By John Calvin Cope
The following are newspaper articles written by J. C. Cope about Campbell Township and its people.
Campbell Township Reminiscences
North Vernon Plain Dealer - June 8, 1916
Ann Campbell, I knew her only as "Grandmother Campbell," was the mother of Calvin D. Campbell who raised a company for the 6th regiment Indiana Volunteers,
three years service, and came home in comand of his regiment, the mother of the wife of William Griffith, once a highly respected citizen of Campbell township, and of the wife of Frederick
C. Brougher, who twice served as treasurer of Jennings County and whose son is now pastor of the First Baptist church of Los Angeles, California, and by those accepted as authority in
such matters classed as one of the very ablest ministers occupying an American pulpit. Before marriage her name was Clinton, and she was Jennings County's first bride, and when I knew her
the widow of David Campbell, whom she married at Vernon in 1817 (1818)
Page 1, Marriage Book 1, Jennings County
David Campbell purchased from the government in January, 1820, the southwest quarter of section 22, 1/2 mile south of the Hopewell Friends church and on both sides of the creek, on
west side of highway. In the spring of that year he built a log house and proceeded to clear up a farm. In 1836 he entered the quarter section west of his home and it was on this that
Grandmother Campbell lived when I knew her. Five years later when the new township was organized it was naturally and properly named in honor of Mr. Campbell, he being if not the first settler
very nearly so. Grandmother Campbell was a member of Concord church which my father's family attended, a frequent visitor at our home and an interesting character. A child as I was I thought
her a very sweet old lady. She was always neat, pleasant, vivacious, active and agreeable. She told of many interesting events of her life, few of which I remember. She told how when her husband
was away from home at night, and she alone, with no neighbors, she would drive the wolves from her door by throwing fire brands at them. They were afraid of fire and would run away for a time,
but later return to be again frightened away as before. To call her husband to dinner she blew a horn. The indians learned its meaning and they too came to eat, sometimes sooner than her husband,
often several of them. She quit using the horn, which diminished but did not entirely terminate the annoyance. They were afraid to refuse the Indians what they wanted, but were never harmed by them
The Indians soon left the country and troubled them no more. As long as they were here Mr. Campbell always took his gun with him when he went to work, for he did not trust them. Wild cats and
rattlesnakes abounded, continuing several years. The flesh of the bear and the deer furnished their table with meat. In less than a century Campblell Township has passed from savagery to high civilization,
from poverty to plenty, from trail to turnpike, from moccasin to motor car.
Colonel Smith Vawter was prominent in the affairs of Jennings County for half a century. He was elected sheriff in, I think, 1884, and representative in 1878, and had much
to do with the county's affairs. During a conversation about forty years ago he told me that on May 10, 1832, the weather was so cold that ice formed on his rain barrel an inch thick. There were no
thermometers then. He said that the season was earlier than usual and that at the time of the freeze the new growth on the branches of the trees was fifteen inches in length, and gardens advanced.
All this was destroyed utterly. He stated that the effluvia cacused by decaying vegetation was as offensive as that caused by dead animals, and was everywheere. When I first saw Jennings County twenty
years later there were places on the level lands, known as frost deadenings, where the timber had been killed and had fallen to the ground, which was thickly covered with sweet gum bushes about thirty
feet high. Col. Vawter told me that these were caused by that freeze, which killed much timber.
William McCallister, who lived across the South Fork from the John A. Wilson mill, told me that he came to Indiana from Kentucky in 1836, and that on November 1st of that year
heavy rains raised the creek to flood height, when a sudden change to bitterly cold weather froze it across from shore to shore while still very high. The receding waters left the ice high on each bank
and low in the middle, forming a hugh trough which remained until the next spring. William J. Berkshire, father of Judge J. G. Berkshire, told me the same, except that he located it on the Wabash, on the
banks of which he then lived.
During the school term of 1854-5, during the noon hour, I, with other pubils, was at the railroad platform, in Butlerville, to see the train arrive from the west. The train pulled
in, unloaded and loaded its passengers, and began to move out when suddenly a negro sprang from I did not know where and jumped upon the rear platform of the departing train. With equal suddenness a half
dozen white men, strangers from I did not know where, rushed after and captured the negro. They pulled him from the car, bought a clothes-line at a local store, and with it tied his arms behind his back,
winding the rope about his arms and tying it tightly. They then turned to Wm. B. Morris, our largest school boy, and inquired when there would be a train for the west. The answer was "Three thirty-five."
