :\Iethodist cliurcli at [Middle Branch, in SaU Creek Knvnshii), was 
organized in 1867, with fifty charter memljcrs. They worshiped in private 
homes nntil a building was erected for worship in 1872, at a cost of twenty- 
five hundred dollars. The same building, with various improvements from 
time to time, is still in use. Class meetings, Sunday school and Epworth 
League are maintained and the work of the church in the community which 
it serves is such as to commend it to all worthy people. It is attached to 
the Batesville circuit. The following pastors have served the church : JNIapes, 
Hunt, J. W. ^lendell, Starks, A. :\[. Louden, R. L. Kinnear, J. S. \\'in- 
chester, F. A. Guthrie, \\'. F. Smith, E. L. Aloore, W. ^laupin, F. M. W'est- 
hafer, J. \\'. Recter. AIcDultey, V. Hargett, Wolf, J. L. Jerman, Stout, 
Sylvester, W. H. Thompson, \\'. H. McDowell. C. ^I. \'awter, J. H. French 
and H. A. Broadwell, the present pastor. The trustees in 1913 were: Isaac 
Doles. Thomas Doles, William Caldwell, William Duncan and Isaac Redd- 


Just how many discontinued Methodist churches there are in Decatur 
county is not known, but among them may be mentioned the following: St. 
Omer, St. Alaurice, Shiloh, Center Grove, Finley and Fredonia. Little has 
been learned about these half dozen churches, although an eft'ort has been 
made to trace the history of each. Shiloh was discontinued a few years ago, 
the members going to the Greensburg and Sandusky churches. Finley church 
was organized by the anti-war Democrats, who sent to Kentucky for their 
preacher. It disappeared long ago. Fredonia was in the Tucker neighbor- 
hood in Marion township and was made up in large part of Free-will Bap- 
tists, who came to the church in a body. It was on the Holton circuit and 
was an active church until about six years ago. 


The Methodist Episcopal church in Xewpoint is the newest church in 
Salt Creek township, having been founded a little more than twent)- years 
ago. The erection of the building was superintended by John Anedeker, Jr. 
One of the first pastors of this church was ^^'ill Smith. Generally, the same 
pastors have served this church that have served the New Pennington Meth- 
odist Episcopal church, since the organization of the Newpoint church. 


The trustees in 191 5 were Leonard P. Hart, Charles Williams, Walter 
Stanley, William Koenigkramer. The Simda_v school superintendent in that 
year was Leander Carr. 


Ever since it was founded, the New Pennington Methodist Episcopal 
church has lieen one of the most active country churches in the eastern part 
of Decatur county. Its history is embodied in the lives of men like the late 
John Collicott, who, during his lifetime, was a spiritual adviser and leader in 
the church. He was a member always faithful in exhortation and in the 
practice of the "old-time religion." 

The following pastors have served the church: John Collicott (exhor- 
ter), E. M. Westhafer, Albert Stout, Will Smith, Erench, Wilbur McDow- 
ell, W. H. Thompson, C. M. Vawter, V. Hargett, Claude Sylvester, J. L. 
Jerman, \\'. !\Iaupin and H. A. Broadwell, the pastor in 19 15. The trustees 
of the church are: Charles Williams, Leonard P. Hart, Alfred Ahring, 
William Koenigkramer. 


Unfortunately, there were several Methodist churches in the county 
which failed to give any data for their history, and all that is known of them 
has been gleaned from the 1914 conference report. Rev. T. J. Lewis has 
four churches on his circuit : Westport, one hundred and seventy-five mem- 
bers; Mt. Pleasant, one hundred and thirty members; Letts, sixty members, 
and Burk's Chapel, twenty members. Only one of these churches responded 
to a request for data, the Mt. Pleasant church. The pastor on this circuit 
lives at Westport. Newpoint, Middlebranch and New Pennington are 
served by Rev. H. A. Broadwell from the Batesville circuit. New Penning- 
ton is credited with ninety-four members and Newpoint with seven in 1914. 
William De Hart serves the charges at Alert and Wesley Chapel, but nothing- 
has been learned concerning either church. The church at Burney is in 
charge of Joseph H. Larmore. 


The following is a list of the Baptist churches in Decatur county, 
together with their present membership and name of pastor : 

Elatrock Association : Greensburg, four hundred and forty-five mem- 


bers, J. \\\ Cle\-enger, pastor; Salem, one hundred and eigIit}--t\vo members, 
A. A. Kay, pastor ; Sand Creek, one hundred and thirty-one members ; W. O: 
Beatty, pastor; Mt. Moriah, ninety-eight members, J- A. EUis, pastor; Ross- 
burg, thirty-eight members, W. O. Beatty, pastor. 

Sand Creek Association: Mt. Aerie (Letts), three hundred and twenty- 
five members, W. C. Marshall, pastor; Liberty, two hundred and eighteen 
members, L B. Morgan; Westport, one hundred and ninety-one members, 
A. A. Kay; Union, one hundred and seventy members, J. C. Nicholson, pas- 
tor; Mt. Pleasant, eighty-seven members, J. C. Nicholson, pastor; Friendship, 
thirty members, Eber Tucker, pastor; Rock Creek, twenty-nine members, 
P. A. Bryant, pastor. 

The Baptist church was one of the first to get started in Decatur county, 
and, at one time or another, has had nearly a score of different congrega- 
tions in the county. It should be noted that this church was stro'ng in the 
county of Franklin, which joins Decatur on the east, and that many of the 
ministers from Franklin served the early Baptist churches of Decatur county. 
This church, like many others, has seen many of its congregations divide 
on questions of polity, music, secret societies, whisky, slavery and on other 
questions, same of minor importance which today seem \-ery frivolous. More 
than one Baptist church of Decatur county has been rent asunder o\er some 
pett}^ difl:'erences, while, to their credit, they have later reconciled their dif- 
ferences and again united. 


The first church of this denomination in Decatur countv was estab- 
lished in 1822, the same year the county began its independent career, thus 
making the church coexistent with the life of the county. In fact, the actual 
organization of the Sand Creek church antedated the actual official opening of 
the county by about three months. It was on the third Saturday in January, 
1822, that eight people — Rev. John B. Potter, Jennie Potter, Zachariah Gar- 
tin, Polly Gartin, Dudley Taylor, Nancy Taylor, Rebecca Loyd and Jen- 
nie Miller — met for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church. Their first 
meeting was held in Washington township and sometime later they erected 
a building, which they used for many years. Rev. Potter donated five acres 
of ground to be used as a cemetery. This church became the mother of the 
Baptist churches of Decatur, and, as other branches were established, many 
of the members joined other congregations. 

Shortly after effecting a permanent organization, the Sand Creek church 


elected a council, consisting of Joel Butler, Basil Meek and Polly Baker. 
The church was first attached to the Sih'er Creek association, but later, upon 
the organization of the Flat Rock association, joined the latter. Many able 
men have served as pastors of this church and the following list represents 
some of the ablest ministers the church produced in the early history of the 
church: John B. Potter, Daniel Stoggsdill, Abraham Bohannan, James Mc- 
Ewen, John Pavy, Jacob Martin, I. Christie, James \\'. Lewis, James Pavey, 
M. B. Phares, Joab Stout, Preston Jones, J. W. B. Tisdale, J. W. Potter, 
G. W. Bower. C. N. Gartin, W. T. Jolly. 

The Sand Creek Baptist church was organized under the following con- 
stitution : "Being sensible of the advantages and benefits of church privileges 
and gospel ordinances, we do agree to give ourselves, by the will of God, 
to God and to one another as a church, in order that we may keep up a church 
government and discipline according to the New Testament regulations ; 
also, to watch over one another in love for the benefit of the church of 
Christ and the glory of the religious cause of God, we do covenant together 
as a regularly constituted church on the articles of faith of the Silver Creek 
association." The following constituent members signed these articles of 
faith : Zachariah Gartin, Polly Gartin. Dudley Taylor, Nancy Taylor, Jennie 
Miller, Rebecca Loyd, Rev. John B. Potter and Jennie Potter. These mem- 
bers received the hand of fellowship from a council composed of Elder Joel 
Butler, from Union church, Basil Meek -and Polly Baker. A year later the 
church joined the Flat Rock association, with which it has since been 

Originall}-, the Sand Creek church embraced a wide scope of territory, 
being the second church of the denomination in the county, and holding the 
most central location. As suggested before it may very appropriately be 
called the mother of the many Baptist churches which were to follow. Large 
and flourishing" churches have arisen in all parts of the county, until at the 
present time the field of Sand Creek is confined to a comparatively small ter- 
ritory. However, it is a strong congregation, and is constantly growing in 
strength and influence. Originally located about a mile and a half southeast 
of Greensburg, it changed to its present site in Marion township in the fore 
part of the eighties. The first meetings were held at the homes of the mem- 
bers, and, even after a log church was erected, meetings were often held at 
the homes of the centrally located members in the winter. In April, 1823, 
Nathaniel INIadison Potter donated three-fourths of an acre of ground and 
William Loyd a half acre, for church and cemetery purposes. A building, 
twenty-four by thirt}' feet, was constructed of logs on the site so donated, 


on the Alicliigan road, a mile and a half southeast of the county seat. The 
cemetery is still there, but the building has long since disappeared. 

The first services in the new log building were held in April, i<S_'4, and 
on that day the following contributions were made to Pastor Stogsilale for 
his services: Three dollars in cash, t^-velve days' -work, two days' work, fifty 
cents and one day's work, one dollar and one bedstead, two days' work, two 
days' work, one dollar, two and a half bushels of corn. It was agreed that 
the members donating work were to contribute it at certain specified times, 
and, presumabl}^ when the pastor could use them to the best advantage. 

John B. Potter served the church until a building was erected and had 
the honor of being the first pastor and moderator. He died in February, 
1823. His grave marks the resting place .of the first member of the Sand 
Creek church. He preached the first Baptist sermon, if not the first of any 
kind, in Decatur county, on Clifty creek at a spring just above where the old 
IMoriah Baptist church stood, in ,Vdams township. The pastors in the log 
church were Daniel Stogsdale, Abraham Bohanon, James McEwen, John 
Pavy, Daniel Stogsdale and Jacob Martin, serving in the order gi\en. 

In 1842 a contract was let for a new building to be located on the same 
site, a short distance east of the log building. It was a frame structure, fifty 
by forty feet, and cost six hundred dollars, the contractor and the congrega- 
tion both furnishing part of the material. The building was dedicated in the 
due course of time, with appropriate services, and continued to be the home of 
the church until 1883. During the early years ser^-ices in the summer time 
were frequently held under the shade of a large poplar tree which stood near 
the south end of the church. Across the road a spring of excellent water 
gushed forth and the friendly gourd was ever hanging by it for the use of the 
members. In those days the evening services were conducted under the 
flitful gleam of the candle, and many people are still living who can recall 
the sputtering candles and tallow dips which were in use until the time of 
the Civil War. 

The pastors in the frame building were Jacob ]\Iartin, Daniel Stogsdale, 
I. Cristy, James Lewis, John Pavy. M. B. Phares, Joab Stout, Preston Jones, 
J. W. B. Tisdale, James Lewis, J. ^V. B. Tisdale, J. W. Potter, G. \Y. Bowers, 
C. N. Gartin, W. T. Jolly and H. H. Smith. 

In 1863, more ground was purchased from JMr. White for cemetery 
purposes, making about four acres altogether. About this time services 
were held in three different places — at the church, the Layton school house 
and the Middle Branch school house. As the years went by and new Bap- 
tist churches were organized, the question of moving- the church farther south 


was seriously discussed. It was not until 1882, that a final decision was 
made on this momentuous matter. In that year it was decided to locate on 
the Michigan road, in Marion township, about four and a half miles southeast 
of Greensburg, just across the Washington township line. Three and a half 
acres of ground were bought from J. D. Price for fifty dollars, and a brick 
building was at once planned. This building, thirty-two by forty-eight feet, 
was completed in the fall of 1883, and furnished in January of the follow- 
ing year. 

Rev. J. E. McCoy was the first pastor in the new building, being called 
in February, 1884. In June of the same year the formal dedicatory services 
were held by Rev. I. N. Clark, who preached from the text, "For we are 
laborers together with God; ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 
(I. Corinthians, third chapter, ninth verse.) The well, wood shed, tenant 
house and bell were added later, the total cost of the lot and buildings being 
two thousand, seven hundred fifty-seven dollars and two cents. 

The pastors at the present building have been as follows : J. E. McCoy, 
W. H. Craig, T. A. Aspy, J. A. Pettit, J. F. Huckleberry, E. C. J. Dickens, 
Charles M. Phillips, Dennis O'Dell. A. J. Foster, Chesley Holmes and W. O. 
Beatty, the present pastor. 

The Sand Creek church has been wholly, or at least partly, responsible 
in constituting the churches at Greensburg, Liberty, New Pleasant, Pleasant 
Grove, Mt. Zion, Columbia and Muddy Fork. Some of these churches are 
now extinct. On three occasions Sand Creek has entertained the associa- 
tion. Sand Creek is proud of the fact that it has furnished so many faith- 
ful ministers to the church at large. The following men have gone out from 
this congregation as pastors : Licentiates — Ransom Riggs, Shelton P. Lowe, 
Nathaniel Madison, Potter, John D. Parker, Washington Pavy, A. J. Martin 
and J. W. Potter; ordained ministers — Ransom Riggs, Washington Pavy, 
John W. Potter and William H. Le Masters. 

The ministers deserving special mention for their long connection with 
the church are Daniel Stogsdale (sixteen and a half years), J. E. McCoy 
(eight years) and John W. Potter (eighteen years). Rev. Potter probably 
did more for the church than any other man. Nathaniel M. Potter was a 
deacon in the church for nearly nineteen years, while R. E. Cafifyn was a 
deacon for nine years and clerk for fifteen years. Jacob McKee served as 
deacon for twelve years, Dora Privett was clerk for sixteen years, James 
demons was moderator for thirteen years and T. M. Clark was superin- 
tendent for ten years. 

The church has enrolled approximately one thousand members in the 


ninety-three years of its existence and now has a membership of one hundred 
and thirty-three active members. The yearly expenses average between three 
hundred and fifty and three hundred and seventy-five dollars. 

• Under the leadership of the present pastor, W. O. Beatty, the church is 
enjoying a steady growth. A Sunday school is maintained ; a Young People's 
society meets everj' Sunday evening and an active Ladies' Aid society is doing 
etiicient service in the Master's cause. 

If the good pioneers who established this church nearly a century, ago 
could know how much good had been done for the Redeemer and how many 
souls have been added to his kingdom through its instrumentality, they 
would rejoice indeed and feel that their early labors had not been in vain. 


The ]Mt. iMoriah church was organized on May 2t,. 1823, with nineteen 
members: Rev. Daniel Stogsdill, Jonas Long, Joel Clark, William Harbord, 
Richard Guthrie and fourteen others whose names have not been preserved. 
This was the first branch of the Sand Creek church and included some who 
had belonged to the mother church. A building was erected on land donated 
by Solomon Tnrpin and stood in Adams township, on the old Michigan road, 
about a mile north of the present village of Adams. A brick church was 
built in 1834. This congregation flourished for twenty years before any dis- 
sension arose. In 1843 there was a great temperance wave sweeping over 
the country, and many churches became divided on the question of total 
abstinence. One of the members of the Mt. ]\Ioriah church, in an unguarded 
moment, either to drown some secret sorrow, or in libation to the sheer joy 
of living, had taken on a greater cargo of alcoholic liquor than his navigatory 
powers could handle. He became gloriously intoxicated and was brought 
before the church for trial. He was found goiilty and expelled from the con- 
gregation. At the same sitting, the congTCgation heard the case of a member 
charged with the heterodoxy of having joined a temperance society. He 
pleaded guilty to the charge and was also expelled from the congregation. 
Whereupon a member, having more of a sense of humor than the others, 
arose and asked : "Brethren and sisters, just how much whisky must a man 
drink in order to be a good churchman?" Some time later, a minister at this 
place joined a temperance society and was promptly ousted by the congre- 
gation. This did not deter him from preaching, however, for he held serv- 
ices in homes of members of the congregation who stood with him on the 
temperance question, and he was later taken back into the pulpit. 


Then the conservative Baptists of the Mt. Moriah congregation, find- 
ing themselves outnumbered by the temperance members, withdrew from the 
Mt. ^Moriah congregation and organized a church one mile below Adams, 
which they called Mt. Hebron. 


The Mt. Hebron church, as has been stated above, was the result of the 
split in the Mt. Moriah congregation, the cause of which may seem so sur- 
prising to us today. This temperance branch of the old church built a house 
of worship in Clay township about a quarter of a mile south of the present 
village of Adams. These two rival churches, the "wets" and the "drys," 
stationed within about a mile of each other, maintained their separate organ- 
izations for more than twenty 3'ears. By 1863 their ranks were becoming 
thin and they were growing so weak that they were scarcely able to keep up 
their organizations. It was at this juncture that Rev. J- B. Lathrop, who 
had established a Methodist church at Adams, suggested to the two churches 
that they forget their differences, unite their congregations and build a 
church at Adams. The Civil War w^as in progress, many of the members 
of both churches had gone to the front, and most of the few remaining finally 
decided that nothing could be gained by attempting- to keep up two separate 
organizations. In this year the two churches — Mt. Moriah and Mt. Hebron 
— tore down the Mt. Moriah church and used the brick to erect a new 
house of worship in Adams. This building is still standing and is now 
occupied by the congregation. Whether it was in the nature of a compromise 
or not is not known, but it is interesting to note that it was agreed to use 
the Mt. Hebron cemetery. This final union of the two sister churches shows 
that most of the members could fprgiA-e, even though they might not forget. 
Some of them, however, were not able to reconcile themselves to the new 
order of things, and within five years they withdrew and formed the little 
Flat Rock church. The pastors of the Adams Baptist church from 1865 
have been : Preston Jones, Daniel Stogsdill, A. Bohannan, James McEwen, 
J. Currier, J. M. Smith, E. J. Todd. I. Christie, J. W. B. Tisdale, Evan 
Snead, J. Chancey, James Pavey, John Pavey, Preston Jones, F. M. Huckle- 
berry, L. E. Duncan, L. A. Clevenger (1880-83). 


The Little Flat Rock church was organized by twelve members of the 
Mt. Moriah congregation, the "wet" branch, after Mt. Moriah and Mt. 


Hebron had decided, in 1865, to unite in building- a new church at llic vil- 
lage of Adams. These twelve were 11 W. Stogsdill, A. A. Stogsdill, Lewis 
and Malinda Shelhorn, D. W. and AIar_v Shelhorn, S. A. and Eliza Shelhorn, 
H. L. and Emily Doggett, Mary Snickler and Elizabeth Shelhorn. Whether 
they withdrew at once after the union of 1865 is n6t known: at least, they 
did not erect a house of worship and effect a permanent organization until 
1870. On the first Saturday in March of that year they met and decided 
to build a church in the Shelhorn neighborhood on the Ijanks of Little Flat 
Rock. A commodious Iniilding was erected and in a few years the church 
had enrolled over a hundred members. Rev. Preston Jones was tlie leading- 
spirit in the church for many years and ser\'ed as pastor until almig- in the 
eighties. Other ministers have been : F. M. FKickleberry and S. P. Smith. 


The Liberty Baptist church was the third of the denomination ti) be 
organized in Decatur county and dates from 1827. In that year nine mem- 
bers met at the home of Charles Taylor, three and one half miles west of 
Greensburg, on the second Saturday of August. The original members were 
Obadiah Martin and wdfe, Elizabeth, John Whitlow and wife, Thomas 
Keel and wife, Moses Sally and wife and Andrew Nicholas. At the second 
meeting the members selected Obadiah Martin as their minister, he being at 
that time a licentiate. They set aside the second Saturday in November, 
1827, for his ordination, but this ceremony was later postponed until the 
second Saturday in ^Nlay, 1828. At that time the council, composed of 
Daniel Stogdel, Adam Cantwell, James Long and John Wheeldon, performed 
the ordination services. On the second Saturday in June following. Rev. 
Martin was chosen moderator of the congregation. He continued to serve 
the church faithfully until his death, six years later. At the third regular 
meeting after his death, James McEwin was invited to become the pastor, 
and he remained with the church as pastor until 1836, at which time the 
church granted a license to preach to Joseph A. Martin and John T. War- 
ren. These two men then ministered to the congregation jointly until 1839, 
when the church granted a license to Samuel Williams. From the time of 
Williams' advancement to the position of licentiate until October, 1840, the 
three men — ^Martin, W^arren and Williams — served the congregation. At 
the latter date the congregation ordained ^lartin and \\'arren and the two 
served the church together until 1843. In July, of that year, the church 
called John Paw for one vear and at the same meeting chose John T. War- 


ren as assistant moderator. In 1846 the church again selected Pavy as their 
pastor and the following year called Archibald Leach for a period of one 
year. The pastors from that year down to the present time have been as 
follow: Jacob Martin, 1848; Daniel Stogdel, 1849; Joseph Sampson, 1850; 
Joab Stout, 1850, until his death. The dates of the remaining pastors have 
not been furnished. They are : Albert Carter, F. M. Huckleberry, Alexander 
Connelly, W. W. Smith, T. A. Aspy, John Huckleberry, E. Sanford and I. B. 
Morgan, the present pastor. The deacons of the church have been as fol- 
low : John Whitlow, 182S-37; Benjamin Taylor, 1837-1853; Elijah Mc- 
Guire, 1840-1851 ; Pleasant Martin, 1852-1915; Elijah Markland, 1854-1856; 
Simpson Turner, 1857-1915; James M. Brown, 1871-1915. Among the 
clerks of the church may be mentioned Moses Sally, Pleasant Martin, Will- 
iam Douglass, Samuel Howell and Richard Wright. 

The first building was a log structure, twenty-two by twenty-six feet, 
which, however, was never completely finished. It was built about one mile 
north of the present building. In 1844, the church started to erect a second 
building, Imt it was not completed until 1852. In 1855 the congregation 
built a substantial frame building, thirty by thirty-six feet. It was destroyed 
by fire in 1866. In the same year plans were made for the erection of a 
brick building and it was finished and dedicated in 1868. ■ 

For many years after the church was organized there was little money 
for church expenses. The first sexton received two dollars and a half a year 
for his services, \yhile today he receives a salary of fifty-two dollars. The 
total expenses for 1915 are as follow: Pastor, $150; assistant, $150; visiting 
ministers, $100; home missions, $53; foreign missions, $11.25; sexton, $52; 
Sabbath school, $50. Four members of the church gave a total amount of 
$251 for the endowment fund of Franklin College during 1914. 

The Liberty church was first a member of the Flat Rock association, but 
in 1850, it united with the Sand Creek association. During the twenty-three 
years preceding 1850, the church admitted one hundred and three persons 
to membership. Of that number, eleven have been excluded, and of the 
members in 1850, there are two still living. In the last twenty years the 
church has admitted two hundred and twenty-three to membership. In the 
spring of 1912, Rev. S. G. Huntington conducted a revival, which brought 
twenty-nine new members into the church. The total membership at the 
present time is two hundred and eighteen. 



The Salem Baptist church was estabHshed on the third Saturday of 
February, 183 1, at the home of John S. Rutherford, one and one-half miles 
northeast of i\lilford. The constituent members \\ere : Ruchard and Fan- 
nie Johnson, James and Elizabeth Dunn, James and George M. O'Laughlin, 
Mathias and Margaret Mount, Thomas and Elizabeth Jones. The first 
house of worship was erected in 183 1, and this remained in use until 1888, 
when the present building was erected. It was remodeled in 1909, and is now 
provided with all the modern improvements. The church property is valued 
at three thousand dollars. 

The ministers include the following: John Pavy, J. W. B. Tisdale, 
W. E. Spear, James Pavey, J. W. Potter, A. A. Downey, W. A. Pavey, 
Alonzo Aspy, T. A. Aspy, J. A. Pettit, J. F. Huckleberry, Noah Harper, 
E. C. J. Dickens, M. C. Welch, L. T. Root, D. P. Liston, D. P. Odell, R. 
H. Kent, H. W. Clark, C. B. Jones, and A. A. Kay, the present pastor. 
The clerk is F. L. Sasser, who furnished all the data for the history of the 
church. The church now has a membership of two hundred. A Baptist 
Young People's Union was organized in 1914. 


According to the early records, the Greensburg Baptist church was 
founded in 1841, by the Rev. Joshua Currier, of Connecticut, sent here by 
the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Prior to his coming, the 
Greensburg Baptists held membership in some of the older churches of the 
denomination in the county. The missionary was a thrifty New Englander 
and both he and his wife were well endowed with those attributes necessary 
for success in this particular field. 

From their hillside home on the left of the present entrance to South 
Park cemetery they worked, taught and visited for seven years. The church 
was organized July 17, 1841, with eighteen members and united the follow- 
ing month with the Flat Rock association. Eight members were added the 
following year, after which the new church only held its own until 1848, 
when, with thirty-three baptisms and twelve additions by letter, the number 
of members was raised to ninety-seven. 

Just a little later it suffered a hea^•y loss through the removal of the 
pastor and several families to Iowa. The next minister was the Rev. M. B. 
Phares, a young college man, who served in 1849-50. Following him came 


Ref. D. G. Heuston (1853-54), who was also a Franklin College man. Dur- 
ing his pastorate, fire destroyed the meeting house. This building had been 
purchased of the Presbyterians, who had erected a new edifice. The pews 
of this church faced the doors and it was lighted with candles. 

'For a time the congregation used the ofiice of Ezra Lathrop for busi- 
ness and prayer meetings. Occasional preaching services were conducted 
in other churches. Plans for rebuilding were laid at once, and the church 
was completed dui-ing the pastorate of the Rev. J. W. B. Tisdale (1856-59). 
The basement of the new church was occupied as soon as it was completed. 
Private schools were conducted in it for a time, the teachers being James 
Caffvn and Rev. J. W. Potter. 

The new church was a two-story structure, with thick brick walls and 
heavy stone steps, with iron railings. It was lighted with kerosene and 
heated with two large sto\'es. Rev. Harry Smith was the pastor in i860, and 
was followed in 1861 by Rev. M. B. Phares, who had previously served the 

During the anxiety and depression of the Civil War, when many of the 
able-bodied members of the congregation were at the front, the Greensburg 
church shared its pastor with the Sand Creek congregation. Re\-. Phares 
was unable to bear up under the consecjuent heavy labor and died before the 
war was o\-er. He lies buried in the Sand Creek cemetery. 

Rew Ira C. Perrine, who was also a physician, served the church for a 
time and then retired on account of failing health. Upon his death, which 
took place soon after his retirement, the pulpit was supplied by a number of 
ministers until the coming of Rev. J. Cell, in 1864. He served for two 
years and was followed by Rev. L. D. Robinson, who remained for three 
years. During the latter's pastorate there were a number of inno\'ations 
introduced into the church, including the introduction of instrumental music, 
a choir, Christmas trees, church socials and other means of supplementing the 
regular church revenues. In this period the church membership was con- 
siderably augmented through additions by baptism and letter. 

Rev. J. S. Green, who served the church as pastor for some time, 
absconded in 1870 after forging the signatures of a number of his par- 
ishoners. He was located in Portland, Connecticut, where he was working 
in a tinware factory. He had formerly preached in a Methodist church 
there vmder another name. He was kept in jail for a time, during which he 
impro\'ed his leisure by writing a series of letters to the newspapers. 

The next pastor was Re\'. John Chambers, who remained for a year. 
Then came Rev. W. A. Caplinger, a suppl}', who conducted a revival with 


ihe assistance of Rev. J. Cell, and the heart of the congregation turned to 
the former pastor, who was gladly recalled. He died after a few months' 
service and lies buried in South Park cemeteiy in Greensburg. 

Rev. B. F. Cavons came in 1870, with his young bride, and remained for 
seven years, during which the church enjoyed a steady growth. The bap- 
tistry was constructed and other needed improvements added. Hitherto 
baptismal services had been held in Little Sand Creek, usually near Michigan 
avenue and Washington street. 

The next pastor was Rev. W. E. Pritchard, who had been trained in 
Spurgeon's London college. He came to the church in 1881. A])out this 
time agitation was started for the erection of a new church or enlarging the 
old one. The church building then in use was twenty-five years old, and the 
congregation was much larger than at the date of its erection. No decision 
could be reached and the agitation continued throughout the pastorate of 
Reverend Pritchard and that of his successor. Rev. J. A. Kirkpatrick 

Reverend Kirkpatrick devoted his energy to strengthening the body of 
the church and added many new members. During his ministry the fiftieth 
anniversary of the church was fittingly celebrated. During the tenure of his 
successor, Rev. D. W. Sanders, the church united on building plans, tore down 
the old building and erected the present structure, which was cleared of debt 
after several years of heroic efi'ort. 

Rev. J. B. Thomas was the pastor in 1892, and was followed by Rev. 
W .W. Smith, who seiwed the church with zeal and industry for four years. 
In igoo Manford Schuk was called and ordained. He occupied the pulpit 
for a year and then left to continue his studies. His successor. Rev. H. W. 
Davis, served two years. The last four named were students at Franklin 
College and three of them spent their early life in the vicinity of Greens- 
burg. During the pastorate of the Rev. Davis, the pipe organ was installed. 

The next pastor was Kev. J. Heritage, another English-trained minister. 
While he was minister, Tvlrs. Joseph W}'nn presented the cliurch witli an 
individual communion set. He was followed in turn by Rew J. h- h'razer. 
Rev. J. F. Fradenburg, and Rev. J. AV. Clevenger, the present minister, who 
took the pulpit in 1914. 

In its history of three-quarters of a century the Greensburg Baptist 
church has had twenty-four pastors, two of whom were recalled to the pulpit. 
There were times when the pulpit was filled by supplies, but, for the most 
part, services have been regular since the organization of the church. 

A number of Baptist ministers have spent their last years in Greens- 


burg and have added considerably to the power of the church. Among them 
have been Rev. J. W. B. Tisdale, S. M. Stimson, D. D. (for twenty-five 
years secretary of the Foreign Mission Society), Rev. T. J. Connor, Rev. 

F. M. Huckelberry, Rev. Alexander Connoley, Rev. C. M. Phillips and Rev. 

A. D. Berry, who brought the office of the Baptist Observer to Greensburg 
for a time. 

The first license to preach was granted by the Greensburg church to 
Thomas Edkinsom, one of the constituent members. Dyar M. Christy was 
gi\'en a license in the late sixties, and he preached until his death, twenty- 
five years later. E. Hez Swem, who was the third sent out, has spent a use- 
ful quarter of a century in Washington, D. C. Three ministers have been 
ordained by the church. Rev. Manford Schuk, Rev. William LeMasters and 
Rev. O. A. Bowman. 

A few legacies have been left the church. Ezra Lathrop becjueathed 
it fifteen hundred dollars, and Mahalla Ragan and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 
Wynn left it one thousand dollars. The church has been host to the Indiana 
Baptist state convention four times: 1861, 1868, 1878 and 1913. It has 
entertained delegates and messengers from the churches of the Flat Rock 
association three times, in 1866, 1889 and 1913. 

The first clerk of the church was Jabez Edkins. Z. A. Withrow is 
reported as occupying that office in 1852. Among those who held the office 
during long terms of years were J. N. Shirk, F. C. Eddleman, R. T. Wright 
and C. W. AVoodward. Ezra Lathrop, George Fletcher, George Perrine, 
Isaac N. Shirk and Benjamin Bowers were among the early deacons. The 
following among others have served as church treasurer: Ebenezer Edkins, 
R. T. Wright, Everet Marsh, Charles Schuk, C. W. Woodward, Harrington 
Boyd and Hugh Taylor. 

Some of the Sunday school superintendents have been I. N. Shirk, W. 

B. Hai-vey, Ira Hollensbe, R. T. Wright, Charles Williams, Everett Marsh, 

G. G. Welsh. Herbert West and William G. Bently. Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston 
was a loyal and efficient leader of the primary department for more than 
thirty years. 

The Woman's Missionary Society was organized in 1877, with Mrs. 
Joseph Wynn as president, and women's prayer meetings have been a con- 
tinuous feature of the life of the church. The early meeting places were 
the homes of Mrs. Abi Lathrop, Mrs. T. Edkins or Mrs. Fletcher. For a 
periad of ten years these meetings were held regularly at the home of Mrs. 
J. B. Wheatley. 



The members of the Baptist church h\'ing in the southern part of Jack- 
son township met at the home of James Blankenship on the third Saturday 
of February, 1835, and organized the Mt. Pleasant church. The constituent 
members had been attached to the Bear Creek church, in Bartholomew 
county, before this time. They numbered ten, as follows : William T. Strib- 
bling, Achsa Stribbling, John Chambers, Elizabeth Chambers, John Graham, 
Eliza Graham, James Blankenship, Mary Blankenship, Mary Chambers and 
Catherine Eli. At the home of John Chambers the new church was reor- 
ganized by the council on February 28, 1835, Bear Creek, Mt. Moriah and 
Vernon being represented in the council. They worshipped in private homes 
for two years, and in 1837 erected a log church, which was supplanted in 
i860 by a brick building. The church has drawn her membership from a 
large territory, with Sardinia as her center. Among pastors of this church 
are the following: Chesley Woodward, William Vawter, John Pavy, Hiram 
Pond, John Stott, Ira Gleason, Albert Carter, F. M. Huckleberry, W. Y. 
Moore and J. C. Nicholson. 


The Dry Fork church was constituted in February, 1835, ^t the home 
of Enoch Garrison, with the following constituent members : John Patrick 
and wife, Enoch and Margaret Garrison, Elizabeth and Sarah Patrick, Susan 
Morgan, Rebecca Black and Eleanor Tazewell. For the first six years after 
the organization, the congregation held services in the homes of the mem- 
bers, and then built a rude log church. In 1852, a substantial frame struc- 
ture was erected one-half mile south of Newburg in Jackson township. The 
pastors of this church include the following: A. Leach, John Vawter, James 
Blankenship, William Moore, G. W. Pavey, Evan Snead, G. W. Patrick, 
Absolom Pavey, James Pavey, Joab Stout, B. Denham, Hugh McCalip, \\'. 
E. Spears, F. M. Huckleberry, John W. Potter and Albert Carter. Dr\' Fork 
is the mother of the churches of Westport and Mt. Aerie (Letts). 


The Westport church is an arm of the Dit Fork church and was organ- 
ized January 4, 1851, with twenty-three members, as follows: Richard 


Childers, Benjamin Childers, Elizabeth Childers, James Hamilton, John Buck, 
Lewis T. Scott. Catherine Shields, Susan Morgan and sixteen others, whose 
names have not been preser\ed. The formal organization was in charge of 
a council from Mt. Pleasant, Dr}' Fork and Sand Creek churches. A build- 
ing, erected in 1852, is still in use. The pastors of the church include the 
following: Hiram Pond. G. \Y. Patrick, Joab Stout, Hiram Christie, J. W. 
Reynolds, G. W. Herron, Benjamin \\'^ilson, Jonathan Allee, W. E. Spear, 
John Waters, John Stott, J. C. Remy and A. A. Ka}'. 


The Rossburg church was established on March i, 1851, by a council 
representing the churches of Pipe Creek, West Fork, Delaware and Napoleon. 
The charter members were as follow : James Alexander, W'illiam W. Hol- 
lensbe, John F. Hollensbe, James Updike, Andrew J. Martin, San ford Stapp, 
-Albert L Osborne, Rev. Sylvester Ferris and seven others. The ]3astors 
have been Sylvester Ferris, J. C. Perrine, Enoch Tilton, James ^V. Lewis, 
James M. Smith, C)bediah Martin, florace Wilson, Spear, Simms, Frank 
Level, J. \A\ Tisdale, George \\'. Bowers, Alexander Connelly and W. O. 
Beatty, the present pastor. 

The Rossburg church, in its existence up to 191 5, perhaps had its palm- 
iest days in the period from 1860 to 1890. It was during this period that 
George ^^'ashington Bower, who served the Rossburg church as pastor much 
of the time from 1864 until 1913, was in the vigor of life and action and the 
church in its youth and power. Since 1890, or thereabouts, a noticeable 
decrease in the activity of the church has come about due to the removal of 
many members and families from the church community and the age and 
feebleness of older members. 

Since 1890, howe\'er, much excellent work has been done periodically 
at Rossburg and, continuing through this later period, many souls have been 
converted, under the ministry of Reverend Bower and others, to the Christian 
life; so that faithful hearts and hands have kept sacred to service the meeting 
house where once the pioneer pastor of the early day proclaimed the Gospel 
of truth, and where, at the memorable little pulpit, many an erring, though 
good and precious soul, was led forward, born again, into the new and true 
life of the Redeemer. 

One of the older members of this church, writing of it in 1915, said : "In 
tlie period from i860 to 1-890 many a time, and many a time, have I seen such 
large crowds attend church services at Rossburg that all could not get in the 


church. That was especially so when Bower i)reached regularly there." But 
in the later period, when Bower continued to minister at Rossburg, the con- 
gregation had become scattered and many old familiar faces he had known, 
were absent. On one occasion when he preached there, not long before his 
death, in 1913, lie remarked in the course of his sermon, looking like the 
pictures of ^Mlittier, "Most of my congregation are out here," as he p(Mnted 
to the "silent city," with its "windowless palaces" there on the hill. 

And so it was that to a large extent the life of George ^\■. Bower 
became the life and history of the Rossburg Baptist church through a long 
period of time. Tlis life in his period with the church w^as an embodiment of 
the character and life of the church. By his sturdy, powerful preaching and 
honest example, many a person was led through baptism into the new and true 
life. He had much to do with the religious integrity of eastern Decatur 
county for half a century. 

George \\'. Bower was born in Adams township, Ripley county, Indiana. 
September 29, 1836, and died on February 19. 1913. He received what 
education he had in the common schools and taught during eleven terms of 
common school. He married Nancy Miller, March 17, 1861, who was always 
a faithful helpmate in her husband's work at Rossburg. Mr. Bower was 
"born again" in February, 1864, and united with the Pipe Creek Baptist church. 
He was baptized by Rev. James M. Smith, March 16, of the same year. He 
was chosen superintendent of the Sunday school in March, 1864, and served 
in that position for three years. On July 27, 1867, the church licensed him to 
preach. He preached his tirst sermon on Sunday, December 16, 1866, at his 
home church, his text being John 3:14-15. He was ordained on December 
27, 1868, by his home church, at the request of the Franklin church, at 
Pierceville, Indiana, which had called him as pastor for one-fourth time. His 
longest pastorate was at Rossburg and Pipe Creek churches. He preached at 
Elkhart for twenty years ; at Hogan Hill, thirteen years ; at Hopewell, seven 
years : Ingar Creek, six years ; Washington, six years ; and at other churches 
from one to four vears. He was a member of the Baptist state convention 
board for several years, when the members were elected by the associations. 

A summary of his work fc.llows : Regular sermons preached, 5,675; 
funeral sermons, 478: whole number of sermons preached. 6.153: marriages 
solemnized, 204: number baptized, 588. He gave more time to Rossburg 
than to any other one church. Anyone who met him never failed to be 
impressed by his lofty, though kind and simple, puritan character: by his 
honestv, his integrity, his strength of will and his moral and spiritual power. 
His works live on and on in this church he serxed. 


The officers of the church in 1915 were: Trustees, Alfred M. Hooten, 
Forest Higdon, David Martin; clerk, Mrs. Emma Gwinn; treasurer, Forest 


Mt. Aerie church was organized in the latter part of 1872, as an arm of 
Dry Fork, the organization following the establishment and successful 
career of a Sunday school at that point. A revival was held in the early part 
of 1874, during which forty-three members were added to the church. This 
meeting was under the direction of John W. Potter, who was then pastor of 
the Dry Fork church, and aroused so much interest that a request was made 
for an independent organization. This was granted, and, on Thursday, 
April 23, 1874, the Mt. Aerie church formally began its career. At the time 
of its recognition by the council, August 29, 1874, it enrolled sixty-si.x mem- 
bers, among whom may be mentioned Allen W. and Sarah R. Lett, James 
Fowler, G. T. and Mary J. Davis, Rachel Davis, John and Ruth Holmes, 
Chesley Holmes, John S. and Sarah J. Adams, S. H. and Nancy Thompson, 
J. H. Stout, John W. Stout, Andrew Alexander, Emaline Brunton and John 
Hunter. The pastors of this church have been John W. Potter, Albert Carter, 
John E. McCoy, W. W. Smith, J. O. Burroughs, E. Sanford, H. W. Davis, 
Chesley Holmes, J. F. Huckleberry, J. E. Smith, A. D. Berry, W. F. Roberts, 
W. F. Wagner, B. R. Robinson and W. C. Marshall, the present pastor. A 
substantial brick building a half mile from Letts, was built the same year the 
church was organized and was surmounted by one of the largest bells ever 
brought into the county. This is one of the strongest rural Baptist churches 
in Indiana, and now has a membership of three hundred and twenty-five. 
An active Sunday school, with an average attendance of one hundred and 
fifty, is maintained. The parsonage is in the town of Letts and is valued at 
two thousand dollars, the value of the church building and grounds being 
estimated at ten thousand dollars. The pastor is paid a yearly salary of nine 
hundred dollars. A well-kept cemetery adjoins the church and there lie hun- 
dreds of the members of the church who have helped to make it one of the 
strongest influences for good in the community. 

The present officers of the Mt. Aerie church are as follow : Pastor, 
W. C. Marshall; deacons, Albert Holmes, Albert Rowland, Charles Bridges, 
William Feur, Kenneth Levering and Alfred Beagle; trustees, M. B. Tay- 
lor, Urso McCorkle, N. E. Moore, John Jackson and Charles Bridges. 



The history of the Union church dates back ninety years, since it was 
estabHshed in 1825. It was brought into existence through the labors of 
Elder Matthew Elder, who succeeded in getting it organized on June 18, 
1825, at the old Ross school house, three and one-half miles east of 
Greensburg. It appears that this church was not exactly an orthodox Baptist 
church: at least, it was started out as the "Separate Baptist church," but just 
what is meant by the unusual prefix is not known. Although it was organ- 
ized in 1825, it was more than a quarter of a centui-y before a building was 
erected for a house of worship, services being held in school houses and pri- 
vate homes previous to 1854. The first building of 1854 was torn down in 
1858. and rebuilt four and one-half miles southwest of Greensburg. 'The 
church was recognized as a Missionary Baptist church on August 10, 1876, 
under the name of Union Baptist church. Matthew Elder was pastor of 
the church for more than forty years, and since the church has been recog- 
nized by the regular Baptists, the following have served : J. \Y. Hammock, 
J. \\'. Potter, \\'. T. Jolly. Ephraim Bond. John E. :\IcCoy, W. \\\ Smith, F. 
M. Huckleberry, T. A. and Lotus Aspy, J. E. Smith, O. L. Powers, J. G. 
Colter, D. C. Smith, C. E. Odell, and J. C. Nicholson, the present incumbent. 
The church has one hundred and sixty members at present and has ninety 
em-olled in the Sunday school. 


The Rock Creek Baptist church, also known as Lower Union, was estab- 
lished in September, 1825, with the following constituent members: Jacob, 
Sarah, Daniel, Ann, Robert and Clara Van Dusen and Ephraim, Anna and 
Cornelia Althiser — a total of nine, representing only two families. The 
records of the first twenty-one years have long since disappeared and little is 
known of the early struggles of this congregation. The church was first 
organized in a school house near Zenas, Jennings county, Indiana. Some 
of the members lived there, but the majority living on Rock Creek, four miles 
northwest, in Decatur county, it was the intention to build a church at the 
latter place. The meetings were held in Jacob Van Dusen's home most of 
the time up to 1850. in which year the congregation built a log meeting house 
on Rock creek, three miles southeast of Westport. In 1859 they sold their 
building for fifty dollars and for the next two years met in a school house 


three miles southwest of ]\rillhousen. In 1862 the church, with other denom- 
inations whose names have not been ascertained, built a union meeting house 
on the present site. This same church is now used alternately by both the 
Baptists and the United Brethren in Christ. 

\Mien this church was first organized there was no association within 
reach, so this church, with others, formed the "Baptist Liberty Council." 
John Pavy, the first pastor, and other ministers of the denomination living 
in Kentucky, were l)itterly opposed to slavery, and, accordingly, moved to 
Indiana. The}' formed this council and maintained it for several years. In 
1843 the Rock Creek church was attached to the Madison association, but a 
few years later it became a part of the Sand Creek association, with which it 
has been affiliated down to the present time. Inability to find the records has 
made it impossible to give a complete list of the pastors who have served this 
congregation, but the following are known to have preached there at one time 
or another : John Pavy, John Bush, William Tyner, John ^Varren, Chesley 
Woodward, Benjamin Tucker, Hiram Pond, Christian Burkman, Nathan 
Frazy, Jacob ^Martin, George Herron, D. O. Sites (1866-69), John ^^'aters 
(T869-71), Jonathan Allee and John Waters (called a second time). This 
list brings the pastors up to sometime in the seventies, but no list has been 
furnished of those down to the present pastor, P. A. Bryant. 


Founders of the Kingston Presbyterian church, parent of other churches 
of this denomination in Decatur county, were descendants of Covenanters, 
and so, by ancestry, Presbyterian as far back as there is any record. Their 
parents emigrated from western Pennsylvania to Kentucky, where they 
founded the Concord Presbyterian church in 1792. 

In 181 7 this church had two hundred members, but one of whom was 
a slave owner. Many were active abolitionists. Such a band could have 
no true home in a slave state. In 1821-1823 a number of families from this 
church settled in the Kingston neighborhood and organized the church there, 
presumably on December 18, 1823. 

The entry on the old minute book reads: "This day . . .a num- 
ber of persons . . . came forward after sermon by the Rev. John 
Moreland, and associated themselves together as a Presbyterian church, to 
be denominated Sand Creek church, and proceeded to chose Samuel Donnell, 
John Hopkins, John C. McCoy and William O. Ross to the office of ruling 


A year later. Rev. John Dickey, an able pioneer preacher, visited the 
church, installed the elders, received titty persons who presented letters into 
membership, baptized eleven children and conducted a t\vo-da\- meeting. 
Preaching services were held but once a year until 1826, when a new cliurch 
was established with twelve members at Greensburg, and the Rev. S. G. 
Lowrv, who was selected as minister for the Sand Creek chm-cli. He was 
succeeded in 1833 by the Rev. John \\'eaver. 

Presbyterian ministers of the early days recei\-ed \-ery modest remu- 
nerations. The following is quoted from the old minute liook of the Sand 
Creek church : 

"On settlement with Robert B. Donnell and James Thomson, collectors 
for the Sand Creek congregation, the sum of $572.93^ has been received in 
discharge of the pecuniary obligation of the call which I hold from said 
congregation up to the beginning of the year January, 1829. The deficit of 
$27.06^^ is hereby relinquished to the credit of said congregation, so that this 
instrument shall be considered a clear receipt for three years up to January i, 

"A\'itness my hand, this 9th day of January, 1830. 

"Samuel G. Lowry." 

It is probably not an uncharitable reflection upon the benevolence of the 
minister, considering the meagerness of his salary, to credit the belief that 
probably the reason he relinquished the deficit was because the resources 
of the collectors were exhausted. 

Two years later, political dififerences, destined later to rend the nation, 
begin to make their presence felt in the Sand Creek church. Refractory mem- 
bers were frequently admonished, and frequent complaints for slander show 
that there was a great deal of heated controversy going on. The "'irre- 
pressible conflict" was rising in the church. In 1S37 matters reached a crisis, 
and the church split, thirty-seven members withdrawing ^klarch 13, to found 
what is now the Kingston Presbyterian church. The insurgents were 
abolitionists, opposed to the course of the general assembly upon the slavery 
question. Although the weaker body in numbers, the new church li\ed and 
the old one died. After the war, the few remaining members of the Sand 
Creek church united with the Kingston congregation. 

Upon their withdrawal, finding themselves outside the Presbyterian fold. 
the thirty-seven insurgents sought shelter in a Congregational church until 
1840, when thev built a small frame structure, which was later transformed 
into a school house. Later the Congregational congregation was absorbed. 


The third edifice to be erected by the denomination was a frame build- 
ing and stood in front of what is now the school yard. It was not so large 
as the brick building erected by the congregation in 1836, but the ceiling 
was higher and the windows larger. After being used as a church for twelve 
years, it was turned over to the township for use as a school. 

Two of the largest subscriptions made for construction of the old brick 
church were by Samuel and James Hamilton. Contracts for building it 
were let by competitive bidding, the contractors starting at a sufficiently high 
sum and bidding down. The brick-making contract was bid in for a sum 
close to five hundred dollars. 

Until the coming of Rev. Benjamin Franklin, in 1847, the church was 
supplied by the following ministers: Benjamin Nyce, M. H. Wilder, Charles 
Chamberlain, Boram, Campbell and Jonathan Cable. The Rev. Franklin 
was an English missionary who had been stationed in the West Indies. 
The reverend gentleman found some of the customs of the male members 
of his congregation decidedly new, especially tobacco chewing. During his 
pastorate the Clarksburg church was organized. 

Rev. Benjamin Nyce again became the pastor of the church in 1850. 
During his ministry the Free Presbyterian church, which excluded slave 
owners and was opposed to secret societies, was formed. As this body repre- 
sented the most extreme anti-slavery element, the Kingston church gladly 
united with it. 

"We cannot resist the conviction that this worthy body of reformers 
contained a good many cranks, and Kingston had its full share both of min- 
isters and members," says Cammilla Donnell, in writing of the church at 
that place. "But our fathers were happily unconscious of the word. They 
went on their way regardless of the ridicule and the prejudice of the outside 
world, with temperance and abolition written on their door posts, reading 
and circulating abolition books and papers, running with great success their 
branch of the 'underground railroad,' voting the most extreme reform tickets, 
and doing their humble best to turn the world upside down." 

Rev. Daniel Gilmer became the church's minister in 1854, serving for 
three years. He was succeeded by Rev. William Gilmer, of Cincinnati, said 
to have been a brilliant talker and a most persuasi\e borrower. Man}^ good 
stories are told concerning him. 

Erection of a fourth church building was started in 1854. While the 
frame of the structure was being raised, there was an accident caused by the 
carelessness of the builder, the timbers collapsed and several members of 
the congregation were badly injured, two of them being crippled for life. 


Funds for the construction of this building- were raised by direct assess- 
ment, each member being taxed according to the amount of property he pos- 
sessed as set forth in the records of the county treasurer. Only a few, it is 
said, objected to paying the full amount of their assessments. 

The next minister was Rev. A. T. Rankin, who served the church from 
i860 to 1890. During his long pastorate the parsonage was built, land was 
added to the original traet, large bequests were received, a cemetery fund 
was raised, and. finally, the present beautiful building was erected. Suc- 
ceeding pastors have been as follows: J. A. Liggett, Harry Nyce. R. A. 
Bartlett, C. R. Adams, W. F. Secular, W. E. Hogg, and H. :SL Campbell, 
who has been the pastor of the church since November 20, 19 13. 

The Kingston church has given for furtherance of the Gospel the follow- 
ing missionaries : Thomas Ware, Andrew Jack, Edward Adams, Annie 
Adams Baird, Hamilton Henry, Eva Rankin, Rose Rankin, Jean Rankin and 
Hannah Evans. It has also furnished the following ministers : Harrison 
Thomson, Wallace Thomson, John Harney, S. H. Darvin, Austin Thomson, 
Eberle Thomson, Theophilis Lowry, George D. Parker, T. D. Bartholomew, 
E. A. Allen, Harry Nyce, Benjamin Nyce, Edward Adams, H. B. Hamilton, 
Emmett Robison, with three colored ministers, A. J. Davis, Thomas \\'are 
and Peter Prim. 

Today the Kingston church occupies a proud place in the annals of 
Decatur county Presbyterianism. Seed planted by the descendants of the 
Covenanters has multiplied beyond their utmost expectations, and strong con- 
gregations have sprung from the loins of the parent church. Its influence 
has grown wider in extent with each succeeding year. 

Hanover College was organized in the old log meeting house, and its 
pastor was made a trustee of the institution ; Harrison Thomson became a 
member of its faculty, one Donnell finished and furnished the college chapel 
and another endowed a professorship. Dr. A. T. Rankin, the grand old 
man of this church, dedicated the chapel. 

Said Doctor Rankin, on the thirtieth anniversary of his pastorate : 
"What would Indiana, or the United States, or the world have been, with- 
out Hanover? And what would Hanover have been without Kingston? 

"Kingston furnished Bloomington a professor and the Louisville Courier 
Journal its greatest editor (John Harney). The first pastor of this church 
held the stake Carnahan drove to mark the place where Wabash College was 
built, and that Thomson who managed its finances so admirably for so many 
years, professed faith in Christ here. How far-reaching and great the 
influence of the church organized in a log cabin seventy-five years ago!" 



As previously stated, the Greensburg church was organized, November 
20, 1826, following- the dismissal of twelve members from the Sand Creek 
church, who were charged with the responsibility of starting a second Pres- 
byterian church in Decatur county. All of them lived in the neighborhood 
of Greensburg. The charter members of this church were Thomas Hen- 
dricks, Robert Thorne, Lydia Thome, Martha L. Mars, James Loomis, 
Phoebe Loomis, Benjamin Antrobus, Polly Antrobus, David Gageby, William 
O. Ross and Elizabeth R. Ross. The last three men named were the first 
elders. The first new member recei\'ed was Mrs. Jane Warriner. 

