Monroe Twp. Cities
Past & Present
|Arcadia||Claybanks||Coe||Dyson Hill||Honey Springs|
|Hoskins Hill Pits||Scottburg||Spurgeon One||Spurgeon Two||Tevault Crossing|
|Arcadia / Simtown / Lemasterville|
|Hoskins Hill Pits|
|Spurgeon / Pleasantville|
| Spurgeon is the
main community in Monroe Township. It was laid out by Jefferson W. Richardson in 1860 and
named Pleasantville. The town carried that name until Aug.2, 1887, when the post
office was established. In the process of establishing the post office, it was discovered
there was already a town of that name elsewhere in Indiana.
The name was then changed to Spurgeon. Richardson was instrumental in deciding what to rename the small town. The town was renamed in honor of English evangelist Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, a man whom Richardson admired.
On the 1881 plat map, there were 89 town lots including a cemetery and church. It included Fleener's enlargement to the town, in 1921. Jordon Addition was added bringing the town to 100 acres.
Some of the earliest citizens of Spurgeon were: Dr. Thomas Ferguson, Wiley Fowler, Abner Campbell, John Davis, Abijah Humphrey and David Gentry. Gentry owned the first blacksmith shop in town.
The community's main business in the beginning was farming and the main source of income for the farmers was tobacco. There were tobacco barns, warehouses and stemming shops where many of the farmers sold their crop. Other later businesses included furniture manufacturing, grist mills, woolcarding, saloons, blacksmith shops, general stores, feed mills, livery stables, pool halls, restaurants and two funeral homes.
In 1921, Enos Coal Mine built a tipple three miles north of Spurgeon. The mine produced 52,000 tons of coal per year and grew to become a major source of employment for the local residents. The company was later merged into Old Ben Coal Company. It continued to grow and by 1990 it was producing three million tons of coal.
Some of the early physicians in the Spurgeon community included: Dr. Thomas Ferguson, Dr. Hamilton Hooker, Dr. Coleman, Dr. West and Dr. Alfred Jones.
A petition was filed on March 3, 1924, with the Board of Commissioners of Pike County asking for incorporation of the town of Spurgeon. The election was held on march 24, 1924. at the school house. The incorporation passed with 114 votes in favor and 40 opposed. Spurgeon became the third of three incorporated towns in Pike County.
According to the 1881 Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Ind., the Pleasantville business references included:"J.A. Shepard & Co., General Merchants and Notary Public, All kinds of Produce taken in exchange for Goods or Cash; A.B. Farmer, Proprietor of Hotel and Feed stable. E.F. Roe, Carpenter and Builder, B.E. Dyer, Proprietor of Honey Springs. These Springs are celebrated for the medicinal properties of their waters and are located on section 16, Monroe Township.
An article from The Winslow Dispatch, Friday, Feb.12, 1937 states "This place contained several stores, tobacco houses, a Methodist Episcopal Church and school. It contained about 200 population.
The first church was the Methodist Church. Services were held at the home of Mrs. John F. Ferguson. Members would take turns having services at their homes. That continued until the second school was built. At that time, church services were held at the school until a church could be built.
Construction of the church began in 1860, but because of the Civil war, it was not completed until 1866. In 1932, the community bought its first fire truck and started the Spurgeon Volunteer Fire Department. In 1983, a fire station was built on the site of the old high school on State Road 61. They added a new fire truck in 1987.
The first school was a log building built by John Ferguson. The second log school was located on Wiley Fowler's farm. The Third and fourth schools were frame buildings. The high school in Spurgeon was commissioned in 1911, according to the Pike County History, Bicentennial Edition. In the Aug.11, 1905 issue of The Pike County Dispatch, L.S. Farmer, trustee of Monroe Township, listed the following teachers for the schools in his township for the coming year:"Spurgeon High School, Alvah Dougan, grammar, Harley Arnold, intermediate, Matilda Bellamy, primary, Florence Corn."
The brick high school, which was the fifth school, was built in 1924. By 1928, there were 250 children enrolled in Spurgeon's school. The high school building served the community until 1966 when it was consolidated with Stendal and Winslow and the students were transferred to Winslow. In 1970, the grade school suffered a similar fate.
This article was written by Sandy McBeth and Rose Evans of the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County Press-Dispatch. This piece of History appeared in the April 15, 1999 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy, Rose and Frank Heuring, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.