The negro was an escaped slave from Kentucky, for whom $50 reward was offered, and the whites had followed him for the purpose of securing the reward. Two of them were from Vernon. The capture caused
intensely bitter feeling among the antislavery people of Butlerville, and that class were so numerous that the others kept quiet. In those days there were regular routes by which slaves were conducted from
the north side of the Ohio river to Canaada, where they were free. A station sometimes used was at the home of Robert Wilson, near Benville and in Campbell township the residence of Arvine Quier, a short
distance east of where Phil Rice now lives. A man named (Elijah)
Anderson started them from the river. I was near enough the inside to know when any of them stopped with Quier, but I do not remember that I ever saw
any of them. They were concealed during the day and at night conducted to the next station. The Fugitive Slave Law punished with merciless severity any person who assisted a slave to escape, by showing him
the way, giving him a bite to eat, a place to sleep, or in any other way. It provided for heavy fine and long imprisonment, and those giving assistance were not telling it.
Following the presidential election of 1860 the most southern of the slave holding States proceeded to declare themselves withdrawn from the nation because Abraham Lincoln had been
chosen president on a platform forbidding the admission of any more slave states. The southerners themselves had made his election certain by refusing to accept Stephen A. Douglas as the Democratic candidate,
and placing in nomination as a candidate of their own John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, thereby dividing the Democratic party. The elections were held in October and November, and in December South Carolina
passed an ordinance of secession wnd was rapidly followed by others until eleven States had declared themselves outside the Union. At Montgomery, Alabams, the new nation was launched as "The Confederate States
of America," and Richmond, Virginia, made its capital. President Buchanan did nothing to prevent this, which caused the resignation of two of his cabinet ministers, one of them his Secretary of State, Lewis Cass,
who had been the Democratic candidate for president in 1848. On March 4th Lincoln was inaugurated as president. The south continued actively their preparations for war. On the morning of April 12th they began the
bombardment of Fort Sumpter, in Charleston Harbor, which was cannonaded from all sides without intermission for thrity-three hours, when, being no longer tenable it was surrendeered by Colonel Anderson, its commander,
on the afternoon of the 13th. On the 14th President Lincoln issued his proclamation alling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to protect the loyal states until congress could convene and act. The depth of patriotic
feeling was profound. Mirth and gayety then found no abiding place in Campbell Township. There was no telegraph office then, but to meet every train and learn the latest news farmers came to town in great numbers.
The demand for daily papers could not be supplied. Hagerman Tripp, of North Vernon, wired Governor Morton offering to raise a company of 100 men, which was accepted. Next morning Hiram Prather was in Burtlerville
asking for volunteers for Tripp's company. Farmer boys were not much in town, but Mr. (afterward Col.) Prather returned with John W. Forsythe, Gideon M. Trickey, Richard A. Conner, James H. Hickleberry, Jesse A.
Preble, and William Martin as Campbell Township's response to the first call.
During the spring of 1863 the wild pigeons built their nests in the woods south and east of my mother's farm, north and west of the creek, including about all the timber land between
Butlerville and Nebraska and south of the railroad. They were innumerable. I counted as many as 58 nests in a single beech tree, and they occupied the smaller ones in proportion, but they did not build in the bushes.
The noise they made was incessant throughout the day, and somewhat annoying. They used the trees up to the fences of all citizens living in their territory. They did little damage in Campbell township but each morning
flew away in clouds in all directions, leaving plenty behind to condtinue their never ceasing noise. People came from Cincinnati and other cities to kill them and carried them away by the bushel. During the night
when the birds were all at home, often their weight broke large branches from the trees, causing much fluttering and the death of some of the pigeons. The breasts of the young ones, squabs they were called, were
excellent, and many families salted them down in large quantities for future meat. It was many years before all the nests had fallen from the trees.
