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in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 


Gen Robt.M. Evans 











f, After more than a year of almost ceaseless labor on the part of a large force of skilled 
employes, the publishers are enabled to present their patrons with the History of Vander- 
3 burgh County. The compilation of the matter which is contained in this volume has been 
5 conducted with more than the usual care, and not only the publishers, but all those engaged 
in the work, have been animated by a desire to have this history excel all .local histories 
heretofore issued in the state. Neither time nor expense have been spared which gave 
promise of enhancing in any way the value of the book as a work of reference on all sub- 
^ jects treated. 

In man}' fields that were explored during the progress of this work, there had been 
but little, if any, former effort to rescue the fast fading facts of early times. The city of 
Evansville, it is true, had been previously treated of in several smaller publications, but in 
each instance the commercial, rather than the historical, interest was the main theme of 
the writers. 

It has been a constant care to have the historical matter divested of any bias or par- 
tiality that might depreciate its value. Official records, newspapers, public documents, 
miscellaneous publications, private correspondence, personal recollections, the records of 
the Historical Society, and other sources of information have been drawn upon freely. 
Not only facts, but liberal quotations have been incorporated in this volume. The leading 
desire has been to obtain accuracy, and no pretension is made to originality of expression, 
nor to ornate style. 

In the chapter on military matters the Adjutant General's report for the state has been 
abundantly quoted as the best authority attainable on such subjects, but as that is known 
to contain many errors, there can be no doubt that some of them have found their way into 
this work. 

Perhaps the most notable feature of the book is the portion which contains biograph- 
ical sketches of leading citizens, both dead and living. The practice of publishing biog- 
raphies of living men has been condemned by some, but to question it seems like preferring 
doubtful information and the uncertainties of memory to positive personal knowledge. The 
neglect of personal and family history in the United States has become a matter of public 
comment. A recent call for a meeting at Indianapolis of descendants of Revolutionary 
sires met not a single response. This alone is a significant witness that family genealogy 
has been neglected, and that few people can trace their ancestry more than two genera 
tions. If biographies of living men were more frequently published, true modesty would 
not exceed the bounds of truth, and the eulogistic exaggerations that so often find apology 
in death, would be avoided. Should an excessive self-applause unduly proclaim its own 
achievements it will be best judged by a contemporaneous public. 

Grateful acknowledgments are due the county and city officers, the newspaper men, 
he officers of the Historical Society, and many citizens, for valuable assistance. 


Madison, Wis., April, 1889. 




Geology and Topography. . . 

Indian History 

County Organization 

The City of Evansville 

City Government 


The Medical Profession 

Religious History 

Schools : 


Bench and Bar 

Secret and Benevolent Or- 

Personal History 

Military History 


Early Settlement 


Agents, county 52 

Agricultural societies 82 

Altitude above the sea 17 

Amusements 577 

Ancient Order United Workmen ... 390 

Animals, native 575 

Artesian well 25 

Attorneys, list of 353-355 

Auditors, cotmty 51 

Avondale section 25 

Banks — 

Canal 207 

Citizens' National 210 

First National 209 

German National 210 

Merchants' National 211 

Old National 207 

Peoples' Savings 211 

State, branch of 207 

Bar, the 351-355 

Benevolent Institutions 397 

Boundary of county 17 

Brotherhood of St. Andrew 396 

Building and loan 212 

Catholic Knights 392 

Cemeteries 305 

Cholera in 1832 119,225 

Churches — 

Baptist. First 289 

Baptist, German 291 

Baptist, General 291 

Baptist, Liberty 291 

Baptist. McFarland Chapel 292 

Baptist. Missionary 292 

Baptist, New Bethel 292 

Baptist, Old 291 

Catholic 293-299 

Disciples of Christ 303 

Episcopal Chapel 289 

Episcopal. Holy Innocents 289 

Episcopal. St. Paul's 285 

Free Methodist 284 

German Evangelical 300-303 

German Lutheran 299 

German Reformed 303 

Jewish 304 

Methodist Episcopal 276 

Methodist Episcopal, African. ... 284 
Methodist Episcopal. African Zion 284 
Methodist Episcopal, First Ger- 
man 283 

Methodist Episcopal. Fifth 284 

Methodist Episcopal, Second Ger- 
man 284 

Methodist Episcopal. Ingle Street. 282 

Methodist Episcopal, Kiugsley 282 

Methodist Episcopal. Trinity 281 

Methodist Episcopal, Simpson 

Chapel 283 

Presbyterian, Cumberland 375 

Churches— Page. 

Presbyterian, First Avenue 274 

Presbyterian, Grace 272 

Presbyterian, Walnut Street 269 

Unitarian 303 

Civil War — 

Bounty and relief 555 

Colored troops 541 

Drafts 554 

Flag presentation 480 

First company in 477 

Militia companies 556 

Morgan raid 552 

Legion 549 

Public sent intent during 472-477 

Sumter, fall of 474 

Clerks, county 52 

Court, Circuit — 

Districts 348 

First terms of 327,328 

Seal of 348 

Trials, important 330, 


Coal 22-25 

Code of 1852 313 

College, Evansville Medical 22!) 

College, Hospital Medical 231 

Commissioners, county 48 

Common pleas court 348 

Coroners, county 52 

Court of conciliation 349 

Court-houses 54-57 

County agents 52 

County seat, location of 42,47,97,103 

Criminal circuit court 350 

Darlington, town of 98 

Dentistry 266 

Detective association 85 

Diseases, early 224 

Druids 392 

Election statistics 67-€9 

Election, corruption of 337 

Election, first 574 

Evansville — 

Adversity, period of 113 

Amusement, places of 193 

Brick house, first 114 

Business review 130-146 

Capital of Vanderburgh county. . . 103 

Capital of Warrick county 42,97 

Census In 1833 127 

Censusin 1850 130 

Censusin 1860 134 

Census in 1870 135 

Census in 1880 135 

Census in 1888 (estimated) 145 

City charter 129 

City government 188 

Clark, Amos, letters of 126,127 

Condition in 1820 107 

Electric light 193 

Fire department 189 

Fire in 1843 128 

Gas works 193 

Halls, public 193 

Incorporation of 105 

Laying out of 100-104 

MeGary, Hugh, influence on, 43-45,94-96 

Manufactures 142-143 

Merchants in 1838 127 

Naming of 97 

Opera-houses 194 

Police 188 

Public building '. 191 

Public improvements 192 

Residents in 1S31 116 

Store, first, in 98 

Valuation oi pr, .perry 114, 

125, 131, 137, 140. 144 

View of, in 1836 123-125 

Water works 190 

Wharf, building of 129 

Finances 59 


Flood of 1832 119 

Fraternal Legion 392 

Free Masonry 381-385 

Gaming, era of 339 

Glacial deposits : 20 

Grand Army Republic 557 

Grass , Daniel 44, 101 

Harugari 395 

Hebrew orders 395 

Home for the Friendless 399 

Homeopathy 263 

Hospital for insane 629 

Hospital, St. Mary's 398 

Hospital, U. S. marine 399 

Indian treaty 30 

Indian tribes 29 

Iron Hall 395 

Jails 57-59 

Judges, Associate — 

Dunham, John M 331 

Lilhston, John W 331 

McCrary John 329 

Olmstead, William S31 

Shook, William 343 

Staser, Conrad 342 

Stephens, Sdas 343 

Judges. Circuit Court — 

Battel!, Chas. 1 338 

Burke, M. F 346 

Daniel, Richard 329 

Ernbree, Elisha 338 

Goodlett, J. R. E 330 

Hall, Samuel 337 

Hart, David 329 

Hovey, Alvin P 342 

Jones, James G 347 

Laird, D. T 347 

Lockhart, James 341 

Niblack, William E 345 

Parrett, William F 346 

Richardson, R. D 347 

Smith, Ballard 345 

Judges, common pleas 349 

Judges, probate C48 

Jury, Grand, action of. 337 

Jury, Grand, first 328 

Jury, petit, first 328 

Knight, Isaac, capture of 31 

Knights of the Golden Rule 396 

Knights of Honor 391 

Knights and Ladies of Honor. 

Knights of Pythias 


Lands, public 673 

Library, Catholic 334 

Library, city 321 

Library, county 324 

Library, Willard 321 

McGaryton 97 

Medical journals 231 

Medical societies 226 

Merom sandstone 19 

Mexican veterans 472 

Mexican war 470 

Militia, early 469 

Mound builders 27-29 

Newspapers — 

Advance 571 

A. O. U. W. Recorder 571 

Bulletin 570 

Call 570 

Courier 562 

Demokrat 567 

Gazette, Evansville 113, 558 

Indiana Post 570 

Journal 120,558 

Pilot? 571 

Pubhc 567 

Tribune 507 

Odd Fellowship 385-388 

Parks 195 

Pensions, revolutionary 337 




Physicians, early ■_." 

Physicians of note ~oi ~*J 

Physicians, roster of f34 

Pioneers, character of 5i ~ 

Pioneers, dress of 57H 

Poor, expenses of £X 

Port of entry J« 

Postoffiee. establishment of . l&l 

Practice, medical, hardships of... . 2.24 

Probate court 348 

PubUc square mfA'is iSn 

Railroads ,7 to 82, 130 

Recorder, county M 

Regiments — .„„ 

Fourteenth *£ 

Twenty-fourth *5 

Eleventh 4 ° 4 

First battery 4 ji 

Twenty-fifth.. *% 

First cavalry (28th) o03 

Thirty-second JU' 

Thirty-fifth ? ~ 

Sixth battery SIS 

Forty-second j?'° 

Sixtieth °;" 

Eighth battery °« 

Sixty-fifth 52o 

Fourth cavalry (TTtnj o-° 

Ninety-first . ■ - 53J 

One hundred and t wentieth 534 

Tenth cavalry 025th I 53o 

One hundred and thirty-sixth 537 

One hundred and forty-third 539 

Miscellaneous 544 

Representatives, state . 53 

River commerce, early J-jTil 

Roads "rj* 

Royal Arcanum °«" 

Salt well ,-f. 

School Fund M ' 

Schools— . _ „ 

Armstrong township out) 

Center township *& 

Evansville jjiu 

Free, first 30; 

German township ™> 

Knight township. . 30^ 

Perry township jjOi 

Scott township «» 

Pigeon township 3iu 

Union township 310 

Section, geological 21 

Senators, state °j> 

Sheriffs, coirnty °~ 

Steamboat construction l~~ 

Surface features 1° 

Superior court 3oO 

Surgery ~;° 

Surveyors, county °~ 

Townships, creation of 0~ 

Township History — 

Armstrong ™° 

Center 509 

German 0oJ 

Knight M» 

Perry -- 6o0 

Scott 5'h 

Union D ™ 

Treasurers, county 51 

United Brothers of Friendship 396 

United Order of Honor 392 

Vanderburgh county, creation of . . . 41) 

Voters, first in Evansville 575 

Wabash & Erie canal 121, 128 

Warofl812 408 

Warrick county, jurisdiction 42 

Willard library 321 

Youug Men's Christian Association. 304 


Alexander, William 263 

Alleon, John 004 

Archer, Samuel M 21 1 

Arnold, Jacob 459 

Artes, Charles F 432 

Ashby.J. W 421 

Audubon, John J 44,101 

Augermeier, A. J 663 

Bacon, C. P '• 259 

Bahr, William 439 

Baird.L.M 150 

Baker, Conrad 304 

Barker, Samuel 643 

Bamett, Henry H 029 


Baumann. G. W 605 

Bawden, Manuel 440 

Becker, Michael 1*0 

Beierlein, George C 583 

Beierlein, Herman 583 

Beruardin. A 413 

Binkley, John T 260 

Bittrolff. GeorgeA 460 

Blakey , William M 380 

Blemker, H. E 425 

Boehne, J. W 41o 

Boetticher, Edward 4o8 

Bohannon, W. S 584 

Boon. Ratliff 43, 101 

Bowen, George D 630 

Bower, William 584 

Bowles. Edward 417 

Brandenberger, Fred 605 

Brandenberger, John 600 

Brandenberger. Henry 606 

Brandis, Joseph H 655 

Bray, Madison J "3* 

Brentano, August 173 

Bridwell, T. C 432 

Bromm, Adam 442 

Browning, George B _ 5So 

Browning. Richard ooo 

Brose, Louis D 258 

Brose, George 444 

Buchanan, J. S *b 

Buchanan, Cicero 3bi 

Bullen, Thomas 417 

Bultmann, Joseph 60b 

Burggrabe, Henry 5bb 

Burnes, W. E 423 

Burtis, J.T 403 

Butterfield, C. H 3i4 

Butts, Henry 44" 

Byrnes, T. B 402 

Byrne, J. J 630 

Calvert, Leroy °i 8 

Capelle, William 40o 

Carpenter. Willard 315 

Carson, F. P 435 

Casey, John J 43b 

Casselberry, Isaac 242 

Chandler. John J 302 

Chandler, W. H 559 

Clark, G. W 630 

Compton. John W 239 

Conlen, F.J 413 

Cook, Fred W 1'0 

Cooke. E. B 407 

Corlew, R. M 261 

Cox, J. B 197 

Crane. James F 0U£ 

Crisp, Daniel 58' 

Crisp, R. F 586 

Crisp. William 586 

Croft, Benjamin F 104 

Curnick, S. M 430 

Cutler, James H 221 

Dannettelle, John H 199 

Darby, W. J 276 

Daussman. George M 171 

Davis. F. L 265 

Day, Benjamin J 252 

Day. Robert 456 

Dean, William 429 

DeBruler. James P 244 

Denby, Charles 310 

Denny, G. F 371 

Diehle, John G 450 

Dixon, H. T 262 

Dow, J. L 262 

Dinsmoor, J. W 444 

Dyer, Azro 370 

Edmond, John F 646 

Edmond, Michael 616 

Edmond. Sophie 646 

Ehrman, E. J 264 

Ehrman, F. J 419 

Ehret, Joseph 431 

Eissler, Henry 607 

Ellert. C. H 454 

Elliott. Thomas 687 

Ellis, Nicholas 182 

Emery, Frank B 430 

Enz, Stephen ... 425 

Erskine, Levi 607 

Euler, Jacob, jr 608 

Evans. Robert M 43, 100 

Evans.S.G 452 

Ewing, F. M 633 

Ewing, William D 406 

Fares, J. V 663 

Farrar, J. J 414 

Fendrich, Herman 460 

Fickas. S. R 634 

Fink, John H 451 

Fischer, Jacob 414 

Foster Family, The 149 

French, William E 178 

Frey, Philip W 379 

Fritsch, L 457 

Froelich, Henry F 172 

Gantner, Charles 663 

Garvin, Thomas E 361 

Gerard, R. J 646 

Gilbert, John 215 

Gilbert, F. M 568 

Gilliland, L. M 272 

Goeke, Adolph 202 

Goldsmith. D. W 664 

Goldsmith, M. R 609 

Goldsmith, Oliver 608 

Goodge, George W 443 

Goodwin, J. J 448 

Gould, Charles F 570 

Graf, J. P 634 

Grainger, Samuel 635 

Grammer, G. J 404 

Graves, R. E 410 

Gray. Robert 588 

Grese. Herman 438 

Grill, Edward 410 

Grim wood, James G 588 

Grimwood, John F 589 

Grimwood, S. N 589 

Grote, Fred 441 

Guerich, Louis 466 

Gumberts, Henry, sr 664 

Haas, 1 266 

Hacker, William 436 

Halloek, A. C 407 

Happe, Andrew 647 

Hardon, R. W 410 

Harrison, Ed 412 

Harrison, J. B 412 

Hartig, Simon 667 

Hartlotf, Richard 246 

Harwood, A. W 423 

Hawkins, Anthony C 91 

Hayden. A.M 249 

Haynie, George W 434 

Haynie, Henry 450 

Hays, John J 91 

Heilman, William 140 

Heldt, Henry 439 

1 [elfrich, Adam 167 

Henry, James 609 

Henry, Robert R 010 

Henze, Charles 667 

Herr, L. S 264 

Hess, Peter 439 

Heubner, Peter 610 

Hinkle, W. B 162 

Hodge. F. T 451 

Hodson, George P 252 

Hoefling, George, sr 673 

Hoffman. Christ of 674 

Hooker, Henry 589 

Hopkins. John S 212 

Hornby, C. K 611 

Hanning, Theodore 609 

Hornby, Dr. William 235 

Hornby, William 610 

Howell, Lee 405 

Hulvershorn, Emil 424 

Hulvershorn, F. W 424 

Hulvershorn, H. E 4'<:5 

Hurst, W. S 3'9 

Huston.E.P 402 

Ichenhauser, Louis 1-5 

Iglehart, Asa 3£5 

Ingle, John 154 

Jack, Alexander 169 

Jacobi, Otto F 174 

James, John 635 

Jenkins, Charles T 87 

Johann, Albert 205 

Johnson, M. S 365 

Jones, James W 43,100 

Kaiser, Philip 611 

Kamp, A.C 647 

Kamp, B. A 647 

Kamp, Leopold "4o 

Karges. A. F 440 

Keene, S. W 442 

Kellogg. Charles 11 4a8 

Kellogg, R.H 459 

Kevekordes, Leo 4UJ 




Kiechl. Fred 410 

King, James L .'... 645 

King, R. W 048 

Kirkpatrick, W. H 012 

Klanier, Herman 650 

Klee, John 450 

Knapp, Charles 257 

Knapp, Emil 268 

Knight, John H 612 

Knoll, Otto 437 

Knowles, J. W 689 

Kolb, Michael 048 

Kratz, C. W 013 

Kratz, John R 612 

Kreipke, Henry 656 

Kreipke, John H 449 

Kunz, Jacob 020 

Lain-, A. P 178 

Lane, Joseph 44, 101, 027 

Lant, George 454 

Lauer, James W 198 

Laubscher, Jacob 013 

Laubscher, John W 614 

Lauer, H. W 422 

Law, John 361 

Lawton. Job n 465 

Legler. Louis 92 

Leicli, August 88 

Lennert, George 416 

Lewis, S. B 267 

Lit (Hey, H. M 457 

Lewis, Walter J 445 

Lindley, James F 457 

Linthicum, Edward 259 

Linxwiler, George 015 

Linxwiler, Isaac W 615 

Little, Samuel W 163 

Loekwood, C. S 434 

Lockwood, John M 119 

Loewenstein, F 507 

Longbine, S. C 610 

Lorenz, George 447 

MacClement, David 420 

McCorkle, John S 108 

McCoy, John N 419 

McCoy, P. Y 250 

McCutchan, M. C 201 

McGary, Hugh 42,45,94,95,96,116 

Mc.Iohnston, Charles F 010 

McLean, William 465 

McNeely, James H 501 

Mackey, D. J 400 

Maddux, Alexander 636 

Maghee, William H 255 

Maidlow Family 590 

Marke-, Peter 418 

. Marlett, John J 200 

Martin, William 674 

Masters, G. L 421 

Matt'son, H. A 308 

Menke, Herman G 409 

Metcalfe, J. G 436 

Miller, A. J .-.. 569 

Miller, Emil G 450 

Miller, Jacob 177 

Miller, W. D 591 

Miller, W. H 411 

Minnis, J. S 464 

Moffett, John F . . 617 

Morgan, Daniel 245 

morgan, Emerson B 156 

Moore, John H. 20* 

Morris, C. J 454 

Morris, Frank 435 

Muhlliausen, Matthias 247 

Murphy, C. J 202 

Myelin iff, Charles H 157 

Myers, Jacob 164 

Myers, Michael 164 

Neale.JohnA 048 

Newitt, George W 205 

Nonweiler, Philip 437 

Nugent, John 445 

Nurre, Joseph A 106 

Orr, Samuel 150 

Ortmeyer, John H 408 

Osborn, John H 175 

Oslage, E. F 443 

Otte, Charles H. W 443 

Owen, A. M 241 

Owen, John E 255 


Page, William A 98 

Pa-rett, Robert 277,279 

Parrett, William F 303 

Parvin, James D 80 

Patrick, E. W 404 

Peck. William 592 

Pfafflin, August 89 

Pittman, Charles 207 

p, iggemeir, William 657 

Pollock, Robert A 636 

Pollard, William S 248 

Potts, John G 592 

Powell, T. E 261 

Prilehett, Frank 89 

Pruitt, John F 674 

Puder, Philip P 172 

Purdue, Rachel H 617 

Puster, Louis 408 

Rahm, Emil 417 

Rahm, Ernst 417 

Rahm, William, jr 176 

Ralston, William G 210 

Read, Hiram E 159 

Reavis, William 374 

Reid, J. W 429 

Reid, M. J 429 

Reiman, William 665 

Reitman, Henry 165 

Reitz, John A., & Sons 103 

Rheinlander, John 210, 497 

Rice, Laban M 101 

Richardson, R. D 371 

Ritchey, James S 593 

Ritchey, Simpson 593 

Ritchev, William 593 

Ritter, Charles H 217 

Robertson, John 649 

Rose, Conrad 657 

Rosencranz, A. C 155 

Roth, Anna B 649 

Ruark, Dr. S 619 

Ruff. F. W 451 

Runck, Rev. C. L. C 303 

Ruston. George 594 

Ruston, John 594 

Ruston, Richard. , 593 

Ruston, Robert 619 

Ruston, Walter 424 

Ruston, William H 438 

Sample, Joseph R 409 

Sansom, John 594 

Sansom, S. B 455 

Saunders, James D . . 204 

Saunders, James F 0i9 

Scantlin, James 181 

Scanthn, Thomas 180 

Scott, Grandville 595 

Scott, Richard 595 

Scott, Samuel 595 

Scott, W. J 595 

Sohaeffer, Michael 218 

Sehlag, C. F 020 

Schmidt, Andrew 667 

Schmidt. Conrad 621 

Schmidt, J. H. P 622 

Schmitt, Anton 621 

Scbmitt, August 404 

Schmitt, Charles 622 

Schnelle, H. William 620 

Schomburg, William 596 

Schor, R. F 218 

Schrader, Charles 415 

Sohroeter. Ulrich 022 

Schulte, Charles 160 

Schuttler, Bernard 105 

Schultze, Henry A 169 

Schwartz, C. F. W 623 

Schwartz, E. H 623 

Seitz, Lewis 102 

Shackelford, J. M 370 

Shanklin, G. W 506 

Shanklin, John 147 

Shanklin, John G 566 

Sherwood, Marcus 180 

Sherwood, William B 180 

Sihler, Louis 88 

Sirkle, A. J .. .... 649 

Slayback, c. A 416 

Smyth, H. B . 637 

Spiegel, Philip 414 

Staser, Clinton 378 

Staser, Conrad 596 

Staser, J. C, jr 596 

Staser, John C 595 

Steiner, John N 057 

Steinmetz, Fred 624 

Stiuchfleld, Washington 058 

Stinson, Harry 420 

Stoltz, Henry 440 

Stone, Jesse M 037 

Stroud, Calvin H 060 

Sweetser, H. M 403 

Swormstedt, William L 221 

Tardy, Frank 454 

Taylor, T. H 265 

Thiele, I. A 448 

Thompson, James L 658 

Thuman, Charles H 169 

Thuman, John H 169 

Trafton, William 235 

Uhl, August 467 

Uhl, Louis 467 

Ullmer, Charles William 173 

Ulrich, John 624 

Vanderburgh. Judge Henry 45 

Vann, William R 638 

Venemaun, T. W 433 

Verwayne, A 453 

Viele, Charles 213 

Viele, George B 183 

Volkmaun, Carl 624 

Walker, Edwin 851 

Walker, E. F 273 

Walker, George B 243 

Walker, James T 375 

Walker, Joseph B 420 

Wart man, J. W 198 

Weaver, C. A 426 

Weber, Michael 625 

Wedding, C. L 372 

Wedding, C. V .'. 858 

Weever, John B 250 

Wells, George N 200 

Werkmann, Fred 668 

Wheeler, Joseph 280 

Wills, James S 659 

Wilton, Isaiah 861 

Wiltshire. J. W 453 

Wollenberger, Andrew 172 

Woods, Charles E 446 

Woods, J. S 281 

Woods, William H 446 

Wunderlich, Christian 90 

Young, B. S 625 


Baird, L. M., facing : 

Barker, Samuel, facing I 

Bray, Madison J., facing ! 

Buchanan, Cicero '■ 

Buchanan, J. S., facing 

Carpenter , Willard i 

Carpenter. Homestead ; 

Compton, J. W., facing 

Cook. Fred W., facing 

Cox, J, B 

Davis, F. L 

Evans, Robert M Frontispii 

Hodman. William 

Herr, L. S., facing ! 

Iglehart, Asa 

Jenkins, Charles T 

Leich, August I 

Mackay, D. J 

Mattison, H. A i 

Myerhoff, C. H., facing 

Orr, Samuel I 

Parrett, William F , facing i 

Parvin, James D 

Rheinlander, John < 

Rosencranz, A. C ! 

Shackelford, J. M ! 

Shanklin, John : 

Ullmer, C. W < 

Viele, Charles S 

Wedding, C. L ! 

WerveiV J. B S 

Willard Library .. I 

W underlie j, Christian ( 



Topography and Geology — Characteristic Features — Formation and Erosion 
of the Surface — Glacial Remains — Connected Geological Section — The 
Coal Measures — Actual Sections. 


ANDERBURGH, except one, is the German township, is a high ridge with a 
extreme southwestern county of the ; s P ur ° f lo '> vt -" r land running down through 

state of Indiana, and is bounded on the 
west by Posey, north by Gibson, east by 
Warrick. The southern boundary is the 
Ohio, the " belle riviere " of the early French 
adventurers, the " beautiful river "' of our 
own poets, the '-great commercial artery" 
of our economic writers. Its picturesque 
beauty and its fleets of busy steamers are 
equally descrying subjects of admiration. 
Evansville, the city of the county, and one 
of the principal cities of the state, lies 1S0 
miles distant from Indianapolis. To be geo- 
graphically precise, its latitude is 38 8' 
north, its longitude io J 30' west from Wash- 

The altitude of the Ohio at low water at 
Evansville, is 320 feet above sea level. The 
elevation of Main street is 50 feet above 
low water, and consequently, the average 
altitude of the city above tide water is 370 

Though the northern line of the county 
is but thirteen miles from that re-entrant 
curve of the Ohio which approaches the 
geographical center of the county, the drain- 
age of its territory is not wholly into the 
great river. Running from the northern 
, part of Scott and along the northern line of 

*Adapted for this volume from the Geological Report 01 
Vanderburgh county, by John Collett, A. M., in " Geolog 
ical Survey of Indiana, 1875." 

Perry, which divides the county into two 
systems, the northwestern being drained 
through Big creek and its forks into the 
Wabash river. The eastern and central 
parts of the county have their water-shed 
by Bluegrass, Locust and Little creeks 
through Big Pigeon into the Ohio. 

The topography of the county is delight- 
fully varied. The characteristic features of 
a river country, the river bottoms, are here 
from two to six miles wide. Composed of 
a light, sandy loam, they arc very fertile, 
and produce profitable crops of corn, wheat, 
potatoes, tobacco, and meadow grass. In 
the forests upon this soil we find black and 
white walnuts, red, white and burr oaks, 
red and white elms, white and black gums, 
Cottonwood, hickory, maple, willow, syca- 
more, cypress, pecan, etc., with many shrubs 
and vines. The small brooks flowing across 
the county, from northeast to south and south- 
west, of no great capacity, and often nearly 
dry in summer droughts, run through val- 
leys one to three miles wide. These 
"bottoms" are level, and characteristically 
argillaceous, or hard and compact, and de- 
mand underground drainage for successful 
tillage long continued. Good crops of hay 
are grown upon them. The timber here 
comprises white, burr, water and jack oaks, 



^um, elm, maple and sycamore, with beach, 
sugar tree, poplar and walnut on sandy 
loams. From the creek and river valleys 
the ascent is sometimes gentle, often by 
abrupt bluffs, to the table lands. In the 
central and northern parts, these attain an 
elevation of from 150 to 350 feet, and aver- 
age a height of 225 feet above low water in 
the Ohio; and being formed as a whole, 
from line sands or loam, the soil is compact, 
and to a degree impervious to air or moist- 
ure unless drained or well mixed with vege- 
table matter. The flat areas are wet and 
have characteristic openings, or prairies, 
but the slightly uneven surfaces are clothed 
with a thick growth of timber, in which 
post-oak, persimmon and sweet gum are 
characteristic. White, red and Spanish 
oaks, black gum, maple, white and black 
hickories are common. The rolling up- 
lands are richer on account of an admixture 
of red calcareous soil, and adds to the for- 
ests poplars, sugar trees, black walnut and 
ash. Both varieties of upland yield good 
crops of corn, wheat, oats, and meadow 
grass. The hills and high ridges are ex- 
empt from sudden changes of temperature 
and are admirably adapted to the culture of 
tender fruits and vines. Consequently the 
wide-awake agriculturists have extensive 
and profitable orchards and vineyards, which 
are sure sources of income. The bluff soil 
is the American equivalent of the Loess of 
the Rhine, which produces the generous 
wines of France, and with the same care 
will as richly reward. The climate is in the 
neutral zone, between uncomfortable warmth 
and cold, not subject to the extreme changes 
which renders culture hazardous further 
north. The tender peach, apricot and grape 
may be grown to perfection along with the 
sturdier apple and quince. The vineyards j 
yield wine rich in bouijuet and spirit. The 
walnuts and hickory nuts are produced in I 

profusion, and the pecan may be easilv and 
profitably cultivated. Wild grapes, plums, 
etc., crown the hill tops and cluster in the 
valleys, but the luscious persimmon, "God's 
fruit," is the best and most abundant, and it 
is believed, by cultivation could be made to 
rival the date. 

The surface of the county affords manv 
instructive texts to the geologist, for the ap- 
plication of his theories to account for the 
present configuration. By a vast accumu- 
lation of observations in all parts of the world, 
and the formulation of theories based upon 
them, he is able to recount an interesting 
story of the past of this region, and much of 
the geologist's narrative is not "caviare to 
the general," nor recondite. There are plain 
records in the valleys and bluffs of phenomena 
concerning which all men who have thought 
upon the subject are pretty well agreed. 
The briefest statement of the geology of the 
county would mention as the oldest strata 
which has been brought to general notice, 
the coal measures, later the limestones de- 
posited in the bed of an ancient ocean which 
overspread the region after the coal was in 
the first stages of formation, and more recent 
than all this, overlving it and the cause of 
manv beautiful features of landscape, the 
Merom sandstone. Without treating of the 
formation of coal, of which much has been 
written, and which is very likely identical in 
different localities, nor of the limestone, let 
us consider more at length the Merom sand- 
stone, and then the later phenomena which 
caused the present configuration of the 

The Merom sandstone is well developed in 
Vanderburgh and adjoining counties, capping 
the tops of the highest hills in the northeast- 
ern and forming the surface rock in all the 
uneroded parts of the central and western • 
regions. In deep, narrow gorges, with pre- 
cipitous and overhanging sides, it gives a ro- 



mantic boldness to the scenery, and also 
affords good exposures for its study. In 
Section 17, Scott township, this massive 
sandstone overhangs the brook which flows 
by the base, and the softer rock has disap- 
peared below, leaving a rock house which 
was once a favorite resort of the Indians. The 
rock is always ferriferous, containing small 
partings and veins of iron, which being harder 
than thesandy matrix, fret the sides and over- 
hanging arches of the gorges with an irreg- 
ular tracery of network in relief. In this 
county the stone is regular in sequence, un- 
interruptedly covering the coal measures. 
But in the relation of proximity to the coals, 
it is regular only in irregularity. Sometimes 
all the coal seams are below it, elsewhere all 
the older rocks down to the Ingleside coal 
have been cut away by ancient floods, and 
then the sandstone lies directly upon that 
coal, and sometimes includes in its lower 
layers, rounded pellets and pebbles of coal, 
which reveal the extensive action of the 
water which preceded the deposition of the 
sandstone. There is therefore good ground 
for the belief that it is the record of a geo- 
logical era far subsequent to the carbonifer- 
ous. Fossils are rare or entirely absent, 
being confined to specimens of Acrogens, a 
lower order of plant life. The Merom sand- 
stone is near the surface of Bab)'town hill, 
nearly 200 feet above low water in the river, 
and from this eminence that the rock has 
preserved, a splendid view is enjoyed of the 
teeming city and the river dotted with the 
steamers carrying the commerce of the val- 
ley states. West of Germantown, the mas- 
sive part of the rock is well exposed, and it 
is 20 to 40 feet thick, composed of sharp 
sand, small veins of hematite iron, and a few 
trunks and stems of plants. The sand is so 
slightly coherent that it may be removed 
with a shovel, the iron is easily removed, and 
the product is remarkably good for plaster- 

ing and building. Southwest of there, across 
the county line, the rock is on the other hand 
admirably adapted to quarrying, and along 
Big creek, good stone is obtained. In the 
prime agricultural region of the northwest- 
ern high level of the county, the rocks are 
deeply covered, and the only outcrop noted 
is in Section 23, Armstrong township. On 
the George Graff farm a shaft was once 
put down through this solid rock in search 
of silver ore, but of course, with no success. 
Subsequent to the period when this sand- 
stone was laid down — it would be idle to 
attempt to measure the time which elapsed — 
vast glaciers overspread the country, mainly 
to the north of this latitude. These left no 
deep beds of drift, with boulders showing 
the grinding action of ice and water, in this 
county, but their record is nevertheless 
plain. We refer now to the sets of ancient 
valleys which traverse the county, from 100 
to 150 feet above the river, having a course 
from north 18° to 24 west. These are not 
continuous now, but are often cut across or 
partially silted up by a second, more recent 
set of valleys, running from northeast to 
southward. In either sets of valley thorough- 
fares, after a rain, may be seen in the ditches 
the fine white quartzose and black sand or 
magnetite, from the Laurentian rocks of 
Canada. The hardest material of the glacial 
drift reached here only in the form of powder, 
but is easily recognized, and seems to point 
unmistakably to a glacial origin of these val- 
leys, the primary having been made at the 
beginning of the era, before the Wabash 
valley had been excavated by the great 
flood of ice water. The secondaries prob- 
ably date to the time when the water, which 
sought sluice-way in the summer months, 
by the White and Patoka valleys, after ex- 
cavating the great basin of South Patoka, 
overflowed to the west and south, cutting 
awav softer rock and leaving- the harder 



knobs and hills which now beautify the land- 
scape. The Lake regions were then, it is 
believed from well investigated phenomena, 
eight hundred or nine hundred feet 
higher than now, and the summer melting 
of ice caused more violent action of the 
water than would now appear possible. Thus 
were cut the valleys of Pigeon and Black 
creeks, and the like, so much wider than 
could be accounted for by the action of these 
small water courses. Not only wider are 
they than the creeks can account for, but it 
is a remarkable fact that these creeks flow 
in beds considerably above the former bed 
of the water which cut the valleys. 

When these mighty glaciers passed away, 
receding to the north on account of some 
vast change in the continental conditions, a 
great lake covered a large area of the in- 
terior of the continent, including southwest- 
ern Indiana, and regions adjoining south and 
west. Its high water line is now seven hun- 
dred or eight hundred feet above the level 
of the ocean. The deposits of this era are 
called loess or lacustral, and consist of 
reddish yellow loam, sand}-, below that gray 
and buff siliceous loam, and at the bottom, in 
valleys which were filled up in this era, black 
quicksand, muck with much vegetable matter. 
This deposit varies in depth from fifteen to 
one hundred and fifteen feet. In that era, 
the extreme cold of the ice age was suc- 
ceeded by the other extreme, and tropical 
trees and plants, and animals of South 
American t3 T pe, flourished in this region. In 
the muck deposit, or just above it in a flinty 
gravel, have been found in this and adjoin- 
ing counties the bones of monstrous tropical 
animals, the Megalonyx and other great 
sloths, the Mammoth, or Elephas Ameri- 
canus, and the great beaver Casteroides 
Ohioensis. In sinking the Avondale shaft at 
Evansville, a bed of animal and vegetable 
remains was encountered, containing an im- 

mense quantity of fresh-water shells. When 
these were studied by naturalists and com- 
pared with existing types, it was found that 
some were wholly extinct and others were 
to be found now only in the southern states. 
" These shells, wholly extinct, or barely ex- 
isting as survivors from our ancient sub-tropic 
climate, reveal in their stoiy a hitherto un- 
known chapter of past events, indicating a 
change of climate nearly equivalent to io° 
of latitude, and which, according to Mr. 
Hopkins' paper before the British Scientific 
Association, must have taken place within 
from twenty thousand to seventy thousand 
years." From the time when this tropical 
life prevailed here, the climate changed 
gradually to colder, and vegetation and 
fauna changed with it. Still, the change 
has not been so vast that we have not relics 
to-day of those distant times. In such shel- 
tered spots as seem to be the last lagoons of 
the ancient sea, and there are such in Union 
township particularly, the cypress lingers, 
and the cane, as well as in the other division 
of life, the paroquet, cotton-mouth and grass 
snakes, and red-mouthed salamander. The 
persimmon, pecan, smooth honey-locust, 
catalpa and thorny sumac, are also relics of 
a period whose main features have long 
since disappeared. 

The " tooth of time," since the age above 
spoken of, has been confined in its work to 
the formation of the alluvial flats by the con- 
tinual eating away of older deposits. So 
have been formed the river bottoms, com- 
posed of sand, gravel and smooth stones, 
clay and much vegetable matter, comprising 
sticks and trunks of trees found buried even 
more than one hundred feet below the pres- 
ent level of the river beds, and fluviatile 
sand-bars and gravel-beds as high as one 
hundred to two hundred feet above the high 
water line. 

The following is a connected section of 



rocks and other deposits of \ 






burgh county arranged in the 


Df th 


stone, often giving 

sequence in age, beginning with th 

t more 

good quarry beds .... 

15 to 


recent and the superior: 


Gray and buff alluvium, 




arenaceous or shaly, 


Buff, brown, red and 
mottled slabs 

2 to 


or flaggy sandstone, 
with iron stone nodules 


Merom sandstone, soft, 

and shaly concretions 





shah - , upper division. . 

20 to 

2 S 


I? ■ 

Black slate or clod, with 


Merom sandstone, mas- 




sive, in quarry beds. . 

10 to 




Coal N, choice, gassy, 


Dark gray or buff shales 
and flaggy sandstones 





Fire-clay, at bottom 

with clay iron stone . . 

10 to 


shaly, with iron balls. 




Brown Impure Coal, 


Buff or gray limestone 

3rd rash coal 

iyi to 


with Chcetetes 





Flaggy on thick bedded 
sandstone, ripple 

9 to 




Gray or white shale, 
with nodules of iron- 
stone and bands of 


Hard, clink}-, grav lime- 
stone, at bottom irreg- 
ular and sometimes 
flint}-, passing to the 
west to a calcareous 



Siliceous shale, passing 
to massive sand rock 
to south and west; al- 
luvial rock? of Les- 





2 to 


quereux and Owen . . . 

60 to 



Argillaceous shale and 
shaly sandstone 

34 t0 


Black slate or clod, with 
many alluvial and veg- 


Black slate with fish 





i>< to 

2 4 . 

Ingleside Coal M : lam- 


Second Rash Coal . . 



inated coal, 1 ft. 4 in.; 


1 to 

parting 2 in. to 0; solid 


Gray shale 

6 to 

cubic coal 2 ft. 8 in . . . 



Limestone, yellow fer- 




3 to 



Fire-clay, with pyrite 


98 to 





First Rash Coal, and 


Siliceous shale 



black slate 


1 to 



Argillaceous sandstone . 
Gray shale and soap 



i 4 . 

Soft, fla^^y, blue, buff 



and gray sandstone, 


Soapstone, with plant re- 

with much gray shale 
and beds of clay iron- 



Coal L : impure cannel 

60 to 


coal, 1 ft. 6 in.; pyrit- 


Yellow and gray sand- 

ous argillite, 1 ft. 4 in. ; 


Ft. Ft. In. 
slaty cannel, i ft. 2 in.: 
free burning coal, i ft. 

3 in 5 3 

32. Fire-clay 2 6 


34. Siliceous shales and 

coarse massive ferru- 
ginous sandstone .... 90 to 120 o 

35. Best limestone and black 

slate 2 to 8 o 

36. Coal K, caking, pyrit- 

ous o to 1 6 

37. Laminated fire-clay. ... 2 to 1 4 

38. Siliceous and black alu- 

minous shales, with 
rich bands and pockets 
of nodular iron ore. . . 10 to 30 o 

39. Conglomerate sandrock no to 180 o 

40. Coal A 3 to o o 

41. Dark or black shale, 

with iron ore 30 to 5 o 

42. Chester sandstone and 

sub-carboniferous lime- 
stone o to o o 

Total 837 8 

The beds Nos. 3 to 14 of the above sec- 
tion, including two or three thin seams of rash 
coal, and two strata of limestone, each of 
two to eight feet thick, occupy the hill-tops 
in the northeastern parts, and thence dipping 
to the southwest are found at or near the 
level of the streams in that part of the county. 
These beds are a notable geologic horizon. 
Besides the advantage of the stone, which 
is burned for the lime, they form an unmis- 
takable directrix from which to measure 
clown to the probable level of the lower 
workable coals. The limestones Nos. 5 and 
11, at their northeastern outcrop, are hard 
and clinky, and are frequently brought close 
together or found in contact. They are 
found in such contact in the sides of the bold 

bluff on the north of the Pigeon valley. In 
Perry township there are several limekilns, 
at which the stone has been quarried and 
burned. On the West Franklin road there 
is outcrop of flinty limerock, which has been a 
noted curiosity with geologists who have made 
this region famous by their labors. It seems 
here that the whole thickness of the lime- 
stone had been transformed into clinky horn- 
stone or flint. Near there are three sink- 
holes, such as are common in the region of 
sub-carboniferous limestone, ten to thirtj' 
feet in diameter, the only sinks seen in our 
coal measures. A large spring discharges 
the water collected by them. Near Baby- 
town hill, crinoid stems, and many other fos- 
sils, mostly compressed and broken, are 
found in profusion. This double limestone 
forms the elevated foundation of the beautiful 
site of Mechanicsville, which, 150 feet above 
the city, has an unbroken view of the rich 
broad valley, the rolling river, and the dis- 
tant hills of Kentucky. It outcrops in the 
ravines a little east of there, and the stone is 
used for curbing and stoning the streets of 
the city. This stratum rises at the rate of 
fifteen feet per mile to the northeast, and is 
a surface rock two miles east of the village. 
In Section 20, Center township, it shows a 
face of seven or eight feet, and in cavities 
beneath its disturbed edges, rattlesnakes and 
other serpents were accustomed to gather 
for miles around to hibernate. The lime- 
stone caps a bald peak on the McCutcheon 
farm in the northeast corner of the county, 
which commands one of the finest outlooks 
in the state, embracing the hills and knobs 
round about at a distance of fifteen to twenty 
miles. In all adjoining regions, these lime- 
stones contain a multitude of fossils in great 
variety, the assignment of which to the 
proper geological period has given rise to 
bitter personal quarrels between eminent 
scientists. The dispute is as to whether 



they are Permian or Carboniferous, and 
equivalent beds in the West have been 
named Permo-carboniferous as a sort of 
compromise. In this county these limestones, 
though often crowded and almost wholly 
composed of fossils, as Athyris, Spirifer hn- 
eatus and Lophophyllum proliferum, do not 
afford good cabinet specimens. 

The coals, Nos. 3, S, 12, are generally ab- 
sent and never persistent over considerable 
areas. They are impure, thin, and of no 

The thin fire-clays, Nos. 9, 13, are of 
much greater value, as they are unctuous 
and plastic, and work well for pottery and 
terra cotta. 

No. 14 is a soft sandstone found in the 
upper part of Ingleside shaft, in the beds and 
bluffs of Pigeon creek, and thence northeast 
along the brooks and creeks. It is some- 
what quarried for rough masonry. The 
yellow and gray sandstone, No. 15, is ex- 
posed only in the east and northeast and is 
well down the Evansville shafts. There is 
an extensive bed in the northeast corner of 
Knight township, from which excellent stone 
is taken. 

Coal N, No. 19 of the section, is the next 
stratum of commercial importance, and it is 
a choice, gassy coal, of excellent quality. 
This is equal to the best western coal for gas 
and coking, and though the seam will aver- 
age but little over two feet, vet its purity 
and richness in volatile matter will justify 
mining it. The seam is uniformly persistent 
throughout this region, and is locally known 
as "Little Newburg coal." The chemical 
analysis of this coal shows 53 per cent, of 
fixed carbon, gas 41.5, water 3, ash 2.5. 
Coke, 55.5. Heat units, S090. Specific 
gravity, 1.242. Weight of one cubic foot, 
77.62 pounds. 

No. 20, a limestone, is not exposed in the 
county, but along the county line in Warrick 

it outcrops, and is remarkable for the won- 
derful size of the fossil Lophophyllum pro- 
liferum and the great profusion of the coral, 
Chcetetes. The siliceous shale and sand- 
stone, No. 22, is not seen at the surface, but 
is important along Green river. No. 23 
carries a large number of beautiful and well 
preserved fossils, a list of which would be 
too lengthy for space here. 

No. 24 is the Ingleside coal M, or " Main 
Newburg,"' the chief mineral resource of 
this region. This seam has been pierced at 
many places, and at almost every station it 
has shown a thickness of not less than four 
feet. It is a strong coking coal, burns to 
gray or red ash, and is an excellent fuel for 
steam or grate use, and commands a ready 
market. It drives the wheels of commerce, 
pulls the mighty railroad trains, and gives 
energy to the thousand arms and fingers of 
iron which manufacture, with the strength of 
a million giants, the wealth of this favored city 
and county. It underlies two-thirds, if not the 
whole county. Such a mine of wealth will 
endure for ages, and assures for this county 
an enviable prosperity and progress. From 
it can be produced a coke of great value. 

An analysis of a specimen from the middle 
of the Ingleside seam shows: fixed carbon 
48.5 per cent., gas 42, water 3.5, ash 6. 
Coke 54.50. Heat units, 7772. Specific 
gravity 1.275. Weight of one cubic foot, 
79.68 pounds. 

Nos. 25 and 26, are tire-clays, and will be 
extensively used for terra cotta. Below 
coal M we find the noted phenomenon 
of massive limestones in the coal measures. 
Thev are highly argillaceous, little more 
than clay shale, even the tough blue sand- 
stone readily yields to air and moisture. 
No. 30 is the " fern bed,'' a deposit rich in 
leaves and stems of the plants of the coal 
age. Here are found kidney ironstones, en- 
closing plants and fruits. 


Coal L, No. 31, is a characteristic Indiana 
coal. It is a laminated, semi-caking or free 
burning coal, rich in carbon, and yielding a 
gray or white ash, with little or no cinder. 
It is the most persistent coal of the Wabash 
basin in thickness, regularity and good quali- 
ties. Here it is found when pierced to be 
of an average thickness of only two feet, 
which will hardly justify mining at present. 
It is admirably suited for rolling mill, loco- 
motive and stove use. 

Below Coal L a hard, ferruginous sand- 
stone has been pierced by bores, tills a con- 
siderable space, and below it is the limestone 
superimposing Coal K, sometimes flinty, but 
on the Kentucky side carrying the usual fos- 

Coal K, magnificently exhibited in Pike 
county, is not seen here. In bores along the 
Ohio river it never develops a thickness of 
two feet, and is generally thinner. Below K 
are beds of black shale often called coal in 
the reports of bores, but no thick or worka- 
ble seams may be expected at this depth. 
No. 39, a coarse, red sandstone conglomer- 
ate, forms the bottom rock or bed of the 
Coal measures. It is only pierced bv the 
Crescent City Park bore. The sub-con- 
glomerate coal A, is only known by report, 
and its existence here is quite doubtful. It 
is certain that the deepest bores report beds 
of sandstone and limestone which are re- 
ferred to the Chester beds of the sul>car- 
boniferous period. This closes a connected 
view of the surface phenomena and rocky 
structure of the county. 

Near Evansville the surface rocks are the 
soft blue, buff and gray sandstones passing 
into argillaceous shales, No 14 of general 
section. In this bed the Ingleside shaft in 
the west suburb of Evansville was begun, 
piercing in its depth the lower rash coal and 
shales, and N, M and L, in succession. 
The following is the section in detail: 


Ft. In. 

Clay and alluvial sand 29 

Clay and shale 61 

Slaty coal and fire-clay 3 

Sandrock 4 

Siliceous clay shales 12 

Shale and iron stones 5 


Ferriferous sandstone 7 

Fire-clay with sand and iron. . . 12 

Sandstone (ferriferous) 12 

Shale 1 

Sandstone 7 

Coal N, (Little Newburg) .... 2 

Fire-clay with iron balls 5 

Limestone 5 

Fire-clay parting 2 

Limestone 4 

Gray shale, black at bottom .... 83 
Coal M, (Main Newburg) . . 

Fire-clay 4 

Fire-clay with pyrite 3 

Siliceous shale 11 

Argillaceous sandstone 5 

Gray shale (soapstone) 64 

Soapstone (fern bed) 

Coal L: Impure cannel, 1 ft. 6 

in.: pyritous argillite, 1 ft. 4 

in.: slat}' cannel, 1 ft. 2 in.; 

semi-caking coal, 1 ft. 3 in . . 5 

Fire-clay 2 



4 2 

In the black shale which forms the roof 
of this mine, are fine fossils including Pro- 
ductus, three species, Bellerophon, two 
species, Aviculopecten, two species, Pleuro- 
tomaria, two species, Macrocheilus, two 
species, and a Goniatite. The coal in the 
mine and accompanying rocks is as follows: 

Argillaceous limestone, pyritous. 1 ft. 4 in. 
Black slate (shale) 1 ft. 4 in. 


Laminated coal i ft. 3 in. 

Parting 2 in. 

Solid caking coal. ... 2 ft. 11 in. 4 ft. 2 in. 

6 ft. 10 in. 

This coal ranges from three feet eight in- 
ches to four feet four inches, and averages 
nearly four feet at this mine. It is remark- 
ably uniform in thickness and persistence. 
In other regions of the Indiana basin, the 
coals are not so regular, or the seams nar- 
row and unworkable. One uninterrupted 
seam is equal in avails to several unreliable 
coals, and gives more certain returns. 
When coals become scarce, as in England, 
the upper seam (N) may and will be worked. 
The dip of lower coals, L, M, N, from New- 
burg via Evansville, along the center of the 
trough which gives direction to the lower 
Ohio valley, is eighteen feet nine inches a 
mile, with many irregularities. Dip to south, 
from northern line of the county, is about 
twenty feet per mile, decreasing to eight or 
ten feet, until it passes the central synclinal, 
where the dip is reversed, ascending to the 


In December, 1868, the boring of a well 
was begun in what is now called " Artesian 
Springs Park," in the Fourth ward, and in 
view of the recent gas-well developments it 
is interesting to recall that there was a strong 
flow of burning gas from the upper part of 
the well. This continued until salt water 
was struck at less than three hundred feet, 
and it is now a flowing, artesian well. The 
section of this well is as follows: 


Soapstone 31 

Gray sand stone 2^ 

Soapstone and shale 37 

Hard gray sandstone 1 

Slaty coal 1 ]/ 2 

Shale 6 

Gra}' 44 j4 

Soft shale 11 

Soft gray sandstone 18 

Hard gray sandstone 5 

Gray flint? 2 

Dark gray sandstone 62 


Hard black shale 

(coal?) 73 

Gray sandstone 65 

Flint 6 

Hard gray shale 5 

Hard argillaceous sandstone 34 

Gray shales (^soapstone) 55 

Coal (L?) 1% 

Gray shale and sandstone 134 

Dark sandstone, with salt water 

flowing seven gallons per minute . 5 

Hard pure sandstone conglomerate . 50 

Coal and slate l / 2 

Soapstone 10 

Coal (A?) and slate i}4 

Fire-clay y$ 


Surface 17 

Total 699 

At Avondale, the preliminary bore, be- 
fore the sinking of the shaft, showed the 
following section: 


Ft. In. 

Surface 9 6 

Blue clay 30 6 

Gray sand 2 6 

Blue mud, quicksand 22 3 

Gravel, sand and shells 6 o 

Fire-clay and sand 28 3 

Gravel and sand 1 o 

Sandstone 2 o 

Fire-clay 2 9 

Sandstone 11 o 


Fire-clay 7 9 

Sandstone 7 ° 

Fire-clay with pebbles 2 8 

Siliceous clay 1 o 

Sandstone with iron balls 72 o 

Concretion 1 10 

Sandstone 36 10 

Rock slate 6 o 

Black slate 210 

Coal 4 o 

256 9 
Clay for bricks is found abundantly 
throughout the county, and the quality is 
good. The modified clays of the valley 
lands, and the under clay of the coals furnish 
an article suitable for crockery, terra cotta 
and stone-ware. Iron ores are found 

throughout the coal measures. Nodular 
iron of good quality occurs just above and 
below the horizon of coal N. But it will not 
pay to work. The largest deposit is at Priest's 
bluff, where several car loads are exposed 
at low water. Very minute scales of gold 
and nuggets of copper are sometimes found, 
but they are importations of the glacial 
drift. Sand of an excellent kind is pro- 
duced by the disintegration of the Merom 
sandstone. There are no gravel beds like 
those of Northern Indiana here, but in the bed 
of the Ohio, and below low water generally, 
are extensive deposits of ferruginous chert, 
brought down from further up the river, 
and this material is one of the best known 
for metaling pikes and streets. It forms a 
compact, smooth and slightly elastic surface. 


Indian History — The Mound Builders — Their Earthworks and Mounds — The 
Indian Tribes — Wabash Land Company — The Treaty ok 1S05 — Captivity 
and Adventures of Isaac Knight. 

' NTIQUITIES or ancient earthworks 
exist in this county — isolated or 
clustered mounds and pits, which re- 
quired for their building the persistent labor 
of a people with a combined purpose under 
intelligent direction. Their locations are 
healthy and picturesque stations, convenient 
to water, generally close to river transporta- 
tion, in fertile lands, and with a wide out- 
look to the east; characteristics so constant 
as to indicate a design, and indistinctly to 
reveal something of the religion, govern- 
ment and habits of a mysterious and unknown 
race. Of these remains the Indians with 
whom the earliest explorers communicated 
had no apparent knowledge, and the noma- 
dic habits of the red men seem to prove the 
distinct nature of the Mound-builders. The 
opinions of scientific men vary greatly in re- 
gard to the origin and fate of these myste- 
rious people. Some even question their 
variance either in very remote time or in 
kindred from the Indian, while others go to 
fanciful lengths in describing their probable 
origin and progress in civilization. The 
main trend of theory is, however, that the)' 
came as did many of our plants, from the 
north, and the theory premises a connection 
in past ages between the continents of Asia 
and America at the point where they are 
now but little separated, and a climate which 
made the northern regions a much more at- 
tractive path than it is now for the transfer 
of population. 

The free copper found within the tumuli 

of the mound-builders, the open veins of 
the Superior and Iron Mountain copper- 
mines, with all the modus operandi of ancient 
mining, such as ladders, levers, chisels, and 
hammer-heads, discovered bv the French ex- 
plorers of the Northwest and the Mississippi, 
are conclusive proofs that those prehistoric 
people were more civilized than the Indians. 

One of the most brilliant and impartial his- 
torians of the Republic stated that the valley 
of the Mississippi contained no monuments. 
So far as the word is interpreted now, he 
was literally correct, but he neglected to 
qualify his sentence by a reference to the 
numerous massy piles of antiquity to be 
found throughout its length and breadth. 
The valley of the Father of Waters, and 
indeed, the country from the trap rocks of 
the Great Lakes southeast to the Gulf and 
southwest to Mexico, abound in tell-tale 
monuments of a race of people which must 
have rivaled in civilization the Montezumas 
of the sixteenth century. The remains of 
walls and fortifications found in Ohio, Ken- 
tucky and Indiana, the earthworks of Vin- 
cennes and throughout the valley of the 
Wabash, the mounds scattered over Ala- 
bama, Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and 
those found in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota, are- all evidences of a race which the 
red man swept away as he has in turn been 
almost supplanted by us. 

Several isolated mounds were found on 
the bluffs, 130 to 170 feet above the Ohio, 
at the southwest corner of the count)-, near 




West Franklin. The implements of stone 
and pottery discovered here were of artistic 
execution. A celt (hand-axe) of flint, was 
polished like the Danish celts (unusual in 
America, if not unique), also a granitic 
hand-axe with beveled edges. A cluster of 
mounds of great interest was observed near 
McCutcheon school-house, two and a half 
miles northeast of Ingletield, twelve miles 
from Evansville, about twenty-five in num- 
ber. The}' were scattered over fifty or 
more acres, and covered with forest and 
bush. The)' are 2 to 6 feet in height, and 
20 to 60 feet in diameter. On the adjoining 
Hillyard farm were two pits or excavations 
now partially filled. One of them was 60 
feet in diameter, and at first settlement, 20 
feet deep. The second was 15 feet in diam- 
eter, and 4 feet deep, apparently for under- 
ground homes or for water. A constant 
spring — rare in this vicinity — seems to have 
invited the mound-builders to this elevated 
and commanding point, which is a promon- 
tory of the dividing ridge which separates 
the watershed of the Wabash from that of 
the Ohio. The outlook embraces the wide 
flat valley of Blue Grass creek, and the dis- 
tant mound-capped knobs in the horizon. 
The excavations probably existed first as sink 
holes through the underlying limestone, and 
were afterward shaped for human use, but 
this can only be determined by careful ex- 
amination. One of the mounds here was 
opened, and was found to contain ashes, 
shells, bones and pottery, indicating a mound 
of habitation. Many relics, well wrought 
in stone, were found in this vicinity. The 
extreme northeastern corner of the county 
was a favorite resort of the pre-historic 
races. Mr. John B. Locke collected some 
interesting stone relics on his farm, found on 
a knoll in a small mound, including a sand- 
stone pipe or calumet in shape of a bear's 
head, ears erect, mouth distinct, and claws 

folded as if hibernating; also a medicine 
tube of Alabama talc, three and one-half 
inches long, three-fourths of an inch in di- 
ameter at the " mouth-piece," nearly two 
inches at the opposite end, with a constric- 
tion above the middle, with the bottom edge 
serrate; also flattened discs of sandstone. A 
bed of whitish clay is found here at the 
western extremity of a ridge 600 feet long 
by 200 from north to south. In front of this 
is an area, the surface level and apparently 
paved with plastic clay 5 00 by 200 feet, 
probably a "Chungke play-ground," with 
council chamber, where the relics were ob- 
tained. On this plav-ground a set of six 
"Chungke" stones were found, from three 
to four inches in diameter, two inches thick, 
with a concavity in each side like the quoit 
or discus of the Olympian games. Sur- 
rounding or at the edges, spear and arrow 
points and "flint chips" have been noticed. 
This "Chungke" ground is now a field in 
cultivation. At an early day it was covered 
with a growth of trees, none over 400 years 
of age — youngsters compared with the sur- 
rounding forest — indicating that this area 
had been used within 1,000 years. At an 
arrow factory on T. B. McCutcheon's land 
adjoining, flint "chips" in quantity were 
found, also flint splinters two or three inches 
long and perfect as if cut with a knife. Some 
interesting mounds were found in and ad- 
joining the village of Millersburg. They 
were composed in part of sand. 

At the extreme southeastern corner of the 
county, extending across the line into War- 
rick, is one of the most interesting earth- 
works. AngelFs mound, southeast quarter 
Section 31, Town 6, Range 9, is a wonder. 
It is a symmetrical cone rising up from the 
level plain to a height of 50 feet, and only 
300 feet in diameter. It seems almost too 
imposing to be attributed to the pun}' arm of 
man. Many smaller mounds, but larger than 



the general average, are located on the Gen. 
Lane farm, adjoining the Angell on the east. 
In this neighborhood were found vases, jars, 
jugs, implement handles, images of duck and 
owl heads, human faces and hands, spindle 
whirls, pipes and buttons, made in pottery; 
also buttons of cannel coal, and axes, hoes, 
spades, pestles, grinders, celts, arrow and 
spear points of stone. Graves of savage 
Indians are discovered through the county, 
sometimes intruders upon the mounds, but 
shallow and carelessly made. 

Ossuaries or bone vaults have been dis- 
covered a few miles west of Evansville. 
Thev are isolated or often intrusive on the 
mounds. Thev contain the bones of all a 
nation's dead for a certain length of time, 
generally seven years, collected from tempo- 
rary places of deposit at the midsummer 
season of cheerless fasting and mourning, 
cleaned, bleached and deposited in walled 
vaults covered with flat stones and earth. 
Older than the Indian period, and later than 
the mound-builders, they belong to an inter- 
mediate littoral or riparian race, who retained 
some of the religion and art of their dis- 
possessed predecessors, but their coarse, 
crude implements and pottery show that 
they were far below them in the scale of 
progress, being closely allied to the Natchez 
and Choctaws of De Soto's expedition. 

Indians. — Upon the first introduction of 
Europeans among the primitive inhabitants 
of this country, it was the prevailing opinion 
among the white people that the vast do- 
main since designated as the American con- 
tinent, was peopled by one common family, 
of like habits and speaking the same lan- 
guage. The error, however, was soon dis- 
pelled by observation, which at the same 
time established the fact of a great diversity 
in characteristics, language and physical de- 
velopment, upon which basis the race was 
found to be divided into many distinct tribes. 

Among tribes that owned or occupied 
that portion of Indiana, known as the 
" pocket," of which Vanderburgh county is 
a part, were the Miamis, Piankeshaws, Dela- 
wares, Wyandotts and Shawanees. 

At the time of the first white exploration 
of the northwest territory, all that portion 
now included within the boundaries of In- 
diana, was claimed by the Miami confedera- 
tion of Indians. The boundaries of the 
territory claimed by the Miamis, was de- 
scribed by Little Turtle, a distinguished 
Miami chief, at the treaty of Greenville in 
1795. -Addressing Gen. Wayne, he said: 
" You have pointed out to us the boundary 
line between the Indians and the United 
States; but I now take the liberty to inform 
you that that line cuts off from the Indians 
a large portion of the country which has 
been enjoyed by my forefathers from time 
immemorial, without molestation or dispute. 
The print of my ancestors' houses are every- 
where to be seen in this portion. It is well 
known by all my brothers present, that my 
forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; 
from thence he extended his line to the head- 
waters of the Scioto; from thence to its 
mouth; from thence down the Ohio, to the 
mouth of the Wabash ; from thence to Chi- 
cago, on Lake Michigan." 

Many years prior to the date of this an- 
nouncement by Chief Little Turtle, how- 
ever, it will be seen by the following- 
transaction, that the land now included within 
the bounds of Vanderburgh county was rec- 
ognized by the whites as belonging to the 
PiankeshawTndians. "In the year i775>" says 
Dillon, " after the expedition of Lord Dun- 
more against the Shawanees, Louis Viviat, 
a merchant of the Illinois country, com- 
menced a negotiation with the Piankeshaw 
Indians, for the purchase of two large dis- 
tricts of country lying upon the borders of 
the river Wabash." Viviat acted as the 



agent of an association known as the " Wa- 
bash Land Company," and at Post Vin- 
cennes, on the 18th day of October, 1775, 
he obtained from eleven Piankeshaw chiefs 
a deed from which the provisions relative to 
the territory of Vanderburgh county are 
taken : " Know ye, that we, the chiefs and 
sachems of the Piankeshaw nation, in full 
and public council assembled, at the town or 
village of Post Saint Vincent (Vincennes), 
for and in consideration of the sum of five 
shillings, to us in hand, paid by the said 
Louis Viviat, and for and in consideration of 
the following goods and merchandise, to us, 
Tobacco, Montour, La Grand Couette Oua- 
ouaijao, Tabac, Jr., La Mouche Noire or 
the Black Fly, Le Maringonin, or Musquito, 
Le Petit Castor, or the Little Beaver, Kies- 
quitiehies, Grelot, Sen. and Jr., for the use 
of the several tribes of our nation well and 
truly delivered in full council aforesaid, that 
is to say : Four hundred blankets, twenty- 
two pieces of shroud, two hundred and fifty 
shirts, twelve gross of star gartering, one 
hundred and twenty pieces of ribbon, twen- 
ty-four pounds of vermillion, eighteen pairs 
velvet laced housings, one piece of matton, 
fifty-two fusils, thirty-five dozen large buck- 
horn-handle knives, forty dozen couteau 
knives, five hundred pounds of brass kettles, 
ten thousand gunflints, six hundred pounds 
of gunpowder, two pounds of lead, four 
hundred pounds of tobacco, forty bushels of 
salt, three thousand pounds of flour, three 
horses; also the following quantities of sil- 
verware, viz. : eleven very large arm bands, 
forty wrist bands, six whole moons, six half 
moons, nine earwheels, forty-six large 
crosses, twenty-nine hairpipes, sixty pairs of 
earbobs, twenty dozen small crosses, twenty 
dozen nose crosses, and one hundred and 
ten dozen brooches, the receipt whereof we 
do hereby acknowledge." 

In consideration of the above named mer- 

chandise and money two several tracts or 
parcels of land were granted and transferred 
to said Wabash Land Company. The tract 
in which the land now comprising Vander- 
burgh county, was included, was described 
as follows : That tract or parcel of land situ- 
ated, lying, and being on both sides of the 
Ouabache river (Wabash) beginning at 
the mouth of White river, where it empties 
into the Ouabache river (about twelve 
leagues below Post St. Vincent), thence 
down Ouabache river, by several courses 
thereof, until it empties into the Ohio river, 
being from the said White river to the Ohio 
fifty-three leagues in length, with forty 
leagues in length or breadth on east side, 
and thirty leagues in width or breadth on 
the west side of the Ouabache river afore- 

The two tracts of which the foregoing is 
the larger comprised in all 37,497)600 acres, 
and these lands were so far as the Indians had 
any right to sell to a company or individuals, in 
possession of this company for man}- years ; 
but congress after numerous petitions from 
the company, the last of which was made in 
1810, refused to confirm the claim. 

The Piankeshaws held possession of the 
southwest part of the state until 1768, when 
they gave to the Delawares that portion 
now included in the counties of Gibson, 
Posey, Vanderburgh, Pike, Warrick, Spen- 
cer and a part of Perry, and the right of 
the Delawares to sell this land was ac- 
knowledged by the Pottawatomie, Miami, 
Eel river and Wea tribes by the 5th article 
of the treaty concluded at Vincennes, Au- 
gust 18, 1804. If, however, the Piankeshaw 
tribe had any just claim to the territory it 
was relinquished in treaty between said tribe 
and the United States, proclaimed Feb- 
ruary 5, 1805: Article 1. The Piankeshaw 
tribe relinquishes and cedes to the United 
States forever all the tract of country which 



lies between the Ohio and Wabash rivers, 
and below Clark's grant, and the tract called 
the Vincennes tract, which was ceded by 
the treaty of Ft. Wayne, and a line con- 
necting said tract and grant, to be drawn 
parallel to the general course of the road 
leading from Vincennes to the Falls of the 
Ohio, so as not to pass more than a half a 
mile to the northward of the most northerly 
bend of said road. 

Article 3 provides for an additional annu- 
ity of $2,000 to be paid by the United States 
for ten years. 

On the 14th of the same month a treaty 
was proclaimed with the Delaware tribe bv 
Gen. W. H. Harrison, governor of Indiana 
territory, on the part of the United States. 
By this treaty the tract described in Article 
1, of the treaty above mentioned, the tract 
above described was ceded by the Dela- 
wares to the United States, with the provi- 
sion that an additional annuity of $3,000 be 
paid by the United States to said Delaware 
tribe, and additional sum of $500 was ap- 
propriated for the purpose of teaching them 
to cultivate the soil, etc., besides delivering 
to them a large supply of agricultural imple- 
ments and domestic animals. By these 
treaties with the Piankeshaw and Delaware 
tribes, conducted at Vincennes, August iSth 
and 27th, 1804, and proclaimed February of 
the following year, the last claim to the ter- 
ritory of which Vanderburgh county is a 
part, was forever relinquished by the red 
man. The land was soon placed on the 
market at the land office at Post Vincennes 
and entries and settlement soon followed. 
Wandering bands of Indians, however, 
mostly of the Shawanee tribe, continued to 
wander about the country, and until the close 
of the war of 181 2, would, at intervals re- 
turn and camp along the streams, for the 
purpose of hunting and fishing. These In- 
dians caused the settlers considerable 

anxiety, and were constantly pilfering and 
stealing. The only incident of more than 
passing interest which occurred within what 
is now the territory of Vanderburgh county, 
was the killing by a band of Pottawatomie 
and Kickapoo Indians of Peter Sprinkle and 
Jacob Upp, and the capture of Isaac Knight, 
George Sprinkle and John Upp. This oc- 
curred on the banks of the Ohio, in what is 
now Union township, about the year 1793. 
The victims, who at the time were all boys, 
were residents of Kentucky, but as one of 
the captives, Isaac Knight, became a resi- 
dent of Vanderburgh county, and as he is re- 
membered as one of her most prominent 
early settlers and most respected citizens, 
the incident will be read with additional in- 
terest. The following is taken from an ac- 
count of the capture, suffering and escape, 
published in 1S39, as narrated by Isaac 
Knight himself, and written by Hiram A. 

Isaac Knight, the subject of the follow- 
ing narrative, was born in what was then 
called Washington county, in Pennsylvania; 
the record of his age being lost, the exact 
time of his birth cannot be ascertained. 

His father's name was John Knight, who 
married Ann Rolison, by whom he had 
seven sons, of whom Isaac was the eldest. 

When the subject of this narrative was a 
child, his father removed, by water, in com- 
pany with his father-in-law, Mr. Lawrence 
Rolison, and Norod Franceway, who had 
married in the same family. These all set- 
tled at or near the place, now known by the 
name of Vienna, on Green river, about 
eighty miles above its mouth, where, with 
much difficulty, they lived some years, grind- 
ing their corn on hand mills or pounding it 
in a mortar; and at one time such was the 
difficulty with which bread stuff was had, 
that Isaac's father bought corn at the mouth 
of Green River, at one dollar and twenty- 



five cents per bushel, and conveyed it to his 
family in a perogue or canoe. Indeed, the 
difficulties under which the first settlers of 
that part of Kentucky labored, were almost 

For the security of the whites and their 
families, they were impelled to build and re- 
sort to forts in as large bodies as their thinly 
settled population would permit. Uniting 
their energies, they labored by turn in each 
man's field, one or more, as necessity re- 
quired, standing as sentinel. 

During the season in which corn was 
making, they remained in their forts; but re- 
turned to their lonesome and dangerous re- 
treats for the remainder of the year. 

Seldom would anything short of abundant 
sign of Indian hostilities, drive them in the 
spring of the year, from their homely huts. 
It is, however, perfectly within the recollec- 
tion of the author of this narrative, that, 
when a boy, he heard the report of a gun, 
which killed dead, one of the finest men in 
the settlement, and one, too, who lived with- 
in a few steps of his father's door. Mr. 
Downs, who was thus shot b} r the Indians, 
left a wife and seven children to lament his 
untimely death. He was most cruelly used 
by the savage butchers, and left scalped on 
the ground. 

About this time the country about the 
Red Banks, on the Ohio river, now known 
as Henderson, in Henderson county, Ken- 
tucky, began to be spoken of as a most de- 
sirable section, and Isaac's father, with the 
rest of the connection, moved to that place, 
where they found a few families residing. 
But one house was yet erected — the rest of 
the families lived in camps. In removing 
to this place, their property being conveyed 
by water, except the stock, Isaac, then a 
boy about nine or ten years of age, assisted 
in driving them. 

They at length arrived all in safety, at the 

Red Banks, where even greater difficulties 
were undergone by settlers, than had been 
endured by them at Vienna. Here, too, 
as at the former place, they cultivated the 
soil in safety, only by means of sentinels. 

About this time the small pox prevailed 
at the Red Banks, and little Isaac was vac- 
cinated with it. He was, however, still 
under the necessity of giving more or less 
attention to his father's cattle, in cutting- 
cane, providing food for them. Accord- 
ingly, in company with others, he went fre- 
quently across the Ohio river in a canoe to 
cut cane. In one of those routes, accom- 
panied by Peter Sprinkle, and George, his 
brother, John Upp, and Jacob, his brother, 
having arrived on the bank opposite to 
Henderson (as boys are naturally inclined 
to do), they commenced their sport, running 
and jumping along the bank, all alike ignor- 
ant of their danger, until from behind a 
blind, which was made of cane, cut and 
stuck in the ground, for the purpose of con- 
cealment, eight Indians, six of whom were 
found to be Pottawatomies, and two Kicka- 
poos, came rushing upon them. In confu- 
sion and astonishment the boys all attempted 
to escape. The eldest, Peter Sprinkle, a 
voung man of about seventeen or eighteen 
years of age, ran nearly to the river and 
was shot down, three guns being fired at 
him at once. Little Jacob Upp, a small boy 
of about seven years of age, finding escape 
impossible, stood still and begged for his life, 
cr}-ing "Don't kill me, don't kill me;" but it 
was to no purpose — the cruel savages 
buried the tomahawk in his skull, and put 
an end to his cries and his existence. 

George Sprinkle and John Upp, the for- 
mer a little larger and the latter a little 
smaller than Isaac, were taken almost on the 
spot where the Indians were discovered. 
When the author of this narrative first saw 
the Indians, he ran, without saying a word; 



and on hearing the report of the guns that 
killed Peter Sprinkle, he looked back, and 
seeing one Indian in pursuit of him, he con- 
tinued his race, until, in a short time, he felt 
a blow upon each shoulder, which he after- 
ward found came from two Indians, instead 
of one, that had pursued him. These blows 
stunned him so that he fell, and in falling he 
lost his hat. He had no sooner touched the 
ground than his savage pursuers had each 
hold of an arm, lifting him up. Even in this 
predicament he attempted twice to reach for 
his hat, but failed to get it. He afterward 
learned from one of the Indians who took 
him, that if he had made a third attempt to 
get his hat, he would have killed him. 
These led the affrighted Isaac to the rest of 
the company, and, as he thought, to the 
place of execution; but to his surprise, when 
he came there, he found his associates, 
George Sprinkle and John Upp, in the cus- 
tody of the savage red men, yet alive. 

Here, in full view of the Red Banks, the 
savages, holding up the yet warm scalps of 
Peter Sprinkle and Jacob Upp, raised the 
war whoop and started with their young 
prisoners, holding fast to Isaac's hand, as 
the}' compelled him to run after them. Such 
was their tearfulness that he would yet 
escape, that in swimming the bayou, a short 
distance from the river, one still held him 
by the hand. On reaching the camp where 
these savages had lain the preceding night, 
they put moccasins on the boys, and compel- 
ling them to follow them or keep up with 
them, running all day and traveling all night. 

In the evening of the first day, one of 
the boys, John Upp, became so much ex- 
hausted that he could run no longer. The 
Indians, with a view to compel him forward, 
threatened him with their tomahawks; but 
finding that he could not go, two of them 
assisted him. 

The morning of the second day they came 

upon three bears, which the Indians had 
killed, and in great haste took each a small 
portion along with him, until the}' crossed 
the Pattoka river, and on the bank they 
stopped for the first time to cook and eat. 
The boys by this time were much 
fatigued, and well nigh worn out by 
means of constant and hard trav- 
eling. Nothing worth}' of note trans- 
pired until the evening of the third dav, 
when, after making a small fire of sticks, 
they produced the scalps of the murdered 
boys, and after cutting the meat out of one 
of them, carefully put it on sticks before the 
fire, and cooked it; then, in the presence of 
the boys, ate it, shaking the remaining scalp 
at them. This they did, not because they 
were hungry, but each, that he might 
thereby say, " I have killed a white man, and 
eat him." And thus they acquired no little 
reputation as warriors. The remaining 
scalps they then stretched on hoops, made 
for that purpose. 

That night they danced the war-dance, and 
made their young prisoners walk round with 
them, and would have had them dance, had 
they not been too much exhausted. This 
was afterward their regular employment, 
every other night. 

In their route they attempted to cross a 
stream in a small canoe, which was not 
more than large enough to carry two men in 
it; however, one of the Indians conveyed the 
boys across the creek, and, on striking the 
opposite bank, George Sprinkle being a lit- 
tle fearful, and knowing that he could not 
swim, leaped from the canoe to the bank — 
on doing which the Indian gave him a blow 
with his paddle across the back, which in- 
jured him so seriously that it was with dif- 
ficulty he ascended the bank. 

The reader will remember that Isaac was 
vaccinated, with the small pox. This was 
done just the day before he was taken by 



these cruel savages, on the 8th day of April, 
1793, according to his best recollection: and 
in something like a week he therefore became 
very sick with that disease; but was never- 
theless impelled to travel every day, even 
when scarcely able to hold up his head, or 
help himself in the smallest. The knowledge 
which his friends at home had of the fact 
that, if alive, he would be thus afflicted, aug- 
mented their uneasiness and anxiety about 
him. Their fears could but be great that 
the cruel wretches would kill him; and if 
not, both he and they expected he would die 
of the small pox, exposed as he was in an 
Indian camp. Their manner of crossing 
ponds, creeks and rivers was to wade or 
swim; and, sick as Isaac was, such was the 
manner in which he was compelled to pass 
them. After the disease above named had 
appeared on him, he was under the necessity 
of swimming a small river, which was the 
means of driving it in, so as to render him 
very sick. Then, for the first time, the sav- 
ages discovered some humanity, and after 
kindling a fire, with a view to encamp for 
the night, they placed Isaac near the fire, 
wrapped in two blankets, in which situation 
he spent the night. In the morning the pox 
appeared again and he was some better, but 
still unable to travel. Nevertheless it was 
his fate to go, and he endeavored to do so, 
until, faint and sick, he fell to the "round. 
His Indian drivers, however, soon raised him 
and compelled him to go forward. 

Fatigued with traveling and afflicted with 
fever, he suffered much for water, which 
they frequently refused him. When in cross- 
ing water he would lift up some in his hand 
and put it to his mouth, they would push 
him down in the water. At night, encamp- 
ing near a small branch, he asked leave to 
go for water; they granted it — but an In- 
dian followed him to the bank and then 
kicked him down a steep, where he fell 

among the rocks, and was not a little hurt 
by the fall. At another time, passing a 
small branch, he asked permission to drink, 
which was granted; but as he put his mouth 
to the water, an Indian with his foot, crushed 
his mouth into the sand. With this most 
brutal treatment, and swelled till shapeless, 
with sores which were constantly suppurating, 
and not unfrequently, especially of a morn- 
ing, discharging blood, he was forced to 

Provisions growing scarce, they spent one 
day in hunting. In the afternoon, having 
killed two deer, they stopped to cook; 
Isaac being in the way of one of the Kicka- 
poos, he took the liberty to kick him down a 
descending ground, some twelve or fifteen 
feet. This kicking was no pleasant thing to 
Isaac; and here he found in one of the In- 
dians a friend, who claimed him as his, and 
was much offended at the conduct of the 

In a few days they passed the Kickapbo 
towns, where the two Indians of that nation 
left the company for home, and the prison- 
ers saw them no more so as to recognize 
them. They soon arrived at another town 
of some note, on the Illinois river. 

As they entered the town, on the fifteenth 
day after they were taken, it being the 
twenty-third day of the month, on passing a 
few wigwams, some of the warriors gave a 
signal, which brought out several squaws, 
who relieved them all of their packs. 

At this place the prisoners were conducted 
into the presence of, and exposed to the view 
of, a vast crowd of Indians, man} - of whom 
came up with apparent friendship, and gave 
them a hearty shake of the hand. 

From this place they were conducted 
across the river to a wigwam, where some- 
thing was provided for them to eat, which 
very much pleased their palates, as it some- 
what resembled small hominy, and they had 


seen a squaw put a handful or two of sugar 
in it, after striking a dog over the head and 
driving him out of the wigwam with the 
ladle with which she stirred the mess. 

As the evening came on, the Indians began 
to collect, and as the other two boys had 
been painted and trimmed by the Indians, 
previous to their arrival in town, and Isaac 
was not (though none of them could ac- 
count for it), it was the opinion both of him 
and them that it was their intention to burn 
him; however, when they were all collected, 
the young prisoners were ordered out, and 
the Indians, in one vast body, around a small 
fire, danced a war dance, the prisoners and 
the warriors that took them being next to 
the fire, and opposite to, or facing them as 
the}' danced round, were two squaws, bear- 
ing on canes from the Ohio Bottoms, the 
scalps of the little boy and the young man 
who had been killed when the other boys 
were taken. 

Next morning, as Isaac thought, almost 
all the Indians in the world collected on the 
opposite bank of the river for a ball play, 
where they spent the greater part of the day 
in that exercise, both men and women shar- 
ing its pleasures; the sexes engaging apart 
from each other, and seeming to delight 
greatly in the employment. 

In the evening, a company of some two 
or three hundred elderly Indians came march- 
ing down to the wigwam where the prison- 
ers w r ere kept, bearing two large kettles of 
hominy, beating their drums, rattling the 
deer's hoofs and making music of different 
kinds. The}' marched several times around 
the hut, and then with great apparent sol- 
emnity, placed the kettles on a handsome 
green, and when they were all seated around 
them, two men waiting on the rest, divided 
the contents of the kettles, putting a small 
portion in every man's bowl (for they all 
had bowls, and, as was their custom, ladles). 

A prophet then, as was supposed, repeated 
as he sat, a lengthy ceremony; after which 
they enjoyed their repast in good order, and 

On the morning of the fourth day Isaac 
was presented with his moccasins by a squaw, 
who also gave them something to eat. Soon 
afterwards an Indian of the company that 
had taken the boys, came in and beckoned 
to Isaac to follow him, and without a thought 
that he and his associates were now to be 
separated until thev should meet at home, 
he followed his guide that whole day up the 
Illinois river, wading many small swift-run- 
ning streams, which, as Isaac expressed him- 
self, washed off many a scab. By this 
Indian he was piloted to a wigwam where 
lived, as he afterward found, the mother of 
the two warriors that had taken him, and 
who were detained at the village by sick- 
ness, of which one of them died. Here, 
being delivered to this old mother and seated 
by her, she immediately gave him a new 
blanket and provided him something to eat. 
This day's travel had again freshened Isaac's 
sores, and so fatigued him that although he 
was wrapped in a new blanket and kindly 
treated, he had no rest, but felt in the morn- 
ing almost as bad as formerly. 

The squaw in whose care Isaac was left, 
with a view to cure him, made preparation 
for it, and with a sharp flint scarified him, 
and rubbed the sores with a piece of rough 
bark to make them bleed; then caused him 
to jump in the Illinois river. This was all 
done through kindness, although it was 
harsh treatment. 

From this place Isaac, together with many 
Indians, started up the river to an Indian town 
situated upon a small island in a lake through 
which the Illinois river passes, now called 
Illinois lake; this place they gained in five 
days, nothing very important transpiring on 
the route- It was Isaac's fate, however, 



ccording to the direction of the squaw to 
whose care he was committed, to jump in 
the river even' morning. 

Soon after this time the small-pox made 
its appearance among the Indians on this 
island, and the kind old squaw who had given 
so much attention to Isaac, and thereby en- 
deared herself to him, was one of the first 
subjects and victims of that destructive dis- 
ease. He had for a long time feared that 
if this disease broke out among them, they 
would kill him, as he had been the means of 
bringing it among them ; and although he 
sometimes hoped that some of the most cruel 
and barbarous of them would die with it, 
yet he more frequently desired they might 
all escape it, as he feared the consequences. 
Their manner of treating the disease proved 
fatal in many instances: They invariably at 
first, in that, as in other cases of complaint, 
took a severe sweat and then jumped into 
the river; and so terminated the existence of 
many, The death of this humane and moth- 
erly old squaw gave the author of this nar- 
rative most unpleasant feelings, and was the 
cause of much distressing exercise of mind. 
He had found in her a true and tender friend, 
and one who was willing to do for him all 
she could, but when he saw her taken from 
him, he found himself far from home, without 
a friend, among strangers, in the midst of 
foes, and surrounded with sickness produc- 
ing death in even- direction. His spirits 
sunk and all hope was well nigh gone. No 
cheering thought checked his distress — no 
gleam of hope could light up his counten- 
ance, or buoy up his disconsolate spirit. 

The death and burial of the squaw, whom 
Isaac recognized almost as a mother, were 
extremely solemn and impressive. Appear- 
ing sensible of her approaching dissolution, 
she gave Isaac to her daughter, who lived 
along with her. She was buried after their 
rnanner, with great solemnity, and many of 

the Indians painted themselves black and 
mourned for her ten days, fasting every day 
until evening; but all this was not expres- 
sive of Isaac's grief for the death of her who 
had nursed him with so much tenderness, 
and friendless now left alone, he found no 
one to whom he could unbosom his sorrows. 

A number of Indians died of the disease 
on the island before they left it. Necessity 
seemed to compel them to leave the island, 
and, supposing that a change of situation 
would improve their health, thev started, 
moving a short distance at a time and spend- 
ing but little time at any one place. They 
had moved, however, but seldom, until the 
squaw in whose care Isaac had been left, 
followed her mother, by means of the same 
disease. Indeed, they lost some at every 
place where they stopped. This squaw left 
a young child, some twelve months old, 
which it fell to Isaac's lot to nurse, and be- 
sides the attention which he was compelled 
to give that infant, it devolved on him to 
nurse the sick, help to bury the dead, and 
frequently to do all alone. Worn down with 
fatigue by means of his arduous labor, he 
devised means to be relieved of the burden 
of the child. Accordingly, as he carried it 
on his back wrapped in a blanket in Indian 
style, he drew the blanket tight around it, 
and so put an end to its cries, removed his 
own burden and terminated its life. 

After the death of an Indian of some note 
in these woods, whom they buried in as much 
splendor as their circumstances would per- 
mit, his squaw and four children, the eldest 
of whom was large enough to support the 
family by hunting, left the rest of the Indians 
and moved down the Illinois river in a canoe. 

Isaac's fears being great lest he should 
yet be killed for bringing the small-pox 
among them, he was halting whether to tell 
or not that he brought it, when he heard 
two squaws conversing on the subject, and 


learned from their conversation that the In- 
dians were of the opinion that they, in and 
by means of goods sold them by the French, 
had taken the disease. This so relieved his 
mind that he told them nothing about it. 

' Some weeks afterward the rest of the In- 
dians turned their course down the river, 
also taking Isaac along with them; still some 
of them were sick and dying all the time. 
After passing the island in the lake where 
the disease first appeared amongst them, 
they descended the river for some distance; 
but how far and how long time, is not within 
the recollection of the author. 

A short time now elapsed until they 
started again up the river, passed the town 
on the island before mentioned, and Isaac, 
having been committed by some means to 
the care of another squaw, traveled up this 
river in the same canoe with her, and, pass- 
ing the place where her husband had been 
buried, she steered the canoe to shore, and 
taking out some venison in a bowl, had Isaac 
to accompany her to the grave. Here she 
kindled a small fire over the head of the 
grave, into which she threw some of the 
venison. Setting down the bowl she told 
Isaac to eat of it, which he did, while she | 
walked to some distance and mourned with 
loud and sore lamentations for near an hour; 
then returned to the grave, wiped off the 
tears, threw some more meat in the fire and 
on the grave and bade Isaac to start. 

About this time Isaac began to be threat- 
ened, as he learned from the Indian bo} - s, by 
an old chief who said he had brought the 
small-pox among them, and while this was 
in agitation, one of the Indians arrived who 
had taken Isaac and who had been left sick 
at the first town, the place where Isaac had 
been separated from his associates, his fel- 
low prisoners. This Indian Isaac met with 
much joy, and he claimed him as his prop- 

A few Towa Indians now arrived among 
these Pottawatomies, selling them goods, 
trading for furs, etc. These Indians were 
acting as agents for a merchant at Macki- 
naw, as is frequently the case. 

To one of those Towa Indians Isaac was 
sold for what he thought Would amount to 
about ^500, and was delivered to his new 
master perfectly naked. He was then told 
to do so, and mounting the horse behind the 
man that bought him, rode oft across what 
he now thinks was Spoon river. 

They then traveled for some days north of 
the Ohio river, to the hunting ground of the 
Indians who had now purchased him. Here 
the "Big Buck : ' was killed and a feast 
prepared to have Isaac adopted into the 

Now being made an heir, Isaac was 
trimmed, his hair pulled out, as was the cus- 
tom of that nation, except the scalp, and a 
hole made through his nose. 

In his nose they put six silver rings; his 
hair being long, it was divided and plaited, 
one-half before and the other half behind; 
the hinder part ornamented with beads, and 
the fore part filled with silver brooches. 

The season for making sugar being over, 
they moved to the mouth of Chicago river 
and commenced making arrangements to go 
to Mackinaw with their skins and furs. 

As the route which they had to go led 
them near the shore, they encamped eveiy 
night on it, where, for the securhy both of 
the canoe and its loading, they were under 
the necessity of unloading, drawing it out of 
the water and turning it upside down, made 
it answer the purpose of a wigwam. They 
continued this route for some days, and ar- 
rived at a small island, on which was a num- 
ber of Indians, where they landed and spent 
the night. Between that place and Macki- 
naw the)' landed on another small island, in- 
habited by Indians, with whom Isaac was 


left until his Indian father and mother re- 
turned from Mackinaw. 

Isaac's Indian father and family now- 
started with him and their fresh supply of 
goods to return to Chicago. Nothing of 
importance transpired on the route. Sailing 
along the shore of Lake Michigan they en- 
camped every night as before, and at length 
arrived at the mouth of the Chicago river, 
where they had embarked for Mackinaw. 
Here, having raised their canoe on forks 
and so secured it, they removed from place 
to place, principally up the river, trading 
with the Indians and making a living by fish- 
ing, they steered their course for the old 
hunting grounds on the Illinois river. 

Toward spring, but while the snow was 
yet on the ground, they turned their course 
again for Chicago, spending the time in 
hunting and trading, until in good time for 
sugar making they arrived at their old camp. 

Before they left the sugar camp they had 
many drunken sprees, in some of which 
Isaac's life was greatly endangered, but by 
some means preserved. 

Arrangements were now made for another 
trip to Mackinaw; and, having collected all 
the skins they could, thej' thought of taking 
Isaac along with them; but fearing that he 
would get away, they called in an old 
prophet, in whom they placed great confi 
dence, who went into what they call a sweat 
house, to pow-wovv, and inform them of 
such things as they washed to know, that 
would happen in the future. Accordingly, 
Isaac went to work to prepare the sweat 
house, within the wigwam, covering it with 
skins and blankets, rolling in a large hot 
stone, on which the prophet poured w'ater, 
and leaving a place at the top for the steam 
to pass out. Into this house the old prophet 
entered, pow-wowing and singing, while 
Isaac and his little brothers danced around 
it, waiting on the prophet as he ordered, 

until the smaller boys, becoming sleepy, laid 
down and went to sleep. Some time elapsed, 
and the prophet came out. Isaac immedi- 
ately, as if worn out and overcome with 
sleep, threw himself down on some deer 
skins, and pretended to be asleep. The old 
prophet took a seat near his Indian mother, 
and commenced speaking. She asked him 
many questions, and he answered them; but 
none of them so much interested Isaac until 
she wished to know if she would keep him 
if she took him all the way to Mackinaw'. 
The prophet, much to Isaac's gratification, 
told her she would, but she must be careful 
not to let him talk much to white people. 

Now, full of glee and in fine spirits, they 
loaded their bark canoe and started. After 
many days' toil and sailing, they all arrived 
in safety at Mackinaw. 

Here, unlading the canoe, and preparing 
to encamp under it, Isaac was conducted by 
his Indian mother, in company with her two 
eldest boys, to the house of the merchant 
for whom they traded. After showing Isaac 
to them, and suffering him to talk but little 
with them, the merchant's ladv gave each 
of the boys a slice of bread well buttered, 
which Isaac received very gratefully and ate 
it. It was the first bread he had tasted 
since he last ate at his father's table! 

Here Isaac was permitted to walk about 
in company with the Indian boys, but was 
generally accompanied by his Indian mother, 
and sometimes an uncle and aunt who had 
accompanied them to that place in a small 
bark canoe. In company with these, as they 
walked along the beach, seeing a ship lying 
at the wharf, and a man convenient to it, 
whom Isaac supposed was the Captain, their 
attention was mutually drawn to each other. 
The Captain perceiving that he was white, 
asked him where he w r as taken prisoner; he 
replied from the Red Banks, on the Ohio 
river. Isaac asked him, " are you the Cap- 


tain of this vessel?" He said he was. 
" Where are you bound ?" said Isaac. " De- 
troit," was the reply. "When will you 
start?" "In the morning." " Can I," said 
Isaac, "run away from the Indians- and get 
aboard of your vessel?" "Yes; but you 
must be careful how you come." Here 
Isaac was commanded to hush, and was 
taken away by his Indian friends. Toward 
evening, his Indian father being drunk, and 
some Indians being across an arm of the 
lake drinking and carousing, Isaac was 
called to convey him to them in the little 
bark canoe, belonging to his uncle. Having 
done this, he returned late in the evening, 
and landing near their camp, drew his little 
bark partly on the shore, and went to the 
camp contented as usual. Here he found an 
English soldier, who seemed to feel much 
solicitude about him, whom Isaac told he 
would rather live with the Indians than the 
white people. Fearing that such interviews 
with the white men would lead Isaac off, his 
Indian mother made him lie down by her, 
for she had gone to bed. The Englishman 
went away. Isaac, however, did not sleep, 
but waiting until he thought the rest wen: 
locked up in the quietness of a pleasant nap, 
he caught his blanket in his teeth, and softly 
stole from behind his mother, drawing his 
blanket after him. He got out, straightened 
himself, and listened; he could hear no stir, 
except the quiet music of the lake before 
him, which invited him to liberty! He 
stepped softly to the little bark he had 
drawn to the shore, and seating himself in 
it, he moved as gently as possible around 
the picketing that enclosed the town and ex- 
tended into the lake, and again turned to 
the shore. Giving his bark a push into the 
lake, he steered his course for the vessel on 
which he had learned he could make his 
escape. When he reached the vessel, the 
Captain was walking about on the deck, and 

seeing Isaac approach, he met him and told 
him to follow him. The}' went together 
into the cabin. The Captain was much per- 
plexed to know what to do with Isaac, so as 
to secure him, and screen himself from the 
censure of the Indians, with whom his great- 
est success in trade was carried on. At 
length, however, he told him, " I have a 
little negro boy in the kitchen, who will find 
you out, let me do with you what I may. 
If you will go to him and tell him your situ- 
ation and your object, he can take care of 
you; but don't tell him that I know anything 
about you." Isaac went into the kitchen 
and awoke the negro, but he appeared un- 
willing to have anything to do with him. 
Fearing that, between them, he would have 
to go back to the Indians, Isaac told the lit- 
tle negro that his master knew he was there, 
and had told him to come to him. " Then," 
said the negro, still lying in his bunk, " get 
in here." Isaac tumbled in with him but not 
to sleep. His fate, as yet, was too uncer- 
tain. By the side of the sleepy-headed 
negro he laid and watched for the day to 
dawn. Seeing, as he did, the first appear- 
ance of light in the morning, with much 
difficulty, he awoke the little negro, and told 
him, "You must do something with me — 
this is no place for me." The negro arose, 
unlocked the lower part of their cupboard, 
and told Isaac to get in there. He did so; 
and the boy locked him up and left him. 

Fie had been there but a short time, until 
he heard the voice of his Indian mother and 
brother, as they came down the hatchway, 
in pursuit of him. Presently the Captain 
sprang out of his bed and began to rail out 
at the Indians for disturbing him in that way 
before he was out of his bed. The Indians 
being easily cowed by a white man of some 
character, and especially an officer, Isaac's 
Indian mother soon left the vessel. 

Fortunately for this Captain, as well as for 



Isaac, a barge which had lain at the wharf, 
started that same night about midnight, for 
Montreal, which circumstance afforded the 
Captain an opportunity of making the In- 
dians believe that Isaac had gone on board 
of it, and to convince them that he was in- 
nocent and knew nothing about him, he re- 
mained there until 8 o'clock in the morning. 

Eight o'clock in the morning, the wind 
being fair, the sails of the Nancy were 
hoisted, Captain Mills commanding, Isaac 
started for the land of freedom ! 

Isaac kept close to the negro's room until, 
in about five days, the vessel came safe to 
port at Detroit. 

Isaac bade Captain Mills adieu, and gave 
him his hearty thanks for his kindness and 
protection. He started, and soon found 
himself at the gate, and passing the pickets, 
the sentinel, a raw Irishman, cried, " Who 
goes there?" "A friend," said Isaac, and 
added in a hurry, " I am running away from 
the Indians, and want you to protect me." 
" Oh! be Jasus, my good fellow, come here " 
said he, " and damn the one of them shall 
hurt you." With this sentinel Isaac waited 
patiently for some minutes, wher the relief 
guard came round. The sentinel then in- 
formed the sergeant that he had a prisoner. 
Isaac being delivered to the guard, was taken 
to the guard house, where the curiosity of 
the soldiers kept him up all night, giving a 
history of his sufferings with the Indians. 

About this time Isaac learned that a Cap- 
tain and a company of soldiers were about 
to start to Fort Maumee, and having ob- 
tained permission of the Captain to accom- 
pany them, Isaac made ready, and early next 
morning, bidding his kind host adieu, and 
drawing rations in common with the soldiers, 
he went on board the boat, and sailed for 
Fort Maumee, which they made, having a 
favorable wind, in one day. 

Spending a few days at this place, some 

wagons came to the fort, bringing goods 
and presents for the Indians, to Wayne's 
treaty, and as these wagons were said to be 
returning to Cincinnati, Isaac asked permis- 
sion of the wagon master to go with them, 
stating to him his situation ; he gave consent, 
and drew rations for him accordingly. 

At Cincinnati he presented himself to the 
officer commanding, and was told that he 
could draw provisions until he met with an 
opportunity to go on. Perfectly composed, 
he laid down to sleep, but was presently 
aroused and informed by the soldiers that 
a man by the name of David Pea, who had 
carried an express from Vincennes, on the 
Wabash river, to the army at Detroit, and 
was then returning, was hunting for him. 
Isaac went immediately in pursuit of Mr. 
Pea; and, finding him, they drew provisions, 
and in a skiff, started for Louisville. 

After running some days, they landed at 
the mouth of Harden creek. Here Isaac 
met with a young married woman, with 
whom he had gone to school before he was 
taken by the Indians. They recognized 
each other, and she informed him that his 
father and friends had removed from the 
Red Banks to what was then, and is now 
called, Knight's Falls, on Green river. He 
was here advised to land at the Yellow 
Banks, which he did. 

From this place he started alone and afoot 
along a path some twelve miles in length, 
to the house of an old acquaintance, Mr. 
Martin Vernado, with whom he had been 
often forted at Vienna, when but a child. 

Next morning the kindness of Mr. Ver- 
nado and one of his sons impelled them to 
accompany Isaac, in a canoe, down Green 
river, to his father's house. 

After Isaac's arrival at home, he learned 
that his fellow prisoners, George Sprinkle 
and John Upp, had returned some three 
months before him. 


County Organization — Early Jurisdiction of Other Counties — The Influence 
of Hugh McGary — Rivalry of Ratliff Boon — A Conference of the 

Powers at Darlington — The Result — Creation of Vanderburgh County 

Judge Henry Vanderburgh — Location of the County Seat at Evansville 

Early and Later Methods of Doing County Business — County Officers 


Townships — Elections — Care of the Poor — Avenues of Travel — Rail- 
roads — Agricultural Societies, Etc. 

'HE vast territory lying northwest of 
the Ohio river, reaching from the state 
of Pennsylvania on the east to the Mis- 
sissippi river on the west, and northward to 
the British Possessions, was ceded to the 
United States by the state of Virginia in 
1784. Its division into not less than three 
or more than five states, when the growth 
and development of the country should justi- 
fy their organization and admission into the 
Union, was provided for in the celebrated 
ordinance of 1787. As soon as civil author- 
ity was established, in the following year, 
for the purposes of good government and 
the proper administration of justice, the ne- 
cessity of subdividing the territory and 
forming counties became manifest. At first 
they were of great extent and thus rendered 
the efficient action of the courts impossible. 
As to a harbor of refuge came criminals of 
all classes to the new territory. Virtuous 
and law abiding people were deterred from 
immigration by the enforced association 
with outlaws. Citizens whose attendance 
on the courts as witnesses or jurors was 
necessary were sometimes compelled to 
travel unreasonably long distances through 
dangerous localities. These inconveniences 
and hardships continued for several years. 

Through the agency of Gen. Wm. H. 
Harrison, as a delegate in congress, the 
territory of Indiana was established, in 1800, 
with St. Vincennes as the seat of govern- 
ment. At that time the county of Knox 
embraced within its limits the greater por- 
tion of the present state of Indiana and a 
considerable part of Illinois. The hostility 
of the Indians and some erroneous ideas as 
to the nature of the country made immigra- 
tion at first slow. Afterward, with its in- 
crease, new counties were of necessity 
rapidly organized. 

The territorial legislature, on March 9th, 
1813, near the close of the session, author- 
ized the organization of Gibson and War- 
rick counties, as follows: 

An Act for the formation of two new 
counties out of the county of Knox. Section 
1. Be it enacted by the legislative council and 
house of representatives, and it is hereby enac- 
ted by the authority of the same, that from 
and after the passage hereof, all that part of 
Knox county which is included in the follow- 
ing boundaries shall form and constitute two 
new counties that is to say: beginning at 
the mouth of the Wabash; thence up the 
same with the meanders thereof to the north 
of White river; thence up White river with 



the meanders thereof to the forks of White 
river; thence up the east fork of White 
river to where the line between sections No. 
20 and 29, in township No. 1, north of range 
No. 4 west, strikes the same; thence with 
said line to the line of Harrison county; 
thence with said line dividing the counties 
of Knox and Harrison to the Ohio river; 
thence down the Ohio river to the begin- 

Section 2. Be it farther enacted, That 
the tract of country included within the 
aforesaid boundaries be, and the same is 
hereby divided into two separate and dis- 
tinct counties by a line beginning on the 
Wabash river, and known and designated 
by the name of Rector's base line, and with 
said line east until it intersects the line of 
Harrison county, and that from and after 
the first day of April, one thousand, eight 
hundred and thirteen, the tract of country 
falling within the southern division thereof 
shall be known and designated by the name 
and style of the county of Warrick. And 
the northern division thereof shall be known 
and designated by the name and style of the 
county of Gibson. 

As an incident to the foundation of new 
counties, the territorial laws provided means 
.for the location of seats of justice. Com- 
missioners who were not land owners in the 
count}' or otherwise directly interested were 
appointed by the legislature and, at a pre- 
viously designated time and place, assem- 
bled to accept offers as inducements 
favoring the choice of different localities and 
to make the selection December 14th, 1813, 
by legislative enactment. John Ochiltree, 
Abel Westfall, Wm. Polk, Robert Elliot 
and Wm. Prince, all of Knox county, were 
appointed commissioners for the purpose of 
fixing seats of justice in the counties of 
Warrick and Gibson. They were directed 
to convene on the first Monday in February 

of the next year, at the house of John Mc- 
Junkin and immediately after fixing the seat 
of justice in Gibson county to repair to the 
mill of Jonathan Anthonv, in Warwick 
county and proceed to fix the seat of justice 
in Warwick countv. At the time appointed 
for the meeting of these gentlemen none 
appeared except Wm. Prince. To fill the 
vacancies thus occasioned, Daniel Putnam, 
Alexander Devin, John Milburn and Wm. 
Hargrove were appointed by the court of 
common pleas through authority conferred 
in the act first appointing the commissioners. 
The deliberations of this commission 
resulted in the choice of the present site of 
the city of Evansville. 

Some years previous to these transactions 
Hugh McGary, a Kentuckian and a sturdy 
pioneer, had emigratedfrom his native state 
to the new territory and settled in what 
is now Gibson county. In 1S12 he pur- 
chased from the government the land on 
which the city of Evansville now stands, 
and leaving his inland cabin pushed his 
way to the bank of the river and there 
established his home. Though preceded b}' 
a few other pioneers he was the first per- 
manent settler on the present site of Evans- 
ville; and to his sagacity and determination 
were due the founding and fostering of the 
town, and later, the organization of the 
county of Vanderburgh. An attempt to de- 
pict the characteristics and disposition of this 
man, and to recount the motives which 
urged him to action, and the obstacles which 
arose in his path, is made in another chapter. 

When the county of Warrick was organ- 
ized no place in its extensive territory reach- 
ing along the river for more than fifty miles 
was particularly convenient to all of its in- 
habitants. McGary's place was not central, 
but when the commissioners appointed to 
make the selection were assembled at the 
i old Anthonv mill, he presented the claims of 



his location in the best light possible. It was 
not the first choice, but was finally selected. 
At the direction of the court of the new coun- 
ty, the town was laid out, and officially desig- 
nated as Evansville, in honor of General 
Robert M. Evans, a distinguished soldier 
and citizen of Gibson county. McGary had 
given ioo acres of land to the new count}' to 
induce the selection of his town as the coun- 
ty seat. The town, consisting of less than 
half a dozen small log cabins, rudely con- 
structed and located to suit the convenience 
of the settlers, with little regard to the ar- 
rangement of streets, attracted the attention 
of the adventurous spirits who were then be- 
ginning to come into the new territory, and 
in a very short time not less than twenty- 
three men were owners of lots in the town, 
though only a small part of them were resi- 
dents of the place. McGary became verv 
enthusiastic over his prospects and confident- 
ly felt that his town was destined to be a 
metropolis at no verv distant day. His 
hopes, however, rested on a weak foundation. 
By the formation of Posey county in the 
southwest corner of the territory the 
boundaries of Warrick county were so al- 
tered as to place Evansville at one ex- 
tremity of its river border, and before the 
town was three months old, the legislature 
enacted, September ist, 1814, that the seat 
of justice for the county should be moved to 
a place subsequently called Darlington, and 
situated some four miles above the present 
site of the neighboring town of Newburgh, 
and about one mile from the river. It was 
provided that the land conveyed by Col. 
McGary to the county should be re-conveyed 
to him, and every provision was made for 
an abandonment of the place. For a time 
the prospect of building up a town seemed 
without an}- support, but instead of yielding, 
Col. McGary clung tenaciously to his hope, 
and set about to devise some means of put- 

ting new circumstances about the place, and 
new life in it. For two years, however, it 
continued to decline. At length the forma- 
tion of a new county, with his town as the 
central point, was the idea which suggested 
itself as a means of relief. In those days it 
mattered little what natural advantages a 
town possessed or what resources lay about 
it undeveloped, all its hope for prosperity 
was based upon its being the seat of justice 
for some county. The founder of the village 
set about with great zeal and industry to 
supply this desideratum. As the first step 
he enlisted the active interests of Gen. 
Robert M. Evans and James W. Jones, both 
of Gibson county, by conveying to them on 
June 20, 1S17, for $1,300, 130 acres of land, 
being all that part of fractional section No. 
30 which lies above the center of Main street 
in Evansville, except thirty acres previously 
conveyed to Carter Beaman. On the 17th of 
July following these three gentlemen, Evans, 
Jones and McGary, prepared a plan for a 
town, ignoring that previously laid out. 
What they platted appears on the maps of 
the present time as the " original plan " and is 
bounded by Water and Third, and Chest- 
nut and Division streets. The combined 
exertions of these three men were now set 
forth to accomplish the end already adverted 
to. The greatest obstacle to their success 
was the opposing influence of Col. Ratliff 
Boon, a man of more than ordinary ability, 
a courageous patriot and pioneer leader 
whose influence was not confined by the 
limits of his own county. He was a native 
of Georgia, but at an early age moved with 
his parents to Kentucky, and came to Indi- 
ana territory about 1809, settling in War- 
rick county, and from that time forward, 
until he left the state, was identified with 
all public enterprises. He was the first 
representative of Warrick county, was 
twice elected lieutenant-governor of the 


state and, when Gov. Win. Hendricks was 
elected to the U. S. senate, he filled the un- 
expired term as governor. Personally 
interested in the town of Darlington, he did 
not look with favor on any plan which 
seemed likely to affect its prosperity. 

Enthusiastic and deeply in earnest in the 
contemplation of his favorite theme, Col. 
McGarydid not allow his courage to weaken, 
and his complaints of Col. Boon were full 
of bitterness. His address was not dis- 
pleasing, and his conversations on the subject 
of the tiltimate greatness of his embryonic 
city, sparkling as they did with genuine 
ardor, were deeply interesting. 

About this time Gen. Joseph Lane, after- 
ward of national repute, known as a wise 
and upright representative in the state legis- 
latures, a hero of the Mexican war, a mem- 
ber of congress, and governor of Oregon, 
then a young man, figured in the drama be- 
ginning to be acted by becoming the means 
of bringing the weightier men together. 
Young Lane was engaged with others in 
rafting logs near Darlington, and floating 
them to Red Banks, where J. J. Audubon, 
later the foremost of American ornithologists, 
had erected, somewhat in advance of the 
times, a steam saw-mill which afterward 
failed. When rowing back to his home he 
stopped on the banks of the river near 
McGary's house to spend the night, and then 
fell a victim to the enthusiastic and pleasing 
manner of the sanguine Colonel, walking 
with him over the site of the hoped-for 
city, then wild with forest trees and under- 
brush, hearing without resentment the bit- 
ter speeches of his companion against Col. 
Boon, whom Lane admired and counted 
among his best friends. Lane was soon 
afterward employed in the clerk's office in 
Warrick county, and there suggested to 
Col. Boon the opportunity in his power of 
making valuable friends by assisting in the 

formation of a new count)' and yet leaving 
Warrick county large enough to serve his 
own purposes. Whether or not this sug- 
gestion brought the chief actors together, 
it is true that during the next session of the 
circuit court at Darlington, an informal con- 
versation was held in the clerk's office, 
which led finally to the consummation of 
McGary's hopes. 

Judge Daniel Grass, a witty and able man, 
was at the time the senator from Warrick, 
Perr} r and Posey counties in the state legis- 
lature. In 1807 he had entered the land on 
which the town of Rockport now stands and, 
emigrating from Bardstown, Ky., subse- 
quently became the possessor of much land 
within the present borders of Spencer county. 
He was a justice of the peace in 1813, and 
served for three years from 1814 on the 
bench, as an associate judge with Hugh 
McGary as his colleague. He was chosen 
to represent Warrick count}' at the constitu- 
tional convention held at Condon in 1816, 
and later was conspicuously identified with 
the public affairs of Spencer county. Judge 
Grass and Col. Boon had already become riv- 
als and competitors in the struggles for polit- 
ical honors. The pecuniary interests of the 
former were centered in the eastern part of 
the county, and the political prospects of 
each of the rivals could be made brighter 
by a division of the field of labor. This 
Spencer county man was too important a 
personage to be left out of the conference; 
there were present Col. Boon, Gen. Evans, 
Judge Grass, Col. McGary and Lane. The 
proposed plan was discussed at length. It 
was claimed, and with good reason, that the 
territory was too extensive for the jurisdic- 
tion of one court, and for good government, 
though at the time settlers were exceedingly 
scarce; and further, that the organization of 
new counties must follow at no distant day; 
the time seemed ripe for its accomplishment 



the private interests of all concerned might 
be enhanced without detriment to the public: 
if the opportunity were allowed to pass it 
might never return. The force of these 
arguments was conceded, the only objection 
being that Darlington would receive a fatal 
blow by such legislation, because the re- 
location of the seat of justice would neces- 
sarily follow. At length a plan satisfactory 
to all was agreed upon. It provided for the 
organization of two new counties with boun- 
daries so fixed that Evansville and Rock- 
port, then called Hanging Rock and not yet 
the site of a town, would be the most favor- 
able points for the seats of justice. Darling- 
ton was to be left to continue its struggle for 
existence as best it could deprived of all pub- 
lic support. Col. Boon was relieved of his 
political rival, and his name was to be per- 
petuated in the christening of the new county 
seat of Warrick county. Apparently, sordid 
motives underlay this entire transaction, 
which -'he who runs may read."' In shaping 
these deliberations and leading to a conclu- 
sion, personal interest was doubtless a con- 
trolling fact jr. But be it said to the credit 
of the actors that private gain was not made 
at public expense, for great permanent good 
to the communities affected was the result. 
The programme was made a year or more 
prior to its consummation by legislative en- 
actment, and, indeed, in all probability, long 
before Gen. Evans and Mr. Jones became to 
any great extent pecuniarily interested in the 
town of Evansville. Thus Vanderburgh 
county, as an organic unit, owes its existence 
more to the unyielding perseverance and un- 
tiring zeal of Hugh McGary in his efforts 
to maintain the village of Evansville than to 
any other single agencv. 

