Boone County Introduction
Boone County History
City & Town Histories
Recollection of Samuel Evans
Recollection of George Gibson
Recollection of William Lane
Recollection of John Lowe
Recollection of Emma Marvin
Recollection of Thomas Miller
Recollection of William Mills
Recollection of George B. Richardson
Recollection of James Richardson
Recollection of Solomon Sering
Recollection of Amelia Zion
Roads and Bridges
Schools & Teachers
Albert S. White
Township Histories I
Township Histories II
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City and Town Histories
Boone County has numerous small cities and towns located
within the larger twelve main townships. Below are some
historical descriptions of these locales and their early
residents circa 1887. For many individuals you will also find
short biographical details including birth and death
information. Jane A. Heine transcribed these excerpts from, "Early Life
and Times in Boone County, Indiana," 1887. Complete
source information is given below.
This town is located in
the northeast part of Jackson Township and on the Midland
Railroad, nine miles southwest of Lebanon and five miles
north of Jamestown. The place is comparatively new,
springing up when the above railroad was proposed. The
people here have waited long and patiently for the
completion of it, and the outlook to-day, March, 1887, is
encouraging. When this railroad is finished here it will
give the town and surrounding country an outlet which is
very much needed. The town contains several stores, shops,
mechanics, doctors, churches, school house, etc. The
population is near one hundred, all told. We hope before
long to hear that the above railroad is a fixed fact.
Advance contains several good residences; also a postoffice,
which is a great convenience to the people of northeast
Jackson and surrounding country.
This once thriving little town was situated on the
Michigan road, just north of where Little Eagle crosses the
same. It kept this name for years, when it was changed to
that of Hamilton, about the year 1838 or 1839. It was first
named after Walter Clark, who came from Ohio. It was
laid out on the land of Jacob Hoover, in or about the
year 1833. The following were its first citizens: Frederick
Lowe, who built the first house and kept public
house, Elias Bishop, John Lowe, George Lowe,
the Duzans, Jacob Hoover. The first blacksmith
was Critchfield. The first doctors were W. N.
Duzan, George Selders, George W. Duzan.
The first merchants were Jacoh Hoover, John Duzan,
Oel Thayer, Zachariah Owsley. Zachariah
Torpin kept a grocery and something for the inner man
occasionally. The first tanner was James Sheets. The
first carding machine was built by Jacob Hoover and
Moses Lyons as early as 1837, and has been kept up
ever since; is now owned by Paul D. Liebhardt, with a
saw mill attached. Andrew Hopkins, Clinton Osburn
and Allen Brock were the saddlers and harness makers
in an early day. The town has all gone down, there are only
a few dilapidated houses remaining that mark the site of the
once flourishing town of Clarkstown.
By Levi Denny
The above town was first laid out in 1850, by Aries Pauly.
It was first known as "Crackaway." It is situated in
Jefferson Township, eight miles west of Lebanon, in a fine
part of the county. In 1860 a postoffice was established
here and named Cason, in remembrance of Thomas J.
Cason, of Lebanon. It has been for years the center or
voting place for the township. The first merchant was Wesley
Adkins, who started a store in 1860. The first
postmaster was Wm. Goldsburgh; present one, Joseph S.
Miller. In 1851 James Stephenson built a
sawmill here. The following doctors have practiced here:
Drs. Clair, Oxly, C. Smith, Hamilton,
John S. Smith, Finch, Crafton, and W.
H. Ware, who is now in practice and who is a clever
gentleman and doctor as well. The first wood shop was by J.
L. Pyles; first blacksmith, Wm. Goldsburgh.
The following are the names of the present merchants and
mechanics: McDaniel & Bro., general merchants; Lewis
neers [? transcriber error?] all earning their living by the
sweat of the brow, but in the year 1859 William and John
Goldeburrough purchased the saw mill of Mr. Dalzell
and erected a dwelling and a log blacksmith shop near the
crossing. Then the neighborhood of Crackaway began to show
signs of a village in the near future, for in a few months
the long-looked-for postoffice came and with it a commission
for William Goldsburrough as postmaster, and the U.
S. check bore the name of Dover. Then the name of Crackaway
passed into oblivion. Progress was slow for a season, but in
1862 one Wesley Adtkins, now deceased, built a 10 x
12 storeroom near the blacksmith shop and supplied the
villagers and weary travelers with groceries and an
occasional dose of "Old Kaintuck," and in the following
spring Jacob Pyles moved from Lebanon and opened a
wagon and repair shop, in a log building, on the corner
where McDaniel & Bro's magnificent storeroom now
stands. Prosperity crowned his efforts and he now lives on
his farm adjoining town. He is the only one of the oldest
settlers living in the county. There were but few changes or
improvements made until the year 1865, when Fielding
Denny bought the Pauly farm which had passed
through several hands prior to this, and also bought a small
tract on the northwest corner of John Darrough's
land. This he sold out in small lots to parties who began to
build and improve the town. In 1866 Dr. Israel Kirk
located here; he was the first resident physician. In the
following spring John Hall built a tile factory and
continued in the manufacture of that much needed article for
three or four years. In 1866 a Mr. Chaney bought the
stock of groceries from Mr. Adtkins and moved into a
more pretentious building and increased the stock of
merchandise, but in 1868 he sold his stock of goods and
moved away. The first church was built by the Baptist and
Methodist denominations, but in a few months the former
bought out the interest of the latter. Fielding Denny
donated the lots for the church and cemetery. During the
same year Dr. Kirk moved to Darlington and Dr. W. A.
Ware located in his place and is still here
practicing his profession. In 1871 the Presbyterians built
an elegant frame structure for worshiping in, and in 1873
the Reformers, or Campbellites, through the instrumentality
of Thomas McDaniel, erected quite a respectable
church of a rather more modern style than either of the
other two. At present all three of the churches are in a
prosperous condition. There have been various changes in the
past few years, which we fail to note on account of space."
