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Full text of "History of Hancock County, Indiana; its people, industries and institutions"

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






Copyrighted, 1916, by George J. Richman. 

F 532 
|43 K53 


This volume has been prepared with one object in view — to trace the 
growth of the county from a wilderness to what it is today. In this develop- 
ment, difficulties and obstacles have been surmounted. All the elements of 
human nature, the progressive, the conservative and the ultra-conservative ; the 
liberal, the public-spirited and the selfish, have been thrown together in the 
melting pot. Differences of opinion have caused bickering and strife. They 
may have checked for a season, but they have not stayed, the growth of the 
institutions which constitute our richest heritage today. Our roads, our 
drainage, our churches, our schools, all of which seem so natural, have been 
provided by the people who have persisted and won in the struggle for better 
things. If this volume awakens trains of pleasant reminiscences in the older 
people ; if it awakens a new sense of appreciation in the younger generation ; if 
it impresses on them the fact that the choicest blessings of the present have 
been provided through the constancy and labor of men and women who have 
gone before and by those upon whom has fallen the pure white snow of years, 
then the author will have accomplished his entire purpose. 

This volume represents much more than simply the labor of the author. 
The material for practically all histories of churches, lodges and clubs has been 
submitted by members or committees of such organizations. Many of these 
sketches have merely been edited. In this connection, acknowledgment should 
be made of the assistance given by Jared C. Meek, John Hardin Scott, Mrs. 
Permelia Thayer, Mrs. Frances Snow, John Fielding Meek, John Beeson, Reu- 
ben F. Cook, Claud Poer, O. J. Coffin, Alpha Smith, Charles Vetters, Iduna 
Barrett, Marshall T. Smith, Lizzie Harris, Effie Reed, Fern Trees, Dr. Earl 
Gibbs, Mrs. John Page, Fletcher Brooks, J. K. P. Martindale, Robert William- 
son, Dr. Mary L. Bruner, Noble Troy, Rev. John Heim, George Burnett, Myr- 
tle Schreiber, Nancy Meek, Hazel D. Mitchell, Gertrude Ashcraft, Arthur 
Gunn, Charles Herrlich, Emma Herrlich, Charles Ballard, Charles F. Richman, 
Rev. F. Markworth, Edward Fink, Oscar Wood, Wright Boring, John F. 
Eagan, Jacob Feaster, Lawrence Wood, Horace E. Wilson. Elden A. Robb, 
Charles N. Warren, Mrs. Allen Cooper, William I. Garriott, Leora Beagle, 
Mrs. L. A. Binford, Ernest Warrum, Samuel Trueblood, Elwood Barnard, 
Ada O. Frost, Samuel Wallace, Eli R. Gant, Samuel J. Stokes, C. F. Fred. 



John T. Rash, W. R. Rash, Thomas M. Fred, Walter R. Griffin, L. W. Crouch, 
Quincy A. Wright, Gus E. Stuart, Hayes Thomas, Omer C. Tucker, Oscar 
Bever, Eva Dobbins, Leonard V. Hopkins, Grace J. Slocum, Charles Shull, 
J. W. Trittipo, O. L. Morrow, John D. Leslie, Kate Reeves, Rev. Charles 
Anderson, Rev. A. J. Duryee, Mary Rose Quigley, John F. Shelby, Effie 
Ostermeyer, William T. Leamon, William A. Hughes, George H. Cooper, 
Nathan C. Binford, General Jackson, Christian Fink, W. S. Walker, Mrs. 
Florence Larimore, William B. Bottsford, Mrs. Charles Henricks, E. E. Davis, 
Daniel Bohn, I. J. Kennedy, Martha J. Stubbs, Marshall Hittle, R. C. M. 
Smith, William M. Coffield, Henry C. Garriott. Assistance has also been 
given by scores of others whose names might be added to the list. 

Reference has so frequently been made in the context to official records, 
that it is unnecessary to discuss further the use that has been made of them. 
One of the best sources of material has been the complete file of the Hancock 
Democrat from i860 to the present. The Mitchells have extended every 
courtesy in giving access to this file. It is only fair to say that without this 
aid, the history in its present form would have been an absolute impossibility. 
Unfortunately, the file of the Greenfield Republican has not been kept complete 
except since Mr. Spencer has had charge of the plant. Mr. Spencer, too, has 
given free and complete access to all files in his office. 

To Miss Ruth Amick, Mrs. Ada Frost and Mrs. Anna Phillips, who have 
done all the stenographic and clerical work in preparing this volume for the 
printer, I wish to express my profound appreciation. 


Greenfield, Indiana, June 1, 1916. 


To the People of Hancock County, 
Who Have Honored Me with Their 
Confidence During a Long Term of 
Service, this Volume is Respectfully 

— The Author. 

Late of Greenfield 



Natural Resources — Surface — Drainage — Streams and Valleys — An Abandoned 
Valley — Traces of Glacial Action — Economic Geology — Gravel — Water Supply 
— Climate — Temperature and Precipitation — Frosts — Agriculture — Crops — Ani- 
mals and Poultry — Dairying — Obstacles to Successful Agriculture — Origin of the 
Soils — Soil Types — Meadow Land — Muck — Suggestions for Increasing the Pro- 
ductivity of the Soil. 


Location and Boundaries of the County— Early Claims to the Territory of which 
Hancock County Is Now a Part — The Virginia Cession — Its Survey, as Provided 
for by Ordinance — The System of Land Surveys — Original Survey of Han- 
cock County — Locating Corners — "Witness Trees" — The School Fund — Indian 
Treaties — The "New Purchase" Tract — Legislative Description of Hancock 


Legislative Acts Creating Hancock County — Organization of the County — First 
Court in the County — First Grand Jury — First Probate Court — First Meeting of 
County Commissioners — Division of County into Townships — Election of First 
Justices of the Peace — Trustees for School Sections — Wolf Bounty — Report of 
Commissioners Appointed to Locate County Seat — Early Care of the Poor — First 
Tax Levy — First Petit Jury — Judges of the Hancock Courts — Early Licenses — 
County Examiner — County Superintendent — County Assessor — County Council 
— Board of Children's Guardians — County Road Superintendent — Clerk — 
. Recorder — Auditor — Robbery of County Safe — Treasurers — Roster of County 
Officers from Organization to the Present Time — Prosecuting Attorneys — Repre- 
sentation in the Legislature. 


History of the Court Houses — Laying of Corner-stone of the Present Building — 
Jail History — Care of the Poor — The Old Apprentice System — County Farm — A 
Suggestion to Convert the County Farm into a Boys' Training School. 


Earlier People and Their Relics — Little Evidence of the Mound Builders — White 
Settlers — Clearing Away the Forests — Artificial Drainage — Incorporated Drain- 
age Companies — Roads — State Aid in the Construction of Early Highways — The 
National Road — County Roads — Changes in Location of Highways — Turnpike 
Companies — Purchase of Toll Roads by the County — "Three-mile Roads" — Bonds 
Issued Therefor in the Various Townships — Early Life in the County — Early 
Water Mills — Early License Fees — Market Prices, 1845 — Taverns — Tax Levies — 
Survey of County in 1840, Etc. — Development and Decline of Farm Crops and 
Products — County Bible Society — County Fairs — County Sunday School Associa- 


tion — Old Settlers' Meetings — Addresses by Rev. William Nichols, Rev. Davis 
Caudell, John P. Banks and Noble Warrum — Railroads, Interurban Lines, Etc. 
— Proposed Railways — Local Aid for Railroad Construction — The Grange Move- 
ment — Patrons of Husbandry — Farmers Mutual Benefit Association — Farmers 
Insurance Association — Detective Companies — Natural Gas — Farmers' Institutes 
— Storms, Cyclones, Etc. — Epidemics — Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis 
— Federation of Country Clubs — Newspapers — Aerial Navigation. 


Basis of School Fund — Sale of School Lands — County School Commissioners — 
Township Government Prior to 1859 — District Management Prior to 1859 — Dis- 
trict Meetings — Manipulation of School Funds — The County Seminary — Green- 
field Academy — County Library — Township Libraries — Young People's Reading 
Circle Libraries — Free School Question — Teachers, Course of Study, Etc. — 
Teachers' Remuneration — School Houses — Improvement of School System — 
County Board of Education — Course of Study for Township High Schools — 
Teachers' Associations — County Normals — Attempts to Procure Higher Institu- 
tions of Learning — County and Township Institutes — Terms of School — Enumer- 
ation of School Children — Consolidation of Schools and Organization of High 
Schools — Customs of Different Periods — "Last Day" — Spelling Schools — Town- 
ship Commencements, Oratorical Contests, Etc. — County Exhibits — Teachers' 
Unions — Lincoln Fund — Compulsory Education — Boys' Corn Club — Vocational 
Work — Parent-Teachers Association — Teachers, 1915-16. 


The Mexican War — Enlistments from Hancock County — A Letter from the Front 
— Last Mexican War Veterans — The Civil War — Roster of Men Who Enlisted 
from Hancock County — Incidents of the Struggle — Letters from Soldiers — 
Home Guards — Patriotic Sentiment of the County — Work of Women and Girls 
— Mass Meetings, Resolutions, Etc., Pertaining to the Conduct of the War — 
Loyal Attitude of the County Government — Care of Those Left at Home — Enlist- 
ment Statistics — Bounty and Relief — Southern Sympathy — Current War-time 
Phrases — Decoration Day — Sham Battles — Grant Memorial Services — Spanish- 
American War — Militia Companies — West Point Graduates — Frien B. Atherton. 


First Election of County Officers — Early Political Leaders — Thomas D. Walpole 
— Joseph Chapman — The Civil War Period — Party Utterances — Election of 1860 
— Political Conventions and Resolutions — Union Mass Meetings — Results of 
War-time Elections — Period of Reconstruction — Democratic and Republican 
Tickets — National Union Convention — David S. Gooding — Later Movements — 
Greenback Movement— Election of 1876 — After 1876— Election of 1886— 
Mitchell-Mannix Contest — Prohibition Party — People's Party — Farmers Mutual 
Benefit Association — Bryan and Free Silver — Hancock Politicians — Election 
Contests — Relative Strength of Parties — The Progressive Movement — One-term 
Sentiment — Township Politics — County Chairmen. 


Liquor Traffic a Source of Revenue — Early Licenses — Sons of Temperance — 
Beginning of the Temperance Fights — A Newspaper Editorial of 1861 — Active 


Crusade Against Saloons in the Seventies — The Temperance Alliance — Era 
of Ribbon Societies — Woman's Christian Temperance Union — Liquor Regula- 
tive Ordinance — Fundamental Principles as Expounded by the Two Sides to 
the Controversy. 


Lee O. Harris — James Whitcomb Riley — Will H. Glascock — Rev. Charles L. 
O'Donnell — Adelia Pope Branham — Alma Martin Estabrook — Leroy Scott — Rich- 
ard Brown Black — The Vawters — Minnie Belle Mitchell and Others Who Have 
Been Prominent in Literary Work. 


Relation of Our Lawyers to the General Progress and Development of the County 
— List of Attorneys Admitted to the Hancock County Bar — Organization of the 
Court — Rules Adopted by the Hancock Circuit Court in 1829 — Early Court 
Houses — Disbarment of Walpole — Court Stenographers — Stenographers in Law 
Offices — Law Library — Lawyers as School Examiners — In Politics — Temper- 
ance Campaign of 1874 — Resolutions of Respect — The Practice — A Retrospective 
View — Roster of Attorneys, 1915 — Sidelights. 


Early Physicians of the County — Reminiscences by Dr. J. W. Hervey — Char- 
acterizations of Some of the Early Physicians — Hancock County Medical 
Society and Minutes of Some of Its Meetings — Licensed Physicians in 1885 — 
Social Functions — District Meetings — Fee Bill — Fraternalism — Answering Calls 
— Present Physicians — Change in Medical Treatment. 


Organization — Description — Natural Features — Early Settlers — Stores, Mills, 
Factories, Etc. — Railroads — Petersburg — Westland — Schools — Miscellaneous — 
Trustees — Justices of the. Peace — County Officers — Heavy Taxpayers — Physi- 
cians — Mooresville — Temperance Activity — Hancock County Insurance Associa- 
tion — Township Hall — Westland Cornet Band — Churches — Literary Societies, 
Clubs, Etc. 


Location — Boundary Lines — Drainage — First Settlers — Mills — School Land 
Leases — Schools — Miscellaneous — Trustees — Justices of the Peace — County 
Officers — Brass Bands — Churches — Women's Clubs — Heavy Taxpayers — Car- 


Organized — Description — Natural Features — Earliest Land Entries — Mills and 
Factories — Schools — Miscellaneous — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — 
Taxpayers — Churches of the Township — Warrington — Secret Societies — Physi- 
cians — Race Track — Nashville — Willow — Wilkinson — Banks — McCray Ceme- 
tery — Clubs — Band — Shirley — Business Development — Public Utilities. 


Organization — Changes in Boundary Lines — Drainage — Land Entries — Mills, 
Factories, Shops, Etc. — Social Spirit in the Township — Schools — Miscellaneous 


— Township Trustees — Justices of the Peace — Older Families and Larger Tax- 
payers — County Officers — Physicians — Highways — Railroads and Interurbans — 
Agricultural Exhibits — Mohawk — Mt. Comfort — Churches. 


Organization — Description — Changes in Boundaries — Natural Features — First 
Land Entries and Settlers — Mills and Factories — Schools — Trustees — Miscella- 
neous — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — Larger Taxpayers — Mohawk — 
Maxwell — Clubs — Berlin — Binwood — Bands — Nurseries — Lilly Biological Plant 
— Churches. 


Original Plat and Additions — County Seat — Greenfield as a Village — Incorpora- 
tion as a Town — Street Improvements — Ordinances — The Town at. the Close of 
the Civil War — Business Interests in 1870 — Incorporation as a City — City Offi- 
cers to the Present Time — Brick Streets — City Lights — Fire Department — City 
Building — Waterworks — Schools — Honor Rolls, 1870 — High School Commence- 
ments — Superintendents, Principals and Teachers — City Library — The Liberty 
Bell at Greenfield — Mills, Factories, Etc. — Commercial Clubs — Fires — Charity 
Organizations — The Colored Folk — Cemeteries — Business Directory, 1880 — Tel- 
ephones — Indianapolis & Greenfield Traction Line — Banks — Building and Loan 
Association — Publishing Houses — Business Directory, 1916 — Heavy Taxpayers 
— Street Fair — Fire Department Horse Show — Chautauquas — Boy Scouts — Mail 
Delivery — Old Gooding Tavern — Old Masonic Hall — Music, Bands, Orchestras, 
Etc. — Literary Societies, Clubs, Etc. — Lodges — Churches. 


Location — Area — Organization — Natural Features — First Land Entries — Indus- 
tries of the Township — Charleston — Eden — Milner's Corner — Schools — Miscella- 
neous — Trustees — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — Physicians — Heavy 
Taxpayers — Barnard Family Orchestra — Eden Cornet Band and Other Bands — 
Lodges — Churches. 


Organization — Changes in Boundaries — Natural Drainage — Land Entries — 
Water Power and Mills — Early Industries — Schools — Miscellaneous — Township 
Trustees — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — Heavy Taxpayers — Cleve- 
land (Portland) — Charlottesville — Educational Association — Lodges — Clubs — 
Leamon's Corner — Stringtown — Railroads — Churches. 


Description — Natural Features — Land Entries — Early Roads and Settlements — 
Mills — Tanyards — Tile Factories and Brick Yards — Schools — Miscellaneous — 
Township Trustees — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — Railroads and 
Interurbans — German Settlement — German Churches — Cornet Band — Philadel- 
phia — Spring Lake Park — New Palestine — Industries — Water System — Bank — 
Mail Service — Temperance Campaigns — Town Lights — Fire Department — Explo- 
sion of Acetylene Light Plant — Churches — Cemetery — Lodges — Bands — Clubs — 
Gem — Church — Taxpayers of the Township. 



Organization — Original Area and Subsequent Changes — Natural Features — Early- 
Land Entries — Mills, Factories, Shops, Etc. — Schools — Miscellaneous — Town- 
ship Trustees — Justices of the Peace — County Officers — Heavy Taxpayers — 
Highways, Railroads and Interurban Roads — Churches— Woodbury — McCords- 
ville — Lodges — Cemeteries — Temperance — Irish Settlement. 


The Beginning — Walpole Postoffice — Original Survey of the Site of Fortville — 
Subsequent Additions and Surveys — Incorporation as a Town — Improvements — 
Business Interests — Town Lights — Fire Protection — Schools — Miscellaneous — 
Newspapers — Bands — Banks — Churches — Lodges — Public Library — Clubs — Boy 
Scouts — County Hospital Agitation — Mail Delivery. 


Abandoned "Valley 34 

Aerial Navigation 180 

Agricultural Associations 137 

Agricultural College, Indiana 223 

Agriculture 38 

Agriculture, Obstacles to 40 

Alfalfa 39 

Animals, Domestic 39 

Apprentice System, Old 96 

Art 424 

Artesian Wells 36 

Assessor, County 72, 78 

Associate Judges ,_ 69 

Atherton, Frien B. 327 

Attorneys 438 

Auditor, County 77 


Banks 544, 570, 638, 727, 767, 806 

Baptist Churches 532, 591, 708, 729, 789 

Bar of Hancock County 438 

Bench and Bar 438 

Berlin 586 

Bible Society 137 

Binford, John H., 208, 221, 242, 442, 

623, 641, 680 

Binwood Postoffice 586 

Black Clay Loam 45 

Black, Richard Brown 433 

Blue River Township — 

Changes in Area 62 

Churches 500 

Clubs 510 

Cornet Band 500 

County Officers 497 

Creation of . 62 

Description of 490 

Fence Viewers 68 

Gravel Road Bonds 120 

Justices of the Peace 497 

Land Entries 491 

Lincoln Fund 247 

Literary Societies 510 

Military Record 306 

Mills 491 

Miscellaneous 496 

Natural Features 490 

Organization of 490 

Physicians 498 

Railroads 147, 149, 493 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 224, 494 

Settlers 490 

Stores 491 

Taxpayers 497 

Temperance Activities 499 

Tidewater Pipe Line 148 

Township Hall 500 

Township Library 195 

Trustee 496 

Vote in 1860 338 

Board of Children's Guardians 72 

Bonds for Gravel Roads 118 

Boundaries of County 50 

Bounty, Civil War 309 

Boy Scouts 650, 814 

Boys Corn Club 250 

Bradley, Nelson, 75, 77, 225, 357, 405, 

638, 671 
Brandywine Township — 

Bands 518 

Changes in Area 62 

Churches 518 

Clubs 524 

County Officers 518 

Creation of 62 

Description of 513 

Drainage 513 

Fence Viewers 68 

Justices of the Peace 517 

Lincoln Fund 247 


Military Record 306 

Mills 514 

Miscellaneous 517 

Overseers of the Poor 68 

Railroad Aid 149 

Roads, Early 1 111 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 229, 252, 516 

Settlers 513 

Taverns 128 

Taxpayers, Heavy 524 

Tidewater Pipe Line 198 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustee 517 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Vote in 1860 338 

Branham, Adelia Pope 431 

Brown Township — 

Cemetery 548 

Churches 532 

Clubs 549 

County Officials 531 

Creation of 64 

Description of 526 

Early Licenses 123 

Gravel Road Bonds , 119 

Industries 527 

Justices of the Peace 531 

Land Entries 526 

Lincoln Fund 248 

Local Option Election 411 

Military Record 306 

Mills 527 

Miscellaneous 530 

Natural Features 526 

Organization of 526 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 203, 229, 252, 528 

Taxpayers, Heavy 531 

Township Libraries - 195 

Trustees 531 

Vote in 1860 338 

Buck Creek Township — 

Agricultural Exhibit 568 

Churches 571, 574 

County Officers 568 

Creation of 63 

Description of 556 

Drainage 556 

Gravel Road Bonds 118 

Industries 558 

Justices of the Peace 556 

Land Entries 557 

Lincoln Fund 248 

Military Record 300 

Mills ' 557 

Miscellaneous 566 

Old Families 567 

Organization of 556 

Physicians 568 

Roads, Early 115, 568 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 229, 252, 561 

Social Life 558 

Taxpayers 567 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 556 

Turnpike Companies 117 

Vote in 1860 338 

Burial Club 728 

Care for Soldiers' Families 304 

Care of the Poor 68, 96 

Carrollton 522, 525 

Catholic Churches 554 6,90, 809 

Cattle 39, 136 

Center Township — 

Changes in Area 64 

Churches 589 

County Officers 583 

Creation of 63 

Description of 577 

Gravel Road Bonds 119 

Industries 579 

Justices of the Peace 582 

Lincoln Fund 248 

Local Option Election 411 

Military Record 306 

Mills 578 

Miscellaneous 581 

Natural Features 577 

Organization of 577 

Railroad Aid 149 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 203, 229, 239, 252, 580 

Settlers - 577 


Taxpayers, Heavy 584 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 581 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Vote in 1860 338 

Chapman, Joseph, 71, 73, 77, 81, 112, 

132, 256, 329, 393, 651 

Charleston 701 

Charlottesville — 

Additions 720 

Band 727 

Bank 727 

Burial Club 728 

Churches 731 

Clubs 728 

Early Licenses 162 

Early Business Interests 720 

Educational Association 721 

Gas Well 166 

Incorporation 720 

Lodges 725 

Newspapers 180 

Normal School 221 

Platted 720 

Schools 229 

Tavern 128 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Charlottesville Educational Asso'n__ 721 

Chautauquas 650 

Children's Guardians, Board of 72 

Christian Churches, 501, 507, 518, 537, 

546, 555, 684, 735, 738, 773, 808 

Christian Science Church 698 

Circuit Court 69, 446 

Circuit Court, Seal 66 

Circuit Judges 69 

Civil War " 257 

Civil War Politics 335 

Clerk, County 77 

Cleveland 155, 719 

Climate 37 

Clover 39 

Colored Folk 632 

Common Pleas Court 70 

Compensation of Teachers 202 

Compulsory Education 249 

Congressional Township Fund 55, 182 

Consolidation of Schools 231 

Constitutional Convention, Vote for__196 

Cook, William Ward 462 

Corn 39, 136 

Coroners 79 

Council, County 72 

Country Clubs, Federation of 176 

County Assessor 12, 78 

County Auditor 77 

County Board of Education 207 

County Buildings 85 

County Chairmen 390 

County Clerk 77 

County Commissioners, 61, 65, 71, 79, 

85, 97 

County Council 72 

County Examiner 71, 205, 454 

County Fairs 137 

County Farm 97 

County Government 58 

County Hospital Idea 814 

County Library 193 

County Medical Society 472 

County Normal Institue 217 

County Normals 221 

County Officers 76 

County Officers, First 66 

County Recorder 78 

County Revenues, Early 132 

County Road Superintendent 73, 81 

County Roads 111 

County School Commissioners 183 

County School Exhibits 244 

County Seat, Location of 67 

County Seminary 188 

County Sheriff 78 

County Sunday School Association 139 

County Superintendent . 72 

County Surveyor 78 

County Teachers' Institutes 226 

County Treasurer 77 

County Treasury Robbed 75 

Courses of Study in Early Schools___ 197 

Court, First in County 59 

Court House History 85 

Court Stenographers 452 

Creation of Hancock County 57, 58 

Creation of Townships 62 

Creeks 33 

Crops 39 

Cyclones 172 


Dairying 40 

Daughters of Rebekah, 553, 570, 677, 

778, 812 

Decline in Farm Crops 136 

Decoration Day 316 

Degree of Pocahontas 678, 778 

Democratic County Chairmen 390 

Detective Companies 161 

Development of Farm Crops 136 

Development of the County 102 

Disbarment of Thomas D. Walpole — 449 

Division of County 62 

Doctors 465, 498 

Drain Tile 104 

Drainage, Artificial 103 

Drainage, Natural 33 

Draining Companies 105 


Early Influences 50 

Early Life in Hancock County 120 

Early Roads 107 

Early School Customs 232 

Eastern Indiana Holiness Association 738 
Eastern Star, Order of, 674, 708, 777, 

795, 811 

Economic Geology 35 

Eden — 

Bands 706 

Churches 709 

Gas Well 166 

Lodges 155, 707 

Mercantile Interests 702 

Platted 702 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Educational Interests 182 

Elections, First Township 65 

Election of 1876 375 

Election of 1886 381 

Election of 1912 388 

Election of 1914 388 

Enlistment Statistics 306 

Enlistments in Hancock County 259 

Enumeration of School Children 230 

Epidemics 173 

Episcopal Church 545 

Estabrook, Alma Martin 432 

Evangelical Lutheran Church 735 


Fairs 137 

Farm Land Valuation 38 

Farm Reports for 1840 132 

Farmers' Institutes 167 

Farmers Insurance Association 160 

Farmers Mutual Benefit Asso., 160, 384 

Farms, Size of 38 

Federation of Country Clubs 176 

First Settlers 102 

First Tax Levy 68 

Flax 133, 136 

Flowing Wells 36 

Forest Growth 40 

Forests, Clearing Away the 103 

Formation of Townships 62 

Fortville — 

Additions 798 

Bands 804 

Banks 806 

Boy Scouts 814 

Business Interests 800 

Churches 807 

Clubs 814 

Fire Protection 801 

Gas Wells , 166 

Improvements 800 

Incorporation 799 

Library 813 

Light Service 801 

Lodges 155, 811 

Mail Delivery 815 

Miscellaneous ' 804 

Newspapers 179, 804 

Schools 229, 253, 802 

Survey _— 798 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Fraternal Order of Eagles 678 

Free and Accepted Masons, 553, 671, 

725, 777, 793, 811 

Free School Question 196 

Free-silver Movement 385 

Friends Societies, 502, 508, 546, 593, 

692, 711, 730, 736, 762 
Frosts, Killing 38 



Gas and Oil Companies 165 

Gem 781 

Geography of County 33 

Geology 35 

German Baptist Church 790 

German Evan. Zion's Church 774 

German M. E. Church 772 

German Settlement 752 

Glacial Influences 34 

Glascock, Will H. 430 

Gooding, David S. 70, 71, 80, 81, 82, 
83, 159, 177, 291, 297, 298, 301, 329, 
335, 353, 366, 370, 376, 440, 455, 

461, 622 

Gooding Tavern 651 

Grand Jury, First 60, 68 

Grange, the 154 

Grant Memorial Services 322 

Gravel 35 

Gravel Road Bonds 118 

Green Township — 

Abandoned Valley 34 

Barnard Sorghum Factory 701 

Barnard Family Orchestra 705 

Churches 708 

County Officers 704 

Creation of 64 

Description of 700 

Industries 701 

Justices of the Peace 704 

Land Entries 700 

Lincoln Fund 248 

Military Record 306 

Miscellaneous 703 

Natural Features 700 

Organization of , 700 

Physicians 704 

Railroad Aid 149 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools — TT 229, 252, 703 

Settlement 700 

Taxpayers, Heavy 705 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 704 

Vote in 1860 338 

Greenback Movement 374 

Greenfield — 

Additions 595 

Bands 587, 653 

Banks 638 

Boy Scouts 650 

Brick Paving 609 

Buildings in 1865 605 

Building and Loan Association 642 

Business Interests, 1845-8 601 

Business Interests, 1870 608 

Business Interests, 1880 636 

Business Interests, 1916 646 

Business Men's Association 630 

Carnegie Library 624 

Cemeteries .. 634 

Charity Organization 630 

Chautauquas 650 

Churches 589, 679 

City Building 611 

Clubs 588, 659 

Colored Folk 632 

Commercial Clubs 629 

Council, City 609 

Council, Town 602 

Early Licenses 122 

Factories 627 

Fire Department 611 

Fires 630 

First Buildings 599 

First Streets 602 

Frosts 38 

Gas Wells 166 

Gooding Tavern 651 

Hog Ordinance 604 

Horse Show 650 

In 1833 600 

In 1850 134 

Incorporation as a City 609 

Incorporation as a Town 602 

Liberty Bell „ 627 

Library 624 

Licenses, Early 122 

Lights, Public 610 

Lilly Plant 587 

Liquor Regulating Ordinance 412 

Literary Societies 659 

Local Option Election 411 

Lodges 671 

Masonic Hall, Old 652 


Mail Delivery 651 

Mills 627 

Ministerial Association 699 

Miscellaneous , , 624 

Name Chosen 68 

Natural Gas 163 

Newspapers 176 

Normal School" 221 

Nurseries 587 

Officials, City 609 

Orchestras 653 

Precipitation 37 

Public Improvements 603 

Publishing Houses 643 

Railroads 147 

Schools 229, 253, 613 

Selection as County Seat 67, 598 

Street Fair 649 

Survey 595 

Tabernacle Meetings 699 

Taverns 128 

Taxpayers, Heavy 647 

Telephones 637 

Temperature 37 

Traction Line 638 

Turnpike Companies 116 

Village 599 

"Waterworks 612 

Women's Clubs 661 

Greenfield Academy 191 


Hancock County Medical Society 472 

Hancock Politicians , 386 

Hancock Seminary 190 

Harris, Lee O., 177, 207, 219, 241, 271, 

273, 318, 321, 424, 436, 617 

Harrison Township 63 

Hay — 39 

Haymakers Association 679, 813 

High School Text-books 213 

High Schools, Township 210, 231 

Highways 107 

Hogs 39, 136 

Holiness Association 738 

Home Guards 288 

Horse-thief Detective Companies 163 

Horse Shows 650 

Horses 39, 136 

Hough, Clarence A. 435 

Hough, William A. 435 

Hough, William R., 180, 205, 214, 297, 

302, 322, 397, 440, 455, 461, 622 

Indian Treaties 56 

Indiana Agricultural College 223 

Indiana Normal School 225 

Improved Order of Red Men, 553, 570, 

677, 778, 812 

Improvement of Land _. 103 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 545, 

553, 675, 708, 726, 779, 795, 811 

Interurban Lines 147 

Irish Settlement 797 

Jackson Township — 

Churches 729 

County Officers 718 

Description of 714 

Drainage 714 

Early Industries 715 

Justices of the Peace 718 

Land Entries 714 

Lincoln Fund 249 

Military Record 306 

Mills 715 

Miscellaneous 717 

Old Families 718 

Organization 714 

Railroads 729 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 203, 229, 253, 716 

Taxpayers, Heavy 718 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 717 

Turnpike Companies 117 

Vote in 1860 1 338 

Jail History 92 

Jones Township 64 

Judges of the Court 69 

Justices of the Peace, 65, 497, 517, 

531, 556, 582, 704, 718, 751, 787 



Kinder Postoffice 523 

Knights of Pythias, 545, 586, 676, 777, 

796, 812 

Knights of the Maccabees 678 

Knights Templar i 674 


Land, Clearing of 103 

Land Entries, 491, 526, 557, 700, 714, 

741, 783 
Land, Original Title to 50 

"Last Day" in Early Schools 237 

Law Library 454 

Lawyers of Hancock County 438 

Leamon's Corner 729 

Lewisburg, Village of 135 

Library, Law 454 

License Fees, Early 122 

Licenses, Early 71 

Lincoln Fund , 247 

Literature 424 

Local Option Election 410 

Location of County 50 

Lodges 553 

Loyal Order of Moose 678 

McCordsville — 

Additions 792 

Band 793 

Cemeteries 796 

Churches 793 

Culture Club 797 

Early Business Interests 792 

Gas Well 166 

Lodges 155, 793 

Normal School 221 

Platted 792 

Temperance 797 

Turnpike Companies 110 


Maccabees, Knights of the : 678 

Market Prices, 1845 125 

Marsh, Ephraim, 77, 90, 377, 380, 400, 

442, 455, 456, 462, 623, 638 

Marshes 40 

Masonic Order, 553, 671, 725, 777, 793, 811 

Maxwell — 

Additions 585 

Churches 592 

Clubs 580 

Band 587 

Business Interests 586 

Gas Well 166 

Lodges 586 

School 580 

Survey . 585 

Meadow Soil 46 

Medical History : 465, 498 

Medical Society 472 

Meek, Oscar F. 73 

Memorial Day 316 

Methodist Episcopal Churches, 500, 
534, 542, 548, 553, 571, 589, 590, 592, 
679, 695, 707, 708, 709, 730, 736, 761, 

770, 781, 792, 793, 807 
Methodist Protestant Church, 521, 590, 691 

Mexican War 253 

Miami Clay Loam 42 

Military Annals 255 

Mills, 120, 121, 134, 491, 514, 527, 557, 

578, 627, 715, 742, 784 

Milner's Corner 155, 166, 702 

Mitchell, John F., Jr. 435 

Mitchell, Minnie Belle 434 

Mitchell-Mannix Contest 381 

Modern Woodmen 553, 678, 779, 813 

Mohawk — 

Addition 569 

Bank 570 

Business Interests 569 

Churches 575 

Location 585 

Lodge 570 

Platted 569 

School 580 

Mooresville 498 

Mound Builders 102 

Mt. Comfort 570, 573 

Muck Soil 47 

Mules 39, 136 


Nashville 540 

National Road 109 

Natural Features of County 33 


Natural Gas 163 

New Palestine — 

Additions 764 

Bands 1 779 

Bank ,. 767 

Cemetery 776 

Churches 770 

Clubs 780 

Early Merchants 765 

Explosion of Acetylene Plant 770 

Fire Department 770 

Harvest Picnic 780 

Incorporation 765 

Industries 767 

Lighting System 769 

Lodges 155, 777 

Mail Service 768 

Officials, First 766 

Platted 764 

Newspapers 179 

Taverns 129 

Temperance 769 

Turnpike Companies 117 

Water System 767 

Newspapers 176, 804 

Normal Institute, County 217 

Oats 39, 136 

O'Donnell, Rev. Charles L. 431 

Odd Fellows, 545, 553, 675, 708, 726, 

729, 811 
Offutt, Charles G., 69, 82, 90, 378, 400, 

407, 441, 455, 456, 462 

Old Settlers' Meetings 140 

One-term Sentiment 390 

Oratorical Contests 243 

Organization of the County 58 


Parent-Teachers Association 251 

Patriotic Sentiment of County 291 

Patrons of Husbandry 154 

People's Party 384 

People's Party County Chairmen 392 

Petersburg 493 

Petit Jury, First 68 

Additions 760 

Band 764 

Cemetery , 762 

Churches 761 

Early Business Interests 761 

Lodges 155 

Platted 760 

Turnpike Companies 117 

Physicians 465, 498, 568 

Pocahontas, Degree of 678, 778 

Political Contests 386 

Political History 329 

Political Parties, Relative Strength__ 387 

Poor, Care of the 68, 96 

Portland, Village of 135 

Poultry 39 

Precipitation, Average _ v 37 

Pre-historic People 102 

Press, the 176 

Prices in 1845 127 

Primitive Baptist Churches 505, 693 

Probate Court 61, 70 

Progressive County Chairmen 392 

Progressive Party __• 388 

Prohibition County Chairmen 391 

Prohibition Party 383 

Prosecutors, County 80 

Pythian Sisters 545, 676, 778, 796, 812 


Railroad Taxes 148 

Railroads 147 

Reconstruction Period 359 

Recorder, County 78 

Red Men, Improved Order of, 553, 570, 

677, 778, 812 

Registration of Physicians, 1885 480 

Relief, Civil War 309 

Reminiscences 142, 143, 144 

Representatives 81 

Republican County Chairmen 391 

Revenues, County, Early 132 

Ribbon Societies 404 

Riley, James Whitcomb 427 

Riley, Reuben A., 80, 81, 177, 205, 274, 
291, 298, 299, 301, 318, 376, 402, 440, 

454, 461, 616, 622 

Road Superintendent 73, 81 

Road Viewers 107 

Roads 107 


Robbery of County Treasury 75 

Royal and Select Masters 795 

Royal Arch Masons 673, 708, 795 


School Commissioners 183 

School Consolidation 231 

School Customs, Early 232 

School Districts 184 

School Enumeration 230 

School Examiners 71, 205, 454 

School Exhibits 244 

School Fund 55, 182, 187 

School Houses 203' 

School System, Improvement in 204 

Scott, Leroy 432 

Seminary, County 188 

Senators, State 83 

Settlers, First in County 102 

Seventh-day Adventist Churches, 593, 

695, 810 

Sham Battles 321 

Sheep 39, 136 

Sheriff, County 78 

Shirley — 

Beginning 550 

Business Interests 551 

Churches 553 

Clubs 555 

Development 552 

Incorporation 551 

Lodges 553 

Newspapers 179 

Public Utilities 552 

Survey 550 

Sioux Loam 45 

Society for the Prevention of Tubercu- 
losis 175 

Soils, Origin of 40 

Soil, Suggestions as to Its Improve- 
ment 48 

Soil Types 42 

Soldiers' Aid Work by Women 291 

Soldiers' Families, Care for 304 

Soldiers from Hancock County 259 

Sons of Temperance 395 

Southern Sympathy ' 310 

Spanish-American War 324 

Spelling Schools 240 

Spring Lake Park 763 

State Senators 83 

Statistics for 1840 132 

Stenographers 452 

Storms 172 

Streams 33 

Stringtown 729, 737 

Sugar Creek Township — 

Band , 760 

Beginning of 742 

Changes in Area 63 

Churches 755 

County Officers 752 

Creation of 62 

Description of 741 

Drainage 741 

Fence Viewers 68 

German Churches 755 

German Settlements 752 

Gravel Road Bonds 120 

Industries 744 

Justices of the Peace 751 

Kunz, Rev. J. G. 755 

Land Entries 741 

Lincoln Fund 249 

Local Option Election 411 

Military Record 306 

Mills 742 

Miscellaneous 751 

Overseers of Poor 68 

Railroads 752 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 229, 243, 253, 745 

Spring Lake Park 763 

Taxpayers, Heavy 781 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 751 

Turnpike Companies 117 

Union Hall » 746 

Vote in 1860 338 

Sunday School Association 139 

Sunday School Statistics 140 

Surface of County 33 

Survey, Original, of Hancock County— 54 

Survey, Original of Indiana 54 

Surveyor, County 78 

Swamps 40 

Swine 39, 136 


"Tailholt" 525 

Tavern Licenses 71 

Taverns 125 

Tax Levies, Early 68, 129 

Teachers' Associations 213 

Teachers, Early, Remuneration of 200 

Teachers, 1915-16 251 

Teachers' Unions 247 

Temperance 393, 455 

Temperature, Average 37 

Text Books, Early School 199 

Three-mile Roads 118 

Tile 104 

Toll Roads 116 

Toll Roads Purchased by County 117 

Topography of County 33 

Township Commencements 243 

Township Farmers' Institutes 172 

Township Government Prior to 1859__ 183 

Township High Schools 210, 231 

Township Libraries 194 

Township Teachers' Institutes 229 

Townships, Creation of 62 

Treasurer, County 77 

Treaties with Indians 56 

Truant Officer 249 

Trustees for School Sections 65 

Tuberculosis, Society for the Preven- 
tion of 176 

Turnpike Companies 115 


Union County Chairmen 391 

Union Township 64 

United Brethren Churches, 520, 536, 

540, 542, 571, 575, 694, 712, 790 
Universalist Church 794 


Vawters, the 434 

Vernon Township — 

Business Interests 784 

Churches 789 

County Officers 787 

Creation of 64 

Description 783 

Gravel Road Bonds 119 

Irish Settlement 797 

Justices of the Peace 787 

Land Entries 783 

Lincoln Fund 249 

Local Option Election 411 

Military Record 306 

Mills 784 

Miscellaneous 786 

Natural Features 783 

Organization 783 

Railroads 147, 149, 789 

Roads 789 

Sale of School Lands 183 

Schools 229, 243, 252, 253, 785 

Taxpayers, Heavy 788 

Township Libraries 195 

Trustees 786 

Vote in 1860 338 

Veterans of the Civil War 258 

Virginia Land 52 

Vocational Work 250 

Vote in 1860 338 

Vote in 1861 346 

Vote in 1863 357 

Vote in 1864 359 

Vote in 1865 361 

Vote in 1866 365 

Vote in 1867 367 


Wabash Loam 44 

Walker, J. Ward 616 

Walpole, Thomas D., 81, 83, 177, 329, 

334, 439, 449, 455, 460 

Walpole, Village of 135 

Warrington — 

Additions 535 

Churches 536 

Early Business Interests 535 

Flax 133 

Gas Well 166 

Lodges 155, 536 

■Physicians 539 

Platted 535 

PostOffice 535 

Race Track 530 


War-time Phrases 315 

War-time Politics _ 335 

Water Supply 35 

Weather Reports 37 

Wells 35 

West Point Graduates 326 

Westland 166, 494, 500 

Wheat 39, 136 

Wilkinson — 

Additions 543 

Band 550 

Banks 544 

Churches 545 

Clubs 549 

Gas Well 166 

Incorporation 543 

Lodges 545 

Newspapers 179 

Oficials, First 544 

Platted- 543 

Storm 544 

Willow branch 166, 541, 542 

"Witness Trees" 55 

Wolf Bounty 66 

Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 407 

Woodbury 791 

Worth Township 65 

Young People's Reading Circle 195 







The natural resources of Hancock county, which have been conducive 
toward making it a garden spot of the world and a most delightful place in 
which to live, are its fertile soil, its level surface, its abundant rainfall and 
its temperate climate. 


Almost the entire surface of the county is level or gently rolling. Its 
streams are without falls or rapids and their currents are generally sluggish. 
Near the streams the surface is generally hilly. Especially is this true in the 
northwest corner of the county, along the tributaries of Fall creek, along the 
lower part of Sugar creek, and in the southeast corner, along Blue river. The 
highest bluffs along the streams, however, are not to exceed from forty to sixty 
feet above the beds of the streams. Those along the smaller streams rarely 
exceed ten feet. In the west central part of the county are large areas with 
practically level surfaces. 


The natural drainage of the county is, in general, to the south and south- 
west. Practically all of the water of the county is carried away by Blue river 
and its tributaries. Blue river crosses the southeastern corner of the county. 
Brandywine creek drains a considerable area in the east central and southern 
parts, joining Blue river in Shelby county, twelve or thirteen miles south of 
the county line. Nameless creek is also a large tributary of Blue river. It 
has its origin in the northeastern part of Jackson township and flows south- 
westwardly and thence in a southerly direction through the central part of 
Blue River township. Six Mile creek is another tributary of Blue river, 
which drains the extreme eastern part of Blue River and Jackson townships. 

Sugar creek gathers the waters from a broad, irregular belt extending 
from the northeast corner of the county along the northern side well toward 
the northwest corner, thence southwestward, crossing the south line near the 
southwest corner. Little Sugar creek drains the territory between Sugar 
creek and Brandywine in the southern part of the county. Buck creek, a 
tributary which joins Sugar creek six miles south of the southern boundary of 
the county, drains a large part of the western side, while tributaries of Fall 
creek and White river receive the drainage from the remainder of the western 
and northwestern parts. The direction of these streams has been determined 



by the deposits made by the great glacier that at one time covered the northern 
part of the continent almost to the Ohio river. The valleys through which 
the streams began to flow owed their general direction to the slope of the 
surface of the material left by the continental ice-sheets. Some of the char- 
acteristics of the valleys are clearly due, however, to the conditions existing 
as the ice withdrew, which caused the drainage in certain places to be strik- 
ingly different from that which exists in the same place now. A notable 
example of this is the presence of relatively large valleys drained by dispro- 
portionately small, in some cases insignificant, streams. 


The best illustration of an abandoned channel of this kind to be 
found in the county is in the north central part, extending in a general north- 
south direction about a mile east of the village of Eden. This northern por- 
tion begins at the county line somewhat east of the center of section 9, town- 
ship 17 north, range 7 east, as a flat-bottomed valley, one-fourth of a mile 
wide and from ten to fifteen feet deep, and extends west of south to the 
eastern part of section 20, east of Eden, where it crosses Sugar creek and con- 
tinues its southward course to the north part of section 29. From here its 
direction is southward until it joins the valley of Brandywine creek in the 
middle of section 16, township 16 north, range 7 east. The total length of 
the channel within the county is seven and one-half miles. In parts of its 
course the drainage is by open ditch or small stream, sometimes northward, 
sometimes southward. In parts there is no surface stream at all. Through- 
out most of its course the soil in its bottom is black, usually a clay loam to loam; 
with a considerable amount of organic matter. The hills on either side are 
usually light-colored clay loam with varying amounts of gravel and boulders, 
but sometimes stratified sand and gravel. At certain points the hills bound- 
ing the valley almost disappear, leaving the boundaries of the channel some- 
what indefinite; this is especially the case on the east side at about the center 
of section 29, township 17 north, range 7 east, where two kamelike hills alone 
mark clearly the limit of the valley. In most places, however, the valley 
boundaries are definite, being limited by distinct hills. 

This channel of seven and one-half miles is evidently only a part of a 
general north-south system of drainage which prevailed at a certain stage 
in the withdrawal of the ice-sheet. Southward, the valley of the Brandywine 
itself seems to be a part of the same glacial channel. The channel as a whole, 
coming down through Madison county, is accounted for by the work of 
waters flowing under conditions entirely different from those of the present 



Gravel. — In the thirtieth annual report of the Indiana department of geol- 
ogy, A. E. Taylor (1905) summarizes the location of gravel deposits in sub- 
stance as follows : 

(1) The principal deposits are found along the larger streams and in 
certain areas of partially assorted drift, principally in the northeastern part 
of the county. 

(2) Areas in which little or no gravel is found include (a) a strip about 
four miles wide along the western end of the county, and (b) certain areas 
in the north central, east central and southern parts. 

Since that report was written some new deposits have been opened up, 
but it is still true that the main deposits are to be found along the larger 
streams and in sheets of outwash materials associated with moraines. A few 
of these deposits are above the level of ground water and so can be easily 
reached by excavations from which the gravel can be shoveled directly into 
the wagons which are to haul it away. By far the largest proportion of 
gravel in the county, however, lies below the water level, sometimes in 
streams, sometimes in flood plains or terraces, sometimes in the nearly level 
inter-stream areas. In such cases the gravel is brought to the surface by 
means of steam power applied, either to an endless chain to which small buck- 
ets are attached, or to a cable carrying a single large excavating bucket. Data 
as to the amount of gravel used each year are not available ; but the total 
is large, since, in addition to a very considerable amount used in concrete con- 
struction, plastering, etc., hundreds of cubic yards are applied every year to 
the repair of the numerous gravel roads already completed, and in the exten- 
sion of the work to reduce still further the small percentage not yet improved 
in this way. 

Water Supply. — An abundance of water may be secured at most places 
in the county by sinking a well to a depth not to exceed thirty to forty feet. 
The exceptions to this are those points where there is exposed at the surface 
a thick layer of unassorted drift composed largely of rock particles, of the 
the fineness of clay, which obstructs the ready flow of the water. Even in 
such places as that, some water is usually found, but not in sufficient quantity 
to afford a continuous supply. In general, however, such strata of nearly im- 
pervious drift are not thick enough to make the sinking of a satisfactory well 
too expensive or difficult. 

The minimum depth of wells varies according to location, being least 
near streams and in the level areas which were formerly covered by water for 


almost the whole year. In such places the surface of the ground water may 
be within four or five feet of the surface throughout the year. This depth, 
although small, is, nevertheless, in the marshy areas a reduction of ground 
water level since the settlement of the county by almost its own amount, due 
to the opening of ditches and the increased evaporation because of the re- 
moval of so large a proportion of the forests. Wells sunk only to the level 
of ground water, while still numerous, are now being replaced by tubular 
wells which pass through the layers of sand and gravel near the surface and, 
after penetrating more or less impervious layers of glacial till, draw their 
supply of water from strata of sand and gravel lying seventy-five to one hun- 
dred feet or more below the surface. The additional first cost of such wells 
is more than justified by the added security to health thus obtained, and by 
the certainty of an ample supply of water even in seasons of greatest drought. 
Artesian, or flowing, wells occur at a number of points in the county: 
( 1 ) in the northern and northeastern parts near Shirley and at various points 
from three to six miles to the north and northwest; (2) in the central and 
west central parts, as at Greenfield and near Philadelphia, and (3) at several 
points from three to six miles southward and southeastward from Green- 
field. Most of these flowing wells are abandoned natural gas wells in which 
the casing has been allowed to remain because of the abundant flow of excel- 
lent water, which is thus brought up from the surface of the underlying bed 
rock one hundred to two hundred feet below. The exact number and loca- 
tion of flowing wells which have been produced in this way in the operations 
of natural gas companies is difficult to ascertain, because in many cases the 
wells have been destroyed by the drawing of the casings when the yield of 
gas became too small to pay for the expense of cleaning out, repairs, etc. 
Investigations in this county alone are not sufficient to determine the source 
from which the water supplying these wells comes. It is, however, known 
from well-borings that the general slope of the surface of bed rock is here 
in a southerly direction ; it is also reported that in certain cases in the northern 
part of the county the flow of one well seems to be affected by the opening 
of another well as much as two or three miles away along a north-south line. 
These two facts would indicate that the head causing the overflow lies some- 
where to the northward. Furthermore, the abundant flow from so large a 
number of wells in which the pipe conveying the water ends at the surface 
of bed rock, would indicate that there is a continuous stratum of sand and 
gravel lying on bed rock and extending in a somewhat winding, irregular 
course across the county from the northeastern, through the central, to the 
southeastern part. Flowing wells in the parts of Madison and Shelby counties 


adjacent to the areas in Hancock county where flowing wells occur, indicate 
that the portion of this water-bearing stratum underlying Hancock county is 
but a part of a continuous deposit of sand and gravel extending in a north- 
south direction across this part of the .state ; and, if so, the water which per- 
meates this stratum is to be considered as an underground stream flowing on 
the surface of bed rock, whose position has been determined by drainage 
conditions which existed possibly in part before the first ice-sheet which cov- 
ered this part of the state appeared ; existed certainly, at least in part, subse- 
quent to the withdrawal of that earliest member of the series of glaciers that 
once covered this county. 


The general characteristics of the climate of the county are shown in 
the following tables, data for which has been supplied by V. H. Church, 
section director of the United States weather bureau at Indianapolis : 


Mean Average 
Temperature Precipitation 

Month Degrees F. Inches. 

January 29.9 2.97 

February 29.7 2.68 

March 43.2 4.80 

April 50.8 3.08 

May 61.6 4.22 

June 70.6 3.52 

July 73-8 3-46 

August 73.2 2.78 

September 68.2 3. 18 

October 53.9 3.40 

November 42.5 2.56 

December 32. 1 2.59 

Annual 52.5 39- 2 4 


Highest temperature recorded from 1904 to date: 100 degrees, in July, 

Lowest temperature recorded from 1904 to date : — 17 degrees, January 7, 

Note — The lowest previous record was : — 16 degrees in February, 1905. 



Last in spring April 21 

First in autumn October 16 

It will be observed from the above tables that the precipitation is well 
distributed throughout the year, so that crops do not ordinarily suffer. Occa- 
sionally, however, unusual conditions result in a reduction of the amount of 
rainfall, which cuts down the yield in certain crops for the season ; but such 
losses can, to a considerable degree, be prevented by a more careful manage- 
ment of the soils, in drainage, and in methods of cultivation adapted to the 
special conditions present at a given time. (Suggestions at the close of 
chapter. ) 

The maximum and minimum temperatures given are ordinarily of short 
duration, as may readily be inferred from the table of mean temperatures 
given. Temperatures of zero and below often occur when the ground is well 
covered with snow, which thus acts as a protection to winter wheat and to 
low fruit plants, such as the strawberry plant. In general, however, the 
fact that zero weather and below is likely to occur each winter is taken into 
account in determining what varieties of fruit trees, plants, etc., shall be de- 
pended upon, and only those are chosen for extensive planting as have proved 
themselves capable of withstanding the lowest temperatures named. 


Of the 196,480 acres in the county, 94.8 per cent., or 186,190 acres, is 
in farms, varying in size from less than three acres to 500 or more. As 
ascertained by the census of 1910, there are 2,154 farms in the county, of 
which about one-third include 50 to 100 acres each. In the ten years from 
1900 to 19 10 the fanning lands in the county increased nearly 100 per cent, 
in value, being listed in the latter year at a total valuation of $16,598,947, or 
an average of nearly $90 per acre ; while the total valuation of farm property, 
including buildings, implements, domestic animals, etc., adds over $5,000,000 
to this amount, making an average of land and farm property together of 
about $120 per acre. 

The following tables, taken from the report of the census of 19 10, show 
in condensed form the principal crops raised, the acreage, and the yield per 
acre ; and the number and valuation of the principal kinds of domestic animals 
and poultry : 



Acres Bushels Tons 

Corn 61,637 2,950,148 

Oats 15,190 347,295 

Wheat 27,853 343.144 

Timothy hay 10,283 13,334 

Clover alone 3,295 3,549 

Timothy and clover mixed . . . 3,273 4,°73 

Clover seed 837 


Number Value 

Cattle 13,380 $404,592.00 

Horses 9,406 996,940.00 

Mules 530 68,575.00 

Swine 43, 707 282,089.00 

Sheep 10,91 1 46,448.00 

Poultry 147,540 87,357-00 

It will be seen from Table IV that the average yield for corn is a little 
less than fifty bushels per acre; for oats, not quite twenty-three; for wheat, 
between twelve and thirteen bushels, and for hay, about one and one-fourth 
tons per acre. It is to be noted, however, that on many farms the average 
yield is much higher than this; from reports received from farmers in re- 
sponse to questions sent out by the state geologist, and from interviews with 
farmers while the field work was in progress, it is known that yields of eighty 
bushels per acre for corn, and twenty bushels for wheat, are not uncommon 
under favorable conditions. It is recognized, however, that the county as a 
whole does not produce wheat as profitably as corn, and even in the case of 
the latter crop the yield is not yet up to the average that may be expected 
when the possibilities of the soil are fully realized. Definite suggestions as 
to the best methods to be pursued to increase the yield per acre are given at 
the close of this chapter. 

Of the crops not yet much grown which promise excellent results, alfalfa 
should probably receive most attention. It is not. however, so much in the 
introduction of new crops as in more careful work in the case of crops already 
being grown, that the greatest increase of wealth may be expected. 

As a whole, the soil of the county is best adapted to heavy farming; 


nevertheless, truck farming is engaged in successfully in some places, and 
might be profitably extended to the more sandy soils near the streams; even 
the level to slightly rolling inter-stream areas may, with careful treatment, be 
made to yield profitable crops of small fruits and vegetables, as is being done 
in some sections to an increasing degree. 

Dairying is not as a rule carried on except in a small way in connection 
with general farming. The total number of dairy cows in 19 10 was re- 
ported as 6,301 ; of these, but few were in large herds. In most cases where 
an attempt is made to maintain a herd the milk or the cream is shipped to 
neighboring cities; the same method of disposing of the product is used by 
many who wish merely to have a convenient means of turning into cash the 
surplus milk for a part of the year. The use of centrifugal separators has 
very generally replaced the various gravity systems of separating the milk 
from the cream, wherever the amount of milk to be handled is large enough 
to justify it. 

The chief obstacles to successful agriculture in this county may be 
enumerated as follows (a part of these obstacles have been largely removed, 
but much yet remains to be done before the possibilities of production from 
the soils of the county are realized) : 

1. The forest growth. This originally covered almost the whole county, 
consisting principally of oak, ash, walnut, beech, sugar maple, elm and hick- 
ory. In a few places the original growth of timber has remained untouched 
by the lumberman's axe, as, for example, in a part of section 23, township 15 
north, range 5 east; but about eighty-eight per cent, of the farm land is now 
free from forests. Some further work in removing forests may possibly be 
done to advantage ; but, on the other hand, some work in reforestation should 
be undertaken, especially in some of the more hilly belts. 

2. Marshes and swamps. Areas over which water stood for a consider- 
able portion of the year are found in the inter-stream areas near Buck creek, 
Brandywine creek, Sugar creek, and their tributaries. Of these marshes, but 
few now remain. The opening of large ditches, the deepening and straight- 
ening of many small stream channels, and the use of a large amount of tile 
in underdrains, have resulted in providing adequate means for the rapid re- 
moval of water, so that in but few places does it accumulate to the disad- 
vantage of farming operations as it did generally a generation ago. This 
does not mean, however, that the work of drainage is complete ; it merely 
means that a prime difficulty, that of getting rid of water on and very near 
the surface, has been overcome. 

3. Lack of sufficient air in the soil. This difficulty is closely associated 


with the presence of conditions which permit water to stand. Much of the 
soil is a clay loam which contains a sufficiently large percentage of very fine 
mineral particles to cause the soil to form into very compact layers or masses, 
and, especially when well moistened, to become more or less impervious to 
air. The work of earth worms and other forms of animal life, the growth 
and decay of the roots of plants, and the alternate freezing and thawing in 
winter, all contribute something to the process of opening up the ground so 
that the air may have access to some depth. But all of these processes to- 
gether are not sufficient to accomplish what is needed. The most effective 
means for most of the soil in the county is an extension of the system of tile 
drainage until all clayey soils are traversed by lines of tile not less than four 
inches in diameter, at an average depth of about thirty inches and not more 
than three to five rods apart. No other method is known which, for soils 
of this kind, will result beneficially in so many ways at the same time as in 
such a system of tile drainage properly put in. For, in addition to supplying 
the especial lack here referred to, that of giving a sufficient amount of air to 
the needed depth in the soil, two other desirable results are accomplished, viz : 
(i) The removal of the excess of moisture if any should occur, and (2) the 
gradual transformation of the soil and subsoil from a stratum, compact and 
almost impervious to air, into a layer filled with fine pores which can hold a 
large amount of moisture ready to be given up to the roots of plants in time 
of drought. 

4. Other difficulties, such as ignorance as to the proper management 
of soils under certain special conditions. Some of these will be referred to 
under the descriptions of different soil types, and others will be mentioned in 
the suggestions at the close of the report of the work done in the county. 


The soils of this county are chiefly derived from the disintegration of 
rock materials left by the glacial sheets which came into Indiana from the 
north and northeast. As shown by the kinds of rock present in the soil in 
the form of boulders, pebbles, etc., part of this material came from the out- 
crop of granites, gneisses, diorites, and other crystalline rocks beyond the 
Great Lakes ; and part came from the limestones, sandstones and shales out- 
cropping much nearer, that is, within the state; some, indeed, perhaps from 
points only a few miles away. In addition to this large amount of weathered 
glacial debris, there is also included a small amount of fine mineral matter 
brought by the winds, and another probably larger amount of decaying veg- 
etable matter which has been mixed with the mineral particles at the surface, 


giving the black color to the soil as found in streaks and patches in all parts 
of the county. 


The soil types found in the county, with the approximate area covered 
by each, are given in the following table : 


Name Acres 

Miami clay loam 182,610 

Wabash loam 6,250 

Carrington black clay loam 5,400 

Sioux loam . 1,870 

Wabash sandy loam 275 

Meadow 50 

Muck 25 

The boundaries between the different types as shown on the map of 
the state geologist (Report 191 1) are in some places drawn arbitrarily, as, 
for example, where the Carrington black clay loam joins the Wabash loam. . 
In such cases the Wabash loam, forming the flood plain of a small stream, 
gives place gradually in the up-stream direction to the Carrington black clay 
loam as the area is reached which was covered with standing water for a 
considerable part of the year before the better drainage conditions were es- 
tablished. So, too, the boundary between other types is not always clearly 
marked; for instance, the Miami clay loam sometimes continues as the sub- 
soil for considerable distances beneath the edges of the Carrington black clay 
loam, forming thus an irregular belt around the latter in which the surface 
soil is black, but having a yellowish mottled subsoil with some pebbles, in- 
stead of the silty, drab-colored subsoil to be found at the center of the area. 
In certain places, as in sections a few miles west and southwest of Green- 
field, large areas of land with black surface soil have almost everywhere a 
subsoil practically the same as that of the Miami clay loam ; these areas have, 
in general, been classed as Miami clay loam, since the time available for de- 
tailed examination was too limited to make any accurate subdivisions of 
the type. 


This type includes about ninety-three per cent, of the total area of the 
county and occupies the greater part of the inter-stream areas. Typically, it 
is a light-colored soil formed from the weathering of unassorted glacial till. 


When deposited by the ice-sheets it contained a large percentage of finely- 
ground limestone mingled with much smaller Quantities of finely-ground 
shale, true clay, sand grains, fragments of crystalline rocks, etc. At the sur- 
face the finely-divided limestone has been leached out to a depth of from two 
to three feet, the other rock fragments have been much disintegrated, and 
decaying organic matter has been incorporated to some extent, so that the up- 
per three feet shows in general the following section : 

Light buff to light gray soil with few pebbles, eight to ten inches. 

Yellowish to grayish-brown subsoil, sometimes mottled, usually quite 
compact, containing up to four or five per cent, of pebbles and rock fragments 
of small size, from eight to ten inches to a depth of three feet. 

Below the depth of three feet, the material is in some cases a continuation 
of the unassorted glacial till practically to bed rock; but more often, where 
tests have been made by well borings, it gives place to sheets of stratified sand 
and gravel, which alternate with strata of unassorted material. 

In topography this type is nearly level to gently rolling, and can in nearly 
all cases be thoroughly drained. Since it occupies the higher points and 
ridges on which the water does not stand, and since the work of draining the 
marshes and other low-lying areas has been difficult and expensive, the Miami 
clay loam is as yet but poorly supplied with the necessary lines of underdraw- 
ing, necessary not so much for the purpose of draining as for the purpose of 
aerating the somewhat heavy soil. 

The original forest growth on this type of soil included white oak, beech 
and walnut ; sugar maple where sand is rather more abundant, and elm, hick- 
ory and ash in less well drained areas. The principal farm crops now raised 
are corn, wheat, and timothy and clover hay. 

As shown by the mechanical analysis given below, this type has a high 
percentage of silt, making it thus less difficult to work than would be the 
case if the clay content were higher. The proportion of finer particles is, 
however, large enough to make care necessary in the preparation of the soil 
for crops as well as in the cultivation afterward, in order to avoid the forma- 
tion of clods which, once formed, often cause trouble for an entire season. 
The plant food content is in general abundant, but only a small amount is 
available at any one time, so that the practice of using fertilizers is increasing, 
with results which seem to justify the expenditure of a considerable amount 
of time and money in this way. It is to be remembered, however, that the 
chief advantage from the use of a fertilizer is not always, if indeed ever, be- 
cause of the actual plant food added to the soil; sometimes it is because the 
fertilizer destroys compounds in the soil which prevent the healthy growth 


of crops; sometimes, because the elements of the fertilizer help to set free 
elements already in the soil. A careful study of the analysis of soils and fer- 
tilizers, with equally careful attention to the results gained under different 
conditions will eventually lead to safe conclusions in regard to the use of 
the various commercial fertilizers offered for sale. 

In general, the Miami clay loam does not produce as much corn per acre 
as the Carrington black clay loam or the Wabash loam. There are cases, 
however, of careful farming in which the yield has been made through a 
series of years to average higher on the light-colored than on the dark-colored 
soils; so that it seems probable that the possibilities of improvement and 
permanent fertility are greater for the Miami clay loam than for any other 
soil type in the county. 


Coarse Medium Fine 

Sand Sand Sand Silt Clay Total 

per per per per per per 

cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. 

Soil 8.16 10.15 21.49 46.80 13.20 99.80 

Subsoil 5.44 10.83 J 8-79 40.65 24.25 99.96 


This type occupies only a little more than three per cent, of the total 
area of the county, being found as a narrow strip along the larger streams. 
Tt consists of a brown loamy to sandy soil, ten to fifteen inches deep, followed 
by a sandy subsoil to a depth of three feet or more. In places there is some 
gravel to be found in the soil, with usually a larger percentage in the subsoil ; 
in small areas the gravel may be abundant. The original forest trees on this 
type of soil include as principal kinds, beech, sycamore, elm and soft maple. 
Some parts mapped as Wabash loam by the state geologist are still subject 
to overflow at times of high water, and are consequently not used for culti- 
vated crops. Most of the type is, however, adapted especially to corn, of 
which excellent crops are raised; tomatoes and other vegetables are success- 
fully grown on limited areas. 

The surface of the Wabash loam is nearly level. Occasionally there are 
slight depressions at the base of the valley slopes, the sites of former bayous 
now nearly silted up; some such areas are yet undrained and, owing to their 
small elevation above the stream, cannot now be freed from the excess of 
water. The total area of such undrained portions is, however, very small, 


and with the deepening of the stream channels which is going on in most 
places these areas can finally be brought under cultivation. 


Coarse Medium Fine 

Sand Sand Sand Silt Clay Total 

per per per per per per 

cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. cent. 

Soil 6.51 15.02 30.34 39.17 9.90100.94 

Subsoil 5.47 15.18 29.32 39.55 10.22 99.74 


The total area occupied by this type is less than three per cent, of the 
whole area of the county, but is distributed in many small, irregularly shaped 
patches, chiefly in the western half of the county, as shown on the state 
geologist's map. Typically, the soil of this type is ten to twelve inches deep, 
black in color, loose under cultivation, and underlaid by a drab to dark gray 
silty clay, which is usually very compact and tenacious. In some of the areas 
mapped as Carrington black clay loam on the map there is a variation in the 
soil by an increase in organic content approaching the composition of muck, 
and in the subsoil by the presence of an abundance of sand. In general the 
areas belonging to this type are the sites of former marshes or ponds which 
have been filled up in part by silting up, in part by the accumulation of or- 
ganic matter which has been incorporated with the soil. The original growth 
in these areas included, elm, ash, some oak and hickory and, characteristically, 
button bush. When well drained the crop most profitably grown now is 
corn, the yield being often from eighty to one hundred bushels per acre. It 
is found, however, that with successive crops of corn without alternation with 
other crops, the yield diminishes, so that some plan of rotation is necessary to 
keep the yield up to even a fair average for other types of soil which are 
naturally less well adapted to corn production. 

Before the drainage is complete soils of this type are likely to be sour; 
this can be corrected by the addition of mineral fertilizers, but best by an 
adequate system of ditches and underground drainage. 


This type occupies less than one per cent, of the total area of the county, 
and is found chiefly in the southeastern part along Blue river and in the 
south central part along Brandywine creek. In both localities it consists of 


a light brown or yellow brown loam, ten to twelve inches thick, with some 
pebbles scattered on the surface, underlaid in places at a depth of from two 
to four feet by stratified sand and gravel sufficiently free from silt and clay 
to be used as road material. From both the soil and the subsoil above the 
gravel the calcareous material is practically all removed, the pebbles 
that remain being, with but few exceptions, fragments of crystalline rocks, 
chert, quartz, quartzite, and others which are not easily affected by the pro- 
cesses of weathering. The surface of this type is slightly rolling, lies in gen- 
eral higher than the Wabash loam, and often between the latter and the Miami 
clay loam forming the slopes bounding the valleys. It thus constitutes ter- 
races or second bottoms along streams. The drainage is usually good, both on 
account of the surface configuration and because of the underlying gravel 
which permits the water which may accumulate on the surface to settle away 
rapidly through the soil. Crops of all kinds generally do well on this type, 
the chief difficulty being that in dry seasons sufficient moisture is lacking. 
On account of the ease with which water passes through the soil it cannot 
long hold soluble fertilizers. 


One small area in the southeastern part of the county has been mapped 
as Wabash sandy loam. It lies chiefly in section 35, township 15 north, range 
8 east, within a valley which is now drained by an insignificant stream, but 
through which a very considerable amount of water no doubt passed at about 
the time of the withdrawal of the latest ice-sheet. To the sediment deposited 
at that time has been added the wash from the adjacent hills, a kind of col- 
luvial deposit which, while not typically of the Wabash series, nevertheless, 
seems to be at least quite similar to what has been described under that name. 
The soil has a depth of from ten to eighteen inches, contains more fine to 
medium sand than is usually the case with the Wabash loam, is well drained, 
and for the most part works loose and mellow. The boundary between this 
type and the Carrington black clay loam farther up the valley is drawn arbi- 
trarily ; the change from the one type to the other is gradual and extends over 
a considerable distance, the color changing almost imperceptibly to a darker 
brown, then gray, and finally black, while the texture likewise shades off 
from the sandy loam through loam to typical clay loam. 


Following the usage of the United States bureau of soils, the term 
"meadow" is here applied to small areas which are at present too poorly 


drained to be cultivated satisfactorily, and yet do not have the peaty, marshy 
character of the areas classified as muck. The composition of this soil can- 
not be stated accurately, but, for the most part, mineral ingredients seem to 
constitute a far larger percentage of the whole than organic matter. These 
areas are at present used only as pasture ground, but may in time become 
valuable for general farm crops. 


In many places small areas of a few acres are found in which the soil 
is but little different from true peat. Only two of these areas are of suffi- 
cient size to be mapped, but the soil type is of interest to a considerable num- 
ber of farmers because small patches of it occur in many places, and because 
soil of this kind has proven somewhat difficult to bring under profitable cul- 
tivation. The first difficulty is, of course, with the excess of water; and no 
method that can be applied will be successful until some system of drainage 
has reduced the water level to at least a foot, preferably much more than a 
foot, below the surface. The next difficulty usually becomes more evident 
in the second year of cultivation than in the first; that is, the looseness or 
lack of coherence, the "chaffiness" of the soil. The presence of a large 
percentage of partially-decayed vegetable matter, or, to state it on the other 
side, the absence of a sufficiently large percentage of finely divided mineral 
matter, causes the soil to dry out easily, so that corn, for example, after a 
short time of vigorous growth, suddenly turns yellow and either remains 
dwarfed or dies. Usually there is a considerable amount of organic acids 
present at a short distance below the surface, but if the drainage is good this 
does not last long in amount sufficient to damage the growing crops. The 
following methods of further treatment have been found to yield good results. 

i. Most satisfactory results have come from a liberal application of 
stable manure. Several instances are recorded in the county in which one 
application was sufficient to bring about good crop-growing conditions. 

2. Excellent results were secured in a few instances by mixing a. con- 
siderable quantity of clayey soil with the muck. Where the muck consisted 
of but a thin layer, this was accomplished by very deep plowing, thus turning 
up to the surface a quantity of very finely divided mineral particles such as 
may usually be found below peat or muck. In another case, lines of tile 
ditches were run through the muck area, and the clay thrown up in the work 
was scattered as widely as could be conveniently done. 

3. Log heaps and brush piles burned on peaty soils have in some cases 
remedied the trouble. This will not suffice in all cases, however, since some 



Hancock county, named in honor of the immortal signer of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, John Hancock, is located in central Indiana. It lies be- 
tween the thirty-ninth and fortieth parallels of latitude, and between the 
eighty-fifth and eighty-sixth meridians of longitude west of Greenwich. The 
eighty-sixth meridian lies about three miles west of our western boundary 
line. The county is bounded on the west principally by Marion county ; on 
the north by Hamilton and Madison counties ; on the east by Henry and Rush 
counties, and on the south principally by Shelby county. Greenfield, the 
county seat, if located on the National road, twenty miles east of the city of 

In size it is an average county of the state, being composed of three hun- 
dred and seven square miles and containing 196,480 acres. 

Before the white man took up his abode within its confines, charters 
were given, ordinances adopted, and grants made, in other parts of the world, 
whose influences reached this county, and determined, in a measure at least, 
its future land descriptions, its official records and its institutions. The first 
substantial claim to this region that became a matter of record was made by 
the English, following the discoveries of the Cabots and other English ex- 
plorers. As early as 1606 two companies were organized in England for 
the purpose of making settlements in what was then known as Virginia, and 
which then included all of the territory from Maine to Florida. In 1609 King- 
James I of England gave to one of these companies — the London Company — 
an immense tract of land, reaching four hundred miles along the coast. It 
extended two hundred miles in each direction from Old Point Comfort, and 
"up into the land throughout from sea to sea west and northwest." This do- 
main granted by the King to the London Company included all of the cen- 
tral and southern part of what is now the state of Indiana. The King also 
gave "from sea to sea" charters to Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia. The remaining colonies had no such char- 
ters. Under these charters the first group of colonies claimed all the territory 
between the Appalachian mountains and the Mississippi river. The result 
was that when the Revolutionary War broke out and the exigencies of the 
limes demanded that all the colonies unite under some form of government, 



and that they raise money for the common defense, the colonies which had 
no "from sea to sea" charters refused to unite with the first group of colonies 
under the Articles of Confederation unless these colonies should cede this 
land to Congress, to be used by Congress to pay the costs of the war. 

A serious question was also raised on the validity of the title of the col- 
onies to this land, because, it was argued, the Mississippi valley had been dis- 
covered, explored, settled and owned by France ; that England had never 
owned the country until France ceded it to her in 1763, and that consequently 
the English Crown could not have made a valid grant before that time; that 
when England acquired this territory in 1763, the King drew his "proclama- 
tion line" whereby he turned this western territory into the Indian country and 
cut off all claims of the colonies to further ownership therein. Upon this 
argument the colonies which had no claims on this western land based their 
following conclusions : that these western lands were the property of the King ; 
that since the colonies were at war with him, these lands ought to be seized 
by Congress and used for the common benefit. 

The argument that this land ought to be used for the benefit of all the 
colonies finally prevailed and, one after another, those who had claims, ceded 
their land to Congress. On January 2, 1781, Virginia ceded to the Congress 
of the United States, for the benefit of all the colonies, all her right, title and 
claim to the territory northwest of the Ohio river, subject to certain condi- 
tions annexed to her act of cession. Virginia insisted that the other colonies 
should make cessions equally liberal with hers, and the conditions upon which 
she was willing to cede this territory were, that the territory so ceded should 
be laid out and formed into states containing suitable extent of territory, not 
less than one hundred nor more than one hundred fifty miles square, or as 
near thereto as circumstances would permit ; that the states so formed should 
be distinct republican states and admitted members of the federal union," hav- 
ing the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as the other 
states; that the necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the state of 
Virginia in subduing any British posts, or in maintaining forts or garrisons 
within the territory for defense, or in acquiring any part of the territory so 
ceded or relinquished, should be fully reimbursed by the United States; that 
one commissioner should be appointed by the Congress, one by the common- 
wealth of Virginia, and another by those two commissioners, who, or a ma- 
jority of them, should be authorized and empowered to adjust and liquidate 
the account of the necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the state of 
Virginia, which they should judge to be comprised within the intent and mean- 
ing of the act of Congress of the 10th of October, 1780, respecting such ex- 


penses; that the French and Canadian inhabitants and other settlers of the 
Kaskaskias, St. Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who had professed 
themselves citizens of Virginia, should have their possessions and titles con- 
finned to them and be protected in the enjoyment of their rights and liberties ; 
that all the lands within the territory so ceded to the United States, and not 
reserved for, or appropriated for, the benefit of soldiers and officers of the 
Revolutionary army, should be considered as a common fund for the use 
and benefit of such of the United States as had become or should become 
members of the confederation or federal alliance of said states, Virginia in- 
clusive, according to their usual respective proportions in the charge and ex- 
penditure, and should be faithfully and bona fide disposed of for that purpose 
and for no other use or purpose. 

Congress did not fully agree to all the conditions imposed by Virginia, 
but came so nearly doing so in the act of September 13, 1783, wherein the 
terms were stipulated on which Congress agreed to accept the cession of this 
western land by Virginia, that Virginia, on December 20, 1783, passed an- 
other act, authorizing her delegates then in Congress to convey to the United 
States in Congress assembled, all the rights of that commonwealth to the ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio river, "in full confidence that Congress will, in 
justice to this state, for the liberal cession she hath made, earnestly press upon 
the other states claiming large tracts of waste and uncultivated territory, the 
propriety of making cessions equally liberal for the common benefit and sup- 
port of the Union." 

In conformity with the provisions of the latter act, all the territory 
therein alluded to, which included Hancock county, was, on the first day of 
March, 1784, transferred to the United States by deed signed by Thomas 
Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee and James Monroe, then delegates in 
Congress from the commonwealth of Virginia. 

After the land had been conveyed to Congress it was found that its di- 
vision into states as stipulated in the terms of the cession was impracticable 
and that it would be attended with many inconveniences. Congress therefore 
recommended that Virginia revise her act of cession so far as to empower Con- 
gress to make such a division of said territory into distinct and republican 
states, not more than five nor less than three in number, as the situation of 
that country and future circumstances might require. In compliance with 
this recommendation, the commonwealth of Virginia, on the 29th day of De- 
cember, 1788, passed an act assenting to the proposed alteration, permitting 
Congress to divide the territory into states as above recommended, and as had 
been fully set out in the fifth article of the famous Ordinance of 1787. 


As soon as this land was ceded to Congress, and as early as 1783, plans 
were submitted for dividing it by metes and bounds, in order that it might 
more readily be conveyed to purchasers. Several ordinances were introduced, 
and on May 20, 1785, Congress determined to have it surveyed into town- 
ships six miles square. The ordinance of May 20, 1785, sets out in detail 
how the entire domain, including the territory of which our county forms a 
part, should be surveyed. It is very clear, and explains fully the principal 
features of our system of dividing and locating land. For this reason, parts 
of it are given in full below. After providing for the appointment of sur- 
veyors and a geographer, the ordinance continues : 

"The .first line running north and south as aforesaid shall begin on the 
Ohio river, at a point that shall be found to be due north from the western 
termination of a line which has been run as the southern boundary of the state 
of Pennsylvania; and the first line running east and west shall begin at the 
same point, and shall extend throughout the whole territory; provided, that 
nothing herein shall be construed as fixing the western boundary of the state 
of Pennsylvania. The geographer shall designate the townships or fractional 
townships, by numbers, progressively from south to north — always beginning 
each range with No. 1 ; and the ranges shall be distinguished by their pror 
gressive numbers to the westward, the first range, extending from the Ohio 
to Lake Erie, being marked No. 1. The geographer shall personally attend 
to the running of the first east and west line ; and shall take the latitude of the 
extremes of the first north and south line, and of the mouths of the principal 

"The lines shall be measured with a chain; shall be plainly marked by 
chaps on trees, and exactly described on a plat ; whereon shall be noted by the 
surveyor, at their proper distances, all mines, salt springs, salt licks, and mill 
seats that shall come to his knowledge ; and all water courses, mountains, and 
other remarkable and permanent things, over or near which such lines shall 
pass, and also the quality of the lands. 

"The plats of the townships, respectively, shall be marked by subdivisions, 
into lots of one mile square, or six hundred and forty acres, in the same direc- 
tion as the external lines, and numbered from one to thirty-six, always begin- 
ning the succeeding range of the lot with the number next to that which the 
preceding one touched. * * * * And the surveyors, in running the external 
lines of the townships, shall at the interval of every mile, mark corners for 
the lots which are adjacent, always designating the same in a different man- 
ner from those of the township. 

"As soon as seven ranges of townships, and fractional parts of townships, 


penses; that the French and Canadian inhabitants and other settlers of the 
Kaskaskias, St. Vincents, and the neighboring villages, who had professed 
themselves citizens of Virginia, should have their possessions and titles con- 
firmed to them and be protected in the enjoyment of their rights and liberties; 
that all the lands within the territory so ceded to the United States, and not 
reserved for, or appropriated for, the benefit of soldiers and officers of the 
Revolutionary army, should be considered as a common fund for the use 
and benefit of such of the United States as had become or should become 
members of the confederation or federal alliance of said states, Virginia in- 
clusive, according to their usual respective proportions in the charge and ex- 
penditure, and should be faithfully and bona fide disposed of for that purpose 
and for no other use or purpose. 

Congress did not fully agree to all the conditions imposed by Virginia, 
but came so nearly doing so in the act of September 13, 1783, wherein the 
terms were stipulated on which Congress agreed to accept the cession of this 
western land by Virginia, that Virginia, on December 20, 1783, passed an- 
other act, authorizing her delegates then in Congress to convey to the United 
States in Congress assembled, all the rights of that commonwealth to the ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio river, "in full confidence that Congress will, in 
justice to this state, for the liberal cession she hath made, earnestly press upon 
the other states claiming large tracts of waste and uncultivated territory, the 
propriety of making cessions equally liberal for the common benefit and sup- 
port of the Union." 

In conformity with the provisions of the latter act, all the territory 
therein alluded to, which included Hancock county, was, on the first day of 
March, 1784, transferred to the United States by deed signed by Thomas 
Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, Arthur Lee and James Monroe, then delegates in 
Congress from the commonwealth of Virginia. 

After the land had been conveyed to Congress it was found that its di- 
vision into states as stipulated in the terms of the cession was impracticable 
and that it would be attended with many inconveniences. Congress therefore 
recommended that Virginia revise her act of cession so far as to empower Con- 
gress to make such a division of said territory into distinct and republican 
states, not more than five nor less than three in number, as the situation of 
that country and future circumstances might require. In compliance with 
this recommendation, the commonwealth of Virginia, on the 29th day of De- 
cember, 1788, passed an act assenting to the proposed alteration, permitting 
Congress to divide the territory into states as above recommended, and as had 
been fully set out in the fifth article of the famous Ordinance of 1787. 


As soon as this land was ceded to Congress, and as early as 1783, plans 
were submitted for dividing it by metes and bounds, in order that it might 
more readily be conveyed to purchasers. Several ordinances were introduced, 
and on May 20, 1785, Congress determined to have it surveyed into town- 
ships six miles square. The ordinance of May 20, 1785, sets out in detail 
how the entire domain, including the territory of which our county forms a 
part, should be surveyed. It is very clear, and explains fully the principal 
features of our system of dividing and locating land. For this reason, parts 
of it are given in full below. After providing for the appointment of sur- 
veyors and a geographer, the ordinance continues : 

"The first line running north and south as aforesaid shall begin on the 
Ohio river, at a point that shall be found to be due north from the western 
termination of a line which has been run as the southern boundary of the state 
of Pennsylvania; and the first line running east and west shall begin at the 
same point, and shall extend throughout the whole territory; provided, that 
nothing herein shall be construed as fixing the western boundary of the state 
of Pennsylvania. The geographer shall designate the townships or fractional 
townships, by numbers, progressively from south to north — always beginning 
each range with No. 1 ; and the ranges shall be distinguished by their pror 
gressive numbers to the westward, the first range, extending from the Ohio 
to Lake Erie, being marked No. 1. The geographer shall personally attend 
to the running of the first east and west line ; and shall take the latitude of the 
extremes of the first north and south line, and of the mouths of the principal 

"The lines shall be measured with a chain; shall be plainly marked by 
chaps on trees, and exactly described on a plat ; whereon shall be noted by the 
surveyor, at their proper distances, all mines, salt springs, salt licks, and mill 
seats that shall come to his knowledge ; and all water courses, mountains, and 
other remarkable and permanent things, over or near which such lines shall 
pass, and also the quality of the lands. 

"The plats of the townships, respectively, shall be marked by subdivisions, 
into lots of one mile square, or six hundred and forty acres, in the same direc- 
tion as the external lines, and numbered from one to thirty-six, always begin- 
ning the succeeding range of the lot with the number next to that which the 
preceding one touched. * * * * And the surveyors, in running the external 
lines of the townships, shall at the interval of every mile, mark corners for 
the lots which are adjacent, always designating the same in a different man- 
ner from those of the township. 

"As soon as seven ranges of townships, and fractional parts of townships, 


in the direction of from south to north shall have been surveyed, the ge- 
ographer shall transmit plats thereof to the board of treasury, who shall record 
the same, with a report, in a well-bound book kept for that purpose. And the 
geographer shall make similar returns, from time to time, of every seven 
ranges, as they may be surveyed. ****** 

"There shall be reserved the Lot No. 16, of every township, for the 
maintenance of public schools within the said township ; also one-third part of 
all gold, silver, lead and copper mines." 

This ordinance, adopted May 20, 1785, by the Continental Congress, 
under the Articles of Confederation, before there was a United States of 
America in the present sense, shows how our land came to be described as it 
is. Though Congress has passed other acts, changing the above ordinance 
as to location of base lines and principal meridians, and in fact, our land here 
in Indiana was surveyed under the act of Congress, 1802, yet the system or 
plan of dividing the land and locating it has remained practically the same 
as above set out. 

In the survey of the public domain in Indiana, the east line of the state 
was used as the first principal meridian. The second principal meridian in 
Indiana passes through Lebanon in Boone county, and through Hendricks 
county about three miles east of Danville. The base line from which the 
congressional townships and the land in Hancock county are surveyed, passes 
east and west through the southern parts of Orange and Washington counties. 
The second principal meridian crosses the base line in the southern part of 
Orange county. Hancock county includes all or parts of townships 15, 16 
and 17 north of the base line described above, in ranges 5, 6, 7 and 8, east of 
the second principal meridian. Any farm in Hancock county is thus located 
with reference to those two lines — the base line and the second principal merid- 
ian — as above described. 

The original survey of Hancock county was included in the greater sur- 
vey of practically the entire state. From the reading of our land descriptions 
— for instance, section 10, township 15 north (of the base line), in range 
6 east (of the second principal meridian) — it is evident that the surveyors 
worked northward from the base line and eastward from the above described 
second principal meridian. 

The survey was made by surveying parties, including the surveyor and 
his helpers. Augustus Dommanget, father of Adrian Dommanget, of near 
Gem, spent many days with the surveying gang in Hancock county. In the 
wilderness of central Indiana in the early twenties, the surveying parties were 
out for days and weeks at a time. The forest was dense and the swamps were 


interminable. Roads had to be opened for the passage of the supply and 
equipment wagons, and at night the party sought rest on some high spot or 
knoll. For beds, rectangular nets or blankets with rings attached to the 
edges and corners were used. By passing ropes through the rings and fasten- 
ing the other end to young saplings or trees, the beds could be swung clear 
of the ground. As a protection against wolves and panthers, fires were us- 
ually lighted at night. 

In this survey the land was divided into townships and then into sections. 
The corners of all sections and the half-mile points on all lines were estab- 
lished and marked. When a corner had been established, a hole eight or ten 
inches deep was dug at that point. The surveyor then placed a stone, or took 
a stake eighteen or twenty inches long and two and one-half inches in di- 
ameter, with two or three notches cut near the top as marks by which it 
could be identified, and drove it into the ground to mark the exact location 
of the corner. The stake was driven down into the hole so that it could be 
covered with eight or ten inches of soil to prevent rapid decay. At least two 
"witness trees" were then chapped or "blazed" and notched, and a careful 
record made on the surveyor's book of the exact direction of the stake from 
the trees. For instance, when a corner had been established, the surveyor 
made a notation on his record as follows : 

Beech 18 S 8 E 20 
Ash 6 N 39 E 12 

This means that the "witness trees" for this particular corner are a beech" 
and an ash. The beech is eighteen inches in diameter and stands south, eight 
degrees east, and at a distance of twenty links from the corner. The ash is 
six inches in diameter and stands north, thirty-nine degrees east, and at a 
distance of twelve links from the corner. Some of the older people still 
living tell us that in measuring land many years after the survey, these stakes 
were found to be in a fair state of preservation. 

The Ordinance of 1785 also laid the foundation for a school fund for 
each of the five states that were later formed out of the territory therein de- 
scribed. "There shall be reserved the lot (or section) No. 16, of every town- 
ship for the maintenance of the public schools within said township." That 
provision was never repealed or stricken out after the federal government was 
organized. In fact, the clause was later adopted bodily in congressional leg- 
islation. The money accruing from this land by sale or otherwise was later 
denominated and is now known as the congressional township fund. In the 
income of this fund, Hancock county shares yearly. 


It will be observed that section 16 of the congressional township was not 
to be sold by Congress, but was to be reserved for the maintenance of the 
public schools within the township. This section was to become the property 
of the township, and was to be used for the purpose designated in the ordi- 
nance. When the townships were settled, and a civil government was organ- 
ized, the control of this land was given to the township trustees. All the other 
public lands was sold by Congress and conveyed by a United States patent. 
The school section, however, was conveyed by school commissioner's deed. 
Any farmer in the county owning land in any section 16, and other land in 
another section, will observe this difference in the first conveyances on his 
abstracts of title. 

In some of the counties of the state this land was managed and worked 
many years, and the income therefrom used for the maintenance of the schools. 
In Hancock county, however, all these sections were sold at an early date. 
All except two sections (in Buck Creek and Vernon townships) were sold 
before 1837. The section in Buck Creek was sold in 1849, and the section 
in Vernon in 1850. 

Among the treaties made between the United States government and the 
Indian tribes which affected the territory of which Hancock county is a part, 
was possibly the treaty of October 3, 181 8, in which the Delawares ceded to 
the United States all their land in Indiana. Their claim was rather indefi- 
nite. They held it, in joint tenancy with the Miamis, and it seems to have 
been located in the region of White river. On October 6, 18 18, the Miainis 
ceded to the United States their lands, including all of central Indiana and a 
part of western Ohio. This tract became known as the "New Purchase" and 
was bounded on the north and west by the Wabash, and in places extended 
beyond that river; on the southwest, by the famous "ten o'clock line," which 
began about the center of Jackson county and ran northwest, entering Illinois 
about the middle of Vermilion county; on the southeast, by a line from the 
same point in Jackson county northeast along the present slanting northwest 
boundary of Ripley county, then more nearly north, leaving the state beyond 
Randolph county just west of Ft. Recovery. 

On January 22, '1820, the State Legislature divided a portion of the 
"New Purchase" tract into Wabash and Delaware counties. In this division 
Hancock county was included as a part of Delaware county. In 1823 Dela- 
ware county was divided, and Madison county was organized as a separate 
county, including the territory of Hancock county. In 1828 Hancock county 
was organized as a separate county from a part of the territory of Madison 


In the act separating the two counties, Hancock county is described as 
"all the territory lying one mile south of the line dividing townships 17 and 
18, and within the former territory of Madison." This included the present 
territory of Hancock county. In the acts of 1843 the county is again de- 
scribed by metes and bounds as follows : "Beginning at the southwest corner 
of section 35 in township 15 north, range 5 east, thence east to the southeast 
corner of section 33, township 15 north, range 8 east, thence north to the 
northeast corner of section 4, in said range and township, thence east to the 
southwest corner of section 36, township 16, range 8, thence north to the 
northwest corner of section 2, in township 16 north, in range 8 east, thence 
east to the southwest corner of section 36, township 17 north, range 8 east, 
thence north to the northwest corner of section 12, in said township, thence 
west to the northwest corner of section 9, in township 17, range 6 east, thence 
south to the southwest corner of said section, thence west to the northwest 
corner of section 14, township 17, range 5, thence south to the place of be- 

(Whoever drew the above description did not take into account the fact 
that the range lines are broken at the line dividing townships 16 and 17, 
and that therefore the last line, south from the northwest corner to section 
14, to the place of beginning, is not a straight line.) 



Two acts were passed by the Legislature for the organization of Hancock 
county as a separate county. The first act, approved January 26, 1827, pro- 
vided, in substance, that all the territory lying one mile south of the line divid- 
ing townships 17 and 18 and within the then boundary of Madison county, 
should be formed as Hancock county, and should enjoy all the rights, privi- 
leges and immunities belonging to separate counties. It provided that all 
circuit and other courts should be held in said county at the house of Henry 
Pierson. It provided further that the county should be attached to Madison 
county for all civil, judicial and other purposes, until the county seat should 
be located and convenient buildings should be erected. 

In the latter part of the same year, another act was passed and approved 
which made complete provision for the organization of the county as a sep- 
arate county. This act is as follows : 

"An Act for the Organization of the County of Hancock. 
"Approved December 24, 1827. 

"Section 1. Be It Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of 
Indiana: That from and after the first day of March next, the county of 
Hancock shall enjoy the rights and jurisdiction which to separate counties 
do properly belong. 

"Section 2. That Levi Jessup, of the county of Hendricks, James Smock, 
of the county of Johnson, Richard Blacklidge, of the county of Rush, John 
Anderson, of Henry county, and Thomas Martin, of Marion county, be, and 
they are hereby appointed commissioners for the purpose of fixing the perma- 
nent seat of justice for said county of Hancock, agreeably to the provisions 
of an 'Act to Fix the Seats of Justice in New Counties,' approved January 14, 
1824, and the act amendatory of the same, approved December 19, 1825. The 
commissioners above named or a majority of them shall convene at the house 
of Samuel B. Jackson in said county, on the first Monday in April next or so 
soon thereafter as the majority shall agree. 

"Section 3. It shall be the duty of the sheriff of Henry county, on or 
before the fifteenth day of March next, to notify the commissioners above 
named, either in person or bv writing, of their appointment, and of the time 



and place when they are to convene, and the court doing- county business shall 
allow him a reasonable compensation for his services out of the moneys in 
the treasury of said county of Hancock. 

"Section 4. The circuit and other courts of the county of Hancock shall 
be held at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, until suitable accommodations can 
be had at the county seat, and the said courts may adjourn thereto, or to any 
place in said county if they think proper. 

"Section 5. The agent who shall be appointed to superintend the sale 
of lots at the county seat of the county of Hancock shall reserve ten per cent, 
out of the proceeds thereof, and out of all donations to said county, and pay 
the same over to such person or persons as may be appointed by law for the 
use of the library of said county, which he or his successors shall pay over 
at such time and in such manner as shall be directed by law. 

"Section 6. It shall be the duty of the qualified voters of said county 
of Hancock, at the time of electing the officers of said county, to elect three 
commissioners within and for said county, who shall constitute a board for 
transacting county business, and do and perform all the duties heretofore de- 
volving on the board of county commissioners in organizing new counties. 
And said persons so elected shall hold their offices in the same manner and 
under the same restrictions as they are prescribed by an 'Act to establish a 
Board of County Commissioners,' approved January 31, 1824. 

"Section 7. The said commissioners, when so elected and qualified into 
office, shall have the power to hold special sessions and to do and perform at 
such special sessions any acts which may have been required by law to be done 
at any previous regular session or sessions of the court doing county business. 
"Section 9. This act to take effect and be in force from and after the 
first Monday in March next." 

The organization of Hancock county as a separate county under the 
above act became effective on March 1, 1828. It was, however, only a "dis- 
trict of country," without the Organized machinery of civil government. Pro- 
vision had been made in the first act of the Legislature for the organization of 
the county, approved January 26, 1827, that the circuit court and all other 
courts to be held in Hancock county should be held at the house of Henry 
Pierson, and that all acts, judgments, and decrees of said courts should have 
the same force and effect as if held in Madison county. There is no record, 
however, of any court held in Hancock county previous to the fourth Monday 
of March, 1828. On that day, March 24, Bethuel F. Morris, who was presi- 
dent of the fifth judicial circuit, which then included a number of counties in 
central Indiana, came to the house of Samuel B. Jackson, which stood on the 


south side of the National road, just a little west of where the car barns now 
stand, and there held, or organized rather, the Hancock circuit court. There 
were present on that day, Bethuel F. Morris, judge ; Lewis Tyner, clerk ; Jacob 
Jones and James B. Stevens, associate judges, and James Whitcomb, prosecu- 
tor. The organization of the court was effected as follows: Judge Morris 
produced his commission as president of the fifth judicial circuit, from the 
hand of the governor, William Hendricks ; also a written copy of his oath as 
such president of the fifth judicial circuit, both of which were placed on the 
records of the Hancock circuit court. Lewis Tyner produced his commission 
as clerk of said county, and his bond, with John Foster, Samuel B. Jackson, 
Elijah Tyner and Israel Chapman as sureties, both of which instruments were 
placed on record. The associate judges next produced their commissions and 
oaths, as did also the prosecutor, James Whitcomb. The commissioners of the 
associate judges and of the prosecutor, however, were not recorded. Following 
this, Calvin Fletcher, Henry Gregg, Marinus Willett and Charles H. Verder, 
on motion of the prosecutor, were duly admitted to practice as attorneys and 
counsellors-at-law at the bar of the new court. 

Lewis Tyner, clerk, then produced a seal, which "the court adopted and 
ordered to be used and taken and received as the seal of this court until the 
same is changed." This seal was a notched disc about one and one-half inches 
in diameter, with the word "HANCOCK" printed in large capitals around 
the margin, and eight short lines radiating in all directions from the center. 

John Foster did not produce his commission as sheriff until the Sep- 
tember term, 1828. With this exception, the organization of the court was 
completed on March 24, 1828, and court and attorneys were ready for any 
legal matters that might need attention. But there being an evident lack of 
business, the court adjourned sine die. 

The two associate judges above mentioned were county officers and 
sat as a probate court without the presence of the presiding judge. Judge 
Morris traveled from county to county over his entire circuit and was not 
strictly a county officer. The presiding judge had about the same duties to 
perform that devolve upon our present circuit judges. The associate judges 
sat on either side of the presiding judge when court was in session. 

At the September term, 1828, the first grand jury convened, and re- 
turned several indictments. The following men were members of this grand 
jury: George W. Hinton, James McKinsey, Benjamin Gordon, Meredith 
Gosney, Jeremiah Meek, Samuel Thompson, Robert Snodgrass, David Tem- 
pleton, Ladock Stephenson, Richard Guymon, Jacob Tague, Moses McCall, 
Samuel Martin, Basil Meek, Owen Griffith and John Osborn. The record 


shows that Meredith Gosney was appointed foreman. Eight cases, including 
four prosecutions for rioting and two for assault and battery, were disposed 
of by the court at this term. Pleas of "guilty" were entered to all of the 
charges, and on the second day, September 23, there being no further busi- 
ness, the court adjourned. 

On March 19, 1829, the court convened for the March term, 1829. Dur- 
ing this term, the first plea of "not guilty" was entered, by Nancy Shay, de- 
fendant, on a charge of assault and battery. On March 21, 1829, this case 
was tried before the first petit jury impanelled in this county, composed of 
Henry Watts, John Kauble, Peter Bellers, Benjamin Miller, George Baity, 
William Chapman, William Booth, David Smith, John Henley, James Good- 
win, Samuel Vangilder and Eli Chapman. The jury returned a verdict of 
"guilty," and did "assess a fine to her of twenty-five cents." 

Both of the above terms of court were held at the house of Samuel B. 

A probate court was first organized on December 8, 1828, also at the 
house of Samuel B. Jackson. There were present the associate judges, Jacob 
Jones and James B. Stevens. They produced their commissions as probate 
judges, but, there being no business, they adjourned "till court in course." 
At the March term, 1829, these judges convened again at the house of Samuel 
B. Jackson, but adjourned without doing any business. 

At the November term, 1829, however, Jeremiah Meek produced his 
commission from the hand of the governor as judge of the probate court for 
Hancock county, under the act approved January 2, 1829, providing for the 
organization of probate courts in the state. The first matter brought before 
this new court was the guardianship of the infant heirs of David John. John 
Foster was appointed guardian, and filed his bond, with Lewis Tyner as 

On Monday, April 1, 1828, the county commissioners held their first 
meeting, in special session at the house of Samuel B. Jackson. The record of 
that meeting recites in part : 

"SPECIAL TERM, APR. 7th A. D. 1 828. 

"At a special term of the Board of County Commissioners of the County 
of Hancock, at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, in the aforesaid County, on 
the 7th day of April in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred 
twenty eight — 

"Samuel Vangilder Esqr. presented his Certificate as first Commissioner 
of the County of Hancock from under the hand of John Foster, Sheriff of 



said County to serve as such, for the term of three years from and after 
the date of his said Certificate, which Certificate bears date the 20th day of 
March, 1828. On the back of said Certificates is endorsed the Certificate 
of John Foster, Esquire, Sheriff as aforesaid, of his having taken the several 
oaths prescribed by the Constitution and laws of the State of Indiana — Where- 
upon he takes his seat as first Commissioner of said County." 

Elisha Chapman presented a similar certificate as second commissioner, 
for a period of two years, and John Hunter, as third commissioner, for a 
period of one year, all of which were duly recorded in the first county com- 
missioners' record. 


The first official act of the county commissioners after the organization 
of the board, on April 7, 1828, at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, was to 
divide the county into townships: Three townships were organized. The 
minutes of that meeting recite : 

"It is ordered by the Board that the County be divided into three town- 
ships, as follows, to wit : Commencing at the southeast corner of Section 
Thirty- four, Township Fifteen, Range Six, thence north to the north boun- 



Hancock County as Laid Off April 7, 1828. 





Hancock County, Sept,, 1833, to Jan., 1836. 

dary of said county, and that all the lands lying west of the said line to the 
best boundary of said county shall be known and designated by the name and 
title of Sugar Creek township, No ist. And that all the lands lying west of 
the lines dividing thirty-four and thirty-five in Township Sixteen and Range 
Seven, thence running north to the north boundary of said County shall be 
known and designated by the name and title of Brandywine Township, No. 
2nd. And that all the lands lying east of the aforesaid line to the east 



boundary shall be known and designated by the name and title of Blue River 
Township, No 3rd." 

It was soon found advisable to make further divisions of these townships. 
At the May term, 1831, several divisions were made. Blue River township 
was reduced in size and given its present boundary. The remaining part 
of the original Blue River township was organized and became known as 
Jackson township. Brandywine township was reduced to a district six miles 
east and west by five miles north and south, located where it is now except 
that the northern boundary was one mile further north than it is now. 

Center township was organized and bounded as follows : Commencing 
one mile south of the township line dividing 15 and 16 at the line dividing 2 
and 3 ; thence north to the said township line ; thence east one mile ; thence 
north one mile; thence west two miles west of the range line dividing 6 and 
7 ; thence south two miles ; thence east to the place of beginning. 

Harrison township was organized and bounded as follows : Commencing 
one mile north of the township line dividing 15 and 16 and one mile west of 
the range line dividing 7 and 8; thence due north to the north line of said 
county ; thence west on said line one mile west of the range line dividing 6 
and 7; thence south, within one mile of the line dividing 16 and 15, thence east 
to the place of beginning. 

• Lewistur 


»:ieo Pal 




Hancock County, 1850 to 1853 
(Towns as Known Prior to 1850). 












Hancock County 

Since the Last Division, 

The following addition was made to Sugar Creek township : Commenc- 
ing one mile north of the - township line dividing 15 and 16; north from thence 
one mile in width to the county line, one mile in width and ten miles in length. 

At the November term, 1831, Buck Creek township was organized and 
bounded as follows : Commencing at the southeast corner of section 34, 


township 16, range 6; thence north one mile; thence east one mile; thence 
north to the county line; thence west to the same; thence south to the first 
mentioned line; thence east to the place of beginning. 

At the September term, 1832, Green township was organized and made 
to include all of what is now Green and Brown townships, described as fol- 
lows: Beginning at the east side of said county on the line dividing con- 
gressional townships 16 and 17; thence west on said line to Buck Creek town- 
ship line ; thence north with said Buck Creek township line to the county line ; 
thence east and south with said county line to the place of beginning. 

At the September term, 1833, Brown township was organized and given 
its present boundary lines. 

At the January term, 1836, Center township was ordered bounded as 
follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of section 35, township 16 
north, range 7 east (evidently range 6 east was intended) ; thence east seven 
miles to the northeast corner of section 35 ; thence south three miles to the 
southeast corner of section II, township 15 north, of range 7 east; thence 
west seven miles to the southwest corner of section 1 1 ; thence north to the 
place of beginning. 

At the May term, 1836, the southern boundary line of Vernon township 
was located one mile south of the line dividing townships 16 and 17 north. 

At the May term, 1838, it was ordered that the following described, tract 
of land formerly belonging to Sugar Creek and Buck Creek townships be set 
apart and called Jones township, to wit : Beginning at the southeast corner of 
section 10 in township 15 north, of range 6 east; thence running west with 
the section lines to the southwest corner of section 17 in township 15 north, 
of range 5 east; thence with the county lines dividing the counties of Han- 
cock and Marion to the northwest corner of section 26; thence east with the 
section lines to the northeast corner of section 26, township 16, range 6; thence 
one mile to the southeast corner of said section 26; thence west one mile to 
the southeast corner of said section 26; thence south along the section line 
to the place of beginning. 

At the September term, 1838, it was ordered that the following described 
tract of land formerly belonging to the townships of Harrison, Buck Creek 
and Vernon "be and the same is hereby set apart and called Union township, 
to wit : Commencing at the southeast corner of section 30 in township 16 
north, of range 7 east; thence west four miles along the section line to the 
southwest corner of section 27, range 6 east; township 16 north ; thence north 


along the section lines five miles to the northwest corner of section 3 in 
township 16, range 6 east; thence east four miles along the section line to the 
northeast corner of section 6, township 16, range 7; thence south along the 
section line five miles to the place of beginning." 

At the June term, 1850, it was "ordered that sections 1, 12, 13 and 24, 
in township 16 north, of range 7 east, and sections numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23, of township 16 north, 
range 8 east, shall compose a separate township and shall be designated and 
known by the name of Worth township." 

On March 11, 1853, the following entry was made in commissioners' 
Record "C", page 142 : 

"The board now proceeds to lay off the county into townships, as fol- 
lows, to wit:" Here follow descriptions of the nine townships of the county 
with their present boundaries. No change has been made in the township 
lines since that time. 

After the division of the county into townships, the board ordered the 
election of two justices of the peace in each township, the first elections to be 
held on the first Saturday of May, 1829. The election in Sugar Creek town- 
ship was ordered held at the house of William Banks, who lived within or 
near the present corporate limits of New Palestine. In Brandywine town- 
ship, the election was ordered held at the house of Samuel B. Jackson, and 
in Blue River, at the house of Abraham Miller, who lived one-half mile north 
and one-fourth mile east of Westland. William McCance was appointed in- 
spector in Sugar Creek township, Jeremiah Meek in Brandywine, and Jona- 
than Justice in Blue River township. 

The board then appointed trustees for the school sections in the con- 
gressional townships within the county. The following appointments were 

Section 16, township 15, range 6, William McCance, Jacob Murnan, 
Joseph Weston. 

Section 16, township 15, range 7, Elijah Tyner, Samuel Martin, Lucus 

Section 16, township 15, range 8, Samuel A. Hall, James Tyner, Joshua 

Section 16, township 15, range 8, Basil Meek, Samuel Thompson. James 



Section 16, township 15, range 7, Meredith Gosney, Benjamin Spillman, 
Samuel B. Jackson. 

Section 16, township 15, range 6, Morris Pierson, Jacob Jones, James 

The first day's business was closed with the following order: "It is 
ordered by the board that each and every person producing a wolfe scalp or 
scalps killed within Hancock County shall severally be allowed the sum of one 
dollar for each scalp over six months old, and fifty cents for every scalp under 
six months old, and that the Treasurer shall pay the same out of any moneys 
not otherwise appropriated, when a certificate be produced by the applicant 
from under the hand and seal of the clerk of said Board." 

This order was based on an act approved June 27, 1827, which provided 
that in case anyone produced before the clerk of any circuit court, a wolf 
scalp or scalps with the ears, within thirty days after the wolf had been 
killed, within eight miles of any settlement in Indiana, he should receive the 
sums above stipulated. The applicant had to make oath as to the facts, 
whereupon the clerk was required to destroy the wolf's ears in the presence of 
the applicant. The clerk then gave the applicant a certificate which enabled 
him to draw his money. The order is interesting as the first step toward 
greater security of life and property, and for the light it throws Upon the con- 
ditions of the times. Quite a number of fees were paid for killing wolves in 
Hancock county during the first ten years after this order was made. 

