Our Neighbor to the
Decatur County, IN
Since County lines did not stop
families from settling in an area, many people who lived in Jennings County also
had family in areas within easy traveling distance. This is very true of many
folks from northern Jennings County. I was very fortunate to recently be loaned
two books by my pharmacist Mr. Ted Bovard of Indianapolis, IN. I have
copied them and will be putting as much as I can here for your information.
Ted's family includes, Bovard and Clarkson surnames. The books are "The History
of Westport" by George Cann and "Echos from the Past" by the Westport High
School Alumni Association 1908 - 1999. Both books include lots of pictures which
I will be happy to copy for anyone who is interested. I will also do look ups in
the books if you have names you would like me to check. Sheila Kell
Early Settlers Near Westport
At a treaty
completed at Grouseland, near Vincennes, August 21, 1805, certain chiefs and
warriors of the Deleware, Potowatamie, Miami, Eel River and Wea tribes ceded to
the United States their territory running southeast of the line running
northeasterly from a point about 57 miles due east from Vincennes, so as to
strike the general boundary line (running from a point opposite the mouth of the
Kentucky River to Fort Recovery, Ohio) at the distance of fifty miles from the
commencement of the Ohio River.
The land in Jennings, Ripley,
Switzerland, Dearborn, Ohio and Jefferson Counties was included in this
"Grouseland Purchase". The Indians left this purchase much earlier than the
territories embraced in the surrounding counties.
northern boundary of the Grouseland Purchase serves as the boundary line
between southeastern Decatur County and Jennings County and runs in a
northeasterly direction, passing through a point near the old iron bridge over
Sand Creek (on Range Line Road) about three miles south of Westport. It passes
just south of Millhousen to a point on the north side of Batesville, Indiana,
and from there due east to the Ohio State line.
first permanent settlers came to Ripley County in 1814. The first permanent
settlers in Jennings County came in the year 1815, some members of the
Stott family settled near Vernon in 1816 and gradually worked their way nothward
to Westport several years later (about 1841).
Armstrong family settled east of Westport, on Sandcreek in the spring of 1821;
John Holmes and his sons - John, James and Thomas; Samuel Stevens; Robert
Courtney; and John Bagley also settled in 1821.
farther north but still in Sandcreek Township, Nathanial Robbins and John
Robbins also settled in 1821.
Daniel Meridith came
from Kentucky in 1825; Wren Grayson and family came from Tennessee in 1827; and
the Felix Boicourt family came from Clark County, Indiana in
During the next ten years many other people settled
or came to live in this area. Several of the family names are given
THE NEED FOR A TOWN
After 1821, there was a steady stream of
settlers into this area. As the years passed, there was an
increasing need for local markerts; the nearest towns were Greensburg and
There were at least two areas of concentrated population
besides the one where the town was finally located. There were many people
living in the Horseshoe Bend area along Sandcreek. This is believed to be
the earliest "community" in the area, dating from about 1821. It was
concentrated in an area roughly one mile square starting
somewhere near the location of the Old Wooden Bridge and extending
about a mile to the north, and about a half mile either side
The other concentration of
population, not as large as the Horseshoe Bend Community, grew up along
Wyaloosing Creek (carelessly called Wynoose) just west of the present town of
Westport. The very earliest word-of-mouth reports reveal the existance of a road
up along the west side of Wyaloosing Creek, starting at a point just west of the
present bridge west of town.
Wyaloosing is an Indian name,
and one of the few to survive in this area.
Lewis C. Stott, who
was born in 1815, told John C. Cann (his grandson) that this road was already in
existance in 1827. Lewis Lunsford Stott, father of Lewis C. Stott had borrowed a
farm implement or tool from a man who lived along Wyaloosing. Mr. Stott lived in
the northern part of Jennings County. When he was ready to return the implement,
his Lewis Stott, then about twelve years of age, persuaded his father to let him
return the implement instead. His father agreed, and started the boy on
his trip with a team of oxen and an ox cart. The oxen were slow, and the
trip took a long time. After he had returned the borrowed tool, and was about
one-third of the way home, darkness was coming on, and a wolf started
following at a distance behind the oxen. Lewis prodded the oxen on, and
this helped but little. The wolf came closer and closer, and when the boy had
reached the point of not knowing what to do, his father called to him. The
wolf ran off into the woods. The father had realized that the trip would be a
long time, and that nightfall would probably overtake Lewis. So, he had walked
down the "road" to meet him.
This word-of-mouth report was given
by John C. Cann to George Cann, and is offered as reasonable verification
that the road along Wyaloosing Creek was already in existance in 1827. Also, the
earliest maps show the existance of this road.
To the south of
Westport, just north of Sandcreek, and west of the Range Line Road, where
Bill and Mable Robbins now live, the Wren Grayson, family which came from
Tennessee, settled in 1827. To the west of the Grayson family, the family of
Felix Boicourt settled around 1830, along Millstone Creek.
evidenced by the accounts above, most early settlers preferred to settle along
streams. The streams helped to drain the land and to let it dry out more quickly
than the flat land farther from the streams. Crops could be planted earlier and
grew faster than they would have grown on the poorly drained soils. Also, the
streams provided power for sawmills, grist mills, carding mills, ets., as
well as water for livestock.
For as long as
fifteen years, some of these settlers had to travel to Greensburg or
Vernon. or to some other town farther to the east for their necessary
provisitons. The need and desirablility of establishing a local trading center
or town became
THE FOUNDING OF WESTPORT
The town of Westport was founded
on March 23, 1836, by Simeon Sharp and Hockersmith Merryman. Merryman owned
forty acres north of what is now Main Street, and Sharp owned eighty acres north
of what is now Main Street, and Sharp owned eighty acres south of Main
Street. Each man measured off ten lots--Merryman laid off lots #1-10 on the
north side of the street, and Sharp laid off lots #11-20 on the south side.
Together they entered the original plat of Westport, containing twenty lots in
It is surprising that neither man had owned his land
very long. Hockersmith Merryman entered his forty acres from the government on
January 19, 1835. Simeon Sharp purchased his land from the government on January
15, 1836, just a little more than two months before he laid off his lots. The
going price for government land in those days was $1.25 per
For some reason, Mr. Sharp sold most of his lots first.
Between June 4, 1836, and September 27, 1837, he had sold eight of his ten lots
at a total price of $65.25. Mr. Merryman sold five of his ten lots between March
1, 1837, and October 16, 1838, for a total price of $33.15.
These prices seem awfully low today, but Mr. Sharp paid only $100.00 for his
entire eighty acres, and Mr. Merryman paid only $50.00 for his forty acres. So
they actually made a pretty good profit from the sale of their
An article which appeared in The
Westport Courier-Independent newspaper on Febrary 9, 1905, reveals much of
the early development of Westport. This article was narrated to the editor, Carl
Shafer, by George Boicourt, who was nearly ninety years of age at the
time. Below is the
In 1832-34 we began to clear up these lands, but we were too far from market.
Our nearest stores were at Greensburg
In 1836, Simeon Sharp and Hockersmith Merryman laid out Westport. They sold a
few lot, three log huts were built, and
(Wm.) Shultz opened a small store which he sold in a short time to Richard
The first frame building erected was the Gidding's shop, and was erected by Mr.
(Wm.) Shultz. The next frame
was erected by Noah Merryman. In this (were) kept a few groceries and plenty of
whiskey. John Cann erected the
building and opened a dry goods store.
The store (built of logs)
which Mr. Boicourt refers to was built on either lot #8, across the street north
of the post office, or lot #17, the next lot east of Anderson's
It turns out that Mr. William Shultz owned both lots, and
that Richard H. Belt acquired both lots later on, at about the same time. A
missing deed may have held the secret as to which lot was actually the site of
the first store building. Some futere historian might find some clues in the
language of the court records of the September term of the Court
for the year 1837.
A record book kept by John Cann
in connection with his wagon shop and store confirms the existence
of this first store. The record shows that in March, 1839, John Cann
charged the account of R.H. Belt in the amount of $2.25 for "repairing
Richard H. Belt was born in Baltimore and was a
merchant at Westport when he was appointed consul to Mexico by President
Tyler in 1843. He was stationed at Metamoras, Mexico, but died there a year
later of the yellow fever. He had come to Decatur County for Baltimore with his
George Cann states (Note:
The following section - Family Histories - includes family names that
fall into two catagories: (1) Families whose members settled in or near
Westport at an early date and have descendents who have remained until the
present: and (2) Families with members who are well-known for particular
reason, such as business interests, occupations , or simply because the family
had some connection of historical interest.
many other families such as the DeArmonds and Williamsons which deserve fully as
much attention as the others, but were not included because the information is
scarce and would have taken too much time to collect. Some of these accounts
include many dates, while others do not. All should be considered of equal
importance, and should be recognized for the contributions which they make
Mr. and Mrs. James
Armstrong I migrated from Butler County, Ohio, to Indiana in the spring of 1821,
where they settled in Sandcreek Township on Sand Creek, about two miles east of
the area which was to become the town of Westport some fifteen years later
Records show that James Armstrong I entered his
eighty acres of land December 12, 1829. The government had come to recognize
"squatters rights", which meant that if a family moved onto a piece of
land, cleared some of it, built a home on it, and lived there, then that family
would have a right to buy the land before it was offered for sale to anyone
else, providing the purchase was made at the time the government offered the
land for sale.
Whether Mr. Armstrong exercised squatters'
rights or whether he was just fortunate that no one else purchased the land
ahead of him is not known. But the family did live on the land for about
eight years before purchasing it.
Children of Mr. and Mrs.
James Armstrong were: Robert; James II; William; Sallie (Barnes); Jane
(Singleton); Mary (Falkenberg); Rebecca (Boicourt); and Elizabeth (Longnecker).
