Jefferson Twp. Cities
Past & Present
|Algiers||Burr Oak||Cato||Connonville||Cross Roads|
|Delectable Hill||Dutchtown||Fidelity||Herb Osgatharp Grocery||High Banks|
|Iva||Otwell||Rabbit Leg||Tick Ridge||White River Bluffs|
|Algiers City ( named later shortened to
Algiers) was laid out on August 13 and 14. 1868 with 31 town lots. Street names for
Algiers City included Sassafras, Main, Church, Pearl and High.
William Bradfield had the town surveyed and platted. William and his wife Sarah donated the land for Algiers Methodist Church ( then called Pleasant Grove), Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Algiers Schoolhouse.
Business References listed in the 1881 Gibson and Pike Counties Atlas for Algiers City were: Ella Alexander, School teacher; H.W. Harris, physician and surgeon; J. Jackson; Justice of the Peace, plasterer and farmer and William A. Norton, farmer and stock dealer.
Other businesses in the community were the Ayer's Store, Engleman Store with the Redman Lodge on the second floor, The Carpenter Brothers Store with the Odd Fellows Lodge above, "Grannie" Bradfield's Store (operated by Mrs. Wm. Bradfiels). two poultry houses, Radcliffs hardware Store and the Old Country Blacksmith Shop. Dr. Harris and Dr. A.R. Logan were both in practice in Algiers.
A new brick elementary and high school was built in 1920 and remained open for over 30 years. In the 1880 census, the population of Algiers was 52.
|Burr Oak No History at this time. Future Project|
|Cato / Cottonville No History at this time. Future Project|
|Connonville No History at this time. Future Project|
|Cross Roads No History at this time. Future Project|
|Delectable Hill was originally the estate of Harbard P. DeBruler who settled in the area in 1816. He was the postmaster and also served as the Methodist preacher in Highbanks. Many of the residents in Pike County considered DeBruler an eccentric due to his hobby of Botany. He grew many exotic shrubs and flowers in his gardens. Besides the post office the community also had a general store.|
|Dutchtown No History at this time. Future Project|
A special Thanks to Carrol F. Dillon for this Pike County History.
|Herb Osgatharp Grocery No History at this time. Future Project|
second oldest town in Pike County was Highbanks. Woolsey Pride and William Pride
settled the town and it was laid out on January 12, 1837, by Hugh McCain, Thomas
McCain and C. Beams. This was the site of the ferry boat which connected Pike County to
Judge Hammond came from Massachusetts before 1820 and settled there. He brought luxuries which many of the settlers had never seen such as glass windows for his house.
Matthew Watson Foster was one of the earliest merchants in the county to do business on a large scale. He bought and traded stock and produce which he then shipped by flatboat to New Orleans. His son, General John Watson Foster, became the Secretary of State under President Harrison. His grandson John Foster Dulles became the Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower..
The population of Highbanks in 1880 was listed as 24.
|Iva / Long Branch No History at this time. Future Project|
|Otwell / Pierceville|
|The town of Otwell, which is located in
Jefferson Township, has a rich history dating back 146 years but it wasn't always known as
In 1852, Dr. Perry Brown founded the town and named it Pierceville in honor of President Franklin Pierce who was elected to office the same year.
Prior to the establishment of the town of Pierceville, there had been a village known as White Oak Grove at the site. It's earliest settlers are believed to have come to the area in the early 1800's.
According to Ruth Miley McClellan's Pike County History, the White Oak Grove sprang up along "a military road to the falls at Louisville and just off the Buffalo Trace to the south about three quarters of a mile. It was also near Troy Road which lead from Troy, on the Ohio River to Vincennes on the Wabash".
McClellan notes the first school in the Jefferson Township area was founded in 1828, near the residence of William Kelso and was known as the Traylor Schoolhouse.
Another school was later established near the White Chappell Store in 1932. Sometime after 1842, a schoolhouse was also built in Otwell on the Daniel DeMotte farm. Elizabeth DeMotte was the first teacher at the school, according to McClellan.
The small town continued to be called Pierceville for 12 years until the establishment of a U.S. Post Office in the town in 1864. It was then discovered there was already a town named Pierceville in Dearborn County.
After some deliberation on what to rename the town, it was decided to rename it in honor of Dr. Brown's son, Robert Otwell Brown.
A petition was organized in support of it being renamed Otwell and presented to the "March term of court 1864".
According to McClellan, some of those who signed the petition included "Lawrence Jones, Andrew Jackson Wells, James Rote Nelson and Sanford Traylor".
The first recorded businesses in Otwell were a blacksmith shop, owned by James Scanland, a store owned by Jasper Scraper and another store owned by James Denton.
Other prominent businessmen in the town of Otwell included J.W. Abbot, Samuel Dillon, John Wilhelm, Michael Fletcher, Jacob Bow, Frank Bilderback, D.H. Daniel and J.W. Conger.
The first flour and grist mill in Otwell was built in 1855.
According to McClellan, John Scraper later bought the original flour mill and constructed a three-story building on the banks of Flat Creek to house the mill.
McClellan notes after Scraper's death, the mill was purchased by Ned Corn and became known as Corn's Mill.
"Corn's Mill became the political center of Jefferson Township", McClellan states in her book. "The first floor with the stones of the grist mill in the center of the room was large enough to accommodate the crowd for many a rally or debate.
"During the campaign of 84 when Grover Cleveland led the Democratic party to victory, the debate and speaking were outstanding events and on these special occasions the Stringed Bank, composed of Dr. Daniel's, Dr. Hedden and others of Otwell furnished the music. Their conveyance was a spring wagon".
Corn's Mill became the site of some of the most talked about political debates and energetic soap box lectures ever to take place in Jefferson Township.
One example of a particularly vigorous exchange cited by McClellan is when Simon Dearing took his turn to complain of the Republican rule for 44 years.
"I wish I had four republicans to beat instead of one for the office for which I am running for I could do it," Dearing supposedly boasted. That same year he was elected constable.
Other well known Pike County men who at one time or another took their turn on the soap box, included Otwell attorney Robert Weldon, James Nash and Bill Hays.
Thirty years after the construction of the original flour mill, Robert Craig II built a flour mill which serviced many of the farmers in the Jefferson Township area. Craig was also instrumental in forming the first bank in Otwell:. The Otwell State Bank. He was president of the Bank, which was located ,on Washington St., for 25 years.
By the 1880's, the town of Otwell was prospering. Its residents could boast they had three thriving hotels in the small town: The Ritter House, Conger Hotel and Loessner House. There was also a drug store owned by D.H. Daniel, two general stores, barber shops, hat shops, repair shops, three taverns, pool rooms and the Harris Funeral Home.
This article was written by Mary Poselwait of
the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County Press-Dispatch. This piece of
History appeared in the August 13, 1998 newspaper. Our thanks to Mary and Frank
Heuring , Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.
|Rabbit Leg No History at this time. Future Project|
|Tick Ridge No History at this time. Future Project|
|White River Bluffs No History at this time. Future Project|