Pike County,


Clay Township Jefferson Township Lockhart Township Logan Township Madison Township
Marion Township Monroe Township Patoka Township Washington Township Misc.





Clay Township    
       Clay Township was originally a part of Knox county. It was first transferred  to Gibson County in 1810 but was then made a  part of Pike County in 1824 when Indiana reorganized many of the county boundaries.

     In the plat map of Clay Township, many of the tracts of land run at an angle instead of parallel with the Section lines. The reason for this is those areas of land were surveyed and settled prior to 1804. They were surveyed in line with the old French Survey in Knox County. Examples of this can be also found in Madison Township in Pike County and in most of Knox County.

     These survey's are of land grants, known as Donations, which were given to veterans of the Revolutionary War as rewards for service rendered to their country. Most of these Donations were 50 acre tracts.

     Some of the early Clay Township landowners who were given Donations in 1783 were Jonathan Conger, Phillip Catt, Nary Frederick Glass ( widow of John Glass), John Harbin, George Leach, Louis Frederick, Peter Frederick and   Sebastian Frederick Jr.

     One of the first deaths recorded in what later became Clay Township was  of Sebastian Frederick Sr.

     Sebastian and his four sons owned a  sugar camp on the Survey Two, which is located northwest of Union. In 1787, while they were working at the sugar camp, Sebastian's sons went back to Fort Vincennes for supplies while he remained at the camp overnight. He was attacked by Indians and scalped. His sons   took his body back to Fort Vincennes for a christian burial.

     According to Knox County records, Luke Decker had a ferry which crossed the White River at the spot where the old Buffalo Trace exited Pike County. He paid $5 for his license to operate the ferry. By the early 1800's, several new settlers were in the area.

     According to land records. Frederick Lindy bought 200 acres of land from Touissant DuBois in Location nine, north of Union. Some of the settlers included James Lounsdale, Jacob McAtee, Fielding Colvin, Joseph Davidson, James Hillman, Charles White, Robert Crow, William Wright, Elijah Malott and Captain Reedy. Most of these settlers bought their land from Mr. DuBois also.

     He bought 2,000 acres of land in the area and sold parcels to the settlers. In 1824, when Clay Township became part of Pike County, the first election was held at the  home of James Lounsdale. He also acted as the election inspector. Forty two votes were cast in the election which was to determine who would be the justice of the peace for the township. James Hillman won with 22 votes against Charles White with 20.

     According to Goodspeeds 1885 History of Dubois and Pike Counties, the third election was held in 1828 at the home of Charles White with only 18 votes cast for  president of the United States. Andrew Jackson won the election that year, but not in Clay Township. He only received three votes while President John Adams took the  rest. The first Post Office, according to Goodspeeds 1885 History of Dubois and Pike Counties, was located at "the old Red House, on the farm of Patterson." Daniel Lamsdale, Daniel Roberts and Judge Hornbrook are listed in the book as the earliest postmasters.

     A post office was established in the community of Oliphant. It was near the location that Nathaniel and James Oliphant, built a warehouse and landing on the White River. It was a shipping port with a store located in Section nine near the bend of the river.

     The Union Post Office was established in 1840. James Oliphant carried the mail. In 1876, according to the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Indiana, there was one post office in Clay Township, located in Union. There were four churches located in section 15 and three, Donation three and in Union, along with five schools. In 1881, there were only two communities located in Clay Township, Union and Oliphant, according to the 1881 Atlas Of Gibson and Pike Counties, Indiana.

     Two stone quarries on the property of Sarah A. Myrick, three cemeteries, five churches, three schools, Knotts Ferry and the Oliphant Warehouse and Landing are also mentioned in the atlas.


       This article   was written by SANDY McBETH of the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County Press-Dispatch. This piece of History appeared in the March 25, 1999 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy and Frank Heuring, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.






