This picture of Paris Crossing is from the Bill & Catherine (Humphrey) Coons collection at the Jennings County Public Library -
written on the back is "Picture before 1915 when we had a bad fire, it destroyed the building at right side of picture. In the distance
is the school building."
Crossing began on land purchased in 1819 by James & Sally Shilliday
Graham. Several houses close together
formed a villiage long
before the railroad came through. The villiage sprang up a
short distance from Paris
along the line of the Ohio &
Mississippi branch of the railroad from Jeffersonville to North Vernon.
Rector first brought mail from Lancaster to Paris
Crossing. There was a sawmill and a few people had homesteaded
area but it had not been named.
The stone industry played an
important role in the development of this community. It was
quarried on the
McGannon & Wiggam farm south of Paris
Crossing. Mr. Beenix was an early stone worker. Another was
Vorburger who worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Southwest
Railway Co. in 1893. He was born in 1858 in
Switzerland on the Rhine.
He had studdied in Zurich to become a mortuary sculptor. After coming to
Crossing, he married in 1887 to Lottie Humphrey daughter
of William Gaston Humphrey and Anna Buckman.
He later purchased
the North Vernon Marble Works and made a name for himself as a designer
The stone from the McGannon and
Wiggam quarry was used to build bridges and bridge abutments on
branch railroad line from Louisville to North Vernon. (This
RR line was removed in the 1980's). Stone quarried
used for foundations of the large brick homes of Samuel and Charles
Wright and churches in the area.
The first station agent on the
Railroad was James H. Wilson a position he held for 30 years. Other
Paris Crossing RR station were Fred Dixon, Ray Padget and
Mr. Peck. Edgar Wilson followed his father James H.
Wilson as agent.
Edgar Wilson's hobby was teaching young men telegraphy and music. Under
his direction the
brass band became an orchestra. Some of his band
boys had formal training from Elbert Hill and George
One of the earliest stores was operated by William
Gaston Humphrey Sr. who was born in Brighton, England,
and came to
the U.S. in 1853 to Cincinnati, Ohio where he worked as a machinist for
four or five years, until
he could bring his childhood
sweetheart, (Anna Buckman) over from Sussex, England, they were
Ohio in about 1857. During the Civil War, W.G.
Humphrey Sr. came into Jefferson County, Indiana around
had a small store there. He would go around the countryside selling from
a pack on his back, later
using a one horse wagon to carry what the
customers had ordered out to them. About this time the railroad was
being built thru what was to become Paris Crossing, because the RR
crossed the Old Brownstown here. W.G.
Humphrey brought his
family to Jennings Co. where he built a small store on the East side of
the tracks, at first,
then later building a larger store on the West
side of the RR. This store still remains today under a new family.
William G. Humphrey's son William G. Jr. and Alfred (Fred)
Humphrey helped their father for years. William
G. Humphrey Sr.
and Anna Humphrey built a large frame home west of Paris Crossing on a
hill overlooking the
town. He also built a large barn for his
peddling wagon and horses, and owned some other land. The store
remained in the Humphrey family for 107 years, four generations of
Humphrey's owned it. There were two
peddling wagons that left Paris
Crossing weekly. One wagon went to Marion Township and on to
where it stayed over night on a regular stop.
Some of the drivers were Frank Malcomb, Grandville Childs,
Buckles, Clint Childs, Noah Perkinson, Ira and sometimes Arnold Humphrey
sons of William G. Jr.,
Weber Fitch. Herman Buckles, drove another
wagon to Centerville and across to Graham and back to Hopewell
and then home. Other drivers were Walter Reeves, Lawrence
James, Bob Simmons and Charles A. Lowry.
Grandfather Humphrey bought
many or should I say traded for many eggs, rabbits, chickens, grain
or anything a
farmer could trade. When the Peddling wagon came
in all the eggs had to be candled, so the youngest son Alfred
Humphrey helped in this way, being to young to clerk or drive a wagon.
The eggs were shipped by
refrigerated railroad cars to New York and
other points east. This being the way that the merchant could redeem
his money and purchase more merchandise.
merchant at Paris Crossing was James Lowry, Alexander and Robert
Lowry came to Jennings County
Other stores in Paris
Crossing were owned by Jack and Tom Kay, Albert and Dan Ray, Charles
Dixon, Eldo Dodd, James Shaw, Herman Buckles, Harold
Combs, General Lunsford, James Madison Lowry, Dale
and Zonda (Ray) Hearns. The Kay family had
a butcher shop. Walter and Fred Kay would peddle meat into
communities. In those days you could buy a fine steak for 10 or 15
Sylvanus M. Fish and John M. Tobias had their drug stores.
Mr. Fish had the telegraphers office in his store for
a time. Some of
the drugs handled were; Reruna, Castor Oil, Epson Salts, Laudunam,
Paragoric and Asafoetida.