Eagle Village, one of the oldest towns in Boone County,
was laid out in 1831. It is located on the Michigan Road, in
the southeast part of Eagle Township, about one mile east of
Zionsville. Until 1852, when the Indianapolis, Cincinnati &
Lafayette Railroad was built the village was a place of some
importance. From the year 1850, when it was at its zenith,
it gradually went down, until now there are but few houses
left. Many of the buildings were removed from there to
Zionsville in 1852, when the latter place was laid out.
Among the early merchants and business men of Eagle Village,
most whom are now deceased, we find the following: Daniel
and James M. Larimore, Reuben Price, J. F.
Daugherty, John Harden, Addison Nicholas,
J. B. Pitzer, John P. Welch, Oel Thayer,
T. P. Miller and Fielding Utterback, all of
whom sold goods from 1835 until 1851. Among the physicians
who practiced here from time to time, were H. G. Larimore,
S. W. Rodman, Jeremiah Larimore, J. M.
Gaston, Nathan Crosby and Dr. Johnson. H.
G. Larimore died in Fayette County, Ind., in 1874,
aged near ninety years. S. W. Rodman lives in
Washington Territory. J. M. Gaston, who did not
remain long in Eagle Village, lives in Indianapolis. Dr.
Johnson's whereabouts are unknown. Jeremiah Larimore
died in Indianapolis about the year 1880. He is buried at
Mount's Run, in this county. Nathan Crosby, quite an
old man, lives in Zionsville. He came from the East to Eagle
Village in 1849. Of the early merchants we give the
following: Daniel Larimore came from Fayette County,
Ind., in 183-, was engaged in business only a few years when
he died. He died in 1839, and is buried at Eagle Village. J.
M., his son, succeeded him, and was engaged in active
business until March, 1849, when he died of consumption. He
was a fine-looking man, was never married, and is buried by
the side of his father. He was the first Odd Fellow in Boone
County. J. F. Daughterty came in 1836, and was in
business a number of years. He finally moved to Zionsville,
where he sold goods a number of years. He now resides in
Indianapolis. John Harden engaged in business in
1842. He died in Ohio, February, 1877, and is buried at
Zionsville, Boone County. Fielding Utterback was
engaged in business several years. He was elected county
sheriff in 1845. He went West and died there ten or fifteen
years ago. Oel Thayer came to Boone County in 1839; was
first a merchant in Clarkstown, then in Eagle Village. He
finally removed to Lebanon, where he died February 4, 1877.
John Welch engaged in business with J. B. Pitzer
(his brother-in-law), in 1846. He died in September, 1850,
and is buried on Eagle Creek, six miles southwest of
Zionsville. J. B. Pitzer was in business several
years. He was elected county auditor in 1863. He resides in
Zionsville, and is seventy-four years old. T. P. Miller
was born in Tennessee. He came with his father to Eagle
Creek in 1829. He was engaged several years at Eagle Village
as merchant, postmaster and justice of the peace. He was the
second Odd Fellow in the county. He resides in Indianapolis,
aged seventy-five years. James McCoy, Jesse Essex,
William Gouge, William Lakin and John Gates
were early blacksmiths. McCoy was married five times
and then said he was on his first legs. He lived to be
ninety-five years old. Mr. Gouge was a local
preacher, and lived to be quite old. Mr. Essex died a
little past middle life. He was the son of Jesse Essex,
Sr., and the father of George Essex, of Lebanon.
James Handly was the tailor; he moved West, and the
last account of him he was still living. Andrew Hopkins
was about the first saddler. He was born in Ohio, married a
daughter of Austin Davenport, and died at Lafayette,
Ind., in 1852, in middle life. William Farlan, an
attorney, was born in New York. He resided in Eagle Village
many years, where he taught school in early times. He went
to Wisconsin, where he died about 1865, aged seventy years.
Jesse Essex was the first tanner, followed by William
Manteeth and M. S. Davenport. The carpenters
of that time were Starling C. Rose, Luther M.
Oliphant, Isaac L. Davenport and Thomas
Oliphant. The shoemakers were Henry Breedlove, A.
W. Larimore, Henry Davenport and Mr.
Danforth. James Armstrong and Henry Gardner
made saleratus here at an early day. "The ashery,'' as we
called it, was started by J. M. Larimore and Mr.
Bishop in 1846. Mrs. Polly Larimore kept the
tavern many years after her husband died. T. P. Miller
also kept the "Pavilion." The "Eagle Village Hotel" was kept
by Mrs. Larmac, Joseph Larimore, George
Craft and Mr. Hurd. It went down about the year
1852, with Joseph Larimore at the helm. The Odd
Fellows organized a lodge here about the year 1846 or 1847,
with the following as first members: J. M. Larimore,
T. P. Miller, J. F. Daugherty, Joseph
Larimore, James Handly, Oel Thayer, I. L.
Davenport, Jacob Tipton, T. W. Oliphant
and L. Oliphant. Among the early preachers were James
McCoy, Jacob Myers, Robert H. Calvert,
Madison Hume, Mr. Wells, William Gouge
and George Dye. A man by the name of Wesley George,
from Indianapolis, started a tin shop, but did not stay
long. The following have served as postmasters: T. P.
Miller, Fielding Utterback, J. F. Daugherty,
Nathan Crosby. A temperance society was organized
here about the year 1845; flourished for several years, and
about the year 1853 went down with the general crash of the
village. Adjoining on the east is the cemetery, where lie
buried many old citizens, among whom are Daniel Larimore,
J. M. Larimore, William Miller, Mrs. Polly
Larimore, Peter Gregory, and Patrick H.