Among the orders drawn for wolf scalps, as shown by the early com- 
missioners' records, are those of Isaac Lucas, two scalps ; one Sebastian, three 
scalps ; Robinson Lucas, one scalp ; William Records, three scalps ; Reed Fuller, 
one scalp ; Joe Kingan, two scalps ; Aaron Pawd, two scalps ; Joshua King, ten 
scalps; John Carr, one scalp; Thomas Carr, one scalp. 

It was then "ordered that the board adjourn until tomorrow morning at 
the hour at 10 o'clock — present the honorable 

Samuel Vangilder, 
"Attest Elish Chapman 

"Lewis Tyner John Hunter." 

On the next day, April 8, 1828, the board appointed the following county 
officers : County lister, Samuel Martin ; county treasurer, Henry Watts. 

The seal of the Hancock circuit court was adopted by the board to be 
used when any instrument in writing required a seal affixed thereto. No 
further steps in the organization of the county were taken on that day. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 9 and 10, adjourned sessions were 


held, but on April n, 1828, the board received the report from the commis- 
sioners appointed by statute to select and locate the seat of justice for Han- 
cock county. This report was accepted and ordered spread on the commis- 
sioners' record. By the acceptance of this report, the present site of Green- 
field became fixed as the county seat of Hancock county. The report is 
as follows : 

"Indiana, to wit : 
Hancock County 

"Pursuant to an Act of the. General Assembly of the State of Indiana, 
approved December 24, A. D. 1827, James Smock, Thomas Martin, and Levi 
Jessup, three of the Commissioners appointed by the aforesaid, met at the 
house of Samuel Jackson, in said County of Hancock on Monday the 7th 
day of April, A. D. 1828, and after being sworn as the law directs : proceed to 
the discharge of the duties of our appointment. On Tuesday the 8th day of 
April, John Anderson appeared and was sworn as a Commissioner appointed 
by the Act aforesaid, and on the same day Richard Blacklidge appeared and 
was sworn as a Commissioner appointed as aforesaid. And after examining the 
several sites shown to us and duly considering all their donations offered, we 
have unanimously agreed to accept a donation of sixty acres of land donated 
by Cornwell Meek, John Wingfield, and Benjamin Spilman, bounded as 
follows to wit : Beginning at the line dividing Sections Thirty-two and Thir- 
ty-three in Township Sixteen North, Range Seven East, where the National 
Road crosses said line thence running north thirty rods from the north side 
of said Road and the same distance south from the south side of said County 
Road. Thence west on lines parallel with the said road one hundred and 
sixty rods to the open line dividing Sections Thirty-two and Five, north and 
south, to contain sixty acres, which we have selected as the permanent seat 
of Justice for the Hancock. And it is further agreed and allowed by us that 
the donors aforesaid be allowed every fourth block in that part of the town 
respectively donated by them in manner following to wit: John Wingfield 
and Benjamin Spilman to be entitled to every fourth block, the County Com- 
missioners having first choice, and that Cornwell Meek be allowed every 
fourth block on that part of town donated by him, the said Cornwell Meek 
to have first choice in the first four blocks and afterward for the County 
Commissioners to have the first choice, and it is moreover further agreed by 
us that the donors aforesaid be allowed to remove all their building, rails, 
boards, and board timber already sawed off which may be included in their 
respective donation. And we have further received donations by subscrip- 


Hon amounting in cash, labor, and lumber, to two hundred and sixty- five 
dollars. And furthermore we have taken bond on the donors aforesaid for 
the conveyance of the land above described, which with the papers containing 
the subscriptions aforesaid is submitted to the County Commissioners. 

(Signed) "James Smock 

"Thomas Martin 

"Levi Jessup 

"John Anderson 

"Richard Blacklidge." 

Jared Chapman was appointed county agent to sell the lots and account 
for the moneys as provided by the statute. 

On April n, 1828, the board also ordered "that the seat of Justice of 
Hancock county, shall be known and designated by the name and title of 
Greenfield. (The Seat of Justice of Hancock County.)" 

Even at this early day the county was not unmindful of those who might 
be in need. At the May term, 1828, John Hager and Noble Banks were 
appointed overseers of the poor in Sugar Creek township, and James Reeves 
and David Vangilder, overseers of the poor in Brandywine township. 

Fence viewers were also appointed at the same term, Geofge Baity and 
James Anderson for Sugar Creek, William Simmons and Isaac Roberts for 
Brandywine, and Harmon Wareham and Abraham Miller for Blue River 

To meet the expenses of the new county government, the board, at the 
May term, 1828, made the first tax levy. The first rate of taxation on the 
persons and property of Hancock county was as follows : Polls, 50 cents ; 
horse, 2>7 X A cents; work ox, 18^ cents; silver and pinchbeck watches, 25 
cents; gold watches, $1.00; land, one-half state tax. 

John Foster, acting sheriff of the county, was appointed collector of 
revenue for the year 1828. 

At this time. May 4, 1828. the board also appointed the first grand 
jurors, who were to serve at the September term of the Hancock circuit 
court, and who have been. named above. On the same day the board also 
drew the following list of names from which the first petit jury was to be 
chosen for the September term of the Hancock circuit court: Josiah Van- 
meter, Thomas Phillips, Sr., Joseph Mitchell, Adonijah Rambo, William Wil- 
son, Jr., Jacob Manan, Daniel Smith, Andrew Flowers, William Simmons, 
Warner Copeland, George Smith, John Harwood, Solomon Catt, William 
Burris, Ambrose Shirley and Harry Pierson. No jury cases were tried 
at this term, hence these men did not serve. 



The organization of the Hancock circuit court, as above stated, with 
two associate judges and the presiding judge, was maintained until 1852. 
The presiding judge alone, or the presiding judge and one associate judge, 
could hold court, but the two associate judges could not hold court in the 
absence of the presiding judge except to hear certain matters in chancery or 
equity. The associate judges were not always elected from the legal pro- 
fession, but were chosen rather because they were good, substantial business 
men, in whose character and intelligence people had confidence. The men 
who served one or more terms as associate judge from 1828 to 1852, were: 
Jacob Jones, James Stevens, John Ogg, Robert McCorkhill, Nathan Craw- 
ford, George Henry, Hector H. Hall, George Tague, Owen Jarrett, Andrew 
T. Hatfield, P. H. Foy. 

In 1852 the number of judges of the Hancock circuit court was reduced 
from three to one. 

When the court was first organized it was made a part of the fifth 
judicial circuit. It remained a part of this circuit until February I, 1859, when 
it was made a part of the seventh judicial circuit. In 1873 the eighteenth 
judicial circuit was formed of Hancock and Henry counties. In 1889 this 
circuit was divided, and since that time the Hancock circuit court of Hancock 
county has constituted the eighteenth judicial circuit. The following men 
have presided over this court since its organization : 

Judges Elected or Appointed 

Bethuel F. Morris 1828 

William W. Wick . 1835 

James Morrison 1840 

William J. Peasley 1843 

William W. Wick 1850 

Stephen Major 1853 

Joseph S. Buckles J 859 

Joshua H. Mellett 1870 

Robert J. Polk 1876 

Mark E. Forkner 1881 

William H. Martin .... 1888 

Charles G. Offutt 1894 

Edward W. Felt 1900 

Robert L. Mason 1906 

Earl Sample 1912 


Since the organization of the county there has always been a probate 
court, having jurisdiction of the settlement of decedent's estates, the care 
and preservation of the property of minors and of persons of unsound mind, 
etc. Such a court was first organized at the house of Samuel B. Jackson on 
December 8, 1828, by the associate judges of the Hancock circuit court. The 
record shows that this court convened in December, 1828, and in March, 
1829. It fails to show, however, that any probate business was transacted. 

Under another statute, another probate court was organized in 1829, and 
was maintained until 1852. Three men presided over this court: Jeremiah 
Meek, until 1836; John Ogg, from 1836 until 1850, and Samuel Hottle, from 
1850 until 1852. The probate judges, like the associate judges, were elected 
because of character and business ability rather than for their technical 
knowledge of the law. 

In 1852 the Legislature passed an act establishing the common pleas 
courts in the state, which took over all the business of the former probate 
courts and also had jurisdiction of some other matters. Under this act, the 
common pleas court of Hancock county became a part of a circuit composed 
of Rush, Decatur, Madison and Hancock counties. Section 5 of the act of 
1852 provided that "the circuit and common pleas courts shall have concur- 
rent jurisdiction in all actions against heirs, devisees and sureties of executors, 
administrators and guardians, in the partition of real estate, assignment of 
dowers, and appointments of a commissioner to execute a deed on any title bond 
given by the decedent." This provision means that any action or lawsuit 
against any of the persons, or for any of the purposes, set out in the act. 
could be brought in either the Hancock circuit court or in the Hancock com- 
mon pleas court. The common pleas court was in fact a probate court, and 
was maintained until it was abolished by the act of March 6, 1873. In the 
office of the clerk of the Hancock circuit court may be seen the two sets 
of books or records of the courts of the county covering the period from 
1852 to 1873 — the records of the Hancock circuit court and of the Hancock 
court of common pleas. Since 1853 the Hancock circuit court has had juris- 
diction of all probate matters within the county, and it is now our only county 

The following men presided over the Hancock court of common pleas : 

Judges Elected 

David S. Gooding 1852 

Richard Lake 1856 

William Grose i860 


David S. Gooding 1861 

William R. West 1864 

Robert L. Polk 1872 

The value of property in those days was not very high, and personal 
property was not very plentiful. Hence, in order to meet the current ex- 
penses of the county, other methods than the tax levy were resorted to. The 
law of the state permitted the board of commissioners to impose a revenue 
upon licenses granted to sell groceries, merchandise, liquors, etc. Our county 
commissioners took advantage of this law, and their first records contain a 
great number of orders like the following : 

"It is ordered that Elijah Tyner is licensed to vend foreign merchandise 
at his store on Brandywine for and during a term of six months from and 
after this date [November, 1828]. And the said Elijah Tyner here now files 
receipt from under the hand of the Treasurer of his having paid five dollars 
as a tax on said license." 

"On application of Joseph Chapman for a license to retail spirituous and 
strong liquors, foreign and domestic groceries at his grocery at the town 
of Greenfield in the County of Hancock, Indiana; Therefore it is ordered by 
the Board that the said Joseph Chapman be licensed as such for and during 
the period of one year from the date of his license [November, 1829] upon 
paying the license fee of $5.00." 

"On application of Samuel S. Duncan for a license to open a tavern at 
his tavern in Brandywine Township and County of Hancock ; Therefore it is 
ordered and considered by the Board that the said Samuel S. Duncan be 
licensed as such for and during the term of one year from the date of his 
paying a tax of S5.00 and by filing his bond with approved security." 

As early as 1834 the report of the county treasurer also shows that he 
collected a license fee of five dollars for a "circus performance." 

The license fees imposed upon the retail and tavern business varied from 
five dollars to fifteen dollars for different years. The commissioners' records 
show that the county collected a large amount of money from this source dur- 
ing its early history and in fact until 1852. 

As the population of the county increased and business assumed more 
important proportions, some features of the early government were reor- 
ganized, and in some instances new offices were, created. Thus, in the very 
early history of the county, three men were appointed in each township to ex- 
amine teachers, or pass upon their qualifications for teaching. In 1854. how- 
ever, a county examiner was provided for by law, whose duty it was to ex- 
amine all the teachers of the county, but who had very little other power. 


In 1873 the county superintendent's office was created by a law which gave to 
the county superintendent supervisory as well as other duties in addition to 
examining teachers. 

In 1 89 1 the county assessor's office was created, so that one officer might 
have it within his power to discover the omission of any property from the 
tax sheets. 

In 1899 a county council was provided for by statute, whose duty it is 
to consider the amount of money that may be expended for county purposes. 


The first board of children's guardians of Hancock county was appointed 
by Judge Felt, on February 2.2, 1905. The law under which this board was 
appointed provides that such board shall be composed of six persons, three 
of whom shall be women and every member of which shall be a parent. The 
members of the board are appointed by the circuit court and serve without 

The board has the care and supervision of all neglected and dependent 
children under fifteen years of age domiciled and resident in the county for 
which it is created. It has power to take under its control, in the manner 
specified by law, any children abandoned, neglected or cruelly treated by their 
parents; children begging on the streets; children of habitual drunkards or vic- 
ious and unfit parents; children kept in vicious or immoral associations; chil- 
dren known by their language and life to be vicious and incorrigible, and 
juvenile delinquents and truants. 

The first board appointed by Judge Felt was composed of the following 
members, who served during the periods indicated : William C. Welborn, three 
years; J. P. Knight, ten years; W. C. Goble, six years; Mrs. J. M. Pogue, one 
year; Mrs. Dr. Barnes, eight years; Dr. Mary L. Bruner, ten years. 

There have been resignations and the following appointments have been 
made to fill such vacancies: Mrs. A. P. Conklin, 1906, seven years; George 
J. Richman, 1908, six years; Frank Larrabee, 191 1, four years; Mrs. Ella 
Hough, 1913, two years; Mrs. Florence Larimore, 1913, two years. 

The board at present is composed of Dr. Mary L. Bruner, Mrs. Florence 
Larimore, Mrs. Ella Hough, J. P. Knight, Frank Larrabee and George J. 

In the performance of its duties, the board has taken and placed in homes 
thirty children and has inspected and tried to help in various ways twice as 
many more. The greater number of children taken by the board have been 
placed in home-finding institutions, such as White's Manual Institute at 


Wabash and the Indianapolis Orphans' Home. By far the greater number of 
children taken from Hancock county have been placed in homes through the 
efforts of White's Manual Institute. 

In view of the great number of roads that the county is taking charge of, 
a county road superintendent has been provided for, and the first appointment 
was made in this county in January, 19 14. 

It is interesting to observe, in the administration of county offices, that 
when the county was first organized, the offices of clerk, auditor and recorder 
were combined, and for four years the work of all of them was done by Lewis 
Tyner. For this reason his name appears as clerk of the Hancock circuit 
court, and also as auditor or clerk of the board of county commissioners at 
their first meetings. The filing and recording of the first deeds are also 
attested by his signature in the county recorder's office. In 1832 his term 
of office expired, and then a division was made of the official work of the 

In that year Joseph Chapman, famous as one of the first politicians of 
the county, and whose fame bids fair to become national, became the clerk 
of the Hancock circuit court. In 1837 he was followed by John Hager, who 
held the office for twelve years. Both Chapman and Hager filled the office 
of clerk of the Hancock circuit court and also performed the duties of the 
auditor's office. In 1841 John Templin took his seat as the first county 
auditor of Hancock county. From 1832 to 1841 Joseph Chapman and John 
Hager, as clerk, Joshua Meek, as recorder, and Morris Pierson, as county 
treasurer, were the principal figures around the court house at Greenfield. 
A number of officers since that time have served eight years, as may be seen 
by referring to the tables appended hereto. During the last fifteen or twenty 
years, however, an unwritten law has put a limit of four years on every office- 
holder except the county commissioners, the most of whom have been serving 
two terms of three years each. 

In 1832 the first county recorder, Joshua Meek, took his office, and 
served three terms of seven years each. He owned a brick factory just north 
of what was then the town of Greenfield and much of his time was given to 
his individual business. His eldest son, Oscar F. Meek, was taken into the 
office when a mere lad and he began copying deeds with a quill pen in 1839-40. 
He developed a beautiful script when a boy, and retained it until the time of 
his death, at the age of eighty-three years. His letters were always made small 
and he delighted to make little flourishes, and shade his letters. He indulged 
in these little exhibitions of his skill to such an extent that it is even now pos- 
sible to point out practically every deed that he recorded, beginning with Deed 


Record "I", page 72, to Deed Record "O", page 220. He did not record 
all the deeds that were recorded during those years, but his fine, clear writing, 
with his frequent emphasis placed on the words, "This Indenture Witnesseth," 
"To Have and to Hold," and "Warrant and Forever Defend," distinguished 
his hand throughout the record. Early in 1847 he was seized with a severe 
illness which .kept him out of the office for quite a while. In the latter part 
of that year, however, his presence is again attested by Deed Record "L", 
pages 174, 220, 272, etc. The beauty of those early records inspires frequent 
comment to this day among those who have occasion to inspect them. It was 
his fine hand that gave them this touch. 

Among those who performed distinguished service in the county record- 
er's office, and who thereby endeared themselves to the people of the county, 
was Miss Mary N. Roberts. She was the daughter of County Recorder 
Nathaniel H. Roberts. She entered the office as her father's deputy in 1876, 
and performed the duties imposed upon her so efficiently that when her father 
died in 1881 public sentiment was in favor of giving her the emoluments of 
the office for the unexpired term. A public meeting of the citizens of the 
county was held at which a nonpartisan committee was appointed to select 
some person as the nominal recorder in whose name she should act. John 
W. Ryon was appointed. His name appears upon the record as county 
recorder, but Miss Roberts assumed all the responsibilities of the office and 
drew the salary. 

Beginning with the administration of Henry A. Swope, a series of depu- 
tyships began which developed several very efficient officers. Mr. Swope 
took into the clerk's office as deputy, Ephraim Marsh. During the several 
years that Mr. Marsh served in this capacity, he applied himself very earnestly 
to the study of law. In 1874 he himself was elected to the office, and served 
the people as clerk for a period of eight years. His training as a deputy 
under Mr. Swope, together with his legal knowledge, of course, made him an 
authority on questions pertaining to his office. Upon his election he selected 
as his deputy, Charles Downing. Mr. Downing served as deputy for eight 
years, then took charge of the office himself, admirably equipped for the 
execution of his duties, which- extended through another period of eight years. 

In the clerk's office, the present generation, and especially the members 
of the Hancock bar, will long remember the efficient and accommodating 
service of Moses C. Wood. He became his father's deputy in that office 
in 1899. He had mastered the intricate duties of the office so thoroughly 
when his father's term expired on January 1, 1905, that he was retained as 
deputy by Clerks Hall and Service during the following eight years. Not 


only the successive clerks for whom he served, but the members of the bar 
as well, appreciated the ability and the technical knowledge which he brought 
to that office. In 1912 the people of the county honored him with an election 
to the office himself. He remained for awhile with his successor, Horace E. 
Wilson, then turned in his keys on July 1, 191 5, after more than sixteen years 
of continuous service. 

In the auditor's office the face of the present auditor, Lawrence Wood, 
has long been familiar to the people of the county. His experience in the 
execution of the duties of that office began during the administration of Law- 
rence Boring, under whom he served as deputy for five years. This was 
followed with four years more of service under Auditor Richman. In 1910 
he was elected to the office for a term of four years, at the close of which he 
had rendered the county thirteen years of efficient and accommodating service. 

A few unfortunate things have also occurred in the administration of 
county affairs. On January 12, 1866, the safe in the county treasury was 
opened, and about thirteen thousand dollars was stolen. This was before 
there were any local banks, and the safe in the treasurer's office was the 
only safe in the county. County officers, township trustees, and many private 
citizens, deposited their money in this safe. The money for which the county 
treasurer was responsible amounted, it seems, to about five thousand dollars. 
The remaining portion of the money had been placed in the safe at the risk of 
the depositors. The county treasurer was held to be without fault, and at 
the June session of the board of county commissioners the following order 
was entered on their record : 

"Whereas, it has been shown to the full satisfaction of the board of 
county commissioners of Hancock county, Indiana, by competent and suffi- 
cient evidence, that on the night of the 12th of January, A. D. 1866, the treas- 
urer's office of this (Hancock) county was feloniously entered, the iron safe 
broken open, and- a large sum of money stolen therefrom, of which five 
thousand dollars was money belonging to Hancock county, the same having 
been collected by Nelson Bradley, treasurer of said county for the year 1865, 
and delinquencies for former years; and, 

"Whereas, it further appearing that said loss occurred without the 
acquiescence, negligence or fault of said Nelson Bradley, treasurer as afore- 
said ; therefore, 

"Be it ordered by the board aforesaid, that Nelson Bradley, treasurer 
of Hancock county, be, and he is hereby relieved and discharged from the pay- 
ment of the said sum of five thousand ($5,000.00) dollars so feloniously taken 
from the county safe as aforesaid." 


The above finding and order did not satisfy everybody, and an action 
was instituted later to investigate the matter more fully. The investigation, 
however, by an auditing committee, only substantiated the former finding of 
the board of commissioners. 

The matter caused a great deal of discussion and gossip, which occasioned 
several lawsuits. John Fulton was charged with the robbery. The testimony 
in the preliminary hearing of Fulton involved Jonathan Dunbar. Both 
defendants were acquitted. One Charles Livingstone, alias William Jackson, 
was suspected and later arrested at Pana, Illinois, and brought to Indiana for 
trial. He was found guilty, but before the close of the trial George Y. Atkison 
was indicted for perjury. Atkison was acquitted of this charge. Jon- 
athan Dunbar next brought an action against Atkison and McCorkhill for 
slander, as did also John Fulton against Taylor W. Thomas. All these actions 
terminated in favor of the defendants. 

Though Mr. Bradley was saved from loss, not all of the depositors fared 
so well. David Priddy, trustee of Jackson township, lost eleven hundred dol- 
lars of township funds and others lost smaller amounts. 

Isaiah A. Curry, while county treasurer, also had the misfortune to lose 
$7,366.34 in the failure of the Indiana Banking Company's bank at Indianapo- 
lis on August 9, 1883. The receiver of the bank afterward paid to the cred- 
itors a dividend of fifty per cent, on their claims. This still kept the sum 
of $3,683.17, a total loss to Mr. Curry, which amount he paid in full to the 
county upon going out of office on November 20, 1884. Ten years later, 
however, in 1893, a large number of citizens and taxpayers petitioned the 
General Assembly of the state, which was then in session, for the passage of 
a law for the relief of Mr. Curry and the repayment of the sum of $3,683.17 
to him. The petitioners represented to the Legislature that they believed 
he was wholly without fault in the loss of that amount, and that such repay- 
ment would be an act of justice due an honest, faithful and efficient officer. 
The Legislature acted upon this petition, and by special statute directed the 
county auditor to issue his warrant upon the county treasurer for the above 
amount. By virtue of the passage of this act, Mr. Curry was reimbursed 
in full. • 


Following are the names of the men not elsewhere enumerated, who have 
occupied county offices, with the dates of their election or appointment: 




Lewis Tyner 1828 

Joseph Chapman 1832 

John Hager 1837 

William Sebastian 1849 

James Rutherford 1855 

George Y. Atkison 1856 

John T. Sebastian l< &57 

Morgan Chandler 1861 

Henry A. Swope 1865 

Ephraim Marsh 1874 

Charles Downing 1882 

R. A. Black 1886 

Charles Downing 1890 

A. V. B. Sample •..1894 

William A. Wood 1898 

John M. Hall 1902 

W. A. Service 1906 

Moses Wood 1910 

Horace E. Wilson 19 14 


John Templen 1841 

John Myers 1846 

Barsilla G. Jay 1855 

Lysander Sparks 1 ^>S9 

Jonathan Tague 1867 

A. C. Handy 1870 

Henry Wright 1874 

James Mannix 1882 

James L. Mitchell 1886 

Lawrence Boring 1890 

Charles J. Richman : . . . . 1898 

William I Garriott 1902 

Charles H. Troy 1906 

Lawrence Wood 1910 

Harvey J. Rhue 1914 


Henry Watts . 1828 

James B. Stevens 1830 

Nathan Crawford 1831 

William O. Ross 1832 

Morris Pierson 1833 

Andrew T. Hart 1841 

Jacob Huntington 1847 

John Barrett 1850 

John Foster 1854 

Elijah S. Cooper 1855 

George W. Hatfield 1857 

John Addison 1861 

Nelson Bradley 1863 

Robert P. Brown 1867 

Ernest H. Faut 1872 

Andrew Hagen 1876 

Isaiah Curry 1880 

C. H. Fort . ..' 1884 

William C. Barnard 1888 

G. W. Ham 1892 

Theodore L. Smith 1896 

James A. Flippo 1900 

T. N. Jackson 1904 

Philander Collyer 1908 

Allen Cooper 1912 



John Foster 1828 

Samuel C Duncan 1832 

Basil Meek 1834 

John Foster 1836 

Jonathan Dunbar 1840 

William P. Rush 1848 

Joshua W. Shelby 1852 

John Osbon 1853 

William H. Curry 1854 

Morgan Chandler 1855 

Mordecai Millard 1857 

Taylor W\ Thomas 1859 

Samuel Archer , 1861 

William G. Cauldwell 1863 

William Wilkins 1867 

George W. Sample 1872 

Robert P. Brown 1873 

William Thomas 1874 

W. H. Thompson 1878 

William M. Lewis 1882 

l\ S. Jackson 1884 

Benjamin F. Pauley 1888 

Marshall T. Smith 1891 

Marshall T. Smith 1892 

William H. Pauley ." 1894 

Noah Spegal 1896 

William H. Pauley 1898 

Lewis N. Larrabee 1900 

John Carlton 1904 

Jesse Cox 1908 

Mack Warrum 1912 


Joshua Meek 1832 

John Milroy 1854 

Lemuel Gooding 1 ^57 

William R. West 1861 

Levi Leary 1864 

William Mitchell ; . . . 1865 

Amos C. Beeson 1866 

Francis O. Sears 1869 

John Reeves 1870 

N. H. Roberts 1873 

J. W. Ryon 1881 

Ira D. Collins 1882 

Henry Snow 1886 

James Thomas 1890 

Raleigh Sitton 1898 

William R. White 1902 

Edmund Jacobs . 1906 

James E. Sample 1910 

John T. Rash 1914 


George Parker 1891 William E. Chappell 1906 

Alfred Potts 1892 John H. Reeves 1910 

Homer Leonard 1896 Eli A. Parish 1914 

Amasa Cohee 1900 


Jared Chapman 

Meredith Gosney 1832 

Morris Pierson 1844 

George W. Hatfield 1850 

C. G. Sample 1854 

James K. King i860 



William Fries 1864 

J. H. Landis 1874 

John V. Coyner 1878 

Winfield S. Fries 1880 

John V. Coyner 1882 

Winfield S. Fries 1884 

John Landis 1886 


Ed. M. Johnson i! 

Samuel R. Waters 1890 

Will J. Cleary 1894 

Frank Lewark 1900 

O. H. Monger 1904 

James A. Cleary 1908 

G. C. Winslow 1912 

George W. Hopkins 1858 

Barnabas B. Gray i860 

Isaac H. Ballenger 1861 

Charles A. Burk 1865 

William N. Johnson 1867 

Adam F. Brown 1870 

Harrison L. Cooper 1872 

Philander Curry 1876 

Henry C. Garriott 1878 

James R. Trees 1880 

Noble P. Howard 1882 

W. A. Justice 1884 

Oliver A. Collins 1888 

John H. Justice 1892 

Frank Garriott 1896 

Oscar Heller 1898 

Noble P. Howard 1901 

Milo M. Gibbs 1902 

Jesse Ferrell 1904 

Joseph L. Allen 1 906 

Earl R. Gibbs 1910 

William A. Justice 1914 


Samuel Vangilder 1828 

John Hunter 1828 

Elisha Chapman . 1828 

William McCance 1831 

George Troxwell 1832 

Benjamin Spillman 1834 

Enoch O'Brien 1835 

Richard Williams 1835 

John O'Brien 1836 

Daniel Smith 1837 

Isaac Willett 1839 

Nathan Henry 1840 

Jacob Tague 1843 

William Curry 1843 

Seth Walker 1844 

Samuel Shockley 1845 

Abram Rhue 1846 

Jordon Lacy 1847 

James Tyner 1849 

James Hazlett 1850 

Reson Perry 185 1 

Daniel Wilkison J853 

Shelton Banks 1855 

Jacob Slifer 1856 

John Collins ^57 

Robison Jarrett 1858 

Elias McCord 1858 

Hiram Tyner i860 

Nevill Reeves 1859 

Elias McCord i860 

William New 1861 

Elias McCord 1862 

John Hinchman 1863 

William New 1864 



Ephraim Thomas 1865 

James Tyner 1866 

William New 1867 

David Caudell 1868 

John S. Lewis 1870 

Jonathan Smith 1870 

William H. Dye 1870 

John Addison 1872 

James Tyner 1872 

William P. Brokaw 1874 

John Addison 1876 

Jacob Slifer 1876 

William P. Brokaw 1876 

Augustus Dennis 1878 

Thomas E. Bentley 1878 

John E. Dye 1880 

Edward P. Scott 1880 

George Parker 1882 

James Tyner 1882 

Augustus Dennis 1882 

John B. Hays 1884 

M. L. Paullus 1884 

John E. Dye 1886 

Thomas Hargrove 1888 

M. L. Paullus 1888 

Andrew Hagen 1890 

B. F. Wilson 1890 

Aquilla Grist 1892 

William M. Thomas 1892 

Benjamin F. Wilson 1894 

William M. Thomas 1894 

George Crider 1896 

John Manche 1896 

Robert G. Wilson 1898 

Moses Bates 1898 

George Crider 1900 

Moses Bates 1900 

Robert G. Wilson 1902 

William Marsh 1902 

Linza Walker 1904 

William T. Spell 1904 

George W. Gordon 1905 

Horace Wickard 1906 

Linza Walker 1906 

Horace Wickard . . 1908 

William T. Spell 1908 

James H. Bussell 19 10 

William H. Albea 1910 

James H. Bussell 1912 

George W. Allen 1912 

John T. Burk 19 14 

William H. Albea 1914 

Daniel M. Ballenger 1914 


Among the men from Hancock county who were elected as prosecutor 
before the county was set apart as a separate judicial circuit by the act of 1889, 
were Reuben A. Riley, 1844; David S. Gooding, 1848; Montgomery Marsh, 
1856; William R. Hough, i860; Lemuel W. Gooding, 1865, and George W. 
Duncan, 1882. The following are the names of the men who have served 
in this office since the county has been a circuit within itself : 

Edward W. Felt 1890 Charles L. Tindall 1904 

John L. McNew 1894 Edward W. Quigley 1908 

Charles Downing 1895 

John F. Wiggins 1896 

Arthur C. VanDuyn 1900 

Hiram L. Thomas 1912 

Robert F. Reeves 191 5 



Charles N. Warren 1914 


Date Representatives Counties Represented 

1829 Elisha Long. .Hancock, Hamilton, Henry, Madison, other territory 

1830 Elisha Long . .Hancock Hamilton, Henry, Madison, other territory 

183 1 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

1832 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

^33 John Foster Hancock and Madison 

1834 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

1835 Leonard Bardwell Hancock and Madison 

1836 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock 

1837 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock 

1838 Joseph Chapman Hancock 

J 839 John Foster Hancock 

1840 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock 

1841 Joseph Chapman, James P. Foley Hancock 

1842 Joseph Mathers Hancock 

1843 Joseph Chapman, James P. Foley Hancock 

1844 George Tague Hancock 

1845 Reuben A. Riley Hancock 

1846 A. J. Hatfield Hancock 

1847 David S. Gooding Hancock 

1848 Reuben A. Riley Hancock 

1849 J onn Alley Hancock 

1850 Aaron Caylor Hancock 

185 1 John Foster Hancock 

1852 William Handy Hancock 

1853 William Handy Hancock 

1855 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock 

1857 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock 

1859 Samuel Shockley Hancock 

1861 Noble Warrum Hancock 

1861 George Y. Atkison Hancock and Shelby 

1863 George Y. Atkison Hancock 



Date Representatives Counties Represented 

1863 James L. Mason ■ Hancock and Shelby 

1865 John H. White Hancock 

1865 George C. Thatcher Hancock and Shelby 

1867 John H. White Hancock 

1867 John L. Montgomery Hancock and Shelby 

1869 John Addison Hancock 

1871 Xoble Warrum Hancock 

1873 Charles G. Offutt Hancock 

1875 Smith McCord Hancock 

1877 Noble Warrum Hancock 

1879 A. C. Handy Hancock 

1881 Morgan Chandler Hancock 

1 88 1 Isaac Franklin Hancock, Henry and Madison 

1883 Morgan Chandler Hancock, Henry and Madison 

1883 Henry Marsh Hancock, Henry and Madison 

1885 David S. Gooding Hancock 

1885 Joseph Franklin Hancock, Henry and Madison 

1887 W. F. Ackuman Hancock 

1887 Sidney Conger Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1889 Noble Warrum Hancock 

1889 James B. Curtis Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1 89 1 James B. Curtis Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1891 Samuel A. Troy Hancock 

1893 Benjamin F. Reeves Hancock 

^95 John Q. White Hancock 

1897 Frank L. Littleton Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1897 Montgomery Marsh Hancock 

1899 Morgan Caraway Hancock and Marion 

1901 L. A. Whitcomb Hancock and Marion 

1903 W. H. H. Rock Hancock and Marion 

1905 W. H. H. Rock Hancock and Marion 

1907 Harry G. Strickland Hancock 

1909 Harry G. Strickland HancocK 

191 1 Harry G. Strickland Hancock 

IQ13 Robert F. Reeves Hancock 

1914 Robert F t Reeves Hancock 

1915 Robert F. Reeves Hancock 


Date Senators Counties Represented 

1828 Calvin Fletcher ..Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Marion, Carroll 

and Madison 

1829 Calvin Fletcher . .Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Madison, Marion 
[830 Calvin Fletcher, Hamilton, Hendricks, Marion, Madison and Boone 

[831 Elisha Long Hancock, Henry and Madison 

:832 Elisha Long Hancock, Henry and Madison 

[833 Elisha Long . . .Hancock, Henry and Madison 

834 Elisha Long Hancock, Henry and Madison 

[835 Thomas Bell Hancock, Henry and Madison 

1836 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

:837 Thomas Bell •. Hancock and Madison 

838 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

839 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

[840 Thomas Bell Hancock and Madison 

841 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

[842 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

843 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

1 844 Andrew Jackson Hancock and Madison 

845 Andrew Jackson Hancock and Madison 

846 Andrew Jackson Hancock and Madison 

847 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

[848 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

849 Thomas D. Walpole Hancock and Madison 

850 John Hunt Hancock and Madison 

851 John Hunt Hancock and Madison 

>53 Andrew Jackson Hancock and Madison 

>55 Andrew Jackson Hancock and Madison 

>57 David S. Gooding Hancock and Madison 

859 David S. Gooding Hancock and Shelby 

5i Martin M. Ray Hancock and Shelby 

863 Martin M. Ray Hancock and Shelby 

865 James L. Mason • Hancock and Shelby 

1867 James L. Mason Hancock and Shelby 

869 Luther W. Hess Hancock and Henry 

871 Luther W. Hess Hancock and Henrv 

873 William R. Hough Hancock and Henry 

875 William R. Hough Hancock and Henry 

877 Benjamin Shirk Hancock and Henry 


Date Senators Counties Represented 

1879 Benjamin Shirk Hancock and Henry 

1 88 1 Simon P. Yancey Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1883 Simon P. Yancey Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1885 Leon Bailey Hancock, Marion and Shelby 

1887 Leon Bailey Hancock and Marion 

1889 A. M. Kennedy .. . Hancock and Rush 

1891 Morgan Chandler Hancock and Rush 

1893 Morgan Chandler Hancock and Rush 

1895 Thomas K. Mull Hancock and Rush 

1897 Thomas K. Mull Hancock and Rush 

1899 Frank W. Cregor , Hancock, Madison and Rush 

1901 Frank W. Cregor Hancock, Madison and Rush 

1903 Edgar H. Hendee Hancock, Madison and Rush 

1905 Edgar H. Hendee Hancock, Madison and Rush 

1907 Edward E. Moore Hancock, Fayette and Rush 

1909 Edward E. Moore Hancock, Fayette and Rush 

191 1 Edward E. Moore Hancock, Fayette and Rush 

19 1 3 Carey Jackson Hancock, Fayette and Rush 

191 5 Edward C. Eikman Hancock, Favette and Rush 



It has been observed that the first meetings of the Hancock circuit court 
and also of the county commissioners were held at the house of Samuel B. 
Jackson. The Hancock circuit court continued to hold its sessions there until 
the September term, 1829, when it convened at "the court house in Green- 
field." The commissioners met at the house of Samuel B. Jackson until 
the May term, 1829, when they met at the house of Jeremiah Meek in the 
town of Greenfield. Their meetings were then held at the house of Jeremiah 
Meek until the November term, 1829, when the record recites that they also 
convened "at the court house in the town of Greenfield." 

'the first court house. 

According to the best recollection of Jared Meek, recently deceased at 
eighty-seven years of age, the first court house stood just across the street 
west of the public square, and south of the old Gooding Hotel. He remem- 
bered it as a two-story log house, fronting on what is now South State 
street. The first reference to this house in the county commissioners' record 
was made at the August term, 1829, when an election was ordered to be held 
there. At the November term, 1829, the board allowed to Jared Chapman 
"in part for his services in building the court house in the town of Greenfield," 
the sum of one hundred and eighty dollars. At the same meeting, November 
9, 1829, the board ordered "that the lower south room of the court house be, 
and it is set apart for the office of the clerk and recorder, and not to be en- 
cumbered with any other business whatsoever." At the November term, 
1829, another claim was allowed in favor of Robert Davidson "in the sum of 
fifteen dollars, it being for extra work done by him in finishing the court 
house in said county, the contract being previously taken by Jared Chapman." 
This court house was used until about January, 1834. 


At the January term, 1831, the board ordered the county agent to adver- 
tise in the nearest newspaper that proposals would be received by the county 
commissioners for the building of a court house in the town of Greenfield, at 
their May term next, "as follows, to wit: forty feet on the ground (square) 



to be made of brick, the same to be done in the usual plan." The record 
shows that John Hays took the contract for erecting- it. It was several 
years, however, before the house was entirely finished. At the November 
term, 1832, its location on the public square was changed. At the May term, 
1833, the foundation was practically completed. On January 7, 1834, John 
Hays was paid in full on his contract. At the May term, 1834, the board 
ordered the county agent to advertise for proposals for further finishing the 
court house. Among the improvements contemplated were the hanging of 
double doors, the making and hanging of "fashionable window blinds," paint- 
ing the cupola, grading the yard, etc. The contract for this work was let 
to Otho Gapen and William Nay lor on July 18, 1834. 

It is interesting to observe in connection with the construction of this 
house, which was the first court house on the public square, that a part of 
the necessary funds were raised by subscription. These subscriptions were 
either made at the time the site for the county seat was selected, and are the 
subscriptions referred to in the report of the committee appointed by the Legis- 
lature, or else they were subscriptions taken for the special purpose of erecting 
this building. At different times notes were delivered to John Hays, the 
contractor, as so much cash on his contract, with the privilege of returning 
them to the county treasurer in case he failed to collect. At the May term, 
1832, the subscription paper and also some notes of different citizens of the 
county were delivered to Hays, "to use due diligence in collecting the same, 
and if not collected, to return the same to the treasurer safe." Due care on 
the part of the commissioners is also shown in an order made at the January 
term, 1835, when an allowance of four hundred dollars was made to Gapen 
and Naylor "in part payment of their contract, it being understood that the 
allowance is not an acceptance of the work done, and that the same is here- 
after to be examined." 

At the March term, 1837, the commissioners ordered the county agent 
to make provisions for furnishing three rooms in the upper story of the 
court house, "partitions to be of good poplar plank 1J/2 inches thick, well 
seasoned, tongued and grooved, and well put together ; a common batting door 
to be made to each room with a lock and key to each door, and to be ceiled 
overhead with good poplar plank ^-inch thick, * * * * one of the rooms for 
the use of the Clerk and Recorder." A seat was also ordered made for the 
judges and a bannister and seats for the jurors. 

At the May term, 1839, a contract was entered into with Nathan Henry 
for putting a new roof on the court house. We do not see shingles like them 


any more: "Good poplar shingles, eighteen inches long and one-half inch 
thick, laid five inches to the weather," etc. 

At the December term., 1845, tne board contracted with Nathan Crawford 
for the erection of two buildings as offices for the clerk, recorder, auditor and 
treasurer. These offices were built, one to the northeast and the other to 
the northwest of the court house. The buildings were each twenty feet by 
forty-eight feet, and had vaults built in them for keeping the county's moneys 
and records. Heretofore the records and valuable papers had been stored 
away and kept by the officers in any manner possible. Now adequate provi- 
sion was made for their safe keeping. 

A hall extended through the original building from north to south. The 
county offices were originally on the lower floor to the west of the hall. 
The court room was in the southeast part of the building. In the southeast 
corner of the court room was a large fire place, eight or ten feet wide, in 
which large logs were burned. The floor of the entire court room was of 
brick. It was in this room that Thomas D. Walpole made his reputation 
as a trial lawyer. This court house stood and was used until about 185 1. 


The minutes of the December session, 1850, of the board of county com- 
missioners recite : "Ordered that the present session of the board be held in 
the auditor's office in consequence of the court house being unfit for the 
transaction of business." The auditor's office at that time was located in one 
of the buildings erected in 1846. At the same session an allowance of five 
dollars was made by the board in favor of the trustees of the Methodist church 
in Greenfield "for the use of the meeting house to holding circuit court at 
the September term, 185 1." This church stood on the west side of South 
State street, a few blocks below Main street. The circuit court continued to 
hold its sessions at the church, and the board of commissioners at the auditor's 
office until December, 1854. At that time the building known as the county 
seminary was taken and used for the court house. In June, 1855, a contract 
was entered into between the county commissioners and the trustees of the 
Christian church for the use of the church as a court house until the new court 
house should be completed. All the court furniture was at once removed 
from the seminary to the church, and the sheriff was given possession of the 
key of the church during terms of court. It was agreed that the church 
should suffer no injury, and that it should be occupied free of charge. At 
the January term, 1856, the above order was rescinded, and the courts were 
ordered to convene thereafter in the new court house. 



On March n, 1854, the commissioners ordered the old court house sold, 
and also ordered the county auditor to give notice in the State Sentinel that 
proposals would be received by the board on the third day of the next term 
for the building- of a new court house. 

At the June term, 1854, a special tax levy of forty cents was levied on each 
one hundred dollars of taxable property for the purpose of building the pro- 
posed court house. 

On June 9, 1854, the contract for the erection of the new building was 
awarded to Nathan Crawford, "the lowest and best bidder," for fourteen thou- 
sand and four hundred dollars. At the December term, 1854, Edwin May was 
employed as architect to superintend the erection of the house, and an order was 
made allowing the sum of twenty-five dollars for every visit he should make to 
the building during the erection thereof. Nathan Crawford began his work. 
In September, 1855, the board ordered it painted, "the walls stone color, the 
cupola a lighter shade, the blinds green, the roof copper color and all other 
painting to be left to the painter's judgment and taste, provided it be done in 
a good and workmanlike manner." At the same time the contractor was 
ordered to place in the cupola the necessary timbers for the purpose of hang- 
ing a bell therein. 

At the January term, 1856, the board of commissioners ordered "that all 
courts hereafter be held in the court room in the new court house." This is 
the court house that is known to the present generation as the "old court 
house." The county offices in this building were on the lower floor, on 
either side of a hall extending through the building from north to south. The 
court room was upstairs, the court and jury being seated at the east end of 
the room. When court was in session, the bell in the court house tower rang 
every morning at the time of convening. When the lawyers remained too 
long in their offices, it was the custom for the sheriff or bailiff to step to 
the door or window and call them. In fact, it was sometimes suspected that 
some of the older lawyers of that day appreciated the value of the advertise- 
ment in the call to "come to court," and that they delayed purposely. 

The bell whose sound from the court house tower was familiar to the 
older generation, now calls the people to worship at the Presbyterian church 
in the city of Greenfield. 

The court room in this building came to be used for various purposes 
about the time of the Civil War. Finally several balls were given there, to 
which many people of the county took exception. Public sentiment became 


stirred up about the matter, and the board of county commissioners, at the 
December session, 1865, made the following order relative to the future use 
of the court room : "Ordered by the board, that the court room shall not 
hereafter he used for the exhibition of shows or the holding of balls or parties 
therein; nor shall the same be used by individuals for any private purpose 

This court house stood until 1896. 


On September 11, 1895, the county auditor was directed to give notice to 
architects that October 4, 1895, had been fixed as the day on which the board 
would convene for the purpose of meeting architects who wished to submit 
plans and specifications for the erection of a new court house. On that day 
the following architects appeared before the board : A. N. Rush, Grand Rap- 
ids, Michigan; McPherson & Brown, Indianapolis; Wing & Mahurin, Ft. 
Wayne, Indiana; Louis H. Gilson, Indianapolis; Labelle & Lormer, Ander- 
son, Indiana ; G. W. Bunting, Indianapolis ; Krutch & Laycock, Indianapolis ; 
Bell & Kent, Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

On October 5, 1895, the plans submitted by Wing & Mahurin, of Ft. 
Wayne, were accepted. A contract was entered into with that firm whereby 
they agreed to make all drawings, plans and specifications, and to superin- 
tend the construction of the building, and were to receive as compensation 
therefor, three and one-half per cent, of the actual cost of the building. 

Samples of stone were submitted by : Cleveland Stone Company, of 
Chicago ; Matthews Brothers, of Ellettsville, Indiana ; Forest City Stone Com- 
pany, of Cleveland, Ohio ; Malone Stone Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. The 
sample of Matthews Brothers, of Ellettsville, Indiana, of Bedford limestone, 
was accepted. On April 30, 1896, the contract for the construction of the 
building was awarded to Geake, Henry & Green, of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. 

In June, 1896, an action in the name of William P. Bidgood was brought 
against the contractors to enjoin them from building the court house. In 
that action notice was also served upon the county treasurer, George W. Ham, 
not to pay any warrant that might be drawn in favor of the contractors. This 
had the effect of stopping the work for a while. In the early part of July, 
1896, however, a legal opinion was obtained by the county commissioners and 
other officers from Byron K. Elliott, of Indianapolis, that such warrants might 
safely be paid, whereupon work was at once resumed by the contractors. 



The laying of the cornerstone of the court house, on September 22, 1896, 
was one of the greatest ceremonial events in the history of the county. The 
ceremonies were conducted by the Masonic order. Members of the Knights 
Templar from Rushville, Knightstown, Richmond, Ft. Wayne and other 
points were in attendance to assist in the work. There was a great parade. 
It included all of the great secret societies of Greenfield, and representatives 
and delegations from all the lodges in the county. The line of march ex- 
tended north on Pennsylvania street to Walnut; west on Walnut to Noble 
street ; south on Noble to North street ; west on North to School street ; south 
on School to Main street; east on Main to State street; north on State to 
Grant street ; east on Grant to Wood street ; south on Wood to Main street ; 
west on Main to public square. The following was the order of the march : 

E. P. Thayer, Marshal of the Day, and Staff 

Ft. Wayne City Band 

Ephraim Marsh and Staff 

Greenfield Commandery, Knights Templar 

Knightstown Commandery, Knights Templar 

Odd Fellows 

Knights of Pythias 


Visiting Masons 

County Officials 

City Officials 


Operative Masons 

Hancock Masonic Lodge 

The parade was over a mile in length. The school children occasioned 

great enthusiasm. 

The following was the program of the day, given on the public square : 

Music — Fort Wayne Band 
Invocation Elder W. M. Gard 

Music by Union Choir 

Laying of the Corner Stone 

Music by Band 
Address Judge Charles G. Offutt 

Music by Band 
Address Hon. William R. Hough 


Music by Band 

Music by Union Choir 

Benediction ^ _ Rev. M. E. Nethercut 

Judge Frank E. Gavin, of Greensburg, acting grand master, conducted 
the ceremonies connected with the laying of the cornerstone. He was assisted 
by Martin H. Rice, grand treasurer, Henry Geake, John T. Duncan, William 
Ward Cook and Homer Bragg. 

A large box was placed in the cornerstone which contains lists of officers 
and members of practically all the lodges and orders in the county. It also 
contains copies of the following newspapers : New Palestine Courier, The 
Hancock Democrat, Greenfield Republican, Greenfield Herald, Evening Re- 
publican, Evening Tribune, Stone-Cutters' Journal. Among other things 
deposited in that stone are the pictures of the Greenfield high school building, 
and of the court house ; a list of the children in the Greenfield public schools ; 
premium list of the Hancock county fair of 1896; a bar docket of the Han- 
cock circuit court, February term, 1896, containing pictures of members of 
the bar; also bar docket of September term, 1896; copies of addresses delivered 
by the Hon. Charles G. Offutt and Hon. William R. Hough at the laying of 
the stone; Holy Bible, presented by John T. Hatfield, and history of Han- 
cock, presented by John H. Binford. 

On May 22, 1897, the county commissioners purchased from R. R. Ellis, 
a jeweler of Greenfield, the fine two-thousand-dollar Howard clock which was 
placed in the tower. 

At 10:30 A. M., August 24, 1897, the last stone was laid on the court 
house, the builder leaving a small American flag to wave from it. 

Among the principal items of expense connected with the building of the 
court house were the following: 

April 30, 1896, contract for construction of the building $128,764.00. 

Extras, not including furniture, on account of changes, etc., as 
shown by the "Record of Receipts and Disbursements for 
New Court House" 80,933.78 

Furniture 19,980.50 

To Wing & Mahurin, Architects 8,634.60 

Other amounts were paid out, not included in the above items, 

making the total cost of the building a little more than $242,600.00 

The building was completed, and the county officers took possession on 
January 1, 1898. 

9 2 


The court house contains forty rooms. It is a magnificent structure, of 
Bedford limestone, artistically and compactly built ; commodious, well lighted, 
absolutely fire proof, and heated by a steam plant that has been installed just 
east of the jail. The offices of the county surveyor, the city clerk, city treas- 
urer, and the mayor's office, are on the first floor. On this floor are also 
a large "record room" for storing old records, a "farmers' room," a G. A. R. 
room, and living rooms for the janitor. On the second floor are the offices 
of the county auditor, treasurer, road superintendent, recorder, assessor, sher- 
iff, and the commissioners' court room. On the third floor are the judge's 
office, the large and small court rooms, the grand jury room, the court re- 
porter's room, the law library, and the county superintendent's office. The 
walls and ceilings of all the offices and halls were handsomely and artistically 
decorated with paintings, and all except the ceiling of the third floor are well 
preserved. The tile roof with which the court house was covered was not 
a success, and leakages have completely ruined the entire ceiling over the 
third floor. In 19 14 the building was covered with a new tile roof, which, all 
are hoping, will prove more satisfactory. 

In the hall of the second story is a marble tablet with the following his- 
torical inscription : 












There seems to be a consensus of opinion among men who visit the city 
of Greenfield, that Hancock county has one of the most beautiful and most 
artistically designed court houses in the state. 


While the old log court house was in use just south of the Gooding 
corner, a one-story, or probably one and one-half story, jail was built near the 
northeast corner of the present public square. On June 11, 1829, the board 
of county commissioners held a special meeting "for the purpose of transact- 


ing business concerning the jail." On that day it was ordered, among other 
things, that Robert Davidson and Jacob Blackburn be allowed one hundred 
and four dollars and fifty cents "for building a jail in Hancock county." At 
the January term, 1832, the commissioners ordered the county agent, Jared 
Chapman, to advertise for bids for the erection of "a stairway to be erected 
at the east side of the jail in Greenfield for the convenience of the upper room 
of said jail." The stairway was certainly to be substantial, and timber was 
plenty : "there shall be four sills ten inches square, of suitable length upon 
which the stairs and platform shall stand ; the upright posts shall be six inches 
square, the stairs shall be three feet wide in the clear; the platform the same 
width of the stairs and four feet long; the posts shall extend three feet above 
the stairs, and suitable railings round the same at the top; and the doors of 
said jail to be put in good order for opening and shutting, all of which timber 
shall be of good white oak and all work shall be done in a good and work- 
manlike manner; the stairs shall rise the same as the court house stairs and 
rail on the outside of the stairs from top to bottom." 

In another order Nathan Crawford is "authorized to put a lock onto each 
door on the outside of the jail in such a manner as will be more safe and 
strong for said jail." The sheriff did not have his residence in the jail 
then, hence from time to time orders like the following, concerning the care 
of prisoners, appear on the commissioners' record : 

"Cornwell Meek is allowed the sum of two dollars and twenty-five cents 
for service rendered by him in victualing and taking care of prisoners in 
the jail of said county." 

"Ordered that Jeremiah Higgins be allowed seventy-five cents for 
guarding jail and prisoner." 

This jail stood only four or five years. About 1833 it contained a pris- 
oner, one John Hays, who, it seems, was demented. He apparently tried to 
escape by burning his way out. Instead of succeeding, however, the flames 
consumed the prisoner with the jail. 


On April 14, 1835, the board of commissioners met in special session 
for the purpose of receiving plans for a jail for the county. The plan adopted 
was for a one-story building, seventeen feet by forty feet on the ground, "walls 
to be of brick and to be twenty-six inches thick and made in the following 
manner: The outward half of the wall to be 13 inches, two courses of brick 
then a plank the thickness of a brick, nine inches in breadth, which will be 
placed on the wall four inches from the face thereof and extending to the 


center of the same, which will require the width of a brick to fill out the 
course, and the innermost half of the wall 13 inches, one course of brick, then 
a plank as before 13 inches in width, which will bring the lower edge of the 
first mentioned plank with the upper edge of the last mentioned, and to lay 
and raise the wall in that manner." At first the floor of the jail was ordered 
made of "niggerhead stones," but later it was ordered "that said floor be laid 
of hewn timber ten inches, thick, and to extend all over the foundation and 
that there be a plank laid across the ends of the timber the thickness of the 
walls and to be pinned down and laid in such a manner as not to break joints 
at the same place." 

The jail was composed of three rooms. Below is a plan of the building 
as it appears on the county commissioners' record : 

The jail was to be finished by January 1, 1836. It was built directly 
south of the court house and within eight feet of the south line of the public 
square. The contract for its construction was let to Cornwell Meek, who 
agreed to build it according to plans and specifications for twenty-two hundred 
dollars. This jail was used by the county less than twenty years. 


At the March term, 1852, the board ordered the county auditor to give 
public notice "that on the second Monday in April, he will receive plans and 
specifications for the building of a log jail for said county, from all who are 
willing to suggest a good plan for building a substantial jail." 

On April 12, 1852, the board ordered the auditor to give further notice 
that at the June term proposals would be received for the erection of the jail, 
to be of the following dimensions: "Thirty two feet in length and 18 feet 
in width, two stories high, the first story to be eight feet and second story 
to be seven and one-half feet in height, divided into four rooms with a hall 
between them, and one door in front made of Oak plank two inches thick, pro- 
vided with a good and sufficient lock ; and two good strong doors leading 
from said hall into the lower rooms, and two doors leading from said hall up- 


stairs into the rooms intended for jail rooms, the said doors to be made of 
good oak timber and of the thickness of two inches and filled zvith good jail 
door nails * * * * the floor upstairs to be laid in timber 6 inches thick and 
then drove upon the same a plank floor of i 1 /* inches thick thoroughly nailed 
with double 10 penny nails closely driven * * * * and overhead, the same as 
the last mentioned floor." The walls were built of logs, twelve inches square. 

In those days when iron was too expensive, a good substitute for it was 
produced by driving heavy planks full of nails. This made it practically im- 
possible for a prisoner to saw or cut his way through a door or wall. It will 
be observed that in this jail, the doors and the floor and ceiling were driven 
full of nails. 

The contract for the erection of this jail was given to Jonathan Dunbar. 
At the March term, 1853, he was allowed three hundred and fifty-eight dol- 
lars in full on his contract. The jail was built on the south side of the pub- 
lic square, and was used until the present jail was built in 1871. This build- 
ing is still standing on West South sjtreet, just a little west of State street. 


The present jail was built in 1871, under the supervision of Charles H. 
Brown, architect. The principal contract for its construction was let to John 
R. Reeves. The original contract price was thirty-two thousand, nine hundred 
dollars. The commissioners' record, however, shows that over forty-five 
thousand dollars was paid out before it was finished. 

The front part of the building is used as a residence for the sheriff, 
the jail itself being to the rear. The following report made by the board of 
state charities on September 4, 1914, will give a good idea of the building: 

"Building and Equipment. — An old building of brick and steel. It is 
neither strong nor safe. The lower part is poorly ventilated. Steam heat, 
electric light; city water. Plumbing fair, but in good repair. Good sewer- 
age. Washtubs are used for bathing. Iron bunks with mattresses and com- 
forts in fair condition. The bedding is not washed. 

"Management. — The jail is managed by the sheriff and his wife. No 
printed rules for the government of prisoners. Tramps received upon order 
of the marshal. Commissioners visit the jail frequently. 

"Prisoners. — Five men awaiting trial, two serving sentence; total seven. 
Provision for sex separation, but none for classification. Prisoners bathe 
weekly. No rule in regard to the change of underclothes. Papers and maga- 
zines for reading. Religious services not held regularly. No employment. 
Three meals a day. The prisoners seem satisfied with food. 


"Improvements. — The interior of the jail has been improved by paint. 

"Recommendation. — Bath facilities, standard bedding and printed rules 
are recommended. 

"Expenses For 1913. — Repairs, $245.22; supplies, including fuel, light, 
water, etc., $88.20; sheriff's fees, including boarding of prisoners, $1,112.30; 
total, $1,445.72." 


Among the first acts of the county commissioners, after they had divided 
the county into three townships, was to appoint overseers of the poor for each 
township. The first claim allowed by the board for caring for the poor, how- 
ever, was not until the May term, 1831, when the record shows an allowance 

in favor of James Glendon of "the sum of Six Dollars and cents for 

services rendered by him in boarding and bedding a pauper in said County 
and for removing the same out of the aforesaid county." Several other 
claims of a similar nature were allowed at the same term. Among them "Lot 
Edwards, Doct. is allowed the sum of Six dollars and seventy-five cents 
for services rendered him as a physician employed by the overseer of the poor 
in Brandy wine Township." This is the beginning of a series of claims of 
this kind filed for caring for the poor of the county. 


In 1843 a law was enacted giving the overseers of the poor within their 
respective townships power and authority to bind as apprentices the minor 
children of any poor person who had become chargeable as a pauper within 
the township, or who was supported there in whole or in part at the charge 
of the county; also all minor children whose parents had abandoned them or 
had unreasonably neglected or were unable to provide for them ; also all minor 
children who were or who would become a county charge and who had a law- 
ful settlement in such township. The same law also provided that others 
might bind out their children as apprentices. All of such contracts had to be 
signed and acknowledged by the parties the same as deeds and had to be 
recorded in a special record kept therefor. Such contracts were called inden- 
tures. The record kept for that purpose in Hancock county shows that in all 
twenty-nine children were bound out to service in this manner. No entry has 
been made in this record for over forty years. A good idea of the nature of 
such contracts and of the methods pursued may be had from the following 
extracts of contracts : 

The first is a contract between the overseers of the poor and "John Doe," 
wherein the overseers "have put and placed and bound 'Richard Roe,' a poor 


boy, aged four years, nine months and nine days; the said Richard Roe is to 
serve said 'John Doe' the term of sixteen years, two months and twenty-one 
days, that is to say until the said 'Richard Roe' shall arrive at the age of twen- 
ty-one years, and the said overseers do by these presents give unto the said 
'John Doe' all the right, power and authority over the said 'Richard Roe' and 
his services during the term aforesaid which the laws of this state give to a 
master in and over a lawful indentured apprentice, and the said 'John Doe' in 
consideration thereof doth on his part covenant and promise and agree with 
the said overseers and their successors in office and each of them and with 
said 'Richard Roe' that he will give him, the said 'Richard Roe,' twenty-one 
months schooling, one-half of which is to be given between the ages of nine 
and twelve years, and six months between nineteen and twenty-one years of 
age ; and to train him to habits of industry and morality, and during the time 
of his service to provide him and allow to him sufficient meat, drink, wash- 
ing, lodging and apparel, and all other things necessary during his said term 
of service, and the said 'John Doe' further covenants and agrees to give to the 
said 'Richard Roe' at the expiration of his aforesaid term of service two suits 
of everyday apparel, and also to give him a freedom suit worth Thirty Dollars." 
Following are the essential parts of another indenture, wherein a young 
girl was bound out to "John Doe" and wife "to learn the trade and occupation 
of a house servant:" "And the said 'John Doe' and wife covenant to teach 
the said 'Rosanna Roe' the said trade and occupation and to provide her 
during said apprenticeship with all necessaries proper to her age and condi- 
tion and to cause her to be taught to read and write and the rules of arithmetic 
to the double rule of three inclusive, if practicable ; and at the expiration of said 
term to furnish to her, the said 'Rosanna Roe,' the following: one feather bed 
and bed clothes for one bed, also a common suit of wearing apparel." 


On March 6, 185 1, the county commissioners bought of George Ander- 
son the following described real estate for the purpose of providing a home 
and proper care for the poor of the county who were unable to support them- 
selves and who had no one to care for them : The west half of the northwest 
quarter of section 7, and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of 
section 6, all in township 15 north, range 7 east. This land was retained by 
the county until 1866, when it was sold to Amos C. Gambrel. The method of 
caring for the poor during those years well illustrated by the following con- 
tract, made in March, 1856, with William G. Smith: 

"Articles of agreement made and entered into this 5th day of March 



A. D. 1856, between Chilton Banks, Daniel S. Wilkison and Rezin Perry, 
County Commissioners of Hancock County, Indiana, of the first part, and 
William G. Smith of the County and State aforesaid, of the second part 
witnesseth : 

"That the said party of the first part, in consideration of the rents, cove- 
nants and agreements hereinafter contained, and which are to be paid and 
performed by the said party of the second part, do rent, demise, and to farm 
let unto the said party of the second part the farm in said County and State 
known as the poor farm to hold the same until the first day of March 1857 
at the rate of One Hundred Dollars per year for the rent of said farm. 

"And said Commissioners agree that said party of the second part shall 
have the care, custody, and keeping of the paupers of said County for said 
term, and shall be allowed the sum of Two Dollars and fifty cents per week 
for each and every pauper he may clothe, feed and lodge during said term. 
And said Smith agrees with said Commissioners that he will pay the rent 
hereby made payable and will take care of, clothe, feed, and lodge the County 
Paupers for said term on said farm, in a suitable manner; that he will not 
commit nor suffer waste on said premises, that no wood or timber shall be cut 
thereon except such as may be necessary for firewood for his own use on said 
farm, and that at the expiration of said term he will deliver up possession of 
said premises to said Commissioners or their agent in as good condition a? 
they now are, fair wear and tare and damage by fire excepted. And said 
Smith further agrees that at each session of the Board of Commissioners dur- 
ing said term, he will render to them an account of the names, time of arrival 
and health of all paupers under his charge, and if any shall have left, the fact 
and the time shall be so stated and said account shall be rendered under oath. 
''Witness our hands and seals the date first written, 

"Chilton Banks (Seal.) 
"D. S. Wilkison (Seal.) 
"Rezin Perry (Seal.) 

"Wm. G. Smith (Seal.)" 

It seems that during this period there were more paupers at times than 
could be cared for by the tenant on the farm. The commissioners entered 
into separate contracts with individual householders to care for such paupers, 
say for the period of one year. 

On June 5, 1866, the county commissioners bought another farm of two 
hundred and thirty-eight acres of land about two and one-half miles east of 
Greenfield as a home for the poor. This land has been farmed since that time 
and the proceeds thereof used for the support of the inmates of the infirmary. 


The first building on this farm was a one-and-one-half-story brick house that 
had been built for a private residence. The house was occupied by the super- 
intendent of the farm. Attached to the rear of the superintendent's residence 
was a cheap frame building which was used as the infirmary. Mr. Binford, 
in his "History of Hancock County," published in 1882, described the build- 
ings as follows : "The building' is a discredit to the county, being old and 
dilapidated, and not at all in harmony with the wealth and dignity of our citi- 
zens. The superintendent's residence is a plain, old-fashioned, story-and-a- 
half brick, built many years since for a private residence. The infirmary 
building proper is a cheap frame, known by carpenters as a 'plank house,' 
built in the rear of, and attached to, the superintendent's residence. The 
building is not only cheaply constructed, and poorly ventilated, but small and 
wholly inadequate to the demands of the unfortunate." 

In 1883 plans submitted by Charles G. Mueller, architect, of Indianapolis, 
were adopted by the county commissioners for the construction of a new 
building. At the December session of the board, on December 11, 1883, the 
contract for the construction of the building was awarded to John R. Cowie, 
William New and John Sloan, as partners, for twenty-two thousand, four hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. The record awarding this contract was signed by 
James Tyner and Augustus Dennis. George W. Parker, the third commis- 
sioner, entered a written protest against letting the contract for the reasons, 
as alleged, that the taxpayers were already overburdened with taxation; that 
many taxpayers were not as well situated as the paupers were at that time; 
that it was cheaper to assist these paupers in homes and among their friends, 
and that the asylum as contemplated was an extravagance. On the next day, 
December 12, 1883, the contract was signed by the two' above-named com- 
missioners, James Tyner and August Dennis, but Parker again entered a 
written protest against contracting for the erection of the building, on the 
grounds as alleged, that the architect, Charles G. Mueller, had given the 
county no contract by which his compensation could be determined, and sec- 
ond, because he was not a "home architect." 

The building was constructed in accordance with the plans and specifica- 
tions that had been adopted. It furnishes a good home for the poor, and 
the report of the board of state charities, made after a visit to the institution 
on June 4, 1913, is very favorable and very creditable to the management: 

"Farm. — Two hundred and seventeen acres of good land, valued at two 
hundred dollars per acre. Four acres in garden, in good condition. Variety 
of vegetables. Two and one-half acres in orchard. Stock : Twelve head of 
cattle, six cows, nine horses, fifty-five swine. Farm buildings in good con- 


dition. All are to be painted. Some old, dilapidated sheds in barnyard have 
been torn down. Fences good. Two hundred rods of new fence and one hun- 
dren and twenty rods soon to be built. Door yards well arranged and cared 

"Building. — Administration building in front. Two-story brick connect- 
ing in rear. Inmates' kitchen and diningroom in basement. Men on first 
floor, women on second. Separate dining-rooms. In good repair except the 
rear porch. Trimmings recently painted. Gas plant in basement for light- 
ing purposes. Steam heat. Ventilation by doors and windows. Rooms 
well lighted and ventilated. Ample and comfortable furniture. Iron beds. 
Chair in each room. Bedding is good, clean and changed frequently. Two 
bathtubs. Bathing weekly. House clean. Floors oiled. Walls newly 
whitewashed. Free from odors. 

"Inmates. — Population: nine men, seven women Sex separation. In- 
mates clean and well cared for. Sufficient clothing, clean and well taken 
care of. Food consists of meat for breakfast and dinner, good bread, vege- 
tables and fruits in season. Mush is served frequently during the winter. 
Health good. Reading matter furnished. Religious services held frequently, 
but not regularly. 

"Management. — Salary of Superintendent Clarence G. Cook, one thous- 
and dollars; physician, two hundred dollars. Superintendent hires one man 
to help. Records very well kept. Superintendent is a good farmer and con- 
scientious and his wife an excellent housekeeper. Cooking is done by in- 
mates under direction of matron." 


At the meeting of the farmers' institute at the court house at Greenfield 
in January, 1907, a plan was submitted by the ladies of the Clio Club of the 
city of Greenfield for converting the county farm, houses and premises, into 
a boys' dormitory, manual training and industrial school. The ladies of the 
club, through the report of their committee, expressed their opposition "to 
the term, pauper, and its degrading effects," and held that there was "quite 
a difference between poor and pauper." 

The suggestion originated with Mrs. A. N. Rhue, and the thought of 
the club is pretty well shown by the following excerpts taken from their com- 
mittee's report : 

"The tendency to avoid the poor house has been in a measure gratified . 
since the township trustees are authorized to provide for the poor of each town- 
ship. * * * * Most of the poor, especially the children, are better cared for, 


very nicely, kindly and quietly at their own homes, avoiding the publicity, 
shame, and disgrace, and breaking up of family ties by being dragged away 
to the poor house. 

"As a matter of business economy and common humanity, we recommend 
that this worn-out issue, this miserable pauper prison, be changed to a more 
modern, more charitable, more profitable institution. * * * * We hope that 
some day the big, empty poorhouse shall swarm like a beehive with a goodly 
number of sturdy, ambitious farmers' boys, each one learning his individual 
trade, whereby he can made his living, provide a home for himself and fam- 
ily, 'and that when he is old he may sit under his own vine and fig tree, hav- 
ing proven himself worthy of all the cost and trouble of establishing the Han- 
cock Industrial School. 

"Mrs. Ada JSIew, 
"Mrs. Ione Reasner, 
"Mrs. Mattie Thomas, 
"Mrs. Rosa B. Rhue, 


After the subject had been presented to the institute a general discus- 
sion followed, in which both men and women participated. A number who 
expressed themselves, commended the plan; others were in doubt as to the 
results of the proposition. 




That there were people in the county before the first white settlers ar- 
rived, is, of course, well known. Spearheads, arrow points, stone axes, etc., 
may still be found in all parts of the county, especially on the hills and bluffs 
bordering the creeks and rivers. Skeletons have been found in gravel pits in 
different parts of the county. In the pit on the north side of the National 
road, just west of Sugar creek, a well-preserved skeleton was unearthed a 
few years ago, with relics, such as beads, arrow heads and implements of war 
buried beside it. 

The county offers very little evidence of the presence of the Mound 
Builders. The following excerpt taken from the report of the state geologist, 
for the year of 1885, sets forth about all of the evidence that we have: 

"There is, in section 11, township 16, range 7, some curious earthworks 
that probably belong to the age of the Mound Builders. These are located 
on the farm of Freeman H. Braddock,.and lie on the south side of Brandy- 
wine, at the extreme point of a very abrupt bend of that creek. A ridge of 
clay land some ten feet above the creek bottom, and covered with oak timber, 
projects sharply into a piece of marshy land to within three hundred feet of 
the creek. From this point a levee, three feet high and ten feet wide, has 
been constructed to the ancient bed of the stream. The excavation which 
furnished the earth for this embankment is distinctly seen in the projecting 
point of high ground, and immediately back of this are three pits about eight 
feet in diameter and six feet deep, and east of these, about ten feet, are two 
other pits of the same dimensions, but not quite so deep. These works are 
evidently artificial and ancient, for large trees are now growing on the sides 
of these pits and on the embankment. About fifty yards east of these pits 
was formerly a small lake or pond, which may have been an excavation, but 
probably was natural. It is now drained. When, by what people, or for 
what purpose these works were made, we venture no conjecture." 


The first white people came into the county in 1818, and established their 
homes in Blue River township. From that date the increase in the population 



has been rapid. During the first twelve years it increased at the rate of about 
150 per year; during the next decade, 1830-1840, at the rate of over 600 per 
year; from 1840- 1850, at the rate of about 200 per year; from 1850- 1860, at 
the rate of over 300 per year. It continued to increase steadily until 1900, 
since which time it has decreased a little. The following is the population 
of the county as shown by the United States census reports, since 1830: 
1830, 1,436; 1840, 7,535; 1850, 9,698; 1890, 12,802; 1870, 15,123; 1880, 
17,123; 1890, 17,829; 1900, 19,189; 1910, 19,030. 


When the first settlers came into the county, they were confronted with 
three distinct lines of work. The forests had to be cleared away, the land 
had to be drained, and highways for intercommunication had to be constructed. 


The first and most obvious task was to clear away the forest. To appre- 
ciate the rate at which it disappeared, we should bear in mind that our county 
contains 196,480 acres. In 1850, 48,600 acres of this land were reported 
as improved. At the close of each decade following, the acreage of improved 
land was reported as follows by the United States census : 1850,48,600 
acres; i860, 80,880 acres; 1870, 98,883 acres; 1880, 122,539 acres; 1890, 
139,776 acres; 1900, 157,114 acres ; 1910, 163,307 acres. 

From the above reports it appears that the forest in Hancock county was 
cut down at the following rate per year : 

1840-1850 3,000 acres per year (estimated) 

1850-1860. 3,228 acres per year 

1860-1870 1,800 acres per year 

1870-1880 2,365 acres per year 

1880-1890 1,723 acres per year 

1890-1900 T >733 acres per year 

1900-1910 600 acres per year 


The first homes were established on knolls, where small patches of ground 
were cleared for cultivation. There were creeks and rivers in the county 
that carried away much of the surface water, yet there were great areas that 
were not reached by the streams or their tributaries. The great problem was 
to get outlets. In the early history of the county a few outlets were estab- 
lished with which arms could be connected. These arms, when covered, were 



at first constructed of wood. Several methods were employed ; one was to 
cut a channel from a foot to eighteen inches wide, and to the proper depth. 
Slabs of timber, eighteen or twenty inches long, were then placed along one 
edge of the bottom of the channel and made to lean against the other side of 
the channel. The ditch when filled left a passage for the water under the 
slanting timber. In the construction of the larger covered drains, wider 
channels were cut to the required depth. Shoulders four or five inches wide 
were left along each side of the bottom of this channel, then a second channel 
cut to a depth of ten or twelve inches. Timbers were split like those used in 
making puncheon floors and laid from shoulder to shoulder covering the 
lower channel. When the ditch was filled a large open passage was left under 
the timber to carry away the water. These first methods of constructing 
covered drains are illustrated in figures I and 2. 

After saw-mills were established, covered drains were frequently con- 
structed of boards. Boards were set on edge along the sides of the bottom 
of the channel and covered with a third board, as indicated by figure 3. 

Clay tile were not used in the county until just before the Civil War. In 
1858 Isaac Beeson, who then conducted a potter's shop at the southwest comer 
of section 12-15-7, where the Western Grove Friends church now stands, 
made the first clay tile. They were round tile, turned by hand on a potter's 
lathe. After being used for a half century they were taken up and found in 
good condition. Some of them may now be seen in the geological museum at 
the State House at Indianapolis. In 1863, Jacob Schramm built a tile factory 


on his farm in the German Settlement, in Sugar Creek township, and manufac- 
tured what were known as "horseshoe" tile. It had no bottom, but was con- 
structed with two sides and a top, on the principle of the board drains described 
above. About this time, or a year or two later, James Thomas, of Jackson 
township, also brought in some clay tile from a factory in Rush county. Just 
about the close of the Civil War the "horseshoe" tile were replaced by flat- 
bottomed tile, which were continued in use for a period of fifteen or twenty 
years. They are familiar to most people of the county, and may still be exca- 
vated in repairing the older ditches. During the eighties round tile came into 
general use and since that time have been used almost exclusively in our cov- 
ered ditches. 

In 1852 a law was passed providing for the incorporation of drainage 
companies for the construction of the larger outlets. Under this law, people 
interested in the establishment of a drain associated themselves together in 
a drainage company. They adopted articles of incorporation, which were 
placed on record in the county recorder's office, and, after some preliminary 
steps, were ready to begin work. It is not the intention here to go into the 
details of incorporation, but the extent of the drainage work that was under- 
taken by these companies can be indicated to a degree by an enumeration of 
the articles of incorporation that were recorded btween 1866 and 1879. The 
names of the greater number of the companies will also indicate the localities 
in which they operated. 


Hancock Big Slash Draining Company 1861 

Little Sugar Creek Draining Company 1866 

Little Buck Creek Draining Company 1866 

Jackson Township Draining Company 1866 

Hancock and Madison Ditch Company 1866 

Indian Creek Draining Company 1867 

Crumb Branch Draining Company 1867 

Raccoon Slash Draining Company 1868 

Black Swamp Draining Company 1868 

Brandywine Ditch Company 1868 

Black Hawk Draining Company 1869 

Little Brandywine Draining Company 1869 

Nameless Creek Draining Company 1869 

Fox Draining Company 1869 

Cranberry Marsh Draining Company 1869 

Wildcat Draining Company 1870 


Nathan Creek Draining Company 1870 

Lake Erie Draining Company 1871 

Flatfork Ditch Company 1874 

Hancock Draining Association 1875 

Cory and Bridges Ditch Company l &79 

• In connection with the construction of these large drains, the name of 
James H. Carr, who was drainage commissioner of the county for many years 
after the Civil War, should be mentioned. 

While these larger outlets were being constructed by the drainage com- 
panies, smaller drains were also being constructed by individuals. Where 
smaller outlets were necessary across the lands of others, a method was pro- 
vided by law by petition before the board of county commissioners, or before 
the circuit courts of the various counties. This method has been preserved 
to the present. 

The largest work of drainage in the county was the opening of Buck 
creek, by dredging it. The \vork was begun about 1888, but was not com- 
pleted for several years. Much of the bottom land along Buck creek was 
marshy and it was necessary to deepen and straighten the stream in order to 
reclaim the land. It was an expensive work and aroused much opposition. 
Legal proceedings were carried to the highest courts in the state before it was 
settled. When the work was finally accomplished, many acres of marshy land 
were reclaimed and converted into the most fertile fields of the county. Ed- 
win P. Thayer, Jr., was the contractor on this work. 

Another drain of similar dimensions that has been attempted several 
times is the dredging of Brandywine. A petition to dredge Brandywine 
creek was filed in the Hancock circuit court, in 1899, and another in 1905. 
Several petitions have been filed for the same purpose since that time, and 
such a petition is pending at present. This work has always aroused such 
opposition that the petitioners have never succeeded in getting an order of 
court for the establishment of the proposed work. There is no other work of 
drainage left in the county that can reclaim so much land as the dredging of 
Brandywine creek. 

During the past fifteen or twenty years the tendency has been to cover 
all ditches wherever possible, thus overcoming the inconvenience of cultiva- 
tion, and reclaiming acres of land. In all parts of the county, public and pri- 
vate ditches have been tiled, and this work continues at this time. The larg- 
est covered ditch in the county is the Hollis ditch, in the northern and eastern 
part of Center township. Over seven miles of tile are laid in the system. 


The main ditch is over three miles in length. It drains one thousand five hun- 
dred fifty-seven acres, and the water gathered up by its arms is finally carried 
through a thirty-inch tile for a distance of a half mile. The Briney ditch, in 
the eastern part of Center township, is also one of the largest in the county. 
It has a number of thirty-inch tile approaching its outlet, but not so many as 
the Hollis ditch. 


In the very early history of the county the state aided in the construction 
of highways connecting important points. Hancock county profited by this 
aid in the construction of the following roads, all of which can be located by 
their names. These roads were under construction at the dates indicated : 
Centerville state road; Brookville state road; Greenfield and Rushville state 
road, 1832; Morristown, Greenfield and Noblesville road, 1832; Greenfield 
and Shelby ville state road, 1834; Knightstown and Pendleton state road, 1834; 
Greenfield and Lebanon, 1836; Indianapolis and Pendleton state road, 1837. 

In the construction of these roads, the Legislature appointed viewers 
to view and mark the proposed highways and make report thereon. The man- 
ner in which this was done, the method of describing the course of the pro- 
posed highway, and of marking the same, is rather interesting at this time, 
and the following report made by the viewers appointed on the Greenfield and 
Rushville state road, taken from commissioners' record "A", page 107, is 
inserted : 

"The undersigned Commissioners appointed under an Act of the Legis- 
lature of the State of Indiana for viewing and making a State Road from 
Rushville in Rush County to Greenfield in Hancock County, did after being 
duly qualified according to the requisition of the Act aforesaid, proceed on 
Monday the 23d day of October instant to view and mark said Road, and to 
report as follows : — Commencing on the Brookville State Road, near the 
bridge across Hodge's Creek and leave said State Road in front of Hodge's 
House at a sugar tree 18 inches in diameter thence north 60 degrees west pass- 
ing south of old Mr. Havens' house then continuing said course to the cross- 
ing of the line between Section 35 and 36, Township 14 North, Range 8 East, 
thence North 58 degrees west, south of a random line, on the south of a small 
deadening and south of a small stream, the waters of Mud Creek, intersect- 
ing the random line at a camp meeting ground, thence on said line to the bank 
of said Branch to a bench, Tree marked 18 North, thence on the south side 
of said Creek to where the true line crosses said Creek, thence North 50 de- 
grees west through the farm of Wallingford and William Cassaday, passing 


between said Cassaday's Barn and Spring House, keeping said course 50 
degrees west of North to the crossing of Mud Creek thence North 58 degrees 
west to the crossing of little Blue River and to escape the crossing of said 
River three times run from the crossing 38 degrees west 160 poles to a 
branch of said stream near the house of Henry Clendening, thence North 78 
degrees west 160 poles to the fence of William Clendening near his northwest 
corner of improvements thence north 58 degrees west through the land of 
said Clendening, Henry Birt and others to the crossing of Beaver Meadow 
Creek near the northwest corner of William Zorn's land and a county road on 
the east side of said Zorn's land then to escape the crossing of a large swamp 
tributary of Beaver Meadow North 75 degrees west 60 poles to a large poplar 
in the field of John Walker north 41 degrees west 60 poles to the crossing of 
said swamp where the old Connersville road crosses the same, thence north 59 
degrees west through the lands of Snider Phelps and Bentley to the crossing 
of Big Blue River at Bentley 's ford, passing the southeast corner of Micajah 
Binford's land on the bluffs of Blue River thence after crossing the river north 
58 degrees west through the lands of said Binford and Henry B. Hill north 
of the north side of said Hill's house to the crossing of Six Mile Creek on 
the land of Samuel Moore near said Hill's corner on the bank of said creek 
thence north 59 degrees west to the north of Samuel Bundy's house. The 
entering is marked on a sugar tree 18 inches in diameter on Bundy's improve- 
ment pursuing North 59 degrees west to the crossing of a creek called Name- 
less on the lands of Abram Miller, Esq., thence after crossing said stream 
north 60 degrees west to where it intersects the random line of said swamp 

on the lands of Glandon, thence on said random line 54 degrees 

west to where said line intersects the National road on the east bank of little 
Brandywine. Your commissioners would further state that the above loca- 
tion embraces, perhaps, the most suitable ground for a road of the same extent 
that they have any knowledge of in the counties of Rush and Hancock, that 
the ground is generally of good quality and that a very small proportion of 
wet land presents itself on said line, and that the best of crossing of streams 
are nearly on a a line and that the several persons through whose lands the 
aforesaid location runs seem well pleased. The Commissioners aforesaid 
would further state that said Road could not possibly be properly located with- 
out a surveyor and chain carriers and that they employed Henry B. Hill, 
surveyor and Reuben Bentley and Bazil Meek acted as chain carriers and 
hereby requests a reasonable compensation for said extra services. The whole 
distance of said line from Greenfield to Rushville as measured is twenty-one 


miles nearly, but by sections is only twenty miles and twenty-five poles. Given 

under our hands and seals this 12th day of October, 1831. 

"Nathanial Smith (Seal) 
"Bazil Meek (Seal)" 

Similar methods were employed and similar reports were, of course, made 

on all of the above state roads. 


The National road was constructed through Hancock county in 1835. 
Some work was probably done on it in 1834.- The road was built through an 
unbroken forest. One gang of men started the work by cutting the trees 
and clearing the right of way. Another removed the stumps and a third 
graded the road bed. 

Originally it was a "dirt road." Its culverts and bridges, however, were 
all constructed in the most substantial manner. Small streams were arched 
with stone and the larger streams, such as Sugar creek, Six Mile and Brandy- 
wine, were spanned by bridges. Enclosed wooden bridges were constructed 
over Brandywine and Sugar creek. Each had two drive ways, each about 
twelve feet wide. The bridge over Sugar creek stood until July, 1892, when 
some one evidently threw a lighted match into a load of wheat that had been 
left there. Before the burning straw could be taken out the entire structure 
was consumed by the flames. 

By virtue of an act of the General Assembly of the state of Indiana, 
approved January 31, 1842, it was made the duty of the boards of county com- 
missioners of the several counties through which the National road extended, 
to place the road under the charge and supervision of the road supervisors 
through whose districts any portion of the road passed. That act also made 
it the duty of such supervisors to keep the road in repair. 

By an act of the Congress of the United States, approved August 11, 1848, 
all that portion of the National road lying between the east and west boundary 
lines of the state of Indiana was transferred to the state of Indiana. 

By virtue of a special act of the General Assembly of the state of Indiana 
the Central Plank Road Company was incorporated and was given control of 
all that portion of the National road lying between .the eastern line of Han- 
cock county and the western line of Putnam county within the state of Indiana. 
Section 18 of this act required that the track of said road be constructed of 
timber, plank, gravel or other hard material. The act also specified that the 
track of said road should not be less than sixteen feet wide. 

The Central Plank Road Company improved the road by planking it. 


This work was done about 1850 or 1851 through Hancock county. The work 
began at Indianapolis and proceeded eastward. General John Milroy had 
the contract for the construction of a large portion of the work through Han- 
cock county. Milroy, by the way, was a "General" in the same sense that 
our present auctioneers are "Colonels." 

In the construction of the plank road, stringers four inches by six inches 
were laid along the highway at such a distance as to lie under the wheels of 
wagons that traveled over the road. The stringers were laid so that the top 
was about level with the ground; planks three inches thick and eight feet 
long were then laid over them and earth was filled in along the sides to level 
the road. The planks were laid along the north side of the grade. Wagons 
kept to the right, and hence, teams going west had the right of way ; wagons 
going east had to get off the plank when meeting other conveyances. The 
planks were not nailed to the stringers and in many places they turned up at 
the ends and became a nuisance to travelers. Within a few years after they 
had been laid the road was covered with gravel. In most places the gravel 
was put over the planks ; in some places the planks were removed. 

The National road became a toll road when it passed to the control of 
the Central Plank Road Company. It then remained a toll road until 1889, 
when it was purchased by the county. 

A few references are made to the National road on the records in the 
office of the county recorder of Hancock county-. Deed Record "U" at page 
13, shows that on January n, 1861, the Central Plank Road Company con- 
veyed to Barney B. Gray all the part of the National road lying between the 
east line of Hancock county and the west bank of Sugar creek, including the 
west abuttment of the bridge over said creek. 

Deed Record "U," at page 14, shows that on November 18, 1861, Barney 
B. Gray and Eliza Ann Gray, his wife, deeded the above described portion 
of the National road, lying in Hancock county, to James P. Foley. 

Miscellaneous Record "A," at page 104, shows that after James P. Foley 
bought the road he, with others, on November 19, 1861, organized the "Foley's 
Charlottesville, Greenfield and Philadelphia Turn Pike Company," for the 
purpose of improving the road. 

Just at this juncture the Civil War broke out and the new corporation 
found it impossible to raise money to make the improvements contemplated. 
In 1864 the Hancock Gravel Road Company was incorporated for the purpose 
of improving the same portion of the National road. 

It seems that some question was raised as to the right of the new com- 
pany to take charge of the road, but the county commissioners seemed to take 


the view that the road had been abandoned for several years, and made a find- 
ing at their March session, 1865, that the statutes had been complied with and 
therefore gave their consent to and granted the right of way of the above 
described portion of the National road to said company. This company then 
had charge of the road until it was purchased by the county, in 1889. 

Just at present efforts are being made to have the National road paved 
with brick. Several meetings of prominent citizens have been held, but as 
yet nothing definite has been done. 


While the state was giving assistance in the construction of roads con- 
necting important points, and while the National road was being constructed, 
the county also busied itself with road building within its own confines. In 
1830 the population was sparse and the entire county was still covered with 
forest. There were few farms and only a few towns and mills. It is inter- 
esting to observe that the first roads constructed under the supervision of the 
board of county commissioners were constructed to connect different parts 
of the county with the towns, or for the purpose of providing a way to reach 
mills. Possibly as many or more highways were at first constructed to give 
access to mills that had been built along the streams of the county, than to con- 
nect localities with the towns. Two mills that are mentioned quite often in 
the petitions for highways are Pierson's mill, which was located on Sugar 
creek, five or six miles northwest of Greenfield, and Bellus' mill, which was 
located on Sugar creek about two miles north of New Palestine. The high- 
ways that were petitioned for in that early day did not follow section lines, 
but generally followed the most direct road to the mill or to the town or to 
some highway that had previously been built connecting with a mill or a town. 
One can hardly get a correct idea of the methods that were pursued or the 
manner in which the roads were constructed in the early history of the county, 
without reading some of the petitions that were filed with the board of county 
commissioners. The first petition was presented to the board, August 11, 
1828. It requested the board to construct a road from a point in Brandy wine 
township to the town of Greenfield. The petition is as follows : 

"To the Honorable Board of County Commissioners of Hancock County : 
Greeting : We, the undersigned subscribers, citizens of Brandywine Township 
in said county do labor under many disadvantages for the want of roads being 
opened through our county. Therefore we pray your honors to grant us a 
road in the manner following, viz : to commence at the southwest corner of 
Section 32 in Township 15, North of Range 7 East, thence to Sweem's Mill 


on Brandywine Creek, thence to the southwest corner of Isaac Roberts land. 

thence with said Robert's west line to the northwest corner, thence the nearest 

and best way to the Town of Greenfield for which your petitioners in duty 

bound will ever pray. 

"Signed, etc., June 19th, 1828. 

"Othniel H. Sweem, 

"Jared Chapman, and others." 

Two petitions came up for consideration on the 12th day of August, 1828, 
and asked for the construction of a road from Greenfield to Anderson Town : 

"We the undersigned petitioners do think it beneficial to have a county 
road opened from Greenfield to Anderson Town and under this consideration 
we the undersigned do petition the respected County Commissioners of Han- 
cock for the grant of a road commencing at the National Road south at the 
west side of B. Spilman's first choice Block, thence the nearest and best route 
to the Northeast corner of the northwest quarter of Section 18, in Range 7, 
Township 16, thence the nearest and best route to north line of Hancock 
County on the direction of Anderson Town. Signed etc., 

"W. Wilson and others." 

On May 4, 1829, it was ordered by the board that on a petition presented 
to said board by George Worthington and others : "Road to commence on 
the south line of the county as near Michael Murnan's mill as the situation of 
the ground will permit, running thence on the nearest and best route to George 
Worthington's, thence to William Pierson's Mill, thence on the nearest and 
best route to intersect the contemplated State Road from Greenfield to An- 
derson town on the East Side of Sugar Creek." 

On the same day a "Settlement on Buck Creek" presented a petition, 
signed by John Shirley and others, praying for a road "to commence at or 
near the Mill Of William Pierson on Sugar Creek in said County, from thence 
in a westward direction to the settlement on Buck Creek, thence in a south 
westward direction until it intersects the Centerville State Road near the 
house of Samuel Fuller." 

On August 9, 1830, Joseph Chapman and others, filed the following- 
petition : 

"To the Honorable Commissioners of Hancock County : Gentlemen, we, 
vour petitioners, pray your Honorable body to grant an order for a county 
road to begin at the south side of Greenfield where the State Road from Shel- 
byville to Fort Wayne leaves the same, thence the nearest and best way to 
Joseph Thomas, thence the nearest and best way to William Murnan's on the 


Brookville State Road, thence with said road to the comer between John Snod- 
grass, Senior, and William Murnan, thence to the corner between Esom 
Thomas and Elias Truett at the old State Road, Gentlemen, grant this and 
we, your petitioners, will ever pray at the same time," etc. 

On that day the following petition for a highway by George Anderson 
and others was acted upon : 

"To the Honorable County Commissioners of Hancock County, we your 
petitioners beg your honors to grant us a county road to commence and end 
as follows, to-wit : — Commencing at the east side of William Murnan's land 
on the Rushville State Road, thence the nearest and best way to John Baker's 
and from thence to Greenfield, the county seat of said county, we further rep- 
resent to your honors that there is at this time a petition in circulation for a 
road to commence and end near the same point but as this will be on the 
nearest and best ground and the most beneficial to the public, we beg your 
deliberation," etc. 

At the January term, 183 1, Jacob Zumwalt filed the following petition 
which was acted upon : 

"It is ordered by the Board that the following petition presented to the 
Board by Jacob Zumwalt and others praying for a road to commence and run 
as follows, to-wit: Commencing at or near Sweem's and Stephen's Mill on 
Brandywine Creek, thence in a southwestward direction until it strikes the 
section line dividing sections 17 and 20, thence with said line west as near 
the situation of the ground will admit, to the south west corner of William 
Thomas' land, thence the nearest and best route to Bellus' Mill on Big Sugar 
Creek, thence the nearest and best route to intersect the Brookville State Road 
at or near James Parker's," etc. 

At the same term a petition was also presented by Allen Simpson and 
others for a road "beginning at the Brookville State Road on the line between 
sections 28 and 29 and running the nearest and best way to Joseph Thomas, 
from thence to Greenfield." 

At the May term, 1831, the following petition was presented to the board 
by David Temple and others asking for the following highway along Six 
Mile creek : 

"We, the undersigned do petition to the Honorable, the Board of Com- 
missioners, doing county business in Hancock County; Indiana, praying for 
the granting of a County Road leading up Six Mile and running up through 
Josiah Vanmeter's land up the east side of main Creek until Benjamin Fort's 
corner adjoining James Bartlow's, and thence through his land and through 
Jackson's lands along up the west side of the Main Creek, on the most suitable 



ground and thence through John Catt's land and so on to intersect the Ander- 
sontown road on the west side of the creek on the most suitable ground," etc. 

Following is a petition presented by Levi Leary and others at the Sep- 
tember term, 183 1, of the board of county commissioners, asking for a highway 
from Pierson's mill, to the northeast part of what is now Center township : 

"We the undersigned citizens of Hancock County, to the Honorable the 
Commissioners of said county, now in session whereas we deem it necessary 
to have a road from William Pierson's Mill to the northeast corner of Section 
15, Township 16, North, Range 7 East, beginning at said mill thence running 
the nearest and best route to the south of James Reeves' land, thence with 
said lane to the section line north of the school section, thence following said 
line to said corner aforesaid — and we your petitioners do ever pray, etc. 

"May 28th, 1 83 1. "Levi Leary and others 

"Twelve Lawful Subscribers." 

At the November term, 1831, the board made the following entry in rela- 
tion to another in Jackson township : 

"Petition from James Bartlow, Andrew Jackson and others following, 
to-wit : Commencing at the National Road on the section line between John 
Burris and Samuel Thompson and running up the line until the brakes of the 
west fork of six miles, thence by John Fort's east of Benjamin Fort's orchard 
and so on up to the west side of the creek on the most suitable ground, and 
thence on east of James Dennis' to intersect his land and running west until 
his meadow and thence running north through Samuel Dille's land, and thence 
running past the northeast corner of the school section and thence to intersect 
the county road running on the west side of the school section on the most 
suitable ground. Signed, James Bartlow and others." 

At the March term, 1832, the board ordered "that a road be located be- 
ginning at the county line near John Jackson's, where a road from the falls 
of Fall creek cross the county line, thence the nearest and best way to William 
Curry's of Brandywine township." 

changes in location of highways. 

No attempt is being made here to give a full history of the construction 
of all the early roads in the county, nor even to give a full history of the con- 
struction of any of them. The foregoing petitions have been inserted for 
the purpose of illustrating the general plan of making connections with the 
roads that were important to the early settlers. It is needless to say that 
as soon as the- forest began to disappear and the land was put under cultiva- 


tion, these roads, running at various angles across the county, made it very in- 
convenient to cultivate many of the farms. As soon as fields of any size 
were cleared, the farmers began to feel the inconvenience of the location of 
these highways, and they began petitioning for changes in their location. The 
first of such petitions was presented to the board on January 7, 1833, and 
is in the following words : 

"To the Honorable Board of Commissioners of Hancock County, 
whereas I wish to cultivate a portion of my land on the east township of the 
northeast quarter of section 31, range 8, township 15, north, through which 
a County Road runs angling, I do pray a change of said road as follows to 
commence at the northeast corner of said lot thence south a few poles thence 
in a westward direction to said road again, and I do further wish said Board 
to appoint Viewers for that purpose. 

"Festus Hall." 

A number of such petitions were filed following this date, but we offer 
just one more, which was presented to the board at the September term, 1835 : 

"To the Honorable the Board of Commissioners of Hancock County, In- 
diana, we, your petitioners, citizens of Buck Creek Township in said County 
do humbly pray your honorable Body to grant us a change in the road leading 
from the National Road on Buck Creek to William Pierson's Mill on Sugar 
Creek, whereas the said road now runs on a line due north one mile and one- 
half, then angles through a number of farms to the injury of those wishing to 
improve their land, therefore we pray a change in said road," etc. 

Between the January term, 1833, and the May term, 1838, twenty-five 
petitions were filed with the board of county commissioners, asking for 
changes in the location of highways. These petitions continued to be filed for 
years to come. From 1850 to i860, thirty-three changes in the location of 
highways were petitioned for, as indicated by the indexes of the county com- 
missioners' records. It was not until after the Civil War that our roads were 
all generally located on section lines as we now find them. 


All that has been said in connection with the great improvement made 
in the drainage of the county immediately following the Civil War, can also 
be said of road construction during the same period. Up to this time roads 
had been laid out and graded, but very little had been done in the way of 
building substantial road beds. Across low places, trees and logs were fre- 
quently placed in the road to make passage possible during wet weather. In 


1852 a law was passed by the General Assembly of the state of Indiana pro- 
viding- for the incorporation of gravel road or turnpike companies. Some 
amendments were made to this law, but in the main it provided that com- 
panies could subscribe capital stock, improve highways, and then maintain 
the same by collecting toll from people who used the roads. This brought in 
the era of "toll gates," which are still familiar even to the middle aged. A 
number of turnpike companies were organized in Hancock county under 
this law. From 1865- 1882, forty or more highways, from one to twelve miles 
in length, were improved under this system. Highways leading to the towns 
were usually selected for improvement, and during the decade or more follow- 
ing the Civil War it was practically impossible to reach any town in the county 
without having to pass a "toll gate" and pay the fee for the upkeep of the 
road. The "toll gates" were usually built near the edge of towns or at 
such points at which the greatest number of people passed. At nearly all 
of them sweeps were built which were kept down except when vehicles passed. 
The most of them had a small porch adjoining the road, from which the "toll 
keeper" received the fee, usually ranging from three cents to a dime or fif- 
teen cents, depending upon the length of the road and the distance over which 
the traveler passed. 

A great number of people took stock and were financially interested in 
these roads. The names of the principal turnpike companies, with the dates 
of their incorporation, are inserted. The names of the companies will in most 
instances indicate the location of the roads : 

Hancock Gravel Road Company (National road) 1864 

Greenfield and Brandy wine Gravel Road Company 1865 

Eden and Pendleton Turnpike Company 1865 

Greenfield and Western Grove Turnpike Company 1867 

Fortville, Pendleton and Eden Junction Turnpike Company 1867 

Barnard and Troy Gravel Road Company 1867 

Greenfield and Pendleton Gravel Road Company 1867 

Northwestern Gravel Road Company 

Markleville and Knightstown Gravel Road Company 

McCordsville and Eden Gravel Road Company 

Charlottesville and Brandy wine Gravel Road Company 1869 

Brandywine Gravel Road Company 1869 

Brandywine and Greenfield Junction Gravel Road Company 1869 

Prairie Branch Gravel Road Company 

Western Grove Gravel Road Company 

Hancock and Hamilton Gravel Road Company 1872 


McCordsville and Clarksville Turnpike Company 1872 

McCordsville and Buck Creek Gravel Road Company 1872 

Greenfield and New Palestine Gravel Road Company . . . . 1873 

New Palestine and Eastern Gravel Road Company J &73 

New Palestine Gravel Road Company 1873 

Doe Creek Gravel Road Company 1873 

Woodville and Markleville Turnpike Company 1873 

Sugar Creek and Philadelphia Turnpike Company . 1874 

Leamon's Gravel Road Company . 1874 

German Gravel Road Company 1874 

Jackson and Center Township Turnpike Company . 1874 

Hancock and Shelby Gravel Road Company 1874 

Philadelphia and New Palestine Gravel Road Company 1875 

Greenfield and Sugar Creek Gravel Road Company 1876 

Center and Brandy wine Township Gravel Road Company 1876 

Anderson and Warrington Junction Turnpike Company 1878 

Sugar Creek and Fortville Gravel Road Company 1878 

Buck Creek Gravel Road Company 1882 

These roads were operated for a number of years, but in most instances 
were not very profitable to the stockholders. In 1882 a petition was filed 
with the board of county commissioners requesting the county to take over 
the "toll roads" and make them "free gravel roads." An election was held 
in April, 1882, but the movement was defeated. In the spring election of 
1888 the question was again submitted to all voters of the county as to whether 
the "toll roads" should be made "free gravel roads" by purchase, or whether 
they should remain "toll roads." In this election the proposition of purchas- 
ing the "toll roads" was again defeated. 

On August 13, 1889, another special election was held to determine 
whether the "toll roads" should be purchased. In this election the movement 
was successful and the following roads were purchased by the county at the 
prices indicated: 

Hancock Gravel Road Company's road $7,500.00 

Greenfield and Pendleton Gravel Road Company's road 2,275.00 

Greenfield and New Palestine Gravel Road Company's road 1,650.00 

Greenfield and Brandy wine Gravel Road Company's road 2,622.50 

Sugar Creek and Fortville Gravel Road Company's road 2,665.00 

Center and Brandywine Gravel Road Company's road 720.00 

Doe Creek Gravel Road Company's road 1,217.75 


The purchase of the Prairie Branch Gravel Road Company's road was 
defeated in this election, whereupon the directors at once surrendered their 
charter'and their road was made a part of the "free gravel road" system with- 
out cost to the county. The greater number of the "toll roads" had already 
surrendered their charters and the few that remained were soon given over by 
the directors. The New Palestine and Eastern Gravel Road Company seems 
to have been the last to surrender its charter. This was done at a special 
meeting of the board of commissioners, November 22, 1894. At this time 
there were between one hundred and twenty-five and one hundred and fifty 
miles of free gravel roads in the county. From time to time additions were 
made to this mileage by the improvement of other roads. 

"three-mile roads." 

The next great improvement in road building came with the passage of 
the "Three-Mile Road" law in 1905. During the summer of 1906 a number 
of petitions were filed with the board of county commissioners in accordance 
with the provisions of this law, and a vast amount of money was expended 
by the county during the next few years in road construction. Following is 
a list of the roads that were improved under this law and under the "county 
line" road law, beginning in 1907. The bond issue for the construction of 
each road is also given : 


Roads Bond Issue Date of bond issue. 

James M. Evans et al Road $ 6,120.00 August 5, 1908 

James F. McCord et al Road 1,640.00 March 1, 1909 

Franklin Steele et al Road No. 1 9,663.60 January 4, 1909 

Franklin Steele et al Road No. 2 8,156.40 December 7, 1908 

Samuel Wallace et al Road 9,820.00 March 1, 1909 

John N. Dobbins et al Road 7,220.00 March 1, 1909 

Edward Eastes et al Road 5,840.00 March 1, 1909 

Daniel Fisher et al Road 5,760.00 March 1, 1909 

* James F. McCord et al Road 3,980.00 December 8, 1908 

John R. Williams et al Road 6,000.00 January 1, 1909 

John F. Wallace et al Road . .• 2,660.00 April 5, 1909 

Total $66,860.00 

*Buck Creek and Vernon 




Daniel Dinach et al Road $ 6,160.00 

Lewis C. Pickle et al Road 6,430.00 

Robert G. Wilson et al Road (West) . . 3,420.00 

Robert G. Wilson et al Road (East) ; . 4,420.00 

J. H. Kimberlin et al Road ( . 5,374.60 

Henry Collins et al Road 4,960.00 

Jesse P. Cook et al Road No. 1 6,600.00 

Jesse P. Cook et al Road No. 2 8,000.00 

Thomas W. Gardner et al Road ....... 30,480.00 

T. J. White et al Road 5,140.00 

*Lee D. Olvey et al Road 5,600.00 

Total $86,580.00 

*Vernon and Green 


Elnathan Hays et al Road $ 4, 1 50.00 

Ira W. Sparks et al Road 4,640.00 

William Hoppes et al Road 6,080.00 

Samuel B. Blackburn et al Road 6,140.00 

Harry Davis et al Road 4,660.00 

Joseph Wilkinson et al Road 10,100.00 

*Elmer McComas et al Road 23,000.00 

Charles W. Manfold et al 9,700.00 

xjohn L. Hanna et al Road 14,000.00 

Total $82,470.00 

* Brown and Green 
xBrown, Green and Vernon 


John L. Fry et al Road $33,640.00 

Richard Hagan et al Road 19,940.00 

Charles F. Carlton et al Road 34,200.00 

* Joseph M. Henry et al Road 8,200.00 

xKim Derry et al Road 88,000.00 

Total $104,780.00 

*Green, Center and Jackson 
xCenter and Jackson 

August 5, 1908 
November 6, 1908 
March 1, 1909 
March 1, 1909 
January 4, 1909 
February 1, 1909 
February 1. 1909 
February 1, 1909 
February 1, 1909 
April 6, 1909 
June 7, 1909 

July 8. 1908 
January 5, 1909 
January 4, 1909 
January 4, 1909 
July 15, 1910 
April 15, 191 1 
May 5, 1914 
July 6, 1 9 14 
July 6, 19 14 

January 6, 1909 
March 4, 1909 
February 1, 191 5 
April 5, 191 5 
August 2, 191 5 



Murry Moore et al Road $ 6,420.00 July 15, 191 1 

Adam L. Sivard et al Road 10,000.00 January 5, 19 12 

Charles E. Coffin et al Road 1,500.00 September 1, 19 13 

Total $17,920.00 


Columbus M. Jackson et al Road $ 2,900.00 December 4, 191 1 

Fred Hitzman et al Road ' 2,960.00 December 4, 191 1 

William G. Lantz et al Road 9,000.00 July 7, 19 13 

Total $14,860.00 

From the above tabulated statement it appears that from 1908 to the 
present (August, 191 5), Hancock county has spent for road improvements 
the sum of $373,470.00. This also represents only the face of the bonds that 
were issued for the construction of the roads and does not include any inter- 
est that is being paid thereon. 

At this time (August, 191 5) we have two hundred and eighty-one miles 
of free gravel road in the county. 


When the first settlers came into the county the nearest grist-mill was 
on Whitewater, where Connersville now stands, or near there. Cincinnati 
was the point from which groceries and other supplies were purchased. They 
were brought to Indianapolis and to other points in wagons. Whatever the 
settlers had to sell, such as grain, hogs and cattle, was also commonly taken 
to Cincinnati. Many droves of hogs and cattle and flocks of sheep were 
driven to Cincinnati over the National road. Anthony Fort, of Charlottes- 
ville, at one time drove a flock of turkeys to market there. In fact, flocks of 
turkeys were frequently driven through from central Indiana. Drivers are 
said to have had little trouble with them except that when evening came they 
always flew into the trees to roost, regardless of the wishes of their driver. 

The Indiana Gazetteer, published in 1833, gives the following report 
of Hancock county: "The face of the county is generally low or rolling; the 
soil is chiefly a rich loam mixed with a sand and covered with a heavy growth 
of beech, buckeye, ash, walnut, poplar, cherry and different kinds of oak; with 
an undergrowth of spice, pawpaw, hazel and thorn. The staple products of 


the county are wheat, corn, oats, pork, beef, flour and poultry. The county 
is advantageously situated for mills; the streams passing through it afford 
a number of excellent sites for water-mills ; it is also well supplied with springs 
of purest water." 

That the eyes of the settlers were open to the advantages of mill sites, 
is evident from the number of mills that were built within eight 3'ears after 
the organization of the county. Following are a few of them and the dates 
at which they were established. These mills were propelled by water : 

Joshua Wilson, 1824, on Blue river, grist-mill. 