Mr. John Tobias operated a soda fountain in
connection with his drug store.
At one time there were 14
passenger trains on this branch line, seven of which stopped at
Traveling salesmen or drummers as they were called,
traveled by train. Paris also had boarding houses for those
to wait over. Mrs. Westly Malcomb, Mrs. Amos Thompson, Mrs. Mary Dixon
and Mrs. Josie Hudson
were a few who had boarding houses. Also the
livery stable played an important part in transporting
salesmen. Mort Malcomb and James Hopkins were operators of the
Thomas B. Jeffery company and (Moses) Spencer had
the first Hardware store in the basement of the Old
barracks was later a furniture store, run by James E. Hudson and Ham
Morrison. The Barracks
also in turn became a school building, a
restaurant, run by Jerry Rodarmel and a skating rink and later a
It was across from where Samuel Wright later built the large
brick home, the brick house was on the site of a
saw mill in earlier
The Masonic Hall was moved from Old Paris, at the turn of
the century. An Odd Fellows lodge was also
buildings burned when we had the second disasterous fire in the 1950's.
When the Masonic
lodge burned all the beautiful hand made arrow back
chairs were destroyed. There were about 100 chairs, made
Rowland and Joseph Ayers cabinetmakers from Old Paris.
Sampson and Laura Jones and Julia Deputy Blake made the latest Paris
styles in Millinery.
On the first floor of the Odd Fellows
building was S.M. Fish's drug store, and the Barber shop that belonged
Joe Dixon in the other building next door. The beautiful
array of individual shaving mugs with the names of the
other decorations were a sight to behold. Many times Joe Dixon worked,
to the harmony of the
"Barbershop Quartet", composed of Earnest
Hudson, Otto Malcomb, Jerome Heimbach and Raymond Kinder.
A shave and
a hair cut for 25 cents. Perry Slagle was another
Before the Brick school house was built in 1896 and the
Samuel and Charles Wright houses in Paris Crossing, a
brick kiln to
make brick was established on the Alban Deputy farm, called Plesant
Hill, Walter Kay hauled the
wood used for fuel. Otto Harms was one of
the workman, after the fire was built it was kept going night
day. This operation belonged to Sylvester and son Alban Deputy.
Also brick for churchs was made here.
Paris Crossing State Bank
was organized at the beginning of the 1900 hundreds, by business
men, Samuel and
Charles Wright, William G. Humphrey Sr. and
Jr., Lowrys, Hudson's, Pond's, Fish, Rays, George Washington
Tobias, Landons, Dixon's, Deputy's and McGannons. Grant Bovard was first
cashier, after he moved to
Kansas. Brannock Lowry was the Cashier,
he held this position until the bank closed about depression
(1934-35). There were two attempted robberies but both times
Mr. Lowry foiled the attempt.
Samuel Wright was in the hardware
business with James E. Hudson, their store was on the corner of Main
Mill Streets (across from the Baptist church). The hardware store
later burned to the ground and today Webster's
garage is in that
Levi Hudson had a furniture store in this big hardware
store. It also had a harness shop in which Hugh Hudson
beautiful hand made buggys and work harness, and he made shoes as well.
James E. Hudson and his father Absolum V. Hudson and Morse
Hudson a brother to James were in the Breeding
stock farm business,
raised Belgian horses, also buying and shipping of stock. Absolum
Hudson and his wife Mary
Fowler Hudson in later life built a large
two story house and large barn across from Wrights Mill, where
could buy and ship stock from, the RR siding was just back of
the Barn. James Hudson had a sawmill and
shipped lumber and logs, he
was trustee when the Brick school house was built in 1896 at Paris
Leeds had a saw mill at Paris Crossing as
The frame school building was then converted to use as an
Opera house. The young people of the community
had good times giving
many home talent plays. Smith Jolly (a cousin of Agnes Jolly (Gaddy).
She was the 2nd
wife of Dr. Orville Gaddy, one of the Drs. of Paris.
Dr. Orville Gaddy was born in Montgomery Township, 14
1847 to Benjamin and Sallie (Cobb) Gaddy. Benjamin Gaddy came to
Montgomery Township in the
1830's from Kentucky. He was a farmer and
raised sheep. Dr. Gaddy attended Franklin College, in Indiana and
then read medicine with Dr. Nelson Gaddy of Weston, then a year
later entered the Ohio Medical College at
Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr.
O. Gaddy's 1st wife was Emma Calhoun of Jefferson County, in 1873, she
died in 1878,
he then remarried.
At one time we had a
telephone exchange, run by Sam Dodd and his wife May (VanRiper) Dodd,
exchange operator. Another small business was a canning
factory, located on Mill Street south of town. Only
lasted a couple
Another small business was a cheese factory and a
shingle factory, operated by Alban Deputy and his father
Deputy at Pleasant Hill. All that remains of this operation was a deep
dug well, on the Deputy farm.