Sullivan, the first settler in the county and who helped
to select the present site of Lebanon as the place for the
county seat. He died about the year 1879, when he must have
been eighty-five years of age.
Fayette is located in Whitelick, in Perry Township, and
in the southern part of it near the Hendricks County line
and on section ten. The town is well located on an elevated,
well-drained piece of land. The town contains two stores,
school house and several good private residences. Fayette
was laid out on the land originally owned by Edmond
Shurly and Mr. Turner. The present merchants are
Mr. McDaniel and Shurly, Drs. W. E. Everts
and Jourden. Drug store by Josephus Dodson.
Former merchants mere Charles J. Lumpkins and Thos.
Fitch. Dr. Jorden's family kept the drug store
here. Fayette is the voting place of Perry Township, and is
the center of considerable trade, not only of Boone County,
but that also of Hendricks County. The postoffice is now
kept by Dr. W. E. Everts, who has been here several
years and has a fine practice. The town contains some three
hundred inhabitants, of sober, industrious habits. The
settlement here on Whitelick dates back in the thirties. The
town, however, is not quite that old.
This town is located on the Indianapolis, Cincinnati &
Lafayette Railroad, six miles northwest of Lebanon, in the
southeast corner of Washington Township. It was laid out on
the land originally owned by the late H. G. Hazlerigg,
and named in honor of him. It has been a stopping and
shipping point of some note for the last twenty years. The
town contains a store, kept by S. Klepfer, a
blacksmith shop, postoffice, and several dwelling houses.
Over the store of Mr. Klepfer is a public hall, used
for general purposes, such as lectures, meetings of a
religious character, etc. Hazlerigg is located in a fine
part of the county; its nearness to the county seat and
Thorntown will in all probability keep it from becoming a
town of large proportions, but it will no doubt increase to
some extent and will be a place of considerable local trade.
The people here could illy do without a postoffice and other
conveniences now afforded at Hazlerigg Station. The
population of the town is eighteen persons, all told, big
No town in Boone County is situated in a more beautiful
country than the above, located near the south line of
Jackson Township, also the county line adjoining Hendricks
County, on the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad, also
on the State Road leading from Indianapolis to
Crawfordsville, on the west bank of Eel River. It is about
twelve miles southwest of Lebanon. Jamestown has an
interesting history, for it was here one of the first
settlements was made, away back at least to 1826 or 1827.
The town was perhaps laid out in 1832, by James Mattock
and John Gibson, two worthy pioneers. It was Mr.
Gibson who first built his rude cabin here in 1829. From
that time to this Jamestown has survived, and is now one of
the principal trading points in the county, commanding a
large trade from the adjoining counties of Hendricks and
Montgomery. From this little humble cabin in the woods
Jamestown has grown to a thriving town of fifteen hundred
inhabitants. On the completion of the railroad here the town
began to grow rapidly; many substantial buildings have been
erected; a good M. E. Church of brick, which is a credit to
the people in Jamestown and vicinity. The same might be said
as to the Christian Church here, also of brick, well located
and of good size. Martin's mill is one of the fixed
institutions of the place. We must not forget the school
building, one of the finest as well as best the located in
county or state. There is no, better evidence of a people's
industry and thrift than a good schoolhouse. The Trotter's
Grove adjoining the town on the northeast is one of the
loveliest to be found anywhere. Nature has lavished her
gifts on this beautiful grove, where annual gatherings are
held. Good stores and many tasteful residences adorn the
town, which speak out in tones not to be misunderstood by
those visiting this ancient town. Following will be found a
sketch written for the Pioneer December 18, 1886, which will
be read with interest.
We must not forget the Jamestown Tribune, edited by tile old
veteran, George Snyder, who so long and well has
managed it. It is well gotten up, issued weekly, and its
appearance every Thursday is hailed with delight. Long may
this good old man live to edit the Tribune. The Jamestown
band is a credit to the town. Its members are a wide-awake
set of young men, and the notes of their band are always
received well by the people hereabouts.
" The town of Jamestown was laid out about the year 1832, by
James Mallock and John Gibson - John Gibson
was the father of G. W. Gibson, one of the present
business citizens. The first store was opened by Samuel
Hughes on the north side of. Main street. John Galvin,
some few years after, sold goods on the corner now occupied
by J. H. Camplin & Son. This place being located on
the State Road was a town of great importance during the day
of stages. Having several hotels and livery stables it was
made a central point, and consequently the changes of coach
horses. It is now situated on the Indiana, Bloomington &
Western Railroad, twenty-seven miles west of Indianapolis,
this being built about 1870. Has improved considerable since
that time, reaching a population of nearly 1,100, but has
labored under several difficulties and misfortunes, there
being three large fires, viz: September 5, 1876, which
originated in a saloon, burning nearly all the principal
business rooms and a large hotel, leaving the town in a
rather critical condition, but by some few determined
citizens it was mostly rebuilt; on the morning of November
10, 1880, another fire started in the wareroom of a drug
store on South Main street and burned seven of the best
business rooms, and September 11, 1883, another one, burning
seven large rooms. Since then seven have been erected. No
doubt in a year or so all the vacant lots will have as good
or better rooms and be in a more prosperous condition than
heretofore. But labor under all these fires has somewhat
kept up the necessary buildings for business occupancy.
The town is surrounded by as good country and as
intelligent, industrious farmers as could be asked, and with
all this and our energetic citizens there is no reason why
it shall not rise to as good a point as any in the county.
The place at one time had a very hard name, about the time
of the building of the Indiana, Bloomington & Western
Railroad, one or two men being murdered by the gang who
worked on the road; also at that time there were several
places of disreputable character, several saloons, which
most certainly was the cause. But now we have as quiet and
peaceable a town as is anywhere to be found. Still the bad
name hangs over us, by parties who are not visitors here. We
have two churches-Christian Church, under the pastoral
charge of Elder Pritchard, and M. E. Church, under
the pastoral charge of Rev. E. W. Lawhon.