William Pierson, 1825, on Sugar creek, five miles northwest of Green- 
field, grist-mill. 

Othniel H. Sweem, 1826, on Brandywine creek, three miles below Green- 
field, grist and saw-mill. 

John Fort, 1827, Six Mile creek, above Charlottesville, grist-mill. 

Steven Bellus, 1828, Sugar creek,- two miles north of New Palestine, 
grist and saw-mill. 

Black and Brother, 1832, Sugar creek, one mile south of Philadelphia, 

David Longnaker, 1833, Six Mile, above Fort's mill, saw-mill. 

Isaac Willett, 1834, four miles northwest of Greenfield, grist-mill. 

Steven Harlan, 1835, Sugar creek in Brown township, grist and saw-mill. 

William Curry, 1835, about four miles northeast of Greenfield, grist-mill. 

George Mason, 1835, Sugar creek in Green township, grist-mill. 

William Beeson, 1836, in Green township, grist-mill. 

Daniel Blakely, 1836, Sugar creek in Brown township, saw-mill. 

All of these mills were small concerns. Some of them were hominy mills, 
or "corn crackers," as they were commonly called, yet they made it possible 
for the people of the county to obtain flour and meal without having to make 
a long wagon journey for it. 

These were days when people lived in rude log houses, with puncheon 
floors and oiled-paper windows; when furniture was crude and often home- 
made; when clothing was homespun; when the logs crackled in the fireplace 
and the kettle swung from the crane. They were days, too, when crops were 
planted and cultivated with a hoe; when the harvest was gathered with the 
reap hook, the scythe and the cradle; when log-rollings flourished, and when 
the smoke in the "clearings" was never lost from sight. Game was plenti- 
ful. The howl of the wolf broke the stillness of the night and the bear and 
the panther were at home in the forest. 



Each township had its board of three township trustees, and each schooi 
district its boara of three district trustees. Highways were few and went at 
all angles through the woods. Everywhere there were swamps, swamps, 
swamps. Yet the soil, that "rich loam mixed with, sand," was productive. 
The streams were furnishing water power for the mills, and the springs were 
supplying purest water. Grocers and merchants were establishing themselves 
in the county, and all these things were adding something to the comfort of 
the people, whose number was increasing daily. 

For the purpose of raising revenue for the county, all persons wishing 
to engage in the sale of merchandise, groceries or liquor had to pay a license 
fee. The record of these fees makes it possible now to learn the distribution 
of the groceries, etc. Below are given the names of the owners and the dates 
on which their first license fees were paid to the county treasurer. Some of 
these men made application to sell merchandise or groceries for such periods 
as three months and six months. Ordinarily, however, the license fee was 
paid for a period of one year. Some of the names appear on the record many 
times, since the license fee was paid annually. 


Name. Date. Location. Business. 

Elijah Tyner 1828 Blue River, Grocery 

James Parker 1828 Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 

Nathan Crawford 1829 Greenfield, Grocery 

E. & R. Tyner 1829 Greenfield, Grocery 

Joseph Chapman 1829 Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 

James Hamilton . 1830 Greenfield, Grocery 

George Troxell 1830 Greenfield, Grocery 

Amos Dickerson 1831 Sugar Creek, Grocery and Liquor 

Morris Pierson 183 1 Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 

Lewis Tyner 1832 Greenfield, Grocery 

John Eastes 1832 National Road, Grocery 

Jared Chapman 1832 Greenfield, Grocery 

Thomas Lackey 1832 Charlottesville, Grocery 

Eli Gapen & Son 1832 Greenfield, Grocery 

Maxwell & Johnson 1832 Charlottesville, Grocery 

Dunbar & Clark 1832 Greenfield, Merchandise 

William Curry 1833 Greenfield, Grocery 

William- Curry 1833 Greenfield, Grocery 

J. M. Clark ^33 Greenfield, Merchandise 



Name. Date. 

A. T. Hart 1833 

John Delana 1833 

John White 1833 

John and William Justice 1834 

George Tague 1834 

Henry A. Milroy 1834 

Crawford & Meek 1833 

David Templeton 1834 

E. B. and C. B. Chittenden 1834 

Samuel Etter 1834 

Charles Bouge !835 

John M. Talbott & Co 1835 

Jacob Boyse 1835 

Harder & McLellen 1835 

Robert Sanford 1836 

James Robbins 1836 

George Kingery 1836 

Noah Perry 1836 

George Henry 1836 

Hill & Overman 1836 

Cornwell Meek 1836 

Nicholas McCarty 1836 

John Hare 1836 

Baxter & Clark 1836 

Hiram Burch 1836 

Jesse Atkison 1836 

Barzilla Rozell 1837 

Goodwin & Foley ^37 

William Bentley 1837 

Taylor Willett 1838 

Atherton & Avery 1838 

Asa Gooding , x 838 

Jacob Schramm 1838 

Location. Business. 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Sugar Creek, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Store 

Greenfield, Merchandise 

Charlottesville, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Sugar Creek, Store 

Greenfield, Foreign Merchandise 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Charlottesville, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 

Lewisburg, Foreign and Domestic 

Charlottesville. Foreign and Domes- 

Greenfield, Foreign and Domestic 

Greenfield, Foreign and Domestic 

Charlottesville, Foreign and Domes- 
tic Merchandise 

* Portland, Domestic Merchandise 

* Portland, Grocery 

* Portland, Grocery- 
Brown Township, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery 

Greenfield, Grocery 
Charlottesville, Grocery and Liquor 
Sugar Creek, Grocery 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 
Sugar Creek, Grocery and Liquor 



Name. Date. 

Meridith Gosney 1838 

Crawford & Hart 1838 

Thornburgh & White 1838 

C. & I. Lewis 1838 

Jonathan Evans 1838 

Robert Eakin 1838 

James P. Foley 1838 

Peter F. Newland 1838 

Joseph Lewis 1838 

Jacob Slifer 1838 

Joshua Stone 1838 

William Johnson 1838 

John Delaney 1839 

John Dye .• 1839 

Solomon Hull 1839 

Asa Cooper 1839 

H. Worster & Templin 1839 

Gavice Richardson ^39 

J. C. & R. F. Ramsey 1839 

Jacob Huntington !839 

M. Goldberg 1839 

C. I. Morrison ^39 

Thornburgh & Co. . . . 1839 

Cranforce & Hart 1839 

William Garrison 1839 

Jefferson Beaucham . . . . J 839 

William Bentley 1839 

William Griffin 1839 

Isaac Stevens 1839 

Cornwell Meek & Co 1839 

P. P. & J. F. Oaks 1839 

Joseph Ingles 1839 

John Martin 1839 

Henry Lehman, Daniel Graft.. 1840 

John Wilkinson 1840 

A. T. Hart and Lewis Burk..i84o 

Location. Business. 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Greenfield, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Sugar Creek, Merchandise, Grocery 
Sugar Creek, Merchandise, Grocery 
Brown Township, Merchandise and 

Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Charlottesville, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 
Sugar Creek, Grocery and Liquor 
Sugar Creek, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Gracery and Liquor 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Merchandise and Grocery 
Greenfield, Merchandise and Grocery 
Greenfield, Merchandise and Grocery 
Hancock, Merchandise 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Hancock, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 
Greenfield, Grocery and Liquor 



These stores must not be pictured as large, commodious, well-lighted 
rooms. Some of the above applicants had but a few articles to sell at their 
residences. The real storerooms were small and, of course, lacked the variety 
that we observe in our groceries of this day. Though this is true, it is ap- 
parent that the necessities of life could be purchased at a number of places 
along the National road, which was the great highway of travel. The state- 
ment also shows that a few stores were located on the Brookville road in 
Sugar Creek township and at least one or two on the Knightstown-Pendleton 
state road. In this connection it is also interesting to observe the market prices 
of that time. The following are the Greenfield prices, taken from the Green- 
field Reveille, April, 1845 : 

Wheat, per bushel $ 

Corn, per bushel 

Oats, per bushel 

Flaxseed, per bushel 

Corn Meal, per bushel 

Flour, per cwt 1 

Hams, per pound ;./ 

Shoulders, per pound 

Sides, per pound 

Ginseng, per pound 

Beeswax, per pound 

Butter, per pound 

Honey, per pound 

Eggs, per dozen 

50 Coffee, per pound $ .to 

20 Tea, per pound 50 

16 Sugar, per pound 06 

70 Sugar (Orleans) 07 

25 Cotton Yarn, per pound 13 

50 Nails, per pound 06^ 

06^2 Iron, bar, per pound 05 

05 Molasses, gallon 43 

05 Salt, per bushel 44 

25 Feathers, per pound 26 

22 Lard, per pound 04 

08 Cheese, per pound. . o6y 2 

05 Rags, per pound 02 

03 Chickens, per dozen 50 

Prices as quoted in the Greenfield Spectator, September, 1848, are about 

the same as the above with the following additions 

Cattle on foot, per pound ... .$.02 I /4 

Calves 2.00 

Sheep 1. 00 

Potatoes, per bushel i8)4 

Imperial Tea, per pound 80 

Hogs, per 100 pounds $ 1.75 

Cows 10.00 

Timothy Hay 5.00 

Gunpowder Tea, per pound . . .80 
Young Hyson, per pound . . . .623/2 


On May 7, 1833, Daniel Bohn (father of our neighbor and fellow citi- 
zen, Daniel Bohn) left his home in Adams county, Pennsylvania, and started 
on horseback through the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, for the pur- 


pose of finding a new home for himself and his family. On this journey he 
traveled over the old Centerville state road, which passed through Green- 
field. On June 30, 1833, he again arrived at his home in Pennsylvania. 
During the journey he kept a diary in which he noted, among other things, 
the taverns at which he stopped and the expenses of his lodging. None of 
the taverns were in Hancock county, yet the bills presented to him give a 
fair idea of what tavern prices were at that time. A few of the entries are 
taken from this diary: 

"On May 27, 1833, we lodged at the house of Messrs. Vose & Griffin, 
Dublin, — Night Bill, $1.00. 

"May 28, 1833, we lodged at the house of Mr. Wilson, three miles east 
of Indianapolis, — Night Bill, $1.00. 

"June 4, 1833, we lodged all night at the house of Mr. J. Wilson, — 
Bill, $1.00. 

"June 5, we lodged all night at the house of Messrs. Vose & Griffin 
in Dublin,— Bill, $1.37^." 

The bills included the cost of supper and breakfast, the night's lodging, 
and the care of his horse. Meals were ordinarily furnished at 15 cents. 
Board, including three meals daily, and bed, $1.25 per week. 

The great amount of travel westward over the old Centerville state 
road and, later, over the National road, caused a great many taverns or eat- 
ing houses to be established along this line. The Brookville road, although 
it led from Cincinnati, was in bad condition for travel. People from that 
point ordinarily came to Richmond or Cambridge City, and then traveled 
westward over trie National road. There were days in which fifty or more 
teams followed each other westward in one train. Many of the travelers 
camped along the road, while others drove into the large stable yards and 
slept in their wagons. 

The taverns were among the largest and most commodious houses of 
that day. In connection with the tavern the keeper ordinarily had a stable 
with a large yard in which the wagons and horses were kept. In fact this 
was a legal requirement. For the protection of travelers, an act, approved 
February 12, 1825, provided that no license to keep a tavern should be 
granted to any person unless twenty-four citizens (later the number was re- 
duced to twelve) should certify that the applicant was of good moral char- 
acter, that it would be to the benefit of travelers and conducive to the public 
good if such tavern should be opened, and that they believed it to be the 
bona fide intention of the applicant to keep a tavern for the accommodation 
of travelers. The applicant had to prove to the satisfaction of the board of 


county commissioners that he was a bona fide owner or tenant, for one year, 
or more years, of a good house with at least three apartments, and a stable 
convenient to said house, with at least four good stalls. The applicant had 
to show further that he was the owner of at least two- beds and bedding over 
and above what was needed for his family, and that he had all other neces- 
sary furniture, etc. He also had to give security for his faithful observance 
of all requirements of the statute. Drovers also went along the road with 
droves of hogs, sheep, cattle, etc., for market at Indianapolis or Cincinnati. 
Many tavern keepers, and in fact others, were prepared to care for such 
droves and flocks by having pens and lots fenced near the tavern. A portion 
of the tract of land lying between the National road and the railroad just 
west of Philadelphia and east of Sugar creek was used for this purpose for 
many years by Charles Atherton, one of the very early pioneers of the 

Taverns could always be identified by signs that were hung up. Or- 
dinarily the word ''Tavern," painted on a large board, announced this fact. 
Others displayed a brightly polished brass plate with a design of some kind 
engraved upon it. Travelers always understood that this signified a tavern. 
The location of the Guymon House in Greenfield, for instance, was adver- 
tised in the local papers for many years after the Civil War, "At the Sign 
of the Eagle." 

A few taverns were established along the Centerville road before the 
organization of the county. Among them were Samuel B. Jackson, whose 
house was. located near the the present site of the terminal car barns at Green- 
field, and Jeremiah Meek, whose house stood on the north side of the old 
state road, about where the county jail now stands. There were, no doubt, 
others who made it a business to keep travelers, but of whom we have no 
record at this time. 

After the organization of the county a fee was collected from all tavern 
keepers. This license fee was $5.00 during the greater part of the time. 
The first license granted by the board of county commissioners of Hancock 
county was issued to John Branden at the August term, 1829. The follow- 
ing is the record : 

"On the application of John Branden, Esq., by a recommendation of 
twelve or more of his fellow citizens within the town of Greenfield and its 
vicinity for a license to open a public house within the town of Greenfield in 
said county of Hancock, Indiana. 

"Therefore, it is ordered by the board that said John Branden be licensed 
as such for and during the term of one year from the date of said license. — 


And the said Branden now produces a certificate from under the hand of the 
treasurer of said county of him having paid $5.00 — ^etc, as a tax on said 

At the May term, 183 1, the board made the following entry relative to 
the application of Samuel C. Duncan for a license to open a tavern : 

"On the application of Samuel C. Duncan for a license to open a tavern, 
at his tavern in Brandywine Township and County of Hancock, therefore it is 
ordered and considered by the board that the said Samuel C. Duncan be 
licensed as such for and during the term of one year from the date thereof, 
by his paying a tax on the same of $5.00, and filing his bond with approved 
security according to law in such case made and provided. Whereupon he 
presents Nathan Crawford as his security which is approved by the court." 

At the same term the following entry was made by the board of county 
commissioners on the application of John Branden : 

"On the application of John Branden for a license to open a house of 
entertainment in the town of Greenfield for and during the term of one vear 
from the date thereof. Therefore it is ordered by the Board that the said 
John Branden be licensed as such for and during the term of one year as 
aforesaid by his paying a tax on the same of $5.00 to the Treasurer of said 
County and filing his bond according to law, in such case made and pro- 
vided. Security approved of by Board — William Ryse." 

For a decade or more, beginning with 1829, taverns were established 
and located as follows, as shown by the record of the county commissioners : 

Keepers Dates Location 

John Branden . 1829 Greenfield 

Samuel Duncan 183 1 Brandywine township 

James Parker J 834 Sugar Creek 

Henry Woods 1836 Charlottesville 

Peter F. Newland 1836 . Sugar Creek 

*A. G. Morris 1836 Portland 

John Hare 1836 Charlottesville 

*Asa Gooding 1837 Greenfield 

*James Parker J 837 Sugar Creek 

♦Washington Landis 1837 Charlottesville 

*David Richardson 1837 Sugar Creek 

♦Elijah Knight 1838 Greenfield 

*James Hamilton 1838 Greenfield 

*Lewis Burk 1838 Greenfield 


Keepers Dates Location 

*Samuel Goble 1839 Portland 

*Basil Meek 1839 Greenfield 

* William I. Rush 1839 Hancock county 

*William Mullins 1839 Hancock county 

* Johnson Woods 1839 Hancock county 

*John R. Burges 1841 New Palestine 

*Also retailed spirituous liquor "by the small." 

Taverns along the National road were advertised in the Greenfield 
papers. The following taken from the Greenfield Spectator, September, 
1848, calls attention not only to the hotel, but to the wagon yard, accommo- 
dations for drovers, etc. : 


"The undersigned would respectfully inform his friends and the travel- 
ing public that he has leased for a term of years the above house, formerly 
kept by J. Ross, six miles west of Greenfield, where he will at all times be 
prepared to accommodate those who may favor him with their custom in a 
style inferior to none. 

"wagon yard. 

"In connection with the above house, there is a large wagon yard; also, 
rooms for movers, drovers, etc. His bills will be in accordance with the 
times. "Hugh J. Kelly. " 


The first tax levy was made by the board of county commissioners at 
their May term, 1828. It was not levied upon the value of the property. It 
was a specific tax, not an ad valorem tax. Thus a tax of thirty-seven and a 
half cents was levied on each horse, eighteen and three-fourths cents on each 
work ox, twenty-five cents on each silver or pinchbeck watch. The amount 
of the tax was fixed regardless of the value of the property. One horse 
might be worth as much as two others, but the tax was the same on all. Dur- 
ing the first years the assessors did not have to fix the valuation of prop- 
erty. Their only duty was to collect the number of items of a man's prop- 
erty and the tax was so much per. The following is the entry in the commis- 
sioners' record, which established the tax rate in the year 1828 : 

"It is ordered by the Board that the following rate of taxes be assessed 



for the year 1828, on the persons and property of Hancock County, for polls, 
fifty cents, for a horse, thirty-seven and a half cents, for a work ox, eighteen 
and three-fourths cents, for silver and pinchbeck watches, twenty-five cents, 
for gold watch, one dollar, and for land, half the rates of state taxes." 

At the May meetings of the board in 1829, 1830 and 1831, the rate of 
1828 was readopted. The following entry was made for 1832: 

"It is ordered by the Board that there be assessed on Town Lots one 
half cent on each dollar, on work oxen, twenty-five cents on each ox, fifty 
cents on each horse over five years old, on each watch fifty cents, brass clocks 
each, one dollar, on every hundred acres of first rate land, forty cents, second 
rate, thirty cents, third rate, twenty cents, for road purposes equal to the 
county aforesaid." 

The above rate was also readopted for 1833 ar *d 1834. In 1835 the 
following levy was made : 

"Ordered that the rates of taxation on property for the year 1835 shall 
be as follows to-wit: — On land one half the amount of the State tax; on 
polls, fifty cents each ; horses over ten dollars in value, on pleasure carriages, 
watches, fifty cents each." 

At the January term, 1836, the following entry was made relative to 
tax rates for that year : 

"Ordered that the rates of taxation on property for the year 1836 shall 
be as follows to-wit : — On land one half the amount of the state tax, on polls 
fifty cents each ; on horses over ten dollars in value, on pleasure carriages, 
and watches fifty cents each ; on work oxen three years of age fifty cents 
per yoke; on each tavern license five dollars, on each grocery license in the 
town of Greenfield fifteen dollars on all such as are taken at this term, those 
taken out at subsequent terms in the town of Greenfield twenty- five dollars; 
in all other parts of the county ten dollars on such as are granted this term 
and such as are subsequently granted, fifteen dollars; license to vend wooden 
clocks, ten dollars; license to vend foreign merchandise, ten dollars." 

At a special meeting of the board on June 13, 1836, another levy was 
made, which was on an entirely different basis, being levied on the value of 
the property. Under this levy it became necessary not only to learn how 
many horses, oxen, wagons, etc., a man possessed, but to assess that prop- 
erty at a certain value and then determine the amount of taxes from the value 
of the property. The entry made by the board at this special session is as 
follows : 

"Ordered that for the purpose of raising a county revenue there be a 
tax levying of twenty cents on each hundred dollars of valuation and one 


cent on each hundred dollars of valuation for road purposes, and seventy-five 
cents on each poll — for county purposes." 

The method of taxation was hereby changed from a specific to an ad 
valorem basis and has remained upon that basis to the present. Similar en- 
tries were made for the years 1837 and 1838. 

As the county grew, more money was required to transact its business, 
and it is interesting to observe how the levy became more inclusive from 
year to year. The levies made in 1839 and 1840 are very similar. The levy 
of 1840 is given because of its greater clearness. Following is the entry: 

"Ordered that for the purpose of aiding in raising a revenue for county 
purposes, there shall be assessed on each license to retail spirituous liquors 
in Greenfield the sum of twenty-five dollars and in all other parts of the 
county the sum of fifteen dollars ; on each license to -vend foreign merchan- 
dise and foreign domestic groceries five dollars for any amount not exceed- 
ing one thousand, and two dollars and fifty cents for each additional one 
thousand dollars; provided, however, that no license on merchandise shall 
exceed in all the sum of twenty dollars ; on each license to vend wooden 
clocks the sum of fifty dollars ; on each traveling caravan, managerie, or other 
collection of animals, or show of wax figures, or circus exhibition to the 
people for money, thirty dollars for each day's exhibition; on each one hun- 
dred dollars valuation of taxables fifteen cents for state revenue, and fifty 
cents on each poll for state revenue, on each one hundred dollars valuation 
of taxables thirty cents for county revenue, and seventy-five cents on each 
poll for county revenue, and on each .one hundred dollars of valuation of 
taxables five cents for road purposes." 

The license fee established in the entry above remained in force, and 
similar rates were maintained for a number of years. The county treasurer 
collected taxes. He did not, however, depend on people coming to his office 
to pay them, but published notices that he would be in the different town- 
ships at stated times to receive taxes. The following notice, taken from an 
issue of the Greenfield Spectator, September, 1848, is illustrative of this early 
custom : 


"Is hereby given that the undersigned will attend at the usual place of 
holding elections in each township in Hancock county on the following days 
for the purpose of receiving taxes for the year, 1848, to-wit :" (Here follow 
dates and the notice is signed, "J. Huntington, T. H. C") 

There was also another officer, the "collector of revenue," whose spe- 


cial business it was to collect the taxes that had not been paid to the county 
treasurer. The report of Joseph Chapman, collector of revenue of the county 
for the year 183 1, shows that he collected $328.78. There was a delinquent 
list of $24.38 that year. This left a balance of $304.40. The collector re- 
ceived a commission of six per cent, for making collection. His commission 
for the year 183 1 amounted to $18.27, leaving a balance to pay to the county 
treasurer of $286.13. 

The amounts collected annually were, of course, very small compared 
with the amounts collected now. The total tax realized on the levy for 1829, 
including poll tax, license fees, etc., amounted to $703.17; for 1833, 
$787,883/2 ; and for 1835, the last year under the old system $925.28. For the 
next year under the ad valorem system, $1,665.74 was collected; evidently 
the change from the specific to the ad valorem system was a wise one for the 
purpose of raising money. 

The returns for 1832 showed 524 polls, 485 horses, 172 oxen, 27 watches 
and one clock. The report for 1835 showed 684 polls, 709 horses. 130 oxen, 
15 silver watches, one gold watch, three pinchbeck watches, and two brass 


In 1840 the county had been organized twelve years. It had been 
twenty-two years since the first settlers made their homes within its borders. 
The magnitude of what had been accomplished by these early people can be 
appreciated, in a measure at least, by a reference to the United States census 
report of 1840, in which the statistics of the county are included. We had at 
that time, as shown by the report: Horses and mules, 2,743; cattle, 5,745; 
sheep, 5,789; swine, 28,306; wheat, 28,531 bushels; dairy products, valued at 
$283,232; oats, 66,392 bushels; rye, 2,130 bushels; buckwheat, 1,641 bushels; 
corn, 86,095 bushels; potatoes, 11,090 bushels; hay, 1,612 tons. 

Several crops were grown in the early history of the county that are no 
longer produced. Thus, in 1840, 1,614 bushels of buckwheat were reported; 
in i860, 6,841 bushels, while in 1870 only 544 bushels were reported. The 
last report was made upon this crop in 1890, showing that 551 bushels were 
produced. After 1890 buckwheat disappeared from the reports from Han- 
cock county. 

Maple sugar was reported for a number of years. In 1840, 39,080 
pounds are reported; in 1850, 38,213 pounds; in i860, 5,564 pounds. A 
decade later 557 pounds were produced, while in 1880 only 90 pounds were 
produced. In 1890 one-half of this amount was reported. 


Hemp and flax were important in the early crops of the county. Six 
and one-fourth tons were reported in 1840. In 1850, 4,926 pounds of flax 
straw were reported and 317 bushels of seed. The culture of flax declined 
for a time during and immediately after the Civil War. In the latter part 
of the seventies it increased again and in 1880 the United States census reports 
2,067 tons of straw and 57,972 bushels of seed. It was so extensively grown 
in the county at that time that reference was frequently made to the crop by 
the local correspondents. Thus, on May 1, 1879, the correspondent from 
Woodbury wrote : "Farmers are about done sowing flax and there has been 
an immense crop sown in our township this year." 

On May 15, 1879, the Warrington correspondent wrote: "The farmers 
are getting alarmed about their flax crop. They say if it does not rain pretty 
soon the flax will be a failure." 

The culture of flax was encouraged by oil crushers who bought the seed 
and used it to make oil. The oil crushers furnished the seed to the farms 
and agreed to purchase the crop when made. During the later seventies and 
the early eighties independent firms sprung up over the country and a war 
was made on prices. Flax culture thereafter soon became a matter of his- 
tory in Hancock county. 

It is interesting to observe also the importance of the tobacco crop in 
the earlier development of the county. In 1840, 10,304 pounds were reported, 
and 69,432 pounds in i860. Since the Civil War the tobacco crop has been 
very light in the county. In 1880, 3,110 pounds were reported, but later re- 
ports show less than 800 pounds. 

We have only one census report in which skins and furs are reported 
from Hancock county. That is from the report of 1840, in which their value 
is placed at $809. 

In the census report of 1840 Hancock county is also credited with one 
distillery, which gave employment to three men and produced 10,000 gallons 

We must bear in mind that in these early days the spinning wheel and 
the distaff were found in practically all of the homes. The value of home- 
made goods was reported in 1840 at $19,239. The value of the garden 
products, on the other hand, for the entire county was reported at only $50. 

The census report shows that the nursery and florist's stock was esti- 
mated at a value of $1,150; that this gave employment to three men and 
that the capital invested therein was estimated at $3,300. The nursery stock 
was owned by Isaac Barrett just north of Charlottesville. A few years later 
this stock was moved, or another nursery was started by Joshua Meek on a 
farm just across Brandywine, northeast of Greenfield. 


Fifteen retail dry goods, groceries and other stores were reported with 
a capital of $51,075. 

The value of the wagons and carriages manufactured in the county dur- 
ing that year was reported at $664. Five men were employed in the wagon 
and carriage-making business and the capital invested therein was estimated 
to be $500. The owner of the wagon-making establishment at Greenfield in 
1845 was H. McClenen. 

Nine grist-mills and eleven saw-mills were reported and the value of 
their products per annum was $7,500. The value of hats and caps manufac- 
tured in the county was estimated at $1,600. Two persons were employed 
in the business and the capital invested therein was placed at $2,000. There 
were two tanneries in the county that tanned during the year 350 sides of 
sole leather and 400 sides of upper leather. Four men were employed and 
$6,050 was invested in the business. 

The population of the county was reported in 1840 as 7,535 persons; of 
these, 1,494 were engaged in agriculture and nine in commerce. There were 
seven common schools in the county, attended by 156 pupils. There were 330 
persons in the county over twenty years of age unable to read or write. 

The farmers' annual register, issued in 1845, shows that the county had 
four attorneys, viz : David M. C. Lane, D. S. Gooding, J. R. Williams and 
Thomas D. Walpole ; five physicians, B. F. Duncan, Simon Alters, Robert 
E. Barnett, Hiram Comstock and N. P. Howard. The principal merchants 
reported in the county were : John Templin & Company, H. T. Hart & Com- 
pany, at Greenfield, and Jonathan Evans at New Palestine. Three post- 
offices are reported : Greenfield, William Sebastian, postmaster ; Philadel- 
phia, Charles Atherton, postmaster; Charlottesville, Henry Kinder, postmas- 
ter. The register also reports that the National road passed through the 
county, and that the Dayton and Indianapolis stage passed east and west 
through Greenfield. The Greenfield Reveille was published at Greenfield in 

In 1850 the Indiana Gazetteer continued this report of the county: 

"The soil is unusually rich, though in some portions of the county it re- 
quires draining before it can be cultivated to advantage. 

"Wheat, corn and grass, of which a considerable surplus, as well as of 
hogs, cattle and horses, are raised for exportation. The estimated value of 
the surplus is $75,000. 

"There are in the county twenty stores, eighteen mills propelled by water ; 
five lawyers, fourteen physicians, thirteen preachers, and the usual propor- 


tion of carpenters, smiths, coopers and wheelwrights. There are twelve 
churches, belonging mostly to the Methodists and Baptists." 

As shown by the United States census report of 1850, just above one- 
fourth of the forest in the county had been cut away. At first thought it 
would seem that the county was being pretty well cleared. A large portion 
of the soil had been prepared for cultivation, yet only one acre out of every 
four of the broad, prairie-like fields over which we now look had been cleared 
for cultivation. Practically three-fourths of the fields that now fall within 
our view were still covered with timber. The cash value of the farms of the 
county were estimated at $1,405,948. The value of the live stock in the 
county was estimated at $238,524. The population had grown to 9,594, of 
which 104 were colored persons. The school attendance had increased to 
2,413. The days of the large district schools were here or were approach- 
ing. A few of the old records still left in the county giving the reports of 
teachers made in 1854, show attendance of from fifty to sixty pupils in the 
different parts of the county. Charlottesville, Philadelphia, New Palestine, 
Nashville and Warrington had all been laid out and contained a few houses, 
possibly a store or two and a blacksmith shop. Fortville, which had just been 
laid out, was known as "Walpole." Cleveland was known as "Portland," and 
Eden went by the name of "Lewisburg." Greenfield in 1850, as reported in 
the Indiana Gazetteer for that year, contained sixty dwellings, with a pop- 
ulation of about 300. The greater number of houses were along Main street, 
with a few on the "back street" (North street). Greenfield was incorporated 
as a town in 1850 and did not become a city until more than twenty-six years 

Several state roads had been built in various directions across the county 
but they were all dirt roads, as was also the National road. The Plank road, 
of which we hear so much, was not constructed until 1852. There was only one 
railroad in the county, the Knightstown-Shelbyville railway. The Bee Line, 
now known as the Big Four, which passes through McCordsville and Fortville, 
was not built until 185 1, and the Indiana Central, now known as the Pennsyl- 
vania Line, was not built until 1852. 

It is not the intention to give a detailed discussion of statistics.. The 
accompanying tabulated statement made from the United States census re- 
ports will give an opportunity, however, for the study of the increase and 
decline of the principal crops and products that have made our development 










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This society was organized as an auxiliary of the American Bible Society 
in 1837, by Rev. Richmond, who was also its first president. At the opening 
of the Civil War, David S. Gooding was the president of the society. He was 
followed by George Barnett, F. M. Gilchrist, G. W. Dove, and others. Prior 
to the presidency of David S. Gooding, Joseph Mathews, John Rardin and 
H. B. Wilson were at the head of the society. The purpose for which it was 
organized was the distribution of Bibles among especially the poorer classes. 
The society remained active until in the early nineties. At that time quite 
a large distribution of Bibles was made and rather a large amount of money 
was handled in the county in this work. 


The agricultural possibilities of the county were recognized at an early 
day and efforts were made to develop them. In 1835 the following entry 
was made in the record of the board of county commissioners of Hancock 
county : 

"Ordered that the sheriff cause to be put up in each township three notices 
that there will be held at the court house in Greenfield, on the third Saturday 
of June, 1835, a meeting of the citizens of the county for the purpose of or- 
ganizing a county agricultural society." 

We have no history of the result of this meeting. 

The first agricultural association of which we have any definite history 
was organized in the county in 1856, for the purpose of holding county fairs. 
Andrew T. Hart was elected president of the group of persons who associated 
themselves together for this purpose. The first county fair was held at Green- 
field during the summer or fall of 1856, at the east end of town, north of 
the National road. After the first year, the fair was moved to the south side 
of the railroad, east of Brandywine creek, on land belonging to Samuel Mil- 
roy. The promoters continued to hold their fair on this land until i860, with- 
out having any very definite business organization. They seem to have had 
very little capital stock and did not own the ground on which the fairs were 
held. In i860, they organized a joint stock company and elected the follow- 
ing officers: Robert E. Barnett, president; John Hinchman and John P. 
Banks, vice-presidents; James L. Mason, secretary; John H. White, treasurer. 

At that time Henry Newby, Samuel Heavenridge and Joshua Meek 
were appointed to select grounds for the fair. The committee made a favor- 
able report upon eight acres of land, owned by Samuel Milroy, which was 


bought, and on which the fairs continued to be held until about 1879. Judg- 
ing from newspaper reports, the fairs must have been conducted pretty much on 
the plan of those with which we are familiar. Stock, grains, fruits and all 
sorts of products were exhibited, for the best of which premiums were offered. 
Then there were also side shows, balloon ascensions, and, in fact, almost every- 
thing that can be offered as an attraction upon fair grounds. 

The year 1867 seems to have offered a very successful fair. Almost a 
double number of tickets was reported sold and one thousand entries were 
reported in the different classes. The local paper contains the following 
little note concerning this fair: "Those fond of sight seeing can be accom- 
modated in almost any line from a double horse to a hoe-down by the sable 
sons of Africa." A balloon ascension was advertised for the last day of the 

The following officers were elected in 1874: Wesley Addison, presi- 
dent; N. P. Howard, vice-president and general superintendent; William 
Mitchell, secretary; John J. W r alker, treasurer; Burd Lacey, director eastern 
district ; John H. White, director middle district ; John Steele, director western 
district; John Hinchman, county at large; Joseph Baldwin, county at large. 
The men above named took an active interest in the management of the fair 
for a number of years. 

During its later years, the fair seems to have been less successful finan- 
cially than it was during its earlier years. A fire destroyed Floral hall in 
1 87 1. It was never rebuilt, and the last fair was held in 1879. 

In 1883, an effort was made to reorganize the association by issuing one 
hundred and fifty shares of stock, at twenty-five dollars each, and distribut- 
ing these shares in certain proportions among the people of the different town- 
ships. No person was to have more than four shares. The effort at this 
time failed. On December 5, 1885, there was a meeting of people interested 
in the promotion of another fair, and the following directors were elected : 
Blue River, Frank Tyner; Brandy wine, Coleman Pope: Brown, Dr. R. D. 
Hanna; Buck Creek, George Parker; Vernon, Harvey Caldwell; Greenfield, 
J. Ward Walker, Eph Marsh and H. B. Thayer; Center, Marion Steele; 
Green, Dr. William A. Justice; Jackson, K. T. White; Sugar Creek, Anton 
Schildmeier, Jr. The following officers were also elected : J. Ward Walker, 
president; K. T. White, vice-president; Charles Downing, secretary; Nelson 
Bradley, treasurer; Charles G. Offutt, legal advisor. The association was 
organized as a joint stock company with a capital stock of twelve thousand five 
hundred dollars. 

On December 21, 1885, Boyd's grove, north of Greenfield, was selected 


as the fair ground. The race track was prepared during 1886, and the first 
fair opened on August 24, 1886. Fairs continued to be held on this ground 
for fifteen years or more, when the association also became financially em- 
barrassed. On February 23, 1903, William A. Hough was appointed receiver 
to wind up its affairs. He afterward sold the ground to George T. Randall. 
Mr. Randall platted the ground and it is now known as "Randall Place" in 


In the early files of the Hancock Democrat notices are found showing that 
township Sunday school conventions were held in different parts of the county. 
We find no record of a county convention, however, until on July 21, 1868. 
Pursuant to a call that had been theretofore given, a convention was held at 
Greenfield, at which all of the townships were represented. On that day an 
organization was effected, which became known as the "Sabbath School 
Union." The following were the first officers elected: President, A. K. 
Branham ; vice-presidents : Blue River, Elihu Coffin, Jr. ; Brown, Dr. William 
Trees; Brandy wine, John P. Banks; Buck Creek, Ephraim Thomas; Center, 
M. C. Foley; Green, R. J. Ramsey; Jackson, James M. Clark; Sugar Creek, 
T. E. Smock ; Vernon, Levi Thomas ; secretary, Jonathan Tague ; correspond- 
ing secretary, E. I. Judkins ; executive committee, Dr. C. F. Lockwood, M. L. 
Paullus and Thomas Kane. 

A program had been made out for that day, touching upon the various 
phases of Sunday school work and dwelling upon the necessity and advantage 
of closer organization. Since this time county conventions have been held 
practically every year and during some years more than one convention has 
been held. The early conventions were generally held at Greenfield. On 
April 27, 1872, the Hancock Sabbath School Society convention was held 
at the Methodist Episcopal church at Greenfield. In 1873, a Sabbath school 
union convention was held for a period of three days, April 25, 26 and 27. 
Conventions were also held at different places, including Philadelphia, Fort- 
ville, New Palestine, Charlottesville, and likely other points. In later years 
the county conventions were practically all held again at Greenfield, township 
conventions being held in the separate townships. 

The Indiana Gazetteer, 1850, reported in Hancock county thirteen preach- 
ers and twelve churches. Some of these churches possibly supported Sunday 
schools, but the great growth of Sunday schools from that date to the present 
can probably be shown best by the report of a survey of the county in 19 14, 
and published in The Azvakener in July, 1914: 


Population, age 6 to 21 years 4,736 

Total population 19,030 

Number of Sunday schools 51 

Number of scholars 5,1 18 

Number of officers and teachers 678 

Average attendance 3,229 

Added to church from Sunday school 379 

Number of cradle rolls 32 

Cradle roll members 488 

Number of home departments 26 

Home department members 478 

Number of Sunday schools keeping a record of tem- 
perance pledges u 10 

For many years the state apportionment was thirty dollars for this county. 
It has been one hundred dollars now for a number of years. 

Among the officers and workers in the Hancock County Sunday School 
Association none have been more faithful than Mrs. Robert H. Archey, who 
has been secretary of the association for the past twenty years, or since May, 
1895. The presidents of the association during that time have been Charles 
Ratliff, Rev. L. A. Wells, of the Friends church, at Greenfield; Edward W. 
Felt, George J. Richman, W. C. Goble, Dr. B. S. Binford, Milo Goodpasture, 
Charles. Cook and Henry Hawkins, the latter being president at this time. 

The home department of the association was organized at Mt. Comfort 
in May, 1895. Miss Emma Parnell was the first home department superin- 


As the people who first settled in the county grew older, and especially as 
those who had spent their younger years in the unbroken forests grew to old 
age, there was a desire to live over again the experiences of the older days. 
The local papers announced meetings of the old settlers in various parts of 
the state, and on July 18, 1874, a meeting of the citizens was held at Warring- 
ton for the purpose of arranging for an old settlers' meeting in that vicinity. 
On that day the following officers were elected: President, John Vandyne; 
vice-president, Benjamin F. Reeves; secretary, A. J. Reeves; A. C. Tharpe 
and T. H. Armstrong, marshals; committee on arrangements, Nathan Over- 
man, W. Marsh, R. Blakely, Thomas Walker, George Mingle, J. N. Martin- 
dale, E. H. Barrett, William Bridges, A. W. Hammer, John Vandyne, S. 
McCray, Asa Perkey, E. Burns, James Warrum, James Stanley, W. G. Cauld- 


well, J. A. McDaniel, Bird Lacy, John B. Hays, John Jackson, R. Cooper, 
Allen York. 

Arrangements were made to hold a meeting at Holiday's grove, one- 
fourth mile north of Warrington, on August 21, 1874. Quite a large assem- 
bly of people was present on that occasion, but we have fuller details of meet- 
ings that were held at later dates. 

Old settlers' meetings continued to be held in that neighborhood from 
time to time for a number of years. One of the largest was held on Septem- 
ber 2.2, 1883, at Copeland's grove, north of Warrington. A gentleman named 
Roach, from Anderson, addressed the people, giving a history of the manners 
and customs of the county fifty years ago. He reviewed the price of corn, 
stock, labor, the manner of cooking, log rolling, flax raising, manufacturers, 
and the good qualities of the old pumpkin pies and chicken potpies. He also 
reviewed, for the enlightenment of the younger generation, the old way of 
sparking and marrying. 

A feature of this meeting was an exhibition of relics. The following 
were reported in the Hancock Democrat of that time : Sarah Newkirk, 
table fork, sixty-five years old ; apron, seventy years old ; song book, made by a 
relative, seventy-four years old ; another book, ninety years old ; J. D. New- 
kirk, sickle, fifty years old ; C. C. Butler, Bible, one hundred and twenty-three 
years old; Philip Cronk, sword used by relative in War of 1812; Matt F. 
Cook, cotton dress home-manufactured, sixty-five years old ; Matt's first vest, 
sixty-two years old; Margaret Garriott, Bible and Testament; H. C. Garriott, 
first cap, forty years old ; William M. Hays, first pair of pants, forty years old ; 
Hattie McDaniel, sugar tongs, one hundred years old; Elizabeth Bundy, 
sugar bowl, seventy-two years old; Sarah Newkirk, reticule, seventy-five 
years old. 

A similar meeting was held at Fortville in the same year, and for a 
number of years many of our people attended old settlers' meetings at Oak- 
landon, in Marion county. 

During the week of the county fair, 1879, a number of citizens of the 
county appointed a committee to make arrangements for an old settlers' meet- 
ing to be held at Greenfield in 1880. Nelson Bradley, Stephen T. Dickinson 
and Washington Duncan were placed on this committee. The meeting was 
set for August 17, 1880, at Boyd's grove, just north of the city of Greenfield. 
A number of chairs were provided, and a large stand was erected for the speak- 
ers. On the back of the stand was a large oil painting by John Keifer, repre- 
senting the habitation of an old settler. It was a log cabin. In the door stood 
the wife ; at the left, a rosy-faced girl, feeding the fowls ; on the right sat 


father, planning for the future ; near him stood the son, watching a dusky In- 
dian nearby. A coon skin was stretched on the side of the house near the 
chimney ; a barrel lay on the ground in front of the house, labeled "hard cider," 
and in a tree in the background sat a wise old owl. Near the picture on the 
back of the stage was a large American flag. 

The addresses delivered on these occasions Avere, of course, full of remi- 
niscences of pioneer days. Quite a number of old settlers were invited to 
speak, and a few of the speeches of this particular day are included herein. 
They must always be interesting for the pioneer spirit which they will reflect. 


"Ladies and Gentlemen : At old settlers' meetings it is fitting and proper 
to call up the past and rehearse memories and events past and gone. I was 
born in territorial government, long before it became the state of Indiana. My 
birthplace is in the Whitewater valley, near Metamora. As minister I have 
lived in three or four counties and traveled over all the middle and eastern 
part of the state. I could go back in the history of our country and relate the 
many trials of the past and the building up of the present. I have seen 
grand movements arise from a wilderness and poverty. We all began there. 
I see many here today who can recall to memory all this. You can tell inci- 
dents startling and true! So can I, but I will content myself by relating a 
little incident, which, although harmless, impressed me deeply; many have 
probably experienced similar ones. When four years old, I was terribly 
afraid of Indians. A large party of them came to father's house to trade. On 
seeing them, my fear was so great that I slipped away and concealed myself 
in a hollow stump. As I crawled into the hollow, a grand-looking old fellow 
espied me and, knowing my design, he came after me ; taking me up, he car- 
ried me to the front, by the side of all the Indians. I thought I was gone. 
He meant no harm and wished only to scare me. 

"We have all felt hardships; have seen enterprises of the republic start 
from the bottom, yes, from the forest. Look over the history of the world ; 
of every republic that has been established ; yet, will any compare with ours ? 
Being free, the old settlers went to work with energy ; into the wilderness they 
penetrated ; cleared the way for progress and a good republic. 

"Young people of today know little of the trials we endured to secure an 
education. A log hut, windows made by cutting out a log and pasting oiled 
paper over the hole, was our school house. There we learned to read, write, 
spell and cipher, and from such places the best men and statesmen of America 
have risen. Presidents and other high officers there began their upward 


"I see many old ladies present. No one deserves to be reverenced more. 
They have heard the prowling of the wolf and savage and never faltered. 
Many a mother and sister present can remember when clothing made of deer 
skin was the best. Well do I remember what pleasure it gave me to don my 
first pair of pantaloons made of deer skin. My first coat was of deer skin 
and, had it not been for the moths and I had I known we would ever thus 
meet, I could have kept it and worn it today. Thanking you, I will give 
way to others." 


"Old Settlers and Citizens of Hancock : I have no doubt that many of 
those present today, when we rehearse what events occurred, will say within 
themselves, surely they exaggerate the truth. I came to this county on Oc- 
tober 28, 1834 — forty-six years ago — a little over the average natural life of 
most people. When I look over that time and the changes wrought, the hard- 
ships endured, I conclude it is not I that have lived to be present here, yet it is 
true. When I came to the north part of the county and settled in Vernon 
township it was a wilderness ; no settlement or cabin for miles around. I set- 
tled in a large woods and began the work of clearing. The woods here is no 
comparison to the woods at that time. When I go back and consider these 
things it seems it is not me here today. I can say what many old settlers can- 
not say. I have most always enjoyed good health. No matter what kind of 
weather, I went out if necessary. Many times have I gone five or six miles 
to a log-rolling or barn-raising, and I have worked as high as eighteen days 
rolling logs without returning home. No matter how much water or snow 
was on the ground, we would not stop. Some of the neighbors, old settlers, 
can witness everything I say to be true. When we look back and see how 
young people dressed them, how now, how they acted then and how now, ] 
am led to believe they will never fully realize how the way was paved for them 
by their fathers and forefathers. Everything is now changed, even the mode 
of worship. We always held the meetings in private houses. There were no 
attempts at display, and everyone felt that we were on an equality. We had to 
walk for miles to attend church. In order to save their shoes, the ladies would 
carry them in their hands, tramp along, wade the swamps, until in sight of 
the place of worship, when they would sit down and put them on. After 
services, on the return toward home, no sooner were they out of sight than 
they would sit down and take off their shoes and trudge along home. You 
cannot find anyone who will do that now. Now they must have a horse and a 
fine buggy or else they cannot go, ever though the distance be one mile. Our 


women walked four miles and did not grumble. Six yards would then make 
a nice dress, and they would wear it from six to twelve months. Now it takes 
fifteen yards [William Sears: "Some take twenty-five." Laughter], and 
they don't wear it five months. The first winter I could fell timber in my 
yard. Our chairs were three-legged stools; the table, a bench with four 
legs. Comparing the times then with now, it is calculated to bring up feel- 
ings that young people can never experience." 


"In our younger days we would always say 'Ladies and Gentlemen,' but 
on the present it is more fitting to say 'Fathers and Mothers.' You have 
just heard two ministers tell a little of their experiences. A preacher one-half 
century ago, if worth anything when he commenced, became poorer and 
poorer — one evidence of his sincerity. The people grew wiser and better. 
The old pioneer preachers, when worn out, found themselves without land or 
other possessions, would fill their jacket pockets with pills, or go to mending 
shoes to keep gaunt want and privations from their door. I was born in 
old Virginia, at the time when it owned this territory. Moved to White- 
water valley and went into the block-house with my parents, six miles north 
of Connersville. After peace was restored, we settled and soon afterward 
I married and went to Rush county. That county was wealthy. I only 
had forty acres and, having ambition, I wanted more, so moved on. When I 
came here, one-half century ago, Robert Milroy was superintendent of the 
National road, and was building the stone bridge, now standing in Green- 
field. Speaking of roads, I want to say a word about gravel roads. .We old 
settlers cleared the way for the roads, helped build them, and today, when we 
came to this meeting, were compelled to pay toll. It looks like poverty, to 
hear that the officers instructed their gate-keepers to remain at home and 
collect full toll. It is a disgrace. Shame on such deeds! The women de- 
serve praise for their heroism in the early settlement of the country. I have 
seen mothers, aunts and sisters, from dark to daylight with gun in hand 
and the trigger cocked, keeping away the wolf and Indians. The old ladies 
have borne the heat and work for the present. They were faithful, true 
and heroic." 


"In the year 1840, I was appointed collector of the revenue of Hancock 
countv, known now as treasurer. But this duty was not then performed as it 
is now. The citizens of the county did not then call at the office and pay 


their taxes ; in fact, we had no office, therefore, I was obliged to travel through 
the county from house to house and receive and receipt, wherever I could find 
a taxpayer. Many receipts have I filled on stumps and log-heaps, and (droll 
as it may seem to you) I have received mink and coon skins in payment for 
taxes. I well recollect on one occasion being over in Vernon township near 
where McCordsville now stands, at one Wm. McCords, of whom I made a 
collection and late in the evening I started for my old friend, William Cald- 
well (who was the first justice of the peace that ever was in Vernon township). 
But dark overtaking me, I let my horse have his own way. He guided me 
to what was then known as the 'Big Deadening', where I found a cabin occu- 
pied by a family by the name of Jones, and by the way, Mr. Jones was a very 
clever gentleman, although they had just moved in and were unprepared to 
receive and accommodate, yet he received me in a very kind and hospitable 
manner. But the will was there, God bless him and his wife for their treat- 
ment. The needy shared alike with the wealthy. In those times all loved 
one another; but now, when pride creeps in, love creeps out. 

"These old settlers came here not to plunder nor to get rich in a month 
or a year, but to make an honest living, just as God intended they should, 
by the sweat of their brow. And many times their sole sustenance was johnny- 
cake and venison, being entirely destitute of salt. And this venison, in pre- 
paring it for what was termed jerk, was cut in thin slices, and, by having thin 
sticks inserted, were placed over our fires in our log-cobins, where it hung 
until perfectly dry ; when prepared in this way — kept from moisture — it would 
keep for almost any length of time. And occasionally we would kill a fat 
bear and then we could afford to shorten our johnny-cake, and if we were 
lucky enough to raise any pumpkins, we stewed them and made what was 
known as 'pumpkin pone,' and on such occasions the neighbors generally re- 
ceived a cordial invitation. 

"And now, as regards the old pioneer mothers, who were willing to make 
their living by the sweat of their brow. I have seen these old mothers, after 
spinning nearly all day, sit down, as they said, 'to rest', and take their needle 
and thread in hand and make a calico dress before bedtime, a plain calico 
dress; they needed none of that artificial beauty. You saw none of those 
whalebones nor bumps, Grecian-benders, nor humps — but their bodies were 
the most beautiful of God's creation. And the young men of that day found 
them just as attractive and as interesting as the young men of today consider 
the young ladies of the present age, and were just as anxious to place their 
arms around them, or steal a kiss from their ruby lips ; but I can't help saying, 



God bless the ladies for their good, in all ages, and dressed in any kind of 
a garb." 

A roster was made of the oldest people present with the number of years 
each had been in the county or state. The following list is taken from the 
report made at the time to the local papers: Ruth Hudson, born 1795, in 
county over fifty years; Matilda Catt, in county fifty-two years; Elihu Coffin, 
in state fifty-two years; Benjamin Reeves, in county sixty years; William 
Bridges, in county fifty years ; John B. Banks, in county fifty-one years ; David 
Caudell, in county thirty-six years; Benjamin Price, in county forty-eight 
years ; George Baxter, in county thirty-six years ; John R. Couden, in county 
forty years; Benjamin McNamee, in county forty-seven years; Mrs. Berilla 
Cooper, in county forty-six years ; George McConnell, in state fifty-six years ; 
Lewis Jackson, in county forty years; Rolman and Nelson Johns, in Brown 
township fifty-three years; Thompson Allen, in Brown township fifty-three 
years; Washington Duncan, in county sixty years; Henry Duncan, in state 
fifty-one years; Clarissa Duncan, born in state 1808; Melinda Elsbury, in 
county fifty years; Martha Roberts, in county forty-five years; Sarah Stuart, 
in county forty-six years. 

It was estimated that at least six thousand people were present on that 
day. A number of amusements were provided for the young as well as for 
the old. In fact, it seems that the amusements provided for the younger peo- 
ple proved distasteful to some of the older folks. We take the following from 
the report made to the Hancock Democrat: "We heard much comment, 
mostly unfavorable, on the allowing by the manager of the various gaming and 
dancing establishments on the ground. One old gentleman, who resides in the 
east part of town, on being met as he was leaving the grounds by a Democrat 
reporter, and asked why he was going away so soon, replied, rather angrily, 
that the 'devil was there', referring to the establishments." 

Many relics were also exhibited, which served to remind the old settlers 
of the happy hours spent years ago. Among the exhibits were a flax hackle, 
a chair, a sickle, horn and a Bible. It was generally reported that many more 
relics would have been brought had it been understood that the relics were to 
be displayed. 

On August 4, 1 88 1, a second meeting was held. It was estimated that 
at least two hundred and fifty persons came on the train from the east, and 
that from six thousand to nine thousand persons were in attendance. A fea- 
ture of this meeting was a choir composed of the old folks, who sang "Auld 
Lang Syne," "Morality," "Eternity," etc. Among the relics were a flax 
hackle, hemp hook, a boiling pan, and the horns of a large buck killed many 


years ago. The local reporter stated in his paper that "stands and other 
places where money can be spent are more numerous than was ever seen at 
any county fair." 

The third meeting at Greenfield was held on August 5, 1882, and ten 
thousand people were reported present. The old people again sang "Liberty," 
"Ohio," "Morality," etc., from the "Old Missouri Harmony." A few notes 
are taken from the local paper of that date : 

"Ebenezer Scotton, of Buck Creek township, wore an old coat which was 
over sixty years old. It was embellished with large buttons. 

"Jared C. Meek, of Eden, the first white child born in Greenfield, was 
frequently pointed out on the ground as a person with a remarkable history." 

The following were the presidents of the old settlers' meetings during 
their most flourishing years: 1880, Nelson Bradley; 1881, Thomas Hawk; 

1882, James Tyner; 1883, R. A. Riley. 

The old settlers' meetings continued to be held for several years. After 
the organization of the county fair, and the purchase of Boyd's grove by the 
fair association, a day was set apart at the fair as old settlers' day. It seems, 
however, that interest began to wane, and in a few years no further effort was 
made to continue the meetings. 


The Knightstown & Shelby ville railway was completed about 1848 
and operated until about 1855. It crossed the southeast corner of Blue River 
township, following the south valley of Blue river. The old grades may still 
be seen at some places. 

Prior to the construction of the Indiana Central railway, the Dayton coach 
made its weekly trips over the Centerville state road and, later, over the Na- 
tional road, between Indianapolis and Dayton. This was the first line estab- 
lished for the carrying of passengers. 

The Bee Line, now known as the branch of the Big Four, passing through 
McCordsville and Fortville, was constructed in 1850. In 185 1 the Indiana 
Central railroad, now known as the Pennsylvania line, was constructed through 
this county. In 1867 work was begun on the "Junction" railway, now known 
as the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton. The work on this road was concluded 
in 1869. In 1881 the Indiana, Bloomington & Western was organized, but 
trains were not run over the road until the latter part of 1882 or early in 

1883. In 1890, the branch of the Big Four running through Shirley was 

Work on the first traction line was begun in the fall of 1899. The road 


was completed in 1900 between Indianapolis and Greenfield. The first car 
ran out of Greenfield on June 13, 1900, and the road began carrying passengers 
regularly on June 17, 1900. At first the line had difficulty getting into the 
city of Indianapolis. All cars stopped at Central avenue, in Irvington, and 
passengers changed to the city cars. After a few months, however, arrange- 
ments were made by which the cars of the traction line ran into the city. 

The Union Traction line, through Fortville, was completed so that cars 
began running between Fortville and Anderson in December, 1900. 

The contract for the construction of the Indianapolis-Rushville line was 
let in 1901. As originally planned, the road was to be double tracked and was 
graded with this object in view. The company became financially embar- 
rassed, however, and the work was delayed. Finally one track was laid. The 
road went into a receiver's hands and the first cars were not run until Feb- 
ruary, 1906. 

The Honey Bee line, or the Indianapolis, Newcastle & Eastern Traction 
Company, running through Maxwell, was begun in 1906. In 1907, work on 
the road was halted because of financial difficulties. The company's affairs 
went into a receiver's hands and the road was not completed for traffic for 
two or three years. Cars began running in June, 1909. 

The Tidewater pipe line was laid across Brandywine and Blue River 
townships in 1910. Oil is carried through this line from the oil fields of 
Illinois to Jersey City. The line enters the county a short distance east of 
Finly, and pursues an easterly direction across the corner of the county. In 
191 5 a large pumping station was erected in Brandywine township, a half- 
mile north of Fountaintown. 

During recent years the people of the county have had the advantage of 
traveling in every direction by railroad, while the trolley cars are passing over 
the traction lines in either direction at every hour. 

Aside from the convenience of transportation thus offered, these cor- 
porations pay a large sum of money into the county treasury annually, as 
taxes. In fact, very few people have any idea of the amount of revenue de- 
rived from this source. Following are the amounts of taxes paid by these 
corporations in the year 191 5 : 

Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company. . . .$21,652.02 

Peoria & Eastern Railway Company (through Maxwell) 9,608.12 

Cincinnati, Wabash & Michigan Railway Co. (through Shirley) 1,329.99 
Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Western Railway Company (through 

New Palestine) 3,690.06 


Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company 

(through Fortville) 7,594.81 

Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Company (through 

Greenfield) 4,958.69 

Indianapolis, Newcastle & Eastern Traction Company 2,706.79 

Indianapolis & Cincinnati Traction Company 1,046.26 

Indiana Union Traction Company 1,597.40 

Tidewater Pipe Company 768.70 

Total $54,952.84 


There is no subject upon which so much has been said in the history of 
the county and so little done, as upon the subject of a railroad running north 
and south through the city of Greenfield. The agitation for a north and south 
line was begun about the time of the Civil War, or very soon thereafter, and 
has remained a subject of discussion at short intervals from that time to the 
present. The first agitation that caused people to believe that such a rail- 
way would actually be built was begun during the summer of 1871. The pro- 
posed line was the Columbus, Nashville & Greenfield Railway. The agitation 
waned with the summer and the project was soon forgotten. 

The next railroad, and one that received a great deal more serious con- 
sideration, was the Chicago, Greenfield & Cincinnati railroad. At a special 
session of the board of county commissioners of Hancock county in 1889, peti- 
tions were presented by several townships in the county asking for appropria- 
tions by the townships of the amounts indicated below to aid in the construction 
of this railroad through the respective townships. The petitions also asked 
that elections be ordered by the board in the respective townships to give the 
voters an opportunity of determining whether the said amounts should be 
donated. On that day the board granted the prayers of the petitioners and 
elections were ordered in the following townships, to be held on November 
16, 1889: Blue River, $15,000; Brandy wine, $10,000; Center, $43,000; 
Green, $12,000; Vernon, $17,000. 

In all of the townships except Center and Blue River, the majority of the 
votes were cast against making the appropriation. The result of the election 
was as follows: 


Blue River — 

For the railroad no votes 

Against the railroad 96 votes 

Majority for railroad 14 votes 

Brandyunne — 

Against the railroad 152 votes 

For the railroad 29 votes 

Majority against railroad 123 votes 

Center — 

For the railroad 800 votes 

Against the railroad 176 votes 

Majority for railroad 624 votes 

Green — 

Against the railroad 149 votes 

For the railroad 80 votes 

Majority against railroad 69 votes 

Vernon — 

Against the railroad 256 votes 

For the railroad 226 votes 

Majority against railroad 30 votes 

The Chicago, Greenfield & Cincinnati Railroad Company was a corpora- 
tion organized under the laws of the state of Indiana. Its purpose was to 
build a railroad from Noblesville to Rushville, thus connecting with lines lead- 
ing to Chicago and Cincinnati. The proposed road was to cross the Pennsyl- 
vania line at Greenfield, and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad at 
Fountaintown. Local people were interested in the project. Morgan Chan- 
dler was president and Charles Downing was secretary of the company. The 
special election, however, determined the fate of the railroad. 

In September, 1897, the Greenfield & Maxwell Railroad Company was 
incorporated. The directors of the new company were, Ephraim Marsh, S. R. 
Wells, W. J. Alford (of Anderson), George Cooper, Jerome Black, J. H. 
Moulden, H. B.. Thayer. 


The purpose of the company, as indicated by its name, was to build a 
railroad from Maxwell to Greenfield. On November 12, 1897, a petition, 
signed by ninety taxpayers of Center township, was filed with the county 
commissioners, praying for an election to be held in Center township to vote a 
subsidy of forty-seven thousand five hundred dollars to the Greenfield & 
Maxwell Railroad Company as an aid in the construction of the line. The 
board ordered an election to be held on January 18, 1898. This movement 
aroused a great deal of opposition in the township. The subsidy was asked 
for on the theory that the new railroad would have a tendency to lower freight 
rates and give greater accommodation to the traveling public of the county. The 
opposition to the road argued that these things were, from a practical stand- 
point, minor matters ; that the road was a private venture, and that the subsidy 
simply meant the payment of that much money into the hands of the promoters. 
In the election six hundred and nineteen votes were cast in favor of the appro- 
priation and nine hundred and twenty-one against it, thus defeating the move- 
ment by a majority of three hundred and two votes. 

But the most interesting, by far, of all the proposed railways is the story of 


The work of locating the Black Diamond system began on April 30, 1895. 
The road, as planned, was to extend from Port Royal, South Carolina, to 
Chicago. By the spring of 1898, it was reported by Albert E. Boone, general 
manager of the system, that the survey from Port Royal, South Carolina, to 
the city of Greenfield had been completed and paid for. A mass meeting of 
the citizens of Hancock county was called at the court house on May 11, 1898. 
The call was given by the general manager of the system, in which he informed 
the people that four routes had been suggested from Greenfield to Chicago. 
They were as follows : 

Route 1. Greenfield via Mohawk, Fortville, Noblesville. 

Route 2. Greenfield, Maxwell, Ingalls, etc. 

Route 3. Greenfield via Mohawk, Fortville, Tipton, etc. 

Route 4. Greenfield via Philadelphia, Gem, Cumberland, Hunters, etc. 

The route to be selected was to depend upon the interest manifested at 
the meeting to be held on May II. The name of the branch of the road 
going through Greenfield was to be the Indianapolis, Vevay & Tidewater 
railway. Colonel Boone gave notice that he himself would come to Green- 
field on May 10. for the purpose of meeting any delegations that might want 
any information concerning the proposed railway. 


The mass meeting was held as advertised. A large number of the citi- 
zens of the county were present. Among those from a distance were, J. V. 
Carter, editor of Vevay Democrat; Mayor J. R. Simpson, Paoli, Indiana ; Col- 
onel Tutt, of Knoxville, and Albert E. Boone, general manager of the Black 
Diamond system. The promoters asked the citizens in the townships through 
which the proposed road was to run to appropriate seven thousand dollars to 
defray the expense of the preliminary survey. At the conclusion of the meet- 
ing Mayor Duncan was instructed to appoint a committee of the business men 
of Greenfield to consult with the citizens of the townships through which the 
proposed road was to pass, to get their views as to whether they were in 
favor of building the road and assisting in defraying the expenses of the sur- 
vey, profiles, etc. 

From this time, all of the local newspapers between Port Royal, South 
Carolina, and Chicago were filled with the doings of the promoter of the sys- 
tem. Items from one paper were copied in the others, so that the proposed 
work was continually before the people. News of what was being done at 
any point traveled along the entire line through the chain of county papers. 

On August 25, 1898, a petition, signed by a number of taxpayers of Blue 
River township, was filed with the county commissioners, asking for an elec- 
tion to be held in Blue River township to vote an appropriation of $17,941.10 
as an aid in the construction of the Indianapolis, Vevay & Tidewater rail- 
way. A similar petition was filed on the same day by citizens of Center 
township, asking for an appropriation of $76,426. 

The board of county commissioners ordered an election in these town- 
ships on September 27, 1898. The following was the result of the election: 

Blue River — 

Against the appropriation 153 votes 

For the appropriation 77 votes 

Majority against the appropriation 76 votes 

Center — 

For the appropriation 923 votes 

Against the appropriation 511 votes 

Majority for the appropriation 412 votes 

These appropriations were to be made on condition that the road be fin- 
ished and that no part of the appropriation be due and payable until the line 
should be completely finished and trains operated thereon. 


The promoters seemed to be quite hopeful, as is indicated by the follow- 
ing letter written by Colonel Boone to the editor of the Greenfield Republican : 

"Zanesville, Ohio, September 28, 1898. 

"From the telegram to the Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio, I see the subsidy 
carried at Greenfield (Center township), but failed in Blue River township. 
I am deeply grateful, as well as satisfied. It guarantees for the Black Dia- 
mond a footing amongst a class of people that will protect the franchise from 
any and all attempts to secure unjust awards at court in case of litigation. I 
shall now prepare my plans to make Greenfield the pivot point of line to 
Vevay, to Chicago and to connect with an outer belt for Indianapolis. 

"I cannot let this occasion pass without thanking you for the noble stand 
you took when the Black Diamond needed loyalty and support. You can 
assure your people that every pledge made in the petition will be carried out 
to the letter, and the shops shall be no small affair. They will be large enough 
for the business of two hundred and fifty-four miles of road — Vevay, via 
Greenfield, to Hammond, Indiana. We will take out a new charter in the 
name of the Chicago, Greenfield & Tidewater Railway Company, building 
from Greenfield (south of Pan-Handle) to Vevay, as the 'Ohio River divi- 
sion,' and from Greenfield (north of Pan-Handle) to Hammond, as the 'Lake 
Michigan division'. 

"All the franchise south of Greenfield will be perfected in the name of 
the Indianapolis, Vevay & Tidewater, and same then transferred to the Chi- 
cago, Greenfield & Tidewater Railway Company. The change is made be- 
cause the road will not go to Indianapolis, and then, as we must build from 
Maxwell to Vevay to earn the subsidy, the change must necessarily be made. 

"I enjoy the hope that I have made clear my appreciation. With kind 
regards to all friends of the Black Diamond cause in Hancock county, In- 
diana, I am with respect. Albert E. Boone/'' 

"P. S. — A debt of gratitude you will forever owe to Charles Tutt, of 
Knoxville, Tennessee, for his faithfulness to your city. I rejoice that the 
name of Tutt will never perish, for it will be amongst the files that the com- 
ing of the Black Diamond to Greenfield was due solely to the work of Charles 
Tutt and the friends he secured in your county. The first engine upon your 
line shall be called 'Colonel Tutt.' Boone." 

"N. B. — Whilst the name Vevay will be stricken out for the insertion of 
Greenfield, yet we will compensate Vevay by making a change of name of the 
Springfield, Ohio River & South Atlantic to that of Vincennes, Vevay & 
Tidewater. Boone/' 


It did not become necessary, however, to take out a new charter in the 
name of the Chicago, Greenfield & Tidewater Railway Company, nor did it 
ever become necessary to change the name of any other branch of the system 
to compensate Vevay for the loss of her name in the line to Chicago. Though 
the promoters continued to give out information concerning the progress of the 
work at different points along the line, the optimism of the people of Hancock 
county received a rude shock when the following item was published in the 
local papers within less than a year after the appreciative letter of Colonel 
Boone had appeared in the same columns : 

"J. V. Dill, liveryman of Greenfield, sold the effects of the Black Dia- 
mond railway to pay the expense of livery hire of the representatives of the 
Black Diamond system," etc. 

Since that time we have had rumors of the construction of a belt road 
to include a number of county seats in the counties adjoining Marion, but as 
yet this road has not passed the stage that was reached by all the others. 

The only company that has ever succeeded in operating a line for the 
regular transportation of passengers north and south from Greenfield has 
been the Greenfield Auto Traction Company, incorporated July n, 1910, and 
operated under the management of W. C. Welborn, an attorney of the Han- 
cock bar. This company operated an auto traction line between Greenfield 
and Maxwell, and for a time between Fountaintown and Pendleton. The 
line was discontinued in January, 19 13. 


About 1870, or perhaps a little later, the Grange movement swept over 
Hancock county, and within two or three years twenty-one local lodges were 
organized. In March, 1874, representatives of the various Granges met at 
Greenfield and effected a county organization. The following officers were 
elected : President, B. F. Reeves, Warrington ; vice-president, J. T. Dawson, 
Philadelphia ; secretary, I. A. Curry, Greenfield ; treasurer, E. S. Bottsford, 
Philadelphia; business agent, Alpheus Tyner, Morristown; gate keeper, 
Thomas Bentley, Greenfield; executive committee, Smith McCord, R. J. 
Moore, William Frost. 

Arrangements were also made for the establishment of a Grange store 
at Greenfield, of which Alpheus Tyner was to have charge. At the meeting 
of the Hancock county council on the first Saturday of March, 1874, the 
following resolution was adopted in recommendation of Mr. Tyner : "Re- 
solved, that in the election of Alpheus Tyner as purchasing agent of the Pa- 
trons of Husbandry of Hancock county, we recommend him as a man of integ- 
rity and ability and entitled to your confidence and respect." 


The following lodges were reported in April, 1874: 

Blue River, John T. Coffin, master; B. B. Binford, secretary. 

Eden, No. 469, E. B. Bragg, master; B. T. Cooper, secretary. 

Philadelphia, No. 386, John E. Dye, master ; T. J. Dawson, secretary. 

White Haven, No. 924, James Mitchell, master; L. Bussell, secretary. 

Fortville, No. 528, J. S. Merrill, master; Charles P. Thomas, secretary. 

Sugar Creek, No. 892, James Wilkinson, master; Weston Summerville, 

Sugar Creek, No. 638, J. P. Murphy, master ; T. J. Wilson, secretary. 

Buck Creek, No. 509, I. S. Wright, master; B. F. Millard, secretary. 

Cleveland, No. 343, G. W. Sample, master; I. Murdon, secretary. 

Warrington, No. 591, J. M. Bundy, master; B. F. Reeves, secretary. 

McCordsville, No. 431, Elias McCord, master; John Bells, secretary. 

Palestine, No. 505, Uriah Low, master ; Edward Schreiber, secretary. 

Milners Corners, No. 764, W. G. Caldwell, master; William McKinsey. 

Cumberland, No. 1045, Abner Newland, master; Thomas Furgason, 

Shiloh, No. 319, J. F. Hackleman, master; Alpheus Tyner, secretary. 

Brandywine, No. , Harrison Wilkinson, master; F. M. Clark, secre- 

Union, No. 1389, J. Q. White, master; Andrew Williamson, secretary. 

Vernon, No. 1378, A. P. Hastings, master; S. E. Collins, secretary. 

Six Mile, No. 1629, Charles Fort, master; Daniel Loudenback, secretary. 

At this time the Grange of Hancock county had a membership of over 
one thousand and five hundred. The organization took an interest in gen- 
eral and economic matters, such as the development of farms, the beautifying 
of the county, the school system, taxation and, finally, politics. 

At a regular meeting of the county council at the Grange hall in Green- 
field, on April 4, 1874, the advisability of nominating a county ticket was 
considered. It was at this meeting, too, that the council expressed its dis- 
approval of the frequent changes in the use of text books and adopted a 
resolution in relation thereto. Other matters were presented, but there was a 
special interest in this meeting, because the question as to whether the Grange 
should enter the political arena was to be determined. The notice that the 
advisability of nominating a county ticket was to be considered, in itself 
brought a large attendance. Soon after the meeting opened, Mr. Furry, of 
Sugar Creek township, offered the following resolution : 

"Resolved, that a committee of five be appointed by the chair who shall, 


without delay, issue an address, accompanied by a call for a mass convention 
of those actually engaged in agricultural pursuits (not to nominate a 
ticket), but for a free consultation on all matters of interest to them. Such 
convention may organize and perform all rules necessary to a nominating 
convention at a future day." 

J. H. White submitted the following as an amendment to the above 
resolution : "That the committee take into consideration the propriety of 
calling such convention, and report at the next regular meeting of this 

The amendment, however, was not entirely satisfactory to a number, 
and William Lewis, of Jackson township, submitted the following as a sub- 
stitute : 

"Resolved, that this council instruct each Grange to elect one delegate 
for each twenty members or fraction thereof, to meet at the court house in 
Greenfield, three weeks from today at 10 o'clock a. m., to make their nom- 
inating ticket." 

The voting began, in the course of which Mr. Lewis's substitute was 
first lost. Then Mr. White's amendment was lost, and finally the original 
resolution was defeated. This left the matter of a county ticket undecided. 
The council adjourned, to meet again on April 18, 1874. Nothing was done 
at the second meeting, and the matter does not seem to have come up again 
until at a special meeting of the county council held at Greenfield on July 
18, 1874. At thismeeting George Furry introduced the following resolution: 

"Believing the time has fully come when the agricultural and industrial 
interests of the county (judging from the past) cannot reasonably expect 
redress and protection from either of the present existing parties : therefore, 

"Resolved, by the Hancock County Council, Patrons of Husbandry, 
this July 18, 1874, that there be an election called of the agricultural and in- 
dustrial classes in the several townships in said county, on the last Saturday 
in July, between the hours of one and four o'clock P. M., for the purpose of 
electing delegates to a county convention — one delegate for each one hundred 
votes polled at the last general election, and one for each fractional part 
thereof; said delegates to meet in the town of Greenfield in said county on 
the first Saturday in August next, at one o'clock A. M., then and there to 
proceed to nominate a county ticket of competent, faithful, temperate and 
honest men, irrespective of their connection with any political, religious or 
social order — men who will unflinchingly stand by in sympathy with the in- 
dustrial interests of the county, strictly adhering to the principles which should 


characterize every patron; that the nomination should seek the man and the 
man be nominated." 

The report of the vote of the council on this resolution was as follows : 
Yeas — T. E. Bentley, R. P. Andis, William Lewis, Aaron Foster, A. J. Lee, 
A. L. Ogg, Burd Lacy, J. S. Merrill, George Furry, George L. Judkins, L. 
D. Milburn, E. T. Chandler, Aquilla Grist. Nays— I. A. Curry, T. J. Daw- 
son, Smith McCord, William Frost, T. B. Miller, J. H. White, R. J. Moore, 
James Finnell, John E. Dye. 

George L. Judkins moved to reconsider the vote adopting this resolu- 
tion. His motion was seconded, and entertained by the president, who sub- 
mitted it to the council, whereupon there was a bolt from the room to prevent 
its passage. Capt. Adams L. Ogg asked for a call of the house, which, after 
being made, showed that a quorum was lacking. The council then adjourned, 
to meet in regular session on the first Saturday in August, 1874. Under the 
rules of the council the motion to reconsider stood for action at the next 
regular meeting. 

Two days later, on July 20, 1874, printed hand bills were scattered 
broadcast over the county, of which the following is a copy : 

"take notice 

"The Hancock County Council, Patrons of Husbandry, have called upon 
the voters of the agricultural and industrial classes generally, to assemble 
at their respective townships on Saturday, July 25, 1874, to organize an inde- 
pendent party, and to name there all things calculated to release us from 
the burdens of extravagant and bad government. 

"Many Voters." 

Pursuant to the above notice, a number of men assembled at the court 
house, on July 25, but the convention lacked unity and coherence. The lead- 
ers in the convention seemed to be Capt. Adams L. Ogg, George Furry and 
Thomas E. Bentley. Although the motion had carried on July 18, 1874, in 
favor of an independent county ticket, it caused much dissatisfaction in the 
Grange. On August 29, another reform or independent convention was held 
at Greenfield, at which both a county central committee was appointed and a 
county ticket nominated. The names of the committeemen as well as of the 
candidates have been set out in the chapter on politics. 

The following resolutions which stood as its platform give a good idea 
of the reforms advocated : 

"Resolved, that the man receiving the nomination for representative in 
said convention shall unhesitatingly pledge himself to a speedy repeal of the 


late salary grab of the last Legislature, and pledge himself, so far as he may 
be able, to reduce to a fair and reasonable basis, the salaries and fees of all 
state, county and school officers, to abolish the office of county school superin- 
tendent and many other offices that are useless burdens to the people. 

"Resolved, that, in view of the fact that the county officers elected this 
year are by law liable to receive the salaries and fees as prescribed by the 
present law, therefore the said convention shall not tender to any man the 
nomination for either of the county offices, who will not pledge himself that 
if elected to any office he will faithfully perform the duty of such office for the 
following named reduced salary : 

"Clerk • $1,200.00 

Treasurer 1,200.00 

Auditor 1,200.00 

Sheriff 1,200.00 

Recorder (for each deed) 1.00 

County Commissioners, per day 3.00 

Trustees, per day 2.00 

County Assessor, per day 2.00 

Members of the Legislature, per day 5.00 

"Resolved, that in case the above named officers should be elected by 
said independent convention, they shall faithfully collect all fees subject to 
the several offices under the present law, and all such money over and above 
the above named salaries shall be given in charge of the county commission- 
ers as a county fund, subject to their disposal for the actual benefit of the 

"Resolved, that we favor the election of a district prosecutor, who has 
the ability within himself to conduct the interests of the state in criminal 
courts without employing assistance, except in very extreme and complicated 
cases, and then only a reasonable and stated fee." 

Up to this time, the Grange had flourished in the county. Farmers took 
a general interest in it, and good seems to have been accomplished. Its advent 
into politics, however, was its undoing. The ties of party were stronger than 
the ties of the order, and within the next year or two it lost rapidly in numbers 
and influence. Within three or four years it became practically extinct. We 
hear of it again on January 9, 1879, when the following notice was inserted 
in the local papers, showing that an effort had been made to revive it, and 
that new officers had been elected and installed: 

"The Grange has been in a feeble condition for some time past, and has 


only been meeting occasionally. It has been rejuvenated and the members 
have resolved to hold regular meetings. With this purpose the following 
officers have been elected and installed for the ensuing year: Worshipful 
master, David S. Gooding; overseer, Alfred Potts; secretary, William Fries; 
assistant steward, H. C. Willett; chaplain, E. R. Gant; secretary, R. D. 
Cooper ; gate keeper, A. Little ; treasurer, Hiram Rhue ; trustees, R. D. Cooper, 
W. Collyer and J. W. Comstock, and committee on relief, William Sears, 
A. Little and Eli R. Gant." 

A good social spirit was fostered among the members of the Grange. 
Picnics and other gatherings were held from time to time, of which we have 
at least one detailed report. This is a "write up" in the Hancock Democrat 
of a county picnic, held on June 20, 1874. Each lodge was invited to "come 
clad in regalia and bring full baskets." The Democrat may not have looked 
with favor upon the entrance of the Grange into politics. Such a step at least 
could not be helpful to the Democracy of the county, but following is the 
report of the picnic : 

"By far the largest number of people, men, women and children, we 
have seen in Greenfield for many a day was on the occasion of the Grangers' 
picnic on Saturday last. The people came in early from all parts of the county, 
and at 10 o'clock a procession was formed by Capt. A. L. Ogg and numerous 
assistants, and marched (headed by the Greenfield Cornet Band) to O'Don- 
nell's beautiful grove, west of town, to enjoy together, in a good old-fashioned 
way, a festive day, free from the cares and strifes of life, to hear enumerated 
their many and grievous wrongs, and the best manner of their redress; to 
listen to eloquent dissertations of best means of freeing labor from the bond- 
age of capital, and to have demonstrated to them the great advantage the manu- 
facturer has over the consumer. The procession was a fine display of the 
bone and sinew, nearly every Grange in the county being represented, all wear- 
ing the modest regalia of the order, while above them waved their banners, 
bearing appropriate mottoes, such as 'We have no litigation in the Grange,' 
'Love, friendship and charity,' 'We oppose the salary grab,' 'We buy direct 
from manufacturers,' 'We are opposed to monopoly,' and 'United we stand.' 

"Appropriate addresses were made by Messrs. Crouch, of Indianapolis; 
Pendleton, of Johnson county, and James, of Grant county. 

. "The meeting was in all respects a grand success, and the horny-handed 
sons of toil are entitled to great credit for the very orderly and gentlemanly 
manner in which they conducted themselves during the entire day. All their 
baskets were well filled with the substantials of life, and all left well satisfied 
with the day's pleasure." 



During the latter eighties this movement swept over the state, and lodges 
were organized in all parts of the county. Meetings were usually held in the 
school houses, and the farmers of the community "joined." The "joining" 
seems to have been the most of it. Its purpose and organization were similar 
to the Grange, but very little seems to have been accomplished by the order. 
The initiation of new members afforded much amusement. Stories are still 
extant of what "happened" on those occasions. The mere mention of the 
" F. M. B. A.'s" always brings a smile to the faces of those who were familiar 
with its mysteries. 

farmers' insurance association. 

Foreign insurance companies had operated for many years in the county. 
But in the latter seventies there was a feeling current among people that they 
themselves could protect their property cheaper than it was protected by the 
old-line companies. On June 12, 1876, a number of farmers associated 
themselves together for this purpose. William Marsh was elected president 
of the company; B. F. Luse, vice-president; Samuel B. Hill, secretary and 
treasurer. One director was also appointed from each township. On Novem- 
ber 4, 1878, this association was incorporated under the name of "Farmers' 
Insurance Association of Hancock County." Its object, as stated in the arti- 
cles of incorporation, was "to insure property, buildings and personal prop- 
erty in buildings, against loss or damage by fire or lightning." As to mem- 
bership in the company, the article of incorporation provided, "any person 
owning some property in Hancock county, by paying an initiation fee of five 
dollars, may become a lifetime member," subject to withdrawal or forfeiture. 
Money was to be raised by assessment after loss. The incorporators of the 
company were, Joseph Barrett, Elihu Coffin, Jr., William Fries, George Kin- 
der, Henry S. Wales, George W. Reeves, John F. Candell, Isaiah A. Curry, 
N. D. Coffin, James Parnell, Henry Loudenback, J. F. Coffin, John Hunt, 
Lewis C. Jessup, John R. Cowden, William Brooks, John H. White, John T. 
Duncan, Jacob Slifer, Wellington Collyer, Joseph L. Binford, Jonathan Jes- 
sup, Daniel R. Loudenback, Jesse Cook, Robert W. Davis, James H. Anderson, 
Richard Frost, John H. Hagans, Levi Jessup, T. E. Bentley, Samuel B. Hill, 
Charles H. Fort, B. F. Luse. 

Since the organization of the company, the following men have served 
as president: William Marsh, S. S. Boots, John H. White, Thomas Mints, 
William Elsbury. 

William Elsbury has been president of the company since 1896. The fob 


lowing - men have also acted as secretary and treasurer : Samuel B. Hill, who 
served until about 1886 or 1887. He was followed by John E. Dye, who 
served five or six years. Dr. Dye was followed by A. V. B. Sample, who 
served a year or two, until he was elected clerk of the Hancock circuit court. 
Mr. Sample was then followed by Mr. Dye, who served another year. Mr. 
Dye was followed by Benton L. Barrett, in 1896, who served until 1914. At 
present I. H. Day is secretary and treasurer of the company. 

The books of the company have been destroyed a time or two and it is 
difficult to get exact historical information. The following- table, however, 
made from the assessment sheets and notices sent to members at the dates in- 
dicated, give a fair idea of the amount of business that the company has trans- 
acted during the past ten years : 

Number of 
Date Losses and Claims Filed Members 

March, 1906 $2,193.55 

August, 1906 2,729.78 1604 

March, 1907 2,713.80 

August, 1907 2,748.95 1612 

August, 1908 2,554.04 1621 

August, 1909 1,051.57 1616 

January, 1910 6,409.00 1583 

August, 1910 3775-Q5 !568 

August, 191 1 3,573-51 

February, 1912 4,406.30 

March, 1913 2,567.16 1238 

August, 1913 6,006.35 1210 

August, 1914 2,022.18 1 180 

August, 191 5 4,904.81 

The report made by the secretary and treasurer on Saturday, October 9, 
191 5, showed the total receipts for the fiscal year ending October 7, 191 5, 
$14,199.17; disbursements, $5,541.31; balance on hands, $8,657.86. The 
present officers are : William Elsbury, president ; R. B. Binford, vice-president ; 
I. H. Day, secretary and treasurer. 


The first effort to organize a detective company in the county was made in 
the fall of 1876. On September 8, 1876, articles of incorporation for the 
"Police Association of Hancock and Shelby Counties," were filed with the 



board of commissioners of Hancock county. These articles had been drawn 
under an old law enacted in 1852. The board of commissioners refused to 
take any action on the articles for the reason that the law under which they 
were drawn had been repealed. 

On January 30, 1877, other articles of incorporation were drawn, in 
which the corporation was named as "The Hancock and Shelby Police Force." 
These articles were drawn under a law enacted in 1865 and were recorded in 
the Miscellaneous Record in the office of the county recorder in Hancock 
county. The object of the association, as stated in the articles of incorpora- 
tion, was "the apprehension of horse thieves and other felons and for the mu- 
tual protection and indemnity against the acts of such horse thieves and other 
felons." The association was to continue for a term of two years. Its mem- 
bers were practically all from the southern part of Hancock and the northern 
part of Shelby counties. 

From all that can be learned at this time, this association did not accom- 
plish very much. Within another decade, however, there was a general organ- 
ization of the county for the purpose as stated in the articles above. 

Under the Voluntary Association act, the Buck Creek Township Horse 
Thief Detective Company was organized in 1888 and since that time the fol- 
lowing companies have been incorporated under this or later acts : 

Organized Mem- 
Name bers. 

Buck Creek Township Horse Thief Detective Company 11888 19 

McCordsville Horse Thief Detective Company 1888 90 

Hancock Horse Thief Detective Company 1888 300 

Sugar Creek Horse Thief Detective Company 1891 

Brandy wine Horse Thief Detective Company 1893 80 

Eden Horse Thief Detective Company - 1894 

Fortville Horse Thief Detective Company 1897 225 

Carrollton Horse Thief Detective Company 1898 45 

Wilkinson Horse Thief Detective Company 1899 44 

New Palestine Horse Thief Detective Company 1900 95 

Milners Corner Horse Thief Detective Company 1902 

Willow Horse Thief Detective Company 1902 21 

Gem Horse Thief Detective Company 1908 135 

The purpose of all of these companies, as stated in the articles of associa- 
tion, is "to detect and apprehend horse thieves and other felons and for 
mutual protection and indemnity against the acts of such horse thieves and 


felons." The earlier companies were incorporated for a period of fifty years, 
but later the law was changed and the companies organized since that time, 
or that have re-organized since that time, are now incorporated on a per- 
petual basis. The primary purpose of the organization of these companies is 
the apprehension of horse thieves and other felons. In this the companies 
have been very successful. All of the local companies are units in the state 
organization, and the combined efforts of all units have made the property 
which they seek to protect, practically safe. There are very few farmers or 
others in the county owning horses but who are members of the local horse 
thief detective companies. 


Prior to the fall of 1886 gas had been found at Muncie, Noblesville and 
Tipton. This indicated the existence of an extensive field immediately to our 
north and naturally aroused discussion as to the probability of finding gas in 
Hancock county. Montgomery Marsh was one of the chief agitators who 
aroused interest in the gas question. An effort was made during the fall of 
1886 to raise funds with which to drill a well. By January 1, 1887, eight 
hundred dollars had been subscribed. The Greenfield Gas and Oil Com- 
pany was incorporated and a contract was let for drilling the first well to 
M. H. Porter. The work began in April, 1887, under the immediate super- 
vision of a Mr. Yeagley, driller. As reported in the local papers, the first evi- 
dence of gas was found on Monday, April 28, 1887. Before reaching Tren- 
ton rock it burned to a height of twelve feet. Trenton rock was reached at 
a depth of nine hundred and eighty feet. After drilling into Trenton rock to 
a depth of four feet the flow of gas was so strong that it became difficult to 
get water down to mix with the broken rock to bring it up. It was 
let down in a pump and the drilling was continued to a depth of thirteen 
feet into Trenton rock, when, as reported in the local papers, "the drill 
was raised up and the rope went spinning around at lightning speed, and then 
a great volume of gas and rock accompanied with a roaring noise came to the 
surface. The derrick was crowded with people and Driller Yeagley shouted, 
'All go!' — and they did. They left the derrick by all possible means of 
escape, some of them bursting out through the boards one inch thick." 

The work was a success. The well was a "gusher." It burned to a 
great height and the reflection of its light could be seen on the skies for a 
distance of twelve or fifteen miles in all directions from Greenfield. Of 
course, it created a great deal of excitement all over the county. It was 
mentioned in the newspapers of all the surrounding county seats. Although 


it was in fact a great discovery for Greenfield, the whole affair was not 
without its humorous side. The following item appeared in the Shelbyzille 
Times : 

"Greenfield is like the boy with the penny and without pockets. It has 
a 'gusher' on its hands and does not know what to do with it." 

To this the Hancock Democrat replied: "We regret exceedingly that 
we cannot return the compliment. The 'gusher' will be taken care of and 
the wishes of the citizens of Greenfield fully accommodated, and in addition 
we might loan our neighbor a sufficient amount of the wasted article to sup- 
ply the wants of his thrifty city." 

Such items appeared frequently in the local papers and added spice to the 
good fortunes of the people in different communities. But the first well at 
Greenfield was not only an object of interest to local people. Special excur- 
sions were run over the Pennsylvania line and people came in numbers to 
see it. 

The log of this well showed the following strata of earth through the 
first seven hundred and thirty-five feet, as reported in the local papers: 

Clay 25 feet 

Quicksand and gravel 15 feet 

Hard, fine and blue clay 40 feet 

Sand and gravel 30 feet 

Blue and gray clay 70 feet 

Coarse gravel 20 feet 

Fine sand 5 feet 

Drift deposits, timbers, and petrified stone 10 feet 

Hard limestone 65 feet 

Slate 17 feet 

Limestone 68 feet 

Slate and shale 400 feet 

Trenton rock was reached at a depth of nine hundred and eighty feet. 
This well was located north of Fifth street and west of State street, a short 
distance northwest of where Dr. W. A. Justice now lives. 

Before gas was found in the first well a second company was organized 
and subscriptions were taken for a second well. With the success of the first 
well drilling began in all parts of the county and a number of gas companies 
were organized in rural communities for the purpose of drilling wells for 
private use. Other companies were organized for the purpose of piping the 
gas to Greenfield and surrounding cities and selling it to consumers. Below 


is given a list of the companies that were organized and the dates of their 
incorporation : 

Greenfield Gas and Oil Company 1886 

Citizens' Gas Company 1887 

New Palestine Natural Gas Company 1887 

Charlottesville Natural Gas Company 1888 

Fortville Natural Gas and Oil Company ii 

McCordsville Natural Gas and Oil Company i< 

Central Gas Company 1889 

Maxwell Natural Gas Company 1889 

Madison and Hancock Natural Gas and Oil Company, 1889 

People's Gas Company 1889 

Rock's Natural Gas and Oil Company 1889 

Wilkinson Natural Gas Company 1889 

National Gas Company 1890 

Independent Natural Gas and Oil Company 1890 

Mundon Gas Company : 1890 

Mohawk Natural Gas Company 1890 

Pigeon Roost Natural Gas and Oil Company 1890 

People's Gas Company of Rushville 1890 

Westland Natural Gas Company 1890 

Western Grove Natural Gas Company 1891 

Sugar Creek Gas Company 1891 

Pleasant Hill Natural Gas Company 189 1 

Davis Gas Company 

McCordsville Natural Gas Company 1892 

Cushman Natural Gas 'Company 1892 

Citizens' Natural Gas, Oil and Water Company 1892 

Fortville Mutual Natural Gas and Oil Company 1892 

Dry Branch Natural Gas Company 1892 

Mutual Gas Company 1892 

Nameless Creek Natural Gas Company 1893 

California Natural Gas Company 1893 

Hanna & Masters 1893 

Vernon Natural Gas and Oil Company 1895 

Shady Grove Natural Gas and Oil Company ^97 

White Haven Natural Gas and Oil Company. .• 1899 

American Oil and Gas Company 1900 


Shiloh Natural Gas Company 1901 

Maxwell Citizens' Gas and Oil Company 1902 

Citizens' Gas Company of Wilkinson 1903 

Prairie Branch Natural Gas Company 1903 

Fortville Oil and Gas Company 1904 

Jackson Township. Natural Gas and Oil Company. . . 1904 
Brandy wine Gas Company I 9 I 3 

Wells were also drilled by other corporations, including the Southern 
Indiana Gas Company and the Consumers' Gas Trust Company. Some of 
the above companies put down but one well for private use, while others 
drilled a number of wells. In 1890, three years after the drilling of the first 
well, the tax duplicate showed the following wells in the county, with their 
general location : Westland, one ; Charlottesville, one ; Warrington, one ; 
Wilkinson, one ; Willow Branch, one ; Maxwell, one ; Swamp Creek, one ; 
Milner's Corner, one; Eden, one; Shelbyville Pipe Line, ten; Barrett's Cor- 
ner, one ; Mingle's Corner, one ; Fortville, three ; McCordsville, one ; Green- 
field Gas Company, four ; Kirkville, one ; Martindale Syndicate, two ; Nail 
Works, Greenfield, one; People's Gas Company, Greenfield, three. Total, 

New wells continued to be drilled in the county during the following 
years, while the flow of gas in the older wells ceased. It would be difficult., 
if not impossible, at this time even to estimate the number of wells that have 
been drilled for gas since 1887. There is hardly a section,' however, that has 
not had one or more wells drilled upon it, except in Sugar Creek and Buck- 
Creek townships. Gas was found in such small quantities in these townships 
that it was unprofitable. 

The pressure of the first wells, as reported by the state geologist, ran 
from two hundred and fifty pounds to three hundred and twenty-five pounds. 
During the following years the pressure was reported by the state geologist, 
as follows: 1893, 250 pounds; 1895, 210 pounds; 1896, 185 pounds; 1897, 
150 to 200 pounds, depending upon condition and age of wells. 

For several years after this there was a general decrease in the pressure 
of the wells from eighteen to twenty pounds annually. The pressure now is 
very low and pumping stations have been installed to force the gas into 
Greenfield and into the surrounding cities within the gas belt. It is used for 
cooking and in special heaters during the cool weather of the spring and fall. 
The pressure is no longer sufficient to furnish heat during the cold winter 


When gas was first discovered there was a general feeling that the sup- 
ply would never be exhausted. The pressure was strong enough to blow the 
top off of a stove and it was used extravagantly and wastefully. It has been 
humorously remarked that when the house became too warm doors and win- 
dows were thrown open instead of turning off the gas. Hence the people 
of this day are lacking in the fuel that might still have been abundant had it 
not been used so wastefully. The discovery of gas, of course, had a great 
influence on the people of the county. Greenfield, especially, entered upon 
a great boom. Glass factories, stove foundries, nail factories, and other 
concerns came to the city and stayed for a period of years while the gas 
pressure remained strong. Wilkinson and Shirley, too, profited in a similar 
manner by the discovery of gas. 


The county fairs were helpful in setting before the people the best of all 
products that the county produced. The fairs, however, exhibited only 
results, throwing little light on scientific methods that produced these results. 
It was the realization of just this need, the need of more accurate and scien- 
tific knowledge among the great mass of farmers, that gave rise to farmers' 

The first meeting of the farmers' institute of Hancock county was held 
at the Masonic hall at Greenfield on January 20-21, 1890. Marion Steele 
acted as president of the meeting. Following is the program of the two 
days : 


Management of Horses and Other Stock on the Farm D. L. Thomas 

Mistakes in Wheat Culture Professor Latta, of Purdue 

Dairy Farming C. L. Hall 

Growth of Sweet Corn, Peas, etc., for Canning Factory 

McConnell, of Indianapolis 

Poultry Mrs. V. P. Binford 


Potato Culture Marion Steele 

Sheep Husbandry Col. S. I. Gray 

Culture of Sugar Cane Christopher Fields 

Mistakes in Agriculture and Horticulture Sylvester Johnson 

Drainage Professor Latta 


The meeting of the agricultural people of the county gave them an 
opportunity of expressing themselves upon a number of matters of interest 
to them, and before adjournment they adopted the following series of 
resolutions : 

"Resolved, that we recognize the necessity and value of organization 
among farmers, and heartily advise all farmers that attend, to increase the 
intelligence, improve the methods, and heighten the success of agricultural 

"2. That we favor a permanent association for institute work in this 
county and believe that the continuance of the Hancock County Agricultural 
and Horticultural Society, broadening its scope so far as may be necessary 
for this purpose, would be the most feasible plan of organization. 

"3. That we endorse the act of the last general assembly in making an 
appropriation for farmers' institutes, and favor a further appropriation to 
continue the w r ork. 

"4. That we favor a revision of our present dog law that will give 
better encouragement to sheep husbandry. 

"5. That we favor a reduction of salaries of public officers to corre- 
spond with present conditions, and recommend the passage of laws that will 
effect such a reduction and convert all fees into the public treasury. 

"6. That we are opposed to trusts and combines to control prices re- 
gardless of the laws of supply and demand and respectfully urge legislation 
looking to their suppression and control by law. 

"7. That we recommend the publication of these resolutions in our 
county papers and request the secretary to send copies of the same to our 
representatives in the state Legislature. 

"8. That we extend our thanks to the chairman and local manage- 
ment and to the speakers and musicians who have donated their time and 
( f forts in behalf of the institute, and to the railroad companies for reducing 
rates to this meeting. "Will B. Walker, 

"B. F. Stinger, 
"J. F. Coffin, 


Since the meeting of 1890 sessions of the institute have been held each 
year just before or immediately after holidays. Upon at least two occasions 
summer sessions have also been held. The programs given from year to 
vear have included every phase of farm life. Grains, stock, cattle, sheep, 
hogs, fruits, in fact everything that pertains to farm life, has been discussed 
by experts or by people who have given thought to such subjects. The insti- 


tutes from year to year have also given the farmers an opportunity to make 
their wishes known, touching upon any question that might he hefore the 
public. As will be observed from the resolutions, etc., inserted herein, our 
people have expressed themselves upon current questions and a review of these 
expressions ought to be a source of pride to the county. 

In 1897, when the compulsory education law was before the general 
assembly, the farmers' institute at Greenfield adopted resolutions asking the 
Legislature to enact such a law. 

At their meeting on January ]6-i7, 1900, when the rural free delivery 
question was before the people they expressed themselves in favor of this 
measure. At the same meeting they encouraged the organization of town- 
ship institutes and expressed themselves in favor of better roads. All of 
these matters were embodied in the following resolutions : 

"Resolved, that the farmers of Hancock county, in institute assembled, 
do hereby express themselves in favor of the establishment of rural mail 
routes in Hancock county whenever and wherever practicable and we con- 
sider the establishment of such mail routes practicable at this time. 

"Resolved, that we will organize township institutes as aids to the county 
institute, to which we may look forward with pleasure. 

"Resolved, that we will make better roads so that it will be a pleasure 
to travel on them in attending these institutes, and that we respectfully 
request the citizens of Greenfield to take as much interest in them as they do 
in any day of any political campaign, and that they hang out the old flag of 
our country and let it wave during the entire session." 

The attendance at this institute, as reported at the time, was as follows : 
First forenoon, 225; first afternoon, 350; evening, 340; second forenoon, 
375 ; second afternoon, 450. 

The encouragement given by the county institute to the organization of 
township institutes was not without results. In 1901 a township institute 
was held at Fortville, and in 1902 at Wilkinson. Since then they have been 
conducted in other townships also. 

Although the farmers had previously expressed themselves in favor of 
better roads, a more definite resolution was adopted in 1903, suggesting a 
method of procuring better roads. The sentiment of the farmers upon the 
liquor traffic found expression in their resolutions. At this institute it was 
decided to combine the sessions of the ladies and gentlemen. Since this time 
the ladies and gentlemen have prepared the programs of the institute jointly 
and joint sessions have been held. The following resolutions were adopted 
at the institute of 1903 : 


"Resolved, that we favor a law that will permit the citizens of each road 
district to elect their own road supervisors, and we also favor a law that will 
require the citizens to work the roads where the supervisor orders. 

"Resolved, that the supreme court of the United States having declared 
that a greater amount of crime and misery is traceable to the use of ardent 
spirits than to any other cause, we hereby declare our hostility to the liquor 
traffic and favor its abolition in order that the expense of government may 
be curtailed and taxes thereby decreased, that the earning power of both cap- 
ital and labor may be enhanced and that the purity of the home and the 
sobriety of the people be preserved. 

"Resolved, that, owing to the inconveniences of holding separate sessions 
composed of ladies and gentlemen, we recommend that future sessions of the 
institute be held jointly, and we also recommend that lady directors be 
appointed to assist in preparing a program." 

On July 11, 1905, a summer session of the institute was held at the 
court house in Greenfield, and in 1906 another summer session was held at 
the Goble fruit farm. Quite a large number of the farmers attended these 
sessions, especially the session at the Goble fruit farm, which was given very 
largely to the study of horticulture. 

Following the passage of the Nicholson bill in 1908, the farmers of the 
county took occasion to commend the Legislature for its action on this bill. 
They also pledged themselves to the support of a measure which would make 
liquor packages in interstate commerce subject to the laws of the state into 
which they were being sent. These resolutions were as follow : 

"Resolved, that we commend the General Assembly of the state of Indi- 
ana for its action in supporting the preliminary steps in the great movement 
of temperance by passing the Nicholson law, the Moore law, and the Search 
and Seizure law, and as farmers of this section of Indiana, we stand ever 
ready to advance morality, common decency, and the protection of our homes 
and families from the arch enemy, alcohol ; be it 

"Resolved, that this institute stands pledged to the support of the Little- 
field-Carmack interstate commerce bill, providing for the submission of inter- 
state liquor packages to the laws of the state to which they ' have been 

The session of the farmers' institute in 1909 was held while the Legisla- 
ture had under consideration the repeal of the county local option law. Our 
people were opposed to the repeal of this law and so expressed themselves in 
the following resolutions : 

"Resolved, that for the preservation of the sacredness of the home in 


Indiana, for the sake of sterling manhood of the fathers, and in defense of the 
never-dying love of the devoted mother, and for the preservation of our sons 
and daughters, that we are opposed to any institution or business that degrades 
the home or human race; therefore we demand that the county local option 
law be permitted to remain on the statute books until it is given a trial." 

On September i, 1909, a farmers' excursion went to Purdue. Many of 
the farmers of the county took advantage of this opportunity to see what the 
great agricultural college of the state was really doing. 

At the meeting in February, 19 10, a series of resolutions was adopted in 
which the farmers expressed themselves on a variety of topics : 

"Resolved, by the farmers of Hancock county in institute assembled : 

"First, that we are proud of our calling and propose to do all in our 
power to place it upon a still higher plane of usefulness and influence in the 
years that shall pass away. 

"Second, we point with pride to the rapid improvement of the farmer 
and his family, intellectually, socially, and morally in the past few years, 
much of which is due to the just and fair remuneration he has received for 
his daily toil. 

"Third, that being citizens and taxpayers, we have a right to a vital inter- 
est in all matters of government that affect either the material or moral wel- 
fare of the whole population of the country. 

"Fourth, that as husbands and fathers who love our families and our 
homes as we love our lives, we are steadfastly and forever opposed to any 
custom, law, institution, or business whose tendency and effect is to debase 
and degrade the children of men, and as the abolition of the saloons in Han- 
cock county has removed from our midst one of the greatest evil influences 
that lead men astray, we are unalterably opposed to the repeal of the county 
local option law and demand its rigid and impartial enforcement. 

"Fifth, whereas there is an increasing tendency for the creation of new 
offices and commissions, and of office seekers, after elected, to want salaries 
increased ; 

"Resolved, that we do not favor the increase of offices and commissions 
and are opposed to the increase of salaries until good men refuse to fill and 
accept offices at the present salaries. 

"Sixth, as our further influence as agriculturists depends upon the kind 
of farms we have and the kind of men and women who farm them, be it 

"Resolved, that as farmers we use our best efforts in the care, con- 
venience and beautifying of our country homes, and the care and influence 
in the educational and moral training of our children by encouraging our 
rural schools and churches. 


"That as courts and juries are very expensive, we urge the settling of 
differences and disputes by arbitration. 

"That we realize the great good our state university at Purdue is doing 
toward education, which better prepares the younger generation to meet the 
future needs of our country," etc. 

In 1910, township farmers' institutes were held at Shirley, Eden, Fort- 
ville. New Palestine and Charlottesville. The most of these township insti- 
tutes have been maintained since that time. In 1913 a "Purdue Short Course" 
was given at Fortville. In 1914 arrangements were made for bringing a 
similar train from Purdue to Greenfield with exhibits of grains, live stock, 
etc., and lecturers who discussed the exhibits as well as other topics. In 
January, 19 15, a resolution was adopted in favor of the appointment of a 
county agent as provided for by the act of 191 5. 

One cannot follow the history of the Hancock county farmers' institutes 
during the past twenty-five years without feeling that the agricultural people 
of this county have given expression to ideals that were pure and lofty. In 
every endeavor they have been progressive ; in all the resolutions adopted there 
is not a single reactionary note. Every position that has been taken on ques- 
tions presented makes for purer homes and better living in the county. 

The following are the men who have acted as president of the farmers' 
institute and the dates of their election as far as it has been possible to make 
the list complete. A number of the men served two or more years : Marion 
Steele, 1890; J. F. Coffin, 1892; D. H. Goble, 1896; Alonzo Tyner, 1898; 
George Walker, 1900; Vard Finnell, 1902; Vard Finnell, 1903; E. C. Mar- 
tindale, 1904; E. C. Martindale, 1905; George Walker. 1906; Joshua H. Bar- 
rett, 1907; Richard Hagans, 1909; Thad Snow, George Walker, 1910; 
John H. Souder, 191 1 ; Walter K. Boyd, 1913; Ward Parnell, 1914. 

Since 191 1 Isaac H. Day has been elected president of the board com- 
posed of the presidents of the township institutes. All funds appropriated 
by law for the use of the farmers' institutes have been drawn in his name. 


Hancock county cannot be said to lie within a storm region, yet on sev- 
eral occasions within the last forty years a few destructive cyclones have 
passed over the county. On June 5, 1880, such a storm passed over Sugar 
Creek and Brandy wine townships. On July 1, 1880, another cyclone passed 
over Jackson and Brown townships, carrying away fences and doing much 
damage to the crops. On May 12, 1886, a destructive cyclone passed over 


On May 27, 1888, another storm passed over the northern part of Sugar 
Creek township and through Center and Jackson townships. The barn of 
Chris Reasner, of Sugar Creek, was blown down. The roof of the Ellis 
school house, east of Greenfield, was taken off and left hanging in the top 
of a tree near by. Cultivators standing in the fields south of Gem were blown 
as far as forty feet from where they had been left, and many gas well der- 
ricks around Greenfield were blown down. Many other buildings in the 
path of the storm were also seriously damaged. 

The most destructive cyclone that has ever passed over the county prob- 
ably came on June 25, 1902. It will never be forgotten by those who lived 
within its course. The portion of the county receiving the greatest damage 
extended from McCordsville eastward and south. All crops, including com, 
wheat and oats, within its track, were completely destroyed. Much of the 
straw was whipped into the ground and covered with dirt by the rain that 
followed. Much of the corn was broken off level with the ground and the 
rest of it lay flat. There were few buildings of any kind within its range 
that were not seriously damaged and by far the greater number were prac- 
tically destroyed. Orchards and forest trees were broken down, while the 
rails from fences were carried for long distances through the air. A funeral 
was being held at Cleveland, at which A. V. B. Sample, former clerk of the 
Hancock circuit court and a prominent teacher during his earlier life, was 
killed. This storm worked a great hardship upon tenants, whose crops in 
many instances were completely destroyed and who had nothing left with 
which to pay their rent. 