Warrick county had been named in honor 
of Capt. Jacob Warrick, a pioneer hero, who 
received a mortal wound on the field of 
Tippecanoe while bravely leading his com- 

mand. Spencer countv was now named in 
honor of Capt. Spear Spencer, an able pat- 
riot, also killed at Tippecanoe. The act 
authorizing its formation was passed at the 
same time as that providing for the forma- 
tion of Vanderburgh county and was ap- 
proved three days later, January 10, 1818. 
It mattered little to McGary what name 
was given to the new county. If any was 
suggested or agreed upon in the conference 
which determined the question of its forma- 
tion it was abandoned for reasons of policy. 
Judge Henry Vanderburgh was worthy the 
honor conferred upon his memory, but he 
was in no way identified with the formation 
or development of the county. He had no 
interests in lands in this locality and no claim 
of a local nature upon the people here. He 
was born in Troy, N. Y., in 1760, and at the 
early age of sixteen was appointed a lieu- 
tenant in the Fifth New York Regiment Con- 
tinental troops, to rank as such from the 21st 
davof November, 1776. Hiscommission was 
signed by John Jay, afterward chief justice 
of the United States, and then president of 
the Continental congress, sitting at Phila- 
delphia. He was re-appointed by John 
Hancock, and, subsequently being commis- 
sioned captain in the Second regiment, 
served with honor to himself and credit to 
his country until the close of the war in 17S3. 
The exact time of his coming to the then 
Northwest territory is not known, but prob- 
ably it was in 1788, for in February, 1790, 
he was married in Vincennes to Frances 
Cornoyer, the daughter of Pierre Cornoyer, 
one of the most respected of the ancient 
inhabitants of Port Vincennes, then largelv 
engaged in the Indian trade. In 1791 he 
was appointed by Gen. Arthur St. Clair, 
then commander in chief and governor of 
the Northwest territory, justice of the peace 
and judge of probate for Knox county. 
The first legislature which the people of the 



Northwest territory had any part in elect- 
ing met at Cincinnati in 1799. From the 
nominations made by the representatives, 
Judge Vanderburgh was selected by Gov. 
St, Clair as one of the five who constituted 
the legislative council, and by his colleagues 
in the council he was chosen as their presi- 
dent. Upon the organization of Indiana 
territory suitable recognition was given his 
ability as a lawyer in his selection as one of 
the territorial judges, which honorable po- 
sition he filled with credit to himself and the 
territory until his death in 1812. Interested 
in the educational affairs of the territory, 
he became in 1807 a member of the first 
board of trustees of the Vincennes Uni- 
versity. As a scholar and a soldier he was 
eminent. He sustained the reputation of an 
upright and humane judge, and his death, 
which occurred April 12, 1S12, was gener- 
ally regretted. He was buried with im- 
posing Masonic honors on a farm east of 

Judge Vanderburgh was the kinsman of 
Gen. John Tipton, of Harrison county, one 
of the most influential men then in the leg- 
islature. Tipton gained distinction in the 
campaigns of Gen. Harrison, and being a 
man of rare ability, made his influence felt 
in the formation and naming of many of the 
counties in the state. He admired Judge 
Vanderburgh and revered his memory. 
How natural to wish to perpetuate his name 
in honor, and how easy to attain the wish by 
favoring the plan which was submitted for 
the approval of the legislature. The final 
act which sealed these negotiations, making 
a new county and naming it Vanderburgh, 
was the passage of a bill which is here in- 
serted in full : 

An Act for the formation of a new county 
out of the present counties of Warrick, 
Gibson and Posey, and for the removal of 

the seat of justice of Warrick county and 
for other -purposes. 
Approved January 7, 1S18. 

Section i. Be it enacted by the general 
assembly of the state of Indiana, that from 
and after the first day of February next, all 
that tract or parcel of country which is 
included within the boundaries following, 
shall constitute and form a new county to be 
known and designated by the name and style 
of the county of Vanderburgh, viz. : Begin- 
ning on the Ohio river where the range line 
dividing Ranges 11 and 12 west strike the 
same, thence north with said range line to 
the center of Township 4 south of Bucking- 
ham's base line, thence east through the 
center of Township 4 south, to the range 
line dividing Ranges 9 and 10 west, thence 
south with said range line to a line dividing 
Townships 5 and 6 south, thence east to the 
first section line in Range 9, thence south 
with said section line to the Ohio river, 
thence down the Ohio river with the mean- 
ders thereof to the place of beginning. 

Section 2. The said new county, hereby 
formed and established, shall enjoy and ex- 
ercise all the rights, privileges and jurisdic- 
tions, which to a separate county do or may 
properly appertain or belong. 

Section 3. John Stevenson, of Perry 
count)', Arthur Harbison, of Pike countv, 
William Hargrave, of Gibson county, John 
Allen, of Daviess county, Archibald Scott, 
of Knox county, be and the}- are hereby ap- 
pointed commissioners to fix the seat of jus- 
tice in the said county of Vanderburgh, who 
shall meet at the house of Samuel Scott, in 
said county of Vanderburgh, on the second 
Monday in March next, and proceed to fix 
the seat of justice for the said county of 
Vanderburgh, agreeably to the provisions of 
an act for the fixing the seats of justice in all 
new counties hereafter to be laid off. 



Section 4. Until a court house shall be 
erected for the accommodation of the court 
in the said new counts - , the courts of the said 
county of Vanderburgh shall be held at the 
house of Hugh McGary, in the town of 
Evansville, in said county, or at such other 
place as the court mav from time to time ad- 
journ to. 

Section 5. That the board of commis- 
sioners authorized to transact county busi- 
ness in and for the county of Vanderburgh, 
shall, as soon as convenient after the seat of 
justice is fixed, cause the necessary public 
buildings for said count}' to be erected 

Section 6. The courts shall be ad- 
journed thereto as soon as the court house 
is, in the opinion of the circuit court of said 
new county, sufficiently completed for the 
accommodation of the courts. 

Section 7. Whenever the seat of justice 
within the county of Vanderburgh shall 
have been established, the person authorized 
to dispose of the public lots, belonging to 
said town, shall reserve ten per centum on 
the net proceeds of the whole sale, for the 
use of a county library in said county, which 
sum or sums of monev shall be paid over to 
such person or persons as shall be author- 
ized to receive the same, in such manner 
and in such installments as shall be author- 
ized by law. 

The balance of the act relates to the 
changing of the seat of justice of Warrick 
county from Darlington, where it then was, 
to some other place to be selected by com - 
missioners appointed for that purpose. 
There is nothing further of interest in it per- 
taining to Vanderburgh county. 

On the day appointed by law for the first 
meeting of the board of commissioners of 
the new county, March 9, 1S1S, James An- 
thony, David Brumfield and George Sirkle 
assembled at the designated place, and each 

producing a certificate of election with the 
oath of office duly endorsed thereon, organ- 
ized themselves properly and proceeded to 
business. No definite action resulted from 
their first day's deliberations. The most 
important business to be transacted was the 
fixing of the county seat, and there was some 
uneasiness over the non-arrival of some 
of the commissioners. On the follow- 
ing day, they divided the county into two 
townships as elsewhere described. Pigeon 
township, of Warrick county, had pre- 
viously embraced nearly all of the new 
county. Elections for the selection of jus- 
tices of the peace were directed to be held 
in both of the townships: the time and 
places of holding the same were definitely 
fixed. Hugh McGary's warehouse was de- 
clared a public warehouse and inspectors for 
it were appointed, overseers of the poor, su- 
perintendents of school sections and an as- 
sessor were appointed. Matthias Whet- 
stone, Patrick Calvert and James Patton 
were appointed to view a proposed public 
highway. Some of the commissioners ap- 
pointed by the legislature to fix the per- 
manent seat of justice having failed to 
appear the vacancies thus caused were filled 
by appointment. Arthur Harbison, John 
Stephens and John Allen were they who 
neglected to appear. Thomas E. Cassel- 
berry, Wilson Bullett and Elias Barker were 
appointed in their stead. These three, to- 
gether with William Hargrove and Archi- 
bald Scott, previously designated by the 
legislature, came before the board of county 
commissioners on the next day, March nth, 
and submitted their report, which being a 
venerable and interesting document is pre- 
sented in full in connection with the early 
historv of the city of Evansville as elsewhere 

After accepting the report of the locating 
commissioners, by which Evansville was 



selected as the seat of government for the new- 
county, the board of commissioners pro- 
ceeded to appoint a county agent and treas- 
urer. Fof locating the seat of justice the 
following allowances were made : Archibald 
Scott, $21.00; William Hargrove, $15.00; 
Wilson Bullett and Elias Barker, each $9.00; 
Thos. E. Casselberry, $6.oo. All of this im- 
portant business was transacted in three days, 
after which an adjournment to May 11, 
1S1S, was ordered. The subsequent im- 
portant acts of the board of commissioners 
are mentioned in detail in connection with 
the subjects to which they relate, and fur- 
ther facts concerning the chief actors in the 
formation of the county are stated in con- 
nection with the early history of Evansville. 
County Commissioners. — The board of 
commissioners is composed of three men 
elected by the people, one from each of three 
districts, with fixed limits, into which the 
county is divided. Without pretensions to 
legal exactitude, it may be said that it rep- 
resents and acts for the countv as agent in 
all business transactions. Its duties are 
ministerial, being particularly prescribed by 
law, yet great latitude is allowed for the ex- 
ercise of discretion and judgment. As ! 
stated elsewhere, James Anthony, David 
Brumrield and George Sirkle, formed the 
first board. Others who served prior to 
1824 were Benjamin McNew, William Olm- 
stead, Jay Morehouse, D. F. Goldsmith, and 
Kirby Armstrong. 

The legislature of 1823-4 enacted a law 
which entirely changed the plan of trans- 
acting countv business so far as concerned 
the personnel of the acting body. It pro- 
vided that the justices of the peace in the 
county should organize as a board and as- 
sume the duties theretofore discharged by 
the commissioners. The first meeting of the 
board of justices in this county was held on 
the 2d Monday in September, 1S24, at the 

court-house, when there were present Leon 
F. Ragar, Daniel Miller, Benjamin F. 
Barker, Eli Sherwood, William Bingam, 
James Kirkpatrick and John Conner, the 
last named being chosen president of the 
board. At the expiration of Mr. Conner's 
term as a justice in July, 1825, Eli Sherwood 
was made president pro fern., and an election 
was ordered to be held in August following. 
Mr. Conner was elected by the people as 
his own successor, and upon the assemblv of 
the justices in September was again chosen 
president, and continued to serve as such 
till September, 1828, when Nathan Rowley, 
Esq., was elected in his stead, who, being 
succeeded after one year's service by James 
Ross, Esq., was again elected in September, 

1830. The transaction of the public busi- 
ness was somewhat retarded by this un- 
wieldy body. The large number made it 
sometimes difficult to get a quorum, and it 
became necessary at times to send the 
sheriff for delinquent members and adjourn 
from day to day until enough were brought 
in to proceed to business. In January, 1831, 
the legislature recognizing the difficulties 
incident to such a mode of doing business 
enacted a law providing for a return to the 
former plan of a board of commissioners. 
The board of justices divided the county 
into three districts at their May term, 1831, 
and held the last meeting in July following, 
when there were present James Ross, presi- 
dent fro tern.; Alpheus Fairchild, John S. 
Saunders, Martin Miller and Hiram Nelson. 
Their last official act was the appointment 
of Edward Hopkins as collector of taxes for 
1 S3 1. On the first Monday in September, 

1831, James Ross, John B. Stinson and 
Amos Clark convened at the court house, 
organized as a board of commissioners, 
adopted a scroll as a common seal and pro- 
ceeded to the dispatch of business. Those 
who have since served the public in this ca- 

y ; :-- ■ ■■■•^■■■'^ 


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x^34*?i$^^S: frM<-, 

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pacity are here named in the order of ser- 
vice: C. D. Bourne, Vicissimus K. Phar, 
J. B. Stinson, Edward Hopkins, Wm. R. 
Barker, Thos. F. Stockwell, Everton Ken- 
nerly, Simpson Ritchey, D. D. Grimes, 
Willard Carpenter, Edmund Maidlow, Ever- 
ton Kennedy, Ezekiel Saunders, Ira P. 
Grainger, John Burtis, Michael P. Jones, 
Leroy Calvert, Simeon Long, Jr., Aianson 
Warner, Edmund Maidlow, Alexander Mad- 
dux, Cassimer Schlamp (appointed in 1853 
to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of 
A. Warner), William Pruitt, John Rhein- 
lander, Michael Muentzer, James Neel (ap- 
pointed in 1S55 to fill the vacancy caused by 
resignation of J. Rheinlander), Robert Par- 
rett, John Hogue (appointed in 1S60 to fill 
the vacancy occasioned by death of R. Par- 
rett), M. W. Foster, John Bumb, John 
Hogue, Bernard Nurre, Charles Knowles, 
Joseph B. Parrett, Philip Decker, Thomas 
Bower, Henry W. Hawkins, Samuel Barker 
(appointed in 1S69 to fill vacancy caused 
by resignation of H. W. Hawkins), James 
Erskine, James D. Fair, Clark Cody, Benja- 
min Young, George Peva, Christian Hod- 
derich, A. A. Swope, Jacob Bennighof, 
Samuel Barker, John Laval, Wm. Dean 
(appointed in 1SS2 to fill vacancy caused by 
resignation of J. Laval), Henry Brommel- 
house, Wm. E. Bauer, Henry Mesker, J. F. 
Saunders, Christian Wunderlich, Wm. 
Bower, James L. King, and Henry II. 

County Treasurer. — This officer is charged 
with the safe-keeping and proper disburse- 
ment of all money belonging to the county. 
At first he was appointed hy the county 
commissioners, but later the office became 
elective, the term extending two years. The 
first treasurer of the county was George W. 
Jacobs, appointed March 10, 1S18. His 
bondsmen were Robert M. Evans and Luke 
Wood. So faithful was he to the trust com- 

mitted to him, that he was annually ap- 
pointed until his death. His successor was 
Maj. Aianson Warner, who assumed the 
duties of the office January 1, 1S29. 
Alexander Johnston served during 1830, 
but in the following year Maj. Warner was 
again appointed and served until 1S41, ex- 
cept during the four years from 1 S3 3 to 1836, 
inclusive, when John M. Lockvvood held the 
office. B. Royston, by election and appoint- 
ment, served from September, 1841, to 
March, 1845. Subsequently, the people 
have chosen from their number, to fill this 
important and responsible position, the fol- 
lowing citizens: Robert W. Dunbar, 1845 
to 1854; Theodore Venemann, 1854 to 1S58; 
Leroy Calvert, 1S62 to 1S64; John Rhein- 
lander, 1864 to 1S66; F. Lunkenheimer, 
1866 to 1871; William Warren, Jr., 1S71 to 
1875; Emil Rahm, 1875 to ^79; Thos. P. 
Britton, 1879 to I ^83; John J. Hays, 1883 
to 1S87; August Leich, 1SS7 to 1891. The 
death of Mr. Britton in July, 1883, caused a 
vacancy, which was filled by the appoint- 
ment of his deputy, Martin Mann, Jr., who 
served from August to October of the year 

County Auditor. — The office of county 
auditor is of comparatively recent creation. 
It is elective, the term being four years. 
The auditor is the fiscal agent and book- 
keeper of the county. He is ex-qfficio clerk of 
the board of commissioners, and is entrusted 
with the management of the common school 
and congressional township funds. James M. 
Johnston was the first to hold the office; he 
was appointed in August, 1S41, and resigned 
in Januarv, 1843. His successor was H. C. 
Gwathney, who also resigned in June follow- 
ing his appointment. William II. Walker 
was appointed to the office in 1S43, and in 
the next year was chosen by the popular 
vote as his own successor, and continued in 
the office until March, 1862, since which 


time it has been held by Victor Bisch, from 
1S62 to 1870; Philip Decker, 1870 to 1874; 
Joseph J. Reitz, 1874 to l8 7 8 ; William 
Warren, Jr., 1878 to 18S2; Charles F. Yae- 
ger, 18S2 to 1886; James D. Parvin, the 
present incumbent, whose term will expire 
in 1890. 

County Agent. — This officer, at present 
unknown, was in early times an important 
public functionary. As the name implies 
he was an agent, his principal being the 
county personified in the board of commis- 
sioners. He sold property belonging to the 
count}-, executed papers in its behalf, made 
purchases for its use, and in a general way 
superintended its affairs. The first agent was 
Daniel Miller, appointed March 10, 1818. 
His bondsmen were William Wagnon, and 
William R. McGary. Among those en- 
trusted with the discharge of duties per- 
taining to this office were Harley B. 
Chandler, Jacob Zimmerman, Amos Clark, 
Levi Price, James Lockhart, Jay More- 
house and man}' others. The last to hold 
the office was Hon. Thomas E. Garvin, who 
made his final report and surrendered the 
books and papers of the office in December, 
1852, the legislature, in the preceding 
May, having abolished the office by trans- 
ferring its duties to the county auditor. 

Recorder. — This officer keeps the records 
of deeds, mortgages, etc., and is elected by 
the people for a term of four years. The 
incumbents of the office have been : Hugh 
McGary, 1818-1821; W. M. Lewis, 182 1- 
1832; W. T. T. Jones, 1832-1S36; C. D. 
Bourne, 1836-1843; S. T. Jenkins, 1843^ 
1852; George H. Todd, May to November, 
1S52; Christian Bippus, 1852-1856; John 
Farrell, 1856-1860; F. Lunkenheimer, 
1860-1S64; c - Tomhemelt, 1S64-1872; S. 
B. Sansom, 1872-18S0; Charles T. Jenkins, 
18S0-1884; Louis Sihler, the present in- 
cumbent, whose term expires in 1892, 

Clerk. — Formerly the clerk of the circuit 
court was ex-officio clerk of the board of 
commissioners. The duties of the office 
are now limited to the business of the cir- 
cuit and superior courts, the issue of mar- 
riage licenses, and some other transactions. 
The clerk is elected every four years. The 
office has' been held by Hugh McGary, 
1818-1821; James W.Jones, 1822-1S36; C. 
D. Bourne, 1836-1843; Samuel T. Jenkins, 
1843-1852; Ben Stinson, May to November, 
1852; Jacob Lunkenheimer, 1852-1857; 
Louis Richter, 185 7-1 864; Blythe Hynes, 
1864-1S6S; Soren Sorenson, 1S68-1S76; 
Jesse W. Walker, 1876-1884; Charles T. 
Jenkins, 1884, term expires 1892. 

Sheriff. — John B. Stinson, 1818; Hazael 
Putnam, August 24, 1818; Alanson Warner, 
1822; James Newman, 1824, Alanson War- 
ner, February, 1827; Daniel Miller, Sep- 
tember, 1827; Levi Price, 1831; Edward 
Hopkins, 1834; Daniel Miller, 1835 ; Thomas 
F. Stockwell, 1839; William M. Walker, 
1S43; John Echols, 1847; John S. Terry, 
1849; John S. Gavit,. 1853; John B. Hall, 
1857; John S. Gavit, 1859; George Wolflin, 
1861; George Wolflin, 1863; Robert Early, 
August, 1865; Alex Darling, October, 1S65; 
Jacob H. Miller, 1867; Adolph Pfafflin, 1S70; 

C. Wunderlich, 1874; J. A. Lemcke, 1878; 
Thomas Keith, 1SS0; Charles Schaum, 1S84; 
Frank Pritchett, 1888. 

Surveyor. — Joseph M. McDowell, June 
17, 1819; (The records in regard to this 
office are incomplete.) Charles G. Omsted, 
1853; Azariah T. Whittlesey, 1855; James 

D. Saunders, 1856; J. R. Frick, i860; James 
D. Saunders, 1862; S. C. Rogers, 1S64; 
Charles B. Bateman, 1870; August Pfafflin, 
1872; James D. Saunders, 1S76; Robert S. 
Cowan, 18S0; George W. Rank, 1S82; 
George W. Saunders, 1884; Franklin Sours, 
1886; August Pfafflin, 1888. 

Coroner. — Lewis Tackett, August 24, 


1S1S; Alanson Warner, September, 1S19; 
Daniel Avery, 1822; Jesse C. Doom, 1S24; 
Alanson Warner, 1825; John Shaver, 1S27; 
David H. Stevens, 1829; Seth Fairchild, 
1831; Z. B. Aydelott, 1836; Adrian Young, 
1S38; Seth Fairchild, 1842; Lewis Howes, 
1844; John Cupples, 1847; Allen C. Hallock, 
1S49: John Trible, 1851; James G. Hatch- 
ed, 1857; John Wayman, 1859; Ira A - 
Fairchild, 1862; John Beschman, 1S64; Sam- 
uel P. Havlin, 1866; George F. Sauer, 1868; 
Robert Smith, 1872; George F. Sauer, 1874; 
Fred Woseger, 1878; John B. Hermeling, 
18S0; Elijah L. Carter, 1882; Fred Wahn- 
seidler, 1884; Alfred Andrews, 1S88. 

Representatives.* — Donaghe,HughM.,'2i; 
Lane, Joseph, '22; Evans, Robert M., '23; 
McCrary, John, '25 ; Fitzgerald, Thomas, '25 ; 
McJohnston, Charles M., '27; Trafton, Wm, 
'28; Evans, Robert M., '29; Lane, Joseph, 
'30; Brackenridge, John A., '33; Graham, 
Christopher C, '35; Jones, Wm. T. T., '36; 
Lane, Joseph, '38; Butler, Wm. B., '39; 
Clark, Amos, '41 : Butler, W. B., '42 ; Miller, 
Daniel, '43; Walker, James T., '44; Baker, 
Conrad, '45; Battell, Chas. I., '46; Blythe, 
James E., '47; James, Nathaniel J., '48; 
Greathouse, William R., '49; Hutchins, 
Isaac, '50; Carpenter, Willard, '51; Stock- 
well, John M., '53; Hardin, GrampeeW., '55: 
Denby, Charles, '57; Stinson, Ben, '59; 
Blvthe, James E., "59; Edson, Joseph P., 
'61; Hopkins, John S., '61; Garvin, Thomas 
E., "&t,\ Reitz, John A., '63; Sullivan, Ed- 
ward T., '65; Cook, Fred W., '65; Bischof, 
Emil, '67; Hopkins, John S., '67; Calvert, 
Leroy. '69; Welborn, Jos. F., '69; Hooker, 
Robert P., '71; Heilman, Wm., '71; Riggs, 
James D., '73; Wolflin, George, '73; Pfafflin, 
Adolph, '75: Miller, Wm. H., '75; White- 
head, John, '77; Dannettelle, John, '77; 

"The above list of senators and representatives was fur- 
nished by Hon. W. H. English, of Indianapolis, to whom 
the publishers are under obligations. 

Hopkins, John S., '79; Messick, Jacob W., 
'79; Roelker, John H., '81; Pruitt, John F., 
'S3; Spain, James W., '83; Pruitt, John F., 
'85; Murphy, Christopher J., '85; Klein, 
Philip, '87; Mackey, Robert L., '87; Co- 
vert, Jacob, '87; Covert, Jacob, '89; Nolan, 
John J., '89; Nugent, John R., '89. 

Senators* — Boon, Ratliff, '18; Harrison, 
Elisha, '19; Given, Thomas, '25; Battell, 
Charles I., '33; Casey, William, '35; Lane, 
Joseph, '39; Roberts, Gaines IL, '40; 
Pitcher, John, '41 ; Lane, Joseph, '44; Stock- 
well, Wm. H., '46; James, Enoch R., '47; 
Greathouse, Wm. R., '53; Drew, Cyrus K., 
"55; Carnahan, Mangus T., '59; Finch, 
George M., '63; Jacquess, Thos. C, '67; 
Morgan, Daniel, '69; Gooding, Henry C, 
'73; Heilman, William, '77; Rahm, Wm., 
Jr., 'Si; Kerth, Thomas, '89. 

The Public Square. — The public square, 
comprising the four quarter-blocks corner- 
ing on Main and Third streets, running 
from the several corners on each of the 
streets named 150 feet, or to the alleys, was 
in 1818 in its natural state, except that the 
road from the north to the river passed 
through its limits. In June of that year the 
county agent was directed to have the square 
cleared. He immediately entered into con- 
tract with Chauncey Smith, who, during the 
summer cleared the land at a cost to the 
county of $55.75. It was not until 1S37 that 
the natural topography of the place was in 
any way altered. At that time the half along 
the east side of Main street, on which the 
court-house and jail stood, was graded and 
paved. In 1820 a public pound or stray pen 
was built where the court-house now is, by 
Julius Gibson, for $40.00. It was four rods 
square, was built of white oak posts and 
rails, and stood for many years. On the op- 
posite corner across Third street but near 
the alley, stood for many years the market 
house facing Main street, the out-building s 



around the main structure reaching to the 

Court-Houses . — At times antedating the 
formation of this count}-, the Warrick county 
courts were held at the house of Hugh 
McGary. Even after the seat of justice had 
been removed to Darlington near the mouth 
of Little Pigeon creek, the hospitable home 
of McGary remained a favorite place with 
the judges. The new county of Vander- 
burgh during the first two years of its ex- 
istence continued the use of this house for 
its courts. Very naturally the need of a 
court-house was immediately recognized, 
but steps toward building it were not taken 
until late in the summer of 181S, when the 
agent for the county was directed to contract 
for such material as might be used in its erec- 
tion. Little progress was made and definite 
plans were not adopted until February 15, 
. 1S19. It was at first proposed to locate the 
building in the center of the streets so as to 
completely block Main and Third. The 
around was broken and preparations were 
made to commence the actual construction, 
when the board of commissioners met and 
concluded to abandon the purpose of so ef- 
fectually inconveniencing the public as to 
place a barrier to all travel on its most pub- 
lic thoroughfare. The site finally chosen 
was the southeast quarter of the public 
square as it then existed — now the south- 
east corner of Third and Main streets. 
The building stood about ten feet from the 
streets on which it faced, and was probably 
the first brick house in the city, the bricks 
being burned on the corner where the court- 
house now stands. It was a heavy-looking, 
substantial building with thick walls and 
strong timbers. The foundation was of stone 
three feet thick. It was 34x46 feet in size, two 
stories high, the eaves being about twenty- 
five feet above the ground. The shingles 
were heavy and scalloped; and battlements 

at either end gave it somewhat of an im- 
posing aspect. The whole was painted a 
Spanish brown and penciled with white lead. 
In the upper story there were five windows 
on each side and two in each end, and below' 
there was the same arrangement except that 
a door took the place of a window in the 
end fronting on Main street. The first floor 
was of brick except about the bar in the end 
most distant from the street, where it was of 
heavy timbers a foot wide, and four inches 
thick. The contract for the substantial part 
of the structure was let to Elisha Harrison 
and Daniel F. Goldsmith in April, 1819, and 
in May, 1820, the building was ready for 
the examination and acceptance' of the com- 
missioners. In providing for the payment 
of these contractors the count}' was forced 
to devise various makeshifts. Money was 
very scarce. The receipts at the treasury 
were small and loans could not be negotiated. 
Notes of hand issued by individuals in favor 
of the county for lots sold were assigned by 
the county agent to the contractors. They 
were authorized to collect the money prom- 
ised by the town proprietors as an induce- 
ment for the selection of Evansville as a 
permanent seat of justice, which, after much 
trouble, they succeeded in doing. Orders 
were issued to them — but they were orders 
on an empty treasury, and because of long 
deferred payments were disposed of at heavy 
discounts. When received by the commis- 
sioners there had been paid in values of 
different kinds, $5,425.00, but this by no 
means ended the matter. On one order' is- 
sued in 1820 for $528.06, interest amount- 
ing to $358.83 was allowed in 1831. The 
order was still unpaid in iS36,and the inter- 
est was again compounded. From such 
facts the ultimate cost of this court-house 
may be approximately reckoned. 

David Negley entered into contract to 
make the doors, jury rooms, floors and do 


other carpenter work, for which he was to 
be paid in town lots, the value of which 
should be determined by disinterested parties 
should he and the commissioners fail to 
agree. While this work was progressing 
during the winter months the commissioners 
met at the court house and adjourned to 
some warmer place for the transaction of 
business, sometimes to the clerk's office and 
again to the houses of Everton Kennerly 
or Presley Pritchett. In August, 1822, the 
county agent was directed to make a deed 
of conveyance to Jones and Walker for lots 
Nos. 167 and 168, being lots given to the 
county of Vanderburgh by the town of 
Evansville. They were estimated at the 
value of $150.00, which sum was to be en- 
tered as a credit for work done by Mr. 
Negley on the court house; provided he 
should consent to the transaction in writing. 
These lots had been disposed of at the sale 
by the county to James Stinson and Presley 
Pritchett for $170.00. Daniel Miller as 
agent for the county had taken their notes 
in payment and had given a bond for a deed. 
When this triangular transaction between 
Jones and Walker, the county, and Negley, 
was made, the notes of Stinson and Pritchett 
were surrendered and they in turn gave up 
their bonds for deeds. The matter was not 
wholly settled until November of the next 
year, when at Negley's request a small al- 
lowance was made to Wm. Walker, in full 
payment for the former's work. Such were 
the expedients resorted to. The county has 
never since found itself in just such straits. 
The times did not improve, however, and 
much needed repairs were from time to 
time neglected. In 1S37 the vestry of St. 
Paul's church expended a considerable sum 
in repairing the court-house, for which the 
church was permitted to use the building as 
a house of worship, not, however, so as to 
interfere with the holding of courts. In 

making this arrangement with the church 
the county reserved the privilege of refund- 
ing the amount used in repairs and taking 
exclusive possession. The walls of this old 
court-house are still well preserved. The 
building is used as a clothing store on Main 
street near Third. The records of the 
county had been kept at the house of Mr. 
James Newman. The treasurer and count)' 
agent were not provided with offices. The 
clerk of the courts, who was also cx-officio 
clerk of the board of commissioners, took 
care of the books and papers of his office 
at his residence or place of business. This 
condition of affairs remained for some years 
after the erection of the court-house, but in 
1837 a fire-proof brick office, 18x30 feet, 
for the offices of the clerk and recorder, was 
built on the public square, facing Main street, 
about twenty feet south of the court house, 
by Thomas F. Stockwell, at a cost of 

The conveniences afforded by this small 
building and the court-house soon became 
entirely inadequate. The volume of the 
public business was annually increasing. 
The population was growing; an era of pros- 
perity was begun; man}^ causes had con- 
trived to give an impetus to commercial and 
mercantile affairs which improved the fi- 
nancial condition of the individual and the 
community. In June, 1852, after various 
plans had been submitted and discussed, an 
agreement was made with James Roquet, 
a French architect and contractor, for build- 
ing a new court-house, jail and jailor's resi- 
dence. The design was substantially that 
of the present court house, convenient and 
sufficiently commodious for the times. The 
northeast quarter of the public square was 
selected as the site for the new building. 
The three remaining quarters were to be 
transferred by the count)' to Mr. Roquet as 
compensation in full for erecting the build- 


ings required. The contracts for the work 
and amendments in the plans were drawn by 
James G. Jones and Hon. Conrad Baker, 
then attorneys practicing in this county. The 
commissioners were Leroy Calvert, Alanson 
Warner and Simeon Long. Some changes 
were made in the plans when the work was 
in progress, by which a slate roof and a 
dome were provided at an additional cost of 
about $ 1,000. When the lot on which the 
old court-house stood was conveyed, the 
consideration named was $14,000, from 
yyhich fact by making allowance for the two 
buildings thereon, an estimate, fairly accur- 
ate, of the cost of the court-house and the 
value of the property used in payment for 
it, can be arrived at. The work was not 
finished within the time specified, and the 
commissioners were in every possible way- 
urging it forward. It was so far completed 
that the auditor, clerk and recorder, in June, 
1855, moved into the offices prepared for 
them under its roof. In the folloyving Sep- 
tember the contractor was urged to com- 
plete the building within thirty days. On 
his failure to do this, a suit on his contract 
was threatened. Unavoidable delays fol- 
lowed. On the day before Christmas, 1855, 
a fire, originating in a lumber-yard east of 
the court-house, burned its way unchecked 
toward the new building and soon enveloped 
it in flames. The records were nearly all 
removed in safety, but the building, except 
the fire-proof walls, was completely de- 
stroyed. The commissioners accepted $150 
from the contractor as payment in full for 
the uncompleted portion of the building, 
thus shoyving how little remained to be done 
to perfect it when accidentally destroyed. 
The sympathy of the entire community was 
with Mr. Roquet. About 500 leading citi- 
zens and tax payers petitioned the commis- 
sioners to release him and his sureties from 
any liability which they might "be supposed 

to have incurred," and they were accord- 
ingly released. Somewhat dejected, the 
recorder and treasurer, who were just be- 
ginning to appreciate their new quarters, on 
Christmas day moved back into the little 
office previously vacated, and yvhich had 
been occupied later by the town officers and 
its council. The Crescent City hall was 
rented for the use of the courts; rooms over 
the Crescent City Bank for the clerk ; and an 
isolated office on the street for the auditor. 
After the unfortunate fire no time was lost. 
Plans were immediately adopted for the re- 
pair of the damage done. They were pre- 
pared by a committee appointed for the pur- 
pose, consisting of Peter Sharpe, James G. 
Jones, J. S. Hopkins, W. Carpenter, J. T. 
Hugo, John Henson, James Lockhart, 
James D. Saunders, and Michael Muentzer. 
In March, 1856, Francis D. Allen agreed 
with the commissioners to rebuild the court- 
house and complete the other buildings for 
$14,300. Upon its completion in 1857, dif- 
ferences arose between the contractor and 
commissioners as to extra yvork done and 
damages sustained by reason of defective 
work. A committee of citizens, composed 
of John S. Hopkins, Peter Sharpe, Michael 
Muentzer, James Rogers and James Steel, 
was appointed to settle the matter by arbi- 
tration. After thoroughly examining the 
premises, the committee ayvarded the count}' 
over $700 for damages and the contractor 
about $35 for extras. Its conclusions were 
satisfactory to the interested parties and a 
final settlement was made. This court- 
house is still used, though somewhat dilapi- 
dated and of forbidding aspect. It is of 
brick, two stories high, surmounted by a 
dome. The main entrance, leading into a 
paved corridor along which are the offices 
of the auditor, clerk, sheriff, recorder and 
treasurer, is through a lofty portico sup- 
ported by massive columns, in the Grecian 



style of architecture, so much admired in 
public edifices at the time when this build- 
ing was erected. On the second floor are 
the court-room, the commissioners' rooms, 
the jury-rooms and judge's office. 

For more than fifteen years the inade- 
quacy of this court-house has been gener- 
ally recognized and efforts to have it replaced 
by a suitable edifice have been frequently 
made. In 1884, the need of better facilities 
for the transaction of the public business 
and greater security for the valuable county 
records, was so pressinglv felt that an at- 
tempt to remodel and reconstruct the old 
court-house was determined upon, the com- 
missioners being unwilling at that time to 
incur the expense of a new building. This 
led to a general discussion among the people, 
a part of whom advocated the erection of 
an edifice that would be an honor to a com- 
munity whose prosperity was evidenced by an 
annual tax list of nearly half a million dollars. 
The contemplated reconstruction, however, 
was not undertaken, and two years elapsed 
before a final determination to abandon the 
old building and erect a new one was 
reached. Architects were invited to submit 
plans, which were examined by H. Mur- 
sinna, expert. From them the commissioners 
and a committee of citizens, consisting of 
Maj. Joseph B. Cox, Hon. William Heil- 
man and Dr. John Laval, selected as the 
most satisfactory and suitable, those pre- 
pared by Mr. H. Wolters, of Louisville, Ky., 
who fixed as the limit of its cost $400,000. 
In September, 1887, the following proposals 
for its construction were received; Charles 
Pearce & Co., $379,450; Jacob Meyer & 
Bro., $398,000; McCormack & Redman, 
$384,900. The first named bid being the 
lowest, was accepted, and contracts were en- 
tered into. The building is to stand on what 
is commonly called Union Block — the old 
site of the Wabash & Erie canal basin — 

between Fourth and Fifth and Vine and 
Division streets. This block was purchased 
in 1873 as a site for a new court-house, for' 
about $54,000, upon the recommendation of 
a committee of citizens, consisting of such 
representative men as Judge Asa Iglehart, 
Gen. J. M. Shackleford, Hon. Thomas E. 
Garvin, Col. J. S. Buchanan and Hon. 
Charles Denby. These gentlemen had pre- 
viously been commissioned by the Evans- 
ville bar to wait upon and urge the commis- 
sioners to erect a new court house, such as- 
the public business of the county and the 
safety of its records required, and in turn 
delegated by the commissioners to select a 
suitable place for the purpose. Recently 
the title of the county to this property was 
attacked in the courts by assigns of the 
Wabash & Erie canal trustees, but with- 
out success. 

Superior Court Boom. — When by law 
new courts were established to aid the cir- 
cuit court in disposing of the annually in- 
creasing accumulation of cases on its docket, 
it became necessary to provide a place for 
the holding of such courts. For this pur- 
pose a brick building on Locust street, be- 
tween Second and Third streets, formerly 
known as the Locust Street Methodist 
Church, was purchased in April, 1870, for 
$8,000.00. The room was not especially 
designed for the purposes to which it has 
been put and lacks many conveniences which 
it is hoped the new court-house may supply. 

Jails. — The county had hardly been or- 
ganized before preparations were made for 
the building of a jail. In the early settle- 
ment of the county there were many crimi- 
nals in proportion to the population, and 
many inducements to the commission of 
crime. A place of imprisonment near 
at hand was a necessity. There 
were instances of criminals being taken 
from this locality to the town of Vin- 



cennes for confinement — when the Knox 
count}- courts had jurisdiction here. May 
nth, 1S18, a plan for the first jail in this 
county was adopted. Standing on the north- 
east quarter of the public square back from 
the street, it was twelve feet square in the 
clear, with double walls of heavy oak set 
one foot apart, the intervening space being 
filled with heavy oak timbers set on end and 
extending three feet beneath the lower floor 
of this jail into the gTound. The logs in 
the walls were so notched at the ends as to 
interlock and hold together firmly. The 
lower floor was double, the timbers crossing 
each other and passing through the inner 
wall so as to jut against the vertical pieces 
in the central space. The room between was 
eight feet high and was used for the deten- 
tion of ordinary law-breakers. The second 
floor was of oak timbers one foot square, 
and the third floor or ceiling of the upper 
room was six inches thick. A flight of 
stairs ran up on the outside of the building 
to a platform onto which two doors opened. 
These two doors admitted to entirely differ- 
ent apartments, and were opened for two 
widely different classes of offenders against 
the majesty of the law. One was a dungeon, 
4x12 feet in size, with two very small and 
heavily ironed windows, in which the most 
conscienceless criminals were confined. The 
other room was but twice as large and had 
but one window and that only 12x15 inches. 
This was the debtor's room, where men were 
imprisoned because they were unfortunate 
enough to be in debt and unable to pay. 
Debtors were often arrested and thrown into 
jail and thus deprived of all means of pay- 
ing what they might owe. If one so im- 
prisoned was able to give a bond for twice 
the amount of his debt he was allowed to 
use the "prison bounds," which were fixed 
by the circuit court, at first to include the 
space between Locust and Sycamore from 

the river to Fourth street, and in the fall of 
1S19 "to include the town of Evansville." 
This relic of barbarism which clung so ten- 
aciously to the law of the land has at last 
been shaken off, never, it is hoped, to regain 
its hold. This first jail was built by Hugh 
McGary for $875.00, was completed and 
received February 15th, 18 19, and remained 
in use about ten years. In September, 1829, 
the county sheriff was directed to sell the 
jail to the highest bidder, who was to re- 
move it from the public square within one 
month from the date of purchase. The 
doors and hinges were reserved from sale; 
the remainder of the structure brought 
$19.37^. For a brief period law-breakers 
were weighted with ball and chain, guarded 
by a deputy sheriff, and maintained at some 
of the public taverns. In May, 1832, Wm. 
Lewis, John Mitchell and Alanson Warner 
were appointed agents to contract for and 
superintend the building of a new jail on 
the site of the old jail, two stories high, 
18x22 feet, with a stone foundation, floors 
of hewn timber covered with plank, and 
double walls of hea\y timber for the lower 
story with a space between the walls as in 
the old jail, but filled with stone. Each 
story was to be eight feet high — the upper 
with single walls. A contract was made 
with Dr. Wm. Trafton, Joseph Butler and 
Wm. Butler, September 26th, 1832, for the 
building of this jail. It was completed 
within two months, and the contractors were 
paid $350.00. 

In 1845 the sheriff, Wm. M. Walker, was 
authorized to build a residence adjoining the 
jail at his own expense, and if at the close 
of his official term he and the commissioners 
could not agree as to a price for the pur- 
chase of the same by the county, Mr. Walker 
was to be permitted to remove it from 
the public ground, but he did not take ad- 
vantage of this offer. In the previous year 



a considerable sum had been expended in 
repairing die jail and putting a fence around 
it, which work had been ordered by the cir- 
cuit court. Prior to this the grounds about 
the jail had become a favorite resort for the 
boj's of the town for playing town ball and 
other like games. For a long time there 
was confined in this jail a crazy woman by 
the name of Ellen Riggs, who in some way 
learned the names of all the boys who con- 
gregated about the place, and was constantly 
calling to some of them in a wild sort of 
jargon from behind the bars. These facts 
probably led the court to direct the building 
of the fence. 

Just twenty years after the building of this 
jail another was erected to replace it, the 
new one being still in use though now about 
thirty-five years old. It was built by James 
Roquet under the contract above mentioned 
in connection with the history of the court- 
house which was consumed hy fire. It is 
constructed of stone, substantially built, two 
stories in height, with sixteen cells and a ca- 
pacity for forty inmates. A brick residence 
for the sheriff, plain but comfortable, stands 
immediately in front of the jail, facing on 
Third street. Lot No. 171 in the donation 
enlargement of Evansville — near the new 
court-house ground — was purchased in Au- 
gust, 1887, from W. C. Keller and Mrs. Kate 
Armstrong for $5,495.00, for the purpose of 
erecting a new jail thereon, the plans for 
which have not yet been adopted. 

Finances. — The growth and development 
of a governmental institution are most clearly 
shown in its financial history. Figures are 
tedious but instructive. In this county they 
show the advance in yearly taxes contributed 
by the people from less than two hundred to 
more than half a million dollars. The 
sources of revenue were at first limited. 
Lands could not be assessed for taxation 
until five years after entry. Settlement in 

the county having begun nearly a dozen 
years prior to its official organization, some 
immediate revenue was afforded, and the 
distressing condition of affairs which pre- 
vailed in many new counties in the interior 
of the state were here avoided. In 1818, 
the tax levied on each one hundred acres of 
land was for first rate 25 cents, for second 
rate 18^ cents, and for third rate 12^ 
cents. Lots in Evansville were assessed ac- 
cording to their value; 50 cents per $100 
valuation. Horses were assessed 37/4 
cents, and taverns $15.00 each. In 1820, in 
addition to these subjects of taxation, four- 
wheeled pleasure carriages at $1.25 each, 
silver watches at 25 cents each, and gold 
watches at 50 cents each, were added to the 
list. In 1S22, 1823 and 1824, the board of 
commissioners disposed of the subject of a 
tax levy by making this brief and perspicuous 
entry: " Ordered that a tax for county pur- 
poses be laid on all property subject to tax- 
ation as high as the law will allow." In 
the following year rates on lands were fixed 
at one-half the rates established by the legis- 
lature for state purposes; other levies were: 
37^2 cents on horses and mules over three 
years old, 185^ cents on oxen over three 
years old, $1.00 on two-wheeled pleasure 
carriages, $1.50 on four-wheeled pleasure 
carriages, $1.00 on brass clocks, $1.00 on 
gold watches, 25 cents on silver or pinch- 
beck watches, from $5.00 to $25.00 for 
licenses to sell liquor, from $10.00 to $50.00 
for licenses to vend foreign merchandise, 
and from $3.00 to $5.00 for ferry licenses. 
The system of levying taxes on lands and 
personal propertj^ according to their value 
continues to the present. For many years 
past the annual levy for state, county, and 
township purposes has amounted to about 
$1.25 on each $100 worth of property, which 
is comparatively small when looked at with 
relation to the inestimable advantages its 



payment affords. It mav be confidently 
stated that few communities that are favored 
with equal advantages have a smaller rate 
of taxation imposed upon them. 

Julius Gibson was the first assessor of 
the county. After the assessment of prop- 
erty the tax levy was made by the commis- 
sioners. The tax books or duplicates were 
prepared by the clerk, and placed in the 
hands of the sheriff for collection. When 
the sheriff settled in November, 1818, he 
was charged with $146.75, and in the next 
year he collected $430.96. The sale of the 
lots donated by the proprietors of Evansville 
had in November, 1818, amounted to 
$4,142.00. Of this amount ten per cent 
was by law set apart as a seminary fund, 
and the greater portion of the remainder 
was represented by promissory notes of 
purchasers. At his settlement in 1819, the 
treasurer reported that the county, after ex- 
hausting its own funds had drawn, ori those 
set apart for seminaries to the amount of 
$132. From that time on for mam- vears 
the county was never out of debt. The 
building of a court-house had been under- 
taken, and all moneys coming into the treas- 
ury were directed to be applied on this 
account as rapidly as received. Maj. Alan- 
son Warner, a man well and favorably 
known in every branch of the county's early 
history, advanced small amounts of cash for 
the county's use, once $28 and again $75. 
In Ma}', 1824, the treasurer was settled with 
for the whole period of his service and 
there was due him $11.33. 1° 1824 the 
taxes collected amounted to $377.69; in 
1825, $347.31; in 1827, $501.15; in 1828, 
$503.16; in 1829, $610.64. During this 
period the licenses issued to various business 
men added to the revenue, the receipts 
from this source in each of the latter years 
named amounting to a little more than $100. 

Judge John Law, the first prosecuting 

attorney of the count}', and for many years 
an able and eminent lawyer, brought suit 
and recovered judgment against the county 
in 1822, and nine years later the county 
treasurer recovered a judgment against 
Daniel Miller, then collector and previously 
county agent. Credits on the former judg- 
ment and on the orders issued in building 
the court-house were received as the basis 
for equal credits on the judgment against 
Miller. In this manner many of the trans- 
actions in behalf of the county were effected 
without the exchange of money, which at 
that time began to be exceedinglv scarce. 
During the first part of the decade com- 
mencing with 1820, hard times generally 
prevailed. Lands, town lots and produce 
rapidly decreased in price. Widespread and 
disastrous sickness checked and almost en- 
tirely stopped immigration. The suspension 
of specie payment by the government, the 
failure of western banks founded on a ficti- 
tious basis, and the circulation of a depreci- 
ated and often worthless currency, totally 
deranged all values. These were the prin- 
cipal causes conspiring to produce the 
greatest stagnation of business experienced 
in this locality up to that time. The 
county as well as individuals suffered. 
Tax gatherers were compelled to take 
coonskins or other articles of " trade " in 
satisfaction of the law's demands. Recovery 
from this condition was at first slow, but be- 
fore the end of the decade good health gen- 
erally prevailed, immigrants came in, and the 
settlers having learned to accommodate them- 
selves to the trying times, with energy and 
industry, brought back prosperity. Never- 
theless, in 1832 the receipts of taxes were 
only about $600, though from licenses and 
other sources the total amount realized was 
$1,006. The expenses of the county were 
in 1832, $983.81; in 1833, $1,402.80, and in 
1834, $1,093.41. Soon after this com- 



menced a period of prosperity that was un- 
checked until the failure of the state's credit 
in the downfall of the internal improvement 
system elsewhere adverted to. Improve- 
ment was rapid notwithstanding a rather 
serious but temporary check in 1838. Set- 
tlers and speculators from the east and 
from beyond the ocean poured into the 
county in great numbers. The public lands 
were soon taken. Capital was freely in- 
vested in all sorts of enterprises. The 
country's natural resources, its unbounded 
wealth of coal and timber, its magnificent 
transportation facilities, its favorable loca- 
tion as the terminus of the Wabash & Erie 
canal, and near the mouths of several rivers 
whose improvement seemed only a question 
of a few years, gave unhesitating confidence 
and faith in its future greatness. Investigating 
adventurers pushed on to Chicago and other 
localities, but returned to the land of greater 
promise. For a time their expectations 
were realized. They knew little of the 
richness of the country beyond the Missis- 
sippi and the achievements of the railroads 
were then hardly matters of speculation. 
The flow of immigrants was not then in- 
fluenced by those potent factors of later 
years. By 1850, the annual exports from 
Evansville amounted in round numbers to 
600,000 bushels corn, 100,000 bushels oats, 
1,500 tons of haj' and 1,500,000 pounds of 
pork and bacon — though all this was not 
produced by Vanderburgh county. In that 
year the expenses of the county were 
$18,785.34, and eight years later were 
$35,645.07. This was exclusive of rev- 
enues paid to the state, and to the townships 
for roads, schools and other local purposes. 
The total receipts at the treasury in round 
numbers were in 1850, $38,800; in 1853, 
$45,650; and in 1858, $57,900. The ex- 
penses here referred to include such items as 
the construction and repair of public build- 

ings, highways, bridges, charities, books, 
stationery, advertising,county officers, courts, 
interest on indebtedness and some miscellan- 
eous items. These expenses in 1870 were 
$169,284.90, from 1874 to 1878 inclusive, 
$1,377,480.69; and since i88o,foraach ear 
in the order named, $154,416.00, $189,- 
145.00; $136,368.00, $193,932.00, $200,- 
716.00, $215,405, $157,849.00, $113,076.00. 
The amount of taxes received at the treas- 
ury in 1862, was $74,505.00; in 1S70, $199,- 
521.00; and in 1879, $142,240.00. In the 
last three years the total receipts have been 
$1,198,405.84, while in 1882 alone they were 
$521,993.48. These figures without com- 
ment attest the wonderful growth of the 

In early days when the revenue was limited 
the receipts seldom equaled the expenses, 
and the incurrence of debt was a necessary 
sequence. In borrowing great caution was 
at first observed. In 1835 Nathan Rowley, 
who faithfully served the public in many po- 
sitions of trust, was appointed to negotiate 
a loan of $280.00 to be used in building a 
bridge across Pigeon creek near Negley's 
mill, and was authorized to borrow from the 
Evansville branch of the State Bank, the 
county solemnly pledging its faith for the 
payment of the loan when due. In 1841 
Willard Carpenter, John Burbank and A. B. 
Carpenter held $2,068.92 of the county's 
orders issued in payment of its debts for the 
building of bridges, etc., which they had 
bought from various individuals, no doubt 
at a considerable discount, for the orders of 
the county have at times sold for less than 
one-half their face value. New orders were 
issued, to securet he payment of which the 
agent was instructed to mortgage a number 
of town lots and all personal property be- 
longing to the county. In 1858 the orders 
unpaid and drawing interest amounted to 
$21,471.24; in 1871 the total indebtedness, 


including bonds and outstanding orders was 
$128,799.67, and in 1875 was $ r 97><583.75. 
At the present time, this entire debt having 
been paid, all orders issued by the county 
are paid upon presentation at the treasury. 
No bonds are outstanding except $220,000 
of new-court house bonds recently issued. 
This splendid showing, considering the 
amount of its public works, the condition of 
its roads and public institutions, clearly and 
eloquently testifies to the wise management 
of the commissioners — the county's finan- 

Civil Townshifs. — At its first meeting, 
March 9th, 18 iS, the board of commissioners 
established Armstrong township with the 
following boundaries : beginning at the north- 
west corner of Vanderburgh county, at the 
range line dividing ranges 11 and 12, 
thence south with said line to the township 
line dividing townships 5 and 6, thence 
east with said line to the old Red- 
banks road, thence north with the meanders 
thereof to the line dividing Vanderburgh 
and Gibson counties, thence west with said 
line to the place of beginning. The board 
then ordered that the remainder of the count}- 
be known and designated as Pigeon town- 
ship. The house of Jadock McNew was 
designated as the polling place in Armstrong 
township, with Patrick Calvert as inspector, 
and that of Hugh McGary in Pigeon town- 
ship, with Julius Gibson as inspector. Union 
township, organized May 10, 1819, includes 
all of the southwest part of the county 
bounded on the north by the "big bayou," 
and on the other sides by the Ohio river. 
The house of Frederick Staser was named 
as the first polling place, with Joseph M. 
McDowell as inspector. 

Scott township, organized August 13, 
182 1, was bounded as follows: beginning at 
the county line dividing the counties of War- 
rick and Vanderburgh [where the same in- 

tersects the line dividing townships 5 an< i 
6], running north as far as the latter county 
extends, thence west on the county line seven 
miles, thence south to the line dividing town- 
ships 5 and 6 in range 11 west, thence 
east on said line to place of beginning. The 
township was named in honor of Samuel 
Scott, at whose house the first election was 
held, Joseph Baldwin being the inspector. 

Perry township was organized September 
9th, 1840, out of the west end of Pigeon 
township, with bounds as follows: commenc- 
ing on the Ohio river at the line dividing 
fractional sections 25 and 26, in township 6 
south, of range 11 west, running thence north 
to the line dividing townships 5 and 6, thence 
west to the Posey county line, thence south 
with said river to the Ohio river, thence up 
said river to the bayou, thence up said bayou 
to where it again intersects the Ohio river, 
thence up said river with the meanders 
thereof to the place of beginning. The 
residence of Lewis C. Stinson was desig- 
nated as the polling place, and David D. 
Grimes was appointed inspector. May 14, 
1888, a change was made in the township 
boundary lines by which the following de- 
scribed territory was taken from Perry and 
added to Pigeon township: commencing at 
the northeast corner of section 26, township 
6 south, of range 11 west, and running 
thence due west along the line dividing sec- 
tions 26 and 23 in said township and range 
to the north and south half section line of 
said section 26: thence south along said half 
section line and the half section line of sec- 
tion 35 in said township and range, to the 
Ohio river; thence north and northeast up 
said river to a point where the east line of 
said section 26 strikes said river, and thence 
north along said east line of said section 26 
to the place of beginning; the territory em- 
braced being the east fractional half sections 
of sections 26 and 35, in township 6 south, of 


range 1 1 west. On the question of making 
this change Commissioners Wunderlich and 
■King voted "aye," and Commissioner Bower 
voted " no."' 

Knight township was organized Septem- 
ber 9, 1S40, out of the east end of Pigeon 
township, with bounds as follows: beginning 
on the Ohio river at the line dividing 
fractional sections S and 9, in township 7 
south, range 10 west, and running north to 
the line dividing townships 5 ar >d 6; thence 
east to the Warrick county line, thence south 
with said line to the Ohio river, thence down 
said river with the meanders thereof to the 
place of beginning. John S. Terry was ap- 
pointed inspector of elections, which were 
to be held at the school-house near the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Pauline McCollister. Sep- 
tember 7, 1 846, the west one-half of section 2 1 , 
township 6 south, of range 10 west, was 
taken from Knight and added to Pigeon 

Center township was organized Septem- 
ber 6, 1843, with the following bounds: Be- 
ginning at the junction of Locust with Pigeon 
creek and running along said Pigeon creek 
to the Warrick county line; thence due north 
with said line to the northeast corner of 
section No. 24, township 5 south, of range 
10 west; thence due west to the east line 
of Armstrong township; thence due south 
to Locust creek; thence along Locust creek 
to the place of beginning. The residence 
of George L. Schnee was named as the 
polling place. 

German township, formed out of Perry 
and Armstrong, September 1, 1845, was 
bounded as follows: commencing at the 
northeast corner of section 14, township 5 
south, range 11 west, and running thence 
west to the northwest corner of section 15, 
same town and range; thence south to the 
southwest corner last named of section 7 ; 
thence west to the northwest corner of sec- 

tion 19, same town and range; thence south 
to the southwest corner of section 7, in town- 
ship 6, range 11 west; thence east to the 
southeast corner of section 11, town and 
range last named; thence north to the place 
of beginning. The residence of Michael 
Muentzer was fixed as the place of holding 
elections, and John Rettig was appointed 

The Poor. — One of' the chief objects of 
social organization is mutual protection. In- 
cident to this among civilized people is the 
care of those who, because of age, natural 
defect, disease or unavoidable misfortune, 
have become unable to support themselves. 
The relief of this dependent class, from a 
time long anterior to the period written of in 
these pages, has been recognized as a public 
duty worthy an honorable and conscientious 
performance. The means adopted in early 
times for giving such relief do not accord 
with the advanced ideas that now obtain 
among humanitarians, but they were the 
best permitted by the times and circum- 
stances. When this count)' was formed the 
laws of the state provided for the appoint- 
ment of overseers of the poor and defined 
their duties, the chief of which was to cause 
all public charges to be farmed out on con- 
tract annually in such manner as would best 
promote the public good. Minors were 
bound out as apprentices; males until twen- 
ty-one years of age, and females until 
eighteen years of age. The indentures of 
apprenticeship were entered of record, and 
the apprentice was provided with lawful 
means for the maintenance of his natural 
rights against the oppressions of the master. 
The farming out of these unhappy individ- 
uals was not a sale into involuntary servi- 
tude, though it partook much of that nature. 
The sale was public and to the lowest bidder 
without much regard to the character or fit- 
ness of the purchaser. The buyer was en- 



titled to the labor of the person sold. The 
price was not an amount paid for this labor, 
but was the sum received by the buyer from 
the county for supporting the pauper. It 
represented the difference, in the buyer's 
judgment, between the worth of the labor to 
be received and the cost of supporting the 
laborer. Men and women were sold under 
the same conditions; and at times two mem- 
bers of one family offered at the same sale 
were bought by different persons and thus 
separated. This system was kept up for 
twenty years after the organization of the 
county. In 1823 the records show that an 
allowance of nearly $50 was made to John 
B. Stinson, "for keeping Benjamin Davis, a 
pauper, being the balance in full of the sum 
for which said Davis was sold when said 
Stinson became the purchaser." In 1837 
John Clark and Zerah Fairchild, overseers 
in Scott township, officially reported the 
sale of Jane Thompson for one year to 
David Judkins, who was to receive $52 for 
the year's maintenance. At the same time 
Samuel McDonald and Simpson Richey, 
overseers in Armstrong township, reported 
the sale for the next year of Samuel Bryant 
to George Bryant, of Virginia McGehee to 
Stephen Woodrow, and of Pollv and Carrell 
McGehee to John Taylor, the prices ranging 
from $8 to $130. One of the earliest acts 
or the board of commissioners was the ap- 
pointment of overseers of the poor; the first 
. being John Armstrong, in Armstrong town- 
ship, and Jesse McCallister, in Pigeon 
township. The names of the overseers 
show that selections for this office were care- 
fully made. Among those serving in early 
times were William Gratehouse, John John- 
son, James Martin, Sr., Luke Wood, John 
M. Dunham, John Stoner, Moses Pruitt, 
John Bryant, Jr., Elisha Harrison, Amos 
Clark and others whose names were equal 
to these as guarantees of upright and hon- 

orable conduct. Overseers were paid a 
small per diem when actually employed, and 
were reimbursed for money laid out in be- 
half of the poor. The expense on this ac- 
count during the year 1818 did not exceed 
$25. Dr. Wm. Trafton, the pioneer physi- 
cian, who afterward became prominent in 
the profession and in local public affairs, was 
allowed $10 for services rendered the poor 
of the count}' during that year. During the 
sickly seasons that followed, many were af- 
flicted and helpless; the work of the over- 
seer was much increased, and it became 
necessary in 1820 to appoint a person in 
each township to settle in behalf of the 
county with the overseers. For this pur- 
pose John B. Stinson, Henry Ewing and 
Lewis G. Ragar were appointed in Pigeon, 
Armstrong, and Union townships respect- 
ively, then the onfy townships in the county. 
Though 1820 inaugurated a period of the 
most general and fatal sickness ever known 
to the county, the disposition to help one 
another was so strong among the settlers 
that but few, in comparison with what might 
reasonably have been expected, were forced 
to receive public alms. The entire amount 
expended in that year was a little in excess 
of $100. During that unhappy period 
many a sad stoiy was recorded on the pub- 
lic records in few words. Several allowances 
for "keeping the Morgans" were followed 
in February ,1821, by this record: "S13 al- 
lowed for two coffins and two graves for 
Mr. Morgan and his child." Thus simply 
the last words in the stories of two lives 
were written.' In 1824, for keeping Benja- 
min Davis alone, $142 were allowed, and he 
was supported by the county about fifteen 
years. These facts are recorded not to re- 
flect upon the person named, for poverty of it- 
self is not a disgrace, but to show the laud- 
able conduct of the community, itself poor, 
in thus relieving want. When sickness and 



death took their blighting hands from the 
community, paupers did not increase as rap- 
idly as the growth of the county would 
seem to have justified. As late as 1834 the 
poor expenses for the year did not exceed 


The adoption of a new system of caring 
for the poor was determined upon in 1838. 
John W. Lilliston, John Mitchell and Marcus 
Sherwood were appointed by the commis- 
sioners to purchase a farm for the purpose 
of erecting an asylum thereon where the 
poor might find a home. In January of the 
following year the count}- purchased, for 
$1,800.00, from Seth and Jonathan Fair- 
child, fifty-nine and one-half acres of land 
lying about one-half mile south of Mechanics- 
ville, and appointed Judge William Olmstead 
to have a suitable building erected for the 
use of the poor. The farm and house were 
let for $70.00 per year to Elijah and Samuel 
H. Prince, who agreed to keep in a proper 
manner all poor sent to them by the over- 
seers for $2.00 per week each. The plan 
was not satisfactory, and in February, 1840, 
this farm was sold to William Onyett at the 
price which the county had paid. Another 
effort was made in 1843, when Willard Car- 
penter leased to the county for five years 
twenty acres east of the city near Hull's Hill 
at $250.00 per annum, agreeing to build a 
substantial frame house to cost not less than 
$500.00. This transaction led to a bitter 
discussion in the commissioners' court. 
R. H. Gould, the keeper of a tavern and sa- 
loon, was allowed, about the same time, 
$25.00 for keeping Mrs. Plumer, a pauper. 
At the following April term, Commissioner 
Kennerly solemnly protested against the al- 
lowance to Gould, complaining that it had 
been made without the presentation of an 
account, against the advice and counsel of 
William R. Morgan, the overseer, who was 
present objecting, as well as against the 

opinion and vote of himself, and vigorously 
denounced the agreement made with Mr. 
Carpenter as extremely improper because 
effected by the votes of Grimes and Car- 
penter himself, while he, Kennerly, was op- 
posing the matter and endeavoring to ob- 
struct and destroy it by motions to adjourn. 
He asserted that Mr. Carpenter at first held 
aloof but subsequently seeing that success 
was impossible through such a policy, rising 
from his seat said, with anger and defiance 
in his tones, that he would not be outdone, 
and casting his own vote for the proposi- 
tion, carried it. His final thrust was the 
statement that Mr. Carpenter was Gould's 
landlord and probably interested in his tavern. 
To this Mr. Carpenter replied enthusiasti- 
cally at great length. He denied that Gould 
had filed no account, and explained that in 
fact a claim for $150.00 had been made. 
While the pauper had not been senrto him 
by the overseer, yet in equity he seemed 
entitled to some compensation for her sup- 
port, and inasmuch as Gould had that day 
taken out a license to sell intoxicants, the fee 
for which was $25.00, an allowance to equal 
that amount was made in order to settle the 
matter justlv and amicably. He denied that 
any relation save that of landlord and ten- 
ant existed between Gould and himself. 
Pronouncing the charge of impropriety in 
the least untrue in nearly every particular, 
he proceeded to say that primarily his land 
had been suggested by others than himself, 
and after much talk and deliberation the 
proposition had been passed by the votes of 
his associates, himself taking no part; that 
then Mr. Kennedy grew stubborn, trying in 
various V¥ays to cause a postponement, when 
displeased with such tactics he concluded to 
end the matter by voting for it himself. Mr. 
Kennerly had signed the records, and at the 
next meeting substantially ratified the con- 
tract in proceedings had concerning the mat" 



ter, in which Mr. Carpenter took no part. 
For this his antagonist, with effective force, 
charged him with placing himself in the 
awkward predicament of protesting against 
his own votes. 

In September, 1844, William Onyett, still 
owing a part of the purchase money for the 
original poor farm, resold it to the county. 
Mr. Carpenter's protests against this trans- 
action were vigorous, but to no avail. He 
had been keeping the poor under agreement 
with the commissioners for $1,500 per year. 
They surrendered his land, and in June, 
1845, employed George Bates to keep them 
for $1,200 per year. Mr. Bates served the 
county as superintendent of its poor-farm 
for several j'ears. While in the discharge 
of his duties, an insane inmate of the asylum 
took his life by striking him on the head 
with an ax. 

This system of collectively farming out 
the poor was little if any in advance of that 
which had previously prevailed, for in fact 
they were sold to the lowest bidder — now 
in the aggregate instead of individually. 
But care was taken to have them supported 
decently and as became their station. Rev. 
Robert Parrett, Simeon Long and Philip 
Ilornbrook, men representing the best ele- 
ments of society, were appointed to visit 
and inspect the condition of the poor-house 
at least once a year. The plan of visits of 
inspection thus inaugurated has been con- 
tinued ever since, though now performed bv 
the commissioners in person. In 1S40, a 
farm more convenient to the citv was pur- 
chased from John Echols, for $1,600. It 
contained thirty acres and lay within the 
present limits of the city. Soon after this 
the system of supporting the poor was en- 
tirehy changed, the element of farming out 
the unfortunates being for the first time 
eliminated. Edward Andrews, in 1853, was 
appointed superintendent, the county under- 

taking to furnish all provisions for the poor 
and for Andrews' family, he to be allowed 
$200 per year and unavoidable expenses for 
extra nurses, in case of sickness. Philip 
Jenkerbrandt was afterward employed on 
similar terms, except that he received $500 
per 3 r ear. This plan was continued in prac- 
tice about ten years, but soon after the com- 
mencement of the civil war there was such 
an increase in the number of the poor that 
the old system of contracting with the low- 
est bidder for their support was again in- 
augurated, when Patrick Garvey agreed to 
keep all properly chargeable to the county 
for permanent support for $2,490 per year. A 
substantial brick building was erected on the 
Echols farm, which in 1868, was enlarged and 
added to at considerable cost to accommo- 
date the increasing numbers asking for 
shelter under its roof. The cost of support- 
ing the poor had rapidly increased. In 1S50 
the expenses were $2,638.22; in 1858, 
$3,845.73; in 1S66, $10,731.99; in 1868, 
$12, 767.335m 1871, $23,288.49; and in 1875, 
$29,890.19. During and after the civil war 
period many thousands of dollars were ex- 
pended for the relief of soldiers' families, 
which are not here included. 

In May, 1882, the commissioners bought 
from George W. Hornby, a farm of 161.74 
acres in Center township, paying for it 
$9,704.40. The old farm was laid out into 
lots and sold by Hon. Alvah Johnson, as 
agent for the county, the proceeds amount- 
ing to about $35,000. Plans for a new asy- 
lum on the Hornby farm, were made by 
Clark & Pyne, architects. A contract for 
the building was entered into with Charles 
Lieb, of Rockport, Ind., for $24,800. By 
reason of a change in the plans, and the ad- 
dition of a barn and boiler house, the con- 
tractor was paid over $48,000; the total cost 
of the buildings was $52,846.53. It is a 
handsome brick edifice, comfortable, com- 




modious and especially fitted for the purpose 
which it was designed to serve. In the 
same year the count}- purchased a tract of 
land from Silas S. Scantlin for $4,000, near 
the northeast limits of Evansville, and erected 
thereon, at a cost of $9,453.05, a count)' hos- 
pital for the treatment of contagious diseases. 
At least ten years prior to these purchases 
there had been expended about $20,000 in 
establishing asylums for orphan children. 
All of these institutions are governed by 
humane rules, and the unfortunate inmates 
are considerately treated. At the poor- 
house Warren Bonnel is employed at $800 
per annum as superintendent, the county 
furnishing all necessary provisions; Dr. J. C. 
Minton renders professional services to the 
sick; his annual salary is $575- 

Many poor are temporarily aided by the 
county without being sent to the asylum. 
The blind, insane, deaf and dumb are sup- 
ported at the state institutions, the expense 
of clothing and transportation being borne 
bv the county. A like expense is incurred 
in behalf of those sent to the House of 
Refuge and the Female Reformatory. A 
statement is here appended of the expenses 
of the county in these charities since 1879, 
in order to exhibit in the clearest manner 
the extent of the public's benefactions: 

1879 $27=813 2 4 

1880 26,230 60 

1881 26,109 z 5 

1882 25,936 07 

1883 33,974 J 7 

1884 35,89 6 45 

1885 36,822 82 

1886 24,078 66 

1887 33=4° z 79 

Elections. — In order to show the increase 
in the number of voters and the political com- 
plexion of the count)' from time to time, a 
statement of the vote polled in the several 
townships at the various presidential elec- 

tions since 1S24, so far as it is possible to 
obtain the same, is here made : 


Clay Adams Jackson 

Townships. and and and 

Sanford. Crawford. Calhoun. 

Pigeon 43 27 22 

Scott 13 6 10 

Armstrong* ... ... 

Union* ... ... 



Townships. and 


Pigeon 87 

Scott 14 

Union 7 


Totals* 108 


Townships. and 


Pigeon 130 

Armstrong 22 

Union 18 


Totals* 170 



Townships and 


Pigeon 486 

Armstrong 21 

Union 63 

Scott 51 

Knight 7 

Totals 628 

* Official returns lost. 

t No vote returned by this township. 














. M. Johnson. 


J 4 





Townships. and 


Pigeon 4S5 

Armstrong. . 5 

Union 48 

Scott 65 

Perry 8 

Knight 19 

Center 45 




Townships. and 


Pigeon 342 

Armstrong .... 13 

Union 88 

Scott 90 

Perry 34 

Knight 55 

Center 82 

German 30 

Totals 734 




Townships. and 


Pigeon 695 

Armstrong .... 143 

Union 51 

Scott 56 

Perry 82 

Knight 62 

Center 71 

German 162 

Totals !i322 
















Free Soil 









4 2 



Dem. Free Soil. Rep. 

Buchanan Fillmore Fremont 

Townships. and and ■ and 

Breckenridge. Donelson. Dayton. 

Pigeon 1 , 1 S3 468 252 

Armstrong .... 175 12 5 

Union 3S 93 3 

Scott 49 63 28 

Perry 100 43, 12 

Knight 80 53 4 

Center 92 98 38 

German 193 10 30 

Totals 1,880 S40 372 











Douglas Breckenridge 
















Pigeon . . . . 










4 1 




4 1 

















Knight . . . 







Center . . . 






German . . 




Totals. . 1,867 J )54 : 


Townships. and 


Pigeon 1)873 

Armstrong 46 

Union 146 

Scott 159 

Perry 150 

Knight 82 

Center 178 

German 90 

Totals 2,724 













Townships. and 


Pigeon 2,335 

Armstrong 44 

Union 141 

Scott 193 

Perry 206 

Knight 75 

Center 226 

German ...;.... 170 

Totals 3539° 



Townships. and 


Pigeon 2,919 

Armstrong ... 33 

Union 149 

Scott 201 

Perry 188 

Knight 171 

Center 223 

German 130 

Totals 4,014 


Townships. and 


Pigeon 2,996 

Armstrong ... 49 

Union no 

Scott 211 

Perry 189 

Knight 170 

Center 217 

German 127 

Totals 4^69 




















4> I2 5 






I 9 



.Townships. and 


Pigeon 3,627 

Armstrong ... 62 

Union 130 

Scott 217 

Perry 243 

Knight 202 

Center 259 

German 165 

Totals 4,905 






J 93 






Lib. Rep. 














2 >454 



Pigeon .... 
Armstrong . 

4> x 54 
















Center .... 








German . . . 




5,445 5,499 117 10 







Union Lab 



. Pro. 




Evansville . 
Armstrong . 




















Center . . . . 





German . . . 



Totals . . 6,026 5,890 




Avenues of Travel. — The highway, as a 
means of bringing men into social and busi- 
ness contact, is an educator and producer of 
wealth. The pioneers' blazed trail and ser- 
Brazelton farm — adjacent to the town of 
pentine road, winding their way through 
dense and wolf-infested forests from settle- 
ment to settlement, were the first fruits of 
that aggressive, enterprising public spirit 
which has built the highways of banded steel 
now traversing the land from ocean to ocean 
and from lake to gulf: that spirit which has 
brought into cultivation a rich but once un- 
appreciated territory, and built busy towns 
and magnificent cities where less than a cen- 
tury ago were wild and pathless forests. 
Prior to the organization of Vanderburgh 
county several roads had been cut out across 
the territory embraced in its boundaries, for 
settlers' cabins were raised a dozen years be- 
fore the county was organized. There were 
roads from Evansville to Vincennes, to Dar- 
lington, to New Harmony and other neigh- 
boring towns, from Anthony's mill on Pigeon 
creek, to the mouth of Green river and else- 
where, some of which were inherited, as it 
were, from the count}' of Warrick. But be- 
fore the commencement of Warrick county's 
existence, when the territory embraced in 
Vanderburgh county was a part of, and un- 
der the jurisdiction of, Knox county, there 
were few, if any, legally established roads. 
Settlers were extremely scarce. When they 
left their cabins for business or pleasure their 
movements were directed by the Indian 
trails or footpaths marked through the woods 
by blazes on the trees. George Linxweiler, 
the pioneer, assisted in blazing out one of 
the first roads in this section, which after- 
ward became an established thoroughfare, 
from the Wheatstone farm east to the Red 
Bank trail, and north nearly along the line 
of the old Princeton road to the intersection 
of the Red Bank trail near the house of 

John Withrow, not far from the village of 
Warrenton. Of the settlements along this 
road Mr. William Linxweiler says, "There 
were at that time but four houses along the 
entire route from the Ohio river to the 
Princeton, and these were rude cabins, such 
as the hard_v pioneers erected hastily when- 
ever they found a site which their fancy 
suggested to be a good point for location." 
This was about 1811. 

The system of establishing highways has 
remained substantially the same from the 
earliest times. The citizens of the locality 
desiring the outlet petitioned the board of 
commissioners, who, if granting the prayer 
of the petitioners, appointed three disinter- 
ested citizens or "viewers" to view, mark 
and lay out the proposed highway, if, in their 
judgment, it would be of public utility. The 
routes were not well defined as is now re- 
quired. Often only the desired termini were 
named, the object, as expressed, being to 
get from one to the other "by the nearest 
and best way," and this was left to the de- 
termination of the viewers. Among the 
earliest acts of the commissioners was the 
appointment of Matthias Whetstone, Patrick 
Calvert and James Patton to view a desired 
road "from the west boundary line of Van- 
derburgh county at or near where John 
McCrery and William Cater priz<i tobacco 
last season, from thence the nearest and best 
way through the settlements on the forks of 
the Big creek, thence the nearest and best 
way to intersect the road leading from 
Evansville to Princeton at or near Julius 
Gibson's." From that time like petitions 
have so abounded that a mere catalogue of 
the roads established with descriptions 
of the routes would fill a volume. Scarcely 
a regular session of the board of com- 
missioners has passed without the con- 
sideration of papers pertaining to this 
subject; and many a war of words 



has attended their hearing. Remonstrances 
have followed petitions, damages have been 
claimed and whether denied or allowed 
neighborly friendships have been broken 
and life-long enmities made. Annually sup- 
ervisors were appointed who had charge of 
certain defined districts and were empowered 
to warn out "the hands" in a manner famil- 
iar to the able-bodied men of the present 
da}-. Some of these supervisors, as shown 
by the records, were men who in lateryears 
achieved fame in the nation's wars and coun- 
cil chambers. 

With all the care that could be bestowed 
on these old dirt roads at certain seasons, 
they were almost impassable. Mud holes 
of boundless area and fathomless depth were 
everywhere found. It is told of a respect- 
able citizen of Ohio, who traversed the 
state about 1825, that upon his return home, 
when asked about his travels, and whethre 
he had been pretty much through the state, 
he replied that he could not say with certainty, 
but he thought he had been pretty nearly 
through in some places. 

When Indiana was admitted to the Union, 
it was provided by law that five per cent 
of the proceeds arising from the sale of the 
public lands, should be set apart for the pur- 
pose of building roads; two per cent for a 
state road leading to the permanent seat of 
government, and three per cent to be used 
by the several counties on the roads 
within their borders. This was known as 
the "three per cent fund," and was placed 
in the hands of a trustee charged with its 
safe-keeping and proper disbursement. 
He gave bond, reported his doings to the 
commissioners and received a small per diem 
when actually and necessarily employed. 
As the sales of land advanced, the fund was 
distributed to the counties by legislative ap- 
propriations. Believing that a part of the 
fund was never distributed, certain counties 

as late as 18S1, made efforts to obtain what 
might be due them from the state officials, 
but without avail. 

In a country traversed by streams, ferries 
form an important part of the highway sys- 
tem. These were established on the Ohio 
river, at the present site of Evansville, at 
Henderson, Ky\, and at the mouth of Green 
river, before this county had an official ex- 
istence. That at the mouth of Pigeon creek 
was established in 1820. A license fee of from 
$3 to $10 was charged for the privilege of 
their operation, and rates chargeable were 
fixed by the commissioners. Probably the 
first to serve the public as ferryman at 
Evansville, was Hugh McGary, from the 
first so conspicuously identified with the in- 
terests of the town, for the site of the pres- 
ent city, as before stated, was known as 
McGary's ferry. Daniel Worsham and 
Elisha Harrison were other early ferrymen 
at this point. At the mouth of Green river, 
Elisha Durphey was the first mentioned in 
the records, though perhaps others pre- 
ceded him, for among the earliest settlers 
were those in that locality. One of the ear- 
liest ferries was that of William Anthony, 
who became a veteran in the service, near 
the present site of the railroad bridge in 
Union township. That at the mouth of 
Pigeon creek was kept by Mrs. Nellie 
Sweezer, whose name was perpetuated in 
naming the pond at that place. The interior 
of the county was not traversed by many 
streams that could not in most seasons be 
easily forded; still at various points there 
were insignificant ferries. For several years 
steam ferries have been operated at Evans- 
ville, and at Henderson, Ky. That at the 
mouth of Green river is maintained by the 
old-time oarsman with his skiff and flat. 
Bridges began to be built at a very early 
time. One of the first constructed was at 
Negley's mill, across Pigeon creek on the 


Princeton road. From 1830 to 1S40, vari- 
ous appropriations, small in amount, were 
made from the county funds to aid in the re- 
pair or building of bridges. The bayou and 
Pigeon creek were the principal streams 
spanned by these structures. The state 
legislature appropriated $400 to aid in erect- 
ing the bridge near the mouth of Pigeon 
creek, and much of the three per cent fund 
was used for the same purpose. Many lib- 
eral private subscriptions were also made, as 
was customary here in those days, and John 
B. Stinson advanced $500, which, because of 
the depleted treasury, was not returned to 
him for several years. In January, 1840, 
Amos Clark, J. B. Stinson, J. B. McCall 
and Willard Carpenter were authorized to 
build a toll bridge at the point last referred 
to, but before any action was taken, the au- 
thority was revoked. In 1S50, the county 
expended on bridges and culverts, $3,807.43; 
in 1S58, $17,084.38; in 1870, $23,038, and 
during the eight years since 1879, 
$150,529.29. In every part of the couny- 
where the public convenience has demanded 
it, the streams have been spanned by sub- 
stantial bridges, all of which are free to the 

That produce without a market is not 
wealth, was early understood. Cheap and 
rapid transportation, even before the era of 
railroads, was a problem which engaged the 
thought of intelligent men. As the countv 
grew in population, a surplus of produce be- 
gan to form a part of every farmer's pos- 
sessions, and seeking to dispose of it in 
winter or spring, roads " without bottom " 
were what he had to contend with. The 
entire resources of the county had been di- 
verted to other uses, and any great better- 
ment of the highways though public agency 
seemed impracticable. A field for private 
enterprise was opened by the legislature, 
when, in 1849, it authorized the incorpora- 

tion of plank road companies. In February, 
1 85 1, the Central Plank Road Company of 
Vanderburgh county was chartered, and in 
July following, permission was granted by 
the commissioners to build a plank road to 
Princeton from Evansville, on the state road. 
The company was required to build a double 
track as far as Negley's mill, and to allow 
paupers and provisions for the poor asylum 
to pass free of toll. This was the only road 
of the kind in the county. It was a good 
road, but never extended beyond Pigeon 
creek. The incorporators at first thought 
they had a valuable franchise, but after oper- 
ating the road ten or a dozen years, became 
convinced of the contrary, and in March, 
1S65, Hemy C. Gwathney, secretary and 
treasurer, and probably the largest stock- 
holder in the company, appeared before the 
board of commissioners and formally aban- 
doned all rights under the charter, surren- 
dering the road bed, which again became a 
public highway. In this connection the 
venerable forerunner and probable suggester 
of plank roads deserves mention. The 
"corduroy," of poles or rails laid side be- 
side in muddy places, gave the traveler the 
severest and most vigorous shaking up that 
it was possible for any human contrivance 
to administer. A ride over it in a "jolt- 
wagon" was an experience equal almost to 
the famous ride of Horace Greeley in the 
stage coach of Hank Monk. 

Other laws authorizing the incorporation 
of turnpike or gravel road companies were 
enacted, but under these no organizations 
were effected in this county. In the sum- 
mer of 1870, however, a system of improve- 
ment was begun by the county, which has 
since been prosecuted with such vigor that 
at this time all of the principal thoroughfares 
leading out of Evansville, and the chief cross 
roads in all parts of the county, are graveled 
and kept in good condition. The system 



was commenced in an experimental and cau- 
tious way. Contracts to gravel about one 
mile on each of the roads from the city to 
Oak Hill and Locust Hill cemeteries, were 
let to Jacob S. Lowery, the city and county 
agreeing to share equally the expense, 
which was provided for by an issue of bonds 
bearing interest at nine per cent per an- 
num. The work was found to be very 
costly, yet of such advantage to the general 
public that its continuance and extension 
were determined upon. In 1879 alone, there 
were expended in this work nearly $68,000, 
and in the two years following, over $1 1 2,000. 
In later years the amount expended has 
been less than formerly, though in the past 
four years it exceeded $102,000. 

As early as 1822 Governor William 
Hendricks, in his message to the legislature, 
directed attention to the subject of internal 
improvements. Corydon was then the seat 
of government, and all supplies, not immedi- 
ate products of the soil, were brought from 
Louisville in wagons. The town was of lit- 
tle importance save when the law-makers 
assembled, and the Louisville road was one 
of the bottomless and miry sort. "Waiting 
for the wagon," was the common excuse 
with landlords for the lack of the most ordi- 
nary articles when requested by their guests. 
If for no other reason, because of this state 
of things, the legislative mind ought to 
have been favorable to any suggested 
method of improvement in transportation 
facilities. But there were weightier reasons 
than those of personal convenience. A few 
years before, the Indian titles to the greater 
part of the central and eastern portions of 
the state had been extinguished, and settlers 
had pushed their way into the new country 
in great numbers. In most places they 
found a rich and fertile soil which, with little 
cultivation, yielded far more than was neces- 
sary to supply immediate wants. To give 

a market to this surplus was the desidera- 
tum. The governor seemed to realize what 
possibilities awaited development in the great 
state over which he had been called to pre- 
side. But at the very time of his message 
the causes were in action which soon pro- 
duced all over the new state a period of de- 
pression and business inactivity from which 
recovery was slow. Ten years later, how- 
ever, prosperity had returned and the future 
seemed to hold in its hand the richest of 
promises. From the south and the east 
came immigrants of wealth and character. 
The spirit of the age was progressive. It 
demanded improvement and the develop- 
ment of natural resources. Foreign impor- 
tations destroyed the manufactories which 
had grown up in the east during the war 
with England, and abandoning these able 
and experienced men came with their capi- 
tal to engage in commerce in the west. The 
practicability of railroads and canals had 
been demonstrated. The facilities they 
afforded to travel and business were quickly 
recognized. The legislature commenced 
chartering railroad companies, tentatively at 
first, and then boldly, the seat of govern- 
ment had been changed to Indianapolis, the 
state road leading thereto was being con- 
structed, and congress, in 1827, had made 
its first grant of lands to the Wabash & Erie 
canal. A frenzy, epidemic like, spread 
among the Hoosier people. They clamored 
for legislation authorizing a gigantic scheme 
of development. New York, Pennsylvania 
and Ohio had met with some success in the 
prosecution of similar work, and these facts 
fired the zeal of those advocating the plan. 
Engineers, would-be contractors, and those 
awaiting places on the innumerable boards 
and commissions that would necessarily 
come into existence, as incidents to the plan, 
in every possible way added fuel to the 
flame. Loyal and stalwart supporters to 



these were the cohorts of speculators who 
saw vast fortunes in the increased values of 
town lots and lands. The strong hand of 
the state alone could support this enterprise. 
The stock of the railroad companies already 
chartered was not taken, and this augured 
that individual effort was not to be depended 
on. In 1835-6, a bill providing for a gen- 
eral system of internal improvement became 
a law. Its provisions were unwise and 
ruinous, because its visionary and enthusi- 
astic projectors in imagination created com- 
mercial necessities which in reality had no 
existence. In many cases the termini of 
railroad lines planned, and on which work 
was commenced, did not exist except on 
paper. Such roads led to no surplus of la- 
bor or produce, and to no market. It was 
not possible for them to profit anyone but 
the town-site company and its hangers-on. 
Governor Noah Noble, an energetic, capa- 
ble and unselfish man, was unfortunate 
enough to be the chief promoter of the sys- 
tem. Among its advocates, next to him in 
efficiency and zeal, were Messrs. Burr and 
Evans, the former a canal commissioner, 
and the latter the speaker of the house of 
representatives. The completion of the 
works authorized would have cost thirty 
millions of dollars. Such individual pros- 
perity as would result from this expenditure 
of mone}' was enough to throw entire com- 
munities into a paroxysm of joy. In the 
political campaign that followed, all other 
issues were insignificant; the line was drawn 
between the element of progress and that 
of obstruction; the candidates for guberna- 
torial honors were both whigs, and national 
questions were wholly lost sight of. Mr. 
Dumont, the anti-improvement candidate, 
did not advocate the abandonment of the 
system, but only desired to impose some 
limit to its various extension. Such was the 
feeling in the state, that he was defeated by 

Governor Wallace by more than 9,000 
votes. A year later, the folly and futility of 
the scheme began to dawn upon the mental 
retina of the self-deceived public, and soon 
thereafter the credit of the state failed, 
which occurred fortunately before it had 
succeeded in fastening upon itself the whole 
of the indebtedness contemplated. Out of 
the wreck of the colossal undertaking came 
some good, though it was in no degree 
commensurate with the cost, for the means 
of actual development were thus constructed 
before they otherwise, in all probability, 
would have been. 

The extension of the Wabash & Erie 
canal from the north, and its construction 
from the Ohio river, commencing at Evans- 
ville, was a part of the general plan pro- 
vided for, and as soon as practicable 
ground was broken at this place; the failure 
of the state system in 1S3S caused a suspen- 
sion of the work, but there were still hopes 
that the canal might be made a potent fac- 
tor in advancing the welfare of the state. 
Through national aid it was completed to 
Terre Haute, in 1S49, and to Evansville in 
1853. When finished, it was 459 miles long; 
375 in Indiana, and 84 in Ohio. The Indiana 
portion cost about $6,000,000. The Miami 
canal, 181 miles long, connected it with Cin- 

Many contractors did their work in bad 
faith. The embankments in some places 
were filled with logs and brush, in conse- 
quence of which the water, when turned in- 
to the excavation, found its way through the 
crevices and spread over the adjoining lands. 
The canal boats were uncertain and unre- 
liable, and were, therefore, not well patron- 
ized. On the whole the canal had but little, 
if any, influence on the growth of the town, 
and its meagre usefulness was of short dura- 
tion, being entirely abandoned about 1S64. 
The commerce of the Ohio river and the 



relation of this county thereto, are subjects 
too vast for appropriate consideration in the 
limited space here available. The brightest 
hopes of the early settlers so far as they in- 
volved the material development of the city 
and count} - , were crystalized into facts by 
the potent influence of "the beautiful river," 
not, however, as a joy-giving quantity, but as 
a highway bringing men together and af- 
fording means for an exchange of commodi- 
ties. As soon as a surplus of produce 
began to be brought to the village for dis- 
posal, means of carrying it to the world's 
markets were immediately devised. Chief 
of these was the flat-boat, still familiar to 
every resident along the banks of the river, 
though the magnitude of the business trans- 
acted by this means has so diminished that 
it affords no adequate idea of the palmy days 
of the past. From a small beginning, flat- 
boating increased rapidly until it was not un- 
common to see the channel dotted with them 
as far as the eye could reach. At some 
seasons fleets of forty or fifty boats loaded 
with hay, corn, pork, lard, venison, hams, 
eggs, poultty and other farm products, 
manned by sturdy crews, went together from 
these parts to New Orleans and the south. 
Some of the boats used were built at or near 
Evansville. When the hull was completed 
they were launched into the river bottom- 
side up, and then "turned" by loading one 
side with dirt and swinging the boat into the 
current with strong lines fastened to the un- 
loaded side. Most of the boats, however, 
were bought at Cincinnati and other up-river 
towns. These were open boats which had 
been loaded with salt and other commodities 
in the Kanawha and other rivers. When 
btought here they were fitted up to suit the 
cargo which they were designed to trans- 
port. They were some times sent out by 
merchants and at others by farmers, either 
singly or by several combined. The dignity 

of labor was then everywhere recognized, 
and some of the best men in the community 
were engaged in flat-boating, among them 
Gen. Joseph Lane, and others equally as 
prominent. The crew consisted of from five 
to twelve men who were subject to call at all 
hours. The pilot who had charge of the 
craft, by pounding on the deck warned the 
men to turn out from their berths and man 
the oars. The pilot was an important per- 
sonage, and in this school many .were edu- 
cated who afterward held in their, hands the 
lives of many human beings as they stood 
at their wheels guiding the palatial passen- 
ger steamers which later traversed the 
waters. Among these were Barney Cody, 
William Elliott, William Dougherty, Thomas 
J. Stinson, William Onyett, Jack Angel and 
many others. The introduction of steam- 
boating did not at first check the transporta- 
tion of produce by flat-boats. The county 
grew rapidly in population and its surplus 
created an increasing demand for boats of 
all sorts. At length, however, steamboat- 
ing began to draw heavily upon the flat-boat 
interests and finally, practically drove it from 
the trade, except as an occasional carrier of 
a heavy cargo whose owner was in no haste 
to get to market. Flat-boats from the in- 
terior, which came out of the Wabash in 
great numbers in early times, ceased with 
the building of railroads from about 1840 to 

The first successful experiments at steam- 
boating were made in 1807, by Robert Ful- 
ton, on the Hudson river. In April, 1809, 
Nicholas J. Roosevelt, of New York, vis- 
ited the western rivers and made a survey 
from Pittsburg to New Orleans. Finding- 
favorable conditions the territorial legislature 
was applied to for a charter, and in Decem- 
ber, 1810, an act was passed incorporating 
the " Ohio Steamboat Navigation Company," 
by which Daniel D. Tompkins, Robert R. 



Livingston, De Witt Clinton, Robert Fulton 
and Nicholas J. Roosevelt were made a body 
politic to navigate the western waters under 
Fulton's and Livingston's patent. In Octo- 
ber of the next year, the first steamboat 
built on the western waters was launched at 
Pittsburg. She was called the New Orleans, 
was 410 tons burden, had a powerful engine, 
and was altogether quite handsome in ap- 
pearance. She was designed to ply be- 
tween Natchez and New Orleans, and left 
Pittsburg for the lower river in command of 
N. J. Roosevelt without passengers or 
freight. She made from eight to ten miles 
an hour, and completed the trip in safety. 
While waiting for water to get over the falls 
she made several trips between Louisville 
and Cincinnati, and was admired and won- 
dered at by all who saw her. Strange and 
ridiculous reports were circulated as to the 
noises then heard for the first time bv the 
people thinly scattered through the dense 
forests near the river. At Louisville, it is 
said, the timid and superstitious were greatly 
alarmed and attributed the unusual sounds 
to the falling into the river of a burning 
comet. The settlers in this county had heard 
with amazement of her construction and all 
along the shore were on the lookout for her 
coming. There was then no town here, but 
the pioneers watched what they considered 
the wonder of the age as she steamed by 
waking the stillness of the forest with a 
puffing and blowing, such as the steamers of 
to-day are not guilty of. This boat after 
two years' service was wrecked, and sunk 
near Baton Rouge, La. 

The Comet and the Vesuvius both passed 
clown in 1814, but neither returned to the 
upper river. The Enterprise, built at 
Brownsville, Pa., and owned by a company 
there, made two voyages to Louisville, in 
the summer of 1S14, under command of 
Capt. I. Gregg. She afterward 'went south, 

and in May, 1815, under command of Capt- 
Henry M. Shreve, made the first trip from 
New Orleans to Louisville — consuming but 
twenty-five days in the trip. The ^Sftia 
and the Washing-ton were the next with 
which the people of this locality became at 
all familiar. The latter had two decks, the 
boilers being on the upper deck. She was the 
first boat built in this style; under command 
of Capt. Shreve, she did much to convince 
the public of the practicability of navigating 
the western waters. All early steamers 
were side-wheelers, and generally had but 
one engine. The early experiments of steam- 
boating had no direct influence at the time 
on the growth of this county. Even as late 
as 1832, few steamers stopped at the strug- 
gling village of Evansville, then of com- 
mercial importance, though once in awhile a 
"high pressure" passed up or down. The 
business of shipping was done principally by 
keel boats and barges or flat-boats, the for- 
mer using sails on their up-stream trips 
when it was practicable, and resorting to the 
cordelle when the wind was adverse. This 
sort of navigation was tedious and expensive, 
and those engaged in it clearly earned all 
the money it brought them. 

In 1834, ^e establishment of a newspaper 
and a bank in Evansville, brought the town 
into notice throughout the surrounding coun- 
try, and attracted to this point for shipment 
much of the surplus produce yielded by the 
rich lands within and far beyond the county 
limits. Improvements and substantial devel- 
opment commenced at once. Commerce 
with her magic wand began to effect a trans- 
formation out of which has come a magnifi- 
cent city and a wealthy count} - . The Ohio 
became the great highway between the east 
and the west, and through the Mississippi 
poured the products of the northern interior 
into a market whence it was scattered to all 
parts of the civilized world. The returning 



boats brought coffee, sugar, rice and other 
products of the tropics which were here un- 
loaded and sent by wagon to Vincennes, 
Terre Haute, La Fayette and other towns 
far inland. The levee from end to end was 
covered with freight piles, and steamers lay 
for hours loading or unloading their cargoes. 
Evansville became one of the largest ship- 
ping points in the Mississippi vallev, and 
there seemed to be in no probability of an 
early decline in the steamboat carrying trade. 
With the advent of railroads during the 
decade that followed an appreciable diminu- 
tion in the amount of the river trade re- 
sulted. The through steamers from Pittsburg 
to St. Louis began to be taken from the 
trade. Merchants discovered that transporta- 
tion by water was too slow. A bill of goods 
could be ordered by rail and half disposed of 
before the arrival the steamer which brought 
other goods ordered at the same time. 
Quick sales and a frequent turning of money 
were what the merchants wanted, and a de- 
cline of the steamboat business was a neces 
sary sequence. Yet this decline was slow, 
because other places not favored with the 
railroad, were sufficient to support a large 
steamboat business. The boats were grad- 
ually put in short trades with a railroad cen- 
ter as a distributing point for less favored 
communities. The change thus commenced 
in transportation methods did not effect the 
growth of Evansville or the development of the 
county, for stimulated by the newly adopted 
agency, the city became more than ever 
prosperous in becoming a depot for dis- 
tribution instead of a mere contributor to 
the markets of other cities. Attention was 
wisely paid to manufacturing interests, 
crude material was converted into industrial 
implements of all sorts, and a considerable 
and constantly increasing trade grew up 
with the surrounding country towns of In- 
diana, Illinois and Kentucky, which induced 

men of sense and capital to establish lines of 
steamers with Evansville as a home port. 

As a result, at the present time, there are 
more than sixty steamers registered at 
Evansville, and regular packets ply between 
this city and all neighboring points on the 
Ohio and its tributaries. 

Railroads. — The internal improvement 
bill of 1835 provided for the construction of 
a railroad running northward from Evans- 
ville, and until some time in 1837 its success- 
ful operation was looked forward to with 
great expectations. The collapse of the 
plan of general public work put an end to 
all such hopes. It was more than ten years 
before anything further was done. In the 
meantime Evansville had grown and pros- 
pered; a city charter had been granted, and 
her citizens were zealous and progressive. 
Intelligent and far-seeing men began to take 
steps to draw the surplus of the rich interior 
to Evansville for shipment. Laws had been 
passed by which local aid might be granted 
to public works upon a vote of the people. 
At its March term, 1849, the board of 
commissioners of the county ordered an 
election to be held on April 12th following, 
to take the sense of the people on the ques- 
tion of subscribing for stock in the Evans- 
ville & Indianapolis Railroad Company to 
the amount of $100,000. The poll showed 
624 votes for, and 288 against, the proposi- 
tion. In June of the same year the county 
auditor was directed to subscribe for 500 
shares of the stock at once, and 1,500 shares 
additional as soon as the company was duly 
organized. To show the condition of the 
county treasury at that time, it may be 
mentioned that the treasurer was directed to 
negotiate a note for $1,020.50, running four 
months, at the Evansville Branch Bank, or 
elsewhere, and applv the proceeds to the 
payment of the subscription, that being $2 
each on 500 shares. In August, 1849, Jas. 



T. Walker was authorized to vote the stock 
— 500 shares — at the election of directors, 
and was instructed to vote for Samuel Hall 
and James Boswell, of Gibson county, and 
James Lockhart, John Ingle, Jr., John S. 
Hopkins, James G. Jones, John Hewson, 
Samuel Orr and Michael P. Jones, of Van- 
derburgh. At the next election Mr. Walker 
voted as proxy 2,000 shares, this time for 
the same gentlemen, except that the name 
of Willard Carpenter was substituted for that 
of Mr. Boswell. 

To pay the remainder due on its subscrip- 
tion, the count}-, in December, 1849, i ssue d 
$99,000 in six per cent 10-25 year bonds, 
which were delivered to Samuel Hall, presi- 
dent of the road, in return for a certificate 
for 2,000 shares of stock. The bonds were 
issued in small denominations, the interest 
was payable in Evansville, and they were in- 
artistically executed. These facts interfered 
with their sale, and later they were ex- 
changed for a new issue, in large denomina- 
tions, with coupons payable in New York, 
and having an appearance that might, at 
least, not offend the fastidious taste of east- 
ern bond buyers. Even in those days se- 
curities were judged somewhat by their 
looks. The people were taxed to pay the 
interest on these bonds. In June, 1854, the 
county auditor was authorized to issue cer- 
tificates of payment of taxes levied in 1850, 
'51, '52 and '53 to each tax-payer. These 
were presented at the company's office and 
a sort of scrip was issued for them. When a 
sufficient amount of this was accumulated 
(perhaps $50.00 worth) railroad stock was 
issued to the tax-payer, who thus became a 
part owner of the road. The company soon 
found that the people were getting too 
much stock, and stopped transactions of that 

The count}- held its stock for many years, 
drawing dividends. In 1875 Philip Decker 

proposed to buy the shares held by the 
county, and a sale was actually made on 
April 19, of that year, to Mr. Decker for 
Arnold E. Schrasder, $36,000.00 being the 
amount of the purchase money. Robert D. 
Richardson in the circuit court secured an 
injunction against the county commissioners, 
preventing the sale. In the following June 
Messrs. Decker, Schroder, W. R. McKeen, 
and John E. Martin returned the stock and 
received back their money. On June 30, 
1881, the stock was offered at public auction 
by Auditor Will Warren, and was sold to 
David J. Mackey for $150,000.00. 

The city of Evansville, as well as the 
county of Vanderburgh, aided in the con- 
struction of this pioneer road by subscribing 
for $100,000.00 of its stock, which in 1881 
was also sold to D. J. Mackey 'for $150,- 

The road was completed and put in oper- 
ation in 1853. Its name at first was the 
Evansville & Indianapolis, later it was 
changed to the Evansville & Crawfordsville, 
and is now the Evansville & Terre Haute. 
Its first president was Samuel Hall, of 
Princeton, an able man, at one time judge of 
the circuit court of this district, the very 
essence of honor, and a broad man of affairs, 
His successor in the presidency was John 
Ingle, Jr., one of the most acute thinkers 
and able business managers ever known to 
this city. He attained an exalted position 
as a lawyer, was recognized as an efficient 
executive officer, upright and honorable in 
every transaction, and in all respects a highly 
useful citizen. He maintained control of the 
road almost up to the time of his death, and 
then gave way to John E. Martin, who was 
a worthy successor. The road improved 
rapidly under his management, and he was 
in all respects a capable and thoroughly 
honest manager. Those who knew him 
well and were in a position to know the facts 



sav that he was a superior man and officer. 
His connection with this road terminated 
when D. J. Mackey assumed control. Mr. 
Mackey's management has been able and 
aggressive. Under him the road has con- 
stantly improved. Its road-bed is now in 
excellent condition, and its equipment unex- 
celled. Its varied connections afford 
Evansville direct communication with all 
cities north and east, and its facilities for the 
comfortable conveyance of passengers and 
the rapid handling of freight, are of the 
highest order. 

In recent years there has been a rivalry 
between the cities of Evansville and Terre 
Haute over the location of the general 
offices and shops of this road. The con- 
trolling interest' is held by Evansville citizens, 
and the offices and shops have been retained 
at this place. 

The Straight Line. — The pioneer road 
had scarcely been completed before efforts 
were made to construct a line to Indianapo- 
lis. The soul of the effort was Willard 
Carpenter, who worked with indefatigable 
zeal for its success. In the personal men- 
tion made of that gentlemen elsewhere in 
this volume is a succinct account of the 
early reverses which overtook, and for many 
years checked, the enterprise. It was first 
called the Evansville, Indianapolis & Cleve- 
land Straight Line Railroad Company. 
Right of way through the county poor farm 
was granted it in 1854. In 1869 the board 
of commissioners was asked to order an 
election to grant aid to the road, but they de- 
clined to make the order. After the first 
failure years went by without any effort at 
its revival. At length, however, R. G. 
Hervey, of Terre Haute, an experienced 
and prominent railroad man, took hold of 
the old franchise and induced the city, by a 
vote of the people, to grant aid to the 
amount of $300,000. This money, how- 

ever, was never paid, the road not being con- 
structed as promised. However, the city's 
promise hung over it as a debt for many 
years, and was at length compromised by an 
agreement on the part of the city to pay 
$196,000.00. Bonds were issued for this 
amount. Mr. Hervey failed to complete 
the road, although having its construc- 
tion well advanced, and later sold his inter- 
ests to D. J. Mackey. Mr. Mackey paid 
Hervey's liabilities for grading, etc., in de- 
benture bonds, which subsequently became 
practically worthless and could hardly be sold 
for 2 cents on the dollar. The road is now 
a part of the so-called Mackey system, runs 
through a rich territory, is well managed, 
and is an important factor in the railroad 
system of this city. 

In 1879 the Local Trade Railroad Corn- 
pan)- undertook the construction of a system 
of roads entering at Evansville, and de- 
signed, as indicated by the name, to secure 
to this city the commercial trade of the sur- 
rounding country. Robert A. Hill was its 
president. It first asked public aid to the 
extent of $100,000; this petition was with- 
drawn and $150,000 were asked for. This 
amount the people refused to grant. Sub- 
sequently $65,000 were voted to the road 
on condition that it be completed by Jan- 
uary 1st, 1881. The road was not built 
and the bonds were destroyed. A 
proposition was then submitted by the Local 
Trade Company by which it undertook the 
construction of the Peoria, Decatur & 
Evansville Road as a part of its system, and 
asking $100,000 as aid in the construction 
of the roads. The proposition did not meet 
with popular approval. The Peoria, Deca- 
tur & Evansville Road later asked the city 
to subscribe for $125,000 of its stock, agree- 
ing to construct its road and maintain its 
shops in this city. The amount was voted 
and bonds were issued for 1,250 shares of 



stock, May ist, 1SS0. A building for the 
company's shops was erected, but shops 
were not maintained. The bonds were 
taken up by the city in 1SS1, the stock 
being sold for $125,000, and the road be- 
came a part of the ' ; Mackey S3*stem " by 
which it is now operated. Running through 
a surpassingly rich country it is one of the 
most valuable lines entering the city. 

The lines owned and operated by the 
Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, 
form an extensive and important part of the 
Evansville railway system. The story of 
their construction is somewhat complicated. 
In 1S70 the city and county respectively 
subscribed for $150,000.00 and $121,000.00 
of stock in the Evansville, Cincinnati & 
Paducah Railroad Company, which amounts 
were subsequently doubled, upon a con- 
solidation of that road with the Evansville & 
Southern Illinois, and the St. Louis & South- 
western Railroad companies. In 1873 the 
consolidated lines under the name of the St. 
Louis & Southwestern Railroad Company, 
delivered its stock certificates to the city and 
county and received bonds in payment there- 
for. The city had also subscribed for $300,- 
000.00 of the stock of the Evansville, 
Henderson & Nashville Railroad Company, 
had paid $50,000.00 in cash, and had deliv- 
ered bonds for the remainder of the amount. 
By the consolidation of these various lines, 
connecting Evansville with the south and 
west, the name of the city was omitted from 
the company's titles. This aroused the op- 
position of many citizens, among them H. E. 
Read, Esq., who has always been watchful 
of the public interest, and steps were taken 
to prevent the delivery of the bonds. Gen. 
E. F. Winslow, then president of the road, 
secured a compromise of the matter by 
agreeing that the road should be advertised 
on all its cars, at all its stations, and in its 
advertising matter as the St. Louis, Evans- 

ville & Nashville Railroad. On this promise 
the bonds were obtained, the name of the 
road as indicated was used as promised, but 
in a very short time it was erased from the 
cars and not thereafter used. It was gen- 
erally understood, also, that the contract upon 
which the people voted aid to the road con- 
tained a stipulation by which the company 
W'as to build and maintain its shops in this 
city. But the original paper was by some 
means lost, and the record of the contract 
showed no reference to the matter of its 
shops. The road located its shops at Mt. 
Vernon, Ills. Under Gen. Winslow the 
western and southern divisions of the line 
were consolidated in 1872, in order, as was 
claimed, to lessen the cost of management 
and operation. The consolidation accom- 
plished, the western division was bonded for 
$1,500,000, and the southern division for 
$1,100,000, by which the stock of the road, 
of which the city held $600,000, was made 
practically worthless. The road in 1874 
passed into the hands of a receiver, and 
afterward into the possession of the Louis- 
ville & Nashville Railroad Company-. The 
bonds issued by the city form a part of its 
present debt. The connection between the 
two divisions was effected by means of 
transfer boats from this city to Henderson, 
Ky., the road having for a long time free 
use of the wharf. In 1S85 a magnificent 
steel bridge 3,686 feet in length, and costing 
$3,000,000, was constructed at Henderson, 
by which through trains are now run direct 
from Nashville to St. Louis by way of 
Evansville. The Louisville & Nashville 
Railroad Company was chiefly instrumental 
in building the bridge, owns large amounts 
of its stock and bonds, and controls its use. 
This road has done much, under progressive 
management, to extend the commerce of this 
city. Connecting Evansville with the great 
states of the south, it traverses in its course 



a wealthy, fertile and beautiful country 
noted not less for its varied and enchanting" 
scenery than for the value of its agricultural 
and mineral products. The offices for the 
division of the line between St. Louis, Mo., 
and Nashville, Term., are situated in this 
city, and provisions have' been made by 
which the shops for the division are soon to 
be established here. 

The Lake Erie, Evansville & Southwest- 
ern Railroad was designed to connect this 
point with the chief cities of northern Ohio 
and the southwest to the Pacific coast. This 
company constructed its road as far as 
Boonville, Ind., and for a time was unable, 
because of reverses, to push beyond that 
point. The road passed into the hands of a 
receiver and subsequently became the prop- 
erty of the Louisville, Evansville & St. 
Louis Railroad Company (the air line), in 
whose hands its connections have been 
greatly extended. It traverses the counties 
of Warrick, Spencer, Perry and Dubois, and 
at Huntingburgh connects directly with the 
main line from Louisville to St. Louis. This 
line opened up a country of vast mineral 
resources, materially increased the trade of 
Evansville and enlarged its manufacturing 
facilities. By contracts recently entered into 
this entire line has become a part of the 
Mackey system and is an important artery in 
Evansville's commerce. 

The Ohio Valley Road, running from 
Evansville to Nashville, Tenn., by way of 
Princeton and Hopkinsville, Ky., traverses a 
fine agricultural country, and is a valuable 
acquisition to the railroad of this place. It 
has been built but recently, but already the 
great good to be derived from it is becoming 
manifest. The Belt Line traverses the sub- 
urbs of the city connecting the various rail- 
road lines and chief manufacturing concerns. 

The Evansville & Louisville Narrow 
Gauge Railroad Company, in 1873, asked 

the county to appropriate $225,000 to aid 
in the construction of its line, but the finan- 
cial panic of that year caused a withdrawal 
of the petition before action was taken. In 
1S74, the Evansville, Jackson & New Or- 
leans Railroad Company asked that the 
county subscribe for $300,000 of its stock; 
an election was ordered but the order was 
subsequently rescinded. In 1875, the Hen- 
derson Mining & Transportation Company 
asked for $100,000 to aid in building a road 
from the river bank opposite Evansville to 
Henderson, Ky. It was commonly called the 
"Gap Road," but nothing material was 
realized. In 1S75, the Evansville & New- 
burgh Narrow Gauge Railroad asked 
Knight township for $21,065.30, but the 
proposition was defeated at the polls. These 
propositions show the extent of the efforts 
made some fifteen years ago for additional 
railroad facilities. Since that time some of 
the roads already mentioned at length, have 
been constructed and placed in operation. 
Unsuccessful attempts have also been made 
to obtain other railroad connections. Pro- 
gressive citizens agree that the full develop- 
ment of the resources of this famed locality 
demands new lines to parts of the country not 
now reached, and competing roads to points 
already connected by rail with Evansville — 
the only debatable question being as to the 
extent, to which the public shall aid these 
enterprises. There is now a strong senti- 
ment in favor of extending proper aid to all 
such undertakings, but Evansville has been 
so heavily drawn upon in the past, and her 
generosity has been so imposed upon, in 
some cases, that the people are slow to 
give hearty encouragement to even what is 
recognized as a probable source of great 
public profit. Out of the vast sums donated 
to various roads the only direct monetary re- 
turns were from the sale of E. & T. H. and 
P., D. & E. stocks. 


