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Full text of "History of Posey County, Indiana"

NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



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■ME NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LENOX AND 
^rr.DEN FOUNDATIONS 

I. 




L6 4. ^-e//^. 



HISTORY 



OF 



POSEY COUNTY 



INDIANA 



JOHN C. LEFFEL 

EDITOR 



ILLUSTRATED 



o 



STANDARD PUBLISHING COMPANY 
CHICAGO 

1913 



1- 



'IV. Z NLV? Y"'?^K 

565121 A 



: ATI Of £ 



PREFACE 



In the preparation of this work the central purpose has been to present 
an impartial history of Posey county. With this end constantly in view, 
the editor and his assistants have sought with painstaking exactness 
to ascertain, as nearly as possible, the truth of Posey county history 
from its dawn to the present time. To such a task those who have been 
engaged in this work have devoted their best energy and most faithful 
service. It is hoped that the accuracy of the work is commensurate 
with the efforts that have been put forth to make it so. 

Grateful acknowledgment is hereby made for much valuable assist- 
ance received from many citizens of the county in the compilation of 
this work. Especial thanks are due the librarians, the county officials 
and the newspapers of the county for their many courtesies and coopera- 
tion in the research incident to a work of this character ; and to Mr. Joel 
W. Hiatt, of New Harmony, and Dr. David W. Welch and Mr. Jacob 
Cronbach, of Mt. Vernon, for special articles contributed by them. 

JOHN C. LEFFEL. 
Mt. Vernon, Ind., November 20, 1913. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I. 

ABORIGINES. 

The Mound Builders — Indian Tribes — Explorers — Missionaries — Indian 
Troubles — Wars and Treaties — Battle of Tippecanoe and Other Bat- 
tles — Extinguishing Indian Titles — Exodus of the Indian.. Page 17 

CHAPTER II. 

GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRi\PHY. 

Drainage — Soil — Strata — Fossils — Minerals — Eminent Scientists — Early 
Headquarters at New Harmony — Geological Survey— Archaeology 
— Relics of Pre-historic Races — Analysis of Water and Soil — Nat- 
ural Resources Page 40 

CHAPTER III. 

EARLY SETTLEMENTS. 

Customs and Hardships of the Pioneer- — Early Day Defenses— Incidents 
of Pioneer Life — Settlement of Posey County — First Land Entries — 
Early Homesteaders — First Mill — Flatboating — Runaway Slaves — 
Primitive Justice Page 46 

CHAPTER IV. 

ORGANIZATION OF COUNTY. 

Location of County Seat — Early Courts — Elections — County Officers — 
Changing County Seat — Selling Town Lots — Location of Present 
County Seat — Early County Government — Changes Under New 
Constitution Page 64 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER V. 

ESTABLISHMENT OF TOWNSHIPS. 



Appointment of Officers— First Elections— Early Settlements— Land 
Entries — Primitive Occupations — First Grist Mills — Distilleries — 
Cotton Gins— Tanneries— Origin of "Hoop Pole Township". .Page 75 



CHAPTER VI. 

FOUNDING OF CITIES AND TOWNS. 



Early Settlements — Pioneer Merchants — Municipal Organizations — 
Early Officers — Libraries — Parks — Other Institutions and Im- 
provements — Original Plats — Incorporation of Towns — First Coun- 
cils — Rappites — Cholera Epidemic Page 87 



CHAPTER VII. 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 



Primitive School Houses — Subscription Schools — Pioneer Teachers — 
Educational Progress — School Legislation — Uniform School Term 
— Consolidation of Township Schools — New School Buildings. . Page 122 



CHAPTER VIII. 

CHURCHES. 



Pioneer Churches — Their Growth and Progress — First Religious Ser- 
vices — Pioneer Priests and Ministers — Early Organizations — New 
Churches — Parochial Schools — Town Clock Page 132 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE BENCH AND BAR. 



Early Courts and Lawyers — First Cases Tried — Pioneer Court Houses 
— Important Litigation — Judges — Members of the Bar — First Juries 
— New Constitution — Change in Procedure — First Case Appealed. 
Page 147 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER X. 

THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 

Pioneer Practitioners and Later Posey County Physicians Page i6o 

CHAPTER XL 

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE. 

Classification of Soil — Its Productiveness — Drainage — Natural Re- 
sources — Posey County Products — The Farmer of Today — Improved 
Methods — Agricultural Society Page 182 

CHAPTER XII. 

TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES. 

Navigation and Steam Railroads — Early Steamboating — First Railroad 
— Voting Bonds — Electric Railway Page 187 

CHAPTER XIII. 

MANUFACTURING AND COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES. 

Their Organization — Development — Officers and Products — Flouring 
and Cereal Mills — Machine Shops — Brick — Tile — Cigar — Ice — Coop- 
erage and Handle Manufacturers Page 189 

CHAPTER XIV. 

BANKS AND BANKING. 

Pioneer Banks — Later Financial Institutions — Their Organization — 
Capitalization and Officers Page 195 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XV. 



NEWSPAPERS. 



Early Newspapers — Progress of the Press — Newspapers of Today — 
Editors — Political Policies — Modern Equipment Page 199 



CHAPTER XVI. 

MILITARY HISTORY. 



Posey County in the Wars of the Nation — Indian Wars — Battle of 
Tippecanoe — War of 1812— Mexican War — Civil War — Posey 
County Organizations and Officers — Campaigns — Spanish-Ameri- 
can War Page 203 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



John C. Lef fel Frontispiece 

Court House Page 17 

County Jail 64 

County Infirmary 75 

Sherburne Park 86 

Alexandrian Library 96 

Rappite Rooming House 98 

Workingmen's Institute 105 

Owen-Maclure-Corbin Home 112 

Mt. Vernon High School 122 

Public School, New Harmony 128 

Rappite Church 134 

City Hall, Mt. Vernon 146 

Central School, Mt. Vernon 188 

G. V. Menzies 217 

J. H. Moeller 256 

L. J. Wilkinson 304 

First Christian Church 305 

John Corbin 336 

Martin Golden 368 



INDEX 

Alcorn, David C 291 

Alldredge, Alonzo J 379 

Alldredge, John S 380 

Arburn, Charles 351 

Barker, Daniel 233 

Barker, Roscoe U 234 

Barter, Julius C 222 

Becker, Jacob 356 

Bennett, William D 271 

Bender, Valentine 295 

Benthal, S 397 

Bixler, Enoch B 278 

Boren, William 308 

Brinkman, Henry 315 

Brown, Henry 302 

Cale, James 292 

Cale,, Oscar 293 

Cale, Ellison 298 

Calvert, Henry T 288 

Carroll, Samuel 325 

Carson, Walter G 393 

Cartwright, Vincent M 250 

Causey, Joseph M 248 

Cleveland, Arthy M 309 

Cleveland, Lewis W 309 

Corbin, John 336 



INDEX 

Cox, Clarence 363 

Curtis, George William 220 

Curtis, George William, Sr 219 

Dausman, Charles 326 

De Fur, Kelly 245 

Deig, John A 266 

Deig, Frank 348 

Dieg, John W 335 

Dixon, John 349 

Donncr, Henry 321 

Downen, Timothy S 320 

Edson, William P 242 

Ehrhardt, George J ^^^ 

Ehrhardt, John F 340 

Ellis, Elisha E 400 

Erwin, David M 259 

Erwin, William D ^81 

Espenlaub, Henry •>-,£ 

Espenlaub, John t->o 

Espenschied, William 245 

Fisher, Henry -,^2 

Flucks, Carl ^ ,, 

Fogas, William H 226 

French, Raymond A ^7q 

Frier, William 227 

Fuhrer, William C 07, 

Funke, Ferdinand A 2?? 

Gill, John T 265 

Grabert, Michael ,-,g 



INDEX 

Greathouse, Francis M 365 

Greathouse, James M 263 

Golden, Martin 368 

Gonnerman, William 236 

Gudgel, James E 283 

Hagerman, Fred O 395 

Hagerman, Fred H 394 

Haines, Joseph R 264 

Hall, Marshall H 228 

Hastings, William E 400 

Hellenberg, Herman 382 

Henderson, Samuel C 391 

Herrmann, John 277 

Herschelman, Henry 392 

Hiatt, Joel W 300 

Hoehn, George L .' 271 

Holton, William M 239 

Holton, William E 240 

Hovey, Alvin P 345 

Hovey, Charles J 347 

Howard, Silas G 243 

Jeffries, James C 375 

Johnson, Pitts 385 

Johnson, Thomas J 225 

Jones, Thomas 39^ 

Keck, John 273 

Keeling, James L 374 

Kemper, Frederick A. R 252 

Kettelhut, Charles G 3^5 



INDEX 

Klein, Arno 249 

La Duke, Elliott W 377 

Lawless, Frank R 307 

Layer, John G 330 

Leffel, John C 357 

Leffel, Edward 359 

Leonard, Frederick P 371 

Lewis, Edward 338 

Lewis, Frank E 290 

Lewis, James R 327 

Lewis, Thompson P 339 

Llewelyn, Edgar J 331 

Loesch, George T 334 

Luebbermann, Francis B 298 

McFaddin, Enoch W 387 

McFaddin, James F 389 

McFaddin, Noah 389 

McReynolds, Samuel M 296 

MacGregor, Francis B 244 

Macy, Carlos B 287 

Marvel, Alexander L 400 

Marvel, Thomas 397 

Meinschein, Conrad 338 

Menzies, G. V 217 

Menzies, Winston 218 

Miller, Lorenz C 385 

Moeller, John H 256 

Montgomery, Samuel B 282 

Morrow, Lannie G 350 

Moye, James H 362 



INDEX 

Nash, Eugene W 303 

Newman, Schuyler C 287 

Nolte, Frederick W 235 

Oliver, William A 359 

Owen, Horace P 301 

Pendell, James 328 

Phillips, Elisha H 383 

Pote, M. B 341 

Press, Rev. Paul 270 

Raben, Theodore 230 

Raben, Louis W 232 

Ramsey, Douglas C 253 

Reister, Christ 363 

Renschler, William 324 

Ribeyre, Alferd 317 

Rinear, Edwin 269 

Ritzert, Frank 328 

Robertson, George W 235 

Roche, Peter W 343 

Sarlls, Howard H 260 

Sarlls, Richard 254 

Schenk, Andrew A 275 

Schenk, Clem V 277 

Schenk, Eberhardt B 276 

Schenk, Fred 386 

Scherer, John C 31^ 

Schick, Peter 329 

Schieber, August 354 

Schieber, August F 355 

Schmitt, Joseph 322 

Schreiber, John H 323 

Schulthies, John L 223 



INDEX 

Seib, George 393 

Seifert, George J 3^9 

Sheltoii, Jesse J 296 

Shelton, Thomas D 294 

Smith, Alfred E 396 

Smith, Charles, Jr 246 

Smith, John C 3^4 

Spencer, Elijah M 270 

Taylor, George C 390 

Templeton, Armenius 251 

Thomas, A. C 340 

Thomas, Enoch E 268 

Thomas, George G 224 

Thomas, Miles W 274 

Trainor, George F 312 

Tretheway, W. 299 

Turman, Ira L 280 

Turner, John W 261 

Uhde, Henry 381 

Wade, George B 361 

Wade, Warren 360 

Webb, William H 313 

Weissinger, Henry 267 

Welborn, Joseph R 319 

Welch, David W 253 

Whipple, Elijah D 382 

Whitehead, James X -jog 

Wiggins. James W 293 

Williams, Dan -JC2 

Willman, Earnest -i2-i 

Williams, John H yo 

Wilkinson, Levi J -iqa 

Wilson, William 341 

Wolfe, Clarence P 400 

Wolfinger, Frederick ,57 

Yunker. Henry ,-g 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



■R, LENOX 
.. uiif-J FOUND 



CHAPTER I. 



ABORIGINES. 



THE MOUND BUILDERS— INDIAN TRIBES EXPLORERS MISSIONARIES INDIAN 

WARS AND TREATIES. 

These people, who inhabited the central portion of our continent at 
so early a period that no trace can be had of their character or manner 
of life, except the numerous sepulchres which betoken certain religious 
beliefs, were the first people known to have possessed that part of the 
country now called Posey county. That they reached a degree of intel- 
lectual development far above the Indian tribes inhabiting the country 
at the coming of the white man seems certain, yet they did not attain 
the civilization of the ancient peoples of the eastern continents, as is 
proven by their lack of literature and by the fact that their immense 
tombs were built of earth instead of the more enduring materials, like 
the pyramids of Egypt where engineering must have been a well devel- 
oped science. However, they were miners and agriculturists and had 
many flourishing colonies in the great basin between the Alleghany and 
Rocky mountains. They were in some ways related to the Mongolians 
and are supposed to have emigrated from Asia under the mysterious 
spell which occasionally possesses the race to face all dangers in order 
to subdue a new land. Their fate is a matter of conjecture. It is 
hardly reasonable to believe that they were exterminated by the sav- 
ages who later possessed their lands. It is more probable that the}' con- 
tinued on south and founded the civilization of Mexico and the southern 
continent. The State of Indiana is rich in their relics, among the most 
important of which is a point in Posey county ten miles above the 
mouth of the Wabash river known as "Bone Bank," now very rap- 
idly being washed away by the current of the river. At one time this 
mound was on an island in the stream, but as the Wabash has for a 
long time been changing its bed and the same river which at one time 
afforded it protection is now gradually destroying the mound and wash- 
ing away its rich relics of pottery, tablets of stone and human skeletons. 
Some of this pottery is of quaint design and shows skillful workman- 
ship and all of it is of material resembling Portland cement. 

The origin of the North American Indian is still a matter of con- 



l8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

jecture from circumstantial evidence, but the theory generally agreed 
upon is that he is Asiatic, on account of the resemblance in physiog- 
nomy, traditions and language to the tribes inhabiting the northeastern 
part of that continent. If the mound builders had not preceded him on 
this continent we might as well suppose that he originated here as 
to assign him to any other country. That the homes of the mound 
builders were destroyed by the southern tribes from Mexico and that 
the Indians represent the remnant of a des])oiled ])eoj)le is the theory 
entertained by some. Those putting forth this explanation say that 
those that escaped death by taking refuge in the wilderness were put 
to such straits that their finer arts and civilization were lost in the hard 
battle for mere existence and their desperate condition developed a stolid 
and fierce disposition. Whether this is true or not, it is nevertheless 
certain that after the white man began the war of extermination against 
the red man the latter did not live the sort of life to which he was accus- 
tomed before the invasion. We think of the Indian as a wild, roving, 
ferocious savage, living entirely by hunting and fishing, having no fixed 
abode, no friendl)' intercourse and no commerce. This was the Indian 
as he existed after he had been driven half way across the continent, 
but does not represent his earlier condition before his manner of life 
became so precarious and before he was constantly menaced, harassed 
and driven by the ever-encroaching white foe. In the Seventeenth 
century the agriculture and industrial organization of the Five Great 
Nations occupying the Mississippi river land from the Great Lakes to 
the Ohio river are not incomparable with those of Europe a century or 
two earlier. They built villages of log houses, planted orchards and 
cultivated plantations. They had commercial intercourse with the 
southern tribes. Their industrial organization was of that order in 
which each tribe or division of a tribe had a monopoly on some staple 
article of trade which they had exclusive right to manufacture and sell, 
though the right was probably the mere grant of custom. 

The area now known as Posey county was successively occupied by a 
number of different tribes as the red men were gradually pushed west- 
ward. For many years previous to 1670 this territory was held by the 
Miami Confederacy, which was formed in the early part of the Seven- 
teenth century for protection against the Five Great Nations, with 
whom they were in constant conflict for the possession of this region. 
The confederacy consisted of several of the Algonquin tribes, notably 
the Twightwees, the Weas, the Piankeshaws and the Shockeys. They 
lived in small villages along the rivers in Indiana, extending their do- 
minions east as far as the Scioto river, west as far as the country of the 
Illinois and north to the Great Lakes. Their principal settlements were 
along the headwaters of the Great Miami, the banks of the Maumee, 
the St. Joseph of Michigan and the Wabash and its tributaries. At one 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I9 

time they had been important among the nations of the lake region but 
their powers were weakened by repeated defeats in war and they were 
in a demoralized condition when first visited by the French and their 
villages presented a very untidy appearance. They were living in con- 
stant terror of the Five Nations and were practicing only enough indus- 
try to avoid starvation. Their resources were depleted and they were 
indulging all their vicious passions so that they were in a state of 
retrogression. In the latter years of the Seventeenth and the early years 
of the Eighteenth centuries the French came to the Miamis bearing aloft 
the cross of Christ, imder the cloaks the whiskey jug to further degrade 
an already declining people, and in their hearts the lust of gold and the 
greed of conquest. 

As in most cases of successful invasion the missionaries in their black 
robes preceded the traders. They were the Jesuit priests and were 
kindly treated by the Miamis. The Indians would listen patiently to 
the strange theory of the Savior and salvation which they could not in 
the least understand, but in which they would manifest a willing belief 
by way of courtesy and hospitality, and then they woidd attempt to 
entertain their visitors with a recital of their own simple faith in the 
Manitous. and were disappointed and dissatisfied because the mission- 
aries would not accept their religion with the same politeness that they 
showed toward the white man's God. Missionary stations were estab- 
lished in the principal villages and the work of converting the savages 
begun. The principal stations were at the villages of Maumee, those of 
the Weas about Ouiatenon on the Wabash, and those of the Pianke- 
shaws around Vincennes, the latter having been established in 1749. 
However, the missionaries were active in the Miami country at least 
twenty years before that. There was a regular daily order of services 
at the missions. Early in the morning the priests would gather the In- 
dians together at the church for prayers and for the teaching of the 
Catholic religion. This was followed by singing, at the conclusion of 
which the congregation was dismissed, the Christians only remaining 
to take part in mass. This service was followed by prayers. During 
the forenoon the priests spent the time in visiting the sick and com- 
forting the afflicted. In the afternoon another service was held in 
which all the Indians were allowed to appear in their finery, and each 
without regard to rank or station answered questions put by the mis- 
sionaries. This exercise was concluded by the singing of hymns set 
to airs familiar to the Indians. In the evening all again assembled at 
the church for instruction, prayers and singing. The Indians greatly 
enjoyed the singing of their favorite hymns. The priests for the most 
part were zealous and conscientious and were greatly beloved by their 
dusky converts. Close upon the heels of the black robed fathers came 
the advance guard of the French fur traders dressed in gay attire and 



20 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

with coarse blue and red cloths, their fine scarlet, balls, knives, rib- 
bons, beads, vermilion, guns, powder, tobacco and rum. These were 
the "coureurs des bois" or rangers, and they were engaged to conduct 
canoes along the rivers and trade for furs which they brought back to 
the trading posts. Many of them carried on a remunerative business 
inland by carrying the goods for many miles on their backs. They min- 
gled freely with the Indians, lived their life, intermarried and many of 
them became renegades, sinking below the level of the self-respecting 
savage. Intoxicating liquors were freely introduced and found a ready 
sale. The distribution of it was made in the following way: a certain 
number of persons have delivered to each of them a sufficient quantity 
to get drunk on so that the whole were often drunk for days at a time. 
The drinking would begin in the villages as soon as the sun had set, 
and night after night the woods and fields echoed with the most hideous 
howling. A line of trading points was established in 1719 on the Wa- 
bash, around Vincennes and at Fort Wayne. A fort was built at the 
Piankeshavv village near Vincennes in 1750, the next year after the build- 
ing of the permanent mission at that place. At the same time a fort 
was erected near the mouth of the Wabash. These forts drew a large 
number of French traders and in a few years they had become impor- 
tant settlements with a mixed population of French and Indian. At 
the close of the French and Indian wars, when Canada and its depend- 
encies fell into the hands of the British, the French, for the protection of 
their business interests, swore allegiance to the British government and 
were allowed to continue in the occupation of their lands with the 
slight improvements they had effected. 

But with the change in governments came a change of policy toward 
the Indian. The French had been very polite and deferential toward 
the native. They were robbers none the less, but they were polite about 
it and managed to get along beautifully. But when the English came 
into power they assumed an arrogant manner toward the Indians that 
aroused their enmity. The British opposed any strengthening of the 
interior settlements lest they become self-supporting and independent. 
The governm-ent held the land and would not let it be apportioned out 
to the settlers and so provoked the Americans that the British govern- 
ment had no friends upon this continent. At the close of the French 
and Indian war the number of families in what was known as the 
Northwest Territory did not exceed 600, none of whom, as far as we 
are able to ascertain, were in Posey count3^ The Miamis at this time 
had 1,050 warriors, about 300 of whom belonged to the Wea tribes on 
the Wabash. The British policy toward the settlement of the new 
lands was one of the things which led to the American Revolution, 
which ended in the establishment of the new government on this con- 
tinent in 17S3. The American government made liberal propositions to 
settlers and civilization pushed rapidly westward. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 21 

The principal opening wedge to the occupation of the Wabash coun- 
try by the white people was the work of Francois Morgan de Vinsenne 
in the early part of the century. He probably reached the place now 
known as Vincennes as early at 1732. There is a record of a sale made 
by himself and Madame Vinsenne dated January 5, 1735. This docu- 
ment gives his military position as commandant of the post of Ouabache 
(Wabash) in the service of the French King. The will of his wife's 
father, dated March 10 of the same year, bequeathes among other things 
408 pounds of pork which he ordered kept safe until Vinsenne, who 
was then at Ouabache, returned to Kaskaskia. Another document is a 
receipt signed by Vinsenne for 100 pistols granted him as his wife's 
dowry. This officer was killed in Louisiana in a war with the Chicka- 
saws. Over forty years later, and while the American Revolution was 
still in progress. Colonel George Rogers Clark led his memorable expedi- 
tion against the ancient French settlements of Kaskaskia and Post Vin- 
cennes. This was one of the most gigantic single feats of the whole 
history of settlement and called for courage and daring, for, while the 
government of Virginia, Clark's native State, was friendly to the 
undertaking, they had no authority to assist very largely in the affair. 
Governor Henry and a few other gentlemen lent private assistance 
and Clark organized his expedition and laid his plans secretly so that 
he would not be confronted with organized opposition. The object 
of the expedition was to open the western territory to active settle- 
ment to take the French forts, establish American control, wrest the 
land from the hands of the alien and the savage and blazon a trail 
for safe immigration. He took stores at Pittsburgh and Wheeling and 
proceeded down the river to the "Falls," where he took possession of 
an island of about seven acres. Here he for the first time made known 
to his troops the real intent of the expedition and disclosed to them 
his plans for the taking of Kaskaskia and Vincennes. It was a daring 
proposal and many of his men deserted. He then divided the island 
among a small number of families, threw up some light fortifications 
and decided, on account of the weakened condition of his forces, to take 
Kaskaskia first, as the post at Vincennes had about 400 militia to his 
handful of men. On the night of the Fourth of July he came near 
the village, keeping his spies ahead. He took possession of a house for 
headquarters and the spies returned, saying that the town had laid 
down arms and that the Indians had all left. He took possession with- 
out opposition of the fort and the town. The people thought resistance 
in vain. Having become master of the situation, he treated the inhabi- 
tants kindly, secured their good will and they swore allegiance to Vir- 
ginia. The inhabitants were in terror of Clark at first, never dream- 
ing but that he would lay waste to their homes and separate them from 
their families and starve their children. This helped him to gain their 



22 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

good will, as he explained to them that the French and Americans were 
now friends and allies against the British, that the war for independ- 
ence would soon be over, and that their religion would be respected 
by the American law. The few men who had been arrested were set 
at liberty and the inhabitants were so pleased that a volunteer com- 
pany of French militia joined his forces. Clark also enlisted the serv- 
ices of Father Gibault in the expedition to Vincennes. \\'hen they 
arrived at that fort some time was spent in explaining to the people 
the nature and intent of the war, with the result that the inhabitans 
proceeded at once to the church and unanimously took the oath of alle- 
giance to the American flag. A fort was immediately garrisoned to 
defend these colors and the flag was unfurled. The Indians were also 
greatly pleased and were induced to become friendly toward the Amer- 
icans, and treaties of peace were effected with the Piankeshaws, 
Ouiatenous, Kickapoos, Illinois, Kaskaskias, Peorias, and some of the 
other tribes that inhabited the country between the Great Lakes and 
the Mississippi river. The treaty with the Piankeshaws was accom- 
plished in the following manner: When Captain Helm, who was ap- 
pointed by Clark to take charge of Vincennes, set out from Kaskaskia 
in August he took with him a speech and a belt of wampum from Colonel 
Clark to be presented to "The Grand Door to the Wabash," or the To- 
bacco's Son, as the leading Piankeshaw chief was called. He arrived 
safely at Vincennes and was received with acclamations by the people. 
After the usual ceremony the "Grand Door" was called and Helm deliv- 
ered the speech and the belt. Grand Door informed the captain that 
he was indeed glad to welcome him as one of the Big Knife's chiefs. 
He thought favorably of the idea of joining the Americans, but accord- 
ing to their custom asked time to present the matter to the other lead- 
ing men of the tribe. After several days had elapsed Captain Helm 
was invited to the Indian council and was told that the chiefs had con- 
sidered his case and had decided that he was right ; that they would 
tell all the Indians on the Wabash to waste no more blood in behalf of 
the English. Then the Grand Door jumped up, called himself a man 
and a warrior, said that he was now a Big Knife and took Captain Helm 
by the hand. His example was followed by all present and the council 
ended in good feeling and merriment. This treaty was followed by 
treaties with all the tribes above mentioned and the American flag 
waved above Indiana for the first time. When the General Assembly 
in Virginia met in October, 1778, they passed an act which provided 
for home government for all the territory west of the Ohio river. Be- 
fore the provisions of the act could be carried out Henry Hamilton, 
the British Lieutenant-Governor of Detroit, collected an army of about 
thirty regulars, fifty French volunteers and 400 Indians. At the head 
of this force he proceeded down the Wabash and seized Vincennes 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 23 

in December, 1778. When he entered the place there were but two 
Americans at the post, Helm and a man by the name of Henry, Colonel 
Clark having in the meantime turned his attention to other points. 
Helm and Henry were arrested and a number of the French citizens 
disarmed. When the news reached Clark at Kaskaskia he made prepa- 
rations for his famous march to Vincennes. Hitherto he had not gone 
there himself, the work of winning over the people having been done 
by Father Gibault and the treaties having been made by the agency 
of Helm. He now gathered together a force of 170 men and on Feb- 
ruary 5, 1779, crossed the Kaskaskia river and proceeded to Vincennes. 
In January he had learned that Hamilton had sent his Indians to the 
frontier and to block up the Ohio, expecting them to return to Post 
Vincennes in the spring, bringing their friends with them in great 
enough numbers to drive all Americans out of the West. This left 
Hamilton with eighty men in the garrison, three pieces of cannon and 
some swivels mounted, but they were repairing the fort and expected 
reenforcements. The stores of most of the merchants of the town had 
been taken to provide for Hamilton's men, btit they were expecting a 
large supply of all kinds of provisions in the spring. It seemed that 
the blow must be dealt at once before these plans of the British could 
be consummated. Clark's situation was a perilous one, cut off from 
Virginia and his source of reenforcements and supplies. He had only a 
few weeks left before all would be lost, for if the enemy were left to 
proceed in peace with their preparations there was no possibility of his 
being able to cope with them. He called upon Major Bowman to evac- 
uate the fort at Cahokia and join him, and immediately gave orders to 
prepare for the march on Vincennes. The inhabitants of Kaskaskia 
rallied enthusiastically to his support and provisions and clothing to 
withstand the coldest weather were soon provided. It was decided to 
send a vessel by water to carry the stores and arms. A large Mis- 
sissippi boat was purchased and fitted out as a war vessel so that she 
might force her way if necessary. Two four-pounders and four large 
swivels were placed in position and she was manned by forty-four men 
under Captain John Rodgers. He embarked the fourth of February 
with orders to force his way up the Wabash as far as White river and 
there await further orders. In case he found himself discovered he 
was to do all the damage possible without running the risk of losing 
his vessel, and not to leave the river until he had lost all hope of the 
arrival of the land forces. Clark placed much reliance upon this vessel, 
as the craft was much superior to anything the enemy could muster. 
Having gotten her started, he took the remainder of his men, 170 in 
number, and on the fifth of February crossed the Kaskaskia on his way 
to Vincennes. The march was fraught with the greatest hardship, for 
not only was the weather cold, but the plains were covered with several 



24 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

inches of water through which the little band was forced to wade day 
by day. Everything possible was done by the commander to keep the 
men in good spirits. He allowed them to shoot game on all occasions 
and to make feasts on it after the style of the Indian war dancers. Each 
company in turn invited the others to feast with them and entertained 
them with singing and stories. Thus the soldiers were led without a 
murmur to the banks of the Little Wabash, arriving there on February 
13. A camp was formed on a small elevation on the bank of the river 
and Clark ordered his men to construct a boat, pretending all the time 
to believe that the crossing of the river would be a piece of little boy 
play. The boat was finished the next day and a small company was 
selected to make the first trip to the other side. They were privately 
instructed as to the sort of report they should make and told to find a 
spot of dry land if possible. They found half an acre of dry land and, 
marking the place, returned with a very encouraging report. On the 
fifteenth the work of crossing began. Fortunately the day was warm 
for the season. The channel at this point was about thirty yards wide. 
A scaffold was built on the opposite shore, which was about three feet 
in water, and the baggage was landed in this manner. The horses next 
swam across and received their loads at the scaffold. The men were 
then ferried over the river and the little army again took up the march 
in water knee deep. Much bantering and jollying was indulged in and 
it kept up the spirits of the men to a remarkable degree and by night 
they were encamped on a pretty height. They were in high spirits at 
their success thus far and indulged that night in extravagant specula- 
tions of their future prospects of crossing the main stream, taking Vin- 
cennes and marching on Detroit. However, the next day they marched 
in a driving rain and Clark discovered that the whole Wabash valley 
was overflowed and that he could be easily approached b}^ the enemy. 
That night they spent miserably in the wet without sufficient provisions. 
The next day they continued their march in search of the \\'abash. 
They found no dry land and were compelled to spend the night in the 
water. After such an experience the morning gun of Vincennes sounded 
sweet as a dinner horn when they heard it at sunrise on the eighteenth. 
They were able by this to locate the river and reached it about 2 
o'clock. They tried to steal boats by means of rafts but met with no 
success that day or night. The next day intelligence was brought to 
Clark that two fires were within a mile of their camp. He at once sent 
a canoe down the stream to meet the vessel with their stores and am- 
munition and bring it with all possible haste to their aid. Their food 
supplies were now entirely exhausted and they were in a critical condi- 
tion. At noon the next day the river sentinel brought in five French- 
men from Vincennes and from them they learned that their presence was 
not known as yet. The men were pretty nearly exhausted and had lost 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 25 

courage when the last day's march to Post Vincennes began on the 
twenty-first. They had to cross the main stream of the Wabash now 
and there was no time to construct boats. Encouraged by Colonel 
Clark, who painted his face black and gave a war whoop, the whole 
company plunged to their necks in ice-cold water. They succeeded in 
making the other shore, although they had to be encouraged in heroic 
ways by their leader and by his most devoted followers, one in partic- 
ular being a little drummer boy who beat the advance under the most 
discouraging and disheartening circumstances. The other shore was 
gained in safety and they found a sugar camp where there was half 
an acre of dry land and here remained for the night. They continued 
the next day and came to a copse of timber called "Warrior's Island," 
in full view of the fort and town. From a prisoner captured while shoot- 
ing ducks it was learned that the town was full of Indians and that to- 
gether with them and the troops there were about 600 men. Meantime 
the boat with ammunition and supplies had not been heard from. A bold 
letter requesting those who wished to fight to gather at the fort and 
those who wished to remain loyal to the Americans to keep in their 
houses was dispached to Vincennes, and upon receiving no reply Clark 
displayed his force in such a way that they appeared numerous, march- 
ing back and forth for some time, and finally occupying the heights 
back of the town. Fourteen men were then sent to fire upon the fort, 
while the main body took possession of the strongest part of town. 
Clark then ordered Hamilton to surrender. This being refused the fight- 
ing began, and an hour later Clark dictated the terms of surrender on 
February 24, 1779. Hamilton was kept as a prisoner till the next June 
and then was sent to Virginia. It appears that he was a savage as 
much as any of the Indians and offered a reward for every American 
scalp lock. Clark organized a military government at Vincennes and 
left Helm in charge while he returned to Kaskaskia by boat. Here he 
was reenforced by a command under Captain George. About this time 
the Delawares murdered and plundered a party of traders on White 
river. Captain Helm was sent to make war upon them. They soon 
sued for peace and Colonel Clark required them to find a neighboring 
tribe who would vouch for their future good behavior. The Piankeshaws 
went security for them. This not only warned the Delawares but secured 
the respect of the neighboring tribes. Meantime the preparations for 
establishing civil government in Indiana went on in Virginia, to which 
State this territor}^ belonged by right of conquest. Colonel John Todd 
came to the settlements and the militar}- government maintained by 
Clark at Vincennes gave place to civil and criminal courts in June, 
1779. The giving out of land grants began and the courts adopted the 
opinion that they were at liberty to dispose of the entire region that in 
1742 had been given to the French at Vincennes by the Piankeshaw 



26 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Indians. The whole country accordingly was divided among the mem- 
bers of the honorable court. From the first invasion of this section by 
Clark until 1783, when the war with Great Britain was concluded, there 
was a succession of wars along the border, sometimes resulting m vic- 
tory for the Americans and sometimes for the other side. However, 
Clark succeeded in holding the country, which, upon the establishment 
of the Republic in 1783, was ceded by Virginia to the United States. 

When the transfer was finally consummated in 1784 the work of ex- 
tinguishing Indian titles began. In 1787 the '-Northwest Territory" 
was created and Major-General Arthur St. Clair was elected by Con- 
o-ress governor of the territory. He was instructed to ascertain the 
real attitude of the Indians, do all in his power to secure their friendship 
toward the government and quiet as many titles as possible. Governor 
St. Clair established headquarters at the new settlement of Marietta, 
Ohio, where he organized the government of the territory and in 1788 
held the first session of court and the necessary laws for the administra- 
tion of affairs were passed. This done, the governor, accompanied by 
the judges, proceeded to Kaskaskia for the purpose of organizing the 
government there. Meantime, Major Hamtramck, commander at 
Vincennes, had received instructions to ascertain the temper of the In- 
dians along the Wabash and be prepared to report the exact situation. 
On April 5, 1790, a Frenchman by the name of Antoine Gamelin was 
sent out of Vincennes with speeches to all the tribes. He visited nearly 
all the tribes of the Wabash country and those of the St. Joseph and St. 
Marv's rivers, but was coldly received, owing to dissatisfaction created 
among the Indians by English misrepresentation. A full account of the 
situation reached St. Clair at Kaskaskia in June, 1790. The Governor, 
being satisfied that there was no prospect of a peaceful settlement of 
affairs with the natives of Indiana, resolved to visit General Harmer at 
his headquarters at Fort Washington and there consult with him in 
regard to- an expedition against the hostile tribes. Meantime, Winthrop 
Sargent, secretary of the territory, was to send resolutions to Congress 
in regard to the lands and settlers on the Wabash, and also to go to 
Vincennes, lay out a county there and appoint civil and military offi- 
cers. Sargent found great difficulty in adjusting claims to land, as 
previous to this time the most important deals had been committed to 
loose sheets of paper, many of which had been stolen or lost. To set- 
tle such matters Congress in 1791 passed an act to give lands not to 
exceed 400 acres to any one person to those having made improve- 
ments under a supposed grant for the lands. In the summer of 1790 
the court of Vincennes passed the following laws: 

I. An act to prohibit the giving or selling of intoxicating liquors to 
Indians residing in or coming into the territory of the United States 
northwest of the Ohio river, and for preventing foreigners from trading 
with Indians therein. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 2.^ 

II. An act prohibiting the sale of spirituous or other intoxicating 
liquors to soldiers in the service of the United States, being within ten 
miles of any military post within the territory of the United States 
northwest of the River Ohio, and to prevent the selling or pawning of 
arms, ammunition, clothing or accoutrements. 

III. An act for suppressing and prohibiting every species of gambling 
for money or other property and for making void contracts and pay- 
ments made in consequence thereof, and for restraining the disorderly 
practice of discharging arms at certain hours and places. 

The conference between Governor St. Clair and General Harmer at 
Fort Washington resulted in the determination to send a powerful force 
to whip the Indians of the Wabash into submission. The President 
had empowered St. Clair to call upon Virginia for i,ooo troops and on 
Pennsylvania for 500, and he now exercised this authority. Three hun- 
dred of the Virginia militia were ordered to join the forces at Fort 
Steuben and with them march to Vincennes and join the command of 
Major Hamtramck, who had orders to proceed up the Wabash and at- 
tack any Indian tribe with forces not superior to his own. The remain- 
ing 1,200 men were ordered to join the regular troops at Fort Wash- 
ington, of which there were about 400 effective men under General 
Harmer. All was in readiness by September and General Harmer 
marched from Fort Washington on the thirteenth of that month at the 
head of 1,450 men. This force reached Maumee on the seventeenth and 
the work of punishing the Indians began, but the expedition did not 
result in any permanent gain, for the American forces were about as 
sorely punished as the Indians, and the latter refused to sue for peace. 
A detachment of 340 militia and sixty regulars under Colonel Hardin 
was defeated at Maumee on October 22 and the next day they started 
back to Fort Washington, reaching there November 4. having lost in 
the expedition 183 killed and thirty-one wounded. The Indians sus- 
tained a similar loss. While these operations were going on Major 
Hamtramck marched up the Wabash from Vincennes as far as the 
mouth of the Vermilion river, destroyed several deserted villages, but 
returned without meeting the enemy. The Indians continued their hos- 
tilities and the inhabitants of the frontier settlements took alarm. Dele- 
gates of Ohio, Monongahela, Harrison, Randolph, Greenbrier, Kanawha 
and Montgomery counties of Virginia sent a memorial to their gov- 
ernor calling attention to their exposed situation, to the inability of 
the Continental troops to be of any use to them and calling upon the 
State of Virginia for protection. The legislature of Virginia then au- 
thorized the governor to take such measures as he deemed necessary 
for the protection of the settlements until the national government had 
time to act. The governor immediately called upon the military com- 
mandins: officers in the western counties of Virginia to raise several 



28 HISTORY OF TOSEY COUNTY 

small companies by the first of March, 1791. Charles Scott was ap- 
pointed Brigadier-General of the militia of the district of Kentucky with 
the authorit}- to raise 226 volunteers to protect the most exposed parts 
of the district. Congress was appraised of the need for protection on 
the frontier and, upon consideration of the situation, created a board of 
war for the district of Kentucky, this board being composed of Briga- 
dier-General Scott, Henry Innis, John Brown, Benjamin Logan and 
Isaac Shelby. On March 9, 1791, General Henry Knox, secretary of 
war, sent a letter of instructions to Brigadier-General Scott recommend- 
ing an expedition of mounted men, not over 750, to proceed against the 
Wea villages along the Wabash. Accordingly, on the twenty-third of 
May Scott crossed the Ohio at the head of 800 mounted men, reach- 
ing the Wabash on the first of June. He destroyed all the villages 
around Ouitenon and several Kickapoo towns, killing thirty-two war- 
riors and taking fifty-eight prisoners. A few of the most infirm were 
released in order that they might spread the news all up and down the 
Wabash, as Scott's command, not being well enough mounted, could 
not go up the river. On March 3, 1791, Congress provided for raising 
and equipping a regiment for the protection of the frontier and about 
3,000 men were placed at the disposal of Governor St. Clair, who was 
instructed by the secretary of war to establish at the Miami village a 
strong and permanent military post, and in the process of his advance 
to that point to establish along the Ohio such posts of communication 
with Fort Washington as he deemed expedient. The post at Miami 
was intended to keep the Indians in that section of the country in 
check and the secretary of war insisted that it be established in any 
event and that it be strongly garrisoned. In case terms were arranged 
with the hostile tribes the establishment and maintenance of this post 
was to become a part of the treaty of peace. Previous to the establish- 
ing of this post at the Miami village Governor St. Clair sent Brigadier- 
General ^^'ilkinson to conduct a second campaign in the Wabash coun- 
try. Wilkinson mustered his forces and on July 20, 1791, started at 
the head of 525 mounted volunteers, well armed and provisioned for 
thirty days. On August 7 he came with this force to the village of 
Ke-na-pa-com-a-qua, on the northern bank of the Eel river, six miles 
above the junction of that stream with the Wabash. Here he killed 
six warriors, took thirty-four prisoners and totalh- destroyed the village. 
These Indians belonged to the Kickapoo tri1)e. The army encamped on 
the ruins that night and the next day started for the Kickapoo village 
on the prairie, but was unable to reach it on account of the impassable 
condition of the route he selected. These three expeditions by Harmer, 
Scott and Wilkinson resulted in great damage to the Indians but did 
not restore peace. They believed the American policy to be one of 
extermination and were goaded to desperation. Contrary to the treaty 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 29 

of Paris, the British government was still maintaining posts at Niagara, 
Detroit and Michilimacinac, and from these points not only incited the 
hostile Indians against the Americans, but actually rendered them every 
possible assistance in the way of stores and provisions. This condition 
continued until the English posts were withdrawn by a second treaty in 
1796. 

In September, 1791, Governor St. Clair prepared to carry out the 
orders of the secretary of war and left Fort Washington with 2,000 men. 
On November — the main body of the army, comprising about 1,400 
men, moved forward and encamped at the headwaters of the Wabash, 
where Fort Recovery was afterward built. Here he was surprised by 
the Indians, who attacked his force about half an hour before sunrise, 
which is their favorite hour for making war on their enemies. The 
Indians were 1,200 strong and were led by the chiefs Little Turtle, 
Blue Jacket and Buck-ong-a-helas, who had secreted their forces and 
watched the enemy until such a time as they could deal a crushing 
blow. The white army was cut to pieces and there were lost in the 
engagement thirty-nine officers killed, 539 men killed and missing, twen- 
ty-two officers and 232 men wounded, and all the baggage, ammunition 
and provisions, and several pieces of artillery. The property lost in this 
engagement was valued at $32,800. The most deplorable aspect of the 
disaster was the fate of more than 100 women who were following the 
fortunes of their husbands. Very few escaped the brutality of the vic- 
torious savages, who proceeded to avenge their real and imaginary 
wrongs by the most unspeakable atrocities. Believing that the white 
men had been making war to acquire land, they stuffed sand and clay 
in the eyes and down the throats of the dying and dead. Governor St. 
Clair felt the force of this defeat very keenly and, although he was in 
no way to blame, he resigned upon leading the remnant of his disheart- 
ened army back to Fort Washington. 

St. Clair was succeeded by the brilliant and distinguished Anthony 
Wayne, who became famous in the Revolutionary war. Early in 1792 
the general government made provisions for the reorganization and 
strengthening of the army and in June of that year Wayne came to 
Pittsburgh, where he remained until October, 1793, organizing and 
training his army. Then at the head of 3,600 effective men he moved 
to Fort Washington. During all this time efforts were being made to 
bring the Indians to a peaceable adjustment of affairs. Major Ham- 
tramck, who was still at Vincennes, succeeded in concluding a peace 
treaty with the WaSash and with the Illinois tribes, but the tribes more 
directly under the influence of the British refused to be reconciled, 
would not listen to the speeches of friendship presented to them and 
tomahawked several of the messengers sent to them. They had been 
greatly encouraged by their victory over St. Clair and believed them- 



20 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

selves equal to the forces mustered by Wayne. They insisted on the 
Ohio river as the boundary line between their possessions and those of 
the United States and determined to defend their claims in battle if 
necessary rather than make any further concessions. 

On July 26, 1794, Major-General Scott joined General Wayne with 
1,600 mounted volunteers and two days later the united forces proceeded 
to the Maumee river and. arriving at the confluence of that stream with 
the Auglaize, they erected Fort Defiance. August 15 Wayne moved 
his army toward the British fort at the foot of the rapids of the Maumee 
and here gained a decisive victory over the combined Indian and British 
forces. The enemy was completely routed and demoralized and after 
the engagement the woods were full of the dead bodies of Indians and 
red coats shot down in flight. In the return march to Fort Defiance 
the villages and corn fields on either side of the Maumee were de- 
stroyed, as well as everything within a large radius of the fort. The 
next movement on the part of Wayne was to the confluence of the St. 
Joseph and the St. Mary's rivers, where stood the deserted villages of 
the Miamis. Here a fort was erected and garrisoned by a strong detach- 
ment of infantry and artillery under Colonel John F. Hamtramck, who 
named the place Fort Wayne. The Kentucky volunteers who had come 
in the command of Scott returned to Fort Washington, where they were 
mustered out of service. General Wayne marched to Greenville and 
took up his winter quarters and began negotiations with the Indians. 
Finally, in August, 1795, a general treaty of peace was concluded with 
all the hostile tribes which had been contesting the territory of the 
United States beyond the Ohio river. This was known as the Treaty 
of Greenville and it opened the way for the rapid settlement of all the 
lands of the Northwest Territory. In July, 1796, a treaty with Spain 
was entered into by the United States and the British withdrew from 
their posts in the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio 
river. 

The next thing of importance to our present story was the organiza- 
tion of the territory of Indiana in 1800, immediately following which the 
attention of Governor Harrison was called by the federal government to 
the necessity of making a final adjustment of affairs with all Indians 
still holding claims to lands within the limits of the territory. In the 
course of the next five years he succeeded in closing several treaties 
with the Indians by which 46,000 square miles of land were added to 
those already obtained by the government. This land acquired by Gov- 
ernor Harrison included all that lying on the borders of the Ohio river, 
between the mouth of the Wabash and the western boundary of Ohio. 
Among these treaties was the one which ceded Posey county to the 
white man. Settlement had already begun within its borders before 
the treatv was consummated. 



HISTORY OF rOSEY COUNTY 3I 

In his message to the territorial legislature in 1806 Governor Har- 
rison congratulated the people upon the fact that peace had been 
brought about with the Indians and the lands opened to civilized devel- 
opment. He advanced the opinion that further war would not be nec- 
essary unless the Indians were driven to arms by a succession of injus- 
tices. However, he remarked by the way that the Indians were already 
making complaints which were far from being groundless. While the 
laws provided the same punishments for offenses committed against 
the Indian as against a white man, the laws were so administered that 
in every case the Indian got the worst of it, whether he was the offender 
or the one against whom the offense was committed. Crimes against 
him went unpunished, while he was severely punished even for the 
smallest crime against his boasted superior. From the time the treaties 
were closed in 1805 until 1810, the Indians complained bitterly against 
the encroachments of the white men on ground which belonged to them- 
selves, and of the unjustifiable killing of many of their number. In 
laying the matter before Governor Harrison an old chief used these 
words : "You call us your children ; why do you not make us happy as 
our fathers, the French, did? They never took from us our lands; in- 
deed, they were in common between us. They planted where they 
pleased ; they cut wood where they pleased ; so did we. But now if a 
poor Indian attempts to take a little bark from a tree to cover him from 
the rain, up comes a white man and threatens to shoot him, claiming the 
tree as his own." It is more to the credit of the Indian than anything 
else that these continued offenses should end in war. In the midst of 
their tribulation and unrest there arose a prophet among the red men. 
This was none other than the brother of Tecumseh, the crafty Shawnee. 
His name was Law-le-was-i-kaw, but upon assuming the character of 
the prophet he took the name of Pems-quat-a-wah, or the Open Door, 
signifying that he was the means of opportunity for his people. 

Open Door was a gifted orator. He began by preaching a crusade 
against witchcraft, the drinking of intoxicating liquors, the intermar- 
riage of Indian women with white men, the dress and customs of the 
white race and the practice of selling Indian lands to the United States. 
He said that the Great Spirit required them to punish with death those 
who practiced the arts of witchcraft and magic, and declared that he 
had been given power to discover all such persons ; to cure all dis- 
eases ; to confound his enemies, and to stay the arm of death in sick- 
ness and on the battlefield. Through the excitement caused by his 
preaching an old Delaware named Tate-e-bock-o-she. through whose 
influence the treaty with the Delawares had been made in 1804, was 
accused of witchcraft and upon his conviction was tomahawked and 
his body burned. His wife, nephew, and another aged Indian were then 
accused, tried and condemned. The two men were executed but the 



32 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

woman was saved by her brother, who led her out of the council house 
and, returning, rebuked the proceedings in an effective manner. When 
the news reached Governor Harrison he sent word to the Indians, plead- 
ing with them to renounce the prophet and return to reasonable ways of 
thinking. This had some effect Ijut, in 1808. the Open Door, with a 
large following, settled near the mouth of the Tippecanoe river at a 
place which was afterward known as Prophet's Town. 

Meantime, Tecumseh, following up the advantage of his brother's 
influence, as well as of his own popularity, began the organization of 
the various tribes into a confederacy. He declared the treaties hitherto 
entered into in reference to the lands beyond the Ohio river as null 
and void for the reason that, according to his idea, no single tribe had 
a right to cede any lands without the consent of the others, as the land 
belonged to all of them in common. He declared that he and his 
brother, the Prophet, would oppose any future attempts on the part of 
the white people to extend their territory. Early in 1808 Governor 
Harrison sent a speech to the Shawnees in which he accused Open Door 
of being in league with the British and asked the people to send him 
away to the lake region. In August of that year the Prophet visited 
Vincennes and spent several weeks there for the purpose of holding 
interviews with the governor. He was so smooth and talked so earnestly 
about his mission as a religious teacher that Harrison was led for the 
time being to believe him a man of honest motives. But he soon dis- 
covered his double nature and learned that he and his brother, Tecumseh, 
were enemies of the United States and in league with the British, whom 
they would induce the tribes to join in case of war between the two 
nations. In face of all these difficulties Harrison continued to extinguish 
Indian titles in Indiana and to secure lands for settlement, prosecuting 
this work in direct opposition to the two Shawnee brothers. 

In the A-ear 1810 the movements of Tecumseh and Open Door caused 
so much alarm among prospective immigrants as to materially retard 
settlement. Under the guise of forming a confederacy to prevent fur- 
ther sale of lands, Tecumseh, at the instigation of the English, was or- 
ganizing a force to oppose the American government. Governor Har- 
rison understood this and used all means he was able to contrive to 
prevent further progress of the scheme and break up the plot peace- 
fully. In the spring the officials who offered the followers of the 
Prophet their annuity were insulted and the provisions were refused. 
In the months that followed the governor made repeated efforts to con- 
ciliate the Prophet, but without avail. Finally, on August 10 of that 
year, Tecumseh with twenty of his principal warriors came in state 
to Vincennes to interview the governor. For twelve days Governor 
Harrison met them in a grove near his house in daily council. Tecumseh 
said that he wanted the lands which had been ceded to the white men 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 33 

northwest of the Ohio and gave the governor the alternative of return- 
ing them or engaging in war with the confederacy. 

At this time some of the most fertile sections of Indiana were still the 
property of the Indians, and the eastern and western settlements were 
separated by the hunting grounds of the savages. It was not satis- 
factory to either white men or Indians, as the lands still held by the red 
men were now scarce of game and of little real use, while the fact 
that they were still the property of the Indians was a detriment to set- 
tlement anywhere in the State. Governor Harrison continued to per- 
suade different tribes of Indians to give up the lands which afforded 
them such scanty sustenance and accept the provisions from the gov- 
ernment, which were ample for all needs. This policy was vigorously 
opposed by the warriors, who would not agree to give up their habits 
until compelled to do so. 

In the year 1811 the British Indian agent adopted measures for the 
support of the savages in the war which then seemed inevitable. To 
the last Harrison endeavored to destroy the influence of Tecumseh and 
the Prophet, but without avail. It was now coming to a point where 
it was with great difficulty that peace was maintained between the 
whites and Indians. An Indian would be killed and a white man scalped 
in return, neighborhood raids and depredations were a constant occur- 
rence and property was being destroyed on both sides. Finally the 
governor sent a message to Tecumseh and the Prophet telling them 
that for three years they had threatened the white people with war and 
that through reliable sources he had the information that it was their 
intention to murder him and then begin war upon the settlers. He 
warned them that they were about to undertake a very rash act, as 
the white men were prepared to defend themselves and that they far 
outnumbered the strongest force the Indians could muster. He told 
them that it was not the wish of the white men to hurt them, that it 
was the desire of the government that they should live long and happily 
beside the white people, but that they must desist from their hostile 
preparations and from seizing the salt which belonged to other tribes. 
He offered them the means to go to Washington for a conference with 
the President, should they desire to lay their wrongs before him. Te- 
cumseh received the messenger politely and send word to Harrison that 
he would visit Vincennes in a few days. He came on July 27, 181 r, 
and brought with him a considerable force, against the specific instruc- 
tions of the governor, who told him he would not allow him to come 
into the settlements with an armed force. On the day of the arrival of 
Tecumseh Governor Harrison reviewed the militia of the county — about 
750 well armed men — and stationed two companies of militia and a 
detachment of dragoons on the borders of the town. Tecumseh made his 
usual conciliatory talk, claiming that it was not his intention to make 



34 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

war, but merely to protect the Indian lands from encroachments. He 
asked forgiveness for the Indians who had killed white people and said 
the white people who had killed Indians were forgiven. He promised 
to send letters among the tribes to stop the depredations and murders 
and to go south as he wished to unite all the tribes, and upon his return 
would visit the President of the United States and settle all matters of 
difficulty. In the meantime he hoped that there would be no attempt 
to settle the lands ceded at the treaty of Fort Wayne, as he said the 
Indians needed those lands for themselves. Tecumseh took twenty war- 
riors and went south for the purpose of inducing the southern tribes to 
join his confederacy. 

After realizing that peace could not be maintained with the Prophet 
and his followers, Harrison determined to resort to arms. The President 
gave him instructions to break up the Prophet's town and to that end 
he established a new fort on the Wabash. Colonel Boyd's regiment was 
ordered from the falls of the Ohio to Vincennes and soon Governor Har- 
rison had a powerful military expedition ready to march on Prophet's 
Town. On September 25, the day they were ready to start a number of 
chiefs arrived in Vincennes from their objective point and offered to 
disperse the Indians. This did not check the expedition, which started 
the next day under the personal command of Harrison. On October 3 
the army camped on the site of Fort Harrison, where the city of Terre 
Haute now stands. On October 11 a few hostile Indians approached 
the camp, wounding one of the sentinels. Harrison sent a message to 
Prophet's Town requiring the Shawnees, the W'innebagoes, the Potta- 
watomies and the Kickapoos who were at that place to return to their 
respective tribes. The Prophet was required to give up all stolen horses 
and all murderers of white peo|)le. There was no reply made and Har- 
rison pursued the work of erecting the new fort on the Wabash, which 
by unanimous request of all subordinate officers was called Fort Har- 
rison. It was finished on October 28 and Lieutenant-Colonel Miller 
was left in charge with a small garrison. The next day Harrison, with 
a force of about 900 efficient men who could be called into action, 
moved toward the mouth of the Tippecanoe. About 270 men were 
mounted and there were in the army only 250 regular army men under 
Colonel Boyd, while the rest were citizens of Indiana to the number of 
600, and sixty militia men from Kentucky. When within half a mile 
of Prophet's Town a conference was held with the Prophet, who ex- 
pressed surprise at the approach of an armed force. Harrison replied 
that he would hold an interview with him in the morning and hoped 
that things might end peacefully. They encamped on a spot of dry 
oak land which rose about ten feet above the marshy prairie in front 
of Prophet's Town. As the place was easily accessible to the enemy 
the order of encampment was the order of battle and each man slept 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 35 

immediately opposite his post. The single file formation of troops was 
adopted in order to extend the lines as far as possible. Here they re- 
mained without action until November 7, when about 4 in the morning, 
when the governor had just arisen, the left flank was charged by the 
Indians. The first notice that the troops had that the flank was in dan- 
ger was the yells of the savages a short distance from the line. How- 
ever, they met the situation with much courage. Those who were 
quick enough seized their arms and took their posts and those who were 
slower had to contend with the enemy in their tent doors. The storm 
center at the beginning was in Captain Barton's company of the Fourth 
United States regiment and in Captain Geiger's company of mounted 
riflemen, which formed the left angle of the rear line. As soon as the 
governor could mount he rode to the angle that was attacked and found 
that Barton's company had suffered severely and that Geiger's had been 
cut to pieces. Some of the Indians had passed into the encampment 
near the angle and two had penetrated the line before they were killed. 
Harrison ordered Cook's and Wentworth's companies to march up to 
the center of the rear line and form an angle in support. A heavy fire 
upon the left of the front line then attracted Governor Harrison's atten- 
tion and he rode up to where the companies of Bean, Snelling and Pres- 
cott and a small company of United States riflemen were stationed. 
Here Major Davies was forming the dragoons at the rear of these com- 
panies for support. Finding that the heaviest fire proceeded from be- 
hind some trees about twenty paces away, Harrison ordered Major 
Davies to dislodge the Indians from that position with his dragoons. 
The Major undertook this enterprise with fewer men than were required 
for the work and the enemy was thus enabled to avoid his front and 
attack his flanks. The dragoons v/ere driven back and Major Davies 
was mortally wounded. Captain Snelling, however, immediately dis- 
lodged the Indians from their position. The work was being done under 
cover of darkness, as it was a cloudy morning and the few fires of 
the camp gave more aid to the enemy than to the soldiers and were 
extinguished shortly after the attack began. Within a few moments the 
firing extended along the left flank, the whole of the front, the right 
flank and part of the rear line. The Prophet stood on an elevation 
near by encouraging his men to battle by singing a favorite war song. 
The fire upon Spencer's mounted riflemen in the rear was exceedingly 
severe. Captain Spencer and his two lieutenants, first and second, were 
killed and Captain Warwick was mortally wounded. The companies 
stood bravely by their posts, but the attack was so severe on Spencer's 
comrnand and they suffered so greatly in loss of numbers that Har- 
rison reenforced them with a company of riflemen that had been driven 
from their position on the left flank. The object of the governor was 
to keep the line intact and prevent the Indians entering the camp until 



36 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

the coming of daylight should give him an opportunity to charge. Ac- 
cordingly, he had reenforced every part of the line that was suffering 
very greatly from the attack, and as morning approached he withdrew 
several companies from the front and rear lines in order to reenforce 
the right and left flanks, knowing that the enemy would make their 
last stand against these points. When it was light enough to take the 
offensive Major Wells, who commanded the left flank, charged upon 
the enemy with the bayonet, driving them into the marsh where they 
could not be followed. In the meantime Captain Cook and Lieutenant 
Barabes marched their companies to the rear flank and, forming under 
fire, were joined by a company of riflemen and made a charge upon the 
enemy, killing a number of the Indians and putting the rest to disor- 
derly flight. This ended the famous battle of Tippecanoe, which meant 
so much to the peace and future development of the State of Indiana 
and Posey county, which we have now under consideration. The loss 
on the American side was thirty-seven killed on the field, twenty-five 
mortally wounded and 126 wounded. There were forty Indians killed 
on the field and the number wounded was unknown. On November 8 
Prophet's Town was totally destroyed, and on the eighteenth, after 
having cared for their wounded, the army under General Harrison re- 
turned to Vincennes, where the men were honorably discharged and 
allowed to go back to their homes. The surviving Indians lost their 
faith in the Prophet and in his ability to call upon the Great Spirit to 
render the bullets of the enem}^ ineffective. Those who had come from 
distant tribes returned to their homes and the confederacy was broken 
up. The Prophet left without a following and took up his residence with 
a small band of Wyandottes on Wildcat creek. Resolutions of appreci- 
ation and congratulation were extended to Governor Harrison by the 
territorial legislature. This would have ended Indian depredations in 
this section of the country had it not been for the War of 1812, which 
gave the hostile bands another opportunity. 

Upon the defeat of his brother, the Prophet, Tecumseh went to On- 
tario to his friends, the English, and from there incited the Indians to 
an uprising. War between the United States and Great Britain was de- 
clared in June, 1812, and in September of the same year the Indians 
began to assemble in warlike numbers around Fort Wayne. A large 
force attacked Fort Harrison, while at the same time other bands made 
an extensive raid through the State, particularly in Clark and Jefferson 
counties, and massacred twenty-four persons at a colony called "Pigeon 
Roost Settlement.'' The attack upon Fort Harrison was made earh' in 
the morning, which is the Indian custom. There were but fifteen men 
there able for duty, the others being sick or convalescent, and it was 
with difficulty that Captain Zachary Taylor, the famous old hero who 
was in command, succeeded in saving the fort. The Indians set fire 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 37 

to the barracks in several places, and when daylight came so that they 
could be seen and fired upon they retired, killing the horses belonging 
to the citizens and driving away the cattle and oxen. Relief was imme- 
diately sent from Vincennes to the fort, but the Indians had withdrawn 
from the neighborhood. 

Meantime, the little garrison at Fort Wayne was in a desperate situ- 
ation. A dispatch was sent to General Harrison requesting volunteers, 
but before they could arrive the Indians, learning that Harrison was 
coming to the relief, began a furious attack upon the little band de- 
fending the stronghold. However, they repelled the attack day after 
day until General Harrison with 3,500 men came to their relief. He 
arrived there on the tenth of September and the Indians retreated east 
and north. The town in the vicinity had been totally destroyed by the 
savages and as soon as General Harrison had made his camp he sent 
out two detachments and destroyed all the Indian villages in the whole 
region. This was the last struggle with the Indians in the State and 
Fort Wayne was permanently evacuated in 1819. 

The process of extinguishing Indian titles inaugurated by General 
Harrison while governor of the territory was carried on until in 1830 
there were only two tribes within the boundaries of the State. These 
were in a degenerate condition, ignorant, indolent, intemperate, depend- 
ent upon their neighbors for sustenance. Without prospects of living by 
the chase they gave themselves over to acts of reprisal from the nearby 
white settlements, committing murders and other outrages and display- 
ing their savage customs before the children of the white people. These 
things made it very desirable to be rid of them entirely and in 1831 
the legislature in a joint resolution requested Congress to appropriate 
enough funds to extinguish the Indian titles within the State. The 
request was granted and the appropriation was made and the secretary 
of war designated three citizens to carry the transfer of the lands into 
effect. The Miami lands were surroimded entirely by white settle- 
ments and it was thought of greatest importance that their lands should 
be bought. A summons to the treaty was sent to this tribe and, although 
the chiefs obeyed promptly and cheerfully, they absolutely refused to sell 
their lands and go west. The negotiations with the Pottawatomies, 
however, were successful and they disposed of their entire claims in this 
State. 

In July, 1837, the time arrived when, according to the treaty, the 
Pottawatomie nation had to give up their homeland and remove be- 
yond the Mississippi. It was a sad and solemn affair as they bade a 
last farewell to their hunting grounds, battle fields and play grounds of 
their childhood, realizing that they must soon be desecrated by the 
ploughshare of the white man. In the fall of the year about eighty or 
ninety of the leading men were taken across the Mississippi to select a 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



38 

new home for their people and the main exodus of about 1,000 people 
took place in the summer of 1838 under the direction of Colonel Pepper 
and General Tipton. It was a mournful procession of all sizes and ages 
of Indians, some in wagons, some on horseback and others on foot. 
Some seemed to pray, others to weep, and occasionally one of them 
would break from the line and return to their old camps, declaring that 
they would die in their native haunts. In this way scores of discontented 
emigrants returned home from different points in the journey and it 
was several years before all of them were induced to quit the land for 
the new home of their kinsmen across the Mississippi. _ Several years 
after the Pottawatomies had relinquished their lands in Indiana the 
Miamis, who were more obstinate, were conducted by coercive methods 
to the west by an escort of United States troops. Once a powerful 
nation, the Miamis had deteriorated in numbers and capabilities until 
at the time of their removal they were fewer than the Pottawatomies, 
who had for so long enjoyed their hospitality after being driven from 
their original homes in the lake region. 

A striking example of Indian savagery is contained in "Recollections 
of the Wabash Valley," by Cox. On February 11, 1781, a wagoner by 
the name of Irvin Hinton, accompanied by two young men, Richard 
Rue and George Holman, aged respectively nineteen and sixteen years, 
were sent from the block house at Louisville, Kentucky, to Harrodsburg 
for a load of provisions. Soon after their start a severe snow storm came 
up and they fired their guns off, intending to reload as soon as the storm 
ceased so that the melting snow would not dampen the powder in their 
rifles. Hinton drove, while Rue walked a few rods ahead and Holman 
about the same distance behind. They were waylaid by Simon Girty, 
a renegade white man, with thirteen Indians. Being so near the tvvo 
forts, they made all possible speed to join the rest of the tribe at the vil- 
lage of Wa-puc-ca-nat-ta, which was several days' journey away. There 
the prisoners were compelled to run the gantlet and in this way were 
severely beaten. Hinton tried to escape but was brought back to camp 
and burned at the stake amid horrible orgies. The fire was slow and 
he was roasted for several hours before death relieved him. After three 
more days' march the other two prisoners were compelled to run the 
gantlet again and were nearly killed. It was decided that both should be 
burned at the stake that night. However, when the preparations were 
in progress a tall, noble looking Indian who had been opposed to this 
act of savagery took Holman by the hand and adopted him as his son 
in place of one he had lately lost. This Indian was Logan, who after- 
ward proved such a staunch friend to General Harrison in his cam- 
paigns for the peace of the Wabash country. The preparations for the 
burning of Rue went on. The two young men bade each other a touch- 
ing farewell, but just as the faggots had been lighted a young Shawnee 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 7)9 

came to the rescue of the poor fellow and adopted him as his brother. 
They were in captivity three and one-half years and spent most of this 
time in the \\^abash country. A few days before their escape the two 
prisoners decided to question the tribal prophet concerning their fam- 
ilies at home. The Indian seer astonished them with correct descrip- 
tions of their loved ones and told them they were soon to go home to 
them. He described the perilous journey ahead of them, but said that 
just when they would give up all hope succor would come to them when 
least expected. He said the first game Rue would succeed in taking 
would be a male of some kind and after that he would have plenty of 
game and reach home safely. Strangely enough the prophet kept these 
things secret from the rest of the tribe, and a few days later the young 
man succeeded in getting away and, after just such experiences as the 
prophet had foretold, he reached home completely worn out from three 
weeks of exposure and walking through the rough country. 

Holman's party returned to the village of Wa-puc-ca-nat-ta and he 
was once more put on trial for his life, but was saved by a small vote. 
In the time of his captivity he saw many brutal scenes enacted, one of 
them being the burning of a Kentuckian by the name of Richard Hoag- 
land, who was taken prisoner at the defeat of Colonel Crawford. They 
roasted him more than twelve hours before he died. The torture was 
excruciating and upon his begging to be killed they cut gashes in his 
flesh and heaped burning ashes into the wounds. When he was dead 
they scalped him, cut his body to pieces, burned it to ashes and scat- 
tered these through the village to ward off the evil spirits. 

After three years and a half in captivity Holman saw an opportunity 
of going on a mission for destitute Indians. This took him to Harrods- 
ville, Ky., where he had a rich uncle who paid a ransom for him and he 
was released. 

Such were the customs of the race of people who were driven out of 
Posey county to give place to the civilization now in evidence, and when 
we consider the improvements which the white men made in the course 
of a hundred years, having no more at their command than the savages 
had, namely, the earth and the fullness thereof, it does not seem so much 
of an injustice that the Indians were deprived of that which they could 
not or would not use. 



CHAPTER II. 



GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY. 



DRAINAGE — SOIL STRATA — FOSSILS — MINERALS EMINENT SCIENTISTS — 

EARLY HEADQUARTERS AT NEW HARMONY. 

Posey county, Indiana, is bounded on the north by Gibson county, on 
the east by Gibson and Vanderburg, on the south by the Ohio river, and 
on the west by the Wabash river and the State of Illinois. The Ohio 
and Wabash rivers meet at its extreme southwestern point and it is 
crossed by Black river. Big creek and a number of smaller streams. The 
surface is flat bottom land with the exception of a small area of bluffs 
commencing at Mt. Vernon and extending four miles below. The land 
is very low and formerly was subject to yearly overflows. This condi- 
tion has been remedied since the land has been brought under cultiva- 
tion. The interior is undulating or rolling prairie, with the eastern 
part somewhat hilly. The bottom lands comprise about one-sixth of 
the area of the whole county and that formerly covered with forest com- 
prises three-fifths. There are no barrens or waste lands in the county. 
The bottom lands are a rich loam formed by the deposits of the rivers. 
It is more or less sandy. The soil in the interior formed by vegetation 
is a dark, rich loam resting upon a substantial yellow clay sub-soil. 

Geologists have investigated in shafts and borings and classified forty- 
two different strata of soil and rock under the surface. These have 
been tabulated as follows: i. Buff, brown, red and mottled shales, ex- 
tending to a depth of two feet. 2. Merom sandstone, soft, shaly upper 
division, twenty to twenty-five feet thick. 3. Merom sandstone, massive 
in quarry beds, ten to thirty feet in thickness. 4. Dark gray or buff 
shales and flaggy sandstones, with clay iron stones, ten to twenty feet. 

5. A poor grade of brown coal, third rash coal about a foot in depth. 

6. Flaggy or thick bedded sandstone, ripple marked nine to four feet. 

7. Hard, clinky, gray limestone, at bottom irregular and sometimes 
flint}^, passing to the west to a calcareous shale two to six feet. 8. 
Argillaceous shale and shaly sandstone thirty-four feet in places and 
absent in other spots. 9. Black slate, with fish spines and fossils, nar- 
row strata. 10. Second rash coal, very thin strata. 11. Fire claj', about 
one foot where it occurs at all. 12. Gray shale, six feet deep in places. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 4I 

13. Limestone (yellow ferruginous), three to twelve feet deep. 14. 
Gray shale, ninety-eight feet. 15. First rash coal and black slate, very 
thin strata. 16. Fire clay, one to two feet. 17. Soft, flaggy, blue, buff 
and gray sandstone, with much gray shale and beds of clay iron-stone 
and nodules, sixty to 121 feet. 18. Yellow and gray sandstone, often 
giving good quarry beds, fifteen to twenty-nine feet. 19. Gray and buff 
alluminous, arenaceous or shaly, flaggy sandstone, with iron-stone nod- 
ules and shaly concretions, twentj'-nine to eight feet. 20. Black slate 
or clod, with fossils one foot deep. 21. Coal, N, choice gassy caking, 
two feet. 22. Fire clay, at bottom shaly, with iron balls, five feet. 23. 
Buff or gray limestone, with Choetetes, eight to five feet. 24. Gray or 
white shale, with nodules of iron-stone and bands of sandstone thirty to 
forty feet. 25. Siliceous shale, passing into massive sandrock to south 
and west ; anvil rock of Lesquereux and Owen, sixty to seventy-one feet. 
26. Black slate and clod, with many animal and vegetable fossils, two 
to one feet. 27. Ingleside coal M, laminated coal, one foot four inches; 
parting, two inches to nothing; solid cubic coal, two feet eight inches to 
four feet. 28. Fire clay, four feet. 29. Fire clay with pyrite balls, three 
feet. 30. Siliceous shale, eleven feet. 31. Argillaceous sandstone, five 
feet. 2,2. Gray shale and soapstone, sixty-four feet. 33. Soapstone with 
plant remains, very thin strata. 34. Coal L, impure cannel coal, one 

foot six inches. 35. Fire clay, two feet. 36. . t^j. Siliceous shales 

and coarse, massive ferruginous sandstone, ninety to 120 feet. 38. 
Bituminous limestone and black slate, two to eight feet. 39. Coal K, 
coking pyritous, one foot. 40. Laminated fire clay, two to one foot. 
41. Siliceous and black aluminous shales with lands and pockets of nod- 
ular ore, ten to thirty feet. 42. Conglomerate sandrock, no to 180 feet. 
43. Coal A, three feet. 44. Dark or black shale with iron ore, thirty to 
five feet. 45. Chester sandstone and lower carboniferous limestone, 
depth of strata unknown. 

The above general description applies to the whole county, with a 
few local variations and details. The following section was observed 
at the Harmony cut-off, which is, as the name indicates, a place cut off 
from the mainland by an arm of the river. It contains 2,000 acres of 
rich river bottom land, hence the first strata is described as: i. Alluvium 
running from thirty to ten feet deep. 2. Loess, twenty to ten feet. 3. 
Clay, sand, gravel, etc., sorted from glacial drifts, thirty to thirteen feet. 
4. Merom sandstone, massive in eastern parts, to the west laminated, 
fifty to twenty feet. 5. Limestone, four to twelve feet. 6. Black shale. 
7. Upper rash coal, ten feet. 8. Shaly sandstone, ten to forty feet. 9. 
Concretionary iron balls, one foot. 10. Calcareous shale, with fossils, 
one to two feet. 11. Black, sheety shale, with coprolites and fossil 
remains, one to two feet. 12. Lower rash coal. 13. Gray shales with 
plant remains to low water in river, two to four feet. 



42 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Tlie lower sandstones of this locality show casts of strong, growing- 
plants representing the Permo-carboniferous age. This section extends 
to the depth of Ii6j4 feet and does not reach the bottom of the upper 
coal region and indicates that the horizon of workable coals lie from 
200 to 500 feet below. A section was taken near the coimty line on the 
southwest quarter of section 32, township 6, range 11, where the upper 
limestones were well developed. It ran as follows : Loess, loam, twenty 
feet ; red sand loess, four feet ; soft merom sandstone, twenty-six feet ; 
shaly sandstone, twelve feet ; blue limestone, three feet to one foot ; 
calcareous argillite, three feet; gray and buff limestone with fossils, 
eight feet ; gray shale to brook, two feet. 

Formerly the more compact of the merom standstone formed occa- 
sional "rock houses" which were used for shelter by Indians and wild 
animals. Very little of the coal found has been either sufficient in quan- 
tity or good enough in quality to justify mining, although in the early 
days a thin coal was worked for blacksmith's use on section i, town- 
ship 6, range 12. 

Six miles north of New Harmony the following section appears: 
Covered tops of hills, seventy feet ; limestone with fossils, two feet ; 
shaly sandstone, five feet ; soft shales with plants and stems, twenty- 
one feet; coal, one foot; fire clay, two feet. Coal occurs in two thin 
seams eight miles north of New Harmony, in a ten-inch bed on Big 
creek, near the New Harmony and Mt. Vernon road, and on Rush creek 
in a thin strata ten to eighteen inches thick. These beds are generally 
covered with soft shales exposing plant and fossil remains. The fol- 
lowing is the section at Blairsville: (i) alluvial soil and loess, five feet; 
(2) shales and shaly sandstone, fifteen feet; rash coal, three inches; 
fire clay with broken plants, six feet ; sandstone, six feet ; fire clay 
and trace coal, three inches; shales and shaly sandstone to creek, one 
foot. The sandstone of this section has contained many remarkable 
specimens of fossil remains, which have been taken out and preserved. 

The following section was taken at New Harmony : Soil and sub-soil, 
one to six feet ; loess, six to thirty feet ; drift, yellow clay with small 
crystalline boulders, ten to twenty feet; hard, blue clay, about one foot; 
merom sandstone, seldom suited for building purposes, ten to fifty feet; 
argillaceous and siliceous shales, five to ten feet; coal, six inches to one 
foot; fire clay, one to three feet; limestone, about two feet; argillaceous, 
jointed and bluish gray shale, twenty to thirty feet; schistose sand- 
stone, highly micaceous, three to six feet ; banded limestone, several 
inches; calcareous shale and limestone, full of fossils, two to twenty- 
five feet ; argillaceous shales with coal plants, two feet ; coal, six inches ; 
bluish under clay, full of fossil plants. 

The most valuable geological feature of Posey county is the lime- 
stones. That on Big creek is black and very close grained. It admits 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 43 

of a high polish and can be used for table tops and decorative purposes. 
The limestone opposite Diamond Island is thick and very valuable. That 
found in Bethel township is earthy and destitute of fossils. At the New 
Harmony cut-off the lower part of the Kerom sandstones and the upper 
part of the shales are shown. About ten feet of the sandstone is coarse 
grained and reddish brown in color, underneath which lies five or six 
feet of argillaceous shale containing a seam of poor coal eight inches 
thick, underlaid with fire clay, beneath which is an earthy limestone. 
The next strata is shale and the next is a sandstone used for building 
purposes. 

The remarkable feature of the geological deposits of Posey county 
is the plant and fossil remains, and in the past the soil has been the 
"happy hunting ground" for numerous eminent scientists. Beautiful 
fossilized ferns, trunks of upright trees, six inches to a foot in diameter 
and three feet or more high, remains of extinct animals, all have gone 
from this locality to enrich the geological and natural history collec- 
tions of the country. One of the prominent early collectors was Dr. 
Richard Owen, who was appointed State geologist and who, with his 
brother. Dr. D. D. Owen, came to New Harmony in 1832 from studying 
in Europe. In 1837 Dr. D. D. Owen was made United States geologist, 
with headquarters at New Harmony, these headquarters being continued 
until 1856. With the two Owens, one in charge of the United States 
survey, the other in charge of the Indiana survey, both at New Har- 
mony, also Dr. J. G. Norwood, in charge of Illinois, the town became 
one of the most prominent geological centers of the country and all the 
leading scientists in that line frequented the place. Among those con- 
nected with the Kentucky survey under Dr. D. D. Owen were Major 
Sidney Lyon, Professor E. T. Cox, Leo Lesquereux, Mr. Nicholson, civil 
engineer and topographist. In the Arkansas survey were E. T. Cox, 
Leo Lesquereux, Dr. Elderhorst (author of Elderhorst on the Blow- 
pipe) and Joseph Lesley. The Illinois survey was handled by J- G. 
Norwood, chief; Henry Pratten. J. H. Wolfers, Dr. Varner, A. H. 
Worthen and J. H. McChesney. In the Indiana survey Richard Owen 
was assisted by Leo Lesquereux. 

Dr. D. D. Owen founded one of the best museums of natural history 
in the country, using as the foundation the vast and valuable collection 
of \\'illiam McClure, who crossed the Alleghany mountains in the early 
days to study their structure, and located finally at New Harmony. He 
had traveled in many countries and his collection included specimens 
from Italy, Spain, Portugal, West Indies, Mexico and France. Dr. 
Owen had instructions from the government to locate the salt 
springs, mineral-bearing rocks previous to offering the lands for sale, 
and point them out for preservation. He covered that part of the North- 
west which is now Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa in the short period 



44 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

of two months and laid his report before Congress. In order to do this 
he employed several hundred men. They were divided into companies, 
each with an intelligent head, and each allotted a district in which to 
gather specimens. At each camping place men were secured to hunt 
and provide food for the entire company. Dr. Owen himself visited 
each camp at stated points to give instructions and study the work ac- 
complished. 

After the completion of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington 
the headquarters of the government surveys were established in that 
city. A. H. Worthen became State geologist of Illinois with headquar- 
ters at Springfield, and in 1869 Professor E. T. Cox became State ge- 
ologist of Indiana and the headquarters for this State were removed 
from New Harmony to Indianapolis. The valuable collections were 
removed and many of them taken to the State University at Bloom- 
ington. 

The archaeology of Posey county consists in the relics of the Mound 
Builders' period. Copper was beaten into thin plates for buttons, gor- 
gets and tiny bells ; hard flint was polished to a high degree ; shells of 
the ocean were worked into ornaments ; beautiful vases and vessels were 
made into perfect symmetry, and the native pearls of the Wabash were 
prepared and pierced for beads. At West Franklin several good-sized 
mounds may be seen 170 feet above the Ohio river. A clump of mounds 
on the bluff overlooking New Harmony were explored by the early sci- 
entists. 

An analysis of the water shows an excess of magnesia, which, how- 
ever, disappears to a great extent upon the water being exposed to the 
air. The river bottom lands are due to causes now in action. The solid 
rocks by exposure to the elements have become disintegrated and ground 
into sands and clays, the finer particles of which have combined with 
rich organic matter. This deposit is always above or against the sides 
or evacuated edges of older river beds. Evacuations at Evansville. Ind., 
and Henderson, Ky., show a bed of river shells which indicates an era 
when the Ohio was much lower than at present, and which tells a story 
of life and climate in a time far remote. The mollusks found at these 
points indicate a tropical climate and may be intimately connected with 
the lasustral age, which was the epoch of warm climate succeeding the 
glacial period. The deposits indicate great lakes or slow movin? la- 
goons by which this section was largely submerged at that time. Next 
in order was the ice age and the deposits indicate the youthful vigor of 
the Wabash. It sorted out the different deposits and they lodged where 
the current left them, a ripple causing a deposit of gravel or boulders, 
a slower current leaving banks of sand and eddy currents making banks 
of clay. 

The natural resources of the county may be summed up as being 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 45 

largely in the rich soil, which yields abundant crops of all varieties of 
grain, vegetables and fruits common to the temperate regions. The 
wood which at one time covered the whole county has now largely 
disappeared and such coal as was workable has been mined out. There 
remain, however, the valuable limestones above mentioned. The Ohio 
and Wabash rivers furnish power for manufacturing purposes. 



CHAPTER III. 



EARLY SETTLEMENTS. 



CUSTOMS AND HARDSHIPS OF THE PIONEER EARLY DAY DEFENSES INCIDENTS 

OF PIONEER LIFE. 

The settlement of Posey county began in the first decade of the Nine- 
teenth century, while that section of the country was still claimed by 
the Indians, the possession of southern Indiana having been finally set- 
tled at the battle of Tippecanoe, in 1811, when the great Miami Con- 
federacy was completely crushed. It is not known just when the ear- 
liest settler came. The first records of land entries were in 1807, but 
those making the entries doubtless came much earlier. Among the 
first mentioned in history is the Black family, that located in the town- 
ship named for them in 1806. This family has grown quite large and is 
still prominently identified with the interests of the community. The 
head of the family at the time they located in Posey county was Thomas 
Black. He had four sons — James, William, Thomas and John. The 
three latter were killed in the battle of Tippecanoe. In 1810 James 
Black completed the first mill ever built in Black township. It was a 
horse power mill and was begun by William Weir. Later Mr. Black 
built a water mill and moved his old mill to the same place. Another 
early family was that of Adam Albright, who with his sons. Adam, Wil- 
liam and John, came from North Carolina, in 1807. They formed what 
was known as the Albright settlement in Black township. William 
Weir, Amos Robinson, Samuel Gill, Thomas Givens, Gen. William 
Henry Harrison and Jabez Jones also came to Black township in 1807. 
General Harrison entered a portion of the land on which the city of 
Mt. Vernon now stands. His claim called for 317 acres of section 8. He 
tried to sell out to James Black, who would not buy because one of the 
McFaddins was squatting there and refused to give it up. Harrison 
sold all this land to Aaron Williams, of Big Prairie, 111., for a horse 
and some money, borrowed of James Black. The McFaddin family 
mentioned as having been squatting on the land were also one of the 
earliest in the township. There were several McFaddin families, all 
related, and they had some queer nicknames, such as "Slim," who 
claimed the honor of having fired the first gun at Tippecanoe, and "Pid- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 47 

dle-de-durti," also "Big" and "Little" Jim. The bluff on the river was 
named for this family. The Aldridge family came in 1810 from North 
Carolina. The father was John Aldridge, who was a blacksmith, and 
the sons were Samuel, Elijah, Reuben, Henry, William and Aaron. 
The Todd family, also, came from North Carolina, their native town 
being Charlottesville. The original members of the family in Black 
township were William and Hugh. Other families who settled in the 
township before the battle of Tippecanoe were the Rowes, Dunns, Jef- 
fries and the Andrews, Nestlers, Ashworths, Frenches, Bacons, Ken- 
nedys, the Burlisons, Joseph Holleman, Thomas Russell and George 
Harshman, who located in what is known as Prairie Settlement. Most 
of the foregoing names are familiar in Black township and in Posey 
county today. Nathan and Moses, who represented the Ashworth fam- 
ily, brought two slaves with them. Moses was a Methodist preacher. 
There were four of the Bacons — Aaron, Edmond, Samuel and Joseph. 
The two latter brought two slaves with them, but as they could not 
hold them they were taken south and sold. Aaron Bacon was one of 
the early sheriffs of Posey county and served from 1820 to 1824. 

The first settler to enter land in Harmony township was Isaac 
White, in 1807. John Gray entered in 1809. Isham Fuller in 181 1, John 
Phillips and Thomas Tuggles in the same year. In Robb township 
Joshua Overton and Joseph Montgomery came with their families in 
1808. William Nelson and Robert Allman entered land in 1809, James 
Allen, Samuel Murphy and Joseph Johnson in 1810, and Jonathan 
Jaquess, Maxwell Jolly, Thomas Shouse, Thomas Allmon, Daniel Drake, 
James Rankin and John Cox in 181 1. In Smith township the first en- 
tries were by Elsberry Armstrong, Miles Armstrong and Joseph Garris, 
in 1810, and by James Rankin in 181 1, although it seems highly probable 
that there were settlements far in advance of any land entries, the land 
office being difficult of access and there being no necessity in owning 
a claim until there were people enougn living in the community to 
make protection of one's interests necessary. Lynn township shows no en- 
tries prior to 1815. John Gray and Thomas Rodgers entered land in 
Center township in 1809. In Marrs township Thomas E. Casselberry 
entered land in 1807, and John and Alexander Barton and William Dow- 
nen in 181 1. In Point, originally Daniel township, or "The Daniel Ter- 
ritory," the first settlement in Posey county was made by Thomas 
Jones. William Bl^oadhead entered land in 1800. Samuel Kimmel en- 
tered land here in 1809. John Waller took land in Bethel township in 
1807, James Farris in 1808, and John McQuidy and Mathias Mounts in 
181 1. In Robinson township there are no records of settlements prior 
to 181 1, although there must have been squatters located there before 
that time. 

After the control of this portion of the country was permanently 



48 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

wrested from the Indians at the battle of Tippecanoe, there was an in- 
flux of settlers. Those coming prior to 1820 will be mentioned as "early 
settlers," although this did not conclude the pioneer period, the settlers 
for many years later having to endure many of the hardships and priva- 
tions that were the lot of those coming in the early years of the century. 
Those locating in the county in 1812 were Andrew McFaddin, B. W. 
Moore and Lowery Hay, in Black township; James Murphy, in Robb 
township ; William Sample in Marrs township ; Thomas Shouse in Bethel 
township. 

In the year 1813 the following took homesteads: Solomon Nelson, 
Samuel Aldridge and Alexander Willis in Black township; Samuel 
Jaquess in Harmony township ; John Wilkins and Thomas Robb in Robb 
township; W. M. Steel and David Benson, in Smith township; Paul 
Casselberry, Elsberry and Samuel B. Marrs, in Marrs township; Seth 
Hargrave and James Black, in Point township. 

In 1814 land was entered by David Thomas, Samuel Gregg and Thomas 
Miller in Black township; by Ignatius Leavitt, Robert Allen, Thomas 
Randolph, John Rodgers, James Ritchey, William Xelson and Thomas 
Barton in Harmony township; Right Stallings, Peter Jones, William 
Harrigan, Warner Clark, Simeon Rcecles, John Stroud, John Waller, 
Thomas and William Harrison, Harrison Sartin, John Gwaltney, Wil- 
liam Stallings, Langston Drew, Leander Defer, Thomas Owens, John 
Crabtree, William Price, Thomas Rodgers and John Robards in Robb 
township; Joseph Rosborough, Simon Williams, George and Bennett 
Williams, William Downey, George Smith and Regina Gale in Smith 
township; by Samuel Elbin in Lynn township; Adam Young, William 
Barton, Jacob and James Winemiller, Robert Dery. John Moon and El- 
kanah Williams in Marrs township ; Samuel Aldridge, George Bow, 
Hugh Todd, Robert Hargrave, Nathaniel Ewing, Samuel Parr and 
Joseph Kennedy in Point township ; Thomas Denney in Robinson town- 
ship. 

In 1815 were Thomas Templeton and John Caldwell, in Black town- 
ship ; George Rapp and the "Harmonie Association," William Rodgers 
and Robert Randolph in Harmony township ; John Drew, William Gray, 
Nathan Britton, John Calvin, Richard Harrison, W^illiam McPherson 
and Ezekiel Kight, and a colony of forty-four persons, among whom were 
the following names : Jonathan Jaquess, James Rankin, Joseph Endicott, 
William Casey, Alexander Ferguson, Asburry C. Jaquess, Harry En- 
dicott, Betsey Cooper, Polly Price and Lucinda Casey in Robb township ; 
Thomas McClure, John Smith, Thomas Duncan, William Smith, Isaac 
Kimball, Robert Davis, Thomas Ashley and Simpson Richey in Smith 
township ; George Rapp and his association, David Lynn, Abel Math- 
ews, Robert Wilson and Thomas Miller in Lynn township ; Sharp Garris, 
W' illiam Dodge, Andrew E. Cross, George Rapp and his association, and 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 49 

William Weir in Center township ; William Hutcheson, Benjamin and 
Needham Blount in Marrs township ; Aaron Bacon in Point township ; 
George Rapp and the association, Isaac and Alexander Boyer, Samuel 
Williams and Joseph Green in Bethel township. 

The setters who filed on land in 1816 were James Moore, Absalom 
Willis, Reason Calvin, Samuel Jones, Thomas Nestler, Joseph Johnson, 
Samuel Elbin, Francis Miller and Mark Barrett in Black township ; 
Clement Estes, Joseph Endicott, Joshua Overton, Thomas Maclure, 
Legro Bennett, John Calvin, Jesse Britton, Frederick Rapp, James An- 
derson and Jesse Cox in Robb township ; William Davis, Henry Casey, 
Stephen Eaton, John Neal, Sallie Sanders, Willis Armstrong and Zach- 
ariah Harris in Smith township; Alexander Heighman, John Saltz- 
man, Aquilla Mathews, Michael Saltzman, Abel Mathews and John 
Wilson in Lynn township ; Sharp Garriss, John Crunk, William Nel- 
son, Thomas Wilson, D. Lynn, John Stallings, Jacob Kern and Wil- 
liam Alexander in Center township ; Lawrence Stull in Marrs township ; 
Rezin Halsell and Samuel Barton in Robinson township ; and John 
Neal in Bethel township. 

The land entries of 181 7 were made by the following: Thomas Duck- 
worth, James Duckworth, Daniel Barton, Edward Blount, F. & S. Cully, 
James Aloore, Robert Castles, John Russel, Peter Wilkinson, John Walker 
in Black township ; Lawrence Stull and John Walker in Robb town- 
ship ; John McConnell, Louis Williams, Jonathan Jaquess, George Eaton, 
Stubel Garrett, Samuel McReynolds and Joshua Elkins in Smith 
township; Frederick Rapp in Lynn township; Andrew Cavitt from 
Pennsylvania, Joshua and Caleb Wade, near Wadesville, \\'right Stall- 
ings, Joseph McReynolds, Jesse Stallings, John Hay, Frederick Rapp, 
Samuel Scott, Al Wilson, John D. Hay, David A. Willis, Thomas 
Leavett in Center township ; Jeffrey Sanders, John Williams and 
Charles Smith in Marrs township ; Thomas Jones, Christopher Ash- 
worth and Elisha Boudinott in Point township ; William Dodge in Rob- 
inson township; and George Barnett, John S. Campbell, Carmelia Car- 
penter, Thomas Jordan and John E. Wilson in Bethel township. 

In 1818 there were Sylvester French, Anson S. Andrews, Daniel A. 
Willis, Elisha Phillips, Samuel Phillips, Joseph P. Coburn, William 
Moffitt, Aaron Burlison, Christopher Nelson, Edward Trafford, Wil- 
liam Russell and Jacob Kern in Black township ; Benjamin Cater in 
Harmony township ; James Robb in Robb township ; Elisha Kimball, 
Herndon Meadows, George Lowe and Harrison Meadows in Smith 
township; Ajax Campbell, David Ball, Jonathan Robinson, Michael 
Smith, Thomas Smith, James Owens and James Robb in Center town- 
ship ; Elias McNamee in Marrs township ; Martin Shlater, George 
Hershman, John Hamilton and David Greathouse in Point township ; 
William Rodgers, Ajax Campbell, Charles Kimball, Ezekiel Dukes, 



50 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



John Crunk, Joel Pruitt and Alexander S. Morrow in Robinson town- 
ship; and Robert Allen, Jesse Spann, John B. Rachels, Gillison Price 
and Nicholas Harding in Bethel township. 

Those locating claims in 1819 were Joseph Cully, Aaron Moore, John 
Bradley, John Burlison, Elijah Cully and John Goad in Black town- 
ship ; Absalom Kinson in Lynn township ; William F. Daniel in Point 
township; Stephen Eaton, William Griffin, Jacob Whittaker, Jesse Wil- 
liams and William Browder in Bethel township. 

The majority of these people were here several years before their 
names were listed as homesteaders. The land office was at Vincennes, 
and the only means of travel was horseback, and the settler often had 
to go alone that was a hazardous journey, on account there being no 
roads and the woods being infested with wild animals and Indians. 
The first settlements were made along the Ohio river, the early set- 
tlers coming from the south side of the river. The only means of mar- 
keting produce was by flatboats, and "flatboating" was the occupation 
of many of the first comers. It is said by the pioneers who were fa- 
miliar with the usage of those times that often when a flatboat was hailed 
on the Ohio or Mississippi river the following conversation took place : 
"Where do you hail from?" 

"Posey county, Hooppole township. Pumpkin postoffice, three miles 
behind the mectin' house." 
"What's your cargo?" 
"Fruit and lumber." 
"What kind of fruit and lumber?" 
"Hooppoles and dried pumpkin." 

This was in the days when the iron hooppole had not yet come into 
use and the Southern States did not have the kind of saplings that 
made a good hooppole for their molasses and sugar barrels, and the 
article was imported from Illinois. It was a long and tedious voyage 
to New Orleans, the trip taking weeks, and even months to accomplish. 
Whiskey also was an important article of commerce, as this was about 
the only way any money could be realized from the grain grown in 
this section of the country. One of the earliest of these flatboat trad- 
ing and landing points was in Point township, at the mouth of the 
Wabash river. The first white man in the county, Thomas Jones, 
located here in the latter part of the Eighteenth century, and died at 
the place in 1826. Later a man by the name of Roach located here and 
his place became important as a commercial point, the flatboats often 
extending a mile in length along the river waiting for their cargoes. 
Mr. Roach died in 1848. Other early settlers at this point were Samuel 
Black, Nathaniel Miller, the Robinson family. Summers, and old keel- 
boatman, George Henchet, James Conner, William and Isaac James, a 
man by the name of Edwards, the Bacon family, 'Squire Love, Capt. 
Henry Stripe and the Greathouse and Dixon families. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY • 5 1 

In the settlement of Posey county there were a number of colonies, 
the largest of which was the "Harmonie Association," of which George 
Rapp was the head. This colony came to the county in the winter of 
1814 and 1815 and took land in Harmony, Lynn, Center and Bethel 
townships. Upon their relinquishment of their holdings the land was 
occupied by the followers of Mr. Owen, who also headed a commu- 
nity. 

On September 25, 1815, a colony of forty-four persons from Cynthiana, 
Ky., located in Robb township, about a mile from Poseyville, near the 
Sulphur Springs. There are many pioneers on the list of those coming 
into the county previous to or shortly after 1820 that are not found on 
the land lists. Silas Parker located in Robinson township near the point 
where the New Harmony & Evansville road crosses the Cynthiana & 
Diamond Island road. Near him Ezekiel Dukes settled in 1820, also 
John, Jacob and William McMann. Other early settlers in the same 
township were Richard Edwards and the Grant family, south of Blairs- 
ville, Samuel Lee, a blacksmith, north of the same town, and Hugh Mc- 
Kinnis, David Murphy, Greenberry Radcliff, John Stephenson, John 
DePlaster, Frederick Christ and Herman Ryster near Blairsville. Near 
St. Wendel the early pioneers were Samuel and Steve McCollons, George 
Ramsey, James Haynes, Daniel G. Walson and Benjamin Garris. Hon. 
William Heilman and Mr. Weis were early German settlers. John Wil- 
liams, John Raller, John Mitz, Utley Mills, Samuel and Jonathan Wil- 
kins, William Hopson, Samuel and Daniel Barton and Thomas Denney 
were other settlers in this township. In Marrs township the following 
are among the first inhabitants: Alexander Barton, Moses Calvin, 
George Daws, John Caborn. William Hutcheson. James Benbrook, Ga- 
briel David, Hamilton Corson, James B. Campbell, Bedford Lynn, Judge 
Marrs, Lewis Benner, Michael Schrieber, John Vanwey, Wilson Jones, 
the Forris family, John Usery and others. In Center township there 
was Joseph Robinson, father of Jonathan and James Robinson, the Wade 
family, for whom Wadesville was named, John Parish, David Ball, the 
Wallaces, Smiths and Wilkinsons. Reuben Stallings brought four negro 
slaves with him — George, Jerry, Becca and Morning, but as slavery 
was not tolerated they were soon taken back. Prominent among the 
early families in Lynn township was that of Billy Alexander, who had 
three sons — William, John and Silas; John Noel, Henry Kivett, Samuel 
York, John Server, a Methodist class leader, F. and Edmond Bacon, the 
Goad family, John Turney and Elias Altizer. 

The earliest industries were horse-power mills for the grinding of 
grain and the sawing of lumber, and the manufacture of whiskey. As 
many of the settlers were from the adjoining or near-by Southern States, 
nearly everybody raised a small patch of cotton, and cotton gins were 
also used. Wool was carded, spun and woven by hand, leather was 



52 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



tanned and made up into shoes and harness at home or by a neighbor, 
with whom work was exchanged. Hides were frequently tanned on the 
shares. As in all early rural communities, it was the custom to make 
house-raisings, log-rollings, husking-bees, and, in fact, the whole neigh- 
borhood joined in to help in any work which the family alone could not 
well accomplish. These gatherings were the principal social functions 
of the community as well as occasions of labor, and corn-huskings were 
looked forward to with much pleasurable anticipation, and this labor, 
which was thus made a sport, was engaged in heartily by both men and 
women. At night-fall, after the day's work was over, the dance com- 
menced to the music of the bones and fiddle, and by the light of the 
tallow-dip. So the rigors of early pioneer life were lightened by a com- 
munity of interest and good feeling among the neighbors. The early 
farm implements were very rude. The "jumping devil" was used for 
breaking new soil. It was a home-made affair, fashioned after the man- 
ner of the single-shovel ploughs, only much stouter and heavier. Ploughs 
with wooden mouldboards were in use as late as 1850. In the earlier days 
oxen were much in use to do the heavy work of clearing the soil 
and breaking the ground for the first time. The roads were so poor 
that they made the most practical animal for hauling for many years, 
as they have more strength and patience than a horse and were cheaper 
and more easily handled than the mule. Wheat was originally sown 
broadcast and covered by dragging a huge pile of brush over the field 
by oxen. In later years the wooden toothed harrow took the place of 
the brush, and finally this instrument was supplemented by the iron- 
toothed harrow. Up to 1840 wheat was reaped in the same manner that 
it was thousands of years ago when Ruth gleaned after the reapers. In 
that year cradles were introduced and were regarded as a wonderful in- 
vention. Corn was dropped by hand and covered with a hoe. As the 
settlers had to raise their clothing, flax also was grown, and the process 
of pulling, rotting, breaking, swingling, hackling, spinning and weaving 
was done by the women. Enough cotton was raised to supply the needs 
of the family, so that in all things these pioneers were independent of 
foreign articles, either for food, clothing, building or machinery, as most 
of the latter was also home-made. Even the guns used in defense and 
for killing game were made in Posey county. One of the early gun- 
smiths was Cornelius Foster, known as "Rifle Foster." He was a promi- 
nent character in early times, and was a very large man weighing 300 
pounds. He was a preacher as well as gunsmith and used to preach in 
one denomination until trouble arose and then go to another denomina- 
tion and remain there as long as he could do so peaceabi}'. He was 
sometimes a Methodist, and sometimes a Baptist. 

Small horse mills were established all over the county in the first 
two decades of the century, and grain which had been threshed with a 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 53 

flail was carried to these mills on horseback. It was necessary to wait 
until the mill could grind the grist and the time was filled in by those 
waiting in such sports as rifle practice, jumping, wrestling, etc. Some- 
times one had to wait a whole day until those ahead of him were served, 
as the horse mill had a capacity of only twenty-five bushels per day. 
Each man in turn had to hitch his horse to the mill to grind his own 
grain. As distilleries were frequently maintained in connection with the 
grist mills, the form of pastime engaged in often took the form of a 
joy drunk. Later, near the close of the second decade, the horse-mills 
were replaced by water-mills, and still many years later steam mills were 
installed. 

As we have mentioned, the clothing of the pioneers was cotton, linen 
and wool, home grown and home manufactured. Their food at first 
consisted in wild game, of which there were deer, turkey, bear and smaller 
game, grain and vegetables and wild fruits. In course of a few years as 
the timber was cleared and the wild game and wild fruits disappeared 
they were replaced by domestic meats and orchard fruits. Wolves were 
so plentiful as to be a menace to sheep, often attacking them in day- 
light. At night the sheep had to be locked in a secure enclosure for 
safety. Wolves were hunted by riflemen, trapped or caught in pens. 

There was practically no home market for anything raised in this 
section in early times. For that reason the perishable goods that could 
not be taken to other markets in flatboats brought an extremely low 
price. It was nothing unusual for a person to walk several miles to the 
nearest town carrying a basket of eggs and butter, receiving for the 
former 6% to 12^2 cents per dozen and for the butter about that much 
per pound. Pork was always killed at home and brought from i^ to 
3J4 cents per pound. 

The horse-mills have been referred to ; however, there was a time 
before the introduction of these mills when the settlers had to grind the 
grain by hand. The methods employed take us back to prehistoric 
times. After sowing the grain by hand, covering it with a brush, reap- 
ing it with a grain hook, beating it out with a flail, cleaning it by running 
it through a sieve and allowing the air to carry away the chaff by an 
artificial current made by waving a sheet over the grain, it was then 
ready to be ground. A mortar was made by hollowing out a rock, or a 
big stump. A heavy wooden pestle was shaped to fit the mortar and 
used to crush the grain. When the meal was fine enough it was run 
through a buckskin sieve. It is small wonder that very little wheat 
was grown for market considering the laborious methods employed to 
produce it. As corn required so much less work it was grown in pref- 
erence to wheat, even for family use. The use of the mortar required 
a man's strength, but often when the women wanted to use some of 
the early-ripened ears of corn before the harvest had been gathered 



54 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

they would husk a few ears and manufacture the meal by the use of 
what looked to be a huge nutmeg grater. This grater was made by 
driving nail holes in a piece of tin and fastening it to a board. As corn 
was the easiest grain to raise, so pigs were the least expensive animals, 
and the diet of the early settlers may be .said to have consistd largely 
of corn bread and pork, or at least these were the mainstay in the way 
of food stuffs. 

The prices of food stuffs not only shows the lack of demand for the 
articles, but also the scarcity of the "coin of the realm." The money 
of those days current in Posey county was in silver 6J4. I2>^, 25 and 
50-cent pieces, with only an occasional dollar. A good farm hand le- 
ceived $8.00 per month, and according to the prices of what he raised he 
w^as lucky enough, for wheat brought only 40 cents per bushel, in contrast 
to the dollar wheat of these times, which does not require one-hundredth 
part of the work; corn was 12)4 cents, and was exchanged for whiskey, 
bushel for gallon. 

Posey county, as well as most of the State of Indiana, was covered 
with an excellent and valuabe growth of timber. Had this wood been 
left growing the land would now be worth several times its present 
value, but as several generations have in the meantime been able to 
subsist upon it, which would have been impossible had it been left in 
virgin forest, it has been worth more to the race by having been cleared. 
Every tree, no matter how fine a growth, or what the variety of wood, 
was marked for destruction by the pioneers who could see nothing in 
trees at that time except an enemy usurping the ground which they 
needed to raise bread. So every tree was felled or "deadened," and only 
sufficient of the wood was reserved to fence the clearing, the rest being 
burned up. In this way valuable black walnut, white oak and other 
wood was destroyed, which, if preserved to the present day, would have 
been worth untold millions of dollars. We have mentioned the early 
saw mills, which were built along the Wabash and Ohio and other 
streams, but for a number of years before they came into use the lum- 
ber was sawed by hand with. a whip-saw. It seems a shame to have 
wasted all these millions of feet of the best lumber on the continent, 
but as there was then no market for it, and as the settlers needed the 
land it could not have been avoided. The original price of land, tim- 
ber and all, was $2.00 per acre. It went back to $1.25 per acre, while 
rich bottom land was worth about I2J4 cents. 

Hard as the facts of existence were in Posey county a century ago, 
the early pioneers did not forget that the spirit must be satisfied as well 
as the body, and scarcely had they erected their own rude dwellings 
than they began to think of churches and meeting houses. In the ab- 
sence of all forms of entertainment with which we are familiar, the 
church was a greater factor in the life of the community than it is at 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 55 

present. While we find it impossible to attend church if the weather 
is the least bit inclement, or the distance more than a few blocks, the 
pioneers often rode ten, twenty and even forty and sixty miles over 
roue^h roads, perhaps behind an ox team, to attend the occasional ser- 
vices held in the little log churches of those times. Here it was that 
the deacon or pastor lined out the hymns and the congregation sang 
with their whole hearts, and listened to the rigid interpretation of the 
Gospel, which, though it seems to us of this day a narrow interpreta- 
tion, was none the less sincere, and made for good citizenship. Bap- 
tists and Methodists predominated, although there were the Cumberland 
Presbyterians, t^he Disciples, and other denominations in the some 
parts of the county. Perhaps the most historic point for early-day re- 
ligion is Smith township. There was a log church at Liberty, about a 
mile northeast of Cynthiana, by the Disciples, in which Elders Elijah 
and Moses Goodwin held forth, denouncing the mourners' bench and 
the idea that anyone did or could "get" religion, declaring the doctrine 
of "good works" as the road to heaven. But in spite of this people 
could and did get religion at the Cumberland church, which was lo- 
cated four miles southwest of Cynthiana and christened Mount Pleasant. 
A large log church was built by the Cumberland organization at this 
point about 1820, about which a camp ground was laid out in a large 
square. All around this square small log houses were built for the accom- 
modation of the campers, who flocked there in great numbers from far 
and near to enjoy the exhilaration and ecstacies of religion as preached 
and experienced in that manner. In those days it was not alone the beau- 
ties of heaven and everlasting bliss that was presented to the people, 
but the horrors of hell were vividly pictured, and sinners were called 
upon to flee from the wrath to come, and this proved often to be more 
potent than the hopes of heaven. The greatest revivals in this section 
of the State were held at this old camp ground, and it was not unusual 
for hundreds of voices to be heard at once supplicating for mercy before 
the throne of grace. At times the excitement became very intense, .so 
fully were the minds of the people concentrated upon one idea, and so 
completely were they under the mental influence of the minister. Often 
numbers of people at once were seized with strange hallucinations, de- 
claring they could smell the burning of brimstone, see the devil, or the 
angels, or Christ, and the unreal mental picture no doubt was real to 
them, although we now explain it on a simple psychological basis. Some 
were seized with nervous fits and would fall headlong upon the floor 
jerking violently. The jerking fit spent they would relapse to a com- 
atose state, in which they would remain for half an hour, .sometimes for 
a much longer period, and not understanding their own mental and ner- 
vous constitution, believe such experiences were the working of the 
Holy Spirit. However, the people of those days enjoyed it, as do the less 



56 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

intellectual of our own day. and it is, perhaps, justified on those grounds 
and on the grounds that the pastors and congregation were in earnest. 
Some of the noted camp meeting preachers were Thomas Smiley, 
"Uncles" Tommy Wilson, Johnnie Shelton and 'Squire James Wilson. 
The pulpit in that old camp meeting house was typical of early day pul- 
pits, and would be a great curiosity to church goers of the present day. 
It was built about four feet above the main floor and was reached by 
a flight of steps on either side. The dimensions were about 6x12 feet, 
and it was boxed in to the height of four feet above the pulpit floor, 
leaving a small opening on either side for entrance. Thus, unless the 
preacher was an exceptionally tall man, only his head and shoulders 
were visible to the audience. 

And while the pioneers were wrestling with nature for physical ex- 
istence, the intellectual training of their children was not wholly over- 
looked. As soon as there were enough intellectual and progressive 
people in a neighborhood who believed in education to pay a teacher 
even a meager living a subscription school was started. The log build- 
ing was erected by the fathers who were interested in giving their 
children a chance in the world, and the teacher took pupils at the rate 
of about $1.50 per term for each pupil, and boarded around among the 
families represented, staying two or three weeks at each house, free of 
charge. Each family felt honored to entertain the teacher and his stay 
was the event of the school year. The term lasted three months and 
the course of study was the three "R's," with perhaps a little geography 
or history. In those days when society was not as well organized as 
now the teacher was often expected to act the part of prize-fighter as 
well as instructor, and often had to "lick" the school before he could 
have an opportunity to teach them anything. On the other hand, some 
teachers were a little too free with their use of the "gad," and much 
suffering was endured for trifling offenses, and school was looked u])on 
by many as a place of torture and punishment, and only those ambi- 
tious for an education, or those who wished to torment the teacher 
would attend. Hardly a person can be found in the present day that will 
not admit the advantages of an education, or to some extent avail 
themselves of their educational opportunities, but in those days there 
was a large class that thought education beneath them, only intended 
for people too lazy to work, and this class was large enough to consti- 
tute no little discouragement to the pioneer teacher. The early school 
houses were of home construction throughout and followed one general 
plan. The first school buildings were 12 x 14 feet, the later ones were 
20 X 30 feet, or larger, with ceilings about eight feet high. The walls 
were built of round or hewed logs, the cracks between being chinked 
or daubed with mud. The floor was of puncheon, which was split logs, 
and the roofs of boards held in place by rib poles. Sometimes the rooi 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 57 

was made of shingles instead of boards, and held together the same 
way. There were two fire-places, one for the use of the boys and the 
other for the girls. They were built of hewed or split logs notched so 
as to be held securely in place. This was liberally daubed with clay 
for protection from the fire. The fireplaces were 4 feet wide, 4 feet deep 
and 10 feet long. The chimneys were made of poles or stick.': and covered 
thickly on the inside with mud. The doors were of split logs pinned 
together and swung on wooden hinges. There were usually two win- 
dows, one on each side of the room, and these were about 20 feet 
long and covered with greased paper instead of glass. The seats 
were made of split logs, the split side being placed uppermost, and pegs 
driven into the bark side for legs. They were without backs. The 
writing desk was usually of split logs and fastened to the wall on one 
side of the room. The spelling book was the principal text, and writing 
was done with goose quill sharpened. 

A number of incidents are told which shed light on the customs and 
practices of the early schools. It was the custom on the day before 
any great holiday, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, to make the teacher 
treat, or if he did not treat to force him to do so. The attempted en- 
forcement of this rule nearly cost the life of a teacher by the name of 
Gages, who was teaching in the Aldridge settlement. On his refusal to 
treat the boys promptly set upon him and carried him to the nearest 
pond, where they broke the ice and dipped him under a few times. 
Chunks of ice were placed on his bare bosom, but he was rescued before 
anything serious happened. 

The first schools were supported by the parents of the pupils, but 
about the year 1822 a seminary fund was provided by the General As- 
sembly of the State in an act whereby certain fines, forfeitures, penalties, 
etc., were to be applied to a fund to maintain a county seminary of 
learning. It was 1833 before an amount was raised in Posey county 
sufficient to begin the erection of a building. It was located in Mt. 
Vernon, and finished in 1843. (See School History in this volume.) 