An epidemic of smallpox in Buck Creek township in 1847 is discussed 
in the chapter on the "Practice of Medicine." 

Since that time contagious diseases have frequently appeared in the 
county. In fact hardly a school year has passed without the appearance of 
some one or other of such diseases. During the winter of 1881-82, however, 
smallpox was quite prevalent in the county, as well as in the state. 

On February 1, 1882, the county board of health of Hancock county 
adopted the following rules governing vaccination, which had been adopted 
by the state board of health on January 1, 1882: 

1. After January 1, 1882, no person until after they have been success- 
fully vaccinated shall be admitted into any public or private school or insti- 
tution of learning within this state, either in the capacity of teacher or pupil, 
and nil persons admitted therein shall present to the principal thereof the 


certificate of a reputable physician as to the fact of their being successfully 

2. It shall be the duty of all unvaccinated persons within this state to 
be successfully vaccinated within sixty days from January I, 1882. And all 
unvaccinated persons coming into this state shall be required to be vaccinated 
within sixty days after coming into the state. 

3. All children born within this state shall be successfully vaccinated 
within twelve months after birth. All vaccinations shall be with reliable 
bovine virus. 

The county board of health also adopted the following specific rule 
relating to Hancock county : 

"After March 3, 1882, all who attend the schools in any capacity will 
be required to furnish a certificate of successful vaccination from a reputable 
physician. School boards and township trustees are required to suspend all 
pupils after March 3, 1882, who have not complied with the rules of the 
health boards in reference to vaccination." 

These rules created more or less excitement in the county, and at least 
a few of our citizens gave expression to their feelings through the columns 
of the local papers. The following is an illustration from Green township : 

"Editor Democrat : I wish to say a few words to the doctors of Green- 
field about vaccination to save them from ruin and destruction; that will 
be their fate as sure as they attempt to enforce this law, as law they call it. 
Our forefathers fought for freedom and independence, and why not we? 
As we do not propose to be ruled by a king, as they would like to be called, 
especially Dr. Howard, who is the foreman of the ring. There are five 
hundred men ready now to come forward and show them that the giant pow- 
der was not exhausted at New Palestine. As this vaccination is just to put 
in the doctors' pockets a little more money, we want them to know we mean 
business, sink or swim. As almost half of this county have to work for the 
pittance of fifty cents a day it is about all they can do to keep starvation from 
their doors when they have families to support. But still, you have got to pay 
Mr. Doctor fifty cents a piece for vaccination. And now, Mr. Editor, to 
make a long story short, we will say the first man that is fined they had better 
say their prayers for there is always a stopping place. Please print and save 

But not everybody in Green township felt just like the writer, as may 
be seen from the following paragraph taken from the Eden items : 

"We noticed in the last number of the Democrat that there is a prospect 
of a war to be waged against the M. D.'s of Greenfield if they attempt to 


discharge their duties as prescribed by the state board of health and enacted 
by the Legislature of the state of Indiana. How could such an army of men, 
five hundred strong, be mustered into service from such a township as Green, 
which only contains about three hundred voters? Rise up, my little man, 
and put your John Hancock to your communication. Let us see your height. 
'Are you so tall that you can stand like some steeple high, that while your 
feet are on the ground your hands could touch the sky?' 

"Notwithstanding the terrific threat made by one of Green township's 
patriots last week in regard to vaccination, the giant powder has not been used 
as yet, no blood has been spilled for the sake of freedom or independence, nor 
has any poor soul as yet shuffled off this mortal coil at the hands of this 
liberty-loving people. But, on the contrary, the people through this part of 
Green township have cheerfully complied, like law-abiding citizens, with the 
requirements of the state board of health. When they go to beating up for 
volunteers they need not come to Eden." 

In 1902 a serious epidemic of smallpox broke out at Greenfield. A pest- 
house was erected south of the city and east of State street, where a number 
of patients were treated by Dr. J. P. Black. 

Early in the spring of 19 14 smallpox in a light form broke out in differ- 
ent localities of the county. An order was issued by County Health Com- 
missioner Dr. Joseph L. Allen requiring all school children to be vaccinated. 
There was again some opposition to the order, but by far the greater num- 
ber of people complied therewith. The disease was so general in the county, 
however, that but few schools finished their regular terms, and in several 
townships they dismissed on different dates because of the absence of the 


The Hancock County Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis was 
organized December 12, 1912, with the following officers: President, Joseph 
L. Allen; vice-president, Lucy H. Binford; secretary, Percy M. Gordon; 
treasurer, J. L. Smith; vice-presidents, Martha J. Elliott. Carthage, rural 
route No. 21; Edgar Hope, Greenfield, rural route No. 4; J. A. Fort, Wil- 
low; Mrs. J. P. Black, Greenfield; A. E. Curry, Greenfield, rural route No. 
5 ; Cynthia Peacock, Charlottesville ; Gertrude Ashcraft, Greenfield, rural 
route No. 4; J. W. Ray, Fortville. 

Walter Hatfield, Miss Tillie New and Miss Selma Stephens have been 
elected to fill the vacancies caused by the death of James L. Smith, and the 
removal of Madames Gordon and Black, respectively, from the county. The 


membership consists of thirty-two life members, one hundred annual con- 
tributing members, three hundred honorary members and ten advisory mem- 

The first work of the society was the selling of Red Cross Christmas 
seals, which netted fifty-three dollars and forty-nine cents. The society col- 
lected two hundred and seventy-seven dollars for the relief of flood sufferers 
in Indiana in 19 13. It has had three patients in the state sanitarium at Rock- 
ville, Indiana. 

The present officers are : President, Joseph L. Allen ; vice-president, 
Lucy H. Binford ; secretary, Tillie New; treasurer, Walter Hatfield. 


A federation of the country clubs was effected in March, 1914, with the 
following officers: President, Mrs. Iduna M. Barrett, Greenfield; vice-presi- 
dent, Miss Edith J. Hunt, Charlottesville; secretary, Miss Hazel Parnell, 
Greenfield, rural route No. 3 ; treasurer, Mrs. Harry Porter, Morristown. 

The object of the federation, as stated in the constitution, is the ''consid- 
eration of questions pertaining to social, educational or literary matters and 
methods for the best culture and advancement of the county." 

The charter members of the organization were as follow : County Lit- 
erary Club (Blue River and Brandywine townships), 1903; Western Grove 
Woman's Club (Blue River township), 1910; Thursday Circle (Charlottes- 
ville), 191 1 ; Klover Reading Klub (Brandywine township), 1912; Four 
Corners Society (Blue River township), 1912; Westland Ladies' Sunshine 
Club (Blue River township), 1913. 

The Priscilla Club, organized in 1912 (Blue River township), united 
with the federation in the spring of 19 15. There are several other country 
clubs that do not belong to the county federation. 


Following is a synopsis of the life of each newspaper published in the" 
county since the date of its organization, as far as it has been possible to make 
the list complete. The Home and School Visitor and The Independent Med- 
ical Investigator are discussed elsewhere. 

The Coon Skin was a Democratic sheet published at Greenfield by Joseph 
Chapman. John Hardin Scott, now eighty-six years of age, has a clear recol- 
lection of the paper in the political campaign of 1844. The publication of 
the Coon Skin was suspended not later than the outbreak of the Mexican 
War when Chapman enlisted. 


The Greenfield Reveille, published January i, 1845, by Jonathan H. 
Hunt as publisher, and James H. Hunt as editor and proprietor. It was a 
Whig organ, published weekly. 

The Investigator, published at Greenfield in 1847 by Mitchell Vaughn; 
later by R. A. Riley. Riley was prominent in the county Democratic con- 
vention in 1845, and it is probable that the Investigator was a Democratic 

The Greenfield Spectator, published September 1, 1848, by John Myers; 
John D. Doughty, editor. The policy of the paper was expressed in prominent 
letters across the top of its front page, "Neutral in politics, devoted to litera- 
ture, science, arts, agriculture, miscellany, markets, general intelligence, etc., 
etc." A large part of this paper was given to stories and poetry. 

The Family Friend. — When the old court house was offered for sale in 
1854 the county auditor was ordered by the county commissioners to adver- 
tise the sale thereof in the Family Friend. Mrs. Permelia Thayer has a clear 
recollection of the paper. It seems to have been similar to the Greenfield 

American Patriot was published in March, 1854, by J. P. Hinshaw. It 
was a four-page sheet, "independent in all things, neutral in none." It was 
devoted to "pure literature, morals, temperance in all things, agriculture, 
commercial and general intelligence." Its publication was suspended after 
a year or two. 

The Greenfield Sentinel, a weekly newspaper published in 1855 by 
Thomas D. Walpole, and was later edited for a time by William Mitchell. 

The Hancock Democrat, published in 1859 by a stock company com- 
posed of Noble Warrum, D. S. Gooding, William R. West and George Y. 
Atkison. Judge Gooding was editor-in-chief for several years, and William 
Mitchell, local editor. Before the close of the Civil War William Mitchell 
assumed full control of the paper. John F. Mitchell took charge in 1876. 
John F. Mitchell, Jr., entered the firm in 1907. Has always been a Dem- 
ocratic newspaper except during the Civil War, when it became the county 
organ of the Union party. Now published by the William Mitchell Printing 

Constitution and Union, published in January, 1861, by Lee O. Harris. 
Publication suspended after about two months. Issued in the cause of pre- 
serving the National Union. 

Family Visitor, published in 1864 by a man named Wright. Later trans • 


f erred to a Air. Hinshaw. Seems to have been a sheet similar to the Green- 
field Spectator, described above. 

The Greenfield Commercial, Republican newspaper, published in 1867 
by Amos Beeson; later by L. E. Rumrill. Was published for several years. 

The Greenfield News, a weekly newspaper published during the seven- 
ties by William Walker and Walter Hartpence. Republican. 

Greenfield Republican, Republican newspaper, published a short time 
during the seventies by D. B. Deem. 

The Jeffersonian. published in June, 1878, by R. G. Strickland. Dem- 
ocratic. Bought in 1890 by Gus Morton and Charles Teel. Bought by Eu- 
gene Lewis in 1892 and name changed to The Greenfield Herald. Purchased 
in 1893 by S. S. Boots and shortly thereafter taken over by the Herald Pub- 
lishing Company. Publication suspended about 1906. 

The Greenfield Herald, Democratic; 1893, as stated above. 

Greenfield Republican, a Republican newspaper, published in 1880 by 
Robison & Cooper. Later owned by Nixon, Henry Marsh and Robert Lynn. 
Purchased by W. S. Montgomery in May, 1888. Sold by Mr. Montgomery 
to Newton R. Spencer in February, 19 10. Now published by Spencer Pub- 
lishing Company. 

The Tooth Pick, published for "forty days and forty nights" in 1885 by 
Marry G. Strickland, Noble Warrum, Jr., and R. E. Bragg. Humorous 
sheet. Printed on paper of various colors. Pony delivery. Daily. Pub- 
lished at Jeffersonian office. 

The Tribune, daily, published at Greenfield by Howard Branham about 
1888. Later by Charles Pauley and Austin Boots. At first independent in 
politics. Later had Democratic tendencies. Purchased by W. S. Mont- 
gomery, proprietor of the Greenfield Republican and Daily Republican. 
Tribune and Daily Republican merged under name of The Tribune about 1895. 

Daily Republican. — Daily Republican sheet, published by W. S. Mont- 
gomery in November, 1893, and merged with The Tribune. 

Daily Democrat. — Daily Democratic paper, published by William 
Mitchell Printing Company during the political campaign of 1900. John 
flufford, editor. 

Evening Star. — Non-partisan. Published in August, 1906. by Eugene 
Boyden. Purchased by Ben Strickland and Newton R. Spencer, December 1, 
1906, who soon afterward sold a third interest to Eugene E. Davis. Pub- 
lished at the Globe plant. 

Greenfield Daily Reporter. — Non-partisan. Published by Newton R. 
Spencer, April 27, 1908. Bought Evening Star and published both as Green- 


field Daily Reporter in February, 1909. Took over The Tribune in February, 
1910, and has since published both as The Greenfield Daily Reporter. Now 
published by Spencer Publishing Company. 

Fortville Journal, published for a few months, about 1879 or 1880, by 
George Hacker and Mr. Melton. Local news. 

Fortville Journal, published in September, 1883. Burned in December, 
1883. Reestablished in 1884. Owned and published by Green & Williams, 
W. S. Rader, W. S. Nagle. Name changed to Fortville Sun in February, 

1886. Local news. 

Fortville 5ww.— February, 1886. Sold to George E. Simmons in May, 

1887. Other owners, Cal Gault, Lon Graf fort and John C. Jenkins. Was 
the organ of the Farmers' Alliance in the campaign of 1882; S. B. Prater, 
editor. Destroyed by fire in 1893. Reestablished in 1894. Publication 
suspended in 1895. Local news. 

Fortville Tribune, established in fall of 1893 by Robert Maranville. 
Other owners, Ora Pogue and George Simmons. Purchased in April, 1909, 
by Gus E. Stuart, the present editor and proprietor. Local news. 

The Fortville Reporter, published for about three months during the fall 
of 1 901 by Gus E. Stuart. 

New Palestine Star, weekly ; published at New Palestine by Julius C. 
Melton in 1887. Suspended after a year or two. 

Nezv Palestine Courier, weekly; published by a company of persons in 
1885. William Parish took charge in November, 1895. Discontinued in 
April, 1897. Local news. 

New Palestine Nezvs, weekly, published in September, 1897, by Julius 
C. Melton. Local news. Suspended in September, 1899. 

New Palestine News, weekly, published February 15, 1900, by George 
Metzger. Purchased by Paul Bell. Suspended in May, 1903. Local news. 

Wilkinson Herald, first published at Wilkinson about 1897 by Dr. B. H. 
Cook. Moved to Shirley about 1899 and sold to Frank Martindale and name 
changed to Shirley-Wilkinson News. Local news. 

Shirley-Wilkinson News, first published at Shirley about 1899 by Mar- 
tindale and later by his son. Sold to one McClain who changed the name 
to Shirley Gazette. Local news. 

Shirley Enterprise, established about 1901 and published for two or 
three years. Local news. 

Shirley Gazette, first published at Shirley about 1901 by McClain. Later 
owned by one Gordon and C. B. Shields. Name changed to Shirley Nezvs 
about 1905. Local news. 


Shirley News, first published about 1905. Now owned and published 
by Roy Ensimger. 

Wilkinson Gazette, published August 29, 1907, by A. L. Goodwin. 
Local news. Discontinued after a few months. 

Charlottesville News, weekly, published for a year or two about 1888 
by Otto Bennett. Local news. 

Home and Farm, published by S. C. Rhue at Charlottesville in Septem- 
ber, 1906. Suspended in a short time. 

The following newspapers are now published in the county : The Han- 
cock Democrat, Greenfield Republican, Greenfield Daily Reporter, FortziUc 
Tribune and Shirley News. 

(William R. Hough, in Hancock Democrat.) 

One day in the summer of 1859 or i860, as to which of these years it was 
my memory does not now exactly serve me, the citizens of our then little town 
had their curiosity somewhat aroused by the discovery of a number of 
quarter-size printed posters tacked up in several of the most public places in 
town, announcing that on a certain evening in the following week this man, 
John Alley, would deliver a lecture at the court house on the subject of 
aerial navigation. At the appointed time it was my good fortune to be pres- 
ent with a considerable number of other of our citizens, and to hear advanced 
what we then regarded with amusement as the vagaries of an eccentric, if 
not an unbalanced, mind. His ideas in relation to the construction and opera- 
tion of a flying machine were not well matured, but were vague and incon- 
clusive, and the lecture did not meet the expectations which the contents of 
the posters announcing the same had excited in the minds of his audience. 

His ability as a poet and prophet was better evidenced by the contents 
of the posters than by the lecture. These poster's were so much out of the 
ordinary and of such interest to me that I have never forgotten the principal 
features they contained, and they were very vividly recalled to my mind by 
the successful operation of the flying machines which I witnessed at the 
exhibition at the Speedway, near Indianapolis, a few days since, and in 
which I witnessed so complete a fulfillment of the prophecy contained in 
them that I feel impelled to give it the publicity which I think it deserves by 
asking a place for it in the columns of the Star, and so to do what I may 
toward the perpetuation of the memory of one who has hitherto been "to 
dumb forgetfulness a prey," although entitled to rank as a true prophet of 


modern times. The top line of the posters read as follows : "Fly, fly, cleave 
the sky; if a man can't, pray tell me why !" Then the date, the subject of the 
lecture and the name of the lecturer was given, and then came the closing 
prophetic poem, as follows : 

"The time long looked for is at hand, 
When man, grown tired of sea and land, 
On artificial wings shall fly 
And navigate the liquid sky. 
Not in balloon made fast to boat, 
And only with the winds to float, 
But. mounted on a flying car, 
He'll steer his course through trackless air, 
Cross counter winds, confront to breeze, 
And over mountains, lakes and seas, 
Survey all nations with delight, 
Outride the eagle in his flight, 
And teach the world from freedom's home 
To every land where man may roam, 
The light of science, revelation, 
Man's high eternal destination." 

This backwoods seer, "to fortune and to fame unknown," a few short 
years after the delivery of the lecture mentioned, in 1863, without having 
created more than a ripple of amusement in the minds of his unsophisticated 
neighbors, by this, in the light of the present day, most remarkable prophecy, 
"died without the sight" of its fulfillment and, freed from the limitations of 
his poor unprepossessing physical habitation he passed into the life invisible 
"unhonored and unsung." 




It will be recalled that the first step toward the establishment of a 
school fund was taken by the Continental Congress in adopting the ordinance 
of May 20, 1785. This ordinance provided that section 16 in each township 
should be reserved for the maintenance of the public schools within that 
township. Under the early laws of the state the custody and control of this 
land were given to the trustees of the respective townships, and among the 
first acts of the board of county commissioners of Hancock county after the 
organization of the board was the appointment of trustees for each of these 
school sections. These trustees, with a few changes in the law from time 
to time, had power to lease such lands for any term not to exceed three 
years, taking rents payable in money, property or improvements to be made 
on the real estate. If directed by a majority of the qualified voters of the 
township such leases could be made for any term not exceeding ten years. 
For a longer term a special act of the Legislature was necessary, and such an 
act was approved January 24, 1828, permitting the trustees of section 16, 
township 15 north, range 7 east (in Brandy wine township), to lease a part of 
said section to Othniel H. Sweem for a period of twenty years for the pur- 
pose of building and operating a mill thereon. The trustees had and exer- 
cised all the rights and powers of a landlord in coercing the fulfillment of 
contracts relating to such lands and preventing waste or damage. Bv an act 
approved January 23, 1829, any five freeholders in any township could call 
a meeting of the voters to determine whether the school section in that town- 
ship should be sold. A few years later another law was passed providing 
that at any time when five qualified voters of any congressional township 
should petition the trustees of such township, setting forth their desire for a 
sale of such land, said trustees should insert in the notices for the annual 
election of trustees, the further notice that a balloting would be had to 
determine whether the land so petitioned for should be sold. At the time of 
the election each voter favoring the sale of such land wrote on his ballot the 
word "sale" ; if opposed, he wrote the words "no sale." If a majoritv voted 
in favor of the sale, the land was sold. In some of the counties of the state 



this land was managed for many years in accordance with the provisions 
of these statutes, and the income therefrom was used for the maintenance 
of the schools. In Hancock county, however, these sections were sold soon 
after the county was organized. The dates of the sales are as follow : 

Sections 16, 15, 7, Brandywine — April 5, 1830. 

Sections 16, 16, 7, Center — July 28, 1830. 

Sections 16, 15, 8, Blue River — November 15, 1830. 

Sections 16, 15, 6, Sugar Creek — October 29, 1830, to January 7, 1833. 

Sections 16, 16, 8, Jackson — July 1, 1831, to March 8, 1833. 

Sections 16, 17, 7, Green — February 1, 1834, to February 6, 1837. 

Sections 16, 17, 8, Brown — November 21, 1835. 

Sections 16, 17, 6, Vernon — November 16, 1841, to December 17, 1850. 

Sections 16, 16, 6, Buck Creek — January 2, 1845, to November 28, 1849. 

The most of the school land in Hancock county sold at one dollar and 
twenty-five cents per acre, although a few tracts brought from three dollars 
to five dollars per acre. 


Before the office of county auditor was created the county school com- 
missioners sold school lands, loaned and accounted for the school funds, and 
distributed the proceeds thereof to the various school corporations. In Han- 
cock county the school commissioners sold practically all of the school sec- 
tions before the first county auditor was elected. The duties of the county 
school commissioners were at first shared and finally taken over entirely by 
the county auditor. The men who filled the office of school commissioner 
from 1830 to 1852 were: Meredith Gosney. John Justice, William Johnson, 
Asa Gooding, James D. Henry, Morris Pierson, John Avery, J. Etter, J. 
Tharp, Orlando Crane. 


Until 1859, with a few minor changes, the business of each township 
was managed by a board of three trustees. At the first election in each 
township one trustee was elected for one year, another for two years, and a 
third for three years. Afterward one trustee was elected at each annual 
election for a term of three years. The board appointed one of its members 
clerk, who was ex-officio president of the board. It was his duty to call 
meetings, to keep a record of the proceedings of each meeting, to record and 
plat the school districts, and to do such other things as the trustees should 


order him to do. Another member was appointed treasurer. It was his 
duty to receive all rents, profits, interest, etc., belonging to his township, to 
pay out the same according to orders of the board ; to keep accurate accounts 
of his receipts and expenditures and to make reports to the board of the 
financial condition of the township when required by the board to do so. 

Each board also divided its township into school districts as circumstances 
required. In fact, the school districts as we now know them, were, for the 
most part, laid out by these township boards. They caused the districts to 
be organized, and when established caused a notice to be given of the first 
general meeting for the election of district trustees. They reported to the 
county school commissioner, and later to the county auditor, the enumeration 
of all children between the ages of five and twenty-one years, resident within 
the township. They divided semi-annually the school funds received into 
the township treasury, among the districts within the township. 


All school districts that had been organized prior to 1843 were recog- 
nized and confirmed as such by a statute of that year. Each when organized 
became a body corporate by the name of "School District No/ — , of Town- 
ship No. — , in Range No. — , in the County of , in the State of 

Indiana." The districts as laid out, and as numbered under this act of 1843, 
are still generally known by such numbers in Hancock county. 

The business of each district, with some minor changes again, was trans- 
acted by three trustees, also elected for a term of three years. In case of a 
tie the election was settled by lot in the presence of the inspector. The dis- 
trict trustees took their certificates of election from the hand of the township 
clerk. This board appointed one member clerk and another treasurer. They 
met when any district business required and gave notice of all elections and 
meetings of the voters of the district. Whenever there was a meeting of 
voters of the district one of the trustees presided, the clerk, if present, other- 
wise the treasurer. In the absence of both the third member of the board 
presided. The person presiding kept a record of the proceedings and votes 
of the meetings and entered them on the record book of the district. The 
general powers and duties of the trustees are set out in the following para- 
graph of the statute : 

"The trustees shall make all contracts, purchases, payments and sales 
necessary to carry out the vote of the district, for the procuring of any site 
for a school house, building, hiring, repairing, or furnishing the same, or dis- 
posing thereof, or for the keeping of any school therein; and in the absence 


of instructions by a district meeting may contract with a teacher, to be paid 
in whole or in part out of the public funds, or by persons sending in due pro- 
portion, or according to their private subscriptions." 

They also kept a record of all voters in the district and of the number 
of children in each family between five and twenty-one years of age, and 
had the right to determine what branches should be taught in their district 
school, provided they were such as were generally taught. 


The law provided for a general meeting of the voters of each district 
to be held on the first Saturday of October of each year. Special meetings 
could be called at any time. To be entitled to vote at these meetings one had 
to be a resident of the district and also either a freeholder, or a householder 
with children of school age. At these meetings district trustees were elected 
or vacancies filled. The people also had the right to designate the site for 
a school house; to direct the building, hiring or purchase of a school house 
or site for the same, and to fix the sum to be expended therefor, or for the 
furniture or library therefore, and for the keeping of the same in repair. 
They also had the right to direct the sale of any school house or the site 
thereof, or of any property, real or personal, belonging to the district. They 
could determine the length of the school term and the manner in which the 
teacher should be paid, and could also direct what part of their distributive 
share of the school funds should be applied to the purchase of a site for a 
school house or for the building thereof. The school sites in Hancock county 
were not very expensive in those days and it was a very common practice 
for a donation, usually of a half acre, to be made by someone for school pur- 
poses. Many of the school sites are still held by the townships by virtue of 
these deeds. In order to expedite the construction of school houses an act 
of 1843 provided that the inhabitants of each district should have the power 
of assessing a "labor tax," or of determining the amount of work to be done 
by each able-bodied white male resident of the district between the ages of 
twenty-one and fifty years toward building a school house, not to exceed two 
days work for each : or they could determine the amount of money to be 
paid as a tax instead of performing such labor. By the act of 1843 the tax 
for school purposes was limited to twenty-five cents on the hundred dollars. 

From the earliest days of the county the people of the districts exercised 
their rights under the law. The hardy pioneers, clad in homespun, repaired 
to the little log school house with its puncheon floor, oiled-paper windows, 
huge fireplace and rough hewn seats, and there deliberated upon their local 


affairs. If one of the district trustees was present he presided. In the 
absence of all members of the district board some other person opened the 
meeting. Matters considered were settled by vote. The decision was reported 
to the district trustees who made it a part of their official record. Not the 
least among the matters settled each fall was the question as to who should 
teach the district school during the coming term. The selection of the teacher 
by the district meeting finally came to be the established custom in many 
localities of the county. In fact it prevailed in some communities for many 
years after the present township trustee law was passed in 1859. In 1864, 
for instance, the following bit of record was entered on his books by Lemuel 
Hackleman, trustee of Blue River township : 

"April 22, 1864. 

"Samuel B. Hill, director for district No. 1, Blue River township, Han- 
cock county, Indiana, reports verbally that the citizens of said district have 
unanimously consented to employ Margaret Brown to teach a school in said 
district the fourteen days due said district ; said Margaret Brown shall receive 
one dollar and ten and one-half cents per day, the balance of the time a com- 
pensation of fifteen dollars per month ; therefore we ask the trustee to employ 
said Margaret Brown and we wish half the public money applied. 

"Samuel B. Hill, 

Following the above entry appears the contract of the trustee with 
Miss Brown as teacher. 

As late as 1882 the county board of education of Hancock county con- 
sidered the advisability of permitting the people of the districts to select the 
teachers for their schools. In the minutes of the May meeting of the board in 
1882 appears the following : "The question of allowing school meetings to 
select teachers was discussed at some length by the board. It was generally 
conceded that the better and safer plan was for the trustees to select and 
employ the teacher." , 

In many localities, however, the teachers were "elected" at the district 
meetings until about 1890. In other localities the selection was left to the 
township trustees. 

The first schools of the county were subscription schools. During the 
days of the subscription school it was the custom for a teacher to canvass 
the district and secure as many signatures and as large an enrollment on his 
"paper" as possible. When a teacher had secured the subscription of the 
people of the district, the district trustees employed him in case public money 
was also to be used in defraying the expenses of the school. In this instance 


the district determined by petition what was in other localities settled by- 
district meeting. 


First, the district trustees of each school district took the enumeration 
of the children within their district between the ages of five and twenty-one 
years and reported the same to the township clerk. The township clerk then 
made a report for his entire township, first to the school commissioner, and 
after 1841 to the county auditor. The county auditor then apportioned the 
school funds to the different townships on the basis of the enumeration. 
When the amount due each township had been determined the township 
trustees ordered the county auditor to pay the same to the township treasurer. 
The township treasurer then apportioned this amount to the different dis- 
tricts of his township upon the basis of their enumeration. The sum due 
any district was paid to the district treasurer upon the order of the township 
clerk, granted upon the order of the district trustees, certified by their clerk, 
directing the treasurer to draw the same. 

The township and district records of Hancock county previous to 1859 
have nearly all been lost. In one of these old trustees' records, however, we 
find receipts like the following: 

"March 4, 1839. 

"Received of James D. Henry, School Commissioner of Hancock County, 
one hundred and fifty dollars and six and one- fourth cents for Township 15, 
Range 8 East, (Blue River) by me, A. Allen, T. T." 

In this record we also find the first steps taken toward getting a share 
of the school fund, and also some of the orders made by the district trustees 
directing the township treasurer to pay to the district treasurer the money due 
the district. The following are taken from the township record kept by 
Adam Allen, township treasurer : 
"State of Indiana, Hancock County : 

"Personally appeared before me, A. Allen, treasurer Congressional 
Township 15, in Range 8, in the County of Hancock and Rush, Samuel 
Brown, Treasurer of School District No. 3 in said Township, who says on 
oath that there is in said district a school house of convenient size with suf- 
ficient light and that it is finished so as to render the teacher and pupils com- 

(Signed) "Samuel Brown, 

"Affirmed and subscribed before me this 26th day of February, 1839. 

"A. Allen, 
"Treasurer of T. 15. R. 8." 


Following is an order for money on the township treasurer, to be applied 
toward finishing a school house : 

"We, Elihu Coffin, Samuel Brown, James Hazlett, trustees of School 
District N. 2 Township N. 15 N. of R. 8 E. in the district of lands at Indian- 
apolis, in the county of Rush and Hancock do hereby order and direct the 
sum of thirty dollars for the use of finishing the School House in said dis- 
trict and wish the township treasurer to pay the money to Samuel Brown, 
district treasurer. Given under our hands this February 28, 1839. 

"Elihu Coffin, 
"Samuel Brown, 
"James Hazlett/' 

Below are two orders for money to be applied toward paying the 
teachers : 
"State of Indiana, Hancock County, March 16, 1839: 

"We the undersigned trustees of school district N. 8 in Township 15, 
Range 8, East in said County, do order and direct that our proportion thirty- 
nine dollars of said Township shall be applied for the purpose of paying our 
school teacher James McAdams for the term of three months past, for which 
we wish the Township Treasurer for that purpose to pay the above named 
sum over to our district treasurer, Isaac Adams. 

"Isaac Adams, 
"Caleb Holding, 
"Lewis T. Adams." 

"We, David Smith, John Hunter, and Harrison James, Citizens of 
School District, No. 4 in Township 15, Range 8 East of Lands sold at 
Indianapolis in the County of Hancock, have employed a teacher to teach 
our children in said district school for the term of three months as a private 
school and we wish the Township Treasurer to pay us our portion of the 
school funds in his hands this March the 8th, 1841. 

"David Smith, 
"John Hunter, 
"Harrison James/'' 

the county seminary. 

The state Constitution of 1816 made provision for the establishment of a 
public school system from the primary grades to the state university. The 
early statutes of the state provided for the establishment of a seminary in 
each county. The fund used for building such a school was derived from 


moneys paid as an equivalent by persons exempt from militia duty, which was 
divided by the state among the counties equally, and of all fines assessed for 
any breach of the penal law, which fines were applied in the counties where 
assessed. The county commissioners at once after the organization of their 
board in 1828, appointed Meredith Gosney trustee of the seminary 
fund of Hancock county for a term of three years. In 1829 Benjamin Spill- 
man was appointed as such trustee "in the room of Meredith Gosney, re- 
signed." In 1832 Edward B. Chittenden was appointed. These men and 
their successors in office collected the fees assessed, etc., and kept the same 
on interest until September 5, 1842, when the report of A. M. Pattison, W. 
M. Johnson and J. Mathers, trustees of the seminary, shows that they had on 
hands bonds and notes and moneys amounting in all to one thousand and 
forty-three dollars and seventeen cents. This was sufficient to begin the 
construction of a building. 

On January 8, 1842, Morris Pierson and his wife, Elizabeth, conveyed to 
the trustees of the seminary a plot of ground twelve rods square, "to be 
appropriated to the exclusive use of a county seminary to be thereon erected." 
This ground was located just south of the corner of South Pennsylvania 
and South streets. The seminary building erected thereon stood on ground 
now occupied by South Pennsylvania street, just north of the railroad. 

On August 23, 1843, tne trustees entered into a contract with Cornwall 
Meek, "for the construction of the walls and roofing, and enclosing of a 
seminary building on a lot adjoining the town of Greenfield in said county — 
the size of the building to be thirty by forty feet — and the contractor to com- 
plete the work by the fifteenth day of November, A. D. 1842. 

"In consideration of which the said trustees are to pay to the said Corn- 
wall Meek as a full consideration for said contract the sum of six dollars and 
fifty cents per thousand for the brick work, to be measured in the wall — and 
six hundred and seventy-five dollars for the carpenter work, and lumber — 
payments to be made as follows : — The sum of one thousand and sixteen dol- 
lars and five cents cash obligations to be paid so soon as the said Cornwall 
Meek files with the said trustees a bond for the faithful performance of said 
contract — and the remaining balance to be paid to the said Meek as soon as 
the same shall be collected by said Trustees." 

John Elder drew the plans and specifications for the building, for which 
he received twelve dollars. 

The following notice taken from a . September issue of the Greenfield 
Spectator, 1848, gives a good idea of the schools, its curriculum, etc. : 



"The undersigned will commence his Second Term of School in the 
above building, on Monday, the 24th day of September, 1848, assisted by 
Miss M. Walls. 

"Rates of Tuition: 

"For Spelling, Reading, and Writing $2.00 

"For Geography and Arithmetic, with the above branches. ... 2.50 
"For Grammar, with the- above branches, and any of the pri- 
mary branches of an English education 3.00 

"For any of the higher branches, including Philosophy, Astron- 
omy, Botany, Chemistry, Geometry, Plane and Spherical 
Trigonometry, Algebra, Surveying, Navigation, and 

Latin 4.00 

"P. Lawyer." 

The following paragraph taken from the same issue of the Spectator 
also indicates some of the difficulties that. were encountered by the profession 
under the old system : 


"The undersigned takes this method of informing those who are indebted 
to him for tuition for last quarter to call and settle with him before the begin- 
ning of the next. P. Lawyer/' 

Another teacher in the seminary was William T. Hatch, who taught 
until 1850. He was followed by John Wilson, H. R. Morley and James L. 
Mason, who taught successively until 1854. Though the building was erected 
by the county, it was before the days of the free school system, and parents 
paid tuition for their children who attended just the same as those who sent 
to the subscription schools in the districts. 

From December, 1854, until June, 1855, the seminary building was used 
;is a court house. At the June term, in 1855, the county commissioners 
ordered the county auditor and treasurer to proceed to sell the property 
known as the county seminary in accordance with the provision of an act 
approved June 12, 1852. 

After the county had disposed of its interest in the property of the 
seminary, another school was established and conducted in the same building 
for several years which was attended by students from all parts of the county 
and from surrounding counties. This was the school known as 



In the issue of the American Patriot of February 28, 1855, notice was 
given that the first term of the Greenfield Academy would commence at the 
Methodist church on March 12, 1855. The school year was divided into three 
terms of fourteen weeks each, with tuition as follows : Collegiate studies, 
$7.50; academic, $5.00; primary, $3.00. A. D. Cunningham was named as 
principal. John Herod had taught in the new school on North street during 
the same winter. Another school under the same was started in December, 
1857, by the Rev. David Monfort, a Presbyterian minister. 

The following paragraphs, taken from its catalogue issued in i860, gives 
a good idea of its work : 

"Course of Study. 

"'The Course of study recently introduced, embraces in the Scientific 
Department, all the branches of Mathematics, Natural Science, Philosophy, 
History and English Literature, usually taught in colleges ; and in the Classi- 
cal Department all that is required to prepare the student for entering the 
Junior Class in the best colleges of the West. 

"Location, Facilities, and Health. 

"Greenfield Academy is located at Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana, 
twenty miles east of Indianapolis, on the Indiana Central Railway. It is a 
pleasant and retired village, where the student is under the best social in- 
fluence and free from the temptations and vices of more populous towns. 
Good boarding can be had at private houses from $2.00 to $2.50 per week 


''The government of the Academy will he maintained, as far as possible, 
by an affectionate appeal to reason, common sense, and the higher moral feel- 
ings, rather than by stern command or excessive punishment. The govern- 
ment is mild, yet firm, encouraging the timorous and checking the way- 


"The labors of each day are commenced by reading the Word of God, 
with brief explanations and practical applications, and invoking the Divine 
blessing and direction. All pupils are required to attend these exercises. 

"There are three churches in Greenfield : The Christian, the Methodist, 
and the Presbyterian. The student is left to his own choice as to which of 
these he will attend. 


"Inducements to Teachers. 

"Special pains are taken with young ladies and gentlemen who are desir- 
ous of qualifying themselves for teaching. 

"Since the Academy was established, about twenty-five of the pupils have 
engaged in teaching in this and the adjoining states, and so far as we are 
informed they have been successful. 

"Musical Department. 

"We would especially invite attention to the Musical Department which 
is under the care of, Miss Fannie Martin, an able and experienced teacher, 
where great facilities will be afforded to young ladies for the development of 
musical talent, which will meet the highest demand of the age." 

The academy maintained three departments. The subjects taught in 
each department, with the tuition per term of fourteen weeks, were as follow : 

"Primary Department. 

"Spelling, Reading to the fourth book, first part Arithmetic and 

Primary Geography $3-5° . 

"Middle Department. 
"Mental and Practical Arithmetic, Geography, English, Gram- 
mar, History, Penmanship, Composition, and Declama- 
tion $5.50 

"Classical Department. 
"Latin, Greek, Algebra, Geometry, Surveying, Bookkeeping, 
Natural Philosophy, Mental Philosophy, Moral Science, 
Rhetoric, Logic, Physiology, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, 
Astronomy, etc $8.50 . 


"Number of pupils in Classical Department 34 

"Number of pupils in Middle Department 74 

X umber of pupils in Primary Department 138 

"\ t 

"Total during year 246 

"Board of Directors. 
"R. E. Barnett, M. D., president; Hon. R. A. Riley, secretary; George 
Walker, treasurer. 


''Board of Instructors. 

"J. H. Stevenson, A. B., and J. R. Hall, Joint Principals and Teachers 
of Classical Department ; J. R. Silver, Teacher in Middle Department ; Miss 
Mazie P. Hall and Miss Sarah Stevenson, Teachers in Middle and Primary 
Departments ; Miss Narcie V. Lochwood and Miss Fannie Martin, Teachers 
in Musical Department." 

On the student list appear the names of Hamilton J. Dunbar, Bell Reed, 
Henry Snow, Isaac R. Davis, Flora T. Howard, Thomas H. Offutt, Willie 
M. Pierson, Richard Warrum, Bell Boyd, Emma Linehack, California Offutt, 
Willie Swope, Sarah Osborn, Edwin Howard, Oscar M. Barnett, Nannie 
Foley, Berrysills Johnston, J. E. Earles, Mary E. Longnaker, A. V. B. Sam- 
ple, Warsaw Barnett, John Davis, Almond Keifer, Sophronia Ogg, James 
Riley, Noah Bixler, George W. Carr, Jerry Martin, Melvina Ryan, Lizzie 
Welling, Pet Guyman, William H. Duncan, Wilson Chandler, Jehu Heaven- 
ridge, W. H. H. Judkins, C. G. Offutt, Asa E> Sample. James R. Boyd, Inez 
L. Guinn, Cerena Martin, Fannie Pierson, Levi Thayer, Josephine Boyd, 
Eliza J. Hammell, John Mitchell, Mary C. Swope, William Wood, Cindie 
Gebhart, William Pratt, Sue Foley, Elizabeth M. Galbreath, John A. Guyman. 


It is rather interesting to observe that when Hancock county was carved 
out of the wilderness, the act providing for its organization contained the 
following section : 

"The agent who shall be appointed to superintend the sale of lots at 
the county seat of the county of Flancock shall reserve ten per cent, out of the 
proceeds thereof, and out of all donations to said county, and pay the same 
over to such person or persons as may be appointed by law for the use of 
the library of said county, which he or his successors shall pay over at such 
time and in such manner as shall be directed by law." 

This section gave a source of revenue for building up a library in the 
county. From time to time report was made of this money to the county 
commissioners. At first the county agent had charge of the fund, but later 
trustees of the county library were appointed by the board. Among the first 
trustees were Lewis Tyner. Harry Pierson, Lot Edwards, Benjamin Spell- 
man, John Sweens, John S. Ogg and John Foster. At the March term, 1833, 
Joshua Meek and Leonard Bardwell were appointed trustees in the place of 
Ogg and Foster, resigned, "to serve until their successors are elected and 
qualified." In 1843 Otho Gapen was appointed. Books were purchased by 



these trustees from time to time, and a librarian was appointed to care for 
the books. Gradually, however, they disappeared and were lost. The United 
States census report of 1850 shows one public library in the county with two 
hundred volumes. But the following report of W. R. West, librarian, made 
in December, 185 1, with the accompanying entry on the commissioners' rec- 
ord, constitutes about the last chapter on the county library: 

"To the Honorable Board of Commissioners of Hancock county : 

"I would respectfully make the following report as librarian of Han- 
cock county, — first, on examination of the library, after I accepted the ap- 
pointment of librarian, I found it consisted of the scattered fragments of 
books saved from the fire at the time the library was burned and those remain- 
ing being only parts of works and even them so injured by fire that they 
are nearly entirely valueless, and a part of those that escaped the fire were 
scattered and it was impossible to collect them. And finding the library in 
this impoverished condition, I did not deem it my duty to attempt to keep the 
remaining fragments together, and consequently they have passed from my 
control and possession, and I am willing to restore to the county the value 
of the books I received as librarian and herewith tender my resignation as 
librarian of Hancock county. W. R. West, Librarian." 

"And now comes into open court William R. West and produces to the 
court the treasurer's receipt for the sum of twenty dollars, the amount re- 
ferred to in the above report, which is accepted by the court, and said William 
R. West having tendered his resignation, is hereby discharged from further 
action as such librarian." 

People who remember this library say that at one time it contained 
quite a collection of books. Many of them dealt with historical and biograph- 
ical subjects, but it also contained story books and fiction. The library trus- 
tees made rules and regulations for the use of the books. Every inhabitant 
of the county giving satisfactory evidence for the safe keeping and return 
of the books was entitled to use them. 


As a part of the general school law of the state, enacted in 1852, provi- 
sion was made for the establishment of what became known as "township 
libraries." A state tax of one-fourth mill on each dollar was assessed, also a 
poll tax of twenty-five cents, the moneys raised thereby to be applied ex- 
clusively to the purchase of township school libraries. The books were 
bought by the state board of education and then distributed by the state board 


among the several counties of the state. When distributed the books became 
the property of the townships receiving them. 

In 1854 these books reached Hancock county. Three boxes were re- 
quired to hold one complete library, and for purposes of identification the 
boxes were marked "A," "B" and "C." At the December meeting, in 1854, 
of the board of county commissioners they made a distribution of the libraries 
among the various corporations, as follows: 

"To Center Township and the town of Greenfield, one full school library 

"To Brandywine and Blue River Townships, one full school library 
jointly; Brandywine Township to take box 'A,' and Blue River, Box 'B' ; Box 
'C to be divided equally between them and to change every six months." 

A similar division and arrangement was made for Brown and Green 
townships ; Sugar Creek, Buck Creek and Vernon were given two full libraries, 
and Jackson one full library. 

There were in the collection some very valuable books. Whether they 
were as generally read as had been anticipated is rather questionable. At the 
September meeting, in 1874, of the county board of education, the topic, "How 
can we make the township libraries more useful?" was thoroughly discussed 
by the county superintendent of schools and the township trustees. The rec- 
ord of that meeting recites that "it was found that these libraries, which con- 
tained many excellent books for teachers, pupils, patrons, and others fond of 
good reading, are not doing the good for which they were designed. Many 
libraries are but little read. It was thought that more attention should be 
given to the manner and place of keeping them. Trustees were advised to 
observe the school law, which says : Trustees at the commencement of each 
school term, at each school house in their respective townships, shall cause 
a notice to be posted up stating where the library is kept, and inviting the 
free use of the books thereof by the persons of their respective townships.' " 

Science, biography, history, fiction — in fact, something on almost any 
subject, was included in the libraries. They were substantial leather-bound 
volumes, bearing on the outside of the back the imprint, "Indiana Township 
Library." There are still a number of these books in some of the townships; 
in others they have all been lost. 


In 1888 the Young People's Reading Circle Board was organized for the 
state. This board recommended its first list of books for the children of the 
state in that year. A number of these books were put into the schools dur- 


ing the term of 1888- 1889. Additions have been made from year to year 
until now there is hardly a district school in the county without its case well 
filled with choice books. 


The question as to whether the public schools of Indiana should be 
maintained entirely by taxation, with tuition free to all, has been submitted 
in one form or another to the voters of the state on three different occasions. 
In 1848 the people were asked to state their preference by ballot, as between 
free, state-supported schools on the one hand and private or denominational 
schools on the other. In this election there were 1,489 votes cast in Hancock 
county, as follows : Six hundred and sixteen for free school, eight hundred 
and seventy-three against a free school system. Although a majority of the 
votes in Hancock county were cast against the free schools, the measure was 
carried in the state as a whole. In 1849 a specific law, broad in its scope, 
covering the entire matter of school administration, was submitted to the will 
of the people. In this election the majority of the votes of Hancock county 
were cast against the proposed law. It should be observed, however, that the 
law submitted in 1849 presented numerous questions on all phases of school 
administration which may have been objectionable, and that the matters 
presented in the two elections were quite different. The fact that Hancock 
county voted against both measures does not necessarily mean that her people 
were not progressive. 

On August 6, 1849, the question of a constitutional convention was sub- 
mitted to the votes of the people. In this election 1,473 v °tes were cast in 
Hancock county: 1,033 f° r tne convention, 394 against it. In 1852 our 
present state Constitution, making provision for a free school system, with 
tuition free to all, was submitted to the voters of the state. In this election 
Hancock county cast 1,434 votes, 1,358 for the constitution and only 76 
against it. 


The first qualification of a teacher to be considered and inquired into 
was his disciplinary power, which meant his ability to wield the birch and 
hold his own against the larger boys of the school. If he could do this the 
first and greatest point was settled in his favor. 

Under the law the district trustees had the power to direct what sub- 
jects should be taught in their school. As a matter of fact, however, it was 
more often determined by what a teacher was able to teach. Reading, writ- 
ing and arithmetic contained the fundamentals, and the school that procured 


a teacher who knew arithmetic to the "rule of three," and whose discip- 
linary powers were up to the standard, was ready to take a forward step. 
If a teacher knew a little history or geography, or perhaps grammar, those 
subjects were added to the curriculum for the term. The subjects that the 
teacher did not know were, of course, omitted. Later on, in the fifties and 
early sixties, grammar, geography and history were frequently added and 
even such subjects as algebra, trigonometry, natural philosophy and chem- 
istry appear upon the teachers' reports. That some of these higher subjects 
were intensely interesting and helpful is beyond question. 

Following is a report made by a teacher in the county at the close of a 
three-months term in 1854, giving the names of his pupils, their ages and the 
subjects taken by each : 

Thomas Moore, 13 — Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. 

Elias S. Marsh, 7 — Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. 

Eliza J. John, 10 — Orthography, Reading. 

Martha R. Iliff, 9 — Orthography, Reading. 

Rebecca J. Hendricks, 7 — Orthography. Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. 

Lucinda A. . Cannon, 8 — Orthography, Reading. 

Mary Jane Cannon, 7 — Orthography. 

Margaret E. Marsh, 7 — Orthography, Reading. 

Xathan Catt, 1 1 — Orthography, Reading, Arithmetic. 

Benjamin Catt, 9 — Orthography. 

Silas Moore, 8 — Orthography, Reading. 

Eli Catt, 7 — Orthography. 

Martha Elsbury, 11 — Orthography, Reading, Arithmetic. 

Margaret Elsbury, 4 — Orthography. 

Calvin Elsbury, 9 — Orthography. 

William A. Sleeth, 11 — Orthography, Reading. 

James M. Sleeth, 7 — Orthography, Reading. 

Eliza C. Sleeth, 9 — Orthography, Reading. 

Sarah J. Marsh, 6 — Orthography. 

Margaret Heavenridge, 14 — Orthography, Reading, Arithmetic. 

John Heavenridge, 9 — Orthography. 

Christopher C. Marsh, 9 — Orthography, Reading. 

Aaron A. Sleeth, 13 — Orthography, Reading. 

Margaret John 14 — Orthography, Reading, Writing. 

Margaret McLaughlin, 11 — Orthography, Reading. 

Louisa J. Cartwright, 10 — Orthography, Reading, Arithmetic. 


Mary E. Moore, 3 — Orthography. 

John B. Anderson, ic — Orthography, Reading. 

Cynthia A. Sebastian, 19 — Orthography, Reading. 

Sarah E. John, 16 — Orthography, Reading. 

Joseph L. Cartwright, 9 — Orthography. 

Hannah M. Cannon, 4 — Orthography. 

James M. Price, 8 — Orthography, Reading. 

Mary Price, 6 — Orthography. 

Mary Heavenridge, 3 — Orthography. 

Mary Jane Marsh, 13 — Orthography, Reading. 

Eli Galbreath, 8 — Orthography, Reading. 

Lucretia Galbreath, 6 — Orthography. 

Elizabeth Galbreath, 15 — Orthography, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. 

George W. New, 10 — Orthography. 

John Price, 6 — Orthography. 

Sarah E. New, 10 — Orthography. 

Caroline Phillips, 13 — Orthography, Reading, Writing 

It will be observed from the report that in this school the younger pupils 
studied nothing but orthography. Those a little older also, studied reading, 
while those farthest advanced took the full curriculum, reading, writing and 
arithmetic. Between the lines of that report also appear the teacher's lim- 
itations. Following is a report of another teacher made at the close of a 
three-months term in the same year: 

Mary C. Rawls, 15 — Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, Physiology. 

Maranda W. Rawls, 14 — Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, Reading, 
Spelling, Writing. 

Tabitha J. Rawls, 8 — Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic. 

Mary Brown, 8 — Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic. 

Mary J. Bundy, 9 — Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic. 

Ruth A. Bundy, 7 — Reading, Spelling, Arithmetic. 

Emily Brown, 12 — Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic. 

Selah Brown, 8 — Reading, Writing, Spelling. 

Elmina Coffin, 8 — Reading, Writing, Spelling. 

Emily Coffin, 5 — Spelling. 

Sarah A. Myers, 10 — Reading, Writing, Spelling. 

Eliza Bundy, 5 — Spelling. 

Almira Galbreath, 5 — Spelling. 

Sarah E. New, 10 — Spelling. 

Delphina C. Davis, 15 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography. 


Matilda Newby, 11 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling. 
Joseph O. Binford, 11 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Geography, 

James L. Binford, 8 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling. 
Mica j ah Butler, 8 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling. 
Oliver Brown, 10 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling. 
Milton C. Brown, 1 1 — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling. 
Eli Galbreath, 8 — Spelling. 
George W. New, 6 — Spelling. 
Albert Binford, 5 — Spelling. 
Sylvester E. Hamilton, 8 — Spelling. 

Even a casual comparison of the two reports will most likely disclose 
a difference in the wealth of what was offered to the above schools. 

Still another report, made in March, 1855, at the close of a three-months 
term, shows that the following branches were taught : Spelling, reading, writ- 
ing, arithmetic, English, grammar, philosophy, algebra and geometry. The 
report also shows the number of pupils taking the different subjects, as 
follows: Spelling, 59; reading, 56; writing, 50; physiology, 6; arithmetic, 
51; English grammar, 14; philosophy, 7; algebra, 5; geometry, 3. 

If one may judge from the report alone, the pupils of this school had 
cause to be congratulated for having a teacher who was able to offer them 
something worth while and to lead them into richer fields of learning. The 
above reports also form a concrete illustration of the fact that the curriculum 
of any school was determined by what the teacher was able to teach. The 
same truth is even more forcibly illustrated by an enumeration of the sub- 
jects taught and text books used in the schools of the county before the Civil 
War. At the close of each term of school during those years the teacher 
reported among other things the subjects taught and the text books used. 
An examination of a number of these reports shows that in the district 
schools of Hancock county prior to the Civil War, different teachers taught 
some or other of the following subjects, and that all of the text books 
enumerated below were at some time used: 

Spellers — McGuffey's, Webster's, Murray's. 

Readers — McGuffey's, Bronson's Elocution, Murray's, Indiana Series. 

Writing — Spencerian. 

Arithmetic — Ray, Ray and Talbot, Davis, Ray and Stoddard, Stoddard. 

Geography — Mitchell, Smith, Olney, Patton, Smith and Montieth, Cotton. 

History — Hume's History of England. 


Physiology — Cutter, Taylor. 

Grammar — Brown, Pinne's, Green, Smith, Kirkam. 

Philosophy — Omstead, Parker. 

Algebra — Ray, Davies. 

Geometry — Davies: 

Trigonometry and Conic Sections — Legendre, Davies, Lewis. 

Surveying — Lewis. 

Chemistry — Youngman. 

Geology — Hitchcock. 

Physical Geography — Fisk. 

Astronomy — Mattison. 

Botany — Woods. 

Although a number of these advanced subjects as they were taught in 
the district schools would no doubt have failed to stand the present day test, 
they undoubtedly evoked great enthusiasm and were the life of the school 
for the young men and women then in attendance. 

Some of these very early schools of the county, too, were conducted as 
"loud schools," or schools in which each pupil studied his lesson aloud. 
Oscar F. Meek, deceased, late of this county, used to grow eloquent in relat- 
ing his experiences as a pupil in the "loud school." Jared Meek and John 
Harden Scott, octogenarians, the latter of whom is still with us, were also 
pupils in thes'e schools. Although very few now among us have ever attended, 
or heard, the "loud school," we are yet many who learned our geography in 
songs, and who can still hear distinctly in memory's ear the measures of : 

"Maine, Augusta, on the Kennebec River, 
Maine, Augusta," etc., etc., etc. 

The capitals of the states were learned in songs in some of the schools 
of the county as late as 1885. 

teachers' remuneration. 

The first teachers in the county depended for their remuneration upon 
subscription lists. The term of school was usually about twelve or 
thirteen weeks in length, and the teacher received from one dollar and fifty 
cents to two dollars per pupil for the term. The teacher frequently appended 
to this contract the condition, that if a child missed any days, the parents 
might send another child for the number of days missed, without extra 
charge. This enabled the teacher to collect for full time. Either cash, or 


anything convertible into cash, was taken in payment for services. This was 
the time, too, when teachers "boarded round" among the patrons of the 
schools as part compensation. Later, however, when more money was 
raised by taxation and school fund money became available, the teachers 
were paid in cash. During the decade preceding the Civil War teachers were 
paid on an average of about fifteen dollars per month. During the Civil 
War period teachers' salaries rose to a little more than one dollar per day. 
Ladies received from fifteen to thirty cents less than the men. The follow- 
ing contract, made when he was nineteen years of age, by our highly re- 
spected and honored fellow citizen, lately deceased, is typical of the teachers' 
contracts of that time : 

"Blue River Township, Hancock Co., Ind. 
"Article of agreement this day made and entered into between John H. 
Bin ford, a School teacher of the one part, and James P. New, Trustee of the 
other part. Witnesseth, that the said John H. Binford agrees to teach school 
in District No. 4 in Blue River Township, Hancock County, Indiana, for 
the sum of one dollar and 15-100 per day. Said school to commence on the 
1 st day of January, 1864, and continue for forty-eight days. And for said 
services properly rendered said James P. New, Trustee of said Township, 
agrees to pay the full amount of wages due said teacher as ascertained by 
this Article of Agreement. 

"Witness our hands this November 26, 1863. 

"James P. New, Trustee, 
"John H. Binford, Teacher." 

Experienced teachers with established reputations were paid a little 
more than the above amount per day. A few contracts can be found show- 
ing that district teachers, and practically all of the schools in the county 
were district schools at that time, received as much as one dollar and sixty- 
five cents per day. Even at that time, however, some people of the county 
began to realize that the schools could never be lifted to a very high state 
of efficiency unless the teachers were better paid. It is interesting to find 
among the old records of Blue River township the following letter addressed 
to the township trustee in which expression is given to this fact : 

"7th March, 1864. 
"Friend Lemuel Hackleman, Trustee : 

"We have a glimmering prospect of hiring a teacher for our winter 
school at about $50.00 per mo. and we think our neighborhood demands such 


a teacher and I wish to know whether thee would approve our action at the 
price mentioned. We have not been extravagant heretofore and for my own 
part I believe a great deal depends upon improving the class of teachers for 
our common schools. Please give an answer through the bearer. Also 
about how many days we will be entitled to. 


"Samuel B. Hill." 

The record, however, fails to show that the trustee entered into such a 
contract with any teacher. 

The compensation of the teachers became a little better after the Civil 
War. A report made by the county examiner in 1865 shows that men were 
paid on an average of about one dollar and seventy-five cents per day, and 
ladies about one dollar and fifty cents per day. A report made by Superin- 
tendent John H. Binford in 1873, shows the average daily wages of men were 
two dollars and thirty- five cents per day, and of ladies, one dollar and sixty- 
five cents. At the September meeting of the county board of education the 
following resolution was adopted for the payment of teachers: "Resolved, 
that for the present school year we will pay all teachers in our employ, except 
those engaged in graded schools, according to the following equitable plan, 
viz. : Two cents per day multiplied by the general average of the license, added 
to two and one-half cents per day multiplied by the average attendance of 
the school." But at the May meeting of the county board of education, in 
1878, the following resolution relative to teachers' wages was adopted : 
"Resolved, that we are not in favor of paying teachers more than one dollar 
and seventy-five cents per day for the fall and winter term of 1879." 

In the last decade of the century just past, beginning teachers were 
usually paid one dollar and seventy-five cents per day, and the older and 
experienced teachers were paid from two dollars and twenty-five cents to two 
dollars and fifty cents in the districts, and the principals of small town schools 
from two dollars and fifty cents to three dollars per day. When the town- 
ship high schools were organized the teachers were at first usually paid 
three dollars to three dollars and twenty-five cents per day. From 1903 to 
1907 the salaries of high school teachers rose on an average to four dollars 
and four dollars and fifty cents per day. During the next three or four 
years nearly all the principalships were raised to five dollars per day, and 
during the last year or two the principalships of Westland, Charlottesville, 
Wilkinson, McCordsville and New Palestine have been paying six dollars 
per day. Grade teachers, since the passage of the teachers' wage law of 


1907, have generally received such compensation as they were entitled to by 
virtue of their licenses. 


The first school house erected in the county was built in Blue River 
township in 1823. In 1824 a building was erected on the present site of 
Greenfield, and from 1830 to 1836 houses were erected in Jackson, Sugar 
Creek, Green and Brown. Buck Creek and Vernon townships, now among 
our banner townships for fertility of soil and natural wealth, were at that 
time swampy and were not populated as early and as rapidly as some of the 
other townships, and consequently their schools were not established until 
a little later. Many of the first buildings were small log houses, not to exceed 
twenty feet square, though many were built later about twenty-six feet 
by thirty feet. They were covered with clapboards and had oiled-paper 
windows. A huge fireplace was built at one side or one end of the building 
•which enabled the children to keep warm on the side next to the fire. All 
had puncheon floors; that is, floors made of slabs or logs split or hewn 
instead of being sawed. The seats were made of split saplings or mill slabs 
from twelve to fifteen feet in length. Usually seats were placed on either 
side and extended back from the fireplace. Another was placed across the 
front of the fireplace. To the rear of these seats a table, possibly three feet 
wide and twelve or fifteen feet long, extended across the room, and on either 
side of the table were placed split pole or mill slab seats, each of the length 
of the table. At this table or desk the children faced each other and were 
enabled to work with some degree of comfort. Those occupying the other 
seats had to hold their slates and books on their laps. Frequently, and in 
fact very commonly, another desk was made along one or two sides of the 
house by driving pegs into the logs and laying a wide board on them. This 
was called the "writing desk." In some of the very early school houses 
there were no blackboards at all. In others a wide board was hung on pegs 
driven into the logs. In many buildings there were two additional pegs 
driven into the wall near or over the teacher's desk. Across them might 
have been seen a bundle of sticks several feet in length. The teachers of 
those days believed that there was great virtue in their presence in the school 

Of course, the "furniture" and the rooms were not arranged alike in all 
schools, but the room and equipment above described are rather typical of 
that very early day. The log schools were retained until about the time of 
the Civil War or a little later, when they were replaced by frame buildings. 


In the latter eighties and during the nineties those frame buildings were 
replaced by the one-room brick schools of which a number are still standing. 
In the towns larger buildings were constructed, and during the last few years 
the best types of sanitary buildings have been constructed for the consolidated 
and grade schools. For many years none of the old frame buildings have 
been in use anywhere in the county except in Brandy wine township. There 
practically all of them are still retained. 


When the first settlers built their cabins in the wilderness of Hancock 
county, from 1818 to 1835, and even later, actual conditions imposed upon 
them other duties than the perfecting of school organizations. Teachers, 
men and women, fresh from the colleges, found more lucrative and more 
desirable fields for the practice of their profession than in the wilderness. 
Hence the first teachers of the county were generally such persons as were 
able to read, write and cipher a little, and who for the time had nothing 
else to do. 

Under the first laws of the state the circuit courts appointed three per- 
sons to examine the teachers of the respective counties. At the February 
term, 1842, of the Hancock circuit court, for instance, the following entry 
was made : 

"The Judge, the Associate Judges being present, appoints Thomas D. 

Walpole, Morris Pierson, and Anderson M. , examiners of school 

teachers in Hancock County." 

At the March term, 1850, a similar entry was made, by which Reu- 
ben A. Riley, Meredith Gosney and William E. Hatfield were appointed. 

The first step taken toward an improvement of these conditions was the 
passage of a law providing for the appointment of "three suitable persons 
in each township as examiners of common school teachers, who shall con- 
tinue in office until others are appointed in their place. Such examiners 
shall examine such persons as may apply for that purpose, and certify what 
branches they are qualified to teach. No teacher shall be employed unless 
he is a person of good moral character, nor shall any teacher be paid as a 
teacher of a district school without having procured a certificate of qualifi- 
cation as provided in the next preceding section." 

This law was enacted in 1843. At the December term, 1845. ^ e board 
of commissioners appointed the following school examiners for the county: 
Buck Creek, Barzillia G. Jay, John Collins; Harrison, Isaac Barrett, William 
H. Curry; Center, Harry Pierson, D. M. C. Lane; Vernon, William Cald- 


well, Elias McCord; Union, George Pherson, William Shaffer; Green, An- 
drew Hatfield, George Henry; Brown, Mr. Reeves, William Denwiddie; 
Blue River, Orlando Crane, George Hatfield; Brandywine, Hiram Comstock, 
Eleazer Snodgrass ; Sugar Creek, Samuel Valentine, George Leechman ; 
Jones, Charles Atherton, H. H. Hall; Jackson, Robert McCorkhill, James 
P. Foley. 

In 1853 provision was made for a county examiner. By virtue of an 
act approved March 5, 1855, provision was made for the appointment by 
the board of county commissioners of at least one and not more than three 
school examiners for each county whose terms were to expire on the first 
Monday of March of each year. The county examiner examined all teachers 
and licensed them "for any time not to exceed two years, at the discretion 
of the examiner." The license had to specify the branches the applicant was 
able to teach, and the examiner was entitled to a fee of fifty cents in advance 
from every person taking the examination. Every applicant had to have 
a knowledge of orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and 
English grammar. 

On March 6, 1865, an act was approved providing for a general system 
of common schools and matter properly connected therewith, etc., which 
gave the county examiner many of the powers and duties now exercised 
by the county superintendent of schools. Among other things this act con- 
tained the following provision : "Said school examiner shall examine all 
applicants for license as teachers of the common schools of the state, by a 
series of written or printed questions, requiring answers in writing, if he 
wishes to do so, and in addition to the said questions and answers in writ- 
ing, questions may be asked and answered orally." Examinations were held 
each month in the year. "For each person examined he shall be entitled to 
a fee of one dollar, which fee shall constitute the only compensation he shall 
receive for services rendered in examining teachers." 

Under the township examiners the examinations generally consisted 
merely of conversations with the applicants and inquiries touching the extent 
of their knowledge, etc. Even under the first county examiners the exam- 
inations were principally oral and could hardly be said to involve a test of 
fitness at all. Many stories are still told by the teachers of those days of the 
examinations they took following the wagon while the examiner gathered 
corn, etc. 

The men who served the county as county examiners were : James Ruth-, 
erford, from June, 1853, to March, 1856; Reuben A. Riley. March, 1856, to 
March, 1857; James L. Mason, March, 1857, to March, 1859; William R. 


Hough, James L. Mason and David Vanlaningham, March, 1859, to March, 
i860; James McKean, A. V. B. Sample and William R. Hough, March, i860, 
to March, 1861 ; Jonathan Tague, Asa Sample and George W. Stanley, March, 
1861, to June, 1861; William S. Fries, June, 1861, to June, 1864; Mansfield 
C. Foley, June, 1864, to June, 1868; A. V. B. Sample, June, 1868, to June, 
1871 ; James A. New, June, 1871, to June, 1873. 

During the regime of the county examiners the following notice 
appeared for a number of years in every issue of the Hancock Democrat, 
beginning in the early sixties : 

"notice to teachers. 

"I will examine teachers at the Masonic Hall (late at the School House) 
in Greenfield on the first Saturday of each month and at no other times. All 
examinations will be public, commencing punctually at 10 a. m. of each day. 
Applicants must be present at the commencement, or they will not be exam- 
ined for one month. 

"In addition to the ordinary branches, teachers are expected to pass an 
examination in Physiology and History of the United States. 

"When not personally acquainted with the examiner, applicants must 
produce the testimonial of good moral character. 

"Licenses will be revoked on proof being made to the examiner of in- 
competency, immorality, cruelty or general neglect of the school." 

(Signed by) 
"William S. Fries, M. C. Foley, A. V. B. Sample, et al, 

"County Examiners." 

In 1873 an amendment to the act of March 6, 1865, was approved, by 
which the county superintendent's office and the county board of education 
were created. This amendment gave to the county superintendent the gen- 
eral supervision of the schools of the county and lodged in him the power 
of final determination of all local questions pertaining to the schools. Under 
this act and the acts amendatory thereof, the following men have been elected 
to the office of county superintendent of schools of Hancock county : John 
H. Binford, 1873; William P. Smith, 1875; Aaron Pope, 1879; Robert A. 
Smith, 1881; Will H. Glascock, 1885; Quitman Jackson, 1889; Lee O. Har- 
ris, 1897; George J. Richman, 1903; Frank Larrabee, 1907; Geoge J. Rich- 
man, 191 1. 

It was fortunate for the county that a man of Mr. Binford's organizing 
ability was elected as the first county superintendent of schools. He organ- 
ized in every department, possibly to a fault. There were regular dates for 


township institutes, others for joint or combined township institutes, and 
still others for regular meetings of all the teachers in the county. Though 
so much organization grew burdensome to the teachers, it introduced order 
and system into the educational work of the county, which has not been lost 
to this day. In time many features of the organization were abandoned, 
but the teaching profession has always retained organizations in smaller units 
as well as in the county as a whole. It would be difficult to say now to just 
what degree the educational standing of the county during the past years has 
been due to Mr. Binford's vigorous and aggressive methods. 

Of the men above named, Aaron Pope died while in office. He had 
endeared himself to his co-workers, and today there stands at a short dis- 
tance to the southwest of the mound in Park cemetery at Greenfield a' white 
marble shaft with the following inscription : 

To the Memory of 
Born September 16, 1844 
Died July 21, 188 1 
This monument is erected by the teachers 
of Hancock County as a tribute of re- 
spect for him as a man, and of .honor to 
him as a faithful and efficient worker 
in the schools over which he presided as 
County Superintendent from March, 
1879, until the time of his death. 

After leaving the county superintendent's office, Superintendent Glas- 
cock became deputy state superintendent of public instruction. Later he be- 
came superintendent of the State Institution for the Blind at Indianapolis. 
At the time of his death he was superintendent of the city schools at Bloom- 
ington, Ind., and was also an instructor at Indiana University, at Bloom- 

Capt. Lee O. Harris, poet and prose writer, was appreciated by the peo- 
ple of this county while he lived, and since his death they have not ceased to 
honor his memory. He took great interest in establishing and perfecting the 
organization of our high schools, and deserves to be known as the father of 
the township high school system of Hancock county. 


The county board of education has always been composed of the county 
superintendent, ex-of ficio chairman ; the township trustees and the presidents 


of the school boards of incorporated cities and towns. The first board of 
education of Hancock county under the new law met on September i and 2, 
1873. In fulfillment of the purpose for which it was organized, it made a 
number of rules and regulations for the schools of the county, some of which 
certainly "blazed'' the way for things we have today. Among those of 
special interest to teachers are the following: 

"All teachers in the public schools shall be at their respective school 
rooms at least twenty minutes before the time of commencing school. They 
shall not permit loud and boisterous talking in the school room, running over 
the floor, and climbing over the desks, and other unnecessary noise before 
school and during recess. 

"Teachers shall prohibit communication during study hours and exer- 
cise due diligence in preserving the school buildings, furniture, apparatus, 
etc., in a neat and respectable condition. 

"Every teacher shall make fires, sweep and scrub the school room in 
which he is employed to teach, or have the same done at his own expense, 
except in buildings where a janitor is employed by the trustee or trustees. 

"The study of primary arithmetic may be begun when the pupil has 
finished the third reader; primary grammar when the pupil has read one 
term in the fourth reader; United States history when the pupil has finished 
the fourth reader; and physiology when the pupil has read one term in the 
fifth reader. 

"No public school shall be taught on Saturday more than one day dur- 
ing a term, except in connection with the township or county institutes. 

"In no school shall any teacher conduct two classes of the same grade 
in two different text books on the same subject. 

(Signed) "John H. Binford, President. 

"A. H. Barrett, Secretary." 

During these early years of the board's organization the record shows 
that they considered and discussed such matters as an equitable plan for pay- 
ment of teachers; the wants of the school, such as the proper seating of the 
houses, more and better blackboard room, outline maps, charts, dictionaries, 
globes, ash buckets, shovels, pokers, necessary rear buildings, etc. The 
adoption of text books was also made by the county board until the passage 
of the state text book law in 1889. In 1874 the following text books were 
unanimously adopted : Montieth's geographies, two books ; Harvey's gram- 
mar, Barnes' history and Steel's physiology. In 1876 the American Educa- 
tional readers, Ray's arithmetics and McGuffey's spellers were adopted. In 


1877 Ridpath's history and Harper's geographies were added to the list. 
These books, with a few changes, continued to be used in the county until 
the state adoption was made in 1889. 

The selection of text books was a matter that gave the board more or 
less concern for many years. People of the county felt the burden of fre- 
quent changes and protested against them. The county papers during those 
years had occasion to publish many letters from "patrons of the schools," 
in which the "patrons" expressed their views on the text book question. 
Various organizations from time to time also adopted resolutions touching 
upon changes of text books. One series of such resolutions, adopted by the 
Hancock county council of the Patrons of Husbandry, or "Grangers,"* on 
April 4, 1874, is offered herewith : 

"Whereas, it is stipulated by the law of the state that the township trus- 
tees and trustees of incorporated cities and towns, may or shall establish a 
series of text books to be used in the common schools, and 

"Whereas, an entire change of said books would involve a very heavy 
additional expenditure of money upon an already almost intolerably taxed 
people, at a time when it seems to us that economy and reform should be 
the watchword of everybody, individually and collectively, in public as well 
as private life, and 

"Whereas, there seems to be no necessity for a change, as the school 
districts are already very satisfactorily and uniformly supplied with a series 
of books that seems to us in the main to be unsurpassed in quality or price, and 

"Whereas, we represent directly in common council the Patrons of Hus- 
bandry of at least one thousand and five hundred adults, and we believe 
almost the entire population of Hancock county, and we know of none asking, 
demanding, or pressing a change except book publishers, amateur agents and 
speculators, and 

"Whereas, an order for a change would perhaps be respected by a por- 
tion of our people and disregarded by others, if for no other reasons, because 
of financial inability to comply with such order, and as there is no power 
in law by which a change can be enforced, the difficultv that should be 
avoided would, in our opinion be greatly increased, instead of diminished; 

"Resolved, that in accordance with the foregoing, we respectfullv 
though earnestly, memorialize said board of trustees, and request that thev 
make no further change upon this subject." 




As a matter of fact book agents were active and publishing houses vied 
with each other in securing the adoption of their books by county boards 
of education. 

On several occasions the board also ordered the county superintendent 
to prepare a course of study for the county. These manuals also included 
statistical matter, lists of teachers, etc. The earlier ones are lost, but in 1884 
Superintendent R. A. Smith prepared a manual of about thirty pages for 
the county. In 1886 Superintendent Will H. Glascock prepared one of forty 
pages, and in 1889 another of about forty-five pages. In 1890 Superinten- 
dent Quitman Jackson issued a "Manual of the Public Schools of Hancock 
County" of forty-two pages. Since that time the state course of study has 
been made full and complete, and no other manuals have been issued. 

During the several years just prior to 1900 high school classes were 
formed and the organization of the township high schools was begun. The 
state high school course had not been very fully developed nor had a state 
adoption of high school text books been made. This necessitated further 
action of the board during these years in preparing a county high school 
course of study and in adopting high school text books. In 1898 the board 
organized the schools on a three-year basis with uniform text books, examina- 
tions and promotions. From time to time the county superintendent was 
ordered to prepare a manual for this purpose. Uniformity was maintained 
in the county in these matters, so that, if necessary, students could go from 
one school to another without additional expense or loss of time. The com- 
pletest of these manuals was a small booklet of thirteen pages issued on May 
1, 1906. The following tabulated statement taken from the manual shows 
in a general way the scope of the work included in this three-year high school 
course : 


Years First Term 

Second Term 

I Algebra English 
A I 

Phy. Geog. 


Algebra Latin 
B A 

Phy. Geog. 


II Algebra English 

C or 


Algebra English 

D or 


III Geometry English 

A or 


Geometry English 

B or 


The following excerpts from the pamphlet will also show the thought 
of the board in making the course : 


The foregoing courses have been arranged with a view toward intensive 
rather than extensive study. 

The work in rhetoric has been designed to provide for all the drill pos- 
sible in sentence, paragraph and theme writing; to give a knowledge of the 
principles underlying composition and literary work, and to give the pupil a 
basis for the study and appreciation of the mechanical side of an author's 
work as well as of his ideals. 

The courses in literature have been arranged with two objects in view : 
to give the pupil a close acquaintance with a few American authors, and to 
enable him to make an intensive study of two forms of literature, the novel 
and drama. 

The suggestions for the study of the novel and drama have been ap- 
pended simply for the sake of uniformity of work as far as uniformity is 


i. The story — plot, action, etc. 

i. Does the plot have structure? 

2. Are there many incidents? 

3. The chief incidents. 

2. Characters. 

1. Who are the principal characters? 
Groups of characters? 

2. How portrayed? Author describe them? 
Others talk about them? By their actions? 

3. Setting, background, or place. 
Much description? 

4. What is the author's conception of life? 

1. Hopeful or depressing? 

2. Does he look at many characters superficially or study a 
few deeply? 

5. Purpose of the Novel. 

Is the story worth while? Why? 


1. The Story. 

1. The incidents with reference to arrangements. 

Which belong to introduction, which to climax, which to 
conclusion ? 


2. Why have these incidents been selected rather than others? 

2. Characters. 

i. Who are the chief characters? 

2. What is the principle by which the characters are formed into 
groups ? 

3. Do the characters act according- to their nature? 

4. Is the end of each character justified by actions in the play? 

3. What use is made of conversation and descriptive passages? 

4. As far as can be judged, does the dramatist punish evil and reward 
good? Does he have faith in man, and does he leave a hopeful or 
depressing view of life? 

5. Is the theme of the play real and universally true? Does it apply 
to us? 

6. What is the essential difference between comedy and tragedy? 
Show in the play before you how, if tragedy, it might have become 
comedy, and if comedy, it might have become tragedy. 


Twelve recitations will be required to carry out the present course of 
study without combining classes and alternating subjects. Wherever this 
can be done physics will be put in the third year and mediaeval and modern 
history in the second year. If the teaching force of a school should not be 
sufficient for twelve recitations daily then the second and third years should 
combine their work in physics and mediaeval and modern history, taking 
those subjects in alternate years. Physics will be taken up in the autumns 
of the even years, '06, 'c8, etc. ; mediaeval and modern history in the autumns 
of the odd years, '07, '09, etc. 

As the course is now arranged there should be no other combinations. 



The school year is divided into two terms or units. In order to be en- 
titled to a diploma the student must be able to present passing grades in 
each subject for each unit of work as indicated by the course. If a student's 
work is not up to the standard required in any subject such additional work 
shall be required of him as will justify the principal of the high school in 
giving him a passing grade. 



Each student shall be required to keep a laboratory note-book in which 
he illustrates and explains all experiments that he performs or that may be 
performed before the class. Each pupil shall be able to present such a lab- 
oratory note-book before he is entitled to a diploma. 


Each pupil shall prepare a thesis upon some subject related to the work 
he has gone over. 

High school examinations will be held at the end of each term. Teach- 
ers will be notified as to the dates of these examinations. Each member of 
the above named committee will prepare lists of questions for each examina- 
tion on the subjects assigned to him, and send the same to the county super- 
intendent three weeks before the dates of the examination. 


Algebra — Wells, D. C. Heath & Company. 
Plane Geometry — Wells, D. C. Heath & Company. 
Latin — Bennett's Foundations, Allyn & Bacon. 
Caesar — Kelsey's, Allyn & Bacon. 
Ancient History — Myers, Ginn & Company. 
Mediaeval and Modern History— Myers, Ginn & Company. 
Physical Geography — Dryer's, American Book Company. 
Principles of Rhetoric — Spalding, D. C. Heath & Company. 
Physics — Hoadley, American Book Company. 

English References — Newcomer's American Literature, Moody & 
Lovett's First View of English Literature. 

Since the passage of the law in 1907 the high schools of the county have 
been organized in conformity with the state high school course of study. 

teachers' associations. 

There were likely few, if any, general teachers' meetings in the county 
prior to i860. In February, 1861, a notice was inserted in the Hancock Dem- 
ocrat, calling a meeting of all the teachers of the county at one p. m., February 
16, 1 86 1, at. Forest Academy, thre^e and one-half miles northeast of Green- 
field, for the purpose of organizing a teachers' association. The notice 
recited that the teachers would be addressed by Professor G. W. Hoss, of 
Northwestern Christian University, and that in the evening J. H. Stevenson, 
principal of Greenfield Academy, would address the association. 


The weather on that day was inclement and the roads were almost im- 
passable, yet a number of teachers were present. J. H. Stevenson was 
elected president of the meeting-, and M. V. Chapman, secretary. During the 
afternoon the teachers adopted the following: 


"Article i. This association shall be known as the Hancock County 
Teachers' Institute. 

"Article 2. Its object shall be, first, the improvement of its members 
in knowledge of the branches common to the profession ; secondly, in modes 
of teaching. 

"Article 3. The officers shall be a president, two vice-presidents, a 
secretary and treasurer, who shall be elected annually by ballot. These offi- 
cers taken as a body, shall constitute an executive committee. 

"Article 4. Any teacher or other friend of education may become a 
member of this institute by signing the constitution and paying fifty cents 
into the treasury." 

After the adoption of this constitution the following officers were 
elected for the ensuing year : President, J. H. Stevenson ; vice-presidents, 
Martin V. Chapman and William T. Pratt; secretary, Richard Frost; treas- 
urer, J. E. Earls. 

When the organization had been completed the hour was growing late, 
and George Lipscomb, a teacher present, moved the association that the 
organization of classes be deferred until after another preliminary meeting. 
This motion was carried. After a long discussion it was determined to hold 
another preliminary meeting at the Masonic Hall at Greenfield on March 30, 
and a strong effort was made to have a full attendance of the teachers at 
the second preliminary meeting. Quite a long argumentative appeal was 
made to the teachers through the local papers, setting forth the necessity 
and the advantages of such an organization. Their efforts were attended 
with a fair measure of success. Over forty names were enrolled at the meet- 
ing and the Masonic Hall was filled with visitors. Professor Hoss deliv- 
ered his lecture on "Parents and Teachers," and among the local people, 
James L. Mason, W. R. Hough, Parr and Stevenson, made short addresses. 
Before the adjournment quite a contest arose as to the place of holding the 
next meeting. The "Forest Academy" people had no hope of getting the 
meeting, so they united with the eastern teachers in an effort to have the 
meeting held at Cleveland. Many teachers of course wanted to have the meet- 
ing held at Greenfield. They were led by Stevenson, Bond and Silver. The 


eastern teachers were led by Welling and Chapman. It was finally decided 
to hold the meeting at Greenfield on August 12. 1861. The vote stood, 
Greenfield, 21; Cleveland, 19, as reported by Richard Frost, secretary. 

In the meantime the county was stirred with the excitement of the Civil 
War, and it became necessary for the teachers to make some changes in their 
arrangements. In July, 1861, the following notice appeared in the local 
paper : 

"Session of the Hancock County Teachers' Institute, which was to have 
been held in Greenfield, has been changed to Cleveland. Owing to unavoid- 
able circumstances, many influential teachers have been called away to the 
battlefield from this place and vicinity — those upon whom much depended for 
its success; hence its removal. 

"It will commence Monday, August 12, 1861, at the M. E. Church. 

"It will be opened by a lecture by Prof. Miles J. Fletcher, Superinten- 
dent of Public Instruction of the State." 

In the above notice, likely, we have the only reference to a depletion in 
the ranks of the teachers on account of enlistments in the army. In this con- 
nection, though it was perhaps an extraordinary instance even for that time, 
the following humorous incident is taken from the issue of the Hancock 
Democrat of September 11, 186 1, as illustrative of what was likely to tran- 
spire during those days : 

"got the war fever. 

"William Dunlap, a school teacher of Jackson township, went off very 
suddenly with the disease on Monday of last week. He opened his school 
as usual on the morning of that day, took the fever about 10 o'clock a. m., 
boarded the cars at 12 m., and before night was a soldier in the War for the 
Union, armed and equipped. Bully for Hancock !" 

But to resume. The institute at Cleveland was reported a success. Not- 
withstanding the excitement of the times, many teachers were present and 
great interest was manifested. The session continued for one week. Classes 
w r ere organized in elocution, with Prof. E. M. Butler in charge. Physiology 
was taught by Dr. A. B. Bundy,,of Cleveland, and rhetoric and composition, 
by Professor Hoss. 

On motion of Professor Smith, of Indianapolis, the following reso- 
lution was adopted at this meeting : "That we, as teachers, approve the in- 
troduction of music into our common schools as an agreeable and harmon- 
izing agent in discipline and mental culture." 

Many visitors were in attendance during the week, and before the insti- 
tute closed, they adopted the following resolution, offered by Mr. Bedgood: 


"Resolved, that we as citizens of Cleveland and vicinity, having been 
happily, intellectually and beneficially entertained by the sessions of the 
Teachers' Institute in our village, we vote to the professors, teachers, and 
members our cordial thanks." 

"After a social reunion on Friday evening, on which occasion a num- 
ber of toasts were read and responded to, the session adjourned, all de- 
lighted with having spent a pleasant and profitable week at the Institute. 

"M. V. Chapman, President, 
"Richard Frost, Secretary." 

From the report of this meeting it is evident that a good spirit pre- 
vailed. Certainly the institute was not without its feature of entertainment, 
and, if we judge rightly, elocution and gymnastics must have been happily 
combined in Professor Butler. Immediately after the close of this institute 
the following notice was published in. the Hancock Democrat : 

"Mr. Editor: Please announce that Mr. Butler will repeat the exercises 
in Gymnastics, in Masonic Hall, on Friday night next, which he exhibited 
with so much applause at the Teachers' Institute. 

"I think Mr. Butler will highly entertain anyone who will favor him 
with an audience, as I had the pleasure of witnessing his exercises at the 
Institute. It will be free to all." 

On Saturday, October 12, 1861, a one-day session was held by the 
teachers of the county at the Masonic Hall at Greenfield. This meeting was 
known as the "Teachers' Association" and was "appointed by the institute." 
Yhe following was the order of the exercises on that day : 

Open, 9:30 A. M. 

Recitations commence, 10:00. 

Written Arithmetic, 10:45, J- E. Earls, teacher. 

Discussion of same, 1 1 :oo. 

Orthography, 11:45, Miss Mattie Rawles, teacher. 

Discussion of same, 12 :oo. 


Open, 1 :30. 
English Grammar, 2:15, D. S. Welling, teacher. 

Discussion of same, 2 :3c 
Primary Reading, 3:15, E. M. Butler, teacher. 
Discussion of same, 3 :3c 
Miscellaneous Business, 4 :oo. 


On Saturday evening, December 28, 1861, the teachers of the county 
gave an entertainment at the Masonic Hall at Greenfield. It was given for 
the purpose of arousing interest in the teaching profession and of elevating 
the profession in the county. The entertainment was advertised as a "Teach- 
ers' Exhibition" and among those taking part in it were : A. E. Sample, John 
Bousloy, Eli Butler, George L. Lipscomb, Richard Frost, Henry Snow, 
Melissa Bond, Leonidas Milburne, A. V. B. Sample, James Shap, Dr. Butler, 
Bell Mathers, George West, M. V. Chapman, Samuel Wales, L. O. Harris, 
J. E. Earles, E. M. Lucinda, Joseph Hunt, J. M. Alley, William Pilkington, 
Pelatiah Bond, W. H. Judkins, George Glass. We have no report of this 

On Monday, August 11, 1862, the second regular session of the Han- 
cock County Teachers' Institute convened at the Masonic Hall and con- 
tinued for two weeks. Classes were organized and recitations conducted 
daily in the subjects given below: Elocution, E. M. Butler, teacher; Eng- 
lish grammar, H. Mendenhall, teacher; intellectual arithmetic, M. Collier, 
teacher; natural philosophy, William Fries, teacher; physiology; geography; 
vocal music, William Morgan, teacher; object lessons, G. W. Hoss, teacher; 
gymnastics, Hunt and Butler, teachers. 

The following text books were used during this institute : Readers, 
McGuf fey's sixth ; music, Golden Wreath ; written arithmetic, Ray ; intellec- 
tual arithmetic, Stoddard; physiology, Cutler; rhetoric, Quackenbos. 

E. M. Butler was president of this institute and A. V. B. Sample, 

Though the first general session of the Hancock County Teachers' Insti- 
tute was very enthusiastic, the organization seemed to have difficulty in hold- 
ing the attendance of the teachers. After the meeting in August, 1862, re- 
ports of the institute are very meager and the organization seems to have 
been abandoned after a year or two. 

On December 3, 1864, a number of teachers met at the Masonic Hall 
at Greenfield for the purpose of effecting another organization. James 
Williamson was elected chairman of this meeting and George L. Lipscomb, 
secretary. At this meeting the following resolution was adopted : 

"Resolved, first, that a school be established at this place to be known 
as the Hancock County Normal Institute. 

"Resolved, second, that the officers of the institute shall consist of a 
president, two vice-presidents, a secretary and a treasurer. These officers 
shall constitute a board of managers and teachers, and shall take charge of 
such classes as may be organized." 


Following the adoption of these resolutions the following officers were 
elected: President, M. C. Foley (then county examiner) ; vice-presidents, A. 
J. Johnson and G. L. Lipscomb; secretary, James Williamson; treasurer, 
Richard Frost. 

The institute was to meet at the Masonic Temple at Greenfield once 
every two weeks on Saturday at 10 a. m., and was to adjourn at 4:00 p. m. 
Arrangements were made for conducting classes in the following subjects : 
English grammar, James Williamson, teacher; mental arithmetic, George 
Lipscomb, teacher; written arithmetic, M. C. Foley, teacher; spelling, Rich- 
ard Frost, teacher. 

Arguments were again presented through the county papers showing the 
necessity of raising the standard of teaching and urging the teachers to 
attend. The following statement taken from the Hancock Democrat, gives 
a good idea of the spirit of the teachers in making this effort: 

"We call your attention to the secretary's report of the organization of 
a normal institute for the purpose of drilling and perfecting teachers in their 
profession, and the advancement of the cause of education throughout our 
county, and ask your hearty cooperation with us in the good work. This is 
not merely an experiment, but a bona fide institution, thoroughly organized 
and entered upon with determination to succeed. The benefits to our educa- 
tional interests arising from it are many and various. Among the principal, 
aside from the drilling of the teachers, is that it will tend to establish a uni- 
form system of teaching throughout the county, which all teachers must 
acknowledge would in itself be an ample reward for the exertion. The 
nucleus is formed, and if teachers and the friends of education will gather 
about it and lend us their assistance, the educational interest of Hancock 
countv will receive an impetus that will overcome all the difficulties we have 
formerly labored under." 

An effort was also made to conduct an "educational column" in the 
Hancock Democrat, beginning with January, 1865. The first article, a full 
column, appeared "On the Improper Use of Language," and another on 
"The Responsibility of the Teacher." 

After a few weeks, however, no more articles appeared. "The Han- 
cock County Normal Institute" seems to have met about the same fate as its 
predecessor, the "Hancock County Teachers' Institute." There were teach- 
ers in the county who were earnest in their efforts to raise the standard of 
their profession, but the difficulty lay in interesting the profession generally. 

In 1865 a law was passed making provision for holding county insti- 
tutes under the supervision of the county examiners. In 1873 another law 


was passed creating- the county superintendent's office and giving the county 
superintendent of schools and the county board of education greater powers 
in the administration of the school work. Following the enactment of these 
laws the following resolution touching upon teachers' meetings was adopted 
by the county board of education of Hancock county at their December 
meeting, 1873 : 

"The county superintendent is hereby authorized to hold a" county insti- 
tute at Greenfield on the fourth Saturday of each month having five Satur- 
days, for the interest, benefit, and professional improvement of the teachers 
of the county. Such institutes shall begin at 10 a. m. and close at 4 p. m., 
and each teacher of the county shall attend the full session of each institute 
or suffer the same penalties therefor as prescribed in section for non-attend- 
ance at township institutes." (Author's Note: The penalty was to "forfeit 
one day's wages for each day's absence therefrom and fifty cents for each 
hour or fraction thereof.") 

In the above resolutions the teachers' meetings are designated as "insti- 
tutes." but the meetings above contemplated were in addition to the town- 
ship institutes and the county institutes as we know them today. The record 
indicates that at least two general teachers' meetings of the county were held 
for several years. At some time before 1880, however, these meetings were 
combined into one, and a one-day session was held on the Saturday before 
Christmas, or during the holidays. 

Among the teachers who were active in the profession for several years 
or more in the early seventies and during the decade or two following, should 
be mentioned: Lee O. Harris, George W. Puterbaugh, Henry Wright, Will- 
iam M. Coffield, Ella Bottsford, Vania Gates, Scott Mints, Alpheus Rey- 
nolds. A. V. B. Sample, Will T. Walker, Maggie Brown, Mary E. Dille, 
Sarah J. Wilson, Florence C. Taylor, W. H. Glascock, Ida Geary, Jennie A. 
Buchel, Vard Finnell, Joshua Barrett, J. W. McCord, Anna Harris, J. S. 
Jackson, C. M. Curry, E. E. Stoner, J. H. White, Moses Bates, W. B. Botts- 
ford, Anna Chittendon, Mattie A. Sparks, William A. Wood, Morgan Car- 
away, John Thomas, Kate R. Geary, Mattie J. Binford, Duncan McDougall, 
E. C. Martindale, A. N. Rhue, Angie H. Parker, Henry B. White, George 
Caraway, Walter S. Smith, Ezra Eaton, Ira Collins, Worth Trittipo, S. C. 
Staley, Clara Bottsford, W. H. Craig, Harvey Barrett, N. B. Brandenburg, 
W. H. Simms, Maggie Buchel, Mary Lynch, Robert Hurley, Victor Lineback, 
J. W. Smith, C. A. Ogle. Lulu Dove, Rena M. Wilson, William M. Lewis, 
James K. Allen, Isaac Hunt. W. P. Smith, R. A. Smith, Dugald McDougall, 


R. H. Archey, William Elsbury, James L. Foley, Allie Creviston, W. W. 
Harvey, W. J. Thomas, J. F. Reed, Quitman Jackson, Addie Wright, John 
W. Jones, Porter Copeland, Aaron Pope, Will F. Handy, Edwin Bacon, 
Lizzie Gilchrist, Clara Fries, S. S. Eastes, R. Warrum, J. P. Julian, J. L. 
Smith, Jennie Willis, James Goble, J. W. Stout, Edward H. Tiffany, George 
S. Wilson, Philander Scudder, Charles J. Richman, Emma Hill, Allen S. 
Bottsford, Fannie Fish, May McDougall, Sallie Cotton, A. E. Lewis, Frank 
Morgan, W. C. Atherton, John Brooks, Anna Woerner, John W. Winslow, 
Logan Glascock, Flora Love, M. O. Mints, O. P. Eastes, Ada Anderson, 
Laura Dance, Cicero Reeves, Arthur L. Foley, Clay Vanlaningham, Edwin 
Braddock, William Whitaker, Kate Applegate, Lucy Hill, B. F. Eubank, 
Ellsworth Eastes, Kate Armstrong, Asa L. Sample, John W. Scott, J. D. 
Dennis, E. W. Felt, S. C. Staley, Laura Pope, Thomas J. Wilson, Alice Corey, 
Emma Parnell, Fassett A. Cotton, I. N. Hunt, J. A. Everson, Ada Mitchell, 
James M. Bussell, J. V. Martin, George C. Burnett, E. B. Thomas, Charles 
R. Reeves, Edwin Keller. 

At the May meeting, 1886, the county board resolved "that the township 
institutes be dismissed in the month of December in townships where the 
teachers agree to attend the county association." About 1895 the association 
began holding two-day sessions annually on Friday and Saturday after 
Thanksgiving. The work was usually given in large part by the teachers 
themselves and touched all phases of the problems presented to the teaching 
profession. In 1908 the plan of a one-day session was again adopted, and 
since 1909 the teachers have convened annually in general session on the 
second Saturday of November. 

Among those whose faces have been familiar in the county meetings of 
the teachers for several years or more during the last quarter of a century, 
and who are no longer engaged in the profession, or have gone elsewhere, 
are : O. J. Coffin, Etta Barrett, A. C. Van Duyn, Leona W'ilson, Lawrence 
Wood, Date Glover, Alice Meek, J. W. Jay, John Hervey, Harvey Apple, 
H. L. Thomas, W. A. Service, J. E. Radcliffe, John Larrabee, Jeremiah S. 
Bates, James Furgason, Maggie Addison, Charles L. Collingwood, Charles 
C. Collier, W. G. Bridges, Clarence Luse, Cora Weber, Eunice Barrett, Alvah 
N. Reeves, Estella Boyce, Isaac H. Day, John F. Wiggins, Millie McCord, 
W. H. Larrabee, Minnie M. Grist, Leora Jessup, O. W. Kuhn, Nida Card, 
Albert Frost, John T. Wilson, Barclay O. White, Rhoda Reeves, Neva 
Roney, Milo Gibbs, Kizzie Staley, Luella Eastes, Anna Ostermeyer, J. F. 
McCord, S. B. Prater, William A. Meyers, Eliza Everson, Inez Martin, 
O. F. Boyce, Walter H. Welborn, W. H. Alger, Gilderoy Winslow, Ozrow 


Kemerly, G. C. D'Camp, Marshall T. Hittle, Will Leamon, J. Q. McGrail, 
Pearl Green, W. B. Stookey, Elwood Morris, Kate D. Wilson, Lizzie Bald- 
win, Nancy V. Cook, Merritt Wbod, Clarence Dunbar, Bert Cohee, O. L. 
Morrow, Edward Eikman, Bessie Z. Jackson, George B. Thomas, George H. 
Trees, Estella Ham, Hugh Souder, Maude Bradley, Frank McClarnon, Car- 
lin Griffey, Edgar Hope, Arthur Boone, John T. Johnston, Gertrude Mur- 
phy, George W. Kennedy, Leonard Cook, Myrtle Garriott, Harvey Rhue, 
Harvey Power, Samuel S. Cory, Eva Pusey, Mabelle Ham, Chester B. Mur- 
phy, Adolph Schreiber, Maude Thomas, Virginia Morton, Lillian New, Maud 
Jackson, Mabel Smith, Belle Schramm, LaVaughn Evans, Mary Sample, 
Allen Eastes, Raymond Wilson, O. S. Julian, Minnie Staley, Ethel Smock, 
John T. Rash, Jennie Pope, J. M. Pogue, Audrey Binford, Charles E. Cook, 
Will E. Curtis, Rhoda Coffield, Stella Newhouse, Clara Armiger, Sallie 
Bolander, Gertrude Larimore, Minnie Houck, Ethel Clift, Robert F. Reeves, 
Charles H. Wright, Ethel Harlan, Horace Martindale, Herman Ehlert, Chal- 
mer Schlosser, Martha Wiggins, W. C. Goble, Frances L. Petit, Ethel Ake- 
man, Edward Slaughter, J. Henry Perry, Pearl Stant, Jennie Jackson, Clar- 
ence Trees, C. May Heller, Horatio Davis, Claudia Teel. Pearl Collyer, 
Mildred Trittipo, Hannah M. Test, Martha Stockinger, Roscoe Thomas, 
Albert Reep, Catherine Pusey, Verna Walker, Bess Hittle, Abbie Henby, 
Margaret Black, Elmer Bussell, Clara Hagans, John A. Coffin, Tamma 
White, Alpha Green, Nellie Larrabee, C. M. Cannaday, Viola Ham, Anna 
H. Randall, Mack Crider, James O. Davis, Effie L. Alford, Pet Roland, 
Carrie Jackson, Shady Wilson, Elsie Hudelson, Myrtle Binford, Nettie Bates, 
Earl R. Gibbs, W. R. Neff, Maggie Martin, Hettie Hunt, Tillie Craig, Har- 
riett White, Earl Binford, Hugh Johnson, John H. Whitely, Sarah White, 
O. W. Jackson, Henry Hammer, Frank L. Marsh, Lee Justice, Hattie Silvey, 
Venice Curry, L. L. Lydy, Kate Morton, Ora Staley, Alta Trittipo, Maude 
Iliff, Laura Black, James Snodgrass, Stella Z. Miles, Nelle Martin, Mabel 
Felt, Edith Weber, Mary Binford, Nelle Reed, Nannie Hagans, Marion 
Bottsford, Lester Foster. 


Following logically the earlier efforts that had been made in the county 
to raise the standard of the teaching profession, county normal schools were 
organized annually for a series of years. The first one was organized in 
Greenfield in 1875 by Ex-County Superintendent John H. Binford. In 1876 
normal schools were organized at Greenfield, McCordsville and Charlottes- 
ville. The school at McCordsville was conducted by W. H. Motsinger, prin- 


cipal of the public schools at that place. County Superintendent Smith con- 
ducted the one at Charlottesville, assisted by R. A. Smith and J. Worth 
Smith. The following notice, published in the county papers, gives, a good 
idea of the school : 

"normal institute. 

"I will conduct a Normal Institute at Charlottesville, Hancock County, 
Indiana, beginning July 17, 1876, and continuing seven weeks. The Course 
will comprise a rapid review of the Common Branches together with such 
other instruction as is necessarily involved in the science of teaching. 

"A Model School will probably be conducted in connection with the 

"The best teaching talent will be secured. 

"For Circulars, address, 

"W. P. Smith, Co. Supt, 
"Greenfield, Ind." 

The enrollment at this school consisted of forty-eight students in the 
normal department, and forty-one pupils in the model school. Among the 
students who attended were : Mrs. Florence Taylor Larimore, Mrs. Belle 

Craft McCraw, Mr. Campbell, J. K. Allen, Mary Ross Allen, Miss 

Overman, Mary Morrow. 

The following advertising literature gives facts concerning the normal 
conducted by Mr. Binford in 1876: 

"Instructors — John H. Binford, B. S., principal Greenfield graded 
schools ; Prof. W. A. Yohn, of Valparaiso Normal School ; Mattie Binford, 
A. B., Earlham College; Kate R. Geary, formerly of Greenfield schools. 

"Lecturers — Hon. James A. Smart, state superintendent ; Prof. George 
\Y. Hoss, of Indiana University; Prof. D. Eckley Hunter, of Bloomington, 

"A Model School, under the immediate instruction of Miss Kate R. 
Geary, will be one of the many commendable features of the school. Here 
teachers will first learn by observation, then by practice, under the eye of 
the critic teacher. 

"The Course of Study will embrace a thorough review of the common 
branches: the science of pedagogics, and beginning and advanced review 
classes in the higher branches to suit the wishes of advanced pupils. 

"Tuition — Per term. $5.00; in the Model School, $2.00 to $3.00." 

These excerpts from the advertisements of the county normals give a 


g-ood idea of the schools. Thev were continued in this county until 1880. 
Others were held in 1887, 1888, 189 1 and 1896. 

Among the instructors at these normals who are well remembered in 
the county are : Perry Smith, Walter Smith, R. A. Smith, Quitman Jackson, 
W. H. Sims, J. W. Jay, E. D. Allen, E. M. Blanchard, W. H. Glascock, J. 
Worth Smith, Dr. L. B. Griffin, W. H. Motsinger, Mrs. Leon O. Bailey, J. V. 
Martin, W. H. Craig, W. A. Wood, George S. Wilson, A. H. Reynolds, H. 
D. Barrett, Olmie C. Steele. 

That these normals did efficient service for the upbuilding of the teach- 
ing profession in Hancock county is evident from the following list of per- 
sons who enrolled at some one or other of the sessions : William C. Ather- 
ton, Amanda Kinnick, Iduna Smith Barrett, Jennie Snodgrass Major, Fred 
Lipscombe, Walter Orr, Cynthia Fries Peacock, Mary McDougal, Anna 
Snodgrass Neier, Riley Luse, W. H. Sherry, Ada Mitchell Fort, Sadie Els- 
bury Warrum, Vania Gates, Mattie Black Gipe, Ida Geary, J. F. Reed, John 
S. Frost, Alice Creviston Glascock, Bertha Scott Hunt, Victoria Lineback 
White, Jasper McCray, Jennie Buchel Hogle, Julia Fields, Howard Barrett, 
Harvey Barrett, Anna Harris Ra'ndall, W. A. Wood, Clara Bottsford, Will 
Reeves, W. E. Walker, N. B. Brandenburg, M. O. Mints, R. A. Roberts, 
Mary Goble, Iola Coffin Bragg, Flora Catt Thomas, George Grimes, James 
Goble, George S. Wilson, Berry White, Ida Cook Curry, Rhoda Goble, Agnes 
Jordan, Millie McCord, W. H. Craig, O. S. Coffin, E. W. Felt, Mellie Thomas 
Lowry, Mrs. Cassie Veach Barrett, F. O. Fort, Frank Larrabee, Will Bar- 
rett, Henrietta Gates, Laura Pope Reed, Charles Reed, W. H. Glascock, 
Victoria Wilson Morford, Pharaba Wolfe, Roscoe Anderson, Maggie Buchel 
Ashcraft, Elva Thornberry, Mark Catt, Joshua Barrett, Agnes McDonald 
Hamilton, Emma Parnell, Ella Bottsford, Mabel Bottsford Cooper, Edith 
Lamb, W. J. Walker, Mary Lynch, Robert Hurley, Maud America Everett, 
W. M. Coffield, Ella Bogue, Irene Wilson Stoner, Eugene Lewis, Christine 
Gilchrist, Thomas Wilson, Manie Chandler Burke, George Burnett, Isaac 
Hunt, Kate Bussell, J. W. Jones, Rosa Grass Quick, W. H. Handy, Mattie 
Thomas Felt, Fanny Denton. 


At least two attempts have been made to procure the location of higher 
institutions of learning within the county. The first effort made was to 
procure the location of the 


At the time the question of the location of the state agricultural col- 
lege was before the people, James L. Mason represented Hancock county 


in the state Senate. He introduced a bill into the senate in 1867, providing 
that this school he located in this county. Efforts were being made by a 
number of counties to secure this institution, but it seems that Mr. Mason 
had sufficient support in the Legislature to give the people of the county some 
hope of getting it. At that time our board of county commissioners offered 
to donate $100,000 toward the establishment of the school in case it should 
be located within Hancock county. The matter remained undecided for the 
next two years, when on February 6, 1869, our board of county commis- 
sioners met in special session to consider further what this county should do. 
After deliberating upon various propositions and hearing representative citi- 
zens of the county, action was taken by the board and the following order 
entered upon their record : 

"The board of county commissioners of Hancock county, in the state 
of Indiana, propose, offer and bind said board of. county commissioners of 
said county, and their successors in office, to pay to the state of Indiana, on 
condition that the proper authorities of said state will locate and erect the 
contemplated agricultural college of said state in the vicinity of Greenfield 
in said county, the sum of $100,000 in cash, by the first day of June, 1869, 
or for that purpose they will pay to the state of Indiana the sum of $125,000 
in cash in three equal annual installments, the first installment on the first, day 
of June, 1870, $41,666 2-3; second installment, June 1, 1871, $41,666 2-3; 
third installment, June 1, 1872, $41,666 2-3. 

"And the state of Indiana by her proper authorities shall have the option 
of the acceptance of either of the above propositions. And when so selected 
and accepted by the said state the accepted proposition shall be binding on 
said county of Hancock. "William New, 

"James Tyner, 

The location of the college still remained undecided through the sum- 
mer of 1869. In November of 1869, however, Mr. Purdue, of Lafayette, 
made an offer that was unequalled anywhere else in the state, and procured 
the school for his county. This decision was announced to the people of 
Hancock county by the Hancock Democrat with this finishing touch : 

"A Mr. Purdue, of Lafayette, offered one hundred thousand dollars 
of his own money, in addition to the offer of the county, for the location of 
the agricultural college at the Battle Ground. His condition is that it shall 
be called 'Purdue Agricultural College.' This is a most munificent offer, 
but why should the Legislature favor the rich against the poor?" 