In 1888, the sum of $60,000 was voted to 
the Evansville Suburban & Newburgh 
Railroad, to aid in the construction of its 
line (a dummy line), from this city to New- 
burgh, Ind., and to secure the location of the 
railroad shops of St. Louis & Nashville di- 
vision of the L. & N. Railroad at this place- 
These works are in process of construction. 
Other roads are planned, the chief of these 
being, perhaps, the Evansville & Chicago and 
Evansville & Chattanooga. 

This brief exposition of the railway s}'s- 
tem centering here, is sufficient to indicate 
its probable influence upon Evansville's fu- 
ture. That it will be the most powerful 
agent in increasing the growth and aiding 
the business of the city can hardly be ques- 
tioned. Its net work of lines reaches in all 
directions into rich and valuable territories. 
That Evansville has it in her power to sup- 
plant Louisville and Cincinnati, as the gate 
through which the traffic from the west and 
northwest shall pass to the south, is not the 
visionary dream of an idle brain. The 
achievements of the past and present condi- 
tions suggest at once a greatness for the 
city, measured only by the wants and pro- 
ducts of an extensive and fertile country. 

Agricultural Societies. — One of the most 
important of man's occupations is that of 
agriculture. In fact, it forms the ground 
work for all other classes of labor, and no 
other industrial branch holds to its service 
a larger portion of the population. In tilling 
the soil- as in every other vocation, action, to 
result in success, must be guided bv intelli- 
gence. The best results in educating the 
masses in any particular branch of science 
are brought about, and always have been, by 
concerted action. The needs of organiza- 
tion for the dissemination of useful knowl- 
edge, and of coming together for the ex- 
change of ideas and the comparison of 
various results obtained through different 

modes and processes, were early recognized 
b) T the more advanced citizens, and led to 
attempts at the formation of societies for 
the promotion of agricultural, horticultural 
and industrial interests. As early as 1829 
the Indiana legislature enacted laws for 
the organization and encouragement of such 
societies, but for man}' years the results 
throughout the state were meagre. When 
Joseph A. Wright was elected governor he 
manifested a great interest in the improve- 
ment of the conditions surrounding the agri- 
culturist. February 14, 1S51, a law was 
enacted which afforded means of encourage- 
ment not contained in former laws. By its 
provisions a State Board of Agriculture was 
formed with Gov. Wright as president, and 
through the influence of this organization 
and that of the governor, in his individual 
capacity, many district and county societies 
were formed. 

The Vanderburgh County Agricultural 
Society was organized soon after the pas- 
sage of the act of 185 1, and comprised 
among its membership some of the best 
citizens of the county. For many years 
Colonel Philip Hornbrook was secretary of 
the society and did much to advance its 
interests. The fair grounds were first 
located on the state road, north of the city, 
and near Pigeon creek. Here a fair degree 
of success was obtained, creditable displays 
were made in all the departments, and the 
people from all parts of the county gave 
the enterprise a cordial support. Much 
substantial good was accomplished through 
its agency by the scattering of useful knowl- 
edge among the people, by directing their 
energies to a more telling activity and by 
pricking their ambitions. At all of the earl}' 
fairs speeches were made by learned men 
upon agricultural subjects and the topics of 
the times. A great variety of useful articles 
were offered as premiums for the best of 




every conceivable thing that might be ex- 
hibited, from the finest and best of horses 
and cattle to a pair of socks or a " pretty 
coat." Among the exhibits contending for 
prizes were all sorts of live stock, fowls, 
dogs, products of the field, garden, orchard 
and dairy, pickles, preserves, butter, etc., 
agricultural implements, mechanical produc- 
tions, machine woolen goods, domestic man- 
ufactures, needlework, plowing, horseman- 
ship, plans for farm houses, barns, cottages, 
and model farms, essays on farming gener- 
ally, on hog-raising, etc. A healthy rivalry 
in these matters could not help but produce 
beneficial results. In many a household the 
annual meeting of the society — the county 
fair, as it was called — held when "the frost 
was on the pumpkin and the fodder in the 
shock" was looked forward to as the social 
event of the year, and what were there heard 
and seen furnished themes for conversation on 
long winter evenings to many a family gather 
ing about a wide-mouthed, cheerful fire-place. 
Some time late in the " fifties " new grounds 
were selected. They were located on the 
E. & C. (now E. & T. H.) railroad lines, 
about three miles from the city. For a short 
time the society was moderately successful 
in their new location. During the war 
period the grounds were used by Mr. William 
Dean, who was connected with the federal 
quartermaster's department, as a corral for 
government horses. After the war the fairs 
became mere farces and entirely unlike those 
of earlier days. They lost the support of 
the people and year after year money was 
lost by the company. The decline contin- 
ued until 1873, when a new board of direct- 
ors was elected, and it was resolved to have 
a fair and exposition creditable alike to in- 
dividual exhibitors and to the county in 
general. The new directors vigorously en- 
ered upon their work and successfully con- 
ducted an exposition in the following 

September, from which about $40,000 were 
realized, and which was attended by about 
40,000 people. It was, however, devoted 
more to a display of manufactured articles 
and the evidences of Evansville's great 
progress as a city, and to the delights of the 
turf, than to an exhibit of the fruits 
of husbandry. The new grounds were 
twenty-five acres in extent, the exposition 
building was two stories high, cruciform in 
shape, 220x170 feet, and contained about 
80,000 feet of exhibition space. Commodi- 
ous amphitheaters, stands for the judges, re- 
porters and musicians, stables, stock pens, 
etc., etc., were also provided. After the 
successful effort of 1873, the society again 
began to decline. Heavy debts were in- 
curred, to meet which the grounds were at 
length disposed of. They now belong to Mr. 
Charles Schulte. Private driving parks have 
since been conducted near the city, but no 
incorporated societies have been formed. 

Horse- Thief Detective Association.— When 
the country was new and redress of wrongs 
in the courts was difficult and slow, a band 
of regulators often assumed the duty of 
taking some persistent violator of the law 
and of administering such punishment as 
was deemed best for the public good. The 
man who unmercifully abused his wife or 
child, or the one who changed the ear-marks 
on his neighbor's hogs so as to destroy evi- 
dence of "vested rights," was a good sub- 
ject for regulation. But the daring villain 
who left the neighborhood on a horse not 
his own succeeded more than any other cul- 
prit in awakening thorough and widespread 
indignation. His crime was always magni- 
fied and never, until very recent years, did it 
find appropriate place in its relation to other 
offenses against law. In the "Circuit 
Rider," Edward Eggleston says: "It is a 
singular tribute to the value of a horse that 
among barbarous or half-civilized peo- 



pie horse-stealing is accounted an offense 
more atrocious than homicide. In such a 
community to steal a man's horse is the 
greatest of larcenies — is to rob him of the 
stepping stone to civilization." No less a 
tribute was paid to the worth of this favor- 
ite animal by the framers of the code of 
laws for the territory of Indiana. For the 
first conviction of horse-stealing, the guilty 
one was to pay the value of the horse and 
costs occasioned by his theft, and to receive 
at the whipping post not less than fifty nor 
more than two hundred stripes, and for the 
second conviction, death! In 1852 the legisla- 
ture passed a law authorizing the formation 
of associations for the purpose of catching 
horse-thieves and bringing them to punish- 
ment. Seven years later the citizens of 
Scott and Center townships held a public 
meeting and organized as a corporation, the 
" Vanderburgh County Vigilance Com- 
mittee," for the detection and apprehension 
of horse-thieves and other felons. The 
leaders in the movement were Dr. Thomas 
H. Rucker and Samuel McCutchan. For 
some years its existence was maintained and 
effective work in the detection and punish- 
ment of crime was accomplished. 


Capt. James D. Parvin, auditor of Van- 
derburgh county, though in the prime of his 
career, has already achieved an honorable 
record as soldier and citizen. It is not 
sought to attribute to him the attainment of 
greatness, as measured by ordinary stand- 
ards, but in the purity and excellence of 
his character he exhibits, in a marked de- 
gree, the qualities which adorn genuine 
manhood and insure the largest measure of 
usefulness to society. He descends from an 
honorable ancestry. His paternal grand- 
father, Mark Parvin, a sturdy pioneer, was 
a native of Pennsylvania, born at Reading, 

October 20, 1770, who early settled in Gib- 
son county, Ind. There, in 1810, at the 
homestead of Gen. Robert Evans, he was 
married to Miss Martha Evans, a sister of 
the distinguished general. His name was 
identified with the early annals of Gibson 
county, where his death occurred December 
29, 1830. The father of Captain Parvin, 
James McMillan Parvin, was born at Win- 
chester, Clark county, Ky., May 22, 1818. 
When twelve years of age he settled in 
Gibson county, Ind., and there learned the 
trade of a blacksmith, in the shop of Willis 
Howe. Coming to Evansville, in 1840, he 
was engaged as a merchant for about fifteen 
years, at the end of this time removing to 
Carlisle, Ind., where he resided until his 
death, May 7, 1877. He was a man of prom- 
inence in social and business circles, and in 
politics was known as a staunch republican. 
September 17, 1839, he was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Elizabeth Birdsall, an estimable 
lady, native of New Jersey, born January 
13, 1818, who, at the age of seventeen 
years, came to Indiana with her parents. 
Six children were born of this union, five of 
whom are living. The second of these, 
James D. Parvin, was born in this city, April 
8, 1844. He received a common school 
education in the public schools of this city 
and Carlisle, Ind. At the age of eighteen 
he enlisted in the Union Army to serve three 
years. September 1, 1862, he was mustered 
as commissary sergeant in the Sixty-fifth 
Regiment, Indiana Infantry, and continued 
as such until September, 1863, when he was 
honorably discharged, because of physical 
disability. Returning home he recuperated 
his strength and, May 25, 1864, again en- 
listed in Company F, One Hundred and 
Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers, in which 
he served faithfully until October, 1864. On 
the 2 2d of February following, he was com- 
missioned captain, Company G, One Hun- 



dred and Forty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and 
remained with his command until mustered 
out, at Nashville, Tenn., in October, 1865. 
Returning from the service he located in this 
city and immediately embarked in the pork 
and grain business, and later was engaged 
successfully as a dealer in coal and coke. 
Dealing fairly with all men, and pursuing 
his interests with energy, good sense and 
honor, financial success and personal popu- 
larity were both attained. Having been an 
active member of the republican party dur- 
ing his entire manhood, he was elected in 
1886 as the nominee of that party, to 
the important office which he now holds. 
His popularity was amply demonstrated by 
the fact that his majority of 957 votes was 
more than twice as great as that of any 
other candidate whose name was on the 
ticket. The duties of his office have been 
discharged with great fidelity and unsur- 
passed efficiency. He is a prominent mem- 
ber of the K. of P., I. O. O. F., K. of H., 
A. O. U. W. and G. A. R. fraternities. 
October 20, 1868, he was married to Miss 
Jeannette Ehrman, a native of York, Pa., 
and daughter of Dr. E. J. Ehrman, who was 
born at Jaxthausen, Wurtemburg, Germany, 
October 29, 1819, and died in this city in 
1881. He was one of the first physicians to 
adopt and advocate the homoeopathic school 
of medical practice in Pennsylvania, where, 
in the county of York, he practiced his pro- 
fession for many years. Coming to Evans- 
ville in early days, he introduced homoeopathy 
in this place, and after a severe struggle against 
ignorance and prejudice built up a large 
practice. He was known in his day as one 
of the leading physicians in the city. In 
1840, he was married to Elizabeth Churchill, 
an estimable lady, a native of Prussia, who 
still resides in this city. 

Charles T. Jenkins, clerk of the circuit 
court of Vanderburgh county, was born in 

Evansville, March 12th, 1845. His pater- 
nal grandfather, Richard Jenkins, was a 
native of Kentucky, born in i793> ar >d pos- 
sessed the sterling qualities of manliness 
peculiar to the better classes of the pioneer 
era in the west. His father, Samuel T. 
Jenkins, was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 
1822, and died in this city in 1852, much 
respected. His name was closely associ- 
ated with the early history of this county. 
In early days the Jenkins family came to 
Vanderburgh county and settled in the vil- 
lage of Evansville. When but a boy 
Samuel was appointed deputy clerk of the 
new county, and so apparent were his abil- 
ities and so acceptable his service that even 
before he attained his majority he was 
elected to the office when he was serving as 
deputy. He was three times chosen to dis- 
charge the duties of that important position, 
and died while in office. He was a man of 
correct business habits, well qualified, effi- 
cient, trustworthy and popular with the 
masses. The mother of Charles Jenkins 
was Elizabeth Chute, a native of Vermont, 
born in 1824, now residing at Washington, 
D. C, who belonged to a prominent pioneer 
family, natives of Vermont, distinguished 
for many polite and cultivated adornments 
of character, and for many years favorably 
known in Evansville. The immediate sub- 
ject of this mention was reared and educated 
in this city, his studies being afterward 
continued for a time at Oxford, Ohio. 
His capacity for mental work was early 
manifest. When fifteen years of age 
he accepted a position as accountant for 
Morgan, Reed & Co., and excepting the 
period covered by his military service, re- 
mained with that firm six years, when he 
embarked in the boot and shoe trade with 
H. T. Chute. At the end of four years he 
removed to the country and engaged in 
farming for eight years. Being popular and 


competent he was elected, in 1880, as the 
nominee of the republican party, to the 
office of county recorder, and four years 
later to his present office. A re-election in 
1888 by a largely increased majority was a 
high testimonial to his popularity and worth. 
His official life has been one of the most 
satisfactory the county has ever known, and 
his widespread popularity is exceeded by that 
of but few men in this part of the state. His 
military career was brief but honorable. 
During the greater part of the civil war 
period, he was a youth, too young for ser- 
vice. In April, 1864, he enlisted in the 
Thirty-sixth Indiana Infantry for four months, 
and after a faithful service, at the expiration 
of the term of his enlistment was honorably 
discharged. In 1865 he was united in mar- 
riage to Miss Diana M. Hall, of Carlisle, 
Ind., born April iS, 1845, daughter of John 
M. and Margaret Hall, natives of England. 
These parents have one son, Samuel M., 
born December 4, 1866. Mr. Jenkins is a 
prominent member of the I. O. O. F., K. of 
P., and G. A. R. fraternities, and actively 
interested in the progress of the city. 

Capt. August Leich, county treasurer of 
Vanderburgh county, was born in Prussia in 
the year ^42, and, at the age of six years, 
removed to America with his parents. He 
is what may be termed a self-made man. 
He received a common school education, 
and was then thrown on his own resources. 
At an early age he sold books and news- 
papers about the wharves and steamboats, 
and was known among the newsboys of that 
day as particularly enterprising. For a 
time he was employed as cabin boy and cook 
on Ohio and Mississippi river steamers, and 
later as a clerk in the post-offices at Evans- 
ville and Terre Haute, and in the drug store 
of his brother, Charles Leich. The work 
of a house and sign painter then engaged his 
attention for a time, and during the winter of 

of 1860-1 he taught a night school, his pupils 
being young mechanics and laborers, nearly 
all of whom enlisted in the cause of the 
Union when the war broke out. In July, 
1 861, he enlisted in Company F, Twenty- 
fourth Indiana Infantry, was appointed fifer 
of his company, and, in the following Feb- 
ruary, was promoted to principal musician 
of his regiment. He served until the close 
of the war, and, on returning home, was 
employed as book-keeper by Leich & Carls- 
stedt. With this firm he went to Cincinnati, 
and was there engaged for several years in 
the county auditor's office, and as a book- 
keeper in various business houses. He 
returned to Evansville in 1872, and for four- 
teen years was in the employ of Leich & 
Lemcke, of this city. In 1886 he was elected 
county treasurer, and re-elected in 1888. 
He is an efficient, accommodating and popu- 
lar officer. He has been prominently con- 
nected with the military companies organized 
here since the war, and is now a leading 
member of Farragut Post, G. A. R., of 
which he has been adjutant since its organi- 
zation in 1 881. He is also a member of 
Knights of Pythias, Orion Lodge, No. 35, 
also Uniform Rank, Evansville Division, No. 
4. Captain Leich was married January 12, 
1889, to Miss Mathilde Klenk, daughter of 
Louis Klenk, an old citizen of Evansville. 

Louis Sihler, county recorder of Vander- 
burg county, was born in Wurtemberg, Ger- 
many, May 25, 1833, being the son of 
Louis and Agathe (Schleicher) Sihler, na- 
tives of Germany, born in 1800 and 1805, 
respectively. His parents died in their native 
country, the father December 19, 1832, the 
mother in 1867. Of three children, Louis 
Sihler is the only survivor. He grew to 
manhood and received a good education in 
the land of his birth. Early thrown upon 
his own resources, he developed the sterling 
traits of character which have marked his 



conduct in the maturer years of his life. He 
served an apprenticeship of three years 
with a merchant in his native town, where 
his mother continued to reside after the 
death of her husband, and at the age of 
twenty years emigrated to the United States. 
Evansville was his objective point, and reach- 
ing here he was at once engaged as a clerk. 
From that time until 1866 he continued in 
the mercantile business, chiefly as a clerk. 
In 1872, having developed considerable tactin 
political work, and possessing the elements of 
popularity, he was appointed deputy recorder 
of Vanderburgh county. In this capacity he 
served faithfully for twelve years, at the 
end of which time he was elected by a ma- 
jority of 206 to the office where he had so 
long served as a deputy, being the candidate of 
the republican party. His efficiency and 
fidelity were rewarded in 1888, by an election 
to a second term. True to every trust, and 
in a manly way performing even' duty as 
citizen and officer, he has attained a high 
place in popular esteem. He is a member 
of the A. O. U. W. His marriage occurred 
in 1S60 to Charlotta Lixt, who was born in 
Germany in 1841. He is the father of five 
children, Henrietta, Charles, Lona, Margaret 
and Clara. 

Frank Pritchett, sheriff of Vanderburgh 
county, is a native of Evansville, born April 
14, 1853. His father, Seth Pritchett, was 
born in 1819, in the then petty village of 
Evansville, the Pritchett family being one of 
the earliest to settle in Vanderburgh county. 
He was one of the early blacksmiths of the 
town, and at one time was engaged in the 
carriage business. His wife, whose maiden 
name was Emma Grant, was born in England 
in 1S29. These aged people are still re- 
spected residents of the city. They are the 
parents of three living children. The oldest 
of these, Frank, was reared in this city and 
was educated in the public schools. In early 

manhood he learned the blacksmith trade, at 
which he worked until iS75> and for three 
years he was engaged in teaming. In 1878 
he was pppointed patrolman on the Evansville 
police force, and serving one year was ap- 
pointed deputy city marshal. In April, 1881, 
he was appointed deputy sheriff of Vander- 
burgh county under sheriff Thomas Kerth, 
and while so serving was made chief of the city 
police force. This position he filled so 
acceptably that when the bill providing 
for the " metropolitan system " became 
a law he was appointed superinten- 
dent of the newly organized force, 
which position he held until 1886. He was 
door-keeper of the state senate during the 
session of 18S7, having made a successful 
candidacy against twenty-eight opposing 
applicants for the position. In September, 
1S88, he was nominated by the democratic 
party for sheriff, receiving the unanimous 
support of the convention. His election by 
a majority of 634 votes was a personal tri- 
umph and a high testimonial of his popu- 
larity. October 14, 1878, he was married to 
Miss Louisa Kerth, who was born in this 
city in 1858. They have three children: 
Percy, Frank and Florence. Mr. Pritchett 
is a member of the I. O. O. F. and K. of II. 
fraternities. His courage and fearless dis- 
charge of every official duty have won him 
the reputation of being efficient and reliable. 
August Pfafflin. — The exquisite beauty of 
mathematics reaches a high stage in its 
development in the science of civil engi- 
neering. The mind that masters its 
niceties must be above the ordinary. The 
importance of the office of county surveyor 
has always been recognized. Gen. Robert 
M. Evans was the first to perform its duties 
in this county. Its present occupant is 
August Pfafflin, a young man whose suc- 
cess in life has been largely of his own 
making. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio 



December 16, 1857, his parents being 
August and Emily (Schneider) Pfafflin, 
natives of Germany, who, emigrating to the 
United States in 1847, settled at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and moved thence in 1869 to Evans- 
ville. August Pfafflin, the elder, was 
educated as a civil engineer and served by 
appointment and election as county surveyor 
for Vanderburgh county from 187 1 to 1874. 
He was a well-known citizen, and died at 
his home in the city in 1882. The subject 
of this mention was educated in the public 
schools of the city and at the Evansville 
Commercial College. In 1877 he entered 
the Southern Machine Works and began to 
learn the trade of a machinist. After five 
years' service in these works, four years 
were spent in the shops of the Louisville, 
Evansville & St. Louis Railroad and the 
Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad. The 
practical instruction received in this admir- 
able school made of Mr. Pfafflin a thor- 
oughly skilled workman. In the spring of 
1887 he was appointed deputy city 
surveyor, in which capacity he served the 
public until June, 18S8, when he was 
appointed county surveyor, to which office 
he was elected by the people November 6, 
1888. He was married November 17, 
1885, to Miss Anna Steineker, who was 
born in Henderson, Ky., June 9, 1859. 
A daughter, Edna, was born of this union, 
September 17, 18S7. He is a member of 
the K. of H., and in politics he is a 

Christian Wunderlich, county commis- 
sioner of Vanderburgh count}-, was born in 
Prussia, January 24, 1843. His parents, 
Christian and Maria (Domheifer) Wunder- 
lich, natives of Prussia, born in 1814 and 
1820, respectively, for many years were 
residents of Perry township, this county, 
where the father still lives, the mother hav- 
ing died November 19, 1888. His paternal 

grandfather was Christian F. Wunderlich, 
born in Germany about 1756, and died in his 
native country about 1849. The father of 
the subject of this mention was a farmer by 
occupation, and coming to the United States 
in 1854 settled in Vanderburgh county, and 
two years later brought his family from the 
fatherland to this new country. Commis- 
sioner Wunderlich is the eldest in a family 
of seven children, five of whom are now 
living. He attended the schools of his na- 
tive land, and since coming to this country 
his education has been obtained in the prac- 
tical school of experience. When the life 
of the nation was threatened by armed re- 
bellion he responded promptly to the call to 
arms. July 26, 1861, he enlisted in the First 
Indiana Battery, and participated in the bat- 
tles at Pea Ridge, Magnolia Hill, Champion 
Hill, and Big Black River, the siege of 
Vicksburg and in the Red River campaign. 
He performed every duty with that patriotic 
zeal which characterizes the heroic' soldier. 
He was honorably discharged at Indianap- 
olis, September 13, 1864. Coming home he 
worked on the farm until 1865, when he 
came to Evansville and learned the carpen- 
ter's trade. In December, 1S66, he accept- 
ed a position on the police force of this city, 
and served until April, 1868, when he 
again employed himself at his trade. One 
year later, however, he was elected city 
marshal and held this office five years. In 
1874 he was elected sheriff of the county 
by a majority of 777 votes, and two years 
later was re-elected, his majority being 659. 
He was appointed deputy United States mar- 
shal for Indiana in 1879, and served two years 
in that capacity. His first election as county 
commissioner of this county occurred in 1884, 
and his re-election in 1S86. During his 
occupancy of this office important public im- 
provements have been inaugurated, and 
some completed. As a guardian of the 



people's interests, and yet as a progressive 
man of affairs, he has discharged his many 
official duties with great credit to himself and 
with advantage to the public. In the building 
of the magnificent new court-house he has ex- 
ercised rare good judgment, and his work in 
this connection will be to him a perpetual me- 
morial. He was married in 1865 to Miss Eliza- 
beth Grunner, born in Germany, February 
17, 1844. Of this union eight children have 
been born: Emma, William C, Isabelle, 
Christian J., Frederick, John C, Elizabeth 
and Meta. Mr. Wunderlich is an earnest re- 
publican, and has taken an active part in the 
affairs of his party. He is a member of the 
F. & A. M., I. CX O. F., and A. O. U. W. 
fraternities. Active and progressive, he has 
made his own way in life and is now one of 
the prominent men of the county. 

John J. Hays, treasurer of Vanderburgh 
county from 1883 to 1887, was- born in 
London, England, in 1834, of Irish parent- 
age, and was the second son of Thomas and 
Ann ( Hurley) Hays. His parents emigrated 
to America before he was a year old, and set- 
tled for a few years in New York City, re- 
moving afterward to Indiana. Fort Wayne 
became the permanent residence of the 
family, and there his parents died, his father 
in 1863, and his mother the year after. The 
boys of the family, four in number, were 
early apprenticed to trades, John as a car- 
penter. Leaving home at the age of 
eighteen he set out for New Orleans, ex- 
pecting to go thence to California, but meet- 
ing disappointments in the south he retraced 
his steps and arrived in Evansville in March, 
1853. He at once went to work in the car 
shops of the E. & C. R'y Co., and remained 
so employed until August 15, 1861, when 
he gave up his position to enlist in the war 
for the preservation of the Union. He had 
previously been a lieutenant of the Union 
Artillery Company. He started to St. Louis 

to join the First Indiana Cavalry, the lieu- 
tenant-colonel of which, John Smith Gavitt, 
afterward killed in the war, was a warm 
personal friend, but the regiment had its full 
quota and he was compelled to look else- 
where for service. On September 1, 1861, 
he enlisted as an ordinary seaman on the 
gun-boat "Conestoga," was advanced to 
carpenter's mate in a short time; and in a 
few months was promoted to the position of 
acting carpenter, his commission emanating 
from the navy department and bearing the 
signature of Gideon Welles, secretary of 
the navy. On the "Conestoga," and later 
on the "Fort Hindman," he rendered daring 
and effective service. After the war he 
returned to peaceful pursuits, and was 
for a time in the employ of the Evans- 
ville & Terre Haute Railway. May 29, 
1873, he was married to Miss Lucilla 
A. Mills, born in EvansVille, October 2, 
1852, daughter of Isaac R. and Susan R. 
Mills. Their union gave them two children, 
John, Jr., born March 21, 1877, and Perry 
M., born February 4, 1880. Mr. Hays was 
an active member of the G. A. R., and of 
the Masonic order. In 1882 he was the 
democratic candidate for treasurer of Van- 
derburgh county, and was elected by a ma- 
jority of 328. Two years later he was 
re-elected, on the independent ticket, by a 
majority of 202. In the year following the 
expiration of his term of office he died, 
June 13, 1888. 

Anthony C. Hawkins, deputy clerk of the 
circuit court of Vanderburgh county, was 
born in Union county, Ky., August 31, 1851, 
and is the son of Anthony S. and Elizabeth J. 
(Hopgood) Hawkins, natives of Kentucky, 
born in 1814 and 1816, respectively. He 
was the fourth of seven children, six of whom 
survive. His boyhood was spent on the 
farm and in the country schools. At the 
age of eighteen years he entered Princeton 



Academy, and after three years' study, was 
engaged as a teacher for a short time. 
While at Princeton, Ky., he read law in the 
office of Judge William Bradley. Coming 
to Evansville in 1873 he entered the law 
office of Luke Wood, a prominent attorney 
at that time, and there continued his studies 
until admitted to the bar in 1874. A- part- 
nership was then formed with his recent pre- 
ceptor, under the firm name of Wood & 
Hawkins, which was pleasantly and profit- 
ably continued for some time. For five 
years from 1876 Mr. Hawkins pursued the 
practice alone, and at the end of that period 
formed a partnership with S. R. Hornbrook, 
which continued until November, 1884, 
since which time he has served as deputy 
clerk. In politics he has always been a 
staunch republican, and a potent factor in the 
achievement of that party's successes. In 
Ma}', 1876, he became a Knight of Pythias 
and has taken an active part in the work of 
the order. For five years he has been dis- 
trict deputy. He was married June 26, 1879, 
to Mollie E. Brown, born in Hamilton, Ohio, 
April 19, 1854, daughter of Lyman B. and 
Mary (Doellinger) Brown. Of this union 
two children have been born: Electa D., and 
Allen C. 

Louis H. Legler, deputy count)' auditor, 
of Vanderburgh county, was born at Berlin, 
Canada, December 2 1, 1855. His parents were 
Dr. Henry T. and Augusta (Pfeiffer) Leg- 
ler, natives of Saxony and Mayence, Ger- 
many, respectively. Dr. Legler practiced 
his profession in Canada for some years, and 
coming to the United States about the com- 
mencement of the civil war offered his ser- 
vices to the government. He was attached 
to the medical staff of a New York regi- 
ment, and rendered a valuable service 
extending throughout the war, being 
mustered out at its close as a surgeon. 
At the end of his service he emigrated 

west and located in Evansville, where he 
was known as a successful practioner from 
1866 to 1876. He is now at Oakland, Cali- 
fornia. Louis Legler was educated in the 
public schools of this city and at Wells & 
Rank's Commercial College. At fifteen 
years of age he entered the employ of F. 
Hopkins & Co., and remained with that well 
known house as a salesman for twelve 
years. At the end of this time he was 
offered, and accepted, the position of deputy 
city treasurer, which he held under Treas- 
urers Marlett and Sansom. Thereafter for 
two and a half years he served as book- 
keeper for the Novelty Machine Works, and 
left that position to accept his present place, 
upon the election of Auditor Parvin in 18S6. 
In every relation his ability and integrity 
have been manifest, while his affable man- 
ners and uniform courtesy have made him 
popular.- Mr. Legler is a young man with 
the greater part of his career before him, 
but the honorable record ahead}' achieved 
justifies the most favorable predictions for 
the future. He has been twice married. 
July 13, 1876, Miss Eva Phar, daughter of 
Jonathan Phar, a prominent private citizen 
of Knight township, became his wife. To 
this union four children were born, two of 
whom are now living. The death of Mrs. 
Legler occurred May 18, 18S7. Mr. Leg- 
ler's second marriage occurred October 10, 
1888, when he was married to Miss Marion 
Bonnel, daughter of Warren Bonnel. 

William A. Page, deputy sheriff of Van- 
derburgh county, was born at Mt. Carmel, 
111., April 2, 1841. His father, W. T. Page, 
was a native of Rutland, Vt, and died sev- 
eral years ago at Philadelphia, Pa. His 
mother, Anna E. Page, was born in Mar- 
garafeth, Ireland, came to America about 
1830, and is now living at Chicago, 111. To 
these parents five children were born, as 
follows: Emma P. (afterward Mrs. Borden, 



now deceased), Fanny V. (now Mrs. Col- 
burn, of Portland, Ore.), Mary E. (now 
Mrs. Hodge, of Philadelphia, Pa.), Char- 
lotte P. (now Mrs. Borden, of Chicago, 111.), 
and William A. The only son, William A., 
lived in his native place until ten years of 
age, and has sinGe resided in Evansville. 
Being thrown upon his own resources early 
in life his education was only such as could 
be obtained in the public schools. At the 
age of twelve years he began the battle of 
life for himself, and since that time has made 
his own way. At the age of thirteen, he 
entered the employ of the Canal Bank, and 
was subsequently promoted teller, being the 
youngest man to till that position in Evans- 
ville. In July, 1862, he enlisted in the Fed- 
eral Arm}', and in August following, was 
promoted to be adjutant of the Sixty-fifth 
Indiana Infantry. He served faithfully until 
the spring of 1865, when he was honorably 

discharged because of physical disability. 
After the close of the war he resided in St. 
St. Louis one year, having charge of the 
Inland Insurance Department of the Home 
Insurance Company of New York. After- 
ward, representing the same company and 
others, he made his home for two years 
at Vicksburg, Miss. From November, 
1882, he has been deputy sheriff of the 
county and has fearlessly discharged the du- 
ties of his position. He is a member of the 
following fraternities: W. H. Stearn Lodge 
No. 1, F. & A. M., of Vicksburg, Miss., 
Ben Hur Lodge No 197, K. of P., of this 
city, Excelsior Lodge No. 38, A. O. U. W., 
and Farragut Post, G. A. R. He was mar- 
ried December 15, 1869, at Madison, Ind., 
to Miss Annie Davidson. Of this union five 
children have been born : Alexander G. (now 
of San Diego, Cal.), Victoria, Marion, 
Emma and Annie. 


The City of Evansville — Col. Hugh McGary, the First Permanent Settler — 
The Warrick County Seat — Disastrous Legislation — The Renaissance of 
1817-18, Under Evans, Jones and McGary — Seat of a New County — Evans- 
ville of 1820 — Hard Times and Sickness — The Town of 1831 — Disasters 
of 1832 — Day Begins to Dawn — The Wabash and Erie Canal Phantom — 
Birth of River Commerce ■ — The Town of 1835-37 — Crisis of 1837 — The 
Boom in the 'Forties — The First Railroads — The War Period — Depres- 
sion and Panic — The Railroad Era — The Present City — Its Boundless 
Energies and Limitless Resources. 

§CCASIONALLY an individual attains 
distinction through circumstances 
which he has no hand in shaping, 
though more often he molds the events and 
creates the means by which prominence 
among his fellows is secured. He whose 
name is inseparably connected with the early 
annals of the now extensive and prosperous 
city of Evansville was not the creation of 
adventitious surroundings. His iron will 
and dauntless courage were forced to over- 
come many serious obstacles. Had he 
yielded to adversity, a city might have grown 
up near where Evansville now is, forced into 
existence and fastened by the great natural 
advantages of the location, but with a dif- 
ferent name and history. Speculations as to 
such a result do not lessen the importance of 
the achievements of Col. Hugh McGary, the 
founder and preserver of a village, which by 
a process of gradual development, has be- 
come a commercial and manufacturing 
metropolis, well known throughout the Mis- 
sissippi valley — a city standing abreast of 
the age, in the possession of its varied im- 
provements and enlightening influences, and 
holding in its hand the welfare and happi- 
ness of more than 50,000 souls. 

Col. McGary, a sturdy pioneer, early 
emigrated from Kentucky to the new Indiana 
territory and settled in what is now Gibson 
county. Leaving his inland cabin he made 
his way to the banks of the Ohio river 
and purchased from the government, on 
March 27, 181 2, the land now covered by 
the city of Evansville. He was not the first 
pioneer to visit this point. Others of the 
Anglo-Saxon race had preceded him into the 
trackless forest, not only as pursuers of the 
wild fur-bearing animals that infested the 
country, but as prospective settlers, seeking 
new homes for themselves and their de- 
scendants. Previous to McGary's settlement 
and for some 3-ears afterward, an Indian vil- 
lage of the Shawnee tribe occupied the lands 
near the mouth of Pigeon creek. At times 
these aborigines were quite troublesome. 

A temporary settlement had been made 
by 'some white adventurer before the com- 
ing of McGary, near the spot where he 
afterward built his home. In 1809, George 
Miller, with his family, came here from 
Kentucky. When the rude raft of this 
pioneer was landed on the northern shore of 
the river, his attention was attracted at once 
by a deserted cabin standing in the vicinity 



of the present corner of Vine and Water 
streets. The cabin, made of newly cut 
timbers, appeared to have been built but 
recently, and about it, in the unbroken 
forest, there was no apparent evidence of 
any other attempt at settlement. This cabin 
was a welcome sight to the adventurer. 
Beneath its roof his family found a shelter 
far more comfortable than they had antici- 
pated. However, they were not allowed to 
remain unmolested, being visited by the 
Indians, whose demonstrations of hostility 
drove them back to the Kentucky shore 
more than once. With the courage and de- 
termination characteristic of pioneers, they 
returned persistently, and at length were 
allowed to occupy the cabin in comparative 
peace. Here they remained a few months, 
and then pushed forward, in search of a 
permanent home, to a point three or four 
miles west of the city, where, in what is now 
Perry township, they settled, and for many 
years were numbered among the most re- 
spectable members of the community. 

In other parts of the county settlers' cabins 
had been erected previously, and in many 
places the woodman's ax was filling the wild 
forest with its resounding music of industry 
and progress. 

The seeds of civilization had been scat- 
tered, though but thinly, and here and there 
in the wilderness the bright flowers, lifting 
their heads above the dead leaves of barbar- 
ism, were ripening a rich fruitage. Along 
the banks of the river opposite Henderson, 
or Red Banks, as it was then called, further 
eastward opposite the mouth of Green river, 
along the course of Pigeon creek, and in 
various other localities, the pioneers, drifting 
here singly and in small groups, had formed 
limited settlements. One of the first houses, 
and perhaps the first (for after the lapse of 
eighty years, in the absence of any recorded 
evidence, it is impossible to determine with 

certainty the question of priority), raised in 
this immediate vicinity, was a log cabin, 
which stood on the west bank of Pigeon 
creek, on land long since swept away by 
the ever encroaching waters of the Ohio 
river. The names of the pioneers who 
felled the first trees on the site of the city 
and raised the first log cabins must forever 
remain in obscurity. While their acts were 
a part of the beginning of the great develop- 
ment whose culmination the citizen to-day 
enjoys, they had no thought of building a 
town, and took no steps in that direction. 

Col. McGary was the first permanent 
settler; the first man whose mind grasped 
the unusual and almost immeasurable 
advantages of this location; and to his good 
sense and unyielding determination were 
due more than to those of any other indi- 
vidual the successful early growth of the 
village. He belonged to the " rough and 
tumble " element of the new West. The 
qualities that gained for him a prominence 
among men were not the accomplishments 
and pleasing manners that attract the atten- 
tion of polite society, but rather the sterling 
traits of character that unflinchingly endured 
the hardships of frontier experience, and 
enabled their possessor to deal with his 
fellow-men fearlessly and with moderate 
fairness. He was without extraordinary 
ability; his equals could be found without 
difficulty among his neighbors, and before 
the town of his creation was far out upon 
the road of prosperity his intellectual super- 
iors towered above him on all sides. His 
education was limited, though for some 
years he served acceptably as an associate 
judge of the Warrick count}' court. A man 
of great spirit, he was pugnacious enough to 
be known as "a fighter," and this was no 
discredit to him when manhood was often 
measured by one's ability to maintain his 
equilibrium against the unsteadying influ- 



ences of strong drinks, and by personal skill 
and valor in the fights resorted to by men of 
all classes to settle even the most trivial 
disputes. Morally, measured by the stand- 
ards of to-day, he was not of a high order. 
He was aggressive, and by his strong will 
and keen foresight fitted for leadership. In 
personal appearance he was of medium 
height, stoutly built, brawn}-; and in his 
movements agile and athletic. His com- 
plexion was swarthy, his eyes dark and 
piercing, and his countenance broad. His 
wife was a daughter of Jonathan Anthony, 
an earl}' settler on Pigeon creek, who built 
the old water mill, first known by the own- 
er's name and later as Negley's mill. She 
was a plain woman, with the simple, unaf- 
fected manners and industrious habits of her 
time. Her parents, at her christening, had 
called her Mary, but she was known by her 
associates only as " Polly " McGary. Of 
their several descendants none are left near 
the scenes of their early struggles and 

Whether Hugh McGary designed the 
founding of a town w r hen he left Gibson 
county to locate on the banks of the river; 
or the advantages of his situation, at first 
selected for no other than the purposes of a 
home and a farm, forced upon him the 
thought, is a matter of speculation. In sup- 
port of the latter view it may be said that 
when he came the vast measures of wealth 
hidden in the bosom of the earth were un- 
discovered, no attempts had been made to 
reckon the true value of the boundless for- 
ests; commerce, of rich meaning now, was 
then a word seldom passing the lips of the 
pioneer; the count} of Warrick was not then 
organized, and existing conditions gave little 
favor to the entertainment of a design of 
founding a town. It is certain that he did 
not come with a colony and the means requi- 
site for forcing development and growth. 

On the other hand the vast extent of Knox 
county, then having jurisdiction over this 
territory, and the constantly growing tide of 
immigration argued to a shrewd observer 
of the times that new counties must soon be 
formed and new towns established as their 
seats of government. Then and for many 
years later villages hung all their hopes for 
growth and greatness upon the one fact of 
possessing the court-house and having the 
public business transacted within their limits. 
The formation of a new county out of the 
southern portion of Knox, may have been 
talked of seriously before McGary left his 
home in Gibson county. As a matter of 
fact a new county was formed within a year 
after he entered the lands on which the 
town was subsequently laid out. How soon 
he took possession after making the entry, 
it is not possible to say. 

Immigrants came in almost exclusively 
from Kentucky, and McGary's was soon 
recognized as a convenient place for cross- 
ing the river. He provided a ferry which 
gave to this point the name of McGary's 
Ferry. At length the time arrived for Mc- 
Gary to take the first step in the prosecu- 
tion of a work which later he pursued with 
great zeal and energy. The territorial 
legislature, in an act approved March 9th, 
1813, authorized the organization of Gibson 
and Warrick counties, the latter to include 
all that territory lying west of Harrison 
county and south of " Rector's base line," 
embracing the present counties of Perry, 
Spencer, Warrick, Vanderburgh and Posey. 
A general law passed at the same session 
of the legislature prescribed methods by 
which seats of justice for new counties should 
be selected. It provided for the appointment 
by the legislature at the time of authoriz- 
ing the formation of any new county, of five 
disinterested commissioners to perform this 
duty, but no such appointment was embraced 



in the act forming the two new counties, 
and the legislature adjourned without cor- 
recting the important defect. During the 
next session of the law-makers, on December 
14, 1813, the matter received attention. 
Commissioners were appointed, directed to 
meet at the mill of Jonathan Anthony, and 
select a favorable site for the county town. 
No place in the extensive territory of the 
new county was especially convenient to the 
settlers scattered from Harrison county 
to the Wabash. McGary's place was far 
from being central, but the men in whose 
hands lay the power of selection were to 
conduct their deliberations at the mill of his 
father-in-law, and he was shrewd enough to 
seize upon this opportunity of placing before 
them the advantages of his location. By 
offering to donate 100 acres of land 
to the new county he secured a favorable 
report, and the choice of his lands for the 
location of the county town. The report 
was submitted on June 13th, 1814, and was 
signed by the following commissioners, 
Wm. Prince, Daniel Putnam, Alexander 
Deven, John Milburn and Wm. Hargrove. 
With reference to the subject the records of 
the Warrick county court bear this entry: 
"Tuesday, June 14, 1814. 
" Ordered by the courts that the donation 
of one hundred acres of land for the perma- 
nent seat of justice for Warrick county be 
called the town of Evansville and known in 
law by that name. The agent for Warrick 
county is ordered to proceed immediately 
to lay off Evansville into town lots making 
the streets on the bank of the river one hun- 
dred feet wide and all other streets sixty 
feet wide. * * * " 

" Aeneas McAllister, 

"James Marrs, 

"Daniel Grass. 

The embryonic city was named in honor 
of Gen. Robert M. Evans, a distinguished 


soldier and citizen of Gibson county, who at 
that time was in no way identified with the 
place. Col. McGary and Gen. Evans had 
been neighbors in earlier times. Recogniz- 
ing the General's worth and the advantages 
to be gained through the weight of his in- 
fluence, McGary doubtless took this means 
of enlisting his interest in the welfare of the 
town. The belief has been current that the 
town was first called McGary ion, but instead 
of being supported by any trustworthy evi- 
dence this idea is positively refuted by the 
public records, as indicated above. From 
the outset, in all deeds of conveyance and 
papers of a legal character the town was 
designated as Evansville. For obvious rea- 
sons, during the early part of its career the 
village was very generally spoken of by set- 
tlers on both sides of the river as McGary's 
Ferry or McGary's town. 

As directed by the court, the agent for 
the county, Nathaniel Claypool, proceeded 
without delay to lay out the town, and before 
the month of June was passed his work was 
finished. The town as then platted does not 
appear upon any of the maps to-dav. Indeed, 
by subsequent legislative enactments that 
town was virtually blotted out of existence, 
and after a lapse of time another or second 
Evansville rose on its site. In this first town 
the public square was the second block from 
the river in the extreme eastern portion of 
the town. Including this square there 
were 100 lots. From memoranda on the 
records it is learned that owners of lots in 
the place were Hugh McGary, Nathaniel 
Claypool, R. M. Evans, J. Talbot, Wm. 
Wagnon, R. Fitzgarratt, J. B. Stinson, E. 
Stinson, T. E. Alsop, George Linxweiler, J. 
Wheatstone, F. Wheatstone, Ashbel Ander- 
son, Daniel Miller, R. McGary, M. McClain, 
L. Tackett, J. Miller, W. M. Gilligen, E. 
Hill, James Marrs, Henry Webster, and 
Wm. G. Buckler. Many of these lot owners 



were non-residents. The town then con- 
sisted of less than half a dozen small log 
cabins, rudely constructed and located to 
suit the convenience of settlers, with little or 
no regard to the arrangement of streets. 

In compliance with his offer made to the 
commissioners to secure the location of the 
county town on his lands, Hugh McGary 
joined by Poll}', his wife, on Jul}- 15, 1814, 
executed a deed of conveyance by which 
100 acres of land were conveyed to Nathaniel 
Claypool as the agent of Warrick county. 

Notwithstanding the evident insignificance 
of the place the objects of McGary's ambi- 
tion seemed destined to be achieved. 
Thoroughly absorbed in the prospects of 
handsome realizations, he little suspected 
that his hopes even then rested on a bending 
reed, soon to be broken. But he and those 
whom he had induced to take an interest in 
his town were soon made to taste the bitter- 
ness of disappointment. Before the town 
was three months old the legislature appar- 
ently had fixed its doom. The formation of 
Posey county in the southwestern corner of 
the territory so altered the boundaries of 
Warrick county as to place Evansville at one 
extremity of the river border, still more than 
fifty miles in length. Because of this a law 
was enacted, providing for the removal of 
the seat of justice of Warrick county from 
Evansville to a point some thirteen miles 
eastward, on fractional section No. 7, in 
township 7 south, of range 8 west, which 
was referred to in the act directing the 
change as "the place at first selected by the 
commissioners appointed for the purpose by 
an act of the legislature at its previous ses- 
sion." There is no ready explanation in the 
public records of these significant words. 
They indicate beyond doubt that McGary's 
town was not first choice with the locating 
commissioners, and was decided upon only 
after some effort on the part of McGary. 

The act was approved by Thomas Posey, 
governor, September 1, 1814. The new 
town, established by its provisions, was 
called Darlington, and after a brief and 
uneventful career passed out of existence, its 
decadence being due to the removal of 
the seat of justice for Warrick county to 
the town of Boonville. This legislation 
seemed disastrous to Evansville. As if 
anticipating an entire abandonment of the 
place, the legislature provided a means of 
escape to those who had risked money on 
its future growth by investing in its lots, by 
authorizing a return of all purchase moneys 
and a cancellation of deeds, etc. Thus 
Evansville was practically legislated out of 
existence; the town, as the work of a sur- 
veyor was left, but its soul was taken 

McGary, fearful lest he might be unable 
to stem the tide setting in against him, and 
seeking to save himself to some extent, be- 
came a purchaser of lots in the new town of ' 
Darlington. This was but the placing of an 
anchor, not a removal from a sinking ship 
to one that seemed starting with favorable 
winds upon a promising mission. Instead of 
surrendering and abandoning hope, he busied 
his brain to discover some means of avoid- 
ing disaster. 

In the summer of 1815, Hugh McGaiy 
& Co. were granted a license to vend mer- 
chandise, by the board of commissioners of 
Warrick county, and at that time opened 
the first store in the village of Evansville. 
Near the mouth of Pigeon creek, at an 
early day, probably as early as 181 1, a 
Frenchman, whose name is unknown, estab- 
lished a trading post where he exchanged 
trinkets and ammunition for the furs col- 
lected by the Indians. But the hostilities 
incident upon the w r ar of 1S12 drove him 
from these parts, and when McGary com- 
menced merchandising he had no competitors 



near at hand. In the following year Indiana 
was admitted to the Union; immigration, 
receiving fresh impulses from this fact, was 
largely increased; good health generally 
prevailed, and an era of prosperity was be- 
gun. Nevertheless, Evansville continued to 
go down. Town lots decreased in value 
until they were worth little more than neigh- 
boring wild lands. The late William Linx- 
weiler said, "as an evidence of the value of 
real estate in the infancy days of Evansville, 
I may mention the fact that Hugh McGary 
offered my father an acre of ground on the 
corner of the block where the First National 
Bank now stands, for thirty hogs which had 
been fatted on mast. At the time dressed 
pork was selling for one dollar and a quar- 
ter per hundred weight, payable in trade or 
labor. This was just before McGary sold 
the whole of that part of the town site lying 
above Main street to James W. Jones and 
Gen. Evans." 

In the meantime McGary was not idle. 
He retained his residence in Evansville, and 
made his hospitable home a favorite resort 
for all classes of citizens. Two years had 
elapsed since what seemed to be the death 
warrant of his town had been signed, and it 
still kept up at least the appearance of life. 
During this time McGary was on the bench 
as an associate judge, and made himself and 
his house so popular with the president 
judge and attorneys, that regardless of the 
law's directions, courts were frequently held 
at his home instead of at that of Daniel 
Rhoads, or in the court-house at Darlington. 
Indeed, the validity of judgments rendered 
under these circumstances was afterward 
questioned, and it became necessary to have 
the legislature pass a special act confirming 
and legalizing them. 

The formation of a new county, with 
Evansville as the central point, was the idea 
which suggested itself as a means of relief 

from the deplorable condition into which the 
town was rapidly sinking, and from the 
death which was visibly near at hand. This 
McGary set about to accomplish with char- 
acteristic determination. Had the choice of 
a town been left to a popular vote, or had it 
been possible for the court, as was done in 
much earlier times, to establish the lines of 
a new county, his designs in that respect 
might have been readily gratified. To have 
the plan favorably acted on by the legisla- 
ture was not so free from difficulty. A 
reformation in the world's affairs, or an 
important step in the advancement or 
civilization of mankind, is seldom the result 
solely of individual effort. Conditions slowly 
ripen, circumstances gradually associate 
themselves into proper relations, when, at 
the right juncture, some sagacious agent of 
the times enlists the aid of others, perhaps 
more able than himself in many respects, 
and, by shaping forces and directing events, 
accomplishes a good tor the world and a 
name for himself. But he who sets this 
train in motion, and then so governs its 
movements as to reap a reward, is not so 
much a mere " creature of circumstances " as a 
skilled workman knowing the art of mould- 
ing the frangible and stubborn clay of events. 
The county had within its borders some 
discreet politicians, who were not willing to 
permit their welfare, political as well as 
financial, to be put in jeopardy. To carry 
out his plan the necessity for influential co- 
workers became immediately evident. The 
active interest of Gen. Robert M. Evans and 
James W. Jones was obtained by a transfer 
to them, from Hugh McGary and Polly, 
his wife, for $1,300, on June 20, 181 7, 
of all that part of the fractional section 
on which Evansville was laid out lying 
above Main street, except thirty acres pre- 
viously conveyed to Carter Beaman, contain- 
ing about 130 acres. 


On the 17th of July following, Evansville, 
it may be said, was born again. On that 
day Evans, Jones and McGary prepared a 
plan for a town ignoring the streets and lots 
as previously laid out. What they then 
platted is known on the maps of to-day as 
the " original plan," and reaches, north and 
south, from Third to Water streets, and east 
and west, from Chestnut to Division streets. 
One-half of the public square as shown in 
the plat lay above Third street. There 
were 144 lots, eight of which constitute a 
block, and the following statement as to the 
plan of the town was signed by the propri- 

"This town is laid out in squares of 
eighteen poles by eighteen poles and eighteen 
links: there is an alley of twenty feet wide 
through the center of each square, and at 
the rear of each lot; the lots contain one- 
fourth of an acre and one-half pole; Water 
street is about 100 feet wide, Main street is 
seventy-six feet wide, all other streets are 
sixty feet wide throughout; the block through 
which Main street and Third passes is re- 
served as a public square." 

The men whom McGary associated with 
him in his final effort to put new life and 
vigor into his town were able, by reason of 
their large acquaintance and influence, and 
their knowledge of men and affairs, to ren- 
der him valuable aid. Gen. Robert Morgan 
Evans, whose name was perpetuated in 
christening the town, was born in 1783, in 
Frederick county, Va. ; and at Paris, Ky., in 
1803, was married to Miss Jane Trimble, a 
sister of Judge Robert Trimble of the su- 
preme court of the United States. When 
twenty-two years of age he came to Indiana 
territory, his richest possessions being youth, 
health and intellect. He settled in the wil- 
derness about two miles north of where 
Princeton now is, and at the first sale of 
public lands, in 1807, bought the place which 

his fancy had selected for a home. After 
four years of pioneer life in the woods he 
went to Vincennes, where he kept a tavern 
for two years, returning at the end of this 
time to his home in the woods. When the 
war of 181 2 with Great Britain was begun, 
he offered his services to his country, and in 
the campaigns of that period gained distinc- 
tion, serving with such gallantly and signal 
ability that he rose to the rank of brigadier 
general. At the close of the war he re- 
turned to Gibson county and resumed the 
arduous work of improving his homestead. 
His fellow citizens soon elected him to the 
office of county clerk, in which capacity he 
rendered satisfactory service. It was not 
until 1824 that he moved to Evansville, and 
there remained but one year, during which 
time he resided on his farm near the strug- 
gling village. Moving then to New Har- 
mony, at that time a prosperous village un- 
der the control of German socialists, he 
occupied himself as the landlord of a hotel, 
at the same time engaging in agricultural 
pursuits on lands near that place. After an 
absence of about four years he returned to 
Evansville, where he remained until his 
death in 1S44, living an honorable life and 
holding a high place in the esteem of the 
people. In personal appearance he was tall 
and commanding, of dignified bearing, with 
a smooth face and open countenance, always 
attracting attention and admiration. On all 
occasions he was agreeable and entertaining, 
and in business transactions a man of sterling 
integrity. In the combination between him- 
self, McGary and Jones for the betterment 
of their fortunes and the building up of the 
town of Evansville, he was the man of power 
and influence. 

James W.Jones, as an adventurous pioneer, 
had pushed his way into the forests of Indi- 
ana territory soon after the organization of a 
territorial government, and settled near the 



town of Princeton, where, as a neighbor, he 
enjoyed the acquaintance of Gen. Evans and 
Col. McGary. He was a man of pleasing 
address, a clever talker, and possessed some 
means. He, however, lacked that enterpris- 
ing, persisting spirit and sharp business 
ability essential to a successful competition 
with the men who came upon the stage of 
action in the business life of Evansville be- 
fore his career was ended. For a time he 
succeeded in business and public life. His 
popularity and his hold upon the confidence 
of the people were shown by the fact that ' 
for several years he was selected to perform 
the duties of clerk of the circuit court. At '' 
the same time he prosecuted his business in- \ 
terests with profit, but in the latter part of 
his career he sustained losses and at length 
returned to Gibson county, where he died. I 
He was eminently respectable, always, and | 
his sons became in their day prominent and 
useful citizens. 

Having thus glanced at the characters of 
ihe men who were endeavoring to save the 
young town from abandonment, it may be of 
interest to know something of those who 
made up the opposition. These were chiefly 
Col. Ratliff Boon and Judge Daniel Grass, 
men of large attainments and influence. 
Some facts as to their personality and the 
manner in which those interested in the suc- 
cess of Evansville at length obtained the 
formation of a new county so bounded as to 
make Evansville a central point are recited 
elsewhere in these pages, in the chapter 
concerning the organization of the county. 

A short time before his death, in 1881, 
Gen. Joseph Lane, whose name occupies an 
honorable place in the annals of this county 
and in the history of the nation, wrote a letter 
concerning the formation of Vanderburgh 
county from which the following quotations 
are made : 

"It was while engaged in delivering Ws 

(to the steam saw-mill of J. J. Audubon at 
Red Banks in 1816) and rowing back in our 
skiff that I got acquainted with every one 
living on the bank of the river, and especi- 
ally did I get well acquainted with Col. Hugh 
McGary, and was rather pleased with him. 
He talked well on the subject of his town 
site and of the ultimate greatness of his 
prospective city. With him I walked over 
a portion of the land. A portion of it I had 
walked over the year before, solitary and 
alone. I found him quite in earnest about 
his town. Not long after this he put up his 
hewed log house, not far from Mitchell's 
corner; I think near the spot where, some 
time after, James Lewis built his dwelling 
house. Upon this occasion we camped near 
his house, and he spent most of the night 
with us, and talked much and complained 
bitterly of Col. Ratliff Boon, who was, as 
he held, the only obstacle to his success; 
that he, Boon, was opposed to the formation 
of a new county out of Warrick, Posey and 
Gibson, and so arranging the boundaries as 
to make his town site central. I was fond of 
Boon and did not like to hear him abused, 
but said nothing until after I had obtained em- 
ployment in the clerk's office (at Darlington). 
Then the first time I saw Boon I took the 
liberty of saying to him that, perhaps he 
had it in his power, or if he wished he could 
have a new county formed out of the coun- 
ties above named and still have them large 
enough, and by so doing he would make 
many friends. A few months after I hap- 
pened to be present at a conversation held 
in the clerk's office while our circuit court, 
was in session, between Boon, McGary, 
Gen. Evans and Judge Daniel Grass, all 
leading men, in which the whole programme 
of a new county was fully discussed. Boon 
mentioned that such chipping of Warrick 
county would necessitate the re-location of 
the county seat, and the probable point 



would be at or near Settee Down's vil- 
lage, where he, a Shawnee chief, had lived 
with his little band until 1811, and who, be- 
fore he left to join his nation, had killed some 
white people in the French Island neighbor- 
hood. He was followed and killed by a 
partv of citizens, among whom Boon figured 

" The county seat was re-located and 
located as above mentioned, or suggested, 
and Boon's name is, and rightly should be, 
perpetuated. Boonville is still the county 
seat of Warrick countv. The boundaries 
of Spencer countv were so fixed as to 
insure the location of the county seat at 
Rockport, a good location. Vanderburgh 
county was formed so as to make McGary's 
town site fit in exactly. Gen. Evans had now 
become part owner. The county seat was 
located and the name of the new proprietor 
was perpetuated in the now famous city of 
Evansville. * * * * * I have 
endeavored to give the little I know of the 
influence of the men who shaped and 
formed boundaries of counties and location 
of county seats, all of which was understood 
by the actors a year or two before the great 
work was accomplished, all of them more 
or less interested; and still all they did 
resulted in great public good. Ratliff 
Boon, Daniel Grass and Gen. Robert M. 
Evans were more than ordinary men in 
their day, and deserve a place in the history 
of Indiana." 

Confidence in the ultimate ratification by 
the legislature of the plan agreed upon in 
this conference at Darlington had a salutary 
effect upon the town of Evansville. Though 
this legal ratification was not made until 
January, 1S1S, the town in the previous 
summer had been replatted and a large por- 
tion of the contiguous territory had passed 
into the possession of Gen. Evans and Mr. 
Jones. In the meantime, in 1816, J, Vigus 

had been licensed to vend foreign merchan- 
dise in the place, and others found here a 
favorable place for permanent location. The 
enthusiasm of McGary and his great confi- 
dence in the future greatness of his town, 
no doubt, had much influence in causing set- 
tlers to locate in the place. He evinced his 
determination to achieve success by making 
such improvements as the facilities of the 
times afforded. At length the whole plan 
received legislative approval. The bill pro- 
viding for the organization of Vanderburgh 
countv and carrying out other features of 
the scheme became a law on January 7, 
1818, and McGary was permitted to enjoy a 
triumph and a gratification of his ambition, 
such as seldom comes to the pioneer. That 
his hopes had been almost crushed when the 
tide of prosperity seemed turned from his 
doors to those of Darlington, appears in the 
fact that, while the legislature had provided 
means for his recovery of title to the 100 acres 
of his town site previously conveyed to War- 
rick county, he had neglected to repossess 
himself of these lands. When the new 
count}' of Vanderburgh was formed, it was 
found that the title to a great portion of 
the lands on which the new Evansville 
stood was vested in Warrick countv, and 
there seemed to be some doubt as to the 
existence of a lawful warrant for their trans- 
fer to McGary. To correct this condition of 
affairs the legislature passed an act to au- 
thorize the agent of Warrick count}- to re- 
convey to Hugh McGary, the lands which he 
had previously conveyed to Warrick county 
through its agent. ' The act was approved 
by Jonathan Jennings, governor, January 
28, 1818. 

About this time Col. McGary succeeded 
in having a post-office established at Evans- 
ville with himself as postmaster. His com- 
mission was dated February 20, 1818. The 
mails came by land from Vincennes at widely 



separated intervals, but even this mail ser- 
vice was a great boon to the settlers. 

As commissioners to determine the loca- 
tion of the seat of government for the new 
count}' the legislature appointed Wm. Har- 
grove, Archibald Scott, Arthur Harbison, 
John Stephens, and John Allen. Of these, 
only the two first named appeared at the 
time and place designated for their meeting. 
To fill the vacancies occasioned by the failure 
of the other members of the commission to 
be present, Thomas E. Casselberry, Wilson 
Bullett, and Elias Barker were appointed. 
When these men were ready for the trans- 
action of business the following proposition 
was submitted for their consideration : 

The Honorable, the Commissioners ap- 
pointed pursuant to law to fix the permanent 
seat op 'justice for Vanderburgh county: 

Gentlemen : — The undersigned proprie- 
tors of the town of Evansville beg leave to 
present to your consideration the following 
proposition, to-wit . Provided you shall feel 
disposed to fix the seat of justice for the 
county of Vanderburgh in the town of Evans- 
ville and have the square which has been 
designated as the public square on the 
plat of said town located as the public 
square for the said seat of justice on which 
the public building shall be erected, we 
propose to give as a donation to and for 
the use of said county, ioo lots includ- 
ing said public square, that is, the lots 
included in said square with the streets and 
alleys appertaining thereto, according to the 
plan of said town, as a donation for the use 
and benefit of said county of Vanderburgh, 
which we will convey on the terms aforesaid 
to such persons as ma}- be authorized to 
receive a conveyance for the same, for 
the purpose aforesaid. In addition to the 
aforesaid donation we are authorized by 
Mr. John Gwathney, of Louisville, Ky., 
to give a donation to the use of said 

county of $500 in cash or such materials 
as will suit in the erection of the said 
public buildings, to be paid by the said 
John Gwathney as the said buildings pro- 
gress on order from the countv commis- 
sioners, for which donation we make our- 
selves personallvand individually responsible. 
On that part of the land proposed as a dona- 
tion there is a gravevard, which is on the 
land belonging to Hugh McGary, one of the 
proprietors; at this place the said Hugh Mc- 
Gary reserves one acre of ground to include 
said graveyard in such manner as to do the 
least possible injury to said town, which he 
reserves as a graveyard, the title of which 
he will not divest himself of in any way. 
These proposals are respectfullv submitted 
to your consideration. By 

Robt. M. Evans, 
James W. Jones, 
Hugh McGary, 
March 11, 18 iS. Proprietors. 

Notwithstanding the pre-arranged plan 
by which Evansville was to be chosen as the 
seat of government for the county, tradition 
says that another aspirant at the proper time 
entered the lists as a competitor for the honor 
and advantage. This was Mechanicsville, 
then an insignificant collection of cabins, 
whose claims were pressed because of its 
■more central location. The inducements and 
arguments offered by the promoters of this 
town were insufficient to secure for it the 
coveted prize. The report of the commis- 
sioners is as follows: 

" To the Honorable, the Countv Commissioners 
op' Vanderburgh County : 
" Gentlemen : — Having been appointed 
agreeable to law to fix the permanent seat of 
justice in and for the said county of Vander- 
burgh, being first duty sworn, we therefore 
report as follows, to wit: We have satisfac- 
torilv examined the situation of said county 



and having taken into consideration the local 
advantages of said countv have determined 
on fixing the permanent seat of justice for the 
said countv of Vanderburgh on the square 
designated as the public square in the plan 
of the town of Evansville. In making this 
selection we have paid respect to what we 
consider the local advantages of said countv. 
although the town of Evansville is not pre- 
ciselv the center of said countv, vet we rind 
that although the town of Evansville is on 
the bank of the Ohio river, vet from the 
bend of said river extending into said countv 
much farther than the general course of said 
river is wont to do, that this site is the most 
eligible situation which can be procured 
equally near the center. The proprietors of 
the said town of Evansville have proposed 
to give as a donation to the use of said 
county ioo lots, including the lots contained 
in the public square agreeably to the plan of 
said town, or in other words, land sufficient 
to make ioo lots as aforesaid, and also the 
sum of $500 in cash or material suitable for 
the use of the public building, as they pro- 
gress, which proposition is herewith deliv- 
ered to the honorable, the commissioners for 
the said countv of Vanderburgh. The per- 
sons interested in the establishment of the 
said seat of justice at Evansville, have also 
delivered over to vour commissioners a sub- 
scription list amounting to Sioo, for the pur- 
pose of defraving the expense of the com- 
missioners appointed to fix the seat of justice 
aforesaid: vour commissioners therefore be£f 
leave to report that thev have accepted of. 
and fixed and established, the permanent seat 
of justice for the county of Vanderburgh, in 
the said town of Evansville aforesaid, agree- 
ably to the terms aforesaid, pursuant to the 
said proposition and donation aforesaid, bv the 
said proprietors and others aforesaid made. 
The foregoing report is most respectfully 
submitted bv "William Hargrave. Archibald 

Scott, Elias Barker, Wilson Bullett, Thomas 
E. Casselberrv. 

-March 11, 1S1S." 

The deliberations of this commission were 
conducted in the warehouse of Hugh McGary. 

The countv commissioners who accepted 
this report and established the permanent 
seat of justice at Evansville, were James 
Anthonv, David Brumfield and George 
Sirkle. In order to complv with the terms 
of the proposition to convev 100 lots to 
Vanderburgh countv an enlargement to the 
city was necessarv. This was called " Do- 
nation Enlargement," and appears under 
that name upon the maps of to-dav. It em- 
braced that part of the city lying between 
Third and Fifth streets and with eastern and 
western boundaries that coincided with those 
of the original plan. Donation enlargement 
then also contained thirty-three out-lots 
lying on the lands of Evans and Jones above 
Main street, which were afterward vacated, 
and at a later da} - covered by the Eastern 
enlargement. Main street was laid out sev- 
enty-six feet wide, all other streets sixty feet 
wide, and alleys twelve feet wide. All streets, 
including those passing through the public 
square, were given to the people as public 
highwavs. The proprietors' explanation of 
the plat of the Donation enlargement con- 
tained these words: -Lots beginning at 
145 and extending to 217 in arithmetical 
progression, are the lots given by the under- 
signed proprietors to the use of Vander- 
burgh countv, together with the whole of 
the public square located in this enlarge- 
ment, and on the original plan of said town, 
as a donation for the use of said countv."' 
Thus it appears, counting the public square 
as eight lots, that being the number in other 
blocks of the same size, the actual donation 
fell ten lots short of the proprietors' 

Lots in Donation enlargement were at 



once offered for sale by the county agent, 
and by November following the sales had 
reached $4,142.00. The public square had 
been cleared, but at that time the lots sold 
were in the possession of the primeval for- 
ests. In Ma} - , 1S19, and again in August of 
the same year, efforts were made to dispose 
of more of this property, to enable the new 
countv to construct its public buildings. The 
lots were sold on a credit of six and twelve 
months, and notices of the sales were made 
at Princeton, Vincennes, Harmony, Spring- 
field, Evansville, Boonville and Henderson, 
Ky. The art of " booming " towns and 
selling lots at prices fixed by a confidence 
in future growth, so extensively practiced in 
late vears, was not then unknown. Though 
purchases were freely made, considering the 
newness of the countrv and the meagreness 
of the population, some of the lots donated 
to the countv in 1S18 remained in its posses- 
sion unsold as late as 1840. 

Thus far McGary had guided his boat 
with safety over the rocks and through the 
shoals of adversitv. On everv side there 
were evidences of improvement, and the 
future held out in her extended hand the 
richest of promises. An era of general 
prosperity throughout the new state was at 
hand. Immigrants, industrious and intelli- 
gent, were coming in great numbers from 
the south and the east, and from beyond the 
ocean, to take possession of this land of 
promise. Throughout the country above 
and below the little village, sturdy pioneers j 
of strong character were planting their 
homes. These were drifting from Ken- 
tucky, whither they had previously come 
from Virginia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. 
Back in the forests north of the town, along 
the road leading to Princeton and Vincennes, 
men of equal worth were establishing them- 
selves. Some of them had left the homes of 
their fathers across the sea, ?nd reaching, 

after months of trial and hardship, the town 
of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, had there 
embarked in flat-boats destined for this coun- 
try, bringing with them such implements as 
might be of use in taming the wild forests' 
and cultivating the soil. Buoyant with hope, 
yet ready to meet and remove any difficult}-, 
and to adapt themselves to any combination 
of circumstances, they proved by their 
conduct that they possessed heroic mettle. 
In the village, houses were being erected, 
and men of tact and energy were coming to 
stay. Hugh McGary*s warehouse was 
officially declared a public warehouse, in- 
spectors of produce were appointed, roads 
were opened for the convenience of the 
public, ferries were established, and every 
effort to encourage and advance the growth 
of the town was being made. 

But in 1819 and 1820 influences were in 
operation which soon thereafter produced a 
period of business depression evervwhere 
throughout the land, but the waves of dis- 
tress did not reach this village until some- 
time during the second year named. The 
population of Indiana in 1S00 was 4,875; 
1S10, 24,500 and in 1S20, 147,178. The 
greater part of this rapid increase was along 
the southern border, and Evansville and the 
surrounding country received a fair propor- 
tion of it. 

In 1819 the question of incorporating the 
village was submitted to a popular vote for 
decision. The ancient poll book and cer- 
tificate of election, though yellow with age, 
are still well preserved, being at this time in 
the archives of the county clerk's office at 
the court-house. That the reader may have 
before him the names of the voters of that 
day, many of historic sound and some famil- 
iar to the present generation, these papers 
are here presented : " At a meeting of the 
inhabitants of the town of Evansville in the 
countv of Vanderburgh and state of Indiana, on 



Monday, the first day of March, 1 819, at the March, 1819, for the purpose of electing 

house of Alfred O. Warner, in said 
town, for the purpose of incorporating said 
town agreeable to the provisions of an act of 
the general assembly of the state of Indiana, 
entitled, 'An act providing for the incor- 
poration of towns in the state of Indiana,' ap- 
proved January 1, 1817, Hugh McGary was 
elected president of said meeting and Amos 
Clark, clerk, who, after having both taken the 
oath required of them agreeable to the provis- 
ions of said act, proceeded to secure the votes 
for and against the incorporation of said 
town, which votes were as follows, to-wit: 
Votes in favor: Daniel McDonald, Isaac 
Fairchild, John Melvin, Sylvester Bordman, 
John G. Chandler, John M. Dunham, Porter 
Fuller, Willard Clark, Hernon Barrows, 
Alanson Warner, George W. Jacobs, Hazael 
Putnam, Simeon Lewis, Wilbur Hoag, 
James Russell, Harley B. Chandler, Alfred 
O. Warner, William Trafton, William John- 
son, Elisha Harrison, James A. Boise, Seth 
Fairchild, Alpheus Fairchild, John Baldwin, 
John Conner, Richard Irvin, James Stinson, 
Thomas Johnson, Julius Gibson — 29. Votes 
against, none. 

" We, the undersigned, do certify the 
above to be a correct statement of the pro- 
ceedings of said meeting, and of the voters 
present as they voted on the question of in- 
corporating the said town. 

" Hugh McGary, Pres. [Seal.] 

"Amos Clark, Clk. [Seal. J 

" Dated, Evansville, 12th March, 1819." 

It having been decided by this expression 

of the popular will to incorporate the village 

an election was held one week later, on 

March 8th, to determine who should serve as 

justices for the town. The certificate as to 

the results of this second election is here 

presented: "At an election held at the 

house of Alfred O. Warner, in the town of 

Evansville, on Monday, the 8th day of 

five trustees for said town agreeable to the 
provisions of an act of the general assembly 
of the state of Indiana, entitled 'An act 
providing for the incorporation of towns in 
the state of Indiana,' approved January 1, 
i8i7- The following is a statement of the 
proceedings of said election: 

"Voters' names. — William Trafton, Harley 
B. Chandler, Isaac Fairchild, Alpheus Fair- 
child, George W. Jacobs, Elisha Harrison, 
D. A. Richardson, D.F. Goldsmith, Thomas 
Johnson, John G. Chandler, Hugh McGary, 
John Baldwin, Daniel McDonald, Seth Fair- 
child, Elam Fairchild. John M. Dunham, 
Alanson Warner, Hazael Putnam, Wilbur 
Hoag, Raphael Van Horn, Loring Root, 
James Russell, Simeon Lewis. Total, 23. 
" Hugh McGary received 23 votes. 
"Elisha Harrison received 23 votes. 
" Isaac Fairchild received 24 votes. 
" Everton Kennerly received 24 votes. 
" Francis J. Bentley received 24 votes. 
" Alfred O. Warner received 1 vote. 
"We, the undersigned, do certify the above 
to be a true statement of the proceedings of 
said election, but Elisha Harrison having 
declined serving or acting as a trustee for 
said town, we do therefore certif}- HughMc- 
Gary, Isaac Fairchild, Everton Kennerly, 
Francis J. Bentley, and Alfred O. Warner to 
be duly elected according to the true intent 
and meaning of said act. In witness whereof 
we have hereunto setourjiands and seals the 
1 2th day of March, 1819. 

"Hugh McGary, Pres. [Seal. J 
" Amos Clark, Clk. [Seal.]" 

At the first meeting of the board of trus- 
tees, which was held on the 20th of March, 
1S19, Hugh McGary was chosen president, 
Elisha Harrison, secretary and lister of tax- 
able property, John Conner, treasurer, and 
Alpheus Fairchild, collector and marshal. 
The first tax lexy was twenty cents on the 



one hundred dollars worth of real property 
and a specific tax on several kinds of per- 
sonal property, the total taxes for the year 
amounting to $191.28?^. 

At that time there were about 100 
inhabitants in the town, and it was now 
growing fast enough to have a place of pub- 
lic entertainment. The hospitable house of 
Hugh McGary had been the favorite stop- 
ping place for all travelers, but in the spring 
of 1819 Alfred O. Warner and James Skid- 
more were granted permission to keep 
taverns at their houses. In those days licenses 
were not only necessary before conducting a 
business of this kind, but rates chargeable 
for all sorts of entertainment and refreshment 
were fixed by the authorities. Thus, in 1ST9 
the rates were, for each diet, 37^ cents; 
horse keeping, 50 cents; lodging, 12^ cents; 
y 2 pint rum, brandy, or wine, 50 cents; 
y 2 pint gin, peach or apple brandy, or 
bounce, 25 cents; and y 2 pint whiskey, 
12 y 2 cents. In this year J. Virgus opened a 
country store near the river bank. He was 
succeeded by Robert Armstrong and the 
Lewis Brothers. Their stocks were not 
extensive, being intended to supply only 
such necessaries as were absolutely de- 
manded by their pioneer customers. Pro- 
fessional men, skilled and able, also came to 
the village about this time. More appro- 
priate mention of them is made in other 

In 1820, John M. Dunham, Daniel F. 
Goldsmith, Presley Pritchett, William Mills, 
Jr., and John A. Chandler were elected 
trustees; James A. Boise was appointed sec- 
retary, and Alanson Warner, treasurer. At 
this time, with the advent of hard times, due 
in part to causes which produced general 
and wide-spread distress in the east as well 
as the west, and in part to other causes 
wholly of a local nature, the growth of the 
village was checked. Several years elapsed 

before it again took up the march of pro- 
gress. This is, therefore, a convenient 
point in the story of its career to view the 
physical aspect of the little village, now 
grown to such magnificent proportions. 

The name of John S. Hopkins must be 
familiar to all who have given the history of 
Evansville even a passing thought. From 
his young manhood until the day of his death, 
which occurred in 1882, he was conspicu- 
ously identified with the progress of the 
place. Possessing a sympathetic nature, 
ready wit, brilliant talents, and unswerving 
integrity, he was well equipped to lead a 
useful and honorable life. Holding at the 
will of the people, many offices of trust and 
honor, occupying a high place in business and 
social circles, and watching the development 
of the city from very early times, it is not 
strange that in later years he took a proud 
interest in its early history and attempted to 
preserve such facts concerning the pioneer 
era as might be of interest and value. With 
this end in view, assisted by a skilled artist, 
he reproduced upon canvas, from the tab- 
lets of his memory, a view of Evansville as 
it appeared to him in 1820, when he came 
with his father to make this his permanent 
home. A description of the town as it was 
at that date is here presented. The use of 
the names of streets, the numbers of lots, 
and familiar locations, gives the reader a 
correct idea, it being only necessary to keep 
in mind the general plan of the original 
town as platted upon the maps to be found 
in almost every home. 

This review will begin at the upper part 
of the town and run down the river, going 
outward from the river as occasion seems to 
require. On the river side of Water street, 
at the corner of Oak street, stood a preten- 
tious two-story frame house, which was the 
residence of Elisha Harrison, one of the 
early residents and men of enterprise and 



spirit, of the town of Evansville. The 
house still remains, a good deal changed in 
its general outlines and appearance, and is 
well known as the old frame residence of 
Robert Barnes. On lot 33, of the Upper 
enlargement, stood a two-story frame 
dwelling, where resided J. Morehouse, also 
a spirited citizen of his time. On the oppo- 
site side of First street, upon lot 40, of the 
Upper enlargement, stood a commodi- 
ous one-story frame house, which was 
the residence of Dr. Richardson. In the 
same house William Caldwell, " Old Part- 
ner," as he was familiarly called, afterward 
resided. On lot 1, of the Upper enlarge- 
ment, at the upper corner of Water and 
Chestnut streets, there was a two-story frame 
house, which was the dwelling of A. Chandler, 
the father of the well remembered citizens, 
William J. and John J. Chandler. Passing out 
Chestnut street, on lot 97 of the old plan, at 
the north corner of Chestnut and Second 
streets, opposite the Cumberland Presbyte- 
rian church, stood a comfortable two-story 
frame house which was the property, and 
perhaps the residence, of the grandfather 
of Col. Jackson McClain, of Henderson, Ky. 
On lot 40, old plan, fronting First street, 
where the Hon. Thomas E. Garvin now 
resides, was a one-story frame house occu- 
pied, and perhaps built, by Elam Fairchild. 

On lot 4, old plan, just above Walnut 
street, was a one-story frame house which 
is still standing, and was for a number of 
years known as the ferry house. Here 
hung a fair sized bell which was rung for 
the purpose of calling the ferryman across 
the river. The rear part of the house was 
built on piles driven in a ravine or natural 
water course which put into the river im- 
mediately below the Sunset park. This 
house was erected by Benjamin Jeffery, on 
lot 6, old plan, fronting on Water street. Be- 
tween Walnut and Locust streets was the 

residence of John Zimmerman, who served 
as one of the earl}- postmasters of Evans- 
ville, and as clerk of Vanderburgh county. 
Adjoining Mr. Zimmerman's residence was 
a diminutive one-story frame house in which 
a Mr. Crockwell kept a bakery. On lot 7, 
old plan, stood a one-stor}^ frame house in 
which James W. Jones, one of the original 
proprietors of the town site, had the office 
of county clerk, which official position he 
then held. On lot 8 at the upper corner of 
Locust and Water streets, Elisha Harrison 
had erected a low two-story frame house, 
which in 1820, was occupied as a store and 
tavern. When Edward Hopkins and family 
arrived in Evansville from the east, that 
gentlemen became in due time the proprietor 
of this establishment. He removed first to 
Saundersville and embarked in business there ; 
but returned to Evansville after the experi- 
ment of building a town at Saundersville 
had failed, and took charge of the tavern- 
stand at the corner of Water and Locust 
streets. After Mr. Hopkins removed from 
the house, it was continued as a tavern by 
John Conner. On lot 31, old plan, the site of 
the St. George hotel, stood a one-story 
frame house, with porches on both the side 
streets, which was the residence of Amos 
Clark. Lot 54, old plan, fronting on First 
street, where the Chandler block now is, was 
occupied by the residence of Dr. John Shaw, 
which was a commodious two-story frame 
dwelling. Adjoining the residence of Dr. 
Shaw was the residence of Dr. William 
Trafton, who was a skillful phvsician and 
one of the best known citizens of his time. 
Dr. Trafton subsequently became the owner 
of the Shaw property, and made it his per- 
manent residence. On lot 89, old plan, at 
the corner of Locust and Second streets, Will- 
iam Warner, the father of Alfred O. Warner 
and Major Alanson Warner, and who was the 
fourth postmaster at Evansville, had a two- 



story frame dwelling, where Alexander 
Johnson afterward kept a boarding house. 
The lot passed into the possession of Dr. 
Trafton, thence to Marcus Sherwood, and 
was by him sold to Major B. F. Dupuy. 
Here Maj. Dupuy resided till the time of his 

The foregoing were all the houses above 
Locust street in 1820, which portion of the 
city embraces most of the fashionable 
and costly residences of the present day. 

On lot 9, old plan, at the lower corner 
of Locust and Water streets, where White 
& Dunkerson's tobacco ware-house now 
stands, was a one-story log house, which 
was occupied as a store by Jones & 
Harrison, until this firm gave way to 
Shanklin & Moffatt. In the rear of Mr. 
Shanklin's store was a small log house, 
which was, in 1S20, the residence of Will- 
iam Stinson. On lot 40, old plan, now 
occupied by the Opera-house, stood a two- 
story log house with a frame addition in the 
rear toward the river, where Alfred O. 
Warner kept tavern. He was succeeded 
by his brother, Maj. Alanson Warner, who 
built the Mansion House, the first brick 
hotel in Evansville. This house was subse- 
quently the residence of Mr. Francis Linck, 
and was torn down when the Opera-house 
was built. On lot 58, old plan, fronting on 
First street, where the residence of Dr. M. 
J. Bray now stands, was a frame house in 
which Presley Pritchett carried on the busi- 
ness of making hats. Mr. Pritchett, who 
was a justice of the peace, also kept his 
office on the premises. Returning to the 
river front, on lot 10, old plan, now occupied 
by the American hotel building, there 
stood a two-story frame house, which was 
occupied by a Mr. Vernon, and by Alexan- 
der Price as a boarding house. Subse- 
quently, Edward Hopkins and his son, John. 
S. Hopkins, kept grocery in the same 

building. The next lot toward Main 
street, 11, contained a small frame house, 
painted red, and in its day known far and 
wide as "The Little Red," in which a store 
was kept for years, first by Lister & 
Wheeler, next by Joseph M. Caldwell, and 
afterward by the Rev. Robert Parrett and 
his son, John Parrett. On the rear part of 
the same lot Nathan Rowley had a double 
one-stoiy log house, in one end of which he 
conducted a shoemaker's shop, employing 
two or three journeymen. Mr. Rowley 
was also a justice of the peace, and had his 
magistrate's office in the other end of the 
building. Lot 12, old plan, at the upper 
corner of Main and Water streets, contained 
a two-story frame house, which was 
occupied by Robert Barnes when he first 
came to Evansville. The house, however, 
was built and in use long before Mr. Barnes 
ever saw the town. There was also another 
two-story frame house, at the rear or alley 
part of lot 12. It was sometimes used as a 
dwelling house, and occasionally as a place 
of business. 

At the corner of Main and First streets, 
on lot 38, old plan, where the Kazar House 
was afterward built, and which is now occu- 
pied by the banking house of the First 
National Bank, was a two-story frame 
dwelling, the residence of Dr. Seaman. On 
lot 39, adjoining the Warner tavern, was a 
two-story frame known as" Warner's Den." 
It was here that the fast young men of the 
village congregated nightly to take a hand 
in cards and other games of chance, and 
from the carousals they had there the place 
took its name. It was a noted quarter in 
the early days of the town. 

Going out Main street, at the east corner 
of Main and First, on lot 59, old plan, there 
was a one-story frame house in which John 
M. Lockwood kept a grocery. On the same 
lot, fronting on First street, stood a tall one- 



story log house, entered at the front door 
by a flight of wooden steps, which was the 
residence and office of John Conner, then a 
justice of the peace. On lot 60, the next 
above on Main street, there was a two- 
story frame house, which was the property 
of one of the McClain family, of Henderson 
county, Ky. Next to the alley, on lot 60, a 
Mr. Avery had a cabinet shop. On lot 85, 
across the alley, was a large two-story frame, 
the property of Samuel Mansel. On the 
next block between Second and Third streets, 
upon lot 108, and adjoining the alley, stood 
a two-story log house, where Ansel Wood 
kept a tavern. On a part of the same lot, 
but a few feet clown the street from the 
tavern, was. a small frame house, which af- 
terward became the property of James 
Scantlin, Sr., and was occupied by him for a 
series of years as a tin shop. On lot 234 of 
the Donation enlargement, being on Fifth 
street between Locust and Walnut, where 
Thomas Bullen's livery stable now stands, 
was a two-story frame dwelling, the resi- 
dence of Judge John M. Dunham. His 
brother, Horace Dunham, occupied the 
same house for many years afterward. 

On the " Evans homestead," which em- 
braced the entire block bounded by Main, 
Fifth, Locust and Sixth streets, occupying a 
gentle rise of the ground, stood a pretty one- 
stoiy cottage, surrounded by trees and 
shrubbery, which was much admired. 

The old court-house, yet standing, but 
hemmed in by other buildings, occupied the 
south corner of what was known as the 
" public square," at the intersection of 
Main and Third streets. On the opposite 
diagonal corner of the public square where 
the present court-house and jail stand, and 
occupying the precise location of the present 
jail, was a log structure twelve feet square 
in the clear, inside, but with walls three feet 
thick, made of hewed white oak timbers, 

which was the first jail of Vanderburgh 
county. It was from this structure that John 
Harvey was taken to suffer execution June 
27, 1823. A considerable knoll arose in the 
rear of the court-house, and on its crest 
at the back end of lot 135, stood a 
two-story building originally a log structure, 
which was afterward framed over. This 
house stood until within a very few years 
past. It was built by William R. McGary, 
a brother of Col. Hugh McGary, and was 
for some years the home of Capt. James 
Newman, and while he lived there was a 
fashionable residence. On lot 136, old plan, 
at the west corner of Third and Locust 
streets, stood the blacksmith shop of Col. 
Seth Fairchild, where the augers were 
made with which to bore salt wells. Near 
by, on the same block, ornamenting the 
crest of a small knoll or hill, stood the two- 
story house built by Wm. R. McGary, and 
which for a time was the fashionable resi- 
dence of Capt. James Newman. 

The sketch of Evansville on the upper 
side of Main street is now complete, with the 
addition of the first jail, which was below 

On lot 13, old plan, at the lower corner 
of Main and Water streets, stood a two- 
story frame building, the property of Will- 
iam and James Lewis, wherein these gen- 
tlemen kept a miscellaneous store, dealing in 
most all kinds of wares sold in the market. 
It was the principal store of the town for a 
considerable time. On the same lot adjoin- 
ing Lewis' store, Robert Armstrong also 
kept a store. 

Fronting on Main street adjacent to the 
alley that runs at the rear end of lot 13, 
stood the warehouse of Col. Hugh McGary 
in which the first court was held in Vander- 
burgh count}'. The courts continued to be held 
in McGary's warehouse until the first court- 
house had sufficiently progressed to be used 



for court purposes. During all this time the 
warehouse continued to be used for com- 
mercial purposes. In later years Bement & 
Viele opened a wholesale grocery in this 
same warehouse, presenting to their cus- 
tomers the largest stock of goods that had 
ever been brought to Evansville. The firm 
continued to do business in the premises 
until they finally erected their own store- 
house. Subsequently this celebrated ware- 
house was removed to Sycamore street, 
between Fourth and Fifth, where it was util- 
ized by John Gavisk-and others for packing 
pork. It is still standing, now in use as a 
liveiy stable, and may be regarded as a relic 
of former days closely identified with the 
history of Evansville. 

Where the Evansville National Bank 
building now stands, there was a one-story 
log house in which J. V. Robinson kept store. 
It was afterward occupied by Garrett Jones, 
a brother of James W. Jones. Two or three 
years later, J. V. Robinson built a frame 
warehouse on the corner of First and Main, 
lot 36, old plan, which was afterward occu- 
pied at various times as a store by Charles 
Stewart, John S. Hopkins, and probably 
others. In this building W. & C. Bell 
opened their drug store in later years. On 
lot 83, old plan, where the Lahr-Hopkins 
dry goods house now is, Mr. Posey had a 
two-story frame house. At the corner of 
Main and Fifth streets there was an odd kind 
of a rookery somewhat resembling a huge 
chicken coop. 

Returning to Water street, on lot 14, old 
plan, the second lot below Main street, 
stood the historical hewed log house of Col. 
Hugh McGary. It was one story and a 
half high, 36 feet long by 18 feet wide, with 
an L running back and connecting at the 
rear with the warehouse which fronted on 
Main street, as above described. This house 
of Col. McGary was a marked feature of the 

pioneer era. Before the plan of Evansville 
had an existence, there was a small store 
kept there, and it was the hostelry for per- 
sons passing through the wilderness who 
sought temporary accommodations. In that 
house the first post-office was opened in 181 8, 
and there the county commissioners held 
their early meetings. 

Fronting on First street, on the rear part 
of lot 61, old plan, Daniel Tool had a small 
frame tailor shop. Tool was an Irishman 
and a Catholic. One of his failings was that 
he would occasionally get drunk and have a 
fight. On such occasions, there being no 
Catholic priest at hand, as soon as he got 
over his little spree he would mount his 
horse, ride to Vincennes, visit the priest 
stationed there, and confessing his error ask 
for absolution. 

Next to Tool's shop there was a two-story 
frame house occupied by William Kelly as 
a residence. On lot III, old plan, near the 
corner of Sycamore and Second streets, was 
the two-story frame residence of Andrew 
Graham, who was a son-in-law of Mr. King, 
a long time resident of the farm on the op- 
posite side of the river from Evansville. 
After several transfers, the Graham property 
was purchased by the Reverend Father 
Deydier for the use of the Catholic church, 
and upon the ruins of the old frame house of 
1S20 arose the walls of the first Church of the 
Assumption, some twenty years later. The 
church building, later known as Viele hall, 
has been torn down within the present year 
and on its site the -building of the Business 
Men's association is being erected. 

On lot 65, old plan, at the corner of First 
and Sycamore streets, where Sweetser & 
Caldwell now have their wholesale notion 
store, there stood a two-story log dwelling 
house, and one of similar size and material 
stood on the adjacen t corner across First 
street, being lot 32 of the old plan. 



Farther down First street, on lot 30, old 
plan, stood the finest brick residence of the 
city. This was a large, double front, two- 
story brick dwelling, built b} r Nicholas 
Thompson, and occupied at different times 
by various old residents. Mr. Edward Hop- 
kins resided there for a while after returning 
from Saundersville, and partially put the 
finishing touches upon its construction. In 
after years a large public hall was attached 
in the rear and the premises converted into 
a restaurant and theater. It was first called 
the Apollo, and subsequently the Mozart 
hall. On the opposite side of First street 
from this building, on lot 67, old plan, stood 
a one-story log hut in which dwelt a man 
named Paxton. 

On lot 120, old plan, where the city hos- 
pital now stands, stood a commodious two- 
story frame dwelling, erected by Varner 
Satterlee. On lot 3, Douglas addition, at 
the north corner of Division and First streets, 
was a large two-story log house, occupied 
by the Sullivan girls. On lots 1, 3, and 4 of 
the Lower or McGary's enlargement there 
stood three two-story log houses. 

The foregoing were all the houses of the 
embryo city in 1820, except two which were 
far removed from the center of the village. 
One of these was a good sized two-story 
frame dwelling, which stood below Goodsell 
street, and the other a two-story log house 
in the Upper enlargement, occupying a part 
of the site of the present water works, which 
was for a considerable time the residence of 
William Stinson, the father of Thomas J. 
Stinson, the well known river pilot. 

The drive down the rugged river bank 
at that time was protected from caving by 
interlaced wooden buttresses. Some old 
citizens have believed that this work was 
constructed nearly a generation after the 
time here mentioned. In support of their 
belief they assert that they saw the laborers 

preparing and putting the timbers together. 
This is possibly true, but the work then 
being done was probably repairing and not 
original construction. Taken altogether the 
description of the town as outlined above is 
very nearly perfect. The picture from 
which it is taken stood the severe test of a 
critical examination by many old residents, 
now gone forever, who pronounced it accu- 
rate in all its details. 

In viewing Evansville's condition during 
the period of a.dversity following 1820, it 
may be well to examine briefly the causes 
of that condition. During the war of 1S12, 
manufactories had grown up in the eastern 
and middle states, which employed much of 
the capital and industry that had previously 
been engaged in commerce. This created 
a demand for western produce, which con- 
tinued active until the change of times soon 
after the peace was effected, when large im- 
portations of foreign goods induced many 
of the manufacturers to relinquish the busi- 
ness for a time and engage in commerce or 
emigrate west. Prices of produce were, 
however, kept near the previous rates until 
after 1819. In this year the banking sys- 
tem of the west began to be seriously con- 
vulsed. Specie payments were suspended 
in all the states south of New England. 
The government paid its soldiery in the west 
and bought provisions for them in money 
issued by the banks of Ohio. A large cir- 
culation was required, and banks were eslab- 
ished on fictitious capital, and, as a naturall 
consequence, the country soon became 
flooded with a depreciated and often worth- 
less currency. By 1822 the western banks 
had failed, and there was no longer any cir- 
culating medium. Even cut silver (which 
has been facetiously described as an at- 
tempted division of a dollar into five quar- 
ters) disappeared, and the coonskin became 
the basis for all financial transactions of lim- 



ited dimensions. The Bank of Vincennes 
had been established in 1S14, and was pru- 
dently managed at first, but its failure was 
one of the most discreditable occurring in 
the country. Its paper became entirely 
worthless, and the government received only 
a small proportion of some $200,000 which, 
as the proceeds of public land sales, had 
been deposited with the bank. 

The commercial disasters and the wide- 
spread want among the people are a part of 
the nation's history. The village of Evans- 
yille shared the general distress prevalent 
throughout the states of the nation, and had 
additional woes of a local nature to endure. 
The years 1820, 1S21 and 1S22 were at- 
tended with more general and fatal sickness 
than ever before had been experienced. 
Bilious and intermitting fevers were preva- 
lent in all parts of the state. Not a neigh- 
borhood, and, indeed, hardly an individual, 
escaped the ravages of some form of mala- 
rial poison. The larger towns in the state 
lost from one-fourth to one-half of their 
population, and some villages were entirely 
depopulated. All business was, in a meas- 
ure, suspended, not because of any general 
seriousness produced by so much sickness, 
for even in the chambers of death and at the 
grave there was much apparent levity, but 
more on account of a carelessness respecting 
all kinds of business, that seemed to possess 
all alike. As a direct result of the hard 
times and the general sickness, immigration 
almost wholly ceased. The price of lands 
went down rapidly, and there seemed no 
limit to the decline in values. There was 
absolutely no money to be had, and it was 
one • of the pioneer's misfortunes that the 
government would not accept produce or 
coonskins for land, but insisted on receiving 
cash. The county of Vanderburgh was 
suing, or threatening to sue, all who had 
bought lots in the Donation enlargement 

and had failed to pay for them. Property 
\ to large amounts was sacrificed for costs 
merely, and even creditors got no benefit. 
The details of many cases are almost beyond 
I belief. In one instance, the purchaser of 
certain lands had paid three-fourths of the 
\ purchase money, and had mortgaged the 
property to secure the payment of the re- 
] maining one-fourth; on a foreclosure of the 
mortgage, the property was sold for one- 
half the amount due — that is, for one-eighth 
of the original purchase money; and the 
mortgagee, after the return of better times, 
I collected the one-half remaining unpaid from 
: the debtor out of other resources. Relief 
laws, the fruits of wrong principles and 
wrong feelings, were enacted, and efforts 
were made to prevent the collection of 
debts. These but added to the business 
stagnation. Congress lowered the price of 
public lands, extended the time of payment 
on lands already entered by settlers, at- 
tempted to afford relief against forfeitures, 
and in various ways sought to relieve the 

o-eneral distress, but with little success. 

For a time after this period of adversity 

! was begun, some imagining it to be only 
temporary, continued to invest their means 
in business ventures. In 182 1 the publica- 
tion of a newspaper was commenced in the 
village. This was the Evansville Gazette, 
established, and for a time conducted, by 
! Gen. Elisha Harrison, a prominent man of 
his day, self-taught, energetic and able, and 
1 William Monroe, a practical printer, under the 
firm name of Harrison & Monroe. Later it 
passed into the individual ownership of Mr. 
Monroe and after a brief struggle for life 
passed out of existence about the latter part 
of 1S24. William and James Lewis, Robert 
Barnes and John Mitchell were then engaged 
in mercantile pursuits here, and during this 
period of depression, probably about 1823, 
the firm of Shanklin & Moffatt was estat)- 



lished. The first-named member of this 
firm, the late John Shanklin, on account of 
his probity, integrity, and intelligence in busi- 
ness, drew about his name a lustre which 
time has not yet dimmed. 

Among the improvements in the town 
which evidenced the faith that some had 
in its ability to withstand the storm and come 
out safely in the future, were the first 
brick houses erected. The old court- 
house still standing at the southeast 
corner of Third and Main streets, was 
the first structure of this kind erected in the 
village. Various make-shifts were resorted 
to by the county officials to meet the de- 
mands of the contractors. Lots in Donation 
enlargement, the notes of purchasers of 
other lots, judgments secured by the county 
against individuals, and other credits of a like 
nature, in the absence of ready money, were 
used to keep up the work on this public 
building. The bricks for its construction 
were burned on the northwest quarter of the 
public square, on the site of the court house 
now in use, the wood for the purpose being 
cut from the forests in the immediate vicinity. 
The first brick residence was quite a preten- 
tious two-story dwelling built by Nicholas 
Thompson, on First street, between Vine 
and Sycamore. The next brick house was 
erected on Main street just below the cor- 
ner of First, by J. V. Robinson, about 1825. 
This building was one of the most preten- 
tious habitations in the town in its day, and 
stood for nearly a generation. It was after- 
ward occupied for several years by Mr. John 
Walsh as a residence, and was finally torn 
down by Judge M. W. Foster, when he 
erected the storehouses now standing on 
that corner. 

It may be of interest to know that in 1824, 
for the first time, the assessed value of real 
estate appears upon the public records, as 
follows : 

Original plan $21,681 00 

Donation enlargement 2,115 06 

Upper enlargement 2,690 00 

Lower enlargement 848 00 

Total $27,334 06 

At this time the following persons were the 
trustees of the town: Amos Clark, presi- 
dent; Charles I. Battell, Harley B. Chan- 
dler, Nathan Rowley, and Joshua V. Rob- 

Like a pall, hard times settled down upon 
the village. Taxes were unpaid and the 
collector was without a remedy. He might 
levy upon property and expose it to sale, but 
he found no purchasers. There was plenty 
of produce, and the spectre Famine was 
not invading the homes of the poor, but 
business was paralyzed and motionless. 
Men ceased to make efforts to enliven trade, 
their apparently sole aim being to exist and, 
Micawber-like, wait for something to turn 
up. The maintenance of civil government 
in the village received no thought or care. 
From March 14, 1825, to January 28, 1S28, 
there appears to have been no meeting of 
the town trustees, and Evansville almost 
ceased to maintain its existence as a cor- 
porate body. There were few acquisitions 
to business circles, and some who had estab- 
lished themselves in a period of brighter 
hopes, were forced to retire and resort to 
other means of gaining a support. 

It is a pleasure to turn from this dark pic- 
ture and look upon a canvas illumined with 
brighter tints. Congress, by legislative en- 
actments, guaranteed a degree of protec- 
tion to home industries against disastrous 
foreign competition, and in the larger cities 
of the land, and in the country generally, 
the beneficial effects of the policy adopted 
were soon apparent. Here, in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of Evansville, about 182S, steady 
industry and economy had paid off most of 


1 15 

the individual debt of the country; the peo- 
ple had accustomed themselves to hard 
times, and bv the tireless work of their own 
hands brought back prosperity. The com- 
mencement of the national road to the state 
Capitol, which in 1825 had been removed 
from Corydon to Indianapolis, turned the 
attention of emigrants towards the state; 
the interior counties of the state were filling 
with a class of good citizens, progressive 
and industrious; congress had made its first 
grant of lands to the Wabash & Erie canal, 
and the subject of internal improvements 
had begun to wield its exciting influence 
upon the minds of men. The great west, 
with its apparently boundless stores of 
wealth, with the revival of prosperitv 
throughout the country, began to attract the 
capitalist seeking profitable investment for 
his means, as well as the impoverished 
pioneer who came seeking a home and a 
field for the display of his energy and native 
shrewdness, his only talents. 

On the 2Sth of March, 1S2S, a board of 
trustees was again organized, and Evansville 
revived. John Shanklin, president, John 
Conner, Alanson Warner, Jay Morehouse 
and William Lewis, all men of more than 
ordinar}' ability, whose names were subse- 
quently conspicuous in public affairs in the 
town and countv, were chosen as trustees. 
The tax duplicate for that year shows 
that the assessment of taxes amounted to 
$107.28^2, a sum considerably less than that 
which appeared upon the duplicate nine 
years earlier, when the town was more pop- 
ulous and flourishing. But from that time 
onward the pulsations of new life were felt, 
and these grew in strength as the years 
advanced. Up to this time Evansville 
had not even boasted of a blacksmith's 
shop, one of the earliest conveniences de- 
manded by an agricultural community- To 
supply the demand for a smithy, Gen. 

Evans brought a negro, by the name of 
Worsham, from Kentucky, for the purpose 
of operating his trade. In the course of a 
year or two Jonathan Fairchild and his sons 
emigrated from New York, and established 
a smithy in the village of Mechanicsville, 
which became quite an institution in its day. 
For several years all the livery horses in 
Evansville were taken to Fairchild's shop to 
be shod. All kinds of iron work was exe- 
cuted there, the smithy running five forges 
a good deal of the time. 

Other mechanical industries began to be 
represented, and the list of merchants grew 
in length. Stocks carried were enlarged in 
quantity and improved in variety to satisfy 
the growing demands of a diversified popu- 
lation. Concerning this period, Judge Will- 
iam F. Parrett, in an address delivered in 
1880, used these words: " You may readily 
imagine those who were engaged in business 
here as merchants closely scanning the natu- 
ral advantages of this locality. They saw, 
200 miles above us, the falls of the 
Ohio, and about the same distance to the 
northwest the old city of St. Louis, which 
had been established a little more than a 
half century before by a trader by the name 
of Laclede, the navigable condition of the 
Wabash river for the greater part of each 
year, the elegant and almost continuous fit- 
ness for navigation the year round of the 
Ohio river to the Mississippi river, and 
thence to the Gulf; they saw Green river 
and other tributaries above, and the Wabash, 
Cumberland and Tennessee below, not only 
supplying the Ohio with water, but these 
were themselves destined, at an early day, 
to be made to contribute largely to the trade 
and commerce of this city and locality. 
They also saw the feasibility of good roads 
by the way of Princeton and Vincennes to 
the prairies of Indiana and Illinois, and also 
by the way of Petersburgh to the rich lands 



bordering on the Patoka and White rivers; 
nor did they forget that unsurpassed and 
almost unequalled body of land near by, 
lying in the counties of Spencer, Warrick, 
Gibson and Posey. These merchants were 
soon joined by others, both German and 
American, of whom the late Asa B. Bement, 
Samuel Orr and others were true types. 
Ships began to run from New York and 
the Atlantic coast to New Orleans, and a 
superior class of steamboats began to move 
like ' things of life ' upon the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers; and there are men here 
who well remember the trains of larire 
wagons heavily loaded going out to, and 
coming in from as far out as, Rockville, 
Terre Haute, Vincennes and many interior 
towns, both in Illinois and Indiana. It is 
needless to say that under such men and 
conditions all the diversifications of commer- 
cial business prospered, and the citizens 
generally hailed a bright prospect in the 
near future, and yet it may well be said of 
these men that they builded wiser than they 

In mentioning the period of depression in 
Evansville, from 1S20 to 1828, it was no- 
ticed that the change from good to bad was 
not sudden but gradual. So the commence- 
ment of a better era was not sharply marked, 
and during the first few years the progress 
was not easily discernible. As description 
of the town and its inhabitants in 1831, the 
words of Hon. John M. Lockwood, of Posey 
county, are here quoted: "In 183 1 I located 
there (in Evansville), boarding with Robert 
M. Evans — price of board per week $1.25. 
His residence was on his farm over the canal 
outside of the corporation, on the state road. 
From the Ohio river to Evan's farm up 
Main street there were five buildings on the 
west side and seven on the east side, and 
some other streets were built in about the 
same proportion. I found the town small 

and dull; plenty of vacant lots and no sales 
mentioned; any number could be had for 
$20 or $25; dog-fennel and stumps in every 
direction. * * * Of the early inhab- 
itants, the men having families in 1831, were: 
Gen. Robert M. Evans, Dr. William Trafton, 
John Mitchell, Amos Clark, Thomas Johnson, 
Silas Stephens, John M. Dunham, Mr. 
Ruark, Capt. James Newman, Maj. Alanson 
Warner, William McNitt, William Lewis, 
Joseph Hughey, Alpheus Fairchild, John W. 
Lilliston, William Scates, Camillus Evans, 
Edward Hopkins, Robert Barnes, Alex 
Johnson, William Dougherty, Daniel Tool, 
Alex McCallister, Henry Greek, Levi Price, 
L. J. Stinson, Dr. Phillips, James Lewis, 
Samuel Mansel, Abel Sullivan, Daniel Sul- 
livan, Clark Lewis. The unmarried men in 
Evansville, in 1S31, were: John Shanklin, 
John S. Hopkins, John M. Lockwood, Will- 
iam Caldwell, William Campbell, John 
Mansel, Horace Dunham, Henry Carring- 
ton, George Thompson, James Johnson, 
Joseph Leonard, John Young, Marcus Sher- 
wood, John Newman, William T. T. Jones, 
James Johnson, William Johnson, Capt. Bar- 
ber, Nathan Rowlejr, David McArthur, 
John Ross, George Leonard, Richard 
Leonard, Stephen Woodrow. Allowing six 
for each family, the population of Evansville 
at that time was about 216. The following 
are the names of farmers living in the vicinity 
in 1831: Robert Parrett, Emanuel Hall, 
Charles Dunk, John Duncan, James Neal, 
George W. Lindsey, Luke Wood, John B. 
Stinson, Benoni Stinson and Daniel Miller." 
The absence of Hugh McGary's name 
from this list may cause an inquiry as to the 
whereabouts at that time of the founder of 
the village. Up to this time he had 
remained a citizen of the village, engaged 
in merchandising and trading, and it was 
probably not earlier than 1S32 that he took 
his final departure from this place. This 

.;.«p.: ,sflpv 

John Shanklii 



man, whose energies were spent in founding 
and fostering a village which has grown to 
be one of the largest and most magnificent 
cities of a great state, left the scene of his 
early struggles and triumph under a cloud. 
He went away in humiliation and disgrace, 
— a soldier drummed out of a camp which 
he had been most instrumental in erecting. 
About 1S32 he was charged before Esquire 
Jacobs, of Scott township, with stealing a 
horse from Mark Wheeler. In those days 
a charge of homicide was perhaps less 
disgraceful than that of horse stealing. A 
warrant was issued for his arrest. The 
constable, Samuel Hooker, anticipating 
resistance, took five men. Joshua W. 
Stephens, Silas Stephens, Wilson Short, 
John C. Henson and Wm. Linxweiler, to 
assist him in making the arrest, and proceed- 
ing with this martial array against the 
accused culprit, found him astride the stolen 
horse. Surrendering without a murmur, 
McGary returned with his captors, and was 
arraigned at the bar of justice. When 
called upon to plead he claimed to have 
purchased the horse from a man named 
Wasson, and this account of the matter was 
generally believed by fair-minded men. 
Wasson had run off and could not be found; 
the prosecution was not pushed; the horse 
was returned to its rightful owner, and the 
matter was dropped except by the enemies 
of McGary, who with busy tongues kept 
the evil story fresh in the minds of the 
people. For awhile he bore up bravely 
against all taunts, but his rough exterior 
covered a tender heart, which bled under 
the piercing blows of slander. He con- 
tinued apparently attentive to business, but 
at times was unable to conceal his discom- 
fort and chagrin. At length he went south, 
ostensibly on business, and never returned. 
Concerning some events of the times 
under consideration the following extracts 

are made from the reminiscences of Mr. Lock- 
wood: " The most pernicious and deleterious 
events that occurred in 1S32 were the cold 
weather, the great flood, and the cholera. 
The ice froze to the thickness of twenty 
inches on the Ohio. There were no ther- 
mometers in the town, and the degree of 
coldness was not known, but to say that it 
was cold, cold, bitter cold, intensely cold, 
does not full)' explain the extreme bitterness 
of the winter weather. The average cit- 
izen, thinly clad, suffered intensely; heavy 
cloaks and wraps were not the fashion ; 
frosted feet, ears, and even noses caused 
much complaint. Dr. William Trafton crossed 
over on the ice and married his second wife, 
a Miss Butler, whose father was then living 
some distance above town. She was among 
the first of the Kentucky girls brought over 
on the ice. 

" Fmallv spring weather came with a rush ; 
the rain poured down in torrents; the snow 
and ice melted; the Ohio rose and over- 
flowed her banks, and Evansville lacked but 
about six inches of being on an island. The 
surging waters backed up Pigeon creek, 
rushed over the banks and up a deep ravine 
from the mouth of Pigeon and up northeast 
through the woods to the west side of Evans' 
farm, advancing until it was checked by a 
small ridge of land in the east part above 
town, lacking about six inches of connecting 
with water that came down through a ravine 
from the river near the Parrett and Lindsey 
farms, southeast of town. This great flood 
caused immense destruction of stock and 
property. Several farmers living opposite 
and above town moved over to escape being 
drowned. Houses, barns, fences, and dead 
animals floated down. A steamboat passed 
up through the cut-off above town (the 
Green river bayou) on the Indiana side, all 
in plain view of a number of citizens on the 
river bank. 


'• The beautiful Ohio river had no sand-bars 
visible at any season of the year. Its deli- 
cious water was drawn up and stored in 
whiskey barrels at most of the dwelling 
houses and cabins in town. The probable 
cause of the cholera in September, 1832, 
that pioved so fatal, may be charged to the 
dailv use for drinking and culinary purposes 
of water standing in whiskey barrels. About 
twenty-five or thirty died, which was a large 
fatality considering the population, which 
was only about 225. This great calamity 
had a depressing tendency — so much so that 
no sales of real estate were reported, except 
lot number 60, old plan, for $200. 

'• The United States mail arrived once each 
week from Vincennes in a small two-horse 
stage, or on horseback when the roads were 
bad. Coal and cook-stoves were unheard of. 
Cooking on the hearth by the fire-place was 
the order of the day, using "Dutch ovens,'' 
skillets and lids, frying pans, etc. Not a 
newspaper was published nearer than Vin- 
cennes. Steamboats seldom passed or stopped. 
Once in a while a high pressure plying be- 
tween Cincinnati and New Orleans passed 
up or down. 

