Washington Twp. Cities
Past & Present
|Alexandria||Alford||Arda||Bell's Hill||Brock Station|
|Campbelltown||Clark's Station||Morgan's Ferry||Needmore||Petersburg|
|Petersburg Steamboat Landing||Rocky Ford||Roger's Ferry||Stark's Ferry||W & E Canal Aqueduct|
|*****||White Oak Springs||*****||Willisville||*****|
|Alexandria No History at this time. Future Project|
| Alford was laid out
by Elijah, Nathaniel and Samuel Alford, November 8, 1856. These men were contractors on
the old Straight Line Railroad, never completed.
A grade was made for the railroad to go thru Alford, but the track was never laid.
School was held in a two-room building, but was closed in the 1960's and the children were bused to Petersburg. A general store did business there run by Henry White, Frank Anderson, Charley Horrell, John Lane, Dutch Frederick and Brady Clark. The store closed in the 1960's. There is one church, The United Methodist, in Alford now, and about thirty homes.
| The town can
still be found on plat maps today, even though no one ever actually lived in the town.
Arda was formed on June 19, 1900, by the grandchildren of Dr. John W. Posey.
Dr. Posey died on Aug.12, 1884 and bequeathed land to his grandchildren through his will, which was dated August 1881. "First ,I will and bequeath to my beloved grandchildren Effie Posey(later married to John T. Kime), Sarah Posey(later married to Perry A. Chappell), William Posey and Arda Posey one hundred acres of land to be taken off the south portion of my farm in section 13 town 1 north range 8 west in Pike County, Indiana, said land to be held by and belong to said grandchildren jointly."
The town plat was recorded in 1900. The legal description was as follows: This plat represents ARDA, Pike County, Indiana, a subdivision of part of the North Half of section 13 t1n r8w described as follows:Begin in the middle of a road 4 chains west from SE corner SE 1/4 said sec13: thence west 11 chains and 23 links, thence north 25.5 chains. Thence east 33 chains, thence south 25 chains; thence west 22 chains to the place of beginning, containing 322.5 acres more or less, the same being divided into 29 lots as numbered and 6 streets 30 feet wide as shown on plat."
The town was surveyed by D. W. Hestor and named in honor of Posey's granddaughter Arda.
The road mentioned in the plat of Arda is now known as Blackburn Road. It led to the Blackburn Mines, Which were once owned and operated by Frances B. Posey, son of Dr. Posey. Two of the main streets of Arda intersected with this road.
Arda is situated northeast of Petersburg and is currently a part of the Indianapolis Power and Light property. Dr. John W. Posey came to Indiana in the early 1800's from South Carolina and settled with his parents in Know County. He became a doctor and began to practice medicine in Pike County in 1830. He retired in 1855, but later served as a surgeon during the Civil War at Shiloh.
The property left to the Posey grandchildren was part of the John W. Posey property which was made famous by the anti-slavery movement. Dr. Posey was an advocate of that movement. His coal mine and home, which was built on the bluffs overlooking the White River, were used on a regular basis as a temporary stop-over on the road to freedom. The coal mine or bank as it was called in the 1881 Atlas of Gibson and Pike Counties, Ind., was located west of what is now Highway 57 near the river. There were as many as 10 to 17 slaves in hiding at any one time on the property.
Dr. Posey's First Lieutenant in the Anti-slave League was John Stuckey. Stuckey ferried run-away slaves across the White River from the coal mine to their next stop in Daviess County. Dr. Posey also helped stop slave hunters from kidnapping two free-men who lived near Rockport and were working on the Wabash-Erie Canal Crew.
On this occasion, Posey and two other men followed the slave hunters and caught the the three kidnappers in the middle of the night. They whipped the kidnappers with Hickory Switches and turned the two Negroes loose to return home. In the book, History of the Underground Railroad by Col. William M. Cockrum, Dr. Posey id noted for helping more than 1000 slaves make their way to freedom. A stained glass window pane which was originally mounted in the Methodist church to honor Posey for his efforts in the fight for freedom, is now on display at the Pike County Museum along with other memorabilia of the Posey family.
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 April 1, 1999 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy and Frank Heuring, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.
|Bell's Hill No History at this time. Future Project|
|Brock Station No History at this time. Future Project|
|Campbelltown No History at this time. Future Project|
|Clark's Station No History at this time. Future Project|
|Morgan's Ferry No History at this time. Future Project|
|Needmore No History at this time. Future Project|
|Petersburg County Seat|
| The history of
Petersburg actually begins with the formation of Pike County. The formation of the
city sprang from the need for a county seat for the newly formed county. In February of
1817, four men came forward and donated land for the village site. These men were
Peter Brenton, Henry Miley, Sr. Henry Miley, Jr. and John Coonrod. They donated a total of
112 acres of fine hill-top land located about three-quarters of a mile east of the
settlement of White Oak Springs. The donated land formed a perfect rectangle for the town
site and at that time was estimated to have a value of $ 20,000.