The high school, which building was erected in 1873, is most
certainly in a prosperous condition under the principalship
of Prof. P. V. Voris; the faculty are as follows:
Academic department, Prof. Voris; Preparatory, Prof.
Storm; Intermediate, Miss Effie Gibson;
Primary, Mrs. Belle Emmons. Our oldest settlers are
G. W. Gibson, who has been a citizen for fifty-eight
years, and Dr. G. L. Burk, who has been here for
forty-six years. The gentlemen who look after the physical
welfare of our citizens are Dr. G. L. Burk, A. M.
Finch, S. J. Banta, W. S. Heady, G. M.
Van Arsdell and F. M. Austin. The legal
fraternity is ably represented by W. J. Darnall and
D. C. Brackney. We have four secret societies. I. O
O. F., No. 222, founded June 20, 1861, with a membership of
nearly one hundred; F. A. M., with a good membership and in
prosperous condition; G. A. R., No. 162, with a membership
of seventy-five; and Knights of Labor.
The amount of business done in Jamestown is exceedingly
large. Emmons & Richmond are doing a large
business, working about fifteen hands at their sawmill and
from five to ten teams hauling logs; have the last year
shipped fifteen cars of walnut limber, and for contract on
railroad works bills averaged at least five cars a week.
During the autumn months they sawed about 75,000 feet of
quartering out, which it; used as finishing lumber This is
done only by mills which stand as first-class This firm
deserves great praise for their energy and employment of so
many laborers, which has been an aid to many families. In
the mercantile department are J. H. Camplin & Son,
John H. Cline, W. T. Free, C. K. Slonnegar,
W. H. Orear & Co., Thomas: B. Williamson, J.
H. Steele, Thomas Porter, J. T. Burhop,
S. B. Summerville and G. W. McKeehan. The Eel
River Mills are running night and day in order to keep up
with orders for flour and feed. This mill is managed by
Wesley Martin & Sons. Mr. Martin, Senior, was
our miller in an early day, removing from this county to
Minnesota, and returning only a short time since. Crose
& Hendricks are our liverymen. John Huber has
been running a restaurant here for the last twenty years.
Peter Smith operates a tile factory. Besides
supplying the home market with his products he has shipped
several carloads to Illinois during the past summer. Our
wagon factory is conducted by Richard Miller, who
also does carriage painting and ironing."
The City of Lebanon
In pursuance to an act of the Legislature of 1830, this
county was organized, and in conformity to the same act, the
Governor of the State was authorized to appoint five
commissioners, whose duty it was to locate the county seat
of this county. Three of these five commissioners for this
purpose met near the center of the county about the 1st of
May, 1832. It was their duty, according to the law, to
locate the site for the county seat within two miles of the
center of the county. After prospecting various sites near
the center of the county, they finally came on to the tract
of land where Lebanon is now located. This tract of land
then belonged to Colonel Kinnard, in which it appears
that Colonel Drake was also interested. Here then
stood a tall, dense forest of large trees, among which the
small growth of underbrush and saplings were so dense as to
obstruct the passage of man or beast. After two or three
days of toil in looking for a location for the county seat,
the commissioners stopped on the rise of ground where the
court-house now stands, though this particular spot was then
surrounded by willow ponds, and outside of these ponds the
trees were a hundred feet in height. Here the commissioners
were reposing. Meantime quite a crowd of unkempt Hoosiers
had assembled to see the commissoners and find the location
of the new county seat in the deep, wild woods. The
Commissioners had made their decision that here was the
county seat; they drove a large stake where the court-house
now stands. That stake was all that was then done in the
construction of the city of Lebanon. Then there was not a
human being residene in Lebanon - no, not even an Indian
wigwam nor a log hut. It was in its native glory; but the
name - it was yet without a name. The commissioners had
failed as yet to give it name; they could not agree, Mr. .A.
M. French, the youngest of the commissioners, lay
near by, quietly sleeping, unconcerned what the name might
be. He was aroused and told the others, having failed in
agreeing on a name for the county seat of the State of
Boone, had deferred the name solely to him. He gazed up at
the tall trees around him, and thought of the tall cedars of
Lebanon in sacred history thought of the river Jordan --
here were the tall trees, a way off was Prairie Creek; thus
the name was evolved in his mind - he shouted " Lebanon."
The name was fixed. Lebanon it has henceforth been.
In the year 1832 Abner H. Longley, the first settler,
located in Lebanon, and erected a one-room log cabin on lot
No. 1, block No. 16, where the marble front building now
stands. In the summer time, in front of his round-log cabin,
he set posts in the ground, and of the green leafy boughs of
the trees he constructed a portico, such only as it was.
Such was Lebanon's beginning. Then railroads, gravel roads,
telegraphs, telephones, gas, and coal "ile" were uncivilized
and unthought - of institutions. Then cities were not built
by electricity nor gas; in most instances their growth - was
slow. To clear away the great forest which stood where
Lebanon now "booms" was no easy task. To drain the willow
ponds, then within the limits of the present city, was no
small job of work; yet Lebanon did grow -- or rather, it has
evolved, or been made to evolve. The wonder is, considering
its adverse environments, that it has accomplished as much
as it has; but it was the county seat, and it had to become
something. The county could not exist without the county
seat. It was the capitol of the "State of Boone," and grow
it must, otherwise it might have become a "distressed" farm,
with drain tile privileges.