One of the first things that had to be provided for by the early set- 
tlers was defense, for in the early settlement of this county it was still 
claimed by the Indians, and numerous depredations throughout the 
coimtry by the red foe prompted the pioneers in 1809 to build a fort 
or blockhouse as a common place of refuge in case of attack or raid by 
the Indians. This fort was located in Harmony township, about a mile 
southwest of Stewartsville on land owned at that time by John Cox, 
nicknamed "Doublehead." It was 30x30 feet, built of round logs and 
two stories high. The upper story was projected about a foot out from 
the lower story and in the upper room v-shaped loopholes were sawed 
in the logs, some with points downward and some with points outward, 
thus affording a view of the enemy both when approaching the fort and 



58 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

when near the walls. The blocks sawed out in making the loopholes 
were kept to plug them up again after firing at the enemy, leather straps 
having been fastened to them to facilitate handling. There were no 
windows, the light being admitted through the holes. There was one 
door downstairs and one leading to the second floor. Tradition does 
not tell of any engagements, although the fort was frequently used by 
the neighboring families during trouble with Indians in their vicinity. 
The families using the fort most frequently were those of John Cox, 
Moxey Jolly, Thomas Robb, V. Leavitt and John Wallace. Mrs. Sarah 
Cox, wife of John Cox, often had thrilling experiences during her hus- 
band's absence from home. On one occasion when he had gone to 
Vincennes for a load of salt and she and her little children were left 
alone in their cabin in the woods the Indians became troublesome and 
visited the cabin in war paint. With rare courage and presence of 
mind Mrs. Cox received them with great respect, invited them in and 
set cakes and other food before them, and they went away without 
doing any harm. Upon another occasion when alone she found upon 
arising in the morning the tracks of a huge bear in the door yard. She 
armed herself with a butcher knife and tracked the animal to his hid- 
ing place and found him in a hollow log. Having no gun herself she 
called some of the neighbors to kill the bear. Mr. Cox at this time was 
making a journey on foot to Terre Haute for seed corn, showing the 
amount of physical labor that was often expended to gain a point. 
Another stockade was built in 181 1. This was on Black river near 
Shaw's Ford. It was 50x50 feet and built of split logs. The timbers 
were set on end in a deep trench, the split side being turned to the out- 
side. The families of the neighborhood used to gather in this fort 
whenever an Indian uprising startled the country. 

Until 1837 military duty was required of every man and musters 
regularly held. There were the company, battalion, regimental and 
brigade muster. These musters were held at the homes of the different 
officers and the following is a sample of the orders issued calling the 
men together: 

New Harmon}', February 26, 1826. 
Regimental Order. 

The officers of the companies will appear with their com- 
mands at the house of Robert Randolph, on the 16 day of 
October, 1826, for a two days' regimental muster. All 
commissioned officers must appear in full uniform. Bat- 
talion muster will be held at the house of Joshua Overton. 

ZACHARIAH WADE, 
Commanding Twentv-sixth Regiment. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 59 

Some of the other commanders were Gen. William Twigg, Gen. James 
P. Drake, Col. Jesse Nash, Col. Clement Whiting, Capt. W. J. Lowery, 
Lieut. John F. Allison, Adjutant Allen and others. The officers wore 
gorgeous uniforms when they held musters. A blue coat cut swallow 
tailed with red stripes on the breast, and adorned with double rows of 
large brass buttons and tinsel epaulets, buckskin trousers, a large three- 
cornered hat with waving plume, moccasins and a sword. The rank and 
file were in ordinary homespun clothing of the frontier, and had rifles 
or muskets, and those who had no firearms held the drill with cornstalks. 
£ach section had its place of drill. At Mt. Vernon the field east of 
Milton Black's place was the favorite rendezvous ; Blairsville was an- 
other point, and general musters were held at the farm of Lewis Wilson 
in the vicinity of Springfield. 

Not the least of the difficulties of pioneer life comes from lack of 
transportation facilities. Posey county was better equipped in this par- 
ticular than most new localities, having river transportation on two 
sides, giving an outlet to a market, if only a far distant one. Many of 
the early settlers found their way into the county traveling by water. 
But by far the greater majority came in the more conmion pioneer 
style by driving in a wagon. These trips made as they were to Posey 
county from Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky were dangerous as well 
as arduous, requiring many weeks, sometimes months, to complete, on 
account of unavoidable delays caused by weather conditions, sickness 
or accidents. Sometimes there were trails blazoned by those gone be- 
fore and sometimes the pioneer had to blazon a new trail for others who 
would follow him. It took stout hearts to bid their home and friends 
farewell and set out with only the members of their own family, with 
little dependent children to provide for and protect, and go west into 
unknown dangers and hardships, but it seems that the fever of emigra- 
tion and colonization attacks mankind at intervals, for we have other in- 
stances in history when whole races of people would begin a general 
migration into another land in spite of seemingly insurmountable hard- 
ships and difficulties. In reading the records of the trips made by 
Posey county pioneers we find where occasionally a mother, a 
father or a child succumbed to the hardships of the journey and had to 
be lowered into the grave by the hands of their own family, and left in 
the heart of the wilderness "where the foe and the stranger shall over 
them tread" and while those who loved them would be far away. Often 
there were injuries sustained through exposure and hardship that did 
not result in death, but left the heroic sufferer still continuing the strug- 
gle for existence handicapped. One remarkable case was that of An- 
drew Gudgel (the great-grandfather of Dr. James Edward Gudgel, of 
Cynthiana, Ind.), who came to this county from Kentucky in 1811. He 
had been a pioneer in Kentucky and while there lost the use of his lower 



6o HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

limbs through exposure. However, he would sit in a chair and chop 
and clear up brush around his cabin for hours at a time. At the time 
of an Indian raid, when the whole neighborhood took refuge in the 
stronghold at Fort Branch, he would not go along, but insisted in re- 
maining behind to take care of things. Here the Indians found him 
and they were so pleased with his courage that they did him no injury, 
but instead made frequent visits to his place, walking around his chair, 
patting him on the head and in their Indian fashion complimenting his 
bravery. 

The wedding customs of those days are interesting. Marriages were 
made young, as there was no long continued course of education, and no 
complex standards of life to deter them. All the people were on the same 
social plane, so that there was no objection of relatives or friends on 
that score. No hindrances in the way of the first impression of love 
generally resulted in marriage, and these marriages were universally 
successful, the young people learning each other's ways as they molded 
their own, and living long and happily together. Whenever there was a 
wedding the whole settlement, old and young, attended, and the occa- 
sion was looked forward to with the greatest delight. The friends of 
the bride assembled at her home and assisted in the preparations and 
the friends of the groom came to his home, and together they proceeded 
enmasse to the bride's home. Here the whole neighborhood gathered, 
some coming on foot, some on horseback, and others in carts or wagons. 
Everybody was there, from grandmothers to babes in arms. The trip 
there was always one of merrymaking, the bottle being taken along. 
When the groom arrived the ceremony took place, after which the din- 
ner or supper was served. After this the dancing began and lasted until 
the following morning. They usually commenced with a square-four, 
which was followed by a jig, that is two of the four would single out 
for a jig and were followed by the remaining couples. \V'hen anyone 
of the jigging party became tired the place was supplied on intimation 
of the one wishing to retire by someone present without interrupting 
the dance. In this way the jig continued until the musician was ex- 
hausted. It was the custom to see who could keep the floor continuously 
for the longest time. About 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening a deputation 
of young ladies stole away the bride and proceeded to put her to bed. 
In order to do this they had to take her to the "loft" overhead by way 
of a ladder from the kitchen. Here in the rude bridal chamber the 
frightened and simple-hearted girl was tucked away by her enthusiastic 
friends. This done the friends of the groom took him to the same cham- 
ber and tucked him in bed beside his bride. The dancing went on unin- 
terruptedly. There were few benches or chairs, and the young men 
when not dancing were expected to offer their laps for seats for the 
girls. In the course of the festivities spirits were freely used, but seldom 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 6l 

to excess, and as the liquors of those days were from the home distil- 
lery they were not nearly so dangerous as those on the markets today. 
The celebration was carried over to the following evening, when the 
same order of exercises was observed. A spot was then selected for 
the cabin of the new family and a day appointed for the beginning of 
the building. The fatigue party, consisting of the choppers, felled the 
trees and cut the logs in proper lengths. A man with a team hauled 
them to the site. Another party selected the materials for the roof, and 
still another prepared the puncheons for the floor. When these things 
were done the raising took place. Four corner men were selected, whose 
business it was to notch the logs and place them. The rest of the com- 
pany lifted the logs into position. When the cabin was finished a house- 
warming was held and a good breakdown or dance was indulged in, ac- 
companied by spirits in liberal quantities. 

Many of the early settlers lived to reap large financial rewards for 
their efforts. One of the wealthiest flatboat owners was Richard Bar- 
ter, who began life in Posey county as a blacksmith. For several months 
after arriving he was prostrated with ague and could not do any manual 
labor, and in this time he not only was out of money, liut when his 
health began to improve his clothing was reduced to rage, and he bought 
a suit that had belonged to a dead man, one of his friends going security 
for him. He then began to work at his trade. He said that he worked 
oftentimes nineteen or twenty hours per day, but that he was happier 
at that time in the anticipation of making money than he ever was in 
the possession of wealth. 

It was customary upon the death of one or more parents for children 
to be "bound out" to strangers. Instead of adopting the child and mak- 
ing it a joint heir with the other children of their family the person tak- 
ing a child expected service from it until twenty-one and did not expect 
to give anything in return. In other words, instead of taking the child 
with the idea of helping it, the family took the child with the idea of 
making it work for them. A "bound out" child was often very little 
better off than a slave until it reached its majority. Such a child was 
seldom educated. It was obliged to give its services to the family it was 
bound to until twenty-one years of age. If such a child should work 
for other parties the wages could not legally be paid to it, but were the 
property of the foster parent. Often a boy having both parents living 
was bound out to a. man to learn a trade. In that case he worked for 
the man until twenty-one years of age in return for his board and the 
trade. 

There were not many negroes in Posey county before the Civil war, 
a few having been brought here were later taken back south by their 
owners or were kidnaped by slave dealers. Occasionally runaway 
slaves, after finding their way this far, were kidnaped and taken back 



62 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

to slavery. There was one instance of kidnaping which was surrounded 
by peculiar circumstances. A man by the name of Goddard was immi- 
grating to this county with his wife in 1815, when the latter took sick 
and her husband deserted her. She had smallpo.x, and as this was such 
a deadly disease in those days it is not to be wondered at that he was 
alarmed for his own safety, and being of a dissipated and dissolute char- 
acter it is quite natural that he should not care for her when ill. The 
woman was picked up by a negro, who had one small hut on the river, 
and was cared for here until the return of her health, when she returned 
to her husband and soon afterward gave birth to twin boys, one bright 
mulatto, the other of darker complexion. Mr. Goddard was a believer in 
psychological impressions and accounted for the complexion of the twins 
on the theory that it was a birthmark. In 1882, when the boys were 
about six years of age, they were kidnaped by .Aquilla Ford and Jack 
Lynn, members of a gang of adventurous and desperate men who had a 
rendezvous at Diamond Island, later known as West Franklin. The 
news of this dastardly act roused the whole township and a number of 
men, nameh", Patrick Calvert, William Rodgers and Joe Cater, organ- 
ized a rescuing party of twenty-seven men, armed with flintlock guns, 
horse pistols, clubs and knives, and went in pursuit of the kidnapers. 
The gang at West Franklin, hearing of the movement, made prepara- 
tions to defend themselves. The rescuing party, upon arriving at the 
village, demanded that a search be made. At this the citizens were 
highly incensed, declaring that the boys were not there, and a heated 
discussion followed, which ended in a conflict. The citizens rallied to 
the defense of the gang. The rescuers, being greatly outnumbered, re- 
treated to a near-by corn field, the worthless Goddard being the first 
to run away. This left Calvert, Cater and Rodgers to repell the attack. 
Guns and clubs were freely in play and two of the Ford gang were 
wounded, while only Calvert, of the other side, was hurt. By this time 
Dan Lynn appeared as arbitrator, and the hostilities came to an end. 
Calvert was picked up and found to be very severely hurt. Indeed he had 
been beaten so severely that he had been left for dead. The gang was 
merciless in their treatment of Calvert after thej' had taken his gun away 
from him. They beat him up and asked him if he were not sorry he 
came, and on his reply that he was not, they endeavored b)' cruelty to 
make him say that he was sorry. His steadfast refusal resulted in his 
nearly losing his life. After this Joe Cater organized another searching 
party of forty picked men, who made a thorough search of West Frank- 
lin without opposition, as the boys had been taken away before they 
could get there. They crossed over to the Kentucky side and searced 
the near-by neighborhood there without results. Two years later Pat- 
rick Calvert visited the Red river district in Arkansas on a prospecting 
tour in company with a number of Posey county farmers. On their re- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 63 

turn they camped near Fulton, Ark., and in swapping yarns with the 
citizens about the camp fire Calvert related the story of the stolen boys. 
This reminded one of the citizens that two boys answering the descrip- 
tion had been brought to that neighborhood and sold to a certain party 
still living there. The next morning Calvert went to see the boys and 
tested their memory on the incidents of the kidnaping. The matter 
was taken to the courts and the boys were turned over to Calvert, who 
returned them to their overjoyed mother. In gratitude for his services 
in rescuing the children from slavery the boys were bound out to Cal- 
veit and gave him devoted service long after the had become of age. 

In the early days justice was meted out by the judge according to his 
own ideas, as there was not much law or precedent to be guided by. 
When Jacob Weinmiller was justice of the peace at West Franklin, a 
man sued another on a note, the payment of which was for one milch 
cow. The note was twelve months past due and a verdict was rendered 
for the plaintiff. The judgment called for the payment of one milch 
cow and calf, the court holding that had the debt been paid at the time 
the note matured the cow would have had a calf, and therefore the calf 
was due the holder of the note. At Blackford, court was held in the 
open, the clerk using the stump of a tree for a desk and the jury being 
seated on logs. A man was found guilty of stealing a hog and was pun- 
ised by receiving thirty-nine lashes. When John Williams was justice 
of the peace at West Franklin a crowd of men got into a fight. Wil- 
liams rushed out and cried, "I command the peace," and upon finding 
the order disregarded he proceeded to enforce it by jumping in and 
thrashing the whole bunch. James Lafferty was another officer with 
original ideas in administering justice. Two men, Nathan Overton and 
Allen Moutry, were in a hand-to-hand combat one day when he rushed 

out and cried, "I command the peace! Give him h , Nathan, I will 

fine you only $i.oo and pay half of it myself ! I command the peace !" 



CHAPTER IV. 



ORGANIZATION OF COUNTY. 



LOCATION OF COUNTY SEAT — EARLY COURTS — ELECTIONS — COUNTY OFFICERS. 

In the month of September, 1814, by an act of the legislature, Posey 
county was formed from parts of Gibson and Warrick. 

In December, 1818, Vanderburgh was formed from parts of Gibson, 
Warrick and Posey, thereby reducing Posey county to her present bound- 
aries, with an area of 420 square miles, or 268,800 acres. 

In the year 1800. when the Territory of Indiana was formed, it con- 
tained only the four counties of Knox, Harrison, Clark and Dearborn, 
but when Indiana was admitted as a State, it was composed of thirteen 
counties, viz. : Wayne, Franklin, Dearborn, Switzerland, Jefferson, Clark, 
Harrison, Washington, Knox, Gibson, Warrick, Perry and Posey. At 
that time Posey county was so thinly settled that she commanded very 
little attention. The official returns of the population of Indiana on 
December 4, 1815, showed the inhabitants of Posey county to be 1,619, 
but, as may be seen from the following records of her growth in popu- 
lation, Posey county was destined to have a steady natural growth, 
viz.: 1816, 2,240; 1820, 4,061 ; 1830, 6,540; 1840, 9,583; 1850, 12,549; i860, 
16,147; 1870, 19,185; 1880, 22,057; 1890, 21,529; 1900, 22.333; 1910, 21,670. 

The first session of court was held at the house of Absalom Duck- 
worth, about five miles north of the present site of Mt. Vernon. It was 
convened Monday, January 6, 1815. In the record it is called the Court 
of Claims. It was really a court to do the business of the county, sim- 
ilar in nature to our present board of county commissioners. It was 
presided over by Isaac Blackford, with Thomas E. Casselberry and Dann 
Lynn, associate judges of the county. 

William Prince, on the day court was convened, was appointed pros- 
ecuting attorney, which position he held until 1817, when he was elected 
judge. He was succeeded by David Floyd as prosecutor. 

Other business coming before the court was the report of the commis- 
sioners appointed to fix the seat of justice as follows: 

"We, the commissioners appointed by a special act of the General As- 
sembly of the Indiana Territory, for to fix on the permanent seat of 
justice in Posey county, do certify that we, the undersigned, have 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 65 

selected 320 acres of land, to-wit : The northeast quarter of section 
Number 30, in township Number 6 south of range Number 12 west, also 
the southeast quarter of section Number 19 in township south of range 
Number 12 west, a beautiful situation and excellent soil. We do certify 
to the honorable judges of Posey county that the above named is land 
selected for your permanent seat of justice of Posey county. 

"Given from under our hands and seals this 14th day of January, 1816. 

"ADAM YOUNG, 
"JOSEPH INGLISH, 
"WILLIAM BRISCOE, 
"SAMUEL SMYTH, 
"GEORGE W. TEVAULT." 

This was to be the county seat of Posey county. Its location was 
about a mile north of Caborn Station, now a station on the Louisville 
& Nashville railroad, in Marrs township. 

Samuel R. Marrs, after whom Marrs township was named, was ap- 
pointed county agent. It was the duty of the county agent to receive 
the lands and to perform such other business as was the custom in those 
days. 

The court ordered that this seat of justice for Posey county be called 
Blackford, and instructed the county agent to lay out the town into 
town lots in a certain manner. Then came the advertisement for the 
sale of the lots on the first Monday in March following. Eight lots 
adjoining the public square were to be sold at $40.00 each, those on 
Main street at $20.00 each, and the others at $12.00 each. Twelve 
months' time was given in which to make final payment on the lots. 

The county agent was ordered to receive on the same day, at the 
house of Absalom Duckworth, proposals for the building of a court 
house and jail, plans for same having been adopted at this same session. 

The first orders for money to be paid out of the Posey county treasury 
were in favor of Thomas E. Casselberry for $102, and Jacob Landers for 
$60, money loaned to the county. 

The second session opened Monday, the first of May, 1815, at the 
house of Absalom Duckworth, the same judges presiding. 

It adjourned at once to meet at the town of Blackford, the new county 
seat, as William Hutchinson had offered the use of his house free of 
rent. 

The contract for building the county jail was given to Samuel Jones 
for $565, and the contract for the court house to Jacob Weinmiller for 
$125, each giving bond for the fulfillment of his engagement. 

Another sale of town lots was held on the first Wednesday after the 
third Monday in June, 1815. The out-lots were to be sold at $12 per 
acre. Thomas E. Casselberry was appointed to survey the lots and the 
county agent was ordered to advertise for bids for the clearing of the lots. 



66 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

In November William Hutchinson was allowed $6.00 for whiskey fur- 
nished at the auction sale of town lots. Considering the fact that 
whiskey was quite cheap in those days, twenty-five cents per gallon, 
we would imagine that $6.00 would purchase enough to make them all 
feel rich, or liberal at least. 

William E. Stewart, county clerk, was allowed $63.00 for his services 
fpr the year; Thomas E. Casselberry, associate judge, $46.00; Dan Lynn, 
associate judge, $35.00, and William Prince, prosecuting attorney, $4500. 

In May, 1816, Jacob W'einmiller, having completed the court house 
building, offered it to the court for acceptance, which was refused, and 
John Stapleton and Elsberry Alexander were appointed to inspect the 
building. They reported that it had not been built according to con- 
tract. 

Finally, in July, it was accepted by deducting $10 from the contract 
price, so the cost of Posey county's first court house was $115. 

The jail building was accepted after deducting $100 from the original 
contract price. So that the cost of both jail and court house amounted 
to $582. It goes without saying that the buildings were constructed 
of logs in the style of the times. 

On the twenty-first of October, 1816, the first session of court under 
the State law was held at the town of Blackford. 

Under the new State law the county business was to be done by three 
county commissioners. These commissioners were Samuel R. Marrs, 
Thomas Robb and Abner Coates. Their first act was to fix upon a 
county seal, which had the words, "Commissioners' Seal of Posey 
County." 

Samuel Jones was appointed treasurer of Posey county for one year; 
David Love was allowed $42.50 for assessing the taxable property of 
Posey county for the year 1816. William E. Stewart, the first clerk of 
Posey county, was allowed $23.50 "for ex-officio services for the year 
1816, and for the rent of his office eight months," showing that our first 
county officials were compelled to provide themselves with offices and 
serve the county at very small salaries. 

In March, 181 7, the places for holding elections were fixed and the 
inspectors appointed as follows : For Marrs township, at the house of 
William Hutchinson, with Elsberry Armstrong, inspector; for Black 
township, at the house of Thomas Givens in Mt. Vernon, with Samuel 
Jones, inspector ; for Lynn township, at Harmonie, with Elias Allitzer, 
inspector; for Robb township, at the house of Langston Drew, with 
Thomas Robb, inspector; for Smith township, at the house of George 
Smith, with Miles Armstrong, inspector; for Wayne township, at the 
house of Mr. Johnson, formerly the house of Mr. Long, at the fork of 
the Cony branch of the stream, in said township, with Daniel Miller, 
inspector. In May of this year Samuel Jones was appointed county 
treasurer, which office he held until 1822. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



67 



The people soon became dissatisfied with the location of the county 
seat at Blackford, and demanded that it be moved to a more central 
place. In order to change the location an act of the legislature was 
passed, appointing a committee for that purpose. At a session of the 
board of commissioners, held on the twelfth day of May, 1817, the fol- 
lowing report of the commissioners appointed to change the location of 
the county seat was received : 

"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being appointed by the 
legislature of the State of Indiana, to fix the permanent seat of justice 
for Posey county in the said State, did meet at the house of Elias Allitzer 
on the day appointed by law, and after being first sworn have proceeded 
to examine and explore the said county in different directions ; have 
received proposals of donation in land from different persons ; have 
maturely considered their several advantages and situations, together 
with the extent of the county, the advantages of the soil, the weight of 
the present as well as the prospect of the future population and future 
divisions : have selected 100 acres of land, a donation given by Fred- 
erick Rapp, on which to fix the permanent seat of justice for said 
county, it being the southeast quarter of section 33, in township 5 south, 
in range 13 west, and to lie on the south side of said quarter section from 
corner to corner of the same, it being near the center (of the county) 
and an eligible situation for a town, do make this our report of the 
same to the county commissioners of Posey. Given under our hands 
and seals this 22d day of February, 1817. 

"ISAAC MONTGOMERY, 
"HUGH McGARY, 
'•ADAM HOPE, 
"JOHN BRAZELTON." 
The board met on the twenty-fourth day of May and approved the 
plan of the new town, and ordered that it be known and designated 
as Springfield. Frederick Rapp was appointed county agent and or- 
dered to lay out the town and advertise a sale of lots to be held on the 
fifteenth of July, also at the same time to receive bids for the building 
of a court house and jail. 

Lots facing the public square were to be sold at $100, and back lots 
at $12 each. This was the beginning of Springfield. The new town 
immediately began to experience quite a boom on account of being the 
county seat. Another sale of lots was held in October following, and a 
large number of lots were sold, the buyers being among the best citizens 
of the county. The agent was ordered to keep up the clearing of the 
land until November. Samuel Jones, treasurer of Posey county, took 
out a license to keep a tavern in the new town and everything seemed 
flourishing. At this sale of lots Thomas E. Casselberry furnished $7.00 
worth of whiskey. 



68 • HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

For some unknown reason the contracts for the building of the court 
house and jail were not let at the appointed time. 

In November the county board met for the first time in Springfield, 
although there was no public building in which to iiold court. How- 
ever, it is likely that there was a building of some kind that was used 
by the officers for a court house, as an order for $16.50 appears in the 
record in favor of Alexander Hindman for laying a floor in the court 
house in Springfield. The contract for building the county jail was 
given to Abner Coates for $458. It was built on the same plan as the 
old one at Blackford — a two-story structure of hewn logs, the first story 
of double log walls and the top story of single log walls. The first 
story was called the dungeon, and the top story the debtors' prison. 
Imprisonment for debt was then lawful in Indiana. 

Frederick Rapp, county agent, resigned and Thomas E. Casselberry 
was appointed in his place and served something over one year. In 
November, 1818, he reported the proceeds from the sale of town lots 
as $2,866.25, which would indicate that there was a good demand for 
property in Springfield. Good clay for making brick was found at the 
town-site and James P. Drake, who was made county agent to succeed 
Thomas E. Casselberry, was ordered to let the contract for making the 
brick and delivering them to the public square ready to be used in 
building the new court house. As the board had plenty of money from 
the sale of town lots, which could not be used for anything except 
public buildings, they decided to build a good, substantial court house. 

The contract for making the brick and doing the mason work was 
given to Joseph Spaulding. The building was to be forty feet square 
and two stories high. The contract for the carpenter work was given 
to James Carter, but Frederick Rapp took his place and finished the 
building. This house is still standing, was converted into a school 
building several years ago, and is still used for that purpose. The total 
cost of the building was about $4,500. This was the first brick court 
house built in Southern Indiana. 

Up to this time the count)' had expended about $6,000 for its build- 
ings, a large portion of it having been collected from the sale of lots. 

Elias Roberts, one of the leading attorneys of the county, was ap- 
pointed county agent, but he did not hold the office long. His suc- 
cessor was Alexander Mills. James P. Drake collected during his term 
as county agent $1,087.50 for lots in Springfield; Elias Roberts, $1,175. 
In November, 1820, Alexander Mills reported the proceeds from the 
sale of lots, collected by him. as amounting to $750. He was succeeded 
by Peter Saltzman in May. 1822. and John Schnee became the county 
treasurer, succeeding Samuel Jones. 

The method of doing the county business had been changed by law. 
.All the justices of the peace formed a board for transacting the county 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 69 

business instead of a board of three commissioners. Their first session 
was held in September, 1824, and was composed of the following men: 
Peter Jones, William Moffatt, Robert Denny, Josiah Downen, James 
Conlin, Joseph Spalding, William J. Lowry and Peter Saltzman. 

Although the town of Springfield was a central location for the 
county seat it did not have the natural commercial advantages to make 
a flourishing town. In those days the rivers were the commercial 
thoroughfares of the country. Mt. Vernon, being thus advantageously 
situated on the Ohio river, rapidly grew into prominence as a trading 
point and soon surpassed every town in the county, while it was plainly 
evident that Springfield had nothing in its favor that would ever give 
it any importance except the fact that it was the county seat. 

In February, 1825, the legislature passed a law authorizing a change 
in the location of the county seat of Posey county, and appointed a 
board of commissioners for that purpose. This board of commissioners 
made their report to the board of justices on special session on the tenth 
of May, 1825. 

Accordingly, at this same session, the clerk and recorder were directed 
to move their offices to Mt. Vernon, suitable buildings having been pro- 
cured for them. 

The first session of the county board held in Mt. Vernon was con- 
vened on Monday, the fourth day of July, 1825, and was made up of 
the following men : James Conlin, William Moffatt, Jonathan Robinson, 
Robert Denny, John Graddy, James Dunn, William J. Lowry, James 
Swift, Peter Jones and John Williams. John Graddy was president. 
Their first act was to order the sheriff to dispose of the court house and 
jail at Springfield at public auction. The court house was sold to 
Darius North for $380 and the jail to William Hutchinson for $10. 

Liberal donations to the count}' in land in and around the town were 
made by Jesse Y. Welborn, John Burlison and Darius North in order 
to secure the location of the county seat at Mt. Vernon. 

The county agent was ordered to lay the land out in town lots. The 
first sale of lots took place on July 4, 1826. 

The new court house was built by Jesse Y. Welborn, free of cost to 
the county, a number of the leading citizens donating liberally. 

The value of town lots in Springfield had depreciated in value and to 
reimburse the property owners the legislature in May, 1827, passed an 
act for their relief. Town lots were not so much in demand as they were 
in Springfield and the lot sale was a little slow. 

In 183 1 the law was changed so that the county business was again 
transacted by three commissioners, but four years later it was changed 
again, giving the board of justices power and authority to transact the 
county business. 

In March, 1836, a contract was let to William J. Lowry to build a 



7° HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

fire-proof clerk's office for $2,580. It was completed and accepted in 
June of the next year. It was located near the southwest corner of the 
present court house. 

In January, 1837, the contract for building a new jail on the public 
square was given to Eben D. Edson and Charles Hovey for $3,800, but 
Arza Lee soon after assumed the responsibilities of the contract in their 
stead and completed the job on time. It was located near the east door 
of the present court house. 

In 1839 the board of three commissioners came into power again. In 
that year a strip of land 87 feet wide was laid off along the north side 
of the public square into four lots and offered for sale. 

At the organization of the State under the new constitution the coun- 
ties were to be governed, and ever since have been, by three commis- 
sioners. 

The first board elected under this new order of things were John 
Moore, James Wilson and A. E. Fretagoet. 

In March, 1855, Jolm R. Hugo was given the contract to build a new 
jail for $7,603. It was to contain four cells, was to be built of brick and 
iron, and be attached to the old jail. It was completed and received by 
the commissioners in November, 1855. It remained in use until the 
present one was built in 1878 at a cost of $17,700. The building con- 
sists of a prison and sheriff's residence combined. The sheriff's residence, 
occupying the front of the building, is built of brick and the prison is 
built of heavy limestone with a roof composed of iron and slate. There 
are fourteen cells, separated into five wards, the doors, made of grated 
prison iron, are made secure by the May lever locks, the levers all ter- 
minating at the main entrance to the prison, from which place they are 
operated. 

The present court house was built in 1876 at a cost of $95,000, including 
an iron fence enclosing the square, the fence having been replaced since 
by concrete curbing. The building is 105 feet in length from north to 
south and 75 feet from east to west. The base of the building and the 
cappings and sills used in ornamenting the windows and doors are of 
stone brought from Bedford, Ind. 

The building is of of Romanesque style of architecture, with a roof of 
slate and copper and has a handsome dome with an apex reaching 119 
feet above the foundation. The first story of the building contains the 
county offices and is made entirely fireproof by the use of incombustible 
materials, and rests on a system of arches, affording a very substantial 
foundation. 

The court room, which is located on the second floor, is in the form 
of an elliptical circle, with a gallery surrounding it. Its acoustic prop- 
erties are exceptionally good. 

A list of the county officers is here given : 

Senators— Thomas Givens, William Casey, Charles I. Battell, Joseph 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 71 

Lane, John Pitcher, William H. Stockwell, Enoch R. James, William 
Greathouse, Cyrus K. Drew, Magnus T. Carnahan, Thomas C. Jaquess, 
Thomas J. Hargrave, Jasper Davidson, G. V. Menzies, Albert G. Hol- 
comb, 1890-1894; V. P. Bozeman, 1894-1898; William E. Stilwell, 1898- 
1902; John D. Roche, 1902-1906; Charles W. White, 1906-1910: George 
William Curtis, now serving. 

Representatives — Dan Lynn, William Casey, Jesse R. Craig, John 
Schrader, Jesse Y. Welborn, Richard Daniel, George S. Green, Robert 
D. Owen, Charles I. Battell, Arza Lee, Samuel Annable, W. B. Southard, 
Eben D. Edson, James C. Endicott, John Hall, IVL T. Carnahan, George 
W. Thomas, Adam Lichtenberger, Felix Mills, Horatio C. Cooper, Silas 
Cox, H. S. Casselberry, Joel Hume, Lfrbin Marrs, William P. Edson, 
William C. Pitts, Hazel Nelson, Joseph P. Edson, Edward T. Sullivan, 
Elijah M. Spencer, George Wolfin, Wolfgang Hynes, James M. Whit- 
worth, Joseph F. Welborn, Russell Blockey, John Walz, Leroy Wil- 
liams, James W. French, William H. Whitworth, John C. Smith, 1891- 
1895; S. Jett Williams, 1895-1897; Taylor L Record, 1897-1899; Herdis 
F. Clements, 1899-1901; Joseph R. Haines, 1901-1905; Frank N. Wade, 
1905-1909; Henry Demberger, 1909-1911; Chilton R. Pleasants, 1911- 
1913; Charles Nix, 1913 — present incumbent. 

Judges of the Common Pleas Court — John Pitcher, from October, 1852, 
to November 5, 1866; Andrew L. Robinson, from November 3, 1866, to 
November 4, 1867; Morris S. Johnson, from November 4, 1867, to July 
II, 1871 ; William P. Edson, from November 6, 1871, to July 13, 1872; 
J. B. Handy, from November 4, 1872, to March 12, 1873. This court 
ceased to exist after 1880. The State causes in the common pleas court 
were transferred tcj the jurisdiction of the circuit court. 

Judges of the Posey County Circuit Court — 

Isaac Blackford, from 1815 to March 18, 1816. 

David Raymond (appointed by Governor Thomas Posey), from March 
18, 1816, to August 16, 1816. 

William Prince, from August 16, 1816, to March 17, 1817. 

David Hart, from February 16, 1818, to March 8, 1819. 

Richard Daniel, from March 8, 1819, to March 3, 1820. 

James R. E. Goodlet, from March 20, 1820, to February, 1832. 

Samuel Hall, from February, 1832, to September 13, 1835. 

Charles L Battell, from September 13, 1835, to 1836. 

Elisha Embree, from 1836 to March, 1846. 

James Lockhart, from March, 1846, to September 21, 1851. 

Alvin P. Hovey (appointed by Gov. Joseph A. Wright), from Septem- 
ber 21, 1851, to April, 1854. (Appointed to fill vacancy on supreme bench. 
May 18, 1854.) 

William E. Niblack, from 1854 to March 29, 1858; Ballard Smith (ap- 
pointed to fill vacancy occasioned by the resignation of William E. Nilj- 
lack), from March 29, 1858, to April, 1859. 



"JZ HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Michael F. Burke, from April, 1859, to September, 1859, 

William F. Parrett (appointed to fill vacancy caused by death of M. F. 
Burke), from September, 1859, to March, 1869. 

James G. Jones, from March, 1869, to November, 1870. 

David T. Laird, from November, 1870, to March 7, 1873 (when a change 
in the judicial district b\' an act of the legislature deposed him). 

William F. Parrett (api)ointed by Gov. Thomas A. Hendricks to fill the 
vacancy caused by an act of the legislature deposing David T. Laird), 
from March 7, 1873, to January i, 1889. 

Robert D. Richardson, from Jantiary i, 1889, to August, 1895. 

Oscar M. Welborn, from August, 1895, to October 25, 1909. 

Hardis F. Clements, from October 25, 1909 — present incumbent. 

County Clerks — William E. Stewart, from the organization of the 
county in January, 1816, to June, 1817; David Love to 1819; James P. 
Drake to 1829; W. E. Stewart to 1839; Turner Nelson to 1861 ; William 
P. Edson to 1865; Turner Nelson to 1867; William Nelson to 1875; 
George W. Curtis, November i, 1875, to November i, 1883; Oliver M. 
Fretagoet, 1883 to 1891 ; George H. Wilson, November i, 1891, to No- 
vember I, 1899; Paul Maier, November i, 1899, to January i, 1904; Joseph 
L. Blase (died in office), January i, 1904, to January 28, 1904; Lawrence 
E. Barter (appointed to fill unexpired term). January 30, 1904, to Jan- 
uary I, 1905; Lawrence E. Barter, January i, 1905, to January i, 1913; 
Kelly De Fur, January i, 191 3 — now serving. 

County Treasurers — It is probable that Samuel R. Marrs, the county 
agent, acted as county treasurer up to 181 7, when Samuel Jones was 
appointed and served until 1822; John Shnee to 1826; J. W. Swift to 
1829; James Robb to 1830; Felix Mills to 1833; George S. Green to 1837; 
Eben D. Edson to 1839; John Pitcher to 1840; William J. Lowry to 
1844; John Cox to 1847; Joli" M- Sanders to 1853; Felix Mills to 1857; 
John M. Sanders to 1859; John B. Gardiner to 1861 ; Joseph F. Welborn 
to 1863; \\'illiam B. Smith to 1867: Thomas Stephens to 1869; Joseph 
Showers, 1873; Jo'i" C. Young to 1875; George Naas to 1879; Nicholas 
Joest to 1884; Andrew Wasem to 1888; John Herrmann, 1888 to 1892; 
John Walz, 1892 to 1896; George L. Hoehn, 1896 to 1900; Henry Fischer, 
1900 to 1904: Fred O. Morelock, 1904 (died in office in 1907) ; Joseph R. 
Haines, 1907 (filled out unexpired term); Christ Reister, 1908 to 1912; 
Andrew A. Schenk, 1912 — now serving. 

County Auditors — ^Thomas F. Prosser, 1844 to 1863 ; John B. Gardiner 
to 1871 ; F. D. Bolton to 1875 : Alfred D. Owen, from March 6, 1875, to 
March 6, 1883; George S. Green, March 6, 1883, to March 6. 1891 ; Thom- 
as J. Johnson, March 6, 1891. to March 6, 1899; Silas G. Howard, March 
6, 1899, to January I, 1908; Paul Maier. January i, 1908, to January I, 
1912; Joseph R. Haines, January i, 1912 — now serving. 

County Recorders — Prior to 1851 the county clerk performed the duties 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 73 

that now devolve on the recorder. In May of that year Thomas B. Holt 
was elected recorder and served to 1855. ^'^ successors have been 
George R. Latham, 1855, serving but two months ; John D. Hinch to 
1863: George W. Thomas to 1867; F. A. Pentecost to 1875; Philo A. 
Hutchinson to 1879; Aaron Lichtenberger to 1883; Vincent Cartwright, 
1883 to 1891 ; John E. Anderson, 1891 to 1899; George W. Price, 1889 to 
1908 ; G. W. Thomas, 1908 — present incumbent. 

Sheriffs — John Carson to 1817 ; William Boyle (one year) ; James Robb 
(one year) ; Aaron Bacon (four years) ; John Carson (four years) ; Felix 
Mills (four years) ; William James (four years) ; John Cox (two years) ; 
Felix Mills (four years) ; Aaron C. Moore (two years) ; John Patterson 
(two years) ; Joseph Showers (two years) ; Felix Mills (six years) ; Jo- 
seph Showers (two years) ; Aaron Lichtenberger (two years) ; Alexander 
Crunk (four years) ; John S. Wheeler (four years) ; Alexander Crunk 
(four years) ; Edward S. Hays, August 31, 1883, to August 31, 1887; 
Samuel C. Dixon, August 31. 1887, to August 31, i88g; Edward E. High- 
man, August 31, i88g, to August 31, 1893; Holman Freeman, August 31, 
1893, to August 31, 1895 ; Paul Maier, August 31, 1895, to August 31, 1897; 
Enoch E. Thomas, August 31, 1897, to January i, 1902; James F. Mc- 
Fadden, January i, 1902, to January i, 1906; Alonzo K. Grant, January 
I, 1906, to January I, 1910; Joseph M. Causey, January i, 1910, to Jan- 
uary I, 1914; Marshall H. Hall, January i, 1914 — now serving. 

Prosecuting Attorneys, Common Pleas Court — Henry Kaiger, 1852 to 
1854; Joseph P. Edson, 1854 to 1856; E. M. Spencer, 1856 to 1858; Wil- 
liam P. Edson, 1858 to i860; E. M. Spencer, i860 to 1862; Ellis Lewis, 
1862 to 1864; Charles G. Bennett, 1864 to 1868; William M. Hoggatt, 
1868 to 1870. After 1880 the State causes were transferred to the juris- 
diction of the circuit court prosecutor and the office ceased to exist. 

Prosecuting Attorneys, Circuit Court — Ebon D. Edson, James Blythe, 
Thomas B. Holt, Richard Clements, H. G. Barkwell, A. L. Robinson, 
Nat Usher, James M. Shanklin, September, 1857, to September, i860; 
Ellis Lewis (pro tern.), September, i860, to June, 1862; Blythe Hynes, 
June, 1862, to September, 1863 ; Charles E. Marsh, September, 1863, to 
September, 1864; Lewis C. Stinson, September, 1864, to 1866; W. P. 
Hargrave, March, 1866, to March, 1869; William P. Henning, March, 
1869, to April, 1871 ; C. A. DeBruler, April, 1871, to October, 1873; John 
Brownlee, October, 1873, to October, 1879; William H. Gudgel, Octo- 
ber, 1879, to November, 1883 ; Phil W. Frey, November, 1883, to Novem- 
ber, 1887; Andrew J. McCutcheon, 1887 to 1891 ; John W. Spencer, 1891 
to 1895; John R. Brill, 1895 to 1897; James Kilroy, 1897 to 1899; William 
Espenscheid, 1901 to 1905; George William Curtis, 1905 to 1909; San- 
ford Trippet, 1909 to 1913; Harvey Harmon, January i, 1913, to March 
I, 1913 ; Roscoe U. Barker. March i — now serving. 

County School Superintendents — Robert McCann, from June, 1861, to 



74 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

June, 1865; M. W. Pearse, June, 1865, to June, 1868; James B. Campbell, 
from June, 1868, to June, 1875; Harrison O'Bannon, from June, 1875, to 
November, 1875; James B. Campbell, from November, 1875, to June, 
1877; James W. French, from June, 1877, to June, 1881 ; James Kilroy, 
from June, 1881, to June, 1887; O. L. Sewell, 1887 to June, 1891 ; Walter 
W. French, from from June i, 1891, to September 2, 1895; Charles A. 
Greathouse, September 5, 1895, to August 24, 1905; William O. Wilson,. 
August 24, 1905 — now serving. 

Coroners — ^Jacob Fisher, from August, 1851, to August, 1855; Joseph 
Spaulding, from August, 1859, to October 30, 1861 ; John Conyngton, 
from October 30, 1861, to November 2, 1863; Adam Lichtenberger, from 
November 2, 1863, to November 2, 1865 ; JMarcus S. Blount, from No- 
vember 2, 1865, to November i, 1867; S. H. Pearse, from November i, 
1867, to October 25, 1870; Jesse Kuykendall. from October 25, 1870, to 
October 25, 1872; Adolph Matzdorf, from November 12, 1872, to July 
20, 1873; Cyrus O. Thomas, from August 22, 1873, to October 9, 1874; 
William Hendricks, from October 12, 1863, to 1890; John Doyle, 1890 
to 1894; Henry Weisinger, 1894 to 1906; Merle A. Weisinger, 1906— 
still serving. 

County Surveyors — John Talbert, Matthew Williams, Ebenezer Phil- 
lips, William F. Phillips, J. W. Whitworth, Aaron Baker, Moses John- 
son ; Thomas J. Johnson, March i, 1881, to March i, 1891 ; William H. 
•Whitworth, March i, 1891, to death; Ezra Stephens (by appointment to 
fill unexpired term) ; George W. Sarlls, March i, 1893, to January i, 
1899; Elias Anderson, 1899 to 1901 ; George W. Sarlls, 1901 to 1903; 
Thomas J. Johnson, January i, 1903 — still serving. 



-^Ss. 



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X 



CHAPTER V. 



ESTABLISHMENT OF TOWNSHIPS. 



APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS — FIRST ELECTIONS EARLY SETTLERS LAND 

ENTRIES. 

At the first session of court held in Posey county, wliich convened 
January 6, 1815, at the house of Absalom Duckworth, John Graddy was 
recommended to the governor for justice of the peace for Lynn town- 
ship, Peter Wilkinson and Nathan Ashworth for Big Creek township, 
William W^agner and S. R. Marrs for Casselberry township. For these 
three townships, respectively, were recommended Charles Symmons, 
Samuel Canady and Robert Denny for constables, John Talbert for 
county surveyor and Samuel Jones for coroner. 

For the administration of the public affairs of the townships, the 
following offices were established : Inspector of elections, assessor, 
overseer of the poor, school superintendent, constable and justice of 
the peace. 

At the March term in 1817 the board of commissioners appointed all 
the township officers in each township, and ordered an election held in 
each township on April 12, 1817, to elect justices of the peace, fixing 
the places for holding the elections as follows : 

For Marrs township at house of William Hutchinson. 

For Black township at house of Thomas Givens. 

For Robb township at house of Langston Drew. 

For Smith township at house of George Smith. 

For Wagnon township at house of William Johnson. 

For Lynn township at Harmonic. 

BLACK TOWNSHIP. 

Black township was named after the three brothers, Hugh, William 
and Thomas Black, who were highly respected by their acquaintances, 
and who were among the early pioneers of this part of the county. The 
township was organized March 24, 1817, by the county commissioners 
who were in session at Blackford, and included what is known now as 
Point township, but from August 14, 1821, till May 13, 1822, was called 



76 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Daniel township, in honor of John Daniel, the first permanent settler in 
that part. 

The first election held in this township was at the house of Thomas 
Givens in Mt. Vernon. 

The early land entries were as follows: James Moore, 1816; Amos 
Robinson, 1807; Thomas Duckworth, 1817; Absalom Duckworth, 181 1; 
Sylvester French, 1818; Anson S. Andrews, 1818; Daniel A. Willis, 
1818; Elisha Phillips, 1818; James Duckworth, 1817; Samuel Phillips, 
1818; Absalom Willis, 1816; Alexander W'illis, 1813; Daniel Barton, 
1817; Edward Blount, 1817; Joseph Culley, 1819; Reason Cavin, 1816; 
F. and S. Culley, 1817; Jo.seph P. Coburn, 1818; Aaron Moore, 1819; 
David R. A. Bradley, 1819; William Moffit, 1818; Aaron Burlison, 1818; 
Andrew McFaddin. 1812; James Moore, 1817; R. W. Moore, 1812; 
Samuel Gill, 1807; John Bradley, 1819; Solomon Nelson, 1813; Christo- 
pher Nelson, 1818; Edward Trafford, 1818; Samuel Jones, 1816; William 
Russel. 1818; John Burlison, 1819; Elijah Culley. 1819; David Thomas, 
1814; Robert Castles, 1817; Thomas Nesler, 1816; Samuel Jones, 1807; 
Samuel Gregg, 1814; Thomas Templeton, 1815; Samuel Aldridge, 1813; 
Thomas Givens, 1807; William W'ier, 1807; Gen. William Henry Har- 
rison, 1807 (section 8, town 7 south, range 13 west) ; Henry P. Colvin, 
1818; John Russel, 1817; Jabez Jones, 1807; John Caldwell, 1815; 
Thomas Miller, 1814; John Warrick, 181 1; Peter Wilkinson, 1817; Jo- 
seph Johnson, 1816; John Goad, 1819; Charles Allison, 1818; Jacob Kern, 
1818; Samuel Eblin, 1816; Francis Miller, 1816; Aaron Robinson, 1808; 
John Phillips, 1816; Mark Barrett, 1816; Thomas Willie, 1817; Lowry 
Hay, 1812; John Walker, 1817; James Black, 181 1. 

In 1810 James Black built the first mill in the township. It was a 
horse-mill. In 1817 he built a water-mill on Big Creek and afterwards 
moved his horse-mill to the same place for use when the water was 
too low. 

In 1820 Hugh Todd built a horse-mill about eight miles northwest of 
Mt. Vernon. 

In 1831 Darius North, Virgil Soaper and Andrew McFadden built the 
first steam mill in the township at Mt. Vernon. It was at first a saw- 
mill, burrs being added later for grinding corn, and finally changed to a 
grist mill and distillery. 

In 1832 John Weir built a water mill within the city limits of Mt. 
Vernon, but soon after moved it to the river bank and changed it to 
a steam mill. 

The first tannery in Posey was built by Adam Albright in 1810, on 
the farm known as the "Old Jordan Place," five miles northwest of Mt. 
Vernon. This was before the quick process of tanning was known. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY "JJ 

LYNN TOWNSHIP. 

Lynn township was organized by the board of county commissioners 
in 1817, and embraced at that time a part of Harmony township. 

It was named after Dan Lynn, the first representative of Posey county 
in the legislature, and who was also a member of the convention that 
adopted the constitution when Indiana was admitted into the Union. 

The first election in this township was held in New Harmony, or 
Harmonic, as it was then known. 

Among the early settlers of the township were: Samuel Eblin, who 
settled in the township about 1814. John Server was a Methodist class 
leader, a justice of the peace and a kind of lawyer. The Goad family, 
who were prominent in the township, came from Kentucky. Henry 
Kivett and Samuel York were two other early settlers. Billy Alexander, 
another settler, had sons: John, William and Silas. John Noel came 
from Ohio and settled in the township in 1820; he raised quite a large 
family. 

Early land entries were: George Rapp and association, 1815 ; Alex- 
ander Heyman, 1816; John Saltzman, 1816; Frederick Rapp, 1817; 
Aquilla Mathews, 1816; Michael Saltzman, 1816; David Lynn, 1815; 
Abel Mathews, 1816; Robert Wilson, 1815; John Wilson, 1816; Thomas 
Miller, 1815; Absalom Kinson, 1819. 

John Turney and Elias Altizer were the first overseers of the poor. 
Altizer was inspector of elections before the township was separated 
from Harmony township. 

John Curtis and David Love were constables in 1818, and Frederick 
Rapp was appointed superintendent of school section for Lynn town- 
ship in March, 1817. James Black, in 1817, built a mill on Big Creek, 
near the upper New Harmony and Mt. Vernon stage route. This was 
a water mill and in 1823 he built a horse mill near by. The same year 
William Wier built a horse mill on Mill creek, in Lynn township, and 
Abner Coates built a mill on Coates' creek in the same township in 
1825. 

George W. Thomas built an ox tread mill on Big creek in 1836, and it 
burned down in 1841, but it was rebuilt soon after and changed to a 
steam mill. This was burned also in 1848, but Mr. Thomas erected a 
new mill, which he used till it was worn out. Grafton now marks the 
location of it. 

POINT TOWNSHIP. 

Point township was organized in May, 1822, and so named for the 
reason that it is the extreme point of Posey county, and of the State. 
For a short time previous to its organization, it was known as Daniel 
township, in honor of John Daniel, the first permanent settler there. 



78 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Early settlers were : Thomas Jones, Corduff, Samuel Black, Nathaniel 
Miller, Robinson family, Roach, Summers, George Henchet, James Con- 
ner, William and Isaac James, Squire Love, Capt. Henry Stripe, and the 
families of Dixon, Greathouse and Bacon. 

Early land entries prior to 1820: William Broadhead, 1800; Samuel 
Kimmel, 1809; Seth Hargrave, 1813; James Black, 1813; Samuel Al- 
dridge, 1814; George Rowe, 1814; Hugh Todd, 1814; Robert Hargrave, 
1814; Nathaniel Ewing, 1814; Samuel W. Parr, 1814; Joseph Kennedy, 
1814; Francis Black, 1815; Aaron Bacon, 1815; Thomas Jones, 1817; 
Elisha Boudinott, 1817; Christopher Ashworth, 1817; Martin Shlater, 
1818; George Hershman, 1818; John Hamilton, 1818; David Greathouse, 
1818; William F. Daniel, 1819. 

The first election in the township was held at the house of Daniel 
Owen for the purpose of electing a justice of the peace and the regular 
township officers. 

The first white man to settle in Posey county is supposed to have 
settled in what is now Point township, near the mouth of the Wabash 
river, some time in the latter part of the eighteenth century. He was 
an Irishman by the name of Thomas Jones. He remained there until 
his death in 1826. A man named Roach settled at the mouth of the 
Wabash and established a landing and trading point for the flatboat 
business at that place, and did a good business with the river men. Mr. 
Roach died in this township in 1848. 

Bone Bank, a famous Indian burying place in this township, now 
1913, about wiped out by the cutting of the Wabash river, was situated 
on the Indiana bank of that stream, about three miles from its mouth, 
where it empties into the Ohio. It was on a high spot about sixty 
feet above the river. It was evidently the burying place for centuries 
of the Indian tribes of this section of America. Pottery, implements 
of warfare, metal articles of personal adornment and vast quantities of 
human bones were found there by the early settlers. Within the memory 
of many of the citizens of Point township, the Wabash flowed from 
1,500 to 1,800 feet to the westward of its present course, a fortj'-acre 
corn field lying between the river and Bone Bank. As the river cut 
into the old burial ground bones were exposed in such quantities that 
they glistened in the sun's rays and were easily seen by those navigating 
the river. At the present writing, 1913, the river has cut away all 
but about 100 feet of this mound and is rapidly approaching a previous 
channel to the east of the mound from which it changed its course so long 
ago that giant trees, some of them six to eight feet in diameter, have 
grown in the center of the former watercourse. 

HARMONY TOWNSHIP 

Was organized August 14, 1821, and was named after the Harmonie 

Society, who were its first settlers. The history of the township is so 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 79 

interwoven with the Rapp and Owen communities as to be difficult to 
separate. The Rappites owned and settled the greater part of the 
township. 

The following were the early land entries : The Rapps entered most 
of their lands in 1825. William Rogers entered lands in 1815; Ignatius 
Leavitt in 1814, and John Phillips in 181 1. Robert Allen entered the 
lands owned by him in 1814; William Stallings in 1816, and Mr. Allen 
in 1809. All these were entered at the land office at Vincennes. 

It is claimed by some that George Rapp and his associates built the 
first grist mill in the county, but this is denied, and it has been stated 
on good authority that John Warrick built a mill on the cut-off at New 
Harmony in the year 1812, which was in operation for some time, but 
was sold to the Rappites who remodeled it. The first home-made flour 
was manufactured at this mill, the honor falling to the peculiar society 
which located at Harmonic in 1814 and 1815. The mill was run by 
water power. 

The Cut-off, as the name indicates, is a body of land cut off from the 
mainland by an arm of the river. It consists of about 2,000 acres of very 
rich soil. It was occupied by the Rappites in the early days and yielded 
them immense harvests. The cut-off chute afforded an excellent site 
for water power, of which they took advantage. 

ROBB TOWNSHIP 

Was organized March 24, 1817, by the board of county commissioners, 
but embraced, in addition to its present area, all of Bethel and the 
greater part of Harmony townships. 

The first election in the township was held at the house of Langston 
Drew, April 12, 1817, for the purpose of electing one justice of the 
peace. Peter Jones was elected. 

The first township officers were: Gillison Price, Nathan Britton, 
Joshua Wade, John Gale, constables ; Thomas Robb, Peter Jones, Lang- 
ston Drew, James Robb, William Casey, election inspectors; Robert 
Allen, Jonathan Jaquess, William Casey, John Waller, James Murphy, 
Job Calvin, Peter Jones and James Calvin, overseers of the poor; Joshua 
Overton, Thomas Owens, Leander DeFer, Ezekiel Kight, James Calvin 
and John Allman, supervisors. 

The following persons entered land up to 1818: William Nelson and 
Robert Allmon, i8og; James Allen, Samuel Murphy, Joseph Johnson, 
1810; Jonathan Jaquess, Maxwell Jolley, Thomas Shouse, Thomas All- 
mon, Daniel Drake, James Rankin, John Cox, 181 1; James Murphy, 
1812; John Wilkins, Thomas Robb, 1813; Right Stallings, Peter Jones, 
William Harrigan, Warner Clark, Simeon Reecles, John Stroud, John 
Waller, Thomas and William Harrison, Harrison Sartin, John Gwalt- 



8o HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ney, William Stallings. Langston Drew, Leander DeFer, Thomas 
Owens, John Crabtree" William Price, Thomas Rogers, John Robards, 
1814; John Drew, William Gray, Nathan Britton, John Calvin, Richard 
Harrison, William McPherson, Ezekiel Kight, 1815; Clement Estes, Jo- 
seph Endicott, Joshua Overton, Thomas McLure, Legro Bennett, John 
Calvin, Jesse Britton, Frederick Rapp, James Anderson, Jesse Cox, 1816; 
Lawrence Stull, John Walker, 1817; James Robb, 1818. 

The first settlers were: Joshua Overton and Joseph Montgomery, who 
came with their families in 1808. Though there were no records of the 
fact, it is quite probable that there were settlers in the township as 
trappers and hunters at the beginning of the last century. 

In 1817 James Rankin built the first saw mill in the township. It was 
built on Black river, and was swept away by the high water shortly 
after it was finished. Another saw mill known as Grammis' saw mill 
was located on Cox creek. 

James Murphy and Joshua Overton owned mills near Poseyville and 
Stewartsville. The Murphy mill had a still house in connection that 
was famous for distilling liquors of excellent quality. The price was 
twenty-five cents per gallon. These mills were known as horse mills, 
as the motive power was that of horses hitched at each end of a long 
sweep. 

James Robb was the proprietor of a still house on Cox's creek. Tur- 
ner Nelson established a still house near Stewartsville. Later Mr. Nel- 
son became very prominent in county politics. 

In 1820 Robert Downey established a cotton gin aliout a mile south 
of Poseyville. In those days a cotton gin was about as important as 
a distillery. Every farmer raised enough cotton for his own use. The 
cotton cloth was woven by the women on hand looms. Tanyards were 
also important. Allen Westfall owned a tanyard near Stewartsville in 
the '40s, and tanned hides on the shares. In most cases some mem- 
ber of a family made shoes for the whole family, but there were cobblers 
who made shoes to sell while others cobbled on the shares. 

Farming was carried on in a very primitive manner. As late as 1850 
plows with wooden mould-boards were in use. Oxen were used for 
plowing and about all other farm work. Wheat was sown by hand 
and brushed in by a pile of brush drawn over the field by oxen. Later 
harrows with wooden teeth were used. 

The price of land, known as Congress land, was two dollars per acre, 
but it was afterward reduced to one dollar and twenty-five cents, and 
swamp lands sold for twelve and one-half cents. 

An immense lot of timber was destroyed in those days in order to 
get the land ready for cultivation. Timber in those days was not con- 
sidered as having any value except for making rails and such other 
purposes as the farmer could make of it in its raw state. Anything 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 8l 

that would split was good rail timber and no tree was considered too 
valuable for rails. Many a fine walnut tree was made into rails to 
fence the "clearing." 

As a protection against the Indians the settlers built forts or block 
houses, a common place of refuge when the Indians went on the war 
path. A block house was located about a mile south of Stewarts- 
ville, on the farm then owned by John Cox. It was a two-story building 
and was built of heavy, round logs. The lower story was 30x30 feet 
and the upper story a foot larger each way, projecting over the first 
story a foot all around and had V-shaped loop-holes sawed into the 
logs, some with points downward and others outward to afford a view 
of an enemy approaching. The blocks sawed out were kept to plug 
up the holes after firing at the enemy. 

There were two doors to the building and no windows, one door for 
an entrance to the first story, and one at the head of the stairway lead- 
ing to the second story. However, no account of any engagement at the 
fort seems to be available, although it was frequently made use of as a 
refuge when the behavior of their Indian neighbors became suspicious. 

MARKS TOWNSHIP. 

At a meeting of the board of county commissioners held at Black- 
ford, March 24, 181 7, ]\Iarrs township was organized with its present 
boundaries. It was named after Samuel R. Marrs, who was one of the 
pioneers of the township, having come here from Warrick county. He 
was the first sheriff of Warrick county. 

The first election held in Marrs township was at the house of \Vil- 
liam Hutchinson, one of the first settlers in the township. 

The following are the names of some of the early settlers of the 
township : Alexander Barton, Moses Calvin, George Daws, John Ca- 
born. William Hutcheson, James Benbrook, Gabriel David, Hamilton 
Corson, James B. Campbell, Bedford Lynn, Judge Marrs, Lewis Benner, 
Michael Schreiber, John Vanwey, Wilson Jones, the Forris family, 
John Usery, the Weinmillers, and some others. 

The following land entries were made prior to 1820: Thomas E. 
Casselberry, 1807; John and Alexander Barton, 181 1; William Downen, 
181 1 ; William Sample, 1812; Paul Casselberry, 1813; Elsberry Arm- 
strong, 1813; Samuel R. Marrs, 1813; Adam Young, 1814; William Bor- 
ton, 1814; Jacob and James Weinmiller, 1814; Robert Dery, 1814; John 
Moon, 1814; Elkanah Williams, 1814; William Hutcheson, 1815; Ben- 
jamin Worthington, 1815; Needham Blount, 1815 ; Lawrence Stull, 
1816; Jeffrey Sanders, 1817; John William, 1817; Charles Smith, 1817; 
Elias McNamee, 1818. 

The first mill in the township was built in 1839, o" Big creek, by a 



82 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

man named Vauble, who came to the township in the same year. About 
that time, also, James Benbrook built a small distillery and "swopped" 
whiskey for corn, giving a gallon of whiskey for a bushel of corn. He 
became widely known as the "whiskey swopper." 

Cornelius Foster was known as Rifle Foster. He was a gunsmith and 
pioneer preacher, and, being a first class mechanic, he manufactured 
nearly all the early rifles used by the pioneers of this township and the 
surrounding country. He died in this township many years ago, but 
now and then a Foster rifle can be found to tell the story. 

The principal mill in the township was known as Black Hawk's Mill. 
It finally came into the possession of and was operated by Joseph Deig, 
and was known from that time on as Deig's mill. 

The first post office in the township was at West Franklin, there 
being a great many settlers in that vicinity as early as 1815. In 1858 
the office was removed to Black Hawk's Mill, where it remained until 
the first railway through the county was completed, passing through 
Caborn, it was removed to that place and the office at West Franklin 
was re-established. 

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP. 

The exact time when this township was organized is not known, 
but it is undoubtedly one of the oldest townships in the county, as it 
was formed in the first days of the territory's history. There is no 
record in possession of the county telling of its organization. It was 
named after Jonathan Robinson, who was prominently identified with 
the public affairs of that section in the early days. 

Very few land entries were made within the present township pre- 
vious to 1820. owing to the fact that there was plenty of desirable land 
subject to entry nearer the market, but finally a great influx of Ger- 
mans began to pour into this county and, large areas of land being 
still unoccupied in this township, they soon began to settle in that local- 
ity. The greater portion of the population of the township now con- 
sists of Germans. The land entries prior to 1820 were: William Dodge, 
in 1817: William Rodgers, 1818; Ajax Campbell, 1818; Charles Kim- 
ball. 1818; Ezekiel Dukes, 1818; Rezin Halsell, 1816; Isaac Slover, 1819; 
David Murphy, 1819; John Crunk, 1818; Josiah Denney, 1814; Joel 
Pruitt, 1818; Thomas Halsell, 1817; William Holson, 1819; Alexander 
S. Morrow, 1818, and Samuel Barton, 1816. 

William Dodge entered land in 1817 and built a horse mill on his 
farm near Blairsville. Charles Kimball obtained permission from the 
county commissioners to build a mill at the bridge where the Evans- 
ville and New Harmony road crosses Big creek and that is supposed 
to be about the date of the building of his mill. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 83 

As these mills had a capacity of from fifteen to twenty-five bushels 
a day, the miller was compelled to carry on some other kind of business 
in connection with his mill to support his family. In a great many 
cases small distilleries were run in connection with them. 

The region around Blairsville has been called the Mecca of Geologists, 
being rich in fossils, yielding argillaceous shales containing fossil ferns, 
and other coal plants, and a thin layer of coal and Sigillaria Oweni of 
large size. The region has been visited by many eminent scientists, in- 
cluding Dr. Owen, William McClure, Sir Charles Lyell, Thomas Say, 
Pratten, Worthen, L. Lesquereux, Norwood Shumard, Dr. Troost, E. T. 
Cox and others. 

SMITH TOWNSHIP. 

Smith township at the time of its organization, March 24, 1817, by 
the board of county commissioners, included, in addition to its present 
area, additional territory which has since become parts of Gibson and 
Warrick counties and Lynn township. 

It was named in honor of George Smith, one of the earliest and most 
prominent settlers. The first election was held at his house. 

Early settlers and land entries : Elsberry Armstrong, Miles Arm- 
strong and Joseph Garris entered land in 1810; James Rankin, 181 1; 
W. M. Stell, David Benson, 1813; Joseph Rasborough, Simon Williams, 
George and Bennet Williams, William Downey, George Smith, Regina 
Gale, 1814; Thomas McLure, John Smith, Thomas Duncan, William 
Smith, Isaac Kimball, Robert Davis, Thomas Ashley, Simpson Richey, 
1815; William Davis, Henry Casey, Stephen Eaton, John Neal, Sallie 
Sanders, Willis Armstrong, Zachariah Harris, 1816; John McConnell, 
Louis Williams, Jonathan Jaquess, George Eaton, John Eaton, Stubel 
Garrett, Samuel McReynolds, Joshua Elkins, 1817; Elisha Kimball, 
Herndon Meadows, George Lowe, Harrison Meadows, 1818. 

The county board made the following appointments of township offi- 
cers in 1817: 

William Davis, assessor and inspector of merchandise ; John Arm- 
strong and James Martin, overseers of the poor; John McCrary, con- 
stable; Josiah Elkins, supervisor of all the roads in Smith township; 
Miles Armstrong, inspector of an election, held on the twelfth day of 
April of that year for the purpose of electing two justices of the peace. 

George Smith, one of the first to settle in the township, built a horse 
mill for grinding corn and wheat about two miles south of Cynthiana. 
He also ran a still in connection with it, exchanging a gallon of whiskey 
for a bushel of meal. 

Kimball's grist mill. Knight's grist mill, Alcorn's grist and saw mill, 
and Elperman's grist and saw mills were all located on Big creek, where 
excellent water power was afforded. 



84 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Lumber in those days was sawed with a whip saw. Jonathan and 
William Moutry did a great deal of sawing for the neighbors with their 
hand saw mill. 

Ford Robinson built a cotton gin about 1825, but cotton soon became 
cheap and people stopped raising cotton. But during the Rebellion 
cotton reached such a high price that people began raising it again, 
and Elisha Jones built and operated a cotton gin. 

WAGNON TOWNSHIP 

Was organized in March, 1817, and when Vanderburgh county was 
formed, January 7, 1818, it became a part of that county and is known 
as Perry township. It was named after William Wagnon, a very early 
settler and one of the first panel of jurors that ever sat in Posey county. 

BETHEL TOWNSHIP 

Was formed August 14, 1821. and was named after P. C. Bethel, the first 
white man to settle within its confines. Eli Robb was one of the first 
justices of the peace. 

The following officers were appointed in 1822: Joseph Johnston, con- 
stable ; Joseph Green and Joseph Johnston, overseers of the poor ; Joseph 
Johnston, supervisor of all the roads in the township ; Gillison Price, 
election inspector; John Colvin, assessor. 

The records show that John \\'aller entered land in 1807 ; James Ferris, 
1808; John McOuidy and Mathias Mounts, 1811; Thomas Shouse, 1812; 
George Rapp and the "Harmonic .Association," Isaac and Alexander 
Boyer, Samuel B. Williams and Joseph Green, 1815 ; John Neal, 1816; 
George Barnett, John S. Campbell, Carmelia Carpenter, Thomas Jordan, 
John E. Wilson, 1817; Robert Allen, Jess Spann, John B. Rachels, Gilli- 
son Price, Nicholas Harding, 1818; Stephen Eaton, William Griffin, 
Jacob Whittaker, Jesse Williams and William Browder, 1819. 

A water-power saw and grist mill was established and operated b}^ 
John J. Morehead on the bayou for several years. John Vanway finally 
became his successor as proprietor of the mill and he moved it to the 
mouth of the bayou and changed into a steam mill. Before mills were 
invented the settlers made meal in a mortar after the manner of their 
Indian neighbors. The best mortars were hollowed out of rock, but 
occasionally a large stump was used as a mortar. A large, deep, funnel- 
shaped hole was burned in the top of the stump, and a heavy wooden 
pestle, with the lower end pointed to fit the shape of the mortar, was 
used to crush the corn into meal. After the meal was thought to be fine 
enough it was run through a buckskin sieve. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 85 

CENTER TOWNSHIP, 

So named on account of its location in the center of the county, was 
formed from parts of Robinson, Lynn and Harmony townships in March, 
1859, by order of the county commissioners. 

The following land entries were made at the dates annexed : William 
Dodge, 1815; John McReynolds, 1817; Sharp Garriss, 1816; Andrew 
Cavitt, 1815; Wright Stallings, 1817; Joseph McReynolds, 1817; John 
Ashley, 1819; Jesse Stallings, 1817; Ajax Campbell, 1818; David Ball, 
i8r8; E. Cross, 1815; Jonathan Robinson, 1818; Enoch Fillingim, 1819; 
Archibald South, 1819; Michael Smith, 1818; Thomas Smith, 1818; 
George Rapp and Association, 1815; James Owens, 1818; John Crunk, 
1816; John Hay, 1817; Frederick Rapp, 1817; William Nelson, 1816; 
Samuel Scott, 1817; Thomas Wilson, 1816; Al Wilson, 1817; John D. 
Hay, 1817; D. Lynn, 1816; David A. Willis, 1817; John Stallings, 1816; 
Jacob Kern, 1816; William Alexander, 1816; Thomas Leavett, 1817; Wil- 
liam Wier, 1815; James Robb, 1818; John Gray, 1809; Thomas Rogers, 
1809. 

The early settlers were Andrew Cavitt and sister, Joseph Robinson, 
Joshua and Caleb Wade, John Ashley, Sharp Garris, John Parish, Ben- 
jamin Gwaltney, David Ball, Moses Cross, Abner and Ajax Campbell, 
Reuben and Wright Stallings. Other families were the Wallaces, the 
Smiths and the Wilkinses. 

Mills, cotton-gins, distilleries and tanneries were a necessity in every 
neighborhood. Joseph Robinson supplied his neighbors with meal and 
whiskey and ginned their cotton for a long time. Cotton was high and 
money scarce, so every farmer had his cotton patch. Corn or wheat was 
carried to the mill on horseback and the settlers had to wait their turn, 
in some instances having to wait a day or two, as the capacity of the 
mills in those days was all the way from ten to twenty-five bushels per 
day. If it was a "horse mill" each man furnished the horse-power to do 
his own grinding. Distilleries were often connected with the mills and 
many indulged in drinking while waiting their "turn." They were small 
copper stills with a capacity of only a few gallons per day. The price 
of liquors, meals and lodging was regulated by the commissioners. 
Whiskey was 12JX cents per half-pint, wines 50 cents, food and lodging 
25 cents, a horse with hay and stall all night 50 cents. 

"HOOP-POLE TOWNSHIP." 

Let a resident of Posey county go among strangers almost anywhere 
in the United States and tell anybody he came from Posey county, In- 
diana, he will be required to answer the question: "Are you from 
Hoop-pole township?" And many who ask that question really believe 
that such a township actually exists in Posey county. 



86 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

It is hoped that the following may disabuse the minds of those who 
entertain the idea that there is a township by that name in Posey 
county: 

Soon after the county seat was removed to Mt. Vernon, which was 
in the year 1825, barrel making became an important business in Mt. 
Vernon. William Hatfield and John Cooper were engaged in that busi- 
ness on a rather extensive scale for that time. In those da3-s there was 
a class of robust, fearless men who followed the river for a livelihood, 
known as flatboatmen. It was not uncommon to see a dozen or more 
of this kind of craft afloat or lying at the landing. One day, about the 
year 1833, some ten or fifteen flatboats were at the wharf while their own- 
ers were up in town at the taverns and groceries drinking, making merry, 
and having a good time, and some of them became involved in a quarrel 
with residents of the town, in which the latter were worsted and routed. 
The news of the defeat spread over the town and several of the rougher 
element determined to avenge the wrong perpetrated upon their fellow 
citizens, so they equipped themselves with hoop-poles from the cooper 
shop, and another fight ensued, in which the river men were badly 
beaten, and made a hasty retreat to their boats, and pushed int(5 the 
stream as quickly as possible. They passed, and were passed in turn, by 
boatmen, and their unsightly appearance called for explanation, and the 
questioner soon heard the story about the hoop-poles. 

After that when a flatboatmen was seen with a broken nose or a black 
eye, or otherwise damaged appearance, he was accused of having been 
to Vernon, and the place soon came to be known up and down the river 
as Hoop-pole township. 



HE NEW YORf. 

FOBLIC LIBRARY 




SHHRBURXE PARK 
Mt. Vernon 



CHAPTER VI. 



FOUNDING OF CITIES AND TOWNS. 



MT. VERNON. 

EARLY SETTLEMENTS PIONEER MERCHANTS MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION 

EARLY OFFICERS — LIBRARIES PARKS — OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND IM- 
PROVEMENTS. 

Mt. Vernon was first known as McFaddin's Bluff. The McFaddins 
had been residents of North CaroHna, later moving to Bowling Green, 
Ky. Andrew McFadden, on a hunting expedition, crossed over into 
Posey county at Diamond Island and, coming down the river, discov- 
ered the location of the present town of Mt. Vernon, a spot conspicuous 
for its highness and dryness, with settlers above and below on the river. 
Soon after returning to his home in Kentucky Mr. McFaddin moved his 
family here. This was about the year 1805. Soon after, his cousins, 
William and Andrew, came and settled near him, and the place soon 
came to be known as McFaddin's Bluff, and kept that name for some 
time after the town of Mt. Vernon was founded in 1816. 

For a year after coming to this country the McFaddins lived on what 
is now known as the Hageman farm, which at that time was owned 
by Jesse Oatman. Trading boats landed at the rocks in front of this 
farm till about the year 1810, when they began to stop at the present 
wharf. 

The McFaddins moved to the present town site in 1806 and built the 
first dwelling in Mt. Vernon, which was a log cabin, at the foot of Store 
street, intending to enter land as soon as convenient, unaware of the 
fact that Gen. William Henry Harrison had bought all of fractional 
section 8, township 7 south, range 13 west, comprising 371.82 acres. This 
caused them considerable inconvenience and expense before the lands 
were released from the claims of General Harrison. Others soon located 
here and engaged in various pursuits, although at that time the town 
site and all the surrounding country was an absolute wilderness, full of 
game and wild animals. William McFaddin was a noted and skillful 
hunter and trapper, and had at the time the town was founded two pet 
beavers, which he had captured when young. As late as 1824 deer were 



88 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

killed where Second street crosses Main, and the portion of the town 
which is now bounded by Fourth, Fifth, Main and Store streets was a 
pond. Nimrods of that day came hither in quest of wild geese and 
ducks. 

The first store in Mt. Vernon was opened by Darius North and Wil- 
liam P. Robinson with a stock of general merchandise amounting to 
about $500. In a few years North bought out his partner and continued 
alone. 

— In 1817 there were about fifteen families living in and near Mt. Ver- 
non. The principal business portion of the town was built on the 
wharf. The buildings were constructed of logs, the doors, floors, etc., 
being whipsawed at a great cost of time and labor. 

Samuel Aldridge entered a tract of land on section 6 (north-west of 
town) in May, 1807: and on the same section Thomas Givens bought a 
tract June 4, 1807. William W^eir bought a tract in section 7, west of 
town, in May, 1807 ; and Samuel Jones bought a tract in section 5, north 
of town, June 4, 1807; so there was quite a populous settlement in the 
vicinity at the time the town was started up. It is said that Thomas 
Givens started a tavern at Mt. Vernon before any town lots were laid 
out. Nathan Ashworth was the first justice of the peace in Mt. Ver- 
non, elected in 1816. 

In March, 1816, .\aron Williams laid out the present public square 
and thirty-two lots south and west of it to the river. The lots still bear 
their original numbers. About the same time John Wagoner laid out 
sixty-six lots and a public square of two acres and four poles on the 
west side of Mill creek. Williams sold a far greater number of lots than 
Wagoner. The majority of the buyers, however, bought for speculation. 
Wagoner's part of the town grew very slowly from the start, while W'il- 
liams's part immediately began a rapid growth. 

Gen. William Henry Harrison still owned these lands, but some time 
within the next year he sold 185 acres at the junction of Mill creek with 
the Ohio river, east of the creek, to .Aaron Williams for S500. 

Early in the year 1819 a stock company, consisting of Thomas E. Cas- 
selberr}% Jesse Y. Welborn, Aaron Baker, W' illiam Crabtree, John Bur- 
lison, Matthew Williams, Aaron Burlison and Samuel Gill, bought of 
Aaron Williams seventy-two and one-half acres on the east bank of 
Mill creek, now in the heart of the town, for $3,500, resurveyed it and 
offered the lots for sale. 

In November, 1822, Mr. Welborn laid out an addition from Walnut 
to Mulberry streets and from Sixth street on north to W^ater street on 
the south; he also laid out an addition in June, 1826, extending from 
Walnut to Main and from Sixth to Eighth. 

WHien the county seat was moved to Mt. Vernon, in 1825. the town 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 89 

commenced to grow rapidly and, for a time, was ahead of Evansville 
in commercial importance. 

First merchants of Mt. Vernon were: 

Shanklin & Moffit, Dunn & McFaddin, Jesse Y. Welborn, North & 
Stewart, Richard and James Fiarter, McFaddin were engaged in mer- 
chandising. Henry G. Luston, tavern. 

From 1830 to 1840 the leading firms were, in addition to most of the 
above: Presley Pritchett, tavern; R. Barter & Co., Aaron Baker, Bacon 
& James, H. S. Wilson, McFaddin & Nettleton, T. S. Veatch & Co., 
H. H. Richardson, Adam Moffit, Hector Craig, James & Lowery, Barter, 
Swift & Barter, Dunn & Harrison, Scarborough Pentecost, Aaron B. 
Gill, Craig & Pollard, John T. Gill & Co., T. J. Hinch, James F. Reeder 
and others were engaged in the mercantile business. The grocers were : 
John S. Dunn, John McMunn, Baldwin & Hogue, William Aldridge. J. B. 
Weir, David Spalding, H. B. Dean, Beniah Moss, John Carson, Daniel 
Arthur, A. W. Welborn and others. 

The tavern keepers were : Presley Pritchett, Asa Bacon, Felix Mills. 

At an election held in November, 1832, the citizens of Mt. Vernon 
voted to incorporate the town. A plan for the division of the town was 
presented by Jesse Y. Welborn and formally accepted by vote. 

The following were elected trustees : E. R. James, Moses Welborn, 
Ebon D. Edson, Jesse Y. Welborn and Aaron Baker. The votes polled 
were: Henry Holland, Presley Pritchett, T. J. Duncan, William Hall, 
John Knight, E. R. James, Asa Bacon, H. G. Luston, Samuel Scott, Jesse 
Y. Welborn, Adam Moffit, J. N. Hatcher, L. J. Larkin, Moses Welborn, 
Zachariah Baker, George S. Baker, John C. Welborn, Francis De San- 
chet, John Carson, Jeremiah Spillman, Levi M. Ricksicker, Mason F. 
Green, Richard Barter, William Moss, Andrew S. Gamble, James Bar- 
ton, James B. Finch, H. H. Richardson, George S. Green and T. S. 
Veatch. 

The municipal wheels v^'ere soon rolling, but how long they continued 
cannot be stated, as all traces of corporate government are lost at the 
end of two years. 

The Ohio river afforded the only means of transportation. Corn and 
pork were the most important articles shipped away. As early as 1820 
North & Robinson bought hogs and corn for shipment to the Southern 
markets of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Dunn & McFaddin 
and Richard and James Barter were engaged in the same business. 

The first steam saw mill in Mt. Vernon was constructed by Darius 
North, Virgil Soaper and Andrew McFadden in 1831. They afterward 
added machinery for grinding corn, and it finally became a grist mill and 
distillery. In 1838 it was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt the same year, 
and again burned down in 1853. It was rebuilt in 1855 by De Witt C. 
James and George Mugge, four stories high with a capacity equal to 



90 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

225 barrels of flour and 1,300 gallons of whiskey. In 1865 it passed into 
the hands of Herman Munchoff and George Wolflin, and was again de- 
stroyed by fire, in 1873, for the third and last time. The building was 
located near the present site of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad 
depot. The huge smokestack remained standing until a few months ago. 

North & McFaddin, about the year 1834, erected a steam saw mill, 
and as soon as they could saw the lumber, built a three-story grist mill 
and a distillery all combined. They also owned a large store and bought 
pork and grain and carried on an extensive business. Their saw mill 
and grist mill both being crowded to their utmost capacity, as there was 
a constant demand for all the lumber they could saw for the 
frame houses going up in all directions, and for all the flour and meal 
they could grind for home consumption, and the distillery had all it 
could do to supply the demand for whiskey. 

In 1837 the mills and the distillery were destroyed by fire, entailing 
a heavy loss on the proprietors. In 1840-41 Rogers & Moore rebuilt 
the saw mill and a two-story grist mill, but not the distillery. After a 
few years they sold out to John Baker and he sold to Mickey & 'Crowell, 
and while in their possession the mills again burned down. 

John Wagner's plat, laid out March 11, 1816, and bounded by Mill Wat- 
ter, Mulberry and Fourth streets. Aaron Williams's plat, laid out March 
23, 1816, and bounded by Water, Store, Walnut and Third. Jesse Y. 
VVelborn's addition, May 10, 1819, bounded by Mill creek, and Fifth, 
Walnut and Water streets. J. Y. Welborn's addition, November 26, 
1822, bounded by Walnut, Mulberry, Water and Si.xth streets. J. Y. 
Welborn's addition, June 29, 1826, bounded by W^alnut, Mulberry, 
Sixth and Eighth streets ; John Given's re-survey, in 1840, bounded by 
W'ater, Chestnut, Pearl and Second. M. F. Green's addition, July 4, 1841, 
enlarged May 10, 1851, bounded by Main, Store, Seventh and Ninth. 
D. T. Kimball's, 1849, addition to Belleville. Robert Dale Owen's addi- 
tion, November 21, 1836, and also in 1874. James & Hovey's enlarge- 
ment, March 9, 1851, between Sixth and Ninth and Mill and Store. W. C. 
Saunder's enlargement, March 15, 1851. W. J. Lowery's addition, May 
25, 1851, from Mill to Store, and from Eighth to Ninth. E. T. Sullivan's 
addition, January 3, 1851, from Fourth to Fifth, and from Mulberry to 
Locust. W. J. Lowery's enlargement, December, 1852, from Mill to 
Main, and Eighth to Eleventh. W. W. Welborn's enlargement, June 7, 
1853. from Second to Third, and from Pearl to Munchoff streets. Low- 
ery & Larkin's enlargement, April, i860, from Third to Sixth and from 
Munchoff to Mill streets. Munchoff & Wolfin's enlargement, April 22, 
1866, from Water to Second, and from Munchoff to Pearl. Company's 
enlargement, February and August. 1866, and February, 1868, east of 
Walnut street. William Nettleton's enlargement, 1868, bounded by 
Wolfin, Nettleton, Second and Fourth streets. J. M. Barter's enlarge- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY QI 

ment, April, 1868, on Walnut, between Eighth and Ninth. J. A. Mann's, 
May, 1869, First to Second, and from Wolfin to Barter. N. G. Nettle- 
ton's enlargement, August, 1869, Second to Fourth, and Pearl to Net- 
tleton. School enlargement, September, 1869, Fourth to Fifth, and Canal 
to Locust. Mann & Barter's enlargement, First to Second, Wolfin to 
Barter. Mann & Barter's enlargement, February, 1870, Eleventh to Lin- 
coln, and Canal to Locust. W. P. Edson's subdivision, October, 1871, 
nine lots in Kimball's part. J. A. Mann's addition to William Nettle- 
ton's enlargement. Second to Third, and east of the line between sections 
7 and 8, April 30, 1874. Charles Leunig's enlargement, August, 1871, 
four acres north of Eleventh, and west of Main. Benjamin Lowenhupfs 
enlargement, 1880, one acre between Fourth and Fifth, and Mulberry 
and Locust. J. F. Welborn's enlargement. Fifth to Sixth, and Canal 
to Mulberry. 

Parke's enlargement, October 7, 1885, consisting of four lots on west 
side of Locust street between Fourth and Fifth streets, and four lots 
on each side of Fifth street between Locust and Canal streets and four- 
teen lots on the east side of Canal street between Fourth and Sixth 
streets. Highbank addition, October 8, 1885, bounded on the north by 
Second street and Water street ; east by Barter street and Chicago & 
Eastern Illinois Railway Company's grounds, south by the Ohio river, 
west by Park street. V. M. Cartwright's addition, consisting of eight 
lots between Third and Fourth streets, and Owendale addition and Wil- 
liam Nettleton's enlargement, August 9, 1886. 

Wasem's substituted enlargement, seventeen lots bounded on the 
north by Acuff's enlargement, on the east by Wolflin, on south by Fourth 
street, on the west by Venus avenue and the corporation line. April 29, 
1887; Charles W. Fuhrer's enlargement, bounded on the north by the 
corporation line, on the east by Venus avenue, on the south by Owen- 
dale addition, on the west by Barter street and the corporation line, 
April 21, 1888; Gardner's Part, bounded on the north by Seventh street, 
on the east by Main street, south by Sixth street, on the west by Store 
street, April 23, 1889; William Acuff's enlargement, four lots, March 22, 
1890; School Hill enlargement, bounded on the north by Central school 
grounds, east by Canal street, south by Sixth street, west by Locust 
street, March 23, 1891. 

Cartwright's subdivision, lot No. 7 in Charles Leunig's enlargement, 
January 27, 1893 ! Helleman's addition, bounded on the north by Sixth 
street and William Mann's addition, east by Mill street, south by some 
out-lots and Mill creek, west by Mill creek and James street, February 
21. 1893; Northwestern enlargement, bounded on the north by Sixth 
street and Model enlargement, east by alley between Pearl and Munchoff 
streets, south by Fourth street, west by Chicago & Eastern Illinois Rail- 
way Company's grounds, February 14, 1893; Raben &: Fuelling's enlarge- 



92 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ment, bounded on the north by Sixth street, east by Jones's enlar,e;e- 
ment, south by alley between Fourth and Fifth streets, west by Parkes 
enlargement, April 24, 1899; Harper's addition, bounded on the north 
by the Louisville & Nashville Railway Company's grounds, east by Wal- 
nut street, south by out-lols, west by Alain street, April 21, 1902; Wil- 
liam Mann's addition, bounded on the north by an alley between Sixth 
and Seventh streets and James and Hovey's enlargement, east by James 

6 Hovey's enlargement and Mill street, south by Sixth street, west by 
out-lots, January 23, 1905; Owendale addition, bounded on the north by 
Fourth street, east by Cartwright's and William Xeltleton's enlarge- 
ment and Mann's addition to William Nettleton's enlargement, south 
by West Second street, west by Parke street ; Model addition, bounded on 
the north by unplatted land, east by Pearl street, south by Sixth street, 
west by Chicago & Fastern Illinois Railway Company's grounds, June 
25, 1906; Jones's addition, bounded on the north by an alley between 
Fifth and Sixth streets, east by tile factory road, south by Fourth street, 
west by Raben & Fuelling's enlargement, July 16, 1906; Sarlls's subdi- 
vision, April 16, 1906, bounded on the North by Ninth street, east by 
Canal street, south by Eighth street, west by Locust street ; Henry 
Schnuer's enlargement, December, 1907, bounded on the north by Black- 
grove, east by the lower New Harmony road, south by out-lots, west by 
land owned by Grant Dixon ; Lorenz TIempfling's subdivision of lots 

7 and 8 of Kimball's additional enlargement, August 7, 1908, bounded on 
the north by Fourth street, east by Lorenz alley, south by Third street, 
west by Hempfling's alley; Pfeffer's addition, April 14, 1910, bounded on 
the north by an alley between Fifth and Sixth streets, east by an alley 
between Store and Mill streets, south by Fifth street, west by Mill 
street; Brown's addition, September i, 191 1, bounded on the north by 
Grant street, east by Leunig's enlargement, Cartwright's subdivision and 
Louisville & Nashville Railway Company's grounds, south by Louisville 
& Nashville Railway Company's grounds, west by land of William Ford 
and others; Rosa Raben's subdivision, November 30, 1911, bounded on 
the north by Sixth street, on the east by Wood street, south by an 
alley between Fifth and Sixth streets, west by Canal street. 

The second incorporation of the town took place in 1846, the election 
to decide the question being held October i. The first trustees at this 
time were Thomas F. Prosser, Noble Graig, F. N. Mills, W'alter F. Lar- 
kin and Thomas Newman. Seventy-two votes were polled, probably not 
over three-fourths of these in town, indicating a population of about 500. 
T. F. Prosser was first clerk; Seth M. Leavenworth, treasurer, and 
Whipple White, marshal. As the records from that date up to 1859 are 
missing, nothing of the acts of the board can be stated. In October, 
1859, the trustees elected were Enoch R. James, T. F. Prosser, Charles 
Haas, W. D. Covington, and Turner Nelson; Joseph P. Edson, clerk; 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 93 

E. R. James, treasurer ; Harrison Carter, marslial ; George W. Thomas, 
wharf master. The receipts from October 30, 1858, to October 19, 1859, 
were $7,385.82, and the expenses $6,978.82, leaving a balance on hand of 
$407. About one-half of this expense was in payment of principal, the 
interest of the wharf debt, which had been contracted in 1851, the total 
amount of the debt at first being, it is said, $20,000. In October, 1859, 
the debt was $5,164.05. At this time, and for the succeeding two or three 
years, Main, Store and other streets of the town were macadamized at a 
large expense, and the greater portion of which was paid at the time from 
special tax levies. F. and E. Schenk, A. B. Galliger, Jean Febre and 
others were contractors. The officers elected in October, i860, were as 
follows: Noble Craig, G. W. Thomas, Otto Schaeffer, S. M. Leaven- 
worth and John D. Hinch, trustees; Leavenworth, treasurer; Hinch, 
clerk, and Harrison Carter, marshal. The receipts for the year ending 
October 16, i860, were $11,390.57, and the expenses, $10,652.18. This 
heavy expense was on the streets and the wharf debt. The receipts for 
the year ending October, 1861, were $4,533.41, and the expenses, $3,924.72. 
The officers elected, October, 1861, were: John A. Mann, Charles Haas, 
Charles Leunig, Otto Schaeffer and Leonidas Cralle, trustees ; Otto 
Schaeffer, clerk; Charles Leunig, treasurer; Isaac P. Lamb, marshal. The 
receipts for the year ending October, 1862, were, $5,544.66, and the ex- 
penses, $5,399.07. At this time the wharf debt was $4,500. The officers 
of 1862-63 were : B. F. Server, Charles Haas, J. M. Monroe, F. Schenk 
and W. P. Daniel, trustees; W. P. Daniel, clerk; F. Schenk, treasurer, 
J. M. Monroe, marshal. In April, 1863, the board donated $1,000 toward 
a new school house. The officers of 1863-64 were : B. F. Server, W. P. 
Daniel, J. M. Monroe, Charles Haas and F. Schenk, trustees; Schenk, 
treasurer; Daniel, clerk, and H. Carter, marshal. In 1864-65 the officers 
were : Josiah Forth, M. S. Blunt, Aaron Galliger, John Pfeffer and 
Charles Haas, trustees; Otto Schaefer, clerk; W. Forth, marshal; Noble 
Craig, treasurer ; James Ferguson, assessor. In August, 1864, upon peti- 
tion, corporate bonds to the amount of $4,000 were sold to pay the wharf 
debt of $4,500, with what was in the treasury. They were all taken by the 
First National Bank, then just founded. The receipts of 1864-65 were, 
$5,783.85, and the expenses, $5,909.60. The officers of 1865-66 were : An- 
ton Haas, W. P. Edson, Samuel S. Dryden, John Pfeffer, John B. Gard- 
ner and A. B. Galliger, trustees; J. F. Welborn, clerk; C. F. Leonard, 
treasurer; Thomas Stevens, marshal; W. H. Larkin, assessor. A pest 
house was built in 1865. 

In 1851, a stock company consisting of John Pitcher, president ; Robert 
D. Owen, secretary and treasurer; with N. G. Nettleton, John Sweeney, 
Enoch R. James, Charles F. Leonard, Richard Barter, Pitcher and Owen 
as directors, built a plank road from New Harmony to Mt. Vernon. Upon 
its completion, the event was celebrated by an elaborate public dinner at 



94 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



Mt. Vernon, and a grand ball at New Harmony in the evening of the 
same day. Toll gates were established and business of the two towns 
increased rapidly. The population of Mt. Vernon soon increased fifty 
per cent., a phenomenal growth, largely attributable to the plank road. 

But, at that, the travel was not sufficient to warrant the outlay, and 
in a few years the road was abandoned. Within the last decade this 
public thoroughfare has been covered with cruslied rock and gravel. 

The most dreadful epidemic to which a community was ever subjected 
was the visitation of the cholera in Posey county in 1873. This was one 
of the darkest and most sorrowful periods in the history of the county. 
For two long months, the relentless disease spread sorrow and death in 
all directions. People generally fled from it, but many instances of hero- 
ism and martydom are on record as our oldest citizens can attest. For 
five long weary weeks coal was publicly burned in great quantities on 
many street corners in Mt. Vernon, and lime and other disinfectants were 
scattered profusely in the streets and gutters. Everything possible was 
done to eradicate the disease while it was stubbornly and relentlessly 
performing its awful mission. 

A list of the deaths with the dates, from cholera, in and around Mt. 
Vernon, which we believe to be correct, is given below : Joseph Pickles, 
June 7; a daughter of George Muncey and Mrs. William Adiller, the fif- 
teenth ; a child of Mr. Roberts, the twentieth ; Mrs. Joseph Sloat. the 
twenty-second ; John Caldwell (colored), the twenty-seventh ; Lucy Kirk, 
a child, a daughter of Mrs. John Snyder and Mrs. Collins, the twenty- 
eighth ; a daughter of Mrs. John Snyder, the thirtieth; Mrs. Grant. July 
I ; Thomas Caldwell (colored), the eighth; unknown negro woman, and 
an unknown pauper the ninth; Miss Sheldon, Miss Gordon, Mrs. George 
Weilbrenner, a daughter of John Reichert, Mrs. Barker, and James 
Weeks, the eleventh; Samuel K. Bell, his mother and sister. Mrs. Helen 
Gordon, Larkin Duncan and Alvin Hovey, the twelfth ; Augustus Gordon 
and a daughter of Robert Lyon the thirteenth ; Mrs. Conrad Shertz, Wil- 
liam King and child of James McClain, the fourteenth; Robert Peters 
and Mrs. S. Huff, the fifteenth; Taylor Woody, Orrin Johnson, a child 
of J. C. Woody, Henry Osborne and wife, the sixteenth; an unknown 
pauper, Lewis Barton, Mrs. J. C. Woody and child, the seventeenth ; Jo- 
seph Harris, Mary Shertz and Mrs. Barton, the eighteenth ; a son of 
Mrs. Bonenberger, Katie Shertz and Mrs. Grace Craw, the nineteenth ; 
Lettie Watkins (colored), Mrs. Timmons and Dr. A. Matzdorf, the twen- 
tieh ; Mrs. Robert Lyon, Mrs. McLaughlin and Miss Eva Hovey, the 
twenty-first ; Lizzie Haas and a son of Mrs. Cook, the twenty-second ; a 
son of James C. Dixon, an unknown negro, and Mrs. McDowell, the twen- 
ty-third ; son of James Davenport, the twenty-fourth ; Antone Haas, 
John Quick, wife and child, the twenty-fifth ; Mrs. John D. Hinch and 
Mrs. Musselman, the twenty-sixth ; an unknown pauper the twenty- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 95 

eighth ; Mrs. Latham, the twenty-ninth ; Jeff Hopkins, the thirtieth ; a 
cliild of Isaac Newton the thirty-first ; John Tier, August i ; Charles 
Kreie, the second; Robert Moore, the third; Mattie Stein and Henry 
Washington (colored), the fourth; Joseph Clemmens and an unknown 
pauper, the fifth. 

An election was held on the seventh of December, 1865, to decide the 
question of incorporating Mt. Vernon as a city. The vote was 219 for, 
and 130 against the proposition. The city was divided into three wards, 
as follows : The first ward embraced all that part of the city lying east 
of Main and south of Fourth streets; second ward, all lying north of 
Fourth street ; third ward, all lying west of Main and south of Fourth 
streets. A city seal was adopted in February, 1865. The pest house was 
sold the same year. 

William Harrow, at the first meeting of the council, was appointed city 
attorney, but he refused for private reasons to serve, and William P. Ed- 
son was elected to fill the position. 

The city ordinances were revised and new ones adopted. 

In May, 1867, the city's debts, including the wharf debt of $4.50°. 
amounted to $14,449.32. In 1868 a high school building was erected at a 
cost of $17,000, and the next year the central and western school build- 
ings were erected at a cost of $5,500 each, and the same year the council 
issued and sold $10,000 worth of school house bonds, realizing ninety- 
six cents on the dollar. For the fiscal year 1868-69 the receipts were 
$24,291.81, and the expenses $15,921.55 ; the debt was reduced to $3,543.07. 
In 1871 bonds to the amount of $3,000 were issued to build a school 
house west of Mill creek. They sold for $2,820. and the house cost 
$4,501.80. 
" William Nettleton from January, 1866, to May, 1866; Otto Schaeffer, 
May, 1866, to May, 1867; Jonathan H. Burlison. May, 1S67, to May, 1868 
(elected to fill vacancy caused by death of Otto Schaeffer) ; William P. 
Edson, from May, 1868, to October, 1869 (resigned) ; Jonathan Burlison, 
from October, 1868, to May, 1872; U. G. Damron, from May, 1872, to 
May, 1874; J. H. Burlison, May. 1874, to May, 1878; Oliver C. Terry, 
1886. to May, 1888; E. E. Thomas. May, 1888, to May, 1892; Fred P. 
Leonard, May, 1892, to 1894; L. J. Larkin, 1894, to September, 1898; Al- 
fred D. Owen, September, 1898, to September, 1902; Samuel J. Miller, 
September, 1902, to September, 1904; Herdis F. Clements, September, 
1904. to September, 1906; Edwin Page, September, igo6, to January i, 
1910; J. H. Moeller, January i. 1910, present incumbent. 

The city of Mt. Vernon is situated on a beautifully elevated spot on 
the Ohio river, surrounded by a fertile and picturesque country. Its 
natural drainage makes its sanitary condition excellent. The elevation, 
according to the United States Navigation Engineering Corps, is forty 
feet above that of Evansville, and several feet above that of any other 
place on the Ohio river below Cincinnati. 



96 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



The city is the shipping point for a rich farming territory of approxi- 
mately one hundred square miles. Thousands of barrels of hominy and 
flour leave this place annually, and many tons of hay and corn find their 
way to the markets of the world from Mt. Vernon. The city has a good 
water system, a splendid electric lightning system, an excellent sewerage 
and drainage and several blocks of substantial business houses. Mt. 
Vernon is pre-eminently a city of homes and the well-kept streets, the 
handsome residences, surrounded by beautiful lawns, the numerous shade 
trees never fail to awaken the admiration of visitors. 

The city has ninety-five blocks of macadamized and thirty-three blocks 
of asphalt paving. At present there are fifteen rural mail routes run- 
ning out of the city. 

One of the beautiful and valuable acquisitions, acquired recently by 
the city, is Sherburne Park, located on the water front at the foot of 
Main street. The grounds were donated by the city and the park was 
laid out and equipped by Jacob Cronbach, at great expense, and named 
Sherburne in perpetuation of the memory of his beloved son, Sherburne. 
A concrete walk surrounds the park, and on the lower side is a succession 
of concrete steps descending to the wharf. The interior is elaborately 
fitted up with various equipment for the innocent amusement of children, 
such as teeters, gymnasium racks, merry-go-rounds, chute-the-chutes and 
stationary swings ; also seats where young and old may sit and rest on 
a summer's evening and enjoy the cool breezes of the river. At the 
center of the park is a fountain of ice cold water and beautiful and sub- 
stantial rest room and comfort station, built of vitrified brick, with tile 
roof. 

One of the early buildings of Mt. Vernon, which has disappeared with 
time, was the public market. It was situated upon the northeast cor- 
ner of the court house grounds and was erected in the late '50s. It 
was a monument to the generosity of Dan Rice, the most famous 
clown of his day, and later the owner of a circus which bore his name. 
The funds with which this building was built were donated by Dan 
Rice and his generosity was due to the fact that he wished to attract 
to his show all of the people of Mt. Vernon and vicinity, another circus 
having arranged to exhibit on the same day as the Rice show. He had 
many friends and acquaintances in the city, having visited Mt. Vernon 
on numerous occasions, and on learning of the billing of the rival show, 
he went out among the citizens and offered the entire receipts of his 
afternoon performance for some public enterprise, suggesting that a 
public market building would benefit the town. His offer was accepted 
and his tent filled, the rival attraction playing to empty seats. During 
the performance he remarked to his audience that "the evening per- 
formance would occur as usual," and that the proceeds were needed 
by himself. That night the citizens responded to his invitation in such 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 97 

numbers that the side walls of the tents were taken down to permit 
the crowd a view of the entertainment, the rival show still playing to 
empty benches, and Dan Rice was happy. With the funds secured from 
Rice a building about 120x50 feet was built. A large sign was placed 
over the entrance and bore the name of Dan Rice. During the first 
months of 1861 the building was used by the newly enlisted volunteers 
as an armory. The citizens purchased many of their supplies here, 
farmers bringing in produce from the country and butcher stalls were 
run by John Pfeffer, John Dieteile and John Schisler. When the 
present court house was under construction the old market was torn 
down. 

THE ALEXANDRIAN FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY. 

October 11, 1892, the Alexandrian Literary Society was organized at 
the residence of Mrs. Matilda Alexander. The purpose and aim of this 
society was to found a library for the citizens of Mt. Vernon. On Sep- 
tember 28, 1895, the Alexandrian Library was opened to the public, and 
was located in one of the rooms of the city hall. Much benefit was de- 
rived from the use of the library and there was a demand for a better 
and a larger one. Some of the citizens became enthused to the extent 
of soliciting Mr. Carnegie for sufficient funds, and a committee, con- 
sisting of Jacob Cronbach, Prof. Edwin S. Monroe and Prof. E. G. Bau- 
man, began a correspondence with him. At first they were unsuccess- 
ful, but after many efforts obtained promise of the desired amount. He 
gave $12,500 for building, and later an additional $1,400 to equip the 
building. The south half of the city lot was chosen for the site of the 
building, and the erection of same began in July, 1904. 

In May, 1902, Mrs. Matilda Alexander tendered to the city the Alex- 
andrian Library, which consisted of 1,200 volumes. The new building 
was completed during the summer of 1905, and October 16, 1905, the Al- 
exandrian Free Public Library was dedicated. Nine hundred new vol- 
umes were added and Mrs. Olive McGregor Smith, the librarian, with 
the aid of Miss Dodd, classified and catalogued books ready for the 
shelves and circulation. The library has steadily grown and now has 
more than 5,000 volumes and there are 55 different periodicals on read- 
ing tables each month. In the basement of the building is a club room. 
Three literary clubs hold their meetings in this room Monday, Tuesday 
and Wednesday afternoons of each week, and much work is done for 
them by the librarian. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union 
meets Friday afternoons, twice a month, and the charity organization 
the first Saturday of each month, use the room ; also Sunday afternoons 
the Jewish children use the room for religious services. The library is 
open each day of the week, including Sunday, except Thursday. Spe- 
cial attention is given both city and township school children. 



98 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

NEW HARMONY. 

By far the most^nteresting of the early settlements in Posey county 
is that of New Harmony, on account of its early settlers, the Rappites 
and the Owens. 

The Rappites, under the leadership of Cleorge Rapp, came from Wur- 
tenberg, Germany, to Butler county, Pennsylvania. This was in the 
days of religious intolerance in Germany and George Rapp became a 
dissenter from the doctrines and practices as taught by the Lutherans 
of Wurtenberg. George Rapp was a vine dresser and farmer and a 
man of great strength of character. He was born in 1757. He began 
to speak, in his own house, when he was about thirty years of age, and 
it was not long till his congregation was quite large, coming from miles 
around. He was a great Bible student and taught certain doctrines that 
were peculiarly his own. He taught that Adam was of a dual nature, 
containing within his own person both the sexual elements, and quoted 
in support of this Genesis i:26-27: "And God said, let us make man in 
our own image, after our own likeness, and let them have dominion. 
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he 
him : male and female created he them." Rapp taught that this meant 
that both the creator and the created had this dual nature, and if Adam 
had been allowed to remain in his original state he would have begot- 
ten offspring without the aid of a female. But Adam became discon- 
tented and God separated from his body the female part. This was 
Rapp's interpretation of the fall of man. From this he evolved the 
doctrine of celibacy, declaring that the celibate state is more pleasing 
to God, and that in the "renewed" world man would be restored to the 
Adamic condition. 

Rapp taught that the coming of Christ and the "renovation" of the 
world were near at hand. He believed that he would live to see the 
reappearance of Christ and that he would be permitted to present his 
followers to the Savior. He taught that Christ was, like .A.dam, a dual 
being and that he enjoined upon his followers a community of goods. 
In support of this, Rapp referred to Acts iv:32: "And the multitude of 
them that believed were of one mind and one soul, neither said any of 
them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, but they 
had all things common." 

Before leaving Germany he and a number of his adherents had been 
brought before the king for the teaching of his doctrines, and their refusal 
to attend the services of the established church. 

The king, however, was lenient with them upon learning that they 
had been accustomed to obey the laws of the country, and allowed them 
to go unpunished. But persecution did not cease with this display of 
royal clemency, and, finally, after securing quite a large number of fol- 




OLD KAPPITE RUUMlNl, HuUSE 
New Harmony 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 99 

lowers and not being willing to submit to the persecution necessary in 
carrying out his ideas of economy, George Rapp conceived the idea of 
seeking a home in the New World for himself and followers, where 
they could promulgate the tenets of their peculiar belief without restric- 
tion. Accordingly, in the year 1803, he with his adopted son, Fred- 
erick, and several associates set out for the United States for the pur- 
pose of locating a colony in the New World. 

They selected and bought an estate of 5,000 acres of unimproved 
land in Butler county, Pennsylvania. They set to work under the direc- 
tion of George Rapp with great zeal and earnestness, and soon made 
comfortable homes for the entire population. But they did not all come 
at this time. In 1804 the "Aurora" sailed from Amsterdam to Phila- 
delphia with 300 immigrants ; six weeks later the "Atlantic" sailed with 
300 more, and in the fall of the same year the "Marquette" brought the 
remainder. In 1805 the "community of equality" was established among 
them and they began life according to the manner they had planned 
while in Germany. They threw their entire possessions into a com- 
munity stock, as they had resolved to have all things in common. They 
adopted a uniform style of dress and built all their houses nearly alike. 
With their characteristic zeal, energy and earnestness, they began clear- 
ing their lands. The wilderness was soon made to blossom as the rose. 
One hundred and fifty acres of land were cleared the first year. At the 
end of the next year four hundred acres had been cleared, a saw mill, 
tannery, store house and distillery erected, and a vineyard of several 
acres had been planted. Music, painting, sculpture and other liberal 
arts flourished among them. Their museums and gardens were the 
wonder and delight of those who saw them. 

They adopted celibacy in 1807. Those who had been married, of 
whom there was a large number, were separated and placed in different 
establishments. Their strict observance of this rule indicates the su- 
preme power and authority of George Rapp, whom they revered as a 
prophet and a saint. 

The remarkable prosperity of the community is readily seen, when 
it is stated on good authority that in 1807 these people were worth on 
an average of $25 per head, and in 1825 they had $2,500 for every man, 
woman and child in the community. In the year 1809 they raised 6,000 
bushels of Indian corn, 4,000 bushels of wheat, the same of rye, 5.000 
bushels of oats, 10,000 bushels of potatoes, and 4,000 pounds of flax and 
hemp, besides other less important products. 

This same year they made their first woolen cloth, spun by hand from 
yarn, and the next year a woolen factory was erected. They had 2,000 
acres of land under cultivation and large tracts of surplus land for sale. 

But the Rappites soon realized the disadvantages of their location, 
being twelve miles from navigation, the inadaptability of their lands 



5B51 



12-1 ^ 



]00 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

for fruit culture in which they desired to engage, and the severity of 
the climate. 

Frederick Rapp was commissioned to go in search of a new home 
farther west. He set out in 1812 and visited six of the western States 
and territories, and finally decided upon moving the colony to a beauti- 
ful tract of land on the Wabash river, a few miles above its mouth. 

Frederick Reichert, who is known as Frederick Rapp, was really no 
kin to George Rapp. He was a stone cutter by trade, and when on a 
visit to the neighborhood of George Rapp became acquainted with him 
and was soon a zealous and earnest follower. George Rapp soon saw 
in Reichert the mechanical skill and business qualifications necessary for 
carrying out the scheme he then had under consideration, and made him 
his business manager and confidential agent, and adopted him as his 
son, and Reichert was always called Frederick Rapp, and so signed his 
name to legal documents. 

They accordingly sold their possessions in Pennsylvania, consisting 
of about 6,000 acres of land, with great flocks of sheep and herds of 
cattle, and their factories, mills, etc., at a great sacrifice for $100,000, and 
in 1814 a part of them arrived at New Harmony and began the requisite 
clearing and founded the town of "Harmonie." Early in 1815 the re- 
mainder came, the whole colony consisting of about 700 persons. 

Here they bought vast tracts of land, most of which was in Harmony 
township, but some in Bethel and some in Point. They also had lands 
in Knox county, and some in Illinois. All these lands were entered in 
the name of George Rapp and associates, or Frederick Rapp individually. 

Their home in Pennsylvania had been called "Harmonie" and for this 
reason they called their new home Harmonie, or New Harmony. 

They began the work of erecting homes and clearing the land with 
the same zeal and earnestness that had characterized their efforts in 
Pennsylvania. 

Taking advantage of the fall in the river at the cut-off, about two 
miles below the town, they erected a water mill at that point. This 
mill not only did the work for the community but made meal and flour 
for the entire surrounding country for several years. 

A large vineyard of eighteen acres was planted on the hills south of 
town, which furnished an abundance of the finest grapes. The vine- 
yard was in charge of one Strock, the vine dresser, who carefully econ- 
omized the fruits of his labors. He is said to have remained after the 
Rappites took their departure and is remembered by many of the old 
settlers. 

The wine press, which was situated near the vineyard, consisted of a 
circular tank in which the grapes were placed, and a large circular stone, 
which was rolled upon them to bruise them in order to extract the juice. 
The remains of the old press are still to be seen. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY lOI 

There was also a distillery and a brewery. Inconsistent as it may 
seem in view of the fact that Father Rapp rigidly prohibited intem- 
perance, yet he encouraged the manufacture of wine, beer and whiskey 
as articles of commerce. 

They had little or no communication with the outside world except 
through the miller, the store keeper, the tavern keeper and Frederick 
Rapp. Old Straheli, the herdsman, tended the large flocks and herds. 
He rode to the pastures in a wagon which resembled a small house on 
wheels, drawn by cattle. Individual settlers near the community chris- 
tened it "Noah's Ark." He drove the herds and flocks to the fields, to 
the hills south of town, and to the island for pasturage in the daytime, 
and at night drove them into the barns and sheds for protection. 

They had men of all trades, professions and occupations. They raised 
all kinds of produce, from the garden and orchard to the extensive fields 
of grain. They cleared and ditched the land, built houses and barns, and 
fenced their fields. They raised everything they used except groceries, 
and they got those by exchange. Frederick Rapp was the general busi- 
ness manager and had agents in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 

They discouraged the learning of the English language and were ad- 
verse to explain their tenets. They were severely criticised by their 
neighbors for living such exclusive lives and not encouraging popular 
education more, but it is doubtful if the community could have succeeded 
in any other way. At times there was bitter feeling toward the Rappites 
by their neighbors. But, on the whole, the colony was useful to the 
community. They set a good example in neatness, industry and orderly 
conduct. Their reputation for honesty was one of the secrets of their 
commercial prosperity. Flour, woolen goods or distillery products bear- 
ing the New Harmony brand were known to be of the best, quality. 
They were a kind-hearted, temperate and industrious people, sincere, 
upright and honest in their dealings. 

They built a steam grist mill about the year 1820 and later added to 
it a cotton and woolen factory for spinning, weaving, dyeing and coloring 
cloth. For a time a cocoonery and silk factory was in operation, and 
some very fine articles of silk were manufactured. An oil mill for the 
manufacture of castor oil was located on a small creek about two and 
one-half miles from town. There was a brickyard in the south part of 
town. 

They built a granary of stone, the walls being two feet thick and the 
roof of tile, making the building fireproof. In the walls were loop- 
holes, making the building serviceable also as a fortress. In fact, in later 
years, it came to be known as the "old fort." This building was con- 
nected with Rapp's residence by a subterranean passage which has long 
since been closed up, but the old fort is still standing. About the only 
changes that have been .nade in it are the portholes, which have been 



I02 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

enlarged to windows and some slight changes have been made to accom- 
modate the mill machinery that was placed in it, the building having 
been used as a grist mill. 

After a residence of ten years at New Harmony the Rapps opened 
negotiations for the sale of their vast estate with Richard Flower, who 
had established an English settlement in Edwards county, Illinois, in 
1818. Mr. Flower and his associates had made frequent visits to the 
Harmony colony and had established intimate business relations with 
them. Father Rapp commissioned him to sell the Harmonist property 
for $125,000, agreeing to pay him a commission of $5,000. He found a 
purchaser in the person of Robert Owen, of New Lanark, Scotland. Mr. 
Owen was a philanthropist by nature and a man of talent and w.ealth. 

Mr. Flower visited New Lanark and laid before Mr. Owen the advan- 
tages of Harmony as a site for a communistic establishment in the New 
World, where he might work into practice theories which he had pro- 
mulgated long before. He was manager of a large establishment that 
he had run successfully on the community plan and was anxious to try 
out the experiment on a larger scale. 