Family names of these pioneers no longer appear upon the church 
records, but in a few instances female descendants of some of these original 
members are now holding membership in the Greensburg church. Rev. 
Samuel Lowry was the first minister, giving one-fourth of his time for more 
than four years to the infant cliurch. The next pastor was the Rev. James 
R. VVheelock, a missionary of the American Home Missionary Society. He 
served from 1830 to 1833, and in that period added forty-five members to 
the church. 

Revs. Samuel Hurd, ^Vells Bushnell and John S. Wea\er ministered 
in succession for short periods each until 1838, when Rev. Joseph G. Monfort 
became pastor of the Sand Creek and Greensburg churches. The latter now 
numbered sixty-three members. During his ministry the schism which rent 
the church into the Old and New Schools extended to Greensburg and 
eighteen members withdrew to form a new church. During his four years' 
stay one hundred and twenty-four new members were received. 

Upon his departure, fifty-two members of the Greensburg church were 
dismissed to found a new church at Forest Hill. His successor for a two- 
year period was the Rev. Joseph B. Adams. During his pastorate, member- 
ship in the church dwindled to fifty-two and the Rev. j\'Ionfort was again, 
in 1844, called to the pulpit. His acceptance was conditioned upon the 
reunion of tlie Old and New School churches, which was happily accom- 
plished. His second term of service lasted for ten years, after which he left 
to become editor of the church publication at Cincinnati. 

Doctor Monfort was succeeded b}' his father, Rev. Francis Monfort, 
Rev. Charles Axtell, Dr. Joseph Warren and then hv Rev. David Monfort. 
His pastorate commenced in 1858 and lasted until 1867. It was broken for 
two years, when the Reverend Monfort left his church to serve as chaplain 


in the Union Ami}-. Dnring this period tlie pulpit was fihed b}- Re\'. Ben- 
jamin Xyce. Reverend Monfort was a learned man, Init extremely absent- 
minded. He would often ride for miles upon a country road, meeting many 
of his friends without recognizing any of them. 

In 1868, Rev. J. C. Irwin accepted a call and remained until 1874. He 
was considered by man}' to be one of the most instructi\e preachers of his 
day. During his pastorate, the parsonage was built. The pulpit was vacant 
until 1876, when Re\'. G. R. Alden began his pastorate. It was marked by 
two important e\'ents. a highly successful revival and a fire which destroyed 
the church building. During his pastorate, for the first time the voice of a 
woman was heard in prayer meeting". Before this, the Greensburg Presby- 
terians had gi\'en strict heed to the Pauline injunction regarding the silence 
of women in churches, deeming it of perpetual force. Today, without their 
assistance, Presbyterian prayer meetings might often relapse into the quiet 
of a Quaker meeting. 

Dr. Robert Sloss became pastor of the church in November, 1879, and 
during his stay the present church building was completed. He continued 
as pastor until his death in 1895. He was followed by Re\-. \Villiam Tor- 
rence (1886-1891), Rev. R. G. Roscamp ( 1892-1894), Rev. J. \V. Parker, 
Rev. Robert Bartlett, Rew Robert Dunaway and Dr. Walter H. Reynolds, 
whose pastorate commenced in 1908. 

From its very beginning, almost, the church has enjoyed a steady and 
healthy growth. Organized with twelve members, it had risen in the lapse 
of a Cjuarter centur}' to about two hundred. After fifty years there were two 
hundred communicants. In its seventy-fifth year it had four hundred and 
fifty-three members. 

The church has erected three houses of worship. The first was upon 
the site of the present Baptist church and was sold to that congregation. The 
second was upon the site of the present building. It burned down in 1876, 
the fire starting by accident while a social gathering was being held. After 
a year of discussion, it was decided to erect a new building rather than 
rebuild the old. The new church was dedicated March 30, 1878, free of 
debt. In 1896 extensi\-e alterations were made, a debt lifted and a pipe 
organ installed. 

The congregation has never received large gifts or legacies, but has 
been dependent upon itself. Thomas Montgomery bequeathed the church 
one thousand dollars in 1874, to be invested for a permanent income, and 
in 1S83 Misses Eunice and Elizabeth Hendricks gave their homestead to 
the church for an "Old Ladies Home." This use of the building not prov- 


ing practical, its rental was applied to poor relief until, with consent of the 
donors, the building was sold in 1894. 

Harrison House bequeathed the church six hundred and sixty-one 
dollars in 1893, and two years earlier George Carson left the church one 
thousand, four hundred dollars, the interest of which could be used in con- 
ducting a mission Sunday school in Greensburg. The Carson Memorial 
mission was opened a year later and the ?hurch supplements, as may be neces- 
sary, the income from the legacy. An industrial school for girls, a history 
class for boys and a sewing circle for women are maintained by this mission. 

Besides an active Sunday school, there are a number of other church 
organizations. There is a Christian Endeavor Society, a Women's Home 
and Foreign Missionary Society and a Ladies' Aid Society. 

No passing creeds and isms have found expression in the pulpit of this 
church. The church has resolutely stood for the whole Bible and for Pres- 
byterian standards, when understood as its correct interpretation. For many has ranked second or third in the Whitewater presbytery in numer- 
ical strength. 

On July 3, 1907, a violent windstorm toppled over part of the heavy 
tower, which crashed through the auditorium, almost wrecking the build- 
ing. For a time it was thought that it would be necessary to construct a new 
church, as architects and structural engineers declared that the structure 
was damaged beyond all hope of repair. It was later found that the founda- 
tions and portions of the walls were intact and the building was partially 
reconstructed. A new heating plant was installed, new walks laid and other 
improvements made, which, with the reconstruction of the building, cost the 
congregation eighteen thousand dollars. The rebuilt church was dedicated 
with appropriate ceremonies. May 9, 1909. While the building was being 
repaired, the congregation met in the G. A. R. hall and later in the church 

The old church, built in 1845, which burned down, was at various times 
used in part as a school and postoffice, and later Doctor Cook had his office 
in it. While the postoffice was located in the church, yeggmen blew the safe 
and made away with a small amount in stamps and coin. 

Dr. Walter Hunter Reynolds, the present pastor, is the son of A. J. 
Reynolds, a Presbyterian minister. He was born in Cincinnati, educated 
in Wooster College and received his theological training in McCormick 
Seminary, Chicago. He was given the pulpit of the River Forest church of 
Chicago upon completing his theological course and later became assistant 
pastor of the Third Presbyterian church of Chicago, which has a large con- 


gregation. Before coming to Greenshurg, lie had charges at Alarion, Iowa, 
and Omaha, Nebraska. 


The minute book of the Clarksburg Presbyterian church gives the fol- 
lowing account of the organization of that church : 

"Clarksburg. Indiana, Alay 20th. 1848. 

"At the time and place abo\'e written. Rex. James McCoy, acting as a 
committee of the presbytery of Indianapolis, organized into a church of 
Christ at their own request and as such set apart by prayer the following 
brethren and sisters, all of whom were recommended as members in good 
standing of the Presbyterian church, viz — 

"Robert Mitchell and Barbary Mitchell, his wife; Robert M. Stout and 
Polly Ann Stout, his wife; Jackson G. Lowe and Polly Jane Lowe, his wife; 
James Donnell, Thomas Donnell and Mary Donnell, his wife; Euphemia 
Donnell, Euphemia Braden, Angeline Donnell, Cassender Donnell, Susan 
Donnell and Ruth Jane Braden. 

"On motion the church agreed to be known by the name of the Clarks- 
burg Presbyterian church and the church proceeded to elect two ruling 
elders. Luther A. Donnell and Robert Mitchell were chosen. After appro- 
priate counsel given to the church by the Rev. James McCoy, the meeting 
closed with prayer by the Rev. Benjamin Franklin." 

Rev. A. I. Rankin was probably the best known minister of this church, 
filling its pulpit for a period of thirty years. He was followed by the fol- 
lowing ministers : Harry Nyce, R. A. Bartlett, C. R. Adams, W. F. Scon- 
lad and the present pastor. Homer M. Campbell. The church now has a 
membership of one hundred and twenty. 


The Sardinia church was established in 185 1 by the Rev. Joseph Mon- 
fort and, until it was closed in 1915 and sold to the United Brethren de- 
nomination, exerted a wide influence in that section of the county. The 
church was built upon land donated by John ^McCormick. B. F. Gaston, 
who is still living, attended the first Sunday school held there. 

Among its charter members were John G. McCormick, Matilda Mc- 
Cormick, William McCormick, Elizabeth McCormick, James Risley, Sarah 
Risley, Eliza Hankins, James Gregg and Angeline Gregg. C. J. ]Moore and 


D)-er Aloore were later elders in this church. A frame church was built in 
1852 at a cost of eighteen hundred dollars. With the passing 3-ears the 
church gradually grew weaker and on February 22, 191 5, sold their building 
to the newly organized United Brethren congregation. At that time there 
were onl}- eight members left. 


The Spring Hill United Presbyterian church is the only one of this 
denomination in Decatur county and dates back to the early twenties. It 
was not known by this name when it was organized in this county in 1825, 
the present name not coming into general use until May 26, 1858. It was 
formed by the union of the Associate Presbyterian (or Seceder church) 
with the Associate Reformed Presbj'terian church at the City of Pittsburgh 
on the date above mention^l. This denomination differs from other Pres- 
byterian churches in that their songs of praise to God in public and pri\-ate 
worship are the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, dictated by the spirit of 
God, known in the Bible as the Book of Psalms. 

When this branch of Presbyterianism Avas organized at Spring Hill the 
church was named Xew Zion, in honor of the congregation in Lexington, 
Kentucky, from \\hence many of the first members came. Their old church 
in Kentucky was known as Zion and by prefixing New to their church in 
Decatur county the_v felt that they were honoring their old church. This 
name was retained until 1872 when it was thought advisable to change it 
to Spring Hill. 

The first preaching which the infant society enjoyed was in 1821 or 
1822, when an associate minister. Reverend Armstrong, stopped over for a 
day while making an overland trip from Illinois to Ohio. The next preach- 
ing was b}^ Rev. Alexander Porter, then pastor of the Hopewell church, in 
Preble county. Ohio. Among other ministers who preached to the few mem- 
bers of the church previous to its formal organization in 1825 were Revs. 
John Steel, Hugh Mayne, John Reynolds and S. P. Magaw. The church 
began its career as an independent congregation on July 30, 1825, when it 
was established by a committee representing the First presbytery of Ohio. 
This delegation was composed of Rev. David AIcDill, Sr., Elders John 
Foster and William Caldwell, and Thomas Henr)', Sr., who had recently 
settled near Spring Hill. 

At this first meeting William Hood and Nathaniel Patton, Sr., having 
been previously elected elders, were ordained to the ministry. John P. 


Mitchtll and his wife, Peggy, who were recei\e(r on certificate, were the 
first members of New Zion church. The first memljers received on examina- 
tion were Wilham Henderson and his wife, Martha, and Nathaniel Lewis. 
When the first communion was celebrated, in 1827. by Rev. Joseph Clay- 
baugh, the church had a membership of forty. 

The first church building was of hewed logs, was thirty feet square, 
and was thrown up in the fall and winter of 1824. James jNIcCracken and 
Adam and Andrew Rankin prepared the logs and these men, assisted by 
Jam^es R. Patton and William Anderson, "carried up the corners." The 
house was not covered until the summer of 1825, at which time a roof of 
poles and split shingles was tied on with that skill which our good fore- 
fathers happily possessed. The shingles were rived on the farm of Samuel 
Lewis, near Clarksburg. The roof was put on under the direction of Will- 
iam Penny. The seats were such as those occupying them chose to make, 
everyone supplying their own, some better and so*ne worse. On these seats 
the patient worshippers could and did sit through a two-hour service in the 
morning and one of equal length in the afternoon. 

The lot (one acre) on which this first church was erected was deeded 
by Samuel Donnell on January i, 1825, to the trustees of New Zion congre- 
gation, namely: William Henderson, Adam Rankin and James McCracken, 
for the sum of six dollars and fifty cents. The second lot (two acres) was 
deeded by William and George A. Anderson, on May 11, 1841, to trustees 
\\'illiam B. Lewis, A. J. Dale and \\'illiam Duncan, for a consideration of 
one dollar. 

In 1832 the congregation had increased to such an extent that it was 
deemed necessary to enlarge the building. Accordingly, a frame addition 
of twenty feet was added to the old building Ijy Samuel Henrv- In 1837 
a frame church took the place of the old log building. In 1862 many trees 
were planted around the church by William Anderson and future genera- 
tions have had cause to be grateful for this labor of love on the part of this 
sterling old pioneers. As the years went by, the congregation became able 
to Iniild a still more substantial church and in 1892 the present beautiful 
brick house of worship was erected at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars. A 
parsonage was built in 1871. 

Many of the ablest men of the denomination have served the church 

as pastor and the following list is as complete as the records disclose : 

■James Worth, 1830-52; Rev. Walker, 1852-67: Samuel Taggart, 1868 (five 

months); William Johnston, 1871-77; \\'illiam Ritchie, 1877-79; Alvin 

Mncent, 1880-88; T. H. MclMichael. 1890-93: Harry Crawford, 1893-94; 



Paul Stewart, 1896-1900; Neil Ferguson, 1901-05; W. W. McCal!, 
1906-12; Fred Elliott, since 1914. The first settled minister, James Worth, 
severed his connection with the church in 1852 to go with a colony of set- 
tlers to Oregon. He was a man of unusual attainments, well-grounded in 
doctrine, a good organizer, faithful in the discharge of' his duties, a patron 
of honesty and uprightness, and to his judicious management and careful 
training the congregation owes much of its success in later years. No 
other minister ever served the congregation as long and no other left such 
an impress on the church. 

The present ideal of the church is to be in ever}^ sense a community 
church and the church is now styled the "Spring Hill Community church." 
The officers are men alive to their responsibilities to the entire community, 
and every organization of the church seeks to minister, rather than to be 
ministered unto. The session is honored by the service of two men who 
have represented Decatur county in the halls of the state Legislature, Jethro 
C. Meek and William J. Kinkaid. The Sabbath school is under the able 
and enthusiastic management of Ezra Kirby and is doing very efficient 
work. The Spring Hill church has furnished to the church at large two col- 
lege presidents, the Rev. William Johnston, former president of Amity Col- 
lege, of College Springs, Iowa, and the Rev. T. H. McMichael, of Mon- 
mouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. This congregattion is justly famous 
for its loyalty, its liberality, its sociability, its high ideals of community 
life, and the beautiful location of its meeting house. Its broad Christian 
spirit is well expressed in the public invitation issued b}^ the church, "To all 
who mourn and need comfort — to all who are weary and need rest — to all 
who are friendless and want friendship — to all who are homeless and want 
sheltering love — to all who pray and to all who do not, but ought — to all 
who sin and need a saviour, and to whomsoever will — this church opens 
wide the door and makes a free place, and in the name of Jesus Christ the 
Lord, says 'Welcome.' " 

The present officers of the church are as follow : Minister, Frederick 
Elliott; session, William Kinkaid (clerk), Theodore Humphrey, Nathan 
Logan, Robert Donnell, Jethro Meek and Hugh Sparks; treasurer, William 
Kinkaid; superintendent of the Sunday school, Ezra Kirby; trusteees, 
Edward Sefton (chairman), Thomas J. Kitchin and Elbert C. Meek. 

sruixijiiiLi. ruKsi'.v'i'KKiAx curuc 



The Christian church, founded b}- Thomas Campbell, near Pittsburgh, 
in 1800, and continued by Alexander Campbell, did not take root in Decatur 
county until 1831, about a year after the movement had taken strength and 
started to spread to all parts of the country. The first church of this 
denomination to be established in this county was at Clarksburg. It was 
organized on November 16, 1831, about ten months before the first Christian 
church at Greensburg was established. 

The history of this denomination in Decatur county was prepared in 
1912 by L. D. Braden, of Greensburg, and is made the authority for most 
of the facts in regard to the church set forth in this volume. The booklet 
was issued on September 29, 1912, in honor of the eightieth anniversary of 
the Greensburg church. 

Madison Evans, in his "Pioneer Preachers of Indiana,'' gives the fol- 
lowing account of the founding of the church in Greensburg; 

"In the fall of 1832 John OTvane first visited Rush county, where he 
was employed to evangelize for one year. He and John P. Thompson, of 
Rush county, traveled together over the counties of Rush, Fayette and De- 
catur, l^eing the first at almost every point to publish the doctrine of the 
reformation, ^^'hen they arrived at Greensburg, O'Kane rang the court 
house bell and a small audience collected. Thompson preached and one came 
forward to confess the Lord. This was the first evangelistic sermon and the 
first disciple at that place, which is now the center of a powerful influence in 
favor of primitive Christianity. OTvane followed and three others made 
the good confession. 

"The previous night they preached at a point four miles northwest of 
Greensburg and two were added to the saved, one of them, a daughter of 
North Parker, is believed to have been the first person who embraced the 
ancient gospel in eastern Indiana. 

"From that point they continued their journey, the people everywhere 
gladly receiving the Word. Though sectarian opposition was strong, and 
there was much ill-feeling toward OTvane, growing out of his active par- 
ticipation in the presidential campaign, still the disciples were multiplied, 
new churches established, prejudices eradicated and Bible principles incul- 




The date of the sermons preached Ijy Thompson and O'Kane in Greens- 
burg was probably Sunday, September i, 1832. The First Christian church 
was organized twenty-nine days later in the county seminary, which is still 
standing on South Franklin street. For two or three years services were 
held at this place and the county court house. P'or a long time there was no 
resident minister, but the church was edified by discourses from visiting 
clergymen. In 1836 a permanent meeting place was established in a log 
d\\elling on East Main street, owned by Hugh Sidwell. 

Four years later the congregation had increased in numbers to such an 
extent that a more modern structure was needed. Accordingly a comfort- 
able brick church was erected near the railroad. The church was provided 
with a bell which Gen. James B. Foley had secured from an Ohio river 
steamboat. This bell was later installed in the spire of the present church. 

The old building was torn down in 1870, after the present church was 
dedicated. Measured by present-day architectural standards the old church 
left several things to be desired, but when erected it was considered the last 
word in such structures. 

It was forty feet wide, si.xty feet long and designed to accommodate 
two hundred people. Instead of the conventional spire it had a scjuare three- 
decker steeple which looked as though the builders had exhausted their 
supply of material before completing their work. This steeple surmounted 
an overhanging roof, supported by four scjuare pillars. 

In these early days a minister schooled in theology was a decided rarity. 
Most of them were men who made a living* for their families following the 
plow ; standing behind the counter or working at the forge. They took their 
pay in articles of wearing apparel and other necessities, promulgating, in 
return, doctrines of faith and salvation. Such a man was Carey Smith, a 
blacksmith, who had been converted through reading "The Christian Bap- 
tist," published by Alexander Campbell. Smith moved to Greensburg from 
Indianapolis in 1833 and preached for three or four years in churches in 
this part of the state. In 1840 he made a tour of the south under the patron- 
age of Alexander Campbell and died in Mississippi the following year. 

The first regular pastor of this denomination at Greensburg was John 
B. New, father of John C. New, who later owned the Indianapolis Journal 
and was appointed consul general to Liverpool in 1889. New moved to 
Greensburg from Vernon in 1839. At his first meeting his congregation 


numbered but thirteen, three of whom were small boys. Undaunted by the 
gloomy outlook, he and his wife remained valiantly at the post and organ- 
ized churches at Antioch, Napoleon, Milroy, Shelbyville and Milford within 
the next three years. 

New possessed a wonderful capacity for work of this nature. In 
gro\es, barns, dwellings and school houses within a radius of ten miles from 
Greensburg, he preached and exhorted daily ; often conducting fourteen 
services a week. At the end of his first year he had added seventy-five 
members to the b'irst Christian church of Greensburg and erected a new 
church building at a cost of three thousand dollars. At the end of his pas- 
torate, in 1845, the church had one hundred and fifty members. 

His successor was Jacob Wright, a rough-and-ready minister, who 
preached at Greensburg, Clarksburg, Milford and Clifty for two years. He 
vas the first Christian minister in Decatur county to receive a salary, his 
stipend being three hundred dollars a year. He was an able debater and 
frequently shared the rostrum with other ministers who differed with him in 
matters appertaining to Sunday schools and baptism. 

During Wright's pastorate John O'lvane came back to Greensburg. A 
great concourse was assembled to hear him preach. The aisles were filled 
and crowds were gathered outside at every window. The evangelist was 
warming to his theme of regeneration and repentance when a rotten sleeper 
in front of the pulpit gave way under the unusual weight and the fioor 
dropped three feet to the ground. 

The doors swung inward, and in their mad rush for the outside the 
people jammed the doors fast shut. I'eople were trampled under foot and 
rolled beneath the seats. Some walked upon seatbacks and jumped through 
windows to security. At last the doors were opened and a grand rush fol- 
lowed, people tearing the clothes off their neighbors' backs in the mad 
scramble. No one was seriously injured. 


A movement which resulted in the foundation of Butler College was 
started in Greensburg in 1847. ^"^t a state convention of the denomination 
held there in that year a resolution was adopted for the establishment of an 
institution of learning of the highest grade. A committee was named to 
make a later report which resulted in the founding of Northwestern Chris- 
tian University at Indianapolis. Later the name of the institution was 
changed to Butler College. 


Other ministers who tilled the Greensburg pulpit between 1846 and the 
outbreak of the Civil War were Richard Roberts, B. F. Sallee, Thomas 
Conley and Joseph R. Lucas. Rev. D. R. Van Buskirk, who occupied the 
pulpit during war times, was a man of marked ability, serving Decatur 
county during this period in the state Legislature, both in the upper and 
lower houses of the General Assembly. He was appointed chaplain of the 
One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
in 1864. It was during the second year of Van Buskirk's ministry that 
Alexander Campbell came to Greensburg and preached two sermons in the 
old church near the railroad. Campbell was then near the close of his life, 
which he had given to the restoration movement. He was then seventy-four 
years old and his hair was as white as snow. He delivered a notable dis- 
course on "The Great Commission," and charmed the great congregation 
with his atTable and engaging manner. 

The Rev. D. R. Van Buskirk was followed in the Greensburg pulpit 
by three other ministers, Carl Starks, John Shackleford and Dr. L. L. 
Pinkerton; then, in 1868, the church decided that a new building was an 
imperative necessit}^ The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis 
Railroad Company had secured a right of way through Decatur county, in 
1853, and was running its trains just past the old church, the noise of trains 
seriously interfering with the solemnity of the services. 

Some man of exceptional ability was needed as pastor of the church 
for this work and the Rev. D. R. Van Buskirk was once more secured. The 
site of the present church, North Broadway and Hendricks streets, was pur- 
chased from W. H. Hazelrigg and B. W. Wilson and work was started upon 
the erection of an eighteen thousand dollar church, which was dedicated on 
February 20, 1870, by Rev. Isaac Errett. A revival service was held imme- 
diately after the dedication of the church and one hundred members were 
added to the congregation. 

When the Reverend Van Buskirk left for the second time he was fol- 
lowed in the pulpit by the following ministers: W. P. Aylesworth, 1870-71; 
W. B. Hendryx, 1871-74; U. C. Brewer, 1874-77; S. M. Conner, 1879; 
G. P. Peale, 1880-82; William Bryan, 1883; W. T. McGowan, 1884; M. W. 
Harkins, 1885-88; W. C. Payne, 1889-91; C. H. Trout, 1891; T. M. Wiles, 
1892-94, and U. M. Browder, 1895-96. 

In 1896 the church extended its third call to Reverend Van Buskirk, 
who filled the pulpit until 1901. During this pastorate he repaired the church, 
installed ornamental wooden beams and some beautiful memorial windows. 
His funeral services were held in this church on April 5, 1908. Since this 


time the church has been ably served by the following ministers: W. D. 
Starr, 1902-04; Thomas B. Howe, 1904; Frank W. Summer, 1905; James 
Mailley, 1905-08; W. G. Johnston, 1908-11; W. J. Cocke, 191 1, and A. 
Homer Jordan, 1912-15. 

The first Sunday school was organized in 1850 and was divided into 
two classes, one for the adult members of the church and one for the chil- 
dren. In the class for men and women considerable stress was laid by the 
teacher, usually the minister, upon doctrinal tenets of the church, while the 
younger pupils were likewise given as much instruction in such matters as 
they could well assimilate. 

Modern Sunday-school organization and the international system of 
lessons came in 1872. Now there are departmental superintendents and 
adult, intermediate and primary classes, with large enrollments. The Ladies' 
Aid Society was organized in 1890 with forty members. It conducts a lec- 
ture course each year and makes liberal contributions to the church. Other 
church organizations are the auxiliary of the Christian Women's Board of 
Missions and the Christian Endeavor Society. 

This last named organization had its inception in 1889 when Dr. A. M. 
Kirkpatrick formed a young people's society. The present society was 
organized in the following year. The following, among others, have served 
the society as president : Grace Dille, Kate Rogers, Brazier Kirby, Nell 
McCune, W. H. Milner, W. E. Kirby, Ruth Robinson, Rosa Davis, Jessie 
Elder and William Stolz. 


Antedating the Greensburg church by ten months, the Clarksburg 
church has the oldest congregation of Disciples in Decatur county. It was 
organized on November 16, 1831, with a goodly list of charter members by 
William Goudge at a place two miles east of Clarksburg and named the Salt 
Creek Church of Christ. 

Among the original members of this church were: Absalom Blackburn, 
Samuel McClary, George Parish, Joseph Parish, Elisha Cregan, Samuel 
Githens, John H. Davis, James Davis, William Snelling, Hugh Smothers, 
Joseph York, William Brown, Thomas Anderson, H. Cartmell, Thomas A. 
Bryant, Robert N. Higgins, James Higgins, Samuel Blackburn, Abraham 
Myers, Jesse Barns, Daniel Lewis, John Lowery and Benjamin Goodwin. 

McClary and Davis assisted Goudge in the administration of church 
affairs until 1837, in which year James Conner commenced to preach there. 


Conner left in 1842 and the church declined until 1849, when it was reor- 
ganized and revived by Jacob Wright as the Clarksburg Christian church. 
For a time services were held in the Clarksburg school house and in 1850 
the congregation built a church of its own. 

William Patterson, Joseph Lucas, Daniel Franklin and others filled 
the pulpit until the beginning" of the Civil War, after which the pulpit was 
vacant until the war closed. The Sunday school was organized in 1868 and 
now has an enrollment of more than one hundred. 

Since the war ended the church has been served by the following min- 
isters : David Matthews, John S. Campbell, Milton T. Hough, L. D. Mc- 
Gowan, J. E. Taylor, R. L. Noel, Z. M. Kenady, Charles Salisbury, D. W. 
Campbell, W. L. Folks, C. R. Miller, H. H. Nesslage, John McKee, W. E. 
Payne, E. W. Stairs, H. W. Edwards, T. J. Burke and D. J. Thornton. 
Deaths and removals have worked heavy injury to the old church in the last 
score of years and the congregation now numbers less than seventy-five 


The third oldest Christian church now existing in the county is located 
at Westport. It was organized about 1850 by L. S. Giddings, L. C. Scott, 
their wives and, perhaps, some others. For a time services were held in an 
old log school house in Westport. In the early sixties a frame meeting- 
house was erected, which was used by the congregation until the present 
church was finished in 19 12. As late as 1867 the seats used were the old- 
fashioned benches with no backs. The congregation now has a membership 
of one hundred and seventy-five. 

Among the ministers who have filled the pulpit of this church are Will- 
iam Patterson, John A. Campbell, W. M. Gard, H. B. Sherman, Alphonso 
Burns, W. E. Payne, R. B. Givens, M. O. Jarvis and M. R. Scott, the pres- 
ent pastor. 

The church has a flourishing Sunday school, and a Ladies' Aid Society, 
which takes an active interest in the affairs of the church. 


The Mil ford Christian church was organized in 1842, flourishing for a 
time and passed out of existence in 1884. Nineteen years later the few 
members left decided to reorganize the church and continue its work. Con- 
tributions were solicited for a new church, the old one having been torn 


down, and the new eilifice, built at a cost of two thousand live hunch-ed dol- 
lars, was dedicated in 1904. 

Nelson Mowrey, Decatur county's leading philanthropist, although not 
a member of the church, gave the congregation a substantial sum of money 
and the new building was named in his honor. Rev. Fred R. Davies, of 
Charlestown, was the pastor for a number of years, the church experienced 
a substantial growth and now has a membership of about one hundred. 

This church's predcccssnr was founded by Milton B. Hopkins, who was 
just then beginning his ministerial career. George King, ]\icClure lilliott, 
Robert Braden and John H. Braden were some of its charter members. The 
first meetings were held at the home of Mr. King. A month later a church 
was built, all labor and material Ijeing donated by members. 

During the period before the Civil War, John B. New, Jacob Wright, 
Richard Roberts and others preached at this place. Following the war J. S. 
Young, William Patterson, James Land, James O. Cutts, John Brazelton 
and Frank Talmage occupied the pulpit. In 1874 and 1876 Knowles Shane 
and Alfred Elmore held two ^•ery successful revivals and the membership of 
the church rose past the two hundred mark. 

A few years later interest began to wane and finally in 1884 the church 
was abandoned. The old church, which the early members had built with 
clumsy axes, was neglected and at last torn down. 


The Christian church at Adams was organized by Jacob Wright in 
1859, with the following charter members: William, Sarah and Elizabeth 
Colwell, Mary 'Woodward, Joseph and Martha Pleak, \Villet and Nancy 
Stark, Jane Johnson, Mary, Clara, William, Parish, La\ina and Belle 
Aldrich, Phoebe and Ephraim Wagner, Thomas Whitaker, Martha Inman. 
Charley Moor, Elizabeth Bennet, Thomas Johnson and Eliza Pearce. 

Until 1872 the congregation met in dwellings and in the old school 
house. In that year a comfortable brick building was erected, which is still 
in use. The church now has seventy members. Ministers during the past 
two decades have been : C. L. Riley, I. B. Grisso, G. H. Brewer, C. G. Can- 
trell, H. B. Sherman, D. R. Van Buskirk, S. J. Tomlinson, H. M. Hall, 
C. S. Johnson, W. T. McGowan and D. J. Thornton. 



Elder William Patterson is supposed to have been the first minister for 
the Waynesburg church, which was probably founded in 1855. The church 
occupied a small building until 1877, in which year a better building was 
erected. This building was struck by lightning and burned in 1898. Since 
that time another structure has been erected on the same site. The church 
has a membership of eighty. Among its recent pastors are John A. Camp- 
bell, W. M. Gard, Alphonso Burns, Z. M. Kenady and Henry Ashley. 


James Young of Kentucky organized the Newpoint church in the winter 
of 1862 in the old school house at that place. For a time the church flourished 
and then lapsed into inactivity for about seven years. Then interest in the 
church was again aroused and a new building was erected. This edifice was 
dedicated on Christmas Day, 1870, and a revival followed, which resulted 
in ninety-nine additions to the church. Some of the active members at that 
time were Eph Wagoner and wife. Thomas Brown and wife, W. E. Barkley 
and wife; Elizabeth Barkley, Mrs. M. E. Main, William Higdon and wife; 
Mrs. J. L. Milliard, Joel Pennington and wife; Mrs. Thomas Hart, Mrs. 
Samuel Thomas. Mrs. Rosetta Starks and Mrs. Phillip Lawrence. 

The church now has more than one hundred members and has a good 
Sunday school. The following Butler College men have occupied the pulpit 
there: S. R. Wilson, M. T. Hoff, J. H. Gavin and C. Goodnight. In 1912 
Rev. William Chappie, of Columbus, conducted a revival which added thirty- 
eight to the church, the second largest number received in its history. 


Although the youngest church of the denomination in the county, the 
St. Paul Christian church is one of the most active and ranks second numer- 
ically. It was organized on March 2, 1874, at the Union church, with sixty- 
one charter members. Milton Copeland, James Eishback and William Hann 
were ordained as elders and A. H. Thompson, W. H. Walters, O. J. Grubb, 
Henry Leffler, James Hanger, C. A. Pearse, M. A. Leffler and L. A. Van 
Scyoc were ordained as deacons. 

Ten years later the church building was surrendered to the Lutherans, 
the Christian congregation taking the seats and fixtures. Services and Sun- 


da}? school were held for a time in the school house and then the congre- 
gation disbanded for lack of a meeting-place. 

In 1888 the church was reorganized and the congregation rented the 
former meeting-place. In 1893 this building was purchased outright from 
the Lutherans. Two years later the old church was rebuilt and was dedi- 
cated with appropriate ceremonies on August 25, 1895. 

Since its organization the church has received more than four hundred 
persons into membership and now has a congregation of two hundred. It 
has an excellent Sunday school and a flourishing Ladies' Aid Society. 

Following are ministers who have been regularly installed by the con- 
gregation of this church: N. A. Walker, Isaac Tomlinson, Charles Salis- 
bury, Walter S. Smith, Charles Riley, Z. M. Kenady, V. G. Carmichael, 
Alphonso Burns, Cloyd Goodnight, James Conner, J. L. Roberts, Perry 
Case, E. W. Stairs, R. H. Webb, A. Burns, Clarence Reidenbach, Stanley 
Selleck and George E. Beatty. The latter took charge of the church in 
February, 19 14, but was compelled to resign in December of the same year, 
on account of ill health. The Sunday school, under the superintendency of 
Ora Pearce, has an average attendance of forty-five. Mrs. Courtney 
Kanouse is president of the Ladies' Aid Society. 


Four churches of this denomination, founded in Decatur county during 
the past four decades, have passed out of existence. Antioch church, founded 
by John B. New in 1840, disbanded in 1875. Union Chapel, ten miles south 
of Greensburg, went down in 1880 after an existence of thirty years. A 
church started at Mechanicsburg in 1865 lasted fifteen years. The Cliffy 
church, founded about 1840, ended its career in 1875. 


The United Brethren in Christ came into existence at Lancaster, Penn- 
sylvania, in the year Washington was inaugurated President. In that year 
William Otterbein and Martin Boehm, German ministers of the Reformed 
and Mennonite churches, respectively, first used the term United Brethren 
in Christ and the church may be said to have started that year. In this event- 
ful year there was a great religious awakening in Pennsylvania and large 
union services were held at various places. One night, in the barn of one 
Thomas Newcomer, in Lancaster, Martin Boehm preached a powerful 


sermon and, as soon as he was through, WilHam Otterbein, who had never 
heard him preach before, and, in fact, had never seen him before this par- 
ticular night, walked up to him and greeted him thus : "We ought to be 
'United Brethren in Christ,' for the doctrine which 3'OU have just preached 
is also my firm belief." Thus did the church come into existence. The first 
annual conference was held in 1800 and from that day forward the church 
has enjoyed a steady growth. The stronghold of the church is in the state 
of Ohio. There are five churches of the denomination in Decatur county at 
the present time ; St. Omer, Fredonia, Mapleton, Lower Union and Sardinia. 


The Fredonia church is located a mile and a half south of Westport 
and dates its beginning from the early forties. The early records of the 
church are not available, but from one of the oldest residents of the com- 
munity the following facts have been gleaned. Felix Boicourt and his two 
children, Catherine and Absalom, started the church and for many years the 
meetings were held in their home. A school house later was used until such 
a time as the little congregation was able to build a log church. Later a 
frame house of worship was erected, which, with improvements from time 
to time, is still in use. H. W. White is the present pastor and has a flour- 
ishing congregation of one hundred and thirty members. The Sunday 
school, under the superintendency of I\. E. Mattix, has an average attend- 
ance of forty. Mrs. Elsie Mattix is president of the Christian Endeavor; 
Mrs. Reuben Ford is at the head of the Ladies' Aid Society, while Mrs. 
H. W. White is the directing spirit of the Woman's Missionary Society. 


The Mapleton United Brethren church, which dates from about 1850, 
is situated two and a half miles northeast of Westport. The Boicourt family 
' — David Boicourt and wife and George Boicourt and wife — were charter 
members. Like its sister church at Fredonia, it first worshipped in private 
homes until such a time as it was in a position to erect a separate house of 
worship. For many years the church was' locally known as the Horse Shoe 
Bend church. The present pastor is H. W. White. The heads of the differ- 
ent auxiliaries of the church are as follow': Sunday school, L. E. Jessup; 
Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. Emma Skinner. There are now one hundred and 
ten active members. 



The United Brethren church known as Lower Union is located about 
three and three-fourths miles southeast of Westport. The congregation 
existed for many years before the present church was erected, in i86j, and 
had for some time worshipped in a log building across the road from the 
present church. The church of 1862 was built by the united efforts of the 
Baptists and United Brethren, and probably other denominations, and is 
still a union church. The two denominations use it alternately and both 
have their separate Sunday schools. The only auxiliary organization main- 
tained by the United Brethren is the Stmday school, which, under the lead- 
ership of Elmer Smith, is doing good work with the forty who attend regu- 
larly. Re\-. H. \y. ^^d^ite is the pastor. 


The United Brethren church at Sardinia is less than a year old, being 
organized November 19, 1914, and owes its existence to the faithful efforts 
of Rev. S. S. Turley, who established it and still remains as its pastor. Dur- 
ing the winter of 1914-15 he held a revival in Sardinia and when he proposed 
the establishment of a United Brethren church he found sixty-two people 
who were ready to become charter members. Among the charter members 
were John and Goldie Gross, Mrs. Lizzie Ammerman, Mrs. Bertha Von- 
blaricum and Mrs. Jennie Foist. On February 22, 191 5, the congregation 
bought the Presbyterian church and are now expending five hundred dollars 
in improving it, the original cost being two hundred dollars. Services are 
held by the pastor every Sunday e\ening and a mid-week prayer meeting has 
been attended with most gratifying results. The class leader is Thomas 
Talkington; James Cann is superintendent of the Sunday school; JNIiss E. 
Rose Meredith is president of the Christian Endeavor Union. Reverend 
White also serves charges at Grammer and Mt. Calvary in Bartholomew 


In 1902 Greensburg was visited by several persons of the Pentecost 
faith. They were unable to find a place of worship according to their own 
faith, and held services in an old house on East North street. These meet- 
ings were well attended and the house in which they were holding their serv- 
ices at that time did not furnish ample room to accommodate the worship- 


pers. George Little, seeing the disadvantage under which they labored, came 
forward with this proposition: That if fifty of the members would con- 
tribute five cents per week, making a guarantee of ten dollars per month, he 
would provide them with a house of worship. In addition to this, a contract 
must be made to keep the house for three years, at which time he would turn 
it over to them as the rent for this length of time would pay for the building. 
Mr. Littell also agreed to donate the lot and give one hundred dollars in cash 
on the completion of such building. 

This proposition was immediately accepted and Mr. Littell began mak- 
ing plans for their house of worship. He purchased the old Antioch church, 
located on the. Madison road, from Alexander Hillis, who had been one of 
the deacons in that church. Mr. Hillis asked permission to keep the old 
church Bible. Mr. Littell immediately complied with this request and asked 
Mr. Hillis to bring it to the dedication of the new church and also give some 
public utterance at the services, all of which he did. 

The old church building, which was in a good state of preservation, 
was moved to a beautiful lot in the eastern part of Greensburg and fitted up 
for services. But before the building had reached completion there arose a 
turmoil among the Pentecost brothers and they failed to comply with their 
part of the agreement. Consequently, Mr. Littell was left with the house of 
worship on his hands, as no one came to worship. 

This state of affairs lasted until April lo, 1902, when it was dedicated 
by a Mr. Mounts under the Pentecost leadership. This lasted for some time 
and finally the interest began to wane. This church at present is the property 
of the trustees of the Second Christians, but the historian, with his present 
knowledge of theology, is unable to distinguish this faith. The services are 
now conducted by Rev. Jacob Cruiser. 


German Lutherans held services for a time in the city hall, Greensburg, 
beginning about 1870, but never mustered sufificient strength to erect a 
church of their own. Never more than twenty families attended the serv- 
ices, which were discontinued after a few years. One of the ministers who 
preached to this congregation was Karl Jacobs. 


For thirteen years (1898-1911) Episcopalians held regular services in 
their own church in Greensburg, and then the denomination, weakened by 


the death of a prominent member, closed the doors of the huiliHng, which is 
still standing on Hendricks street. For two years prior to the erection of 
the church in 1900 services were held in the city hall. When the church 
was erected there were twenty-one persons in the parish. The following 
rectors, among others, conducted services in Greensburg until the church 
was closed in 191 1: Revs. Willis D. Engle, John Neady, James W. Com- 
fort and George Gallup. 


There is another abandoned church in Greensburg and it stands at 
West North and Anderson streets. It is the Church of God and was built 
in 1887, following a w'onderful revival and e\'angelistic service held in the 
opera house by Mrs. Maria Woodwortb, evangelist of the cult. 

Mammoth crowds attended the services. People went into trances and 
walked the floor in a frenzj' or seemingh' lost consciousness and became stiff 
and rigid. The utmost excitement prevailed. Before conducting services in 
Greensburg, Mrs. Woodworth had preached at Muncie, Indiana, with simi- 
lar results. 

Following the meeting in the opera house, a church was organized and 
meetings were held for a time in a tent. Then the church building w^as 
erected, at a cost of about one thousand dollars. Then interest in the move- 
ment seemed to die, and, save only when Mrs. Woodworth made periodical 
visits to the city, the attendance was ver}^ small. At last the doors were 
locked and the church stands empty, vacant reminder of an emotional storm 
that once shook a city. 


While there have been many members of the New Light division of 
the Christian church, there has been, as far as has been discovered, only 
one church built by this denomination. Strictly speaking, it was erected by 
one man of the denomination. Several years before the Civil War, a Ken- 
tuckian by the name of Jacob Sidner, a stanch member of the New Lights, 
built on one corner of his farm a substantial brick house of worship for his 
church. It was in Washington township on the Moscow road, about two and 
a half miles northwest of Greensburg. The building, which was later used 
for a school house, is still standing, a tribute to the religious zeal of this one 
man. Before he built his church, Sidner used to send to Kentucky once a 
year for the best New Light preacher he could get and have him conduct a 


sort of a camp meeting in a grove near his home in ^\'ashington township. 
He prepared seats in the grove, paid aU the expenses and reveled in one good 
New Light ser\'ice annually. Eventually, he felt jvistified in erecting a church 
for his people, but there does not appear to ha\'e been a very flourishing con- 
gregation at any time during its career. Who the preachers were, who the 
members were, or the date when the church was abandoned have been lost 
in the flight of time. The only person who has a definite recollection of the 
man and his church is the Rev. J. B. Lathrop, of Greensburg, who gave the 
above facts. 


The only German Methodist church in Decatur county is located in 
Salt Creek township, a mile and a half south of Smith's Crossing. The 
church dates its beginning from the time the first Germans of this denomi- 
nation located in this part of the county. They worshipped in private houses 
and school houses for a time and in 1864-65 built the church, which is still 
in use. In the summer of 1915 extensive improvements were made in the 
way of new roof and painting on the exterior and redecorating the interior. 
Sunday school is maintained and regular preaching services are held every 
two weeks by the pastor. Rev. William Wiegen, of Batesville. .\ well-kept 
cemetery adjoins the church. 


The German Lutherans have one congregation in the county. This is 
situated in Salt Creek township, two miles west of New Pennington and 
only one mile south of the one German Methodist church in the county. 
This church, known as St. Paul's, was established shortly before the opening 
of the- Civil War and the present building was erected in 1861. The pastor 
in 1915 is Rev. William Schirmer, who lives in the parsonage adjoining 
the church. 


The beginning of all societies and churches of the Christian Science 
denomination may often be traced to some knowledge of the healing of ills 
"that flesh is heir to.'' 

The Christian Science Society of Greensburg. Indiana, is not an ex- 
ception to this nfle. Mrs. Mary J. G. Griswold and Edith S. Griswold, mother 


and daugliter, are the first known people in the ciiunty seat to Ijenefit by 
Christian Science treatment. As a result they opened their home, at No. 128 
West Hendricks street, for services in 1902. 

In 1911, loyal students of Indianapolis and Chicago presented the little 
band wiih a public meeting place in the WoodfiU building, at the northwest 
corner of the public square, maintaining the gift for a period of twelve 
months. Serx'ices are still held in this building on every Sunday morning 
and Wednesday evening. 

The Sunday services of this denomination, the world over, are con- 
ducted by a first and second reader, who read the same lesson-sermon from 
the Christian Science quarterly Bible lessons, prepared by an authorized com- 
mittee of the mother church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, 
Massachusetts. The scriptural te.xts are from the King James' version; their 
correlative passages are from the denominational text-book "Science and 
Health, With Key to the Scriptures," by Mrs. Mary Baker G. Eddy, dis- 
coverer and founder of Christian Science. 

The reading for the Wednesday evening meetings is from these two 
books, which are the only preachers of the denomination. This is followed 
with testimonies, experiences, and remarks on Christian Science. The 
democratic form of government obtains in the society, the majority rule 
being recognized. The customary reading room is open in Greensburg on 
Tuesday and on Saturday afternoon of each week. The present membership 
of the Greensburg Christian Science Society numbers twelve. 


The first United Brethren preaching in the county was at the house of 
John Khorer, who came from Clermont count}^ Ohio, in 1824, and settled 
on the banks of Clifty. Khorer was one of the wealthiest citizens in the 
county and built one of the most elegant houses in this part of the state. 
His house was open to all preachers for many years, and here was organ- 
ized the first United Brethren class, some time before the forties. About 
1840 a frame house of worship was built on Khorer's farm in Jackson 

There were three so-called "war churches" built in Jackson township 
during the war, which were to eschew all mention of politics, and, so some 
said, they not only had no politics, but also no religion. Be that as it may, 
they died soon after the war closed. They were strictly a war by-product 
and, with the struggle over, there was no further excuse for their existence. 


J. A. Dillman, in the Stmidard of May 28, 1897, says of these three 
churches, "One has stood idle for many years, another was sold for a barn, 
and the third, after many changes, is still used as a church house." 


Greensburg Catholics, few in number before the Civil War, held servi- 
ces for a number of years in residences of members of that denomination. 
In 1855 Father E. Martinovic, who had charge of the mission, erected a 
small brick church and Rev. John Gilling became the first resident priest, 
ministering to the parish from 1863 to 1871. He was succeeded by Rev. 
John L. Brassard, who remained for a year or more. Then, save for an 
occasional mass, celebrated by a visiting priest, the parish was without 
guidance until 1874, in which year Rev. Daniel Curran came. At this time 
there were no more than twenty-five families residing in the parish. 

The coming of Rev. Father Curran marked the beginning of a new 
epoch in the history of St. Mary's. During his three years of ministration 
in Greensburg, he built a new parish house, a parochial school with room 
for a hundred pupils and a teachers" residence. His health broke under 
the arduous labor and he was compelled to give up his work, dying a short 
time afterward. Rev. Henry Kessing was placed in charge in 1877 and 
remained until his death in 1882, by which time there were about seventy- 
five families in the parish, which was fast outgrowing the old brick church. 
Then came Rev. George Steigerwald, at that time one of the ablest men in the 
diocese. He took charge in 1883 and at once laid plans for the present 
church, which was completed a short time later at a cost of thirty-five thousand 

Rev. George Steigerwald was a graduate of Heidelberg University and 
besides his scholarly attainments possessed unusual personal endowments. 
He was genial and affable in his relations with those outside his church and 
did much to break down prejudices existent before his coming. Upon his 
departure in 1897, he presented the parish with the present parish home, his 
personal property. 

For the next seventeen years Rev. Lawrence Fichter was in charge of 
St. Mary's parish. This was a period of unusual growth, as Reverend 
Fichter induced a large number of substantial German Catholic families to 
settle in the vicinity of Greensburg. 

The present priest. Rev. Father Fein, came to St. Mary's in 191 3, from 
St. Joseph's parish in Vanderburg county. He has placed a new organ in 

ST. OMEit V. n. viivucn. adams township. 


the church and plans the erection of a fifteen thousand-dollar parochial 
school. The present parish memhership is more than eight hundred. 

ST. Maurice's p.-\rish. 

The \'illage of St. JMaurice was laid out in 1858 and was named in 
honor of Bishop Maurice De St. Oakaus. The Christian Brothers started 
a school the same year; but upon the death of their leader, Brother John 
Mary Weitman, the teachers returned to France. The Brothers had laid 
out the town upon forty acres of ground, of which nine and thirty-fi\-e hun- 
dredths acres belonged to the parish. A chapel was built in connection with 
the school which later serx-ed as a church for the parish. It was a frame 
structure, later converted into a school building, and is now a residence, 
owned by Frank Nienaber. 

Among the first settlers in the village were : IMartin Mauer, Stephan 
Brigler, Leonard Hemmerle, Magdalena Hemmerle, Herman Schroeder, John 
Altenan, Henry Oesterling, Edward Hellmich, Henry Groene and Henry 

The first mass was celebrated at St. Maurice by the Franciscan priest 
from Enochsburg. There were at that time sixteen families in the parish. 
The ten acres of ground and the first building cost the Brothers two thousand 
dollars. They raised one thousand dollars and borrowed the remainder. 
The first resident priest was Rev. Ferdinand Hundt, who was appointed in 
1884. He was succeeded, in 1886, by Rev. Francis X. Seegmuller, who re- 
mained until 1 89 1, when Rev. John B. Unverzagt took charge of the parish. 

The present church was buih in 1881-82 at a cost of ten thousand dol- 
lars. The interior was remodeled and redecorated in 1912, during the pas- 
torate of the Rev. Michael Wagner. St. Maurice is justly proud of its 
beautiful church. The rectory was built in 1855, at a cost of two thousand 
two hundred dollars, and the present school building, which cost approxi- 
mately four thousand dollars, in addition to donated labor, was erected in 

Since the departure of the Re\-. Father Unverzagt the following clergy- 
men have had charge of the parish. Rev. Charles Schoeppner, O. F. M. ; Rev. 
Alexander Koesters, Rev. Michael Wagner and the present pastor. Rev. 
Herman J. Gadlage. The church now has an enrollment of sixty-five fami- 
lies and an enrollment of three hundred and twenty-five souls. 

The parish societies are the following: St. Martin's Men's Society; St. 


Aloysius's Young Men's Society; St. Elizabeth's Married Ladies' Society 
and the Blessed Virgin Mary's Young Ladies' Society. 


The church of the Immaculate Conception, at Millhousen, Rev. J. P. 
Gillig, pastor, was the first Catholic parish organized in the county of Decatur. 

On June 20, 1840, Maximilian Schneider donated forty acres of land, 
in trust, to Rt. Rev. Celestine de la Hailandiere, bishop of Vincennes, for the 
benefit of the Catholics of Millhousen, and in the same year the congregation, 
consisting of thirteen families, decided to erect a house of worship. This 
was a plain log building, twenty by twenty- four feet, with a rough exterior, 
chinked and daubed with mud, and was constructed under the auspices of 
Rev. Joseph Ferneding. The fiock was comprised of Germans, and among 
the foremost of these in promoting the interests of the congregation, as well 
as of the town, was Bernard Hardebeck. The first missionary priests, fol- 
lowing Father Ferneding, were Revs. Conrad Schneiderjans, M. O'Rourke 
and Ramon Weinzoepfel, who labored until 1843. From 1843 ""til 1854, 
Rev. Alphonse Munschina and Rev. Joseph Rudolf were the only two labor- 
ers in this field, and of these Father Rudolf, whose residence was at Olden- 
burg, performed prodigious labors, visiting Franklin, Dearborn, Ripley and 
Decatur counties. 

The increase of Catholics at Millhousen was surprising; wherefore they 
determined to build, instead of the wooden church, a good-sized brick church, 
thirty-eight by sixty feet . This was completed in 1850, and dedicated as St. 
Boniface's church. As the Rev. Alphonse Munschina, who had charge of the 
church, resided at St. Ann's, in Jennings county, it was deemed expedient by 
the people to have a priest residing in their midst; at their request. Rev. 
Peter Kreusch built, in 1856, the present parish house, which at the time 
was the finest in the diocese. In 1857 he erected a large school house and 
now the congregation has two splendid brick school buildings, the schools 
being attended by one hundred and seventy pupils. The schools are in charge 
of the Franciscan Sisters of Oldenburg, assisted by a lay teacher for boys. 

The erection of the church of the Immaculate Conception, fifty-five by 
one hundred and forty feet, forty-six and one-half feet in height, was com- 
menced under Rev. F. Hundt, the ceremonies of laying the corner stone oc- 
curring on May 24, 1867; and the building was completed under the pastorate 
of Rev. Dr. Hueser and dedicated on August 4, 1869. In 1893 a spire was 
built which reaches one hundred and seventy-five feet above the ground. On 


Xovember 7, 1870, Rev. F. W. Pepersack took charge and was succeeded, on 
July 2, 1885, by Rev. Joseph Schuck, and he, in October, 1891, by the Rev. 
John P. GilHg. Father GilHg remained with the church until June 15, 1904, 
when he was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Urich, the present pastor. The con- 
gregation is now estimated to be at least two hundred and fifty families, or 
nearly two thousand souls. The great majority of these live in Decatur 
county, although there are several living in Ripley and Jennings counties. 

ST. Paul's church at st. paul. 