The father died soon after coming to Sandcreek Township, and the children were
reared in a rude pioneer cabin which had been built a short distance north of
the spot where the old wooden bridge was to be built some fifty-nine years later
Robert Armstrong was born in 1817, and was brought
by his parents to Sandcreek Township when he was not yet four years old. Robert
grew up under true pioneer circumstances and married Rebecca Jane Hamilton, who
was born in 1818. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Armstrong settled on
a farm near Letts, and later moved to near Westport, and by the time of the
Civil War, had become very successful on their farms.
Robert Armstrong served for many years as a justice of the peace, and two terms
as township trustee. He was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge at Westport.
On December 3, 1859, he purchased the old DeArmond Brothers Hotel in Westport
(lot #9) and on a portion of the lot on which the hotel stood, built a large dry
goods store which he operated in partnership with William M. (Doc) McCullough.
They operated this store until it was destroyed by fire, along with several
other buildings, on Tuesday, August 13, 1872.
28, 1872, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. McCullough purchased lot #82 in John Cann's
first addition to Westport, and built a large two-story brick building and
continued their grocery business. They remained in partnereship until, shortly
before Mr. Armstrong's death, he sold his interest in the store to Mr.
McCullough in September, 1878.
Robert and Rebecca
Armstrong were the parents of six children; James W.; John H.; Oliver P.; George
W.; Alfred M.; and Francis D. Armstrong.
After the death
of his first wife, Robert Armstrong was married to Eliza Jane McDonald, and they
became the parents of three children: Robert F.; Mary Jane (Harding); and Louisa
Alfred M. Armstrong was born November 17,
1851, and received his education in the district schools in his neighborhood. He
helped his father, Robert, with his farm work until his father's death in 1878.
He was married to Hettie M. Dixon on July 4, 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Armstrong
became the parents of ten children: Dewitt Talmage; Roxina; Cassius Dixon;
Forrest Eugene; Grant Leland; Oakleigh; Lotus Lowell; Winifred; and twins Mary
Elma and Martha Elva.
Alfred Armstrong carried on general
farming and stock raising operations on a large scale, and at one time was
a major stockholder in the First National Bank of
It is ironic, but very appropriate, that the
center of population of the United States in 1890 was determined to be situated
on the farm owned by Alfred M. Armstrong, which was only about two miles north
of the land his grandfather, James Armstrong I, had settled nearly seventy years
earlier, in 1821, and who had been one of the first pioneers to settle in this
area. The tide of imigration had take a route almost identical to that taken by
the James Armstrong family.
The center of population
monument was placed on its base on Friday, May 8, 1891, and dedicated the
following Sunday, May 10, 1891.
Francis D. Armstrong was
born March 15, 1847, and received his education in the country schools of his
neighborhood. On February 10, 1887, Mr. Armstrong was married to Martha Ellen
Morgan who was born in Sandcreek Township in 1866. Their children were: Leo,
Francis Shirley, and Howard Ward. Mr. Armstrong was a successful farmer, and
owned a good farm near Westport.
In his later years, he
became interested in banking, and became president of the First National Bank of
Westport, Indiana, in 1908.
On February 3, 1866,
James Armstrong II was married to Eliza Jane McCammon Grayson. To this couple
were born four children: James M., Robert O., Mrs. J. S. Fuller, and Mrs. W. E.
James Armstrong II was the father of
Robert Armstrong, who was well known in northern Jennings County as well as the
Fredonia neighborhood. Robert Armstrong was the father of Olin Armstrong, who
now resides at Vernon, Indiana.
Olin Armstrong has several
children and grandchildren who also reside in Jennings
Miss Winifred Armstrong now lives in Greensburg,
A history of Westport that did not include an
account of the Armstrong family would not be complete. The account given here is
not adequate, but no one can really describe what the family must have endured
in those early times when the children were very young - just babies, really -
and the nearest town was nearly twenty miles away; the neighbors were few; and
it was a three-days' trip back to
Mavy Boicourt, of the Protestant faith, sailing from France, destined for
America, left behind his native land, many friends and two brothers who were
Catholic Priests. He landed in Georgetown, South Carolina, on April 19,
1777. On this voyage he acted as a sergeant with General Lafayette's army, a
part of his duties being to care for the sick and dying. This was the first
of Lafayette's four visits to America. On this first visit, Lafayette
assisted George Washington in the American Revolutionary
After the war ended, John Mavy Boicourt married, but
his wife's name is not known. To the couple were born five sons: Samuel,
who migrated to Illinois; Thomas, who migrated to Kansas; and Silas and Felix,
both of whom migrated to Indiana.
At age twenty, Felix
Boicourt migrated from Virginia to Pennsylvania, settling near Pittsburg where
he married Anna Elliot of Puritan ancestry, who had migrated from
Massachusetts to Virginia and later to Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania they
migrated to Kentucky and settled near Louisville. It is said that they, in
company with others floated down the Ohio River in search of a place for
settlement. They landed where Cincinnati now stands, but decided that the
location was not suitable to their purpose.
Louisville, the Felix Boicourt family crossed the Ohio River to Clark County,
Indiana, in 1812, four years before the Indiana Territory was admitted to the
Union as a state.
In 1830, they moved from Clark County to
Decatur County and settled land a half mile south of Harper (three and one-half
miles southwest of Westport) on the banks of a stream which later came to be
known as Millstone. Here the Boicourts built a small grist mill. The millstones
cut from the limestone of the creek bed gave the stream it present name of
Felix and Anna Boicourt were the parents
of nine children: Absalom, William, Enoch George, David, James, Isabella, Julia,
Christiana, and Ruth. All lived to their eightieth year, and some of them lived
past the age of ninety.
Felix Boicourt was a preacher in
the United Brethern Church; he was also a farmer and miller. He worked for
himself six days a week and preached on Sunday. One of his sons (Absalom) and a
daughter (Christiana) organized the Millstone Class, which is now
and two other sons, David and George, organized a classs at the Horseshoe Bend
Baptist Church which class later grew into the Mapleton Brethern
Felix Boicourt died February 28, 1842, at the age
of sixty-two years. Anna, his wife, died in 1853 at the age of sixty-five years.
Both were buried in the old Eddleman Cemetery, which is situated on the Clyde
Pearcy farm about two miles southwest of Westport.
Boicourt, third son of Felix Boicourt was born in Clark County, August 25, 1816.
He was married to Rebecca Armstrong on November 14, 1844. There were no
children. He was later married to Ann (Washington) Mitchell, February 14, 1858.
To them were born six children, but four of them died in infancy. The surviving
children were Filmore M. and Alfred S. Boicourt.
David Boicourt, also a son of Felix Boicourt, was born June 23, 1822, and
married Mary Jane Holmes (also a member of a pioneer family) on March 18, 1847.
To them were born seven children, one of whom died in infancy. The first born
was Aaron, then Zacharias, Catherine, Enoch George, William and
Both Aaron and Zack became excellent drummers.
Aaron was a tenor drummer and Zack a bass drummer; their brother, George, played
the fife. The trio played for many patriotic occasions in the neighborhood.
Also, Zack achieved local fame for his role in reorganizing the old settlers'
meeting which met in a grove on his farm for many
Charles Boicourt is the son of Ira Felix and
Lucretia M. Stearns Boicourt. Other children of Ira Felix Boicourt were Leslie,
Gladys, Earl, and Velma.
Ira F. Boicourt was the son
of John E. and Sophronia Sharp; John E. Boicourt was the son of Absalom and
Rebecca Holmes Boicourt; and Absalom Boicourt was a son of Frlix and Anna
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Boicourt now reside on
their farm south of Westport.
(August 17, 1807 - May 9, 1894) and Catharine Storms (September 13, 1814 - March
18, 1891) were married before coming to Westport. While living in Butler County,
Ohio, their first child, Eliza Jane, was born September 17, 1836, but died in
They moved to Westport in November, 1838, after
settling up their business affairs in Ohio. John Cann had operated a wagon
shop and general store in Ohio, and immediately set up a wagon shop on his
arrival in Westport, seven more children were born to this couple. They were
George Washington (July 15, 1840); Jacob Storms (February 14, 1842); Joanna
Storms (July 12, 1844); Sylvester Storms (February 8, 1846); Samuel Clayton (May
25, 1848); Annaretta (December 12, 1850; and John Milton (April 24,
Around 1843, John Cann built a larger store on lot
#16 where Anderson's Grocery now stands. He had a store in the front, and lived
in the other rooms. This building is still standing just south of Anderson's
On February 28, 1848, John Cann purchased the
remainder of the land previously owned by Hockersmith Merryman. The land had
been transferred from Hockersmith Merryman to Noah Merryman and from Noah
Merryman to William P. Stevens, who sold it to Mr. Cann. At the time Mr. Cann
bought the land, only the first ten lots in the orginal plat had been sold from
Recognizing the demand for more lots, he opened
his first addition to Westport, which consisted of forty lots, on July 13, 1848.
The very next year, the second Cann addition, containing thirty lots, was
platted on September 3, 1849.
On July 22, 1852. Mr. Cann
purchased a second forty-acre tract which was situated just north of his other
land. After selling his store to John Conwell on April 23, 1850, he decided
to build a new brick house on the second forty-acre tract. He built the house in
1852, from bricks which were made on his own land.
September 19, 1859, John Cann purchased a store building from Rebecca Roberts,
and at that time or a short time earlier, he purchased the stock from the dry
goods store of William M. McCullough. At some time shortly thereafter, he
operated the store as a general store. This building was located where the
Westport Hardware now stands (on the east half of loot #10) and was
destroyed in the fire which occurred during the night and early morning of
August 12th and 13th, 1872. The building wa replaced sometime during the 1870's,
and Mr. Cann, assisted by his sons George W., and Sam, continued to operate the
store until about 1890, when John suffered a disabling stroke of
A few years before his illness struck him, John
built the storeroom which stands on lot #81 (just north of the water tower) for
his son, Jacob Storms Cann, but Jacob died as a young man and never operated the
Throughout her lifetime, Catherine Cann had been a
true helpmate to her husband, John. Her task of raising seven children was not
an easy one. Her husband often sought her advice, and respected her opinion
once she had given it.