The Butlerville school during the school year of 1863-4 was taught by Achsah Stanford, a young lady who came a stranger from the State of New York. She taught a good school and was highly
regarded. At this time the town had two physicians, one named Wilson the other Mitchell. Neither held the other in high esteem, and both had friends who were devoted and active. Miss Stanford became ill and Dr.
Mitchell was called to attend, pronouncing the disease varicella, which he said to me and others was a malignant type of chicken pox, and not dangerous. Dr. Wilson was prompt to express the belief that it was small
pox, an opinion which many of his friends weere equally prompt to accept, and like him to demand an investigation. Some of the friends of Mitchell resented this and showed their faith by volunteering to attend at the
bedside of the sick, who did not at that time suffer for want of attention, night or day. Interest became acute and citizens raised money to procure the services of Dr. J. T. Shields, of Vernon, who was regarded
an expert in that disease, to examine the patient and determine. He pronounced it smallpox. Every effort was then made to stopits further, but so many had been exposed that the public realized the extent of the
danger though there were still some who refused to believe. Exposed families were isolated and those suspected of exposure avoided. Business was at a standstill for several weeks, and there were few smiles and levity
among the people of Butlerville. Those who had been vaccinated did not take it, but there were thirty-seven cases and six deaths.
On the evening of June 10th, 1883 I was visiting at the home of my brother, Townsend Cope, east of Butlerville. After supper was over a heavy, though not wide cloud appeared in the west, with one
flash of lightning following another so rapidly as to be almost continusus, as was the thunder. The noise accompanying it was heard many miles away, and as it approached its appearance became more threatening, darkness
deepened, the locust trees by my brothers house were blown so hard by the wind that their tops lay almost horizontal, though the center of the tornado was three-eights of a mile to the north. It passed quickly. It
demolished Bewley's grove on the north edge of Butlerville, carried the roof from the house of Thomas J. Moore, now McVeigh, uprooted the orchard, carried the roof from house of Thomas J. Moore, now McVeigh, uprooted
the orchard, carried the roof from the home of Mary Ann Cope, leveled her barn with the earth, annihilated her orchard, destroyed valuable timber on the north end of the Hambleton (now Stanley) farm, damaged slightly
the barn of christian Clement, twisted to splinters the timber between his barn and the railroad, thrust a tree top through the side of the house of J.C. Lee, now J. H. Grinstead, and scattered everywhere along its
path boards and every kind of debris which it had gathered from its path of twenty miles of destruction, from buildings, forests, and fields. It did many freakish things. Jesse H. Grinstead, south of Nebraska, found a
milk apron on the head of one of his cattle which the storm had fastened there. A freight train, Mel Whitcomb conductor, passing east, was struck near Christ Clements. One side of the locomotive was lifted eighteen
inches from the track, but dropped back to place, as the storm was pas in an instant. A box car heavily loaded with kegs of iron bolts was lifted from the track and carried over the board fence into the woods, a distance
og sixty feet. The same tornado passed through the southern part of North Vernon, at the Greensburg road, destroying several buildings. J.C. COPE
EARLY HISTORY OF CAMPBELL TOWNSHIP
North Vernon Plain Dealer - January 6, 1916
John Morris was raised in Western Pennsylvania and while a young man moved to Butlerville, Ohio, where he lived for a time. During the forties of the last century he came as a peddler to Jennings
County, Indiana, where carrying a pack on his back he sold goods to farmers and whoever would buy. He bought goods at Madison, possibly some at Vernon. He found Campbell township without a town or a store. He thought it
an excellent location for a store, such as he could finance, and acted upon that opinion. He erected a one story frame residence with store room attached on the southwest corner of the crossing of the Madison and Zenas
and Vernon and Versailles roads, on land now owned by John Taylor. His was the only frame building then in Campbell township, all others except Brush Creek church being of logs. Bryant Trickey lived at Butlerville, Ohio,
and being acquainted with Morris followed him to Campbell township and bought eighty acres of land, upon which Butlerville now stands. Having opened his store Morris secured the establishment of a post office which he
called Butlerville, in honor of his recent home in Ohio. James Butler owned the land and lived diagonally across the roads from the new post office, which possibly may have had slight influence in choosing a name, though
I never heard any suggestion of that kind made. Mail was brought but once a week from Vernon.