In 1840, when the writer first visited Lebanon, the city
consisted of a few frame buildings, then mostly surrounding
the public square. In a wet time the streets were, in many
places, impassable. The sidewalks around the square were
made by blocks of wood sawed off and set upon end, and upon
these blocks planks were laid lengthwise of the walk, and in
a time of high water these became afloat, and passing afoot
was not desirable; neither were swimming privileges very
good - the pedestrian could often float. The walls of the
first brick court-house were up in 1840, but the house then
was not finished. It stood where the court-house now stands,
the new house being erected in 1856. To "outside barbarians"
Lebanon, even in 1856, had no great promise of being
anything more than a dull, unattractive town. The first
railway (i.e. the iron one) was completed through the city
in 1852. This, for the city and county, was a hopeful
institution, for, in places, it was above high tide. In
growth Lebanon never has had any sensational "boom," though
it has what might be called a good and convenient
court-house, also an excellent jail, several convenient and
substantial church edifices, and an excellent opera
building, besides the usual number of good business
buildings for a city of its size, and quite a number of fine
and In every way. At this writing (1887) preparations are
being made to bore for natural gas, and perhaps before this
is in print the flames from a well may light up the city. In
December, 1886, the city was first lit by manufactured gas,
and it is one of the many improvements made recently.
The town was incorporated in 1853, by an act of the
Legislature the winter previous; but, as time advanced, its
clothes got too short for it, and in 1875 it was
incorporated as a city, with the following officers serving
as mayors, for it was first organized up to 1886: Samuel L.
Hamilton, T. W. Lockhart, W. C. Gerrard,
J. L. Pierce, J. C. Laughlin, J. M. Kelsy.
The following have served as clerks: W. A. Zion,
Charles E. Wilson, C. Copeland, C. P. Kern,
W. O. Darnall. Treasurers: W. H. Richey, J. M.
Conyears. Marshals: Jesse Perkins, J. W. Herrod, O. C. Witt,
W. A. Mellett, F. Laugher. Assessors: Lysander
Darnall, H. A. Shultz. The following have
served as Councilmen: From the first ward, from 1875 to 1886
-- A. 0. Miller, A. C. Daily, Jesse Perkins, J. L. Hall,
L. S. Lakin, H. C. Brush, Charles Daily,
Jesse Neff, A. J. Sanders, F. M. Kersy,
J. P. McCorckle. From the second ward -- J. R.
Ailsworth, James Males, F. M. Busby, Elias
W. Brown, J. W. Garner, Granville Hutchings,
James Combs, James Weed, Peter Cox,
Patrick Ryan, H. C. Ulin, Jasper J. Cory,
D. A. Rice. From the third ward -- Sol. Witt,
Jasper Kelsy, John L. Crane, M. C. Kleiser,
J. A. Alexander, Wes. Lane, C. N. Kellogg,
William L. Higgins, W. T. Hooten, Jacob
Byerly, J. A. Brown.
This thriving town, so beautifully located on a high piece
of ground near the junction of Brown's Wonder and Sugar
Creek, was laid out in the year 1835, by James Snow.
It is near the Clinton County line and also near the line
dividing the townships of Clinton and Washington, being,
however, in the latter, on the road leading from Lebanon to
Frankfort, about nine miles from the former and seven from
the latter. The town contains many handsome residences,
three churches, school house, etc., and is the center of a
fine local trade. This is the home of Dr. Jesse Reagan,
Dr. Walker, Nathan Garrett, all well known and
valuable citizens. Below will be found a sketch of
Mechanicsburg, written for the Lebanon Patriot in December,
1886, which will account for this short, imperfect sketch:
"Mechanicsburg is situated on the hanks of Sugar Creek,
midway between Lebanon and Frankfort, and has a population
of about 200. It has been called "The Burg" longer than the
oldest inhabitant can recollect. The place is well known
throughout the country, as its flouring mill, at one time
owned by George Ryan, was patronized by farmers from
far and near, not only of this, but by those of the
adjoining county, Clinton.
"A. R. Garrett has a complete stock of groceries, dry
goods, glass and queensware, boots, shoes and notions. John
R. Beach keeps groceries, dry goods, ready-made
clothing, boots, shoes and notions. E. E. Armstrong
deals in drugs, patent medicines, school books, stationery,
paints, oils, cigars, tobacco and notions. Dr. J. S.
Reagan has been practicing medicine here for thirty
years, has accumulated considerable property, and was
elected to the office of county clerk at the last election.
Dr. D. R. Walker has been practicing medicine here
about ten years, has nice residence property and a farm
one-half mile north of town. Dr. C. D. Umberhine is a
young man, a graduate of Rush Medical College, and has been
practicing medicine for the past two years in partnership
with Dr. Reagan. Dr. U. built a substantial house the
past summer and has come to stay. The blacksmiths are Frank
Moore and W. H. Brown, both good workmen who
have plenty to do the year round. William Keller is
the justice of the peace and works at shoemaking during odd
spells. J. S. Moore has a wagon shop, keeps the
postoffice, and is probably the only Republican postmaster
now in the county. Frank Mills familiarly known as "
Handle," carries the mail to and from Lebanon, hauls goods
for the merchants and does errands for everybody. Hart Lodge
No. 413, I. O. O. F., is the only secret order in the town.
It has a membership of about 24, owns its hall and seems to
be in a fairly good condition. The religious denominations
are the United Brethren in Christ Methodist Episcopal, and
Christian. The pastor of the United Brethren Church is Rev.
Perry Cooper; of the Methodist Episcopal, Rev. Jesse
Hill; and of the Christian, Rev. Howe of
Irvington. All the churches are in good condition."
The above village is situated rather in the north part of
Harrison Township, and five miles south of Lebanon. It was
laid out on section twenty-six, by G. O. P. Crawford.
The following have sold goods here from time to time: W. H.