Jefferson Township
     Jefferson Township was  the third township  to be formed in Pike County by the Pike County Commissioners. The township was named for President Thomas Jefferson on February 10, 1817.

     The area had been settled earlier by Woolsey Pride and his brother William when they moved from White Oak Springs in 1813.

     Other earlier settlers in this township were George Chambers, Harbard P. DeBruler,  William and Keziah (Ball) Gray, Alexander McCain, John case, Ebenezer case, William Hargrove, Charles Hargrove, Joab Chappell, Randall Letts, Judge Elijah Hammond and George Barnett.

     In the 1820's the Scrapers, Traylors, Chews, Abbotts and DeMotts settled in the area.

     There was an account listed in the records of the Indiana Territory of a white family who had settled in the area near the present town of Otwell in 1807. According to a letter written by Captain William Hargrove to the Secretary of the Indiana Territory John Gibson, a band of indians murdered a settler and   took his wife and five children captive. This incident caused the Indiana Territory to organize and install 20 Rangers to guard the settlers in this region.

     On August 4, 1817, the first general election was held at the home of James Brenton and 26 votes were cast. Duting the 1824 presidential election, the votes cast by residents of Jefferson Township were: Jackson, 13 Clay, 8 Adams, 2.

     Schools were important to the early settlers. The first school in the township was the Traylor Schoolhouse, which was origanized in 1828. John Graham was the first teacher. Many other schools sprang up in the area as the settlers families grew.

     After the enactment of the Indiana Public School Laws in 1852, the schools came under the support and supervision of the state. putting the township trustee in charge of the funds from taxes to run the schools. Schools listed for Jefferson Township were Coleman, Miley, Burr Oak, Old Shed, Weisheit, Gray Iva, McCain, Thomas, Johnson, Algiers, Cato,  Old Hickory, Poplar, Abbott, Hayes, Vincent, Arnold, Hargrove, Tate, Black, Davis and Harper.

     As the population of the town grew, many small communities developed within its boundaries. Transportation was the key issue for the development of the small towns as farmers were able to purchase or trade for their basic needs at the local general store, hardware stores and blacksmith shops. Some  of these small communities included Algires City, Delectable Hill, Highbanks, Otwell, Long Branch (Iva) and Cato.

   This article was written by SANDY McBETH & ROSE EVANS of the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County Press-Dispatch. This piece of history appeared in the  September 3, 1998 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy, Rose and Frank Heuring , Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.











Lockhart Township
      Lockhart township was formed in the fall of 1852. It contains 49 square miles of land which forms a perfect square and was originally part of Monroe Township. Pike County Circuit Court Judge Lockhart (1846-1852) receives the honor of having the township named after him.

       Lockhart's division into a township was not its beginning. Settlers made their way into heavily forested wilderness many years earlier. The "Old Winslow road" passes one mile west of the current location of Stendal. As this was the only known road from the early maps of the 1800's it can be surmised that many  pioneer families camped or passed through Lockhart Township as they made their way westward in search of new homes.

       In March of 1830, Abraham Lincoln's family came through the area on their way  from Gentryville to Springfield by the way of Vincennes.

       The first community in the area was near what later became known as Fantod. In 1817, Comfort Brewster settled in Section 33 with Saul and Hugh Brewster nearby. Other early settlers of Lockhart Township included Aaron, Adam, David and Edward Corn; Daniel Hendricks, Peter Kinder, Jackson Davis, Jesse Coker, John Miller and Beaden Davis.

        Other communities located in Lockhart Township are Stendal., Jonesboro, Hartwell, Pikeville and Augusta.

        Augusta was platted in 1872 by William C. Miller. Charles G. Beech and Jackson Corn were the founding fathers of Augusta. It was a mining community with Hartwell Mines being the center of its existence. There were three slope mines which employed the residents of Augusta and operated from the1860's through the early 1900's.

        Hartwell was a little coal mining community located five miles north of Stendal. and centered around a slope mine owned by Sam Wulfman. The buildings which were built as part of the mining community, a hotel, general store and two houses, were all painted yellow.