Catherine Cann took care of her
husband for about a year during his illness, but died before he did (1891). He
died in 1894 at the age of eighty-six, after being bedfast for four long
Jacob Storms Cann spent several years in Texas, but
returned to Westport, where he died. He was never married.
Sylvester Cann graduated from Hartsville College and worked his way to
Washington State as a land surveyor for the government. He remained in
Washington, and died there. He was never married.
Storms Cann was married to Isom T. McCammon. This couple became the parents of
seven children: Brook, Jim, Carl, Bert, John, Clyde, and Tom McCammon. Joanna
McCammon died early in life, and the children were reared by their
Samuel Clayton Cann was a storekeeper in
Westport throughout his lifetime. He worked for many years with his father, then
for himself, and was finally in partnership with Ed Davis for about ten years.
He was married but had no children.
Annaretta Cann was
married to Samuel DeArmond. To this couple, two children were born: Minnie and
Carrie DeArmond. The girls also had a half-brother, Otto
John Milton Cann was born in the brick house
which his father built in 1852. He lived almost ninety-two years in the same
house, and died (in 1941) in the house in which he was born. He was married
to Elizabeth Dale, and they had one daughter, Cora, who was married to Carvel
George W. Cann was married to Mary Ellen Stott
(October 6, 1843 - October 3, 1928) who was the daughter of L. C. Stott, and a
sister to Willliam T. Stott. This couple became the parents of three children:
Alice Gertrude (January 14, 1871 - July 17, 1923); Jacob Frederick (November 14,
1873 - November 26, 1950); and John C. Cann (November 11, 1877 - July 31,
1960). Getrude and Jacob F. (Jake) Cann were never married. Gertrude Cann was a
milliner and followed this line of work for years. During her career, she worked
in some of the larger cities in Indiana and Illinois.
1895, Jacob F. and John C. Cann purchased the land were George Cann
and his family now live. The Canns farmed in partnership for fifty-five
years. Jacob (Jake) was a very good stonecutter, and worked at that
profession for twelve years until 1904, at which time he devoted his full
attention to the farming operation. John C. (Jack) Cann worked in the stone
quarry of Oliver H. Stout and Melvin Sample from the time he was thirteen years
old until he was seventeen years old. He quit his job at the quarry when the
family moved to the farm in 1895. Shortly after the partnership was formed in
1895, the two established a joint checking account under the name "Cann
Brothers", which they maintained for more than fifty years until the death of
Jacob Cann in 1950. They were partners from the beginning, and they were
partners until the end.
The Canns engaged in general
farming and raised good shorthorn cattle. The were recognized by their neighbors
as being good farmers.
In 1929 John Christopher Cann was
married to Marjorie Ellen Small, who was born on February 18, 1908.
Ellen is the daughter of Thomas Jeffry Small (December 21, 1860 - December 30,
1928) and Edith Ricketts (October 2, 1869 - January 8, 1945). Thomas Jeffry
Small was the son of Edward and Anne Small, and Edith Ricketts was the daughter
of Andrew and Caroline Ricketts.
To this couple were
born four children: Mary, George, Lucinda (Rosie) and Ruth
Mary is married to Arvis Hampton, who is a foreman
at the Cummins Engine Company. He also established his own business in Westport,
which is known as the Hampton Processing Company. The Hamptons live on a farm
southwest of Westport, and have two children, Richard and Carmen Hampton.
Richard is married to Karen Knight.
George is married to
Donna Wiley, and the couple has two daughters, Jill and Beth Cann. George
attended Indiana University and received a Bachelors Degree with majors in
Mathematics and Physics, and a Masters Degree in Education. Donna recived a
Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Hanover College, and a Masters
Degree in Education from Indiana University. Both have taught for a few years in
public schools. George Cann is now self-employed.
is married to David Armand, who is employed at the Cummins
Engine Company. The Armands own a farm south of North Vernon, Indiana, and
have five children: Adora, Jake, Davie, Ellen Ruth, and Cindy. Adora has
completed two semesters at Franklin College, and Jake works in North Vernon.
Lucinda is the head cook at the Graham Creek Elementary School in Jennings
Ruth is married to Gene Clarkson, who is employed
at the Cummins Engine Company. They have two children, Christopher and
Bennet Clarkson. Chris, who is a senior, is employed at Anderson's Grocery. The
Clarksons live about one and one-half miles southwest of
Ellen Cann lives on East Main Street in
Westport, and works on a part-time basis for the Hampton Processing
Dr. John Conwell was born in
Ireland in 1815. He came from Ireland to Indiana in the late 1830's, and after
establishing his practice in Westport returned to Ireland for his bride, Mary
(1915 - 1889). When they returned to this country, Mary brought with her
some dishes of Dutch design which are still in the family. Dr. Conwell owned
several pieces of property in the Westport community, and on April 23, 1850,
purchased a house from John Cann for $450.00 which stood on the corner where
Anderson's Grocery now stands. The house was moved to the south of the store in
1913 or 1914 and still stands. It is said to have a log sapling framework. It is
understood to have served as both a residence and the doctor's office, which was
the custom of the times.
John and Mary Conwell had four
children: Catherine, Mary Jane, Sarah Elizabeth, and James T. Conwell.
Catherine was born in 1845, and married Dr. Francis M. Daily who was born
in Ireland in 1842. Francis Daily died in 1908, and Catherine died in 1927. Mary
Jane Conwell was born in 1847 and died in 1923. She was married to George W.
Hamilton, who was born in 1837 and died in 1899. Sarah Elizabeth Conwell, known
as Lizzie, was born in 1854 and died in 1923. Her husband was John N. Carder,
who was born in 1850 and died in 1930. James T. Conwell, the first railroad
agent in Westport, was born in 1848 and died in 1887. His wife was Mary Jane
Armstrong, who was born in 1857 and died in 1938.
and Mary Jane Conwell had two children: James Lyle, who was born on May 20,
1882, and died in February, 1936: and Frank Conwell, who was born in April,
1884, and died in February, 1918.
James T. died when James
Lyle Conwell was five years old. Mary Jane Armstrong Conwell was then married in
1899 to Mathew D. Harding. Mr. Harding was born in March, 1867, and died in
October, 1930. They had one son, M.D. Harding, Jr., who was born in
James Lyle Conwell was raised in Westport. He
graduated from Business College in Indianapolis. In January, 1906, he married
Margaret Denton, born in November, 1884 and who was a school teacher from Zenas,
Indiana. They were married at the Court House at Vernon, Indiana. He then
graduated from Pharmacy College in Indianapolis in 1910. Mr. Conwell bought
out the Maurice Stewart Drug Store, where Phyllis Hoard's Beauty Shop now
stands, on lot #59, and moved the business to the frame building on Poplar
Street. It served for a period at that location as the Conwell-Harding Pharmacy.
In 1916, he moved to the then new building on Main Street, which had been
built by the K. P. Lodge, just east of its own Lodge Building which had been
completed a few years earlier in 1912. The business was known as Conwell's
Pharmacy. It continued as Conwell's Pharmacy until 1942. The building is now
part of the Westport Branch Bank.
James Lyle and
Margaret Denton Conwell had five children: Eugene Denton, Helen Lucille, James
Lyle, Jr., Betty Jane, and Robert Franklin Conwell.
Denton Conwell (December, 1906 - May, 1951) was a pharmacist. He married Bess
Manuel (January, 1903 - April, 1969). Their son, Richard Denton Conwell, born in
June, 1935 is a pharmacist and lives in Indianapolis.
Helen Lucille Conwell was born in May 1909, and is a school teacher. For a
time she taught school in Westport. In May 1932 , she was married to
Fredrick D. Irwin. Mr. Irwin was born in December, 1902 and died in June 1966.
Lucille lives in Wasaw, Indiana.
James Lyle Conwell, Jr.
(April, 1911 - May, 1975) operated a drug store and sold stocks and bonds. In
August, 1942, he married Virginia Andrews (October, 1919 - February, 1972).
They lived in Greensburg and had one daughter, Cynthia Louise Conwell
Barnett. Cynthia was born in February, 1949. She lives in Greensburg and teaches
in the Decatur County Community School System.
Conwell was born in August, 1920. In July, 1941, she was married to W. Dwight
Shera, who was born in December 1920. They live on a farm west of Westport, and
have two sons. Clark Denton Shera, born in June, 1954, lives in Columbus and
operates heavy equipment. Mark David Shera, born in January, 1958, lives on a
farm south of Sardinia and works at the Westport Implement
Robert Franklin Conwell was born in August, 1923.
He is an engineer with a construction company, and owns the Westport Natural Gas
Company. In January, 1946, he married Wilma Jean Keith, who was born in October,
1929. They have five children. Judy Lynn Conwell Brown, born in September, 1947,
lives on a farm southwest of Westport. She is a school teacher, mother, and
farmer's wife. Janice Ann Conwell was born in July, 1948, and is a school
teacher at Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Lyle Keith Conwell, born in January, 1950,
lives in Westport, and has a carpet business in the building where the
Conwell-Harding Pharmacy was located on Poplar Stree. He also owns and operates
a pizza shop on Main Street, where Reed's Jewelry Store was located.
Maribeth Conwell Holcomb was born in July, 1954. She is a sales manager for a
department store in Greenwood, and now lives in Columbus. Keven L.
Conwell was born in June, 1955. He lives at home and is currently employed
as a tree trimmer.
Joseph A. and Josephine
Barnes Davis came from northern Jennings County to Decatur County in 1884 and
located on a farm just north of their birthplace.
Mrs. Joseph Davis were the parents of three children: Clyde L. Davis, Essie
Davis Mattix, and Ethel Davis Rudicel.
The farm on which
the Davis children were born is now owned by Earl and Ethel Davis Rudicel. A
part of this land was once owned by Wren Grayson. Nancy Grayson Hamilton was the
great-grandmother of Mrs. Rudicel.
The barn on this farm
was built in 1839 and remodeled in 1946. The frame of the barn was made from
hewn logs. In 1949, the ninety year old house was torn down and replaced by a
Essie Davis was married to Rowland E. Mattix,
and the couple lived just across the road from the Davis farm on the old Grayson
homestead. The children of Essie and Rowland Mattix are Roy L. Mattix, Virgie
Mattix Owens, and Mabel Mattix Robbins.
