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From an old book printed in 1858 giving an account of professions and trades for each town in Indiana, the following was given for Vernon, Indiana

The county seat of Jennings County, on the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad, 1 1/2 miles south of the crossing of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, and 63 miles southeast of Indianapolis; and is situated at the confluence of the north and south forks of the Muscatatuck creek, which stream affords abundant water priviledges. There are extensive stone quarries and lime kilns at this place; the stone is unsurpassed for building purposes by any in the State. A new courthouse and jail are now being consturcted, to cost about thirty thousand dollars. It contains two large steam and water flouring mills, capable of manufacturing one hundred barrels of flour each, every fourteen hours; eight general stores, three grocery stores, one banking house, and one newspaper office, the Vernon Weekly Banner; one book seller and stationer, one clothing store, two drug stores, one hade and leather dealer, two stove & tin stores, two flour and grain dealers, one lumber yard, one baker & confectioner, four blacksmith shops, five boot and shoe makers, two brick yards, four carpenters and builders shops, two cabinet makers and furniture dealers, three carriage and wagon factories, one express office, two millineries, two harness makers, one saddler, one watchmaker and jeweler, two paint shops, one tailor & clothier, one wheelwright and plow manufactory, two lime dealers, one gunsmith, one dentist, three daguerrean artists, one plasterer, one livery stable, two stone cutters, one Italian towy shop, one lare wool carding  -spinning and weaving factory, five ministers, eight physicians and surgeons, one attorney at law, two notaries, two magistrates, four churches - one Methodist Episcopal, one Baptist, one Presbyterian, one Reformer; an Academy called the "Jennings Academy", with about one hundred and fifty students in attendance, and two district common school houses, built of brick.
   Vernon has an active trade, which is rapidly on the increase. Considerable Manufacturing is done, and it is yet destined to become one of the best business points in the State.    Population 1200.

Mayor ...................................Abram G. Read
Recorder ...............................Merritt Read
Clerk ....................................Merritt Read
Marshall ..............................P.S. Basnett