Campbell, Henry Tomlinson, J. E. Pernell,
Henry Ulin, William Higgins, John Bartlett
and Theodore Dickerson. The following doctors have
practiced here: Henry Tomlinson, Melvin Leachman,
E. W. S. Hilligoss, and James Turner, who is
now located here, a young man of promise. Postmaster, John
Bartlett, who is now keeping it. The office was
discontinued for several years, but was restored in
November, 1886. The blacksmiths have been William Edwards,
John Troutman and ____ Edwards, the last two
now located here. The village contains a good brick school
house, Protestant Methodist Church and several good dwelling
houses. The postoffice was formerly kept by J. P. Pinnell
before it was discontinued, and he was perhaps the first one
The above town is in the southwest part of Harrison
Township, and about seven miles southwest of Lebanon, in a
rich fertile part of the county, containing several good
residences, Christian Church, brick school house, postoffice,
store, doctors, etc. Among the first merchants here were
Samuel Vest & Son, Dr. Horner, Mr. Sexton,
Aaron Frazee, Colonel Letcher, Franklin
Walters & Son, D. M. Watts. I. W. Smith is
present merchant and postmaster. The doctors who practiced
here from time to time are Dr. Horner, George and
William Kane, W. E. Everets, James Leach
and Dr. T. N. Bunnell. The last two are now
practicing here. W. H. Crose, the old veteran
wagonmaker is here, and has been for many years. Blacksmiths
have been here as follows: Wash Dale, O. C.
Willson and Joseph Chitewood; the last named is
now located here. The first postmaster was Nelson Watts,
The town was laid out in 1850, on the lands of Joseph and
Northfield was laid out in the year 1834. Jesse Lane
was the proprietor. It is situated in Union Township, on the
Michigan road. Big Eagle crosses the Michigan road just
north, and Findly Creek on the south. It at one time was a
place of considerable business, and at one time a piece of
ground was purchased with a view of building a court-house.
But the prospect of the county seat being located there
vanished. But Northfield lived, notwithstanding. Among the
first settlers and business men were as follows: Hiram
McQuidy built the first horse mill or corn cracker. Mr.
A. Sanburn was the first postmaster. First merchants
were Mr. Long, Chance Cole, Jacob Tipton.
Doctors were Knowlton, McLeod, Presly
and Samual Hardy. First blacksmith was Mr.
Robinson. First school teacher Mr. Bray. First
justices of the peace was Mr. Sanburn and Riley B.
Hogshier. The first church was built by the Methodists.
A church called Adventists' was built here in 1886, and
dedicated in December of that year by Rev. Covert, of
Howard County. It is a very good frame building; cost $800.
Northfield now and for the past forty-five years had a
postoffice, and is now the voting place of Union Township.
Election day several years ago was looked forward to with
interest, when it was understood that sundry disputes were
to be settled, and an occasional fight was no unusual sight.
Among the early families of the place were: George Shirts,
Hiram McQuidy, Mr. Sanburn, Jacob Tipton
and Mr. Robinson. The first tavern was kept by Hiram
McQuidy. The town contains a good brick school house
and M. E. Church. Northfield was once the home of Jonathan
H. Rose, also that of Jacob Tipton. The
present postmaster is Henry Nicholas. Among the early
citizens of Union Township now living within its borders
are: Mrs. Nicholas, Mrs. Koontz: Washington
Hutton, Mr. Alexander, Mrs. Sedgewick,
Andrew Harvey, Squire Duly, Samuel Davis,
John J. Ross and Jesse Lane.
Royalton is like the whisky was said to be by the
Indian: "Very little to its age." It nestles among the hills
of Fishbeck and Eagle Creek, and near the Marion County line
on the south, in Eagle Township, southeast of Lebanon. Among
the first merchants were John Rodman, Dr. Horn,
John W. Vaughn. The early doctors were Dr. Horn,
Dr. Ross, Dr. Graham First hotel kept by John
Smock; first blacksmith shop by Thomas Smock; first
postmasters were Dr. Horn, John McCabe, J. W.
Vaughn; first shoemakers, Jeremiah Washburn and
Daniel Thompson. Samuel Jones was the first to
sell whisky in Royalton. Mr. Strowmire is the
principal merchant of Royalton at this time. There is a
postoffice kept here; also trades of the various kinds going
on. It was near here that the famous Forman murder
occurred sixty-eight years ago in Marion County.
No one could write up the early events of the county and
forget the above town, for it is located on historic ground.
Not only was it here that the first settlement took place by
the whites, but it was the early home and scenes of the red
man and the French trader and trappers for perhaps near one
hundred years. Here the Indian built his hut; here the
braves wooed their dusky mates, and the war dance and songs
were: indulged in for years before the whites came to make a
settlement. Reader, let us go back sixty years. What do we
find -- here and there a cabin or a vacated wigwam, left by
the retreating Indians. About this time a few hardy pioneers
settled on Sugar Creek, where the now thriving town stands.
Slowly but surely it has advanced - first the cabin, then
the hewed log house, then the frame and finally the brick
mansion has come to take the place of those rude structures.
It has taken time to bring about these changes. Many have
fallen by the way. But few if any now remain who were actors
in the first settlement of Thorntown. When the railroad was
completed here it was the signal for general improvement,
and its future became a fixed fact. Up to that time it was
the trading point in the county, outrivaling the county
seat, Beautifully located on Sugar Creek, on one of the best
sites in the state, amidst one of the finest countries in
the state, could not be less than a good town. With its
natural advantages it at once and all the time takes rank
among the towns of the great State of Indiana. Thorntown is
known far and wide as one of the healthiest places, as well
as the most desirable to live in, to be found anywhere. From
its few cabins 1829, it has grown to be a little city of
1,500 inhabitants - industrious, intelligent, thorough-going
citizens. The people are justly proud of their place, with
its bright past; its future is no less prosperous. At this
writing, February, 1887, preparations are being made to dig
for natural gas, which is now agitating the people in our
state. Thorntown was the first in our county to move in this
direction. Let us hope her most sanguine expectations may be
more than realized, and that light may soon come to them.