Mattix has worked in Westport for several years; Virgie Mattix Owens
lives south of Greensburg; and Mable Mattix Robbins and her husband William C.
Robbins now live on the old Grayson farm which they purchased several years
Marilyn Owens Cunningham and Carolyn Owens
Ritchison both daughters of Virgie Mattix Owens, currently live in this
community. Raymond Owens, husband of Virgie Owens, passed away in
Marilyn and Chesley Cunningham live in Westport with
their children, Gary and Greg.
Carolyn and Lynn
Ritchison live on R. R. #2 and have two children, Debra and
Ray L. Owens, son of Virgie Owens, lives in Westport
with his wife, Juda, and their two children, Jennifer and
When John and Mary Dare Davis first
came to the Westport community, shortly after the Civil War, they lived
just northeast of town on what was later known as the John McIlwain farm,
and is currently known as the Harold Gault farm.
the parents if five children: Elwood, Edward, Bert, James Elbert, and Emma
Emma Davis was married to Charles Worland,
and they had three children: Mary, Ed, and Raymond Worland. Raymond is now
living at Greensburg, Indiana.
Edward Davis was married to
Effie Owens. They were the parents of Frank Davis, who was a dentist at Westport
for many years. Edward Davis was a businessman at Westport throughout most of
his lifetime. He was in the grocery business for about fifteen years (1890 -
1905) and afterward was an officer in the bank at
Frank Davis was married to Leona Ortman. This
couple became the parents of two daughters, Elaine and Kathy. Mrs. Leona Davis
now resides in Westport, but her daughters, Elaine and Kathy, are now married
and live outiside of the community.
Davis was a farmer, and lived just north of Westport. He and his wife, Mary
Ellen Sample, had four children: Edna, Nellie, Mary, and Bonnie
Edna (Hunt) now lives on west Main Street in
Westport; Nellie (Cade) lives at Veedersburg, Indiana; Mary (Clark) lives at
Bedford, Indiana; and Bonnie (Johnson) lives at Indianapolis,
Bert Davis, a Sandcreek Township farmer, was
married to Minnie DeArmond. Bert and Minnie had four children: Beryl, Gail,
Harry, and Charles (deceased).
Beryl (Thompson) was
employed for many years at the Decatur County Hospital, and now lives at
Gail, who tought school for many years, was
married to Cassius Armstrong, and lives in northern Decatur
Harry Davis is married to Abbie Moncrief, and they
have two children, Calvin Davis and Joan Eubank.
Davis, who received a Ph. D. degree from Indiana University, is a Professor of
History at Duke University at Durham, North Carolina. Calvin who has authored
two books, recently returned from London, England, where he was doing research
for a thrid book he is currently wiriting.
Joan Davis was
married to Don Eubank, who is a barber in Greensburg. They have one daughter,
Charles Davis, who farmed near Westport, was
married to Mary Crise, who taught school for many years. The couple became the
parents of three children: Phillip, Mary Margaret, and Barbara Beryl
Phillip Davis is married to Anne Melton, and
they have four children: Debbie, Charles, Diana, and Denise. Phillip farms
near Westport, and works at the Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana.
They live on their farm about two miles northwest of
John Deniston was born in
Scotland in 1795 and came to this country with his parents when a child. Later
in life he settled in Franklin County where he made shoes, but later moved to
Butler County, Ohio, where he made boots and shoes on a large scale until his
death there in 1862.
John Deniston married Sarah Lines,
who was born in 1797 and who died in 1853. They had eight children: George, who
died in California; Martha, who died in Mt. Carmel, Indiana; Sarah Jane, who
died in infancy; James, who died in White County, Illinois; Helen, who died in
Iowa; John Franklin, who died on a farm near Sardinia; and William H. Deniston.
In 1866, John Franklin Deniston came to Decatur County, and located at
Sardinia. He was followed closely by his brother, William H. Deniston, who came
to Sardinia on March 14, 1867. They bought a tract of two hundred and nine acres
of land which they operated in partnership until 1879, at which time William H.
Deniston sold his interest to his brother, John Franklin, and purchased a
sixty-eight acre tract of his own. It was not long until he increased his
holdings by the purchase of a two hundred forty acre tract near Sardinia, and
eventually added another one hundred thirty-five acres.
William H. Deniston was married on May 21, 1862, to Celeste Doty, of Butler
County, Ohio, whose mother was a Shields, and whose father was John Doty. Mrs.
William H. Deniston, who was born in 1843, was the mother of three
children: William J. Deniston; Annie Maude, who married William Hubbard, and was
the mother of the late Lowell C. Hubbard; and Charles
After the death of his first wife, which
occurred on October 8, 1884, William H. Deniston lived with his daughter until
1911, when he was married to Sarah Elizabeth Powell, and then moved into
John Frankin Deniston (September 4, 1833 -
January 22, 1889) was married to Mary Ellen DeArmond (January 26, 1842 -
February 11, 1867). This couple became the parents of two sons, John Henry
Deniston and James William Deniston.
John Henry Deniston
was born May 3, 1862, in Butler County, Ohio, near Scipio, Ohio. When he was
only four years old, he was brought to Indiana by his parents who located near
On August 19, 1883, John Henry Deniston was
married to Eliza Eden Seal, who was born in Decatur County,
near Liberty Church, and who was the daughter of John B. and Emily
Mrs. Deniston passed away on August 20, 1907,
leaving two children two children, J. Ray and Audrey Dawn. Ray was born on
December 20, 1884, at Sardinia. He was married to Bertha Smith, of Greensburg,
and engaged in farming with his father. Audrey was born on January
29, 1893. Two other children died in infancy; Blance (August 7, 1886 - October
4, 1886) and Joy Maude (January 31, 1888 - November 4,
After the death of his first wife, John Henry
Deniston was married to Lena Littell. To this couple was born a son, John Henry
Deniston, Jr., who was born on June 21, 1921. Throughout his lifetime, John
Henry Deniston, Sr. was a leading farmer and stockman in Jackson
John Henry Deniston, Jr. attended school in
Jackson Township, and graduated from Jackson High School in 1939. Following his
graduation, he enrolled in two winter courses at Purdue. On December 30, 1944,
he was married to Dorothy Louise Bowen of North Vernon. The Deniston's are the
parents of two children, Tom an Janet Sue Deniston. They live on their farm, at
the west edge of Sardinia, which now consists of four hundred acres. They
maintain a cow herd of more than one hundred cross-bred cows, and feed anywhere
from five hundred to six hundred head of cattle each year.
John Thomas (Tom) Deniston was born on October 25, 1945. He graduated from
Jackson High School and attended Ball State University, from which he
received both a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Business Educatiion. He
taught school at Sandcreek for one year, and has taught at South Decatur
High School for eight years where he is currently employed. Tom also owns a farm
near Sardinia, and engages in the farming operation with his father as time
Janet Sue Deniston was born on June 26,
1950, and attended the Jackson High School from which she graduated. After her
graduation, she attended Ball State University where she earned a Bachelors
Degree in Social Work. Miss Deniston is currently working for a cardiologist in
the Research Department at the University of Kentucky at
The Denistons are all members of the Sardinia
Baptist Church, and all take an active interest in community affairs, and in
various organizations which are important to their
The account of
the Eddleman family given here begins with Daniel Eddleman, who was born on
December 28, 1769.
When Kentucky was a wilderness, Daniel
Eddleman, with his mother and brother, James, was sheltered in a strong cabin at
Bryant's Station, and while there they were attacked by Indians. Daniel and
James were kidnapped by them, and Daniel was taken to near Lafayette, where he
was kept until he was twelve years old, at which time he was returned to
Kentucky and claimed by his mother. James was never seen again, and it is
believed he was killed by the Indians.
The Eddlemans come
to Jackson Township during the 1820's and some of them have lived in the
township since that time.
Daniel Eddleman was the father
of William H. Eddleman, who was born in Jefferson County,
William H. Eddleman was married to Rachel
Wheldon, also a native of Jefferson County, Indiana. To this couple were born
two children. After Rachel's death, Mr. Eddleman was married a second time, and
the couple became the parents of eleven children.
names of seven of William H. Eddleman's children are given here: John
Eddleman, William Eddleman, David Eddleman, Sam Eddleman, Sam Eddleman, Amos
Eddleman, Lisa Eddleman Moncrief, and Elizabeth Burns. There were six other
From this point, the discussion will center on
David and Amos Eddleman.
Amos Henry Eddleman was born
in Jackson Township in 1850, and married Abigail Shinault, who was born in 1849,
in Jennings County, Indiana. Edgar Eddleman, a son of Amos and Abigail Eddleman,
was born on October 17, 1875, also in Jackson Township.
Edgar Eddleman was married, and was the father of four children: Alice Blanche,
Daniel Amos, George Albert, and Thomas
David Eddleman, a brother of Amos, was
the father of Fred Eddleman, who lived his entire lifetime in Jackson Township.
(Daniel Eddleman died in May, 1868, at the age of 98 years, 5 months, and 5
days, and was buried in the old Eddleman cemetery southwest of
Fred Eddleman was married to Lena Gaston, and
to them were born two sons, Gaston Eddleman and Fred Gaston
Fred Gaston Eddleman now lives in Columbus,
Indiana, and travels for the McKay Company.
Mr. and Mrs.
Gaston Eddleman live on a farm in Jackson Township and are the parents of two
grown daughters, Sarah and Barbara.
Eddleman has lived in Westport for several years.
This account does not do justice to the Eddleman family so far as dates and
details are concerned but does give give an unbroken lineage of the Eddleman
family, starting with Daniel and ending with the present
The Evans family is of Welsh
extraction. The great-great grandfather of John Milton Evans, William Evans, was
a native of New Jersey. He and his wife, Martha, immigrated to Ohio, and later
to Jackson Township in the early 1830's.
records show that on November 5, 1832, William Evans entered eighty acres of
land from the government. The property was described as the west half of the
southeast quarter of section ten, town nine, range eight. The records also show
that on April 28, 1837, William Evans purchased another eighty acres from
John McClerey for the price of six hundred dollars. This eighty
acres was the east half of the southeast quarter of section ten, town
nine, range eight.