        The town also had a post office, Odd Fellows Lodge, Blacksmith Shop, Tobacco Barn, School and two Churches. At one time the town boasted of 50 homes.

         Stendal was founded in 1867 by Frederick H. Poetker. It was named by Rev. Bauermeister in honor of a town in Prussia. In the 1881 Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Ind., the following businesses are listed in Stendal: P.H. Poetker & Bro. Dealers in Dry Goods, Notions, Groceries, Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes, Clothing &c. Also Township Trustee Martin & Harmeyer, Dealers in Drugs, Medicines, Paints, Oils, Perfumeries, Toilet articles, &c. Also Postmaster, Farabee &  Milian, Dealers in Hardware, Tinware, Culterty, Machinery and Farm Implements, &c. J.S. Beeler, Physician and Surgeon, office and Res. in Stendal. C.J. Agee, Physician and Surgeon, Office and Res. in Stendal.

         Pikeville was the first town platted in Lockhart Township and it was laid out September 18, 1859 by Benjamin C. Clarke. The Frank Jones Store supplied the area residents with all of their basic needs as a general store. Mr. Jones was also the Postmaster. The Post Office was located in the store. In the 1881 Atlas of Gibson & Pike Counties, Ind. two businesses are listed:" H. Hollenberg, Dealer in Dry Goods, Notions, Groceries. Also Proprietor of Hotel and Postmaster. Lyman B. Cook, Carpenter, Contractor and Builder. Also Justice of the Peace."

         Jonesboro, another ghost town of Pike County, was located on the Patoka River and at one time was a major shipping port for area farmers. The community had a saw mill powered by the river and grist mill. According to the 1881 Atlas of Gibson & Pike Counties, Ind. the town had 71 lots. Street names included Back. Main, John, Brenton, East and First through Fifth.

         The only Jonesboro business mentioned was "Charles Martin, Proprietor of  Saw Mill and Dealer in all kinds of Lumber."

          The first Post Office in Lockhart Township was located about four miles north-west of the present site of Stendal in the home of Temple Woolsey. The mail was delivered once a month to the Post Office by way of the "Old Freedonia Road" and rough trails.

           The first known school was the Beaden Branch School. The log school was built in 1833 in section 25. The school was only in session during the fall season. Children of the following early pioneers lived within  a six mile radius and attended the school. Daniel Hendricks, Peter Kinder,Jackson Davis, Jesse Coker, Comfort Brewster, John Miller, and Beaden Davis.

           There were approximately 20 to 30 students in attendance at the school. Beaden Davis was the first teacher. Other schools in Lockhart Township included: Bartlet, Barrett, Cup Creek, Bethel, Rock Creek, Hartwell, Schmeker, Grayson, Schmitten, Precient, Nation Locust, Pikeville, Augusta and Stendal. At one time there were high schools in Pikeville, Stendal and Augusta. Stendal High School opened in 1910 and closed in 1966. The high school in Pikeville closed in the 1940's.

    This article was written by SANDY Mc BETH  of the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County Press-Dispatch.  This piece of History appeared in the November 19, 1998 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy and  Frank Heuring, Editor of the  Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.








Logan Township
     Logan township, was originally part of Madison Township, was not separated until 1846. Oatsville, was a small town, which had a Post Office in 1876.   

Logan township, originally was named in honor of Robert Logan, a resident of Highbanks. He served as representative 1843-1845- 1869. Logan township is the only one of nine townships in Pike County that was named for a Pike county resident.