During the winter of 1880-81 a movement was begun to establish at 
Greenfield a normal known as the 


An association was organized and incorporated under the laws of the 
state to promote the project. The incorporators were S. S. Boots, Nelson 
Bradley', Morgan Chandler, Noble Warrum, William New, Philander H. 
Boyd, Israel P. Poulson, Henry L. Moore, Ephraim Marsh and T. E. Glid- 
den. In the fall of 1881 the incorporators each subscribed one thousand 
dollars, on condition that ten thousand dollars additional be subscribed. The 
following resolution was adopted relative thereto : 

"Be it resolved, that when ten thousand dollars shall be donated to the 
'Indiana Normal School," we will proceed without delay to erect suitable 
buildings in or near the city of Greenfield, to accommodate all the students 
that may attend said school, "and will thereafter maintain and operate the 

John W. Jones, an attorney of the Hancock bar, was the moving spirit 
in this project. He published a number of articles in the county papers urg- 
ing the expediency and advantages of establishing such a school in this county. 
On February 15, 1882, the incorporators asked Mr. Jones to set a date for 
a general discussion of the matter, at which the citizens could attend and be- 
come acquainted with the probable results of such a school. Such a meeting 
was held February 27, 1882, at the court house. A number of speeches were 
made at this meeting and much more interest was taken than at any previous 
time. A resolution was adopted unanimously favoring the purchase of a tract 
of land by the city, to be turned over to the incorporators. A number of 
petitions were circulated among citizens asking the city council to order an 
election at an early day to take the sense of the voters on the question. In 
the issue of the Hancock Democrat of March 2, 1882, appeared the following: 

"Our people are becoming stirred up on this subject. The public impor- 
tance of the school is so apparent and the opportunity now at hand is so favor- 
able and the fear that if this enterprise does not now succeed it will never 
be offered again, are each combining to stir up the energy of our citizens." 

The effort, however, did not succeed. Subscriptions to the necessary 
fund were not forthcoming, and the movement was soon abandoned entirely. 


The act of March 6, 1865, also made provision for holding county and 
township teachers' institutes, and for appropriating fifty dollars annually of 



the county funds to help defray the expenses of the county institute. In 
Hancock county the first institute was held in the fall of 1865, at Greenfield. 
There were but a few teachers present. Instruction was given in orthography, 
reading, arithmetic and English grammar. In 1866 no institute was held. 
In the county examiner's record, under the topic of "Teachers' Institutes," 
appears the following note : "Failure. County commissioners would make 
no provision as other counties and as the law provides." 

The first full report of a county teachers' institute held in Hancock 
county was made by James A. New, county examiner, in 1871. The report 
is as follows: 

"i. Number of teachers' institutes held within the year, one. 

"2. Where held, Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana. 

"3. Number attending — males, 92; females, 25; total, 117. 

"4. Branches taught, orthography, oral, grammar, grammar, writing, 

geography and map drawing. 
"5. Number of evening lecturers, two. 
"6. Money drawn from treasury, $50. 
"7. Total cost of institute, $35. 
"8. Number of township institutes held, one. 

"9. Number of townships sustaining teachers' associations, one. 

"James A. New, Examiner, 

"Greenfield, Indiana." 

There were difficulties to be overcome in those days, as disclosed by 
the following entry made in the county examiner's record on August 17, 187 1 : 

"The following is a list of the names of persons who have paid the 
requisite fee, and become regular members of the institute, and who shall 
and will receive the advantages derived from being members of same to be 
given by examiner and trustees. 

"This measure becomes necessary in order that the Common Schools 
may be benefited, and that the expenses incurred by Institutes be paid. 

Names. Residence. 

John Thomas 

James McKean 

James E. Johnson Philadelphia, Indiana 

William A. Wood Philadelphia, Indiana 

John M. New Westland, Indiana 

Harper F. Sullivan Westland, Indiana 


Name Residence 

William S. Fries Greenfield, Indiana 

Henry Wright Mt. Comfort, Indiana 

William A. Dunn Philadelphia, Indiana 

Benjamin F. Marsh Westland, Indiana 

Theodore Winn Greenfield, Indiana 

Morgan Caraway Westland, Indiana 

Isaac N. Hunt Westland, Indiana 

James K. Allen Cleveland, Indiana 

George W. Puterbaugh Greenfield, Indiana 

Lee O. Harris Greenfield, Indiana" 

That some of the teachers were interested in better supervision and a 
more effective organization of the schools of the county is evident by the 
jdoption of the following resolution at this institute: 

"Resolved, That it is the opinion of the members of this institute that 
there should be a county superintendent of public schools in every county, 
whose duties, in addition to those at present performed by the examiner, 
shall be to devote his entire time during the continuance of said schools to 
visiting and superintending the same. And further : That said superintendent 
should in all cases be a professional teacher. Therefore, we the teachers of 
Hancock county do earnestly commend this measure to the consideration of 
our state Legislature. 

"Resolved, that while we feel thankful to those citizens of Greenfield 
and vicinity who have been present at our institute, and have felt encouraged 
thereby to continue our labors in the educational work, we cannot but deplore 
the lack of interest shown by our township trustees and many teachers of the 
county, as manifested by their absence throughout the entire week. This 
we mention more in sorrow than in anger, and still hope for better times 
and more energetic men. 

"Resolved, that we, the members of this institute, believe that our 
school law should be so changed or modified as to make the drawing of the 
public money by each county contingent upon an additional amount to be 
raised by a tax within said county for the purpose of continuing our public 
schools for a period of at least six (6) months. 

"Resolved, that we consider the principles contained in the foregoing 
resolutions of vital importance to our county; that a committee of three be 
appointed by the president of this association to wait upon the representatives 
from this county and the senator for the counties of Hancock and Henry 


immediately after the election and call their attention to these, our wishes, 
and earnestly solicit them to work for this end in their official capacity. 

'George W. Puterbaugh, 
"William A. Wood, 
"Lee O. Harris, 

"Committee on Resolutions." 

The first county institute conducted by a county superintendent of schools 
was held September 29 to October 3, 1873. Superintendent John H. Binford 
reported eighty-six males and thirty-five females present : "The eight com- 
mon branches, orals, composition, science of government, theory and practice, 
etc., etc.," were presented. The cost of the. institute was sixty dollars. At 
the bottom of the report is the following note : "The number reported includes 
many that were not teachers — there was an average of actual teachers of 
about thirty. The institute was a decided success." 

During that year there were ninety-nine teachers in the county, so that 
only about one-third of them were in actual attendance at the institute. 

During the next ten or fifteen years the work of the county institutes 
was directed toward a discussion of the subject matter of the common 
branches. Possibly it was because the opportunities for qualifying were lim- 
ited as compared with today, and that necessity demanded that the teachers 
concern themselves with what to teach, rather than with how to teach it. 
During the eighties and nineties, however, and with the increase in the num- 
ber of colleges and universities, the instructors who came to our county insti- 
tute took up questions of method, psychology, etc., and the greater emphasis 
was placed on how subjects ought to be presented. During the last decade 
the inspirational feature of the county institute has been perhaps even un- 
duly emphasized. With the passage of the vocational law of 1913 the atten- 
tion of our institute has again been directed to the question of what to teach 
in these new lines. 

The attendance at the Hancock county institute has remained about the 
same as reported by Superintendent Binford in 1873. The cost of conducting 
it, however, has increased greatly. Able institute instructors are paid on an 
average of one hundred and twenty-five dollars per week, and the total ex- 
penses of conducting our institutes for several years have been respectively : 
1889, $141.00; 1890, $158.00; 1892, $165.00; 1894, $181.00; 1898, $200.00; 
1902. $227.00; 1905, $249.77; x 9°9, $290.00; 1910, $291.00; 1913, $242.25; 
1914. $268.14. To defray these expenses, one hundred dollars is drawn from 
the county treasury. An institute fee of one dollar is collected from each 


teacher during the county institute, and an examination fee of fifty cents is 
collected from each applicant taking the examination for teacher's license, all 
of which is put into the institute fund. 

Township institutes have been held in each township on one Saturday 
in each month during school terms since the passage of the act of 1873. In 
1872 James A. New, county examiner, reported one township as sustaining 
a teachers' institute or association. In 1873 Superintendent John H. Bin- 
ford reported : "Township institutes held within the year, none." At the 
September meeting of the county board of education, in 1873, however, the 
following resolutions were adopted : 

"Resolved, that we will employ no teacher who does not attend the 
teachers' institute appointed by the county superintendent, and that we will 
to the full extent exact the penalty prescribed by the law for non-attendance 
on the same. 

"There shall be organized in the county by the county superintendent 
three combined township institutes for the months of October and March, 
each of which shall hold one session during each of said months. The first 
shall be composed of Blue River, Jackson and Brown townships, and shall 
meet on the first Saturday of October and March at the public school house 
in Cleveland, unless otherwise ordered by the county superintendent. The 
second shall be composed of Brandywine, Center and Green townships, and 
shall meet at the school house in Greenfield on the second Saturday of Octo- 
ber and March. The third shall be composed of Sugar Creek, Buck Creek 
and Vernon townships, and shall meet on the third Saturday of October and 
March at Mt. Comfort, unless otherwise ordered by the county superin- 

At the September meeting of the board in 1875, the month of November 
was substituted for the month of October, and the institute for the western 
tier of townships was abolished. At the September meeting, 1880. the joint 
institutes were "deemed impracticable since the teachers are not willing to 
attend the same." The attendance of the teachers at the township institutes 
received a great stimulus in the passage of the act of 1889, providing that 
teachers be paid for attendance at these institutes. 


With the increase of teachers' salaries came also longer terms of school. 
A report of the county superintendent made in 1875 shows the average 
length of the school term as follows: Blue River, 142 days; Brown, 80 days; 
Center, 78 days; Jackson, no days; Brandywine, 86 days; Buck Creek, 123 



days; Green, 88 days; Vernon, ioo days; Charlottesville, ioo days; Fortville, 
83 days ; Greenfield, 90 days. 

During the next decade the townships practically all began maintaining 
a six-months term. Within the last ten years another month has been added, 
while our high schools and some of our township schools now are beginning 
to maintain an eight-months term. 


The records of the enumeration of school children during the early years 
of the county's history are incomplete and many of them have been lost. 
The United States census report shows that in 1840 seven common schools 
were conducted in the county with an attendance of one hundred and fifty- 
six pupils. In 1850 an attendance of two thousand, four hundred and thirteen 
pupils was reported. The enumeration taken in 1866 shows that there were 
in the county the following number of children between the ages of six and 
twenty-one years: Males, 2,621; females, 2,471; total, 5,092. The number 
of children kept increasing for a number of years, and then began to decrease, 
as shown by the following table : 


Average Daily 

in Schools 




for the year 

for the year. 






































































Without giving the table for all the years, the enumeration of school 
children of the county has decreased at the rate of about one hundred pupils 
per year during the last eleven years. According to enumeration reports 
there are fewer children between the ages of six and twenty-one years in the 
county now by about four hundred than there were at the close of the Civil 
War. The number reached its maximum in 1894. The highest average daily 
attendance, however, was reached in the schools in the school year, 180,7-8. 
It will be observed that the enrollment in the schools in 1872-3 was only 
about one hundred less than in 1903, yet the average daily attendance of 
that year is almost a thousand less. This is, no doubt, accounted for by the 
fact that in 1873 a large number of the young people attended school for a 
short time during the winter term, but were absent on "good days for work," 
and withdrew early in the spring. This gave the schools a large enrollment, 
but a low average daily attendance. 

The great decline in the enumeration of school children is also having 
a marked effect on the county's distributive share of the school funds drawn 
from the state. For instance, the state school tax levy for 19 14 was thirteen 
and six-tenths cents on every one hundred dollars of taxable property. Dur- 
ing the year thirty-two thousand, one hundred and ninety-two dollars and 
thirty cents was collected in taxes and interest on school funds, and paid 
over to the state treasurer. But when the state funds were again apportioned 
among the counties, on the basis of their enumeration, Hancock county re- 
ceived only $19,571.49, or $12,620.81 less than was collected by this county 
and paid into the state treasury. The figures above illustrate what occurs 
from year to year in the collection and distribution of the state school taxes. 


In 1865 the county examiner reported eighty-seven district schools in 
Hancock county, but he reported no graded schools at all in the townships. 
In 1873. and again in 1876, eighty-nine districts were reported. During 
more recent years the number of district schools having only one teacher 
was reported as follows: 1892, 87; 1893, 85; 1896, 84; 1897, 81; 1900, 67; 
1902, 66; 1903, 63; 1906, 62; 1907, 61 ; 1908, 52; 1909, 49; 191 1, 47; 1912, 

41; 1913. 38; 19H, 37: 1915- 3 2 - 

With the abandonment of district schools from year to year, the children 
have been transferred to larger centers, where they have the advantage of 
better gradation, etc. This movement has also made possible and expedient 
the organization of township high schools. Several high schools, including 
those in Blue River, Brown, Green, Jackson and Vernon townships were 


organized, or at least classes had taken up high school subjects by 1895. All 
the remaining townships except Brandywine had high school classes started 
not later than 1900. The organization of these schools was well begun by the 
time that County Superintendent Lee O. Harris took his office in 1897. At 
that time Hancock county still had practically all her district schools, but it 
will be observed that by the end of his administration, in 1903, eighteen dis- 
tricts had been abandoned. The pupils from these districts were attending the 
consolidated schools. Since that time almost one-half of the remaining dis- 
tricts have been abandoned. Blue River township had all her pupils in the 
consolidated school at Westland during the school year of 1914-15, under 
the trusteeship of Obed J. Coffin. During the school year of 1914-15 the 
various school corporations expended $7,325.00 for the transportation of 
pupils to the consolidated schools. The school houses in which our children 
now attend may be grouped as follows : Stone, 1 ; brick, 66; frame, 8 ; total, 75. 


Mention has been made of the fact that in 1865 an "Educational Col- 
umn" was conducted for a time in the Hancock Democrat by the Hancock 
County Normal Institute. In 1876 County Superintendent W. P. Smith 
again conducted such a "column." Articles were contributed by Mr. Smith 
and also by the teachers of the county. The first article to appear was offered 
by Lee O. Harris on "Composition." Another article of some length was 
contributed by A. V. B. Sample on "Duties of Parents." Other articles under 
the captions, "Force of Habit," "Description of School Room," "Cultivation 
of the Mind," and "Words," appeared from time to time for several years. 
In addition to such articles personal mention was made of the work and doings 
of teachers. In fact, a sort of an "exchange" was maintained in these columns, 
to which the teachers felt free to contribute, and which reflects a general 
cooperative spirit in the profession. 

About the same time, or rather in 1875, knotty problems in arithmetic 
began to appear, for which solutions were asked. Teachers vied with each 
other in their efforts to solve these problems and publish their solutions in 
the local paper. Frequently different solutions giving different results were 
published, which gave rise to interesting arguments running from week to 
week on the solutions offered. Following is a problem which may probably 
be called typical, selected at random from those offered : 

"Three boys start to sell oranges; one has ten, one has thirty and the 
other fifty; they want to sell them at the same price and all receive the same 
amount of money. At what price must they sell and how much did each 
receive ?" 





During the winter of 1870-71. N. W. Fitzgerald, principal of the Green- 
field school, adopted a plan of encouraging attendance, good behavior, indus- 
try, etc., 111 the Greenfield schools by establishing "honor rolls." The "honor 
roll" was made up at the end of each week. Pupils who had been neither 
absent nor tardy, who had been "perfect" in recitations, and who had a 
grade in deportment of not less than, say ninety-five per cent., had their 
names placed on this "roll." At the end of each week the "honor roll" was 
published in the local papers. During that winter a few teachers in the 
county adopted the same plan and published the "honor rolls" of their schools. 
In a year or two this custom became very common, and "honor rolls" from 
schools in all parts of the county were published. This practice was con- 
tinued in the county pretty generally for about sixteen years. 

In the spring of 1871, W. P. Smith, later county superintendent of 
schools, finished a term at the Pleasant Hill school in Brandywine township. 
The term had been successful, relationships had evidently been cordial and 
agreeable, and in the issue of the Hancock Democrat of March 30 of that 
year he made the following public acknowledgment : 

"Many thanks to the friends and patrons of the school for the prompt 
and cheerful cooperation they have rendered me during the term, and for the 
many 'good things' they provided for us and our visitors on closing day. 

"To the Scholars : You will please accept my thanks for strict obedience 
to the rules of school, punctuality in attendance, promptness in recitation 
and close application to study; and now that school is out let me ask you not 
to lay aside your books entirely, but spend your leisure moments in reviewing 
the lessons you have recited at school that you may be able to begin your 
studies at the next term where you left off this. 

"With best wishes for your future success in life, I bid you adiew, as 
your teacher for the present. W. P. Smith/' 

To this letter was also appended the "honor roll" of this school : Reuben 
Bentley, Joseph Kelm, James Parnell, Abijah Kemmerly, Henry C. Marsh, 
John J. Roberts. William Kennedy, Willie H. Marsh, Andrew J. Smith, James 
H. Smith. Newton Rhue. Charles P. Duncan, Mary E. C. Kelm, Emma Par- 
nell, Iduna May Smith, Ella Griggsby, Emanuel Smith, Henry McKinney, 
Dard Roberts, Laura Parnell, Malinda E. Smith, May J. Smith, Rebecca 
Stump, Isaac T. Winn, James J. Duncan, James Roberts, Harriett Parnell, 
Sarah A. Smith, Inez E. Smith. 

This was the beginning of a series of such acknowledgments which often 
appeared at the close of schools during the seventies and eighties. They 
were not always in exactly the same tone, as will be seen from the following, 


which came from the teacher of district No. 10 in Vernon township in the 
spring of 1872 : 

"I would say to the scholars, the most of you have treated me well, and 
have not caused me any trouble. Hoping you will retain these few instruc- 
tions 1 have given you until a good old age, you have my best wishes through 

"To the patrons of the school : I am sorry to say you have done but little 
in word or deed to encourage me in my work, but I trust you will do better 
in the future. J. H. Scotton, Teacher." 

Sometimes the acknowledgment also included a narrative of the "last 
day," like the following from district No. 2 in Green township, in March, 
1876 : 

"The day set in very inclement, but nevertheless, scholars, patrons and 
friends came marching in with turkeys, chickens, pies, cakes and everything 
that would tempt the palate. 

"The morning program was as follows : A complete review of the 
analysis of the alphabet, advanced reading, written spelling and manuscript 
history. After these exercises we had two tables spread across the house 
with everything nice to satisfy the appetite. 

"The afternoon program consisted of concert reading. Grammar, Geogra- 
phy, Arithmetic, and closed by remarks from patrons and teacher. The 
scholars have been industrious, obedient and kind. I will return my thanks 
through your paper for the kindness and hospitality, both by patrons and 
pupils, shown me while teaching in their district." 

"J. Benson, Teacher." 

Local pride was also reflected : 

"School No. 9, near Willow Branch P. O., closed March 15, 1876, with 
a general turnout of patrons, pupils and visitors. The forenoon exercises 
consisted of, first, recitations in primary spelling and reading, after which 
the time until noon was spent with arithmetic classes. Noon now at hand, we 
dismissed for dinner. We set two tables, each twelve feet long, which were 
covered with edibles of all kinds. 

"I will say in conclusion that we have had a very pleasant time this 
winter. This being my third term at this place, and very likely the last, I 
can say that I consider it a credit to any teacher to occupy old Spiceland 
school house. No. 9, Brown township. 

"I now return my thanks to patrons and pupils for their kindness toward 
me as their teacher, and may they ever be found moving forward in the inter- 
est of an education. James L. Smith, Teacher." 


In the spring of 1876 the teacher of Benevolence school in Center town- 
ship made the following statement in the local paper : 

"Pupils reported as most industrious and consequently most successful : 
Alice Goble, John Handy, Phebe Price, Ella Kinsey, James Heffernan, Ollie 
Wiggins, Mollie Trees, Eddie Gray, Rufus Temple, and George Wiggins. 

"I can safely say for all that more practical pupils cannot be 
found anywhere. No cases of tardiness in the school during the term. 

"The patrons of the district have my sincere thanks for the dinner fur- 
nished on this occasion. Theodore Winn, Teacher." 

Many other acknowledgments could be added to the foregoing, but they 
illustrate the types of public acknowledgments that appeared in the columns of 
our local papers during those years. 

But expressions of good will did not all come from the teacher alone. 
On several occasions the pupils also had something to say, and some of their 
doings at least found their way into the local papers. We offer the following 
from the pupils of "Sparks school," district No. 1, in Brown township, at the 
close of their school, in March, 1876: 

"Resolved, that we return our earnest thanks to our well esteemed teacher 
for the general hospitality he has shown us during his two terms of school. 

"Resolved, that we return our thanks to our teacher for discharging his 
duty among us as pupils without showing any partiality. 

"Resolved, that we return our thanks to our esteemed teacher, A. J. 
Larue, for the information he has imparted to us as pupils since he came to 
our school. 

"Resolved, that we are under many obligations to our teacher for rais- 
ing us up from the degrading name which the pupils were under in our dis- 
trict, caused by unruly pupils, and elevating us upon a level with other dis- 
tricts in the township and county. 

"Resolved, that we recommend our teacher to any class of scholars that he 
may chance to meet in the future. 

"Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be presented to the teacher's 
father, John R. Larue. 

"Resolved, that we request William Marsh, trustee of Frown township, 
to send a copy of these resolutions to the Hancock Democrat for publication. 

"Resolved, that if our teacher thinks these resolutions worthy, we re- 
quest him to present a copy of them to the county paper in which he resides. 

"Resolved, that we return our thanks to our teacher for giving his con- 
sent to return at our next term of school and assist us in advancing our 


"Signed by scholars. Obee H. Garrett, James B. McDaniel, John H. Smith, 
Samuel N. Hunt, Charles Riggs, Levi L. Keesling, William Smith, Bay Cook, 
Lilly Cook, Mary A. Cook, Cimmie Cook, Hattie Giles, Florence Cook, Tidy 
Cook, Henry J. Garrett, Joseph McDaniel, Joel A. Cook, Sanford Dudley, 
Cora Leiber, Eilnore Cook, William J. Dudley, Daniel M. Smith, Laura Cook, 
Mary A. McDaniel, Emma J. McDaniel, Nancy Cook, Fannie Broomfield, 
Delia Cook, Isaac L. Garriott, John R. Keesling, James Broomfield, Charles 
McDaniel, Levi McDaniel, William R. Riggs, Mattie Cook, Luvina A. Gar- 
rett, Missouri Cook, Mary Smith, Annie Giles, Nancy McDaniel, Visy Cook." 

On the same occasion the patrons of the above school gave the following 
signed statement to the Hancock Democrat for publication : 

"We, the employers of school District No. 1, return our best wishes and 
thanks to A. J. Larue for his general hospitality and moral conduct, and for 
discharging his duty impartially, and for such we recommend him to any and 
all schools that he may chance to meet in the future. 

"(Signed) : Joseph Garrett, Joel Cook, Morris Cochran, J. A. McDaniel, 
Lorenzo D. Cook, Daniel Hedrick, James C. Smith, Matt F. Cook." 

At the close of school in the following spring, 1877, the pupils at Lea- 
mon's Corner, in Jackson township, no doubt felt that their teacher was 
worthy of as much recognition as might be given to the teacher of any other 
school. It is interesting to observe that among the pupils who signed the 
following resolutions are some whose names have long been well known 
throughout the state of Indiana: 

"School closed here last Saturday. We, the pupils, return to our teacher, 
Miss Mattie Lineback, our sincere thanks for the kind and faithful manner 
in which she performed her duty. 

"Resolved, that we will treasure up the seed which she has sown, and will 
improve every opportunity that will advance us one step further up the hill 
of science. (Signed) William H. Glascock, George Burnett, Jennie Mc- 
Corkle, Louiza Sheets, Cora Felt, Charles Chandler, Eugene Lewis, Emma 
Becket, Anna Chandler. James Clift, John Felt, Eliza Shipley, Mattie 

In the spring of 1879 tne pupils of the Thomas school in Brandy wine 
township adopted the following as a tribute of respect to Napoleon B. Branden- 
burg, who was a very popular teacher in the county for a number of years, 
in Sugar Creek, Brandywine and Center townships : 

"tribute of respect. 

"We, the pupils of school district No. 1, Brandywine township, feel it 
our duty to tender our teacher, N. B. Brandenburg, a series of resolutions 


of respect for his services rendered as teacher for our benefit, as they now 
come to a close. 

"Resolved, that he has labored diligently and earnestly with us and in 
our behalf to bestow upon our minds something that will enable us to occupy 
the positions to which we may be called. 

''Resolved, that in performing this work he has not been partial in any 
respect, but has imparted instruction willingly and in the best possible manner 
to one and all, everything of a mysterious nature vanishing into ideas with 
a clearness that moulds upon the mind never. to be forgotten. 

"Resolved, that we unite in complimenting our teacher for his faithful 
efforts as a teacher in advancing us in our studies and for his untiring 
exertions to advance our best interests, and we heartily commend him to 
those among whom his lot may be cast as a teacher, efficient, capable, and 
worthy of their respect. Happiness and prosperity go with him. (Signed) 
Thomas Hope, Julia Fields, Julia Hutchison, Willard Hutchison, Lillie Woods, 
Lura Thomas, Thomas Wilson, Mary Collyer, George Potts, Ira Davis, 
Charles Thompson, Lida Potts, Emma Collyer." 

The patrons on that occasion adopted the following: "We, the patrons 
of said school, vouch for the propriety of the above resolutions: (Signed) 
John Sylvester, A. J. Jeffries, John V. White, A. M. Potts, William Kidwell, 
Wellington Collyer, B. F. Fry, H. J. Fry, Hiram Thomas, Smith Hutchison, 
Christopher Fields." 

It was during these years, too, — the seventies — that the closing day of 
school came to be a social event in every district. It is still so lovingly re- 
ferred to as the 

"old-fashioned last day." 

The "last day" also received ample space in the columns of our local 
papers, and the "visitors" shall tell their own stories. We begin with the 
last day at Carrollton. March 25, 1876: 

"We had a school of five months, which could not be beat in the town- 
ship, and which closed Saturday, March 25. It was taught by Cyrus Boring. 
Between the hours of nine and ten the parents came pouring in with baskets 
filled to the brim. They went immediately up to the Grange Hall to prepare 
a dinner for the school, which was done directly and in order. We had two 
tables, each thirty feet in length. These tables were well filled with as nice 
looking victuals as my eyes ever beheld. The dinner was composed of boiled 
ham. baked chicken, fruits, pies and pickles of all descriptions, and nineteen 
large cakes from three inches to fifteen inches thick. These were covered with 


icing as white as snow and trimmed with various colors of candies. The 
tables were covered with small edibles too tedious to mention. After the tables 
were prepared they all left the hall and went down to the school room, where 
they had the privilege of listening to splendid music. Then they marched, 
two and two, up to the hall. The scholars occupied one table, and the parents 
and visitors the other. Then Mr. Boring called' all to order and thanks were 
returned by John D. Lucas. 

"Then the feast commenced, and in a short time our nice victuals all 
disappeared. Then we returned to the lower room, where we had splendid 
music from the organ and singing from the scholars for one hour and a half. 
The school was then called to order by the teacher and a piece was read 
by James Reed from The Democrat of March 16, prepared by A. V. B. Sam- 
ple, subject, "Duty of Parents." Then the parents were called on to make a 
few remarks. Then the small children were called on to speak their pieces, 
which were very interesting. Then Mr. Renecamp was called upon to make 
a few remarks, which he did, and they w r ere very appropriate for the occasion. 
Mr. Boring then got up and talked some fifteen minutes to the scholars and 
parents. He said he had not been mad during his five months of school. 
This speaks very well for Mr. Boring. He taught his first school in this place 
twelve years ago. He had only one scholar this term that came to him then. 


William M. Lewis, at present the genial proprietor of the book store, no 
doubt has many pleasant recollections like the following: 

"On Tuesday last (February 20, 1877) Mr. William Lewis closed his 
fourth school at Brown's Chapel school house, Jackson township. The day 
being a fine one, I concluded I would visit the school. Among the more im- 
portant exercises in the forenoon were advanced grammar and arithmetic. 
The several classes did their work in a manner that deserved great credit; 
the rough roads of arithmetic seemed to fade away before them and every- 
thing seemed easy for them. At twelve o'clock it seemed that the exercises 
were stopped, but we were pleasantly mistaken, for it turned out that they were 
only changed in order to make them more general. In a few minutes the 
ladies changed the scene into one of the most bounteous displays of good 
things to eat imaginable. After partaking of a hearty repast the young folks 
repaired to the play ground, where the bright light of the sun shone on fair 
young ladies and brave young men present. About one and a half o'clock 
Mr. Lewis called the crowd together to hear the exercises of the afternoon. 
The first exercise was a class in elocution, consisting of J. E. Stephens, Henry 
H. Crider, Lafe Crider, John Slifer and Miss Emma Scott. Among the selec- 


tions read were "Gone With a Handsomer Man," and "Courting in the Coun- 
try"; and I must say that the reading was certainly excellent, and the effect 
produced by some of the reading was very interesting. After the class was 
dismissed Henry Crider and Miss Scott were recalled and read "Hiawatha's 
Wooing" and "The Famine," Mr. Crider reading the former and Miss Scott 
the latter. They both did splendidly. After the reading was over came 
declamations, essays, etc., which kept us interested until near four o'clock, 
when Mr. Lewis made a few remarks which were very interesting, followed 
by others present. On the whole I have concluded I spent one of the most 
pleasant days of my life, and after this I shall visit schools more frequently. 


The following from "Nebraska school," in Center township, also in 
1877, is interesting for the clearness with which it sets before us the festivities 
and exercises of the last day, and because of some of the men whose names 
appear therein as pupils of this school : 

"At twelve o'clock school was dismissed for dinner, which had been pre- 
pared by the patrons of the school. Dinner being spread, it was interesting 
to see the polite and genteel manner in which Miss Mattie Lineback served 
her guests at the table. One side was reserved for visitors, the other for the 
pupils, who were marched up in good order. After thanks were returned by 
our friend, William Brooks, all partook of the dainties which were spread 
before them and good enough for a king. Dinner being over, we enjoyed 
ourselves in social chat for an hour, there being some forty or fifty visitors 
present, besides quite a number of pupils. At the ringing of the bell all took 
their places to hear the afternoon exercises, which were mostly literary and 
delivered in good style. I was diverted to see little Johnnie Wiggins, son of 
our friend, John F. Wiggins, come to the stand to speak. He came so earnest, 
with eyes sparkling like jewels. There is something noble in that little fellow. 
He has had the misfortune to lose one of his hands, but he is not without, tal- 
ent. I would say to Mr. Wiggins, give that boy an education and he will make 
a man of himself. Much credit is due Miss Ettie Felt for the becoming man- 
ner in which she acted the part of the old lady, with her cap and spectacles 
on. By the way, Eugene Lewis is a very good speaker and Billy Glascock a 
very good journal reader. Everything was done decently and in good order. 
The last was an essay by Miss Lineback, which was gotten up in good style 
and read with politeness. I am happy to say that Miss Lineback is an ac- 
complished lady and understands her business. At four o'clock the school 
closed and I returned home much pleased with what I had seen and heard. 

"A Visitor." 


Though the "eats" were lacking, the program rendered at New Palestine 
on closing day in 1879 was thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of the 
times : 

"Last Thursday and Friday were spent in oral examinations at the New 
Palestine graded school and the result is satisfactory to all. Rev. Winches- 
ter asked a few questions, to which answers were readily given. The schools 
of the upper department assembled in the lower room when the literary exer- 
cises commenced. Among the many creditable acquittals I will men- 
tion a few: "Darius Green and His Flying Machine," by Allie Bottsford, a 
boy whose executive ability is unsurpassed by one of his age. Next a dia- 
logue, "Mrs. Partington's Tea Party," by Ida Lipscomb, Cora Ulrey, Kate 
Armstrong and Annie Warner. A declamation entitled, "Old Man of Fifty- 
three," by May Bottsford, was well done. Two renderings by Henry War- 
rum, of Nameless Creek, entitled "A Sermon to Ladies" and "Woman's 
Sphere," were well delivered. Essays were read by Willie Buchel, John 
Sharp, Flora Rice, Rosa Warrum, Glennie Hook, Lulu Vansickle, and many 
others. They also had an excellent paper read by Misses Jennie Buchel and 
Cora Winchester. 

"Mr. Wood having engaged the services of State Superintendent Smart, 
we had the pleasure of listening to one of his interesting lectures at the 
M. E. church. The teachers at this place, though they have not as suitable a 
nouse and apparatus as others, have given satisfaction as far as I have been 
able to learn, and deserve credit for their untiring efforts to advance the cause 
of education. May they as teachers ever be prosperous. 

"A Well Washer." 

These narratives could be duplicated many, many times from the columns 
of the local papers during those years and for a decade following. 


The spelling school was an institution that dated back almost to the be- 
ginning of the schools themselves. It was one of the first forms of entertain- 
ment that our schools offered to the communities. Many years before the 
Civil War schools had their "best spellers." School met school, well knowing 
that their "best spellers" could spell every word in the old McGuffey spelling 
book, and that their opponents must go down in defeat or the match must, 
be a draw. Not only did the school have its best speller, but the community 
had its best speller, and he was relied on, "sent for" if necessary. Where is 
the community in the county that did not have at least one or more farmers 
who worked all day and then spelled to the wee hours of the night to uphold 


the reputation of the district in any match that a challenge might bring 
forth ? 

In the earlier days especially, one school challenged another. Often, 
simply a "spelling school" was announced. When the people had congre- 
gated captains were announced who chose the spellers. Then different plans 
were followed. Sometimes "runners" were chosen; sometimes the contest 
was to see who could "stand the longest"; and sometimes it was determined 
in favor of the side missing the fewest words. Generally the contest was 
entered for entertainment and to win. But it was not an uncommon thing 
for some patriotic and enthusiastic citizen to offer a prize to the winning side 
or to the winning school. 

It seems that spelling schools began almost with the organization of 
schools in this county, and continued more or less generally until within a 
decade or two of the close of the last century. They were conducted not 
only by the public school as an institution, but by organizations, societies, etc., 
and were frequently the means of raising funds, just as we now give enter- 
tainments, socials and suppers for the same purpose. 

One of the most interesting spelling matches in the county was arranged 
by the ladies of the Greenfield Benevolent Society. The ladies canvassed the 
city and procured the consent of a number of business men and others to spell. 
Among them were : W. S. Wood, J. A. New, J. L. Mason, L. W. Gooding, 
A. Reynolds, G. T. Randall, O. Moon, William Mitchell, Lon Hammel, Mrs. 
Dr. Martin, Colonel Roberts, War Thomas, J. Ward Walker, I. P. Poulson, 
George B. Cooley, A. B. Linebeck, J. H. Binford, A. T. Hart, W. Hammel, 
Kate Geary, Hattie Havens, William J. Matthews, R. A. Riley, Lee O. Har- 
ris, H. J. Dunbar, James Walsh, Dr. E. I. Judkins, W. R. Hartpence, J. Roth- 
enberger, W. O. Thomas, Rev. White, Marg. Roland, Emma Swope, A. W. 
Hough, H. L. Moore, Mrs. H. C. Chapman. 

The contest was set for the evening of March 13, 1875, at the court room. 
By common consent the following appointments were made: J. H. White, 
master; G. W. Puterbaugh, umpire; J. Ward Walker and William Mitchell, 

It was also agreed that the winning side should be awarded three cords 
of wood and a ham of meat for the benefit of the society. The contest was 
to determine which side could remain standing the longer. Since so many of 
the spellers are clearly remembered, it is interesting to observe the order in 
which they "went down," and the words they misspelld : 

1. Lee O. Harris, petrify. 3. W. S. Wood, typify. 

2. James Walsh, typify. 4. I. P. Poulson, typify. 

J 4 2 








J 5 


Capt. A. L. Ogg, adamant. 19 

S. E. Duncan, adamant. 2c 

Mrs. H. C. Chapman, license. 21 

Mrs. A. C. Heaton, habitude. 22 

Miss Sarah Walker, pestilent. 23 

Colonel Roberts, impanel. 24 

U. Royer, pursuant. 25 

William Mitchell, metallic. 26 

Mrs. Gwinn, metallic. 27 

Mrs. F. H. Crawford, satirize. 28 

Mrs. W. S. Wood, satirize. 29 

Capt. R. A. Riley, azimuth. 30 

G. T. Randall, calabash. 31 
Mrs. L. W. Gooding - , maccaboy.32 

L. W. Gooding, hypothenuse. 
B. Clayton, idolater. 
J. Ward Walker, belligerent. 
Theo Winn, consulate. 
Charles Winn, serious. 
Riley Cross, aromatic. 
Dr. E. I. Judkins, allegoric. 
•Mrs. Brown, panegyric. 
William Hammel, vicegerent. 
W. R. Hartpence, decimal. 
H. R. Clayton, epilogue. 
James A. New, vapory. 
H. L. Moore, repellent. 
Rev. C. T. White, seizure. 

At this point, John H. Binford, who had been chosen by Mr. Walker, 
was left standing alone, and the honors went to Mr. Walker's side. The 
Symphony Glee Club furnished music during the evening, and the receipts 
netted the Benevolent Society eighteen dollars and ten cents. 

Spelling matches similar to this one were held in various parts of the 
county, in which old and young participated. One other very interesting 
match was arranged between Greenfield and Knightstown. Each side spent 
more or less time in practice for the contest, which was held at the court 
house on the evening of May 14, 1875. Among the contestants from Green- 
field and vicinity were : H. J. Dunbar, Mrs. Nellie Brown, Mrs. C. W. Gant, 
Miss M. E. Dille, L. W. Gooding. John H. White, L. M. Test, I. P. Poulson, 
Ephraim Marsh, Miss Royer, J. H. Binford. William Hammel, James A. 
New, D. S. Gooding, G. W. Puterbaugh, Capt. A. L. Ogg, Oscar F. Meek, 
\Y. B. Hartpence, E. W>. Smith, James Walsh, C. F. White, H. R. Clayton, 
Mrs. N. P. Howard, Mrs. L. W. Gooding. 

This contest was put on a basis that required not only good individual 
spellers, but good team work, to win. The side which lost the fewest points 
in misspelling words was to be declared the winner. Unfortunately for our 
spellers, they misspelled more words than did their opponents, and Knights- 
town carried off the honors of the match. This occasion, however, was also 
attended with a good time socially. The Knightstown team came over early 
in the evening and were entertained by the Greenfield people. Several arti- 
cles and letters from members of the visiting team appeared in the local papers 
here afterward expressing appreciations of hospitality and of the good time 


Fortunately but one generation has arrived in the county too late to 
become familiar with the old-time spelling- school. 


Commencement exercises began to be held in some of the townships in 
the early eighties. They were not very elaborate, however. As late as 1891 
the common school graduates of Sugar Creek township met on commence- 
ment evening without a previously arranged program. The graduates were 
prepared to "speak their pieces," and when the county superintendent arrived 
a program was arranged. A choir was made up from the young people of the 
audience, who sang several selections from the regular Sunday school books 
that were in the church ; the children spoke, and this concluded the program. 

During the decade following, however, these occasions grew to be much 
more pretentious. Elaborately embossed invitations began to be issued, or- 
chestras were employed, the rooms decorated, and the parents went to great 
expense in purchasing apparel for the graduates. Neither parents nor chil- 
dren wished to be outdone, which made it very hard for people who could 
ill afford to make such outlays. The same thing was true during the first 
decade of the present century. The county board of education considered 
these matters at several meetings and recommended greater simplicity and 
less expense in the matter of dress, etc. During the last few years the par- 
ents and graduates have begun to take the same view. At a number of com- 
mencements during the last three or four years the boys have been wearing 
a plain, but neat uniform suit. The girls, too, have adopted a uniform dress, 
usually a plain white regulation suit with red tie. The classes appear to a 
very good advantage, the commencement is not expensive, nor so foolish, say 

During the early history of the township commencements all the grad- 
uates recited their own selections. This was continued very generally until 
four or five years ago, when the common school commencements began to 
be combined with the high school commencements, for which a professional 
speaker has been employed. 

At the September session, 1889, of the county board of education. Trus- 
tee James P. McCord, of Vernon township, moved that the county superin- 
tendent be ordered to arrange for a county oratorical contest, and that he 
select suitable prizes for the same. This motion was carried and the county 
oratorical contest became a feature of the county institute week at Green- 
field until about 19 10. At each township commencement the "best speaker" 
was chosen to represent the township at the contest. The selections spoken 


at the oratorical, and also for a time at the township commencement were sup- 
posed to be original, and many of them were, but entirely too many of them 
seemed to be composed under the inspiration of the "Royal Path of Life,'' 
"Portraits and Principles," and other books of similar type. There was a 
great deal of interest in the contest, and sometimes also a great deal of feel- 
ing, even among the school officers over a failure of their representative to 
take the prizes. 

For several years, from 1886 to 1889, the county board of education 
offered prizes to the schools for the best attendance during the term. At 
the June meeting, 1887, the members of the board expressed themselves as 
being pleased with the results obtained. For the school year, 1887-8, the 
prizes consisted of ten dollars each, and diplomas were given to pupils per- 
fect in attendance during the past year. In 1888 Lossing's "Encyclopedia of 
United States History'' was selected as the prize. 


The first exhibit of the school work of the county was made at the 
west school building at Greenfield in the spring of 1876. From this exhibit 
the best work was selected as the county educational exhibit at the Cen- 
tennial Exposition at Philadelphia. In order to defray the expenses of mak- 
ing the state exhibit at Philadelphia the schools of all the counties made 
efforts to raise funds. In Hancock county "school exhibitions" and enter- 
tainments were held in practically all of the towns and townships. "There 
will be a school exhibition at Ellis school house, northeast of Greenfield, on 
Saturday next. The exercises will be varied. Admission, ten cents. Pro- 
ceeds to go to the Centennial fund." So ran the announcements in the col- 
umns of the local papers during the early months of 1876. At Fortville, Mc- 
Cordsville, New Palestine and Greenfield elaborate exhibitions were given, 
and in some instances repeated. Churches, halls and school houses were 
utilized, and at several points comparatively large amounts were raised. At 
the exhibition of the Greenfield pupils at the Masonic Hall over forty-eight 
dollars was taken in on two evenings, and a total of over seventy-six dollars 
was raised by the Greenfield schools. At some of the other towns in the 
county as much as twelve dollars and fifteen dollars was contributed to the 
fund. This method of raising funds was adopted on the suggestion of the 
state central committee, who asked the state to contribute twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars to assist in erecting suitable buildings, defraying expenses, sug- 
gesting that the money be raised by school exhibitions, concerts, etc. 

In April, 1882, another exhibit was made at Greenfield. It consisted 


mostly of manuscripts on the various school subjects, maps, etc. It was esti- 
mated that ten thousand pages of manuscript and seven hundred maps were 

In the fall of 1884 preparations were made for holding another county 
. school exhibit at the close of that term of school. A committee was ap- 
pointed to devise plans and ways and means for holding the exhibit. They 
reported as follows : 

"report of committee on school exhibit. 

"We, the committee on school exhibit, appointed by the county super- 
intendent, submit the following report : 

"Time and Place — The exhibit shall be held on the second Saturday in 
April in the west school building in Greenfield. 

''Plan of Work — (a). Higher Grades. County superintendent shall 
prepare a list of fifteen questions for the fourth and higher grades, ten of 
which are to be selected and written upon by the pupils. The examination 
to be held on same day in each' school. One-half the work to be done in Jan- 
uary, the other half in February. 

"(b). Lower Grades. Work of third and lower grades to consist of 
manuscripts, maps, drawings, and such other miscellaneous work as the 
teacher may see proper. 

"(c). General Work. It is understood that the work of any or all 
grades shall not be confined to the work designated above, but may consist 
of any work which, in the discretion of the teacher, would add to or show up 
the work of his school. Such as miscellaneous drawing, paintings, outlines, 
diagrams, work in higher branches, etc. 

"Rules — 1. All work exhibited in the above classes must be performed 
by bona fide members of the school and strictly under the discretions and 
regulations governing monthly examinations of teachers. 

"2. All manuscript work should be written with pen and ink in books 
prepared for that purpose, which will be placed in the book stores. 

"3. The answer should be numbered to correspond with the number 
of its question and a list of questions should accompany each subject. 

"4. All work should be completed by the 1st of April, and it shall be 
the duty of each teacher to prepare his work in convenient form and see that 
it is presented for exhibit. 

"5. The questions prepared for examinations shall be held by county 
superintendent and submitted to the teachers just before the examination and 


not be unsealed until the morning of examination in the presence of his 


''Miscellaneous — Each teacher is requested to contribute ten cents, to be 

paid to county superintendent, for the purpose of defraying necessary 

expenses. ■ "J. W. Smith, 

"J. K. Allen, 
"E. W. Felt, 
"W. S. Porter, 
"W. C. Atherton, 
"Ollie Stoner, 
"Mattie Thomas, 


This exhibit was held as planned in the spring of 1885. A large number 
of pupils from all parts of the county were in attendance. 

During the winter of 1886-7 quite a large number of manuscripts, in- 
cluding maps, etc., was collected in the county and displayed as an educational 
exhibit at the county fair at Greenfield in 1887. A similar exhibit was made 
at the county fair in 1888. 

The next exhibit was prepared during the winter of 1892-3. The county 
exhibit was held at Greenfield, from which work was selected for the Colum- 
bian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. This work consisted largely of written 
work, maps, etc., that illustrated the regular work of the schools. A large 
part of the necessary funds for defraying the expenses of making the school 
exhibit at the Chicago exposition was also raised by the school children of the 
state. A "Penny Fund" was originated, into which the school children con- 
tributed their pennies to an amount of about five thousand dollars. In the 
raising of this fund the children and teachers of Hancock county participated. 

During the winter of 1903-4 another county exhibit of school work was 
made at the high school building at Greenfield. This work consisted of 
examination papers from all grades, including the grades and high schools, 
compositions and other manuscripts illustrating the daily work of the schools. 
Ample space was also given to music and drawing. Stenographic reports of 
recitations, township, town and city histories, collection of Riley pictures, and 
photographs of the best school houses in the county, formed the features of 
the exhibit. From the county exhibit a rather large exhibit was selected for 
the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. 

No collection of class room work was submitted to the Panama Expo- 
sition at San Francisco, in 191 5. A photographic exhibit, consisting of pic- 


tures of the oldest type of frame school buildings, the latter type of one-room 
brick school houses, and some of our best high school buildings, including also 
inside views of industrial arts and domestic science departments, was sub- 
mitted as a county exhibit from Hancock county. 

teachers' unions. 

During the winter of 1877-78 this matter was presented to the teachers. 
It likely was not considered seriously by the teachers as a whole, yet several 
letters were published in the local papers in which individual teachers urged 
the advisability of effecting such an organization. Several letters were also 
published in which other teachers advised against taking such steps. The 
argument advanced for a teachers' union was practically the same as that 
advanced for labor unions. 

A more definite step in this direction, however, was the organization in 
1904 of a chapter in the county of the Order of Pestalozzi. A lodge was 
instituted at Greenfield during the week of the county institute in September, 
1904. Ora Staley, then principal of the Charlottesville school, was elected 
as the chief officer. The lodge never convened, however, after the evening 
of its institution, and very few of our teachers ever became familiar with 
its mysteries or its purpose. 


During the winter of 1914-15, while the great European war was rag- 
ing, the Red Cross Society made an appeal to the school children of America 
to contribute a penny each for the relief of the suffering children of the war 
zone. The response everywhere was generous. In Hancock county, 
especially in those schools where a proper explanation of the matter was made, 
the children responded gladly. Though not all schools participated, the fol- 
lowing contributions amounted to a little over two cents per capita for all the 
school children of the county : 

Blue River Tozvnship. . 

Consolidated school $3-92 

Brandywine Tcmmship. 

No. 1 — Alpha Smith, teacher $3-25 

No. 2 — Elijah Reeves, teacher 1.10 

No. 3 — J essie Boring, teacher 1 .00 


Brozvn Township. 

Warrington, room 3 $ .45 

Shirley schools 2.00 

Wilkinson schools 3.54 

No. 9 — Charles Carlton, teacher 96 

Buck Creek Township. 

No. 4 — Esther Luse, teacher $1.00 

Mt. Comfort schools 2.50 

No. 6 — Ward Davis, teacher 50 

No. 7 — Ethel Snider, teacher 1.00 

No. 8 — Effie Welling, teacher 1.00 

Center Tozuhship. 

No. 1 — Gladys Teel, teacher $ .75 

No. 3 — Hazel Hanes, teacher. . 

No. 6 — M. Bussell, teacher , 

No. 7 — Thelma Bussell, teacher. 

Maxwell schools 

No. 14 — Ernest Hiday, teacher. . 
No. 15 — Rosa Garriott, teacher. 
Mohawk schools 




Green Township. 

No. 1 — Dean Baker, teacher $ .50 

No. 2 — Will Reed, teacher 1.00 

Eden schools 

No. 7 — Wynema Binford, teacher i.eo 

Jackson Township. 

No. 4 — Julia McClarnon, teacher $ .83 

No, 1 — Robert Hunt, teacher 54 

No. 6 — Mary Payne, teacher 1.00 

Cleveland schools 1.60 

No. 9 — Grover Van Duyn, teacher 1.05 

Charlottesville schools 5.32 

No. 3 — Martha Coffin, teacher 1.00 


Sugar Creek Tozvnship. 

Philadelphia schools $1.10 

No. 3 — Julia Herrlich, teacher 2.25 

New Palestine schools 3.00 

Vernon Township. 

McCordsville schools .....$ 3.85 

No. 3 — Will McCord, teacher 1.00 

No. 5 — John Walker, teacher 1.30 

Greenfield schools 14.35 

Total $72-55 

This fund was known as the "Lincoln Fund," in honor of our martyred 
President, who gave his life in the service of humanity. The money, amount- 
ing to over six thousand dollars, from the state of Indiana, was distributed 
to the destitute children of all the warring nations of Europe. 


The first compulsory education law of the state was passed in 1897. It 
made provision for county truant officers, also for a truant officer for in- 
corporated cities. Since 1899 one truant officer has served the entire county. 
The officers appointed for the county under the above and succeeding acts 
are : 

Charles Huston — Appointed in 1897, for Greenfield; served four years. 

James H. Kimberlin — Appointed in 1897, for Vernon, Buck Creek, 
Brown and Green townships; served two years. 

James Veach — Appointed in 1897, for Jackson, Blue River, Center, Sugar 
Creek and Brandywine townships ; served two years. 

Charles Huston — Appointed in 1899, for county; served two years. 

George W; Shekell — Appointed in 1901, for county; served three years. 

George Hull — Appointed in 1904, for county; served two years. 

William Morse — Appointed in 1906, for county; served one year. 

F. M. Carpenter — Appointed in 1907, for county; served one year. 

William P. Wirick — Appointed in 1909, for county ; served seven years. 

The most of the work of the truant officer to this time has been among 
the poor in the cities and towns of the county. Very little need for such an 
officer has existed in the townships. A few prosecutions have been made 


from year to year, but his duties have been principally to serve the notices 
required by law in such cases. 


During' the winter of 1906-7 steps were taken by the county superin- 
tendent of schools to organize a boys' corn club. In the spring a quart of 
good high grade seed was offered to each boy and a hundred or more boys 
entered the contest. The business men offered a number of valuable prizes. 
Among them were : Thomas & Son, riding cultivator, $25 ; Spot Cash, suit 
of clothes, $15 ; J. Ward Walker, suit of clothing, $15 ; J. W. Cooper, double- 
barrel shotgun, pair of skates, game of carom, hand printing press ; Hancock 
Democrat, $15 in cash; Greenfield Republican, magazine or journals, one 
year's subscription: Greenfield Publishing Company, magazine or journal, 
one year's subscription; W. S. Fries, $5 in cash; George Walker, $5 in cash; 
Cuyler studio, one dozen $6 photographs; Service & Rogers, pair of W r alk- 
Over shoes; Greenfield Star store, rain coat; J. G. Heath, $1.25 pocket knife; 
William M. Lewis book store, $1.25 book. 

On the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving a corn show was 
held at the court house at Greenfield. Prof. M. L. Fisher, of Purdue Uni- 
versity, scored the corn and on his decision the premiums were awarded. The 
club was maintained for about four years by County Superintendent Larra- 
bee, in conjunction with the farmers' institute. There was a general interest 
in the club among the boys, but it was finally discontinued because of a 
general lack of interest in the organization by the farmers' institute and the 
difficulty of financing it. 


The legislature of 19 13 passed a bill introducing vocational work in 
the public schools of the state. The McCordsville school at once introduced 
the work in manual training and domestic science. All the other township 
schools introduced the work in agriculture and domestic science. The teachers, 
of course, did not pretend to know much about these subjects, but by far the 
greater number of them have made a bona fide effort to accomplish some- 
thing along these lines during the past two years. 

For the work in agriculture text books were adopted in both the grades 
and high schools, and such experimental work was done as was possible. A 
similar plan was adopted in teaching domestic science. The theories under- 
lying different processes were discussed and the pupils were encouraged to 
experiment at home. At the opening of the schools in 1914. however, a 


much greater equipment was supplied, especially in the consolidated schools. 
For most of these schools a sufficient equipment was provided to enable 
the pupils to experiment under the direction of the teacher. During the 
term of 1914-15 one or more dinners were also served by the domestic science 
classes in most of the schools on special occasions, and the guests especially 
were impressed with the importance of this new departure in school work. 

parent-teachers' association. 

There has been organized within the county one Parent-Teachers' Associ- 
ation. On Tuesday evening, December 1, 19 14, the parents and teachers of 
the Charlottesville schools met at the high school building for the purpose of 
organizing such an association. The following officers were elected : Presi- 
dent, Mrs. Wilbor Wright ; secretary, Miss Mina Overman ; program com- 
mittee, Mrs. Albert Luse, Mrs. Anna Niles and Mrs. Cynthia Peacock. Those 
present at that meeting were: Mrs. Wilbor Wright, Mrs. Albert Luse, Mrs. 
Oscar Adkins, Miss Ruth Reeves, Mrs. Roy Lowe, Mrs. Clarence Haskett, 
Mrs. Percy Bantz, Mr. Lawrence Cox, Miss Katherine Rutledge, Mrs. Cynthia 
Peacock, Miss Mina Overman, Mr. Walter Orr, Mr. and Mrs. John Walker, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ramsey. 

Regular meetings of the association have been held in connection with 
the Jackson township institute, at the afternoon sessions on the first Saturday 
of each month. 

The subjects that have been considered during the winter are : "Habits, 
Manners and Morals of the Child," "When and How to Appreciate the Child," 
"Why Should Our Children be Given Manual Training and Domestic Science 
When Our Fathers and Mothers Did Not Receive Such Training?" "Con- 
fidential Relation of Mother and Son," "Efficiency in the School Room," and 
"Efficiency in the Home." At these meetings musical numbers have been 
interspersed, including piano and vocal solos, quartets, songs by schools, etc. 

Though a mere beginning has been made, both parents and teachers who 
have participated in the work of the association feel that it has been eminently 
worth while for a better mutual understanding of the child, and a deeper 
appreciation by each of the viewpoint of the other. 

A similar organization was effected at Wilkinson in 191 5-16. 

TEACHERS, I915-16. 

Following are the names of the teachers now teaching in the county : 


Blue River Township. 

Westland High School — Francis C. Landrus, Hazel C. Binford, Elsa 

Grades — Noble Crider, Arthur D. Gray, Frances Burk, Hilda Coffin. 

Brandyivine Township. 

No. i, Georgia Moore; No. 2, Hazel Wood; No. 5, Virgil Duncan; No. 
6, Bernice Boone; Carrollton, Orville Pope, Hazel Hanes. 

Brown Tozunship. 

No. 1, Floyd Walker; No. 9, Mrs. Maggie Willis. 
Warrington — O. W. Kuhn, Kate Kennedy, Essie McCray. 
Shirley — Earl Kuhn, Leonard Bussell, Elijah Reeves, Margaret Reed, 
Agnes Dovey, Tressa Blakely. 

Wilkinson High School— J. P. Amick, W. G. Willis, Helen Beers. 
Wilkinson Grades — Obe VanDuyn, Kate Reeves, Effie Reed. 

Buck Creek Township. 

No. 1, Cloyd Boner; No. 4, Frank Leslie; No. 6, Marguerite Plessinger; 
No. 7, Columbus Griffith; No. 8, Ethel Snider; No. 9, Esther Luse. 
Mt. Comfort High School — Carey E. Munsey, Mrs. Leo C. Mogle. 
Mt. Comfort Grades — Samuel E. Wallace, Merle Ashcraft. 

Center Township. 

No. 3, Rosa Garriott; No. 6, Naomi Tapscott; No. 7, Thelma Bussell; 
No. 14, Ernest Hiday; No. 15, Marshall Bussell; No. 16, Gladys Teel. 
Mohawk — Harry Ostermeyer, India Wright. 
Maxwell High School — A. M. Brown, Oakley Luse. 
Maxwell Grades — Florence Amick. Hazel Rees, Anna Reeves. 
Supervisor of music, art and domestic science, Pearl Butler. 

Green Township. 

No. 1, Dean Baker; No. 2, Irene McDaniel; No. 4, Sherman Rothermel ; 
No. 7, W. H. Reed. 

Eden High School — O. W. Jackson, Stella Bussell. 
Eden Grades — Ernest Warrum, Leora Beagle. 
Supervisor of music and art, Marie Hendren. 


Jackson Township. 

No. 1, Helen Craft; No. 3, Lucile Ging; No. 4, Julia McClarnon; No. 5, 
Lawrence Cox; No. 6, Earl Powers; No. 9, Grover VanDuyn. 

Cleveland — R. M. Julian, Alice Glascock. 

Charlottesville High School — Walter Orr, Ruth Reeves, Marvel Frost. 

Charlottesville Grades — Merrill Wilson, Mina Overman, Cynthia 

Supervisor of music and art, Lola Beeler. 

Sugar Creek Township. 

No. 2, Anna Kimple; No. 3, Julia Herrlich. 

Philadelphia — Frank S. Boone, Geraldine Conklin. 

New Palestine High School — W. W. Winn, Caroline Lubbe, Helen 
L. Self. 

New Palestine Grades — Glendale Brandenburg, Gertrude Ashcraft, Hazel 
Mitchell, Margaret Williamson. 

Vernon Tozvnship. 

No. 4, John D. Leslie; No. 5, Frank I. Irvin. 

McCordsville High School — Leonard Luce, Annalee Shortridge, Ethel 

McCordsville Grades — Peter Hinds, John Walker, Nevada Davis, Edna 


High School — Roy R. Roudebush, Floyd R. Carter, Vera Trittipo, Car- 
oline Crouch, Frances McGregor. 

Grades — Samuel J. Stokes, J. L. Smith, Ruth Cheney, Glenn Moon, 
Bertha Helms, Inez Teague, Isa Pollard. 


Superintendent — Frank Larrabee. 

High School — Elmer Andrews, Lenore McShane, Nora Corcoran, Floyd 
Garrison, Thomas Harney, Beatrice Hayes, Eloise Henley. 

Departmental — Lawrence Bridges, Helena Amick, Edith Shelby, Charles 

Washington School — Arthur Williamson, Daisy Harlan, Margaret Bald- 
win, Louise Hill, Edna Butler, Lizzie Harris. 


Longfellow School — Anna Jackson, Elizabeth Hanes, Kate Martin, 
Iduna Barrett. 

Lincoln School — Howard Macy, Hester Yelton, Alma Justice, Xelle 

East Greenfield School — Elizabeth Curry. 

Supervisors — Merle Brandenburg, drawing; Hazel Dillon, cooking; 
Catherine Fern Trees, music; Selma Stephens, sewing; Charles Boone, 
manual training. 



Three times since the organization of the county have our citizens heard 
the Nation's call to arms. Each time the people have responded 

The first call was made at the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846. 
Company D, Fifth regiment, Indiana volunteers, was organized in Hancock 
county under James K. Bracken. The company was mustered in October 8, 
1847, to serve during the war. The Fifth regiment was under the command 
of Col. James H. Lane, and served with General Scott until July 28, 1848, 
when it was mustered out. 

The company organized at Greenfield was composed of the following 
men, as nearly as can be ascertained : James R. Bracken, captain ; Andrew 
M. Patterson, first lieutenant; James Hamilton, second lieutenant; Hugh 
J. Kelly, third lieutenant; Micajah Francis, first sergeant; Henry Ramsey, 
second sergeant; Isaac Tamplin, third sergeant; Lewis T. Osborn, corporal; 
Robert Walker, corporal ; Robert Smith, corporal ; Henry Galloway, musician. 
Privates — Joseph Anderson, Ezra Conoway, Robert H. Caldwell, William H. 
Chapman, Sylvester Childers, John Chapman, John L. Liming, William 
Black, Moses B. Cook, Burt W. Jackson, Jared Arnold, Jacob Cohee, John 
Childers, Alexander Andis, William R. Gaston, James H. Carr, William 
Daily, Alexander Cook, Samuel Chapman, Richard Lindsey, Joseph Chap- 
man, Cicero Chapman, Solomon Kauble, William Banks, Harvey Carr, Alfred 
Denny, Robert P. Andis, Daniel Goodwin, Noah Carr, Miles Elsbury, .Isaac 
N. Ferree, John Furgason, James H. Gray, Templeton Hatfield, James Hub- 
ble, William Jordon, Thomas Lineback, Eli Marsh, Jefferson Nugen, James 
Reed, Jesse Shoate, Hiram Tyner, Hugh McClellan, Edward Pierson, John 
L. Scott, Andrew Flowers, Henry Galloway, James Goble, James Hunting- 
ton, George W. Johnston, Jameson, Samuel Liming, Thomas 

Maston, John Probasco, Robert Romack, George Street, Henry Martin, 
Adams L. Ogg, Howard Richardson, Robert Smith, Washington Flowers, 
Henry Goodwin, Jeremiah Hendren, William Jones, William K. Jacobs, 
James Kinghan, Rigby Marsh, James Montgomery, James Parks, Newton 
Scott, George Tooley, William Mitchell, Andrew Pauley, Rus- 
sell, George W. Swain, John Tryon, Matthew L. Paullus. 

Little can be said of the experiences of these men at the front. The 



following letter preserved by the writer's people and published in the Hancock 
Democrat on June _>], 1877, gives us just a glimpse of what they saw and 
experienced : 

"Jalpa, Mexico, December 3. 1847. 
"My Dear Wife and Children : 

"Again I am placed in my tent, very tired, but cheerful and happy as 
ever 1 was in my life, and I suppose that I need not say that I hope that 
these few lines may find you enjoying the same state of health, as I do think 
you will be ready to acknowledge and believe that my very soul has always 
been wrapped up in the love of my family. 

"We have traveled six hard days' march towards the city of Mexico, 
and will have some ten or twelve more before we get there, as it is verv labo- 
rious moving a large army. The whole country through which we have 
passed is hilly, mountainous and rocky, but looks romantic, and in some 
places very pretty, as the trees are now covered with blossoms, but there is 
but little fruit. There is but little danger here, or indeed do I think there is 
but little danger any place in this country, as we can hear of no army any 
place in the government. There are a few guerillas along the road but 
dare not appear or show fight. I saw one who had just been killed and some 
of the boys say they saw six or eight more. I was out hunting and saw a 
few black fellows, but they run like devils, and I got no shot. There were 
but two of ns, A. Pauley and myself, but it appears as though one can chase 
a dozen. There is still no immediate prospect of peace. 

"On the ascent from Vera Cruz to Mexico the climates succeed each 
other, as it were by stories, and in our travel we have passed through every 
variety of vegetation. The tropical plants are succeeded by the oak, and the 
salubrious air of Talapa replaces the deadly air of Vera Cruz. The sky is 
generally cloudless, and but very little rain, and a succession of hills, seem- 
ingly at some day the boundary of lakes are now the limits of extensive 
plains or rolling prairies but the rocks or stones all very near the surface. 
The country is barren because it is very dry and stony, but every stream is 
accompanied with some fertile land. The snow is in sight on the mountains 
and contributes much to cool the air now, as it is cloudy ; and it is said to be 
the coldest day ever experienced in this country. It would be called cold in 
our country in May. The coffee bush grows here. The berries are now 
ripe, and is a small red berry, very juicy, and as poisonous as can be. 

"The timber is low and crooked. I have seen no tree in the country that 
would have made a rail cut. Everything, weed, bush and tree, except the 
scrubby oak and orange bush and coffee bush has thorns on. The thorns 


resemble the thorn on the honey locust, but they are more crooked and as 
thick as they can grow from top to bottom, leaf and all. 

"Joseph Chapman." 

On March 27, 1879, a notice, signed by Thomas H. Branham, Robert 
Smith, Jerry H. Hendren, Robert P. Andis and Adams L. Ogg, and pub- 
lished in the local papers, called a meeting of all Mexican War veterans at 
the mayor's office at Greenfield for the purpose of organizing an association 
of the veterans of that war. The following veterans were present at the meet- 
ing: Adams L. Ogg, John Roberts, Jerry H. Hendren, Robert P. Andis, Dr. 
E. W. Pierson, Thomas H. Branham, Louis T. Osborn, John H. Childs, 
Alexander Andis and Newton Scott. An organization was effected with 
Adams L. Ogg, president, and Thomas H. Branham, secretary. Although 
there were but a few of the soldiers left it seems that this organization was 
maintained for several years. Annual meetings of the veterans were held in 
different parts of the state as long as any survivors were able to attend. The 
state encampment was held at Greenfield in 1904. 

There are no longer any members of this company living in Hancock 
county. Among its last survivors were Robert Smith, James H. Carr and 
Jeremiah Hendren, who departed this life five or six years ago. Jeremiah 
Hendren, the last of our Mexican War veterans, died on October 29, 191 1. 


When the first call of President Lincoln was made at the outbreak of 
the Civil War, a fife and drum corps was organized by Capt. Reuben A. 
Riley, Henry Snow and others, who made a circuit of the county to stir up 
enthusiasm in the enlistment. A company was organized and mustered in 
at Indianapolis on April 22, 1861, as Company G of the Eighth regiment, 
Indiana volunteers (three-months service). The muster roll is as follows: 
Reuben A. Riley, captain; John Stephenson, first lieutenant; Lee O. Harris, 
second lieutenant; John M. Stevenson, first sergeant; Marion M. Stevenson, 
Pilatiah Bond and John S. Edwards, sergeants; John H. Duncan, Samuel 
Marsh, John S. Chittenden, Henry Snow and Elberlee S. Duncan, corporals ; 
Jacob Mullen, George P. Stevenson and Sylvester Shorn, musicians ; privates, 
William W. Alexander, Jacob T. Battett, John S. Allison, Benjamin Bond, 
Lusettus Anderson, Arthur S. Brown, James Buchanan, Martin V. Chapman, 
Jesse D. Dobbins, John Dye, Jr., Orando Ellis, Jabez E. Harrison, Jacob 
Hook, George W. Johnson, Thomas S. Jones, John A. Lynam, Thomas M. 
Martin, Henry Mickle, John Pope, Nicholas Remeshart, William H. Scott, 



Joseph T. Short, William Sleeth, George, W. Smith, George W. Travis 
James L. Clayton, Thomas Day, Martin Dunn, Samuel Dye, Alfred Gapen, 
Charles Hartner, Aaron Hutton, Isaac T. Jones, Miller J. Laporte, Seth 
Marsh, George F. McNamee, John A. Morford, Newton Pope, Jasper Rawl- 
ings, William J. Scott, William H. Short, Lafayette Slifer, Andrew Stutsman, 
David N. True, William Campbell, Charles Dipper, Fred Dye, Benjamin 
Elliott, William Gapen, William G. Hill, Milton Jackson, Henry Jones, George 
L. Lipscombe, Lot W. Martin, Jasper C. McKelvey, Marion Philpott, James 
S. Reeves, George Rynerson, Conrad H. Shellhouse, Aaron A. Sleeth, Levi 
Slifer, Calvin Sullivan, Elijah Tuttle, David Ulery, John Wolf. 

On starting for the front this company was presented with a large flag 
made by several of the Greenfield ladies, Mrs. Permelia Thayer, Mrs. A. P. 
Williams, Miss Alice Pierson, Miss Martha Meek and others. The flag 
was made in the house now occupied by Mrs. Permelia Thayer, on the north- 
east corner of Main and Pennsylvania streets in the city of Greenfield. 

The "three-months men" were mustered out on August 6, 1861, after 
having been as far east as Virginia, and having participated in the engagement 
at Rich Mountain in that state. Many of them, however, reenlisted at once for 
a period of three years, or during- the war. 


It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to make a complete roll of 
the men who enlisted as volunteers from this county and who were among 
the veterans of the Civil War. By far the great majority of our boys en- 
listed in Indiana regiments. But many, who were temporarily absent from 
home, also enlisted in other states, and Indiana has no record of their names. 
In going over the records in the adjutant-general's office, page by page, it is 
still practically impossible to make a correct roll, since in so many instances 
the record is incomplete, failing to show the residence of the men. In such 
cases personal acquaintance would be required with each man to determine 
accurately to which county he belongs. 

Below is given the roll of enlisted men from our county as nearly cor- 
rect as we have been able to make it. Some of the men who enlisted as pri- 
vate soldiers were later commissioned as officers. Others were transferred 
to different regiments. Some of the officers were also promoted from time 
to time. This accounts for some names appearing several times, especially 
in the companies that were filled almost entirely with Hancock county boys. 
The men have been grouped in companies, showing their associations during 
the war. 


Among those who always claimed Hancock county as their home, but 
who were not credited to this county, were Gen. Oliver P. Gooding, who was 
for many years in the regular army, but who was appointed colonel of a 
Massachusetts regiment during the war, and who rose to the rank of brig- 
adier-general. Adams L. Ogg, who was in Iowa, organized a company there 
and was captain of Company G, Third Iowa volunteers. 

The following men enlisted and were credited to Hancock county: 


Company G. 

Reuben A. Riley, captain; Solomon T. Kauble and William H. Pilkin- 
ton, first lieutenants; John H. Duncan, Lee O. Harris and William H. Pilkin- 
1011, second lieutenants; Elias Marsh, first sergeant; James Furry, commissary 
quartermaster sergeant ; William A. Pope, . commissary sergeant ; Jasper N. 
Pope, James T. Pope, Milton T. Morris and John Galliher, sergeants ; George 
S. Andrick, George H. Alford, David Bellville Joseph Marsh, William G. 
Ritchie. George W. Miller, Rezin D. Collins and William W. Price, cor- 
porals; William Smith and Herman Ridlin, buglers; Loyd Offutt, farrier; 
Jared C. Meek, blacksmith; Jonathan Cartwright, saddler; John R. Hoobler, 
wagoner. Privates — George S. Andrick, George H. Alford, Alexander An- 
dis, Perry H. Andrick, William S. Ayers. David Bellville, Landon Bellville, 
John Breece, John Burnwick, Marion T. Burris, Francis M. Brizendine, John 
|\ Chapman, John Copeland, Charles W. Campbell, Charles Campbell, Samuel 
P. Cottrell, John Day, John Dye, Jonas H. Davidson, William Daugherty, 
George W. Duncan, John Egger, Morris Font, John Galliher, William H. 
Gooding, Marshall M. Meek, Benjamin F. Gant, Henry C. Gant, Henry 
Harris, Nathaniel Haskett, Adam Hutton, James Hudson, Milton Jackson, 
John Kellum, John Kiger, Paul Kowan, Almon Keefer. Hiram Lawson, 
Joseph Marsh, George W. Miller, Joseph Martin, Henderson McFarland, 
Thomas Mack, Jesse McKinney, Jared C. Meek, George McGee, William P. 
Mints, Albertus Milroy, William H. Pilkinton, Jasper N. Pope, Peter S. 
Pope, Albert Martin, Lewis Gillum, Herman Ridlin, Jeremiah Reedy, John 
Rockey, Jonathan Snow, Andrew I. Smith, Oliver H. Smith, John H. Smith, 
John A. Samuels, William A. Pope, William Price. William M. Sleeth, 
Zachariah T. Snell, Henry W. Thornton, Samuel C. Thompson, Ralph L. 
Thompson, James Thomas, John H. Taylor, John Vail, John Wort, Charles 
[. Willett. Ephraim P. Witham, James T. Pope, Isaac Powers, James Pugh, 
Sanford Grigsby, Ransom M. Meek, William G. Ritchie. 




Colonel, George W. Jackson ; major, William R. Walls. 

Company B. 

William R. Walls and John C. Rardin, captains; John C. Rardin and 
John B. Harrod, first lieutenants; John B. Harrod and John V. Hinchmar;, 
second lieutenants. Privates — James D. Anderson, Asbury E. Anderson, 
Benjamin F. Alexander, John Bennett, George S. Bailey, Frederick W. By- 
field, Leroy Bush. Jacob T. Barrett, James Burris, Heny Beachman, Jacob 
Buchel, Thomas Cady, Joseph Craining, Rossville Curry, Charles A. Kirk- 
hoff, John Manche, Mark Hamilton, Willis Hudson, Francis P. Jones, An- 
drew S. McGahey, George Parker, James W. Pilkinton, James Shaffer, John 
Steward, Hugh Short, John H. Walls. John A. Vernon, Benjamin W T aller, 
Joseph Conner, Alexander Copper. William H. Cross. Charles E. Church, 
George W. Crews, Michael* Chancery, David Connett, Calvin Clark, Fred- 
erick BlCssinger, Odell Despo, Ephraim C. Duncan, Andrew Dunn, John W. 
Davis, Deane Lewis, Mathias Kiger, John C. McCorkle, Aaron J. Rawlings, 
Wilson Hamilton, Henry Jones, Joseph H. Pauley, George Parsons, Joseph 
M. Russell, Isaac Shaffer, Calvin Sullivan, Christian H. Seers. Marcellus 
Walker, W r illiam H. Waller, Aaron D. Nixon, William Lamb. John S. 
Loehr, Ambrose Miller, Reuben Xiles, Charles Everts, James Elmore, John 
Egger, Isaac Grigsby, Joseph H. Gray, John Grigsby, William Harvey. 
Thomas R. Henner, Joseph V. Hinchman, Patrick Hanley. Othniel Fisk. 
Edward Hudson, James Hook, Joseph Hutton, Daniel McPhall. Franklin 
R. Poole, Ephraim Parmon, William Robison, John W. Sherrill, August 
Smith, Francis O. Seers, Daniel Thornton, John J. Winn, William Smith. 



Company I. 

Samuel P. Anderson,. Isaac McBane, Benjamin T. Robison, Albert Alyea, 
Isaac Lane, Samuel C. Willis, Samuel E. Collins. James T. Reynolds. Thomas 
J. Lincolnfelter. 


Company B. 
William R. Walls, Samuel H. Dunbar, Philander Smith, Stephen A. 
Jones, captains; Solomon T. Kauble. Samuel H. Dunbar, William G. Hill. 


Philander Smith, Stephen A. Jones and George H. Black, first lieutenants; 
Samuel H. Dunbar, William G. Hill, Philander Smith and Nicholas Miller, 
second lieutenants; William G. Hill, first sergeant; William Short, John S. 
Chittenden, Elijah Tuttle and Philander Smith, sergeants; Aaron Scott. 
- Thomas M. Martin, Richard Lamb, William Branson, William Gapen, David 
M. Dove, James Hawkins and Richard Leamon, corporals; John S. Davis 
and John Ulrey, musicians; Jacob Mullin, wagoner. Privates — William W. 
Alexander, David Adams, George Black, Henry Bush, Samuel S. Brooks, 
James Bush, David Dove, William C. Dove, Jacob Dinkle, Francis M. San- 
ford, James P. Scott, John Scott, Ebenezer C. Scotten, William W. Scotten, 
Martin Shelton. Samuel Shelby, Wilson S. Slifer, Ruel Stevens, Aaron Scott, 
Philander Smith, W'illiam H. H. Seeley, George W. Smith, William H. Sip- 
linger, Peter Sellery, John B. Scotten, Lewis Snell, William T. Snider, Isaac 
P. Thompson, Henry P. Thomas, John B. Anderson, Andrew J. Alyea, Will- 
iam Branson, John Bush, Noah Bixler, Charles H. Clapper, Samuel Dunbar, 
James Deny, Thomas Dinkle, George W. Dixon, George M. Davidson, John 
Dorman, Joseph Davis, Samuel H. Dillman, Fred Elsbury, Amos Everson, 
Jra B. Fountain, Andrew J. Fuller, Andrew J. Gilbert, Eli Gapen, John C. 
Gephart, Henry Goar, James M. Goble, Charles G. Gunn, William Hill, 
Thomas J. Huston, Cyrus Haines, John Hall, Francis H. H. Hudson, William 
T. Askins, John A, Alyea, John Brock, Jacob Bower, Abijah Bales, Levi- 
Collier, Charles E. Deppery, Alexander Derry, Richard Lamb, Richard Lea- 
mon, Isaac Lineback, Peter Lamb, Albert Lake, Adam F. Louder, Alfred 
Louder, William Louder, Jacob Mullin. James Louder, Henry McCorkle, 
W. H. H. Morgan, Emanuel Morris, Francis Miller, Isaac McGee, William 
McConnell, Jacob Martin, Lester R. Moore, Clark McDonald, William B. 
Martin, Henry Mann, William S. Thomas, Elijah H. Tyner, John Ulrey, 
John N. Underwood, James M. Underwood, John F. Wiggins, Lawson Wig- 
gins, Alfred Wilson, Adams F. Wilson, Edwin H. Wilcoxen, Stephen A. 
Jones, Isaac T. Jones, John Jennings, John Jack, Thomas Jones. John Jack- 
son, Solomon T. Kauble, Christian Kreager. William W. Welling, Stephen 
B. Meek, Azor M. Xixon, Marion Philpot, Samuel Robinson, Edward H. 
Ronev, Benjamin A. Roney, Nicholas Reamsheart, Christian Redmire, John 
S. Welling. 

Company C. 
John G. Hendricks. ' 

Coinpaux D. 

Alexander Osborn. 


Company G. 

John Baker, Henry H. Burris, John W. Long, Stephen R. Meek, Robert 
J. Smith. 

Company H. 

John Brock, John W. Ellis, James P. Mendenhall. 


Company C. 

Joseph F. Bartlow, Jonathan Bundy. James M. Bragg, Simeon Dennis, 
Henry Frederick, Henry Kinsey, Thomas W. Mondon, Lawson Rash, 
Thomas H. Robb, William Simmons, Robert T. Wood, Daniel Welt, John 
ML White, Joseph Wolf. 

Company D. 

Albert Banta, John H. Bolander, James W. Cooper, James S. Davidson, 
Jacob Brantlinger, Lewis C. Davis, Francis M. Hays, William McKinley, 
William Personett, James T. Russell, Isaac Whetsel, Eli Prickett, William 
H. Russell, Peter Robison, Rufus Scott, William Sanders, John W. Simcox. 

Company E. 

Granville Bellville, John Price, William F. McCorkle, John Lockwood, 
Oliver Dillman, James Pauley. 

Company. F. 
John S. Hackleman. 

Company G. 

Henry Collins, Albert Roberts. 


Company A. 
Henry S. Davidson. 

Company F. 

Stephen Bedgood, Herman Kunz. 

Company I. 

John J. Earl, William Rudrick, Charles J. Williams. 

Tohn W. Grenier. 


Company K. 


Solomon D. Kempton, lieutenant-colonel ; Noble P. Howard, assistant 
surgeon; Gordon Browning, commissary sergeant. 

Company A. 
Jesse McDaniel. 

Company B (One-Year Service). 

Thomas B. Noel, captain; Solomon D. Kempton, first lieutenant; James 
Huston, second lieutenant; John W. Statts, first sergeant; Newton S. Dex- 
ter, Peter Statts, Isaac P. Ringwalt, John Hall, sergeants ; Samuel P. Col- 
well, William G. Elliott, Homer L. Buntrum, Various Virgin, William O. 
Irish, Amzi W. Thomas, Alexander H. Lile and Richard W. Jones, corporals ; 
Robert Alfont and John L. McConnell, musicians; Harrison McGuire, wag- 
oner. Privates — Benjamin F. Alexander, George Alley, Albert Alfont, Har- 
rison H. Adams, Eli Abney, Christopher Alt, Hammer L. Bentreen, Isaac 
Butcher, Darius Collins, James Dowling, William Hasley, George W. Knotts. 
John D. Kirkman, Claud Hugeneard, John W. McConnell, Janies H. Lewis, 
Theodore Mosier, George Romack, Thomas Sherman, James A. Watson, 
William F. Bright, Samuel P. Cottrell, Edward Clampet, Joseph A. Gwinn, 
Ulysses P. Haskell, Herman Kassler, William O. Irish, Cornelius Laymon, 
Ira McCullom, James N. Lister, John A. Messier, John H. Savage, Joshua 
Winn, William R. Windle, John C. Burris, George W. Clark, Newton Dex- 
ter, James C. Jordon, Brazil Johnson, Albert Keffer, Robert Faucett, Har- 
rison McGuire, Amos McGuire, Michael Larkin, Ransom Olney, Edward 
•Smith, David T. Winn, Levi Wiseman. 

Company G {Three-Year Service). 

James Huston, captain ; Eastly Helms, first lieutenant ; Abraham Whel- 
chel, Benjamin F. Alexander, sergeants; Jacob Hiday, Ezekial Cooper, Mil- 
ton Curry, James Barnard, Abraham Bannon, corporals; John Waterman, 
wagoner. Privates — Benjamin F. Alexander, John H. Bannon, John Brant- 
linger, John B. Boone, John C. Cottrell, Thomas Cottrell, Alfred Dobbins, 
William H. Ellingwood, Archibald Gardner, Thomas Hiday, Mell Hunter, 
Samuel Lister, Erasmus Myers, George Piper, Thomas M. Rash, John T. 
Rash, John S. Sample, William Shaffer, Milo Shaffer, William Wrigfht, 


John Whelchel, Samuel B. Allison, Thomas B. Bannon, Abraham Bannon, 
Robert Chitwood, John Clark, James H. Crosslev. James Dunham, Andrew 
Forgey, John Ginder, Jacob Hiday, Elijah Lunsford, Elijah Marshall John 
W. Reynolds, David Richards, William Scott, Peter Shaffer, John Shull, 
George D. Walker, Aaron C. Wright, Richard Allison. William C. Bannon. 
James Barnard, Milton Curry, Davis Catlin, George Denny. Henry Edwards, 
Hugh Forgey, Hiram Gardner, John Hunter, James M. Lister, Joseph Mc- 
Guire, Amos Rash, Daniel Rash, Dezra Shroy, Joseph Shaffer, Hiram Shaf- 
fer, Freeman Shull, Marcellus B. Waler, James Humphreys, Jacob Shaffer, 
James Lister. 

Company H. 

Samuel Applegate, Elijah Asbury, Aaron Bills. Nelson Bills, Abner 
Brown, Benjamin Brown. William H. Bolander, John Brooks, Anion Bucy, 
Xicodemus Camp, William Camp, William Brantlinger, Joseph D. Camp, 
George W. Camp. David Davidson, Jacob Hooker, Elijah Horton, James 
Luntsford, Michael H. Mack, William Olvey, Francis Vanzant, Joseph Van- 
zant, Jesse Vanzant. 


Company J. 
Thomas J. O'Reilly, Ebenezer Toon, Oliver H. Tuttle. 


The Greenfield band enlisted and became the regimental band for this 
regiment. Professor Eastman, prominent in Greenfield musical circles at 
that time, was its leader. The following were the members : Omer Arnold, 
Samuel W. Bamett, F. M. Crawford, James E. Cravens, James H. Crowder, 
William Elliott, Albert G. Griffith, William E. Hart, John W. Lambertson, 
Edwin M. McCrarey, Samuel M. Martin, John H. Noble, William L. Ogg, 
Martin E. Pierson, Thomas E, Richardson, James T. Reed, Henry Snow, 
Xathan Snow, James F. Stewart, Alfred M. Thornburgh, David Youst. 


Company F. 

Joseph L. Hartley, Leroy Holding, John Civ, Theodore Ward, Abram 
v. ly, Peter Lamb, J. Holden. 



Company H. 

Lemuel Bailey, Shelton Bailey, William Bannon, John Clark, John Ca- 
hill, William Mesler, William J. Shull, Mark Thompson. 

Company I. 

James G. Boyce, Samuel Burk, John Davis, Irvin. B. Lutes, Richard 
Meek, William Sapp, Conrad Shellhouse, William J. Siherry, William Si- 
berry, James Roberts, Charles C. Wilson, Jefferson Ulery. 


Company K. 
Perry J. Rhue. 


Company D. 

Benjamin Griffith, Jefferson Roland, Thomas S. Surgnar, Charles S. 
Smith. John Varner, Samuel Walker. 

Company E. 
Thomas Lymon. 


Company A. 

Thomas L. Brooks, Oliver Bartlow, Henry Carroll, Alexander Foley, 
Jackson Galloway, Abraham Miller, John O. Moore, Adam Parkhurst, Robert 

Company D. 

Thomas Burris, James D. Cunningham, Manley Colburn, David M. 
True, Moses Conner, Benjamin Elliott, Marion Owens, George D. Owens, 
William Rynerson, Andrew Stutsman. 

Company E. 

■Alpheus T. Collins, James A. Lacey, Nimrod Lacey. 


Company C. 
Thomas C. Welsh, John S. Welsh. 



Company C. 
Reason Shipley, Vinton Whitehurst. 


Company D. 

Jonathan Dunbar, first lieutenant; Seth Marsh, second lieutenant; Seth 
Marsh, sergeant; William Curry, Henry C. Duncan and John Hook, cor- 
porals. Privates — Moses Burris, William Curry, Cyrus Creviston, John Hook, 
Seth Marsh, Ralph L. Thompson, Elisha Whorton, Taylor B. Burris, James 
Dorman, Henry Duncan, Benjamin Hudson, Jesse Stump, Samuel E. Thomp- 
son, George Windsor, James K. Banks, Ebenezer Cross, Jere Ferrin, John 
Rittenhouse, George Slifer, Wellington Thomas. 

Company F. 
John K. Henby. 

Company I. 

George W. Farris, William N. Kitchen, George W. Owen. Leroy 

Company K. 

William Anderson, William Chappell, John W. Chappell, John L. Dun- 
can, Joseph Shutes, Reason Hawkins, David Snow. 


Company A. 

Taylor Thomas, W. W. Ragan, first lieutenants ; Samuel Marsh, W. W. 
Ragan, second lieutenants; Henry C. Perkins, first sergeant; Aaron Hutton, 
sergeant; Samuel Marsh, Aaron Sleeth, corporals; Andrew J. Bridges, 
musician. Privates — Henry Anderson, William H. Boman, Harrison Berry, 
Conde Burns, Richard M. Casto, Lucellus Anderson, Harrison Black. Seth 
Bellville, John G. Berry, William Casto, Joseph B. Atkison, William R. Berry. 
George W. Berry, Perry Beaver, Oliver Carson, Xoah W. Carr, Isaac Can- 
non, John Grigsby, Alexander Handy, John S. Loehr, John Mitchell, Chris- 
tian Meyer, Asbury Neal, Jasper Osborn, James K. Ragan, James Scott, John 
M. Williams, Wesley Williams, John Whitecotton, George W. Carr, Charles 
M. Dubois. Joseph Hubble, Joel H. Knight, Joseph Martin, Nathan C. Meek, 


Augustus Munden, Benjamin Osborn, James M. Personett, W. W. Ragan, 
Bert Scott, George W. Wiggins, James A. Watson, John W. Dubois, Arch- 
ibald Coleman, Theodore Edwards, Caleb Holden, Jacob Kessler, Edward 
Martin, John Mayor, Samuel Marsh, Thomas O'Donnell, James M. Price, 
Stephen L. Stowder, Jasper M. Wingfield, James M. Whittaker, William 


Company A. 

John A. Craft, Isaac T. Earl, captains; John A. Craft, Isaac T. Earl, 
first lieutenants ; John A. Craft, first sergeant ; George Kinder, corporal ; 
Thomas Pyeatte, musician ; Jonathan Wlolfe, wagoner. Privates — Joseph 
Brooks, Eden Burns, William T. Byers, Henry Carroll, Charles H. Fort, 
John W. Fletcher, John D. Gibbs, John V. Halley, William F. Lakin, John 
Madison, Thomas E. Niles, Joseph M. Reynolds, Ira Shaffer, Marshall Van- 
dyke, John M. Tygart, Oliver H. Bartlow, William Boyer, Samuel Boyer, 
George L. Chandler, Americus Fish, Granville Fisk, Thomas H. Griffith, 
William H. Jones, George W. Landis, John McCorkle, John Probasco, 
Joseph Roland, Thomas M. Tygart, Charles H. Weaver, Daniel Burk, Jere- 
miah Boyer, Homer Craft, Lorenzo D. Fort, James M. Fletcher, Henry C. 
Garrett, Hiram Griffith, Jonathan Keller, Charles W. Lemay, Benjamin Mil- 
ler, Lewis B. Parris, Robert A. Smith, James Thomas, Michael Ward. 


Company H. 
James W. Adams, William R. Renan. 


Company A. 
Perry Dommanget. 

Company K. 
William Crossley. 


Company I. 

Isaac Alfrey, Samuel DeCamp, George Garberick, John Ledmore, Will- 
iam H. Sanders, Melvin Brooks, Abram I. Helms, Byron Kurtz, John Sher- 


man, George \Y. Wallace, Nehemiah Brooks, William H. Hiembles, John 
Kinneman, Jeremiah Sherman, Joel R. Woods. 


John G. Dunbar, major. 

Company B. 

John G. Dunbar, captain; John G. Dunbar, first lieutenant. Privates — 
George W. Ashcraft, James M. Boyce, Alfred Brock, James B. Gapen, 
Thomas Glass, Dudley Hudson, Charles W. Killenbarger, William Morgan, 
John Pope, Ralph Robertson, Bayan Sheets, Clay Willett, Jesse Black, Nel- 
son Boyce, Thomas J. Carr, William Gapen, George Hall, William Hutton, 
Jacob Leonard, David Muth, Joseph B. Richey, George Robertson, Isaac 
Stutsman, William H. York, Alfred P. Boyce, Martin Breece, James M. 
Elliott, Daniel Beeson, Samuel T. Hook, Francis M. Jones, William H. Lucas, 
August Muth, Isaac Richey, George Shaw, William Tague. 

Company C. 

Sydney Moore, William Reynolds, sergeants ; Ransom R. Alvey, Cor- 
nelius Mingle, George H. Jackson, James M. Jarrett, corporals. Privates — 
Ransom R. Alvey, Andrew Brown, John W '. Cooper, Enos Denny, Andrew 
J. Eakes, James Frazier, Peter Hudson, Huander Jackson, John G. Loomis, 
Lewis Price, Samuel Steele, William Wallsmith, Samuel Torrence, Thomas 
J. Brinegar, Philander Cox, Benjamin T. Cooper, Tunis Dangler, Richard 
Foster, Robert Faucett, Charles Harvey, James M. Jarrett, Benjamin Loomis, 
William H. Roberts, William Torrence, James S. Walker, John Blanton, 
Isaac Chappel, Cornelius Collins, Joseph R. Eakes, William J. Franklin, 
William H. Hunt, George H. Jackson, Hiram Leonard, Francis M. Pardue, 
William Reynolds. William Valentine, Neal McCole. 

Company D. 

Ezra Buchanan, first sergeant; William Richman, corporal. Privates — 
Christian Brier, Amos Deshong, James A. Eastes, Fred Knoop, George F. 
Langenberger, Samuel McDuffey, John P. Murphy, Samuel Roney, Jacob 
Sewell, Henry Sumwalt, William C. Wright, Charles H. Burris, James Dill- 
man, F. M. Eastes, William Knoop, John L. Lynch, W r illiam Miller, Henry 
Philpot, John Stanley, Joseph H. Snider, Leroy Yanlaningham, William Col- 
lins, Michael N. Dunn. Henry Eikman, George Kuntz, Christian F. Meyer, 
Cyrus P. McCord, Anton Rabe, Martin V. Stanley, Christian Spilker. Anthony 


Company G. 

John Allen, John C. Beeson, Nathan Catt, Charles W. Cook, John H. F. 
Fonty, David Harrison, James H. Lewis, John McBane, Samuel Richey, 
Sylvester Barrett, Harmon W. Boles, John N. Cline, Daniel Copeland, Jacob 
H. Gibbons, George W. Johnson, Nimrod Low, Solomon Richardson, John 
H. Scott, Amos C. Beeson, John W. Boles, Benjamin F. Conner, Warren 
Cross, Fleming Glass, William Lang-ford, William T. Miller, John W. Richey. 


Company B. 

James H. Carr, George Tague, Robert P. Andis, Isaiah Curry, captains ; 
George Tague, Robert P. Andis, Isaiah Curry, John M. Alley, first lieuten- 
ants ; Robert P. Andis, Isaiah Curry, Henry Miller, James R. Brown, second 
lieutenants ; Isaiah Curry, first sergeant ; Thomas Holland, John M. Alley, 
Perry McOuerry, sergeants ; Thomas J. Collins, John B. Herrod, Larkin 
Potts, Henry C. Tyner, Amos Milner, Tilghman Collyer, Richard J. Barrett, 
William Shipman, Lewis F. Richman, corporals; Andrew Curry, musician 
(fife); William R. Curry, musician (drum)^; Thomas P. Mealis, wagoner. 
Privates — John M. Alley, Richard Allen, Richard J. Barrett, George W. 
Blakely, James Bussell, James R. Brown, Joseph H. Boman, Tilghman H. 
Collyer, Wesley S. Catt, George H. Allen, Henry B. Ashcraft, Joseph Bald- 
win. Nathaniel Blakely, Loran Butterfield, Garrett Baldwin, Zachariah B. 
Curry, Andrew Curry, William Catt, Samuel D. Allen, Salem C. Ashcraft, 
Augustus M. Barrett, Smith Bright, John L. Butcher, Jonathan Baldwin, 
Thomas J. Collins, James W. Cass, John H. Collins, William Curry, Jacob 
Davis, John N-. Flowers, George B. Hudson, Samuel Gard, Abram Hedges, 
Amos Miller, Joseph T. Milner, Joseph B. Morford, George S. Morris, 
Charles Myers, Harrison Nibarger, William H. Power, Nevil Reeves, George 
Roland, William R. Shaw, William Siddell, Charles W. Scott, Francis M. 
Shipley, Seward Vandyke, William Wilson, Madison Winn, Michael J. 
Youse, James A. Cook, William Fletcher, John B. Herrod, Samuel H. Har- 
lan, Alonzo M. Gibbs, Riley Kinghan, Thomas McGuire, William Milner, 
John A. Morford, James Mui-phy, John Nibarger, Thomas J. Nibarger, 
Michael Redman, William W. Reeves, Lewis F. Richman, James J. Ship- 
man, Levi Slifer, James Q. Sample, Henry Tibbetts, Robert H. Vernon, Will- 
iam M. Wilson, Vinton Withurst, Nimrod Davis, James Flowers, Charles B. 
Hamilton, John M. Harlan, James Gard, Perry McQuerry, Thomas J. Miller, 
Job Milner, Elisha Morford, Henry Miller, Lemuel I. Nibarger, Christian 


Ortel, Oliver Reeves, Riley A. Reeves, William Shipman, Isaac P. Shaw, 
Edward C. Smith, Reason Shipley, Henry Trice, Samuel W. Waters, Tere- 
miah W r ood, Henry W. Wright. 


Company K. 

John P. Armstrong, David L. Anderson, David O. Bennett, John Bogg, 
Jacob Everson, Levi M. Kennedy. 


Company F. 
Henry Heller. 

Company I. 

James M. Berry, Robert Reynolds, Henry M. Edmunds, Mark Thomp- 
son, Thomas W. Dickey. 


Company K. 

Cornelius Bartlow, Eli Black, William Chapman, Edward Coffin, Wil- 
son Catt, Jeremiah Oldham, Isaac Wyant. Isaac Waller, Henry H. Bevel, 
Joseph Burk, John Drake, Allen Curry, Richard Frost, Newton C. Reeves, 
Robert W. Wood, James Jack, John Barr, George W. Dugan, Francis M. 
Cooper, Wesley Carroll, William P. Lacey, Joseph Steffey, Vanes Virgin. 


Company E. 
Henry Ash. 

one hundred and forty-seventh regiment, indiana volunteers. 

(one-year service). 

Company F. 
Richard McCorkle. 

Company H. 

W. H. H. Rock, second lieutenant. Privates — Cornelius Bartlow. 
George J. Dille, Andrew Ormsten, William C. W'atson, Henry Barr, Perry 


Lynam, Ira Shaffer, Asa Allison, Phillip Denny, James C. Pratt, Joseph 
Steffey, Eli Gordon. 

one hundred and forty-eighth regiment, indiana volunteers. 

(one-year service). 

Company A. 
William Rozel. 

Company C. 

Lee O. Harris, John B. Howard, first lieutenants. Privates — Oliver 
Andis, William Bracken, Charles VV. Basey, John D. Carmichael, Milo Dick- 
son. John A. Gross, Fred C. Keft, Robert Johnson, Riley Madden, William 
Myers, Samuel T. Patterson, William R. Shirley, Asa Smith, James I. 
White, Calvin Bennett, Martin Coble, Oliver P. Cochran, David Bixler, 
George W. Bennett, Elijah Hunt, Wesley Kinder, Gilman Lane, Robert 
Morical, William H. McFadden, Aaron Reitsell, Addison Soots, Christian 
Wishmeyer, Hamilton Welling, John W. Hunt, Lansford Clements, David 
Carson, William Curry, James M. Baker, Henry L. Dawson, Jacob Hook, 
David Gray, Thomas W. Lankford, Isaac Miller, Eli N. Marshall, Cornelius 
Ramsdell, Oliver Strahl, Morris Whittaker, Leven T. Young. 

Company F. 

John A. Sandy, Solomon Stranbrough, John Courtney, John Welsby. 

Company G. 
Thomas L. Purdue. 

Company I. 

Adam Bird, Francis M. Christian, David Clark, Anthony Hansing, Rob- 
ert M. Dunlap, Henry Hensing, Thomas W. Lankford, Reuben Pardee, 
James E. Reynolds, Elijah White, Lewis H. Brown, William H. Smith, 
Joseph Fetron, William Woodall, Jacob Miller, Oliver Squires, Jacob Volmer. 


Company F. 

Henry Snow, captain. 

Nelson Hunt and Junius Hunt (colored). 

The soldiers from Hancock county were, in the main, kept in the western 
theater of the war during the early part of the struggle. Many were in 


Arkansas. Missouri, with Grant along the Mississippi, with Thomas, Rose- 
crans and Buell, in Kentucky and Tennessee, and a very large number were 
with Sherman on his famous march to the sea. In the latter part of the war 
these troops were, of course, with Sherman and Grant in the eastern field. 
But what the veterans of the Civil War have done has been written large on 
the pages of the nation's history, and no attempt will be made to detail that 
story here. 

It was a common practice for the men at the front to return their sav- 
ings to their families from time to time. Frequently a number of them who 
had come from the same locality sent their money in one amount to some 
person in whom all had confidence. In February, 1863, for instance, the 
men of Company B, Eighth regiment, forwarded to Capt. A. K. Branham 
one thousand, eight hundred and twenty dollars to be distributed to persons 
in various parts of the county. We cannot know at this time just whose 
money was included in this amount, but after a large part of it had been dis- 
tributed Captain Branham inserted a notice in the Hancock Democrat that 
the money belonging to the following persons would be sent as directed by 
them : William Everson, Abram Hanes, Thomas Lake, Mrs. Mary A. Snell, 
New Palestine; Samuel Fuller, Cordelia Shelton, Catherine Jones, Julia Scot- 
ten, Philadelphia ; Hamilton Welling, Christian Kreager, Cumberland ; John 
M. Miller, Rebecca Davis, Cleveland ; John Jackson, Pendleton ; John Roney, 
Mt. Comfort. 

In October, 1863, Andrew T. Hart received a package containing one 
thousand, one hundred and thirty-seven dollars from Company B, Ninety- 
ninth regiment, for the following persons : Benjamin Reeves, Lysander 
Sparks, Rosannah Hamilton, James Milner, Phoebe True, Jesse Allen, Louise 
E. Shaw, Mary C. Curry, William Watts, Thomas Bright, Margaret Milner, 
Sarah Curry, Sarah Milner, Elizabeth Reagan, J. H. Curry, Daniel Butter- 
field, Susanna Redman, Eleanor Hudson, L. J. Youse, Elizabeth Cass, Cath- 
erine McGuire, Joseph Morford, Martha Tibbits, Willard Lowe. 

These instances might be multiplied, but they illustrate the practice of 
the soldiers in sending home their money, either for the use of their families, 
or to be saved until their return from the war. 

Some of the personal experiences of the boys, however, and something of 
their military life, is reflected from the following letters. The first two let- 
ters, from Lee O. Harris and R. A. Riley, give the experiences of the com- 
pany of "three-months men" who went to the front from Hancock county. 
The third letter, from Samuel A. Dunbar, gives a good idea of the campaign- 
ing of Company B, Eighth regiment, in Arkansas, while the last one, writ- 


ten by a member of Company B, Ninety-ninth regiment, comes from the field 
of heavy fighting around Missionary Ridge. 

"Camp Benton, Ya., June 25, '61. 
"Editor Hancock Democrat and Friends at Home : 

"I am now writing in the shade of a tree, in Camp Benton, which is 
situated on one of the highest hills in Western Virginia. Below me lies a 
beautiful valley, stretching between the lofty hills. A beautiful stream winds 
its way through it, while at the foot of the hill on which our camp is situated, 
lies the town of Clarksburg, the capital of Western Virginia. It has a beau- 
tiful site, situated here on the summit of this lofty hill, the valley lying in 
quiet beauty below me, and mountain on mountain piled to the clouds and 
stretching away in every direction as far as the eye can reach. Both regi- 
ments are encamped upon this hill, and are now busy fortifying it. A wall, 
breast-high, is now almost completed, extending entirely around the hill, and 
a battery of six cannon is stationed on one side. Our position is one of the 
strongest natural defenses I have ever seen and commands the whole of the 
surrounding country. The enemy have no access to the town except over the 
mouths of our cannon, 'a hard road to travel,' I believe. 

"A regiment of the Ohio troops arrived in town today; there was a regi- 
ment here before we arrived, and another picketed along the railroad from 
Parkersburg to Grafton. The boys are all in fine spirits and eager for the 
fight, though I do not anticipate an attack at this point, now that we are all 
so well prepared. It is reported that ex-Governor Wise is on Laurel Ridge, 
about thirty miles from here, with five thousand men, yet, in this position 
we do not fear twenty thousand. Several secessionists have been captured and 
brought into camp, but released on swearing allegiance to the government. 
Having given you a general description of our camp, I will go back and tell 
you how we got here. 

"On Wednesday morning, June 19, I was awakened about three o'clock 
by the blowing of trumpets, rattling of drums and shouting of men ; such a 
noise I have never heard before. It sounded like the howling of fiends or the 
midnight orgies of devils. On inquiring the cause I learned that we had 
received our marching orders and, notwithstanding I am a quiet man in the 
main, I was infected with the general joy and shouted long and loud. I ran 
to the door of my tent and saw soldiers running, jumping, turning hand- 
springs and summersets, and making the most extravagant demonstrations 
of joy. They were considerate enough to leave off, however, as soon as all 
were completely exhausted, and the longest winded could not shout above a 



whisper. Shortly after breakfast we began to take down our tents and pack 
our baggage, and before noon we marched to Indianapolis, where we em- 
harked on the cars, and taking the Lawrenceburg & Cincinnati railroad, we 
were soon flying on our course on the wings of steam, followed by the shouts 
of hundreds who had collected to see us off. Everywhere along the road 
it appeared as if the whole community had collected along the track and 
greeted us with shouts and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At Greens- 
burg the patriotic citizens were awaiting us, and as soon as the train stopped, 
the cars were surrounded by detachments armed with well charged baskets, 
•buckets and pitchers, and immediately began the attack, filling our haver- 
sacks with provisions of every imaginable kind. Our men faced the music 
like heroes and pitched into the eatables with a will. Long life and great hap- 
piness to the noble hearts of Green sburg! May heaven bless them as they 
deserve ! At six o'clock we arrived at Cincinnati. Here we were met by the 
city military, amounting to nearly tw 7 o thousand, who escorted us to the 
Fifth street market house, where we were regaled with a splendid supper. 
All Cincinnati was alive with excitement; the streets were crowded from one 
end of town to the other, and at every turn the cry was, 'Huzza for the Indi- 
ana troops! Huzza for the Eighth and Tenth!' On the corner, near the 
market house, was a banner with this inscription, 'Cincinnatians' Welcome to 
the Xoble Sons of Indiana ; may God bless and preserve you !' We marched 
from the market house to the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad and embarked 
on the cars, where we lay all night, and on the next morning started for 
Marietta, a town about two hundred and fifty miles up the river. Through 
Ohio we were met and welcomed with the same demonstrations of joy that 
we witnessed in Indiana. At Chillicothe we were welcomed with another 
attack of provisions and good things. We arrived at Marietta about dark, 
when we were marched on board of steamboats, where we lav all night. Next 
morning we sailed down the river to Parkersburg, where we remained until 
Saturday night, when we embarked on board the cars on the Baltimore & Ohio 
railway and started en route for this place, arriving here on Saturday about 
noon, where we are likely to remain for some time. You shall hear from me 
again soon if my life is spared to write. 

"Yours truly, 

"L. O. Harris, U. S. A." 