While on business up the Ohio River, Morris met John S. Burdge whom he had known during his boyhood, but who then lived in Carroll Co., Ohio. Burdge came to see the country Morris described to him
as the best he had ever seen for the price asked for land, bought the farm upon the corner of which Morris' store was located, and moved to it about 1849. Thru the influence of Mr. Burdge, William and Lewis Burdg, remotely
related to him, though spelling the name differently, followed in 1851. They bought and settled on the brow of the South Fork where the Plaguemans now live. William Burdg's wife was sister to my father, and during the summer
of 1851 my father, Evan Cope, and his brother Hiram came to see the country and my father, bought of George Butler, the farm where Mr. Hendricks now lives. Hiram bought of Thomas Kelley the farm where his son Enos Cope now
resides adjoining that of Mr. Trickey. They moved to Campbell township in 1852, arriving at their sister's on February 28th. The first night in Jennings County was passed with Jerry Walker, on the banks of Crooked Creek, in
Bigger township. The meat provided for breakfast was venison, the first I had ever seen. They put their families on board the steamer, Fort Pitt at Beaver, Pennsylvania, and landed at Madison, Indiana. There was much floating
ice in the river.
The country was then, mostly covered with heavy forest, the inhabitants living along the streams, with their houses as near a spring as possible. There were few wells. The "flats" as they were called,
were practically untouched, where dense underbrush and green briars, so many places impenetrable, having every appearance of swamps except in the summer they were not covered with water. Roads, such as they were, followed the
streams, naturally enough as the people lived along the streams, preferring the hills because they were dryer than lever lands. There were few wagons, sleds being in general use. Indians, bears, wolves, wildcats and rattlesnakes
had disappeared, but there were still copperhead snakes, deer, wild turkeys, pheasants, black and gray squirrels, and various other wild animals. Many times I have seen wild pigeons flying in shadow as a cloud. They entirely
disappeared during the late 60's, as did the deer. What became of the pigeons no one knew, as they were abundant up to the time they dropped out.
Immigration from eastern Ohio from this time was rapid. Within two years two hundred families from there had become citizens of Jennings County, largely of Campbelll Township. The original settlers were
mostly from Kentucky and came to Indiana to get away from slavery. They were splendid people, but poorly educated, many of them being unable to read or write, not from fault of their own, but because Kentucky furnished them with
no opportunity to obtain an education. Each family kept a few sheep and the women wove cloth on their looms, excellent goods but destined to almost immediately pass out forever. Few of the people of today ever saw a suit made of
it. Yet at the time it was worn altogether by the men. It was known as blue jeans.
The roads were little more than trails and paid scant attention to land lines. Our road to Vernon was a trail down the valley to the Muscatatuck where it entered the Vernon and Versailles road, near which
a highway was a little later located. Following the Vernon road to the West we climbed the hill at Gilfoile's farm, afterward purchased by George Shreve and now belonging to E. and W. M. Phillips, which for a half mile the road
divided until it reached Concord church, which stood in the southeast corner of section 27, on land now owned by the Phillips brothers. Here a fork of the road ran east passing the farm of James Butler, now the home of Charles F.
Hole. From the church we traveled west, passing Morris' store with Butlerville post office, turned southerly down Campbells branch, passed the house of Asa Maddox, where James R. Davis now lives, crossed the Muscatatuck where Alva
Ferris lived at the time of his death, followed down the stream, crossing it again and climbing Prather (now Hinchman) hill. There was no other way of reaching Vernon except by traveling many miles around. There were no bridges over
the streams. My father brought with him a carriage but could not use it. The branches of the trees hung across the roads so low that they caught the top and except for constant care would have torn it off. He traded it to Bassnet &
Johnson, merchants of Vernon, for the forty acres of land lying diagonally across two roads from the present home of Albert Hinchman. The scarcity of roads made it necessary for people to cross farms as best they could. Attending
school I crossed all farms lying between, climbing fences. The modes of traveling were on foot and on horseback. Between our farm and that of Paris Griffith (now Eli Stanley) was a lane about seven feet wide for accommodation of
those going either way. Miles McCaulou and wife, splendid people, who lived west of the schoolhouse I describe, often came down this lane on horseback and crossed our farm, passing in front of our house, when visiting Ichabod Rice
on Otter Creek.