Following will be found a letter to the Lebanon Patriot,
written December, 1886, which will give some very
interesting facts in regard to Thorntown and vicinity, which
will account for this seeming short article.
"This thriving little city is the oldest in Boone County. In
the year 1827 a settlement was commenced in this vicinity,
and in 1831 the town was surveyed and platted by one
Cornelius Westfall. As far back as 1719 there was an
established French and Indian trading post at this point.
From the year 1840 to 1875 there was not a licensed liquor
establishment in the place, and spirits could only be had at
the drug stores.
"The first church (Presbyterian) was organized in 1831, with
Clayborn Young as its minister. The first Sabbath
school was organized in 1834. Rufus A. Lockwood, of
whom the Indianapolis News recently gave an interesting
sketch, was the first attorney at law in the town. Relatives
of this once famous and eccentric lawyer are still living
here. The first school house was built in 1834, and was
undoubtedly the first school house in the county. Today
Thorntown has one of the finest and best arranged schools in
the state, with 375 pupils. Prof. Linnius Baldwin, of
Hamilton County, is the present principal, with the
following corps of efficient teachers: H. C. Heal,
Nelson Hetherington, Frank Moore, Mrs. Mary
Gaddis, Miss Kate Beck, Miss Stella Horner
and Miss Mattie Matthews. As above slated, the first
church organized was the Presbyterian. This church has a
membership of about 200, with Rev. Samuel Sawyer as
its minister. The Methodist Episcopal Church has a
membership of about 375. Its pastor is Rev. Isaac Dale,
of La Porte. The Baptist Church has nearly 100 members at
present. This church has no regular minister. The Christian
Church has a membership of about 70. It also has no regular
pastor. The secret societies are also well represented:
Thorntown Lodge No. 113, F. & A. M., was organized in 1852,
and to-day has a membership of 85. Osceola Lodge No. 173, I.
O. O. F., was organized in 1856 and at present has a
membership of 85. This order has a beautiful hall, which it
erected in the year 1873, at a cost of $5,000. Moriah
Encampment No. 83 has 60 members. Eden Lodge No. 149, Degree
of Rebecca, has 50 members. Less than two years ago, through
the efforts of a few of our young men, a Knights of Pythias
Lodge was instituted here, with a membership of about 30.
The growth of this order has been phenomenal. Today they
have over 100 members, nearly all young men. This order has
suffered a loss of one member (Mr. Frank Morton)
since its organization. They have a neat and comfortable
hall, recently fitted up, and are in an exceedingly
prosperous condition. The P. E. & Q. Fraternity, composed
entirely of ladies, was organized in 1885. Nothing can be
learned regarding this society, as the members will not even
give the meaning of the mystic letters representing their
order. The Grand Army of the Republic also have a neat hall
and have about 50 members. The Knights of Labor have an
organization here, but we fail to get any particulars
regarding their order.
"The first merchant in Thorntown was C. H. Baldridge,
who opened up a small merchandise store in the year 1832. Of
our present business interest we may mention the following:
Dry goods merchants -- A. Mossler, Stutesman &
Son, James L. Sailors and Harris & Gamso.
Grocers -- Wm. Curry, W. Matthews & Co.,
Charles Johnson, A. S. Stall, J. T. McKim,
-- Dunbar, Barker & Barker, Daniel
Hutchings and Mrs. Thomas Maiden. Hardware and
agricultural implements - C. B. Rous & Co., W. S.
Hall and John V. Young & Son. Druggists -- W. C.
Burk, James Hanna, T. E. Bradshaw and
Geo. Coulson. Watchmakers and jewelers --Chas. E.
Wasson, Robert A. Stall and Sam Sohl.
Boots and shoes - Hanna Brothers, Charles Snyder
and H. W. Henderson. Millinery - Mrs. Allie
Shilling and M. A. & L. E. Cheeks. Bankers -John
Niven & Co. Our physicians are A. Dunnington,
Wm. F. Curryer, M. H. Rose, S. W. Hawke,
J. A. Utter, D. B. Davis and E. L. Brown.
The legal profession is ably represented by the following
gentlemen: P. H. Dutch, Samuel M. Burk and
Abner V. Austin. Solomon Sharp, L. B. Moore
and M. M. McDowell are the gentlemen who deal out
justice to suit the occasion. Our meat markets are operated
by Dan B. Buser, Charles Buser and Albert
Jaques. Witt & Kleiser are proprietors of
the steam roller flouring mills. The steam sawmills are
owned by Moses Hardin. Photographers -- M. A
Keeler and Fred Hoffman. N.W. Weakly has
for twenty-five years, and is still, managing the interests
of the "Big Four" at this place. Our corporation affairs are
managed by the following gentlemen: City Board, A. C.
Clark, M. C. Moore and A. S. Stahl; Clerk,
T. E. Bradshaw; Treasurer, James Hanna;
Marshal, Green McDaniel; Township Trustee, Isaac
Wilson. In conclusion we will say that we have a
beautiful little city and by far the prettiest girls of any
town in the state." We must not forget the Arguss, so long
and ably published by F. B. Rose. It speaks for
itself every week, and is hailed with delight every issue,
by its hundreds of readers. It is one of the fixed
institutions of the lively little city of Thorntown. Long
may it live.
The above village is located in the northeast part of
Jackson Township, in section twenty. It was laid out in 1883
and named after Congressman Thomas Ward, who was
instrumental in getting a postoffice established there. It
is situated in a fine productive country, about seven miles
southwest of Lebanon, and five miles northeast of Jamestown.