" In 1833 times began to improve. A slight 
advance was made in the price of lots, but 
few sales were reported. A small increase 
was also made in population. Dr. Lane, Dr. 
A. P. Hutchinson and a few others came in. 
In the month of November in this year, on 
the morning of the 13th, before daylight, the 
citizens were aroused to see the rain of me- 
teors that were falling thick as hail. It 
looked as if the stars had all broken loose 
and were descending to the earth. The 
sight was sublime."' 

From 1S31 to 1835 quite a number of 
deaths were reported in the village and vi- 
cinity from a disease called milk-sickness. 
There were shaking ague, chills and fever, 
but no disease called " snakes in the boots " 

was heard of at that time. Evidences of 
prosperity became clearly visible in 1834. In 
the spring of that year William Town settled 
in the village and immediately made known 
his purpose of establishing a newspaper, 
which was accepted as joyful news by the 
citizens of the place. His means were lim- 
ited, and while teaching school, he set up a 
printing press in the old Mansel House, a 
frame on Main street, and commenced the 
publication of the Evansville Journal. In 
the same vear upon the establishment of the 
first state bank, Evansville was designated 
as a point for the organization of one of its 
branches. These two institutions gave the 
town a metropolitan air and attracted toward 
it the favorable notice of other communities. 
The bank especiallv, by enlarging the finan- 
cial facilities of the town gave an impetus to 
all departments of business. New energy 
and high hopes for the future sprang up in 
the village and encouraged the citizens to 
more than ordinary effort. The news that 
Evansville was of . sufficient importance to 
have a branch of the state bank and a news- 
paper, went abroad, and immigration was 
measurably increased. A steady demand 
for real estate grew up, and improvement 
and development were observable on all 

About this time the spirit of progress 
was thoroughly aroused throughout the 
state. It clamored for the development of 
Indiana's natural resources. The construc- 
tion of railroads and canals became the all- 
absorbing theme, not only among legislators 
but also among the people, who, acting 
under the frenzy of excitement, asked for 
legislation authorizing a gigantic scheme of 
internal improvements far beyond the actual 
needs of the country and impossible of 
realization. In 1835-6 a bill providing for a 
general system of improvements throughout 
the state became a law. It might have been 



salutary and beneficial if prudence and com- 
mon sense had confined it to proper limits, 
but instead of this it brought suffering to 
the state's character and resources, and in 
the general crash that followed destroyed 
many private fortunes. The completion of 
the various works authorized would have 
cost thirty millions of dollars, and in the 
expenditure of this vast sum many 
individuals hoped for, and expected, large 
personal benefits of a legitimate character. 
The citizens of Evansville were to be 
favored with a railroad, but their brightest 
hopes were based upon the construction of 
the Wabash & Erie canal, for which liberal 
provisions had been made in the bill This 
great thoroughfare, commencing at Toledo, 
Ohio, was to strike the head waters of the 
Wabash river and, following the fertile 
valleys of that and White river, was to ter- 
minate on the Ohio at Evansville. The 
Central canal was to form a part of the 
same great system, pouring the surplus 
wealth of a large territory into the world's 
markets through the town of Evansville. 
This canal was intended to pass from 
Muncie-town through Indianapolis to Point 
Commerce, on White river, where it would 
be united to the Wabash & Erie canal. 
Thus Evansville was to be placed in the 
most favorable position that could then be 
conceived of for a commercial center, com- 
manding the outlet of two of the richest and 
most productive valleys on the hemisphere. 
An incident illustrating the customs of the 
times occurred in connection with the loca- 
tion of the southern terminus of the proposed 
canal, in the summer before the passage of 
the bill. The construction of its northern 
portion, based on the land grants of 1827, 
by the general government, was authorized 
by the legislature in 1S30-1, and during the 
following year its actual construction with 
pick and shovel was commenced. The great 

event in 1S35 in Evansville was the establish- 
ment here of the southern terminus of the 
thoroughfare. What was known as the 
canal dinner was one of the most interesting 
events of the important occasion. Strong 
drinks were freely indulged in, as was cus- 
tomary at that time, and as a result, so 
remarkable was the occasion, nearly every 
man in town, it has been asserted, was reel- 
ing, staggering, whooping drunk in the 
streets. The senators, representatives, and 
other invited guests, with reckless abandon, 
gave themselves up to the most unbecoming 
indulgences. The event exceeded any dem- 
onstration of popular joy that up to that time 
had been witnessed in the town. When the 
internal improvement bill had become a law, 
business received an impetus such as it had 
never known before. The vast plan of pub- 
lic work attracted the attention of the adven- 
turous spirit of the east, and immigrants from 
beyond the seas. A tide of immigration 
swept into the state such as always follows 
the announcement of facts that appeal to 
man's cupidity. The public lands of Van- 
derburgh count}' had for a few years been 
passing into the possession of industrious 
and frugal settlers from Germany and other 
parts of the old world. About this time the 
influx of settlers was at its height. The 
town of Evansville was rapidly growing in 
size and commercial importance. The im- 
mediate and large success of the place 
seemed assured. 

But within a year the gigantic scheme of 
development began to crumble and fall. 
Some capitalists in the east had purchased 
the state bonds on terms that placed but 
little money in the hands of the authorities 
for immediate use. It became evident at 
once that the times were not ripe for the 
progressive steps that had been contemp- 
lated and authorized by legislative enact- 
ments. The state's credit failed, and this 



occurred fortunately before the immense 
debt at first intended to be incurred was 
fastened on the people. However, even 
when it was evident that the work could not 
be carried to completion, vast sums of 
money were expended in pushing forward 
the plan, the indecision of the public officials 
permitting a great waste of money. Rail- 
roads in various parts of the state were left 
in an incomplete condition and were soon 
abandoned altogether. The system of ca- 
nals terminating at Evansville formed a part 
of this extensive and ill-advised plan of im- 
provement. As soon as practicable ground 
was broken at this end of the great highway, 
and the work was pushed forward suffi- 
ciently to provide an excellent skating place 
for the bovs of the town in the winter of 
1837, but no better results were achieved 
before the "state svstem"' broke down. 
With aggressive zeal, commendable and 
characteristic of the enterprising citizens of 
that day, in order to be ready for business 
as soon as the canal was opened, a passenger 
boat, of good appearance, substantial and 
commodious, was built, named in honor of 
that manly pioneer, Nathan Rowley, 
launched upon the waters and there allowed 
to float until she became a useless, rotten 
hulk. At this time, when the system had 
collapsed, the state in general and this city 
were in a far worse condition than thev 
could possibly have been had the work com- 
menced never been thought of. All hope 
of improvement from this source was aban- 
doned. The rapid filling of the country 
with industrious people was supporting the 
growth of the town, independently of the 
canal. A large surplus of produce was an- 
nually brought to Evansville for shipment. 
Steamers began to ply regularly between 
Pittsburg and St. Louis, or Cincinnati and 
New Orleans, and Evansville was the ship- 
ping point for a large area of fertile country. 

Not content with using the boats that were 
brought here from other docks the same en- 
terprising spirit that was visible in other 
branches of business led to the construction 
of a steamer here. An account of the build- 
ing of the first boat in the town of Evans- 
ville has been given to the public by Dr. 
Floyd Stinson, and is here quoted: "The 
Otsego was probably built in 1834. 

" The hull of the steamer was built on the 
bank of the Ohio river, near the mouth of 
Pigeon creek. The lumber used in building 
its hull was principally procured in the woods 
within 600 yards of the site of building, and 
was hewed and sawed out by hand. She 
was built by Joseph Lane, Frederick E. 
Goodsell, and John M. Ham jointly. Mr. 
Sampson was the boss ship carpenter, and 
Joseph Lane, F. E. Goodsell, John M. Ham, 
W. Kirby Ham, John M. Stinson, W. H. 
Stinson, Thomas J. Stinson, James McCorkle 
and others were carpenters who assisted in 
the building. When the hull was finished it 
was launched into Pigeon creek. Thomas 
Scantlin says that he was at the launching, 
and saw the bottle of wine broken on the 
hull as she went down, that being the cus- 
tom on such occasions in those days. 

" The boilers and engine of the Otsego 
were out of the steamer Delaware which 
had been wrecked on the ScufHetown bar. 
Thev were used in a saw-mill in Evansville 
prior to being put into the Otsego. There 
were three boilers each twenty-four inches 
in diameter, single flued, sixteen feet long. 
The engine had three feet stroke. The 
wheels were fourteen feet in diameter. 
When she was finished she was named Ot- 
sego for the town of Otsego, New York, 
Mr. Goodsell's native town. Her officers 
and crew were as follows: Captain, Joseph 
Lane for a time, and John M. Ham perma- 
nently; clerk, William Lockhart; engineers, 
James Brown and Dow Talbott; pilots, Sam- 



uel Lun and James Terry; carpenter, Wm. 
H. Stinson. 

" Her trial trip was up to Joseph Lane's 
landing and back. In a short time after- 
ward she was run to Henderson on an ex- 
cursion trip. Among the passengers 
on board were Miss Mary McNitt, 
(afterward Mrs. James Steele), Miss 
Amanda Miller (afterward Mrs. Groves), 
Thomas Scantlin and Thomas J. Stinson. 
The boat was put into the trade from 
Louisville to St. Louis, making the roand 
trip in a week. She was running in this 
trade in 1836. Some persons say that she 
was run up the Wabash but her power was 
such that she had to be cordelled over 
the rapids. She was bought by Capt. 
Crochan and put in the Yazoo river trade, 
Vicksburg being her objective point. The 
next we hear of her, is that she was tied up 
at St. Louis for debt. From there she was 
' sneaked out ' and run to Evansville 
where she was again tied up for debt. She 
lay at this place for some months, part of 
the time sunk upon the sand-bar just above 
the city. She was raised and again sold. 
Mr. Henrv B. Oldham says that she was, in 
the vear 1S39, run up the Wabash river, 
commanded by Capt. Alf. Bellwood, and 
at that Point Coupee or Nine Points, she 
struck a snag, sunk and was wrecked." 

With the departure of the prosperous 
times of 1834-36 this enterprise, like many 
others of less magnitude, was entirely 
checked. However, in later years boat 
building and repairing assumed some 
prominence. Some of the boats built here 
compared favorably in material and work- 
manship with any boats of like dimensions 
built on the western waters. 

Before passing from this fortunate era, 
whose general prosperitv was evidenced by 
the fact that in 1834, of the net revenue of 
the state — $45,945 — Jess than one -per 

cent, was unpaid at the treasury when it 
became due, to that which followed the 
financial crisis of 1837, of national propor- 
tions. Some reminiscences illustrating 
the condition of the town and the char- 
acteristics of its people at that time, con- 
tributed in 1881 by William Brown Butler, 
a distinguished citizen of early times, who 
represented the county in the state legisla- 
ture and occupied other places of trust and 
honor in the community, are here inserted: 

"In the autumn of 1835 I l e ^ New York 
to visit different places in Indiana on the 
Ohio river with a view of locating and doing 
a wholesale or jobbing dry goods business. 
After visiting Madison and New Albany, I 
arrived in Evansville in November, and re- 
mained until the last of December. I was 
most favorably impressed after my first visit 
there, and became satisfied that Evansville 
at no distant period must become a business 
place of note, with no rival in the state on 
the Ohio river below New Albany. It be- 
ing the natural landing point on the river of 
the great Wabash region, must make it a 
prominent business place independent of the 
advantages which would accrue to it in con- 
sequence of being the terminus of the grand 
artery of the internal improvement system. 

"My great trouble, after deciding to lo- 
cate in Evansville, was to secure a suitable 
store. The only one vacant that would an- 
swer my purpose was on the northwest 
corner of Main and Water streets belonging 
to the Messrs. Lewis. I had much difficulty 
in getting a lease of it. Mr. James Lewis' 
course in the matter grew out of the impres- 
sion that I did not mean business. When I 
proposed good security, Horace Dunham 
was instructed to write out a lease at once. 
As soon as it became known what my object 
in coming to Evansville was, I was most 
kindly received by all and promptly furnished 
with desired information and proffers of 



assistance in getting established. First among 
the citizens of Evansville who paid me par- 
ticular attention was the late Hon. James 
Lockhart. For several of my first days 
there he was much with me, inducing me to 
believe I had made a favorable impression 
on him. When the fact leaked out I ascer- 
tained that I was indebted for his kindness 
to a rather singular mistake on his part. He 
mistook me for a Mr. Barlow, an absconding 
cashier of the Commercial Bank in Albany, 
N. Y., for whose arrest a reward of $3,000 
was offered. 

"I found Evansville without a schoolmaster 
and no settled minister. Fathers Wheeler 
and Parrett, and the Rev. Benoni Stinson 
preached occasionally, I was told. The first 
religious service I attended there was when 
Bishop Kemper preached in the little school- 
house on the public square. The mud was 
terrible. Mr. A. B. Carpenter, who had at- 
tended the morning service, proffered with 
his lantern to pilot all who wanted to attend 
in the evening. Quite a number accepted. 
On our arrival at the school-house the con- 
dition of our pants and boots was lament- 
able. I said to a young stranger, one of the 
party, 'Mr. Carpenter is a first rate pilot, is 
he not ? ' 'First rate," he responded. 'He 
struck the channel all the way.' 

"The seating accommodations of the 
school-house were simply loose boards on 
blocks of wood. It had a fire-place, however, 
which neither the court-house nor the church 
had. The old Presbyterian church on bec- 
ond street, between Main and Locust streets, 
was the only church in Evansville at the 
time, and it was in an unfinished condition. 
Bishop Kemper's visit suggested the pro- 
priety of making the church more comfort- 
able. On mentioning the subject to Gen. 
Evans, he approved of it, and proffered to 
contribute as much toward it as I would, and 
said that his son would do the same. I at 

once wrote a brief heading to a sheet of 
foolscap, stating the object 'desired, and my 
subscription to the fund. Gen. Evans' and 
his son's names followed, with others who 
were present. In two or three days an 
amount sufficient was subscribed to procure 
comfortable benches with backs, in place of 
boards on blocks, for the audience, and a 
plain, respectable looking pulpit in place of 
the dry goods box with John Shanklin & Co. 
on it in bold letters facing the audience. On 
my way to the east a few days afterward, I 
purchased in Cincinnati a large stove with 
pipe for the church, which arrived and was 
put in its place the following week, when the 
carpenters had completed their part of the 

"The court-house was in a more unfin- 
ished state than the church. The floor was 
brick paved. There were wooden shutters, 
but no sash or glass in the windows. It was 
all open to the roof. Nothing had been 
done toward finishing or flooring the second 
story. Benches with backs, for the jurors, one 
large and one small plain table for the use of 
the clerks, lawvers and court, with sundry 
split-bottom chairs, comprised the furniture 
of the room. 

"The jail, to me, was a great curiosity, the 
first and only one I ever saw built of logs. 
While Mr. William H. Walker was sheriff, 
a notorious Texas counterfeiter was arrested 
and lodged in the strong room of the jail, to 
await the sitting of the court. To insure 
his forthcoming when wanted, Mr. James T. 
Walker, supported with a well charged 
double-barrelled shot-gun, slept in the room 
over the prisoner. All went well for awhile, 
until one night, after locking the outside 
door and proceeding to his room, Mr. 
Walker found himself confronted by his 
prisoner, shot-gun in hand, calling on him to 
quietly surrender the fort, which he, know- 
ing the desperate character of the culprit, 

THE TOWN IN 1886. 

did without a murmur. Mr. Walker- soon 
found himself the prisoner, and the man en 
route for Texas, taking the gun, and, I be- 
lieve, the key of the jail with him. It re- 
quired some nerve to occupy lodgings over 
so desperate a scoundrel." 

Mr. Boyd Bullock, a well-known old-time 
resident of the city gives this general des- 
cription of the town as it appeared in 
1836, showing but little improvement in 
its appearance in sixteen years: "My 
first sight of Evansville, was in 1836. 
There was a ragged bluff bank prob- 
ably forty feet high, with a winding 
track along the river front wide enough 
for two carts or drays to pass. There were 
but two persons in the village who followed 
the business of draving. On reaching the 
top of the bank I found a few scattering 
buildings, most of which were small frames. 
There were two hotels, or taverns, as they 
were called in those da}-s, one an old frame 
building kept by Mr. Thomas Johnson, and 
the other a two-story brick kept Maj. Alan- 
son Warner. The latter was a pretentious 
edifice, in fact, extra fine for those days. 
There were about fifteen buildings of all 
kinds on Water street, log and frame for the 
most part, with two or three of brick. On 
First street there were more houses than on 
any other thoroughfare — twenty-six in 
number. Main street at that time was very 
poorlv built up. On the upper corner of 
Main and Water streets was John Mitchell's 
store and residence. On the opposite corner 
was an old establishment belonging to the 
Lewis Brothers, with the old warehouse in 
the rear, in which was held the first court. 
In this building the fashionable balls were 
held, it being the only suitable place for a 
pastime of that character. Here apple- 
toddy was wont to be served to the company 
in an indescribable style, with gingerbread 
as an accompaniment. Across Main street 

was another old warehouse belonging to Mr. 
Mitchell. In the rear of his store on the cor- 
ner, stood the Kazar House. On the west 
side of Main street was an old frame, where W. 
& C. Bell afterward kept a drug store. Next 
came Sherwood & Rowley's two-story brick 
store, which was torn down when the Mer- 
chants' National Bank building was erected. 
Opposite this on the corner of Main and 
First stood an old log cabin and another log 
j house next to the alley, opposite which stood 
Mr. Samuel Mansel's dwelling house weath- 
erboarded with clapboards. Above Second 
street on the lower side of Main were two 
or three small frames, in one of which Mr. 
James Scantlin, Sr., kept a tin shop. There 
was nothing on the other side. The old 
court-house stood on the corner of Main and 
Third streets. Court was held up stairs, 
while hogs and sheep contended for posses- 
sion below. Across the public square was 
a small brick school-house. Where the 
court-house now stands there was what 
seemed to be an old brick pond from which 
I often gave my cow water. The other cor- 
ner of the square contained the old jail, 
which stood a little off the street. Farther 
out above Fourth street, stood Mr. Varner 
Satterlee's frame residence, and across the 
street Mr. Henson's brick. At that time 
there were ponds, sloughs, gullies, and 
places for back-water, running nearly from 
Main street to the river and Pigeon creek, 
near its mouth. There was an old 
graveyard between Third and Fourth 
streets, two blocks below Main, and when 
there was a funeral, which occasionally took 
place, it was no light task to cut the way 
into it, such a thicket of brushwood and 
briers covered the ground.'' 

In 1S37 the real estate and personal 
propertv in Evansville was valued at 
$863,675, and the taxes assessed reached 
the sum of $3,266.06^. The following 



citizens, all prominent men of that day and 
of later years, formed the board of trustees 
and filled the town offices: Robert M. 
Evans, president; James Lockhart, Wm. 
Walker, Edward Hopkins, Abraham B. 
Coleman, John Douglass, Thomas F. 
Stockwell and Francis Amory, trustees; 
Joseph Bowles, clerk; James Cawson, treas- 
urer; John S. Hopkins, collector ; and Amos 
Clark, attorney. 

In this year the march of Evansville's 
progress and prosperity was checked and 
the extravagant hopes of her people were 
dashed to the ground. The financial crisis 
of 1837 is a part of the country's history. 
The banks suspended specie payments, real 
estate ever}'where declined in value, and 
distress prevailed in all parts of the country. 
Evansville, instead of enjoying any immunity 
from the general calamity, received a 
greater blow, perhaps, than towns in other 
states, because of the downfall of the 
internal improvement system. The period 
from 1S3S to 1S44 was indeed gloomy; 
much property in the town passed into the 
hands of eastern creditors, in payment of 
the indebtedness of merchants and specula- 
tors, and for several years possessed very 
little market value; many were forced out 
of business and a considerable number left 
the town for other and better fields. The 
town decreased in population, wealth and 
commercial importance. For a time some 
struggled against the calamity and hoped 
for a betterment of conditions, but at length, 
with courage and patience exhausted, went 
into bankruptcy or turned over their posses- 
sions to creditors and migrated elsewhere to 
start anew. Among these was Amos 
Clark, Esq., a lawyer of early times, who 
maintained a high position at the bar and 
before the people. Col. Dobyns, of 
Tennessee, married Clarissa, daughter of 
Hugh McGary, and thus became possessed 

of certain property interests in and 
about Evansville, which were entrusted to 
the management of Mr. Clark. The condi- 
tion of the times preceding and following 
the financial panic of 1837, is well shown by 
the personal letters which passed between 
these gentlemen at that time, from which 
some extracts are here made. 

Mr. Clark wrote to Col. Dobyns 
January 20, 1837, as follows: 

"Dear Sir: — I have been applied to re- 
peatedly for leases upon the land adjoining 
town, but have not yet given any, and think 
it best not to offer the land for sale. The 
favorable termination of the canal renders 
the land extremely valuable. I have no 
doubt but if it were laid out in lots it might, 
a considerable portion of it, sell from one to 
two thousand dollars per acre. The canal 
terminates in a large basin at the end of the 
street which leads out from the public square, 
and by opening a street to the Princeton 
road following the course of the street which 
divides the Lower enlargement from the 
original plat, will render this land of incalcu- 
able value. Laughlin has done nothing 
concerning the six acres on which the old 
steam mill stood. That piece is now worth 
not less than twenty thousand dollars. * * * 
Our railroad, I have no doubt, will be com- 
menced this year. The canal on this end 
of the line is under contract and the work 
is progressing." 

Soon afterward conditions changed. On 
February 21, 1838, Mr. Clark wrote thus: 
" As to monej', there is none in my hands or 
anybody's else in this part of the country. 
It is an article now more difficult to obtain 
than I ever knew it." He proceeded to tell of 
failures, assignments, the taking of mortgages 
and judgments to secure claims, and pictured 
the greatest financial distress. Again, June 
6, 1838, he said: "As to getting money out 
of Walker, it is out of the question at pres- 



ent. * * * It is impossible now to 
collect money except by suing, and under 
existing circumstances I would hardly ad- 
vise that course." More than two years 
later, on July 2d, 1840, he wrote, "I tried 
every means in my power to raise some 
cash for you, but it was out of the question. 
In fact there is no cash here. Town is dead 
and his estate is not settled. Goodsell is 
doing all he can, and will get through. 
Walker is worth money, but has got none, 
and says this week he expects to be pro- 
tested in bank. As to myself I shall recover 
judgments next term against some of the 
best men in the place sufficient to pay all I 
owe, and am determined to close my busi- 
ness as soon as the law will let me, so there 
is no use suing me."' With an account of 
foreclosures, ejectments, etc., he portrayed 
greater distress than prevailed two and a 
half years earlier. The following letter is 
presented in full: 

"Evansville, 4th March, 1840. 
"Dear Sir: — I have not heard from you 
this winter, except Mr. Goodsell told me on 
my return from Harrisburgh, where I at- 
tended as a delegate to the National conven- 
tion, that he had received a letter from you. 
It will be advisable for you to be here at our 
court, by all means. The New Yorkers 
have brought their suit now for the land in 
an action of ejectment, of which I am this 
moment apprised, and it renders it still more 
necessary for you to be here. I have an- 
other reason why I want you to come. I 
have a good little steamboat exactly calcu- 
lated for your trade which 1 want to sell 
you. She sold last summer at $3,500.00, 
and an additional $500.00 was laid out on 
her. I will let you take her at a fair price 
and take claims here and property for her. 
By this means you will get your pay and 
have it under your control. She is a sound, 
good boat and will carry I suppose sixty or 

seventy tons. As to any money being now col- 
lected, or for years to come, it is out of the 
question. Our legislature has passed a most 
extraordinary law with a view to relieve the 
people, by which it will be next to impos- 
sible to collect debts, and have taken away 
one term of our court. Our public works 
are stopped, the state is bankrupt and half 
the people in it. Produce is low and falling, 
and what is to be done God only knows. I 
returned last night from a trip far up the 
Wabash and found times harder there than 
here, if possible. Property here can not be 
sold at anjr price, and I am well satisfied I 
can make vou a trade in this steamboat that 
will be much better to you than to have 
your concerns lying as they now do. You 
will, of course, be here as soon as a letter 
could reach me; if not, write immediately. 
" Yours truly, 

"Amos Clark." 
In 1838 the census showed a population 
in Evansville of 1,228, represented as follows: 
white males, 567; white females, 621; col- 
ored males, 24; colored females, 16. In 
1840 the population of the county was 6,250, 
and of the town 2,121. In the last named 
year, the mercantile interests of Evansville 
were represented by the following individ- 
uals and firms : Shanklin & Johnson, Row- 
ley & Sherwood, Henry D. Allis, John 
Mitchell, John M. Stockwell & Co., Burbank 
& Co., Jones & Royston, Jerome B. Lamp- 
hear, John R. Wilcox, F. C. Gwathney, 
Alexander Price, S. W. Townsend, Edward 
Hopkins, John H. Maghee, William Cald- 
well, Fred Wetsell, Martin Schovel, A. B. 
Carpenter & Co., Charles L. Rhomann, C. 
M. Griffith, Robert Barnes, Thomas Gedney, 
Charles Folmen, Bittrolff & Geissler, Joseph 
Raim, P. Wise & Co., G. A. Meyers, G. 
Venneman & Co., J. E. Wood, B. 
Jacobs & Co., Daniel Wolsey, John 
Greek, Edward Jewell, W. & C. Bell, 



Decker & Kramer, L. & P. Hornbrook. 
A. M. Klein, C. Newburgher & Co., T. G. 
Thurston, Peter Vaughn, John S. Hopkins, 
A. Laughlin, J. Farquher, G. W. Miller, 
Harrison & Walker, C. D. Bourne, C. Levy 
& Co., and J. W. Tileston & Son. 

In the midst of these hard times the bril- 
liant and spirited campaign of 1840 was 
fought, and William Henry Harrison was 
triumphantly elected. The stirring scenes 
of that campaign can never be forgotten by 
those who witnessed them, and they form an 
interesting chapter in our national history. 

About 1842 wise legislation and private 
thrift and economv brought back a fair de- 
gree of prosperity, and the country began 
to recover from the results of the panic. 
Evansville shared in the improved condition 
of affairs, but her revival was more largely 
due to favorable causes of a local nature. 
Faith in the future of the town, however, 
was not firmly fixed until about 1845. In 
the midst of the distress attending the busi- 
ness stagnation, in November, 1842, the 
town was swept by the most destructive fire 
that thus far had ever occurred in its limits. 
All the houses fronting on the east side of 
Main street, between First and Second, were 
destroyed. There were no fire engines in 
those days, and the citizens were compelled 
to carry water in buckets from a cistern lo- 
cated in the yard of the old State Bank, and 
had great difficult} 7 in controlling the flames. 

Work on the northern portion of the 
Wabash & Erie canal had been pushed for- 
ward as much as possible. It was completed 
to La Fayette in 1841, in which year a sec- 
ond grant of land was made by the general 
government. The sagacious and far-seeing 
men of that day held tenaciously to the idea 
that Evansville's location was exceptionally 
favorable for the building of a great city, 
and thej r set about industriously to work a 
realization of their hopes. The state debt 

I was honorablv compromised, but there was 

. . . . . 

no possibility of inducing the legislature to 

undertake anew the scheme of internal im- 
provement, and the national congress was 
again looked to for aid. Hon. Conrad 
Baker, Gen. Joseph Lane, Hon. William 
Brown Butler, Willard Carpenter and other 
prominent men did their part in effecting an 
honorable settlement of the state debts, and 
in securing favorable legislation .by congress. 
In 1845 the third grant of lands for the con- 
struction of the canal was made. It included 
one-half of all unsold lands in the Vincennes 
land district. .The completion of the canal 
thus became assured, and the anticipation of 
the benefits to be derived from its success- 
ful workings strengthened confidence in fu- 
ture growth, and gave an impetus to business 
such as it had not felt before. At once hopes 
began to ciystalize into facts, not so 
much through the agency of the canal 
when constructed (for, indeed, of itself 
it was a disappointment) but through the 
agency of other conditions and facts pro- 
duced by the anticipation of benefits to 
flow from the construction of this waterway. 
When pursuing wealth and prosperity in 
one direction other means silently combine 
to pi-oduce the desired results regardless of 
the touchstone sought after. Evansville be- 
came an El Dorado to which men of all 
classes flocked to better their conditions. 
Speculators visited the town, examined its 
advantages and prospects, pushed on across 
the prairies to Chicago, or went by steamer 
to St. Louis, investigated those places and 
returned to Evansville as the land of greater 
promise. Life, hope, and energy were in- 
fused into every branch of business. The 
surrounding lands far to the interior had 
by this time passed from the possession of 
the government into the hands of individuals, 
and the agriculturist seeking a new home 
was forced to induce some earlier settler to 



part with some of his holdings. Values of 
real estate in town and country rapidly ad- 
vanced. New farms were fast brought into 
cultivation, forests fell before the ax of prog- 
ress, and because of the productiveness of 
the soil, which had garnered in its pores the 
accumulating richness of ages, vast quantities 
of farm products found their way into the 
markets of Evansville. Merchants buying 
produce and shipping it southward and fur- 
nishing supplies of tea, coffee, sugar, spices, 
and manufactured goods to the farmers mul- 
tiplied and the volume of business transacted 
increased so rapidly as to occasion wonder 
and amazement. Long lines of w'agons from 
points as far inward as Vincennes, La Fay- 
ette, and Terre Haute came to Evansville 
to effect these exchanges. Magnificent 
steamers daily landed at the wharf and lay 
for hours discharging and receiving freight. 
The levee as soon as it was constructed, in 
1848, and prior to that time the river bank 
in front of the city, from end to end was 
stacked with produce of all kinds. This was 
the commencement of Evansville's career as 
a great commercial city. Her favorable 
position for handling the products of a vast 
and productive region, recognized for years 
and, indeed, from the first looked forward 
to as a source of greatness only awaiting 
development, was now yielding the rich 
fruits so long anticipated. 

Men of large attainments, broad experi ■ 
ence and dauntless energy were coming 
from lands beyond the sea, England, Ireland 
and especially Germany, and from distant 
states, to engage in mercantile or profes- 
sional pursuits in this thriving place. Skilled 
artisans and manufacturing laborers were 
also seeking here a home. The descend- 
ants of the earlier pioneers in various parts 
of the country, of strong character and sterl- 
ing worth, in the vigor of youth, left the 
farms of their fathers and came to the town, 

to enter upon broader fields of usefulness 
than were promised at the old homesteads. 
Evansville soon became a city in its pro- 
portions, its advantages and its importance. 

On the 29th day of January, 1847, the 
governor of Indiana approved an act of the 
state legislature, granting to the citizens of 
the town of Evansville a city charter. Its 
mayor, the members of its first council, and 
its officers chosen at an election held on the 
first Monday in April, 1847, were all men of 
distinction and recognized abilitv. Hon. 
James G. Jones, a distinguished lawyer and 
citizen, was selected as mayor. In the 
council, which met for the first time on 
April 12, 1847, there were: L. L. Laycock, 
First ward; Silas Stephens, Second ward; 
Willard Carpenter, Third ward; C. M. 
Griffith, Fourth ward; L. Howes, Fifth 
Ward; John Hewson, Sixth ward. .The 
first officers of the city were: John J." 
Chandler, clerk; William Bell, assessor, col- 
lector and marshal; Samuel Orr, treasurer; 
James E. Blythe, attorney, and Wm. M. 
Walker, surveyor. At the time of its char- 
ter as a city, the area covered by its 
corporate authority was about 280 acres. 
It had within its limits about 4,000 souls; the 
valuation of its real estate and personal prop- 
erty was $901,324; and the amount of taxes 
assessed on this valuation was $3,319.47, a 
sum adequate for the needs of the young 
city, though insignificant when compared 
with the annual expenses of to-day. 

"Up to this period, notwithstanding 
Evansville had become the most important 
shipping point between Louisville and the 
mouth of the Ohio, a distance of 400 
miles, very little wharf improvements 
had been made other than the cutting of 
roads through the high and almost perpen- 
dicular banks to the landing places. But 
the constantly growing commerce and 
increased shipping interests made it neces- 



sary to construct a wharf commensurate 
with the extensive business which was being 
established; and in March, 1848, the city 
entered into a contract with John Mitchell, 
Marcus Sherwood and Moses Ross to grade 
the river bank and complete a wharf having 
frontage on five squares, a length of nearly 
2,000 feet. This at the time was consid- 
ered a great work, and was an important 
step forward in the commercial history of a 
place now dignified with municipal propor- 
tions and recognized by the important 
appellation of a City." 

About this time saw- and grist-mills were 
springing into existence, some propelled by 
water and some by steam; a small foundry 
and machine shop and various other indus- 
tries which have since grown to huge pro- 
portions were begun on a small scale. The 
growth of schools and churches, as else- 
* where noted, was commensurate with the 
industrial advancement, and the community 
was supplied with an adequate number of 
those practicing the learned professions. In 
1850, the census showed a population of 
5,105, and at that time there were in the 
city, 10 grist- and saw-mills, — 4 propelled by 
water; — about 100 stores, groceries and 
warehouses; 3 printing offices each issuing 
a daily newspaper; 15 lawyers; 16 physicians; 
13 preachers, and a great variety of 
mechanical, manufacturing and mining 
laborers, all afforded constant employment by 
the abundance of coal in the vicinity and the 
demands of the large region of productive 
country which made Evansville its supply 
depot. At this time the annual exports 
from Evansville amounted in round numbers 
to about 600,000 bushels of corn, 100,000 
bushels of oats, 1,500 tons of hav, 1,500,000 
pounds of pork and bacon, and large quan- 
tities of tobacco, wheat, potatoes and other 
products of the farm. 

And now began the era of railroads. 

For several years this means of transporta- 
tion was more a feeder to the carrying 
trade of the river than a rival to it, but at 
length a revolution was wrought in the con- 
tinued progressive development, and the 
railway became the king of transportation. 
The canal was in course of construction 
when the feasibility of a railroad northward 
from the young city began to be seriously 
considered. Indeed, it was not completed 
and made ready for boats until 1853, and 
then it had but little influence on the growth 
of the city- Awaited for anxiouslv, in its 
coming it brought no fulfillment of promises. 
A few warehouse were constructed on its 
banks and there was some handling of 
freight, but the anticipated business activity 
was not realized, even to the tenth part. Its 
meager usefulness was of short duration, it 
being entirely abandoned about 1864, the 
railroads by that time having absorbed the 
whole of its business as a common carrier. 
The practicability of railroads had been 
demonstrated, and progressive citizens were 
on the alert to keep Evansville fully abreast 
of the times. Early in 1849, the matter was 
thoroughly discussed, and at the March term 
in that year, of the board of commissioners, 
an election was ordered to be held on the 
following April 12, for the purpose of taking 
the sense of the people on the question of 
aiding in the construction of the Evansville & 
Indianapolis Railroad, by subscribing for. 
$100,000 worth of stock to be issued 
by the company proposing to build 
the road. At the election there were 
cast 624 votes in favor of the proposition and 
2S8 against it. The county treasury at this 
time was in a depleted condition, and when 
in June following, it became necessary for 
the county to pay $2.00 per share on the 500 
shares required to be taken at once (the 
taking of the additional 1,500 shares being- 
postponed until the company was properly 



organized, etc.), it was forced to negotiate i 
note in bank to raise the necessary $1,000 
At the same time the city, as a separate cor- 
porate body, also aided in the construction 
of the road by subscribing for $100,000 of 
its stock. The president of the company 
was Samuel Hall of Gibson county. This 
pioneer railroad, whose construction was 
commenced in 1850, was subsequently 
known as the Evansville & Crawfordsyille, 
and at present as the Eyansyille & Terre 
Haute Railroad. Besides the incalculable 
yalue of this railroad to the city and county 
in developing their natural resources, both 
city and county realized handsomely on their 
investments, the stock subscribed by each 
being sold in 18S1 for $150,000, to Mr. D. 
J. Mackey, whose energy and great execu- 
tive ability, as well as the public spirit con- 
trolling his actions, have made the property 
a great agent for good to the city of Evans- 

In 1853 the valuation of real and personal 
property had increased to $2,537,965.00, 
and the amount of taxes levied was 
$29,799.60. The growth of the city con- 
tinued, and in the tenth year of its career as 
a city, in 1857, the valuation of real and per- 
sonal property was $4,399,040.00, and the 
taxes levied amounted to $58,285.21. 

In 1857 the adjoining corporations of 
Evansville and Lamasco, which had existed 
up to this time as separate municipalities, 
were consolidated, bv the annexation of La- 
masco to Evansville. In location, business 
and social interests the}' had been one, and 
their union under one city government was 
a consummation which added materially to 
their prosperity. The city of Eamasco in- 
cluded that portion of the present city lying 
between Division street and Pigeon creek. 
It was laid out by four gentlemen, Messrs. 
John and William Law, and Macalland Scott, 
who gave the place a novel title, taking the 

first two letters of Law and Macall and the 
first three of Scott, thus succeeding in pro- 
ducing a distinctive and hitherto unheard of 
name. Later an unsuccessful attempt was 
made to change the name of the city of 
Evansville to Lamasco, the friends of the 
movement setting forth the advantage to re- 
sult from general advertisement over the 
country. The proposition, however, was not 

Evansville had been made a port of entry 
in 1856, at which time trace chains and other 
staples of hardware were brought here from 
foreign countries. Manufacturing industries, 
however, were gaining a foothold, and in 
some branches an advanced position had 
been reached. But the chief cause of the 
prosperity enjoyed at that time was com- 
merce. The wholesale and jobbing trade 
had attained large proportions, and the ship- 
ments to the south of agricultural products 
were great. The board of trade report for 
1857^ prepared under the supervision of 
Judge M. W. Foster, gave the following 
figures as representing the sales of mer- 
chandise in the city for that year: 

Groceries $2,034,629 

Dry goods 845,271 

Iron and hardware 275,000 

Boots and shoes 123,000 

Drugs and medicines 69,095 

Queensware 61,000 

In the table of "exports," in this report, 
there were the following items : 

Corn, sacks 101,683 

Oats, sacks 19,770 

Wheat, bushels 62,6gg 

Flour, barrels 62,228 

Pork, barrels 49,628 

Bacon, hogsheads 10,480 

Lard, kegs 58,885 

Tobacco, hogsheads 9i7S x 

The report shows the extent to which 
manufacturing had grown by the following 
items, indicating the amount of some manu- 
factured articles in that year : 



Flour and shipstuff $477,000 

Stoves and castings 120,000 

Steam engines 165,000 

Steam boilers 33>°°° 

Saw-mill products 62,000 

Planing-mill products 35,000 

Furniture 96,000 

Wagons and blacksmiths' iron . . 65,500 

Brewery products 58,000 

Tannery products 5S5S35 

The banking capital in that year, as rep- 
resented by the public banks, was $325,- 
000.00. The population of the city was 
12,250, and it was estimated that during the 
year 100 houses had been erected, valued at 
a quarter of a million dollars. 

In this year there came to the country at 
large another financial crisis and period of 
business depression, from which there was no 
recovery before the outbreak of the civil 
war had changed social and business con- 
ditions. The working classes in Evansville 
had begun to feel the influence of hard 
times before enlistments for the army were 
called for. Some shops had closed their 
doors and operatives were forced into idle- 
ness and want. The favorable position 
occupied by Evansville with reference to 
the commerce of the Ohio river, prevented 
the distress from becoming general. Its 
shipments were constantly increasing, its 
population and wealth were growing, its 
trade was being extended and the city was 
apparently maintaining a steady and healthy 
progress up to the commencement of hos- 
tilities, but there were nevertheless many 
mechanics and shopmen out of employ- 
ment. Indeed, the manufacturing industries 
of the city were languishing; they were 
not keeping pace with the advancement 
being made in trade and agriculture. 

In i860 the citizens of Evansville wit- 
nessed the most hotly contested and exciting 
political campaign known in her history. 
The rail-splitter, Abraham Lincoln, in the 

simplicity and purity of his manhood, ex- 
hibited such elements of strength, that the 
people were wildly enthusiastic over his 
canvass. Gorgeous street parades with ban- 
ners, emblems and various spectacular con- 
trivances, soul-stirring discussions of issues 
finally submitted to the "fierce arbitrament 
of the sword" for decision, and massive 
assemblies of people from the surrounding 
county, fanned the fires of patriotism and 
encouraged the enthusiasm of the people. 
Following this came the firing upon Fort 
Sumter bv an armed force in rebellion 
against the authority of the nation, and then 
in quick succession the scenes of a civil war, 
which laid waste a great area of rich and 
prosperous territory, consumed unreckoned 
quantities of individual and public wealth, 
and sending desolation and woe to the 
homes and hearts of many people. An at- 
tempt to describe these scenes so far as 
they concern this locality, to give some 
account of what the loyal people of Evans- 
ville did in those trying times, and what 
occurred in and about the city as incident to 
the prosecution of the war, is made in an- 
other chapter. As to the business interests 
of that period Hon. John W. Foster, the 
distinguished soldier, citizen, and diplomat, 
in a compilation of facts made by him in 
186S, when acting under the authority of 
the board of trade, and basing his com- 
parisons on the tables quoted above, said : 

•Tn 1861, at the commencement of oar 
late civil war, Evansville was one of the most 
important ports of southern shipments on 
the western waters. In the leading articles 
of produce and provisions it compared fav- 
orably with St. Louis and Louisville (ex- 
ceeding in many articles the latter city), as 
its shipments had largely increased since 
1857. There was established a regular tri- 
weekly line of packets to Cairo, mainly 
owned and controlled here. Regular packets 



were maintained between Evansville and 
Bowling Green, Ky., on Green river. The 
Wabash packets made this their home port. 
Its steamboat interests were very considera- 
ble and rapidly increasing. The whole 
trade of the city came from the border 
counties of Kentucky on the lower Ohio and 
Illinois, the Green river valley, in Kentucky, 
the Lower Wabash valley, and the regions 
of country traversed by the Evansville & 
Crawfordsville railroad and the Wabash & 
Erie canal, for a distance of seventy-five 
miles. The war caused material changes in 
these interests and the circle of trade. For 
a time the steamboat interest was apparently 
destroyed. Communication with the Lower 
Mississippi was entirely cut off, and nearly 
so with Green river. The Cairo packet 
line was greatly hampered and harassed 
by military restrictions. The immense pro- 
duce and provision carrying trade from the 
Wabash ceased with the closing of business 
relations with the South. The freight busi- 
ness of the Evansville & Crawfordsville 
railroad was, for a like reason, materially 
lessened. i\bout this time the navigation of 
the Wabash & Erie canal became uncer- 
tain and finally closed. A valuable part of 
the trade, on this account and the cutting off 
of our New Orleans communication, was 
lost to this city. Under these circumstances 
the future of Evansville at that time looked 
gloomy in the extreme. But steamboat 
owners, merchants and manufacturers, in a 
little while began to experience a more hope- 
ful state of affairs. The wants of the gov- 
ernment gave employment at remunerative 
rates to such of the steamboats as were 
not profitably engaged in the carrying busi- 
ness of the city. The grocery merchants, 
whose supply market at New Orleans had 
been cut off, found a more enlarged depot 
of supplies at New York, to which place 
the operations of the war turned all whole- 

sale merchandise dealers. As the field of 
occupanc}- of the federal army was enlarged, 
the enterprise of our merchants and manu- 
facturers extended. The old packet lines 
were re-established, and new lines opened 
up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, 
and down the Mississippi to Memphis. 
Evansville became the most convenient 
point of supply for western Kentucky, and 
for the rich valleys of the Cumberland and 
Tennessee, and received a very considerable 
trade from Memphis and the country bor- 
dering the Mississippi, between that city and 
Cairo. From 1862 forward the business of 
this city began to revive, and in a little while 
it exceeded that done before the war. The 
restoration of peace found it greatly in- 
creased in population and wealth, its area of 
trade enlarged threefold, its steamboat in- 
terests more than doubled, its manufactories 
much more numerous and their product 
largely multiplied, and the various depart- 
ments of industry quickened into new life 
and activity. Since the close of the war, 
with all the channels of trade and commerce 
open and unrestricted, and with all the em- 
barrassments of finances and the fluctuation 
of values, Evansville has been enabled, not 
onlv to retain the business which was at- 
tracted to it by the changed condition of af- 
fairs, but has reached out into new fields of 

The second decade in the history of 
Evansville as a city, ending in 1S67, not- 
withstanding some unfavorable circum- 
stances at its commencement, was, in its 
entirety, one of progress and prosperity. 
The war, blighting in its first effects, event- 
ually proved a cause of lasting good. Never 
before had the commercial interests of the 
city been so well served by its location on 
the dividing line between a body of pro- 
ducers and a body of consumers as at the 
restoration of peace. The South, wealthy 



at the commencement of hostilities in 1861, 
" found itself as the result of four years of 
civil war entirely prostrate, without industry, 
without tools, without money, credit or 
crops; deprived of local self-government, 
and, to a great extent, of political privileges; 
the flower of its youth in hospitals, or dead 
upon the bloodv, storm-rent battie-tields ; 
with society disorganized, and starvation im- 
minent or actually present." The first 
efforts of the people to lift themselves from 
this gloomy and depressing condition were 
opposed bv great obstacles. For two years 
the cotton and grain crops were, to a great 
extent, failures, and much difficulty was ex- 
perienced in making satisfactory arrange- 
ments for the employment of labor. The 
South had not been supplied with manu ■ 
factoring establishments, and was, therefore, 
compelled to seek a supply of breadstuffs 
and clothing, of mechanical tools and agri- 
cultural implements, in other than home 
markets. This she had been accustomed to 
doing, and, therefore, while vast quantities 
of the raw material used in forming the 
products which she consumed were in her 
possession and easy of access, no efforts 
were as yet made to utilize these great 
sources of wealth. 

The heavy duties placed upon imported 
articles during the war by the national 
congress encouraged manufacturing and 
rendered successful competition by foreign 
competitors impossible. To a large portion 
of the South, Evansville was the most con- 
venient depot for supplies. Her marts were 
well supplied with every necessary of life, 
her factories and furnaces were in full blast, 
her merchants were liberal, conscientious, 
accommodating, honorable. Business grew 
rapidly under this new stimulus. The steam- 
boat carrying trade was then appoaching 
the height of its importance. From Pitts- 
burgh to Cairo the towns along the course 

of the Ohio river and those along its tribu- 
taries were growing in wealth and popula- 
tion. At Evansville the steamboat arrivals 
had grown from 1,493 in 1861 to 2,580 in 
1868, and some of the exports during the 
last named year were as follows: Corn, 
2,017,794 bushels; flour, 58,840 barrels; 
ha}', 12,045 bales; meal, 16,728 barrels; 
oats, 54,595 bushels; pork, 12,374 barrels; 
tobacco, 19,758 hogsheads; wheat, 175,410 
bushels. In 1867 there were 354 houses 
built in the city, their estimated value being 
$1,131,700.00. The assessed value of real 
and personal property was $15,785,555, 
and the taxes levied amounted to $165,- 
004.10. The merchandise sales amounted 
to $12,763,690.00; those in dry goods and 
groceries each exceeding three and a third 
millions of dollars. Of manufactured articles 
produced there were $2,890,202.00 worth. 
j The banking capital, as represented by Na- 
tional bank stocks, was $1,550,000.00, and 
the deposits ranged from $399,397.00 to 
$692,308.00. The discounts ran, per quar- 
ter, from $1,423,174.00 to $1,547,222.00. 
This was an era of general prosperity and 
improvement. The favorable outlook begat 
confidence, and the growth of the city was 
then more rapid perhaps than at any other 
period of its career. Cotton mills, the largest 
in the west, and other large and important 
mills and factories were put in operation, 
street cars and other public conveniences be- 
gan to be provided, and on every hand there 
were striking evidences of individual and 
public prosperity. The city was receiving 
valuable additions to its population by an in- 
flux of intelligent citizens from the south and 
east. Business and professional circles were 
being recruited with a class of people that 
was in all respects highly beneficial to the 
community. In 1867 the enrollment for 
schools and estimates based on the votes 
cast at the elections indicated a population 



of 22,000 inhabitants. Three years later, 
however, in 1S70, the United States census 
credited the city with only 21,830 inhabi- 
tants, but this seemed so manifestly a mis- 
take that it caused great dissatisfaction to 
those interested in having Evansville's im- 
portance as a city undiminished by incorrect 
statements regarding its size. The votes 
cast in October of that year at the congres- 
sional election numbered 4,665, and if one 
vote represented five people, a basis of 
computation accepted by statisticians, the 
population was about 23,325; and estimat- 
ing one vote for every six inhabitants, there 
were at that time 28,990 residents of the city. 
The year 1868 marked the commence- 
ment of a period of depression. While the 
growth of the city continued it was not with 
the rapid strides which had characterized 
its movements from 1862 to 1867. An ab- 
normal condition of affairs continued for 
some years after the close of the war. 
Among its results were an inflated paper 
currency, high prices, and a stimulated 
demand for articles of trade which was not 
abated while people were forced to restrict 
their purchases and accommodate themselves 
to their changed conditions. During this 
settling process, or the period in which the 
public was learning its true condition, and 
especially that portion of the public which 
was drawing most heavily upon the mer- 
chants and manufacturers of Evansville for 
its supplies, there was a marked decline in 
prices, a contraction of business, a repres- 
sion of speculation, a reduction of public and 
private expenditures, and a restriction of 
commercial enterprises and improvements. 
These, together with financial embarrass- 
ment and uncertainty growing out of the 
questions of national currency, banking 
taxation, debt, and the aspect of political 
affairs, upon the peaceful settlement of 
which naturally depended the commercial 

operations of the country, caused a general 
depression affecting the mercantile and 
manufacturing interests of the entire coun- 
try. The chief influence affecting Evans- 
ville locally was the business rivalry of 
other cities in the Ohio valley. The mer- 
chants of Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, 
Cairo and Paducah made vigorous efforts 
to divert from Evansville the large and 
valuable trade of the lower Ohio, and the 
rich valleys of Green, Cumberland, and 
Tennessee rivers. Rival packet lines and 
mercantile agents used every exertion and 
resorted to ever)- expedient to draw the 
trade away from this city, and while at the 
close of the year the business men viewed 
the operations of the year with satisfaction, 
there was not that increase in the volume 
of business transacted, which under favor- 
able conditions, the results of the previous 
years would have justified. While an in- 
crease in the general business of the city 
was observed, there was a decre ase in some 
articles of export or departments of trade 
and manufactures, when reckoned in dollars 
and cents. It is possible that there was no 
actual falling off in the amount of goods 
handled and that the decrease observable 
was due to the decline in prices. However, 
this was a decrease in general business. 

The year was the first of the national 
bankrupt act, and there were widespread 
financial embarrassment and distrust, but no 
large and disastrous failures occurred in 
this city. Some individuals were forced to 
yield before the storm of adversity, but there 
were no failures of moment. The substan- 
tial character and reliability- of the business 
men of this community, were attested by 
the fact that the credit of but few leading 
merchants or manufactures was seriously 
impaired. While conducting their business 
with just liberality toward their customers, 
and with a reasonable degree of enterprise 



and spirit, they engaged in no unhealthy 
speculations and did not seek to extend their 
husiness beyond their capital or ability to 
control it. At that time there was no ap- 
preciable decline in real estate values, thus 
showing that confidence in future develop- 
ment was unshaken. Rents, especially of 
business houses, were reduced to conform to 
the reduction in profits of trade, wages and 
the prices of building materials, and the 
value of improvements depreciated, but real 
property was maintained at its highest quo- 
tations throughout the year. A revival of 
business was confidently hoped for, but these 
hopes rested on an unsound basis. The 
bursting of the storm and the crash of fail- 
ures was not long postponed. The crisis 
was reached in 1873; panic and dismay were 
the results. 

Just prior to this time many valuable im- 
provements, public and private, were pro- 
vided for. A large rolling mill, now out of 
operation, extensive additions to the cotton 
mill, which had proved to be a successful 
venture, many fine buildings for manufac- 
turing and commercial purposes, and many 
elegant private residences were erected. 
Congress had appropriated the money for 
the erection of a postoffice and custom house 
building, although work on it was not im- 
mediately commenced. The St. George 
hotel, a magnificent building, costing in the 
neighborhood of $200,000.00, was con- 
structed in response to the demands of the 
traveling public and to push forward the 
growth of the city. Improvements in the 
streets, wharves, and elsewhere through the 
city were undertaken. 

The extent and diversity of the manufac- 
turing industries were by this time very 
great. The list included 150 different 
classes of articles, and almost even- 
thing of importance in the way of ordi- 
nary manufactures was comprised in it. 

The total value of articles manufactured 
yearly was then estimated at $12,000,- 
000.00. The most extensive manufactures 
were heavy machinery, such as mills, en- 
gines, etc., and furniture. The milling 
interests had assumed large proportions and 
the products in breadstuffs was up to this 
time annually increased. There were about 
150 wholesale houses, and a very con- 
siderable proportion of them carried as 
large stocks as could be found in the 
leading houses of similar branches in the 
principal cities of the West. Commodious 
business buildings were erected for the ac- 
commodation of this rapidly growing trade, 
until there were many blocks in the lower 
or wholesale part of the city that would 
have ornamented the chief wholesale streets 
of Cincinnati or St. Louis. 

The commission business had attained 
considerable importance. Large assign- 
ments of flour, grain, salt, seed, tobacco, cot- 
ton, meats and every article of commerce, 
of large or small bulk, were made to the 
houses of this city. The growth of the re- 
tail trade had been commensurate with that 
in other departments. The progressive men 
of that period, many of whom are still in the 
van and forefront of the fight for indus- 
trial supremacy, were not standing with idle 
hands and watching with complaisance the 
efforts of other cities to outstrip Evansville 
in the race for advantage. Railroads were 
planned in various directions, and active 
steps were taken to secure their construc- 
tion. Far-seeing men realized that the day 
was at hand for the railroad to usurp, or 
rather, bv right to succeed to the throne, 
so long and so well occupied by the majestic 
river, from which was ruled the growing 
empire of the great West. 

At length, however, the climax was 
reached in the business stagnation of the 
country. Industries that had languishes 



since 1868, were now to be engulfed in the 
general ruin. The financial panic of 1873, 
national in its proportions, swept across the 
land, blighting hopes and wrecking fortunes. 
The convulsions of the storm were felt in 
Evansville, as in other cities of like size and 
like environments. Many private enterprises 
were abandoned. Business men were driven 
to the wall, and their failures increased the 
general feelings of distrust. Capital was 
ti nid. Its investment was withheld for signs 
of bitter promise. Projectors of railroads 
gave up their plans to await a recovery from 
the season of distress. Private improve- 
ments were suspended and real estate values 
declined. Few exchanges were made and 
there was no active demand. The banks 
and leading commercial houses, however, 
weathered the storm and there was no disas- 
trous or sensational collapse of business. 

The condition resulting immediately from 
this panic was not long continued, but after 
passing out of the trying experience, the city 
resumed the march of progress with slow 
and cautious steps. There was visible ad- 
vancement within a year, but entire confi- 
dence was riot immediately restored, and 
improvement was consequently slow. Real 
estate soon recovered, though there was 
no immediate demand. Holders had un- 
shaken confidence in ultimate prosperity, and 
were not anxious to dispossess themselves at 
a sacrifice. The valuation of real and per- 
sonal property in 1874 was $24,758,355.00, 
and for the twelve months ending with 
August of that year, the sales of real estate 
numbered 8i4and aggregated $2,307,562.00 
These changes in possession occurred be- 
tween individual residents principally. There 
was no attempt to inflate values or raise 
prices by fictitious means. The Courier 
of May 2 of that year, contained this perti- 
nent statement: 

" Real estate has no fanciful or feverish 

values here, raised by rings of speculators. 
Good lots can be had for from $100 to 
$1,500 according to location and improve- 
ments. There has been a steadv advance- 
ment in the value of property with each 
successive year. Some vast tracts in the 
suburbs of the city are held by foreign capi- 
talists, and they have no doubt found a profit- 
able investment. There has, however, 
been but little speculation outside of purely 
legitimate channels. Property is regarded 
here by all as certain to pay handsomely, 
and there are splendid opportunities for in- 
vestments of all kinds." 

That the financial crisis and the resulting 
depression did not long deter citizens from 
progressive activity is attested by the follow- 
ing statement from the same paper: 

"The present building season is only 
about one-third over, and yet our contractors 
and architects have been engaged for work 
till the end of the season, while building 
material can scarcely be manufactured to 
meet the steady demand. At the opening 
of the present season, it was predicted that 
the financial stringency would affect out- 
building operations disastrouslv, but such has 
not been the case. On the other hand it 
will even show much larger results. In 
addition to the large business blocks being 
erected, the number of private residences 
going up was never in numbers so great as 
in the present season. This is attested by 
all persons who are associated with this de- 
partment of business. At least two millions 
and a half dollars will be expended in build- 
ings alone this season. A list of these 
blocks and houses, which we have secured, 
would cover four columns of this copy of 
the Courier. We have passed that period 
of development when all buildings are con- 
structed for use without regard to the 
beauties of architecture or the satisfaction 
of taste, and the city rejoices in scores of 


private residences which are perfect models 
of beaut}' and taste. In the rapid manner 
in which the city grew, no attention was 
paid to these essential elements in making a 
city attractive and beautiful, but that era has 
been passed, and in the next three years 
even greater progress will be made." 

The number of houses erected during 
the year was estimated at fully 500 
and the amount expended in the season's 
work and on buildings completed in that 
year, though commenced at an earlier date, 
at $3,000,000. 

With the employment to labor afforded 
by so much building in addition to that 
engaged in the commercial and manufact- 
uring pursuits of the city, which, though 
yielding in some particulars, were generally 
holding the station gained before the 
panic, if they were not advancing, general 
distress and pressing want could not, and 
did not, prevail among the people. The 
improvement of Evansville from that time 
has continued. She has taken no back- 
ward step, never essaying a mushroom 
growth, such as has occurred in many 
" boomed" cities of late years; her advance- 
ment has been constant and substantial. The 
scenes of activity may have shifted and in 
many departments of industry " good old 
days " may have gone, never to return, but 
the general improvement of the city has 
been maintained. The population has con- 
stantlv increased in numbers, its aggregate 
wealth has grown, and the individual pros- 
perity of the masses has been preserved. 
This is particular])' evidenced by the fact 
that its laboring classes, its mechanics, 
miners and toilers of every sort, enjoy not 
only an abundance of the necessaries of life 
but also man)- of its comforts and luxuries. 
A very large proportion of these people — 
about S5 per cent of them — because of 
regular employment, good wages, thrift and 

industry, own their own homes, and, to say 
nothing of the wage-workers" earnings held 
by numerous building associations, the 
People's Savings Bank, an institution whose 
patrons are chiefly among the laboring 
classes, has over $650,000 in deposits, 
representing a portion of the savings of 
2,500 people. This is the condition of the 
wage-worker at this time, and it fairly 
represents his condition at all times since 
1874, f° r while the agencies of Evansville's 
advancement have changed and in the 
changes invested capital has suffered, the 
laborer, shifting and becoming an adjunct of 
each new agencv, has encountered no 
serious harm. 

The population of Evansville is and has 
been since a time antedating its corporation 
as a city, largely of German descent, though 
other nationalities are well represented. 
The greatest of harmony and best of feel- 
ing, generally considered, have prevailed be- 
tween employers and employes. The city 
has enjoyed a pleasing immunity from strikes 
and labor troubles of all kinds. The wage- 
workers are intelligent and enjoy undis- 
turbed the highest rights of citizenship. 
The dignity of labor is recognized bv all, 
and it is only the idler who provokes con- 

In the early development of the vast em- 
pire of the west, the Ohio river was the 
main thoroughfare upon which the products 
of the mill and factory were brought from 
the east to their consumers in the new 
country-. The wealth of surplus products 
of the rich lands of the west were put upon 
the same highway to find their way into the 
distant markets of the world; and the 
staples of the tropics were distributed to the 
agricultural and manufacturing centers of 
the north by the same means. In this era 
producer and consumer were separated by 
many miles of distance; and commerce was 



the soul of business activity. When the 
citizen of Evansville desired to witness 
scenes of life and restless action he went to 
the river front. There, upon the levee, pon- 
derous wagons, carts, and drays, crowded 
each other for space, and workmen hurried 
from place to place in every sort of occu- 
pation. Vast quantities of produce, of lum- 
ber, salt, cotton, tobacco, grain, agricultural 
implements, furniture and what not were 
piled on the wharves and on the river bank. 
Warerooms, commission houses, and store- 
rooms sought convenient locations on Water 
street. Then, indeed, the river was king, 
and when the first railroad was built it be- 
came an obedient subject to the power on 
the throne. But at length the general con- 
struction of railroads commenced, and 
marked the decline of the river trade. 
Rapid transit was the great desideratum. 
In earlier days merchants received their 
goods by steamer from the eastern cities, 
and they were sometimes long delayed by 
obstructions to navigation. It was soon 
found that by using the facilities for ship- 
ping afforded by railroads, goods could be 
received and in a large measure sold, before 
the arrival of goods ordered at the same 
time and shipped by boat. Merchants de- 
siring to turn their capital frequently soon 
gave their undivided patronage, in through 
freights, to the railroads. Gradually the 
through lines of steamers were abandoned. 
The effects of this change were seriously 
felt by man}- prosperous villages along the 
Ohio river. To many it was a death blow. 
From Pittsburgh to Cairo to-day, there are 
to be seen at short intervals, towns with 
abandoned houses and shops, dilapidated 
mines, silent mills, and all the essentials to a 
picture of "the deserted village." The 
commerce of the Ohio gave them life. 
When that went down, or to speak more 
accurately, was altered from what may be 

called a " long haul " to a " short haul " 
system, their occupation was gone, and 
when they were unable to attach themselves 
to some other life-giving agency, the}' suf- 
fered the long-continued agonies of a living 

Through the aggressive spirit and broad 
understanding of its leading men, Evansville 
was not doomed to such a condition. When 
the through freight from the commercial 
centers of the east came westward b} r rail, 
the steamers that made long trips, for ex- 
ample from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, or from 
Pittsburgh to New Orleans, were taken off 
and put in other trades — shorter trades to 
supply different demands. River towns at 
the termini of railway branches running from 
the trunk lines were made points of distribu- 
tion for a rapidly .growing country, and in 
many cases the towns so utilized enjoyed a 
greater degree of prosperity for a time, by 
reason of the change. Merchants at smaller 
towns for forty or fifty miles around such a 
place, were forced by this change of con- 
ditions to make the railroad point the base 
of supplies, where previously they had 
drawn upon the east directly, by means of 
through steamers. This was true of Evans- 
ville. Far up and down the river and to all 
the towns along the tributaries of the Ohio 
the commercial emissaries found their way 
and following them were large shipments of 
merchandise. To the commission men and 
merchants of Evansville came the surplus 
products of the same rich country, instead of 
going directly to distant points by water 
transportation as in earlier times. 

Under these circumstances the river trade 
grew immensely, but this was in the infancy 
of the giant railroad system. When the 
country, thus supplied by steamers, making 
daily and tri-weekly trips, became covered 
with a network of railroads, it could not be 
expected that the same amount and kind of 



business would be transacted on the water. 
If Evansville had blindly clung to commerce 
to the exxlusion of other factors that enter 
largely into the growth of modern cities in 
the middle states, her people would have 
suffered for the want of employment, or her 
population would have decreased and her 
growth been effectually checked. For when 
supply depots, themselves directly connected 
by rail with producers and consumers, multi- 
plied, the usefulness of Evansville would 
have been diminished, and at length, it seems 
reasonable to believe, the city would have 
been of little more importance than other 
towns that supply a limited agricultural 
region. But early in her career the mer- 
chant and manufacturer joined hands. Be- 
fore passing, however, to the consideration 
of the relative influence of manufacturing 
upon the growth of the city, the results of 
her commerce may profitably engage some 

The cheapness of water transportation 
makes the river a desirable means of get- 
ting man}' kinds of produce to market, and 
there are many portions of an exceedingly 
productive county still directly dependent 
upon the river as the carrier of its supplies, 
with Evansville as a supply depot. These 
considerations serve to keep up the business 
about the wharves, though its volume is not 
so great as formerly. At the present time 
there are as many steamers registered at 
this port as there have been at any previous 
time, and regular packet lines to all the 
principal places between Louisville and 
Paducah, and along the Tennessee, Cum- 
berland and Green rivers, make Evansville 
their home port. But the commerce of the 
place has, especially in late years, drawn 
the railroad into its service. The pioneer 
road, the Evansville & Terre Haute, is 
splendidly equipped, and handles large 
quantities of freight. In 1872 the St. Louis 

& Southeastern, running from St. Louis to 
Evansville, was consolidated with the Evans- 
ville, Henderson & Nashville, and thus 
through trains to the south were supplied. 
Subsequently these lines became the prop- 
erty of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad 
Company. Its trains were transferred by 
boat between Evansville and Henderson un- 
til 1885, when the Ohio river was spanned 
by a steel bridge, 3,686 feet long, and cost- 
ing $3,000,000, which connects Evansville 
directly with the wealth of the south, so 
extensively traversed by the great L. & N. 
system. Later, the Louisville, Evansville 
& St. Louis railroad (air line) furnishing a 
direct route to the East, the Peoria, Decatur 
& Evansville railroad traversing the rich 
lands of eastern Illinois, the Evansville & 
Indianapolis railroad (straight line) afford- 
ing an outlet for a mining and agricultural 
region of great wealth, the Ohio Vallev 
railroad and the Belt Line, have been con- 
structed. Aid has been voted to other lines, 
and many additions to the already splendid 
system of railroads centering here are pro- 
posed. To any one familiar with the good 
results that flow in such large streams from 
these powerful agencies in the development 
of cities, the fact that Evansville maintains a 
steady growth can bring no surprise. In 
1SS0 the population of the city, by the cen- 
sus report, was a little in excess of 29,000. 
This census was probabh - not well taken, 
for, by careful estimates, based on the num- 
ber of voters in the city at that time, the 
number of children in the schools, and the 
number of names in the city directory, the 
population was shown to be at least 40,000. 
The assessed valuation of property amount- 
ed to $18,152,005, being divided as follows: 
Real estate, $7,769,805; improvements, 
$5> I 49'555; personal property, $5,232,645. 
In that year the wholesale and jobbing trade 
was very large in all classes of articles. 



The annual sales of some of these, as estimated 
upon merchants' reports, are here quoted: 
Groceries, $3, 550,ooo;dry goods and notions, 
$2,Soo,ooo; hardware, $180,000; boots and 
shoes, $1,800,000; leather, $500,000; drugs, 
$740,000; clothing, $1,500,000; hats, caps 
and furs, $500,000; china, glass and queens- 
ware, $350,000; pork packers, $700,000. 

Those who, as they grew up into a 
knowledge of affairs, and in the active 
periods of their careers saw that Evans- 
ville's prosperity was drawn almost entirely 
from the river trade, as was the fact in 
earlier days, ma}- view the alterations in 
that trade as a mark of the city's decline. If 
so, they err, for not only is the number of 
boats registered larger than ever before, 
but the changes in the character of their 
business have been such as to furnish 
employment to a greater number of men 
and women residing in Evansville. For- 
merly steamers brought raw materials and 
manufactured goods here from different 
localities, and Evansville merely effected an 
exchange between the separated consumers 
and producers. Now these steamers bring 
crude materials and carry away manufact- 
ured goods, the transformation from one 
condition to the other being effected by the 
brains and hands of the toilers here. 
Besides the steamers, in this work there are 
the great steel highways leading in all 
directions, over which are run, with system- 
atic regularity, thousands of freighted cars 
in every month of the year, themselves 
furnishing employment to a vast number of 
workmen whose families are a portion of 
Evansville's society, assisting to support its 
schools and churches, and each doing some- 
thing to enhance the public welfare. 

That the founders and early settlers of 
this city builded better than they knew is 
nowhere more strikingly exhibited than in 
the fact that the place selected by them is so 

favorably located for the development of 
vast stores of natural wealth of the existence 
of which they at that time had no knowl- 
edge. That immeasurable quantities of 
coal lay under the surface of the new land 
where they were raising their rude cabins, 
that the extensive forests of hard wood, with 
the passage of years, would enter into the 
world's consumption at so great a value, and 
that mountains of building stone and rich 
ores, so essential to the satisfaction of needs 
they could not dream of then, were to the 
southward, within easy access, could not 
possiblv have entered into their considera- 
tion. The trials and misfortunes that 
checked immigration to the state of Indiana 
at various times, and the causes which made 
the incoming of settlers spasmodic, have 
already received some consideration in these 
pages. When that great tide of immi- 
grants poured in between the years 1835 anc ^ 
1840, the easy-going habits of earlier pio- 
neers were abandoned. There was a gen- 
eral awakening, and every new demand 
evoked an attempt to supply it. Some of 
the most ordinary farm implements were 
neither made in Evansville, nor were they 
to be had at the stores in the place. But 
the importance of manufacturing, as the 
most reliable source of substantial growth, 
was recognized soon thereafter, and from 
the time when the work of utilizing the 
wealth of the forests and the fields by con- 
verting their wild products into implements 
and articles of use was begun, the mer- 
chants and capitalists of the city, with un- 
flagging zeal, have sought to encourage and 
foster this interest in its varied branches, 
until to-day there is probably no city in the 
United States, of equal population, that has a 
greater diversity of established manufactur- 
ing industries. 

The growth of the city in this particular 
has been gratifying, but perhaps not so 



great as might reasonably have been ex- 
pected when the vast possibilities and means 
of advancement are considered. There has 
been a constant increase in the variety of 
these interests and the aggregate volume 
of their output. At times the progress has 
been slow, and some enterprises have failed 
because of faulty management or financial 
depression of more than local proportions, 
but nevertheless the aggregate of the work 
done has grown from period to period. 
Manufacturing, in its relation to the general 
commerce of the present da} r , is the chief 
organ in the industrial anatomy. Through 
the vast channels of commerce, millions of 
values annually find their way to the arti- 
sans, mechanics and wage-workers of the 
world, and by them are worked up into new 
articles of usefulness, again to be sent out 
on missions of advancement and upbuild- 
ing. Manufacturing and commerce, then, 
are mutually dependent, and in the developed 
conditions of this age and place, "useless 
each without the other." 

It is estimated with acceptable accuracy 
that at this time fully $3,500,000.00 of cap- 
ital are invested here in manufacturing 
plants engaged in producing various lines of 
merchandise. The following is a partial 
list of the number and variety of these estab- 
lishments now in successful operation : 

Agricultural implements, 4; architectural 
iron works, 5; awnings and tents, 2; bag 
manufacturer, 1 ; bakery, cracker, 1 ; bak- 
ing powder, 2; barrel hoops, 1; barrel 
heading, 1 ; bedstead, 1 ; bent material, 1 ; 
blank books, 4; boiler makers, 5; boot, shoe 
and gaiter uppers, 3; box manufacturer, 
wood, 1; brass founders, 2; breweries, 3; 
brickyards, 12; broom manufacturers, 3; 
candy manufacturers, 4; carriage manufac- 
turers, 10; carriage springs, 1; chair manu- 
facturers, 6; cigar box manufacturer, 1; 
coal mines, S; coffin manufactory, 1; corn 

meal mills, 4; cotton mill (largest west of 
New England), 1; excelsior manufacturing 
machine, 1 ; feather renovating machines, 1 ; 
files and rasps, 1; flour mills, 8; furniture 
factories, 8; galvanized iron work, 6; hoe 
manufacturer, 1 ; hominy mill, 1 ; horse 
collars, 8 ; ice factory, 1 ; iron foundries, 
10; jeans clothing manufacturers, 4; jewel- 
ers, manufacturing, 4; laboratorv, 1; lum- 
ber manufacturers, 8; machinery builders, 5; 
malt manufacturers, 2 ; metallic bottle caps, 
1 ; paper box manufacturers, 1 ; piano maker, 
1; picture frame makers, 3; planing-mills, 
7; plow handles, 1; plow manufacturers, 3; 
potteries, 3; saddles, harness, etc., 17; sash, 
doors, etc., 8; saw-mills, 11; shoe factory, 
ladies', 1 ; shirt factory, 1 ; soap manufac- 
turer, 1; stave factories, 3; steam engine 
builders, 5; stone yards, 3; stove foundries, 
6; sugarcane mills, 2; table manufactory, 
1; tanneries, 2; tin, copper and sheet iron, 
20; tobacco manufacturers, 3; tool manu- 
facturer, 1 ; trunk manufacturer, 1 ; uphol- 
stery manufacturers, 4; veneers and veneer 
goods, 1; wagon makers, 13; washboard 
manufacturers, 2; whip maker, 1; woolen 
mill, 1 ; miscellaneous, 50. 

The extent of the flour milling interest is 
already considerable, and the extraordinary 
advantages afforded by cheap fuel and loca- 
tion in the grain growing region, and near 
the consuming population of the great South, 
is already attracting the attention of millers 
elsewhere, with every prospect that this in- 
terest will be enormously increased. The 
following is a statement of the flour business 
under the present capacity: 

Total output of flour per day, 2,100 bar- 
rels; total output of flour per week, 12,600 
barrels; total output of flour per year, 630,- 
000 barrels; consumption of wheat per day, 
9,500 bushels; consumption of wheat per 
week, 57,000 bushels; consumption of wheat 
per year, 2,736,000 bushels; average cost of 



wheat per day at 80 cents, $7,600; average 
cost of wheat per week at 80 cents, $45,000; 
average cost of wheat per year at 80 cents, 
$2,iSS,8oo; average cost of packages per 
day, $546; average cost of packages per 
week, $3,276; average cost of packages per 
year, $157,248; average cost to manufacture 
per day, at 40 cents a barrel, $840; average 
cost to manufacture per week, at 40 cents a 
barrel, $5,040; average cost to manufacture 
per year, at 40 cents a barrel, $241,920. 

This represents the output of seven mills, 
and it is believed that notwithstanding the 
capacity of all of them is small, as compared 
with that of the mammoth mills at Minne- 
apolis, the cost of production is as small as 
the cost at Minneapolis, due in large part to 
the low price of coal and nearness to the 
grain, while the cost of marketing is very 
considerably less. Evansville, therefore, may 
justly claim an unequaled location for the 
profitable production of flour. 

That Evansville should be a large manu- 
facturer of furniture and woodenwares of 
all kinds can not occasion surprise, when it 
is known that the last United States census 
showed this city to be the largest hardwood 
lumber market in the United States. 

Some conception of the magnitude of the 
saw-mill and lumber interests may be had 
from the following statistical data, gathered 
from the books of those engaged in these 
enterprises: number of saw-mills, 11; num- 
ber of men employed, 855; amount of wages 
paid yearly, $385,000; feet of lumber sawed, 
107,500,000; capital invested, $500,000; 
yearly business, $2,545,000; amount of 
ground occupied by mills, about 40 acres. 

Another evidence of the city's growth is 
the immense trade in building brick. There 
are fourteen brickyards within, or just 
outside, the city limits, with an aggregate 
daily output of 90,000, and an annual output 
of more than 15,000,000. There are 200 

hands employed. The increase in the growth 
of the city is partially represented by the 
increase in the output of these brick- 
yards, which is about thirty per cent over 
the product of last 3-ear. The entire output 
of 1887 was sold before the beginning of 
the spring trade of 1888, and 8,000,000 of 
the present year's make have already been 
sold for future delivery. The brickyards 
not only make the common building brick, 
but two of them are manufacturing stock or 
repressed and ornamental brick the equal of 
any to be found west of the Alleghany 
mountains. The makers of brick here now 
ship from 600,000 to 1,000,000 a month to 
southern states. 

One of the most faithful handmaids of 
manufacturing is mining, the growth of 
which industry has been commensurate with 
that concerning which some statistics have 
just been given. In earl}' days the only fuel 
used was wood. Many pioneer farmers 
along the river bank laid the foundations of 
their fortunes bv establishing woodyards 
and furnishing fuel to the steamboats. The 
towing of coal from the mines far up the 
river was commenced in 1850, and a few 
years later collieries were established in this 
vicinity and operated with great success. 
The amount of coal within easy access of 
the furnaces of Evansville is beyond com- 
putation. The great abundance of this 
product of nature and the comparative ease 
with which it is brought to market, the 
chief item of cost being the labor-cost in its 
mining, makes its price to the consumer 
very low. Under the city there are two 
veins of soft coal which are reached by ten 
different shafts within or near the city 
limits. Vast quantities are transported here 
by rail and water, there being within a radius 
of thirty miles no less than sixty shafts in 
operation. A coal famine has never been 
known in Evansville, and it is now recog- 



nized as an impossibility, so varied are the 
sources of supply. The cost of coal is from 
fifty to seventy-five cents per ton. With 
such cheap fuel there has not been 
here, as in many other places, that intense 
anxiety for the discover}- of natural gas, a 
substance recently thought to promise a 
revolution in manufacturing industries; how- 
ever, wells are being sunk in close proximity 
to the city limits, and gas has been secured 
within a few miles of the city. 

In this connection attention may be di- 
rected to the vast areas of rich iron ore in 
the states immediately south of Evansville, 
and to the fact that for the purposes of com- 
bining the two substances, iron and fuel, in 
manufacturing enterprises, the advantages 
of this city are unequaled. Statisticians 
show that the values of farm lands in any 
prescribed area increase in direct proportion 
with the per cent of the population engaged 
in other than agricultural pursuits. The 
farmer early learned that surplus produce 
without a market was not wealth. The dis- 
tance between him and the consumers of 
his products measures the extent of his pros- 
perity. The same rule governs the pros- 
perity of the producers of other commodities. 
A diversity of interests and a diversity of 
employment, call into action the highest de- 
gree of mental force and make a community 
great. Evansville is in the center of a great 
corn producing country, in the midst of 
what is known and recognized as the corn 
belt. Three-fifths of all the tobacco grown 
in the United States is produced within a 
circle described about Evansville as a center 
with a radius ioo miles in length. Ten 
thousand hogsheads were sold on the 
"breaks" here last year, and from the ear- 
liest times the business of handling this pro- 
duct has been engaged in extensively by 
men of high business standing and of great 
financial strength. The grain producing 

country directly tributary to Evansville, ex- 
tends over a large portion of three great 
states. All forms of produce find here a 
ready market. Very 'recently the canning 
industry has been entered upon, and the cul- 
tivation of vegetables and small fruits is re- 
ceiving proper encouragement. 

If diversity of interests is the touchstone 
of municipal greatness, the magnificent 
growth of this city need not occasion won- 
der; indeed, the only cause for wonderment 
is that with its great natural advantages the 
city has not moved forward with more rapid 
and more gigantic strides. At this time the 
population of the city, based upon the most 
reliable data, is 53,000; and the assessed 
value of real and personal property within 
the city limits is $20,825,708.00, to which, 
to obtain the actual amount of the city's 
wealth, must be added the value of many 
factories, among them the cotton mill and 
the potteries, and many residences located 
bevond the city limits, as well as from 35 to 
50 per cent upon the figures quoted, that 
being the difference between assessed and 
actual values. That extensive improvement 
is being made is apparent to the most casual 
observer. On every hand can be seen evi- 
dences of continuous and healthy growth 
and sound prosperity. Many handsome 
buildings are being erected, and the hum of 
industry is everywhere heard. In 1887 
the estimated cost of improvements was 
$276,500.00, while up to the middle of Octo- 
ber of the present year it was $294,260.00. 
The city directory now being made shows 
an estimated increase of 4,000 or 5> 000 m 
the city's population during the present year. 

Much of the recent growth has been 
due to an organized effort on the part of 
progressive citizens to utilize the gifts of 
Providence, showered in such abundance at 
the feet of this city. A Business Men's 
Association has been formed, its objects 



being to effect the betterment of the city and 
its people in every possible way, and bv 
developing its natural resources to earn for 
Evansville that rank and recognition among 
the cities of the world which it ought to 
receive. The association has already done 
much good by inducing the establishment 
here of labor-employing enterprises, and by 
planning for a magnificent opera-house and 
public building, now in course of construc- 
tion, to cost $100,000.00. Its officers are 
M. J. Bray, Jr., president; W. J. Wood, first 
vice president; Samuel Vickery, second vice 
president; S. S. Scantlin, treasurer, and W. 
S. French, secretary, and among its mem- 
bers are about 500 of the most progressive 
and advanced citizens of the place. 

The development thus far made and past 
achievements in the various divisions of 
human effort, suggest the possibilities of the 
future. Nature with lavish hand has be- 
stowed her favors; the rapidity and extent 
of Evansville's growth hereafter must de- 
pend wholly upon the amount of wisdom 
and enterprise exercised by its citizens. But 
it is attempted here to record only the 
works of the past and the present status of 
the city. To recite achieved facts, not to 
utter hopes, speculate upon possibilities, 
suggest public needs, or means of quick 
development, is the sole privilege of the 
writer. The " lamps of prophecy " can not 
be lighted; the realms of the future can not 
be invaded. 

With its population of 53,000, Evansville 
is already the second city in a state having 
over 2,000,000 intelligent and progressive 
inhabitants. Located on the Ohio river, 
above the reach of the highest waters 
known to history, commanding the trade 
of the great south, with eight steamboat 
lines, five of them daily packets with this 
as a terminal point, sixty registered steam- 

boats, and seven well constructed and 
admirably equipped railroad lines, the com- 
mercial advantages of the city are patent 
to all. From the earliest times, with every 
change in the commercial facilities and 
methods of the west, Evansville has had a 
most enviable position. When the water- 
wa}^s were in the ascendency she com- 
manded a great trade; as they are par- 
alleled and perhaps worsted in the sharp 
contest for supremacy in the commercial 
world by their great competitor, the iron 
horse, Evansville becomes a railroad center 
and maintains a high position among the chief 
cities of the middle states. The fittest sur- 
vives always', in means of transportation as 
well as all things else. Great streams like 
the Mississippi, the Missouri and the Ohio 
have already lost much of their commercial 
value. They ma}' continue to lose through- 
out the coming half centuiy. That this 
city may maintain its commercial standing, 
its large minded citizens will doubtless see 
to it that its advantages are not curtailed 
by any neglect in the construction of rail- 
roads, the only means of securing its proper 
relation to the surrounding country, now 
rapidly developing. 

With cheap fuel and cheap transportation 
from the cotton fields and iron mines of the 
south, as the center of an almost limitless 
supply of hard wood, and with every facility 
for manufacturing, it is not surprising that 
no, place of equal population throughout the 
length and breadth of the land has a greater 
diversity of manufacturing interests. The 
largest cotton mills west of New England, 
and over 300 manufacturing establish- 
ments in operation, give the citv a 
prominent place among producers of manu- 
factured goods. With a banking capital of 
$3,000,000, and surrounded on all sides by 
the richest agricultural region, her mercan- 
tile exploits are of necessity very extensive. 



With artificial gas and electric light plants, 
waterworks, street railways, well improved 
streets, many miles of free gravel-roads, 
elegant and commodious public buildings, 
and every public convenience; with schools, 
churches and libraries worth)' her industrial 
importance, unsurpassed social advantages, 
man)- elegant private residences, and numer- 
ous cottages owned by their occupants; and 
with several extensive and important enter- 
prises projected and in process of establish- 
ment, Evansville, as it now is, may be truly 
called a great city. And, further, its varied 
and extensive natural advantages, inexhaust- 
ible sources of wealth, already referred to 
in detail, lead to the conclusion and warrant 
the assertion that this city has nothing for 
which it may be more thankful than its 

Hon. William Heilman was born in 
Albig, Rhenish Hesse, Germany, October 
ii, 1824. His father, Valentine Heilman, 
was a reputable farmer who died in 1826. 
For her second husband Mrs. Heilman 
married Peter Weintz, and in 1843 the fam- 
ily came to America, landing in New 
Orleans. Thence they moved to St. Louis 
and shortly afterward to Posey county, Ind., 
Where Mr. Weintz engaged in farm- 
ing. William was at this time a sturdy lad 
of nineteen years and had evidenced the 
possession of those traits of character which 
have since contributed so largely to his suc- 
cess. Life on a farm was not congenial and 
he resolved to seek a more profitable voca- 
tion. In 1847 he came to Evansville, and 
in company with his brother-in-law, Chris- 
tian Kratz, established a small machine shop 
and foundry on Pine street, using two blind 
horses to supply the motive power. In a 
comparatively short time the tact and sa- 
gacity of Mr. Heilman as a man of affairs 
began to attract attention. Three years 

later the business had increased to such an 
extent that increased facilities became abso- 
lutely necessary, and the firm built a com- 
modious brick shop and commenced using 
steam power. In 1854 tne . v manufactured 
their first portable engine, and in 1859 their 
first thresher. Upon the breaking out of 
the war of the rebellion many of Mr. 
Heilman's business associates were in doubt 
as to the ultimate success of the Union 
armies. Mr. Heilman and his partner took 
a decided stand for the preservation of the 
union of the states, and it was here that that 
business forecast so essential to the success- 
ful business man was exhibited in its strong- 
est light. In 1864 Mr. Kratz, receiving for 
his interest $100,000, thus showing with what 
success they had worked up to that time, 
retired from the firm, since which time Mr. 
Heilman has conducted the business alone. 
Through his energy the establishment has 
grown to massive proportions, occupying 
nearly an entire block. While so deeply 
engrossed in business, matters of public im- 
port have always received Mr. Heilman's 
careful attention. In 1852 he was elected 
councilman, and for many years discharged 
the duties of that office with credit to him- 
self and to the entire satisfaction of his con- 
stituents. Mr. Heilman has always been a 
staunch republican. In 1870 he was elected 
to the state legislature, and in 1872 was 
nominated for congress, and although the dis- 
trict was democratic by 2500 votes, he reduced 
his opponent's majority to 112. In 1876 he 
was elected to the state senate, and while in 
Europe in 1878 the republicans of the First 
congressional district of Indiana again se- 
lected him as their standard bearer. He ac- 
cepted the proffered honor, and after a short 
stay in his native land, returned, and at the 
close of a spirited canvass of sixteen days, was 
elected by a flattering majority. In congress 
as everywhere else, Mr. Heilman evidenced 


that keen perception and sterling good sense 
which have been conspicuous in all his under- 
takings. In evidence of this fact, a portion 
of a speech delivered in the house in 
1S79, on tne "Warner Coinage Bill," a 
measure intended to enrich the holders of 
silver bullion at the expense of the people, 
to the extent of 15 cents on the dollar is 
quoted below. Mr. Heilman was thoroughly 
convinced that the success of the important 
measure of resumption, then but a few 
months old, required nothing but letting 
alone. He insisted that -'honest)- is the 
best policy" in governmental matters as well 
as in everything else, and while denied a fin- 
ished education in books, he had always been 
an apt pupil in that other school in which the 
teachers are observation and experience. 
In his speech his business acumen asserted 
itself. He thus expressed his views on the 
bill : ' : I am strongly in favor of well con- 
sidered, practical legislation to benefit the 
agricultural and manufacturing interests, to 
increase our commerce and wealth, but by 
all means let us have some stability in our 
financial legislation. The condition of the 
country is at last surely, although perhaps 
slowly, getting better, and what commerce 
and finance need just now more than anv- 
thing else is to be let alone." 

In congress he was noted for his keen 
foresight and watchful stud} - of public affairs, 
and he was regarded by his fellow members 
as one of the best of business legislators. 
His views were always practical and his 
advice sound. While Mr. Heilman's polit- 
ical record is enviable, his pre-eminence lies 
in his career as a man of affairs, and it is 
safe to assert that what his enterprise and 
genius have done to advance and foster the 
commercial prosperity of the city of Evans- 
ville has not been excelled by the efforts of 
any other individual. The cotton mill owes 
its existence to his energy and capacity in 

financial investments, and the same remarks 
will apply to many other important enter- 
prises. ■ Even- project having for its object 
the advancement of the interests of the city 
of Evansville has always found in him a 
warm friend and supporter. To him the 
Latin phrase "fader sitae foriunae" is em- 
inently applicable. Beginning with little 
more than his natural endowments as his 
capital, he has achieved success in all de- 
partments of life, and his course is worthy 
of emulation by all classes of young men. 
Commencing at the bottom round of the 
ladder with a borrowed capital of $500, he 
is now regarded as one of the wealthiest 
manufacturers of the state. His capacity 
for work has been great and his dispatch of 
business rapid. He is now sixty-four years 
of age, but is still an indefatigable worker 
and always punctual. These characteristics 
have contributed largely to the successful 
achievements of his life. 

In 184S Mr. Heilman was married to Miss 
Mary Jenner. She was born in German) - , 
and came to this country when nine years of 
age. The result of this union is a family of 
nine children. His sons, George P. and 
William A., are prominent business men, the 
former manager of the Heilman Hominv Mills 
and the latter associated with his father in 
the Heilman Machine Works. Mr. Heil- 
man has been a consistent member of St. 
John's Evangelical church since its organ- 
ization in 1851. 

John Sha.nklix, one of those whose 
honored names are imperishably written 
in the historv of southern Indiana, had a 
career that is a notable illustration of 
the possibilities of life in a land of freedom 
to an energetic and indomitable spirit. 
When he was a babe of two years, the 
father, who bore the same name, fell in 
the Irish rebellion of 1798, fighting for the 
liberties of his native land. For this 



orphaned child, born at Carrick Magra, 
count}' Donegal on the 17th of February, 
1796, there surely could have been, in those 
troublous times, no augury of a prosperous 
future. At the tender age of thirteen years, 
after receiving such education as could then 
and there be obtained, he began the battle 
of life as an apprentice in a general store at 
Donegal, and remained there five years. 
Then the story of the new world drew him, 
and on the 5th of August, i8r5, after a six 
weeks' voyage in a sailing vessel, he set foot 
on American soil at New York. His 
apprentice lessons then stood him in good 
stead, and he immediately began an 
engagement, which lasted three years, with 
Samuel & James Lambert, wholesale hard- 
ware merchants on Pearl street, New York. 
The end of this engagement was caused, 
again, by tidings of the promise for young 
men further west. He talked with a hard- 
ware dealer from Frankfort, Ky., a Mr. 
Miles, who invited young Shanklin to 
become a salesman for him, and the offer 
was accepted. At this new pioneer home, a 
great misfortune befell him, only a few days 
after his arrival, an accident which caused the 
amputation of his right foot. This at first 
seemed to force him to abandon business, 
and he essayed teaching, in which he had 
fair success, at Shelbyville and vicinity, for 
about three years. Then he went back to 
trade, entering the extensive auction store 
of Robert J. Ormsby, at Louisville. 
Ormsby proved to be a good friend, and 
established Mr. Shanklin in the dry-goods 
business at Newcastle, Ky. But the 
hopes of the young merchant were 
speedily crushed. Ormsby failed, and a 
nice sense of honor impelled the young man 
to send back to Louisville all the goods he 
had received. He had nothing of com- 
mercial value left but a horse and saddle 
and a good credit. The latter enabled him 

to obtain a stock of goods at Shelbyville, 
Ky., and he established himself again in 
business, this time at Hardenburgh, Ky., 
with one Moffatt as partner. In a few 
months the}' moved to Evansville, beginning 
business life in this city, December 3d, 1823. 
Their stock was too large for the town, and 
the partner, Moffatt, took half the goods to 
Cynthiana. Under the firm name of Shank- 
lin & Moffatt, Mr. Shanklin conducted the 
business at the corner of Locust and Water 
streets until 1827, when the firm was dis- 
solved. Then for five years the firm name 
was Shanklin & Co., changing to Shanklin 
& Johnson in 1837, and afterward to Shank- 
lin & Reilly. Until 1853, the original busi- 
ness stand was occupied. On the first of 
January, 1S72, Mr. Shanklin retired from 
trade, and devoted himself to the care of 
his private affairs, and five years later, on 
the nth day of January, 1877, he was called 
to rest, peacefully closing a long life well 
spent. In business he was active and saga- 
cious. His enterprises were grand in scope 
and remarkably successful. For many years 
he engaged in shipping the agricultural pro- 
ducts of the region, first by flat-boat, and then 
by steamers, to New Orleans, and through- 
out the great region in which his trade ex- 
tended, his name was always untarnished 
and his honor and his credit unquestioned. 
Not only in business was he active, but in 
those enterprises which make men beloved 
of their fellow citizens, in those things which 
work for the general good, and in his atti- 
tude toward the religious and benevolent 
movements of society, he was ready, sym- 
pathetic and open-handed. His estimable 
wife was truly a helpmeet in these functions, 
and to her as the founder of the Sundav- 
school movement in Evansville, the com- 
munity of to-day owes a deep debt of grati- 
tude. Her zealous, self-sacrificing spirit 
will be immortal here, in the good that she 



has done. As time rolls on, the memories 
of these two noble lives will grow fresher 
and sweeter, an inspiration to all earnest 
souls who would achieve honest success for 
themselves, and lend an ever-read} - hand of 
aid and encouragement to others. 

Foster Family. — Judge Matthew Wat- 
son Foster, and his descendants, have occu- 
pied a conspicuous place in the annals of 
Vanderburgh countv from very early times 
to the present. Judge Foster was born in 
Gilesfield, count}' of Durham, England, June 
22, 1S00. When a boy he was apprenticed 
to a bookseller, and through the opportun- 
ities thus afforded, became remarkably well 
informed both upon literary and legal topics. 
Leaving his native country he came to New 
York in 1S12, five years later removed to 
Edwards county, 111., and in 1S19 settled 
in Pike county, Ind. He occupied a prom- 
inent place in the early annals of Pike 
county, and for several years served as as- 
sociate judge of the circuit court. He was 
engaged as a farmer, miller and merchant 
in that county until 1846, when he came to 
Evansville, then attaining sufficient promi- 
nence to claim recognition as a city. Here 
he resided until his death, which occurred 
April 13, 1S63. Upon his arrival in Evans- 
ville he engaged actively in business, and 
immediately took a prominent position as a 
most enterprising, upright, enlightened and 
philanthropic citizen. Concerning every 
public enterprise his advice had great weight. 
The city's railroads, churches, free schools 
and public libraries were all aided by his 
generous heart and enlightened mind. 
When the civil war broke out his patriotism 
early proved itself. Too far advanced in 
life for personal service in the field, he was 
among the first to raise his voice and open 
his purse to secure recruits. Three of his 
sons enlisted in the federal army and ren- 
dered effective and distinguished service. 

Judge Foster was one of the most prominent 
men of the city during his day, and contrib- 
uted largely to the general advancement of 
Evansville. In every relation of life his con- 
duct was characteristic of a true, pure and 
upright man. He was married June 18, 
1829, to Miss Eleanor Johnson, who died 
September 22, 1849, aged thirty-seven years. 
To this union eight children were born. 
In 1 85 1 he was married to Mrs. Sarah 
Kazar, widow of Nelson Kazar, who died in 
California in 1S49. Two children were 
born of the second marriage : William M. 
Foster and Elizabeth Clifford. George 
Foster, eldest son of Judge Foster, now re- 
sides at San Diego, Cal. He was born in 
Pike county, Ind.. about 1831, and from 1855 
to 1863 was wholesale merchant and pork 
packer, doing a large business. Eliza, 
the second daughter of Judge Foster, is the 
wife of Guild Copeland, Esq., a prominent 
banker and broker of Passaic, N. J. 

Col. John W. Foster, the third child, a 
distinguished citizen, soldier and diplomat, 
was born in Pike county, Ind., March 2, 
1836. His early education was obtained in 
the schools of this city. He studied law and 
actively engaged in the practice, but when 
the civil war broke out he left his private 
affairs and went to the front. His service 
commenced with the Twenty-fifth Indiana 
Infantry — the first regiment that went out 
as a distinctively Vanderburgh county or- 
ganization. He was commissioned major, 
and April 30, 1862, was promoted to lieu- 
tenant-colonel. On the following August 
4, he left the regiment to take command of 
the Sixty-fifth Indiana Infantry, as colonel 
of which organization he served until No- 
vember 10, 1864, when he was induced to 
resign because of physical disability. Re- 
cuperating his health somewhat, on May 21, 
1864, he was commissioned colonel of the 
One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Indiana 



Infantry, and served through the campaign 
of that year, being mustered out with his 
regiment on November 10, 1864. Returning 
home he occupied a prominent place as a 
citizen, and in 1866, became interested in 
the Evansville fournal, as one of its editors 
and proprietors. In 1868, he was appointed 
postmaster of Evansville by Gen. Grant, 
which office he resigned later to enter the 
diplomatic service of the government. As 
minister of the United States to Mexico, 
Russia and Spain, he has rendered distin- 
guished service. Throughout his career he 
has been a staunch republican, a wise and 
judicious politician. His abilities are such 
that he was sent abroad by President Cleve- 
land to attend to particular matters of 
state, requiring the highest degree of skilled 
diplomacy for their proper settlement. He 
now resides in Washington, D. C, practic- 
ing international law, but is deeply inter- 
ested in the welfare of Evansville. He is a 
member of Farragut Post, G. A. R. He 
was married to Miss Mary Park McPherson, 
to whom four children have been born. 

Eleanor, the second daughter and fourth 
child of Judge Foster, was born in Peters- 
burgh, and died in Little Rock, Ark. • 

Alexander H. Foster, a leading citizen of 
Evansville, was born in Petersburgh, Ind., 
March 1, 1838. He was educated in the 
State University of Indiana. In July, 1861, 
he entered the federal army as regimental 
quartermaster of the Twenty-fifth In- 
diana Infantry, and served two years. Later, 
he was engaged in the wholesale grocery 
business in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Memphis, 
Tenn. He returned to Evansville in 1866, 
and engaged in the pork packing business. 
He served three years as a member of the 
Evansville city council, and on January 11, 
1888, was appointed metropolitan police com- 
missioner of Evansville. In 1S82, he began 
business as a grain broker, and has continued 

the same up to present. Mr. Foster was 
married April 11, 1861, to Martha Hopkins, 
daughter of the late Hon. John S. Hopkins, 
one of the leading men of the city and state, 
and to this union four children have been 
born. John H., an attorney at law in this 
city; Frank, bank clerk in First National 
Bank; George, assistant city assessor, and 

James H. Foster, youngest son of Judge 
M. W. and Eleanor Foster, was born in 
Pike county, Ind., March 12, 1844. He 
was graduated from the State University at 
Bloomington, Ind., in 1864, receiving the 
degree of A. M. and delivering the master's 
oration. A few months before his gradua- 
tion he enlisted in the One Hundred and 
Thirty-sixth Indiana Infantry, and served 
with that regiment until mustered out 
in September, 1S64. For a time after 
the war he was engaged as a wholesale 
grocer in Cincinnati, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; 
and New Orleans, La. He remained in the 
south until 1884, engaged until 1S72 in 
mercantile pursuits, and later as a planter in 
Mississippi. Coming to Evansville, he was 
elected city auditor in 1S86, and was re- 
elected in 1888. He is an efficient and pop- 
ular officer. He was married in 1868 to 
Miss Retta Riggs, daughter of Judge 
Riggs, of Sullivan county, Ind. Of this 
union three children have been born : Riggs, 
who died when twelve years of age; Guild 
C. and Matthew W. Mr. Foster is a re- 
publican in politics, and a member of the 
following fraternities: F. & A. M., K. of P., 
K. of H. and G. A. R. 

Samuel Orr, an early merchant of Evans- 
ville, and prominently identified with the 
best interests of the city throughout a long 
and honorable career, was one of the enter- 
prising, benevolent and Christian citizens, to 
whom the city is indebted for much of its 
wealth, prosperity, and high commercial and 

L. cJ^^-, 



social standing. He was born in the village 
of Newtownards, county Down, Ireland, 
in 1810. He married, in his native country, 
Miss Martha Lowry, and in 1833 the young 
couple came to America. Landing in Balti- 
more, they proceeded thence to Pittsburgh, 
where Mr. Orr obtained employment in the 
store of a Mr. Fairman. His abilitv, integrity, 
and industry soon made for him a reputation. 
Attracting the attention of the Messrs. 
Laughlin, of that citv, the}' induced him, in 
1835, to come to Evansville in their interest, 
where they began a pork and general mer- 
chandise business. In the following year 
he became a partner in the concern, and for 
many years, with the Laughlins, carried on 
a wholesale grocery and iron trade. In 
1855 the business was separated into two 
departments. In the grocery department, 
his sop, James L. Orr, and Matthew Dalzell, 
were admitted as partners, and under the firm 
name of Orr, Dalzell & Co., business was 
transacted until the beginning of the war. 
The iron department was carried on in the 
name of Samuel Orr until 1866, when James 
Davidson and James L. Orr were admitted 
to an interest, and the firm style was changed 
to Samuel Orr & Co., by which it con- 
tinued until the change occasioned by the 
death of Mr-. Orr. It is one of the oldest 
and largest iron houses in the west. Mr. 
Orr's integrity and high character permitted ! 
only the use of the most honorable methods 
in the conduct of all his business affairs, and 
because of this the reputation of the house 
for fair dealing has never been questioned. 
Its trade is large, extending in all directions 
throughout the surrounding country, and 
at all times it has been considered one 
of the soundest concerns in the city. 
The career of Samuel Orr as a business \ 
man was not confined to the house he 
founded. The imprint of his individuality 
is found on nearly all the great enterprises 

of the city, for he was enterprising, pro- 
gressive and public spirited. He was one 
of the incorporators of what is now the 
Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Corn- 
pan}'; for many years was a director in the 
Evansville branch of the Bank of the State 
of Indiana, and one of the original directors 
of the Evansville Nationa' Bank (the suc- 
cessor of the old State Bank), which, as 
reorganized, is known as the Old National 
Bank. When the German National Bank 
secured its charter he was made its presi- 
dent and held the important position as its 
chief executive until his death. This brief 
outline of his business life shows his capacity 
and ability, but it was not in business alone 
that the best traits of his character displayed 
themselves. His kindness of heart, liber- 
ality and pure every-day conduct drew to 
him a vast number of friends, and probably 
no on eever lived in Evansville who was 
known and beloved by a greater number of 
people in all classes. His charity was pro- 
verbial. He used to say: "I love to help 
worthy objects. I love to give for the good 
it does me, as well as the good it does those 
receiving." His hand was ever ready to 
help the needy who were worthy objects of 
charity. He was a prominent member of 
the Walnut Street Presbyterian church 
and carried his religion into all the affairs of 
every-day life. The handsome parsonage 
of that church is a memorial to him and his 
wife, erected by a loving son and daughter. 
His was a long life of noble effort, and his 
death, which occurred February 8, 1882, 
was by all regarded as an irreparable loss. 
Mrs. Martha Lowry Orr was born in 
Ireland, and died in this city October 9, 
1882, after a long life of usefulness, full of 
good and charitable acts. She was a true 
Christian, exemplifying in her life the ideals 
of perfect womanliness. Mr. and Mrs. Orr 
were the parents of three children, two of 



whom survive, Mrs. Martha J. Bayard and 
James L. Orr. 

An illustrious name in the history of 
Evansville is that of John Ingle. For three 
generations the name has been borne by 
men of celebrity in their time. The first 
John Ingle that Evansville knew arrived here 
from England on the first Monday in August, 
1818. He was born in Somersham, Hunt- 
ingdon, in 1788, where he had been raised 
to the career of a farmer and was in good 
circumstances until the close of the war with 
Napoleon of the allied powers. Having a 
strong belief in America, he had come to 
the new land. After his arrival at Evans- 
ville he chartered a wagon and proceeded 
to Princeton, where he purchased a house. 
Soon after, he returned to Vanderburgh 
county and bought a farm in Scott township, 
at the place now known as Inglefield. He 
was appointed postmaster by President 
Monroe and retained that office for over 
forty-five years. He was a hospitable gen- 
tleman, and "John Ingle's cabin"' became 
known as a place where the latch-string was 
out for the itinerant preacher and the way- 
faring emigrant. Plain and simple in his 
habits, he lived to his eighty-sixth year. The 
eldest son, John Ingle, Jr., was born in Som- 
ersham, England, January 29, 1812. He 
attended for some time a "dame school,"' 
taught by an elderly lady who tried to keep 
the children out of mischief. After coming 
to this country, he was a student for a year 
and a half in the common schools of Prince- 
ton, and at home read over and over the 
small but select library of his father, while 
the wolves howled about the clearing. He 
applied himself to cabinet-making, and after 
learning his trade, started south in 1833 and 
first worked as a journeyman cabinet-maker 
at Vicksburg at the time of the great cholera 
excitement. He went on to New Orleans, 
worked there eight weeks, and then by a 

steerage passage reached Philadelphia. For 
two weeks he walked the streets of the 
Quaker City seeking work, and no doubt 
attracting much attention with his hog-skin 
cap and clothing of Kentucky jeans. Finally 
he found employment, and then not satisfied 
with ten hours of labor daily, he managed 
to read law of evenings in an office where 
George R. Graham, afterward editor of 
Graham's Magazine, and Charles J. Peter- 
son, since publisher of Peterson's Magazine, 
were also students. Their preceptor, Thomas 
Armstrong, Jr., since celebrated in his pro- 
fession, was president of a debating society, 
in which John Ingle became noted for his 
skill in defending the unpopular side of many 
a knotty question. After three years of 
reading, he was admitted to the bar, in 
March, 1838. He came to Evansville and 
opened an office with Hon. James Lockhart, 
which partnership was dissolved a year later 
and he became associated with Charles I. 
Battell. His career as a lawyer was highly 
creditable to him, and he obtained a leading 
position. In 1S46 he and E. Q. Wheeler 
became law partners, and in 1849 Asa 
Iglehart was admitted as a junior member. 
In 1850 Mr. Ingle turned away from the 
practice of law and devoted himself to the 
Evansville & Crawfordsville railroad en- 
terprise, which had been started by Judge 
Lockhart, Judge Jones, himself, and others. 
Judge Hall was afterward associated with 
the movement. That was a gloomy period 
for Evansville; the town was poor and un- 
promising in appearance, the canal had 
proven an utter failure, and something must 
be done for' the town. Mr. Ingle was one 
of those who inspired the railroad movement 
with life and energy, and made it a success, 
by his indomitable courage and perseverance, 
in spite of unpromising surroundings. He 
was an invaluable superintendent, and as 
president of the company he displayed finan- 



cial and executive talent of a rare degree of 
development. He was married in 1S42 at 
Madison, Ind., to Miss Isabella C. Davidson, 
daughter of William Davidson, formerly of 
Scotland. Seven children were the fruit of 
this union. On account of failing health 
he resigned the railroad presidency in 
1873, and his death occurred October 
7, 1875. One of the far-reaching deeds 
of John Ingle, Jr., was the establishment, in 
1866, of the firm of John Ingle & Co., miners 
and dealers in coal. The products of this 
famous firm are indeed the "black diamonds" 
in the crown of Evansville. Their business 
has assumed enormous proportions, and un- 
der the sagacious management of the third 
generation of the Ingle family, the head of 
the firm being John Ingle, son of John 
Ingle, Jr., there seems to be no limit to the 
future of the business. The firm possesses 
542 acres of coal near the city limits, known 
as the "Ingleside" mine. From this are 
extracted annually 900,000 bushels of coal 
and $55,000 paid out annually in wages. 

Major Albert C. Rosencranz, member 
of the city council and manager of the Heil- 
man Plow Works, was born in Baerwalde near 
the city of Berlin, Prussia. October 26, 
1842. His father, C. F. Rosencranz, a 
watchmaker by trade, was a man of promi- 
nence in his native village, and took an ac- 
tive part in the German revolution of 1848. 
Having taken up arms against the king, he 
was obliged to leave his native country, and 
in 1850, emigrating to America, settled near 
Evansville. About a year later he located 
in the city and resumed his business as a 
watchmaker. He returned to Europe in 
1867 and died twenty years later. His wife, 
whose maiden name was Dorothea Nohse, 
died in 1884. Albert was educated in pri- 
vate schools, and at the age of twelve years 
learned the trade of a watchmaker under his 
father's directions, at the same time pursuing 

his studies. When the civil war broke out 
he was engaged in his father's shop. In 
1S61 he aided in the organization of Com- 
pany A, First Regiment Indiana Legion, 
and upon the muster in of the company be- 
came orderly sergeant. In July, 1862, he 
recruited Company F, Fourth Indiana Cav- 
alry, and was commissioned first lieutenant, 
and in 1863 was promoted to the captaincy. 
His first service in the field was as body- 
guard to General Ebenezer Dumont, a Mex- 
ican officer of prominence. He followed the 
fortunes of his regiment, and was engaged 
in several important battles, notably among 
the number, Chickamauga. In March, 

1864, the regiment was ordered to join 
Sherman on his famous march to the sea. 
Near Buzzard's Roost the brigade to which 
he was attached, while making a recon- 
noissance in front of the left flank of Sher- 
man's army, was attacked by the enemy and 
lost heavily. Eight officers were lost. 
Capt. Rosencranz was slightly wounded and 
captured; he was confined in rebel prisons 
at Macon and Savannah, Ga., Charleston 
and Columbia, S. C, and Charlotte, N. C. 
March 1, 1865, he was paroled, and on May 
3 following, was exchanged. He rejoined 
his command and was mustered out June 29, 

1865. During the winter of 1863-4, 
he had at times been in command of the 
regiment, and soon after his release from 
prison was commissioned major, his com- 
mission being dated May 1, 1S65. 
Returning to Evansville he succeeded his 
father in business, in which he remained 
until 1868. In that year he was married to 
Miss Mary, daughter of Hon. Wm. Heil- 
man, and shortly afterward took charge of 
the office business of the Heilman Machine 
Works. In 1873, his health became im- 
paired by overwork. On this account he 
went to Missouri and engaged in stock- 
raising, in which he was highly successful. 



Losing both his children by sudden death, 
he disposed of his interests there in 1876 
and returned to Evansville. On the 1st of 
the following January he took charge of the 
works of the Heilman-Urie Plow Company. 
In 1878 Mr. Urie retired, since which time 
Maj. Rosencranz has been in exclusive con- 
trol of the business. His executive ability 
and his close attention to business have made 
his management eminently successful. The 
company is now manufacturing chilled plows, 
in addition to their steel goods, for which 
patents were obtained in 1888, and to meet 
the extensive demand the capacity of the 
works has been doubled. Maj. Rosencranz 
has not confined his abilities and energies 
to the prosecution of his own business enter- 
prises, but has taken a proper interest in all 
matters pertaining to the public good. In 
March, 1S87, when the question of settling 
the city debt in some way was seriously 
disturbing the public mind, the city council 
appointed an advisory committee of promi- 
nent citizens to consider the subject. Maj. 
Rosencranz was placed on this committee 
and took a leading part in the discussions 
engaged in. His capacity for handling im- 
portant public questions was at once recog- 
nized, and in April following he was elected 
to the council from the Fifth ward. Upon 
the organization of the council he was made 
chairman of the finance committee. Here 
his skill as a financier soon showed itself, 
and he did much valuable service in shaping 
financial interests, and especially in making 
satisfactory arrangements for the payment 
of the city debt. He has also served as 
chairman of the water-works committee 
and in other important relations. His career 
as a public officer is beyond reproach; he 
performs every duty fearlessly in the man- 
ner suggested by his conscience and judg- 
ment; he places himself under obligations 
to no man or party of men, and acts always 

for the public good. In politics he is a 
staunch republican, but by no means a ward 
politician in the common acceptance of that 
term. He is a prominent member of Farra- 
gut Post, No. 27, G. A. R. 