In the spring of 1852, though but ten years old, I worked the roads, two boys, Townsend Cope and myself, made a hand. The tools used were an ax and shovels. The ax was used to cut small branches from the trees
to place in mudholes in the roads and the shovels to cover the brush with earth. No work was done except at mudholes. There were no ditches.
My father was anxious to have the supervisor purchase a road scraper, for use when working roads, but there was strong sentiment against it, as a useless expense. At the April election, 1853, Mr. Trickey was
a candidate for supervisor, promising to purchase the scraper if elected. He was opposed by Doras Neal, and excellent citizen for whom my father had great respect, who promised that he would not spend money for the purchase. My father
was undecided which to vote for up to the day of election, when he supported Trickey and the scraper. Mr. Trickey was elected, but he did not keep his promise and the township had no scraper.
There were three churches in the township; Concord, Caleb Moncrief pastor; Brush Creek, Rev. Jacob M. Cox, pastor; and Otter Creek all of the Baptist denomination. Occasional services were held at the residence
of John S. Burdge by a Methodist minister named Prather, who came out from Vernon. I attended some of these services. My father's family attended church and Sunday school at Concord, never missing a Sunday. After Butlerville became a town,
a Baptist church was built there and Concord discontinued. About 1854 a Quaker congregation was organized and met in a school house which was located on the north west corner of the forty acres on which Mark Tyler lived until recently.
Samuel Stanley sat head of the meeting, and I am witness to the fact that he could adjourn service exactly ten minutes after twelve, though he sat with his back to the clock which I was facing. This congregation later built Grove meeting
house a quarter of a mile south of the school house. This church disappeared many years ago, but the cemetery which was near it remains.
John Blankenship had a saw mill on the South Fork near the south west corner of the township, operated by water power. Later he sold the mill to Lindsay Stanley. I think it is now the property of John A. Wilson.
The mill was operated by the son, James Blankenship, a very fleshy, good natured fellow. The capacity was 250 feet of lumber in a day. It had a sash saw which moved very slowly. Corn was also ground, one-tenth being taken as toll. Persons
wanting flour took their wheat to Vernon, either to the Tunnel Mills or to a mill situated a short distance up the South Fork.
A school house stood on the north west corner of the 80 acres my uncle Hiram Cope purchased of Tommy Kelley, where a residence now stands. William T. McCaulou afterward built a residence across the road almost
opposite, where he afterward lived and died. The school house was of logs, about fourteen feet square with a door on the south side, windows on the north and west sides of four panes each of 8 X 10 glass, and on the east a large fireplace
where logs four feet long burned, radiating their heat about the gathered pupils and making plenty to those nearest it, while those furthest away were chilled by the distance. I attended three short terms of school there. During the summer
of 1852 I was a pupil of Ann Davis, whom I liked very much, who afterward married Henry Luderson, and until her death lived in the same house in which she was born. I attended that school for three weeks. It was a private school. During the
winter of 1852-53, Thomas Jackson was my teacher and of 1853-4 John Dolan, both of them came from eastern Ohio, and were better educated than those preceded them, but neither of them could get a license to teach in Jennings County today.
Afterward I attended school at Butlerville, where schools were better. That school house was like al other in the township, the same windows, door, seats and puncheon floor. The seats slabs, the smooth side up, with rough wooden pins for
legs. Along the north and west sides of the room were boards about two feet wide, so laid as to slope upward to the wall which served as desks. Along each of these was a bench of slabs on which the older pupils sat. The large boys at thsese
schools were John William Chaille and William Clerkin. The large girls Martha Chaille and Ann Clerkin. Water for drinking was carried by the big boys from the spring of James Griffith, who lived nearly a quarter of a mile northwest, across
Pleasant Run. The principle game played by the boys was bull pen, a game in which the large boys always get the better of the small ones, as they can throw harder.
I attended the Campbell township election which was held in the school house on the second Tuesday of October 1852. It was a presidential election. Esq. Jacob Brougher was inspector and one of the Heaths, Bowen or
James, was a judge. There was no attempt to keep from the room any person who desired to be near the election board. The Whig tickets were printed on white paper and the Democratic on red. When the count was completed inspector Brougher
announced the result as 72 for Scott and 77 for Pierce. This was the last election in which the Whig party participated as an important factor. In 1854 in was the Know Nothings and in 1855 the Republican party had been organized by the
anti-slavery members of the old parties.