The Evans have on display in their home
the old ship-skin deeds issued by the governmant and signed by Andrew Jackson,
then president of the United States.
The first horse-power
grist mill in Jackson Township was owned by William Evans. The first
schoolhouse in Jackson Township was built on the farm of John McClery in
November, 1834, on the land which William Evans purchased in
William A. Evans, born on November 3, 1835, son of
William Evans, was married to Emily M. Hice, a native of Pennsylvania. To them
were born three sons: Winston L., Milton E., and John G.
Milton E. Evans, who was born August 27, 1862,
became the owner of the old home place around 1895, and his brother, John,
acquired the land joining the Evan's farm on the north.
Milton E. Evans was married to Lillie M. Swope on March 6, 1890. On July 30,
1898, they became the parents of twin boys, Glen R. and Gay, but Gay died in
The Swopes were also a pioneer family, and their
ancestors owned land adjoining the Evans farm on the
Milton E. Evans was a very progressive farmer. He
was noted for Duroc hogs and good corn. He acquired another two acres besides
the orginal one hundred sixty, but later sold it down to two hundred acres.
He liked lots of shade, and planted several maple trees around the building
site. When the Evans house of thirteen rooms burned on April 8, 1934,
the fire destroyed sixteen of the seventeen maple trees which stood in the
yard next to the house. However, one tree still stands in the north yard to
represent that era.
The large frame house which
burned, and the present barn were originally built in the center of the land,
one-half mile west of the present building site. They were moved to the present
site by ox power during the 1870's. The large sills in the barn were all hewn by
On May 8, 1840, Milton E. Evans died, and
shortly thereafter, his son, Glen R. Evans, became the owner of the then
Glen R. Evans was married to Elmira
Robbins of near Horace, Indiana. The Robbins family was also a pioneer family,
having entered land in Decatur County in 1822.
Evans, father of John Milton Evans, was also a very progressive farmer, and was
one of the largest fattners of feeder pigs and feeder cattle of his time.
Unfortunately, his life was not as long as his ancestors, and he died at the age
of fifty-seven years, on May 16, 1955.
John Milton Evans
was born August 17, 1924, and was married to Anna Belle Friedersdorf in 1944.
The Friedersdorfs were a pioneer family of
The Evans are the parents of two
children, Teresa and Larry. Teresa Ann Evans Eloff, born March 24, 1950,
lives in Lafayette, Indiana, and is a counselor at Purdue University. Larry Milt
Evans, born March 11, 1953, is a partner with his father in their present
In all fairness, it must be said that
John Milton Evans is himself a very progressive farmer. By hard work, good
management, and some good forture, he has increased the size of his farm from
two hundred to six hundred acres. The Evans also rent an additional two hundred
acres, and feed about seven hundred fifty head of cattle each
James F. Hamilton (1803 - 1873) came
to Decatur County in the early 1830's with his bride Judah Owens, who was born
in Virginia on December 14, 1799, and died at Westport, July 20, 1898. The
Hamiltons bought land one and one-half miles northwest of
George W. Hamilton (May 10, 1837 -
July 29, 1899) was the son of James and Judah Owens Hamilton. He was
married to Mary Jane Conwell, who was born on February 3, 1847. To this couple
were born seven children: James Francis, Clara Maude, Clem E., John C. "Clete"
(long time Watkins dealer in Decatur County), Charles L., George C., and Mary V.
George Hamilton experienced poor health for many
years, and the children had to help out at home from an early
James Francis, or "Frank" as he was commonly known
around Westport, worked for a local storekeeper for ten years, starting to work
when he was about thirteen years old.
At age twenty-three,
having had ten years' business experience working for others, he went into
business for himself, becoming a merchant in the flour and feed business,
continuing for five years.
On November 22, 1893, he was
married to Mary M. Link. To this couple was born a daughter, Leona J. Hamilton,
who lived in Westport for many years and who in 1976 was living in
On January 20, 1897, Mr. Hamilton bought out
an undertaking establishment from James Burk. He was said to be the first to use
an automobile in the funeral business in Decatur County. He served the Westport
and Millhousen communities, all of southern Decatur County, and certain areas of
Ripley, Jennings, and Bartholomew Counties. Soon after purchasing the funeral
home, Mr. Hamilton added a line of furniture as a second
His business interests grew, and he decided to
move his business just across Poplar Street to the east. On May 13,
1914, he broke ground for a new brick building 42 ft. x 70 ft. Before he
could build, however, he had to move the two buildings which stood on the lot he
A house which was built by John Cann in 1843,
or shortly thereafter, was moved south to the back end of the lot. Another frame
building which stood on the east side of the lot, which had previously been used
for a feed store, was moved several blocks to the northwest and was still
standing in 1976.
The brick building he built was being
used in 1976 for the grocery business of Harold and Carol Smith. When it was
first built, it had a large elevator, its own electric generating plant, and its
own pressurized water system. The funeral home was maintained in the east half
of the building, the furniture was kept upstairs, and the draperies and carpets
were kept in the basement.
At one time, Frank Hamilton was
president of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, and at another time was
vice-president of the First National Bank of Westport. He was a member of the
St. Denis Catholic Church.
Born near Westport on August 3,
1869, he lived out his life in this community and departed from this life on
March 1, 1928.
James Nathaniel Jessup came
to Westport several years after the Civil War, probably during the 1870's. He
was a veterinarian, and followed this line of work after moving to Westport. He
first lived a few miles east of town on the Millhousen Road, about one-half mile
east of Sandcreek.
His son, A.L. Jessup, lived just north
of the old Horseshoe Bend Cemetery, and it was through A.L. Jessup that a
knowledge of the location of the Horseshoe Bend Church was preserved. Mr. Jessup
became an auctioneer, and was known to many as Col. Jessup. He worked his first
sale in 1899.
Two children of A.L. Jessup and Flora Tucker
Jessup are J. Neal Jessup and Nellie Jessup Gardner, both living in Westport.
Nellie is married to Cecil Gardner, and the Gardners live in downtown
J. Neal Jessup is married to Edith Burgess of
Zenas, and the couple has one daughter, Joy, who is married to Harold Jones,
also of Westport. They are the parents of two sons, Trent and Brian
Other children of A.L. Jessup and Flora
Jessup are Creath Jessup of Columbus, Indiana; Allen Jessup of Westport; and
Jessie Judge. Jessie and her husband Hassell Judge, are also living in
Jaret N. Keith and his wife
Eliza were early settlers in the Westport community. When they came to Westport,
they brought with them their four sons, John A., James, Henry, George, and a
daughter, Lucinda Keith. Lucinda was later married to a man named Stephens.
There were several people named Keith living in this area at an early date, and
at least some of them were natives of Kentucky.
Keith was married to Mary Ann Merryman on March 14, 1850.
Henry Keith was married to Ruth Alley on September 16,
George Keith was married to Lenna Thomas on December
James Keith was married to Suzanna Vantreese on
September 4, 1851. This couple became the parents of four sons: James H., John,
George, and Jarrett N. Keith. Suzanna Vantreese was also a member of a local
During the Civil War, James Keith was
called upon to drill troups and was stationed out west. While there, he became
ill and died of dysentery. His wife was left with the four young boys, but
raised them by herself in a home at the north edge of
James H. Keith seems to have been the last
owner of the Courier-Independent newspaper (his wife continued to
operate the paper for a short time after his death).
Jarrett N. Keith was married to Minnie O. Glasscock on September 3, 1884. The
couple had two children: Iva, and Geraldine Keith (Moore).
Jarret N. Keith was a barber, but was better known for years as the local
photographer. Mr. Keith seems to have taken photographs of just about every
person and every building in the community. His photographs were of excellent
quality, and many are yet preserved by several families in the community, and
these provide a glimpse into the past which would otherwise not be available.
Mr. Keith was indeed a professional photographer, and attended conventions held
by professional photographers. His name will long be remembered in this
John Keith was married to Mary A. Owens on
September 14, 1876. Into this family were born seven children: Fred, Perry,
Clara, Harry, Bill, Effie, and Irvin Keith. Mary A. Owens was the daughter of
Lewis Dudley Owens (see Owens family history). John Keith was a railroad
section foreman for many years, and later bought the blacksmith shop which was
still later operated by his son, Fred.
Irvin Keith was
married to Ruby Richards and the couple became the parents of four children:
Chester, John, Ruth (Sparks), and Madge (Manuel).
has two children: Roberta McKee and Tony Franklin. Tony is currently emplyed at
Anderson's Grocery in Westport.
Madge, and her husband,
Bruce Manuel, are presently living in Westport. Ruby Keith also resides in
Fred Keith was married to Bertie A. Eddleman on
April 2, 1899. This couple had four children: Lester, of Westport; Grace
(Connley), now of New Castle; Frank Keith of Greensburg; and Helen (Hull)
of New Castle, Indiana.
Lester Keith was married to Edith
Jones, and the couple became the parents of two daughters, Dorothy and
Wilma Jean Keith.
Wilma Jean is married to Robert Conwell,
and the couple resides at the east edge of Westport (see Conwell family
Dorothy is married to Frank Layton, who
is the local distributor of Mobil products. The Laytons have three sons:
Ron, Jon, and Jeff Laytone.
Ron is married to Phyllis
Green, and the couple has four children. They live at Ft. Wayne where Ron works
for a credit association for businesses.