Frederick Rapp was made their "true and lawful attorney in fact" for 
the sale of their property. The article was signed by George Rapp, 
Christina Rapp, Rosina Rapp, Johana Rapp and 497 others, all of whom, 
except thirty-nine, were able to make their own signatures. 

On the consummation of the sale. December 25, 1825, Mr. Owen came 
into possession of 19,997.87 acres of land, 800 acres of which were in 
White county, Illinois. The consideration was $125,000. Double this 
amount would have been a very modest estimate of the value of the 
large estate and well built town. The Rapps must have had good rea- 
sons for desiring to sell the property', for the sale was made at a great 
sacrifice, not only in the intrinsic value of the estate alone, but in their 
extensive trade in adjacent States and down the Mississippi to New 
Orleans. 

With the proceeds of the sale the Rappites purchased an estate in 
Beaver county, Pennsylvania, below Pittsburgh, on the Ohio river, not 
far from the site of their first settlement. Here they built a village and 
called it Economy. 

In 1874 the Rappites sent Jonathan Lentz to New Harmony and he 
purchased the immense church of the Rappites and the lot on which it 
stood, and tore down all but the east wing, using the brick to con- 
struct the wall which protects the Rappite cemetery. This wall is one 
foot thick, five feet high, covered with a heavy limestone coping, and 
guarded by iron gates. The Harmonists gave the church lot, together 
with the remaining material and the wing standing, to the town of 
New Harmony. 

Mr. Owen, like Mr. Rapp, believed in the community system of prop- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY IO3 

erty. but differed very materially in policy of management. Instead of 
assuming the entire control and management himself, he allowed every 
one to have a part in it. 

Early in the year 1825 Mr. Owen delivered two addresses in the Hall 
of Representatives at Washington, having for his audiences distinguished 
men from all over the United States. In these addresses he explained 
his plans for the redemption of the human race from the evils of the 
existing state of society, going into details very minutely, and declaring 
his intention to carry his purposes into immediate execution to the full 
extent of his means. These addresses were published in 1825 and a 
manifesto was issued announcing that "a new society is about to be 
formed at Harmony in Indiana," and inviting to its membership all who 
were in sympathy with the founder in his desire for a new state of 
society. 

On April 27, 1825, Robert Owen addressed the community member- 
ship and a number of visitors from the surrounding country in the old 
Rappite church. He said : "I am come to this country to introduce an 
entirley new state of society ; to change it from the ignorant and selfish 
system to an enlightened social system which shall remove all causes 
of complaint and reconcile all differences between individuals." He 
laid before his followers the proposed constitution for the Preliminary 
Society, carefully explaining the document in all of its details. 

Mr. Owen made addresses in other cities and soon the attention of the 
whole country had been drawn to the project, and many of the most 
distinguished men of the time gave at least partial approval to his plans. 
The previous success of the Rappites on the same site furnished an 
object lesson in communism and there seemed to be no apparent reason 
why even greater success should not come to the new community, which 
eliminated all the disagreeable features of the Rappite community and 
contemplated the practice of theories in local government and education. 
Under the Rappites ignorance and superstition had been the prominent 
characteristics of their membership, while the members of the new com- 
munity were to be persons of liberal and progressive ideas and a high 
ideal of social life. 

Mr. Owen enlisted the interest of William Maclure, of Philadelphia, 
a wealthy scientist and a man of broad views, varied experience and a 
truly philanthropic spirit. He was born in Scotland in 1763 and came 
to America at the age of thirty-three to make a geological survey of the 
United States. In prosecuting this work he crossed and recrossed the 
Alleghanies several times and traveled on foot through every State and 
Territory within the limits of the United States at that time. The 
results of his labors were published in 1809. 

Mr. Maclure was deeply interested in education. It was his avowed 
intention to make New Harmonv the center of American education 



104 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

through the introduction of the Pestalozzian system of instruction and 
he brought to New Harmony a most distinguished coterie of scientists 
and educators, among them being Thomas Say, Thomas Pearce, J. K. 
Colidge, Richardson Whitby, Feldman Witwell and others. Mrs. Mary 
D. Fretageot, a lady of great learning, came to New Harmony at the 
request of William Maclure in 1825. She was the mother of A. E. 
Fretageot, a former county commissioner and prominent merchant of 
New Harmony. 

In 1826 Mr. Maclure bought 490 acres of land, or about one-third 
of the town, from Mr. Owen for $40,000. There was a tendency on the 
part of the community toward the acquisition of individual property. 
Although the constitution seemed liberal and good, it soon became nec- 
essary to modify it to meet the demands and suit the clamors of the 
community. In April. 1826, it was allowed that twenty-five persons 
might move out and form a separate community, and in May following 
three separate divisions were made. The first, or New Harmony proper, 
was Community No. i ; the second was Macluria, or Community Xo. 2; 
the third was Community No. 3, called Feiba Peveli. A fourth com- 
munity was soon established. In a short time an individual store was 
established in opposition to the general store, and the courts established 
its right to sell goods within the community. Soon the continuance of 
the community, as a community, was found to be impossible and in a 
short lime it was abandoned by common consent. 

On Sunday, May 26, 1827, Robert Owen made his "farewell address to 
the citizens of New Harmony and the members of the neighboring com- 
munities." Mr. Owen left New Harmony for England on June i, 1827, 
stopping en route to New York in the principal cities to deliver lectures 
on the social system. 

He returned to New Harmony April i, 1828, and delivered an address 
at New Harmony Hall a few days later. He said in closing: "I can 
only feel regret instead of anger. My intention now is to form such 
arrangements on the estate as will enable those who desire to promote 
the practice of the social system to live in separate families on the indi- 
vidual system and yet to unite their general labor; or to exchange labor 
for labor on the most beneficial terms for all ; all to do both or neither, 
as their feelings or apparent interest may influence them ; while the chil- 
dren shall be educated with a view to the establishment of the social sys- 
tem in the future. I will not be discouraged by any obstable, but will 
persevere to the end. 

In 1827 he leased lands to small communistic societies, .some of which 
were sincere and industrious workers, while others cared nothing for 
Mr. Owen or his scheme and regarded the matter as a chance for specu- 
lation and through these speculations he lost a large amount of personal 
property. To those who acted in good faith he finally sold at a low 




ill': WORKIXGMF.X'S IXST 
New Harmony 



TUTE 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I05 

figure the lands they occupied. In later years he conveyed the balance 
of his estate at New Harmony to his four sons on condition that they 
execute a deed of trust for $30,000 worth of land, yielding an annual 
income of $1,500, which was his sole support for many years. 

THE WORKINGMEN'S INSTITUTE. 

By Joel Willis Hiatt. A. M. 

One cannot properly understand the genesis and development of the 
library of the Workingmen's Institute unless he knows something of the 
men who builded New Harmony and of the spirit which moved them. 
New Harmony stands alone among the towns of the country in the 
character of the men who lived within its borders and who gave it 
renown throughout the world. 

William Maclure was associated with Robert Owen in the purchase 
of the village and the lands surrounding the Rapp town of Harmonic, 
on the lower Wabash in Indiana. Mr. Maclure had visited the manu- 
facturing town of New Lanark, Scotland, where Robert Owen conducted 
a model cotton factory ; had witnessed the schools which Mr. Owen 
conducted for the benefit of his operatives' children ; had been pro- 
foundly impressed with the work which they were doing for the peo- 
ple, and he had seen the order and industry and happiness which pre- 
vailed there. Therefore, when Mr. Owen came to this country to es- 
tablish a community in which to work out his ideas for the betterment 
of the people, he was personallh' known to Mr. Maclure as a philan- 
thropist who had achieved a notable success in Scotland. When Mr. 
Owen proposed to Mr. Maclure that he assist in the formation of a 
community at Harmonic he consented to do so, not because he accepted 
all of Mr. Owens's theories as being correct, but because, from what he 
had seen at New Lanark, he thought that he could do a great good in 
an educational way in this new undertaking. 

Inasmuch as Mr. Maclure was the founder of the Workingmen's In- 
stitute it would be well to know something about his career. 

William Maclure was born at Ayr, Scotland, in 1763. He received a 
primary education under Mr. Douglas, "an intelligent teacher, who was 
especially reputed for classical and mathematical attainments." At 
nineteen years of age he came to this county, and having established the 
necessary connections, returned to London and entered the mercantile 
business, as a partner in the firm of Miller, Hart & Company. He was 
very successful in business and soon amassed a fortune. He seems to 
have laid aside the cares of a commercial life at an early age, for we 
find him, at the age of forty years, acting for our Government as a com- 
missioner in adjusting the damages arising to American citizens from 
spoliation of France. 



I06 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

He then traveled over Europe, making natural history observations, 
particular]}- in geology. He thus laid the foundations for making a 
geological survey of the United States, a thing which he had greatly 
desired to do for 3'ears. He entered upon that work and in 1809 he pub- 
lished the first geological map of the United States, at Philadelphia. 
He was "Father of American Geolog\'." In 1817 he was elected presi- 
dent of the Academy of Sciences, in Philadelphia, and continued to re- 
side there until 1826. At that time he joined Mr. Owen in making the 
New Harmony experiment. Mr. Maclure induced a number of scientific 
gentlemen to accompany him to New Harmony and assist in the work 
of establishing schools there. He introduced the Pestalozzian method 
of teaching through Madam Fretageot, of Paris, France, and Joseph 
Neef, a coadjutor of Pestalozzi's in Switzerland, also taught in New 
Harmony. True to his respect for labor, he embraced manual training 
as a branch of instruction in his school and some works of great scien- 
tific value were issued from the press of this school. Thomas Say, Mr. 
Lesueur, Dr. Troost and others were in the assemblage of talent which 
he brought to carry on the work of his school. They have always been 
known in New Harmony history as the "boat load of knowledge" because 
they came down the Ohio and up the Wabash in a keelboat. In a year 
the community project failed, but Mr. Maclure continued to reside in 
New Harmony until some time in 1827. After that time he resided al- 
most continuously in Mexico, because of its milder climate. He died 
in 1840. In his absence from \'ew Harmony he committed the man- 
agement of his philanthropic enterprises to his friend, Thomas Say, the 
great chonchologist and entomologist. In 1838 he established and en- 
dowed the Workingmen's Institute. He gave to it an order on a debtor 
publisher in London for $1,000, which was partially honored, and he 
gave books and philosophical instruments from his own collection. 
Upon the order given on Mr. Rich by Mr. Maclure the institute obtained 
360 volumes. Subsequently the brother and sister of Mr. Maclure con- 
veyed to it by deed a house and lot and it became an institution with a 
home. Mr. Maclure was not alone a devotee of science. He was full of 
plans for the ameloriation of the condition of tho.se who toil with their 
hands. He despised the affectations of the wealthy and loved the poor, 
in their affliction. It was at his suggestion that the membership of the 
institute was limited to those who "get their living by the work of their 
hands." 

The Institute took advantage of a provision in his will that gave $500 
to any community that would give that amount of money, or books of 
that value, towards the establishment of a library. By this provision 
$80,000 was distributed to found 160 libraries throughout the country. 

We have a catalogue of the library issued in 1847, nine years after it 
was founded. It shows that they possessed 1,092 volumes. They were 
not trifling works, but they were works of seriousness and merit. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY lO/ 

There were 95 volumes of high-class fiction, 12 of poetry, 17 of phi- 
losophy, 7 of religion (four of these opposed to Christianity), 60 of so- 
ciology, 105 of science, 250 of history (including biography and trav- 
els), the remainder treating of miscellaneous subjects. 

In 1870 another catalogue was issued. It shows that they then pos- 
sessed 3,207 volumes. The institute had now become the home of the 
township and school library, I have not made an analysis of the books 
in this catalogue, but, generally speaking, they were of the same char- 
acter as those of the first catalogue. The same men were at the head 
of the Institute then who were connected with it in is infancy. Advanced 
thought in science, sociology, philosophy and comparative religion 
found a welcome home on its shelves. 

The library was maintained during these years, and for some years 
after, by dues assessed on members, by gifts of books and by benefits 
given for the library by local theatrical talent. The dues were $1.50 
per year for each member. It held its own and grew slowly until 1894. 
At this time an event occurred which entirely changed its condition. 

Dr. Edward Murphy had been an active member of the Institute all 
of its life. He came to New Harmony just after the failure of the Owen 
community, a ragged, barefoot, friendless Irish boy. He learned the 
tailor's trade and worked at it for some time, but studied medicine and 
successfully practiced his profession for many years. By frugality and 
prudence he was able to accumulate a competency. He retired from the 
practice of medicine and spent the last twenty-five years of his life in 
travel and study. Dr. and Mrs. Murphy, when they were of middle age, 
had the misfortune to lose all of their children. "They were compelled 
to struggle on through old age, childless and alone. In 1894 Dr. Mur- 
phy gave to the Institute $42,000 in first mortgage notes. This sum rep- 
resented that portion of his fortune which gave him care in handling. 
When he had completed the transfer he expressed himself as feeling 
greatly relieved and very hapi)y. 

Subsequently, on the death of Dr. and Mrs. Murphy (Mrs. Murphy 
died a few days after the doctor), the Institute came into possession 
of the greater portion of their fortune, the whole of their gifts amount- 
ing to $140,000. During Mr. Murphy's lifetime he built the home which 
the Institute now occupies. It cost $24,000 and all of that amount ex- 
cept $4,000 was contributed by Dr. and Mrs. Murphy. The Institute 
sold the home which the Maclures had given it and invested the amount 
so realized ($4,000) in its new home. 

It now possesses a working capital of $100,000, which is invested in 
first mortgage real estate loans and bonds. Its total assets are estimated 
at $170,000. Its income at present is about $6,000 per year. This is divided 
among the following funds : The lecture, museum, book, insurance and 
repair, and the expense funds. 



I08 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

About $1,200 is Spent in lectures each year. Season tickets to these 
are sold at 50 cents. Dr. Murphy wished they should be absolutely free. 
He said in a meeting which was considering the matter, "I wish the 
lectures to be absolutely free. When I was a boy in this place, I could 
attend any lecture that was given without paying anything. I wish these 
lectures to be free." He was, however, overruled by the members and a 
nominal admission charge, as given above, was fixed. The Institute has 
now (1913) bought a lot adjoining the library site, at a cost 
of $3,000 and is erecting an auditorium at an approximate cost, when 
completed, of $25,000.00. 

The income of $10,000 is set aside for the maintenance of the Mu- 
seum. This consists of the geological and mineralogical collection of the 
late Edward T. Cox, one time Indiana State geologist; of a part of the 
collection of Prof. Richard Owen, for many years professor of natural 
science at Indiana State University ; the collection of James Sampson, 
a local scientist, and with the two aforementioned persons, among the 
founders of the Institute. It also contains other objects of scientific 
value or local interest. It occupies one-half of the second story of the 
library building. 

The other half of the second story of the library building is occupied 
by a collection of oil paintings which Dr. Murphy bought in Europe 
and gave to the Institute. In this gallery is a portrait of William Mac- 
lure, painted by Northcote, which is regarded as a fine work of art. 
There are al.so portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Murphy as they appeared in 
their latter life. 

For several years the Institute conducted a free school of art during 
the summer months. Its purpose was to inculcate the principles of art 
and enable the young to appreciate the works in the gallery and all 
works of art. The library building was decorated by a young man, Harry 
Hawkins, who obtained his first instruction in art in this school. He has 
painted in the hall of the library a notable representation of George Rapp 
deeding the site of Harmonic to Robert Owen. 

In 1908 the writer of this article arranged and classified the books of 
the library according to the Dewey system of classification. At that 
time the library contained 17,474 volumes, divided as follows: General 
works, 1,624; philosophy, 236; religion, 694; sociology, 890; philology, 
288; science, 1,367; useful arts, 469; fine arts, 235; literature, 2,226; his- 
tory, 4,004; children's books, 1,220; popular fiction. 1,414; public docu- 
ments, 1,977: duplicates (mosth' public documents), 830; total, 17,474. 

The two classes — popular fiction and children's books — were made 
because the books had been roughly grouped into these two classes for 
a long time and it was thought best not to disturb an arrangement which 
had been in existence so long. 

The notable features of the collection are, first, the works relating to 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY IO9 

local history and those produced by former residents of this place. The 
influence which New Harmony exerted on the sociological and scien- 
tific thought of the early part of last century was both profund and wide 
spread. No pains have been spared or will be spared to obtain all of 
the information which can be procured on these matters. 

The division of sociology is well represented both in the number and 
character of the works which we possess. 

In general works it possesses complete sets of Harper's Monthly, Cen- 
tury, Scribner's, Popular Science and others and has the best cyclo- 
pedias. 

In philosophy the librar}' is rich in works which are fundamental and 
important. 

In religion it has outgrown the bitterness and meagerness of 1847, 
although the number of doctrinal works is small. Works treating of 
practical religion are more numerous and it has some works on the 
great world religions that are important. The influence of the 
fathers, who annually celebrated the birthday of Thomas Paine with a 
ball, is still manifest in the small number of sectarian publications and 
in the selection of works which take a world-wide view of religion. 

The science class contains all of the library of Dr. Richard Owen, 
which Dr. Murphy bought during his lifetime, and it was enriched by 
contributions from other men of scientific attainments who have lived 
here. The collection in this class, which is full enough and rich enough 
to meet the requirements of the village, at present, is not such as sat- 
isfy the requirements of the advanced student of today. 

A special effort was being made to bring the library up to what its 
founder wished in the useful arts class. Mr. Maclure had adopted as 
the principal motto of his "school of industry," "Utility shall be the 
scale by which we shall endeavor to measure the value of everything." 
This has not been the controlling principle in the library management, 
but it ought to exercise a strong influence. 

In literature the library is rich in its collection and in history it is, 
as has been the case from the beginning, especially rich. Old works 
and reprints of old works abound. It has the "Annual Register" in un- 
broken series from 1758 to the present time. Some years ago those 
who were investigating the question of the boundary lines of Venezuela 
found here data that they could not obtain elsewhere. 

The library, against stubborn opposition of some of the members, was 
card indexed by Miss Rena Reese in 1908. She was an accomplished libra- 
rian and was vouched for by the secretary of the Public Library Com- 
mission of Indiana. Miss Reese was instructed by the writer of this to 
pay particular attentinon to instructing Mrs. Nora C. Fretageot, who 
was then employed in the library and is now de facto librarian. 

In addition to the instruction in librarv work given bv Miss Reese 



no HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Mrs. Fretageot has profited by attendance at the library school con- 
ducted by the State Commission and is extending the sphere of useful- 
ness of the library. 

Given form and sustenance in its infancy by William Alaclure, "who 
loved his fellow men," endowed in later years with the rich, golden 
sheaves which were the harvest of the lifetime of Dr. and Mrs. Edward 
Murphy, it is to be hoped that the institution will broaden and deepen 
in a benign influence in the community. 

JOEL WILLIS HIATT, A. M. 

In 1844 the town contained twelve stores, two steam mills and two 
tanneries. The streets were raised and the sidewalks graveled. A high 
levee was built to the river in order to make a passable road to it at all 
seasons, and at the sides of the levee were canals to admit keel-boats 
and flat-boats into the city when the water was high. 

The town of New Harmony was incorporated in August, 1850. The 
board was organized by electing James Sampson president and proceed- 
ing to pass the customary ordinances and by-laws regulating saloons, 
peddlers, the rate of taxation, etc. The board adjourned their meeting 
April II, 1867, sine die, and their charter was allowed to lapse. 

The town was not reincorporated until 1881. 

When the town was reincorporated the following men were elected 
trustees: J. W. Miller, first ward; O. N. Fretageot, second; Henry 
Hunsden, third; John Walz, fourth, and W. M. Ford, fifth. John Walz 
was chosen president of the board. The following were chosen as school 
trustees: Richard Owen, John Corbin and Thomas Mumford. June 13. 
1882, the city was provided with a fire engine and a hook and ladder 
company. 

Xew Harmony has perhaps the finest parks of any town of its size 
in Indiana or elsewhere. Murphy park, consisting of six acres, and sit- 
uated in the southern part of town, east of Main street, is a beautiful, 
well kept city park, of which the town may be justly proud. The ground 
was donated to the town by Dr. Edward Murphy in 1890, during his life- 
time, and he also donated a fund of $10,000, the income of which was 
to be used to maintain this park. The fund, however, consisted of mu- 
nicipal bonds in a western city and the value thereof dei)reciated to some 
extent so that the actual amount which finally reached the park fimd 
was a little less than $7,000. This amount is now held in trust and the 
income from it is used to defray the park expense. The direction of the 
park is in the hands of a committee of three, composed of two members 
of the town council and one citizen member. The grounds are well laid 
out, having been surveyed and designed by Mr. Elliott, a landscape 
gardener of Pittsburgh, Pa. The trees, shrubs and flowers are artisticallv 
arranged and present a very pleasing appearance. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY III 

McClure park is also a very pretty park, but not so large as Murphy 
park. It consists of one city block and is located north of Church street. 
It was originally a part of a common kept by William McClure in the 
city plat. J. W. Hiatt, the present citizen member of the park com- 
mission, designed the landscape plan of this park and, while the trees 
and shrubs are yet young, the place bids fair to be very attractive. 

Thoroughly in keeping with the educational spirit of the town, New 
Harmony built a new school building during 1913 which is one of the 
most complete and modern structures in the United States. Practically 
consisting of three floors, for the basement serves a number of material 
purposes, it is the last word in school architecture and in it is expressed 
every influence that will conduce to the physical and mental welfare of 
the pupil. 

The building is a beautiful two-story brick, strong in outline and fin- 
ished in every detail. Thoroughly modern, except in one instance when 
modernity gives way to the historic Rapp doorway that has been saved 
to posterity, and placed in the west side of the building where it causes 
the mind to hark back to Rappite times. 

The system of heating is a low-pressure direct and indirect radiation, 
using two-thirds direct and one-third indirect radiation gravity system, 
all water of condensation being returned to the boiler by gravity without 
the aid of pumps. The boiler is a ten-section sectional boiler with a 
capacity one-third larger than the radiation required to heat the building. 

The indirect radiation is connected to fresh air ducts leading from 
the outside of the building in the basement, and fresh air is carried 
over an aspirating coil placed in each fresh air duct, and is warmed 
and carried into each room at a point eight feet above the floor line. 

In each room there are two or more foul air ducts placed at the floor 
level, into which is placed a radiator which forms a draft and carries 
the foul air into the attic, and from thence it is carried through the 
roof ventilators. 

The system is guaranteed to maintain a temperature of seventy de- 
grees when the temperature is ten degrees below zero. 

There are two drinking fountains in the hallway on the first floor, 
and one in the hallway on the second floor. 

The entire building is supplied with water from a composition tank 
in the basement with a capacity of 1,500 gallons. The water is pumped 
into the compression tank by a Kewanee electric deep well pump with 
automatic starting and stopping device. 

The basement extends under the entire building and will serve a mul- 
titude of purposes. The boiler room is located in the northeast corner 
and the other sections are as follows : Agricultural science room, manual 
training room, domestic science, boys' toilet room, boys' locker room, 
gymnasium, girls' toilet room, girls' locker room. 



112 HISTORY OF POSEY COUXTY 

The first floor will be devoted to the grades, beginning at the primary 
and including the eighth and the sewing room. Ascending by a wide and 
ample stairway, either in the front or west end of the building, one 
comes to the second floor, where the higher departments are conducted. 

At the head of the front stairway is situated the superintendent's room 
and private office. Much of the south side is given to the large assembly 
room, capable of seating 300 pupils. Other rooms on the second floor 
are the music, English, botany and physics room, physical laboratory, 
supply room, dark room, teachers' retiring room and two toilet rooms. 

A system of electric bells leads throughout the building and the old- 
time bell in the tower is a thing of the past. The pupils will be called 
and dismissed by electric bells, the headquarters of which will be the 
superintendent's room. 

The lighting is one of the important features of the new building and 
the pupils will be seated so that the light comes over their left shoulders. 
Each pupil is guaranteed an ample amount of light and fresh air by 
the law which governs the new school buildings erected in this State. 
The interior woodwork is of southern pine and the panels in the doors 
are made of a beautifully grained veneer. 

When completed the new building will represent an expenditure of 
,$35,000. It will give added glory to New Harmony as an educational 
center and show the centennial guests of next year that this town has 
not fallen behind in the march of progress that education has made in 
this State. 

Here, within a radius of two city blocks are located the Working 
Men's Institute or library building, which was built at a cost of $24,000, 
the Auditorium, a magnificent structure now in course of erection, to 
cost about $25,000, and the new public school building. Truly the hope 
and ambition of Robert Owen and his illustrious contemporaries for 
the advancement of education and the diffusion of knowledge could not 
reach a more fitting climax, even though it was realized by means other 
than those of which he dreamed. 

New Harmony is the second town in size in Posey county. The cen- 
sus of 1910 gives its population 1,229. It is situated in the heart of ont 
of the best agricultural districts in the State. It has many beautiful 
residences and several blocks of macadamized streets with concrete curb- 
ing and gutters. There are four churches, representing the Episcopal, 
Catholic, Methodist and German Evangelical denominations, all of which 
are well attended. The business interests of New Harmony are repre- 
sented by two substantial banking institutions, one flour mill, three 
grain elevators, and several prosperous and extensive mercantile estab- 
lishments, representing every branch of trade. The town has two weekly 
newspapers, the New Harmony "Times" and the New Harmony "Reg- 




THE ()\\•R\'-^r.\CLURE HOME 
Residence nf the late Captain Jnlm CorlMn, Xew Harmony 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 113 

ister." The city owns and operates its electric light plant, which has 
proven a success. 

As a place of residence New Harmony has few equals and no superiors. 
It is situated on the banks of the Wabash in the most picturesque coun- 
try in America. Its citizens are upright, the climate ideal, and its insti- 
tutions unsurpassed. 

POSEYVILLE. 

The town of Poseyville was laid out by Ellison Cale and Talbott 
Sharp February i8, 1840. Until 1852 it was called Palestine, when, in 
order to secure a post office, the name was changed. It is situated 
twenty-four miles northeast of Mt. Vernon, in a fine agricultural section 
of the county, at the intersection of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois and 
the Illinois Central railroads. For a number of years after the town was 
laid out its growth was quite slow, but within the last decade it has 
grown quite rapidly. 

The first house in the town was built by Dr. Alexander Church. It 
was a frame structure, weatherboarded with clapboards. The first store 
was established in 1841 by J. S. Jaquess. He continued in business for 
eleven years, then moved to Evansville, where he opened a wholesale 
house. T. C. Jaquess, his brother, was for twenty years his successor 
in business in Poseyville. 

In 185 1 J. L. Walker opened a store in the town and continued busi- 
ness until his death in 1874. 

The first mill was built by Alexander Church. It was what was 
known as a "stump mill,'' the propelling power being horses. 

In 1853 James Rosborough and Gillison Thomas built the first steam 
mill. They sold it to Walker & Jaquess. In 1874 Walker became the 
sole owner and operated it till 1883, when he sold out to Drake Bros. 
& Hall, who later equipped the mill with modern machinery. 

The first tanyard was built by Preston Talbot. W. C. Bozeman 
owned a carding machine which was operated by a tread mill. He 
sold this machine to Leonard Bozeman and in 1853 began a private 
brokerage business and in the course of twenty years he succeeded in 
building up a large business and was reputed to be worth $40,000. 

The first blacksmith shop was built by Thomas Malone in 1855. 

The first school house used by the people of Poseyville was built 
about one-half mile north of the town. In 1873 a good brick school 
house was built near the spot where the Chicago & Eastern Illinois rail- 
road crosses Main street, a part of the money for which was furnished 
by private subscriptions. This building burned down in the winter of 
1884-85 and a new building was erected in the summer of 1885 at a cost 
of $6,000. 



114 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Poseyville, at the present writing, is a progressive and up-to-date 
town. Located in one of the richest agricultural sections of the State, 
it enjoys a patronage from the surrounding country equaled by few towns 
of its size. The farming community is of the highest type. The farms, 
of black, sandy loam, are of inexhaustible fertility. The farm houses 
are modern in architecture and furnishings, and the surroundings are 
models of neatness and beauty. The latest improved machinery and 
implements are in common use and in contented luxury the farmer and 
his happy family dwell in a "Garden of Eden." From these farms come 
a prodigious amount of produce into the markets of Poseyville. Corn, 
wheat and stock are the principal products and these are purchased by 
the local buyers and shipped to distant markets. These products annu- 
ally bring to Poseyville a great wealth in money, which has drawn to 
the town the most progressive business men. Under the stimulus of 
the wealth promoted in conservative channels by progressive citizens, 
Poseyville within the past decade has shown a wonderful development. 
Several new additions have been platted and added to the corporate 
limits in recent years. The citizens take pride in the beauty of the lit- 
tle town and work in harmony for its advancement. The town has im- 
proved streets and sidewalks, well-kept lawns and beautiful modern 
houses adorn either side in the residence section. A new electric light 
plant furnishes light for the town, business houses and residences. The 
business houses are all excellent structures and are stocked with high- 
class goods. Among the trades represented are two drygoods stores, 
two drug stores, two banks, two implement houses, two blacksmiths, 
three confectioneries, two groceries, two millinery stores, one market 
shop, two hotels, one hardware store, one meat shop, one bakery, four 
barbers, one newspaper, one tin shop, two repair shops, one poultry 
market, one flouring mill, one harness shop, etc. Among the professional 
men are four doctors, two dentists and two lawyers. 

The town has four modern church buildings, represented by the Meth- 
odist, Christian, Catholic and Baptist, each with a large membership. 
The fraternities are represented by the Masons. Knights of Pythias, 
Odd Fellows, Modern W'oodmen, Ben Hur and Court of Honor. The 
educational status of the town ranks high. A Carnegie library is free 
to the citizenship. A modern school building is just completed and 
ranks with the best. The course of study measures up to the larger 
towns and graduates of the school are given credits in the State insti- 
tutions, the school having been commissioned for a number of years. 
The financial, business and other features of the town are covered un- 
der the proper head, but viewed from whatever point — financial, educa- 
tional, moral — Poseyville measures up to its full scope as a home for 
the highest and best in citizenship. Its beauties and hospitality, en- 
hanced by the sociability and moral and educational tone of its citizen- 
ship, make it a desirable residing place. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY II5 

WEST FRANKLIN. 

This place was laid out in January, 1837. It is situated twelve miles 
above Mt. Vernon on the Ohio river. It is claimed that Jacob Wine- 
miller settled there in 1807. Daniel Lynn ran a ferry there at that time, 
and in 1813 Elcana Williams ran the ferry. The place was then called 
Diamond Island Ferry. It was the favorite crossing place for immi- 
grants from Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina into Posey county. 
For a number of years the place was quite a promising village, but 
with the advent of the Louisville & Nashville railroad through Caborn 
it dwindled into a place of very limited extent. Daniel Lynn died here 
of cholera in 1833. Although no town site was laid out there were a 
great many settlers here as early as 1815. 'The first store was kept by 
John M. Hayne about 1835. The first physicians were F. H. Pease 
and Floyd Williams, about 1848. The first school house was built in 
1850. The first school taught in it was by James B. Campbell. Mr. 
Campbell was elected county school superintendent in 1868. The first 
church was built by the Methodists in 1848. It was destroyed by the 
flood in 1883 and a new building was erected in the summer of 1885. 

At present the town has a general merchandise store, a saloon, a 
blacksmith shop, a school and a church. 

BLAIRSVILLE. 

The town of Blairsville is located on Big creek in Robinson township. 
It was named in honor of Stephen Blair who, in company with Ebenezer 
Phillips, laid out the town on the Fourth of July, 1837. ^t soon grew 
into prominence as a half-way place on the Evansville and New Har- 
mony stage road, besides it was fairly well located for the convenience 
of settlers in all directions from the town as a trading point. 

Political speakings were held here quite often in the old days of the 
Whig and the Democrat. A joint discussion was held here during the 
campaign of 1842 between Robert Dale Owen, the Democratic candidate 
for Congress, and John W. Payne, the Whig candidate. Among the 
first residents of Blairsville were Stephen Blair, after whom the town 
was named, Ebenezer Phillips, who surveyed the town, Charles Kim- 
ball, a Dr. Owens and later a Dr. Mitchell, Henry Theuerkauf and 
Flenry Weber, shoemakers. Henry Newman was one of the first black- 
smiths. Charles Kimball ran a feed mill. John B. Gardner and John 
Becker were among the early successful merchants and business men. 
The extension of the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad through Wades- 
ville in 1880 was a severe blow to Blairsville from which the town never 
recovered. For several years the population has been composed largely, 
if not entirely, of Germans. The importance of the town in 1842 may be 



Il6 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

judged by the fact that the following petitioned the "honorable board" 
for tavern licenses (which meant to sell whiskey also) : J. H. Owens, 
Daniel Cox, William Watson, David R. Downen, M. Duty, Robert 
Stevens, William Dodge, Nelson Doty, Daniel Elkins, Benjamin Garris, 
Soren Sorenson, M. Watson, H. W. Young, William F. Phillips and 
Richard Ramsey. At present there is one saloon in the town and the 
place is practically a mere settlement. 

STEWARTSVILLE. 

Stewartsville was laid out October 29, 1838, by James Stewart. The 
town was first called Paris, but on the establishment of a post office in 
1853 the name was changed to Stewartsville. John W. Robb was the 
first postmaster. The first store in the place was that of Perry & 
Schneider, established about 1844. Since then other merchants have 
been John Robb & Silas Cox, James Montgomery, Thomas Robb. John 
& Thomas Robb. Demberger & Paul. About the year 1842 George 
Gleichman built a horse mill. In 1845 Schneider & Wise started a 
still house. In 1853 David Knewler built a saw and grist mill. For a 
while a man named Montgomery ran a moonshine distillery, but was 
soon stopped by the government. 

At present the town has one general merchandise store, one grocery 
store, one grain elevator, one church, a blacksmith shop and a livery 
s t ?i n 1 f 

FARMERSVILLE. 

Farmersville marks the location of one of the oldest settlements in 
Posey county. The first settlers were Samuel Black, Anson Andrews, 
Rufus Johnson, Elisha Ellis and Samuel Phillips. As they were mainly 
from the New England States, the settlement was for some time known 
as the Yankee settlement and sometimes called Yankeetown. On ac- 
count of being at the corner of four farms the place was sometimes 
called the "Corners." Mr. Phillips settled on 100 acres lying to the 
northeast of town, Mr. Johnson to the southeast on 250 acres, Mr. An- 
drews on 120 acres to the northwest and Mr. Ellis on an eighty-acre 
farm to the southwest of town. 

For some time the place gave promise of becoming a place of consid- 
erable importance, but other places having more advantageous sites 
have far outstripped it. The first store was conducted by Anson An- 
drews on the corner of his place where the store now stands. This 
store was burned down and a larger store was built on the same spot 
by E. Ellis, A. S. Osborn, D. F. Johnson and A. Andrews. This was 
called the "Union Store." This store was also burned down and a sec- 
ond union store was built which was burned in 1863. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 117 

In all there have been nine other stores, nine blacksmith shops, one 
furniture store and one cooper shop. At present there is one store and 
one blacksmith shop. The first building in the place was a log school 
house. It stood where the old store now stands. The present school 
building is a brick structure of four rooms. It was built in 1875 at a 
cost of $6,000. At present only two of the rooms are in use. Sylvanus 
Johnson is principal and Vina K. Ellis is the primary teacher. 

In the early days religious services were held in private dwellings 
or in the old school house, but later a building was erected by the 
Christians. Then, later, the Baptists built a church and this was fol- 
lowed by the Methodists, all of which are still in existence. 

At present the town has one general merchandise store, one black- 
smith shop, a Baptist church and a school. 

WADESVILLE. 

The town of Wade.sville was laid out by Daniel Leffel, James Pelt and 
William Moye in February, 1853. At that time the place belonged in 
Robinson township. Previously, the place had been called Cross Roads, 
but after it was laid out it was named Wadesville in honor of the Wade 
family. Daniel Leffel owned and operated the first business house in 
Wadesville. He kept a small stock of dry goods and groceries. The 
next was that of the Moye Bros., with whom Zachariah Wade after- 
ward became associated, and later, for a time, Abner Wade. This firm 
did an extensive business in clocks. Other business houses were those 
of James Gardner, William Haines, Nicholas Joest and Finley Allison, 
and Nicholas Joest and James Cross. The last named, under the firm 
name of Joest & Cross, did an extensive business in dry goods, gro- 
ceries, etc., besides having an extensive warehouse for grain. Other 
lines of business were agricultural implements, blacksmith shops and 
hotel. 

The first physician in the town was Richard Smyth. He settled there 
in 1852 and remained for several years and finally moved to Mt. Vernon. 

At present the town has two general merchandise stores, one imple- 
ment store, one blacksmith shop and a grain elevator. 

CYNTHIANA. 

The town of Cynthiana was laid out March 6, 1817, by William Davis, 
who, with about forty others, came from the vicinity of Cynthiana, Ky. 
Almost the entire colony settled in the neighborhood. It was laid out 
with a public square which still remains unoccupied, as the conditions 
were that it shall remain to the public so long as kept for public pur- 
poses exclusively. The growth of the town was very slow, a great 
many of the original lots remaining unimproved sixty years later. 



Il8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Andrew Moffat and John Shanklin kept the first store in the town 
in a small log house. George Jaquess and Thomas Blackhurst later did 
business in the same place. Goods were brought mainly from Hen- 
derson, Ky. 

Clement Whiting did business on the corner on which the residence 
of D. B. Montgomery was built many years later. 

Robert Long is believed to have built the first mill in the western 
part of the town. Other mill men in the early days of the town were: 
Tol Grigsby, George W. Lindsey and Jesse Kimball. About 1858 a 
steam saw mill and grist mill was built. 

The first school house was located in the south part of town on the 
Evansville road. The first teachers were Ebenezer Phillips, John Grant, 
Elijah Goodwin and Thomas Barrett. The first physician is believed to 
be Enoch Jones. 

The first enlargement to the town was made by Clement Whiting in 
June, 1819. This was known as the "Whiting enlargement," but the 
growth of the town was very slow until about the year 1876. In Jan- 
uary of that year D. B. Montgomery's enlargement was added and James 
Redman's enlargement was added in February, 1885. James Redman 
owned a tile factory at that time. 

The town gave liberally to the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad as 
an inducement to the building of a branch of that road through the 
town, and on its completion in 1880, and since that time, the town has 
had a healthful and substantial growth. 

At present the town has two dry goods stores, one drug store, two 
hardware stores, one meat market, two grocery stores, three confec- 
tioneries, three blacksmith shops, a lighting system and a grain elevator. 

Cynthiana has many beautiful and substantial residences. Many re- 
tired farmers have built comfortable homes in the town, contributing 
materially to the hospitality, sociability and moral tone of its citizenship. 

GRIFFIN. 

This place was laid out August 11. 1881, by William Price. It is 
situated in section 6 in Bethel township, between the Black and Wa- 
bash rivers, on the Illinois Central railroad, and is an important ship- 
ping point. The post office is called Griffin, but the place is some- 
times called Price's Station. The place is surrounded by rich farming 
lands. 

The town has two general merchandise stores, two blacksmith shops, 
two grain elevators, two physicians and four churches. A new, up-to- 
date school building, modern in every detail, is now under construction 
and will cost approximately $5,000. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY II9 



BLACKFORD. 

The town of Blackford was laid out in 1815 for the county seat of 
Posey county. It was located in section 29 of Marrs township, about a 
mile northeast of the present town of Caborn. It was named in honor 
of Hon. Isaac Blackford, who was the first circuit judge. The last term 
of court held there was in May, 1817, when the county seat was moved 
to Springfield and Blackford became a mere settlement and the land 
on which it stood is now a part of a cultivated farm. 

WINFIELD. 

This town was laid out by John Cox in 1838. It is situated in section 
26 in Harmony township. Previous to the year 1859 Joshua and John 
Cox kept a store there. At present the place is a mere settlement, some- 
times called Bugtown. 

HOVEY. 

Hovey, Point township, has one general merchandise store and one 
blacksmith shop. 

SOLITUDE. 

Solitude is located on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad in Lynn 
township. It has a general merchandise store and a blacksmith shop. 

NEW BALTIMORE. 

This town site was laid out in 1837 by Wilson J. Johnson. The plat 
contained fifty-six lots. Mr. Johnson opened the first store and, for a 
time, did a good business. Later merchants were David Waller, James 
L. Jolly, Wash Wheeler and Isaac Williams. The town was located at 
the mouth of Black river. It was an important river landing and large 
quantities of produce found a ready market here and many flat boats 
were built here, but towns soon sprung up in more accessible localities 
and, with the opening of roads, business found outlets elsewhere and the 
town soon ceased to exist. 

OLIVER. 

Oliver is located on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad in Center 
township. This place has a general merchandise store, a blacksmith 
shop, an elevator and a saloon. 



I20 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTV 

SAINT PHILIP. 

This village is situated eleven miles east of Mt. Vernon in Marrs town- 
ship, on the Louisville «& Nashville railroad. It is in a rich agricultural 
settlement. One of the finest churches in the county was built here in 
1870 at a cost of $10,000. On the completion of this church Elizabeth 
Deig, a lady noted for her liberality and Christian spirit, purchased an 
organ costing $2,000 and presented it to the church. The place is largely 
made up of German Catholics and the town has a Catholic school and 
a creamery. 

CABORN STATION. 

The town of Caborn was laid out in 1871 by Cornelius Caborn, the 
leading farmer in that locality, and was originally called Caborn Sum- 
mit. It is located on the Louisville & Nashville railroad and the Evans- 
ville & Mt. Vernon electric railway, in Marrs township. Benjamin 
Crack was appointed postmaster in 1876 and opened the first store the 
following year. Cornelius Caborn began buying grain in 1871 at the 
station and John Fox started a blacksmith shop and wagon shop in 1877. 
H. C. Bradley conducted a saloon and grocery store. At present the 
place has one general merchandise store, one saloon, one blacksmith 
shop, one grain elevator, a Modern Woodman hall, a church and a school. 

GRAFTON. 

The town of Grafton was laid out in June, 1852, by George W. Thomas, 
who owned a steam flouring mill there at the time. It is located in 
section 14 of Black township, on Big creek. It is surrounded by a rich 
farming country. Grafton has one general merchandise store, one sa- 
loon, one blacksmith shop, an Odd Fellows' hall and a school. 

UPTON. 

The town of Upton, a short distance south of Grafton, is a station 
on the Louisville & Nashville railroad, important as a shipping point 
for grain. It was named in honor of a man living in the vicinity of the 
station, but no plat of the place has ever been made. 

ST. WENDEL. 

This village was never formally laid out. It is supposed that its 
name was derived from Wendel Wasem, who contributed liberally to 
the building of a large Catholic church, which cost about $10,000. The 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 121 

village is located in the northeastern part of Robinson township, on the 
Vanderburg- county line, the line running through the center of the 
village. Raben & Naas for many years owned and operated a mill and 
a large mercantile house there. 

The population is made up almost entirely of Germans. The town 
has two general merchandise stores, three saloons, three blacksmith 
shops, two implement stores, one Catholic church and school, and the 
residence of the sisters. The present population is about 300. 

SPRINGFIELD. 

The beginning of Springfield dates from the time it was selected for 
the location of the county seat of Posey county in the year 181 7. George 
Rapp donated 100 acres of land to the county on which to locate the 
town, having entered these lands the same year. 

The town was laid out in rectangular form and contained 189 lots 
and a public square. The surveying was done by Mathew Williams, 
assisted by Andrew Hindman, Thomas Wilson and William Alexander. 
Frederick Rapp was given the contract for the building of the court 
house March 2, 1817. The building was of brick, two stories high, 
with stone foundation. A well was dug in the public square by John 
Hinch for $25. James Campbell was given the contract for clearing the 
public square. The town immediately began to boom on account of 
its being the new county seat. Lots sold well for a time, but the people 
soon realized that the place did not have the elements to make a flour- 
ishing town, and real estate began to decline and the development of 
the town was very slow. 

Finally, in 1825, the county seat was removed to Mt. Vernon. This 
was the death blow to Springfield. In May, 1827. the legislature passed 
an act for the relief of property owners in Springfield and a committee 
was appointed to assess the damage to property incident to the removal 
of the county seat, and damages amounting to $1,313 were paid to the 
owners of the lots. The court house was fitted up and used as a school 
house and continued to be used as such until very recently. 

At present the place has no business houses. 



CHAPTER VII. 



PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 



PRIMITIVE SCHOOL HOUSES — SUBSCRIPTION SCHOOLS PIONEER TEACHERS 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS — MODERN SCHOOLS. 

The first school house in Posey county was built in the year 1814. 
on the .southeast corner of the public square in Mt. Vernon (then called 
McFaddin's Bluff). 

Another school was located on the farm of James Black about the 
year 1816. Mr. Black having built a new frame house, permitted the 
use of his old log house as a school house. 

As the country was thinly settled, school houses were not numerous, 
nor were the buildings or furniture commodious. The houses were log 
buildings, usually about 12x14 feet. The seats were made of split logs 
with auger holes bored into the bark side and pegs inserted for legs. 
They were usually all of the same height and without backs. The writ- 
ing desks consisted of wide, heavy planks sawed with a whip saw, rest- 
ing on pins driven into auger holes in the side walls of the room. Instead 
of windows, an opening about a foot wide was hewed out of the upper 
and lower sides of two logs in the wall above the writing desk; over 
this opening, greased paper or rawhide was pasted as a substitute for 
glass. Stoves for heating purposes were unknown in those days and fire- 
places, usually about 4x10 feet, were built in the end of the room. These 
fire-places were made of logs, poles and sticks heavily plastered on the 
inside with mud as a protection from the fire. The chimneys were built 
of sticks and mud. 

The cost of a school building was not considered anything, as no 
money was expended incident to its erection. All that was required was 
labor, which was furnished by the residents of the district, free of cost. 
There was no public money available then, as there is now. Our pres- 
ent free public school system was not established until 1853. The above 
description is applicable in a gerieral way to school houses established 
in all the settlements and townships in those days all over the county. 

The salary of teachers was from $1 to $1.50 per pupil for a term of 
three months, and "board around" among the parents gratuitously. This 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1 23 

money the teacher collected from the parents, according to the "article" 
arranged before the opening of the school, often taking a great portion 
in produce. 

The following is a sample of one of the many forms of "articles" : 

"I, Ebenezer Phillips, agree to teach an English school (here state 
county, township and district) for the term of three months at $. . . . per 
scholar, to begin (date). Will teach reading, writing and arithmetic as 
far as the single rule of three. My government will be : For being idle, 
two lashes with beech switch ; for whispering, three lashes ; for fight- 
ing, six lashes ; for pinching, three licks across the palm of the hand 
with my ferrule; for tearing the books or thumbing, four licks with fer- 
rule across the palm of the hand. 

"We, the subscribers, agree to pay said Phillips in vegetables, such 
as potatoes, onions, beets, cabbage ; in fruit, such as apples, peaches ; 
in corn, bacon and wheat, all at market prices or money in payments; 
last payment at end of term. (Following this were the names of sub- 
scribers, and number subscribed by each.) 

"We, the subscribers, agree to furnish said Phillips a house, or we 
agree to board him according to number subscribed." 

They solicited their pupils from house to house, telling or submitting 
in writing to the parents where they would hold school ; that they would 
teach spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, as far as the single 
rule of three ; they also announced what their charges would be. The 
children learned to read from whatever book the family happened to 
possess. 

A pointed goose-quill was used for the pen, and the ink for copy-book 
work was manufactured from oak-balls saturated with vinegar. The 
teachers in those days were expected to be experts at making quill 
pens and keeping them in order. 

The first year or two of the school life of the pupil was taken up in 
learning the alphabet — both capitals and small letters — fifty-two dis- 
tinct forms. After the child had accomplished this task he spent an- 
other year or two in spelling and pronouncing monosyllables, as mean- 
ingless to him as the letters of the alphabet had been. At the end of that 
course the child was thought to be prepared to commence the spelling 
and pronouncing of intelligible words and, finally, he was allowed to 
read short, simple sentences, fables and stories found in the spelling 
book. Exceptionally bright pupils were sometimes allowed to read from 
a reader and "cipher" from Pike's Arithmetic. But the spelling book 
was the all-important and indispensable text book. Everything else 
was supplementary. 

At night the school children studied their lessons and "worked their 
sums" by the firelight or the feeble flame of a "tallow-dip." Often pine 
knots were burned in the fire-place to produce a good light. 



124 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

The pupils regarded the school as a place of torture and punishment. 
What little knowledge they did gain was acquired under the greatest 
disadvantages. They were confronted with incompetent teachers and 
were compelled to help their parents at home, thus preventing anything 
like regular attendance. The school term was short, usually about three 
months, but the daily sessions were long, beginning at sunrise, or as 
soon as the pupil arrived, and continuing until sunset. Probably the 
parents thought their children were getting a considerable amount of 
schooling by reason of these long daily sessions. As a rule, the school 
of those days was nothing short of a petty despotism. Fear of punish- 
ment was constantly on the pupil's mind, as the most trivial offense 
brought on a severe application of the rod. "Lickin' and larnin' " formed 
an inseparable link, according to the opinion of the majority of teachers 
and patrons. This was the theory of teaching in those days. Under 
such conditions, it is not hard to understand why so many of the chil- 
dren of our first settlers never acquired the rudiments of an English 
education. 

The schools of the county made slow progress for a number of years. 
For more than half a centur}- the most serious obstacle was the great 
deficiency of qualified teachers. 

W'ith the advent of the steam saw mill physical conditions were greatlj' 
improved, as new school houses were built of lumber, with windows of 
glass, instead of greased paper and rawhide. The seats were more com- 
fortable, although they were very different from the comfortable school 
desk of today. The double desk, made entirely of wood with a single 
straight board seat and a straight, slightly reclining back, was consid- 
ered a wonder in point of perfection. Then, too, stoves were invented, 
and soon took the place of fireplaces. However, with all these physical 
betterments, the qualifications of teachers were still at a low standard. 

From 1824 to 1837 three trustees were authorized to examine appli- 
cants for schools as to their qualifications before employing them. It 
is easy to see how inefficient their examinations must usually have been, 
if they made an examination at all. Quite often the whole matter was 
turned over by two of the trustees to the third, who was left to carry on 
the school in his own way. From 1837 up to some time in the '50s, 
the law required the county commissioners to appoint three examiners 
to examine teachers and grant certificates to those found to have the 
requisite qualifications. No record was required to be kept of the re- 
sult of these examinations. Tt was not expected that the examiners 
should sit as a board, so each acted wholly independent of the other. But 
the}' had no standard of qualifications and, in some cases, one of the ex- 
aminers ^vould issue a certificate without any educational test. The ex- 
aminers were men of various pursuits and callings, some were county of- 
ficers, some were lawyers, some were one thing and some another, but 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I25 

whatever they were the business of examining teachers was of minor 
importanc to them. In an examination the teacher had an easy time. 
The examinations could be held on the street or anywhere. The nature 
of the examination was left to the discretion of the examiners. 

A certain young man went to the county seat to secure his license. 
Applying to one of the examiners — a young lawyer — that official told 
him he was too busy and sent him to another examiner, who 
was a preacher. The preacher was just getting ready to attend a wedding 
and sent him back to the lawyer. He found the lawyer on the street, 
apparently not very busy, and told him the preacher's reason for not 
being able to conduct the examination, so the lawyer finally consented. 
On the way to the office the examiner asked, "How many genders have 
nouns?" The candidate's answer was "Four." "All right," said the ex- 
aminer, "of course you could name them." On to his office, and after a 
little conversation, the examiner wrote him out a two years' certificate. 
So we see that the teachers of those days had an easy way of securing a 
certificate to teach. 

In 1853 the State legislature fixed a standard of qualification and gave 
to the county commissioners the authority to license teachers, and in 
case there was not a sufficient number of properly qualified teachers in 
the county the commissioners were authorized to grant temporary li- 
censes and to employ "unqualified teachers," especially in remote rural 
districts. 

The greatest need in 1854 was for qualified teachers, although the 
progress of public education during this and following years was very 
great. 

State Superintendent Barnabus C. Hobbs, who held the office from 
1868 to 1871, was among the first in this country to give attention to 
the question of grading the district schools, and of regular and uniform 
courses of study and a common scheme of recitation. His first step 
toward the improvement of the schools was to recommend that the office 
of county examiner be changed to that of county superintendent. Ac- 
cordingly, the office was established, in 1873. 

Our free school system, which is a part of. our new State constitution, 
adopted in 1852, provided for the election of three trustees, a clerk and 
treasurer in each township to constitute a township board. This board 
was charged with the duty of looking after the schools, roads, bridges 
and the poor. 

The first duty of the board was to establish and conveniently locate a 
sufficient number of school houses to educate the children of their re- 
spective townships. Previously, the school houses had been built by the 
districts. Now they became the property of the township, but many 
were unfit for use, and several new houses were built at the expense of 
the township by an appropriation of township funds by the trustees, as 
provided by law. 



126 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

All schools, from the elementary up, had been left to private enter- 
prises. Even as late as 1850 the prevailing opinion was that parents 
alone were responsible for the education of their children, and should 
determine the extent of their education. The idea that every child has 
a right to an education, and that it is to the interest of the general pub- 
lic to provide it, and if need be, compel it, had not yet been recognized 
or accepted. 

The legislature of 1852 enacted a law that provided for a tax of ten 
cents on each one hundred dollars for school tuition purposes. Up to 
this time there had been no free schools. Section 32 of this law made in- 
corporate cities and towns independent of townships for school purposes, 
and gave them trustees with power to establish graded schools, and 
power to levy taxes for their support, to erect school houses, etc. Sec- 
tion 130 of the same act gave townships the same power as granted cities, 
in the following words : 

"The voters of any township shall have power at any general or 
special meeting to vote a tax for the purpose of building or repairing 
school houses and purchasing sites therefor, providing fuel, furniture, 
maps, apparatus, libraries, or increase thereof, or to discharge debts in- 
curred therefor, and for continuing their schools after the public school 
funds shall have been expended, to any amount not exceeding annually 
fifty cents on each one hundred dollars of property, and fifty cents on 
each poll." 

This law gave new life to the entire educational work of the State. 
New schoolhouses were erected and graded schools were established in 
rapid succession. In a few years many cities and larger towns had 
flourishing high schools. But in 1858 these two sections were declared 
unconstitutional on the ground that the local laws were not "general and 
uniform," as the constitution requires. This virtually killed every high 
school in the State and crippled all other free schools. But while it did 
this, it created a universal sentiment in favor of local taxation, which 
resulted in the enactment, in 1865, of exactly the .same law, only with 
different wording. The result was high schools began to increase in all 
the cities, incorporated towns and townships all over the State, and 
continued to increase down to the present time. 

In the same year the amendments to the school law added history 
of the United States and physiologj^ to the subjects to be taught and 
examined upon. 

The natural advantages and resources of the county continued to at- 
tract settlers, and the taxable property increased rapidly. Taxes for 
school purposes were levied. The salary of teachers was increased, 
and the standard of qualification of teachers was increased as rapidly 
as the available supply of qualified teachers would permit. The salary 
paid to teachers in the county has always compared favorably with that 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY XT.'J 

of Other counties in the State; in fact, a great many teachers from other 
counties in the State, and from other States, have been induced to seek 
employment in Posey county by reason of a pecuniary consideration. 

The present high state of efficiency which the schools of Posey county 
have attained has been brought about by the ceaseless, untiring and 
intelligent efforts toward organization, supervision, gradation and gen- 
eral betterment on the part of superintendents and teachers, working 
together. 

Material progress was quite slow for several years after our free 
school system was in operation. In 1873, when the supervision of the 
schools of the different counties of the State of Indiana was turned over 
to the county superintendents, they found them without order or sys- 
tem, and in the hands of untrained teachers. A tremendous task con- 
fronted them. System had to be created out of chaos, and this was 
not to be accomplished in a day, but they set themselves to work. They 
were never content with things as they found them, if they could dis- 
cover a chance for improvement. They had the courage of their con- 
victions and held firmly to what they believed to be good. Their aim 
was to produce better results each day. They must administer the sys- 
tem as they found it, and at the same time endeavor to develop and 
perfect it. 

Chief among the defects in the workings of the system, as they con- 
sidered, was the lack of uniformity. They established a standard not 
lower than the best school in the county, and endeavored to bring all 
others to it. The first step was to improve the teachers. With this 
idea in view the results accomplished were: Our system of teachers' 
examinations, the steady and healthy growth of our State Normal School, 
which was established in 1865, private normals throughout the State, 
county summer normals of six or eight weeks' duration, the county and 
township institutes prescribed by law enjoyed a greater increase in at- 
tendance and interest. 

The second step taken up was the classifying or grading of the coun- 
try schools, which resulted in the preparation, adoption and enforcement 
of a uniform course of study for the common schools of the State, bi- 
monthly examination questions prepared by a committee of county su- 
perintendents, and forwarded to the county superintendents by the State 
Superintendent. 

A uniform length of school term of eight months for all the schools in 
each township has been established. This arrangement makes possible 
better systemized work, uniform examinations and reports, and gives 
equal advantages and opportunities to all the children of the county. Ag- 
riculture and domestic science are taught in all schools of two rooms or 
more in the county, in the seventh and eighth grades. The law requires 
that music and drawing be taught in commissioned and certified high 
schools of the county. Manual training is taught in the city schools. 



128 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

All the high schools in the county, not already commissioned, are ad- 
vancing toward that end as rapidly as possible. Those of Mt. Vernon, 
New Harmony, Poseyville and Cynthiana are commissioned, and the 
Wadesville and Stewartsville schools will be able to meet the require- 
ments necessary to become commissioned, next year. 

Within the last three years Black township has erected four good 
school buildings, modern in all respects, at a cost of $15,000, one of which 
is a consolidated school of two rooms. 

Simultaneously Marrs township was expending $11,000 in the erection 
of two one-room buildings, and building an addition to one of her one- 
room buildings to accommodate a consolidated school. 

Point township, in 191 1, built a two-room concrete building, with fur- 
nace, heat and a modern system of ventilating, etc., at a cost of $4,000, and 
a one-room concrete building of modern design at a cost of $2,500. Point 
township has two two-room buildings. 

During the school year, 1911-1912, the total enrollment in the county 
was as follows: The certified high schools of the county, 31 pupils; in 
the non-commissioned high schools, 46; commissioned high schools, 398. 
The total enrollment in the county was as follows: In township schools, 
2,543; in town schools, 582; in city schools, 1,233, making a total of 4,358 
pupils enrolled in the schools of the county, not including enrollment in 
parochial schools of 404 pupils. 

Pupils graduated from the different schools of the county in 1912 as 
follows: From commissioned high schools, 74; from certified high 
schools, 6; graduates in the common branches, 198. 

The number of volumes in the libraries of the county in 1912 was, in 
township schools, 2,526; in towns. 20,326; in cities, 4,063; a total of 
26,915. 

The county emploj'S 162 teachers, forty-seven of whom teach in single 
room schools in the rural districts. There are twenty-one township con- 
solidated schools, employing two or more teachers. The average amount 
paid teachers per daj' in the district schools in the school year 191 1- 
1912 was $2.73. The average in the graded township schools was $3.14; 
in the graded town schools, $3.27, and in the city schools, $3.29; average 
'in the county, $3.18. 

The entire number of school-houses, year ending July 31, 1912, was: 
Concrete, one ; brick, thirty-eight ; frame, thirty-nine ; total, seventv-eight. 

Black township employs twenty-two teachers and has nine two-room 
buildings. 

Marrs township has three two-room buildings, and eleven one-room 
buildings, and employs seventeen teachers. 

Lynn township has seven school buildings, three of which are two- 
room buildings, and employs ten teachers. 

Robinson township has nine one-room buildings, and employs nine 
teachers. 




PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING 
New Hannonv 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 129 

Center township has five school houses, one of which is a two-room 
building. The township employs six teachers. 

Harmony township has four one-room school houses and employs four 
teachers. 

Bethel township has four one-room school houses, and employs four 
teachers. 

Robb township has a two-room building and two one-room buildings, 
and employs four teachers. 

Smith township has three schools, with one teacher in each. 

Point township has two buildings of two rooms each, and three one- 
room buildings, and employs seven teachers. 

Education reform has always been slow to reach the country school. 
It has been the rule for the country schools to have the poorest equip- 
ment, poorest buildings, shortest terms and the poorest paid teachers. 
It seems that all reforms have been introduced into the city first, then 
the towns, and after a long time it reached the country schools. Un- 
doubtedly, one of the greatest steps of the State of Indiana has ever 
taken toward advancement in the efficiency of our country schools was 
the consolidation of weak country schools into strong central ones. The 
little one-room school house at the crossroads, with its six months' term, 
and one lone teacher, has always been a sorry substitute for the advan-' 
tages supplied by the city schools. But, fortunately, our leaders in edu- 
cational matters had visions of better ways and finally the general as- 
sembly, in 1899, passed a law, giving the township trustees the right to 
transport pupils at public expense to a stronger central school, and in 
1907 a law was passed compelling them to discontinue weak schools aver- 
aging twelve pupils or less. There are at present twenty-one consolidated 
schools in the county, each employing two or more teachers and children 
are transported to better equipped schools than could be maintained in 
the little crossroads school house attended by less than a dozen pupils. 

The county has tried the plan to its entire satisfaction. The children 
transported find themselves in better buildings, under better teachers, 
and with access to libraries, and more thorough work is possible for the 
teachers. 

The object toward which the friends of improved rural schools are 
working is, that each township shall have a complete system of schools 
centrally located, with a uniform standard throughout the country and 
the entire State. The plan is to equalize the advantages for education 
between the city and the country youth. 

Centralization is the farmers' opportunity to get as good schools as the 
village and town schools have. It is cheaper to run the wagons than it 
is to run the little weak schools, and the educational advantages are many 
times greater. The schools are made more interesting and more prac- 
tical. The children are reading more books and better books than ever 



130 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

before. It is possible for every child to have access to a good library. 
All in all, the outlook is encouraging. We are certainly on the road to 
better things. The spirit of community life will build a central school 
where every boy and girl will have the best there is in education. 

For many years after our free school system became operative through- 
out the State there was no law making attendance compulsory, and 
truancy or very indifferent regularity of attendance was common. 

In 1897 and 1901 laws were enacted compelling attendance at school 
until the age of fourteen; and the same law provided that books and 
clothing should be furnished if necessary. There is no longer any doubt 
that there is a very close relationship between truancy and crime. Tru- 
ancy, idleness, ignorance, incompetency and drunkenness are the allies 
that work to keep our jails, reformatories and prisons full. 

On the first Monday in May, each year, the county board of educa- 
tion, as a board of truancy, appoints one truant officer for the county. 
In addition to this officer the cities may appoint officers, the number 
to be determined by population. The law has been effective, and with 
good teachers and conscientious truant officers, the attendance can be 
kept to the maximum. 

Mt. Vernon schools are under the supervision of Prof. E. J. Llewelyn. 
Besides the thirty-eight principals and grade teachers, the city schools 
employ a supervisor of music and an office clerk. There are five school 
buildings in the city. The work covers primary, intermediate, grammar, 
and high school departments. One of the five school buildings is that 
known as the Booker T. Washington School for colored children. 

New Harmony schools are under the supervision of W. V. Mangrum 
and employ eleven additional teachers. The town has under construc- 
tion a commodious and up-to-date building of modern architecture and 
design, to cost about $35,000. 

Poseyville is justly proud of a recently constructed up-to-date building 
at a cost of about 827,000. Prof. O. H. Harrall is superintendent and 
eight additional teachers are employed. 

The town of Wadesville has a new, modern building of six rooms, 
erected in 191 1 at a cost of $16,000. Prof. J. Ora Ault is superintendent 
and five additional teachers are employed. 

The Stewartsville school is under the supervision of Prof. B. A. Trim- 
ble, and six additional teachers are employed. An addition to their 
school building was made in 191 1 at a cost of about $7,000. 

The town of Cynthiana employs Prof. C. B. Macy as superintendent, 
and seven additional teachers, and has a good, modern school building. 

The town of Griffin has a high school building of four rooms. Edna 
Hyatt is principal. 

Previous to the adoption of the new State constitution in 1852 there 
was a small State seminary fund that was apportioned among the dif- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I3I 

ferent counties occasionally. The law provided that when there was 
a surplus in the county seminary fund of $500, the trustees might, at 
their option, erect a seminary building. 

The fund grew out of certain fines, forfeitures, penalties, etc., before 
the justices, circuit court, etc. The first trustees for the Posey County 
Seminary were Samuel Jones, Joseph Price and William Hunter. They 
were appointed in 1822, and made their first report in November, 1825, 
which showed a balance of about $300 on hand. In February, 1833, suf- 
ficient money had accumulated to begin the erection of the building, 
and the General Assembly appointed General W. Johnson, of Knox 
county, Daniel Grass, of Spencer, and the Hon. George H. Proffit, of 
Pike county, as commissioners to locate the seminary building. Sev- 
eral places made offers of money and land as inducements to secure the 
location of the seminary. Hon. R. D. Owen offered ninety-two square 
rods of land at New Harmony, and about eighty acres of land on the 
Springfield road, and the free use of his library. The McClure library 
also was offered. Money to the amount of $1,399.50 and a petition of 
114 names also came from New Harmony. Lynn, Robb, Smith and Rob- 
inson also sent petitions. Mt. Vernon sent a long list of petitioners and 
offered $500 and about four acres of ground. 

The commissioners decided on Mt. Vernon, and the erection of the 
building was begun on the site now occupied by the grammar school, 
and was completed in 1843. The building was begun with an available 
amount on hand of $1,564.78, in 1841, and on its completion there was 
a deficit of $194.27. In September, 1850, the trustees were out of debt 
and had a surplus of $277.66. For that year, Mr. R. K. Dibble, the 
principal, reported that the average cost of tuition per scholar was $4. 

To encourage patronage and to give all parts of the county some ben- 
efit of the school, the trustees recommended that free scholarship be 
given to one or two in each township. 

The adoption of the constitutional amendment in 1853 providing for 
a free school system, which was soon in practical operation, made the 
seminary as a separate institution unnecessary, and the building was 
sold and the proceeds transferred to the common school fund. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



CHURCHES. 



PIONEER CHURCHES, THEIR GROWTH AND PROGRESS. 

It is believed that the Rev. Samuel Jones, a Baptist minister, was 
the first minister to preach in the county. Previous to the building of 
churches preaching was in private houses or in groves. There were 
comparatively few people to attend church in those days and private 
houses, though small, furnished reasonably good accommodations for 
them and many of the private houses became fixed places of worship. 

Revs. Thomas King, Thomas Davis and John Schrader were the first 
Methodist ministers who rode the circuit in Posey county. They all 
came to the county about the year 1815. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians began preaching in this county as 
early as 1820. Their most noted ministers were: Revs. Denny, Car- 
sins, John and William Barnett, David Lowry, William I.ynn (Uncle 
"Billy") and Hiram A. Hunter. 

The Christians preached in the county as early as 1816. They were 
then called the New Lights. Revs. James Aloultry and Joseph W'asson 
were the first ministers. The latter is usually regarded as the founder 
of that denomination in the southern part of the State. 

In 1823 the Methodists designated the entire southwestern corner of 
the State by the name of "Patoka Circuit," and December 27, 1828, it 
was changed to "Princeton Circuit"; November 21, 1835, it was called 
the "Evansville Circuit," and December 24, 1836, it was changed to the 
"Mt. Vernon Circuit." The following were presiding elders between 
1823 and 1850: William Beauchamp, James Armstrong, C. Holliday, 
George Locke, Enos G. Woods, Aaron Woods, John Miller, H. S. Tal- 
bot, John Kern, John Kerger and E. Whitton. 

In 1849 Black's Chapel was erected on land then owned by Ezekiel 
Black, who deeded the lands to the church for the consideration of 
$1. Prairie Chapel was organized about the same time and Welborn's 
Chapel was built in 1857. There had been preaching at Welborn as 
early as 1824 and conferences were begun in 1825. Regular camp 
grounds were established near John ^^'elborn's about 1830. Nathan Ash- 
worth and Joseph W'hitworth were licensed to exhort in 1825 and Wil- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 133 

Ham Pool, Andrew Joel, William Bonner and Absalom Duckworth in 
1836. Prominent among the Methodist families at the first organization 
of the church were the Welborns, Aldredges, Ashworths and Blacks. 

In 1825 the General and Regular Baptists united and built Mount 
Pleasant Church, about three miles northeast of Mt. Vernon, on the 
Blackford road. It was a small log house but was soon replaced by a 
larger one. This house burned down and a building with a seating ca- 
pacity of about 300 was erected. Rev. Benoni Stinson was the first 
minister. In 1866 the membership was 240. 

The first religious services of all denominations were held in private 
houses. A small brick house was erected on the corner of Main and 
Sixth streets in 1828. This was used by different denominations for a 
time, but with the population steadily increasing it soon became too 
small and in 1840 the Christians erected a church on Fifth street, be- 
tween Main and Walnut. The lot was deeded by Aaron Baker and Wil- 
liam Hendricks. This church was organized in 1833. Among the first 
members were William Daniel, William Hendricks, Aaron and John 
Baker, James Moore, Noble Craig, Mrs. Larkin, William Larkin and 
the Douzouchett family. The first preacher was Elijah Goodwin. Later 
ones were Philo Dibble, Flower, Mason and McReynolds. 

Their first services were held in private houses and in the brick church 
above mentioned until 1840, when they built a church on Fourth street, 
between Walnut and Mulberry. They used this building till April, 1852, 
when they sold it to the German Methodists for $400. They then built 
a church on Walnut street, between Fourth and Fifth. 

In 1853 a German Evangelical congregation started up. At first their 
membership consisted of only twelve Germans, holding religious services 
in private houses. Soon their memership increased and four years later 
they built a new frame church on North Mulberry street at a cost of 
$800. The first regular minister was T. H. H. Schmitz. This was the 
Evangelic Trinity Church. 

In 1883 they built a new church, which was completed and conse- 
crated March 17, 1884, at a cost, including furniture, etc., of over $10,000. 
The congregation now embraces some of the most prominent families in 
Mt. Vernon. 

The Presbyterian church of Mt. Vernon was organized in 1839, with 
ten members. Their first minister was Rev. Rankin, who came as a 
missionary and held monthly services for about a year. A few years 
later Rev. Tiffany came. He was also a carpenter and through his ef- 
forts their first church building was erected in 1851. The next minister 
was Rev. Charles Fitch. He had charge of the church for several years 
and was succeeded by Rev. N. T. Tuck, who preached and taught school. 

Rev. T. W. Mitchel was pastor for two years and principal of the 
Mt. Vernon schools for one year. Other preachers, coming later, were 



134 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Revs. Fisher, Taylor, John L. Yomley, B. Mills, John Montgomery, H. 
A. Dodge, Bailey, L. C. Mitchell and A. E. Chase. 

The first German Methodist society was organized in Cincinnati in 
1836. The society at Mt. Vernon was organized in 1843 with about 
twelve members. The first missionary was Peter Schmucker. In 1854 
they bought the church pfoperty occupied by the English speaking 
Methodists, previous to the erection of their new church. 

During the pioneer days of Posey county the Baptists (Hardshells) 
and the Methodists were the principal denominations represented, though 
itinerant preachers representing other denominations came occasionally 
and preached to the settlers. 

Rev. John Schrader, a Methodist preacher who traveled extensively in 
this State, Illinois and Missouri, came in 1814. He was one of the first 
preachers to locate in Robb township and was regarded as a powerful 
preacher. He died in 1880, at the age of ninety. 

Among the early ministry of Robb township were Revs. Scrip, Hol- 
liday and Thomas Davis. Among the pioneer Baptist preachers were 
Elders James Martin, Benny Keith, Charles Whiting, Ezekiel Sanders, 
Louis Williams, Joel Hume, Elijah and William Goodwin. The Elders 
Goodwin denounced unequivocally the use of the "mourners' bench" and 
the doctrine that people could and did "get religion." They declared 
that the mourners' bench was without precedent in the Bible and that 
religion consisted in doing good works and obeying the commands of 
the Scriptures to the letter. 

Rev. Joseph Wasson, dissenting from those views, organized a fac- 
tion and withdrew from the church. This was about the year 1816. 
Henceforth the followers of Rev. Wasson were called Wassonites, but 
called themselves the Christians. They built a log church at a place 
called Liberty in Smith township and several years later, through the 
benevolence of "Uncle" Isaiah \^'ilkinson, a neat frame building was 
erected on the old site and the Wassonites continued to "hold the fort" 
at the same old stand. About the year 1821 they built a large log 
church and laid out a camp ground, in the form of a hollow square, at 
Mt. Pleasant, also in Smith township. A large number of log huts were 
built all around the outer edge of the square for the accommodation of 
campers. Here the people flocked in great numbers to attend the camp 
meetings and revivals. Some of the greatest revivals of the time 
occurred at this camp ground. Thomas Smiley, 'Squire James Wilson, 
"Uncle" Tommy Wilson, and "Uncle" Johnnie Shelton were prominent 
in camp meeting days. At times the excitement became very intense 
and the penitent sinners were seized with strange hallucinations, declar- 
ing that they could see the Savior or the de\il ; smell the burning of 
brimstone in hell, etc. 

The pulpit in their church was very different from those of the present 




THE OLD RAPriTE CHURCH 
New Harmony 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 135 

day but was modeled after the design common in most churches of that 
day and would be quite a curiosity to church-goers of today. The floor 
was about four feet above the main floor. It was six feet wide and 
twelve feet long and was enclosed or boxed up all around to a height of 
about four feet, with the exception of a small opening on each side for 
doors, which were approached by stairways. 

The first church in New Harmony was the old frame church of the 
Rappites. In 1842 the St. Stevens Episcopal Church was built. For 
many years this had a large membership, had a large Sunday school, 
supported an able minister and was in a flourishing condition, but in 
later years it ceased to maintain a minister. The first Methodist min- 
isters to preach in New Harmony were Revs. Meek and Burkitt, who 
were in the town in community days. They organized the first Meth- 
odist class in 1846 at the house of Mrs. Anderson. A Sunday school 
was organized in the same year with John R. Hugo as superintendent 
and Mrs. Heaton as assistant. The Methodists built a camp ground at 
Beech Grove in Lynn township in 1843 ^nd in 1870 the General Baptists 
built a church at that place which they called Bethsada, a church organ- 
ization having existed there for several years previously. The trustees 
of the church were John G. Donaldson, B. S. Aldrich and William York. 

The General Baptists built the first church in Center township in 1876 
on land in section 26, which was formerly owned by John R. Skelton. 
The first trustees were Weston Lewis, Robert Willis and Francis M. 
Tennison. The church has a very large membership at present. 

Greathouse Church in Point township was built in 1872, at a cost of 
approximately $1,500. The ground on which it was built was given by 
Henry Stripe on condition that the house should be called and retain 
the name of Greathouse Church. It was a Methodist institution. Pre- 
vious to its erection the Methodists, as well as the Baptists and Chris- 
tians, worshipped in the Stripe school house, which was a log building, 
the first school house built in the township. 

In 1843 Zion's Evangelical Church was organized with sixteen fam- 
ilies, and a log building was erected in the southern part of Robinson 
township. In 1856 they erected a new frame house at a cost of $2,200, 
and a $600 pipe organ was installed. 

In 1815 the Baptists built a small log house in Bethel township and 
worshipped here for many years before they became strong enough to 
build a more commodious frame building. Jerry Cash, Louis Williams 
and Peter Saltzman were their earliest preachers. After the Baptists 
built their new church the Disciples preached in their old log church 
till they also grew stronger and built a new frame house. 

Today, beautiful, commodious and up-to-date church buildings are to 
be found in every hamlet, village and town in Posey county, represent- 
ing the Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Christians, Presbyterians, Epis- 



136 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

copalians, and several churches belonging to the German Lutheran and 
German Methodist denominations. 

ST. MATTHEW'S CHURCH, MT. VERNON. 

When this part of the country was practically a wilderness and the 
forests primeval still surrounded the locality now occupied by the city 
of Mt. Vernon there was already a thriving town beautifully situated 
on the banks of the Ohio river known then as McFaddin's Bluff. As 
the river trade brought with it an increasing population, the missionary 
would come along also to look after the spiritual wants of his people. 
The only means of travel the missionary had in those days was on horse 
back along the trail in the woods, unless he could glide for a time 
along the streams in a little boat or skiff. As early as 1840 the Rev. 
E. J. Durbin, a zealous and well known priest from St. Vincents, Ky., 
came to Mt. Vernon on his trips through southern Indiana and Illinois, 
visiting the Catholic people, attending to the sick and dying and occa- 
sionally stopping to hold services for the little flock at Mt. Vernon. 
Father Durbin was a typical Kentuckian. He was noted for his kind- 
ness to everyone, also for his bravery when called upon to face danger 
in the exercise of his duties. One stormy night there was a man walk- 
ing up and down the banks at Uniontown looking for some one to 
to take him across. The river was too wild for the most expert oars- 
man to venture rowing a skiff across, when the man spied a fisherman 
and said, "If you will let me have a skiff, I'll go myself." The man gave 
him the boat but said, in amazement, "You are either a crazy man or 
else you are Father Durbin." "Well," he said, "I am Father Durbin." 
He was on his way to a dying man across the river. He was a welcome 
guest in any company on account of his wit and democratic manners. 
He dedicated the first churcli at Mt. Vernon. Doing services in Ken- 
tucky for man}- years he lived to a ripe old age and died revered by 
all. In 1844 the Rev. A. Deydier, the first resident priest at Evansville, 
came occasionally, but the Rev. Roman Weinzoepfel was the first priest 
to pay Mt. Vernon regular visits, holding services in the parlors of the 
hotel then owned bj- the Schenk brothers. In 1857 a lot 140 x 140 v/as 
bought from Hiram P. Casselberry for $660.00. Father Wein.'.oppfel 
received substantial encouragement from the citizens in general and 
soon let the contract for a church building 40 x 22 to be built of brick. 
The church was dedicated in October, 1857, by the Rev. E. J. Durbin 
and named after St. Matthew, the apostle. Father Weinzoepfel visited 
Mt. Vernon for the last time in 1858, attended New Alsace, Ind., for sev- 
eral years, but spent the decline of his life in the quiet cloister of Mein- 
rad, Ind., where he died about twelve years ago. He was held in high 
veneration, being the martyr priest during the early know-nothing 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 137 

times, when bigotry ran high. He was persecuted for several years, 
until the tide turned, principally through the intervention of President 
Polk and Governor Whitcomb, of Indiana. The congregation of Mt. 
Vernon was now attended by priests from St. Wendel, Evansville and 
Vincennes, until 1865, when the Rev. H. J. Diestel, residing at St. Philip, 
visited Mt. Vernon once a month. He took a great interest in the con- 
gregation and built a spacious one-story frame school house and par- 
sonage. Father Diestel was beloved by everybody on account of his 
genial disposition and kindly manner. He could make himself at home 
in the court house, swapping yarns with the county officers, or on the 
business streets shaking hands and saying a kind word to everybody. 
After remaining at St. Philip for twenty-two years he became pastor 
of Trinity Church, Evansville. He died October 27, 1907. 

In 1868 St. Matthew's Church received its first resident pastor, in the 
person of Rev. J. F. Sondermann, who remained until May, 1874. From 
now on the little congregation made rapid progress. Father Sonder- 
mann made many improvements in the church, also bought the ground 
for a Catholic cemetery. Being of a gentle disposition and conscien- 
tious in his work he soon won the favor of all classes of people, went 
through the sieges of cholera and smallpox and came very nearly dying 
of smallpox himself. After being pastor at Evansville for a while he 
was promoted to take charge of a church at Lawrenceburg, where he 
has endeared himself to his flock and is the pastor to this very day. 

St. Matthew's parish has always believed in a good school. From the 
very beginning a parochial school was established and a competent 
teacher secured in the person of Jacob Weiss, who taught for fifteen 
years. The school was very popular from the start and many of our 
most prominent business men received their education in St. Matthew's 
school. Fifty or sixty years ago our schools through the country were 
mostly subscription schools, the people of a neighborhood subscribing 
for a teacher, whom they hired for as many months as they could af- 
ford. Up to 1820 all our public schools were denominationl schools 
under the supervision of the clergy. In our present school system much 
has been done for education, but religion was entirely abolished from 
the schools. Catholics, believing that morality is based on religion, 
make it a matter of conscience that education is complete only when 
religion is taught along with the secular branches, and since the State 
school cannot teach religion without violating the law, they maintain 
their own parochial schools, carrying their own burden and saving 
thereby a great amount of money to the town and State. At the pres- 
ent day many of our most prominent educators and sociologists main- 
tain strongly that we must come back to a system in which religion is 
taught in our schools if we care for the welfare of our country. The 
parochial school is not inimical to the public school ; on the contrary, its 
attitude has always been that of friendly relationship. 



138 HISTORY OF rOSEY COUNTY 

In 1900 a large substantial brick building was erected for a school 
house with an entertainment hall on the second floor, on the corner of 
Fifth and Mulberry streets. The school building is modern in every 
way, with high ceilings, is well lighted and ventilated and heated by 
steam. The equipment of the school is up to date in every particular, 
has its sanitary drinking fountains, all the latest maps, charts, globes, 
and whatever belongs to the educational system. At this time the 
Servite Sisters, of London, England, were induced to come and take 
charge of the school. These ladies are members of a religious commu- 
nity that stands high in the ranks of educators. They have prominent 
schools in Paris and London. They devote themselves entirely to teach- 
ing and have the traditions of centuries in their order to profit from. 
They established a separate kindergarten on scientific principles and 
taught it for eight years to the great delight of the parents as well as 
the little one who attended. The curriculum of St. Matthew's school 
includes the usual eight grades of the public school, and a graduate is 
fit to enter the city high school. Manual training, drawing, sewing and 
physical exercises have always been part of the school work. At pres- 
ent the Sisters of St. Benedict have charge of the school. Besides 
striving for efficiency in school work they conduct a music academy, 
where an able teacher gives lessons in both vocal and instrumental mu- 
sic. The school is in a flourishing condition. 

After Father Sondermann left, the Rev. Mathias A. Gillig was pastor 
until July, 1877, when the Rev. J. J. Schoentrup took charge of St. 
Matthew's parish. The church was now entirely too small for the ac- 
commodation of the rapidly increasing congregation and the necessity 
of building a new and larger church became evident. Father Schoen- 
trup, then a young and energetic man with pleasant manners, went to 
work with a will and was generously supported by all the people. There 
never was any religious bigotry in Mt. Vernon, the people believing 
in religious liberty and living happily together in perfect harmony. 
They were glad to see a new and beautiful church edifice being erected 
that would be a credit to the city. The building was begun in the sum- 
mer of 1879 and was completed in 1880. The building is Roman style, 
112x50 feet. The steeple is 146 feet high. Bishop Chatard dedicated 
the church October 10, 1880. The cost of the building was $10,000, the 
interior furnishings $1,700. The congregation has always kept on im- 
proving the interior of the church by adding new artistic furniture and 
church furnishings. The whole interior of the church is beautifully dec- 
orated in fresco, done by three arti.sts from Italy. The columns are 
in onyx. The ceiling reprents heaven with clusters of angels, natural 
as life, in the alcoves. The facade of the sanctuary shows our Lord 
inviting us to pray; on each side is a recording angel. The ceiling of 
the sanctuary shows the representation of the Holy Spirit hovering 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 139 

over the altar. The whole scene is very inspiring and devotional. The 
roof of the church was changed and covered with the very best ma- 
terial — the fire-proof asbestos slate. The other buildings are covered 
with the same material. In 1893 the first church building, one of the 
old landmarks, was removed and a priest's residence built on the north 
side of the church, corner Fifth and Walnut streets, which greatly im- 
proved this place. Rev. J. J. Schoentrup worked faithfully for the wel- 
fare of the church during six years of his pastorship and was then called 
to take charge of the church at Aurora, Ind. He died March 14, 1891. 
He was succeeded by the Rev. A. Koesters, a brilliant man and great 
orator, who remained until December, 1883, when he resigned to take 
up literary work. At his request the Rt. Rev. Bishop Chatard, D. D., 
appointed the present pastor, the Rev. F. B. Luebbermann, who 
officiated at St. Matthew's Church for the first time on December 8, 
1883. During his administration the church has grown to be a large 
congregation, which became a factor in the history of Posey county. 
It numbers over a thousand souls and in its fold are some of our most 
prominent business men and most substantial farmers. The congrega- 
tion, always progressive, has steadily improved its church property, 
which today is an ornament to the city. In 1912 the parish built a new 
and modern priest's residence facing Mulberry street on the old Mc- 
Arthur property, which was purchased some years before. The build- 
ing is made of vitrified brick with asbestos slate roof. This part of the 
property being shaped up is a great improvement to that part of the 
city and a credit to the congregation. 

THE TOWN CLOCK. 

About twenty years ago there was a general desire of the citizens 
of Mt. Vernon to have a town clock that could be heard all over the 
city, and besides its practical use would be like music and poetry to 
the people. It was a luxury that few cities of the size of Mt. Vernon 
would dream of. The city was not in the position to get one. The 
only way, therefore, to secure it was by popular subscription. This v.'as 
done, Frederick P. Leonard heading the list with fifty dollars. The 
natural place for it would have been on the city or county building, but 
the subscribers wanted it on a place where it would surely be well 
cared for. and decided in favor of the tower of St. Matthew's Church.. 
The clock is a fine piece of mechanism, built by the M. Schwalbach 
Company, of Milwaukee, Wis., and has done service all these years, 
and having been overhauled lately is as good as new. It strikes the 
quarters on two bells and the hour on the largest bell. The city pays 
the nominal sum of fifty dollars a year for taking care of it. It is 
wound up every day and the weights are from 400 to 600 pounds. The 



140 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

people are so well pleased with it and have become so accustomed to it, 
they could not do without it. 

St. Matthew's Church now has a cluster of substantial and up-to-date 
buildings on the half block it owns, which, with the grounds all neatly 
trimmed, are a credit to the city and in keeping with the city's progress. 
What adds mostly to the neat appearance of the city of Mt. Vernon is 
its improved streets, clean-cut curbings and concrete sidewalks. St. 
Matthew's parish put down the first concrete sidewalk in the city of 
Mt. Vernon, twenty years ago. The work was watched by all the peo- 
ple with keen interest and has now stood the test of time, for, though 
made in large blocks, it is as good today as it was at first, not showing 
even the sign of a crack. 

The history of St. Matthew's Church would be incomplete without 
mentioning its religious services and its singing choir. The church 
itself, being consecrated to the worship of God, is never used for any- 
thing else but Divine worship. The services in the Catholic church, if 
rightly understood, are beautiful and elevating. The Latin language 
is used only in its ritual and it shows that the church is not national 
but universal, being the same all the world over. The people, however, 
have the vernacular translation of it all in their prayer books. The ser- 
mons in the St. Matthew's church are always in the English language. 
Anybody is welcome to any and all of its services. At certain times a 
course of lectures is given to non-Catholics, explaining in all charity 
the doctrine, customs and the history of the Catholic church. Although 
the church advocates congregational singing of popular hymns by the 
people it always maintains a select choir of superior voices for the more 
difficult chant. Miss Mary Munchoff and Miss Olga Joest, two star 
singers of the world, were members of the St. Matthew's choir and re- 
ceived their first instructions in its rehearsals. The music is taken 
from the masterpieces of the greatest composers of the world, who 
found their inspirations in the solemn services of the Catholic church, 
and if properly rendered is always inspiring and devotional. The St. 
Matthew's choir has always kept up its record for efficiency in high- 
class church music. 

St. Matthew's congregation is a model for harmony. There is never 
any friction or antagonism among its members. The people work in 
harmony with their pastor and the pastor is devoted to his flock. The 
pastor had many calls to higher places in larger cities, but when the 
people found it out they always petitioned against it, and he was willing 
to stay with them. The priest is naturally kind to everybody, irrespect- 
ive of creed, and is everybody's friend. The people of St. Matthew's 
congregation always believed in the proverb, "United we stand," and 
to this united work and sentiment is probably due in a large measure 
the success of St. Matthew's church. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I4I 

THE CATHOLIC CHAPEL IN POINT TOWNSHIP. 

Through the munificences of Hovey and Menzies, each of whom 
gave forty acres of timber land, it was made possible to start a church 
in Point township. The pretty little frame church, 72 x 35. was built 
in 1900 and dedicated with great solemnity in October, 1902. It is 
attended to once a month from Mt. Vernon, Ind. A church, wherever 
established, becomes not only an educational and moral factor in the 
community, but also a great help in the material progress and pros- 
perity of the country. When this church was to be built a half-mile 
stretch of the road was yet in timber and had to be cleared. It is now 
a continuous, much traveled road, the longest and straightest in Posey 
county. The improvements about the church stimulated the farmers 
and everyone began to improve and progress, so that the general verdict 
of the people was that nothing ever contributed as much for the devel- 
opment of Point township as the building of this church. Other sub- 
stantial farmers, seeing the fertile soil and the possibilities for the 
future, bought land and settled down. The prices of land have more 
than doubled and quite a transformation took place in that section with- 
in the last ten years. With thrift and energy on the part of the pro- 
gressive farmers, with improved roads and proper drainage, Point 
township is destined to be the garden spot of Posey county. The church 
has also provided for the social enjoyment of the people. In the rear 
of the church building is a beautiful grove, where large gatherings have 
their amusements in summer time, in an orderly way, and are pro- 
tected from ruffianism of any sort. The church is free and open to 
all and admits non-Catholics as well as Catholics to all of its services. 
The congregation is steadily growing and in the course of time will 
be a substantial country parish. 

ST. PHILIP'S CHURCH. 

Prior to 1846 Catholics living in this vicinity were attended b}' the 
Rev. Fathers Czackert, C. S. S. R., A. Deydier, C. Schniederzans and 
Charles Oppermann, who celebrated mass in private houses. During 
the year 1843 ^ 'og chapel was raised, but not completed. The place, 
selected by Rev. Schniederzans, was located a quarter of a mile east of 
the present church site. Not proving satisfactory, the work was aban- 
doned until the arrival of Rev. Roman Weinzapfel, who took charge of 
the mission in 1846. By order of Rt. Rev. Bishop De La Hailandiere 
the chapel was to be erected on a piece of land near the West Franklin 
road. The chapel was rebuilt near the present site of church and com- 
pleted in 1846. Mass was celebrated for the first time September 12, 
1847, and the chapel was dedicated to St. Philip, the apostle. In the 



142 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

year 1857 Rev. Weinzapfel made preliminary arrangement for the build- 
ing of a large brick church 50x100 feet. This work was completed in 
i860 by Rev. F. Wagner, of St. Wendel's. who had charge after the 
resignation of Rev. Weinzapfel. From 1861 to 1865 Rev. J. B. Marl 
had charge of the mission. On the fifteenth of January, 1865, Rev. H. T. 
Diestel arrived at St. Philip's and became the first resident pastor. He 
remained until his promotion to Holy Trinity church, Evansville, In- 
diana. During the twenty-one years of his pastorate a substantial brick 
parsonage and a school building were erected. The church steeple 
was replaced by a new and beautiful chime of four bells placed therein. 
Mrs. E. Deig donated a costly high altar. Later on a pipe organ was 
obtained by general contribution, the organ costing $1,700. Other im- 
provements were made, all of which rendered St. Philip's congregation 
a most desirable and flourishing congregation. Rev. VV. Kemper was 
in charge eighteen months. He was obliged to resign on account of fail- 
ing health. 

On the seventh day of August, 1888, Rev. George T. Loesch received 
the appointment as pastor of St. Philip's church. The congregation at 
that time numbered ninety-three families, with an average school at- 
tendance of fifty to sixty children. 

George Schenk, an uncle of Rev. Loesch, taught school, with only 
one year's interruption (1865), for a term of forty years. George Loesch, 
father of the Reverend Loesch, and A. T. Alles also taught school for 
short periods very successfully. Since 1896 three P>enedictive sisters 
have had charge of the school ; ninty-five pupils are now enrolled and 
the sisters' work is duly appreciated. One of the pleasing and useful 
features of the school is the industrial work, which is taught to the 
girls by the sisters one day each week. 

The congregation owns eighteen acres of land, moreover two ceme- 
teries, each having many beautiful and costly monuments. The congre- 
gation now numbers 100 families, of whom many are rich and pros- 
perous farmers. 

Rev. Father Loesch has had charge of St. Philip's Church twenty-five 
years. Two other events worthy of mention were the silver jubilee 
of the ordination of the pastor of St. Philip's on Decoration day, May 
30, 1910, and in October, 1910, the golden jubilee of the church, built in 
i860. At both celebrations hundreds of friends and visitors from Mt. 
Vernon and Posey county were present and entertained. 

ST. WENDEL'S CHURCH. 

Prior to December, 1841, mass had been celebrated in St. Wendel 
parish from the time of its creation in the home of Martin Kohl, but, 
in Christmas week of the year mentioned the congregation, composed 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I43 

of twenty families, prepared the material and erected within five days a 
log structure as a house of worship. This chapel was regularly visited 
by Rev. Roman Weinzoepfel until May, 1842, and in October of the 
same year Rev. Conrad Schneiderjans became the first resident pastor, 
enjoying the hospitality of Mr. Kohl until a primitive log cabin was 
erected for his home, and here he remained until the fall of 1845, when 
he was called by the bishop to Vincennes, after which St. Wendel was 
occasionally visited by Revs. Charles Oppermann and Martin Stohl 
until April, 1846, when Father Weinzoepfel returned to the mission. 

Rev. Father Weinzoepfel labored hard for the improvement of his 
parish and the church property. The little log building had now become 
too small for the growing congregation and steps were taken for the 
erection of a new church. The material was mostly donated. A sub- 
scription of $5,000 was raised and April 17, 1853, Bishop de St. Palais 
laid the corner stone of the present church. The cost of the structure, 
exclusive of the material, which was mostly donated, was $5,600. 

From 1858 until 1879 St. Wendel's was in charge of a number of 
priests, none of whom remained more than a few years. However, each 
one took up the good work where his predecessor left off and improve- 
ments went on. During this period a brick school house of two rooms 
and a residence for teachers was built and other improvements made. 

June 6, 1879, Rev. Michael Heck was placed in charge. He has much 
improved the church by adding a sacristy to it, thoroughly renovating 
the interior, placing in three beautiful altars, hardwood pews, new 
wooden floor, nice communion railing and pulpit, had the church fres- 
coed, put in stained glass windows, put a slate roof on the church, as 
well as the erection of a superb school house, 70x70 feet, at the cost of 
$8,000. Father Heck died the thirty-first day of January, 1899, and 
was buried at St. Wendel's cemetery the third day of February. 

The schools of St. Wendel have by no means been neglected. The 
first classes were taught by F. W. Pepersack during the pastorate of 
Rev. Father Weinzoepfel, but it was not until the incoming of Father 
Heck that the schools were truly vitalized. The school is in charge of 
three Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, Ind. 

After the death of Father Heck Rev. James Pfeiffer had charge for a 
brief period and on February 21, 1899, Rev. Nicholas Klein was assigned 
to the parish. During his pastorate the church and school property have 
been extensively improved and the parish brought up to a high standard. 
The improvements and articles purchased amounted to over $23,000. 

The congregation of St. Wendel is in a flourishing condition, num- 
bering 185 families, and the largest country congregation, with the finest 
property in the diocese of Indianapolis, as a country congregation. 



144 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ZION'S EVANGELICAL CHURCH AT LIPPE, 
ROBINSON TOWNSHIP. 

This church is one of the earliest established in Posey county. It is 
located south of the center of Robinson township. Seventy years ago 
this location was selected by the first German Evangelical settlers and 
founders of Zion's Church. The membership includes Parker's Settle- 
ment, Blairsville, Caborn, St. Philips and vicinity. The local name 
"Lippe" was given to this church and community by its early members 
from Lippe, Germany. The early records of the congregation at this 
place date back to 1842. 

Six miles east, on the New Harmony road in Vanderburg county, there 
was a small congregation already in existence. The pastor of this 
church, named Krassauer, came from time to time to do pastoral work. 
Services were held in a nearby district school house. And as all these 
settlers had come from good Christian communities in the old country, 
the opportunity of worshipping God in their accustomed way seems to 
have been highl}' appreciated. 

The fathers of this church, however, soon realized that a school house 
could not properly be turned into a house of worship and laid plans 
for the future. An organization was formed and a suitable place for 
the location of a church building was considered. As a result, an acre 
and a half of land was bought for $18 and is now occupied by the 
graveyard and the parsonage. Additions have been made to this land, 
so that at present the site comprises over six acres. 

In 1845 the first church, a log building, was erected. The congre- 
gation then numbered sixteen families. 

After Rev. Krassauer's services, between two and three years. Rev. 
Zaupert, stationed at Evansville, Ind.. attended to the pastoral work 
for one year. He was succeeded by Rev. Lauer, pastor of St. John's 
Evangelical Church at Evansville, for two years. During his pastorate 
a more complete constitution was adopted and the organization was 
made permanent. For the last time, in 1848, Zion was found in want 
of a neighboring pastor's services. Rev. Dulitz, on the New Harmony 
road, took up the work here and carried it on for about one year. 

In 1849 with the general tide of immigration came a bright and well ed- 
ucated Christian young man, Mr. Austmann, from Lippe, in Germany. 
His ability as well as his qualifications for evangelistic work found the 
approval of Zion's members. Upon application he was ordained to the 
ministry by the German Evangelical Synod of North America. This 
marks the very first occasion of Zion's Church coming into touch with 
an organized church body, while so far it had worked its course as an 
individual or free Protestant congregation. In 185 1 it formally joined 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 145 

this body and has ever since held its membership with this church. 
All its pastors for the past sixty-three years were members of the same 
church. 

Of the twelve men who have served as pastors all but three have 
gone to their reward. L. Schmidt, G. Tillmanns and C. G. Kettelhut 
still are in active service. Rev. C. F. Warth died September i8, 1884, 
while in his pastorate at the congregation. His remains, as well as 
those of his wife and a grown son, are interred at the congregation's 
cemetery. 

In 1850 the congregation built its first parsonage, a log building, for 
Rev. Austmann. When a few years later it was destroyed by fire the 
congregation rebuilt it at once. Early in the '50s we notice the first 
efforts toward the establishinent and maintenance of a regular parochial 
school. The first teacher, Mr. Stahlschmidt, was engaged. When in 
1856 the congregation had to build a larger and more commodious frame 
church, the old log church was remodeled into a school building and 
served its purpose up to 1865, in which year a spacious frame building 
was put up for $600. This school has flourished from that time, having 
at times an enrollment of nearly 100 pupils. In this school not only Ger- 
man Bible history, but also all the various elementary studies of our 
common schools are taught. Besides the teacher above mentioned we 
find the names of the following men on the record, some of whom 
have for a number of years continually taught this school: H. Weiss, 
A. C. Walther, George Appel, Henry Scherer, Ernst Wandtke. In 
1904, for the lack of proper interest, the school was discontinued and 
the school building was torn down in 1912. 

In i860 the congregation numbered forty-one, all names of whom 
appear as signatures to a revised constitution in i860. 

We might conclude that these people in their pioneer days, some of 
them with large families to support, might have been taxed to the limit 
of their means in keeping up with the running expenses of their own 
church and school ; but to convince us that even in those early days of 
comparatively meager means a lively sense of Christian sympathy and 
brotherly love had been cultivated and manifested. 

To show the spirit of loyalty with which the church has been supported 
a few figures may be produced from the records. We shall take the 
years from 1858 to 1865, bearing in mind that two years previous a new 
church had been built, and in the last year of this period a school build- 
ing finished, we find that Zion's congregation in these eight years, 
through collections and personal offerings, raised $1,781.44, including 
nominal sums for deprived families of Union soldiers on the battle 
field. 

In 1878 a new parsonage was erected, the present two-story solid 
brick building. 



\ 



146 HISTORY OF POSEV COUNTY 

In 1895 Zion erected its third church, a building 40x70 feet, in Gothic 
style, of brick. 

One of the records, beginning in 1854, furnishes the following fig- 
ures: Baptisms, 1,164; confirmations, 893; marriages, 286; deaths, 490. 

The present membership, together with the adherents, numbers about 
100 families. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE BENCH AND BAR. 



EARLY COURTS AND LAWYERS FIRST CASES TRIED PIONEER COURT HOUSES 

IMPORTANT LITIGATION JUDGES MEMBERS OF THE BAR. 

The circuit court has always been the most important judicial tribunal 
in the State of Indiana. In the early days the law required that the 
court should be presided over by three judges, one chief or president 
judge, who presided over the courts in all the counties constituting the 
circuit, and two associate judges elected from each county. The asso- 
ciate judges were not necessarily men of a superior knowledge of the 
law, but were selected because of their disposition to be impartial in 
their decisions, and because of their established reputations for honest 
dealing among their fellow men. It was their duty to convene and 
adjourn court, and in the absence of the chief justice to try cases of 
minor importance. For a while the associate judges constituted a pro- 
bate court, handling matters pertaining to the settlement of estates, 
guardianships, etc., but in a few years after the organization of the State 
government was effected a probate judge was provided for in each 
county. 

The salaries of the officers of the law in those days were not exorbi- 
tant. The judges of the circuit court received $700 per annum, the pros- 
ecutor $100 per year, the assessor in the year 1816 was paid $42.30 for 
assessing all the taxable property of the county; the clerk was allowed 
$23.50 for his services for that year, and the treasurer received for his 
services for the year ending December 31, 1816, $50. 

Section 4 of an act of the territorial legislature, entitled "An act for the 
formation of two new counties out of the county of Warrick and part of 
Gibson county," approved September 7, 1814, provided "That until a 
court house shall be erected in the said county of Posey sufficient for 
the accommodation of the court, the courts for the said county of Posey 
shall be held at the house of Absalom Duckworth, in said county." 

Absalom Duckworth lived about five miles north of Mt. Vernon, and 
in accordance with the provisions of the above act the first session of the 
Posey County Circuit Court began at his house Monday, the twentieth 
day of March, 1815, with the Hon. Isaac Blackford, one of Indiana's most 



148 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

widely known jurists, presiding judge of the circuit that embraced the 
new county of Posey, and Thomas E. Casselberry and Daniel Lynn, two 
men prominent in the early affairs of the county, associate judges. John 
Carson was sheriff and William E. Stewart, clerk. 

About the first thing the court did was to put the grand jury to work 
inqmring into the shortcomings and misdeeds that required the court's 
attention. That body was composed of David Thomas, John Crunk, 
James Black, James Robertson, Nathaniel Munsey, Wilson Butler, Alex- 
ander Mills, John Stapleton, William Wagnon, Adam Albright, John 
Aldridge, Samuel Aldridge, Mathew Adams, Seth Hargrave, Ezekiel 
Jones and John B. Stephenson. 

William Prince, who was one of the leading attorneys of this part of 
the State, was appointed prosecuting attorney for Posey county and 
the court was then prepared and proceeded at once to administer justice. 

The grand jury was not long in finding business. The first indictment 
found read as follows: "The jurors for the United States of America, and 
the body of the county of Posey, upon their oath, present that William 
Blizard, late of Casselberry township in the said county of Posey, yeoman, 
on the twenty-third day of January, 181 5, with force and arms, at the 
township aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, two hogs of the value of 
five dollars, of the goods and chattels of Margaret Mall, then and there 
being found, feloniously did steal, take and carry away, against the 
peace and dignity of the United States, and the form and the statute 
in such cases made and provided." 

The court next ordered that a scrawl containing the words : "Circuit 
Court Seal, Posey County," be recognized as the seal of the court. 

When the defendant named in the above indictment was arraigned 
he said he was not guilty, and on being asked how he wished to be tried, 
answered "by God and his country." 

An indictment against Shadrack Green, for killing seven head of hogs 
in the woods completed the doings of the first day of court in Posey 
county. 

The next day Blizard was tried before a jury of twelve good men, 
whose names were Nicholas Long, Daniel Miller, William Stephens, Jo- 
seph Felser, John Barton, John Martin, Samuel Barton, Timothy 
Downen, John Ridenhour, John McFaddin, David Mills and James 
Duckworth. They returned a verdict of not guilty, and the defendant 
was discharged. 

The case of Green was then called, but he did not appear, and his 
recognizance was respited till the next term, and court was adjourned 
and the first session was at an end. 

The second term began Monday, the nineteenth day of June, at the same 
place and with the same officers presiding. .-\t this term the first civil 
cause appeared on the docket. It was entitled Thomas Allen vs. Joshua 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 149 

Beard. This was an appeal from Nathan x\shworth, a justice of the 
peace. The original suit was brought by Beard on an account for black- 
smithing. It was dismissed in the circuit court at cost of appellee. 

The charge against Shadrach Green was dismissed by the prosecuting 
attorney. At this term the grand jury returned indictments against 
Needham Blount, John Warrick, Meshack Green, H. and J. Robertson, 
and William and Julius Stallion. The case against Meshack Green was 
for marking hogs. He was tried and found guilty. In those days this 
amounted to larceny. This was the first criminal cause in the county 
in which the defendant was found guilty. His fine was fixed at $50 and 
"twenty-five lashes on his bare back, publicly, between the hour five and 
half after five this evening." 

The whipping post was recognized throughout the United Stales in 
those days as a proper means for the punishment of criminals. 

The third term began Monday, October 16, 181 5, at the house of 
Absalom Duckworth, with the same presiding officers. Davis Floyd 
and Elias Roberts, upon producing satisfactory evidence to the court 
that they were legally authorized to appear as counsellors and attorneys- 
at-law, were admitted to practice in this court. Henry Robertson was 
placed on trial for assault and battery and found guilty of assault but 
not of battery. The court granted a new trial and he was tried on the 
following day before "twelve good and lawful men," and found not 
guilty. Several indictments were returned by the grand jury and a few 
criminal causes were tried and disposed of. 

This was Judge Blackford's last term on the bench of Posey county. 
He was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of Indiana, December 
10, 1817, this position being made vacant by the death of Judge John 
Johnson. Judge Blackford occupied the supreme bench until January 
3, 1853. It is probable that he did more to establish the early courts of 
Indiana upon a sound and correct basis than any other man. He edited 
the first eight volumes of the decisions in the Supreme Court of Indiana, 
and these reports have been regarded by courts and lawyers as among 
the very best edited of the Indiana court decisions. David Raymond 
was appointed by Governor Thomas Posey to succeed him. 

Up to this time the bar docket shows the following names of attor- 
neys practicing in the courts of Posey county: John Johnson, George 
R. C. Sullivan, William Prince, Mr. Douglas, Davis Floyd and Elias 
Roberts. 

The fourth session began Monday, March 18, 1816, at the house of 
Absalom Duckworth, with David Raymond as presiding judge. Wil- 
liam Prince resigned his office of prosecuting attorney and Davis Floyd 
was appointed to succeed him. The grand jury found several indict- 
ments and a number of criminal cases were tried. A few civil causes 
were on the docket but none were tried. 



150 HISTORV OF POSEY COUNTY 

The next term of court was convened June 17, 1816, as usual at the 
house of Absalom Duckworth, but as the court house at Blackford was 
ready for occupancy, court adjourned to meet at Blackford at 10 o'clock 
the same day. Here Thomas H. Blake and John Fletcher were admitted 
to the bar. 

The first court under the State law was convened at Blackford Oc- 
tober 21, 1816, with John Graddy as associate judge. Davis Floyd, pros- 
ecuting attorney, was absent and Richard Daniels was appointed to act 
until the next term of court. 

In March, 1817, William Prince was succeeded by Judge Raymond as 
presiding judge and Alexander Mills and Thomas Givens on producing 
their commissions, took their seats as associate judges. Richard Dan- 
iels was regularly appointed prosecuting attorney for the county of 
Posey. At this term the first case of slander was tried in the Posey 
Circuit Court. The plaintiffs were William and Rosannah Curtis, and 
the defendants were Samuel and Aaron Aldridge, Robert Graham and 
John Bostick. It was brought for slanderous words alleged to have been 
spoken by the defendants against the virtue and character of the plain- 
tiff. The defendants acknowledged in open court that they knew noth- 
ing defamatory to the plaintiff's character or virtue, and the case was 
dismissed at their cost. 

The first appeal to the supreme court was taken at this term. It was 
a civil cause for debt between Arthur Green and Thomas Miller. The 
plaintiff had received a judgment for $165 and the defendant appealed. 
G. R. C. Sullivan was attorney for the appellant. The names of Daniel 
Huntington and David Hart first appear as attorneys at this term of 
court and both became eminent in their profession in later years. At 
the June term of 1817 the first change of venue was granted. It was a 
case of Thomas E. Casselberry vs. Joshua Elkins. It was sent to the 
Gibson Circuit Court at the plaintiff's request. At this term a case for 
slander was brought by Francis Hopkins against Anthony Griffin. It 
was tried before a jury of "twelve good and lawful men" whose names 
were: Nicholas Long, William Greathouse, Thomas Booth, William C. 
Carson, Alexander Barton, John Lewis, Adam Albright. John Duck- 
worth, William Givens, William Alexander, James Duckworth and 
James Todd. They found "the defendant guilty in manner and form, as 
the plaintiff in his declaration has alleged, and do assess his (the plain- 
tiff's) damages to $1,000." 

Court convened at Blackford in October, 1817. but immediately ad- 
journed to meet at Springfield, the new county seat. Judge Prince was 
still presiding but this was his last term. He was succeeded in Feb- 
ruary, 1818, by Hon. David Hart. James R. E. Goodlett, Charles Dewey 
and John Law were admitted to practice at the Posey bar as attornevs 
and counsellors during this term and at the May term in 1818 James 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I5I 

Dougherty and Thomas C. Brown were admitted. The following was 
the oath administered to attorneys and others: "I swear I will do no 
falsehood, nor counsel to the doing of any in the courts of justice, and 
if I know of any attempt to commit any, I will give knowledge thereof 
to courts, that it may be prevented. I will not willingly promote or 
see any false, groundless or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor counsel to the 
same." 

The grand jury on the second day of the October term in 1818 found 
an indictment against George F. Gibbons, otherwise George Gibbons, 
otherwise George Givens, for the murder of Dr. Thomas Moore Parke, 
in the handwriting of and signed by Richard Daniels, prosecuting attor- 
ney. This was the first indictment for murder in Posey county. 

Dr. Parke had fallen a victim to the anger he had excited by stealing 
a human corpse (that of a man named Peter Hendrix) and carrying it 
from the graveyard in which it was entombed and hiding it in his 
barn. The indictment charged "that the defendant, being a laborer and 
not having the fear of God before his eyes, and at the instigation of the 
devil, did on the 2gth day of March, 1818, feloniously, willfully and of 
his malice aforethought, strike and beat with an ashen club or stake 
the said Thomas Moore Parke in and upon the left temple, whereby 
a fracture of the skull was effected, a mortal wound, of which he, the 
said Parke, did languish, and languishing did live one minute, and on 
the said 29th day of March did die of the said mortal wound." The 
defendant pleaded not guilty, and a continuance was granted from time 
■ to time. In the meantime Rachael Given had been indicted as an acces- 
sory before the fact to the murder of Thomas Moore Parke, and it was 
charged that she offered a reward publicly to any one who would kill 
Parke, and it was further alleged that in the hope of gaining this reward, 
George Gibbons, alias George Givens, was induced to commit the mur- 
der. This made Gibbons the most important witness in the case against 
Mrs. Givens and Gibbons was assisted to escape from the county and 
he and his wife were placed in a small boat, given a jug of poisoned 
whiskey and started down the river, and Gibbons died from the effects 
of the poisoned whiskey before they had floated many miles down the 
stream. Both cases were dismissed for lack of evidence. 

At the September term, 1818, Willis C. Osborn, William Hoggatt and 
James A. Boise were admitted to the bar. The case of the State of 
Indiana against Edward C. Fitzgerald, alias Brown, was dismissed at 
this term. The defendant in this case had been charged with having 
stolen a large amount of bank notes, silver coin and other property from 
the store of George Rapp and associates at New Harmony, on the thir- 
teenth day of April, 1817. The indictment against him was returned by the 
grand jury at the June term, 1817. He was tried and found guilty, but 
made his escape from the jail while the decision of the court on a motion 



152 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

for a new trial was pending, notwithstanding- the fact that the county 
had been at great expense in hiring guards to watch the jail while he 
was confined therein. The indictment was signed by Richard Daniels, 
prosecuting attorney, and indorsed by William Casey, foreman of the 
grand jury. The witnesses were John Shiver, Mathew ShoUy, Frederick 
Eckesparger, William Weir. Joseph Lockwood, John Raker, Francis 
James, George Codd, Ratliff Boone, Dann Lynn, Wilson Butler, David 
Lawrence, Wright Stallings, Thomas D. Anderson, Daniel Akin and L. 
Barter. 