Emerson B. Morgan, a member of the 
firm of Mackey, Nisbet & Co., the largest 
wholesale dry goods merchants in Evans- 
ville, was born in Springfield, Mass., Feb- 
ruary 19, 1844. His early life was spent in 
Meriden, Conn. In the public schools of 
that place and at Norwalk, in the same state, 
he received his education. When about 
sixteen years of age he went to New York 
city, and for five years was engaged as a 
book-keeper. In January, 1S65, he came to 
Evansville with Isaac Keen, a prominent and 
well-known citizen of this place, and took a 
posi^'on in the dry goods house of that gen- 
tleman. He entered the house of Mackey, 
Nisbet & Co. as a book-keeper in 1868, and 
seven years later was admitted to the firm 
as a partner. His excellent business quali- 
fications have made him an influential fac- 
tor in working out the great degree of suc- 
cess achieved by this enterprising house. In 
social as well as business circles he enjoys 
an enviable prominence. As a member of 
the order of F. & A. M. he has attained the 
degrees of templarism. July 1, 1869, he 
was married to Miss Kate M. Laughlin, a 
native of Evansville, and the daughter of 
James Laughlin, a prominent man here in 
his day. 

L. M. Baird, produce and commission 
merchant at No. 220 Upper Water street, 
was born in Spencer count}-, Ky., Septem- 
ber 22, 1831. His father, Stephen Baird, a 
Virginian, early moved to Kentucky, there 
married Mrs. Sarah Pierson, nee McDonald, 
a native of that state, owned a plantation 
worked by slave labor, and was prosperous. 
Selling his farm, he distributed some of his 
slaves among his children, took some to 


IS 7 

Vigo count}-, Ind., whither he moved, and 
gave them their freedom. Purchasing a 
tract of land near Terre Haute, he settled 
there in 1833, and remained until his death, 
which occurred six years later. Seven years 
after his father's death, at the age of fifteen, 
the subject of this mention accepted employ- 
ment as a clerk, and remained so engaged 
in various positions until October, 185 1, 
when, yielding to the excitement caused by 
the rich discoveries of gold on the Pacific 
coast, in company with Robert N. Gilmore, he 
he went to California by New York and the 
Isthmus. Returning to Terre Haute in the 
spring of 1853, he entered the clothing 
store of Samuel Mack, where he remained 
until the beginning of the next year, when 
he embarked in the clothing business for 
himself at Worthington, Green county, Ind. 
At this place, on Christmas day, 1856, he 
was united in marriage to Miss D. H. 
Blount, who, two years later, passed away, 
leaving a little daughter six months old. In 
May, 1S59, he was married a second time, 
to Miss Ann E. Blount, a sister of his first 
wife. It was in April, 1861, that he moved 
to Evansville. After traveling about a year 
in the interest of Roelker, Blount & Co., he 
accepted a situation as book-keeper with 
W. M. Aikman & Co., at 220 Upper Water 
street, remaining in that capacity until the 
summer of 1865, when the firm failed in 
business, Mr. Baird buying the stock, etc. 
In September, 1865, he formed a copartner- 
ship with George H. Start, under the firm 
name of Baird & Start, which was dissolved 
after nine years of successful operation. 
For fourteen years past the business has 
been continued by Mr. Baird alone, thus 
making more than twenty-six years of occu- 
pancy of the same building, first as book- 
keeper and then as proprietor. Industry, 
integrity and wise management have been 
the chief factors in building his prosperity. 

The fruits of his efforts embrace, not only 
the commodities purchasable with money, 
but also the more valued comforts which a 
good reputation and a high standing in the 
community afford. In politics he is an ar- 
dent republican, always ably championing 
the principles of that party. During the 
campaign of 188S, as a clear and forcible 
card-writer, he contributed largely to the 
success of the triumphant party. He is a 
prominent member of the Masonic order, 
having attained the degree of Knight Tem- 
plar. Mr. Baird's second wife died in Jan- 
uary, 1873. She was the mother of nine 
children, five of whom died in infancy. On 
December 25, 1873, ms marriage to Mrs. 
Mary Peterson occurred. She was the 
mother of two children at the time of his 
marriage, since which six more have been 

Capt. Charles H. Myeriioff was born 
at Cincinnati, Ohio, March 10, 1842. His 
mother dying when he was but six j'ears 
old he was sent to live with an uncle 
residing on a farm in Jackson county, Ind., 
with whom, and with John J. Cummins, a 
lawyer of the same county, he remained 
until 1856, when he returned to live with 
his father who had again married. His 
father's death occurring two years later, he 
hired to a gardener near Newport, Ky., but 
soon thereafter moved to Grandview, Ind., 
where he was occupied as a laborer. He 
made a trip to Vicksburg, Miss., on a flat- 
boat, and in 1859 started out in a sail-boat 
with three others to seek adventure and 
employment. A storm drove them to 
shore near Hickman, Ky., where they took 
possession of a cabin, and for so doing were 
set upon by a planter and his hounds. 
They were thought to be hard characters 
and were roundly abused by the irate 
planter, but when he learned the truth he 
was profuse in his apologies and offered 



the men employment. The next morning 
all went to work in the woods, and while 
absent the cabin burned to the ground, by 
which mishap all their clothes were lost. 
Young Myerhoff was sent to interview the 
planter, who furnished what money they 
needed, declining to take a note for the 
amount, considering the young man's ver- 
bal promise to pay sufficient. After some 
hard work in the woods and in the employ 
of a store boatman, the young man retracing 
his steps reached Evansville, at the time 
carrying all his possessions in a bandanna. 
His brother, John H. Myerhoff, was 
foreman in the Armstrong Furniture Factoiy, 
and here he obtained employment, remaining 
until the tocsin of war was sounded in 1861. 
He attended the meeting in the old Cres- 
cent City hall, when the two first home 
guard companies were organized. His 
name was entered on Gen. Blythe's com- 
pany roll, but when Blythe H3'nes moved 
down the aisle rapidly, vaulted upon the 
platform and announced that Dr. Noah S. 
Thompson had received a commission as 
captain and orders to organize a volunter 
company to start for Washington, D. C, at 
once, to defend the capital, young Myerhoff 
arose from his seat and asked that his name 
be taken from the roll of the home guard. 
In a few minutes he presented himself to 
Capt. Thompson, offering to enlist, but was 
refused because he was too young and too 
frail. He persisted, however, and after an 
examination, in which he showed a familiar- 
ity with militaty tactics, was accepted, being 
the first accepted man in the first company 
that left Evansville for the war. While 
company drill was being conducted in 
Klausman's hall he was armed with a 
broomstick and detailed as guard at the 
front door of the building. His general 
bearing and sternness made such an 
mpression on the boys that when he 

returned to the city as a first lieutenant in 
1863, on recruiting service, they remem- 
bered him as the man who kept them from 
seeing the first soldiers in company drill. 
He was in all the battles participated in by 
the Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, except 
those fought while he was on recruiting 
service or in prison. He was appointed 
corporal; was promoted on Cheat 
Mountain to sergeant; to orderly ser- 
geant October 1, 1862; to first lieu- 
tenant May 7, 1863; was in command of 
the company in the famous charge of Car- 
roll's brigade on east Cemetery hill at 
Gettysburg; had command of Co. H in the 
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, 
North Anna and Cold Harbor. Of the 
twenty-three that he started with on the 
4th of May, 1864, only two were left to 
leave the works when the regiment's term 
of service expired on the 7th of June, 1864. 
Capt. Mj-erhoff was seriously wounded 
while in front of his men at Cold Harbor — 
the ball being still in his body — and was 
sent to hospital, where he effected some 
heroic reforms, for which he received the 
thanks of every patient. His regiment wai 
mustered out long before he was able to 
leave the hospital. When at length he was 
discharged, he came to Evansville, and soon 
became interested in a saw-mill at Grand- 
view. But this work was too heavy for him 
because of his wounds, and he entered the 
employ of Philip Decker, who was then 
sutler of the Tenth Tennessee Infantry, sta- 
tioned at Nashville. While attempting to 
go to Nashville he was arrested four times 
on grave charges, but he was not long de- 
layed. He remained with Mr. Decker as a 
clerk until the war was over. Returning 
to Evansville, he entered the Commercial 
College of Jeremiah Behme and studied 
book-keeping. In 1866 he entered the em- 
ployment of Keller & White as book-keeper, 



and in the next year went with Boetticher, 
Kellogg & Co. in the same capacity. Here 
he remained for nearly twenty-one years, 
and is now a member of the firm of Harri- 
son, Goodwin & Co., proprietors of the 
Evansville Stove Works. He is also sec- 
retary and treasurer of the Evansville Union 
Stock Yards Company. His civic promi- 
nence consists principally in his connection 
with drill organizations. He was elected 
three times successively as captain of the 
Evansville Light Guard, a prosperous organ- 
ization during his captaincy; was elected 
captain of Orion Drill Corps, K. of P., and 
was so thorough as an officer that the corps 
took three prizes, and he himself was 
awarded a magnificent gold medal as first 
prize for excellency as a commander at St. 
Louis, Mo., August 25, 1880. His drill 
companies, Red Shirts and Zouaves, in 
political processions, have attracted much 
favorable notice. As chief marshal of sev- 
eral large processions he has acquitted him- 
self with credit. He was on the staffs of 
National Commanders Kountz and Fair- 
child, of the G. A. R.; district delegate to 
the National Encampment of the G. A. R. 
at St. Louis, in 1887; was strongly urged 
for department commander of the G. A. R., 
in 188S; was the second commander of Far- 
ragut Post, and is now serving as officer of 
the day. Capt. Myerhoff was married De 
cember 1, 1S67, to Miss Jennie, daughter of 
Alexander Sharn, of Evansville. Two chil 
dren have been born of this union, as fol- 
lows: Carl S., born September 22, 1868, 
and Zulma Lois, born October 17, 1888. 
Misses Emma Wollner and Fannie Sharro 
have made their home with them for years 
Hiram E. Read was born at Princeton, 
Caldwell county, Ky., February 9, 1823. 
When he was three years of age his parents 
removed to Logan county, Ky., where they 
purchased a farm of several hundred acres, 

on which Hiram was reared, working with 
fifty or sixty negroes belonging to the family. 
In the fall and winter months he attended a 
country school. In a few years thereafter 
his father, DeGrafton Read, who was born 
in Butler county, Ky., in 1802, and his 
mother, whose maiden name was Eliza May 
Hunter, of Logan count}-, Ky., born in 1805, 
built what was very familiarly known as the 
Rockspring male and female academy, and 
in 1834 purchased White Hall in Russellville, 
establishing a female academy, which had a 
large patronage from many of the southern 
states. DeGrafton Read was known in his 
day as a great educator, being thoroughly 
versed in general literature and the classics. 
His death occurred in 1838, after which Mrs. 
Read conducted the academy until her death 
in 1841. They were the parents of eight 
children — three boys and five girls — Hiram 
being the eldest. At the academy conducted 
by his parents, facilities were afforded Hiram 
for obtaining a good English education. 
Later he was sent to the seminary taught 
by Prof. John P. French, in Russellville, 
where he completed his education, becoming 
thoroughly versed in the Greek and Latin 
classics. In 1839 he came to Evansville, and 
obtained a situation as salesman, with Robert 
Barnes, Esq., one of the principal dry 
goods merchants of the then flourishing 
town of Evansville, and remained with him 
until the death of his mother in 184 1. He 
then went to Owensboro, Ky., to take charge 
of his younger brothers and sisters and bought 
a farm near that place. The farm was 
worked by negroes, and Hiram and a sister, 
Emma, taught school until the girls wen; 
nearly all married. He returned to Evans- 
ville in 1850, and taught an English school 
in the old Methodist church on Locust street. 
While 'so engaged, one day he whipped a 
boy for disobedience and idleness. At re- 
cess the boy went home and informed his 



uncle of the fact. The uncle came at once 
to demand an apology, instead of receiving 
which he was hustled into the street and 
badlv beaten by the indignant school-master. 
Two law-suits were immediately brought 
against Mr. Read, one for whipping the man, 
and one for assault and battery on the boy. 
He paid the fines and costs in both cases, 
returned to the school-room, rang the bell 
"for books," gave each pupil an affec- 
tionate good-bye and dismissed school for 
the last time. Thus ended his career as a 
teacher. He then accepted a situation with 
J. H. Morgan, Esq., a retail dry goods mer- 
chant. The firm soon thereafter became 
Morgan & Keen, and later Morgan, Keen 
& Preston, wholesale dry goods and notions, 
and Mr. Read remained with them as prin- 
cipal salesman. The manner of his leaving 
the house was characteristic of the man, who 
never allows his rights to be trampled on. 
One day Mr. Read had shown a customer 
through the stock, when one of the propri- 
etors undertook to sell him what he wanted. 
Mr. Read claimed the customer and insisted 
on waiting on him ; words passed, Mr. Read 
demanded his rights, was denied, then 
walked to the desk and asked for settlement. 
He left the house, and in thirty minutes had 
engaged his services to Merritt, Field & Co., 
then the largest wholesale dry goods and 
notion house in the city, at double his former 
salary, and afterward sold the customer whom 
he had shown through the stock of Mor- 
gan, Keen & Preston. Two )-ears later Mr. 
Read accepted a situation in the large dry 
goods jobbing house of Conkling, Barnes 
& Shephard, of New York, where he had 
a large and profitable trade. In a short 
time Merritt, Field & Co. offered him the 
same salary he was receiving in New York, 
with an assurance of an interest in the 
house at the expiration of two years. He 
accepted the offer and returned to Evans- 

ville. At the end of two years with J. S. 
Jaquess and H. C. Gwathney, he bought out 
the house in which he was employed and 
later sold his interest to his partners. The 
firm of Read & Burrow was then formed 
for transacting a whol esale boot and shoe 
business. This house was succeeded by 
Read & Lawrence, and this by Morgan, 
Read & Co. During the war the firm sold 
annually between $500,000 and $600,000 
worth of boots, shoes and hats. At 
the close of the war a large stock of goods 
was on hand and the styles had changed. It 
became imperative to dispose of the stock 
as speedily as possible. For this purpose 
the house of Read, Morgan & Co. was 
established in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1866. 
After disposing of his interests in Cincinnati, 
Mr. Read returned to Evansville and re- 
entered the old firm of Morgan, Read & 
Co. He began then to enlarge his opera- 
tions, and for a time w r as engaged in buying 
leaf tobacco in Evansville, Louisville, and 
Paducah, his purchases in the three mar- 
kets often amounting to $10,000 per 
da}'. It was often said then that " it would 
take the largest bank in Evansville to run 
Hi Read." The closing of the Prussian 
and French ports to export tobacco during 
the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, caused 
a verv heavy decline in tobacco that 
entailed a heavy loss on him, which was 
added to by heavy losses through the 
bankruptcies of his customers. He 
tried hard to extricate himself from embar- 
rassment by selling between $75,000 and 
$100,000 worth of valuable real estate. 
Finally he sold out his interest to his partners, 
they obligating themselves to assume the 
indebtedness of the firm. He then accepted 
a situation as salesman in the wholesale dry 
goods house of Jaquess, Hudspeth & Co. for 
one year. At the expiration of that time 
he opened a real estate office in Evansville 



and has so continued since except for about 
three years, when he was disabled by a 
stroke of paralysis. The character of the 
man, his progressive spirit, his activity and 
boldness, his honesty and philosophical 
acceptance of reverses, are shown in this 
narrative of the chief events of his 
career. His efforts for the public good 
illustrate another important phase of his 
character. In 1880 a tax league was 
formed by the business men of Evansville 
to check the lavish expenditure of the 
public funds by the board of county 
commissioners. Mr. Read was appointed 
by the league to watch the actions of the 
board and stop questionable allowances. It 
was not an uncommon occurrence for two 
or three injunctions to be taken out daily. 
As a result of his watchfulness many 
improper allowances were prevented and 
much money saved to the public. Mr. 
Read is now sixty-five years of age and 
seems as buoyant and as ambitious as a 
young man, to sell property and in every 
way to keep pace with this progressive 
age. He has used all his influence to make 
Evansville a railroad center, and every effort 
to advance the general good has found in 
him a ready, willing and influential sup- 
porter. Mr. Read was once passing around 
a petition with the view of getting 100 free- 
holders to sign it, asking the city council to 
order an election to take stock in the Peoria, 
Decatur & Evansville Railroad to the 
amount of $125,000. He accosted a prom- 
inent citizen and asked for his signature. 
"No!" said the man. "I would like to 
shoot about half a dozen men who have run 
us in debt so for railroads." " I hope," said 
Read, " you would let me pass." " No, 
sir, I would shoot you the first man," was 
the quick reply. He is perfectly alive to 
the interests of Evansville, and fondly hopes 
to see 100,000 inhabitants of the city before 

he gives up business. Mr. Read has been 
married three times. In 1S46 Miss Torisa 
A. Jones became his wife. She died in 
1853, leaving three sons. In 1856 he was 
married to Miss Angie A. Combs, of Evans- 
ville, Ind. Of this union thirteen children 
were born. The death of his second wife 
occurred in 1876. His marriage to Miss 
Virginia Conn, of Evansville, was solem- 
nized in 1S78. 

Laban M. Rice, one of the leading cot- 
ton and tobacco commission merchants of 
Evansville, doing business at No. 414 Water 
street, is a native of Webster county, Ky., 
born March 6, 1838, and is the son of James 
R. and Elizabeth (Nichols) Rice. His father 
was born in North Carolina in 179A ar) d 
when a young man emigrated to Kentucky, 
settling in what is now Webster county, 
where he was engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits until his death, which occurred in 1852. 
! His mother was born in Caldwell county, 
Ky., in 1807, and was the daughter of Noah 
Nichols, a Virginian who moved to Ken- 
tucky in the pioneer era. She died in 1873, 
after a long and useful life. Their family 
consisted of eight children, four of whom 
survive. Laban M. Rice was reared on his 
father's farm and was forced to depend on 
the imperfect neighborhood schools of early 
days for his mental training. Howeve 1 ", 
possessing studjous habits, he obtained a 
fair education. When the civil war was 
commenced his sympathies were with the 
south, and acting upon the honest convic- 
tions of his conscience he enlisted as a private 
in the First Kentucky Cavalry and for about 
fifteen months served faithfully with that 
organization. Returning home after the 
war, he engaged in merchandise at Dixon, 
Ky., for about ten years. During that 
period he was also engaged as a banker and 
dealer in leaf tobacco. In October, 1878, 
he located in Evansville and began the 



cotton and tobacco commission business with 
the firm of Rice, Givens & Headier, of 
which he was the senior member. In 1SS5 
Messrs. Givens & Headier retired, since 
which time Mr. Rice has conducted the 
business alone, being ably assisted by his sons. 
His sagacity and the honorable methods 
pursued in the conduct of his business have 
won for him a high rank among the able 
merchants of the city. Mr. Rice has been 
married three times. First, in November, 
1S60, to Ann E. Wilson, of Webster county, 
Ky., who died in August, 1861, leaving one 
child, John T. In March, 1866, he was 
united in marriage to Mattie M. Lacy, of 
Providence, Ky., who died February 15, 
18S2, leaving five children as follows: Her- 
schel T., Lacy L., C. G., Goldie N., and 
Cottie M., all of whom are living. In April, 
1883, he was married to Goldie N. Lacv 
of this city, to whom one child, now deceased, 
has been born. 

W. B. Hinkle, senior member of the 
firm of Hinkle, Nisbet & Co., the largest 
wholesale boot and shoe house in Evans- 
ville, if not in the state, was born in Robert- 
son county, middle Tennessee, September 4, 
1838, and is the son of Peter and Doxey 
(Tate) Hinkle, both Tennesseans. He was 
reared and educated in his native state. 
Coming to Evansville in 1863, he entered the 
old dry goods store of Archer, Mackev & 
Co., and for eleven years remained in that 
house, during all the changes in the firm. 
In 1874 ne engaged in the wholesale boot 
and shoe business, being a member of the 
firm of Minor, Dickey & Hinkle, which 
continued for three years, when Mr. Minor 
withdrew. The business was then con- 
ducted for two jears by the firm of Dickev 
& Hinkle, when Mr. Dickey withdrew, and 
the firm became that of Hinkle, Nisbet 
& Co., continuing so to the present. Mr. 
Hinkle is a member of the Business Men's 

Association, in which he is at present a 
director. Coming to Evansville a poor 
man, he began with no capital, save his 
ability as a thorough business man, 
and has passed through the ordeal success- 
fully, being now one of the substantial and 
influential men of Evansville. In 1866 he 
was united in marriage to Miss Willie 
Eveas, of Greenville, Ky. To this union 
three children have been born, as follows: 
Clarence L., born in 1867, now traveling 
salesman for his father; Mary L., born in 
1877, and David M.,born in 1879. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hinkle are members of Trinity Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. 

Lewis Seitz, of the firm of Bement & 
Seitz, wholesale grocers, was born in Mt. 
Carmel, 111., November 23, 1S48, and is the 
son of William and Mary (Schafer) Seitz. 
He received a common school education in 
the schools of his native place, and at the 
age of eighteen came to Evansville, where 
he has since resided. His first engagement 
here was with the house of Venemann & 
Behme, well-known wholesale grocers, 
where he was employed as book-keeper. 
He continued so engaged until 1S80, when 
the firm of Behme & Seitz was formed by 
his admission to partnership with Anthony 
Behme, who had previously purchased the 
interest of Mr. Venemann. This firm con- 
tinued with an annually increasing business 
until 1887, when the interest of Mr. Behme 
was disposed of to C. R. Bement, the style 
of the firm becoming Bement & Seitz. For 
more than twenty years Mr. Seitz has been 
identified with this house, first as book- 
keeper and later as proprietor, in every ca- 
pacity giving faithful and valuable service. 
The house is one of the oldest in the city, 
and through all the vicissitudes of trade has 
maintained a steady advancement, its trans- 
actions increasing year by year, and its po- 
sition in the commercial world growing 



more prominent. Actual merit and con- 
tinued fair dealing have been the main fac- 
tors in the achievement of its success, and 
the reputation of the house is established on 
a firm basis. It now ranks as one of the 
solid institutions of Evansville, and probably 
does the largest wholesale grocery business 
in the city. Its trade extends through In- 
diana, Kentucky, Illinois, and other west- 
ern and southern states. Public-spirited, 
energetic and liberal, Mr. Seitz is a highly 
respected and honored citizen in all the 
various walks of life, and his able and ju- 
dicious management has contributed largely 
to the success of the house, which has be- 
come justly celebrated as one of the most 
enterprising and complete establishments in 
the southwest. In 187 1 Mr. Seitz was 
married to Miss Allie T. Fuller, whose 
death occurred December 8, 1888, at the 
age of 37 years. Of this union three chil- 
dren were born, all of whom survive, as fol- 
lows: Addie, aged 16; Percy, aged 14, and 
Charles, aged 11 years. 

John A. Reitz & Sons. — The impor- 
tance of Evansville as the largest hardwood 
lumber market in the world, and the extent 
of the saw-mill interests, have been adverted 
to elsewhere in these pages. The firm of 
John A. Reitz & Sons conducts one of the 
largest lumber mills in the country, with the 
prestige of nearly forty-five years' success- 
ful business. John A. Reitz, Sr., started 
this business in 1845, not amply provided 
with capital, but backed by his own good 
business qualities and determination to 
succeed. As the business prospered, he 
found it necessary to have help in its manage- 
ment, and his sons, Francis J. Reitz, John 
A. Reitz, Jr., and Edward Reitz, have be- 
come associated with the firm, and their mill, 
located at the mouth of Pigeon creek, is one 
of the most extensive of the region, em- 
ploying a large number of men, and is of 

great capacity and supplied with the most 
recent and perfect machinery obtainable. 
The members of the firm are remarkably 
skillful in business, and have not only reaped 
ample personal reward, but have done much 
toward making Evansville famous. On ac- 
count of the advanced age of the father, the 
management of the business devolves upon 
Francis J. Reitz. For twenty-four years 
the latter was connected with the foundry 
business of Reitz & Haney, in charge of 
office and financial matters, and now has 
control of this extensive lumbering business. 
He is also a director in the First National 
Bank, and a stockholder in the German 
National Bank, and president of the Evans- 
ville Electric Light Company. 

Little & Croft Lumber Company. — 
Another extensive mill operated until re- 
cently, was that of the Little & Croft Lum- 
ber Co., incorporated. Samuel W. Little, 
president and general manager of the com- 
pany, was born in South Carolina, June 17, 
1832, being the youngest son in a family of 
seven children. His father, Samuel Croft, 
a native of South Carolina, came to Indiana 
in 1835, settling on a farm in Monroe county. 
His mother, Mary (Erwin) Little, of Scotch- 
Irish descent, was born in Ireland. In 1853 
Samuel W. Little, who, up to that time, had 
been engaged at farming, on and near his 
father's homestead, moved to Iowa, and 
three years later came to Evansville. His 
first employment here was in the old Canal 
Flour Mills, where he remained for several 
years. The civil war coming on he entered 
the service of his country as a sailor on the 
Mississippi flotilla, continuing therein one 
year. Returning to Evansville, he began 
the manufacture of shingles and staves, and 
conducted a cooper shop. In 1871 he began 
the lumber business, with which he has since 
been prominently connected. In 1886 the 
company was incorporated under the state 



law and did an extensive business until 
its mill was destroyed by fire in the 
summer of iSSS, at great loss. Samuel 
Little is an active, public-spirited citizen, 
and has aided in many ways to advance 
the general prosperity of the city, while at the 
same time he has attained for himself a com- 
petence, by dint of his industry and good 
management. He was married, in 1870, to 
Miss Mary E. Macer, a native of Evansville, 
daughter of Thomas Macer. They have 
two children, Chas. S., and Harry W., aged 
respectively fifteen and thirteen years. Mr. 
Little and his family are members of the 
Presbyterian church. 

Benjamin F. Croft, vice-president of the 
company, was born in Richland county, Ohio, 
May 30, 1S48, being the youngest in a fam- 
ily of seven children, born to Benjamin and 
Mary (Buckingham) Croft. His father, a 
native of England, was a man of great force 
of character, and possessed of an iron will. 
Upon emigrating to America he settled in 
Maryland and moved thence to Richland 
county, Ohio, where he successfully con- 
ducted a woolen mill, and became one of the 
prominent men in that locality. B. F. Croft 
was educated in his native country, and when 
eighteen years of age, embarked in the saw- 
mill and lumber business. After two years 
he removed to Eaton Rapids, Mich., where 
he sustained a heavy loss by fire, but un- 
daunted by this he threw new energy into 
his business and achieved success. Later, 
at Saginaw, Mich., Albion, Ind., and Chicago, 
111., he engaged in the same business. 
Coming to Evansville, he joined Samuel W. 
Little as a partner, and when, in 1S86, the 
Little & Croft Lumber Co. was formed 
he became its vice-president. A large de- 
gree of the company's success was due to 
his skill in management, and his indus- 
trious and systematic habits. He was mar- 
ried in Albion, Ind., August, 1870, to 

Miss Lucy E. Thomas, a native of Morrow 
county, Ohio. 

Jacob Meyers & Bro. — The Southern 
Planing Mill, employing no less than fifty 
men, and doing an extensive business, occu- 
pies a prominent position among the indus- 
tries of the city. Its proprietors are recog- 
nized as enterprising and progressive 
business men, and, by fair and honorable 
conduct, have established themselves in the 
good-will of the people. Jacob and Michael 
Meyers are brothers. They were born in 
Bavaria, the former December 25, 1828, the 
latter July 12, 1837. Their parents were 
Michael and Catherine (Alexander) Meyers, 
natives of German}-, born respectively in 
1795 and 1797. The father served honor- 
ably in the armies of his native countiy, and 
came to his death by an unfortunate acci- 
dent occurring in 1845. Two years later 
the mother, with her children, emigrated to 
the United States, settling in Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and in 1851 removing to Indiana. 
The Meyers brothers, the immediate subjects 
of mention in this connection, received the 
rudiments of a fair education in the schools 
of their native land. Both were apprenticed 
to carpenters, and learning the trade, worked 
for a time as journeymen carpenters. In 
1856 Jacob began the business of a con- 
tractor, and, ten years later, was joined by 
his brother Michael, who, from 1862, had 
been engaged in mercantile pursuits. Pru- 
dent and economical, they had accumulated 
a nice capital, and being practical workmen, 
determined to embark in a more extensive 
enterprise. They purchased what was then 
known as the Steel & Trible planing-mill, 
located on Second street, between Chestnut 
and Cherry streets, and operated it for one 
year, when they removed to their present 
place of business, at the corner of Water 
and Goodsell streets. Success followed in- 
dustry and wise management. In 1887 



their continued prosperity warranted the 
tearing down of the old building and the 
erection of one of the finest and best 
equipped planing-mills in the state. The 
new building is of brick, the main structure 
being two stories high, 62x192 feet, with 
engine-room, boiler-house and extensive 
lumber sheds in addition. The manufacture 
of doors, sash, blinds, frames, mouldings 
and all manner of builders' supplies, is here 
extensively engaged in. The proprietors of 
this mill are justly accredited with being 
among the most enterprising and prosperous 
business men of the city. Both have been 
twice married and have interesting families. 
Jacob Meyers, in November, 1S51, took for 
his wife Henrietta Plensinger, a native of 
German)-, born in 1S32. She was the 
mother of four children: George W., Mary 
E., Laura E., and Addie. Her death 
occurred in this city in August, 1862. In 
Jul}-, 1863, Mr. Meyers was united in mar- 
riage to Anna B. Keck, born in Posey 
county, Ind., in 1840, daughter of Andrew 
and Rosanna Keck, and a very worthy 
woman. Of this union four children have 
have been born: Edwin J., Lillie, Estella and 
Clinton K. Michael Meyers was first married 
in 1858 to Mary Becker, a native of Indiana, 
born in 1838, who died August 15, 1864, 
leaving two children, Anna A. and Frank B. 
His second marriage occurred in 1865 to 
Isabella Metz, then twenty-five years of 
age, and to whom four children have been 
born: Alexander M., Nellie B., Emma C, 
and Alice U. Both of these families belong 
to the German Methodist Episcopal church. 
Bernhard Schuttler, the foreman of 
Meyers Bros.' planing-mill, was born in 
German township, this county, March 10, 
1843. His parents, David and Caroline 
(Sincich) Schuttler, natives of Germany, 
came to this country in 1840, and lived in 
German township until their deaths, which 

occurred in 1858 and 1852, respectively. 
Bernhard Schuttler is third in a family of 
nine children, five of whom survive. His 
boyhood was spent on the farm. At six- 
teen years of age he removed to Evansville, 
and began serving an apprenticeship at the 
carpenter's trade under Jacob Meyer. Two 
vears later, in 1861, he enlisted in Co. A., 
Forty-second Indiana Volunteers, and, 
going to the front, was in the engagements 
at Champion Hills and Stone River, Where 
he was wounded, and participated in the 
brilliant Atlanta campaign. He was honor- 
ably discharged October 17, 1864, at 
Villanow, Ga. Returning to civil life he 
entered the service of Jacob Meyers & Bro., 
and has since continued with this firm, being 
for the past sixteen years foreman of their 
extensive mills. September 8, 1868, he was 
married to Miss Mary Damra, born Septem- 
ber 28, 1845, in Posey county, daughter of 
Christopher and Christina (Bunde) Damm. 
His family consists of eight children : Emma 
K., Edward E., Ida R., Adolph W., Julius 
H., Benjamin J., Albert P., and Oscar C. 
Politically, Mr. Schuttler is a republican. 
He is a member of the G. A. R. He and 
his wife are members of St. John's Luth- 
eran church. 

Rietman & Sciiulte. — This well-known 
firm, manufacturers of hardwood lumber, 
railroad lumber and bridge timber, have 
attained a leading position among the wood- 
workers of the city. Their mills are ex- 
tensive and employ regularly about 100 
men. Henry Rietman, who, by dint of 
industry and close attention to business 
has risen from a wage-worker to a promi- 
nent place among the business men of this 
city, was born in Germany, July 31st, 1823. 
His father, J. H. Rietman, was a respectable 
farmer who lived and died in the land of his 
nativity. He was educated in the schools 
of his native place, spent his youth upon a 



farm, served three years in the German 
army, and at the age of twenty-six years 
came to Evansville. He was then a single 
man and for a time worked as a day laborer 
in a saw-mill. He was energetic, eco- 
nomical and ambitious. By i860 he had 
saved enough to embark in business for him- 
self, and in company with B. Nurre com- 
menced the operation of a mill. This part- 
nership was soon dissolved, Charles Schulte 
joining Mr. Rietman in the business. In 
1865 the mill was destroyed by fire. It 
was rapidly rebuilt. In three months from 
the time of its destruction it was again run- 
ning. Since that time by good manage- 
ment the business of the firm has been mul- 
tiplied many fold. Mr. Rietman was mar- 
ried October 20, 1857, to Miss B. W. 
Hanselelman, a native of Holland and 
daughter of John Hanselelman. They have 
three children: Ben H., Henry H., and 
Elizabeth. The family are members of 
the Roman Catholic church. 

Charles Schulte, one of Evansville's 
leading business men, is a native of the king- 
dom of Prussia, where he was born on the 
15th dav of May, 1838. We find him 
twenty years afterward on his way to Amer- 
ica seeking fortune and a new home. He 
came directly to Evansville, and although 
unacquainted with the ways and language 
of the new world, he proceeded to engage 
at once in business with his accustomed en- 
ergy and push. His first venture was flour 
milling, then dealing in grain and produce, 
until 1863, when he became associated with 
his present partner, Henry Rietman, in the 
saw-mill business. This was then in its in- 
fancy, but with close application and energy, 
he was soon able to bring the business up 
to its present capacity and prosperity, 
making it one of the largest enterprises of 
the city, and extending their trade in hard- 
wood lumber over this country and Europe. 

Mr. Schulte is part owner of the Fulton Av- 
enue Brewery, one of the largest establish- 
ments of the kind in this part of the state. 
He is a large stockholder and director in 
the German National Bank of Evansville, 
and the senior member of the firm of Schulte, 
Lohoff & Co., manufacturers of edge tools. 
There are employed in these different enter- 
prises several hundred men. Mr. Schulte 
has done much to build up the city where 
he has spent the better part of his life. 
Although a gentleman of ample means and 
able to enjoy the ease and comforts of life, 
he is nevertheless constantly engaged in 
overseeing, managing and directing his di- 
verse interests., which are all flourishing. 
Highly fortunate is the city which can boast 
of many men of equal push and energy. 
In 1861 he was united in marriage to Miss 
Sophia Summers, who was born in 1S43, 
and with whom he is still living in happy 
wedlock, surrounded with seven children. 
He and his wife are consistent members of 
the Catholic church, and are connected 
with the church of St. Boniface, which has 
often been the recipient of their liberality. 
Mr. Schulte is a notable example of what a 
prudent and careful man, full of energy and 
ambition, may accomplish in this country 
under adverse circumstances. 

Joseph A. Nurre, traveling agent for 
Rietman & Schulte, lumbermen, was born 
in Evansville, Ind., April 13, 1852, being 
the son of Bernard and Elizabeth Nurre. 
Bernard Nurre was born in Germany in 
1807, and emigrated to America about 1835, 
locating first at Dayton, Ohio. From that 
city he and his wife traveled on foot to Cin- 
cinnati, where he went to work at his trade 
in a foundry. x\bout 1839 he came to 
Evansville and was employed in the one 
foundry then in existence in the town. At 
an early date he engaged in the hotel busi- 
ness and for many years was proprietor of 



the Washington House on the corner of 
Third and Main streets, at that time the 
leading hotel in the city. After leaving the 
hotel he engaged in the saw-mill business 
in copartnership with H. Brommelhaus, and 
afterward purchased the old Simpson mill- 
site, and taking Mr. H. Rietman in partner- 
ship, established the present mill of Rietman 
& Schulte. Later he sold his interest to Mr. 
Schulte and retired from active business. 
Mr. Nurre was a strong democrat and was so 
well and favorably known that he was 
elected by his party to the office of county 
commissioner, a thing seldom accomplished 
at that time, the republicans being largely 
in the majority. He served but one term, 
declining to stand for re-election. His death 
occurred April n, 1SS5. Elizabeth Nurre 
was born in German v in 181 6, and died in 
1853 when her son Joseph was an infant. 
Her husband subsequently remarried, and 
his widow survives him. Joseph A. Nurre 
was reared in Evansville. He attended the 
public schools of the city and completed his 
education at Teutopolis (111.) College. He 
began life for himself when a small boy as 
bundle wrapper for Schapker & Bussing, dry 
goods merchants of this city. From this 
humble position he worked up in the same 
house to book-keeper. In 1873 he entered 
the L. & N. railroad freight office as receiv- 
ing clerk, which position he held for one 
year. He then began as a laborer with 
Messrs. Rietman & Schulte, and by dint of 
persistent effort and close attention to busi- 
ness worked up to his present position, after 
twelve years of service. He is well known 
as a business man and enjoys a high stand- 
ing in the communitv. In politics he is a 
democrat; and is a member of the Iron Hall. 
In 1880 he was married to Miss Ellen New- 
man, an estimable lady, who was born in 
Evansville in 1S52. She is the daughter 
of Mason Newman. 

The Helfrich Saw and Planing Mill 
Company holds a high rank among the work- 
ers in wood. It deals in hardwood lumber and 
building materials of all kinds. Its presi- 
dent, Adam Helfrich, oldest son of the pio- 
neers, John and Anna (Barbey) Helfrich, 
was born in Germany, January 17, 1832. 
His parents emigrating to this countrv in 
early day's, settled in German township and 
were there known for many years as indus- 
trious, frugal, and well-to-do people. They 
were among the organizers of St. Jos- 
eph's Catholic church, and remained its 
devoted members until their earthly careers 
were ended. Adam Helfrich worked on 
his father's farm until twenty -three years of 
age, when, having married on May 17, 1854, 
Theresa Hilderbrandt, a native of Virginia, 
daughter of Christian Hilderbrandt, he be- 
gan to work for himself on a farm, the gift 
of his father. Selling his farm after a time, 
he purchased a portable saw-mill. By wise 
management he accumulated enough to 
start, in company with John T. Rechtin, a 
saw-mill on Pigeon creek, in Independence. 
This mill was operated for some time, but 
was eventually destroyed by fire, Mr. Helf- 
rich having purchased the entire interest 
but a short time prior to its destruction. A 
new mill was bought, and in 1883, a stock 
company was organized, with Adam Helf- 
rich as president, and William Hard)' as 
vice-president, through whose ability and en- 
terprise the business of the concern has 
been greatly extended and successfully con- 
ducted. This company owns and operates 
the extensive brick-yard known as the pro- 
perty of the Evansville Pressed Brick Com- 
panv. Mr. Helfrich's ability as a man of af- 
fairs has been publicly recognized by his 
election to the city council. Politically, he is 
a democrat. He is the father of eleven child- 
ren, eight living: William. Frank, Michael, 
Kate, John, Annie, Joseph and Edward. 



In the dawn of civilization in southwestern 
Indiana, the state of North Carolina gave 
many valuable citizens to the new common- 
wealth. They came with no richer posses- 
sions than pure purposes and dauntless 
courage, ready and willing to meet any fate. 
James McCorkle and his wife Dorcas, who 
was a Mclntvre, left their native state, in 
1828, with a family of seven children which 
afterward grew to eleven, and came down 
the Tennessee river in a small boat or canoe 
to the shoals below Nashville. From there 
they made their way overland to Gibson 
count}-, Indiana, where the}' erected a cabin 
such as pioneer settlers hastily raised when 
a spot that suited their fancy was found, and 
there February 9th, 1829, was born John 
S. McCorkle, now proprietor of the City 
Planing and Flouring Mills, and long known 
in Evansville as a progressive, public-spirited 
and benevolent citizen. In the spring of 
1832, the family moved to Evansville, then a 
small village. Soon after coming here the 
death of Mrs. McCorkle occurred. The 
father of the family lived until Evansville 
assumed the dignity and designation of a 
city in 1847, and was identified with the 
early growth of the place. At the date of 
his death he was sixty-four years of age. 
With the exception of about two years, 
when he resided in Kansas, ever since 1832 
John S. McCorkle has been a resident of 
Evansville. His father's circumstances were 
such that opportunities for laying the founda- 
tion of a polite education were wanting- to 
him in his youth and young manhood. 
Naturallv studious, however, in the course 
of a long and active life he has stored his 
mind with a fund of useful information. At 
the age of seventeen he undertook to learn 
the carpenter's trade, at which he worked as 
an apprentice and journeyman until 1866. 
During the civil war period he was in the 
service of the United States government, 

building and repairing hospitals for the sick 
and wounded who were brought to Evans- 
ville for care and treatment. In 1866, Mr. 
McCorkle built his first planinsj-mill, which 
was successfully operated until April, 1870, 
when it was destroyed by hre. The mill 
was immediately rebuilt and the business 
continued. His twenty-two years' career in 
this business makes him the oldest planing- 
mill proprietor in the city. From his youth 
he has made his own way in life and has 
been eminently successful. His entire atten- 
tion has not, however, been absorbed by his 
business pursuits. An ardent republican, he 
is deeply concerned in the welfare of his 
party. For many years he has been con- 
spicuously identified with the work of the 
temperance cause, and he and his wife have 
been consistent members of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. As a member of the 
Business Men's Association he has taken a 
lively interest in all matters affecting the 
welfare and progress of the city. His life 
has been one of industry and constant effort. 
The success which has come to him has 
been well deserved. He was united in 
marriage December 31, 1850, to Miss Mary 
I. Thorne, a lady of worth, born in Vin- 
cennes, Ind., in 1836, the daughter of 
Charles E. and Nancy (Oliver) Thorne. Of 
this union four children have been born : 
John D., in 1853; Charles R., in i860; Josie 
C, in 1862, and George A., in 1865. 

Schuetze, Thuman & Co. — The Me- 
chanics' Foundry at the corner of First street 
and Third avenue is an evidence of what 
thrift and industry can accomplish. This in- 
stitution, employing about fifty workmen 
and manufacturing steam-engines, boilers, 
saw- and grist-mills and all kinds of ma- 
chinery, is owned by live of Evansville's 
enterprising citizens, who in early life had 
no capital except the endowments of nature. 
Some facts concerning the lives of Henry 




A. Schultze, Charles H. Thuman, John H. 
Thuman, Alexander Jack, and Michael 
Becker can not fail to possess interest. Mr. 
Schultze was born in Prussia, April 19, 
1831. When he was eleven years of age, 
his parents, George and Annie M. (Wayne) 
Schultze, came to Evansville, and were 
known here for many years as industrious 
and respectable people. They lived through 
the allotted three score years and ten, 
each spending a useful and honorable 
life. Henry A. was the youngest son in a 
family of eleven children. When sixteen 
years of age he entered a foundry with a 
view of learning a trade and thus fitting 
himself for the higher grades of employ- 
ment. For eighteen years he applied him- 
self industriously, saving and wisely 
investing his earnings until he had accumu- 
lated a considerable sum of money. In 1865 
the Mechanics' Foundry was established, 
and since that time he has expended most of 
his energies in building up the concern and 
extending its business. In politics he is a 
republican. He and his family are members 
of the Lutheran church. He has been mar- 
ried twice. His first wife was Martha 
Schulz, a native of Germany, who died in 
1873, leaving five children, George, Theo- 
dore, Gustavus, Julius and Louisa. Six- 
years later he was united in marriage to 
Miss Sarah Clark, a native of Kentucky. 

John H. and Charles H. Thuman, 
brothers, were born in the dukedom of 
Baden, Germany, 1819 and 1831, respect- 
ively. They immigrated to the United 
States in 1837, and came to Evansville 
about 1851 with their parents, who settled 
near Darmstadt, where the mother died in 
1851 and the father in 1853. Their father 
was a carpenter, and both boys learned the 
same trade, though John worked at farming 
in this county for sixteen years. For a 
time Charles was employed at pattern-mak- 

ing, but both eventually became part owners 
in the Mechanics' Foundry, and for many 
years have been connected with its manage- 
ment. Mr. John Thuman was married in 
1845 to Miss Rosina Scheckel, who died 
five years later, leaving one child, Mina. 
Subsequently he married a sister of his first 
wife, Philippina Scheckel, to whom eight 
children have been born, seven of whom are 
living: Mary, Louisa, Carrie, Lena, Dora, 
John, Frederick and Edward. Mr. Charles 
Thuman was married in August, 1853, to 
Miss Barbara Fuchs, a native of Germany, 
who came to this country in 1850. Of this 
union eight children have been born, seven 
of whom are living: Annie, Lizzie Amelia, 
Lena, Charles Christian, Charles J., William 
and Jacob L. This younger generation is 
rapidly advancing, and taking an honorable 
position in social and business circles. 

Alexander Jack was born in Scotland, 
at the city of Glasgow, 1S33. He is the 
sixth son of Robert Jack, a weaver, who 
lived and died in Scotland. The family con- 
tained eleven children, all but three of whom 
are dead. Alexander was reared and edu- 
cated in his native country. At the age of 
seventeen he started out alone for America. 
He settled in Pennsylvania, and there learned 
the trade of a machinist and engineer. 
Coming west, he assisted in putting up a 
pig-iron furnace on Green river, in Muhlen- 
burg county, Ky., where he remained for 
some time. He came to Evansville about 
thirty years ago, and first worked at his 
trade for Kratz & Heilman, and later for 
Reitz & Haney. Since the establishment 
of the foundry with which he is now con- 
nected, his attention has been devoted prin- 
cipally to its advancement. He is also a 
stockholder and director in the Natural Gas 
and Oil Company of this place. His good 
judgment has earned him the confidence of 
business men generally, and his sturdy char- 



acter has made him popular. In the spring 
of 1888 he was nominated by the republican 
party and elected to the office of water- 
works trustee. He is a Knight of Honor, 
and, with his family, belongs to the First 
Cumberland Presbyterian church. Janu- 
ary 2, 1S54, ne was married to Miss Eliza- 
beth Snedden, a native of Scotland, who, in 
the midst of a useful life, passed away July 
21, 18S7, leaving five children, Nellie, Rich- 
ard, John, Robert, and Bethia. 

Michael Becker was born in Prussia, 
May 28, 1823, being the oldest son of John 
and Catherine (Kreppert) Becker, natives 
cf Prussia, who came to Evansville in 1846, 
lived many years on a farm, and died in this 
count}', aged seventy-eight and sixty-five, 
respectively. In his native country, Michael 
learned the trade of a blacksmith, and for 
about ten years followed it at McCutchan- 
ville. Coming to Evansville, he was invited 
to connect himself with the Mechanics' Foun- 
dry, and has since been identified with this 
establishment. In 1862 he was married to 
Miss Elizabeth Reis, who was born at Darm- 
stadt, in this county. Of this union eleven 
children have been born, four of whom are 
living. William H., Frank, Catherine A., 
and Elizabeth J. The members of this firm, 
known to the business community as 
Schultze, Thuman & Co., have pursued 
honorable methods in the conduct of their 
business, and by industry, economy and wise 
management, have attained success. 

F. W. Cook Brewing Co. — F. W. Cook 
and Louis Reis, under the firm name of 
"Cook & Reis," established and built the 
City Brewery in 1853, the site then being 
a corn-field. The}' continued together 
until 1857, when Louis Reis sold his inter- 
est in the brewery to his brother, Jacob Reis 
(the step-father of Mr. Cook), leaving the 
style of the firm unchanged. In 1873 Mr. 
Reis met with an accident which resulted 

in his death, whereupon Mr. Cook became 
sole proprietor. In 1S85 the City Brew- 
ery was converted into a stock company 
under the corporate name of F. W. Cook 
Brewing Co. with the following stock- 
holders: F. W. Cook, sr., F. W. Cook, 
jr., H. E. Cook, Andrew Wollenberger, 
G. M. Daussman, Philip P. Puder and Gus 
B. Mann. F. W. Cook, sr., F. W. Cook, 
jr., H. E. Cook, Andrew Wollenberger and 
G. M. Daussman are the directors of the 
company, and its officers are as follows: 
F. W. Cook, sr., president and general 
manager; F. W. Cook, jr., vice president: 
Andrew Wollenberger, superintendent; G. 
M. Daussman, secretary and treasurer; 
Philip P. Puder, general agent. The sales 
of the establishment for the present year 
(1888-89) will amount to 75.000 barrels; 
no men are employed in its various de- 
partments and $75,000.00 is paid annually 
in wages. The consumption of malt and 
hops for the year will be 185,000 bushels 
of the former; and 115,000 pounds of the 
latter. While the product of the F. W. 
Cook Brewing Co. — the famous "Pilsener 
Beer " — has become a household word and 
is the most popular beverage in this part 
of the country, it has also won an enviable 
reputation abroad, especially in the south- 
ern states, and large cruantities of it are 
daily being shipped to all the principal cities 
of the south. Purity, brilliancy and de- 
liciousness of the flavor, together with its 
sparkling, foaming qualities, is what has 
made the Pilsener of the F. W. Cook 
Brewing Co. so popular wherever it has 
been introduced. 

Fred W. Cook, sr., president of the F 
W. Cook Brewing Company, an enterpris- 
ing citizen closely identified with many 
causes-of the city's growth and prosperity, 
began his business career as a poor lad, and. 
now as the fruits of his industry enjoys pos- 



sessions valued at not less than a quarter of 
a million dollars. He was born in Washing- 
ton, D. C, February i, 1S32. His father, 
Fred Cook, a baker, native of Germanv 
long lived at Washington City, and died in 
Virginia when on his way to Cincinnati, 
1834. His mother, Christiana Cook, whose 
maiden name was Kroener, subsequently 
married Jacob Reis, and after a brief resi- 
dence at Cincinnati, Ohio, came to Evans- 
ville, reaching here in 1S36. The early 
education of Mr. Cook was meagre, his 
schooling being confined to about eighteen 
months' study, distributed through a period 
of six years. His first employment was in 
the dry goods house of L. W. Heberd. He 
then spent two years and a half in a small 
brewery owned by his step-father. By the 
end of this time he had accumulated $135. 
His uncle, Louis Reis, having a like amount 
in cash, the two formed a partnership, and 
in the spring of 1853 bought the ground, 
then a cornfield, on which their extensive 
brewery now stands. A small brewery was 
built on credit, and in four years Mr. Reis, 
withdrawing from the firm, was paid for 
his interest $3,500. Later, Jacob Reis, 
the stepfather, putting in $6,000 capital, 
entered the firm, which again was known 
as Cook & Reis, until the incorporation of the 
company January 1, 1885. As a director in 
the Citizens' National Bank, director in the 
Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Com- 
pany, president of the District Telegraph 
Company, president of the F. W. Cook 
Bottling Works, director and secretary of 
the Bernardin Bottle Cap Company, 
and as a large stockholder in the Indiana 
Canning Company, Mr. Cook has done 
much to secure the success of these enter- 
prises and to advance the welfare of the city, 
always exhibiting in the highest degree the 
qualities essential to a successful financier 
and man of affairs. The public, recognizing 

his capacitv for the management of great 
interests, has called him to its service in 
various relations. He has several times 
represented his ward in the city council and 
his county in the state legislature. His 
career, private and public, has been charac- 
terized by energy, integrity, ability and 
honor. He is a prominent member of the 
I. O. O. F. and A. O. U. W. fraternities and 
of St. John's church. In 1857 he was mar- 
riedto Miss Louisa Hilt, of Louisville, K\\, 
who died in 1S77, leaving four children, 
Fred W., jr., Henry E., Charles W., and 
Ada L. In November, 1S78, his second 
marriage was solemnized with Miss Jennie 
Himmeline, of Kelly's Island, Ohio, whose 
death occurred in January, 1884. Of this 
union three children were born, Arthur 13., 
Helen and Albert L. The older of Mr. 
Cook's children are well educated and pos- 
sess the accomplishments which adorn 
polite society. Fred. W. Cook, jr., vice- 
president of the brewing company, is an 
alumnus of Wabash College, Cravvfords- 
ville, Ind., and after his graduation from 
that institution pursued his studies for two' 
years at the famous University of Heidel- 
berg. Henry E. graduated at the State 
University at Bloomington, and for three 
years past has been perfecting his education 
at the ancient German institution previously 
attended by his brother, where also Miss 
Ada L. has been pursuing a special course 
of instruction in music and the modern lan- 
guages. Charles W. is now an under- 
graduate at the Indiana State University. 

The secretary and treasurer of the brew- 
ing company, George M. Daussman, was 
born at Willzartswiesen, Rhein-Pfalz, Ba- 
varia, March 8, 1847. His parents, Jacob 
and Eva (Veibert) Daussman, came to 
America in 1855, and have since resided in 
this city. He was educated at the public 
schools of the city, and received his training 



for a business career in the Evansville Com- 
mercial College. At a very early age he 
was employed as a clerk and then as book- 
keeper, at various places in this city. In 
1866 he accepted a position as book-keeper 
for Cook & Reis, brewers, and has been 
with that company ever since. He is now 
a stockholder and director in the company, 
and since January 1, 1S85, has been its sec- 
retary and treasurer. His efficiency, integ- 
rity and close attention to business, render 
his services of great value to the company. 
He occupies a high social position, is promi- 
nent in the I. O. O. F. and K. of P. frater- 
nities, the Business Men's Association and 
Liederkranz singing society. He was mar- 
ried September 18, 18S0, to Miss Anna 
Platz, daughter of Charles Platz, the well- 
known manufacturer, of this city. They 
have four children, George M., Ida, Louisa, 
and Elsa, the first-born, Bertha, having died 
in infancy. 

The superintendent of the brewery, An- 
drew Wollenberger, was born in Ba- 
varia, Ma}' 16, 1 841, being the son of Louis 
and Mina Wollenberger. He was edu- 
cated in the schools of his native country 
and was employed there as foreman in a 
brewerv. He served in the German army, 
was a non-commissioned officer in the war 
of 1866, and two years later came to Amer- 
ica. For several years he was engaged in 
the breweries of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1881 
he came to Evansville and entered the em- 
ploy of Cook & Reis as foreman. When 
the stock company was organized he became 
a stockholder and superintendent, which 
position he has since satisfactorily held. In 
1S69 he was married to Miss Tillie Uhl, a 
native of Germany, daughter of John Uhl. 
They have one child, Andrew Louis. 

The chief engineer of this extensive brewery 
is Henry F. Froelich, a native of Gibson 
county, Ind., born April 14, 185 1, the 

oldest son of Jacob and Catharine (Oswald) 
Froelich, natives of Germany. He received 
a common school and business education in 
this city, kept books for a time, and then 
learned the trade of a machinist, at which 
he worked both here and in German}-. 
Later he was employed as engineer at the 
city water- works, and in 187S entered the 
service of the brewing company. Since 
1S87 he has been a member of the board of 
water-works trustees. He is a member of 
the K. of H. order, of the Zither-club, and the 
Association of Engineers. August- 12, 1S77, 
he was married to Johanna Laubmerheimer, 
a native of German}-. Of this union two 
children have been born : Clara, aged ten 
years, and one who died in infancy. 
Mr. Froelich and his wife are members of 
St. John's Evangelical church. 

The general agent of the Cook Brewing 
Co., Philip P. Puder, was born in Germany, 
December 17, 1S45. His parents, Gottlieb 
and Katharina (Becker) Puder, born in 1819 
and 1822, respectively, lived and died in the 
fatherland. He is the oldest in a family of 
five children, four of whom are living. He 
was educated in Germany and came to 
Evansville in 1864. He was a machinist by 
trade, and for four years was employed in the 
foundry of Hon. Wm. Heilman, after which 
he conducted a stove and tinware store, in 
partnership with his brother, Gottlieb Puder. 
In 1S76 he accepted a position as traveling 
salesman, with Cook & Reis, and upon the 
organization of the stock company, became 
a stockholder. His thorough business train- 
ing and qualifications have contributed 
largely to the extension of the business. He 
is a K. of H. and member of the A. O. U. W. 
In 1 868 he was married to Miss Al- 
wine Schnakenburg, a native of Germany, 
born in 1847. Of this union three children 
have been born: Otto, Dora and Philip. 
The father of Mrs. Puder, Col. William 



Schnakenburg, attained distinction as a sol- 
dier in the late war. He was born in Prus- 
sia, August 3, 1S17, being the son of Rev. 
William and Emily Schnakenburg. 1111854 
he came to the United States, settling in 
southern Ohio, and coming to this city two 
years later. Since then he has continuously 
resided in this place, being engaged as a 
merchant and accountant. In 1S61 he 
began his military service with the Thirty- 
second Indiana Infantry, rose to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel, and after a faithful and 
honorable service of eighteen months, re- 
signed. He was married in 1S43, to Miss 
Minna Lohse, a native of Prussia, to whom 
four children were born. 

Fulton Avenue Brewery. — A well- 
known building in Evansville was the Old 
Brewery. This was occupied bv the fa- 
mous firm of Ullmer & Hoedt, from 1877, 
until 1 88 1, and here they achieved for their 
product a reputation unsurpassed by none. 
Among the consumers of malt liquors the 
reputation of Evansville beer has become 
wide-spread and most flattering to the manu- 
acturers of this city. The strong points 
of the product are purity, brilliancy of color, 
richness of flavor, and non-liabilitv to deter- 
ioration by climate, and in all these, the 
Evansville beer is unsurpassed. The form- 
ation of this creditable reputation is in large 
part due to the skill and business ability of 
Messrs. Ullmer & Hoedt. These gentle- 
men came to the city in 1877 ready to begin 
on November 1st. They made their first 
brewing on the 27th of that month, and turned 
out the first beer December 31st. They 
prospered from the first, their product 
sprang at once into popular favor, and in 
less than thirty months thev were able to 
add one of the most handsome and com- 
plete breweries in the country to the indus- 
tries of Evansville. The members of the 
firm are Charles Wilhelm Ullmer, a native 

of Russia, and the business manager of the 
establishment, who came to this country in 
1868, and Ferdinand Hoedt, a native of 
Baden, who came to America in 1S65. 
The latter is naturally a brewer, his father 
and grandfather having been in the business, 
and he learned his trade so thoroughly that 
he now has no superior in the country, in 
his father's brewery at Heidelberg. The 
new brewery, which the firm has occupied 
for several years, is 74x116 feet, four 
stories high, and fitted at a cost of $45,000 
with all that science and art has devised for 
the best production of the beverage under 
the most healthful and attractive conditions. 
The brewery has a cellar capacity of 3,000 
barrels constantly on hand, and a selling 
capacity of 18,000 barrels per annum. Be- 
sides the beer kettle with a capacity of 125 
barrels, there is a mash tub with a capacity 
: of 1 50 barrels, and two steam tubs of 
100 and 300 barrels each. The ice 
as it melts is caught and conveyed to cis- 
terns underneath the beer cellar, which is 
40x18 feet, and a capacity of 29,000 gallons. 
This establishment maintains a large num- 
ber of employes, and the weekly pay-roll 
is no inconsiderable item. 

August Brentano, of the firm of Kiechle, 
Brentano & Oberdorfer, was born at Hohen- 
Ems, Austria, December 18, 1845, and 
is the son of Nestor Brentano, a native of 
Austria, born August 15, 1820, whose death 
occurred in his native country, November 
10, 1859. He was educated at the famous 
schools of Heidelberg, graduating there in 
i860. In the same year he came to 
America, settling in New York city, and re- 
maining there for one year in the employ of 
Brentano's Literary Emporium. In 1861 
he went to Oregon, and, after a residence of 
three vears there, removed to Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and for some time was engaged as a 
book-keeper for E. Brentano & Co. Coming 



to Evansville in 1866, he then entered the 
wholesale house of L. Loewenthal & Co. as 
a book-keeper, and retained that position 
during the following ten years, at the end 
of which time he became a partner in the 
business, and remained in that relation ten 
years longer. When the Business Men's 
Association was formed in 18S7, for the 
purpose of advancing the general welfare of 
the city, by bringing about harmonious ac- 
tion on the part of all interested in Evans- 
ville's progress, Mr. Brentano was selected 
as secretary of the association. His duties 
were particularly arduous and trying, but 
they were discharged with rare skill and 
good judgment, and to the satisfaction of 
all. Unswerving devotion to correct prin- 
ciples, enterprising activity, guided by un- 
usual public spiritedne'ss and business 
sagacity, have combined to make his career 
successful. In 1888 the partnership with 
which he is now connected was formed. He 
is prominently connected with the lodges of 
the following orders : F. & A. M., K. of P., 
A. O. U. W., B'nai B'rith and Kesher Shel 
Barsel. In politics he is a democrat. In 
1883, and again in 18S5, he was elected to 
the city council. As chairman of the demo- 
cratic central committee for this county in 
18S4, by his wise management he contrib- 
uted largely to the success of the campaign. 
He was united in marriage in 1S68 to Miss 
Mahla Kahn, of this city, daughter of Solo- 
mon Kahn. Seven children have been born 
of this union, five of whom survive. 

Capt. Otto F. Jacobi, a native of Saxe- 
Meiningen, Germany, was born Novem- 
ber 28, 1835. His parents, Gottlieb and 
Frederika (Dietsch) Jacobi, were born in 
Germany, in 1804 and 1814, respectively. 
Their lives were spent in the fatherland, and 
there they died, the father in 1849, ^ ae 
mother eight years earlier. Capt. Jacobi 
was the eldest son in a family of four, three 

of whom are now living. His education 
was obtained in his native country. Emi- 
grating to the United States in 1852, he set- 
tled at Philadelphia, Pa. There in 1855, 
being then a young man, though of strong 
and well developed character, he en- 
listed in Company D, First United States 
Infantry. He soon attained the rank of 
first sergeant, which he held for sev- 
eral years, being brave and ever ready 
for duty, and thus gaining the esteem 
of his superior officers. When the civil 
war broke out, he was with his regiment, 
then stationed at Fort Cobb, Indian Terri- 
tory. He remained in the regular army 
until 1862, when he received a commission 
in the volunteer service, and was appointed 
commissary of musters by the secretary of 
war, being attached to the first cavalry 
division in the Department of the Cumber- 
land. January 1, 1863, he was commis- 
sioned first lieutenant of Companj' G, Tenth 
Tennessee Infantry, and because of faithful 
and efficient service, was promoted to the 
captaincy of the same company on the 23d 
of June following. He acted a conspicuous 
part in the engagements at Duck Springs, 
Wilson's Creek, and New Madrid, Mo., 
Island No. 10, in the siege of Corinth and 
the battle at that place, at Big Black River, 
Miss., and in the siege of Vicksburg, where 
he received a disabling wound. His honor- 
able discharge from the service followed in 
July, 1865. He is now a prominent mem- 
ber of Farragut Post, G. A. R. His long 
military career was full of honorable service. 
It was in the year 1866 that he came to 
Evansville, since which time his prominence 
and usefulness as a citizen have increased 
from year to year. Soon after locating here 
he began the wholesale tobacco and cigar 
business. This he sold out in 1869, and in 
the next year entered the employ of H. F. 
Blount as book-keeper. His business affairs 



were prudently managed, and his earnings 
economically cared for. His seryices be- 
came so valuable to those interested in the 
works with which he was connected, that 
he was admitted to an interest in the profits 
in 18S3. Honorable and upright in all of 
life's relations, he commands universal re- 
spect. His public spirit has not permitted 
his whole interest to be engrossed in the 
cares of his own business concerns. He 
early joined the Masonic order, and has at- 
tained the rank of Knight Templar. He 
and his wife are prominent members of the 
First Avenue Presbyterian church. By 
wise action as a trustee and devotion as a 
member, he has contributed largely to the 
prosperity of the church. His public trusts 
have been numerous, and all faithfully exe- 
cuted. As a trustee of Evans Hall, and as 
trustee and treasurer of Willard Library, he 
has rendered useful service to the public. 
His ability as a financier caused his selection 
as vice-president of the Fidelity Loan and 
Savings Association, the successful manage- 
ment of which has secured to many work- 
ingmen the ownership of homes. His mar- 
riage occurred in 1S62 to Mary E. Sawyer, 
of Corinth, Miss. Of this union five chil- 
dren have been born, of whom two, Otto L. 
and Sidney F., are living, and three are de- 
ceased: Alvin G., Irvin, and Harry B. ; the 
latter died July 17, 1888. 

It is generally conceded that the extent of 
Evansville's future greatness will be meas- 
ured by the amount of attention paid to 
manufacturing industries. Of late years the 
city's advancement has been due largely to 
this agency. The Evansville Cotton Mills 
are the largest of their kind west of the Al- 
leghanies, and the city is justly proud of 
them. At the time of the publication of this 
work the company is building a new mill 
adjoining the old, two stories, 168x313, and 
an L addition 50x80, which will accommo- 

date a plant of 50,000 spindles. The success- 
ful management of these mills may be attrib- 
uted largely to the efficiency of the superin- 
tendent John H. Osborn, whose fitness for his 
present responsible position is the result of 
long practical training. He is a native of Boone 
county, 111., where he was born July 20, 1849. 
His father, William Osborn, was born in 
Ireland about the year 1822, and now resides 
in this city. His mother, Ann (Burrell) 
Osborn, was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, 
and died at Cannelton, Ind., 1872. His par- 
ents came to the United States in early 
childhood and settled in Rhode Island. In 
1849, tne }' came west, seeking a betterment 
of their condition, and temporarily settled in 
Boone county, 111. Three years later they 
moved to Cannelton, Ind. In the schools of 
that place, John Osborn, who was the sec- 
ond of six children, received his education, 
and there learned the trade of a machinist. 
For about fifteen years he was employed in 
the Indiana Cotton Mills at Cannelton, and 
for some time at Louisville and Owensboro, 
in Kentucky, in various foundries and ma- 
chine shops, working at his trade. Coming 
to Evansville in 1875, he was engaged as 
master mechanic at the cotton mills, and in 
1884, was promoted to the superintendency 
of the mills. He is intrusted with the super- 
vision of 400 workmen, and has the care of vast 
monetary interests. By natural acumen and 
thorough practical training, he is well quali- 
fied for the proper discharge of this important 
trust. His enterprising public spirit, and 
the general esteem in which he is held, are 
attested by his selection as a director in the 
Business Men's Association. He was mar- 
ried in June, 187S, to Mary A. White, who 
was born in Evansville in 1858. Two 
children, John W. and Charles A., have been 
born of this union. 

Louis Ichenhauser, a prominent citizen 
and the leading importer and wholesale dealer 



in glass and queensware of Evansville, 
is a native of Bavaria, Germany, born in 
the town of Ichenhausen (which place was 
named in honor of his grandparents), on 
September 30, 1832. He came to America 
twelve years later, located in Hardinsburg, 
Ky., and engaged in merchandise. He re- 
moved to Louisville, Ky., in 1864, and con- 
tinued merchandising for one year. Coming 
to Evansville in 1866, he formed a copart- 
nership with Charles Lichten, and engaged 
in the glass and queensware business under 
the firm name of Lichten & Ichenbauser. 
This firm was dissolved in 1880 by the re- 
tirement of Mr. Lichten. Mr. Ichenhauser 
continued the business, adding thereto the 
importation of china and queensware in 1883. 
The business has grown from year to year, 
until it is the leading house of the kind in 
the city, and is second to none in the state. 
He occupies a large brick business house at 
No. 114 Upper First street, which is four 
stories and a basement in height and 150 
feet deep; and also the four-story brick 
building at No. 23 Upper First, which is 
used as a warehouse. Mr. Ichenhauser is a 
member of the Evansville Business Men's 
Association, and of the following secret so- 
cieties: Blue Lodge, Chapter and Council 
of the Masonic fraternity; Thisbe Lodge 
No. 24, Independent Order B'nai B'rith, of 
which he was secretary for fourteen consec- 
utive years, and is a member of the Grand 
Lodge; Centennial Lodge, No. 157, Kesher 
Shel Barsel, of which he was the founder in 
1876, and in 1877 was elected recording and 
financial secretary, which position he holds 
at present, and is also member of the Grand 
Lodge; Red Cloud Lodge No. 640, K. of 
H. and Leni Leoti Lodge, No. 43, A. O. 
U. W. He was for five years treasurer of the 
Germania Building and Loan Association, 
and is a member of the Sixth Street Jewish 
temple, in which he has held various official 

positions. Mr. Ichenhauser was married in 
Louisville, Ky., in 1859, to Therese Ober- 
dorfer, who was born in Germany in 1S42, 
and to this union eleven children have been 
born, nine of whom survive. Three sons, 
Silas, Nathan and Sidney L., are engaged 
with their father as clerks. 

William Rahm, jr., whose commercial 
success has won for him the title of the 
" Corn King of the Lower Ohio," was born 
in the city of Heukeswagen, Prussia, 
October 27, 1837. In the public schools of 
that state, well-known for their excellence, 
young Rahm made considerable progress be- 
fore coming with his father's family to New 
Orleans, in 1849. The parents and the 
eight children who came over at that time 
are still living and prospering. They came 
to Evansville, and the young man was 
placed in the public schools, where he 
remained until his German-English edu- 
cation was completed. Afterward his 
business education was begun in a mer- 
cantile establishment, from which he was 
called, later, to assist his father in a dry 
goods and groceiy store. In this he speed- 
ily advanced to a partnership, and finally 
purchased his father's interest. He has 
ever since continued in business, though he 
has disposed of the dry goods and grocery 
departments, anddevoted himself to the corn 
trade. His business has prospered bej-ond 
expectation, apparently more than keeping 
pace with the rapid progress of the country. 
His transactions in the cereal which is pro- 
duced in such profusion in the rich bottom 
farms of the Ohio valley, are unrivalled in 
magnitude, and the regal title he has won 
in trade he well merits. Such is the scope 
of his business that he has become the 
acquaintance and friend of the army of pro- 
ducers, as well as all the river men, and not 
a small element in the causes of his success 
is his power of making and holding friends. 



In addition to his commercial occupations, 
he has acquired and successfully managed 
extensive farms, and since 1879 nas been 
one of the directors of the German National 
Bank. For six years he has served as a 
member of the city council, elected as a 
democrat from a ward with a republican 
preponderance, his majorities varying from 
93 at first to 363 at last. In 18S0, without 
premeditation on his part, he was nominated 
for state senator. It was urged that he 
alone could carry the election against an 
adverse republican majority. His friends 
were right in their prediction, and again in 
1884 he was honored by re-election to the 
senate, and was elected in 1889 a trustee for 
the Southern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, 
near Evansville, by the state legislature. In 
1862 Mr. Rahm was married to Miss Rose 
Hart, who was reared and educated in New 
York. To this union four children were 
born, of whom but two are living. The 
elder, a son, graduated from Mt. 
St. Mary's College, Maryland, and is now 
deputy township trustee. One of Mr. 
Rahm*s brothers, Emil, has held the office 
of treasurer of Vanderburgh county. A 
sister, Miss Hulda Rahm, has attained dis- 
tinction in the Evansville schools, and hold- 
ing the 'highest certificate, is no longer sub- 
ject to examination. The venerable parents 
are still hale and hearty, and devote their 
attention to the management of a fine fruit 
and vegetable farm close to the city. 

Jacob Miller, one of the leading mer- 
chants of Evansville, and a member of 
the Gilbert-Miller Dry Goods Company, the 
largest retail dry goods house in the state of 
Indiana, was born in Evansville, April 3, 
1845. His parents were Jacob and Mary 
(Klein) Miller, both natives of German}', 
The parents were married in their native 
country, and emigrated to the United States 
in 1836, coming direct to the west, locating 

in Evansville, and being among the earlv 
settlers of Vanderburgh county. The father 
died in 1885, at the age of seventy-three 
years, and the mother in 1879, at tn e age of 
sixty-three years. To these parents five 
children were born, three of whom survive. 
Jacob Miller was educated in the public 
schools of this cit}', and began life for him- 
self at the age of seventeen years, in the 
employ of the E. & T. H. Railroad Company. 
A year later he began clerking in a dry 
goods store, and continued at that until 1866, 
when he embarked in business for himself 
in the partnership of Miller & Brink- 
meyer. In 1871 the firm of Miller Bros, 
was organized, being composed of Jacob 
and Conrad, brothers, which later be- 
came one of the best-known dry 
goods firms in the state. This firm was 
continued until March, 1886, when Conrad 
withdrew, going to New York city, and 
there engaging as a merchant in the same 
branch of trade. In 1885, the present busi- 
ness house on Main street was erected, which 
is the largest and most complete dry goods 
house in the state. The building is brick, 
six stories above the basement in height, 
57x140 feet. The first and second floors are 
used for dry goods, cloaks, and notions, the 
third and fourth floors for carpets and mat- 
tings, the fifth floor for manufacturing- 
purposes, and the sixth floor for stor- 
age. The first and second stories are 
of solid iron, the rest of the building be- 
ing terra cotta and pressed brick. The cost 
of the building approached $75,000.00. One 
of the largest retail stocks in the state, and 
the largest in the city, is carried by the firm, 
and its annual business amounts to between 
$375,000 and $400,000. In May, 1886, the 
Gilbert-Miller Dry Goods Co. was formed 
by the entrance into the business of W. S. 
Gilbert, son of Capt. John Gilbert. In 1864 
Mr. Miller entered the service of the United 



States, joining Company F of the One 
Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment In- 
diana Volunteer Infantry, under Col. 
John W. Foster, and served until the 
close of the war. He is a member of Far- 
ragut Post, G. A. R., St. George Lodge, 
K. of P., and of Excelsior Lodge, A. O. 
U. W. He is also a member of the Business 
Men's Association and of the Merchants 1 
Exchange. He has taken an active interest 
in every effort to give the city of Evansville 
that prominence among the cities of the 
countrv to which it is entitled by reason of 
its merit. Energetic, public-spirited, and 
sagacious, he has done much to advance the 
public good, and deservedly takes a high 
rank among the prominent men of the day. 
A. P. Lahr, a prominent merchant, and 
proprietor of one of the leading dry goods, 
carpet and window shade houses of the city, 
was born at Wendelheim, Rheinhessen, Ger- 
many, June 17, 1S49, and is the son of Peter 
and Maiw (Schlossstein)Lahr. His parents, 
natives of Germany, emigrated to the United 
States in 1S6S, came direct to Evansville, 
and for a number of years the father 
was engaged in manufacturing and milling. 
and also carried on farming. His death 
occurred February 29, iSSS; that of the 
mother seven days previously. To these 
parents five children were born, two of 
whom survive. A. P. Lahr was reared in 
his native land, and attended the schools 
there. In 1867, he came to Amer- 
ica, coming one year before his parents. 
Soon after arriving in this country he came 
to Evansville. Having learned the dry 
goods business in Germany with an uncle, 
through the assistance of Hon. William Heil- 
man, he secured a position in the dry goods 
house of Frank Hopkins & Co., with which 
house he remained six years. He then 
located in Rockford, Iowa, opened a grocery 
store, and remained about two years. At the 

end of this time he returned to Evansville, 
and engaged with the firm of Hopkins & 
Co. again. Remaining with that house 
for two years more he then took 
a course in the commercial college 
and next entered the store of Miller Bros., 
where he clerked for a short time. That 
firm then opened a branch store, known as 
the " Centennial Store," and Mr. Lahr was 
placed in charge of the same as manager, 
and continued in that capacity for about two 
years. He next entered the store of A. G. 
Evans & Co., clerked for a year, and was 
then relieved of his position in that store by 
the entrance into the firm as a partner, of 
John Hubbs. Through the assistance of 
Jacob Haas, he was enabled to purchase a 
stock of goods, and, going to Carmi, 111., 
opened a store, where he remained three 
and a half years. Returning to Evansville, 
he erected a handsome store building on 
Fulton avenue, and embarked in the dry 
goods business for himself, where he met 
with great success. On Januarv 5> 1888, he 
purchased the large stock of John S. Hop- 
kins at public sale, and began business at 
the old stand of that firm on Main street, 
still continuing his Fulton avenue store. He 
carries a stock in the Main street establish- 
ment of between $40,000 and $50,000, and 
does an annual business of between $115,- 
000 and $125,000. In the Fulton avenue 
store a stock of between $15,000 and $18,- 
000 is carried, and an average business of 
about $45,000 is done. Mr. Lahr was mar- 
ried on September 10, 1876, to Miss Amelia 
J. Hodson, a native of this city, daughter of- 
John and Jane Hodson. To this union two 
children have been born: Mabel B. and Her- 
bert H. Mr. Lahr is a progressive citizen, 
and one whose success has been rapidly 

William E. French was born near Pa- 
toka, Gibson county, Ind., Januarv 26, 1825. 



His parents, William and Mary (Breading) 
French, natives of La Fayette county. Pa., 
shortly after their marriage in 1S22, moved 
by flat-boat down the Monongahela and 
Ohio rivers to Evansville, then a small vil- 
lage, and thence to a farm near Patoka, 
where the)' settled. Here their lives were 
spent as useful citizens, God-fearing and up- 
right. The father was accidentally killed in 
1844 by the falling of a tree, in the fiftieth 
year of his age; the mother died in 1876 at 
the age of eighty-three years. Their family 
consisted of four sons: David, William E., 
Nathaniel B., and Lucius S. The oldest of 
these, David, was accidentally killed when 
sixteen years of age. Nathaniel B. was for 
many years a merchant in Princeton, where 
he now resides, and during the war served 
as major of the Forty-second Indiana Infantry. 
Lucius S. resided until his death in 1886, on the 
old family farm. At his father's death, the 
cares of the family devolved on William. 
He had attended the common schools of the 
country, had spent one year in an academy 
at Princeton and another in Hanover Col- 
lege, at Hanover, Ind. He was anxious to 
continue his studies, and a year later entered 
the State University at Bloomington, where 
he graduated in 1S46. He returned home 
and for several years was engaged in farm- 
ing and trading in produce, which he trans- 
ported to New Orleans in flat-boats. In 
August, 1850, he moved to Evansville and 
with Fielding Johnson entered the wholesale 
and retail dry goods business under the 
style of Johnson & French. Six years later 
Mr. Johnson retired, disposing of his 
interest to Mr. French, who admitted 
Sylvester T. Jerauld to a partnership, 
the firm style being changed to French 
& Jerauld. Soon thereafter, the busi- 
ness was changed to that of wholesale 
clothing, and the style to William E. French 
& Co. An extensive business was trans- 

acted, but heavy losses were incurred, and 
Mr. French was forced to retire for a year, 
in order to settle up the affairs of the house. 
Upon the passage of the new internal rev- 
enue bill, he was appointed deputy collector 
for this division of the first district of In- 
diana, and served three years in that capac- 
ity. By this time many of the maimed sol- 
diers of the war had returned home, and be- 
lieving that the civil offices under the pat- 
ronage of the government should be held 
by the returned veterans who had risked 
their lives for its support on the field of bat- 
tle, he resigned his office in favor of William 
Warren, Jr., an honorably discharged pri- 
vate of the Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry, 
who had returned home to Evansville, with 
the loss of his right arm. He recommended 
the appointmentment of Mr. Warren,- was 
on his bond, and assisted him in gaining a 
knowledge of the various duties of the office. 
In 1S63, Mr. French again entered the 
wholesale dry goods business with J. S. 
Jaquess, under the style of Jaquess, French 
& Co. The business was profitably con- 
ducted for five years, during which time car- 
pets were added to the stock. By mutual 
agreement the business was then divided; the 
dry goods portion being sold to Hudspeth, 
Smith & Co., and Mr. French, with Charles 
Klinglehoeffer, going into the general car- 
pet and house-furnishing business exclusively. 
The spacious and elegant store of William 
E. French & Co., at No. 205 Main street, 
contains one of the largest and most varied 
stocks of carpets to be found anywhere in 
the west. By a strict adherence to honorable 
methods throughout his entire business 
career, and by keeping pace with the ad- 
vancement of public tastes, Mr. French has 
succeeded in firmly fixing his house in public 
favor. On May 10, 1849, Mr. French was 
married to Miss Mary H. Stockwell, daugh- 
ter of Dr. W. H. Stockwell, of Patoka, Ind. 



The following children have been the issue 
of this marriage: Harry B., who was as- 
sociated in business with his father until his 
death in 1876; William S., who entered 
business with his father in 1881, is now a 
prominent young business man and secretary 
of the Business Men's Association; Carrie L., 
now wife of Charles E. Chase, of Louis- 
ville, Ky. ; Nannie S., now wife of W. D. 
Crothers, of Brownwood, Tex. ; and Minnie 
B., unmarried and residing with her parents. 
William B. Sherwood was born in 
Evansville, March 24, 1836. His grand- 
father, David Sherwood, born June 13, 1777, 
was a stone mason by trade, and at one 
time was a member of the Connecticut 
legislature. His father, Marcus Sherwood, 
a native of Fairfield county, Conn., born 
May 28, 1803, was a prominent pioneer citi- 
zen of this place. In his early boyhood 
Marcus determined to leave his native place 
in New England and seek his fortune in the 
west. Setting out with an uncle, he drove 
an ox team for fifty-eight days, and at the 
end of this time reached Pittsburgh, Pa. 
Here his uncle and friends bought' a flat- 
boat, loaded it with their effects, and after a 
tedious voyage arrived in Evansville June 6, 
1819. He was now thrown upon his own 
resources, and went bravely to work as a 
day laborer at fifty cents a day. He saved 
his earnings and commenced flat-boating 
when that mode of transportation came into 
use, spending twelve years so occupied and 
making twenty-eight trips to New Orleans. 
The business was profitable and the capital 
thus earned was invested in real estate 
which, through the later growth of Evans- 
ville, increased rapidly in value. He, 
speculated extensively in pork and produce, 
and was during his life a very prominent 
man in business circles. He aided, as a con- 
tractor, in the construction of the Wabash & 
Erie canal, and was prominently connected 

with other public works of early days. He 
was progressive and public-spirited. When 
others doubted the success of the undertak- 
ing he built the Sherwood House — a well- 
known hotel now nearly fifty j'ears old. It 
was built in 1839 an< ^ t ^ le original building 
was 40x100 feet. Throughout his entire 
career he was very active and ener- 
getic, and always had the confidence 
and respect of the entire community. He 
amassed a large fortune and became one of 
the wealthiest citizens of his day. Gener- 
ous and benevolent, he gave liberally to 
charitable purposes. He was a member of 
the First Cumberland Presbyterian church, 
and to this organization he made many mu- 
nificent gifts. His life was well spent, and 
he was considered in his day one of Evans- 
ville's most prominent and useful citizens. 
He was married in 1834 to Miss Prudence 
Johnson, a native of Kentucky, born in 1808, 
and daughter of Alexander and Mary John- 
son, pioneers of this city. To this union 
but one son, William B., was born. The 
death of Marcus Sherwood occurred in 1880 ; 
that of his wife ten years earlier, in 1870. 
William B. Sherwood grew to manhood in 
this city and attended its public schools. He 
is the owner of the Sherwood House, and 
has concerned himself principally with the 
management of the estate inherited from his 
father. Not taking an active part in 
public affairs his life has been uneventful. 
He is a good citizen and is respected by 
all. November 24, 1879, ne was married 
to Miss Johanna A. Marlett, who was born 
in this city Jul)' 23d, 1838. Of this union 
two children have been born: Burton W. 
and Marcus M. 

Thomas Scantlin, one of the most active 
business men this city has ever known, was 
born in Lexington, Ky., August 9th, 
1814, being the son of the pioneers, James 
and Elizabeth (Young) Scantlin, natives of 



Kentucky, who came to Indiana in the year 
1814, settling first in Pike county, and re- 
moving to Evansville in 1833. Upon his 
arrival here Mr. Scantlin opened a tin shop, 
the first of its kind in the village. He had 
previously combined to some extent, the 
occupation of farmer and tinner. In this 
city his career was long and successful. His 
family consisted of seventeen children, six of 
whom are now living. These have main- 
tained the high degree of respectability by 
which their parents were distinguished. 
During his boyhood whenever opportunity 
afforded, Thomas Scantlin attended school, 
by which means he succeeded in obtaining a 
good practical education. By working in 
his father's shop he learned the tinner's 
trade. When twenty-one years of age he 
was ready to embark in business for him- 
self. He had been faithful in his father's 
service, and when his intention of establish- 
ing himself in business was announced his 
father gave him credit for $50.00 worth 
of stock. With this amount of capital he 
opened a little shop at Princeton, and during 
his first seven months there earned $150. 
His father, now anxious for his return, 
offered him an interest in his business here. 
This was accepted, and the partnership thus 
formed continued until 1838, when his father 
withdrew. At first the business grew 
slowly. Money was hard to obtain, and 
settlers purchased only what was necessary 
to prevent suffering. Stoves were then 
considered a great luxury. Cooking on 
the hearth by the fire place was the order of 
the day, using " Dutch ovens, '" skillets, frying 
pans, etc. His first stock of stoves, costing 
$1,600, introduced about 1838 and bought on 
credit, met with a slow sale. Over three years 
were necessary for their disposal. Then profits 
amounting to $500 per annum were thought 
by merchants to be a fair compensation. In 
1S41 his father returned and they were as- 

sociated in business till 1844, when Thomas 
again assumed sole control. The growth 
of the business was commensurate with 
that of the town, and about this time 
it will be remembered that Evansville, 
because of her important commercial 
relations, was making rapid strides 
forward. In 1846, Mr. Scantlin put on the 
second tin roof in the town, and two years 
later put up the first iron front seen in 
Evansville. Just prior to this his entire 
stock was destroyed bv fire. The insur- 
ance did not cover one-half the loss, but 
with characteristic zeal he rented a room 
temporarily and erecting a new store house, 
continued the business on an enlarged scale. 
About 1850, he established a foundry, and 
in 1S73 opened the now well-known exten- 
sive works on Upper Water street and the 
store-rooms on Upper First street, his son, 
Thomas E., an efficient manager, being at 
this time admitted to the firm and placed in 
charge of the sales department. By honest 
and industrious effort, by wise and skillful 
management, these gentlemen have achieved 
a large measure of success. The} - enjoy 
the confidence of the business community 
and a high social position. Thomas Scant- 
lin was married in 1840, to Miss Eleanor 
Jane Parvin, a native of Gibson county, 
born in 1820. His family consists of seven 
children, Lavinia E., James M., Julia, 
Thomas E., Ethel, Cary and Ira C. Politi- 
sally, Mr. Scantlin was formerly a whig, and is 
now an earnest republican. He has served 
as a member of the city council for two 
terms. He and his wife are members of 
the Presbyterian church. As a resident 
of the city for more than half a century he 
has taken an active interest in all public en- 
terprises and lends his influence to all pro- 
per efforts to uplift and educate mankind. 

James Scantlin, one of the seventeen 
children of the pioneers, James and Elizabeth 



Scantlin, was born near the village of Union 
in this state, July 29, 1823. Hither his 
parents had come, in 1814, from Louisville, 
where the father was born and raised. His 
youth was spent upon his father's farm, and 
in this city. The schools of that period 
were very imperfect, and the mental train- 
ing obtainable was necessarily meagre. In 
his father's shop he learned the trade of a 
tinner, and for many years he has been en- 
gaged here as a dealer in stoves and tin- 
ware. Adopting honorable methods at the 
outset and pursuing them steadfastly, he has 
won the respect of the people, and a com- 
fortable degree of financial success. In 
1846, he was married to Miss Jane E. 
Stephens, a native of this county, born in 
1S30, daughter of the eminent pioneer, 
Judge Silas Stephens, one of Vanderburgh 
county's most illustrious old-time citizens. 
The mother of Mrs. Scantlin was Julienne 
Evans, daughter of Gen. Evans, and a most 
estimable lady. Eight children have been 
born to James and Jane Scantlin: Julian, 
Silas, James, Mary, Mattie, Alberta, Eliza S., 
and Robert E. In politics Mr. Scantlin 
affiliates with the democratic party, and has 
represented his ward in the city council for 
three and one-half years. He takes a lively 
interest in the advancement of the city, but 
not unmindful of the past, he delights to recall 
the good old days and to honor the heroic 
pioneers of an age that is gone forever. 

Nicholas Ellis. — Much of the pros- 
perity of this county may be attributed to the 
high class of German immigrants in early 
times. The\ T brought with them the frugal 
and industrious habits of their native land, and 
exercising these upon the great natural 
advantages of this rich territory, a large 
measure of individual and general prosperity 
was the inevitable result. August Ellis 
was among these pioneers. Born in Wach- 
enheim, Germany, in 1814, he emigrated to 

the United States in 1840, and settled in 
Armstrong township, this count}-. In his 
native country he had learned the trade of a 
butcher, but coming to Evansville in 1845, two 
years later he embarked in the retail grocery 
business, at which he continued until 1S62. 
In that year he began to operate a mill) 
which he continued successfully until his 
death, in 1871. The Ellis Mills, ordinarily 
called the Canal Mills, soon became a well- 
known industry, and their proprietor, be- 
cause of his probity and uprightness, is 
remembered as a useful citizen. His wife, 
Margaret (Schmitt) Ellis, was born in Ger- 
many in 1S20, and now resides in this 
city. Her character is made up of 
the commendable traits characteristic 
of the old-time German matron. The third 
child born to these pioneers was the well- 
known miller Nicholis Ellis, who was born 
on his father's farm in Armstrong township, 
March 28, 1844. His parents moved to 
Evansville during his infancy, and here he 
has resided ever since. As soon as he had 
passed through the schools of the city he 
entered the grocery store of his father, and 
from that time on the work of the father 
and the son lay in the same direction, each 
profiting by the other's assistance, the old 
man drawing upon the youth for energetic 
and enterprising activity, the young man 
drawing upon the elder for stability, conser- 
vatism, and experience in business affairs. 
In the years that have elapsed since 1862 
Nicholis Ellis has become one of the leading 
millers in the state of Indiana. The fairness 
of his dealings and his high sense of honor 
in business transactions have made him 
strong in the hearts of the people. His pro- 
gressive ideas have kept him abreast of the 
times in a business where improvement has 
made rapid strides in late years. He has 
been for some time a prominent and useful 
member of the Indiana Millers' Association, 



having been elected, in 1S81, to the presi- 
dency of the organization. His ability be- 
ing recognized, the state association named 
him as a delegate to the National Millers' 
Association held at Buffalo, N. Y., during 
the past year. Being progressive in his 
own business, he has acted a prominent part 
in all measures adopted for the enhancement 
of the general welfare of the city. In the 
work of the Business Men's Association he 
has taken a deep interest. In 1867 he was 
married to Miss Elizabeth Krau, who was 
born in Evansville in 1S48. The family 
consists of three children : Louis F., 
Adelia V., and William M. Mr. Ellis became 
a Mason in 1865, and a Knight Templar in 
1886. He and his wife are members of 
the Presbyterian church and in their lives 

practice without ostentation the Christian 

George B. Viele, junior member of the 
firm of Viele, Stockwell & Co., wholesale 
grocers of Evansville, was born in Evans- 
ville, Ind., and is the son of Charles Viele, 
president of the First National Bank, and 
one of the prominent citizens of the city. 
Mr. Viele was reared in Evansville, and 
attended the public schools, finishing his 
education at Burlington, N. J. On his 
twenty-first birthday he entered the whole- 
sale house of Charles Viele & Co., as a 
member of the firm, which was styled 
subsequently Viele, Stockwell & Co. Mr. 
Viele married Miss Annie, daughter of J. H. 
Morgan, and to this union one son has been 


United States Officers — City Government — Officers — Police Department 
— Fire Department — Water Works — Public Buildings — Public Improve- 
ments — Streets — Sewers — Street Railways — River Improvement — 
Gas and Electric Light — Public Halls, Opera Houses and Places of 
Amusement — Public Parks — Salt Wells Park. 

Crf?v O sooner had the formation of Vander- 
IbP burgh county been authorized by law 
"^(j than Hugh McGary took steps to se- 
cure the establishment of a post-office at the 
infant village of Evansville. In the cabin of 
the dauntless colonel, quarters for the new in- 
stitution were provided, and the founder of 
the town was chosen as postmaster, his com- 
mission bearing date February 20th, 1818. 
He conducted the postal affairs here until 
June 10th, 1819, when he was succeeded in 
office by Ansel Wood, who in turn gave way 
on the 9th day of September, 1S20, to 
Jacob Zimmerman. Subsequently William 
Warner, a well-known pioneer, was ap- 
pointed to discharge the duties of the office, 
then demanding but little time and attention, 
the date of his appointment being February 
10th, 1822. His successor, November 2d, 
1S23, was Harley B. Chandler. For ten or 
a dozen years, during which the growth of 
Evansville was hardly appreciable, the post- 
office was an institution of but little import- 
ance. In later years its growth and the 
measure of its facilities for giving efficient 
services to the people have been commen- 
surate with the expansion of the town and 
city in other directions. 

About 1835, Charles Bowen became post- 
master, and upon the election of Van Buren 
to the presidency, F. E. Goodsell was ap- 
pointed and served from 1837 to 1S41, when 
he was succeeded bv Daniel Chute, who 

held the office under Harrison and Tyler 
from that time until 1845. For four years 
thereafter, during the administration of 
President Polk, the postmaster was 
Benjamin F. Dupuy. In 1849, William H. 
Chandler, a prominent citizen and for some 
time prior to the date named, editor of the 
"Journal, succeeded Mr. Dupuy. Prior to 
this time, appointments were made by the 
first assistant postmaster general, but 
Evansville had now become a city, and the 
business of the office had increased to such 
proportions that the manner of the appoint- 
ment was changed, the president naming 
the officers with the advice and consent of 
the senate. Mr. Chandler, the first to serve 
by direct nomination of the president, re- 
mained in office until 1853, when he gave 
way to Benjamin Stinson, who, after four 
years, was succeeded by Christopher R. 
Rudd. Through appointment by President 
Lincoln, James H. McNeely assumed con- 
trol of the office May 1st, 1861, and at the 
expiration of his term being reappointed, 
served until 1867, when he was removed for 
political reasons by President Johnson, 
Azariah T. Whittlesey being named as his 
successor. Mr. Whittlesey was superseded 
in 1869 by Col. John W. Foster, who served 
until 1873, when he resigned to enter the 
diplomatic service of his country. President 
Grant filled the vacancy occasioned by this 
resignation by the appointment of Theo- 




dore R. McFerson April ist, 1873, whose 
successor was F. M. Thayer, who at length 
resigned, II. S. Bennett being appointed to 
till the vacancy. Upon the election of Gro- 
ver Cleveland to the presidency J. W. Lauer 
succeeded to the office and is the present in- 

In earl}- times the post-office was located 
at the residence or place of business of the 
incumbent, and was changed with each new 
appointment. It was first at the house of 
Hugh McGary, then at the tavern of Ansel 
Wood, and later at the office of Jacob Zim- 
merman, who was a justice of the peace. 
When Mr. Goodsell was postmaster the of- 
fice was kept in a two-story frame building 
at the corner of First and Sycamore 
streets, and later was removed to the corner 
of First and Main streets on the present site 
of the First National Bank. Under Mr. 
Dupuy it was moved to Locust street near 
the Washington market, and under Mr. 
Chandler went back to First street. In 1861, 
when Mr. McNeely took the office, it was lo- 
cated in a room on the south side of First 
street, between Main and Locust streets. In 
1862, it was removed to the corner room in 
Chandler's block, at the corner of First and 
Locust streets, and in 1865, was established 
in the building now occupied bv the criminal 
court, formerly the Locust Street Methodist 
Episcopal church. Again, in 1869, it was 
removed to the opera-house building on Lo- 
cust street, below First, where it remained 
until the government building was erected at 
the comer of Second and Sycamore streets. 
This is one of the most imposing edifices in 
Evansville, and furnishes commodious apart- 
ments for the postmaster, the surveyor of 
customs, collector of internal revenue, 
United States court, United States inspectors 
of steamboats, and all other government offi- 
cers. The need of this building was long 
felt at Evansville before its erection was 

commenced. In 1872, the increasing busi- 
ness of the government at this point led con- 
gress to provide for the erection of a suitable 
building. Messrs. W. M. Aikin, I). J. 
Mackey, John W. Foster, M. Henning and 
Philip Hornbrook, were appointed to select 
a site, and upon their recommendation the 
east side of the block now used, 150x144 
feet, was purchased. In 1874, an equal 
amount of adjoining territory was purchased, 
extending the site to Vine street. The total 
value of the ground was about $120,000.00, 
of which the government paid $99,000.00, 
the remainder being donated by owners of 
neighboring property. The law, as at first 
passed, appropriated $100,000, and limited 
the cost of the building to $200,000.00. In 
1873, the limit was fixed at $300,000.00, and 
an additional $50,000.00 was appropriated. 

The building was erected with James H. 
McNeely as superintendent of construction, 
Charles Pierce as contractor, and Joseph K. 
Frick as resident architect, at a cost within 
the amount appropriated. Subsequently 
$25,000.00 were expended in the improve- 
ment of the grounds, etc. 

Evansville was made a port of entry in 
1856, through the instrumentality of Judge 
Charles I. Battell, William Brown Butler and 
other leading citizens. William Brown was 
the first survevor, receiving his appointment 
from President Fillmore. For some time 
very little business was done, the chief im- 
porters being Babcock Bros. Staples in 
hardware and queensware were the principal 
imports. All trace chains and like articles 
were brought from beyond the seas. The 
officer here was vested with limited powers 
until June 10, 1880, when by law, powers 
equal to those enjoyed by any other port of 
entry in the United States were granted. 
June 21, 1880, the secretary of the treasury 
decided that Evansville did not transact suffi- 
cient business to have right of " immediat e 



transportation," but in April, 1888, this 
suspended right was fully restored. Those 
who succeeded Mr. Brown as surveyor have 
been : Col. Charles Denby, Dr. Isaac Cas- 
selberry, Maj. A. L. Robinson, Philip Horn- 
brook, Joseph C. Jewell, and Maj. J. B. Cox, 
who has held the office since September, 

In addition to the postmaster and the sur- 
veyor of customs, the following officials are 
accommodated with ample quarters in the 
the custom house building: James K. 
Minor, Deputy Collector U. S. Internal 
Revenue, Seventh District of Indiana; C. J, 
Murphy, U. S. Inspector of Steamboat 
Hulls; John H. Moore, U. S. Inspector of 
Steamboat Boilers; James W. Wartman. 
Deputy Clerk U. S. Court and U. S. Com- 
missioner; Thos. J. Groves, Deputy U. S. 

City Government. — Prior to the receipt 
of its charter as a city- the village of Evans- 
ville was governed as an incorporated 
town. Its trustees from time to time have 
been named in other connections. Since 
1847 it has been controlled by a mayor and 
common council. The mayors have been: 
James G. Jones, 1847 to 1S52; John S. Hop- 
kins, 1853 to 1855; John Hewson, 1856 to 
1858; William Baker, 1S59 to lS6 7: Will- 
iam H. Walker, 1S6S to 1870; E. G. Van 
Riper, appointed to fill a vacancy occasioned 
by the death of Mayor Walker, who died 
September 9, 1870; William Baker, 1S71 to 
May 23, 1872, when he died, the vacancy 
thus occasioned being filled by the election 
of Charles H. Butterfield, at a special elec- 
tion held June S, 1872, who, being re-elected, 
served until 1874; John J. Kleiner, I ^74 to 
1879; Thomas C. Bridwell, 1SS0 to 1885; 
John H. Dannettell, 1886, term expires 1889. 
The following named gentlemen compose 
the present city council: First ward, John B. 
Uphaus and H. S. Bennett; Second ward, 

Thomas J. Groves and John Ingle; Third 
ward, Henry Stockfleth and William Koel- 
ling; Fourth ward, William Hevns and 
George Koch; Fifth ward, F. J. Scholz 
and A. C. Rosencranz; Sixth ward, Albert 
Johann and William W. Ross. The present 
officers are: James H. Foster, auditor; 
George N. Wells, treasurer; James R. 
Ferguson, clerk; H. A. Mattison, attorney; 
John J. Marlett, assessor; M. C. McCutch- 
an, survevor. 

Police Department. — Until the city- char- 
ter was granted, and, indeed for nearly 
twenty years thereafter, constables and a 
city marshal were depended on to preserve 
order and protect the property of citizens. 
From 1S57 to 1863 Edward S. Martin was 
city marshal. In 1863 two policemen were 
appointed. These were Philip Klein, at 
present the veteran chief of the fire depart- 
ment, and George Gates. Some time later 
four others were added to this force, but there 
was no chief, save the mayor, and each ran 
his beat as directed by the mavor in person. 
In 1865 Mr. Klein was elected wharf- 
master, and, while serving in this capacity, 
was called by the mayor and council to act 
at the head of the police department, which 
suddenly, in an emergency, was increased 
to thirty-six men. The occasion for this 
was the hanging of two colored men to a 
lamp post, near the court-house, bv a mob, 
for an alleged offense of which one of them 
at least was, after his death, admitted to 
have been innocent by his accuser. When 
peace was permanently restored, the force 
was reduced to six men, and, in addition to 
their duties as policemen, these were charged 
with operating the fire department, such as 
it was at that time. In 1867 Philip Klein 
was elected marshal, and retained his posi- 
tion at the head of the police force. His 
successors were, in 1868, Edward S. Mar- 
tin and, in 1869, Christian Wunderlich. The 



growth of the city now demanded a better 
system of police surveillance, and the con- 
struction and management of a proper police 
force were intrusted to the city council. 
Philip Klein, who had already rendered such 
efficient service, was made chief under the 
new plan, and the force was increased to 
twenty-two men. His successors were 
Henry Avres, Peter Roesner and Joseph 
App. This system prevailed until re- 
placed, in 18S4, by the metropolitan system, 
which provides for the appointment of three 
police commissioners bv the governor 
and state officers, who appoint the police- 
men in equal numbers from the two political 
parties, thus securing as nearly as practic- 
able a non-partisan force. The first of these 
commissioners were: Dr. M. Muhlhausen, 
Edward E. Law and J. A. Lemcke; the 
present commissioners are Edward E. Law, 
Alexander H. Foster and Adolph Goeke, 
with F. D. Morton as secretary. The first 
chief under the metropolitan system was 
Frank Pritchett, his successor being George 
W. Newitt, the present incumbent. The 
police force at present is composed of forty 
men, well officered and finely disciplined 
The captains of the force are Charles 
Wunderlich and Fred H. Brennecke; the 
surgeon, Isaiah Wiltcn. This department 
has always maintained a high degree of 
efficiency. Its skill in the detection of 
crime, and its fearlessness in confronting and 
dealing with criminals, has been such as to 
secure to the citizens of Evansville im- 
munity, to a great extent, from the depreda- 
tions of law-breakers. While the city is not 
without many offenders against the majesty 
of the law, and while some citizens at times 
may have felt grieved at the existence of 
unremedied evils, yet, on the whole, the 
record achieved by the police of Evansville, 
in their individual official capacities and as 
a combined force, has been good. 

Fire Department. — In early days there 
was no organized force to resist the ravages 
of fire. A conflagration called out all 
citizens, who hurried pell-mell with buckets, 
ladders, etc., to aid in fighting the flames, 
it making little difference whether the fire 
occurred during the day or night. At such 
times women and children congregated 
about the scene of destruction to render 
such aid as was in their power or to enjoy 
such majestic or ridiculous sights as might 
be produced bv the flames or some wit of 
the occasion. The most severe fire of early 
times was that which in 1S42 swept from 
existence all the houses on the east side of 
Main street between Water and First. In 
1847 when the community had attained the 
rank and dignity of a city a hand engine 
was introduced. This first fire engine ex- 
cited the intense admiration of the citizens 
and especially of the young men belonging 
to the force volunteered to work it. It was 
named " Union,"' but subsequently became 
known as the " Lamasco.' T After render- 
ing valuable service here it was sold to the 
town of Tell City, where it is believed to 
be in use to this clay. Improvement in this 
department was rapid; by 1852 the city 
possessed five engines, manned wholly by 
volunteers, who received no pay. At the 
head of the organization at first was the 
well-known citizen, Joseph Turnock. Al- 
though this department was as efficient as 
it was possible for it to be, and was com- 
posed of gentlemen, many of them the 
first young men of the place, the city 
grew so rapidly that means for better pro- 
tection from fire was soon recognized as a 
necessity. The first steam engine was in- 
troduced in 1864, and in the following year 
another was obtained, and by 1867 the use 
of hand engines was clone away with. 
When the first steam engine was purchased 
bv the city the mayor was cx-ojficio chief of 



the fire department. The duties of this 
position, however. Mayor Baker intrusted 
to Philip Klein, then at the head of the 
city's small police force. The engines 
were manned by the policemen and such 
men as the chief could employ on the 
streets. Cisterns were dug in the streets 
of the city, and these furnished the water 
supply. The inability of such an agency to 
cope successfully with a fire, well under 
way, is apparent, but this mode of protect- 
ing the city continued until the water-works 
were constructed in 1S71. At that time the 
old engines were sold and replaced by a 
rotary engine, the water supply coming from 
the mains of the water-works system. This 
new engine was called "Lamasco," in re- 
membrance of old times and in honor of its 
predecessor, the first hand engine. Col. 
William E. Hollingsworth became chief of 
this department in its improved condition. 
Others who have occupied the position have 
been: Thomas Hopkins, Benjamin Niehaus, 
William Bedford, jr., Thomas Bullen, and 
Philip Klein, who has been chief since April, 
1887. For more than twenty-five years 
this veteran has been connected with this 
department, and his efficiency is acknowl- 
edged by all. There are fifty-seven men 
on the force, all stationed in the several hose 
houses, and subject to call at all hours. The 
fay system was adopted January 1, 1S8S, 
by which sufficient compensation is given to 
claim the entire time of the employe. Prior 
to that date a portion of the force, under 
what was called the runner system, followed 
various pursuits, and were required to re- 
port for duty only when the fire alarm was 
sounded. There are ten hose houses, so 
distributed throughout the city as to afford 
adequate protection to all localities. The 
three engines owned are seldom used, ex- 
cept in case of a dangerous fire in the heart 
of the city, the water-works furnishing a suffi- 

cient supply of water for all ordinary purposes. 
The department is provided with two chem- 
ical engines, one hook and ladder truck, six 
hose reels, two hose wagons, and twenty-six 
well trained horses. The annual cost of sus- 
taining this department is about $45,000.00. 
The entire force is well disciplined and 
efficient. Its training and valor have been 
displayed on many occasions. The largest 
fires with which it has had to contend in late 
years have been that in August, 1887, of the 
Armstrong furniture factory and Reitz lum- 
ber yards, and that in November, 1887, on 
First street, below Main, which consumed 
property valued at more than $200,000.00. 
This great conflagration, reaching to both 
sides of the street, was under control in 
about two hours from the sounding of the 
alarm. The force is so well trained that a 
fire in any part of the city can be reached 
with one or two reels within three minutes, 
and by actual test it has been demonstrated 
that the hose carriages can be run seven 
squares, and a heavy volume of water be put 
in full play, within one minute and fifty sec- 
onds from the sounding of the alarm. 

Water-zvorks. — Evansville built her own 
water-works in 187 1 at a first cost of $300,- 
000, to which has been added since some- 
thing over $180,000, making the total cost 
over $480,000. The first plan, owing to 
the rapid growth of the city, soon became 
inadequate to supply the ever-increasing de- 
mand, and additions have several times been 
made, the last in 1882, when the capacity 
of the pumps was nearly doubled. No 
more striking evidence of the growth of the 
industrial enterprises and the population of 
Evansville is afforded than the fact that the 
water capacity, thus increased only six years 
ago, is now taxed to its utmost to keep up 
the supply. 

The system in use is the Holly system, 
the machinery having been furnished by the 



Holly Manufacturing Company of Lockport, 
N. Y. There are thirty-eight miles of mains, 
with a pumping capacity per day of 5,000,- 
000 gallons. There are i,549 consumers. 
Under this system water is now used for tire 
purposes, delivered from the plugs under 
direct pressure from the main pumps at the 
water-works station. The water-works sup- 
ply, for all purposes, 1,460,000,000 gallons 
annually, or within twenty per cent of the 
full capacity of the pumps. The property 
is located on Upper Water street between 
Oak and Mulberry, fronting 225 feet and 
running back to the Ohio river at low water 
mark, about 700 feet. The building is a 
brick and stone structure three stories high, 
built in the modern French style of archi- 
tecture with a mansard roof and a tower 
observatory. The building was received 
from the contractors by the city council, 
June 1, 1872. The trustees since 1S85, 
when the management of the works was 
entrusted to a board of trustees, have been: 
John Haney, M. Moran, Fred Baker, James 
Taylor, Henry F. Froelich, and Alexander 
Jack, the three last named constituting the 
present board of trustees, with Noah Riggs 
as clerk. 

Public Buildings. — For many years 
Evansville possessed no buildings devoted 
exclusively to the transaction of the public 
business. The mayor's office was at his 
house or at some place of private business 
suggested by the convenience of that official. 
The town council first met at the house of 
Hugh McGary, and afterward, when the 
town had grown to some importance, in an 
old building on Second street, between 
Main and Locust, where the Courier build- 
ing now stands. At one time a small brick 
building, erected by the county on its public 
square for the use of the county officers, 
was given up to the town officers for occu- 
pancy, but immediately thereafter the burn- 

ing of the court-house forced them to 
vacate, to give room for the count}' officials 
who were driven out by the lire. In later 
years the council was wont to assemble in an 
upper room at the Locust Street Methodist 
Episcopal church, now the Superior court 
building, and there held their sessions. 
About 1 868 the city purchased the lot on 
the northwest corner of Third and Walnut 
streets, on which there was standing at the 
time a brick building of small size, into 
which the city offices were moved. At 
length, however, the growth of the city 
demanded better facilities for the conduct of 
its constantly increasing business, and more 
secure receptacles for the safe-keeping of 
its valuable records and papers than those 
afforded by this small building, not at first 
designed for the purposes which it 
was being forced to serve and without any 
of the conveniences or necessities appertain- 
ing to a public building. Plans for a new 
structure, prepared by Levi S. Clarke, archi- 
tect, were adopted, and the contract for 
building was let to Adam Weichell. The 
building was completed and received earl)' 
in 1887, and cost, including the engine house 
about $42,000. It is a handsome edifice of 
pressed brick with white stone trimmings, 
with its main entrance on Third street. A 
lofty tower adds beauty to the structure 
and affords to the public the convenience 
of a clock whose large dial can be seen for 
several squares. It is substantially built 
and handsomely finished throughout. On 
the lower or main floor are commodious and 
conveniently arranged offices for the city 
officers; while above are the council cham- 
ber, the mayor's offices and apartments for 
some other officials. The edifice is an 
ornament to the city, and strikingly evi- 
dences the wisdom of the administration 
under which it was built. To the north of 
the city hall, facing Walnut street, is 



another handsome building — police head- 
quarters and city jail — and to the west, 
facing Third street, a well designed and 
neatly built engine house. These public 
buildings, costing in the aggregate about 
$50,000, in their completeness and beauty 
bespeak the wealth of the community as 
well as its progressive spirit. 

Public Improvements. — For many }'ears 
Evansville, like other villages, paid no atten- 
tion to the improvement of its streets and 
pavements. In winter the streets were 
generally in that miry condition so common 
to the dirt roads of early days. The river 
front was unimproved, except by the pro- 
tection of the bank, and the construction of 
a cartway, until 1848. The public square 
was not graded by the county authorities 
until the town had attained a considerable 
size and some importance. The street cross- 
ings were generally made of stones, set on 
end, a good step apart, which one was sel- 
dom able to find after dark. But with the 
dignity that came of being called and known 
as a city, public improvements were com- 
menced, and from that time forward vigor- 
ously prosecuted. The principal streets 
were at first paved, and the work in this 
line has been kept up until at present 
there are over thirty miles of graveled and 
paved streets. Those in the business por- 
tion of the city are bouldered, while those 
leading through residence sections are 
formed of gravel so laid and pressed by 
steam-rollers, as to form a smooth, durable 
highway. The first sewer constructed in 
the city was that under Division street, and 
from the river extended about eight squares 
when completed. The system of sewerage 
in the city now is very fine, no pains having 
been spared by those in authority to provide 
a perfect drainage. The city is on an elevated 
site, thus having a natural declivity to- 
ward the river which renders the sewers 

very effective. By 1874 the city had con- 
structed about nine miles of sewerage which 
has since been increased to nearly forty 

The Street Railway Company was in- 
corporated in 1S67, and has furnished a ser- 
vice from that time to this such as the grow- 
ing demands of the city would justify. The 
company operates its cars by horse 
power, and has laid down about thirty-six 
miles of track, traversing the principal 
business streets, and extending into the 
suburbs in all directions. The development 
of the suburbs following the extension of 
the street car lines has been phenomenal. 
Within the past five years, immense tracts 
of land have been laid off into lots, and 
built up with a good class of houses, most 
of them the residences of mechanics and 
laboring men, who, with a few exceptions, 
own them. Through the efforts of a pro- 
gressive and considerate management the 
public is favored with excellent street 
car service. 