"Beverly, Va., July 14, 1861. 
"Mr. Editor: — Dear Sir: 

"Since our march from Indianapolis, such has been the constant hurry 


and bustle, care and toil, that I have never had time to write when I could 
command paper and ink,, that I have not written you before. We first set 
foot on 'Virginia's sacred soil' at Parkersburg, the third day from Indian- 
apolis, from thence two days after to Clarksburg by railroad through tunnels 
of pitchy darkness and over dizzy precipices. The road was guarded all 
along. At Clarksburg (the capital of western Virginia)' we took possession 
of a hill about three hundred feet high, immediately south of the town, com- 
menced to fortify it, and about 1 o'clock A. M. Capt. Loomes' flying battery 
six pieces arrived. It was hauled to the foot of the hill, and there we took 
it apart, attached long ropes, and piece at a time, with two hundred men to 
a piece, pulled it up to the top, and by daylight had cannon, ammunition 
and all in position on the hill, and commanding the whole surrounding town 
and country within its range. We then resumed work on our fortification, 
and by night had a breastwork from six to ten feet high, for nearly a mile, 
in an oblong circle. The traitors had prepared to burn the town, and expel 
or hang all Union men there, the day after our arrival. We were too quick 
for them, and they fell back to a pass called the 'Valley of Death,' in the 
Rich Mountain, within five miles of Beverly, where they were stronglv for- 
tified at a pass called Camp Garnett, one and one-half miles further on the 
Beverly road, and at the Valley of Death they had breastworks of logs and 
rocks, probably 400 yards in length and two pieces of artillery (that we cap- 
tured). I think they had three. At 4 P. M. on the 10th, six companies of 
the 8th and 10th Indiana Volunteers marched to the advance, on hearing that 
they were coming to give .us battle. We took our position in advance of 
our encampment — consisting of eight regiments — in line of battle but the 
rebels went back to their holes again. The 8th regiment, that is, six com- 
panies of it, held their position on the field for the night, and Company I, 
consisting of 53 men, rank and file — 33 of Company I, and 20 of Company 
E — took the picket guard, running a chain of sentinels within two hundred 
and fifty-nine yeards of their fortification, and then transversely with the 
same, and remaining sleeplessly vigilant the entire night. Just after daylight 
on the morning of the nth, six companies of the 8th, 10th, and 13th Indiana, 
and the 19th Ohio regiments filed right leaving the road, without cutting 
one for their access, and climbed over Rich Mountain, through heavy woods, 
barrens, thickets, among the laurel and huckleberries, among rocks, cliffs 
and precipices, on dizzy heights and sightless depths, a distance of from 12 
to 15-miles, entirely flanking and surprising the enemy in the Valley of Death. 
"We arrived on the battlefield at about half-past 1 P. M., when the 
picket fired on our advance guard led by Capt. Chris. Miller, of the 10th, 


severely if not fatally wounding him, and also wounding severely in the arm 
one of his men. The skirmish then commenced, on our side, while round 
shot, bombs, and spherical-case shells hissed and bursted over our heads. 
We continued skirmishing for over an hour, waiting for the Ohio regiment 
to come up, to get our positions, and for the cessation of one of the heaviest 
rains I have ever seen fall. Thus drenched and chilled, the Ohio regiment 
came up the mountain in sight and the rain ceased, when the ioth Indiana 
regiment engaged their left wing out of good range of their artillery. The 
left wing of the 8th lay right in line, view and range of their artillery, when 
they fired a shell that exploded directly over them (the 8th). then a round 
shot that went through a tree about 12 feet over the heads of the 8th. I told 
Col. Benton that the enemy had a point blank range on the regiment, and to 
let the regiment lie down. The command was given and the boys dropped, 
when instantly a charge of grape poured over them, about breast high but 
harmless. The enemy cheered, thinking the regiment was cut to pieces (as 
they afterward told me) while indeed the boys were lying like crouching 
tigers, waiting for the command to pounce upon them. We remained there 
for about half an hour, when the word came, and the boys went down the hill 
over rocks, logs and brush, firing and advancing, without much order — for 
that was impossible, from the nature of the ground — but with terrible pre- 
cision, shooting with direct aim at every moving object distinguishable in the 
smoke before them. Then followed the most sublime and terrible concerted 
regimental firing that ever waked the echoes of that old mountain. Com- 
pany I, commanded by Lieut. Walls, directed their fire upon the gunners of 
their artillery, and leaving but one standing, and him wounded in the hand 
and side. Then the rush from the cannon from both sides, when our men 
hoisted one poor fellow off of the cannon with their bayonets. The enemy 
gave way, and the retreat commenced, and firing after and pursuit. Neither 
of the latter continued long. Then came the congratulations over the victory, 
mixed with the groans and cries of the wounded and dying, then the search- 
ing and care for the wounded. Then a collection and burial of the pale and 
bloody dead. The busy and bloody-handed surgeons, with lint, chords, band- 
ages, saws, scalpals, probes and bullet forceps were busy bandaging and 
dressing what could be saved, and amputating hopelessly shattered and lacer- 
ated limbs. I walked over a part of the battlefield that evening, and I hope 
never again to witness such a sight of blood and carnage. At one large rock 
about 30 feet long behind which the enemy had concealed, shooting over, 
there laid piled upon and across one another, sixteen men, every one of whom 
was shot through the brain. I will not further attempt to describe the car- 


nage. The enemy had between 1,800 and 2.200. with two pieces of artillery 
which we captured. The six companies of the 8th. 10th, and 13th Indiana 
Regiments, amounting to about 1,500 to 1,700 men, did the fighting, the Ohio 
being held mainly in reserve, and coming in just at the close. 

"The counted dead of the enemy on the field is 131 and is doubtless 
more than double that number, as many were seen carried off. Some were 
found in the bushes and coal banks and among the rocks over a quarter of a 
mile from their breastworks. We have about 900 prisoners, six pieces of 
artillery, a large amount of small arms, seventy-two wagons, and from 
$6o,cco to $100, oco worth of captured military property. Upon the rebels 
being so terribly defeated, slaughtered and routed at the 'Valley of Death,' 
they fled into the mountain — they abandoned their arms, camp tents, ammuni- 
tion and fortifications at Camp Garnett, one and a half miles distant and in 
the night left all, some even throwing away their blankets and coats and fled to 
the mountains. They also fled from Beverly, five miles distant. The next day 
a flag of truce was sent in and seven hundred who had been in the battle, 
came in a body, stacked their arms, and surrendered themselves prisoners of 
war. They, with those taken in the battle and since swelled their numbers to 
about 900, as before stated. 

"I am informed, by a messenger from there, that General Morris cap- 
tured 1,800 rebels at Laurel Hill, together with their cannon, arms, and mili- 
tary stores, on the next day after the battle. Yesterday a detachment was 
sent from here to Stanton, twelve miles from here, and a messenger came 
back today saying they had fled panic stricken from there. 

"The war in western Virginia is ended for the present, if not forever. 

"Xone of Company I were killed or missing. Sergeant M. M. Stephen- 
son was severely wounded by a musket ball a little above the right knee, the 
ball passing below the bone without breaking it. The hemorrhage was great, 
but upon its being staunched, reaction took place, and he is now doing well, 
and will probably recover without material lameness or injury. James Buch- 
anan was wounded in the fleshy part of the hip, just above the hip joint, but 
got up. straightened his leg, tried it, cursed the traitors, and fought on with 
redoubled energy. Andrew Stutsman was wounded on the knee by a fall on 
.the rocks while making the charge. Charles Weaver had his wrist bruised 
and sprained by the bark and splinters knocked from a tree near which he 
was, by grape shot. All' who were in the battle were brave to a fault. Our 
boys were much fatigued and exhausted by hunger, cold, rain, watching, 
marching and fighting, but are getting rested and ready for more work if 
needed soon. The health of most of them is tolerable, some are suffering 


with diarrhoea and some with flux. Three or four are in the hospital, none 
dangerous I think. 

"While I have been telling of the enemy's heavy losses, etc.. I had almost 
forgotten to speak of our own. Thirteen of the Indiana troops were killed, 
and about forty wounded. 

"My own health is poor and broken down. Five days ago I was taken 
with diarrhoea, and from weakness, loss of sleep, hunger, and the long, toil- 
some march over the mountain, and the sudden cold and heavy rain. I sat 
down, cramping and exhausted, by a tree, in the midst of the battle, delivering 
the command to Lieut. William R. Walls, who gallantly led the boys through 
the balance of the fight. Shot, shells, grape, musket and rifle balls were 
bursting and hissing over and around me. There is an excitement and 
sublimity in a well contested battle, that can neither be appreciated or realized 
by any one who has not witnessed it and participated in it. Our boys who 
were left behind to guard the camp, and too sick to make the toilsome march, 
are filled with regret and chagrin because circumstances forbade their par- 
ticipation in the fight. 

"We expect to be 'home again' in a few weeks, bringing Company T 
back without the loss of a man. My paper is exhausted. My compliments 
and love to all. R. A. Riley/' 

"Helena, Ark., July 14, 1862. 
"Dear Mitchell: — 

"Having had no opportunity for a long time to write to you, or anybcdy 
else, and supposing that our friends are anxious to hear from us, I hasten to 
write you. I joined my regiment at Sulphur Rock, on the 1 ith of June, and on 
the 22nd we left there for Clarendon, on White river, to join our gun boats. 
We approached said point by easy marches, until the day we entered Augusta, 
when we marched eighteen miles. The day after we arrived, at 2 o'clock in 
the morning, Companies A and R of the 8th, under command of Maj. Thomas 
Brady, and a battalion of cavalry, commanded by Col. Baker of the 1st Indi- 
ana, by special order, went in search of a regiment of rebels, mostly conscripts, 
under Col. Matleck. After a march of ten miles we came upon their camp. 
freshly evacuated. The infantry deployed as skirmishers in the cane brake, 
which is the hottest and hardest work ever the lot of man to perform. We 
remained thus for two miles, rallying at a point on the river, three miles 
above a ferry where the butternuts Avere crossing. Col. Baker hastened for- 
ward, arriving a little too late, but in time to fire one of his mountain 
how risers, killing two and dispersing them in every direction. He took 


their camp equipage and provisions. While this was going on Maj. Brady 
heard of a train concealed four miles above our position in the cane brake, 
and of course we made for it. We found five wagons richly laden with the 
good things fixed up by the special friends for palates of the traitors. They 
didn't get it. We eat our supper, saved our breakfasts, and turned the bal- 
ance over. This was on the Fourth of July. On the 5th we returned to camp, 
arriving tired and worn out. The next morning at two o'clock we left camp 
and marched sixteen miles, halting on the bank of Cache river. The road on 
each side of the stream having been blockaded by the rebels cutting timber 
across it, — a game they have played until it is played out. When our advance 
arrived at this point a small party of them, concealed in the blockade, fired 
upon the guard, hitting nobody. Our men killed one, who fell into our hands, 
and knocked seven off their horses, but they got away badly wounded or 
dead. Lieut. Hill, who commands the pioneers of the brigade, went to work 
on the blockade and in two hours had a road cut through and the troops pass- 
ing over. In the morning a portion of the nth Wisconsin and 1st Indiana 
Cavalry went out upon the road in advance to feel for the Texas Rangers, 
who we knew were in the neighborhood. About noon they came upon about 
two thousand of the gentlemen lying along the side of- the road. Our toys 
went into them with fury, both sides fighting like fiends. More cavalry and 
the 33d Illinois were ordered forward first, and then the 8th. We arrived 
upon the ground and drove the rebels five miles, when night came on, and 
they got away from us. News of this fight spread like wild fire through 
reheldom, and upon our arrival here we found that transports had been sent 
from Memphis to Clarendon, to gather up the remnant of our army, sup- 
posed to be cut to pieces and in a starving condition. The rebels every- 
where throw it in our faces, and crowed loudly. Poor, deceived iools, why 
did they not know the true result of the engagement? We found nearly 
200 of their dead upon the field, and their wounded filling every house along 
the road. Our loss was between forty and fifty, — eight killed and the balance 
wounded. The night after the fight we encamped beyond Cotton Plant, on 
a bayou. The next day we marched to Clarendon, a distance of 35 miles, 
under the hot sun of this climate, and through the deepest sand and the thick- 
est and most suffocating dust. For miles we had to march without water, 
and when we did get any it was swamp water, the filthiest you ever saw in 
any swamp. This march beats everything in our military history, and had 
we not been ironclad we never could have stood it. On our arrival at Claren- 
don we found that our boats had from some cause or other given us out and 
retired. Duvall's Bluff, above Clarendon, was evacuated by the rebels, thev 


retiring to Little Rock. On the 1 ith we left that, point for this, and by some 
management not in army regulations our wagons, provisions and camp equip- 
age were started upon one road, and we upon another. Our suffering would 
have been extreme had it not been for 4 crackers to the man which we found 
in a wagon belonging to Curtis' quartermaster. On this scanty allowance we 
traveled 18 and 23 miles a day until last night. Our train arrived this morn- 
ing, we having lived from the time we started until this morning on four 
crackers to each man. We are now encamped on the bank of the Mississippi. 
Helena is a beautiful little town, clean and neat. Shortly after our arrival 
a trading boat came down and you should have seen the effect it had upon 
the men. So long shut up in the darkness of Arkansas hills and swamps, cut 
off from all correspondence with friends and the world, exposed to danger 
and disease, almost naked, and but a few days' rations of crackers left, you 
can imagine how exhilarating the sight of a boat would be. We are below 
Memphis about 100 miles. Last night was a moon light one, and Lieut. Hill 
and myself, after the camp had become still, seated ourselves upon the bank 
of the river and looked upon a scene as beautiful as I ever saw. At this 
point the river is one and a half miles wide, Mississippi forming the other 

"The Indiana troops are almost naked, having drawn but few clothes 
since leaving Otterville, and but few uniforms can be found among them. We 
will get a new suit here and cut a stiff. Lieut. Bill Hill, with his pioneers 
attended the train and through the most desperate swamps building and cut- 
ting roads with an energy and celerity that drew from General Benton a 
very high compliment. This morning the camp is all gayety and life. The 
boys are enjoying the highest spirits. Besides the prospects for bread, meat 
and clothes, we have a faint hope of being ordered out of Arkansas. 

"Col. Baker and his cavalry are covering themselves with glory. They 
fear nothing; fight any force, no matter how large, when or where they find it. 

"Gen. Hindman lives here, Gen. Curtis occupying his mansion, with the 
stars and stripes floating above it. The health of our company continues ex- 
cellent, much to our surprise. Our friends can rest assured that for the 
present we are all doing well. 

"Yours respectfully, 

"S. H. Dunbar, 
"8th Indiana Regiment, 

"N. B. In the fight I have spoken of, at one time the rebels were in 
the woods, but in hearing distance. The Wisconsin boys were supporting 


the Indiana howitsers, when they heard the command given by the rebel com- 
mander, 'Take the gun !' Our boys came to a 'ready,' and the line of rebels 
came rushing forward. Wisconsin waited until they came within fifty yards, 
when they poured a desperate volley into them, charging bayonets immedi- 
ately, and throwing the enemy into confusion. They rallied again, after 
which one of our boys yelled out to them : 'Here is that gun, why in the hell 
don't you come 'and take it?" 

"Headquarters 8th Indiana Infantry, 
"Near Vicksburg, Miss., May 28, 1863. 
"Dear Mitchell : — 

"I wrote you from Port Gibson a day or two after the fight of the 1st 
Inst. I then informed you of the loss of Company B, and presume ere this 
you have published it to our friends. Since that writing we have engaged 
in the unfortunate engagement of 'Champion 'Hills' and 'Black River Bridge,' 
not having a man hurt in either. On the 19th inst. our artillery opened on 
the fortifications protecting Vicksburg, and skirmishing began. Our divi- 
sion was at once thrown forward, in rifle range of the rebel works, and a 
spirited fight at once began with the rebel sharpshooters. We soon discovered 
that we could effectually silence their artillery by keeping a storm of bullets 
pouring into their port holes. W T e played this game upon them without 
material loss, until the 22nd of May, when General Grant peremptorily ordered 
that at 10 o'clock A. M., the whole line should charge, reaching from the 
Yazoo to Warrenton. Upon this announcement being made to the men, a 
gloom and hopelessness was visible on every face. All were fully convinced 
that it was a mad move, and that we would meet slaughter and defeat. Never- 
theless, at the appointed hour, we fell into line and moved forward. The 
column had been in motion but a few moments when the enemy opened upon 
it from rifle pits and forts, with musketry, grape, shell and schrapnel. Con- 
fusion at once began. Men fell dead and wounded at every step. Many 
being wounded were afterward killed, and the slaughter was terrible. The 
8th started in the charge with 446 men, losing in killed and wounded, 114. 
The 33d Illinois with a less number of men, lost the same, the 99th Illinois 
lost 170. And other regiments, so far as I can hear, suffered in the same 
proportion, — Company B started into the charge with 43 men, officers in- 
cluded. Its loss was 13 wounded and 3 killed. 

"On the 20th, while advancing our brigade from a. hollow to one nearer 
the enemy, Alfred Wilson was killed by a grape shot striking him on the 
head. He did not die immediately, and when assistance w r as sent to remove 


him to the hospital he would not he removed from the field until he laid 
hold of his gun, which he persisted in carrying- with him. On the follow- 
ing morning while the company was sharp shooting, Richard Lamb was 
killed by a minnie ball striking him in the bowels, and George N. Black was 
slightly wounded in the shoulder. He did not leave the field, though in too 
much pain to load and shoot, but carried water from the spring to the boys 
while they fought. On the day of the charge we lost as follows: 

"First Sergeant, Frank Mays, killed. 

"Private, John Scotten, killed. 

"Alfred Lowder, died from wounds. 


"Corporal, F. M. Miller, slightly in chin. 

"Corporal, Wm. W. Welling, severely in side and arm. 

"Corporal, Clark McDonald, slightly in hip. 

"Private, Thomas M. Martin, arm amputated. 

"Private, W. W. Alexander, severely in arm. 

"Private, Wm. N. Siplinger, slightly in foot. 

"Private, Charles Clapper, slightly in arm. 

"Private, Andrew J. Fuller, painfully in ankle. 

"Private, James N. Underwood, arm amputated. 

"Private, Wm. H. Morgan, collar bone broken. 

"Lieut. W. G. Hill, painfully in right hand. 

"The wounded are doing as well as the circumstances will permit. They 
are generally cheerful and confident of recovery. I understand they will be 
sent north as soon as possible. We are reducing Vicksburg by seige, since to 
attempt to take it by storm is folly and madness. Our regiment is lying on the 
protected side of a hill, in four hundred yards of the rebel works. Musket balls 
whiz harmlessly above us while our artillery keeps the air filled with the 
smoke of powder and the earth trembling. The enemy does nothing with its 
artillery. Today, for the first time, two or three fired a shot at one of our 
batteries. Scarcely had the report been heard when Capt. Klauss of the 1st 
Indiana let a shell fly and blew up the secesh's caisson, killing a good many of 
them doubtless, besides leaving a tremendous moral effect. At nighr war 
ceases, except an occasional shot between pickets who stand within one hun- 
dred yards of each other. A few days ago the enemy sent in a flag of truce, 
giving us an opportunity to bury our dead that were left on the field after 


the fatal charge. The rebels came out of their holes by thousands, while the 
surrounding hills were covered with blue uniforms, gazing on the novel scene. 
Many of each side met, shook hands and conversed freely. Soldiers, both 
rebel and Union, were unanimously of the opinion that they in an hour like 
that could settle the war, if submitted to them. One rebel said he wished the 
truce would last forever. I heard of several instances where friend found 
friend, and in two or three cases, brother met brother. Desertions frequently 
occurred. The number no doubt would be double, did they not keep so rigid 
a guard. Two nights ago I was working in our ditches when two strapping 
Dutch boys who had escaped, jumped almost on top of me. After they were 
assured that it was all right, and got into the right place, they were the hap- 
piest fellows I ever saw. They give a dreadful account of the rebel rations 
and of the terror which our artillery and sharpshooters keep them in. If we 
succeed in keeping at bay the apprehended attack in the rear a little longer, 
Vickshurg will surely surrender. The mortar fleet I liked to have forgotten. 
It opens after dark and keeps up a terrible shelling during the night. The 
city has been on fire several times, but they have succeeded by some means 
in extinguishing the flames. The mortars surely scare them awfully, and I. 
don't see how they help killing many. It is generally thought that hard fight- 
ing here is over, but nobody knows. The rebels before surrendering may 
come out and make a last desperate effort to escape. The nights are lovely 
and only when disturbed by the occasional crashing and bursting of shell, are 
so serene and still that we can hear the town clock in the city. 

"Let our ladies at home know that everything they do, no matter how 
little, for the comfort of our sick and wounded, is fully appreciated, and does 
much more good than they could imagine. Too great a quantity of the 
delicacies, and of clothes, etc., cannot be sent here. The probability is that 
we will remain here sometime. Many will be wounded, and many and many 
more will be sick in consequence of the climate and the way we have to live. 
Our men have but one suit of clothes, and that is deficient, worn and dirty. 
We have no time Outside of the ditches to wash, and when a man falls sick or 
is wounded he can only look to the efforts of friends at home and the sani- 
tary commission for clean clothes. Ladies, do all you can for us. We need 
your assistance. 

"None of the Greenfield boys have been hurt, and without one exception 
have been in the fight and have done their duty manfully. Our company is 
sadly in need of recruits and must be filled up. There is no difficulty in 
getting into any company the recruit may designate. Will not some of our 


voting men make the break and come to our assistance? I will write again 
after, and perhaps before the fall of Vicksburg. 


"S. H. Dunbar, 
"8th Ind. Infantry." 

Following is another letter from Mr. Dunbar, dated October 18, 1863, 
at Yermillionville, Louisiana : 

"Dear Mitchell: 

"Suddenly our Brigade has received orders to march. It goes alone, 
and starts tomorrow morning. Our mission is not for letters or newspapers, 
as we expect with all the secrecy that can be exercised, to have some warm 
work. I write merely that you may present to their friends the names of 
Company B, left in the hospital in New Orleans. They are, John W. Under- 
wood. Amos W. Everson, Elijah H. Tyner (nurse), Henry McCorkhill (sent 
from Berwick), George M. Davidson, Francis N. C. Hodson, Albert W. Lake. 

"I did not feel apprehensive of the death of any of them, even when 
they left, ague and diarrhea being the principal diseases. They had been sick 
but a few days, and with the excellent attention which I learn is bestowed 
upon the sick in hospitals in that city, I have no doubt they will soon recover. 

"John Scott, a good citizen of Brandywine township, who had deservedly 
many friends throughout his neighborhood, died in hospital at New Orleans, 
September nth. All must sympathize with his afflicted family and honor 
his memory for his good qualities. 

"Searg. Cyrus Hanes and Elijah Tuttle of Company B, in company with 
four others, after receiving instructions from the General, left, — on a critical 
mission. They pressed an oyster boat, sallied out into the Gulf, and from 
thence through innumerable bayous, lakes, and bogs, far into the interior 
of Louisiana, passing themselves among the enemy for smugglers. They 
accomplished, to the full satisfaction of the power that sent them, all they 
were sent to perforin, returning in ten days from the date of their departure. 
They frequently saw and conversed with detachments of the enemy. Too 
much honor can not be awarded the men who will brave every danger, take 
life into their hands, peril everything for their country, and in obedience to 
orders. Let the names of all such gallant actors stand out in bold relief, high 
on the scroll of honor. 

"Yours respectfully, 

"Sam. H. Dunbar." 




"Sunday. January 10, 1861. 
"Editor Hancock Democrat : 

"On Monday, November 23d, our division rested quietly behind a range 
of hills, near the Tennessee River, waiting" for the engineers and pontooniers 
to complete the preparations for throwing a pontoon across the river. The 
work was done, the attention of the rebels was drawn to the extreme right, 
where General Hooker was making some heavy demonstrations,' and a favor- 
able opportunity for our crossing presented itself; accordingly we were 
ordered to be ready to march at 4 o'clock next morning. Morning came, 
November 24, and we set off. The day was foggy and misting rain. We 
reached the river bank, which was lined with heavy cannon, ready to belch 
forth destruction to any one who might oppose our crossing. 

"Our workmen had been busy at work all night, and the pontoon was 
about half completed. The boats were used as ferry boats until ready to be 
placed in their positions in the bridge. We embarked immediately, crossed, 
stacked arms and waited for our artillery, ammunition w r agons, horses and 
ambulances, which could not be brought over until the bridge was completed. 

"All was over by 9 o'clock A. M., and we were ready to advance. A 
very short distance now lay between us and the enemy on Missionary Ridge. 
Our artillery kept up a languid fire on them from across the Tennessee, be- 
sides which very little seemed to be doing in the way of battle. We prepared 
to advance. Our guns were loaded and capped. Skirmishers were thrown 
out to the front and flanks, four or five from a company. Serg't. George 
W. Watts, Wesley S. Catt, Charles Meyers, and Christian Ortle were de- 
tailed from Company B. All things being ready, we moved on slowly, at 
a left face, the thick under brush rendering it next to impossible to preserve 
a line of battle. 

"Our skirmishers soon waked up the rebs. A brisk firing was com- 
menced in front. We halted a short while, to give time to the skirmishers. 
We could now plainly see the summit of the first hill, but no enemy appeared 
thereon. We advanced slowly and halted near the top, when the rebs opened 
fire on us with their artillery. Fortunately our Chief of Artillery was with us, 
and got the precise location of the rebel battery. He immediately ordered up 
Richardson's battery, and opened on the enemy with one twenty-four pounder 
and several guns of smaller caliber. The rebs, who had been overshooting, 
lowered their pieces and replied vigorously for a while, the balls shaving 


'very close.' Our boys who were carrying balls from the caissons ran almost 
on 'all fours,' while the balls hissed over their heads, and showered the limbs 
of trees around them. One projectile knocked off the whole top of a tree 
and hurled it into a regiment of the second brigade ; but owing to some expert 
dodging, no one was injured. The rebs having one gun dismounted, and 
fearing for the safety of the remainder, removed their battery from view, 
and were silent the remainder of the day. 

"Our skirmishers were advancing clown the opposite side of the hill, 
and driving the rebel skirmishers up the next ridge on which they were 
fortified. The night found us. We rested on our arms, expecting a vigorous 
renewal in the morning. 

"The ist brigade of our division lay on our right, and the second on our 
left, leaving us to occupy the center. Gen. Ewing, our division commander, 
ordered our brigade to fortify their position, and to remain as a reserve. We 
went at the work with energy, and, by midnight, had a row of rifle pits 
stretching for half a mile, and facing the rebel works. 

"Gen. Ewing, Gen! Blair, our corps commander, and Gen. Sherman all 
established their headquarters with us, and also the signals were displayed 
near our regiment. This was very interesting to us, as we could witness the 
maneuvers, and hear the dispatches that were constantly coming and going. 
They kept the aids busy. 

"The morning of the 25th dawned. The fog had cleared away, and the 
sun rose in his radiant splendor; all was yet quiet. Both armies had been 
maneuvering during the previous night, and now lay in plain view of each 
other. Gen. Hooker had advanced his lines far up the mountain, while strong 
batteries and earthworks lined the valley at the foot of Missionary Ridge. 
The operations of the day were opened by a broadside from Richardson's 
battery, aimed directly at the rebel works on the next ridge, plainly visible ; 
and not more than half a mile distant. The rebel guns replied. Our guns 
opened from across the Tennessee, the rebs returned the compliment. The 
boom of cannon then came up from the battle below, and w T ere only answered 
by the cannonical language of .Missionary Ridge. The cannonading was now 
terrific along the entire line, from the summit of Lookout to the banks of the 
Chickamauga. The surrounding hills and mountains smoked like so many 
volcanoes, and the thunders of artillery rolled along the valleys of the Ten- 
nessee. Oh, how sublime! The reverberations among the hills reminded me 
much of the poets' beautiful description of 'A Thunderstorm on the Alps.' 
The noise of battle increased ; the sound of musketry and of the charge was 
continuallv heard. 


"Until this time, we were admiring the scene, and estimating the dis- 
tance of certain guns by the difference between seeing the flash and hearing the 
report. Some of the boys were mounted on trees to obtain a better prospect, 
but our admiration ceased when wt saw our wounded come limping in, sup- 
ported on either side by their more fortunate comrades, or borne on litters; 
some with heads bleeding, others with their shattered limbs dangling power- 
less by their sides. At first the sight was revolting, but when we could 
begin to count our wounded by scores and hear their stories of narrow escape, 
and hear their groans, we got mad and wanted to fight. If the 3d brigade 
had been turned loose, they would have stormed the very gates of purgatory ; 
but 'No' said Gen. Ewing, 'you must hold this ridge'. 

"Just then Brig. Gen. Corse of the second brigade was carried in with 
a severe wound in his thigh. He swore a 'blue streak' as he passed. Says 
he, 'If they had wounded me in the head, or some place in the body so that 
I could keep the field I would not care; but they have shot me in the thigh 
and I must retire.' .Gen. Ewing started to go to him, but he shook his head, 
and Ewing returned. 

'"The first brigade now formed in the valley, and were ordered to carry 
that part of the ridge in their front.- This brigade consisted of the 12th and 
10th Indiana, and the second and 90th 111. They made a brilliant effort, and 
carried the rebel works. Col. Loomis, their brigade commander, rode up to 
Gen. Ewing and informed him that he had gained the heights as ordered, 
but with severe loss, especially in point of officers. The Col. of the 90th 
Illinois fell mortally wounded; the Lieut. Col. of the 100th Indiana, was 
wounded; Capt. Brouse of the same regiment was killed, and many others. 
Hardly had Col. Loomis returned to his command, when the rebs charged 
and recaptured their old works, driving the first brigade entirely from the 
ridge. (I think, however, that this was a preconcerted arrangement, to daw 
the rebs into a trap.) They retreated back across a piece of timberland, while 
the rebs poured in volleys of shot and shell at their glittering bayonets. The 
air was fairly vocal with the sound of exploding shells and hissing fragments. 

"About this time. Christian Ortel of our own company was carried in, 
severely wounded in the thigh. He was a noble young man, and had the love 
and esteem of all who knew him. His wounds proved fatal. He died Decem- 
ber 1 7th, and now rests in the cemetery at Chattanooga. 

"Stern is the decree of fate which hath bound him, 
And laid him to rest by stranger's hand; 
No loved ones near to weep around him, 
As he sleeps alone in a stranger's land. 


'It is sweet to die for one's country.' 

"The stars and stripes were now unfurled from Point Lookout and 
the sound of battle died away as the shadows of evening covered the hills and 
valleys; all hushed to quiet; we retired to rest and ere morning's light Gen. 
Bragg with all his army was hurrying toward Atlanta. 

"Yours truly, 

"M. A., Co. B." 

The above letter was evidently written by Marshall Alley, whose name 
appears on the muster roll as John M. Alley. 


In addition to the three-months men and the veterans of the Civil War, 
the Legion of Indiana was organized for home protection. Companies of 
the Legion were known as "Home Guards." During the Civil War several 
of these companies were organized in Hancock county, known as : 

Fortville Guards, organized June 4, 1861. James H. Perry, P. Bond, 
captains ; John K. Faucett, first lieutenant ; Charles Doty, second lieutenant. 

Hancock Guards, organized June io, 1861. Alexander K. Branham, 
Henry A. Swope, captains; Henry A. Swope and William E. Hart, first 
lieutenants; William E. Duncan, William Lindsey, George H. Walker, Joshua 
Edward, second lieutenants. 

Brandyzvine Guards, organized August 26, 186 1. Robert Andis, cap- 
tain; Ezra Fountain, first lieutenant; John M. Dixon, second lieutenant. 

Anderson Guards (New Palestine), organized September 13, 1861. 
Thomas C. Tuttle, captain; Conrad Shellhouse, first lieutenant; George W. 
Stineback, second lieutenant. 

Vernon TownsJiip Guards, organized. 1863. Sylvester Gaskins, cap- 
tain; Thomas J. Hanna, first lieutenant; Perry J. Brinegar, second lieutenant. 

Union Hancock (Cavalry), organized, 1863. Taylor W. Thomas, cap- 
tain; Solomon F. Kauble, first lieutenant; William E. Henry, second lieuten- 

Jackson Guards, organized, 1863. John A. Craft, Joseph H. McKown, 
captains; Joseph H. McKown, John M. Davis,' first lieutenants; Asa H. 
Allison, second lieutenant. 

The last three companies were organized during the excitement of the 
Morgan raid in 1863. At this time these companies were organized and 
known as the Hancock Battalion. Its officers were : Alexander K. Branham, 


Lee O. Harris, majors; Solomon F. Kauble, adjutant; Orlando M. Edwards, 
assistant surgeon. 

A company was also organized in Buck Creek township. Another com- 
pany of about forty German boys was organized and drilled at New Palestine 
by Dr. Buchel, a German physician. Greenfield boys, too young for service, 
were organized as the Greenfield Union Cadets, with the following officers : 
Hamilton Dunbar, captain; James W. Knight, first lieutenant; James Gapen, 
second lieutenant ; Oscar Thomas, third lieutenant. 

The Home Guards, however, were continually changing because the 
boys were constantly enlisting in the volunteer companies. Dr. Buchel's com- 
pany at New Palestine finally disbanded because practically all of its mem- 
bers had enlisted in the active service. Some of the other companies main- 
tained their organizations throughout the war by continually filling their 
ranks with recruits. 

Each company had its own drill ground. In the smaller towns the 
school grounds or commons were appropriated or the boys drilled on the 
streets. Adjoining the town of Greenfield on the northeast lay a large blue- 
grass pasture. It included a tract lying east of State and north of North 
streets, and was owned by Benjamin Osborne, a resident of Kentucky. Here 
the Hancock Guards gathered once a week, usually on Saturday afternoons. 
The drilling of the company on the 'slope and hill north and east of the branch 
in the region of Grant and East streets, was a very familiar sight in those 

Two of these companies, the Hancock Guards, under Capt. A. K. Brari- 
ham, and the Anderson Guards, under Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, were in the 
active service about a week during Morgan's raid. Captain Branham's com- 
pany was mustered in on July 11, 1863, as Company E of the One Hundred 
and Fifth regiment of Indiana Volunteers. The company at that time was 
composed of Alexander K. Branham, captain ; William E. Hart, first lieuten- 
ant: George W. Walker, second lieutenant; John Hatfield, first sergeant; 
Joshua Edwards, Freeman H. Crawford, William Mitchell, Samuel W. Bar- 
nett, sergeants ; Samuel E. Duncan, Jacob Wills, Nathaniel Snow, James L. 
Dennis, corporals. Privates — Fred Alliman, Asa A. Allison, Daniel Acker, 
A. J. Banks, Calvin Bennett, N. F. Burford, J. M. Baker, Thomas M. Bed- 
good, N. B. Ballenger, Samuel Boyer, David Bixler, George Bennett, J. L. 
Burdett, Leroy Bush, Milton Catt, X. N. Church, D. B. Chittenden, Charles 
Cliff. S. T. Dickerson, Ephraim Duncan, Odell Despo, William Evans, John 
Egger. David S. Gooding, Lemuel W. Gooding, G. W. Glass, Charles Hook. 
O. D. Hughes, James Hood. Ferdinand Hafner, Vincent Hinchman, Samuel 



Jones, Hiram Kern, A. B. Lineback, John P. Laird, John McCordhill, Stephen 
K. Meek, Matthias Martin, John Porter, Benjamin Porter, William Porter, 
B. H. Pierce, B. T. Rains, T. C. Rardin, M. A. Sleeth, Alfred Skinner, H. A. 
Swope, Hugh Short, Samuel Thomas, Ezekiel Thomas, A. D. Wills, David 
YV. West, J. M. Williams, William H. White, John Walker, Sr., Isaac Waller, 
Thomas Wellington, John Dailey, Charles G. Offutt. 

After reaching Indianapolis the One Hundred and Fifth regiment, of 
which this company formed a part, was ordered to the southern part of the 
state. The adjutant-general's report gives the following facts concerning 
the trip : "After Morgan had left Indiana it was reported that he was return- 
ing to capture Lawrenceburg. The regiment moved out to check him, and 
while getting into position an indiscriminate firing took place among the men, 
resulting in killing eight and wounding twenty." Among those killed in the 
action were Ferdinand Hafner and John Porter. William E. Hart died later 
?f his wounds. Among the wounded who recovered were Captain Branham, 
David S. Gooding and Benjamin T. Rains. The company was mustered out 
on July 18, 1863. 

On July 10, 1863, the Anderson Guards, under Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, 
were mustered in as Company D of the One Hundred and Sixth regiment 
of Indiana Volunteers. The members of this company were : Thomas C. Tut- 
tle, captain; Conrad H. Shellhouse, first lieutenant; G. W. Stineback, second 
lieutenant; James G. Boyce, first sergeant; James T. Rice, F. M. Tattman, 
William M. Moore, John M. Toon, sergeants; Henry Gates, Eb. L. Toon, 
David N. True, G. H. Kirkhoff, corporals. Privates — Samuel Burk, T. J. 
Belor, M. P. Davis, Bluford Eaton, Charles W. Eaton, John W. Eaton, John 
England, A. C. Bowler, George W. Gray, John Gundrum, Thomas J. Hobbs, 
T. W. Higginbotham, William Kitchen, G. F. McNamee, Stewart Nichols, 
E. H. Richardson, Oliver P. Swift, Pressley H. Stirk, Ashley Sutherland, 
Jefferson Ulrey, George Wright, George Baily, Moses Conner, John Dorman, 
Leland M. Eaton, Lewis Eaton, Joseph Everson, John Elliott, Francis Furry, 
David Gray, G. W. Harris, Adam Hawk, John Johnson, John Manche, An- 
drew McHaughy, Perry E. Rice,, John Russell, C. W. Shellhouse, Andrew 
Stutsman, Oliver H. Tuttle, Roland Vest, L. B. Belor, G. W. Carr, W. T. 
Faton, Thomas S. Eaton, Charles Eaton, J. M. Ely, Benjamin Fowler, John 
H. Gray, W. T. Gibson, William Harris, Edward Hudson, John Kingery, 
H. M. McRoberts, Lewis R. Murphy, H. W. Richardson, John Stewart, H. A. 
Schreiber, H. G. Stutsman, Andrew Thompson, H. B. Ward. 

This company went as far as Cincinnati, then returned and was mus- 
lered out on July 17, 1863, without having been in any engagements. 


Excitement ran high during Morgan's raid and everywhere the soldiers 
received ovations. Companies were marched into Indianapolis, and several 
passed through this county over the National road. It was a common occur- 
rence for people who lived along the road to call for three cheers for Abra- 
ham Lincoln when a company marched past. Of course they were always 
given lustily. But even under the most serious conditions a little amusement 
and nonsense were mixed with their patriotism. The cheers were frequently 
followed by a call for three groans for John Morgan. The response of dis- 
consolate discords would sometimes have done credit to a company of oriental 


At the outbreak of the Civil War the patriotic sentiment of the county ex- 
pressed itself in the attitude of those who had to stay at home, as well as in 
the enlistment of the men. OratQry flourished in the county. The eloquence 
of the speakers was surpassed only by the irresistible sentiment of patriotic 
songs sung by groups of girls in every community. The forms of David S. 
Gooding, R. A. Riley, W. R. Hough and others as they spoke from goods 
boxes on the street or at picnics and other patriotic meetings in the townships, 
are still familiar to those who lived through that period. But no less clear 
to memory's eye and ear are the choirs and groups of young- ladies and the 
songs they sang in patriotic support of those who felt the weight of the 
nation's burdens. They were kept busy learning songs. They learned them 
during the day to sing them in the evening. Though at first there was more 
or less enthusiastic excitement about the war, after the great armies began 
to face each other and the newspapers reported the heavy tolls in human life, 
then anxiety for those at the front filled the hearts of those who were left at 
home. Then the papers were not scanned with idle curiosity; these were the 
hours "that tried men's souls." And who now, even among those who under- 
stand the power of music over the minds and hearts of men, can measure 
the moral effect of the loyal attitude of those girls, and who will attempt to 
say to what degree their songs, and the eloquence of speakers, strengthened 
the hearts of fathers and mothers and brothers during that great struggle? 


The women and girls of the county gave more than moral support to 
the Union cause. In practically every community a society was organized that 
sewed, scraped lint, solicited, etc., and prepared such articles as could be used 
by the men in the field. These societies usually worked under the directions 


of the Indiana branch of the United States Christian Commission or the State 
Sanitary Commission. 

During the early part of the war some of the societies made "comfort 
bags." A "comfort bag'' consisted of a piece of cloth with a number of 
pockets sewed on one side, into which stamps, combs and other small articles 
could be placed. The "bag" was made to be rolled together and tied so that 
the articles could not be lost. Often the girls slipped their names and 
addresses into one of the pockets, and many of them later received letters 
from the recipients, thanking them. 

Underwear, shirts and socks were made in quantities and sent to the 
front. In some communities the older ladies cut out garments and the girls 
sewed them. The sewing societies generally had a regular day for meeting. 

At Greenfield a numl>er of ladies met at the Christian chapel on October 
15. 1 86 1, and organized the Greenfield Military Aid Society. Mrs. Lot 
Edwards was elected president and Mrs. ' P. A. Thayer, secretary. The 
society appointed a soliciting committee of three, also a committee of two 
for cutting clothes. Other societies were also organized, of one of which Mrs. 
Morris Pierson was president and Mrs. R. E. Barnett, secretary. Among the 
girls who took an active interest in the work of these societies were Alice S. 
Barnett, Frances S. Pierson, Inez L. Gwinn. Estella Bailey, Mary A. Oakes, 
Julia Mathers, Malinda Ogle, Amanda Barnett and Cerena Martin. Possibly a 
better idea of the work that was accomplished by these societies may be had 
from a notice given by the Ladies' Military Aid Society, calling a meeting at 
the court house at Greenfield on September 17, 1862, at two o'clock p. m. The 
following is a portion of the call that was printed in the local paper : 

"It is desired, hoped and expected by those active in the good work that 
all the ladies of the town and county will be promptly present at the time and 
place appointed. Every lady attending is expected to bring all the old cotton 
and linen she can conveniently spare for the purpose of making bandages and 
lint. Those who have none of these desirable goods are expected to bring 
with them a little 'change,' as it will not go amiss in securing necessary articles 
for the sick and wounded. This is the crisis of the war, and preparations 
should be made for the wounded of the impending battles." 

In response to a call of the governor of Indiana for clothing and blankets 
for the soldiers, a citizens' mass meeting was held at New Palestine on Tues- 
day evening, October 15, 1861. A large number of people were present. 
Thomas Tuttle addressed the meeting for a time, whereupon a committee of 
sixteen (two in each school district) was appointed to receive what the 
people had to contribute for this purpose. The committee solicited articles 


from the people and deposited them with R. P. Brown, at New Palestine. 
These articles were then boxed by Mr. Brown and forwarded to Indianapolis. 
In the issue of the Hancock Democrat of October 23, 1861, also appears the 
statement that the ladies of Hancock county responded, nobly to the above 
call of the governor. 

The old Masonic Hall at Greenfield came to be a regular meeting place 
for the workers. One day each week was "open day'' at the hall, when young 
ladies, and young gentlemen, too, gathered there to scrape lint. For this 
purpose old linen was collected, cleaned perfectly, and then cut into strips 
about one and one-half inches wide. The strips were then laid on clean 
boards and scraped with clean knives. The lint had to be prepared very care- 
fully so that no thread at all remained in it. Many boxes of it were sent from 
this county to the above named commissions, from whom it was sent to the 
field hospitals to be used in stanching the flow of blood. 

. In addition to this work funds were raised by giving suppers, entertain- 
ments, tableaus, etc. On Christmas night, 1862, the young ladies of Green- 
field gave a tableau partv at the Masonic Hall. The price of admission was 
ten cents and the proceeds were given to the Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society. 
The local papers made a very favorable report of the party, making special 
mention of the singing of Flora Howard and Alice Pierson and others, and 
of the music rendered by Professor Eastman's band. 

On July 16, 1863, a supper was given at the Masonic Hall by the ladies 
of Greenfield. Cakes, pies, chickens, bread, etc., were solicited and a sump- 
tuous repast was served. An admission fee of twenty-five cents was charged, 
and the proceeds were used for the benefit of the societies. 

This is merely illustrative The following letters also indicate what was 
done by the women and girls, not only in Greenfield, but in all parts of the 
county : • 

''Office of State Sanitary Commission, 

"Indianapolis, Indiana, Jan. 3, 1863. 
"Mrs. Cath. Edwards : 

"Madam: — Yours of the 31st Ult. is at hand. The Package of socks 
came to hand this morning. No contribution could have been more acceptable 
than socks. We have great difficulty in keeping a supply. 

"Please tender the ladies of your society our thanks for the very liberal 
donation to the suffering of our army. 

"Yours truly, 

"Wm. Hannaman." 


The package referred to above contained fifty-six pairs of socks which 
had been purchased with money from concerts given by the young ladies. The 
following letter is also self-explanatory : 

"Indiana Branch United States Christian Commission. 
"G. W. Clippenger, Pres. 
"James M. Ray, Treas. 
"J. H. Croll, Sec'y. 
"Charles N. Todd, Cor. Sec'y. and Gen. Agt. 

"AIiss Fannie Pierson : — 

"Your letter and two boxes of nice things came duly to hand. The arti- 
cles are very acceptable, and in behalf of the Commission I wish to thank you 
and all your associates for their generous contribution to the cause of the 
country and the good of the soldiers. We hope you will continue on the good 
work as long as it may be necessary. In the midst of rejoicing at the pros- 
pect of returning peace, our hearts are filled with gloom and mourning at 
the sad new r s that our good President is dead! What a terrible calamity! 
One of the purest and noblest of men lias gone. 

"Yours truly, 

"Charles N. TodD." 

General subscriptions were also made to support the work of the com- 
missions, and in the issue of May 14, 1863, of the Hancock Democrat, we 
find the following: "Subscribers to the sanitary fund who have not paid are 
requested to call on W. R. Hough, who is authorized to receive the same." 


The patriotic sentiment of the county asserted itself further in expres- 
sions of loyalty and in the measures taken to support the government. Just 
after the election of Lincoln, wfien the dark clouds of war were gathering, 
the following editorial appeared in the Hancock Democrat, from the pen of 
its editor, David S. Gooding: 

"watchman! what of the night? 

"In the dark hour when clouds lower around us, and gloom hovers over 
the land ; when fearful forebodings of terrible disaster and final overthrow 
'>l our government are weighing down and saddening the hearts of patriotic 
and intelligent men, North and South, East and West, our duty as watch- 
man upon the walls of our political Zion impels us to cry aloud and spare net. 


and tell our people of their political sins. This we will endeavor to do. Our 
people must not expect us to cry Peace, when there is no peace. Within the 
next four months, one or more states of this Union will have gone from 
among us to return no more forever. God only knows what results will 
follow. Perhaps Civil War, with all its horrors, and the separation of the free 
and slave states, with the final disruption of the best government on which 
the sun ever shone. The handwriting is upon the wall — Mene, Mene, Tekel, 
Upharsin! In the madness of the hour, the people seem to have forgotten 
the God of their Fathers, and to have spurned Heaven's favors to them. 

"The cloud, which in the days of John C. Calhoun was but the size of a 
man's hand, has spread until it now overspreads the heavens above us. We 
will not deceive you, fellow citizens; Northern Abolitionists and Southern 
Disunionists have fanned the flames of civil discord and sectional hatred until 
the fiery volcano is about to burst forth, and with it destroy the hopes of 
the world. There is but a faint hope, a mere possibility, that the union of 
these states can be perpetuated and maintained inviolate. For this, while 
there is hope, how T ever faint, let us, if possible, awake the people to the danger, 
and labor for the desired end. Let us not forget to look to the God of- our 
Fathers, to calm the agitated sea of public mind, and drive away the black, 
lowering, tempestuous clouds of disunion and treason." 

The following editorial taken from the issue of January 9, 1861, of the 
Hancock Democrat, also reflects the feeling and state of mind of the people 
at that time : 

"We hope the citizens of the town and vicinity will turn out on Satur- 
day next to see and hear what the Hancock Guards will have to do and say. 
'Grim visaged war,' with its attendant horrors, is brewing in the distance, and 
the strong arms and stout hearts of our citizen soldiers will be in requisition 
to sustain the honor and glory of our Nation's flag, and the authority and 
supremacy of her Constitution and laws. 

"Judge Gooding will certainly entertain the Guards, and those who may 
be present, with an address. 

"The Greenfield Sax-Horn Band has consented to be present and enliven 
the occasion with our national airs and other music." 

The report of this meeting made in the issue of January 16, i86i_, is also 
interesting for the spirit it reflects : 


"At a meeting of the company on Saturday last, held pursuant to notice, 
being participated in by a respectable number of citizens irrespective of party, 


of which Col. George Tagne was chosen president, the following resolution 
was unanimously adopted : 

' "Resolved, By the Hancock Guards and the citizens here assembled, that 
in view of the present imminent danger to the perpetuity of our country the 
constitution and laws are our only safety : that we pledge ourselves to stand 
by those in power who faithfully maintain the one and execute the other ; and 
that in the language of General Jackson, 'this Uunion must and shall be pre- 

"Before the adoption of the resolution, the meeting was addressed by 
Judge Gooding and Major Riley, in appropriate and eloquent language." 

Notices like the following appeared almost weekly in the local papers : 

"attention, guards ! 

"You are hereby commanded to appear at your armory in full dress on 
Saturday, January 12, at two o'clock, P. M. The Hon. David S. Gooding 
will address the company, and such others as may be present, immediately 
alter parade, in the court room. 

"By Order of the Captain, 
"War. Mitchell, O. S." 

The following editorial, taken from the issue of January 16, 1861, of the 
Hancock Democrat, shows that the feeling of the people in relation to seces- 
sion was becoming more clearly defined. It also reflects the arguments then 
current among those who were opposed to a vigorous prosecution of the war. 
This is another editorial from the pen of Judge Gooding: 


"Much is being said and written by the sympathizers with South Car- 
olina in her treason to the government of our fathers, against 'coercion' and 
'war on the South.' YYe know of no sane man who proposes to make war 
on the States or people of the South, to compel them to remain in the Union, 
but we do know patriotic citizens who are in favor of all public officers doing 
their sworn duty, not excepting the President of the United States, whose 
duty it is to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed,' and who regard 
it as the duty of all good citizens to aid and assist in the execution of the laws 
if necessary. In the faithful execution of the laws, no war is made on any 
state or section. There can be no war growing out of the faithful execution 
of the laws, unless resistance is made to the lawful authority of the govern- 
ment. It such resistance is made, the responsibility and consequences will be 


on those who resist and defy the government. Our government always has 
'coerced' lawless men to obey the laws or submit to the punishment. When- 
ever it ceases to 'coerce' it will cease to be a government. All governments 
'coerce' obedience to the laws. A government without this power would be 
impotent for good, and a miserable delusion. Only such persons as commit 
treason or resist the execution of the laws must be subdued. Men in the South 
who are patriots, must be protected in person and in property as fully and 
completely as any others are protected. In short, treason and resistance to 
law must be put down whenever they occur, and by whomsoever committed 
in any and every part of the country. When law-defying men seize the prop- 
erty of the government, some men cry out, 'Don't coerce them to yield it up, 
let southern ultraists get "mad" and make civil war/ We are disgusted with 
such miserable stuff. If we are men let us talk and act like men. If we are 
patriots, let us show it by taking the side of our government in a war with 

On February 20, 1861, a county Union mass meeting was held at Green- 
field for the purpose of appointing delegates to the 22d of February mass 
meeting at Indianapolis. The people assembled elected Jacob Slifer, presi- 
dent; Landen Eastes and James Collins, vice-presidents, and M. C. Foley and 
William Mitchell, secretaries. At this meeting every citizen of the county 
favorable to the Union and the Constitution was appointed a delegate to the 
state mass meeting. Dr. Hervey, Judge Gooding, W. R. Hough and James 
L, Mason addressed the meeting, after which Judge Gooding offered the 
following resolution, which was adopted unanimously : 

"Resolved, that as citizens of Hancock county, we are in favor of any 
reasonable and honorable compromise that will restore peace, harmony and 
prosperity to the country, and that to make such compromise effective, we 
are in favor of maintaining the Union, the Constitution, and the Laws."' 

The quality of the loyalty of the citizens assembled at this meeting is 
further evidenced by their refusal to adopt the following resolution. It was 
rabled with hardly a dissenting vote : 

"Resolved, that we are opposed to what is termed 'coercion,' but are in 
favor of an honorable and peaceable adjustment of the present difficulties." 

On Monday, April 12, 1861, there was a patriotic demonstration of the 
people at Greenfield, at which the principal feature was the raising of the 
flag on the cupola of the court house, "to wave until peace is restored." The 
Sax-Horn band was in attendance, and the people were addressed by James 
P. Foley, Judge Gooding" and W. R. Hough. 

On April 16, 1861, a meeting was held at the court house for the pur- 


pose of making arrangements for a county mass meeting to express the feel- 
ings and sentiments of our people in regard to national troubles. A. K. 
Branham was called to the chair. R. A. Riley made an eloquent and soul- 
stirring speech, instilling into the minds and hearts of the audience venera- 
tion for the constitution, obedience to the laws, and love for the flag. A 
committee was appointed to make arrangements for a county mass meeting 
to be held on Saturday, April 20, 1861. On this committee were placed the 
names of David S. Gooding, E. I. Judkins, M. W. Hamilton, George Barnett, 
William Mitchell, R. A. Riley, Dr. J. A. Hall, A. T. Hart, A. R. Wallace 
and Morris Pierson. 

On April 20, 1861, a citizens' meeting was held as had been planned. 
James Tyner was elected president of the meeting; Robert A. Barr and 
James P. Foley, vice-presidents, and Thomas Bedgood and William Frost. 
secretaries. The people were first addressed by Judge Gooding and Capt. 
R. A. Riley, after which the following resolutions were adopted : 

"Whereas, war exists by the rebellious act of the so-called Southern 
Confederacy in attacking and capturing Fort Sumter, a government fortifi- 
cation, occupied by government troops, under the command of the gallant 
Major Anderson ; and whereas, the city of Washington is in immediate and 
imminent danger of being attacked by forces from said rebellious confederacy, 

"Resolved, that as patriots and loyal citizens of the state of Indiana and of 
the United States, we will sustain and defend the proper authorities of said 
government in. all constitutional and legal efforts to maintain the Union and 
defend the rights and honor of the country. 

"Resolved, that the public good and national honor requires a vigorous 
prosecution of the war, to a speedy and honorable peace. 

"Resolved, that our senator and representatives in the State Legislature 
be requested to co-operate in the appropriation of men and means, with the 
friends of the vigorous prosecution of the zvar now existing by the act of the 
so-called Confederacy." 

After the adoption of the above resolutions the people listened to W. R. 
Hough, Rev. S. Hood, Elder A. I. Hobbs and Rev. J. C. Taylor. 

On Saturday, May 4, 1861, a Union meeting was held at New Padestine 
for the purpose of organizing a company of Honie Guards. B. F. Stewart 
was elected chairman of the meeting, and John C. Shockley, secretary. 
Speeches were made by Samuel Shockley and Rev. Roberts. The sentiment 
of the gathering was "strong for the Union and the Stars and Stripes at all 
hazards." David M. Dove, Benjamin Freeman and Rev. Roberts were 


appointed as a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. The company 
became known as the Anderson Guards, and was under the command of Capt. 
Thomas C. Tuttle during the Morgan raid. 

On August 5, 1861, the citizens of the county gave a reception to Captain 
Riley's "three-months men" who had just returned from western Virginia. 
The address of welcome was made by Judge Gooding. Captain Riley 
responded on behalf of his company giving an interesting account of how 
they had passed the time after leaving Camp McClellan. He also gave a- 
description of the battle of Rich Mountain. The reception was given in 
Pierson's grove, which adjoined Greenfield on the southwest and which was 
located west of Pennsylvania street and south of the railroad. At the noon 
hour dinner was spread on the green in various places to suit the convenience 
of the immese crowd. All feasted sumptuously and in the afternoon patri- 
otic addresses were made by Rev. Hill and Judge Gooding. 

About the same time Captain Carland from Connersville was marching 
over the Brookville road with a company of volunteers. On August 8 1861, 
they reached New Palestine. The New Palestine band and an escort of 
horsemen marched out to meet them. About three miles east of town the 
colors of Captain Craland's company became visible. From this point the 
procession was headed by Henry Mickle, carrying the stars and stripes., 
guarded by two men from Captain Riley's company. At seven o'clock- p. m., 
Union. Hall (the second story of the old school house) at New Palestine was 
filled to overflowing. B. F. Stewart was chairman of the meeting, and 
addresses were made by Captain Carland, Rev. B. F. Jones, Rev. Ward and 
Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle to encourage enlistments. 

The citizens of Buck Creek township, without reference to party, gave 
expression to their feelings at a grand Union picnic near Mt. Comfort on 
Saturday, August 10, 186 1. A basket dinner was enjoyed at the noon hour. 
The military company of the township was present, and in the afternoon 
patriotic addresses were made by Dr. Hervey, Judge Gooding and Captain 

The sentiment of the people of the county was again appropriately voiced 
in the following editorial in the Hancock Democrat, on the occasion of the 
boys of Company B of the Eighth regiment taking their departure from 
Greenfield, about the middle of August, 1861 : 

"On Monday last Captain Walls left for Indianapolis with a company 
of Hancock boys to enter the service of the United States for a term of 
three years or during the war. It will be a part of the Eighth regiment as 
reorganized, and will retain its former position in regiment. The scene 


at the depot as the buys passed through, the large number of men, 
women and children who had gathered in from all points of the county to 
witness the departure, was sad and sorrowful in the extreme. God bless the 
noble-hearted boys, and preserve and protect them in the patriotic and hazard- 
ous duties they have voluntarily taken upon themselves! May they all safely 
return at the expiration of a term of service to receive the warm embrace of 
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and kind friends left behind." 

On December 21, 1861, another great Union meeting was held at Green- 
field, and resolutions were adopted similar to many others that are given 
herein. The first year of the war closed with our county stanch and loyal in 
the support of the Union cause. Whenever an occasion presented itself, 
expression was given by the people to this feeling of loyalty, and to no one in 
the county was more credit due for his fearless and outspoken loyalty than to 
Judge Gooding, whom our younger generation remembers simply as an old 
man. But the expressions which were so generously made at the opening of 
the conflict did not become fewer as the war progressed, and as the strain 
and the burdens became heavier. 

During the summer of 1862 the citizens of Brandywine township gave a 
Union picnic near Rigdon's in that township. A very large gathering of 
people, estimated at three thousand, was present and listened to the stirring 
and patriotic appeal of Judge Gooding in the afternoon. 

The citizens of Fortville and vicinity held a Union mass meeting at Fort- 
ville on April 24, 1863. Robert Faucett was elected president of the meet- 
ing and E. W. Thomas, secretary. The Hon. Thomas C. Stillwell, of Ander- 
son, made an address, after which the people assembled adopted the follow- 
ing resolutions : 

"Resolved, that it is an (indisputable fact that all political parties, of 
whatsoever name, have heretofore avowed their unalterable attachment to 
the Federal Union ; 

"That we hold every man who is now in favor of its dismemberment, as 
false to all former professions of attachments to it, and a present enemy ; 

"That as we cannot individually have the conduct of the war, each his 
own way, we feel it our duty, as good and loyal citizens, to leave its direc- 
tion to those who have been legally chosen to direct; 

"That resistance to law is revolutionary in its tendency, and that any 
attempt to embarrass the government in the execution of the revenue, con- 
scription, or any other law of the United States, will be promptly met and 
suppressed by the loyal people of Indiana; 



"That we are in favor of all measures adopted by Congress for the sup- 
pression of the present unrighteous and causeless rebellion ; 

"That we are in favor of all the measures adopted by the President with 
the view of sustaining the government and carrying on the war; 

"That we tender Governor Morton our sincerest thanks for his arduous 
and untiring effort in behalf of the soldiers, the state and the nation, and we 
feel that he richly merits the enviable title of the soldier's friend ; 

"That the miscreants in our midst, who attempt to create dissatisfaction 
in the ranks of the gallant soldiers, and induce them to desert the colors made 
glorious by their valor on repeated battle-fields, are meaner traitors than 
the armed rebels of the South; that they are entitled to, and will receive, 
the scorn of all honorable men ; 

"That we cordially endorse General Burnsides' order, transporting 
northern rebels beyond the Federal lines, where they legitimately belong ; 

"That we deeply sympathize with our soldiers now in the field, and pledge 
them our cordial support and earnest prayers, until this ungodly rebellion 
is crushed, and our flag shall triumphantly wave over our once glorious 

On June 6, 1863, a large Union mass meeting was again held at the 
court house in Greenfield. A feature of the day was a long procession under 
the command of Captains Walls and Tuttle. Capt. Thomas C. Tuttle, of 
Sugar Creek township, was elected president of the meeting; James P. Foley 
and Thomas Collins, vice-presidents ; David C. Priddy and Henry B. Wilson, 
secretaries. The speakers of the day were Capt. R. A. Riley, General Dumont, 
Judge Gooding and Captain Tuttle. Strong appeals were made for the sup- 
port of the government. Before adjournment Judge Gooding offered the fol- 
lowing resolutions, which were unanimously adopted : 

"Resolved, that this large meeting of Union men and women is devotedly 
attached to the Union and the Constitution, and for the purpose of perpetuat- 
ing the former and maintaining the latter, we are in favor of the vigorous 
prosecution of the war. to suppress the rebellion and reassert the authority of 
the government over every foot of its territory, and that in our opinion the 
rebellion and the war ought to cease at the same time. 

"That all former party divisions ought to be ignored for the common 
purpose of saving our imperiled country. 

"That we are proud of the gallant Union army in the field against the 
rebellion, and that we most heartily sympathize with the families and friends 
of such as have been slain in battle, or otherwise, lost their lives in the service. 

"That our honor is pledged that the families of the soldiers from this 


county shall not want in the absence of their husbands and fathers, and that 
we herein- demand of our county commissioners and gents that our pledge 
be honorably, faithfully and fully kept ; and that the honor and patriotism 
of Hancock county be not tarnished by a single act of bad faith." 

July 4, 1863, was celebrated in many parts of the county with picnics, 
where people listened to patriotic addresses. Greenfield celebrated at Pier- 
son's grove. Music was furnished by a choir, and W. R. Hough made and 
eloquent and patriotic speech in the afternoon. After speaking, the young 
people engaged in cotillion dancing until late in the day. 

Immediately following this celebration came the news of the fall of 
Vicksburg, which was the occasion for another celebration. The following 
report from the local papers reflects the feeling that was aroused in the hearts 
of the people of the county by the success of the Union army : 

"The fall of Vicksburg, though long expected, when officially announced 
to the country, causing every loyal heart to leap with joy and brought renewed 
hope to the wavering and doubtful mind of a speedy determination of the 
present causeless and unnatural fratricidal war, and a closer, more perfect, 
and fraternal union of all the states at no distant day. Our own people par- 
took of this joyous feeling and gave vent last evening to their outpouring 
patriotism by illuminations, bonfires, speeches and all manner of rejoicings. 
People from the country for miles around quit their harvest fields and came 
to town to participate in the grand reunion of loyal hearts. All life was 
animation, and everyone, young and old, seemed pleased with himself and 
'the rest of mankind.' It was a grand day, or rather night, for Greenfield, 
and will long be held in memory by all who love their country and venerate 
its glorious institutions. All honor to the noble and gallant army, that by 
its patience, endurance, skill and bravery, under the scorching rays of a 
southern sun, overcame almost insurmountable obstacles, and gained the 
most decisive victory of the war. 

"During the evening speeches were made by D. S. Gooding, W. R. Houglv 
William Martin, Drs. Hall and Ballenger, S. T. Kauble and H. J. Dunbar." 

Another mass meeting of peculiar significance was held by the citizens of 
the county on February 13, 1864, after the draft orders for three hundred 
thousand volunteers and two hundred thousand volunteers respectively, had 
been made by the national government. Possibly the firm loyalty of the 
people never found a nobler expression than in the adoption of the following 
lesolutions by the people assembled at Greenfield on that day. It must be 
borne in mind that in many counties of the state there was opposition to the 


draft, and in some of them open resistance. This resolution was offered by 
Judge Gooding and unanimously adopted by the people : 

"Whereas, this country is still involved in civil war; and 

"Whereas, traitors in arms, and their sympathizers not in arms, persist in 
their purpose of overthrowing the government of the United States; and 

"Whereas, it will require all the power of a united, loyal people to sup- 
press the formidable, wicked and causeless rebellion, and thereby restore a 
permanent peace, so desirable to all Union men; therefore, 

"Resolved, that we will still continue to give to the government of the 
United States, through its legitimately constituted authority, our unhesitating 
and hearty support in its efforts to suppress the rebellion, and conquer a 

The fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee were announced in large 
headlines in the local papers, and the news was received with great rejoicing 
by the people. The issue of the Hancock Democrat of that date gives the 
following description of the general celebration of the event in the county : 

"The reception of the news of the surrender of General Lee and his 
rebel hordes, in our town early on Monday morning last, was the occasion 
of great and lasting joy. Bells were rung, bonfires were built, powder was 
freely used, and all business was suspended for the day. Men, women and 
children thronged the streets and greeted each other as they had not greeted 
each other before. The dark hours were past; the day began to dawn and 
all was safe. The country, in spite of rebel sympathizers at home and 
abroad, and difficulties that can not be told, was redeemed, regenerated and 
disenthralled, and stood up among the nations of the earth, more powerful 
than when the great struggle began. And our patriotic people rejoiced as 
became the sons and daughters of freemen — as became the fathers and 
mothers and sisters and brothers, the wives and children of the brave and gal- 
lant men who went out from the midst in the dark hours of our peril, to do or 
die in the effort to save the country from its then impending ruin. Appro- 
priate, eloquent speeches were made by several of our public speakers. 

"At night a large number of houses along the principal streets, business 
as well as private, were beautifully illuminated. Martial music paraded the 
streets followed by a mass of patriotism of either gender. A stand was extem- 
porized at Walker's corner, and a crowd gathered around to hear the speeches. 
Messrs. Hough, Judge Gooding, Ballenger, Riley, Hall, Colonel Gooding, 
Mason, White, and others spoke to the crowd." 

But hardly had the morning of peace dawned with such glorious splen- 
dor filling the hearts of the people with gladness, when the day was overcast 


with the dark clouds of horror and sorrow at the news of the President's 
assassination. The great headlines with the picture of a booming cannon 
which joyfully announced the surrender of Lee in the local papers, gave way 
to heavy lines of mourning in the following issue. 

The remains of President Lincoln passed through the county at 5 147 a. m. 
on Sunday, April 30, 1865. A pilot engine, with one car attached, led the 
way about one mile in advance. The train carrying the state officers and 
some of Governor Morton's invited guests brought up the rear, being about, 
one hour behind. Many citizens from all parts of the county were at the 
depot at Greenfield, hoping to get to see the coffin in which the martyred 
President lay, but the train did not stop. The cars were decorated and heavily 
d raped in black and looked solemn and sombre. 

During the summer of 1865 the soldiers who had enlisted were welcomed 
home' in squads and companies. No one knows quite so well as those who 
lived through it all how good it seemed to meet with friends and loved ones 
and to resume the quiet, prosperous life that our good county offers. 


As soon as Ft. Sumter had fallen, and the first call for volunteers had 
been made, our board of county commissioners took action. At the June 
session of the board, 1861, the west room of the west wing of the court 
house, which had been built in 1845, was set apart as an armory for the 
storing of arms and military equipage of the companies of the Legion of 
Indiana. The sheriff was ordered to remove everything from the west room 
to the east room of said wing, and the auditor was ordered to notify all persons 
who owned property in the west room to remove the same within thirty days. 
On the same day that this room was set apart as an armory the board also 
made the following order for the proper 


"Ordered, that the township trustee in each township in the county he, 
and he is hereby appointed, authorized, and empowered to ascertain the 
names, ages and conditions of the wives and families of all soldiers resident 
in his township, in the service of the state of Indiana and of the United States, 
and to procure the necessaries and reasonable comforts of ordinary life for 
such of them as are now or may hereafter be in actual need during the said 
service of said husband or father as the case may be, and to distribute the same 
as circumstances and the necessity of the case require, economically, impar- 
tially and honestly, and each of said trustees is requested to procure a record 


and keep a strict account of all his doings, together with the names, ages and 
conditions of the beneficiaries herein, and to supply only such families as 
have no other source of supply; and in all purchases, whether upon written 
orders or otherwise, the seller must accept county orders in payment, to be 
issued at the next succeeding term of this court upon the certificate of the 
proper trustee as to the justice of the claim. And it is further ordered that 
before proceeding to the performance of the duties hereinbefore enjoined aiyl 
ordered, each of said trustees respectively shall take and subscribe an oath, 
honestly and impartially to discharge the duties hereinbefore required of him; 
and it is further required of each of them to report to this court at its next 
regular term a full and perfect account of all his doings under oath." 

Other men were also appointed from time to time as "agents" to aid in 
giving proper care to the soldiers' wives and children. Their duties were 
the same as those designated in the order above. In the main these men 
were conscientious and made bona fide efforts to give proper care and comfort 
to those who were then without other support. Sometimes, however, dissatis- 
faction arose. Several "agents" were removed by the board. In one instance 
a petition was filed by the wives of twelve soldiers, asking for the removal 
of the certain "agent" on whom they were dependent for the necessaries of 
life. The causes for which they asked his removal were set out in the follow- 
ing petition : 
"To the Board of County Commissioners: 

"We, the undersigned, soldiers' wives, respectfully ask the board of com- 
missioners of Hancock county to remove the present agent pretending to 
furnish assistance to soldiers' wives and families ; we ask it for several reasons : 
his wife has abused and insulted some of us at different times and he himself 
has been niggardly and mean in his allowance to us, and has invariably 
required us to buy our goods at one certain house when we believe we could 
have done better at other places; this is only a part, but we think sufficient 
to ask his removal and the appointment of some good man in his stead," etc. 

(Signed by twelve soldiers' wives.) 

The evidence in the above matter seems to have sustained the allegations 
of the petition. The agent was promptly dismissed by the board and another 
appointment made. 

At the January session, in 1863, of the board of commissioners, the 
following order relative to furnishing houses for the families of enlisted men 
was made : 

"Ordered by the board that the agents heretofore appointed to aid in 



furnishing necessaries for soldiers' families are hereby instructed that in 
case when the furnishing of a house becomes necessary and proper, that the 
agent make a reasonable allowance in such cases, but avoid in every instance 
the making of a contract or proposition to rent any property whatever as 
such agent.'* 

The large number of claims allowed during the war in the execution of 
the above orders made by the county commissioners shows that the county 
government made a bona fide effort to relieve those at home of as much 
suffering and hardship as possible. Each month from one to twenty claims 
were allowed, aggregating sometimes several hundred dollars per month. 
The manner in which the relief orders were drawn shows that the com- 
missioners were generous, yet careful to guard against imposition on the 
county. Theirs was not a work nor an attitude of charity; it was patriotism 
operating from a business viewpoint. 


By September I, 1862, the county had furnished thirty-three and one- 
fifth per cent, of its fighting strength. The following table shows the num- 
ber of men enrolled in the service, also the number subject to draft : 

O tO 


to g< 

3 g 












3 h 



0> 0> 

7; * 








. c, 







p* 1 






















' 17 





























Blue River 185 

Brown 184 

Brandy wine 139 

Buck Creek 151 

Center 371 

Green 152 

Jackson 279 

Sugar Creek .... 245 

Vernon 213 

Tota] I »9 I 9 9*8 207 47 828 1,665 


The county offered bounties to volunteers that the quota might be filled 
without having to submit to the draft. At the July session, 1862, the board 
of county commissioners ordered, "that the sum of twenty-five dollars be 
appropriated out of the county treasury to each and every citizen of Hancock 
county who may volunteer in the United States service for three year? or 
during the war under the call of the President of the United States." 

In the fall of 1863, when President Lincoln made a call for three hun- 
dred thousand volunteers, it became evident that larger bounties would have 
to be offered if the county was to escape the draft. The county commis- 
sioners did not want to take upon themselves the entire responsibility of so 
great a matter, which involved so heavy an indebtedness upon the county, 
without knowing pretty definitely how the people of the county felt about it. 

A citizens' mass meeting was held at Greenfield on Saturday, November 
8, 1863, to give an expression upon the propriety of giving a bounty through 
Ihe county commissioners to volunteers under the late call of President Lincoln 
for three hundred thousand troops. Captain Riley was chosen president, and 
Robert P. Brown, secretary. Dr. B. F. Duncan offered the following 
resolution : 

"Whereas, the President of the United States has recently issued his 
proclamation for three hundred thousand volunteers to infuse new life and 
vigor into the prosecution of the war for its suppression ; and 

"Whereas, it is desirable that the quota allotted to Hancock county should 
be raised by volunteers prior to the 5th day of January, 1864, therefore, 

"Resolved, that as an inducement to our fellow citizens to volunteer in 
the common defense of our country, and in addition to the bounty offered by 
the general government, the board of county commissioners of Hancock 
county are hereby authorized and instructed by this meeting of citizens and 
laxpayers of the county to cause an order upon the county treasurer for the 
sum of one hundred dollars to be issued to each and every person who shall 
or may volunteer under the present call for three hundred thousand volun- 
teers, and be accepted as a recruit in the United States service, and be 
accredited upon the quota allotted to Hancock county. This bounty to be 
continued until the quota shall have been filled. 

"Resolved, that the secretary present the action of this meeting to the 
board of commissioners at the meeting of said board on Monday, November 
9, 1863." 

After a general debate the resolutions were adopted by a unanimous vote. 

A resolution to appoint a central committee of five to aid and assist 


in the volunteering, with authority to appoint additional committees for each 
township, was then adopted. The president appointed William Mitchell, 
Morgan Chandler, George H. Walker, John W. Ryon and John C. Rardin as 
such committee. 

After an excellent and appropriate speech by Captain Riley the meeting 

The above resolutions were duly presented to the commissioners on 
Monday, November 9, 1863, and the board received them with due courtesy, 
but having been called for a specific purpose could transact no business other 
than that for which they had been called. A special meeting of the board of 
commissioners was called for Saturday, November 21, 1863, to determine 
the matter. 

In order to satisfy and assure the county commissioners of the feeling 
of the taxpayers upon the matter of the bounties, petitions were circulated in 
each of the townships for the signatures of taxpayers asking for the allowance 
of such bounty. 

The following form of petition was used and signed by persons irrespec- 
tive of party affiliations : 

"We, the undersigned, citizens and taxpayers of Hancock county. Indi- 
ana, hereby request the board of county commissioners to give a bounty of 
one hundred dollars to every person who volunteers, and shall be accepted as 
a soldier in the United States service from this county under the last call 
of the President for three hundred thousand volunteers to prosecute the 
present war, provided that no bounty be given after the quota of the county 
is filled." 

The following gentlemen were appointed as township committees to 
circulate the petitions and report to the central committee : Blue River, James 
P. New, N. D. Coffin; Brown, Dr. William Trees, W. L. Garriott; Buck- 
Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, James Collins ; Brandywine, Alfred Potts, John 
Roberts ; Center, William F. Pratt, William Mitchell ; Green, Edward Volun- 
tine, Robison Jarrett ; Jackson, John Barrett, George W. Sample ; Sugar 
Creek, Robert P. Brown, Dr. William Dye ; Vernon, Nimrod Lightfoot, Rev. 
William Anderson. 

Satisfied with the showing thus made the board of county commissioners 
at a special meeting on November 21, 1863, made another order allowing a 
bounty of one hundred dollars on county orders "to each volunteer who may 
be accepted from this county under the call of the President of the United 
States for three hundred thousand volunteers. 

"Under said call in making this allowance the county commissioners 
would appeal to the citizens of the county to take up these orders when issued 


at par upon the following terms and conditions to-wit :. If the quota of the 
county was proportionately divided among the townships the following would 
be the result: Blue River, 12; Brown, 13; Brandywine, 11; Buck Creek, 12; 
Center, 33; Green, 13; Jackson, 21 ; Sugar Creek, 17; Vernon, 18. 

"It is recommended that the citizens of each township take up these 
orders to an amount equal to the number of volunteers each would have to 
furnish, where the volunteer does not take the orders himself. And further, 
that when the citizens of a township fail to take up the orders within fifteen 
days after the issuing of the same any citizens of the county may have the 
privilege of taking the same." 

Though a very earnest effort was made during the latter part of the 
war when the heavy calls for volunteers were made to replace the men whose 
terms were expiring, to fill the county's quota by volunteers without having 
a man drafted, the endeavor did not wholly succeed. Loyal men gave of 
their time and energy, and the young men came forward and enlisted, so 
that when the drafts were made the numbers still required were small. 

The amount of money expended by the people of Hancock county to aid 
the government in suppressing the rebellion and in giving relief to the families 
at home was enormous, as shown by the reports of the county auditor and 
the adjutant-general of the state of Indiana. The amount under the head of 
"Bounty" includes what was paid for substitutes. No report on relief was 
made by. Brown, Brandywine and Buck Creek townships. The following is 
a statement of the amounts expended : 

Townships. Bounty. For Relief. 

Blue River $ 27,030.00 $ 100.00 

Brown ...... 12,404.00 

Brandywine 26,604.00 

Buck Creek 30,000.00 

Center 20,000.00 5,000.00 

Green 26,896.00 1,270.00 

Jackson : 35,814.32 3,247.00 

Sugar Creek 30,100.00 250.00 

Vernon 27,950.00 210.00 

Total Townships $236,798.61 $10,077.80 

County proper $ 15,000.00 $57,804.22 

$251,798.61 $67,882.02 

Total $319,680.63 



It is impossible to arrive at a proper appreciation of the fine loyalty of 
the people, or form a correct estimate of the strength of southern sympathy 
without viewing this phase of the county's history in its relation to the state 
as a whole. " 

It became a notorious fact soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, that 
not only Indiana, but that Illinois, Missouri and other Northern states were 
honeycombed with a secret organization known as the "Knights of the Golden 
Circle," and later as the "Sons of Liberty." The purpose of this organization 
was to give aid to the South. At the trial at Indianapolis, in 1864, of Harri- 
son H. Dodd, grand commander of the "Sons of Liberty," on a charge of 
treason, the evidence showed that forty-five counties in the state had been 
fully organized by this secret order; that local lodges or "temples" had been 
organized in other counties, and that its membership consisted of more than 
eighteen thousand men. The evidence adduced in that trial further showed 
that members were sworn to secrecy and to the performance of acts designed 
to aid the South and embarrass the North. Among the obligations taken 
were those of supporting Jefferson Davis, North and South; of aiding in 
the release of Confederate prisoners in the North, and of aiding the Con- 
federates when they should invade the northern states. To weaken the Union 
arms it was the plan of the order to encourage desertions and to resist recruit- 
ing. To this end township organizations were effected for the protection of 
deserters from the Union army, and open resistance was made to the enforce- 
ment of the draft in some counties. The evidence further showed that well 
defined efforts were made in various ways, to cripple the work of the state 
authorities in sending reinforcements to the field. These efforts were directed 
toward securing the passage of legislative acts and resolutions unfavorable 
to the Union cause; toward securing expressions of popular disapproval of 
the war, and toward disseminating a disloyal feeling among the people. The 
Cnion men in the Legislature had to be on their guard constantly to prevent 
harmful legislation. The following excerpts taken from resolutions adopted 
by the citizens assembled in mass meetings in six different counties in the 
state, also illustrate the degree to which these efforts found a response. Many 
more could be added to the list : 

"We declare the proposed draft for five hundred thousand men to be the 
most damnable of all outrages perpetrated by the administration upon the 

"Our interest and inclination will demand of us a withdrawal from the 
political association in a common government with the New England states. 


"We regard the lives of white men as of more value than the freedom of 
the negro, and we have given the last man and the last money we are willing 
to give for the present abolition war. 

"We are opposed to the war under any and all circumstances, and we are 
opposed to the further continuance of this unholy and unnatural strife, 

"The further prosecution of this war will result in the overthrow of the 
constitution, of civil liberty, of the federal government, in the elevation of the 
black man and the degradation of the white man in the social and political 
status of the country. 

"That we are unqualifiedly opposed to the further prosecution of this 
abolition war; and believing that in its continued prosecution there await us 
only the murderous sacrifice of legions of brave men, ignominious and dis- 
graceful defeat, shame and dishonor at home and abroad, public ruin and the 
serious endangerment of our liberties, we unhesitatingly declare that we are 
for peace, the cessation of hostilities, an armistice, and the peaceful settlement 
of existing difficulties by compromise or negotiation, through a national 

"We are unqualifiedly opposed to the further prosecution of this aboli- 
tion war, and, believing that in its further prosecution there awaits us only 
the murderous sacrifice of our national honor * * * * we solemnly declare 
that we will not furnish another man or another dollar to carry on this aboli- 
tion war." 

As set over against the above resolutions, the following were 
adopted by the citizens of Hancock county, assembled at Greenfield in mass 
meeting, January 16, 1861 : 

"Resolved, by the Hancock Guard and the citizens here assembled, that 
in view of the present imminent danger to the perpetuity of our country, the 
Constitution and laws are our only safety; that we pledge ourstelves to stand 
by those in power who faithfully maintain the one and execute the other; 
and that in the language of General Jackson this Union must and shall be 

February 3, 1864: "Resolved, that we will still continue to give to the 
government of the United States, through its legitimately constituted authority, 
our unhesitating and hearty support in its efforts to suppress the rebellion and 
conquer a peace." 

Though we have these splendid expressions of loyalty the county also had 
its Southern sympathizers. Thev made known their attitude toward the solu- 
tion of the problems then before the government by wearing the "butternut'' 
colors. Men and boys wore "butternut" suits, and women and girls wore 


butternut garments and decorations. Among the decorations worn, the "but- 
ternut pin." made of a cross section of a butternut, — and which, by the way, 
when polished makes a very pretty pin, — was one of the most popular methods 
of giving expression to Southern sympathy. Because of the use of the "butter- 
nut" colors and pins for such purposes the sympathizers with the South were 
known as "butternuts." By the abolitionists or radicals who felt that circum- 
stances demanded the application of a stronger term, they were called "copper- 
heads." The men and women who lived in the county during that period 
have very clear recollections of the extent to which the butternut colors were 

It was never proven in any court that the Knights of the Golden Circle 
or Sons of Liberty ever organized a "temple" in Hancock county. There was 
a very deep-seated conviction, however, in the minds of a vast majority of 
the people, whether right or wrong, that such an organization did exist, and 
that among its sworn members were included some of the most prominent 
families of the county. 

Open and combined resistance by overt acts was never offered in the 
county to the work of the national government. Meetings, however, were 
held in the county, attended by men who were lukewarm in the Union cause, 
if not in open sympathy with the Confederacy. Many of them supplied them- 
selves with firearms. Union men also had their meetings, sometimes behind 
locked doors and in rooms where arms were stored. These conditions gave 
great concern to the people of the county. Acts of open violence occurred in 
nearby parts of the state, which intensified this feeling of uneasiness. The 
"Battle of Pogue's Run," the discovery of arms packed in boxes marked 
"Sunday School Books." and the efforts, or at least the rumors of efforts, to 
release the Confederate prisoners at Indianapolis, are still fresh in the mem- 
ories of the people then residents in this community. 

Though open resistance was never offered to the national government, 
feeling, as stated above, was very intense in the county and frequently found 
expression in fistic encounters and street brawls. Stones and other missiles 
sometimes came flying out of the darkness, and people, especially those most 
active, felt the insecurity of life and property during those years. An instance 
is still recounted of a stanch Union man who stood in the light of a bonfire 
listening to a Union speech, and who was unceremoniously awakened from 
his reverie by being hit on the head with a brick. Another incident is also 
told of a radical Union man who came down the street and threatened to 
drive his wagon over the body of a "copperhead" who had been knocked 
down in a brawl, unless his friends should drag his body out of the way. 


Frequently attempts were made to snatch the butternut pins or other emblems 
from the persons of men and also of women and girls. These little encounters 
sometimes led to good-natured scraps and sometimes to bitter fights. Such 
instances, and they could be multiplied, illustrate the mental and nervous 
strain to which the county was subjected during those years. To appreciate 
the terribleness of this strain more fully than it can be portrayed here, one 
needs but to converse with the men and women who lived through it. 

Though there were "butternuts'' in the county, and though there was a 
strong conviction current that many of them were also sworn members of 
the Knights of the Golden Circle, these matters do not seem to have affected 
the social relations of the people. Families attended the same church, ladies 
were members of the same clubs and societies, men engaged in business 
together, and all people maintained their neighborly relations, to all out- 
ward appearances at least, about the same as before the war. Yet, to the 
minds of the stanch, loyal, Union people the wearing of the "butternut" dur- 
ing that hour of the nation's peril savored of treason. This same attitude 
toward the Southern sympathizers also found expression in the mass meetings 
of the citizens of the county. The following resolutions adopted by the 
people assembled at Fortville on April 23, 1863, must be viewed in this light 
or their significance is lost : 

"Resolved, that the miscreants in our midst, who attempt to create 
dissatisfaction in the ranks of our gallant soldiers; and induce them to desert 
the colors made glorious by their valor on repeated battlefields are meaner 
traitors than the armed rebels of the South ; that they are entitled to and will 
receive the scorn of all honorable men. 

"That we cordially endorse General Burnside's order, transporting 
Northern rebels beyond the Federal lines, where they legitimately belong." 

The following preamble to the resolutions adopted by the citizens assem- 
bled in mass meeting at Greenfield, February 13, 1864, contains the same 
thought : 

"Whereas, traitors in arms and their sympathizers not in arms persist in 
their purpose of overthrowing the government of the United States," etc. 

The feeling, excitement and experiences of the people of the county may 
be viewed from several angles from expressions in letters written at the time. 
Following are a few illustrations : 

"All is excitement here, but thanks to Him who rules the hour, we are 
not alarmed and exasperated by the arising as yet of one dark monument of 
infamy, disgrace and shame — a traitor. 


"Although the report of political feeling and difficulty a short time ago 
would have plainly implied the reverse, old Hancock stands almost as a unit 
for the stars and stripes, the Union with the constitution and the admin- 
istration. Democratic and Republican parties are for the time erased from 
the face of sentiment and now we have but one party and that standing bravely 
for the stars and stripes of the United States of America, for the protection 
of our great national fabric of liberty, for the enforcement of our laws and 
for the maintenance of our national dignity. Truly old Hancock is alive and 
for the first time in her life united in a common cause." (April 23, 1861.) 

"The greatest excitement prevails here. Union meetings are being held 
almost every evening. Patriotic speeches are being made and troops raised to 
defend our country. The second company in this place was filled out yester- 
day. The first one to Indianapolis last Saturday evening. The others are 

ready to go at any time they are called. Your brother belongs to 

the second company. 

"I parted with some very near friends on Saturday, two dear teachers 
and several class mates. It w r as hard indeed to part with them, but I could 
bid them Godspeed for I knew they were engaged in a glorious cause — the 
cause of liberty, and what more could they fight for? It was really a dis- 
tressing sight to see parents parting with sons — perhaps the only one — sis- 
ters with brothers, and friends with friends, but it was most affecting to see 
husbands and wives parting. Mr. R. A. Riley is captain of the company. A 
company of the ladies intend going out to the camp today." (April 28, 1861.) 

"Your letter and another was brought me ; the moment my eyes fell 

upon them I recognized them as from , and my brother-in-law, whom 

I heard had fallen at . I held them for some time before I could 

determine which to open first, but as sister was anxious to hear the news T 
tore brother's open and read far enough to find that he had not yet repented 
of his treachery. I then threw it down and took up yours, which I knew 
to be from a true-hearted loyalist." (July 12, 1861.) 

"Each night as I lie down to rest the question naturally comes up, "Where 

is tonight?" Then I can but contrast your condition with mine; I, 

here at home surrounded by kind friends and all the blessings of life, while 
you are in a strange land, exposed to every imaginable hardship and danger, 
surrounded by enemies who are seeking your life, and not knowing when you 
lie down "at night that you will be permitted to behold the dawn of another day. 
Although such thoughts are continually revolving in my mind I would not 
have you for a moment think that I wish you to abandon the cause. Xo, 
, duty calls loudly upon every loyal citizen to aid in suppressing this 


rebellion and I hope and pray that God will give you health and strength to 
continue your efforts. 

"Much as I would like to see you I would not have you neglect your duty 
a single day to gratify my desire." (From a young lady to her soldier friend, 
September 22, 186 1.) 

"Tell that I will be at home bye and bye and she and I will 

organize the Home Guards, then those vile copperheads must square them- 
selves to the American eagle or leave the country. Saw the boys in Taylor 
Thomas' company — all looking hearty." (From a soldier, March 31, 1863.) 


The all-absorbing topic of conversation at the outbreak of the Civil War 
and during the war was the Union. Would the Union prevail or would dis- 
union triumph ? Everywhere, on the street corners, in the country stores, at 
the meeting places, and in the homes, people were discussing the state of the 
Union. "Union" and "Dis-union" could be heard on all occasions. They 
became catch words. Though conditions were serious, people did not lose 
their sense of humor. The following advertisements taken from the local 
papers of the county show how the advertisers took advantage of the use 
of these words to attract popular attention : 



Second Grand Annual Sale 


Fall and Winter Dry Goods, etc. 

W. S. Morton & Co. 


Xew York Store removed! 

E. B. Hollidav having removed his New York Store 

to the Masonic Temple, etc. 



Greenfield, Hancock County. Nov. 17, i860. Auditor's Office. 

Those indebted to the School Funds of the County who have failed to 
pay their installment of interest due, etc. 

L. Sparks, A. H. C. 



"At the Burk Allen house, on the evening of the 24th, by Rev. J. Hill, 
Mr. D. McCarter, M. D., to Miss Cornelia Thorpe, of Anderson. Thus has 
another single state seceded, not from but into the union. May the union he 
perpetual and blissful and may no 'irrepressible conflicts' arise to disturb it." 


The decoration of soldiers' graves was not generally observed in this 
county for several years after the close of the war. The first definite steps, 
it seems, were taken in 1869. A petition was circulated on which about fifty 
names were secured, calling a meeting of the citizens at the court house at 
Greenfield on Tuesday evening, May 25, 1869, at the ringing of the bell. The 
purpose of the meeting was to make arrangements for decorating the soldiers' 
graves. This petition was published over the following names in the Hancock 
Democrat: Lot Edwards, George W. Dove, C. C. Mays, James H. Carr, 
Benjamin F. Rains, Andrew J. Banks, Robert E. Barnett, Henry B. Wilson, 
Thomas Kane, William Wilkins, Nelson Bradley, C. F. Lockwood, M. Marsh, 
William R. Hough, Hammet J. Williams, John C. Dunbar, Phil H. Boyd, A. 
Hough, R. A. Riley. M. L. Paullus, Amos C. Green, John C. Rardin, Lionel 
E. Rumrill, D. S. Gooding, Henry A. Swope, A. K. Branham, Hamilton J. 
Dunbar, William Mitchell. Andrew T. Hart, William S. Wood, Thomas Carr. 
Stephen D. Lyon, Noble P. Howard, R. P. Brown, John Tague, E. B. Grose, 
John A. Riley, Pressley Guymon, J. A. J. Martin, Henry C. Chapman, Samuel 
W. Barnett, F. H. Crawford, Frank Hafner, O. D. Hughes, John A. Hughes, 
M. M. Adams, Charles G. Offutt, Jacob T. Barnett, J. Wlard Walker. 

The meeting at the court house was well attended. On motion of Judge 
Walker, Monday, May 31, was selected as the day for decorating the graves. 
Capt. M. L. Paullus was appointed marshal for the day, and Capt. Adams L. 
Ogg and Maj. Lee O. Harris, assistant marshals. The following committees 
were appointed : 

On Battle Flags— A. P. Williams, William Mitchell, H. A. Swope. 

To Place Flags on Graves — William M. Johnson, Thomas Carr, Shelton 

On Flowers and Evergreens — First ward, Mrs. E. P. Thayer, F. H. 
Crawford, E. B. Grose: second ward, Mrs. M. L. Paullus, A. P. Williams, 
Nelson Bradley; third ward, Mrs. J- Ward Walker, George Y. Atkison. O. D. 
Hughes, L. W. Gooding ; fourth ward, Mrs. H. J. Williams, S. W. Barnett, 
J. L. Mason; fifth ward, Mrs. H. B. Thayer. Lot Edwards, A. J. Banks. M. 
M. Adams. 


To Carry Flowers and Strew Flowers on Graves — Maggie Galbreath, 
Hattie Stitz, Alice Chittenden, Emma Lineback, Lizzie McGregor, Sallie 
Dove, Sallie Walker, Lou Offutt, Mollie Carmikle, Minerva Dennis, Anna 
Tague, Ella Crawford, Fannie Foley, Jennie Sloan, Emma Boyd, Pet Guy- 
mon, Clara Preston, Ella Barnett, Lizzie Dunbar, Dollie Skinner, Vira Good- 
ing, Linda Ogle, Mollie Price, Annie Hammel, Annie Thomas, Sue Wilson, 
Alice Barnett, Fannie Pierson, Mellie Ryon, Rose Bedgood, Maggie Barnett, 
Linda Osborn, Mollie Oakes, Cinda Gebhart, Fannie Branham, Ella Barnett, 
Cassie Rardin, Bell Gorman, Laura Brown, Vessie Montfort, Pauline King, 
Alice Winn, Fannie Carr, Bell Reed, Fannie Kiefer, Eliza Chandler, Minnie 
Sebastian, Mittie Carr. 

The following order of formation of the procession was adopted : 


Battle Flags 

Wounded Soldiers 


Families of Deceased Soldiers 

Young Ladies Carrying Baskets and Evergreens 

Soldiers of War of 1812 and Mexican War 

Soldiers of War of 1861-5 



This service was largely attended. Decoration day, however, did not 
become established at once as it is now, and judging from the newspaper 
reports not much interest was taken in it for several years. In 1877 a num- 
ber of soldiers again called a meeting of our citizens at the court house to 
arrange for a decoration service. This call was as follows : 

"We, the undersigned soldiers of the late war, desire that the 30th of 
May be observed in memory of our fallen heroes, and request the citizens of 
Greenfield and Hancock county, irrespective of party, to meet at the court 
house next Saturday evening, the 19th inst. to make necessary preparations. 
(Signed) W. T. Snider, Edmond P. Thayer, J. Andrews, Harrison D. 
Spangler, Henry C. Rum rill, E. C. Duncan, J. C. Meek, T. W. Thomas, 
Alonzo Ford, David Bixler, James Mahan," 

We have no report of the number of citizens attending this meeting, but 
various committees were appointed and arrangements were made for the 
observance of the day. In giving a report of the exercises, however, the 
writer in the Hancock Democrat said : 


"Yesterday was Decoration day and we are sorry to say it was not gen- 
erally observed by our citizens. The ceremonies at the graveyards were 
solemn and interesting. The speech of our young friend, Mr. James A. New, 
at the new cemetery, is well spoken of by all who heard the address. At 
the old graveyard, Captain Riley entertained the people with a. few of his 
eloquent remarks. Mr. Martin, who was appointed to deliver the oration, 
was absent from the city. If these ceremonies are to be kept up in the future, 
it would be well for all citizens to meet and pay a proper tribute to the nation's 
honored dead." 

The day was observed by the soldiers of the county from year to year 
after 1869, but it was not until fifteen or twenty years after the war that the 
general public took such an interest in the ceremonies as the day deserved. 
Usually a patriotic address was made, and either a choir or a band furnished 
music for the occasion. The following is the program that was followed at 
Greenfield in 1879: 

Old Cemetery : 

Music by the Band 

Singing by Choir 

Oration by George W. Duncan 

Singing by Choir 

Poem by Lee O. Harris 

Music by Band 

Firing Salute 

Decoration of Soldiers' Graves. 

New Cemetery : 

Music by Band 

Singing by Choir 

Oration by Capt. A. L. Ogg 

Singing by Choir 

Poem by J. W. Riley 

Music by Band 

Firing Salue 

Decoration of Graves 

In 1884 the following was the program on Decoration day: Marshals of 
the day, E. P. Thayer, Joseph Baldwin; members of the Grand Army 
of the Republic met at their post room at one o'clock p. m. sharp, and 
;it half past one o'clock formed in front of the court house in line of march 
in the following order: 


The Greenfield Cornet Band 
Officers and members of the G. A. R. Lodges 
of the City and County 

The Citizens' Band 

Mayor and City Council 

County and ex-County Officers 

The Philadelphia Brass Band 

Sunday Schools 

Ex-Soldiers and Citizens on Foot 

The Dobbins Band 

Citizens in Carriages 

March to the New Cemetery 


Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club 

Prayer, Rev. D. R. Love 


Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club 

Poem read by Mrs. Ephraim Marsh 

Decorating Graves by Comrades of the G. A. R. 

Music by the Band 

Salute the Dead 

Reformed in same Order, Marched to the Old Cemetery 

Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club 

Prayer, Rev. William Anderson 


Vocal Music, Greenfield Musical Club 

Essay, Mrs. I. P. Poulson 

Decorating Graves by Comrades of the G. A. R. 

Music by Band 

Salute the Dead 

The above are typical of the programs that were given for a number 
of years. 

During the first ten or fifteen years of the observance of this day it was 
the custom at Greenfield to have addresses made at both cemeteries. In fact 
it seems to have been the custom in most parts of the county to have the 
address given at the cemetery, or in a grove near the cemetery, if the weather 


permitted. This was continued for a number of years until the soldiers 
became advanced in years and were unable to endure the strain of standing 
while listening to an address. 

On May 31, 19 15, fifty years after their return from the front, the dec- 
oration of the graves of their heroes was observed at Greenfield in the usual 
manner. Committees had been appointed as follows: Flowers and evergreen. 
John A. Barr, E. A. Henby; Outside cemeteries, Philadelphia, William Hut- 
ton; Sugar Creek, Squire McKinzie; Mt. Lebanon, Alexander Osborn ; Curry's 
Chapel, Joseph Martin, Edward Martin; Caldwell, George Crider; Hinchman, 
Daniel Wirtz; Marking graves, John A. Barr, Jerry Ferrin, George W. 
Johnson; Finance, W. W. McCole, Harry G. Strickland, Hays Smith, Frank 
Lynam; Publication, Marshall Winslow, Elmer T. Swope; Program, Henry 
Winslow, • Dr. J. M. Larimore; Conveyances, Stephen D. Jackson, John H. 
Duncan; Music, John Barr, Taylor Morford; Marshal of the day, James 

The line was formed at the court house, led by the marshal of the day; 
the Greenfield band, followed by the soldiers ; Sunday school children marched 
single file on either side of the double column, carrying small American flags. 
The procession was followed by the Relief Corps, civic orders, citizens and 

The veterans and citizens met at the court house at one o'clock and 
proceeded to the Christian church at 1 45. There a patriotic address was 
delivered by William A. Hough. Following the services at the church the 
procession formed on East street, marched to Main, thence west to State, 
thence south to cemetery, and thence east to the mound in Park cemetery. 
At the mound the usual services were observed, including the reading of the 
general order for the observance of Decoration day, parts of the ritual of the 
Grand Army of the Republic, and the firing of the salute. Following the 
services at the mound the graves of the soldiers were decorated with flowers 
that had been gathered by the veterans or that had been contributed by patri- 
otic citizens. After these services the line reformed and marched north on 
Meek street to South street, thence east to the old cemetery, when the salute 
was again fired and the graves decorated. At the close of the services at 
the old cemetery the procession moved north to Main street, and thence west 
ro the court house. 

The above is typical of the manner in which the day has been observed 
at Greenfield for the past fifteen or twenty years. It is also typical of the 
manner in which the day has been observed for many years in different parts 
of the county. 


Just a half century has passed since the men returned from the front. 
Their numher has grown small, and the survivors no longer tread with the 
firm step with which they once advanced. Many of them are no longer able 
to "fall in" and march with their comrades on this hallowed day. Patriotic 
and loving friends are glad to attend them. Children march with them and 
carry flowers for them or wave their little flags in patriotic salute. When 
another half century shall have passed away the memory of these things will 
have become sacred to them. That they saw the veterans of the great Civil 
War and participated in their ceremonies will be one of the sweet stories to tell 
their children's children. 


During the eighties the soldiers were inspired on several occasions to 
live over again the experiences of the Civil War in so far as that could be done 
without harm to anyone. On October 1, 1884, a sham battle was planned 
for Boyd's grove, just north of the city of Greenfield, which has since become 
known as the fair grounds. This event was "written up" in the issue of the 
Hancock Democrat of October 2, 1884, as follows : 

"Although the soldiers' reunion was throughout a very enjoyable affair, 
the sham battle on Friday was perhaps the most interesting part to most of 
our citizens, especially to the young people, giving them a very good idea 
of actual war. The fight took place in the field north of the grove and was 
in plain view of the crowd. At two o'clock the rebel forces, under command 
of Comrade Jefferson C. Patterson, repaired to the west side of the field, 
posted a piece of artillery and awaited the attack. The Union forces, led by 
Capt. E. P. Thayer, also accompanied by a piece of artillery, marched from 
the camp east through the woods and entered the field from the east. A- rebel 
picket, under charge of Comrade G. W. Watts, was posted at the southeast 
corner of the field and opened fire as soon as the Union forces w r ere descried. 
Commander Patterson at once ordered a skirmish line under command of 
Capt. Lee O. Harris, which deployed in front of the advancing forces and the 
fight began between these and a picket line on the Union side under command 
of Comrade A. J. Bridges. The Union line continued steadily to advance, 
and as soon as they reached the brow of the hill opened with their artillery. 
This was the signal for the skirmishers to fall back, and the rebel line advanced 
to the attack under command of Capt. J. H. Carr, assisted by Col. R. A. 
Black, while Comrade G. W. Duncan led on the Union line. The two com- 
manders, Thayer and Patterson, were ubiquitous, galloping here and there 
over the field where their presence was most heeded. Marshall Gooding 



served Commander Patterson as a volunteer and did valiant service. The 
first advantage was gained by the Union forces, who came near turning the 
left flank of the rebels, but reinforcements were promptly sent and they were 
driven back. Then the same maneuver was tried by the rebels on the Union 
left flank, but without proper support, and Captain Thayer promptly threw 
forward a force and captured it. A countercharge was made, however, and, 
after a sharp fight the rebels recaptured their guns. After the fight had 
progressed, with varying success, for some time, the Union gun became 
exposed without sufficient support and was captured, but was promptly 
retaken. Finally, as per program, the rebel gun was captured and held. Their 
force was outflanked and surrendered and were marched as prisoners into 
camp amid the general shouts of everybody, including the prisoners them- 
selves. And so ended one of the most enjoyable affairs ever witnessed in 
Greenfield. Persons who had seen numerous sham contests of this kind 
declared this the best they ever saw." 

Other sham battles were fought in the county, and of course they always 
aroused a great interest among the people. 


When General Grant died in 1885, services were held in different parts 
of the county in his memory, and tributes were paid to his patriotism and his 
great leadership. At Greenfield a meeting was held August 8, at the Masonic 
Hall. Alexander K. Branham called the meeting to order, after which the 
funeral service of the Grand Army was read. Capt. R. A. Riley made a few 
appropriate remarks and Hon. William R. Hough, chairman of the memorial 
committee, offered a series of resolutions which was adopted. A large num- 
ber of people attended this meeting. 

At New Palestine services were also held, a report of which appeared in 
the Hancock Democrat as follows : 

"A week before this memorial took place a number of our citizens met 
at the Methodist Episcopal church for the purpose of making arrangements in 
appointing committees for the different purposes. Some of these committees 
were composed of fire and brimstone and the composition was thought a 
mistake, but they all harmonized and tried to do the best they know how 
to make the affair creditable in honor to the deceased General Grant. The 
arrangements were completed and the day came. At five o'clock in the morn- 
ing the roar of the cannon announced that the day set apart for the burial 
service of the nation's loved one was at hand. This was followed by the 
tolling of the different church' and school house bells in town. Many of our 


citizens went to work and draped their residences and business places in 
mourning, and some were profusely and exceedingly fine and attracted much 
attention. Arrangements had been made, if the weather was favorable, to 
hold the services in the grove, which looked discouraging for a while, but 
the day turned out the best that could be expected. At one o'clock the church 
bells commenced ringing, which was the signal for forming a procession to 
march to thegrove ; and the same was composed of all classes and nationalties, 
and men who fought under Grant and under Lee marched by the side of one 
another. A citizen of this township served in Lee's army from the beginning 
to the surrender, and he marched with the boys in blue in this procession. 
The procession was marshaled by James Greer, an old soldier, with the New 
Palestine Military Band at the head, which played several melodies and 
funeral dirges as they passed through the streets; next, the veterans of the 
war, who were represented in large numbers ; next, the Sunday schools, citi- 
zens on foot, and next the vehicles. They marched west on Mill street, south 
on Walnut to Main, east on Main to Bittner street, thence south to Joseph 
Fritts' grove. The procession eclipsed everything ever witnessed heretofore. 
Arriving at the grove appropriate arrangements had been made in the way 
of seats, and the speaker's stand draped in mourning, which gave a mournful 
appearance. Some one thousand and five hundred people had congregated 
to pay the last tribute of respect to the nation's illustrious dead. David M. 
Dove acted as president on the occasion, and the ceremonies were carried 
out according to program, which consisted of vocal music by the choir, prayer 
and reading Scripture by Rev. Lowden. Hon. Charles G. Offutt was orator of 
the day. He delivered an eloquent oration,' eulogistic of the life and achieve- 
ments of General Grant. He lauded Grant as a military leader, and said he 
was one of those who thought General Grant made a mistake when he left 
the army. He showed that General Grant was a man of a noble char- 
acter, which he exhibited at Lee's surrender. Offutt's address was well 
received and one and all whom we have heard speak of it were much pleased 
with the same and spoke of it in the highest terms of praise. Rev. Lowden, 
A. Black and James Greer followed in short addresses, which were all appro- 
priate and eulogistic in honor of the great captain of the age. The presiding 
officer, in the name of the citizens assembled, thanked the orators of the 
occasion and the New Palestine Military Band for their kind attendance. A 
universal solemnity, well fitted for the occasion, prevailed, and thus ended 
the service in New Palestine in honor of America's dead heroes, such as the 
people of our town had never seen before. Business was entirely suspended. 



Patriotic enthusiasm soon became very intense in the county when war 
was declared against Spain in 1898. Solomon D. Kempton Post, Grand Army 
of the Republic, at Fortville, offered their services to the government, and 
adopted resolutions endorsing the course of President McKinley. A com- 
pany of young men was also organized at Fortville, but never succeeded in 
being mustered in because of the great number offering their services from 
all parts of the state. Hundreds of young men from all parts of the county 
were eager to enlist but only a few were taken. Edwin P. Thayer, Jr., of 
Greenfield, lieutenant-colonel of the Second regiment, Indiana National 
Guards, was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred and 
Fifty-eighth regiment, Indiana Volunteers. This regiment was mustered into 
service May 10, 1898. It moved to Chickamauga May 16, but on account of 
the unsanitary condition of the camp location was moved to Camp Poland, 
near Knoxville, Tenn., on August 25. It was ordered back to Indianapolis 
on September 12 and given a furlough of thirty days. On October 17 it 
reassembled and was discharged on November 4. The following men from 
Hancock county were in the regiment : 

Edwin P. Thayer, lieutenant-colonel ; Horace Swope, commissary- 


Samuel M. Seward. 


John Fisher, Geordie Slifer, Elmer Thomson, Bernard Rider, Clar- 
ence C. Wiley, Winfield Roland, Edward Shelby, Paul Morford, Charles W. 
Baker, Robert W. Gough, John M. Walton, Juett Messick, Frank T. Atkison, 
William Patterson, Arthur G. Lunsford, Charles New, Albert Baker, Thomas 
T. Owens, Edward Lewis. 


Albert C. Barnes, George Kiger, Clinton M. Reeves, Edward Williams, 
Jesse S. Grigsby, Osro H. Coffin, David O. Scott, Jesse Barrett, Oral O. 
King, William E. Smith. 


Henry Hubig, Mack Warrum. 


George Mealey, Charles A. Gordon, Water O. Stuart. 


Edward Waltz, from Sugar Creek township, enlisted in the regular army 
and was at the front at Santiago. 

William Cloud, also of Sugar Creek township, who happened to be in 
Texas at the time, enlisted with the famous "Rough Riders," organized by 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt. He was stricken with typhoid fever, however, 
while in camp at Tampa, Fla., and was unable to proceed with his regiment. 


Several companies of militia have been organized in the county since the 
Civil War that have not been called into active service. The first of these 
companies was organized on January 23, 1874, with forty-eight members and 
was known as the 


The company was named in honor of Maj. A. K. Branham, though Mr. 
Branham never had any personal connection with the company. Within 
about a year the company enrolled about one hundred men from Greenfield 
and vicinity. Its first officers were James N. Wilson, captain; R. A. Black, 
first lieutenant; Newton L. Wray, first sergeant; George W. Johnson, first 

This company took part in several state encampments and made a very 
favorable impression. 