The first merchant was John B. Bennington, succeeded
by Greenville Dodd, and he by the present merchant,
Thomas Burris. The first postmaster was J. C.
Bennington, succeeded by G. Dodd, and he by
Thomas Burris, who is now postmaster. There is a
Christian Church, a brick school house, and two or three
residences. About the year 1870 George Jackson built
a steam saw mill here which is now in operation.
The above town is situated in Worth Township, on the
Indianapolis Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad, seven miles
southeast of Lebanon and about the same distance northwest
of Zionsville, surrounded by one of the best agricultural
districts in the county. It is the center of a large local
trade and where the township elections are held, and in fact
all the elections when held in the county. It has been for
years the central point for Worth Township. Whitestown was
laid out in the year 1851, or about the time the railroad
was built. The first plat was on the land of Abram Nese.
The first merchant was Harrison Spencer, followed
soon after by Henry Lucus and William Laughner.
The first grist mill built here was by Isaac Dye and
Alfred Osburn, which was in a few years burned down;
rebuilt by Henry Lucus. The present mill was built by
J. W. Bowser, who operated it successfully for years
and built up for it a good reputation at home and abroad. He
sold it in October, 1886, to Riley & Vaughn.
It has all the new milling facilities for making the best
flour in the state. It is valued at $12,000. Among those
doing business in an early day at Whitestown in the various
capacities we might mention the following merchants: W. J.
Givens, Daniel Echman, Ceaser Echman,
F. M. Moody, Neese & Keefe, J. T.
Ross, Dr. I. T. Ross, Dr. Starkey, Dr.
Larimore, J. S. Hardy who is now practicing.
Postmasters. Henry Lucus, Dr. Ross, Henry
Walters, S. M. Trout. The present one is J. O.
Barb. Hotel, G. W. H. Roberts. The school house
here is an excellent one of brick, and fully up to the times
in every respect, as well as the churches and other
buildings. The annual business transactions here amount to
thousands of dollars including the railroad business, which
alone is very large.
This is comparatively a new place, dating back only to 1852,
on the completion of the Indianapolis, Cincinnati &
Lafayette Railroad. It was laid out on the land of the late
Elijah Cross, just below and west of where Big and
Little Eagle Creeks unite. It was named after the late
William Zion, of Lebanon. It is fourteen miles from
Indianapolis and about the same distance from Lebanon, and
one mile from south line of Boone County, on the
Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad. Among the
first merchants were John Vaughn, John Smith,
Daugherty & Nichols, B. M. Gregory;
followed soon after by William Yoh, Smith &
White, W. H. Neuhouse, B. F. Coldwolader,
B. W. Harden, shoe dealer; J. M. Bradly,
drugs; C. H. Tingle and J. M. Biggers,
groceries; Croplen & Mills, undertakers; M. S.
Anderson, wagon maker; Perrell & Perrell,
drugs; attorneys -- Jesse Smith, H. D. Sterrett,
M. M. Riggins, John A. Pock and C. N.
Beamer (the last two now practicing); physicians - Drs.
S. W. Rodman; Samuel Hardy, Jones, N.
Crosby, M. S. Anderson, Jeremiah Larimore,
F. Long, G. W. Duzan, H. T. Cotton;
shoemakers -- (have been) A. W. Larimore, H.
Davenport, John Tull, B. W. Harden, John
Martz; dentist -- J. O. Hurst. The first hotel
was kept by John Miller. John Holmes built an
extensive grist-mill here in 1854; it was afterwards
converted into a distillery, and operated as such a short
time, when it went down. Among the postmasters have been S.
W. Rodman, P. Anderson, Mary May,
William Thompson, James W. Blake, W. F.
Morgan, G. F. Essex, William McGuire, R.
Beard. Monument dealer -- Frank Alford;
harness makers -- A. W. Hopkins, William Harden;
bankers -- P. Anderson, S. H. Hardy, Mark
Simpson, ____ Alford. The old Dye mill was
built here at an early day, but is now no more. M. S.
Davenport operated a tan-yard here occupied by himself
and family as a boarding-house or hotel. The same building
still does service as a dwelling house, but has been removed
to the west end of the same lot, immediately north, across
the street from the Christian Church. The first store was
conducted by Vaughn & Wiley in a two-story
frame building situated on the same lot where the M. S.
Anderson wagon works are now located. From the time
these first buildings were erected the town has steadily
increased in enterprise and population until it has become
one among the best business points in the county and has
accumulated a population of about eleven hundred persons.
There are but few towns of the size in the state that can
boast of better school buildings and school facilities and
none that have naturally a more beautiful location for
school buildings or town either. There are four churches in
the town, Methodist, Presbyterian, Christian and Christian
Union, all of which support ministers, and all are as well
attended as churches usually are in towns this size. There
are six secret orders in the town: Odd Fellows, Masons,
Knights of Honor, Secret League, Horse Thief Detective
Association and Grand Army Post. All of these orders are in
flourishing condition both numerically and financially. The
town supports two banks, two cornet bands, a town hall, with
seating capacity of six hundred, one of the best weekly
newspapers published in the state in a town of the same
size, one large flouring mill, one sawmill, wagon works, the
Blue Grass Dairy farm, owned and managed by J. M. Byers,
and many other things which can not be mentioned in detail.
The town is well supplied with shade-trees, and the streets
and sidewalks are generally in good repair. Take all in all
Zionsville ranks shove the average as to its beautiful
location, business enterprise and the social and moral
character of its inhabitants."
Submitted by: Jane A. Heine
Source Citation: City and Town Histories [database
online] Boone County INGenWeb. 2006. <http://www.rootsweb.com/~inboone>
Original data: Harden & Spahr. "Early Life and Times in
Boone County, Indiana." Indianapolis, Ind. Carlon &