The original size of Petersburg would be the same as a rectangle formed from the parallel lines of Fifth St. and 12th Streets and bounded by Spruce Street and Maple Street.
Petersburg (the "h" was dropped in the mid 1800's) was named in honor of Peter Brenton, who donated the largest tract of land (83.5 acres).
Hosa Smith surveyed the original site designating the streets and sectioning the site into lots for the town on April 3, 1817. Of those lots, 12 were one acre each, two lots were one-half acre each and 152 were one-fourth acre each.
Main Street, "laid-off" the following part of the "Old Buffalo Trace" was 100 feet wide and a third of a mile long running "from Henry Millers ash trees to Peter Brenton's new building".
On April 14, 1817, the County Commissioners held the first sale of lots in the new village. The first lot sold at the auction was lot # 83 which was sold for $144 to Robert M. Evans. Community Trust Bank now sits on this site. Lot # 84, where Pike County Bank now sits, was purchased for $120 One-hundred twenty-two lots had been sold for a total of $ 13,984.87 by 1825.
The Public Square where the County Court House now stands was the center of the community. It was there the pound(a fifty foot square enclosure used to contain stray livestock and impounded property) and the public whipping post were located.
The first courthouse was located on lot #107 facing the Public Square where the First United Methodist Church now stands.
The first post office was located in the courthouse.. Major John McIntyre, the first Postmaster, was also the county recorder, clerk and auditor. Major McIntyre also taught school at the courthouse six hours each day.
Among the earliest businesses in the village, was a hotel and tavern operated by James Kinman: a mill, which was the first in the county, owned and operated by Henry Miley: a copper distillery operated by John Youngman: a carding machine operated by Peter Brenton and his father James Brenton: William Dedman's millinery and a sawmill owned by Jacob Stuckey.
Petersburg has two cemeteries within its boundaries. The oldest was the Old Town cemetery which is located in front of Petersburg elementary School on Highway 356. The earliest known there was of Eliza A. Bass on August 3, 1815. On October 25, 1845 Henry Miley officially deeded the land where the cemetery is located to the County Commissioners for $134. He was buried in the cemetery on September 13, 1847.
The land for Walnut Hill Cemetery, which is located on Highway 61N was purchased from Goodlet and Emily Profitt Morgan for $1200 in February of 1876. The first burial the new cemetery wasThomas Tucker on march 20, 1876.
The inscription at the base of his monument read "the first person buried in this cemetery".
There are many interesting stories told of early life in Petersburg. One of those was about a young boy, John S. Stucky, who was playing marbles in front of George H. Profitt's store. According to the story, Stucky lost a marble under the door step. When he turned the step over he discovered it full of rattlesnakes.
Mr. Profitt killed the snake, including one which was over eight feet long.
Mark Kunkle, who died in 1966 at the age of 93, told her grandchildren and great grandchildren stories of Main Street being used for horse races on Saturday evenings. She also told stories of seeing surrey races on the horse track at the old fairgrounds where the Little League Park is now located. Many people today can probably still remember sitting on the "Old Grandstands" when the circus came to town.
In 1856, the Wabash-Erie Canal era was coming to an end. People who were ready to move on to find new jobs were unable to find buyers for their property. Another tale relates the story of a man named Jones, who, unable to sell his small house, left town one night telling those around him that the first person who claimed the house in the next morning could have it.
Two young girls, Sarah and Mary Osborne, who wanted to move closer to Main Street, carried their feather bed to the house around midnight and slept there.
The next morning when people arrived at the house they found the girls already in possession.
Petersburg was founded in 1817, incorporated in 1880 and became a city in December 1923.
The last annex in 1975 enlarged Petersburg to its present size of 825 acres. In 1997 the city of Petersburg was assessed at a value of $ 14,173,510.
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 May 24, 1998 newspaper. Our thanks to Sandy, Rose and Frank Heuring, Editor of the Press-Dispatch for allowing its use on this Web Page.
|Petersburg Steamboat Landing No History at this time. Future Project|
|Rocky Ford No History at this time. Future Project|
|Roger's Ferry No History at this time. Future Project|
|Stark's Ferry No History at this time. Future Project|
|Wabash & Erie Canal Aqueduct No History at this time. Future Project|
|White Oak Springs No History at this time. Future Project|
|Willisville No History at this time. Future Project|