American Hotel, Thomas J. Stores, Prop.
S. S. Ball, surgeon dentist
Wm. K. Banty, Justice of Peace
P. D. Baughn, cabinet maker & furniture dealer
P. S. Basnett, Marshall
W. J. Beachly, attorney at law & notary public
Abram Bishop, brick maker
Robert W. Brauharn, carpenter & builder
Wm. A. Bullock, Attorney at Law & Notary Public
Wm. A. Bullock, Justice of Peace
W. A. Bullock, Banker & Exchange Broker
J. Bundy. Attorney at Law & Notary Public
Jeremiah Bundy, Judge of Common Pleas Court
James C. Burt, Physician & Surgeon
Butler, McGannon & Co., Blacksmiths & Plough Manufacturers
Sidney Butler, County Commissioner
William Cook, Printer
J. B. Conner, Book Seller & Stationer
J. B. Conner, County Coroner
Chas. J. Coryelle, proprietor steam saw mill
S. B. Cowell, hide & leather dealer
Rev. Crawford, Methodist Minister
James B. Curtis, County Commissioner
L. Denham, wheelwright & chair manufacturer
Thomas B. Denham, painter
Jas. Dixon, lime dealer
Wm. Eckstine, Prop'r livery stable
Joseph Ewings, County Commissioner
Thomas Fall, stone cutter
Joseph Fettig, general store
John Gasper, general store
George Gazaway, plasterer
Jesse Haney, carpenter & builder
Jno. Henberger, general store
F. L. Henninger, general store
W. B. Hill, attorney at law & notary public
W. B. Horgins, notary public
S. D. Huckleberry, County Sheriff
Wendell Knockle, baker and confectioner
Jas. W. Kyle, physician & surgeon
A. W. Lattimore, county prosecuting attorney
Alex W. Lattimore, attorney at law & notary public
Finley C. Lattimore, physician & surgeon
Robt. Leavitt, mfg. of spokes, felloes and hubs
Rob. Lavitt, mfg. of fanning mills
Jacob Leiniger, tailor and clothier
B. F. Lewis, clerk circuit & common pleas court
William Love, boot and shoe maker
Robt. D. McGammon, county recorder
John McMahan, stone cutter
E. McMindes, lime dealer
Stephen Marvin, boot and shoe maker
John Meek, attorney at law & notary public
Meline & Cassimens, Italian toy shop
Richard Moore, brick maker
Mullen & Goddard, carriage & wagon makers
James M. Nelson, county auditor
Newton & Schofield, proprietor of woolen factory
George W. New, stove & tin dealer
J. B. New, attorney at law & notary public
Joseph B. Newcomb, proprietor water & steam flouring mill
Joseph B. Newcomb, flour & grain dealer
Rev. Hickman New, Christian Minister
Hickman New, cabinet maker & furniture builder
Andrew Patrick, blacksmith
Andrew Patrick, carriage & wagon maker
H. Read, city recorder & attorney
A. G. Read, mayor
Mrs. S. S. Read, dressmaker & milliner
A. G. Read, general store
A. G. Read, agent-Adams Express Co.
M. Reed, attorney at law & notary public
S. E. Read, gunsmith
N. Richardson, physician & & surgeon
Thomas J. Riley, Postmaster
Rev. ______ Roop, Methodist minister
Ezra Rose, surgeon dentist
Ezra Rose, Watchmaker & jeweler
John Rowlen, boot & shoe maker
Rodger Rowley, carpenter & builder
Frederick Saupe, Harness & saddle maker
P. & H. Scipel, boot & shoe makers
Wm. Sharpe & Co., druggists
John T. Shields, physician & surgeon
Sheilds & Kyle, physicians & surgeons
John Specht, grocer
George Specht, boot and shoe maker
Joseph Steine, clothing dealer
Thomas J. Stores, prop'r of American Hotel
S. W. Story, druggist
Rev. Wm. T. Stott, Baptist Minister
E. D. Sumpter, carpenter & builder
Geor. W. Swarthout, prop'r steam & water flouring mill
George W. Swarthout, flour & grain dealer
Rev. Robt. F. Taylor, Presbyterian minister
Jacob Thenis, grocer
J.H. Vawter, notary public
Kendrick Vawter & Co., general store
Vernon Weekly Banner, J. S. Conner, publisher
Uriah Wagner, Blacksmith
John E. Wagner, carriage & wagon maker
Washington Hotel,  S. S. Wilder, proprietor
J. E. Wells, store and tin dealer
 S. S. Wilder, Prop'r American Hotel
Joseph Woolsefer, grocer
Robert W. Worthington, surgeon dentist

PLEASE NOTE - Here in 1858 there were over 100 businesses in the Town of Vernon, Ind. From an 1876 Atlas - just 18 years later -and from the business directory contained therein, we find that the town of Vernon shows less than 20 businesses. This was after the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad (Now the B & O) was built approximately two miles north of Vernon, and the people and prosperity shifted northerly to North Vernon, Ind.


The county seat of Jennings county, on the Madison Branch of the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis railroad, twenty-two miles from Madison, and two miles from the crossing of the Ohio & Mississippi and the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis railroads. It is located in the midst of a good grain and grazing county, has two woolen mills, a hub and spoke factory, foundry and machine shop and various other shops. It has a splendid court house, churches, good schools etc. Population about 1,200.

Bachelor T. C.  -  Pike St.
Basnett A. D.,  corner Pike and Jackson
Devore E. C., - Brown St.
Hagins, W. B., over J. W. Hill's
Hill, J. M.,  over J. W. Hill's
Huckleberry  J. H., - Pike St.
White W. O.

Earwood & France - Jackson St.
Files J. L., - Brown St.
Wagner  J. H. & Co.

Boots and Shoes;
Hiller R. M. - Pike St.
Specht Geo. - Pike St.

Osburn W.W.,  near railroad

Carpenter and Builder;
Spaulding E. O. 

Carriages and Wagons;
Files J. L. - Brown St.

Whelan F. - Pike St.

Armstrong R. C. - Brown St.