David Love qualified as clerk and recorder of Posey county, and James 
P. Drake as his deputy. This was the last term of Judge Hart upon 
the Posey circuit bench. He was succeeded by Hon. Richard Daniels 
and William Prince was appointed prosecuting attorney. Jephtha Har- 
den, Henry Dulaney, William F. Mosley, Laban Jones. George W. 
Lindsey and Amos Clark were admitted to the bar. 

At the March term, 1819. the first divorce case appears on the docket. 
The case was carried over to the next term when it was dismissed, 
the plaintiff being required to stand in miseri cordia. General W. 
Johnson, Charles L Battell and Samuel Hall were admitted to the bar 
at this term and Robert M. Evans was admitted in October following. 

Nearly all of the foremost attorneys in southwestern Indiana were 
now practicing at the Posey bar, some of whom afterward became known 
throughout the State. 

Judge Raymond is said to have been a splendid lawyer and a man of 
more than ordinary ability. 

Richard Daniel was an able and successful lawyer and made crim- 
inal law a specialty, practicing in the courts of all the neighboring 
counties. 

Judge David Hart was a very able man, noted for his uprightness 
and integrity. Some of the most important of the early cases were dis- 
posed of during his term upon the bench. 

Thomas H. Blake was one of the most widely known attorneys in 
southern Indiana and afterwards became circuit judge in his district. 
His name appears for the plaintiff in the first case reported in the su- 
preme court. He was a candidate for United States senator in 1839, 
but was defeated by Albert S. W'hite by only one vote. 

Charles Dewey, a resident of Harrison county, was an able prac- 
titioner at the bar and served on the supreme bench for a time. 

John Law was a native of New England. He lived at Vincennes for 
a while but later moved to Evansville. He had a splendid education 
and as a lawyer was the peer of any in this part of the State. He served 
as circuit judge and was for a time a member of Congress. 

General W. Johnson was also a resident of Knox county and one of 
its most prominent men. He had an exceptionally good education. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 153 

Amos Clark, of New Harmony, was very successful with a jury, but 
his ability as a lawyer was not of the highest type. For a time he was 
engaged in merchandising in New Harmony and moved to Evansville 
later in life. 

At the March term, 1820, James R. E. Goodlett produced his com- 
mission as presiding judge. It was signed by Governor Jonathan Jen- 
nings and dated at Corydon, Ind. At this term Charles I. Battell was 
appointed prosecuting attorney and ex-Judge Hart was admitted as an 
attorney and counsellor-at-law. James Rankin and Thomas Givens 
were associate judges at that time. 

At the June term, 1821, Charles I. Battell was appointed master in 
chancery and the first decree of divorce was granted. The parties were 
Elizabeth Hirons vs. Samuel C. Elirons. 

In these early days the judicial district was very sparsely settled and 1 
embraced several counties. We find that in 1830 the following coun-^.- 
ties were embraced in the circuit : Crawford, Perry, Spencer, Dubois, 
Warrick, Pike, Gibson, Vanderburgh and Posey. As the country was 
without railroads the lawyers and judges traveled from court to court 
on horseback, with change of linen in their saddle bags. 

In 1832 Hon. Samuel Hall became presiding judge of the circuit and 
the associate judges were Andrew Cavitt and Samuel M. Reynolds. 
Judge Hall possessed a profound knowledge of law, but as a practitioner 
he was not above the ordinary. 

Among the lawyers in the decade of the '20s was John Pitcher, who 
soon came to be known as one of the ablest lawyers in the State. He 
was well educated and a very close student in the. law. He possessed 
that rare faculty — a quick comprehension of a case in all of its bearings. 
His judgment was nearly always correct, and Jie was regarded as a very 
safe counsellor. Mr. Pitcher was also a ready impromptu speaker and 
seemed to possess an inexhaustible supply of bitter or withering sar- 
casm, which was always at his command. With his forcible speaking 
and his deep impassioned sentiment, he at times became so eloquent as 
to carry both jury and audience with him. As an attorney he was in 
great demand as an ally, and dreaded as an adversary. He was prose- 
cuting attorne}^ early in the '30s and was the first judge of the common 
pleas court, ''ascending to the bench in October, 1852, and continuing 
till November 5, 1866. He was a resident of Mt. Vernon till his death 
at an extreme old age. 

Ebon D. Edson was admitted to the bar at the August term, 1829, 
and continued to practice for many years, locating in Posey county about 
the same time. He remained in the county until his death, March 
4, 1846. He was county treasurer from 1837 to 1839, and later was 
prosecuting attorney. He had a better education than most members 
of the bar in his time and was a verv able lawver and a fluent and elo- 



154 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

quent speaker. He was a representative in the legislature and was one 
of that body's most distinguished members. 

George S. Green was another of Posey county's distinguished lawyers. 
He was a graduate of A\'est Point, but upon leaving there he became a 
disciple of Blackstone, and in a short time passed a creditable examina- 
tion before the Supreme Court of Indiana and was admitted to practice 
in that court in November, 1829. He was one of the best educated and 
most polished members of the Posey county bar and established a 
reputation among the ablest lawyers of the State, and no one was 
more highly respected and esteemed by the people of Posey county. 
He was elected representative in the legislature and held several im- 
portant positions of trust. He had an excellent command of language, 
a remarkable memory, and enjoyed an extensive practice. He died in 
Mt. Vernon September 11, 1857. 

During court. March 7, 1834. Judge Samuel Hall occupied the bench 
as circuit judge and ex-Judge James R. E. Goodlett was employed as an 
attorney in a case and during the trial he disputed in a very insolent 
manner the ruling of Judge Hall, who thereupon ruled Judge Goodlett 
to show cause why he should not be fined for contempt of court. On 
the following morning William T. T. Jones, anticipating trouble and 
knowing the violent temper and fiery disposition of Judge Goodlett, 
walked up to Judge Hall while he was on the bench and in a skillful 
manner dropped a silken handkerchief containing in its folds a dangerous 
weapon in the form of a dagger such as was carried in those days. A 
few moments later Judge Hall informed Judge Goodlett that it "would 
be in order for him to show cause why he should not be fined for con- 
tempt of court." "I will show cause now," exclaimed Judge Goodlett, 
at the same time springing to his feet and attacking Judge Hall as he 
sat upon the bench. Judge Hall made furious thrusts at him v.ith the 
dagger and at one of the thrusts would have stabbed him had he not 
been jerked backward suddenly by the sheriff, William James, an act 
which in all probability saved Judge Goodlett's life. After the excite- 
ment had abated a fine of $50 and imprisonment in the county jail for 
thirty days was imposed. Judge Goodlett stayed in jail very little of 
the time and in a short time brought suit against Judge Hall for false 
imprisonment. The case was taken to Vincennes but was withdrawn 
before it ever came to a trial. 

Judge Goodlett seems to have been the aggressor in this matter 
throughout. He seems to have incurred the enmity of the bar while 
he occupied it from 1820 to 1830, and the lawyers, irrespective of 
politics, worked with all their might to defeat him. The result of their 
efforts was that his opponent, Samuel Hall, was appointed by the gov- 
ernor. Judge Goodlett seemed to harbor a very bitter and resentful 
feeling against his successor. The indignation of the members of the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 155 

bar of the county was aroused by this act of one of the legal fraternity 
to the extent that expression of their sentiment was embodied in the 
following document, which was placed upon the records of the court : 

"The undersigned, members of the bar of Posey County Circuit Court, 
feeling highly indignant at what they consider a most flagrant outrage 
upon every principle of order and decorum, as well as individual rights, 
in the late conduct of J. R. E. Goodlett, one of the members of said 
bar, ask leave to express their abhorrence of such conduct by spreading 
the following resolution upon the memorials of this court : 

"Resolved, that the attack by James R. E. Goodlett, a member of the 
bar of the Posey Circuit Court, last evening, upon the Hon. Samuel Hall, 
while on the bench and in the faithful and impartial discharge of his duty 
as a judge, and a repetition of the same act this morning, is, in their 
opinion, without parallel in the history of our judicial proceedings ; 
and for the honor of our country, our social, judicial and political insti- 
tutions, they hope such may never occur again. They more regret the 
circumstance from the elevated station which the offender has held in 
the communit3% and deem it their duty thus to express their abhor- 
rence and indignation at such conduct." [Signed] Amos Clark, E. 
Embree, E. D. Edson, J. Lockhart, W. T. T. Jones, John Pitcher, R. 
Daniels, C. I. Battell, George S. Green. 

Judge Goodlett followed the law for some time after this, but he was 
not an able practitioner. He lacked that faculty of readiness and alac- 
rity so essential before a jury. 

At the September term, 1835, Charles I. Battell succeeded Judge Hall 
upon the bench. He had been a resident of Posey county for several 
years and lived at Springfield, while the county seat was located there. 
He was a fairly well educated man but was not a fluent speaker. He 
was perhaps more noted for his absent-mindedness than anything else. 
His service on the bench was of short duration, he being succeeded in 
March, 1836, by Elisha Embree, of Princeton. Judge Embree was a 
man of considerable ability, made a good impression and had many 
friends. He was presiding judge for ten years and after that was elected 
to Congress. 

Judge Embree's successor was James Loclchart, of Evansville. He 
was a successful lawyer and had been prosecuting attorney. He resigned 
about the time of the adoption of the new constitution and was sent to 
Congress from this district. 

Alvin P. Hovey, of Mt. Vernon, was appointed by Governor Wright 
to fill the vacancy May 31, 1851. Mr. Hovey had been a delegate to 
the convention that framed the new constitution for Indiana in 1850. 
He had studied law in the office of Judge John Pitcher while that gen- 
tleman was in the full vigor of his intellect. At the time he was admit- 
ted to the bar Posey county bar was represented by some of the ablest 



156 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

lawyers in its history, and among these he became eminently successful 
as a practitioner. He was fearless and energetic, and the cause he advo- 
cated was always backed by a thorough knowledge and comprehension 
of all its bearings. As a judge his ability was of a high order, possessing 
the ability to grasp the intricacies of law in such a manner as to solve 
them in harmon}' with justice. He retired from the bench in 1854 and 
soon after became a member of the Supreme Court of Indiana. For 
more than thirty years he was one of the most conspicuous men of the 
State and during the Civil war his patriotic devotion to the cause of 
the Union was excelled by none. He acquired the rank of Major-Gen- 
eral. 

Hon. William E. Niblack, a young lawyer of Martin county, succeeded 
him upon the bench in May, 1854. In spite of his lack of experience and 
legal learning. Judge Niblack, with the aid of his extraordinarily good 
common sense, soon came to be regarded as a very good judge. His 
kind, affable, honest and upright disposition made him many friends 
and after leaving the bench he was elected to Congress. 

Ballard Smith was appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the 
resignation of Judge Niblack March 29, 1858. Judge Smith was a very 
polished and well educated gentleman and an able and brilliant lawyer. 
He was succeeded by M. F. Rurke. of Daviess county. Judge Burke 
was a lawyer of considerable ability, a ready and eloquent speaker, and 
possessed an abundance of resource. 

In September, 1859. William F. Parrett was appointed to fill the 
vacancy caused by the death of Judge M. F. Burke. Judge Parrett 
served until March. 1869. Mis successor was James G. Jones, a very 
able lawyer and chancery solicitor, whose extraordinary ability won for 
him the office of attorney-general of the State. 

In April. 1871, David T. Laird succeeded him. Posey county was 
then a part of the Fifteenth Circuit. Judge Laird was not a man of 
extraordinary ability, but was regarded as a good judge and an hon- 
orable and upright man. A change in the judicial district by an act 
of the legislature deposed him and William F. Parrett was appointed 
by Governor Hendricks to the position in March, 1873. It is probable 
that he possessed more ability and was more satisfactory as a judge 
than any of his predecessors. He occupied the bench until January i, 
1889. 

Judge Parrett was succeeded by Robert D. Richardson, who was 
regarded as a very able man and was eminently satisfactory to the bar. 
He was appointed to the position by Governor Isaac P. Gray December 
31. 1888. 

Judge Richardson was succeeded by Oscar M. Welborn August 12. 
1895. Judge Welborn was also an able man and had a large number 
of friends. He was succeeded by Herdis Clements October 25. 1909. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 157 

Judge Clements, the present incumbent, is a young man of exceptional 
ability and by his upright and affable manner has made a host of friends 
and well-wishers. 

The adoption of a new constitution for the State of Indiana, framed 
in 1850, resttlted in a radical change in the cotirts of the State. The 
associate judges were dispensed with, as were many of the old common 
law proceedings. A new code was established in May, 1853. The old 
and familiar John Doe and Richard Roe, having outlived their useful- 
ness, were buried beneath reform in pleading and in practice. The new 
law required that every cause should be prosecuted by the real party 
in interest, and upon the real party complained of. With the abolition 
of the mythical personages of John Doe and Richard Roe as plaintiff 
and defendant, and a modification and simplification of many of the 
legal terms of the old times, much of the old common law faded away 
and became matters of history. Many of the old practitioners regarded 
the change as sacrilegious and never became reconciled to the change, 
but there is little doubt that the practice of law in Indiana has been 
greatly improved, and litigation has been directed to smoother channels 
by legislation. 

The associate judges under the territorial government had jurisdic- 
tion in probate matters, but soon after the organization of the State 
government, a separate probate court was established, with a judge in 
each county, which continued under occasional modifications until the 
court of common pleas was established. Probate matter was trans- 
ferred to that court and the probate court ceased to exist. 

The common pleas court had original jurisdiction of all that class of 
offenses which did not amount to felony, except those over which the 
justice of the peace had exclusive jurisdiction. Under certain restric- 
tions this court had jurisdiction over felonies where the punishment 
could not be death, and in no case was the intervention of a grand 
jitry necessary. 

In all civil cases except for slander, libel, breach marriage, action 
on official bond of the State or county offices, or where the title to 
real estate was involved, the common pleas court had concurrent juris- 
diction with the circuit court where the sum or damages due or de- 
manded did not exceed $1,000, exclusive of interest and cost, and con- 
current jurisdiction with justices of the peace when the amount involved 
exceeded $50. 

The first common pleas court held in Posey county was on January 
3- 1853. John Pitcher was judge and held the position until November, 
1866. A. L. Robinson was his successor and held the office one year. 
He was succeeded by Morris S. Johnson. He died in office and Wil- 
liam P. Edson was appointed to the position in November, 1871. He 
held the office one year and John B. Handy became judge and contin- 
ued until March 12, 1873, when this court was abolished. 



IjS HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

The McCIure will case was perhaps the most important civil cause 
tried in Posey county. It involved the question of the validity of 
the will of William McClure. Mr. McClure was one of the residents 
of New Harmony in the days of Robert Owen. He was a man of 
great wealth in his day, owning a large amount of property in various 
parts of the county, as well as in Pennsylvania, Spain and other 
parts of the world. He was the founder of several institutions for the 
cause of education. 

While in Mexico for the purpose of regaining his health he made his 
will. This was in January, 1839. The will provided that his brother 
and two sisters, Alexander, Margaret and Anna McClure, should have 
the use of all his property in and around New Harmony during their 
lifetime, and that after their death the property should "be applied 
for the diffusion of useful knowledge and instruction amongst the insti- 
tutes, libraries, clubs or meetings of the working classes, or manual 
laborers, who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, agreeable 
to the instruction and directions which shall be inserted in a codicil to 
this will." After granting several annuities and disposing of some other 
matters, the will closes by saying that upon the termination of these 
annuities they shall be added to the joint "funds or property that may 
remain in any part of the world." after his death, to be appropriated as 
above set forth, but the charity was confined to the United States. 
Alexander McClure was appointed executor and for some reason acted 
upon the presumption that so far as charity was concerned, the will 
was null. He sold a large amount of property and converted the pro- 
ceeds to his private use. William McClure died in Mexico about a 
year after he made his will, and Alexander McClure died during the 
time the case was in progress. Alvin P. Hovey was appointed to carry 
out the intentions of the will. He collected what property he could and 
distributed it among the working classes in the form of libraries. He 
disposed of about $150,000 in this manner. Most of it went to the State 
of Indiana, but some was distributed in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and 
other States. Every county in Indiana received a portion. Books were 
scattered among a class of people who were too poor to buy them, as 
books at that time were far more expensive than now, and the good 
accomplished in this way was immeasurable. The will was carried to 
the supreme court and there it was sustained in every detail. 

The following attorneys were active and prominent members of the 
Posey County Bar : 

Toiin Pitcher, Alvin P. Hovey, William Harrow, Harry Pitcher, E. 
m! Spencer, Milton W. Pearse, William P. Edson. William Loudon, 
William Hoggatt, James H. Laird. Leroy Williams. Daniel O. Barker, 
John W. Spencer, Leroy M. Wade and Charles Spencer. 

Among the most active practitioners at present are: G. V. Menzies, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1 59 

Fred P. Leonard, Walter Jackson, James Kilroy, William Espenschied, 
George William Curtis, Roscoe U. Barker, James H. Blackburn, George 
C. Taylor, Lucien Hayden, Jesse E. Wade, Silas G. Howard and James 

S. Kilroy. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. 



By David \\'. Welch, M. D. 

Dr. David Krausgill was born in Harrison county, Kentuckj', in 1848, 
son of Philip and Mary (Keller) Krausgill. He grew to manhood in his 
native county and when sixteen years old enlisted in the Thirteenth In- 
diana cavalry, serving from March 14, 1864, to December 4, 1865. After 
the war he attended school at Orleans, Ind., for three years, and taught 
school for four subsequent years. He then commenced the study of 
medicine and graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in 1879. He 
began the practice of medicine in Francisco, Gibson county, Indiana, and 
after two years removed to \\'adesville, Ind. He remained in Wadesville 
several years, attaining a large practice, then went to Terre Haute for 
a while, thence to the northern part of the State. The writer has been 
unable to secure further details. He can only add that from personal 
knowledge the doctor was a skilled physician and an estimable gentleman. 
He died a few years ago. 

Dr. T. J. Hall, of Caborn, Ind., was born March 15, 1862, in Harrison 
county, Kentucky. He was a son of Volney and Nancy (Oder) Hall. 
His early life was spent on the farm, attending the district schools at 
intervals. Later he attended school at Lebanon, Ohio, after which he 
taught in the public schools for a few years. He took his medical degree 
at the Cincinnati School of Medicine and Surgery, graduating March 22, 
1892. at the age of thirty years. He began the practice of medicine at 
Springfield, Ind. ; afterwards spent some time at Grafton, and practiced 
awhile at Mt. Vernon. In the summer of 1889 he took a special course 
in the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, in New York City. He 
located in Caborn, Posey county, in 1897, and has resided there ever 
since. He was married to Miss Lena Kuhn, of Farmersville, Ind., in 
1896. One son, Morris, has blessed this union. 

Dr. George C. Smith was born January 15, 1864, on the old home- 
stead two miles east of Poseyville, Ind. He is the fourth of a family of 
eight children, born to John C. and Lavina (Robb) Smith. Dr. Smith 
received his literary education in the Posey county common schools, at 
the Northern Indiana Normal School, at Valparaiso, and at Indiana 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY l6l 

University at Bloomington. After three years spent in teaching at 
Poseyville and Stewartsville, Ind., he began the study of medicine. His 
professional education was received at Jefferson Medical College at Phil- 
adelphia, where he graduated in 1891. He was married Ajyril 29, 1891, 
to Miss Etta McReynolds, youngest daughter of Samuel M. and Eliza- 
beth (Young) McReynolds. One son, Bertram C, was born to them 
November 3, 1893. He began the practice of medicine at Cynthiana, Ind., 
in August, 1891, and on July 13, 1893, he removed to Poseyville, Ind., 
where he has since resided with the exception of a residence of fifteen 
months in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1901 and 1902. Dr. Smith is 
actively engaged in the general practice of medicine. In addition, he is 
actively interested in agriculture, as the owner and manager of farm 
lands. 

Dr. Richard Smyth was born in Ireland, April 28, 1830, and he had an 
Irishman's wit and grit. He was one of fourteen children born to 
Thomas and Susan (Dudgem) Smyth, who came from the Emerald Isle 
in 1839. They located on a farm in Gibson county, where the father 
died a few years later. Dr. Smyth grew up on the home farm and se- 
cured a good education in the Princeton schools. When sixteen years old 
he went to Evansville and worked in a drug store for several years. He 
attended the Evansville Medical College and graduated in 1852. He lo- 
cated in Wadesville, Ind., and practiced his art until 1864, then removed 
to Princeton, Ind., and practiced his profession there till 1878, when, on 
account of failing health, he moved to Kansas. In 1881 he returned to 
Posey county and located in Mt. Vernon and practiced with marked 
success. He was married twice, first to Jane Hunter, in 1853, who died 
a year later; in 1854 he was married to Maria Pitts, who is still living. 
Having secured a competence and his health failing, he removed to 
Princeton, Ind., in 1898, where he lived in retirement until his death, 
which occurred in the year 1904. He was a member of the pension ex- 
amining board, which met in his office at Mt. Vernon, Ind., during Har- 
rison's administration. "After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well." 

Dr. Claude L. Rawlings was born in New Harmony, Ind., April 11, 
1880. He is the son of Dr. Sam Rawlings, one of the old physicians of 
New Harmony, consequently Dr. Claude has breathed a medical atmos- 
phere from childhood. He graduated from the Mt. Vernon High School 
in 1898, and was a student of DePauw University one year. He grad- 
uated in the medical department of Washington University in St. Louis 
in 1903. Afterwards he was interne in the St. Louis Female and City hos- 
pitals, then returned to his native town, the modern "Athens on the 
Wabash," and began the practice of his profession in 1904; and has re- 
sided there ever since. He was married to Miss Catherine Barnes, of St. 
Louis, in 1905. To this union have been added three children, two boys 
and one girl. Since the doctor is young, industrious, intelligent and ad- 



l62 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

mirably equipped by education, training and association for his calling, 
his friends — and they are numerous — may well predict for him a large 
measure of success. 

Dr. John B. Weever, who, while he lived in Posey county, was the 
most popular physician therein, was "to the manner born," his father be- 
ing a physician of note. He was born in Hallowell, Me., September 25, 
1836, one of seven children born to Dr. Charles S. and Mary (Trafton) 
Weever, natives both of Maine. Dr. Charles Weever, the father of 
John B., came to Indiana in 1837 and located at Evansville, Ind., where 
he practiced his profession and held the chair of Professor of Anatomy 
in the Evansville (Ind.) Medical College for one year, and then came to 
Mt. Vernon, where he died April 21, 1862. Dr. John secured such educa- 
tion as could be had in the common scliools of the city where he resided. 
At the age of Tourteen he attended a full course of lectures in Evansville, 
Ind. He continued his studies,until he was nineteen, when he entered the 
Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, graduating in 1858. He was for 
awhile in the office of old Sam Gross, the "Father of American Surgery." 
After receiving his degree he came to Mt. Vernon and practiced with his 
father until the death of the latter in 1861. In December, 1862, he mar- 
ried Miss Emma Slocum, an accomplished young lady of Carmi, 111. They 
became the parents of seven children, three of whom are now living. In 
the year 1886 he removed to Evansville, Ind.. where he still lives, and 
though he is seventy-seven years of age, still practices his profession. 
He is a member of the County, State and America Medical associations. 
The doctor is tall, straight, broad-shouldered, apt at repartee and noted 
for the ease, grace and graciousness of his manners and his courtesy to 
the younger members of the profession. May he long continue to live 
and practice the profession of which he is an ornament. 

Dr. J. F. Leslie was born at McLeansboro, 111., in 1879. His father, 
James F. Leslie, is at this time adjusting attorney for the Louisville & 
Nashville Railroad Company. His mother. Miss Lora Casey, belonged 
to a distinguislied Irish family. Her father, widely known throughout 
Southern Illinois, as "Buck" Casey, was a mail contractor, providing 
stages for a large number of stage routes before there were any rail- 
roads in Southern Illinois. The doctor's maternal uncle, Sam Casey, was 
circuit judge of the Mt. Vernon (111.) circuit for twelve years. The sub- 
ject of this sketch was educated in the common schools of McLeansboro, 
and in the Evansville High School. He is a graduate of the Northwest- 
ern University Medical College, Chicago, and held an interneship in the 
Post-graduate Hospital of Chicago for one year, and took a post-graduate 
course in the same school in 1909. and again in 191 1. He began prac- 
tice in Jonesboro, Ark., afterward practiced in Maunie, 111., until No- 
vember, 1912, when he removed to Mt. Vernon, where he now resides. 
He was married to Miss Stella Weber of Salem. 111., in January, 1909. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1 63 

The doctor is now surgeon for the Chicago, Evansville & Louisville rail- 
road. 

Dr. James Edward Cudgel, a prominent physician and surgeon of Cyn- 
thiana, was born in Cibson county, on the farm of his parents, March lo, 
1858. His paternal ancestry were of German origin, while his mother 
was of Scotch-Irish extraction. His parents, grandparents and great- 
grandparents were prominent among the early pioneers who carved a 
nation out of a wilderness. Dr. Cudgel is the next oldest practitioner 
in the county now actively engaged in the profession. He attended the 
common schools in the county where his parents resided until he was 
fifteen years of age, when he entered the high school of Oakland City, 
where he graduated in the class of 1879, and then entered the normal 
school at that place, making in all about nine years attendance in school 
there. He afterwards taught school four years in the county, and one 
year in the grammar grade at Booneville, Ind. He graduated at the 
Evansville Medical College in 1883. In 1883 he located in Cynthiana, 
where he practiced five years and then entered the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons at St. Louis, Mo., graduating in 1888, and resumed his work 
in Cynthiana, where he still resides. He is a member of the Posey 
County Medical Society, of which he served one year as president, and is 
also a member of the State and American Medical associations. He was 
married in 1886 to Lizzie T. Smith, of Posey county. They are the 
parents of four children. The doctor is a Republican in politics, and the 
family are members of the Presbyterian church. 

Dr. C. H. Fullinwider was born near Alton, Ind., in 1854. He is of 
German lineage, but his ancestry had been for several generations in 
this country. Dr. Fullinwider received his literary education partly in 
the public schools of the neighborhood and partly from private tutors. 
He was reared on the farm. He finished his education at what was then 
known as Hartsville (Ind.) University, later entering the Medical College 
of Ohio, at Cincinnati, at that time the best medical college west of the 
Alleghanies. He graduated with the class of 1883, and began the prac- 
tice of medicine at Petersburg, Pike county, Indiana, where he was as- 
sociated for eight years with Dr. J. R. Adams, one of the oldest and best 
physicians in the county. He came to Mt. Vernon in 1872, where he has 
since resided. Before coming to Mt. Vernon he did post-graduate work 
in Philadelphia, Pa., under Dr. S. Weir Mitchell and Joseph Price, then 
went to New York and took a full course in the New York Polyclinic. He 
was married to Miss Cornelia Thomas, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. E. 
Thomas, of this city, in 1897. Two daughters have been born to them, 
Anne V. and Emma B. The doctor is one of the leading physicians of 
the county. He is careful, conscientious and painstaking, being especially 
skillful in diagnosis. He does a large consultation practice. 

Ira L. Turman, M. D., a physician and surgeon of Cynthiana, Ind., 



164 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

was born at Grayville, 111., February 15, 1877, and was raised on a farm, 
attending the common schools of his neighborhood and finished his liter- 
ary education at Union Christian College at Merom, Ind. Afterwards 
he taught school one year and then began the study of medicine under 
Dr. J. M. Durham, of Grayville, 111. He graduated from the University 
of Louisville, Ky., in 1894. In May of that year he located at Cynthiana, 
where he has since resided and practiced his profession. His ancestry, of 
English origin, were pioneer settlers of Indiana, coming from Bedford 
county, Virginia, in 1810. Dr. Turman belongs to the County, State and 
American Medical associations. He was president one year and secre- 
tary two years of the county society. He was married in August. 1895, to 
Miss Agnes Bixler, of Vanderberg county, Indiana. They had one child, 
Claude Kenneth, now a graduate of the Cynthiana High School. Mrs. 
Turman died in October, 1904. In March, 1906, Dr. Turman married 
Grace Bixler (nee Emmerson), of Gibson county. Dr. and Mrs. Turman 
have two children, Robert E. and Agnes Lucile. The Turman family 
are members of the Christian church, and Dr. Turman is a deacon in his 
church and director of the choir. 

Dr. David Walter Welch was born near Galatia, 111., in 1848. He is 
the son of E. G. Welch and Xancy (Upchurch) Welch. The father was 
of an old \'irginia family, but was raised at Murfreesboro, Tenn., and 
moved to Southern Illinois when quite a young man. Dr. Welch's 
mother was born at Galatia, which was founded by her father, David' 
Upchurch. lived there all her life and died in the same village at the age of 
eighty. The father died at the ripe age of eighty-eight in the same village. 
Dr. Welch, the oldest of twelve children, was reared on the farm near 
Galatia, attended the village schools in winter and later the Illinois State 
Normal at Normal. He taught school for fifteen years, three years in 
Shawneetown. 111.; two as assistant superintendent of Evansville, Ind., 
schools ; two as superintendent of Rockport schools, which he re-organ- 
ized and graded, and two as superintendent of schools in Boonville, Ind. 
He read medicine at home of evenings and afterwards in the office and' 
under the tuition of Dr. George B. Walker, dean of the faculty at Evans- 
ville, Ind. He graduated from the Evansville Medical College in 1886, 
having previously lived in the country northeast of Mt. Vernon, Ind., for 
four years. He located in Mt. Vernon in 1888, where he has since resided. 
Some years ago he took a post-graduate course in the Chicago Clinical 
College, and served four years on the board of pension examiners during 
the Harrison administration, being associated with the late Drs. Smith 
and Holton. He was married in 1868 to Miss Jennie R. Wright, of 
Cloverport, Ky. They have five sons and two daughters, all grown and 
married. He is in politics a Prohibitonist. There are just two planks 
in his political platform. He hates whisky and mud. He is the originator 
of the movement which resulted in building more than 200 miles of rock 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 165 

and gravel roads in Posey county. He met fierce opposition and defied 
it. Before that the county had not a foot of decent road. They have at 
this time more than 200 miles and are still building. 

Dr. John W. Powell, late of Mt. Vernon, Ind., now a re-^ident of Ev- 
ansville, Ind., was born in Henderson, county, Kentucky. June 16. 1844, 
and is the only son of eleven children born to James M. and Matilda 
(Greene) Powell, who were born, the former in Kentucky, the latter 
in Virginia. The father was a farmer and resided in the county of his 
nativity all his life excepting two years spent in Indiana. John W. ob- 
tained his literary education in the Asbury Universtiy, Greencastle, Ind., 
and later at Washington College, Lexington, Va. He received his med- 
ical education in the University of Louisville, Ky. He began the prac- 
tice of his profession in his native county, remaining there until 1880. In 
December of that year he came to Mt. Vernon, Ind., and spent several 
years in that place and its vicinity. A few years ago he discontinued the 
practice of medicine and moved to Evansville, where he now resides. 
In 1870 he was married to Miss Belle Dorsey. To this union six chil- 
dren were born, three of whom are now living. 

Dr. Daniel Neal, one of the oldest physicians of Posey county and 
for many years a resident of New Harmony, is a son of Max and Anna 
(Williams) Neal, who were of Irish lineage. They were natives of South 
Carolina, and when Indiana was yet a Territory, removed thither and set- 
tled in Posey county, where Dr. Neal was born January 21, 1828. His 
early life was passed on the farm and then he spent three years in the 
Mt. Vernon public schools. He worked in a dry goods store one year 
and then crossed the plains to California, where he remained until 1852, 
when he returned to his native county. He began the study of medicine 
with Dr. Mott, of New Harmony, in 1853, and in 1854 he attended the 
Transylvania Medical College at Lexington, Ky., and two years later 
began the practice of medicine in New Harmony. In 1857 he moved to 
Jackson, 111., but in 1866 returned to New Harmony and resumed the 
practice there. He married Martha Bennett in May, 185". Four chil- 
dren have been born to them — Nellie, Mollie, Benjamin and August. 
About eight years ago he removed to California, where he has since re- 
sided. 

Dr. Samuel O. Rawlings, one of the oldest physicians in Posey county, 
was born in Oliiey, 111., September 10, 1845. His father, Lloyd Rawlings, 
was born in Ohio and moved to Illinois at an early day. He was one 
of the "forty-niners," and while in the gold fields of California had an 
encounter with a grizzly bear and came off second best, being disabled 
and disfigured for life. He died in 1885. Dr. Rawlings began the study 
of medicine in his native county under the tutorship of Dr. M. Van- 
couglan, and entered the Cincinnati College of Physicians and Surgeons 
in 1869, graduating therefrom in 1873. ^^ located in New Harmony in 



l66 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

1871, where he has resided and practiced his profession ever since. He 
was married to Miss Alice Youngblood, of Posej'ville, Ind., in May, 
1877. Seven children have blessed this union, four of whom survive. 
Elbert, one of the sons, is a druggist in W'ashington State ; another, 
Claude, is a physician, a sketch of whom is found elsewhere in this vol- 
ume. The doctor still does some practice for his old customers. The 
first wife died in 1909. He was married in 1912 to Miss Mary Givens. 
Politically he is a Democrat. 

Dr. John ^\^ Ranes was born in ^\'hite county, Illinois, in 1881, reared 
in Gibson county, near Owensville, Ind., to which place the family re- 
moved when the subject of our sketch was two years old. He attended 
Owensville and Princeton high schools three years and attended Oakland 
City College three years. He graduated from the Indiana School of 
Medicine in 1908. He practiced medicine in Union, Pike county, Indiana, 
removed to Mt. \'ernon in 191 1, where he still resides and practices his 
profession. He was married in 1904 to Miss Sadie Arnold, of Warrick 
county, Indiana. Two children have blessed this union. Husband and 
wife are both members and active workers in the General Baptist church. 
Being young, well educated and of exemplary habits, a long career of 
usefulness awaits him. 

Dr. Oscar T. Schultz, deceased, during his lifetime a prominent phy- 
sician of Posey county, Indiana, was born near Breslau, Germany, in 
1848, and was the oldest son of Theodore and Henrietta (Weber) Schultz. 
The father came with his family to the United States in 1853 and located 
first in New York City, but after two years' residence there moved to 
Evansville, Ind., where he engaged in the practice of medicine. Oscar 
T. received his education in the public schools of Evansville, graduating 
from the high school in 1856. Irt the fall of that year he moved to Owens- 
boro, Ky., and taught in a private school. From 1868 to 1874 he was 
superintendent of German in the public schools of Owensboro and Evans- 
ville. February 26, 1875, he graduated from the Hospital College of 
Medicine at Louisville, Ky., at the head of his class. In April, 1875, he 
located in IVIt. Vernon, where he resided and practiced his profession till 
the time of his death, which occurred late in the year of 1891. May 9, 
1876, he married Louisa, daughter of John Pfeffer, of Mt. Vernon. To 
this union were born six children, four of whom are living. He and his 
family were prominent members of the German Evangelical Trinity 
church. Mrs. Schultz departed this life March 6, 1903. Dr. Schultz was 
one of a long line of physicians, there having been one at least in nearly 
every generation for three centuries, and his oldest son, Oscar Schultz, 
M. D., of Omaha, Xeb., is not the least distinguished among the number. 

Dr. Charles Arburn, of Wadesville, Ind., was born on a farm in Gib- 
son county, Indiana, October 13. 1858. He was a son of John and Ange- 
line (Henson) Arburn. The father was from England, the mother 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 167 

from Pennsylvania. Dr. Arbiirn attended the public schools of his na- 
tive county and began teaching at the age of twenty-one. Four years 
later he entered the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville, grad- 
uating therefrom with the class of 1889. He located at Carmi, 111., re- 
maining two years, and then removed to East Lynn, 111. After practic- 
ing four years there he came to Wadesville, where he has since resided 
and practiced his profession. He is a Democrat in politics and a Primi- 
tive Baptist in religion. Dr. Arburn was married in 1884 to Miss Martha 
Florence Smith, daughter of John W. and Mary Jane (Calvert) Smith, 
of Smith township, Posey county, Indiana, after whom Smith township 
was named. Dr. and Mrs. Arburn have two sons and two daughters. 

Dr. Samuel G. Henderson, who has spent his entire professional life in 
St. Phillips, Posey county, Indiana, was born at Surgeonville, Hawkins 
county, Tennessee, in 1848, the son of S. L. and i\nnie (Williams) Hen- 
derson. The doctor's grandfather was killed and robbed by the Indians 
near Chattanooga, Tenn. Dr. Henderson was reared on a farm in his 
native county, attending the common schools of his neighborhood. At 
the age of fifteen he enlisted in Company E, First Tennessee Federal 
cavalry, but on account of his youth was not permitted to serve. Two 
of his brothers were in the Federal and one in the Confederate army. 
After his discharge he again attended school. In March, 1866, he came 
to Indiana, locating first at Francisco, Gibson county. He attended 
school for a short time at Poseyville, Ind., and subsequently taught 
school in Posey county. He graduated in 1876 from the Cincinnati Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons. He began practicing his profession in 
St. Phillips, Posey county, where he has since resided. He has retired 
from active practice, but still does some office work. He has accumu- 
lated a competence, owns several farms and is a raiser of cattle and hogs. 
In politics he is a Democrat. He belongs to no church, but is a Meth- 
odist in belief. In 1873 Dr. Henderson married Barbara Pelt, daughter 
of James and Nancy Pelt. Dr. and Mrs. Henderson are the parents of 
eight children. 

Dr. Arno Klein was born in Mt. Vernon, Ind., in 1886, of German par- 
entage, his father, Charles P. Klein, having been born in Rhine-Essen, 
Germany. His mother, formerly Miss Katherine M. Schwerdt, was born 
in Evansville, Ind., and is also of German descent. The parents came to 
Mt. Vernon thirty-three years ago, where the father has been and is still 
engaged in the grocery business on a large scale ; Arno graduated in the 
Mt. Vernon High School, attended Culver (Ind.) Military Academy 
three years, and then spent eight and one-half months traveling in Ger- 
many and Switzerland. L^pon his return from Europe he entered the 
Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, remaining till he graduated, 
and then served four years as interne in the hospital connected with the 
school. Not getting just what he wanted there he went to Williams- 



l68 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

port, Pa., and served one year as interne in the hospital at that place. 
He began the practice of his profession in Mt. Vernon in 1912. He was 
married in February, 1913, to Miss Emily V. Brower, of Williamsport, 
Pa., so he certainly spent his year in Williamsport hospital to some pur- 
pose. He has recently been appointed surgeon in the Indiana National 
Guard and attached to the First regiment. He is bright, energetic, 
speaks English and German, and certainly has a bright future before him. 

Dr. Ulysses G. Whiting was born September 24, 1869, in Evansville, 
Ind. He was the son of John and Sarah O. Whiting. He received his 
literary education in the common schools of Cynthiana, Ind., and the 
Northern Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso, Ind. At the age 
of nineteen he engaged in the drug business at Cynthiana and followed 
this avocation until the fall of 1894, when he entered the medical de- 
partment of the University of Louisville, where he graduated in 1897. 
He located at Wadesville, Ind., for the practice of medicine and re- 
mained there until 1905. when he moved to New Harmony, forming a 
partnership with Dr. J. M. Glaze. He was, in 1904, elected grand medical 
examiner of the Ancient Order of United Workmen for the State, filling 
said office until 1906. He quit New Harmony in 1908 to take clinical 
courses in Chicago, New York and Vienna, Austria. Returning to 
America he again resumed the practice in Mt. Vernon. Dr. Whiting was 
married to Miss Lula Wasson, of Gibson county, in 1893 They have 
two children. Miss Fay, a teacher in the city schools, and Van, who is 
in the senor class of the Mt. Vernon High School. 

Dr. Edwin Rinear was born in Liberty Center, Wells county, In- 
diana, in 1866, son of Elias M. and Mary Jane (Hupp) Rinear. His great- 
grandfather was a Frenchman, who came to this country with Lafayette 
and served in the American Revolution. His grandfather, Charles Ri- 
near, son of the Frenchman, was born in New Jersey, and his son, father 
of Dr. Edwin, was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. His mother was of 
Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. Elias M. Rinear, the doctor's father, was 
a druggist in Liberty Center, and other towns in Indiana and low lives 
in Bluffton. He was a soldier in the One Hundred and First Indiana 
infantry and for three years was "fife major." Edwin Rinear attended 
the public schools of his neighborhood and later completed the teacher's 
course in Holbrook Normal at Lebanon, Ohio, after which he taught for 
six years in the Wells county public schools. He graduated from the 
Medical College of Ohio in 1890. He practiced at Liberty center ten 
years, at Warren, Ind., three or four years, at Bluffton for a time, and 
located at Mt. Vernon in 191 1. He is a member of the Mt. Vernon So- 
ciety, which owes its existence to him ; is secretary of the County Medi- 
cal Association and is a member of the State Association. He was mar- 
ried in 1891 to Queen Mabel Webb, of Warren, Ind. They have no chil- 
dren. In politics he is a Democrat. The doctor is a musician of more 
than ordinary skill and an artist of no mean ability. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 169 

Dr. Henry H. Sugg was born on a farm near Fayetteville, Tenn., in 
1866. His father was Henry H. Sugg; his mother was Sally E. Yowell, 
a great-granddaughter of the celebrated John Sevier, pioneer Indian 
fighter and first governor of Tennessee. Dr. Sugg attended the common 
schools of his native county as a boy and when a young man attended 
the medical department of the Vanderbilt University and of the Ten- 
nessee Medical College, graduating later in the American Medical Col- 
lege at St. Louis. He began the practice of medicine at Trenton. Tenn., 
where he remained one year; then he removed to Greenville, Tex., where 
he practiced three years ; returning to his old home he practiced two years 
near Fayetteville. In the year 1892 he moved to Mt. Vernon, where he 
has resided and practiced his profession ever since. The best thing he 
ever did was to marry, in 1891, Miss Lula McGowan, of good Presby- 
terian stock. To this union have been born five children, two boys and 
three girls. The doctor has been quite successful in business and now 
owns 400 acres of land in Posey county. He practices medicine accord- 
ing to the theories of the Eclectics. Dr. Sugg affiliates with the Chris- 
tian church. His wife, true to the Scotch traditions, is an old-school 
Presbyterian and both are highly respected citizens in the town in which 
they reside. 

Dr. William Mason Holton was born in Westminster, Vt., July 16, 
1827. He was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
New York, class of 1852. After his graduation he practiced one year m 
New York City; from 1853 to i860 at Plymouth, 111.; then till 1863 he 
practiced his profession at Stewartsville, Ind., and from 1862 till the 
time of his death, which occurred December 13, 1910, at New Harmony, 
Ind. He was a member of the Posey County, State and American Med- 
ical societies. During the Civil war he served as first lieutenant in the 
Sixtieth Indiana regiment and afterward as surgeon of the Twenty-fifth 
Indiana. He was on the board of pension examiners at Mt. Vernon four 
years during the Harrison administration. He practiced his profession 
continuously, except the time he was in the army, for fifty-eight and one- 
half years. Few men in America ever practiced longer. 

Dr. Robert Lee Hardwick was born February 16, 1863, near Dawson 
Springs, Hopkins county, Kentucky. His father, Christopher C, was a 
dry goods merchant. His mother's maiden name was Adeline Henson. 
He was educated in the public schools of his neighborhood, is a graduate 
of the Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, finishing the course in 1886. 
He first practiced his profession in Clay, Ky., and later at Dixon, Ky. ; 
moved to Mt. Vernon in 1897, where he lias since resided. He was mar- 
ried to Miss Lura F. Watson in 1891. To this union two daughters 
have been born — Lucile and Adelaide. He is in religious belief a Mis- 
sionary Baptist, though not connected with any church here. In poli- 
tics he has always been a Democrat. He is secretary of the board of 



170 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

health in Posey county. The doctor has been quite successful in business 
and owns 384 acres of land in Posey county. 

Douglas X. Ramsey, one of the oldest physicians in point of contin- 
uous service in Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in Xenia, III., son of George 
D. and Mary A. (Price) Ramsey. His father was a practicing physi- 
cian of Xenia, 111., where he died at the age of seventy-seven. The mother 
died in Alt. Vernon, aged eighty-two. Dr. Ramsey attended the public 
schools of his native village and for two or three years had a private 
tutor. He took his medical degree at Washington University, St. Louis, 
in 1880, and shortly afterward located in Mt. Vernon, where he has since 
resided. He took post-graduate courses in St. Louis L'niversity in 1873 
and in the Chicago Pol3'clinic in 1875. He was appointed a member of 
the State Board of Health by Governor Matthews and served from 1895 
to 1897. tis has been twice president of the Posey County Medical 
Society, and for four years he was medical examiner for the Ancient 
Order of Cnited Workmen. Governor Durbin appointed Dr. Ramsey 
delegate to the National Tuberculosis Congress, held in New York in 
1907. He served two terms on the board of pension examiners under 
Cleveland's administrations. He was married, in December, 1909, to 
Miss Rosa Scheller, who was born in Interlachen, Switzerland, hut spent 
most of her life prior to her marriage in Evansville, Ind. In politics Dr. 
Ramse}' is a Democrat ; fraternally a Master Mason. 

Dr. William Edward Hasting, until recently a prominent physician 
and surgeon of Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in Point township. Posey 
county, Indiana, in August 1867. He was a son of William Thomas 
and Jane (Booth) Hasting, the former born in Delaware, the latter in 
Posey county. Dr. Hasting's father was of English descent and a pio- 
neer settler of Posey county. He died at his farm in Point township 
at the age of fifty-five. Dr. Hasting was reared on the Point township 
farm, receiving his early education in the county schools. Later he 
was a student at De Pauw University, Greencastle, Ind. He entered 
the medical department of the Washington University at St. Louis in 
1893, graduating in 1897. He spent three years as interne or superin- 
tendent of a hospital there and in East St. Louis. He removed thence 
to Mt Vernon, Ind., where he built up a large practice, owning a farm 
of 1,000 acres of land in Point township, which demanded his atten- 
tion. He has recently quit the practice of his profession and is giving 
his attention to stock breeding and buying and selling mules. He was 
married to Miss Anna Bell, a native of Ireland, in 1895. She died No- 
vember 6, 1910, leaving two children, David and Anna. 

Dr. Samuel Benson Montgomery, a prominent physician and sur- 
geon of Cynthiana, was born in Gibson county, Indiana, July 6, 1874. 
He was the youngest child of Jesse M. and Lemira ( Benson) Montgomery. 
He was raised on a farm, completed the common school course and 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 17I 

graduated from the Owensville High School in 1892. He attended Wa- 
bash College one year and then entered the University Medical College 
at Louisville, graduating in 1898. He practiced one year at Poseyville, 
three years at St. Wendel, and then located in 1902 at Cynthiana, where 
he still resides and enjoys a lucrative practice. He is a member of the 
County, State and American Medical Associations. He belongs to the 
Christian church. Dr. Montgomery is of French extraction, tracing his 
ancestry back to the Tenth century, to the Count of Alencon in Nor- 
many, descendants of whom are found in England, Scotland, Holland 
and America. It is from those that settled in Scotland and Ireland that 
we have the American line and the antecedents of our subject. In Sep- 
tember, 1898, Dr. Montgomery was married to Miss Eva L. Boyle, 
daughter of Henry and Tilda (McReynolds) Boyle, both native Hoo- 
siers, the father of Vanderburg county and the mother of Posey. They 
have two children, Mary Lena and Dorothy Mae. 

Dr. David B. Montgomery was born March 26, 1834, on a farm in 
Gibson county, Indiana. His early life on the farm consisted of the 
usual tasks incident to farm life, with a few months' attendance of the 
district schools in winter. When nearing manhood he attended an acad- 
emy in Newburg, Ind., for two years. Upon attaining his majority he 
read medicine with Dr. John Runcie, of Cynthiana, Ind. He graduated 
from the Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1858. Upon receiving his 
diploma he located at Cynthiana, where he built a large and lucrative 
practice. Beginning the practice he was compelled to buy a home and 
outfit on credit, but at his death he left an estate valued at many thou- 
sands of dollars. The doctor was a man of fine personal appearance, 
neat in his dress and courteous in manners. He was "liberal" in his 
religious views. He thought, spoke and acted in accordance with his 
own view of right and propriety, letting consequences take care of them- 
selves. Out of his own ample means he erected in 1875 a neat brick 
edifice, which he called Byron Hall, to be used by the young people for 
their social gatherings and by any religious sect or political party. He 
was twice married. The first wife was Miss Margaret Whiting, whom 
he married in i860. The union proving unhappy, it was dissolved by 
the court in 1883 after long and bitter litigation. In the same year he 
was married to Miss Mary Downs, who survived him. The doctor 
"fell asleep" on September i, 1885. 

Dr. Thomas W. Wilson was born in Lynn township October 18, 
i860. He worked on the farm and attended the district schools until he 
was nineteen years of age, when he entered the Indiana University at 
Bloomington, graduating therefrom in 1884. He received his medical 
degree from the Miami Medical College at Cincinnati in 1887. Shortly 
after his graduation he formed a partnership with Dr. William Holton 
at New Harmony and they practiced together for eight years. Since 



172 IIISTCRV OF POSEY COUNTY 

then he has practiced alone in New Harmony, where he continues to 
reside. For ten years lie was health officer of the county and has also 
filled the positions of president and secretary of the County Medical 
Society. Dr. Wilson is the son of John Wilson and Mrs. Amanda 
(Grad) ^^'ilson, both of Lynn township. Dr. Wilson was married to 
Miss Annie B. Miller, of New Harmony, in 1893. They have one son, 
Gordon M. Wilson. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Knights of Pythias, 
the Modern Woodmen and the tribe of Ben Hur. 

Dr. George R. Pcckinpaugh was born in Crawford county, Indiana, 
June 5, 1854, being the next youngest of twelve children born to Nich- 
olas and Eleanor (Scheckell) Peckinpaugh. The parents were from 
Hardin count)', Kentucky, but emigrated to Crawford county, Indiana, 
in 1818. Here he was raised, married and reared a large family. Dr. 
George R. remained on the farm till he was seventeen years old, when 
he entered the Hartsville, Ind., University and later the University at 
Bloomington, Ind., completing there his sophomore year. He then took 
a two-years course in chemistry and other branches pertaining to the 
medical profession. In the fall of 1878 he matriculated at the Ohio 
Medical College at Cincinnati, graduating in 1881. He located in Mt. 
Vernon in September of that year and began the practice of his profes- 
sion. He soon became one of the most popular physicians and surgeons 
of Posey county. From then until 1907, with the exception of a short 
time spent in Chicago, he practiced in this city and vicinity. In that 
year he removed to Evansville, Ind., where he has since devoted his en- 
tire time to pulmonary diseases, in the treatment of which he has been 
very successful. The doctor is affable, courteous and unassuming in 
manner and simple in his dress. Though some of his theories as to the 
causes and treatment of pulmonary diseases are original, the doctor is 
honest, terribly in earnest, and able to give a reason for the faith that 
is in him. He was married to Miss Rose Alexander, an accomplished 
young lady of this city. 

Dr. J. M. Glaze was born at Joneshart, in Upper East Tennessee. 
At thirteen years of age he was sent to Greenville, Tenn., where 
he remained two years. He is a graduate of the Universitj' of 
Nashville and \'anderbuilt University at Nashville, Tenn. He began the 
practice of medicine at nineteen years of age, located at Gainesville, Ky., 
where he practiced six 3'ears. Later he moved to New Harmony. He is 
the son of William B. Glaze and Elizabeth (Clark) Glaze, both natives of 
Tennessee. Dr. Glaze was married September 6, 1894, to Miss Mary R. 
Cooper, daughter of John Cooper, a prominent citizen of Posey county 
during his life time. The doctor married some money and made more, 
and had accumulated considerable property when he left New Harmony 
about five years ago for California, where he now resides. He has one 
child, Anna Reed Glaze. Dr. Glaze was a member of the Posey 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I73 

County Medical Society, and was for a while surgeon for the Peoria, De- 
catur and Evansville Railroad Company at New Harmony. He is a 
Democrat in politics. Besides his practice he has large farming inter- 
ests. 

Dr. T. C. Emmick was born near Grandview, Ind., on Corn Island, the 
name given a mound built by the mound builders, August 9, 1872. His 
parents were John W. Emmick and Rebecca (Peckinpaugh) Emmick. 
Thomas, the subject of this sketch, left the island or mound farm, orf 
which he was born, and where he passed his early childhood, and went 
with his father, who was a steamboatman, to Yazoo City, Miss., and later 
to Alton, Ind. His literary education was received in the public schools 
of Alton. When a young man he clerked for three years in the Fogas 
drug store in Mt. Vernon, then read medicine about one year in the 
office of his uncle, Dr. George R. Peckinpaugh, at that time one of the 
leading physicians and surgeons of Posey county. He then entered the 
Louisville Medical College, where he remained two years, graduating at 
the Ohio Medical College in the class of 1897. After obtaining his degree 
he located in Mt. Vernon, where he still resides and practices his profes- 
sion. Dr. Emmick was married in 1906 to Miss Betty Dunn, of Alton, 
Ind. 

Dr. Edwin V. Spencer, who at the time of his death was >ine of the 
oldest and most successful physicians of Posey countj-, was born in 
Warren county, Penn,sylvania, and was one of a family of nine children 
born to Mathias and Harriet (Smith) Spencer, natives respectively of 
Connecticut and Vermont. He grew to manhood in his native county, 
where he secured a common school education and later attended an 
academy at Sherburne, N. Y. He began the study of medicine when 
nineteen years of age, and was graduated from the Cleveland (Ohio) 
Medical College in 185 1. He came to Posey county in the spring of 1852 
and located in Mt. Vernon. He was one of the oldest physicians and 
surgeons in the county in his day. Making money in the practice and 
investing it in real estate, which afterwards increased greatly in value, 
he became quite wealthy, and at his death left a large landed estate. In 
February, 1852, he married Sarah J. Baxter, of Erie county, Pennsyl- 
vania. They became the parents of eight children, four of whom are 
now living. One of them, George W., is a distinguished physician and 
surgeon of Philadelphia. The doctor was a Democrat in politics, and in 
his later years a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was a 
member of the Indiana Medical Society. On March 28, 1902, he joined 
the "Silent Majority," "And there shall be no night (riding) there." 

Dr. Marcus Sherburne Blunt was born in Narridgewock, Me., in 1826. 
He was fortunate in his birthplace, as at that time New England was a 
center of culture and refinement, of courage and energy. Dr. William 
Trafton, Dr. Charles Weever and others who adorned the medical profes- 



174 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

sion in that early day, were also natives of New England, and brought to 
the western wilds something of the culture of the East. "There were giants 
in those days" and giants were needed to help subdue the wilderness, to 
contend with Indians and wickedness, to struggle through mud and swim 
swollen, unbridgcd streams, to carry the light of hope and health to the 
sick, to smooth the pillow of the dying. "The paths of pain were theirs" 
and they were trodden by weary, but unfaltering feet, not the least 
among these pioneer physicians being the subject of our sketch. Dr. 
Blunt graduated from Bowdoin College in 185 1 and came west, locating 
at Mt. Vernon, then a mere village, in 1852, where he resided and prac- 
ticed his profession till his death, twenty-nine years later. Those were 
strenuous years, filled with high purpose and hard work. Those of us 
"upon the ends of the world are come," who practice medicine in auto- 
mobiles, over rock roads, can little appreciate the hardships which these 
older physicians had to undergo. After two years the doctor realized it 
was "not good for man to be alone," especially in the western wilds, and 
he married Miss Caroline B. Abbott, of Farmington, Me., who was not 
merely a helpmate for him, but an addition to the society of the village. 
The writer was proud to number her among his friends not manj- years 
after her husband's death. Dr. Blunt was "gathered to his fathers" 
after a long and painful illness, October 2, 1881, and his devoted wife 
joined him in the "land of shadows" in 1904. Six children were born to 
this union, five of whom are yet living. Said one of his contemporaries: 
"He had the courage of his convictions honestly, faithfully in his sphere 
of action, did he fulfill his destiny. Upright and honest in all his busi- 
ness relations he stood without reproach." Though he did not accept the 
dogmas of revealed religion, "His convictions, as to the future were sin- 
cere and pronounced. Above all creeds or books he looked and believed 
that any power which could mysteriously call him into existence was suf- 
ficient to care for him in the great Beyond." "Shall not the Judge of all 
the earth do right?" If he had the faults and foibles of humanity, he was 
also the possessor of its grandest attributes. His humanity was extended 
as the human family, his benevolence only circumscribed by his power 
to do good. Said another, "The sacrifices he made during the cholera 
epidemic in Mt. Vernon will never be known and never forgotten, in that 
memorable conflict with pole horse and his rider how unflinchingly he 
stood by the post of his duty. All mercenary motives were lost sight of, 
the poorest had his professional counsel and assistance as readily as 
those from whom he might expect remuneration and more, they had ac- 
cess to his purse as long as he could keep it supplied and the overflowing 
sympathy of his warm heart in their affliction." He was not orthodox 
but he entered into the spirit of him who said. "I will have mercy and 
not sacrifice." 

Dr. Lawrence B. Bitz, for many years a prominent physician of Blairs- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1 75 

ville, Ind., was born December 6, 1839, Bavaria, Germany. He is the 
third of a family of four children born to Simon and Catherine (Schaf- 
fener) Bitz. They came to the United States in 1847, locating in War- 
rick county, Indiana, where they lived until the father's death in 1875, 
and the mother died there in 1881. Dr. Bitz was raised on a farm 
and served one year during the Civil war in Company G, Forty-fourth 
Indiana volunteers. Returning from the war he farmed until 1867 and 
then entered Miami Medical College, graduating two years later. He 
then located in Blairsville, Ind., where he built a large and lucrative 
practice. He married Mary Marvick in 1871. He and his family are 
members of the Catholic church. Fifteen or twenty years ago he 
removed to Evansville, Ind., where he still lives and practices medi- 
cine in partnership with his son. 

Dr. William Louis Miller, practicing physician, was born in Cin- 
cinnati, October 24, 1873. He is the son of Rev. Louis and Elizabeth 
(Doerr) Miller. His father is a native of Germany, born eighty-four 
years ago and is now living. He has been a Methodist minister for 
over fifty-three years. His mother died a few years ago. Our sub- 
ject, Dr. William Louis Miller, graduated from the Boonville High 
School at the age of seventeen. After teaching school for several 
years he attended De Pauw University and later studied medicine at 
Louisville Medical College. In April, 1901, he graduated from the 
University of Indianapolis, after which he practiced medicine in West 
Franklin for about one year. In 1902 he was married to Miss Anna, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Weilbrenner, of Mt. Vernon, Ind., 
and located near St. Phillips, in Robinson township, where he has con- 
tinued his practice for eleven years. Dr. Miller and wife are the par- 
ents of two children, Harold L. and Raymond A., and are members of 
the German Methodist church. 

Dr. George W. Welborn, formerly a practicing physician of Stewarts- 
ville, Ind.. was born March 17, 1844, in Evansville, Ind., where he grew 
to manhood and received his early education. In 1859 he entered the 
Asbury University, now De Pauw University, where he remained until 
the beginning of the Civil war. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Com- 
pany B, Sixtieth Indiana infantry, and served three years, receiving his 
discharge June 30, 1865. For a short time after the war he clerked in a 
drug store in Evansville, but at the end of six months entered into 
partnership in the boot and shoe business. Two years later he sold out 
and came to Stewartsville and engaged in farming. October 27, 1867, 
he married Martha Stinnett, who was born in 1845 "i Kentucky. They 
had four children, all of whom survived him. The doctor began his 
medical studies while in the army and, in 1875, quit farming, took a 
two years' course in the Evansville Medical College, graduating in 1877. 
The parents of the doctor were William W. and Hannah (Walker) 



176 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Welborn. The fatlier was a physician, who received his medical educa- 
tion in Evansville and died in that city in 1871. The subject of our 
sketch took a post-graduate course in Philadelphia in 1894. He located 
in Stewartsville and practiced there till failing health compelled him 
to seek relief in a hospital in St. Louis. He died in that city as the re- 
sult of a prostatectomy in 1895. 

Dr. Francis H. Kelley was born October i, 1835, in Kentucky. His 
parents were Robert and Charlotte (Walton) Kelley. The father, who 
was a farmer, was born in Virginia in 1797. He died in Missouri, where 
he then resided, in 1864. The mother was born in 1805, and died in 
Missouri in 1877. He received his literary education in the district 
schools, from his mother, and from a high school, which he attended 
two years, and from the Georgetown (Ky.) College, where he attended 
two years. In 1859 he entered the University of Charlottesville, Va. 
When the Civil war began he was a student in a medical college at 
Nashville, Tenn. He joined the Confederate army, was commissioned 
captain, and later was promoted to the rank of major. 

He fought at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Corinth, Murfrees- 
boro and Chickamauga. In the skirmish at Danville, Ala., he was taken 
prisoner and sent to Indianapolis, where he was released in 1865. Being 
without money or friends in that locality he went to Orange county, 
Indiana, and worked for a time in a saw mill. In a short time, learn- 
ing that he pos.sessed some knowledge of medicine, he was called to see 
a sick man, and treated him successfully. In 1867 he married Rhoda E. 
Stone, who bore him one child, Albert Lee. He died in June, 1870, and 
in March of the same year he graduated from the Louisville Medical 
College. He then located in Stewartsville, Ind., where he remained 
till 1885. He then left Posey county and settled on a farm in Saline 
county, where he lived fourteen years. Left there in 1901 and spent 
about one year in Texas. He located in New Harmony in 1902, where 
he now lives in retirement. Has not been in active practice since leav- 
ing Stewartsville. His wife, who is still living, was Miss Mary Alice 
Robb. They have three children. 

Dr. Simeon H. Pearse was born in Allegany county. New York, 
in 1830, being the oldest of a family of three sons and three daughters, 
born to Benjamin H. and Mary (Heath) Pearse, natives respectively 
of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Dr. Pearse was raised in the 
county of his nativity and secured a fair education, completing his 
academic course and securing a State teachers' license at the age of 
twenty-one. He obtained the means to enable him to pursue 
the study of medicine by teaching. He graduated in 1854 from the 
Castleton (Vt.) Medical College. He practiced his profession in Onon- 
daga and Allegany counties for four years, and spent one winter in 
Bellevue Hospital, New York. He then came to Mt. Vernon, where 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 177 

he remained till the year 1896, when he returned to New York. In 1855 
he was married to Lucy A. Abbott, in his native county. They had two 
children, Eliza M. and Warren M. The doctor in politics was a Dem- 
ocrat and fraternally a Mason. He and his wife were members of the 
Presbyterian church. He was a member of the Mt. Vernon public 
school board from 1868 to 1878, with the exception of two years. He 
died in 1896, shortly after his return to his old home in New York. 

Dr. Carl Plucks, of St. Wendel, Ind., was born in Germany, Decem- 
ber II, 1837. He is a son of Carl and Anna Plucks, who were native 
Germans, and lived and died in the land of their birth. The doctor re- 
ceived an exceptionally fine education in the German language and 
literature, and also in theology. He entered the German army at nine- 
teen, and was in the sanitary service for about seven years. He came 
to the United States in 1872, located in Terre Haute, and practiced 
medicine for about nine months, when he removed to St. Wendel, where 
he has since resided. He was married to Mary McHenry in 1873. They 
had six children, three of whom were living in 1885. Dr. Plucks and 
family are members of the Catholic church, and politically he is a 
Democrat. The doctor is quite a fine musician, having attended some 
of the best musical schools of Europe. 

The doctor left St. Wendel and moved to Arkansas for a while, where 
he was elected to the legislature. After a few years he re- 
moved back to St. Wendel. Who wouldn't, after having been elected 
to the Arkansas legislature? The old doctor is living in retirement at 
St. Wendel. 

Dr. John W. Rutter was born in Posey county, Indiana, near Cyn- 
thiana in 1857. He was a son of John Rutter and Jane (Carter) 
Rutter and was raised in the same neighborhood where his parents 
were. He was educated in the Cynthiana public schools. He grad- 
uated from the Eclectic Medical Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1881. 
He practiced medicine in Cynthiana twenty-eight years and came to 
Poseyville in 1909, where he still resides. He has been married twice — 
first to Prances Sketler, who died in 1906, leaving two children ; then 
to Mrs. Belle W. White, of Eldorado county, Illinois, in 1908. Pra- 
ternally he is a Mason. He belongs to the Posey County Medical 
Society. 

Dr. K. C. Pitzgerald was born in Philipstown, 111., in 1884. He is the 
son of Charles and Isabel Pitzgerald. The doctor was educated in the 
public schools of his native village and at the Kentucky Universtity, 
Lexington, Ky. He received his medical degree at the Kentucky 
School of Medicine, graduating in 1906. He served two years as in- 
terne in the City Hospital and in St. Anthony's Hospital, Louisville. 
He was a student of Dr. William Wathen, of Louisville, in his day one 
of the greatest gynecologists in the West. He located in New Har- 



178 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

mony, Ind., in 1908, where he still resides and practices his profession. 
He is a member of the city council. He was married in 1909 to Miss 
Nelgine Schnee. One child has been born to them, in 1912, named Eliz- 
abeth. He was in college a Greek letter man, a Phi Chi. In politics 
he is a Democrat. He belongs to the Woodmen, Odd Fellows and 
Masons. He is a member of the County, State and American Medical 
associations. 

Dr. J. P. Gibson, of Stewartsville. was born at Barboursville, Knox 
county, Kentucky, in 1877. He received the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts from the Union. College, Barboursville, Ky.. in 1896. He attended 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons, graduating therefrom .Vjjril 
II, 1900. He served as contract surgeon for the North Jellico Coal 
Company at Milton, Ky.. 1901-1902. He then located at Corbin, Ky., 
1903, where he owned a drug store and practiced medicine till 1908. He 
then removed to Stewartsville, Ind., where he has since resided. He 
was married to Miss Mamie Spahr, of Cincinnati, Ohio, in July, 1900. 
They have four children — one boy and three girls. The doctor is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is Republican in 
politics. 

Dr. Ernest Wilson, "Doc Ernie," as he is familiarly called by his 
friends, was born in Lynn township, Posey county, in 1867. He was 
the son of Alex. Wilson and Margaret (Stallings) Wilson, both of 
Lynn township, Posey count}', Indiana. The doctor was raised on the 
Lynn township farm, attended the district schools, and finished his 
literary education at the State University at Bloomington. He obtained 
his medical degree at Miami University, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1896. He 
had prior to this taken a course in pharmacy, graduating at the Cincin- 
nati College of Pharmacy. He served as interne at St. Mary's Hos- 
pital, Evansville, Ind., in 1896 and 1897. He then practiced his profes- 
sion in New Harmony, Ind., about one year. He then located near 
Solitude. Posey county. Indiana, within a mile or two of his boyhood 
home, where he has resided ever since. He was married to Miss Elsie Neu- 
som, of New Harmony, in 1897. They have had two children; one, a lit- 
tle girl, is living. Dr. Wilson is a stockholder and director in the Peo- 
ple's Bank at Mt. Vernon and owns considerable land — two or more 
farms — in Lynn township. He is a Democrat in politics. 

Dr. Commodore P. Barrett, the third child in a family of twelve chil- 
dren, and the son of Isaac and Louisa Bafrett, was born in Pike county, 
Indiana, November 26. 1869. He was raised on a farrh and attended 
the district schools during the winter. Began teaching school in 1889 
and continued several years in the country and village schools. Grad- 
uated from the State I. N. School at Princeton. Ind., in 1891. and from 
the Hospital College of Indiana at Louisville, Ky., in 1898. Since his 
graduation he has been engaged in the practice of his profession in 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1/9 

Pike and in Posey counties. He was located for a time at Grafton and 
more recently at Oliver Station, in Posey county. At present he is 
located at Mt. Vernon, Ind. Dr. Barrett was married in 1898 to Miss 
Jada M. Glasson, of Warrick county, Indiana. This union has been 
blessed with three children, two boys and a girl. 

Orba Leonard Woods, M. D., was born September 27, 1883. He is 
the son of Albert Franklin and Mary E. Woods. Attended the Prince- 
ton public schools and graduated from the high school in 1903. Worked 
for the United States Express Company in St. Louis about one year. 
Entered Indiana Medical College in 1905. This school became affiliated 
with the Indiana University and was known as the Indiana School of 
Medicine. Dr. Woods graduated therefrom in 1909. He then served 
as interne at St. Anthony's Hospital, Terre Haute. In the fall of 1910 
he located at Poseyville, Ind., in the office of Dr. Runcie, deceased, 
where he still resides and practices his profession. December 14, 1910, 
Dr. Woods was married to Miss Margaret Deutsch, of Houston, Tex., 
formerly of Terre Haute, Ind. Two children have been born to them — 
Elsie Frances and Loren Paul. Since the doctor is young and well 
equipped for his calling, a large field of usefulness is open to him. 

Dr. George U. Runcie was born August 14, 1858. at C3'nthiana, Ind. 
He is one of a family of seven sons and five daughters born to Dr. John 
W. and Mary N. (Whiting) Runcie, who have resided at Fort Branch, 
Ind., since i860. Dr. Runcie received his preliminary education in the 
high school at Fort Branch and began the study of medicine in 1877. 
In September of the same year he entered the Chicago Medical College, 
where he attended the three-year graded course, graduating March 30, 
1880. He practiced his profession at Fort Branch, Ind., until July, 
1889, with the exception of eighteen months spent at Inglefield, Van- 
derburg county. In July, 1889, he became the physician and surgeon in 
charge of the Indiana State Prison South, at Jeffersonville. During 
the winters of 1889 and 1890 he attended the lectures and clinics at the 
University of Louisville, graduating therefrom February 28, 1890. He 
remained in charge of the medical department of the prison until July 
I, 1895. Resigning his position at the prison he bought out Dr. A. L. 
Glase at Poseyville, Ind., where he resided and practiced his profession 
till his death, which occurred in 1910. The doctor was married to Nattie 
B. Schutz at Madison, Ind., April 8, 1890, Mrs. Runcie. being a daughter 
of Jonathan and Jennie (King) Schutz. There were born to this union 
two sons, who, with their mother, survive him.- 

Dr. Edward Murphy was born in the city of Cork, Ireland, in the year 
1813. He came to America with his uncle, Dennis Murphy, when the 
former was not quite seven years old. They landed at Baltimore, where 
they remained but a short time, and then went to Wheeling, Va. Thence 
they removed to Louisville, Ky., in 1821. Here Edward made his home 



l8o HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

with his uncles who were engaged in mercantile business. After a brief 
residence in Washington the brothers returned to Ireland. Young Edward 
lived for a while in Washington with relatives till he was nearly thir- 
teen years of age, then ran away and came to New Harmony, where he 
spent all of his subsequent life, except seven years in Evansville. He fol- 
lowed various callings to make a living, being printer, tailor, merchant 
and laborer. In 1845 he commenced the study of medicine and later 
graduated from the University of Louisville and located in New Har- 
mony, where he acquired both fame and fortune. He was married in 
1832 to Miss Sophia Johnston, of Vincennes. They had six children, all 
of whom died young. Mrs. Murphy was a daughter of Gen. M. John- 
ston, who was a member of the Territorial legislature. Dr. Murphy was 
for a time connected with the Evansville Medical College, where he held 
the chair of chemistry. He was an enthusiastic and able teacher. All 
his life he was a hard student, like Paul he never "counted himself to 
have attained." He never professed any religious faith, but worshiped 
God by serving man. His long life was crowded with usefulness and 
he crowned it at his death by his beneficence. "He being dead, 
yet speaketh." He built a library building for the city where he spent 
seventy-three years of useful living, lined its shelves with books, covered 
its walls with pictures and curios, gave it a park enclosed by an iron 
fence on a stone base, and endowed a lecture course in which the ablest 
lecturers on the platform may be heard every winter for a nominal price. 
Elsewhere in this volume is told the details of his beneficence. He died 
December 3, 1910, and his wife followed him a few days later. 

Dr. George W. Welborn, formerly a practicing physician of Stewarts- 
ville, Ind., was born March 17, 1844, in Evansville, Ind., where he grew 
to manhood and received his early education. In 1859 he entered the 
Asbury University, now De Pauw College, where he remained till the be- 
ginning of the Civil war. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company B, 
Sixtieth Indiana infantr}'. and served three years, receiving his discharge 
June 30, 1865. For a short time after the war he clerked in a drug store 
in Evansville, but at the end of six months entered into partnership in 
Evansville in the boot and shoe business. Two years later he sold out 
and came to Stewartsville and engaged in farming. October 27, 1867, 
he married Martha Stinnett, who was born in 1845 '" Kentucky. They 
had four children, all of whom survive him. The doctor began his med- 
ical studies while in the army and in 1875 quit farming, took a two years' 
course in the Evansville Medical College, graduating in 1877. The par- 
ents of the doctor were \\'illiani W. and Hannah (Walker) Welborn. 
The father was a physician, who received his medical education in Ev- 
ansville and died in that city in 1871. The subject of our sketch took 
a post-graduate course in Philadelphia in 1894. He located in Stew- 
artsville shortly after graduation and practiced there until failing health 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY l8l 

compelled him to seek relief in a hospital in St. Louis. He died in that 
city as the result of prostatectomy in 1895. 

Dr. John E. Doerr. one of the leading physicians and surgeons of 
Mt. Vernon, was born at Santa Claus, Ind., November 4, 1865. His father, 
Philip Doerr, a German Methodist minister, and his mother, Margaret 
(Von Austermueller) Doerr, were both born in Germany. The doctor 
attended the public schools of Evansville, taught three years in the com- 
mon schools of Posey county, and then spent three years at De Pauw 
College, Greencastle. Obtained his medical education at the University 
of Pennsylvania, graduating with the class of 1891. Located in Mt. 
Vernon in the year 1896 and has resided there ever since, and built up 
a large practice. He is a member of the City, County and American 
Medical associations, and the Clinical Congress of Surgeons of North 
America. While he does a large general practice he pays especial atten- 
tion to surgery. He was married in 1898 to Miss Anna M. Cole, of 
Pottsville, Pa. Mrs. Doerr was born in Minnesota, but losing her mother 
when she was but a child, she was reared in Pennsylvania. They have 
three children — two girls and a boy. 

Dr. S. W. Boren was born April 6, 1867, ^t Cynthiana, Ind., and at- 
tended the public schools of that place. Taught school for two years, 
then attended school at Lebanon, Ohio, graduating in the scientific 
course thereof in 1891 ; taught school two years more, and then entered 
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa., from which he graduated in 
1897. In 1896 he married Miss Gertrude Lockund, of Fort Branch, who 
died in 1899. Began practice of medicine at Stewartsville, Ind., in 1897. 
Three years later he accepted a position as assistant superintendent of 
the Hospital for the Insane at Evansville, remaining six months. He 
then began the practice of medicine in Cynthiana, Ind., remaining one 
year, when he removed to Poseyville, in 1902, where he still lives. Dr. 
Boren was married again in January, 1903, to Rosalie Kight. To this 
union have been born two sons, Paul and Charles. The doctor is a mem- 
ber of the Royal Arch Masons and of the Knights of Pythias. 



CHAPTER XI. 



AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE. 



CLASSIFICATION OF SOIL — ITS PRODUCTIVENESS DRAINAGE — NATURAL RE- 
SOURCES POSEY COUNTY PRODUCTS — THE FARMER OF TODAY. 

It was George Washington who said : "Agriculture is the most health- 
ful, most useful and most noble employment of man." It is agricul- 
ture which has made and is still making the United States so great. 
The farm products of this country have practically reached an amount 
equal to ten billion dollars annually — an amount equal in value to all 
the gold and silver mined since the world has been in existence, or equal 
in value to all the railroads in the United States. This fact, and this 
fact alone, makes this country feared and respected by all the powers in 
time of peace and in time of war. So important is this condition that 
before any power enters into war agents are at once despatched to the 
United States to know if necessary animals for transportation can be 
obtained and feed for these animals, also food for the army and navy, 
and clothing from the cotton, the wool and the hides. All of these are 
farm products and are necessary for the existence of the arm3^ The 
entire world realizes more and more the im])ortance of agriculture and 
as the realization grows its importance advances by leaps and bounds. 
The increased cost of living means, first of all, increased prices for farm 
products and these prices must continue to grow vmtil science comes 
in and "makes two blades of grass grow where one formerly grew." 
The natural elements for farm products are light, air, sunshine, warmth 
and soil, and this soil must have the food elements for plant life and 
gi-ain producing. Posey county, with its 252,000 acres of land, most cer- 
tainly has all these elements — then, too, it has other conditions most 
valuable in two large navigable rivers on its south and west borders, 
three big railway systems, both rock and gravel roads which traverse 
the entire county, giving it an advantage in marketing its products 
over any county in Indiana. Seventy-seven miles of river front means 
seventy-seven miles of alluvial soil — a soil which needs no rotation nor 
rest. These lands equal in fertility the lands of the river Nile, and 
extending along the entire river frontage, in width varying from a few 
rods to a few miles, produce the best^corn of the world. The soil of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 183 

these bottom lands, always responsive to the plow and cultivator, pro- 
duces more per acre than any other soil continuously farmed in one 
crop. These lands, with the creek and branch bottoms, which are equally 
as fertile, constitute one-eighth of Posey county's area. Nor is this all — 
the hills, the valleys and all surrounding country have been so blessed 
and smiled upon by God that they, too, are rich in plant life elements. 
Thus it is that Posey county, year after year, adds its millions and 
millions to make the ten billions of the United States. Let us not 
think that the corn, the wheat and the hay are the only Posey county 
products, for the live stock, the poultry, the eggs, the milk and the but- 
ter all come in for their important positions. The melons, the sorghum 
and sweet potatoes must receive notice. The nut crop is no small 
matter — the pecan, recognized as the finest and best nut in the world, 
has its native home here. No country produces such sweet nuts, with 
thin shells and plump kernels. The hickory nut and walnut are found 
in abundance, but the hazel nut and chestnut are very scarce. Add to 
all these the orchard and garden products, and one begins to realize 
what Posey county farms produce. 

A study of Posey county is interesting. Its 25,000 inhabitants are 
composed of whites, excepting a few colored people in and near Mt. 
Vernon, the county seat. But little authentic information can be ob- 
tained of this county previous to the coming of the white settlers, 
excepting that it is known that the Pottawatomie and Wea Indian tribes 
once lived in this community. In 1809 the white settlers made their 
appearance here, North Carolina and Tennessee supplying these, closely 
followed by several Gerinan families from Pennsylvania. Today many 
Germans are found all over Posey county, especially in the eastern half 
and southern portion. At this early period much of the fertile lands 
were swampy — it is this old and long passed condition which causes the 
wag of today to refer to Posey county as a wet waste of swampy land. 
It is not generally known that since i860 almost three-fourths of the 
county has been cleared, stumped, drained and put under cultivation. 
The Rapps, the Owens and Thomas Posey, for whom the county was 
named, were the pioneer prominent farmers. The lands of Posey county 
are broadly divided into upland and river bottoms. What is known as 
Miami silt loam constitutes five-eighths of the area of this county. This 
is a very fertile soil, generally rolling, with but little hilly, broken land. 
It is especially fitted for all grains and forage crops. The alluvial soil 
known as Yazoo clay or river bottom land, also creek bottom lands, con- 
stitute another eighth of Posey county's area. This land, due to its 
yearly overflow, provides yearly good crops of corn, no rotation of crops 
being necessary, the alluvial deposits being so heavy that practiced rota- 
tion is unnecessary. The various sands, sandy loam and clay and black 
bottom constitute the remaining fourth of Posey county soils. It is 



184 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

these lands which produce the watermelon, canteloupe, sweet potato, 
sorghum, etc. 

The surface soil has a depth of from twelve to forty-eight inches. It 
is this fact which so materially helps to maintain soil fertility, produce 
large crops and of the best quality. Add to this the liberal growth of 
the various nitrogenous gathering plants, such as the various clovers, 
cow peas, soy beans, etc., and one can readily understand why we have 
a productive soil. The character of the work of our thrifty, industrious, 
economical people who cultivate these lands adds materially to our good 
soiles and makes our resources possible. Our farmers fully realize that 
agriculture is a science, and as such they study every phase of the farm 
and farming. The work which is being done in this line in Posey county 
improves each year. The natural drainages are being bettered, drain 
tile are being put in and big, open ditches are being dug every day. The 
houses are modern in every sense, two stories, with water, light and 
heating systems being established. The telephone, the daily mail, the 
improved roads and the automobile place these people in better living 
position than the city people. When you add to this the home library 
and good musical instruments, one maj' very justly ask: "Can anj- home 
be as good as a country home?" The barns and granaries are modern 
in every sense, with water supply of the purest — the Wabash river ter- 
ritory furnishing pure, cool, inexhaustible water at a depth of twenty- 
five to thirty-five feet, and the hill lands with water almost as good at 
a depth of thirty-five to seventy-five feet. With the pure air and God's 
wholesome sunshine, is it strange that good health and long life are 
prevalent in this county? Each community has its house of worship, 
and school houses are dotted here and there in such numbers that the 
child must learn. The schools, too, are of the very best, and thus it is 
that we pile advantage upon advantage. A community's civilization is 
measured by its schools, churches and roads — we proudly exclaim meas- 
ure our civilization thusly — we shall find all our measures piled up 
to overflowing. Proud? Why shouldn't a county be proud of such 
advantages? Advantages given by God, advantages made possible by 
man. Thus could we go on indefinitel)^ showing our good points. 
These advantages are such that all farm lands have very materially ad- 
vanced in value. There are but few large land owners here, less than 
twenty-five in the entire county. The average size of the Posey coimty 
farm is less than seventy-five acres. The tenant and the land owner 
mingle in friendly work and discussion, and thus it is that the very 
best feeling prevails at all times. 

Game is almost extinct. Some water fowls, rabbit, squirrel and quail 
are hunted here every year, also the raccoon and opossum, which were 
formerly hunted for their pelts alone, but now their flesh for food is 
fully as important. The waters abound in fish — perch, carp, buffalo, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 1 85 

cat, sun and bass are found. Hovey's lake, the largest body of water 
in the county, is considered the ideal place for the fisherman, and the 
hunter, too, finds sport here. Mussel fishing or digging in the Wabash 
river is very profitable, the shells bringing $25 a ton. Many valuable 
pearls are found in this work, frequently bringing hundreds, yes, thou- 
sands of dollars. Their beauty and luster are such that a ready market 
awaits the fortunate finder of a pearl. 

The sandy loams in and about Poseyville, New Harmony and along 
the Wabash river produce the famous Posey county canteloupes and 
watermelons. No place produces better nor more to the acre. A few 
years ago these lands were considered valueless. Today they are valued 
with any of the lands, as their revenue equals that of the rich bottom 
lands and the valuable hill lands. The sweet potato and sorghum are 
rotating crops with the melons, and they are as fine and good in their 
class. At one time Posey county had timber of unusual growth and 
value, but here is where man has been wasteful and extravagant. Black 
walnut — there is no finer lumber in the world — has been cut for rails 
and sawed into lumber for pig sties and stables. Poplar — the beautiful 
yellow poplar — is now extinct. The immense trees, one hundred feet 
high and five to ten feet in diameter, are unknown to the youth of 
today in this county ; the sweet gum is no more, and ash of size is 
scarce. The various oaks — white, red, black, burr, water, etc. — alone 
remain to tell our children's children that at one time we were a wooded 
country, and even these lack majesty and height, circumference and 
symmetry, the best of these having been assigned to the saw dog. Why 
dwell upon this? Were the trees here the farm lands would be prim- 
itive. Perhaps it is best to rejoice that things are as they are. 

Posey county ranks first in the State of Indiana in the production of 
wheat, the quality being high and always good. In corn, no county can 
compare with Posey in high class and big yield. This corn bears ship- 
ping to any southern country, no weevil affecting it. The St. Charles 
corn in Missouri bears this proud distinction with the Ohio and Wabash 
river corn. The quality of both clover and timothy hay are unexcelled. 
Much is shipped to the markets where premium prices are paid. Live 
.stock is beginning to assume the importance that it should. The north- 
ern half of the county prides itself upon its fancy cattle, fine sheep and 
high class horses. The entire county has several types of hogs of very 
high class. The southern half of the county is today looking after im- 
proved breeds of all live stock, and in a few years we can sing the 
praises of fine live stock all over Posey county. Poultry and eggs, milk 
and butter, "the woman's part of farm life," bring in thousands of dol- 
lars every week; The table is not complete without these or their prod- 
ucts. The sick and the well always enjoy them, and they alone make 
country life well worth seeking. The farmer is broad and magnanimous, 



1 86 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

unwilling to unite to dictate prices, or form a trust, but willing at all 
times to do his share towards human betterment and advancement. 
Imagine a farmers' combine and trust! The sick, the poor, the hungry 
would be the sufferers, and for this reason alone let us be willing to 
praise his good qualities. For all of this did George Washington speak 
of agriculture as "the most healthful, most useful and most noble em- 
ployment of man," and for all this is exactly why he was known the 
world over for his truthfulness. 

Well, I know many of my readers are disappointed in this article 
because it is free from statistics. Mark Twain said there are three 

kinds of lies — plain lines, d n lies, and statistics. 

JACOB CRONBACH. 

POSEY COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. 

The present Posey County Fair Association was temporarily organ- 
ized July 17, 1858, and permanent officers were elected and directors 
appointed soon after. M. T. Carnahan was elected first permanent 
president ; John Cooper, vice-president ; J. C. Miller, corresponding sec- 
retary, and Samuel Arthur, treasurer. 

The first fair was held October 25, 26 and 27, 1859. The next fair 
was supposed to have been attended by 5.000 visitors and left a balance 
in the treasury of $1,500. The purpose of the society is to promote the 
agricultural, horticultural, live stock, manufacturing and mechanical 
art interests of the county. 

For the first ten years the receipts were usually a little in excess of 
the expenditures. In 1867 the receipts were about $3,000 and in 1881 
they amounted to about $4,500. In that year the society donated $300 
to aid the Peoria. Decatur and Evansville railroad and paid $2. 242 in 
premiums. The next year the receipts dropped to $3,500. In 1883 and 
1884 the receipts were something over $4,000. For the next few years, 
owing to increased cost of attractions, improvements and other expenses, 
the expenditures exceeded the receipts. This society is incorporated 
under the laws of Indiana and is one of the substantial agricultural soci- 
eties of the State and owns the fair grounds property at New Harmony, 
which consist of about twenty-four acres, with all modern equipment for 
exhibition purposes. The annual fair h«ld by the association is an event 
that has proved of great value to the agriculturists from an educational 
standpoint and the association distributes about $3,500 annually in pre- 
miums, which has proven very effective as a stimulus to competitive 
exhibitors. The institution has always been under capable manage- 
ment and is on a sound financial basis. The present officers are Edwin 
Gentry, president; Mrs. Carrie Miller, secretary, and Edwin Ford, 
treasurer. 



CHAPTER XII. 



TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES— NAVIGATION AND 

RAILROADS. 



Posey county is crossed by three lines of steam railway and one 
electric line, and is bounded on two sides by navigable streams. The 
Illinois Central enters the county in the northwest corner, runs south 
and east across the county, through Poseyville, and continues into Van- 
derburg county, connecting at Evansville. The Evansville & Terre 
Haute road enters the county in the northeast corner, runs south and 
west to Mt. Vernon, where it terminates. The Louisville & Nashville 
railroad enters on the west side of the county in the central part, runs 
south and east to Mt. Vernon, thence north and east, leaving the county 
in the southern part and continuing to Evansville. The electric line 
enters the county on the east, running parallel with the Louisville & 
Nashville railroad from Evansville to Mt. Vernon. New Harmony is 
reached by a cut-off or spur of the Illinois Central, running south and 
west from Stewartsville. 

The steamboat line on the Ohio river connects Mt. Vernon with all 
the river towns both east and south and brings the markets of Cincin- 
nati and Pittsburgh into easy access. Smaller boats connect with the 
towns up the Wabash, making transportation cheaper than by railroad. 

The history of railroads in Posey county begins in 1869, when a peti- 
tion signed by one hundred freehofders was filed with the county board 
asking that an election be held to determine whether the county should 
appropriate $100,000 for the construction of the Mt. Vernon & Grayville 
railroad. The election took place July 27 of the same year and the bonds 
carried by a vote of 1,686 to 922, Black township registering 973 votes for 
and only nine against the proposition. A levy of 80 cents on each $ioo 
worth of property was then ordered by the county board and all of the 
amount was collected. The railroad company was soon consolidated 
with another corporation and the combination was known as the Chi- 
cago & Southern Illinois Railway Company. Upon the completion of 
five miles of road the sum of $20,000 was paid over by the county. 
The contractors then filed suit to secure their claims and further pay- 
ments to the railroad company were stopped. The work was stopped 
and the company went into the hands of a receiver. Mt. Vernon had 



l88 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

pledged $200,000 besides that pledged by the county and had paid 
$30,000. In 1875 ^^^^ receiver sold the iron and one locomotive belonging 
to the defunct company to satisf}- a mortgage held by Xevv Jersey 
parties. 

The first railroad to be completed through the county was the Louis- 
ville & Nashville railway, running east and west through Mt. Vernon, 
which was constructed in 1869 and 1870. It has twenty-three miles of 
track in the county and has from the beginning been of the greatest 
possible advantage to the section through which it runs. 

In 1872 a proposition was submitted to the voters of the county to 
aid the Cincinnati, Rockport & Southwestern Railway with an appro- 
priation of $125,000. It lost, by the narrow margin of 1,257 to 1,221. 
Another vote was held on the same proposition, December 31 of the 
same year, and this time it carried, by a vote of 2,045 to 1,416. However, 
the road was never built and the county was released from all obliga- 
tions. 

In 1880 the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company leased the 
tracks built by the St. Louis & Southwestern Company in i869-'70 and 
has operated it ever since. In 1881 a 2 per cent, aid was voted in Smith 
township to assist in the construction of the Evansville & Terre Haute 
railroad extension from Owensville to Cynthiana. The line was completed 
immediately and the tax amounting to $8,468.30 was paid. In October of 
the same year Black township voted a 2 per cent, aid, amounting to 
$48,102.20, and Center township voted the sum of $7,191.60 for the pur- 
pose of having this line extended to Mt. Vernon. This extension was 
immediately made and the money paid. 

In the spring of 1880 the people of Robb township voted the sum of 
$13,199 to aid the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville railway to build through 
the township, and the following year the amount of $16,000 was voted 
by New Harmony for a branch to that point. This road is now a part 
of the Illinois Central system. This completed the building of rail- 
roads in the county until the electric lines were built for the accommo- 
dation of those traveling short distances. Posey county is as well sup- 
plied with railroad facilities as any in the State. A drive of a very few 
miles from any farm in the county is required to reach a railroad market. 




: t — 



CHAPTER XIII. 



MANUFACTURING AND COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES. 



THEIR ORGANIZATION DEVELOPMENT — OFFICERS AND PRODUCTS. 

Keck-Gonnerman Company, the most important manufacturing- entei- 
prise in Posey county, is the outgrowth of a small foundry business 
established in Mt. Vernon in 1873 by .John C. and Winfield Woody. 
John Keck, president of the present organization, entered the business 
in 1877, purchasing the interest of Winfield Woody, who had recently 
died. The firm name then became Woody & Keck. Mr. John C. 
W^oody retired from active labor in the business in 1880, owing to ill- 
ness ; the plant being managed by Mr. Keck until 1883, when John Onk, 
of Louisville, Ky., bought the Woody interest and the firm style became 
Keck & Onk. Preparations were made to engage in the manufacture 
of hollow ware, but not completed, Mr. Onk returning to Louisville and 
Messrs. William Gonnerman and Henry Kuebler secured each a one- 
third interest and the firm name was changed to Keck, Gonnerman & 
Company. Mr. Louis H. Keck entered the firm in 1885, purchasing the 
Kuebler interest. In 1901 the business was incorporated as the Keck- 
Gonnerman Company, with an authorized capital of $201,000, and the 
following officers elected : John Keck, president ; William Gonnerman, 
vice-president ; Louis H. Keck, secretary and treasurer, all of whom are 
still serving. In 1884 the firm began the manufacture of engines, 
threshers and portable saw mills and in 1904 added coal mining ma- 
chinery to the line. The business has enjoyed a steady and satisfactory 
growth, its products are recognized as of the highest standard, are 
marketed throughout the United States, while the officers are among 
the successful men of southwestern Indiana. The plant, situated in Mt. 
Vernon, covers about ten acres of ground, represents an investment of 
$250,000, and its equipment is modern. It distributes annually $150,000 
in wages and employs over 200 hands — the largest pay roll in Mt. Ver- 
non. Eighty-five per cent, of the employes are skilled workmen, many 
of them own their own homes and are valued citizens .of Mt. Vernon. 
In the operation of the business of the company Mr. John Keck man- 
ages the sales and buying departments, Mr. William Gonnerman the 
manufacturing department, and Mr. Louis H. Keck has charge of the 
finances and office. 



igO HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Mt. Vernon Straw Board Company. The plant of this corporation is 
located in the western part of the city of Mt. Vernon and ranks second 
in importance from a pay roll standpoint among the manufacturing 
industries of Posey county. The organizers of the company were John 
M., Ferd A. and Joseph Funke, H. M. French and Frank Endress, all of 
Evansville, Ind., and the incorporation was effected in 1904. Its capital 
is $150,000, and its officers are John M. Funke, Evansville, president 
and treasurer ; Ferd A. Funke, Mt. Vernon, vice-president and general 
manager ; Joseph Funke, Mt. Vernon, secretarj'. Construction of the 
plant was begun in 1903 and completed the following year. The build- 
ings and ground used for the piling of raw materials cover an area of 
twenty-one acres. It is one of the best built and equipped plants devoted 
to the manufacture of straw board in the United States and represents 
an investment of $300,000. Emploj-ment is given to eighty hands, fifty 
per cent, of whom are skilled workmen who receive a wage totaling 
$50,000 per annum. Since its establishment in 1904 the plant has con- 
sumed 25,000 tons of straw per annum and of this amount one-half has 
been purchased from the farmers of Posey county, who have received 
for their straw an average of $125,000 yearly. Previous to the erection 
of this plant this was a waste material, usually destroyed by fire. In 
order to insure continuous operation of the plant, should there occur a 
shortage in straw, the company in 1913 began the manufacture of 
container board, made largely from old paper. This product is used in 
making shipping cases of all descriptions. The plant has averaged an 
annual output of 15,000 tons of straw board, which has-been marketed 
through the Graham Paper Company, of St. Louis, Mo., its sales agents. 
The business of this company has been one of continuous and healthy 
growth, its products of the highest standard of quality, and as a factor 
in the development of Mt. Vernon, it is second to none. Personal men- 
tion of Ferd A. Funke, to whose management the success of this enter- 
prise is largely due, will be found in the biographical section of this 
work. 

American Hominy Corjipany, Plant F, Mt. Vernon.' This business 
was established in 1877 by Cooper, Hudnut & Warder and later incor- 
porated as The Hudnut Compan\'. The original mill, erected in 1877, 
was destroyed by fire in 1893 and the present one was completed in 
1894. It is considered one of the best equipped plants of its kind in ihe 
United States. On the organization of the American Hominy Company 
in 1901 the business of The Hudnut Company was one of those included 
in the merger; Theodore Hudnut and R. G. Jenks, his associate in 
business, having been active in the formation of the new organization. 
This mill is the most important factor in a cereal consuming way in 
Posey county. Over 1,000,000 bushels of corn are ground each year, 
fully half of which is raised in the county. The company pay out in 



HISTORY OF roSEY COUNTY I9I 

wages $20,000 annually and in addition disburse from $12,000 to $15,000 
each year among residents of Mt. Vernon for freighting and hauling 
grain. They own and operate elevators at Upton and McGarvey, Ind., 
and Maunee, 111., have buying stations at Epworth and Springfield and 
at the following river landings : Whitmans, Hagermans, Club House, 
Cottonwood Point, and Conlins. The plant is under the management of 
George H. Wilson, a native of Posey county, well and favorably known 
in connection with official affairs for many years. 

Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company,, one of the successful milling enter- 
prises of southwestern Indiana, was organized and incorporated in 1904 
with a capital of $45,000. The flouring mill of the company is located 
in Mt. Vernon, has a daily capacity of 500 barrels, and is considered one 
of the best modern mills of the State. Their flour brands are "Dictator," 
"Monarch," "Senator," "Emperor," "Grace Darling" salt rising and 
"Sure" salt rising. The output is marketed principally in the Southeastern 
States. The company are also extensive grain dealers and operate eleva- 
tors at Springfield, Wadesville, Wilsons and Olivers on the Chicago & 
Eastern Illinois railway and at Epworth, Caborns, New Haven and 
West Franklin on the Louisville & Nashville. Their plant and equip- 
ment represents an investment of over $100,000, they employ thirty-five 
hands and disburse in wages over $20,000 annually. They buy largely 
in Posey county and have elevator capacity of 450,000 bushels of wheat 
and 400,000 bushels of corn. The officers are: President, William C. 
Fuhrer, Mt. Vernon; vice-president, William M-. Ford, New Harmony; 
secretary, treasurer and manager, Eugene H. Fuhrer, Mt. Vernon. 
These officers and A. C. Thomas and J. N. Whitehead, of New Harmony, 
constitute the board of directors, personal mention of whom appears in 
the biographical section of this work. 

Home Mill & Grain Company, Mt. Vernon, one of the successful 
milling and grain enterprises of Southwestern Indiana, was established 
in 1900. The original capital was $30,000, which was increased in 1904 
to $50,000, to which has been added a surplus of $50,000. The company 
owns and operates elevators at Upton, Solitude, Olivers and Wadesville, 
Ind. The plant represents an investment of $70,000, has a capacity of 
500 barrels of flour and 2,500 bushels of corn daily, consumes annually 
400,000 bushels of wheat, 200,000 bushels of corn, employs twenty hands 
and pays out in wages over $17,000 yearly. Its flour brands are "Azile," 
"Nonesuch," "Home," "U-Knead-It," "Mt. Vernon," "Indiana," "Home 
Made," "New Life," self-rising, and -"Buster,- Brown," self-rising. Its 
products are sold principally in the- Southeastern States. Its officers 
are: President, Edward E. Highman ; vice-president, Louis H. Keck; 
secretary and treasurer, Charles T. Johnson. 

Sunlight Milling Company, Mt. Vernon, incorporated in 1902 with a 
capital of $35,000. The mill of this company has a daily capacity of 250 



192 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



barrels of flour and consumes annually 150,000 bushels of wheat. Its 
flour brands are "Sunlight," "Best," "Sifted Snow," "Mascot," "Peach," 
"Belle of Mt. Vernon," "Ready," self-rising, and "Sunlight." self-rising. 
The officers of the company are : President and treasurer, Charles T. 
Johnson; secretary, Louis H. Keck; general manager. Charles T. John- 
son, Jr. Over $8,000 is paid out annually in wages. 

William Frier, cigar manufacturer, Mt. Vernon. This enterprise is 
one of the important factors in the manufacturing life of Posey county 
and especially to the city of Mt. Vernon, where it disburses annually 
in wages over $15,000, while its output of more than one million cigars 
per year are daily advertisements throughout southern Indiana and 
Illinois of the metropolis of the county. The business was established 
in 1897 by William Frier and Frank Kahn, who constituted the original 
working force. Mr. Kahn retired in 1898 and the original business style 
— Mt. Vernon Cigar Company — was changed to its present reading. 
Under the ownership and management of Mr. Frier the business has 
had a steady growth, its products have become popular over a large 
territory and at the present writing, 1913, the sales total over one mil- 
lion cigars per annum. The trade brands of the factory are: "Highlife," 
"Gento," "King," the five-cent line, and "Quality" and "San Zeno" in 
the ten-cent line. Employment is given to thirty workmen and over 
$15,000 dollars is paid out each year in wages. The factory equipment 
represents an investment of $15,000. Mr. Frier and two others consti- 
tute the sales force, about seventy-five per cent, of the output being 
marketed by the owner. Personal mention of Mr. Frier appears in the 
biographical section of this work. 

Whitmore Handle Company, the latest addition to the manufacturing 
enterprises of Mt. Vernon, was incorporated in 1912, has a capital of 
$5,000 and its business has been steadily growing since its establish- 
ment in Mt. Vernon. The officers of the company, W. E. Whitmore, 
president, and Jay M. AX'hitmore. secretary and treasurer, operated at 
Danville, 111., a similar enterprise for some twenty years previous to 
their coming to Posey county. The credit for securing this plant as 
an added industry to Mt. Vernon rests with the Commercial Club and 
it is proving to be a most successful organization. The company man- 
ufactures handles of all kinds. Their output is sold throughout the 
Central States and is recognized by the trade and consumer, as well, to 
be of the highest standard as to material and workmanship. Ash and 
hickory are used exclusively and this raw material is purchased prin- 
cipally in Posey county, a part coming from nearby points in Illinois 
and Kentucky. Practically every dollar paid for raw material is ex- 
pended by the timber sellers among the merchants of Mt. Vernon. 
The plant is in continuous operation and over $10,000 was paid out in 
wages during its first year. The Whitmores are men of proven experi- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I93 

ence in this line of endeavor and their plant is a valuable factor in the 
activities of the county. 

Industrial Brick Company, Mt. Vernon. The establishment of this 
enterprise dates from 1903, when the company was organized and incor- 
porated with a capital of $6,000. Its officers are: President, William 
Gonnerman ; secretary and treasurer, Louis A. Keck ; and A. R. Cook, 
manager. At this writing, 1913, the plant represents an investment 
of $30,000, gives employment to twenty-five hands, pays out in wages 
annually over $10,000, and its output is about two millions of brick per 
annum. Its property includes twenty-one acres of land, building for 
housing equipment and stock, and work animals and wagons for haul- 
ing its products. Its trade territory is principally in southern Illinois. 

John Moeller, manufacturer of cooperage, Mt. Vernon. Business es- 
tablished in 1864. The plant gives employment to fifteen hands, pays 
out in wages annually about $10,000, and represents an investment of 
$15,000. Its products are disposed of in the city of Mt. Vernon. The 
business was under the management of its founder, John Moeller, until 
1905, when he retired, since which time his son, William G. Moeller, 
has been in charge. The buildings cover 140.XI40 feet of land situated 
along the Louisville & Nashville railway tracks, and are well equipped 
for the manufacture of cooperage products. 

Consumers Ice & Cold Storage Company, Mt. Vernon. This enter- 
prise was organized and incorporated in 1901. Its promoters were the 
late August Scheiber, Theodore Raben and Allyn B. Hart. Its original 
stockholders included some twenty of the successful business men of 
Mt. Vernon and its original capital was $25,000. This amount being 
found in excess of the sum needed to engage in the manufacture of ice, 
the capital was reduced to $10,000. The first officers of the company were : 
President, August Scheiber; vice-president, John Forthoffer; secretary, 
Theodore Raben ; treasurer and general manager, Allyn B. Hart. The 
company purchased the plant of Lee Wolf, situated in the western part 
of the city, and its first output was manufactured in the spring of 1901. 
The original plant, built of wood and equipped with old style machinery, 
has been entirely replaced by modern buildings built of brick, and new 
equipment of the highest standard installed. It is considered a model 
plant by those in the' trade and insures the manufacture of the highest 
grade of products. Its capacity is fifteen tons of ice per day. The plant 
has a storage capacity of three hundred and fifty tons. Over $5,000 
is paid in wages annually; its employes numbering twelve to fifteen 
men during the season, which covers about eight months. It is prob- 
able that there is not a business enterprise within the county which is 
conducted upon a closer margin of profit. Profits from sales to the 
small consumer have not averaged over five cents per hundred pounds, 
as from eight to ten stops are made by the delivery wagons in selling 
this amount. Since the establishing of the business the average profits 



194 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



per ton have not exceeded one dollar. The officers of the company at 
this writing, 1913, are: Theodore Raben, president; Louis Brettner, 
vice-president ; Allyn B. Hart, secretary, treasurer and general manager, 
personal mention of whom appears in the biographical section of this 
work. 

Henry Brinkmann, tile manufacturing plant, Mt. Vernon. The busi- 
ness was founded by Mr. Brinkmann in 1875 and since its establishment 
its products have been marketed in the vicinity of Mt. Vernon. The 
plant is situated in the northeastern part of the city and represents an 
investment of about $7,000. Employment is given to six hands and 
$2,000 is paid in wages per annum. There is an abundant supply 
of clay on the twenty-five acres of land owned by Mr. Brinkmann, on 
which the plant is situated. The general use of its products, within the 
territory adjacent to Mt. Vernon, is proof of their high standard of 
quality. Since its establishment the business has been under the per- 
sonal management of Mr. Brinkmann, who, though in his eighty-eighth 
year, seldom allows a day to pass without visiting the works. Personal 
mention of Mr. Brinkmann, the nes'tor of Posey county's business men. 
appears in the biographical section of this work. 

John Forthoffer, manufacturer of carbonated beverages, Mt. Vernon. 
The business was established by Mr. Forthoffer in 1883, and since its 
founding has been under the sole management of its owner. Within a 
trade territory which does not extend beyond a thirty-mile circle from 
Mt. Vernon he has built up a demand for his products which requires 
a factory output of 10,000 cases per annum. His products have always 
been of a high standard as to quality and the plant is one of those 
which are helping to make Mt. Vernon known in a manufacturing way. 
Two thousand dollars is distributed in wages annually. The factory em- 
ploys six hands during the season. 

W. A. McGregor & Company, planing mill, Mt. Vernon. This mill 
does a general jobbing business, is well equipped, and has been operated 
by the present owner, William A. McGregor, since 1909. The plant rep- 
resents an investment of $20,000, offers employment to six hands, and 
pays out in wages $3,500 per year. 

Poseyville Milling Company, flour manufacturers and merchant mil- 
lers, Poseyville. Incorporated in June, 1908, with a capital of $25,000. 
President, M. T. Dilger; vice-president, Joseph F. Schaefer; secretary, 
treasurer and manager, Joseph L. Shafer. Plant is modern. Has a 
capacity of seventy-five barrels of flour per day. The company also 
operates a coal yard in connection with their milling business. The 
Poseyville Light and Power Company, incorporated in May. 1908, v.-ith 
a capital of $10,000, and having the same officers as the milling company, 
is operated jointly with the mill, the same building housing both. The 
joint plant represents an investment of $25,000, gives employment to 
six hands and about $4,000 is paid annually in wages. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



BANKS AND BANKING. 



PIONEER BANKS — LATER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THEIR ORGANIZATION, 

CAPITALIZATION AND OFFICERS. 

The first bank to open for business in Posey county was established 
in 1854. It was a private enterprise founded by George E. Booker and 
A. S. Curtis and was conducted by them until 1857, when they disposed 
of their interests to William J. Lowery, Richard Barter, John A. Mann, 
Seth M. Leavenworth and Nelson G. Nettleton. During the '30s an 
attempt was made by G. S. Green, member of the legislature from Posey 
county, to establish a branch of the State Bank in the city of Mt. Ver- 
non, which was a failure and due to the lack of enterprise and fore- 
sight on the part of the substantial citizens. Evansville, which secured 
the prize, enjoyed a rapid growth after its establishment and secured a 
prestige which has enabled her to dwarf the development of Mt. Vernon. 
Seth M. Leavenworth and his associates took over the Curtis bank in 
1857. Their published capital was $14,000. They did a general banking 
business, issued a limited quantity of bank's bills, and developed a suc- 
cessful and profitable enterprise. In the previous year, 1856, Enoch R. 
De Witt, Charles and Lawrence James founded the "Exchange Bank," 
with a capital of $15,000. They transacted a general banking business, 
issuing shinplasters, and remained in operation until 1863, when they 
retired. On the enactment of the national banking act in 1863, applica- 
tion was made by John G. Gardiner, Seth M. Leavenworth and associates 
for a charter to operate a national bank, which was granted, the title 
of the institution being "The First National Bank of Mt. Vernon, In- 
diana." The next enterprise was that of the Mt. Vernon Banking Com- 
pany, established as a private bank in 1867 by Seth M. Leavenworth, 
Joseph F. Wellborn, Edward T. Sullivan and Charles A. Parke. On Au- 
gust 27, 1883, the International Bank of Mt. Vernon was established. 
Its promoters were John B. Gardiner, Charles F. Leonard and Mark F. 
Leonard. In 1877 the New Harmony Banking Company, a private insti- 
tution, was established by the Owens, Horace P. Owen being the first 
cashier. Poseyville was the third town to enjoy banking facilities, a 
private bank being established there in 1884 by Virgil P. Bozeman and 



ig6 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

George J. Waters. The Cynthiana Banking Company, a private insti- 
tution, was established in 1899 by Frank and Z. T. Emmerson. Wades- 
ville was the last town in the county in which a bank has been organ- 
ized, the Farmers National Bank of Wadesville having been granted a 
charter in 1907. The history of Posey county's financial institutions is 
creditable to those who have filled administrative positions, the various 
directorates have been composed of the most successful men the county 
has produced, and the policy of the various executives has been to fos- 
ter development, in so far as sound banking would permit, of manufac- 
turing and commercial enterprises. A brief review of the institutions 
now doing business in the county follows : 

The First National Bank of Mt. Vernon, charter No. 366, was organ- 
ized and began business in 1863, its original capital being $50,000, which 
was increased in 1865 to $100,000. John B. Gardiner was its first presi- 
dent and Seth M. Leavenworth its first cashier. Its stock was held by 
the following, viz. : John M. Lockwood, Milton Black, Richard Barter, 
M. A. Weir, S. S. Dryden, Charles Luening, John A. Mann, A. G. 
Crutchfield, James F. Welborn, John R. Evertson, W. M. McArthur, 
James Carson, Aaron Lichtenberger, John M. Lockwood and Seth M. 
Leavenworth. Its statement of condition, issued August 9, 1913, shows 
a capital of $100,000, surplus and undivided profits of $38,899.45, and 
deposits of $401,007.55. Its officers are: Edward E. Highman, presi- 
dent; Louis H. Keck, vice-president; John W. Turner, cashier; who, 
with the following, constitute its board of directors, viz. : Lemuel T. 
Osborn, Louis Wasem, Charles T. Johnson, Robert W. Highman, Allyn 
B. Hart and Jacob M. Harlem. John M. Lockwood, one of Posey 
county's early financiers, served for many years as president, as did the 
late Asa C. Williams. E. W. Rosenkrans and Manuel Cronbach filled 
the position of cashier, each of whom served in this capacity' with credit. 

The Mt. Vernon National Bank. This institution was organized in 
1905. Its capital was $50,000 and it had a paid-in surplus of $5,000. This 
institution succeeded to the business of the Mt. Vernon Banking Com- 
pany, which was established in 1867 by Joseph F. Welborn, Seth M. 
Leavenworth, Edward T. Sullivan and Charles A. Parke, as a private 
bank. Mr. Welborn was its first president and Mr. Parke its cashier. 
In 1876 Alfred Dale, William H., Eugene F. and Horace P. Owen, all 
of New Harmony, purchased a considerable interest in the institution 
and in 1883 Charles A. Parke became president and Alfred Dale Owen 
cashier. In 1887 the business of the International Bank of Mt. Vernon 
was absorbed by the Mt. Vernon Banking Company and John B. Gar- 
diner, who was president of the first named institution, was elected pres- 
ident of the last named, Mr. Owen continuing as cashier and William E. 
Holton became assistant cashier. Upon the death of Mr. Gardiner Mr. 
Parke was elected president and served until his death in 1900, when 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY I97 

William M. Ford, of New Harmony, was elected to succeed him. In 
1898 Mr. Owen resigned as cashier and he was succeeded by William 
E. Holton. At the present writing, 1913, the institution has a capital 
of $50,000, surplus of $50,000 and deposits of $350,000. Its officers are 
William H. Ford, president; Fred P. Leonard, vice president; William 

E. Holton, cashier, and H. B. Fitton, assistant cashier, who, with the 
following, constitute its board of directors, viz.: Eugene H. Furher, 
Henry Brinkmann, Alfred Ribeyre and Horace P. Owen. The business 
of this institution has had a satisfactory growth, it has been profitable 
to its stockholders, its management has been highly creditable to execu- 
tives and directorate, and it has the distinction of having, in 1904, estab- 
lished the first savings department in connection with its regular busi- 
ness of any bank in the county. 