St. Paul's church dates its formal organization from September 21, 
1858, when twelve Catholic families were given permission to build a church 
in the village of St. Paul. However, previous to that date services had been 
held irregularly in the homes of the members of the church. The lot for 
the new church was donated by John Paul and E. L. Floyd, non-Catholics, 
living in St. Paul. Immediately after permission had been granted for the 
erection of a church, steps were taken for the construction of the same and 
the work was pushed with loyal vigor by the devoted members of the con- 
gregation. The dedication of the church took place on July 31, 1859, and 
the same building, with many extensive improvements, is still in use today. 
Owing to the small number of members it has never been able to maintain a 
resident priest. For several years the church was attached to St. Mary's, at 
Greensburg, and was served by the pastors from that place. Since 1885 it 
has been a mission of St. Vincent's at Shelbyville. Among the priests from 
Greensburg who served St. Paul were Fathers John P. Gillig, J. L. Bras- 
scart, Daniel Curran, Henry Kessing and George Stiegerwald. The follow- 
ing priests from Shelbyville have ministered to the congregation: Revs. M. 
L. Guthneck, G. M. Ginnsz, F. Hundt, A. Danenhofer, Charles Strickler, 
Joseph T. Bauer and F. Ketter, the present pastor. The church now has 
a membership of seventy. 

ST. John's at enochsburg. 

The early history of the Catholic church at Enochsburg, a pleasant 
village on the Decatur-Franklin county line, is rather obscure, although it 
is known that Father Rudolph was serving a small congregation of Catholics 
in that neighborhood at as early a date as October, 1844. From accounts 
handed down, it is known that a log chapel in the woods surrounding Enochs- 
burg was dedicated by Father Rudolph on December 22. 1844. This mission 


was attached to the Oldenburg parish and continued to be served from the 
Oldenburg church until 1862, in which year Rev. Lawrence Oesterling, a 
Franciscan priest, became the first resident pastor. In 1853 the parisTi erected 
a small stone school building, thirty by thirty-five feet in size; shortly there- 
a:fter beginning the erection of a stone church, which was dedicated in 1856. 
This church, which is still serving the needs of the parish, was built of 
dressed gray limestone and is fifty by one hundred and five feet in di- 
mension, the height of the spire being one hundred and thirty-five feet; 
three bells being hung in the tower. Since the church was erected numer- 
ous improvements have been added thereto; notably during the pastorate of 
Father Pfeifer (1882-99), who frescoed the church, installed new altars, pur- 
chased new statues, put a slate roof on the church, installed an organ and 
made extensive improvements in the grounds surrounding the church prop- 

In 1868 Rev. Michael Heck succeeded Father Oesterling as pastor, 
remaining until 1879. During his pastorate a brick residence of eight 
rooms was erected, and in 1872 he had the satisfaction of dedicating a sub- 
stantial school building for the children of the parish. He secured the servi- 
ces of the Venerable Sisters of Oldenburg as teachers and from that time 
down to the present a flourishing school has been maintained, more than 
seventy-five children being enrolled during the current term. In 1879 Father 
Heck was transferred to St. Wendel's parish, in Posey county, this state, 
where he spent the rest of his life in faithful ministration, his death occurring 
in 1899. 

Following Father Heck, Rev. John Stolz was placed in charge at St. 
John's, but he remained only a few months. In 1879 Rev. J. W. Kemper 
was installed as pastor, his service continuing until 1882, in which year 
Rev. James Pfeiffer entered upon his notably successful pastorate, con- 
tinuing in charge until 1899, when he was transferred to St. Wendel's to 
fill the vacancy created by the death of Father Heck. Rev. Joseph Haas 
then was sent to St. John's and for ten years faithfully served that parish; 
he being succeeded in 1909 by Rev. Henry Verst, who continued in charge 
until July, 19 14, when the present pastor. Rev. Mathias Schmitz, was in- 
stalled. St. John's parish has a membership of more than three hundred 
and seventy souls. While the church usually is associated with Franklin 
county, it really stands in this county, being on this side of the county line. 
The parochial residence stands on the Franklin-Decatur line, while the school 
house stands in Franklin county. 



Several years ago the Catholics in Westport held services in the build- 
ing now occupied by Harry Reidenbach as a jewelry store. There were 
not a sufficient number of Catholics to establish a church, and the bishop 
granted them permission to establish a chapel where they might worship 
under the protection of St. Denis, the nearest Catholic church in Jennings 
county. The chapel has now been discontinued many years and the few 
Catholics in \Vestport and immediate vicinity are attached to the St. Denis 



The judicial history of Decatur county falls into two periods, namely, 
the period of the old constitution, 1822-1853, and the period following. The 
constitution of 1852 made a marked change in the judiciary of the state and 
subsecjuent amendments to the constitution (1881) and statutory legislation 
have made still further changes. Under the Constitution of 1816 the supreme 
court of Indiana and the president judges were elected by the state Legisla- 
ture ; where as the present Constitution provides for the election of all judges 
by the people. The old Constitution divided the state into judicial circuits 
and placed over each circuit what was known as the president judge. At 
first there were only three circuits for the fifteen counties of the state then 
in existence. Each county elected two judges, known as associate judges, 
and these, with the president judge, had jurisdiction over all the civil and 
criminal business of the respective counties. 

The president judges, as well as the associate judges, were elected for a 
term of seven years. The clerk of the common-pleas court was elected for a 
like term. These judges served both as common-pleas and circuit judges, 
and, in the case of Decatur county, had charge of most of the probate work, 
as well. The records disclose only two probate judges, these serving during 
the decade following 1839. These two probate judges were Angus C. 
McCoy, 1839-43, and John Thomson, 1843-49. 

The president judges who held court in Decatur county from 1822 to 
1853 were as follow: W. W. Wick, B. F. Morris, Miles C. Eggleston, 
Samuel Bigger, James Perry, Jehu P. Elliott, George A. Dunn, William M. 
McCarty, Reuben D. Logan, Jeremiah M. Wilson, William A. Cullen and 
Samuel A. Bonner. Associate judges during this period were : Martin 
Adkins, John Fugit, John Bryson, Zachariah Carton, John Thomson, John 
Hopkins, Samuel Ellis, Richard C. Talbott and George Cable. 

Beginning in 1853, there were separate common-pleas and circuit judges 
until 1873, in which year the common-pleas court was abolished by the Leg- 
islature. As near as can be ascertained from the record, the following judges 
served on the common-pleas bench during these twenty years: Royal P. 


Cobb, Samuel A. Bonner, John Davis, David S. Gooding and William A. 
Moore, the latter of whom was serving when the office was abolished. 

The jurisdiction of the circuit judges of the district including Decatur 
count}' has been changed a number of times by the Legislature and has at 
various times covered Franklin, Henry, Rush, Shelby and Bartholomew 
counties in the ninth judicial circuit. Since 1899 Decatur has been united 
with Bartholomew county for judicial purposes. The following circuit judges 
have presided over the district, including Decatur county: William M. Mc- 
Carty, 1853; R. D. Logan, 1860-65; Jeremiah Wilson, 1865-71; William A. 
Cullen, 1871-77; Samuel A. Bonner, 1877-89; John W. Study, 1889-93 
(Study died in office and his unexpired term was filled by James K. Ewing) ; 
James K. Ewing, 1893-95; John D. Miller, 1895-98 (died in office); David 
A. Myers, 1898; Douglas ]\lorris, 1898-1901 ; Francis T. Hord, 1901-04; 
Marshal Hacker, 1904-10; Hugh D. Wickens, 1910-1916. 

Of the above, Bonner, Study, Ewing, Miller, Myers and Wickens were 
residents of Decatur county. 


Considerable mystery lurks about the cause of the death of Judge Martin 
Adkins, one of the first two associate judges of the county. Adkins died in 
1841, at Cincinnati, where he had gone with a drove of hogs. At the time 
he was under indictment for shooting "Dick" Stewart, his son-in-law, with 
intent to kill. He had been tried once and the jury disagreed, one juror, it 
is said, holding out for his acquittal. 

His employees brought home a coffin, which was interred, without being 
opened, in the old Mt. Moriah cemetery. This rather peculiar circumstance 
gave rise to two rumors, one that he had committed suicide in order to evade 
the ends of justice and the other that his reported death was untrue and that 
he had left for parts unknown. The exact truth, which might have been 
in a measure ascertained, by exhuming the coffin, was never known. 

Enemies of Free Masonry charged at the time the jury disagreed that 
Adkins, being a Mason, had been saved from the penitentiary by a member 
of the organization, who was on the jury. There was at that time no 
Masonic lodge in Greensburg, but Levi .\. ]McOuithy, who was a juror, was 
a Mason. 

John Fugit, the other member of the original court of associate judges, 
was a native of Virginia. He was tall and thin, with broad shoulders and an 
eye as bright as an eagle's. When his six years on the bench were o\er he 


served one or two terms as a justice of the peace in Clay township. He had 
three sons who attained local eminence. Hugh was an attorney at Milford; 
James L. was a justice of the peace and later deputy sheriff and Isaac W. 
was also an attornej', and served for a time as postmaster at St. Paul, this 

Hopkins, one of the associate judges at the time the office was abolished, 
was foreman of the first grand jury which convened in the county, was first 
county treasurer and was a charter member of the Kingston Presbyterian 
church. His parents wished to prepare him for the ministry, declaring that 
he was a born theologian. He was a Democrat of the Jackson-Benton school 
and believed in hard money. He cared little for popularity and had he 
played politics, might have reached a high place in the affairs of Indiana. 


One of the most famous murder trials ever held in Decatur county was 
that of James Wiley, who was convicted in June, 1869, o^ the murder of 
Joseph Woodward, and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was pardoned 
after serving ten years and died soon after his release from the penitentiary. 

Wiley killed Woodward in a fight at Milford, in November, 1868, when 
Republicans were celebrating the election of Grant. Hiram Alley received 
a two years' sentence for complicity in the crime. Judge George H. Chap- 
man, of Indianapolis, occupied the bench at the trial. The verdict was 
returned after an hour's deliberation. 

One of the most famous murder trials that ever came before the Decatur 
county bench was that of Jacob Block and Elsa Block, brought here from 
Rush county upon a change of venue. The Blocks, father and son, were 
Hebrews and were charged with the murder of Eli Block, a Hebrew merch- 
ant and a business competitor. The Blocks spent large sums of money in pro- 
viding for their defense and an imposing array of legal talent was gathered 
at the Decatur county court house when the case was tried. 

The case was tried before Judge James C. Hiller, of Indianapolis. 
Jacob Block, the father, had been previously tried at Rush county and had 
been found guilty of murder in the first degree, but the higher courts had 
sustained a motion in error and ordered a new trial. He was represented by 
Daniel W. Voorhees, while the son was defended by Charles H. Blackburn, 
a famous Cincinnati criminal lawyer. Both were sentenced to two years in 
the penitentiary. 



One of the early cases tried in Decatur county courts is related by Oliver 
H. Smith in a series of articles in the old IndianaJHilis Journal on "Early 
Indiana Trials." The case was tried before Associate Judges Fugit and 
Adkins, in 1823. The case was against a man who had refused to work tw(j 
days on a school house, as provided by law. James T. Brown defended the 
man and Mr. Smith appeared for the school commissioner. 

Brown facetiously raised the point that his client was not ablebodied, 
although he was over six feet tall and proportionately broad. Judge Fugit 
ruled thus : 

"Yes, ]\Ir. Brown, that is the point — you plead well on that, but it is 
nothing but the plea of a lawyer; you admitted that the man who stood 
before us was your client, and the court will take notice, 'fishio,' as the law 
books say, that he is an able-bodied man and no mistake; judgment for two 

Smith says that he received his fee of five dollars and always after had 
Decatur county's undivided support \\-hen he was a candidate for Congress. 


When counties in southern Indiana were organized and for many years 
thereafter, members of the legal profession were few in number, but were 
usually men of striking personality and great force of character. There were 
two terms of circuit court a year and lawyers followed the presiding judge 
on his rounds, taking whatever business came their way. 

Consequently, it is not surprising that when the first meeting of the 
Decatur county circuit court was held, April 9, 1822, several attorneys were 
on hand to ask for permission to' practice their profession in this court. The 
old county records show that three lawyers were admitted to the Decatur 
county bar on this date. They were Thomas Douglass, Joseph A. Hopkins 
and Seth Tucker. Beyond swearing in a county clerk and the appointment 
of Joseph Hopkins as prosecuting attorney, the court transacted no business. 
When the October term began, October 7, two more attorneys sought and 
received admission to the bar. They were James T. Brown and Charles H. 

Nothing is known of Douglass, beyond the original entry, showing 
that the first court held in the county gave him permission to practice his 


profession in Decatur county. Tucker's record has also been lost, but it is 
presumed that he subsequently located permanently in some other county. 

Hopkins, the first prosecuting attorney, soon fell into disrepute and left 
the county. He was a native of Kentucky and had practiced law there before 
coming to Indiana. He left the Blue Grass state "under a cloud," and appar- 
ently did not mend his ways when he settled in the new state. He died in 
Illinois. He is said to have been a brilliant man and an excellent lawyer. 

James T. Brown was the first Greensburg lawyer to attain prominence. 
He was quite eccentric, but possessed a very saving sense of humor. His 
jokes and anecdotes made him a very interesting character. After practicing 
in Decatur county for a good many years he located at Lawrenceburg, where 
he died soon after the war. Brown was a bachelor and lived to a ripe old 
age. It is said that he was retained in almost every case of importance that 
was tried during his residence in this county. He was without political 
ambitions and gave his whole heart to his practice. 

Andrew Davison, third resident member of the bar, came from Penn- 
S3'lvania and was admitted to practice in 1825. He was a learned, technical 
lawyer; and it is said that as a pleader, in the professional sense, his superior 
never appeared at the Decatur county bar. His efforts were brief and direct 
and delivered in a most forceful manner. 

Chance played a large part in Davison's selection of Greensburg as a 
location. He was educated for the ministry, but after his graduation from 
Franklin College, Pennsylvania, he decided that he would study law. Upon 
being admitted to the Pennsylvania bar, he departed for a horseback trip 
through Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, seeking restoration of his health. 
While upon his return trip his jaded steed dropped, completely exhausted, at 
Greensburg. Finding a considerable colony of Presbyterians there he cast 
his lot with them and soon rose to eminence in his profession. 

Davison was elected a member of the supreme court in 1852 and was 
re-elected in 1858. He was defeated for a third term in 1864 and never re- 
sumed active practice. The only other public office he ever held was the post- 
mastership at Greensburg, given to him when Andrew Jackson made his 
famous shake-up in federal postoffices and established a precedent that was 
followed b}' all succeeding Presidents. In 1839 Davison married a daughter 
of Judge Test. His death occurred in 1871. He was in his day one of the 
foremost lawyers in the state ; possessed a fine character in public and private 
life and left a large estate. He left one son, Joseph, who died a few years 



Other attorneys who practiced in the Decatur county court in those earl}- 
days were Ohver H. Smith, afterwards United States senator from Indiana, 
and John Test, who was admitted in 1830. This John Test was the second 
son of John Test, Sr., who represented this district in Congress from 1829 to 
1835. Young Test died of tuberculosis in 1839 and his widow some time 
later married Judge Davison. 

Martin Jamison, who had studied law under James Brown, was admitted 
to the bar in 1827. He served in the state Legislature in 1839 and died of 
lung trouble in 1841. In his short career he built up a very lucrative practice. 

Following Jamison, Joseph Robison was the next to be admitted to the 
bar. He was not well versed in legal procedure, and his knowledge of the 
fundamentals of the law left something to be desired; but as an advocate he 
stood head and shoulders above the other lawyers of those early days. He 
was a candidate for Congress on the Whig ticket in 185 1, but was defeated 
by John L. Robinson, the Democratic incumbent. The latter was the father 
of Joseph Robinson, of Anderson, who represented that district in the Legis- 
lature for a number of terms. 

Before his admission to the bar, Robinson served as sheriff for two 
terms, during which time he read law. He had but little education, and when 
he was married was unable to read and write. He represented Decatur 
count}' several times in the state Legislature and was a delegate to the con- 
stitutional convention of 1850. 

The next citizen of Decatur county to be admitted to the practice of law 
was John D. Haynes, a native of New York. He completed a previously 
begun course of study in the office of Judge Davison, and was admitted to the 
bar in 1839. He moved to Dearborn county in 1843 and was later elected 
judge of the court of common pleas of Dearborn and Ohio counties. 

Philander Hamilton and Henry Spottswood Christian located in Greens- 
burg next. Hamilton gave promise of a brilliant career, but died young and 
before he had attained the summit of his powers. Christian was a native of 
Virginia, and claimed relationship with some of the first colonial families of 
that state. The path of the young lawyer was no more strewn with roses in 
those days than it is at present, so he quit his office for a year to teach in the 
old seminary and then returned to practice, with better results. He later 
located at Versailles and died there, of tuberculosis, in 1859. 

At the first session of the Decatur county court after the adoption of 


the new Constitution, which convened on April 25, 1853, James Gavin, Daniel 
Patterson and Archibald McKee were admitted to the bar. 

Lawyers from other counties, who have had cases in the local court, 
have frequently been admitted^ to practice upon motion, as a courtesy, and 
many names appear upon the records of men who have never practiced regu- 
larly in the local courts. In 1842 A. A. Hammond was thus admitted on 
motion. Mr. Hammond was later elected lieutenant-governor of the state. 

Seven lawyers were admitted in 1844. They were Edward Sanders, 
S. E. Perkins, who later was elevated to the supreme bench; Squire W. 
Robinson, Samuel Seabaugh, Silas Overturf, J. S. Scobey and Hugh F. 


Col. John S. Scobey, one of the most famous members of the Decatur 
county bar, was born near Cincinnati in 181 8, and was educated in the Frank- 
lin county schools. He was a student for two years at Miami University, 
quitting his collegiate studies to read law in the office of Governor Bebb at 
Hamilton. Later, intending to practice in Lidiana, he left Hamilton and 
resumed his studies at Brookville, where he was admitted to the bar in 1844. 
He settled at Greensburg the same year. 

Scobey was circuit prosecutor from 1847 to 1850, and in 1852 was 
elected state senator from this county. At the outbreak of the Civil War, 
Governor Morton, who was his classmate at Miami, telegraphed him to come 
to Indianapolis at once. As a result of the interview, Scobey returned to 
Decatur county and raised Company A, of the Sixty-eighth Regiment, Indi- 
ana Infantry. He performed valorous service throughout the war and his 
rise was rapid. He soon rose from captain to major and in 1863 became 
lieutenant-colonel of the Sixty-eighth Regiment. When Colonel King fell at 
Chickamauga, Scobey was assigned to command of the regiment. 

Upon his return to civil life he engaged for a time in business affairs, 
before resuming the practice of law. He was three times a presidential 
elector. The first time was in 1852, on the Whig ticket; the second time, in 
1872, on the Democratic ticket, and again in 1876 on the Democratic ticket. 

Barton W. Wilson, who was the next to be admitted to the bar, was a 
graduate of Indiana University and located in Greensburg in 1848. He was 
a candidate for the state Senate in 1852, but was defeated by William J. 
Robinson. His defeat was largely due to his endorsement of the compromise 
measures of 1850. Wilson was a public-spirited man, willing and able at 
any time to help forward any enterprise which had for its aim the betterment 


of his city. It is said that, throughout his active career, there was no pubhc 
undertaking that did not draw largely upon his purse and personal services. 
The first fire engine owned by the city of Greensburg was named for him. 

Not only was Barton W. Wilson a well-read elementary lawyer, but he 
kept well up with the rulings of the courts of his day and was most pains- 
taking in preparation of his cases. He held many posts of honor in local 
affairs, for which he was indel)ted to political foes as well as to the members 
of his own party. 


Col. James Gavin, another leader at the bar in that day, was a man of 
unusual ability. He had acquired an education, married and was practicing 
law before he had attained his majority. He taught school in Union county 
for a time and then moved to Greensburg, where he was admitted to the bar 
in 1853. I" ^ short time he had built up a large practice. He was born in 
1830 and died in 1873. 

At the outbreak of the war, James Gavin was made adjutant of the 
Seventh Regiment and when it was reorganized, at the end of its three- 
months enlistment, he became its lieutenant-colonel. He was given command 
of this regiment in 1862 and served until the spring of 1863, at which time 
he resigned on account of a wound received during the second battle of Bull 
Run. In 1864 he was made colonel of one of the hundred-day regiments sent 
to Tennessee to relieve the veterans of Sherman's army. 

Colonel Ga\-in was originally a Democrat, but was a candidate in 1862 
for Congress on the Union ticket, being defeated by William S. Holman. 
After the war he was elected county clerk upon the Republican ticket. He 
resigned this office to accept an appointment as internal revenue collector, 
which had been proffered him by President Johnson. He did not secure this 
office, however, as the Senate refused to confirm the appointment ; so he 
retired from official life and returned to the Democratic party. 

One of Colonel Gavin's contemporaries was Oscar B. Hord, who later 
attained national recognition as a legal authority. Hord came from Ken- 
tucky, a member of a family of lawyers. He was a member of the bar at 
Maysville, Kentucky, until 1851, in which year he located in Greensburg. He 
was very young and rather diffident, but the time not needed by clients he 
devoted to study and so became one of the most thorough lawyers in Indiana. 
He associated himself with James Gavin and wrote "Gavin and Hord's Indi- 
ana Statutes," with full annotations, which was greatly appreciated liy the 
profession in this state. 


Hord was elected attorney-general in 1862 and moved to Indianapolis. 
After his term expired he went into the firm of Hendricks, Hord & Hen- 
dricks, of Indianapolis, one of the leading law firms of the state. He was 
one of the most highly trained members of the profession that the Decatur 
county bar has ever given to the state. 

Charles F. Parrish and James Coverdill came to Greensburg from Ohio, 
in 185 1, and established the firm of Coverdill & Parrish, which continued for 
two years, at the end of which time Parrish left the county and Coverdill 
joined with James Gavin in the formation of a new firm. Parrish won high 
honors during the Civil War and retired as colonel of the One Hundred and 
Thirtieth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Coverdill made a poor 
soldier; quit the service and died in Cincinnati shortly after the war. 

Gen. Ira G. Grover, Decatur county's most illustrious soldier, was born 
in Union county, Indiana, in 1832. His parents moved to Greensburg and 
he enjoyed the best educational advantages that could be obtained there, after 
which he was sent to Asbury Academy, now DePauw University, where he 
was graduated in 1856, with first honors. Grover taught school until i860, in 
which year he was elected to the state Legislature, where he served during 
the regular session and through part of the special session called at the out- 
break of the Civil War. Having been elected a lieutenant in Company B, 
Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, he quit his seat in the Legis- 
lature and served through the war. On the return of the "three-months 
men," he organized a new company and was chosen its captain. He was 
with the Se^'enth in every fight in which it took part, until he was captured 
during the first day of the Battle of the Wilderness, in May, 1S64. 

General Grover was wounded three times during the war, at Ft. 
Republic, second Bull Run and in the Wilderness, during which latter engage- 
ment he was taken prisoner and placed in prison at Charlestown, where, with 
a number of other Union officers, he was placed under fire of their own bat- 
teries. After some time he was exchanged and after a short visit in Greens- 
burg, returned to his regiment in time to be mustered out. At the close of 
the war he held the rank of colonel of the Seventh and was later, for his 
gallant services, breveted brigadier-general by President Lincoln. 

Before the outbreak of the war General Grover had studied law and he 
resumed his studies upon his return to Greensburg. He was admitted to the 
bar in 1866, but on account of his political activities never engaged in the 
practice of the legal profession. He was the Republican nominee for Con- 
gress in 1866, but was defeated by William S. Holman. He was twice 
elected clerk of the Decatur county circuit court. Near the close of his second 


term, he showed signs of a mental affliction, due to wounds received in the 
service, and was placed for care and treatment in a state institution. He 
died on May 30, 1873. 

Judge Samuel A. Bonner, for twelve years judge of the eighth judicial 
circuit, was born on an Alabama plantation, in 1826. His father abhorred 
slavery and came to Greensburg to educate his children, out of reach of its 
baneful influence. He was educated at Richland Academy, Miami University 
and Center College, Danville, Kentucky, from which he was graduated in 
1849. For a time he read law in the ofiice of Andrew Davison and then 
entered the Indiana University law school. Upon his graduation, in 1852, 
Bonner was admitted to the Decatur county bar. He formed a partnership 
with Barton W. Wilson, which continued until he was elected to the Legisla- 
ture, in 1854. Two ygars later he was elected judge of the common-pleas 
court of Rush and Decatur counties, serving for four years. When he 
retired from public life, in i860, he formed a partnership with William Cum- 
back, which lasted until Cumback retired from practice. 

In 1877 Judge Bonner was called by election to the bench of the circuit 
court where he ser\-ed for twelve years. He then jjecame senior partner of 
the firm of Bonner, Tackett & Bennet, with which he remained until his death, 
on April 5, 1904. 


Cortez Ewing, elder brother of James K. Ewing, dean of the Decatur 
county bar, was born in 1837 and entered public life at the early age of thir- 
teen; filling, at that tender stage of his career, the office of deputy clerk and 
recorder under Henry H. Talbott, prominent office holder of the early days. 
In 1857 Cortez Ewing was given a position in the general land office at 
Washington, D. C, under Thomas A. Hendricks, who was then commis- 
sioner of the general land office. Ewing was admitted to the bar in 1858, 
and began the practice of law in i860. For the next two years he was in the 
office of Gavin & Hord, and assisted Hord in his work of revision of the laws 
of Indiana. He became a partner of Hord, but later entered practice alone. 
He served, from 1874 to 1878, as trustee of the state institute for the educa- 
tion of the blind. Later in life he cjuit the law to become cashier of the Third 
National Bank of Greensburg. Much of the early success of this institution 
is due to the respect in which Mr. Ewing was held throughout the county. 
He died in 1887. 

Judge John D. Miller, who also served upon the bench of the eighth 


judicial circuit, was born near Clarksburg, this county, in 1840, and thus 
was one of the first native-born attorneys to achieve eminence in the legal 
profession. He entered Hanover College in 1859, but in 1861 left college 
and enlisted in Company G, Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 
and served as a private throughout the Civil War. Upon the close of the 
war, he studied law with Overstreet & Hunter, at Franklin, and was admitted 
to the bar in 1866, after which he moved to Greensburg. In 1872 he was 
elected to the Legislature from Decatur and Rush counties. Prior to his 
election to the Legislature, he had served Greensburg as city clerk and city 
attorney. From 1868 until 1873 he was the law partner of Colonel Gavin. 
In 1891 Judge Miller, was appointed to the supreme bench of the state to 
fill a vacancy and served until 1893. He was the Republican candidate for 
the same high office in 1892, but was defeated. He then resumed the practice 
of law and in 1894 was elected circuit judge. He died on March 20, 1898. 


Frank E. Gavin, of the firm of Ga\in, Gavin & Davis, of Indianapolis, 
is the son of James Gavin and was for many years a leading member of the 
Decatur county bar. He was born on February 20, 1854, and entered Har- 
vard College, graduating from that institution with the class of 1873. He 
studied law with Judge John D. Miller and was admitted to the bar on 
February 19, 1875, the day before he attained his majority. He served for 
several years as county attorney and in 1892 was elected judge of the appel- 
late court for the second district. Upon leaving the bench. Judge Gavin 
formed business associations in Indianapolis and has since continued the 
practice of law in that city. He was married in 1876 to Ella B. Lathrop, 
daughter of James B. Lathrop. He is a prominent Mason and was at one 
time grand master of that order in Indiana. 

John L. Bracken, who served one term as prosecuting attorney of 
Decatur county, was admitted to the bar in 1871. For a number of years he 
was associated with M. D. Tackett, in the firm of Bracken & Tackett. In 
1878 he was elected circuit prosecutor and served one term. He quit the law 
some time after and engaged in the monument business at Richmond. Indi- 
ana, later accepting appointment as deputy revenue collector under his 
brother, William H. Bracken, of Brookville. A widow and one son survive 

Marine D. Tackett was born on a Decatur county farm, three and one- 
half miles from Greensburg, October 26, 1841, and moved to Greensburg 


with his parents, at the age of ten. After completing his education in the cit)- 
schools he learned the trade of cabinet maker, which he followed until the 
beginning of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the Third Indiana Artillery. 
He saw service with Fremont and Sherman and was mustered out with three 
years of honorable service to his credit. He lost an arm by the premature 
discharge of a cannon, while celebrating the election of Governor Morton. 

Tackett was admitted to the bar in 1874 and three years later was 
appointed city attorney of Greensburg, serving in that office until 1881, in 
which year he was appointed prosecuting attorney of the eighth judicial dis- 
trict by Governor Morton, to fill a \-acancy caused by the resignation of 
Richard Durnan, who had succeeded John L. Bracken. He then held the 
office for four years more by election. He was a member of the state central 
committee of the Republican party for .four years and a delegate to the 
national convention in Chicago, in 1888; in which year he declined the 
Republican nomination for Congress. He was chief allotting agent of the 
Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians in 1891. In 1892 he was elected clerk of 
the Decatur circuit court and was a candidate for re-election in 1896. Before 
he became prosecutor he was a member of the firm of Bonner, Tackett & Ben- 
nett, also had served for a time as postmaster at Greensburg. .\t the time of 
his death he was associated with Davison Wilson, under the firm name of 
Tackett & Wilson. 

William H. Goddard, who during his time, was Decatur county's lead- 
ing pension attorney, was born in Clinton township on February 22, 1837. 
He taught school until 1861, when he was appointed to a clerical position in 
the department of the interior. Later he was transferred to the treasury 
department, Avhere he remained until his return to Greensburg, in 1876. 
While at the national capital he studied law at the Georgetown Law School 
and was admitted to the bar in 1872. At the request of James G. Blaine, he 
was appointed, in 1881, assistant superintendent of the railway mail service, 
with headquarters at St. Louis. 

Goddard's legal practice consisted almost entirely of the settlement of 
pension claims; and, on account of his knowledge of such matters and his 
personal acquaintance with the business of the pension bureau, he was re- 
markably successful. During the last ten years of his life he was associated 
in practice with his son, John F. Goddard. He died on June 21, 1901. 

John F. Goddard was born on October 22, 1858, in Clay township, this 
county, and was graduated from Indiana L'niversity in 1880. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1891, but did not commence active practice until 1896. 



In 1905 he formed a law partnership with John W. Craig, and the firm of 
Goddard & Craig is the oldest law firm in Greensburg. John W. Craig was 
born in Greensburg in 1880, and was graduated from the Indiana Law 
School before attaining his majority. He served as deputy prosecutor before 
he was twenty-one ; had a murder indictment returned, but being too young 
to be admitted to the bar, was compelled to secure another attorney to handle 
the case when it came to trial. 

Judge W. A. Moore was born on a farm in Franklin county, August 16, 
1838. When he had completed his preparatory education he entered the 
office of Judge Bonner and read law there. He was admitted to practice in 
1866. The same year he was elected to the state Legislature, where he 
served one term. In 1870 he was elected common-pleas judge of the twenty- 
second judicial district and filled the ofiice until it was abolished by act of the 

In 1876 Judge Moore was elected to the state Senate upon the Repub- 
lican ticket and served two terms. He then returned to private practice, con- 
tinuing the same until his death. 

Davison Wilson, a former prominent member of the Decatur county 
bar, was born in Greensburg, and was educated in the schools of that city 
and at Indiana University. He studied law for a time in the office of W. B. 
Wilson and was admitted to the bar on September 6, 1881. He formed his 
first legal partnership with Judge David A. Myers, and some time later estab- 
lished his office with Cortez Ewing; then with M. D. Tackett. Later he 
engaged in the practice of his profession alone. Wilson was a man of small 
stature, but a most excellent lawyer. His education gave him a strong 
foundation for general practice. His speeches were models of brevity and 
conciseness and his diction was both pure and elegant. For many years he 
was the one of the leading representatives of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chi- 
cago & St. Louis Railroad Company. He never married. He died in 191 1. 

greensburg's foremcst citizen. 

William Cumback, who, during his long career of public usefulness, was 
Greensburg's foremost and most distinguished citizen, was admitted to the 
Decatur county bar in 1853, after a short preparatory course at the Cincinnati 
Law School. Save during the periods when he was in the service of the 
government in many a case before the Decatur county bar during more than 
forty years he appeared upon one side or the other. 

Congressman at twenty-five, defeating the seasoned politician, William 


S. Holman, '"the watchdog of the treasury," and on terms of intimate rela- 
tionship with the nation's great in the critical period during the sessions of 
the thirty-fourth Congress, young Cumback was a character that attracted 
national attention. 

Defeated for re-election in 1856 by an influx of foreign voters, 
he again came into prominence in i860, when he cast the electoral vote of 
Indiana for Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. At the 
first call to arms he joined the colors as a private in the Thirteenth Regi- 
ment. Indiana \'olunteer Infantry, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. 
He later was appointed paymaster in the army and disbursed more than 
sixty million dollars without the loss of a penny. He was elected state 
senator in 1866, became president of the Senate in 1867 and lieutenant- 
governor in 1868. 

In 1871 Governor Cumback declined the proffered appointment as min- 
ister to Portugal and in that year was made collector of internal revenue for 
his district, serving for twelve years. Until his death, in August, 1905, he 
spent much of his time on the lecture platform, being a very popular and 
entertaining speaker. Governor Cumback was an earnest member of the 
Methodist church and his voice for years was one of the most influential in 
the great councils of American Methodism. 

Christopher Shane, a prominent member of the Decatur county bar many 
years ago, was born in Shelby county on August 11, 1833. He first practiced 
law in i8'65 with Judge William A. Moore. For four years before he was ad- 
mitted to the bar he was a clerk in the pension bureau at Washington, D. C. 
Beginning in 1867, he served six years as mayor of Greensburg and was later 
city and county attorney. Some years after he went into the insurance busi- 
ness in Washington and died in that state. 

Douglas Watts, stepson of Colonel Scobey, was born in Cincinnati on 
August 27, 1858, and in 1877 moved to Greensburg, where he was employed 
as clerk by an uncle. He was admitted to the bar in 1880 and died a few 
years after in the West, whither he had gone for his health. 


Judge James K. Ewing, dean of the Decatur county bar, son of Patrick 
Ewing, one of the pioneer settlers of Clay township and father of several 
distinguished sons, was born in Decatur county on NoN-eml^er 2^, 1843. He 
studied law with his brother, Cortez Ewing, and later formed a partnership 
with the latter, which lasted until 1883, when the elder Ewing retired to 


become a banker. James K. Ewing then formed a partnership with his 
nephew, Cortez Ewing, Jr., which lasted until 1893. I" that year, through 
the death of Judge John W. Study, Mr. Ewing was appointed to the bench 
of the eighth judicial circuit, serving in that capacity until 1895, when he 
retired to private practice, first in partnership with John D. Wallingford, 
then with G. L. Tremain, then with Frank Hamilton and now with Fred F. 
Smith. Mr. Ewing was a delegate to the Democratic national convention in 
1888 and made races for the local circuit judgeship in 1888 and 1896, but was 
both times defeated. He was then associated for a time with another 
nephew. Judge Ewing has a well-earned reputation as a lawyer and is held 
in the utmost esteem and respect ; not only by members of the Decatur county 
bar, but by his many clients, with whom his dealings have always been most 
careful and just. 


John Ouincy Donnell, although not engaged in the practice of law, is a 
member of the Decatur county bar. He was educated at the Indiana state 
school for the blind and at Oberlin College. In 1878 he was elected to the 
Indiana Legislature and served one term. For a time he was a member of 
the firm of Boothe & Donnell and later edited the Greenshurg Review and a 
paper at Anderson, Indiana. Although totally blind, Mr. Donnell has mar- 
velous ability in a number of fields and is reputed to be one of the ablest chess 
players in this part of the state. 

B. F. Bennett, who removed, in 1914, to California, was born on March 
31, 1854, in this county and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He served 
four terms as county attorney, was a member of the Greensburg school board 
and active in all movements for the good of the community. He was first 
associated with Judge Moore and upon his partner's death became a member 
of the firm of Bonner, Tackett & Bennett. When that firm was broken up, 
he formed a partnership with Thomas E. Davidson, under the firm name of 
Bennett & Davidson. 

Samuel B. Edward was born on November 29, 1852, in Washington 
township, studied at the Indianapolis Commercial College and was graduated 
in 1 87 1. He studied two years at Butler College and then read law in the 
office of Bonner & Bracken. He was admitted to the bar in 1875. In 1883 
he was elected mayor of Greensburg. When he retired from office he prac- 
ticed law again for a time and then turned his attention to a stone quarry at 
Harris, this county. In 1910 he represented Decatur county in the state Leg- 


islature. His death occurred in the spring of 1815. He is survived by one 
son, Louis, who lives at Harris. 

Barton Porter, brother of Alexander Porter, practiced law in Greens- 
burg one year before his death, in 1903. Pie was a graduate of Indiana 
University, completing his legal education at that institution in 1902. Upon 
leaving college he formed a partnership with George L. Tremain. He was a 
promising young attorney and would doubtless have risen high in his chosen 
profession, but for his untimely death. 

John L. Davis, who was elected prosecuting attorney in 1898, came to 
Decatur county from Rising Sun, Indiana, and formed a partnership with 
Judge Moore. His father was Rodney L. Davis, one of the leading attor- 
neys of Ohio county. Davis died in 1901. 

Thomas L. Creath, another outside lawyer, who became prosecutor, was 
born in Batesville, Indiana. He was elected to this ofifice in 1900 and served 
one term. When his term expired he formed a partnership with John 
Parker, which lasted until he moved to A'ersailles in 1904. His death occurred 
in 1914. 

Elmer Roland, who served as prosecutor of the ninth judicial circuit 
from 1896 to 1898, was born in Columbus, Indiana, but came to Decatur 
county at an early age. Upon being admitted to the bar he commenced the 
practice of law in partnership with John Osborn. Roland married a daughter 
of Brutus Hamilton and now resides in Mississippi. 

George L. Tremain, of the firm of Tremain & Turner, was born in 
Bartholomew county, April 6, 1877, '^^as graduated from Central Normal 
College, Danville. Indiana, in 1900, and was admitted to the bar the same 
year. He first practiced with Barton Porter, then with Judge Ewing until 
1906, and then with Charles Ewing until 1908, since which time he has been 
associated in practice with Rolin A. Turner. 

Oscar G. Aliller, of the firm of Miller & Ryan, was born in Rush county, 
and came to Greensburg in 1882. For three years he taught school and 
studied law at the same time, being admitted to the bar in 1888. He then 
took the liberal arts course at DePauw University and was graduated in 1891. 
He was for a time associated with Judge Moore. Charles L. Rvan, the 
junior partner of this firm, is engaged in the insurance business. He was 
born in Decatur county in 1884 and was admitted to the bar in 1910. 

Two Decatur county lawyers, who held the office of prosecuting attor- 
ney and later moved to other locations and have almost been forgotten, were 
Piatt Wicks and Creighton Dandy. Wicks was prosecuting attorney before 
the Civil War and after quitting the public service, moved to Harlan, Iowa, 


where he accumulated a fortune. He has been dead for a number of years. 
Creighton Dandy was prosecutor from 1875 to 1880. When he Hved in 
Greensburg he owned the property where the Espy house now is. He went 
from Greensburg to Lawrenceburg, where he built up a profitable practice. 
He also is dead. 

John H. Parker, who does a general abstracting business, was born in 
Rush county, January 26, 1866, and was admitted to the bar in 1892. He 
first formed a partnership with Myron C. Jenkins and later with T. L. Creath. 
Since the death of Creath he has been practicing alone. 

A. H. Fisher, father of Carl Fisher, president of the Indianapolis Motor 
Speedway Company, at one time practiced law in Greensburg, but moved to 
Indianapolis when Carl was about twelve years old. The elder Fisher was 
born in Ross county, Ohio, in 1847, ^rid was admitted to the Morgan county 
bar in 1871. He was at one time deputy prosecutor of Decatur county. 
Fisher was of a rather belligerent disposition, and besides whipping the town 
marshal at one time, occasionally made things warm for other members of 
the bar. He once clashed with Judge Ewing, and the two were at swords' 
points for more than a year. Later, matters were amicably adjusted. 

Roy E. Glidewell. a younger member of the Decatur county bar, was 
born on a farm, six miles east of Greensburg, on November 26, 1891. He 
was educated in the common schools and later studied law, being admitted to 
practice in 1914. He has his ofifice with Judge Ewing. 

Judge Hugh D. Wickens was born, August 30, 1870, on a farm near 
North Vernon, Indiana. He obtained a common and high school education 
in the North Vernon schools and afterward taught school in Jennings county, 
Indiana, in Tennessee, and at Vincennes, Indiana. He was graduated from 
the Indiana Law School of Indianapolis, May 29. 1895, and came to Greens- 
burg, July I, 1895, and was soon afterward admitted to the Decatur county 
bar. He practiced law by himself until November i, 1897, when he formed 
a partnership with John Osborn, continuing in the firm of Wickens & Osborn 
until he was elected judge of the ninth judicial circuit of Indiana in 1910. 
He served as county attorney during 1900 and 1901. He is a Democrat and 
a member of the Elks lodge. 

Mvron C. Jenkins was admitted to the bar of the Decatur circuit court 
before Judge Samuel A. Bonner in 1886. Beginning in that year, he was in 
partnership with John H. Parker for some time. He was elected clerk of 
Decatur county in 1904 and re-elected in 1908, serving eight years in that 
ofi-ice. Upon closing his last term of ofiice, he resumed the practice of law. 
He has sat as special judge at numerous times in the Decatur circuit court. 


George Bruce served a short while as deputy prosecuting attorney in the 
time when Wilham V. O'Donnell, now of St. Louis, was prosecuting attorney 
of the ninth judicial circuit in 1909 and 1910. In 191 1 and 1912 Horace C. 
Skillman was deputy prosecuting attorney for Decatur county during the 
term of Ralph Spaugh. Mr. Skillman removed to Colorado Springs, Colo- 
rado, in 1913. 

F. Gates Ketchum was admitted to the bar in 1909. He has been in the 
practice of the law since March, 191 3, having offices in the Citizens Bank 
building. Since his appearance at the bar he has been of counsel for one side 
or the other in several important cases. 

David A. Myers, of the Decatur county bar, was elected to the appellate 
court of Indiana for two terms. He was admitted to the bar at Greensburg 
before Judge Bonner, in September, 1881. In 1890 he was elected prosecut- 
ing attorney of the eighth judicial circuit of Indiana, then embracing Rush 
and Decatur counties, and was re-elected to that office in 1892. In 1899 he 
succeeded Judge John D. Miller on the bench for Rush and Decatur counties, 
serving as circuit judge from March, 1899, until January of the ensuing year. 
Judge Myers was elected to the appellate court in 1904, and re-elected in 
1908, serving as appellate judge until January i, 1913. Since that date he 
has been engaged in active practice at Greensburg. 

Rollin A. Turner, in the same year that he graduated from college, 
entered into the law partnership of Tremain & Turner. He is a graduate of 
the college of law of Harvard University in the class of 1907. In that year 
he came to Greensburg and has continuously since been in active practice with 
G. L. Tremain. Mr. Turner was the Republican candidate for Congress in 
the fourth congressional district of Indiana in the campaign of 1912. 

After having served as deputy auditor of Decatur county, John E. 
Osborn was admitted to the bar in 1897. He formed a partnership at once 
with Elmer E. Roland, who was then prosecuting attorney. He continued in 
partnership with Mr. Roland until November, 1897, at which time Wickens 
& Osborn formed a partnership, which continued until Mr. Wickens was 
elected to the bench in 1910. In December, 1910, Mr. Osborn and Lewis A. 
Harding formed a partnership. Frank Hamilton became a member of the 
firm on January i, 1912, and Mr. Harding entered the ofiice of prosecuting 
attorney at the commencement of 1913. Mr. Osborn served as Democratic 
chairman of the sixth congressional district of Indiana. 

Frank Hamilton, before he began the study of law, attended Butler 
College in 1900 and 1901. He was a student in the law school of Indiana 
University from 1901 to 1904. He entered the Indiana Law School of 


Indianapolis in 1905 and was graduated from that school in the same year. 
He then continued the stud_v of law further, after his graduation, in the law 
ofhce of Tackett & Wilson in Greensburg. He was admitted to the bar in 
December, 1905. He practiced in partnership with James K. Ewing during 
the period of 1906 to 1912, and in 1912 joined in partnership with Osborn & 
Harding. Mr. Hamilton was deputy prosecuting attorney from 1907 to 
1909. He was county attorney during the year 1912. 

Lewis A. Harding is a son of James L. Harding, of Newpoint. He 
obtained his elementary education in his home schools and at Greensburg. 
He taught school four years in Decatur county and at Alexandria, and after- 
ward was graduated in law from the Indiana State University in 1909. He 
then spent a year and a half in the west, serving as head of the department of 
English of the Wichita, Kansas, high school from 1909 to 191 1. Upon the 
election of Judge Wickens to the bench in 1910, Mr. Harding joined in part- 
nership with John E. Osborn. Frank Hamilton later joined the firm of 
Osborn & Harding, January i, 1912. Mr. Harding was elected prosecuting 
attorney of the ninth judicial circuit of Indiana in 1912 for the years 1913 
and 1914, and was re-elected in 1914. In addition to his other writings, he is 
the author of a work on international law, entitled "The Preliminary Diplo- 
macy of the Spanish-American War." 

Thomas E. Davidson was graduated in law from DePauw University 
in 1887. Prior to that time he had read law in the office of Col. Simeon 
Stansifer at Columbus. He was admitted to the bar in Columbus in 1891, 
where he served as deputy in the county clerk's ofHce three years. Mr. 
Davidson came to Greensburg in the autumn of 1895 and practiced law in 
partnership with Benjamin F. Bennett from February, 1896, until October, 
1914, when Mr. Bennett removed to California. Mr. Davidson was elected 
president of the State Bar Association of Indiana in July, 1914. At the 
annual meeting of the State Bar Association in Indianapolis in July, 191 5, 
as president of the association, he delivered an address on "Respect for the 
Law," which has attracted wide attention in the state. 

Earl Hite attended Butler College in 1900 and 1901, after which he 
went to Indiana LTniversitv, where he was graduated from the school of law 
in 1905. He was admitted to the bar in 1904 and served as deputy prosecut- 
ing attorney for a time in 1909 and 1910. He has been city attorney of the 
city of Greensburg since 1910. 

William F. Robbins was admitted to the bar of the Decatur circuit 
court in June, 1913, at which time he was appointed deputy prosecuting attor- 


ney for Decatur county by Prosecutor Harding. When 'Sir. Harding was 
re-elected in 1914 he again appointed Mr. Robbins as deputy. 

Cortez Ewing, Jr., was born in Clay township on September 14, 1862, 
and moved to Greensburg in 1875. He studied law with his uncles, Cortez 
and James K. Ewing, and was admitted to the Decatur county bar "ex gracia" 
while in his teens in 1883. He was a son of Abel Ewing and was one of the 
most brilliant and, at the same time, when he dealt with a contrary witness or 
attorney, one of the most adroit young lawyers that ever practiced at the 
Decatur county bar. These qualities, coupled with his impressive personality, 
his legal acumen and ready wit, made him advance rapidly as a lawyer. His 
first practice was in partnership with his uncle, James K. Ewing, which con- 
tinued until 1893. He later formed a partnership with Davisson Wilson in 
1895, which continued until his unfortunate death in 1902. In 1889 he was 
elected state senator for Decatur and Shelby counties. He married Mary 
Matthews, daughter of former Governor Claude Matthews, June 18, 1890. 
He was the author of the \\'orld's Fair bill that became a law in 1891. He 
was appointed a member of the world's law commission by former Governor 

The junior member of the Decatur county bar is Fred F. Smith, from 
Bloomington, Indiana. He was admitted to the bar before Judge \Vickens, 
July 10, 191 5. He was graduated from the Indiana University Law School 
in 1915. 



The Citizens Bank of Greensburg, a private institution, was estab- 
lished on March i, 1866, by David Lovett, Levi P. Lathrop and Samuel 
Christy. As a private bank it did a good business and enjoyed the confi- 
dence of the public from the very beginning. In November, 1871, it was 
reorganized under the national bank law and took out a charter as a national 
bank, under the name of the Citizens National Bank, with a paid-in capital 
of $100,000. 

The first officers of the Citizens National Bank of Greensburg were, 
David Lovett, president; Levi P. Lathrop, vice-president; Samuel Christy, 
cashier, and D. W. Lovett, teller. Affairs of the institution have been 
handled in a careful and business-like manner, from the start, by its effi- 
cient officers and directors, and its deposits have shown a steady and normal 

Besides paying its regular dividends, the Citizens National Bank has 
accumulated a surplus fund of $45,000 and has undivided profits amounting 
to $7,644.52. The institution does a general banking business of discount 
and deposit and buys and sells United States bonds and other high-class se- 
curities. According to its latest statement, this bank's deposits amount to 

The Citizens National Bank is the oldest existing institution in the 
county, and is in many respects a financial landmark. Some of the foremost 
citizens of Decatur county are numbered among its officers and directors, 
adding to its prestige of seniority the powerful asset of safe and conserva- 
tive administration. 

The present officers of the bank are: James B. Lathrop, president; S. P. 
Minear, vice-president; C. W. Woodard, cashier, and G. G. Welsh, assistant 
cashier. Its board of directors consists of James B. Lathrop, S. P. Minear, 
John H. Christian, C. W. Woodward, John W. Lovett, Louis E. Lathrop and 
Frank D. Bird. 



Among the highly successful business institutions of Decatur county, 
the Third National Bank of Greensburg occupies a leading place. Through 
the rare business discernment of its officials together with their willingness 
to extend accommodations in every possible manner the institution has en- 
joyed a rapid growth and is now recognized as one of the most sturdy and 
substantial financial institutions of the county. 

The bank was organized on December 4, 1882, by John E. Roljbins. 
Samuel A. Bonner, Thomas M. Hamilton, Abraham Reiter, E. B. Swem, 
M. L. Miers, Charles ZoUer, Seth Donnell, William Kennedy, E. F. Dyer, 
James DeArmond, James Hart, Walter W. Bonner and Louis Zoller. The 
first officers were John E. Robbins. president ; Thomas Hamilton, vice- 
president; Cortez Ewing, cashier, and Walter Bonner, bookkeeper. The 
original directorate was made up of the following: J. E. Robbins, Morgan 
L. Miers, James Hart, A Reiter, E. B. Swem and Charles Zoller. The 
bank was capitalized for $50,000. 

Cortez Ewing, who had taken an active part in the organization of the 
institution, served as cashier until his death, four years later; and later 
successes of the enterprise are largely due to its auspicious beginning under 
his active direction. Ewing had practiced law, but quit the bar to organize 
this bank. He is remembered by older citizens as a man of unusual frank- 
ness and candor, who despised sham and hated hypocrisy ; who loved equity 
and was at all times an open and fair-minded citizen. 

Walter W. Bonner, who swept out the bank on the day it was opened 
and has been identified with it ever since, succeeded Ewing at the cashier's 
window. Two years after its organization the business of the bank had so 
increased that $25,000 was added to its capital stock. This date, December 
16, 1884, marks the real beginning of the growth of the institution — a growth 
as healthy as it has been unusual. 

For years the bank had been paying annual dividends of twenty per 
cent., but, in spite of the payment of such large returns, on July 8, 1898, the 
institution had piled up a surplus of $100,000 and had undivided profits 
amounting to $24,000. On this date a stock dividend of $75,000 was de- 
clared, and $75,000 worth of additional stock was sold, which brought the 
capitalization of the bank to its present figure, $150,000. 

Total resources of this institution, according to its latest statement, 
amount to $760,282.99. Its loans amount to $527,654.05 and its deposits 
to more than $461,000. 


Present officers of the bank are: ^Morgan L. Miers, president; Louis 
Zoller, vice-president; Walter Bonner, cashier, and George W. Adams, as- 
sistant cashier. The teller is Charles J. Dowden, and Cora C. Self, W. E. 
Koenigkramer and Ernest T. Erdmann are bookkeepers. 

Since its organization the Third National Bank has always enjoyed the 
careful attention of an active board of directors. With the exception of Mr. 
Miers, all members of the first board are dead. Following are members of 
the present directorate : Charles Zoller, Frank R. Robbins, Morgan L. Miers, 
Louis Zoller, John T. Meek, George P. Shoemaker and Walter W. Bonner. 

Character, as well as the financial responsibility of borrowers, has al- 
wavs been considered by this institution in credit extensions, and as a result 
of judicious assistance rendered by this bank at proper times a large number 
of highly successful Decatur county business organizations owe their present 
financial rating. 


Although the youngest national bank in Greensburg, the Greensburg 
National Bank now ranks second in deposits and is growing at a rate that 
would indicate its assumption of a more commanding position at no distant 
date. The institution was organized under the national banking law on 
June i8, 1900, by the following stockholders: Webb Woodfill, Benjamin F. 
McCoy, J. M. Covert, Harry T. Woodfill, Charles P. Miller, Robert B. 
Whiteman, Isaac Sefton, George B. Davis, Nelson Mowrey, Cal. Crew, Mar- 
shall Grover, John M. Bright, Oliver Deem, Joseph B. Kitchin, James M. 
Woodfill, Will H. Robins, Will C. Pulse, Elizabeth A. Hamilton, John W. 
Deem, David A. Myers, Max Dalmbert, Blanche McLaughlin and Mary 

The bank's original capital stock was $50,000, but in 1906 its business 
had increased to such an extent that the capitalization was raised to $75,000. 
First officers of the institution were James M. Woodfill, president; Will H. 
Robbins, vice-president; Joseph B. Kitchin, cashier, and Dan S. ' Perry, 
assistant cashier. 