Madison Township






Marion Township
     Marion Township was organized by the Pike County Commissioners in 1857. It was originally a part of Patoka Township. The  new township was located in the east-central portion of the county and contained 23,040 acres. Marion Township was named after General Frances Marion, who was known as the "Swamp Fox." He was a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

     According to a letter written by Ella Dillon Bowers, which was published in the Pike  County History Bicentennial Edition, in the late 1860s or early 1870s James Dillon and Willis C. Beadles built a store that sold patent medicine. One of those medicines was "San Jento Bitters." With the help of Capt. Sassert Sullivan, Leroy Robinson and Capt. John Townsend Dillon was able to establish the Fidelity Post Office in the store. Beadles was the postmaster. Just before mail time, people would gather at the store to wait for the mail. Willis would call the name of the patron, they would answer "here" and he would toss the  piece of mail to the owner.

     The Fidelity Post Office was discontinued   in 1885 or 1886 after Beadles moved his business to Velpen.

     Velpen was platted in 1881 and was built   by Dr. Henry Pagin and Herman Holledberg.

Velpen had several businesses and was once a thriving community. There was a general store owned by J.W. Chambers that handled most of the items necessary for the home and farm. It was said he sold everything from toothpicks to threshing machines. A poultry house was operated by Jonas Kemp, who was an agent for the Williams Bretz Poultry Company of Huntingburg.

     The first Velpen school was built around 1885. It was the largest school in the township. The two-story school had three rooms downstairs which were used by the primary grades and an upper level which was used for high school classes. The school was destroyed by fire in 1917. It was rebuilt and used as a grade school until the late 1960s when it was consolidated with Otwell.

     According to an article by Oda Dearing, the Spraggins Community was located in the center of Marion Township and was a  community meeting place. "It was here that they had their social activities such as pie suppers, spelling and ciphering matches and held their elections and other civic affairs."

     Billy Spraggins and Andrew Richardson owned most of the land in the area. They divided part of it among their children first and then sold the rest to other settlers. Most of the settlers were from Kentucky so the neighborhood was called Little Kentucky. In July of 1860, Jesse and Mary Spraggins sold a section of land to the Marion Township, Pike County School District for $5. This is where the Spraggins School was built.

     The Hog Branch community, according to an article by Elmer Beadles, was located about four miles Southeast of Winslow in a "rather hill triangular area formed by the Patoka River cutting off the South West corner of Marion Township.

     The Patoka River and its frequently flooded bottom land just about isolated the area from the rest of the Township. Most of the good farm land was fenced in and farmers let their animals roam the wooded area." This was especially true of the swine because of the great amount of acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts and beechnuts which furnished food for the swine.

     The bottom land, which was flooded during the summer and fall, "furnished splendid watering and wallowing places for hogs belonging to the farmers of the community. Many of the farmers knew to look for their stray hogs in this branch, hence the name Hog Branch originated and it soon applied to the whole community.

     The first school for the Hog Branch community was a log building built in the 1840s or 1850s. The last term for the school was 1926-1927.

     Sweet Sulphur Springs was located between   Fidelity and Velpen. In an article written by Ruth Miley McClellan, she says the sulphur springs were discovered about 1854 by a young boy named Gabe Nelson. Charles Fisher bought the  property in the  late 1800s and built a hotel which could accommodate 200 guests. The spa was visited by people from all over the United States and many foreign countries. The hotel was destroyed in 1914.

     The town of Survant was founded in 1883. It was a busy farm community. The only trace of the community which exists today is a spot on the plat maps.

     The 1881 Gibson and Pike Counties Atlas lists Marion Township business references as "R.S. Mitchell, Physician and Surgeon. P.O. Fidelity, Ind." and"W.J. Bethell, Physician and Surgeon and Township Trustee, Post Office, Whiteoak, Pike County. Ind."

     Marion Township schools included New Lebanon, Wilson, Iron Bridge, Davison, Liberty, White Oak and Sulphur Springs.

     Cemeteries located in Marion Township are Corn, Brewster Branch, Flat Creek, Hays, New Lebanon, New Liberty, Old New Liberty, Beadles, Pleasant Grove, Wood, Miller One, Miller two, Velpen, Wyatt, McCarty, and Risley.