Peoples Bank & Trust Company, Mt. Vernon. This institution was 
organized and incorporated in 1907 with a capital of $50,000 and began 
business on March 9, 1908. Its first officers and directors were as fol- 
lows: Charles A. Greathouse, president; William Gonnerman, vice-pres- 
ident ; Joseph E. Kelley, secretary ; R. V. Stinson, David Rosenbaum, 
Alanzo K. Grant, Paul Maier, A. A. Schenk, John Forthoffer and Herdis 

F. Clements. R. V. Stinson was elected president in 19 — and Dr. R. E. 
Wilson to the board in place of John Forthoffer. Its capital in 1913 is 
$50,000, it has a surplus and undivided profits of $10,000, and deposits of 
$325,000. Its officers and directors are all residents of Mt. Vernon. The 
business of the institution has been ably conducted and its growth satis- 
factory to the stockholders. 

The Bozeman- Waters National Bank of Poseyville received its char- 
ter, which is number 8149, in April, 1906, and succeeded to the business 
of Bozeman & Waters, bankers. The business was founded as a private 
institution in 1884 by Virgil P. Bozeman and George J. Waters and was 
conducted under the firm name of Virgil P. Bozeman & Company until 
1888, when its style was changed to Bozeman & Waters. The officers of 
the institution are : President, George J. Waters ; cashier, A. E. Jaquess, 
who, with the following, constitute the board of directors : E. E. Lock- 
wood, W. D. Cushman and S. E. Bozeman. It is one of the strongest 
and most successful banks of southwestern Indiana and its management 
has been of the highest standard. Its statement of condition August 9, 
1913, shows capital, $50,000; surplus and undivided profits, $41,000, and 
deposits $421,000. 

The First National Bank of Poseyville was organized in 1903 and 
began business in December of that year. Its chief promoters were 
Isaiah Fletcher, James Cale and John W. Turner. Its charter number 
is 7036 and its capital $25,000. Its statement of August, 1913, shows a 
surplus of $12,000, undivided profits of $800 and deposits of $165,000. 
Its officers are: President, Oscar Cale; vice-president, Wesley Wade; 



I^ HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

James H. Gwaltney, cashier. The banking office of the institution is 
one of the handsomest in the county, its business has shown a sound 
and steady growth, and it has paid satisfactory dividends. The officers 
and the following constitute its board of directors: William Hume Wil- 
liams, Joseph J. Davis, J. F. A. Robb, Ellison Cale, Owen Williams, E. D. 
Fletchall, Joseph F. Schaefer and Mack B. Williams. 

The Cynthiana Banking Company, a State institution, was chartered 
in 1905 and succeeded to the business of the private bank of the same 
name, which was established in 1899 by Frank and Z. T. Emerson. Its 
statement of October 21, 1913, shows a capital of $25,000, surplus of 
$12,500, and deposits of $116,433.28. Its officers are: Frank Emerson, 
president; Z. T. Emerson, vice-president, and William O. Boren, cashier, 
who, with the following, constitute its board of directors: John S. Mc- 
Reynolds, J. E. Gudgel, H. T. Calvert and L. E. Pruitt. 

The Farmers National Bank of Wadesville, charier number 8927, was 
organized in 1907. Its statement of August 9, 1913, shows a capital of 
$25,000, surplus and undivided profits, $5,507.96, and deposits of $86,- 
020.11. Its officers are: Warren Wade, president; C. E. Miller, vice- 
president; Dan Williams, cashier; who, with the following, constitute 
its board of directors, viz.: Conrad Kolb, Joseph M. Xash, John M. 
Hunter, G. B. Causey, John Heckman and James A. Cox. The institu- 
tion owns and occupies a modern building, built of brick, which is one 
of the most sightly in the county. 

The First National Bank of New Harmony. This institution was 
organized in 1903. Its statement of August 9, 1913, shows a capital of 
$25,000, surplus of $25,000, and substantial deposits. Its officers are: 
James N. Whitehead, president, since organization, Ezra Stephens, cash- 
ier, and Miles A. Perry, assistant cashier. 

The New Harmony Banking Company, a private banking enterprise, 
was established in 1877. Its first president was Eugene S. Thrall and 
Horace P. Owen its first cashier. The latter became president in 1890 
and is still serving in that capacity. Edward C. Ford is the cashier and 
Clyde Wilson, assistant cashier. The individual liability of the stock- 
holders is $600,000. The banking office of the company was erected in 
1882, is used exclusively by the bank, and is built of stone. This is 
the third oldest bank in Posey county and its business has been con- 
ducted upon safe and conservative lines. 



CHAPTER XV. 



NEWSPAPERS. 



EARLY NEWSPAPERS PROGRESS OF THE PRESS — NEWSPAPERS OF TODAV. 

MT. VERNON. 

The Mt. Vernon "Courier," established by Thomas F. Prosser in the 
spring of 1838, was the first paper published in Mt. Vernon. Mr. 
Prosser continued its publication until 1841, when it was discontinued 
on account of his election to the office of county auditor. During the 
years from 1841 to 1848 this town was without a newspaper, but in 
the latter year Mr. Prosser established the "South Western Advocate," 
which he continued until 1862, when it ceased to exist. The first- 
named paper was Republican and the latter independent in politics. 

In the latter part of 1862 Charles L. Prosser, a son of Thomas F. 
Prosser, founded the "Union," a folio of four pages and Republican in 
politics. This paper was published until the spring of 1869, when it was 
discontinued on account of the proprietor having been appointed United 
States gauger, which position he held until 1872, when he again entered 
the journalistic field, accepting a position on the "Republican." Mr. 
Prosser was one of the ablest editorial writers in the State but never 
made a financial success in the newspaper business. 

The "Umpire," a Republican paper, was established by Rev. Thomas 
Abbott, a Universalist minister, in January, i860. It was published 
here but a few months when the plant was sold and moved to Rock- 
port, Ind. In July, 1871, Mr. Abbott again entered the field by estab- 
lishing the "New Republic," also Republican, and in December fol- 
lowing sold the paper to S. T. Palmer, who changed its name to the 
"Republican." This paper remained under his management until July, 
1872, when Charles L. Prosser became its proprietor. A year later 
this print-shop was leased to John Mason and Virgil Veatch, and in 
the summer following Mr. Prosser again took control, continuing its 
publication until 1877, when it ceased to exist and Mr. Prosser retired 
permanently from the newspaper field to accept the office of city clerk, 
to which he was elected, and which position he held almost up to the 
time of his death. 



200 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

In August, 1871, Rev. Thomas Abbott, the Universalist minister, 
again embarked in the newspaper business by establishing "The Har- 
binger," which advocated the doctrine of Universalism. This paper was 
published here but a few months, when it was moved to St. Louis 
and ceased to exist two years later. 

"The Democrat" was founded by James Huckeby in 1861 and soon 
passed successively into the hands of William Loudon, Van B. Jolly 
and Charles Legge, the latter publishing it until 1864, when it ceased 
publication. 

In July, 1867, Thomas Collins established the present Mt. Vernon 
"Democrat," the publication of which was under his control until April, 
1879, when he sold the plant to Albert A. Sparks, who continued its 
publication until January, 1885, when he sold out to his stepsons, Peter 
W. and John Roche, to accept the appointment of postmaster in Mt. 
Vernon. In 1912 John Roche sold his interest in the paper to his brother, 
Peter \N^ Roche, who is its present proprietor. The Democrat is, as 
its name implies. Democratic in politics, and in 1891 it was changed from 
a weekly to a daily paper. 

The "Wochenblatt," the first and only German paper published in 
Posey county, was established by John C. Leffel October 23, 1875, under 
whose proprietorship it continued until October, 1881, when it was sus- 
pended, not for lack of patronage, but on account of the scarcity of 
German printers, there being but few in this section, and they were all 
employed. 

In February, 1877, John C. Leffel also established "The Western 
Star," Democratic in politics, under whose proprietorship it is still pub- 
lished. The "Star" was the first paper in the county to install power 
presses, running its edition off by steam, and the first and only paper 
in the county to install a Mergenthaler Linotype machine — setting all 
its type by machine instead of bj' hand. 

The "Sun" was established by James M. Barter in 1878. This sheet 
was inclined to be in the "blackmailing" order and after an existence of 
about two years was discontinued. 

Howard H. Sarlls established the Mt. Vernon "Re]niblican" in 1879 
and is still publishing the same. Politically it is a Republican paper. 

The Posey County "Republican," an advocate of Republican princi- 
ples, was established by C. F. Wertz in June. 1879. In 1889 he sold 
the plant to A. J. Calkins, who changed the name of the paper to the 
Mt. Vernon "Sun," and who continued its publication up to the time of 
his death, in 1892, when the paper passed into the hands of his son, 
Clinton G. Calkins. In 1909 Mr. Calkins sold the paper to Captain Wins- 
ton Menzies, the present proprietor, who in 1912 changed its politics, 
taking sides with the Progressives or "Bull Moose" party. In 1907 the 
paper also began the publication of a daily, which is still in existence. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 201 

The Posey "Banner," supposed to be Democratic, was established in 
January, 1881, by Thomas Collins and six months later was moved to 
Rockport, Ind., where it was issued in the interest of the Republican 
party. It lived less than one year, when Mr. Collins sold out and moved 
to Louisville, Ky., where he died a few years later. 

In 1897 A. A. Sparks again entered the newspaper field by estab- 
lishing the Mt. Vernon "News," Republican in politics. This paper 
was not a financial success and lived less than one year. 

In 1905 B. O. Hanby established "The Unafraid," a weekly six-column 
folio. This paper was published in the interest of Socialism, but a few 
weeks prior to the November, 1913, election it joined the ranks of the 
liberal Republicans and is now being published in the interest of that 
party. 

NEW HARMONY. 

The first paper in New Harmony and in Posey county was the New 
Harmony "Gazette." It was begun October i, 1825, and continued till 
October 28, 1828. It was the organ of Mr. Owen and was widely cir- 
culated, there being agents for it in every prominent city in the United 
States. It had able contributors. In October, 1828, it was consolidated 
with the Nashoba "Gazette," Frances Wright's paper. It was then called 
the "Free Enquirer" and continued at New Harmony till December 31, 
1828, when it was moved to New York. Its range of matter was very 
wide. The "Disseminator" was founded by William Maclure Janu- 
ary 28. 1828. It was published by the School of Industry. It was an 
ably edited paper and was devoted mainly to science and literature. It 
was continued till May 7, 1840. The Indiana "Statesman" was begun 
at Evansville by Alexander Burns May 13, 1842, but was moved to 
New Harmony October 22, 1842, and was continued till 1845. Burns 
said: "Be just, and fear not." The paper was spicy, Democratic in 
politics and made war on Whiggery and warned the people against 
"rag" money and "coons." In 1846 James Bennett started the "Western 
Star," but it was discontinued the following year. In 1848 the same 
individual began the publication of the "Gleaner," but ceased its publica- 
tion the following year. The first number of the New Harmony "Reg- 
ister" appeared Saturday, July 12, 1858. The paper was published by its 
present proprietor as an independent paper, with Democratic proclivi- 
ties. The paper maintained a very consistent course and Wednesday 
following the fall of Fort Sumter the American flag was hoisted over 
the office of the "Register." Owing to the "assistant" going to the 
army the paper was suspended August 18, 1861. It was again revived 
by C. W. Slater and J. P. Bennett February 3, 1867. It was again run 
as an independent paper for about one year, since which time it has advo- 
cated the doctrines of the Democratic party. 



202 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

The New Harmony "Times" was established August 20, 1892, by Clar- 
ence P. Wolfe, who is still its editor and publisher. The "Times" is a 
weekly paper and has a distinct individuality and a wholesome influ- 
ence. Its files are replete with much valuable historic matter and early 
reminiscences of this section of the State. The political policy of the 
"Times" is Democratic. 

POSEYVILLE. 

The Poseyville "News" was preceded by the Poseyvillc "Times," 
which was started October 20, 1881, by James B. Berkshire as a six- 
column folio. Its journalistic career ended in failure after about one 
year's existence. Whereupon the Poseyville "News" was established 
December 10, 1882, as a seven-column folio by Joseph A. Leonard and 
George J. Waters. The paper was independent in politics and acquired 
a liberal patronage and support and a fair measure of success. In 1884 
James I. Brydon became the sole owner and proprietor and the paper 
became Democratic in politics and has remained Democratic down to 
the present time. Mr. Brydon continued as editor and proprietor until 
1886, when John S. Williams became his business partner and associate 
editor. The paper continued under the firm of Brydon & Williams until 
1888, when Mr. W'illiams sold his interest in the paper to Joseph R. 
Haines. In 1890 Mr. Haines bought out his partner and converted the 
paper into a six-column quarto publication and made extensive improve- 
ments in new equipment in the way of presses, power, job presses, type, 
etc. The paper enjoys the distinction of being housed in its own build- 
ing. It is a weekly paper and through the untiring zeal and energy of 
Mr. Haines it has become one of the county's most reliable, newsy and 
up-to-date newspaper publications. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



MILITARY HISTORY. 



POSEY COUNTY IN THE WARS OF THE NATION. 

Although Posey county was unheard of in 1776 and the territory now 
comprising it had not yet been visited by white men, a number of men 
who afterward became citizens of the county fought in the Revolution- 
ary war. Later when Tecumseh formed his formidable organization, a 
number of men who had settled within the boundaries of this county 
took part in the campaign under General Harrison that ended in crush- 
ing the Indians and driving them from the Wabash valley. Among 
those who enlisted from Posey county were : Thomas Allman, Thomas 
Givens, Adam Fisher and Ezekiel Kight, who were wounded in the 
battle of Tippecanoe. Jumes Duckworth was an ensign in the company 
of Captain Jacob Warrick and after all the commissioned officers had 
been killed the command of the company devolved upon the young 
Posey county officer, who bore himself with honor, and after his return 
home he was made major of the State militia. John Black was killed 
by a bullet through his head. Others from this county were William 
and Hugh Todd, Robert Jeffries, Timothy Downen and Thomas Duck- 
worth. So far as the West was concerned the War of 1812 was merely 
a continuation of the Indian troubles, which were only temporarily 
checked by the battle of Tippecanoe. It is probable that those who 
enlisted from Posey county assisted in the Indian campaigns which 
were a feature of the two-years war with England, it being the British 
policy to harrass the Americans by stirring up the border tribes against 
them. 

After both British and Indians were conquered, the military organ- 
ization was continued and regular musters were held at stated inter- 
vals, as explained in a previous chapter. The Posey county regiment 
was the Thirty-fifth Indiana in the early '20s. There were two com- 
panies in Black township, commanded ])y Captains Harshman and Dunn. 
Other captains in the county were: W. A. S. Green, Alexander Mills, 
H. G. Lerton and Mr. Ellis. These musters were abandoned about 

1833- 

In 1836 a few Posey county men took part, notably among them 



204 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Willis Edson, captain of a company. The War of 1848 with Mexico 
called out an entire company from this county with Enoch R. James as 
captain and Alvin P. Hovey as first lieutenant. On account of the 
quota of the State being filled this company could not get in. 

The Civil war opened with a great division of opinion in Posey county 
as to the right of the government to coerce a State, but from the outset 
Posey county was loyal to the Union and remained so during the entire 
war, sending all the able-bodied men to the battle field and enduring 
hardships at home for the old flag. Before the firing at Fort Sumter 
mass meetings were being held in all parts of the county and these were 
addressed by Union orators, so that when the call for men came from 
the President the Posey county boys were ready to take the field. 

On April 22, 1861, the county board met in special session for the 
purpose of preparing the county for the emergencies of war. The gov- 
ernor was requested to deliver to the county its quota of arms, a sum 
of $2,000 was ordered paid to Enoch R. James, chairman of the vigi- 
lance committee to be used in protecting the citizens and their property 
by the purchase of arms and munitions of war. The county board at 
that time was composed of the following gentlemen : A. C. Williams, 
Josiah Forth and R. G. Thomas. They held another meeting on May 
21 and a committee composed of Robert Dale Owen and Alvin P. Hovey 
was authorized to go to Indianapolis at the expense of the county and 
offer to advance $10,000 for the purchase of arms for Posey county 
and take State bonds for the amount. The Bank of Mt. Vernon was 
ordered to be indemnified for any moneys drawn by Owen or Hovey 
to make this advance to the State. 

On April 15, 1861, Governor Morton, called the "war governor" of 
Indiana, had offered President Lincoln 10,000 men for the defense of 
the nation. On the same day the President issued his call for troops. 
The quota for Indiana was six regiments, comprising in all 4,683 offi- 
cers and men. This quota was filled so quickly that only those near 
Indianapolis, the place of rendezvous, were able to get there in time to 
be accepted. Twelve thousand men were tendered in less than a week. 
In May the six regiments were transferred to the United States service 
under the call of the President May 3, for 42,034 volunteers for the 
regular army to serve three years. Posey county did not get in on this 
first quota of troops on account of its remote location from Indian- 
apolis. 

The first full companies of men from Pose\' county were in the 
Twenty-fifth regiment. These companies were A and F and they were 
mustered into service on August 19, 1861. Upon its organization in 
July Company A had the following men as its commissioned officers : 
George W. Saltzman, of New Harmony, captain; Enoch J. Randolph, 
Mt. Vernon, first lieutenant ; Absalom Boren, New Harmony, second 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 205 

lieutenant. Captain Saltzman was killed at the battle of Shiloh April 
6, 1862. The following men subsequently became captain of this com- 
pany in turn : Enoch J. Randolph, April lo, 1862 ; Absalom Boren, Jan- 
uary 22, 1863; James P. Bennett, August 18, 1864; Gilbert M. Smith, 
August 25, 1864; George W. Ham, March i, 1865. Captain Bennett 
was commissioned three days after his death at Atlanta, Ga. Gilbert 
M. Smith was never mustered as captain, and was discharged as second 
lieutenant November 8, 1864. Those commissioned as first lieutenant 
during the entire service were: Absalom Boren, April 10, 1862; James 
P. Bennett, January 22, 1863 ; George W. Ham, August 25, 1864, and 
James P. Black, May i, 1865. The second lieutenants were: James P. 
Bennett, April 10, 1862; Gilbert M. Smith, January 22, 1863; William 
Todd, May i, 1865. The original enrollment was 100 men and the 
whole number of recruits was sixty-nine. Thirty-two died or were 
killed and four deserted. John Hugo was killed at Fort Donelson 
February 15, 1862, and Jacob Jordan and Henry Myer at Shiloh. 

Company F was organized with the following commissioned officers : 
Victor C. Larkin, captain ; Robert G. Shannon, first lieutenant ; Miles 
Wilsly, second lieutenant. Robert G. Shannon was commissioned cap- 
tain on August 21, 1864, and John H. Oaks March 20, 1865. John H. 
Oaks was commissioned first lieutenant March 20, 1865, and Nathaniel 
Henderson June 5, 1865. For second lieutenant Rufus F. Larkin was 
commissioned September 4, 1862; John H. Oaks January 11, 1865; Jo- 
seph Barrett May i, 1865. Robert G. Shannon was the only commis- 
sioned officer that was killed in the company. He was a veteran of 
the Mexican war and was wounded at the battle of Chapultepec. In 
the Civil war he was wounded at Hatchie River October "5, 1862 ; at 
Snake Creek Gap October 15, 1864, and at Bentonville March 21, 1865, 
dying March 23, 1865, from his latest wounds. The original enrollment 
of this company was 100 men. It recruited fifty-four men and lost six- 
teen. Albert Ndrcross and Seth Johnson were killed at Atlanta August, 
1864. and John Ellis at Snake Creek Gap, October 14, 1864. Captain 
Larkin was commissioned major August 5, 1864. 

The Twenty-fifth regiment was organized at Evansville July 17, 1861. 
In October of that year it marched with Fremont 240 miles in sixteen 
days. December 19 it assisted in the capture of 1,000 rebels on the 
Black Water, taking charge of the prisoners the next day and escort- 
ing them to St. Louis, where it remained until February, 1862, when 
it left to join the expedition against Fort Donelson. On February 13 
it lost sixteen killed and eighty wounded. It occupied the fort after 
the surrender and remained there until March 5, when it went to Fort 
Henry, embarking at that point on the eleventh for Pittsburgh Landing, 
where it arrived on the eighteenth. It was actively engaged in the battle 
of Shiloh on the sixth and seventh of April, losing twenty-seven killed 



206 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

and 122 wounded. It then took part in the siege of Corinth, going from 
there to Memphis, where it was on guard duty till September 6. On 
October 5 it fought at Hachie river, losing three killed and seventy-six 
wounded. Six companies under Colonel Morgan were attacked at Davis 
Mill in Mississippi by General Van Dorn with a large force of mounted 
infantry, but the rebels were repulsed with a heavy loss. On February 
29. 1864, the regiment reenlisted and soon after came home on a fur- 
lough. Its next engagement of consequence was at Atlanta, Ga., where 
the loss was three killed, six wounded and four prisoners. On October 
3 it left Atlanta in pursuit of Hood's army and engaged the enemy at 
Snake Creek Gap on the fifteenth, with a loss of nine killed and four- 
teen wounded. Returning to Atlanta, it was with Sherman on his march 
to the sea and on December 9 to 14 participated in the battle of Savan- 
nah, losing nine of its number. On January 4 it was transported to 
Beaufort, S. C, whence it moved to Pocotaligo, and on the thirtieth 
started for Goldsboro, N. C, and on the way was engaged in the battle 
at River Bridge on February 3 and 4. losing ten wounded and one cap- 
tured. At Bentonville on the nineteenth it lost two killed, twelve- 
wounded and two missing. It arrived in Goldsboro March 24, having 
completed a 500-mile march in fifty-four days. It marched to Raleigh, 
where it remained until the surrender of Johnson's army. The regiment 
was mustered out at Indianapolis in Jul}', 1865. 

The First Cavalry regiment of Indiana volunteers contained no less 
than three full companies of Posey county men. They were C, D and 
H, and were organized in the months of July and August, 1861. The 
first captain of Company C was John K. Highman, who was killed at 
Fredericktown, Mo., in November, 1861. Following him were Julian 
D. Owen, November 12, 1861 ; William W. McReynolds. January 13. 
1863; James L. Carey, July 6, 1863. The first lieutenants were Josiah 
Forth, August 20, 1861 ; William W. McReynolds, November }2, 1861 
(resigned) ; Mark McCauley, January 15, 1862; William W. McReynolds, 
January 13, 1863; James L. Carey, January 13, 1863; Charles S. Ran- 
dolph, July 6, 1863. Second lieutenants: Julian D. Owen, August 20, 
1861 ; Mark McCauley. November 12. 1861 ; James L. Carey, January 15, 
1862; Charles S. Randolph, January 13, 1863; George W. Richards, July 
6, 1863. All these officers were from New Harmony and the entire 
company came from the northern part of the county. The original en- 
rollment was seventy-seven men. Julian D. Owen was promoted lieu- 
tenant-colonel, Josiah Forth and Mark McCauley, majors of the First 
cavalry regiment. Lieutenant Randolph was murdered at Carrollton, 
La., in February, 1864. Alexander M. Fretageot died September 7, 1862, 
on the field, Elihu Robinson died in New Orleans in September, 1863, 
and John Williamson at Greenville. Mo. Four deserted. 

The commissioned officers of Company D were as follows: Captains: 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 207 

Lyman W. Brown, August 20, 1861 ; George P. DeWeese, March 25, 
1862; James B. Talbott, October 17, 1862; Orrison J. Kyler, April 2, 
1864. First lieutenants : George P. DeWeese, August 20, 1861 ; James 
B. Talbott, March 25, 1862; Orrison J. Kyler, October 17, 1862; John 
D. Krousch, April 2, 1864. Second lieutenants : James B. Talbott, Au- 
gust 20, 1861 ; George W. Brown, March 25, 1862; Orrison J. Kyler, 
April 30, 1862; John D. Krousch, December 22, 1862. The original en- 
listment in this company was seventy-six men, eleven of whom died and 
eleven of whom deserted. It was recruited with twenty-five men in the 
time of its service. Charles Pabst, Thomas Asbury and Thomas Sny- 
der died at St. Louis ; Lemuel Asbury, Charles Hinson and John PL 
Scott died at Pine Bluff, Ark. ; Samuel Atkins died at Pilot Knob ; John 
Goarty and William W. Marshall died at Helena, Ark. ; Dorastus Ruple 
died at Cairo, and Peter Winterath died at Indianapolis in 1864. 

Company H was organized largely from the vicinity of Mt. Vernon. 
Its commissioned officers were: Captains: James H. Barter, August 
20, 1861 ; John Harding, June 6, 1863. First lieutenants : Edward S. 
Hayes, August 20, 1861 ; and John Harding, December 18, 1861. Sec- 
ond lieutenants: John Harding, August 20, 1861, and Francis M. Great- 
house, December 18, 1861. Captain Barter resigned June 5, 1861, and 
Lieutenant Hayes December 4, 1861. There were seventy-seven men in 
the company, fifteen of whom died : Thomas Acuff, Thomas Chatsman, 
Benjamin Cook, Lowery Davenport, Lafayette Hall, George F. Huck, 
Charles Isenhart, Frederick Kemper, James McDeryman, George F. 
Majors, John Neely, Henry C. Sherbourn, William Stork, Conrad Thu- 
mire and Jonathan Topper. Those who were killed in battle or died 
of wounds were Thomas Acuff, Charles Isenhart and William Stork. 

The First cavalry regiment was organized at Evansville and mus- 
tered into seryice August 20, 1861, with Conrad Baker as colonel. The 
first encounter with the enemy was September 12, near fronton. Mo., 
when three companies had a sharp skirmish with the rebels. October 
18 the regiment participated in the engagement at Fredericktown and 
in the charge that decided the battle it captured a piece of artillery 
and drove the enemy from the field. Major Gavitt and Captain High- 
man were killed in that charge. The regiment remained in the vicinity 
of Pilot Knob until the next spring, when it moved to Arkansas and 
on July 7 fought the battle of Round Hill. For more than a year it 
remained at Helena and engaged in various expeditions from that point. 
It was then stationed at Pine Bluff. Company C, composed of men 
from the northern part of Posey county, had been detached as an escort 
to General Hovey and did not rejoin the regiment until just before its 
return home. This company was with Grant at Vicksburg, later joining 
the command of General Franklin in western Louisiana, returning to 
New Orleans in December, 1863. Here it remained until July, 1864, 



2o8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

when it joined the rest of the regiment in Arkansas. The original mem- 
bers of the regiment were ordered to Indianapolis in August, 1864, and 
discharged in September. The recruits numbered thirty-eight men 
whose terms had not expired. Three of these were in Company A, 
reorganized, with James A. Pine, of Rockport, captain, and the others 
were all in Company B, reorganized, with Orrison J. Kyler, captain, 
William B. Ellsworth, first lieutenant, and Samuel L. Mellen, second 
lieutenant. In January, 1865, the regiment moved to the mouth of 
White river in Arkansas, thence to St. Charles on March 20, remain- 
ing there until June 24, when it was ordered to Indianapolis and was 
given honorable discharge. 

In addition to these five companies furnished by Posey county in the 
early months of the war, a considerable number of men had entered 
the Fifteenth and Sixteenth regiments and the county never received 
due credit for these. Richard Owen, a famous scientist of New Har- 
mony, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Fifteenth, Michael 
W. Smith, of the same place, adjutant, and Daniel W. Nettleton became 
captain of Company C of the same regiment. Owen was promoted 
colonel of the Sixteenth regiment at its organization. 

The home defense was also kept up. By the middle of June, 1861, 
seven companies had been organized for home defense. These belonged 
to the Indiana Legion, an organization in which Posey count}' had six- 
teen companies before the close of the war. They were known as the 
First regiment, First brigade of the Indiana Legion. Alvin P. Hovey 
was the first colonel, his successor being Colonel Enoch James, who 
was in turn succeeded by John A. Mann. A highly complimentary re- 
port was given out by the adjutant-general of the State concerning this 
regiment. It was well drilled and efficient, doing scouting duty, assist- 
ing in dangerous arrests, guarding prisoners and preventing guerilla 
raids on the border towns. Alarms were frequent on account of the 
presence of lawless bands roaming through Kentucky, and it was owing 
to the promptness and activity of the legion that depredations were pre- 
vented. The First regiment was often called upon to do guard duty 
along the river. An instance of the efficiency of the members of the 
legion in Posey county is shown in the following account : Late at 
night on July 9, 1863, Colonel Mann received orders from Governor 
Morton to hold his command in readiness for action, with the result 
that by 10 o'clock the next morning seven companies were ready for 
action. In July, 1864, the regiment of Posey county guards was sent 
into Kentucky on an expedition under General Hovey. 

The Twenty-fourth regiment, of which Alvin P. Hovey was made 
first colonel, also contained a few Posey county men. It was organized 
and mustered into service July 31, 1861. Among the Posey county men 
in this regiment were Richard F. Barter, a resident of Mt. Vernon, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 209 

lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, later colonel of the One Hundred and 
Twentieth regiment ; Charles Fitch, the chaplain ; Charles Larch, a first 
lieutenant in Company C; William S. Pollard, of Cynthiana, who became 
captain of Company K, and who at the reorganization of the regiment 
was made lieutenant-colonel. The regiment took an active part- in the 
war and was conspicuously engaged at the battle of Shiloh. 

The Sixteenth regiment had three companies. B, C and E, which were 
composed almost entirely of I^osey county men. Of the regimental offi- 
cers, Colonel Richard Owen, Jesse Nash, major, and Eugene F. Owen, 
Horace P. Owen and Henry H. Hitchcock, adjutants, were all from 
New Harmony, while Major Wolfgang Hyne was from Stewartsville. 
The men in the three companies were largely from the northern part of 
Posey county and many of the officers were from Wadesville and Stew- 
artsville. The officers, with the dates of their commissions, appear as 
follows : Company B : Captains : Wolfgang Hyne, November i8, 1861 ; 
Joseph B. Noble, December i, 1862. First lieutenants: Alfred Dale 
Owen, November 18, 1861 ; Joseph Noble, September i, 1862; George 
W. Fairchild, December i, 1862; Joseph A. Barrett, February 4, 1863; 
Jacob Haff, August 12, 1863. Second lieutenants : William M. Holton, 
November 18, 1861 ; George W. Fairchild, September i, 1862; Joseph A. 
Barrett, December i, 1862; James Cobble, February 4, 1863. Of Com- 
pany C the captains were : Jesse Nash, November 22, 1861 ; Richard 
A Wilsey, February 19, 1863; Courtland D. Slow, April 15, 1863; Alex- 
ander Stallings, September 30, 1863. First lieutenants, Richard A. Wil- 
sey, November 22, 1861 ; Courtland D. Slow, February 19, 1863; Alex- 
ander Stallings, April 15, 1863; Isaac Wilson, September 30, 1863; sec- 
ond lieutenants, John O'Neil, November 22, 1861 ; Courtland D. Slow, 
November 15, 1862; Alexander Stallings, February 19, 1863. Of Com- 
pany E the captains were: Henry F. Fitton, November 13, 1861 ; Wal- 
ter E. Thrall, July 12, 1863; first lieutenants, Walter E. Thrall, Novem- 
ber 13, 1863; Eugene S. Thrall, July 12. 1863; second lieutenants, Philip 
L. Cox, February 20, 1862. In Company I, Samuel H. Endicott became 
first lieutenant. The regiment was mustered into service March 11, 1862. 
The organization had been completed at Indianapolis and the regiment 
moved from that point to Louisville and thence to Lebanon, where 
it remained for a time and then went to Munfordsville. There on Sep- 
tember 14 seven companies of the regiment were captured by Bragg's 
army In November, 1862, they were exchanged and at once started 
for Memphis, joining the army of the Mississippi. The regiment took 
part in the battle of Arkansas Post, January 10, 1863. In the campaign 
against Vicksburg it moved from Milliken's Bend April 14, making rapid 
and fatiguing marches through swamps and in the scorching sun, and 
engaged in five desperately fought battles. It was among the first to 
enter Port Gibson May i, was in advance at Champion Hills on the 



2IO HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

sixteenth, and behaved with marked gallantry at Black River. It was 
in the siege of Vicksburg and took part in several skirmishes in the 
vicinity. In August it was transferred to New Orleans. November 3 
the regiment was engaged in the battle of Grand Corteau Plains and 
soon afterward was with Bank's expedition up Red river. It was in the 
battle of Saline Cross Roads April 8, 1864, and at Carrion Crow Bayou, 
La., where its loss was heavy in killed and wounded. 

Company B started out with ninety-six men, and in course of its ser- 
vice recruited sixteen. Twenty-five died and seven deserted. The en- 
rollment of Company C was 103, and recruits, sixteen. Twenty-nine 
died in the service and two deserted. Company E had ninety-seven men 
and recruited five. Sixteen died and seventeen deserted. Before the 
close of the year 1861 Posey county had more than 800 men in the service. 
Even those at first opposed to the war manfully bore the burdens and not 
only went to the battle field, but those left at home cooperated with 
their neighbors to aid the families of those who had enlisted and to bet- 
ter the soldiers conditions. Clothing, socks and other comforts were pro- 
vided by the women, who formed aid societies. A military hospital was 
opened at Mt. Vernon, and the county board voted $500 to assist in 
maintaining it. 

In August, 1862, another company of Posey county men was organized. 
It was recruited at Mt. Vernon and became Company A, Sixty-fifth In- 
diana. Its officers were: Captains. Walter G. Hodge, August 11, 1862; 
John M. Duckworth. June 24, 1864; first lieutenants, Moses Ashworth, 
August II, 1862; John M. Duckworth, January i, 1864; William Wim- 
pleberg, June 24, 1864; William P. Finch, April 6, 1865; second lieu- 
tenants. Barney York, August 11, 1862; John M. Duckworth, October 9, 
1863; William Wimpleberg, January i, 1864; William P. Finch, Septem- 
ber I, 1864; Harrison C. Stout, June i, 1865. A few days after its organ- 
ization the Sixty-fifth regiment engaged Adam Johnson's rebel force at 
Madisonville, Ky., with a slight loss. The companies were then dis- 
tributed to various points in Kentucky, where they remained on guard 
duty until August. 1863. In this time the regiment had been mounted 
and attached to the cavalry. It took part in the following battles: Zolli- 
coffer, September 20, 1863; Blountsville, September 22, 1863; Rheatown, 
October 11, 1863: Walker's Ford, Tenn., November 17, 1863; Bean Sta- 
tion, December 14, 1863, and the next day at Powder Spring Gap and at 
Skaggs' Mill. It was dismounted and joined Sherman's march to the sea. 
After a pursuit of Hood's army and engaging in several other battles and 
skirmishes the regiment was mustered out June 22, 1865. The company 
started out with ninety-seven men, was recruited with 16 men. Twenty- 
five were killed or died and five deserted. Captain Hodge was pro- 
moted lieutenant-colonel May 24, 1864, but his death occurred before he 
was mustered in as such. William Wimpleberg became adjutant of the 
regiment. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 211 

On August 4, 1862, came the fourth call of the Government for troops, 
asking for 300.000 men. Indiana had up to that time furnished 93,041 
men, and the number yet required was 3,003. Posey county had fur- 
nished 1,343 soldiers, and if Robinson county had furnished thirty-four 
men, this county would have escaped the draft which took place October 
6. In June, 1863, the Government called for 100,000 more men, under 
which Indiana was to raise four regiments. The number of men re- 
quired were secured without delay. October 17, 1863, the President called 
for 300,000 men, the number being increased February i, 1864, to 500,- 
000, and on March 14, to 700,000. Of these Posey county was to raise 
683 men and the required number were enlisted without resort to draft. 
However, the call for another 500,000 additional men, on July 18, 1864, 
made a draft necessary, and 186 men were taken from the county by 
this means. 

Under the impetus of the call for volunteers in August, 1862, Com- 
pany F of the Eighteenth regiment was organized in Posey county. Its 
officers were : Captains, Russell J. Showers, August 27, 1862, and 
James S. Epperson, July i, 1864; first lieutenants, James S. Epperson, 
August 27, 1862; Thomas S. Craig, June 24, 1864; John M. Wolfe, Jan- 
uary 17, 1865; second lieutenants, James H. C. Lowe, August 27, 1862; 
Alexander R. Smith, January 30, 1863. The original enrollment of 
Company F was eighty-eight men, and the recruits numbered nineteen. 
Twenty were killed or died and one deserted. At the battle of Perryville, 
one month after its organization, the regiment bore a conspicuous part 
and lost 150 men in killed and wounded. It remained in Kentucky and 
Tennessee until it started on the Atlanta campaign, in which it was en- 
gaged in all the important battles. It pursued Hood's army and was in 
the battle of Nashville. The regiment was mustered out June 22, 1865. 

In the same month about 200 men volunteered for the Ninety-first regi- 
ment. Company A was entirely made up of Posey county volunteers, 
while Company D had fifty-seven and Company G thirty-eight from this 
county. The officers of Company A were as follows : Captains, James 
M. Carson, August 10, 1862; K. D. Wise, September 12, 1863; John Cor- 
bin, June i, 1864; first lieutenants, K. D. Wise, August 10, 1862; John 
Corbin, September 10, 1863; Bedford L. Farris, June i, 1864; second lieu- 
tenants, John Corbin, August 10, 1862 ; Enoch Snelling, September 12, 
1863; Thomas J. Robertson, June i, 1864; Jacob Boucher, November i, 
1864. The Ninety-first regiment performed duty in Kentucky until the 
winter of 1864. February 22 of that year Company A had a sharp skir- 
mish with 1,200 rebels near Cumberland Gap. The regiment was with 
General Schofield at Pine Mountain, in the campaign around Kenesaw 
and Lost Mountain, took part in the Atlanta campaign, and pursued 
Hood as far as Nashville, and then went to North Carolina. It was dis- 
charged in June, 1865. 



212 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTV 

Under the call of October, 1863, two more companies were raised in 
Posey county. These were Companies A and K, Tenth cavalry, One 
Hundred and Twenty-fifth regiment. Company A was officered as fol- 
lows: Captains, Sylvanus Milner, November 19, 1863; Thomas Claiborn, 
May I, 1865; first lieutenants, Thomas Claiborn, X'oveniber 19, 1863; 
William F. Dixon, May i, 1865, and James H. Chaffin, June i, 1865; sec- 
ond lieutenants, William F. Dixon, November 19, 1863 ; James II. Chaffin, 
May I, 1865; James K. Vint. August 20, 1865. The officers of Company 
K were as follows: Captains, Dewitt C. James, January 11, 1864; Wil- 
liam H. Whitworth, June i, 1865; first lieutenants, Alexander G. Twigg, 
January 11, 1864; Jenkin T. Hugo, June i, 1865; second lieutenants, 
Leonidas L. Walker, January 11, 1864; Edward A. Pitts, August 20, 1865. 
The total enrollment of Company A was ninety-seven men, all but thir- 
teen from Posey county. Twenty-one were killed or died, and five 
deserted. Company K had loi men. all but twenty-two from Posey 
county. Thirteen died and eleven deserted. The Tenth cavalry was or- 
ganized at \'incennes in the fall and winter of 1863 and 1864, but did not 
leave the State until the following May. It saw some hard service. In 
the vicinity of Nashville it engaged Hood's forces and was in several 
other battles, with an aggregate loss of three field officers and tv»'elve 
men killed, forty-eight wounded, and seventy-five taken prisoners. On 
the other hand it captured from the enemy four stands of colors and 300 
men. with officers and their arms. In the following winter it captured 
ten pieces of artillery, 150 officers and men and a supply train of 150 
wagons and 500 mules. The regiment was mustered out at Vicksburg in 
August, 1865. and a little later was discharged at Indianapolis. 

The last full company raised in Posey county was a company of 100- 
day men, known as Company G, in the One Hundred and Thirtj'-sixth 
regiment. Joseph Moore was captain, Ebe W. Murray first lieutenant, 
and James J. Parrett, second lieutenant. In all Posey county furnished 
the grand total of 3,000 men for the Civil war, a record of which every 
loyal citizen may still be proud. However, it should be explained that 
there were but 2,441 able-bodied men in Posey county at that time, and 
the total given represents the number of enlistments, many of the men 
enlisting twice and some of them three times, and being counted for each 
enlistment. 

On April 25, 1898, the United States formally declared war against 
Spain, and on June 24. by direction of the war department, and under the 
President's second call for volunteers (issued May 25, 1898), to provide 
for Indiana's quota under said call, twelve new companies were ordered 
to report at Camp Mount. One of these companies had been organized 
at Mt. Vernon, by Capt. Winston Menzies, and composed mostly of 
Posey county boys. In response to this order, the company arrived by 
rail at Camp JMount. Indianapolis, July i. 1898. and was mustered into 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 2I3 

the One Hundred and Sixty-first regiment, Indiana infantry. United 
States volunteers, as Company B. 

The following officers and men were members of this company : Cap- 
tain, Winston Menzies ; first lieutenant, Asa E. Williams ; second lieu- 
tenant, Percy Welch ; first sergeant, Mike Lowenhaupt ; quartermaster 
sergeant, Frank Jones ; sergeants, Edward Works, Harold Stephens, Wil- 
liam B. Fuhrer, Oscar T. Schultz ; corporals, Randolph J. Hovey, Charles 
A. Bennett, David Groves, Flairance W. Nash, Charles H. Miller, James 
H. Kreutzinger, Noble Moore, George R. Tingle, Charles F. Cox, John 
Summers, James Lance, John M. Harris ; musicians, Harry M. Lord, 
Edward Lance, Morton Stalnaker; artificer, Samuel W. King; wagoner, 
Samuel Kahn ; privates, James Allen, Linwood Z. Alsop, George Bayer, 
Charles T. Berlin, Frank Bieker, Ralph T. Boren, Arthur Brokaw, George 
M. Bruce. James Cantrell, Benjamin F. Casey, Arthur Cawthorne, Levi 
Cooper, George Cox, George W. Cravens, James Crilley, Isaac N. Cun- 
ningham, Thomas Drear, Jacob Easmon, Calie Edwards, Samuel Estes, 
Peter Frohmann, Gustave W. Grabert, George Green, Jr., Charlie Hanks, 
George F. Harding, William S. Hayes, Richard Hill, Porter G. Holleman, 
Otta D. Houchin, Lemuel P. Jones, Andrew Keitel, John Kennedy, Ferdi- 
nand Koerner, Noah Kuykendall. John Lance, Oscar W. La Grange, 
Charles G. Maus, John W. Males, David R. Marshall, George McAtee, 
Floyd Meadows, Charles A. Miller, George A. Murphy, Orvel Murphy, 
Frank Newell, Arthur Nicholson, Charles Nuthmann. Floyd Ott. James 
Parke. Marion Parmer, John F. Pearson, August Pfeifer, George B. 
Phifer, Albert Pirnat. William M. Powers, Fred G. Reavis. Frank Re- 
denour, Robert R. Reed. Henry Rose, August E. Schaefer, Perry F. Sin- 
gleton, Lafayette Sluder, Jay J. Smith, Henry Smith, William Stewart, 
Lyman Switzer, Harry T. Switzer, Samuel Spencer, William Trapp, Burl 
E. Turner, James K. L'tley, Everett Vint, Peter Wallace, Edward Wal- 
ter, Clarence E. Ward, Jesse Weissinger, Michael Welsh, Thomas A. 
Westfall, Harry Williams, William Woerner, Otto Wehr, Harvey Yea- 
ger, Harold C. Bays, Smith Hoge, Nelson Norton, Walter Baldwin ; cook, 
"William L. Corkin. 

The company left Camp Mount. Indianapolis. Ind., by rail. August ii, 
1898, in command of Col. Winfield Durbin. arriving at Camp Cuba 'Libre, 
Ponoma Park, Fla.. at 7:45 a. m. August 14. 1898. The company re- 
mained in camp at Camp Libre, Ponoma Park, Fla.. from August 14, 1898, 
to October 23, 1898, inclusive ; they broke camp on the morning of Octo- 
ber 23, 1898, at 10:30 o'clock, boarded cars at Cummer's Switch and ar- 
rived at Savannah, Ga.. October 24, 1898. at 10:30 a. m.. a distance of 
about 150 miles, via Savannah. Florida & Western railroad. It re- 
mained in camp at Camp Onward. Savannah. Ga., from October 24 to 
December 12. 1898. inclusive, and broke camp and loaded on transport 
Mobile December 12, 1898. and sailed on the morning of December 13, 



214 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

1898, for the Island of Cuba, arriving at Havanna Harbor, Cuba, De- 
cember 15, 1898, and remained on board tlie transport until December 
17, 1898. The company then disembarked and marched nine miles to 
camp near Marianar, Cuba. They participated in a march from Camp 
Columbia, Cuba, to Havana, Cuba, and was reviewed by Major-General 
Brooks January i, 1899; remained in Camp Columbia, Cuba, from De- 
cember 17, 1898, until March 29, 1899, inclusive, when they embarked 
on the transport Logan, arriving at Savannah, Ga., Quarantine Station 
on the morning of March 31, 1899, and at camp near Savannah, Ga., 
at 10:30 a. m. March 31, 1899, and was mustered out April 30, 1899. 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



G. V. Menzies, of Mount Vernon, ranks as one of the leading members 
of the Indiana bar. He has practiced law in this State for over forty 
years, and during that time has been a prominent figure in many of the 
important cases that have been adjudicated by the highest tribunals of 
the Commonwealth. Like many other successful lawyers, he has taken 
an active interest in politics, and on several occasions figured promi- 
nently in the National councils of the Democratic party. He was born in 
Boone county, Kentucky, December 21, 1844, and is a son of Dr. Samuel 
G. and Sally (Winston) Menzies, the former was a native of Woodford 
county, Kentucky, and the descendant of Revolutionary stock from Vir- 
ginia. Capt. Samuel P. Menzies, a direct lineal ancestor, served in Wash- 
ington's army, and commanded a battery at Yorktown. Sally Winston, 
the wife of Dr. Menzies, was born near Richmond, Va. Her parents emi- 
grated to Kentucky when she was a child. G. V. Menzies, the subject 
of this review, was reared on a farm and attended the common schools 
and also attended school in Cincinnati, Ohio. When sixteen years of age 
he went with his father, who at that time was surgeon of the First regi- 
ment, Kentucky volunteers (Union). Young Menzies was present at the 
campaign in West Virginia during the summer of 1861, when the First 
Kentucky served in General Cox's brigade against the Confederate forces 
under Generals Wise and Floyd, in the Kanawha Valley. When at 
Gauley Bridge, W. Va., the boy received an appointment as midshipman 
at the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Md. Part of Mr. 
Menzies' class completed the four-years course in three years, and he 
was therefore graduated in the class of 1864. He was assigned to duty 
at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he served until June, 1865, when he 
was ordered to the frigate Colorado, the flagship of the European Squad- 
ron and served in that duty two years. He was then transferred to the 
Monitor Miantonomah, the first vessel of that t3'pe to cross the ocean. 
He served as ensign on board that vessel until they returned to the 
United States in July, 1867. In September, 1867, he joined the South 
Pacific Squadron, serving on the frigate Powhatan. He was appointed 
to the staff of Rear Admiral John A. Dalhgren and served as flag lieu- 
tenant until he was relieved. Lieutenant Menzies then served in the 
same capacity on the staff of Rear Admiral Thomas Turner. In October, 
1869, Mr. Menzies returned to the United States, and on November 11, 
1869, was united in marriage to Miss Esther Hovey, the only daughter 



2l8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

of Gen. Alvin P. Hovey, who was then United States Minister to Peru. 
To this union were born three children: Mary M., married Walter A. 
Se\'mour, who is now deceased, and she resides at Pelham, N. Y. ; Juliet 
M., married Lloyd B. Fitzhugh, and she resides at Mt. Vernon, and Win- 
ston, personal mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. Short- 
ly after his marriage I^ieutenant Menzies was assigned to duty at Ports- 
mouth Navy Yard, until August. 1870. From that date until Novem- 
ber, 1871, he was on duty at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., when 
he resigned from the navy, having attained the rank of lieutenant com- 
mander. He immediately came to Mt. Vernon and engaged in the prac- 
tice of law. and has been continuously in the practice to the present time, 
and through all these years has taken an active part in politics also. He 
was a delegate to the Democratic convention at St. Louis in 1876, which 
nominated Samuel J. Tilden and was Presidential elector for the First 
district of Indiana that year. In 1878 he was elected to the State senate, 
from the district composing Gibson and Posey counties, for a term of 
four years. In 1880 he served as a delegate of the National Democratic 
convention held at Cincinnati, and in 1884 was a delegate to the Demo- 
cratic National convention and vice chairman of the Indiana delegation. 
He was a delegatc-at-large to the National Democratic conventions of 
1896. 1900, 1904 and 1912. In 1904 he was chairman of the Indiana dele- 
gation and also member of the committee on credentials. He placed 
Governor Marshall in nomination for Vice-President at the Baltimore 
convention by a clever and able speech, which was well received, and in 
the convention of 1884 he made the motion to make Cleveland's nomi- 
nation unanimous, which was carried. Mr. Menzies was the Democratic 
nominee for Congress at a special election in 1905, also at the general 
election of 1906, but was defeated both times. He has served as delegate 
to several river and harbor conventions, by appointment of governors of 
Indiana, and was a member of the commission appointed by the United 
States Supreme Court to establish the boundary line between Indiana and 
Kentucky opposite Green River Island. He has been a member of the 
board of control for the State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument since 1894, 
by appointment from governors of the State, and is now president of the 
board. He has been admitted to practice in all the courts, both State 
and Federal. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and 
the Loyal Legion of Indiana. Mr. Menzies possesses the natural attri- 
butes of a great lawyer, in addition to being a close student of the law all 
his life. He is possessed of a well balanced legal mind, and is a fearless 
and forcible advocate, and as a trial lawyer has few equals in the State. 
Capt. Winston Menzies, editor and proprietor of the "Evening and 
Weekly Sun." Mt. Vernon, is a native of Posey county, and a son of 
Maj. G. V. Menzies, born in Mt. Vernon November 22, 1876. He was 
educated in the public schools of Posey county and the New York 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 219 

Military Academy at Cornwall-on-the Hudson, New York. Later he 
entered the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Ind., graduating in the 
class of 1897. He then took up newspaper work, and was reporter on 
the "Daily Democrat" one summer. He then went to St. Louis, and was 
employed on the "Republic" staff until the breaking out of the Spanish- 
American war. In April, 1898, he enlisted as a private in Company H,. 
One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Indiana infantry, and on July 11, 1898, was 
transferred to the One Hundred and Sixty-first Indiana infantry, and 
commissioned captain of Company B. His regiment was sent South, as- 
signed to the Seventh army corps, under Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, and served 
through the entire Cuban campaign. To Captain Menzies belongs the 
distinction of being the youngest captain in the Seventh army corps. He 
received his commission before he was twenty-two. He was mustered 
out of the service in April, 1899, and returned to Mt. Vernon, again en- 
gaging in the newspaper work, this time as city editor of the "Demo- 
crat." In 1901 he went to Fort Wayne, in the employ of the United 
Boxboard & Paper Company, and remained there until 1905, when he 
went to Indianapolis for the same company. In 1907 he again returned 
to Mt. Vernon, and became managing editor of the "Evening Sun," 
which was organized at that time. In December, 1909, he bought the 
paper, and is now the sole owner. Captain Menzies was married April 
30, 1901, to Miss Irma Wasem, eldest daughter of Louis Wasem, a 
prominent merchant of Mt. Vernon and Evansville. To Captain and 
Mrs. Menzies has been born one child : Esther Hovey, born at Fort 
Wayne, February 4, 1902. Captain Menzies is a member of Camp Fee, 
Spanish-American War Veterans; the Military Order of the Loyal 
Legion, and the Press Club of Indianapolis. 

George William Curtis, Sr., former clerk of the Eleventh judicial cir- 
cuit, popular citizen and breeder of pedigreed horses of National repu- 
tation, was born on the old Curtis farm in Black township, Posey county, 
Indiana, the son of William Boyd and Nancy Lucy (Harshman) Curtis. 
The family is of English descent, and was founded in the Virginia colony 
previous to the War of the Revolution, in which members of the family 
served with the Colonial troops. The first of the family to settle in In- 
diana was William Curtis, a native of Virginia, who came to Posey 
county previous to 1814, and located on land in what is now Black town- 
ship. He was accompanied by a son, Thomas Cottrell Curtis, who also 
located in Black township, and reached the advanced age of ninety-two 
years, and who resided on the same farm until his death. Both were 
farmers, acquired valuable properties, and were men of influence in the 
formative period of the county. William Curtis was the grandfather of 
the subject of this review. His son, William Boyd Curtis, was reared on 
the home farm, attended the schools of the period, and became one of 
the successful farmers of the countv, and the owner of valuable lands. 



220 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

He was a Democrat, took an active part in the work of his party, and 
was one of the influential men of his time. He married Nancy Lucy 
Harshman, the daughter of George and Dorcas Harshman, residents of 
the township, and pioneer settlers in the county. George William 
Curtis, Sr., acquired his education in the district schools of Black town- 
ship, and the academy in Mt. Vernon. Until 1862. he was employed on 
the home farm. From the year mentioned until 1867, he was a teacher 
in the schools of Indiana and Illinois. In the last named year he rented 
from his father a tract of land and began farming. On April 7, 1869, he 
married Miss Ruth Greathouse, the daughter of Lorenzo D. Greathouse, 
born in Posey county in 1818, the son of David Greathouse, a native 
of Pennsylvania, and founder of the family in Indiana. From that year 
until 1900, with the exception of eight years, in which he occupied the 
office of clerk of the Posey County Circuit Court, he was engaged in 
farming and the breeding and racing of pedigreed horses. His initial 
purchase of breeding stock was from the famous Belle Meade farm of 
Tennessee in 1883. The most notable of the performers which were bred 
on his farm were, Egmont, the sensation of the season of 1887, entered 
for the season of 1888, in stakes totaling over $80,000, and sold by him in 
the spring of the last named year for $10,500; Topmast, who won the 
greatest number of races of any horse in America during the season of 
1889; Gold Band, Red Cap and' Silver Set. His animals were raced on 
the tracks at Louisville, Chicago, St. Louis, Lexington, New Orleans, 
Covington, Memphis and elsewhere. Mr. Curtis became one of the 
prominent and popular breeders of the country and his stable was a 
profitable one. Previous to his engaging in the breeding of racing stock, 
he was an active and influential factor in the political life of his county. 
He has been a lifelong Democrat. He was elected clerk of the Posey 
County Circuit Court in 1874, and re-elected in 1878. His administra- 
tion of the affairs of this office was such as to procure the highest com- 
mendation. In 1900, he became a resident of the city of Mt. Vernon, 
where he has since resided. He was appointed deputy circuit clerk of 
the Eleventh judicial circuit in 1904. and is still serving in that capacity. 
Mr. and Mrs. Curtis are the parents of the following children, viz.: 
Stella, born January 26. 1870. the widow of Silas O. Thomas, a farmer 
of Black township; Olive Branch Curtis, born in 1874, and who died aged 
nine ; George William Curtis. Jr., personal mention of whom follows this 
article, and Ben Wilkes Curtis, born October 6, 1880. an employee of the 
Cumberland Telephone Company at New Harmony, Ind. 

George William Curtis, influential lawyer of Posey county, senator 
from the First district of Indiana, and citizen of State-wide prominence, 
was born in Mt. Vernon. November 10, 1878. the son of George W. and 
Ruth (Greathouse) Curtis, a personal review of whom precedes this 
article. Senator Curtis received his early educational discipline in the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 221 

schools of his native city, and later entered the University of Indiana, 
from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 
1900. He was admitted to the bar in Mt. Vernon in May, 1901, where he 
has since practiced his profession. Since October, 1910, he has been as- 
sociated in practice with ^Villiam Espenschied, under the firm style of 
Espenchied & Curtis. The firm is recognized as one of the most success- 
ful in Southwestern Indiana, and they have appeared in connection with 
the most important litigations in both the State and Federal courts. 
In the practice of his profession Senator Curtis has attained recognition 
as a leader among his fellow members of the bar through his comprehen- 
sive knowledge of the law, his logic in argument, and as an orator of 
more than usual brilliance. His close attention to business and the hon- 
esty and fairness with which he has treated his clientage have won the 
support and respect of the citizens of his district. His political alle- 
giance has been given the Democratic party, and of his party and its 
policies he has ever been a consistent supporter. He was elected prose- 
cuting attorney of the Eleventh judicial circuit, composed of Posey and 
Gibson counties, in 1904. His record in the administration of the affairs 
of this office was such as to place him in line for the nomination to the 
senatorship from the First district, to which he was elected in 1910. His 
work as a member of the senate during the session of 191 1. was such that 
his colleagues on the Democratic side unanimously selected him as pres- 
ident pro tempore and floor leader during the session of 1913. Much can 
be said of his labors in the last named session. He v/as identified as a 
leader in the framing and passage of the Public Utility Act. The voca- 
tional education bill, passed through his committee, and received his 
active support on the floor of the senate. He was the author of the uni- 
form high school te.xt book law, and through much opposition and by his 
efforts it became a law. In its operation a large saving to the parents of 
the school children will obtain. As floor leader and president pro tem- 
pore, he labored not alone for himself, but by his accommodating disposi- 
tion was of great assistance to all who were working openly for pro- 
gressive Democratic legislation. Through both sessions in which he 
served he took an active part in those measures which were worth while. 
and was considered by his fellow members as one of the energetic and 
active leaders of his party therein. It is generally conceded that as a 
parliamentarian he ranks as a leader in his State ; as an orator he has 
few equals, while his charming personality has endeared him to a wide 
acquaintanceship. He has always stood for the interests of the com- 
mon people, and to his constituents he has been loyal. He possesses abil- 
ity, honesty and courage, while his fairness is an added quality which de- 
serves honorable mention. At this writing, 1913, he has announced 
himself as a candidate for the office of attorney general. The com- 
ment of the press of the State succeeding his announcement shows a con- 



222 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

census of opinion as to his qualifications for the office, which has seldom 
been equaled in its praise of a candidate for nomination. Senator Curtis 
is a member of the Masonic order and the Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks. Of the latter order he is vice-president for Indiana, and 
served during 1912 and 1913 as district deputy. Senator Curtis married, 
on September 16, 1903, Miss Rena Streeby, the daughter of Jay B. 
Streeby, of Mt. Vernon. Mrs. Curtis is a w^oman of wide acquaintance 
and popular in the social circles of her home city, in which she is a 
leader. She is a member of the Martha Hunter (iuild. During the resi- 
dence of Senator Curtis and his wife at the State capitol Mrs. Curtis was 
known as one of the leaders of the official set, and her charm of per- 
sonality and mind assisted greatly in furthering the Senator's influence. 

Julius C. Barter, successful farmer, influential citizen and descend- 
ant of two of I'osey county's pioneer families, was born in the Barter 
home. Second and Walnut streets, Mt. Vernon, on December 30, 1857, 
the son of John L. and Jane (Templeton) Barter. The Barter family is 
of English origin and was founded in Posey county by John Barter, born 
May 14. 1797, in the village of Houl, Devonshire, England, who settled 
with his sons, John, Richard, William and James, in Black township pre- 
vious to 1820. James, the youngest of these sons, and the grandfather of 
our subject, Julius C. Barter, engaged in the general merchandise business 
in Mt. Vernon in 1825, shortly after it became the county seat. John L., 
the son of James, and father of our subject, was born in Mt. Vernon in 
1830. He was also a merchant. He married when a young man, Jane 
Templeton, the daughter of Samuel L. Templeton, a pioneer of Black 
township. He was a native of North Carolina, and entered upon land 
two miles west of Mt. Vernon in 1825. He was a tanner and built and 
operated a tannery upon his farm. He also manufactured harness and 
saddles and later shoes. He was thrifty and became the owner of valu- 
able land interests. He was a member of the Methodist church, active in 
its support, and served as trustee for many years. He married Sally 
Curtis, the daughter of William G. Curtis, a native of North Carolina, 
who was also a pioneer settler of Posey county. Jane Templeton Barter 
was born in Posey county in 1835 and died on December 5, 1902. Her 
surviving children are as follows: Julius C, the subject of this sketch; 
Sally, the widow of Worth Templeton, former trustee of Black town- 
ship, and successful farmer, who resides in Los Angeles, Cal., and Harris, 
who is married and resides in Los Angeles. The eldest child, Mark 
Barter, born December 2, 1855, died in June, 1905. Julius Ceasar 
Barter was reared in the family of his grandfather Templeton, with 
whom his mother went to live when he was four years of age. He 
attended the district schools of Posey county and acquired a good 
common school education. Since early boyhood, farming has been 
his occupation, and in this line of endeavor he is recognized as authority. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 223 

He is the owner of a portion of the old Templeton farm, on which is 
situated "Barter's Grove," one of the favorite picnic grounds near Mt. 
Vernon, and whicli has been the scene of many enjoyable festivities. 
Mr. Barter has been a lifelong Democrat, has been active in the political 
life of the county, but has no inclination for public office. He cast his 
first vote for Samuel J. Tilden. He has never married. 

John Lorenz Schultheis, clerk of the city of Mt. Vernon, is a native 
of Indiana, and was born in Haubstadt, Gibson county, on May 21, 1865, 
the son of Lambert and Elizabeth (Mauder) Schultheis. Lambert Schul- 
theis was born in Germany, September 24, 1838, and died on August 9, 
1903. He came to the United States in 1844, with his father, Michael 
Schultheis, who had $800, considered a large sum for an emigrant at that 
time. He came to Gibson county, Indiana, and bought land. His resi- 
dence in the new land was short, however, as he died about three months 
after investing in Gibson county. Lambert, but six years of age at the 
time of his father's death, was reared in the family of Anton Schaefer, 
a distant relative, and later learned the cooper's trade. When seventeen 
years of age he secured employment, as a cooper, with Anton Raben, of 
St. Wendel, Posey county, remaining in his employ until 1872. From 
the last mentioned year until his death, which occurred in 1903, he fol- 
lowed the carpenter's trade. He was a Democrat in his political affilia- 
tions, and a devout member of the Catholic church. He married when 
a young man, Elizabeth Mauder, the daughter of Joseph and Margaret 
Mauder, of Haubstadt, Gibson county. She was born on May 8, 1839, 
and died on August 29, 1869. They were the parents of four children, 
two of whom survive: John Lorenz, the subject of this review, and 
Kate, who married Victor Knapp, M. D., a resident of Ferdinand, Ind. 
Mary, the eldest child, married August Wolf, who died, and she mar- 
ried Fred Schnautz. of Haubstadt. She died on April 30, 1901. Joseph 
M., the youngest of the children, died January 24, 191 1, aged forty-two. 
Lambert Schultheis married for a second wife, Kate Handel, and of this 
union one son was born, Edmond, a resident of Mt. Carmel, and a cooper 
by trade. John Lorenz Schultheis received his educational training in 
the parochial school of Haubstadt, and was taught the carpenter's trade 
by his father, a line of occupation he followed until 1891, in the vicinity of 
Haubstadt until 1886, when he removed to Mt. Vernon, and until 1891, 
in the last named city. From 1891 to 1895, '^e was employed as clerk by 
William Melton, from 1895 until 1903, in a like capacity by Andrew A. 
Schenk, and from 1903 until January, 1906, as secretary and manager of 
the Mt. Vernon Opera House, by the late August Schieber. In 1905, 
he was elected treasurer of the city of Mt. Vernon, for a four-year term, 
which expired in January, 1910. Llis administration of the affairs of that 
office was such as to secure his election, in 1909, by a flattering majority, 
to the city clerkship, in which position he is now serving. He is a 



224 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Democrat, has been an active worker in his party's interests, and enjoys 
the confidence of his fellow citizens. As a public official, his acts have 
been marked by honesty and fidelity, and the departments of the city's 
business over which he has had charge have been known for their effi- 
ciency. Mr. Schultheis is a member of Posey Aerie, No. 171 7, Fraternal 
Order of Eagles, and of the German Aid Society of Mt. Vernon, of which 
he is secretary. Mr. Schultheis married, on November i, 1898. Miss Anna 
Maus, the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Maus, of Mt. Vernon. Mr. 
Maus was a well known millwright and many of the flouring plants of 
Posey county were built under his supervision. Mrs. Schultheis was born 
on August 15, 1870. There is one child of this union, Ruth E. Schultheis, 
born August 22, 1899. 

George Green Thomas, auditor of Posey county, is a native of Lynn 
town.ship, and was born on his father's farm November 25, 1855. t^^ 
son of James E. and Margaret (Duckworth) Thomas. James E. Thomas 
was born in Waverley, Humphries county, Tennessee, February 22. 1820. 
He came to Posey county in 1839 and entered on land in Lynn town- 
ship. Here he cleared away the forest and developed a fine farming 
propert^^ He underwent the hardships incident to the pioneer of that 
period, labored successfully with the problems at hand, and became a 
man of influence in his township. He was a Democrat, served in town- 
ship office, and was an active supporter of those measures which had 
for their object the betterment of the community. He was a member, of 
the Baptist church and gave generously to its support. He married in 
1840 Miss Margaret Duckworth, the daughter of William Duckworth, a 
pioneer settler of Black township. She was born in Posey county in 
1821. The Duckworth familj' came from North Carolina; and Absalom 
Duckworth entered land in Black township in 181 1, Thomas and James 
in 1817. James E. Thomas died in 1895, 3"*^ 'i'* wife in 1879. Three 
children were born of this union : George G., the subject of this review ; 
Cornelia, the wife of Robert Campbell, owner of extensive ranch prop- 
erty and a resident of Spokane, \\'ash., and Margaret S., the wife of 
David J. Noel, of Carmi, 111., grandson of John Xoel, one of the early 
settlers of Posey county, who died in Mt. Vernon, aged ninety-five. 
Previous to his marriage to Miss Duckworth, Mr. Thomas had married 
Miss May Robinson and of this union one daughter was born : Louisa 
J., the widow of Harrison C. Stout, who was a farmer of Black town- 
ship. She is a resident of Carmi, 111. George Green Thomas acquired 
his education in the public schools of Lynn township and Mt. Vernon. 
Reared on his father's farm, he has been engaged in farming since boy- 
hood, and is recognized as one of the successful agriculturists of his 
county. His farm property, which consists of the old Thomas farm in 
Lynn township, to which he has added by purchase, has improvements 
that are modern in all respects, is well stocked, and is operated at a sat- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 225 

isfactory profit. Mr. Thomas has been a lifelong Democrat. His first 
public office was that of trustee of Lynn township, to which he was 
elected in 1890. He carried the township by a majority of sixty, although 
it had a normal Republican majority of fifteen. In 1906 he was elected 
recorder of Posey county, and was re-elected in 1910. He took office 
January i, 1908, and his present term expires January i, 1916. He has 
made an efficient and courteous official and his administration of the 
business of his office has won the esteem of the citizens of his county. 
Mr. Thomas married on October 23, 1879, Miss Margaret N. Weir, 
the daughter of James Weir, a prominent farmer of Lynn township, and 
member of one of the oldest families in the county. The family was 
founded in Posey county by William Weir, a native of Virginia, who 
settled in Black township in 1807. She is also a granddaughter of 
John Noel, early settler and one of the most prominent citizens of his 
time. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are the parents of one child, a son, Archie 
Lee Thomas. He was educated iu the schools of Lynn township and 
Mt. Vernon, and completed a course in Perkins & Herpel's Commer- 
cial College, St. Louis, in 1901. He is the manager of his father's 
farm interests. Mr. Thomas is in all respects a high type of the con- 
servative, unassuming American, diligent in his various duties and busi- 
ness affairs and conscientious in all things. He is rich in the possession 
of personal popularity and the esteem which comes from honorable 
living. 

Thomas Jefferson Johnson, surveyor of Posey county, is a native of 
Harmony township and was born on his father's farm, four miles east 
of New Harmony, on January 11, 1845, the son of Moses and Elizabeth 
(Johnson) Johnson. The family was founded in Posey county by 
Thomas Johnson, a native of North Carolina, later a resident of Ken- 
tucky, who settled in Harmony township prior to 1816. He was a 
blacksmith, an occupation which he followed while a resident of Posey 
county. He removed to Clay county, Illinois, about 1840, where he 
died. Moses Johnson was born in Harmony township in 1817. Pie was 
a farmer and surveyor. He was a Democrat and was elected county 
surveyor in 1853 and in 1872, and died in 1874 while in office. He was 
a member of the Regular Baptist church. He married Elizabeth John- 
son, a distant relative, who was born in Kentucky in 1813. She died 
in April, 1889. They were the parents of five children, four of whom 
survive : Cynthia, the wife of Orvis S. Endicott, a farmer of New Haven, 
Ind. ; Susan, the widow of Martin Williams, who was a farmer of Robb 
township, Posey county ; she is a resident of Evansville ; Thomas J., 
the subject of this review; and Mary, the widow of Jeddy Pitts, who 
was a well known farmer of Mt. Vernon ; she is a resident of Pomona, 
Cal. Thomas Jefferson Johnson received his early educational training 
in the district schools of Harmony township, later attended the Uni- 



226 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

versity of Indiana, where he completed a two-year course in the law 
department, being a member of the class of 1865. He subsequently 
practiced his profession in Posey county. From the days of his early 
manhood he took an active interest in his father's work as a surveyor 
and became proficient in this line of endeavor. He also was an active 
participant in the political life of his section and an ardent Democrat. 
His first public office was that of assessor of Harmony township. He 
was elected surveyor of Posey county in 1870 and appointed in 1874 
to fill out the unexpired term of his father, who had succeeded him. 
From 1875 until 1881 he farmed in Harmony township. In 1880 he was 
elected to his former office, that of county surveyor, and was re-elected 
in 1882, 1884, 1886 and 1888, serving until January, 1891, when he became 
auditor of the county, having been elected the previous fall. He was 
re-elected to this office in 1894 and served until March, 1899. From 
the last-named year until 1903 he farmed in Center and Point townships. 
In 1902 he was again elected surveyor of Posey county, his seventh 
election to this office. He was re-elected in 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1912, 
his term expiring in January, 1914, and the eleventh which he has served 
As a public official, Mr. Johnson has won the respect and esteem of the 
citizens of his county and his administration of the affairs of his office 
has been marked by honesty, fidelity and high efficiency. In point of 
years of service, few county officials of the State of Indiana have ever 
equalled him, as he will have concluded, when his present term expires 
in 1914, twenty-nine years of public duty, of which twenty-one have 
been passed in the office of surveyor. Mr. Johnson married on March 
18, 1869, Miss Caroline Barrett, of Harmony township, who died De- 
cember 18, 1881. 

William Henry Fogas, ex-secretary of the Indiana State P>oard of 
Pharmacy and well known druggist of Mt. Vernon, was born in that 
city on February 21, 1862, the son of Andrew C. and Mary (Heilman) 
Fogas, natives of Germany. The father was born in the Province of 
Hanover in 1837, and his wife in Hessen-Darmstadt in 1839. Andrew 
C. Fogas came to the United States with his parents in 1841, who located 
in New Orleans, La., and were stricken with yellow fever within a few 
months after their arrival, and died. Andrew, then a boy of four, was 
taken into the family of W'illiam Zimmerman, who had married his 
step-sister. The Zimmermans became residents of Evansville, Ind.. and 
Andrew was apprenticed to the cigarmaker's trade with John Rhine- 
lander, of that city. In 1861 he came to Mt. Vernon and established 
the first cigar factory. He conducted this business until his death in 
1904. a period of forty-three years. He was a successful business man, 
a popular and respected citizen, and an active factor in the commercial, 
civil and social life of the city. He was a Republican in politics, served 
as treasurer of the citv of Mt. Vernon several terms, and took an active 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 227 

part in the campaigns. He was prominently identified with the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows and served as treasurer of the Mt. 
Vernon lodge for some thirty years. He married, when a young man, 
Miss Mary Heilman, the daughter of William Heilman, of Evansville. 
Mrs. Fogas died in igo6. They were the parents of nine children, four 
of whom are living: William H., the subject of this sketch; John T., 
retail druggist; George A. and Fred C, jewelers, all of Indianapolis; 
Mary Louise, the wife of Fred C. Schnur, of Mt. Vernon, died in 1887. 
Four children died in infancy. William Henry Fogas received his early 
educational discipline in the schools of his native city and graduated 
from its high school in 1878. While in the employ of McArthur & 
Company he completed a course in the St. Louis, Mo., College of 
Pharmacy, graduating with the class of 1884. Subsequent to his gradu- 
ation he entered the employ of Joseph G. Gardiner, druggist, Mt. Ver- 
non. He remained with Mr. Gardiner until his death in 1880. From 
1880 to 1884 he clerked for William M. McArthur & Company, when 
he established his present business, which is, at this writing, 1913, the 
oldest in the city. His standing among the pharmacists of the State 
is attested by his appointment as a member of the Indiana State Board 
of Pharmacy in 1907 by Governor Hanly, re-appointed in 1908 and 
appointed by Governor Marshall in 1912. His present term expires in 
1916. He served as secretary of this body in 191 1. He is a Republican, 
takes an active part in the work of his party, and is a consistent sup- 
porter of those measures which have for their object the betterment of 
the community. He has attained the Knights Templars degree in Ma- 
sonry, is a member of La Vallette Commandery and of Hadi Temple 
Shrine of Evansville ; and is also a member of Criterion Lodge, Knights 
of Pythias. Mr. Fogas married on June 24, 18S6, Miss Kate L. Black, 
the daughter of Hon. Asa M. Black, a prominent attorney of Terre 
Haute. They are the parents of one child, a daughter, Alice B. Fogas. 
She is a graduate of the Mt. Vernon High School, Tudor Hall School, 
Indianapolis, and attended for two years Northwestern University, 
Evanston, 111. The family have long been prominent in the social circles 
of their home city. 

William Frier. — A publication of this nature exercises its most impor- 
tant function when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those 
who have risen, through their own unaided efforts, to positions of prom- 
inence and usefulness in the community and who have been of material 
value in its growth and development. Mr. Frier has realized a sub- 
stantial success in the business world, is the owner of an important 
manufacturing enterprise in the city of Mt. Vernon and merits distinctive 
recognition in this publication. William Frier is a native of Illinois and 
was born at Shawneetown on August 12, 1875. ^'^ parents were Wil- 
liam Matthew and Hannah (McGuire) Frier. The father was also born 



228 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

at Shawneetown. He was a printer by trade, an occupation he fol- 
lowed until 1909. From 1892 until 1897 he resided in Mt. Vernon, sub- 
sequently in McLeansboro, 111., and is now a resident of East St. Louis. 
He retired from active business in 1909. William Frier received his 
education in the public schools of his native town and later learned the 
cigarmakers' trade. He came, with his parents, to Mt. Vernon in 1892, 
where he secured employment with A. C. Fogas, a pioneer cigar man- 
ufacturer of the city. He was employed in the Fogas factory until 1897, 
when, with Frank Kahn, he established the Mt. Vernon Cigar Com- 
pany. The following year, 1898, he withdrew from this partnership and 
established his present factory, operated under the business style of 
William Frier, cigar manufacturer. During the fifteen years in which 
this enterprise has been under his ownership and management a trade 
has been developed requiring a factory output of over one million cigars 
per annum. His products have always had that necessary essential to 
success— quality. lie possesses executive ability of a high order, is rec- 
ognized by the trade as a salesman of exceptional ability, and his finan- 
cial judgment sound. Mr. Frier has a substantial and profitable invest- 
ment in Sapulpa, Okla., owning the controlling interest in the firm of 
Lawrence & Frier, wholesale and retail cigar merchants. They have 
a large and growing jobbing business in the territory surrounding Sa- 
pulpa and the most extensive retail business in their line in that city. 
Essentially a business man, Mr. Frier has neither inclination nor time 
for politics. He is independent as to party. On questions and measures 
affecting the welfare of the community he can be relied upon to lend 
his support. He is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevo- 
lent and Protective Order of Elks, Mt. Vernon Aerie, No. 1717, Fraternal 
Order of Eagles, and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a liberal 
contributor in support of the Catholic church. On August 15, 1900, Mr. 
Frier married Miss Lula Lawrence, a daughter of David Lawrence, a 
well known stock dealer of Mt. Vernon. Mrs. Frier is a native of Ala- 
bama and was born in Huntsville on October 27, 1876. They are the 
parents of one child, a son, Lawrence Matthew Frier, born October 3, 
1903. 

Marshall Hume Hall. — History is the preserved record of events — as 
biography is the personal record of those who have been actively con- 
cerned in the molding and action of the events from which history is 
made. A publication of this nature exercises its most important func- 
tion when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens 
who have been of material value in the advancement and development of 
a community. Mr. Hall is well and favorably known to the citizens of 
Posey countv through his service as a public official, which is attested 
through his election in 1912 to the office of sheriff by the largest ma- 
jority ever received by a candidate for that position. Marshall Hume 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 229 

Hall is a native of Posey county and was born on his father's farm in 
Black township December i6, 1859. His father was John T. Hall, a 
native of North Carolina, who settled in Black township about 1830, 
where he took up land and engaged in farming, an occupation which he 
followed until his death, which occurred on April 7, 1869. He was a 
man of strong religious convictions, served as clerk of the Baptist church 
at Farmersville for over twenty-five years, and became an influential 
citizen of his county. He married, when a young man, Lavina, a daugh- 
ter of John Bradley, of Black township, and granddaughter of Cornelius 
Bradley, one of the early pioneers of Posey county. Cornelius Bradley 
was a native of Ireland who came to the Virginia colony previous to 
the War of the Revolution, in which he served until its close. The 
Posey county records show that he drew a pension for his services dur- 
ing the struggle of the colonists for independence. He took up land 
and was engaged in farming in Black township until his death, which 
occurred in 1840. His daughter, Lavina, and her husband, John T. Hail, 
were the parents of six children, of whom but two are living at this writ- 
ing, 1913: Mary E. Whipple, widow of Marion Whipple, residing in 
Black township, and Marshall Hume Hall, the subject of this review. 
Those deceased are Medora, who married Polk Dowen ; Lawrence T. ; 
Edward B. and William J. The latter married Emily Dunn. She is a 
resident of Mt. Vernon. Marshall Hume Hall was called upon to earn 
his living at the age of ten; his father having died in 1869 and his 
mother when he was aged three. His education was acquired in the 
country schools during such time as the earning of a livelihood would 
permit. He was employed as a boy in doing odd jobs and later engaged 
in farming. In 1886 he entered the employ of A. Wassem & Company, 
lumber manufacturers of Mt. Vernon, and remained with this firm until 
1893, when he was appointed custodian of the Posey county court house. 
He was made a deputy sheriff in 1901, and served in this capacity under 
Sheriffs James F. McFaddin. Alonzo K. Grant and Joseph M. Causey. 
Recognition of efficient service was given him in 1912, when he was made 
the nominee of the Democratic party for the office of sheriff and his 
election by a greatly increased majority over previous incumbents of the 
office attests to his qualifications for the position and his popularity 
in the county of his birth. It is certain that his administration of the 
office of sheriff will meet the approval of the citizenship of Posey county, 
as has his service in the past. He is a member of the Mt. Vernon Lodge, 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Court of Honor and of the Metho- 
dist church. Mr. Hall married on February 20, 1884, Ruth, the daugh- 
ter of John and Ellen Russell, of Black township. Mr. Russell was a 
native of England, became a resident of Posey county in 1850, where 
he was a successful farmer and well and favorably known. Mr. Russell 
died in 1872. His widow is a resident of Black township and has reached 



230 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

the ripe age of eighty-seven. Mr. and Mrs. Hall are the parents of three 
children: John \V., born December 4. 1884, a merchant tailor of Mt. 
Vernon; Ina B., born July 31, 1889, employed as cashier by Stinson 
Brothers, Mt. Vernon, and Orran R., born February 9, 1900. 

Theodore Raben, president of the Mt. Vernon Construction Company, 
the Consumers Ice and Cold Storage Company, and the John Larkin 
Company, is a native of Posey county, and was born in St. Wendel, May 
17, i860, the son of Anthony and Mary S. (Ten Barge) Raben, the for- 
mer of Lichtendoorde, Gelderland, Holland, came to the United States in 
1840 and settled in St. Wendel, Posey county, Indiana. He was a cooper 
and he established the first cooper shop in St. Wendel, also the first 
general store. Some years later he formed, with George Naas, the firm 
of Raben & Naas, general merchants and millers. The business of 
this firm grew to be the largest, in point of sales, in the county. They 
owned the leading stores in Mt. Vernon and St. Wendel, and were also 
interested in flour mills in both towns. In 1884 the junior partner, Mr. 
Naas, died and the firm style was changed to Raben & Sons, of which 
firm our subject, Theodore Raben, was an interested principal. The 
money stringency of 1893, together with too generous credits, forced the 
firm to make an assignment, and the business was li(|uidaled. Anthony 
Raben resumed business in St. Wendel, where he conducted a general 
store until his death in 1904. He served as postmaster of that town for 
about fifty years, through both Republican and Democratic administra- 
tions, although he was a Democrat and an active and influential member 
of the party in his section. He was reared a Catholic and gave generously 
toward the support of his church. He married, when a young man, 
Mary S. Ten Barge, who died in 1867. They were the parents of sixteen 
children, eight of whom are living at the present time (1913). They are 
as follows : Johanna, the wife of Frederick Brakamp, merchant tailor, 
of Evansville ; John, a retired farmer, of St. Wendel ; Joseph, who owns 
extensive farm property near Ridgeway, 111. ; Theodore, the subject of 
this review ; Mary, the wife of Frank Thuis, a well known manufacturer 
of Vincennes ; Louisa, the wife of Anthony Louix, wholesale dealer in 
dairy products, Evansville ; Charles, a general merchant of St. Wendel, 
and who succeeded his father in that line; and Elizabeth, the wife of 
George Mann, a farmer of Black township. Five children died in in- 
fancy and the following lived to maturity : Anna, the wife of William 
Heyns, the well known furniture dealer and manufacturer of Evansville, 
who was the owner of the Vendome Hotel and promoted the organiza- 
tion of the company which built the present structure, operated as the 
new Vendome ; died in 1891 ; Kate, the wife of Joseph Ebner, president 
of the Consolidated Ice Company, of Vincennes, died in 1893; and 
Henry, manager of the Raben merchandise business and mill at St. Wen- 
del, died in 1910. Theodore Raben received his early educational dis- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 23I 

cipline in the public schools of St. Wendel, which was supple- 
mented by a course in St. Meinrad's College, Spencer county, 
Indiana, and St. Francis College, Teotopolis, 111. He also attended a 
commercial college at Evansville and completed a course there in 1879. 
His first employment was with the firm of Hankins, Naas & Co., for 
whom he clerked from 1876 until 1879, and in the last named year he en- 
tered the employ of Fuhrer, Boyce & Co., millers and grain dealers, of 
Mt. Vernon, of which firm his father was a partner. In 1881 he married, 
resigned his position in Mt. Vernon and removed to St. Wendel, where 
he had secured a position with the firm of Raben & Naas, general mer- 
chants and millers, of which his father was the senior partner. On the 
death of Mr. Naas in 1884 the firm of Raben & Sons was organized and 
he became an interested principal, and he was given the management 
of the Mt. Vernon store, of which he was in charge until the closing out 
of the business in 1893. From 1893 i-intil i8g6 he was the resident agent 
at Mt. Vernon of the Fulton Avenue Brewing Company, of Evansville. 
In the the last named year Rosa Raben secured the agency for southwest- 
ern Indiana and southeastern Illinois from the American Brewing Com- 
pany, of St. Louis, for their product, and Mr. Raben covered the ter- 
ritory as her agent, continuing in this capacity until 1898, when she se- 
cured the Mt. Vernon agency of the F. W. Cook Brewing Company, of 
Evansville, since which time he has been her agent. In 1907 he, 
with Rosa Raben, Louis Raben and S. A. Gano organized the Mt. Vernon 
Construction Company. It was incorporated with a paid-in capital of 
twenty-five thousand dollars and the following officers elected : Presi- 
dent, Theodore Raben ; secretary and treasurer, Louis W Raben ; and 
S. A. Gano, general manager. Since the establishment of its business, in 
1907, the company has constructed fifteen miles of rock road in Gibson 
county, sixty-five miles of gravel road in Posey county, and some two 
hundred bridges, the latter of various types, and all in Posey county. 
The company operate a large gravel plant at New Harmony and are 
extensive employers of labor, as many as one hundred teams and two 
hundred men having been on the pay roll at one time. The 
work done by the company has given entire satisfaction, the business is 
in a most satisfactory condition, has paid large dividends to the stock- 
holders, and since the retirement of Mr. Gano, in 1909, has been under 
the management of Louis W. Raben, the secretary and treasurer. In 
1901 our subject, with Allyn B. Hart and the late August Schieber, or- 
ganized the Consumers' Ice and Cold Storage Company, of Mt. Vernon 
(see chapter on Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises), of which 
he is president. He is also president of the John Larkin Company, of Mt. 
Vernon, manufacturers of washing compounds and toilet preparations. 
As a builder of residence property Mr. Raben has done much for the city 
of Mt. Vernon, having built within the past ten years twenty-one houses. 



232 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

He has had in view, as his principal object in this work, the offering of 
an opportunity to men of the laboring and salaried class to own their own 
homes, as he has sold on the small payment plan and at prices which 
have been reasonable. Measures having for their object the welfare of the 
city and its residents have always received his active support. His 
political allegiance has been given to the Democratic part}^ He is a 
member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, and of its house committee since the General Hovey home was 
purchased; Posey aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the German 
Aid Society of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Raben married, on May 17, 1881, 
Miss Rosa Fuelling, the daughter of Clamour and Regina Fuelling, of 
Mt. Vernon, where Mr. Fuelling is a well known merchant tailor. 
They are the parents of three children: .Antoinette, born December 13, 
1883, the wife of John W. Hall, dry cleaner and tailor of Mt. Vernon; 
Louis W. Raben, a sketch of whom follows this review; and Vera, born 
March 16, 1S92, who resides with her parents. In the successes realized 
by Mr. Raben, and they are substantial ones, his wife has been of poten- 
tial assistance. Shortly after their marriage, when reverses had swept 
away about all he possessed, her sympathy, counsel and courage put 
heart and fighting spirit into his efforts, while her sound business judg- 
ment, keen financial sense, and sound advice were drawn upon within 
stint. Her possession of business qualification of high order have in no 
wise detracted from her love of home and family. She has reared her 
children to be useful citizens, the home life of the family has been per- 
fect, and she is one of the popular hostesses of her home city. 

Louis William Raben, secretary, treasurer and general manager of the 
Mt. \'ernon Construction Company, is a native of Posey county and was 
born in Mt. Vernon on July 26, 1887, the son of Theodore and Rosa 
^Fuelling) Raben, personal mention of whom precedes this review. 
Louis \\'. Raben received his early educational discipline in the public 
schools of Mt. Vernon and subsequently completed a course in the Chris- 
tian Brothers College at St. Louis, Mo. In 1903, when but seventeen 
years of age, he entered the employ of the Lee Lumber Company, of 
Memphis, Tenn., as bookkeeper, a position he filled with credit until 
1906, when ill health compelled him to resign. He returned to Mt. Ver- 
non and spent the year in recuperating from an operation. In 1907 he 
assisted in the organization of the Mt. Vernon Construction Company, 
and upon its incorporation was elected secretary and treasurer. In 1909 
he was made general manager, succeeding S. A. Gano, who had filled the 
position since the establishment of the business. That he possesses busi- 
ness qualifications of high order is proven in the growth of the business 
of the company under his management, together with the standard of 
work which it has completed. He has pluck and energ}-, a pleasing per- 
sonality and is recognized as one of the most successful of the young 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 233 

business men of the county. Mr. Raben is unmarried and resides with 
his parents. He is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks, of which he is lecturing knight. He is 
a communicant of the Catholic church. 

Daniel Oscar Barker, a leading lawyer of southwestern Indiana and a 
prominent citizen of Posey county, of which he is a native, was born on 
his father's farm in Robb township, July 31, 1853, the son of Hiram and 
Elizabeth A. (Fitzgerrell) Barker. Hiram Barker is a native of Ken- 
tucky, born near Bowling Green on February 25, 1824, and novv' a resident 
of the city of Mt. Vernon. He came to Indiana when a lad of ten years 
of age, his parents locating in Gibson count}'. Here he spent the early 
years of his life, underwent the vicissitudes incident to that pioneer 
period, and became a successful farmer. His farm and residence were 
near the city of Owensville. He became a resident of Mt. Vernon about 
1889, and is one of the oldest men in Posey county, his ninetieth birth- 
day occurring in 1914. His wiie was a daughter of John S. Fitzgerrell, 
who was a native of Posey county, and the son of James and Elizabeth 
(Ray) Fitzgerrell, natives of Ireland, who became pioneer settlers in 
Robb township. Daniel Oscar Barker acquired his early education in 
the public schools of Owensville. Subsequently he entered the law de- 
partment of the Indiana State University and was graduated a member 
of the class of 1875. He located for practice in Brinston, Ind., where he 
remained but a few months, removing to McPherson, Kan., the county 
seat of McPherson county, then in its formative period. Here he built 
up a lucrative business, v/as recognized as one of the leading men in his 
profession in the county, and attained an influential position as a citi- 
zen. The severe crop failures, grasshopper plague and reaction from 
the booming of county seat towns in the early '80s, caused him to 
return to Indiana, in 1885. He became a resident of the city of Mt. Ver- 
non and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1897 'i^ formed, 
with George F. Zimmerman, a son-in-law, the firm of Barker & Zimmer- 
man, and was his associate in practice until 1907. In 1909 he formed 
with Roscoe Usher, his son, the firm of Barker & Barker, with which he 
was connected at the time of his death, on February 25, 1910. During 
his practice in Posey county, which covered a span of twenty-five years, 
Mr. Barker appeared in connection with the most important litigations 
in its courts. He had wide and comprehensive knowledge of the science 
of jurisprudence, was a man of strong character and individuality, an 
orator of no mean power and in argument logical and convincing. He 
was held in high esteem by the fellow members of his profession and the 
citizens of his county, in whidh he attained a position of prominence. Mr. 
Barker married, on May 25, 1876, Miss Alice B. Doss, the daughter of 
Azriah Doss, who built the first grist mill in Posey county. This was 
located at Blairsville. Mr. and Mrs. Barker became the parents of six 



234 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

children, five of whom are living. They are, in order of birth, as follows: 
Mabel, born January 8, 1878, the wife of George F. Zimmerman, for 
ten years the associate of Mr. Barker in the practice of law and now a res- 
ident of Oklahoma City, Okla. ; Roscoe Usher Barker, a review of whom 
follows this article: Mary V., born February 20. 1889; Claude F., born 
July I, 1892, an employe of the Chalmers Motor Company, of Detroit, 
Mich. ; and Gladys A., born October 2, 1894, a graduate of the Mt. Ver- 
non High School, class of 1912; Loyette Barker, born July 8, 1882, died 
February 4. 1902. When a child of eighteen months she received an 
injury that resulted in curvature of the spine. She was a brilliant 
scholar and though an invalid through life was insistent on being al- 
lowed to attend school, and completed the tenth grade. Mr. Barker was 
a high type of the American gentleman, unassuming and conservative, 
diligent in his duties and commercial affairs, and conscientious in all 
things. Me was a student, possessed a large and well selected library 
and kept thoroughly in touch with the men and affairs of his day. Po- 
litical office never appealed to him, although he never neglected in the 
least his civic duties. He was a Democrat. He was a member of the 
Masonic order and prominent in the work of the various bodies of that 
order in Mt. Vernon. He was a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 
277, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Criterion Lodge, 
Knights of Pythias. 

Roscoe Usher Barker, prosecuting attorney of the Eleventh judicial 
circuit (if Indiana, was born at McPherson, Kan., November 2, 1879, the 
son of Daniel O. and Alice B. (Doss) Barker, a review of whom precedes 
this article. Roscoe U. Barker was reared in the city of Mt. Vernon, where 
his parents located when he was six years of age. His early education was 
gained in the schools of the city and subsequently he entered the lit- 
erary department of the Indiana University, from which he was grad- 
uated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 1901. He re- 
ceived the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1907. He engaged in teaching 
in the school year 1901-2 in Mt. Vernon, and was principal of the gram- 
mar school during the years 1902-3-4 and 1905. From 1905 until 1907 
he was in the office of Baker & Zimmerman, of which his father was the 
senior member. In the last named year he commenced the active prac- 
tice of law. although admitted to the bar in 1901. He formed with his 
father, in 1909, the firm of Barker & Barker, an association which lasted 
but one year, his father's death occurring in 1910. He was appointed to 
his present office on March i, 1913. by Governor Ralston, for a term of 
two years, his circuit, the Eleventh, comprising Posey county, having 
been cut down by the making of Gibson county a separate circuit in 1913. 
Since attaining his majority he has taken an active part in the political 
affairs of his home city and county. He is president of the Democratic 
Central Committee of Mt. Vernon, and is influential in the councils of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 235 

his party. He has attained the Council degree.s in Masonry and is a 
member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 2TJ, Benevolent and Protective Order 
of Elks, of which he is exalted ruler. Mr. Barker is recognized as not 
only one of the coming men of the Indiana State bar, but as one of the 
progressive citizens of Mt. Vernon who are using their best efforts 
toward the growth and development of their city. 

Frederick W. Nolte, deceased, formerly a farmer and land owner on 
a large scale, was born in Prussia, Germany, June 14, 1847, '^'''d died 
August 20, 1899. He was a son of August and Charlotte (Schwartz) 
Nolte, natives of Germany, who came to the United States in 1856, locat- 
ing at Evansville, Ind., where he followed the occupation of shoemaker. 
Frederick Nolte obtained a good German education in the schools of 
Germany, but his English education was acquired by his own efforts. 
At the age of thirteen years he began clerking in a dry goods, boot and 
shoe establishment in Evansville, continuing there for a number of 
years, and then going into an exclusive dry goods store. Here he re- 
mained seven years. Later he became managing proprietor of a large 
dry goods store, but discontinued this after eighteen months and became 
a traveling salesman, which vocation he followed successfully for five 
years. In 1880 he removed to Mt. Vernon and bought 1,400 acres of 
land, at once becoming a successful farmer on a large scale. Frederick 
Nolte was twice married. His first wife was Miss Lizzie Link, whom he 
married in 1875, but who lived but seven months after their marriage. 
On April 23, 1879, Mr. Nolte married Miss Mary Ann Evison, daughter 
of James and Mary Ann (Broadhead) Evison. She was born May 10, 
1855, in Mt. Vernon. Her father was born March 16, 1809, in England 
and came to America by way of New Orleans at the age of twenty-five. 
He died September 5, 1873, ^^ ^^- Vernon, where he had been a merchant 
tailor. He was a consistent member of the Episcopal church. During 
the Civil war he was a member of the State Home Guards. Mr. Evison 
was married, August 13, 1839, to Miss Mary Ann Broadhead, daughter of 
William and Mary Ann (Baldwin) Broadhead. Mary Ann Broadhead 
was born April 12, 1813, and died August 3, 1883. They had seven chil- 
dren, all of whom died in infancy except Mary Ann, who became Mrs. 
Frederick Nolte. Mr. and Mrs. Nolte had six children, four daughters 
and two sons: Mary Evison, born September 17, 1880, graduated from 
the Mt. Vernon High School and became a teacher of note in the State, 
married E. M. Spencer, Jr. (see sketch of Elijah M. Spencer), November 
30, 1900, and they have one child, Elizabeth, born July 20, 1901 ; Lola 
Evison, born November 3, 1881 ; Frederick Evison, born February 25, 
1884; James Evison, born April 2, 1885; Lucy Isabel, born January i, 
1892; Emily, born August 9. 1894. 

George Washington Robertson, deceased, inventor, banker and public 
official, was born December 22, 1842, in Connersville, Ind., son of Thomas 



236 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

and Lydia (Frost) Robertson, natives of Westchester county, New- 
York. He was the eldest of five children. After finishing high school 
he became a clerk to a quartermaster in the United States Navy at the 
age of nineteen. At the age of twenty-one he was commissioned pay- 
master of the flag ship "Carondelet" for a fleet of twentj^-one vessels. 
On account of sickness he resigned after a service of four years, and 
after remaining one j'ear at a sanitarium in New York he entered the 
college at Marietta, Ohio, taking the full collegiate course. He then 
took a commercial course in Chicago, all at his own expense. He be- 
came clerk in a bank at Muncie, Ind., and later in Evansville, Ind. 
In i88o he organized the Monticello National Bank at Monticello, Ind., 
becomings its cashier and its active head. Three years later he came to 
Mt. Vernon and became assistant cashier of the First National Rank. 
Under President Harrison's administration he was appointed chief of 
the redemption division of the United States Treasury, holding this office 
ten years. He assisted in counting all the funds in the United States 
treasury for both the outgoing and incoming administrations of Presi- 
dents Cleveland and Harri.son. Mr. Robertson also was an inventor, hav- 
ing patented the Robertson machine gun, which he sold to the Govern- 
ment for use in the army and navy. He had a number of other patents, 
among which was the automobile seat. He retired from active life in 
1899 and died July 5, 1912. In politics he was a Republican and his fra- 
ternal affiliations were with the Knights Templars. On June 10, 1875, 
Mr. Robertson married Miss .Anna PuUar Lockwood, daughter of John 
M. and Caroline Charlotte CNewman) Lockwood. She was born Novem- 
ber 23. 1852, at Evansville. Ind. John M. Lockwood was a descendant 
of Edmund Lockwood, who came with Governor Winthrop and his Pil- 
grim band in 1630. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson had one child, Estella Lock- 
wood. She lives with her mother at 604 Main street, Mt. Vernon, on Lot 
No. 179, corner of Main and Sixth streets, which is the same lot on which 
the first school house in Posey county was built. Miss Robertson is an 
expert musician and a teacher of theory, harmony and composition. She 
was educated in Chicago and in Washington, D. C. Mrs. Robertson is 
a literary woman, making frequent contributions to the press on historic 
subjects and on present day matters of general interest. 

Hon. William Gonnerman. — Success in an}- line of occu]->ation, in any 
avenue of business, is not a matter of spontaneity, but represents the 
result of the application of definite subjective forces and the controlling 
of objective agencies in such a way as to achieve desired ends. Mr. 
Gonnerman has realized a large and substantial success in the business 
world and his career has well exemplified the truth of the foregoing 
statements. He occupies today a large place in the commercial circles 
of the city of ilt. Vernon and is a potential force in its most important 
industry. He has large and varied capitalistic interests and is one of the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 237 

distinctively representative men of Posey county. Progressive and en- 
ergetic in the management of these varied affairs, loyal and public spir- 
ited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem 
of the community and has contributed in large measure to the industrial 
advancement of Mt. Vernon. He is vice-president of the Keck-Gonner- 
man Company and the People's Bank and Trust Company and president 
of the Industrial Brick Companj^ specifically mentioned on other pages 
of this volume. William Gonnerman is a native of Germany and was 
born in Solz, county of Rodenberg, Province of Hessen-Nassau, on Jan- 
uary 5, 1856, the son of Adam and Martha (Ripple) Gonnerman. The 
father, Adam Gonnerman, owned and managed a bakery in the town of 
Solz, having learned the trade when a boy, and the business has, since his 
death, been conducted by his son-in-law. Mrs. Gonnerman survived the 
death of her husband but three years, passing to her reward in 1904. The 
surviving children by this union are: Catherine, the widow of Johann 
Schaefer, machinist of Sontra, Germany ; Christina, the wife of \\'illiam 
Shaus, a farmer of Armstrong, Vanderburg county, Indiana ; Conrad, 
foreman of the Louisville & Nashville railroad's freight depot in Evans- 
viile ; Rudolph, in the forestry service of the German government ; Wil- 
liam, the subject of this review; Henry, secretary of insurance for the 
Province of Nassau ; Elizabeth, the wife of George Gross, of Sontra; Her- 
man, a retired baker, of Eschwege, Germany; Eliza, the wife of Fred 
Eichholz, a saloonkeeper, of Cassel ; Christian, proprietor of a bakery 
in Eschwege, Germany ; and Julia, the wife of Henry Abel, baker, of 
Solz, Germany, and successor to Adam Gonnerman. Adam J. Gonner- 
man, the eldest child of this union, died in 1883. William Gonnerman re- 
ceived his education in the pviblic schools of his native town, was ap- 
prenticed to the machinist's trade, which he learned under his brother- 
in-law, Johann Shaefer, and became a journeyman machinist at the age 
of seventeen. In 1873 ^^^ decided to avail himself of the broader opportu- 
nities offered in the United States. He landed at Castle Garden, and 
later came to Evansville, Ind. He secured employment in the foundry 
and machine shops of Conrad Gratz, and was made foreman in 1878, a 
position which he creditably filled until 1884. In the year mentioned 
he removed to Mt. Vernon, and here instituted his first independent busi- 
ness venture. With John Keck and Henry Kippler he formed the firm 
of Keck, Gonnerman & Co., and engaged in the foundry business. From 
the modest enterprise thus established has been developed the extensive 
and important industry of the Keck-Gonnerman Company, the most 
important industrial plant in Posey county, and one of the largest and 
most successful in southwestern Indiana. As vice-president in charge 
of the manufacturing and sales departments of the company he has been 
responsible for the high standard of quality maintained ih its products, 
their efficiency in performance, and improvement in design. That he 



238 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

possesses the qualifications necessary to the successful management of 
the departments under his charge is proven by the highly satisfactory 
growth of the business of the corporation. He is also president of the 
Industrial Brick Company, of Mt. Vernon, of which he and Louis A. 
Keck were the principal organizers. A review of these enterprises is 
found in the chapter, "Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises," to 
which the reader is referred for supplemental information. In 1908 he, 
with Charles A. Greathouse. organized the People's Rank and Trust 
Company, of Mt. Vernon. He was elected vice-president on its incorpora- 
tion and is still serving in that capacity. A review of this institution is 
found in the chapter, "Ranks and Banking." For some time he was 
the senior member of the f(irm of William Gonnerman & Co., who owned 
and operated the electric lighting plant at \lt. \'ernon. Mr. Gonnerman 
has always taken an active interest in the questions of the day and he 
has actively supported, both with time and money, those measures 
which have had for their object the betterment of civic, commercial and 
social conditions. He is a Republican. He was elected to the city coun- 
cil in 1890 and served for ten years. He introduced the measure, which 
was passed, providing the fund for the building of the present city hall, 
and it was through his efforts that modern fire equipment was provided 
by the city. He was elected to the State senate in 1904 and served one 
term, which included the regular sessions of 1907 and 1909 and the special 
session of 1908. He was made chairman of one of the most important of the 
committees, that of manufactures, and was a member of those on banks 
and banking, agriculture, executive appointments, labor, fees and sal- 
aries, claims and expenditures, and congressional apportionment. He 
refused to become a candidate for renomination, as his business affairs 
required his attention. His election to the senate was a distinct personal 
victory, as he received a majority of 198 in a district having a normal 
Democratic majority of 600. Mr. Gonnerman is a member of Mt. Vernon 
Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Criterion 
lodge. Knights of Pythias, and the Modern \Voodmen of America. He 
is a member and generous supporter of the German Lutheran church. 
Mr. Gonnerman married, on September 7, 1875, Miss Lena Alexander, 
the daughter of Henry Alexander, a farmer of Rheinfaltz, of Germany. 
She died on April 5, 1891. They were the parents of the following chil- 
dren: Margaret, born November 13, 1876, the wife of Joseph Forthof- 
fer, a machinist in the employ of the Keck-Gonnerman Company ; Cath- 
erine, born July 20. 1878, the wife of William Espencheid. an attorney 
of Mt. \'ernon, a sketch of whom is published in this work; Caroline, 
born May 15, 1880, the wife of Ray Smith, lumber dealer of Mt. Vernon; 
W'illiam H. Gonnerman, born July 23, 1884, mechanical engineer, Keck- 
Gonnerman Company, and a graduate of Purdue Universit}', class of 
1906, and Lena, born December 31. 1888. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 239 

William Mason Holton, M. D. — Among the physicians and surgeons 
of Indiana who attained a distinction merited by years of study, observa- 
tion and practice, was he whose name initiates this article. An active 
practitioner in his profession for fifty-eight years, he equalled, in length 
of service, the record of American practice. Doctor Holton was born in 
Westminster, Vt., on July 15, 1827, a son of William and Betsey (Mason) 
Holton. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early 
settlers of America, and numbered among them are men who achieved 
distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in the commercial era 
which followed, in the French and Indian wars, and later in the War 
of the Revolution. The Holton family was founded in America by Wil- 
liam Holton, a native of Ipswich, England, who came to the Massachu- 
setts Colony in 1634. He removed to Hartford, Conn., in 1636, where he 
was one of the first settlers, and died in Northampton, Mass., August 12, 
i6gi. He was a member of the first board of magistrates and a repre- 
sentative to the grand court. Doctor Holton is descended from William 
Holton as follows: John, the son of William, born in Hartford, died in 
Northampton, Mass., April 14, 1712. William, son of John, a resident 
of Northampton, Mass., died in 1756; John, son of William, was born 
in Northampton, Mass., August 24, 1707, died in Northfield, Mass., Octo- 
ber, 1793. Joel, son of John, born in Northfield, Mass., July 10, 1738, 
died August 12, 1821. He was one of the twelve original settlers of 
Westminster, Vt., built and owned the first saw mill in the town, and 
was one of its most influential citizens. His brother, Solomon Holton, 
was a lieutenant in the Colonial army and served throughout the W^ar 
of the Revolution. William, the son of Joel, was born in Westminster, 
Vt., July 26, 1771. He was a farmer and removed to McDonough county, 
Illinois, in 1835. where he died in 1857. His son, William, born in West- 
minster, Vt., October 31, 1801, was the father of Doctor Holton. He was 
a farmer, and with his father settled in McDonough county, Illinois, in 
1835. He married, on September 15, 1826, at Cavendish, Vt., Betsey Ma- 
son, a member of a pioneer family of that State. William Mason Hol- 
ton acquired his literary education in the public schools of Vermont and 
Illinois. He later determined to make the practice of medicine his life 
work and entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of New York 
City, from which he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medi- 
cine in 1852. Following his graduation he spent one year in practice in 
that city. In 1853 he removed to Plymouth, III., practicing his profession 
in that town until 1859, when he came to Posey county, Indiana, and 
located in Slewartsville. Doctor Holton served for about two years in 
support of the Union cause in the Civil war. He enlisted in 1861 in Com- 
pany D, Sixtieth Indiana volunteer infantry, and became lieutenant of 
his company. He was transferred by Governor Morton, in 1862, to the 
Twenty-fifth Indiana and served as assistant surgeon of that regiment 



"f^UTTZATJOTi WOrS^ 



240 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

until 1863, when he was compelled to resign on -account of ill health. 
In 1863 he located at New Harmony, his place of residence until his 
death, which occurred on December 13, 1910. As a physician and sur- 
geon he was considered one of the most able in his section of the State. 
Until his death, at the age of eighty-three, he continued to keep up his 
interest in the advancement of the science of medicine. He possessed a 
large library, which was well selected and of wide range. He was a stu- 
dent all his life, a great reader, and kept abreast of the times, not only 
as to his profession, but upon general subjects as well. He was a mem- 
ber of the Posey County Medical Society, the Indiana State Medical So- 
ciety and the American Medical Association. The meetings of these or- 
ganizations were his opportunity for relaxation from practice, kept him 
in touch with fellow practitioners and the advancement in medicine and 
surgery. He seldom failed to attend these gatherings, even during his 
latter years. He took an active interest in the political affairs of his 
county and State, was a Republican from the birth of the party, and in- 
fluential in the councils of his local organizations. He had neither incli- 
nation nor time for public office, although frequently urged to become a 
candidate. Doctor Holton married, at Elizabethtown, Essex county, 
New York, on March 14, 1853, Miss Caroline E. Cuyler, the daughter of 
Col. E. S. Cuyler, a prominent lawyer of Essex, and a member of one of 
the pioneer families of that section of the State. She was born in Essex, 
Essex county, on December 24, 1S33. and died in New Harmony, March 
8, 1873. Tliey were parents of eight children, five of whom are living. 
They are as follows: Mrs. Fannie C. Kight, of Washburn, 111.; Mrs. 
Cornelia Catherine Brigham, of Chicago, 111. ; Mrs. Minnie G. Bailey, the 
wife of William S. Bailey, lawyer of Tulsa, Okla. ; William E. Holton, 
cashier of the Mt. Vernon National Bank, a review of whose life follows 
this sketch; and Frank C. Holton, of Plymouth, 111., an employe of the 
Post Office Department, rural mail service. Those deceased are : Emma 
E., who married Leo Kahn, of Evansville, Ind. ; Charlotte E., who was the 
wife of August Duysing, of Evansville ; and Mary Alice, who died 
August 4, 1875. The tributes of respect, and in many cases of affec- 
tion, called forth by the death of Doctor Holton have seldom been 
equalled in Posey county in the passing away of a citizen. His life work 
was finished ; it had met to a great extent the fullness of his ambition. 
But infinitely more precious and of personal consequence to him was 
the fact that he died rich in the possession of a well earned popularity, 
and in the affection that slowly develops only from unselfish works. 

William Edward Holton. — The growth and development of Posey 
county, particularl}' its commercial and industrial development, has been 
accomplished by and with the assistance of its financial institutions. In 
the conduct of the business of its banks opportunity has been given many 
men to exercise not onh^ their financial talents, but to greatly assist in 



iaUTlLATiON ^(Jlpip. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 245 

prior to his death, which occurred January 31, 1899. He was married 
July 15, 1840, and had thirteen children as follows: Julia A., Darius 
North, Mary Jane, Charles P., Louise Catherine, Nathaniel Stewart, Al- 
vin Hovey, Emily, William, Ira Hackett, James Madison, Edwin Sher- 
man and Derusha Ella. Mr. and Mrs. MacGregor had three children: 
Olive, born October 11, 1869, married Frank M. Smith, June 27, 1894, 
had one child, Francis McGregor, born April 5, 1900, and lost her husband 
January 6, 1900; Inez, born October i, 1872; Charles Monroe, born June 
2, 1876. graduate of Purdue University, at Lafayette, Ind., now an 
electrician of Mt. Vernon. Charles Married Miss Mabel Clair Highman, 
on November 27, 1907, and they have one child, Sarah Catherine, born 
December 2, 1908. 

William Espenschied, prominent attorney, popular citizen, and senior 
member of the law firm of Espenschied & Curtis, of Mt. Vernon, was 
born at Leavenworth, Kan., April 2'/, 1876, the son of Peter and Kath- 
erine (Schnarr) Espenschied. Mr. Espenschied was reared in the city 
of Mt. Vernon, of which his parents became residents in 1878, was grad- 
uated from its high school in 1892, and completed a two-year course in 
the State University at Bloomington. From 1895 until 1897, he was en- 
gaged in teaching in the public schools of Posey county. He then read 
law and was admitted to practice in 1898. In November of the last 
named year he was appointed deputy prosecuting attorney for the 
Eleventh judicial district, composed of Posey and Gibson counties. He 
remained in this position until 1901, when he became prosecuting attor- 
ney of this district, having been elected in 1900. He was elected to 
succeed himself in 1902. His record in the office was creditable to him- 
self and to his constituents. Following his retirement, in 1905, he re- 
sumed the practice of law, and in 1910 formed with Hon. George Wil- 
liam Curtis the firm of Espenschied & Curtis. During the years of his 
practice, Mr. Espenschied has appeared in connection with important 
litigations in both the State and Federal courts, and is recognized by 
members of the bar as an able and conscientious practitioner. He is a 
member of the Masonic order and of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benev- 
olent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Espenschied married, on October 
30, 1901, Miss Katherine Gonnerman, daughter of Hon. William Gonner- 
man, a personal review of whom appears elsewhere in this work. They 
are the parents of one child, William Peter Espenschied, born August 
28, 1903. 