During the fall of 1852 civil engineers surveyed a route for the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, the present B. & O. S. W. cutting a corner off my father's farm as well as off the corner of the land of Michael Clerkin,
adjoining on the north. Running diagonally across land lines it split all the farms it passed through. The right of way was freely given by land owners, as all were anxious to have the road built through there were a few, a very few who
required compensation or gave a narrow strip than was given by others, eighty feet. The surveying party stopped at our house while within reach, although the house contained only four rooms. None of the neighbor's houses had more. One of
the engineers, Harvey R. Weeks, afterward purchased a farm and for many years was a valued cirizen of Campbell Township. The railroad was constructed during the year 1853, Ryan & Falloon being the contractors on the east of Butlerville
and a man by the name of Oustin on the west. The three boarded during the construction with my uncle Hiram Cope. The men employed by Ryan & Falloon boarded with Wilton McCaulou, who lived where Mrs. Ella Clement does now. McCaulou was
also boss of their men. He lived in a small log house which was afterward moved across the railraod to give place to the present residence. Huge oak and other trees were grubbed out by the roots and moved off the right of way on either side,
leaving the eighty foot strip. The first passanger train to pass over the new road was on July fourth, 1854, from Cincinnati to Seymour, where it connected with the Indianapolis and Jeffersonville railroad to the latter city, where it
transferred passengers and freight by ferry to Louisville. Through trains from Cincinnati to Saint Louis were first run in 1857.
The dampness of the level land produced much malaria which was the cause of three-fourths of the sickness, and quinine was generally prescribed by physicians then called Ague medicines put up in boxes as pills or in
bottles, were sold by the stores and were in a great demand as meat is today. This condition passed away with the clearing of farms of their timber.
Changes now came rapidly to Campbell Township. The Ohio railroad while under construction gave employment to men and some teams. Telegraph poles and cross ties were required which gave some value to oak timber which
previously was only in the way, as the prime object had been to get the land cleared for cultivation, to get rid of the timber. Money came in amounts not before thought of. Sleds gave place to wagons, blue jeans suits to those procured at
the stores, better farming implements. When opened the railroad used wood as fuel, and chopping and hauling it became an important industry. Making the oak trees into heading and staves and hauling them employed scores of men for a generation.
Cobbs & Adamson, Jonathan W. Cobbs and Samuel Adamson, brother-in-laws, put in a saw mill across the ravine from Butlerville capable of sawing four thousand feet in a day, giving employment to men about the mill and for cutting and hauling logs.
Irvine Quier set up a similar mill in the deep ravine east of Phillip Rice's present residence. Log houses were no longer built but were succeeded by frame. I heard Bent Wymond, who was raised and lived in the cooperage business at Aurora, say
that such oak timber as was then in Jennings and Ripley Counties never grew anywhere else, and of this Campbell township had its full share, magnificent trees sixty to seventy feet to the first limb. And yellow poplars, some of them six feet in
diameter, added their share to the new wealth of the community.
New roads were built in all directions, all by volunteer labor. My father and his sons built one mile of the road running east from Butlerville. We cut the trees from the right of way and moved them out of the new road on
either side. The ravines along the south side of our farm we filled by cutting logs from the timber and rolling them in. The Trickeys cut out a quarter of a mile of road abutting their east forty acres. James M. Crayton, who had come from Pennsylvania,
deserves much credit for his activity in opening these new highways.
Land now advanced rapidly in prices, stopping immigration from Ohio. Nebraska was platted and soon became an important station. Three of the sons of Judge Elliott, of Zenas; Hiram, Sanford and Daniel, were among the
earliest to locate there and had much to do with its development. Morris Trickey. He erected a box frame store room where the Masonic building now stands, which he soon afterward sold to Edward Hambleton, who had been keeping a small store
in Ohio. Morris built the second house east of the store where he opened a hotel. George Baxter put up a two-story building on the south side of the railroad, immediately across from Hambleton's store where he also opened a hotel. Soon afterward
A. D. Brougher opened a store across the street from Hambleton, where Hare & Swarthout now sell implements. Swift & Conner, Wm. Swift and A. S. Conner, also had this store which one dark night, while theres, was robbed of considerable goods.