Jon Layton is
married to Judy Romine, and the couple are the parents of three children. They
live in Indianapolis where Jon is a member of Indianapolis Police
Jeff Layton still lives at home and is a
senior at the South Decatur High School.
history of the Low family begins with Fred Low, who came from Pennsylvania to
Shelby County, Indiana, while helping to build a railroad, but went farther
Icen Low, a son of Fred Low, was married to Eva Jane
Pardun, daughter of James Monroe Pardun and Celena Pearcy, and the couple lived
in or near Westport for decades. Eva Low, affectionately known as "Mom" Low,
operated hotels at several different locations in Westport. She first
operated the Dudly Owens Hotel, which still stands on Main Street across the
street from the bank. The second hotel was run in the house which is now the
residence of Mae McCullough. She had been running the Low Hotel, where the
Maddux Drug Store now stands, for three or four years when it burned in 1911.
After that, she was in the Fred Keith house, and finally occupied the Gladyce
Badgley house, along with the house just west of it.
(Pop) Low, had several teams, and did heavy hauling. He drove one team, and
hired other men to drive the other horses. He also had a livery barn for
Icem and Eva June Low became the parents of
three children: Kenneth, Florence, and Herbert Low.
Kenneth was married to Martha (Mattie) Agnew, and the couple had six children:
Icem, Dean, Morris, Royce, Robert, and Alice Jane Low.
Icem and his wife, Edith, live at Greenwood, Indiana.
Low was married to Frances Marshall, and the couple has one married daughter,
Ellen Callahan. Dean and Frances Low live about two miles southwest of
Morris Low was married to Georgia Palmer, and
the couple became the parents of seven children: Kenneth Icem Low, Max Dean Low,
Linda Lou Arnett, Lula Lee Allman, Lila Vermillion, Jack Low and Lura Kind.
Morris Low, now deceased, served in the Armed Forces during World War II, and
was the most-decorated soldier from Decatur County. Among his many awards were
the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Royce Low was
married to Eunice Mayfield and the couple has six children: Connie Stout,
Donnella Buchanan, Robert, Rhonda, Johnna, and Fred. Royce works at Bohn
Aluminum, and Eunice works at B. C. A. The Lows live about two and
one-half miles south of Westport.
Bob Low attended school
at Westport, and graduated from Sandcreek High School at Westport. About two
years after his graduation, he entered the Army. He was sent to South
Korea, where he lost his life in the service of his country in
Alice Jane Low teaches school in northern Indiana.
She still maintains the family residence south of
Florence Low was married to Dean Richardson, and
the couple became the parents of two children, Wayne and Eva June Richardson.
(See the Richardson family history for information on Dean and Wayne
Eva June Richardson is married to James
McKown, and the couple resides at Marion, Indiana. The McKowns have three
children: Marcia, who is married to David Moon and has three sons; Janice
who is single and teaches at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis; and
Jimmie McKown, who is now in law school. James McKown is an attorney at Marion.
Eva June received a degree in Journalism from Indiana University, and has worked
for the Indianapolis News, and while there, worked for Jep
Cadou of the Internal News Service. She is proud of the fact that she was the
editor of a magazine called "image", which dealt with matters described as
"reflections of Indiana heartland".
lives in Westport, and is kept busy by her housework, and by her efforts to stay
in close contact with all of the members of her family. Mrs. Richardson served
for a time as Treasurer of Decatur County.
Herbert Low was
married to Leonore Kuhn, a school teacher, and the couple had one son, Myron
Low. Herbert Low was a rural mail carrier at Westport for many
John McCullough wa a brave
and faithful soldier all through the war for American Independence, and
after the war settled in Virginia. Later he settled in Kentucky and there
prospered and reared a family, and there died, honored as a soldier and a
A son John McCullough (William McCullough)
married Druzilla Morgan of Kentucky. William was reared in Kentucky, and six of
his eight children were born there. A farmer and mechanic, he came to
Indiana in 1829 and entered land in Ripley County which he improved and
upon which he died in 1837. The children of William McCullough were Harvey,
Jane (Mrs. Burk), Eliza (Mrs. Spillman), John, Sarah (Mrs. Runner), William
M., Elizabeth (Mrs. Hillis), and S.M. McCullough.
M. (Doc) came to Westport in 1853 where he worked for farmers and earned money
for his education. He did get a good educatiion, and for many years was a
teacher. While teaching he also studied medicine. As soon as he received his
diploma, he started practicing medicine as a country
"Doc" McCullough, as he was affectionately called,
opened the first drug store in Westport (about 1855) and was successful as a
physician. He was, however, a very heavy-set man, and the rugged travel on
horseback, and sometimes on foot, became increasingly difficult. As a result, he
discontinued his practice of medicine and devoted his time to merchandising,
adding groceries and other lines of good to his regular drug stock. His store
was destroyed by fire late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, August 12th
and 13th, 1872. His loss was almost total, his insurance having been only
nominal. He built a new brick building on Mulberry Street, and was back in
business by 1876.
William M. McCullough was born in
Kentucky, and was married to Sarah Harper, a daughter of Samuel Harper, of
Pennsylvania. To this couple were born seven children: James H., Jasper C.,
Leota (Washburn), Lena E., J. Taylor, Simon, and William Frank
Jasper, Leota and Simon McCullough were never
married. Simon was a tailor in Westport for many years.
After his father's death in 1895, Frank McCullough continued to operate
"McCullough's Store" for many years. He was later assisted by his
brother,Taylor. In still later years, the business was carried on by Oren
McCullough, a son of Taylor. McCullough's store was located in the brick
building constucted by William McCullough from 1876 until the early 1930's - a
period of more than half a century. After the business was moved to the store on
Main Street (now Anderson's Store). Oren (Bud) McCullough continued to operate
the store for approximately another twenty years.
with "Doc" McCullough, around 1855, the McCulloughs were in the store business
in Westport for approximately one century.
McCullough was a school teacher in Westport for many years. He was married to
Junie Elkins, and they were the parents of five children: Earl, Irvin, Harold,
Raymond, and Oren (Bud) McCullough.
Raymond was married to
Helen Whalen. He was postmaster at Westport for a few years, and later worked in
Indianapolis for many years. Raymond and Helen McCullough became the parents of
three children: Jack, Nelson (deceased), and Beverly McCullough. Jack is
married, and lives in Arizona. Beverly is married to Clem (Jim) Gatewood, and
the family lives about two and one-half miles southwest of
Oren (Bud) McCullough was married to Naomi Lucas
and the couple had two children, Betty June, who is married to Robert
McAuliffe of Westport, and Mary Jane Hoeltke of Columbus.
James H. McCullough was a farmer, and lived at the south edge of town, where
Miss Mary McCullough now lives. He was married to Ida Layton and the couple had
seven children: Mary, Simon, Frank Kenneth, Harry, Rollin, Stanley, and
Miss Mary McCullough was a school
teacher for over fifty years, and most of her teaching was done at Westport. She
still lives in the house which has been in her family for several
Frank Kenneth married a Boicourt, and they had
four children. They are Ida Lang, who lives in Oregon; Russell, who also lives
in Oregon; Raymond, of North Dakota; and Opal Barry, who lives in
Harry McCullough was a barber at Westport for
most of his lifetime. He was married to Hazel Hern, and the couple had one son,
Harry McCullough, Jr., who is now living in Greensburg.
Rollin McCullough was married to Hazel Campbell, and they were the parents of
three children: Leota Jayne, who now lives in Aurora, Indiana; Melvin
McCullough, who lives at Seymour, Indiana and Sally Caldwell, of
Stanley McCullough was married
to Mae Ponsler, and they became the parents of five children: Ruthann, Royce,
Paul, Richard, and Jerry McCullough.
married to Charles Cross, who is in the construction business. Ruthann is a
teacher in the Jennings County School Corporation, and they reside in
Royce is married and lives on a farm near Harris
Paul is married, and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia,
where he works on construction projects.
living in Columbus, Indiana, where he established a carpet-cleaning business,
and is self-employed.
Jerry McCullough is married to
Karen Anderson, and the couple lives in Columbus, Indiana, where Jerry is
employed at the Cummins Engine Company.
was married to Louise Barclay, and the couple became the parents of one
daughter, Lyndal Hartwell, who lives in North Vernon, Indiana. Mrs. McCullough
was a teacher in the local school system for many years, and still resides at
Jasper McCullough operated a hatchery and
hardware store at Westport for many years, and also worked as an
Simon McCullough was married to Mabel Tanner
and the couple had twelve children: James Leslie, Donald Edward, Vernon Ervin,
Ralph Waldo, Mary Ellen, Harold Alton, John David, Arthur Robert, Sydna Ann,
Marion Francis, Ernest Gordon, and Joseph Arnold
James Leslie McCullough, who died in
February, 1956, was married, and had two children who survive
Donald Edward McCullough is married and has two
children. He works for the Commission for the Blind, for the State of
Texas, and lives at Lubbock, Texas.
McCullough is married and the father of six children. He is a teacher and lives
at Hammond, Indiana.
Mrs. (Cecil) Mary Ellen Perkins
has two children and is a teacher at Indianapolis,
Harold Alton McCullough is married and has four
children. He is a postman and lives at Indianapolis,
John David McCullough, who died on February 19,
1969, was married, and had eleven children who survive
Arthur McCullough, who works at the Cummins Engine
Company, is married to Mary Catherine Hull, and they have six children. They
live on their farm about two and one-half miles south of
Mrs. (Dale) Sydna Ann Mozingo is a
housewife, and has three children. The Mozingos live on R.R. #2, Greensburg,
Mrs. (Allen) Marion Francis Fox is a housewife,
and is the mother of seven children. The family lives at Phoenix,
Ernest Gordon McCullough, who works at Cummins
Engine Company, is married and has three children. He lives on R.R.#1,
Joseph Arnold McCullough works at Bohn
Aluminum, and resides on R.R. #10, Greensburg, Indiana. He is married and has
two children and eight step-children.
Hockersmith Merryman and Simeon Sharp founded Westport on March 23, 1836.
Information on the Merryman family is scarce. There were several people by the
name of Merryman living in Westport during the 1830's.
Pauline Poer of Spiceland, Indiana, is a descendent of Hockersmith
The father of Pauline Poer was Charles
Merryman, who was the son of Mose Merryman.
Mrs. Elias H.