All of the principal streets of the city 
lead out onto roads that are graveled for 
many miles. While this work has been 
done by the county, the city is such a bene- 
ficiary that in its history these splendid 
roads of perhaps 100 miles in length 
and all free to the public, deserve a 
mention at least. It seems appropriate, also, 
in this connection, to speak briefly of the 
improvement of the Ohio river in front of 
the city. For some years a sand-bar, because 
of its annual accretions, threatened to extend 
itself along the entire front of the city. In- 
deed, it attained such an extent that steam- 
ers were compelled to go far down the river 
and come up to the wharves on the inside of 
the bar. Under the direction of Major 
Merrill, chief engineer of the Ohio River 
Survey, and Mr. Charles B. Bateman, assist- 
ant engineer, a dike extending 1,500 feet 



from the Kentucky shore and so constructed 
as to throw the current of the river against 
the sand-bar, was completed in 1874 after 
two years' labor at a cost of $35,000. The 
effectiveness of the work has been demon- 
strated by the entire removal of the obstruc- 
tion which it was designed to wash away. 

The C/'tv Works and Electric Lights. 
— The Evansville City Gas-works were 
established in 1852 under a charter from 
the legislature of Indiana, the original capital 
stock being placed at $50,000. The first 
works were built by John Jeffrey & Com- 
pany, contractors, and the first officers were : 
Clarence J. Keats, president, and John J. 
Chandler, secretary. This was during the 
mayoralty of Hon. James G. Jones, and only 
five years after the city's incorporation. 
Commencing with only 115 consumers 
the circumstances were very unfavor- 
able, and many of the most in- 
telligent citizens doubted the propriety of 
such an undertaking; and although its ac- 
complishment was secured without any lia- 
bility on the part of the city, they shrunk 
from what was a novel and by some con- 
sidered an unsafe means of furnishing arti- 
ficial light. Therefore, the early history of 
the company was one of disaster to its 
stockholders, and for a number of years it 
was difficult to meet expenses. But with 
the rapid progress of the city the invest- 
ment soon became a paying one. The works 
have grown and increased with the city ; im- 
provements and additions have been made as 
the wants of the public required. To a 
large extent the use of gas has given way in 
recent years to that of electricity. When 
the practical use of electricity for furnishing 
artificial light had been successfully demon- 
strated in other cities, a company was 
formed in Evansville for the purpose of in- 
troducing the new illuminating agent. Much 
opposition was encountered, but the prog- 

ress of the age could not be wholly 
checked. Ultra-conservatism at length 
gave way and Evansville took her place in 
this regard among the enterprising cities of 
the country. The first plant was established 
in 1882, since which time the use of elec- 
tricity has become more general every year. 
The gas company and the electric light 
company were after a short time consoli- 
dated under the corporate name of the 
Evansville Gas & Electric Light Company. 
The present officers of this company, are: 
F. J. Reitz, president; R. K. Dunkerson, 
vice-president; J. B. Hall, Jr., secre- 
tary; Samuel Bayard, treasurer; Thomas E. 
Garvin, R. K. Dunkerson, F. J. Reitz, 
Jacob Eichel, Samuel Bayard and William 
Heilman, directors. There are now in the 
city about 1,600 gas consumers and about 
50 electric light consumers, besides which 
the city is furnished by the company under 
special contract. The use of gas for light- 
ing the streets is practically discontinued, 
though not entirely so, the use of electricity 
being extensively adopted. There are in 
the city for the proper distribution of the 
electric light, ten towers each 150 feet high, 
13 masts, each forty feet high, and forty-six 
arches spanning the principal streets at 
their intersections. 

Public Halls, Opera-Houses and Places 
of Amusement. — In the earliest times public 
entertainments of various kinds were held in 
the McGary warehouse, or at the Warner 
tavern. Dances were occasionally indulged 
in with great zest, and some of them were 
events long remembered by the participants. 
Theatrical performances were not provided 
for until after Evansville had become a city. 
Occasionally a traveling troupe passed 
through the village, and for a few evenings 
did a good business among a people who 
were ever ready to support any proper effort 
to relieve the monotony of pioneer life. A 



German theater was for a time conducted, 
but it was not recognized as a permanent in- 
stitution. The first regular theater was 
opened by Martin Golden, now of New 
Harmony, Ind., an actor of no mean ability, 
whose wife, Bella Golden, was a universal 
favorite in southwestern Indiana when critics 
were not so plentiful or so caustic as they 
now are, and when the people were ready 
and willing to be entertained by a bright, 
versatile actress, who had a fair knowledge 
of the histrionic art. The first house wholly 
devoted to theatrical purposes was the 
" Apollo," subsequently called " Mozart 
Hall." It stood on First street, between 
Vine and Sycamore streets, in the rear of 
the old homestead of Edward Hopkins. 
Martin Golden began the management of 
the Apollo in the latter part of the fifties, and 
continued it through the civil war period. 
Entertainments were given every week-day 
evening and were well patronized. Indeed, 
these were the palmy days of the theatrical 
profession in this city. This Mozart Hall 
was the scene of a terrible tragedy, not 
represented on its stage, but actual, and 
costing three lives. Two brothers, John 
Paul Evans and Robert M. Evans, grand- 
sons of Gen. Evans, for whom the town was 
named, attacked one another with revolvers 
and both were shot to death. The fight was 
the result of an old feud. An innocent by- 
stander, Solomon Gumberts, a young man, 
was also killed b} r one of the shots. 

The Evansville Opera-house, located at 
the corner of First and Locust streets, was 
built in 1867 and 1S68, and opened for busi- 
ness in September, of the latter year. The 
total cost of the building and site was $107,- 
000. It is built of brick, fronted with Green 
river marble, and was designed by Boyd & 
Mursinna, architects. It has a seating ca- 
pacity for about 1,000 persons. At the 
time of its construction it was ample for 

the needs of the city. The degree of its 
success has varied from time to time. How- 
ever, the anticipations of its builders have 
never been realized. The complex nature 
of the city's population renders it extremely 
difficult to secure attractions interesting to 
all classes of citizens. Perhaps because of 
this, as much as of anything else, in late 
years the opera-house has not been all ' 
that could be desired as a business invest- 
ment. It has been fairly' managed and its 
entertainments have been of the highest 
class. Recently the manager, Thomas J. 
Groves, has had plans prepared for a com- 
plete remodeling of the house, which, when 
carried out, will make of it a first-class place 
of entertainment. 

At the present time the Business Men's 
Association is building a magnificent struc- 
ture at a cost of $100,000.00, the main fea- 
ture of which is an auditorium for theatrical 
and operatic purposes which will probably 
supply all reasonable demands for several 
years to come. 

Evans Hall, corner of Fifth and Locust 
streets, is devoted principally to temperance 
work. The lot was donated by Mrs. 
Saleta Evans, and the building was erected 
in 1878 by the friends of temperance to the 
memory of Gen. Robert M. Evans. Mr. 
J. K. Frick was the architect, and the board 
of trustees was made up of the following 
gentlemen: J. M. Shackelford, D. J. 
Mackey, J. K. Brownelle, W. F. Nisbet, 
Wm. Heilman, W. J. Darby, O. F. Jacobi, 
John A. Reitz and Isaac Keen. There 
have been been many public halls in the 
city, some of which are mentioned in other 
connections, a sufficient number, in fact, to 
furnish varied places of amusement at all 
times. Liederkranz Hall, on Fourth street 
near Vine, the Ice Palace, on Third street, 
between Locust and Walnut streets, are the 
principal of those now in use. Many halls 



owned by private citizens are devoted to 
public uses. 

City Parks. — Evansville is noted for the 
number and beauty of its shade trees. Most 
of the streets, excepting those which are 
devoted exclusively to the purposes of busi- 
ness, are lined on either side by a luxuriant 
growth. There are also man}- beautiful 
private lawns in the portions of the city 
occupied by those whose wealth gives them 
a larger share of comforts than is enjoyed 
by the average citizen. Even the homes of 
the poor are not crowded together and 
forced to front upon the very edge of the 
pavement as is the case in many cities. For 
these reasons, perhaps, the public parks, 
those resting places so essential to the 
comfort of the people in most cities, have 
not received a great deal of attention in 
their care and arrangement. Some steps, 
however, have been taken in this direction 
and there are a few breathing places where 
one mav rest and enjoy some of nature's 
beauties. Sunset Park is a triangular piece 
of property located on the river bank in the 
upper portion of the city. Some attempt at 
its ornamentation has been made. It com- 
mands a charming view of the river, and, as 
indicated by its name, affords a good view 
of sunsets, which in their splendor here 
rival those peculiar to the " glorious 
climate" of California. Western Park, 
Lamasco Park and Central Park are set 
apart for the use of the public, and by 
proper effort may be made pleasant resorts. 
For many years there were quite a number 
of handsome groves and woodlands in con- 
venient proximity to the city, forming 
popular resorts, among which were 
Parrett's grove and Blackford's grove, 
but they have been forced to yield 
before the city's march of progress, 
until now very few of their primeval trees 
are left. Their original sites are being fast 

occupied by the homes of the people. The 
most beautiful woodland near the city limits 
is Garvin's grove, comprising thirty-five 
acres and possessing great natural beauty. 
Here are held the public entertainments and 
assemblies of large size. The reunion of 
the Blue and the Gray in 1887, the military 
encampment of 1888, and political meetings 
of vast proportions have found this grove a 
most convenient and suitable place for their 

For many years the Salt Wells Park 
though not owned by the public, has been 
devoted to its use, and because of its pop- 
ularity as a place of resort as well as its 
connection with the city's early bistorv, de- 
serves notice. The first settlers of Vander- 
burgh county made their own salt. At the 
proper season they repaired, in squads, to 
the saline bank of Shawneetown, where they 
made the salt by evaporation and carried it 
home in bags on horseback. In the course of 
a fewyears,when trading boats began to pass 
along the river, they were enabled to pro- 
cure salt which had been manufactured on 
the Kanawha river. This was exceedinglv 
expensive, and efforts were early made to 
make practical use of the salt spring at 
Pigeon creek, which, as narrated by Mr. 
Ira Fairchild, were as follows: "It was in 
the fall of the year 1822, I think, that three 
or four gentlemen came from the saline 
works back of Shawneetown for the purpose 
of making an examination of the salt spring 
on Pigeon creek, of which they had heard. 
The strangers came to see my father. They 
had examined the water of the little rivulet 
that ran over the rocky formation composing 
the creek bank, and being men experienced 
in the manufacture of salt, were disposed to 
try the experiment of salt making at this 
point. Elisha Harrison, an enterprising cit- 
izen, and some other residents whom I do 
not clearly remember, became impressed 



with the views advanced by the visitors 
and joined in the enterprise. A company 
was formed bv them and the business 
of boring the salt well was undertaken. 
My father was engaged to make the augers 
and other necessary machinery for sinking 
the tube through the rock and earth. A 
shaft was sunk to the depth of a few feet 
when the rock was found. Into this shaft a 
curbing was inserted, made, as I distinctly 
remember, of the trunk of a hollow syca- 
more tree. This tree grew on the lands of 
the late Judge William Olmstead, not far 
from the place where Olmstead's saw-mill 
was afterward erected. I remember very 
well the day it was cut down. Among 
those present were Judge Olmstead, David 
Negley, Elisha Harrison and Col. Seth Fair- 
child. Before chopping down the hollow 
sycamore the undergrowth was cleared 
away, and huge piles of brush laid along the 
track where the tree was to be felled, so 
that the fall would be in a measure broken, 
and the trunk thereby prevented from split- 
ting. Great anxiety was manifested by the 
persons present to secure a perfect section 
for well-curbing purposes. In those days a 
well-curb made to order could not be ob- 
tained for the asking. When the tree fell, 
without injury to the hollow trunk, there 
was a lively expression of satisfaction. The 
section needed at the salt well was cut off 
and floated to its destination on a raft. After 
obtaining a sufficient curb the machinery 
was put in operation and the well was stead- 
ily bored into the earth. When a depth of 
322 feet had been reached, a volume of 
water was secured, which was deemed suf- 
ficient for the experiment of salt making. 
Some rude sheds had been erected and con- 
veniences arranged for boiling. Had the 
managers stopped at this point, it is possible 
that salt works, on a moderate scale, might 
be in operation on the grounds at the present 

dav. The first salt made was of an excellent 
quality, and was in large demand. But the 
managers concluded they could do better by 
sinking the well to a greater depth. Ac- 
cordingly, the following year, they began 
boring deeper, and at the depth of 577 
feet they struck a new vein which 
proved their destruction. A larger volume 
of water was procured, and it contained 
saline properties; but at the same time it 
contained something else. Apparently, first- 
rate salt was produced, but it gradually dis- 
solved when exposed to the open air and 
was utterly worthless for the purpose of 
curing meat. Mr. Worsham, who resided 
on the Kentucky side of the river, dressed 
several head of fat hogs and packed the 
meat with Evansville salt. In a few days it 
was discovered that some chemical property 
in the salt had eaten the rind or skin entirely 
off the dressed pork, while the flesh was not 
penetrated or in any way affected, except to 
be covered with a coat of dripping slime. 
Thus ended the experiment of manufactur- 
ing salt on the banks of Pigeon creek. The 
buildings fell into decay, and in two or three 
years the ground became overgrown with a 
dense patch of brush. For years afterward 
the site of the salt works was an uninviting- 
thicket of natural vegetation. After remain- 
ing a waste place for a period of nearly 
twenty years, the property passed into the pos- 
session of Nathan Rowley. He, in company 
with Thomas Gifford, who had then recently 
arrived in this country from England, cleared 
up the grounds, erected buildings, and opened 
the salt wells as a private park or pleasure 
resort, about the year 1842." In 184S Mr. 
Gifford retired from the management of the 
place, which soon afterward passed into the 
hands of William Bates. It sold at that time 
for $12,000.00, and subsequently, in 1867, 
was purchased by the street railway com- 
pany. The artesian spring at the park was 



highly recommended for its medical prop- 
erties and drew many patients who profited 
by its use. The park is located at the west 
end of Maryland street along the banks of 
Pigeon creek, contains several acres of land, 
and in natural appearance is very beautiful. 


Maj. Joseph B. Cox, a distinguished sol- 
dier, and long a prominent citizen of this 
countv, is at present surveyor of United 
States customs for the Evansville, Ind., dis- 
trict, which includes the south half of Indiana, 
the southeastern part of Illinois, and the 
northwestern part of Kentucky, with head- 
quarters at Evansville. The history of his 
family is an epitome of the history of the 
county. For scarcely had the Indian title to 
the lands in this locality been extinguished 
before his pioneer ancestors made their way 
into the territory. It was in 1S09 that they 
came, crossing the river at the present site 
of Evansville, and temporarily lodging in a 
cabin which they found in the very heart of 
a dense forest, not far from the bank of the 
river near the present corner of Vine and 
Water streets. These were his maternal 
ancestors who came from Kentucky, where 
his mother was born in 1805. Her name 
was Francis M. Miller; she was the daugh- 
ter of George and Elizabeth Miller, pioneers 
whose careers have been outlined in connec- 
tion with the early history of Perry town- 
ship. Mrs. Cox, afterward Mrs. David 
Stephens, died in October, 1886, after a res- 
dence in Perry township of seventy-seven 
years. James Cox, the father of Joseph B., 
was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1800, 
and died in this county in 1S34. He came 
to Vanderburgh county in 1S18, with a 
brother, Joseph, and engaged for a time as a 
pioneer farmer. He and his brother were 
potters by trade, and later were occupied in 
that branch of industrv. When steamboats 

began to ply the river, using wood for fuel, 
they established a wood-yard near the pres- 
ent site of the Ingle coal mines, and accumu- 
lated some money in that business. Maj. 
Joseph B. Cox was born in what is now 
Perry township, this county, a few miles 
west of Evansville, on the 8th day of Sep- 
tember, 1S30. He was the fourth of five 
children — two sons and three daughters. 
His boyhood was spent on the farm and his 
early mental training was obtained in the 
public schools of the county. At the age of 
fourteen years he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, 
to pursue his studies, and spent three years 
in the schools of that city. At the end of that 
period he spent one term at St. Xaviers 
college, and then entered Bacon's commercial 
college, both institutions being at Cincinnati. 
After his graduation from the commercial 
college he was occupied for eight years as 
clerk on various steamboats, plying between 
Cincinnati and New Orleans. In 1859, he 
entered the sheriff's office of Vanderburgh 
county, as deputy for John S. Gavitt, and 
upon the enlistment of the sheriff in the First 
Regiment Indiana Cavalry, nine months be- 
fore the expiration of his term, he was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy thus occasioned. 
The war for the suppression of the rebellion 
and the preservation of the union, was now 
in progress. In the fall of 1861, Maj. Cox- 
raised a company which afterward became 
Company F, of the Sixtieth Indiana Infantry, 
and upon its organization he was selected as 
its captain. He served in that rank until the 
27th day of May, 1862, when he was elected 
major of the regiment, serving as such until 
November 30 following, when his resigna- 
tion was tendered because of ill health, and 
accepted. Returning to Evansville, he en- 
tered the county treasurer's office and served 
as deputy for two years. Thereafter he was 
occupied with his private affairs for many 
years and was not in public life. In 1880, 



he became deputy sheriff under Thomas 
Kerth, and remained with him for four years. 
On August 7, 1886, he was appointed by 
President Cleveland, surveyor of customs 
for the term of four years, which position he 
now holds, discharging its duties in an able 
and satisfactory manner. From early man- 
hood to the present time he has been inter- 
ested chiefly in agricultural pursuits. He 
owns lands extensively in Vanderburgh, 
Gibson and Pose}' counties, and in their cul- 
tivation follows the best methods known to 
the practical farmer. Maj. Cox possesses in 
a marked degree the attributes of genuine 
manhood. Honest purposes and laudable 
conduct have marked his career. His sym- 
pathetic nature, the gentleness of his dispo- 
sition, and the worth of his character have 
won for him the admiration and respect of 
all his neighbors. In April, 1863, he was 
married to Amanda W. Syrkees, who 
was born in Vanderburgh county in 1833, 
and died in 1S68, leaving one son, David A., 
who is an alumnus of the State University, 
Bloomington, Ind. Maj. Cox was married 
a second time in 1870, when Martha J. 
Angel, a native of Vanderburgh county, be- 
came his wife. To this union two sons have 
been born ; Robert M., and Joseph B. Mrs. 
Cox is a member of the General Baptist 

Captain James W. Wartman, since 187 1 
deputy clerk of the United States court at 
Evansville, was born in Lewisburg, Green- 
brier county, Virginia, February 7, 1832. 
His youth was spent in Cincinnati, where 
he attended and was a graduate of the 
famous "Woodward High School." He 
was engaged in business at Cincinnati for 
several years after his graduation, and then 
removed to Spencer county, Indiana, and 
began the study of law with Hon. L. Q. 
DeBruler. He practiced first at Rockport. 
In 1864 he was appointed provost marshal 

of the First district of Indiana, with head- 
quarters at Evansville. After some service 
in that capacity he resigned and was ap- 
pointed a commissioner of the board of en- 
rollment for the First district. During his 
service the drafts of 1S64 and 1865 occur- 
red, and important and delicate duties de- 
volved upon Capt. Wartman, which he 
performed to the general satisfaction. At 
the close of the war he returned to Rock- 
port, and resumed the practice of law in 
partnership with Hon. Thomas F. DeBruler. 
In July, 1 87 1, he was appointed deputy clerk 
of the United States court at Evansville, 
and at once entered upon the discharge of 
his duties. In September, 187 1, he was 
appointed United States commissioner, and 
acceptably discharges the duties of that 
position. Mr. Wartman has taken much 
interest in the common school system and 
served several years as president of the 
school board at Rockport. He is also 
deeply interested in Sunday-school work, 
and has engaged with much zeal in this 

James W. Lauer, postmaster at Evans- 
ville, was born in that portion of this city 
known as Lamasco, November 24, 1841. 
His father, Rev. H. W. Lauer, several 
years later, located on a farm near the west 
end of the city, where he died in 1850. 
Here the subject of this sketch grew to 
manhood, doing all kinds of general farm 
work, and receiving a common school edu- 
cation, supplemented by a valuable training 
in the practical school of experience. During 
the four years immediately following the at- 
tainment of his majority, he was employed 
as clerk in the Washington House, a popu- 
lar hostelry at that time. In partnership 
with Mr. Christian Hedderich, he then em- 
barked in the grocery business, and after 
a time disposed of his interest. From 1866 
to 1870, he served as deputy treasurer of 



the county. He then accepted a position in 
the People's Savings Bank, an institution, 
which, as a charter member, he had been 
instrumental in establishing. Later he was 
variously engaged in mercantile pursuits. 
Julv 30, 1SS5, he was appointed postmaster 
at Evansville by President Cleveland, and 
the appointment was confirmed by the 
United States senate June 7, 1SS6. As a 
democrat he has been a zealous worker for 
for the interest of his part}-, but has in no 
way prostituted his official position to sub- 
serve part}' ends. Business principles were 
adopted at the outset for the conduct of the 
office and have been carefully followed 
throughout, with scrupulous regard for the 
good of the service, and the same is univer- 
sally acknowledged. In 1868, September 
15, he united in marriage with Miss Letitia 
Staser, daughter of the late John 'C. Staser. 
They have one child, a son, Henry Clinton, 
born March 1, 1S71. Mr. Lauer and family 
adopt the Presbyterian faith. The former 
joined Crescent Lodge No. 122, 1. O. O. F., 
in 1S63, and in 1883, the Masonic fraternity, 
and has attained the degree of Knight 
Templar in Lavalette Commandery No. 15- 
John H. Dannettell, one of Evansville's 
most distinguished citizens, was born De- 
cember 14, 1843, at Covington, Ky. He 
received his education in the public schools 
of Evansville, and, at the age of twelve 
years, was confirmed in St. John's church. 
As a boy he earlv looked out for himself, 
and served as an advertiser one year with 
Dr. John T. White, a traveling physician. 
Afterward he was employed by the whole- 
sale clothing firm of Anspacher & Plant as 
porter, remaining with them for eighteen 
months. His next engagement was with 
Christian Hedderich, the proprietor of the 
Washington Hotel. The war of the re- 
bellion broke out about this time in his 
career, and he went on the steamer Fannie 

Bullos, in government service, and remained 
upon the river during the war. He then 
was engaged as book-keeper for the Indiana 
Steam Flouring Mills, and remained with 
that establishment until it closed in 1865. 
He then became interested in the hat busi- 
ness, which he followed for a considerable 
number of vears. His first experience was 
in the employ of Vautier & Marconnier, and 
in 1869 he opened a hat store, the establish- 
ment being first known as Dannettell & 
Duehme, but his partner died a year later 
and Mr. Dannettell took entire control of 
the business, and successfully conducted it. 
In 1879 John C. Fares became a partner in 
the business, and, four years later, Mr. 
Dannettell sold out his interest to his partner, 
and became agent of the New York Life 
Insurance Company, and in this has been 
remarkably successful. In 1883 Mr. Dan- 
nettell was nominated by the republicans 
for mayor, but suffered defeat by Mayor T. 
C. Bridwell by 409 votes. The following 
year he was elected as councilman from the 
Fifth ward, and two years afterward was 
elected mayor of the city by a majority of 
698 votes over his opponent, William Rahm, 
jr., at the time state senator. In that 
honored capacity Mr. Dannettell was still 
serving at the time of the compilation of 
this work. He was married in 1872 to Miss 
Mary C. Burrer, who was born at New- 
port, Ky., in 1850. They are the parents 
of seven children, of whom five survive. 
The family are members of the Trinity 
Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Dannet- 
tell has a membership with several frater- 
nities. For twenty-four years he has been 
affiliated with Crescent City lodge, No. 
122, I. O. O. F., and is also a member of 
Orion lodge, 35, K. P., Red Cloud lodge, 
Knights of Honor, Lone Star lodge, A. O. 
U.W., the Royal Arcanum, the Deutsche 



George N. Wells, city treasurer of 
Evansville, was born in Indianapolis October 
19, 1844, being the oldest son of William F. 
and Mary J. (Kelly) Wells, of English 
descent, natives of Kentucky. His father 
was a lumber merchant of Indianapolis in 
1845, where he now lives at the advanced 
age of 79 years, having retired from busi- 
ness because of his age and a loss of sight. 
After receiving a good common school edu- 
cation Mr. Wells pursued a course of stud}' 
at the Northwestern Christian University 
and graduated with the degree of B. S. 
from that institution when he was twenty- 
one years of age. He then took up the 
study of telegraphy, and for a time was 
engaged as a school teacher. Later he 
turned his attention to book-keeping and by 
careful stud)' and practical experience fitted 
himself as a teacher of that branch. He 
was then connected with commercial schools 
in Indianapolis, Ind., Philadelphia, Pa., and 
Madison, Ind. Coming to Evansville in 
1867 he established a commercial college 
here, which soon attained a high rank 
among institutions of that kind throughout 
the country. Disposing of his interests in 
the college he entered the service of the 
Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Corn- 
pan}' and for ten years acted as a local 
freight agent. In 18S4 he was appointed 
assistant postmaster in this city, from which 
position he was removed for political reasons 
bv President Cleveland's administration. In 
18S7 he was elected city treasurer as the 
candidate of the republican party. Efficient. 
trustworthy and always courteous, he is an 
acceptable and popular officer. He is a 
member of the F. & A. M., G. A. R., and 
A. O. U. W. fraternities, and has attained a 
high standing in each of them., being past 
master, past high priest and past eminent 
commander of Lavalette Commander}', No. 
15, Knights Templar. This brief outline of 

his civil career, though honorable in all its 
parts, does not adequately mirror the char- 
acter of the man. It is supplemented bv a 
bright military record. He went to the 
front with the first troops offered to the 
nation by Indiana. Enlisting in Co. H, 
Eleventh Indiana Volunteers, he served 
with that company until its muster-out 
Sometime later, he enlisted in Co. E, Seven- 
tieth Indiana Volunteers, and upon the 
organization of his company he was elected 
to a lieutenancy. He was detached and 
placed on staff duty with the Twenty-first 
Army Corps. Later he was stationed at 
Nashville, Tenn., as chief clerk in the quar- 
termaster's department, in which positton he 
remained until the close of his service. 
He was in the fights at Chicka- 
mauga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain 
and Stone River, where he received a dis- 
abling wound. His service was honorable 
throughout. September 20, 1868, he was 
married to Miss Emma Steel, a native of 
this city, daughter of James and Mary 
Steel, a well-known citizen. But one child, 
Cora, has been born to this union, who 
graduated with high honors in the Evans- 
ville, Ind., high school, on June 15, 1888. 
Her commencement essay attracted especial 
praise among a number of unusually 
creditable productions. A current publica- 
tion gave the essay in full, saying of it that 
it had a special charm because of its very 
graceful and broad treatment of an attract- 
ive and unique theme. 

John J. Marlett, representative of a 
distinguished pioneer family, was born in 
the village of Evansville, June 14, 1841. 
His paternal grand-parents Henry and 
Jerusha (Potter) Marlett were natives of 
England, who in early days emigrated to 
Brooks county, Va., where they were num- 
bered among the most valuable pioneer 
citizens of that locality. Their children, 



four in number and bearing the names 
Gilbert, Mary, John J., and Caroline, are 
now dead. The third of these was well- 
known in this city as an active business man 
of tine character and sterling worth. Born 
in New York state, January 28th, 1805, he 
early removed to Athens, Ohio, where in 
1829, he married Miss Martha Jane Starr, 
a native of Middletown, Conn., and a 
descendant of one of the best families of the 
state. Coming to Evansville in 1S37, he at 
once embarked in business and for many 
years was identified with the growth of the 
city, occupying a prominent place among 
the active merchants of his day, doing much 
to build up and develop the city, and hold- 
ing several offices of trust and honor. He 
enjoyed in a high degree the respect and 
confidence of the community. His death 
occurred May 20th, 1S76, in the seventy- 
second year of his age. His industry and 
business sagacity enabled him to accumulate 
a valuable property. Mrs. Marlett, much 
respected, remains a resident of the city, 
and is now 78 years of age. Their children 
were nine in number, four of whom are 
living; Mary J., Joanna A. (now Mrs. 
Sherwood), John J., and Mortimer S., all 
residents of this city, save the last named, 
who is a successful traveling salesman. 
The immediate subject of this mention 
passed his boyhood in this city attending 
school and rendering such assistance to his 
father as his age permitted. He twice 
enlisted in the union army, but at the earnest 
solicitations of his mother was not mustered. 
Since attaining his majority he has been 
connected with the business interests of the 
city, principally as a real estate agent and 
dealer. He has served two terms as city 
treasurer and one term as city assessor. 
His record as a public officer is clean and 
honorable. Possessing the qualities of true 
manliness he attracts many friends and is 

deservedly popular. January 8, 1873, he 
was married to Anna M. Bartlett of South 
Bend, Ind., a daughter of Josiah Bartlett 
and direct descendant of a signer of the 
Declaration of American Independence. Of 
this union six children have been born, 
three of whom are living; Bessie Starr, 
Fannie Bartlett, and Alice Louise. Mr. 
Marlett is a charter member of Eagle 
lodge, I. O. O. F. and for twenty-five years 
has been prominent in the order, having 
passed through all the chairs. In politics he 
affiliates with the republican party. He and 
his wife are members of Grace Presbyterian 

Marcus C. McCutchan, city survevor, 
was born in McCutchanville, this county, 
June 5th. 1845. His father, Alexander 
McCutchan, was a native of New York 
state, and when a boy came to Indiana with 
his parents. He established the first lum • 
ber yard in Evansville and became wealthy. 
He was self educated, but fond of literature, 
especially of Roman history. He attained 
prominence in the city, held offices of trust 
and honor, and died in 1845- His wife, whose 
maiden name was Annie Atchison, belonged 
to a prominent family of that period, was 
highly respected and survived her husband 
but six years. Being thus left an orphan in 
infancy, Marcus was taken into the family 
of his uncle Thomas McCutchan. Here he 
was dissatisfied, and at the early age of 
thirteen years went out into the world to 
battle for himself. He first went to Chi- 
cago, Ills., thence to New Orleans, La., 
where he obtained employment as baggage- 
master on the Mississippi Central railroad. 
While so employed, the war of the rebellion 
was begun and when the confederacy 
ordered the impressment of all able-bodied 
white men between the ages of thirteen and 
fifty, he enlisted in Company II, Twenty- 
seventh Tennessee Infantry, the colonel of 



that regiment, C. H. Williams, being then 
president of the Memphis & Charleston 
railroad. In his heart this young soldier 
was loyal to his county, but he rendered 
against his wishes, a service of sixteen 
months in the army of the south. At Shiloh 
he was wounded in the head and thigh, but 
not seriously. He marched with his com- 
pany to Corinth, was in the siege at that 
place, and in the fight at Farmington. His 
wounds had now become so irritable that he 
was sent to hospital. From here he was 
sent to Granada, by Major Anderson, who 
little suspected his intention of deserting the 
colors which he had been forced to support 
and from this place he made his escape to 
the union lines, walking 140 miles to Mem- 
phis, that city then being held b} T the northern 
forces. Here he took the oath of allegiance 
to the union and came back to the home of 
his childhood, reaching Evansville in the fall 
of 1862. In the following February he en- 
listed in Colonel Wilder's Seventeenth 
Indiana Mounted Infantry, and served faith- 
fully until the close of the war, being honor- 
ably discharged at Indianapolis in August, 
1865. He was in all the battles participated 
in by the gallant command to which he be- 
longed, and rendered heroic service. Re- 
turning to Evansville, he spent some time in 
school and for several years thereafter was 
engaged as a teacher. At length he went 
back to railroading, being in the employ of 
the Straight Line, Pensacola & Atlantic, 
various branches of the L. &N., and serving 
as a contractor, surveyor and superintendent 
of construction on the new Ohio Valley 
road. April 7, 18S7, he was elected on the 
republican ticket, to his present office. He 
is a member of the I. O. O. F. In June, 
1869, he was married to Miss Amelia Voigt, 
a native of Germany, daughter of August 
and Julia (Cotton) Voigt, an estimable 
lady who died in 1881, leaving five children; 

Minnie (now Mrs. William Walters of 
Cheyenne, Wyoming Ter. ), Eleanor, Anna, 
Julia, and William. 

Adolph Goeke, police commissioner, 
was born in Prussia, September 16, 1839, 
being the youngest of six children, born to 
Henry and Fred erica (Brinkmeyer) Goeke, 
natives of Prussia, who emigrated to this 
country in 1848, and died in Evansville in 
1873 and 1863, respectively. The family 
was well known as industrious German 
pioneers. During his boyhood, Adolph 
attended the public schools of the city, and 
in 1S68 began the grocery business and has 
continued the same ever since. Later he 
combined with this the commission and grain 
business, and by the exercise of economy 
and good judgment, has succeeded in pos- 
sessing himself of a large quantity of real 
estate and a comfortable home. Politically 
he is a republican, having been faithful to 
that party ever since casting his first vote, 
which was for Abraham Lincoln for presi- 
dent. In 1886 he was appointed police com- 
missioner by Governor Gray, and has dis- 
charged the trying duties of his office with 
entire satisfaction to the public. He and his 
wife are members of the German Protestant 
church. His marriage occurred April 7, 
1863, to Frederica Althida, who was born in 
Prussia in 1846. To this union five children 
have been born: Edward F., Adolph W., 
Lida, Anna, and Harry. Adolph Goeke 
began life with no possessions but a sound 
body, a good character, and a strong will. 
He has overcome many obstacles and won 
success. The lesson of his life may be 
studied with profit by the young and am- 

Christopher J. Murphy, United States 
Inspector of Hulls, of the Evansville district, 
and a prominent citizen of the city, is a na- 
tive of Dublin, Ireland, born June 19, 1844, 
the third of four children — three daughters 

«|^ wwm 

"' *' 5 • 



•i i.; 

and one son — born to Michael and Ann 
(McDonald) Murphy. His parents were 
natives of Ireland, where the father was 
born in 1S16 and the mother in 1820. They 
emigrated to America about 184S, and 
landed at New York. A short time after- 
ward they removed to Rome, N. Y., and 
thence in 1850, to Madison, Ind., near which 
place, in Jefferson county, they settled on a 
farm. The mother died in 185 1, but the 
father survived her until 18S0. After the 
death of his mother, Mr. Murphy's earlv life 
was spent in various places. He was edu- 
cated in the Catholic schools, and before the 
age of seventeen years, in May, 1861, enlisted 
in the service of the United States, at Mad- 
ison, Ind., joining Company D, of the Thir- 
teenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was 
with his command until Julv, 1864, when he 
was mustered out at Indianapolis, having 
been in active and continuous service from 
his enlistment, in Shield's division of the 
Army of Virginia, Gilmore's division in South 
Carolina, and Butler's corps up James river. 
He was in the battles of Green Brier, Win- 
chester, and the sieves of Suffolk and of 
Charleston. At the latter siege was the 
heaviest cannonading of the war — the old 
line-of-battle ship Ironsides, seven monitors, 
a large mortar fleet, over two hundred siege 
pieces, and the 100 to 300-pounders on Mor- 
ris Island, all at one time directing their fire 
against Forts Sumter, Gregg, Wagner, 
Moultrie, Johnson, and the city of Charles- 
ton; and the rebel fortifications vigorously 
returning the fire. He was at Harrison's 
Landing after the seven days fight; was in 
some of the hard fighting in front of Peters- 
burg, Va., in Foster's farm charge, and in 
various skirmishes and fatiguing marches 
through West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, 
and North and South Carolinas. He re- 
turned to Evansville in 1864, and was then 
the victim of fevers and ill-health for over 

a year, although in camp he had enjoyed 
excellent health. On recovering health, he 
served us a licensed engineer on various 
steamers running out of Evansville. Leav- 
ing the river in 1S73, ne entered the em- 
ploy of the Evansville Cotton Mills, where 
he became assistant foreman, and upon the 
establishment of Hermann's lumber manufac- 
tory in 1879, he was made superintending 
engineer of that concern. After three 
years, he took the position of superintend- 
ent of the Electric Light Co., starting the 
first plant of the company. The following 
year he became interested in the Evansville 
Pump Co., as a stockholder and director, 
and was elected secretary and treasurer. 
In 1884 he was nominated by the Vander- 
burgh county democrats for representative 
in the assembly, and was elected after a 
hotly contested campaign by the close ma- 
jority of thirty-three votes, over John H. 
Roelker, one of the leading German repub- 
licans of the city*. At the same time the 
candidates for county office on the same 
ticket were defeated by large majorities, 
thus demonstrating Mr. Murphy's popular- 
ity and strength. He served through the 
session of 1885, with credit to himself and 
part}'. On March 13, 1886, he was ap- 
pointed by President Cleveland, inspector 
of hulls, a position he has since held, dis- 
charging the duties of his trust with fidelity 
and marked ability. Mr. Murphy is a mem- 
ber of Farragut Post, No. 27, G. A. R., 
and is now the post commander. In 1879, 
he organized a branch, No. 46, of the 
Catholic Knights of America, that being the 
first branch organization in the city. For 
this order he has served three times as pres- 
ident, and represented the order in state and 
national councils. He also organized Camp 
Farragut, No. 117, Sons of Veterans. In 
religion he and wife are members of the 
Catholic Church, and he is now treasurer of 



the Church of the Assumption. Mr. 
Murphy was married in 1870 to Miss Maggie 
Mclnerny, who was bora in Evansville, Jan- 
uary 11, 1S52, daughter of M. C. Mclnerny, 
one of the early settlers of Evansville. To 
this union two sons and two daughters have 
been born: Anna, born March 1, 1872; 
Charles, born October 7, 1874; Mamie, 
born August 14, 1S77; Christopher, born 
August 9, 1 88 1. 

JohnH. Moore, United States Inspector 
of Boilers for the Evansville district, is a na- 
tive of Kentucky, born in Louisville, Feb- 
ruary 14, 183S. He is the third of five 
children bora to Joseph and Mary 
(McHenry) Moore. His father was an 
earlv settler in Kentucky, and removed 
thence to New Orleans, where he was en- 
gaged in business, until burned out during 
the large and disastrous conflagration which 
visited that city during the thirties. From 
New Orleans he removed to Ohio, where 
he was in business for ten or twelve years, 
afterward going to Virginia, where he was 
in trade until his death, which occurred in 
1852. His mother was a native of Virginia, 
and was the daughter of John McHenry. 
Her death occurred at Wheeling, W. Va. 
At the latter city John H. Moore spent 
most of his youth, and there gained his ed- 
ucation in the public schools. At the age of 
nineteen he was apprenticed to a machinist 
at Wheeling, and after three years he came 
west on the steamer, " Charles C. Hillman," 
upon which he had placed the machinery. 
For several years he followed steamboating 
between St. Louis and Nashville. At the 
breaking out of the civil war he was in 
Nashville and there remained until the place 
was occupied by the union army. There- 
after he was engaged in carrying supplies 
for the union forces between Louisville and 
Nashville. Afterward he went to Memphis 
and was next occupied in the expedition to 

the Yazoo river, whence he returned to 
Evansville. From that time he was in the 
service of the Evansville & Cairo Packet 
Co., until he was appointed by President 
Cleveland, March 14, 1885, inspector of 
boilers. Mr. Moore is a member of Morn- 
ing Star lodge, No. 7, I. O. O. F., has filled 
all the chairs, and in 1888 was chosen rep- 
resentative to grand lodge. He was mar- 
ried, in October, 1865, to Columbia Daniels, 
who is a native of Kentucky, daughter of 
Captain Marine Daniels, an old steamboat 
man of the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. 
Mr. and Mrs. Moore have had four children 
born unto them, three sons and one daugh- 
ter, all of whom are still living excepting 
Walter, the youngest, who died July 10, 


The name of James D. Saunders has been 
associated with the profession of civil engineer 
and surveyor for the past thirty-three years 
in the city of Evansville. Two men of that 
name, father and son, have occupied the 
position of city engineer and county surveyor 
many terms during that period. The elder 
was born in Manchester, Eng., November 
2, 1829. His father being a civil engineer, 
he was educated in that profession. He was 
married in 1850 to Mary Sweeney, a native 
of the count}' of Donegal, Ireland, whose 
father was also an engineer employed on the 
ordnance survey of Ireland. They emi- 
grated to the United States in the same year 
and located at Bloomington, Ind., where Mr. 
Saunders had accepted a situation as engineer 
on the construction of what was then known 
as the New Albany & Salem railroad. In 
1854 he came to Evansville and was em- 
ployed in a like capacity on the Evansville, 
Indianapolis & Cleveland railroad, more 
commonly known as the " Straight Line." 
In the following year he was elected sur- 
veyor of Vanderburgh county, and in 1857 
he was elected city engineer and surveyor, 



and from then he held the position until 
iS6r, when he resigned, having enlisted in 
Company D, Forty-second Regiment Indi- 
ana Volunteers. He was appointed first 
lieutenant and afterward promoted to cap- 
tain. He resigned in 1862, returned to 
Evansville, was elected city engineer, and 
from that time until his death he was almost 
constantly employed as city engineer or 
county surveyor. At the time of his death, 
which occurred June 6, 18S0, he occupied 
the position of city engineer, having been 
elected in April of that year. His wife, four 
sons, and two daughters are still residents of 
this city. Three of the sons, James D., 
George W., and Miles S., are civil engineers. 
James D. Saunders, the younger, was the 
second child in a family of nine children. 
He was born in Bloomington, Ind., Decem- 
ber 4, 1S53, received a common school edu- 
cation, and under his father's instructions 
studied the science of civil engineering. In 
1S76 and again two years later he was 
elected count}' surveyor, which office he re- 
signed in 1S80 to accept the position of city 
engineer, to which he had been appointed 
by the city council upon the death of his 
father. He was elected by the people in 
the following year and at each election for 
that office until 1887, at which election he 
was defeated by about 200 majority, as at 
that election the democratic party, of which 
Mr. Saunders is an active member, was de- 
feated on the vote for councilmen by nearly 
1,400 majority. At present he does the gen- 
eral business of a civil engineer. That he is 
thoroughly competent all agree, and in his 
ability the people have unquestioned con- 
fidence. He stands at the commencement 
of his career, and measuring the future by 
the past, flattering predictions may be safely 
made. He is a member of the K. of P. and 
I. O. O. F. fraternities and the Business 
Men's Association. He was united in mar- 

riage, in 1 886, to Lizzie McQuigg, of Iron- 
ton, Ohio, and of this union one child has been 
born: William M. 

Albert Johann, carpenter and under- 
taker, was born in Prussia, Jul}- 16, 183 1, 
being the oldest son in a family of nine 
children. His father, Charles William 
Johann, a harness-maker, came to the 
United States in 1848, and after living a 
few years in this city removed to Cannelton, 
Ind., where after a long and busy life he 
died in July, 1875, at the age of seventy- 
four years. His mother still resides 
at Cannelton at the advanced age of eighty- 
three years. Albert Johann received his 
schooling in his native country, and when a 
young man learned the trade of a moulder. 
His health did not permit him to work at 
this trade and he learned that of a house 
carpenter, at which he worked occasionally, 
in connection with other business, until 1880. 
Since 1865 he has been engaged as an un- 
dertaker. He began life as a poor man. 
When he began business he bought a small 
house but was able to make a cash payment 
of only $25.00. By industry and economy 
he has accumulated a comfortable property. 
He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and K. 
and L. of H. fraternities. He is a republi- 
can in politics, and his popularity is evidenced 
by the fact that for two years past he has 
represented his ward in the city' council. 
He was married in July, 1854, to Miss 
Barbara Spies, a native of Germany, and 
daughter of Henry Spies. Of this union 
eight children have been born; Amelia K., 
Charles H., Lydia (who died at the age of 
twenty-one years in 1880), Emma L., 
Albert H., Edward W., Mary A., and 
Eva A. 

George W. Newitt, superintendent of 
police, was born in the town of Chatteris, 
Cambridgeshire, England, July 23, 1847. His 
father, William G. Newitt, a native of En- 


gland, came to Evansville, directly from his 
native land, in 1859. While here he was 
engaged as a florist, and attained a high 
standing in social and business circles. 
From this city he removed to Chicago, 111., 
where he now figures as one of the most 
prominent florists of that city. In 1865 his 
wife, whose maiden name was Louisa 
Eaton, a native of England, died in this city. 
Later, his marriage to Miss Mattie Mat- 
thews was solemnized. George W. Newitt 
is the oldest son in a family of eleven chil- 
dren, all living. He was educated princi- 
pal!}" in the schools of this city, and under 

his father's instruction, learned the business 
of a florist, which he pursued until 1S73. 
At that time he became identified with the 
police force of this city. He has passed 
through all the grades of the service, and is 
recognized as a most efficient officer. His 
political affiliations are with the democratic 
party. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. 
and K. of P. fraternities. May 22, 1873, he 
w r as married to Miss Leanna Earl, a native 
of this city, daughter of Robert Earl, a well 
known citizen. They have been blessed 
with three children : Flora L., George W., 
and Celia. 


Banks — The Pioneer House — National Bank System — Evansville National 
— First National — German National — Citizens' National — Merchants' 
National — People's Savings Bank — Private Houses — Building and Loan- 

[v\RIOR to 1834 Evansville was without 
(§x5 banking facilities, and, indeed, up to 
that time there had been no pressing 
demand in the little village for the conveni- 
ences necessary to rapid and extensive mone- 
tary transactions. When, that year, the State 
Bank of Indiana was established, and a branch 
was located at Evansville, it was considered 
a bold undertaking on the part of its pro- 
prietors. Subsequent events, however, 
showed that their wisdom was not less than 
their faith in the future of the town. The 
banking business was inaugurated in a 
small building on Main street, where the 
cashier, besides keeping all the books, acted 
as porter and janitor as well. From this 
modest beginning the business has grown to 
vast proportions, occupying some of the 
largest and handsomest business buildings 
in the city and enlisting in its service mam' 
of the most acute intellects of the day. 
Capital being the foundation of every kind 
of business, there can be no better witness 
of the prosperity and importance of the city 
at an}' time than the amount of capital pos- 
sessed by the banking institutions and used 
by the business concerns in the transaction of 
their affairs. The advance of business and 
growth of the community is probably more 
accurately demonstrated by the growth of 
the banking interest than by any other one 
standard that can be followed with equal 
precision. The branch of the old State 
Bank of Indiana, established here in 1834, 
had a capital, including state deposits and 

individual stock, of $So,ooo. In 1843 this 
capital was increased to $150,000, of which 
$73,000 were state deposits. In 1S50 the 
banking capital here was re-enforced by the 
establishment of the Canal Bank, which 
operated under the charter of the Evans- 
ville Insurance Company, the entire capital 
of the bank and insurance company being 
$250,000. Allowing one half of this sum 
to the bank would show the entire banking 
capital of the city to have been $202,000, 
not including state deposits in the State 
Bank; which sufficed until 1857, when a 
branch of the Bank of the State of Indiana 
was established, with a capital of $100,000, 
which increased the total banking capital to 
$225,000, at which sum it remained for six 
years. The capital of the branch of the old 
State Bank, it will be observed, is omitted 
from the aggregate mentioned as in use in 
1857? that institution having been succeeded 
by the branch of the Bank of the State of 

In 1S63, the First National Bank was es- 
tablished, with a capital stock of $500,000, 
and in the ten years that followed the bank- 
ing capital, through the establishment of 
new banks, private and national, grew to 
about $2,400,000. At that time, the begin- 
ning of the year 1S73, in addition to the 
regular bank stock, there was a surplus of 
$610,000.00 divided among the several 
National banks of the city, making the total 
banking capital about $3,000,000.00. The 
panic of 1873 caused many convulsions in 



monetary circles, but no bank in Evansville 
was seriously affected. The city has never 
had a bank failure. Safety and stability 
have been preserved by careful and conserv- 
ative management. Depositors have never 
had occasion for alarm and the greatest 
confidence is placed in all of the city banks 
by the general public. At the present time 
Evansville has four national, one savings and 
several private banks, all of which are doing 
a large business, the combined capital being 
in excess of $3,000,000.00, a sum consider- 
ably greater -per capita of population than 
can be found in many of the principal cities 
of the country. At the close of business 
October 4, 18S8, the loans and discounts of 
the four national banks amounted to 


A brief account of the several institutions 
properly begins with the pioneer corpora- 
tion, the Evansville National Bank. Organ- 
ized in 1834, its capital including state and 
individual stock was $80,000.00. The rec- 
ords show that the first meeting of the board 
of directors was held November 11, 1834 — 
the members being Robert Stockwell, John 
Shanklin, Marcus Sherwood, William Lewis, 
William Owens, Robert Barnes, Chester 
Elliott, James Cawson, Darius North, and 
John Mitchell. The board organized by 
electing John Mitchell president, and John 
Douglas cashier. These officers were con- 
tinued until Mr. Mitchell's death, when Sam- 
uel Orr became president. In 1843, the 
capital of the bank was increased to 
$150,000.00, of which $73,000.00 was owned 
by the state. In 1847, George W. Rath- 
bone was made cashier, and continued in 
that position until March 4, 1857, when the 
bank was succeeded by the "Branch of the 
Bank of the State of Indiana." The first 
directory board of the new bank was com- 
posed of Messrs. G. W. Rathbone, Robert 
Barrett, H. Q. Wheeler, R. R. Roberts, and 

George Foster. Mr. Rathbone was chosen 
president, and Samuel Bayard cashier. Jan- 
uary, 1865, the bank was reorganized under 
the national banking act as the Evansville 
National Bank, with a capital of $300,000.00, 
which was subsequently increased to 
$800,000.00. W. J. Lowry was made pres- 
ident, and R. R. Roberts cashier, but after- 
ward Samuel Bayard became cashier, and 
still later all the officers were changed, Mr. 
Rathbone being elected president, Mr. Bay- 
ard, vice-president, and V. M. Watkins, 
cashier. J. G. Kennedy succeeded Mr. 
Watkins, and in 1873 having resigned, his 
place was in turn occupied b}' Henry Reis, 
the present cashier. Mr. Bayard succeeded 
Mr. Rathbone, who subsequently removed to 
New York city, and Mr. John Gilbert was 
selected to fill the vacancy occasioned by 
Mr. Baj^ard's advancement. In June, 18S3, 
the charter of the bank expired, at which 
time with the renewal of its charter, its name 
was changed to the " Old National Bank.'''' 
The officers of the bank at this time are 
Samuel Bayard, president; John Gilbert, 
vice-president; Henry Reis, cashier; Samuel 
Bayard, David J. Macke}', William Heilman 
Robert K. Dunkerson, Henry F. Blount, 
William M. Akin, Edward G. Ragon, and 
John Gilbert, directors; a galaxy of names 
guaranteeing fidelity to trust, and superior 
ability in the conduct of affairs. The capital 
stock of the bank is $500,000.00; its surplus 
$250,000.00, and its deposits 940,980.57. 
The stock has paid large dividends and com- 
mands a high premium in the market. The 
building now occupied bv the bank on the 
west side of Main street, between Water 
and First, was built in 1836. It is a massive 
structure of imposing aspect, substantially 
built and well arranged for the transaction 
of the business which it was designed to ac- 
commodate. In the present year the build- 
ing has been thoroughly repaired and re- 



fitted, its interior arrangement and finish dis- 
playing the highest degrees of art and skill- 
The building is valued at $27,577.94. The 
career of the institution has been remarkable. 
growing in strength and popular favor as 
the years have advanced. From its organ- 
ization as a small bank in 1834, it has 
wielded a beneficent influence on the busi- 
ness affairs of this part of the country. Its 
obligations have been fulfilled to the letter 
always, and because of its acknowledged 
solidity and wise management, it was selected 
as a national depository. The chief execu- 
tive of the bank, Mr. Bayard, has been 
identified with it for more than a third of a 
century, and has, by his financial ability, 
sound judgment and high reputation for ex- 
ecutive skill and untarnished honor, con- 
duced in no small degree to the success and 
financial repute of the bank, now the oldest 
institution of the kind in southwestern Indi- 
ana, and in financial circles everywhere 
recognized as one of the best and soundest in 
the state. 

The First National Bank. — The Evans- 
ville Insurance Company, which was granted 
a perpetual charter with banking privileges, 
January 21, 1850, commenced business under 
that charter as the Canal Bank, which was 
organized in the same year, the entire capital 
of the insurance company and bank being 
$250,000. John M. Stockwell was elected 
president and James G. Jones secretary, who 
was very soon thereafter succeeded by 
W. T. Page. Operating under the free 
banking law of Indiana for many years, the 
concern did a successful business. 

The growth of the nation, the friendly 
and unrestricted commercial relations be- 
tween the several states, the development of 
natural resources, the increase of the prod- 
ucts of the farm and the shop, the progress 
of commercial and manufacturing interests, 
naturally bringing about a vast exchange of 

commodities, rendered necessary a system 
of exchange, or correspondence, which 
would make the medium of exchange of a 
certain and fixed value in all parts of the 
country. The facilities for banking and 
issuing currency afforded by state laws were 
very faulty because of the fluctuations of 
values in money carried from one state to 
another. To reined}' this the national 
banking law was enacted, by which national 
banks invest their capital in the bonds of the 
national government and by a deposit of 
these in the United States Treasury, receive 
a proportionate amount of their value in 
notes countersigned by the officials and 
issued by that department, thus pro- 
viding, for circulation among the people, an 
issue guaranteed by the credit of the nation. 
B} r this means uniformity of values is se- 
cured and bank notes circulate freely and 
without question, and at par, all over the 
country. The first bank in Evansville and 
indeed the sixth in the United States to 
make application for a charter under the 
new national bank law, was the First 
National Bank of Evansville, Ind., which 
was incorporated in 1863 with a capital of 
$250,000, which was subsequently increased 
to $500,000. This bank, although the 
sixth to make application for a charter, was 
the twenty-seventh bank chartered. Some 
mistake was made by which a trip to Evans- 
ville from Washington on the part of those 
having the matter in charge was necessitated, 
during which time twenty-one other banks 
were chartered. H. Q. Wheeler was its 
first president as a national bank, with W. 
T. Page as cashier. The first board of di- 
rectors was composed of Gillison Maghee, 
Robert Barnes, Charles Viele, John S. 
Hopkins, John Ingle, jr., M. J. Bray, S. M. 
Archer, H. Q. Wheeler and William 
Brown, all men of great prominence in the 
annals of Evansville. Mr. Wheeler was 



succeeded in the presidency in 1867, by 
Hon. John S. Hopkins, and he, in 1SS0 bv 
Charles Viele. Each of the three presidents of 
this bank has been a distinguished citizen of 
pure character, unsullied reputation, and of 
great executive ability. Mr. James H. Cut- 
ler, the present cashier, was elected to that 
position in 1865, and by his wise, conserva- 
tive, and honorable conduct has contributed 
largely to the present soundness and popu- 
larity of the institution. The present officers 
are: Charles Viele, president; James H. 
Cutler, cashier; Will Warren, assistant 
cashier; Thomas E. Garvin, John Ingle, 
Charles Viele, M. J. Bray, Isaac Keen, F. J. 
Reitz, Cvprian Preston and James H. Cut- 
ler, directors. In 1882 the original charter 
expired, at which time a new one was 
applied for and received. From the com- 
mencement of its career this bank has en- 
joyed a successful business. Good dividends 
have been paid regularly on its stock, which 
has always been considered most desirable 
property. Its capital and surplus now 
amount to $700,000; its deposits to $818,- 
894.25. The banking house at the corner 
of Main and First streets, is a handsome 
edifice, with every convenience in its internal 
arrangement for the transaction of its large 
business. It was built in 1864 and rebuilt 
and remodeled in 1882. Its value now is 

The German National Bank. — In January, 
1873, the charter of the East Chester Na- 
tional Bank, of Mt. Vernon, New York, 
was purchased and transferred to this city, 
and permission granted by Congress to 
change the name to the " German National 
Bank of Evansville." The capital stock 
was placed at $250,000, with permission to 
increase it to $500,000. The first officers 
were Samuel Orr, president; John A. Reitz, 
vice-president, and Phil C. Decker, cashier. 
Directors: Samuel Orr, John A. Reitz, 

Samuel Bayard, Thomas Kerth, Edward 
Boetticher, H. M. Sweetser, Chas. Schulte, 
Theo. R. McFerson and Phil C. Decker. 

In January, 18S3, Mr. Orr was succeeded 
in the presidency by John A. Reitz; at the 
same time Phil C. Decker became vice- 
president and Henry L. Cook, cashier. NX. 
the present time the directors are John A. 
Reitz, Samuel Bayard, Thomas Kerth, P. C. 
Decker, Chas. Schulte, Edward Boetticher, 
William Rahm, jr., James C. Orr and R. K. 
Dunkerson. Its capital and surplus amount 
to $300,000.00, and its deposits to $327,- 
049.39. This bank commenced its career 
at No. 216 Upper First street, and now oc- 
cupies convenient and commodious quarters 
at the corner of Third and Main streets. 
Its management has been wise and success- 
ful, there being at the present time $154,- 
489.45 in undivided profits. Those who 
control its affairs are citizens who have been 
identified for man}' years with the business 
interests of the city. Their capacity as 
financiers has been amplv demonstrated in 
the career of this bank. 

Citizens National Ban!:. — This bank was 
organized in 1S73, and commenced business 
at No. 121 Upper First street as successors 
to the private banking house of W. J. 
Lowry & Co. It began with an authorized 
capital of $175,000. Its first officers were: 
R. C. Slaughter, president; S. P. Gillett, 
cashier. Directors : R. C. Slaughter, John 
J. Roach, L. Swormstedt, George P. Hud- 
speth, Samuel Vickery, F. W. Cook, James 
H. McNeely, Fred Lunkenheimer and S. P. 
Gillett. In 1878 Mr. Slaughter retired 
from the presidency of the bank, and was 
succeeded by Matthew Henning, who, in 
1883, was succeeded by S. P. Gillett, the 
present chief executive. In 1883 the office 
of vice-president was created, and Dr. C. P. 
Bacon was chosen to serve as vice-presi- 
dent. At the same time William L. Sworm- 



stedt was appointed assistant cashier, and in 
the following year was made cashier, the 
duties of which important office he has dis- 
charged with great satisfaction to the officers 
and patrons of the bank. The present 
board of directors is composed of the follow- 
ing citizens: F. W. Cook, (J. H. Kellogg, 
L. Lowenthal, A. C. Tanner, Samuel 
Vickerv, S. P. Gillett, F. Lauenstein, 
W. M. Akin and C. P. Bacon. The capital 
stock and surplus amount to $240,000; its 
deposits to $281,448.92. The banking 
house is at the corner of Second and Main 

The Aferchants' National Bank. — A his- 
tory of the banks of Evansville would be in- 
complete without some mention of the Mer- 
chants' National Bank, which, though now 
out of existence, at one time wielded a large 
influence in monetary circles here. It was 
organized February 8th, 1865. The capital 
stock was $350,000, all of which was 
promptly taken, notwithstanding it followed 
closely on the heels of two national banks 
heretofore spoken of. The directors for the 
first year were C. R. Bement, Richard 
Raleigh, W. J. Dallam, J. G. Venemann, W. 
W. Morgan, John A. Reitz, Morris Ranger, 
and Isaac Keen — Mr. Bement president, 
and John D. Roach cashier. In 1868 the 
officers were Richard Raleigh, president; 
John A. Reitz, vice-president, and Chas. W. 
Kerney, cashier. In 1868 H. L. Meadows 
succeeded Mr. Kerney as cashier; in 1869 
Mr. Bement was again chosen president, 
Matt Henning, vice-president, and J. A. 
Lemcke, cashier. Chas. Decker succeeded 
Mr. Lemcke as cashier in 1871, and in 1872 
C. R. Bement again became president, and 
Matt Henning cashier. Subsequently Mr. 
John Gilbert became vice-president of the 
bank and other changes occurred before the 
bank ceased doing business. A large pro- 
portion of the stock was owned by three 

wealthy gentlemen, who concluded, about 
1885, to conduct the business as a private 
bank, and surrendered its charter, granted 
by the national government. After about a 
year's time it discontinued business, without 
loss, however, to any of its patrons. In 1873, 
at the corner of Main and First streets, a 
very handsome banking house was erected 
at a cost of $40,000. 

The People 's Savings Bank. — Organized 
under the laws of the state of Indiana, this 
bank opened its doors for business on the 
5th day of May, 1S70. Its first officers 
were: Gen. J. M. Shackelford, president; 
John D. Roach, secretary and treasurer; 
J. M. Shackelford, Eccles G. Van Riper, 
M. Muhlhausen, John Laval, James Steele, 
Fred Lunkenheimer, Christian Hedderich 
and James W. Lauer, trustees. After the 
death of Mr. Roach, in 1870, Dr. John 
Laval was elected secretary and treasurer. 
January 14, 1880, Dr. Laval resigned, and 
on March 19th following, Fred Lunken- 
heimer was elected to fill the vacancy thus 
occasioned. His successor was Maj. Jesse 
W. Walker, who served from April 1, 1S85, 
to April 25, 18S8, the date of his death. 
On May 14, 1888, Col. John Rheinlander 
was elected to discharge the duties of this 
important trust, and is now serving. 

Gen. J. M. Shackelford served as presi- 
dent of the bank from its establishment un- 
til May 27, 187S, and M. Henning from that 
date until May 31, 1884, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. M. Muhlhausen, the present 
chiei: executive. The vice-president is Mr. 
H. V. Bennighof. At the outset the duties 
of cashier were performed by the secretary 
and treasurer, but when the business trans- 
acted became so large as to demand the 
appointment of a cashier, Jacob Haas was 
selected as such. On April 1, 1880, he was 
succeeded by Michael Schaeff er, the present 
efficient cashier. The present board of 



trustees is composed of: Dr. M. Muhl- 
hausen, H. V. Bennighof, M. Henning, Gen. 
J. M. Shackelford, James Steele, Col. John 
Rheinlander and Clements Reitz. 

During the first day of its career the bank 
secured two depositors, one making a deposit 
of $2.00, and the other of $1.00, and the 
doors were closed on the dullest day's busi- 
ness ever known to it. From this small 
beginning it has daily grown in favor with 
the people until at this time its active depos- 
itors number about 2,500, and its average 
deposits exceed $650,000.00. The bank 
has paid a semi-annual dividend to its depos- 
itors for the use of their money, which has 
ranged from 4 to 10 per cent, according 
to the earnings. It has been fortunate, and 
wisely managed, has passed safely through 
the periods of financial depression, and has 
always received and merited the confidence 
and esteem of its patrons, who are found 
among all classes. Every dollar intrusted 
to its keeping has been faithfully and hon- 
estly accounted for. In addition to the 
banks thus far mentioned, several private 
banking houses have been established in 
the city to meet unusual demands made 
at particular periods for banking conveni- 
ences. A leading one of these institutions 
is the banking house of Archer & Co., which 
employs a considerable amount of capital, 
and does an active business. 

Building and Loan Associations. — The 
legislature of Indiana, by an act approved 
March 5, 1857, which has been much im- 
proved by subsequent laws, provided for the 
organization of building and loan associa- 
tions, which because of their patrons, the 
simplicity of their workings and the small 
payments required to secure the possession 
of shares, have been well named " poor 
men's banks." Perhaps no single agency 
has done more toward enabling the poorer 
classes, those who eat their bread by the 

sweat of their faces, to own their own homes 
and to lay up trivial amounts, which in the 
aggregate secure many of life's comforts, 
small sums that would otherwise have been 
wasted. The declared objects of these in- 
stitutions are, to increase capital by accumu- 
lation, to assist their members in the 
acquisition of real estate, in the erection of 
buildings and in the removal of incum- 
brances on property. The pioneer associa- 
tion of this kind in the city was organized in 
May, 1873, with the following list of officers: 
Charles E. Baker, president; N. B. Hay- 
ward, vice-president; J. W. Jenner, secre- 
tary; H. C. Warren, treasurer and J. B. 
Rucker, solicitor. The benefits of such an 
association, wisely and carefully managed, 
soon became apparent, and on July 18th, 
1874, a second association was formed. 
From that time to the present this financial 
element has been busy accumulating money 
and building houses for those who are will- 
ing to save little at a time and utilize the re- 
sults of their toil. As the city grows their 
number increases. All through the outer 
portions of the city are neat and at- 
tractive homes inhabited by happy families 
enjoying the independence that ownership 
of a home affords. There are ten of these 
associations in the city, with a capital stock 
of $500,000.00 each, that being the limit 
fixed by law. 


Hon. John S. Hopkins was born in 
Truxton, N. Y„ October 28, 181 1, and died 
at his home in this city July 6, 1882. He 
was a son of the pioneer, Edward Hopkins, 
and came to Evansville with his father in 
the fall of 1 8 19. From that time until his 
death he was continuously a resident of this 
city, and few men, if any, have been more 
prominently identified with its material 
growth and advancement from the condition 


of a village to that of a great and prosper- 
ous city. On the 9th of December, 1S34, 
he was married to Mary Ann Parrett, 
daughter of Rev. Robert Parrett, founder 
of the Methodist Episcopal church in Evans- 
ville. Mrs. Hopkins survived her husband 
until 18S6. Her life was full of good works 
and every Christian virtue adorned her 
character. The boyhood of John S. Hop- 
kins was spent in the village of Evansville 
and his education was only such as could be 
obtained in the inferior schools of that day. 
His natural abilities, however, were of a 
high order and the experience of a busy 
life developed in him a strong, clear mind 
and great force of character. From early 
manhood he was an active business man 
and a prosperous and praiseworthy citizen, 
and no man ever lived in this community 
who more full}- possessed the entire confi- 
dence and esteem of his fellow citizens. For 
many years he was engaged in merchan- 
dise, and built up an ample fortune, though 
always liberal in his contributions to all pub- 
lic enterprises and in his private benefactions. 
Though a man of the most positive convic- 
tions and unflinching moral courage, he 
had, probably, not an enemy in the entire 
circle of his acquaintance. Though of a 
retiring and modest disposition he was often 
called to positions of trust and responsibility. 
In 1S37 he was elected to the responsible 
position of city collector. In 1S40 he 
became a member of the city council, and 
several times afterward was made a mem- 
ber of the municipal board. He was elected 
mayor of the city in the spring of 1853, and 
served from April 9 of that year to April 
12, 1856. In 1S61, at a time when the 
patriotism and sterling qualities of every 
citizen were tried, he was a member of the 
Indiana legislature, and again in 1878 and 
1879, an< * m au these important positions 
cquitted himself in a manner honorable to 

himself and meeting the full approval of his 
constituency. After retiring from mercan- 
tile pursuits, he was chosen president of the 
First National bank at its organization, 
which position he held till about 1S80. 
Before the organization of this bank he was 
president of the old Canal bank. For 
three years he was president of the Evans- 
ville, Cairo & Memphis Packet Company, in 
which position he manifested the same 
sagacity and sound judgment that marked 
his entire career. During the last year of 
his life he was almost entirely retired from 
active life, performing only such duties as 
devolved upon him as a director in several 
corporations. From its infancy he was a 
director of the Evansville & Terre Haute 
Railroad and was connected in various ways 
with man)- of the great enterprises of the 
city. After retiring from the presidency 
of the Evansville, Cairo & Memphis Packet 
Company, as though possessing a premoni- 
tion that the end was drawing near, he 
engaged himself in " setting his house in 
order." In the last year of his life he 
visited the home of his youth, and afterward 
gave patrimonies to his children, so that 
when the final summons came it found him 
ready in all respects. At the time of his 
death three sisters and seven children sur- 
vived him. His sisters were Mrs. Charles 
Viele, Mrs. Charles Babcock and Mrs. Eliza 
Wheeler. His children were: Frank Hop- 
kins, Mrs. Alexander H. Foster, Robert F. 
Hopkins, Mrs. Edward Tombler, John S. 
Hopkins, jr., Mrs. Frank Byrnes and 
Edward O. Hopkins. In many respects 
Mr. Hopkins was a remarkable man. He 
was an honored citizen and the tender and 
sincere sorrow of the entire community fol- 
lowed him to his final resting place. 

Charles Viele is one of the pioneers of 
the city of Evansville, and one of its most 
prominent and best known business men. 



His history, therefore, is an essential part of 
the history of Evansville, though Mr. Viele 
very reluctantly yielded his consent to the 
appearance in this chapter of a personal 
mention of himself. He was born in Pitts- 
town, Rensselaer county, New York, No- 
vember 22, 1S1S. His parents, Abraham 
and Hannah (Douglas) Viele were natives 
of the state of New York, the former of 
French and the latter of Scotch extraction. 
The elder Viele was a prominent and suc- 
cessful manufacturer of agricultural imple- 
ments and machinery, and one of the 
influential citizens of Rensselaer county. He 
was largely identified with local politics, and 
for many years occupied various positions of 
trust. Charles was the youngest son. His 
boyhood was passed in the village of Valley 
Falls, where he received an academical edu- 
cation. Early in life he evidenced the pos- 
session of that spirit of push, energy and 
enterprise which is characteristic of New 
York people. At the age of eighteen he 
resolved to avail himself of the advantages 
offered bv settlement in what was then 
known as the " Far West." In the spring 
of 1836, in company with Mr. A. B. Car- 
penter, he left the place of his nativity, and 
after a tedious journey, by rail to Columbia, 
Pa., then the terminus of all western railroads, 
thence by stage to Pittsburgh and by boat to 
Evansville; arrived in this city on the 26th 
day of March, 1836. Evansville had at this 
time reached the distinction of a village, and 
under his observation, and, to a certain ex- 
tent, through his identification with its inter- 
ests, it has become the second city in the 
state of Indiana. His first employment was 
as clerk in the store of A. B. Carpenter, 
with whom he remained until 1840, when, 
in company with Mr. Asa B. Bement, the}' 
founded the house of Bement & Viele, which 
became one of the largest and most success- 
ful grocery houses in the state. The firm of 

Bement & Viele was dissolved in 1865, and 
was succeeded by that of Charles Viele & 
Co. In 1870 Mr. Viele retired, his son 
George B. being his successor, and the firm 
of Viele, Stockwell & Co. was established. 
For more than one -half a century he has 
been largely identified with the financial in- 
terests of Evansville. In 1850 the Evans- 
ville Insurance Company was organized, 
with a capital stock of $250,000. The 
charter contained insurance and banking 
privileges of a liberal character, and was a 
financial success from its inception. Mr. 
Viele was a member of the first board of 
directors, and it is stated that it was largely 
through his influence and energy that the 
company was brought into existence. Mr. 
Viele has never dissolved his connection 
with this bank, of which he has been the 
financial head for many years, and its presi- 
dent since 1879. To give a detailed history 
of his connection with the various enterprises 
with which he has been identified in the half 
century that he has been a resident of 
Evansville would require more space than is 
at the disposal of the writer. All enterprises, 
however, that have had for their object the 
advancement of the interests of the city of 
Evansville have always found in him a firm 
friend and patron. Mr. Viele is now in the 
seventieth year of his age, and in full posses- 
sion of his mental and phj-sical powers. 
Extended travel, years of practical experience 
and close observation in social, political and 
business matters have given him a position 
that is attained but by few. It can be said 
of him that, in the half century of his busi- 
ness life, his escutcheon has never" been 
marred by one single act not conformable 
in every way to the strictest rule of right 
and justice, and his career is worthy of emu- 
lation by all classes and conditions of young 
men. His liberality is proverbial, and during 
financial depressions he has frequently gone 



to those whom he knew to be in distress and in the elementary branches of learning. He 
by his financial aid and advice carried them supplemented this instruction with much 

to a place of safety. In his religious and 
political affiliations he is an Episcopalian and 
a republican. He has never aspired to po- 
litical preferment, choosing to devote his 
energies to the cares of his business, rather 
than mingle in political life. He has done a 
great work in the advancement of the moral 
and religious interests of Evansville and to 
him as much as to anyone else the church of 
St. Paul's is indebted, not only for the beauti- 
ful building that bears its name but for the 
prominent position it holds among the sister 
churches of the state. Tn 1845 Mr. Viele 
was married to Miss Mary J., daughter of 
Judge Edward Hopkins. Six children 
were the result of this union, of whom his 
sons George B., Walter S. and Edward N. 
are now living. 

John Gilbert, vice-president of the Old 

miscellaneous reading and study, which 
strengthened his mind and stored it with 
useful information. In 1S36 he came to 
Indiana in the employ of the American Fur 
Company, at a salary of $15.00 per month. 
The company had a warehouse on the cor- 
ner of First and Division streets in this city, 
and engaged in the purchase, packing, and 
shipping of large quantities of furs and deer 
skins. The territory between Evansville 
and St. Louis, Mo., was " worked " by Mr. 
Gilbert for two years, during which time he 
learned the ways of the people and saw that 
he could better his condition by working for 
himself. This new west, then rapidly de- 
veloping, began to teem with opportunities 
for the young, energetic, and ambitious. 
He had saved his earnings and bought a 
team of horses. Clocks were about this 

National Bank, was born in Chester county, time introduced to the pioneers of the west 

Pa., April 20, 1S1S. His ancestors were 
among the first settlers of New England, 
having arrived there with the Puritan 
fathers in the earl}' part of the seventeenth 
century. His great-grandfather was one of 
the first to enlist in the revolutionary army, 
and was killed at Breed's Hill, the first bat- 
tle of the war. His parents, Joseph and 
Mary (Stewart) Gilbert, were natives of 
Pennsylvania, but early crossed the Alle- 
ghanies and settled on a farm about fort} 7 
miles west of Columbus, Ohio, in Clark 
county. Here the boyhood of John Gilbert 
was spent, in the manner common to farmer's 
lads of that day. His opportunities for ob- 
taining an education were necessarily meagre, 
but he did not fail to take advantage of such 
as were afforded by the imperfect schools of 
the new country. Through the winter 
months of three years in his life, when his 
services were not needed on the farm, he 
was sent to school, where he was instructed 

and were easily sold at good prices, but 
money was scarce and the vender was gen- 
erally required to sell on credit or take his pay 
in trade. Young Gilbert traded his horses for 
clocks and traded his clocks to the farmers 
for cattle, drove his cattle to the markets of 
St. Louis, and thus laid the foundation for his 
present splendid fortune. He then settled 
at Golconda, in Pope county, Ills., and be- 
gan the business of a general merchant, 
at the same time buying tobacco and other 
country produce. His restless activity, close 
attention to business, and steadfast adher- 
ence to honorable methods, gained for him 
wealth and high social position. His abili- 
ties as a manager grew with the increase of 
his capital. For twenty years he continued 
his mercantile pursuits at Golconda with 
success. During this time he embarked in 
the steamboat business, his first venture 
being in a line of steamers between Louis- 
ville, K.V., and New Orleans, La., and he 



has since been prominently identified with 
steamboat interests on various rivers of the 
west. During the civil war period he owned 
several boats in the service of the govern- 
ment, and was president of a line of steam- 
ers plying between this city and Cairo. At 
the close of the war he organized the 
Evansville & Tennessee River Packet Com- 
pany, and started the first boat on the line 
from Evansville to Florence, Ala. This' line 
has ever since made regular trips between 
the two points. He has been connected 
with the Evansville and Cairo line of steam- 
boats since its organization, and was largely 
interested in the Evansville & New Orleans 
Packet Company while it existed. Since 
his connection with steamboat matters he 
has had built, either for himself or for the 
companies he represented, a number of 
steamboats, prominent among which are the 
"W. A. Johnson," "Silver Cloud," "Idle- 
wild," "Red Cloud," and "Joe Fowler." 
His vessel interests being centered princi- 
pally at Evansville, he removed here in 1872 
and has since been identified with the vari- 
ous interests of the city. As originator and 
vice-president of the Citizens' Insurance 
company, vice-president of the Merchants' 
National bank, president of the Evansville 
Street Railway company, vice-president of 
the Old National bank, and as a stockholder 
in various other enterprises,' he has exhib- 
ited rare skill and sagacity as a man of 
affairs. He is also president of the Paducah, 
Ky., gas company, and a large stockholder 
in the Citizens National bank of that place. 
During his residence at Golconda, 111., he 
held the office of mayor of that city, and 
since coming to Evansville has been one of 
her most enterprising and public spirited 

January 6th, 1842, he was married to Miss 
Cornelia A. Bucklin, a native of Massachu- 
setts, whose death, occurring December 

29th, 1S87, was deeply lamented by the 
many friends whom the beauty of her char- 
acter had drawn about her. Of this union 
six children have been born: Henry C, 
Eliza, Fannie G., Mary, William and John. 
Col. John Rheinlander, secretary and 
treasurer of the People's Savings Bank, has 
achieved an honorable record as citizen and 
soldier. April 26, 1828, and the city of 
Heilegenstadt, German}', were the date and 
place of his birth. His parents, Godfried 
Rheinlander and wife, emigrated from Ger- 
many to this country in 1844. A year later 
the)' reached Evansville, having sojourned 
for a time at Cincinnati, Ohio. Thev were 
respectable people, with the simple ways 
and industrious habits of the pioneers of this 
section. The early training of Col. Rhein- 
lander was obtained in schools of his native 
country. Soon after reaching this city and 
at the very commencement of his young- 
manhood he enlisted in the volunteer armies 
of the United States to assist in the campaign 
against Mexico. Going to the front he ren- 
dered efficient service. When the civil war 
broke out he raised a company — B of the 
Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry — and at its 
organization was commissioned captain. 
Nine months later his valiant and faithful 
service won him the rank of lieutenant-col- 
onel, which he held until mustered out in 
the fall of 1864. In the battle of Hatchie 
River, Tenn., he received a gun shot wound 
through the right thigh and for a time was 
seriously disabled. His army record is lus- 
trous with heroism and patriotism. As a 
business man he has been enterprising 
and industrious. He began as a cigar 
manufacturer and for many years continued 
in that business successfully. His industry 
and good management constantly increased 
his business, and his integrity was always 
manifest in his dealings with his customers 
and employes. He has served the publi c 



in many important relations, notably as 
county commissioner and county treasurer. 
In 1873 ne was made a trustee and director 
in the savings bank, which important trust 
he continues to execute. In 1SS8 he was 
called to preside as chief executive of the 
bank. He is a member of the F. & A. M. 
and A. O. U. W. fraternities. Intelligent, 
manly and modest, he has attained an envi- 
able position in every relation of life. He 
has been married three times. In 1849 Miss 
Maria Darling became his wife. Four 
children, Eva, Alice, Florence, and John W. 
were born of this union. The death of this 
wife occurred in 1862, and three years later 
the Colonel was married in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
to Miss Margaret Barg, to whom one child, 
Alexander, was born. She died in 1S72, 
and a few years afterward he married Miss 
Christine Hedderich, to whom two children 
have been born. 

Samuel M. Archer, capitalist and 
banker, was born in Indiana Territory within 
the present limits of Gibson county, Febru- 
ary 24, 1809. He is the fourth son and only 
surviving child in a family of nine children. 
His father, Thomas Archer, of South Caro- 
lina, farmer, came to Indiana Territory in 
very early days, and settled in what is now 
Gibson county. He was instrumental in 
organizing that count}-, was one of the pio- 
neer citizens of character and influence, and 
took an active part in the public interests of 
that section. As a soldier in the Indian war, 
he rendered effective service for his country, 
being in the battle of Tippecanoe under 
General Harrison. The boyhood of Sam- 
uel Archer was spent upon his father's farm 
in the manner common to the pioneer lads 
of that day. His business career was be- 
gun at Princeton, Ind., where he entered 
the general merchandise store of Robert 
Stockwell, as clerk, in 1827. By dint of 
industry and economy the young man suc- 

ceeded in gaining admission as a partner in 
the concern, in which relation and as sole 
proprietor, he continued twenty years. 
Coming to Evansville in 1S55, he embarked 
in the wholesale dry goods business with 
D. J. Mackey, pursuing it successfully seven 
years. In 1867 he began a banking and in- 
surance business with John D. Roche as a 
partner. This partnership was dissolved by 
the death of Mr. Roche in 1S70, when 
he sold the insurance business and de- 
devoted himself to his bank, which 
he has since conducted with marked 
ability and gratifying success. He has 
been a director in the Evansville (now 
Old) National bank, for twenty years; is a 
stockholder in the First National bank, and 
for some time served on its board of direc- 
tors. During the early part of his career as 
banker he met many heavy reverses, losing 
$10,000 in bonds by robbery, and sustaining 
heavy losses in the failure of the Evansville 
rolling mills. But being one of the best of 
financiers and possessing in a high degree all 
the qualities essential to the successful bus- 
iness man, he moved steadily forward, 
and by practicing honorable methods has 
attained a high rank among those noted for 
shrewdness and ability. He was married in 
1845 to Miss Mary E. Snethen, a native of 
Maryland. Of this union three children 
have been born; Annie, Lucy and Charles 
S., all distinguished by accomplishments of a 
high order. Mr. Archer and his family are 
prominent members of Grace Presbyterian 

Charles II. Ritter, paying teller of the 
First National bank, was born October 4, 
1854, at Cassel, Germany. The only child 
of John D. and Elizabeth (Bernat) Ritter, 
natives of Germany, he was early thrown 
upon his own resources by being left an 
orphan. His father was a cabinet-maker 
and followed that vocation during the brief 



period which elapsed between his settlement 
here in 1859, anc ^ ^ e breaking out of the 
civil war. Responding to the call of his 
but recently adopted country, he enlisted in 
Co. K, Thirtv-Second Indiana Infantry. 
Upon the organization of this company he 
was elected to a lieutenancy and later was 
promoted, for valor and efficiency, to the 
rank of captain. On Chickamauga's battle- 
field he laid down his life, heroically leading 
his command. Early after his enlistment, 
in 1S61, the death of his wife occurred. 
Charles Ritter was reared and educated by 
his uncle, Charles Ritter, now deceased. 
He early entered a dry goods store as a 
clerk, and at the age of fifteen was em- 
ployed in the First National bank as a mes- 
senger. His ability and integrity soon 
proved themselves. He rose rapidly, first 
to the place of assistant book-keeper, then 
to that of receiving teller and at length was 
promoted to his present important position. 
By industry and economy he has accumulated 
some valuable property, but perhaps the 
richest of his possessions, he being a young 
man with the best of his life's work before 
him, is his excellent reputation for capacity 
and honor. He is a member of the I. O. 
O. F. May 7th, 1878, he was united in 
marriage to Miss Louisa M. Schmidt, a 
native of this city, daughter of Charles 
Schmidt, a well known citizen. They have 
two children: Fred D., and Marie Louise. 

Michael Schaeffer, the cashier of the 
People's Savings bank, is a young man 
whose attainments in the past bespeak for 
him a bright future. He was born July 10, 
1861, in this city. His parents, Peter A. 
and Maria (Janz) Schaeffer, were natives of 
Germany, and now reside in Evansville. Of 
a family of nine children he is the only sur- 
vivor. He received a liberal education in 
the public schools, Trinity Catholic school, 
and the commercial college of Kleiner & 

Wright. When sixteen years of age he was 
employed as a clerk. April 1, 1S80, he was 
appointed cashier of the Savings bank, hav- 
ing previously served as a clerk and book- 
keeper for about two years. As an efficient 
accountant, an able manager, and a courte- 
ous gentleman, he has contributed largely to 
the success of the institution with which he 
is connected. He was married May 2, 1888, 
to Miss Kate Negele, a daughter of George 
Negele, a well known citizen. Mr. and Mrs. 
Schaeffer are members of Trinity Catholic 

Reinhold F. Schor, chief book-keeper 
of the First National bank, was born in 
Prussia, March 25, 1844. His paternal 
grandfather, Fraugott Schor, was a school 
teacher in Germany. His parents, E. G. 
and Pauline S. (Boehmer) Schor, were na- 
tives of Schweidnitz, Prussia, and came to 
this city in 1S54. E. G. Schor, born April 
2, 1820, was a merchant tailor in his native 
country, and for some time followed that 
business after settling in Evansville. For 
thirteen years he was in the office of the 
Evansville Union, and for eleven years past 
has been engaged as a manufacturer of pot- 
tery and stone ware. He is the father of 
one son and two daughters: Reinhold F., 
Mary (now Mrs. John Groom) and Martha 
(now Mrs. S. L. Bray). Reinhold Schor 
was educated in the public schools of his 
native country, and of this city, graduating 
from the high school in 1862. Since that 
time, by much miscellaneous reading and 
study he has attained a broad acquaintance 
with the best works in literature and science. 
In geology and conchology he is especially 
proficient. In 1SS2, the city council ap- 
pointed him trustee of the public schools, 
which position he held for three years. 
When a young man he learned the printer's 
trade, and worked as a compositor for some 
time, and later served as deputy county 


32 J 

auditor under Victor Bisch. He was then 
called by H. Q. Wheeler to take a position 
as clerk and book-keeper in the bank with 
which he is now connected. His long con- 
nection with the bank, his faithful attention 
to duty, and his unquestioned integrity con- 
nect his personal history with the annals of 
the bank. He is a member of the K. of P. 
and I. O. O. F. fraternities. He was mar- 
ried August 1 6, 1868, to Miss Mary E. 
Schmutte, a native of this city, and daughter 
of the pioneer, Henry Schmutte. They 
have four children: Bertha N. (now Mrs. 
H. S. Haynes, of Owensboro, Ky.,), Ernest 
A., Annie, and Arthur H. 

James H. Cutler. — Among those deserv- 
ing special mention in this chapter is Mr. 
James H. Cutler, cashier of the First Na- 
tional Bank of Evansville. He was born in 
Highgate, Franklin count}', Vt., December 
12, 1829. His father, Jesse Cutler, was a 
manufacturer and farmer and a gentleman 
of prominence and influence. He was a suc- 
cessful business man and quite largely iden- 
tified with local politics. He represented 
his district in the general assembly and filled 
other positions of trust and responsibility. 
James H. was reared on his father's farm 
and received an academical education. While 
yet in his teens he began life as a clerk in a 
general store in his native village. His em- 
ployment was not wholly uncongenial, but 
the rigorous climate so impaired his health 
that a change of locality seemed imperative, 
and in 1854 ne decided to remove to St. 
Louis, Mo., but learning of the superior ad- 
vantages offered for settlement in Evans- 
ville, which at this time had begun to assume 
prominence as a commercial center, he de- 
cided to make it his future home. Although 
he had just passed his majority he had 
already laid the substructure of a sound 
business education, and in a little time he 
accepted a position as book-keeper in the 

house of Johnson & French. In i860 he 
began his career as a banker in the old 
Canal bank, which at the time was one of 
the most important financial institutions in 
the southern part of the state. Upon its 
reorganization as a national bank, in 1863, 
Mr. Cutler retained his former position. 
His industry, integrity, and sound views on 
finance soon made his services almost indis- 
pensable to the bank's success, and in 1865 
he became its cashier, which position he 
still retains. Those familiar with the history 
of this bank assert that its success and the 
enviable position it holds among the sub- 
stantial and successful banks of the state is 
due largely to Mr. Cutler's efforts, and that 
among the bankers of the city very few if 
any have a more extended knowledge of 
monetary matters or possess in a greater de- 
gree the esteem and confidence of the busi- 
ness men of the city. In his religious and 
political affiliations he is a Presbyterian and 
a republican. In 1857 Mr. Cutler was 
married to Miss Lorrain M., daughter of 
Deacon Asa Dean, one of the prominent 
and substantial citizens of Bakersfield, Frank- 
lin county, Vt. Three children have been 
born to them: Alberta L., William H., and 
Adelbert J. 

William L. Swormstedt, cashier of the 
Citizen's National bank, was born at Chicago, 
III, September 27th, 1862. His father, 
Leroy Swormstedt, a native of Ohio, was 
for many years a merchant in Chicago, 111., 
and a planter in Louisiana, his health caus- 
ing him to spend his winters in the south and 
his summers in the north. He was well- 
known in this city, where for some time he 
lived as an invalid, his death occurring in 
March, 1888. The mother of William 
Swormstedt, whose maiden name was Mary 
E. Lowry, was a daughter of William J. 
Lowry, at one time one of the most promi- 
nent of Evansville's citizens. William re- 



ceived a good education and was well fitted 
for a business career. He entered the Citi- 
zens National bank in 1882 as a book- 
keeper, in the next year became assistant 
cashier, and in January, 1884, was elected 
cashier, which responsible position he has 
since held, discharging its duties with rare 
good judgment and to the entire satisfaction 
of the directory of the bank. He is also 

engaged in the general insurance business, 
is treasurer of the Germania building asso- 
ciation and holds important offices of trust 
in some of the lodges to which he belongs. 
He is an active and influential member of 
the F. & A. M., and K. of P. fraternities, 
having attained the degrees of Templarism 
in the former and the Uniform Rank in the 


By M. J. BRAY, M. D. 

The Medical Profession — Early Practitioners — Hardships of the Practice — 
Diseases Most Prevalent in Pioneer Times — Medical Societies — Hospitals 
— Colleges — The Physicians of the Past — Present PRACTiTioxers. 

'HEREVER frail man has lived and 
suffered, in the earliest times as well 
as to-day, the vocation of the phys- 
ician has ranked among the most important 
of human pursuits. Who is more eagerly 
welcomed than he, when the pale messenger 
casts his shadow over the household ? But 
experience teaches, and the opinion will pre- 
vail that, 

" God and the doctor we alike adore, 
Tust on the brink of danger, not before. 
The danger past, both are alike requited. 
God is forgotten and the doctor slighted." 

No professional record is found of the 
healing art as practiced in this vicinity 
before 1820, and all that is known prior to 
that time is purelv traditional. Previous to 
181 2 the southwestern part of Indiana, now 
called the " Pocket," was a dense wilder- 
ness, and it was not until about 1815 that 
there was an opportunity for a physician to 
practice his profession, owing to the country 
being so sparsely settled. Those who were 
residents at that time were obliged to rely 
upon the roots and herbs indigenous to the 
soil for a means of cure for such diseases as 
were common. The pioneer physician was 
generally without a medical education, and 
if he attained success it was the result of 
experience. Few knew anything of materia 
medica, and in surgery their knowledge was 
confined to a few of the minor operations, 
such as blood-letting, extracting teeth, and 
lancing a superficial abcess. Dr. Hornby, 

an Englishman, was the first to settle with- 
in the present limits of Vanderburgh county. 
He came in 1818, made his home near 
McCutchanville, and gave to the people of 
that vicinity the benefit of such medical 
knowledge as he possessed. He was not a 
graduate of any medical school; what 
knowledge of medicine he had was obtained 
in an apothecary shop. He entered a tract 
of wild land and made for himself and fam- 
ily a comfortable home. He was a good 
citizen and neighbor and died about 1832. 

Dr. William Trafton, who came in 1S20 
from Lewiston, Maine, was the pioneer 
physician of Evansville. He had attended 
medical lectures at Dartmouth medical col- 
lege and was well qualified for a frontier 
physician. Bold and decided in his opinions 
and untiring in the pursuit of his profession, 
he had but little respect for the opinions of 
others or the dogmas of medicine, unless 
based on common sense. He originated 
new views upon the pathologv of disease 
and inaugurated a new mode of treat- 
ment. Discontinuing the practice of 
treating remittent fevers with emetics, 
cathartics and calomel, he introduced 
the present mode of giving quinine. 

After a protracted illness his death oc- 
curred in 1857. Contemporaneous with Dr. 
Trafton was Dr. Shaw, whose frail consti- 
tution was unable to endure the severe labor 
and exposure incident to the practice at that 


time, and he died shortly after his settle- 
ment. In 1822 Dr. Harvey Phillips came 
from New York and settled in Evansville. 
He had a superior mind, and had studied 
under some of the best medical teachers in 
New York city. He ligated the brachial 
artery just above the arm for aneurism, 
caused by blood-letting, it being the first 
capital operation in surgery performed in 
the county. He was just in middle life 
when he came, and died about 1825. 

In 1833, two brothers, A. P. and Isaac 
Hutchinson, located in Evansville. They 
were steam or botanical practitioners, and 
were graduates of a botanical institute in 
Cincinnati. The}' were valuable citizens, 
and had a reputable practice. Isaac was 
appointed collector of the port of Evansville, 
in 1857. His death occurred in the follow- 
ing year; that of his brother in 1S41. Dr. 
Lane, from Kentucky, and a relative of 
Gen. Joseph Lane, hung out his shingle in 
1834. He was self-educated, and an excel- 
lent practitioner of medicine. He had the 
confidence of the community, and was a fine 
tvpe of the frontier gentleman. He wrote 
upon politics and medicine, and was a good 
speaker and a read}- debater. He was a 
regimental surgeon during the war with 
Mexico, where he contracted a disease of 
which he died soon after his return. 

Dr. Bray came to the county in 1835, and the 
following year a bright galaxy of medical 
gentlemen, all well educated, refined and 
accomplished, gathered in the then flourish- 
ing town. Among them were Drs. G. B. 
Walker, Daniel Morgan, L. L. Laycock, 
Lindley, and William Trafton. 

Hardshi-ps of the Practice. — The practice 
of medicine in the pioneer days was 
attended with difficulties that physicians of 
the present day can scarcely comprehend. 
Roads and bridges were almost un- 
known in certain localities. In high 

water dug-outs were used in cross- 
the creeks, and when belated or, 
as frequently happened, the physician got 
lost in the woods, he made a pillow of his 
saddle and wrapping his blanket around 
him, lay down under the spreading branches 
of a tree and passed the night as best he 
could. The nearest drug store until 1836 
was at Louisville, 200 miles away, and the 
physician carried his own medicines. 
People were poor, money was difficult to 
obtain, and the pioneers called the physician 
only in extreme cases, each family supply- 
ing itself with barks, roots and herbs which 
were administered in the simpler forms of 

Early Diseases. — In the early days the 
most common forms of disease were remit- 
ting and intermitting fevers, epidemic ery- 
sipelas, pneumonia and bowel complaints. 
The year 1836 was very sickly. Intermit- 
tent and remittent fevers prevailed 
in an epidemic form. In the win- 
ter of 1S37 and 1838 epidemic pneumonia 
prevailed and more than fifty people died. 
The disease was caused by cold rain and 
snow. The snow was more than a foot 
deep and there was sleighing three or more 
weeks. In about the year 1842 erysipelas 
visited this locality, prevailing in certain 
districts in an endemic form. The people 
called it Mack tongue. It was sudden in its 
attack and ran its course rapidly, generally 
proving fatal. 

Shortly after the rirst settlements were 
made the people were scourged with a 
disease commonly known as milk sickness. 
This disease prevailed not only in the 
country but in the towns, and in fact through- 
out the state. As soon as the land was 
placed under cultivation it disappeared 
Cases were more numerous in the fall of 
the year than at any other time, and were 
more general and obstinate in a dry season 



than a wet one. Between the salt well and 
the village of Evansville, the ground was 
strewn with the bleached bones of cattle 
that had died from it. It may have been 
a species of bacteria, or a vegetable poison. 
Whatever it was, it made the springs and 
surface water unhealthy and even poisoned 
the dew which gathered upon the herbage. 
Milch cows imparted the disease to their 
calves, and the people contracted it from 
drinking the milk or eating the butter or 
beef of diseased cattle. Dr. Trafton made 
several post-mortem examinations, and in 
his opinion it was caused by a specific 
poison which spent its force upon the 
mucous membrane of the stomach and 
bowels, the p\ _ loric orifice being particularly 
implicated and frequently closed up. The 

old treatment was severe purgation. 


Trafton, however, changed the practice, 
giving medicines to subdue irritation and in- 
flammation, and afterward mild purgatives. 
This treatment was so simple and effectual 
that it disarmed the disease of much of its 
terror, and the doctor was almost deified by 
his admiring countrymen. The scalpel in his 
hands was the key which unlocked the 
mystery of the disease. 

Cholera. — Evansville and Vanderburgh 
county were visited with cholera in 1S32, 
the germs of the disease being brought by 
passengers from New Orleans. It came in 
the form of an epidemic, made its attack 
suddenly and ran its course rapidly. Com- 
ing in the summer it left late in the fall, and 
was not as fatal here as in other places, al- 
though it caused about twenty-five or thirty 
deaths in a population of 225 or 250. It 
yielded in its first stages to simple remedies 
such as calomel, opium, paregoric or red 
pepper. There was at the time but one 
physician in the town and count}-. In 185 1 and 
1852 the disease again appeared. The san- 
itary condition of Evansville, however, had 

been much improved by sewerage and 
ditching. Water street had been cut down 
ten feet and all stagnant water and ponds 
had disappeared. The sanitary condition of 
the city was such that the disease was kept 
under control. There were only a few cases 
above Main street, the greater number being 
in Lamasco and below. The Germans suf- 
fered more than natives, owing it is pre- 
sumed, to the crowded condition in which 
they lived. B. F. Dupuy, a very prominent 
citizen of that day, died of the disease in 
1852. The disease prevailed in a sporadic 
form from 1849 to 1852. In 1866 it again 
appeared for a short time, the infection 
coming from New York. There were but 
few deaths, and the greater number of them 
were among old people and invalids. The 
last visitation was in 1873. The most vigor- 
ous sanitary measures were enforced by the 
city authorities, and it lasted but a short 
time. It assumed a malignant type in Jul)' 
of that year, but the deaths were principally 
among loafers and strangers. It prevailed 
with fearful violence in the neighborino- 
town of Mount Vernon, whence the inhabit- 
ants fled panic-stricken. 

Surgrry. — Before the coming of Dr. Bray 
there had been no physician in Evans villle 
who made an}- pretensions to a knowledge 
of surgical science. Blood-letting, tooth- 
pulling and lancing were about the only op- 
erations undertaken by the pioneer doctors. 
The unfortunate man who met with an ac- 
cident serious enough to fracture a femur or 
crush his skull was either a cripple for life 
because of inferior attention, or died from 
the results of his injuries. Dr. Bray had 
pursued his studies in the east and settled in 
Evansville with the intention of practicing 
surgery. The town was in a promising 
growth at the time, 1835, and southwestern 
ern Indiana, southeastern Illinois, and western 
Kentucky, localities to which the town was 



rapidly becoming a recognized supply depot, 
there was not a skilled surgeon. The doc- 
tor's services were early in demand, and his 
practice through the long period since his 
settlement here, now more than fifty years, 
has extended throughout all the territory 
adjacent to Evansville, and has embraced 
almost every form of operation known to 
the surgical science. In later years many 
well educated and skillful surgeons located 
in Evansville, and a great variety of delicate 
and important work has been done success- 
fully. It is pleasant to note the fact that the 
surgeons of Evansville, as a class, have 
maintained a very high standing in scientific 
circles throughout the country. Their ex- 
periences and reports of cases are given 
much weight by practitioners generally. In 
1835 Mr. Bray amputated a leg above the 
knee, in Evansville, which was the first 
operation of the kind in the county. Dr. 
Trafton had charge of the patient, a young 
man traveling west. He had a compound 
complicated dislocation of the ankle joint 
caused by an accident with machinery. Such 
injuries are like gunshot wounds — they sel- 
dom heal by the first intention. The tibia 
was dislocated inwards, the fibula fractured 
at its lower third, and the sole of the foot 
turned outwards. The capsular ligament 
was lacerated, and the synovial fluid of the 
joint escaped. Dr. Bray advised immediate 
amputation, but was overruled by Dr. Traf- 
ton and his patient, and no other physician 
was in the place. The inflammation caused 
by the injury terminated in mortification of 
the leg. Dr. Bray was then requested by 
Dr. Trafton and his patient to amputate. 
He declined at first, but finally yielded to 
their wishes. The patient survived only a 
short time. While in a state of in articulo 
mortis he desired the prayers of a minister, 
but there was none in the town to smooth 
the pillow of the dying boy among strangers. 

The first trepanning operation in the town 
was performed by Dr. Bra}- in 1836, upon 
John Stinson. The whole length of the 
parietal bone was fractured and one plate 
depressed under the other, caused hy a blow 
from an axhandle in the hands of John Roos. 
This depression was removed b}^ the eleva- 
tor and he recovered consciousness, but in 
about six weeks he had symptoms of an 
abscess between the dura-mater and inner 
plate of the skull. Dr. Bray opened the 
abscess by taking out a plug of the bone ; 
a large quantity of pus escaped, and the 
patient made a good recovery. 

Medical Societies. — The first medical 
society was organized in Evansville in 1S45, 
was named the Evansville Medical Society, 
and the following was the preamble: 

" Whereas, We, the undersigned physi- 
cians of Evansville and its vicinity, con- 
vinced of the expediency and importance of 
establishing a medical society for the pur- 
pose of promoting professional harmony 
and improvement, and to exalt generally the 
character, usefulness and dignity of the pro- 
fession, do hereby unite ourselves into an 
association, for the attainment of these 
objects, and do appoint Drs. William H. 
Stockwell, G. B. Walker and S. Thompson 
a committee to prepare a suitable constitu- 
tion and by-laws, to be submitted to the 
society on Saturday evening, January 4, 
1845." Signed by William Trafton, T. 
Muhlhausen, S. Thompson, M. J. Bray, 
Daniel Morgan, W. Hamilton Stockwell, 
Percival Egerton Garrick and G. B. Walker. 
A suitable constitution and by-laws for the 
guidance of the society were adopted. The 
high ideas which governed the early physi- 
cians in their practice and show the lofty 
character of the men then constituting the 
medical fraternity here, are presented in 
the following Code of Medical Ethics as 
adopted by the society: 


Rule I. It is the duty of every medical 
practitioner to treat his patients with stead- 
iness, tenderness and humanity, and to make 
due allowance for that mental weakness 
which usually accompanies bodily disease. 
Secrecy and delicacy should be strictly 
observed in all cases in which they may 
seem to be peculiarly required. 

2. The strictest observance of temper- 
ance cannot be too strongly inculcated on the 
minds of the practitioners of medicine and 
surgeons, a clear and vigorous intellect and 
a steady hand being absolutely necessary 
to the successful practice of these branches 
of medical science. 

3. Unfavorable prognostications should 
never be made in the presence of patients; 
yet, should there seem to be immediate dan- 
ger, it becomes the duty of the medical 
attendant to apprise the patient's friends of 
that circumstance. 

4. In every instance in which one phys- 
ician has been called on to visit the patient 
of another, a consultation with the former 
medical attendant shall be proposed. Con- 
sultations in difficult cases should always be 
recommended, and the physician called on 
for that purpose should always pay the 
greatest degree of respect to the practitioner 
first employed, and allow him the privilege 
of delivering all the directions agreed upon. 

5. Special consultations are sometimes 
wished for; in such cases the physicians 
called on should carefully guard against 
paying another visit, unless he should be 
requested to continue his services by the 
patient or some of his friends. 

6. When one physician is called on to 
visit the patient of another in his absence, 
or during short indispositions, he should not 
manifest a wish to continue in attendance 
any longer than the physician first called on 
should be able to resume charge of the case, 
unless a continuance of his services should 

be expressly wished for by the patient or 
his friends. 

7. Physicians should not visit their pa- 
tients too frequently, lest seeing them oftener 
than necessary might produce unsteadiness 
in the treatment. 

8. Theoretical discussions should not be 
too freely indulged in consultations, as they 
frequently give rise to much perplexity with- 
out any improvement in practice. 

9. The junior physician in attendance 
should always deliver his opinion first, and 
when there are more than two, the others, 
according to seniority, and a majority should 
decide ; but in the event of a tie, the physician 
first in attendance should give the casting 
vote in regard to the future treatment, and 
to him should be intrusted the future man- 
agement of the case, unless the patient or 
his relatives should object to his being con T 

10. Although the possession of a diploma, 
honorably acquired, furnishes presumptive 
evidence of professional ability, and entitles 
the possessor to pre-eminence in the profes- 
sion, yet the want of it should not exclude 
practitioners of experience and sound judg- 
ment from the fellowship and respect of the 
regular graduate. 

11. In consultations, punctuality in meet- 
ing at the same time should be strictly ob- 
served, but the physician who first arrives 
should wait a reasonable length of time for 
the arrival of others. A minute examina- 
tion of the patient, however, should not take 
place until one or more of the medical 
attendants are present, except in cases of 
emergency; all subsequent visits should, if 
practicable, be made by mutual agreement, 
and no medical discussion should take place 
in the presence of the patient. 

12. Attendance upon members of the 
profession or their families, should always 
be gratuitous, but should not be officiously 



obtruded should the circumstances of the 
medical practitioner indisposed enable him 
to make a recompense for medical services 
rendered to himself or family, it is his duty 
to do so, especially if he reside at a distance. 

13. When one practitioner is called on 
to visit a patient whose recovery has been 
despaired of bv the physician first in attend- 
ance, and the disease should afterward ter- 
minate fatally under his management, he 
should avoid insinuating to the friends of the 
deceased that if he had been called on a day 
or a few hours sooner he could have effected 
a cure. Such a course of conduct is highly 
reprehensible and empirical in the extreme. 
And in the event of the patient's recover}', 
such a person should not assume all the 
credit, as the cure might have been partly 
effected by the medicines prescribed before 
he took charge of the case. 

14. The use of nostrums and quack 
medicines should be discouraged as degrad- 
ing to the profession, injurious to health, 
and often destructive of life. Should pa- 
tients, laboring under chronic complaints, 
obstinately determine to have recourse to 
them, a reasonable degree of indulgence 
should be allowed to their credulity by the 
physician ; but it is his sacred duty to warn 
them of the fallacy of their expectations and 
the danger of the experiment, and the neces- 
sity of strict attention to the effect produced 
by them, in order that their bad effects, if 
any, should be timely obviated. 

15. No physician should, either by pre- 
cept or example, contribute to the circula- 
tion of a secret nostrum, whether it be his 
own invention or exclusive property or that 
of another. For, if it be of real value, its 
concealment is inconsistent with beneficence 
and professional liberty, and if mystery alone 
give it value and importance, such craft 
implies either disgraceful ignorance or 
fraudulent avarice. 

16. In all cases where diversity of opin- 
ion and opposition of interest give rise to 
controversy or contention between two or 
more members of the profession, the decis- 
ion should be referred to a sufficient num- 
ber of physicians, as they are frequently the 
only persons in the community capable of 
properly estimating the merits of the dis- 
pute. But neither the subject litigated nor 
the decision thereon should be communi- 
cated to the public, as individual reputation 
might suffer and the credit of the profession 
generally be injured. - 

17. A wealthy physician, or one retired 
from practice, should refuse to give gratui- 
tous advice, unless the danger of the case, 
the absence of the practicing phvsician, or 
the poverty of the patient should warrant 
him in so doing. In all cases where he may 
be preferred, he should recommend a con- 
sultation with some one engaged in active 
practice. This rule should be strictly ob- 
served, as a contrary course is gratuitouslv 
depriving active industry of its proper 

18. When a physician is called on suddenly 
to visit the patient of another, in consequence 
of some unexpected or alarming change in the 
symptoms, he should adopt a temporary 
( plan of treatment suited to present circum- 
jstances. He is not warranted in interfering 
afterwards, unless requested to take charge 
of the case, when he should propose an im- 
mediate consultation with the physician 
previously employed. 

19. Physicians should never neglect an 
opportunity of fortifying and promoting the 
good resolutions of patients suffering under 
the bad effects of intemperate lives and 
vicious conduct, and in order that their 
counsels and remonstrances may have due 
weight, it will readily be seen that they 
should have full claim to the blameless life 
and high moral character which has been 



stated to be a necessary pre-requisite to an 
honorable stand in the profession. 

20. Medical men should " remember the 
Sabbath day to keep it holy," and visits 
should, as far as consistent with professional 
engagements, be made either before or after 
public worship, or during its intervals. 

The following is a list of the signers to 
the constitution and by-laws of the early so- 
ciety, and exhibits the names of the leading 
physicians in Vanderburgh county from 
1845 to 1S73: William Trafton, D. S. Lane, 

D. F. Muhlhausen, W. Hamilton Stockwell, 
G. B. Walker, Charles S. Weever, M. J. 
Bray, John R. Wilcox, Daniel Morgan, P. 

E. Garrick, Isaac Casselberry, John T. 
Walker, B. V. Peel, E. P. Spunine, L. L. 
Laycock, C. A. Foster, W. H. Byford, J. B. 
Stinson, William A. McDowell, Allan C. 
Hallock, Mark Trafton, William Gramm, 
Hugh Ronalds, James G. Hatchet, Benjamin 
K. Davidson, Able D. Cook, John Conning- 
ton, D. A. Farnsley, W. M. Elliott, S. 
Ruark, J. P. DeBruler, Adolphus' Workup, 
J. J. Pennington, F. Schellar, C. C. Tyrrell, 
S. W. Thompson, J. B. Johnson, E. T. 
Runcie, T. C. Vannuys, T. H. Rucker, H. 
T. Legler, M. Winnings, W. G. Jones, B. J. 
Day, Oscar Kress, H. M. Harvey, M. 
Muhlhausen, John Maginnis, J. F. Hilliard, 
A. M. Owen, W. H. A. Lewis, M. C. 
Barkwell, W. M. Newell, R. H. Singleton, 
I. T. Conn, C. P. Bacon, Edwin Walker, J. 
W. Compton, E. Linthicum, J. H. Kennedy, 
J. W. Williamson, J. E. Harper, P. Y. 

The Evansville medical society, termin- 
ating in 1873, was superseded by the Drake 
medical society, which continued in existence 
until 1878, when the Vanderburg county 
medical society was organized. 

Evansville Medical College. — The Evans- 
ville medical college was organized at the 
office of Drs. Trafton and Weever, in Evans- 

ville, on the evening of March 1, 1846, by 
the calling of Dr. G. B. Walker to the 
chair and the selection of Dr. L. L. Laycock 
as secretary. Articles of organization and 
by-laws were adopted. L. L. Laycock was 
elected dean of the college, and the follow- 
ing faculty chosen : L. L. Laycock, profes- 
sor of theory and practice; S. R. Wilcox, 
professor of materia medica and therapeu- 
tics; G. B. Walker, professor of obstetrics; 
C. S. Weever, professor of anatomy; M. J. 
Bray, professor of surgery, and C. A. Fos- 
ter, professor of chemistrv. The first course 
of lectures in the college commenced Mon- 
day, November 5 5 1849. The class was 
composed of forty-one matriculates, nine of 
whom were candidates for graduation. The 
course was composed of five lectures 
per day, with the exception of Saturday, 
when there were but two lectures given. 
The first commencement was held in the 
Methodist church, on the evening of Satur- 
day, February 23, 1850, when, with appro- 
priate ceremonies, including an address by 
Judge C. I. Battell, president of the board 
of directors, the degree of M. D. was con- 
ferred on William Gillespie, J. M. Graham, 
A. C. Halleck, J. C. Patton, C. R. Smith, 
F. Williams, E. P. Banning, A. A. McRey- 
nolds and W. Asselinian, after which the 
graduates were addressed by James E. 
Blythe, one of the most prominent lawyers 
in this part of the state. 