Paris Crossing has been served by
two churches. The Baptist church was established in 1822 by Minister
Hill Sr. He had served during the Revolutionary War,
and is buried in the old Coffee Creek Baptist Church
He gave the land for the cemetery and where the first church was built,
a log church, made of hewn
logs. In 1834 it was rebuilt and made of
Brick. In 1886 it was moved into Paris Crossing and built larger,
adding Sunday School rooms. Some of the first people who helped
found the Baptist church were
Mary (Stone) Hill wife of
Thomas Hill Sr., William Whitsitt and wife, James and Jane Fowler,
Polly Blankenship, John and Zilpha Hopkins, Nathan
and Ann Robertson, Patsey Peoples, Nancy Johnson,
Sally Scott, Ann McCory, Ann Pritchard, Ann Wilkerson, Polly Hudson,
Polly Bridges, Abigail
and Polly Roberts, Hannah Earl and Susan Hill
wife of Thomas Hill Jr.
The Christian Church was established
on the opposite hill, north of the Baptist Church in 1834.
New, helped charter this church. Absalom Hudson gave to
the trustees of the Coffee Creek Christian church an
acre of land for a cemetery and place to build the
church, August 10, 1844, it too was a Brick church, in the
the members built on to this church.
The Baptist Church has supplied 7 pastors, one Ulysess M.
McGuire was also editor for a time of the Baptist Observer. Other ministers were Thomas Hill Jr.,
Zachariah Bush, J.W. Robinson, John Hill, William B. Lewis
Charles Snowden. We have had many ministers from the Southern Baptist Seminary since then.
Christian church has had four ministers and three ministers wives.
Charles Hudson moved to California,
Lawrence Layman has ministered
to the Indians and others in the Osark Mts., Melvin Thomas and Gary
son of Lawrence Layman ministered to the Christian
church then moved on to Okalahoma. Joy (Arbuckle)
was a teacher who married Rev. McCoy, Louise (Layman) Duncan went with her
husband to Okla. then
Washington state. Hope (Bonesteel) Layman was another
ministers wife. Both churches have full time pastors
their own parsonages. In 1988-89 there are two other churches in Paris.
One minister is a home town boy
happening in the fall of the year was, "Old Settlers Meeting" at the
grove north of Paris Crossing. The
Corduroy Road (called plank) led
over the hill northwest of the schoolhouse to this grove. This was the
ran from Brownstown to Madison.
William Deputy in
his talk to the Old Settlers meetings told of his family's trials and
dangers and hardships of the
Indians, "White Eye and Kill Buck" were
friendly. The pioneers kept them friendly by sharing their
Paris always honored its dead on Decoration
Day. There were speeches, songs, and poems. Old Paris sent
soldiers to the Civil War. Also many served in World War I and
II. The men of the GAR would march behind
the band and the children
followed carrying flowers to decorate the graves. Some of the soldiers
buried at Paris
also served in the War of 1812. There is one
Revolutionary War Soldier buried at the Old Paris Cemetery on
banks of Graham Creek, "Robert Watson". There were
three boys who failed to come back from WW II, Junior
William Young, Dennis Wilkerson, Raymond Cart, and Marion Terrill was a prisoner of War, was
didn't live long afterward (he was in what was
called the Bataan Death March).
Several garages in
Paris Crossing have replaced the Blacksmith shop....Owners were: Ernest
E. Webster, Cecil Shumate, Jesse Davis, Eddie
Arnold, Fritz Humphrey and Francis Stout worked with him.
William Leeds, was one of the three Dentists at Paris Crossing. Dr.
McCall came once a month from Deputy.
Carl Alexander and the
Hutchinson Family were early Photographers.
Carl McGannon became
a Superintendant of schools and later an executive with the Heath
Foster Hudson was a prominent obstertrician in
Indianapolis, Lester Dodd was president of the Michigan
Stella Risser was a successful Dentist in
Houston, Texas. Donald Johnson was dean of boys at Columbus
School. Walter Dodd was guidance director at Lawrence Central
High School, Indianapolis, he later moved to
Houston, Texas. Dr.
Imogene McIntire was on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati,
Ohio, later she is
Professor in Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada. Morton Dixon was Superintendant of schools for many years
Kendalville, IN. Ralph Humphrey taught at Boys School at
Plainfield and Bernice (Dixon) Humphrey taught at
Grace Thompson Huffard, author of "When Rebels Rode" spent
part of her school years here, often returned to
visit old friends
and Cora Deputy Dodd. Dr. Ernest Deputy was a General practictioner at
Melvin Wells, was instructor at Institute of Tech.
in Chicago, Ill. Lester Rogers, a professor at University of
Mary Williamson who spent 3 of her high school years here
is the author of a small History of the State of
she has been connected with Washington State College. Roger Carlock
spent 3 of his High School
years here. He and his wife Julia Ray
Carlock were photographers in Washington D.C.