Kelly De Fur, clerk of the circuit court of Posey county, was born on 
his father's farm near Wadesville, Center township, on May 5, 1875, 
the son of Theophilus and Eliza (Wade) De Fur. He is of French an- 
cestry on the paternal side, the De Fur family having been founded in 
America during the Colonial period, when his ancestors came from 
France to the Carolina colony. The family dates its founding in Posey 



246 HISTORY OF POSEV COUNTY 

county from the settlement in Robb township of De Fur, the 

great-grandfather of our subject. Thomas De Fur, his son, became a 
man of infkience in his township, was a farmer, a lifelong Democrat, 
and supported the Christian church. Theophilus, the son of Thomas and 
father of our subject, was born in Robb township. He was a car- 
penter and cabinet maker. He sold furniture, made coffins, and acted 
as the undertaker of that district. He married Eliza Wade, the daughter 
of Thomas Wade, a native of South Carolina, and a pioneer resident of 
Center township. He was a successful farmer, influential, and founder 
of the town of Wadesville. Theophilus De Fur and wife were the par- 
ents of four children, three of whom survive his death, which occurred on 
January 24. 1886. They are: William E. De Fur, a machinist of Ash- 
ton, 111.; Kelly, the subject of this sketch, and Omar, born May 18, 1885, 
of Wadesville, with whom the mother resides. A son, Thomas, died an 
infant. Kelly De Fur received his education in the schools of Center 
township, working during his boyhood years as a farm hand. In 1893, 
he entered the employ of Thomas D. Shelton, grain dealer of Wades- 
ville, as bookkeeper and buyer, remaining in this position until 1895, 
when he became a clerk in the general store of James Cross, Wadesville. 
In 1904, he formed a partnership with Walter Williams, under the firm 
name of De Fur & Williams, and they engaged in the hardware busi- 
ness at Wadesville. He disposed of his interest in this enterprise in 1905 
and secured a position as a traveling salesman, which he followed until 
March, 1906, when he formed with Louis Schlosser, a brother-in-law, the 
firm of De Fur & Schlosser, general merchants, Wadesville. In 1909, 
the interest of Mr. Schlosser was bought by John A. Wade, and the firm 
style changed to De Fur & Wade. The business was liquidated in 191 1. 
Subsequently, Mr. De Fur, a lifelong Democrat, received the nomination 
of clerk of the circuit court, and was elected by more than the normal 
majority. He entered office on January i, 1913. Since his incumbency 
of the office, the administration of its business affairs have been such 
as to receive public commendation. He is an untiring worker, his 
courtesy is unfailing, and he possesses the qualifications for the success- 
ful conduct of the office. Mr. De Fur is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Modern Woodmen of America. He 
married on November 3, 1898, Miss Emma Schlosser, the daughter of 
Christian Schlosser, a well known farmer of Wadesville. They are the 
parents of two children : Dale De Fur, born June 3, 1900, and Clyde De 
Fur. born January i, 1910. 

Charles Smith, Jr., founder of the retail lumber firm of Charles Smith 
& Sons, well known citizen of Posey county, and veteran of the Civil 
war, was a native of Germany, born in Baden on June 8. 1844, the son 
of Carl Schmidt, who brought his family to the United States in 1852, 
and first settled in Shawneetown, 111. He afterwards removed to Carmi, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 247 

that State, and later became a resident of Mt. Vernon, Ind., where he 
was engaged in the saw mill and lumber business, from which he retired 
in 1890, and died in Mt. Vernon in 1902. Charles Smith, Jr., as the name 
is now spelled, enlisted in Company F, Eighty-seventh Illinois volunteer 
mounted infantry on August 15, 1862, and served for three years with his 
regiment, being mustered out in Helena, Ark., June 16, 1865. On the 
conclusion of his military service he entered the employ of Charles 
Schaumberger, a retail grocer of Mt. Vernon. About 1868, he formed 
with his father, the firm of Charles Smith & Son, and engaged in the 
manufacture of lumber, their mill being at the corner of Sycamore and 
Saw Mill streets. In 1882, Louis Smith, a brother, was admitted to part- 
nership, and the firm named changed to Charles Smith & Sons. In 1886, 
the entire plant was destroyed by fire, the loss suffered being a total one, 
as they carried no insurance. Two years later the business was moved 
to its present location on Second street. In 1890, the elder Smith retired 
and the business was continued by the sons under the firm style of 
Charles Smith, Jr., & Brother. In 1901, Louis Smith retired from the 
firm, and Mr. Smith's four sons were admitted to partnership, under the 
present name of Charles Smith, Jr., & Sons. On January 24 of the fol- 
lowing year, 1902, Mr. Smith died, his life work ended, and which in- 
cluded one of his cherished wishes ; the establishing of his sons in the 
business which he had developed until it was the leading one in its line 
in Posey county. He was a man of strict integrity, of warm friend- 
ships, a home builder; a predominant characteristic of whom was his 
fatherliness, his great foresight in caring for his own, and his tender 
sympathy with them was conspicuous in his life. He believed in the 
family and the fireside, and in the sacredness of the hearth. Mr. Smith 
married on January 7, 1869. Miss Lizsette Armbruster, the daughter of 
Barnabus Armbruster, a well known farmer of Black township, and a 
native of Germany. She was born on September 2, 1844, iii Marrs town- 
ship, Posey county. They were the parents of seven children, five of 
whom, with their mother, survive. They are in order of birth, as follows: 
Charles Edward, born February 14, 1871 ; William Lee, born February 
20, 1874; Clinton F., born December 19, 1876; Ira A., born December 28, 
1878, all of whom are members of the firm of Charles Smith, Jr., & Sons; 
Winona A., born March 28, 1882. the wife of Otto Weilbrenner, of Mt. 
Vernon ; Ordella M., born November 20, 1869, and Ruby, born July 4, 
1885, are deceased. The business of Charles Smith, Jr., & Sons, owned 
by the four sons of its founder and their mother, is conceded to be, by 
those in the lumber industry, one of the best managed enterprises 
of its kind in Southern Indiana. They operate a planing mill, carry a 
general line of rough and dressed lumber, and finished builders' material. 
The buildings are models of their kind and equipped with modern labor 
saving devices for the satisfactory conduct of the business. The build- 



248 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ings and yards occupy a space liaving a frontage on Second street of 148 
feet, and extending back to the Ohio river. The plant represents an 
investment of $18,000, one half million feet of lumber is carried in stock 
and the average sales per year total $40,000. In the conduct of the busi- 
ness Charles E. Smith is in charge of the mill and yards, Clinton F. Smith 
is the buyer, William Lee Smith, who is an architect, the sales depart- 
ment, and Ira F. Smith is the office manager. 

Joseph Milton Causey, sheriff of Posey county, successful agriculturist 
and prominent citizen, was born on his father's farm in Lj'nn township 
on February 27, 1864, the son of David Bryant and Margaret E. (Cox) 
Cause}'. The family was founded in Indiana in 1830, when Hutson 
Bryant Causey, born in North Carolina, in 1795, came to Posey county 
and settled in Center townsliip, where David Bryant was born on July 
I, 1840. The latter married in early manhood, Margaret E. Cox, the 
daughter of David Cox, who was also a pioneer resident of Center town- 
ship. Hutson Causey and his son, David, were farmers. They under- 
went the hardships incident to the development of a wilderness, cleared 
away the forest and made productive farm lands from it, were active and 
influential in the various phases of the life of their period, and performed 
men's work at a time when living was a strenuous performance and suc- 
cess was obtained only through hard work and the enduring of many 
privations. Hutson Bryant Causey died in 1872, aged seventy-seven. 
His son, David Br3'ant, on September 13, 1900. Margaret Cox Causey 
preceded her husband to the rest eternal on October i, 1892. They were 
the parents of eight children: Jane D., born December 11, 1861, is the 
wife of Daniel Willis, a farmer, who resides near Dexter, Mo. ; Joseph 
M., the subject of this review; Maria, born June 3, 1866, the wife of 
Henry Travers, a farmer of Center township; William H., born January 
20, 1870, a farmer, residing at Mt. Vernon; Emma B., born September 
20. 1872. the wife of Henry Shaffer, a farmer of Lynn township ; Sarah J., 
born March 30, 1875, the wife of Elvis \\' iley, also a farmer of Lynn town- 
ship ; Enoch E., born December 30, 1877, a farmer of Lynn township, 
and Seth L., born January 22, 1880, of Lynn township. Joseph Milton 
Causey was reared on his father's farm and acquired his education in the 
district schools of Lynn and Center townships. Reared a farmer, he has 
continued in that line of endeavor, and has made a success of it. His 
farm property, which consists of 170 acres, is situated near Wadesville, 
in Center township, its improvements, which include a modern residence, 
erected in 1913, are of the best, and in the conduct of his farm work, 
he is recognized as one of the most progressive agriculturists in the coun- 
ty. To the citizens of Posey county, Mr. Causey is best known through 
his service as sheriff, a position he has filled since 1910, although he had 
attained prominence in public life as trustee of Center township, an 
office to which he was elected in 1900, and in which he served from Ko- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 249 

vember i6 of that year until January i, 1905. During his incumbency of, 
this office he built some twelve miles of new dirt roadwa}', repaired or 
reconstructed nearly all of the bridges in the township, and secured the 
addition of high school work in the schools. He left the office with a 
cash balance of about $1,000 more than when he entered it, and not- 
withstanding the large expenditures necessary for the improvements 
made by him, was able to reduce the tax levy from sixty-three to fifty- 
five cents. He has been a lifelong Democrat. He has always taken an 
active part in the work of his party, has been influential in its coun- 
cils, and his record as trustee of his township was such as to secure for 
him the nomination for sheriff in 1908, which was followed by his elec- 
tion by a flattering majority. He entered upon the duties of his office 
on January i, 1910, and his administration of the business of this de- 
partment of the county's official service has been commended for its effi- 
ciency. He has always made good; as a farmer, as trustee, and as sheriff. 
His methods have been clean, capable and honest, and he possesses a pop- 
ularity which is deserved. He is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 
277, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks ; Posey Aerie, Fraternal 
Order of Eagles, and Wadesville Lodge, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows. Mr. Causey married, on August 10, 1884, Miss Laura Travers, 
the daughter of Joseph A. Travers, a well known farmer of Harmony 
township. They adopted, in 1894, a son, Edwin A. Causey, who is the 
manager of the Causey farm in Center township. He married, on July 
II, 1909, Miss Lois Wade, the daughter of James A. Wade, a farmer of 
Center township. They are the parents of two children : Ralph Causey, 
born November 6, 1911, and Joseph Merle Causey, born January 27, 
1913. James M., born May 18, 1910, died January 26, 191 1. 

Dr. Arno Klein, a popular and successful young physician of Mt. Ver- 
non, is a native of Posey county. He was born at Mt. Vernon, November 
19, 1886, and is a son of Charles P. and Catherine (Schwerdt) Klein. The 
former is a native of Alzei, Germany, and the latter of Evansville, Ind. 
The father came to America when a young man and, for several years, 
was engaged in buying furs. He then settled in Kentucky and engaged 
in the general mercantile business at a place which he named Alzei, 
after his native city. He remained there until 1882, when he came to Mt. 
Vernon and engaged in the grocery business, which he has successfully 
conducted ever since, and is one of the substantial business men of Posey 
county. He has accumulated every dollar earned by straightforward 
business methods, which has won for him the confidence of the business 
world. The Klein family consists of two sons : Dr. Klein, of this re- 
view, and Otto C., who is engaged in the grocery business with his 
father. Dr. Klein attended the public schools of Mount Vernon and 
was graduated from the high school in the class of 1906. He also at- 
tended the Culver Military Academy three years. After spending a year 



250 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

in Germany, he returned to America and entered the Jefferson Medical 
College, at Philadelphia, Pa. He graduated from this time-honored in- 
stitution of medical science and surgery in 191 1, with a degree of Doctor 
of Medicine. After serving three months as interne in the Jefferson 
Hospital, he accepted a position in the VVilliamsport State Hospital, 
Williamsport, Pa. He remained there one year, when he returned to his 
home in Mt. Vernon, and engaged in the general practice of his profes- 
sion. Dr. Klein is well known in the county, and his skill in the field 
he has chosen for his life's work was recognized from the start. He is 
capable, diligent, and a close student of the science of his profession, 
and enjoys a good practice. He was united in marriage February 26, 
1913, to Miss Emily V. Brewer, of Williamsport, Pa. Dr. Klein is a 
member of the Mt. Vernon Medical Society ; a Thirty-second degree Ma- 
son, and a member of the Elks. 

Vincent M. Cartwright, of Mt. Vernon, is a native son of Posey 
county, and a descendant of sturdy pioneer ancestors. He was born 
in Harmony township, January 17, 1843, and was one of a family of ten 
children born to Presley and Sidda M. (Mage) Cartwright. Presley 
Cartwright was also born in what is now Harmony township, then in 
the Northwestern Territory, August 11, 181 1. He spent his life in the 
locality of his birth, where he died November 26, 1896. He followed 
farming most of his life. He was also a cooper, shoe maker, and car- 
penter. Presley Cartwright was a son of Samuel, who came to the 
Northwestern Territory from Tennessee in 1800, at about the age of 
twenty. He settled in what is now Harmony township, which was an 
unbroken wilderness. The Cartwrights suffered all the privations and 
hardships common to the lot of the pioneers of the times. Two brothers 
of Samuel were killed by the Indians. The Cartwrights are of Scotch de- 
scent. Sidda M. Mage, our subject's mother, was a daughter of Daniel and 
Sidda (Green) Mage. The family came from Washington county. North 
Carolina, about 1825, and settled in the northern part of Posey county. 
They drove the entire distance from North Carolina, the girl, Sidda, 
walking most of the distance, as did the other members of the family. 
She died in February, 1882. Vincent Cartwright remained at home and 
worked on the farm after the fashion of the average boy of the times, 
until the peaceful life of the Nation was interrupted by the coming on 
of the Civil war. At this time, young Cartwright enlisted August i, 
1862, at Evansville, in Company C, Sixty-fifth regiment, Indiana vol- 
unteer infantry. His regiment was immediately sent to Kentucky to 
oppose the Confederate operations in that section. The campaigning 
there was mostly of a skirmishing nature, and what insurance com- 
panies would term "e.xtra hazardous." Mr. Cartwright did a great deal 
of scout duty. He was wounded September 22, 1863, at Bloutsville, 
Tenn., but recovered after a few months and took part in Sherman's At- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 25I 

lanta campaign. He participated in the engagements at Jonesboro and 
Franklin, Tenn. His regiment was in the pursuit of Hood and from 
Clifton, Tenn., went by boat to Cincinnati, then to Annapolis, and from 
there to Fort Fisher. Took part in the North Carolina campaign, and 
was at the surrender of Johnston at Greensboro, N. C. Here Mr. Cart- 
wright was mustered out, June 22, 1865. When discharged, he was ser- 
geant of the color guard. He had been elected first lieutenant of his 
company and recommended by the captain of his company for appoint- 
ment, but never received his commission. At the close of the war, Mr. 
Cartwright returned to his Posey county home, and attended school for 
a time. He then went to Missouri and from there to Salina, Kan., where 
he was engaged in the lumber business. He was thus engaged when he 
lost his left hand in a mill accident, September 2, 1866. He then ref 
turned to Harmony township, and attended school again for a time 
where he engaged in teaching in Lynn, Center and Harmony townships 
until 1876, when he was elected trustee of Lynn township, serving two 
terms. In 1882, Mr. Cartwright was elected county recorder and served 
two terms, or until 1890. He then engaged in the real estate business 
and did an extensive business as pension attorney. In 1910, he was 
elected justice of the peace, which office he still holds. As a public offi- 
cer, Mr. Cartwright's methods have been of the character that has won 
for him the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. He was united 
in marriage March 25, 1869, to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William Wil- 
son, of Lynn township. She was born in that township and her father 
was also a native of Posey county. To Mr. and Mrs. Cartwright were 
born five children, three of whom are living: Cynthia, married Aaron 
Shuffert, of Chicago; Ethel, married Noble Utley, of Mt. Vernon, and 
Fannie O., married Henry A. Deutsch, of Strathmore, Cal. Mr. Cart- 
wright has been a lifelong Democrat, and taken a keen interest in the af- 
fairs of his county. State and Nation. He was chairman of the Demo- 
cratic central committee of Posey county in 1884, and as a token of appre- 
ciation of his services, the committee presented him with a beautiful 
gold-headed cane, which he prizes very highly. He is a member of the 
Knights of Pythias, and is past chancellor of the lodge. He was the first 
State representative at the grand lodge at Indianapolis ; he is a mem- 
ber of the Grand Army of the Republic, Post No. 491. and is the presi- 
dent of the Sixty-fifth Indiana Regimental Association, which meets on 
September 22 of each 3'ear. The meeting of 1913 was held at his resi- 
dence. He is a charter member of the regular Baptist church. 

Armenius Templeton, retired farmer and stock raiser, of Mt. Vernon, 
Ind.. was born in Black township, Posey county, October 30, 1849, a son 
of Gilbert and Desire (Phillips) Templeton, the parents natives of Posey 
county, where the father farmed and raised stock. Gilbert Templeton- 
was the son of Samuel and Sally (Curtis) Templeton, natives of North 



252 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Carolina, who came to Posey county about 1815, one year before State- 
hood and one year after the organization of the county. Samuel Tem- 
pleton entered land, the country at that time being a wilderness. His 
son, Gilbert, was born in Posey county in 1S20, and grew to manhood, 
assisting in clearing the land. Our subject also cleared a great deal of 
farm land and can remember when a large part of the land now under 
cultivation was thickly wooded. The first school he attended was in 
a log building on his father's farm. After finishing school he worked 
on the farm with his parents. His father died in 1891. Mr. Templeton 
was engaged in farming and stock raising until twenty-three years ago, 
when he retired from active farming to look after his lands. All of his 
farms are in Point and Black townships, 300 acres being in the former, 
and 150 in the latter. On his retirement from farming he removed to 
Mt. \'ernon, and in 1888 went into the hardware business, contining the 
store for sixteen years. He has served as councilman and has been in 
various ways identified with the upbuilding of the town and county. 
He is a member of the Methodist church, in which he is a trustee. In 
politics he is a Prohibitionist. Mr. Templeton was married February 3, 
1880, to Pauline Newman, daughter of Charles and Rosana (Scheiber) 
Newman, parents natives of Germany, who came to this country when 
young. Mr. Newman was a farmer. Pauline was born in Posey county 
and attended the country schools at that time held in a log house. Later 
she continued her education at Mt. Vernon. Mr. and Mrs. Templeton be- 
came the parents of five children: Bertha, who married Edward Blake- 
ly, and lives in Lajunta, Colo. ; Everett A. (see sketch of E. A. Temple- 
ton) ; Gilbert C, married Justine Stander, and lives in Fowler, Colo. ; 
Arthur N., at home with his parents, and Raymond, deceased. Mrs. 
Templeton is an active worker in the Methodist church and the whole 
family are members. 

Frederick A. R. Kemper (deceased), formerly a prominent farmer of 
Mt. \'ernon, Ind., was born in that town February 14, i860, a son of 
Frederick and Anna (Mehl) Kemper, parents natives of Germany. Fred- 
erick, Sr., was a veteran of the Mexican war. Before the Civil war he 
was a farmer and saw mill man, but died during the Civil war while a 
soldier in Missouri. The parents of our subject had six children. Fred- 
erick, Jr., was married January 27, 1883. to Miss Bertha Haas, daughter 
of Anton and Nancy (Henry) Haas. Bertha Haas was born September 
23, 1863, in Mt. Vernon. Her father was a native of Germany, and her 
mother of Posey county. Mr. and Mrs. Kemper had six sons: Earl 
Vernon, born February 26. 1885, a steamboat clerk, Memphis, Tenn. ; 
Royal Haas, born August 10, 1888, postoffice clerk at Mt. Vernon, be- 
longs to the Elks; Edmund Emil, born June 26, 1892; Raymond Lester, 
born July 3. 1895; Paul Frederick, born December 19, 1898; Walter 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 253 

Anton, born August 13, 1902. Mr. Kemper died November 15, 1910. He 
was a farmer all his life, and belonged to the German Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

David Walter Welch, M. D., of Mt. Vernon, was born in Saline county, 
Illinois, near Galatia, March 5, 1848, and is a son of Egbert G. and Nancy 
(Upchurch) Welch. His father was a native of Tennessee, and came 
of an old Virginia family, and at the age of eighty-eight years he died at 
Galatia, 111., where he was a pioneer settler, and his mother was born at 
Galatia, 111., and was a daughter of David Upchurch, who came from 
North Carolina to Illinois, and was the founder of Galatia. Dr. Welch 
was reared on the farm, attended the country schools, and the Illinois 
State Normal at Normal, 111., and then engaged in the profession of school 
teaching for fifteen years. He was superintendent of schools at Rock- 
port, Ind., for two years, of the schools of Boonville, Ind., for two 
years, having previously been assistant superintendent of schools 
at Evansville, Ind. His early teaching was in Illinois. He 
was at Shawneetown for three years. He read medicine in the office 
of Dr. George B. Walker, dean of the Evansville Medical College. He 
then began practice in the country about five miles northeast of Mt. Ver- 
non. He located in Mt. Vernon in 1888. He did post-graduate work at 
the Chicago Clinical College, and is a member of the Mt. Vernon City, 
the Posey County, and Indiana State Medical societies, and also of the 
Ohio Valley Medical Association. Dr. Welch married in 1868 Jennie R. 
Wright, of Cloverport, Ky. They have five sons and two daughters. 
The Doctor is a Prohibitionist in politics. He is not only an able and 
prominent ph\'sician, but as a citizen is progressive. To him is largely 
due the steps that led to the improvement of the public roads in Posey 
county, in which matter he received strong opposition, but the splendid 
roads of the county stand as a monument to his spirit of progress and 
foresight. 

Douglas C. Ramsey, M. D., a prominent physician of Mt. Vernon, Ind., 
was born in Xenia, Clay county, Illinois, son of George D. and and Mary 
A. (Price) Ramsey. His father was born and reared in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
and his mother in Vincennes, Ind. The father was a physician and prac- 
ticed at Xenia, Illinois, where he died at the age of seventy-seven, and 
the mother died at Mt. Vernon, aged eighty-two. The name Ramsey 
is of Scotch origin. Douglas Ramsey attended the public schools and 
for two or three years had a private tutor. He graduated from the 
Washington University in 1880, and shortly afterward located in Mt. 
Vernon, remaining here since that time. Pie took a post-graduate course 
in the St. Louis University in 1893, one in the Chicago Policlinics in 1895, 
and has visited Montreal and other Eastern cities to obtain medical 
knowledge. He has written much for medical journals, the following 
being among his subjects: "Brain Surgery," New York "Medical Rec- 



254 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ord," "Salicylic Acid in Rheumatism," and "Preventation of Tuberculo- 
sis." Dr. Ramsey was appointed a member of the State Board of 
Health by Governor Matthews, and served from 1895 to 1897. He was 
president of the board and while serving in this capacitv he wrote sev- 
eral valuable reports. He is a member of the Posey County, the State and 
American Medical associations, and also of the Mississippi Valley So- 
ciety. He has twice been president of the Posey County Medical As- 
sociation. For four years he was medical examiner for the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen, and was for a similar time their medical 
director or intermediate. Governor Durbin appointed Dr. Ramsey dele- 
gate to the National Tuberculosis Congress, held in New York in 1907. 
He was president of the pension board under the two terms of President 
Cleveland. In politics. Dr. Ramsey is a Democrat, and fraternally he is 
a Master Mason and an Elk. He was medical director for the Inter- 
mediate Life Assurance Company for the first four years of its exis- 
tence. 

Col. Richard Sarlls, one of the early pioneers of Posey county, Indi- 
ana, was Ixirn in Ghent, Carroll county, Kentucky, August 13, 1839, son 
of Richard and Julia (Evertson) Sarlls, the mother a native of New 
York, and the father of Indiana. They removed to Kentucky and died 
when Richard was but seven years of age. Richard Sarlls came to Posey 
county, Indiana, in 1846. At tliat time the place called McFadden's Bluff, 
now Mt. \'ernon, did not number over 500 inhabitants, and the wharf 
was not yet built. The boy had already begun its schooling in Ken- 
tucky, and continued in the schools of Posey county, paying tuition of 
$1.00 per month, besides having to do the janitor's work. He attended 
school in Mt. Vernon. At that time the "Ricaune" mill stood where the 
wharf was built later. Our subject started in life by blacking shoes, and 
at the age of twelve was able to operate the steam wool carding mill 
owned by his uncle. About three years later he and his uncle began 
grinding wheat. He became an expert judge of grain, and during the 
Civil war worked for Lowry \\'elborn & Sullivan, a big grain concern. 
Upon leaving the employ of this firm he engaged in the grain busi- 
ness with a nephew of Mr. Sullivan, under the name of Sullivan, Sarlls 
& Comi)any. They did a general merchandise business, in addition to 
buying and selling grain. This company did a thriving business until 
the cholera epidemic in the '70s. when they failed and turned everything 
over to their creditors. He left the company in 1874, and two or three 
weeks later he bought a barge load of drowned corn and flour, the cargo 
of the old "Ironsides." Inside of two more weeks he sold the cargo at 
a profit of five cents per bushel, netting the sum of $2,500, with which 
he again embarked in the grain business. The next year Mr. Wash- 
ington Boyce sent Mr. Sarlls and Mr. William Fuhrer to Wichita, Kan., 
to buy grain and they bought 30,000 bushels, which they sold in Kansas 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 255 

City and returned to Mt. Vernon. That fall they began buying hogs, 
as there was no corn on account of the floods. In 1876 they bought 
over 450,000 bushels of corn, which they sold at a profit of $50,000. Mr. 
Sarlls then began buying land and secured 1,100 acres in Illinois. He 
continued in the grain business alone and has prospered ever since. He 
has made his money by dealing in grain and land, and has handled more 
than 20,000 acres of land. He did not make money in hogs, having only 
about $100 when he got through with his season, but the buying of grain 
in 1876 put him on his feet again. Mr. Sarlls is also a mechanic and un- 
derstands machinery about mills. On one occasion he was paid $20.00 for 
four hours' work fixing a pump. This was before he worked for Wel- 
born. & Sullivan. Colonel Sarlls now owns about 2,800 acres of land in 
Illinois. Kentucky and Indiana. At the time of the Civil war Colonel 
Sarlls was lieutenant in Company A, National Home Guards, and made 
trips to Kentucky in charge of his company. On June 7, i860, occurred 
the marriage of Richard Sarlls to Elizabeth Hinkle, daughter of Edward 
Hinkle, a merchant of Shawneetown, 111., where Mrs. Sarlls was born, 
December 7, 1840, and where she was raised. They had seven children : 
Richard E., deceased; Edward, deceased; Jessie Walter, of Jackson, 
Miss. ; Howard, of Mt. Vernon ; LeRoy Anson, of Philadelphia, Pa., and 
Louis, of Evansville. Jessie married E. M. Brady. The first wife died 
February 7, 1879. Mr. Sarlls married again in June, 1883, Frances Hinch, 
daughter of John D. and Ellen Hinch, natives of Posey county, where 
she was born and raised. They have one child, Mary Emily, who mar- 
ried Dr. H. P. Carson, now a resident of Phoenix, Ariz. Our subject is 
one of the largest land owners of Posey county, and is offering some at- 
tractive farms to the people. 

Ferdinand A. Funke, vice-president and general manager of the Mt. 
Vernon Straw Board Company, was born in Evansville, Ind., January 
24, 1868, the son of Ferdinand and Mary (Kuntz) Funke, both of whom 
were born in Germany, the father at Ruethen, Luebstadt, Westphalia, 
and the mother near the city of Worms. Ferdinand Funke learned the 
trade of a gun and lock smith. He came to the United States in 1849, 
locating in Evansville, Ind., where he opened a shop and followed the 
trade learned in his native land. In 1858 he built a paper mill and 
began the manufacture of wrapping paper, in the operation and man- 
agement of which he continued until his death in 1895. The enterprise 
was a success from the start and he realized a substantial fortune from 
its profits. After his death the business was continued by his sons, 
John M., Ferd A. and Joseph, under the firm style of Ferdinand Funke 
Sons. The output of the plant at the present writing is three thou- 
sand tons per annum, marketed in the United States, and the plant rep- 
resents an investment of over $50,000. It is operated under the man- 
agement of John M. Funke. Mr. Funke is survived by his widow and 



256 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

the following children: Caroline; John M. Funke, president of the Mt. 
Vernon Straw Board Company, Mt. Vernon, the Commercial Bank, Ev- 
ansville, director in the Globe Paper Companj', and having important 
real estate and manufacturing interests in Evansville ; Ferdinand A. 
Funke, the subject of this article, and Joseph Funke, secretary of the 
Mt. Vernon Straw Board Company, Mt. Vernon. Ferdinand A. Funke 
acquired his education in the public schools of Evansville and the Ev- 
ansville Business College. He entered the employ of his father in 1885 
and was taught by him the trade of making wrapping paper. On his 
father's death in 1895, and the taking over of the business by his sons, 
under the firm style of Ferdinand Funke Sons, he became superintend- 
ent of the mill and remained in charge of the manufacturing end ui the 
business until 1904, when he was elected vice-president and general 
manager of the Mt. Vernon Straw Board Company (see chapter on 
Manufacturing). The continuous and healthy growth of the business of 
this corporation since its founding, the satisfaction given by its prod- 
ucts, together with the good will extended to him at all times by the 
employees, prove his possession of these qualities which not only assure 
his business success, but make him a valuable acquisition to the citizen- 
ship of Mt. Vernon, of which he became a resident in 1909. He is a 
Democrat and a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, Ko. 277, Benevolent 
and Protective Order of Elks. He is a communicant of the Catholic 
church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Funke married 
on October 11, 1909, Miss Mary Logel, daughter of Louis Logel, of 
Evansville. They are the parents of two children : Ludvvig Ferdinand, 
born August 2, 1910, and Karl Ferdinand, born May 2, 1912. Mrs. 
Funke is a communicant of the Catholic church and a leader in the social 
circles of Mt. Vernon. 

John H. Moeller, mayor of the city of Mt. Vernon, successful man of 
affairs and popular citizen, is a native of Posey county and was born 
in the cit}' of which he has served as chief executive on August 7, 1867, 
the son of John and Dortha (Haas) Moeller. John Moeller, the founder 
of the family in Indiana, was born in Altenschlirf, Hessen-Darmstadt, 
Germany, on December 11, 1837. He received a good education in the 
schools of his native town, was apprenticed to the cooper's trade, and 
came to the United States in 1855, first locating in New Orleans, where 
he remained a short time, and then came by boat to Louisville, Ky., 
where he secured employment at his trade. In 1857 he became a resi- 
dent of Mt. Vernon, secured employment in the cooper shop of Philip 
Vernon, and in 1864 succeeded to this business through purchase. From 
1882 until 1893 he had as associates in business George Zeigler and 
William Rheinwald, but in the last named year bought them out. In 
1903 he consolidated his business with that of his son's, John H. Moeller, 
under the firm style of J. H. Moeller & Company. In addition to the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 257 

cooperage shop they ran a saw mill and stave and heading factory. The 
business was operated very successfully, but in 191 1 the mill burned and 
John Moeller retired from the firm. He at present is the owner of a 
cooperage plant which is reviewed at length in the chapter "Manufactur- 
ing and Commercial Enterprises." Mr. Moeller married on May 18, 
1859, Miss Dortha Haas, a daughter of Charles Haas, a pioneer resident 
of Mt. Vernon, who was born in Lauteraka, Beiren, Germany, and who 
died in Mt. Vernon in 1892. Mr. and Mrs. Moeller are the parents of 
the following children : Mollie L., the wife of Adam Ware, Mt. Vernon ; 
Charles C, Mt. Vernon; John H. Moeller, the subject of this review; 
William, Mt. Vernon; and Nellie H., the wife of Charles Pearson, Mt. 
Vernon. Mr. Moeller and his wife are members of the German Metho- 
dist church. Mayor Moeller was reared in the city of Mt. Vernon, ac- 
quired his education in its public schools, and learned his father's 
trade, that of cooper. He became a clerk when sixteen years of age^ 
later learned telegraphy and was employed in Mt. Vernon by the West- 
ern Union Telegraph Company, the Evansville & Terre Haute and the 
Louisville & Nashville railroads, and in Texas by the Missouri Pacific 
railway. He returned to Mt. Vernon from Texas in 1885 and was made 
assistant agent of the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad, a position he 
filled until 1888, when he engaged in the cooperage business, having as 
a partner his brother, Charles. He purchased the latter's interest in 
1898, built up an exceedingly profitable enterprise and in 1903 consoli- 
dated it with that of his father, under the firm style of J. H. Moeller 
& Company, as previously stated. In 191 1 the saw mill was destroyed 
by fire, and as this portion of the firm's enterprise was uninsured, they 
suffered a heavy loss. Shortly after the fire the elder Moeller retired 
from the firm and the business was continued by our subject. During 
191 1 he was the chief factor in inducing the Whitmore Handle Com- 
pany to locate in Mt. Vernon, and as one of the inducements held out 
to them for locating in the city, rented his cooperage property to them 
at a very low rental. The value of this plant to the city of Mt. Vernon 
is easily estimated by perusal of the chapter on "Manufacturing and 
Commercial Enterprises," which contains an article descriptive of its 
history. As a manufacturer of staves, heading and cooperage. Mayor 
Moeller attained a substantial success ; he was an untiring worker, knew 
each and every detail of the business, from the buying of timber in the 
tree to the marketing of the finished product, and had the cheerful co- 
operation of his employees. As a citizen of Mt. Vernon he has, since 
attaining his majority, been actively concerned in the development and 
betterment of its commercial and civic affairs. He has always been a 
consistent advocate of the principles and policies of the Republican party 
and an active worker in its ranks. His first public office was an ap- 
pointive one, that of city commissioner, which he entered in 1901, and 



258 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

served for six years. His record in the administration of the affairs of 
this office was such that he was honored in 1909 by his party with the 
nomination for the office of mayor, and he was elected by the larg-est 
majority ever given a candidate for that position. During the four years 
in which he has occupied the mayor's chair he has given the city an 
exceedingly able and frugal administration, considering the many im- 
provements made; while his unselfish attitude and broad-mindedness 
in dealing with questions and policies which had for their object the 
good of the city proves that he has the right conception of the duties 
and obligations of the office. To his progressiveness, stick-to-it-iveness 
in surmounting difficulties and business foresight the city is indebted 
for its handsome water-front park; another site having been under con- 
sideration. His logical handling of the proposition, combined with per- 
severance in securing the money necessary for its equipment, won for 
the citizens not only a place of recreation for young and old, but one 
that could not be surpassed for accessibility and beauty of view. He 
found the city with a debt of $3,000 in excess of its limit. This was 
changed within two years to a surplus of $5,000. He has secured greatly 
imi)roved service from the light, water and telephone companies, public 
drinking fountains, an overhead crossing at Mulberry street and the 
Louisville & Nashville railway, safety gates at other dangerous cross- 
ings have been installed, sanitation and sewerage conditions greatly im- 
proved, a street flushing machine bought, many of the unpaved streets 
oiled, the weeds cut and trees trimmed on the public thoroughfares, 
while other improvements are in prospect. During the disastrous flood 
of April, 1913, his executive and initiative talents were exploited at their 
best. With a vast section of territory adjacent to the city under water, 
thousands without shelter or provisions, and live stock in the greatest 
peril, he headed the relief movement and assumed charge of its opera- 
tion. He secured, through the War Department, rations for ten thou- 
sand people for ten days, together with a distributing force under the 
command of Captain W. K. Naylor, and with him acted as pilot of the 
relief expedition. He commandeered every boat, power, skiff, and 
flat, on the river and these were in constant use in bringing to Mt. Ver- 
non the people who were marooned. He obtained by telegraph from 
Governor Ralston an order stationing one company of militia in the city, 
who were to assist in rescue work, and who were under his orders. 
Through his efforts the Red Cross Society sent a representative, Mr. 
Hubbard, to the city, and through their joint efforts $20,000 was raised 
for the relief of those who had lost their all in the disaster. This labor 
entailed upon Mayor Moeller severe hardship and caused him to be 
absent from his business for nearly one month. During this trying 
period his conduct was marked by no thought of self but by a desire 
to do all in his power to relieve those who were in need, irrespective of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 259 

condition, and to fulfill to the utmost his obligations as head of the 
government of Mt. Vernon, which was untouched by the waters. That 
his efforts have been appreciated is attested through his nomination for 
the office of mayor, to succeed himself, in the election of 1913 ; his ma- 
jority in the primary having been overwhelming, and his reward by elec- 
tion to a second term seems certain. Mayor Moeller is affiliated with a 
number of secret and social organizations. He is a member of Mt. 
Vernon Lodge, No. 2"]"], Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks ; 
Posey Aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles; Loyal Order of Moose; Knights 
of Pythias, Hoo Hoos, and is president of the Mt. Vernon Boosters 
Club. He is a member of the German Methodist church. Mr. Moeller 
married on August 23, 1892, Miss Anna H. Nefzger, daughter of the late 
Xavier Nefzger, of Mt. Vernon. They are the parents of two children: 
Esther C. Moeller, born October 25, 1893, who graduated from the Mt. 
Vernon High School in the class of 1912, and John Robert Moeller, born 
January 18, 191 1. The family are popular in the social circles of their 
home city and the Moeller residence is known for its generous hospital- 
ity. Mrs. Moeller is a communicant of St. Matthew's Catholic Church. 
Mayor Moeller is a fine type of the German-American citizen, is a self- 
made man, possesses energy, initiative, and executive ability of a high 
order, and is justly entitled to the popularity he has attained, both as 
a citizen and as an official of his home city. He has always maintained 
that the best citizen is the home builder, and that such are to be de- 
pended upon to devote a part of their time, intelligence and funds to 
secure that which is most desirable in furthering the general welfare of 
the community in which they reside. That he is consistent is exempli- 
fied in his record as mayor of Mt. Vernon. 

David M. Erwin, formerly a merchant at Erwin Station, a point named 
for him, was born in that vicinity in Black township, Posey county, 
Indiana, July 21, 1854, son of James M. and Rachael J. (Redman) 
Erwin, both natives of the township in which our subject was born. 
James M. is the son of Samuel Erwin. Both his parents were natives of 
Tennessee and came to Posey county over one hundred years ago, when 
this part of the country was still a wilderness, there being no city of 
Mt. Vernon. Samuel Erwin entered several hundred acres of land in 
Black township, part of which is still in the hands of his grandson, 
David M. James Erwin cleared up a number of acres of this land and 
our subject finished the work of clearing away the forest. James Erwin 
was born September 6, 1829. and his wife, Rachael, was born August 25, 
1832. Both are living with their son, David M., enjoying a ripe old age. 
David Erwin received his early education at Farmersville and at Gill 
school house. Later he graduated from the Evansville Commercial Col- 
lege and attended the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Ind. After 
leaving the university he engaged in the book business in Mt. Vernon, 



26o HISTORY OF POSEY COUXTY 

where he had a store for about two years. Selling out, he went back to 
the farm where he was raised and farmed for about six years. In 1884 
he opened a general stole at Erwin Station. Here he remained for 
twenty years and was ticket agent for the Evansville & Terre Haute 
railroad and the only postmaster the place ever had. The store is now 
abandoned, but the flag station is still known as Erwin's Station. In 
1902 he retired from business and removed to Mt. Vernon, where he 
has a nice city home. His farm at Erwin's Station contains no acres. 
Mr. Erwin has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
for thirty-three years, a member of the Encampment for sixteen years, 
and has represented the Grand Lodge and Grand Encampment sev- 
eral times. He also belongs to the Ben Hur Lodge and the Baptist 
church. In politics he is a Republican. On April 12, 1879, Mr. Erwin 
married Miss Katie Kastenbader, a native of Hawesville, Ky., who was 
raised in Mt. Vernon, where she attended common school. They had 
three children : Minnie, John and James, all deceased, and the mother 
died in December, 1881. Mr. Erwin married the second time, February 
12, 1884, taking as his wife Amelia Banks, a native of White county, 
Illinois, where she was raised and attended common school. They had 
two children, one of whom died in infancy. The other, Frank M., was 
born Tune 25, 1889. He attended at Craborchard school in Black town- 
ship until he finished the eighth grade. His parents then removed to Mt. 
Vernon and he graduated from the high school there. He then entered 
Purdue University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Science 
in 1912. and also received a degree in civil engineering, being the first 
person from Posey county to graduate with the degree of Civil En- 
gineer. He married Pearl Bottomly, daughter of James Rottomly, of 
Mt. Vernon, and he is now engaged by the Louisville & Nashville rail- 
road as civil engineer at Louisville, Ky. In politics he is a Republican. 
Howard H. Sarlls, publisher and proprietor of the Mt. Vernon "Re- 
publican," a weekly newspaper, was born in Mt. Vernon December 27, 
1870, and has been a resident of that city ever since. He is the son of 
Colon£l Richard and Elizabeth A. Sarlls (see sketch of father). His 
mother died February 7, 1879. He attended the public schools of Mt. 
Vernon, graduating in the class of 1888. He worked at the printer's 
trade in local offices during the summer months while attending school. 
He went to business college in Indianapolis in the winter of 1889-1890, 
after which he again took up printing in local offices and in the offices 
of the Poseyville "News" and Evansville "Journal." In February. 1893, 
he went in "with John B. Thomas to establish the "Republican" under 
the firm name of Sarlls and Thomas. Eighteen months later he took 
entire charge of the paper, which he has since conducted. On December 
4, 1895, ^Ir- Sarlls married Miss Lottie Engler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
George W. Engler. At present their home is at 220 West Fifth street. 
Mt. Vernon. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY' 26 1 

John Willis Turner. — The growth and development of any community 
depends largely upon the management of its financial institutions. The 
manufacturing and commercial enterprises of the city of Mt. Vernon, as 
well as the farmers of Posey county, owe much to the progressive policy 
of the First National Bank of Mt. Vernon, of which Mr. Turner has been 
the controlling executive since 1907. He occupies today a prominent 
place in the banking circles of southwestern Indiana, has contributed in 
large measure to the advancement of Mt. Vernon, in whose still greater 
commercial and civic prestige he is a firm believer, and holds a secure 
position in the confidence and esteem of the citizens of the county. John 
Willis Turner was born on his father's farm in Owen county, Kentucky, 
near Georgetown, Scott county, on August 7, 1872, the son of Thomas 
W. and Amanda J. (Lee) Turner. The family was founded in America 
by Joshua Turner, a native of Ireland, who settled in Kentucky in 1847. 
He was a farmer and a successful one. He served with the Confederate 
forces in the Civil War and was killed at the battle of Cumberland Gap. 
His son, Thomas W. Turner, the father of our subject, was also a native 
of Ireland, where he was born on February 19, 1843. He came to Ken- 
tucky with his parents in 1846 and was reared on his father's farm. He 
also served with the Confederate forces in the Civil war and was 
wounded in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn. He married when a 
young man Miss Amanda J. Lee, the daughter of Nathaniel W. Lee, 
founder and owner of the town of Lee's Mills, and well known distiller 
and land owner of Owen county, Kentucky. Mr. Turner was reared 
and has always followed farming as an occupation. He has been suc- 
cessful as an agriculturist, is a man of influence and enjoys the confi- 
dence and esteem of the residents of his neighborhood. His political 
allegiance has been given the Democratic party and he has taken an 
active part in the work of that organization. Mrs. Turner died in 1880. 
They were the parents of four children, two of whom are living: Fan- 
nie Lee, born August 26, 1870, is the wife of Frank M. Davis, a car- 
riage and implement dealer of Corinth, Ky., and John Willis, our sub- 
ject. Flora, born October 5, 1875, died of pneumonia in 1892, and Stella, 
born April 5, 1879, died in 1887. Mrs. Turner's maternal ancestors were 
among the early settlers of America and numbered among them are 
men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in 
the commercial era which followed, in the War of the Revolution, and 
later in the Civil war. The founding of the Lee family in Kentucky 
dates from the settlement there of Dr. LeGrand Lee, a physician of 
Virginia, and descendant of General Lee of Revolutionary fame. He 
was joined later by Doctor Joseph Lee, a physician, John Lee, a Bap- 
tist preacher, and Nathaniel W. Lee, brothers, the latter of whom was 
the grandfather of the subject of this review. He became the most 
extensive land owner of his section of the State, one of its most sue- 



262 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

cessful distillers, and was one of the most influential citizens of his dis- 
trict. His death occurred on August 27. 1893. John Willis Turner re- 
ceived his early educational discipline in the public schools of Owen 
county, graduated from Owenton High School and in 1889 entered the 
literary department of the Kentucky State College at Lexington and 
was graduated in the class of 1893. The succeeding two years he was 
engaged in raising hogs on an extensive scale, purchasing the refuse 
from his grandfather's distillery for feed. The markets of 1894 and 
1895 were high and he sold at a large profit. The success he had attained 
in his initial business venture attracted the attention of the officers of 
the First National Bank of Owenton and he was offered and accepted a 
position with that institution. He resigned from this position in 1897 and 
entered the People's Bank of the same town, where he remained until 
1899, when he accepted the position of corporation clerk in the State 
Capitol at PVankfort. While in charge of this office he gained a com- 
prehensive grasp of banking as conducted in Kentucky, which has been 
of great advantage to him in his later career. He became a resident 
ol Posey county in 1903, when he came to Poseyville and organized 
the First National Bank of that town. His connection with this insti- 
tution, of which he was cashier, continued until 1907, when he was 
offered and accepted the position of cashier of the First National Bank 
of Mt. Vernon, the oldest financial institution in the county and which, 
at this writing, 1913, has the largest deposits. In the administration 
of the business of this bank, of which he has been the dominant execu- 
tive since 1907, his progressiveness, energy and resourcefulness have been 
largely responsible for the healthy growth enjoyed by the institution, 
as well as the high reputation of the organization. He is known to the 
banking fraternity as an able and discriminating financier and one who 
has brought the administrative policy of his bank up to the point of 
highest efficiency. Essentially a business man, he has neither the time 
nor inclination for public office, though he never neglects in the least 
his civic duties and obligations and has taken an active part in the 
councils of his party. He has been a lifelong Democrat. Mr. Turner has 
attained the Thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, is a mem- 
ber of Indianapolis Consistory, and Hadi Temple Shrine, Evansville. 
He is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Pro- 
tective Order of Elks. Mr. Turner married on October 14, 1896, Miss 
Anna Lee True, the daughter of William R. and Sue Katherine True, of 
Louisville, Ky. They are the parents of one child, a daughter, Mary 
Louise, born March 12, 1907. Mrs. Turner is a woman of broad culture 
and refinement and popular in the social circles of Mt. Vernon, in which 
she is a leader. The Turner residence, one of the most attractive in 
Posey county, is known for its gracious hospitality. Mr. Turner is in 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 263 

all respects a high type of the conservative, unassuming American, dil- 
igent in his various duties and business affairs and conscientious in all 
things. 

James Madison Greathouse. — Great, indeed, have been the changes 
which time and man have wrought in Posey county since the birth of 
Mr. Greathouse in 1847, and no man has been more actively identified 
with the work of improvement in Point township than he. He is best 
known to the citizens of his native county through his service as town- 
ship trustee, to which office he was elected in 1908, in the administra- 
tion of which he has proven the possession of sound financial ability, 
marked executive talent and sound business judgment. To him the 
township is indebted for an extended school term, modern school build- 
ings, greatly improved roads, substantial bridges and a financial policy 
which has wiped out a considerable indebtedness, replaced it with a 
comfortable cash balance, and this has all been accomplished without 
an increase in the tax rate. James M. Greathouse was born on his 
father's farm in Point township, on April 27, 1847, a son of John Tecum- 
seh and Eliza (Browning) Greathouse. The father was a native of 
Union county, Kentucky. Little is known of his early life or occupa- 
tions, except that he operated a grist mill on Highland creek. Union 
county, previous to his locating in Posey county, Indiana. In some 
manner he learned that relatives were living in the latter county and 
acting on an impulse to join them, he tied his belongings on a slab 
and, pushing it ahead of him, swam across the Ohio to the Indiana 
shore. In Point township he found three cousins, the sons of David 
Greathouse (see sketch of Frank M. Greathouse). During the year of 
his arrival in Posey county, 1844, he married Eliza Browning Great- 
house, the widow of his cousin John. They became the parents of the 
following children : Aaron, born in 1845, ^ resident of Mt. Vernon and 
veteran of the Civil War; James Madison, our subject; William R.. a 
traveling salesman; and Sarah Ann, the wife of James Dowell, a farmer 
of Black township. John Tecumseh Greathouse underwent the hard' 
ships incident to the early life of the county, cleared and improved land 
and became a prosperous farmer. The first frame building in Point 
township, a school house, was built on his farm in 1872, and was named 
the Greathouse school. This building was replaced in 1913 by one of 
concrete, substantially finished and furnished and erected under the 
supervision of his son, James M., trustee of the township. Mr. Great- 
house died in 1880. He was a charter member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Methodist church. His 
wife died in 1863. James Madison Greathouse was reared on his father's 
farm and received his education in the school bearing the family name. 
From boyhood his occupation has been that of a farmer. He is recog- 
nized as one of the progressive and successful men of his district; one 



264 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

who has always taken an active interest in public affairs and who has 
given generously of both time and money in assisting those movements 
which had the public good in view. He has been a lifelong Democrat. 
He was elected trustee of Point township in 1908. When he entered 
upon the duties of this office the affairs of the township were in a 
deplorable condition. The treasury was empty and an indebtedness 
totaling $17,000 had been incurred by previous incumbents of the office. 
During his administration of the affairs of the township its indebted- 
ness has been reduced to $2,250; two modern school buildings have 
been built, one a graded school building of two rooms at a cost of $3,500, 
and the new Greathouse school, a one-room building costing $3,000. 
These buildings are modern in all respects. They are constructed of 
concrete and the interior finish and equipment are of the best. The 
roads of the township have been greatly improved and a number of 
substantial bridges have been built. The township treasury has about 
$4,000 in cash (1913). These improvements have been made and the 
debt reduced without increasing the levy of previous years and the levy 
for 1913 was cut four cents. The record made in the administration of 
the affairs of this office by Mr. Greathouse will probably stand as the 
high-water mark of efficiency and accomplishment for man}' years to 
come. Mr. Greathouse married on March 29, 187 1, Miss Victoria Combs, 
a daughter of David Combs, a farmer of Black township. He was born 
in Kentucky in 1816 and died in 1876. His wife was Jane Thompson, 
also a native of Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Greathouse are the parents of 
the following children: Evaleen, born September 21, 1876, the wife of 
Edwin V. Spencer, Jr., a farmer of Black township ; Flora May, born 
July 4, 1880, the wife of Edward Morlock, also of Black township; and 
Bessie, born March 10, 1889, residing with her parents. Three children 
died in infancy — David A., James C. and Ida Belle. Mr. Greathouse is 
in all respects a high type of the conservative American, diliger^t in 
his various duties and commercial affairs, and conscientious in all things. 
He is rich in the possession of a well earned popularity and the esteem 
which comes only from honorable living. 

Joseph Robinson Haines, auditor of Posey county, editor and pub- 
lisher, was born at St. Wendel, Ind., January 31, 1864, the son of Charles 
and Jane (CuUey) Haines. The first of the family to settle in Indiana 
was Peter Haines, a native of Kentucky, who located in Robinson town- 
ship, Posey county, during its formative period. He was a farmer and 
the grandfather of the subject of this article. His son, Charles Haines, 
born in Posey county, also a farmer, married when a young man Miss 
Jane Culley, also a native of the county, where she was born in 1835. 
Charles Haines died when our subject was a child. He is survived by 
his widow, now a resident of Cynthiana, and the following children, viz : 
Mary E., the wife of James R. Smith, a farmer of Smith township, Posey 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY' 265 

county ; Martha, the widow of Albert Whiting, Anna, 111. ; Ella, the wife 
of Crawford B. Smith, a farmer of Smith township, Posey county ; Jo- 
seph R., auditor of Posey county; Charles L., Cynthiana; and Fannie 
J., the wife of William M. Chappel, a farmer of Oakland City, Gibson 
county, Indiana. Joseph Robinson Haines was reared on the Haines 
farm in Robinson township and assisted in the work incident to its car- 
rying on until he was aged nineteen. He received his education in the 
public schools of Posey county and was graduated from the Cynthiana 
High School in 1883. From 1883 until i8go he was engaged in teaching 
in the schools of the county. In the latter year he purchased the Posey- 
ville "News," of which he was the editor and publisher until he entered 
the office of auditor in 1912, and of which he retains the ownership. Mr. 
Haines has always taken a keen interest in the questions of the day and 
has been active and influential in the political life of his home county. 
He is a Democrat. He was elected to the lower house of the State 
Legislature in 1900 and re-elected in 1902. His work during the sessions 
of 1900-01 and 1902-03 received the commendations of his constituents 
and he was considered by his colleagues as one of the energetic and 
active leaders of his party in the house. He was elected auditor of 
Posey county in 1910 and entered upon the duties of the office on Jan- 
ttary i, 1912. His administration of the business affairs of this depart- 
ment of the county's official life has received favorable comment, effi- 
ciency has been the mark consistently sought, and promptness in the 
conduct of work constantly maintained. He had previously served as an 
official of the county through appointment, having filled the office of 
treasurer from February 28, 1907, until January i, 1908, succeeding 
Fred A. Morelock, who had died in office. He is a member of the 
Masonic order, Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America. 
Mr. Haines married on December 20, 1893, Miss Virgie C. Dougherty, 
the daughter of James H. Dougherty, a farmer of Rolla, Mo. They are 
the parents of one child. Edith May Haines, born May 7, 1895. 

John T. Gill, a retired farmer of Posey county, now living at 324 West 
Ninth street, Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in Black township, Posey 
county, March 20, 1845, son of John T. and Anna (Moore) Gill, also na- 
tives of Posey county. Their parents, who were natives of Virginia, 
came to Posey county at an early date. Samuel Gill, the grandfather of 
our subject, at one time owned a part of the land on which Mt. Vernon 
now stands. Before his death, in 1850, he owned 300 acres three miles 
northwest of the town, where he had been an active farmer all his life. 
He had two daughters and six sons as follows : Joseph, John T., Samuel, 
Sarah, Anna, James M., Quincy A., William H., all born in Posey county, 
and all now deceased. John T. Gill. Sr., the father of John T., of this 
record, was born in Posey county in 1806 and married Miss Anna Aloore 
in 1831. She was born October 5, 1810, in Posey county, her parents. 



266 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Mr. and Mrs. James Moore, natives of Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. John 
T., Sr., had ten children: Sarah (deceased), born April i8, 1832; Sam- 
uel (deceased), born December 21, 1833 ; James (deceased), born April 21, 
1836; Joseph (deceased), born December 14, 1837; Rachel, born Septem- 
ber 24, 1839, now the widow of David Lyttle, Clarkston, Wash. ; Charles 
(deceased), born May 6, 1841 ; Martha Ann, born December 30, 1842, now 
the widow of John M. Crunk, Mt. Vernon ; John T., of this sketch ; 
Zachariah Taylor, born October 28, 1848, now deceased; Harriet, the 
youngest, died in infancy. John T. Gill, our subject, was educated in the 
public schools of Posey county. His father died when he was but five 
years of age and he was reared by his uncle, Joseph Gill, who lived five 
miles northwest of Mt. Vernon. Here John T. lived until 1864, when he 
enlisted in Company B, First Indiana cavalry, and was mustered out in 
July, 1865 at St. Charles, Ark. He took part in the battles of Pea Ridge, 
Pine Bluff and Helena, Ark., but was never wounded. He is now a 
member of the Harrow post of the Grand Army of the Republic, of Mt. 
Vernon, in which he has served as adjutant and has from time to time 
been honored with other offices. His brothers, James and Joseph, were 
also veterans of the Civil war, serving in Company F, Twenty-fifth In- 
diana volunteer infantry. In 1902 Mr. Gill was elected a member of the 
advisory board of Black township, serving eight years. In 1904 he was 
elected councilman from the Fourth ward in Mt. Vernon, serving six 
years. He is a Republican, and belongs to Beulah Lodge No. 578, An- 
cient Free and Accepted Masons. On March 10, 1875, Mr. Gill married 
Miss Mary A. Brookins, daughter of Milton and Sarah (Davis) Brookins. 
She was born May 2, 1855. near Mt. Vernon, 111. Her parents were na- 
tives of Ohio. They have had but one child. Fannie, born March 23, 1879, 
and died April 30, 1907. She was educated in the schools of Mt. Vernon. 
Air. Gill was a farmer all his his life until his retirement in 1900. His 
farming interests comprise eightj^-seven acres in Black township, which 
he rents. He now lives in Mt. Vernon. 

John A. Deig, a prominent farmer of Mt. Vernon, was born in Black 
township, March 21, 1870, son of John S. and Mary (Muller) Deig, the fa- 
ther born in Germany, came to this country in 1838 with his parents and 
settled in Posey county near St. Phillips. John S. was but five years of age 
at that time and he was educated in the common schools of his locality 
and later engaged in farming and stock raising. He married Mary 
Muller, daughter of Louis Muller, in 1855. They became the parents 
of twelve children: Caroline, Mary, Margaret, Joseph, Charles, Louis, 
^^'illiam, John A., Frank, Lillie, Anna, and one who died in infancy. 
Of these only John A. and Frank are living. Caroline married Antone 
Breiner (see sketch). John A. Deig was raised in Black township, Po- 
sey county, where he was educated in the public schools and worked 
on the farm with his father until of age, when he started out for him- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 267 

self, farming one year on the home place on the Fourth street road. 
After the first year he removed to his farm adjoining the town of 
Mt. Vernon, and has recently built one of the finest residences in the 
city, located on Main street, the last house inside the city limits. It 
is near one of his farms containing ninety-one acres. He has 
160 acres east of town, making a total of 251 acres. On Octo- 
ber 10, 1893, occurred the marriage of John A. Deig and Matilda Fischer, 
daughter of Valentine and Barbara (Soellner) Fischer, her parents natives 
of Germany, the mother from Bavaria and the father from Hessen- 
Darmstadt, Germany. The mother came to Posey county in 1836 
with her parents, who located in the county. The father came in 1839 
with his parents, who located in West Virginia, and after two or three 
years came to Posey county, where they engaged in farming and stock 
raising. Mrs. Deig was born in Marrs township, December 13, 1869, 
where she was reared, and educated as far as the common schools 
went. She then attended St. Joseph Academy at Evansville, where she 
graduated in 1886. Mr. and Mrs. John A. Deig became the parents 
of five children: John (deceased), Cecelia (deceased), Sylvester S., 
Alfonso W. F., and Francis J. Sylvester S. and Alfonso W. F. are 
attending school in Mt. Vernon. Mr. Deig is a Democrat in politics, 
and he and his family are members of the Catholic church. 

Henry Weissinger (deceased), former undertaker and furniture dealer, 
of Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in Springfield, Ohio, July 14, 1834, and 
died in Mt. Vernon, Ind., May 22, 1906. He was a son of Carl and 
Marie (Klenck) Weissinger, both natives of Hessen-Darmstadt, Ger- 
many. They came to Mt. Vernon when their son, Henry, was a boy. 
Henry was jjound out to a cabinet maker of New Albany and remained 
with him many years. During the Civil war he was in the United 
States Marine Service on the gunboat "Autocrat," and as a ship carpen- 
ter had the the rank of second lieutenant. He came to Mt. Vernon in 
1866 and opened an undertaking and furniture establishment. Later 
he discontinued the furniture business, but continued in the undertak- 
ing line until his death. In 1894 his son, Allison V., became his part- 
ner and the firm of Weissinger & Son was formed. The business is 
still conducted under this name, Allison V. now having as his partner 
his own son. Merle A. Henry Weissinger was married, in New Albany, 
Ind., in 1857, to Martha Venable, who was born and reared in that 
town and who now lives in Mt. Vernon at the age of seventy-five years. 
They became the parents of eight children: Allison Venable, of Mt. 
Vernon; Harry, of Chicago; John R., of Enid, Okla. ; Elizabeth, now 
Mrs. Henry Walters, of Sapulpa, Okla. ; Manor, of Mt. Vernon ; Frank, 
of Enid, Okla.; Mattie, now Mrs. Jesse Sutton, of Danville, 111., and 
Jesse, of Enid, Okla. Henry Weissinger was a Democrat, served as 
councilman of Mt. Vernon and was county coroner four terms. He 



268 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

was a Master Mason and with his wife belonged to the Missionary 
Baptist church. Allison V. Weissinger was born in New Albany, Ind., 
March 31, 1859. He was reared in Mt. Vernon to the age of about 
sixteen, when he returned to his maternal grandparents in New Albany, 
remaining there for eight years attending school. He then came back 
to Mt. Vernon to work with his father. From 1888 to 1894 he was with 
the Adams Express Company and was away in the West a greater 
part of this time. In 1894 he became his father's partner and has con- 
tinued in the business since that time, building his present fine estab- 
lishment in 191 1. He is a licensed embalmer and served as .secretary of 
the State board of embalmers, to which office he was appointed by 
Governor Durbin, for seven years. Mr. Weissinger is a member of the 
Elks lodge and of the Knights of Pythias. He is a Democrat in politics 
and a member of the Presbyterian church. In 1882 he was married, at 
Mt. Vernon, to Adellah Duckworth, daughter of John K. Duckworth, a 
liveryman and stage line owner of Mt. Vernon and related to one of 
the early pioneer families of Posey county. They have but one 
child, Merle, who is associated with his father in business and has 
served his third term as county coroner. He married, in 1906, Miss 
Grace Sullivan, daughter of Richard L. Sullivan, grain dealer of Mt- 
Vernon. They are the parents of one child — Emily Dee — born April 
22, 1908. 

Enoch E. Thomas, former mayor of Mt. Vernon. Ind.. and ex-sheriff 
of Posey county, was born October 8, 1837, on a farm in Lynn town- 
ship, Posey county, son of Capt. George W. and Ann L. (Noel) 
Thomas. George W. Thomas was born in Kentucky in 1813, while his 
parents were enrpute from North Carolina to Posey county, Indiana, 
one year after the county was organized. The parents of George W. 
farmed in Posey county from 1813 to 1855, when they removed to Mt. 
Vernon. He became the owner of several hundred acres of land and 
was a pioneer miller, having built the first steam mill in Posey county. 
In 1855 he engaged in wharf and steam boating on the Ohio river, fol- 
lowing this business until his retirement. He represented Posey county 
in the State legislature two years and was county recorder four years, 
and at different times was city councilman. While recorder of the county 
he, with Governor Hovey, secured the passage of an act permitting 
the use of funds in the county treasurer's hands for building the present 
court house. He was a life-long Democrat and belonged to the Masonic 
lodge. Enoch Thomas was reared on his father's farm in Lynn town- 
ship, where he attended the country schools three months out of the 
year. In 1855 his parents removed to Mt. Vernon and he attended the 
old seminary two years. He is essentially a self-made man, and at the 
age of eighteen he engaged in the wharf and boating business with his 
father under the firm name of G. W. Thomas & Son. He continued in 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 269 

the business until 1882, when he embarked in the coal business. In 1884 
he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the council from the Second 
ward, which is strongly Republican. This office he held two years. In 
1886 he was elected mayor of Mt. Vernon, and was reelected in 1888. 
The water works franchise was granted during his first term as mayor. In 
1897 hs was elected sheriff of Posey county, and was reelected in 1899, 
serving four years and four months in all. He is said to have been the 
best sheriff the county ever had. He was always a prominent and active 
citizen. He is a charter member of the Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 277, 
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and has filled all of its offices. 
At present he is treasurer of the lodge. On December i, 1864, occurred 
the marriage of Enoch E. Thomas to Miss Anna Weaver, daughter of 
Dr. Warren Weaver, of Mt. Vernon. She was born in Evansville, Ind. 
They have five children : Gertrude, born in 1865, died in 1871 ; Mabel, 
the wife of Wilbur Cushman, lumberman, of Poseyville; Cornelia, the 
wife of Dr. C. H. Fullinwider, of Mt. Vernon ; Emma, the wife of Charles 
Chislett, real estate, of North Vancouver, British Columbia : Ena, wife of 
A. K. Boyce, commercial traveler, of Terre Haute, Ind. 

Edwin Rinear, M. D., one of the leading physicians of Mt. Vernon, Ind., 
was born in Liberty Center, Wells county, Indiana, June 24, 1866, son of 
Elias M. and Mary Jane (Hupp) Rinear. His great-grandfather was a 
Frenchman who came to this country with Lafayette and served in the 
American Revolution. His grandfather, Charles Rinear, son of the 
French soldier, was born in New Jersey, and Elias M. Rinear, son of 
Charles Rinear, was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. Mary Jane Hupp 
was born in Wells county, Indiana, of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. 
Elias M. Rinear was a druggist in Liberty Center and other towns of In- 
diana, and now lives in Bluffton. He was a soldier in the One Hundred 
and First Indiana infantry and for three years was a "fife major." Ed- 
win Rinear was reared in the place of his birth and attended the public 
schools, later completing a teacher's course in Holbrook Normal at Leb- 
anon, Ohio, after which he taught for six years in the Wells county 
public schools. He then took up the study of medicine at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, graduating from the Medical College of Ohio, of that city, in 1890. 
He practiced at Liberty Center ten years, at Warren, Ind., three or four 
years, at Bluffton for a time and located at Mt. Vernon in May, 191 1. 
He is a member of the Mt. Vernon Medical Association, which he or- 
ganized in 1912, is secretary of the Posey County Medical Association and 
a member of the Indiana Medical Society. In 1890 Dr. Rinear married 
Queen Mabel Webb, daughter of Benjamin F. Webb, of Warren, Ind. In 
politics he is a Democrat. Our subject is a self-made man, rising in the 
world by his own efforts. His chief distinction apart from his skill as a 
phvsician and surgeon is that he is a musician of more than ordinary skill 
and an artist of no mean ability. 



270 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Rev. Paul Press, pastor of the Trinity Evangelical Church at Mt. Ver- 
non, Ind., was born at Cambria, Wis., March 30, 1877, son of Reverend 
Gottlob and Julia (Guenther) Press, both born in (jermany, and married 
in Missouri in 1867, shortly after coming to America, having known each 
other in Germany. Gottlob Press has devoted his life to the ministry in 
the Evangelical church. When Paul vifas about three years of age his 
father accepted a pastorate at Areola, III., and four years later was called 
to New Hanover, 111., where our subject spent the greater part of his 
3'outh. Paul Press was educated in the public schools at Elmhurst Col- 
lege, Elmhurst, III., and at Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., 
where lie completed a four-year course and was ordained in the ministry 
in 1898. His first work was at Murphysboro, 111., where he remained five 
and one-half years, and in January, 1904, came to Mt. Vernon. He has 
been a member of the board of education since 1910 and in politics is a 
Republican. In 1905 Reverend Press married Anna Brauer, of Murphys- 
boro, 111., and the_\- have two children, Paul and Helen. 

Elijah M. Spencer, deceased, formerly a prominent attorney of Mt. 
Vernon, Ind., was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, December 6, 1831, 
the seventh son of Mathias and Harriet (Smith) Spencer, natives of Con- 
necticut, the father born November 15, 1795, and the mother born April 
23. 1796, and died April 9, 1874. The parents were farmers. They were 
married in 1818, and had eight sons: William D., born March 5, 
1819, died May 7, 1858; Daniel S., born April 5, 1820, now deceased ; John 
W., born February 24, 1823, died March 15, 1859; Dr. Edwin V., born 
October 9, 1825, died May 28, 1902; Henry A., born August 29, 1828, 
died January 21. 1888; Harvey II., born June 12, 1830, died February 13, 
1831; Elijah M., born December 6, 1831, died October 3, 1912; George 
W., born August 9; 1835, now a retired farmer of Corey, Pa. Elijah 
M. Spencer was a graduate of the Allegheny College, of Meadville, Pa., 
and came to Mt. \'ernon in July, 1856, where he was an active and 
successful law^-er all his life. At the time of his death, October 3, 1912, 
he was the oldest member of the Posey County Bar Association, and 
that fraternity adopted elaborate resolutions of respect. He was an ex- 
tensive owner of real estate and had retired in 1906 after fifty years of law 
practice. In politics Mr. Spencer was a Democrat and represented Posey 
county in the State legislature for two terms, beginning in 1865. He was 
very active in law making, was a member of several important commit- 
tees and author of several successful measures, which today stand as 
monuments to his memory. He served for a time as county attorney. 
Mr. Spencer was public spirited and liberal, and the last check he issued 
before his death was a large donation to the Presbyterian church, of 
which his wife and daughters are active members. He was very highly 
respected in the community in which he for so many years was a substan- 
tial and dependable citizen. Elijah Spencer was married November 15, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 271 

i860 at Akron, Ohio, to Miss Mary E. Morse, daughter of Huron and 
Alethia (Ives) Morse. Mrs. Spencer was born December 27, 1839, in Port- 
age county, Ohio. Her father was born July 29, 1807, and died June 16, 
1885, and her mother, born April 30, 1810, died March 20, 1854. Mr. and 
Mrs. Huron Morse had four children: Laura A., born August 12, 1833, 
died May 24, 1901 ; Lucy H., born July 9, 1835, died October 26, 1894; 
Charles R., born October 14, 1837, died April 9, 1905 ; Mary E., born De- 
cember Z], 1839. Mr. and Mrs. Elijah M. Spencer had six children: 
CharlesM., born November 21, 1861, lawyer and assistant State auditor, 
Indianapolis; John W., born March 7, 1864, now chief justice of the State 
Supreme Court; Frank B., born August 12, 1868, died June 17, 1892; 
Mary A., born November 29, 1870, now the wife of Aliyn B. Hart, su- 
perintendent of ice company, Mt. Vernon; Stella I., born March 19, 1873, 
was the wife of Arthur E. Fretageot, a merchant of New Harmony, died 
August 22, 1913, leaving one daughter, Mary, eight years old; Elijah M., 
born March 19, 1876. 

George L. Hoehn, of Hoehn & Howard, real estate and insurance, 
Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in Harmony township, February 8, 1856. 
He is a son of Blasius and Josephine (Pfister) Hoehn, both natives of 
Germany, and also settled in Posey county in 1853. The father died 
in Lynn township in 1869, aged forty-eight, and the mother passed away 
in 1875, aged fifty years. George L. Hoehn was educated in the public 
schools, and took a commercial course. He engaged in the grocery 
business and later learned the tinner's trade. In 1887 l^^ was appointed 
deputy county treasurer, serving in that capacity until 1895, when he 
was elected county treasurer, and served until 1900. For a time he was 
engaged in the grocery business, and in igo8 formed the present partner- 
ship with Mr. Howard. Mr. Hoehn was married October 8, i8go, to Miss 
Margaret Deig. of Marrs township. They have one child, Raymond L. 
He is a member of the Catholic Knights of St. John and is a Democrat. 

William Degress Bennett. — In the development of the agricultural re- 
sources of Posey county, which has resulted in her fame as a corn pro- 
ducing district, opportunity has been offered to many not only to cause 
the dense woodland to bloom with waving grain, to realize substantial 
returns in a financial way, but to become leaders and teachers among 
their fellow men. Among those who have been active in the develop- 
ment of Point township from the time of the removal of the forests to 
the present is numbered the subject of this review. William D. Ben- 
nett is a native of Kentucky and was born near Bell's Coal Mine, Crit- 
tendon county, March i, 1857, a son of James Madison and Mary E. 
(Humphreys) Bennett, both of whom were born in Tennessee. The Ben- 
nett family are of English ancestry. Prior to the War of the Revo- 
lution, three brothers, Nicholas L., Walker Marion and Emory Hughes 
Bennett, immigrated to the A'^irginia colony, and subsequently all three 



272 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

served in the Continental Line in the struggle which resulted in the for- 
mation of the Union. These brothers were the founders of the family 
in America. William D. Bennett is the fourth in descent from Emory 
Hughes Bennett, the Revolutionary soldier, which is as follows : Emory 
Hughes Bennett, born in England, resident of Virginia colony, a soldier 
of the Colonial army; Emory Hughes Bennett, Jr., his son, plantation 
owner of Tennessee (2) ; Emory Hughes Bennett, second, his son, born 
in Tennessee, resident of Kentucky and an early settler in Point town- 
ship, Posey county, a blacksmith by trade, and father of our subject (3). 
He was born near Nashville, on December 11, 1834. He served with 
Morgan's force in the Civil war, was captured by the Union forces, and 
remained a prisoner at Chicago for twenty-two months, refusing to take 
the oath of allegiance to the Union in order to secure his release. On 
the conclusion of hostilities he followed his trade of blacksmith, locating 
in Kentucky, and came to Posey county in 1875. With his son, William 
D., he bought 100 acres of land, at that time covered with forest. The 
tract was located in Point township, and is a part of the farm now owned 
by our subject. The elder Bennett followed his trade until his death, 
and the shop was operated for some years afterward by his son. He 
married when a young man, Mary E. Humphrey, a native of Tennessee, 
and whose father was a plantation owner and man of influence. The 
family originated in England, was founded in America during the Colo- 
nial period, and several members were active supporters of the move- 
ment which resulted in independence and served as well with the Colonial 
forces. Mr. Bennett's death occurred on December 28, 1887. and that of 
his wife on May 20, 1902. The}' were the parents of the following chil- 
dren : \\'illiam D. ; Jane Anne, wife of Jeremiah Kelley, a veteran of the 
Civil war, and resident of Mt. Vernon. Mrs. Kelley died in 1891 ; Emory 
Hughes Bennett, a retired farmer of Mt. Vernon; Fannie IVL, wife of 
Walter A. Curtis, farmer of Point township ; John K. Bennett, farmer of 
Point township, and Walker Marion Bennett, also a farmer of Point 
township. William D. Bennett attended the country schools of his na- 
tive State, the time spent in securing an education being very limited. 
From his father he learned the trade of blacksmithing, which he followed 
both in Kentucky and Indiana. Upon his coming to Posey county, in 
1875, when, with his father, he purchased a tract of timber land, much 
of his time was spent in clearing the tract for farming purposes. The 
hardships incident to reaching the goal — a producing farm — were many; 
privations equally plenty, but he had the pluck, courage and energj' 
necessarj' to win out. His farm, one of the most productive ones per acre 
in his township, is the return for many years of hard labor, privation and 
possibly some loss of enthusiasm. His holdings comprise 130 acres. The 
improvements are substantial, the farm well stocked and its owner is 
considered one of the successful men of his township, as well as one 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 273 

of the most influential. He has been a lifelong Democrat, is active in the 
affairs of that organization in his district, but not inclined to accept 
office. He is a member of Point Lodge, Xo. 779, Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, and is a liberal supporter of the Methodist church. Mr. 
Bennett married, on April 3, 1887, Louisa, the daughter of the late 
Henry Heinekamp, a native of Germany, and a carpenter by trade and 
a resident of Mt. Vernon. He was accidentally killed on March 26, 1889, 
by being thrown from his wagon, which ran over him. Mr. and Mrs. 
Bennett are the parents of the following children : Annie Christina, Cora 
Elgin, Emory Hughes, and George Washington. One child, a son, died 
in infancy. 

John Keck, manufacturer and man of affairs, president of the Keck- 
Gonnerman Company, of Mt. Vernon, and one of the most influential 
men in Posey county, of which he is a native, was born on his father's 
farm in Marrs township on August 7, 185 1, the son of Andrew and Ro- 
sanna (Grossman) Keck. Andrew Keck and his wife were natives of 
Germany, who came to America with their parents and lived in Phila- 
delphia, Pa., where they married. He brought his family to Posey county, 
Indiana, in 1835, and located on land in Marrs township. He was a 
farmer, an untiring worker, possessed the frugality common to the Ger- 
man race, and was known as a man of strict honesty. His death oc- 
curred in 1876, and that of his wife in 1861. They were the parents of 
twelve children, seven of whom are living. They are in order of birth, 
as follows: Caroline, the wife of Christian C. Stilz, a market gardener 
of Evansville; Anna B., the widow of Jacob Meyers, who resides in 
Portland, Ore. ; Rosanna, the widow of John C. Woody, who resides in 
Terre Haute; Christiana, the wife of J. F. Schiela, of Mt. Vernon; John, 
the subject of this review; Peter, of Mt. Vernon, proprietor of an elec- 
trical equipment supply store, and Louis H., secretary and treasurer of 
the Keck-Gonnerman Company, of Mt. Vernon. The deceased children 
are as follows : Maria, who was the wife of George Maurer, a farmer 
of Marrs township ; Amelia, who married Henry Habenicht, a grocer 
of Evansville ; Andrew, a drygoods merchant of Evansville ; Eliza, who 
was the wife of Benjamin Blakely, of Mt. Vernon, and Catherine, who 
died in her eighteenth year. John Keck was reared on his father's farm, 
assisted in the farm work, and acquired his education in the district 
schools of his home township and Evansville. On attaining his ma- 
jority, he struck out for himself, secured employment in Evansville, and 
became a machinist. He initiated his first business venture in 1877, 
when he purchased a half interest in the foundry owned by his brother- 
in-law, John C. Woody, at Mt. Vernon. The business was conducted 
under the firm name of Woody & Keck until 1883, when it became Keck 
& Onk, this partnership continuing for a few months, when new prin- 
cipals were admitted and the firm. Keck, Gonnerman & Company formed. 



274 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

The business of this firm was incorporated in 1901, as the Keck-Gonner- 
man Company, of which Mr. Keck has since been president. A review of 
the growth of this enterprise, the most important in Posey county, is 
inchided in the chapter, "Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises," 
to which the reader is referred for supplemental information. As a citi- 
zen of Mt. Vernon, his place of residence for thirty years, Mr. Keck has 
been one of its most potential factors as a developer of commercial enter- 
prises. He was one of the active factors in the organization of the 
Industrial Brick Company, the Home Mill & Elevator Company, and the 
Sunlight Milling Company, all of which have added to the prosperity of 
the city and which are reviewed at length in the chapter, "Manufacturing 
and Commercial Enterprises." He is also a member of the directorate 
of the First National Bank of Mt. Vernon. With his brother, Louis H. 
Keck, he is the owner of 865 acres of choice bottom land in Posey 
and Gibson counties, which are operated under their supervision. He 
has always taken an active interest in the civil affairs of his county and 
State, but political office has never appealed to him. He is a Democrat. 
He is a member of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias orders, and 
of the Methodist church. Mr. Keck married, on March 20, 1877, Miss 
Addie Frank, the daughter of Valentine Frank, a market gardener of 
Louisville. Ky. They are the parents of two children : Frank L. Keck, 
born June 16, 1882, a graduate of the Mt. Vernon High School, and as- 
sistant superintendent of the Keck-Gonnerman Company, and Grover C. 
Keck, a graduate of the engineering department of Purdue University, 
class of 1906. who is the assistant secretary and treasurer of the Keck- 
Gonnerman Compan}-, and manager of the automobile sales department 
Miles W. Thomas, influential citizen, successful farmer and trustee of 
Black township, was born on his father's farm near the city of Mt. 
Vernon on May 15, 1858, the son of David and Mary (Noles) Thomas. 
David Thomas was also a native of Posey county, his wife a native of 
Kentucky. Both died in 1864, when Miles was a lad of six years of age. 
He was reared in the family of his brother-in-law, John M. Gregory, a 
farmer of Black township, who removed in 1874 to Illinois. In the last 
named year, i\Iiles Thomas became self-supporting. He secured em- 
ployment as a farm hand and continued in this occupation until 1876, 
when he rented an eighty-acre farm in Marrs township. He remained 
a renter until 1893, when he purchased 180 acres of land in Marrs town- 
ship, and which he has brought up to a high point of cultivation. He 
also owns forty-three acres in Black township, three miles east of Mt. 
Vernon, which he purchased in 1897. Since attaining his majority he has 
taken an active part in the political life of his township, and has been a 
consistent supporter of the policies of the Democratic party. He was 
elected to his present office, that of trustee of Black township, in 1908, 
and in the administration of its affairs he has proven the possession of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 275 

sound business judgment and keen financial sense. Since taking up the 
duties of the office, he has built three modern school buildings, one in 
191 1, one in 1912, and one in 1913. at a total cost of $13,800; besides put- 
ting all of the older buildings in a thorough state of repair. The roads 
of Black township are conceded to be the best in the county, and repre- 
sent close attention to this essential of the farmer by the trustee. A 
drainage ditch, costing $3,200, has also been completed under his super- 
vision, and is one of the important improvements of the township under 
his administration. His election was by a majority of 176 in a township 
normally Republican by 100; a highly complimentary evidence of his 
standing as a citizen and reputation as a man of affairs. Mr. Thomas 
married in 1879 Miss Mary Lewis, the daughter of Thompson P. Lewis, 
farmer and influential citizen of Marrs township. To them have been 
born seven children, four of whom died in infancy, and the others are 
as follows: Lewis W., born July 3, 1880; Elizabeth, born November 27, 
1888, and Thompson, born October 12, 1900. The family became resi- 
dents of the city of Mt. Vernon in 1909, and are well and favorably 
known. 

Andrew A. Schenk, successful merchant, influential citizen, and treas- 
urer of Posey county, is a native of the city of Mt. Vernon, where he 
was born on April 8, 1857, the son of Eberhardt P. and Margaret (Deig) 
Schenk. The family was founded in Indiana by Frank Schenk, a native 
of Germany, who came to Posey county in January, 1837, and located 
on land in Marrs township. He died in 1846 and his wife in 1872. They 
were the parents of Eberhardt P. Schenk, who was born in Germany, in 
1821, and who obtained a good education in that country. His early 
life was passed on his father's farm. In 1847 he settled on a farm of his 
own in Marrs township, which he operated profitably. In 1855 he, with 
his brother, Frank Schenk, built the Union Hotel on the southeast corner 
of Main and Second streets, which they conducted until 1861, when Eber- 
hardt P. sold his interest and. returned to his farm in Black township, 
resumed its operation and continued farming there until his death. Mr. 
Schenk was an active and influential factor in the political life of Posey 
county, a Democrat, and served acceptably as county commissioner for 
several years. He married Margaret Deig in 1847. They were the 
parents of the following children, viz. : Mary Ann (deceased), Katherine, 
Frank P., Andrew A., the subject of this article, Barbara, Margaret 
(deceased), and Elizabeth. The parents were communicants of the 
Catholic church, and the family were reared in that faith. Andrew A. 
Schenk was reared on his father's farm and educated in the schools of 
Marrs township. On attaining his majority he engaged in farming on 
his own account and remained in this occupation until 1892, when he 
removed to Mt. Vernon and engaged in the grocery business. He has 
since developed one of the most profitable enterprises in this line in the 



276 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

county. He posseses a reputation for honesty and fair dealing which 
combined with commercial ability of high order has enabled his to ac- 
cumulate a competence. Like his father, he has been an active factor in 
the political life of his home township, and later in that of the county. 
He has ever been a consistent advocate of the principles and policies 
of the Democratic party, which honored him, in 1910, with nomination to 
the office of treasurer of Posey county, and elected him by a highly 
satisfactory majority. He was elected, to succeed himself, in 191 2. In 
the administration of the affairs of this department of the county's busi- 
ness, Mr. Schenk has given the same close attention to detail which 
made for his success both as a farmer and merchant. The writer is per- 
suaded to believe that for all round efficiency the office has never had 
a more able occupant. Mr. Schenk married, on September 18, 1884, Miss 
Katy Grabert, the daughter of Frederick Grabert, of Black township. 
They are the parents of five children, who are as follows: Fred E. 
Schenk. assistant treasurer of Posey county ; William C. Schenk. man- 
ager of the Schenk grocery store ; Carl O. Schenk. Arthur A. Schenk, and 
Raymond Schenk, the last three named being employed in various ca- 
pacities in the store owned by their father. The family is popular in 
their home city, active in its social life, and the Schenk residence on 
\\'ater street is <me of the handsome homes of Mt. Vernon. 

Eberhardt B. Schenk, president of the E. B. Schenk Hardware Com- 
pany, of Mt. Vernon, influential citizen and successful man of affairs, 
was born near Evansville, Ind., July 10, 1844. He was reared in St. 
Philip and Mt. Vernon, coming to the latter city with his parents in 1856. 
His education was acquired in the public schools and his first occupation 
was that of clerk in the Union Hotel of Mt. Vernon, built and conducted 
by his father and uncle. He initiated his first commercial venture in 
1866, when he engaged in the pump business. In this he was successful. 
He engaged in the hardware business in 1873. doing busines under the 
style of E. B. Schenk. Under his management this enterprise has grown 
to be the leading one of its line in Posey county. Mr. Schenk occupies 
the office of president and his son, John Schenk, that of secretary and 
treasurer. The company carries a complete line of hardware, plumbing 
materials, stoves and furnaces, sporting goods, cutlery, and implements. 
The stock carried represents by far the largest investment of any similar 
enterprise in the county, is the most comprehensive in assortment, and 
in point of volume of sales, exceeds by far any competitor in the city. 
Mr. Schenk is known to the hardware trade as being especially well in- 
formed in all the branches and details of the line. As a merchant, he is 
considered as one of the most successful in his section. He is a citizen 
of influence, and that influence he has consistently used in the support 
of those measures which have had for their object the development and 
betterment of the commercial, civil and religious life of his city and 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY T.'J'J 

county. He is a Democrat, takes an active interest in the questions of the 
day, but has never had inclination for public office. He is a member of 
Mt. Vernon Lod^e, No. 277. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, 
and a communicant of the Catholic church. Mr. Schenk married Miss 
Elizabeth Stahloefer, of Mt. Vernon. 

Clem V. Schenk, a young business man of Mt. Vernon, who is success- 
fully conducting a plumbing, heating and sheet metal enterprise, which 
ranks first in its line in Posey county, was born in Mt. Vernon on Jan- 
uary 6, 1885, the son of Eberhardt B. Schenk, a review of whose life 
precedes this article. Clem V. Schenk received his education in the 
schools of his native city, supplemented by a two-year course in Jasper 
College, at Jasper, Ind. His first employment was in the store of his 
father, where for three years he was a salesman, eight years an em- 
ployee in the plumbing and sheet iron department of the same store, 
and of which he became foreman. In June, 191 1, he took over the shop 
end of his father's business, and has developed a successful enterprise. 
He occupies commodious quarters in a two-story brick building on 
West Second street, having a frontage of forty feet and running back 
ninety feet. His equipment comprises all needed machinery necessary 
for the carrying on of the business, and his stock of material is the 
largest and most varied of any in its line in the county. Mr. Schenk is 
a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks, and takes an active interest in the political life of his city 
and State. He is a Democrat. Mr. Schenk married, on .September 25, 
1907, Miss Carrie Frielinghausen, the daughter of Antone Frielinghausen. 
The family are communicants of the Catholic church. 

John Herrmann, one of Posey county's most enterprising and intelli- 
gent citizens, was reared and educated in Germany, where he was born 
August 10, 1827, the fourth son of a family of six children born to John 
and Magdalena (Wagner) Herrmann, who were natives of Germany 
and lived and died in the Fatherland. He came to America in 1851, 
locating first in New York State, where he remained for one year. He 
then went to Ohio and on March 18, 1853, he located on a farm near 
Wadesville, Ind., remaining there until 1887, when he came to Mt. 
Vernon. John Herrmann made his own start in life, unselfishly leav- 
ing his share of the family estate to his widowed mother and brothers 
and sisters. By indomitable courage and energy he succeeded in ac- 
quiring 300 acres of very fine land, now under cultivation. His barn, 
which is the finest in the county, cost $6,000. He has an elegant resi- 
dence and financially is one of the foremost farmers in the State. Mr. 
Herrmann is a member of the Lutheran church and is a Democrat and 
takes an active interest in politics. He held the office of justice of the 
peace sixteen years, and in all respects is worthy of the confidence 
reposed in him. He has been offered many positions of honor and trust 



278 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

by his political friends, which for various reasons he could not accept. 
He is prominent in the councils of his party and as a citizen takes a 
leading place in the community. In 1887 he removed from Wades- 
ville to Mt. Vernon and after holding the office of county treasurer 
he retired. Mrs. Herrmann died in 1906, and since that time he has 
made his home with his son, John G. Herrmann. On August 20, 1851, 
occurred the marriage of John Herrmann and Margaret Hempfling and 
they became the parents of seven children : Barbara, deceased ; Simon, 
deceased; Elizabeth, deceased; Christiana; Carolina, deceased; John G., 
and Sophia, deceased. John G. was born September 10, 1866. On 
September 7, 1890, he married Miss Tillie Stephens, daughter of Henry 
and Mollie (Vosloh) Stephens. The next year he removed to Mt. 
Vernon and engaged in farming. At the same time he was in the im- 
plement business with his brother-in-law, Joseph M. Stephens, from 
1902 to 191 2, when he purchased Mr. Stephens' interests in both farm 
and implement business. At present Mr. Herrmann is the proprietor of 
an up-to-date garage located on Main street and sells the Buick auto- 
mobile and carries a full line of automobile accessories. The farm is 
known as the Little Island in the western part of Black township, and 
consists of 423 acres. Mr. Herrmann was also in the race horse busi- 
ness for three years. He belongs to the Masons, Odd Fellows and Elks. 
Enoch BealBixler, successful man of affairs and popular citizen of 
Cynthiana, was born on his father's farm in Armstrong township, Van- 
derburg county, Indiana, April 21, 1853, the son of John and Caroline 
(Lechner) Bixler, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, John 
Bixler having been born in Lebanon county on July 8, 1802, and his 
wife in Lewistown on September i, 1815.' They were married in Lew- 
istown on March 27, 1834. Four years later, in 1838, John Bixler de- 
cided to seek his fortune in the West and, with a covered wagon, drawn 
by one horse, he set out for Indiana and eventually located in Vander- 
burg county, where he purchased land from the government, paying $1.25 
per acre. In his new home he underwent the hardships common to the 
pioneer of that time, did his due share toward the development of his 
section and accumulated a competence. He was a man of some influ- 
ence in his township, was held in esteem by his fellow citizens, and 
reared his children with a view to their becoming useful men and 
women. The original Bixler homestead, when purchased from the gov- 
ernment a wilderness, through his efforts made a highly productive 
farm property and is still owned by one of his children. John and 
Caroline Bixler were the parents of eleven children, seven of whom are 
living at this writing (1913) and are as follows: Benedict, Nancy J., 
the widow of Moses Wilkinson, who was a resident of Smith township, 
and in which she resides; Cornelia; Jonas T. ; Enoch B.. the subject 
of this review; Edson M. and Ella F. The deceased children are: Mary 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 279 

C, Virginia, John H. and Elias W. Enoch Beal Bixler was reared on 
the home farm in Vanderburg county and acquired his education in its 
district schools and in Cynthiana, being a pupil in the first school house 
erected in that town. Subsequently he engaged in teaching. He was 
engaged in this profession for eight years, six in Armstrong township, 
Vanderburg county, and two in Smith township, Posey county. He 
next engaged in farming and stock raising, an occupation in which he 
has been signally successful. His eight years as a teacher has had much 
to do with his desire to keep in touch with the advancement in agricul- 
tural methods, and the result of his studies along this line is seen in 
the results obtained in the management of his farm properties. As a 
stock raiser he ranks among the first in his section. His farm of 200 
acres in Vanderburg county is one of the most valuable in that section 
of the State, its improvements are modern, it is well stocked, and under 
his management is a profitable enterprise. He is president of the Mu- 
tual Telephone Company of Cynthiana and a director in the Evansville, 
Mt. Carmel & Olney Railroad Company, an organization chartered to 
build an electric line from Olney, 111., through Mt. Carmel to Evans- 
ville. a distance of about sixty miles. A portion of the road has been 
completed and it is the expectation that it will be in operation from 
terminal to terminal within two years. It traverses a highly productive 
country, having an average population of 706 per square mile, and will 
stimulate development of the territory through which it runs. Mr. Bix- 
ler has been an active factor in the enterprise, not only in the organiza- 
tion of the company, but in the affairs of the company since incorpora- 
lion. He has other investments of importance. His political affiliation 
has been with the Republican party and he is a consistent supporter of 
its principles and policies. Political office has never appealed to him. 
He is a member of the town council of Cynthiana, however, a case of 
the office seeking the man. He became a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows in 1883 and has been an active worker in his 
lodge. He is a member of the Christian church and served as moderator 
of the congregation at New Liberty for five years. In 1907 he built 
one of the most beautiful residences in Cynthiana, having seven acres 
of grounds, and the family have since resided in that city. Mr. Bixler 
married on September 26, 1885, Miss Nettie Newman, a daughter of 
William and Jane (Rutter) Newman, personal mention of whom will 
be found in the sketch of Schuyler C. Newman. Mrs. Bixler was born 
on the Newman farm in Armstrong township, Vanderburg county, and 
was educated in the schools of her home township and in Cynthiana. 
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bixler: Ivey Florence, 
deceased, and Edna E., born May 12, 1888. She is the wife of Ransom 
Ewing, a farmer of Cynthiana. Mr. and Mrs. Ewing are the parents of 
two children : Arvin K., born July 5, 1909, and Millage W., born Feb- 
ruary 13, 1913. 



28o HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Ira L. Turman, a physician and surgeon of Cynthiana, liuL, belongs 
to an old established Indiana family rich in historical lore. 1 lis great- 
grandfather, Benjamin Turman, was of English descent and was born 
in Virginia, residing for a number of years in Bedford county, of that 
State, where all of his children were born. He removed to Champaign 
county, Ohio, remaining there four years, thence to Sullivan county, 
Indiana, in the year 1810. In the year i8o6 Mr. Benjamin Turman had, 
with a small party, explored the country on the Wabash near the mouth 
of what afterwards was called Turman's creek, but at that time a set- 
tlement seemed too hazardous an undertaking. Four years later, on 
returning to the Wabash valley, he left his family at Carlisle, where 
a settlement had been made, while he, with his sons and a few soldiers, 
built a fort on the prairie where he had decided to locate his home. From 
that time the prairie, the creek, which joins the Wabash at that point, 
and the township took his name. Me brought with him from Ohio his 
farm implements, furniture and a considerable number of horses, cattle 
and hogs. These were the first hogs in this section of the country and 
they were capable of subsisting on the natural products of the soil. The 
Indians still frequented the locality and sometimes were cross and im- 
pudent. This did not deter Mr. Turman from the purchase of a large 
tract of land from the government in 1816. He had the first dairy and 
first fruit tree nursery in that part of the State, and some of the trees 
planted nearly 100 years ago are still standing, one apple tree meas- 
uring three feet and three inches in diameter. He lived to see peace 
restored between the United States and England and the Indians driven 
from the Wabash Valley. His death occurred in his spacious dwelling, 
built of hewed logs, in 1818. Thomas Turman, the grandfather of our 
subject, was born in Bedford county, Virginia, August 18, 1796, and his 
wife, Susannah Lavina (White) Turman, was born in Roane county, 
Tennessee, November i, 1801. They were married January 27, 1818, her 
grandfather, the Rev. Hezekiah James Balch, performing the ceremony. 
Rev. Balch was appointed on May 20, 1775, on a committee of three to 
draft and revise what was known as the Mecklenberg Declaration, which 
was the first Declaration of Independence made in America, and which 
was sent to the President of Congress in Philadelphia by Capt. James 
Jack. The Turmans produced large quantities of corn, for which there 
was no market nearer than New Orleans, and it is said that they were 
the first to propose transportation to that point by means of flat boats 
of home construction. Thomas Turman was one of the first to make the 
perilous journey, and opened up a trade that meant so much to the set- 
tlers all along the rivers and streams leading to the Mississippi from that 
time until the coming of railroads. The Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi 
rivers had many hidden rocks, dangerous sand bars and imbedded logs 
of immense size, which added greatly to the perils of the voyage, w^iich 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY . 281 

often required months to make. However, Mr. Turman carried on a 
successful freighting business for many years, always accompanying his 
boats personally and superintending the sales of goods. In his ab- 
sence his wife conducted the farming operations with such energy and 
good judgment that an ample crop was always awaiting transportation. 
On one of these trips he was gone so long that he was given up for lost, 
but returned just after the birth of a son, who was named Return Jon- 
athan, and who was the father of Dr. Ira L. Turman, of this record. 
Thomas Turman died June 30, 1863, and his wife died March 28, 1875. 
Return Jonathan Turman was born July 6, 1837, attended the common 
schools and when old enough to do so he farmed and raised stock on 
Turman's prairie, where he still resides. He was married April 3, 1864, 
to Perlina A. Wible, and to them were born twelve children, our subject, 
Ira L., being the third. The family are distinguished for great natural 
musical ability. The wife and mother died February 2, 1890. Dr. Ira L. 
Turman was born at Graysville, Ind., February 13, 1869, and was raised 
a farmer boy. After finishing the common schools he attended the Union 
Christian College at Merom, Ind., after which he taught school for one 
year and then began the study of medicine under Dr. J. L. Durham, of 
Graysville. He entered the medical department of the University of 
Louisville, Ky., graduating with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 
1894. In May of that year he located for the practice of his profes'- 
sion at Cynthiana, where he has since remained and enjoys a lucrative 
practice. Dr. Turman belongs to the Posey County and Indiana State 
societies, and the American Medical Association. He was president for 
one year and secretary for two years, 1910-1911, of the Posey County 
Medical Society. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. 
The first marriage of Dr. Turman was on August 22, 1895, to Miss Agnes 
Bixler, daughter of Benedict R. and Martha ( Boren) Bixler, natives of 
Vanderburg county, where they were engaged in farming and stock rais- 
ing. Agnes Bixler was born and raised in Vanderburg county. She at- 
tended common and high schools and graduated from the normal school 
at Princeton, after which she taught several terms in the rural schools 
prior to her marriage. They had one child, Claud Kenneth, born Decem- 
ber 14, 1896, a graduate of the Cynthiana High School, class of 1913, and 
now a teacher. The first wife died on October 26, 1904. On March 15, 
1906, Dr. Turman married Grace Bixler (nee Emerson), daughter of John 
W. and Ellen (Yeager) Emerson, natives of Gibson county, where Grace 
Emerson was born and reared. She was a student of the Union Christian 
College at Merom, Ind. Mrs. Turman had one child by her first mar- 
riage, David Clair Bixler, born July 16, 1904. Dr. and Mrs. Turman 
have two children, Robert E., born February 2, 1908, and Agnes Lucile, 
born February 4, 1912. The Turman family are members of the Chris- 
tian church. 



282 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Samuel Benson Montgomery, phjsician and surgeon of Cynthiana, 
Ind., is a member of a family which has figured prominently in the his- 
tory' of the world since 944, the death of Yves de Bellesme, Count of 
Alencon, in Normandy, the first person recorded as bearing the name of 
Montgomery, occurring in that year. Since that time the Montgomerys 
have been lieard of in France, England, Holland, Scotland, Ireland and 
America, his descendants having located in all those countries. It is 
from those that lived in Scotland and Ireland that we have the .\merican 
line, and the antecedents of our subject. In 1605 Hugh Montgomery, 
of Braidstane, Scotland, was given title to one-third of the Con Oneil 
estate of Ireland for services rendered in Oneil's behalf in securing his 
pardon from King James. Mr. Montgomery at once set about to place 
a desirable class of emigrants on the large possessions he had secured. 
Of the first fifty-one families he brought there six families bore the name 
Montgomery, and within five years his colonization was so successful 
that he was able to report 1,000 men at his Majesty's service. Out of the 
amalgamation of the thousands of Scotch emigrants brought into Ire- 
land by Hugh Montgomery and other knights, with the native Irish, came 
the Scotch-Irish family, many of whom have come to America, settling 
at first in Virginia and finally scattering in every State in the Union. 
Samuel Montgomery, Sr., a direct descendant of Hugh Montgomery, was 
born in Virginia about 1740, and served in the Revolutionary war. He 
was quiet, peace-loving, industrious and religious, and was highly es- 
teemed by his neighbors. He was an elder in the old Presbyterian church 
in Kentucky, and in 1814, three years after coming to Indiana, he con- 
sented to assist in the organization of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
church. This he did at the earliest solicitation of Rev. William Harnett, 
and with them in the project was James Knowles, an elder in the Old 
School Presbyterian church. These three men formed the basis for the 
first Cumberland Presbyterian church of Indiana, and they formed the 
new organization without reordination or relinquishing any part of their 
former faith, and for the sole purpose of advancing the cause of Christ. 
Samuel Montgomery, Sr., married Polly McFarland, in Virginia, and 
later removed to Perryville, Ky. In 181 1 he came with most of his fam- 
ily to Indiana and settled in Gibson county. The father of Samuel 
Montgomery, Sr., had slaves, and the son, being a religious man. did not 
believe it was right, and for that reason left home with his belongings 
and came to Indiana, where he set his negroes free at Evansville, which 
at that time consisted of two log houses and a cornfield. He bought his 
land at $1.50 per acre. It is now worth $200 per acre. Samuel Mont- 
gomery, Jr., was born in Kentucky in 1794, the ninth and youngest child 
of Samuel Montgomery, Sr. At the age of seventeen years he belonged 
to the State militia, and at the time of the call of General Harrison for 
help at the battle of Tippecanoe, he was absent on a visit. Upon return- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 283 

ing and learning that his company had joined General Harrison, he hastily 
followed on horseback, but met his company at Vincennes, on their re- 
turn. He married Sarah Montgomery on November 15, 1814. She was 
born in 1793, and died in August, 1829. This was the thirty-eighth mar- 
riage license issued in Gibson county. Five children were born to this 
union. He was married the second time in 1833, when Nancy Robb, nee 
Davis, became his wife. Five children were born to this second marriage. 
Mr. Montgomery was drawn on the first jury in the county. Court was 
held in a small log cabin southwest of Princeton, on the McCurdy 
farm. Jesse M. Montgomery, the tenth and youngest child of Samuel 
Montgomery, Jr., was born May 5, 1845, •" Gibson county, Indiana. He 
is a farmer by occupation, and a staunch Republican in politics, having 
represented Gibson county in the legislature in 1887. He now lives one 
mile north of Cynthiana, where he has one of the finest farms in the 
county. On November 22, 1866, he married Lemira Benson, a daughter 
of William Benson, of Montgomery township, Gibson county, and they 
became the parents of three children all of whom received college educa- 
tions. Samuel B. Montgomery, the youngest child of Jesse M. and Le- 
mira (Benson) Montgomery, was born on his father's farm in Gibson 
county, one mile north of Cynthiana, July 6, 1874. He was raised on the 
farm, completed the common schools and graduated from the Owensville 
High School in 1892. He attended Wabash College one year and then 
entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, where 
he graduated with the degree of Doctor of ATedicine, in 1898. He lo- 
cated at Poseyville, Ind., for practice, remaining there one j'ear. He 
then went to St. Wendel, where he remained three years, and although 
successful in both these places he decided to locate in Cynthiana, and 
came here in 1902. He enjoys a large and lucrative practice, and is a 
member of the Posey County and Indiana State Medical societies, and the 
American Medical Association. He belongs to the Christian church, the 
Modern Woodmen of America, and the Court of Honor. Politically, he is 
a Progressive. On September 15, 1898, Dr. Montgomery married Miss 
Eva L. Boyle, daughter of Henry and Matilda (McReynolds) Boyle, 
both natives of Indiana, the father of Vanderburg county, and the mother 
of Posey county. Her parents are now retired, living in Cynthiana in the 
summer and in Florida in the winter. Mrs. Montgomery was born in 
Vanderbtu-g county, July 17, 1879, and was educated in the common and 
high schools of Cynthiana, and at Owensboro College, Owensboro, Ky. 
They are the parents of two children : Mary Leona, born March 5, 1901, 
and Dorothy Mae, born March 16, 1905. Mrs. Montgomery is a mem- 
ber of the Presbyterian church, and active in its charities. 

James Edward Gudgel, physician and surgeon of Cynthiana, Ind., be- 
longs to a family which figures prominently in the history of Indiana. 
His great grandfather was named Andrew -Cudgel, his grandfather, Wil- 



284 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Ham Gudgel, and his father, Andrew Gudgel. We quote from the history 
of Gibson county, Indiana, pubHshed by James T. Tarlt & Company, con- 
cerning the Gudgel family: Andrew Gudgel, the grandfather of the 
present Andrew Gudgel, of Columbia township, was a man whose mem- 
ory is worthy of record in this work. He was of German origin, and 
settled in Pennsylvania. He was married three times, and the father of 
seventeen children. The maiden name of the last wife was Elizabeth, 
and she was the grandmother of Andrew Gudgel, of Columbia township. 
After the Revolutionary war was over and peace declared, Mr. Gudgel, 
like many of that day, concluded to emigrate to the then far West, be- 
vond the Alleghany mountains. In the year 1785 he set out with his 
family for Kentucky, a region then being wrested from the savages by 
Boone and his heroic companions. After a tedious and toilsome jour- 
ney they arrived at their destination, and located on Silver creek, a strip 
of country which lies between the present cities of Lexington and Frank- 
ford, where he erected a cabin and subsequently built a grist mill on the 
creek. He operated this water mill for a number of years, to the great 
advantage of the settlers. Mills at that time were not numerous in the 
then wild West. Cudgel's mill was considered the best one in Kentucky. 
Owing to a defect in the title of his land, a farm of 600 acres, on which 
the mill was located, and which involved him in three law suits, he con- 
cluded in order to avoid further annoyance to leave that locality. He 
disposed of some of his property and removed to the Territory of In- 
diana, arriving here early in 181 1. He settled in the timber on a tract of 
land about two miles east of where Owensville is now situated. Here, 
with the energy characteristic of the old settler, he cleared a small patch 
of ground, erected a log cabin, and subsequently made a farm, upon 
which he continued to reside until his death. Prior to his coming to 
Indiana, in consequence of exposure, he had practically lost the use of his 
legs ; but he was a man of determined energy, and he would chop and 
clear up brush around his cabin for hours while sitting in a chair. The 
following incident will show the pluck of the old veteran. During the 
Indian troubles, which occurred about this time, his family all went to 
Fort Branch, which was a strong block house, erected as a rendezvous 
for the settlers of that locality. This plucky old pioneer would not go 
to the fort, but insisted on remaining at home in his cabin to take care 
of things. The Indians frequently come to his place, and while the old 
man was sitting in his chair, fearless of danger, the wily savages walked 
around him, frequently patting him on the head, and in their rude 
fashion complimented him on his bravery. It is one of the peculiarities 
of Indian character to admire bravery in those they regard as their foes. 
His third and last wife survived him a few years. By his last marriage 
he had a family of three children : Nancy, who married William Teel, 
and Hettie, who became the wife of Harrison McGarv. a relative of whom 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 285 

was the first settler of what is now Evansville. Both Teel and McGary 
were old and prominent settlers in that part of the country and many 
of their descendants still live in and around the neighborhood of Owens- 
ville. The only son by the last marriage was William Gudgel, who was 
the father of Andrew Gudgel, of Columbia township, and he was the 
father of James Edward, our subject. The history continues about Wil- 
liam Gudgel, the grandparent of our subject. He was born in the State 
of Kentucky in the year 1802, and came here with his parents in 181 1. 
As will be observed, he was then a lad of ten years of age, and he, like 
most of the boys of the pioneers, was handy in assisting to clear away 
the bush and timber around the cabin home. As he grew to manhood 
he became quite a noted hunter, and by his skill he succeeded in killing 
a great deal of game. It is related of him by his son, Andrew, that it was 
no uncommon thing for him to sally out and on a single trip kill three 
or four deer and several turkeys, which were then very plentiful in the 
densely timbered districts of that neighborhood. The pecularity of his 
fire arms is worthy of description. His rifle was what was then known as 
a sixty-bullet gun to the pound. It was a hammered barrel made by hand, 
flint lock, horn trigger, and very effective in doing its work. In the 
year 1824 William Gudgel married Lucy Thurman. They had born to 
them a family of twelve children, who grew to man and womanhood. 
Eleven are yet living (1884) and ten are residents of Gibson county and 
one of the State of Illinois. Five of the gallant sons of this old pioneer 
did service in the Union army during the late Rebellion. The names of 
the children of William and Lucy Gudgel in the order of their birth were: 
Andrew, the father of our subject; Henry T., who was a soldier in an 
Illinois regiment during the late war, died at Pine Bluff, Ark. ; ]\Iartha, 
who became the wife of Henderson Pritchett ; Xancy, wife of Lorenzo 
S. Douglas ; Jacob ; Edward ; Sarah, wife of Rice Redman, now residing 
in White county, Illinois; Nicholas; John; Caroline, the wife of Leroy 
Martin, and they reside in Fort Branch ; Abraham, and Harriett, the wife 
of Henry Yeager. The last named are living on a farm a short distance 
from Owensville. William Gudgel was a farmer and was an industrious 
and enterprising man. He reared a large family, who are among the 
best citizens of the county. For many years he was an invalid. In poli- 
tics he was identified with the Whig and Republican parties. His death 
took place in February, 1877. His widow survived him until 1888, and 
resided at the old homestead with her sons, John and Abraham. Andrew 
Gudgel, the father of our subject, was born in Gibson county, Indiana, 
February 19, 1825, the son of William and Lucy (Thurman) Gudgel, the 
grandson of Andrew and Elizabeth (Pane) Gudgel. His early education 
was such as could be obtained in the district schools of that period. He 
remained with his parents, working on the farm until September 3, 1846, 
when he was married to Elvira Wallace, the daughter of John Wallace. 



286 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

He held the office of justice of the peace for several years, and was a 
strong Republican, although never a man of political aspirations. When 
the Civil war broke out he enlisted in Company A, Fifty-eighth regiment, 
Indiana volunteers, and participated in many battles, was severely- 
wounded at the battle of Stone River, but he would not go to the hos- 
pital, and never was absent a day during his service of three years and 
three months. He had eight children, four boys and four girls. The 
four boys were all professional men, two lawyers and two doctors. James 
Edward Cudgel, our subject, was born in Gibson county, on the farm 
of his parents, on the tenth of March, 1858. His parents are of German 
descent, while his grandmother, Lucy (Thurman) Cudgel, was of Scotch- 
Irish extraction. A relic of the voyage they made across the ocean is 
still in Cynthiana. It is a pot, in which they cooked potatoes on the 
vessel during the voyage. The name was originally spelled Goodgell, 
but the Kentucky family spelled it Cudgell, and the Indiana family Cud- 
gel. Parents on both sides were farmers and stick raisers, and his fore- 
fathers made their livelihood out of the wilderness of Indiana. Dr. Cud- 
gel attended the district schools until he was about fifteen years old, 
when he entered the high school at Oakland City, Ind., and graduated 
with the class of 1879. At this time there was a normal school at Oak- 
land City, which he attended, making about nine years in school at that 
place. He afterwards taught school four years in rural districts, and 
one year in the grammar grade at Booneville, Ind. After teaching school 
he attended Evansville Medical College, graduating with the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine as a member of the class of 1883, and during his last 
year was interne in the Evansville City Hospital. In 1883 he located at 
Cynthiana, Ind., where he has since remained in the practice of his pro- 
fession, and is one of the three oldest men, in point of continuous service, 
in Posey county. He is a student, possesses a comprehensive library, 
and keeps in touch with the advancement in medicine and surgery. In 
1888 he spent three months in post-graduate work in the College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons at St. Louis. Dr. Cudgel has always taken an active 
part in the political life of his township, and is a consistent advocate of 
the principals and policies of the Republican party. He served one term 
as a trustee of the city of Cynthiana, and as health officer for two years. 
He is a director of the Cynthiana Banking Company. He is a member 
of the Pose}' Cotinty Medical Association, of which he was president in 
1910. He is also a member of the Indiana State Medical Society and the 
American Medical Association. He is a member of the Modern Wood- 
men of America. He was married September 3. 1886, to Lizzie T. Smith, 
a daughter of George W. and Mary T. (Calvert) Smith, natives of Smith 
township, Posey county. The grandfather of Dr. Cudgel's wife, Daniel 
Smith, was also a pioneer resident of Posey county, and lived near Posey- 
ville. The familv came to Indiana from Kentuckv, but originallv from 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 287 

North Carolina, coming to Posey county during the early days of the 
Eighteenth century. Dr. Cudgel's wife is the daughter of a farmer and 
stock raiser, and she was born and educated in Posey county, graduating 
from the Cynthiana High School in 1880. After her graduation she 
taught school one term in Owensville, two terms in Cibson county, and 
one term in Posey county. The family are members of the Presbyterian 
church. Four children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Cudgel : Harold 
Owen, born July 12, 1887, who completed a three-years course in the 
Indiana State University in 1908, subsequently was a teacher in the Cyn- 
thiana schools, and is now superintendent of the Maxwell Carage, Law- 
renceville. 111. ; Helen, born December 28, 1897. Eva and Marjorie died in 
infancy. 