In 1850, W. Walling, M. D., of Prince- 
ton, Ind., was appointed professor of the 
institutes of medicine and medical jurispru- 
dence. The same year Prof. C. S. Weever 
resigned the chair of anatomy, and H. H. 
Byford, M. D., of Mt. Vernon, Ind., was 
elected to the vacancy. The same year the 
honorary degree of M. D. was conferred 
upon Prof. C. A. Foster. 

Graduates of 1851: Abel C. Cook, 
John A. Cooper, George Detar, William R, 



Ham, Lee Haslewood, George B. Lewis, 
Sam D. Moore, Edward D. Rathbone, 
Derastus Thomas, I. R. Tilman. Grad- 
uates of 1852: Augustus Defoe, William, 
Graham, James G. Hatchett, Elisha V. 
Mitchell, Shadrach Ruark, Richard Smyth 
and Enoch E. Welborn. 

In 185 1, L. L. Laycock, professor of 
theory and practice of medicine, resigned 
and was suceeded by Prof. W. H. Byford. 
Dr. Hugh Reynolds was appointed to the 
chair of anatomy, vacated by Dr. Byford 
on his election to that of practice. Dr. 
William A. McDowell was appointed during 
his year to the chair of institutes, which 
was made vacant by the resignation of W. 
Walling, M. D. The chair was made vacant 
by the death of Dr. McDowell in 1853, and 
was filled by the appointment of Dr. John 
T. Walker." 

Graduates of 1853: Henry M. Bacon, 
William M. Elliott, Fred McKasson, John 
Kivett, John W. Runcier, John Stott, Will- 
iam D. Laimer, Edwin W. Organ, Q. B. 
Welborn, William W. Welborn and Charles 

Graduates of 1854: Jacob Jenner, J. M. 
Ireland, E. T. Runcie, M. Muhlhausen, 
Thomas Wheeler, J. P. Pike, Milton H. 
Bacon, and Z. R. Millard. The lectures in 
the college terminated in 1856, and were not 
resumed until 1871, from which time they 
w r ere continued up to 1883. In 1871 the 
faculty was composed of the following gen- 
tlemen: G. B. Walker, obstetrics: Daniel 
Morgan, diseases of women and children; 
William R. Davidson, physiology; M. J. 
Braj-, surgery; J. P. DeBruler, theory and 
practice; Isaac Casselberry, medical juris- 
prudence; T. C. VanNeys, chemistry; M. 
C. Barkwell, anatomy; H. G. Jones, 
materia medica; and A. M. Owen, eye and 

The College Dispensary, under the im- 

mediate control of the faculty and supported 
by the city, was an invaluable adjunct of the 
college and one of great practical value to 
the student. It furnished a large field of 
observation, enabling the student to acquire 
proficiency in the art of examining, diagnos- 
ing and prescribing, and familiarized him 
with the manipulations belonging to minor 
surgery. Advanced students had cases of 
obstetrics and other patients intrusted to 
their attendance. A large number of pa- 
tients were annually treated, clinics being 
held at the dispensary ever}' day. The col- 
lege museum contained the usual specimens 
found in such a collection, as well as valuable 
anatomical preparations and pathological 

The following was the faculty in 1876-7: 
Daniel Morgan, M. D., professor of dis- 
eases of women and children; John H. 
Compton. M. D., professor of materia medica 
and therapeutics; J. E. Lilly, M. D., profes- 
sor of chemistry, pharmacy and toxicology; 

E. Linthicum, M. D., professor of genito- 
urinary and venereal diseases and clinical 
surgery; A. M. Owen, M. D., professor of 
surgery; G. B. Walker, M. D., professor of 
principles and practice of obstetrics ; George 

F. Center, M. D., professor of ophthal- 
mology, otology and orthopoedic surgery; 
Edwin Walker, M. D., professor of anatomy; 
A. H. Bryan, M. D., professor of general 
pathology; N. G. Jones, M. D., professor of 
principles and practice of medicine and clin- 
ical medicine; W. R. Davidson, M. D., pro- 
fessor of physiology and histology; N. W. 
Austin, M. D., lecturer on surgery relat- 
ing to venereal diseases; J. E. Harper, M. D. 5 
lecturer on medical jurisprudence and dem- 
onstrator of anatomy. 

From i882to 1884, when the college closed, 
the following physicians composed the faculty : 
Dr. P. Y. McCoy, professor of surgery; Dr. 
Edwin Walker, professor of clinical gyne- 



cology and nervous diseases; Dr. C. P. 
Bacon, professor of diseases of women; Dr. 
Geo r ge P. Hodson, professor of obstetrics; 
Dr. F. W. x\chilles, professor of chemistry 
and toxicology; Dr. L. D. Brose, professor 
of anatomy; Dr. C. E. Lining, professor of 
materia medica and therapeutics; Dr. E. 
Linthicum, professor of genito-urinary dis- 
eases; Dr. J. O. Stillson, professor of physi- 
ology and diseases of eve and ear; Dr. H. 
G.Jones, professor of theory and practice; 
Dr. G. M. Young, professor of hygiene and 
medical jurisprudence: Dr. Jacob Kerth, 
demonstrator of anatomy. 

Hospital Medical College. — The organi- 
zation of this institution was due to the 
efforts of Dr. A. M. Owen. It was chart- 
ered in 1872. Its first faculty was composed 
as follows: Dr. Geo. B. Walker, dean and 
professor of obstetrics; Dr. A. M. Owen, 
professor of surgery; Dr. Charles Knapp, 
professor of theory and practice of medicine; 
Dr. C. M. Dudenhausen, professor of 
materia medica and therapeutics; Dr. John 
E. Owen, professor of anatomy; Dr. A. M. 
Scott, professor of physiology: Dr. Edward 
Murphy, professor of chemistry;' Dr. W. D. 
Neal, professor of diseases of women; Dr. 
J. S. Gardner, dean of anatomy. The col- 
lege was so ably managed and its' instructors 
were of such high standing in the profession 
that its success was remarkable. Degrees 
were conferred on nine graduates at the 
close of the first year, and in all about fifty 
physicians received its diplomas. The death 
of Dr. Walker, in 1887, was a serious blow 
to the institution. The engrossing demands 
of Dr. Owen's practice forced his resigna- 
tion, and principal!}- because of these losses 
in the faculty it was deemed best to suspend 
operations under the charter. The enter- 
prise was highly successful and it is now the 
purpose of the friends of the old institution 
to revive it and again make Evansville the 

seat of a medical college which will be the 
pride of the state. 

Hospitals. — The U. S. hospital was fitted 
to receive patients in 1857. M. J. Bra}', 
M. D., was appointed post-surgeon. His 
successors were J. P. DeBruler, M. D., and 
J. B. Johnson, M. D., appointed respectively 
in 1861 and 1862. The medical staff, com- 
posed of the college faculty, held clinics 
semi-weekly. After the. late war the U. S. 
hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity, 
who changed its name to St. Mary's hos- 

The City hospital is a private enterprise, 
being instituted by some of EvansvihVs 
most respectable and skillful physicians, 
among them Drs. W. S. Pollard, R. Hart- 
loft, E. Walker, G. Hodson, J. Kerth, J. C. 
McClurkin, and E. Linthicum and others. 
It received its first patients in 1S83, and has 
since done much good. 

The Small Pox hospital was built in 1S84 
and is in a good condition to receive patients. 

The asylum for the poor, built and sus- 
tained by the count}', was finished in 1838, 
at an expense of about $80,000. 

Medical Journals. — The Western Retro- 
spect of Medicine and Surgery, edited and 
published by H. M. Harvey, M. D.; N. A. 
Lewis, M. D., and H. M. Newell, M. D., 
was established in 1872; was quite popular, 
though with a limited circulation, and con- 
tinued publication but a short time. The 
Indiana Medical Reporter, a monthly 
journal of medicine and surgery, edited bv 
Doctors A. M. Owen, J. W. Compton 
J. E. Harper, Arch. Dixon, and J. Gardner, 
was first issued in 1880. It was a popular 
journal and ably conducted for about two 
years before its publication ceased. 

Physicians of Note not Elsewhere Men- 
tioned. — From the earliest times the medical 
profession has been ably represented at 
Evansville. Many, no longer connected 



with the practice, deserve some notice in 
this connection. The brief mention made in 
each case may fail to do ample justice to 
the man whose memor)- it may perpetuate, 
but it will serve at least to give his name an 
honorable place in the annals of the count)-. 

Elias T. Runcie, M. D., a native of 
Ireland, was the descendant of a talented 
family. Coming from his native country he 
made his way to the west and established 
himself in the practice of medicine and sur- 
gery at Millersburgh, Warrick county, Ind. 
He remained there for many years in 
the successful discharge of his professional 
duties, and came to Evansville in 1865. 
Here he soon attained a prominent place 
among physicians, which he held through- 
out his entire career. He graduated from 
the Evansville Medical College in 1854 an ^ 
afterward graduated from other medical 
colleges in the east. He served as a volun- 
teer surgeon at various places during the 
civil war. He was a member of the Evans- 
ville Medical Society, and his opinions were 
always accorded the greatest respect. He 
was a kind neighbor, a good citizen, and, 
beloved by all who knew him. His death 
occurred in 1S77, after a practice of twenty- 
four years. 

D. T. Muhlhausen, M. D., came to Evans- 
ville in 1839 and died in 1862. He was a 
graduate of the medical school of Heidel- 
berg, Germany. He had many social qual- 
ities , was a kind neighbor and a warm 
friend. He had a large German practice, 
and left a fair estate. 

John R. Wilcox, M. D., a native of Ohio, 
came here from the south about 1839 and 
died about 1858. He kept a drug store a 
short time before he engaged in the prac- 
tice of medicine, was a professor in the med- 
ical college of Evansville, where he displayed 
considerable talent and a broad knowledge 
of his profession. He was kind to the poor 

and served them with a willing heart, and 
always pleasant and agreeable, he had a 
large but not a lucrative practice. He was 
a member of the Presbyterian church and 
had many Christian virtues. He left a 
small estate for his family. 

William A. McDowel, M. D., came here 
about 1848 and died about 1853. He was a 
native of Kentucky and related to Dr. Eph- 
raim McDowel, who first performed the 
operation of ovariotomy. He had acquired 
a good classical and medical education in the 
east and practiced medicine successfullv in 
Louisville, Ky., before he settled here. He 
wrote a medical work on consumption, which 
gave him notoriety. He was professor in 
the medical college .of Evansville and made 
a good reputation as a lecturer. He was 
aggressive in his profession and original in 
his conceptions. He was tall and dignified 
in his person, had manv social qualities and 
was intelligent. 

Adolphus F. Wulkop, M. D., settled in 
Evansville in 1854 anc ^ died thirty years 
later. He was a graduate of the medical 
university of Berlin, Prussia, president of the 
board of health in Evansville, and a member 
of the Evansville medical society. He had 
a large German practice, was a kind neigh- 
bor, a warm friend, and was respected by all 
who knew him. 

John Walker, M. D., was a graduate of 
the Ohio medical college. He pursued his 
professional studies with his distinguished 
brother, Dr. G. B. Walker, as his preceptor. 
He began the practice of medicine and sur- 
gery about the 3-ear 1S39. He served as 
assistant surgeon in Col. Joseph Lane's regi- 
ment of Indiana infantry, in the war with 
Mexico. At the end of the war he resumed 
his practice in Evansville, became a member 
of the Evansville medical societv, and pro- 
fessor of anatonry in the Evansville medical 
college. When the civil war broke out he 


was appointed surgeon of the Twenty-fifth 
Indiana Volunteers and while with the army 
contracted a disease from which he did not 
recover. His death occurred soon after he 
returned home. He had a paving practice 
and left a fair estate. 

Dr. J. T. Conn came to Evansville in 1S59. 
He was a well-informed physician, had a 
moderate practice, was a kind neighbor and 
a good citizen. He left a small estate for his 
wife and children. He and his family were 
always very much respected. 

Hugh Ronalds, M. I)., was reared and 
educated in the state of Illinois. He came 
to Evansville about 1850 and died in 1S63. 
He was a graduate of the Louisville med- 
ical college, Kentucky, and a partner with 
Dr. M.J. Bray for three years. He was a 
member of the Evansville medical society, 
served as secretary and afterwards as presi- 
dent. He was appointed professor of anat- 
omy in the Evansville medical college and 
filled the place with distinction. He had a 
quick, active mind, improved by books and 
study: had a large practice and left a fair 
estate. His many excellent qualities as a 
man, a citizen, and a physician made him 
man)' friends who deeply mourned his loss 
when his death occurred. 

Washington A. Thompson, M. D., was a 
decendant of a talented and wealthy English 
family. His father was a physician of no- 
toriety, and at one time a professor in a 
medical college in St. Louis, Mo. He was 
a member of the Evansville medical society 
and was elected secretary. He had a bright 
mind improved by early training and had a 
fair practice. He added to his inherited 
estate and left his family in comfortable cir- 
cumstances. He settled in Evansville in 
1862 and died in 1870. 

Dr. O. Kress came to the city about the 
year 1856, and died in 1884. He was assist- 
ant surgeon in one of the hospitals in the 

late war, a successful practitioner, and a 
reputable citizen. 

Dr. H. G. Jones came to Evansville about 
the year 1862, and died in 1883; he was a 
skillful physician and succeeded in the 

Dr. Thomas Runcie began the practice of 
medicine in Inglefield, Vanderburgh count}-, 
in 1849, and died in 1867. He was a gradu- 
ate of a medical college in Ireland; and 
achieved a pleasing degree of success in his 
professional work. 

Dr. John F. Hilliard came to Evansville 
about 1867 and died in 1S78. He was a 
volunteer surgeon during a part of the late 
war. He had a good practice, was a fine 
physician, and stood high in professional 
circles. He was a delegate to the medical 
convention at San Francisco, Cal. 

Dr. J. Maginnis began the practice of 
medicine in Evansville about 1S55, and died 
in 1873. He was a surgeon in the army 
during the late war and a member of the 
Evansville Medical Society; was a good 
physician, and successful in practice. 

Dr. Jesse Burns came here in 1849 and 
died about 1873. He was a fair physician 
and had a moderate practice. 

Dr. J. B. Johnston came to Evansville in 
1S62, and died in 1870. He was appointed 
surgeon of the Marine Hospital in 1862, and 
was a good physician. 

Dr. Winings, who came from Mt. Vernon, 
practiced medicine in Evansville for a short 
time. He was very eccentric, one of his 
most prominent peculiarities being that he 
usuallv expressed a medical opinion in bib- 
lical language. On one occasion a lady 
called on him and during the conversation 
he learned that she had been under treat- 
ment by a homeopathist. He asked whether 
she thought she had been benefited. Re- 
ceiving an affirmative answer, he said: 
"Well, whosoever employe'th a homeopathic 



doctor and is holpen thereby hath confess- 
ed hysterics ahead}' -unto condemnation." 

The following named physicians practiced 
medicine in Vanderburgh county for awhile, 
but moved away and have since died : Dr. 
Charles S. Weever, Dr. P. E. Garrett, Dr. 
S. Thompson, Dr. L. L. Laycock, Dr. Neg- 
ley, Dr. Stockwell, Dr. Cregg, Dr. Everett, 
Dr. Newell, Dr. Finch, Dr. Welborn, Dr. 
Davidson, and Dr. Kruse. 

Roster of Physicians. — The following is 
a complete list of the physicians who have 
been licensed to practice in Vanderburgh 
count}- under the acts of 1885, relating to 
the practice of medicine, surgery and 
obstetrics: Richard A. Armistead, Henry S. 
Ashford, L. R. Allen, F. W. Achilles, Paul 
Artell, Thomas E. Allen, Nicholas R. 
Alvey, James Allison, Alfred T. Bennett, 
Louis D. Brose, A. H. Bryan, William D. 
Babcock, Baxter W. Begley, Joseph F. 
Blount, John T. Binkley, O. A. Barten- 
werffer, Madison J. Bray, sr., A. B. Barker, 
Terome S. Belter, S. L. Bryan, C. P. 
Bacon, S. D. Brooks, G. B. Beresford, T. 
J. Baldwin, Matilda Caldwell, John W. 
Compton, W. C. Couden, R. M. Corle w, Fred 
S. Compton, E. L. Carter, John L. Clark, 
William Cross, George P. Crosby, D. A. 
Crawford, Wilbur F. Clippinger, Joseph B. 
Crisler, John L. Dow, B. J. Day, William 
R. Davidson. F. L. Davis, H. T. Dixon, 
William W. Dailey, G. H. Eiskamp, Will- 
iam A. Fritsch, Walter Failing, Louis 
Fritsch, William Falsettor, Frederick F. 
Fuller, Carl Flueks, William E. Fitzgibbons, 
Simon Gumberts, J. S. Gardner, George 
Gilbert, Willis S. Green, William Gramm, 
C. Ik Gumaer, John F. Glover, A. M. 
Hayden, L. S. Herr, A. S. Hay- 
hurst, A. S. Haynes, Alonzo S. Hazon, 

Richard Hartloff, George Hodson, Henry 
H. Hooker, William A. Hewins, Thomas J, 
Hargan, P. N. Hoover, William A. Hunt. 
E. H.- Hart, Samuel C. Henderson, H. W. 
Hendrick, Louis Henn, August F. Illing. 
Joseph Jacobsohn, Charles Knapp, Jacob H, 
Kerth, F. H. Kelley, J. B. Kirkpatrick,Victor 
Knapp, William J. Laval, John Laval, Edward 
Linthicum, James H. Letcher, Thomas 
Maser, John C. Minton, Matthias Muhl- 
hausen, Carl G. R. Montaux, William A. 
Maghee, David A. Moore, Hans von Metz- 
radt, Victor H. Marchaud, Charles H. 
Mason, C. A. McMahan, Joseph C. Mc- 
Clurkin, P. Y. McCoy, J. C. McClurkin, 
Henry F. McCool, Alexander McMillen, 
Benjamin F. McCoy, John E. Owen, A. M. 
Owen, Arthur O'Leary, P. Ottmann, Carl 
Ludwig Oehlmann, W. D. Neel, E. Noble, 
Elvis G. Neel, Seaton Norman, William S. 
Pollard, Johannes Pirnat, J. J. Pennington, 
T. E. Powell, George C. Purdue, Willis 
Pritchett, S. Rouark, William G. Ralston, 
Thomas H. Rucker, W. B. Rose, John 
Rutter, William J. Reavis, Ethan Spencer, 
P. L. Schuvler, Wilhelmina Suiter, Philip H. 
Simmons, Theodore Schulz, T. W. Stone, 
Henry M. Sherman, Freeman W. Sawyer, 
A. H. H. Sieffert, Augustus Soper, Lee 
Strouse, Katherine S. Snyder, T. H. Tay- 
lor, William J. Tapp, Monroe Tilman, C. C. 
Tyrrell, George A. Thomas, George Taude- 
loff, B. C. Thorp, William Vitzdamm, 
George W. Varner, Geo. B. Walker, Floyd 
Williams. Isaiah Wilton, Edwin Walker, 
Anthony P. Witting, William Weber, Lud- 
son Worsham, Herman Wilde, W. M. Wal- 
den, C. V. Wedding, John B. Weever, 
Ralph B. Watkins, Hamlin J. Walters, 
Thomas F. Williams, G. M. Young, and 
George W. Yates. 



Of Dr. William Hornby, jr., little can 
be added, from the brief records of his day, 
to die mention of him in the preceding chap- 
ter. The family history, however, gives 
him credit for possessing a medical educa- 
tion. He studied medicine in Toville, in the 
county of Somerset, and studying further at 
St. George's hospital, in London, received 
the degree of M. D. Such is the record of 
the family, which is yet prominent and in- 
fluential in the county. This pioneer doctor 
was born at Cerne-Abbas, in Dorsetshire, 
England, and was the son of an elder Wil- 
liam Hornby, who was a rugged sea captain 
of the north of England. William, jr., married 
one Sarah K. Rideout, and they had three 
children: William, Charles and Henry. 
About the beginning of the present century 
Dr. Hornby abandoned the practice of the 
healing art and took up agriculture in his 
native shire. Nineteen years later he yielded 
to the temptations that the new world held 
forth to every enterprising man and started 
with his family for America. They landed 
at Philadelphia in April or May, 1819, 
traveled by wagon to Pittsburg, and there 
being no better passage, the)' secured a flat- 
boat and made their way down the Ohio to 
Evansville. They selected their home in 
the woods of what is now Scott township, 
where Dr. Hornby resided until 1832, the 
year of his death. There he passed his 
days, answering the calls of the afflicted, 
raising his family honorably and comfort- 
ably, and clearing a farm for their future 
inheritance, thereby building to himself an 
imperishable monument in the county. 

William Trafton, M. D., an eminent 
pioneer physician, settled at Evansville in the 
first months of its existence, and died here 
after achieving a reputation growing out of 
his medical discoveries honorable to himself 
and highly valuable to the profession. He 
was born near the village of Lewiston, 

Maine, in 1792. His father was a New 
England farmer unable ■ to give his son a 
collegiate education. He was disciplined in 
the school of self-reliance, and beginning the 
battle of life with a sound mind and a sound 
bod}' as his richest inheritance, achieved 
success, for which he was indebted to no 
one but himself. He was not a profound 
scholar but, self-taught, was well informed 
and possessed a strong mind. He passed 
his youth in his native place and received his 
primary education in the free schools of the 
state. Later he pursued his studies, to fit 
himself for the practice of his profession, at 
Hebron academy, Maine, and received the 
title of M. D. from Dartmouth medical col- 
lege, New Hampshire. In 1819 he came to 
Evansville, and began the practice of medi- 
cine, being the first physician in the town; 
and though settlements were then few and 
widely separated, he was soon kept busy 
with the duties of his profession, for sickness 
prevailed to an alarming extent and even 
checked immigration. The first widespread 
disease with which he had to contend, ex- 
cepting the ever present effects of malarial 
poisoning, was milk-sickness. He studied 
the disease carefully and with the use of the 
scalpel discovered its pathology. His discov- 
eries led to new forms of treatment which were 
simple and effective. They robbed the disease 
of its terrors and won for Dr. Trafton the 
lasting gratitude of his neighbors. He 
prospected in other fields of medical science 
with fine results. Not satisfied with the 
approved treatment of diseases caused by 
the specific poison of malaria, he began a 
series of experiments which led to the use 
of quinine as a febrifuge, v\ hich has become 
the panacea for all miasmatic and periodic 
diseases. He also made man)' minor dis- 
coveries in the practice of medicine. The 
hardships of his practice were very great, 
and his inconveniences can hardly be con- 


ceived by the practitioner of to-day. For 
seventeen years his nearest drug store was 
at Louisville, Ky., and d uring his entire 
practice the greater portion of this section 
was a wilderness, through which he trav- 
elled, often at the cost of much bodily 
suffering, and at times in the presence of 
great peril. On several occasions he 
crossed the angry wate r s of the Ohio river 
on floating cakes of ice in order to minister 
to the wants of the sick and afflicted. His 
attainments and professional labors caused 
him to be ranked among physicians who 
had done work that would survive for ages. 
He had great force and positiveness of char- 
acter as a man, and his professional convic- 
tions were absolute. He was president of 
the first medical society organized in this 
county, and his opinions upon questions 
of medicine were respected by all. He was 
one of the foremost in establishing the 
Evansville Medical College, and was one 
of its trustees at the time of his death. 
He was progressive, and took an active 
part aside from his professional work in the 
advancement of the city in early times. He 
attained an enviable prominence as a citizen. 
In 1827 he was a candidate for the state leg- 
islature, running against Charles Mcjohnston 
and Thomas Fitzgerald. Dr. Trafton beat 
them both in his own county, but falling be- 
hind in Posey and Warrick, was defeated. 
In 1828 he ran again for the same office and 
succeeded, his competitor being John Davis. 
He was not an orator, but brought sound 
business ability to aid him in the discharge 
of his official duties. His religious belief 
underwent a great change during his life. 
In his youth he made a public profession of 
religion and joined the Calvinist Baptist 
church. Later he renounced the doctrines 
of foreordination and predestination and the 
orthodox ideas of the future life. But to 
the last he believed in the eternal justness 

of God, and the soul's immortality. How- 
ever, he was not a Christian. He was phil- 
anthropic, dealt fairly with his fellow men, 
was unselfish in his friendships and an ex- 
cellent neighbor. At times he appeared 
rough and unpolished which, no doubt, was 
a result of pioneer manners and associations. 
He was to some extent intemperate in the 
use of intoxicants, though he seldom in- 
dulged beyond the bounds of propriety and 
sobriety, or compromised his dignity or 
manlv bearing. He was not without faults, 
but on the whole was a good man and a use- 
ful citizen. Many years after his death such 
distinguished citizens of Evansville as Dr. 
M. J. Bray, Hon. John S. Hopkins, Samuel 
Orr, Jacob B. Fickas, John Greek, Rev. 
J. V. Dodge, Dr. George B. Walker, and 
others, united in praising the excellent traits 
of his character and his great usefulness as 
a pioneer citizen and physician. 

He was twice married. His first wife was 
but thirteen years of age when she became 
a bride, and the marriage was terminated 
bj- a legal separation. The fruit of this 
union was one child — a daughter. A few 
years afterward, the death of his divorced 
wife having occurred in the meantime, he 
was again united in marriage to Miss 
America Butler, an estimable Christian lady, 
who was connected with one of the best and 
most respectable families in Kentucky. She 
was an Episcopalian and her Christian virtues 
commanded the respect of all who knew 
her. She was the mother of one child — a 
son who became a respected lawyer in 
Henderson, Ky. This second marriage oc- 
curred in 1832, and the doctor crossed the 
river on the ice to secure his bride. Dr. 
Trafton died in 1847, "like a philosopher," 
meeting death fearlessly, believing it to be 
but the release of the soul into a new life. 
His remains were buried in Oak Hill 

DR. M. J. BRA Y. 


Madison J. Bray, M. D., the eldest 
physician and surgeon, and the Nestor of the 
medical profession of Vanderburgh count} - , 
was born in Turner village, Androscoggin 
county, Maine, January i, 1811. He is of 
English descent, and one of a family of ten 
children — five girls and five boys. His 
father, Capt. William Bray, was a successful 
village merchant, and a prosperous man of 
business. During the war of 1812 he com- 
manded a company of cavalry and was sum- 
moned to the defense of Portland, then the 
capital of the state. He died at the early 
age of forty-two years, having gained in 
that brief time an enviable reputation and a 
comfortable competency. The mother of 
Dr. Bray, nee Miss Ruth Cushman, was 
descended from Puritan ancestry, and a lady 
of much force of character and ability; she 
survived her husband four years. After her 
death the doctor was in a measure thrown 
upon his own resources. Up to the age of 
sixteen he worked in a carding mill during 
the summer, and attended the village school 
during the winter. In this way he acquired 
the rudiments of a good education, and when 
sixteen years old commenced teaching, which 
vocation he followed at intervals for eight 
years. The ambitious desire of his youth 
was to become a physician, and he early 
developed an aptitude for surgical science. 
He began his preparatory course under very 
favorable circumstances, having free access 
to a good anatomical museum, owned by 
his preceptors, Drs. Tewksbery and Millett; 
and, as he says, "saw a very respectable 
practice of surgery." He attended three 
courses of medical lectures, one at Dart- 
mouth, N. H., and two at Bowdoin, Me., 
from which latter institution he graduated 
with honor in the year 1S35. In November 
of the same year he left his home to estab- 
lish himself in the practice, his objective 
pojnt being the state of Louisiana, his idea 

being that, the patronage of several large 
plantations would be more lucrative and 
pleasant than a general practice in the north. 
Arriving at Louisville, he found his funds 
exhausted, and to obtain money to continue 
his journey he made an application for a 
school. Before his proposition was accepted, 
he accidentally overheard some gentlemen 
talking of Evansville, then a little hamlet of 
about four hundred inhabitants, of the great 
advantages it possessed, and of the proba- 
bility that it would soon become a large and 
prosperous city. He at once changed his 
plans, engaged passage on a boat, and on 
the 25th day of November, 1S35, arrived in 
Evansville, penniless and without a single 
friend or acquaintance in the place. Dr. 
William Trafton was at that time the 
only doctor in all this region of coun- 
try, and, learning that a young physician 
had arrived in the village, sent 
for him, and being favorably impressed, 
proposed a partnership, which was gladly 
accepted, and which continued for two years. 
Dr. Bray soon learned that the field was an 
inviting one for a surgeon, there being no 
physician in the southern portions of Illinois, 
Indiana or western Kentucky who desired 
surgical practice, or who professed any 
knowledge of surgical science. Evansville 
was a central point to this territory. Re- 
cognizing this, the doctor decided to aban- 
don his cherished plan of settling in 
Louisiana, and began what has since proved 
to be the most successful and lucrative prac- 
tice ever confided to any physician in Evans- 
ville. At that time the practice of medicine 
and surgery was attended with difficulties 
that the physicians of the present day can 
scarcely comprehend. The physician fur- 
nished his own medicines, and the nearest 
drug store was at Louisville, 200 miles 
away. The doctor entered very earnestly 
and enthusiastically upon the performance 


of his professional duties, in which he ex- 
ceeded die limits of prudent labor, but pos- 
sessing a magnificent physique and a robust 
constitution, he was able to endure a great 
amount of arduous toil. His practice for 
many years was devoted largely to surgery, 
in which he soon acquired an extended and 
enviable reputation. Patients came to him 
from long distances, and many difficult and 
dangerous cases were successfully treated. 
In 1846 he spent several months in New 
York city, where he availed himself of the 
instruction of those eminent surgeons, Drs. 
Parker and Mott. He paid especial atten- 
tion to orthopedic and ocular surgery, and 
afterwards performed many difficult opera- 
tions of this character. A detailed mention 
of the man}' difficult cases which he has suc- 
cessfully treated is unnecessary, for nothing 
can be added to the excellent reputation as 
a physician and surgeon which he has firmly 
established. He has been in practice for 
over a half century, and during this time 
none have been more successful, or have en- 
joyed to a greater degree the confidence and 
esteem of the people. In all things in any 
way connected with the medical profession 
his name stands pre-eminent. He became 
a prominent member of the State Medical 
Society soon after its organization, and in 
1S56 was elected its president. He was a 
member of the Tri-State Medical So- 
ciety, and wrote for it a history 
of surgery in Vanderburgh and ad- 
jacent counties. He is about the only 
survivor of the charter members of 
the Vanderburg Medical Society, of which 
he was president several terms, and to which 
he reported many of his surgical cases. For 
many years he was one of the prominent 
members of the Evansville Board of Health, 
and has done much to place the city in a 
healthy hygienic condition. The doctor has 
interested himself in everything pertaining 

to the city's interest and advancement. He 
was one of the incorporators of the old 
Canal bank, now the First National, and 
for many- years has been a member of its 
board of directors. In 1847, with others, 
he procured the charter for the Evansville 
Medical College, and filled the chair of 
surgery from the founding of the school 
until the commencement of the war of the 
rebellion. After the war he was again 
called to the same position and occupied it 
until ill health forced his resignation. The 
doctor always evinced a penchant for mili- 
tary surgery, and in 1835 was appointed 
surgeon of the Maine militia, a position he 
never filled, however, by reason of his emi- 
gration to the west. In 1847 he was ap- 
pointed by President Van Buren surgeon of 
the marine hospital at Evansville, which po- 
sition he filled creditably until the breaking- 
out of the civil war. As soon as the news 
was received, in 1S61, that Fort Sumter had 
been fired upon, Dr. Bray immediately 
rented a room and formed a little class of 
students in military tactics, which he him- 
self instructed. He bought for them a bass 
drum at his own expense, which was the 
first money expended in Vanderburg 
county for military purposes, and was the 
initial event in the war history of the county. 
These young men afterwards entered the 
service and were the leaders of the great 
number afterwards sent by Vanderburg 
county for the suppression of the rebellion. 
In 1862, although exempted by age from 
military service, he resigned a large and lu- 
crative practice in order to aid in the organ- 
ization of the Sixtieth Regiment of Indiana 
Infantry. He was commissioned surgeon 
of the regiment, and followed its fortunes 
for two years, when he was obliged to re- 
sign by reason of ill health, caused by ex- 
posure. At the battle of Mumfordsville he 
was taken prisoner; he was treated with the 



utmost kindness and distinction by the rebel 
officers, especially General Bragg, who gave 
him a set of surgical instruments and such 
provisions as he thought advisable to take. 
At the close of the war he was appointed 
surgeon of St. Mary's Hospital, which 
position he held for man)- years. 
A fact connected with his practice worthy of 
special mention is that lie never sued a man 
or made any charge for medical services to 
any woman who was obliged to rely upon 
her own labor for a livelihood. He has always 
carried into his daily life the tenets of his 
religion; and has since his boyhood been a 
consistent member of the Episcopal church. 
Dr. Bray is now in the seventy-eighth year 
of his age with unimpaired intellectual vigor 
and enjoying the full fruition of a well 
spent life. He has witnessed the transition 
of a little hamlet to a city of over 50,000 
inhabitants, and by his personal influence 
and effort has contributed largely to the 
greatness and prosperity which the citizen 
of to-day is permitted to witness. He mar- 
ried in 1S38, Miss Elizabeth, daughter of 
Charles and Ann (Tate) Johnson. She was 
the cousin of Admiral James Alden who 
distinguished himself during the late war. 
Two children were the result of this union, 
Madison J., jr., and Elizabeth; the latter 
died in infancy. Madison J., jr., is one of 
the prominent business men of the city, and 
at present president of the Business Men's 

John William Compton, M. D., stand- 
ing for nearly a quarter of a century in the 
front ranks of those who have attained 
special prominence in the general practice 
of medicine in the city of Evansville, was 
born near Hardinsburg, Breckinridge 
county, Ky., July 22, 1S25. His father, 
Jeremiah Dabney Compton, was born near 
Culpepper Court House, Va., in 1S01. He 
was a farmer by occupation, and a fine 

type of the Virginia gentleman of that day, 
tilling his farm in the summer and teaching 
the village school in the winter months. He 
married Miss Nancy, daughter of John 
Ball, of Culpepper Court House. She was 
born in 1S04, and received a liberal educa- 
tion, and careful reading had given her a 
well stored mind and a love for literature. 
She became an extensive writer on religious 
subjects, leaving a large book of manu- 
scripts, which, for want of press facilities in 
that day, were never published. The 
Comptons, of English extraction, were 
among the old and reputable families of 
Virginia. The progenitor of the family 
was Matthew Compton, who came to Vir- 
ginia from England long before the time of 
the Revolution. William, a son, was Dr. 
Compton's grandfather, and removed to 
Kentucky at an early day, and was a pioneer 
and prominent citizen of Breckinridge 
county. The early life of Dr. Compton was 
not unlike that of most of the youths of 
that time, being passed upon his father's 
farm. He received his education at a com- 
mon school, and under the tutelage of a 
Prof. Fabrique, of his native village. While 
his advantages for obtaining an acquaint- 
ance with books were to some extent lim- 
ited, his studious habits, quick perception 
and retentive memory enabled him to 
advance rapidly, and at length to possess a 
greater store of information than was com- 
mon among the lads of* this time and locality. 
At the age of sixteen he was so far 
advanced as to be employed as a teacher, 
and continued so occupied for four years. 
At the end of this time he decided to make 
the practice of medicine his life's work, and 
entering the office of Dr. Norvin Green, 
now president of the Western Union Tele- 
graph Co., in 1847 commenced the study 
of medicine under the instruction of that 
distinguished physician, and in 1849 took a 


course of lectures in the medical depart- 
ment of the University of Louisville, and 
later graduated in the medical college of 
Evansville. In the early part of the year 
1850 he established himself in the practice 
of his profession in Knottsville, Ky. The 
city of Owensburg, Ky., however, offered 
superior inducements and he removed there 
in 1852, where he remained in active prac- 
tice until the breaking out of the war in 
1861. Unswerving in his loyalty to the 
Union, he was commissioned assistant sur- 
geon of the Seventeenth Kentucky Infant^. 
In March, 1863, while in camp at Nash- 
ville, Tenn., he resigned his commission to 
accept the position of surgeon of the board 
of enrollment of the Second District of Ken- 
tucky, and in that capacity actively served 
until the close of the war in 1S65. In Octo- 
ber of that year he came to Evansville, 
where he formed a partnership with that 
distinguished practitioner, Dr. James P. 
DeBruler, and has since remained actively 
engaged in the practice of his profession. 
The doctor soon took a leading position 
among his medical brethren, and shortly 
after taking up his residence here was 
elected president of the Evansville Medical 
Society. In 1872 he was appointed county 
physician for Vanderburgh county. In 1875 
he was appointed to the chair of materia 
medica and therapeutics in the Evansville 
Medical College, clinical surgeon for dis- 
eases of women, in the college dispensary, 
and staff surgeon to St. Mary's hospital. As 
a teacher of materia medica he adopted a 
change in the mode of instruction, by leav- 
ing to botanists and others the technical 
description of medicines, and by confining 
his lectures more particularly to the 
therapeutic indications and the good 
that might be accomplished by the 
judicious administration of remedies and 
their application to diseases. He became a 

popular and instructive lecturer. In 1881 
he became a member of the Indiana state 
board of health, and at its first meeting was 
unanimously elected its president. He filled 
this position four years, when the demands 
of his practice became so imperative that he 
was obliged to tender his resignation. He 
is at present a member of the board of 
health of the city of Evansville. He is 
prominently identified with man}' of the 
leading medical societies of this county, 
such as the American Public Health Asso- 
ciation, American Medical Association, Mis- 
sissippi Valley Medical Association, Indiana 
State Medical Society, and is an honorary 
member of the Mitchell District Medical 
Society and the Southwestern Kentucky 
Medical Association. In 1S82 he was ap- 
pointed a member of the United States 
board of examining surgeons for pensions, 
at Evansville, and served as its president 
until 1885. He is a charter member of 
Farragut Post, No. 27, G. A. R., and has 
been surgeon of the post continuously since 
its organization. While the duties of his 
official positions and his practice have been 
onerous, he has made many valuable contri- 
butions to medical, scientific and general 
literature, notably : " The Geological, Geo- 
graphical and Climatic Influences and Pre- 
vailing Diseases of the Second District of 
Kentucky," (reported to the war depart- 
ment and printed in the medical statistics of 
ths provost marshal general's bureau), 
"Injuries to the Brain," " Solution and Ab- 
sorption of Medicine," " Chemical compounds 
in the Nutrition of the Human Body," " Dis- 
eases of the neck and body of the Uterus," 
" Paralysis from pressure of displaced uterus 
on sacral plexus of Nerves," "State medicine 
and Hygiene," "Ante-partum Haemorrhage," 
" Precautions requisite in the administration 
of Ergot," and others which were read before 
different society meetings and published in 



leading medical journals; he has also written 
articles in extenso for current magazines, 
and on many important medical and sanitary 
topics, but lack of space forbids their enum- 
eration. But few physicians in this part of 
the country are more extensively or favor- 
ably known than Dr. Compton, and jus- 
tice to him requires the statement that 
but few have been more successful in all the 
varied departments of life. Early thrown 
upon his own resources, with indefatigable 
zeal he overcame . every obstacle, and 
through his own'personal efforts, unaided by 
the adventitious circumstances of wealth and 
influential relationships, has advanced to his 
present position. His record as a physician 
and a private citizen is honorable in all its de- 
tails, and his career is worthy of emulation. 
Politically he is a republican, active in local 
politics, but in no sense a politician. He is 
a member of the First Cumberland Presby- 
terian church and takes a lively interest in 
all benevolent enterprises. In 1S53 he was 
married to Miss Sallie, daughter of David 
Morton, a well known citizen and merchant 
of Owensboro, Ky. Of this union four 
children are now living: Margaret O., (now 
Mrs. Ira D. McCoy), Morton J., Frederick 
S. and John W., jr. 

Abraham M. Owen, M.D., the acknowl- 
edged leader in the active practice of his 
profession in the city of Evansville, and the 
most eminent and successful surgeon in 
southern Indiana, is the son of Abraham B. 
Owen, M. D., a Virginian by birth, and in 
his day one of the most prominent and suc- 
cessful physicians in Kentucky. The elder 
Owen practiced his profession for several 
years in the city of Louisville, but about 
1843 removed to Madisonville, Hopkins 
county, Ky., where Dr. A. M. Owen was 
born, March 19, 1S49. The mantle of the 
father fell upon the son, for while a mere 
boy he evidenced a decided love for medical 

knowledge and an especial fondness for sur- 
gical science. He received his education in 
the academies of his native state and the 
university of Virginia, and began his prepar- 
atory course in medicine in the office of his 
father. It soon became evident to the father 
that his son needed advantages in the prose- 
cution of his medical studies, not obtainable 
in his native town, and in 1S65 he entered 
the office of that eminent physician and sur- 
geon, Dr. Frank II. Hamilton, of New York. 
Completing his preparatory course he en- 
tered the Bellevue Hospital Medical college 
in 1 866, from which he graduated with 
honor in the class of 1870. His graduating 
thesis, " Tetanus," was ably prepared and 
did credit both to himself and the college. 
Immediately after his graduation he came to 
Evansville and began the practice of his pro- 
fession under rather adverse circumstances, 
but in a comparatively short time he found him- 
self in the possession of a large and lucrative 
business. His success in surgery gave him 
an enviable reputation, and his territory grew 
until it now embraces southern Indiana, 
northern Kentucky, and southwestern Illi- 
nois. He was the founder of the Evansville 
Hospital Medical College of Evansville, and 
occupied the chair of surgery until his large 
and growing practice and his extensive busi- 
ness interests compelled him to tender his 
resignation. The heavy demands upon his 
time have prevented him from making any 
contributions to medical literature further 
than reports of some of his most important 
surgical cases. He is however, an associate 
editor of the Si. Louis Medical Review and 
the JYczv England Medical Monthly Re- 
porter. He established, and for three years 
was the editor and publisher of the Indiana 
Medical Reporter, now the Western Medical 
Reporter of Chicago. He is a prominent 
member of nearly all of the more important 
medical organizations of the country, notably 



among the number the International Medi- 
cal Congress, the American Surgical Asso- 
ciation, the American Medical Association, 
the Mississippi Valley Medical Association, 
the McDowell Medical Association, the In- 
diana State Medical Society and the Van- 
derburg County Medical Society. Not- 
withstanding the magnitude of his gen- 
eral and surgical practice, Dr. Owen has 
given clue attention to matters of public im- 
port and has identified himself with all en- 
terprises having for their object the advance- 
ment of the interests of the city of 
Evansville. He is one of the incorporators 
and the present president of the Evansville 
& Chicago railroad company, president and 
director of the District Telegraph company, 
president of several business associations, 
and in fact is in some way identified with 
many commercial enterprises of a public 
character. He is an enthusiastic and an 
indefatigable practitioner, and a fine type of 
the class to which he belongs, — "self-made 
men. " His life evidences the fact that tal- 
ent, combined with energy and a laudable 
ambition, may rise superior to adverse con- 
ditions and wrest success from unfavorable 
circumstances. In 1S75 the doctor was 
married to Miss Laura, daughter of G. N. 
Jerauld of Princeton, Indiana. Three child- 
ren have been born to them, Amelia E. 
Leartus J., and George J. 

Isaac Casselberry, M. D., was born on 
the farm of his father, Thomas Evans Cas- 
selberry, in Posey count}', Ind., November, 
26, 1 82 1. The Casselberry family were 
among the prominent pioneer families of 
West Franklin, in Posey count}-, to which 
place Paul Casselberry, grandfather of the 
subject of this mention, removed with his 
family from Morristown, Pennsylvania, in 
1806. Almost from the date of their settle- 
ment the family took a conspicuous part in 
the affairs of the county and the name of 

Casselberry is indelibly stamped upon its 
history. The father of Dr. Casselberry was 
one of the commissioners who located the 
county seat of Vanderburg county at Evans- 
ville; he was a gentlemen of much force of 
character and in many ways identified him- 
self with the interests of Vanderburg county. 
His death occurred in 1826. His wife was 
Miss RachaelJ., daughter of Charles Car- 
son. Isaac was a child five years old at 
the time of the death of his father. His 
early training devolved upon his mother 
and to her he was no doubt indebted for 
those valuable lessons that proved so ser- 
viceable in after years. She died in 1844. 
Dr. Casselberry received an academical edu- 
cation and in 1S41 began the study of medi- 
cine in the office of that eminent physician, 
Dr. M. J. Bray, of Evansville. Two years 
later he placed himself under the the tutelage 
of R. D. Mussey, M. D., of Cincinnati, Ohio. 
In 1845 he graduated with honor from the 
medical college of Ohio and soon after re- 
turned to Evansville, where he formed a 
co-partnership with his former preceptor, 
Dr. Bray. In a comparatively short time he 
obtained an enviable position in the practice, 
and soon became known as one of the 
leading physicians in this section of 
the state. At the commencement of the 
war he tendered his services to the 
government, and received the appointment 
of surgeon of the First Indiana Cavalry. 
He served in this capacity until the close of 
the war, when he returned to Evansville, 
and was appointed by President Johnson 
collector of customs for the port of Evans- 
ville, which position he filled with great 
credit until a change of administration 
necessitated his resignation. He then re- 
sumed the practice of his profession, and 
from that time until the date of his decease, 
July 9, 1S73, was one °f the most zealous, 
energetic and self-sacrificing physicians in 



the county. From the time the city of 
Evansville was placed under sanitary regu- 
lations, Dr. Casselberry tilled the office of 
secretary of the board of health. He was 
one of the founders of the Evansville Medi- 
cal College, and one of its first trustees. In 
187 1 he was called to the chair of physical 
diagnosis. In everything connected with 
the welfare of the college he manifested 
that zeal and energy which characterized 
all his undertakings, and the success of the 
institution was largely due to his efforts. 
Dr. Casselberry was probably more exten- 
sively known outside the state as a strong, 
forcible writer, and a valuable contributor 
to medical literature. Man)' of his articles 
were extensively copied in medical publica- 
tions. Lack of space prevents a detailed 
mention, but the following are among the 
more important papers: "An Inquiry into 
the Physiology of the Organic Nervous 
System" — American Journal of Medical 
Science, 1852; "Causes of Fever" — Ibid, 
1856; "Ancient Marriages of Consanguinity" 
— Ibid, 1859; a series of articles on "Causes 
of Epidemics," Nashville Medical and Surgi- 
cal Journal, 1857 to 1858. In 1S57, Dr. 
Wright, of the Man flu's Medical Recorder, 
made an able review of some of Dr. Cassel- 
berry's articles, in which he remarked that 
much credit was due him for the boldness 
and industry with which he strove to throw 
light on pathological subjects. Me was one 
of the charter members of the Indiana State 
Medical Society, and his election as presi- 
dent of that body was a merited honor. 
He was a permanent member of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association, and it was one of 
his greatest pleasures to meet its members 
in annual session. - Dr. Casselberry, though 
starting in life without any of the accidental 
aids of wealth, was able to conquer in 
every department of human endeavor which 
he chose to enter. His character was a 

strange mingling of manly sternness and 
womanly kindness. He was gentle, almost 
to a fault, yet possessed an iron nerve and 
invincible will. He had the bearing and man- 
ner of a genuine gentleman, which, united 
with a comeliness of person and a fine pres- 
ence, endeared him to all who were fortunate 
enough to become his associates. He died 
in Evansville, July 9, 1873, after a laborious 
and successful practice of twenty-eight years. 
In 1847, Dr. Casselberry was married to Miss 
Louisa Garvin, daughter of John and Provi- 
dence Garvin, of Gettysburg, Pennsjlvania. 
Two children were the result of this union, 
only one of whom, Mrs. Laura Dunkerson, 
is living. 

George Brinton Walker, M. D., was 
born December 6, 1807, at Salem, New 
Jersey, and died September 6, 1887, at 
Evansville, Ind. He was the son of Wil- 
liam and Catharine (Tyler) Walker. After 
receiving his general education in the com- 
mon schools of his native village, and in 
those of the city of Cincinnati, whither he 
had removed in his youth with his parents, 
he took up the study of medicine, and grad- 
uated in the spring of 1830, at the Ohio 
Medical College. After practicing medicine 
for live years in Cincinnati, he removed to 
Evansville, where for more than half a cen- 
tury, and to within a few weeks of his death, 
hedailyperformedthedutiesof his profession. 
He joined the Vanderburgh County Medi- 
cal Society, in 1879, and served one term as 
its president, in 1886. He was also a member 
of the Evansville Medical Society, Tri-State 
Medical Society, First District Medical So- 
ciety, of Ohio, and the Society of Medicine 
and Philosophy, of Ohio, during the presi- 
dency of Dr. Drake. He was dean and 
professor of obstetrics in the Medical Col- 
lege of Evansville, for several years from its 
establishment, and resigned this trust in 1S81 
only to be called upon to serve in a similar 



capacity in the newly organized Hospital 
Medical College. He was a member of the 
city board of health and its president for 
several years. During the civil war he 
served for three years as surgeon in the va- 
rious hospitals of this city, and was ever 
steadfast in his devotion to the Union. His 
public services were by no means confined 
to his profession. Always progressive and 
public-spirited, he did much to develop the 
natural resources of this locality and build up 
the city of Evansville. He was a director 
of the Evansville & Crawfordsville 
railroad during the period of its construction, 
was a state director of the Evansville branch 
of the state bank of Indiana, a member of 
the board of directors of the Public Hall 
company and a director of the Evansville 
Street Railway company. In politics Dr. 
Walker was a democrat, and attained some 
prominence. His first vote was cast for 
General Jackson. In 1S52 he was a dele- 
gate to the Baltimore convention, which 
nominated Franklin Pierce to the presi- 
dency. Being a thorough student, uncom- 
monly devoted to his books, and possessing 
a retentive memory and an exceptionally 
critical mind, he was well versed in every 
branch of the medical science. As a prac- 
titioner he was eminently successful, and 
throughout his long career in this city occu- 
pied a very prominent place among the 
members of the medical profession. He 
was accomplished not only in professional 
but also in general literature. As a lecturer 
and writer he was accorded a very high 
rank, and as a conversationalist was consid- 
ered delightful. Indeed, his intellectual 
peers were not numerous. His thorough 
manliness, the beauty of his character and 
the gentleness of his disposition endeared 
him to all who had the pleasure of his 
friendship. Always upright and honorable, 
kind and humane, he was much respected 

and beloved. Dr. Walker was married to 
Miss Elizabeth Clark, of Cincinnati, the 23d 
of June, 1835. He was never blessed with 
children of his own, but had in his familv 
from their childhood the three children of 
his brother, Wm. H. Walker. The widow 
and these children survive. 

James P. DeBruler, M. D., for many 
years a well-known and successful physi- 
cian in Evansville, was born in Orange 
County, North Carolina, September 21, 
1S17. During his infancy his parents 
removed to Dubois county, Indiana, bring- 
ing with them their slaves, whom they lib- 
erated soon after their arrival. The elder 
DeBruler bought a large tract of wild land, 
and began its improvement, he and his fam- 
ily suffering all the trials and hardships 
incident to pioneer life in the forests of 
Southern Indiana. The doctor was reared 
under the stern influences of cabin life in 
the woods, but the lessons learned from his 
experiences there proved highh/ serviceable 
in after years. His early mental training 
was necessarily meagre, because of the 
inferior schools of the pioneer era, but by 
dint of persistent study he obtained a famil- 
iarity with many good books, and at the age 
of eighteen began the study of medicine. 
Subsequently he graduated from the medi- 
cal department of the University at Louis- 
ville. He began the practice of his profession 
at Rockport, in Spencer county, where he 
remained nearly twenty years, enjoyincr 
perhaps the largest practice confided to any 
physician to that locality. In 1855 he 
came to Evansville, where he remained 
extensively engaged in his profession until 
his decease. His abilities soon earned for 
him a high standing among physicians here, 
which he held throughout his residence in 
Evansville. In his practice he exhibited the 
highest degree of skill and professional at- 
tainments. He was appointed by President 


Lincoln surgeon of Marine Hospital in this 
city, and continued on duty there until it 
was changed into a military hospital, early 
in the war. He was its first surgeon and 
acted in that capacity as long as there was 
any need of his services. He took an active 
interest in all matters pertaining to the pub- 
lic welfare and did much to advance the 
general prosperity of this city. He was 
never a politician, but soon after coming to 
Evansville, in 1S56, was nominated as a 
candidate for the legislature, but failed to 
be elected. From that time forward he de- 
voted his entire attention to his professional 
duties. He was appointed, without solicita- 
tion on his part, postmaster of this city by 
President Johnson, but resigned without 
taking charge of the office. He had a deep 
love for the science to which he devoted so 
many years of his life, and pursued his labors 
with great enthusiasm. He was highly 
honorable in ever)' relation of life and pos- 
sessed in a marked degree the character- 
istics of genuine manliness. His death, 
occurring August 12, 1S74, was generally 
lamented. Dr. DeBruler was married, 
September 2, 1847, to Miss Sallie E. Gra- 
ham, daughter ot the late Judge J. W. 
Graham. Their son, Claude G. DeBruler, 
deceased, was for some time editor and pro- 
prietor of the Evansville Daily Journal, 
and was known as one of the most intellect- 
ual and enterprising citizens of the city, in 
his day. 

Daniel Morgan, M. D., for many years 
a prominent citizen and successful practit'oner 
of Vanderburgh county, was born in Can- 
terbury, Conn., March 22d, 1S13. His 
paternal grandfather, James Morgan, a 
Welshman, who settled in Connecticut as 
early as 1638, served the colony six times 
in the general courts and occupied a promi- 
nent position in the colonial debates. His 
father, Isaac Morgan, was a successful far- 

mer and a gentleman of prominence in the 
section in which he lived. His mother, 
whose maiden name was Mary Adams, was 
a relative of John Quincy Adams. After 
attending several seats of learning in Brook- 
lyn and New Haven, he studied medicine in 
the office of an eminent physician and sur- 
geon, Dr. A. F. Harris, of Canterbury. He 
graduated from the medical department of 
Yale College in 1S35. Shortly afterward 
he came to Evansville, where he established 
himself in the practice of his profession, in 
which he rapidly rose to prominence, soon 
commanding a large and lucrative practice. 
In 1S39 he was most happily married to 
Miss Matilda, daughter of Samuel Fisher, 
of Lynchburg, Va., who died December 
2 2d, 1887. Eight children were born to 
them, only two of whom are now living, 
Mrs. M. A. Dixon, and Miss Julia A. Mor- 
gan. Dr. Morgan was a member of the 
American Medical Association, the Evans- 
ville Medical Society, and the Drake 
Academy of Medicine. In all of these medi- 
cal societies he was an influential member 
and an acknowledged leader. He possessed 
a remarkable memory and a well balanced 
mind, qualifications which made him an ex- 
cellent physician. He was appointed sur- 
geon of one of the U. S. hospitals in 1S62, 
and it was while discharging his duties here 
that he had erysipelas inoculated in one of 
his fingers, which at length produced paraly- 
sis and later caused his death. Forty-four 
years of his life were devoted to the practice 
of his profession, in which his knowledge, 
skill, and energy were shown to be of the high- 
est type. His reputation as a physician was 
only equaled by his record as a high-minded, 
valuable citizen. He always found time for 
matters of public import; took a lively in- 
terest in politics, and in 186S was elected to 
the state senate where he served four years, 
distinguishing himself by his sound views 



on all important legislation and making an 
enviable record. In 1S71, he was elected 
to a chair in the Medical college of Evans- 
ville, and was one of the most prominent 
members of the faculty. In his personal 
appearance he was a man of fine presence; 
and possessed a large amount of personal 
magnetism and rare social qualities. His 
kindness of heart, his genial disposition, and 
his untarnished Christian character, caused 
him to be esteemed and respected by all 
who knew him. At the age of seventeen 
he united with the Presbyterian church and 
was a consistent member of that organiza- 
tion throughout his life. His death, which 
was generally lamented, occurred January 
25th, 1879. 

Richard Hartloff, M. D., a leading 
physician and surgeon of Evansville, is a na- 
tive of Prussia, born in the Rhine Province, 
August 16, 1845, the second of eight chil- 
dren born to Frederick William and Fred- 
erica (Borghoff) Hartloff. The father was 
born in 1S15 and the mother in 1S16. They 
emigrated to America in the spring of 1853, 
and settled near Ironton, Ohio, and in the 
fall of the same year, removing to Indiana, 
settled near Cannelton, Perry county. Here 
in 1864 the mother died, and three years 
later the father removed to a farm in Spencer 
county, and continued to reside there until 
his death, which occurred in 1SS6. Of the 
children four survive. Dr. Hartloff attended 
school in his native country, advancing in 
his studies so far as to be versed in reading 
and writing in the German language, and 
afterward attended the public schools of In- 
diana until 1864. He then entered Wallace 
College in Ohio, near Cleveland, where he 
attended two years. Returning to Indiana, 
he taught school for two years in Perry and 
Vanderburg counties, and during that period 
read medicine. He next entered the medi- 
cal department of the University of Louis- 

ville, Ky., and graduated in 1871. He at 
once came to Evansville, and began prac- 
ticing his profession. In 1876, he visited Eu- 
rope and pursued a course of study of the eye 
and ear at the Vienna University, Austria. 
Returning to Evansville, he resumed the 
practice which he has continued to the pres- 
ent, meeting with pronounced success. Dr. 
Hartloff was united in marriage in 1867 to 
Emilia Johann, who was born in Prussia in 
1848, and died in 1875. To this union one 
son and one daughter were born, both of 
whom survive. In 1876 he was married to 
Mrs. Elizabeth Oliver, nee Austin, who was 
born in Manchester, England, in 1844. Dr. 
Hartloff served as health officer of Vander- 
burgh county in 1883; was one of the board 
of pension examiners from 1882 to 18S6; 
has been for three years a member of the 
Evansville board of health, of which he is 
president; and is also the present city 
physician. He is a member of the F. & A. M. 
and I. O. O. F. fraternities. 

William G. Ralston, M. D., a pioneer 
citizen of southwestern Indiana, and for 
many years a prominent member of the 
medical profession in Evansville, was born 
in Princeton, Gibson county, Ind., February 
13, 1819. During his boyhood the schools 
in his locality were very imperfect. He 
succeeded, however, in obtaining a good 
common school education, and in 1841 be- 
gan the study of medicine in the office of 
Dr. Joseph Neely, of Cynthiana, Posey 
county, Ind. After pursuing his studies 
three years he began the practice in part- 
nership with his old preceptor, but one year 
later established himself at Boonville, the 
county seat of Warrick county. Here he 
remained eighteen years, successfully en- 
gaged in the practice. He soon attained a 
prominent place among the physicians of 
that town, which he maintained throughout 
the whole of his residence there. In 1S63, 



he came to Evansville, where he has since 
been engaged in the general practice. He 
was surgeon of the Eighty-first Indiana In- 
fantry Volunteers, and while in that position 
was appointed by President Lincoln surgeon 
of the board of enrollment for the First 
congressional district of Indiana, in which 
capacity he served two years. In 1869, he 
was appointed surgeon of the U. S. Marine 
Hospital at this place, and held the position 
four years. Since that time his efforts have 
been devoted entirely to the general prac- 
tice. Although his extensive practice and 
long period of study, shaped by the sugges- 
tions of his varied experiences as a prac- 
titioner, had familiarized him with the dis- 
eases prevailing in this locality and the ap- 
proved methods of their treatment, yet when 
the Evansville Medical College was estab- 
lished, he was matriculated in the institu- 
tion and graduated therefrom in 1872. In 
his practice Dr. Ralston has been eminently 
successful, while his social relations have 
been of the most gratifying character. He 
has not sought by questionable methods to 
attain a popularity not wholly merited. 
But performing ever}' duty without osten- 
tation, and carrying into his professional 
work the suggestions of a gentle disposition 
and a kind heart, he has endeared himself 
to all with whom he has come in contact. 
Dr. Ralston was married in April, 1S50, to 
Miss Isabella Matthewson, daughter of Dr. 
R. C. Matthewson, of Boonville, Ind. Mrs. 
Ralston was born September 20, 1830, and 
died in 1882. Of this union three sons were 
born : William M., Charles N., and Andrew G. 
The eldest of these died in Texas, in 1885. 
Dr. Ralston is a member of Crescent 
Lodge No. 122, I. O. O. F., and belongs to 
the First Cumberland Presbyterian church. 
Politically he was originally a whig, and 
has been a republican since the organiza- 
tion of that party. 

Matthias Munchausen, M. D., promi- 
nent as a physician and a public spirited 
citizen, has worked out his career from his 
youth in this city. His father, Dr. Francis 
Muhlhausen, an erudite and distinguished 
physician, for many years occupied an hon- 
orable place in Evansville, both in profes- 
sional and social circles. He was a native 
of Germany, and there married Mary Ann 
Jageman. Their son, Matthias, was born 
at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, January 19, 
1833. Emigrating to America in the fall of 
1838, they located in Baltimore, where they 
remained a short time. They moved thence 
to Taylorsville, Ohio, where for about one 
year Dr. Muhlhausen was engaged in the 
practice of his profession. At the end of 
this time he was induced to locate in Evans- 
ville, and came here in the fall of 1S39. 
From that time until his death in 1862 he 
resided here, and practiced medicine and 
surgery. He was a scholarly and skillful 
physician, a graduate of Heidelberg Uni- 
versity, and had one of the largest practices 
known to the profession in southern Indiana, 
during his day, extending as it did from 
Owensburg, Ky., to Mt. Vernon, Ind. Per- 
haps no physician who ever practiced here 
left a fairer name professionally and socially, 
and to-day he is remembered as one of the 
prominent men of southern Indiana during 
the period of its most rapid development. 
His wife survived him sixteen years and 
died in this city. The)' were the parents of 
two children, Matthias, and a younger 
brother who died in 1852. 

Dr. M. Muhlhausen received his early 
mental training in the public schools of this 
city, but when quite young was sent to St. 
Gabriel college at Vincennes, Ind., where for 
a time he pursued his studies. At an early age 
he began the study of medicine under the sup- 
ervision of his father, and later attended the 
Evansville Medical college, graduating there- 



from in February, 1854. ^ e began practic- 
ing his profession in Evansville at once and 
has continued uninterruptedly to the present, 
being now recognized as one of the leading 
physicians of the city. While the demands 
of his profession have, to a great extent, 
engrossed his attention, he has not neglected 
his duties as a citizen. He has filled various 
official positions during his active life, and 
has served with credit to himself and profit 
to the public in every such relation. He 
has represented his ward in the city council, 
has been a member of the board of health, 
and a member of the board of Metropolitan 
police commissoners, where he was associa- 
ted with Capt. J. A. Lemcke, now treasurer 
of state, and Mr. Ed. Law. For four 3 - ears, 
from 1S72 to 1S76, he had charge of St. 
Mary's hospital. His public spirit has caused 
him to be identified with many efforts to 
advance the general welfare of the city. 
He was one of the chief instruments in se- 
curing the State Insane Asylum at this point, 
and in various ways, especially as an active 
member of the Business Men's association, 
has contributed largely to the city's pros- 
perity. He has been a director and is now 
president of the People's Savings bank, one 
of the safest and most prosperous institu- 
tions of its kind in Indiana. Dr. 
Muhlhausen was married, November 8, 
1859, to Josephine Reitz, daughter of 
Clement Reitz, sr., a citizen of this city. 
Mrs. Muhlhausen was a native of Germany 
and died in this city December 28, 1S81, 
leaving two sons and one daughter. In pol- 
itics Dr. Muhlhausen has affiliated with the 
democratic party; he is a member of the 
Roman Catholic church. 

William S. Pollard, M. D., one of the 
prominent practitioners of the city of Evans- 
ville, was born in Carmi, 111., Nov. 1, 183S. 
His father, William, was a physician, a 
graduate of one of the medical universities 

of Virginia, his native state, and a successful 
practitioner. On account of his hatred 
for the " peculiar institution," he liberated 
his slaves and removed to Kentucky, thence 
to Mt. Vernon, Indiana, where he practiced 
his profession for several years. From Mt. 
Vernon he went to Cynthiana, Inch, where 
he died in 1874. He was a thorough gen- 
tleman of the old school, kind, courteous, 
and the personification of liberality. He was 
highly esteemed by all who knew him. The 
boyhood and early manhood of William S. 
was passed under the paternal roof. He 
received an academical education, and in 
i860 commenced the study of medicine 
in his father's office. The following year, 
however, he joined the Federal army as a 
member of an Illinois Infantry regiment, 
with which organization he remained but a 
short time. Returning to Indiana, he aided 
in the formation of the Twenty-fourth 
Indiana Infantry, Col. Hovey commanding. 
On the muster-in of the regiment he was 
commissioned second lieutenant and as 1 
signed to Company K. By regular grada- 
tions he rose to the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel, aided only by his ability as an officer 
and his splendid record as a soldier. He 
participated in all the battles in which his 
regiment was engaged, notably among the 
number the siege of Vicksburg, the battle 
of Shiloh, Champion Hills, the siege of 
Corinth, the battles of Blakely and Mobile, 
Ala., and other minor engagements. The 
close of the war found the regiment at Gal- 
veston, Texas, whence the}' were ordered 
home for muster-out. Returning to civil 
life, he first engaged in merchandizing; but 
this vocation not proving congenial, he 
resolved to make the practice of medicine 
his life's work. In 1869 he entered the 
Miami Medical college, from which institu- 
tion he graduated with honor in the class of 
1 87 1. In the same year he came to Evans- 



ville and began the practice in company 
with that eminent physician and citizen, Dr. 
James P. DeBruler, with whom he re- 
mained until the death of the latter in 1875, 
when he succeeded to the larger share of 
his practice. One singular fact in con- 
nection with the doctor's professional life, 
and perhaps a remarkable one, is that he 
has never changed his location nor his office 
since he first began the practice in 1S71. 
In the practice of medicine Dr. Pollard has 
been highly successful, especially in diseases 
of the chest. He occupies a foremost posi- 
tion among his medical brethren, and is 
everywhere recognized not only as an able 
and successful physician but as a valuable 
citizen. For three years lie was county 
physician ; and for ten years has been exam- 
ining surgeon for the United States Pension 
Bureau. He is also a member of the city 
hospital association. He affiliates with the 
republican party, and is a prominent mem- 
ber of the G. A. R. In the Masonic order 
he has held a conspicuous place, being now 
captain-general of Lavallette Commandery, 
K. T., having occupied in regular succes- 
sion all the intermediate chairs. In civil, 
military and political life his record is un- 
tarnished, and his career affords another 
example of the well-known fact that ability, 
industry and honesty, coupled with pluck 
and energy, always produce success. In 
1874 tne doctor was united in marriage with 
Miss Mattie A., daughter of Gideon Sutton, 
of Centerburg, Ohio. Two children have 
been born to them; one died in infancy, and 
the remaining child, Walter S., is a bright 
boy of four years. 

A. M. Hayden, M. D., physician and sur- 
geon, of Evansville, Ind., was born in 
Hampshire count} - , Va., (now West Vir- 
ginia), May 2S, 1S52, and is the son of 
Dr. A. B. and Louisa (Thompson) Hayden. 
His father was born in Kentucky, in 1807, 

being the son of Virginian parents who emi- 
grated from their native state to Missouri, 
in the early part of the century, and re- 
mained but a short time, returning to Vir- 
ginia where they lived and died. Dr. A. B. 
Hayden is a graduate of Jefferson Medical 
College and now resides in Virginia, having 
retired from active labor after a long and 
successful practice of his profession. His 
wife, Louisa Thompson, a native of Hamp- 
shire count}-, Va., born in 1S15, and still 
surviving, is the daughter of honorable Vir- 
ginians, who, in their day, occupied a prom- 
inent place in the locality where they re- 
sided. Dr. A. M. Hayden is the youngest 
of eight children. His early education was 
secured in the country schools of his native 
county. His youth was passed on his 
father's farm, working at farm labor during 
the summer, and attending school during 
the winter months. Later he finished his 
literary education at Winchester seminary, 
Winchester, Va. In 1870, he began the study 
of medicine with his father as a preceptor, and 
in March 1875, graduated from Sterling 
Medical College, Columbus, Ohio. Coming 
to the west, he settled at Newburgh, Ind., 
and there began, at once, the practice of his 
profession in partnership with Dr. P. S. 
Thompson, of that place. About two years 
later he located in Evanville, where he has 
since resided, obtaining a large practice and 
recognition as one of the best physicians in 
the city. In 1878, Dr. Hayden took a course 
of lectures in the medical department of the 
University of New York, and in 1S55, being 
prepared by the varied experiences of a ten 
years' practice for the study of every branch 
of medical science, pursued a course of in- 
struction at the New York Polyclinic. Re- 
turning to Evansville he began to devote 
especial attention to surgical science, and in 
that branch of his practice has already at- 
tained an honorable eminence. The extent 



of his achievements and the result of his 
life's work ought not to be reckoned at this 
time, for even the prime of his activity is 
not yet passed. His usefulness as a citizen 
and physician has long been recognized, and 
his career thus far, has been eminently suc- 
cessful. He is a member of the Vander- 
burgh Medical Society, the Indiana State 
Medical Society and the American Med- 
ical Association. To the journal of the 
American Medical Association he has con- 
tributed some valuable papers. He has 
obtained popularity in social circles. For 
many years he has been an earnest member 
of Orion Lodge No. 35, K. of P. He is now 
chancellor commander and is said to be one 
of the best officers the lodge ever had. He 
is a good parliamentarian, loyal to the order 
and untiring in his efforts to advance its 
prosperity. He wields a large influence 
and has done much to place Pythianism on a 
firm basis in this city and in a high place in 
popular esteem. He was married October 
1, 1S79, to Malinda A. Van Dusen, a native 
of Vanderburgh county, born September 
'26, 1 86 1, who is the daughter of Martin A. 
and Abbie (Olmstead) Van Dusen. Her 
maternal grandfather was Judge William 
Olmstead, a distinguished pioneer of this 
count}'. Two daughters have been born of 
this union. 

John B. Weever, M. D., did not begin 
his practice in Evansville until 1886, but very 
soon thereafter his abilities were recognized 
and already his worth has attracted to him 
an extensive and lucrative business. For 
many j^ears, though not a resident of this 
city, he was by no means a stranger in it. 
His boyhood was spent here, his father 
being for a long time a citizen of the place, 
and the greater portion of his life has been 
passed in the neighbo? ing town of Mount 
Vernon, in Posey county. He was born in 
the town of Hollowell, Kennebec county, 

Maine, September 25, 1836. His father, 
Dr. Charles S. Weever, was a native of 
Massachusetts, born in 1809. He came to 
Evansville in 1837, and first engaged in mer- 
chandising, but the business was not congen- 
ial to him, and failing to meet with the degree 
of success which he had anticipated and de- 
sired, he began the study of medicine in the 
office of that distinguished pioneer physician, 
Dr. William Trafton. Later he attended the 
Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, 
Pa., where he graduated in 1844. Return- 
ing to Evansville he formed a copartnership 
with his late preceptor, with whom he was 
associated until Dr. Trafton's death. In 
1850 he removed to Mt. Vernon, Ind., where 
he was engaged in general practice until 
his death, which occurred in 1861. He was 
successful in the practice, and was the first 
professor of anatomy in the Evansville med- 
ical college. He is still remembered by the 
older citizens of this city as an upright man 
and a skilful physician. 

Dr. John B. Weever received an academ- 
ical education and in 1855 began the study 
of medicine in his father's office. Subse- 
quently he continued his studies under the 
direction of Dr. S. D. Gross, of Philadelphia, 
and entering the Jefferson Medical College in 
that city, graduated therefrom in 1S58. He 
then returned to Mt. Vernon and engaged 
in the practice with his father until the latter's 
decease, in 1S61. Thereafter he continued 
his professional work alone, remaining in 
Mt. Vernon until 1886, when he came to 
Evansville. He did a successful business 
and was recognized as a most able and skill- 
ful physician. Upon coming to Evansville 
he at once took a high rank among the phy- 
sicians of the place and by reason of his 
worth as a citizen and physician has estab- 
lished himself in public favor. He has been 
a member of the Vanderburg County Med- 
ical Society since 1886, and is at this time its 



president. For many years he has been a 
member of the Indiana state medical society 
and the American Medical Association. In 
his religious and political affiliations he is a 
Presbj-terian and a republican. In 1862, Dr. 
Weaver was united in marriage to Miss 
Emma J. Slocum, Carmi, 111. Of this union 
seven children have been born, only three of 
whom survive, as follows: Walter R., 
George S., and Paul S. 

Edwin Walker, M. D., Ph. D., a prom- 
inent physician and surgeon of Evansville, 
was born in this city May 6, 1853, and is the 
son of James T. and Charlotte (Burtis) 
Walker, distinguished pioneers, mentioned 
more at length elsewhere in these pages.* 
He was educated in the public schools of 
this city, graduating from the high school in 
1869. Later he spent two years at Hanover 
College, Hanover, Ind., pursuing a course 
of classical stud)'. While there he was a 
member of the Union Literary Society and 
the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He began 
the study of medicine in the office of Dr. G. 
B. Walker, of this city, in 1871, and at the 
same time attended three courses of lectures 
in the Evansville Medical College, graduat- 
ing therefrom in 1874. He at once entered 
upon the practice of his profession and in the 
same year was appointed professor of anat- 
omy in the college where recently he had 
been a student. In 1S77 he attended a 
course of lectures in New York city, and 
two years later again entered the universit)', 
in that city, where he graduated with honors, 
taking the prize for the greatest proficiency 
in diseases of the nervous system. During 
this winter he was a private studept of Prof. 
E. C. Seguin, whose scientific methods did 
much to shape his subsequent studies. Re- 
turning to Evansville, he was made professor 
of diseases of women and diseases of the 

* See personal mention of James T. Walker in " Bench 
and Bar." 

nervous system in the medical college of this 
city, and again resumed the duties of his 
profession, achieving through his merit a 
large measure of success. In 1S83 he at- 
tended a course of lectures at the New York 
city Polyclinic and pursued a special course 
of study on diseases of women and diseases 
of the throat, under direction of Prof. Bos - 
worth. Two years later he spent two 
months attending hospital clinics, and in the 
fall of the same year went to Europe, where 
he remained until August, 1S86, spending 
his time in study especially on diseases of 
women and of the nervous system, receiving 
private instruction from and examining the 
work of the leading teachers in Berlin, 
Vienna, London, and Edinburgh. Again 
in 18S8 he spent such time as he could take 
from his practice in New York city instruct- 
ing himself in the medical science. Few 
men have entered with greater zeal upon 
the study of any branch of science and have 
attained greater success in qualifying them- 
selves for the practical application of theories 
and principles than has Dr. Walker. His 
life has been particularly active. He has 
explored carefully and thoroughly many 
avenues of learning, and by the systematic 
methods of a perfect student has made his 
mind a veritable storehouse of useful infor- 
mation. In 1876 and 1878 he was county 
physician; with others he was instrumental 
in establishing the city hospital, and he is 
now a member of the Vanderburgh County 
Medical Society, the State of Indiana Medi- 
cal Society, the Mississippi Valley Medical 
Society, and the American Medical Associa- 
tion. Few men have more thoroughly litted 
themselves for a successful life's work in any 
chosen profession than has Dr. Walker. 
Recognizing this fact, the faculty of Hanover 
College, one of the leading educational in- 
stitutions in the state, conferred upon him, in 
1S88, the degree of Ph. D. In 1880, Dr. 



Walker was united in marriage to Miss 
Capitola Hudspeth, a native of Boonville, 
Ind., born in 1S59, and daughter of George 
and Margaret (Smith) Hudspeth, for many 
years well known residents of this city. 

George P. Hodson, M. D., physician and 
surgeon of Evansville, is a native of this 
city, born April 11, 1S53. He is the son of 
John M. and Jane (Vaughn) Hodson. Dur- 
ing his boyhood he attended the public 
schools of this city, and at the age of seven- 
teen years entered Asbiiry University (now 
DePauvv University) at Greencastle, Ind. 
Here he spent three years, passing through 
the junior year, but was unable to complete 
the course. In 1873, he began the study of 
medicine in the office of that eminent physi- 
cian, so long and so favorably known in 
Evansville, Dr. George B. Walker. He 
entefed the Evansyille Medical College, and 
graduated in February, 1876. Immediately 
thereafter he commenced the practice of his 
profession, achieving success, not, however, 
without meeting many discouragements. 
In 1883-4 he attended a course of lectures 
at the New York Polyclinic, and there 
added greatly to his store of information. 
Returning to Evansville, he was appointed 
professor of obstetrics in the Evansville 
Medical College, and filled that chair until 
the college closed, in 18S5. For this position 
he was well qualified, having made the study 
of obstetrics a specialty, and his discharge of 
its duties was eminently satisfactory. For 
three years from 1S84 he was secretary of 
the board of health of Evansville, and in that 
capacity rendered valuable service to the 
city- He was instrumental in founding the 
Evansville city hospital. He is now a mem- 
ber of the Vanderburgh County Medical 
Society, the Indiana State Medical Society, 
the Mississippi Valley Medical Society and 
the American Medical Association. Dr. 
Hodson was married on the 12th day 

of October, 1875, to ^' 1SS Mary Smith, of 
Richland county, 111.,' who is a native of 
Posey connty, Ind., born March 27, 1856. 
The varied experience of a ten years' prac- 
tice, attended by a constant and thorough 
reading, prepared Dr. Hodson for the skill- 
ful treatment of many forms of disease. 
His ability had been recognized, and his 
practice had constantly extended itself until 
his time was fully occupied by the proper 
discharge of his professional duties. But 
desiring to enjoy every advantage and be 
abreast of the times, he again, in 1887, 
visited New York city, and there spent 
much time in the hospitals and in the study 
of the medical science under the direction of 
the best instructors. Dr. Hodson is a young 
man, with the greater and more important 
portion of his life's work before him. What 
he may yet achieve cannot be stated with 
certainty, but his attainments and his past 
successes justify the most favorable pre- 

Benjamin J. Day, M. D., is of English 
descent and was born in Calvert county, 
Md.,June 28, 1822. His father, Robert J. 
Da\', was a planter, who died in 1S30. His 
mother, Mary Day, died when he was an in- 
fant. Left an orphan at the age of eight he 
was soon taught to rely upon his own re- 
sources. His early training was received 
in the inferior schools of that time. He ob- 
tained, however, the rudiments of an English 
education. In 1839 ne obtained a position 
as clerk in a store at Prince Frederick, Md., 
where he remained a j-ear, at the end of 
this time giving up his position to begin the 
study of medicine. In the spring of 1S40, 
he entered the office of Dr. William H. 
McDaniel, but soon after received an invi- 
tation from an elder brother — a practicing 
physician at Mount Carmel, 111., to come to 
him, which he did in July of the same year. 
For two years he applied himself very earn- 



estly to his medical studies, and at the end 
of that time began the practice under ad- 
verse circumstances in Gibson county, Ind- 
Success however, attended his efforts. In 
the autumn of 1S47, he entered the Univer- 
sity of Maryland at Baltimore, but did not 
complete his studies there. He graduated 
in 1856, from the Pennsylvania Medical 
College at Philadelphia. Becoming tired of 
country practice he removed to Baton 
Rouge, La., where he remained until i860, 
when he returned on private business. The 
war breaking out, he decided to locate in 
Evans ville, which he did in 1S62. He was ap- 
pointed acting assistant surgeon of hospital 
No. 3, and soon after received a commission 
as pension surgeon. On the reorganization 
of the Evansville Medical College he was 
appointed to the chair of Surgical Pathol- 
ogy, which he filled acceptably for several 
years. He has been a contributor to several 
medical journals and is a member of the 
State and Vanderburgh County Medical 
Societies. With the exception of Dr. Bray 
he is perhaps the oldest resident physician in 
the city. He is now retired from active 

William H.Maghee, M. D., a prominent 
young physician and surgeon of this city, 
is a native of Evansville, born June 22, 1856. 
His father, Joseph B. Maghee, is a native 
of Pennsylvania, and was born in Holmes- 
burg, April 9, 1S14. He came to Evans- 
ville in 1836. He was for a number of 
years engaged in the dry goods business in 
the city, and then purchasing a farm re- 
moved there and remained for a number of 
years. He then returned to this city, where 
he now resides, living in retirement. The 
mother of Dr. Maghee is Mary Jacobs, 
who was born in Evansville, September 13, 
1819, and is now the oldest living native- 
born inhabitant of the city. Her father was 
Gen. J. H. Jacobs, who was a native of Penn- 

sylvania, and was one of the pioneers of 
Vanderburg county, there being only a few 
houses in Evansville when he arrived. He 
had the first glass window in Evansville, in 
his house, and killed the last bear ever 
seen in this section of the county. He was 
an officer in the war between the United 
States and Mexico, going from Vanderburgh 
county, and during the war was wounded in 
the knee, from the effects of which his death 
occurred. To Joseph and Mary Maghee 
eight children were born, six of whom sur- 
vive, three sons and three daughters. Dr. 
Maghee was reared in Evansville and at- 
tended the public schools, graduating from 
the private academy of Misses Hooker and 
Hough. He began reading medicine in 
1S76, with Dr. Joseph W. Irwin, one of the 
leading physicians of Evansville at that time 
and now a prominent practitioner of Louis- 
ville, Ky. In 1879 ne entered Jeffer- 
son Medical College of Philadelphia, from 
which he graduated in 1881. He next lo- 
cated in Princeton, practicing his profession 
there until August, 1884, and then located 
in Evansville, where he has since practiced 
with success. He is a member of the Gib- 
son county Medical Society and of the State 
Medical Society, also of the Mississippi Val- 
ley Tri-State Medical Society. He is also 
a member of the Masonic fraternity, being 
made a Mason in 1885, Chapter Mason in 
1887, and Knight Templar in 18SS. He 
was married June 15, 1881, to Ella C. 
Kimball, of Princetown, Ind., who was the 
daughter of J. C. and Amanda Kimball, 
and was born December 10, 1858. She 
died October 14, 18S4. One child was born 
to this union, on Ma}' 22, 1S82, and died 
May 19, 1883. 

John E. Owen, M. D., began the practice 
of his profession in Evansville in 1SS0. He 
was born in Madisonville, Kv., October 1, 
1854, an d when twenty-one years of age 


became a student of medicine in the office 
of his brother Dr. A. M. Owen. He gradu- 
ated from the Evansville Medical College in 
1879. The following year he entered the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons in New 
York city, and graduated from that institu- 
tion in 18S0. He was a member of the 
faculty of the Evansville Medical College, 
occupying the position of demonstrator of 
anatomy, which position he resigned to 
enter the Hospital Medical College of Evans- 
ville, where, until the close of that institu- 
tion, he filled the chair of professor of anat- 
omy. He has been county physician, and 
is a member of several important medical 

P. Y. McCoy, M. D., of Evansville, was 
born in Golconda, 111., June 29, 1841. His 
paternal grandfather, John McCoy, was a 
native of Kentucky, who early emigrated to 
Indiana territory, settling within the present 
limits of Clarke county. There, in 181 7, 
his father, Dr. George R. McCoy, was born. 
Dr. George McCo} r possessed a sturdy 
character, a strong intellect and a good edu- 
cation, which he obtained by dint of untiring 
effort. He was a graduate of the old 
Transylvania Medical College at Louisville, 
Ky., completing his studies there about 1835 
or 1836. Emigrating to Golconda, 111., he 
practiced his profession in that town and 
vicinity until his death in 1S4S. During his 
day he was the leading physician of the 
county and was well and favorably known. 
Upon the removal of the Cherokee, Choctaw 
and other Indian tribes from northern Ala- 
bama and Mississippi to the Indian territory, 
he was selected by the U. S. government to 
attend to their wants while en-route. His wife, 
the mother of Dr. P. Y. McCoy, was Mary 
Fields, who was born at Golconda in 1S18, 
and is now a resident of that place. Her 
father, Daniel Fields, was a native of Ken- 
tucky, who emigrated to Illinois at an early 

date and settled in what is now Pope county. 
At one time he was a large land owner in 
the county, and laid out and founded the 
town of Golconda. The descendants of the 
pioneer Daniel Fields were always eminently 
respectable. Dr. P. Y.. McCoy was reared 
in Golconda and his early mental training 
was obtained in the public schools of that 
place. Later he pursued his studies at 
Franklin College, Franklin, Ind. At the age 
of eighteen years he began the study of 
medicine at Golconda under the directions 
of Count Albert De Leczynski, a Polish exile, 
who was banished from his native country 
on account of his political opinions. He was 
a graduate of the University at Vienna, a 
man of varied attainments, and one of the 
most skilled physicians and surgeons of the 
country. Dr. McCoy attended his first 
course of lectures in 1860-61 at Rush Medi- 
cal College, Chicago, 111., and graduated from 
that institution in 1863. In the same year 
he began the practice of his profession in 
Golconda, his native town, but soon there- 
after removed to Columbus, Ky., where he 
remained about ten years. While living in 
Kentucky he was a member of the Kentucky 
State Medical Society, and was its delegate 
in 1873 to the meeting of the American 
Medical Association at St. Louis, Mo. In 
1S73, fitted by the experience of ten years' 
practice to comprehend the most difficult 
subjects presented in medical instruction, he 
spent several months in New York city pur- 
suing his studies and attending the hospitals. 
In addition to the valuable instruction re- 
ceived in the university and hospitals he pur- 
sued a special course of study under the 
tutelage of Dr. Marion Sims, devoting par- 
ticular attention to the diseases of women. 
He also gave much time to surgery and is 
now regarded as being among the more 
prominent surgeons of southern Indiana. In 
the fall of 1873 he came to Evansville and 



resumed the duties of his profession. His 
popularity and practice gradually extended 
themselves and he was soon recognized as 
one of the leading physicians of Evansville. 
In 1S84 he again visited New York City 
and there took two courses of lectures at 
the Polyclinic College. During its existence 
he occupied the chair of surgery in the 
Evansville Medical College. He is now a 
member of the Vanderburgh County Medi- 
cal Society, surgeon of the L. & N. R. R. 
at this point, one of the best of physicians, 
respected on every hand, and enjoys a high 
professional and social standing While not 
a specialist and although engaged in the 
general practice, he gives especial attention 
to surgery and the diseases of women, and 
in these two departments of the practice he has 
been particularly successful. In Masonry 
he has attained the degrees of Templarism, 
and he is a prominent member of the K. of P. 
Dr. McCoy was married in 1865 to Miss 
Nellie Woods, who was born in Livingston 
county, Ky., in 1S45. She died in 1871, 
leaving a son and daughter, the latter sur- 
viving. In 1876 the doctor married Effie 
Carr, who was born in Kentucky in 1856, 
and is the daughter of N. F. Carr, of this 

Charles Knapp, M. D., physician and 
surgeon, and a leading citizen of Evansville, 
is a native of Germany. He was born at 
Birkenfeld, near the Rhine, December 21, 
1845, the son of Dr. Charles J., and Cather- 
ine (Tuerkis) Knapp. Dr. Charles J. 
Knapp was born in 1823, and was educated 
in the schools of his native land. He came 
to America in 1S51, landing at New Orleans. 
He remained there a short time and then 
went to New Albany, were he resided until 
about 1856, and then removed to Rockport, 
Ind. He next went to Boonville, Inch, 
about i860, and engaged in merchandising. 
Later he was employed in the drug business, 

and subsequentlv took up the stud}' of med- 
icine. In 1S74 he visited Germany and 
pursued a course of study at Heidelberg, 
having previously attended Bellevue Hospital 
college at New York. Returning to Boon- 
ville from Europe he engaged in the prac- 
tice of medicine, and bid fair to make a suc- 
cessful and popular physician, but his career 
was cut short by death in 1875. Catharine 
(Tuerkis) Knapp died in 1856. To these 
parents four children were born, two of 
whom, Drs. Charles and Emil Knapp, of this 
city, survive. The father was married a 
second time, to Augusta C. Ross, and to that 
union four children were born, three of 
whom survive. His second wife dying, he 
was married a third time, to Mrs. Louisa C. 
Radmann, who survives him, and is a resi- 
dent of Boonville, Ind. Dr. Charles Knapp 
came with his parents to America in 1851. 
He was reared principally in New Albany, 
Ind., where he attended the public schools. 
He began the study of medicine in Boon- 
ville, Ind., in 1865, and in 1S65-6 attended 
Rush Medical College at Chicago. During 
1866-7 he attended Bellevue Hospital Col- 
lege at New York, and for two years next 
thereafter, practiced at Huntingburgh, Ind. 
In 1869-70 he again attended Bellevue col- 
lege, and on March 1, 1870, graduated from 
the institution. He returned to Boonville, 
but soon removed to Ferdinand, Ind., where 
he practiced until his removal to Evansville, 
in 1881, where he has since resided and 
practiced his profession. He was united in 
marriage at Huntingburgh, Ind., in 1868, to 
Emma Pickhardt, who was born in Evans- 
ville, in 1851, and is the daughter of William 
Pickhardt. To this union five children have 
been born, four of whom survive. In 1882 
Dr. Knapp was selected to fill the chair of 
pathology and practice of medicine, and lec- 
turer on the eye and ear at the Hospital 
Medical College of Evansville, which he 



occupied until the suspension of the college in 
1 886. He was also chosen secretary of the 
college in 1883, and served until the suspen- 
sion. He was a charter member of the Dubois 
County Medical Society, organized in 1S74, 
and has been since 1884 a member of the 
Vanderburgh Medical Society. He is also a 
member of the Mississippi Valley Medical 
Society and the American Medical Associa- 

Columbus V. Wedding, M. D., physician 
and surgeon, was born in Ohio count}', Ky., 
December 2, 1S52, and is the son of Mark 
and Nancy J. (Hale) Wedding. He re- 
ceived a liberal education, and at the age of 
sixteen years began the study of medicine 
with Dr. Josiah Hale, of Owensboro, Ky., 
as his preceptor. He remained with Dr. 
Hale four years, and in the winter of 1872-3 
attended a course of medical lectures at the 
University of Louisville, Ky. Immediately 
thereafter he began the practice of medicine 
at Stephensport, in Breckenridge count}*, 
Ky., and succeeded in building up a good 
business. In 1S78, he returned to the uni- 
versity at Louisville and graduated in Feb- 
ruary of the following year. He returned 
to his practice, but desiring to increase his 
knowledge, visited New York and Phila- 
delphia, in 18S0, and in the hospitals of those 
cities obtained much valuable experience 
and information. Returning to Breckenridge 
county, after an absence of six months, he 
resumed his professional duties, and con- 
tinued actively engaged for three years. At 
the end of this time he visited the hospitals 
of London, where his observations added 
materially to his education. Thereafter, un- 
til 1886, he remained at his old home, prac- 
ticing and meeting with much success. June 
1, 1886, he came to Evansville, and has 
since resided in this city. His success has 
been remarkably gratifying. He possesses 
a large practice, and is considered a skillful 

physician and surgeon. Dr. Wedding was 
married, June 8, 1870, to Laura E. Pate, a 
native of Kentucky, born December 27, 
1852, and daughter of John A., and Matilda 
(Morton) Pate. To this union one son, 
Estell V., has been born. Mrs. Wedding is 
a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. The doctor is a member of Cres- 
cent Lodge No. 122, I. O. O. F., and of 
Excelsior Lodge, No. 38, A. O. U. W. In 
politics he is a republican. 

Louis D. Brose, M. D., is of German 
descent, and was born in the city of Evans- 
ville, April 20, 1859. He was educated in 
the public schools of the city, and began 
the study of medicine in the drug store of 
Dr. John Laval in 1877. His medical pre- 
ceptors were Drs. Bray and Wheeler and 
Dr. H. W. Austin, then surgeon of the 
Marine Hospital. His preparatory course 
was a very thorough one. In 1877-8 he 
attended the Evansville Medical College, 
and in the autumn of 1S79 entered the 
Medical University of Pennsylvania, at 
Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1881. 
His thesis was entitled, " An Experimental 
Contribution to our Knowledge of Bright's 
Disease," and set forth the results of exper- 
iments which had been made on domestic 
animals, his object being to trace the prog- 
ress of the disease from its inception to its 
more advanced stages. This article 
attracted the attention of physicians and was 
published in many of the leading medical 
journals. After graduating in medicine he 
entered the philosophical department of the 
same institution and received the degree of 
Ph. D. and a gold medal for general profi- 
ciency in the hygienic department. In 1882 
he became the resident surgeon and physi- 
cian of the German Hospital, of Philadel- 
phia. In this hospital he had much valu- 
able experience, and when leaving the 
institution he had so far advanced in the pro- 



fession that upon his return to Evansville he 
was appointed demonstrator of anatomy in 
the Evansville Medical College. The next 
year he became professor of anatomy and 
retained this position until the college was 
closed. He then gave his attention to the 
practice of medicine and surgery, in which 
he is now engaged. He was physician and 
obstetrician to the Evansville Home of the 
Friendless in 1SS3 and 18S4, and for two 
years was physician to the Evansville 
Orphan Asylum. In 1SS6 he was ap- 
pointed surgeon of the Peoria, Decatur & 
Evansville Railroad at this place. His con- 
tributions to medical literature have been 
numerous. His first article appeared in the 
Philadelphia Medical News in 18S2, was 
ably written, and attracted much favorable 
notice. Many other articles on subjects re- 
lating to the medical science have appeared 
from time to time in the daily press and the 
medical journals of the country, all of which 
have elicited the favorable comments of 
able physicians. His especial proficiency as 
a microscopist is worthy of note. Numer- 
ous instances are on record where he has 
removed small portions of tumors from pa- 
tients, and after microscopical examination 
has made an accurate diagnosis afterward 
of great value in operations undertaken for 
the patient's benefit. 

Charles Park Bacon, M. D., was born 
in Christian county, Ky., September 6, 1836, 
and is the son of Charles A. and Susan 
(Rowlett) Bacon, both natives of Virginia. 
His father was a man of sterling integrity, 
with great natural endowments, both men- 
tal and physical. Educated in the common 
schools and academies of Kentucky, he be- 
gan the study of medicine, at the age of 
twenty-one, in the office of his brother, Dr. 
Thomas L. Bacon, of Henderson county, 
Ky. In the winter of 1859-60 he entered 
the University of Pennsylvania, and gradu- 

ated therefrom in the spring of 1S61. Im- 
mediately thereafter he began the practice 
of his, profession at Cadiz, Trigg county, 
Ky., where he remained until 1873, in which 
year he came to Evansville, where he has 
since resided. Dr. Bacon's abilities secured 
him a lucrative business at Cadiz, but desir- 
ing a larger field, he came to this city, where 
he has been equally successful. He is a 
member of the Vanderburgh County Medi- 
cal Society, the Indiana State Medical 
Society and the American Medical Associa- 
tion. With others he was instrumental in 
establishing the city hospital. He filled ac- 
ceptably the chairs of anatomy, surgeiy and 
diseases of women, in the Hospital Medical 
College of Evansville. His thorough famil- 
iarity with the varied branches of the medi- 
cal science, and the successes achieved in 
his practice, have gained for him a high 
rank among the physicians of the city. Jan- 
uary 23d, 1866, at Cadiz, Ky., he was mar- 
ried to Miss Emma C. Mayes, daughter of 
Judge Matthew Mayes, one of the foremost 
lawyers of Kentucky. Of this union one 
child has been born, Miss Mayes. Dr. 
Bacon is a member of the Methodist church, 
and Mrs. Bacon of the Christian church. 

Edward Linthicum, M. D., one of the 
leading physicians of Evansville, was born 
at Rumsey, Ky., May 3d, 1846, the 
son of Rufus and Sarah (Hicks) Linthi- 
cum. The father was a physician of repute, 
and had been a student under that eminent 
practitioner, Dr. Dudley, of Lexington, Ky. 
but he died in 1S63, Edward's mother having 
passed away two years previous. The 
home of the family at the time of the death 
of the parents was in Henderson countv, 
Ky., and at Henderson, the education 
of the son Edward was obtained. The lat- 
ter began the study of medicine during the 
ife of his father, in the office, and afterward, 
in 1865, he entered the Ohio Medical Col- 



lege. In the winter of 1866-7, he matricu- 
ated at the Long Island College Hospital, 
and graduated from that institution. His 
beginnings in the practice of his profession 
were in Kentucky, where he remained three 
years, and then practiced one year at Rose- 
ville, Ark., after which he came to 
Evansville, in 1873. Here he has ever since 
remained, achieving signal success in the 
work of his profession, and winning a place 
in the front rank of the medical men of this 
region. Dr. Linthicum is a member of the 
American Medical Association, the Tri-state 
Medical Association, the Indiana State Medi- 
cal Association, and the societies of Vander- 
burgh county and the Mississippi valley. In 
1S75 he occupied the position of demonstra- 
tor of anatomy in the Evansville Medical 
College, and in 1876, was professor of urin- 
ary diseases and clinical surgery. The es- 
tablishment of the city hospital is in part due 
to the efforts of Dr. Linthicum who heartily 
joined in the movement. The doctor's fra- 
ternal connections are with Rainbow lodge, 
No. 67, I. O. O. F., of Kentucky, and St. 
George lodge, K. of P., Evansville. 
In 1885 Dr. Linthicum visited Europe, 
spending his time mainly at London, Vienna 
and Berlin. While in "Berlin war was de- 
clared between Servia and Bulgaria, and he 
offered his services as a surgeon to the Ser- 
vian army, and served in that capacity dur- 
ing the war. 

John T. Binkley, M. D., a prominent 
ph}-sician and surgeon, and member of the 
United States board of pension examiners 
was born in Davidson county, Tenn., on 
Stone river, near the city of Nashville, June 
15, 1829. He is the son of H. J. and N. M. 
(Gleaves) Binkley, natives of Tennessee, 
the father born in 1806 and the mother in 
1812. The death of his mother occurred in 
1844, that of his father in 1887. Dr. Bink- 
ley was educated in the public schools of his 

native state and at Tracy College, and be- 
gan the study of medicine when twenty-two 
years of age. In 1852-3 he attended the 
Pennsylvania Medical College at Philadel- 
phia, graduating therefrom and then spend- 
ing a year in the hospitals of that city. He 
commenced the practice of his profession in 
Stewart county, Tenn., in 1854, and in the 
following year removed to Trenton, in the 
western part of the same state. Here he 
remained but a short time, moving thence 
to the city of Nashville, where he remained 
until 1S58. In that year he located in 
Shawneetown, 111., and for some time was 
one of the most successful practitioners in 
that place. He came to Evansville in 1S84, 
and has since continuously practiced his pro- 
fession in this city, attaining a high standing 
among physicians and enjoying an extensive 
practice. In Tennessee, while at Nashville, 
Dr. Binkley was a member of the Davidson 
County Medical association, and, upon his 
removal to Shawneetown, became identified 
with the Medical Association of Southern 
Illinois. Here his prominence in the profes- 
sion was recognized by an appointment as 
examining surgeon for the United States 
pension office for Gallatin county. His con- 
tributions to medical literature have been 
considerable. A paper on " Gun-shot wounds 
of the brain," read to the Medical Associa- 
tion of Southern Illinois, was commented on 
favorably by eminent physicians, and was 
noticed by two European journals. Some 
other papers which attracted especial atten- 
tion were those on " Diseases of the sacro- 
iliac synchondrosis," " American hellebore 
(veratrum viride)," and "Medical electric- 
ity." In June, 18S5, he was made a member 
of the board of examining surgeons for the 
United States pension office at this place, 
and is now secretary of the board. Dr. 
Binkley has been married three times. His 
first wife, to whom he was married in April, 



1854, was Miss Eliza Ryan, a native of 
Robinson county, Tenn., born Jul}" 22, 1837, 
and daughter of Dr. T. J. Ryan, of Spring- 
field, Tenn. She died March 22, 1S70, leaving 
four children. His second marriage occurred 
November 8, 1S70, by which Miss Susan 
H. Rackerby, a native of Princeton, Ky., 
born September 17, 1S37, became his wife. 
Her death occurred July 14, 1S78. The 
doctor's present wife, to whom he was mar- 
ried November 12, 1878, was Miss Calantha 
Stubblefield, and was born at Sharpsburg, 
Md., June 12, 1836. 

T. E. Powell, M. D., is a native of Union 
count}', Ky., where he was born March 1, 
1848, the son of James and Jane (Leach) 
Powell. James Powell was a native of 
North Carolina, born about 1S09, and died 
in 1877. His wife, Jane Leach, was born 
in Tennessee, in 1813, and is now a resi- 
dent of Uniontown, Ky. To these parents 
nine children were born, Dr. Powell being 
the eighth, and of these five are now living. 
Dr. Powell was reared on the farm in Union 
county, attended the public schools of the 
neighborhood, and finished his literary edu- 
cation at Princeton College, Ky. He began 
the study of medicine in 1S72, at Union- 
town, Ky., and attended his first course of 
lectures in 1872-3, at the University of 
Louisville, where he graduated in 1S74. He 
then began practicing at Corydon, Hender- 
son county, Ky., where he remained until 
1876, when he located at Uniontown. There 
he practiced until 1884. Going to New 
York he pursued a post-graduate course of 
study in the medical college of that city, and 
obtained his degree in 18S5. He next lo- 
cated in Evansville, where he has continued 
in the practice of his profession ever since, 
meeting with success. Dr. Powell is a mem- 
ber of the Vanderburgh County Medical 
Society, Indiana State Medical Society, and 
of the American Medical Association. He 

is also a member of the K. and L. of H. and 
K. of P. fraternities. He was married in 
October, 1875, to Miss Mollie E. Dorsey, a 
native of Princeton, Ind., daughter of Wm. 
L. Dorsey, cashier of the People's National 
Bank of Princeton. Mrs. Powell died April 
6, 1885. 

Isaiah Wilton, M. D., police surgeon of 
Evansville, was born at New Albany, of 
American parents, September 27, 1846. 
His father was James Wilton, a native of 
Kentucky, born in Edmonson county, in 
November, 1814. He was one of the 
pioneers of Indiana, having come to Harri- 
son county while this state was a territory. 
His death occurred in Floyd county, in 1870. 
The mother is a native of Indiana, born in 
Harrison county, in January, 1S14. She is 
now a resident of Evansville, making her 
home with her son. Dr. Wilton was reared 
in Floyd county, Ind., and there attended 
the public schools. He began reading med- 
icine in 1877 in this city, where he had 
removed in 1870. He attended the Evans- 
ville Medical College during 1877-8, and 
in 1.882-3, attended the Hospital Medical 
College, from which he graduated in 1883. 
He then began practicing his profession in 
Evansville, and in July of the same year was 
appointed surgeon for the metropolitan 
police force of Evansville, and has filled 
that place up to the present. While read- 
ing medicine from 1870 until 1S77, he filled 
various official positions, including police- 
man, patrolman, and deputy city marshal. 
He was married in February, 1881, to 
Annie Frederick, who was born in Jennings 
county, Ind., in 1853, and is the daughter of 
Conrad and Elizabeth (Lewis) Frederick. 
To this union six children have been born — 
four daughters and two boys. The young- 
est son died July 23, 1S88, aged eight years. 

Rufus M. Corlew, M. D., was born in 
Montgomery county, Tenn., August 27, 



1S43, and is the son of William and Eliza 
(Pritchard) Corlew, both natives of Tennes- 
see. The father was born in 1810 and died 
in 1881. The mother was born about 1820, 
and is still a resident of Tennessee. To 
these parents four children, three sons and 
a daughter, were born, all of whom survive. 
Dr. Corlew was reared in Montgomery 
county, and educated in Nashville, Tenn. 
He began the study of medicine in his 
native county in i860, with Dr. B. W. Us- 
sery as a preceptor. He entered the Uni- 
versity of Nashville, Tenn., in 1865, and 
took a thorough course, graduating in 1S68, 
his term in college being at a time when the 
faculty was composed of such distinguished 
physicians as Drs. Paul Eve, Thomas R.Jen- 
nings, W. K. Boling, J. B. Lindsley, Joseph 
Jones, now of the University of New Orleans 
and William T. Briggs, now of Vander- 
bilt University, Nashville. After leaving 
college Dr. Corlew located on the Tennessee 
river in west Tennessee, where he practiced 
for three years, and then removed 
to Robertson county, Tenn., where he re- 
mained until 1S80, then locating in Evans- 
ville, Ind., where he has since resided de- 
voting his attention to the general practice 
of medicine and surgery. He is one of the 
consulting physicians of St. Mary's Hospital, 
and a member of the Vanderburgh Medical 
society. He was married in 1868, to Sally 
A. Batts, of Robinson county, Tenn., and to 
this union, three children have been born. 
Dr. Corlew is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, and is popular as a physician and 

J. L. Dow, M. D., of Evansville, was 
born at South Tamworth, Carroll county, 
N. H., in 1839, ar, d is die son of Eben and 
Harriet Newell (Mason) Dow, both natives 
of New Hampshire. Eben Dow was born 
in 1810, and died in 1859. His w '^ e was 
born in 1S13 and is still living. The Dow 

family came west in 1849, locating at Can- 
nelton, Perry county, Ind., where the father's 
death occurred. Dr. Dow was reared in 
Indiana, and his early education was secured 
in the public schools. Graduating from the 
Cannelton high school, he commenced the 
study of medicine. He came to Vander- 
burgh county in 1861, and continued his 
medical studies, at the same time teaching 
school. In 1865-66 he attended Miami 
Medical College at Cincinnati, Ohio, gradu- 
ating from that institution. He then began 
practicing medicine at St. Wendell's, Ind., 
where he resided and practiced for three 
years. At the end of this period he located 
at Fort Branch, Gibson county Ind., where he 
remained for ten years, within which time, 
in 1875-6, he again attended Miami College, 
spending the time in the hospital, however. 
On November 1, 1877, Dr. Dow located in 
Evansville, where he has since resided and 
practiced his profession. In October, 1883, 
he visited with his family in Washington 
city, where he remained until September, 
1884. Dr. Dow has filled the office of sec- 
retary of the Vanderburgh county board of 
health, which position he held for several 
months in 1SS7, and then resigned. He is a 
member of the Vanderburgh county, state, 
tri-state and national medical societies. He 
was married in 1867 to Miss Irene Graves, 
of Cincinnati, and to this union four child- 
ren were born, two of whom survive. His 
wife dying in 1873, the doctor was again 
married in 1S76 to Miss Lucie S. Wood- 
bury, of Massachusetts. Dr. Dow is a 
member of Reed Lodge, No. 316, Evans- 
ville Chapter No. 12, Simpson Council No. 
23 and La Vallette Commandery No. 15, F. 
and A. M. ; of Crescent Lodge No. 122, 
and Evansville Encampment No. 20, I. O. 
O. F. ; also of the grand lodge of the state 
in both orders. 

H. T. Dixon, M. D., was born in Ken- 



tucky, March 20, 1850, and is the son of C. 
C. and Isabella (Clay) Dixon, both natives 
of Kentucky. The father died in 1S84, and 
the mother is now residing in Henderson 
county. Dr. Dixon was reared in Hender- 
son county, Ky., on the farm, attended the 
public schools, and later took a special 
course of studies under Prof. Gibson, of this 
county. He began reading medicine in 
1869, with his brother, Dr. R. S. Dixon, of 
Posey county, Ind. He entered the Uni- 
versity of Louisville, Ky., in 1872, from 
which he graduated in 1S78, having taken 
three courses. He commenced the practice 
of his profession with his brother in Posey 
county, Ind., and later established himself in 
Union township, Vanderburgh county. After 
a time he removed to Henderson county, 
Ky., where he practiced until his removal to 
Evansville, Ind., in 18S4. He was married 
October 1, 1S78, to Miss Amelia Wilson, of 
Louisville, Ky., daughter of William Wilson, 
and to this union a son has been born. Dr. 
Dixon is a member of the McDowell Medical 
Society of Kentucky, of the Vanderburgh 
County and Indiana State Medical societies, 
and as a practitioner has been eminently 

William Alexander, M. D., physician 
and surgeon and druggist, at corner of Wa- 
bash and Pennsylvania streets, was born in 
Union county, Ky., November 27, 1855, and 
is the son of William and Augusta (Boetiger) 
Alexander. William Alexander, sr., was 
born in Ireland, and his wife in Germany. 
They emigrated to the United States about 
1850, and in 1856 located in Evansville. 
The mother died in 1879, and the father is 
at present engaged in merchandising on 
Franklin street in this city. Dr. Alexander was 
reared principally in Evansville. When about 
fifteen years of age he entered a drug store 
as clerk. He began reading medicine in 
1879, an d took his first course of lectures in 

1883, at the Evansville Medical College, and 
afterward attended the Evansville Hospital 
Medical College. He began practicing in 
1886 in Evansville, and in Ma)', 1888, engaged 
in retail drug business. Dr. Alexander was 
married in May, 1877, to Ellen McNamara, 
and to this union four children have been 
born, three of whom survive. 


The homeopathic school of medicine did 
not have a representative in the city of 
Evansville until about 1S52. In that year 
Dr. E. J. Ehrman, coming from York, Penn., 
became the pioneer homeopathist in this 
city. He possessed considerable medical 
ability, although not a graduate of any med- 
ical school ; he had quite an extensive following 
among the Germans, and was quite suc- 
cessful. He was followed in 1863 by Dr. 
Herr, a convert to homeopathy from the 
eclectic school, and a graduate of the Eclectic 
Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. 
Herr is still practicing and is regarded as a 
popular and successful physician. 

In 1866 Dr. Davis, a graduate of the 
Cleveland Homeopathic College, became a 
partner of Dr. Ehrman. After the advent 
of Drs. Herr and Davis homeopathy rapidly 
grew in favor with the best families, and it 
was not long before its advocates were pos- 
sessed of a lucrative business. Both Dr. 
Herr and Dr. Davis were able exponents of 
the Hahnemann system of medicine, and 
their success obliterated in a very large de- 
gree the prejudice existing against what 
some were pleased to term the " small pill " 
practice. Several homeopathists have 
come to Evansville at various times, but 
finding the field well occupied and the school 
ably represented, left for more desirable 
locations. The present practitioners are 
Drs. Herr, Davis, Taylor, Tyrrell and 




E. J. Ehrman, M. D., was born in Jax- 
thausen, Wurtemburg, German}', October 
29, 1819. He was educated in the common 
schools of his native land. In 1833, his 
father, Dr. Frederick Ehrman, who was 
well advanced in the science of medicine, 
and one of the first advocates of homeo- 
pathy in this country, emigrated from Ger- 
many and settled in Liverpool, Penn., where 
he died in 1S49. Dr. E.J. Ehrman was the 
youngest of five brothers, all of whom be- 
came homeopathic physicians. At the age 
of twenty he commenced the study of medi- 
cine in his father's office, continuing five 
years, and then beginning the practice at 
Liverpool, Penn. After several years of pro- 
fessional work he attended a full course of 
lectures at the Homeopathic Medical Col- 
lege of Pennsylvania, graduating therefrom 
in 1852. In the fall of the same year he 
came to Evansville, being the first advocate 
of the homeopathic school in this city. He 
struggled against grave prejudices and sev- 
eral years elapsed before he could lay any 
foundation for the new mode of treatment. 
After securing a few intelligent patients his 
practice began to increase and his reputation 
was enhanced by a skillful treatment of a vari- 
ety of cases incident to this climate. After 
ten years his practice had so extended itself 
that he was forced to have an assistant in 
order to attend the many patients desiring 
his services. From that time until his death, 
which occurred November 24, 1879, his 
practice was quite extensive and lucrative. 
He was county physician and medical at- 
tendant at the marine hospital and orphan 
asylum. His ability was conceded by the 
profession of all schools, and his man}' years 
of honorable conduct in the community as 
citizen and physician won him universal 
respect. Dr. Ehrman was married in 1845 

to Miss Elizabeth Churchill, a native of 
Switzerland, born in 1821. Of this union 
eight children were born, four of whom 
survive. Mrs. Ehrman is still a respected 
resident of this city. 