In October, 1889, another company was organized by Capt. E. P. Thayer, 
Jr. At home this company was known as the "Greenfield Light Infantry." 
Officially it was at first designated as the Third Separate Cbmp&ny in the 
"Legion of Indiana." On February 3, 1891, it was assigned to the Second 
Regiment, Indiana National Guard, as Company F. The officers of the 
company were: Captains, Edwin P. Thayer, Walter O. Bragg; first lieuten- 
ants, Harry G. Strickland, Walter O. Bragg, Homer A. Bragg; second lieu- 
tenants, Walter O. Bragg, Noble Warrum, Clare Clark, W. C. Creviston, 
Stephen G. White was first orderly sergeant of the company. The company 
was mustered out in 1892. 


Another company was organized by Capt. Walter O. Bragg on July 25, 
1900. Its first officers were : Walter O. Bragg, captain; Clifford Gery, first 
lieutenant; John C. Jenkins, second lieutenant. It was maintained until about 


1907. Clifford Gery, Albert L. Barnes and Frien B. Atherton each in turn 
served as captain of the company. The boys took part in several state encamp- 
ments and participated each year in the Decoration day services at Greenfield. 
After the organization of Company F, mentioned above, Captain Thayer 
was promoted to the rank of major in the Second regiment, Indiana National 
Guard. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War he was commissioned 
as lieutenant-colonel of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth regiment, Indiana 
Volunteers, and accompanied the regiment to Camp Poland, near Knoxville, 
Tenn. Much to the disappointment of Colonel Thayer and his comrades the 
regiment was not permitted to proceed to the front. After the discharge of 
the regiment Mr. Thayer was appointed colonel of the Second regiment, Indi- 
ana National Guard, which rank he held for a year or two until he withdrew 
from the militia. 


Hancock county has had two graduates from the United States Military 
Academy, at West Point. The first was Gen. Oliver P. Gooding. He 
received his appointment in July, 1853, an d graduated in July, 1856. He 
entered the regular army as a second lieutenant and was advanced until he 
was breveted brigadier general of volunteers, on March 13, 1865. He 
received this recognition for gallant conduct in the assaults on the enemy's 
works at Port Hudson, Louisiana, in 1863, and for distinguishing conduct 
throughout the Red River campaign in 1864. 

Gooding also distinguished himself at the battle of Perryville, Kv., Octo- 
ber 8, 1862. In Lossing's " Encyclopedia of United States History" we read . 
"Meanwhile, Colonel Gooding's brigade had been sent to the aid of McCook 
and fought with great persistence for two hours against odds, losing fully one- 
third of its number, its commander being made prisoner." At this battle he 
was also severely shocked and injured by the bursting of a shell near him, 
from which he probably never entirely recovered. He resigned from the 
army March 20, 1865. 

Samuel Vinton Ham, son of ex-County Treasurer George W. Ham, of 
Brown township, was born December 25, 1867. He was appointed to the 
military academy June 12, 1888, and graduated June 11, 1892. On the day of 
his graduation he was appointed second lieutenant in the United States 
regular army. He served five years in Arizona, and in 1897 was appointed 
professor of military science and tactics at DePauw University. In July, 
1898, he was promoted to the rank of captain and assistant quartermaster of 
United States volunteers and joined the Miles Relief Expedition in Cuba in 


the Spanish-American war. He also took part in the Porto Rico campaign 
until the signing of the peace protocol. He was then transferred to Cuba 
where he served as depot and purchasing quartermaster for the war depart- 
ment until 1902. From 1902 until 1906 he served as construction quarter- 
master in the defenses of Baltimore Harbor and at Salt Lake City. 

He then joined the United States troops in the Philippine Islands, serv- 
ing hi the campaign in the islands of Leyte and Samar in 1906 and 1907. He 
was the commanding officer of the United States forces that fought the 
important engagement near Lapaz, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 6, 
1906, for which action high commendation was paid him by all the command- 
ing generals' on duty in the Philippines. In 1908 he was transferred to Cali- 
fornia, but in 1 910 was returned to the Philippines. In 191 2 he was sent 
to Kansas and from 1913 to 1915 he served in Oregon, California and Ari- 
zona. At present he is stationed along the Mexican border. 

In 1909 he was promoted to first lieutenant in the United States service, 
captain in 1901 and major in 1915. 


Frien B. Atherton was for a time captain of Company M, Second regi- 
ment, Indiana National Guard. His knowledge .of military tactics had been 
received during three years of service in the regular army of the United 
States. He enlisted in the regular army on January 9, 1900. and became a 
member of Battery A, Third regiment, United States Coast Artillery. With 
other recruits he was at once sent to the Philippine Islands, where he remained 
until August, 1 900. At that time the Boxer uprising occurred and his regi- 
ment was sent to Tientsin, China. He remained there from August 20 until 
November 4, 1900. His regiment stood side by side with the German, 
French and British troops to protect their citizens against the Chinese mobs. 
In November, 1900, he was ag-ain removed to the Philippine Islands, where 
he served through the insurrection from November 22, 1900, until July 4. 
1902, In the autumn of that year he returned to Angel Island, California, 
and was honorably discharged on January 5, 1903. 

As a young man his life was clean. Soon after entering the service of the 
United States he was appointed secretary of the Young Men's Christian 
Association, and this membership was maintained during his college life, 
after his discharge from the army. 

Throughout his service in the army he saved his money with the idea of 
finishing a college course. Like so many other young men, however, who 
were unaccustomed to the intense heat of the tropical sun, he was unable to 


withstand the hot climatic conditions of the Islands. Before his discharge 
symptoms of "falling sickness" developed, and when he reached Angel Island 
he was physically unable to work. In September, 1903, he had recuperated 
sufficiently to enter Butler College, and then began one of the most heroic as 
well as one of the most pathetic struggles ever made in fact or written into 
fiction. During the next six years he was a student at college, two vears in the 
preparatory department at Butler, and four years at the Ohio Northern Uni- 
versity, at Ada, Ohio. During these years he battled bravely against the 
weakness contracted in the Islands. His genial, social qualities made him 
popular with his fellows, and his knowledge of military tactics won him the 
command of the battalion at Ohio Northern University. Here he also met 
the young lady who consented to share his life with him. In 1909 he grad- 
uated from the university, having majored in mechanical engineering. He 
passed examinations successfully for admission to the apprentice course 
offered to college graduates only who have taken as their major mechanical 
engineering. During the latter years of his college life his affliction became 
more acute, attacks more frequent and more violent, and at the end of the first 
year with the Westinghouse concern he suffered a complete physical and men- 
tal breakdown. His weakened body had been overtaxed by his long-sustained 
effort and had reached the limit of its endurance. The company's physician 
had to tell him that it was unsafe for him longer to work with surrounding 
machinery; that he must seek the open country and be burdened with no 
responsibilities whatever. He tried, but God's great out-of-doors could not 
restore to his mind and body what had been lost. 

To this time he had scorned the idea of asking for aid. He was superbly 
independent. It was this, the finest and manliest of his qualities, that the 
agents of his government failed to understand or they would have dealt more 
generously with him. The time had come when he could not maintain himself. 
The strong will that had carried him forward, the keen intellect that had 
opened for him the mysteries and niceties of science, the clean, wholesome 
personality that had made him a world of friends — all were hopelessly 
wrecked. There was no future. The past was dark, the present hazy, with 
just enough light to discern the impossibilities — the home, the wife, and the 
standing with his fellows. In a moment, as a darker shadow passed over him, 
he drew down the veil of eternity, but he had given to the world a splendid, 
exalted effort. 



The election of the first county officers for Hancock county was held in 
August, 1828. We have no report of the number of votes cast in that elec- 
tion. At the presidential election in November following one hundred and 
one votes were cast. In the absence of records it is an impossibility at this 
time to determine the relative strength of parties. Joshua Meek, recorder; 
Morris Pierson, treasurer, and later surveyor ; Basil Meek and John Foster, 
sheriffs, all of whom were elected in that year or during the two or three 
years following, were National Republicans, or after 1834, Whigs. These 
men, together with Jeremiah Meek, judge of the Hancock probate court ; John 
Hager, clerk; -Jonathan Dunbar, sheriff, all of whom were elected as National 
Republicans or Whigs, held the principal offices of the county for many years, 
as may be seen by reference to the county officers at the close of the chapter on 
county government. David S. Gooding was the Whig candidate for represen- 
tative against Dr. J. W. Hervey, Democrat, in 1847, and w r as elected by a ma- 
jority of forty-one votes. Joseph Chapman was elected clerk of the Hancock 
circuit court in 1832. He was a Democrat, but his election may have been due 
to his personal canvass. In 1842 Joseph Anderson, Democrat, defeated Jona- 
than Dunbar, W T hig, in the race for sheriff. Judge Gooding, writing editorially 
in the Hancock Democrat in 1861 in criticism of Jonathan Dunbar, charged 
Dunbar with having been a Whig in 1839, "when the Whigs were in the 
ascendancy in Hancock." From these scattering bits of evidence it is safe to 
conclude that in the early history of the county the National Republicans, or 
Whigs, had a majority at the polls, but that a nomination by any party did 
not necessarily mean an election. In all probability the personal standing of 
a candidate received more consideration then than it does now, with our close 
party alignments. 

The two most prominent political leaders of that very early day were 
Thomas D. Walpole, Whig, and Joseph Chapman, Democrat. Walpole came 
to Greenfield in 1834 and entered upon the practice of law. In 1836 he was 
elected to the lower branch of the Legislature, and in 1840 to the Senate. He 
served several terms in the Senate, and on the resignation of Lieutenant- 
Governor Hall was elected president of that body. In 1848 he was a presi- 
dential elector and canvassed a large part of the state for Taylor and Fillmore. 
In 1850 he was elected to the constitutional convention. During the cam- 

3 2 9 


paign of 1852 he allied himself with the Democrats and canvassed the state 
for Pierce. Later he served several more terms in the lower branch of the 
Legislature as a Democrat. It is said that Walpole was never defeated in his 
own county in a political canvass, either as a Democrat or a Whig. Whether 
this be true or not, he was tactful and resourceful and these qualities, with Ins 
magnetic personality, made him a political winner. 

Joseph Chapman came to Hancock county in 1829, just one year after 
the organization of the county. Three years later he was elected clerk of the 
Hancock circuit court, and held the office for about five years, when he 
entered the lower branch of the state Legislature. He was five times elected 
to serve his county in this capacity. He was a fluent, eloquent speaker and 
seems to have lived and moved and had his being in politics. 

In the campaign of 1840 Chapman was the Democratic candidate for 
representative. Walpole was the Whig candidate for senator from Hancock 
and Madison counties. The two men canvassed not only their own countv 
in support of their personal campaigns, but took part in the general canvass of 
the state for their respective parties. They were neighbors and friends at 
home, and in "stumping" the state adopted the plan of speaking from the 
same platforms to the same audiences. -Walpole was aristocratic and devoted 
much care to his personal appearance in matters of dress. This propensity 
subjected him to the criticism of Chapman, who was a "commoner.'' and whose 
humility was the special object of his pride. Now, it so happened one evening, 
as the late Judge Gooding was fond of relating, that Chapman gave his shirt 
to the wife of the tavern keeper to be laundered. During the night the shirt 
was stolen and the next morning Chapman was in a dilemma. Walpole at 
once offered his friend one of his ruffled shirts. But that ruffled shirt had 
been the object of Chapman's ridicule from many a platform. Should he 
wear it a portion of his speech would have to be struck out. and he would 
be deprived of one of his "hits" at Walpole — to say nothing of the general 
moral effect such an appearance might have. Still, he had to have a shirt, so 
he finally accepted the apparent generosity of his opponent. When the time 
came for the speech making Chapman's collar was neatly turned under and 
his coat buttoned over the ruffled shirt. Walpole spoke first, analyzing the 
issues of the day and denouncing the principles of Democracy with his usual 
spirit and ardor. .Chapman answered in his vigorous and effective style, 
ridiculing the aristocratic tendencies of his opponent. Walpole closed the 
argument. He reviewed the criticisms of Chapman, warned his hearers 
against putting an impostor into office, and threw open the front of Chap- 
man's coat exposing the ruffled shirt. 


For Chapman is also claimed the honor of having given to the Dem- 
ocratic party its national emblem, the rooster. It was in the campaign of 1840. 
after the financial panic in Van Bureirs administration, when things looked 
• gloomy for the Democracy of the country, that George Pattison, editor of 
The Constitution, a Democratic newspaper of Indianapolis, heard of a serious 
defection from the Democratic ranks of Hancock county. He wrote William 
Sebastian, postmaster at Greenfield, and one of the Democratic leaders of 
the county, the following letter : 

"Indianapolis, June "12, 1840. 
"Mr. Sebastian : 

"Dear Sir : I have been informed by a Democrat that in one part of your 
county thirty Van Buren men have turned for Harrison. Please let me know 
if such be the fact. Hand this letter to General Milroy. I think such a 
deplorable state of facts cannot exist. If so, I will visit Hancock and address 
the people relative to the policy of the Democratic party. I have no time to 
spare, but I will refuse to eat or sleep or rest so long as anything can be 
done. Do, for heaven's sake, stir. up the Democracy. See Chapman, tell 
him not to do as he did heretofore. He used to create unnecessary alarms ; 
he must crow ; we have much to crow over. I will insure this county to give 
a Democratic majority of two hundred votes. Spare no pains. Write 
instanter. George Pattison." 

This letter accidentally fell into the hands of the Whigs, who, for the pur- 
pose of ridiculing the Democrats, published it on June 16, 1840, in the 
Indianapolis Semi-Weekly Journal, the leading Whig newspaper in the state. 
Its publication failed utterly in its purpose. "Crow, Chapman, Crow!" became 
the slogan of the local Democracy in that campaign. It soon spread over 
the state and when the Indiana State Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper, 
was launched on July 21, 1841, it contained at the top of the front page the 
picture of a proud rooster and under the picture the words, "Crow, Chapman. 
Crow!" The phrase caught the popular ear, and the rooster was soon adopted 
as the emblem of the Democratic party. Its fuller history, together with 
letters, photographs and newspaper clippings of the time, has been written 
and published in very artistic form by John Mitchell. Jr., of the William 
Mitchell Printing Company, of Greenfield. 

The year 1840 also marks the advent of Noble Warrum into public life. 
At that time, as the story was frequenty told by the late Jared C. Meek. 
Joshua Meek owned a brick yard on the hill just north of the present corner 
of State and Fifth streets, in Greenfield. Joshua Meek was also county 


recorder and spent much of his time in and about the court house. One 
morning he went into commissioners' court when the commissioners had 
under consideration the appointment of a collector of revenue for the county. 
People did not all come to the treasurer's office to pay their taxes, and it was 
the collector's duty to go over the county to collect taxes where he could. 

"Do you know of any good young men for revenue collector?" asked one 
of the commissioners. "Yes," replied Meek, "There's a young fellow working 
upon my brick yard that is all right, if he'll do it. His name is Warrum. — 
Noble Warrum." "Well, send him down," said the commissioners, "and 
we'll talk it over." Young Warrum came in. He said he would like to have 
the place, but did not know whether he could give bond. "Yes, I'll go on your 
bond," said Meek, "and Cornwell will go on your bond, and we can get some- 
body else and we can fix that up all right." 

In Commissioners' Record, No. 2, page 79, appears the following entry : 

"Ordered that Noble Warrum be and he is hereby appointed collector of 
the state and county revenue of the county of Hancock for the year 1840, 
and comes now the said Noble Warrum and files his bond with C. Meek, Otho 
Gapen and Joshua Meek as his securities, all of which is approved." 

Mr. Warrum's work as collector of revenue gave him a wide acquain- 
tance and a great circle of friends. For almost a half century thereafter he 
made his influence felt in every political campaign in the county. In an old 
copy of the Greenfield Reveille, published in April, 1845, we have" possibly 
the oldest report of a political mass convention in the county. It was a Dem- 
ocratic convention, but the Reveille was a Whig newspaper, and of course, the 
proceedings of the convention are made to appear as ridiculous as possible. 
It is worthy of notice, however, that even at that early date there was opposi- 
tion within Democratic ranks to local delegate conventions. Following is the 
report : 

"In accordance with a previous notice a Mass Convention was held on the 
26th inst., the proceedings of which would no doubt be interesting to our 
friends generally and edifying to our readers. 

"About ten o'clock a. m. the untiring Democracy were seen emerging 
from the beech woods which surround our peaceful village. True, the woods 
were not entirely darkened by their numbers, yet every avenue leading to the 
neighborhood of Esquire Franklin's Restaurant was not unbroken. 

"On the arrival of a number from the country we heard an eternal war- 
fare sworn against the proposal for a convention to nominate county officers. 
Dissentions that at first view seemed incurable presented themselves from 
different points. Independence of opinion and action was asserted, and how 



well maintained will appear in the sequel. Against two o'clock, the refractory 
portion being whipped into the traces, the democracy retired to the Court 
House. General Milroy being called to the chair, he endeavored to explain 
the object of the meeting, which he, however, failed to do to the satisfaction 
of some of his friends. 

"On motion a committee of three were appointed, but their duties not 
explained. After some misunderstandings had been explained, the said com- 
mittee was increased to five; again after another consultation it was thought 
best to have a committee from each township in the county. When the town- 
ships were called four were unrepresented. (Afterwards one or two were 
represented.) The committee were then ordered to retire, consult and report 
to the meeting. But when about retiring, one of the committee, more thought- 
ful than the rest, called on the chair to know what they should report, as he 
had yet to learn what duties were assigned to the committee. The chair 
endeavored to explain, by informing the committee that 'the enemy was 
abroad in the land,' that 'those levellers, the Whigs, were on the alert, and 
must be kicked sky high!' (He did not call them public defaulters as we 
awfully feared he would do in the warmth of his feelings.) He said he was 
a Democrat, commencing with the days of Jefferson, and was still a Dem- 
ocrat, and the committee could retire. 

"The committee, although their duties did not seem explained by the 
chairman, retired to guess at them, we suppose. 

"Whereupn Dr. Hervey moved, 'Dr. Cook make a remark.' Dr. Cook 
was excused for the time, and Dr. Hervey proceeded in effusing the most 

. He is a whole menagerie and kicks, pushes, strikes, and everything 

else manfully. He brings to our mind that beautiful line of the poet : 
'Bulls aim their horns and- asses lift their heels.' 

"He said that 'before the presidential election the Whigs were opposed 
to annexation,' but asks with an air of triumph, 'where is now one found to 
oppose the admission of the State of Texas ; if such an one could be found he 
could be laughed at till he put comic almanacs out of fashion.' We leave 
others to judge of his political discoveries. But he proceeded, 'No, Democracy 
like the rolling stream' (casting up its filthy sediments) 'has an onward 
(progressive) course, and in fifty years there will be fifty United States.' 

"The doctor is evidently a man of deep research, he spoke of Caesar 
crossing the 'Rubico' and of the 'navigable Ocean,' asked where is the man in 
Indianner that would say he was a 'reprudreater ?' (We thought of his friend, 
Chapman, an avowed repudiator, but no difference, all discordant elements 
harmonize in the general name of Democracy!) 


"\Y. H. Anderson, a. gentleman particularly distinguished for advocat- 
ing the sentiment 'that God is a Democrat' and therefore wants his friends 
'to be on the Lord's side,' was called on to address the meeting, but declined 
doing so. 

"R. A. Riley was then called and responded in a short address, endeavor- 
ing to justify the acts of violence done to the people's will and a total dis- 
regard of their rights, by the State Senate in staving off the U. S. Senatorial 

"A series of resolutions were introduced by Esquire Riley, proposing to 
hold a convention on the first Saturday in June to nominate County Officers, 
which were adopted. 

"We, however, discovered some of the old and anti-progressive Dem- 
ocrats whose arms and voices were raised in opposition to this proceeding. 
One of them explained the 'Almighty made everything else, but never made 
a Convention to dictate.' They were opposed to it because it was anti-Dem- 
ocratic, because it was dictating to, and whipping Democrats into the traces 
contrary to their better judgment. They were opposed to it because two 
individuals assumed to control the whole matter, made every motion of 
importance, and that with an eye to their own particular interests — because 
the county was not represented — whole townships being without a voice in 
the matter, and at no time were there more than sixty persons present, includ- 
ing Whigs, Abolitionists, and little boys, — because two individuals acting in 
concert for their mutual interest, should not dictate to, control, and rule at 
pleasure, seven hundred freemen ! 

"But our opinion is, that the Democracy will hold a secret caucus, and 
back out from this one-sided convention. It matters not, however, as the 
\\ higs will make a clean, sweep this year in Hancock. Chapman will crow 
no longer, although in his concluding remarks he offered the olive branch to 
the Whigs! We know how to meet that old arch intriguer. We have not 
lime for a further account this week, — more anon." 

In that copy of the Greenfield Reveille the following political announce- 
ments also appear : Congress, Thomas D. Walpole ; assessor, Isaac King ; 
auditor, Harry Pierson, Josephus H. Williams; sheriff, William P. Rush. 
Jonathan Dunbar, William H. Anderson; county commissioner, David \Y. 
Odell; representative. William A. Franklin, Esq. 

The political announcements of that day were not quite as formal as 
those appearing in our local papers now-. In several announcements the can- 
didates present arguments in their behalf, some of which would hardly be 
offered at this time. For instance, the following: 

politics. . 335 

"to the voters of hancock county. 

"Fellow Citizen : I offer myself as a candidate for the office of Assessor; 
and my reason for doing so is, that Noble Warrum (the present incumbent) 1 
pledged himself two years ago, that if I would then use my influence for him, 
(which I did) he would support me at the coming election. 

"Isaac King." 

A few years later David S. Gooding entered into the local campaigns, 
first as a Whig, later as a Democrat. In 1847 ne made his first race and was 
elected as a Whig to the lower house of the Legislature. Later he was hon- 
ored with numerous elections to various offices. In time his political influence 
reached far beyond the bounds of his county, and no name probably is written 
larger on the pages of its history. 

It seems that in 1852 a number of leading men in the county came into 
the ranks of the Democratic party. For a decade after that time Thomas D. 
Walpole, Jonathan Dunbar, David S. Gooding and Noble Warrum were all 
in the Democratic alignment and the party developed the strength that it has 
always maintained in this county except during the period of the Civil War. 
Though this is true, things were far from harmonious at all times within the 
party itself. It is impossible now to state the cause of some of the dissensions 
among its leaders, yet it is certain that there was sufficient internal strife to 
cause the defeat of some of the candidates. In 1855 Dunbar sought the 
Democratic nomination for treasurer. A break occurred between him and 
Walpole, and Dunbar was defeated. In 1857 Noble Warrum was a candidate 
for sheriff against Taylor W. Thomas. Walpole. and Elijah Cooper, who 
was the Democratic candidate for county treasurer, threw their influence 
against W^arrum and defeated him. During this campaign, 1857, it seems 
that a reconciliation was affected between Walpole and Dunbar. 

The Democratic ticket during the latter part of the decade just prior to 
the Civil War was generally opposed by "Fusion tickets," for which support 
was sought from the ranks of the Know-Nothings, Whigs and Republicans! 
Though the "Fusionists" were not successful in electing their entire tickets, 
they did succeed in electing a man now and then who had a strong personal 


In the campaign of i860 the unity of the Democratic party was broken 
by the factions that followed the conventions at Charleston and Baltimore. 
Although the Douglas wing of the party polled by far the greater number of 
votes, the Breckenridge wing of the party also had a county organization. 


The followers of Brecken ridge were known as the "National Democrats." 
James H. Leary seems to have been the county chairman of the National 
Democratic county central committee in that campaign. Dr. J. A. Hall was 
the chairman of the Democratic county central cocmmittee, and James P. 
Foley of the Republican county central committee. 

The National Democrats held a county mass convention at Greenfield 
on July 28, i860, for the purpose, as stated by James H. Leary, chairman, 
"to endorse Breckenridge and Lane as the candidates for President and Vice- 
President of the United States and to take steps to effect a county organiza- 
tion." The following were the officers of this meeting : James H. Leary, 
chairman; Thomas Glascock, Henry Duncan, vice-presidents; James H. Carr, 

• The chairman of the convention appointed David Vanlaningham, Andrew 
Childers and Richard Stokes as a committee on resolutions. Before the 
adjournment of the meeting this committee offered the following, which were 
unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas, the late national conventions, both at Charleston and Balti- 
more, failed to nominate a candidate for President and Vice-President in 
accordance with the time-known usage of the National Democratic party, 
thereby causing a separation of the convention with two distinct bodies; the 
one resolving to support Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, and Hushel V. John- 
son, of Georgia, the other John C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, and Joseph 
Lane, of Oregon; therefore 

"Resolved, that it is the imperative duty of National Democrats to yield 
a willing and cordial support to the candidate for the President and Vice- 
President of the United States whose principles are in harmony with the court, 
the equality of the states, and equal rights of all the citizens of the several 
states in the territory belonging to the United States, and who are in favor 
of non-intervention by Congress and territorial legislatures with slavery in 
the territories. 

"Resolved, that we recognize in John C. Breckenridge and John Lane, 
able, tried and true exponents of these principles so dear to every National 
Democrat, and we hereby pledge a hearty and zealous support to the nom- 
inations of these distinguished statesmen. 

"Resolved, that we cordially approve of the platform of principles adopted 
by the National Democracy at Baltimore, and especially their unequivocal 
affirmation of the rights of every citizen of the United States to take his 
property of any kind into the common territories belonging equally to all the 

politics. 337 

states of the Confederacy, and peacefully and rightfully enjoy it during- the 
existence of a territorial government. 

''Resolved, that "squatter sovereignty" in the territories, as defined by 
Stephen A. Douglas, the Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party, and 
endorsed by his deluded followers, meets our unqualified disapproval ; and that 
in its practical application to the territories, internecine war, bloodshed and 
anarchy have been its legitimate fruits." 

The following county central committee was appointed by this conven- 
tion : Center, David Vanlaningham and James Carr ; Buck Creek, James Mc- 
Mane; Vernon, Richard Stokes; Green, Elijah Cooper; Brown, John Hays; 
Jackson, Robert Chambers; Blue River, Samuel Cottrell; Brandywine, Philan- 
der Curry; Sugar Creek, Aquilla Shockley. 

The Hon. Delana R. Eckels, of Putnam, addressed the convention. The 
report of the address given to the "Old Line Guard" by James H. Carr, 
secretary, and reprinted in the Hancock Democrat on August 2, 1861, indi- 
cates that the speaker convinced his audience of the statesmanship of John 
C. Breckenridge, and that he "paid his respects" to the Douglas Democrats 
as well as to the Republicans. 

In the annual October election of i860, at which certain county officers 
were elected, the following tickets were in the field, each candidate receiving 
the number of voted indicated : 

Representative — John S. Hatfield, Republican, 1,190; Noble Warrum, 
Democrat, 1,332. 

Recorder — Henry A. Swope, Republican, 1,174; William R. West, 
Democrat, 1,298. 

Commissioner, Middle District — Robinson Jarrett, Republican, 1,169; 
Hiram Tyner, Democrat, 1,364. 

Commissioner, Western District — Benjamin Freeman, Republican, 1,172; 
Elias McCord, Democrat, 1,364. 

Coroner — Jacob Wills, Republican, 1,163; Barnabus B. Gray, Democrat, 

Surveyor — Samuel B. Hill, Republican, 1,118; James K. King, 
Democrat, 1,328. 

The Democrats, although divided on national issues, voted together on 
this occasion and their candidates were elected by a majority of approximately 
175 votes. The total number of votes cast in the October election of i860 
was 2,563. 

In the presidential election held a few weeks later, on November 6 i860. 



Stephen A. Douglas received 1,289 votes; Abraham Lincoln, 1,201 votes; 
Breckenridge, 97 votes, and Bell, 26 votes. Following is the vote of the 
county in i860, as reported by the townships : 

Lincoln. Douglas. Breckenridge. Bell 

Blue River 132 76 4 1 

Brandywine 71 115 10 o 

Brown 63 149 12 2 

Buck Creek 117 jl 1 o 

Center 252 233 46 1 

Green 79 152 4 o 

Jackson 201 137 1 1 6 

Sugar Creek 136 197 3 1 

Vernon 150 159 6 15 

Total 1,201 1,289 97 2 6 

The presidential campaign in Hancock county was very similar to the 
campaign in other parts of the state. When the result became known there 
was a great jollification by the Republicans because of their first national 
victory. Dr. Howard, an ardent Republican, presented to his friend, but 
political opponent, Judge Gooding, the editor at that time of the Hancock 
Democrat, a "Pass up Salt River" : 

Pass David S. Gooding 

over Salt River 
On the "Fusion Packet" 
until November 6, 1864. 

Not transferable. 
S. A. Douglas, President. 

The judge accepted the "ticket" in good humor, and if we bear in mind 
past political conditions we cannot fail to appreciate the keen wit in his 
acknowledgment thereof, made through the columns of the Democrat : 

"It was handed us by our friend, Dr. Howard, who has just returned 
from quite a lengthy voyage in the Salt River country. He assures us that 
he has spent the greater and better portion of his life in that country; that 
it is very healthful, productive, and in all respects desirable; so much so that 
he expects to return on the next trip of 'Fusion Packet.' We gladly accept 
and return our profoundest acknowledgment for the free pass. Mr. Douglas 

politics. . 339 

wisely selected an old and well-tried packet; one that has carried the opposi- 
tion up Salt River safely for the past twenty years. This being our first 
voyage up Salt River, we will keep our friends advised from time to time 
of the incidents of the voyage," etc. 

If the people of Hancock county thought during the campaign of i860 
that they were passing through a campaign like all other campaigns, and 
that after the election all excitement would be allayed, they were thoroughly 
dis-illusioned before many months had passed. Their eyes were also opened 
to the fact that existing conditions were imposing severer tests than political 
parties had ever before borne. 

On April 13, 1861, a Democratic mass meeting was held at the court 
house at Greenfield. The officers of the meeting were : Jacob Slifer, presi- 
dent; Joseph Clayton and Presley Guymon, vice-presidents; William J. Fos- 
ter and David S. Scott, secretaries. 

A great number of Democrats w y ere in attendance. The Sax-horn band 
stirred up enthusiasm with patriotic strains of music, and James L. Mason, 
Dr. J. A. Hall and George Barnett delivered addresses. At the close of the 
speaking Judge Gooding offered the following resolutions which were unani- 
mously adopted : 

"Whereas, we have never failed to oppose the political and also the 
general policy of the Republican party; and whereas, during the last Presi- 
dential campaign and at the election, we zealously and consistently opposed 
and voted against Abraham Lincoln ; and whereas, a majority of the people 
in a constitutional manner saw proper so to vote as to elect Mr. Lincoln 
President ; 

"Whereas, for some cause not clearly defined, seven states, since said 
election have seen proper at their own option and consultation, and in defiance 
of the general government, to assert their independence and secede from the 
Union ; and whereas, said states have organized a government and by authority 
of that government Ft. Sumter has been attacked and war commenced upon 
the United States by the southern Confederacy; now therefore, 

"Resolved, that it is the duty of all patriotic citizens, irrespective of party 
names and distinctions, ignoring for the present all past dissuasions and party 
bitterness, to unite as one people in support of her common government. 

"Resolved, that the success in a presential campaign of any political party 
row in existence is not a good or sufficient cause for secession or revolution. 

"Resolved, that as Democrats and patriots we will vie with our political 
opponents of other parties in our devotion to the Union, and in our support 


of the lawfully constituted authority of the government in the faithful 
execution of their duties." 

On April 17, 186 1, the following appeal was made to the party through 
the columns of the Hancock Democrat : 

"Fellow Democrats! Our country is engaged in a war involving its 
honor and its very existence. It is not time for party dissensions or party 
strifes. The past cannot now he recalled, but the present and the future 
must be looked to and we must decide without delay whether we will support 
and defend our own government as true patriots or whether we will prove 
false to the Union cemented by the blood of our fathers. We cannot doubt 
you in this emergency of your country. We know that you will not dishonor 
that good old party which has contributed so largely to maintain the rights 
and honor of our glorious old flag in the face of the British Lion. 

"Democrats of Hancock county! Let us be a united party, and heartily 
cooperate with all patriots of whatever party, who faithfully live and support 
the government of the United States." 

Later in the summer, when the time came for nominating the candi- 
dates for the annual October election, 1861, new problems presented them- 
selves, especially to the Democracy of the county. On August 3, 1861, the 
Democratic county central committee had a meeting at Greenfield. Dr. 
Hall acted as chairman of the meeting and on motion of Montgomery Marsh, 
Benjamin F. Caldwell was appointed secretary, with William Mitchell, 
assistant. The central committee at that time was composed of the following 
men : Blue River, William New ; Brown, Montgomery Marsh ; Brandywine, 
Alfred Potts; Buck Creek, James Collins; Center, Dr. J. A. Hall; Green, 
Edward Barrett; Jackson, Benjamin F. Caldwell; Sugar Creek, not rep- 
resented; Vernon, Wiet Denney. 

The committee decided to hold a "popular vote convention throughout 
the county on the last Saturday of August. 1861, to nominate a Democratic 
county ticket, and that such candidates as shall receive the highest votes at 
the polls shall be declared the successful candidates, to be so proclaimed by 
a delegate convention to assemble at Greenfield on the first Saturday of 
September, 1861." But since votes had been cast in the county for Douglas, 
Breckenridge and Bell, at the Presidential election in i860, a question now 
arose as to who should be allowed to vote in the popular vote convention that 
the committee had just ordered. On this point the following resolution was 
adopted : 

"Resolved, that all men who voted for Stephen A. Douglas, John Bell. 


or John C. Breckenridge, be entitled to vote at the polls in the nominating- 

On motion, however, the name of John Bell was stricken from the above 
resolution as the test of Democracy in the nominating convention. 

On August 17, 1861, the Center township Democratic convention was 
called to order at the court house at two p. m. This convention is interesting 
because of the fight between the two factions of the Democratic party for 
the control of the convention. William Frost, township chairman, called 
the meeting to order. Judge Gooding nominated George Y. Atkison for 
president; James L. Mason placed the name of William Fries in nomination. 
The vote for president resulted in the election of Atkison by a large majority. 

The election of Atkison gave the Douglas Democrats the committee on 
resolutions. The chair appointed Judge Gooding, Presley Guymon, William 
Frost, Charles A. Wiggins and Levi Leary. After the appointment of this 
committee James L. Mason introduced a series of resolutions directly into 
the convention. The chair, however, refused to place the resolutions before 
the convention, but referred them to the committee on resolutions. When 
this committee reported, Judge Gooding, the chairman of the committee, said 
that he had been directed to report back Mr. Mason's resolutions with the 
recommendation that they be laid on the table. He then offered the following 
resolutions : 

"Whereas, our country is involved in civil war involving the very 
existence of the government itself; therefore, we deem it proper to declare 
our views of government plainly and explicitly at this critical juncture of 
public affairs ; therefore 

"Resolved, that we are devotedly attached to the Union of the States, 
and the Constitution of the United States, and the faithful and impartial 
execution of the laws made in pursuance thereof, in every part of the 

"Resolved, that for the purpose of perpetuating the Union, and main- 
taining the Constitution and executing the laws, we will sustain the govern- 
ment of the United States in all proper efforts for the suppression of the 
rebellion, and for such purposes we are in favor of a vigorous prosecution of 
the present deplorable civil zmr, in order to bring about a speedy and honor- 
nble peace. 

"Resolved, that whenever, from any cause, the rebellion is put down, or 
ceases to exist, then the war shall cease ; and all the constitutional and legal 
rights of states and citizens shall be respected and maintained, and that we 


oppose the prosecution of the war for any other purpose than to suppress 
the rebellion. 

"Resolved, that as Democrats we reaffirm our faith in the great prin- 
ciples of popular sovereignty as declared by the lamented Stephen A. Douglas 

"Resolved, that all men who now heartily approve and endorse the 
platform of principles on which Stephen A. Douglas ran for the Presidency in 
i860, are Democrats, and as such have a right to participate in the conven- 
tions of the party, and none others have such a right. 

"Resolved, that we approve and endorse the act of the extra session of 
Congress in appropriating money and • providing soldiers to suppress the 
rebellion and that we are gratified at the entire unanimity of all patriotic 
parties in its support. 

"Resolved, that we have no political sympathies with northern abolition 
issues nor southern secession, but repudiate both as dangerous to our 

Dr. B. W. Cooper entered a protest against the adoption of the fourth 
resolution, it tjeing a conflict with the principles enunciated by the Brecken- 
ridge party. James L. Mason also entered his protest to the fifth article. 
He made a long statement and concluded by offering the following as an 
amendment : 

"Resolved, that all Democrats who voted for Thomas A. Hendricks for 
governor in i860 shall be allowed to vote at the ensuing nominating polls of 
Center township." 

This amendment was tabled and the original resolutions were adopted 
in the form in which they had been offered by the committee. 

It will be recalled that in the resolutions adopted on July 28, i860, by 
the Breckenridge Democrats, that popular sovereignty, or "squatter sov- 
ereignty," was condemned and that Stephen A. Douglas was denounced as 
the Benedict Arnold of the Democratic party. Articles four and five, there- 
fore could not possibly meet with the approval of the Breckenridge Democrats. 
In fact the adoption of the above resolutions barred them from voting at 
the convention. The breach between the factions of the party was becoming 
wider and wider. Though the Douglas Democrats controlled the Center 
township convention, the end in Center township was not yet. The above 
resolutions, adopted by the Center township convention on August 17, 1861, 
expressed the sentiments of the Douglas wing of the party and were pub- 
lished in every issue of the Hancock Comity Democrat during the following 
several years. 

politics. 343 

On August 22, 1861, which was about three weeks after the meeting 
of the Democratic county central committee, and less than a week after the 
Center township Democratic convention, the Republican county central com- 
mittee adopted resolutions, proposing to the Democrats a joint Union county 
ticket. The resolutions were in the following words : 

"Resolved, that we propose through their committee, to the Democratic 
party of Hancock county, a joint Union ticket, for the offices to be filled at 
the approaching election. 

"Resolved, that should said Democratic committee accept the propositon 
of a Union ticket, they are cordially invited to meet this committee at its 
meeting to be held at the court house, in Greenfield, on Tuesday, September 
3, next, at one p. m., where the said committees may agree jointly upon a 
division of the ticket for the different offices, and name the time for the 
nomination of candidates. 

"Resolved, that the foregoing resolutions be published in the Hancock 
Democrat. "E. I. Judkins, Secretary, 

"J AMES P. Foley, Chairman. 

"Greenfield, August 22, 1861." 

These resolutions were presented to the Democratic county central com- 
mittee a few days later. The Democratic candidates, however, had practically 
made their canvass for the popular vote convention, and the Democratic 
central committee deemed it inadvisable to take such steps just at that time. 

Pursuant to the decision of the Democratic county central committee, 
made on August 3, 186 1, a Democratic poll was opened in each township on 
the first Saturday of September, 1861. The Douglas wing of the party polled 
one hundred and fifty-three votes in Center township, which were cast for 
candidates and also for delegates to the county convention. The delegates 
who received the majority of votes in Center township were David S. Good- 
ing, George Atkison and Presley Guymon. On the same day the National 
Democrats, or the Breckenridge wing of the party, opened another and sep- 
arate poll in Center township, where thirty-seven votes were cast for can- 
didates and delegates. The delegates receiving the largest number of votes at 
this poll were James L. Mason, John H. White and Louis Ccoper. The 
delegates named in each poll in Center township presented their credentials 
as delegates to the Democratic county convention on September 7. A con- 
test at once arose and much confusion followed in the convention. The 
Douglas Democrats from Center township were finally seated, but from 
some of the other townships, delegates from the National Democratic wing 


were seated. The convention nominated the following ticket : Clerk, Morgan 
Chandler; county treasurer, John Addison; sheriff, Samuel Archer; commis- 
sioner eastern district, William New. 

Following the rejection of their proposal by the Democratic central com- 
mittee, the Republican county central committee on September 3, i86t, 
adopted the following resolutions : 

"Whereas, the government of the United States is sorely beset by a 
combination of traitors, so powerful as to endanger the preservation of the 
Union ; and as party conventions and party nominations are calculated to 
engender discussions among the people; and as we earnestly desire unity of 
action and feeling in relation to our government; therefore 

"Resolved, that we recommend to the Republican party of Hancock 
county to forego all party conventions and party nominations for the pres- 
ent, and support for the offices to be filled at the coming election in this 
county such men as are unconditionally for the Union in heart and soul as 
well as speech, regardless of former political opinions. 

"Ordered that the foregoing be published in the Hancock Democrat. 

"James P. Foley, Chairman. 
"E. I. Judkins, Secretary. 

"September 3, 1861." 

A few days later, on September II, 1861, the following notice calling for 
n convention appeared in the columns of the Hancock Democrat : 

"union mass meeting. 

"There will be a Union mass meeting at Greenfield on Saturday, Sep- 
.tember 14, 1861, at one p. m., to nominate candidates, irrespective of party, 
for the several offices to be filled at the ensuing October election. Let all 
the Union men — all who are willing to sacrifice party organizations and 
platforms on the altar of their county — be promptly in attendance at the 
appointed time. The meeting will be held at the court house. 

"Union Men." 

A convention, as announced in the above notice, was held. The weather 
on September 14, however, was very inclement and only a few people from 
the outlying townships were present. Dr. Ballenger was chosen president 
and Joseph B. Atkison and M. V. Chapman, secretaries. The convention 
then adjourned to meet again at one p. m. on Thursday of the following 
week, September 18. 

politics. 345 

At the appointed time the convention assembled at the court house and 
the following proceedings were had : Thomas C. Tuttle, Democrat, of Sugar 
Creek, was chosen chairman ; M. V. Chapman, Democrat, and Joseph B. 
Atkison, Republican, secretaries; John Dye, Democrat, and Judge Walker, 
Republican, vice-presidents. 

Nelson Hogle, Republican, nominated George Barnett, Democrat, as 
Union candidate for clerk. Adopted. Joseph B. Atkison, Republican, nom- 
inated Taylor W. Thomas, Republican, for sheriff. Adopted. Thomas Bed- 
good, Republican, nominated Elam I. Judkins for treasurer. Richard Hackle- 
man was nominated for commissioner in the eastern district. R. A. Riley 
nominated Dr. Isaac H. Ballenger, Democrat, for coroner. Adopted. 

The following committee on resolutions was then appointed by the 
chairman: Elias Marsh, Democrat; John Dye, Democrat; Dr. Balknger, 
Democrat; R. A. Riley, Republican; J. C. R. Layton, Republican. 

This committee reported the following resolutions, which were unani- 
mously adopted : 

"Believing as we do, that when the all-absorbing magnitude of the con- 
test in which the government is now engaged, shall be fully and universally 
understood and appreciated, there can be no such thing as a traitor to that 
government, or a sympathizer with the treason now seeking its overthrow, 
except the mere desperado. 

"The contest is above the organization or perpetuation of the Democratic 
party, the Republican party, or any other party. Should the rebellion succeed, 
all the political machinery will be buried in the common ruins of the 

"The contest involves not only the maintenance of the Constitution and 
the Union of the States, but also the hopes of the world in the constitutional, 
political and religious freedom, and man's capability for self-government. 
Every intelligent Christian philanthropist and every patriot ought, and will be 
found earnest and willing, against all opposition, to sustain and perpetuate 
our Constitution and Union. 

"The destruction of the Constitution and Union by those engaged in 
rebellion involves the commission of the following, among other crimes : 

"First. Moral perjury, in seeking to overthrow the Constitution they 
had sworn to support. 

"Second. Treason, in levying war against the government and giving 
aid and comfort to her enemies. 

"Third. Murder, in taking the lives of loyal citizens. 

"Fourth. Theft, in stealing the public property. 


"Fifth. Robbery, in taking - by force the property of the government 
and that of private citizens. Who but a desperado could complicate himself 
with all those crimes, or give sympathy, directly or indirectly encourage, aid 
or abet those desperate villains in the destruction of liberties ? And, knowing 
that in Union there is strength, while party strife and division is but weakness, 
and believing as we do, that in the language of the patriotic Holtcomb of 
Kentucky, 'So long as the rebels have arms in their hands there is nothing 
left to compromise but the honor of the government.' And that 'no man 
with a soul above a coward is prepared for such submission' and that 'the 
word compromise cannot now be' uttered except by disloyal lips, or by those 
speaking directly in the interests of rebellion' ; 

"And that in the language of the lamented Douglas, 'Whoever is not 
prepared to sacrifice party organizations and platforms on the altar of this 
country does not deserve the support and countenance of honest people,' and 
fully realizing that all we are, and all we can hope for ourselves and our 
children, is wrapped up in the success and perpetuity of our Constitution ; 

"Resolved, that we will lay aside party platforms and party organiza- 
tions upon the altar of our common country, that our influence and strength 
may not be wasted in domestic party feuds and bickerings; but that we may 
in solid phalanx present but a single voice, influence and action of patriotic 
and efficient devotion to the maintenance and perpetuity of our glorious 
Constitution and Union, and a united opposition to disunion, treason and 

"Resolved, that we fraternally invite all, without distinction of party, to 
unite with us, supporting no one for official place whose patriotism does not 
and cannot be made to rise above mere party." 

The Union ticket placed in the field by the convention was supported by 
the Republicans and by a number of Democrats. Following are both tickets 
with the votes received by each candidate in the October election, 1861 : 

Clerk — George Barnett, Union, 960; Morgan Chandler, Democrat, 

Treasurer — Flam I. Judkins, Union, 924; John Addison, Democrat, 

i,X7 6 - 

Sheriff — Taylor W. Thomas, Union, 1.003; Samuel Archer, Democrat, 
1 ,096. 

Commissioner, Fastern District — Richard Hackleman, Union. Sjy: 
William New, Democrat, 1,166. 

politics. 347 

Although there had been a division in the Democratic party in the nom- 
inating convention, but one ticket was put into the field and both wings of 
the party supported it. 

Following the election of i860, when the rift in the Democratic organ- 
ization in the county became apparent, each faction posed as the Democratic 
party. There was much strife between the factions and each said many ugly 
things about the other, when the other assumed to represent the real Dem- 
ocratic party of old. To say that feeling between the factions, and especially 
later between the Democrats and the "Union Democrats," was bitter, is stat- 
ing it very mildly indeed. After the Union party was organized the mem- 
bers of the factions of the old Democratic party that remained in the county 
were openly called "Butternuts," "Traitors," "Rebels," "Secessionists" — in 
fact, anything that expressed or smacked of disloyalty. But these charges 
the party answered in resolutions adopted in convention, and those resolu- 
tions will hereinafter be set out to speak for themselves. Unfortunately, 
however, for the National Democrats of the county, John C. Breckenridge, 
whom they had recognized as the "Able, tried and true opponent of the prin- 
ciples so dear to every National Democrat," was expelled from the United 
States Senate within about a year after Lincoln's election, because of his 
sympathy for the South. He was at once made a major-general in the Con- 
federate army. Later he became secretary of war of the Southern Confed- 
eracy. It is needless to comment on the effect of his action upon the people 
in Hancock county. His followers who had so heartily endorsed him, and 
in fact all who remained in the Democratic party during that period had to 
bear the criticism occasioned by his disloyalty. 

The rock upon which the local Democratic ship foundered, however, was 
the manner of dealing with the rebellion. The Douglas Democrats favored 
a vigorous prosecution of the w&r. This was also the policy of the Repub- 
lican party, and of the Union party that came into existence in 1861. The 
National Democrats, or Breckenridge followers, opposed the vigorous pros- 
ecution of the war, and advocated compromise for the solution of the nation's 
difficulties. Throughout the war, after the National Democrats had again 
merged with those Douglas Democrats that had not joined with the Union 
party, the Democrats of the county always put great emphasis on the word 
compromise in their political speeches, resolutions, etc. The Union party, on 
the other hand held, as they stated in their first series of resolutions 
adopted in their county convention on September 18, 1861, that "there is 
nothing left to compromise but the honor of the country," and that "the word 
compromise cannot now be uttered except by disloyal lips or by those speak- 


ing directly in the interest of rebellion.'' This construction put upon the 
basic principles of the Democracy of the county during the first years of the 
war, made them traitors. The student of local history will have to determine 
for himself the correctness of the conclusions enunciated in the various resolu- 
tions herein set out. It will be accepted without challenge, however, that the 
divergence between the parties became so great, and that their acts and 
expressions were held in such a light that it engendered a degree of bitter- 
ness in the county that the present generation can hardly understand. 

Other resolutions adopted at various township and county conventions 
will throw additional light upon all of these matters. The following resolu- 
tions, for instance, were adopted by the Democracy of Brandywine township 
on August 31, 1 86 1 : 

"Whereas, our county is now involved in civil war and in difficulties 
unprecedented ; and whereas, these difficulties have been fomented by the 
Abolitionists of the North, and the Secessionists of the South, both of whom 
have been disunionists for years, and by the sectional policy of the Repub- 
lican party, these difficulties have been increased, endangering the safety of 
the Union and the liberties of the people ; and whereas, the present war could 
and ought to have been avoided by compromise, and would have been had not 
the Republican party by a strong effort to ingraft into our government their 
irrepressible doctrines, and thereby defeated every measure offered by the 
Democracy to secure a peaceable solution of the sectional troubles ; therefore 

''Resolved, that we deplore the present civil war as a national calamity, 
and that its future prosecution by either party will be ruinous to both sections ; 
and are therefore solicitous that this war between brethren shall cease the 
very instant that terms of adjustment can be agreed on alike honorable to all 
the states and people; and to that end it is the duty of every patriot to exert 
all his energies for the adoption of such measures as will prove most effectual 
in terminating hostilities, and thereby restoring to our beloved country all 
the blessings of peace. 

"Resolved, that the Democracy of Brandywine township yield to none 
in our devotion to the Union, our attachment to the Constitution, and loyalty 
to our glorious flag: to vindicate the court, and uphold the Stars and Stripes, 
and for all other legal and loyal purposes we will contribute our last dollar — 
if need be our blood. Our motto is, 'Millions for defense but not one cent 
for coercion or subjugation of sovereign states.' 

"Resolved, that the charge of Republicans against Democrats with being 
secessionists and disunionists is a foul and infamous falsehood. There is not 
now — there never has been — a Democrat in the North, in favor of secession 

politics. 349 

or disunion — they are all for the Union — while every disunionist is against 
compromise and for the war, that must inevitably sever the Union and 
render reconstruction impossible. 

"Resolved, that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United 
States by the present executive and those under his authority deserve and 
should receive the strong condemnation of every friend of constitutional 

"Resolved, that the Democratic party, by its wise and patriotic action 
m the past, presents itself to the nation as the only party capable of guiding 
our country through these perilous times, and in our opinion the only hope 
for the Union and our free institutions is to restore the administration of the 
government to the wisdom and guidance of Democratic statesmen, and we 
are, therefore, utterly opposed to fusing with the Republicans in making our 
nominations, as is proposed by a few unsafe and weak-kneed Democrats. 

"Resolved, that we receive with profound sorrow the news of the battle 
of Manassas, and the defeat of our army; and while we mourn tlie fate of 
those who bravely fell, we are constrained to believe the humiliating blow 
was in consequence of the negligence and mismanagement of the President 
and his cabinet in their utter disregard of the military knowledge of General 
Scott, and the country will hold them responsible for all the disasters of that 
ill-turned and ill-directed battle; that no such overwhelming defeat could 
have come upon us, with troops as brave and patriotic as our noble volunteers, 
had they been efficiently officered and properly cared for. 

"John P. Banks, 
"Chairman of Resolution Committee." 

On the same day, August 31, 1861, the Jackson township Democratic 
convention was also held. On motion of Noble W'arrum, A. V. B. Sample 
was elected chairman ; E. C. Reeves, vice-president, and Edward P. Scott, 
secretary. The chairman appointed the following committee on resolutions : 
Burd Lacy, T. G. Walker, Thomas Glascock, Noble Warrum, George W. 

This committee offered the following resolutions, which were unani- 
mously adopted : 

"Resolved, that we are opposed to proscription either in religion or 
politics ; that we are in favor of a strict construction of the Constitution and 
no assumption of doubtful powers, either by the national or state governments. 

"Resolved, that retaining that veneration for the Constitution, the Union 
and the laws, which has ever characterized our party, we deprecate and 


denounce all men, both North and South, who may lend their aid and coun- 
tenance to destroy our government, or any of its constitutional guarantees. 

"Resolved, that the Democratic party has ever advocated union and 
harmony between the conflicting portions of our country, and a peaceable 
solution of all our troubles, yielding to every section its constitutional rights ; 
and we therefore declare that we are in no wise responsible for the troubles 
that now afflict our beloved country. 

"Resolved, that we congratulate the brave men of Indiana who have vol- 
unteered at the call of their country, upon the success that has thus far 
attended their arms ; and that we endorse the action of those Democrats in 
the Congress of the United States who voted men and money at the call of 
the government; but we hold it to be the duty of the civil authorities to see 
that our soldiers are battling in a necessary as well as a just cause, and 
therefore, the olive branch of peace should go with the sword, and that, 
therefore, Congress should have adopted the resolutions offered by Mr. Cox. 
or some other proposition of the same nature and effect. 

"Resolved, that we regard as vital, the constitutional right of free 
speech, the freedom of the press, and the writ of habeas corpus, and that they 
should be held sacred by the American people, as the priceless heritage given 
to us by our fathers. 

"Resolved, that the Democrats of Jackson township are, as ever, loyal to 
the Constitution and the laws — that we are in favor of their rigid enforce- 
ment, everywhere throughout the United States upon all occasions : that we 
will sustain the administration in all its constitutional efforts to maintain 
the government, and we declare our disapprobation of all violations of the 
fundamental laws of the country, as well in the President and his cabinet as 
in the humblest citizen. 

"Resolved, that, forgetting all past differences in our party, we will unite 
for the sake of the Union of the States, and the maintenance of the Con- 
stitution ; that we denounce all attempts to divide our ranks by appeals to 
former divisions, and rejoice in the return of peace and harmony in our party, 
as the harbinger of the peace and harmony of our country. 

"Resolved, that we have no sympathy, aid or comfort for Northern 
Abolitionists or Southern Secessionists, for we view both as the cause of our 
present great difficulties — each alike guilty. 

Resolved, that we have no confidence in the good faith and efficiency 
of many of the present self-constituted Union savers, who have heretofore 
acted in such a fanatical manner as to destroy confidence in the different 
sections of our beloved country." 


The Union party, which had a county organization perfected in the fall 
of 1 86 1, and which was composed of Republicans and many Douglas Dem- 
ocrats, adopted a part of the last speech of Stephen A. Douglas as its plat- 
form on the solution of the problems that were before the country. 

The Hancock Democrat, with David S. Gooding as editor-in-chief, in 
February became its organ and the following excerpt from the last speech 
of Douglas was published at the head of its editorial column in practically 
every issue after 186 1 : 

"Whoever is not prepared to sacrifice party organizations and platforms 
on the altar of his country does not deserve the support and countenance of 
honest men. How are we to overcome partisan antipathies in the minds of 
men of all parties so as to present a united front in support of our country? 
IV e must cease discussing party issues, make no allusion to old party tests, 
have no criminations and recriminations, indulge in no taunts one against the 
other as to who has been the cause of these troubles. 

"When we shall have rescued the government and country from its perils, 
and seen its flag floating in triumph over every inch of American soil, it will 
then be time enough to inquire as to who and what have brought these troubles 
upon us. When we shall have a country and a government for our children 
to live irr peace and happiness, it shall be time for each of us to return to our 
party banners according to our convictions of right and duty. Let him be 
marked as no true patriot who will not abandon all such issues in times like 

During the remainder of the war the two principal parties in Hancock 
county were the Democratic party and the Union party. In the spring of 
1862 the second call for a Union convention appeared in the columns of the 
Hancock Democrat. This call contained a fuller statement of the policy of 
the Union party and was signed "Many Democrats and Many Republicans." 
The following is the call as published : 


"Will be held Saturday, 29th day of March, 1862, at 1 o'clock P. M., at 
the Court House in Greenfield, for the purpose of nominating the proper can- 
didates to be voted for at the April election, by all patriotic men, irrespective 
of party. All patriotic Democrats and Republicans, who earnestly and heartily 
support the government m the vigorous prosecution of the zvar for the sup- 
pression of this wanton and wicked rebellion, are invited to participate in the 


selection of candidates, whose merits and patriotism are unquestioned. A 
full attendance of the masses is important and very desirable. 

"Many Democrats, 
"Many Republicans." 
"March 19, A. D. 1862. 

At the April township elections in 1862, the Union party elected some of 
its candidates in several of the townships, including- Blue River, Center and 
Buck Creek. 

On July 19, 1862, the Democratic county convention was held at Green- 
field. James L. Mason called the meeting to order, and the following officers 
were elected: John Foster, president; George Tague, William Handy, William 
Potts and John Sample, vice-presidents; Alfred Shaw and George West, 

This convention appointed the following delegates to the congressional 
convention, to he held later: Wellington Collyer, William New, Andrew 
Childers, Joseph Wright, Dr. B. W. Cooper, Neri Jarrett, Edward P. Scott, 
Dr. Paul Esby, William Shore. 

The following county ticket was nominated: Representative, Noble 
Warrum; joint representative, James L. Mason; surveyor, George .W. Sam- 
ple ; commissioner western district, E. S. Bottsford. 

The following men composed the committee on resolutions : William 
Handy, John P. Banks, Montgomery Marsh, John Collins, William Fries, 
Edward Valentine, George W. Sample, Ernest H. Faut, William Jackson. 

This committee offered the following, which were unanimously adopted : 

"Whereas, this government has been administered by conservatives and 
conservative principles almost exclusively from its organization up to the 
time of the triumph of the sectional Republican party, by the election of Mr. 
Lincoln to the Presidency in i860; and governed, too, with equal and exact 
justice to every portion of the country, East, West, North and South ; gov- 
erned in such manner and upon such principles as to insure respectful obedi- 
ence to the Constitution and laws of our country, thereby insuring industry, 
happiness and brotherly kindness between sections, and making us one of the 
great nations of the earth commercially, politically, socially and religiously; 
therefore, be it 

"Resolved, that we stand by that good old conservative party and con- 
servative principles that have controlled and sustained our government from 
the days of Washington, Jefferson and other patriots to the present time, 
firmly believing that if the Constitution is to be maintained and the Union 

politics. 353 

restored and cemented to its former greatness and power, it must be done 
on conservative Democratic principles. 

"Resolved, that as Democrats and conservatives, we will render all the 
aid in our power, in a constitutional and legal manner, for the suppression of 
the present wicked and formidable rebellion, at the same time solemnly pro- 
testing against the reckless and fanatical emancipation and abolition schemes 
that have recently been enacted in our national legislature, and demanding 
from the authorities at our national capital and elsewhere, that there shall be 
no more fraud, corruption and public plundering of our own hard-earned and 
needy national and state treasuries. 

"Resolved, that as Democrats and conservatives, we earnestly and deeply 
sympathize and pray fervently for the success of our brave volunteers from 
every section of our country, but more particularly for those brave and hardy 
sons of Hancock that have imperiled their lives, their fortunes and their all, 
in defense and for the maintenance of the Constitution as it is, and the restor- 
ation of the Union as it was. 

''Resolved, that we treat with utter contempt the charge that Democrats 
are disunionists and sympathizers with the rebels in their efforts to subvert 
the laws and overthrow the government and we hereby hurl back the slander- 
ous charge, and brand our slanderers with being the only secessionists and 
aiders of rebellion in their efforts to overthrow the government, and look 
upon the Abolitionists North and Secessionists South as equally opposed to 
the government and laboring for the same ends." 

The convention also left no doubt in the mind of anyone as to where 
they placed the Hancock Democrat. On this point the following resolution 
was adopted : 

"Resolved, that as there is no Democratic paper published in Hancock 
county, we request the Indiana State Sentinel and the Shelbyville Volunteer 
to publish the proceedings of this convention." 

Thomas A. Hendricks addressed the people assembled in this convention. 

At the same time that the Democratic county convention was being held 
at Greenfield on July 19, 1862, a Union meeting was being held at Charlottes- 
ville. Judge Gooding addressed a large congregation of people for almost 
three hours. John Wood, Democrat, presided at the meeting. Benjamin 
Reeves, Democrat, was chosen vice-president, and John Smith, Republican, 
for secretary. 

Just a week later there was also a Union meeting and pole raising at 
Allen's Corner, in Blue River township. 



Immediately following the Democratic county convention the following 
notice appeared in the issue of July 23, 1862, of the Hancock Democrat: 






At 10 o'clock A. M. 

At Greenfield. 
and others will address the people. 
All Democrats, Republicans, and others who are Union men, and in favor of uniting 
all patriots, without regard to party differences, in a common effort to save the country, 
and restore the Union as it was and maintain the Constitution as it is, by a vigorous prosecu- 
tion of the war to suppress this wicked and causeless rebellion, are hereby urged to partici- 
pate in the convention. 

Nominations will be made for Representative, County Commissioner and Surveyor. 
COME OUT, PATRIOTS, with your families and let us have a GRAND DAY— A 

Many Democrats, 
Many Republicans. 

It was said that this call brought out the largest mass nominating con- 
vention held in the county up to that time. It was held at Piersoirs grove. 
T. J. Hanna called the convention to order. David S. Gooding was elected 
chairman. The following vice-presidents were elected : Blue River, Richard 
Hackleman, Elijah Tyner; Brown, Alfred Thomas, Thomas Collins; Brandy- 
wine, Peter Pope, S. and William Workman; Buck Creek, S. H. Arnett, 
William Steele; Center, R. A. Riley, John Martin; Green, Meredith Gosney, 
W. R. Ferrell ; Jackson, Andrew Pauley, John Barrett ; Sugar Creek, Adam 
Hawk, George Leachman ; Vernon, Henry N. Thompson, Elias McCord. 

William Mitchell, William P. Barrett and William R. Hough acted as 
secretaries of the convention. The chairman appointed the following com- 
mittee on resolutions : Blue River, John I. Hatfield, Ezekial Tyner ; Brandy- 
wine, I. N. Pope, John Roberts; Brown, Dr. William Trees, John Sparks; 
Buck Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, William Steele ; Center, William R. Hough, 
; Green, Jefferson Ferrell, H. Moore; Jackson, Sam- 
uel Smith, John Woods; Sugar Creek, Thomas C. Tuttle, James E. Smith; 
Vernon, Solomon Jackson, William F. McCord. 

William R. Hough was elected chairman of the committee on resolu- 
tions. He offered the following, which were adopted : 

"Whereas, the national government is engaged in a war against it by its 
enemies for the purpose of its destruction, and the subversion of our form 
of government; therefore 



"Resolved, that the present civil war was forced upon the country by the 
disunionists in the Southern states, who are now in rebellion against the con- 
stituted government that in the present emergency, we, the people of Han- 
cock, in convention assembled, forgetting all former political differences, and 
recollecting only our duty to the whole country, do pledge ourselves to aid 
with men and money the vigorous prosecution of the present war, which is 
not being waged upon the part of our government for the purpose of coercing, 
subjugation or the overthrowing or interfering with the right or established 
institutions of any of the states, but to suppress and put down a wicked and 
causeless rebellion, defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, 
and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the 
several states unimpaired, and when these objects are fully accomplished, 
and not before, we believe the war ought to cease; and that we invite all who 
coincide in these sentiments to unite with us in the support of the ticket this 
day nominated. 

"Resolved, that as long as patriotism, courage and the love of consti- 
tutional liberty shall be honored and revered among the people of the United 
States, the heroic conduct of the soldiers of the Union, who have offered 
their lives for the salvation of their country, will be remembered with the 
most profound feelings of veneration and gratitude, and that we now tender 
to them the warmest thanks and lasting gratitude of every member of this 

"Resolved, that we tender to the sixty thousand volunteers from Indiana 
our heart-felt congratulation, and hail with pride the fact that upon every 
battlefield where Indianians have been found, they have displayed the bravery 
of patriots in the defense of a glorious cause, and we pledge them that while 
they are subduing armed traitors in the field, we will condemn at the ballot 
box all those in our midst who arc not unconditionally for the Union. 

"Resolved, that Noble Warrum, one of the representatives of this county 
in the last legislature, by his vote for the minority report of the committee 
of thirteen on federal relations denying the constitutional power of the gen- 
eral government to prevent a state from seceding from the Union; also 
assurring the rebels of the aid and assistance of more than a million freemen 
of Indiana to resist the government, misrepresented Hancock county, and 
we hereby repudiate and disown his act." 

Heretofore the Union conventions had been called by "Union Men" or 
by "Many Democrats," "Many Republicans," etc. In this convention, how- 
ever, a Union county central committee was selected, composed of the follow- 
ing men : Blue River, Nathan D. Coffin, Richard Hackleman ; Brown, Joseph 


Stanley. Phineas R. Thomas; Buck Creek, Thomas J. Hanna, William Steele; 
Brandvw ine. John Roberts, Isaac N. Pope ; Green, Jefferson Ferrell, H. 
Moore; Jackson, Thomas M. Bedgood, Percy McQuerry; Sugar Creek, Adam 

Hawk, Henry Merlan ; Vernon, Levi Thomas, Lightfoot ; Center, 

William Frost. William Frost was elected chairman of this committee. 

The following tickets were before the people of the county in the annual 
October election, in 1862, each candidate receiving the number of votes 
indicated : 

Joint Representative — George W. Hatfield, Union, 1,349; James Mason, 
Democrat, 1,199. 

County Representative — George Y. Atkison, Union, 1,315; Noble War- 
rum, Democrat, 1,220. 

Commissioner, Western District — Elias McCord, Union, 1,340; E. S. 
Bottsford, Democrat, 1,218. 

Surveyor — James K. King, Union, 1,217; George W. Sample, Democrat, 


The Union party carried the county by an approximate majority of one 

hundred votes. 

In the spring elections of township officers, in 1863, the Union candi- 
dates were elected in some of the townships, while in others the Democrats 
were successful. In Blue River township the Union vote for township trustee 
was divided between B. F. Luse, John Hunt and James P. New. The Dem- 
ocratic candidate was elected. In Vernon township the Union candidate, 
Levi Thomas, received 129 votes and George W. Stanley, Democrat, 140 
votes. The Union vote in the townships, however, was not as large as it 
had been in the previous fall elections, while the Democratic vote held its 

On May 16, 1863, the Union central committee held a meeting, at which 
the proposition of uniting with the Democrats on the selection of a county 
ticket was considered. The committee finally adopted the following resolu- 
tions, which were presented to the Democratic central committee : 

"Greenfield, Ind., May t6, 1863. 
"Messrs. B. F. Caldwell and Others, Committee: 

"Sirs : The following preamble and propositions, on behalf of the 
Union county central committee, are herewith presented to your consideration, 
to-wit : 

"Whereas, our country is involved in an unfortunate, unnecessary and 

politics. 357 

causeless internecine war, commenced wantonly and wickedly, and still waged 
in the same spirit by rebels and traitors, against the government of the United 
States; and whereas, the rebellion is of such magnitude as imminently jeop- 
ardizes the safety of the people and the perpetuity of the government; and 
whereas, in our opinion, the government, in its efforts to suppress the rebel- 
lion, greatly needs the united support of all Union men; and whereas, the 
perpetuity of old party organizations tends to engender and continue crim- 
inations, strife and division among loyal men, when nothing of the kind 
should exist; therefore, to mitigate, and, if possible, avoid the evils grow- 
ing out of party contest at a time like this, and to preserve and cement good 
feeling among all loyal men, we, the Union central committee of Hancock 
county, on behalf of our friends, submit to the central committee claiming to 
represent the Democracy, the following propositions, viz. : 

"That no nominating convention be held in the county during the present 
year (1863). 

"If this proposition is not acceptable, then we propose that two central 
committees unite in calling a county nominating convention, to be composed 
of or represent all men who are for the Union, the Constitution and the 
vigorous prosecution of the war to suppress the rebellion. 

"Hoping that the preamble and propositions will be favorably considered, 

"Respectfully, etc., 

"William Frost, Chairman, 
"William Mitchell, Secretary." 

Even the most casual perusal of the above proposals will reveal the fact 
that its adoption by the Democrats would have involved the complete sur- 
render of all of the principles which had been enunciated in their own resolu- 
tions adopted from time to time. Each party again nominated its county 
ticket for the October election, in 1863. The tickets, with the number of 
votes received by each candidate, were as follow : 

Treasurer — Nelson Bradley, Union, 1,382; John Addison, Democrat, 

Auditor — Lysander Sparks, Union, 1,385; Montgomery Marsh, Dem- 
ocrat. 1,195. 

Sheriff — William G. Caldwell, Union, 1,394; Jonathan Dunbar, Dem- 
ocrat. 1,162. 

Commissioner — John Hinchman, Union, 1,388; Hiram Tyner, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,191. 


Coroner — Isaac Ballenger, Union, 1,382; Warner G. Smoot, Democrat, 
1. 187. 

The approximate majority in each of the various townships at this time 
was as follows : 

Townships. Union. Democrat. 

Blue River 45 

Brandywine 80 

Brown 45 

Buck Creek 34 

Center 276 

Green 65 

Jackson 74 

Sugar Creek 75 

Vernon 15 

Total -..444 239 

The Union ticket thus had a majority of approximately two hundred 
votes in the county. 

After the votes had been counted, Jonathan Dunbar, the Democratic 
candidate for sheriff, brought an action to contest the election. The action 
was brought before the board of county commissioners of Hancock county. 
All the candidates on the ticket with the exception of the candidate for 
prosecutor were made defendants. The petitioner gave the following 
grounds, in substance, as the basis for his right to contest the election : 

"That the ballot box in Center township was stuffed by persons unknown 
to the contestor. 

"That force and violence were used at the polls in Center township, and 
thereby voters were excluded from the polls who desired to vote for the con- 
testor and his associate candidates. 

"That votes were allowed to be cast for the Union candidates by persons 
who were not citizens of the county. 

"That minors were allowed to vote the Union ticket." 

The board of county commissioners dismissed the petition for the reason 
that the statute governing the case provided that "when the office of county 
auditor is contested such statement shall be filed with the clerk." In this 
action the county auditor had been made a party defendant. From the 

politics. 359 

decision of the board the petitioner appealed to the Hancock circuit court, 
Montgomery Marsh and John Addison going on his bond. On February 26, 
1864, the cause was dismissed on motion of the plaintiff. 

One year later, at the October election, in 1864, the Democratic ticket was 
successful. The tickets before the people in this election, with the number 
of votes received by each candidate, were as follow : 

Representative — Thomas C. Tuttle, Union, 1,361; John H. White, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,395. 

Recorder — Benjamin T. Raines, Union, 1,363; Levi Leary, Democrat, 

Surveyor — George W. Hatfield, Union, 1,362; William Trees, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,395. 

Commissioner— Benjamin Reeves, Union, 1,358; William New, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,398. 

At the Presidential election in November, 1864, Lincoln and McClellan 
received the following number of votes : 

Townships. Lincoln. McClellan. 

Blue River 134 79 

Brandywine 48 142 

Brown 95 7.29 

Buck Creek 134 91 

Center 349 237 

Green 86 146 

Jackson 223 138 

Sugar Creek 126 207 

Vernon 177 168 

Total 1,372 1.337 


A Union mass convention was held August 26, 1865, at Greenfield. 
Elias McCord was elected president of the convention ; Henry W. Thompson 
and Henry C. Moore, vice-presidents ; William Mitchell and Dr. E. W. Pier- 
son, secretaries. The resolutions committee was composed of William Frost, 
Dr. M. McManee, H. L. Moore, John Thomas and A. H. Allison. The 
following resolutions were adopted by this convention : 

"Resolved, that the Union party of this county, composed of all such 
as have ignored all past parties and party issues in a common patriotic pur- 


pose of saving the government of the United States from overthrow, is, if 
possible, now more than ever devoted to the Constitution and Union of our 
common country. 

"That coercion has saved the government and country from overthrow 
and ruin, and the policy of the Union party in the prosecution of the war has 
proven a complete success. 

"That we rejoice that the causeless and wicked rebellion has been sup- 
pressed, our country saved, and peace restored, without a dishonorable com- 
promise with traitors in arms, by the labors, toils, privations and sacrifices 
of our Union people. 

"That we cherish in grateful hearts the memory of our lamented 
President Lincoln. 

"That President Johnson, by his honesty, integrity, ability and patriotism 
is worthy to be the successor in the Presidential office of our good and great 
Lincoln, and that we have abiding confidence in the success of his 

"That we cordially endorse and approve the policy first adopted by 
President Lincoln, and followed and firmly adhered to by President Johnson, 
for the reorganization and restoration of the states, whose people have been 
in rebellion, to their practical relation to the general government. 

"That all men must be free within this government, and that all should 
be protected in person and property, and that while we desire the improve- 
ment, progress and comfort of all, we are opposed to the extension of suffrage 
to the negroes, and as far as practical favor their colonization on some suit- 
able territory without the jurisdiction of the states. 

"That the gratitude of the country is due to the army and navy, soldiers 
and sailors for their bravery and patriotism in defense of the 'old flag,' and 
their families, the widows and orphans have a right to our sympathies and 
the care of the government. 

"That we approve of the execution of the assassins of President Lincoln, 
and demand that Jeff Davis, the Confederate head of all treason, be speedily 
tried, and if found guilty executed." 

Candidates were nominated by the convention, the convention giving to 
each township a ratio of one vote for every fifty or fraction of fifty votes cast 
for Abraham Lincoln, at the Presidential election in 1864. Under this rule 
the votes were distributed as follows : Blue River, 3 ; Brandywine, 1 ; Brown, 
2 ; Buck Creek, 3 : Center, 7; Green, 2 ; Jackson, 5 ; Sugar Creek, 6; Vernon, 4. 

On September 9, 1865, the Democrats held a primary nominating con- 
vention. The county convention met on September 16, 1865, to ratify and 


confirm the votes of the townships and to declare the result of that vote. 
There seems to have been more or less of a fight between George Y. Atkison 
on the one hand and Noble Warrum, Morgan Chandler and Dr. B. W. 
Cooper on the other for the control of the party. It seems that Atkison was 
rather successful in the fight. The two tickets put into the field by these 
conventions, with the number of votes received by each candidate at the 
October election, in 1865, were as follow: 

Clerk — H. A. Swope, Union, 1,375; William Marsh, Democrat, 1,206. 
Treasurer — Nelson Bradley, Union, 1,358; Robert P. Brown, Democrat, 

Sheriff — William G. Caldwell, Union, 1,388; S. T. Djckerson, Democrat, 


Commissioner — Ephraim Thomas, Union, 1,369; Smith McCord, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,234. 

Recorder — Amos E. Beeson, Union, 1,373; Wellington Collyer, Dem- 
ocrat, 1,231. 

The Union ticket was thus successful again in 1865 with majorities 
ranging from one hundred to one hundred and fifty votes. 

On March 10, 1866, a Democratic county mass convention was held at 
Greenfield to select delegates to attend the Democratic state convention. John 
\Y. Ryon was chosen president of the convention, and C. T. Cochran, secre- 
retary. The chairman appointed the following committee on resolutions: 
Center, B. W. Cooper, John H. White, J. L. Mason; Blue Riyer, Samuel S. 
Chandler; Brandywine, Alfred Potts; Brown, William Garrett; Buck Creek, 
Tsom Wright; Sugar Creek, Robert P. Brown; Green, Edward Valentine; 
Jackson, Benjamin F. Caldwell; Vernon, Solomon Jackson. 

The following resolutions, endorsing the efforts and policies of Presi- 
dent Johnson, were adopted : 

"Resolved, that the principles of the Democratic party have ever been 
national, and that it is the duty of every patriot in this hour of our country's 
trial to aid the President in the restoration of the country to its former unity. 

"Resolved, that the firm stand taken by President Johnson in his efforts 
to maintain the Constitution, restore the Union, and bring about harmony 
and good feeling between the people of the different sections of our country, 
meets with our unqualified approval. 

"Resolved, that the vindictive and radical course adopted by the major- 
ity of the present Congress, in our opinion, is calculated to prolong the 


restoration of the states, and a return to quiet, prosperity and the industry of 
its citizens, and therefore meets our unqualified disapproval. 

"Resolved, that we cordially endorse the President in his veto of the 
Freedman's Bureau bill. 

"Resolved, that we are in favor of maintaining the public credit ana 
that we believe it is a just principle that property of all kinds should equally 
bear the burdens of taxation, and that federal securities should be taxed for 
state, county and municipal purposes the same as other property. 

"Resolved, that we congratulate our brave soldiers upon the restoration 
of peace and return to their homes; that while we mourn the loss of our com- 
rades in arms we pledge to them our support in all efforts to secure from 
Congress provisions for the sick and wounded, and the families of those who 
have fallen. 

"Resolved, that we are in favor of Congress equalizing the bounties paid 
to soldiers to suppress the late rebellion, either in public lands or in money. 

"Resolved, that we stand unalterably opposed to conferring the right 
of suffrage upon the negro race and unqualifiedly condemn the action of 
Congress in its attempt to force the same upon the people of the District of 

"Resolved, that we invite the conservative men of all parties, who with 
us approve the veto and the restoration policy of President Johnson, to unite 
with us in sustaining those principles at the ballot box. 

"Resolved, that we are opposed to any amendments being made to the 
Constitution of the United States until every state recently in rebellion is 
represented in the Congress of the United States." 

At this convention the following Democratic central committee was 
appointed: Blue River, August Dennis; Brandy wine, Alfred Potts; Brown, 
William Marsh ; Buck Creek, John S. Wright ; Center, John W. Ryon, James 
P. Galbreath; Green, A. W. Huntington; Jackson, A. V. B. Sample; Sugar 
Creek, Ernest H. Faut; Vernon, Solomon Jackson. 

John W. Ryon was elected chairman of this committee. The committee 
decided to hold a primary nominating convention on June 23, 1866. 

The war had now closed and new problems of the reconstruction period 
began to force themselves upon the attention of the people. It is worthy of 
notice that the Union and Democratic parties of the county were agreed 
upon several points, as they had expressed themselves in their resolutions 
adopted on August 26, 1865, and on March 10, 1866, respectively. In their 
resolutions both endorsed the policy and statesmanship of President Johnson 
and both were opposed to giving the ballot to the negro. Two vears later. 


however, the Union party was no longer willing to subscribe to its resolutions 
of August 26, 1865. • 

The county central committee of the Union party met at the county 
recorders office on July 28, 1866, and there decided to hold a Union mass 
convention for the nomination of candidates on August 25, 1866. It seems 
that just at this time the Union central committee was in need of a little 
more financial support and hence the following finance committee was 
appointed: Blue River, J. I. Hatfield, B. P. Butler; Brandy wine, John Rob- 
erts, William Workman; Brown, Dr. Trees, Isaac. Smith; Buck Creek, E. 
Thomas, S. H. Arnett; Center, Nelson Bradley, Thomas Bedgood and S. 
Sparks; Green, R. Jarrett, H. B. Wilson; Jackson, John Barrett, John A. 
Craft; Sugar Creek, Adam Hawk, Benjamin Freeman; Vernon, Levi 
Thomas, Capt. T. R. Noell. 

It was decided to collect fifteen dollars from each township for defray- 
ing accumulated indebtedness. 

On August 25, 1866, the Union voters of Hancock county assembled in 
mass convention at the court house, pursuant to a notice previously given 
by the chairman of the Union central committee. The convention was called 
to order by Dr. N. P. Howard. On motion Presley Guymon was chosen 
president of the convention ; H. H. Hall, William G. Caldwell, Ashbury Pope, 
vice-presidents ; Thomas N. Bedgood and John G. Hatfield, secretaries. 

On motion the president appointed three men from Center and one from 
each of the other townships as a committee on resolutions. It was also 
ordered, on motion, that all resolutions submitted to the convention for 
adoption, be referred to the committee on resolutions without debate. The 
committee on resolutions made two reports, a majority report and a minority 
report. The majority report was as follows : 

"Whereas, the Congress of the United States by a two-thirds vote has 
proposed to the several states thereof for amendments to the Constitution of 
the United States, fully recognizing the right of each state for itself to reg- 
ulate and prescribe the qualifications of voters within the limits of such states, 
and to proportion the representation of such state in the Congress and elec- 
toral college according; therfore 

"Resolved, that we believe such proposed amendments to be wise and 
just and expedient, and are in favor of their adoption. 

"Resolved, that we recognize the right of each state to prescribe for its 
qualifications of its own voters, and that we are now, as heretofore, opposed 
to negro suffrage. 


"Resolved, that we endorse the state ticket nominated by the Union state 
convention on the 22nd of February last, also the nomination of John Col urn 
by the Sixth Congressional district convention of July 19, 1866. 

"Resolved, that we will show by our acts our high appreciation of the 
heroic citizen soldiers and sailors, who, by their valor saved and established 
man's God-given right to govern himself." 

William Frost, a member of the committee on resolutions, submitted to 
the convention, as a minority report, the resolutions adopted by the Union 
Hancock county convention on August 26, 1865, and in February, 1866, 
respectively. These resolutions, after being read, were, upon motion, laid 
on the table. The resolutions offered by the majority report were adopted 
by an overwhelming vote of the convention. The following men were then 
appointed as the Union central committee for Hancock county for the ensuing 
year: Blue River, N. D. Coffin, B. P. Butler; Brandy wine, William Work- 
man, Ashbury Pope; Brown, Joseph Stanley, William Trees; Buck Creek, 
H. H. Hall, Shade Arnett; Center, N. P. Howard, A. F. Hart, William H. 
Curry; Green, Henry Moore, Robert Jarrett; Jackson, P. Bedgood, G. O. 
Chandler ; Sugar Creek, Nelson Hogle, E. W. Pierson ; Vernon, Thomas 
Hanna, Levi Thomas. 

The resolutions adopted by this convention again contained the clause, 
"we are now, as heretofore, opposed to negro suffrage." They failed, how- 
ever, to endorse the reconstructive policy of President Johnson ; instead, they 
endorsed the action of Congress. 

The rejection of the resolutions that had previously been twice adopted 
by the Union party and which had been offered again by William Frost in 
his minority report, was not received kindly by a great number of voters. 
Coburn, too, was entirely too radical and it was well known that his sym- 
pathies were with Congress rather than with the President. The same causes 
that were producing the breach between the President and Congress were also 
dividing the Union party in Hancock county. 

As an indication of the dissatisfaction that arose on account of the action 
of the Union convention of August 25, 1866, the following notice appeared 
on August 30, 1866, in the Hancock Democrat : 

"national union convention. 

"We, the undersigned voters of Hancock county, who supported Lincoln 
and Johnson in 1864, or who have since supported the Union ticket and who 
now must support the restoration policy of President Johnson, call upon the 
supporters of said policies, irrespective of past political divisions, to meet in 


mass convention in Greenfield on Saturday, September 15, 1866, to consult 
together as to the proper course to be pursued to sustain and carry out such 
policies : 

"Thomas West, 

"William Martin, 

"John Frost, 

"William Frost, 

"Robert Blakely, 
. "Thomas Collins, 

"John C. Rardin, Late Capt. 9th Cav., 

"William Mitchell, 

"A. K. Branham, 

"James K. King, 

"George Barnett/' 

Pursuant to the above notice, the convention met at the designated time 
and place. A. K. Branham was chosen president and William Mitchell, 
secretary. George Barnett, Noble Warrum, Thomas West, William Frost 
and H. A. Swope were appointed as a committee on resolutions. They were 
also directed to report to the convention the names of suitable persons for a 
central committee. The committee on resolutions reported an endorsement of 
the National Union platform adopted at Philadelphia on August 14, i860. 
This report was unanimously adopted. The party was liberal in its atti'ude 
toward the South and had great faith in the reconstructive policies of Presi- 
dent Johnson. The following central committee was appo'nted : Center, 
George Barnett, Thomas West; Brown, Thomas Collins; Blue River, William 
Moore; Buck Creek, D. Offenbacker; Brandywine, William Service; Green, 
H. B. Wilson; Jackson, Noble Warrum; Sugar Creek, Capt. Thomas Tuttle; 
Vernon, Capt. George Tague. 

There were three tickets in the field for the October election, 1866 — the 
Union, Democratic and National Union. The following was the result of 
the election : 

Joint Representative — William Rigdon, Republican, 1,317; John L. 
Montgomery, Democrat, 1,469. 

County Representative — E. W. Pierson. Republican, 1,305; John H. 
White. Democrat, 1,461; Isaiah Curry, National Union, 35. 

Commissioner, Middle District — Robert Andis, Republican, 1.321 ; James 
Tyner, Democrat, 1,453; C. G. Osborn, National Union, 22. 


Surveyor — Abijah Bales, Republican, 1,321; William Fries, Democrat, 
1,450; James K. King, National Union, 28. 

The National Union organization of the county attempted to unite all 
Johnson's supporters on its ticket. In this it failed. Isaiah Curry, the can- 
didate for county representative, received only thirty-five votes. Of these, 
thirty-three were in Center township, one in Jackson and one in Brown. 
Though the effort of this party to unite the Johnson supporters on a new 
ticket was a failure, that did not signify, as will be seen later, that the people 
had lost faith in Andrew Johnson. The President had been given an unquali- 
fied endorsement in the resolutions of the Democratic party, adopted March 
10, 1866, and the Democrats simply voted their own ticket in support of the 
President, instead of voting the National Union ticket. 

The beginning of the disintegration of the Union party became evident 
in the nominating convention on August 25, 1866. The cause that had pro- 
duced the party had been removed. New questions of reconstruction were 
confronting the people. The fight was on between the President and Con- 
gress, and, as has been seen from the resolutions adopted by both the Un'on 
and the Democratic conventions, there was a strong sentiment in Hancock 
county favoring the policies of the President. The county was especially 
opposed to negro suffrage, and when the great questions involved in the 
adoption of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Unitid 
States Constitution were before the people, and when other congressional 
legislation involving the rights and state of the negro were under considera- 
tion the great majority of the people in Hancock county supported the Presi- 
dent. Throughout the Civil War Governor Morton had been very popular 
with the Union party of Hancock county. At the close of the war Morton 
allied himself with the more radical element of his party and with Congress 
in support of negro suffrage. His action was a severe blow to the Un'on 
party in this county. The Hancock Democrat, which had been the organ of 
the Union party from the time of its formation, was again fighting the battles 
of a united Democracy in the campaign of 1867. It will be observed from 
the tabulated result of the election of 1866 that the Democrats were success- 
ful. With an exceptional loss of an office now and then, the party has 
remained in power in this county from that time to the present. 

In the year 1866, David S. Gooding, who had been very active during 
the Civil War for the Union cause, was appointed United States marshal for 
the District of Columbia. This position he held until 1869. At that time he 
had a strong following in the county and it is a matter of speculation how 


far his appointment may have had an influence on the attitude of the county 
toward President Johnson. 

During those years the Judge's name appeared frequently in the Eastern 
papers and articles referring to him were, of course, often copied in the 
Hancock Democrat. As an illustration of the standing of Judge Gooding at 
that time as a citizen and politician of Hancock county, we offer the follow- 
ing from the Cincinnati Commercial by the Washington correspondent, copied 
in the Democrat in the latter part of 1866: 

"Mr. Gooding is a Western man, whose numerous friends in Indiana are 
readers of the Commercial. As I said before, custom has made it obligatory 
upon the district marshal to stand as interpreter of the people's names to the 
President during a levee. It is no ordinary task to present in that elegant 
and recherche manner many thousands of the bon ton of not only the capital, 
but all the capitals of the civilized world, to the chief executive officer of 
this greatest republic on earth. Yet Mr. Gooding succeeds admirably. He 
is tall, graceful and natural. That's it. He is not hampered by formality, 
but goes at it as a Buckeye or Hoosier would salute (in an unmentionably 
delicious way) a newly arrived feminine cousin. If it is Mr. Smith who 
comes to see Andy, then it is simply and emphatically 'Mr. Smith, Mr. Presi- 
dent.' Hands are joined for a moment, an additional word may pass, and 
the crisis is transpired. It would do your Ploosier readers' hearts good to 
see this fellow citizen doing the honors at the White House." 

On March 16, 1867, the Democratic central committee met to determine 
the time and manner of holding a nominating convention. The first Monday 
in April, 1867, was decided upon and the following resolution in relation 
thereto was adopted : 

"Resolved, that all Democrats and Conservatives, who support and sus- 
tain President Johnson in his reconstructive policy, are invited to participate 
in said nomination, and that the Johnson men select their candidate for 
sheriff, and the Democracy are requested to support him." 

The Union central committee, appointed in February, 1866, served 
through this campaign. The committee ordered a primary nominating con- 
vention to be held on July 27, 1867, and about three hundred votes were 
cast at this convention. 

The following tickets were then before the people in the October election, 
in 1867: 

Auditor — B. W. Cooper, Democrat, 1,336; Jonathan Tague, Union, 


Treasurer — R. P. Brown, Democrat, 1,481 ; Burroughs Westlake, Union, 

Sheriff — William Wilkins, Democrat, 1,471; Joseph Shultz, Union, 


The number of votes received by each candidate is indicated above. It 
will be observed that the entire Democratic ticket with the. exception of the 
candidate for county auditor was elected. 

As soon as the election was over it became noised about that Wilkins. 
the sheriff-elect, intended to appoint James Galbreath as his deputy, and to 
give him sole charge of the office and that Wilkins himself intended to 
remain upon his farm. This rumor was soon verified by Wilkins, who 
assured the people of the county that Galbreath would make a very efficient 
deputy, and that he could attend to the duties of the office just as well, or 
better than Wilkins himself. This occasioned a great deal, of criticism from 
Democrats as well as Republicans. The voters of the county seemed to feel 
that since Wilkins had been intrusted with the office that he should give his 
personal attention to it. Wilkins, however, remained upon his farm during 
practically the entire term. Galbreath was a very efficient deputy, yet the 
arrangement was not wholly satisfactory to the voters. 

In the election of 1867 not a county ticket was scratched in Buck Creek 
township. The count showed that one hundred and one straight Republican 
and one hundred and sixteen Democratic tickets had been voted. Another 
feature of this election in Buck Creek township .was that Charles G. Offutt, 
who was not a candidate, received every Democrats vote in the township for 
prosecuting attorney. These were days in which names could be written on 
a ticket, pasters used, etc. 

Before the campaign of 1868 opened the Union party had entirely dis- 
integrated and the Democratic and Republican parties were again marching 
under their own banners. M. L. Paullus was the chairman of the Democratic 
central committee. Lemuel W. Gooding, who had been the secretary of the 
Union central committee and who had been elected chairman of that com- 
mittee, now issued his party notices as "Chairman of the Republican County 
Central Committee." 

The campaign was characterized by the organization of young men's 
clubs — the Grant clubs by the Republicans, and the Seymour and Blair Clubs 
by the Democrats. In the election of 1868 Grant received 1,414 votes in the 
county and Seymour, 1,682. 

In 1870 a new county Republican central committee was selected, com- 
posed of the following men: Center, P. Guymon, H. J. Williams; Blue River, 


B. P. Butler, John F. Coffin; Brown, Dr. William Trees, Lewis Copeland; 
Buck Creek, E. Thomas, S. H. Arnett; Brandywine, W. H. Curry, E. Bent- 
ley; Green, H. L. Moore, H. B. Wilson; Jackson, George W. Landis, Joseph 
Dunbar; Sugar Creek, B. Westlake, N. Hogle; Vernon, T. Hanna, W. H. 
Pilkenton. Dr. N. P. Howard was elected chairman of the committee. 

Although it was not a presidential year, young men's clubs were again 
organized in the county. 

Jared C Meek, who has received so much notice in the local papers 
during the last few years as "the first white child torn in Greenfield," was 
the candidate for sheriff on the Republican ticket in this campaign. 

The campaign of 1870 is memorable in Hancock county because of the 
race of Judge Gooding for Congress and the contest for the congressional 
seat which followed the election. The Judge had a strong following at home, 
and at a Democratic mass meeting held at Greenfield on Saturday, February 
26, 1870, of which Wellington Collyer was president and William Mitchell 
and William Marsh, secretaries, S. C. Chamberlain offered the following 
resolutions : 

"W'hereas, the Democracy of the county, at the last county convention, 
expressed their preference for the Hon. David S. Gooding for the Con- 
gressional nominee of this the Fourth Congressional district. 

"And whereas, four of the Democratic newspapers of this distr'ct have 
endorsed him as their choice; 

"And whereas, we believe he is the choice of the Democracy of this 
county and of the district. 

"And whereas, it will be inconvenient and unnecessary to call the people 
of this county together again for the sole purpose of choosing delegates to a 
Congressional convention ; therefore, be it 

"Resolved, that a committee of one from each township be appointed to 
report the names of the Congressional delegates." 

After the adoption of this resolution the president of the mass meeting 
appointed the following committee to select delegates to attend the congres- 
ional convention : Blue River, James P. New ; Brown, W r illiam Marsh ; Buck 
Creek, Henry Wright; Brandywine, Alfred Potts; Center, C. T. Dickerson; 
Green, Neri Jarrett; Jackson, Frank Chandler; Sugar Creek, David Ulery; 
Vernon, Solomon Jackson. 

This committee in turn reported the following men as delegates to the 
congressional convention : Blue River, Augustus Dennis, William New. C. G. 
Sample, William Handy ; 'Brandvwine, William H. Walts, Wellington Coll- 



yer, A. P. Brown. Alfred Potts; Buck Creek, M. C. B. Collins, Henry Wright, 
J. W. Shelby, George H. Black; Brown, William I. Garriott, J. P. Harlan, 
B. W. Beck, John B. Heck; Center, George Barnett, J. C. Atkison, William 
Mitchell, Isaiah Curry, William M. Johnson, S. C. Chamberlain, William 
Frost, S. T. Dickerson ; Green, Jonathan Smith, Edward Barrett, John Green, 
Benton Marin; Jackson, John Addison, G. W. Sample, Berd Lacy, E. C. 
Reeves; Sugar Creek, Henry Fink, E. H. Faut, William Barnard, David 
Ulrey; Vernon, D. Z. Lewis, Andy Hagan, W. P. Brokaw, Solomon Jackson. 

These delegates were instructed by the convention to vote for Judge 
Gooding and to vote as a unit. 

Judge Gooding was nominated and made the race against Judge Wilson, 
of Connersville. The two men agreed to meet at all of the important points 
in the congressional district for joint discussions. Beginning in -the 
latter part of August, 1870, joint debates were held at Richmond, Cambridge, 
Brookville, Greenfield, New Palestine, Connersville, and at other points. 
When the votes were counted the following seemed to be the result : 

Counties. Wilson. Gooding. 

Wayne 3,638 2,352 

Fayette ^S 00 - !>oi5 

Shelby 1,868 2,509 

Rush 2 ,°77 1,870 

Franklin 1,287 2,496 

Union 849 629 

Hancock 1,203 1,686 

Totals 12,561 12,557 

This gave Wilson an apparent majority of four votes in the district. 
A recount of the south poll at Richmond, in which the candidates had 
lied, gave Gooding a majority of eleven, which seemed to give him a clear 
majority of seven. Judge Gooding contested the election in the National 
House of Representatives. The contest was not finally decided until a short 
time before the next election, when the committee on resolutions offered two 
reports, a majority report, in favor of Wilson, and a minority report, in favor 
of Gooding. The question was decided by the House on sirictlv party lines, 
Wilson receiving one hundred and five votes, Gooding, sixty-four. 

In 1872 political matters were rather unsettled in the county, both upon 
national issues and upon local questions. On June 29 a number of 


citizens inserted in the Hancock Democrat the following notice or call for a 
citizens' mass convention at the court house in Greenfield : 

"All who are in favor of an honest and economical administration of 
public business, and are opposed to the corrupt way at present of controll'ng 
our county affairs are invited to come up and participate by voice and vote in 
the selection of a ticket of honest, upright and capable men, without any 
distinction of party, to be supported by the citizens of the county at the 
ensuing election. "J. A. Hall, 

"G. T. Randall, 
"H. J. Williams, 
"Executive Committee." 

Nothing, however, was accomplished by this meeting in so far as political 
organization was concerned. 

The marked inclination of the county toward the reconstructive policies 
of Andrew Johnson, as before observed, again came into prominence in the 
campaign of 1872. Even among the Republicans there was a dissatisfaction 
with the radical tendencies of Congress. During the summer rumors spread 
that many Republicans in the county intended to vote for Horace Greeley. 
The Republicans, of course, attempted to minimize these reports by creating 
the impression that but very few Republicans would vote against General 
Grant. This occasioned the publication of the following statement signed by 
a number of Republicans in which they gave expression to their intent'ons : 

"to the public. 

"We, the undersigned -Republicans of Hancock county, Indiana, having 
heard that it is being industriously circulated that there are but three Repub- 
lican voters in this county who are in favor of the election of Horace Greeley 
as next President, take pleasure in disproving and correcting said report, by 
declaring respectively our intention to vote for Greeley and Brown for Presi- 
dent and Vice-President : 

"Anthony Smith, A. K. Branham, B. A. Roney, S. S. Roney, Thomas J. 
Hanna, N. C. Roney, O. P. Gooding, S. Stewart, N. M. Cooney. Andrew 
Stutsman, Jonathan Lineback, Lewis Carpenter, L. W. Gooding, Alexander 
Dickerson, Andrew J. Herron, N. P. Howard, W. F. McCord, Jacob McCord. 
Jr., Ebenezer Steele, John E. Cooney, C. S. Cooney, D. T. Davis, M. C. Foley, 
Isaac Stutsman, William Taylor, J. T. McCray, Samuel Wallace, W. S. Catt. 
Albert Minson. Capt. Adams L. Ogg, Capt. Jared C. Meek, S. H. Arnett, 
Aquilla Grist, Moses McCray, M. S. Ragsdale. John Roberts, Nicholas Stuts- 
man, John H. Myers, Stephen McCray, W. W. Gregg." 


On August 17, 1872, a meeting of "Liberal Republicans'' was called at 
the court house for the purpose of effecting a county organization. The call, 
made through the Hancock Democrat, was signed by Adams L. Ogg, J. C. 
Meek, N. Stutsman, N. C. Foley, A. Smith and L. W. Gooding. The meet- 
ing was held. John Roberts was elected president and M. S. Ragsdale, 
secretary. The convention appointed the following county central committee : 
Blue River, Jonathan Lineback; Brown, James McCray; Brandywine, John 
Roberts, M. S. Ragsdale ; Buck Creek, S. H. Arnett ; Center, Capt. A. L. Ogg, 
Capt. Jared Meek ; Green, Martin Alley ; Jackson, Anthony Smith ; Sugar 
Creek, M. C. Foley; Vernon, Thomas J. Hanna, William F. McCord. 

On August 24, 1872, the Liberal Republicans also organized a Greeley 
and Brown Club at Greenfield. Captain Ogg addressed the meeting on that 

On Saturday, September 14, 1872, the county central committees of the 
Liberal Republican party and the Democratic party had a joint meeting at 
the court house. Both parties were supporting Greeley, and arrangements 
were made at this meeting for a campaign in the county. Dates were fixed 
for speakings at various points and thereafter Charles G. Offutt, Capt. Adams 
L. Ogg, Eph. Marsh, J. H. White, M. S. Ragsdale, James L. Mason, Oliver 
P. Gooding and James A. New spoke from the same platforms to the same 
audiences in support of Horace Greeley. 

Another feature of the campaign of 1872 was the second race of Judge 
Gooding for Congress against his former opponent, Judge Wilson. The two 
candidates again "stumped" the Congressional district in a series of joint 
debates. The following schedule was agreed upon and published in the dis- 
trict : Warrington, Friday, August 9, Gooding opens ; Fortville, Saturday, 
August 10, Wilson opens; Greenfield, Monday, August 12, Gooding opens; 
Moscow, Thursday, August 15, Wilson opens; Rushville, Saturday, August 
17, Gooding opens; Liberty, Monday, August 19, Wilson opens; Fairfield, 
Wednesday, August 21, Gooding opens; Brookville, Friday, August 23, Wil- 
son opens; Connersville, Saturday, August 24, Gooding opens. 

It was agreed by the two candidates that all meetings open at one o'clock 
P. M. ; that the speaker opening the debate have one and one-fourth hours, 
that the second speaker have one and one-half hours, and that the first speaker 
again have fifteen minutes to close. In this campaign Gooding was defeated 
by a majority of three hundred and eighty votes. 

Among the notable political speakers at Greenfield in the campaign of 
1872 was Daniel W. Voorhees, who spoke on Wednesday, August 28. 

politics. 373 


In the campaign of 1874, the Patrons of Husbandry, or "Grangers," 
made their influence felt. At that time they enrolled about fifteen hundred 
voters in the county. A fuller history of this movement will be given else- 
where. In 1874 the order decided to put a county ticket into the field. A 
county central committee was appointed, composed of the following men : 
Blue River, John Sloan, Lemuel Hackleman; Brown, Elijah Reeves, Joseph 
Stanley ; Buck Creek, J. B. Cauldwell, F. Pentland ; Brandywine, B. F. Goble, 
John Roberts; Center, Rufus Scott, Eli R. Gant, Enos Geary; Green, E. S. 
Bragg, George W. Hopkins; Jackson, John M. Leamon, John S. Lewis; Sugar 
Creek, John Vansickle, H. P. Anderson; Vernon, William G. Scott, J. D. 

On August 29, 1874, they held what they termed a ''Reform or Inde- 
pendent Convention" at Greenfield. John McGraw was elected president of 
this convention, and Enos Geary, secretary. The' following candidates were 
nominated : Representative, Jacob Slifer, Center ; clerk, John McGraw, Jack- 
son ; auditor, George W. Hatfield, Blue River ; treasurer, Elbert S. Bragg, 
Green ; sheriff, William Edgill, Brandywine ; recorder, David Hawk, Sugar 
Creek; law appraiser, Joseph Garrett, Brown; surveyor, J. H. Land^s, Jack- 
son; commissioner, western district, Elias McCord, Vernon; coroner, Enos 
Geary, Center. 

It seems, however, that political affiliations were stronger than the ties 
of the order. The Democratic ticket was elected. But from reports of per- 
sons now living who went through that campaign, it seems that the Dem- 
ocratic candidates were given much concern by this political organization. 
The Democrats had been in control of the county, and the success of any 
other political organization, of course, meant Democratic loss. 


The popularity of Andrew Johnson with the great majority of the voters 
of Hancock county never appeared more clearly than when Johnson was 
elected to the United States Senate from the state of Tennessee, in January, 
1875. To celebrate his victory a meeting of the citizens was held at the 
court house on Thursday evening, January 28, 1875. Smith McCord was 
elected president of the meeting; Jonas Marsh and Benjamin Galbreath, vice- 
presidents ; George Barnett and William Mitchell, secretaries. Speeches were 
made by Smith McCord, Ephraim Marsh, Montgomery Marsh, Judge Good- 
ing, J. V. Cook, James A. New. R. A. Riley and George Barnett. After the 


speech making J. V. Cook offered the following resolution which was unani- 
mously adopted : 

"Resolved, that the recent election of Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, to 
the Senate of the United States, is but a highly proper vindication of an honest 
man, a true patriot and an able statesman, from the unjust and untrue charges 
made against him by the corrupt heads of the Republican party, and that more 
especially in view of the reckless violations of the Constitution of the United 
States by President Grant and the party in power, are the services of the 
great defenders of the Constitution needed at this time, in the United States 

William Frost then proposed three cheers for Andrew Johnson, the 
Union, the Constitution and the Laws. 


In February, 1876, a call was issued through the columns of the Hancock 
Democrat for a mass meeting of the old citizens and voters of Hancock 
county, irrespective of party, who were in favor of the legal "greenback" 
money and opposed to the National Bank law. The time of the meeting was 
set at one P. M. on Saturday, February 19, 1876, "for the purpose of taking 
such action as may seem expedient in regard to the money questions." This 
call was signed by S. F. Dickerson, William F. Wilson, James F. Wilson, 
Smith Hutchison, William Fries, Joseph Jackson, Henry L. Fry, Sr., John 
G. Gambrel, J. H. White, John Walsh, Rufus J. Scott, William F. McBane. 

James P. Galhreath, Isaiah A. Curry, Fields, J. A. Shell, William 

Porter. John W. Dye, Alfred Potts, John P. Banks, Cyrus Leamon, William 
Frost, R. P. Andis, W. Y. Pendleton; John Shepherd, Elijah C. Reeves, John 
Mayes, John A. Alyea, R. D. Cross, William Potts, William Fields, John 
Shelby, Jacob Slifer, J. H. Mayes, William Alyea, James H. Wirm, Willard 
H. Low, Philander Craig, Thomas Bodkins, B. F. Fry, Wellington Collyer, 
John Richie, James R. Foster, Lysander Sparks, J. S. Thomas, W. H. Walts, 
John A. Barr. 

Judge Gooding was invited to address the meeting. The convention 
was attended by a large number of citizens from all parts of the county. 
Resolutions were adopted, condemning the circulation of national bank notes 
and favoring the issuance of "greenbacks" instead. 

On March 23, 1878, a county convention of the Greenback followers was 
called at the Grange Hall at Greenfield. J. C. Vansickle, of Xew Palestine, 
was elected chairman and George Furry, secretary. The purpose of this 
meeting was to effect a county organization. The following central com- 

politics. 375 

mittee was appointed : Blue River, B. F. Luse ; Brandywine, L. Milbourn : 
Brown, S. Milbourn; Buck Creek, Francis Pentland; Center, William Sears, 
II. Little; Green, C. G. Osborn; Jackson, John McGraw; Sugar Creek, John 
Vansickle; Vernon, P. J. Hannah. 

This central committee adopted the following resolutions: 

"Resolved, that the National party of Hancock county will hold a mass 
convention for Hancock county, at the court house in Greenfield, on the first 
Saturday in May, 1879, at one o'clock P. M., to complete a thorough organ- 
ization of the National party in said county, and to nominate a full county 
ticket of able, truthful and faithful men, for which the central committee will 
issue a call, inviting all persons sympathizing with the National movement, 
and believing that there should be no partial or class legislation, that the laws 
should be so enacted and administered as to insure to every man the just 
reward of his own labor, to meet with them and participate in said mass 

"Resolved, that the Nationals of each township are earnestly recom- 
mended, at an early day, and upon their own notice, to meet at their usual 
place of holding elections, and to thoroughly organize their respective town- 
ships for efficient political action; ever remembering that "Eternal vigilance 
is the price of liberty," and giving notice to quit to dishonest trading 
politicians who have established themselves in the gateways of commerce and 
speculation, and are enriching themselves by seizing the reward of other 
people's labor. 

"Resolved, that this meeting adopt the platform of principles laid down 
by the convention of the National party, held at Toledo, Ohio, on the 22nd 
of February, 1878." 

After the county organization had been effected the following ticket was 
put into the field : Representative, George Furry, Brandywine ; clerk, Joseph 
Hanna, Buck Creek: treasurer, John S. Barrett, Jackson; auditor, John 
McCray, Brown; sheriff, Moses Fink, Center; recorder, Monteville Eastes, 
Buck Creek; commissioner, eastern district, Benjamin F. Luse, Blue River; 
commissioner, middle district, B. J. Goble, Brandywine. 