Schuyler C. Newman, lumber merchant and former school teacher, 
came of an English family, and was born in Armstrong township, Van- 
derburg <:ounty, December 21, 1869, son of William and Jane (Rutter) 
Newman. His father is a native of Vanderburg county, and his mother 
was born in Posey county. His father was a successful farmer, and is 
now retired, and living in Cynthiana, where he and Mrs. Newman cele- 
brated their golden wedding January 26, 1913, all of their six children 
being present. The father is seventy-seven and the mother seventy- 
eight years of age. Schtiyler C. Newman was reared on his father's farm 
in Vanderburg county, and received his education in the, district schools, 
Cynthiana High School, the normal school at Princeton, and the Indiana 
State Normal School at Terre Haute. After finishing his education he 
engaged in teaching for six years in the rural schools of Vanderburg 
county, farming the last two years of this time. He then gave up teach- 
ing and farmed for two years. About 1903 he bought a farm adjoining 
Cynthiana, and in 1905 he became a resident of that town, where he estab- 
lished a lumber business, which he still owns. In 1906 his brother was 
admitted to partnership in the firm, under the style of Newman Brothers. 
The firm carries a well assorted stock of lumber, sashes and doors, fence 
posts, cement, sand, lime, plaster and paints and oils. They also oper- 
ate a planing mill. Their business is profitable, and the firm enjoys a 
reputation for honest and fair dealing. Mr. Newman is an active worker 
in the Presbyterian church, in which he has his membership. He be- 
longs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In politics he was 
formerly a Republican, but is now a Prohibitionist. He was married in 
Cynthiana on May 7, 1899, to Miss Ada Stewart, daughter of Frank and 
Martha Stewart, of Vanderburg county, where she was born and raised 
on her father's farm. Mr. and Mrs. Newman have two children : Iva 
S., born March 6, 1900, and Maurice T., born March 13, 1907, both now 
attending the Cynthiana schools. 

Carlos B. Macy, superintendent of the city schools of Cynthiana, Ind., 
was burn on a farm in Posey township. Rush county, Ind., November 29, 



288 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

1882, son of Thomas B. and Lutitia (Pitts) Macy, natives of the same 
county. Our subject attended the common and high schools of Manilla, 
Ind., and then spent one year in the academy at Spiceland, Ind., after 
which he began teaching school in the rural districts, continuing his edu- 
cation in the University of Valparaiso in the summer months. He was 
also a student at Purdue, at the University of Indiana, and graduated 
from the Indiana State Normal, Terre Haute, in the class of 1912. After 
leaving Rush county he taught one year in Marion county, at New Au- 
gusta, and one year in Corydon, and one year at Wades ville. In 1910 he 
was appointed principal of the high school at Cynlhiana, and in 1912 be- 
came superintendent. He is a member of the Quaker church and belongs 
to the Modern Woodmen of America. In 1908 Mr. Macy married Nelle 
Underwood, daughter of Joseph X. and Elizabeth Underwood, of Ver- 
sailles, Ind., where her father was a merchant. Mrs. Macy was reared 
in the town, graduated from its high school in the class of 1901, and 
taught school for a number of years prior to her marriage. She is a 
member of the Baptist church. They are the parents of one child, a 
daughter, Marv P'lizabeth. 

Henry Thomas Calvert, of Cynthiana, Ind., is a representative of a 
family long established in Southern Indiana, the first of that line to lo- 
cate in this section having been Patrick Calvert, who was born in Ten- 
nessee in 1784. in 1804 he married Miss Sarah Martin, who was born in 
South Carolina in 1783. They came to Indiana in 181 1 and settled near 
Owensville, in Gibson county. About this time the country was in the 
throes of war and Patrick Calvert, like a true patriotic citizen, assisted 
in bringing about peace, driving the Indians permanently from the 
fertile Wabash Valley. He was also a soldier under Gen. W. H. Harri- 
son in the famous battle of Tippecanoe. After the war he returned to 
his farm, and in 1816 removed to Armstrong township, Vanderburg coun- 
ty, and purchased from the Government land which is still in possession 
of the family. Here he followed the occupation of a farmer until his 
death, in i860. His wife died in 1840. Patrick Calvert was a man of 
rigid convictions on matters of right and wrong, dealt justly and honor- 
ably with all and being always friendly and neighborly he was loved by 
all who knew him. Leroy Calvert, the seventh child of Patrick Calvert, 
was born on February 4, 1819. On January 13. 1843. 'le married Pene- 
lope Shelton, who was born in Mason county, Kentucky, September 24, 
1821, coming to Indiana with her parents when two years of age. His- 
tory records no stronger, cleaner character than the Hon. Leroy Calvert, 
father of our subject. He had strong religious convictions, and worked 
earnestly for the advancement of his country and community. His 
early life was spent in attending the common schools and in working on 
his father's farm, where he received strict training and high ideals ot 
right and wrong, which later were so noticeable in his character in han- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 289 

dling the important affairs of life intrusted to him by his friends and 
neighbors, and in his public service. Until 1876 Armstrong township had 
been without a church, and the one built at that time was called "Cal- 
vert's Chapel," in appreciation of the assistance of Mr. Calvert and of his 
worth to the community. The building is free to all Christian denomi- 
nations. The political career of Leroy Calvert has been a notable one, 
and such as to reflect credit upon himself and family. He was a staunch 
Democrat until 1884, when he voted for St. John for President. Under 
the old constitution he served as clerk of the board of trustees, after 
which he held offices as follows. He was elected justice of the peace in 
1848 and served two years, resigning to become a candidate for county 
commissioner, to which office he was elected in 1850. At the time of the 
building of the Vanderburg county court house, in 1852, he held the re- 
sponsible position of president of the board. From 1856 to i860, he 
served as township trustee, being in the latter year elected county treas- 
urer. His execution of the duties of his office was so satisfactory that he 
was re-elected to the office. At the expiration of his second term he 
retired to his farm, but was chosen by the people of Armstrong town- 
ship as their trustee once more, and in 1868 was elected representative in 
the general assembly. When in the session following his election, an at- 
tempt was made to pass the fifteenth amendment, Mr. Calvert, with 
fifty-five of his fellow Democratic members, resigned and returned to 
their homes. In the special election which was then called by Governor 
Baker, Mr. Calvert was re-elected and returned to the assembly, but the 
obnoxious attempt being made again at a special session he resigned a 
second time and came back home to stay. Upon his affiliation with the 
Prohibition party, in 1884, he was made their first nominee for Con- 
gress, in the First district, and was an exceptionally strong candidate. 
In 1888 he was placed upon the ticket as a candidate for presidential 
elector for the First district. His death occurred in 1898, and that of 
his wife in 1876. They had seven children, five girls and two boys, Henry 
T. Calvert, the sixth child, being our subject. Henry T. Calvert was 
born in Armstrong township, Vanderburg county, Indiana, April 25, 
1855, son of Leroy and Penelope (Shelton) Calvert. He was reared in 
his native township, where he attended the common schools, first in an 
old frame school house of early construction, later attended the Fort 
Branch schools, and for several years went to school in Cynthiana. After 
leaving school he began farming, first with his father, and later for him- 
self on a rented place. After his marriage he farmed the homestead, and 
his father lived with him until his death. Our subject farmed and raised 
stock for several years and lived on the farm until 1899, when he re- 
moved to Cynthiana and built a nice city home. In the fall of 1900 
he became an employee of the Ziliak Schafer Milling Company's elevator 
at Cynthiana. He was engineer for four years and was then made man- 



290 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ager of the elevator, which position he held until 1909, when he resigned 
to make a trip to California. He left Indiana in July, 1909, and remained 
through the next winter. Since his return to Cynthiana, Mr. Calvert has 
lived a retired life, still owning his farm and city property. He is a 
member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in which he has always 
been an active worker. Until 1900 Mr. Calvert was a staunch Democrat, 
but since that time he has been a worker in the Prohibition party. His 
first Presidential vote was cast for Samuel J. Tilden. On October 1, 
1879, Mr. Calvert married Marietta McConuell. daughter of Robert G. 
and Sarah (Kimball) McConnell, the former a native of Smith town- 
ship, Posey county, and the latter of Gibson count}'. Robert G. Mc- 
Connell was born about 1832, the son of John B. and Lucinda (McCrary) 
McConnell. John P>. McConnell was born in Scotland. August 29. 1794, 
and his wife was of Irish descent. He was married December 23. 1817, 
to Lucinda McCrary, who was born July 7, 1800, and to them were born 
nine children: James C, born February 28, 1819; Alexander R., born 
December 7, 1821 ; Marinda K., born April 17, 1824; Ann E., born Septem- 
ber 29. 1826; Miner G., born October 20, 1829; Robert G.. born March 2, 
1832; Zerelda C, born December 25, 1833; John C, born March 16, 1837, 
and Mary Ruth, born March 9, 1839. The mother of Mrs. Calvert died 
August 23. 1874. and her father died September 17, 1881. The mother 
was born November 12, 1837. John B. McConnell came to this country 
from Scotland, about the year 1800. and settled in North Carolina. He 
removed to Tennessee, where he remained only a short time before com- 
ing to Indiana and locating with his family in Posey county, where his 
son, Robert G., father of Mrs. Calvert, was born. Robert G. and Sarah 
E. McConnell became the parents of six children : Marietta, the wife of 
our subject, born June 28, 1857; Louella. born May 27, 1862; William G., 
born September 21. 1866; Eliza C, born January 7, 1869; Lillian G., born 
September 16, 1871, now deceased; Sarah E.. born August 9, 1874. Mrs. 
Calvert attended the common schools of Posey county as a child. She 
and Mr. Calvert are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. 
To Mr. and Mrs. Calvert four children were born : Eva, born September 
22, 1895 ; Maude, died in infancy ; Ethel died aged eight years, and Edith 
died aged four years and six months. 

Frank E. Lewis, editor and publisher and former minister of the Chris- 
tian church, of Cynthiana, Ind., was born in Jasper county, 111., January 
5, 1871, son of James and Joan (Woodward) Lewis, mother a native of 
Kentucky and the father a native of Jasper county, where he was chief 
engineer of the light plant at Newton, 111. Frank Lewis was raised in 
Newton and attended the common and high schools, after which he began 
work in a newspaper office at the age of fourteen years. He learned the 
printer's trade, which he followed until 1906, when he was ordained a 
minister of the Christian denomination. He located at Danville, 111., 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 29I 

where he had several churches on a circuit, and remained here until April 
I, 1912, when he bought the Cynthiana "Argus" and took charge of the 
paper, which he has since edited and published. He is a Democrat in pol- 
itics and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows On July 3, 
1891, Mr. Lewis married Miss Maude Johnson, daughter of Harry D. 
and Belle (Phillips) Johnson, of Noble, Richland county, Illinois, where 
her parents were born and where her father was proprietor of a hotel. 
Here Mrs. Lewis was born and educated. They became the parents of 
five children: Lucile, Aden, Hershey, Isabella and Harry T., the last 
deceased. Aden and Hershey are attending school in Cynthiana and 
Lucile is assistant in the "Argus" office. The family are members of 
the Christian church. 

David C. Alcorn, a prominent farmer of Smith township, Posey county, 
Indiana, was born in the same place where he now lives on October 
3, 1868. He is the son of James T. and Anne (Boren) Alcorn, both born 
in Gibson county, Indiana. The great-grandparents of our subject set- 
tled in Indiana at an early date and the family helped wrest the land 
from the Indians and wild beasts and develop it into what it has now 
become. The grandfather, also James T. Alcorn, married a Miss Haines. 
The family have always been farmers. The father of David C. died 
November 7, 1870, when the latter was but two years old and his mother 
married R. J. Brown and still lives, residing in Poseyville. David was 
reared on a farm, attended common school, later graduating from the 
schools of Poseyville. He then took a course in a commercial college 
at Terre Haute, Ind., graduating in 1888. He then obtained a position as ., 
bookkeeper in the Calvert & Bozeman Lumber Company, of Poseyville, 
Ind. He had a small piece of land containing thirty-three and one-third 
acres near town and decided to farm it, so he gave up his position and 
lived on his farm, "batching" for one season. He then thought he would 
like to be a commercial traveler, but as he expressed it in his own lan- 
guage, "After spending money for two beds in one night and not having 
time to get either of them warm," decided once more to return to the 
farm. His experiences at first were not so pleasant, as he did his own 
farm work and housekeeping for the first four years, until he got a 
start. On October 27, 1894, he married Ella Saulmon. Mrs. Alcorn 
was born in Gibson county and was raised in Posey county, where she 
was educated, and was married in her twenty-sixth year. Two years 
after his marriage Mr. Alcorn discontinued the old way of farming and 
began with new methods, breeding hogs for the market. By adding good 
blooded stock to keep his drove up to the standard and by exercising care 
not to over-fatten his animals he made a great success of the business. 
Mr. Alcorn is one of the most scientific farmers in Posey county. He 
runs his farm on business principles, taking an invoice each year. His 
land is well improved, having tile drainage and other conveniences. He 



292 - HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

keeps strict account of each investment, which enables him to stick to 
the most profitable ones. He is active among the hog breeders of the 
county and has taken a trip west into Kansas to study the cattle feeding 
business, in which he is now engaged to some extent. From his start 
of thirty-three and one-third acres Mr. Alcorn has, by scientific methods, 
close study, industry and economy amassed a comfortable fortune, now 
owning 370 acres of land. He is a director in the Poseyville Mutual 
Telephone Association. Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn have two children : Corry 
A., born June 26, 1897, and Alma, born December 18. 1899. Corry A. 
is a freshman in the Poseyville High School. He raised fifty acres of 
corn list year, which made eighty-one bushels to the acre. This field 
was the best reported in the county and he sold more than 200 bushels 
for seed. Alma is now attending school in Poseyville. The family be- 
longs to the Christian church, Mr. Alcorn being an elder in the church. 
James Cale, a member of one of the pioneer families of Kentucky 
and Indiana, was born April 3, 1829, son of Ellison and Margaret Cale, 
natives of Kentucky, who came to Posey county, Indiana, where James 
was born and reared. After finishing common school he began farming 
and accumulated a large fortune before his death. He bought his farm 
in Smith township in 1849, ^nd on May 2 of the next year married Jane 
Jolly, daughter of Maxie and Nancy (Price) Jolly, natives of South 
Carolina, who came to Posej- county in 1804, and are said to have been 
the first settlers near Stewartsville, where they located in the midst of 
the forest, there being no road, or even trail, near their home. Here a 
small clearing was made and a cabin built. The clearing was added to 
from time to time and the land farmed. Eight years after his location 
here Mr. Jolly joined the army of Gen. W. H. Harrison and helped 
drive out the Indians in the Wabash valley. Upon the restoration of 
peace he returned to his home and continued farming and stock raising. 
He was a blacksmith by trade, and being the only skilled workman in 
the vicinity, he had plenty of this kind of work. He helped build the 
first church in Posey county, which was located in the grove where 
Stewartsville now stands. In the erection of the building a log fell and 
killed a little boy, and his was the first grave in the church yard. This 
cemetery in the church yard is now said to the largest in the county. 
Mrs. James Cale is the sixth child in a family of eleven children, of whom 
only herself and one sister are living. She was born .April 14, 1825, 
and attended such schools as were in those days available. The first 
one was held in her father's kitchen, before any school building had been 
erected in the county, and the first teacher was James Wr.sson. When 
school buildings finally were erected they were of logs with puncheon 
seats and no ceiling except the boards of the roof. Heat was furnished 
by large fire-places. In those days the woods of Indiana were full of 
Indians and wild animals. The Jolly family had a neighbor by the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 293 

name of Parks who was a bee hunter, and who had three children whom 
he was accustomed to take with him on his expeditions into the woods. 
One day when he had just cut down a bee tree on the Wabash the In- 
dians came up and killed him and took his children captives. When 
they did not return the neighbors went to look for them, finding the 
body of Mr. Parks, but before they got it home they were ordered to 
Vincennes for the War of 1812. At that time there were no towns of 
New Harmony, Mt. Vernon or Evansville, and Mr. Jolly went to Red 
Banks, now Henderson, to trade. This was through woods uninhabited 
except by wild animals and Indians. Mr. and Mrs. Cale became the 
parents of five children: Annie, Sidney (deceased), Delia (deceased), 
Oscar, and Maxie (deceased). Annie married James Kimball and they 
live in Gibson county. They have no children. Sidney married Joseph 
Davis and lived in Gibson county until her death. Joseph Davis and 
Sidney Cale had five children — Mabel, Delia, James, Ewell K. and 
Lois. Delia Cale married Dr. Thomas Young, of Poseyville and they 
had one child, Morris, who was two years of age when his motlier died 
and who was raised by his grandmother Cale. 

Oscar Cale, banker and landowner of Poseyville, Ind., was born in 
Smith township, same county, March 5, 1862, son of James and Jane 
(Jolly) Cale (see sketch). He attended school in Smith and Robb town- 
ships, after which he entered college at Valparaiso, Ind. Upon complet- 
ing his education Mr. Cale returned home and engaged in farming and 
stock raising. After his marriage, in 1884, he went to Gibson county, 
Indiana. Here he remained for about six years, and in August, 1890, he 
located in Smith township, Posey county, on a farm, where he has since 
lived. Mr. Cale is president of the First National Rank, in which he is 
also a director. He was one of the first stockholders of the institution. 
He is also the largest landowner in his township. In politics he is a 
Democrat. Mr. Cale married Mary J. Young, daughter of Thomas and 
Martha (McFadden) Young, on October 26, 1884. The gr.nndparents of 
Mrs. Cale on her mother's side were among the first settlers of Mt. Ver- 
non, Ind. Both parents were natives of Posey county, where they were 
engaged in farming and stock raising. Mrs. Cale was born in Smith 
township, August 28, 1863. She attended the common schools of her 
native township and of Robb township. Mr. and Mrs. Cale became the 
parents of four children: Mattie, born August 31, 1885; Lena, born Feb- 
ruary 26, 1890; Mary, born September 22, 1901, and one that died in 
infancy. Mattie married Kern A. Williams and lives in Poseyville. Ind. 
Lena and Mary are at home with their parents. The family are mem- 
bers of the Christian church. 

James W. Wiggins, a successful farmer of Poseyville, Ind., was born 
in Saline county, Illinois, March 10, 1865, son of John M. and Emily 
(Endicott) Wiggins, the mother a native of Virginia and the father of 



294 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Kentucky. They came to Illinois in 1867, removed to Gibson county, 
Indiana. John M. Wiggins was the son of Thurin Wiggins and his wife 
was the daughter of John H. Endicott. A short time after John M. came 
to Indiana his father located in Montgomery county, this State. Thurin 
W^iggins had six sons and one daugiiter, of whom John was the fifth 
child. Three of the boys, Charles, Newton and David, were in the Civil 
war. Two of them were killed. John Wiggins was born April 23, 1827, 
and died March 5, 1885. Emily Endicott was born April 16, 1830, and 
died March 21, 1887. They were married in Saline county, Illinois, where 
they engaged in farming and stock raising, and where our subject was 
born. They removed to Gibson county, Illinois, and after two or three 
years came to Indiana and located in Smith township, Posey county, in 
1869. They became the parents of ten children: Leoma M. (deceased), 
Mary E. (deceased), Sarah E., John X., Kesiah F. (deceased), Matilda 
F., James W., Emily M. (deceased), David S. and Elam G. James Wig- 
gins attended the country schools and the high school at Cynthiana until 
his father's death, when he was called upon to look after the farm. Two 
years later the mother died. At that time two of the children were mar- 
ried and three were dead, and our subject remained at home with Ma- 
tilda F., Emily M., David S. and Elam G. The first of those remaining 
to marry was David S., who went to farming for himself in Smith town- 
ship. The next was our subject, who marred Miss Emma E. Martin, 
daughter of Ellison L. and Mariah (McDonald) Martin, of Posey county, 
the wedding occurring May 7, 1892. Her father was a son of Harrison 
and Mary (Russell) Martin, and her mother was the daughter of Samuel 
and Elizabeth (Graves) McDonald. Ellison L. was a native of Arm- 
strong township, Vanderburg county, Indiana. Mrs. Wiggins was born 
in Vanderburg county, January 14, 1869, but while she was still a child 
her parents removed to Posey county, where she attended the country 
schools and the Poseyville High School. Mr. and Mrs. James Wiggins 
have two children : Jesse E. resides at home and is a graduate of the 
common schools and is working on the farm with his parents, and Oma 
A., a graduate of high school, is also at home. The family are members 
of the Christian church at Poseyville, in which organization Mr. Wiggins 
is an elder. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and 
in politics is a Prohibitionist. 

Thomas D. Shelton, former county commissioner of Posey county, is a 
native of Indiana, having been born in that State April i. 1837, one of 
the ten children of John and Catherine (Finch) Shelton. He made his 
home with his parents until the death of his father, when Thomas was 
about twenty years of age. He then made his home with his brother, 
George. Three years later (February 14, i860) he married Keziah Mur- 
phy, daughter of Aaron and Amelia Murphy, who was born in Posey 
county, February 2, 1839. At the time of his marriage Mr. Shelton lo- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 295 

cated on the home place in Vanderburg county. A \'ear later he 
removed to Posey county, purchasing land in Smith township. He sold 
this holding in 1871 and bought another tract of eighty-five acres, 
which he farmed until 1906, when he retired. Mr. Shelton was elected 
county commissioner in 1886 and served six years. He was later elected 
ditch commissioner, still holding that office. He has settled up nu- 
merous estates, was appointed guardian and several different times 
was appointed by the court land commissioner. For several years Mr. 
Shelton was a wheat buyer, doing business on commission. He was 
successful and amassed a comfortable fortune. The Shelton familj- are 
members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Our subject is a 
Prohibitionist in politics and a member of the Ancient Free and Accept- 
ed Masons. Mr. and Mrs. Shelton had four children: George M. (de- 
ceased), James A. (deceased). Flora married E. W. Anderson and they 
live in Poseyville, Ind., and Jesse, whose biography is here given. 

Valentine Bender, a German farmer of Poseyville, Ind., was born in 
Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, November 6, 1863, son of August and 
Catherine (Berg) Bender, natives of the same province in Germany, 
who came to America in 1865, locating in Vanderburg county. August 
Bender taught school in Germany and farmed. When he came to 
America he engaged in farming and stock raising. He died in Vander- 
burg county in 1874, and his wife died in 1886. Valentine Bender at- 
tended the common schools of Vanderburg county, first going to a pub- 
lic school held in a log school house and later attending private school. 
After finishing his education he worked on the farm. His father hav- 
ing died when he was eleven years old he remained at home until after 
the death of his mother. In 1888 he removed to Posey county, locating 
in Smith township, where he bought a farm near the Robb township 
line. Here he began improving the place and doing general farming, 
and raising stock for sale. He has sixt3^-t\vo and one-half acres under 
cultivation. Mr. Bender was married, June i, 1886, to Threase Will, 
daughter of Jasper and Louisa (Sanders) Will, natives of Vanderburg 
county, Indiana, where they were farmers. Mrs. Bender was born in 
the same county, in Armstrong township, where she attended school. 
They have nine children: Louisa, who married George Augermeyer, 
lives in Vanderburg county on a farm ; Henry, Frederick A., Olivia T., 
Alamanda C, Ida M., Viola T., Oscar Antone, Albert A. Jasper, 
Ida, Viola and Oscar are attending common school in Posey county 
and all the children are at home except the married daughter. All the 
family are members of the Catholic church at Poseyville, and Mr. Ben- 
der is a Democrat. Mrs. Bender was born December 26, 1865. Her 
father died in 1870. Mr. Bender came of a family of musicians, his 
grandfather, Philip Bender, having been an organist as well as a school 
teacher and his father also having been an organist of note in Ger- 



296 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

many. August Bender was born in 1822 and came to America at the 
age of fort3'-tliree. Valentine Bender is one of a family of six brothers 
and one sister: Philip, Vanderburg county; John, now dead; Fred died 
at Mt. Carmel, 111.; Barthel, Vanderburg county; Valentine, subject; 
and Henry, who also lives in Vanderburg county, and Catherine, who 
married Henry Will, of Poseyville, Ind. All the brothers are farmers 
except Henry and Barthel. Mr. Bender is one of the most progressive 
farmers of Posey county. 

Jesse J. Shelton, son of Thomas D. and Keziah (Murphy) Shelton, of 
Robb township, was born in that township May 14, 1873. H^ was edu- 
cated in the country schools, in the Poseyville High School, where he 
graduated, and in the University of Kentucky at Lexington. After 
leaving the university he came to Cynthiana, where he engaged in the 
drug business for two or three years. He then farmed and bought 
grain for a time and later was emploj'ed for about a year with the Cum- 
berland Telephone Company. In 1907 he returned again to the farm 
in Robb township, where he has remained ever since. He is an auction- 
eer, devotes a part of his time to that business and is making a success 
of it. He farms ninety acres of land, making a specialty of Hampshire 
hogs, and has for several years been a promoter of pure-bred stock 
in Posey county, being an active member of the Breeders' Association. 
He was a member of the executive committee of the First District Corn 
School for a number of years. He belongs to the General Baptist 
church, is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and of 
the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. 
Shelton was married, March 26, 1896, to Miss Marvel, daughter of 
Thomas Marvel (see history of Marvel family). They have two chil- 
dren: Van Thomas, born September 23, 1899, and Imogene, born Jan- 
uary 19, 1903. Both children are attending school in Poseyville. Mrs. 
Shelton is a member of the Christian church at Cynthiana. 

Samuel M. McReynolds, a member of an old established family, and son 
of Revolutionary ancestry, was born in Smith township, Posej- count}', 
Indiana, August 22, 1840. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth 
(Compton) McReynolds, the former also a native of Smith township 
and the son of Samuel McReynolds, the son of Joseph !^IcReynolds, 
who enlisted in the Revolutionary war at the age of seventeen years 
and served seven years. He was a native of Tennessee and of Scotch- 
Irish ancestr}'. The first of the family to come to this country from 
the highlands of Scotland were James and John McReynolds, and this 
sketch deals with their descendants. Joseph McReynolds. the Revo- 
lutionary soldier, came to Posey county, Indiana, before the State was 
admitted to the Union, and his grandson, Joseph, the father of our 
subject, was born here in 1816. In coming to the new home from Ten- 
nessee the Vv'ife of Joseph McReynolds was drowned in crossing Barr's 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 297 

creek in Smith township. Samuel McReynolds attended the common 
schools of his township in a log building with puncheon seats and desks 
made of a plank fastened to the sides of the room. There were no 
blackboards, charts or other facilities for instruction. Later a better 
school house was built and better equipment installed. After his fa- 
ther's death he worked for his board among the farmers while attend- 
ing school. After saving a little money he went to school at Owens- 
ville, then a graded school of two rooms. After completing this course 
he began teaching school and continued for four years, at the same time 
studying penmanship, in which he later completed a course in Indianap- 
olis. After this he taught penmanship at night in addition to his day 
duties as teacher and saved about $2,000. He then married and went 
to farming oft the Wabash bottoms. The first 3'ear the floods destroyed 
all crops and he went to Kansas in 1869, where he settled on Osage 
Indian land, twelve miles south of Eureka in Greenwood county. With 
the exception of two neighbors, one living one-half mile away and the 
other four miles, there were no settlers in the vicinity. At that time 
Indians were numerous and buffalo roamed the plains in thousands. On 
one occasion Mr. McReynolds went buffalo hunting with his neighbors. 
While hunting near Medicine Lodge, about 150 miles west of his home, 
they were warned that the Indians were about to raid that part ot- the 
country, and as they were about through hunting they went home at 
once. Two weeks later they heard news of the terrible Indian raid. 
There being no railroads the news traveled slowly. He remained in 
Kansas about three years, when he sold out and brought his family 
back to Posey county. On their return his wife's father gave her 
eighty acres of swamp land. He improved this property and lived on 
it seven or eight years, farming and raising stock. He then bought his 
present farm of 253 acres of land in Smith township and continued in 
farming and stock raising until 1891, when he retired from active busi- 
ness, and has since devoted his time to looking after his interests. Mr. 
McReynolds is an example of a self-made man, having hired out on a 
farm, clerked in drug and dry goods stores and taught day and night 
to get his start in life. In his life on the plains he was never afraid 
of the Indians, although his great-grandfather and great-grandmother 
Compton were killed by the savages in Illinois while hunting bees. In 
1864 Mr. McReynolds enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirty- 
sixth Indiana infantr_y, and served until the close of the war. In politics 
he is a Democrat. On June 5, 1868, Samuel McReynolds married Miss 
Elizabeth J. Young, daughter of Greenberry and Barthenia (Sinclaire) 
Young, and a native of Smith township, Posey county. Her father was 
a native of Posey county and his father, Jackson Young, came to this 
county from Virginia at an early date. Greenberry Young was a farmer 
in Robb township on the line between Smith and Robb townships, and 



298 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

here the wife of our subject was reared and attended country schools, 
and later the schools at Owensville. She taught school one term before 
her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. McReynolds became the parents of three 
children, one of whom died in infancy. Two daughters are living: Min- 
nie Ettie, who married Dr. George C. Smith, of Poseyville, has one 
child ; Elva Aline married I. E. Wilkinson and they live in Cynthiana, 
where he is a retired farmer. They have one child. 

Ellison Cale, one of the prominent farmers of Smith township, Posey 
county, Indiana, was born December 31, 1866, on the old family home- 
stead where his father was born. He is the son of Joseph and Eliza 
(Jolly) Cale. His grandfather, who also was named Ellison Cale, was 
born in Kentucky and came to Posey county at an early date ^nd estab- 
lished the family residence here. Joseph and Eliza (Jolly) Cale had five 
children, of whom our subject was the fourth. He first attended the 
country schools and later graduated from the Cynthiana schools. After 
finishing his education he worked on the farm with his parents until the 
death of his father, in 1902. His mother then removed to Poseyville, 
and our subject is now in possession of the old homestead and additional 
land to the total amount of 270 acres located about the center of Smith 
township. It is not only one of the largest farms in the township, but is 
one of the best improved, having a large brick dwelling house, built 
before the death of the father. It is one of the prettiest and best kept 
country places in Posey county. Mr. Cale has made a specialty of hogs, 
raising the Poland China stock, and raises horses and cattle for farm 
purposes, making no specialty of thoroughbred animals. Ellison Cale 
was married October 28. 1892, to Miss Manervia E. Fletchall, daughter 
of Isaiah and Emma (Stevens) Fletchall, of Posey county, of which 
they are natives, and where Mr. Fletchall engaged in farming and 
stock raising. Mrs. Cale was born in Posey count}^ and attended the 
schools of Poseyville until her graduation. She is a member of the 
Christian Science church of EvansvilJe, Ind. 

Rev. Francis B. Luebbermann, of Mt. Vernon, was born in Cmcinnati, 
Ohio, in June, 1857. He attended the Christian Brothers' School of that 
city and at the age of fourteen began the study of languages, classics, 
finally philosophy and theology at St. Meinrad's Seminary. He was or- 
dained in 1880, and was located at Evansville, Ind., as assistant in Trin- 
ity church, and remained there until 1883. He located in Mt. Vernon in 
December, 1883, and after a brief respite returned in 1884, under perma- 
nent appointment to St. Matthew's church, and has remained ever since. 
He has a congregation of 250 families, but, when he came, he had seventy- 
eight families only, an increase of 172 families. Rev. Father Luebber- 
mann has been indefatigable in his labors to advance the prosperity of 
St. Matthew's parish, and being a gentleman of scholarly attainments 
and eloquence, and withal possessed of a genial temperment, he has won 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 299 

the sincere affection and esteem of his flock, and these amiable qualities 
have proven to be no small factors in the successful prosecution of the 
good work he has set before him. His zeal in church labor is untiring and 
unflagging. He was appointed to the parish when in his early prime, and 
no clergyman could well have been found to carry out, with as favor- 
able prospects for the desired results, the commendable, yet arduous 
duties to the performance of which he was assigned. Besides his parish 
duties Father Luebbermann has always been engaged in literary work of 
some kind, writing or translating books of historic interest. From 1888 
until 1907 he published two monthly magazines, "The Poor Souls' Advo- 
cate," and "Der Armen Sulin Freund" ; also started the "Knights of St. 
John's Journal," and in July, 1913, began the publication of the "Parish 
Record of St. Matthew's Church." The publication, now in its fifth 
month, is well edited, handsomely typed, and has a general circulation 
among the families of the parish. 

W. O. Tretheway is one of the substantial citizens of New Harmony, 
who enjoys a well earned reputation for honesty, uprightness and good 
citizenship. Mr. Tretheway is a native of England, born February 28, 
1848, at St. Stephens, forty-one miles from Lands End, in the county of 
Cornwall. His parents, Thomas and Ann (Columb) Tretheway, lived in 
the mother country, and are both now deceased. Young Tretheway was 
educated in the schools of his native land, and in early life was appren- 
ticed to learn the Ijlacksmith and wagon making trades. He served five 
years and his princely salary was $5.00 and his board and clothes. But 
pay was not the prime object of his endeavor. He was there to learn his 
trade, and he learned it thoroughly. When a young man of nineteen, in 
1867, he immigrated to America, locating in New Harmony, where he 
had a brother and sister living at the time. Here he worked at his trade 
for a time, when he went to Mt. Vernon, where he remained seven years, 
working at his trade. Then on account of ill health he was advised to go 
west and accordingly went to Stockton, Cal. He soon gained his health 
in sunny California, and remained there working at his trade until the 
spring of 1878, when he returned to New Harmony and engaged in gen- 
eral blacksmithing and wagon making, which has claimed his attention 
ever since. He has built up an extensive business and constantly em- 
ployes two assistants and sometimes more. Mr. Tretheway was married 
November 17, 1869, to Miss Sarah Baldwin, of Mt. Vernon. To this 
union have been born six children : Mary Leora, married John Arm- 
strong; William A., blacksmith and wagonmaker. New Harmony; Grace, 
married Nelson Felch, New Harmony ; Clara, married William Ward, 
New Harmony ; Hattie, married Fred E. Cook, New Harmony, and Gar- 
field, died in 1904, at the age of nineteen. Mr. Tretheway has always 
taken a keen interest in political affairs and is a Republican. He has 
served with credit in the city council. He is a member of the Independent 



300 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Order of Odd Fellows, the Encampment and Rebekahs, and takes a prom- 
inent part in the State organization, as well as the local lodge. While 
Mr. Tretheway takes a deep interest in the welfare of all public insti- 
tutions, perhaps his devotion to the fire department of New Harmony- 
is paramount. He has served as chief for twenty-seven consecutive terms 
and has been identified with that organization for thirty-five years. His 
long experience as a fire fighter, coupled with his ability to handle men, 
places him in the front ranks of the volunteer fire chiefs of the State. 
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and has served as 
superintendent of the Sunday schcxil for twenty-five years. 

Joel W. Hiatt, one of the most highly respected citizens of New Har- 
mony, is a native of Indiana, and has been a resident of Posey county 
for nearly forty years. Joel Hiatt was born June lo, 1850, in Hamilton 
county, Indiana. His parents were Harmon and Mary (Harris) Hiatt, 
both natives of North Carolina, and early settlers in Randolph county, 
Indiana. They later removed to Hamilton county. The father was a 
physician and practiced his profession many years in the State. The 
Hiatts came from Quaker stock, and the maternal side of our subject's 
ancestors were Virginians of English descent. Both parents are now de- 
ceased, and their mortal remains rest in the cemetery at Crawfordsville, 
Ind. Joel Hiatt's early life was mostly spent in Crawfordsville, where 
he attended the public schools and later entered Wabash College, where 
he graduated in the class of 1873, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, 
and in 1888 the college conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts. 
After graduating from W^abash College, Mr. Hiatt entered Harvard Uni- 
versity as a Divinity student, pursuing the study of philosophy for a 
time, but upon due reflection decided that an ecclesiastical function in 
life was not to his liking. He then abandoned that course and turned to 
teaching and accepted the position of principal of the Mt. Vernon High 
School, a position which he held two years. In 1876 he came to New 
Harmony as superintendent of schools there, a position which he filled 
with entire satisfaction two years. In 1885 he was appointed document 
clerk of the House of Representative. W^ashington, D. C. He served in 
this capacity until 1895. except an interval of two years. Mr. Hiatt was 
united in marriage in 1878 to Francis Owen Fitten, an estimable lady of 
culture and refinement. She is a daughter of W'illiam Owen. Politi- 
cally, Mr. Hiatt has never wavered in his allegiance to the Democratic 
party. He is a man of deep convictions, and a lover of justice and fair 
play. He has ever been a student of men and affairs, as well as of 
books, and is a profound scholar. His duties while at Washington, D. C., 
brought him into close and intimate relation with many of the leading 
men of the Nation, whose acquaintance in many instances ripened into 
lasting friendships, which have afforded him much pleasure. He is an 
ardent supporter of every institution which tends for the uplifting of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 3OI 

humanity and the betterment of his fellow men. Mr. Hiatt is a member 
of the \\'orking Man's Institute, and has taken an active interest in its 
welfare. A few years ago he led and won in the movement for cata- 
loguing the books of that institution by the card index system. He also 
secured the services of a public accountant and devised a system which 
was introduced. He is a member of the park commission, and for eight 
years has been superintendent of the parks of New Harmony. Mr. Hiatt 
is a great lover of nature and his work in connection with the parks is 
an agreeable task, and the beauty and well kept appearance of the city 
parks certainly bear mute testimony of the magic touch of a master 
hand. The writer of this sketch has known Mr. Hiatt intimately and well 
can testify to his many manly excellencies. 

Horace Pestalozzi Owen, president of the New Harmony Banking 
Company, and one of the active financiers of Posey county, is the only 
male representative of the Owen family now living in New Harmony. 
He is a son of Col. Richard Owen, esteemed mention of whom is made 
elsewhere in this volume. Horace Owen was born in New Harmony, 
November 2, 1842, received his education in private schools and the 
Western Military Institute at Blue Lick Springs, Ky., an institution 
owned by his father and Gen. Bushnell Johnson, which later became the 
University of Nashville. About this time the sectional feeling that pre- 
ceded the Civil war was growing more and more bitter, and on this ac- 
count his father came north. Colonel Owen was State geologist at the 
time and Horace accompanied him in his work in that connection, and 
assisted him for the next two years. Then the great Civil war came on 
and in the fall of 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Sixteen Indiana in- 
fantry, and was commissioned first lieutenant. Afterwards he was ad- 
jutant of the regiment and later served as adjutant of the First brigade, 
Tenth division. Thirteenth army corps. Army of the Mississippi. He 
was at Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Jackson and the siege of Vicks- 
burg. Mr. Owen saw much hard fighting and fortunately escaped serious 
injury. His narrowest escape was at Arkansas Post, where he was ren-i 
dered unconscious by the explosion of a shell. In 1863 Mr. Owen re- 
signed his commission to return home and care for his mother, while his 
father remained in the army. After he returned to New Harmony he 
turned his attention to the business world, and in a short time engaged 
in the hardware and implement business with Victor C. Duclos as a 
partner. He continued in this business two or three years, when he 
engaged in the drygoods business until 1872, when he went to Terre 
Haute, where he engaged in the grain business for two years. In 1874 
he returned to New Harmony and again entered the hardware and imple- 
ment business with his brother, E. F. Owen. They sold the first binder 
south of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad in Indiana. He became cashier 
of the New Harmony Banking Company at the organization of that in- 



302 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

stitution, and in 1879 became its president, in which position he still 
serves. Mr. Owen is of the banker's temperment, safe, sane and con- 
servative, always bearing in mind how he can give the best service to his 
patrons, and at the same time serve the best interests of his institution. 
Horace Owen is a man of genial disposition, who makes friends and keeps 
them. He is naturally of a generous nature and kind iiearted. He takes 
a deep interest in the progress and welfare of his town and county. For 
twenty-five years he has been president of the school board, and has 
served as president of the Working Man's Institute for ten years. He is 
also president of the New Harmony 1914 Centennial Commission. He 
has always been an active Republican, but has never aspired to hold 
office. Mr. Owen was united in marriage May 8, 1867, to Miss Natalie 
Burroughs Mann, who is also a native of New Harmony. She belongs 
to a highly respected family, being the daughter of Dr. Josiah Stockton 
Mann, who came west from the Genesee Valley, New York, at an early 
day. Mrs. Owen is prominent in the social world and possesses the true 
nobility of American womanhood. To Mr. and Mrs. Owen have been 
born three children: Nora Edgeworth, married Arthur DeBois Arm- 
strong, Memphis, Tenn. ; Aline Dale, married Dr. Benjamin F. Neal, New 
Harmony, and Richard Dale, a successful real estate dealer of Los An- 
geles, Cal. Mr. Owen is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel- 
lows, Knights of Pythias, and the Grand Arm)' of the Republic, of which 
he is past commander. The family are communicants of the Episcopal 
church, of which he has been senior warden twenty-five years. 

Henry Brown, clothier and general outfitter. New Harmony, Ind., 
whose name introduces this sketch, is a striking example of what indus- 
try and honest business methods will do for a poor boy who starts life in 
a strange land, empty handed and alone, with a determination to win by 
right methods. Henry Brown is a native of Germany, and was born 
April 12, 1853. He came to America when a lad of fourteen. After re- 
maining in the East about a year, he journeyed westward, coming to 
Evansville, Ind., in 1869. Here he spent ten years in mercantile business, 
and in 1879 came to New Harmony and engaged in the clothing and gents' 
furnishing business. He has conducted this business up to the present 
time, and is today one of the leading merchants of Posey county, and 
the only complete men's outfitter in New Harmony. For thirty-four 
years Henry Brown has done business with the people of New Harmony 
and from every part of Posey county, and his customers who regard his 
word as good as his bond, are legion. He has built up a business and a 
reputation of which he may be justly proud. While Mr. Brown has been 
successful in business, he has also cheerfully given his time to public 
affairs, in which he has taken a keen interest and an active part. He has 
served as president of the town board about ten years, and acted as 
clerk of that bodv about the same length of time. He was united in 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 303 

marriage October 14, 1879, to Miss Katie A. Adler, of Evansville. To 
this union have been born two children : H. L. and L. A., both prosper- 
ous manufacturers in Cincinnati, Ohio^ They are owners and proprietors 
of the H. L. Brown Fence Manufacturing Company, who are extensive 
manufacturers of heavy wire goods. Henry Brown is a member of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias. For 
several years he took an active and prominent part in lodge affairs, and 
his politcal affiliations have been with the Democratic party. 

Eugene V/. Nash, one of New Harmony's representative business men, 
and descendant of a pioneer family of Posey county, was born five miles 
east of New Harmony, May 12, 1862. He is a son of Andrew and Julia 
(Smith) Nash, the former a native of Butler county, Pennsylvania, and 
the latter of Kentucky. Andrew Nash was a son of Jesse and Sarah 
(Cavett) Nash, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Ireland. 
Jesse Nash came to New Harmony with his family from Butler county, 
Pennsylvania, in 1815. They came down the Ohio river on a flat boat. 
He and George Rapp were close friends back in PennsyK'ania, and he 
was induced by Rapp's glowing accounts of the possibilities in Posey 
county to emigrate here with his family. He bought his first land from 
George Rapp and this same farm is still owned by his descendants. Jesse 
Nash was a cabinet maker, but devoted the latter part of his life to farm- 
ing. He was a conscientious, hard working man, and took a live interest 
in the affairs of his time. He was an old-time Whig. He died in 1844, 
aged eighty-two years, and was survived by his wife two years, who 
was also eighty-two at the time of her death. Andrew Nash, father of 
Eugene, came to Posey county with his parents in 181 5. In early life 
he was a shoe maker, but later a farmer, and spent his life in Harmony 
township. He was one of a family of seven children, all of whom are 
now deceased. They all lived to ripe old ages. Three of the sisters 
passed the ninety-third milestone. Andrew Nash died April 24, 1900, 
aged ninety-one. His wife departed this life October 8, 1899, aged eighty- 
two. They were the parents of ten children : George, deceased ; William, 
deceased ; Mary, married James H. Cox, Stewartsville ; John, resides on 
the old homestead ; Edward, deceased ; Martha, deceased ; Nancy, mar- 
ried William J. Johnson, Harmony township ; James, Harmony town- 
ship ; Andrew, Harmon}- township, and Eugene W., the subject of this 
review. Eugene Nash was reared on the old homestead in Harmony 
township, educated in the district schools and the Poseyville High 
School. He remained on the farm until he was twenty-eight years old, 
when he came to New Harmony and engaged in the furniture and under- 
taking business, from 1890 to 1900. At this time he sold his furniture 
business, but continued in the undertaking business, and is still en- 
gaged in that occupation. He is also interested in the general insurance 
business. Mr. Nash has been twice married. On October 30, 1889, he 



304 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

was married to Aquilla, daughter of Dr. John J. Grigsby, of Petersburg, 
Ind. Two children were born to this union : Hercia and Kenneth. Mrs. 
Nash died May 25, 1900. September 15, 1909, Mr. Nash married Miss 
Emma, a daughter of Col. Charles C. Screeder, of Evansville, Ind. Po- 
litically Mr. Nash has always been identified with the Republican party 
and is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights 
of Pythias, and holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. 
He is one of the substantia! business men of Posey county. 

Levi J. Wilkinson. — To have accomplished so notable work as has 
Levi J. Wilkinson in connection with the Christian church would prove 
sufficient to give precedence and reputation to any man, were it to rep- 
resent the sum total of his efforts; but Mr. Wilkinson is a man of broad 
mental ken, strong initiative and distinct individuality, who will not only 
leave a lasting impression in the denomination in which he has been a 
lifelong member, but has been a potent, though unostentatious factor in 
the commercial life of Posey county, where for fifty years he conducted 
a successful retail enterprise, devoled to a general line of merchandise. 
To him the city of Cynthiana is indebted for one of the most beautiful, 
from an architectural standpoint, and substantially built church edifices 
in southern Indiana, together with a substantial endov.ment, which 
places it upon a self-sustaining basis. Other institutions also have re- 
ceived generous donations and endowments, his philanthropies to date 
exceeding those of any citizen who has resided within the county, and 
other substantial gifts to his church are contemplated. Levi J. Wil- 
kinson was born on his father's farm in Gibson county, In- 
diana, February 22, 1825, the son of William and Mary (Miller) Wil- 
kinson. The Wilkinson family is of English origin and dates its found- 
ing in America during the earl}'. Colonial period when members of the 
family came from England and settled in the Colony of North Carolina. 
Numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the front- 
ier life of those early days, in the commercial era which followed and 
later in the War of the Revolution. The family was founded in Indiana 
by Cary Wilkinson, a native of North Carolina, who came to the State 
from Barren county, Kentucky, in 1808. He made the journey in one 
of the old style Conestoga wagons and crossed the Ohio at Red Banks, 
now Henderson, on a ferry. He located on land near what is now Fort 
Branch, and the old log fort of that name, erected for protection from 
the Indians, was built with the assistance of him and his sons. The 
country was a wilderness and the settlers few when he erected his 
first house. It was constructed of logs, without nails, and without 
windows, light being admitted through the door and chimney. The 
floor was of puncheon and the beds were made by boring holes in the 
logs of the walls about three feet from the floor and driving in poles, 
making a scaffolding on which the bed clothing was placed. While 



■'^MC L. 




I'IRST CHRISTIAN" CIIL'RCII 
Cynthiana 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 305 

they were short on luxuries they were long on hospitality — the latch- 
string was always out to all comers. Added to the hardships incident 
to the clearing of the wilderness were the Indians, then plentiful, and the 
wild animals, panthers, bob-cats, bear and wolves being in abundance. 
Cary Wilkinson did not live to see the territory which he had helped 
to wrest from the savages become a State. He passed away in 1815. 
He married Sarah Mangrum, a daughter of William Mangrum. They 
became the parents of eleven children, four of whom died in childhood. 
William Wilkinson, the fourth of these children to reach man's estate, 
was born in North Carolina, on December 18, 1800, and came to In- 
diana with his parents in 1808. His education was acquired in the 
schools of that period. The school house was built of blocks, greased 
paper was used for window lights, quill pens for writing, and the ink at 
that time was made by boiling maple bark and adding a little copperas. 
He was forced to take up a man's work at the age of fifteen, through 
the death of his father, and the making of tillable land from the forest 
fell upon his shoulders. He married Mary Miller, a daughter of the 
Rev. John Miller, a minister of the Christian church. In 1830 he be- 
came a member of this denomination and lived a devout Christian life. 
He was a successful farmer, an influential citizen and one of the most 
active factors in the development of his township. He became a resi- 
dent of Cynthiana on his retirement from active labor and passed away 
in 1887. His political affiliations were first with the Whigs, but upon 
the organization of the Republican party he became an active supporter 
of its principles. He was an ardent admirer of Abraham Lincoln, once 
journeying to Illinois to hear him speak. William and Mary (Miller) 
Wilkinson were the parents of eleven children, all of whom, except 
Levi J., the subject of this review, have passed to their reward. They 
were in order of birth as follows : Isaiah, John, Deliah, Sarah, Nar- 
cissa, Emily, Balaam, Aaron B., Levi J., Silas N. and Amos C. 
Levi J. Wilkinson, farmer, merchant and philanthropist, was reared 
on his father's farm in Gibson county, received his education in the dis- 
trict schools and engaged in farming, an occupation he followed until 
1855 — in Gibson county until 1851 and in Posey county until 1855. 
In the last named year he engaged in the general merchandise business 
in Cynthiana under the firm style of Wilkinson & Putnam, having as 
an associate James Putnam. The latter's interest was purchased by 
Mr. Wilkinson shortly afterward and J. H. C. Lowe became his part- 
ner. Two others were admitted to the firm and its style became Wil- 
kinson, Lowe & Co, Mr. Wilkinson retired from the firm within a few 
months, however, and engaged in the business without associates. As 
a merchant he was successful. His business was the leading one in 
Cynthiana, his stock the largest, offering the most in the way of selec- 
tion, and was as well the best kept and arranged of any in the city. 



306 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Posey county has never had a merchant who in his dealings with all has 
been more fair, more honest or more charitable than was Mr. Wilkin- 
son during an active commercial life of fifty years, and which in re- 
spect to length has seldom been equalled in the State. During his 
active commercial life he was a purchaser of choice farm lands and be- 
came the owner of several hundred acres in Posey county. As a citi- 
zen he has always taken an active interest in those enterprises which 
have had for their object the development and betterment of the com- 
munity. He made a donation of one thousand dollars toward the build- 
ing of the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad, in addition to paying his 
proportion of the bonds. In 1901 the Christian church and parsonage 
at Cynthiana were erected at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars, the 
fund for this undertaking being the gift of Mr. Wilkinson to the con- 
gregation. He also deeded to the congregation one hundred and fifty- 
eight acres of land as an endowment for maintenance. His gifts to 
the Christian College at Merom to date are two hundred and seventy 
acres of land and seven thousand dollars in money. To Jireh College, 
at Jireh, Wyo., he has given sixty-two acres of land and five thousand 
two hundred dollars in money. It is the intention of him and his wife 
to leave to the mission board of the Christian church that part of their 
fortune which remains upon their departure from this life. Mr. 
Wilkinson married, in 1845, Miss Elizabeth Smith, a daughter 
of Daniel and Nancy (Spain) Smith, who died in 1S70. Of this union 
two children were born, both of vvln)m died in infancy. On March 16, 
1871, Mr. Wilkinson married Miss Julia E. Wilkinson, a daughter of 
Isaiah and Mary (Pruett) Wilkinson. She was born in Johnson town- 
ship, Gibson county, Indiana, on December 4, 1840. They have been 
members of the Christian church since childhood and have always been 
leaders in the work of building up their denomination. The sunset 
years of their lives have been given over to the work of the Master, 
while the fruits of their labor are being expended in furthering the work 
of their church. Mr. Wilkinson, now in his eighty-ninth year, is re- 
markably vigorous, his health remarkably good for one of his age, 
while his mental powers are practically unimpaired. Mrs. Wilkinson, 
who has been a willing helpmeet for over forty years, is now in her 
seventy-third year. She is a woman of fine intellectuality and her in- 
fluence has been of potent value in the community. Their home life 
has been ideal. What may be termed their life work is nearly finished. 
It has met to a great extent the fullness of their ambition, but, infinitely 
more precious to them is the fact that they are rich in the pos- 
sion of the affection which slowh^ develops only from unselfish works 
and the esteem which comes from honorable living. 

James N. Whitehead, one of the prominent and influential men of 
affairs of Posey county, was born in Harmony township December 2, 
1868, of pioneer ancestors. Mr. Whitehead was reared on a farm and 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 3O7 

received his education in the public schools. He began life as a farmer 
and has followed this vocation all his life, and has been successful to a 
marked degree. Today he is one of the large land owners of Posey 
county. Seven years ago he moved to New Harmony, where he has a 
beautiful residence. He conducts his large agricultural operations 
throughout the county, while he maintains his residence in town. Judg- 
ing from the success which Mr. Whitehead has met in farming, one 
would naturally think that this line of endeavor had received his un- 
divided attention, but such is not the case. He has found time for other 
business enterprises in which he has been equally successful. He has 
been interested in the First National Bank of New Harmony for several 
years, and for the last four years has been president of this substan- 
tial institution, a position he now holds. He served as its vice-president 
for two years before he succeeded to the presidency of the institution. He 
is also extensively interested in the Corbin Milling Company, of New 
Harmony, and the Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company of Mt. Vernon. Mr. 
Whitehead was united in marriage January i, 1892, to Miss Iva E. Wil- 
liams, also a native of Posey county. To Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead have 
been born four children: Lela, Earl (deceased), Martha E. and Jennie 
Louise. Mr. Whitehead is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is 
the progressive kind of citizen that counts in any community. He is 
public-spirited and ever ready to support any worthy enterprise for the 
upbuilding of his county and her institutions. 

Frank R. Lawless, president of the town board of New Harmony, is a 
native of Ireland. He was born in the city of Dublin in 1870, and when 
a child came to America with his parents, who settled in Richland county, 
Illinois. Here young Lawless spent his boyhood days, and attended the 
public schools until about fifteen years of age, when his mother died. He 
then went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he learned the trade of sheet metal 
worker and plumbing, heating, and ventilating. After mastering his 
trade, Mr. Lawless worked as a journeyman in Cincinnati, Detroit and St. 
Louis for a time, and in 1894 came to New Harmony and engaged in 
business for himself. His business embraces plumbing, sheet metal work- 
ing, heating, and ventilating. He has completed several of the most 
extensive contracts in his line in Posey county, and from a business 
standpoint, has met with well earned success. As a mechanic, he is mas- 
ter of his art, and as a manager of men, he is equally competent. While 
Mr. Lawless has been successful in a business way, he has also devoted 
much time and study to local municipal affairs. He was first elected a 
member of the city council in 1906, and since that time, has been untiring 
in his efforts for civic betterment of New Harmony. He is now serving 
his fourth term as president of the town board, and every term of his 
administrations has been characterized by improvement and betterment 
of conditions. Under his careful and far-sighted business methods as 



3o8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

applied to municipal affairs, New Harmony's municipal lighting plant is 
an institution of which any citizen of New Harmony may be proud. 
Other improvements at which he has aimed and fought for have been 
equally successful. He has endeavored to administer the affairs of the 
town with fairness to all and special privilege to none and has succeeded 
as nearly as is possible. If he has made mistakes, they have been 
"mistakes of the head and not of the heart." He has studied the prob- 
lems which confronted him and has used his best judgment, and the re- 
sult is that New Harmony has as good city government as any other 
municipality in the State. Mr. Lawless was married November 6, 1894, to 
Miss Carrie A. Smith, of Olney, Richland county, Illinois. To this 
union have been born four children : Robert, Richard, Charles and Paul- 
inus, all students in the New Harmony schools. Mr. Lawless is a mem- 
ber of the Modern Woodmen of America, and chairman of the centennial 
executive committee of that order. His political affiliations are with 
the Democratic party, and he is a member of Holy Angels Catholic 
Churh of New Harmony, of which he is a trustee. 

William O. Boren, banker, merchant and educator of Cynthiana, and 
trustee c)f Smith township, Posey county, Indiana, was born on his 
father's farm near Fort Branch, Gibson county, September 14, 1869, the 
son of Absalom and Mar\' (Redman) Boren. Both of his parents were 
born in Gibson county and were members of pioneer families who were 
actively concerned in the early development of tliat section of Indiana. 
Absalom Boren spent the active years of his life in his native county, 
where he was engaged in farming and stock raising. Upon his retire- 
ment he removed to Cynthiana. where he has since resided. William O. 
Boren received his early educational discipline in the district schools 
of Gibson county. This was supplemented by a high school course and 
further study in the Indiana State Normal College at Danville. Upon 
completion of his school work he engaged in teaching and was principal 
of the Howell. Ind., schools. In 1904 he formed, with Perry Pritchett, 
the firm of Pritchett & Boren and engaged in the retail hardware busi- 
ness in Cynthiana. This enterprise was a success. In 1912 Mr. Boren 
disposed of his interest and accepted the position of cashier of the Cyn- 
thiana Banking Company, of which he is a director, and in this capacity 
has made good. Detailed information of this institution is to be found 
in the chapter on "Banks and Banking." Since becoming a resident of 
Posey county he has taken an active part in the political life of Cyn- 
thiana and Smith township. He is a Democrat and was honored by his 
party through election to the office of trustee of Smith township, in 
1908, and is still serving in that capacity. His administration of the 
affairs of this office has been marked by the same close attention to de- 
tail, progressiveness and sound financial sense that has characterized his 
commercial career. The schools of his township have received the bene- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 309 

fit of his past experience as a teacher, which has resulted in the Cyn- 
thiana school becoming a commission institution ; its equipment is equal 
to that of any in the county, while the district schools have been greatly 
improved as regards those essentials which permit of successful opera- 
tion. Mr. Boren is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America. He is a member 
of the First Presbyterian Church of Cynthiana, has served as treas- 
urer for several years and is one of the most influential and active men 
in the congregation. Mr. Boren married, in 1891, Miss Stella Pritchett, 
a daughter of Henderson and Martha (Gudgel) Pritchett. of Montgom- 
ery township, Gibson county, in which county each was born. Mr. 
Pritchett is a successful farmer and stock raiser. Of this union one 
child has been born, viz. : Martha Marie Boren, born July 7, 1907. 

Arthy M. Cleveland, a prominent farmer of Cynthiana, Ind., was born 
in Gibson county, same State, May 18, 1863, son of L. W. Cleveland (see 
sketch for ancestry). When he was about fifteen years of age his parents 
removed from Gibson county to Posey county, locating in Smith town- 
ship. Arthy attended school in these two counties and at the age of 
eighteen years began farming, working on shares with his grandfather 
for two years, after which he hired out by the day at various jobs. At the 
age of twenty-three he rented a farm and began farming for himself. 
After living on various farms he rented a place from C. Reister in 1891. 
This farm then consisted of sixty acres, but he now has 145 acres. Mr. 
Cleveland cleared about twenty-five acres on this farm, and in all has 
cleared fifty-five acres of ground. Our subject became township trustee 
in 1904 and served for one term of four years. He has also served as 
deputy sheriff, constable, and two terms as road supervisor. In politics 
he is a Democrat. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America and the Royal Neighbors. On October 19, 
1886, Mr. Cleveland was married to Mary L. Craig, daughter of David 
E. Craig, a farmer of Smith township, where she was born and raised 
and where she received her education. She died August 31, 1896. Mr. 
Cleveland took as his second wife Miss Hannah Stevens, daughter of 
Daniel and Elzina Stevens, of Smith township, natives of Posey county, 
where they were raised and where they raised their daughter. The wed- 
ding occurred Jnne 22, 1899. Mrs. Cleveland attended the common 
schools of her countv, and graduated from the Cynthiana High School 
in 1887. 

Lewis W. Cleveland, farmer and justice of the peace of Smith town- 
ship, Posey county, Indiana, was born in Gibson county, same State, 
June 16, 1842, son of Charles and Phoebe (Lundford) Cleveland. Charles 
Cleveland was born May 10, 1800, in Harrison county, Kentucky, and 
his wife was born in September, 1806, a native of Virginia. The father of 
Charles Cleveland was Micajah Cleveland, who was born in Virginia and 



3IO 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



served with his two sons in the ^^'ar of 1812. In 1834 Charles Cleveland 
came from near Cynthiana, Ky., and with his wife and five children set- 
tled in Gibson county, Indiana, then a wilderness with plenty of game 
roaming the woods. He and his wife, whom he married in Harrison 
county, Kentucky, became the parents of thirteen children, ten of whom 
lived to be men and women. Lewis W. Cleveland was the tenth child in 
the family. He was reared in Gibson county, where he attended common 
schools in a rude log building (for full description see sketch of Thomas 
Marvel in this book). After leaving school he taught for one j'ear and 
then farmed on the home place, where he was born. He was married 
May 25, 1862, to Elizabeth Meadows, daughter of George H. and Ma- 
tilda (Allen) Meadows, after his marriage continued for five years to live 
on the home farm with his parents, removing from there to Posey county 
in 1869. For one year he farmed in Rohb township, after which he traded 
his farm for a grocery business in Cynthiana. He closed out this business 
in 1874, since which he has farmed. In 1884 he was elected justice of 
the peace of Smith township and has held the office continuously ever 
since. He and his wife had nine children : Arthur M., George W., Lucian 
N. (deceased), Laura E., Mandaily, Effie G. (deceased). Dexter 
Lee, in St. Louis, Mo., Grover and Guy. Laura E. married Newton 
Finley and they live in Cynthiana. Mandaily married Ed Harper and 
they now live near Mt. Carmel, 111. Mr. Cleveland has been a member 
of the Regular Baptist church for fifty years. He is a Democrat and 
his first vote was cast for Stephen A. Douglas for President. 

John H. Williams, farmer and stock raiser, of Cynthiana. Ind., was 
born November 6, 1856, son of \\'illiam H. and Mary (Meadows) Wil- 
liams. William H. was the son of Enoch Williams, who married Miss 
Lowe and was the first of the family to come to Posey county, having 
removed to this section from South Carolina. The country was in a 
wild condition at that time and the woods were still full of Indians and 
wild animals. They located in Smith township, and here William H. 
was born in 1820, and was reared in the woods, where he helped clear 
the ground. He attended the schools of those times and later engaged 
in farming and stock raising, continuing in this business until his death 
in 1886. His wife preceded him in death, passing away in 1861. John 
H. Williams was born in Smith township, where he attended the coun- 
try schools, which were still furnished with log benche=. He after- 
ward attended the graded schools of Cynthiana and went one year to 
high school at Poseyville, Ind. Upon leaving school he worked at 
home with his parents until his marriage, which occurred December 10, 
1881, to Martha E. Marvel, daughter of John and Mary (Young) Mar- 
vel. This Marvel family is descended from the Marvels of Sussex 
county, Delaware, and the Youngs were early settlers in Posey county. 
John Marvel was a soldier in the Civil war. He was a farmer and stock 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 3II 

raiser, and, following the family tradition, was a breeder of fine horses. 
Some of the best colts in this section were raised from his stallions. 
Mr. and Mrs. Marvel are both dead, the latter passing away about two 
years ago. Mrs. Williams was born and raised in Smith township, 
where she attended common schools. Mr. and Mrs. Williams had four 
children: Harvey T., James W. (deceased), Ethel, and one who died 
in infancy. Harvey T., a farmer and former teacher, married Ivy L. 
Yates and now lives in Knox county, Indiana. Ethel married Dr. D. W. 
Montgomery and lives in Princeton, Ind. The first wife died October 
12. 1889, and Mr. Williams married again, on June 2, 1891, to Mrs. 
Elzina Witherspoon, widow of James N. Witherspoon. daughter of 
Dean and Elizabeth Martin, natives of Vanderburg county, where she 
was born and raised. She received a common school education. They 
have no children. The family are members of the Big Creek Regular 
Baptist Church, in which Mr. Williams is one of the deacons. He is a 
Democrat. Mr. Williams is one of the two men who are raising alfalfa 
in Smith township. He was the first in Posey county to begin raising 
pure-bred White Leghorn poultry and now there is hardly a farm that 
does not have them. He has won many blue ribbons at the poultry 
shows of Evansville, Princeton and elsewhere. Mr. Williams served 
as president of the Wabash Valley Poultry Association from 1904 to 
1909. He ships his chickens all over the United States. The Williams 
farm has the largest apple orchard in Posey county, having seven acres 
exclusively in apple trees. Its yield has been 2.000 bushels of apples 
besides fruit enough to make 2,000 gallons of cider. 

John C. Scherer, undertaker, of St. Wendel, Ind., was ])orn October 
30, 1864, a son of Jacob and Margaret (Knapp) Scherer, the former a 
native of Niederzengheim, Germany, a cabinet maker, who traveled ex- 
tensively in his native land before coming to America. Jacob Scherer 
was born in 1816, learned his trade by the time he was nineteen years 
of age and came to America in 1842, locating first in Canada, and later 
in Evansville, Ind., where he lived until the war broke out. He was 
engaged in the furniture business, but the war drove him out and he 
came to St. Wendel, where he opened a general merchandise store. 
After living here for some time he removed to Fort Branch, but re- 
turned seven years later and engaged in cabinet making and in the un- 
dertaking business, in which he continued until his death, June 10, 1891. 
Mrs. Margaret Scherer was also born in Germany, coming to this 
country at the age of eight years with her parents, who settled in Penn- 
sylvania and afterward removed to Posey county, Indiana. John Scherer 
graduated from the public schools of St. Wendel, after which he went 
to work with his father and learned the cabinet making and undertaking 
business, and after the death of the father he succeeded to the business. 
In May, 1897, Mr. Scherer graduated from Clark's Embalming School, 



312 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Evansville, Ind.. and the next year graduated from Clark's Embalming 
College, of Indianapolis. In 1902 he was admitted by the State Board 
of Embalmers to practice his profession in the State of Indiana. Until 
the year 1906 he was engaged in the implement business under the firm 
name of Coudret & Scherer, but sold out to devote his entire time to 
undertaking. He is a Democrat in politics and a member of the Cath- 
olic church. On October 10, 1893, Mr. Scherer married Miss Benie 
Hofmann, daughter of William and Catherine (Wolf) Ilofmann. Her 
father, a native of Rheinphalz, Germany, came to America at the age of 
nineteen and first located in Penns^dvania, three years later coming to 
Posey county and locating in Parker's Settlement, where he engaged 
in the general merchandise business and later, with Philip Speck, ran 
a brewery at the same place. He was trustee of Robinson township 
several terms and was also postmaster for many years. He died [an- 
uary 20. 1876. Mrs. Hofmann was born in Evansville, Ind., August 
20, 1838, and raised in Parker's Settlement, where she received her edu- 
cation and married. Her death occurred October 15. 1889. Mrs. 
Scherer was born in Parker's Settlement September 5, 1864. She re^ 
ceived her education in the town of her birth and later graduated from 
Eurmick's Commercial College at Evansville, of which her sister was 
principal of typewriting, bookkeeping and shorthand. Mr. and Mrs. 
Scherer have three children: Clarence, born August 13, 1894; Irma, 
November 13, 1896; Elsie. April 4, 1899. Clarence attended commercial 
college at Evansville. was for one year in the office of the auditor of 
the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Evansville, Ind., and is now telegraph 
operator at Petersburg, Ind., with the same company. Irma is attend- 
ing high school at Tell City, Ind. Elsie is now attending public school 
in Smith township. Mr. Scherer and children are communicants of the 
Catholic church. Mrs. Scherer is a member of the German Evangelical 
church. 

George Franklin Trainer, station agent of the Chicago & Eastern Illi- 
nois railroad at Wadesville, Ind., was born March 7, 1868. on a farm in 
Robb township, Posey county, son of George King and Susan (Schrader) 
Trainor. George K. Trainor was born about 1813 at Williamsport, Pa., 
and came to Posey county at the age of twenty years, where he was a 
farmer until his death, in 1897. He married Miss Susan Schrader, 
daughter of John and Pamelia ( Jaques) Schrader, the former a native of 
Germany and the latter of Posey county, where she was born in 1826. 
She died at Poseyville in 1901. They both belonged to the Methodist 
Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. George K. Trainor had eight children : 
John Schrader Trainor, now a merchant at Hayti, Mo.; Charles Edward 
Trainor, grain merchant. Griffin, Ind. ; Clara, wife of Joseph W. Stevens, 
wagon maker and justice of the peace, Poseyville, Ind.; Algernon (de- 
ceased), William A., formerly agent of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY' 3I3 

at Poseyville, who was killed by hold-up men in 1S92, and leaving a 
wife and three children; Carrie, wife of James Kilroy, a lawyer at Po- 
seyville; George F., of this record; Chauncy, graduate of the medical 
department of Louisville University, now an employe of the patent 
office at Washington, D. C, and also a magazine writer. George F. 
Trainor was educated in the public schools of Poseyville, graduating 
from the high school in the class of 1889. He then took a business course 
in Lexington, Ky., after which he taught school one year in Bethel town- 
ship, Posey county. He then began the study of telegraphy in the depot 
of Illinois Central at Poseyville, and after eight months became operator 
at Stewartsville, where he remained five years, when he was appointed 
cashier at Mattoon, 111., for the same road. After one year at Mattoon 
he became station agent at Stewartsville, and has since filled that posi- 
tion successively at Hartsburg, Latham, Mt. Zion, Sullivan, Newton, 
West Libert}', Parkersburg, Grayville, Griffin and New Harmony, all 
on the Illinois Central. In 1910 he became station agent at Wadesville, 
his present location. For a town of its size Wadesville is an unusually 
good shipping point, the freight business averaging about 400 cars per 
annum, while it does a good local passenger business. Mr. Trainor is 
a member of the Order of Ben Hur at Parkersburg, 111., of the Mystic 
Workers at West Liberty, 111., and also of the Order of Railway Teleg- 
raphers. On March 10, 1897, Mr. Trainor married Miss Lottie Bare, 
daughter of Alexander and Margaret (Dawson) Bare, of West Salem, 
111., the former a hardware merchant. She was born June 7, 1879, at 
Belmont, 111. Her father is a native of Germany and her mother of 
Illinois. They have four children : Murtel Kenneth, born May 23, 
1899; Margaret, born September 8, 1903; Fred, born March 8, 1905, and 
Katherine, born December 6, 191 1. The family attend the Methodist 
Episcopal church. 

William H. Webb, a farmer of Smith township, Posey county, was 
born in Franklin county, Illinois, September 30, 1869, son of S. M. and 
Louisa (Britton) Webb. .S. M. Webb was a son of Louis and Harriet 
Webb, and Louisa Britton Webb was the daughter of William Britton. 
The whole family are natives of Illinois, where S. M. Webb was a 
farmer and stock raiser, and where the subject of this sketch was raised 
and attended the country schools. He was a student one term at Ewing 
College, Ewing, 111., after which he farmed at home with his parents 
until the age of twenty-three years, at which time the family removed 
to Posey county, Indiana. This was in 1892, and Mr. Webb lived and 
farmed in Robb township until 1905, when he bought a farm in Smith 
township, where he now lives. His entire farm of eighty-six acres is 
under cultivation and he has some very fine stock, although he has never 
made a specialty of any breed. In politics Mr. Webb is a Democrat. 
He has served the township as election judge and road supervisor, and 



314 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

is now employed by the township trustee to haul the children in a bus 
to and from school. On March 5, 1893, occurred the marriage of Wil- 
liam H. Webb to Miss Alice Dunn, daughter of William and Susan 
(Gill) Dunn, natives of Tennessee, where they were engaged in farming- 
and stock raising. They later lived in Duquoin, 111., where their daughter, 
Alice, was born and where she was educated, first attending common 
school, and later a private high school, in which she completed the 
course. Mr. and Mrs. Webb have three children : Estella, born Feb- 
ruary 27, 1895, is a graduate of the common school and has attended 
the Cynthiana High School ; Normalee, born in September, 1897, 's now 
attending high school in Cynthiana, and Donald, born September 13, 
1900. is attending the common schools of Cynthiana. Mrs Webb is a 
member of the Baptist church. 

John C. Smith, a prosperous farmer of Cynthiana, Ind., was Ijorn in 
Patoka township, Gibson county, that State, June 18, 1831, son of 
Daniel and Nancy (Spain) Smith, natives of North Carolina, where the 
former was born in 1788, and the latter about 1800, and they came to 
Indiana in 1818, locating in Gibson county. In coming to this State 
he crossed the river at West Franklin and moved northward, stopping 
at old Fort Branch, which had been built shortly before for the protec- 
tion of the settlers. He camped at the fort for the night and the next 
day moved north into what is now called Pike county, where they en- 
tered land. On the way they often had to cut their own road through 
the forest. After coming to the State they moved around from place 
to place trying to find a suitable location and finally settled in Johnson 
township, Gibson county. John C. Smith was born before his parents 
moved to Johnson township. He began attending school at the age of 
four. His first teacher was Joshua Kitchen and school was held in a 
log building with split log seats and it was heated by a big fire-place. 
The window was made by leaving out a log. The school was moved 
to the public road later and, as there were no bridges, they put logs 
across the streams so the children could cross. The teacher was Dr. 
Ralston, now of Evansville, who is ninety-six years old. The school 
was maintained by subscription, as there were no public schools. After 
leaving school he continued to work on the farm with his parents. They 
removed to Posey county about 1848, but as John C. was working as a 
hired hand he did not come till 1852, when he was twenty-one years of 
age. In that year he married Lavina Robb, daughter of Peyton and 
Susan (Finch) Robb, in whose honor Robb township was named. The 
Robb family were among the earliest settlers of the county and Lavina 
Robb was born in Robb township, where she lived until her marriage. 
After his marriage Mr. Smith bought a farm in Smith township, just 
east of Poseyville, where he lived for some time, when he sold out and 
bought the property he now owns, two and one-half miles southeast of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 315 

Cynthiana. He has been assessor for his township for six years and 
later was elected county commissioner, serving three terms. He was 
State representative twice, 1889 and 1891. He has been a lifelong Dem- 
ocrat and is prominent in the councils of the party. In i860 he was a 
delegate to the Democratic State convention. The feeling was so strong 
that it was said that the convention could not be held, but with the aid 
of guards the meetings went on. While in the legislature he helped elect 
two United States senators — Dan Voorhees and Senator Turpie. He 
was also a member of the county and township committees in the 
house. Since serving in the legislature he has not sought any further 
political honors and has limited his political activities to looking after 
his party in Posey county. His first vote for the President was in 1852, 
for James K. Polk. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith became the parents of 
ten children: Peyton, Mary, Annie (deceased), Walter, Nora, Flora, 
Alice, and two who died in infancy. Mary married Walter Endicott, of 
Poseyville. Nora is the widow of Osbourne Endicott, of Cynthiana. 
Flora married Newton Martin and after his death married Treat Saul- 
mon and lives on a farm. Alice married Hugh McNair, a druggist, 
and they live in Sullivan, Ind. Mrs. Smith died August 13, 1888. Mr. 
Smith remarried in February, 1891, Catherine Robb, daughter of Wil- 
liam Robb, and a cousin of his first wife. She died June 13, 1902. 

Henry Brinkman. — A man's real worth to his community is best de- 
termined by inquiring into the sentiment of his neighbors and fellow 
citizens. Their estimate of him is found to be of more value in uncov- 
ering the truth than all other sources of information. However, if there 
is found in this sentiment a diversity of opinion, it is difficult to arrive 
at accurate conclusions. On the other hand, if absolute harmony pre- 
vails in it, if it is found to be a single unit, if a man's neighbors and 
daily associates, without a single dissenter, proclaim him to be a worthy 
citizen and a power for good in the community, then accuracy of con- 
clusion is made easy ; for no precedent exists in which perfect harmony 
of public opinion has proved to be wrong. The conclusions formed 
and herein set forth with reference to the man under consideration 
have been moulded entirely from the sentiment of his friends and fellow 
citizens and, since this sentiment had in it not a single discordant note, 
its accuracy can be fully vouchsafed and relied upon. Henry Brinkman 
is the nestor of Posey county's men of affairs. He became a resident of 
the county in 1850, a principal in a commercial enterprise in 1851, a 
manufacturer in 1853, and is still the active head, at the age of eighty- 
eight, of a drain-tile plant and a retail hardware, implement and furni- 
ture business. Sixty-two years of continuous commercial activity, dur- 
ing which time his name has become familiar in practically every home 
within the county, a reputation for honesty, fairness and high business 
ideals, seldom attained in the field of commerce, entitle him to distinctive 



3l6 HISTORY OF POSEY CCgJNTY 

recognition in this publication. Henry Brinkman was born in the Duchy 
of Lippe-Detmold, Germany, May i6, 1825. He obtained a fair educa- 
tion in the schools of his native country, which he attended until the 
age of fourteen, learned the brickmaker's trade in the succeeding six 
years and, during the next five, that of wagon-making. In 1850 inclina- 
tion led him to seek the opportunities then offering in the United States 
and he came to Indiana, remaining for about two months in Evansville, 
and then locating in Mt. Vernon, where he secured employment in the 
wagon factory of Gottlieb Koerner, and in the following year, 1852, 
secured in interest in the business. During the years 1854 to 1861 he 
was engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements and wag- 
ons, the last two years having as an associate in business, John H. Bar- 
ter. In the last-named year he began the manufacture of the "Brink- 
man Wagon," having but one apprentice to assist him at the start. His 
products were well received, proved to be of high quality, and the fac- 
tory force soon numbered twenty hands. He was the inventor of the 
"Posey Clipper" plow and manufactured them in profitable quantities. 
In 1869 he established a brick manufacturing plant which he operated 
successfully imtil 1875, when he changed it into a drain-tile factory. 
This enterprise he has conducted with success, it has given employment 
to as many as thirty-five hands, and is still operated with profit. In 
1875 he formed, with William Burtis, the firm of Brinkman & Burtis 
and engaged in the implement business. Mr. Burtis retired from the 
firm in 1881 and the firm name was changed to Brinkman i1- Sons, 
two of his sons, Henry A. and Charles, being admitted to partnership. 
Another son. Otto, was given an interest later and he, with his father 
and brother, Charles, constitute the present firm, Henry A. Brinkman 
having died in 1900. Hardware and furniture have since been added to 
the line of implements and the business is not only the oldest in years 
of establishment in Posey county, but enjoys a satisfied clientage, while 
its sales exceed $40,000 per annum. Mr. Brinkman has also been inter- 
ested directly and indirectly with many other business enterprises of his 
home city and perhaps no one of its citizens has had more to do with the 
development and building up of Mt. Vernon than he during the years 
i860 to 1895. In truth he has been one of the foremost in every move- 
ment which had for its object the city's progress, thrift and substantial 
growth. He was for several years president of the Manufacturers' Aid 
Society of Mt. Vernon and brought to this office the same business 
ability which he had displayed in his private affairs, with the result that 
the society's affairs were conducted in a wise, conservative and business- 
like way. He has been a Republican since the formation of that party. 
He served as a member of the city council for several terms, having been 
first elected in 1869. Mr. Brinkman is a member of the directorate of 
the Mt. Vernon National Bank, is seldom absent from a meeting of the 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 317 

board, and it is probable that there is not another man of his age in 
the State of Indiana that is a member of the board of directors of a 
financial institution, much less one who is actively concerned with the 
conduct of his bank and who is conceded to be a valued member of its 
governing body. He is a member of the Masonic order and of the 
Evangelical church. Mr. Brinkman married in October, 1852, Miss 
Margaret Hahn, a native of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, and the 
daughter of Henry Hahn. Mrs. Brinkman died in 1893. Ten children 
were born of this union, who are as follows : Minnie, who married 
John C. Leffel, of Mt. Vernon, publisher of "The Western Star" and 
editor of this work ; Mrs. Leffel died on February 28, 1907. Henry A., 
until his death in 1900 a member of the firm of Brinkman & Sons; 
Mollie, who has never married and resides with her father; Charles, of 
the H. Brinkman Company ; Caroline, who became the wife of Fred 
Walter, a merchant of Mt. Vernon, both of whom are deceased ; Louis, 
formerly interested with his father and now a manufacturer of tile in 
Georgia; Anna, who married Meade Williams, of Mt. Vernon, both of 
whom are deceased ; Otto, a member of the H. Brinkman Company ; 
Matilda, the wife of William A. Holton, cashier of the Mt. Vernon Na- 
tional Bank, personal mention of whom appears in this work, and Hat- 
tie, the wife of William O. Wilson, superintendent of the schools of 
Posey county, who is also mentioned in the biographical section of this 
volume. To do justice to the many phases of the career of Mr. Brink- 
man within the limits of an article of this order would be impossible, 
but in even touching upon the more salient points there may come 
objective lesson and incentive and thus a tribute of appreciation. As a 
man among men. bearing his due share in connection with the practical 
activities and responsibilities of a work-a-day world, he has been suc- 
cessful, but over all and above all, he has gained a deep knowledge of 
the well springs from which emerge the stream of human motive and 
action. He has gained a clear apprehension of what life means, what its 
dominating influences, what its possibilities, and is ever ready to impart 
to his fellow men the fruits of his investigation, contemplation and ma- 
ture wisdom. 

Capt. Alferd Ribeyre, of New Harmony, known far and wide as "The 
Corn King," is one of the most extensive land owners and developers in 
the State. He has inaugurated a plan of farming so extensive that it is 
difficult to contemplate the man and his great institution, and give him 
due credit. Captain Ribeyre's vast farming interests aggregate over 7,000 
acres, about one-half of which is composed of Cut-off Island. These ex- 
tensive farms are occupied by about 150 tenants, who work the land on 
a crop sharing plan, Mr. Ribeyre furnishing everything necessary to go 
on and do the work. The principal crops are corn and wheat; however, 
other crops are raised, but not extensively. But, on account of the great 



3l8 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

corn production, Captain Ribeyre has earned the title of "The Corn 
King." He is a native of Posey county, born February 17, 1851, one mile 
southeast of New Harmony, on the "Deep Creek Stock Farm." He is a 
son of John and Emily Ribeyre, both natives of France. John Ribeyre 
settled in Posey county, near New Harmony, in the '40s. He was one 
of the most extensive business men in Southern Indiana. He bought 
land, developed it, and also dealt extensively in cattle. He owned several 
boats, with which he marketed his own products in St. Louis and New 
Orleans. He owned the "Buckeye," the "Hoosier," and other boats. lie 
was also a banker, owning and operating the Cut-off Island Bank, at 
New Harmony, in 1866. He loaned money extensively, and was always 
lenient to the unfortunate. At the time of his death, he owned about 
8,000 acres. John Ribeyre was a man thoroughly abreast of his time. He 
was a member of the W'orkingmen's Institute, and public-s])irited. His 
first wife died, leaving two children, Alferd, the subject of this sketch, 
and Emily, who married Frank Fitton, of Indianapolis. After the death 
of his first wife, he married Harriet Stanhope, and to this union was born 
one daughter, Erma, who married Charles A. Greathouse. the present 
Superintendent of Public Instruction of Indiana. Captain Ribeyre spent 
his boyhood days in New Harmony, and vicinity, and was associated with 
his father. While he inherited considerable property from his father, he 
has made good on his own account, and added vast holdings to his 
original property. Captain Ribeyre possesses many traits of his father. 
He is a progressive, liberal, and charitable man. He is always read}- to 
contribute to worthy public enterprises, and render assistance to the 
needy. He contributes to churches of all denominations, and when the 
question of raising funds for the New Harmony Centennial of 1914 was 
being discussed, Captain Ribeyre came forward with a donation of 
$1,000. Such men are worth while to a town or community. He was 
united in marriage December 14, 1879, ^ an estimable lady. Miss 
Pauline Arnold, of New Harmony. She was born at sea. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Ribeyre were born three children, only one of whom, Robert R., 
survives. He resides in New Harmony, and is one of its progressive 
3^oung business men. He married Jessie, daughter of A. C. Thomas, and 
to this union have been born one child, Susanna, who, by the way, oc- 
cupies a prominent place in the affection of her grandfather. Captain 
Ribeyre is interested, as a stockholder, in the New Harmony Banking 
Company, and the Mt. Vernon National Bank. His splendid residence, 
located on Main street, in New Harmony, is one of the finest to be seen 
anywhere. While Captain Ribeyre has not been active in politics, he has 
always been a Republican, and served on the town council. Besides his 
vast farm holdings, and interests above described. Captain Ribeyre owns 
seven of the best business properties in New Harmony. He also owns 
and operates a private ferry for his own business. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 3I9 

Joseph R. Welbom, successful farmer, influential citizen, and member 
of the council of Posey county, was born on his father's farm in Mont- 
gomery township, Gibson county, Indiana, December ii, 1849, ^ son 
of Samuel P. and Mary ( Waters) Welborn. The family was founded in 
Indiana by Moses Welborn, a native of North Carolina, who was born 
in Guilford county, near Guilford court house, July 4, 1783. He came 
to Posey county in 1833 and located at Mt. Vernon, subsequently entering 
land at the forks of Big creek, which he cleared and developed into pro- 
ductive farm land. He died in 185 1, a victim of the cholera scourge of 
that year. He married, about 1808, Deborah Chipman, born on No- 
vember 3, 1787. They reared a family of eight children, of whom Samuel 
P. Welborn was the third in order of birth. The latter was born in 
North Carolina in 1814, and came to Posey county with his parents. 
Shortly after arriving in Mt. Vernon, he engaged in flat boating, the one 
means of transportation at that time, his cargoes consisting of grain and 
provisions, which he carried to the New Orleans market. While visiting 
in Gibson county he became acquainted with Mary Waters, a daughter 
of James Rice Waters, a native of North Carolina, and pioneer settler of 
Gibson county, where she was born in 1816. They were married shortly 
afterwards and located on land in that county, at the time densely 
wooded, which he cleared ; and for a time continued, during the winter 
months, the transportation of produce to the New Orleans market by flat 
boat. He became not only a successful farmer and man of means, but 
was a citizen of influence in his county. He served as treasurer of 
Gibson county from 1857 to 1861. His death occurred in 1875, and that 
of his wife in 1887. They were the parents of eleven children, ten 
of whom reached their majority, and six of whom are living at this 
writing, 1913. They are as follows: William P., James F., Francis M. 
Oscar M., Ellen, Sarah, Mary, Joseph R., Eliza, Alice and John. Joseph 
R. Welborn acquired his education in the schools of his native township, 
held in the primitive school buildings of that period, later attended the 
graded school in Owensville, and during the winter of 1868-69 was a 
student in the Indiana State University at Bloomington. With the ex- 
ception of two years, in which he was engaged in the general merchan- 
dise business in Poseyville, his occupation has been that of a farmer and 
stock raiser. The Welborn farm, situated one mile west of Cynthiana, 
consists of 150 acres, and is known as "Homeland." Mr. Welborn has 
retired from active business cares and the farm is conducted by his son, 
Ernest P. Welborn, a graduate of the Wisconsin State Agricultural 
College, who as a breeder of registered Poland China hogs has attained 
wide prominence. Animals from his breeding farm, known to breeders 
as "Homeland's" stock, have a ready sale over a wide area and bring at- 
tractive prices. As regards improvements and farming methods, the 
property represents all essentials known to the scientific agriculturist. 



320 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

and is one of the model enterprises in this line of Southern Indiana. As 
a citizen, Mr. Welborn has always taken an active interest in the political 
life of his county and State. He is a Democrat, and has been honored 
by his party with public office, in which he served with credit to himself 
and his constituents. He was elected trustee of Smith township in 1882, 
a member of the council of Smith township in 1900, and to the Posey 
county council in 1910, in which capacity he is still serving. Mr. Wel- 
born married on June 3, 1874, Miss Rebecca Calvert, a daughter of Wil- 
liam and Martha (Endicott) Calvert. Mr. Calvert was born in Vander- 
burg county, Indiana, of which his father, a native of Ireland, was a pio- 
neer. Martha Endicott was born in Posey county, and is descended from 
Colonial stock, and members of the family have held positions of promi- 
nence in the town, State and Xation. Rebecca Calvert was born in 
Posey county, Indiana, June 14, 1847, ^"d died September 15, 1907. They 
were the parents of four children, who are as follows, viz. : Edgar C. 
Welborn, a graduate of the literary department of the Indiana State 
University of the engineering department of Cornell, Ithaca, New York, 
and who is now a mechanical engineer, residing in Milwaukee, Wis. ; 
William C. Welborn, a graduate of both the literary and law departments 
of Indiana State University, and junior member of the firm of Veneman 
& Welborn, attorneys; Evansville. He married Miss Edith Gauntt, a 
daughter of Jasper Gauntt, of Marion. Ind. They are the parents of four 
children, Alarion, Ruth, Dorothy an<l F"rancis. Alice Welborn, the third 
ehild, is deceased. Ernest P. Welborn, the youngest of the family, born 
December 12, i88i, received his early educational discipline in the schools 
of Cynthiana, later attended Indiana State University, and subsequently 
was graduated from the Wisconsin State Agricultural College at Madi- 
son. He married on April 12, 1903, Miss Ethel Emerson, a daughter of 
Benjamin F. Emerson, president of the Cynthiana Banking Company. 
They are the parents of two children : Joseph E. Welborn, born October 
4. 1905. and Virginia C. A\'elborn, born July 4, 1908. Mr. Welborn is 
manager of the "Homeland" property. The family are popular in the 
social circles of their county and are members of the Baptist church. 

Timothy Scott Downen, a farmer in Robinson township, Posey county, 
Indiana, is a native of the same township, having been born on the place 
where he now lives, on December i. 1880, son of George T. and Classic 
(Allyn) Downen, natives of Posey county, the father reared on the place 
in possession of our subject, and the mother in Black township, near 
Bufkin. George Downen was born in June, 1854, son of Tillman Downen 
and Classic Allyn was the daughter of Bijah .-Mlyn, of Black township. 
The father died April i, 1910, and the mother in June, 1897. Timothy 
attended the schools of Robinson township, and after finishing his educa- 
tion remained at home with his parents. After they passed away the 
farm came into his possession. This farm was entered by a Downen iir 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 321 

years before it came into the hands of Timothy Downen, and has re- 
mained in the family all this time. Mr. Downen makes a specialty of 
Duroc Jersey hogs, also does general farming and stock raising. He 
has a good farm of eighty acres. Mr. Downen was married November 
30, 1902, to Miss Mary Mills, daughter of Aleck and Matilda (Wilkie) 
Mills, both parents born in Posey county. Matilda Wilkie was reared 
in the place of her birth, but Aleck Mills went south with his parents 
when about eight years old, and did not return for thirty years. Mrs. 
Downen was born in Posey county, and was reared and educated here. 
Her father died in autumn of 1905 and her mother is still living. Mr. 
and Mrs. Downen have had four children, Merle and Leona, who are 
attending school in Robinson township, Clarisey, and Lynn, who is 
deceased. Mr. Downen is a Democrat in politics. 

Henry Donner, a farmer of Robinson township, Posey county, Indiana, 
was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 25, 1866, son of Fred and Bar- 
bara (Bauer) Donner, natives of Stuttgart, Germany, who came to this 
country before they were married. They both died while their five chil- 
dren were quite young, the mother in 1870, and the father in 1871. Henry 
was in bed with smallpox when his mother died, and could not attend 
the funeral. When left an orphan he lived with his brothers and sisters. 
His brothers worked in a brick yard, and Henry carried their break- 
fasts and dinners to them, beside going to school. In 1877, at the age 
of eleven years, Henry Donner came to Posey county with his brother,. 
William. He lived with his uncle, Henry Donner, Sr., while William 
went to live with their cousin, Henry Donner, Jr. Here our subject re- 
mained for three years, attending school and doing all kinds of farm 
work and assisting in clearing new ground. He then went to the farm 
of his cousin, John Donner, where he worked two years for his board and 
clothes. At the end of this time he hired out to his cousin, Henry Don- 
ner, for $80 per year. Half of this he spent for clothes and saved $40. 
The next year he hired to another farmer for $140 per year and board, 
saving $100 that year. The next year he was with another neighbor 
at $150 and board, remaining here two years. After this he returned 
to his cousin, Henry, who paid him $160 per year, and here he remained 
four years. He then learned the carpenter's trade and received $1.50 per 
day, and worked at the trade until his marriage, which occurred Septem- 
ber II, 1892, to Miss Carry Huber, daughter of George and Barbara 
(Hahn) Huber, natives of Posey county, where they were reared. After 
his marriage he started farming for himself. Mrs. Huber, mother of Mrs. 
Donner, died in 1893, and they lived on the George Huber farm for two 
years. He then removed to Black township, renting the Joseph Welborn 
farm, where Samuel Benthal now lives, remaining there four years. In 
1897 he rented a farm just west of Oliver, and in 1900 he bought his 
present farm, which is the old Tim Downen place in Robinson town- 



322 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ship, and contains 130 acres. Mr. Donner is engaged in general farming. 
Mr. and Mrs. Donner have had six children: Henry, who died in in- 
fancy ; Ida, who married Fred Wedeking, at present hving in Evans- 
ville ; Alk, and Olive, graduates of the common school, at home with their 
parents ; Harry, now in the seventh grade in the Downen school. The 
Donner family are members of the Evangelical church. Mr. Donner is a 
Republican in politics, and is now holding the office of trustee of Robin- 
son township, to which he was elected in 1908, and was for two years a 
member of the advisory board of the township. 

Joseph Schmitt, a farmer of Posey county, Indiana, was born in Ger- 
many, his parents, Joseph and Anna Marie (Van Waltensberger) Schmitt, 
being natives of Elsas Ardelsheim, where they engaged in farming, and 
where their son, Joseph, was born, March 18, 1851. The family came to 
America in 1855, locating at Princeton, Gibson count}-. Indiana, where the 
father drove an ox team, hauling logs for one year, after which he re- 
moved to a farm in Robinson township, Posey county, the place where 
Adam Schmitt now lives, and remained here until his death in 1896. 
The mother died in 1900. Our subject started to school in Princeton, and 
after the removal of his parents to Robinson township, attended school 
at St. Wendel. He worked on the home place until he was seventeen 
3'ears of age, when he started learning the carpenter trade, working at this 
until twenty-one. He then worked on a farm one year, and in the sum- 
mer of 1873 worked with a threshing crew. He was married in Septem- 
ber of that year and in the fall cholera broke out and his wife's sister 
lost her husband and four children and husband's father. After his 
marriage he began farming on the home place of his wife's father, and 
has continued farming ever since. In 1892 he was elected assessor on 
the Democratic ticket, and served five years, and since that time has been 
deputy assessor for the township every time one has been needed. In 1912 
he was elected county commissioner, and is now holding that office. 
Mr. Schmitt is an auctioneer, and since he was twenty-four years of age 
he has cried over 300 sales. The marriage of Joseph Schmitt and Miss 
Amalia Dudenhefer occurred in Robinson township. Posey county, where 
the bride was born and raised, on September 29, 1873. She is the daugh- 
ter of Jacob and Magdalene Dudenhefer, natives of Rheinprovinz, Hairx- 
heim, Germany, who came to America, locating first in Cincinnati, where 
they were married. Mrs. Schmitt was educated in the schools of St. 
Wendel. Mr. and Mrs. Schmitt became the parents of ten children : 
Helena, Anna. Alfonso, Amanda, Alice, Cecelia, Louisa (deceased), Ida 
(deceased), Olevia and Elvera. Elvera is a graduate of the St. Wendel 
school and lives at home with her parents. Helena married Jacob 
Rothlei, and had three children, Raymond, Daniel and Elmar, the latter 
deceased. Anna married William Weyer. They live in Robinson town- 
ship and have had seven children, Urban, Viola, Arthur, Marie, Ran- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 323 

dolph, Wilmor (deceased) and Norman (deceased). Amanda married 
George Baehl, and has three children, Leona, Genevieve and Joseph, the 
latter deceased. Cecilia married William Engbers, and has one child, 
William Joseph. Both Amanda and Cecilia live in Evansville. Olevia 
married Phillip Muhelbaur, and they live in Poseyville. The family are 
members of the Catholic church at St. Wendel, where Mr. Schmitt has 
been trustee of the church three terms, and is now director of the choir. 

Earnest Willman, a farmer living near Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in 
Pittsburgh, Pa., November 30, 1845, son of Earnest and Katherine Will- 
man, natives of Germany, who came to Pennsylvania and later removed 
to Posey county, Indiana, when their son, Earnest, was about a year old. 
They made the trip from Pittsburgh by boat, there being no railroads. 
They located in the woods at St. Philip, and built a log hut. For 
more than a year Mrs. Willman baked bread in a skillet. Earnest at- 
tended the common schools, and remained at home, working on the farm, 
until thirty years of age, when he bought a farm of his own. He still 
owns this place, adjoining his present home. On September 22. 1877, 
occurred the marriage of Earnest Willman and Miss Johana Elderbrook, 
daughter of Henry and Sophia (Leonard) Elderbrook, natives of Han- 
over, Germany, who came to America in 1872, and located in Gibson 
county, Indiana, where Mr. Elderbrook engaged in farming and stock 
raising. Johana was born in Hanover in 1854, and attended school in 
Germany, coming to America with her parents at the age of eighteen. 
Mr. and Mrs. Willman have seven children : Folney, who married Bar- 
bie Winter ; Earnest, married Carry Roiddle ; George, married Louise 
Reinghie ; Frederick, married Annie Dempersenier ; Louise and Tillie. 
All five boys are farming in Posey county. The children are all grad- 
uates of the common schools. The family are all members of the Luth- 
eran church. 

John Henry Schreiber, a farmer of Black township, Posey county, In- 
diana, was born on the same farm where he now lives on February 23, 
1868, son of Michael and Elizabeth (Franbel nee Dickout) Schreiber, na- 
tives of Germany. Michael Schrieber was born in the Fatherland in 1800 
and about 1825 or 1826 he started with his young wife to America. She 
died on the way and was buried at sea. Upon his arrival he located in 
Posey county, and as land was cheap he soon became one of the largest 
land owners in this section of the country, having more than 1,000 acres. 
He was a hard worker, often helping his neighbors in the daytime and 
doing his own clearing at night. He used cattle exclusively in his 
farming and clearing. The mother of our subject came to America 
when a young lady about twenty-three years of age. She received her 
education in German}^. Michael Schreiber died February 22, 1881, at 
the age of eighty-one years, and his wife died four years later, on July 
8, 1885. John Henry Schreiber was but thirteen years of age when his 



324 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



father died and at the death of his mother he was left in charge of the 
farm, being the only child by his father's third marriage. There was still 
plenty of timber standing and he cleared about forty-five acres on the 
place. At that time there were no rock roads, telephones, autos or 
other modern conveniences, and at times the roads were so bad that it 
would be impossible to get to Mt. Vernon for two months at a time, 
sometimes having to walk the entire distance on the Louisville & Nash- 
ville railroad ties. Mr. Schreiber can remember when this railroad was 
built. Being a hard worker, like his father he has met with a large de- 
gree of success, has a farm of 260 acres, all under cultivation except 
about thirty-five acres of fine white oak and poplar timber. During the 
past few years he has been raising cattle and hogs for market, meeting 
with much success in this line. The Schreiber farm is equipped with all 
modern improvements, gasoline engines for grinding grain, pumping 
water and other work, an auto, a fine residence and large modern barns. 
Mr. Schreiber was married December 14, 1888, to Bertha Deitz, daughter 
of Philip and Charlotta Deitz, natives of Germany, who came to Posey 
county, where their daughter. Bertha, was born and raised in Black 
township. Philip Deitz was a cabinet maker. Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber 
became the parents of five children: John Philip, William Fred, Eliza- 
beth Margaret, George Arthur and William Henry, the last deceased. 
They are all at home with their father. William Fred married Carry 
Renner and they have one child. Albert Fred. The family belongs to 
the Evangelical church, and Mr. Schreiber is a Republican in politics. 

William Renschler, farmer, dairy man and stock breeder, of Mt. Ver- 
non, Ind., was born in Vanderburg county, Indiana, July 23, 1869, son of 
John and Elizabeth (Fuhs) Renschler, the former a native of Germany 
and the latter of Indiana. John Renschler, now in his eightieth }ear, 
still lives on his farm south of Caborn. William Renschler came with 
his parents to Marrs township, Posey county, at the age of six years 
and here attended common school. He remained on the farm with his 
parents until twenty-one years of age and then started for himself, buy- 
ing his present farm north of Mt. Vernon, on which he has lived con- 
tinuously since. He now has 160 acres with modern improvements and 
a beautiful residence. Mr. Renschler is a scientific farmer and breeder of 
cattle and hogs, using Durham for his beef stock and Jersey for his 
milk herd. He has lately begun breeding Guernsey for milk and is 
meeting with success. He breeds Poland China hogs. At present Mr. 
Renschler is making large quantities of butter, which he sells in Mt. 
Vernon. His leading farm products are wheat, corn and clover, and he 
has several smaller crops that pay well. On October 27. 1891, occurred 
the marriage of William Renschler and Maggie Sailor, daughter of John 
and Doradier (Schreiber) Sailor, natives of Germany, where the father 
was a farmer. Mrs. Renschler was born and reared in Black township. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 325 

Five children were born to this union: Anna, Christiana, Loulie (de- 
ceased), Minnie Katherine, Liddie Mary and George Wesley. The 
children are all at home with their parents and Anna Christiana and 
Minnie Katherine are graduates of the common schools. The family 
belongs to the Evangelical church and in politics Mr. Rensciiler is a 
Republican. 

Samuel Carroll, a farmer of Black township, Posey county, Indiana, 
was born in the same township where he now lives November i6, 1870, 
son of John R. and Virginia (Adzech) Carroll. His fathc, a native of 
Tennessee, came to Posey county at the time of the Civil war. He en- 
listed in the Forty-sixth Ohio and served three years in the war. After 
peace was declared he located in Posey county, where he has lived ever 
since, and engaged in farming and stock raising. Samuel Carroll fin- 
ished the common schools and then began farming, first hiring out by 
the month until 1900, when he rented a farm and began for himself. The 
man for whom he was working left the county and sold his teams to 
Mr. Carroll on three years' time. He paid for them in two years. In 
191 1 he removed to his present home in Black township, where he owns 
forty acres and rents eighty-five acres. He is a member of the Ben Hur 
fraternal order, and in politics is a Republican. Mr. Carroll was married 
July 24, 1892, to Abbie (West) Gulledge, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Jacob West. She was reared and educated in Posey county, where she 
died in 1902, leaving two children : John, born September 29, 1893, and 
Trin, born March 28, 1896. On August 10, 1903, Mr. Carroll married 
Ida Allyn, daughter of Joseph and Rachel Allyn, natives of Posey 
county, both now dead. Mr. Allyn was a farmer. Mrs. Carroll was 
born and educated in Posey county. They have two children : Joseph, 
born November 14, 191 1, and Esther Virginia, born April 5, 1912. 

Reverend Charles G. Kettelhut, pastor of the Zion's Evangelical 
church at Lippe, Robinson township, Posey county, Indiana, was born 
in Pomerania, Germany, February 19, 1866, son of William and Henrietta 
Kettelhut, natives of the same place. His parents came to America in 
the fall of 1880 and settled in Freelandville, Knox county, Indiana. Here 
they engaged in farming and stock raising, and Charles attended the 
common schools, getting his first lessons in English, although his early 
education had already been begun in the Fatherland. While going to 
school he worked on the farm with his parents, but on completing his 
elementary education he entered the preparatory college at Elmhurst, 
111., in the fall of 1887, graduating with the class of 1891. He was then 
transferred to Eden Theological Seminary of the Evangelical church at 
St. Louis, Mo., from which he graduated in 1894. After graduating 
from the seminary he returned to his home at Freeland, Ind., where 
he was ordained as a minister of the Zion Evangelical Church and 
was assigned to the charge at High Hill, Montgomery county, Missouri, 



326 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

in January, 1894, remaining about two years. From there he was called 
to fill the charge at New Palestine, Ind., remaining there until 1898, 
when he removed to Powhatan Point, Ohio. He had charge of that 
congregation until the fall of 1902, going from there to the congregation 
at Westphalia, Knox county, Indiana, remaining there until April 
15, 1906, at which time he accepted the call of the church at I^ippe, 
Robinson township, Posey county, where he has a large and wealthy con- 
gregation with a membership of about 100 families. Since his pastorate 
here the church has prospered and has one of the largest churcli build- 
ings in the county with a parsonage of brick in connection. Rev. Kettel- 
hut was married October 7, 1894, to Elizabeth R. Preiss, daughter of 
George and Catherine Preiss, both deceased. George Preiss was very 
prominent in St. Louis county, Missouri, where several other members 
of the Preiss family have received political honors. He died in the fall 
of 1908. He was born in Germany and came to this country with his 
father at the age of nine years. Mrs. Kettelhut was born in St. Louis 
county, Missouri, and attended the public schools. They have five 
children: Herbert, who graduated from the Mt. \'ernon High School 
in 1913 and is now attending the Elmhurst College, Klmhurht, 111.; Freda 
and Hulda, graduates of the public schools, who are now taking a spe- 
cial course in music; Theophil and Gertrude, both attending the public 
schools of Robinson township at District Xo. 6. All the family are 
active church workers. 

Charles Dausman, trustee of Marrs township and one of the leading 
farmers of the vicinity, was born in German township, Vanderburg 
county, Indiana, June 15, i860, son of Jacob and Barbra (Groeninger) 
Dausman, both natives of the same township, where they were farmers. 
The father died in 1867 and the mother in 1861. They were the parents 
of five children as follows: Mary A., born November 23, 1852, now the 
wife of Adam Roeder, Evansville, Ind. ; Henry Jacob, born October 5, 
1854, now a blacksmith in Marrs townhip ; John, born December 3. 1856, 
died December 8, 1856; George F., born December 25, 1857, died in 
1876, and Charles, the stibject of this sketch. Charles Dausman was 
educated in the public schools of Vanderburg county, after which he 
became a blacksmith, and followed this occupation for twelve years. 
On May 18, 1876, he came to Posey county, locating in Marrs township, 
where he worked at his trade. He purchased a small farm in 1889 and 
began farming. In 1910 he bought the 160-acre tract on which he lives 
at present. He is a successful agriculturist and stock raiser and has one 
of the finest farms in the county. In 1909 Mr. Dausman was elected 
trustee of Marrs township and is still holding that office. He is a Re- 
publican in politics and, with the remainder of the family, is a member 
of the Lutheran church. On January 4. 1885, Mr. Dausman married 
Miss Katherine Jourdan, daughter of Jacob and Margaret Jourdan, of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 327 

Posey county. Jacob Jourdan was born in Germany and died in Posey 
county, where he was engaged in farming. Mrs. Jourdan was born in 
Germany July 29, 1829, and died in Marrs township October 22, 1909. 
Mr. and Mrs. Dausman became the parents of six sons and one daugh- 
ter : Jacob Charles, born November 13, 1885, married Miss Caroline 
Noelle, December 27, 191 1. She died October 14, 1913. He is naw a 
farmer in Marrs township; Lydia Katherine, born June 6, 1888, is living 
with her parents; Charles Henry, born February 4, 1890; Arthur Philip, 
born May 6, 1894; George Adam, born October 5, 1896, died October 
9, 1896; William Henry, born June 30, 1898, and Raymond Oscar, born 
May 6, 1904. 

James Robert Lewis, a farmer of Marrs township, Posey county, In- 
diana, was born in tliat locality October 7, 1861 (see sketch of Thomp- 
son Price Lewis). He was educated in the public schools of his native 
tov/nship and worked on his father's farm until the age of twenty-one, 
when he began farming for himself. In politics Mr. Lewis is a Demo- 
crat and in the past ten years he has been several times deputy assessor 
of Marrs township and has also been bailiff of the Posey county court 
several times. Mr. Lewis has been married twice. He first married 
Miss Ella Wade, in 1882. She was born March 11, 1863, in Harmony 
township, Posey county, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Wade, both 
deceased, and died June 20, 1887. She became the mother of two chil- 
dren: Ethel, born December 17, 1884, now the wife of John Derrington, 
a farmer of Black township, Posey county; and Stella, born August 15, 
1886, died December 23, 1886. On March 15, 1888, our subject married 
Miss Edith Donna Reed, daughter of John H. and Jane A. (Johnson) 
Reed, of Akin, 111. Mr. Reed was born April 22, 1838, in \^irginia, and 
his wife on February 22, 1841, in Blairsville, Ind. They were married 
November 24, 1858, and had nine children: Marinda L., born January 
21. i860, died September 5, 1894; Malissa Ellen, born April 17, 1862, died 
July 4, 1863; Mary Etta, born June 8, 1864. now the wife of Robert S. 
Lawrence, a farmer of Marrs township ; Marcus D., born August 26, 
1866; Edith D., born October 20, 1868; Martha Ona, born October 25, 
1870, now the wife of Wesley Crumens, of Illinois ; Ada Gertrude, born 
May I, 1872, died February 3, 1885; Perry Paul, born July 7, 1874, now a 
farmer in Illinois, and James Harvey, born April 6, 1880. By his second 
wife Mr. Lewis had three sons and three daughters : William David, 
born September 19, 1889, was married to Miss Minnie Conley, daughter 
of William and Eliza Conley, March 25, 1909; she was born May 16, 
1889, in Polk county, Illinois, and became the mother of two children. 
Arvale Lee, born August 23, 1910, and Fred Leroy, born November 30, 
1912; John Thomson Lewis, born September 20, 1891 ; James Herschel, 
born November 17, 1895; Jennie, born December 24, 1892, died August 
5, 1895; Edith Donna, born July 30, 1896; Eva Belle, born April 11, 



328 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

1898, who liad the honor in 1913 of being elected delegate from Posey 
county, in the contest conducted by the Evansville "Courier," to go 
to Washington for the the inauguration of President Wilson. Mr. 
Lewis is one of Posey countj-'s substantial citizens. He and his family 
are members of the General Baptist church. 

James Pendell (deceased), who for many years was a successful and 
prominent farmer in Marrs township, Posey county, Indiana, was born 
in that locality February 4, 1831, and died in the same township April 
25, 1909, where his remains were interred in Colven cemetery. He was 
a son of Harrison Pendell, who came from North Carolina at an early 
date and settled in Posey county, where he died, in Marrs township, 
in 1886. Our subject was married January 17, 1883, to Mrs. Sarah J. 
Knowles, daughter of Stephen and Melvina (Gwaltney) Harrison. Mrs. 
Pendell was born March 26, 1858, in Marrs township. Her parents were 
native farmers of Posey county and her father was a veteran of the 
Mexican war. James Pendell and wife became the parents of five sons 
and two daughters: William, born February 10, 1886; Charles, born 
January 26, 1887; Herbert, born October 27, 1888; Ethel, born October 
4, 1890; Myrtle, born February 20, 1893; Elmer, born November 22, 
1897, died January 4, 1898; Raymond A., born June i, 1899. Mr. Pendell 
was a private in Company H, One Hundred and Forty-fourth Indiana 
volunteer regiment, during the Civil war. Mrs. Sarah J. Pendell was 
first married to William J. Knowles, January 7, 1874. He was a son 
of Thomas Knowles, of Black township. Mr. Knowles died in 1880. 
Four children were born to this union : Zella Belle, born October 14, 
1874, died December 25. 1875; Stephen Thomas, born September 22, 
1876, now in the artillery in the United States Army; Saphrona Lee, 
born December 3, 1878, now the wife of Herbert Frazier, a railroad man 
of Reading, Pa.; and Cynthia Jane, born January 4, 1880, died May 21, 
1909. Mrs. Pendell now lives on the old homestead in Marrs township 
at Caborn Station. She is a member of the Primitive Baptist church. 

Frank Ritzert (deceased) was a farmer all his life in Marrs township, 
Posey county, Indiana, owning his own land. Me was born February 7, 
1865, in the same township where he spent his life, son of Henry and 
Barbara (Kroek) Ritzert, natives of Germany, who came to this country 
when the father was fifty-six years of age. They located in Marrs town- 
ship and took up the occupation of farming and Mr. Ritzert became one 
of the most active and successful men in the locality. He died, March 
28, 1913, and was buried in St. Phillip's cemetery. He was a Roman 
Catholic, as was also his son, Frank, who died April 15, 1909. On No- 
vember 17, 1896, occurred the marriage of Frank Ritzert to Miss Bertha 
E. ^Ve^net, daughter of Henry and Mary (Mesker) Wernet. She was 
born March 27. 1867, in Vanderburg county, Indiana. Her parents, both 
of whom are deceased, came from Germany early in life. Mr. and Mrs. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 329 

Ritzert have had five children. Mary C, born October, 1897; Henry, 
born February 15, 1899, died on the same day; Cecelia E., born January 
6, 1902; Sylvester J., born April i, 1904; and Leroy J., born December 
31, 1906. 

George J. Seifert, a merchant of Caborns, Marrs township, Posey coun- 
ty, Indiana, was born February 8, 1874, in that township, son of William 
and Louise (Roesner) Seifert, the former having been born in Marrs 
township, March 3, 1847. The grandfather of our subject came from 
Germany to Posey county, and became one of its first settlers. He died 
in 1891. Four sons and four daughters survive him: William, Nicho- 
las, Fred, John, Susan, Elizabeth, Anna and Carrie. Mr. and Mrs. Wil- 
liam Seifert were married in 1873, and became the parents of several 
'children, six of whom are living: George L., William H., Louis B., 
Edward, Hermann and Philip. George Seifert was educated in the 
public schools of Marrs township, and worked on his father's farm until 
twenty-four years of age, when he bought a farm for himself. He con- 
tinued farming until 191 1, when he sold his land and established a gen- 
eral merchandise business at Caborns, where he has a large trade from the 
tributary neighborhood. The business was established by William H., 
his brother, who had conducted it seven years. He was married March 6, 
1898, to Miss Emma Martin, daughter of Peter Martin, of Marrs town- 
ship. Mrs. Seifert was born January 21, 1876, in Black township. Her 
parents are deceased. They have one child, Viola Martha, born Septem- 
ber 12, 1908. 

