Jefferson Twp. Cities

Past & Present

Pike County,


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
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











          Fidelity, Indiana, was located in Marion Township, Pike County, Indiana. Fidelity Post Office was located at the top of Dillon Hill, about three miles north of where Velpen was later located on what is now Highway No. 257. It is shown as a town in the 1882 map of Indiana. At this time Velpen is not yet developed and does not appear on the map. Ella Dillon Bowers and Kitty Dillon Arnold daughters of James Dillon both recalled the beginning of Fidelity. In
late 1860's, their father built a small building at the corner of his garden for a country store. Willis C.
Beadles who worked for him helped in the operaton of the store. Merchandise sold in the small country store included various patent medicines, particularly San Jento Bitters that Dillon had learned about in his sea travels.

        Not long after the business was in operation, James Dillon, Willis C. Beadles and a number of their neighbors and friends, including Captain Sasser Sullivan, Leroy Robinson, Captain John Townsend and others began working to secure a post office in the store. They were successful and Fidelity Post Office came into being on July 24, 1871. Willis C. Beadles became the first postmaster. Ella Dillon Bowers said that the people of the area would come to the store to wait for the arrival of the mail. The postal route was from Jasper to Fidelity then to Otwell. Residents of the area assembled in the store at mail time to wait for it to come. Upon the arrival of the mail, the people would gather around the postmaster and he in military style would go through it, call out the name of the addressee and when the person answered, pass it back to him or her.

      Later the store became more of a general store and was moved down the road one-half mile south next to the Sulphur Springs School (School No.3) and just north of White Sulphur Springs also known as Sweet Sulphur Springs. During this time, the school children often frequented the store. Ella Bowers said that the students would trade eggs to the store for school supplies. In the 1880's, Beadles purchased twenty acres of land from Wes Morton across the road from the James Dillon property and built a home and a larger country store. Fidelity Post Office was opened in Beadle's store on February 1, 1881.

     The 1881 Plat Book for Marion Township, Pike County, shows the community of Fidelity, School No. 3 and White Sulphur Springs. At this time, the post office Is located in the northeast corner of the twenty acres owned by Beadles. This is also the northeast corner of Section 32. James Dillon's home and the original site of the Fideli
ty Post Office were located in the southwest corner of his properly that was the southwest corner of Section 28. Presumably, the original store and post office fronted on the road.

      On January 10, 1883, the Jasper mail carrier for the route between Jasper and Otwell was able to secure a termination of the Fidelity Post Office on the ground that it was off his main route. The people of the areas strongly protested the discontinuance of their post office. The editor of the Petersburg Weekly Paper editorialized that when the Jasper mail carrier took the route, he did  so with the understanding that Fidelity was a point on the line and therefore should have no complaint.  The protests paid off and on July 5, 1883, Fidelity Post Office was once again opened. Beadles remained the postmaster during the entire time.The post office then continued in Fidelity until December 26, 1884. But, on that date, it was shut down by the postal authorities and the Fidelity Post Office faded into history.

       Velpen was platted in 1881 about 3.5 miles south of the original site of the Fidelity Post Office. Velpen was not in existence when the 1881 Plat Book of Pike County was made and is not shown thereon. The Louisville-St. Louis branch of the Airline Railway is shown on the 1881 plat. It later became a part of the Southern Railway. The railroad coming through the area spurred the development of the town. The loss of the post office and the growth of Velpen
drew W.C. Beadles to the area. He built a two story brick bu
ilding in the town and moved his home and business to that location. By building the first brick building and establishing his business in Velpen, Beadles became part of the early history of Velpen.

(Sources: (Conferences with Kitty Arnold and Ella Bowers, 1948, Information furnished by Sandy McBeth; Story in Petersburg Weekly Paper, January 26, 1883; Story in Press Dispatch, January 20, 2000, Petersburg, Indiana: Ruth Miley McClellan, Pike County History, Bicentennial Edition, 1776-1976, Pike County Historical Society, Petersburg, Indiana; History and Families, Pike County Indiana, 1816 1987; Indiana Post Office index.)) . .

A special Thanks to Carrol F. Dillon for this Pike County History.








Herb Osgatharp Grocery               No History at this time. Future Project











High Banks
        The 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 Daviess County.
     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 Otwell.
     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