Deposits of the Greensburg National Bank, according to its latest finan- 
cial statement, were $310,938.49 and its surplus and undivided profits 
amounted to $31,399.43. The present officers of the bank are James M. 
Woodfill, president; Will H. Robbins, vice-president; Dan S. Perry, cashier, 
and Robert Woodfill, assistant cashier, succeeding A. J. Lowe. 



The First Xational Bank of \\'estport was incorporated on June i6, 
1908, under the federal liank law b>- John S. Morris, F. D. Armstrong, J. 
F. Hamilton, E. G. Davis and Dr. O. F. Welch. The first officers were : 
F. D. Armstrong, president; J. F. Hamilton, vice-president; John S. ^Morris, 
cashier, and M. E. Baker, assistant cashier. M. E. Tyner is the present 
assistant cashier, the other officials remaining unchanged. 

Incorporators of the Ijank capitalized it at $30,000. Its deposits amount 
to $150,000 and its surplus to more than $10,000. The bank is doing a 
flourishing- business and filling a long-felt want in the \-icinity of \\'estport. 


The Clarksburg State Bank, one of the youngest financial institutions of 
the ciiunty was organized in October, 1904, by W. G. Gemmill, Everett Ham- 
ilton, C. \'. Spencer, J. X. Aloore, C. M. Beall, S. McCay, E .S. Fee, Leroy 
Dobyns and W. J. Kincaid. The bank's capital stock was fixed at $25,000. 
Its first officers were Everett Hamilton, president ; W. J. Kincaid, vice-presi- 
dent ; W. J. Gemmill, cashier. Since its organization, it has paid fair divi- 
dends, laid by- a surplus of $16,000 and its deposits have mounted to $96,000. 
The institution owns the building it occupies. Its present officers are : Charles 
V. Spencer, president: W. J. Kincaid, vice-president, and A. T. Brock, 


The youngest bank of the county is the State Bank of Alert, which came 
into being on November 13, 1914. Though still too young to have a sur- 
plus, its deposits have reached the tidy sum of $35,000, and the outlook for 
the institution is most encouraging. Incorporators of the bank were : John 
\V. Spears, Thomas J. Norton, John H. Deniston. George A. Beesley, James 
D. Anderson, Samuel Kelly and James W. Casson. John W. Spears is presi- 
dent of the institution; Thomas J. Norton, vice-president, and Claud F. 
Tyner, cashier. This bank owns the building it occupies. 


The bank at St. Paul was organized under the Indiana banking laws 
on December 10, 1904, by Orlando Hungerford and Walter Hungerford. 


The concern is capitalized at $10,000 and does a general banking business. 
According to its latest statement its deposits exceed $100,000 and its undi- 
vided profits are more than $1,000. The bank occupies its own building. 
Orlando Hungerford is president of the institution; Walter Hungerford, 
cashier, and Dora Hungerford, assistant cashier. 


Organization of the bank at Newpoint was effected on October 22, 1906, 
when it was incorporated with a capitalization of $25,000 and a building, 
costing $3,500, was purchased. The first officers were J. J. Puttman, presi- 
dent; John Hoff, vice-president, and E. H. Spellman, cashier. The de- 
posits of the institution exceed $100,000 and it has a surplus of $3,500. Its 
present officers are : John Hoff, president ; John A. Meyer, vice-president, 
and George A. Redelman, cashier. 


Recognizing the need of some sort of financial institution to care for 
the needs of farmers, business men and others in that part of Clay township, 
William Smiley and six other progressive citizens of the township incorpor- 
ated the Burney State Bank on December 22, 191 3. Its original capital was 
$25,000. Since its incorporation the bank has increased its deposits to 
$80,000 and a surplus amounting to $200 has been laid aside. The first 
officers, who are still serving, are William G. Smiley, president; John W. 
Corya, vice-president, and Huber C. Moore, cashier. These officers, John 
G. Gartin, W. F. McCullough, A. E. Howe, L. P. V. Williams and others, 
were incorporators of the institution. 


The Greensburg Building and Loan Association, organized for the en- 
couragement of money-saving and home-building, in March, 1896, now has 
more than five hundred members and occupies a very important position in 
the improvement of the municipality. Stock of the institution, subscribed 
and in force, amounts to $416,700. The par value of each share, when ma- 
tured, is $100. 

Interest at the rate of six and one-half per cent, is charged borrowers, 
and the annual tlividend of the association has never been less than six 


per cent. The plan of the institution is permanent. Dividends are paid semi- 
annually, in January and July. According to the latest statement of the 
association, deposits amount to $18.2,624.34. and there is a surplus of 

The original capitalization of the association was $100,000, but this has 
since been increased to $500,000. The incorporators were : John F. Childs, 
H. J. Hamon, h>ank E. Gavin, Walter W. Bonner, P. T. Lambert and 
Charles Zoller, Jr. Upon organization, Mr. Childs was made president, Air. 
Gavin, vice-president; Mr. Zoller, secretary; Mr. Bonner, treasurer, and P. 
T. Lambert, solicitor. These officers, with T. H. Stevenson and George P. 
Shoemaker, comprised the original board of directors. 

Present officials of the association are: W. C. Woodfill, president; 
George P. Shoemaker, vice-president; Charles Zoller, secretary; Walter W. 
Bonner, treasurer, and P. T. Lambert, solicitor. Other members of the pres- 
ent board of directors are Robert Xaegel and Louis Zoller. 


The Union Trust Company of Greensburg, although one of the young- 
est, ranks second in amount of deposits among the financial institutions of the 
county. It secured its charter on October 25, 1905, and opened for business 
on the north side of the public square on January 30, of the following year. 

Its first officers and directors were as follow : John Christian, presi- 
dent; Walter W. Bonner, vice-president; Harrington Boyd, secretary-treas- 
urer, James Lathrop, Charles Zoller, Frank R. Robbins, James M. Woodfill, 
William H. Robbins and Daniel S. Perry. Other incorporators were: John 
W. Lovett, Sherman Minear, John H. Christian, Charles W. Woodward, 
John W. Spears, John H. Brown, D. Silberberg, W. Bracken, John H. Picker, 
Louis E. Lathrop, D. W. Hazelrigg, Morgan L. Miers, Louis Willey, Louis 
Zoller, George E. Erdman, C. J. Erdman, Abbie A. Bonner, Lizzie A. Ham- 
ilton, Walter W. Bonner, Isaac Sefton, Calvin Crews, John H. Deniston, 
J. M. Bright, Max Dalmbert, Oliver Deem, Hart & Woodfill, David A. Myers, 
Delia McLaughlin, J. M. Covert, B. F. McCoy, Martin Hill, Mary Mc- 
Laughlin and Blanche McLaughlin. 

The original capitalization of the company was $45,000, which has 
never been increased. Its total deposits, according to its latest statement, 
were $374,547.62, and its surplus was $33,750. The original stockholders 
were almost without exception owners of stock in other Greensburg banks, 
who saw the need of a trust company in the cit)- and preferred to organize 


it themselves, rather than permit outsiders to do so. Like other organi- 
zations of this kind the company serves as guardian, trustee and administra- 
tor; but is not a depository for puj^lic funds. It speciahzes in farm mort- 
gages, its latest statement showing more than $260,000, loaned upon this 
kind of real estate. 

Present officers of the institution are: John H. Christian, president; 
Louis Zoller, vice-president, and Harrington Boyd, secretary-treasurer. 

workingmen's building and loan association. 

The Workingmen's Building and Loan Association, the oldest institution 
of this character in Decatur county, was founded in April, 1883, by the 
following: I. F. Warriner, president; C. W. Harvey, vice-president; F. P. 
Monfort, secretary; James E. Mendenhall, solicitor; O. P. Schriver, Tom 
Brown, Robert Naegel, D. C. Elder, John B. Montgomery, Adam Stegmaier 
and F. E. Gavin. Warriner, Harvey, Brown, Elder, Montgomery and Steg- 
maier have since died. 

Founded for the. purpose of assisting laboring men, and those working 
for small salaries, to secure comfortable homes for themselves, the associa- 
tion has been a strong factor in the development of Greensburg. More than 
three hundred homes, most of them on the west side of the city, have been 
erected with money borrowed of this institution. 

The organization is capitalized at a half million dollars and more than 
$200,000 in stock already has been taken by depositors, looking forward to 
the time when they should be able to build their own homes. The association 
has more than two hundred depositors and half as many borrowers. 

Present officers and directors of the association are : A. C. Rupp, presi- 
dent; C. P. Corbett, vice-president; David A. Myers, secretary, J. B. Kitchin, 
Web Woodfill, Daniel S. Perry, H. L. Wittenberg, Edward Dille, August 
Goyert, Eugene Rankin and Charles S. Williams. 


The St. Paul Building Association was incorporated on February 13, 
1886, and was capitalized for $50,000. It now has ninety-one investing 
members and fifty-three borrowing members. The amount of capital stock 
now subscribed and in force is $76,100. Par value of shares is $100. Bor- 
rowers are charged six and one-half per cent, interest, but no premium is 


exacted. The annual dividend declared in 19 14 was six per cent. Total re- 
ceipts for 1914, from all sources, according to the annual report, were $33,- 
908.02. Assets, in cash and loans; amounted to the same. 

Present officers of the association are : C. F. Kappes, president ; Geors^e 
W. Boling, secretary; Jacob Johannes, treasurer, and Harry Ballard, at- 
torney. The original incorporators were: J. J. Theobold, Julias Theobold, 
William Favors, Sarah E. Ellsberry, Abner Buell, J. H. Alason, Delmon L. 
Lee, George N. V^anostram, John Palmerton, James Ellsberry, Pat Mc- 
Aulliffe, Peter Johannes, Charles Barner, William L. Ford, Lewis Hinkle, 
John Evans; Jacob Johannes, William Favors, Jr., Michael Marren, John 
W. Jenkins, George Pittman, Maurice Doolan, John Cole, E. L. Floyd, 
Jonah Phillips, Mort Templeton, Jeremiah Evans, John B. Holmes, J. L. 
Scanlan, D. W. Avery, J. E. Stevens, Otto Lindner, J. M. Shortridge, Jacob 
Favors, C. H. Latham, John C. Scanlan, Elias Franks and Calvin Jolly. 


Not one dollar has ever been lost by depositors through failure of a 
Decatur county bank. But one institution has ever closed its doors through 
failure; and in this instance, stockholders paid off the obligations of the insti- 
tution within fifteen days. This bank closed its doors on September 2, 1897, 
and the money was ready with which to pay depositors in full on September 
17; the speediest liquidation ever known, according to the declarations of 
Federal banking authorities at the time. 

The bank in question was the First National Bank, which was organ- 
ized as a private institution in 1857, under the name of the Greensburg Bank. 
In December, 1863. it was reorganized as a national bank with Antrim R. 
Forsythe as president. The capital stock was $50,000. This was later 
increased to $100,000, and then to $150,000. 

Upon the death of Antrim R. Forsythe, his son, E. R. Forsythe, suc- 
ceeded him in management of the institution. Not possessing the business 
acumen of his father, the son permitted the bank to back hazardous enterprises 
and its affairs became badly involved. The concern had been hard hit some 
years before, through the disastrous failure of Armel & Company, packers, 
and was in no condition to withstand additional financial drains. 

Deposits of the institution in 1881 amounted to $205,126.80, according 
to the annual- statement for that year. The last statement of the bank, made 
on July 23, 1897, showed that deposits had dwindled to $84,000. When the 
(20) . 


bank suspended, four of its directors, as individuals, negotiated loans with 
the two other banks of Greensburg and paid off the depositors in full. These 
four directors who lost eighty-five per cent, of their capital stock, but who 
felt under obligation to make full and immediate settlements with the insti- 
tution's dospitors were : Nelson Mowrey, William Hamilton, Robert S. 
Meek and Louis Willey. 




The first secret order to establish itself in Greensburg was the Free and 
Accepted Masons. Greensburg Lodge No. 36 was instituted here, May 29, 
1846, by Grand Master Johnson Watts and and Grand Secretary A. W. 
Morris. The first officers were: Israel T. Gibson, worshipful master; Will- 
iam Buchanan, senior warden; W. W. Riley, junior warden; James Blair, 
treasurer; Philip Williams, senior deacon; W. P. Stevens, junior deacon; 
David Gageby, secretary; W. M. Finley, tyler. These, with Thomas E. 
Peters, were the charter members. At the first meeting, held June 6, 1846, 
seven petitions were received, as follows : Philander Hamilton, James M. 
Talbott, Henry H. Talbott, Chatfield Howell, Joseph Robinson, William J. 
Likens, and Marine D. Ross. At the end of the first year there were thirty- 
five members and at the end of 1849 there were seventy-five. 

The following are the names of the brothers who have served as wor- 
shipful master and the years they served: Israel T. Gibson, 1846-54; Jacob 
E. Houser, 1855-57; J- V. Bemusdaffer, 1858; Daniel Stewart, 1859-62; 
John M. Watson. 1861 ; J. J. Menifee, 1863; Col. James Gavin, 1864; Dr. 
William Bracken, 1865-67, 1869, 1871, 1873-77; Dr. John L. Wooden, 
1868; Frank M. Weadon, 1870-72; Frank E. Gavin, 1878-80, 1882,92; J. N. 
Wallingford, 1881-85; Paschal T. Lambert, 1886-87; Joseph Drake, 1893; 
John F. Childs, 1894-95; Frank H. Drake, 1896-97; W. P. Skeen, 1898- 
1900; W. C. Pulse, 1901, 1912-13; C. T. Pleak, 1902-03; Ira Rigby, 1904; 
Dr. E. T. Riley, 1905-06, 1908, 1911 ; William Bussell. 1907; Bruce Bishop, 
1909-10; Locke Bracken, 19 14; Robert W. Pierce, 19 15. 

The present officers are : Robert W. Pierce, worshipful master ; Ji 
C. Barbs, senior warden; T. P. Havens, junior warden; F. B. McCoy, senior 
deacon; George Hillman, junior deacon; D. A. Batterton, secretary; Rob- 
ert C. Woodfill, treasurer: O. P. Creath, tyler; J. C. Crews, E. E. Doles 
and L. D. Braden, trusteees. 


The membership numbers two hundred and forty-five and is growing 
rapidly. The lodge has assets valued at fifteen thousand dollars and con- 
templates building a temple in the near future. 


Concordia Lodge No. 476 was formed in 1873 by members from 
Greensburg Lodge No. 36 and kept up its existence until consolidated with 
the mother lodge, on November 5, 1901. 

The masters of Concordia were as follow: Dr. John L. Wooden, 1873- 
80, 1883,1886; Frank M. Weadon. 1881-82; Dr. J. C. French, 1884; James 
E. Caskey, 1885 ,1894-95; Cortez Ewing, 1887-89; Dr. J. V. Schofield, 1890; 
J. T. Cunningham, 1891 ; Dr. W. H. Wooden, 1892-93; Charles T. Powner, 
1896-97; David A. Myers, 1898': George B. Von Phul, 1899-1901. There 
were about one hundred members in this lodge when it united with No. 36. 


Greensburg Chapter No. 8, Royal Arch Masons, was instituted on May 
23, 1848, by Grand High Priest Abel C. Pepper, assisted by William Hacker, 
king; L T. Gibson, scribe, and J. W. Sullivan, secretary. The first convoca- 
tion was held on July 6, 1848. Charter members were: William Hacker, 
L T. Gibson, J. W. Sullivan, Samuel Reed, J. McElroy, Isaac W. Fugit, D. 
Lindley, J. T. Wilkins and P. Williams. The first petitioners, elected July 
6, 1848, were: Philander Hamilton, Jacob C. Houser, George R. Todd, 
William Hanaway, O. P. Gilham, Samuel Bryant, H. H. Talbott and B. W. 

The designation of the chapter was No. 7 originally, but was changed to 
No. 8 on June 5, [849. The first officers were: Wilham Hacker, high priest; 
I. T. Gibson, king; J. W. Sullivan, scribe; Samuel Reed, captain of post; 
J. McElroy, principal sojourner ; I. W. Fugit, royal arch captain ; D. Lindley, 
master of the first veil; J. T. Wilkinson, master of the second veil; P. Will- 
iams, master of the third veil; Philander Hamilton, secretary; Daniel Stew- 
art, guard ; B. W. Wilson, treasurer. The following companions have served 
as high priest: William Hacker, 1848-49; Jacob E. Houser, 1850-51. 1853; 
Barton W. Wilson. 1852; Daniel Stewart, 1854, 1860-61; L T. Gibson, 
1855-56; J. V. Bemusdafifor, 1857-58, 1865-66; Ira G. Grover. 1859, 1871 ; 
J. J. Monifee, 1862: John L. Wooden, 1867-68, 1870; George L. Curtis, 
1869; Isaac L. Fugit, 1872; Frank M. Weaden, 1873-82; Joseph R. David- 


son, 1883; Alexander Connolly, 1884-86, 1890-91: Paschal T. Lambert, 
1887-88; Frank E. Gavin, 1889; Joseph Drake, 1892, 1894, 1896-97, 1899- 
1902, 1904-05; A. P. Bone, 1895; J. E. Bayless, 1903; William L. Miller, 
1906; E. T. Riley, 1907; C. T. Pleak, 1908; Jesse W. Rucker, 1909; John 
W. Rhodes, 1910-11 ; Hal T. Kitchin, 1912-14; L. D. Braden, 1915. 

The chapter has a membership of eighty-fi^-e and is in a flourishing con- 
dition. Fifteen were added during the first half of 1915. The chapter treas- 
ury has about seven hundred dollars surplus. The present officers of the 
chapter are: L. D. Braden, high priest: T. B. Havens, king; R. W. Pierce, 
scribe; H. T. Kitchin. past scribe; J. H. Christian, captain of host; W. G. 
Bentley, royal arch captain; C. L Ryan, secretary; Robert Woodfill, treasurer; 
J. W. Rhodes, master of the third veil; J. N. Annis, master of the second 
veil; T. E. Day, master of the first veil; O. P. Creath, guard. 


Greensburg Council No. 74, Royal and Select Masters, was instituted 
on August 2Ti, 1902, by John J. Richards, illustrious grand master of the 
grand council, with Jesse W. Rucker, thrice illustrious master; Fred Erd- 
mann, deputy thrice illustrious master ; W. H. ^^'ooden, principal conductor of 

The first convocation was on September i, 1902, when the following 
officers were elected: J. W. Rucker, thrice illustrious master; Fred Erd- 
maim, deputy thrice illustrious master; W. H. Wooden, principal conductor 
of work; J. T. Alexander, treasurer; C. T. Pleak, recorder; C. Al. Woodfill, 
captain of the guard; A. P. Bone, conductor of the council; D. A. Myers, 

These brethren were elected at the first con\-ocation : J. M. Towler, 
James W. Craig, J. N. Graham, J. E. Bayless, S. R. Glenn, J. H. Christian. 

There are fifty-nine members of the council at the present time. Nine 
have been admitted during the first half of 1915. The present officers are 
as follows: J. H. Christian, Jr., thrice illustrious master; R. W. Pierce, 
deputy thrice illustrious master; T. B. Havens, principal conductor of work; 
Robert Woodfill, treasurer; C. I. Ryan, recorder; W. C. Bentley, captain of 
guard; J. W. Rhodes, conductor of the council; S. F. Ridenour, steward; 
J. N. Annis, sentinel. The first thrice illustrious master was Jesse W. 
Rucker. He held the office until 191 1, when the present incumbent, J. H. 
Christian, Jr., was elected. 



It is a matter of pride among Greensburg Masons that there once ex- 
isted here a commandery of Knights Templar. Greensburg Commandery No. 
2 was organized and set to work under a dispensation from Most Eminent 
WilHam R. Hubbard, grand master of the United States, on March 25, 
1 85 1. The charter members were: James Mcllroy, WilHam Hacker, W. F. 
Pidgeon, William Crawford, George Hibben, Jacob E. Houser, M. V. Simin- 
son, John W. Sullivan, Homer T. Hinman, Burriss Moore and John S. Sco- 
bey. A charter was issued on September 19, 1853. The eminent comman- 
ders were: Jacob E. Houser, 1851 to 1856; J. V. Bemusdaffer ■ acted as 
eminent commander between this time and i860, but there is no record of 
his election; Israel T. Gibson, i860. The other officers elected at the last 
election held June 30, i860, were B. W. Wilson, captain general; J. V. Be- 
musdaffer, generalissimo; J. E. Houser, prelate. There is no record of any 
'meetings after i860. Sixty-six members were enrolled during the ten years 
the commandery was in operation. The Civil War called many of the mem- 
bers to the service of their country, causing interest to decline, until the 
following knights petitioned Grand Commander William Hacker to transfer 
the commandery to Shelbyville : Thomas Pattison, William Allen, Jacob 
Vernon, T. H. Lynch, Daniel Stewart, B. W. Wilson, James Gavin, Putnam 
Ewing, J. V. Bemusdaffer, Will Cumback, James Elliott, Robert Cones and 
John Elliott. The commandery was reorganized at Shelbyville on March 
18, 1865, as Baldwin Commandery No. 2. 

Greensburg Commandery was the second formed in Indiana and par- 
ticipated in the first grand commandery at Indianapolis, May 16, 1854. It 
then had thirty- four members: Indianapolis No. i had fifty-three; Lafayette 
No. 3, forty-six, and Fort Wayne No. 4, fifteen. With the prosperous con- 
dition of all branches of the order at the present time, Greensburg Masons 
are looking forward to the no-distant future when they shall have a new 
temple and again have a commandery. 

Among the early members of the craft who contributed to the establish- 
ing of the order here perhaps none wrought so effectivelv as I. T. Gibson, a 
prominent merchant and father of Mrs. Dr. E. B. Swem. Others who ably 
assisted were Jacob E. Houser, H. H. Talbott, J. Monroe Talbott, Samuel 
Bryan, B. W. Wilson, Daniel Stewart, Daniel Moss, J. V. Bemusdafifer, and 
Isaac L. Fugit. It has been said of I. T. Gibson, that he was "the father of 
Masonry in Greensburg," which is in a large measure true. 


One of the most noteworthy events in the early history of Greensburg 
xMasonry was the obser\-ance of St. John's Day, June 24, 1859. It was the 
first elaborate ceremony attempted by the local lodge since its organization. 
\^isitors were present from Brookville, Shelbyville and many other towns in 
the state. 

Hon. Caleb B. Smith, one of the most famous of Indiana's United 
States senators, addressed a large assemblage in the forenoon at the court 
house. At noon several hundred visiting Masons sat down to a sumptuous 
repast in Stockman's ele\'ator near the freight depot. After dinner they 
marched to the Masonic hall, where the formal program was gi\'eR. 

Rev. Joseph Cotton responded to the toast, "This Day We Celebrate." 
"Masonry" was described by I. T. Gibson. Other toasts were as follow: 
"Our Newly Elected Worthy ■Master." Daniel Stewart; "Our \^isiting 
Brethren," Rev. J. Brockway, Hartsville; "Our Bachelor Friends," R. C. 
Talbott and I. G. Grover. 

Another point of interest in connection with the local Masonic lodge is 
the fact that it is the only lodge in the world which has ever elected and 
initiated a negro. The lodge has recei\'ed one large bequest, Aaron Howard 
leaving it three thousand dollars at the time of his death. 


Milford Lodge No. 94, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized on 
]\Iay 28, 1850, with the following officers and charter members: Isaac 
Fugate, worshipful master; Samuel Todd, senior warden; John King, junior 
warden; Jacob Miller, James Mandlove, Henry B. Smally, Albert G. Hanks, 
William Sefton and Stamper Perry. The lodge now has ninety-seven mem- 
bers and during its existence has initiated more than three hundred candi- 

The lodge owns its own hall, which is \-alued at two thousand dol- 
lars, and meets regularly. Its present officers are : Sherley Wasson, wor- 
shipful master; Charles Worland, senior warden; Lincoln Vandiver, junior 
warden; J. M. Luther, treasurer; Dal Neibert, secretary; Clarence Worland, 
senior deacon; Wallace Champ, junior deacon, and Nelson Henderson, tyler. 


Inquiry has not discovered the date of the founding of the Clarks- 
burg lodge or any of the early history pertaining to this chapter. The pres- 


ent beautiful brick building in which the lodge meetings are held is the prop- 
erty of this chapter. This lodge has a membership at present of fifty. The 
present officers are as follows: Birney E. Hite, worshipful master; Ora A. 
Hite, senior warden; Clifford A. Martz, junior warden; D. F. Hite, secretary; 
James B. Clark, treasurer; George F. Rogers, tyler ; II. C. Doles, senior 
deacon; Lon H. Kerrick, junior deacon; W. E. Thomas and P. E. Clark, 
stewards; Homer M. Campbell, chaplain. 


Westport Lodge No. 52 was organized in 1852, but the charter for the 
installation of this lodge was not granted until the following year. In i860 
the lodge suffered the loss of their hall by fire and the early records w-ere de- 
stroyed. This makes it impossible to give the early history of the lodge in 
a complete and concise form. James McKelvey was the first candidate taken 
into this lodge after it was organized. Dr. William House is the oldest 
living member of this lodge, in which he has been active for fifty years. 
The following is a partial list of the charter members: Christopher Stott, 
Noah Reynolds, Dr. Pottinger, W. T. Reynolds, Robert Armstrong and 
Hiram Bruce. 

The present building, which is valued at two thousand dollars, is the 
property of this lodge. The present membership totals one hundred and 
twenty-four. The officers who are serving the lodge at present are as fol- 
low : W. W. Ricketts, worshipful master ; Clay demons, senior warden ; 
Carl Keith, junior warden; Ray D. Patrick, senior deacon; Harry Tucker, 
junior deacon; James Rainey, tyler; Glen Gartin, secretary; H. V. Cox, 


New Point Lodge No. 255, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized 
on May 29, i860. The records of this lodge fail to give the names of the 
charter members. The first officers were : Joel Pennington, worshipful mas- 
ter; Edward Paremore, senior warden; Ezekiel R. Cook, junior warden. 
The present membership numbers forty-five. The lodge building was erected 
in 1861 at a cost of one thousand dollars, and is a very substantial brick 
structure. The present officers are Edbert Starks, worshipful master; Dr. 
Harley McKee, senior warden; William Haas, junior warden. 



Adams Lodge Xo. 269, located at Adams, was organized in the year 
1856, with \V. \\\ Riley as worshipful master. Hiram C. Whitlow and John 
G. Guthrie were the two first master Masons of this lodge. This lodge sur- 
rendered its charter in 1877. 


The Alert Lodge No. 395 was organized on May 25, 1869, with the 
following members serving the lodge as the first officers : William T. Strict- 
land, worshipful master; Agnus J. McCloud, senior warden; James S. Ban- 
nister, junior warden. The following were also among the list of charter 
members: Jere Gant, John B. Seal, Frank Seal, Samuel Thomas, Louis 
Gant, Mulford Baird, William Keeley and A. B. Mims. This lodge is in 
a prosperous condition and owns its own quarters, which are valued at one 
thousand five hundred dollars. The present officers are : Clifford N. Fulton, 
worshipful master; Ray Fulton, senior warden: Cliff^ord Carter, junior war- 
den; J. Otis Beesley, treasurer; John C. Arnold, secretary; Ray Irwin, sen- 
ior deacon; George B. Blazer, junior deacon; John W. Hamilton, tyler; Ray 
Bannister and William Starks, stewards; Thomas Norton, John W. Spears 
and Smith S. Thompson, trustees. 


The Order of the Eastern Star was organized for tht purpose of creat- 
ing a social tie between Masons and their families and to give to the fra- 
ternity a helpmate in the beneficent work of the order in caring for widows 
and orphans and to assist in all deeds of mercy and love. Master Masons 
in good standing, their wives, daughters, mothers, widows and sisters who 
have attained the age of eighteen years are eligible to membership in this 

Lois Chapter No. 147 was instituted at Greensburg, February 15, 1894, 
by Past Grand Patron Martin H. Rice, of Indianapolis, with thirty charter 
members. The first officers were : Worthy matron, Mae Childs ; worthy 
patron, Frank H. Drake ; associate matron, Rena J. Gilchrist ; secretary, Eliza 
H. Lambert; treasurer, Ella Childs; conductress, Eliza J. Crisler; associate 
conductress, Margaret Schultz : chaplain, John W. Drake : Adah, Carrie 
Meek; Ruth, Isabella F. Stout; Esther, Louisa ]\I. Bone; Martha, Louisa 


Upjohn; Electa, Henrietta Bryan; warder. Patsy J. St. John; sentinel, A. H. 
Christian. ' 

The office of worthy matron has since been filled by Eliza J. Crisler, 
Ella M. Stout, Missouri Moberly, Esther Lockwood, Margaret Rigby, Liz- 
zie Styers, Lizzie Nordmeyer, Margaret Glenn, Ella Kirkpatrick, Jennie 
Shirk, Rena J. Gilchrist, Elizabeth Ehrhardt, Emma Creath and Ella M. 
Forkner. The office of worthy patron has since been filled by James C. 
Pulse, J. F. Childs, William P. Skeen, Coleman T. Pleak, Ira G. Rigby, Tay- 
lor E. Meek, George B. Von Phul, W. F. Gilchrist, Herschel Smiley, Owen 
Steadman, Bruce Bishop, Dr. E. T. Riley and Will Ehrhardt. Nannie L. 
Kofoid and Will Ehrhardt are the present (1915) holders, respectively, of 
these stations, with Candace Shepherd, associate matron; Eliza J. Crisler, 
secretary; Anna P. Mowrer, treasurer; Elizabeth Ehrhardt, conductress; 
Louise Crews, associate conductress; Margaret Glenn, chaplain; Sallie House, 
marshal; Clara Hamilton, pianist; Carrie Meek, Adah; Jessie Skeen, Ruth; 
Jennie Ainsworth, Esther; Elizabeth Bennett, Martha; Alfaretta Havens, 

Electa; Lizzie McConnell White, warder, and Oliver P. Creath, sentinel. 
The membership now numbers one hundred and twenty-four; fifty-three 
have been lost by death and sixty-eight by dimit and suspension. 

The crowning feature of the work of the order in Indiana at present 
is the building of the Eastern Star and Masonic Home at Franklin. It was 
through the persistent efforts of the Eastern Star that this was made pos- 
sible. Two hundred and fifteen acres of land have been purchased near 
Franklin, on which the buildings will be erected. The cornerstone is to be 
laid in May, 1916. In this home, unfortunate Masons, their wives, widows 
and children may find a safe and pleasant retreat, surrounded with the com- 
forts and conveniences of a home in every sense of the word. The children 
will be carefully trained, educated, well clothed and fed, thus symbolizing 
charity, truth and loving kindness. 



On August 24, 1886. Greensburg Lodge No. 148, Knights of Pythias, 
was organized Ijv Grand Chancellor Charles E. Shively, assisted by W. L. 
Heiskel, John H. Russe. Frank Bowers and other grand lodge officers. The 
, P)'thian "goat" \\as hard at work by three o'clock on that memorable after- 
noon, initiating thirty-two charter members, who were as follows : Past 
Chancellor, J. W. McRoberts; Chancellor Commander, Marine D. Tackett: 
Vice-Chancellor, ]\Iax IMergenheim; Prelate, J. Loraine Wright; Keeper of 
Records and Seal, P. H. Aloulton; ]\Iaster of Exchequer, J. T. Cunningham; 
^Master of Finance, S. F. Rogers; Inside Guard, Will Cumback, Jr.; Outside 
Guard, F. M. Bryan; D. A. Myers, C. C. Lowe, J. D. White, W. L Johnson, 
C. S. Williams, T. J. [Nlagee, W. H. Buckley, A. B. Armington, C. M. 
Thomas, W. O. Elder, George L. Roberts, A. ]\[. Elkins, C. E. Schobey, 
John O. [Marshall, Charles F. Belser, D. L. Scobey, William A. Johnson, 
Phil Weymer, Henry Black, A. M. Willoughby, J. E. McKim, I<>ank Eu- 

It was a hot day when Greensburg Lodge was instituted, and ever since 
its birth its members have been a warm, live set of fellows. This lodge nas 
always been progressive and now has over four hundred and sixty members. 
The business affairs of the lodge have been based upon a firm footing from 
the very inception of the organization. The officers who have been in charge 
of the business affairs have at all times as jealously guarded the interests of 
this fraternity of Pythionism as they would their own homes. The best busi- 
ness transaction was made in June, 189 1, when Frank Robinson, Ezra Guth- 
rie and George L. Roberts, then trustees, purchased the old Falconbury block 
and vacant lot adjoining. During the autumn of 1898 the trustees, Charles 
S. Williams, J. P. Thomson and Oscar G. Miller, let the contract to Ed 
Dille for the present useful and up-to-date business building and lodge room, 
occupying the ground just south of the new Y. M. C. A. building on 
North Broadway. This fine Pythian building is now the home and resort of 
all loyal hearted Knights. Beautiful club rooms are also maintained, for 
the pleasure and recreation of members of the K. of P. Club. 

Almost seven years ago this lodge had the pleasure of being the means 
of providing a beautiful opera house for the city of Greensburg. This opera 
house is the pride of every Knight and is highly appreciated by all citizens 
of the city and county. Besides expending almost fifty thousand dollars 
for these buildings, ecjuipment and furnishings, the lodge has been at all 


times liberal and beneficent, performing many deeds of charity and benevo- 
lence, which were an outgrowth of the sentiments inculcated in the minds and 
hearts of the members by the teaching of Pythian principles. It has paid 
out in benefits and benevolent contributions since its organization over thirty 
thousand dollars. 

Greensburg Lodge has also been high in the councils of the grand lodge 
of Indiana, having at this time two grand lodge officers, Brothers John W. 
Craig and Arthur J. Lowe, who is at present a member of the supreme 
lodge of the United States and Canada. 

The present officers of Greensburg Lodge are : Past chancellor, E. E. 
Hite; chancellor commander, Ben Havens; vice-chancellor: Ira M. Ainsworth; 
prelate, Charles Howe: keeper of records and seal, Charles H. Dowden; 
master of exchecpier, Robert McKay; master of finance, E. A. Rankin; 
master-at-arms, Stanton Guthrie; inside guard, Rollin A. Turner; outside 
guard, Frank Osting; trustees, Oscar G. Miller, Bert Alorgan and David 

The cardinal principles of this lodge are founded upon the exercise of 
friendship, charity and benevolence. Nothing of a sectarian or political 
character is permitted within its sacred precincts. Tolerance in religions, obe- 
dience to law and loyalty to government are fully emphasized. The Pythian 
order teaches its members to exercise charity toward offenders; to construe 
words and deeds in their least unfavorable light; grant honesty of purpose 
and good intentions to others and bring back any thoughtless or wayward 
Knight who has forgotten the Pythian teachings given in the castle hall. 


Letts Corner Lodge No. 375, Knights of Pythias, was in-stituted on 
April 13, 1892. It owns a lodge building, valued at five thousand dollars 
and is in a flourishing condition, both financially and numerically. The first 
officials of this lodge were: W. A. Taggart, past chancellor; H. H. King, 
chancellor commander; H. H. Boyd, vice-chancellor; J. H. Stout, prelate; 
John G. Evans, master of exchequer; G. W. Fraley, master of finance; K. L, 
Adams, keeper of records and seal ; Silas Sweeney, master-at-arms ; A. J. 
Adams, inside guard, and J. D. E. Elliott, outside guard. Other charter 
members of the organization were O. S. Mitchell, VV. T. Morgan, W. F. 
Keisling, Edgar Whipple, P. M. Johnson, Edgar Samuels, C. J. Armstrong, 
M. S. Parker, John A. Jackson, Charles Stout, W. L. Evans, U. S. Parker, 
William Jordan, Albert Jordan, John Hill, George Gardner, C. J. Red, 


Urso -McCorkle, J. L. Davis, 11. M. ^litchell, George Hodson, W, S. 
Whipple, J. W. Crise and John Armstrong. 

der; Oda Fear, vice-chancellor: Grover Williams, prelate; \Valter Jackson, 
master-at-work ; W. G. Fraley. keeper of records and seal; E. H. Jackson, 
master of finance ; Urso Bentley, master-at-arms ; Ora Thurston, inside guard ; 
Morris Tudor, outside guard, and John A. Jackson, John L. Davis and Harry 
Black, trustees. Sardinia Lodge Xo. 146 is an auxiliary of this organiza- 


St. Paul Lodge No. 368, Ivnights of Pythias, was organized at St. 
Paul on August 29, 1892. The charter was granted on June 7, 1893. The 
charter members were, J. C. Leech, G. T. Lefiler, B. F. Trader, S. T. Hutson, 
H. C. Roberts, T. A. Kelley, F. H. Goff, E. L. Severs, W. J. Martin, E. W. 
Noah, Charles Allison, William Bush, W. A. Reed, O. A. Seward, J. L. 
Shelhorn, R. Hendrickson, J. A. Gofif, L. E. Dixon, J. R. Kanouse, L. E. 
Lines, G. F. Bailey, C. M. Barnes, J. W. Jenkins, C. C. Fisher, F. M. Allison, 
F. P. Walton, F. AI. Howard, Daniel Apple, Harry Hayes, J. ]\I. Shortridge, 
J. P. Garrett, J. F. Strickford, John Doggett and Conrad Minger. The 
first officers were, past chancellor, L. E. Dixon ; chancellor commander, J. W. 
Jenkins; vice-chancellor, F. P. Walton; prelate, C. C. Fisher; master of 
exchequer, R. Hendrickson; master of finance, J. M. Shortridge; keeper of 
records and seal, L. E. Lines; master-at-arms, O. A. Seward; inner guard, 
J. E. Walton; outer guard, Frank Goff ; and C. M. Barnes, James Goff and 
James Severs, trustees. 

The present membership consists of twent}' past chancellors and si.xty- 
two Ivnights. 

The present officers are: Chancellor commander, Joseph Stotsenburg; 
vice-chancellor, ]\Ianley Corwein ; prelate, George \V. Boling; master-at- 
work, E. H. Crosby: keeper of records and seal, J. T. Cu.skaden; master 
of finance, Orla Cuskaden; master of exchequer, J. B. INIcKee; master-at- 
arms, \\'. J. Alartin; inner guard, G. T. Leffler; outer guard, Jacob Johannes; 
trustees are W. J. Martin, D. J. Ballard and Jacob Johannes. 

The lodge property consists of a three-story brick building, constructed 
in 1903, at a cost of about five thousand dollars. Property and improve- 
ments are estimated to be worth at least eight thousand dollars. 

The building is a monument to the enterprise of the Knights of Pythias 
in the town of St. Paul, and the rentals are a source of income which is quite 


a bolster to the finances of the lodge at this critical time, the lodge having 
considerable sickness among its members. 

The lodge is now taking on new life, after a long period of laxity, and 
bids fair to regain the place that it once held, as being one of the live lodges 
of the state. 


Burney Lodge No. 341, Knights of Pythias, was organized, June 8, 
1892, with the following charter members: Edwin Jackson, Morgan Miers, 
Ira Lewis, E. E. Mouse, O. B. Trimble, William G. Miner, John G. Gartin, 
Levi M. Craig, John E. Miller, Charles T. Powner, T. T. Howell, James 
M. Hiner, William A. Gartin, John W. Burney, G. S. Crawford, Harve 
Pumphrey, John Johnson, Felix Garten, G. W. Wiley, Charles Braden, John 
Hunter, G. W. Miner, Ed Stewart, Frank House, Francis Pumphrey, James 
Pumphrey, Julius Benson, Francis Galbraith, G. M. Miner, Jr., Hershell 
Miers and Ira Ballard. Charles L. Powner, past chancellor, installed this 
lodge. The first officers were L. T. Howell, chancellor commander; Morgan 
L. Miers, vice-chancellor; James Hiner, prelate; F. L. Galbraith, master of 
exchequer; Ed Jackson, master of finance; W. E. Arnold, keeper of records 
and seal; Frank House, master-at-arms; William Carton, inner guard; G. M. 
Miner, outer guard ; J. W. Burney, O. W. Trimble and Charles T. Powner, 
trustees ; Charles T. Powner representative. The present building was erected 
in 1895 ^^'^^^ the membership has almost reached the hundred mark. 

The present officers are as follows : Freman Sasser, chancellor com- 
mander; W. W. Barnes, vice-chancellor; Samuel Lawson, prelate; Carl Pavy, 
master-at-work ; J. H. Dean, keeper of records and seal; James Galbraith, 
master of finance; E. A. Porter, master of exchequer; Bert Oliphant, master- 
at-arms; Emzee Elder, inner guard; Herbert Stribling, outer guard; Floyd 
Miner, host ; C. W. Pumphrey, Edward Jackson and Ira Carmen, trustees. 

This lodge has an auxiliary in the Rathbone Sisters, which was organ- 
ized on October 3, 1900. This chapter bears the local name of Triangle 
Temple No. 232. 


Westport Lodge No. 317, Knights of Pythias, was organized, May 8, 
1891, with the following charter members: James M. Burke, William Hause, 
J. N. Keith, L. E. McCoy, E. G. Davis, J. T. McCullough, M. D. Harding, 
T. M. Durpree, S. R. Ames, J. E. Davis, William Martin, H. I. Fueston, S. C. 
Knarr, W. G. Updike, S. C. Scripture, T. Strout, T. E. F. Miller, W. R. 


Barnes, G. T. Alexander, William F. King, Silas Sweeny, E. G. Ratlley, 
B. B. Rogers. The first officers were as follows: James M. Burk, past 
chancellor; William Hause, chancellor commander; J. N. Keith, vice-chan- 
cellor; L. E. McCoy, prelate; E. G. Davis, master of exchequer; J. T. 
McCullough, master of finance; j\l. G. Harding, keeper of records and seal; 
T. M. Dupree, master-at-arms; S. R. .\dams, inner guard; J. E. Davis, 
outer guard. 

The building which this lodge occupies at present is the property of the 
lodge and is valued at seven thousand dollars. The present officers are, 
George C. Nicholson, chancellor commander; J- M. Tucker, vice-chancellor; 
Edward Whalen, prelate ; Walter Watterman, master-at-work ; A. Boicourt, 
keeper of records and seal; E. L. Shaw, master of finance; M. D. Harding, 
master of exchequer ; Wea\-er Elliott, master-at-arms ; J. E. Da\'is, inner 
guard; James H. Keith, outer guard. 

Miriam Temple No. 246. P3'thian Sisters, was organized on October 2, 
1901, as an au.xiliary of the Westport lodge. 


Newpoint L6dge No. 656, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized on January 22, i8go. The following men a])plied to the Greens- 
burg lodge for a chapter to be installed at Newpoint : William L. Has- 
brouck, William Cheek, Jet Boyd, A. E. Dorsey, Richard Christain and 
James Borden. The lodge was instituted on April 16, 1890, by E. S. Porter, 
who was appointed by the grand master to install this chapter. 

The charter members were as follow : Leander Starks, John L. Hilliard, 
George Hollinsbee, L. C. Jackson, John Dryer, Charles Marlin, H. P. Dan- 
forth, L. W. D. German, Benjamin Ketcham, John W. Snedeker, George 
W. Foster, James E. Butler, and Herman Green. The following members 
served the lodge as the first officers : L. C. Jackson, noble grand ; Leander 
Starks, vice-grand; Charles Marlin, recording secretary; George Hollinsbee, 
permanent secretary ; John L. Hilliard, treasurer. 

The lodge purchased its present quarters for the consideration of 
one thousand dollars and has made improvements since that time. A piano 
was purchased in 1910. This lodge is in a prosperous condition and at 
present has eighty-five members enrolled. Benefits of four dollars per week 
are paid the sick members, and the resources at present amount to one thou- 
sand four hundred and eighty-five dollars and twenty-four cents. 

The present officers are: Lewis Bare, noble grand; Frank Walker, 


vice-grand; R. F. Carr, recording secretary; F. M. Thackery, permanent 
secretary; Ora Cheek, treasurer. 


Lodge No. 523, Daughters of Rebekah, which locally is known 
as \Vhite Dove lodge, was instituted on August 31, 1896. This is an aux- 
iliary of Newpoint lodge. The following were charter members of W'hite 
Dove lodge: John H. Milliard, Ora Cheek, John Al. Green, Ilattie Marlin, 
Ollie Alinning, Minnie Snedeker and Mrytle Jerman. ■ 


Sandusky Lodge No. 856, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organ- 
ized on May 21, 1908, with the following charter members: John L. demons, 
Louis Ruddell, Lafayette Bowman, Benjamin T. Riley, Llewellyn Fleetwood, 
William H. Scott, Harvey Townsend, William Maple, Otis Nation, George 
Smith, Albert Bowman and M^esley Bennett. The first officers were : Benjamin 
T. Riley, noble grand; J. W. Bennett, vice-grand; Otis Nation, secretary; 
Louis Ruddell, treasurer. The lodge has had a prosperous growth and at 
present numbers sixty-five members. The present officers are : Frank 
Maple, noble grand; Llewellyn Fleetwood, vice-grand; Ed Ricketts. record- 
ing secretary; John W. Patterson, corresponding secretary; Orville Gar- 
rett, treasurer. 


Decatur Lodge No. 103, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, jour- 
neyed down to Milford on June 6, 1876, and assisted in organizing Cen- 
tenary Lodge No. 535. W. D. Dailey, district deputy noble grand, had 
charge of the ceremonies. The following charter members were present : 
A. P. Bennett, Frank Getzendanner, Leonard Worcester, S. L. Jackson and 
E. S. Porter. The latter presided as noble grand ; L. Worcester, vice-grand ; 
Z. T. Boicourt, treasurer; J. K. Ewing, secretary; Frank Getzendanner. 
conductor; G. W. Richey, warden; Sylvester Kendall, inner guard; Adam 
Stegmaier, outer guard. Thirteen applications for membership were favor- 
ably acted upon. No. 103 presented the new lodge with paraphernalia 
and the following new officers were elected: W. T. Jackson, noble grand; 
John Braden, vice-grand; Dr. J. H. Alexander, secretary; James Braden, 


The lodge suffered the loss of its rooms on April 24, 1877. The 
present building was completed in 1856 and the lodge hall, which is located 
in the second story, was purchased by the lodge in 1877 for Ihe considera- 
tion of six hundred dollars. The present membership numljers eighty-five. 
Benefits and resources amount to two thousand four hundred and eighty- 
seven dollars and five cents. The present officers of the lodge are as fol- 
low : Wallace Champ, noble grand ; William Oliphant, vice-grand ; Elmer 
Swift, secretary; Charles Braden, treasurer: O. B. Trimble, Marion Lane 
and James Conk, trustees. 


Adams Lodge Xo. 790, Independent Order of Odd b'ellows, was 
installed on November 13, 1902. Its first officers were: J. R. Turner, 
noble grand : I. C. Glass, vice-grand : ^Vebster Rhoads, treasurer : J. X. 
Cushman, financial secretary, and Walter Cory, secretary. Other charter 
members were : J. D. Walker, C. E. Shields, David Longstreet, M. M. Coy. 
J. A. Ford, R. G. Kirb}', James Gay, ^^'illiam Van Ausdall, J. A. Shep- 
hard, j\I. R. Turner, T. R. Da\'is and A. G. Christ. 

Fire completely destroyed the lodge building on X^ovember i, 1906, 
but a new hall was immediately erected and the lodge continues to make 
steady progress. Its present officers are : Roy Darby, noble grand ; Ed. 
Shaner, vice-grand: John Inman, secretary; Merritt Webb, financial secre- 
tary, and Walter Rhoades, treasurer. The lodge hall is \-alued at three 
thousand five hundred dollars. 


Clarksburg Lodge Xo. 559 was organized on May 23, 1878, and has 
a very strong membership." Its first officers and other charter members 
were: A. A. Chenoweth, noble grand; A. S. Creath, vice-grand; G. T. Bell, 
secretary; J. A. Miller, treasurer; W. D. McCracken, warden; W. W. 
Ewick, outer guard. It was organized by A. P. Bennett, Samuel J. Jackson, 
F. Getzendanner, Leonard Worcester, Joel W. Stites and A. Stegmaier, of 
Greensburg. The lodge owns a .sul:)Stantial building which cost more than five 
thousand dollars to erect. 



Westport Lodge Xo. 68 1 was installed on August 27, 1891, with the 
following officers and charter members: Thomas Bemish, noble grand; 
P. M. Rhodes, vice-grand; W. R. Tucker, secretary; S. C. Cann, financial 
secretary; G. D. Little, treasurer; Thomas Bemish, Morris W. Brewer, 
E. K. Hause and O. M. Taylor. The lodge owns its own building, which 
cost five thousand five hundred dollars to erect. Its present officers are : 
P. F. Owens, noble grand ; M. G. Stewart, vice-grand ; Carl Davis, secre- 
tary; J. \V. Holcomb, financial secretary, and George C. Nicholson, treas- 
urer. Westport lodge has one hundred and forty- four members. 

Shiloh Lodge No. 560, Daughters of Rebekah, is an au.xiliary of West- 
port lodge. This organization was effected on January 18, 1898, by the 
following women : Annie Nicely, Mrs. George Wheelwright, Sarah Owens, 
Mollie Keith and ^Nlarj' Sample. 


Covenant Lodge No. 163, Lidependent Order of Odd Fellows, at St. 
Paul, was organized on July 11, 1855. The following comprise the list 
of charter members: Stephen Ridlen, Jonathan Kurr, George Reede, \\'ill- 
iam Reede, Thomas Reede, Squire Van Kelt, Michael Halloren, Elisha H. 
Crosby, Milton Corwin, Charles J. Smith, Samuel McKee and William C. 

The Odd Fellows' building was completely destroyed by fire and all the 
early records were destroyed, therefore it is impossible to ascertain the names 
of the first officers. The lodge owns a two-story brick building, erected 
in 1879, with two business rooms on the first floor. It also owns a three- 
story brick building, which has three stores on the first floor, while the 
other two stories are occupied by the lodge. Total \-alue of the lodge prop- 
erty is eight thousand six hundred forty-one dollars and fifty-five cents. 
The present membership numbers ninety. The present officers are : Warren 
Brook, noble grand; Thomas Wolverton, vice-grand; H. F. Prill, recording 
secretary ; J. B. McKee, financial secretary ; Fred Metzler, treasurer. 


Westport Camp No. 14S7, Modern Woodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on December i, 1909, with the following officers: C. D. Owens, ven- 


erable consul; J. O. Ketcham, worthy adviser; E. I. Boicourt, banker; A. S. 
Boicourt, clerk; C. A. Stott, escort; George Fultz and W. H. Keith, sen- 
tries. The following men were also numbered among the list of charter 
members: H. E. Clark, H. M. Crowder, J. A. Elliott, Omer Givan, J. W. 
E\-ans, J. C. Hill, William Landis, John Morgan, W. T. Stott and J. C. 

The present membership numl)ers fort}', with the following officers 
serving the camp at the present time : E. L. Shaw, \enerable consul ; G. C. 
Nicholson, worthy adviser; E. R. Boicourt, banker; A. S. Boicourt, clerk; 
W. \\'. Ricketts, escort; D. T. Surface, watchman; A. O. Taylor, sentry. 


Xewpoint Camp Xo. 9840, ]\Iodern Woodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on May 21, 1910. This camp was instituted by the Greensburg and 
Batesville degree teams and thirty-one members were initiated the first night, 
while three were added by transfer from other lodges at the time of the 
installation of the camp. S. G. Fitch served as head deputy for initiation. 
The following men were enrolled the first night : J. C. Barbe, John Brade- 
water, R. F. Carr, J. C. Colson, C. R. Dowden, Walter Harding, A. E. 
Huber, C. C. Barnard, U. G. Brown, John H. Castor, William J. Colson, 
Holman Glidewell, B. A. Hilliard, Ira jNIartin, Chris. F. JMyer, George M. 
Neimeyer, Charles Risinger, Howard F. Starks, William H. Swegman. 
Curtis H. Walker, John L. Wiecher, Harold J. Wolf, Willis R. Wolf, 
W. R. Castor, John Hart, George Price, Waid Williams, Charles Meyer, 
O. P. Grove, A. L. Shazer, Harley McKee, J. E. Starks, William C. Parmer 
and \\ H. Minning. 

The first officers were as follow : A. T. Shazer, venerable consul ; 
George Neimeyer, worthy adviser; J. C. Barb, b?nker; R. F. Carr, clerk; 
A. E. Huber, escort; John Hart, watchman; C. C. Barnard, sentry; 
Harley S. McKee, physician. The present officers are as follow : Charles 
Reisinger, venerable consul; Charles Meyer, worthy adviser; William Col- 
son, banker; B. A. Hilliard, clerk; Glenn Gibberson, escort; William Gentry, 
watchman. The present membership is twenty-eight. The insurance of the 
members in 191 5 totaled thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars. 


Lone Tree Camp No. 7253. Modern W^oodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on November 24, 1899, with the following charter members: W. H. 