Following this a Greenback party organization was maintained in the 
county for five or six years. William Sears was the chairman of the central 
committee practically all of the time. 


When the difficulties of determining the result of the election of 1876 
presented itself the Democrats of the county held a mass meeting for the 


purpose of giving expression to their feelings. The meeting was held on 
December 23, 1876. John H. White was elected chairman; James L. Mason, 
D. S. Gooding, James H. Carr and William Mitchell, secretaries. The, 
following committee on resolutions was appointed: Blue River, Augustus 
Dennis; Brown, Robert D. Hayes; Brandywine, James Tyner; Buck Creek, 
Henry Wright; Center, Capt. R. A. Riley, Stephen Dickerson; Green, James 
M. Trueblood ; Jackson, George Kinder; Sugar Creek, Tilghman Collyer; 
Vernon, Smith McCord. 

Later it was decided to add to this committee the names of John D. Barr, 
William Sears, George Barnett, L. W. Gooding, Joseph Baldwin and Tared 
C. Meek. Judge Gooding was called upon for a speech and he gave an 
account of the situation in Oregon, Louisiana and South Carolina. Before 
the close of the meeting Captain Riley, of the resolutions committee, offered 
the following report, which was accepted : 

"Whereas, in the late presidential election of November 7, 1876, the 
election for Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks received an undoubted 
popular majority of 241,022 votes, and 185 undoubted electoral votes, and 
were the popular majority of the votes in South Carolina, Florida and Lou- 
isiana, regarded as they should be, the electors of each of said states would 
cast their aggregate electoral votes also for Tilden and Hendricks, giving 
nineteen majority to them; and 

"Whereas, there is a persistent effort being made by fraud and violence 
to declare elected and inaugurate Rutherford Hayes and William A. Wheeler, 
the minority candidates, as President and Vice-President; thus defeating the 
constitutionally and lawfully expressed will of the people. Therefore, be it 

"Resolved, that we are now, as ever, devotedly attached to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, and to the Union of the states under the general 
government and that the general and state governments are each limited in 
their power, and that one should not entrench on the power of the other. 

"Resolved, that in the election of a President and Vice-President of the 
United States the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot box, according 
to the Constitution and the laws, should be faithfully and honestly carried out 
and maintained by all the people, irrespective of party. 

"Resolved, that in our candid judgment, Tilden and Hendricks have been 
constitutionally and lawfully elected President and Vice-President of the 
United States by a popular majority of 241,022 and will be so declared by a 
majority of the electors of the United States, who were honestly elected, if 
permitted to cast their ballots, and that the honest and intelligent masses of 
the people will meet on their inauguration, and we denounce all attempts, 

politics. 377 

whether made by illegal returning boards, the Senate or the President of the 
United States, to usurp power by overriding the will of the people, by fraud 
or force, and we demand of the Senate and House of Representatives that 
they see to it that no mere technicality, fraud or force shall annul the verdict 
of the people. 

"Resolved, that whoever is elected President and Vice-President, accord- 
ing to the Constitution and the laws, ought to be inaugurated and recognized 
as such by the people, irrespective of party. 

"Resolved, that we denounce the use of the army to control elections, 
or to intimidate voters, or to interfere with the legislatures of anv of the 
states, in their organization or otherwise ; and that President Grant, by 
making such illegal and unconstitutional use of the army of the United States, 
deserved impeachment and deposition from office. 

"Resolved, that Grant and his office-holders are riot the government of 
the United States, but simply office holders under the government, liable to 
displacement, according to the Constitution and laws. 

"Resolved, that while we demand of our representatives in the Congress 
of the United States that they stand by the rights of the people, as expressed 
by the Constitution and laws, as against fraud, usurpation, intimidation and 
violence, we pledge ourselves that we will stand by them in all their con- 
stitutional and legal acts. 

"Resolved, that we demand of Congress that they adhere to the uniform 
practice of the government in counting the electoral votes for President and 
Vice-President, and that we denounce the arrogant and unconstitutional 
assumption that the president of the Senate has the sole power to count the 
electoral votes." 

after 1876. 

In the campaign of 1878 the Republicans were again active in the organ- 
ization of young men's clubs. The club at Greenfield elected the following 
officers: President, War Barnett; secretary, Newton L. Wray; treasurer, 
Adams L. Ogg. Thirty-five young men enrolled in the club on the evening 
of its organization and a number of names were added to it later. 

In the campaign of 1880 the Democrats in the county were especially 
active. Ephraim Marsh was the chairman and William Ward Cook, secre- 
tary, of the Democratic county central committee. 

On September 23, 1880, the Democratic ladies of Greenfield presented 
to the Democracy of the city and Center township a beautiful silk flag. The 
ladies who headed this presentation were Mrs. Charles Downing, Mrs. Capt. 


M. L. Paullus and Mrs. John F. Mitchell. At seven o'clock on that evening 
there was a torchlight procession. The Greenfield band marched to the resi- 
dence of Capt. M. L. Paullus and escorted the speakers, ladies and Glee Club to 
the court house square, where it was estimated that five thousand people had 
assembled. The flag was presented with the following program : 

Meeting called to order, Ephraim Marsh 

Invocation, Rev. Williams 

Song, "Hancock is the Man," 

Herkimer Glee Club of New York 

Presentation of Flag by Charles G. Offutt in behalf of 

the Democratic Ladies of the City of Greenfield 

Response on behalf of the Hancock and Landers Guards, 

James A. New 

Song by Glee Club, "The Star Spangled Banner" 

Address, Luther Benson 

Song. Glee Club 

On September 15, 1880, Gen. Franz Sigel spoke at New Palestine, 
much to the delight of the German population. Ernest H. Faut was instru- 
mental in having him brought into the county. Gabriel Schmuck also 
addressed the Germans in their native tongue on that occasion. About one 
Ihousand and five hundred people were present to hear these addresses. 

The campaign was also characterized by one of the greatest Democratic 
rallies at Greenfield in the historv of the county. The following was the 
order of the march, as taken from the columns of the Hancock Democrat : 

Greenfield Cornet Band 

Hancock and Landers Guards of Greenfield 

Martial Music 

Hancock and Landers Guards of Center Township 

Brandywine Township Horseback Company 

New Palestine Band 

Horsemen from New Palestine 

Wagons with ladies from Sugar Creek Township 

Wagon with 24 ladies from Brandywine Township 

Wagon with 36 ladies from Independence School House 

Martial Band 

Wagon with 50 young ladies. Blue River Township 

Wagon of voters, Blue River Township 

politics. 379 

Wagon with 60 young ladies, Morristown 

Wagons. Baggies and Carriages 

Speakers' Carriages 

Fortville Cornet Band 

Wagon with 43 young ladies, Vernon Township 

McCordsville Guards in 2 wagons 

3 large wagons with voters, McCordsville 

Wagons and carriages 

McCordsville Band 

Buggies, Carriages and Wagons 

Martial Band 

Hancock and Landers Guards, of Buck Creek 

Wagon with 36 young ladies. Buck Creek Township 

Wagon with voters, Morristown 

Carriages and wagons 


Carriages, buggies and wagons 

"In comes Garfield" — A mule on a large wagon 

Work cart, containing General Irwin Hunt 

carrying the American flag 

Gravel Wagons, 25 in number, under Marshal F. M. Faurot 

Carriages and wagons 

Martial Band, Jackson Township 

Wagon with 27 young ladies, Jackson Township 

Horseback Company, Jackson Township 

Wagon containing organ 

Wagons, carriages and buggies 

In 1884 Andrew Hagans was the chairman of the Democratic county 
central committee. Henry Snow was the chairman of the Republican county 
central committee. In the report of the Republican county convention held 
February 16, 1884, the following names are prominent: Henry Snow, R. A. 
Black, John W. Jones, Capt. Thomas B. Noel, Senator Yancey, Cyrus T. 
Nixon, Oscar F. Meek, Samuel B. Hill, Henry Marsh, Thomas E. Bentley, 
John T. Duncan, John C. Eastes, William O. Bradley, A. N. Rhue, James 
L. Mitchell, J. H. McKown, Charles H. Rock, David Dove. S. Burk, Albert 
G. Jackson, M. M* Vail, George V. Sowerwine. 

An incident of the campaign of 1884 was the dissatisfaction of Capt. 
Adams L. Ogg, who had been a very energetic worker in the local organiza- 


tion of the Republican party, with the Republican candidate, James G. Blaine. 
In a published interview. Captain Ogg gave his reasons for not supporting 
Blaine. A short time after the publication of this interview the Cleveland and 
Hendricks clubs of the county held a meeting at the city of Greenfield. 
Among the other matters that were transacted by the clubs, a resolution was 
adopted, inviting the Captain to address the people of the county on the 
political issues of the hour. The chairman then appointed a committee to 
wait upon the Captain and present these matters to him. This the committee 
did in the following written statement : 
"To Capt. Adams L. Ogg : 

"At a stated meeting of the Cleveland and Hendricks Clubs of this 
county held in the city of Greenfield, the following resolutions were unani- 
mously passed : 

" 'Resolved, that it is the wish of these clubs that Capt. Adams L. Ogg 
be invited to address the people of this county, in the city of Greenfield, at 
as early a date as is to him convenient, on the political issues of the hour; 
and that a committee of three be delegated by the chair to wait upon him, 
bearing him this resolution and learning his pleasure in that behalf.' 

"The chair thereupon appointed the following named persons to that 
committee : James A. Xew, Hon. J. L. Mason and Ephraim Marsh. 

"And now the above named committeemen submit you the aforesaid 
resolution and most cordially invite you to address our people from a political 
standpoint at your earliest date, and trust you will accept the invitation. 

"James A. New, 
"James L. Mason, 
"Ephraim Marsh, 


The Captain replied in the following letter : 

"Messrs. James A. Xew, J. L. Mason and Ephraim Marsh : 

"My dear Sirs : — Your communication at hand in which you convey to 
me the formal invitation of the Cleveland and Hendricks Clubs of the county, 
that I shall at earliest convenience, address the people at Greenfield on the 
pending political issues, etc. Permit me, through you, to thank the gentle- 
men for this flattering request. I accept your invitation, but regret that 
business engagements in a neighboring state compel my absence for an indefi- 
nite period (I hope not to exceed five or eight days) 1 , renders it unsafe to 
fix an earlier time than Saturday evening, October 11, at which time, or at 
a later day, if more agreeable to you, I will be pleased to speak. My whole 


heart is enlisted on behalf of an intelligent, free and fearless expression of all 
the voters at the coming election. 

"I am very truly yours, 

"A. L. Ogg/' 

Dates were fixed for speakings at different points in the county, and 
Captain Ogg appeared upon the various platforms with other Democratic 
speakers in support of Grover Cleveland. He remained an ardent Democrat 
during the remainder of his life. 

Following the Democratic victory in 1884, the administration appointed 
Albert L. New as register in the United States land office at Evanston, 
Wyoming, and, later, as United States collector of. internal revenue for the 
District of Colorado and Wyoming, with his office at Denver, Colorado. 

While in Wyoming Mr. New served as chairman of the Democratic 
state central committee, and had his name presented to the Legislature as a 
candidate for United States senator. The Legislature balloted twenty-nine 
days and Mr. New lacked but one vote of an election. The Legislature finally 
adjourned its session without electing anyone. 


During the summer of 1886 the following tickets were nominated by the 
respective party conventions, each candidate receiving the number of votes 
indicated : 

Clerk — Charles Downing, Democrat, 1,906; R. A. Black, Republican, 

Sheriff — U. S. Jackson, Democrat, 2,108; Thomas E. Niles, Republican, 


Auditor — James Mannix, Democrat, 1,960; James L. Mitchell, Repub- 
lican, 1,966. 

Treasurer — Charles H. Fort, Democrat, 2,134; Robert B. Binford, 
Republican, 1,826. 

Recorder — Ira Collins, Democrat, 1,783; Henry Snow, Republican, 

Surveyor — W. S. Fries, Democrat, 1,753; J onn H. Landis, Republican, 


James Mannix was dissatisfied with this count of the votes and took 
steps to contest the election. The Hancock circuit court appointed J. Ward 


Walker, John E. Dye and John A. Craft, commissioners to recount the votes 
The recount gave Mannix 1,966 votes and Mitchell 1,957, whereupon Mitchell 
appealed from the recount to the board of commissioners of Hancock county. 
After a hearing the board found for Mannix, and Mitchell appealed to the 
Hancock circuit court. The chief question connected with the contest arose 
from the count of the votes in one of the precincts of Green township, in 
which Henry B. Wilson was inspector. The question involved in the contest 
was whether the ballots had been tampered with or whether the clerks of 
the board in Green township had failed to keep a correct tally. The case was 
venued to Newcastle, where, in June, 1887, an agreement or a compromise 
was made between Mannix and Mitchell, in which Mitchell agreed to pay 
Mannix one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. In consideration 
thereof, Mitchell was to take the office after November 1, 1887. When this 
agreement became known to the people of the county, it was very unsatis- 
factory to both Republicans and Democrats. There was a general feeling that 
the case should have been tried and decided on its merits; that whichever of 
the candidates had received the majority of the votes should have had the 
office, and that it should have been settled in no other manner. 

On November 1, 1887, Mannix, however, refused to give up the office, 
whereupon Mitchell brought a suit for possession in the Hancock circuit 
court. This case was venued to Henry county, and Judge Comstock, of 
Richmond, was appointed special judge. Mannix in his answer to Mitchell's 
complaint alleged "that on or about the 18th day of June, 1887, and while 
the appeal involving the contest for the office was pending in the Hancock 
circuit court, the relator's attorneys entered into a negotiation with him, the 
said Mannix, and his attorneys concerning such contest; that it was finally 
agreed between the parties that the relator (Mitchell) should pay to him, said 
Mannix, the sum of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, in con- 
sideration of which the latter's right to the office in contest, including the 
right to hold the same, to discharge its duties and to receive the emoluments 
thereof, should be transferred to, and recognized as existing in the relator; 
that the relator thereupon paid to him, the said Mannix, the sum of one 
thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, after which the judgment declaring 
the relator to have been duly elected as above stated, being the same judgment 
described in the alternative writ of mandate, was entered as by agreement of 
the parties; that such judgment was, therefore, procured to be entered by 
the relator (Mitchell) in pursuance of such fraudulent agreement and by the 
payment of the sum of money named, and for no other reason ; that said 
agreement for the sale and transfer of said office of county auditor was net 


only against public policy, but was also corrupt, fraudulent and void, as 
between the parties thereto, as well as to all other persons, and that hence, 
he, the said Mannix, was not bound or concluded by the judgment rendered 
thereon, nor was the relator, therefore, lawfully adjudicated to be entitled to 
hold said office." 

The supreme court decided the matter in favor of Mitchell, holding that 
"the rule that the courts will not aid in the enforcement of a corrupt or 
unlawful contract, but will leave the parties where they have placed them- 
selves, has no application to a judgment which by inadvertence or collusion 
may have been rendered upon such a contract, but such contract stands upon 
the same footing as any other judgment, and is binding while it remains in 
force.'' (Mannix vs. the State ex rel, Mitchell, 115 Ind. 245.) 

It will be observed that in this election the Democrats lost the offices of 
clerk, auditor, recorder and surveyor. There may have been several reasons 
for this. A sentiment was growing in the county that no person should hold a 
four-year county office for more than one term. On the Democratic ticket. 
Ira Collins, recorder; Charles Downing, clerk, and James Mannix, auditor, 
had each served a term of four years and were candidates for reelection. 
W. S. Fries had served a term of two years as surveyor and was a candidate 
for reelection. On the other hand, R. A. Black, the Republican candidate for 
clerk, was an able attorney and well known throughout the county. Henry 
Snow was generally acquainted over the county and was very popular with 
the people. All of these conditions, and likely others, operated to produce 
the partial defeat of the Democratic party in that election. 


The Prohibition party also effected a county organization in 1886. I. N. 
Hunt was elected chairman of the county central committee, and R. M. Julian, 
secretary. A county ticket was nominated, which polled approximately fifty- 
six votes in that election. The party polled from sixty-five to seventy-five 
votes for several years. In more recent years its candidates have been receiv- 
ing from ninety to one hundred and twenty votes and a few have received 
as high as one hundred and seventy votes. 

In 1888 R. M. Julian, secretary of the Prohibition county central com- 
mittee, inserted the following sentence in his official notice, published in the 
local papers : "We hereby give notice that the Prohibition party in Hancock 
county has come to stay." To this time the party has stayed and in the 
greater number of conventions has had a county ticket or at least a partial 
ticket in the field. 


During the summer of 1888 Ephraim Marsh was selected as a member 
of the state Democratic central committee, upon which he served for several 

people's party. 

The summer of 1892 witnessed the organization of the Populist, or 
People's party, in Hancock county. Coleman Pope was chosen chairman of 
the county central committee and their county ticket received approximately 
three hundred votes in the election of 1892. In the election of 1894 the ticket 
received approximately two hundred votes ; in 1896, one hundred and ten 
votes ; and in 1898, which was its last county ticket, thirty votes. 


In 1890 Farmers' Mutual 'Benef it Associations had become pretty strongly 
organized in the county. Though not a political organization, it was an 
organization, in a measure, like the "Grangers," of which candidates were care- 
ful to take notice. In that year a report was circulated in the southern part 
of the county that Lawrence Boring, who was then a candidate for county 
auditor, was not in sympathy with the order. Mr. Boring felt it worth while 
to issue a very explicit statement through the columns of the local press, 
denying these charges. On May 7, 1892, the county assembly of the order 
adopted the following resolution in relation to the association's attitude toward 
politics : 

"Resolved, that we, the county assembly of the Hancock Farmers' Mutual 
Benefit Association, do hereby agree that we as a body are a non-political 
organization, and declare ourselves not pledged to support any political party 
or faction as a body and that said resolution be published in the Hancock 
Democrat. "J. H. White, President, 

"Morgan J. Tyner, Secretary." 


Following the nomination of William Jennings Bryan at Chicago in 
1896, the Democracy of the county rallied enthusiastically to his support. 
Stokes Jackson was a delegate to the national Democratic convention and was 
also a member of the notification committee that brought to Mr. Bryan the 
news that he had been nominated for the Presidency by the Democratic party. 
No party in the county has ever given any candidate a more enthusiastic and 
more loyal support than the Democracy of the county has given to Mr. Bryan 
in each of his campaigns. 


The Democrats of the county were thoroughly imbued with the idea of 
free silver and on June 6, 1896, just a few days prior to the Center town- 
ship Democratic convention, copies of the following notice were sent to prac- 
tically all of the Democratic voters of the township : 

"Greenfield, Ind., May 30, 1896. 
"Dear Sir : The township Democratic convention for the selection of 
delegates to the state, congressional, senatorial and joint representative con- 
ventions will be held at the court room in the city of Greenfield, on Saturday, 
June 6, 1896, at two o'clock P. M. You are earnestly requested to see your 
friends and neighbors and urge them to be present, as it is important on 
account of the action which is desired to be taken, instructing all delegates 
to vote for platform and candidates who are in favor of the restoration of 
silver to the position it occupied before its demonetization in 1873 Dv the 
Republican party. Free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of sixteen 
to one is the battle cry of the Democracy for 1896. There is likely to be an 
effort made to carry the convention for a gold standard, but if all of the 
friends of silver attend this convention and do their duty, silver will win the 
day. "Friends of Silver/' 

All the Democratic township conventions adopted resolutions during the 
summer of 1896 in favor of the free and unlimited coinage of silver, and the 
defeat of Mr. Bryan at the polls did not shake the faith of the county. "Six- 
teen to one" was affectionately remembered for many years and the "peer- 
less leader" remained the idol of the party. Through the influence of Mr. 
Jackson, Mr. Bryan was brought to Greenfield on July 2J, 1899. Great 
preparations were made for his reception. The city was decorated, a large 
cannon was procured and it seemed that the entire county turned out en masse 
to hear him. He spoke at the fair ground and it was estimated that twenty 
thousand people were present to hear the address. On June 22, 1903, Mr. 
Bryan again made two addresses at Greenfield, one on the east side of the 
court house and another at the opera house. On October 3, 1906, he spoke 
at Fortville and then, with a party, came to Greenfield by automobile. The 
city was again decorated and an immense throng filled the streets on the 
east side of the court house to hear him. Tt is most likely true that Mr. 
Bryan has not had a more loyal county in the United States than Hancock. 

A few Democrats in the county, including Ephraim Marsh, Judge Offutt 
and E. H. Faut were opposed to Mr. Bryan's theory of "free silver" and 
supported the national Gold Democratic ticket. This ticket, however, polled 



only fifteen votes in the county, of which one was in Brandywine, eight in 
Center, four in Sugar Creek and two in Vernon. 


Since 1896 several of the leading men in both political parties of the 
county have received recognition for their political services. In 1898 Stokes 
Jackson was chosen Democratic chairman of the Sixth Congressional dis- 
trict. In 1910 he was selected as chairman of the Democratic state central 
committee, and in 191 1 was appointed sergeant-at-arms in the Lower House 
of Congress. 

In 1902 Col. E. P. Thayer was selected as Republican chairman of the 
Sixth Congressional district, and at the Republican national conventions held 
in 1908 and 19 12 he was honored with the appointment as first assistant 
sergeant-at-arms in the conventions. Colonel Thayer has been active in the 
Republican party, both in this county and in the state, for a number of years. 
With the exception of his candidacy for the office of county auditor in 1898. 
in which he reduced the Democratic majority of his opponent to one hundred 
and sixty-nine votes, he has never asked for political preferment either at the 
hands of the voters of the county or by appointment from the national admin- 
istration. No doubt the popularity of Colonel Thayer with his partv has 
been in a large measure due to this unselfish service. 

In 1910 Edward W. Felt, who had been honored with several elections 
in his own county, was elected to the appellate bench of the state. 


In 1910 two contests arose over the result of the Democratic primary 
nominating convention. This convention was held on February 5. Harry G. 
Strickland and Chalmer Schlosser were opposing candidates for representative, 
and James E. Sample and John T. Rash for county recorder. The count of 
the votes showed that Strickland had received 1,020 and Schlosser, 1,009; 
that Sample had received 1,207, Rash, 1,123. The count gave Strickland a 
majority of 1 1 for representative, and Sample a majority of 84 for county 
recorder. This result was declared on February 7, 19 10. Schlosser and Rash 
were dissatisfied with the 'count in so far as it related to their respective 
candidacies and within about a week after the nomination each filed his peti- 
tion in the Hancock circuit court, asking for a recount of the votes, alleging 
that he believed that there had been a mistake in the count. All the can- 
didates, the Democratic central committee, and the election commissioners 
were made defendants in the action. The convention had been held on the 


Australian plan, but not strictly in accordance with any statute. For this 
reason the court held that it lacked jurisdiction. The cases were not appealed 
to any higher tribunal, but were dismissed following this decision. 


The relative strength of the political parties in the county for twenty 
years prior to 1912 is shown by the following table, which gives the approxi- 
mate number of votes polled by each ticket at the elections indicated : 

Year Democratic Republican Prohibition People's 

1890 2,260 1,660 no .... 

1892 2,230 1,860 J2 295 

1894 2,296 2,094- 64 189 

1896 2,760 2,240 ... 120 

1898 2,450 2,160 58 30 

1900. ..... .2,916 2,300 60 

1902 2,560 2,060 174 . . . " 

i9°4 2,800 2.550 155 ... 

1906 2,600 2,350 160 

1908 2,932 2,440 115 

1910 2,542 2,170 92 

SINCE 1912. 

The schism that occurred in the national Republican convention at Chi- 
cago in 19 1 2 was carried to the ranks of the party in Hancock county. 
Thomas I. Morgan, treasurer of the Republican central committee, and 
Tohn Rosser, secretary, both resigned and took their places in the alignment 
of the new Progressive party. Other members of the Republican county cen- 
tral committee resigned and threw their political fortunes with the new party. 
But these things were mere indications of the discontent that prevailed within 
the ranks of the Republican party itself. There was a general withdrawal 
from the party, and at the following election only a minority of the party 
was left to vote the Republican ticket. Progressive township organizations 
were effected on August 9, 1912, a Progressive county convention was held 
and a county organization effected, with Carl Rock, of Greenfield, as chair- 
man of the central committee. In the report of this county convention the 
following names were prominent: Carl Rock, Alvin Johnson, Gus Stuart. 
James Furgason, James F. Reed, Sherman Rothermal, Irwin Barnard, James 
L. Vail, Capt. Henry Snow. Charles McKensie. Robert Oldham. Joseph P. 
Reeves, John Henry Gates, Abram C. Pilkenton, H. E. Leech. 


In the election that followed five tickets were in the field. The relative 
strength of the three strongest is indicated below : 

Judge — Earl Sample, Democratic, 2,375; Eldon Robb, Republican, 617; 
James F. Reed, Progressive, 1,508. 

Representative — Robert F. Reeves, Democratic, 2,533 ; George W. Gates, 
Republican, 698; Elwood Barnard, Progressive, 1,265. 

Treasurer — Allen F. Cooper, Democratic, 2,568; John Hittle, Republi- 
can, 676; John H. Gates, Progressive, 1,176. 

Sheriff — Mack Warrum, Democratic, 2,393 I James W. Hiday, Republi- 
can. 819; James L. Vail, Progressive, 1,290. 

Coroner — Earl Gibbs. Democratic, 2,564; \V. R. Johnson, Republican, 
693; Ernest R. Sisson, Progressive, 1,265. 

Surveyor — G. C. Winslow, Democratic, 2,651; Albert C. Atherton, 
Republican, 710. 

Commissioner, Eastern District — J. H. Bussell, Democratic, 2,543; 
Franklin L. Bridges, Republican, 701 ; John W. Reeves, Progressive, 1,232. 

Commissioner, Western District — George Allen, 2,549; John Souders, 
Republican, 709; Charles McKensie, Progressive, 1,228. 

John F. Wiggins, the Socialist candidate for judge, received 184 votes. 

In 1914, however, the ratio of votes had changed: 

Democratic 2,350 

Republican 1,200 

Progressive 875 

In the ranks of the Democracy of the county today are many men whose 
faces have been familiar in the party's councils, and whose judgments have 
directed the local policies of the party through many years and through many 
battles. We cannot mention all of them, but no picture of a general Dem- 
ocratic meeting of this day at the county seat would be complete without the 
faces of Elbert Tyner, John Hayes Duncan, Michael Quigley, George W. 
Ham, John E. Dye, William Flsbury, Isom Wright, August Dennis. Horace 
Wickard, John Manche, George Crider, Charles Barr, William H. Thomp- 
son. Matthew L. Frank, William A. Woods and others. 

With these men who have labored through the years and who have borne 
the burden and the heat of the day, stand also the men of the middle age and 
the younger men, who are giving of their time and energy that its banner 
may not trail in the dust. Among the faces that are very familiar we see 
our Judge Earl Sample, John F. Eagan, John B. Hinchman, William A. 


Service, Samuel J. Offutt, Edward W. Pratt, Jonas Walker, Charles L. Tin- 
dall, Robert L. Mason, Edwin T. Glascock, Charles Cook, Arthur Van Duyn, 
John A. Anderson, Sherman Smith, Lemuel Moore, George Matlock. Thomas 
Hope, Charles Scott, Louis H. Merlau, William G. Lantz, John F. Shelby, 
F. M. Sanford, Clint Caldwell, John Mooney, Qumcy A. Wright, and many 

But no picture of any general or business meeting of the Democracy at 
the county, seat within the last quarter of a century would be complete if it 
omitted from the foreground the likeness of the genial secretary — who is 
practically always called to the table — Elmer T. Swope. 

Among those who have remained loyal to the Republican standard 
through the storm and stress of many campaigns are such men as William 
R. Hough, John C. Eastes and others of their age. Among the younger 
men are Edwin P. Thayer, who has been mentioned above; William A. 
Hough, who has been favorably mentioned as a candidate for Congress ; 
Newton R. Spencer, editor of the Greenfield Republican; Ora Myers, Dr. C. 
K. Bruner, Dr. L. B. Griffin, George W. Duncan, J. P. Black, W. R. McKown, 
W. R. King, James McDaniels, Henry Nichols, R. F. Cook, George W. Gates, 
Eldon A. Robb, James W. Hiday, John Little, W. C. Atherton, William P. 
Bidgood, William F. Thomas, John S. Souder, James Garrett, William G. 
White, W. R. Johnston, Morgan Andrick, Charles Gately, I. A. May, John 
Corocoran, H. Ward Walker, Frank Cook, Morton Allender, Charles Vetters, 
A. H. Thomas, William T. Orr, Frank McCray, C. M, Eastes, W. E. Scotten, 
John E. Barrett, C. M. Jackson, Charles H. Kirkhoff, Ed C. Huntington, 
James H. Kimberlin, A. R. Ayres and others who have been active in different 
parts of the county. 

Among those who revolted from the tyranny of party machinery that 
was thought to be crushing the individual under its weight; who preferred 
new standards and new 7 ideals, and who led in the organization of the county 
under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, should be mentioned, James F. 
Reed, J. P. Reeves, Claude Woods, Walter Woods, H. H. Spangler, Edward 
Williams, Pearl Alexander, Elwood Barnard, Irvin Barnard, Sherman Roth- 
ermel, John Mugg, James Webb, G. E. Stuart, M. S. Walker, Thomas Dill- 
man, Walter Eastes, Frank Hanes, Dr. Lucian Ely, Grant Krammes, Ralph 
Logan, O. J. Coffin, James Lindamood, William Hawkins, Barclay Binford, 
Frank E. Rock, Thomas E. Niles, R. O. N. Oldham, A. C. Pilkenton, Carl 
S. Rock, Marvin Fletcher, Homer Smith, W. W. McCole, Thomas I. Morgan, 
Alvin Johnson and H. T. Roberts. 



For a number of years past a sentiment has been developing in the county 
that men elected to a four-year term of office should not be reelected. Since 
the partial defeat of the Democratic ticket in i<886, but two men, Lawrence 
Boring and James Thomas, have held more than one term of an elective four- 
year office. No other candidates have even succeeded in getting a second 
nomination, although several efforts have been made. 


Viewing the county by townships, Blue River has always been strongly 
Republican. Since the enactment of the law creating the township trustee's 
office in 1859, Blue River has elected but two Democratic township trustees. 
James P. New, in 1863, and Harry L. Fletcher, in 1914. Jackson township 
has also been Republican, yet on several occasions Democratic township trus- 
tees have been elected. All of the other townships have been counted in the 
Democratic column, although all of them, with the exception of Brandywine, 
have at different times elected Republican township trustees. Brandywine 
alone has had an unbroken line of Democratic township trustees since the 
law was enacted in 1859. 


Tt is impossible at this time to procure the names of the officers of the 
various political organizations prior to i860. The following, however, is a 
list of the chairmen of the different political parties in the county since i860, 
as far as it has been possible to make the same complete : 


i860— J. A. Hall. 1878— Morgan Chandler. 

1 86 1 — Benjamin F. Caldwell. 188c — Ephraim Marsh. 

1866 — John W. Ryon. 1882 — Ephraim Marsh. 

1867— Alfred Potts. 1884— Andrew Hagan. 

1868— M. L. Paullus. 1886— Andrew Hagan. 

i868--Jacob Slifer. 1888— U. S. Jackson. 

187c — William Frost. 189c— U. S. Jackson. 

1870 — Jacob Slifer. 1892 — I. A. Curry. 

1872 — George Barnett. 1894 — E. W. Felt. 

1874. — George Barnett. 1896 — George W. Ham. 

1876— George Barnett. 1898— E. AY. Felt. 



190c — Charles J. Richman. 
1902 — George Crider. 
1904 — H. D. Barrett. 
1906 — Lawrence Wood. 
1908 — Lawrence Wood. 

i860 — James P. Foley. 
1861 — James P. Foley. 
1867 — L. W. Gooding. 
1868 — Nelson Bradley. 
1870 — N. P. Howard. 
1874— W. C. Burdett. 
1876— W. C. Burdett. 
1878 — Henry Snow. 
1880 — Henry Snow. 
1882 — Henry Snow. 
1884 — Henry Snow. 
1886— Samuel A. Wray. 
1888— R. A. Black. 

1890- Dr. W. R. King. 

1862 — William Frost. 
1864— N. P. Howard. 

1866 — George Barnett. 

1872 — John Roberts. 

1878 — William Sears. 
1 88c — William Sears. 

191c — Richard Hagans. 
191 1 — Clint Parker. 
1912 — William Service. 
19 14 — Thomas Seaman. 
19 1 6 — Rosecrans L. Ogg. 


1892— Dr. W. R. King. 
1894— W. P. Bidgood. 
1896 — Newton R. Spencer. 
1898 — Elmer J. Binford. 
1 90c — Newton R. Spencer. 
igc2- — Edwin P. Thayer. 
1902 — Arthur H. Thomas. 
1904 — Walter Bridges. 
. 1906— W. H. H. Rock. 
1908— W. H. H. Rock. 
19 ic — James F. Reed. 
19 16 — Eldon Robb. 
1912 — Ora Myers. 
19 14 — William F. Thomas. 


1866 — Penuel Bidgood. 

National Union. 

Liberal Republican. 

National or Greenback. 

1882 — William Sears. 


1886— I. N. Hunt. 
1888— R. M. Julian. 
189c — R. M. Julian. 
1892 — Benton L. Barrett. 
1894— R. M. Julian. 

1896— R. M. Julian. 

1898— A. H. Hunt. 

1900 — A. H. Hunt. 

1902 — Benjamin J. Binford. 

1904 — Benjamin J. Binford. 



1906 — Benton L. Barrett. 
1906 — Benton L. Barrett. 
1908 — J. W. Harvey. 
19 10 — J. W. Harvey. 

1892 — Coleman Pope. 
1894 — Thomas H. Bentley. 

1912 — Carl Rock. 

1 91 4 — Howard Roberts. 

1912 — John F. Wiggins. 

191 2 — J. M. Pogue. 

19 1 2 — Rev. J. S. Clawson. 

191 4 — Rev. J. S. Clawson. 

People's Party. 

1896 — Samuel R. Walker. 
1898 — George Walker. 


19 1 6 — Howard Roberts. 




The liquor traffic has always been a source of revenue to the county. In 
fact this has been the chief argument for maintaining the traffic from the 
fifth day of May, 1828, to the present. 

The first meeting of the board of county commissioners of Hancock 
county was held on April 7, 1828, and the first liquor license was granted on 
May 5, 1828. In that early day the applicant for a license to sell liquor had 
to present to the board of commissioners a recommendation signed by twelve 
freeholders of the county. When this had been done, and the fee paid, the 
license was issued in a very simple form : 

"On the application of James Parker for a license to retail spirituous 
liquor and foreign groceries at hisjiouse in the county of Hancock, Indiana — 
by a recommendation of twelve of his fellow citizens of the same township 
(freeholders) ; therefore it is ordered by the Board that the said James Par- 
ker be licensed for and during the term of one year from this date, and that 
he now produces the receipt from under the hand of the Treasurer of said 
County of his having paid Five Dollars as a tax on said license." 

Another entry was made in about the same form relative to the applica- 
tion of Joseph Chapman : 

"On the application of Joseph Chapman for a license to retail spirituous 
and strong liquors, foreign and domestic groceries at his grocery in the town 
of Greenfield and in the County of Hancock, Indiana. Therefore it is ordered 
by the Board that the said Joseph Chapman be licensed as such for and dur- 
ing the term of one year from the date of said license — And the said Joseph 
Chapman here now produces a certificate from under the hands of twelve free 
holders of said township of Brandywine — and that he paid the sum of five 
dollars as a tax to the County Treasurer." 

Liquor at that time was commonly sold in the groceries. It is interest- 
ing now to observe the distribution of groceries that were licensed previous 
to 1840, that also retailed liquor "by the small." Following is the list: 

James Parker — 1828, Greenfield. 
Joseph Chapman — 1829, Greenfield. 
Amos Dickerson — 1831, Sugar Creek. 



Morris Pierson — 1831, Greenfield. 
Barzilla Rozell — 1837, Brown township. 
Taylor Willett — 1838, Charlottesville. 
Asa Gooding — 1838, Greenfield.' 
Jacob Schramm^ — 1838, Sugar Creek. 
Peter F. N-ewland — 1838, Charlottesville. 
Lewis & Slifer — 1838, Hancock county. 
Joshua Stone — 1838, Greenfield. 
William Johnson — 1838, Greenfield. 
John Delaney — 1838, Sugar Creek. 
John Dye — 1839, Sugar Creek. 
Solomon Hull — 1839, Hancock county. 
Asa Cooper — 1839, Hancock county. 
Gavis Richardson — 1839, Hancock county. 
William Garrison — 1839, Hancock county. 
William Bentley — 1839, Hancock county. 
William Griffin — 1839, Greenfield. 
John Martin — 1839, Hancock county. 
Laymon & Graft — 1840, Hancock county. 
John Wilkinson — 1840, Greenfield. 
Hart & Burk — 1840, Greenfield. 

Among the old papers in the clerk's office may still be found itemized 
claims filed against decedent's estates. Now and then a grocer's claim may 
be found showing the liquor items on the same bill with "foreign and 
domestic groceries." These claims are illuminating with reference to the 
customs of the times. 

While the grocers were retailing liquors as indicated above, the taverns 
were also engaged in the same business. Of the twenty taverns licensed 
in this county before 1841, all but six retailed liquor "by the small." When 
the distribution of the taverns over the county is observed in connection with 
the distribution of the groceries that retailed liquor, and when it is remem- 
bered that whisky could be bought for ten cents per quart, one begins to 
appreciate the ease with which it could be procured in those days. 

Conditions as described above prevailed pretty generally in the county 
until within a decade of the Civil War. There is no record of the combined 
opposition of the people to the sale of intoxicating liquors during the early 
years. Persons could be punished, of course, for selling liquor illegally, and 
the grand juries did frequently return indictments for such violations of the 


law. In the report of the grand jury, made on February 17, 1849, for 
instance, ten indictments were returned against persons for "selling and 
giving liquor to a drunken man." Eight indictments were also returned 
against persons for "selling liquor without a license." Other indictments 
were returned at other times. It is interesting to observe, too, in a copy 
of the Greenfield Reveille, published in April, 1845, that a large part of one 
column was given to an argument against the liquor traffic. The article 
was prepared by G. N. Voss, an attorney of the local bar, and much of his 
argument was addressed to the "moderate drinker." 


In the early fifties the county was pretty thoroughly organized by a 
secret order known as the Sons of Temperance. The purpose of the order 
is explained in its name. Lodges were instituted in all parts of the county, 
and young men were solicited to sign the pledge. No records of the organ- 
ization remain in existence, but the older people tell us that a great deal of 
temperance enthusiasm was aroused by the order. 

On March 5, 1859, however, an "Act relating to the sale of Spirituous, 
Vinous, and Malt Liquors" was approved, which required special notice of 
the intention to apply for a license to sell, etc. Provision was also made for 
remonstrating, and it may fairly be said that right here was the 


At the June session of the board, in 1859, John Hudson made applica- 
tion for a license to retail liquor in the town of Walpole (Fortville), but 
the board refused to grant the application because of the insufficiency of 
his notice. Several other applicants had the same difficulty during the next 
year or two. At the September term, 1859, the applicant was successful. 
Licenses were also granted under the new law to Andrew Hagan at Wal- 
pole, and John Carmichael and Frederick Hammel at Greenfield. 

Joseph Gustin, by his attorney, Thomas D. Walpole, also applied for a 
license at the September term, 1859, to retail liquor, whereupon Joseph B. 
Atkinson presented a remonstrance against granting said license, signed by 
himself and ninety-seven others. He also presented objections in writing, all 
of which were considered by the board, who thereupon refused to grant 
the license. Gustin then by his attorney, David Vanlaningham, moved the 
board for a new hearing, but this motion the board overruled. 

The remonstrance of Joseph B. Atkison and others, mentioned above, 
was the first of a long series of remonstrances that have been filed before 


the board of commissioners under the different laws that have been enacted 
since that time. On September 3. i860, Robert D. Cooper, by his attorney, 
David Vanlaningham, applied for a license to retail intoxicating liquors. 
On September 4, i860, Reuben A. Riley presented a remonstrance signed 
by himself and ninety-nine others against the granting of a license to the 
applicant. The applicant moved the rejection of the remonstrance, which 
motion the board overruled. The application was withdrawn on 
September 5. 

On September 6, i860, W. W. Pierson applied for a retail liquor license, 
which the board refused, on the ground of the insufficiency of the descrip- 
tion of the premises in which the liquor was to be sold. 

At the March session of the board, in 1861, John Carmichael again 
made application for a license to retail spirituous liquor. Joseph B. Atkison 
first moved the board to dismiss the application because of the insufficiency 
of the notice, but this motion was overruled by the board. He therefore 
filed a remonstrance signed by himself and one hundred and twenty-six 
others against the granting of such license to said applicant. The cause 
was set down for hearing, after which, 

"The board being sufficiently advised in the premises, finds that said 
applicant is not of good character and is not fit to be intrusted with a license 
to retail spirituous liquor. 

"It is therefore considered by the board that said application be denied, 
and that a license to retail spirituous liquor by said John Carmichael be 

"And thereupon said John Carmichael tendered fifty dollars and a bond, 
and demanded a license, all of which was rejected by the board. 

"Nevtll Reeves, 
"Eli as McCord, 
"Hiram Tyner, 

At the June term, in 1861, Jonathan Dunbar applied or a license. He 
introduced oral testimony in proof of the publication of his notice, and also 
:is to the fitness to be intrusted with a license. Joseph B. Atkison again 
came forward with a remonstrance signed by himself and one hundred and 
fifty-five others against granting a license to the applicant, whereupon Dun- 
bar withdrew his application. 

When the remonstrance against Dunbar was filed, the Hancock Dem- 
ocrat published the list of names that appeared upon it. Some of the names 


were omitted from the list, at which the signers were aggrieved. In explain- 
ing the matter a week later, the Democrat stated': 

"It so happened that the remonstrance had been signed in parts and that 
not all parts had been collected and filed, and therefore were not published 
in the paper. This caused a complaint from citizens whose names did not 
appear, because they were eager to have their due portion of credit for hav- 
ing opposed the application. The people were represented before the board 
of commissioners by Joseph B. Atkison and William R. Hough." 

It is not the intention to give a detailed statement of the contest that 
has arisen on every application that has been field before the board of com- 
missioners for a license to sell spirituous and intoxicating liquors. The fore- 
going instances have been detailed merely to show the temper of the people 
and the earnestness with which they undertook a campaign for cleaner living 
and purer homes. It is interesting to observe in this connection the follow- 
ing editorial from the issue of the Hancock Democrat of March 27, 1861 : 


"It is perhaps not generally known that this place is without a licensed 
grocery and has been for the last six months. Several efforts have been made 
in vain to obtain a license. The citizens seem to be determined to wipe away 
the stigma of reproach brought on our town by the whisky leaders who cared 
more for the base use and advantages acquired through its instrumentality 
than for the fame and good order of society. The public sentiment of the 
town is so well known that no man who respects the will of its citizens or 
regards his own character will be apt to offend the public by petitioning for 
a license to sell spirituous liquors in Greenfield. Should such an attempt 
hereafter be made the character and fitness of the applicant will be well 
ventilated if we can correctly judge public sentiment. 

"Whilst we are on this subject, we can further say, that there is but 
one licensed grocery in Hancock county. Who can hereafter say that Han- 
cock is a whisky county?" 

The "one licensed grocery" referred to above was opeated by Andrew 
Hagan at Fortville. At least the record of the board of commissioners shows 
no other license at this time. Hagan, as stated above, was licensed at the 
September term. 1859, and annually thereafter until September, 1864, when 
a remonstrance was filed, and his application withdrawn. 

That the zeal of the people did not abate at the close of these two years 
is indicated bv the following tabulated statement, showing the names of the 


applicants, the dates of the application, and the disposition made of the 
applications by the board of county commissioners: 

Andrew Hagan — September, 1862. Granted. 

John Carmichael — September, 1862. Remonstrance and appeal. 

Andrew Hagan — September, 1863. Granted. 

Loring W. Gapen — March, 1864. Denied. 

Andrew Hagan — September, 1864. Remonstrance; application with- 

Loring W. Gapen — December, 1865. Remonstrance; application with- 

William G. Ritchie — December, 1865. Remonstrance; granted. 

Nicholas Klock — December, 1865. Remonstrance; application with- 

Robert H. Offutt — March, 1866. Remonstrance; application dismissed. 

John Walsh — June, 1866. Remonstrance; application dismissed. 

Jacob Stoehr — September, 1866. Granted; remonstrators appeal. 

Stephen A. Jones — -September, 1866. Granted; remonstrators appeal. 

Nicholas Klock — December, 1866. Remonstrance; appeal defeated. 

William G. Ritchie — June, 1866. Granted; remonstrators appeal. 

John C. Rardin — December, 1866. Granted; remonstrators appeal. 

When the application of Andrew Hagan was withdrawn in 1864, the 
county was without a licensed saloon until in December, 1865. At that time 
a license was granted to William G. Richie at Greenfield. It is interesting 
to observe, too, that a few months after the county had been at least legally 
''dry," the following editorial was published with evident pride in the Hancock 
Democrat : 


"Let all the world know that in this county there is not a licensed liquor 
shop, nor has there been such for months past. The whisky power in this 
county fought long and hard for political ascendancy under an able and 
unscrupulous leadership, but all in vain. The good people, irrespective of 
party, can now congratulate each other that the name of Hancock county is 
no longer to be identified in the public mind with drunkenness and 

After the withdrawal of his application, in 1865, Loring W. Gapen did 
not apply for a liquor license until September, 1870. During these inter- 
vening years he must have been engaged in selling "soft drinks," and in view 


of the comfort and satisfaction that so many people have derived from drink- 
ing sodas, the following item taken from the issue of the Hancock Democrat 
of July 4, 1867, is probably worthy of a place in the temperance chapter of 
the county's history : 

"Soda Water. — L. W. Gapen, not satisfied with feasting the inner man 
with his cream, has procured a soda fount, after the fatest cut, and is daily 
dispensing this delightful, and healthy beverage to delighted crowds. Our 
'devil' says it is the most elevating effervescent he has yet become acquainted 
with in his peregrinations." 

Joseph B. Atkison or Reuben A. Riley usually represented the remon- 
strators in the legal battles before the board of commissioners in the cam- 
paigns that were waged during the years indicated above. William R. 
Hough frequently appeared for them, also. 

Beginning with March, 1868, there was a cessation in the remonstrance 
activity which continued for almost two years. The Good Templars made 
their appearance and a number of lodges were organized in the county. Men 
and women joined the order and signed the pledge to abstain from the use 
of intoxicating liquor. Remonstrances, were filed against the applications 
of Nicholas Klock, of New Palestine, in June and September, respectively, 
1868. From March, 1868, until September, 1869, twelve applications were 
granted without opposition. In September and December, 1869, remon- 
strances were filed against three applications, but with these exceptions, no 
objection was offered until March, 1872. In the meantime the liquor traffic 
flourished. During 1871 and up to and including March, 1872, ten licenses 
were granted. Six more were granted during the remaining months of 1872. 
But a wave of opposition was sweeping over the county, and beginning with 
the March term, 1872, remonstrances were filed and eight applications were 

The crusade against the liquor traffic was now becoming more general. 
Organizations began to arise in different parts of the county and an effort 
was made in all quarters to oppose the evil On Tuesday afternoon, March 
3, 1874, a meeting was held at the Methodist Episcopal church, on the corner 
just southwest of the court house, for the purpose of organizing a "Temper- 
ance Alliance" among the ladies. A number of men were also present and 
addresses were made by Captain Paullus, Major Branham, Rev. Logan and 
Rev. Hagans. The proposed constitution of the Alliance was read, which 
amounted to a pledge that all persons signing the same would abstain from 
the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage. It was then given to the 


audience for signatures and about fifty people signed it. The following 
persons were elected as officers of the Alliance: President, Mrs. Captain 
Paullus; vice-president, Mrs. A. P. Williams; treasurer, Mrs. H. B. Thayer; 
secretary, Mrs. Joseph Bartlow. 

A mass meeting was also determined upon to be held at the Methodist 
Episcopal church, on Sunday evening, March 8, 1874. There was a large 
attendance at this meeting. The Rev. Mr. Logan made an eloquent address, 
and was followed by a number of the business men of Greenfield, among 
whom were: W. S. Wood, Captain Ogg, Charles G. Offutt, A. W. Hough, 
Dr. Hall, Dr. Barnett, Ephraim Marsh. 

The constitution of the Alliance was again presented and a number of 
people affixed their signatures thereto. Another pledge had also been pre- 
pared for attorneys alone, in which they were to agree not to take employ- 
ment in defense of a man charged with a violation of the liquor law. James 
A. New and A. W. Hough, it seems, signed this pledge, but the other attor- 
neys were unwilling to do so. Ephraim Marsh said in the meeting that he 
would not sign it under any circumstances. Charles G. Offutt also refused 
to sign the pledge and spoke at length upon the unfairness of presenting 
such a pledge to attorneys. A few remarks from the address of Mr. Offutt, 
in which he seemed to voice the sentiments of the attorneys, will indicate 
their attitude on the matter. He took the position that because a man was 
charged with a violation of law, it did not necessarily follow that he was 
guilty, and then proceeded : 

"Again, can it be said that because an attorney engages in the defense 
of a man charged with a violation of the liquor law, that the attorney is in 
favor of intemperance ? I think not. As well might you say that because an 
attorney defends a man charged with larceny of a horse, that he is, therefore, 
in favor of horse stealing. Just as well say, sir, that if a man engages in the 
defense of a murderer that he is in favor of taking human lives. It is not 
the duty of an attorney to make a defense for a man charged with a crime 
by suborning witnesses, misleading a court or jury as to the facts or the law 
of the case; but it is his duty to protect the interests of his client by all fair 
and honorable means and to the best of his ability." Mr. Offutt spoke at 
length upon this phase of the question and was heartily applauded when he 

On Saturday evening, March 7, 1874, a mass meeting was held at the 
Christian church, at which George Barnett presided. A number of the busi- 
ness men spoke, including William R. Hough, James A. New, Drs. Thomas, 
Howard and Barnett, William Mitchell, John H. Binford, Captain Riley and 


others. On Monday, March 9, 1874, the ladies of Greenfield held another 
meeting at the Methodist Episcopal church for the purpose of appointing 
committees to visit the liquor dealers to see what they proposed to do. These 
committees were appointed and on Tuesday afternoon, following, Mrs. Ha- 
vens, Mrs. Bradley, Mrs. A. P. Williams, Mrs. Q. D. Hughes, Mrs. F. H. 
Crawford, Mrs. Kight, Mrs. Gant, and others visited the saloon of Mr. 
McCarty. He informed them, as reported in the issue of March 12, 1874, of 
the Hancock Democrat, "that it was his intention to quit the business and 
that as soon as his government license expired, he would engage in other 

The same committee also visited William G. Richie at the "Elephant 
Saloon." On making their business known, Mr. Richie informed the com- 
mittee, as reported in the same issue of the Democrat, "that he was not 
ready to sign any papers ; that he would take the matter under advisement, 
and that when he came to the conclusion to sign their paper and quit his busi- 
ness he would inform them. In the meantime he proposed to prosecute his 
business as heretofore, strictly in conformity to the laws of the land, and that 
he had deliberately made up his mind that those who had signed their pledge 
must go elsewhere for their liquor, unless it was strictly for medicinal or 
mechanical purposes. He desired a list of the names that he might aid the 
cause of temperance at least to this extent. He said that if the ladies would 
visit the poor of the town and see what the children needed in the way of 
clothing;, etc., to enable them to attend the common schools, the Sabbath 
school and the church, he was ready and willing to do his full share in this 
good work." He informed the reporter that he would treat all ladies with 
the utmost kindness and consideration, and that he would expect similar 
treatment in return. 

On March 11 a committee composed of Mrs. Foley, Mrs. Paullus and 
Mrs. Brown visited the saloon of John Walsh. As reported in the same 
issue of the Democrat, he informed them "that he was ready and willing 
to quit so soon as he could rent his room, and until he did so it was his 
intention to sell intoxicating liquor in accordance with the existing laws of 
the state, at least until his present stock was exhausted. If he' could not 
rent his room he might renew his stock, but in no case would he sell liquor 
in violation of the law. Mr. Walsh informed the ladies that he was strictly 
a temperance man, and did not have much faith in liquor for medical pur- 
poses. He had made up his mind to live as long as he could without the use 
of liquor for any purpose, and that he was ready to die when he could not 
live without it. So far as he was concerned he intended to live and die 



without the use of liquor in any form. John paid profound attention to the 
ladies and treated them with his accustomed kindness. He says that he will 
continue to do so; that when he tires of their presence he will go away, and 
that he will in no case offer them any insult." 

The ladies continued to visit the different saloons from day to day, and 
in the issue of the Hancock Democrat of March 19, 1874, further results 
were reported as follows : 

''They visited the saloons several times, which resulted in an agreement 
with Messrs. McCarty and Walsh. Mr. McCarty is to quit the business of 
liquor selling on or before the first day of March, and to close the house at 
nine P. M. until then. Mr. Walsh has rented his room and will give pos- 
session in three weeks. Mr. Richie has made no definite promise, beyond 
saying that he would take the matter under advisement until the expiration 
of his present government license." 

It is only natural that so much agitation should cause a great deal of 
gossip, much of which found its way into public print. In this connection the 
following letter of W. G. Richie was published in the Democrat on March 
19, 1874: 

"To the Editor of the Hancock Democrat: 

"A communication in the Indianapolis Sentinel of this date, from Green- 
field, calls for a few words from me. It says that the 'prayer test' has not 
l>een tried on me, and that the writer thereof is uncertain what effect it would 
have. The writer further says that if this fails, he thinks 'a small applica- 
tion of the Baxter law would have the desired effect.' In reply, I desire to 
ray that I have treated the ladies with kindness, and expect to do so as long 
as they obey the law. I am engaged in selling liquor under the laws of the 
United States and of the state of Indiana, and as long as I obey the law I 
shall expect all who visit my house to do the same. As to the Baxter law, I 
have no fears of any of its provisions, and when I fail to obey this or any 
other laws of the state, I hope A. K. B. or any others will wax it to me. 

"W. G. Richie." 

Mass meetings were continued, in which Mrs. M. L. Paullus, Mrs. J. P. 
Foley, Mrs. Inez Lyons and others took an active part. William R. Hough, 
John H. Binford, R. A. Riley, and other business men mentioned above, were 
frequently at these meetings and assisted the ladies in their campaign. 

The ladies also continued to visit the saloons. In fact, they took their 
knitting and stayed all day. The following paragraphs taken from the issue 
of the Democrat of April 16, 1874, will indicate the method pursued: 



"Our crusaders are still on the war path, but they have somewhat changed 
their tactics. On Tuesday morning they commenced the business of 'sitting' 
with Mr. Richie, at his Temple of Bacchus. They commence at seven A. M. 
and retire at nine P. M., each couple being relieved every two hours. Billv 
and the ladies appear to get along very well, and there is no visible aspect in 
the change of affairs. They paid a visit to Dr. Hall the other day, at his drug 
store, but seemed to decide that it was only necessary to make a 'short sitting.' 

"All things considered, we cannot see that the situation is much improved 
from the beginning, except that a few have been weaned from their cups." 

The intensity of the campaign that was waged in the spring of 1874 could 
not be maintained for a very long time. Activity in the temperance cause, 
however, did not cease. During the next year or two the columns of the 
local newspapers published notices of meetings held at churches and school 
houses in all parts of the county. The Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union was also more or less active in the county. The year 1877 is notable 
in the history of the temperance movement of the county for ushering in the 


The first of these was known as the Red Ribbon Society. It did not 
gather as much strength in the county as did the Blue Ribbon societies two 
years later. Its center of greatest strength was in and about McCordsville 
and Fortville. A Red Ribbon Society was organized at McCordsville on 
June 7, 1877, with a membership of sixty or more. Professor Motsinger, 
principal of the McCordsville schools, was at the head of the society. The 
organization was very active among the young people and in a few months 
secured a large number of members. On June 10, 1877, three wagon- 
loads of members of the society went to Fortville to assist in the organization 
of a Red Ribbon Society there. Over a hundred members signed the pledge 
at Fortville on that evening. These societies were known as the Red Ribbon 
societies because of the small red ribbons that were worn by persons who 
had signed the pledges. Anti-profanity and anti-tobacco pledges were also 
signed by many members of the society. 

In 1879 one D. B. Ross, a temperance lecturer, came into the county 
and led a series of meetings at different points. Great interest was man- 
ifested by the people in temperance reform, and now Blue Ribbon societies 
were organized in every quarter. Below are a few clippings from the 
Hancock Democrat from different points : 


"Brandy wine, March 15, 1879.. 

"We are glad to hear the wave has struck these parts. Last Saturday 
evening they held their first meeting without any regular speakers and 
twenty-six signed the pledge. On Sunday evening George W. Duncan and 
John Binford addressed a large audience and about thirty-four called for 
the blue ribbon. As some of them have been lingering too long at the cup, 
it is to be hoped that they will keep their promises and will lead a sober and 
useful life." 

On March 25, 1879, tne Fortville correspondent included the following 
item : 

"Fisher, our saloon man, started a counter movement by tying ribbons 
on all dogs he could catch — but it only makes friends to the temperance 
cause. It was a dirty piece of business, intended as a slur on the Blue Rib- 
bon, but was only a fair sample of the character of the men who deal in the 
vile stuff," etc., etc., etc, 

Ross began a series of meetings at the Christian church at Fortville in 
March, 1879, and met with great success. On April 2, 1879, five hundred 
and fifty-six names were on the roll of the Blue Ribbon societies in that 
locality. Everywhere in the county societies were organized, pledges were 
signed, and blue ribbons were worn. A "Blue Ribbon Column" was also 
edited by the societies in the Hancock Democrat during the spring of 1879. 
. In March, 1879, the temperances forces at Greenfield organized the 
Greenfield Temperance Association, an incorporation under the laws of the 
state of Indiana. Its articles of incorporation may be found in Miscellaneous 
Record, No. 2, page 496, in the office of the county recorder of Hancock 
county. The objects, as stated in the articles of incorporation, were : 

"First, the promotion of the cause of. temperance wherever such work 
can be done. 

"Second, the reformation of inebriates and of all persons addicted to the 
use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and for the union and association 
of all persons interested in the cause of temperance for mutual labor and 

"Third, to render aid and assistance to reform inebriates under such 
rules and regulations and in such manner as the board of directors may 
determine and from time to time establish. 

"Fourth, to establish headquarters and reading rooms and to provide. 
in the discretion of the board of directors, for lunch rooms for its members 
and such proper persons as may see fit to resort to them." 


Provision was made for the issuance of twenty thousand shares of stock 
;it one dollar per share. Following are a few "articles" that show the nature 
and the spirit of the work of the organization : 

"Article 17. — The work of the association shall be based on the leading 
idea of the 'Universal Fatherhood of God and the Universal Brotherhood 
of Man' and shall be carried on humanely with malice toward none and 
charity for all, persuasion being the leading feature of the work to be done. 

"Article 18. — The seal of the corporation shall have engraved upon it 
the name of the corporation and the motto, 'Malice toward none and charity 
for all.' 

"Article 21. — Ladies may take stock in said corporation and shall be 
eligible to all offices, providing that not more than one-hali of the board 
of directors shall consist of ladies." 

The original incorporators were : Nelson Bradley, G. T. Randall, H. B. 
Thayer, R. M. LaRue, F. E. Glidden, Samuel E. Duncan, Mrs. F. E. Glidden, 
John F. Mitchell, Samuel S. Boots, F. M. Walker, Walter C. Roberts, Isaac 
C. Davis, John W. Jones, Mrs. Wl D. Hughes, Mrs. A. C. Heaton, Mrs. 
W. H. Sims, Mrs. F. M. Walker, Mrs. L. L. Lorinor, Mrs. H. F. Williams. 

Pursuant to the purpose of that organization, as stated above, a room 
was rented in the Guymon House for a reading room, and was supplied with 
papers, magazines, books, etc. Everything was done to make it attractive 
for young men and boys. This room was maintained for several months 
during the summer and fall of 1879. 

A further movement was undertaken in April, 1879, for the organiza- 
tion of the Greenfield Christian Temperance Union. Its work was not to be 
limited to the city of Greenfield, but was to extend over the entire county, 
and an effort w r as made to interest the people of the county in the move- 
ment. For this purpose the following call was issued through the columns 
of the Hancock Democrat : 

"blue ribbon county convention. 

"We, the undersigned friends of the Cause of Temperance, residing in 
Hancock county, in the spirit of the following pledge: 'With malice toward 
none and charity for all, I, the undersigned, do pledge my word and honor, 
God Helping Me, to abstain from all intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and 
that I will by all honorable means, encourage others to abstain,' do hereby 
issue this call for a Christian Temperance Union County Convention to meet 
in this city on Monday the 5th day of May, 1879, at 2 P. M., in the Court 


House. The object of this Convention shall be to organize a County Christian 
Temperance Union for the purpose of carrying on the good work already 
begun in our county. All persons favorable to this movement, and who will 
subscribe to the above pledge, will be received as delegates. (Signed) : 
G. T. Randall, F. E. Glidden, H. J. Williams, Sam E. Duncan, Rev. L. L. 
Lorinor, H. L. Moore, Mrs. L. C. Heaton, Charles G. Offutt, O. M. Edwards, 
Walter C. Roberts, Mrs. O. W. Shick, Mrs. S. C. Gilchrist, Mary E. Swope, 
H. B, Thayer, Sidney LaRue, L. A. Vawter, Mrs. Kate Applegate, Mrs. G. 
T. Randall, Mrs. Dr. Boots, G. W. Duncan, Charles E. Barrett, John W. 
Jones, H. B. Wilson, Mrs. J. H. Bragg, Lizzie Gilchrist, O. P. Martin, Nelson 
Bradley, C. W. Gant, J. W. Walker, John H. Binford, Mrs. E. Bradley, Mrs. 
H. J. Williams, S. C. Shumway, John P. Wright, Mrs. Lorinor, Mrs. H. C. 
Burdett, Mrs. F. H. Crawford, Mrs. M. W. Hamilton, Mrs. Q. D. Hughes." 

A convention was held at the court house, pursuant to the above call, and 
was attended by a large number of people from all parts of the county. G. 
T. Randall was elected president of the meeting and Charles E. Barrett, 
secretary. A committee appointed to nominate suitable officers for the 
county organization made the following report : President, George W. Dun- 
can ; vice-presidents, Blue River, B. H. Binford ; Brown, Alex McDaniel ; 
Brandywine, Ephraim Bentley ; Center, J. H. Binford ; Buck Creek, G. W. 
Hendricks ; Green, Milo Walker ; Jackson, Jackson Gause ; Sugar Creek, Adam 
P. Hogle ; Vernon, J. W. Ferrell ; corresponding secretary, James J.. Walsh ; 
recording secretary, J. W. Jones; treasurer, Nelson Bradley; managers, G. T. 
Randall, Mrs. Ann Fulgum, O. P. Martin, Thomas West, Elihu Coffin. 

The general sentiment of the convention was expressed in the following 
resolutions : 

"Whereas, the evils of intemperance are of such a character as to give 
rise to the necessity of immediate and thorough organization throughout our 
county for the purpose of counteracting and checking as far as possible the 
aforesaid evils ; therefore, 

"Resolved, that we, the members of this convention, in view of the 
terrible evils of intemperance with the best interest of society and Christianity, 
'With malice toward none and charity for all.' do hereby pledge ourselves to 
use our best endeavors to counteract the aforesaid well-known evils." 

With the numerous organizations now established in the county it was 
desirable to have a closer relationship existing among them and a better 
acquaintance among their members. For this purpose a grand temperance 
picnic was planned to be held at Pierson's grove at Greenfield, on July 4. 
1879. Invitations were extended through the local papers to all persons 


interested in the promotion of the temperance cause, and all were invited to 
wear blue ribbons on this occasion. From twelve to fifteen hundred people 
were reported present at the picnic. Choirs sang, and Col. John M. Wray 
and D. B. Rosser, of Indianapolis, and Charles G. Offutt, of Greenfield, 
made eloquent temperance addresses. W. S. Sparks, Jr., read the Declara- 
tion of Independence. George W. Duncan was master of ceremonies during 
the day. A Fortville wagon containing forty girls dressed in red, white and 
blue was an interesting feature of the occasion. The receipts of the day 
amounted to forty dollars and thirty-six cents, of which the surplus was 
applied toward the maintenance of the reading room that had been estab- 
lished in the Guymon House. 

The intensity of the campaign that had been waged for several years 
naturally developed a great deal of feeling between the temperance people 
and those representing the liquor interests. In the midst of this bitterness the 
saloon at New Palestine was dynamited on the night of October 16, 1881. 
The building belonged to Indianapolis parties, the stock to Walker & Haf- 
ner. On the night of May 12, 1882, a billiard room at New Palestine, 
operated by John Walker, was likewise blown up. Both of these buildings 
were completely wrecked and there were left on the spot piles of wreckage. 
Windows w.ere broken in the surrounding houses and the entire town was 
shaken by the explosions. It was never judicially determined who committed 
these acts. There was unity in the condemnation of the acts, however, from 
all sources. It was expressed not only on the street corners, but in the local 
papers and by correspondents from all parts of the county. 

During the years that followed, temperance agitation was kept up, 
but very largely by ladies' societies and through the agency of the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union. 

On September 20, 1893, the ladies of Greenfield appeared before the 
city council and asked for an ordinance compelling saloon keepers to remove 
screens from before their windows and doors. Such an ordinance was 
presented, but was lost. On October 4, 1893, the ordinance was again pre- 
sented for action. The council at that time was composed of John A. Barr. 
John Eagan, John B. Huston, Taylor Morford, Jasper Moulden and William 
Vaughn. Of these, Morford, Barr and Moulden .voted in favor of the 
ordinance. Eagan, Huston and Vaughn voted against it, and the ordinance 
was lost. 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union remained more or less active 
in the county during the years that followed, and on April 1 and 2, 1890, 
held a normal institute at the Christian church in Greenfield. Representatives 


and speakers were present from different parts of the state. Three sessions 
of the institute were held daily. One was a "mothers' meeting." Consecra- 
tion meetings were also held. Reviews of literature on temperance were 
given, and such subjects as the following were discussed: "Indiana Methods," 
"Enfranchisement of Women," "How to Use the Press," "How to do Chris- 
tian Work Successfully," "How to Advertise and Conduct Public Meetings 
Successfully," "To What Extent Are Women Responsible for the Saloons?" 
"To What Extent Are Men Responsible for the Saloons?" and "Scientific 
Temperance Instruction in the Public Schools." These meetings were largely 
attended by the people of the county interested in temperance work, and much 
inspiration was drawn from them. 

During the year that followed liquor licenses were granted in greater 
numbers, however, by the board of county commissioners. From January, 
1 901, to June, 1902, licenses w r ere granted at the rate of almost two per 
month. Then began a period of greater temperance activity again in the 
use of remonstrances. 

In the spring of 1903 a Citizens' Reform League was organized at 
Greenfield. The league used a "power of attorney," in form like the follow- 
ing, upon w y hich the signatures of all the citizens possible, resident within 
the city of Greenfield, were secured : 

"I, , the undersigned resident and voter of the first 

ward in the City of Greenfield, Hancock County, State of Indiana, do hereby 

respectfully authorize, empower and request and , 

or either of them, to sign my name to any and all remonstrances against 
persons who may give notice of intention to apply for license to sell intox- 
icating liquors in said ward, and also to properly file and present such remon- 
strances to the Board of Commissioners of said County. 




"Where signed ' " 

Practically all of the persons who executed the above "powers of attor- 
ney" constituted Robert Williamson and W. C. Welborn as their attorneys 
in fact to sign such remonstrances for them. 

At the March session of the board of commissioners, in 1903, the appli- 
cations of Robert Fair and Richard Todd were pending. 

Great numbers of the above cards had been signed, but the liquor inter- 
ests had also procured a large number of withdrawals. When the applica- 


lions came up for hearing the commissioners' court room was crowded to 
overflowing and both applications were withdrawn. 

During the spring of 1903, however, the same methods were used and 
remonstrances were successfully filed against William G. Manifold, of Fort- 
ville, William Chappel, of Maxwell, Charles Fair, of Greenfield, and Lewis 
I. Gordon, of Wilkinson. 

For more than a decade the farmers of the county had been organized 
in their farmers' institutes. When these temperance fights came to the front, 
the rural people left no question unanswered as to where they stood on the 
liquor traffic, as shown by resolutions adopted from time to time in their 
meetings. At the institute held in January, 1903, they placed themselves on 
record as follows : 

"Resolved, that we commend the General Assembly of the state of 
Indiana for its action in supporting the preliminary steps in the great move- 
ment of temperance by passing the Nicholson law, the Moore law and the 
Search and Seizure laws, and as farmers of this section of Indiana, w r e stand 
ever ready to advance morality, common decency and the protection of our 
homes and families from the arch enemy, Alcohol. Be it 

"Resolved, that this institute stands pledged to the support of the Little- 
field-Carmack interstate commerce bill, providing for the submission of inter- 
state liquor packages to the laws of the state to which they have been 

In 1909. when it became evident that there was danger of the repeal of 
the county local option law, our agricultural people again went on record : 

"Resolved, that for the preservation of the sacredness of the home in 
Indiana, for the sake of sterling manhood of the fathers, and in defense of 
the never-dying love of the devoted mother, and for the preservation of our 
sons and daughters, that w ? e are opposed to any institution or business that 
degrades the home or human race, therefore we demand that the county 
local option law be permitted to remain on the statute books until it is given 
a trial." 

In 1910 they again expressed their convictions: 

"That, as husbands and fathers, who love our families and our homes 
as we love our lives, we are steadfastly and forever opposed to any custom, 
law. institution or business, whose tendency and effect is to debase and 
degrade the children of men, and as the abolition of the saloons in Hancock 
county has removed from our midst one of the greatest evil influences that 
lead men astray, we are unalterably opposed to the repeal of the county local 
option law 7 and demand its rigid and impartial enforcement." 


On March 7, 1908, the Willow Horse Thief Detective Company adopted 
the following resolutions : 

"Whereas, the temperance people of Hancock county are now engaged 
in a determined effort to subdue the liquor traffic by preventing the granting 
of any more saloon licenses; be it 

"Resolved, that we, the members of the Willow Horse Thief Detective 
Company, No. 196, in regular meeting assembled, March 7, 1908, send greet- 
ings and good cheer and pledge our support, both morally and financially, if 
need be, to this glorious work." 

In 1908, Civic Leagues and Good Citizens' Leagues were organized in 
the county to keep up a crusade against the liquor traffic. The citizens, 
churches and ministers all took an active part in the work of the leagues. 
Among the hardest fights waged in the county were those by the leagues 
against Arch Duncan, Richard Hall and others. A great deal of bitterness 
was developed and many ugly things were said of each party by the other. 
Evidence was introduced before the board of commissioners to show that 
inducements had been offered especially to some of the poorer people to get 
them to sign the remonstrance or to execute "powers of attorney" as hereto- 
fore indicated. Charges and counter-charges were made, and when the 
attorney for the applicants was charged with having misplaced the remon- 
strances, it looked for a time as though there might be acts of violence in 
the court room. 

In September, 1908, the county local option law was passed. Immediately 
after the holidays petitions were circulated in the county for a county local 
option election. This petition was filed with the county auditor on January 
30, 1909, with over two thousand signatures thereon. The election was 
ordered for March 5, 1909. There was a thorough canvass of the county 
by both the "wets" and "drys." Four thousand, four hundred and thirteen 
votes were cast in the election, with the following results : 

"Drys" 2,8^4 

"Wets" 1,559 

"Drys" majority I> 2 95 

All of the precincts in the county cast a majority of "dry" votes, with 
the exception of the third precinct in Brown, which had a "wet" majority 
of three, and the seventh precinct in Center, which had a "wet*' majority of 
seven. As a result of this election, the county was "dry" for a period of two 


In the meantime the county local option law had been repealed and 
townships and cities were made the units. Under the later law elections were 
held in Brown, Center, Sugar Creek and Vernon townships, and in the city 
of Greenfield, on March 28, 191 1. The result of these elections was as 
follows : 

Townships "Dry" "Wet" 

Brown 300 217 

Center 187 143 

Sugar Creek 212 183 

Vernon 333 291 

Greenfield 520 600 

This again left the entire county, with the exception of the city of Green- 
field, "dry." 

In the spring of 1913 it became necessary for the "wets" in Brown and 
Vernon townships to circulate petitions in order to have other local option 
elections held. This was done and a sufficient number of names was secured 
in each township. Elections were held on the second day of April, 191 3, in 
each township, with the following results : 

Townships "Dry" "Wet" 

Brown 227 123 

Vernon 353 ■ 250 

The "wets" having won the election in Greenfield in 191 1, it became 
necessary for the "drys" to circulate a petition in order to procure another 
election. This was done with the following result at the polls on May 2, 1914 : 
"Drys," 585 ; "wets," 637. 

During the summer of 19 14 the "wets" secured a sufficient number of 
signatures on a petition in Sugar Creek township and an election was ordered 
to be held on September 23, 1914. The result of the election was: "Drys," 
278; "wets," 127. 

Under the local option laws the entire county, with the exception of the 
city of Greenfield, has been "dry" since 1909. 

After the entire county had been "dry" for two years the city of Green- 
field on March 28, 191 1, voted "wet." The council, composed of Henry R. 
Fry, Frank C. Gibbs, James N. Goble, John V. Rosser and Isaac W. Wilson, 
at once took under consideration an ordinance for closer government of the 
liquor traffic within the city, and on April 5, 191 1, the following ordinance 
was approved by Ora Myers, mayor: 



"Ail ordinance to license, regulate and restrain all shops, inns, taverns 
and other places where intoxicating liquors are kept for sale within the city 
of Greenfield, and there to define the resident and business districts of said 
city and provide for penalties for the violation thereof and repeal ordinance 
and parts of ordinances in conflict therewith. 

Section i . 

"Be it ordered by the common council of the city of Greefield, Indiana, 
that it shall be unlawful for any person to retail, barter or give away or keep 
for any of such purposes any intoxicating liquors within the city of Green- 
field without first procuring from said city a license so to do and then only 
in compliance with the provisions of this ordinance. 

Section 2. 

"Before any license shall be issued under the provisions of this ordinance, 
the applicant shall have previously procured a license from the board of com- 
missioners of Hancock county, Indiana, and shall exhibit the same to the 
clerk of said city, and shall pay in advance to said city the sum of Five Hun- 
dred Dollars as a license fee. Upon complying with the foregoing provisions. 
a license shall be issued to such applicant, signed by the mayor and attested 
by the city clerk, which license shall entitle the applicant to sell and retail, 
barter and give away such liquors for the term of one year from the date of 
the issuance thereof, and then only in compliance with the provisions of the 

Section 3. 

"The room where intoxicating liquors may be sold at retail, bartered or 
given away in pursuance to this ordinance, shall be a front room on the 
ground floor of a building facing upon a public street ; said room shall have 
a glass door or door and glass window or windows in the front thereof, next 
to said street, which shall be kept clean and transparent at all times, so as to 
give an unobstructed view of the entire interior of said room, to one looking 
into said room from said street; said room shall be provided with sufficient 
light to afford one looking therein to have a clear view of the entire interior 
of said room at all times ; there shall be no side or rear entrance into said 
room except such as admit directly into said room from the public street, alley 
or the interior of the building or from the exterior of a regularly operated 


hotel, and then only when such hotel immediately adjoins said room; there 
shall be no side, rear or other room used at any time in connection with said 
room where said liquors are hereby permitted to be sold, bartered or given 
away or kept for such purposes; except a regularly operated hotel adjoining- 
said room ; all doors and entrances from any such side, rear or other room, 
except a regularly operated hotel adjoining said room shall be at all times 
securely locked and fastened and no person allowed to enter or depart by 
way thereof; there shall be no stairway leading from said room to any other 
room or place above; that the licensed shall have the right to use a base- 
ment beneath his saloon for storage purposes and for no other purposes. 

"There shall be in said room no screen, partition device or construction 
of any kind which obstructs a clear and full view of the entire interior of 
said room from the street in front thereof at any time of the day or night; 
there shall not be permitted in said room at any time any chairs, seat, table, 
music, musical instrument, slot machine, dice box, dice, playing cards, gam- 
ing device, game or amusement of any kind, or any elevator, dumb waiter 
or speaking tube provided; that stools may be kept behind the bar for the 
sole use of the barkeeper and owner; no person shall be employed as bar- 
tender or be permitted to act as such in said room who is in the habit of 
becoming intoxicated or while in a state of intoxication; said room shall be 
securely closed and locked and all persons except the proprietor thereof, or a 
member of his family, shall be excluded therefrom during all days and hours 
the sale of such liquors are prohibited by the laws of the state of Indiana. 
All liquors sold, bartered or given away in said room shall he delivered at 
the bar, which shall be located in said room at a distance not exceeding ten 
feet from the front door of said room. It shall be unlawful for the pro- 
prietor of such license to deliver any of such liquors at any place in said room 
except at the bar thereof. (As amended, February 4, 19 14.) 

Section 4. 
"No intoxicating liquors shall be sold at retail, bartered or given away or 
kept for any of such purpose and no building, room or place shall be kept or 
maintained for the purpose of selling any such liquors at retail, or for barter- 
ing or giving away the same, except within the boundaries of the business 
portion of the city of Greenfield, Indiana, and then only in compliance with 
the provisions of this ordinance. 

Section 5. 
"The business portion of the city of Greenfield, Indiana, for the purpose 
of this act is hereby defined to be included within the following boundaries 
and not elsewhere : 


'The south boundary thereof shall be the north line of South street in 
said city, the east boundary line thereof shall be the first alley east of East 
street in said city, the north boundary line thereof shall be the south line of 
North street in said city, the west boundary line thereof shall be the east 
line of Pennsylvania street in said city. 

"The entire remainder of said city is hereby defined to be the resident 
and suburban portions of said city and no licenses shall be issued for the sale 
of any such liquors therein. 

Section 6. 

"No intoxicating liquors shall be sold at retail, bartered or given away, 
and no building, room or place shall be kept or maintained for any of such 
purposes within two miles of the corporate limits of said city of Greenfield, 

Section 7. 

"None of the foregoing provisions of this ordinance shall apply to whole- 
sale liquor dealers who sell such liquors exclusively to licensed retail liquor 
dealers, nor shall the same apply to duly licensed druggists or pharmacists. 

Section 8. 

"It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to keep for sale 
at wholesale any intoxicating liquors or to keep any building, room or place 
for such purposes or for the storage of such liquors intended to be sold at 
wholesale, within the corporate limits of the city of Greenfield, Indiana, and 
within two miles of such corporation limits, without first procuring a license 
from said city so to do. 

Section 9. 

"Upon payment to said city the sum of two hundred dollars by any 
person, firm or corporation desiring such wholesale license, said city shall 
issue to such person, firm or corporation a license in like manner as retail 
dealers only, any such intoxicating liquors for and during a period of one 
year from the date of said license and no part of such license fee so paid 
shall be refunded by said city under any circumstances. 

Section 10. 

"It shall be unlawful for the proprietor or any such wholesale liquor 
license to permit any intoxicating liquors to be drunk upon or about the 
premises where liquors are kept for sale at wholesale. 


Section n. 

"Any person, firm or corporation keeping for sale, bartering or to be 
given away any intoxicating liquors which are kept in the building, room 
or place for any of such purposes, in violation of any of the provisions of 
this ordinance, shall upon conviction or plea of guilty be fined in any sum 
not exceeding one hundred dollars or each offense, and upon failure to pay 
or replevy such fine and the costs of such suit, such person shall be impris- 
oned in the county jail one day for each dollar of such fine and costs. 

"All ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance 
are hereby repealed. 

"This ordinance shall be in full force from and after its passage and 
due publication in the Greenfield Daily Reporter." 


In the last elections in Sugar Creek and Vernon townships, the petitions 
had to be filed by the "wets." The names of the petitioners were published 
as news items in the local papers. It was illuminating to learn how many 
men "had not expected the names to be published." Many humorous stories 
were soon afloat of what happened when the wife and children learned that 
father had signed that petition. Whether all such stories were true or not, 
it was evident that many men who signed the petitions were ashamed and 
unwilling to have their families and neighbors know about it. Publicity was 
found to be a powerful agent in purifying the life of a community. 


The long crusade in the temperance cause has at different times created 
strong feeling among the people of the county. Bitter words have been 
spoken and hard things have been said of each faction by the other. Prin- 
ciples have been forgotten and personalities have at times occupied the arena. 
These things have, no doubt, been unavoidable with a humanity that is not 
vet perfect. During the last local option campaigns, however, there has been 
a tendency on the part of all to wage the battle on cleaner and less vindictive 
lines. Possibly the lesson has been learned that it pays, and that it makes 
for strength. In many of the earlier campaigns the columns of the news- 
papers were filled with personal invectives that had no effect except to preju- 
dice and stir up bitterness. As set over against this method of campaigning 
the principal articles used in- the last campaigns are inserted herein. They 
are arguments designed to appeal to reason, and are absolutely free from all 
personal matters. 


The first statement was issued by the "wets" just before the election in 
Greenfield on May 2, 19 14, and was scattered over the city. It is, no doubt, 
the strongest argument ever issued in the county in behalf of the liquor traffic. 
It is strong as a positive argument, but it is infinitely stronger for the manner 
in which it diverts attention' from the vital matter at issue in the liquor traf- 
fic. It is based on principle, however, and is illustrative of what has just 
been said : 


"Tax Payer, Voter, Citizen, you are interested in the following thoughts, 
facts, and figures. — May help you some in exercising the Great American 
Privilege intelligently. — Prejudice and Sentiment aside, you want to do what's 
best for your own and your city's interests. 


"Greenfield has a little over $2,250,000 taxable property. According to 
law a city may go in debt and issue its bonds therefor, to the amount of 2 
per cent, of its property, or in our case, $45,230. 

"We have issued, outstanding and unpaid bonds $35,000 

"Electric light plant 15,000 

"Total indebtedness $50,000 

"Or $5,000 more than permitted by law. Of this debt Greenfield pays 
in interest $3,000 annually. 

"Understand, we are making no complaint and have no objections to this. 
Greenfield has about everything in the way of public utilities that any city 
has. and good at that, but they all cost money. 

"Where does it come from? Who pays the bills? 

"Listen! The tax levy for our city last time was 58 cents on the 
hundred. When added to Township, County and State, we have a total tax 
levy of $2.99 on each hundred dollars, one of the highest for cities of our size 
and class in the state. 

"This year's levy, 12 cents for Corporation, produces $2,713, one-half of 
which is available next July, other half next January. 

"On hand last report $4,687 

"Half from levy July 1,356 

"Total $6,043" 


"The fixed salaries of officers and employees alone amount annually to 
$5,000, saying nothing of all other employees and expenses, which amounts 
to several thousand dollars. 

"Smallpox Epidemic, or whatever it may have been, has been costing 
the City $100 per day for the past thirty days. Again we ask : 

"Who pays the bills? Where must the money come from? 

"Six saloons have been contributing- $500 each, or. $3,000 

"For electric light and city water, $100 each, or 600 

"From their six homes, approximately 400 

"Or a total of $4,000" 

"Now a comparatively small number of tax payers, without consent or 
knowledge of the city or its officials, without even consulting them as to the 
wisdom of such action would not only withhold this $4,000 from the city, 
but have imposed the additional expense and burden of holding another 

"for what purpose? 

"To close saloons. Very well. Then this shortage must come from some 
other source. 

"City officials are not to blame because the Corporation Fund would 
run short. They figured on receiving this money and made the levy 

"Only one thing to do. Increase the tax levy, and of course increase 
taxes. This Sounds Good! If $2.99 isn't high enough make it $3.99. What's 
the difference? Who cares for the expenses? The property owners have 
to pay the bills. 

"Anything else? They would vacate six good business rooms, now 
bringing good incomes, depreciate their rental value one-half, and depreciate 
the value of the whole block, building or property in proportion. 

"Social Clubs Again! In these same rooms they would have a cheap 
restaurant or two (soft drink joints), a few more pool rooms or bowling 
alleys, and in one or two a nice, stylish 'Social Club.' 

" 'Social Clubs,' you know, are very popular in dry territory. Have you 
forgotten our 'Social Clubs?' Don't you remember how Mayor Myers, just 
for recreation, used to go out occasionally, raid a 'Social Club' and return 
with a dray load of barrels, boxes and tubs and things? How they were 
stacked up in the Court House and guarded with jealous care until the con- 



tents were emptied into the sewer and all the innocent little fish in Brandy- 
wine made intoxicated? 

"We don't expect our argument to appeal to those who have no prop- 
erty interests here, and who contribute little or nothing to the support of our 
city and her improvements and institutions in the form of taxes. But we 
think you who own property and who have made Greenfield what 'she is, 
should remember this. 

"elementary business truth. 

"For any city to have a very high tax rate is a poor advertisement. High 
taxes keep out the investor. High taxes cause the owners of property to 
throw it on the market, anxious to sell. And a city where everybody wants 
to sell and nobody wants to buy presents indeed a deplorable condition. 

"nothing accomplished. 

"Now what would be accomplished by the closing of saloons here? 
Indianapolis, only 20 miles distant, with a half dozen breweries and a thou- 
sand wholesale liquor houses and saloons, interurban cars every hour in the 
day and half the night, some of which would be known as 'Evening Suit Case 
and Jug Specials,' 'Blind Tigers' and 'Social Clubs.' Do you honestly believe 
Greenfield would be very 'dry?' Do you? 


"Abe Martin says : 'You kin alius tell a dry town by the sugar barrels 
around the depot.' 

"Under the present arrangement, and it's a good law for the protection 
of citizens, if a saloon keeper causes a man to become intoxicated, and he or 
his family thereby injured, they have an action in damages, not only against 
the saloon keeper, but his bondsman as well. 

"If he sells to a minor the law holds. But if that same man, or that 
same minor sends a few dollars through the mail to wholesale liquor houses, 
they can have delivered to them by express their bottles or jugs of liquor, 
get intoxicated, get themselves and others into trouble, and you have abso- 
lutely no remedy. Which condition would you prefer? 

"Oh ! But our opponents say : 'The excessive use of intoxicating liquor 
ruins and wrecks the lives of men and women and destroys happiness and 

"The excessive use of drugs does the same. The social evil is worse 
than both, and must you go down in your pocket, must you give of your time 


and substance, must you lay higher taxes on your property in a vain and use- 
less effort to improve the habits of your neighbor who resents such efforts 
as unwarranted interference in his personal affairs? 

"a case in point. 

"A good and well meaning man took a seat in a passenger coach one day, 
glanced across the aisle at another passenger and noticed the fellow had no 
nose. Curiosity got the better of judgment. He arose and sat down beside 
him with the observation : 'My friend, I see you have lost your nose.' 'Yes,' 
said the other, '1 have lost my nose.' 'Might I ask,' said the meddlesome one, 
'how that happened ?' 'Oh, sure ! That came from sticking my nose in other 
people's business.' Profound silence. 

"One never engaged in a more thankless business than when he attempts 
to act as guardian for another when uncalled for and unsolicited. Moreover 
in a free country where every man's privileges are equal to every other's he 
refuses to be forced, driven or coerced, and when such methods are attempted 
it only results in driving him to resort to any trick or scheme to defeat the 
object and purposes of the one who interferes with his personal and private 

"So, good friends, if you feel that your personal habits are, or should 
be, the standard for your neighbor, if you feel that he should eat and drink 
when and what you do, and feel that you are called on to see that he does so, 
take our advice; don't force, drive or coerce him; if you can't reach him by 
argument, kindness, reason, education and the 'personal touch,' abandon the 
job, because you can't do it the other way. 

"now in conclusion. 

"Under the present high license and well regulated liquor laws we have 
done away with pool and billiard tables, music, lunches and chairs. All 
shades and screens have been removed. We open and close on legal hours. 
Close on Sundays and all holidays. If we violate your laws your officers are 
on duty, and your courts are open. If you desire us to refuse your friend 
or relative, who unfortunately may not know how to use liquors, notify us and 
your orders are respected. Yet we feel that we should not be held responsible 
should he obtain his supply from another source. 

"Under such conditions we feel that we are entitled to continue our 
business. We are your friend and neighbor. We are tax payers, house- 
holders and owners of real estate. Here we have lived for-years, here our 
children were born and grew to manhood and womanhood. No complaints ; 
no charges filed; no violations of law; no indictments; no crimes. 


"May we not then appeal to you for fair and just treatment? You, the 
Voter, shall decide ; and so when the little white ballot drops softly and 
silently as the snowflake from heaven falling upon the sod, yet executing a 
free man's will as lightning executes the will of the Master, with confidence 
in your intelligence and judgment we believe your vote will be for a square 
deal for your fellowman. And we shall respect and obey your verdict what- 
ever it may be. Many Taxpayers." 

Following is also the statement issued by the "Drys" in Sugar Creek 
township just prior to their last election on September 23, 1914. This article 
was published in the Greenfield Daily Reporter on Saturday evening. Sep- 
temper 20. 19 14, and a copy of the paper was sent to every voter in Sugar 
Creek township. It is a "temperance argument," otherwise it is drawn on 
lines similar to the previous article. All personalities are avoided and an 
effort is made to present the issue on its merits : 

"On Tuesday, September 23d, the people of Sugar Creek township will 
determine, by the use of the ballot, whether the sale of intoxicating liquors as 
a beverage shall be prohibited in that township. 


"The right of suffrage is one of the most sacred rights secured to the 
citizens of this great and richly blessed land. It is not limited to any class or 
classes of people, nor is it denied to any person because of his political or 
religious faith. The ballot is the instrument placed in the people's hands 
wherewith they may determine the policies that shall be pursued by them. 
By the use of the ballot they give answer to the questions that are propounded 
to them for solution. On September 23d, if any man in Sugar Creek town- 
ship feels that he should cast his vote in favor of the reestablishment of the 
saloon in that township, no one can deny him that right. If anyone feels 
that the sale of intoxicating liquors should continue to be prohibited, as it has 
been for the past four years, the right to cast his ballot that way is secured 
to him. 

"attitude of people. 

"It is said of Lincoln that he sometimes deliberated and pondered long 
before his mind was made up on a matter of mere policy, but that he never 
at any time hesitated for a moment to take his stand on the right side of a 
question, when he considered a moral issue to be involved. 

"Whether mistaken or not in their conclusions, the citizens of Sugar 
Creek township, who favor a continued prohibition of the sale of intoxicants, 


do so because they believe that their community, upon Which a benevolent 
Creator has showered His choicest blessings, will have a better moral tone, 
and that it will be a better place for young people, as well as older people 
to live, if it is without the saloon ; that even though there be some who will 
go to distant points to squander their 'earnings, to purchase intoxicants, yet 
that fewer will be reached by the saloons at a distance, than if the saloon be 
in their immediate midst. 

"new Palestine's appeal. 

"The citizens of the little town of New Palestine especially remember 
that at the present there are no saloons between Indianapolis and Conners- 
ville ; that the elements of society that are attracted, and go long distances 
solely for the purpose of reaching the saloon to satisfy their craving, are 
not people who stand for purity and cleanliness in the home, or in the social 
organization. The citizens of Neiv Palestine send greetings to the citizens of 
the township at large, and respectfully ask that their beautiful little city be not 
made the notorious dumping ground between Indianapolis and Connersville. 

"A canvass of the business men of New Palestine will show over- 
whelmingly that they are not in favor of the reestablishment of the saloon. 

"The growth of the town of New Palestine has been steady during the 
past four years. There is not a single vacant house in town. The teachers, 
"men of family, teaching in the New Palestine schools this year, are unable to 
reside in town with their families because of the lack of houses. 

"The books of the New Palestine Bank show that money has not been 
leaving the town, nor the community, since the saloon has gone. The amount 
deposited in the bank at the time the saloons were closed was $93,339.77; 
amount on deposit September 10, 1913, $154,217.67; gain, $60,817.90. . 

"One concern, it must be admitted, has suffered a loss of business during 
the time that Sugar Creek township has been without the saloon, and this is 
the Justice of the Peace Court. 

"During the last four years with saloons, this Court has collected fines, 
$184.50; during the four years last past, without saloons this Court collected 
in fines only $80.50; shortage, $104.00. 

"But since these fines are almost always paid by men who are least able to 
squander their earnings, this amount has probably gone to the grocer, butcher, 
merchant, etc., etc., etc., and the wives and children are likely better off to 
1*ust that amount, plus the additional amount that was spent in creating a 
cause for the fines. 


"Iii this connection, an interesting- investigation is suggested to those who 
frequented the saloons during the past three or four years of their existence in 
Xcw Palestine, and who have personal knowledge of the people and families 
who were represented in the saloons during that time. The township trus- 
tee's 'Poor Record' is a public record, and may be examined by any one. 
Examine this record as it was made up during the last three or four years 
of the saloon's existence. Make a list of the persons and families whom tin 
township had to 'help 7 during those years. Check those whom you know fre- 
quented the saloon, and spent their earnings there during those years. Now 
examine the same record as made up during the three or four years last past, 
without saloons, and see how many families on your list have been dropped 
from this record, and are now self-supporting. 

"But this is not all that has been done. Observe the following statistics 
that have been taken from the town record of New Palestine : 


"January i, 1910 $3,002.48 

"September 10. 1913 300.00 

"Cash on Hands. 

"January 1, 1910 $ 393.74 

"September 10. 1913 1.113.36 

"It might also be stated that the reason for the present indebtedness is 
that bonds not yet matured cannot be paid until due. 

"In connection with the reduction of debt and the increase of cash on 
hands during the past four years, without saloons, attention should also be 
directed to the tax levies for municipal purposes during the past five years : 
1909, 85 cents; 1910. 85 cents; 191 1. 85 cents; 1912, 80 cents; 1913, 75 cents. 

"Twenty-five cents of the tax levy of 1913 for municipal purposes is for 
a road fund for the betterment of the streets and alleys. 

"This is the first time for a number of years that the town of Xew 
Palestine has been in a condition to create a fund for this purpose, and 
lower taxes at the same time. 

"every man's duty to vote. 

"The matter of casting the ballot should be taken seriously by every 
citizen. There is no greater menace to a free democratic government than 
carelessness and negligence in the use of the ballot. Every man should feel 


in duty bound to appear at the polls on election day, and to cast his ballot in 
support of a policy as his judgment directs, and as his conscience dictates. 

"the question. 

"The question to be propounded to the voters of Sugar Creek township 
for their determination on September 23d, will be : 

"Shall the sale of intoxicating liquors be prohibited in Sugar Creek- 

"To Vote Dry— Vote 'Yes.' " 



Hancock county has been described as "within the genius belt of Indiana." 
It has also been said that here, "oratory flourishes, and poetry is indigenous to 
the soil." However these things may be, to mention the names, Lee O. Har- 
ris, James Whitcomb Riley, the Vawters, Leroy Scott and the Rev. Charles 
L. O'Donnell, is sufficient to indicate that the county has received recognition 
in the fields of literature and art. Not all of our writers and artists have spent 
their lives in the county. Yet they have enjoyed the comforts of home life in 
Dur midst, and have memories of friends and experiences that have made life 
sweeter and better. They have sung their songs, too, and have told their 
stories and painted their pictures, and we have listened and enjoyed with a 
sense of pride, because they have been of our number. 


Captain Harris was born, January 30, 1839, in the state of Pennsylvania. 
At the age of thirteen he came to Indiana, and a few years later located in 
Hancock county. An event of his youthful days was a trip with a party of 
United States engineers over the plains and mountains to Puget sound. These 
men were surveying a route to the Pacific coast. To young Harris, then 
eighteen years of age, life on the great plains, sleeping under the starry canopy 
of heaven, and traversing gorges and mountain heights, must have offered 
a great richness of experience. After his return from this trip, his 
entire life, w 7 ith the exception of a very few years, was spent in Hancock 
county. One year, 1858, he taught in what is now Douglas county, Illinois. 
During the Civil War he spent several years at the front, and for five years, 
beginning with 1874, he was principal of the school at Lewisville, Indiana. 
On March 14, 1861, he was married to Miss America Foster, of Hancock 
county, daughter of John Foster, the first sheriff of the county. 

Before he was fifteen years of age he began writing verses, some of which 
were published in the local papers. Later his poems appeared over the nom de 
plume of Larry O'Hannegan, His early poems, as well as his later ones, ex- 
press a deep love and appreciation of nature. Though we commonly think 
of him as a lover of nature, his poem "Would Ye Sever the Union?" written 
on the eve of the Civil War, sounds a patriotic appeal as clear and true in its 
tones as does his song of "The Bonnie Brown Quail" : 





"No, Heaven forbid ! Let the patriots rise 
And gird on the armor of war, 
For the dark clouds of treason now darken the skies 
And the tempest is muttering- afar. 
If the Union must rest on the sword of the brave 
So be it! And God help the right; 
We will rescue our shrine from oblivion's grave, 
Or die -in the front of the fight." 

He was more than a song writer. When his soul was stirred, his emo- 
tions found expression in verse, but his intrepid will also expressed itself in 
action. It was because of this quality that he was found at the front with the 
three-months men on Lincoln's first call for volunteers, and that later he was 
found there with the veterans. Throughout his life these elements were com- 
bined in him, and we have on the one hand, his literature; on the other, a 
record of achievements. 

Professionally, he was a teacher, and for almost forty years he taught 
the children and youth of the county. Child life was an open book to him. 
Of this truth many will bear witness, but nowhere is it better illustrated than 
in his relationship with his pupil, Riley. Nor can any one express it quite 
so well as Mr. Riley himself: 

"Lee O. Harris came to understand me with a thorough sympathy, took 
compassion on my weaknesses and encouraged me to read the best literature. 
He understood that I couldn't get numbers into my head. You couldn't tamp 
them in. History, I also disliked as a dry thing without juice, and dates 
melted out of my memory as speedily as tinfoil on a red hot stove. But I 
always was ready to declaim and took natively to anything dramatic or 
theatrical. Captain Harris encouraged me in recitation and reading and had 
ever the sweet spirit of a companion rather than the manner of an instructor." 

To Mr. Riley he was indeed more than just an instructor. After his 
school days were over the younger poet frequently came to his former teacher 
with his literary efforts, and together they discussed and criticised, and theor- 
ized concerning the bent, tendencies and subjects of the former pupil. The 
sympathetic and cordial relationship existing- between the two men is beauti- 
fully expressed in Riley's tribute: 


"Schoolmaster and Songmaster! Memory 
Enshrines thee with an equal love for thy 
Duality of gifts — thy pure and high 


Endowments — Learning rare, and Poesy 

These were as mutual handmaids serving thee. 

Throughout all seasons of the years gone by. 

With all enduring joys twixt earth and sky — 

In turn shared nobly with thy friends and me. 

Thus is it that thy clear song, ringing on. 

Is endless inspiration, fresh and free 

As the old Mays at verge of June sunshine ; 

And musical as then, at dewy dawn, 

The robin hailed us, and all twinklingly 

Our one path wandered under wood and vine." 

As a poet, his love and emotions were genuine and true. His vision was 
clear. Nature spoke to him and he understood her language. The joys, the 
sorrows, the affections of life — he experienced them, and their messages are 
written in his verses. In a volume of "Interludes," published in 1893, we 
have them under the following heads : "Songs of Nature," "Home and Affec- 
tions," "Retrospective," "Sorrow and Bereavement," "Flights of Fancy," 
"Echoes of War Time," and "Miscellaneous." Who, in the county, has not 
felt the touching pathos of "The Rose Tree?" Who does not know that he 
has sung the song of the "Bonnie Brown Quail" without sounding a false note? 

The literary efforts of Mr. Harris, however, were not confined to poetry 
alone. In January, 1861, he launched The Constitution and Union, a news- 
paper devoted to the cause of preserving the national Union. Its publication 
was suspended, however, after about two months. In January, 1880, with 
Aaron Pope, county superintendent of schools, he began the publication of 
The Home and School Visitor, and contributed to its columns until the 
time of his death. He also took editorial charge of The Greenfield Republican 
for several months in 1881. He is the author of one prose volume, "The Man 
Who Tramps," published in 1878. 

In connection with his school work, and also with his literary efforts, 
he was fond of recitals, theatricals and entertainments. As his good wife 
now looks back over their younger days, it seems to her that she was kept 
busy a goodly portion of the time preparing costumes and other paraphernalia. 
Our older people remember particularly, "The Child of Waterloo," which was 
one of the plays written by Mr. Harris himself, and which was presented at the 
old .Masonic Hall. Mr. Riley was one of the actors in the play, and took the 
part that Captain Harris had designed specially for his personality. 

Mr. Harris departed this life, December 23. 1909. He left to the county 


a legacy both as teacher and writer that will always be one of its priceless 
possessions. Nor have our people been unappreciative. Harris Hall, in the 
Carnegie library at Greenfield, has been named in his honor. On Saturday 
afternoon, January 30, 191 5, the County Federation, embracing all the liter- 
ary clubs of Hancock county, gave a memorial program in his honor at the 
Presbyterian church at Greenfield. The County Federation also presented 
to the Greenfield library a large portrait of Mr. Harris. All of these things, 
however, are but the outward manifestations of the affection and deference 
for him that dwells within the hearts of the people. 


James Whitcomb Riley, the most illustrious of Indiana poets, was born 
at Greenfield on October 7, 1849. "His mother," as his biographer states, 
"was a woman of rare strength of character, combined with deep sympathy 
and a clear understanding." His father, Reuben A. Riley, was one of our 
prominent attorneys a half century ago. He also took an interest in public 
affairs and, during a long and useful life, wrote his name in large letters on 
the pages of the country's history. 

In the village of Greenfield — for it was not incorporated as a town un- 
til 1850 — Mr. Riley spent his boyhood days pretty much as the other boys spent 
theirs. At school he enjoyed reading and literature. He disliked history 
and found arithmetic an impossibility. His teacher, Lee O. Harris, directed 
him in his reading, for which the pupil has always been grateful. 

At about sixteen years of age he quit school and undertook to follow 
pursuits more nearly in line with his own inclinations. He showed some skill 
with a brush, which his father directed along more practical lines probably 
than the son had intended. Before his experience ended he became quite 
proficient as a house, sign and ornamental painter. At least one of his signs, 
painted for A. J. Banks, is still in existence at Greenfield. Another was long 
treasured by his friend, E. H. Faut, at New Palestine. For about a year he 
traveled with a medicine man. Riley's duties consisted in drawing illustra- 
tions on a black board, of the wholesome effects of the medicines, and to 
hold the crowds with his humorous sayings. 

His musical propensities found expression on the banjo, guitar and violin. 
He probably never rendered the classics on these instruments, but his enjoy- 
ment of music with other proclivities that are so vividly reflected in his poetry, 
always produced merriment for those about him. Like many other boys or 
young men, he aspired to a place in the brass band, and was given the drum by 
the Adelphians. He is said to have been a skillful snare drummer, but that 
his personality counted for as much in the band as the drum. 


As he 'reached manhood his father had a desire to see him take up his 
own profession, the law. The son did read law for a while and assures us 
that he made a good-faith effort to learn to lov.e Blackstone and the others. 
But it was impossible. There was something incompatible between legal prop- 
ositions and the poetic rhythm with which his soul was vibrating. Before he 
reached manhood he began writing verses, some of which are preserved in the 
"biographical edition" of his complete works. 

He next began editing a local newspaper at Greenfield, but in his own 
language, he "strangled the little thing into a change of ownership" in a few 
months. After contributing poems to the local papers for a time, some of his 
verses were accepted by the Indianapolis Mirror, the D anbury News, and 
Hearth and Home. The D anbury News (Conn.) was at that time one of 
the leading humorous papers in the country, and the acceptance of verses by 
this sheet must have been very encouraging to the young poet. 

Shortly after this he took a position as reporter for the Anderson Demo- 
crat. He also contributed poems, and continued his efforts to merit the recog- 
nition of the leading journals and magazines of the country. In these efforts 
he met many discouragements. Sometimes editors advised him to try prose ; 
then poetry. He felt that his lines merited greater recognition than they were 
receiving. In fact, he came to the conclusion that critics were influenced by 
the reputation of a writer — probably more than by the merit of his productions. 
To prove the latter, he concocted a plan with a friend, the editor of the Kokomo 
Dispatch, to publish a poem entitled "Leonainie" upon the representation that 
it was a newly discovered manuscript of Edgar Allen Poe. It was written in 
Poe's style and published in the Kokomo Dispatch on August 12, 1877. Air. 
Riley tells the story of the hoax : 

"I studied Poe's method. He seemed to have a theory, rather misty to 
be sure, about the use of m's and n's and mellifluous vowels and sonorous 
words. I remember that I was a long time in evolving the name of 'Leonaine,' 
but at length the verses were finished and ready for trial. 

"A friend, the editor of the Kokomo Dispatch, undertook the launching 
of the hoax in his paper; he did this with great editorial gusto, while, at the 
same time, I attacked the authenticity of the poem in the Democrat. That 
diverted all possible suspicion from me. The hoax succeeded far too well, for 
what had started as a boyish prank, became a literary discussion nation-wide, 
and the necessary expose had to be made. I was appalled by the result. The 
press assailed me furiously, and even my own paper dismissed me because I 
had given the 'discovery' to a rival." 

Not long after this episode, Mr. Riley was offered a place on the Indian- 


apolis Journal by Judge E. B. Martindale. Then came the poems by "Benj. 
F. Johnson of Boone," published in the Journal. Benjamin F. Johnson 
was supposed to be an old farmer of Boone county, but his identity was soon 
disclosed and Riley's star was in the ascendent. In 1883, the first edition of 
the "Old Swimmin' Hole and 'Leven Other Poems" was published. From this 
time a new volume followed every year or two until 1913, when his 
complete works were published in A Biographical Edition of six volumes. 

Though success and recognition came slowly, they were of the highest 
order when they did come. In 1902, Yale conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts. Wabash College at Crawfordsville conferred the 
same degree in 1903. In 1904 the University of Pennsylvania honored him 
with the degree of Doctor of Letters, and in 1907, Indiana University confer- 
red upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. In addition to these honorary 
degrees, the Academy of Arts and Letters elected him a member, and in 19 12 
awarded him a gold medal for poetry. On October 7, 191 1, Riley Day was 
observed by the schools of Indiana and New York City. But on September 
8, 19 1 5, came the greatest honor of all, when the governor of Indiana issued 
a proclamation designating and proclaiming October 7, 191 5, the anniversary 
of the birth of Mr. Riley as Riley Day, and urged all the people of the state 
"to arrange in their respective communities, appropriate exercises in their 
schools and at other public meeting places; that they display the American 
flag at their homes and places of business on that day in honor of James 
Whitcomb Riley, Indiana's most beloved citizen." 

For a number of years Riley was also one of the most noted readers on 
the American p