Drugs and Medicines;
Dole & Peabody, - Pike St.
Storey R. & Co.,  near Depot

Express Company;
American, J. Henninger Agent - Pike St.

Fanning Mills;
Leavitt R. & Co.,  near Depot

Feed Store;
Devore N. A. - Brown St.

Wagner J. H. & Co. - at the foot of Brown St.

Treeback Geo., - Jackson St.

General Stores;
Basnett J. B. - Pike St.
Cook, Stott & Co., - corner Pike & Brown
Fink John, - Pike St.
Gibbs & Lett, - Pike St.
Hill J. W., - sw corner Pike & Brown
Read H. Q. & W. M. - nw corner Pike & Jackson

Henninger J., - Brown St.
Smyth J. S., - corner Pike & Jackson

New G. W., - Pike

Harness and Saddles;
Bantz W. K., - Brown St.
Cowell S. B. - Jackson St.
Smyth J. A., - Jackson St.

American House, T. J. Storey, prop., -  corner Pike and Brown

Insurance Agents;
Hagins W. B., - over J. W. Hill's
Vawter H. F., - Pike St.

Justices of the Peace;
Read Sam, - n e corner Pike and Brown
White W. O., - s e corner Pike and Brown

Livery Stable;
Somerfield J. W., - Pike St.

Burnard Mrs. C. M., - Pike St.
Smythe & Hill Mrs., - Pike St.

Vernon Banner, Smith Vawter & Co, prop., - Brown St.

Notaries Public;
Bachelor T. C., - Pike St.
Devore E. C., - Brown St.
Hagins W. B., - over J. W. Hill's
Hill J. M., - over J. W. Hill's

Storey S. W., - corner Pike and Brown

Patent Planing Mill Duster;
Leavitt R. & Co., near railroad 

Patent Hay Rake;
Butler M., - Brown St.

Jackson L. R., - Brown St.

Burt J. C.
Richardson N., - corner Mulberry and Wertz
Wiles & Woodward, - Brown St.

Plow Factory;
Wagner J. H. & Co., - foot of Brown

McClellan J. E., - corner Jackson and Pike

Kimball J., - Jackson St.
Osburn & Bundy, - Jackson St.

Railroad Agent;
Twaddle H., - depot

Fetter M., - Pike St.
Hadner N., - Pike St.
Shafer A., - e public square
Specht P, - Pike St.

Spokes and Hubs;
Leavitt R. & Co., - near depot

Stoves and Tinware;
New G. W., - Pike St.

Tresback Geo., - Jackson St.

Watches, Clocks and Jewelry;
Doll J. L., - Pike St.
Jackson L. R., - Pike St. 

Woolen Factories;
Dowd, Walker & Co., - Pike St. near railroad
Richards & Wilson, - near railroad


Wm. B. Hagins, Attorney at Law and Real Estate
Nicholas DeVersy, Dry Goods, Notions, Groceries, Qweensware and Glassware, General Flour and Feed Store, opposite Courthouse

P. E. Wills,  Dry Good, Notions, Groceries, Confections & a general Feed and Provision Store, west side of Public Square
C. E. Wagner, Editor Vernon Banner
F. Saupe Harness and Saddles
Amos Thomas, Merchant
James E. VanSickle, Stone Dealer
Anthony Dausch, Stone Cutter
H. C. Harman, Stone and Lime, Dealer in All orders for Stone or Lime, will receive prompt attenction; Blue Stone, Line Stone and Bridge Stone, all orders promptly filled near Vernon.

(The two articles written above, about the business in the Town of Vernon, Indiana were copied verbatim from their respective sources.) 

Note that many of the people in the first section are duplicates, in other words a person may have had a number of businesses or talents and each were listed separately, someone was promoting and expanding the business base in Vernon (just goes to show promoters have not changed much over the years). With the number of businesses listed Vernon would have been truly stuffed and bustling. This also shows the importance of the Railroad, for a number of years, to the prosperity of any area. To many of us now railroad tracks are just bumpy things you drive over or a dangerous place to cross but in history they brought people and products easily to the areas they served.

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