Black, W. R. Brazelton, Charles Clemens, C. M. Carter, E. E. Davis, J. B. 
DeArmond, Elmer Saunders, O. M. Elder, I. F. Springer, B. S. White, 
W. H. Hoffmeister, M. G. Harley, W. E. Jameson, Len Marsh, George 
Montgomery and H. F. Pottenger. The first officers were as follow : John 
W. Holcomb, venerable consul; Elmer Saunders, worthy adviser; J. B. 
DeArmond, banker; W. R. Brazelton, clerk. 

Several years previous to this a camp of the Modern Woodmen had 
been installed in Greensburg, but this camp never experienced a great growth 
and about the year 1898 was moved to Shelby ville. The present camp has 
had a flourishing existence, with a total membership at present of one hun- 
dred and eighty. The insurance at this time amounts to two hundred and 
seventy-five thousand dollars. The lodge has suffered the loss of sixteen 
brothers, with insurance paid out amounting to twenty-four thousand dol- 
lars. The officers at present are : John H. Tresler, venerable consul ; Roy 
Styers, worthy adviser; M. S. Wamsley, banker; Will Ehrhardt, clerk. 

Omemee Tribe No. 394, Improved Order of Red Men, at Westport, was 
organized on August 27, 1904, with the following charter members: George 
Hollensbe, James Coupa, William Eddy, Dave Clark, E. H. Hensley, D. F. 
Surface, S. C. Knarr, Jacob Hensley, Joseph Stuart, John Eraser, Edgar 
Logan, Ruben Hensley, Frank Bowers, J. M. Wynn, David Bowers, J. L. 
Biddinger, William Seasme, Oliver Seasme, Grover Bowers, Isaac Earhart, 
James Fulton, Matthew Frazer, Lewis Bowers, William H. Biddinger, Albert 
Lawrence, Charles Atkins, Sanford Layton, Carl E. Stone, Clite Seasme, 
Clarence Stewart, J. E. Lawrence, S. H. Biddinger. 

The first officers were as follow : Isaac Earhart, senior sagamore ; J. M. 
Hynn, junior sagamore; J. E. Lawrence, keeper of wampum; George Hol- 
lensbe, sachem; C. A. Stewart, prophet; S. H. Biddinger, chief of records. 

The tribe at present owns property valued at one thousand one hundred 
dollars. Three dollars per week are paid out for sick benefits. The present 
membership numbers eighty-four. The present officers are Joseph Childers, 
senior sagamore; Harry Tucker, junior sagamore; Ira T. Colson, sachem; 
Wesley Idlewine, keeper of wampum; Curtis Goble, chief of records; E. H. 
Dusenberger, prophet. 



Yonah Tribe Xo. 470, Improved Order of Red Men, was organized on 
April 20, 1908, at Clarksburg. The charter members who assisted in the 
organization of this tribe were as follow : W. C. Buell, D. H. Bently, 
E. A. Lewis, W. A. Dorsey, F. Morgan, I. M. Linville, A. .M. Hite, B. E. 
Farthing, C. L. Brown, William Ray, W. E. Tingle, R. Linville, H. Ter- 
hune, Ed. Lanpri, R. C. Ray, C. M. Morgan, P. Campie, G. E. ^larford, 
C. Carrell, L. Lewis, M. Ray, S. F. Bentley, S. L. Dobbyns, C. E. Freeland, 
R. Parker, C. Humphry, I. Humphry, William Winker and F. Springmire. 
The present membership numbers forty-eight. The benefits for this lodge 
are placed at four dollars per week. The value of the present quarters is 
placed at five hundred dollars. 

The present ofiicers are D. C. Demaree, sachem; J. C. Deiwert. senior 
sagamore; E. E. Whiten, junior sagamore; D. D. Morgan, chief of records; 

C. E. Freeland, keeper of wampum; C. E. Freeland, prophet. 


Greensburg Lodge No. 475, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, 
was organized on April 26, 1899, with thirty-one charter members. The 
first exalted ruler was S. P. Minear. -Others who have held this position 
since the installation of the lodge are : Charles Zoller, J. Van Woodfill, 
William C. Pulse, Web Woodfill, Fred L. Thomas, Hugh D. Wickens, Charles 
H. Ewing, Hal T. Kitchin, Will H. Lanham, Robert C. Woodfill. Charles H. 
Dalmbert, John W. Craig, Frank Hamilton, Robert E. AIcKay and R. A. 

Since its installation the lodge has grown to a membership of one hun- 
dred and fifty-four and is now considered the leading social organization 
of the city. It is composed of representative business and professional men 
of Greensburg, occupies a fine suite of apartments on the north side of the 
sfjuare and is ever ready and willing to undertake acts of charity and kind- 
ness which have rendered the order distinct in all places where it has a lodge. 

Present ofiicers of the order are: E. E. Hite, exalted ruler; A. E. 
Lemmon, esteemed leading knight; J. C. Hornung. esteemed loyal knight; 
James H. Lanham, esteemed lecturing knight; Hal T. Kitchin, secretary; 

D. A. Batterton, treasurer ; Herbert Hunter, esquire ; Will C. Monf ort, chap- 
lain; Ira Miller, inner guard, and John Crooks, tyler. Trustees are Harry 
Emmert, J. F. Russell and Loren L. Doles. 



Pequonnock Tribe No. 185, Improved Order of Red Men, was organ- 
ized on May 15, 1894, with the following charter members: John F. Childs, 
A. P. Bone, W. L. Bennett, William H. Rybolt, George S. Dickey, William 
Bruner, George Kesling, William Weathers, J. B. Conover, W. A. Lawson, 
T. J. Powell, Dan Styers, R. F. Thomas, Branson Beeson, John Riley, Smith 
Riley, George Beeson, Perry Robbins, William A. Brooks, John Abbott, 
A. L. Dickey, William Fulks, Brack Chance, J. R. Patton, Dr. L. W. D. 
Jerman, Taylor F. Meek, J. W. Roberts, Charles Reed, John I. Rodman, 
Frank Pickett, P. I. Clark, O. H. Rybolt, Harry Reniger, R. H. Look, D. 
~E. Biddinger, J. W. Fletcher, Joseph Reingar, Charles Phillips, Cyrus Wat- 
ers, E. A. Cavett, Charles S. Short. 

The first officers were : John F. Childs, sachem ; W. L. Bennett, senior 
sagamore; J. W. Roberts, junior sagamore; A. L. Dickey, keeper of records; 
T. J. Powell, keeper of wampum; G. O. Barnard, conductor of work; R. F. 
Thomas, Branson Beeson and Frank Smith, trustees. The present beautiful 
building is the property of the lodge and is valued at eighteen thousand 

The present membership of the lodge numbers two hundred and ninety. 
The present officers are : John King, sachem ; N. S. Doles, senior saga- 
more ; Frank Murdock, junior sagamore ; Joe Renigar, prophet ; William 
Snell, keeper of records ; G. O. Barnard, conductor of work ; J. L. Luchte, 
keeper of wampum ; Charles A. Dowdle, Link Beeson and W. S. Harvey, 


Pequonnock Council No. iii. Degree of Pocahontas, is an auxiliary of 
the Red Men's tribe of Greensburg. The charter for this order was granted 
on October 20, 1898. The meetings are held in the Red Men's hall. The 
membership at present includes seventy persons. The ofificers serving the 
lodge at this time are : Sarah Robbins, Pocahontas ; Mary Robbins, Weno- 
nah; James B. Towler, Powhatan; Jacia Pool, prophet; Lottie Dowdle, 
keeper of records; Lydia McMillan, keeper of wampum. 


Pequonnock Haymakers' Association No. 185 J4 was chartered on May 
15, 1895. The meetings are held on Wednesday evenings in the Red Men's 


hall. The membership at present totals one hundred and five. The present 
officers are: Dola Robbins, chief ha}-maker; Frank ]\Iurdock, assistant chief 
haymaker; Arthur Murdock, overseer; Dallas Land, past chief haymaker; 
William M. Snell, collector of strau'S ; Charles Dowdle, keeper of bundles; 
William Best, R. C. West and James M. Duncan, trustees. 


The Loyal Order of iloose was organized at Louisville, Iventucky, on 
April 12, 1888. It is not an insurance order; there are no assessments of 
any character ; it is not a rival of any other fraternal organization ; it is not a 
class organization, but is open to all good white citizens between the ages 
of twenty-one and fift}-. At the end of 1914 the order had over one thousand 
four hundred and fift}- lodges, with a total membership of more than half 
a million. The initiation fee for charter members is five dollars and after 
the charter is closed the initiation fee is increased to twenty-five dollars. 
The iVIoose pay benefits of seven dollars a week to sick or disabled members. 
The death benefit is one hundred dollars. 

Lone Tree Lodge No. 1005 at Greensburg, is the only one of this order 
in Decatur county. It was organized on November 12, 1913, with the fol- 
lowing charter members : Joseph Gentry, Fred Stiet, W. B. Brogan, Elijah 
\^anderdur, Clarence Stith, Benjamin Meyer, L. J. Alexander, George Cos- 
mas, George A. Kurr, Sabe Perkins, C. F. Kercheval, Paul R. Tindall, Will- 
iam McCormick, Lowe Bush, Lemuel J. Howard, Michael McCormack, Oscar 
F. Kuhn, Loren Hutcheson, William ^^'eeks, Earl Martin, Ed Buchannan, 
Harry Vanderbur, Herschel Vanderbur, James Frances, Fred Tucker, John 
Muldoon, Charles Jackson, William Boyce, David Wiley, James Sparks, 
Morton Davis, Carl Suttles, George Richards, John A. Abbott, Jefferson 
Morris, D. C. Powner, Len Fischer, David Bower, Ed Bozzell, Joe Stier, 
Thomas Davis, William Littell, Frank Buckley, Fred Weber, William Fulks, 
Sherman Patton, William B. Lemasters, James Smith, Da\'id Welsh, W. T. 
Vanderbur, Ross Grimes, B. E. Baker, W. H. Scripture. Ace Dean, Ora 
Grimes, J. Dunn, Clifford English. 

The officers at present are as follow : Joseph Gentry, past dictator ; 
Paul R. Tindall, past dictator; Michael Gutting, dictator; Frank Murdoch, 
vice-director; Blaine Hoin, prelate; Sabe Perkins, secretary; Earl Crooks, 
treasurer; Bernard Menzie, sergeant-at-arms ; Martin Sparks, inner guard; 
Ace Dean, outer guard; Ben Meyer, James Ford and J. L. Alexander, trus- 
tees. The membership at present totals three hundred and seventy-five. 



St. Boniface Commandery No. 22"/, Knights of St. John, was organ- 
ized on October 9, 1914, with a total memljership of thirty-six. The instal- 
lation of this chapter took place on Sunday, October i8th. The following 
comprises a list of the charter members : Rev. A. J. Urich, Dr. N. C. Bau- 
nian, Edward Luken, John B. Rolfes, Bernard Blankman, Edward Kroeger, 
B. W. Zapfe, John Schoetmer, Lawrence Duerstock, Clem Duerstock, Joseph 
Duerstock, George Frye, Ed Frye, William Frye, Leo Frye, George Luken, 
Henry Luken, Louis Luken, Louis Schoetmer, Henry Meier, Clem Herbert, 
Andrew Butz, Frank Vaske, Bernard Harping, Benjamin Harping, Charles 
Witkemper, John Witkemper, Louis Moorman, Joseph Moorman, Jr., Albert 
Goldschmidt, Louis Moenkedick, Joseph Kesterman, Joseph Redelman, 
Edward Feldman, Lawrence Ruhl, John Wenning. 

The present officers are Rev. W. J. Urich, chaplain; Dr. N. C. Bauman, 
president; Ed Luken, first vice-president; John B. Rolfes, second vice-presi- 
dent; Bernard Blankman, recording and corres]:x)nding secretary; Edward 
Kroeger, financial secretary, B. W. Zapfe, treasurer; John Schoetmer, cap- 
tain; Ed Kroeger, first lieutenant; Lawrence Duerstock, second lieutenant; 
George Frye, William Frye, Lawrence Ruhl, Joseph Duerstock, Bernard 
Harping, trustees. The present membership has reached forty-eight and 
the growth of this chapter has not reached its maximum. 

This lodge is divided into a military and social body. The military 
body consists of twenty-two members at present. The members dress in 
full uniform on certain church celebrations, making the ceremonies very 
impressive. They also meet for drill twice each month. The Knights have 
rented the Scheidler hall for their meetings, but expect to build a hall of 
their own in a short time. 

All sick members are taken care of and the lodge pays a certain benefit 
to all sick members. Each member is assessed five dollars annually, paid in 
quarterly installments. The members also give social entertainments and 
dances to help defray the lodge expenses. 




The history of the Greensburg Department Ckib is unifjue. Eight 
musical and literary clubs in 19 13 testify to the interest Greensburg women 
have manifested in the purely cultural side of club life. But their member- 
ship was limited and their range of activity narrowed by tradition and the 
avowed purpose of the organization. There were many women outside of 
these circles who longed for cultural advantages, and many within them who 
longed for opportunities for greater serxice to the community. It was this 
growing impulse toward service rather than any spirit of restlessness or 
discontent, that inspired the new movement. 

It was especially appropriate that the Cycle, the pioneer among the 
women's clubs of the town, should take the initiative. A committee from 
this club, of which Mrs. J. F. Goddard was chairman, visited each club and 
presented a plan of organization. Seven of the clubs voted to assist in the 
enterprise and delegated their officers to be a general committee to discuss 
and decide the various questions of organization. From this representative 
body the seven presidents were chosen to serve as a constitutional committee. 
This committee, Mrs. R. M. Thomas, chairman; Mrs. W. C. Ehrhardt, Mrs. 
J. C. Meek, Mrs. Web Woodfill, Miss Camilla Donnell, Miss Mary Rankin 
and Miss Eula Christian, with Mrs. Goddard as an advisory member, had 
the wisdom to provide for a growth far beyond their expectation and their 
work has been subjected to but few minor changes. The constitution was 
accepted by the general committee and published. Mrs. Goddard. who had 
presided at all of the meetings of the general committee and whose interest 
and activity never failed, was elected president. The other officers were : 
First vice-president, Mrs. D. W. Weaver; second vice-president. Miss Emma 
Donnell ; recording secretary, Mrs. Locke Bracken : corresponding secretary, 
Miss Vessie Riley; financial secretary, Mrs. W. C. Ehrhardt; treasurer. Miss 
Ethel Watson ; directors. Mrs. Marshall Grover, Mrs. C. R. Bird, Mrs. J. K. 
Ewing, Mrs. George Ewing, Mrs. R. M. Thomas, Mrs. O. G. Miller. 


In February and March of 1913 one hundred and twenty-five women, 
members of the original seven small clubs, signed the constitution and became 
charter members of the Greensburg Department Club. The motto for the 
club was, "United Progression," and time has proved that it was well chosen. 
For, though each one gave up much that she valued in the old associations, 
she did it cheerfully with a vision before her of greater oportunities both for 
herself and others. The first regular meeting was held on October 7, 1913. 

The year book provides for eight meetings during the year, two of a 
business and social nature and six which bring before the club lecturers and 
musicians of ability. But the real life of the club is found in the four 
departments, art. literature, music and social economics. The art depart- 
ment was formed nearly a year after the organization of the club, but bravely 
began its career with an art exhibition of great value. The plan is to make 
this an annual event in the life of the club and community. The members of 
the department carry on a study of the history and appreciation of art, with 
the aid of occasional lecturers. The literary department began with two 
lecture circles, but the number of these popular circles grows with time. The 
organization of the evening lecture circle opened the doors of the club to 
those who are busy during the day. The music department may be charac- 
terized as the most generous, for it has opened its meetings to the general 
club a number of times and its choral organization adds greatly to the club 
meetings. It is hoped that the May festival may become a permanent feature 
of the year's work. In the social economics department the spirit of service 
finds its largest field of activity. The three circles, civic, evening civic circle 
and mothers' circle, began at once to co-operate in various civic enterprises. 
Sanitation, fly extermination, "the city beautiful," "shop early" campaigns, 
community Christmas tree, and "clean up week," are a few of the activities 
which owe their origin to this department. The work accomplished during 
the first two years is noteworthy, and a continued educational campaign will 
finally win the hearty support of the whole community. A domestic science 
circle, under this department, will be popular with a number of women. An 
unusual and very interesting feature of the club is the auxiliary young peo- 
ple's department. This circle follows somewhat the same line of work as 
the art department, thus developing appreciation and taste. 

The Greensburg Department Club has been fortunate in many ways. 
The unselfish and unsparing devotion of its first president, Mrs. Goddard, 
inspired each member with something of her own spirit, and busy men and 
women have given generously of their time and strength to help her. Her 
tact won the respect and co-operation of business men and city officials. 


While the thought of an adequate ckib house has been in the mind of many 
from the first, for some years the ckib must depend upon the continued 
generosity of the churches, the city hall and private homes. An important 
step was taken when the club accepted an invitation to join the Indiana 
Federation of Clubs, for in that organization it can both give and receive 
inspiration. The membership at the end of two years was three times that 
of the charter enrollment. Such an enthusiastic beginning is seldom the 
fortune of new enterprises, but the hearty interest of each memlier will 
continue its inspiration through many years of influential acti\-ity. 

The last meeting of the Greensburg Department Club for 191 5 was held 
on J\Iav 4, in the Knights of Pythias lodge room. In order that future 
generations of the city may know what their good forefathers did on this 
night, the full report of this meeting is here given as it appeared in the 
Greensburg Daily Revicic of May 5, 191 5: 

"This being the annual business meeting, reports of the officers and 
chairmen of the various committees were heard and accepted. Two new 
members, ]\Irs. Ijert Askren and Mrs. Dan Linegar, were voted into the club. 

'■]\Irs. Goddard, the president, being ill, the vice-president, Mrs. D. W. 
Weaver, had charge of the meeting. She read a note from Mrs. Goddard, 
who sent her regrets at not being present and also sent words of cheer and 
encouragement to the club. A member of the club expressed the sentiments 
of the entire club in words of deepest praise for and appreciation of the 
president. Her words were voiced unanimously by the club members. After 
the lousiness, a short program followed. Miss Gertrude Haas gave two piano 
numbers. A play, entitled "A Mouse Trap," by W. D. Howells, was given. 
Following was the cast of characters : Mr. Willis Campbell, Mr. Charles 
Ewing; Mrs. Somers (widow), Mrs. W. W. Bonner; Mrs. Carmen, Mrs. 
R. R. Hamilton ; :\Irs. Roberts, Miss Marie Braden ; Mrs. Dennis, Mrs. A. M. 
Reed; Mrs. Miller. Miss Ethel Ewing; Jane (maid). Miss Florine Sefton. 

"Each character acted the part well, especially Mrs. Somers, the widow, 
and Mr. Campbell. The play afforded much pleasure and merriment for 
those present. A social time followed, when refreshments, consisting of ice 
cream, strawberries, cake, coffee and mints, were ser\ed. Thus the second 
annual meeting passed, with business mixed with much pleasure." 


The Omega Chapter of Kappa Kappa Kappa was organized in Greens- 
burg in 1907, with Mary Littell Tremain, Lela Robbins Christian, Helen 



Baker Lumbers, Ruth Bonner Meek, Mary Isgrigg Hamilton and Anna Bird 
Thomas as charter members. The first officers of the chapter were Ruth 
Bonner Meek, president; Mary Littell Tremain, vice-president; Lela Robbins 
Christian, recording secretary; Mary Isgrigg Hamilton, corresponding sec- 
retary, and Anna Bird Thomas, treasurer. 

It is affiliated with the general state society of Kappa Kappa Kappa,- 
which was founded at Miss Sewell's School for Girls in Indianapolis in 1904. 
Since that time it has grown in numbers so that now more than one thousand 
five hundred girls in the state of Indiana wear the skull and cross keys, the 
society badge. 

The object of the organization is "to bring girls into a close, unselfish 
relationship, which shall be beneficial to themselves as well as to others." 
Several kinds of charitable work are carried on by the chapter, as well as the 
general society, and at all times there is a willing response to any appeal for 
help. Its purposes are two-fold — charitable and social, and by both means 
girls are brought into the "unselfish relationship,'' which is the object of the 

This chapter, aside from assisting the Associated Charities, has given 
aid to defective children from poor families; helped high school students 
with funds so that they might graduate; paid hospital and operation expenses 
and given material help in cases where, under other circumstances, help would 
not have been accepted. 

At present there is a membership of eighteen girls, all of whom are 
active workers. The officers are: President, Mignum White; vice-president, 
Bright Emmert ; treasurer, Mae Montgomery Harrison ; recording secretary, 
Ruth White; corresponding secretary, Marie Braden. 


The Cycle clainis the distinction of being the pioneer literary club of 
Greensburg. It was organized on March 5, 1891, by Mrs. S. H. Morris, and 
the following members were admitted during the first year of its history: 
Miss Hannah Baker, Miss Sadie Baker, Mrs. W. W. Bonner, Mrs. Sam 
Covert, Mrs. George Dunn, Jr., Mrs. J. K. Ewing, Mrs. J. F. Goddard, Miss 
Jessie Hart, Miss Margaret Lathrop, Miss Clara Lambert, Mrs. Jessie F. 
Moore, Mrs. S. H. Morris, Mrs. Milton F. Parsons, Mrs. A. Prather, Miss 
Vessie Riley, Mrs. George B. Stockman, Miss Fannie Wooden, Mrs. A. M. 
Willoughby, Miss Mollie Zoller, Miss Lou Zoller, Mrs. Enos Porter, Mrs. 
R. M. Thomas, Mrs. J. V. Schofield. 


The first president was Mrs. S. H. Morris. Its olDJect was to promote 
social intercourse between unmarried and young married ladies of the city 
and for scientific and literary culture. Membership was limited to twenty- 
five. During the twenty-one years of the club's existence these two objects 
were ever kept foremost. Discovering and developing much latent talent, 
musicians, story writers, poets, dramatic readers and actors were secured, 
making it possible to present many rare and unique entertainments at its 
frequent open meetings. The Cycle was always noted for its hospitality and 
came to be a dominant factor in the social life of Greensburg. 

Being the mother of literary clubs here, it always sought to maintain a 
dignity of purpose and to set a good example to its numerous offspring. The 
club in every way fulfilled the mission for which it was created, far exceed- 
ing the hopes and aspirations of its most sanguine founders. 

It was with much regret that the organization yielded to the call for a 
larger field of service and on January i6, 19 13, founded the Department 
Club. At that time there were twenty-five active members, sixteen honorarv 
members, representing nine states, and four who had gone to their final 

On March 5, each year, the Cycle comes together in reunion. Those who 
cannot come in person respond by letter. 

The Cycle will live in the hearts of a devoted membership until time has 
so depleted its ranks that its useful career becomes a mere matter of history. 

Presidents of the organization were : Mrs. S. H. Morris, Miss Hannah 
Baker, Miss Sadie Baker, Mrs. Jessie Moore Serff, :\Irs. W. W. Bonner, 
Mrs. Fannie Wooden Moss, Mrs. Mollie Zoller Lewis, Mrs. Jeessie Hart 
Woodfill, Mrs. J. K. Ewing, Mrs. Sam Covert, Mrs. Clara Lambert Miller, 
Miss Vessie Riley. :Miss Pearl Williams, IMrs. J. F. Goodard. 

THE mothers" circle. 

The Mothers' Circle was organized about 1901 by Mrs. Cortez Ewing. 
It was first known as the Mothers' Prayer Circle. Its object was to discuss 
topics such as would be helpful to mothers with young children. A few of 
the charter members were: Mrs. Cortez Ewing, Mrs. Joe Alexander, Mrs. 
Alex. Porter, Mrs. Oscar Miller, Mrs. Dr. E. B. Crowell, Mrs. Edward 
Hizer, Mrs. John Hofer, Mrs. Wayne McCoy and Mrs. George W. Bird. 
The meetings were most informal, not having any regular program, but many 
heart-to-heart talks, which all enjoyed thoroughly and did lasting good to 
those who participated in them. The meetings were held once each month in 


the homes of the different memliers. Every meeting was opened with 
Scripture reading and sentence prayer, in which ahnost every member took 
part, also very dehcate refreshments were served. 

In igo6 the circle was reorganized and a constitution and by-laws were 
adopted. Mrs. Rena Gilchrist was elected president, and Mrs. Nellie Bird, 
secretary. A program committee consisting of Mrs. Elsi Dunaway, Mrs. 
Olive Gilham and Mrs. Alice Welch, was also elected. Neat programs were 
prepared and such subjects as "Family Loyalty to God," "Books for Chil- 
dren," "Patriotism," "The Ideal Mother, " "Temperance," and "Character 
Building," were among the many suljjects discussed. These programs were 
continued, with the different members being elected to the different offices 
each year. 

In March, 19 13, after much hesitation, the circle voted to enter the 
Department Club. The meetings were continued in much the same manner, 
with additional members. 

The circle will continue their meetings in the same manner durmg the 
year 1915-1916, with Mrs. Ray Hamilton as chairman, Mrs. Bert Gilham, 
vice-chairman, and Mrs. E. M. Beck, secretary-treasurer. 


The Progress Club was organized on October 2, 1863, according to 
its constitution, for "promotion of intellectual and social growth." Its first 
officers and other charter members were: Miss Edith Patten, president; 
Miss Delle McLaughlin, vice-president; Miss Edith Hamilton, secretary; 
Miss Ethel Bartholomew, treasurer; Misses Emma Donnell, Terressa 
Elmore, Clara Robison, Blanche McLaughlin, Myrta Patton, Bessie Donnell, 
Hannah Evans, Martha Evans, Ida Hollensbe, Helen Rankin and Jean Ran- 

The organization now has twenty-five members and eleven honorary 
members. It meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each 
month and the program is always an interesting and important part of each 
session, although the social feature is prominent. The program is usually 
a part of some special course of study. 

Many social functions are given by the club, delightful informal affairs, 
although occasionally there are more pretentious ones. Lasting benefits have 
been derived by its members from study and research work, and it has estab- 
lished a closer bond of friendship in the entire city. 


Members are, many of them, high school graduates and have had the 
advantages of higher education and travel. The club's present officers are : 
]Miss Cora Donnell, president; Miss Emma Donnell, vice-president; Miss 
Winifred Newhouse, secretary, and Miss Hazel Scott, treasurer. 

THE woman's club. 

The Woman's Club was organized on January 31, 1893, for "social and 
intellectual culture." By constitutional provisions, its membership was lim- 
ited to twenty. Its first officers weix : Mrs. J. H. Alexander, president ; Miss 
Julia F. Cooke, vice-president; Mrs. R. C. Hamilton, secretary, and Mrs. 
Joseph Da\ison, treasurer. After twenty pleasant and profitable years, dur- 
ing which it maintained a high standard of literary work, the organization 
disbanded in 191 3, and was merged into the Department Club. 


In the early days of club life in Greensburg, there was organized the 
first literary club for both ladies and gentlemen. It was on the evening 
of October i, 1894, at the home of Judge F. E. Gavin, that this, the Tourist 
Club, was started. Throughout the subsequent years, until the recent merg- 
ing of all the literary clubs of Greensburg into the great Department Club, 
the Tourist Club was a live organization in the literary circles of the city. 

Prof. W. P. Shannon was the president, and among the charter mem- 
bers were : Prof, and Mrs. W. P. Shannon, Judge and Mrs. F. E. Gavin, 
]\Ir. and Airs. D. M. Silberberg, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Morris, Mr. and Mrs. 
Cortez Ewing, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dowden, Judge John D. Miller, Mr. 
Harry Lathrop, Mr. Oscar G. Miller, Miss Martha Miller, Miss Margaret 
Lathrop and Miss Clara Lambert. 

The imaginary journeys of the club, to all quarters of the globe, both 
far and near, brought both profit and pleasure — profit by way of prepara- 
tion for subsequent real journeys and pleasure, by way of promoting the 
closer ties of friendship. 

The personnel of the club shifted with the changing years, but always 
composed a band of Greensburg's most interesting citizens. At the time 
the club entered the Department Club, two years ago, but two of the 
charter members still belonged, namely : Oscar G. and Clara Lambert Miller. 



For the puqxjse of research along the Hne of literature, history and 
art, the Fortnightly Club was organized in 1894, with Clara Ardery. Lottie 
Dickerson Dobyns, Jessie Donnell Erdmann, Kate Emmert, Bertie Mitchell 
Morgan, Myrtle Hollensbee Hamilton, Annette Miller Davidson, Anna 
Monfort, Glenn Jklontgomery Russell, Clara Russell Mills, Cora Sefton 
Robliins, Kate Stewart, Mary Thomson and Cora Zoller Davidson as 
charter members. The membership has grown until at the present time 
(1915) it includes thirty names. The names of Clara Russell Mills, Nell 
Donnell Erdman, Annette Miller Davidson, Bessie Montfort and Kate 
Rogers Crawford, who have departed from this world, are held in sacred 
remembrance by the club members. For the last four years, Mrs. Demarchus 
Brown, of Indianapolis, has lectured before the club, \\nien the Depart- 
ment Club was organized in 1913, the individual members of the Fortnightly 
Club entered that organization and the literary work of the later organiza- 
tion was dropped. Since that time it has existed simply as a social club. 
The officers for 1915 were: Mrs. Harry Mount, president; Mrs. J. C. Alex- 
ander, vice-president; Mrs. Van W'oodfill, secretary, and Kate Stewart, 


On the 23rd of February, 1909. at the home of the late ]\Irs. Nettie 
Sampson Dils, was formed the Research Club. The purpose of the club, 
as set forth in its constitution, was intellectual and social growth. With 
this ever in mind, its programs and meetings were rich in value and interest. 
Mrs. Dils was the inspiring genius of the little group and her memory is 
held by the memljers of the club with tender reverence. Throughout the 
organization she was tiie gentle censor that molded its purpose. As a 
tribute to the honor and esteem in which she was held, she was chosen its 
first president. To aid her, Mrs. Ella Long Doles was chosen vice-presi- 
dent; Mrs. Ada Richardson Porter, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Minnie 
Ketchum Porter, recording secretary, and Mrs. Ella Hittle Christian, treas- 
urer. A membership committee, of Mrs. Ollie Dickey Gilham, Mrs. Ada 
Richardson Porter and Mrs. Nelle McKee Kercheval, and a program com- 
mittee, of Mrs. Ollie Rogers Donnell, Mrs. Nettie Sampson Dils, Mrs. Ella 
Long Doles, Mrs. Ada Richardson Porter and Mrs. Ella Hittle Christian, 
were appointed. The list of original members included Terressa Ardery, 


Mary Ardery, Annie Rouse Bird, Ella Hittle Christian, Eula Christian, Net- 
tie Sampson Dils, Ella Long Doles, Ollie Rogers Donnell, Ruby Doyle 
Eward, Ollie Dickey Gilham, Nelle Drake Hazelrigg, Maude Kitchin John- 
ston, Rose JMoffett Kessing, Nelle McKee Kercheval, Fannie Wood Nord- 
meyer, Ada Richardson Porter, Minnie Ketchum Porter, Edith Patton, 
Katie Sefton Robbins, Grace VanBuskirk, Delia Mount Wooden and Mary 
Wood Weaver. The club held thirteen very instructive meetings at the 
homes of its members during the first year of its existence. 

During the second year, from September, 1910, to ^lay, 1911, Edith 
Patton acted as president, with Mary Ardery as vice-president, Mrs. Rose 
Mofifet Kessing as corresponding secretary, Mrs. Olive Dickey Gilham as 
recording secretary' and Mrs. Maude Kitchin Johnston as treasurer. This 
year's membership list included the name of Mary Snodgrass Wallingford. 

The next year saw Anna Albrecht Meek, Eleanor Eich Lowe, Sallie 
Wright Weaver and Pearl Kitchin WoodfiU as new members, and the fol- 
lowing officers served : Mrs. Annie Rouse Bird, president ; Mrs. Mary Wood 
Weaver, vice-president: Mrs. Fannie \\'ood Xordmeyer, corresponding 
secretary: ]\Irs. Ruby Doyle Eward, recording secretary, and Mrs. Nell 
Drake Hazelrigg, treasurer. 

The year 1912-1913. saw the last of the Research Club as an independ- 
ent organization, as about that time it was incorporated into the Depart- 
ment Club. Mrs. Ada Richardson Porter was president this last year, and 
Mrs. Terressa Lowe Ardery, vice-president; Mrs. Delia Mount Wooden, cor- 
responding secretary; Eula Christian, recording secretary, and ]\Irs. Nona 
Eich Lowe, treasurer. This year's membership shows the new name of 
Louise Fogel Baker. 


The Ladies' Literary Club of 1914 was organized, as the name indicates, 
in the year 19 14. Its first meeting was held on February 20, at the home of 
Mrs. Clara Talbott. In the beginning the club consisted of eighteen mem- 
bers, with Mrs. Ella Christian, president: ]\Irs. Sarah ^^'ooden and Mrs. 
Maggie Woodfill, vice-presidents; Mrs. Maiy Stegmaier, secretary: }*Irs. 
Mattie Rucker. treasurer, and Mrs. Mary Bracken, sponsor. The purpose 
of the club was to promote a love of knowledge, the first motto being, "The 
love of knowledge cometh with reading and grows upon us." The pro- 
grams were of a miscellaneous character and broadening in their effect. One 


of the strong features of tlie club's work is its social life. The love among 
the members was of the Jonathan and David type and when an invitation 
came to become a member of the Department Club — to amalgamate with the 
other clubs of the city and thereby lose its identity — the Club of 1914 pro- 
tested. The old ties could not be broken. And when at last it submitted 
to the inevitable, a unanimous vote was cast for a semi-annual meetings of 
the members, that the social life might never" die, and so in spirit it lives 
on. Of the original members, those holding membership to the last were: 
Mrs. Nellie Donnell, Mrs. E. H. Lambert, Mrs. Fannie Nordmeir, Mrs. Anna 
Pleak, Mrs. Mattie Rucker, Mrs. Sarah Wooden and Mrs. Maggie Wood- 


The first musical club of Greensburg was known as the ^Married Ladies' 
Musicale, and was organized in the fall of 1889, with about twenty mem- 
bers. Recognizing the need of some plan to preserve the musical talent of 
the busy home-makers of Greensburg, Mrs. Milton F. Parsons in\-ited a 
number of musical ladies to her home, and suggested the plan and line of 
work which she thought would prove helpful, not only to the individual 
members, but, by elevating the musical taste of the public, to the city as 
well. The idea was enthusiastically receixed, and an organization at once 

Mrs. Parsons was made the first president. Under her eflicient leader- 
ship, the work was so w^ell launched, that the membership and interest in- 
creased from year to year. 

The Married Ladies' INIusicale gave many concerts in Greensburg, and 
furnished the music for many public occasions, one of the greatest being the 
dedicatory service of the Odd Fellows home. 

Those who served as presiding officers were Mrs. IMilton F. Parsons, 
Mrs. J. K. Ewing, :\Irs. Jessie Moore, Mrs. W. W. Bonner, Mrs. J. 
Bracken, Mrs. R. W. Montgomery. Mrs. David Silverberg, Mrs. \V. C. 
Woodfill, Mrs. Frank Bennett, Mrs. Curtis Kendall, Mrs. Charles Stegmier, 
Mrs. Frank Batterton, Mrs. Seth Donnell, Mrs. R. M. Thomas and Mrs. 
Cassius Hamilton, who was the last presiding officer. In 191 3 this organ- 
ization disbanded to become a part of the Department Club. 


During the winter of 1897, Prof. Charles Hansen, of Indianapolis, was 
instructing a class in pipe organ in Greensburg, and to him some young ladies 


expressed the desire for a musical club. He heartily approved the desire, 
offered his aid to the purpose, and on February i8, 1897, met with a num- 
ber of young ladies in the Presbyterian church for the purpose of forming 
a club to study the masters and their works. After much discussion, the 
club was organized, bearing the name, The Cecilian. The officers chosen 
were : President, Stella Murphy ; vice-president, Pearl A. Williams ; treasurer, 
Nona Eich; assistant treasurer, Cora Zoller, and secretary, Riena Stevens. 
The Misses Delia Mount, Ina Cox and Bertie Hitchell were appointed to 
draft a constitution and set of lay-laws. The decision was reached to have 
miscellaneous programs, alternating with programs given to the study of 
some composer and his work. 

The first regular meeting was held with ]\Iiss Cora Zoller, on March 
4, 1897, Professor Hansen having charge of the program. He gave a lec- 
ture on the development of music, with illustrations on the piano, using the 
familiar air of "Johnny Smoker," playing it in the styles peculiar to Bach, 
Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schumann. 

For a time no organization better fulfilled its purpose. The work 
accomplished was a delight to both performers and listeners. The chorus 
work, under Miss Claribel Winchester, is indelibly stamped on the memories 
of the members. For several seasons meetings were held in the auditorium 
of the First Methodist Episcopal church, with associate members as audi- 
ences. Guest day recitals were eagerly looked forward to by all the lovers 
of music in the community. Profitable courses of study were included in 
the work of the organization as well as bringing artists to the city as an 
inspiration to higher music culture. The Cecilians put forth many efforts 
for music advancement in the county, one of which was the editing a news- 
paper column under the heading "Music Notes." 

The last officers serving the organization were : Eula Christian, presi- 
dent; Ethel Watson, vice-president; Mrs. D. A. Meyers, secretary; Pearl A. 
Williams, corresponding secretary, and Worth Stewart, treasurer. The last 
membership enrollment contained the names of Vivian Baylor, Mrs. P. C. 
Bentle, Eula Christian. Mrs. Earl Crooks, Mrs. George Diewart, Emma 
Donnell, Mrs. Guy Guthrie, Kate Haas, Alice Haas, Clara Hamilton, Mrs. 
Earl Hite, Emma Hitchell, Vina Knowles, Mrs. Walter Kirby, Ruth Kam- 
merling, Mrs. Arthur Lowe, Stella Murphy, Mrs. Bart McLaughlin, Mrs. 
D. A. Myers, A^Iayme O'Hare, Nellie Rigby, Stella Stagg, Florine Meek, 
Mrs. Bert Morgan, Emma Stout, Marguerite Shannon, Worth Stewart, 
Mrs. Paul Tindall, Pearl A. Williams, Ethel Watson, Mrs. E. E. W^ooden, 
Mabel Welsh, Mrs. Robert Woodfill, Louise Ehlers and Mrs. Edward Owens. 


The names of the deceased members, Ohve Smyth, Mrs. Roxy Thoniburg 
Eward and Mrs. Adahne Zoller Ansted, will ever be held in remembrance. 

The Cecilians, realizing the value of the Department Club, became 
ardent promoters, and today many of its members are enrolled in the music 
study circle. 


The Athenaeum, a literary society organized in the spring of 1912, was 
founded by a group of men, all then in Greensburg, who were interested 
generally in literature, and was designed for more serious work in research 
and writing. It held some important meetings before some of its members 
removed from Greensburg, at which some . work of permanent value was 
produced. The society was limited in membership to ten men, as follow: 
B. F. Bennett, C. W. Bare, Dr. Charles R. Bird, John F. Goddard, E. L. 
Grover, Lewis A. Harding, E. C. Jerman. John W. Rhodes. F. D. Townsley 
and Dr. D. W. Weaver. 

The society maintained its activities for one good year, 191 2-19 13, and 
during that time the following men served as its officers : D. W. Weaver, 
president; E. C. Jerman, vice-president; and John W. Rhodes, secretary- 
treasurer. The following program of work was presented by the society to 
the membership and invited guests during the year: "The Preliminary 
Diplomacy of the Spanish- American War," Lewis A. Harding; "Child Philo- 
sophy," Prof. C. W. Bare; "Medicine in Shakespeare," Dr. Charles R. Bird; 
"The Ivinetick Theory of Matter," Prof. F. D. Townsley; "The Lawyer's 
Literpretation of 'The Merchant of Venice'," John F. Goddard ; "Right 
Thinking." Dr. D. W. Weaver; "Plant Breeding — Mendel's Law and Appli- 
cation," Prof. E. L. Grover; "The Dynamic Force of Human Development," 
Prof. E. C. Jerman ; "The Short Story," John W. Rhodes ; "The Jury Sys- 
tem," B. F. Bennett. 

This society represented perhaps the most serious effort at research 
and writing ever attempted in an organized way by a literary organization at 
Greensburg. The members tackled big subjects. Of Mr. Harding's work 
on "The Preliminary Diplomacy of the Spanish-American War," Dr. Amos 
Hershey, professor of political science and international law in Indiana Uni- 
versity, says "it will be of interest and value to students of American his- 



There have been phj'sicians in Decatur county from its earHest organ- 
ization, and in the ninety-three years which have elapsed since its creation 
there have been hundreds of physicians who have practiced in the county 
for varying lengths of time. Few of the early doctors had college train- 
ing, but they seem to have successfully combated the "fever an' ager" and 
such complaints as were common among the pioneers. The old-time doctor 
was a man of wonderful versatility. He could bring the new-born child into 
the world, christen the babe or comfort the mother if the child failed to live. 
He could formulate a will or dictate a codicil and, in a case of necessity, 
could act as a lawyer for his ]3atients. His medicines were largely manu- 
factured by himself from medicinal plants which he gathered in the neigh- 
boring woods. These home-made remedies, together with c[uinine and calo- 
mel, constituted practically the extent of the pioneer doctor's supply of 
remedial agents. 

It is not certain who was the first physician in Decatur county, but it 
is know that Mrs. Justus Rich practiced medicine in Greensburg as early as 
182 1 or 1822. Other early physicians were Conduit, Gillespie, Hartley, Teal, 
Lyman and Stubinger. These were followed by Drs. Joshua Poole, John 
Richey, Frederick Fogg and Abram Carter, these four coming at various 
periods between 1835 and 1840. Doctor Carter had practiced in Clinton 
township for several years previous to this. 

About 1840, Dr. William Armington, a native of Saratoga county, New 
York, located in Greensburg, after having practiced for a short time in 
Switzerland county, Indiana. He was probably the leading physician of the 
county until the time of his death, February 24, 1862. Another able phy- 
sician who settled here about the same time as did Dr. Armington was Dr. 
John W. Moody, a native of Pennsylvania, who practiced in the county until 
his death in 1867. There was perhaps no more popular physician in the 
county than Doctor Moody, and in the treatment of acute diseases he made 
a reputation which was not confined to the county. Other physicians set- 
tling in Greensburg before the Civil War were Drs. George W. New, E. 


B. Swem, Newberry \\'lieeldon and John Wheeldon. Doctor Strong is said 
to have been tlie first physician at Clarksburg, although Doctor Gillespie, 
who later moved to Greensburg, was the first physician in Fugit township. 
Other early physicians of Fugit township were Doctors Wiley, Weed, 
Hughes and Hopkins. 

According to the 1882 atlas, there had been or were practicing at that 
time in the various townships of the county the following physicians : Adams 
township, Drs. Ritchey, R. J. Depew, U. G. Reeves, \Y. H. Webb, Floyd 
Connett, Lewis, Cook, Armstrong, Underwood, Shipman and Howard; 
Clay township, Drs. W. E. Crawford, Lewis McAllister, John Ritchey, St. 
John, Hawk, James O'Byrne, William A. and Joseph Ardery, A. L. Under- 
wood, George F. Chittenden, J. W. Martin, John Craig, J. L. Wooden, E. 
W. Leech, U. G. Reeves, J. H. Alexander and George S. Crawford; Fugit 
township, Drs. Nathaniel Lewis, S. C. Foster, Robert H. Crawford, Bell & 
Roberts, Burk, Cain, Thomas Johnson and J. L. Smith (other practicing 
physicians of Fugit township have been previously mentioned) : Jackson 
township, Drs. William and D. B. Davis, S. W. Ryker, Austin Marlow, 
William Hanna, N. E. Charlton, D. Owens, J. W. Allison, William F. and 
J. H. S. Reiley and Biddinger; Sand Creek township, Drs. Schultz, Conwell, 
McCullough, Pottinger, Sparks, Van Horn, J. P. Burroughs, William 
Hause, Michael Daily and J. V. Schofield (two of these physicians. Bur- 
roughs and Hause, were surgeons in the Civil War) ; Marion township, Drs. 
Lutz, S. B. Hitt, Hammond, Frank Daily and Reamy ; Salt Creek township, 
Drs. Pennington, Price, Pye, McConnell, Floyd and Dowden ; Washington 
township, Drs. J. L. Armington, George Armington, William Bracken, L. 

C. Bunker, J. L. and W. H. Wooden, M. G. Falconlserry. J. Y. and S. B. 
Hitt, C. A. Covert, J. C. Humphries, J. W. Craig, Samuel Maguire, S. V. 
Wright, Samuel Cook, A. A. Armington, J. C. French, R. D. Homsher, 
John H. Bobbitt and D. L. Scobey. Presumably all these practiced in 

An act of the Legislature in 1885 provided for the registration in each 
county of all the physicians practicing therein, and the subsequent list exhibits 
the names of all the physicians registered in Decatur county since that year. 
The lengthy list of i8'85 gives not only those who were admitted to practice 
that year, but also all those who had been practicing previously to that year. 

1885 — Frank H. Snedeker, Thomas Johnson, John H. Bobbitt, George E. 
Clark, G. Tassfeld Ruby, John W. Parker, Samuel V. Wright, George S. 
Crawford, William Bracken, Cornelius Cain, John H. Alexander, C. M. 
Beall, John L. Smith, Mordecia B. Mobly, A. A. Armington, J. Y. Hitt, John 


L. Wooden, Alphanso Armstrong, Francis M. Howard, J. W. Howard, 
William H. Wooden, S. B. Hitt, Benjamin S. White, Samuel Maguire, Eli 
Pennington, L. C. Bunker, J. W. Selman, Daniel L. Scobey, William F. 
Reiley, J. H. S. Reiley, D. J. Ballard, Alfred S. Remy, W. A. McCoy, Mil- 
ford G. Falconbury, R. M. Thomas, Londa W. D. Jerman, Minton C. Vest, 
J. V. Schofield, F. M. Daily." E. B. Swem, J. H. Leatherman, William Hause, 
Richard J. Depew, J- B. Kirkpatrick, J. B. Bracken, Erastus E. Eads, Bart 
Fitzpatrick, James T. Burroughs, Samuel Pagin, Thomas J. Clark, Cornelius 

A. Covert, Austin Marlow, George W. Godfrey, Conrad Hauser, S. W. 
Biddinger, W^esley Goff. 

1886— James L. Tevis. W. H. Webb, ^^'illiam G. Butler, Robert D. 
Homsher, T. E. F. Miller, John C. Hicks, James S. Shields, Berry Painter, 
Lewis C. McFatridge. 

1887— Alvin L. Bailey. W. S. Tingley. John F. Rodgers, Samuel C. 
Thomas, Simeon Stapp. J. K. Smalley. A. Smithworth, Thomas B. Gullefer, 

B. AI. \Miite, I. B. Hettinger. 

1888 — Sam H. Riley, James ^Monroe Woods. ]\Iyron FI. Williams, John 
M. Tobias, Hiram B. Wray. 

1889 — Alva M. Kirkpatrick, E. ^^'. Leech. Frank H. Rorick. Orion K. 
Thomson. E. W. Leech, Frank H. Rorick. W. O. Coffee. Amos W. Dowden, 
Samuel Salisbury. 

1890 — Dr. E. J. Price. Charles H. Bogmann, L. P. Walter. Fernando 
A. Grant. 

189 1 — John ^^'immer, Henry Johnston. 

1892 — James R. Jacks. 

1893 — Mary Hobbs Iredals, Sanford E. Givan. Mrs. Carrie Branden- 
burg, Charles Westley Brandenburg. 

1894 — Condie Butler Beck. 

1895— Eden T. Riley, Charles Gilchrist, Elton Baker Crowell. 

1896 — Isaac Dunn, Frank E. Auten, D. W. Weaver, L-a ^\'itten San- 
ders, Charles B. Jeffers, George McDonnell Ober. 

1897 — Charles Leslie Howard. Daniel J. Ballard. \\"illiam Bracken, 
John H. Alexander, John H. Bobbitt, L. W. D. Jerman, T. B. Gullifer, R. 
M. Thomas, D. W. Weaver, Eden T. Riley, L. E. Bunker, S. E. Givan, 
Thomas Johnson, Henry Johnson, W^illiam Hause, John 'SI. Tobias, J. V. 
Schofield, L M. Sanders, J. M. Wood, C. A. Covert. Samuel Wright, Myron 
H. Williams, B. S. White. J. Y. Hitt, E. B. Crowell, C. M. Beall, John W. 
Parker, Milton C. Vest, C. L. Howard, J. H. D. Lorimor, W. H. Web, T. 
E. F. Miller, Thomas J. Clark, G. S. Crawford, Wm. H. Wooden, Condie 


B. Beck, John L. Smith, S. B. Hitt, Francis M. Daily, J. H. S. Riley, George 
E. Denny, F. M. Howard. J. W. Howard, G. D. Dorremus, I. T. Burroughs, 
J. M. Boyer, Oliver F. Welsh, C. B. Grover. 

1898— A. B. Morris, Harriet C. D. Wilson, \\'illiam L. Wilson, William 
Warner, Clarence Fay Kercheval, O. K. Thomson. 

1899— R. T. Gephart, T. A. Welch, William J. Hatfield. 

1900 — J. B. Crisler, Loren A. Hyde. 

igoi— Ezra H. Pleak, W. E. Thomas, Harry N. Oldham, John Robert 
Love, M. A. Tremain. 

1902 — Charles W. Pagel, George jNIcOber, J. B. Kinsinger, Leroy M. 
Comyer, Jesse W. Rucker. 

1903 — Herman Essex, Hiram !M. Johnson, \\'arren D. Scott, William 
Edgar Thomas. 

1904 — John Curtis Hill, Charles Lafayette Williams, Clement L. 
Canada, H. E. Wilcox, Charles W. Pagel, J. W. Shrout, Clyde C. Morrison. 

1905 — John Francis Duckworth. 

1905 — Harry Gilbert Fleming, E. K. Westhafter, John \\'. Bell, Curtis 

1906— Thomas J. Martin, P. C. Bentle, Charles R. Bird. 

1907 — William B. McKinstry, Jacob C. Glass, Charles Wood, John 
Curtis Hill, Harley S. McKee, H. E. Wilcox, John Q. Garver. 

1908 — Edward A. Porter, Charles H. Weaver, Clarence W. Mullikin, 
William G. French, John H. S. Riley. 

1909 — Nicholas C. Bauman, Charles D. Allison, Andrew Robison, J. 
E. Curtis, C. S. Bolender. 

19 10 — Carl D. Jewett, John H. S. Riley. 

1911 — Charles W. Pagel, Clyde C. Morrison, Prosser E. Clark. 

1912 — Dilber E. Douglas, Paul R. Tindall, Carl Y. Carlewysbeane, 
Cecil G. Harrod. 

191 3 — George J. Martz, Gewase C. Flick. 

19 1 4 — William R. Turner. 

191 5 — Joseph Coomes, Louis D. Robertson. 

The editor of this volume has been very fortunate in securing the services 
of Dr. John FI. Alexander, one of the oldest physicians of Decatur county, to 
write brief sketches of the most prominent deceased physicians of the county. 
For the sake of reference they are arranged in alphabetical order: 


By J. H. Alexander, M. D. 

Dr. Joseph C. Ardery was born in Decatur county, Indiana, in 1825, and 
died, from a congestive chill, in Hartsville, in 1854. He was one of the four 
delegates from Decatur county to the convention that met in Indianapolis, 
June 6, 1849, to organize a state medical society. He probably was a member 
of the Decatur County Medical Society, organized January 25, 1847, two 
years before the state society was organized. His postofifice was Milford until 
a short time before his death. He must have been a very popular physician, 
as he was often referred to and quoted by his former patrons in Clay town- 
ship fifty years after his death. He died before he reached his thirtieth year. 

Dr. William Ardery, whose name is among the members of the medical 
society organized on January 25, 1847, in Decatur county, resided on a farm 
northeast of Greensburg. 

Dr. John L. Armington, younger brother of Dr. William Armington, 
came from Switzerland county, Indiana, to Greensburg in 1841 or 1842. He 
entered into partnership with his brother and practiced in this county fourteen 
years. He was a member of the Decatur County Medical Society, also a dele-' 
gate to the convention held at Indianapolis, on June 6, 1849, to organize a 
state medical society — the State Medical Association. Drs. Joseph C. Ardery, 
John W. Moody and George W. New were also delegates from Decatur' 
county. Doctor Armington removed from this county prior to 1858. 

Dr. William Armington was born in Saratoga county, New York, in 
1808, and died on Februarj^ 24, 1862. He came to Switzerland county, Indi- 
ana, in 1829, and practiced there until in 1840. he removed to Decatur county, 
where he continued in practice until shortly before his death. He was a very 
successful physician. In politics, he was a Democrat. Probably he was not 
a member of any church, though possibly a Methodist. He was a moral and 
exemplarj^ man : a good citizen ; neat in apparel : liked to talk medicine and 
was always instructive and entertaining. His advice to one doctor was, 
"When you don't know what to do, give calomel." He surely was a calomel 
doctor. He believed in blood-letting, as was common at that time in cer- 
tain conditions. He was a safe and discreet consultant. Doctor Arming- 
ton's name is among the members of the Decatur County Medical Society, 
organized on January 25, 1847. He was a member of Greensburg Lodge 
No. 36, Free and Accepted Masons. 