Jackson in "A Century of Progress" made the statement that "Noah Merryman I was
born in Westport, Kentucky..."
It is believed that
Hockersmith Merryman was the father of Noah Merryman I, and that his son, Noah
Merryman II, was the father of Mose Merryman. However, this has not been proven,
and the names are included here as clues for anyone interested in looking up the
Merryman family history.
A search through the early
records of Oldham County, in which Westport, Kentucky, is situated failed to
reveal anyone by the name of Merryman as a property owner. The same was true for
the marriage records. The search was also made for those members of
the Williamson family who were known to be living near Westport during the
1830's. Here, too, there was no evidence suggesting that they had been at
Westport, Kentucky. This does not mean that the Merrymans or Williamsons did not
live there. But the fact that they did not buy property or apply for marriage
licenses does suggest that if they were there, they were not there very
long. There is the possibility that they could have lived on the Indiana side of
the Ohio River. Another possibility is that these families could have
lived in Westport, Kentucky before records were kept, but this would have
to have been before 1826.
It is thought that Westport,
Indiana was named for Westport, Kentucky, but except for Mrs. Jackson's
statement in "A Century of Progress", no tie could be made between the
MILLER - ROBBINS
This account begins with
Henry C. Miller (April 17, 1820 - October 23, 1906). Henry C. Miller came to
Indiana from Louisiana at an early date, and settled about three and one-half
miles northeast of Westport. The Millers had a daughter, Julia E. Miller,
who was born in 1847. Julia is believed to have been the only child, although
the Millers did take other children into their home.
C. Miller, along with Parker Canfield and others, was an early leader in the
Westport Methodist Church.
His occupation was farming, and
he owned several hundred acres of land in Sandcreek Township.
When the Center-of-Population Monument was dedicated near
his home on Sunday, May 10, 1891, Henry C. Miller was one of four speakers for
the occasion, and according to the Greensburg Standard, "Many were the
compliments pronounced upon the interesting talk of this silvery-haired
On January 1, 1873, Julia E. Miller Sisco
(1847 - 1929) was married to William F. Robbins (1850 - 1923). For more than
three years they operated a general store in Westport, and also carried a line
of hardware. The building which they owned was later known as the Howe &
Eddleman Hardware Store, and stood on the south side of Main Street, where the
west side of the bank now stands. They sold the store in 1876 to John
To William F. and Julia E. Robbins
were born six children: Cleve, Courtland C., Cordia, Elizabeth, Emma, and George
Courtland C. (Todd) Robbins was married to
Cecil D. Heaton. They became the parents of two children: Julia E. Robbins, who
lives north of Westport; and Roy Lee Robbins of
Cordia Robbins was married to Clyde Morgan,
who was a carpenter. Cordia gave music lessons in her home for many years. The
Morgans lived out their lives at their home was located about two miles north of
Elizabeth Robbins was married to
Clifford Davis, and the couple had three children: Faith Ellison; Barrett
Davis; who now lives in Columbus, Indiana; and Dr. Marvin Davis, also
living in Columbus.
Emma Robbins was married to Fred
Williams, and they were the parents of three children: Melba, Vivian
(Harnish), and Velma (Frame).
George Robbins died as a
Cleve Robbins married Alta McIlwain, and they
became the parents of five children: Helen, William C., Lowell, Margaret and
Throughout most of his lifetime, Cleve
Robbins engaged in general farming on the old homeplace northeast of
Helen Robbins was married to William Hollerman,
who passed away several years ago. Helen now lives in North Vernon,
William C. Robbins is married to Mabel Mattix.
They live south of Westport on the old Wren Greyson farm which they
purchased several years ago. Mabel Robbins is a descendent of the Grayson
family. William C. (Bill) Robbins engages in general farming, and has for many
years had a dairy as part of his farming operations.
Margaret Robbins (Smith) now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and Alma, who was
married to the late Friend Knarr, now lives at Elkhart,
Lowell Robbins is married to Charlotte Cann, and
they are the parents of three children: Mike, who is married to Alberta
Washburn; Carolyn (Kobe) of Battle Creek, Michigan; and Mary Ruth Robbins, who
is a Registered Nurse at Indianapolis, Indiana.
OWENS - BURK -
This account begins with John Owens of Kentucky.
John Owens was the father of Lewis Dudley Owens, who was a businessman and
resident of Westport throughout most of is adult life. A sister of John Owens,
Juda Owens, was born in Virginia on December 11, 1799. Some members of the Owens
family evidently migrated from Virginia to Kentucky, and then to Westport. Juda
Owens was married to James F. Hamilton, and the two were the grandparents of
Frank Hamilton (see Hamilton family history).
Owens, who was born in Kentucky, was married to Mary Ann Martin. To
this couple were born six children: Perry, John, Barthena (Burk), Effie (Davis),
Philena (Stephens), and Mary A. (Keith).
reportedly was running the old DeArmond Brothers Hotel at the time it burned in
1872. Several years later, about 1887, he built the large hotel which came to be
known as the Dudley Owens Hotel, and it is still standing on the north side of
Main Street, just across from the bank.
Mr. Owens was
married a second time, and had a step-daughter named Florence. His second wife
was named Acsah. Mr. Owens died in 1893.
who was born in 1851, was married to James M. Burk, who was born in 1853. To
this couple were born three children: John (1873), William (1877), and Lena
The Burks bought out the Armstrong heirs during
1880 and 1881, and finally owned all of lot #9 in Westport. The Burks lived
on the west side of this lot, and had a carriage shop on the east side. They
remained at this location until 1884, at which time they sold the property to
her father, Dudley Owens.
A few years later, James and
Barthena Burk built the brick building near the railroad on the south side of
Main Street, which came to be known as the Burk Building. At this location,
Mr. Burk set up his jewelry business, and also had an undertaking
establishment. The building was later known as Reidenbach Jewelry Store, and
still later as Reed's Jewelry Store.
In later years (after
1900) Mr. Burk was an optician in Westport.
Lena Burk was
married to Frank Glasgow Harding in 1899, and the couple had one daughter, Madge
Harding, who now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Irving Harding was first married to Sarah Glasgow, and the couple became the
parents of two sons, Matthew Dow and Frank Harding (mentioned
By a second marriage, Addison Irving Harding
was married to Ellen Hibbard, and the couple had three boys: Roy, Norris and
By a third marriage, Mr. Harding was married to
Martha Elliott. To this couple a daughter Martha, was born. Martha was married
to W.H. (Coonie) Webb, now deceased.
school for several years, and at the present time resides at the east edge of
Mrs. William Burk is also living in
William Richardson, a United
Brethern circuit rider wanting a place to preach the gospel, and his young wife
Jane, left Pennsylvania and traveled down the Ohio River to what is now
Hamilton, Ohio, where their three sons were born.
William and Jane Richardson, along with their sons, Joseph, William John, and
James, migrated from Hamilton, Ohio to Madison, Indiana. From Madison, they
moved northward and finally located in Brewersville in Jennings
William Richardson rode a circuit of United
Brethern Churches which included Fredonia, New Bethel, Fish Creek, and the
church in his hometown of Brewersville.
was also a good basket-maker, and this art was developed by two of his sons,
Joseph and William John. Both located on farms in the New Bethel area where they
farmed and made baskets which they huckstered by horse and wagon to farmers
and nearby storekeepers.
William John Richardson married
Eliza Ellen Grayson, the daughter of Wren Grayson, Jr., a well-known farmer, and
one of the early Decatur County Commissioners. At this time, the Graysons were
living on the farm which Wren Grayson Sr. had entered from the government
in 1827. The farm is located south of Westport, just northwest of the iron
bridge over Sandcreek, and is now owned by William and Mabel
The Richardsons began their married life on a
farm which was located near Bear Creek. It was there that their seven children
were born. These are the children who were born to the Richardsons: Salethiel
Jesse, William Selden, Harry, Leonard Forrest, Gertrude, Dean and
On July 4, 1891, William Richardson bought property
on Main Street, and moved his family to Westport.
Richardson published The Westport Independent, the first
newspaper published in Westport, and at different periods, owned
and operated the Westport Courier-Independent.
Harry became a baker, and worked for the Thomas Bakery in the brick
building north of the Standard Service Station. He also operated a shingle
factory on the banks of Millstone Creek on East Main
Dean owned and successfully operated a retaurant on
Main Street. He also built and operated a filling station (now the Standard
Station) until his death in 1930.
Leonard Forrest became a
newspaper editor and, and in the early days of the Westport
Independent, worked in the print shop located in the Richardson building,
which was situated on the corner now occupied by the Standard Service
He went to Sheffield, Illinois, where he editied
a newspaper - The Times - until his death.
Gertrude (Sherman) and Leafy (Burns) are still living in the family home on Main
Street in Westport.
The Richardson family was very active
in the early development of Westport.
Richardson, the son of Dean and Florence Low Richardson, lives in Westport, and
is a wholesale distributor of livestock and agricultural
Wayne is married to Florine Carder. The
old Carder homeplace was in the St. Denis neighborhool, and is now known as
the Clyde Taylor farm.
Wayne and FLorine are the
parents of six children: Marilyn, Roberta, John Dean, Danny, Bill and Ben
Marilyn lives at Sydney, New York and is
married to Daniel Rawlins, who is an executive with the Bendix Corporation. They
have one son, Greg, who is in the Navy.
Roberta lives at
Greensburg and is married to Norman Fromer, who is a foreman at B.C.A. in
Greensburg. Roberta sells real estate for the McGinn Real Estate Company. The
Fromers have three children: Amy, Eric, and David Fromer.
John Dean, a teacher in California, is married to Nancy Castner from Columbus,
Indiana. The couple has no children.
Danny is a truck
driver and lives at North Vernon, Indiana. Danny is married to June Grossman,
and their family consists of six children: Gary, Tim, Brian, and Jennifer
Richardson, and Teresa and Bill Grossman.