Hudson, who died recently, (1979) was the daughter of Charles
Wright of Paris Crossing. Her
Grandparents, William and Jane (Lilly)
Wright, came to Jennings county in 1838. Her Grandfather was a
of Lancaster, England born in 1818. Jane D. Lilly was born in
New York State and of Holland Ancestry on one
side of the family.
Their two sons Charles and Samuel L. Wright were leading business men in
Township in the late 1890's. Maggie Wrights mother was Ida
McClanahan. Their large brick home is out near
Samuel L. Wright was a leading business man in Paris
Crossing he built a large flouring mill and grain storage
was also a store keeper. Samuel married Ida B. Deputy and built the
large brick house in Paris Crossing.
Cora Dodd the wife of Eldo Dodd
lives here in 1989. It was once used as a funeral Home, after Eldo
the Brick home from Lottie Humphrey Kimberlin in 1940. Jane
Lilly Wrights uncle died and left the Wrights an
interest in an
Anthricite coal mine in Pennsylvania. (It is now called Jim Thorpe to
honor the Indian Athlete.)
One tenant house on the Wright's farm on
Coffee Creek was the first split-level house in the township. The
part was brick, and upper part frame and all the woodwork,
doors, window frames were Cherry. It saddened
me (Ethel Deputy)
when it burned several years ago, because it had been the home of Joshua
Deputy a Civil War
Veteran and our Father's (Alban Deputy's)
When Samuel Wright sold the mill and left Paris they later
lived in Kansas and then moved to Mississippi. They
sold their home
in Paris Crossing to Lottie Humphrey Kimberlin.
In 1890 George
Washington Dodd came from the Wakefield Community in Jefferson County,
Indiana, he had
lived in Ohio before living in Indiana. He and John
M. Tobias were in the undertaking business together. In
the embalming was done in the home by the light of a kerosene lamp. At
first the deceased was taken
to their final resting place in a wagon,
later they were taken in a horse drwn hearse. Mr. John McCartney,
McGannon, George Williamson, and other helpers
at different times. The last pointed coffin which George W.
had in stock is in possession of his youngest Grandson Ralph
Dr. Hanna came from Tyrone, Ireland. He drove a fast
stepping team of ponies hitched to a cart to make his
His large frame home was across from the brick school house, it belonged
later to his daughter
Gertrude "Trude" Hanna Dixon, she married Joe
Dixon who was the Paris Crossing barber in the early
Dr. Revel Bannister doctored in the community for a few
years, he married a Waggoner girl. He built the
smaller house across
from Dr. Hanna's home, the east part of which served as an office. It
was later occupied by
two Veterinarians at different times. The
first was Willie Hopkins and later a Dr. Bowen. Paris Crossing was
also served by two medical Doctors from neighboring towns. Dr.
Wilber Robertson of Deputy and Dr. Dennis W.
Mail was first brought into the village by Warren
Rector from Lancaster. Some of the Postmasters have been
Buck Dixon, Eldo Dodd,
Raymond Kinder, S.M. Fish, Lynn Hudson, Allen Fitch, Marie Peachock
and Elise Leuderman. Rural carriers were George Foster,
Herman Buckles, Otto Malcomb, John Kysar, Loren
Forgot to mention some of the early teachers, Luella
Spaulding, Ethel Zentmeyer, Chole Hulse, Gertrude Dodd,
Simons, Charles Silvers, John Graham, Tom Cain, Mr. Willis, Roy Seig,
Emil Mills, Delbert
Pheiffer, Max Plaskett,
Wilbur Young, Zaring Hudson and Ward Smith. Joy Arbuckle McCoy, Jim
Mary Mayfield, Nolan Reece, Arthur Buckles, Bob Weir, Leland Lurton,
Marjorie McGannon LeGrand, Crystal
McGannon Lurton, Miss
Craigmyle, Hilda Kelso, Marie Johnson Bridges, Ethel Deputy,
Cora Deputy Dodd and
Ellena Clark to name a few.
The Paris Crossing Silver
Coronet Band 1896-1900's consisted of Edgar Wilson, Horace McGuire
County School Superintendant
1891-1897), Ellison Hudson, William McGuire (brother of Horace and a
Samuel Malcomb, Alban (Abby) Deputy (father of Cora Dodd,
Ethel and Walter Deputy, Emerson Deputy.
I received this history of Paris
Crossing from Billie McGannon of Paris Indiana and have copied it as
exactly as I
could. There is no author listed but it is stated
once by the writer her name is Ethel Deputy. (Stuart Bechman a Deputy researcher says he thinks the
author is Ethel Sarah Deputy born August 24, 1897 to Alban S. and Lillie (Wilson) Deputy. I agree.)
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