Peter Schick (deceased), of Marrs township, Posey county, Indiana, 
was born in Germany, January 27, 1850, and came to America in 1883, 
locating in Evansville, where he worked in a saw mill for two years. In 
1885 he removed to Marrs township, where he bought a farm near Ca- 
borns Station, and was engaged in the occupation of farming until his 
death, April 18, 1910. He was a member of the Evangelical church. Mr. 
Schick was married April 3, 1876, to Miss .A.nna Mary Wirth, the wed- 
ding taking place in Germany. Mrs. Schick was born April 8, 1855, and 
was the only member of her family to come to America. Mr. and Mrs. 
Schick became the parents of si.x daughters and five sons : Magdalena 
Maria, born August 15, 1877, married to John Hofman February 22, 1906, 
and became the mother of two children, Laura Marie, born December 
16, 1906, and Alma Katherine, born November ro, 191 1 ; Elizabeth, born 
October 2, 1879, married George Kaffenberger October 6, 1904; Mar- 
garet, born July 10, 1881 ; Peter, born April 3, 1883, died May i, 1898; 
George, borii February 20, 1885, married Miss Phoebe Schreiber April 
ID, 1912, and has one child. Alma Marie, born December 23, 1912; Mary, 
born October 15, 1886, now a teacher in Marrs township ; Abraham, born 
September 19, 1889; Katherine, born December 18, 1891, graduated from 



330 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

the Mt. Vernon High School in 1910, now a teacher in Marrs town- 
ship; Jacob, born November i, 1893, died March 10, 1896; Anna, born 
August 4, 1895. and Friedrick, born August 19, 1897. 

John G. Layer, a prominent farmer of Marrs townsliip, was liorn in 
Chambersburg, Pa., July 23, 1843, ^ s"" o^ David and Rachel (Doberer) 
Layer, both natives of Germany, who, on coming to America, located 
at Baltimore. The father died when John was a small boy, and he was 
left on his own resources. Prior to his fifteenth year he worked on a 
farm, and was a sheep herder, so that his schooling was limited. In 
1859 he came to Posey county and worked as a farm hand until the 
Civil war. On November 7, 1863, he enlisted as a private in Company A, 
Tenth Indiana cavalry, serving until the close of the war, being mus- 
tered out at Vicksburg, Miss. In his period of service he participated 
in many battles, the last being the siege of Mobile, and he is able to 
relate many interesting reminiscences. He was wounded once. L'pon 
returning to Posey county, after the war, Mr. Layer bought land, and 
for the first time in his life became a farmer on his own account. On 
March 30, 1870, the marriage of John C. Layer and Miss Lodema Har- 
rison occurred. She is the daughter of Zephnirah and Nancy (Cox) 
Harrison, of Center township, both now deceased, the father dying in 
1873 and the mother in 1874. They were both natives of Posey county, 
and their daughter, Lodema, was born in Center township, July 27, 1848. 
Mr. and Mrs. Layer became the parents of eight children : Evaline, born 
February 12, 1871, died February 12, 1876; Ida May, born June 30, 1883, 
died July 17, 1894; Charles Sherman, born August 14, 1885, died August 
26, 1886; Emma Jane, born July 17, 1872, married George Rodel, of 
Warrick county, Indiana, February 13, 1901 ; Rachel Ellen, born Novem- 
ber 27, 1874, married \\'illiam \'aupel, of \^■arrick county, Indiana. .\u- 
gust 12, 1902; Walter George, born i\Iarch 26, 1877, married Emma Baker 
December 14, 1902 ; Henry Harrison, born May 29, 1879, married Lena 
Miller July 20, 1902, and Elizabeth Anna, born March 20, 1881. Mr. 
Layer is a member of the Harrison Post, No. 91, Grand Army of the 
Republic, of Mt. Vernon. 

John Espenlaub, a farmer and land owner of Marrs township, Posey 
county, Indiana, was born in Robinson township of the same county, 
October 14, 1856, son of John C. and Barbara (Mueller) Espenlaub. The 
father of our subject was born in Germany, September 26, 1826, and came 
to the LTnited States at the age of twenty-six years, locating in Robinson 
township, where he bought land and became a farmer, following that 
occupation until his death, in November, 1907. He was an active mem- 
ber of the Zion Evangelical church in Robinson township, and was a 
trustee in that organization. He married at the age of twenty-seven, and 
he and his wife became the parents of fourteen children : Lena, Elizabeth, 
Caroline, Katherine, John, Louise, William. Henry, Charles, Bertha, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 33 1 

Pauline, Minnie, Ernest, and Herman. All are living except Lena. The 
mother died in 1900. The subject of this record was reared in Robinson 
township, and in 1882 bought the farm he now owns in Marrs township, 
where he has since lived and prospered. On November 27, 1882, he mar- 
ried Miss Minnie Dora Schroeder, daughter of Fred and Mary (Berger) 
Schroeder, farmers of Robinson township, where Mrs. Espenlaub was 
born. May 10, 1863. The Schroeders came from Germany early in life be- 
fore their marriage. Their other children were : Louise, Henry, Minnie, 
Mary, Ernest and Fred. All are living except Ernest, who died No- 
vember 15, 1911. They are members of the Evangelical church. Mr. 
and Mrs. Espenlaub have had two sons and four daughters : Anna Bar- 
bara, born August 28, 1883, now the wife of Fred Donner, of Robinson 
township, has had five children, Edward, born December 22, 1907, Fred, 
born July 14, 1906, Albert, born in January, 1910, Clarence, born No- 
vember 6, 1912, and Henry, the second, died in infancy ; William Henry, 
born April 8, 1885; Mary Minnie, born March 8, 1889; Fred, born Sep- 
tember 26, 1893, a graduate of the Posey County High School, studied 
special courses at the State Normal, and is now a teacher in the Marrs 
township schools; Selma K. L., born August 14, 1896; Emily Anna, born 
July 31, 1903, died January 21, 1908. The family are members of the 
Zion Evangelical Church and are active workers. Mr. Espenlaub is a 
Republican, but has never sought office. He is one of the progressive 
farmers of Posey county, and has a well improved farm, where he car- 
ries on general farming and stock raising. 

Edgar J. Llewelyn, superintendent of schools of Mt. Vernon, and 
one of the leading educators of the State, is a native of Ohio. He was 
born at Martinsville, Ohio, Clinton county, November 21, 1876. He is 
the son of John and Anne Elizabeth (Kester) Llewelyn, both natives of 
Ohio, the former of Welsh descent and the latter of German ; the former 
was born at Pennsville, Morgan county, Ohio, and the latter near Mar- 
tinsville, Ohio. Both parents are now deceased. The mother died in 
1881, when the subject of this review was only five years old, and the 
father departed this life in 1905. There were six children in the Llew- 
elyn family, only two of whom survive: Edgar J. and Mrs. G. D. Burg- 
noon, of Lawrenceville, 111. Prof. Llewelyn is a descendant from teach- 
ers on both sides, which, no doubt, had its influence in shaping his ca- 
reer in that profession, while good, hard, honest work has been the mas- 
ter force of his success. When young Llewelyn was about six years of 
age, and about the time of his mother's death, the father settled near 
Marion, Grant county, Indiana. Here Edgar attended the public schools 
until he was thirteen years of age, when his father broke up house- 
keeping. From this time on the boy made his own way in the world. 
He went to Hamilton county and completed the course in the Westfield 
High School, graduating in the class of 1899. In the meantime he had 



332 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

taught school and at one time was engaged in threshing, owning and 
operating his own machine. In 1900 he entered Earlham College, devot- 
ing part of his time to teaching, and graduating in 1907 with the degree 
of Bachelor of Arts. In 1908 he entered the University of Indiana at 
Bloomington, where he was graduated in 1910 with the degree of Master 
of Arts, and at the present time is taking a course in Columbia Uni- 
versity,' New York City. Mr. Llewelyn's life, so far, has been a busy 
one. He has done things from the start, and at all times has been a close 
student, taking advantage of every opportunity for improvement and 
advancement. His career as a teacher began in the district school be- 
fore he was nineteen, and three years later we find him holding the 
responsible position of superintendent of city schools at Fishers, Ind. 
He held this position three years, when he accepted a similar one at 
Arcadia, Ind. He remained there four years, during which time his sal- 
ary was nearly doubled, which is the best evidence of the appreciation 
of his services. In 1905 he was elected superintendent of city schools 
of Sheridan, Ind., where he was engaged until 191 1, with the exception 
of one year spent in special study at Earlham College. July i. 191 1, 
Mr. Llewelyn was elected superintendent of city schools of Mount Ver- 
non and has since maintained the high standard of the Mount Vernon 
schools, which are second to none in the country — with its corps of 
thirty-nine of the most efficient teachers to be found anywhere. Prof. 
Llewelyn was married May 17, 1899, to Miss Florence E. Mendenhall, 
of Westfield, Hamilton county, Indiana. They have one child, Martha 
Myrtilla, born at Mount Vernon October 14, 1913. Several years ago 
Mr. Llewelyn became interested in the Men's Bible Class movement. 
He has made an exhaustive study of the subject and is an enthusiastic 
promoter of that organization. While at Sheridan, Ind., he organized a 
class of 200. When he came to Mount Vernon he continued the work 
of organization with the same untiring zeal which he had manifested 
at Sheridan. In January, 1912, he organized a class with seventeen mem- 
bers, which has grown to a membership of nearly 700. Mr. Llewelyn 
has taken an active part in the broader field of educational matters, out- 
side of the school room. He takes an active interest in State and na- 
tional matters, generally attending conventions of that character. As a 
public speaker he is well known in many sections. He has delivered a 
number of addresses at commencement exercises, as well as a number 
of lectures, and on several occasions acted as an instructor at various 
teachers' institutes, etc. He is a member of the Improved Order of Red 
Men, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and 
the Masons. 

Henry Fisher, farmer and poultry fancier, was born on the same farm 
where he now lives in Marrs township, Posey county, Indiana, on Sep- 
tember II. iS6s, son of Valentine and Barbara (Soellner) Fisher, father 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 333 

a native of Hesse, Germany, and the mother a native of Bavaria. Val- 
entine Fisher was reared in Posey county, coming here with his parents 
when but eight years of age. He engaged in farming and stock raising 
until his death in 1895. Although very prominent in the Democratic 
party, he never sought or accepted office. The mother died in 1910. 
Henry Fisher attended school at St. Philips for seven years and then 
entered the college of Effingham, 111., remaining two years. Upon fin- 
ishing his education he returned home and worked on the farm. For 
one year he was bookkeeper in a grocery house in Evansvilie. Aside 
from this he spent his entire time until thirty-three years of age on the 
Valentine Fisher farm. In 1898 he was elected county treasurer and in 
1899 removed to Mt. Vernon, where he lived during his term of office. 
He served four years in this capacity and for one year was secretary of 
the E. B. Schenk Hardware Company. He then engaged in the insur- 
ance business. In 1906 he returned to his farm, where he has since re- 
mained. He has a fine herd of stock and a valuable flock of thorough- 
bred chickens. The Valentine Fisher farm contains 220 acres, has the 
best of improvements and among other things has one of the largest 
barns in the county. The house is of brick and modern in every respect. 
On November 21, 1894, Mr. Fisher married Clara Ledvina. The cere- 
mony took place at Trinity Church in Evansvilie, Father E. B. Ledvina, 
a brother, officiating. She is the daughter of George E. Ledvina, a na- 
tive of Bohemia, who is now a civil engineer in New York City. Her 
mother was born in Tell City, Ind. Mrs. Fisher was born in St. Louis, 
where she was educated. She came to Evansvilie to help an aunt who 
was a fashionable dressmaker, and remained here until her marriage. 
They have eight children : Victoria, Olivia, Erma, Arthur, Charles, Mar- 
garet, Helen Louise and Joseph. All of the children live at home with 
their parents and received their education in the schools of St. Philip 
and Mt. Vernon. The family are members of the Catholic church, the 
father having been trustee in the church at St. Philips for two years 
and trustee for three years in the church of Mt. Vernon. In politics 
Mr. Fisher is a Democrat. He is a member of the Mt. Vernon branch 
of the Catholic Knights of America. 

George J. Ehrhardt, blacksmith and farmer of Marrs township, Posey 
county, Indiana, was born in that township, February 11, 1863, son of 
Jacob and Louisa (Dolde) Ehrhardt, the former a native of Germany and 
the latter of German township, Vanderburg county, where she was 
reared. The elder Ehrhardt came to America from Baden, Germany, 
about the year 1858, locating in Posey county, where he built a black- 
smith shop at St. Philip, and engaged in this business until his death, 
in 1880. His son, George, then succeeded in the business, hiring a skilled 
workman until he learned the trade himself. When our subject was a 
boy the free schools were 'only open six months each year, but he paid 



334 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

for three months additional each year until he finished the common 
school branches. He then went to Rank & Wright's Business College, at 
Evansville, where he studied bookkeeping. After completing the course 
he was called home by the death of his father to look after the business, 
and has remained here ever since. He has a farm across the road from 
his shop. In 1904 Mr. Ehrhardt was elected trustee of Marrs town- 
ship on the Democratic ticket, and served four years, after which he 
made the race for Democratic nominee for county treasurer against the 
present incumbent, A. A. Schenk, and carried every precinct in the coun- 
ty except Poseyville and Mt. Vernon. Mr. Ehrhardt is secretary of the 
Home Fire Insurance Company of Marrs township, and was the organ- 
izer of the St. Philip Telephone Company. His father helped organize 
the insurance company above named, and was its first president. The 
family are very progressive and thinkers as well as doers. Although not 
a medical man our subject was the first health officer in this district. He 
is a member of the Lutheran church and a Democrat in politics. On 
October 16, 1887, Mr. Ehrhardt married Miss Carrie Wild, daughter of 
Lawrence and Elizabeth (Schreiber) Wild, the former a native of Ba- 
varia. Germany, and the latter born in America of German ancestry. 
Mrs. Ehrhardt was born in Marrs township, Posey county, Indiana, Feb- 
ruary 9, 1863, attended subscription school until she graduated from the 
common branches. They became the parents of four children : Carrie 
(deceased), Elfriede, Alma, and Arthur. Elfriede married Dan Seifert, 
and they live at Caborns, where he is engaged in farming and stock rais- 
ing. Thev have one child, Alma. Alma and Arthur are at home with 
their parents. Elfriede attended high school and .Mma graduated from 
the Mt. Vernon High School. Arthur is now attending high school. Mrs. 
Ehrhardt is a member of the German Methodist church. 

Rev. George T. Loesch, the son of George and Veronica Schmitt 
Loesch, was born at Xauvoo. 111., April 18, 1857. Having entered St. 
Meinrad's Seminary, September, 1876, and completed his studies, he was 
ordained priest May 30, 1885, by the Rt. Rev. F. S. Chatard, D. D., of 
Indianapolis. His first appointment was as assistant to the Rev. F. T. T. 
Duddenhausen, of Holy Trinity Church, Evansville, Ind., after whose 
death, October 27, 1886, Rev. Loesch had temporary charge of Holy 
Trinity, until the permanent appointment of Rev. H. T. Diestel, of St. 
Philip, Ind. He remained one year as assistant rector under Father 
Diestel. November 9 he took charge of St. Bernard's Church in Spencer 
county ; from there he was transferred to Holy Guardian Angel's Church 
in Franklin county, where he remained until his appointment to St. 
Philip's in August, 1888. Many improvements being necessary he set 
to work at once. The entire congregation responded willingly and lent 
a helping hand. The church was covered with the best Bangor slate and 
two vestry rooms added. The church was also frescoed and artistically 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 335 

ornamented by Guy Leber, of Louisville, Ky. New side altars and 
stained glass windows were donated and placed in the church. Hand- 
some oil paintings and statues were bought, together with a complete out- 
fit of church vestments, and new regalias and banners for the societies. 
The sisters' residence was erected at a cost of $2,000 in 1894, and many 
other improvements were made, which are too numerous to mention. 
St. Philip is in a flourishing condition, and may be justly proud of her 
church property. At a cost of $10,000 the beautiful new school was 
built in 1904. This school presents a magnificent piece of architecture 
and fine arrangements for school room and hall for entertainments. The 
author of the plans and contractor for the building was Tom Rollett, of 
Howell, Ind. 

Henry Espenlaub, farmer and land owner of Marrs township, Posey 
county, Indiana, was born in Robinson township of the same county, 
May 24, 1861, the son of German parents, John C. and Barbara (Mueller) 
Espenlaub. (See sketch of his brother. John Espenlaub.) In 1887 our 
subject moved from the locality of his birth and located in Marrs town- 
ship on the tract of land he now occupies. His farm contains 120 
acres, and is eight miles from Mt. Vernon. On February 10 of the above 
mentioned year he married Miss Maggie Jourdan, daughter of Jacob and 
Margaret (Jourdan) Jourdan. Mrs. Espenlaub was born March 10, 
1861, in Marrs township. Her parents, who were born in Germany, came 
to America early in life, locating in Posey county. They married in this 
country and became the parents of four sons and five daughters: John, 
Katherine, Phillus, Jacob, Johanna, Margaret, Abraham, Lizzie and 
Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Espenlaub have had three sons and six daughters : 
Mary Anna, born November 28, 1887, now the wife of William Hausman, 
farmer in Marrs township, and mother of one child, Henry William, born 
January 27, 1913 ; John Jacob, born September 16, 1889; Henry Charles, 
born March 29. 1893; Elsie, born February 20, 1896, died July 3, 1898; 
Lydia Elizabeth, born February 27, 1898; Emma Hanna, born June 20, 
1900; Lulu Katie, born January 6, 1901 ; the eighth child died in infancy; 
Alice Maggie ^linnie, born August 21, 1906. Mr. Espenlaub is a Re- 
]3ublican and he and his family are members of the Lutheran church. 

John W. Dieg, of Marrs township, Posey county, was born April 16, 
1869, son of Joseph and Caroline (Fisher) Dieg, natives of Germany, who 
came with their respective parents to .America at an early age, she at the 
age of three, and he at the age of eight. The families both located in 
Posey county. The father of our subject is still living, but the mother 
died in 1905. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dieg became the parents of five sons 
and five daughters. Two of the daughters died in infancy. The other 
children are ; Maggie, now the wife of George Fulz, of Evansville ; Julia, 
now the wife of George Nuruebern, of Vanderburg county ; Kate, now the 
wife of Louis Depple, of Evansville; Joseph, Jr.; Andrew, John, George 



336 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

(deceased), and Henry. Our subject has lived on a farm in Marrs town- 
ship all of his life, and has been four years on the place where he now 
lives. He is a Democrat and in 1908 was elected assessor of the township 
for a term of six years. Mr. Dieg was married July 28, 1907, to Miss 
Anna Brass, daughter of Casper and Dena (Kreger) Brass, of Marrs 
township. Mrs. Dieg was born August 29, 1878, in that township, her 
parents being natives of Germany, who came to America in their early 
years. Mr. Brass died in 1897. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dieg are Catholics. 
They have no children. 

Captain John Corbin. — On February 13, 191 1, there passed to life eter- 
nal one of Posey county's most notable citizens, Capt. John Corbin, who, 
during his lifetime, and held a position among the most honored business 
men of the community, and, as one of its most successful men of affairs. 
A 4istinct force of character and individuality appeared throughout the 
life of Captain Corbin. He was a man of strong personal conviction, 
sound and clear judgment, with a capacity for liberal views, and a natural 
spirit of benevolence. His patriotism, like his other characteristics, had 
an intensity that belonged to his nature. He was a native son of Posey 
county, and came of both Colonial and Revolutionary descent. His first 
ancestor in America was Henry Corbin, of Warwickshire, England, who 
settled in Westmoreland county, Virginia, in 1650. Captain Corbin was 
born at Farmersville, Posey county, Indiana, March 20, 1840, a son of 
John and Margaret (Gibson) Corbin. His parents came to Posey county 
in 1836, and settled in New Harmony. Two years later they removed to 
Yankee settlement, now Farmersville, but in 1844 returned to New Har- 
mony. Captain Corbin spent his early boyhood in Posey county, at- 
tending the schools of New Harmony. In 1854 he and a brother and 
sister drove overland to California, where their father had preceded them 
four years. They remained in the Sacramento Valley until 1858, when he 
returned to Posey county via the Isthmus route and New York. In 
1859 young Corbin entered Asbury University, Greencastle, Ind. Here 
he pursued his studies in the style of the average student until the thun- 
der of the guns at Fort Sumter announced that the great conflict was on. 
Immediately he abandoned his college career, and gave his services to 
the cause of his flag, with the same indomitable courage that character- 
ized his life. On April 19, 1861, he enlisted in Company K, Sixteenth In- 
diana infantry. His company was known as the "Asbury Guards." He 
served in this company until May 14, 1862, when he was discharged by 
reason of expiration of term of enlistment ; August 10, 1862, he re- 
enlisted in Company A. Ninety-first Indiana infantry, and was mus- 
tered in as first lieutenant. On June i, 1864, Captain Corbin was pro- 
moted to captain. This regiment was mustered out in June, 1865, and 
Captain Corbin was transferred to Company G, One Hundred and 
Twenty-eighth Indiana infantry. When the One Hundred and Twenty- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 337 

eighth was mustered out, September 5, 1866, Captain Corbin was re- 
tained by telegraphic orders from the war department and appointed a 
member of the mihtary commission to try Maj. John H. Gee, Confederate 
keeper of Sahsbury mihtary prison. During his mihtary career he held 
many positions of great trust and responsibility. He was commander of 
military musters at Raleigh, N. C, and on various occasions served as 
regimental quartermaster. He was post commissary at Cumberland Gap 
and served as inspector general of the district of the Clinch ; he was in- 
spector of the Second brigade, Third division Twenty-third army corps. 
He also served on the staff of General Couch, and was acting assistant 
general on the staff of General Schofield, and aide-de-camp on the staff 
of General McLean. He acted as judge advocate on several court mar- 
tials. He was mustered out September 5, 1866, after having refused to 
accept a commission in the regular army, which was offered him by the 
war department. His army life was filled with incidents of active ser- 
vice. He participated in the battles of Perryville, the campaign against 
Morgan, battles of Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, the 
siege of Atlanta, operations against Hood, at Franklin and Nashville, and 
participated in the campaign through the Carolinas. At the close of the 
war he returned to New Harmony, where he read law for a year. In 
1867 he engaged in the milling business, and founded the Corbin Milling 
Company. This venture was a notable success, and stands today as the 
chief industry of New Harmony. He was the president of this corpora- 
tion to the time of his death ; also was engaged in various other business 
enterprises. He was one of the principal stockholders and a director in 
the New Harmony Banking Company. Politically Captain Corbin was a 
staunch Republican, and a local leader of his party, but never sought po- 
litical preferment. He served several years on the school board, and took 
a deep interest in educational matters, and was a member of the Work- 
ingmen's Institute. He was public-spirited, and gave cheerfully to every 
worthy enterprise. He was a member of the committee that built the 
soldiers' and sailors' monument at Mt. Vernon, and was the author of 
the inscription which appears on that monument. These lines are typi- 
cal of Captain Corbin's deep seated conviction of what constitutes citizen- 
ship, and are as follows: "A patriotism which readily responds to its 
country's call ; a deep reverence for its laws ; a decent respect for the 
rights of others; a sincere love of justice, truth and country are the best 
safeguards of a Nation's peace." Captain Corbin was united in mar- 
riage, January 13, 1869, to Miss Mary Truscott, a native of Cornwall, 
England. To Captain and Mrs. Corbin were born five children : Laura 
Lee, born January 13, 1870, a graduate of St. Mary's School, Knoxville, 
111., married H. W. Monical, of Brooklyn, Ind., June 9, 1897; John, born 
December 9, 1871, graduated at the University of Michigan ; Marcia, born 
February 25, 1874, educated at Mt. Mary's School, Knoxville, 111., married 



338 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Harry Cuyler Ford, New Harmony, October 7, 1903, and three children 
have been born to them : Richard Corbin, born September 23, 1904, John 
Birkbeck, born December 4, 1906, and Wilham Michaux, born Novem- 
ber 3, 1909; Helen Margaret, born March 31, 1882, married Robert Heinl, 
of Terre Haute, Ind., September 3, 1912. Mrs. Heinl is a musician of 
unusual talent. She studied under such noted instructors as Prof. Albino 
Gorno, Edward MacDowell, Carreno and Harold Bauer, and was a stu- 
dent at Madam Fredin's School, Cincinnati, and the Packer Institute at 
Brookl3'n, N. Y., also Barnard College, New York. The youngest child 
born to Captain and Mrs. Corbin is Courtland Gibson, born January 
9, 1886, who resides in New Harmony. At college CaptJiin Corbin was 
a Beta Theta Pi. The Corbin family residence is one of deep historic in- 
terest. It is one of the finest modern residences to be found in the coun- 
ty, a part of it stands on the original foundation, built by George Rapp in 
1819, and later occupied by William Maclure. The original house was 
burned in 1844, and rebuilt by the Maclure estate in 1847. afterwards 
owned by David Dale Owen and heirs, from whom it was purchased by 
Captain Corbin in 1901, who partially remodeled and rebuilt it. Thomas 
Say, the naturalist, at one time lived there, and in the rear of the Corbin 
home is a marble monument, erected by Alexander Maclure to the mem- 
ory of this genius of his time. Here, too, is a mound, underneath the 
green sward of which rests the mortal dust of Alexander, Ann and Mar- 
garet Maclure, and Thomas Say. Surely, this spot possesses a rare 
combination, as it seems to whisper in deep historic accents, the story of 
past ages, and at the same time presents to the beholder a magnificent 
place with every modern convenience and luxury. 

Conrad Meinschein (deceased), a German-born farmer of Marrs town- 
ship, Posey county, Indiana, came to the United States when two years 
of age, with his parents, who located in Posey county and lived there the 
remainder of their lives. Our subject was a farmer in Marrs township 
ail his life, and died there in 1894. He married Miss Mary Espenscheid, 
daughter of Peter and Katherine (Schnare) Espenscheid, the former a na- 
tive of Germany, and the latter of Posey county. Their daughter, Mary^ 
was born Januar}^ i, 1857, in Leavenworth, Kan., to which place the 
family had removed about 1850. They returned to Posey county in 1878. 
Mr. Espenschied died in 1892. He was a butcher. Mr. and Mrs. Meins- 
chein became the parents of six children: Adam, born August i, 1884, 
died August 2, 1885; Conrad, born January 29, 1886; John, born January 
2. 1888; Frank, born July 2, 1890, died in infancy; William, born Septem- 
ber 20, 1892; George, born June 2, 1894. Mr. Meinschein died in 1894. 
He was a Republican and a member of the German Presbyterian church, 
in which organization he was an officer. 

Edward Lewis, a farmer of Marrs township, was born April 20, 1879, 
son of Thompson Price and Elizabeth fGreen) Lewis (see sketch of 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 339 

former). He was married July 23, 1902, to Miss Anna Katherine 
Niemier, daughter of Antone and Katherine (Wolfe) Niemier, of Marrs 
township, where she was born, July 23, 1885. Mr. Niemier was born in 
Germany, coming to the United States at the age of eighteen. He was 
a farmer in Posey county until his death, in 1898. By his first mar- 
riage he had one child, Henry Niemier. who lives in Marrs township. 
By his second marriage he had eight children: Antone, Benjamin F., 
Anna K., John, Maggie, Lena, Philip, and Mary. The Niemiers were 
Catholics, as are Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lewis, who became the parents 
of three sons: Amanel Antone, Edward Benjamin, and Charles Ellis. 
This family also belongs to the Catholic church. 

Thompson Price Lewis, a pioneer farmer of Marrs township, Posey 
county, Indiana, was born June 8, 1840, in the same farm house where 
he now lives. He is the son of Robert and Martha (Price) Lewis, the 
former having been born March 26, 1814, in Marrs township, where he 
was a farmer till his death, on August 10, 1848. The father of Robert 
Lewis was a native of Kentucky and came to Posey county in 1809, mak- 
ing the trip on foot and carrying his supplies, and blazing the way with 
a hatchet. This was Col. John Lewis. He had two sons : James and 
Robert, the latter the father of our subject; and four daughters — Jane, 
Betsie, Nancy and Martha, all deceased. Colonel Lewis resided in 
Posey county till his death in 1854. Robert Lewis had four sons and 
one daughter: James, born in 1835, died March 16, 1876; John, born in 
1837, died in infancy; Thompson Price, of this sketch; Orila Jane, born 
January 30, 1849, "ow the wife of Thomas M. Green, a farmer in Black 
township; Nathaniel, born in 1847, died in December, 1864. Thomp- 
son Price Lewis was married November 3, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth J. 
Green, daughter of Thomas S. and Mary Green, of Hamilton county, 
Illinois. She" was born February 22, 1844, in the same county. Mr. and 
Mrs. Lewis became the parents of six sons and six daughters : Mary 
Jane, born May 11, i860, now the wife of Miles Thomas, farmer and 
trustee of Black township; James Robert, born October 7. i86i, now a 
farmer in Marrs' township ; Udora, born January 6, 1863, now the wife 
of Alexander S. Goodall, a farmer of Marrs township ; Nathaniel, born 
January 6, 1866, a farmer in Marrs township; Patsey, born April 12, 
1868, now the wife of Jacob Benner, farmer in Marrs township ; William 
David, born April 15, 1870, died October 18, 1877; Orila, born August 
22, 1872, died August 26, 1873; Price, born August 18, 1874, a farmer in 
Lynn township ; Ellsworth, born September 22, 1876, a farmer in Marrs 
township; Edward, born April 20, 1879, a farmer of Marrs township; 
Thompson, born July 27, 1882, now on the old home place with his 
parents, married Miss Margaret Keitel December 31, 1905, and has 
one child— Elwood Thompson Lewis, born August 27, 1912; Oscar, the 
youngest child of Thomas Price Lewis, was born May 17, 1885, died 



340 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



May 4, 1887. Mr. Lewis has 365 acres of land in Marrs township and 
has one of the best improved farms in Posey county with a fine residence 
and a number of large barns. He is a Democrat and a Baptist. 

A. C. Thomas, New Harmony. Perhaps no other man in Posey 
county is more entitled to the substantial success that he has made of 
his efforts and opportunities than the gentleman whose name introduces 
this sketch. His early advantages for an education were limited to 
what was known as the Bayou school in Bethel township, Posey county, 
but he continued to be a student of books as well as of men and affairs, 
so far, throughout a career of advancement and accomplishment. He is 
a native son of Posey county, born in Bethel township. November 28, 
1857. His parents were Shelby H. and Sarah (Williams) Thomas. The 
father was a native of Kentucky and the mother of Indiana. The Thomas 
family consisted of three brothers, and one sister who died in childhood. 
A. C. remained at home and worked on the farm until he reached ma- 
jority, when he went to Kansas to join a brother, who had pre- 
ceded him a short time. He located in Cloud county, between the towns 
of Minneapolis and Concordia. This section of Kansas was well on 
the frontier in those early days. He bought land and remained there 
two years, during 1879 and 1880. These two years of pioneer life on 
the great plains of the West gave the young man an insight into the 
development of the country, which, no doubt, was a valuable asset to 
his business career. In 1880 he returned to Posey county and engaged 
in farming until 1885. About this time the Corbin Milling Company 
was organized. Mr. Thomas took stock and became secretary and 
treasurer of the company. He later took more stock, and in 1906 be- 
came the active manager of the company. His management of this ex- 
tensive milling and grain business was characterized with the same en- 
ergy and keen business insight typical of the man. In 1913 he retired as 
the active business head of this institution in order that he might be able 
to devote more attention to his other investments and extensive real es- 
tate holdings. Mr. Thomas was united in marriage October 16. 1881, to 
Miss Ella C. Bailey, a refined daughter of William and Elizabeth Bailey, 
prominent pioneers of Posey count}'. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have 
been born four children: Clauda B., who died in childhood; William 
H., a resident of Los Angeles, Cal. ; Jessie M., who married Robert 
Ribeyre, of New Harmony ; and Helen C, a student at a yoimg ladies' 
school at Oxford, Ohio. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, a director of the New 
Harmony Banking Compan}', and has been a member of the W'orking 
Men's Institute twenty years. He has been a Democrat all his life, cast- 
ing his first Presidential vote for Cleveland in 1884. and the last one to 
date for Wilson. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have one of the finest residences 
in Posey county and their genial hospitality is highly prized and much 
appreciated by their many friends. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 34I 

M. B. Pote, postmaster of New Harmony, is a native son of Posey 
county, born in New Harmony July 28, 1844. He is a son of Thomas and 
Maria Pote, both natives of England, and early settlers in Posey county, 
and spent the latter part of their lives in New Harmony. The subject of 
this review spent his boyhood days in New Harmony, where he attended 
the public schools during the winter terms. He was just growing into 
manhood when the Civil war came on, and July 28, 1862, which was his 
eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in Company A, Ninety-first Indiana in- 
fantry. He was in Sherman's march, including the campaign in pursuit 
of Hood, then back to Clifton, Tenn. Then, they were ordered to Cin- 
cinnati, and from there to Washington, then to Wilmington, Cape Fear, 
Raleigh, and he was mustered out at Salisbury, N. C., July 7, 1865, 
which gave him an active and honorable military career of three years, 
lacking twenty days. He served as orderly on General McClain's staff 
for a time. At the close of the war Mr. Pote returned to New Harmony 
and was engaged in farming until July i, 1897, when he was appointed 
postmaster of New Harmony, having served in that capacity to the 
present time. Mr. Pote has given general satisfaction in the conduct 
of the office. He was united in marriage. May 6, 1866, to Miss Mary, 
daughter of Luther Schnee, a Posey county pioneer. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Pote have been born five children: Carrie married J. W. Bailey, New 
Harmony; Anna resides at home; Ray married F. J. Hortsman, Chicago; 
Sara married Alva J. Ragon, Evansville ; and Geraldine is a teacher of 
art and music in the New Harmony public schools. Mr. Pote has a 
fine farm of 160 acres just east of town. He is a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the 
Episcopal church, and is a Republican. 

William Oliphant Wilson, who has so capably and acceptably filled 
the position of superintendent of schools for Posey county, occupies a 
notable position among the educators of Indiana. He was born on his 
father's farm in Center township, Posey county, on September 22, 1878, 
a son of Lewis M. and Missouri (Record) Wilson. John S. L. Wilson, 
grandfather of the subject of this review, was the founder of this branch 
of the family in Indiana. He was a native of Butler county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and came to Posey cotmty previous to 1820. It is probable that 
the Wilson family have had a more important part in connection with 
the development of Lynn township than has any other. They were 
among its first settlers, accumulated extensive land holdings, were active 
in practically every movement which concerned the progress of the 
community, and were, without exception, men of influence. Lewis M. 
Wilson, the father of Superintendent Wilson, was born in Lynn town- 
ship. His early life was spent on the farm of his father. After acquir- 
ing his education he was for some few years a teacher, but later returned 
to farming. He was a Democrat, but political office never appealed 



342 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 



to him, although he served for several years as a justice of the peace. 
He married Missouri Record, who died in 1888. Mr. Wilson died in 
189s- They are survived by the following children: Clara E., the wife 
of Rev. \\'illiam L. Rhein.'of Francisco, 111.; William O., the subject 
of this sketch; Nina D., the wife of E. Benson Oliphant, a salesman 
in the employ of the Vincennes Bridge Company, who resides at Fort 
Branch, Ind. ; Lewis O., a well known educator of Tulsa, Okla. ; and 
Ethel M., the wife of Charles Fox, a farmer of Center township, Posey 
county, Indiana. Two children are deceased, viz.: John, who died in 
infancy; and Ernest Cleveland, born in 1887, a graduate of the Mt. Ver- 
non High School, who completed a two-years course in the School of 
Mines at Rolla, Mo., and who died at Bisbee, Ariz., on September 29, 
191 1. In 1884 Mr. Wilson removed to a farm near Carmi, 111., his place 
of residence at the time of his death. Here also occurred the death of 
his first wife and his marriage, in 1889, to his second, who was Miss 
Anna Donoghue. One child, a daughter, was born of this union. She 
died aged three. William Oliphant Wilson was graduated from the 
high school at Mt. Vernon with the class of 1899. He initiated his 
career as an educator in the fall of that year as a teacher in the Mt. 
Vernon schools. From 1901 until the close of the spring term in 1904, 
he was principal of the Wadesville, Ind., schools. During the summer 
months of the years in which he was employed in teaching he was a 
student, completing a one-term course in the State Normal School at 
Terre Haute in 1900, a similar course in the State University at Bloom- 
ington in 1901-02-03 and returned to the latter institution in the fall 
of 1904. In August, 1905, he was elected superintendent of schools for 
Posey county for the unexpired term of Charles A. Greathouse, who had 
resigned. He was elected to succeed himself in 1907 and in 191 1. Dur- 
ing the eight years in which Professor Wilson has been at the head of 
Posey county schools, he has proven the possession of administrative 
ability of a high order, has initiated reforms which have greatly bene- 
fited the pupils of the county, and has been a consistent advocate of sys- 
tem in all departments of school work. He has brought about uniformity 
in length of school term in all district schools, uniform reports, and has 
developed interest among the pupils as regards the Young People's 
Reading Circle, which has resulted in an increase in the number of 
books read of about 700 volumes. There is not a school in the county 
which does not possess a good library, well selected and of wide range, 
and numbering 200 or more volumes. His administration has been 
marked by the harmony which has prevailed between superintendent 
and teachers. Agriculture was included among the studies for students 
of the seventh and eighth grades in 1912, anticipating by one year its 
introduction by law. Domestic science was introduced in the country 
schools in 1913. and although entailing an expense of $2 per student. 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 343 

it is proving generally popular and can not help but be beneficial to ihe 
pupil. Mr. Wilson is a member of the National Educational Association, 
the Indiana State Teachers' Association, the Southern Indiana Teachers' 
Association and the Southwestern Indiana Teachers' Association, and 
of the last named was one of its most active organizers and has served 
as secretary of the organization. He has attained to the Council degrees 
in Masonry, is a member of the Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevo- 
lent and Protective Order of Elks, Court of Honor, and the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows — a charter member of Wadesville Lodge. He is 
an influential factor in the political life of his county, is a Democrat 
and chairman of the county central committee of his party and treasurer 
of the Mt. Vernon city committee. Mr. Wilson married on June 29, 
1910, Miss Harriet Brinkman, a daughter of Henry Brinkman, of Mt. 
Vernon, personal mention of whom is to be found elsewhere in this 
work. Mrs. Wilson is a graduate of the Chicago Musical School and 
popular in the social circles of Mt. Vernon, in which she is a leader. 

Peter W. Roche, editor and publisher of the Mt. Vernon "Democrat," 
was born October 14, 1867, in the city of Evansville. His father was 
John D. Roche, who served as city treasurer of Evansville one term. 
His grandfather, Peter W. Roche, was a pioneer who settled in Point 
township and was a large land owner. He was a resident of Ireland 
and came to America in his early days, after one of the numerous insur- 
rections in that country. He was educated for a Catholic priest and 
taught school after coming here. He died in 1844. Dr. Moses Wining 
was tlie maternal grandfather of Mr. Roche. He died in 1875. He was 
born in 1790 and came to this section in the '20s. He was one of the 
earliest doctors in Posey county and blazed the trail to make many 
calls in his practice. Peter Roche has been in charge of the "Democrat" 
since September, 1907, when he purchased his brother's interest in the 
paper. April 15, 1891, he was married to Miss Letitia Pugh at Paducah, 
Ky., a daughter of Captain Phineas Pugh, one of the noted river men 
of the war times. He was pilot of many boats that transported soldiers 
during the war. Mr. Roche has served as Democratic county chairman 
and been on the Posey county executive committee for twenty years. 
He served three years as a member of the Mt. Vernon school board, two 
years being president of that body. At the session of the Indiana State 
Senate in 1913 he served as chief clerk of the engraving department, a 
very responsible position. 

Dr. Carl Flucks, of Armstrong, Ind., one of the best known men in his 
section of the State, was born in Patchkau Schlesien. Germany, De- 
cember II, 1847. ^o" off Carl and Anna Ertelt Flucks, both born and 
reared in that place, where the father was a veterinary surgeon. The 
grandfather of Dr. Flucks, who was sheriff of the State of Prussia, 
sold the property and rights back to the State. The father of our sub- 



244 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ject was born in the prison where the grandfather was sheriff. Carl 
Flucks attended at the Perfectorat School of Patchkau and later Neisse 
in Breslau Neurachi Clinic, after which he was in the sanitary service in 
the Austrian war and later in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and 1871. 
After the latter war Dr. Flucks came to America, locating in Terre 
Haute, Ind., where he practiced medicine. Here he married Miss Mary 
McHenry, daughter of George (of Scotch parentage) and Hannah Mc- 
Henry (a native of Ireland). Mrs. Flucks was born in Terre Haute. Dr. 
Flucks practiced there one year and then came to St. Wendell, where 
he has practiced continuously since 1872, except for a short period when 
he was in Arkansas. In point of service he is the oldest physician in 
the county. He keeps abreast of the times, being a reader of all the mod- 
ern journals dealing with his profession, and belongs to the American, 
State and county medical associations. In 1887 Dr. Flucks went from 
St. Wendell to Conway county, Arkansas, for his health. Here he had 
a drug store and also engaged in the gin business and had other inter- 
ests which were profitable. In 1892 he was elected to the legislature 
of Arkansas, where he was a member of the medical committee and of 
the immigration committee. He introduced the first sanitary bill ever 
drawn in the State, besides fathering several other bills that became 
laws. Dr. Flucks also bought several hundred acres of land near the 
town of Moralton, Ark., the county seat of Conway county, and remained 
in that place until 1897, when he returned to Posey county, taking up 
his practice at St. Wendell. He made many friends on his sojourn in 
Arkansas, among whom are Governor Clark, the present United States 
senator. Jefferson Davis, Congressman Reed, of the Fifth District, and 
Captain Carroll Armstrong, of Moralton. He was at one time post- 
master of Oppelo. Ark. Since his return he has been exclusively engaged 
in the practice of his profession, but does only office practice. Dr. 
Flucks had three brothers : one in Germany, one in St. Louis, and Em- 
mett Flucks, now deceased, for several years a veterinary surgeon of 
St. Wendell. Dr. Flucks was married May 21, 1873, and had twelve 
children, seven of whom are living: Annie, born February 26, 1876, 
married Fred Sheller, lives in Washington, Mo., and has five children, 
Carl. Harold, William, Mary Alice and Helen Marie; Martha, born 
January 29, 1880, married William Hildebrand, lives at Moberly, Mo., 
where Mr. Hildebrand is foreman in the Brown shoe factory, had two 
children, Hubert and Margaret (deceased) ; Carl Joseph, born August 20, 
1884, married Bessie Kabe (now deceased), by whom he had one child, 
married as his second wife Miss Florence Sneyd, of Terre Haute, has 
four children, Melvin, Carl Jay, William and John Silas; John J., cor- 
poral of the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh company at Ft. Crock- 
ett, Galveston, Texas, where he is serving his second enlistment, his 
first being in the Fortj^-fifth company coast artillery at Fort Du Pont, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 345 

Del., where he was first gunner; Theoderic, born July 29, 1896, at home 
with parents; Albertine, born August 18, 1899, Hving with parents, and 
Paul, born September 26, 1904, now attending school at St. Wendell. 
Dr. Flucks is prominent in the councils of the Democratic party in this 
section of the State, especially in his own county. He is a member of 
the Catholic church and of the Woodmen of the World. 

General Alvin Peterson Hovey. — A pioneer family in any community 
is of more or less historic interest, no matter if its tenure of residence 
be of long or short duration. But when a family is not only among 
the first to settle in a community, but also continues to reside in it for 
decade after decade and generation after generation, and certain of its 
rrtembers at all times are leaders in every movement intended to con- 
serve the community's welfare and promote its progress, then that 
family becomes of special historic interest and prominence. One of the 
most prominent families of southern Indiana, and, indeed, of the whole 
State, is the Hovey family of Mt. Vernon, established there in 1818 by 
Abiel Hovey, a native of Vermont and son of Rev. Samuel and Abigail 
(Cleveland) Hovey. Abiel Hovey married in 1802 Frances Peterson, 
born in Vermont on May 20, 1780. He brought his family to Posey 
county in 1818, then in a formative condition, and engaged in farming. 
He possessed energy, thrift characteristic of the native of New England, 
his home training had imbued him with high ideals, which, together 
with his desire to attain a competence in his new home, soon caused 
him to become one of the influential men of the county. His death 
occurred on July 17, 1823, after a residence of five years in Posey county. 
That of his wife, on September 6, 1836. Alvin Peterson Hovey, the 
youngest child of Abiel and Frances (Peterson) Hovey, was born in 
Mt. Vernon on September 6, 1821. He acquired his education in the 
schools of his native town, was variously employed, while a boy, part 
of the time as a mason, and while in the latter occupation studied law 
of evenings in the office of Judge John Pitcher. He was admitted to 
the bar in 1843. In 1849 he was elected delegate to the Indiana consti- 
tutional convention. He served as judge of the circuit court of South- 
western Indiana, composed of eleven counties, from 1851 to 1854. He 
was elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court of Indiana in 1854 
and served for one year, being the youngest member in the history of 
that body. He was appointed by President Pierce in 1856 United States 
attorney for the district of Indiana. When the division in the Demo- 
cratic party occurred, with President Buchanan and Stephen A. Douglas 
as leaders of the two factions, Mr. Hovey became a partisan of the 
latter and his activities in his behalf were so fruitful that Buchanan re- 
moved him from office, appointing Daniel W. Voorhees to succeed him. 
On the first call of President Lincoln for volunteers. Judge Hovey be- 
gan the organization of a company and in a short time the First regi- 



246 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ment of Indiana legion, of which he was commissioned colonel, was 
ready for the field. Later he became colonel of the Twenty-fourth In- 
diana, which joined Tremont's army in Missouri. He was with General 
Grant in the Vicksburg campaign and was made brigadier-general for 
gallant conduct at Shiloh. In the battle of Champion's Hill, Miss., May 
i6, 1863, Hovey's brigade suffered one-third of the entire loss of the 
Federal forces. He commanded the Twelfth division of the Thirteenth 
army corps in this engagement. General Grant, in his memoirs, gives 
special credit to Hovey for his part in the battle. In July, 1864, he 
was appointed major-general and ordered by General Grant to raise 
10,000 men. Only those unmarried were invited to enlist and when the 
quota was made up it was found that many of the recruits were mere 
boys and on that account were afterward known as "Hovey's babies." 
However, there were no more effective troops in the march to the sea. 
In the latter part of 1864 Secretary of War Stanton appointed General 
Hovev military commander of Indiana, an office made necessary by a 
growing hostility in the State toward the national government. While 
serving in this' capacity General Hovey caused the arrest of a 
number of persons belonging to the so-called "Sons of Liberty," a treas- 
onable organization, five of whom were convicted and sentenced to be 
hansfcd, their sentences being commuted to life imprisonment by Pres- 
iden^t Lincoln. In 1865, at the request of General Grant, he was ap- 
pointed minister to Peru, serving in this capacity until 1870, when he 
returned to Mt. Vernon and resumed the practice of law. In 1872 he 
refused the nomination for governor as he did not wish to reenter poli- 
tics. However, in 1886, he accepted the unanimous nomination as the 
Republican candidate for Congress from the first district and was elected 
by a majority of 1,357 o'^'^r McCullough, his Democratic opponent. In 
Congress he championed the cause of the Union veterans in the matter 
of pensions. In the Republican State convention of June, 1888, he was 
unanimously nominated for governor and in the election the following 
November received a majority of 2,000 over the Democratic candidate, 
C. C. Matson. While in the executive chair the legislature passed a 
measure making the State Board of Education a text-book commission 
and authorizing it to determine what text-books should be used in the 
schools. During the debate on this bill Governor Hovey urged that all 
text-books used in the public schools should be furnished by the State. 
The Australian ballot system was also adopted during his administra- 
tion. At the annual encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, 
held in St. Louis in 1888, Governor Hovey was unanimously elected 
president of the service pension association of the United States and in 
December, 1889, he addressed an appeal "to the loyal people of the 
United States and their representatives in Congress," demanding on be- 
half of the manv surviving Union soldiers of the late war the passage 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 347 

of a service pension law. Governor Hovey married on November 24, 
1844, Miss Mary James, a daughter of Col. E. R. James, a prominent 
citizen of southern Indiana. She was born at Baton Rouge, La., Feb- 
ruary 22, 1825, and died at Mt. Vernon, Ind., on November 6, 1863. 
They were the parents of five children, who are, in order of birth, as 
follows, viz. : Esther, born January 8, 1846, the wife of Major G. V. 
Menzies, of Mt. Vernon, personal mention of whom appears elsewhere 
in this volume; Enoch James, born February 7, 1848, died August 4, 
1852 ; Charles James Hovey, a sketch of whom follows this article ; Mary, 
born January 18, 1854, died March 30, 1855 ; and Mary Anne, 
born April 17, 1857, died April 7, 1858. Governor Hovey was married a 
second time to Mrs. Rosa Valette Smith, the daughter of Caleb B. 
Smith, Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Lincoln. 
She died about six months after her marriage. Governor Hovey died 
in Indianapolis on November 23, 1891. The tributes of respect, and 
in many cases of affection called forth by the death of Alvin P. Hovey 
have seldom been equalled in the State in the passing away of a citi- 
zen. His own standard of life was high and it was apparent through- 
out his life while in the practice of his profession, during his service 
in defence of the Union, and in the positions of public trust which he 
so creditably filled. What may be termed his life work was finished ; 
it had met to a great extent the fullness of his ambition. But in- 
finitely more precious and of personal consequence to him was the 
fact that he died rich in the possession of a well earned popularity, in 
the esteem which comes from honorable living, and in the affection 
that slowly develops only from unselfish works. In his professional 
and public life he was the embodiment of honor, as he was in his social 
and domestic life, the perfection of love and gentleness. 

Charles James Hovey, former banker, and postmaster of the city 
of Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born in the old Hovey residence, now the 
property of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and used by 
them as their club house, on January 8, 1850, the son of General Alvin 
Peterson and Mary Ann (James) Hovey, a review of whom preceded 
this article. Charles J. Hovey acquired his education in the schools of 
the city of Evansville and at the Northwest Christian University at 
Indianapolis. In 1867 he visited his father, then minister of the 
United States to Peru, and made an extended tour of South America. 
He then visited Europe, remaining there three years and attended 
Polytechnical school at Carlsruher, Baden, Germany. He returned 
home in 1870 and purchased a one-fourth interest in the Mt. Vernon 
Banking Company, entering that institution as teller. In 1870 he en- 
gaged in the retail shoe business and continued in this line of com- 
mercial activity until 1876, when he journeyed to Europe, sailing via 
the Straits of Magellan, and remained abroad three years. He was 



348 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

obliged to pass through three armies in order to reach the city of 
Paris, as the Franco-Prussian war was in in progress. He was grad- 
uated in medicine and chemistry. On completion of his studies he re- 
turned to Mt. Vernon and engaged in farming. He served as justice 
of the peace for five years, was a railway mail clerk for one year and 
has twice been postmaster of Mt. Vernon, having served during the 
administrations of Presidents Arthur and Harrison. Mr. Hovey re- 
tired from active business in 1900. Charles J. Hovey married on March 
6, 1871, Miss Lillie R. Jaques, a daughter of Jonathan and Parna (Whit- 
tlesey) Jaques, of Evansville. Mrs. Hovey died on June 5, 1912. They 
were the parents of five children : Dr. Alvin Jaques Hovey, a prominent 
dental surgeon of Mt. Vernon, who married Miss Anna Williams, the 
daughter of S. Jett W'illiams, a successful agriculturist and influential 
citizen of Posey county. Dr. and Mrs. Hovey are the parents of four 
children : Helen, Louise, Florence, Esther and Anna Jaques. Mabel, 
the second child, l)orn September. 1873, died August 26, 1876. Mary, 
born August 17, 1875, is the wife of Otto T. Brinkman, of Mt. Vernon. 
Randolph Jaques Hovey, born March 23, 1879, married Miss Ruth Nep- 
per, a daughter of Thomas Nepper, St. Louis, Mo. Nina Hovey, the 
youngest child, was born June 23, 1881. She is the wife of Edwin M. 
Daniel, of Mt. Vernon, Ind. 

Frank Deig, a prosperous farmer and land proprietor of Black town- 
ship, Posey county, Indiana, was born in the same township where he 
now lives June 29, 1873, son of John S. Deig and Mary (Miller) Deig, 
the former a native of Germany who came to this country when quite 
small, and the latter a native of Posej' county. (See sketch of John A. 
Deig for history of the family.) Frank Deig was reared in l>lack 
township, attended common school, and two years of high school in 
Mt. Vernon. He then went to St. Mary's Institute in Dayton, Ohio, 
two years, from 1889 to 1891. After leaving college he secured a posi- 
tion as clerk with E. ?>. Schenk, later working for Alles P.ros. and for 
Stinson Bros. He left the latter concern to engage in farming and 
stock raising in Black township. This was about 1899 and he has 
remained on the farm ever since except for one year when he lived in 
Mt. Vernon with his mother. Mr. Deig has a very large farm contain- 
ing 4043/ acres, on which there are two tenants. The crops are chiefly 
wheat, corn and clover. On May 28, 1901, occurred the marriage of 
Frank Deig to Mary A. Muth, daughter of Clements and Elizabeth 
(Niehhause) Muth, natives of Dubois county, Indiana, where the fa- 
ther engaged in farming and stock raising. Mrs. Deig was born in 
Spencer county, Indiana, in August 18, 1880. After finishing the com- 
mon schools she came to Mt. Vernon, where she lived with E. B. 
Schenk and family. Mr. and Mrs. Deig became the parents of three 
children : John Stephen and Elizabeth J., both now attending school 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 349 

in Mt. Vernon, and Frank J., who is deceased. The family are mem- 
bers of the St. Matthew's Catholic Church of Mt. Vernon and Mr. Deig 
is a Democrat and belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks, No. 277, of Mt. Vernon, Ind. Mr. and Mrs. Muth, parents of Mrs. 
Deig, are still living in Spencer county. 

John F. Ehrhardt, a prominent farmer of Mt. Vernon, Ind., was born 
at St. Philip in the same State August 14, 1870, son of Jacob Ehrhardt 
(see sketch). He was reared at the place of his birth, where he was 
educated at the public and parochial schools. After leaving school he 
began farming at home for his mother, his father having died when he 
was quite young. At the age of twenty-two he started out in life for 
himself, first renting the place where he now lives, and after four years 
buying the property. He has a farm of eighty acres under cultivation 
and well improved. His specialty is wheat and he has been very suc- 
cessful with it. On April 23, 1893, Mr. Ehrhardt married Miss Carolina 
Appel, daughter of John and Louisa (Krittenstein) Appel. her father 
a native of Germany who came to this country when a small boy with 
his parents, who took government land. A part of this land is now in 
possession of George Ehrhardt, brother of our subject. Mrs. Ehrhardt 
was born in Marrs township and attended school at the Hartman school 
house. They have two children, John J., born January 29, 1894, and 
Edward G., born August 18, 1899. John J. is a graduate of the country 
schools, the Mt. Vernon High School, class of 1912, and of Draughan's 
Business College, Evansville, Ind., where he took bookkeeping and 
stenography. Edward G. is a graduate of the common schools. Mr. 
Ehrhardt is a member of the Christian Science church, in which he is 
a trustee, and is independent in politics. He is a stockholder in the 
St. Philip Telephone Company and in the Home Insurance Company. 

John Oscar Dixon, a popular and influential citizen of Posey county 
and one of its most successful farmers, was born on the Dixon farm 
in Point township, Jtily 21, 1870, the son of John and Angeline (Wel- 
born) Dixon. The founder of the family in Indiana was John Dixon, 
a native of Kentucky, who came to Posey county previous to the year 
1820 and entered upon land in Point township. He was the great-grand- 
father of the subject of this article, who is descended from him as fol- 
lows : John Dixon, Junior, the son of John, and his son, John Dixon, 
who married Angeline Welborn, and they were the parents of John 
Oscar Dixon. The family have been prominent in the affairs of Point 
township since its organization. In the first township election, held 
on May 30, 1835, John, David and James Dixon were among the reg- 
istered voters. The members of the family were extensive land owners, 
which when purchased by them was virgin forest, and the township owes 
much to their pluck and energy in clearing the large acreage which 
they owned and in bringing their lands up to a high state of cultivation. 



350 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

John Dixon, the father of our subject, was one of the successful men of 
his time, influential in the civil and religious life of his district, and well 
and favorably known throughout the county. He was a Republican and 
active in the work of that organization, but without inclination for public 
office. He was born in Point township on January 28, 1840, and died on 
April 7, 1888. His wife, who survives him, was the daughter of John 
Welborn, a native of North Carolina, and one of the successful farm- 
ers of Black township, of which he was a pioneer settler. They were 
the parents of one child, the subject of this sketch. John Oscar Dixon 
was reared on the Dixon farm in Point township and educated in its 
public schools. His father died when he was aged eighteen and his 
large farming interests were placed under the management of his widow. 
He was called upon to take the active management, under his mother's 
guidance, and his success in the working of the property was such as 
to persuade his mother to give him full charge upon reaching his ma- 
jority. He is an untiring worker, progressive in his methods, and is 
recognized as one of the foremost agriculturists in the countj'. The 
Dixon farms comprise over 500 acres, are well improved and stocked. 
Mr. Dixon has always been found among the supporters of those meas- 
ures which have had for their object the development and betterment of 
his township, while the schools have received from him liberal support. 
He has been an earnest advocate of better school buildings and an 
extended school term, and has served as school director for several 
years. He is a Republican in his political affiliations, but, like his fa- 
ther, has no inclination for public office. He is a member of the Ma- 
sonic order, Mt. Vernon Lodge, No. 277, Benevolent and Protective 
Order of Elks, Posey Aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and Modern 
Woodmen of America. Mr. Dixon married on August 8, 1898, Miss 
l^Jary Elizabeth Winston, the daughter of Allen Winston, of Tennessee. 
They are the parents of three children: Douglas Dixon, born May 31, 
1901 ; James Grover Dixon, born January 6, 1906; and Ola Elizabeth 
Dixon, born l\Iay 31, 1913. 

Lannie Gilbert Morrow, manager of the Wadesville branch of the 
Home Alill and Elevator Company of Mt. Vernon, was born in Posey- 
ville, Ind., July 15, 1888, son of Anderson and Mary Louise (Reeves) 
Morrow. The father was born in Ohio and came to Posey county in 
1882, locating at Poseyville, where for ten years he was a building con- 
tractor. He retired in 1910 and now lives at Wadesville. Anderson 
Morrow and Mary Louise Reeves were married in 1884 and had seven 
children: Lannie G.. of this record; Minnie, born September 21, 1891, 
now the wife of Julius Gambrel, of Caborns Station, Ind. ; Lawrence 
Earl, born September 27, 1893; Nettie, born August 14, 1897; Harry, 
born March 28, 1902 ; and two of whom died in infancy. Lannie Morrow 
was educated in the public schools of Poseyville and Wadesville, gradu- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 35 1 

ating from the Wadesville High School in 1905. He was employed in 
clerking, farming and was a teacher in the district schools of Harmony 
township. In June, 1912, he became manager of the Wadesville branch 
of the Home Mill and Elevator Company, of Mt. Vernon. Mr. Morrow 
was married January 18, 1913, to Miss Myrtle Oliver, daughter of Sam- 
uel Oliver, of Center township. She was born December 23, 1887, at 
Oliver. Her parents are natives of Posey county. Mr. Morrow is a 
Democrat. 

Dr. Charles Arburn, a leading physician of Wadesville, Ind., was born 
on a farm near Haubstadt, Johnson township, Gibson county, that State, 
October 13, 1858, son of John and Angeline (Henson) Arburn. John 
Arburn was born in England July 13, 1824, and came to America with 
his parents in 1831, locating in Gibson county at an early date. He was 
a farmer all his life and died at Fort Branch in 1883. In 1840 he married 
Miss Angeline Henson, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1826. She 
died in July, 1899. Four sons and six daughters were born to these 
parents : John M., born March 22, 1844, now a retired merchant of Oak- 
land City, Ind. ; Frances, born September 29, 1843, who married Charles 
Loper, of Francisco, Ind. ; Rebecca, born June 3, 1846, died May 27, 
1849; Nancy Jane, born March 6, 1848, died March 6, 1849; David P., 
born February 14, 1850, died August 4, 1909; Joel H., who became a 
physician, born February 20, 1852, died in September, 1883 ; Parthenia, 
born February 7, 1854, now the wife of Jonathan E. Douglass, a farmer, 
of Fort Branch, Ind.; Mary Elizabeth, born February 16, 1856, now 
the wife of James T. Dorsey, a farmer of Fort Branch, Ind. ; Martha 
Belle, born October 17, i860, died December 10, 1861 ; Angeline, born 
September 8, 1862, now Mrs. Patterson, of Durango, Colo. ; Charles, our 
subject. Charles Arburn attended the public schools of Gibson county 
and began teaching at the age of twenty. He taught for four years in 
that county and then engaged in farming. At the age of twenty-eight 
he entered the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville, from which 
institution he graduated with the class of 1889. He located for practice 
at Carmi, 111., .where he remained two years. In 1892 he removed to 
East Lynn, 111. After practicing in that town four years he located in 
1896 in Wadesville, where he has an extensive practice and where he 
has since lived. Dr. Arburn is a student, keeps abreast of the advance- 
ment made in medicine and surgery and in 1896 completed a thirty- 
days course in Chicago Post-Graduate School. He is a member of 
Posey County and Indiana State Medical Societies, and the American 
Medical Association. He is a Democrat, a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, Court of Honor, Modern Woodmen of America 
and has occupied all the chairs in his various lodges. Dr. Arburn was 
married May i, 1884, to Miss Martha Florence Smith, daughter of 
George W. and Mary Jane (Calvert) Smith, farmers of Smith town- 



352 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ship, Posey county. She was born November 27, 1861, in Smith town- 
ship, where her parents were also born. Her grandfather, Daniel Smith, 
came from North Carolina at an early date and when Posey county 
was organized in 1814, Smith township was named in his honor. Mrs. 
Arburn has a sister and brother, both younger than herself, Lizzie, now 
the wife of Dr. James E. Gudgel, of Cynthiana, Ind., and J. W". Smith, 
a merchant, of Champaign, 111. Mr. ar^d Mrs. Arburn have two sons 
and two daughters: Will Smith Arburn, born January 10, 1886, now in 
the bond brokerage business at Terre Haute, Ind. ; James E. Arburn, 
born March 27, 1892, an employe of the Adams Express Company in 
Indianapolis; Mary Ruth, born June 6, 1894, and Agnes Dorothy, born 
December 9, 1900. Dr. and Mrs. Auburn are members of the Primitive 
Baptist churcJi. 

Dan Williams, lianker and farmer of Wadesville, Ind., is a native of 
Posey county, a member of one of its oldest pioneer families and was 
born on his father's farm in Harmony township on September 3, 1868, 
the son of Jonathan and Mary Ellen (Cox) Williams. The family was 
founded in Indiana in March, 1828, when Urbane Williams, a native of 
Virginia, came from Nelson county, Kentucky, and located on land near 
Stewartsville, Posey county. About two years later he bought a tract 
of land in Harmony town.-^hip, which he cleared and improved, and on 
which he resided until his death, June 25, 1848. He had married, while 
a resident of Kentucky, Nancy Johnson, a native of that State, who died 
in February, 1845. Their son, Asa C. Williams, the grandfather of our 
subject, was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, October 20, 1818. He was 
reared on his father's farm in Harmony township and was educated in 
the schools of that early day. On reaching his majority he engaged in 
farming, purchasing a tract of forty acres in what is now Center town- 
ship. He was not only a successful farmer, but a man of exceptional 
financial ability, and accumulated a large fortune for his time. In 
1867 he removed to Mt. \'ernon and was elected vice-president of the 
First National Bank, an institution which he had helped to organize. 
He was elected president of the bank in 1873 and remained at its head 
until his death, which occurred in 1896. As a banker he was known as 
a discriminating financier, one who brought the administrative policy 
of his bank up to the point of highest efficiency, and whose efforts in 
fostering the development of the manufacturing and commercial inter- 
ests of Mt. Vernon were second to none. He was a generous supporter 
of the Baptist church and his charities were many and varied. As a cit- 
izen he was greatly esteemed and he exerted a potent influence for good 
throughout the county. He was married twice — first on January 28, 
1840, to Dicy Cox, a native of Posey county, who died on August 29, 
1844. Three children were born of this union : Jonathan, the father of 
our subject; Martha, who married Charles Hays; and Asa, all of whom 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 353 

are deceased. On July 17, 1845, he married Anna Gwaltney, a daughter 
of Benjamin Gwaltney, a pioneer citizen of the county. Through his 
second marriage three children were born : John T., a farmer of Har- 
mony township ; Stephen Jett, personal mention of whom appears else- 
where in this work ; and Dicy, deceased. Jonathan Williams became a 
successful farmer in Harmony township. He took an active part in the 
political life of his section and wielded an influence for good. He did 
not possess the commercial genius of his father, preferring to remain on 
the home farm, where he was at home in the fields, in the woods and 
with his stock. He married in 1861, Mary Ellen Cox, a daughter of 
John Cox, a native of South Carolina, who came to Posey county with 
his parents in the early days of its settlement. The death of Mr. Wil- 
liams occurred in January, 1873, and that of his wife in April, 1887. 
They were the parents of seven children, who are as follows : John C, 
born September 4, 1862, died February 28, 1869; Laura Isabel, born 
August 12, 1865, who became the wife of David Hutchinson, who resides 
near Carmi, 111. She died January 31, 1885; William Henry, born No- 
vember 22, 1863, died October 15, 1883; Dan, our subject; Leona, 
born November 26, 1870, the wife of Stephen Hancock, a farmer of Robb 
township ; Alden L., born June 29, 1879, died April. 1900; and Mary Ellen, 
born April 22, 1867, died August 21, 1870. Dan Williams was reared on the 
old home farm in Harmony township and received his education in the 
public schools of Posey county. On reaching his majority he bought a 
farm in Lynn township and operated it with such success that his profits 
equaled the purchase price during tlfe seven years he farmed there. 
His next venture was in Center township, where he bought 145 acres 
where he duplicated his former succSss. He now owns one of the large 
farms of the county, 320 acres, situated about three miles from Wade- 
sville. The land is exceptionally good, is in a high state of cultivation, and 
in the matter of improvements is not excelled in southwestern Indiana. 
He became a resident of Wadesville in 1905 and in 1907 he promoted 
the organization of the Farmers National Bank. He was elected cashier 
of the institution upon incorporation and has since served in that ca- 
pacity. As a banker he is demonstrating the possession of the sound 
financial judgment, executive and initiative ability, and progressiveness 
which made Asa C. Williams a power in the financial circles of his sec- 
tion of the State. In the administration of the business of the insti- 
tution he has been the controlling executive and to him is due the highly 
favorable showing made during its six years of business life. The bank 
has an earned surplus of $4,750, undivided profits of $750, and its de- 
posits average about $120,000, a very creditable showing, considering 
the population of Wadesville and the strong competition of nearby 
towns which have long established institutions. His political affilia- 
tions have been with the Democratic party. He was elected trustee of 



354 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Center township in 1904 and served during a term of four years. He 
is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Williams 
married on January i, i8gi. Miss Eurie M. Willis, a daughter of Rob- 
ert M. and Jane (Downen) Willis, the father a farmer of Center town- 
ship, where she was born on December 31, 1869. Mrs. Williams died on 
December 7, 1903. They were the parents of five children : Mildred, 
born October 15, 1891. died October 6, 18138; Harold, born November 
8, 1893; and Asa Dan, born January 31, 1896, died September 2, 1896; 
Anna Jane, born August 10, 1897; and Eurie May, born May 15, 1900. 
On December 6. 1904, Mr. Williams married Miss Amy Anna Stallings, 
the daughter of John W. and Martha Stallings, both of whom were born 
in Posey county, but now reside in Omaha, Gallatin county, Illinois. 
Mrs. W'illiams is also a native of Posey county and was born on No- 
vember 6, 1881. Three children have been born of this union, viz.: 
Amy Marie, born December 12, 1905; Mary Corine, born June 18, 1908;' 
and Fannie Jauna. born December 5, 1910. 

August Schieber. — History is the preserved record of events, as biog- 
raphy is the personal record of those who have been actively concerned 
in the moulding and action of the events from which history is made. 
A publication of this nature exercises its most important function when 
it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens who have 
been of material value in furthering the advancement and development 
of a community. The late August Schieber, a resident of Mt. Vernon 
for nearly fifty years, its most extensive owner of business and resi- 
dence property, and one of Posey county's most successful men of af- 
fairs, is entitled to distinctive recognition in this volume. August 
Schieber was born in Wittenberg, Germany, February 7, 1841, a son 
of Frederick and Magdalena Schieber, residents of the town of Stuggart, 
where the father died when August was seven years of age. His mother 
married a second time, her husband being Frederick Richert, and in 
1848 he brought his family to the United States and located in Evans- 
ville, Ind., where he established a brewery. August Schieber was reared 
in Evansville, was educated in its schools, was variously employed in 
the brewery of his step-father and also learned the cooper's trade. He 
completed a course in Buchanan's Commercial College at Evansville, 
attending this school at night. On the breaking out of the war in 1861 
he enlisted in defense of the Union and served throughout the conflict, 
being a member of the Twenty-fourth Indiana volunteer infantry, of 
which General Alvin P. Hovey, then colonel, was in command. Fred- 
erick Rickert erected, shortly after the war, a hotel on Water street 
in Mt. Vernon, named the Flower House, in which young Schieber 
managed the cafe. In 1871 the hotel was sold and August Schieber 
initiated his first commercial enterprise. He established a retail grocery 
and liquor store on ^^'ater street. In the conduct of this business he 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 355 

demonstrated the possession of those qualities necessary to success as 
a merchant and built up an exceedingly profitable enterprise. About 
1890 he disposed of the store and removed to a more central location 
at Mulberry and Water streets, where he continued as a merchant 
until his realty interests became so important that he retired from com- 
mercial life, giving his entire attention to the management of his busi- 
ness, residence and farm properties. From the time he entered com- 
mercial life he was a consistent buyer, with the profits derived from his 
business, of farm and city property, until his holdings were the largest 
of any individual in Mt. Vernon, and required not only his entire time 
in their supervision, but necessitated the employment of assistants. He 
was the owner of a number of improved business properties, including 
the Masonic Hall building, forty-one residences, farm lands totaling over 
2,000 acres, the Posey county fair grounds of about forty acres, and had 
been interested directly or indirectly with many other business enter- 
prises of his home city. He was one of the organizers, the largest 
stockholder and president of the Consumers Ice and Cold Storage Com- 
pany, of Mt. Vernon, which is reviewed at length in the chapter on 
"Manufacturing and Commercial Enterprises," and president of the Lee 
Lumber Company of Memphis, Tenn., of which his son was general 
manager, one of the most important concerns in the lumber industry in 
the South. Essentially a business man, Mr. Schieber had neither time 
nor inclination for political office, although he served for several terms 
as a member of the council of Mt. Vernon, believing that a citizen of 
large property interests should devote a portion of his time and business 
experience in the management of civic affairs. He was a Republican. 
Mr. Schieber married on June i8, 1870, Miss Mary Anna Schutte, a 
daughter of Frank and Clara (Knair) Schutte, both of whom were 
born in Pricen, Germany. Frank Schutte was a farmer and came to 
the United States in 1856, locating on land in Marrs township, Posey 
county, Indiana, which he operated until his death. Mrs. Schieber 
was born in Pricen, Germany, on June 22, 1851, and was reared in 
Marrs township. She acquired her education in the St. Philip parochial 
school and attended the church there. She is a woman who has de- 
veloped a talent for business affairs, has a comprehensive knowledge 
of the responsibilities of property ownership, and since the death of 
Mr. Schieber, which occurred on February 8, 1910, has supervised the 
management of the large and varied interests left her by her husband. 
She has been, to some extent, a student, is well read on a variety of 
subjects, and is the reader of the Christian Science church of Mt. 
Vernon, of which she is a member. August Frank Schieber, the only 
child of August and Mary Anna Schieber, was born in Mt. Vernon on 
March 17, 1871. He received his early educational discipline in the 
public schools of his native city and through a course of study in St. 



356 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Francis College at Teotopolis, 111., and the Catholic College at Day- 
ton, Ohio. He was subsequently employed in his father's store and 
mill in various capacities and received a thorough business training 
under the supervision of the elder Schieber. In Gates, Tenn., he ini- 
tiated his first independent venture when he formed, with Charles Fin- 
ley, the firm of Schieber & Finley and engaged in the manufacture of 
lumber, their plant being removed some time afterward to Benoid. Miss. 
This venture was a success and he demonstrated his possession of execu- 
tive ability of a high order. He was able to secure recognition among 
men in the trade as an able manager and one who knew lumber values. 
An opportunity offering in which he was assured of further advancing 
his importance among men in his line, he retired from the firm of 
Schieber & Finley and, with his father and M. E. Montgomery, pur- 
chased the business of the Lee Lumber Company, of Memphis, of which 
he became general manager and his father president. In the manage- 
ment of this enterprise he continued his former success and the com- 
pany became one of the most important factors in the lumber trade 
of the South. On the death of his father he succeeded him as president 
and remained in this capacity until his death on March ii, 1913. His 
death, which occurred while he was in the prime of life, at a time when 
he had attained a commanding position in his chosen field of enter- 
prise, was a severe blow to his mother, who had but three years before 
lost her husband. August F. Schieber possessed many likeable qualities, 
his friends were many and worth while, he promised to become a busi- 
ness man of unusual worth, and his loss to the business circles of Mem- 
phis was deplored by the press of that city. August F. Schieber was 
twice married. His first wife was Miss Annie Naas, of Mt. Vernon. 
No children were born of this union. After her death he married Mrs. 
Margaret Drury, nee Freeman. Of this union one child was born : 
Mary Augusta Schieber, February 18, 1904. 

Jacob Becker, retired farmer of \\'adesville, Ind., was born March 
6, 1839, in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, son of John and Katherine 
(Hirth) Becker. He came to the United States with his parents and 
three brothers in 1852. They came by sailing vessel, consuming sev- 
enty-two days in the voyage, and landed at New Orleans. They then 
came up the Mississippi river to Cairo, 111., thence by the Ohio river to 
Evansville. The wife and mother died of cholera on the boat and was 
buried at Greenville, Ark. After a few years in Evansville they bought 
a farm in Robinson. Posey county. The four brothers are as fol- 
lows: John, now retired at Evansville; Henry, deceased; Jacob, of 
this record ; and Herman, deceased. Jacob Becker learned the shoe- 
maker's trade at Evansville and in 1862 he removed to Posey county 
and opened a general store in \\'adesville, which he conducted for eight 
years and then sold to his father-in-law, Finley Allison. He then opened 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 357 

a shoe shop in the same town, whicli he conducted for eighteen years, 
after which he bought his present farm of eighty acres at the edge of 
town. It is now one of the best improved in the vicinity. Mr. Becker 
has been married twice. On January 30, 1862, he married Miss Mary 
Allison, daughter of Finley Allison. She was born January 12, 1842, 
and died July 2, 1867. Two sons were born to this marriage : William 
H., December 15, 1862, now a railroad man at Indianapolis; John F., 
born May 12, 1866, a farmer of Center township. Mr. Becker took as 
his second wife Miss Emily Allison, who was a sister of his first wife. 
They became the parents of seven children : Mary, born June 
19, 1868, married William H. Hidbrader, a farmer of Center 
township, and they have one child, Herman; Emma, born 
March 12, i87o( now the wife of John Wade, of Wadesville; Laura, 
born April 21, 1872, now the wife of Edward Goad, of Port Orchard, 
Wash.; Edward, born August 12, 1874, died March 22, 1877; Charles, 
born June 11, 1878, boilermaker at Evansville ; Edward, born March 
2, 1882, was married October 12, 1903, to Miss Emma Owens, daughter 
of Flavius and Pauline (Cox) Owens, of Center township. She was 
born October 28, 1883, in Center township. They have three children, 
Velma, born May 22, 1904, Melvin Joel, born December 25, 191 1, and a 
son born in October, 1913. Pearl, the seventh child of Mr. and Mrs. 
Becker, was born August 4, 1886, and is now the wife of Edward Lock- 
ridge, of Evansville. Mr. Becker is a progressive, substantial citizen of 
the community and an active member of the Lutheran church. For 
manv years he was an active worker in the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen, the Harri Jara, and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but 
has dropped all. 

John C. Leffel, editor and proprietor of the "Western Star" and one 
of the best known newspaper men in southern Indiana, was born in 
Blairsville, Posey county, May 8, 1850, a son of Daniel and . Barbara 
(Reichenbacher) Leffel, both of whom were born in Karlsruhe, Baden, 
Germany, where they also married. In 1832 they immigrated to the 
United States and for several years resided in New York City. They 
changed locations several times and in the latter part of the '40s located 
in Center township, Posey county, where Mr. Leffel purchased large 
tracts of land, the town sites of Blairsville and Wadesville being a part 
of his original purchase. In 1854 he removed to Mt. Vernon and en- 
gaged in merchandising. His death occurred in 1873, at the age of 
sixty-six years, and that of his wife in 1894, aged seventy-nine. They 
were the parents of eight children, five of whom survive, viz. : Nancy, 
the widow of George Henrich ; Elizabeth, the widow of William H. 
Lichtenberger ; John C, of this review; Celia, the wife of Henry Bald- 
win, all of Mt. Vernon ; and Mollie E., the wife of Valentine Kratz, 
of Los Angeles, Cal. Those deceased are: Caroline, who married Wil- 



358 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Ham Derman, of Spokane, Wash., and died in July, 191 1; Catherine 
and William, the former of whom died aged nineteen and the latter 
aged four. John C. Leffel was educated in the schools of Mt. Vernon 
and at the age of fifteen became an apprentice in a harness shop at St. 
Louis, Mo., where he remained until 1867, when he returned to Mt. 
Vernon and entered the office of the "Democrat" and assisted Tom Col- 
lins, the editor and proprietor, in getting out his paper. He remained 
on the "Democrat'' until October, 1875, when he established the Mt. 
Vernon "Wochenblatt," the first and only German paper to be pub- 
lished in Posey county. In 1877 the first issue of the "Western Star" 
appeared, the founding of ihis paper by Mr. Leffel being the result of 
repeated requests upon the part of leading Democrats that he establish 
and edit a paper that could be counted on as the organ of the party in 
the county. From its first issue it has been the aim of the editor to 
make it alive with interest and with real, practical usefulness, and 
this has been done, with the result that it is, and has been for thirty- 
five years, welcomed as a personal friend in the homes of Posey county. 
In 1885 the publishing of the "Wochenblatt" was discontinued, due to 
the demands upon Mr. Leffel's time by the "Western Star," which pre- 
vented him giving both papers the attention they deserved. He enjoys 
the distinction of having been the first publisher in Posey county to 
install power presses and is the only one who has purchased a linotype 
machine. The office and press room of the "Star" are in point of 
equipment the best in the county. The building in which they are 
located was constructed from plans furnished by Mr. Leffel and is 
especially adapted to the needs of his business. It is the one printing 
plant of the county in which typesetting is done by machinery. The 
job printing department of the paper is up to date in all particulars 
and its business exceeds by far any other establishment in this line in 
the county. As a newspaper man Leffel has never been surpassed in 
Posey county. He is a vigorous writer, has a wealth of energy, his edi- 
torials are worth while, and his paper has been conducted in an able and 
clean manner. He has attained the Council degree in Masonry and 
is a member of Beulah Lodge. Xo. 378. Mr. Leffel married on July 2, 
1872, Miss Minnie Brinkman. the eldest daughter of Henry Brinkman, 
of Mt. Vernon, a review of whom appears on other pages of this vol- 
ume. Mrs. Leffel was born in Mt. Vernon on June 8, 1853, and died 
on February 28, 1907. She is survived by her husband and the follow- 
ing children: Edward, born May 4, 1872, personal mention of whom 
follows this article ; Lillie, born October 4, 1874. the wife of Philip Sud- 
doth, of Mt. Vernon ; Herbert, born April 24, 1877, who is associated 
with his father; Daisy, born September 14, 1874. who resides in Evans- 
ville; Otto, born August 24, 1881, agent at Oskaloosa, Kan., of the Mis- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 359 

souri Pacific railway; John, born February 5, 1887, employe of the pas- 
senger department of the Shore Line railway at San Francisco, Cal.; 
and Minnie, born February 16, 1892, residing with her father. 

Edward Leffel is the eldest son of John C. Leffel and Minnie (Brink- 
man) Leffel. He was born in the city of Mt. Vernon, Ind., on May 
14, 1872, and is one of a family of seven children, viz.: Lillian (Leffel) 
Suddoth, Daisy and Minnie Leffel, and Herbert, Otto and John Leffel, 
Jr. Mr. Leffel attended the public schools of Mt. Vernon and learned 
the newspaper business in the "Star" office, which was conducted by 
his father. When a young man he worked for a short time in the 
Kellar Printing Company in Evansville, Ind., and the Government 
Printing Office in Washington, D. C. He held a position in the Indi- 
ana legislature of 1892 and later went to Washington. After working 
twelve or fifteen years in the newspaper and printing business he be- 
came engaged in the mortgage loan business, which business he is en- 
gaged in at this date, November 7, 1913. He is unmarried. 

William A. Oliver, extensive land owner and farmer of Center town- 
ship, Posey county, and a member of one of the most prominent pioneer 
families of southwestern Indiana, was born on his father's farm in Rob- 
inson township on December 2, 1844, a son of Job and Elizabeth (Jones) 
Oliver. Job Oliver was born in Kentucky on December 18, 1820, his 
parents coming to Indiana shortly after his birth. They located in 
Posey county, then in a formative period, where the father located on 
land. Job attended the schools of that early day, did his due share of 
the day's work, endured the hardships common to the settler of the 
pioneer period, and became one of the large land owners of the county. 
He was actively concerned in the early development of Center town- 
ship, a man of influence, and possessed the esteem of all. He was mar- 
ried twice. By his first wife he had six children, three of whom are 
living, viz.: William A., the subject of this review; Wilson and Samuel. 
Thompson, Cynthia and Joel are deceased. Anna Shaw, his second 
wife, bore him six children, viz. : George, Emma, Nelia, James and Ella. 
Elizabeth is deceased. The town of Oliver was named in honor of Job 
Oliver, the townsite being a part of one of his farms. William A. Oliver 
was reared on his father's farm and his education was acquired in the 
schools of Robinson township. Farming has been his occupation since 
boyhood and he is recognized as not only one of the successful men in 
that field of endeavor within his county, but is also one of the influential 
citizens of his township. Political office has never appealed to him, al- 
though he takes an active interest in the questions of the day and never 
neglects his civic duties. He is a Democrat. His farm of 128 acres is 
well improved, well stocked and has been his place of residence since 
1873. Mr. Oliver has been twice married. In December, 1866, 
he married Miss Rachel Causey, who died August 9, 1870. She bore 



360 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

him two children: John, born September 10, 1867, died October 22, 
1867, and Walter, born July 13, 1870, died October 8, 1870. On Jan- 
uary 16, 1873, he married for his second wife Miss Cornelia Fillingim, 
the" daughter of Gracchus and Lurana (Cox) Fillingim. She 
was born on January 18, 1849. Of this second union three 
children were born, of whom the eldest died in infancy. Otis 
L. Oliver, born December 3, 1875, died on February 3, 1892. Elsie 
M., born December 28, 1879, is the wife of William W. Hoggatt, M. D., 
of French Lick Springs, Ind. They are the parents of five children, 
viz.: Verne D., born January 16, 1900; Eunice M., born August 7, 
1902; Vera Fae, born June 10, 1905 ; Doris and Dorothy, twins, who were 
born May i, 1912. 

Warren Wade, president of the Farmers National Bank of Wades- 
ville, prominent farmer and stockman and popular citizen, is a native of 
Posey coimty and was born on October 27. 1859, a son of William D. 
and Hester C. (Fillingim) Wade. The family was founded in Indiana 
by Zachariah Wade, a native of North Carolina, born near Chester 
Court House, who came to Posey county in the early years of its settle- 
ment, became a prosperous farmer, attained influence as a citizen, and 
was the father of Wadesville, named for him. He was a Democrat, 
served as justice of the peace for many years, and was identified with 
practically every phase of the development of his township. William 
D. Wade was also a farmer. He was born on April 19, 1825, and died 
on May 14, 1904. On August 8, 1854, he married Hester C. Fillingim, a 
daughter of Ajax and Eliza (Moye) Fillingim, who, like his parents, 
were natives of North Carolina. They were the parents of the following 
children : Warren, the subject of this article ; Albert, born December 
6, 1861 ; a resident of New Albany, Ind, ; and Jennie, born February 8, 
1863, the wife of Sidney Johnson, a prosperous farmer of Harmony 
township. Three children: Roy, Carrol and Elvis, died in infancy. 
W^arren Wade was reared on his father's farm in Center township, as- 
sisted in its operation until he was twenty-four years of age, and ac- 
quired his education in the district schools of his neighborhood. In 
1894 he became the owner of a farm and has devoted his attention to 
agriculture and stock feeding and in each branch of endeavor has met 
with success. His farm property consists of 150 acres, its improve- 
ments are substantial and it has paid satisfactory returns. In 1907 he, 
with Dan Williams, promoted the organization of the Farmers Na- 
tional Bank of Wadesville, and on incorporation he was elected to its 
directorate. He became vice-president of the institution in 1908 and 
was elected president in 1909, and is still serving in that capacity. The 
following vear, 1910, he retired from the active management of his 
farm. He is a Democrat in his political views, is influential in the affairs 
of his township and served for two years as trustee. In the administra- 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 361 

tion of the affairs of this office he served with credit. He exercised 
sound financial sense in handling the township funds, was able to greatly 
improve the roads, building a considerable mileage, and at the same 
time reduced the levy from seventy-two to fifty-two cents. Mr. Wade 
married on October 21, 1883, Miss Mary Bailey, a daughter of Larkin 
and Martha A. (Fitzgerald) Bailey, of Harmony township. Larkin 
Bailey was born in Harmony township on January 5, 1838, and died 
December 3, 1878. His wife was also born in the township on Septem- 
ber 7, 1837, and died December 18, 1869. Mary Bailey Wade was born 
on November 2, 1863. Mr. and Mrs. Wade are the parents of one child, 
Herman Wade, born August 11, 1884. He is a graduate of the Wades- 
ville High School, attended for one term the Oakland City College, and 
also Purdue University, in the latter institution specializing on agri- 
culture and live stock. He is one of the successful and progressive 
farmers of Center township, and owns and manages 200 acres of well 
improved land, which is being scientifically farmed. On November 29, 
1908, he married Miss Jessie Wiley, a daughter of James D. and Hannah 
(Penfold) Wiley, of Harmony township. She was born on August 7, 

1884. 

George B. Wade, retired farmer, influential citizen, of Center town- 
ship, and a resident of Wadesville, is a native of Posey county, a mem- 
ber of one of its prominent pioneer families and is a descendant of Zach- 
ariah Wade, for whom Wadesville was named. He is the son of Isaac 
George Washington and Eliza Jane (Nash) Wade, both of whom were 
born in Posey county, the father on February 15, 1829, and the mother on 
June 27, 1836. They were married in 1856. Isaac G. W. Wade was 
one of the most successful farmers of Center township, served for many 
years as a justice of the peace, was a Democrat and took an active part 
in the political life of his county, and accumulated a sizeable fortune. 
His death occurred on August 5, 1899. His wife, Eliza Jane Nash, was 
the daughter of Andrew and Mariah (Montgomery) Nash, both of 
whom were born in Pennsylvania. Five children were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Wade, and are as follows: William, born in 1858, died in infancy; 
Mariah, born October 10, i860, is the wife of Henry Heckman, a farmer 
of Harmony township ; George B., the subject of this sketch ; Isaac Minor, 
born October 16, 1864, and Alvin Andrew, born August 16, 1867, both of 
whom reside on the home farm in Center township. George B. Wade was 
reared on his father's farm, secured his education in the public schools of 
Center township, and remained on the home farm until 1904, when he 
married, on June 22, IMiss Delia Move, a daughter of George W. and 
Grace (Stallings) Moye, both natives of Posey county, Mr. Moye having 
been born in Center township on January 2, 1854, and his wife on Febru- 
ary 22, 1859. Mrs. Wade was born on November 23, 1878. She is one 
of a familv of ten children, the brothers and sisters being: Wyatt Gray 



362 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

Move, Ora O. Moye, Minnie Pearl, the widow of Samuel Coomer, Iva 
Viola, the wife of Morris F. Wade, a farmer of Center township, Eliza- 
beth Ellen, Elva Leona, the wife of Louis Garris, Malcolm Edward, in 
the naval service of the United States, Virginia Evelyn, a graduate of the 
Wadesville High School in the class of 1913, and George Lawrence Moye. 
Shortly after his marriage Mr. Wade bought a farm and engaged in busi- 
ness for himself. In 1904 he retired from active farm labor, became a 
resident of Wadesville, and has since been occupied in looking after his 
property interests, which are considerable. Political office has never ap- 
pealed to him. He is a Democrat. His fraternal affiliations are with 
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. and Mrs. Wade are the 
parents of the following children : Eunice, born May 25, 1905 ; George 
Van, born October 4, 1906, and Mary Eliza, born March 30, 1909. The 
family attend the Regular Baptist church. 

James H. Moye, a successful farmer, extensive land owner and promi- 
nent citizen of Posey county, whose death occurred on July 16, 1907, was 
born on his father's farm in Center township, February 27, 1847. I'^ 
was a son of Wyatt G. and Elizabeth (Owens) Moye, the former a native 
of North Carolina and the latter of Posey county. The family was 
founded in Indiana in 1830, when John Moye, a native of North Carolina, 
located in Posey county, in what is now Center township. He and his 
descendants, he was the father of eleven children, have had much to do 
with the development of this section of the county, and have been, with- 
out exception, men and women who have had the respect and esteem 
of their fellow citizens. James H. Moye acquired his education in the 
schools of his native township, was reared a farmer and upon his father's 
death became the owner of a part of the home farm. As a farmer he was 
successful, and added to his holdings in farm lands until he was one of 
the large land owners of his township. II is political affiliations were 
with the Democratic part}-, and he took an active part in the campaigns, 
was influential in part}' councils, but had no inclination for public office. 
He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and active 
in the work of his order. Mr. Moye married, in 1873, Miss Susan Cox, 
who died on September 9, 1877. Two children were born of this union: 
Walter G. Moye, born November 26, 1874, and LeRoy, who died in in- 
fancy. On February 23, 1879, he married Miss Luvina Hunsinger, a 
daughter of Lewis and Sophronia C. (McCrary) Hunsinger, who was 
born April 9, 1858, and who resides on the Moye farm two miles west of 
Wadesville. Her family were residents of White county, Illinois, of 
which State her father was a native ; her mother was born in Posey 
county. With her brother, Calvin W. Hunsinger, she is the only sur- 
vivor of the family of six children, four of whom are deceased, and are as 
follows: Seymour T., Isabell, Larkin Minor, and George .-Mien. To 
James H. Moye and Luvina (Hunsinger) Moye fourteen children were 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 363 

born, viz.: Sophronia Elizabeth, who died in infancy; Lewis, born Sep- 
tember 29, 1881 ; Fanny, born April ii, 1883 ; James Henry, born May 22, 
1885; Joseph Wilburn, born December 31, 1886; Larkin Kenneth, born 
August 27, 1888; Edith, born September 9, 1889, the wife of Edgar W. 
Huck; Lilly, born April 8, 1892; Jesse Lawrence, born September 15, 
1893; Helen, born June 15, 1896; Ruby, born March 12, 1898, and Susie, 
born January 5, 1900. The Moye farm is one of the best examples of 
modern farming in Posey county. Substantial improvements and modern 
equipment mark the progressive spirit of its owners. The family are 
active in the social and religious life of their community, possess the 
esteem of their neighbors, while the home is known for its hospitality. 

Clarence Cox, educator, farmer and trustee of Center township, Posey 
county, is a descendant on both the paternal and maternal sides from 
pioneer residents of Southwestern Indiana. He was born on his father's 
farm in Center township, on October 21, 1871, a son of Isaac N. and Har- 
riet N. (Wade ) Cox. The father was born on February 7, 1846, and died 
March 2'j, 1877. Mrs. Cox was born on December 10, 1843, ^"d with her 
two children, Clarence, the subject of this sketch, and Elva, born April 
18, 1873, who is the wife of William H. Ramsey, of Wadesville, Ind„ 
survive. Isaac N. Cox was a farmer, well and favorably known in his 
section of the county, who died at a time when he was on the road to 
success and prominence. Clarence Cox was reared on his father's farm, 
educated in the public schools and in 1890 engaged in teaching. This 
profession he followed for sixteen years in the schools of Center town- 
ship, where he became known as one of the successful educators of his 
county. In 1908 he was elected to the office of trustee of Center town- 
ship, and is still serving in that capacity. His administration of the af- 
fairs of this office have been creditable to himself and his constituents. 
His financial policy has been sound, improvements have kept pace with 
the times, and the schools have benefited greatly through his long expe- 
rience as a teacher. He has always taken an active interest in the ques- 
tions of the day and is a consistent supporter of the principles and policies 
of the Democratic party. Mr. Cox married, on June 9, 1897, Miss Ida L. 
Moye, a daughter of John L. and Nancy J. (Randolph) Moye. She was 
born on July 11, 1873. They are the parents of two children: Mildred 
M. Cox, born September 21, 1900, and Myron M. Cox, born July 12, 1905. 

Christ Reister, successful merchant, influential citizen and former 
treasurer of Posey county, was bom in the town of Stein, province of 
Baden, Germany, on December 28, 1848, the son of Christ and Katherine 
(Zippese) Reister. Christ Reister, Sr., a tailor by trade, served in the 
German army during the revolution of 1848. He came to the United 
States in 1852, landing in New Orleans, and enlisted in the regular army. 
He was joined by his family in 1852 at Oswego. N. Y., and about three 
months afterward brought them to Evansville, Ind., where he located. 



264 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

The following vear he became a resident of Haubstadt, Gibson county, 
and engaged in' the manufacture of brick, in which he continued until he 
retired from active business, in 1876. His service in the United States 
army covered two terms in the regular and one in the volunteer army. 
He served throughout the Civil war and was captain of Company D, 
Thirty-second Indiana infantry. Christ Reister, Jr., was reared in Haub- 
stadt and secured iiis education in the schools of that town. He be- 
came an employe in his father's brickyard and remained in this occupa- 
tion until 1879,' when he located in Cynthiana and engaged in the retail 
liquor business. In 1881 he established a general store and remained in 
this line of endeavor until 1903, when he retired. He was successful as 
a merchant and amassed a considerable fortune, which he has invested 
to advantage. Among his properties is a farm of 146 acres, situated one 
and one-half miles north of Cynthiana. Mr. Reister is best known to the 
citizens of Posey county through a residence of four years in Mt. Ver- 
non, during which time he occupied the office of treasurer of the county. 
He has for many years been actively identified with the political life of 
the countv and has been a leader in the Democratic party, of whose pol- 
icies and principles he has been a consistent advocate. He served as in- 
spector of the election board of Smith township for ten years, has at- 
tended, as a delegate, state and congressional conventions and has been 
one of the mainstays of his party in the county. He was honored with 
the nomination for treasurer in 1906, and was elected by practically a 
unanimous vote, only seven ballots being in the count against him. His 
conduct of the business affairs of this office was marked by the same 
business acumen as had characterized his commercial career. He was 
elected to succeed himself in 1908. His record as treasurer will stand 
as highly creditable to himself and his constituents. Since retirement 
from the office he has been occupied in the management of his farm and 
supervision of his various investments. Mr. Reister married on Septem- 
ber 23, 1875, Miss Mary Triple, a daughter of George W. Triple of 
Haubstadt. They were the parents of one child, Ada Reister, born July 
18, 1876, the wife of Jesse Wade, a successful lawyer of Mt. Vernon. 
Mrs. Reister died on October 19. 1879. On .\pril 30. 1885, Mr. Reister 
married Miss Carry Deiteile, a daughter of Jacob and Anne M. Deiteile 
of Mt. Vernon. She is a native of that city and her father was for many 
years engaged in the retail market business and one of the four butchers 
who conducted stalls in the old city market building, erected from the 
fund donated by Dan Rice, the famous clown and circus owner. Three 
children have been born of this second marriage of Mr. Reister, two of 
whom died in infancy. Carolyn Reister, born December 27, 1904, is a 
student in the Cynthiana schools. Mrs. Reister is a member of the 
Christian Science church and popular in the social life of her home town. 
The family residence is one of the handsomest in the county and noted 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 365 

for its hospitality. Mr. Reister and his wife are generous in their sup- 
port of the various churches and charities in Cynthiana. 

Francis Marion Greathouse. — To have attained so notable a record as 
did Captain Greathouse in connection with his service during the Civil 
war would prove sufficient to give precedence and reputation to any man, 
were this to represent the sum total of his efforts ; but Francis Marion 
Greathouse is a man of distinct individuality, broad mental ken and 
strong initiative, who has been a leader in his township and the county 
as well. Captain Greathouse was born on his father's farm in Point town- 
ship, Posey county, Indiana, April lo, 1840. He is the third child born to 
George Washington and Martha N. (Harshman) Greathouse. The fam- 
ily is of German descent, was founded in America previous to the war 
for independence, and in Posey county by David Greathouse, a native of 
Pennsylvania, who settled in what is now Point township prior to 1818, 
in which year is recorded his original land entry. He took an active part 
in the affairs incident to the early settlement of the county, acquired ex- 
tensive land holdings and was one of the most influential men of his 
time and section. He married Sarah Callender, also born in Pennsyl- 
vania. They were the parents of four sons : Sampson, born December 8, 
1808, who died February 2, 1887 : George Washington, the father of Cap- 
tain Greathouse, born July 4, 1810, who died February 4, 1843; John, 
born 1812, who died in 1842, and Lorenzo Dow, born 1818, who died in 
1883. George Washington Greathouse was reared on his father's farm 
and followed the occupation of farmer. He was known among the men 
of his time for his integrity and high ideals, was a tireless worker and 
successful in his business undertakings. He was a builder-up of his 
properties, which during the pioneer period of the development of the 
county required hard labor and untiring energy. He married on June 14, 
1832, Martha N. Harshman, the daughter of George and Dorcas Harsh- 
man, one of Posey county's early settlers, whose homestead was in 
Prairie Settlement. She was born in Virginia on January 8, 1815. Mr. 
Greathouse died on the fourteenth of February, 1843, and his wife on 
February 8, 1872. They were the parents of the following children : 
Sarah C, born May 6, 1833, and who died March 6, 1880. She married 
Joel Redmond, a farmer of Posey county. Julia, the second child, born 
January 17, 1835, married Thomas French, a prominent farmer of Lynn 
township, and is at the age of seventy-eight, enjoying the sunset years 
of life, surrounded by her grandchildren (see sketch of Raymond 
French). Matilda, the youngest child, born June 14, 1842, married An- 
drew Alexander, a man of sterling worth and intellectual ability, by 
which union, in 1864, her only child, Rosamond, was born. She be- 
came the wife of Dr. G. R. Peckempaugh, a prominent physician of Mt. 
Vernon, now a resident of Evansville. Mrs. Alexander was a woman of 
broad education, possessed intellectual ability of a high order and gained 



366 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

extended reputation as an author. She was the founder of the Alexan- 
drian Library of Mt. Vernon (see chapter on Libraries), which she en- 
dowed liberally. Her death occurred on April 22, 1892; her husband on 
November 13,' 1866. Francis Marion Greathouse, the third child born 
to George W. and Martha Greathouse, was reared on his father's farm, 
attended the schools of his district and assisted in the carrying on of the 
farm work until the breaking out of the Civil war. In July, 1861, he en- 
listed in Company H, First Indiana cavalry, and upon its organization 
was elected first sergeant. He was several times promoted for meri- 
torious service and valor. He was commissioned second lieutenant De- 
cember 18, 1861, and first lieutenant June 6, 1863. He was mustered out 
on September 12, 1864. He was with his regiment in the battles of Fred- 
ericktown, Mo., December 16, 1861 ; Helena, Ark.. July 4, 1863 ; Pine Bluff, 
Ark., October 25, 1863; Mt. Elba, Ark., March 27, 1864. and Mark's 
Mills, Ark., April 25, 1864. It was during the time when he was de- 
tailed on scout duty that Lieutenant Greathouse won his greatest re- 
nown as a soldier, his work in this line of warfare being of the highest 
value to the LTnJon cause, and was the result of careful planning and 
brilliant execution. His most conspicuous service, in point of value to 
the cause of the Union, was that of the Longview expedition, March 26, 
1864, in which he was the ranking officer. The following extract from 
the ofifcial report of Col. Poweil Clayton, dated Headquarters, Pine 
Bluff, Ark., April i, 1864, concerns the results of this expedition: "The 
Longview raid reflects the highest credit to Lieutenants Greathouse and 
Young, and for brilliancy and success is almost without a parallel. One 
hundred men. fifty from the First Indiana and fifty from the Fifth Kan- 
sas cavalry, marched forty miles into the enemy's country, captured and 
destroved a train of thirty-five wagons loaded with stores of great value 
to the enemy, their paymaster's safe containing over sixty thousand dol- 
lars, destroyed their pontoon bridge over the Saline river, captured and 
brought to Mt. Elba 260 prisoners, 300 horses and mules and a large 
number of contrabands; all including the march of eighty miles to Long- 
view and return in the surprising short space of twenty-four hours." 
There was not a man lost or a gun fired in accomplishing this capture. 
Lieutenant Greathouse was in command of his company from July, 1863, 
until mustered out, his captain being nn detached service. He was de- 
tailed on scout duty in October, 1863, and served in this capacity until 
mustered out. His services while in this branch of duty were such as to 
win for him high commendation from his superior officers, and the re- 
sults obtained by him were such as to place him among the foremost 
scouts of the Union army. On conclusion of his military service. Lieu- 
tenant Greathouse returned to his family home in Point township and 
resumed the care of the farm property. In 1872 he purchased land in 
Lynn township, where he has since resided. His holdings total 400 acres, 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 367 

the improvements are substantial and the farm is well stocked. He has 
realized a substantial success as an agriculturist, is one of the influential 
men of Posey county, where he is known for his high ideals, integrity and 
broad mindedness. He has taken an active part in support of those meas- 
ures which have had in view the welfare and betterment of the commu- 
nity. He is a Republican. Political office has never appealed to him, and 
though often urged to accept nomination he has never permitted his 
name to go before a convention. He is a member of Harrow Post, No. 
491, Grand Army of the Republic. On October 30, 1870, Captain Great- 
house married Miss Maggie T. French, a daughter of James T. French, a 
farmer of Lynn township, and member of one of the oldest pioneer fam- 
ilies of Posey county. She was born on August 15, 1845. Oi the cb.il- 
dren born to Captain and Mrs. Greathouse, four are living, viz. : Cora, 
born August 14, 1871, the wife of James Bundy, of Lynn township; 
George Howard, born February 20, 1875, a hotel proprietor of Chicago, 
111. ; Bertie, born October 19, 1879, the wife of Prof. C. J. Nelson, a 
teacher in the Mt. Vernon public schools, and Horace Elwood, born 
September 23, 1884, who resides with his parents and has the active 
management of his father's farm properties. A daughter, Grace, born 
May 22, 1873, a young lady of great personal charm, died on December 
28, 1906. 

Frederick Wolfinger, successful farmer, extensive land owner and 
veteran of the Civil war, was born on his father's farm in Marrs town- 
ship, Posey county, Indiana, June 4, 1841, the son of John Wolfinger, a 
pioneer settler of that township and a native of Germany. There were 
six children in the family, all of whom, including the subject of this 
sketch, are deceased. The others were : John, Lewis, Charles, George 
and Elizabeth. John Wolfinger and his sons were important factors in 
the agricultural development of Marrs township, possessed energy, were 
thrifty, and enjoyed the esteem of their neighbors. Frederick \\'olfinger 
was reared on the farm of his father, assisted in its carrying on, and 
secured his education in the district schools of his native township. 
Lincoln's call for volunteers found him ready for his country's defense 
and he enlisted in the Tenth Indiana cavalry. With his regiment he 
participated in many important engagements but was never wounded. 
His service in the Union cause covered a period of three years, and his 
record was excellent. On conclusion of his military service he returned 
to Posey county and engaged in farming and remained in this field of 
endeavor until 1902, when he retired from active labor and became a 
resident of the city of Mt. \^ernon, his place of residence until his death, 
which occurred on November 9, 1909. As a farmer, Frederick Wol- 
finger was one of the most progressive and successful men of his section 
of Posey county. As a man of affairs, he was equally prominent. He 
possessed financial judgment, was an expert judge of land values and 



368 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

productiveness, seemed to sense the knock of opportunity and avail him- 
self of it, and withal, possessed thrift. He was throughout his lifetime 
a buyer of farm lands and became the owner of a number of choice farm 
properties. Public office never appealed to him. He was a member of 
Mt. Vernon Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the General 
Baptist church. Mr. Wolfinger married, on December 16, 1868, Miss 
Nancy Benner, who was born in Marrs township, Posey county, on 
December 9, 1850, the daughter of John and Mary (Mills) Benner. Her 
father was a native of Germany, who came to America with his parents 
when but three years of age. He was a prosperous farmer of Marrs 
township. His wife was born in Black township and her parents were 
pioneer settlers in Posey county. Mr. Wolfinger is survived by his 
widow and the following children, viz.: Mary Elizabeth, born Octo- 
ber 2, 1869, the wife of Robert Dixon, of Mt. Vernon ; Joseph Welborn, 
born October 24, 1871 ; Otis Alvin, born June 20, 1878; James Arthur, 
born November 24, 1880, graduates of Lockyear's Commercial College, 
Evansville, and all three prosperous farmers of Marrs township; Fred B., 
born September 20, 1889, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, class 
of 1910. ticket agent of the Louisville & Nashville Railway at Mt. Ver- 
non, TIL; and Eleanor, born June 2, 1894, who graduated from the 
Mt. Vernon High School with the class of 1913. The third child of 
Mr. and Mrs. Wolfinger, a son, died in infancy. 

Martin Golden, New Harmony. The venerable white haired gen- 
tleman whose name introduces this personal review, represents that 
type of mankind whom we all stop by the wayside to observe and ad- 
mire. Mr. Golden is an actor of the old school, who for years shed his 
light on the American stage, furnishing instructive amusement to hun- 
dreds of delighted audiences. When he was in the prime of manly vigor 
his contemporaries were such men as Edwin Booth, Lawrence Barrett, 
and many others with whom he was associated, which almost causes 
the student to reflect on that epoch as the second Elizabethan age of 
the English drama. Mr. Golden knew well most of the actors of his 
time, and played with many of them, and he treasures many pleasant 
memories of the stage folk, great and near-great of his time. Our sub- 
ject is a native of Ireland, born at Cork Hill, Parish of Screen, Novem- 
vember 10, 1835. His parents were William Golden and Catharine 
Dunn, also natives of Ireland. Alartin was one of a family of ten chil- 
dren, tw-o of whom are now living: Thomas F., a druggist in New 
York, and Martin. The Golden family embarked for America in 1846, 
some of the older sons having preceded the other members several 
years. It seems that they were beset by one misfortune after another. 
The mother died during the voyage and was buried at sea. Shortly 
after the family reached Quebec the father was taken ill and died. 
After the death of his father Martin and a brother were sent to New 



HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 369 

Orleans to live with an older brother, who was a druggist there. Upon 
arriving at New Orleans they learned that the brother in New Orleans 
had died two weeks previously with yellow fever. He then went to 
live with a cousin there, where he remained and attended school until 
1849. Then, at the age of fourteen, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where 
he secured employment in a wholesale dry goods store. From there he 
went to Hamilton, Ohio, and worked for a contractor as bookkeeper 
and timekeeper. In 185 1 he returned to New Orleans, and during the 
next two years two of his brothers died there from yellow fever. In 
1854 he decided to leave New Orleans and went to New York, where 
he had a brother and sister. After reaching New York and seeking 
his brother and sister he met a New Orleans acquaintance, Charles 
Gleason, treasurer of the St. Charles theater, New Orleans. Young 
Golden returned to New Orleans with him and accepted the position 
of doorkeeper at the St. Charles theater. He was very much 
interested in stage life and his position gave him an opportunity 
to meet many actors. He got dramatic books and applied himself to 
study. He became acquainted with Mr. Benedict De Barr, manager of 
the St. Charles theater, who booked young Golden for the princely 
salary of six dollars per week. This was in the fall of 1855, and the com- 
pany opened the season at St. Louis in "The Hunch Back" with Miss 
Annette Inse as leading lady. Golden was assigned to take the char- 
acter of "Holdwell." This was the beginning of his stage career and 
he made good from that minute, and remained with De Barr in New 
Orleans and St. Louis until the war broke out in i85i. He then came 
north and played in all the principal cities with marked success and was 
associated with many of the great actors of the time. He organized a 
traveling company, which he managed for several years. Later he 
took the management of Carter's play, "The Fast Mail," which he 
managed several years with great financial success. He has managed 
opera houses, and played entire seasons in no less than a dozen differ- 
ent large cities throughout the country. Mr. Golden was united in mar- 
riage, August 25, 1861, to Miss Emma Isabella Llewellyn, a native of 
St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Golden was a talented actress and played with her 
husband in the principal cities of the United States for years, until on 
account of her health she was obliged to give up the stage. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Golden were born four children : Martin T., born at Cleve- 
land, Ohio, May 30, 1862, a leading business man of New Harmony ; 
William E., born in New Harmony, June 9, 1865, a prominent educator 
of New York, and now principal of the Polytechnic Institute of that 
city ; Grace, born in the Fontleroy House, November 14, 1867, and died 
November 14, 1903. She was an operatic singer of National fame. Her 
untimely death was universally mourned and was a severe blow to her 
immediate family and many friends ; Frances Llewellyn, born Septem- 



370 HISTORY OF POSEY COUNTY 

ber 7, 1877, at New Harmony. She, too, is an accomplished actress, 
well known on the American stage. Mr. Golden is a member of the 
Catholic church. He has had an active and eventful career, filled with 
many fond recollections and very few regrets. He is now spending 
the peaceful days of a ripe old age surrounded by his loved ones and 
enjoying the present to the fullness thereof, as well as the pleasant 
memories of a life well spent. 

Raymond A. French — In the development of the agricultural re- 
sources of Posey county, which has placed her in the front rank among 
her sister counties of the State, it is probable no one family has been 
more numerously represented or has been of more material value in this 
development than that of which our subject is a worthy representative. 
The French family dates its founding in the county from the settlement 
of Doris French, who entered on land in what is now Lynn township in 
1807. He was a native of Kentucky, born July 10, 1792. He married 
on March 17, 1818, Sarah Thomas, born October 9, 1801, who came to 
Posey county with her parents in 1814. Doris French was not only one 
of the first to settle in the county but was one of the most influential 
men among the pioneers, the leader of his section, and amassed, for his 
time, a comfortable fortune. His death occurred on August 28, 1855, 
and that of his wife on September 8, 1885. They were the parents of the 
following children: Zedoc, born September 19, 1819; James Thomas, 
born January 7, 1822; Samuel, born March 10, 1825: Maria, born October 
4, 1827; Lardner Clark, born February 28. 1830; Ralph, born December 
26, 1832; Thomas, born March 10, 1835. the grandfather of our subject, 
and Mary, born December 10, 1837. Thomas French -attended the coun- 
try schools of his neighborhood, assisted his father in the clearing of his 
forest covered land, farmed and incidentally underwent the hardships 
common to the lot of the early settlers. In 1855. when but twenty years 
of age, he married Angelina Calkins, who lived but thirteen months 
after her marriage. On March 15, 1857, he married Julia A. Greathouse, 
a daughter of George W. and Martha (Harshman) Greathouse (se