Bill, a school
teacher at Crawfordsville, Indiana, is married to Retta Van Massenhove of
Denver, Colorado. They are the parents of a son, Michael, and a daughter,
Ben, still single lives in the Westport community
and operates his own business known as Ben's Mobil
Simeon Sharp and Hockersmith
Merryman founded Westport on March 23, 1836. There were many other people named
Sharp who were also early settlers. Unfortunately, not much is known about
Simeon Sharp. He was married at least twice. Mary Sharp, wife of Simeon Sharp,
died on May 18, 1843, at the age of 32 years, 9 months, and 26 days, and was
buried in the old cemetery east of the Methodist Church. Another wife, Sarah,
died on April 5, 1853, at the age of 33 years, 4 months, and 15 days, and
was also buried in the old cemetery mentioned above. It was not learned when or
when Mr. Sharp died. If he was buried in the cemetery at Westport, there is no
marker to indicate the spot.
Jean Sharp of Westport is a
relative of Simeon Sharp, but the exact relationship is not known. The paternal
ancestors of Jean Sharp came down the Ohio River from Pennsylvania, and his
maternal ancestors came from North Carolina. Jean Sharp's father was Walter
Marion Sharp, and his grandfather was John Elston Sharp.
Jean Sharp is a retired employee of the Cummins Engine Company, and lives in
Westport with his wife, Bess. The couple has two grown daughters, Genevieve and
Members of the Shera family now
living in the Westport community are descendents of Caleb
Caleb Shera, a native of Ireland, was born in 1815
and came to the United States at the age of twenty-five. He settled first in
Bartholomew County, then moved Franklin County, and finally settled permanently
in Decatur County. He was married to Elizabeth Shafer, daughter of John and
Caleb and Elizabeth Shera were the
parents of Isaac Shera, who was born on August 24, 1851, near
Isaac Shera was married to Mary A. Updike. Mr.
Shera was a very successful farmer in Jackson Township, and had acquired several
hundred acres of good farmland by the time of his retirement. He also was
instrumental in the building of the Westport Baptist Church. Because of his
unselfish contributions, the Church, housed in the new building and debt-free,
was able to actively pursue its mission in the community.
To Isaac and Mary A. Shera were born two sons. Elmer Ray Shera was born on
November 4, 1887, and died April 22, 1889.
Shera was born November 2, 1885, and died in July, 1958. He was born and raised
on a farm one mile west of the old Jackson Township School. He became a farmer,
living first on a 160 acre farm south of Sardinia. In the fall of 1912, he moved
to the 160 acre farm two miles west of the Jackson School. Because of failing
health, he moved to the house in Westport where his widow, Mamie Shera still
lives. He continued to manage this farm, and after Isacc Shera's death in April,
1926, he managed the entire 800 acres. Earl purchased an additional 40 acres
near the home place from Sam Fisher. He stayed active in the management of the
farms until his place from Sam Fisher. He stayed active in the management of the
farms until his death in July, 1958. He belonged to the Westport Baptist Church,
and he there served many years as a Trustee. He was a member of the Westport
Mr. Shera had one son, born in 1909,
by a previous marriage. Glen Shera lives in Michigan. In March 1912, Earl
married Mamie Clark who was born in January 1892. Their children are
Lucille, E. Stanley, Isaac, W. Dwight, Max C., and M. Miles
Lucille Shera was born in April, 1913. She taught
high school in Westport and Letts. In May, 1935, she married Robert Pavy, who
was born in March, 1913. He is a dentist, and they live in Rennselear,
Indiana. Their children are Sheri Jean Pavy Stropko, born in 1942, now living in
Tucson, Arizona; and David Lanham Pavy, born in 1946, and now living in
E. Stanley Shera was born in
November, 1915. He was worked at the Cummins Engine Co. in Columbus, Indiana,
since June, 1942. In February, 1940, he married Roberta Ruth Davidson, who was
born in July, 1919. Their children are: Warren Preston Shera, who was born in
December, 1942, and is now living in Mexico; Earl Stanley Shera, Jr., who lives
in Columbus, and was born in August, 1944; Mary Jill Shera Jacobson, who lives
in Greensburg, and was born in Octorber, 1952; and Robert Jackson Shera, of
Westport, who was born in January, 1954. In April, 1969, Stanley Shera was
married to Nancy Tucker McCullough, who was born in April, 1938. They now live
Isaac Lyman Shera was born in January, 1919,
and died in December, 1919.
W. Dwight Shera was born in
December, 1920. In July, 1941, he was married to Betty Conwell, who was
born in August, 1920. He is a farmer, and they live on the first farm Isaac
Shera purchased in 1878. Their children are Clark Denton Shera, who was born in
June, 1954, and lives in Columbus; and Mark David Shera, who was born in
January, 1858, and lives on a farm south of Sardinia.
Shera was born in November, 1923. In January, 1946, he was married to Jean
Camp Keith who was born in November, 1946, and now lives west of Burney; and
Theresa Kay Shera Busse, who was born in January, 1949, and now lives at Crown
M. Miles Shera was born in November, 1927. He is in
the insurance business. In June, 1950, he was married to Martha Carder, who was
born in 1928 and died in 1964. In June, 1969, he was married to Mary Seiglitz,
who was born in April, 1942. They have one child, Kirk Isaac Shera, who was born
in August, 1971.
The first Stott in America
(first name unknown) migrated from Germany to Scotland and then to America,
where the Stott family was established. This Mr. Stott was the father of Raleigh
Stott, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and who migrated from one of
the eastern states to the Middle West. Raleigh Stott was the father of
Louis Lunsford Stott. The Stott family was among the first to settle in the
state of Indiana. Louis Lunsford Stott in 1813, paid taxes in Indiana
for the years 1810, 1811, and 1812. This was before Indiana had become a state.
Louis Lunsford Stott first married a Miss Allen and the couple became the
parents of eight children: Lewis Christopher (the father of Capt. W.T. Stott, a
former Sheriff of Decatur County); Mrs. Hulda New; Allen; Mrs. Polly Griffin;
Mrs. Mariah Kirtley; Mrs. Elizabeth Smith; Frances Marian; and Mrs Sarah Jane
Gaston. By a second marriage, there were three children; D.W., Richard T., and
Mrs. Susan Newsome.
Lewis Christopher Stott (1814 - 1907,
mentioned above) was born in Kentucky and married Elizabeth (Daily) Stott (1812
- 1880) a native of Virginia. They moved into Jennings County sometime during
the 1830's and then moved to a small farm at the south edge of Westport about
the year 1841. Children of Lewis C. Stott were William Taylor Stott, Zurelda
(Smalley), Lottie (Davis), Mary Ellen (Cann), and Susan
Richard T. Stott (half-brother of Lewis C. Stott)
was born November 14, 1842, in Jennings County, three miles south of Westport,
the son of Louis Lunsford and Sallie (Stewart) Stott. Because his mother died
when he was four years old, he grew up near Sardinia, living with an uncle,
Willis C. Stribbling. He was nineteen years old when the Civil War broke out and
enlisted on July 8, 1861, in Company H Nineteenth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer
Infantry, and served for over three years. He was under fire in nearly all of
the battles and especially was on the firing line in the Second Battle of Bull
Run, the Battles of Fredericksburg, South Mountain, Antietam, and Gettysburg, as
well as the Wilderness Campaign.
He returned home at the
close of the Civil War, and starting farming in Jackson Township, and was
married in 1865 to Eliza Ann Chaille.
William Taylor Stott
(1840 - 1912) was born in Jennings County. He grew up on his father's farm at
the south edge of Westport. At the age of twenty, at the beginning of the
Civil War, he enlisted in Company B, Fifty-Second Regiment, Indiana
Volunteer Infantry, and served for four years, becoming Captain of his Company.
He distinguished himself in many battles and engagements. At the close of the
Civil War, Captain Stott engaged in the drug business, continuing until about
1872, his store being in Westport.
Capt. William T. Stott
was married to Caroline Bennett and they became the parents of four children;
Charles A., William Taylor, Jr., Elizabeth (Biddinger), and James
William Taylor Stott was appointed deputy
internal revenue collector, a position which he filled with credit for a number
of years. He was elected sheriff of Decatur County in 1896, and re-elected two
years later, and served until about 1900. He then bought the well-known general
store of Davis and Littell and took his sons William T. (Jr.) and James Clarence
into partnership with him.
William Taylor Stott purchased
the Harding Store building, and moved his business into it. He operated the
store until his death in 1912. Thereafter, the business was run by Bill and
Clarence Stott until about 1920.
In later years,
James Clarence Stott and Mary Elizabeth (Mame) Brown were: Paul T., Christopher,
Benjamin H., Gertrude and Gladys (twins), Dorothy, Verle, Mary, and
Children of Mary Ellen Stott (Cann) were
Gertrude, Jacob, and John C. Cann.
Stout was married to Mary Etta Greenfield on August 31, 1882. The couple had one
daughter, Ethel Tyner Stout.
Oliver Stout and Melvin
Sample owned a quarry in partnership. It was in the same general area as the
Hollensbe Quarry, and as photographs verify, about twenty-five or thirty men
were employed in the Stout and Sample Quarry.
was a very fair-minded and honest man. He was also very patriotic. On many
occasions, especially Memorial Day celebrations, he would recite poetry, some of
which he had written himself. He wrote several poems about pioneer days. These
poems were unusual in the sense that they were based entirely on actual facts
pertaining to pioneer days, and they described real persons, places, and events
in this community.
Six of Oliver H. Stout's poems were
published in booklet form, and were distributed as souvenirs of the thrid annual
Old Settler's Meeting, which was held northeast of Westport on the farm of Zack
Boicourt. The meetings were held on the forty-acre tract which lies northeast of
the gas-light corner on the Millhousen Road.
Some of Mr.
Stout's poems from the booklet "Stories of the Past" appear at various places in
this book. It is believed that the booklet was published in 1899, but the date
has not been definitely established. The poems may all have been written before
It is regrettable that more is not known about
Mr. Stout, but the depth of his poems indicate that he was an extraordinary
individual. Because of his written accounts, detailed information has been
presrved which otherwise would have been lost.
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