     Marion Township still retains much of  the "Wilderness" look that early settlers sought. About 1,653 acres of the Township are part of the Pike State Forest.


     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 8, 1999 newspaper. Our thanks to  Sandy , Rose and Frank Heuring, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.






Monroe Township
     In 1820, Monroe Township was established and named for the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe, by the Pike County Commissioners.

     The area designated as Monroe Township encompassed the southern end of Pike County starting "three miles south of the principal meridian" and going to the county line according to Goodspeeds, The History of Pike and Dubois Counties, 1885.

     Among the earliest settlers of Monroe Township was William Black who helped to lay-off the township along with Henry Coleman. Other early settlers in the township have been identified through voter polls because they were the voters in the first election held in Monroe Township on march 20, 1820.

     Those men were David Black, James Slater, William Condor, George Davis, James Hedge, John Wyatt, and William Ashby. The election was held at the home of Henry Coleman.

     The first settlement in the area was established by Frank Taylor and George Adams in 1815. It was called Honey Springs. It was also the site of the first school in the township, which was established in 1820 and the first teacher was John Ferguson.

     By 1817, another small community, the LeMasters Farm, was also established. Several other communities including Clay Banks, Dyson Hill, Tevault Crossing, Scottsburg, Nowhere, Coe, Pleasantville(Spurgeon) and Arcadia(Simtown) came later.

     Arcadia has an interesting story about it. The little town which has been called both Arcadia and Simtown was laid out in 1869 by Simeon LeMasters. The streets were High, Persimmon, Cherry Walnut and Main. The town consisted of 18 lots and in 1881 had a school and a store.

     In November of 1921, the entire town was moved so the mines could strip the land. House mover Willis Swallow used trucks to move the town one-fourth mile south of its original location and placed the buildings on new foundations. All of the residences were moved along with the businesses among which was the Jordan general Store.

     Spurgeon is the main community in Monroe Township. It was laid out by Jefferson W. Richardson in 1860 and was originally named Pleasantville. The town carried that name until August 2, 1887, when the Post-Office was established and it was discovered there was already a town named"Pleasantville" in Indiana. The name was then changed to Spurgeon.

     Richardson was instrumental in the name change and the town was named for an English Evangelist, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, a man Richardson admired.

     According to the Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Ind. 1881, the Pleasantville  Business References consisted of "J.A. Shephard & 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, Propreitor of Honey Springs. These springs  are celebrated for the medicinal properties of the waters, and are located on section 16, Monroe Township.

     A newspaper article in the Winslow Dispatch dated Friday, Feb. 12, 1937, stated: "This place contained several stores, tobacco houses, a Methodist Episcopal Church and school. It contained about 300 population".

     Game such as deer, turkey, and bear, wolves, panthers and rattlesnakes were also plentiful in the area. At one time, there was a bounty on "wolf scalps" and the "rattles" of the rattlesnakes. There are many stories told about the noted hunters of the Monroe Township area.

     One tale from Ruth Miley McClellan's book PIKE COUNTY HISTORY tells of Conrad LeMasters killing 29 bears in a single season and another from the same book tells how Solomon Teverbaugh "killed and carried home  at one time eighteen fine turkeys".

     From  The History of Pike and Dubois Counties, 1885, comes the stories of Dan Miller killing 125 deer in one winter and, LeMasters discovering a huge snake den.

     According to the story, LeMasters discovered the snake den on a hill 290 feet high, between the towns of Pleasantville and Lynnville. After waiting for cooler weather in the fall, he went in with Park Bethell, John Ferguson and some others to kill the snakes. According to the story, they killed 300 rattlesnakes and 200 other kinds of snakes. From that day on the hill was known as Snake Knob.

This article was written by SANDY McBETH and ROSE EVANS of the Pike County Historical Society for the Pike County  Press-Diapatch. This piece of History appeared in the July 16, 1998 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy, Rose and Frank Huering, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.






Patoka Township






Washington Township