L. S. Herr, A. B., M. D., was born in 
Ashland county, Ohio, February 3, 1828. 
His father was John Herr, a native of Vir- 
ginia, and a descendant of the Herrs who 
emigrated from Holland and settled in Vir- 
ginia about the year 1700. From Virginia 
John Herr removed to Harrisburgh, Penn., 
thence to Ohio, and settled in Ashland 
county in 1827. He and his wife were 
killed by accident in 1829, by the falling of 
a tree, while on a visit to Pennsylvania. Be- 
ing thus bereft of his parents while a child, an 
elder brother took charge of L. S., and gave 
him a good common school education. He 
was an apt scholar, and made rapid prog- 
ress. Before his seventeenth year he had 
taught two terms in the public schools. He 
continued his studies while engaged as a 
teacher, and entering Wooster College, 
Ohio, graduated therefrom in 1848. Being 
then twenty years of age, he decided to take 
up the study of medicine, and make the 
practice of that profession his life's work. 
He began his studies with Dr. T. W. Samp- 
sel, of Ashland, Ohio, and then attended a 
full course of lectures at the Ohio Medical 
College, matriculating in the winter of 
1851-2. In 1854, he entered the Eclectic 
Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, and 
graduated from that institution in the follow- 
ing year. Locating at Peoria, 111., he began 
the discharge of his professional duties, and 
soon thereafter found himself in the posses- 
sion of an extensive practice. After three 
years he removed to the city of Mexico, 
and there successfully engaged in the work 
of his profession. Returning to the United 
States at the end of three years, he located 
in St. Louis, Mo., and in 1S60 removed 



thence to Quincy, 111. Up to 1862 he prac- 
ticed allopathic methods, but in that year he 
embraced the homeopathic system of prac- 
tice, and has since been a prominent advo- 
cate of that school. In 1863 he removed to 
Evansville, where he has since resided, suc- 
cessfully practicing his profession. During 
his residence here of a quarter of a century 
he has thoroughly established himself in 
public favor as a physician and citizen. 
Progressive and active, he has kept abreast 
of the times, and has always favored efforts 
intended to advance the general prosperity 
of the city. When he came here homeo- 
pathy was still struggling against strong 
prejudices, which, by his skill and ability, he 
did much to overcome. He is now, and for 
many years has been, one of the leading 
homeopathic physicians in this part of the 
state. He is a member of the Indiana State 
Homeopathic Medical Association. In 1858 
Dr. Herr was married to Miss Sophia, 
daughter of Dr. Christian Fetter, a distin- 
guished physician of Baltimore, Md. Mrs. 
Herr was born in Pennsylvania in 1834. To 
this union one son was born, in 1859, wh° 
died in infancy, living but nine months. 

Fielding Lewis Davis, M. D., was born 
near Boonville, Ind., December 16, 1831. 
His parents, Amos and Elizabeth (Cain) 
Davis were of Welsh and Irish extraction. 
The grandfather of Dr. Davis was a native 
of Wales, and came to this country some 
time before the revolution. But little is 
known of his history further than that on 
the breaking out of the war he joined the 
Continental army and served until its close. 
The early life of Dr. Davis was replete with 
struggles and sorrows. At the age of five 
his father died, and seven years later he met 
with that irreparable loss, the death of his 
mother, and was thus thrown upon his own 
resources. His boyhood was passed upon 
the farm, where the summer's work alter- 

nated with a term at the district school in 
winter. In this way he obtained the rudi- 
ments of an English education. At the age 
of sixteen he began teaching school. His 
savings were carefully husbanded, and for 
several years he attended school alter- 
nately as teacher and pupil. He paid 
especial attention to mechanics and civil 
engineering, and for a time followed sur- 
veying. In 1S55, he began the study of 
medicine, firmly resolved to make it his life's 
vocation. He completed his preparatory 
course under many difficulties and discour- 
agements, and in 1864 entered the Cleve- 
land Homeopathic Hospital College. A 
lack of means, however, prevented his grad- 
uation until 1869. His first location was 
Greencastle, Ind. Here he built up a suc- 
cessful practice, but not thinking the place 
a desirable one he came to Evansville in 
1866 and formed a copartnership with Dr. 
Ehrman, with whom he remained until 1877. 
At the time Dr. Davis came to Evansville, 
the general public knew but little of the 
principles of homeopathy, and whatever of 
popularity it has since obtained is due largely 
to his efforts in its advancement and his 
skill and success as a physician. Success 
attended his efforts almost from the outset, 
and despite opposition he was soon the pos- 
sessor of a lucrative practice and an enviable 
position as a citizen. He is a member of 
the American Institute of Homeopathy, the 
oldest national medical organization in the 
United States, the Indiana Institute of 
Homeopath}-, and the American Microscop- 
ical Association. In his religious and polit- 
ical affiliations he is a Methodist and a 
staunch republican. In 1855 the doctor was 
married to Miss Jane, daughter of Lewis 
Tavlor, one of the early settlers of this sec- 
tion of the state. 

Theodore H. Taylor, M. D., was born 
in Warrick county, Ind., September 24, 



1852, and is the son of Peter and Margaret 
(Perigo) Taylor, natives of Indiana. He 
was reared on a farm, and in 1876, gradu- 
ated from the State Normal School at Terre 
Haute. In 1SS0, he began the study of 
medicine under Dr. Johnson, of Dale, Ind., 
finishing, however, his preparatory course 
with Dr. Davis, of Evansville, Ind. He is a 
graduate of the Cleveland, Ohio, Homeo- 
pathic College, and became the partner of 
Dr. Davis, in 1882. He is one of the prom- 
inent young practitioners of the county, and 
has already attained an enviable position. 
He was married September 30, 1886, to 
Ella F., daughter of Dr. I. Haas, the well- 
known citizen and dentist of this place. 


Dr. Isaiah Haas, for nearly thirty years 
past a well-known citizen of Evansville and 
a leader in the practice of dentistry, was 
born at Newark, Ohio, February 22d, 1829. 
His father, Adam Haas, was a Virginian, 
born December 25, 1798, and in early man- 
hood moved to Newark, where he was mar- 
ried to Miss Christina Le Pert, of New 
York. From Newark he went to Delaware 
county, in the same state, and commenced 
merchandising. In 1S45 he removed to Wa- 
bash, the county seat of Wabash county, 
Ind., at which place he continued in business 
as a merchant until i860. Isaiah Haas re- 
ceived a fair education, such as could be ob- 
tained in the imperfect schools of that lo- 
cality and time; and when not at school' 
assisted his father in the store, as book- 
keeper and salesman. In 1849, when the 
Morse electric telegraph was being extended 
westwardly, an office was opened above the 
store of Adam Haas, and a teacher was sent 
to instruct a young lawyer of the place how 
to manipulate the (at that time) wonderful 
instrument. The pupil failing to compre- 
hend quickly and the instructor's time being 

limited, Isaiah was induced to undertake the 
work. His consent was reluctantly given 
because of his father's absence, who was 
then in New York city buying goods. In 
ten days thereafter he was able to receive 
and send communications, and for three or 
four years devoted his entire time to the 
electric telegraph. During this time Ezra 
Cornell, of Ithaca, N. Y., the founder of 
Cornell University, became lessee of nearly 
a thousand miles of telegraph line 
running in and through Ohio, Indiana, and 
Illinois. This great length of line with all 
its offices, men and material, was placed un- 
der the supervision of the young operator, 
with headquarters at La Fayette, Ind. His 
energetic, able, and successful management 
caused him to receive man)- flattering letters 
from Mr. Cornell. During this time he was 
married to Miss Adeline McIIenry, of Vin- 
cennes, who early fell a victim to consump- 
tion. Two children were born to them; but 
in three years, all were gone. Before leaving 
the telegraph his attention was attracted to 
the profession of dentistry, the study of 
which he commenced and prosecuted with 
vigor, having for his preceptors Prof. A. 
M. Moore, of La Fayette, Ind., and Prof, 
Samuel Wardle, of Cincinnati, Ohio, both 
eminent men in the profession. Prior to 
coming to Evansville, he spent some seven 
years in La Fayette, Ind. In 1S57 he was 
married to Miss Sarah K. McHenry, a sister 
of his first wife. Two years later while on 
his way south for the purpose of visiting 
friends, he was unexpectedly detained in this 
city for two days. Here he met old friends 
who insisted that he make this place his 
future home, setting forth the outcome of 
the city in such glowing terms that a few 
weeks later he became a permanent resident 
of Evansville. For seven years, besides his 
dental work, he assisted Dr. Bray in all his 
surgical operations, and from that time for. 



ward, he has given his undivided attention 
to the practice of his profession. His repu- 
tation and practice increased year by year 
until they were by no means confined by the 
limits of this city. He has won a remark- 
able success, attaining- prominence among 
the leading dentists in the state. For the 
good of the profession he has invented nu- 
merous articles, among them artificial palates 
and noses, but has refused to take out pat- 
ents to monopolize their use. His high ideal 
of his profession is equaled only by his 
achievements. He is the dental father of 
eighteen dentists, all reputable practitioners, 
who are scattered throughout the country 
from New York city to San Francisco. He 
served as lecturer on dentistry in the Evans- 
ville Medical College, when that institution 
was in existence. Dr. Haas has had a dis- 
tinguished career in Masonry — as master of 
Evansville Lodge, No. 64, F. and A. M., for 
seven years; as officer of the Grand Lodge 
of the state, one year; as district deputy 
master, four vears; and as lecturer of the 
district, four years. His . knowledge and 
able exposition of Masonic law and land- 
marks have distinguished him in the order. 
Dr. S. B. LEW r is, surgeon dentist, was 
born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., April 3, 
1846, and is the second of three children 
born to John F. and Mary E. (Brigham) 
Lewis. His parents were natives of New 
York, the father born in 1S16 and the mother 
in 1818. His father died in 187S and his 
mother is still living at Greenville, Ohio. 
About 1853 his parents removed from their 
native state to Clermont county, Ohio, and 
twelve years later settled at Greenville. 
John F. Lewis was a stock dealer and a 
prominent man in his locality throughout 
his long career. Dr. Lewis was reared in 
Clermont county, and received a fair educa- 
tion in the public schools. He was a mere 
lad when the civil war broke out, but before 

its termination he was in the ranks of the 
federal army as a soldier. He first enlisted 
in the hundred-da)' service at Greenville, 
Ohio, joining Company G, One Hundred 
and Fifty-second Regiment, O. N. G. At 
the end of his service with the state troops 
he enlisted, in 1S64, for one year in the One 
Hundred and Eighty-seventh Regiment Ohio 
Infantry Volunteers as regimental musician, 
and served faithfully until the expiration of 
his term of enlistment. After the war, re- 
turning to his father's home in Ohio, he be- 
gan the study of dentistry, in 1866, having 
for his preceptor his brother, Dr. Walter F. 
Lewis. Coming to Evansville, he continued 
his studies in the office of Dr. Isaiah Haas, 
the well-known practitioner, and completing 
his studies he returned, in 1868, to Green- 
ville, Ohio, where he entered upon the 
practice of his profession. Five years later 
he came back to this city and has since de- 
voted his undivided attention to dentistrv, 
his skillful and satisfactory work giving him 
a valuable reputation and an extensive prac- 
tice. During his fifteen years' residence in 
the city he has maintained a high standing 
as a citizen and has become prominently 
identified with the secret orders working 
here. He has attained high rank in the G. 
A. R. and Royal Arcanum, being at the 
present time grand orator in the latter. In 
the I. O. O. F. he has passed through the 
chairs and has done much to advance the 
interests of the order. In 1869 he was mar- 
ried to Miss Emma C. Dorman, of Green- 
ville, Ohio, and to them two children — a 
son and a daughter^have been born. 

Dr. Charles E. Pittman, surgeon den- 
tist and prominent young citizen of Evans- 
ville, was born February 17, 1854, in Posey 
county, Ind., and is the son of Robert K. 
and Parthenia (Ross) Pittman. His educa- 
tion was obtained in the public schools of 
this city, and in January, 1875, he began the 



study of dentistry under the direction of Dr. 
I. Haas. After a thorough course of study 
and practical training he entered upon the 
active work of his profession, and from the 
outset established himself firmly in public 
favor. His popularity and practice rapidly 
extended themselves because of his personal 
accomplishments and his conversance with 
the details of dentistry. At the present 
time he enjoys an extensive and lucrative 
business. His professional work is always 
of the highest order. His social achieve- 
ments have been no less gratifying. As a 
member of the K. of P. fraternity he has 
won an enviable distinction. He has passed 
through all the chairs in Orion Lodge, No. 
35; is a member of the Grand Lodge of 
Indiana, having served for two years as 
grand master at arms of that body; is now 
district deputy grand chancellor of Orion, 
St. George and Ben Hur lodges, and is a 
prominent member of Evansville Division, 
No. 4, M. R., K. of P. He is a typical 
knight, being an earnest worker, an ardent 
lover of the principles, familiar with the 
work in all its details and a perfect gentle- 
man. The doctor affiliates with the repub- 
lican party, and has taken a prominent part 
in organizing and drilling companies for a 
public parade. The histrionic talent pos- 
sessed by Dr. Pittman has contributed 
largely to public entertainment. As a mem- 
ber of the Ideal Opera company — whose 
presentations of the " Chimes of Normandy," 

the "Mikado," the "Grand Duchess," and 
the "Musketeers," have afforded delight to 
the music-loving portion of the populace — 
he has always plajed a prominent part, 
winning many laurels. November 16, 1SS1, 
Dr. Pittman was married to Miss Annie 
Knowles, daughter of Charles and Emily 
Knowles. Mrs. Pittman is a native of Van- 
derburgh county, and was born June 28, 

Dr. Emil Knapp, a well-known young 
dentist of Evansville, was born at New Al- 
bany, Ind., September 24, 1854, and is the 
son of Dr. Charles and Catherine (Tuer- 
kes) Knapp, deceased, both natives of Ger- 
many. He was reared in the town of his 
birth, and in Spencer and Warrick counties, 
Ind. His education was received in the 
public schools of the state, and at St. 
Meinrad's College, in Spencer county. 
He came to Evansville in 1874, an< ^ about a 
year later began the study of dentistry in 
Evansville in the office of Dr. S. B. Lewis, 
and remained with that gentleman nearly 
two years. He then took a course of lec- 
tures at the Ohio Dental College. Return- 
ing to Evansville, he began at once practicing, 
and has continued up to the present, meet- 
ing with success. He is now considered one 
of the leading dentists of Evansville. He 
was married May 25, 1S76, to Mary A. 
Ellis, daughter of Capt. August Ellis, of 
Evansville, Ind. To this union six children 
have been born, all of whom survive. 


Religious History — Walnut Street Church — First Avenue Presbyterian 
Church — Cumberland Presbyterian — Methodist Episcopal Churches — 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church — Baptist Churches — Catholic Churches — 
German Lutheran — German Evangelical — Church of Unity — Jewish 
Temples — Young Men's Christian Association — Cemeteries, Etc. 

'HE first church organization effected 
in Evansville was that now known 
as the Walnut Street Presbyterian 
church, which was constituted in 1821, by 
Rev. H. C. Banks, then pastor of the Pres- 
byterian church at Henderson, Ky. The 
following were the original members: 
Daniel Chute, James R. E. Goodlett, Will- 
iam Olmstead, Abigail Fairchild, Julia Ann 
Harrison, Rebecca Wood, Mrs. Chandler, 
Mr. Butler, Mrs. Smith, Eli Sherwood, 
Elizabeth Sherwood and Mar)' O. Warner. 
Daniel Chute and James R. E. Goodlett, 
were chosen as ruling elders. 

For more than ten years there was no 
church building in the town, and this con- 
gregation, as well as such others as were 
afterward organized, met in private houses; 
sometimes in an old log school-house on the 
lower side of Locust street, midwaj between 
First and Second; and occasionally in an old 
log house which now stands on the premises 
of Mr. William Dean. The old court-house 
on the south corner of Main and Third 
streets was a frequent place of meeting, 
when an occasional preacher visited or so- 
journed in the town. The court-house in 
those early days is described as " without 
floors — ' puncheon ' seats were placed on 
the bare ground; the fire in winter was 
against the wall in a poorly framed fire- 
place; the smoke too often to the great in- 
convenience of worshippers, choosing to find 

its way up through the entire space of the 
building, and out by numerous accommodat- 
ing chinks and crannies." 

In the year 1831, under the influence of 
Rev. Calvin Butler, who was at that time 
settled at Princeton, Ind., a movement be- 
gan to secure a house of worship. When 
the movement was fully started Mr. Butler 
changed his residence to Evansville, and 
under his ministry and personal supervision 
the work went forward. The citizens who 
took the lead in the enterprise were Messrs. 
John Shanklin, Judge William Olmstead, 
Luke Wood, Major Alanson Warner and 
Amos Clark,. Esq. 

The original subscription paper for the 
erection of the building is still in existence, 
among the church papers, and as an inter- 
esting scrap of the city's history a copy is 

" Original Subscription. — The under- 
signed, being desirous to have a Presbyte- 
rian Meeting House for Evansville and its 
vicinity, promise to pay the sums severally 
annexed to our names, to Trustees hereafter 
to be appointed by the subscribers. Said 
house to be 30 by 50 feet, of brick, with 
walls 18 feet in height, to have 8 windows, 
with forty lights in each, of glass 10 by 12, 
with two doors, and a floor jointed, not 
planed, and a good roof: John Shanklin, 
$100; A. Warner, $50; N. Rowley, $20; 
Calvin Butler, $75; Luke Wood, $25 cash, 



labor, $50, $75; Wm. Olmstead, $25 cash, 
labor, $25, $50; Amos Clark, $50; David 
Negley, $25; James Lewis, $25; John 
Mitchell, $25; E. Hull, in labor, $5; Chas. 
Fullerton, $5; Silas Stephens, in saddlery, 
$25; Julius Harrison, $5; Richard Brown- 
ing, $10; Alexander Johnson, $10; Marcus 
Sherwood, $10; Archeppus Gillett, $10; 
Daniel Tool, in tailoring $5; John W. 
Duncan, in leather or cash, $20; Robert 
Barnes, $10; John W. Lilliston, $3; 
John Ingle, $10; Levi Price, in labor, $10; 
M. D. Robertson, $2.50." 

In pursuance of the foregoing subscrip- 
tions, trustees were elected, of which the 
following is a copy of the official record: 

"At a meeting of the subscribers for build- 
ing a Presbyterian Meeting House, in the 
town of Evansville, at the house of Alanson 
Warner, on the 23d of April, 1831, for the 
purpose of electing Trustees, in pursuance 
of the subscription, at which meeting David 
Negley was elected Chairman and James 
Lewis, Secretary, the following persons cho- 
sen Trustees: Amos Clark, Alanson Warner, 
Wm. Olmstead. 

" David Negley, Chairman, 

"James Lewis, Secretary." 

To complete the house, however, it was 
found necessary to send Rev. Mr. Butler, 
the pastor, to the eastern states to solicit 
aid, and with the contributions obtained the 
trustees were enabled to complete the 
church in 1S32. It was located on the 
ground where the Courier office now stands 
on a considerable elevation known as " the 
hill." The entire cost of the building did 
not exceed $1,300, and yet it was regarded 
at the time as a great advance in town arch- 
itecture. As descriptive of the building 
when completed, the following extract is 
made from the sermon of Rev. W. H. 
McCarer, preached on the occasion of the 
last religious service before destroying the 

building, February 26, 1S60, preparatory to 
the erection of the edifice now occupied by 
the congregation: "The first set of seats 
were plain pine benches, without backs; a 
slight elevation upon which was placed a 
second-hand dry goods box, covered with 
green book-muslin or baize, was ' the desk ' 
from which the minister gave forth the 
Word of Life. Subsequently, and to keep 
up with the times, benches with backs were 
introduced; and an oblong pulpit of plain 
panel work painted white, which enclosed 
the preacher so completely that when he sat 
down he could scarcely be seen by the aud- 
ience, and when he rose to preach, it was as 
if from a strong frontier block-house he 
sent forth Gospel missiles." This building 
for many years was the only public house 
of worship in Evansville. It was several 
times refitted and once enlarged before its 
sale in 1859. 

The first regular pastor was the Rev. 
Calvin Butler, who remained with the church 
until 1834, when he removed to Washington, 
Ind. After this the church for some time 
enjoyed the ministry of Rev. Mr. McAfee, 
who was at that time laboring in the Pres- 
byterian church at Henderson. 

In the year 1S37 Rev. Jeremiah R. Barnes 
took up his residence permanently in the 
place and was invited to become pastor of 
the church. During this year occurred the 
division of the Presbyterian denomination 
into the " Old School " and " New School." 
The Evansville church became a part of the 
" New School " body, transferring its con- 
nection from the presbyter}- of Vincennes to 
the presbytery of Salem, and so remained 
until the union of 1870 made the denomin- 
ation one again. Mr. Barnes was installed 
as pastor of the church November 25, 1838. 
He continued his ministry until the autumn 
of 1S45. 

In the spring of 1846 Rev. «Samuel K, 


cm, s&S A& 



Sneed began his ministry to the church, and 
continued his labors until February, 184S. 

On the first Sabbath of April, in the same 
year, Rev. Charles E. Lord became a tem- 
porary supply for the church, and continued 
for one year. During his ministry the church 
building underwent considerable repairs. 
The whole interior was changed. External 
changes were also made, including the addi- 
tion of a belfry and bell. 

On the 28th of October, 1849, Rev. Will- 
iam H. McCarer began his ministry as pas- 
tor, and continued his labors in this capacity 
until April, 1868 — a period of more than 
eighteen years. Mr. McCarer's pastorate 
was the longest, and in man}- respects the 
most eventful in the history of the church. 
When he came to the church it consisted of 
about thirty members. During his 
ministry 272 members were added. 
The church enjoyed several seasons 
of marked religious awakening during these 
years. Growing up with the city and being 
identified with its people in every good work, 
not only as pastor of this church, but also 
afterward in the First Avenue church, his 
name became a household word in very many 
homes outside of his own church and all 
churches where his ministry was felt and his 
consolations enjoyed in the time of trouble 
His memory is cherished by all who knew 
him, as a good citizen and faithful minister of 
the gospel of Christ. During his ministry, 
and very largely under the inspiration of his 
faithful and untiring labors, the present 
church edifice was erected. The foundations 
were laid in the year 1859. The basement 
of the church w-as first occupied in February, 
1861. There the services were held for two 
years. The completed church was formally 
dedicated on the first Sabbath of February, 
1863, Rev. Dr. Tuttle, president of Wabash 
College, preaching the sermon. This edifice, 
at the corner of Walnut and Second streets, 

was designed by J. D. Bulton, of Philadel- 
phia, and is built in the Norman style of 
architecture, being characterized by great 
size, elevation, simplicity and strength, with 
the use of the semi-circular arch, massive col- 
umns, and a great variety of ornaments, and 
crowned with two spiral towers. The value 
of the structure was probably $60,000, and 
for general attractiveness, convenience of ar- 
rangements and neatness of finish, is very 
noteworthy. It is 125XS0 feet large, and the 
auditorium 65x100 feet, and will seat 1,050 

In this connection it may be proper to 
mention the fact that the church has a most 
beautiful and commodious parsonage prop- 
ert}'. For this the congregation is indebted 
to the generosity of Mr. James L. Orr and 
his sister, Mrs. Martha J. Bayard, who 
erected the parsonage as a memorial to their 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Orr — two of 
the beloved and honored dead who were so 
long identified with the church. Nearly ten 
thousand dollars worth of property was thus 
transferred to the ownership of the church 
as a perpetual contribution to the cause of 
Christ and the good of the community. Rev. 
J. P. E. Kumler, D. D., succeeded Mr. 
McCarer in the pastorate, commencing his 
ministry to the church July 5, 1868. His 
pastorate continued for three years, when he 
was called to the First Presbyterian church 
of Indianapolis. The church was greatly 
prospered under his ministry. One hundred 
and fifty-eight were added to the member- 
ship, and much was done in a systematic 
way for various forms of mission work at 
home and abroad. After the resignation of 
Dr. Kumler, Rev. Alexander Sterritt sup- 
plied the pulpit for some months. In July, 
1872, a call was extended Rev. Samuel Car- 
lisle, who commenced his labors with the 
church in the autumn of the same year. 
Mr. Carlisle's pastorate continued until 


July, 1875. He was succceeded by Rev. 
Charles H. Foote, D. D., who began his 
services in November, 1876, and continued 
as pastor until September, 1878. After the 
resignation of Dr. Foote, Rev. J. Q. Adams 
was invited to become the stated supply of 
the church, and in October, 1879, was regu- 
larly called to the pastorate. His ministry 
with the church continued until September, 
1881, when he tendered his resignation, and 
accepted a call to labor in California. After 
the departure of Mr. Adams, Rev. S. M. 
Dodge was invited to supply the pulpit, and 
began his connection with the church De- 
cember 25th, 1S81. In March, 1883, Mr. 
Dodge was called to the pastorate, but was 
never formally installed. He closed his 
ministry to the church in September, 1883, 
and, like his predecessor, entered a field of 
labor in the state of California. On De- 
cember 23, 1883, a call was extended to 
Rev. L. M. Gilleland, who entered on his 
work February 10, 1884, was formally in- 
stalled May 18, and has continued as pastor 
of the church until the present time. The 
fruits of success have attended his labors. 
The membership now numbers 300, and the 
church is in a very prosperous condition. 
The Sunday-school is in a flourishing condi- 
tion; Mr. James L. Orr is its superintend- 
ent. Its membership, including that of a 
mission Sunday-school on Columbia street, 
is 350. During the summer of 1886 the 
church was extensively repaired and im- 

Rev. Leland M. Gilleland was born in 
Butler county, Pa., June 7, 1S43. Having 
graduated from Washington and Jefferson 
college, at Cannonsburg, Penn., in 186S, he 
entered the same year the theological sem- 
inary at Chicago, where he spent three 
years, graduating in 187 1. In 1870 he was 
licensed to preach, and immediately upon 
leaving the seminary accepted a call to the 

church of White Pigeon, Mich., where he 
was ordained and installed in April, 18*71. 
In August, 1877, he accepted a call to the 
church of Tidioute, Penn., where he remained 
until January, 1884, when he entered upon 
his pastoral work at the church whose his- 
tory is here recorded. In addition to his 
other labors, Mr. Gilleland has always taken 
special interest in educational matters, and 
for a time taught Latin and Greek in the 
high school of Tidioute, delivering also, at 
stated intervals, to the school a course of 
lectures upon special subjects. At present 
he is a member of the board of trustees of 
Hanover College, Hanover, Ind., one of the 
leading educational institutions of the state. 
During the summer of 1881 he spent sev- 
eral months in foreign travel, and his popu- 
lar lectures upon subjects suggested by his 
travels, have been received with great favor 
and appreciative interest. He has always 
been a tireless worker, a zealous preacher, 
full of life and enthusiasm, and withal a ten- 
der pastor and a prudent man of affairs. 

Grace Presbyterian Church. — In the year 
1837, the Presbyterian church in the United 
States of America separated into two dis- 
tinct ecclesiastical bodies, known as the Old 
School and New School Presbyterian 
churches. The division was happily healed 
by the organic reunion of the two branches 
in 1869. As an incidental result of the gen- 
eral division, the church in this city was 
divided; the majority, composing the Wal- 
nut Street Presbyterian church, adhering to 
the new school assembly, while the minority 
instituted the Vine Street Presbyterian 
church, in connection with the old school 
assembly. While these two churches have 
since maintained their distinct existence, 
their denominational separation ceased in the 
reunion of the two assemblies when both 
came under the same ecclesiastical control. 
Grace church was organized under the cor- 


porate name of "Evansville Presbyterian 
church," in 1838, by Rev. Hugh H. Patten, 
of the presbytery of Vincennes, to which 
presbytery the church adhered after the di- 
vision of 1837. The original members were 
six: B. F. Dupuy, Mrs. Mary G. Dupuy, 
Miss Augusta Dupuy, Miss Julia Dupuy, 
Boyd Bullock and Mrs. Anne Bullock. 
B. F. Dupuy and Boyd Bullock were or- 
dained and installed elders. The first meet- 
ings were held in the court-house at the 
corner of Third and Main streets. The first 
pastor of the church was Rev. J. V. Dodge, 
who was ordained and installed June 6, 
1S41. It is a pleasing reminiscence of those 
early days that the ordination took place in 
St. Paul's Episcopal church, which was 
kindly tendered for the occasion. Mr. Dodge 
continued as pastor till 1850, the church 
enjoying two precious revivals under his 
ministry, as a result of which large num- 
bers were added to its memberships, and 
at the conclusion of his pastorate 120 
names were on the roll. He is still 
an habitual worshipper with the congre- 
gation and has always contributed to the 
welfare of the church by his valued counsel 
and cordial co-operation in every good work. 
Upon his resignation of the pastorate in 
1850, he was succeeded by Rev. J. N. 
Saunders, who, owing to ill health, held the 
charge for only one year. The next pastor 
was Rev. Alexander Sterret, who was in- 
stalled in 185 1, and continued till September 
14, 1865, a pastorate fruitful of much good, 
and precious to the memory of many who 
still remain. Rev. C. B. H. Martin was in- 
stalled as pastor May 1, 1866, and was re- 
leased from the pastoral charge in the fall 
of 1 88 1. Dr. Martin was one of the most 
intellectual, scholarly and eloquent men in 
this part of the state, and during his lifteen 
years of service in this field, did much good 
in the upbuilding of the church. In the 

summer of 1882, Rev. James L. McNair 
was installed as pastor and continued in that 
relation till September, 1887. Mr. McNair 
was a faithful and efficient worker; during 
his pastorate the pleasant and commodious 
parsonage was erected, costing $7,051.00, 
and 133 names were added to the church 
roll, seventy-five of them on profession of 
faith. Rev. Edward F. Walker, the pres- 
ent pastor, was chosen December 21, 1887, 
and installed April 22, 1888. 

This distinguished clergyman was born at 
Steubenville, Ohio, January 20, 1852. His 
father, Benjamin F. Walker, a native of 
Pennsylvania, was a California pioneer, and 
served two years as a soldier in the First 
California Volunteer Infantry, being honor- 
ably discharged at Santa Fe in 1864. He 
died at San Francisco in 1876 at the age of 
forty-eight. His wife, Elizabeth J. Tread- 
way, died in Ohio three years previous, at 
the age of forty-five. The son Edward 
lived on the Pacific coast from 1864 to 1S81, 
and was married at Santa Cruz, Cal., April 
7, 1875, to Miss Eliza A. Bennett, a native 
of Wisconsin. Their union has given to 
them six children, of whom the eldest, 
Francis A., died at the age of seven years. 
The names of those living are: Edith, Ed- 
ward B., Mabel, Bertha B. and John P. Mr. 
Walker began life as a printer, serving his 
apprenticeship at Stockton, Cal., and then 
working as a journeyman for two years. 
He received his education at the University 
of the Pacific at San Jose, and pursued pri- 
vately his studies for the ministry. He was 
ordained by the presbytery of San Fran- 
cisco, September 7, 1879, anc ^ tnen ms min- 
isterial service began with the pastorate of 
the Third Congregational church at San 
Francisco for one year, followed by that of 
the First Presbyterian church, Virginia 
City, Nev., for one year. Then he came 
east, and after two years' attendance upon 



the Western Theological Seminar}-, during- 
which time he was pastor of Glenfield and 
Long Island churches, he became pastor of 
the First Presbyterian Church of Martin's 
Ferry, Ohio, from 1884 to 1888, and thence 
was called to Evansville. Since his ordi- 
nation, he has received at least four hundred 
members into the church, one hundred of 
whom were received the year before he 
came to this city. He is an eloquent and 
forcible speaker, and a devoted worker in 
the sacred cause to which he has devoted 
his life. 

The first house of worship owned and 
occupied by the church was erected in 1843 
at a cost of $2,108, at the corner of Vine 
and Second streets, and, because of its loca- 
tion, became popularly known as Vine Street 
church. During the long and fruitful min- 
istry of Rev. C. B. H. Martin, the present 
church edifice was built at a cost, including 
the lot, of $65,023, and dedicated Septem- 
ber 13, 1S74. Its style of architecture is 
the castellated Gothic, its symmetrical pro- 
portions combining strength and beauty. 
Its interior is finished and furnished in the 
highest style of modern art; and the audi- 
torium has a seating capacity for 700 per- 
sons. The church building was erected 
and dedicated without the incurrence of a 
debt. Its architect was Robert Boyd; the 
building committee was composed of the 
following gentlemen : W. E. French, N. M. 
Goodlet, L. Ruffner, jr., S. M. Archer, C. 
Preston, and W. G. Brown. In the same 
year, 1874, t ' le name °£ tne organization 
was changed to " Grace Presbyterian 
church." During the past year there has 
been constructed a beautiful and convenient 
lecture room, at a cost of about $17,000, 
the munificent gift of Mrs. Caroline S. 
Mackey — in memory of her parents, Judge 
John and Sarah Law. The church is in a 
very properous condition, its membership 

now numbering 250. Its Sunday-school, 
with Mr. R. M. Millican as superintendent, 
has a membership of 150. At the present 
time its ruling elders are : Samuel M. Archer, 
clerk; William G. Brown, William D. 
Ewing, ErastusP. Huston, James T.Walker. 
First Ave 11 11c Presbyterian Church. — The 
Second Avenue Presbyterian church was 
organized in December, 1872, with a mem- 
bership of twenty-five, with Loring G. 
Johnson as elder. June 1, 1873, John Sava- 
cool and Otto F. Jacobi were also made 
elders, and John B. Williams was made a 
deacon. The Second Avenue church was 
dissolved November 10, 1875, forty-six 
members withdrawing for the purpose of 
forming a new church to be called the First 
Avenue Presbyterian church, which was or- 
ganized November 11, 1S75, with Rev. W. 
H. McCarer as pastor; Otto F. Jacobi, W. 
H. Wood, and R. L. Brown, elders; J. B. 
Williams, W. J. Harvey, and W. Z. Smith, 
deacons; O. F. Jacobi, Jacob Weintz, Nick 
Elles, John Greek, and W. J. Harvey, trus- 
tees. Immediately upon the organization of 
the new church steps were inaugurated for 
the building of a suitable house of worship. 
The work was rapidly pushed forward, and 
on April 2, 1876, the new building was 
dedicated to the service of God with appro- 
priate exercises conducted by Rev. W. H. 
McCarer. At that time the membership of 
the church was fifty-seven; about four years 
passed before it reached a hundred. That 
God has blessed and prospered it is shown 
by the fact that it now numbers 300. In the 
old church Rev. V. B. Van Arsdale was 
pastor until 1S74, when Rev. W. H. Mc- 
Carer was installed. From that time until 
his death, in February, 1880, he served the 
congregation faithfully and with great devo- 
tion. His was a remarkable career. For 
nineteen years he was the pastor of the 
Walnut Street Presbyterian church, and fo r 



six years pastor of the new charge. His 
character was full of loveliness and his life 
full of good works. His successors have 
been Rev. H. A. Dodge, Rev. Hutchinson, 
Rev. Linn, Rev. David Van Dyke, and Rev. 
Joseph S. Grimes, D. D., the present pastor. 
Dr. Grimes is an able, earnest and eloquent 
preacher. The Sabbath school has nearly 
200 members; William Lambert is superin- 
tendent. The present trustees of the church 
are: William A. Heilman, jr., John Jordon, 
O. F. Jacobi, Jacob Weintz, William New- 
man, W. J. Harvey, and G. E. King. 

Cumberland Presbyterian Church. — The 
religious denomination known as the Cum- 
berland Presbyterian church was organized 
in Dixon county, Tenn., in 1810, with three 
members. So popular were its doctrines, 
that the number rapidly increased, and many 
missionaries were sent out in various direc- 
tions, particularly in the south and south- 
west. As earl) r as 1817 "circuit riders" 
crossed the Ohio, and held camp meetings 
in various portions of southern Indiana. 
Many converts were made, and a large por- 
tion of them associated themselves with the 
new organization. Among the sturdy 
pioneer preachers of this church who are 
still held in precious remembrance by many 
of the people of Evansville and vicinity are: 
David Lowry, William Lynn, James 
Ritchey, Hiram A. Hunter and William 
McLeskey. The congregation of Cumber- 
land Presbyterians as it now exists in Evans- 
ville was formally organized bv Rev. William 
Lynn, with twenty members, in a log school- 
house in Knight township, January 31, 1841. 
The brief covenant under which they asso- 
ciated themselves together was as follows : 
" In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and 
by the authority which He has given His 
church, we, the undersigned, do, for each 
other's mutual help and comfort, agree to 
form ourselves into a society to be kno'wn 

by the name of the Evansville Society, and 
place ourselves under the care of the Indi- 
ana Presbytery, and agree to be governed 
by the discipline of the Cumberland Pres- 
byterian church." On the same day Will- 
iam Underwood, Stephen D. Hopkins and 
John C. Henson were elected elders, and 
Isaac Knight was elected deacon. Mr. 
Henson acted as clerk of the session for 
over twenty years. As the number of 
members residing in Evansville gradually 
increased, the thought of erecting a house of 
worship in the city began to be seriously 
considered. At length, in 185 1, a suitable 
edifice was erected at the corner of Second 
and Chestnut streets, where the Owen 
block now stands. This work was accom- 
plished principally by a few men and wo- 
men, who, though without great wealth, 
were too deeply interested in the work to ad- 
mit of failure. Among them were: Mr. 
and Mrs. John C. Henson, Mr. and Mrs. 
Marcus Sherwood, Mrs. Judge Foster and 
Mrs. Paulina McCallister. A few years 
after its completion, the church was almost 
totally destroyed by fire, but it was at once 
rebuilt. During the first five years of its 
history there was no regular pastor, but the 
congregation was served by missionaries or 
pastors from other churches, among whom 
were: Revs. William Lynn, H. A. Hunter, 
Benjamin Hall, E. Hall, and J. E. Bates. In 
1846, Rev. Samuel Darr commenced preach- 
ing with a view to regular pastoral labor. 
In 1852, after the erection of the first church 
building, Rev. James Ritchey was installed 
as pastor. He was followed by Rev. J. S. 
Jacobs in 1855, who remained but a short 
time. In 1858, Rev. Aaron Burrows was 
called to the pastorate. At the breaking 
out of the war Mr. Burrows entered the con- 
federate army, and was killed in battle. 
Rev. J. G. White became pastor July 17, 
i860, and was succeeded July 17, 1865, by 



Rev. J. C. Bowden, D. D., who resigned 
July 24, 1870, to assume the presidency of 
Lincoln University in Illinois. Dr. Bowden 
was a popular minister, one of the best of 
men, a cultured scholar and a true Chris- 
tian. He died in April, 1873. 

On January 1, 1S71, Rev. W. J. Darby, 
D. D., was elected to the pastorate, and a 
few weeks later assumed its duties. To the 
present time Dr. Darby continues to serve 
in that relation, and from the beginning of 
his work has wielded a large influence for 
good, reaching far beyond the circles of his 
own church. Tireless in every good and 
benevolent undertaking, ready and willing 
always to engage in any effort designed to 
uplift and elevate the community, zealous 
and progressive, he has stamped his indi- 
viduality, not only upon the congregation 
in his charge, but also upon the community 
in which he lives. Of clear intellect, pleas- 
ing manners, superior tact, and executive 
ability, and indefatigable in church work, he 
has been eminently successful. Dr. Darby, 
a native of Kentucky, received his primary 
education at Princeton, in that state, entered 
the University of Michigan in 1866, and 
graduated in 1869. Three years later the 
degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon 
him by the same institution. In January, 
1 87 1, he graduated from the theological 
department of Cumberland University, at 
Lebanon, Tenn., and soon thereafter came 
to this field of labor. 

The rapid growth of the congregation 
rendered the old church wholly inadequate, 
and in 1876 a new edifice, handsome in ap- 
pearance and commodious in its dimensions, 
was erected opposite the old church on the 
northeast corner of Second and Chestnut 
streets. Its dedication occurred September 
30, 1877. It is built of brick in the modern 
Gothic style of architecture, with a main 
auditorium 61x75 feet in size, with a seating 

capacity for 700, pastor's study, parlors, etc. 
The property cost $50,000.00, of which 
amount Mr. Marcus Sherwood contributed 
$12,000.00. The church membership has 
constantly increased for many years, 
especially during the administration of Dr. 
Darby, there being now, in round numbers, 
600 members, with thirty officers. The 
church has done a large amount of evangel- 
istic and benevolent work. The headquar- 
ters of two of the general benevolent 
enterprises of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
denomination are located in Evansville — the 
board of directors of each being made up 
from the officers or members of this congre- 
gation. The}' are the woman's board of 
foreign missions and the board of relief for 
disabled ministers and the widows and 
orphans of deceased ministers. Each re- 
ceives and distributes many thousands of 
dollars every year. The present trustees 
are: William Hacker, S. B. Sansom, E. L. 
Cody, Charles S. Fendrick and Alvah John- 

In 1874 a mission Sunday-school was or- 
ganized in the upper portion of the city and 
for its accommodation a neat brick chapel 
was erected a few months later at a cost of 
$4,000. This mission has grown into a 
church, now called the Jefferson Avenue 
Cumberland Presbyterian church. On June 
1st, 1888, Rev. J. H. Miller was employed 
as assistant to Dr. Darby, his field of labor 
being chiefly connected with the Jefferson 
Avenue and Hebron (in Knight township) 
churches. Mr. Miller is now pastor of these 
charges. Large flourishing Sabbath schools 
are connected with the churches. That at the 
parent church has an average attendance of 
375, and is superintended by Dr. J. C. Mc- 
Clurkin; that at Jefferson Avenue church 
has an average attendance of 150, with Mr. 
J. H. Barrows as superintendent. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — The history 



of Methodism in what is now Vanderburgh 
county antedates the history of Evansville 
The first settlers had hardly raised their rude 
log cabins within the present boundaries of 
the county before the itinerant preachers be- 
gan to push their way into the wilderness 
and preach the word of God wherever a 
handful of men and women could be brought 
together. As early as 1811 the Patoka cir- 
cuit was formed embracing the whole 
country of the Wabash valley below Vin- 
cennes, and extending along the Ohio river 
nearly to the falls of the Ohio at Louisville. 
This circuit was in the Wabash district and 
western conference. The preachers appointed 
to the circuit visited this neighborhood, in 
their regular rounds, for thirteen or fourteen 
years before the permanent organization of 
a society was effected. The first rider of the 
circuit was Rev. Benjamin Edge, and the 
first presiding elder Rev. James Axley. The 
succeeding pioneer preachers were: Revs. 
John Smith, 1812, with the eccentric and en- 
ergetic Peter Cartwright as presiding elder; 
James Porter, 1813; John Scripps, 1814; 
Thomas A. King, 1815; Daniel Mc Henry 
and Thomas Davis, 1816; Thomas Davis, 
181 7; John Wallace and Daniel McHeniy, 
i8i8;John Wallace, i8io;Elias Stone, 1820; 
James L. Thompson, 1821; Ebenezer 
Z. Webster, 1822; William Medford, 1823; 
William H. Smith and George Randall, 
1824. The names of some of these early 
preachers became household words in the 
Christian homes of the new country. Burn- 
ing with zeal, the}' allowed no barrier to keep 
them from their work. In severe weather 
and at all times they braved every hardship, 
and traveled hundreds of miles on foot 
through the then wilderness, preaching the 
word and calling sinners to repentance. The 
organization of classes was everywhere 
vigorously prosecuted. In the cabins of the 
settlers, or in the open woods in all the settle- 

ments, preaching was held as frequently as 
possible and converts as well as those who 
had brought Methodism with them in their 
hearts from their old homes were brough 
together in classes. But there is no reliable 
evidence of the formation of a class int 
Vanderburgh county prior to that organized 
in Evansville in 1825. The year 1819 wit- 
nessed the settlement in southwestern Indiana 
of man)- men of intelligence and great 
moral worth. Many of these were Method- 
ists who came from across the sea to build new 
homes for themselves and their descendants 
in this land of liberty. Perhaps none were 
more closely identified with the firm establish- 
ment of Methodism in Evansville than Rob- 
ert Parrett and Joseph Wheeler, both pio- 
neer local ministers who did much in their 
day and generation to advance the cause of 
morals, education and religion in southern 

Robert Parrett was born in England Feb- 
ruary 14, I79 1 - His early education and 
training were of a character suitable for his 
acceptance, at a proper age, of a living 
under the church of England. But his 
reading and associations inclined him to ac- 
cept the teachings and religious views ad- 
vanced by John Wesley. About the year 
1816 the family of Mr. Parrett emigrated to 
the United States, and here, in a new coun- 
try, his liberal views became more firmly 
fixed and resulted in his active participation 
in the advancement of the tenets of the 
Methodist faith. In 1819 he located in 
Posey county and spent the years of his 
early manhood in the business of farming. 
At the same time he put himself in com- 
munication with the pioneer Methodists of 
the day and contributed his full share 
toward the establishment of that branch of 
the Christian church in southwestern In- 

In the same year the Rev. Joseph Wheeler 



and an elder brother, the Rev. Richard 
Wheeler, both men of education and refine- 
ment and devoted to the propagation of the 
doctrines of Methodism, hadreached Evans- 
ville from England and taken up their resi- 
dence in the blue grass settlement in the 
northern part of the county. These three 
men were brought together through the in- 
strumentality of the Rev. John Schrader, 
who had begun to preach within the Patoka 
circuit in 1S14. 

In the double log warehouse of Hugh Mc- 
Gary, on Saturday, December 12, 1819, the 
first Methodist sermon in Evansville of which 
any account can be found, was preached by the 
Rev. John Schrader, the services being at- 
tended by Revs. Robert Parrett and Joseph 
Wheeler. It has been said by one having an ex- 
tensive acquaintance with pioneer preachers 
that " No name will ever possess a loftier, 
purer and sweeter ring among the descendants 
of the early pioneers than that of John 
Shrader." Evansville had already been 
fixed as a point in the Patoka circuit for 
stated preaching of the gospel, and had 
been taxed 56% cents per quarter for the 
support of the ministry. At the first Meth- 
odist meeting held in McGary's warehouse 
it was arranged that the Rev. Robert Par- 
rett and the two Wheeler brothers should 
conduct religious services regularly at that 
place, each of them once every six weeks, 
and the appointments were so arranged 
that there was divine service at that ware- 
house every other Sunday, besides an occa- 
sional extra sermon by the circuit rider. 

Thus matters continued until the spring 
of 1 82 1, when the few Methodists in Evans- 
ville obtained permission from Dr. John W. 
Shaw to use the front room of his new resi- 
dence, then in process of erection, as a place 
of worship. The building was weather- 
boarded and lathed, but not plastered. This 
house stood on the present site of the Chand- 

ler block on First street between Locust 
and Walnut. The Shaw mansion continued 
to be occupied by the Methodists as their 
place of worship until the early part of 1824, 
when the congregation obtained use of a 
large room adjoining the Warner tavern, 
where the meetings were continued for the 
next three years. 

It occupied the space next to the opera- 
house near the corner of First and Locust 
streets, and was called the " den," for here 
the fast young men of the village congre- 
gated to play cards and drink, but the clever 
tavern-keeper, when it was time for the 
preacher to come around, had it vacated, 
swept and cleaned. Thus side by side, from 
the same vantage ground, vice and virtue 
began the struggle for the mastery in this 

In the spring of 1825 Mr. Parrett took up 
his permanent residence in Evansville, and 
continued to reside in Vanderburgh county 
until the day of his death. While there had 
been gospel preaching in the village by the 
Methodist clergyman with some degree of 
regularity during the preceding six years, it 
does not appear that there had been any 
church regularly organized. On Sunday, 
the 19th day of May, 1825, Father Parrett 
organized the first regular class at this place, 
consisting of Robert Parrett, his wife, Mar- 
tha Parrett, Edward Hopkins, his wife, Mary 
Hopkins, Jane Lewis, Abraham P. Hutch- 
inson, Arthur McJohnson, his wife, Mary 
Mcjohnson, Hannah Robinson, Jane War- 
ner and Mrs. Seaman. With this class the 
Methodist church in Evansville may be said 
to have been firmly organized, and from 
that day forward it has grown and strength- 
ened with the growth and advancement 
of the city's population. Though the church 
was established upon an enduring basis, it 
yet had no stated place of worship. The 
membership being small, and as with all 



pioneers, their resources limited, it was not 
possible to build a church edifice. The old 
court-house was partly finished, and in the 
winter of 1827, the services of the sanctuary 
were removed from the Warner tavern to 
the court room. The accommodations were 
of the poorest description. About this time 
a subscription was set on foot which re- 
sulted in the building of the "little brick 
school-house," that stood for many years on 
the northwest side of the old public square, 
being for a long time the only school-house in 
Evansville. In this little school-house or in 
the court-house, as convenience dictated, 
tha Methodists continued to worship until 
their number increased to an extent that en- 
abled them to undertake the erection of a 
regular church edifice. 

As previously indicated,William H. Smith 
and George Randle were on the circuit in 
1824. About this time Richard Hargrave 
filled out an unexpired term. In 1825 
James Garner and Joseph Tarkington rode 
the circuit. Their successors were: Asa 
D. West, 1S26; Charles Slocum, 1827; 
Samuel Cooper, 1828; John Fox and A. 
Arrington, 1829; John Richey, 1830-1831; 
Enoch G. Wood, 1S32; Enoch G. Wood 
and Cornelius Swank, 1S33; John A. Brouse 
and M. Reeder, 1834; I saac Owen, 1835; 
Isaac McElroy and Wm. Beharrell, 1836; 
Lemuel M. Reeves and Joseph S. Barwick, 
1837; John S. Bayless, 1838. 

Under Mr. Bayless this point in the cir- 
cuit considered itself of sufficient importance 
to mantain a preacher, and therefore became 
a station, with fifty-three names on the 
record, and immediately the building of a 
church was begun. It was completed and 
dedicated in 1839. ^ n s ^ ze ^ was 40x60 
feet, and was erected at a cost of $5,350.00. 
This remained the house of worship until 1865 
when Trinity Methodist Episcopal church was 
built. The property was subsequently sold and 

is now owned by the county of Vanderburgh, 
the building having been converted into 
rooms for the accommodation of the Van- 
derburg superior court. In the erection of 
this church Rev. Robert Parrett acted a 
conspicuous part. Besides being a liberal 
donor toward the construction fund the brick 
for the building of the edifice were made 
upon his farm. His sons, John, Richard 
and William F., wrought diligently in mould- 
ing the brick for the kiln, and the two last 
named drove the teams that hauled the 
material on the ground where the house was 
built. Here Father Parrett often preached 
in his happiest vein, and he continued his 
diligent labors in the church until called to 
his final rest. 

At this juncture a few words may be 
properly written touching the lives and char- 
acters of these two pioneer preachers. From 
the organization of the church until he was 
called home to his reward, Father Parrett 
never falter ,'d in the good work which his 
hands and heart had willingly undertaken. 
While the church at Evansville was to him 
a special charge it must not be supposed 
that his ministerial labors were confined to 
his services in behalf of this church and in 
the immediate vicinity of his residence. He 
frequently spent weeks together at camp- 
meetings and other religious gatherings, al- 
ways willingly taking up his burden in the 
Master's cause, and testifying earnestly of 
his faith in the saving power of the grace 
of God. Methodists of the Indiana confer- 
ence regarded him as a shining light in their 
church organization. 

Intellectually he was a man of rare 
strength and judgment. His sermons evinced 
a mind of comprehensive power and com- 
rhanding logic. He was also at times very 
eloquent in thought and expression. In the 
summer of 1827, he delivered an address at 
Princeton on the life, character and public 


services of Adams and Jefferson, who died 
within a few hours of each other, upon the 
preceding Fourth of July, which was pro- 
nounced by such a man as the late Judge 
Samuel Hall as a masterpiece of truth and 
eloquence. The Western Sun, published at 
Vincennes by the venerable Elihu Stout, 
said: "This speech has not been excelled by 
any of the powerful orations delivered in 
the senate of our country. " 

In civil life he stood exceptionally high in 
the opinion of his fellow citizens. He was 
never an office-seeker, but in 1858, when 
there seemed to be a special demand for the 
best men of the county in the office of county 
commissioner, he consented to the use of his 
name in that connection. He was triumph- 
antly elected over several competitors, and 
was serving in the capacity of a commis- 
sioner at the time of his death. 

Father Parrett died January 29, i860, at 
the age of sixty years, greatly lamented by all 
who knew him. In his death society lost a 
good citizen, the church a bright ornament, 
and his family a counselor whose worth 
was beyond estimate. But his noble ex- 
ample lives to be cherished and emulated 
through all the coming time. 

Rev. Joseph Wheeler was a native of 
Oxfordshire, England, born near Oxford, the 
great English seat of learning, about the year 
1778. His family was reared in the 
English church, but when a mere youth 
the teachings of John Wesley took deep 
root in his mind, and in due time he 
embraced the faith and became a zealous 
adherent of the Methodist church. When 
seventeen years old he was licensed to 
preach, and, proceeding to London, entered 
actively into missionary work. He took a 
devoted interest in spreading the new faith 
among the people of that great metropolis 
and along the country lanes, forming classes 
wherever a handful could be got together. 

When about forty } ? ears old he migrated to 
this country, intending to proceed to Albion, 
111., but, reaching Evansville in August, 1819, 
was detained by sickness, and in a few days 
hearing of the English settlement in the 
blue grass region, set out to establish him- 
self there. He at once began his labor of 
love in breaking the bread of life to the 
scattered denizens of the wilderness : he was 
a read}- and willing helper of the circuit 
rider and scattered many seeds that ripened 
into good fruit. While alternating with 
Father Parrett in preaching at Evansville, 
he generally came on foot, staff in hand. 
Father Wheeler preached regularly in Blue 
Grass and attended all the early day camp 
meetings, and was one of the most success- 
ful preachers in camp meeting work. 
Later he preached at Mechanicsville and in 
all parts of that section. He became 
devotedly attached to the people of that 
settlement, and they with one accord loved 
and honored him as a father. He preached 
there thirty years and only ceased when in- 
creasing years and failing strength pre- 
vented his engaging in the work. For a 
time he supplied the pulpit of the Walnut 
Street Presbyterian church. His religious 
creed rose above sectarianism, and he looked 
upon all Christians as brothers in the spirit. 
Among his best and most devoted friends 
were some who looked to other altars as a 
place of worship. He was three times jus- 
tice of the peace, though never seeking 
worldly recognition. He was a superior 
farmer and earnestly industrious in eveiy 
walk of life. Exceedingly vigorous and 
robust, he always met his appointments on 
foot and had the reputation of being a great 
pedestrian. In 1864, at the ripe age of 
eighty-six years, after a life well spent and 
full of good work in his Master's service, 
Father Wheeler passed to his reward. 

After the building of the Locust Street 



church, the following ministers succeeded 
each other at this station: John Daniels, 
1839; Anthony Robinson, 1840; John 
Kearns, 1841 and 1842; Samuel Reed, 1843; 
F. C. Holliday, 1844; William M. Daily, 
1845; G. C. Beeks, 1846; W. V. Daniel, 
1847; Thomas A. Goodwin, 1848 and 1849; 
James H. Noble, 1850; James Hill, 
1852; C. B. Davidson, 1853 and 1854; 
E. H. Sabin, 1855 and 1856; Hiram Gil- 
more, 1857 and 1S58; S. T. Gillett, 1859 
and 1S60; B. F. Rawlins, 1861 and 1862; 
Albion Fellows, 1863. Rev. Mr. Fellows 
died while in this charge in February, 1865, 
and was succeeded, in April, 1865, by Rev. 
C. N. Sims, who ministered to the congre- 
gation until 1867. The year 1864 marks 
another epoch in the history of this congre- 
gation. In the winter of this year it was de- 
termined to build a new church at the 
corner of Third and Chestnut streets. The 
work was pushed forward with wonderful 
rapidity, and in the winter of 1865 the 
building was enclosed. In the spring of 
1866 it was dedicated to God's service by 
Rev. Thomas M. Eddy, D. D., assisted by 
Rev. L. Bowman, D. D. The church is 
built of brick, in the Florentine style of 
architecture, with an auditorium 65x90 feet 
in size, with a seating capacity for 800 per- 
sons; a lecture room, 40x70 feet large, and 
six additional apartments, devoted to pas- 
tor's study, organ and parlor purposes. 
The entire cost of the building was $100,- 
000; some $10,000 have been spent in 
church improvement since. 

Since those last mentioned the following 
ministers have been in charge of the work at 
the new church, known as Trinity : Reuben 
Andrus, D. D., 1867-9; L. B. Carpenter, 
1870-73 (in the spring of 1S72 Mr. Car- 
penter exchanged pulpits with Rev. H. C. 
Westwood, of Wheeling, W. Va., Mr. West- 
wood remaining till the fall of 1873); Earl 

Cranston, D. D., 1874; Reuben Andrus, 
D. D., 1875-77; G. D. Watson, D. D., 1878 
B. F. Rawlins, 1879; F - C - Igleheart, 1880 
J. L. Pitner, 1881-2; Frost Craft, 1S83-5 
J. S. Woods, D. D., 1886, and at present in 
charge. Trinity has always had in its pulpit 
the highest order of talent. Each of the 
names mentioned in the list of its pastors is 
familiar to Methodists throughout the confer- 
ence, rind in many instances throughout the 
state of Indiana. The present pastor, Dr. 
Woods, is a powerful and effective preacher, 
being logical and convincing in argument, 
unique in his style of thought and manner of 
presentation, happy and strikingly original in 
the choice of illustrations, fervent and true in 
appeal and possessing a vast fund of infor- 
mation on which he draws, to the delight of 
his hearers, with the skill characteristic of a 
trained intellect. 

Dr. Woods was born in Morgan county, 
Ind., October 11, 1833, and is the son of 
William and Elizabeth (Shell) Woods. His 
father, a na.ive of Ireland, born about 1806, 
came with his parents to America when a 
child. His mother was born in East Ten- 
nessee about 1809. They came to Indiana 
about 1830 and settled as pioneers in Mor- 
gan county. They were pious Methodists, 
lived useful lives, and were respected by all. 
Dr. Woods was reared on the farm, attended 
the district schools, and learned the wagon- 
maker's trade with his father, which he fol- 
lowed for eight years. In 1855 he professed 
religion and joined the Methodist Episcopal 
church. He was licensed to preach in 1856, and 
two years later was admitted to the Indiana 
conference. His first appointment was to the 
Williamsburg circuit, in 1858, and in 1866 
he was appointed to his first station, at 
Princeton. Thereafter he labored at Mt. 
Vernon and New Albany in this state. In 
1876 he was appointed presiding elder of 
the Indianapolis district, and after four years 


returned to New Albany, whence he went 
to Vincennes. In 1S84 he was appointed 
presiding elder of the Evansville district, 
and after three years was appointed pastor 
of Trinity Methodist Episcopal church. In 
1881 the degree of D. D. was conferred on 
him by Asbury, now DePauw, University. 
The church is in a very prosperous con- 
dition, now having 540 members. Trinity 
is one of the largest and most influential 
Methodist churches in the state. She is 
powerful in any spiritual task she under- 
takes, and has been the inspiration of many 
of the revivals of religion that have blessed 
the city. The first Methodist Sunday-school 
in the city was organized in May, 1837, in 
the little school-house on Main street, Rev. 
William M. Elliott being the superintendent, 
and twenty-two scholars being enrolled the 
first day. The work of this Sunday-school 
in the advancement of religion and the bet- 
terment of society, is beyond human reck- 
oning. Rev. William M. Elliott remained 
superintendent seven years. His successors 
have been: John Ingle, jr., nineteen years; 
W. T. Iglehart, six years; John F. Glover, 
three years; F. M. Thayer, eight years; 
Charles E. Scoville, two years; William B. 
Jaquess, two years; A. W. Emery, three 
years; and J. W. Barbour, now serving. 
The average attendance is 325. The pres- 
ent trustees are : Joseph P. Elliott, J. E. Igle- 
hart, William F. Parrett, George Lant, Lee 
Howell, L. S. Clarke, R. Ruston, Geo. P. 
Heilman, James Scantlin. 

Ingle Street Methodist EpiscofaJ 
Church. —The Methodists of the old 
Locust Street church estabished a mis- 
sion which in 185 1, was organized 
into Ingle Street church with twenty- 
five members under the charge of Rev. 
Daniel Cloud. The pastors in succession 
have been : Revs. W. McK. Hester, W. F. 
Mason, J. H. Ketcham, M. M. C. Hobbs, 

Jesse Walker, L. M. Walters, A. Turner, 
Hayden Hays, J. B. Likely, James Hill, 
J. H. Clippenger, William E. Davis, J. W. 
Webb, E. Hawes, J. A. Scammahorn, 
William Teller, J. V. R. Miller, John Walls, 
Morris S. Woods and C. E. Asbury, the 
pastor now in charge. Mr. Asbury was 
born in Owen county, Ind., thirty-one years 
ago and was graduated at DePauw Univer- 
sity, at Greencastle, in 1881. He at once 
began his ministerial work and soon gave 
abundant evidence of his fitness as a laborer 
in the Master's vineyard. Of generous im- 
pulses, strong convictions, and great force of 
character, he wields a large influence for 
good. In 1852 this congregation built its 
first house of worship, which was continued 
in use until it became wholly inadequate for 
the comfortable accommodation of the grow- 
ing congregation. About 1874 a handsome 
new structure was erected on Ingle street 
between Seventh and Eighth. It is built of . 
brick in modern Gothic style, 40x70 feet in 
dimensions, the main auditorium seating 
250 comfortably, and the prayer-meeting 
room seating 100. During the past year, 
the church has been much improved 
and beautified at a cost of $3,000. From 
its foundation this church has manifested 
great zeal in revival work. The member- 
ship has at times grown to large propor- 
tions. At present it numbers 1S0. The 
Sabbath-school — George L. Daum, sr., su- 
perintendent, has an average attendance 
of 175. 

Kingsley Methodist Efiscofal Church. — 
As a mission of Trinity Methodist Episcopal 
church, Kingsley was organized in 1S68 
and placed in charge of Rev. Edwin 
Mcjohnston, a local minister, one of the 
early settlers of Vanderburgh county, and 
a true Christian. For some time the society 
worshipped in Mr. Mcjohnston's wareroom, 
on the corner of Eighth and Canal streets, 


but efforts were very early made to provide 
a suitable house for the worship of God. A 
frame building, costing about $2,500 and of 
sufficient size to comfortably seat 400, was 
erected at the corner of Eighth and Gum 
streets, and in 1S69 was dedicated, Rev. 
Reuben Andrus, D. D., then pastor of 
Trinity, officiating. The following pastors 
followed Rev. Edwin Mcjohnston in the 
work at this station: Revs. John Poucher, 
Francis Walker, W. W. Rundell, R. B. 
Martin, James Dixon, W. H. Grim, J. W. 
McCormick, I. N. Thompson, M. S. Heav- 
enridge, John W. Payne, Samuel Reed and 
G. W. Fanchler, the present pastor, who 
has recently entered upon the first year of 
his work at this place. The church now 
has about 200 members. From its organi- 
zation the Sunday-school at Kingsley has 
been a bright spot in the results of church 
work. Its first superintendent was Mr. John 
F. Glover, who exercised great zeal and in- 
telligence in the work of caring for the 
moral welfare of the children. The school 
has been blessed and prospered by God at 
all times. There are now in its classes 175 
children. Mr. Edward Blackman is at 
present the superintendent. 

Simpson Chapel Methodist Episcopal 
Church. — In the fall of 1859, the 
conference made an approptiation for 
the establishment of a mission at Evans- 
ville, and appointed Rev. E. H. Sabin 
missionary, who, upon coming to his 
work, organized at Ingle street the first 
quarterly conference, and selected a site for 
a church on Pennsylvania street, between 
Eighth and Ninth avenues. The work of 
construction was soon commenced, and the 
building was completed in February, 1861. 
This church was then known as the 
Pennsylvania Street Methodist Episcopal 
church, but later the building was sold, 
and the present edifice at the corner 

of Illinois street and Eleventh avenue 
was erected at a cost of about $3,000. 
With appropriate ceremonies the chapel 
was dedicated in April, 1884. The follow- 
ing is a list of the pastors who have served 
the church since its organization : Revs. 
E. H. Sabin, E. Hawes, H. B. Cassavant, J. 
Waring, John W. Webb, M. Wood, John 
Maddox, Edwin Mcjohnston, John Poucher, 
W. E. Robbins, J. W. Culmer, Levi S. 
Knotts, John Allen, Dr. James Dixon, J. 
Burr, J. B. Holloway, William Telfer, S. O. 
Dorsey, J. F. McGregor, W. E. Davis, 
G. C. Cooper, George E. Piatt, Paul C. 
Curnick, VV. S. Biddle, John B. Smith and 
T. P. Walter, the present pastor. The 
church is in a very prosperous condition, the 
membership numbering 128. The Sabbath 
school has an i average attendance of 
about 300. 

First German Methodist Episcopal 
Church. — Organized in 1842, this was the 
first church formed by the German Metho- 
dists of the city. After four years the con- 
gregation had become able to build a house 
of worship costing $1,263, which was de- 
voted to this use twenty-two years, when it 
"was replaced at a cost of $34,621.00, by a 
commodious brick structure now in use and 
standing at the corner of Fourth and Vine 
streets, on the very spot where was located 
the first graveyard used by the early citi- 
zens of Evansville. When dedicated, this 
church was said to be one of the largest and 
finest German Methodist churches in the 
United States. The following pastors have 
served the charge: Peter Schumaker, H. 
Koeneke, M. Mulfinger, John Hoppen, 
Christian Wittenback, Fr. Heller, John Bier, 
Charles Schelper, Henry Lich, Fr. Becker, 
John Reimer, John Hoppen, G. A. Breunig, 
John H. Lukemyer, John Reimer, Gottloeb 
Trefz, P. F. Schneider, Fr. Schimmelpfennig, 
C- Bozenhard, John C. Weidman, John W. 


Roecker, G. Nachtrieb, J. H. Lich, and E. 
F. Wunderlich, the present pastor, who took 
up the work here in 1887. Under the 
efficient labors of its pastors the church has 
maintained a steady growth, its present 
membership numbering 300. An interest- 
ing Sunday-school with an average attend- 
ance of 200, with Frank Weil as superin- 
tendent, is connected with the church. The 
members of the first quarterly conference 
were: Conrad Herchelmann, William Elliott, 
Jacob Kehrt, Peter Knauz, John Jugle, John 
Muth, Andreas Roth, Charles Kellar, John 
Kappler, and Carl Wiewel; and those of the 
present quarterly conference are : E. Weber, 
A. K. Stork, John Habbe, Jacob Meyer, 
Mike Meyer, A. P. Hoelcher, Jacob Schwam- 
bach, J. D. Becker, George Roessner, J. C. 
Muth, William Mull, Fred Tosettel, G. 
Herth, Phillip Gourdan, L. Roth, R. Blem- 
ker, E. Holtkamp and M. Manger. The 
present pastor is an able executive as well 
as a good preacher. The church is out of 
debt and in a prosperous condition both tem- 
porally and spiritually. 

Second German Methodist Episcopal 
Church, on south side of Indiana street, be- 
tween Eleventh and Twelfth avenues, was 
established as a mission in 1887, and the 
church building, a small, neat frame struc- 
ture, costing $1,400.00, was dedicated by 
Rev. E. F. Wunderlich on the 23d of Octo- 
ber in that year. Rev. John C. Speckmann 
was the first pastor, his successor being 
Rev. John Bockstahler. The church now 
has 25 members and a small but growing 
Sunday-school. Two charges in the coun- 
try are also attended by the pastor. 

African Zion Methodist Episcopal Church. 
— This society first worshipped in an old frame 
building on East Tennessee street, but now has 
a neat frame church located at No. 1704 Fulton 
avenue. Among the pastors who have had 
charge were Revs. Hardin, Temple and 

Ervin. The present pastor is Rev. An- 
thony Bunch, whose earnestness and zeal in 
the work is fast building up a large congre- 

Fifth Methodist Episcopal Church ( colored) . 
— This church has a very small membership 
and holds its services in a rented room, north- 
east corner Garfield avenue and Illinois 
street. Rev. Stephen Anderson is the 

AfricanMcthodist Episcopal Church. — This 
society was organized in 1843 in a log cabin 
near the river, by Rev. George Johnson, its 
first pastor. The present church building on 
Fifth street near Walnut street is 70x40 
feet in size, and cost $5,000.00. The fol- 
lowing pastors have ministered to the con- 
gregation: Revs. George Johnson, William 
Curtis, Elisha Weaver, Daniel Winslow, 
Levi Bass, Charles Rollins, H. Green, A. 
Brooks, A. T. Hall, B. McCarry, Henry 
Brown, W. S. Sankford, J. H. Alexander, 
Johnson Mitchem, M. Lewis, Dr. D. P. 
Roberts, James Simpson, D. S. Bentley, H. 
H. Thompson, and Jesse Bass, the present 
able pastor. The church is one of the 
strongest in the city, its present membership 
numbering 325. 

Free Methodist Church. — This branch of 
the Methodist church clings to the original 
and simple faith of the primitive members, 
having organized as a distinctive branch at 
Pekin, N. Y., in i860. They believe in 
simplicity in everything, in dress, houses of 
worship and manner of life. Their require- 
ments and discipline of members are very 
rigid. The denomination has made some 
progress and cherishes the hope of reviving 
the spirit of primitive Methodism. The work 
of the church has been among the poor and 
humble, from whence chiefly their earnest 
ministers have been taken. The church in 
this city was established largely under the 
labors of J. W. Vickery, a local preacher. 


The church, a neat frame building worth 
$2,000, is situated at No. 1321 Walnut 
street, with a comfortable parsonage at- 
tached, and was dedicated by Bishop B. T. 
Roberts, in 1S72. Among the pastors have 
been John Hardin, M. C. Belem, J. Lewis, 
and Thomas W. Thornburg, the present 
pastor, who has had charge for two years. 
Through Mr. Thornburg's earnestness in 
his work the church has prospered, now hav- 
ing twenty-five members. The conference 
of this year has transferred Mr. Thornburg 
to Danville, 111., and appointed as his suc- 
cessor here, Rev. A. F. Niswanger. A well 
attended Sunday-school is superintended by 
Mr. Louis Habenicht. 

S/. Paul's Episcop.d Church. — Existing 
records do not show that any clergyman of 
this church ever officiated in Evansville until 
the year 1835. 1° December, of this year, 
Right Rev. Jackson Kemper, Bishop of the 
Northwest, came to Evansville and preached 
to the people. Rev. A. H. Lamon was 
probably here at that time. On January 9, 
1836, a meeting was held in the store of 
Messrs. Goodsell & Lyon, and there a Pro- 
testant Episcopal church to be known 
as St. Paul's church, was organized. 
At that meeting William Town was chair- 
man, and James Lockhart, secretary. Fred- 
erick E. Goodsell and John Mitchell were 
elected wardens, and John M. Dunham, Ira 
French, James Lockhart, Joseph Wheeler, 
jr., and William Town were elected vestry- 
men. January 17, following, Rev. A. H. 
Lamon was invited to take pastoral charge 
of the new church. He accepted, and meet- 
ings were held in the old court-house. Here 
they remained until 1840, but the place was 
unavoidably distasteful to churchmen. Be- 
fore the parish was a year old the subject of 
a church building was earnestly discussed. 
At length the rector and vestry were em- 
powered to obtain an eligible lot on which to 

erect a temple to God. A building com- 
mittee was appointed January 7, 1839, con- 
sisting of John Mitchell, William B. Butler, 
F. E. Goodsell, Nathan Rowley, and Joseph 
Wheeler, jr. Soon thereafter ground was 
broken and earnest work on the new edifice 
was commenced. The energetic rector was 
so deeply interested in it that he even car- 
ried brick for the walls. On January 12, 
1840, it was solemnly set apart for the ser- 
vice of God, by Right Rev. Jackson Kemper. 
For forty-three years the congregation 
worshipped in this house, which was of brick, 
40x70 feet, with a ceiling 20 feet high. It 
was a comfortable and commodious house, 
and architecturally considerably in advance 
of the ordinary church structures of those 

Mr. Lamon served as rector until 1844, 
when he resigned. He was indefatigable in 
his efforts to build up the church, and his 
Christian character was admired by all. 
While caring for and nursing yellow fever 
sufferers in Louisiana he contracted the 
disease and died. His heroism was un- 
doubted and his consecration entire. In 1S45 
Rev. N. A. Okeson took charge of the par- 
ish and resigned in the following year. For 
a time Rev. W. Vaux held occasional ser- 
vices. November 5, 1847, Rev. Charles A. 
Foster was elected rector. Mr. Foster was 
finely educated and his attainments were of 
a high order. He was an eloquent and a 
forcible speaker. In June, 1856, he was 
succeeded by Rev. Anthony Ten Broeck, a 
man of culture and sound churchmanship, 
and tenacious of the rubrics, but, on account 
of the austerity of his manners, he was not 
popular with man}' of his parishioners. 
From November, 1857, to January, i860, 
Rev. Sidney Wilbur, a young, energetic and 
zealous man, served as rector. Rev. Elias 
Birdsall was next called to the rectorship. 
He remained five years; his pastorate was a 



happy and successful one; he was beloved, 
honored and respected by all who knew 
him. Rev. Henry Spalding assumed charge 
of the parish in January, 1866. His pastor- 
ate was crowded with noble, energetic and 
zealous work in all the avenues of church 
activity. The old church was much beau- 
tified, and aggressive Christian missionary 
and Sunday-school work was carried on. 
Rev. Mr. Strong followed Mr. Spaulding, 
remaining but four months. The next rec- 
tor was Rev. W. H. Van Antwerp, a cul- 
tured scholar and Christian gentleman, who 
had the respect and confidence of all. From 
the fall of 1874 to November, 1879, Rev. 
W. N. Webb was in charge of the parish. 
He was succeeded by Rev. T. J. Holcombe, 
who remained only eighteen months. In 
November, 1882, Rev. Charles Morris, the 
present rector, was called to the pastorate. 
Mr. Morris was born in Lynchburg, Va., 
about thirty-five years ago. When he was 
ten } r ears of age his father removed to New 
York, and there he received his rudimentary 
training. In 1867 he entered William and 
Mary College, and upon his graduation, 
took up the study of law at Richmond Col- 
lege, Va., receiving the degree of LL. B. 
He practiced law for two years, then went 
to New York, whence he soon returned to 
Virginia with the intention of entering the 
Virginia Theological Seminary. He was 
graduated from this institution, and then en- 
tered the ministry. His first parish was 
Ashland, Va., whence he went to Hopkins- 
ville, Ky. As a preacher he is plain, earn- 
est, direct, forcible, practical. As a pastor 
he is affable, kind-hearted and pleasing. He 
combines the qualities of a good pastor and 
and a good preacher. Services were 
held for the last time in the old 
church on April 15, 18S3. On his 
arrival Mr. Morris began agitating the 
question of erecting a new church, and his 

efforts bore early fruit. In the spring of 
1883 it was determined to build. Messrs. 
Charles Viele, M. J. Bray, jr., and A. H. 
Lemcke were appointed a building commit- 
tee. Mr. Viele gave the use of Viele Hall 
to the church as a temporary place of wor- 
ship; the old church was dismantled and 
torn down, and the work of erecting the 
new building went forward steadily, under 
the wise direction of the committee. On 
March 2, 1886, the congregation assembled 
in the new house for the purpose of dedi- 
cating it to the service of God. The Bishops 
of Indiana and Illinois and twelve other min- 
isters were present, to assist in the cere- 
monies, which, from first to last, were solemn, 
impressive . and long to be remembered. 
The building cost upward of $50,000. 
Its foundation lies in the form of a cross; its 
style is exquisitely Gothic; its proportions 
are nicely adjusted; the abutments and win- 
dows are judiciously placed; the colors of 
the materials are harmoniously blended; the 
tower and spire rise 124 feet heavenward; 
and the whole is crowned by a large gilded 
cross, which towers high over all, drawing 
the eyes of men toward it from all parts of 
the city, and emphasizing the words of 
Christ: "If I be lifted up, I shall draw all 
men unto me." The entire structure is an 
architectural triumph, and a lasting monu- 
ment to those who erected it. In 1865, 
a parsonage was built at a cost of $5,582.30, 
the greater portion of which was contrib- 
uted by Mrs. Charles Viele, by whose mu- 
nificence the church is being constantly 
blessed. In 1885, for $7,000, Mr. Charles 
Viele bought the large brick residence of 
the late Hon. John S. Hopkins, and recently 
remodeled and repaired it for use as a rec- 
tory. It is now a beautiful, modern dwell- 
ing. The present membership of St. Paul's 
is 320. The Sabbath school has an average 
attendance of 150; the rector is superin- 

Jy£ A^Z^ULA cMp f t/^L^^y/^c. 



tendent, and E. N. Viele is assistant. The 
present vestrymen are: H. A. Cook, M.J. 
Bray, S. W. Douglass, S. S. Scantlin, E. N. 
Viele, A. S. Green, C. F. Artes, George 
W. Newman and F. B. Emery. 

Church of the Holy Innocents. — This church 
was organized in 1868, and the same year 
the property, corner of Ninth and Division 
streets, was presented to the diocese by Mrs. 
Charles Viele. At a cost of about $25,000.00 
the church building was also erected by 
Mrs. Viele, and dedicated on March 3, 
1869, by Right Rev. Bishop J. C. Talbot. 
Two little children had been taken from 
Mrs. Viele by death, and she built this mon- 
ument with a finger pointing to another life, 
and here the tender love of motherhood, 
sympathy for fellow-creatures and devotion 
to the cross, have a comely personation for 
all time to come. The following rectors 
have had charge of the church: Rev. 
Spruile Burford, 1S68-1S70; Richard T. 
Kerfoot, 1S70-1875; R. C. Talbott, jr., 
1876-1879; A. O. Stanley, 1S79-1SS1; John 
K. Karcher, March to October, 1SS1; John 
A. Dooris, 1881-1885; L. F. Cole, 1885 to 
November 1st, 1888, when he resigned. 
The present officers of the church are: 
W. W. Flagler and John Ficthner, 
wardens; Charles Viele, John L. Avery, 
Levi D. Lockyear, William R. Carroll and 
John Constance, vestrymen. There are now 
120 communicants. The Sabbath school is 
in a prosperous condition, having an average 
attendance of 125. 

Chafel of the Good S lief herd. — This 
church, which is a mission under the care of 
St. Paul's Episcopal church, was established 
in 1874. The chapel is on the corner of 
Michigan street and Third avenue. Rev. 
Jesse R. Bicknell was the first pastor, and 
was succeeded by Rev. C. P. Jones, who 
remained in charge until 1879. For some 
time the church was without a pastor, the 

services being read by Mr. W. H. Boniface. 
At present the parish is in charge of Rev. 
Charles Morris, of St. Paul's. The church 
is in a prosperous condition and has an in- 
teresting Sunday-school. 

First Baptist Church. — The Baptists 
were among the earliest of the pioneer 
Christian workers. They labored with great 
zeal and made many converts. Elder 
Ezekiel Saunders and Elder John B. Stinson 
were leaders of the two schools that held 
sway in early times. Churches were es- 
tablished in various parts of the county and 
camp meetings were annually held. In 
Evansville the first church building was 
erected by the followers of Ezekiel Saunders. 
It was built of hewn logs, and stands to this 
day as one of the lingering land-marks of 
olden times, being now used as a stable by 
Mr. William Dean, a well-known citizen. 
The oldest Baptist church organization now 
existing in Evansville, was effected July 4, 
1847, when, agreeable to previous notice, 
several brethren and sisters belonging to 
Baptist churches met in the hall of the 
Neptune engine-house, above Main street, 
chose Rev. N. V. Steadman as moderator, 
and organized the church. There were 
present Rev. N. V. Steadman, Rev. E. D. 
Owen and wife, of Indianapolis, J. P. 
Matthews, Alvira D. Stoddard and S. Z. 
Millard, of Henderson, Ky., Elizabeth Bees- 
ley, of Cranfield, England, and Merriam 

At subsequent meetings quite a number 
of additions were made, and on July 31st, 
the church held its first communion service. 
November 7, 1847, Sister Sarah Kazar 
(now Mrs. Judge Foster), was received into 
the church by baptism, and on November 
nth, Sister Elizabeth Turnock was re- 
ceived by letter. These two sisters are yet 
alive, are still members of the church and 
residents of Evansville; verily they are 


mothers in Israel, zealous in the cause of 
Christ and the welfare of their church. On 
the 27th of November, 1S48, a committee 
was appointed to select a lot preparatory to 
the erection of a church building and to so- 
licit subscriptions. The committee was 
Rev. Steadman and Brother Millard, Sisters 
Kazar, Turner and Beesley. About 18 51 
a lot was purchased on the corner of Second 
and Clark streets, and on the 1st day of 
February, 1852, the first meeting was held 
in the basement and in November, 1853, 
the building was completed at a cost of 
$3,000. The membership at that time was 
only thirt} r -nine. After the removal of the 
E. & T. H. railroad depots from that por- 
tion of the city in which the church building 
was located, indications were plainly seen 
that the central portion of the city would be 
further eastward and it was decided by 
the members of the church to sell the build- 
ing and purchase a lot in a more desirable 
locality. Judge M. W. Foster proposed to 
sell the lot on the corner of Third and Cherry 
streets for the sum of $Soo. The locality 
and price being satisfactory the purchase 
was made. Judge Foster then donated lib- 
erally toward its purchase. In 1863 the 
old building was sold to Maj. Jesse W. 
Walker, and Marble Hall on Main street 
was rented and here the church held ser- 
vices for some time, but this arrangement 
was unsatisfactoiy and efforts were put forth 
toward obtaining the means to build a new 
church edifice. In due time work was com- 
menced, the corner stone being placed in 
position by Sisters Sarah K. Foster and 
Elizabeth Turnock, and on March 18, 1868, 
the building was dedicated to the 
service of God by the church and the pas- 
tor, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Baker. It cost 
about $25,000, is of brick and has a seating 
capacity for about 500 persons. 

The membership is now about 200. The 

pastors of the church have been: Rev. 
N. V. Steadman, 1847; Rev. Joseph A. 
Dixon, 1850; Rev. H. Robb, 1855; Rev. 
F. D. Bland, 1856; Rev. H. A. Cook, 1859; 
Rev. T. E. Veach 1861; Rev. Isaac, 
Bloomer, 1S65; Rev. George F. Pentacost, 
1S66; Rev. Samuel Raker, 1868; Rev. 
A. C. Caperton, 1870; Rev. S. F. Thomp- 
son, 1871; Rev. H. D. D. Straton, 1874; 
Rev. A. B. Miller, 1878; Rev. Ira D. Hall, 
1S85; Rev. F.J. Cather, 1887; and Rev. 
D. Heagle, D. D., the present pastor. The 
trustees have been: Asa Marsh, N. V. 
Steadman, William Felsted, Charles Morri- 
son and Eben Bray, 1S50; Asa Marsh, 
Eben Bray, T. W. Simpson, Alfred White, 
Judge M. W. Foster, 1856; Alfred White, 
T. W. Simpson, R. S. Cobb, J. D. Wilcox, 
Judge M. W. Foster, i860; Joseph Turnock, 
F. C. Gale, Alfred White, T. W. Simpson, 
Judge M. W. Foster, 1862. In 1863, a va- 
cancy occurred by the death of Judge Fos- 
ter, and, by a unanimous vote, Dr. I. Haas 
was elected to fill the vacancy. In 1871, 
F. C. Gale, having removed from the city, 
John J. Roach was elected to fill his place. 
Thus in twenty-six years only two changes 
have been made. The clerks have been: 
J. P. Matthews, N. V. Steadman, A. L. 
Robinson, William C. Turnock. Perhaps 
the most marked instance of devotion shown 
by a true and genuine Baptist believer is 
that of Mother Elizabeth Turnock, who took 
her letter from the Philadelphia church, 
March 30, 1837, and removed to the west, 
settling within fourteen miles of Evansville, 
then a little town, and the nearest point to 
her containing a church of her faith and or- 
der. This distance she often walked to at- 
tend divine service. Father Joseph Turnock 
joined the Baptist church in 1853. This 
aged couple still live, enjoying good health, 
and the respect of all, and remaining stead- 
fast to the faith of their earlier years, 



Since the organization of the First Baptist 
church, several missions have been formed, 
or, it may be said, additional churches have 
been organized, which have taken some of 
the membership of the First church. 

On April 6, 1S56, the German church 
was organized, and held its first meeting in 
the basement of the First Baptist church. 
In March, 1857, a southern Baptist church 
was organized by the Rev. John Bryce and 
Rev. Jacob Cole, of Henderson, Ky. Meet- 
ings were held in the old Cumberland 
Presbyterian church on Chestnut street. It 
did not become a permanency. In i860, 
the Robinson Baptist church was formed. 
It had an existence for about three years, 
after which nearly all the membership re- 
turned to the First church. In 1885, the 
Unity Baptist church was organized by the 
Rev. D. B. Miller, and prospered for about 
two years, and then ceased to hold meet- 
ings. In 1888, about fifteen or twenty 
members of the First church withdrew, and 
organized the present Baptist Calvary 
church. The congregation holds its meet- 
ings in the upper room of the engine-house, 
on Third street, near Walnut. The Rev. 
Fleming, of Boonville, preaches twice a 

General Baptist Church. — This church 
was organized in this city in July, 1866. 
Elders Benoni Stinson, Alvah Parker, and 
George W. Moore being appointed by the 
General Baptist church in Perry township 
to constitute the church. A year after the 
organization was effected the society built a 
house of worship on Indiana street, between 
Wabash and Tenth avenues, which was 
afterward removed to the present site, cor- 
ner Indiana street and Twelfth avenue. The 
church is a neat frame edifice built at a cost 
of $1,260.00, including the ground. Rev. 
George W. Moore was the first pastor, 
serving for fourteen years, and what growth 

the church has enjoyed has been due largely 
to his leadership. Rev. J. Blackburn suc- 
ceeded Mr. Moore. Rev. William H. Ivey, 
the present pastor, has had charge for two 
years. He is an efficient worker and is 
much respected. At the commencement 
there were but twenty-eight members, but 
before the building was completed the mem- 
bership grew to nearly 100. At this time 
the number remains about the same. Eze- 
kiel Burdette is superintendent of the Sun- 
day-school, which numbers about sixty. 
The members of this church worship ac- 
cording to the belief and doctrine promul- 
gated in early days by Elder Benoni Stin- 
son. They are a body of very earnest and 
benevolent Christian workers. 

The Old Baptist Church. ~ About 1835, 
the followers of Elder Ezekiel Saunders, a 
pioneer preacher, organized this church, and 
for a time it prospered, but of late has be- 
come very weak. The association has no 
regular pastor, but meetings are held occa- 
sionally. It has a small brick church on 
Mary street between Michigan and Virginia 

First German Baptist Church. — This 
congregation was organized April 6, 1S56, 
and has always been small in numbers. The 
building is situated on the corner of Edgar 
and Franklin streets, and is a beautiful frame 
structure, $1,100 having been spent in im- 
proving it during the past year. The society 
is out of debt and owns church property 
valued at $5,000.00. It has seventy mem- 
bers and is rapidly growing. The Sunday- 
schpol has an attendance of over 100; Henry 
Ashley, superintendent. The pastor also 
preaches at a church in German township. 
The following pastors have ministered to 
this congregation: Rev. Woertner, Charles 
Tecklenburg, A. Tranchel, and William 
Lipphardt, the present pastor. 

Liberty Baptist Church ^colored). — This 



church was organized in March, 1865, by 
Col. Woods, a white man, whose devotion 
and earnestness in the cause among the 
colored people deserves much commenda- 
tion. He remained their pastor for the first 
year, during which period meetings were held 
in a small brick dwelling house on Chest- 
nut street. In 1866 a frame church 40x65 
feet was erected on the corner of Seventh 
and Oak streets, the present site of the 
church building. This was torn down in 
1880, when the erection of a large brick 
church was commenced and completed, but 
not without a severe trial, for on June 9, 
1886, a terrible cyclone passed over the 
city, doing much damage, wholly destroy- 
ing the new and handsome church, then 
practically finished, occasioning a loss of 
upward of $7,000. This calamity, it 
seems, was only a test of the zeal and de- 
votion to God's work of this people, for, 
undaunted, with the aid of subscriptions 
and some help from outside sources, they 
at once proceeded to clear away the 
debris and commenced building the beauti- 
ful structure now in use. It is built of 
brick, is 60x85 feet, has a seating capacity 
for 900, and cost $6,500. Rev. Green 
McFarland became pastor in 1866, and re- 
mained until his death, which occurred July 
9, 1SS1. Rev. Dennis Rouse, the present 
pastor, took charge in October, 1881, and 
under his faithful ministry the church is 
growing steadily. During his ministry over 
300 members have been received. The 
membership now numbers 780. The 
Sunday-school has an average attendance of 
175, with Mr. C. H. Lancaster superin- 

Missionary Baptist Church {colored). — 
This church was organized in 1870, with a 
membership of seventy-five. The congre- 
gation first worshiped in a small frame 
church on the present site of the new 

building, which is located on the northwest 
corner of Virginia street and Twelfth 
avenue. It is a neat frame church, cost 
about $1,200, and was built in 1883. The 
pastors have been Revs. Grant Clay, 
Dennis Rouse, Jordan Barnett, Henry 
Beecher, D. T. Carraway and George 
Dorsey, who is the present pastor. There 
are 125 members and a good Sunday-school 
of 50. 

McFarland Chapel ( Colored) . — This 
church, named in honor of Rev. Green Mc- 
Farland, was organized October 15, 1882, 
by about 100 members who withdrew from 
the " Liberty Baptist church," and called 
Rev. W. H. Anderson to the pastorate, who 
still remains. Its first meetings were held 
at the superior court room, on Locust street, 
and later in a building on the corner of Fifth 
and Cherry streets until their new building 
was finished. The new chapel is of moder- 
ate size, built of brick and together with the 
ground cost $6,000. It was finished and 
dedicated in 1887. The membership num- 
bers over 300 and the Sunday-school has an 
attendance of eighty, with A. G. Smith, su- 
perintendent. Rev. W. H. Anderson, a 
learned gentleman, greatly beloved by his 
congregation, in his labors here is meeting 
with deserved success. Previous to coming 
here, he was pastor of the Third Baptist 
church, Terre Haute, for ten years. 

New Bethel Baptist Church [Colored).— 
This branch was organized several years 
ago. The small congregation of about 
twenty members worship in a rented room 
on Campbell street. Rev. H. T. Green is 
the pastor. 

Catholic Churches. — It was a noticeable 
feature of the Catholic priesthood in the 
pioneer days that wherever they found a 
community, no matter how small or how 
widely scattered, wherein they could estab- 
lish a mission, there the cross was erected 


and the protecting care of the church spread 
over the inhabitants. No hardship was 
accounted too severe and no sacrifice too 
great to stand in the way of the propagation 
of a religion which they believed to declare 
the voice and will of God. The first infor- 
mation of any Catholics residing in the vicin- 
ity of Evansville, was communicated in the 
fall of 1836, to the Right Rev. Gabriel Brute, 
first bishop of Vincennes, by Rev. Father 
Bateu'x, and the companions of his journey, 
who lodged on their arrival here, at the 
Mansion House, then kept by Francis Linck, 
a citizen well remembered to this day and 
esteemed by all the older inhabitants of the 
city. Mr. Linck, born in 1774, was a native 
of Stockheim, in Wurtemburg, and in 1836 
was the only Catholic in Evansville, except 
perhaps the late John Walsh. In March, 
1837, Very Rev. Father De la Hielandiere, 
vicar-general of the Rev. Bishop, accompa- 
nied by Rev. Father Shawe, visited Evans- 
ville with a view of establishing a mission, 
and on the 3rd day of May, following, Rev. 
Father Anthony Deydier was dispatched to 
take charge of the mission. 

Father Deydier was born in France, 
April 30, 1 788, and was ordained a priest 
at the cathedral of Vincennes, March 25, 
1837. Very few knew that he had reached 
the full strength of his manhood when he 
took upon himself holy orders, and was 
placed in charge of the mission in this city. 
While here he lived a blameless and well 
spent life, unobtrusive in his deportment, but 
with a kind word for all. After almost a 
year's residence at the house of Mr. Linck, 
in January, 1838, he built a lodge room, 
10x15 feet in size, at the corner of Fifth and 
Chestnut streets. Here he made his abode, 
using his little room as a dwelling and for 
chapel purposes for about three years. For 
Sabbath day services larger rooms at the 
homes of Catholics were occasionally used. 

He labored heroically among his people, 
did much missionary work in the country 
adjacent to Evansville, and in 1S38 made 
a successful trip to the east to raise funds 
for the erection of a church building. The 
history of Catholicism in Evansville since that 
time is the history of a wonderful growth. 
The worthy priest who stood by the church 
in its infancy, lived to see it become rich and 
powerful with a numerous priesthood within 
the territory where he once labored alone — 
lived to see a sturdy oak grown from the 
acorn planted by his hands. When old age 
and increasing infirmities had impaired his 
usefulness, he retired from the active minis- 
try and, returning to Vincennes, passed the 
evening of his life in comparative rest, 
greatly beloved by all who knew him. His 
death occurred Februaiy n, 1864. 

The Assumption Parish. — The Assump- 
tion parish was the first Catholic congrega- 
tion organized south of Vincennes, and 
remained the sole church until 185 1, when 
the Holy Trinity parish was organized for 
German-speaking Catholics. 

In 1839 a lot on Second street upon which 
to build Assumption church was secured for 
the sum of $1,200. In 1840, August 5, the 
corner-stone was laid by the French Bishop 
of Nancy, Monseigneur Forbin Jeanson, 
who was then on a visit to the diocese of 
Vincennes. Rev. Stephen Badin, the first 
priest ordained in the United States, 
preached the sermon on the occasion. In 
that year Rev. Roman Weinzoepfel, just 
ordained at Vincennes, was sent as assistant 
to Father Deydier. In 1849 Rev. Patrick 
McDermott became the assistant priest of As- 
sumption parish; he celebrated his first mass 
in Evansville, Christmas day, 1849, and be- 
came pastor in 1S59. The church property 
on Second street, through the instrumental- 
ity of Capt. F. P. Carson, was sold for 
$50,000, of which $5,000 was due the 


bishop and paid to him; and in April, 187 1, 
the present site of Assumption church, 
corner of Seventh and Vine streets, was 
purchased. Work on the present church 
began in 1872, and on the 7th day of July of 
that year the corner-stone was laid by 
Bishop de St. Palais. Very Rev. Bede 
O'Connor was the orator. Father McDer- 
mott built the church on the grand scale in 
which it is now seen. He labored with zeal and 
saintly ardor until 1879, when, much to the 
regret of his parishioners, he was appointed 
pastor of St. Patrick's church, Indianapolis, 
where he died September 13, 1882. From 
the date of removal of Father McDermott 
until the appointment of the present Very 
Rev. pastor, about five months, Rev. John 
Gueguen, then chaplain of St. Mary's Hos- 
pital, had charge of Assumption church. 
Verv Rev. Eugene F. McBarron took 
charge November 7, 1879. Under his ad- 
ministration many additions and improve- 
ments to the parish grounds and buildings 
have been made. Among these are a fine 
hall and school building, a pastoral residence, 
repairing and frescoing the church and the 
purchase of twenty feet of additional 
ground. These represent an outlay of 
nearly $20,000. 

The parish grounds extend 200 feet on 
Seventh street and 150 feet on Vine street. 
All the buildings front on the former street. 
On the corner stands the pastoral residence, 
a tastefully constructed and happily arranged 
house, costing upward of $4,000. About 
the center of the grounds stands the stately 
and massive Assumption church, which cost 
$73,000. The next building is the Sister's 
house, representing $2,000; and lastly the 
Assumption Hall and school building which 
is worth over $7,000. These buildings, 
improvements, grounds, furniture and other 
parish property are worth the large sum of 
$123,000. The debt is only $13,000. 

Assumption Church is cruciform and of 
Romanesque style of architecture, 60x90 
feet in the transept, 52 feet to ceiling and 
149 feet long. It is built of brick, with stone 
trimmings, and is reputed one of the most 
substantial and beautiful church edifices in 
the west. 

The Assumption schools consist of four 
rooms, three of which are taught by the 
Sisters of Providence, who live in the 
adjoining residence, and one, the higher 
grade in the male department, by Mr. John 
F. Boyle. He has held the position since 
1885, and succeeded Mr. T. A. Crosson, 
who taught from 18S2 until that time. 
There are 225 children in attendance. The 
building erected in 1881, is of brick, 44x84 
feet, t two stories, with the upper floor in use 
as the Assumption Hall. The parish now 
has 200 families, and the trustees are John 
McDonagh, C. J. Murphy, Eugene McGrath, 
M. Gorman, Charles McCarthy, and J. J. 

Very Rev. Eugene F. McBarron, dean, 
member of the bishop's council and immov- 
able pastor of the church ot the Assump- 
tion, was born near New Albany, Floyd 
county, Ind., June iS, 1844. He pursued 
his studies at St. Thomas' Seminary, near 
Bardstown, Ky., at Notre Dame University, 
at St. Meinrad's Benedictine Abbey, and 
finally at the Grand Seminary of St. Sulpice, 
Montreal, Canada, where he finished theol- 
ogy and learned the French language. He 
was ordained priest at Vincennes, June S, 
1871, by Bishop de St. Palais. His first 
mission was at St. Mary's of the Woods, 
Vigo county, where he remained eight 
years, maintaining and improving the high 
moral status of his congregation. In 1879 
Bishop Chatard appointed him pastor of the 
Church of the Assumption. By his learn- 
ing, business capacity and financial ability, 
he is admirably fitted for his responsible 



position. He adds to his knowledge a spirit 
of retirement, and to his zeal an excellent 
judgment. His preaching is plain and for- 
cible, while his methods of teaching youth 
adn expounding the Christian doctrine are 
very happy, making frequent use of com- 
parisons, and often employing odd words 
and phrases to impress a special point upon 
his auditors. He is immovably firm, just in 
his decisions, zealous in his labors, and not 
above taking advice. In the management 
of the financial and business interests of his 
congregation he has been signally success- 
ful. In consequence of these characteristics 
there are few priests more worthy, better 
appreciated or more loved than Very Rev. 
Father McBarron. 

Rev. Patrick H. Rowan, assistant pastor 
of the church, was born March 14, 1859, 
studied at St. Meinrad's Benedictine Abbey 
from 1874 to 1878, and thereafter for over 
two years in the American college at Rome. 
His health failing, he returned to the United 
States, and was ordained priest at Baltimore 
by Cardinal Archbishop Gibbons, May 13, 
1885, and on the 7th of June following cele- 
brated his first mass. On June 20, 1885, 
he arrived at Evansville, commissioned by 
Rt. Rev. Dr. Chatard for his present posi- 
tion in Assumption parish. Father Rowan 
knows the German and Italian languages 
well, is possessed of an excellent education 
and many charming qualities of mind and 

Holy Trinity Parish was not regarded 
as a separate congregation until 185 1, when 
the new church of that name was solemnly 
blessed in the presence of the right reverend 
bishop, and thereafter used exclusively by 
the German-speaking Catholics. Previously 
Catholics of all nationalities attended the 
Assumption church. For several years 
separate services continued to be held there 
for the Germans, and Rev. Fathers Charles 

Oppermann, Martin Stahl, Conrad Schnied- 
erjans and Roman Weinzoepfel succeeded 
each other in charge of the Germans and as 
assistants to Father Deydier. The first 
resident pastor for the Germans was Rev. 
Francis X. Kutassy, who arrived in 1848. 
It was he who organized Holy Trinity par- 
ish and built the church. 

In the work of building the new church 
he was ably assisted by the following gentle- 
men, who composed his first building com- 
mittee: B. Nurre, H. Ahlering, H. Her- 
mann, M. Nies, Fr. Ziegenhagen, and H. 
Rechtin. In 1849 the corner-stone was 
laid by Bishop de St. Palais, but on account 
of the ravages of the cholera the work was 
not completed until 1851. In 1855 a par- 
sonage was built at a cost of $1,500. In 
1866 Rev. J. Ferd. Viefhaus was sent as 
assistant to Father Kutassy. Stained glass 
windows were put in in 1S67, at a cost of 
$2,700. In 1868 two large vestry rooms 
were built as an addition to the church, at a 
cost of $3,000. In 1873 the front of the 
church was newly built, and a grand tower 
and spire erected. The edifice was then of 
these dimensions: Length, 147 feet; width, 
70 feet; height to ceiling, 35 feet. The 
spire stands 202 feet. In the tower is a 
chime of nine bells, which cost $5,000. In 
1872 Rev. Charles Loescher became the 
assistant priest, Rev. Father Viefhaus hav- 
ing undertaken the work of building up St. 
Mary's parish. In 1873 Rev. James Merckl 
became assistant. On the nth of October 
1874, the golden jubilee of the noble pastor, 
Rev. F. X. Kutassy, was celebrated with 
pomp, and as a sort of finish to his labors, 
for he died on the 27th of that month, as- 
sisted in his last hours by his dear friend, 
Father McDermott, who administered to 
him the last sacraments. He was buried in 
the new St. Joseph's cemetery, the first 
priest there interred, and a grand monument 


was erected to his memory in 1875. Rev. 
Father Merckl was in charge for seven 
months, or until the arrival of Rev. P. J. J. 
Duddenhausen as pastor, May 19, 1S75, to 
whom was given Rev. A. Oster as his as- 
sistant in Jury of that year. Father Dud- 
denhausen began many reforms in the 
congregation, adopted business methods, 
and celebrated the public service of the 
church with pomp and solemnity. He was 
given Rev. William Bultmann as his assist- 
ant, July, 1S77, and in 1880 Father F. B. 
Luebberman became his assistant, taking 
Father Bultmann's place, that reverend gen- 
tleman having undertaken the work of 
organizing St. Boniface's parish. 

Attention was paid to the matter of edu- 
cation as early as 185 1, when, with the 
organization of Holy Trinity parish, its first 
little brick school-house was built. In 1853 
the Sisters of Providence came to teach the 
children of the parish. In i860 a school 
was built especially for female children, and 
in 1863 a residence was built for the sisters. 
A clearing out of all the old buildings took 
place in 1869, when the present school 
building was erected. It is 58x105 feet, 
three stories, with the upper floor used as a 
hall. Mr. Blaes, of Piqua, Ohio, teaches the 
higher school. St. Joseph's Academy, owned 
by the Sisters of Providence, is a separate 
institution, situated on Division street. It is 
three stories in height and has several 
boarding scholars and day pupils. Rev. 
Father Duddenhausen died in 18S6, and 
was buried in St. Joseph's cemetery. His zeal 
and labors were great, and he was mourned 
by his congregation. He was born in Prus- 
sia, June 15, 1842, emigrated to the United 
States, September 20, 1863, and was or- 
dained priest December 23, 1865. He was 
pastor at Lawrenceburg from October, 
1870, until Ma}', 1875, when he became 
pastor of Holy Trinity parish, Evansville. 

He was succeeded a little over a year ago 
by Rev. H.John Diestel, who, for nearly a 
quarter of a century, had been the pastor of 
St. Philip's, in Posey county. He was born 
in Hanover, Germany, October 7, 1838. 
Having pursued his preparatory studies, he 
emigrated to the United States in 1857, and 
entered St. Charles' Seminary at Vincennes, 
where he was ordained priest by Bishop de 
St. Palais, December 21, 1864. Father 
Diestel is a portly man, of soldierly bearing. 
In the pulpit he is of great force, and is 
known as an eloquent and earnest preacher. 

His assistant is Rev. Francis Siepen, a 
native of Evansville, a young man of much 
promise. He studied in Austria, and was 
ordained June 26, 1887, by Bishop Chatard. 
He is a zealous, useful man. The congre- 
gation, even after giving up 200 families to 
the new St. Anthony's parish, is yet the 
largest in Evansville, having over 400 fam- 
ilies, or nearly 3,000 souls in all. 

The recent frescoing of the church cost 
$3,200. The parish grounds are at the 
corner of Third and Vine streets, and are 
150x225 feet. The parish debt is $16,650.55, 
and the value of the property is over $125,- 
000. There are over 400 children attend- 
ing the parish schools. 

The present trustees are: F. Harnish- 
feger, Joseph Hoffman, Joseph Sabee, Val- 
entine Schmitz, sr.j J. Pierre and John 

Sf. Marys Parish. — St. Mary's is the 
third of the Catholic congregations formed 
in Evansville, and dates back to 1866, the 
year of the appointment of its present pas- 
tor by Bishop de Saint Palais. The first 
work done by the pastor, Rev. John Ferdi- 
nand Viefhaus, after the purchase of the 
present site of the parish buildings, was the 
erection of a two-story brick school-house 
at a cost of $5,000. This building is at the 
southeast corner of Cherry and Upper Sixth 


streets, where, on the former street, the 
parish grounds extend 240 feet, by 145 feet 
on the latter. The next of the parish build- 
ings is the church, a brick structure of im- 
posing architecture and dimensions. The 
corner-stone was laid by Bishop de St. 
Palais, October 28, 1866. Sixteen priests 
were present, together with a vast concourse 
of people. Very Rev. Bede O'Connor and 
others preached on the occasion. It was 
finished and dedicated by Bishop de St. 
Palais in 1867, and was used for the first 
time January 1, 1868. It is Gothic in style, 
and its dimensions are 66x140 feet, its cen- 
ter ceiling being fifty feet high. The fres- 
coing is tasteful, the altars elegant and in 
keeping with the style of architecture. The 
spire, surmounted by a golden cross, stands 
175 feet, and in the tower is a chime of three 
bells, noted for size and sweetness of tone. 
St. Mary's church has cost $60,000. 

The pastoral residence, a commodious 
two-story brick structure, which cost 
$6,200, was built in 1881. The girls' school 
and sisters' house, a three-story brick edi- 
fice, 45x80, cost $14,000, and was erected 
in 1 87 1. It accommodates the female por- 
tion of the 309 children of the parish who 
attend their own Catholic schools. The Sis- 
ters of St. Francis are in charge, while the 
boys' school is under the direction of Prof. 
Fred. Schonlan. 

From a report made to Bishop Chatard 
in 1S80 by the reverend pastor, it appears 
that during the thirteen years from 1867 to 
1880, St. Mary's congregation paid out for 
improvements, interest, salaries, etc., the 
very large sum of $152,000. This mani- 
fests the accord with which priest and peo- 
ple labor for the common good and the 
advancement of religion and education. 
The debt is only $18,000. There is a mem- 
bership of 255 families, representing 1,500. 
Rev. John Ferdinand Viefhaus is a 

native of Germany, born at Essen, Janu- 
ary 5, 1838; pursued his studies at the 
Universities of Munster, Tubingen and Bonn; 
was ordained by Bishop Baudri, April 27, 
1862; emigrated to the United States in 
1865, and the following year was sent by 
Bishop de St. Palais to Evansville, as assist- 
ant to Rev. Father Kutassy, then pastor of 
Holy Trinhy parish. In that year (1866), 
St. Mary's parish was created, and he was 
appointed its pastor. He is a learned and 
zealous priest, and enjoys the reputation of 
being an eloquent and forceful speaker. 

St. Boniface's Parish was organized on 
January, 1880. The first move in the crea- 
tion of St. Boniface's parish, was a meeting 
of prominent Catholic Germans at the resi - 
dence of Mr. Charles Schulte, on Wabash 
avenue, October 20, 1878. Besides Mr. 
Schulte, there were present at the meeting 
Messrs. Henry Reitman, Adam Helfrich, 
John T. Rechtin and August Rosenberger. 
A letter seating forth the facts was sent to 
the bishop, and block sixty-three on Wabash 
avenue, 400x250 feet, worth $10,000, was 
purchased for $5,000, as the site of the 
parish buildings. On January 4, 1880, 
Bishop Chatard visited Evansville, received 
the deed to the property from the gentlemen 
named, created the St. Boniface's parish, and 
appointed as its pastor Rev. William Bult- 
mann, who had been assistant priest at Holy 
Trinity church. At the meeting of inter- 
ested Catholics where these things were 
done, $10,000 were promptly pledged in 
support of the new parish. Work was be- 
gun on the temporary frame church Febru- 
ary 1, of that year, and on the following 
Sundav, February 6, high mass and vespers 
were sung in the same. After two months 
an addition had to be made to accommodate 
the people, and this wooden structure, less 
than a year later, had to give way to the 
present grand edifice. The corner-stone of 



the present St. Boniface's church was laid 
with imposing ceremonies, September 4, 
1881, by Rev. Roman Weinzoepfel. 
Father Duddenhausen preached. All 
the Catholics of Evansville were out 
in their thousands, and the day was a mem- 
orable one. The work on the new church 
was pushed so rapidly that the sacred edi- 
fice was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
April 27 of the following year. Rev. J. 
Ferdinand Viefhaus, pastor of St. Mary's 
church, delivered the dedicatoiy sermon. 
The church presents a grand and imposing 
front view, is 70x147 feet and its two spires 
stand 202 feet. In its towers are three bells, 
weighing 3,700 pounds. In 1885 a splendid 
school building was erected by the parish at 
a cost of $10,000. The first frame school 
was built by Mr. Adam Helfrich, and its use 
donated by him for a year. In the begin- 
ning the number of school children did not 
exceed fifty, but 220 are now in attendance. 
The school accommodations have been en- 
larged and improved, by the erection of 
a beautiful school building with six rooms, 
each 24x36 feet, spacious halls and an im- 
posing exterior. The Ursuline Sisters, from 
Louisville, are in charge. Bishop Chatard 
dedicated the school building December, 
1885. The number of families in the parish 
is 210, and the number of souls is about 
1,400. Not including a pastoral residence, 
which will soon be undertaken, the value of 
improvements and grounds of St. Boniface's 
parish is nearly $100,000. The people are 
generous, and take a just pride in their 
parish and its institutions, while their pastor 
is devoted, laborious and lovable. 

Rev. William Bultmann was the assist- 
ant at Holy Trinity church from July 17, 
1877, to January 6, 1SS1, when he was ap- 
pointed to his present charge. In the great 
work of building up the St. Boniface's con- 
gregation, and presiding over the erection 

of its elegant church and school, Father 
Bultmann showed his talent for directing 
temporalities. His correct judgment and 
easy methods are quite notable. He is popu- 
lar both with his people and with non-Cath- 
olics; is unassuming but zealous, and his de- 
votion to his charge is great. He was born 
at Vincennes, February 2, 1854, was edu- 
cated at St. Meinrad's Benedictine Abbey 
and at Indianapolis, where the Diocesan 
seminary was then, was ordained at St. 
Meinrad's, May 28, 1S77, by Bishop de 
St. Palais and almost immediately entered 
the vineyard to satisfy his cherished desires 
of saving souls and preserving and spread- 
ing the faith. 

Sacred Heart Parish. — The Sacred 
Heart Parish is the fifth organized in Evans- 
ville. Within its present limits there were 
found fifty families in 1885, for whom it was 
a great hardship to attend the Assumption 
church, more than a mile distant. On learn- 
ing the facts the right reverend bishop con- 
sented to the building of a church for these 
people, whic