In an obituary in the Decatur Republican, published in Greensburg, we 
find the following tribute from his lodge : 


"His labors have been indefatigable, and success, corresponding, his 
skill and knowledge are known and acknowledged by all. To relie\e suffer- 
ing has Ijeen the leading object of his life. Where\-er the sufferer was he 
was ever ready to go, whether among the rich or poor, among the noble or 
ignoble. A man of mark — in whatever department he acted with his fellow- 
man — he was made for a ruler. His own clear intellect and varied attain- 
ments rendered him prominent in the community. Unpretending, yet com- 
manding, such position was never sought, but always attained. But while 
yet in the midst of usefulness to his family and community, he has been 
removed by death, and the living have a legacy in his character and dis- 
charge a last duty to him by conveying his body to that narrow house to 
which all the living are hastening; therefore, 

"Resolved, That, as a lodge, we attend the funeral of our deceased 
brother, to testify our high esteem for him as a man and a ]\Iason, and to 
assure those of his immediate family that they have our heart-felt sympathy. 
"Resolved, That in the character of our deceased brother we recognize 
the accomplished physician, the intelligent and honorable gentleman, the 
devoted husband and father, as well as a much esteemed and consistent man. 
"B. W. Wilson, 
"J. B. Lathrop, 

"George M. Collins, Secretary." 

His remains rest in South Park Cemetery, beside his two wives, se\eral 
sons and other members of his family. 

Sam C. Bartholomew was a member of the Decatur County Aledical 
Society, organized on January 25, 1847, but no other history of him can 
be found. 

Dr. William Bracken, a noted physician and esteemed resident of Greens- 
burg since 1862, was born near Valley Junction, Dearborn county, Indiana, 
May 26, 1817. His parents, Thomas and Matilda (Coen) Bracken, removed 
with their family to Rush county, Indiana, in 182 1. In 1834, when only 
seventeen years old, young Bracken began the study of medicine with Drs. 
H. C. Sexton and W. H. Martin, in Rushville. Being a persistent student 
and eager for knowledge, his acquirements soon gave him claim to an exam- 
ination and license for the practice of medicine. Medical colleges at that day 
were not available to many, but a ]irovision, as substitute for them, was the 
district board of censors, to whom by state law, was given the privilege to 


examine and license to practice medicine such as desired it. Young Bracken, 
being recommended, appeared before the censors of the fifth medical dis- 
trict, passed his examinations successfully and received his license, which 
read as follows : 

"We, therefore, have licensed William Bracken to practice as a phy- 
sician and surgeon, with all the rights and privileges and honors thereonto 
appertaining, and we do recommend him to the faculty and the patronage 
of the public. 

"Done at Connersville, Indiana, November 2, 1836, the year of Amer- 
ican independence the sixty-first. 

"Witness our hands and the seal of the society atfixed. 

"John ]\I. Howland, Prcs., 

[Seal.] "Rvland T. Brown, Sec."' 

Dr. John M. Howland was the father-in-law of Dr. John W. JMoody, 
of Greensburg. He was a prominent physician of the day and a graduate of 
the University of Maryland, in 18 19. 

Dr. Ryland J. Brown was a graduate of the Ohio Medical College, at 
Cincinnati, class of 1829. He was state geologist in 1854 and professor of 
natural science in Northwestern Christian University, at Indianapolis, in 
1858. He was an author and a man of mark and unusual acquirements. 

Doctor Bracken, within sixty days after receiving his authority to 
practice medicine, removed to a small village in Jackson county, remaining 
there but a short time. It seems he had plenty of malaria and practice, and 
but little pay. Returning to Rush county, he located at Richland, and later 
at Milroy. In 1862 he remo^'ed to Greensburg. On November 9, 1837, 
Doctor Bracken was married to Patience A. Berry, of Rush county, and to 
this union there were born four sons and one daughter. Mrs. Bracken died 
on April 18, 1898. in Greensburg. Mrs. Martha Rucker is the only survivor 
of the family. 

In 1850, while a resident of Rush county. Doctor Bracken was elected 
a delegate to the constitutional convention of Indiana and was the last sur- 
viving member. 

For the advancement of his chosen profession he was always a willing 
worker. He was an acti\e member in the county medical society, and very 
seldom absent from its meetings. When Doctor Bracken spoke, the mem- 
bers present always "sat up and took notice," as he always said something — 
though not always according to conceded points or opinions. He was some- 
times aggressive, but defended, with ability, authorities cited or his personal 


experience given to sustain his position. Doctor Bracken was a good diag- 
nostician, a close obser\er, did his own thinking and formed his own opinions 
and conchisions. In the sick room he acted, and knew why he did so. He 
had confidence in himself. He w'as president of the Decatur County Med- 
ical Society several years. In later years he let those who experimented with 
new remedies lead, and, when tested and proven, was ready to approve and 
use them. 

Doctor Bracken was one of the first secretaries of the county board of 
health as now organized. 

The last time Doctor Bracken met with the county society, he was 
called on to address the members then present. His remarks were almost 
entirely reminescent, as a pioneer physician, relating to the hardships, dan- 
gers, difficulties, doubts and trials of these physicians, which were described 
with trembling voice, sometimes with sadness, again animated with the pride 
of victory and success. Some of the older physicians present had similar 
experience, while the younger were surprised and perhaps skeptical. In 
those days visits were necessarily made on horseback, with saddle bags to 
carry his armamentarium of herbs, roots, barks, etc., often to be prepared 
at the bedside as infusions. There were no granular tablets or fluid extracts 
in those days. 

Doctor Bracken had always been a Democrat. He believed in govern- 
ment by the people, for the people. He was a Mason and for many }-ears 
was worshipful master of Greensburg Lodge No. 36, which had charge 
of the burial ceremony. . 

An incident in the life of Doctor Bracken is probably proper to relate 
here. He was devoted to his profession, lodge, church and other duties, 
and not disposed to sacrifice any of them to the requirements of society. 
Dressing reluctantly for a function of this kind, he said to his wife, "Mother, 
I would rather ride ten miles than go." A call at the door gave him the 
opportunity to miss the party and see the patient, sure enough ten miles 
away. A ride through the cold dark night, letting down fences, wandering 
across fields with doubts as to his course, he finally arrived at his destination, 
to be detained several hours to relieve a patient in distress. Later, the 
doctor said that while he had failed to meet his friends at the party, the 
satisfaction of having relie\'ed pain and suffering and saved a life more 
than recompensed him and that he would do it again under similar circum- 

Dr. L. C. Bunker was born in Cayuga county. New York, on October 
21, 1 82 1. His parents moved to Oberlin, Ohio, when he was a small lad, 


and went from there to Branch county, Michigan, in 1833. Later they set- 
tled in Boone county, Indiana, and in 1848 located in Ripley county. While 
in Michigan, L. C. Bunker had the unusual experience of associating him- 
self with an Indian trilae and in two years became cjuite intimate with 
Indian life and lore, being able to converse intelligently with the red men 
of the Michigan wilderness. At the breaking out of the Mexican war, in 
1846, he enlisted in the second Illinois Regiment, that joined Taylor's army 
and marched to the city of JMexico. He began the study of medicine in 1845. 
in the office of Doctor Wright, at Belvidere, Illinois, and after his return 
from the war, he took a course of lectures in the Rush Medical College, in 
Chicago; in 1852, he graduated from the Eclectic Medical College in Cin- 
cinnati, Ohio. After practicing several years in Ripley county, he removed 
to Greensburg in 1865. 

Doctor Bunker married Alvira E. Alden, of Ripley county, on Novem- 
ber 15, 1849. Eight children were born, five of whom survive: Mrs. Lucy 
E. Montgomer}', of Chattanooga, Tennesee; Henry A., a physician of New 
York city; George, engaged in business in Dover, Delaware; Mrs. ]May \\'ise, 
of Brooklyn, New York, and Arthur Clifford, an electrician, of Mount Clair, 
New Jersey. One son, William, a physician at Winston, Illinois, died in 
1892. Doctor .Bunker's first wife died some twenty-fi\'e years ago, and, on 
April 5, 1899, he married Mrs. Ida V. McElvain. 

Doctor Bunker practiced medicine more than fifty-three years in Rip- 
ley and Decatur counties. He was a verj' successful physician and surgeon 
and kept up with the advanced knowledge of the profession. His former 
patrons speak with commendation of his care for the interest and comfort of 
his patients — always attentive, kind and sympathetic. Doctor Bunker was a 
member of the Baptist church and when possible an attendant at the services 
of the church. He died on his farm near Greensburg, on August 26, 1907. 
and his remains rest in South Park cemetery. 

Dr. Cornelius Cain was born on August i, 1808, near Dover, Delaware, 
and died on June 28, 1903, in this county, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. 
Orlando Hamilton. His father settled in Brookville, Franklin county, about 
1827. Doctor Cain studied medicine with Dr. Rufus Haymond, in Brook- 
ville. He began the practice of medicine at Laurel, and in 1857 he removed 
to Clarksburg, Decatur, county. He was married to Eliza Clements in 1836. 
To them were born ten children, of whom seven lived to rear families. 
Two sons, Albert and John, are Methodist preachers. Albert resides in 
New Jersey, and John is in the North Indiana conference. Homer was 
engaged in business and died in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1893. Another 


son, Elmer Ellsworth, who was a teacher, died in 1890. The daughters 
were Mrs. Orlando Hamilton, Nancy, the widow of E. M. Smith, living 
at Muncie, and Mrs. Emma Bell, living at Upland. 

Doctor Cain continued in practice from 1857 to 1898, forty-one 
years, in Clarksburg, when he retired to reside with his daughter, Mrs. 
Orlando Hamilton, near Kingston, where he lived until his death. Doctor 
Cain was a frequent attendant at the Decatur County Medical Society. He 
often reported cases in minute detail, showing that he was a close observer 
and good diagnostician. He reported several cases of colitis (dysentery) 
treated with castor oil and tincture of opium successfully, which was not 
the usual treatment at that day, neither was the treatment in vogue nearly 
so successful as his. 

Dr. Abram Carter came from Kentucky to Greensburg prior to 1847, 
and was present at the organization of perhaps the first medical society on 
January 25, 1847. His daughter was the wife of Dr. George W. New, sur- 
geon of a regiment of Indiana volunteers. She was a very efficient nurse 
and was with her husband during his service, being a great favorite with 
the members of the regiment. Doctor Carter probably died in this county. 

Dr. Cornelius A. Covert, the son of Samuel Covert, was born in Har- 
mony, Butler county, on June i, 1831, and died in Greensburg, Indiana, 
March 29, 1910. At the solicitation of Dr. John W. Moody, he came to 
Decatur county during the Civil War, from Williamstown, on the Decatur- 
Rush county line, where he had been only a few years in practice. He 
read medicine in his native town of Harmony with Dr. Lusk, took a med- 
ical course at Cleveland, Ohio, and, in 1869, a post-graduate course in the 
Chicago Medical College. Doctor Covert was in continuous practice from 
the time he came to Decatur county, except a few instances when he returned 
to his old home in Pennsylvania, and when he was absent in Chicago in 
1869. Doctor Covert was a safe and conser\'ative physician, always atten- 
tive to the most minute detail, and never "gave a case up" as long as the 
patient breathed, and hardly then. He believed in "feeding," had confidence 
in remedies, was successful in his surgical cases, and had the confidence of 
his patrons to an unusual degree, because he had confidence in himself and 
the remedial means he used. If duty called him, he seemed indifferent to 
pain. In one of many instances he made daily visits to see cases under his 
care after he had been thrown out of his buggy and two ribs broken and 
other injuries received. He continued to do so after all efifort to prevail 
on him to desist had failed. Dr. Covert came to Williamstown prior to the 
fall of 1858, probably in 1857. None of his family resides in Decatur 


county. One son, Samuel, lives in Dayton, Ohio, and another, named for 
his old friend. Dr. J. W. Moody, resides in Indianapolis. 

The late Dr. Francis M. Daily, of Milhousen. was born in Ireland on 
March i6, 1842, and came to America with his parents in 1847. He was the 
son of Dr. Michael Daily, who practiced in this county from the time of his 
arrival in America in 1847 until his death. Dr. Francis M. Daily was mar- 
ried on April 26, 1865, to Catherine Conwell, of Westport. He began the 
practice of medicine in 186S at Milhousen, Dr. John Hicks being in practice 
there at that time. 

Dr. Richard J. Depew was born in 18 15. He practiced medicine in St. 
Omer, and later in St. Paul, Decatur county, for many years. He was a 
sturdy, robust man, physically able for the hardships of the pioneer phy- 
sician. For many years his professional trips were made on horseback. He 
was a bachelor until late in life. He was a stanch Republican and was 
always ready to defend the principles of the party. Indifferent and neg- 
lectful in keeping his accounts, if he needed money, which was seldom, he 
would call on some of his patrons and "jump" accounts, indifferent as to 
whether his was too much or little. If too much, it was the fault of the 
patron, who "ought to have been sick more." It was his way of "squaring 
books." He moved to Indianapolis after marriage, and died there in 1879. 
He left a large bequest. 

Dr. Jesse M. Gillespie was, perhaps, the first physician to locate in 
Greensburg, as he was. here prior to the year 1825. He Iniilt a brick resi- 
dence, the second one in the town, in 1826, on the south side of the square. 
He died in 1833, and his widow married Mr. Thomson. 

Dr. John Y. Hitt was born in Oldham county, Kentucky, on February 
9, 1832. He studied medicine and graduated at the University of Kentucky 
in 1853. He came to Decatur county in 1854, to follow his profession. He 
was married to Martha Logan, daughter of Samuel Logan, Sr., in 1853. 
Two sons were born to this union. Dr. Sherman B. and Joel, both deceased. 
When the Seventeenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, was organized. Dr. J. 
Y. Hitt was appointed surgeon and served with Wilder's brigade. When the 
first board of examining surgeons for pensions was organized for Decatur 
county. Doctor Hitt was appointed as secretary by Commissioner of Pensions 
John C. Black, on February 11, 1886, serving in that capacity up to May 8, 
1889. Doctor Hitt continued in practice in Greensburg up to a few years 
before his death. He was surgeon for the Big Four Railroad Company for 
a number of years, and the Grand Army of the Republic, department of 
Indiana, for two years. Doctor Hitt, with short intervals of absence, prac- 



ticed medicine in Decatur county about fifty-five years. He died in Greens- 
burg and was buried in South Park cemeteiy. Mrs. Martha Hitt also is 

Dr. Sherman B. Hitt was born in Suhivan, lUinois, January lo, 1854, 
and died in Greensburg. He was the son of Dr. John Y. and Martha 
(Logan) Hitt. Except a very few years, he always resided in Greensburg. 
He graduated in the Greensburg public schools, later attended Notre Dame 
Institution two years. He attended the Jefferson Medical College at Phila- 
delphia, and graduated in the Ohio Medical College in 1886. Doctor Hitt 
was a member of the city council for about twenty years. He was also sec- 
retary of the Greensburg board of health for several years. He belonged 
to the Greensburg Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Dr. Sher- 
man Hitt married Mrs. Mary Cline. of Greensburg, May 9, 1893, and one 
daughter was born to them. 

Dr. Sherman B. Hitt, who spent more than fifty years of his life in 
Greensburg, was known by almost everybody. He was neat in his dress, 
always tidy and was large, portly and stylish. As a citizen, he was popular, 
as shown by his frequent election to city offices. As a physician, he was up 
to the times in his profession. His death, on September 25, 1911, was sud- 
den and a great shock to those who knew him and greatly regretted by his 
friends and patrons. A daughter, Gladys M., was married to Louis S. 
Linville on May 13, 1915. 

Dr. Silas Cooke was born in Montville, New Jersey, in 1809. He grad- 
uated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City in 
1832. He was married the same year to Hannah Maria Mills, of Morris- 
town, New Jersey, and commenced the practice of medicine in Boonton, in 
the same state. In 1844, he remo\'ed to Rahway, New Jersey, and in 1866 
to Greensburg, Indiana, where he died in 1882. Doctor Cooke was a cour- 
teous gentleman; in his practice he was ethical, conforming to the rules and 
usages of the profession, and was highly respected by his associates in the 
profession for his qualifications and polished manners. The doctor's family 
consisted of wife, two daughters and one son. All are deceased except Mrs. 
Marshall Grover, of Greensburg. 

Dr. J. Mills Cooke was born in Boonton, New Jersey, in 1835, graduated 
from Princeton College in 1855, and later from the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of New York City. He began the practice of medicine in 
Toledo, Ohio. He was surgeon in the Twenty-fourth Ohio Regiment from 
1862, and was taken prisoner at Chickamauga with all the medical corps and 
sent to Libby prison. Upon his release he rejoined his regiment and was 


with Sherman on his march to the sea. At the close of the war he returned 
to Toledo and in 1876 he came to Adams. Decatur county, where he died 
in 1884. He was a son of Dr. Silas Cooke and brother of Mrs. Marshall 
Grover, of Greensburg. 

Dr. Thomas Johnson was born in Oswego count)-. New York, on 
January 14, 1827, and came west with his parents in 1838. He was a sopho- 
more when he quit the now DePauw University to begin the study of medi- 
cine, which he did under Dr. I. P. Kilcher, of Laurel. He graduated at the 
Cincinnati Medical College in 1865. He had, however, practiced before this 
and had located at Clarksburg, where he remained until 1882. At this time 
he removed to Greensburg and practiced his profession successfully. After 
the election of President Harrison, he was, in May, 1889, appointed by 
Commissioner of Pensions James Tanner on the board of pension examin- 
ing surgeons for Decatur county, on which he served four and a half years. 
He was a Mason, having belonged to Decatur Lodge No. 36 and Chapter 
No. 8. He was a member of the Methodist church in Greensburg. He was 
married on January i, 1854, in Fayette county, and two married daughters 
survive. The mother died in October, 1870. On May 28, 1871, he married 
Sarah F. Gest, who survives her husband, who died in Clarksburg. 

Dr. Elliott W. Leech came to Milford from Cincinnati, Ohio, about the 
year 1856, and entered in partnership with Dr. James O'Byrne, which asso- 
ciation continued until he removed to St. Paul in 1862. From there he was 
commissioned assistant surgeon in the One Hundred and Twenty-third Regi- 
ment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Resigning his commission, he returned 
to St. Paul, and later, in 1865, returned to Milford to resume the practice 
at that place. In 1876, he removed to Shelbyville and followed his pro- 
fession. While at that place he was appointed a member of the board of 
examining surgeons for pensions, which he filled with credit until the reor- 
ganization of the board. Doctor Leech was a very successful physician, 
made many friends and had the utmost confidence of his patrons. He died 
in Shelbyville, leaving a wife, one daughter and two sons. 

Dr. Lewis McAllister and brother, Lucius, also a physician, came from 
New Jersey and located at Milford as early as 1840. The latter moved to 
Crawford county, Illinois, married a widow, Mrs. Alfred Lagow. and died 
there. Dr. Lewis McAllister, when he came to Milford, was apparently but 
a boy. He remained there until the spring of 1865, when he removed to 
Windfall, Howard county, Indiana, where he engaged in practice of medi- 
cine up to his death, in 1890, being in active practice more than fifty years. 


Doctor McAllister believed in calomel, antimony and bleeding, a heroic 
practitioner, even in his day. He was a man of strong convictions and a 
Republican in politics. Dr. John L. \\'ooden was a student of Dr. McAllister. 
The latter was a member of the Decatur County Medical Society, attending 
the meeting of January 25, 1847, the first in the county of which any record 
is found. He married Rachel Fugit about 1850. There were no children. 
She was an active and working member of the Methodist church. 

Dr. Samuel Maguire was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, 
November 25, 1818. His father, James Maguire, moved with his family, 
consisting of the wife and eight children, to Mason county, Kentucky, in 
1 83 1. He was the contractor who built the old ]\Iaysville and Le.xington 
turnpike, which is said to be the best in the world. In 1832 they moved 
to Fleming, an adjoining county, and lived near the one-time popular old 
Blue Lick Springs. Doctor Maguire's education was obtained at the famous 
Maysville Academy, conducted by Rand and Richardson. This academy 
claimed the distinction of having for its pupils Gen. William H. Nelson, 
Gen. U. S. Grant. Hon. H. Watterson and many others of historic fame. 
Samuel Maguire graduated in medicine at Transylvania University and began 
the practice in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, in 1840. In 1842 he married Eliza 
R. Fleming, the granddaughter of John D. Fleming, after whom the county 
and town were named. To this union three sons and one daughter were 
born. John J., William F., Samuel and Ida Louise. The daughter sun-ives 
and is now the wife of Judge James K. Ewing, of Greensburg. 

In 1854, Doctor Maguire moved to Missouri, where he remained six 
years, and while there he served two terms in the Missouri Senate. In i860, 
he returned to Flemingsburg, just when the South was on the brink of war. 
He at once took a bold stand for the National Union. Being gifted as a 
public speaker, he endeavored to persuade the people to stand by the flag. 
His position was one of great personal danger. He was denounced, threat- 
ened and persecuted, but his fealty to the government was never lessened, and 
he remained steadfast in his loyalty to what he believed a just cause. He 
enlisted in the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, and was commissioned assistant 
surgeon. Afterwards he served as surgeon in the Forty-fifth Kentucky 
Mounted Infantry with the rank of major. The war over, he returned to 
his old Kentucky home, to find that many who had once delighted to call 
him their friend and family physician were now bitter enemies. His wife 
died soon afterward and he decided to turn his back on the scenes that had 
once been dear to him and seek a new home in Greensburg, Indiana, taking 
with him his youngest son, Samuel, and his daughter, Ida Louise. 


In 1872 he married Mrs. Bella Willett, of Louisville, Kentucky. To 
this union two sons were born, Herbert Cortez and Neil Gillespie. In 1891, 
he moved, with his wife and two younger sons, to Louisville, Kentucky, 
where he died from paralysis on August 10, 1892. He was laid to rest in 
beautiful Crown Hill cemetery. 

During Dr. ]\Iaguire's long residence in Greensburg he made many 
warm friends. He stood high in his chosen profession ; was a high Mason ; 
a leading elder in the Christian church and a prominent Grand Army man. 
His activities were ceaseless, but in whatever circle one found him, he was 
always the same courteous, fair-minded Christian gentleman, with a sterling 
integrity and advocacy for the right. 

Dr. John ^^^ Moody, a pioneer physician, became a resident of Greens- 
burg in 1839. He was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, on June 12, 1816. 
He was one of the four delegates to the convention from Decatur county 
who were present at the formation of the present State Medical Society 
(now association), June 6, 1849, at Indianapolis. 

Among some papers found in 1865, left by Dr. Lewis McAllister, for- 
merly of Milford, Indiana, was an article by Dr. J. W. Moody, read before 
the state medical society on "Epidemic Dysentery." There was no date to 
the paper, but it must have been written as early as 1851 or 1852, as a 
very fatal epidemic prevailed in this county about that time,, and the doctor 
was in the midst of it. He was a regular attendant at the meetings of the 
State Medical Society up to his death, and discussed, with great ability, any 
and all subjects coming before the society. As a practitioner he was careful, 
skillful, discreet and successful. For a number of years he was a member of 
the board of trustees of the state hospital for the insane. Among the doc- 
tor's duties, he was often called on to examine applicants for certificates to 
teach in the public schools. An applicant got a certificate that read : "This 
woman can read a little and write a little." It is not known if she taught. 

Doctor Moody was a Republican. A safe and discreet adviser, he was 
often consulted by Governor Morton and others in his position in his party. 

Doctor Moody was married to Martha Howland, daughter of Dr. John 
M. Howland, who died in Brookville, Indiana, January 11, 1858. There 
were two sons. After the doctor's death, on August 27, 1867, Mrs. Moody 
and one son removed to New York city. She was an authoress of note, an 
entertaining conversationalist and a dignified and beautiful woman. 

Dr. Theophilus E. F. Miller was born in Buffalo, New York, February 
4, 1852, and died in Westport on May 26, 1908. He came to Milford, Deca- 
tur county, Indiana, early in 1884, direct from the Hahnemann ]\Iedical Col- 


lege, of Chicago, Illinois. His predecessor, an eclectic and homeopathic, Dr. 
James O'Byrne, after more than twenty-two years' practice, had made an 
opening for a physician of the school, from which Doctor Miller had recently 
graduated. Doctor Miller was of German parentage (Lutherans) and came 
to Chicago with his parents about 1855. He attended the schools of that 
city and lived there up to his coming to Milford, where he remained in the 
practice of medicine for about two years. Doctor Miller was a firm believer 
in the similia similibus curantur theory of his brother physicians of that 
order and practiced it without deviation or concession. While in Milford, he 
made many friends and patrons, was a bachelor, wore a Prince Albert coat, 
neat and always well dressed, gentlemanly and respected by everyone who 
knew him. In 1886 he moved to Westport, in this county, where he had a 
lucrative practice up to his death, which was regretted by his many friends 
and patrons. Doctor Miller was married to Mrs. Nannie Cann in January, 
1895. She died on June 10, 1915. 

Dr. George W. New was a graduate of the Ohio Medical College, at 
Cincinnati, in the class of 1839-40. He located in Greensburg and was 
engaged in practice until 1859. He was a member of the Decatur County 
Medical Society on January 25, 1847, ^"d was a delegate from Decatur 
county to the convention at Indianapolis, June 12, 1849, that formed the 
present state medical association. In 1859 he removed to Indianapolis to 
enlarge his field for surgical work, as he was specially qualified as a surgeon. 
This was recognized by Governor Morton, who commissioned him surgeon 
of the Seventh Indiana Regiment of Volunteer Infantry in 1861, he serving 
three years. In 1864 Governor Morton, having confidence in his integrity 
and qualifications, sent him to New Orleans as military agent for Indiana. 

After the war he was for two years examiner of drugs in the Nevi^ 
Orleans custom house, showing his standing with the federal government. 
Doctor New was a man of fine presence and general accomplishments. He 
died in Indianapolis in 1891, aged seventy-two years. Mrs. New accom- 
panied her husband and rendered very efficient service as a nurse, endear- 
ing herself by her kindness and interest in many ways. She was a daughter 
of Dr. Abram Carter, one of the early physicians of Greensburg. 

Dr. James O'Byrne, eclectic and homeopath, was born in Ireland in 
1820. He came with his parents to America, locating near Brookville, Frank- 
lin county, Indiana, in 1832. He married Ann D. Moore in the year 1840. 
He moved to Milford, Decatur county, in 1851, where he practiced medicine 
tip to 1873, when he and his family and the families of two of his sons 
removed to Carroll county, Missouri. He practiced medicine at that place 


Up to his death, in 1896. Doctor O'Bryne was a successful physician, made 
many friends, and had a large practice up to the time of his removal. 

Dr. Uriah G. Reeves was born in Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, in 
1820, and died in Milford in 1882. He was educated at Allegheny College, 
Meadville, Pennsylvania, after which he taught school at Shelbyville and 
Liberty, Indiana. He was married to Jane Craig on February 28, 1846. He 
read medicine with Dr. William Armington. He began practice at St. Omer, 
remaining there five years, and then followed his profession at Greensburg 
from i860 to 1863, when he removed to Milford, continuing in practice 
there up to his death, in 1882, from cerebro-spinal meningitis, which pre- 
vailed at that time. Doctor Reeves was a local preacher in the Methodist 
church and was always ready and willing to serve in that capacity. He was 
a member of the Decatur County Medical Society, a good debater and con- 
tributed several papers of merit on medical subjects. He was also an Odd 
Fellow, in which order he passed all the chairs and was elected a representa- 
tive to the grand lodge from Centenary Lodge No. 535. As a member of 
the investigating and other committees, he was fair, unbiased and just. His 
family consisted of a wife, four daughters and one son. The latter died in 
1866, aged about eight years. Doctor Reeves was successful in his practice 
and was always willing to serve the needy, regardless of compensation. He 
could do more practice on a small quantity of medicine than almost any other 
doctor. His remains rest in Milford cemetery. 

Dr. William F. Reiley was born on April 21, 1828. He received a com- 
mon-school education and taught school several years. He read medicine 
with Dr. William Armington, beginning practice in 1854. On February 8, 
1859, he was married to Sarah E. Hood, daughter of William Hood, a sol- 
dier of the War of 1812 and an early settler in Decatur county. To this 
union two children were born, Anne H., who married Sanford Darrah, now 
living at San Diego, California, and one, the youngest, who died in infancy. 
Doctor Reiley had an extensive practice in all directions from Sardina before, 
during and after the Civil War. He was president of the first board of 
examining surgeons for pensions, under President Cleveland, with Dr. J. Y. 
Hitt and J. H. Alexander. In his association with men of the profession he 
was found always polite, patient, sympathetic and considerate in the 
interest of the soldier, never being able to do as much for them 
as he desired. He never desired office, as his time was engaged pro- 
fessionally, but he was prevailed upon and elected joint senator from Deca- 
tur, Jennings and Scott counties in the state senate for one or more terms. 
He was a Democrat and highly respected by all parties. He died at Sardina, 


this county, November 21, 1895. The hst of graduates of the Medical 
College of Ohio shows that W. F. Reiley, of Indiana, graduated in 1858. 

Dr. A. S. Remy was born near Brookville, Indiana, October 16, 1819. 
After passing his boyhood on a farm and receiving a common-school edu- 
cation, he entered the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, from which he 
was a graduate. In 1844 he was united in marriage to Almirah Scoby, and 
moved to Zenas, Jennings county, where he engaged in the practice of medi- 
cine. To this union were born three sons and one daughter. In 1856 he 
bought a farm near Greensburg, Decatur county, and engaged in farming, 
together with the practice of medicine. His wife died in 1862, and the fol- 
lowing year he was married to Annie Kluge. To this union two children 
were born, one son and one daughter, the daughter dying in infancy. Doc- 
tor Remy was a member of the Presbyterian church and a member of the 
Masonic fraternity. He died March 31, 1890. 

Dr. Alfred Scoby Remy was born on January 29, 1847, ^t Zenas, Jen- 
nings county, and died at Zenas on June 20, 1882, being buried at South 
Park cemetery, Greensburg. He graduated at the Ohio Medical College in 
1869. He was married to Anna DeBolt on February 14, 1869. There were 
four children born to this union : Harry ; Nellie, who died in Kansas in 
1873; Mrs. Ella Carter, living, and Carl, who died in Greensburg in 1893. 
Doctor Remy practiced medicine in Jennings and Decatur counties. 

Dr. William H. Remy was born on October 30, 1850, at Zenas, Jen- 
nings county, Indiana. He was educated at Butlerville College, Butlerville, 
Indiana, after which he entered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati. He 
began the practice of medicine in 1875 at Millhousen, Decatur county. In 
1878 he was married to Delia Carper. He continued in the practice of his 
chosen profession until 1886, when he moved to Kansas and engaged in 

Dr. John Ritchie removed from Greensburg to Milford, Decatur county, 
at an early day and was one of the first physicians to locate at that village 
in the forties. One of his daughters married a Methodist minister. Rev. 
Landy Haven. Another daughter, Sallie, married Lieut. A. J. Hungate, and 
with her husband moved to Topeka, Kansas, in 1866. Doctor Ritchie was 
most probably a member of the medical society organized on January 25, 

Doctor Edmund Swem was born near Camden, New Jersey, on August 
12, 1810, and died in Greensburg on March 4, 1898. He received his medi- 
cal education at Cincinnati and began the practice of medicine at Peru, 
Indiana, later practicing at Mooresville. He came to Greensburg about 


1846. He married Martha Gibson, daughter of Israel Gibson, an early resi- 
dent of Greensburg- and a soldier of the War of 1812. His remains rest in 
South Park cemetery. A plain marble slab marks the Gibson grave. He 
was a Mason, which was noted on the headstone. Doctor Swem and his 
wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary several years before his 
death, in 1898. Mrs. Swem survived her husband. Rev. Edmund Hez 
Swem, pastor of the Second Baptist church, Washington, D. C, and Mrs. 
Ale Howard, of Greensburg, are the only children surviving. Doctor Swem 
was president of the Decatur County Medical Society in 1869, and was 
re-elected in 187 1. He was a regular attendant at the meetings and filled 
other offices up to the time he was unable to attend owing to the infirmities 
of age. He was a delegate to the State Medical Association several times. 
He was a member of the Presbyterian church and his pew was seldom vacant 
at its meetings. Doctor Swem was a conservative and cautious physician; 
he advocated small doses : he had faith in the recuperative powers of nature ; 
he was not very favorable to calomel, as he had seen the ill effects of its 
abuse. He was very neat in his dress, quiet in demeanor, always polite, 
unassuming and gentlemanly. 

There was also a Doctor Teal, who lived in Greensburg and who died 
in 1833. 

Dr. J. L. Underwood came to Milford about 1856. He married a Miss 
Avery, who lived on a farm on Flat Rock, Shelby county. There were two 
daughters. He removed from Milford to St. Paul early in the Civil War 
period. He died from cancer of the stomach and was buried at Ogden ceme- 
tery, near Waldron. He was a popular and successful physician and had 
many friends at both Milford and St. Paul. 

Dr. Newbery Wheeldon practiced medicine in this county prior to i860, 
following what was then known as the Thomsonian system, and called 
"steam doctors" by some in derision. These doctors used lobelia to control 
fevers, colds and almost any disease "flesh is heir to." Their system was 
mostly by stimulation, profuse sweating and discarded all mineral prepara- 
tions as used by the allopaths in that day. The abuse of calomel by some of 
the ultra-allopaths, who believed that salivation (ptyalism) was the only sal- 
vation in certain conditions, made patrons for this class of doctors, and they 
made all the capital possible out of it. Doctor ^^^heeIdon was perhaps the last 
doctor to practice that system in the county, as the eclectics have superseded 
them here. 

Dr. M. H. Williams-Letts, eclectic, was a member of the board of 
examining surgeons for pensions with J. H. Alexander and W. H. \\'ooden. 


organized on May 19, 1897, and served on the board until June 19, 1901, 
when he resigned and removed to Indianapohs. He was. a careful, conscien- 
tious examiner always ready for the duties of his office and pleasant and 
obliging in his relations with others. 

Dr. John L. Wooden was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, May 17, 
1826, and came with his parents to Decatur county, Indiana, in October, 
1830. In 1848 he began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Louis 
McAllester, at Milford, Decatur county. In 1853 he began the practice of 
medicine in Andersonville, Franklin county, and continued there up to 1859, 
when he entered the Medical College of Ohio, and on March i, i860, re- 
ceived his degree of Doctor of Medicine. His first military service was 
with the Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. On the formation of the 
Sixty-eighth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, he was commissioned sur- 
geon of that regiment, on August 29, 1862, having rendered efficient service 
in this organization. With his regiment, he was taken prisoner of war at 
Mumfordville, Kentucky, in September, 1862. He was exchanged in Novem- 
ber, 1862, but was again taken prisoner while in charge of the division hos- 
pital during the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863. He was sent 
to Libby prison and remained a prisoner until exchanged three months later. 
He acted as brigade surgeon in General Willich's command and was an active 
member of the medical staff up to the end of the Civil War. Doctor Wooden 
was the first pension examining surgeon for Decatur county, and remained 
in charge up to the appointment of the first board of examining surgeons 
for pensions, imder the Cleveland administration. His services in that capac- 
ity were eminently satisfactory to the soldiers, and duly appreciated by the 
pension department. Doctor Wooden was a regular attendant at the County 
Medical Society and State Medical Association and was a willing and work- 
ing member in both. His reports of cases were always interesting, instruc- 
tive and inspiring. His diagnosis of cases seemed to be by intuition, so 
prompt and so generally correct were they. As a consultant he was help- 
ful and tactful, and gave confidence and hope to the patient. As a surgeon 
he was cautious and skillful. He paid special attention to the details, anti- 
septically, in preparation for operative surgery, and hence his general suc- 
cess. Doctor Wooden was of Methodist parentage and had been a mem- 
ber since early in life. For many years prior to his death he was a leading 
Mason and was master of Concordia Lodge of Greensburg at the time of 
his death, his service as master embracing the following periods: 1873-81, 
1883-4, 1886. As a soldier, he seldom failed to ineet with his comrades of 
Pap Thomas Post No. 5, Grand Army of the Republic, of which he had 


been commander. He was also senior vice-commander of the Department 
of Indiana of the Grand Army of the Repubhc. Doctor Wooden's death 
occurred on Sunday, November 28, 1886, to the regret and surprise of his 
many friends. His indomitable energy and active life was more than his 
enfeebled condition could bear. He left his wife, Mrs. Sarah Guest Wooden, 
and four children — Dr. W. H. Wooden, now deceased: Elmer E. Wooden, 
Mrs. Edgar Hamilton and Mrs. Ida Moss — to mourn his sudden death. 

Dr. William Herschel Wooden was born in the village of Milford, 
Decatur county, Indiana, August 12, 1857, and died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 
April 23, 1903. In 1867, he came to Greensburg with his father's family, 
where he pursued his studies in the public schools up to his graduation in 
the high school in 1873. He then entered, for a classical course, the State 
University at Bloomington. In 1876 he began the study of medicine with 
his father. Dr. John L. Wooden, and graduated from the Medical College 
of Ohio in 1879, eminently well qualified for the practice of medicine and 
surgery. On his return to Greensburg he entered his father's office as a 
partner in his extensive and lucrative practice. Prior to 1882 he was elected 
secretary of the Decatur County Medical Society, and was an efficient officer 
for several years. In keeping the records and abstracts of important cases 
reported by the members, he was accurate, bringing out the important point 
in each case, not infrequently taking part in the discussion to cover in his 
report real deficiencies in the discussion. He seldom failed to be at the 
meetings of the State Medical Society, in which he took great interest. Doc- 
tor Wooden continued in a successful practice in this city up to 1888, when 
he had a call from parties who knew his qualifications and appointed him 
civil engineer on the Maple Leaf railroad through Missouri and Kansas to 
Minneapolis, and later with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. 
After his return, in 1892, he was appointed secretary of the county board 
of health, continuing up to December, 1894, his professional business pre- 
cluding his continuance in that office any longer. In May, 1897, Doctor 
Wooden was appointed secretary of the board of examining surgeons for 
pensions in Greensburg, serving in that capacity up to November, 1899, 
when, because of the pressure of professional business, he resigned, to the 
regret of his associates on the board, Doctors Williams and .AJexander, who 
always found him accurate, truthful and careful in his examinations and 
scrupulously neat and correct in his papers. Dr. Herschel Wooden was a 
Mason, and served as master of his lodge in 1892 to 1893 and 1894. He 
also belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Sons of Veterans and the Benev- 
olent and Protective Order of Elks. He continued in the practice of medi- 


cine and surgery up to his fatal sickness in 1903. His mother, brother and 
two sisters survive and reside in Greensbnrg. His remains rest in South 
Park cemetery, Greensbnrg, alongside his father. 

Dr. James Brown Bracken was a graduate of a Philadelphia college of 
medicine and practiced medicine for many years with his father, Dr. William 
Bracken, of Rush and Decatur counties, though the latter part of his life was 
devoted to the care of his father after he had retired from active life, owing 
to ill health. Dr. James B. Bracken was a man well read in his profession 
and other fields of literatiire and had qualities that made him firm friends and 
admirers. His opinions were positive and expressed openly either to advance 
a cause or oppose one in which he was interested or advocated. He died in 
Greensburg, October 31. 19 13. 

Dr. Jesse Wakefield Rucker, grandson of Dr. William Bracken and 
nephew of Dr. James B. Bracken, obtained his degree from the Medical Col- 
lege of Ohio (Cincinnati) in 1885 and practiced medicine in Cincinnati and 
in Shelby ville, Indiana, until 1902, when he moved to Greensburg, his native 
city. While he has not been actively engaged in the practice in Decatur 
county, he holds a physician's certificate or license and has been often con- 
sulted by brother physicians, being considered a fine diagnostician. At pres- 
ent he is editor of the Nczv Era, a straight Democratic newspaper. 


In addition to the physicians above mentioned, the names of several 
others have been located, but little is known of any of them. Austin Marlow, 
known .as a "chronic doctor," practiced at Newburg, Adams and Greens- 
burg. Doctor Pettigrew practiced at Xewburg and Forest Hill. Doctor 
Riker was also at Xewburg for some years. Dr. John L. Brown was prac- 
ticing at St. Omer in 1876. Dr. George F. Chittenden was at Mil ford in 
1858, and later become surgeon of the Sixteenth Regiment of Indiana Volun- 
teer Infantry. Dr. J. K. Smalley, of Forest Hill, had a large practice in 
the seventies in that community. Dr. John Wheeldon, an eclectic, was prac- 
ticing in Greensburg in 1866. Two other eclectic physicians of Greensburg 
of half a century ago were Doctors Falcomberry and Reiley. One of the 
most prominent of the early Catholic physicians was Dr. Michael Daily, of 
Irish parentage, who Ii\-ed (jn a farm south of Greensburg. Another Catho- 
lic physician of the county, who died some years ago, was Dr. Francis M. 
Daily, of Millhousen, who was well educated and built up a large practice 


in Millhousen and the siirroiincling country. One of the best known of the 
younger physicians of Greensburg, who was accidentally killed a few years 
ago, was Dr. James Bracken, a son of Dr. William Bracken. He graduated 
from Ohio Medical College and upon his death, on October 31, 1913, his body 
was cremated at his wish. There have undoubtedly been many other physi- 
cians in the county, but they have not come under the observation of the 
writer. No effort has been made to touch upon the careers of the living mem- 
bers of the profession. Their work speaks for them. 


The first medical society of Decatur county was formed on January 
25, 1847, with Drs. A. Carter, of Greensburg; John Ritchie, perhaps of Mil- 
ford; William Armington. of Greensburg; John L. Armington, of Greens- 
burg; George W. Xew, of Greensburg; Sam C. Bartholomew, of Greens- 
burg; Lewis ^McAllister, of Milfod, and \\'illiam Ardery as charter mem- 
bers. A short biography of each of these men may be found among the list 
of doctors given elsewhere in this chapter. Two years later Joseph C. 'Ard- 
ery, of Milford; John L. Armington, John W. Moody and George W. New, 
both of Greensburg, were sent to Indianapolis, where they helped to organize, 
on June 6. 1849, the State Medical Society. 


The Legislature of 1905 passed an act providing for the registration of 
trained nurses in the counties where they followed their profession. Since 
that time the official records of Decatur county show that seven nurses have 
been registered in the county, as follow: Mary Wood Weaver, 1906; Myr- 
tle O. Smiley, 1906; Mary Donnell Stewart Erdmann, 1906; Mrs. Hannah 
H. Evans Donnell, 1906; Josephine Wright, 1906; Roxie Parker, 1909. 


The registration of opticians in the \'arious co.unties of the state has 
been a legal requirement since 1907. During the past eight years six opti- 
cians have registered in the county: Eustace Foley, 1907; John Edward 
Russell, 1907; Philip H. Spohn, 1907; Cassius C. McCoy, 1907; James M. 
Burk, 1908: ^^'alter E. Woolley, 1908. 

_.;64 DECATUR county; INDIANA. 


The pension examiner consisted of one man at first, with an assistant, 
but the assistant received no remuneration for his services. Dr. John L. 
\\'ooden was appointed as first examiner by Gen. John C. Black, and Doctor, 
Hershel Wooden served as his assistant. On February ii, 1886, the board 
of examiners was created. Drs. John H. Alexander, John Y. Hitt and Will- 
iam F. Reiley served on this first board. Doctor Hitt was chosen as secretary. 
Certain days were set apart in which to make the examinations. The exam- 
iners received two dollars for each examination up to five, and after five only 
one dollar was received. 

On May 8, 1899. a new board was appointed as follows: Drs. Thomas; 
Johnson, John Schofield and Samuel McGuire. Doctor McGuire soon re-i 
signed and Doctor Alexander was appointed to fill the vacancy. In Xovem-' 
ber, 1893, after the Democrats had regained power, a new board was ap-' 
pointed and consisted of the following members: Drs. James M. W'ood, R. 
M. Jhomas, who was appointed secretary, and Benjamin F. White. This- 
board served until the election of William McKinley, when the following 
board took its place, on May 19, 1897: Dr. John Alexander, who was- 
elected secretary, William H. Wooden and M. H. W^illiams, who was elected 
treasurer. Doctor Wooden resigned on November 23, 1899. This vacancy 
was filled by Dr. R. M. Thomas, who was elected president. In June, 1901, 
Doctor Williams resigned, and on July 3, of the same year. Dr. D. W. 
Weaver was appointed to fill this vacancy until April 19, 1905, after which 
the following board was elected and served one year: Drs. T. B. Gullifer, 
William R. Thomas and William Hause. They were succeeded by Drs. Beal, 
of Clarksburg; Eden T. Reiley, of Greensburg, and \\^illiam Hause, of West- 



Newspaper men have frequently tried to sum up, in a pithy paragraph, 
the functioij of the newspaper and thousands of articles have been written 
on its influence on modern life. Perhaps no more apt summary of the place 
of the newspaper in our civilization of today has ever been written than 
that of Joseph H. Finn, a newspaper man of Chicago, and delivered by him 
as part of an address before the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World 
in the spring of 1915. His apostrophe follows: 


"Born of the deep, daily need of a nation — I am the Voice of Now — 
the incarnate spirit of the Times — Monarch of Things that Are. 

"My 'cold type' burns with the fireblood of human action. I am fed 
by arteries of wire that girdle the earth. I drink from the cup of every liv- 
ing joy and sorrow. I know not day nor night nor season. I know not 
death, yet I am born again with every morn — with every moon — with every 
twilight. I leap into fresh being with every new world's event. 

"Those who created me cease to be. The brains and heart's blood that 
nourish me go the way of human dissolution. Yet I live on — and on. 

"I am majestic in my strength — sublime in my power — terrible in my 
potentialities — yet as democratic as the ragged boy who sells me for a penny. 

"I am the consort of kings — the partner of capital — the brother of toil. 
The inspiration of the hopeless — the right arm of the needy — the champion 
of the oppressed — the conscience of the criminal. I am the epitome of the 
world's Comedy and Tragedy. 

"My responsibility is infinite. I speak, and the world stops to listen. 
I say the word, and battle flames the horizon. I counsel peace, and the war 
lords obey. I am greater than any individual — more powerful than any 
group. I am the dynamic force of Public Opinion. Rightly directed, I am 
the creator of confidence ; a builder of happiness in living. I am the teacher 
of patriotism. 


"I am the liands of the clock of time — the clarion \-oice of civilization. 
I am the newspaper." 

It is often a difficult matter for the conscientious newspaper editor to 
discriminate between his duty to the public and his duty to the individual — 
to determine what should be printed and what should be withheld. In de- 
termining this, he is often misjudged and charged with an attempt to shield 
one misdemeanant while he exposes another. Sometimes he is accused of 
withholding certain information from the public through mercenary mo- 
tives. It is not the province of the modern newspaper to be the mouthpiece of 
the scandal-monger, nor has it any right to suppress information which the 
public is entitled to possess. The tendency of a newspaper should be for 
uplift, for the common good. It should hold prominently before its readers 
that which is best for the community and best worthy of emulation. News 
that, if printed, would do more harm than good, the modern editor consigns 
to the waste-basket. 

The early editor had a great man}' difficulties to surmount in getting his 
white paper. Roads were bad, collections worse and paper could be procured 
only for cash. On .Vugust 15, 1846. the editor of the Standard announced: 
"There will be no paper next week. We are out of money, out of paper and 
we can't and won't buy on credit." The paper did not appear for two weeks. 
The next issue was almost exclusively devoted to a discussion of a forth- 
coming debate between Rev. W. Terrill of the Methodist Episcopal church, 
and Jacob Wright, of the Christian church upon a religious topic. After a 
considerable amount of sparring between the reverend gentlemen, regarding 
details of the debate, the affair was called off. 

On account of the scarcity of money in ante-bellum days, the editor 
usually received pay for his paper in trade, produce and anything which sub- 
scribers, not needing, were willing to give him. Sometimes the editor was 
forced to run up the "S. O. S." sign and simimon assistance. Witness the 
following clipping, from an 1847 Greensburg paper: 

"Very Late and Important. — We are just out of wood and would be 
very much pleased to receive a few loads immediately. W^ood that is dry and 
would burn well in a stove would suit us best." 

A striking feature of the early newspapers of Indiana was their reckless 
use of adjectives in writing of those who differed with them along political 
lines. A few specific instances from Greensburg papers will illustrate the 
point. In 1858 the Decatur Democrat and the Rushville Jacksonian were 
"on the outs'' on the slavery question. The former was opposed to sla\'ery 
and branded the Buchanan administration as "a humbug and a swindle." The 


Jacksonian stood for the "simon-pure" Democracy of that day. The 
Standard, referring to the hitter words that had been tossed back and forth, 
said, "They respectively make each other out as e.xtremely great bars and 
very dirty dogs, and it gives us much pleasure in uttering the conviction that 
they both tell the truth." This kind of language would appear out of place 
in the modern newspaper. The editor of the Standard was a master of 
invective and his language in the sixties was often vitriolic to the extreme. 
During war times, Decatur county editors sometimes waxed hot in 
criticising those who were lukewarm for the Union and once in a while laid 
down the law to such citizens. In 1863, when the Knights of the Golden 
Circle were getting very bold near Westport and were considering taking 
arms to resist the draft, the Grccnshurg Standard gave them the following 
gentle hint : "The draft will be enforced in this county though the streets 
run red with human gore and the torch destroy every town and village in the 
county. This is fully decided and can be relied upon." 


In the Grccnshurg Standard of January 4. 1895, the late Orville Thomp- 
son had a history of the papers of Greensburg which covered the period from 
1830, the date of the first paper, down to 1895. The historian feels that no 
more comprehensi\-e article on the papers of the city can be written with the 
available material than that of ]\Ir. Thompson and therefore gives his article 
here, verbatim : 

"In the spring of 1830 Elijah [Mitchell — an uncle of the writer and one 
of the pioneers of 1823 — began the publication of a paper here styled the 
Greensburg Clironiclc, and after an experience of about a year sold the outfit 
to Thomas Dowling, who changed the name to The Political Clarion. He 
conducted it until the close of the Clay-Jackson campaign of 1832, when he 
sold it to James Harvey Brown, whose editorial career was a brief one — 
the paper dying a very few months later of inanition. 

"Dowling was a native of Ireland, of Celtic blood ; a vigorous writer, 
who learned almost all that was then knowable, and never forgot anything, 
nor anyone whom he ever had known. A pleasant instance of this occurred 
with the writer, who was a lad of nine years when he (Dowling) left here. 
I did not see him until twenty years later and then, meeting him at Indian- 
apolis, he at once recognized me and called me by name. This preliminary 
sketch seems to be necessary in order to correct a mistaken notion enter- 
tained by many people that the Repository was the first paper issued in 


"For three years following the demise of the Clarion the county was 
without the fructifying power of the press. In the faU of 1835. my father 
(John Thomson), issued a prospectus for a paper to be called The Grccnsburg 
Repository, and, having doubts whether a partizan paper could be maintained 
here, despite his ardent Whig sentiments, he proposed that the paper should 
be a 'family newspaper, independent, but not neutral.' But in this instance, 
as is often the case in human affairs, 

"The best laid schemes of men and mice 
Gang aft aglee." 

"Scarce had the ink become dry on his prospectus, when there came one 
who signed his name \\'illiam Vallette Coleman, bringing with him the ma- 
terial of a late defunct Democratic paper from Brookville, and proposed a 
partnership in the new enterprise. This was declined and he (Coleman) at 
once began the publication of a Democratic paper, The Greenshnrg Courier. 
This necessitated a change of base on the part of the Repository (not an 
altogether unpleasant one to the proprietor) and when its first issue appeared 
in the first week of December, 1835, it bore at its head the motto, 'The Union, 
the Constitution, and Enforcement of Laws,' and underneath, in bold faced 
type, there read. 

For President, 


of Ohio, 

Sul)ject to the Decision of a \A'hig National Con\'ention. 

"Through all its changes, both in names and proprietors, this paper has 
remained true to its birthday inspiration, both in its printed columns and by 
representatives on the battlefield, six of its editors having enlisted under 
Old Glory. 

"And someone rises to ask what became of the Grecnsbiirg Courier. 
It survived the wintry blasts of 1835-36, but when the spring time came and 
the roads settled, its proprietor loaded it on a wagon and hauled it to Shelby- 
ville. From this time until the early part of 1841 the Repository was the 
only paper in the county, Mr. Thompson continuing as owner and editor. 

"During the fore part of 1841, Peter J. Bartholomew began the publica- 
tion of a paper with the lumbering title of The Chronicle of the Times. The 
stress of newspaper life must have worried him, since he died a few months 
after he had his paper started. Philander Hamilton and James Monroe 


Talbot bought the outfit in November of the same year and changed the name 
to the Decatur Sentinel. A year later the same sheet appears as the Decatur 
Plweni.v, under the guidance of Israel T. Gibson. But the two papers, the 
Whig Repository and the Democrat Phoenix, could not both prosper with 
the limited patronage which they received and in November, 1843, ^^^^ two 
were consolidated under tlie name of the Repository. Jacolj ^V. Mills, the 
foreman of the Phoenix, had purcliased that paper and he and the writer 
( Or\'ille Thompson), or one or the other, continued the management of the 
paper until 1S51. 