They were found in the house of a man named Roberts who came as a wagonmaker. He was convicted and sent to the penetentiary. John Peacock became the shoemaker, and later Joshua Bowers, also Israel Owen. Lewis and Samuel Wagner operated a blacksmith
shop where John Murphy's residence now is. As a wagonmaker John Allee followed Roberts, and a little later John C. Lee, who became an important figure in the affairs of the township. He brought John W. Forsythe with him. Allee was a minister whom
I many times heard preach. In 1854 a frame schoolhouse was built by contributions of those interested, on the northeast corner of Pike and Campbell streets. The Baptists and Methodists built churches, which now stand and are in use. The Hambleton
store passed to Thomas and George Bewley. A good two-story frame was erected, fronting the railroad, with two store rooms. The building was afterward destroyed by fire, rebuilt, again burned. Butlerville has suffered much from fires, a history of
which some citizen of the town would do well to write. William P. Stratten built a business building, which he occupied as a store, at one time with his brother Jacob as partner, at another his brother-in-law, Gideon Moncrief, son of Rev. Caleb
Moncrief. Both Butlerville and Nebraska had mail twice a day, of itself, a wonderful change for Campbell Township. George McIlroy came from eastern Pennsylvania and bult the town of Oakdale and a saw mill. He had bought there either a section or
half section of land covered with as fine white oak timber as ever grew, which he cut into lumber and sold in Cincinnati. He had a station and postoffice with daily mail. Three towns in the township which very recently had none. John D. McNeelan
bought a farm of Bartholomew Riordan, now owned by John E. Murphy, east of and near the ford across the South Fork of the Vernon and Versailles road, where he built a saw mill and shipped much lumber.
The citizens of that day, almost without exception, owned their own farms and lived independently. Each was kind of his own domain, and they did not ask any man's help, making the aggregate desirable citizenship because
of their self-dependence and good habits, a community of freemen in the best sense of the word.
The track of the railroad was not ballasted until 1867 and later. The ballasting began when W. D. Griswold was president of the line. During the wet season cattle found the smooth earth between the rails a dry place to sleep,
and used it for that purpose. The road had not been fenced. On one night my father lost eight young cattle in this way, killed by the same locomotive. Another night Mr. Clerkin lost six head. Many milk cows were killed, as cattle and sheep ran at
large for pasture as did hogs which fattened on the acorns and beechnuts which fell from the trees. Mud was splashed by the trains against the coaches until their color had no resemblance to the paint which had been spread upon them. Compared with
today the locomotives and cars were small.
My father died November, 1857, at which time he was one of the board of township trustees, Jesse T. Grinstead and William Griffith being the others. Arvine Quier was appointed by the county commissioners to fill the vacancy.
The township board at that time had considerable powers, among others to establish township highways. They looked after the insane, who were sent to the county farm.
In 1854, the driest of all the years with the possible exception of 1881, I saw, as did others, what the eye of white man had never before seen. The waters in both branches of the Muscatatuck ceased to run. The heavy timbers
and underbrush on the level lands had shaded the ground and held the water which fed numerous springs along the creeks and ravines which flowed perennially, giving abundant water to the two larger streams in all seasons. But at last so much of the forests
had been removed that their water stood only in pools
To the greater number of the people of today "cold new Year's" is only a tradition, though many remember it. I was clerking in the store of Emmor Ware, in the Bewley building. I noticed during the day that his thermometer stood
at 48, from which point it varied a little if any during the day until four o'clock when a stiff northwest wind began, and the temperature fell rapidly. At 5:30 I crossed the railroad to Warrington's hotel for supper. It was in the same building erected
by George Baxter. Several inches of snow were on the ground, with mud under and a frozen crust on top. Next morning the same thermometer stood at 26 below zero, with a hurricane blowing from the northwest. There was much suffering, which extended to the
soldiers in the southern states.
J. C. Cope
You may use this material for your own personal research, however it may not be used for commercial publications without express written consent of the contributor, INGenWeb, and