"In the latter year, the Repository went into the hands of Davies Batter- 
ton and \\'illiam H. Hazelrigg, William H. Rhiver being taken into the firm 
later. In July, 1853, it was again purchased by the writer (Orville Thomp- 
son) and conducted by him until the latter part of 1856, when it went into 
the hands of the former firm again. W^ith the issue of December 26, 1856, 
the paper appeared as the Decatur Republican. In 1858 the paper was 
bought by J. J. Hazelrigg and George R. Rhiver. Rhiver dying in 1862, 
Hazelrigg continued the paper until 1863 and then sold it to Dr. S. H. Riley, 
J. B. Mallett and Redin B. Conover. This firm kept it until 1865 and then 
.disposed of it to Will Pound. The changes since then ha\'e been as follow: 
Pound to J. J. Hazelrigg, 1868; Hazelrigg to Joseph A. McKee, 1872; 
McKee to George H. McKee, 1873: McKee to J. J. Hazelrigg, 1878, who 
with his sons conducted it until 1894, when the present owner, Luther D. 
Braden, became the owner and editor. 

"Since 1848, under the several managements above given, the paper has 
borne several diflferent names: Decatur Clarion, 1848-51; Decatur Press, 
1851-58; Decatur Republican. 1858-65: Grcensbnrg Chronicle. 1865-68; 
Grecnsbury Staiutard. 1868-1915. But with all these changes, it has sailed 
under the same 'old flag.' 

"As the Decatur Republican, in 1858. it was the first among Indiana 
newspapers to pronounce 'For President in 1860, Abraham Lincoln.' Whether 
in regard to national, state or local afi^airs, it has not hesitated to sustain the 
right, nor once failed to strike tlie wrong. 

"The Repository was launched upon the broad sea of journalism with a 
subscription list of about three hundred, and its growth up to 1843 ^^'^s a slow 
one, being little above four hundred at that time. The consolidation with 
the Phoenix in the fall of 1843 g'^ve an increase of only about one hundred, 
the patrons of one being largely patrons of the other. 

"The local feature was first introduced into the paper on 1851, previous 


to which time httle attention had been given to local news by either city or 
county papers. This feature, together with the political ground swell in 
1854, started an upward tendency. By the close of the Fremont campaign of 
1856 the subscription list had grown to a little over six hundred, a number 
that, run off on the old hand press, was about the acme of the country pub- 
lisher's ambition. The breaking out of the Civil War began a new era in 
the history of the newspaper ; men who had not heretofore been newspaper 
readers now began to read, and those who had read began to read more. 
The introduction of the power press revolutionized the mechanical side of 
the business and was a great stimulus to the printer. 

"From 1836 to 1841 and again from 1843 to 1850, the Repository, its 
predecessors and successors, had no competition. In the latter year Oscar B. 
Hord and Charles R. Hobbs established a Democratic sheet by the name of 
the Greenshtirg Gazette. It gave way, two years later, to the Democratic 
Rifle, Bernard Mullen, editor, which succumbed under the withering frosts 
of the ensuing November. In 1856 John B. Covington entered the arena 
with another Democratic paper, which led a wavering career until some- 
time in 1859. In that year the following notice appears in the Decatur 
Republican. 'The Democrat office of this place was sold last week at sheriff's 
sale for twenty-five dollars and twenty-five cents — rather a small price for a 
printing office.' Whether this paper was styled the Democrat or whether it 
was a Democratic paper under some other name has not been ascertained. 
There seems to have been another Democratic paper established shortly after- 
ward, but its name and founder evidently made little impression on the news- 
paper world, since neither have been preserved. In 1863 Riley and Mallett, 
of the Decatur Republican, absorbed the flickering Democratic sheet, and for 
the succeeding six years there was only the one paper in Greensburg. 

"In 1869 Martin Zorger and Martin Blair established the Democratic 
-Nc-ci.' Era and this paper, with several changes in ownership, is still in exist- 
ence. The owners of this paper in succession have been as follows : Zorger, 
Ed. D. Donnell & James Hart, W. A. Donnell & Sons, J. E. Mendenhall, 
Allen W. Clark, \V. H. Glidewell and Dr. J. W. Rucker, since 1902." 

"In 1 90 1 Dr. J. W. Rucker came to Greensburg from Shelbyville and 
became the editor of the Daily Graphic, which was issued from the Nezt' Era 
office. This was issued until January, 191 5, when it was discontinued, 
although the weekly is still continued. 

"Meantime there have sprung up Greenback papers. Prohibition papers, 
'Coming' and departing 'Nations,' and more 'Democrats' than you could shake 
a stick at, all of which have gone down to unmarked and forgotten graves." 


Thus closes the interesting article of the veteran newspaper man, Orville 


Among the "unmarked and forgotten" papers which Thomson mentions, 
the historian has located some half dozen or more with definite names and 
more or less indefinite dates. On March 25, 1863, Burnham & Howell put 
out the first issue of the Grcensburg Fact, a Democratic sheet, but its earthly 
career was very brief. In November of the same year the Decatur Republican 
pays tribute to the Fact in the following dolorous fashion: "Died — In this 
city last week, of starvation, the Grcensburg Fact. Mourners scarce." The 
Saturday Evening Revieiv was started August 2, 1879, by George H. McKee 
and Robert W. Montgomery and espoused the Republican cause. It was 
edited with ability and was issued regularly for several years. During the 
summer of 1878, O. P. McLane, a young teacher of Jackson township, started 
a Democratic paper in Greensburg under the name of the Decatur Democrat, 
which, after a brief and meteoric career, succumbed and was merged with the 

On July I, 190 1, a Baptist minister at Burney, Charles J. Dickens by 
name, issued the first number of a small church paper, to which he gave the 
title of Salem Ne7i's. The Baptist church at Burney was called Salem, hence 
the name of his paper. \\"ishing his paper to have a wider significance. Rev. 
Dickens changed its name, on August 15 of the same year, to the Baptist] 
Voice. It was printed in the office of the Greensburg Standard from the time 
of the first issue until December, 1902. In July, 1901, Rev. Dickens bought 
the job plant of Elzo Reed in Greensburg and from the issue of July 20, 1901, 
to December, 1902, the type was set in his office and tiie press work done in 
the Standard office. During 1902 the official state paper of the Baptists, 
which had been published at Indianapolis, was discontinued and Rev. Dickens 
succeeded in getting his paper made the official paper of his denomination in 
the state. It seems that with the adoption of his paper as the state organ of 
his church Rev. Dickens changed its name to the Baptist Observer, a title 
which it still bears. It was issued weekly in Greensburg until the latter part 
of March, 1910, and then moved to Seymour, where it is now issued from 
the office of the Seymour Republican by J. C. Smith. The plant in Greens- 
burg was sold to Walter A. Kaler, who at once started the JJ'eekly Democrat. 
Sometime before leaving Greensburg the Observer passed into the hands of 
A. D. Berry and W. A. Phillips, the latter soon retiring and leaving the sole 
management in the hands of Berry, who was in charge until the paper was 
removed to Sevmour. 


The Coming Nation was established in Greensburg in August, 1892, by 
J. A. Wayland and, while it was published only a few years here, it attained 
a national circulation of about eighty thousand. Wayland was a socialist of 
ability, a man of literary facility and built up a paper here which was known 
throughout the length and breadth of the country. Later, Wayland estab- 
lished the Appeal to Reason at Girard, Kansas, and made it the leading 
Socialist organ of the whole country. While still in charge of the paper, he 
committed suicide in 19 12. \\'ayland was born in Versailles, Ripley county, 
Indiana, in 1854. \\'hile publishing his paper in Greensburg he had his office 
in the Privett block. 

The first issue of the Grccnshnrg Revicn' made its appearance on August 
I, 1879, with George W. McKee and Robert W. Montgomery as editors and 
owners. The paper was an eight-column folio, all home print, and from the 
outset gained favor with the reading public of Decatur county. It was a 
weekly publication, issued on Saturday, and gave special attention to county 
and local news. 

In 1884, Mr. McKee sold a one-fourth interest in the paper to the Hon. 
John O. Donnell, who took charge of the editorial department and attracted 
wide attention by his work. On September i, 1885, Mr. Donnell sold his 
interest to A. M. Willoughby, who for two years prior had been city editor of 
the Standard, and the firm became Montgomery & Willoughby. For ten 
years this partnership existed. In 1884 the paper became a semi-weekly, 
issued on Wednesdays and Saturdays. July i, 1895, Mr. Montgomery sold 
two-thirds of his one-half interest in the paper to Ed D. Donnell, and the 
partnership of ^^^illoughby & Donnell continued until April, 1897, when Mr. 
Donnell retired. 

On November i, 1898, the Greensburg Daily Review was established, 
with A. M. Willoughby as editor and Dix D. Hazelrigg as city editor. The 
daily edition was a success from the start, and has continuously grown in 
circulation and influence until it is ranked as one of the most progressive and 
up-to-date newspapers in this part of the state. 

Desiring to give the people of Decatur county a newspaper worthy of 
the name and one far superior to all its former editions, the Daily Review' 
Printing Company was formed in June, 1912, and, on the ist day of July 
following, the property was taken over by the company. Many improve- 
ments were made at once. A linotype machine was put in and a large cpian- 
tity of new type and other material was added. A full leased wire news 
service was installed, which, with improvements made on the general plant, 
at once pushed The Daily Rez'iczv thus in the lead of all other Decatur county 


newspapers. Tliis prestige the paper is championing at the present time, and 
as it intends to employ the same enterprise in the future as in the past its 
owners confidenth^ anticipate a continued growth in both subscription and 

The Daily Re\-iew Printing Company is composed of Will H. Robbins, 
a well-known farmer and capitalist ; Dan S. Perry, cashier of the Greensburg 
National Bank; David A. Myers, prominent attorney and ex-judge of the 
Indiana appellate court ; Fred L. Thomas, weW known telephone man, and A. 
M. Willoughby, who has been continuously with the Rcz-icn' for thirty years. 

The Rczic-a' has always stood for the best interests of Decatur county 
and Greensburg, and has labored at all times for the upbuilding of the com- 
munity, socially, morally and financially. It was the first paper to print an 
article advocating the location of the Odd Fellows' home in Greensburg, and 
the splendid institution which is today the pride of e\-ery resident of the city 
is in a large measure due to the efforts of this paper. In short, the paper has 
always led in efforts for the public welfare, and this accounts in a measure 
for the hearty support that is given it by the people of the surrounding terri- 
tory. In politics the Rcz'icw is Republican, and has always advocated Repub- 
lican principles, but it is not offensively partisan, as it grants every man the 
right to differ with it in his opinions, political and otherwise. 

The first issue of the Greensburg Daily Times (at that time called the 
Daily Democrat) made its appearance on April 9, 1910. It came very quietly 
and without having been heralded. The usual preliminaries at the birth of an 
institution as public as a newspaper were dispensed with and the first intima- 
tion that the public had that another mold for the formation of opinion had 
been under contemplation, was when the paper made its bow, and its editor 
handed his "salutatory" to the citizens of Greensburg. 

Nor was the manner of its coming into life altogether due to the fact 
that the people of Greensburg had become accustomed to the birth of news- 
papers in a community which has seen the start and the finish of at least as 
many organs of the press as most places of its size can boast of. 

Its first editor and owner, Walter A. Kaler, had been in the printing 
business for many years. He had grown up in a country newspaper and 
job office, and knew the game in all its angles. Just prior to starting the 
Times, he had been issuing the St. Paul Telegram, a paper he started in the 
town of that name in the northwestern part of the count}-. 

Mr. Kaler was an astute and far-seeing man. Although there were 
already three daily papers (two Republican and one Democrat) then being 
issued in Greenslmrg. he felt that another Democratic paper was needed. 


He believed that not only the members of that party, but the people of all 
parties, would welcome another newspaper devoted to the principles of 

There had been published in Greensburg for several years just before the 
first issue of the Times, the state organ of the Baptists. This paper, known 
as the Baptist Observer, had been sold to Seymour people and the offices 
moved to that city. The plant was not moved, the presses and full equip- 
ment being taken over by the Times. Within a few months after its first 
appearance a company was formed for the purchase of the business. A cor- 
poration charter was obtained. Of this company, Alexander Porter was 
president, John F. Russell, vice-president, and Charles H. Ewing, secretary. 
Mr. Kaler continued as editor and manager until February, 191 1, when he 
retired from the business and moved with his family to Florida. 

The Ti)iies was first published in the Bracken building on West Main 
street, just west of Montfort street. In March, 1912, a move was made to 
the Red Men's building, nearer the public square. The Times was the first 
newspaper in the county to install modern printing machinery. Its equip- 
ment was always up-to-date and has always been kept at its best. Its linotype 
machine was the first to be used in the county. 

Charles H. Ewing succeeded Mr. Kaler as editor and manager in Febru- 
ary, 191 1, and two years later Hamilton Mercer, the present editor took 
charge. Under his management the paper has held to a high plane. The 
little bickerings so common among country newspapers have never found a 
place in its columns. Personalities of a disagreeable or unwelcome nature 
have always been ruled out, and the Times has always been a credit to its 
managers, its owners, and the party of which it is the organ. 

The Weekly Democrat is the weekly edition of the Times. 

Hamilton Mercer, editor of the Evening Times and Weekly Democrat, 
is a native Hoosier, but he has been in the newspaper business in several other 
states. He started in the business on the Anderson Daily Bulletin. Later 
he went to Marion and became editor of the old Morning Nezvs. He was 
for a short time on the Cincinnati Post and later was editorial writer on the 
Danville (111.) Democrat. Mr. Mercer is author of "The Reproach of 
Capital Punishment," a work which has distinguished him as a criminologist. 


The Daily News was started on January i, 1894, by Frank Trimble and 
Ed Lines and was the first daily paper to be published in Greensburg. On 


May I, 1894, Ed Lines disposed of his interests to Mr. Trimble, who after- 
wards sold out to Harry Matthews, and he in turn sold to James D. White. 

The Weekly Nczcs was launched in iS'98 by the owners of the daily, and 
it has since been continued by the various editors during their periods of 

All the aforementioned owners have passed to their final reward, the 
last named, James D. White, dying in November, 1902. The present owner 
and editor, James E. Caskey, purchased the paper from the mother of Mr. 
White, soon after his death, taking charge on December x, 1902. At that 
time the daily had a circulation of three hundred and fifty and the weekly, 
five hundred and sixty. At the present time the circulation of the Daily News 
is two thousand five hundred and eighty and the weekly, one thousand five 
hundred and sixty. The A'cr^'s stands alone in its field in that its unprece- 
dented circulation, considering the territory in which it operates, was obtained 
through meritorious effort. 

As this is especially an agricultural county, Greensburg being the active 
center of one of the richest farm areas in Indiana, Editor Caskey has devoted 
much time, labor and money towards matters of interest to the husbandry- 
man. This step, taken when he first assumed control of the Nezvs, has been 
one of his best circulation builders. 

It was he who advocated and caused to be held the first corn school 
in this county, so agriculturists everywhere familiar with the policy of the 
A'czvs, are unstinted in their praise of the man who has so successfully con- 
trolled its destinies for more than a decade, and show their appreciation by 
their most liberal and continued patronage. This advocacy of better seed 
corn and scientific farming on more advanced lines, has had its desired 
results, for today no county of the state stands higher in quality or quantity 
of its products — land area under cultivation considered. 

Mr. Caskey at present has a boys' corn club of one hundred and six 
members. During the initiatory year he furnished fine seed corn free, and 
encouraged the boys to raise better corn than their fathers by offering to the 
winner a free trip to the farmers' short course at Purdue University. The 
winners were to be determined from those raising either best ten ears of corn, 
best single ear or largest yield on a single acre. To date he has personally 
paid the expenses of such trips for twelve boys, who each spent a week at 
the experiment station of the university. 

In 1914, impressed with the idea that motorists, travelers through the 
country and even the rural mail carriers would find it a convenience and a 
pleasure to know who lived here and there as they journeyed the highways of 


the county. Mr. Caskey a'^sumed the huge task of painting each rural resi- 
dent's name on his mail box. This enterprise, Mr. Caskey shows, was 
done at no expense to the owners, and was a gift from the A'cu's. Previous 
to sending men into the country to letter the boxes, it was made plain that 
the lettering of a box carried no obligation. It was a gift, and the five thou- 
sand two hundred and fifty names on boxes in this county today, underscored 
with words suggesting and heralding the Ncivs, is but one sample of many 
of what the Nczi's is doing in the community where it flourishes. Today as a 
result (if this enterprise on the part of the Nczi'S, Decatur county stands alone 
of all the counties of the United States where the rural mail service is 
extended, that has a solid service of this sort. Immediately following this. 
Editor Caskey distributed free metal mail boxes in Greensburg, and every 
residence in this county is now supplied with such. 

The News aims to interest, inform and entertain, not any special class, 
or kind of people, but the great mass of Decatur county readers in general. 
Che slogan of the editor-in-chief has always been, "Get the news," regardless 
of expense, and "get it first." The paper has never attempted to compete 
with the metropolitan dailies, confining its efforts solely to an "up-to-the- 
minute" service of all news of Greensburg, various towns and countrysides 
in the county. 

This policy of all the news, all the time, handled with absolute fairness 
and accuracy, which applies to political as well as general news stories, are 
pre-eminently responsible for the Daily Nezvs being a welcome visitor into 
so many of the homes of this county where it is a source of interest, enter- 
tainment and pleasure. 


The history of the St. Paul papers has been difficult to trace owing to the 
fact that no files have been preserved. The first paper in St. Paul was the 
Press, which seems to have began and ended its existence in i860. The 
second paper in the town was the Democrat, which was started in 1868 by 
Elias Barnes, but it was doomed to a short career of only a few months. 
It was then removed to Greensburg, where it proved no more successful and, 
after a few more months of futile struggling, it was quietly laid away to rest. 
The next paper in St. Paul was the Rer/ister. which first made its appearance 
on October 15, 1879, under the management of J. P. Hankins. It lasted 
about two years, the last issue being dated August i, 1881. The paper was 
then moved to Greensburg and the name changed to the Decatur Democrat, 


with Thomas Greenfield and Hankins as editors and owners. If there was 
a paper in St. Paul from 1881 to 1890, it has not heen discovered. On 
January 6, 1890, Cox & Trissal issued the first number of the St. Paul Mail, 
but just how long this paper was published has not been ascertained. Cox 
left the firm in the latter part of July, 1891, to accept a place on the hidi- 
aiiapolis Siai and, according to the best evidence obtainable, the Mail shortly 
afterward breathed its last. The next St. Paul paper to try its fortune in the 
town was the Telegram, which appeared under the management of Walter A. 
Kaler on March 17, 1905. Kaler continued as owner and editor until Novem- 
ber I, 1909, when he disposed of the plant to Ora C. Pearce, the present 
editor. Pearce was only eighteen years of age at the time he took charge of 
the paper, Ijut, despite his 3^outh, he made it a success from the start. It is a 
six-column folio, independent in politics, devoted first of all to local news 
and advertising, and is receiving hearty support in the community. The 
office has sufficient ecpiipment to do all kinds of job work and, with its lino- 
type machine, is able to turn out work on short notice. 


The Jl'cstport Iiidcpciiilrnf was established in iSS'6 by Rev. Leroy Hirsh- 
burg, a Methodist minister, who issued the paper several years and then dis- 
posed of it to Carl Shafer. About 1899 the West port Courier was started by 
Dickens & Morgan and advocated the principles of the Republican party. 
On July 14. 1904, the Courier sold out to the Independent, and Shafer became 
the owner and editor of the new paper, the Courier-Independent, the name by 
which the paper is still known. Shafer continued in charge of the paper 
several years and then sold it to Joseph Tucker and James E. Nicely. Later 
Tucker acquired the sole interest in the paper and issued it until 1913 when 
he disposed of it to T. W. Robinson. In March, 1914, Robinson sold it 10 
James H. Keith after an ownership of eight months. Keith has built up the 
paper since he has acquired it until he now has a first-class sheet, which finds 
its way into seven hundred homes in Decatur and surrounding counties. 
There appears to ha\'e been a paper by the name of the Decatur Journal pub- 
lished in W'estport in the eighties, but no definite information concerning it 
has been obtained. 


On July 10, 1909, the first issue of the Bi-Jl'eeklyBudf/et, the only paper 
ever published in Fugit township, made its appearance in Clarksburg. It 
was a two-column, four-page sheet (five and one-half Ijy eight inches) and 


was published by two Clarksburg boys, C. G. McCracken and J. C. Smith, 
the office being located in the home of the former. On May i. 19 11, the 
office was moved to the Brodie blacksmith building and on July 22, of the 
same year, the paper was enlarged to a three-column sheet. The paper was 
moved, on January i, 1912, to its present location in a room erected for that 
purpose by C. E. Kincaid. In the spring of 1912 the partnership was dis- 
solved, McCracken taking over the management, and ^'Ir. Smith removing to 
Cleveland, Ohio, to engage in other business. On July 5, 191 2. the paper 
was made a weekly and the word "bi-weekly" dropped from the title. Since 
that time the Budget has gone steadily onward, endeavoring to give its read- 
ers the news of the community, free from all political bias. It would not do 
to leave a discussion of this paper without making mention of its editor. 
Mr. McCracken is an invalid and unable to walk. He does all of his work in 
a chair and deserves a great deal of credit for the efifort he has made to give 
his community such an excellent little paper. He is assisted in the office by 
his sister, who runs the small foot-press on which the paper is printed. 



Horace Greeley, addressing a [gathering of farmers at the Tippecanoe 
fair grounds at Lafayette, in 1871, said: 

"Indiana farmers are slovenly. They grow more weeds to the acre 
than any other locality in the world, with which I have had any acquaintance. 
They try to cultivate too much land. Their crops do not show the increase 
they should, only showing an average of twelve bushels of wheat to the acre, 
when it should reach twenty-five. The hay crop is not cut soon enough and 
a very large amount of it is lost on this account. The ground is plowed too 
shallow. It should be plowed deep, so as to enable grains to take deeper hold 
and thus withstand our frec|uent droughts." 

This general indictment of Indiana farmers, made forty-five years ago 
by Mr. Greeley, was doubtless justified at the time, and no doubt the condi- 
tions he mentioned obtained, in a measure, in Decatur county. But since that 
time there has been a tendency to diminish the size of farms held and the 
gospel of deep plowing is now universally accepted. While the weeds have 
the same tendency to grow that they exhibited then, they are kept cut back 
along the roads and fences and their presence among growing crops is no 
longer tolerated. 

Early settlers had considerable to contend with, when they attempted to 
raise a corn crop. It is said that in the fall of 1822 the squirrels traveled 
much and ate nearly all the corn in the county. But Decatur county pioneers 
were persevering folk, and the mere failure of a corn crop was not sufficient 
to daunt them. They cut their wheat with a hook, trampled it out with 
horses, cleaned it on a sheet and hauled it to Cincinnati, where they sold it 
for thirty-seven cents a bushel. They also found a market there for fox and 
coon skins at ten cents each, which helped a little in alleviating financial 
stringencies back home. 

The first steam threshing machine to be used in the count}- was tried 
out by Jackson & Butler on the J. E. Robbins farm, one mile south of Greens- 
burg, July 12, 1859. Several hundred farmers, coming from all parts of 
the county, were present to witness the test. 

The most important farm crop of pioneer days is no longer culti\-ated. 


This crop was flax. It is probable that three-fourths of the present popula- 
tion of the county have never seen a flax patch. A curious characteristic of 
this crop was after it had been raised for a few years in the same place, the 
ground "ran out" and was rendered worthless for flax growing. The hemp 
was put through a \ariety of processes before it was ready to weave. It 
was first pulled, bound into bundles and stored away to dry, after which the 
seeds were beaten out. It was then spread out in order to rot the woody part, 
after which it was "broken," "swingled" and "hackled." The fibre was then 
carded and threaded, after which it was ready for the spinning wheel. 

Another industry which has almost disappeared is the cultivation of 
sorghum cane. In 1870, J. G. H. Montgomery, who lived east of Greens- 
burg, produced one thousand three hundred gallons of sorghum. One acre 
alone produced three hundred and twenty gallons. 

One of the prize animals shown at Decatur county fairs forty years ago 
was the roan steer, "Decatur," owned 1iy T. M. McCoy. He was eighteen 
hands high and weiglied three thousand seven hundred pounds. It was 
claimed that by proper feeding he could ha\'e been made to weigh half a ton 

Each year there is a steady increase in the number of Decatur county 
farmers who are devoting their time and money to raising pure-bred live 
stock. For a number of years there has been a general awakening to the fact 
that it costs no more to keep a prize animal than it does a scrub, and that 
the rewards from fancy stock are out of all proportion to income deri\ed 
from inferior animals. 

Among the leading breeders of fancy stock in the county are the follow- 

Hogs. — Poland China, G. S. Gilmore and Wright & Thompson, of 
Greensluirg. Durocs, James Clark, of Clarksburg, and Mr. Redelnian, Mr. 
Shafer and S. S. Cole, of Greensburg. Hampshires, John E. Roljbins, M. E. 
Newhouse and W. H. Robbins, of Greensburg. Mulefoots, Charles Thomp- 
son, of Letts. Chester Whites, Walter Sharp, of W^estport, and Adam Hess- 
ler, of Greensburg. 

Cattle. — Shorthorn, William Robbins Sons and Horace and Londa 
Wright, of Letts. Aberdeen Angus, Frank Baker, of Greensburg, and Ray- 
mond Pleak, of St. Paul. Hereford, W. A. ]\IcCoy, of Greensburg. Jersey, 
Henry Helmich, of Greensburg, and Walter Sharp, of Westport. Holstein. 
John Hornung, of Greensburg. 

Cinder the laws of the state, all pure-bred mares and stallions in the state 
must be registered, with their general description and condition. The latest 





bulletin issued by Purdue University gives the following list of owners of 
Decatur county stallions and pure-bred mares : 

Belgians — Ralph Anderson, Letts; J. W. Corya, Hope; J. E. Davis, 
Westport ; Charles H. Ray, Greensburg ; Morton Tanner, Adams, and Charles 
H. Thompson, Letts. French Draft — Ralph Anderson and Charles H. 
Thompson, Letts. German Coach — H. M. Redelman, Greensburg. Perch- 
eron — William Blake. Letts; C. M. Beall, Clark.sburg; Jacob Black, Letts; 
J. B. Clark, Greensburg: H. H. Flint. Greensburg; Frank Jordon, Letts; 
John Korte, Newpoint ; Estal Pleak, Letts; H. M. Redelman, Greensburg, 
and Morton Tanner, Adams. Shire — W. A. Miers, Burney. Standard 
bred — G. A. Anderson, Greensburg, and J. D. Davis, St. Paul. 

The list of owners of pure-bred registered jacks in the county is as 
follows : R. Anderson, Letts ; William Blake, Letts ; J. B. Clark, Greensburg ; 
H. C. demons, Greensburg; J. E. Davis. Westport; Bert Davis, Westport; 
Carl Johnson, Greensburg; Williard A. Miers, Burney; Charles H. Ray. 
Greensburg; Hill & Jordan, Letts; William Kincaid, Greensburg; Charles H. 
Thompson, Letts, and Straughter V. Pleak, Greensburg. 


Owing to a number of causes, but mainly through the growth of the 
silo in popular regard, the cattle-feeding industry has enjoyed a wonderful 
growth in Decatur county during the past few years. Now in almost every 
barn, which has a silo standing beside it, a few head of cattle are fed during 
the winter months, while a large number of farmers, instead of making cattle 
feeding a side issue, are devoting all their efforts to fattening cattle for the 

The marked growth of this branch of farming bespeaks much for the 
future prosperity of Decatur county. Every carload of cattle fed through the 
winter means many dollars to the feeder in the increased fertility of his soil. 
While there may be years when market fluctuations will cut the profits of 
the cattle feeder, he can always be certain of realizing pay for his labor 
through increased crop production. 

One of the most attractive branches of cattle feeding is fattening "baby 
beef." While sometimes a money-losing undertaking in the hands of the 
novice, this particular branch yields exceptional returns to the expert feeder. 
Among the successful producers of "baby beef" in the county are John 
Gartin, Burney; Harry Pavy, Burney; W. E. Jackson; J. G. Miller, Cliff 
Eward, George Osting and Bernard Duffy, Greensburg; Edward Moore and 
Milton Moore, Letts. 


There are a large number of farmers in the county who go to the Chi- 
cago and Kansas City stock markets each fall and purchase grass-fed cattle, 
to fatten on ensilage and cotton-seed meal during the winter months. An 
attempt to enumerate all such feeders in the county would be futile. Promi- 
nent among the more extensive feeders are the Hamiltons, Meeks, Donnells 
and Sefton and Miers. 

Mule feeding is another Decatur county enterprise, in which several 
leading farmers are profitably engaged. Among them are William Mobley, 
of Clay township, who is one of the largest mule producers in the state. 
Marion Elliott, of Jackson township, also raises a large number of mules. 
Hamilton, Fee, Kincaid and Powers are other extensive mule breeders. 


The tomato-growing industry of Decatur county is still in its infancy. 
It was not until the fall of 19 14 that any serious step was taken toward its 
development. At that time a contract was made by a few of the progressive 
citizens of Alert, Jackson township, with Frank and F. C. Doly, of Columbus, 
Indiana, to erect and have ready for the 19 15 crop a canning factory at Alert, 
providing that the proper, or rather necessary, number of acres could be 
secured. During the winter months the question of raising tomatoes for 
market was taken up with the farmers of the vicinity by Doctor Bamster, 
Mulford 8z Webb, Dr. T. J. Norton and others, with the result that about one 
hundred and fifty acres were contracted for. At time of writing (July, 
1915) the site for the factory had been purchased and work started on the 
building. Experts who have examined the soil declare that Jackson town- 
ship should be second to none in tomato raising and the farmers of that com- 
munity have high hopes that the industry may be as successful as it has been 


The county agent is an outgrowth of a demand on the part of the farmer 
to keep in constant touch with the latest and best agricultural thought. The 
farmers' institute was the prime mover in this awakening, and the idea was 
hastened by the industrial trains and short courses in agriculture given under 
the auspices of Purdue University. The Legislature of 191 3 provided for a 
county agent and since that time a large number of counties have taken advan- 
tage of the law and engaged such an official. 

Decatur county has had a county agent since August i, 1913, and W. E. 


McCoy has been in charge of the office since it was established. He is a 
graduate of Ohio State University and has taken special courses in Purdue 
University since coming to the county. He has shown his value to the farm- 
ers of the county in scores of ways and it is safe to say that there is not a 
farmer in the county but has been benefited in some way or other by his work. 
In general it ma}' be said that the county agent is nothing more than an expert 
scientific farmer. In every case in Indiana he is a graduate of a recognized 
agricultural college and thus has the scientific training which makes him of 
inestimable value to the community which he serves. 

The first report of Mr. McCoy appears in the report of the state statis- 
tician for 1914 and covers the year closing June 30, 1914. Some idea of the 
work done is shown by the fact that he held 139 meetings, with a total attend- 
ance of 9,002 ; had 762 office calls and made 500 farm visits, with a total 
mileage of 5,703. The calls at the office and the visits to the farms over the 
county covered practically every phase of farm work and crops. 

During the winter of 1913-14 four farmers' institutes were organized in 
the county, in addition to the three which were already in operation. Mr. 
McCoy was very successful in getting the teachers of the county to show their 
pupils how to test seed corn and clover. There was a hog campaign conducted 
during the latter part of March, which was very helpful. An alfalfa auto 
tour was held and in the course of his first year Mr. McCoy succeeded in get- 
ting the acreage of this crop doubled. During each spring office meetings are 
held and some special topic discussed each Saturday. It is known that a large 
part of Decatur county has acid soil and Mr. McCoy has taken much time in 
showing how this can be cultivated to the best advantage. Demonstration 
plots, where the soil is treated with limestone, have been established at various 
places and it has been found that the soil is capable of raising clover with the 
proper addition of lime. Four such demonstration plots were established 
the first year; a corn variety test plot, and three co-operative fertilizer test 

Summing up the first year's work of the county agent in I^ecatur count}', 
it is seen there is no longer a question as to the usefulness of the office. 
Among other valuable things which the first year has brought forth may be 
mentioned the following : A farm-service bureau was established where stock 
and farm articles are listed for sale, farm help secured, etc. : several boys' 
corn and poultry clubs were organized, with an average enrollment of forty 
each ; a soil- fertility campaign was inaugurated ; a men's five-acre corn con- 
test was conducted ; and lastlv, an interest has been aroused in better farm- 



ing throughout the county whicli cannot help but be of great benefit to its 
agricultural interests. 


The blanks of the township assessors schedule seven different items for 
taxation : Horses and mules, cattle, hogs, sheep, automobiles, farm imple- 
ments and household furniture. The last report (1915) of James Cline, 
county assessor, to the state statistician gi\'es the following facts : 

Number. Assessed Value. Av. Value. 

Horses and mules 9.386 $801,210 ■ $85.30 

Cattle 21,723 512.438 23.60 

Hogs ' 22,950 254,702 8.50 

Sheep 2,950 14.204 4.85 

Automobiles 437 119.31? 270.75 

Sets of farm implements. 1,412 114,550 81. 

Sets of furniture 4.367 195,022 44.60 

The last item, sets of furniture, includes the household goods in the 
urban as well as the rural districts. There is nothing in the report to indicate 
the respective number of sets in each district. There is no division of horses 
and in the report, although another report gi\'es the county two thousand one 
hundred and one mules on January i, 1914. Decatur is one of the ten lead- 
ing mule-producing counties of the state. 

The last (1914) state statistician's report gives the following crop sta- 
tistics for Decatur county : 

Wheat 30,542 acres. 516,068 bushels. 

Corn 51,444 acres. 2,015,946 bushels. 

Oats 4,925 acres. 64,700 bushels. 

Rye 1,511 acres. 16,486 bushels. 

Barley 20 acres. 370 bushels. 

Buckwheat __, 4 acreg. 18 bushels. 

Berries 7 acres. 540 bushels. 

Potatoes 49 acres. 3,690 bushels. 

Tobacco 7 acres. 15 tons. 

Timothy hay 14,203 acres. 9,787 tons. 

Clover hay 5,560 acres. 4,623 tons. 

Alfalfa 166 acres. 298 tons. 

Cow peas 22 acres. 32 tons. 


There are many other items of interest in this valuable report, a \-olume 
of which may be obtained by anyone upon addressing the state statistician. 
Among other things, it was noticed that Decatur county had one thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-se\'en separate farms, four hundred and six wind- 
mills and ninetv-three silos. 


Probably the first organization in the county which had for its object the 
improvement of farming conditions was the Decatur Countv Agricultural 
Society. A meeting of its directors is reported on January 3, 1859, for the 
purpose of electing officers for that year. J. D. Pleak was elected president, 
J. Q. Adams, secretary, and J. V. BemusdafYer, treasurer. R. R. Cobb was 
the retiring president. The secretary was allowed twenty-five dollars and the 
treasurer fifteen dollars for services during the year. Resolutions were 
adopted commending the Indiana Fanner and urging farmers to read agricul- 
tural periodicals. 


The \Va}-nesburg Farmers' Club was organized, with Harrv Carr as 
president and Wilbert Thurston as secretary, in 1912. The organization 
meets twice a month for discussion of farm topics and home economics. 
Programs are laid out for the entire season by a special committee, composed 
of the officers and two others. Two successful corn shows have been held 
by the club and are strong factors in the social life of that community. The 
present officers of the club are: Wilbert Thurston, president; John W. Smith, 
secretary, and M. M. Carter, treasurer. 


On Frida)- evening, No\ember 27, 1914, a few friends met at the home 
of Mr. and ^Nlrs. Robert Scott, in Fugit township. After enjoying the usual 
six o'clock dinner and spending a social hour together, an organization was 
affected which was to be known as the Farmers' Club of Springhill. Plans, 
aims and purposes were discussed at the time and permanent officers were 
elected: President, Ernest Power; vice-president, Mrs. Elbert Meek; secre- 


tary, Mrs. Robert Scott; treasurer, Mrs. Nathan Logan. A committee of 
the executive officers was appointed to draw up a constitution and set of 
by-laws. Membership in the organization is Hmited to twelve families. The 
regular meetings of the club are held on the third Thursday of each month 
and the annual business meeting and election of officers are held at the 
November meeting. At the meetings there are usually talks on farm or 
household subjects, recitations by the children and a general discussion of 
topics of interest. Everything is kept as simple as possible. In order to 
make the work of the club as practicable as possible, one day is set apart in 
each August to investigate some special farm problem. On this particular 
day the club repairs to the home of one of its members where a special study 
is made of some farm crop. The club also makes trips to county fairs and 
studies the agricultural exhibits. 

THE farmers' institute. 

The first session of the Decatur county farmers' institute was held on 
December 2 and 3, 1910, at Clarksburg. Despite the cold weather, the 
sessions were well attended and a great interest was manifested by all of 
those present. In ^■iew of the fact that this was the first session of this 
organization the details are here given in full : 

The institute was opened by devotional exercises conducted by Rev. 
H. \V. Edwards. Papers we're read by Joe G. Miller and Bart McLaughlin 
on "Agricultural Education." J- J- Doan talked on "The Use and Abuse 
of Corn Fodder." Miss Mary L. Matthews, of Wayne county, gave her 
views on "Planning Meals" and "Furnishing a Home," and Miss Edith 
Hamilton opened the discussion. 

Dr. Curtis Bland gave a very interesting address at the evening session 
on "Preventable Diseases.'' 

The Saturday morning program was as follows : De\'otional exercises, 
Rev. Wimmer; music; "Cattle as Money Savers," J. J. Doan; discussion, 
Henry Dravis ; paper. Earl Gartin; "Planning Meals," Miss Mary L. Mat- 
thews, Cambridge City; discussion, Mrs. Rollin Clark; music; "Furnishing 
the Home," Miss Matthews; discussion, Miss Edith Hamilton; adjournment. 

The Saturday afternoon program was ec|ually excellent and was as 
follows: Reading, Prof. Zetterburg; "Building and Using the Silo," J. J. 
Doan; discussion, William Jackson and Henry Hodges; "Poultry on the 
Farm," Miss Hannah Baker; discussion, Mrs. Walter Hite; "A Girl's Part in 
Country Life," Miss Matthews; general discussion; adjournment. 


The ladies of the Methodist Episcopal church served a bounteous repast 
each day at the noon hour in the Odd Fellows hall. 


Sixteen hundred Decatur county farmers are protected against loss from 
fire and lightning, through the Patrons of Husbandry Mutual Fire and Light- 
ning Insurance Company of Decatur County. The association takes its 
name from the order that effected its organization. It was organized on 
June 20, 1S78. At that time there were many organizations throughout the 
county known as the Patrons of Husbandry, commonly called the Grange. 

On the date mentioned, 187S, delegates from Decatur county granges 
met in Greensburg at Hoosier hall and formed the company under provisions 
of an act of the Legislature passed in 1877, which authorized such organiza- 
tions to conduct an insurance business. Granges interested in the forma- 
tion of this compan}- were those at Flat Rock, St. Paul, Greensburg, Center, 
Washington, Mt. Vernon, Flora, Sand Creek, Alert and Bell. 

According to the by-laws of the company as organized, the insurance 
would not go into effect until policies amounting to fifty thousand dollars 
had been written. This amount was secured during the following Septem- 
ber and the company was then ready for business. The first officers were : 
Wesley Gof¥, president; M. L. Wright, vice-president: Woodson Hamilton, 
secretary; A. H. Hice, treasurer, and George Hogg, assessor. These officers, 
with F. P. Applegate and T. G. Power, constituted the first board of directors. 

In the beginning the company only insured members of the Grange, but 
later it was arranged so that any reputable farmer might share in its benefits. 
In iS'87 the Alechanicsburg Mutual Fire Insurance Company united with this 
association. It was during this year that the company sustained its first loss, 
rendering an assessment necessary. Lntil 191 5 the company had made thirty- 
one assessments, amounting to a total of sixty-seven mills on the dollar, thus 
giving its members protection against loss through fire and lightning at an 
annual cost of about eighteen cents on the hundred dollars. 

At the close of the fiscal year in 19 15 the company had paid for fire 
losses, $93,983.93. The total number of persons now insured in the com- 
pany is one thousand six hundred and fifty-two and the}- carr_\' insurance 
amounting to $3, 575.595- 

The company is managed by a board of seven directors. Fifty-two 
farmers have served the organization in this capacity. Eleven others have 
served as its president. During its existence it has had but six secretaries, 


as follow : Woodson Hamilton, Lafayette Shellhorn, Robert W'hiteman, 
Matthew Porter, \V. F. Robbins and S. W. Hillman. Present officers and 
directors are : M. E. Newhouse, president ; Frank Brown, vice-president ; 
S. W. Hillman, secretary ; J. F. Templeton, treasurer, Ovid House, W. A. 
McCoy and James F. Blackmore. 

Only farm buildings are insured by this company, which thus avoids 
dangerous risks and large losses. No business is solicited and it is neces- 
sary for a farmer to ask for a representative of the company to call upon 
him if he wishes to secure insurance. 


County fairs have had a rather varying existence in Decatur county. 
They have thrived, only to die a natural death, rise and flourish, only to die 
again. The first fair was held in 1852 by the Agricultural Society of 
Decatur County, which was organized on September 13 of that year. The 
first officers were, James Morgan, president; W. W. Hamilton, vice-presi- 
dent; B. H. Harney, treasurer; Davies Batterton, secretary, and Seth Lowe, 
Robert Foster, Moses Rutherford, John Hillis, James Moody, Charles Miller 
and James B. Foley, directors. This first fair was held just north of Hend- 
ricks street, between Broadway and Lincoln, in "Hendrick's woods." Its 
receipts were three hundred and twenty-five dollars and the profits were one 
hundred and twenty-eight dollars. The agricultural society continued to 
give annual fairs for many years, with ever-increasing success. In 1856 the 
society met an exception b}' losing considerable money, the receipts for that 
year being one thousand two hundred and fifty-eight dollars and ninety-eight 
cents and the expenditures two thousand, two hundred and forty-four dollars 
and fifty-eight cents. In 1857 the gate receipts totaled over ele\'en hundred 
dollars and eight hundred dollars were given in premiums, three hundred dol- 
lars of which was "in silverware." The greatest fair up to this time was 
held in 1858, when R. R. Cobb served as president, J. O. Adams as secre- 
tary of the society and John T. Hamilton as marshal of the grounds. Cur- 
rent accounts of the fair say that whisky was secretly sold on the grounds in 
spite of the marshal's efforts. Exceptionally good horse races were held 
on the last day, when "John Snialley," a grey pony that was the pride of the 
state, made a mile in the fast time of 3:11. Most of the races of the day 
were won in times between 3:18 and 3:48. In 1869 the society bought 
twenty acres of ground, part of which is now covered by the warehouses of 
the American Tobacco Company, for forty-seven hundred dollars. 


In the late seventies a thorough reorganization of the society was under- 
taken by the Hon. Will Cumback and from that time until late in the nine- 
ties the fair flourished. Then the fairs were discontinued because they 
proved a money-losing proposition and the fair grounds were lost on a mort- 

On August 8, 1905, Uriah Privett, A. A. Magee, Goddard & Deem, I. 
Carl Mitchell, Phil H. Spohn, C. B. Ainsworth, Gregg Alyea, John \V. 
White. James E. Caskey, Pulse & Porter, George S. Littell, Elmer E. Roland, 
Willis O. Elder, E. E. Doles, Williams & Clemons, Oscar M. Elder, A. M. 
Willoughby, John G. Zollener, Luther D. Braden, Mike Conner, R. S. Meek, 
J. Y. Hitt, George Saunders, C. H. Reed, J. C. Davis, J. B. Kitchin, Walter 
W. Bonner, John W. Rhodes, C. W. Woodward, Orlando Lee and Williard 
A. Miers, alh prominent citizens of the county, incorporated themselves as 
the Decatur County Fair Association. They rented the old fair grounds 
north of the city, built an amphitheatre and some buildings and continued 
the old fairs. Five or six years later they were reorganized as the Greens- 
burg Fair Association. The last fair was held July 23-26, 1912, when they 
were discontinued because of lack of popular support. At that time the 
officers were: President, W. C. Pulse; vice-president, George S. Littell; 
secretary, Dr. C. B. Ainsworth; treasurer, E. E. Doles, and Will A. McCoy, 
a director. The association is still in existence, but its assets have been 
liquidated and it is inactive. Whether another fair will ever be held is a 
question which only the future can tell. 



When the first settlers came to Decatur county, there were no roads 
north of the Ohio river. There were rough, half-opened wagonways lead- 
ing back from the river to points ten to twenty miles distant, but no real 
roads. Three of these wagon ways extended into the woods from Vevay, 
Madison and Lawrenceburg. After running for a few miles, they became 
nothing but blazed trails and all three came together at Jericho, located two 
miles southeast of Napoleon. 

On account of its then advantageous transportation facilities, Jericho 
had high ambitions of sometime becoming a great commercial center. Its 
hopes, however, were ultimately blasted by its more lucky neighbor. From 
Jericho northward there was but a single trail. 

This trail was known as the Wilson trace, starting at Jericho and run- 
iiing almost on the site of the Michigan road to the Cobb settlement. It then 
crossed what i,vas later the Clarksburg pike and, swinging south, entered 
Greensburg near what is now Lincoln street and Central avenue. 

At first this trace was not cut out at all points. Those first over it had 
to widen the path, remove limbs and sometimes cut down trees in order to get 
through. The roots made it rough riding, but they served one useful pur- 
pose — they kept the wagons from sinking so deep into the mud that they 
could not be moved at all. 

The first movement toward roads was after the county was organized in 
1822, when Jonathan Dayton and others presented a petition asking for the 
laying off of a road running from the Lawrenceburg state road, near St. 
Omer, to the Cliffy and Brookville road. This petition the board, after 
consideration, refused to grant, "on account of indefiniteness." At that time 
the Lawrenceburg road had e.xistence on paper only, and there was consider- 
able conjecture as to where it would be eventually located. 

At the same meeting of the county commissioners William Henderson 
and others, of Fugit township, asked for appointment of viewers for a road 
beginning at the east county line and running southwest to the forks of 
Cliffy. This prayer was granted and William Custer, James Logan and 


Adam Rankin were appointed viewers. This was the same route later fol- 
lowed by the Sandusky, Springhill and Clarksburg pike. 

The road running from St. Paul to St. Omer and thence to Downey- 
ville was allowed at the next session of the board of commissioners, August 
12. Daniel Pike and others asked for a road from where the Flatrock 
crosses the county line to Robert Campbell's house. This road was granted 
and is still in use. 

The early roads were not laid out according to any definite plan, but 
were run in such a way as to strike the high ground and keep away from 
the low lands and swamps, which would render them impassable several 
months in the vear. The following description of a new road found in 
Volume I, page 142, of the commissioners' records, is illustrative of this 

"Leading from Greensburg to the count)- line, beginning on the west 
bank of W. I. Lowry's spring branch, running west, crossing Cliffy with the 
open line, passing Eliza Craig's to the first branch west of Eliza Craig's, 
thence north of the line so far as to strike corner of small meadow, thence 
west with the fence of the farm of Lewis Craig's heirs to Laughridge's 
corner, then on open line between the heirs and Laughridge, continuing the 
open line to Elliott's corner where it strikes the old road." (Approved 
July 31, 1831.) 


Though the county had been continuously and rapidly growing in wealth 
from its earliest settlement, its roads were greatly neglected for a time and 
no provision was made for their betterment. Until the year 1847 "O improve- 
ments were made on the roads and travel in the rainy seasons was a difficult 
task. The Greensburg and Napoleon Turnpike Company was incorporated 
on January 24, 1847, '^'^'ith Ezra Lathrop. John T. Stevens, R. R. Cobb, 
Elias Connel), George Dart. M. D. Ross, R. H. Harvey, J. B. Foley, John 
Glass, James Hamilton and Preston E. Hopkins as directors. The Greens- 
burg and Harrison Turnpike Company was incorporated on January 26, 
1847, with the following directors: A. R. Eorsythe, Seth Lowe, John 
Thomson, G. B. Roszell, James Hamilton, Robert Ross, James Morgan, 
James B. Foley, John Hopkins and James Treman. 

From 1847 until 1863 there is no record of any further advancements 
in the matter of good roads. On December 2, 1863, John E. Robbins and 
fifty-one other citizens of Decatur county filed their petition with the board 
of county commissioners for an order allowing them to build a turnpike 


along the line of the Vernon road from a point where it leaves the south line 
of the corporation of the city of Greensburg, to a point where it crosses the 
line between Washington and Marion townships. The capital stock of the 
compan}' was fixed at three thousand dollars per mile, of which four thousand 
eight hundred dollars had already been subscribed by the petitioners. Their 
petition was granted, work was begun soon after, and the road was com- 
pleted in the year 1866. Since that time about sixty additional miles of 
turnpikes have been built in this county, reaching out in all the roads leading 
from Greensburg to distances of from five to twelve miles. The list of these 
different turnpikes follows: To Clarksburg, twelve miles; Kingston short 
line, four miles ; Greensburg and Milroy, six miles ; Greensburg to Cliffy, 
five miles; Greensburg to county line, via Milford, twelve miles; Greensburg 
and Hartsville, thirteen miles ; Greensburg and Sand Creek, nine miles ; 
Greensburg and Layton's Mill, six miles. 

These roads have done a great work in the development of the material 
interests of the county and in giving the citizens of the county means of 
travel, not only for pleasure, but also they served as a great aid in bettering 
the facilities for placing the products of this county on the different foreign 

Some of the early acts of the Legislature concerning roads in and 
through Decatur county were as follows: Januaiy 20, 1820, an act establish- 
ing the Michigan road from Lawrenceburg to Indianapolis; January 24, 
1824, a special act, providing for a road from Madison to Greensburg; 
January 12, 1829, an act locating the Vandalia state road. 


Whether or not Sand creek was ever navigable depended largely upon 
the nature of craft that the navigator desired to use. As early as 1827, 
some enterprising citizens, for some unknown reason, conceived the idea 
that it was of sufficient size to float a water craft of some kind. This belief 
led the rejiresentative from Decatur to introduce a bill in the state Legis- 
lature looking toward its utilization as a waterway. 

On January 22, 1827, an act was passed to improve the navigation of 
Sand creek, requiring Bartholomew and Jennings counties to keep it clear 
of obstructions. By widening its channel and deepening it and providing 
it with additional water, as many present-day congressmen seek to do in 
order to get some creek back home improved, it might yet become an artery 
of commerce. Even in those days, however, Sand creek could hardly have 
been brought within the reach of a modern rivers and harbors appropriation 


Sand creek was not the only navigable river in Decatur county in those 
days. Flat Rock also had aspirations as a waterway. Dr. Jonathan Griffin 
and Alfred Major, in early advertisements of a St. Omer lot sale, called 
attention to the fact that the city is but "three quarters of a mile from the 
navigable waters of Flat Rock, where boats pass down to New Orleans." 


As early as the year 1832, steps were taken by the citizens of this 
county to procure a railroad for Greensburg. The Lawrenceburg & Indian- 
apolis Railroad was incorporated on February 2, 1832, under the leadership 
of George H. Dunn. Three years later, at the 1835-36 session of the Legis- 
lature, an act of incorporation was procured for this same road, which was 
to pass through Greensburg and Shelbyville. The tliree directors of this 
road from Decatur county were Martin Adkain, James Freeman and Nathan 
D. Gulion. It was provided that construction should start within three years 
and that the road should be completed within ten years after the passage of 
the act. The route was to include Napoleon and Greensburg. 

Hon. George M. Dunn was chosen president and considerable stock 
was subscribed along the line. Work was immediately begun on this road 
at Lawrenceburg. The financial crash of 1837 stopped its operations, and 
this company later was wiped out of existence by the provisions of the time 
limit for the completion of this road as set forth in the act. 

In 1847-48 a charter was obtained for the Lawrenceburg & Rushville 
Railroad, and, on its organization. Judge Dunn was chosen its president. 
The projected line of this railroad passed about six miles northeast of 
Greensburg, and this aroused the citizens of the town, also those of the 
central and western part of the county, to the importance of securing a 
"branch" of that road through their section. After due consideration, a 
meeting was held in Greensburg on March 30, 1849, "to consider the pro- 
priety of carrying on the proposed road from Lawrenceburg to Greensburg, 
and on through Edinburg." The proposition, which was placed before 
the assembled citizens by Judge Dunn, was that there had been $70,000 of 
stock taken, $25,000 of which was in the eastern part of the county and 
the rest in Lawrenceburg. The sum required for an organization was 
$140,000, and, of this, he pledged the city of Edinburg for $30,000. He 
asked that Decatur county should subscribe, in its corporate capacity, the 
sum of to the stock of the company, towit : $50,000 to the line 
between Greensburg and Lawrenceburg, and $25,000 each to the Rushville 


and Edinburgh branches, payable when the road bed should be ready for the 

The committee reported at the end of the meeting a series of resolutions 
indorsing the scheme and appointing a committee of three in each town- 
ship to circulate a petition in each township, asking the county commissioners 
to make a subscription to the capital stock of the company. At a meeting of 
the board of county commissioners, held the 5th day of June, the petitions 
were presented, signed by a majority of the freeholders of the county, 
whereupon the board made an order, that "the auditor of Decatur county 
be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to subscribe, on behalf of the 
county of Decatur, one hundred thousand dollars of stock in the Rushville 
& Lawrenceburg Railroad Company," under the conditions asked by the 
citizens' meeting. 

The road was opened as far as Greensburg- in the early summer of 
1853. Judge Dunn died shortly after the road was finished and General 
Morris, of Indianapolis, became president, and by his energetic work the 
road was opened to that city the following year. Owing to a failure of the 
citizens along the Rushville and Edinburg lines to subscribe the required 
stock, the branches to these places were not built at this time, and the county 
was only called on for the fifty thousand dollars subscribed to the main line. 

Stephen Ludlow was an incorporator and director of the Lawrenceburg 
& Indianapolis Railroad (1836), and in his honor the dinky engine that 
was first put on the rails was christened the "Stephen Ludlow." Fred 
Lungen was the engineer and Jacob W. Mills was the conductor. 

From 1853 up to 1879 many efforts were made toward the building 
of other railroads, to all of which the county, the townships and the citi- 
zens made liberal offers of subscriptions : but, from various causes, these 
failed to materialize. 

An organization was affected in Greensburg in 1879, which was known 
as the North Vernon, Greensburg- & Rushville Railroad Company. This 
company set to work at once to procure township and individual subscrip- 
tions for the building of a railroad from North Vernon to Rushville, through 
Greensburg. Their efforts met with such marked success that they were 
able, December 15th of the same year, to let the contract for the entire work 
of putting the road in readiness for the cars. Col. Horace Scott, of Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, was awarded the contract, and the road was opened to 
Greensburg on April 15, 1880, and to Rushville on September 10, 1880. 

The first shoveful of dirt for the Cincinnati & Terre Haute Railroad 
was thrown on Monday, June 10, 1872, at a point one-half mile east of the 


home of Patrick Ewing, in Clay township. Mr. Ewing, "veteran sire of 
many ilkistrious sons." sank the first spade into the right of way. Robert 
Bognell, the general contractor and a number of railway officials, were 
present. Col. J. S. Scobey presided and made a speech, as did Will Cum- 
back, James Ga\in, Major Robbins and Judge Bonner. Others called upon 
to talk were : Dr. J. Y. Hitt, B. W. Wilson, J. K. Ewing, Dr. S. McGuire, 
S. Forsyth and David Lovett. 

The Greensburg Lateral Railroad was finished to Harris City in 1876. 
This road was only six miles long and was owned by the Harris City Stone 
Company. It was an outlet for the products of this quarry and was operated 
bv the company, they having their own dinky engine to place the cars on 
the North Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville tracks. This road originally 
ran into Greensburg, but when the Columbus, Hope & Greensburg road was 
built, this company took over their tracks from Quarry Switch into Greens- 


The present union depot in Greensburg was thrown open to the public 
for the first time on Sunday, May 16, 1909. It was built at a cost of twenty 
thousand dollars, and is modern in evei-y respect. 

The first depot in Greensburg was located on South Monfort street, 
where the freight depot is now located, and remained there from the com- 
pletion of the old Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette railroad to this place 
in 1853, until 1865, when it was moved to Franklin street. Now it is moved 
back two scjuares beyond the first location on Ivlonfort street to the "Y," 
where it will probably remain permanently. 

The distance from the square is increased from one block to about six,^ 
a little less than a half mile. The new location is the proper one from the 
railroad point of view, as it is at the junction and obviates the former 
necessity of backing trains in on the Michigan division and out again, mak- 
ing about an extra mile for each train on that division. 

The change in location made it necessary for the postoffice department 
to deliver the mail between the station and the postoffice, as the distance is 
greater than eighty rods, being in fact about one hundred and seventy rods. 
The first mail messenger was Louis Fultz, who started in to carry the mail 
on the da}' the new station was opened. 



The Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Company owns the only inter- 
urban line coming into Decatur county. This is a direct line from Indian- 
apolis to Greensburg. The right of way for this line was purchased from 
August to December, 1905, and the first car was run in 1907. The total 
length of the line from Indianapolis to Greensburg is forty-nine miles, of 
whicli ten and one-half miles are in Decatur county. It touches the towns of 
St. Paul, Adams and Greensburg, all limited cars stopping at principal towns, 
while the local cars stop at intermediate points. According to the present 
schedule, nine cars are operated each way between Greensburg and Indian- 
apolis. The first car leaves Greensburg at six o'clock A. M., and the last 
one at eleven o'clock at night. Regular service is maintained at intervals of 
one and one-half hours daily. It is interesting to note that the car which 
made the initial run in 1907, is still in use. The interurban station is 
located at the corner of Main and East streets. 


The following is the complete valuation and mileage of the different 
railroads running through Decatur county as given in the 1914 annual report 
of the Bureau of Statistics: 

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad (Big Four 
route) has 20.59 miles of main track, with a valuation of $29,500 per mile, 
totaling $607,405. There are 10.91 miles of second main track, valued at 
$8,900 per mile, totaling $87,200. Side-tracks of 13 miles are valued at 
$4,900 per mile, totaling $55,880. Rolling stock of 20.59 miles is valued at 
$4,000 per mile, totaling $82,360. The improvements on the right of way 
amount to $18,100. The total valuation is $851,025. 

The Chicago, Terre Haute & Eastern, Westport branch, has 6.46 miles 
of road, valued at $6,500 per mile; total valuation, $41,900. There are 1.98 
miles of side-track, valued at $2,000 per mile; total valuation, $3,960. Roll- 
ing stock of 6.46 miles is valued at $1,500 per mile; total valuation, $9,600. 
The improvements on the right of way amount to $160. The total valuation 
is $57,250. 

Columbus, Hope & Greensburg Railroad has 8.98 miles of main track, 
valued at $8,000 per mile; total valuation, $71,840. Side-track of 0.27 mile 
is valued at $540. Rolling stock of 8.98 miles is valued at $1,500 per mile; 


total value, $13,470. The improvements on the right of way amount to 
$160. The total valuation of the road is $86,010. 

North Vernon, Greensburg & Rushville Railroad has 24.94 miles of 
main track, valued at $9,000 per mile; total value, $224,460. Side-track of 
4.19 miles is valued at $2,000 per mile; total valuation, $8,380. Rolling 
stock of 24.94 miles is valued at $1,500 per mile; total valuation, $37,410. 
Improvements on the right of way amount to $1,505. The total valuation of 
the road is $271,755. 

Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Company has 10.41 miles of main 
track, valued at $5,900 per mile; total valuation, $61,360. The side-track 
of 0.37 mile is valued at $550. Rolling stock of 10.41 miles is valued at 
$500 per mile; total valuation, $5,200. The improvements on the right of 
way amount to $2,400. The total valuation of the road is $69,515. 

The total valuation for all railroads in the county is $1,335,555. 



For at least thirty years before the opening of the Civil ^^'ar there \va^. 
in parts of Decatur county, pronounced opposition to the institution of slav- 
ery. The early settlers of the Kingston and Spring Hill neighborhoods came 
from that part of Kentucky where there was a violent hatred of slaver)- and 
they had not been in Decatur county many years before they began to voice, 
in no uncertain manner, their opposition to the slave traffic. About 1830 
these worthy people took the lead in the organization of the Decatur County 
Colonization Society, a branch of the National Colonization Society. The 
ostensible purpose of this organization was to assist in freeing men of color 
and providing them with the means of finding a home in a new country, where 
the colored man might have a chance to develop himself. A few years before 
this time, Liberia, Africa, had been prepared for the reception of such col- 
ored people of the United States as could be induced to make it their home. 
However philanthropic such a scheme might have been, it did not work out 
well in practice and only tended to alienate many people who were really 
opposed to slavery. The South naturally regarded the Colonization Society 
with an intense hatred and the result was that they watched their slaves 
only the more carefully and punished the more severely those who escaped 
and were recaptured. Many people in the North thought that there was too 
much stress placed on getting a few colored people out of the country, when 
the energy of those opposed to the traffic had better be given to ultimate 

Many persons in Decatur county took the latter stand, with the result 
that, about 1835 or 1836, the more radical of the anti-slavery people of the 
county (most of whom li\-ed in Fugit township) withdrew from the Colo- 
nization Society and united in the organization of the Decatur County Anti- 
Slavery Society. Among the leaders in this movement were Samuel Donnell, 
Sr., John C. McCoy, Thomas Hamilton, Alexander McCoy, Campbell McCoy, 
Samuel A. Donnell, Luther A. Donnell, Andrew Robison, Jr., Angus C. 
McCoy, and Cyrus Hamiltnn, of the Kingston neighborhood, and the Ran- 
kins, Andersons, Logans and others, of Spring Hill. The creed of the anti- 


slavery people was, in short, that slavery was a sin — a sin for which the 
whole nation was responsible, and for which there was but one cure — imme- 
diate emancipation. The consequence of this second organization was a 
bitter and unrelenting fight between the supporters of the two societies, the 
creation of bickerings between neighbors, friends and relatives, and, finally 
schisms in the churches. It is not necessary here to say which side was in 
the right — they both hated sla\ery and differed only in their methods of 
dealing with it. 

It is enough to say that abolitionism gradually grew and, notwithstand- 
ing the persecution and ostracism which its adherents were forced to undergo, 
they finally saw their fondest hopes realized. The Free-Soil part}- and the 
subsec|uent Republican party, founded on the remnants of the Whig and 
Free-Soil parties, finally forced the issue and January i, 1863, saw the eman- 
cipation of all the slaves in the United States — and only thirty years after 
Decatur county had taken up the agitation in earnest. 

The purpose of the present article is to deal with one phase of the anti- 
slavery fight in Decatur county, the so-called "underground railroad." One 
of the main trunk lines of this famous railroad was through the eastern part 
of Decatur county. Its ofiicers and conductors were sworn to secrecy and 
it was manv years after the close of the Civil War before some of these 
brave men and women told of the part which they had borne in helping 
to get the poor negroes through the count}' on their way to freedom. The 
story of the "underground railroad"' has never been, and probably never 
will be told in detail. Its work was done under cover of darkness and those 
who received negroes at one point often did not know who had brought 
them that far along the line. Southward from Decatur county, the railroad 
branched off into several different directions. The main crossing places 
from Kentucky into the southeastern ]Dart of Indiana seemed to have been 
near Madison, \'evay and Rising Sun. Those coming across near Madison 
were shifted through New Marion, in Ripley county, and Zenas, in Jen- 
nings county ; those landing at Vevay and Rising Sun were taken past Milan, 
in Ripley county! The three roads seemed to have effected a junction in 
Decatur county south of present McCoy's Station. From this place the route 
led northward along the Decatur-Franklin county line, through a small col- 
ored settlement a short distance east of Clarksburg, and thence northeast 
through Fayette and Wayne counties. Fugitives, on crossing the Ohio 
ri\-er, were met by a trained conductor — sometimes one of their own color, 
but oftener by a white man — who took them to the next station. Here the 
runaways stayed in hiding all day and on the second night another conductor 


took the colored passengers on to the next station. Thus was the journey 
made to Canada and freedom, the nightly trips being continued until the 
fugitives were safely over the border. How many negroes were thus trans- 
ported to Canada will never be known, but the number ran up into the thou- 
sands, and very few of them were ever captured en route or apprehended 
once they set foot in Canada. The passage of the fugitive slave law in 
1850 so outraged the North that the business of the underground railroad 
increased by leaps and bounds and it became positively dangerous for slave- 
catchers to appear on free soil. In the escape of these runaways, the good 
people of Decatur county bore no small part and it is fortunate to find avail- 
able a personal account of one case which is typical of scores of others which 
took place. This particular case, known as the "Donnell Rescue Case," was 
described l^y the late William ]M. Hamilton, who was one of the participants: 

"I will try to relate in detail the history of the escape, capture, rescue 
and final escape to Canada, of a colored woman and four children, claimed 
as the property of George Ray, of Kentucky, in which Mr. Donnell and 
myself became involved in litigation before both the state and federal courts. 

"In the fall of 1848, probably in October, Caroline and her four chil- 
dren made their way across the Ohio river near the city of Madison, Indiana. 
From there she was assisted on her way to Decatur county by a man named 
Wagoner, who was one of the regular conductors in charge of fugitives 
between Madison and this county. Wagoner delivered his passengers at 
what is now McCoy's Station, probal^ly about two or three o'clock in the 
morning. Mr. McCoy at once mounted the poor woman and her four chil- 
dren on horses and started for the colored settlement near Clarksburg, which 
was not far from the home of Luther A. Donnell. 

"On the way to the colored settlement, McCoy and his party came by 
way of my father's (Cyrus Hamilton) and asked me to accompany and 
assist him on to the colored settlement. ^Vhen we were within a mile and 
a half of Clarksburg we found that we could not make the desired goal 
before daylight, so we stopped at the house of a colored man Ijy the name 
of Pernell, who lived near. McCoy then returned home. Pernell was uneasy 
and seemed afraid to keep the fugitives, so I rode over to Donnell's and 
awakened him, telling him 'what was up,' and that Pernell was afraid to 
keep the people. 

"Donnell said he would go over to the colored settlement and have them 
come and get the woman and her children. WHiereuixDn I started back home, 
but soon met Pernell with the fugitives mounted on horses. It was then 
daylight, and he hurried on to the house of a colored woman, Jane Speed, 


who lived where George Warlow now Hves. The woman and children were 
secreted in an old house which had some hay in it. This house was located 
on a remote portion of her (Jane Speed's) place and not far from where 
Woodson Clark lived. 

"This Clark was reputed to be a slave-catcher and hunter and was ever 
ready to obstruct the pathway of those seeking their freedom. During the 
day Clark saw Jane Speed's boy come away from the old house, whither he 
had been sent to convey food to the fugitives. This was enough to prompt 
an investigation of the contents of the old house by Clark. He took in the 
situation at a glance and told the woman she was in a very unsafe position 
and that he would conduct her to the colored settlement, but, instead of 
doing so, he took the colored woman and her children to his own house. 

"The colored woman, suspecting that all was not right, asked him 
( Clark ) where the colored people were to whom he had promised to guide 
her. It was then late in the evening, and he, suspecting that her friends 
would miss her and the children from their place of concealment and that 
he would be suspected, resolved to secrete them in an old fodder house on 
the farm of his son. At the same time Clark decided the safest thing for 
him to do was to tell the colored people to come and get her and the children. 
After several hours of waiting in the fodder house, the woman concluded 
that she had been betrayed, and, knowing that there was a colored settlement 
in the neighborhood, left her children and started out in quest of her friends. 
The night was dark and she, a stranger to the fields, soon lost her way. 

"Leaving the woman and her children for the time, the reader's atten- 
tion is called to what was being done by her friends. As soon as the fugitives 
were missed from the hut on Jane Speed's place (otherwise known as the 
Peyton place), the colored people tracked them to Clark's yard gate. They 
then informed Luther A. Donnell, who advised them to secure enough assist- 
ance to watch Clark's premises so as to prevent the escape of the fugitives. 
Mr. Donnell then held an interview with my father, and they determined to 
apply for a writ of habeas corpus and by legal intpiir}' find by what authority 
the fugitives were detained by Clark. 

"By this time darkness was setting in. My father and Mr. Donnell 
applied to John Hopkins, then associate judge of Decatur county, for the 
required writ, which was granted. But it was found necessary to go to 
Greensburg to obtain the seal of the court and the attendance of the sheriff 
to serve the writ. The sheriff was Michael Swope, who sent the writ to a 
deputy named John Imlav, then living in Clarksburg, with orders to serve it. 


When my father and Mr. Donnell started for Greensburg I was detained to 
look after the party who were watching Clark's premises. I found about 
twenty colored men assembled. They were very much excited and were 
armed with corn knives, clubs and, maybe, more deadly weapons. It was 
with difficulty that I restrained them from making a forced search. 

"At length the deputy sheriff came, and with him Robert Hamilton, to 
assist in the execution of the writ. It had been arranged to have the colored 
men rush in a body on to the sheriff and take the fugitives by force as soon 
as they could be brought out of Clark's house. But the search proved fruit- 
less and we were all 'chop fallen,' as it looked as thought we had been out- 
generaled. Clark appeared greatly offended and said he would see some 
one through with this business. He went to Clarksburg and tried to get a 
writ from a justice of the peace, by which he could take the slaves back to 
Kentucky, but, of course, failed to get one. 

"Mr. Donnell, R. A. Hamilton, myself and the colored people then held 
a council and decided to extend the search to the premises of the two sons 
of Clark, who lived, one on the north and the other on the south of their 
father's farm. Meanwhile Mr. Donnell and myself went to Mr. Donnell's 
house to await developments. A short time before daylight a squad came 
and reported that they had found the woman near one of the Clarks. She 
was rambling about the fields in a state of bewilderment and did not know 
where her children were. She told the story of her removal to the hut and 
subsequent concealment in the Clark fodder house. Of course, the colored 
men soon found the children, and the party was once more intact and with 

"The colored men took the fugitives down into their neighborhood and 
secreted them in a deep ravine on the Bull fork of Salt creek, in Franklin 
county, intending to start them on their way the next night. We were 
greatly rejoiced at the turn things had taken, yet we felt assured that the 
slave-catchers would press hard after their game, having once had them in 
their possession. 

"R. A. Hamilton returned home as soon as the search was over. After 
remaining at Donnell's house until the colored men had reported, I started 
for home, and on my way met four or five men whom I knew were slave 
hunters. Some were from Greensburg, and one was a stranger, who, as I 
afterwards learned, was the man Ray, of Kentucky, who owned the slaves. 
A son of Clark and a man by the name of Hobbs had been to Greensburg 
for a writ to enable them to secure possession of the fugitives and had given 
the alarm. All this had happened while the woman and children were being 


found and while I was at the home of Donnell, as before related. I hur- 
riedly changed horses and kept a watch over the slave hunters. They went 
through Clarksburg, and I went to Donnell's house and reported what I had 
seen. He proposed that we mount our horses and skirmish around the 
Clark premises and the colored settlement in order to see what might happen. 

"We went to a horse-mill in the edge of the colored settlement. There 
we remained some time, but learned nothing more than that there was quite 
a party at Clark's house. In the afternoon the slave hunters made some 
demonstrations in and about the settlement and did attempt to search one 
or two houses, but, finding it an unsafe business, they abandoned the 

"The colored people were naturally very much excited and determined. 
The woman was almost helpless, encumbered as she was with her children, 
the youngest of which was a nursing babe. They could not be moved like 
adults. Now, there was a colored man and his wife who had recently moved 
from Union county to the settlement, who had two children about the age 
of two of the fugitive children. Accordingly they made a bold daylight 
trip, with the slave woman's children instead of their own, and arrived 
safely at the home of William Beard, an underground railroad man and a 
godly Quaker, who lived beyond the reach of the pursuers. 

"But the woman and two of her children were still to be disposed of. 
About sunset, word came that the slave hunters had discovered the hiding 
place of the remaining fugitives, and again we were disconsolate. We rea- 
soned that they would bring her to Clark's house for safe keeping over night, 
and we resolved to tiy our writ again and see if it woiild not give us posses- 
sion of the fugitives. 

"Meanwhile, we had assembled at Donnell's house for supper. \\'hile 
we were thus mourning over our ill luck, a colored man came and announced 
that matters were all right — that the man who was on guard had mistaken 
a party of men who were returning home from a 'raisin' for the slave hunt- 
ing party, but that they passed by without observing the woman's hiding 
place. Again our drooping spirits revived and we set ourselves to the task 
of planning the successful evasion of the pursuers. 

"The route over which the underground railroad passengers were con- 
veyed was through Laurel and Blooming Grove (Franklin county), crossing 
the East fork of White river at Fairfield, and thence on to William Beard's 
home in Union county. This line had been discovered by the enemy and was 
well watched; besides, the excitement was running high and spreading wide 
by this time, while our rescuing party was more determined than ever. 


Heretofore we had depended upon the colored people to do the work, while 
we made the calculations, hut Donnell's determination was now fairly aroused, 
and he proposed to me that we take this matter in hand and see the slaves 
safely through, let it cost what it might. 

"Accordingly, we instructed the colored people to disguise the woman 
in male attire and for three or four of them to accompany her, mounted, 
and others on foot, to Peyton's corner, where we would meet them. They 
executed the details promptly and were on hand in time. We found it 
necessary to press through Clarksburg to reach the point we had in mind. 
It was a dangerous place to enter, as there were plenty of watchful slave 
hunters there, so we instructed her to ride to the middle of the road, flanked 
by a trusty colored man on either side. We had the children taken around 
the village of Clarksburg to about one mile beyond the town. The exit was 
easily made and the proposed point reached without any trouble. We then 
dismissed the colored men and resolved to keep our own council. 

"The woman was mounted on a horse with one of us and the children 
with the other, and thus we rode through Spring Hill and to the home of 
Thomas Donnell, about one mile west of that village. Day was breaking 
and Luther A. Donnell awakened his brother, Thomas, who assisted him in 
hiding the slaves in an out-of-the-way building, while I took charge of the 
horses. During the next day the refugees were fed by two children of the 
Donnell family. Luther Donnell and myself returned to our homes with 
the understanding that we were to meet at the house of John R. Donnell 
that night at ten o'clock for the purpose of making final disposition of the 

"We met pursuant to our agreement and at this juncture we pressed 
Lowry Donnell and John R. Donnell into service. The latter entered into 
the arrangement with a hearty good will by bringing out his fine carriage, 
with closed top and side curtains. The woman and children had been pro- 
vided with plenty of warm woolen clothing, and, being doubly veiled, were 
placed in the carriage and started on their way to freedom. 

"The party was composed of Luther A. Donnell, John R. Donnell, 
Lowry Donnell, Robert Stout, Nathaniel Thompson and myself. Stout and 
Thompson only went with us as far as New Salem, Rush county." 

The narrative of Mr. Hamilton goes on to tell of the details of the 
journey, which was devoid of any striking incidents. After a drive of 
twenty-four hours, with only a short rest to feed the horses, the party 
arrived at William Beard's home in Union county, where they received a 


warm welcome. The rescuers returned home the next day, with men and 
horses worn and jaded, carriage springs broken, and with the experience of 
one of the most interesting incidents of the underground railroad which 
ever occurred in the state. The poor slave woman was given her four chil- 
dren, reached Canada eventually, and in after years wrote to Donnell, 
expressing her great thankfulness for his assistance. 

But Donnell was not yet through with his connection with the case. 
The slave hunters were determined to ha\e their revenge for the shrewd 
way in which they were outwitted. Having lost their chattels and been 
defeated in their attempts to recover them, the slave owner and his sym- 
pathizers resolved to take advantage offered by a state statute then supposed 
to be in force in Indiana. Accordingly, a few days later, a grand jury of 
Decatur county indicted Luther A. Donnell for "aiding and abetting the 
escape of fugitives from labor," etc. The case came up for trial at the 
]\Iarch term of court, 1849. George H. Dunn was the presiding judge and 
John Hopkins and Samuel Ellis, associate judges. The jury was composed 
of twelve men of the county. The state was represented by John S. Scobey, 
prosecuting attorne}-, and Andrew Davidson, later a supreme judge 
of Indiana. The defense was in the hands of John Ryman, of Lawrence- 
burg, and Joseph Robinson and Philander Hamilton, of Greensburg. 

On the calling" of the case, the defense moved to cjuash the indictment 
on the grounds set forth in the case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania, in which it 
was held that state legislation for the recovery of fugitives from labor in 
other states, or for aiding the escape of such, was unconstitutional. The 
motion was overruled and the trial proceeded. The evidence is too volumi- 
nous for the i)urpose at hand and only a summary of it will be given. The 
evidence in the case seemed to turn on the positive statement of Richard 
Clark (one of the sons mentioned), who testified that the woman and chil- 
dren were placed in his fodder house about two o'clock of ]\Ionday and that 
l^etween three and four o'clock the next morning they were taken out by 
Luther A. Donnell and William Hamilton, which the reader will notice is 
widely at variance with the facts, as stated in Hamilton's account. But in 
those days, a man could not testify in his own behalf, neither could a col- 
ored man testify in a case where a white man was interested. There was 
some conflicting testimony in this case, but the popular voice was unfavor- 
able to the defense and the verdict was against the defendant. Donnell 
appealed the case to the supreme court of Indiana. The result is here given 
in the words of the record : 


"Donnell vs. State. 

"Perkins, Judge. Error to the Decatur Circuit Court. 

"This was an indictment against Luther A. Donnell, containing two 
counts; one charging him with inducing the escape of, and the other with 
secreting a woman of color, called Caroline, then being the slave of and 
owing service to George Ray, of Kentucky. The defendant was convicted. 
The section of the statute of our state upon which the indictment was 
grounded, according to the decision in Prigg vs. Pennsylvania, is unconsti- 
tutional and void. The conviction on it was, therefore, erroneous." (Por- 
ter's Indiana Reports, Vol. Ill, page 480.) 

Encouraged by the advantages gained here in a criminal action, and 
by the popular clamor, Ray brought suit in the United States court at Indi- 
anapolis, to recover the value of his property, and obtained a judgment for 
fifteen hundred dollars, which, with costs, amounted to about three thou- 
sand dollars. This was promptly paid by the defendants to the last dollar. 
It is interesting to note that this full amount was refunded to the defend- 
ants by the anti-slavery men of the state and neighborhood, aided by some 
who were publicly known to be in sympathy with the movement. 

Thus ended one of the most exciting legal contests ever held in the 
state ; in fact, the effect on the popular mind was rather unfavorable to the 
slave-catching interests here, and caused many who had before been indiffer- 
ent toward the anti-slavery agitators to take a decided stand for or against 
that issue. No other efforts were made to recover escaped slaves in Deca- 
tur county, although from then to the outbreak of the war the "underground 
railroad" was in full operation. It is said that not one slave in a thousand 
was ever recovered by the owners in the decade preceding the Civil War. 

The fugitive slave law of 1850 was heartily denounced in many pul- 
pits in Decatur county immediately after its passage, and a minister of 
Kingston probably voiced the sentiment of a majority of the people of the 
' county when he said in the pulpit at the end of one of his sermons: "It is 
well known to you that the fugitive slave bill has become a law. To a law 
framed of such iniquity I owe no allegiance. Humanity, Christianity and 
manhood revolt against it. For myself — I say it solemnly — I will shelter, 
I will help, I will defend the fugitive with all my humble means and power. 
I will act with any Ixidy of decent and serious men, as the head, or foot, or 
hand, in any mode not involving the use of deadly weapons, to nullify and 
defeat the operation of this law." While this courageous preacher undoubt- 
edly expressed the sentiments of most of the people of the county, yet there 
were not a few who had no sympathy whatever with the slave. Many of 


the early settlers of the county came from Kentucky and Tennessee and, if 
the facts were known, it could be shown that some of these Southerners 
brought slaves here with them and held them as such. The government 
census of 1830 disclosed the startling fact that there was one negro girl 
in Decatur county who was returned as a slave. 

The Knights of the Golden Circle had a large following in Decatur 
county during the Civil War and were especially strong in Jackson town- 
ship. They were responsible for most of the depredations committed in that 
township during the latter part of the war. Apropos of this traitorous 
organization, an interesting story is told of old "Uncle" Dan Pike, who 
lived in Jackson township near Alert. The worthy old gentleman was an 
avowed Southern sympathizer and a great lover of fine horses, of which 
he had a large number. At the time Morgan made his raid through south- 
ern Indiana in the summer of 1863, Uncle Dan had some misgivings about 
the safety of his fine horses. He thought, however, that he was too far 
north for Morgan, but he was destined to change his opinion of the safety 
of his horses. On a sweltering day in July a detachment of Morgan's men 
actually appeared before his home and in no uncertain manner demanded 
some of his fine horses. Southern sympathizer that he was, he was deter- 
mined that no horse of his should leave the barn if he could help it. Taking 
his trusty old flint-lock in his hands, he stationed himself near the stable 
door and defied a man to attempt to take a single horse out of the stable. 
"The first man who goes into that stable door gets a slug of hot shot." The 
soldiers told him that he would only bring about his own death and in no 
way save his horses. "That don't make no difference — it will not save the 
man who goes into my stable," retorted the old man. The upshot of the 
matter was that they left Uncle Dan safe in the possession of all of his 
beloved horses. 




The following is an authentic list of soldiers of the Revolutionary War 
who lived and are buried in Decatur county, Indiana, the list having been pre- 
pared in May, 1901 : 

Thomas Hooten, buried in Sand Creek cemetery, near Greensburg, has a 
tombstone stating that he was a soldier of the War of 1776 to 1783. He died 
on July 26, 1841, aged eighty-nine years, two months and twenty-six days. 

John Pemberton was also buried in Sand Creek cemetery and has a tomb- 
stone stating he was a soldier of the War for Independence. He died on June 
5, 1845, aged eighty-two years, ten months and fifteen days. 

Samuel Brown is buried at Wesley Chapel cemetery. There is a broken 
slab, the inscription being almost entirely defaced. It is believed that he was 
a soldier of the Revolution. 

A soldier, named Kirby, was known to be a soldier of 1776 by several 
person in this county and the grave can be located. He is buried in what is 
known as Burke Chapel cemetery, five miles south of Greensburg. No head- 
stone. Command unknown. 

Hugh Montgomery is buried in a private cemetery on a farm owned by 
William M. Hamilton, formerly known as the Antrobus farm. He was a 
soldier of the Revolutionary War, and also of the War of 1812. He had three 
sons, Thomas, Henry and William, in the War of 1812. William was killed 
in battle. Henry died and is buried near his father in Antrobus cemetery. 
The headstone was placed by descendants. 

John Gilleland, who served in the War of 1776, is buried on what is now 
known as the Gilmore farm, in a small country cemetery. The grave is grown 
over with brush and briars, but a small tombstone, with the inscription almost 
obliterated, marks the grave. 

George King, buried in the cemetery at Milford, is known to have been a 
soldier of the War of the Revolution. The grave can be located by grand- 



children and others. The headstone was furnished by the war department and 
placed under charge of William Tateman, sexton. 

James Crawford, also of the War of 1776, is buried alongside King. 
There is a headstone, giving name, also that he died in February, 1836, aged 
seventy-nine years. The headstone, placed by William Tateman, sexton, was 
furnished, on requisition, by the war department. 

Wheeler is the last name of another soldier of 1776, who was buried in 
the group. None of his relatives are in this part of the country. These three 
men just mentioned were well acquainted and associates before they died. 
They are buried southeast and a few feet from a beech tree. It is not known 
whether or not King, Crawford or \Mieeler were pensioners. 

Joseph Morris, born in 1761, died in Greensburg, Indiana, in 1849. 
He was buried in the old cemetery and the remains were removed, but the 
grave cannot be located. His wife also died in Greensburg. He was nine- 
teen years old when he enlisted and it is known that he served to the end 
of the Revolutionary War. Parties lived in this county who knew this sol- 
dier. The above information was given by a relative. 

Thomas Meek, Sr., father of Adam R. Aleek, a soldier of the War of 
1812, was a soldier of the \\'ar for Independence. He came from Virginia 
and is buried in the cemeter}- at Springhill, Indiana. He was Ijorn in 1756, 
and died in 1838. A good stone marks the grave, from which the above 
dates are taken. 

John Collins, born in 1757, died near Kingston in 1848, and is buried 
in the cemetery at Kingston. It is Ijelieved he was a soldier in the Revolu- 
tionary War. The dates are taken from a headstone at the grave. 

John DeMoss was born in South Carolina about 1760, removed to Vir- 
ginia and probably went as a soldier from that state. He came to Indiana 
with his family and died in a caljin on what is now known as the Robert 
Braden farm, owned b}' Jeremy Braden, being buried on the adjoining farm, 
owned by Alilton Byers, located in Clay township, this county, in an old 
cemetery. The grave was located by Ralph Pavey, who was at the inter- 
ment. There are two stones, without inscription, that mark the grave. It 
is confidently believed that he was a soldier of the ^Var of Independence. 
The headstone was furnished by the war department and placed by a 

Lovejoy, initials not known, was buried at the Downeyville 'cemetery. 
It is thought he was a soldier of the War of 1776. Xo headstone. Prob- 
ably of the War of 1812. 

Joseph Lee, believed to have been a soldier of the Revolution, went from 


New Jersey and is buried at Shiloh cemetery. The headstone bears the 
date of death, etc. 

John O. Gulhon, it is said, was a soldier of the War of 1776. He went 
from Virginia. He is buried on the Spihman farm near Shiloh. The grave 
cannot be located, no headstone remaining. 

Levi Weston is buried in South Park cemetery, Greensburg, on the east 
side, near two pine trees. There is a headstone stating that he was a soldier 
of the War of 1776. He died on June 9, 1852, aged ninety-nine years and 
thirteen days. 

Ichabod Parker, of the War of the Revolution, was buried in Sand- 
creek cemetery. There is a headstone, on which is inscribed the fact that he 
was a soldier of the Revolution, giving date of death, etc. 

Jeremiah I. Dogan, of the War of 1776, was a pensioner. He drew 
his pension through the Madison agency, at an early day. He died on April 
14, 1857, aged about ninety years. He was a Virginian, and was buried at 
Mt. Carmel cemetery. There was a headstone. The grave could probably 
be located. 


Hugh Montgomery and wife are buried in the Watts graveyard on the 
Lanham farm. Before the war, he came to the colonies from Ireland with 
two brothers. His brothers fought with the British, but Hugh Montgom- 
ery cast his lot with the thirteen colonies. He served for three years in the 
company commanded by John Sullivan, of Colonel Russel's Ninth Virginia 

^^^len the war was over, Hugh Montgomery moved to Ohio, and later 
to Decatur county, and, on October 7, 1822, applied for a pension, claiming 
that he was no longer able to support himself. In his application for a pen- 
sion he listed his worldly possessions as follows : One mare, $25 ; one cow 
and calf, $12: four sheep, $4; two shoats, $3; two pots and bed, $17.50; 
total, $61.50. He then makes the following declaration: 

"In pursuance of the act of May, 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was 
a resident of the United States on the i8th day of May, 18 18, and that I 
have not since that time, by gift, sale, or in any manner, disposed of my 
property, or any part thereof, with intent thereby to diminish it, so as to 
bring myself within the provisions of an act to provide for certain persons 
engaged in the land and naval forces of the United States in the Revolu- 
tionary War, passed on the i8th day of March, 1818." 


Concerning the application of Montgomen' for a pension, the follow- 
ing letter is still preserved : 

"War Department, Pension Office, March 29th, 1824. 
"Hon. James Noble. Senate, United States: 

"Sir — I have, on examining the papers in the case of Hugh Montgom- 
ery, every reason to believe that the one who now lives in Decatur county, 
Indiana, is the same person who resided in Ohio three years ago and whose 
application for a pension was then rejected on account of his property. You 
will perceive, by referring to your letter to him, which is herewith returned, 
that he was required to prove that he was not the same person who lived in 
Ohio; instead of which, all the evidence that has any bearing on the sub- 
ject goes to show that he lived in the very same county and state (Butler, 
Ohio) from which the first application was made. The claim, of course, 
cannot be allowed. The papers which you sent to me will remain upon our 
files, agreeably to the regulations of the war department. 
"I am respectfully, 

"Your Obt. Servt., 

"J. L. Edwards." 

Three sons of Montgomery fought in the War of 1812. They were" 
Thomas, William and Henry Montgomery. William was killed in battle 
and Thomas is buried in South Park cemetery. Henry Montgomery is 
buried beside his father in the Antrobus cemetery. 


David Bailey, a pensioner of the War of 1812, was paid through the 
Indianapolis agency. He served in Captain Hawkins' and Captain Gray's 
companies, the Seventeenth and Third United States Infantry. His pen- 
sion certificate, which bore the number 3255, came into the possession of 
his daughter, Mrs. Perry Tremain, residing near Greensburg. David Bailey 
died in the city of Greensburg on March 6, 1879, aged eighty-one years 
and ten months, and was buried in South Park cemetery. There is no 
headstone, but there is a staff and the grave has been decorated. Applica- 
tion was made to the war department for a gravestone. 

George Myers was a pensioner of the War of 1812 and on the list 
of pensioners in the Indianapolis agency. No service given. He was buried 
in a cemetery near Harris City and has a monument with inscription of 
himself and wife. He had a son living in the county named William Myers. 


This information was secured through a granddaughter, Mrs. L. E. John- 
son, in Greensburg. 

WilHam BiUington (written "BeUington" on the rolls of the Indian- 
apolis pension agency), belonged to Capt. Harry Ellis's Kentucky militia 
and was in Hull's surrender. He was born on September ii, 1788, died on 
September 20, 1874, and was buried in the cemetery at Union church. 
There is a broken slab at the grave. 

Joseph Frakes, a soldier of the War of 1812, belonged to the "Ken- 
tucky Rangers." He went from Mason county, Kentucky. He was born 
on June 6, 1771, died on June 9, 1854, and was buried in the cemetery at 
Union church, near the grave of R. M. Hayes. There was a slab at the 
grave, broken in fragments, from which this data was taken. 

Daniel S. Perry, a pensioner on the roll of the Indianapolis pension 
agency, was born in Scott county, Kentuck)-, on October g, 1791. He was 
a son of Henry Perry, a soldier of the Revolutionary War. He enlisted 
and ser\'ed in the Kentucky militia, command not known. In the year 181 1 
he was in a cavalry branch of the United States service. He served under 
General Harrison. He came to Decatur county on March 3, 1823, and 
died on October 27, 1872. He is buried in what is known as the Ross 
cemetery, three miles east of Greensburg. His grave is marked by a head- 
stone, in good condition, but there is nothing on it to indicate that he was 
a soldier of the War of 1812. A son and other descendants resided in this 

George Silva, known to have been a soldier in the War of 1812, was 
born near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He died in April, 1849, and is buried 
in the cemetery at Clarksburg. There is no stone, but the grave was located 
by a granddaughter, Mrs. Burns, of Clarksburg. 

William Butcher, a soldier of the War of 1812, was captured at the 
battle of River Raisin. He is buried at Mount Carmel, but the grave can- 
not be located. It is not known whether he was a pensioner or not, but 
it is probable that he was. 

Henry Miller, a pensioner of the War of 1812, Avas buried at INIount 
Carmel. There is no information as to his services. There is a monument, 
and the age and date of Ijirth are on that. John S. Miller stated that Plenry 
Miller was captured at the Imttle of River Raisin and W. A. Donnell knew 
he was a pensioner. 

William Beetem, a pensioner of the War of 1812, was buried at 
Clarksburg. There is no headstone at this time and the grave cannot be 


John Butler was a soldier of the War of 1812. It is not known to 
what command he belonged ; perhaps the Kentucky militia. He moved to 
Indiana at an early day and settled on his farm, six miles east of Old \'er- 
non. His wife dying, he married Mrs. Editha Myers, widow of Thomas 
H. Myers, and li\ed and died on the old Myers homestead, one mile east 
of Milford. He was buried in what, to the old settlers, was known as the 
Douglas graveyard, later called the Wesley Chapel cemetery, located on 
the Nelson Mowrey home farm. There is a slab at the grave, broken near 
the ground. He came to Decatur count}- in 1847 and died in i860. A 
daughter of John Butler, by the name of Nancy Neal, lived near Lebanon, 
Boone county, Indiana. John Butler was the father of John F. Butler, 
deceased: Col. Harvey Butler, and stepfather of John L. Evans, Sanford 
Myers, ]Mrs. Bean and Mrs. Margaret Jackson. 

Thomas Campbell, of the War of 1812, Captain Deshold's Virginia 
militia, was a pensioner on the roll of the Indianapolis agency ; his post- 
office was Westport. He died on May 26, 1879, and is Iniried in the 
McCammon cemetery, five miles south of Westport. There is a headstone. 

John P. Oakley, a soldier of the War of 1812, lived in this county 
for a number of years. He was buried in Antioch, old Christian church, 
alongside his wife and several children. There is a headstone. 

Israel Gibson was a soldier of the War of 1812. His wife was a pen- 
sioner. He was buried in South Park cemetery, Greensburg, about one 
hundred feet south of the vault. There is a slab on which is inscribed his 
name and a ]\Iascnic emblem, but no other inscription. He belonged to a 
Pennsylvania command. 

William Hood, a pensioner on the Indianapolis rolls, belonged to Cap- 
tain Mathews' Kentucky INIilitia. He is buried at Spring Hill and has a 
monument. There was a son, Thomas Hood, and two daughters, Mrs. Riley 
and Mrs. Foley, residing in Decatur county, Indiana. 

Mackie Elliott, a soldier of the War of 1812, is buried in the cemetery 
one-half mile west of the Nauvoo school house, and has a monument. 
Mackie Elliott and his brother, Robert, served alternately during the War 
of 1812. Two sons, John and Robert Elliott, resided in the city of Greensburg. 

Henry Critzer, of the War of 1812, is buried in the Milford cemetery. 
He has a monument on which is inscribed the fact that he was in Hull's 
surrender. He served during the war. His wife, Martha Critzer, drew a 

Hartwell Knight, of the War of 1812, was not a pensioner, but received 
a land warrant for services during that war. His resting place, in the Mil- 



ford cemetery, is marked with a small headstone, with inscription of age 
and death. 

Henry Barr, a pensioner of the War of 1812 and buried on the home 
farm in Clay township, has a monument. Mrs. Achsah Harrell, of ^lil- 
ford, this county, was a daughter of Henry Barr. 

Andrew Robinson, St., born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, on the ist 
of January, 1793, died on August 28, 1884, and is buried in the Kingston 
cemetery. He was a soldier in Captain Hutchinson's company, of Ken- 
tucky volunteers, and was on the rolls of the Indianapolis agency. There 
is a monument. 

John Robertson, of Captain Gray's Kentucky Militia, was a pensioner 
on the rolls of the Indianapolis agency. He was also a captain of an artil- 
lery company in the Indiana Militia in the Fifty-fifth Regiment. His pen- 
sion certificate, dated December 6, 1871, is in possession of his descendants. 
He was born on March 15, 1796, and died on December 2, 1881, being 
interred at Downeyville, this county. There is a good tombstone. 

It is almost certain that Joseph Mazingo was a soldier in the War of 
1812. He was in a Kentucky battalion, name or number unknown. This 
man was buried in what is known as the McConnell cemetery, located on 
the Greene Barnes farm, two miles southeast of Greensburg. There is a 
rough stone, but no inscription. The grave was located and a staff placed 
at the grave, which was decorated on May 30, 1901. 

Thomas Mazingo, a brother of Joseph, also lived and died in this 
county. He was a soldier of the War of 181 2, went from Virginia, and 
was an officer in his company. He lived one-half mile south of the village 
of Smyrna, on what is now known as the Martin farm. He is buried in an 
old cemetery on that farm, on a knoll, southwest of the house. His wife 
was known as "Aunt Milla" and was buried beside her husband. These 
graves were located by Mr. Martin from personal knowledge of the parties, 
whom he knew when a young man. There are two rough stones at the 
heads of these graves without inscriptions. 

Joseph and Thomas Mazingo were the sons of Spencer Mazingo, who 

was a soldier of the War for Independence, and went from Culpeper 

county, Virginia. Thomas Mazingo's grave was decorated on May 30, 1901. 

John Sanders, who is buried at Mount Pisgah, this county, is thought 

to have been a soldier of the War of 1812. 

William Evans, who is buried at the Union church, near Forest Hill, 
it is thought was a soldier of the War of 18 r 2. William Evans moved to 
Jackson township, this county, in 1833, and he died in 1864. 


Owen W. Blackmore, of Captain Ireland's Virginia Alilitia, War of 
1812, was on the rolls of the Indianapolis agency. His postofifice was 
Kingston and he is probably buried at that place, though the grave has not 
been located. 

Valentine Pollard, of Captain Ireland's Virginia Alilitia, was on the 
Indianaixilis Pension Agency nAh. His postoffice was Greensburg. He 
was probably buried in the old cemetery, at the southeast corner of the pres- 
ent boundaries of the city of Greensburg. If the remains were ever removed, 
it is likely the grave was not marked. 

William Bird was a soldier in the War of 1812. His widow, Maria 
Bird, drew a pension. He is buried at Shiloh and has a monument. There 
are numerous descendants of William and Maria Bird residing in Decatur 

W^illiam W. Pierce belonged to Capt. John Howe's New York Militia 
and was on the pension rolls of the Indianapolis agency. His postofifice was 
St. Paul, in the neighborhood of which he lived until his death, on March 4, 
1876. He is probably buried in a cemetery located on the farm formerly 
owned by "Colonel" W. W. Pierce. The cemetery is east of Mill creek 
and north of the Michigan road. 

Richard Wells, a soldier of the War of 1812, is buried in the Wesley 
Chapel cemetery on the Nelson Mowery farm. It is impossible to locate 
the grave with certainty. 

James Truitt, a soldier in the War of 1812, was also a pensioner. He 
lived at St. Omer, but, so far, it has not been possible to locate the grave. 
It is certain he was a pensioner. 

Jacob Forrey, of the War of 1812, was a native of Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, and served as a private in Capt. Valentine Geesey's com- 
pany of Pennsylvania Volunteers, called the "Brownsville Blues." In the 
year 1845, he came to Indiana and bought some land in Fugit townshpi, 
this county, two and one-half miles east of Clarksburg, where he remained 
until his death, January 27, 1865, aged seventy-nine years. He received 
two land warrants. Under the Act of March, 1878, his widow was granted 
a pension, which she received until her death, January 16, 1884. He was 
buried in the Clarksburg cemeten,'. There is a monument but nothing on 
the monument to show he was a soldier. The father of Jacob Forrey and 
an uncle were soldiers of the Revolutionary War, and are buried in this 
state. This information was furnished by Mrs. Sarah E. Winker, a daugh- 
ter of Jacob Forrey. 

John Caldwell is known to have been a soldier of the War of 1812. 


Charles Kemble, of Greensburg, knew him for many years. He hved and 
died in Adams township. He was buried in the Union Church cemetery. 
Caldwell was taken captive by the Indians and adopted. After three years, 
he made his escape and returned to Kentucky, his former home. There is a 
small monument, broken, from which the following dates are taken: Born, 
January .20, 1790, died April 20, 1874. 

Isaac Fisk Stine was a soldier of the War of 1812, and is buried in 
South Park cemetery on the "old lot" of Barton H. Harney. He was buried 
in the cemetery at the southeastern border of the present city of Greensburg, 
and, later, was removed to South Park. He entered the war from Greene 
county, Pennsylvania, and was captain of a "Light Horse Company." He 
died in June, 1833. There is no headstone, but application has been made 
for one, of the War Department. The grave was decorated on May 30, 1901. 

Christian Hegersweiler, who is believed to have been a soldier of 1812, 
was buried at Rossburg cemetery, but the grave cannot be located. 

George Marlow was a soldier drafted into the War of 1812. His colo- 
nel was named Ballon and was in the command of General Portersfield. He 
was born in Culpeper county, A^irginia, on August 28, 1787, and died on 
December 11, 1859, being buried at Clarksburg alongside his wife. There 
is a small headstone, giving date of birth and death. He came to Indiana 
about 1 82 1, located on a farm in Fugit township, on which he li\-ed until 
his death. He never applied for a pension. 

Samuel Marlow, a brother of George Marlow, was also drafted in the 
War of 1812, was in the same company and under General Portersfield, 
and served until his discharge, at the close of the war. He came to Indiana 
the last of February, 1821, settled in Fugit township, and lived on his land 
until his death, December 25, 1821. He was buried on the same farm, near 
two trees which are still standing. There is no headstone, but the grave can 
be located. 

Daniel McCormack was a soldier of the War of 1812, belonged to the 
Kentucky Militia, is buried at Union church, five miles south of Greens- 
burg. There is a monument on which the age is given. 

James Elder, a soldier of the War of 1812, is buried in the Sand Creek 
cemetery. He has a monument for himself and two wives. 

John Ammermon, a soldier of the War of 1812, lived in this county 
several years before his death. No relatives are known to be in the county, 
neither can the grave be located. He was buried at Rossburg. 

Elisha Adams was a pensioner on the Indianapolis roll. There is a 



good gravestone from which the following inscription is taken: "Born 
April 7, 1792. Died November 9, 1883." The pension roll shows that 
he was a private in Captain Ogden's Battery, Third New Jersey Artillery. 
He was buried at Clarksburg. His widow lived in Greensburg and drew 
a pension. 

Robert Hamilton was captain of a company of Kentucky riflemen in 
the War of 181J. He was born on June 17, 1768, and died on June 17, 
181 7. He served in the garrison at \^incennes, Indiana. Buried at Old 
Concord, Kentuck}-, he was removed to Decatur county by his grandson, 
Robert A. Hamilton, and rests by the side of his wife in the cemetery at 
Kingston. There is a good tombstone. 

William Robbins, St., a soldier of the War of 1812 and probably of 
the War of 1776, died in 1834, and was buried at Mt. Pleasant cemetery, 
alongside his wife. There is a headstone with an inscription to some extent 
obliterated. He was the father of William Robbins, Jr., who was the father 
of John E. Robbins, deceased; James G., jNIerritt H. and Mrs. William 
Styers, all residents of Decatur county. This family came to Kentucky 
from \'irginia, and to Indiana at an early date. 

Adam R. Meek was a soldier in Captain ^^letcalfs company, in Colonel 
Boswell's Regiment, "Kentucky Rifles, " under General Harrison at the 
battle of Thames. He was a native of Fayette county, Kentucky, born on 
December 15, 1789, and died in Decatur county, Indiana, being buried at 
Springhill alongside his wife. He was a pensioner, as was also his wife 
after his death. There is a headstone in good condition. 

John Gray was a soldier of the War of 1812. After his death his 
widow married William Walters. After the latter's death she drew a pen- 
sion as the widow of John Gray and lived several years near the city of 
Greensburg. John Gray died on April 5, 1836. He has a large, erect slab 
in good condition, from which the dates given above are taken. 

Byard Elmore, a pensioner on the rolls of the Indianapolis agency, 
belonged to Capt. James McOuire's Indiana militia. He was born in April, 
1790, and died on October 15, 1878, aged eighty-eight years. Has a head- 
stone, and is buried in the Kingston cemetery. 

Thomas I. Glass was a soldier of the War of 1812. He was buried in 
the Kingston cemetery. He has a headstone, from which these dates are 
taken. He died on November 16, 1855, aged seventy-seven years. 

Joseph Mitchell served in the War of 1812 as a private under General 
Harrison. He was buried at the Kingston cemetery. He has a good head- 


Stone, which shows that he died on October 7, 1868, aged eighty-three 
years. There are no descendants known to be Hving in this county. 

WilHs Gulley, soldier of the War of 1812, came to this county from 
Kentucky. It is known by residents of Decatur county that he was buried 
at the Downeyville cemetery. 

John Moulton was a soldier of the War of 1812. The most of his time 
while in the service was spent in a block house at the mouth of Laughery 
creek, on the Ohio river, in this state, for the defense of the few settlers 
in that vicinity. He was Ijorn in Pennsylvania, March 24, 1793. His 
parents came to Kentucky and located in Nicolas county. He was married 
to Susannah Ricketts in 18 14, and came to Decatur county in 1824, locating 
four miles east of Greensljurg. He was killed by a horse, on May 8, 1844, 
and was buried in the Ross graveyard, three miles east of Greensburg. The 
headstone and grave are in good condition. John Moulton was a noted 
hunter in his day. He and two others cut out the Brookville road from 
near Greensburg to the Franklin county line. He has descendants living 
in Decatur county. He was probably not a pensioner, but it is possible that 
his wife was. 

Thomas Martin. 

George Kerrick is said to have been a soldier of the War of 1812. He 
is buried at Mt. Carmel and has a good headstone. 

Seth Wilder served in Captain Clark's militia in the War of 1812. His 
name was on the pension rolls of the Indianapolis agency. His postoffice 
was St. Paul. He died at St. Omer and is buried at that place. There 
is a headstone. 

Samuel Ferguson, a soldier of the War of 1812, lived and died at St. 
Omer, and was buried in the cemetery at that place. 

Frederick W. Dillman, a soldier of the War of 1S12, li\ed and died in 
Decatur county, but is buried just over the line in Bartholomew county. He 
was the father of Jacob A. Dillman, of this county. 

Mason Watts, known to have been a soldier of the War of 1812, lived 
in Jackson township, in this county. He was buried in Ripley county, In- 

James Wise, a son-in-law of Mason Watts, was also a soldier of the 
War of 1812. He lived in Decatur county for several years, afterwards 
moving to Brown county, where his death occurred. 

Samuel Eli was probably in the War of 1812. He died in Jackson 
township, but it is not known where he is buried. 

Brumfield Boone, born on November 6, 1791, served in a garrison in 


Kentucky. He died near Greensburg, Indiana, at the home of his daughter, 
Mrs. Thomas Kitchen, who hves in Greensburg, on January 19, 1875. and 
was buried in the old Methodist cemetery, now part of the South Park 
cemetery. Enhsting at the beginning of the War of 1812, at the end of his 
term he re-enlisted, as a substitute. He served in the brigade commanded 
by General Gano, in General Harrison's array, until the end of the war. 
He was in several battles, but the papers giving the names of the battles 
and other facts are mislaid and cannot be found. The family came from 
North Carolina, and were related to Daniel Boone. Mrs. Turner, another 
daughter, also lived in Greensburg. 

John Pritchard, of the War of 18 12, was buried in Sandcreek ceme- 
tery. He died in 1841, aged sixty-seven years. 


Decatur county furnished a small quota of men for the Mexican War 
(1846-48) and, although the state did not keep the record of volunteers 
by counties, it has been ascertained that from fifty to seventy-five men en- 
listed from Decatur county during the progress of the war. Indiana fur- 
nished five regiments, totaling four thousand four hundred