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THE TOWN OF AARON
Contributed by: Donald Read of Grove, Oklahoma
In the year of 1812 an eighteen year old boy, by the name of Brown, was given a homestead of forty acres for services in the Army. He was also given the privledge of buying all the land he wanted for fifty cents an acre. He purchased serveral hundred acres and built a small hut only. This hut, in which he lived until he was married a few years late, was twelve by twelve feet. [SEE NOTE]
His closest neighbors lived ten miles away, but soon a man by the name of Slawson took a homestead south of Bennington, which is only three miles away.
Soon other settlers came and a small village sprang into existence. It became known as the town of Skiberine. I had never heard this name until I visited my neighbors, Mrs. Dora Cole, age seventy-five, and Mrs. and Mr. C. L. Jackson, ages seventy-nine and eighty-eight, to get information concerning the villiage where I now live.
The first school house was built of logs, on a hill at the east side of town. Later in 1855 a new frame school was built in the center of town. The average attendance when it was first opened was sixty, ranging from five to twenty-one. Greenwood, the only school older in Switzerland County, is located one mile East of Enterprise. It was built in 1853, and has been used every year until this. When it was closed.
The first store built and owned by Charlie Adams burned, but was rebuilt in 1897. It was under the management of several different people during its existence. Some of their names were Adams, Seavers, Sascom, Vanoldol, Heady, Buchanan, Huffmier, Steele and John Cole. The last owner sold the merchandise to the highest bidder in 1930. It took two days and two nights to complete the sale.
When the first post office was put in the store it was known as the Aaron Post Office, being named after Aaron Osborne. The name of Skiberline was then forgotten and the town became known as Aaron. Later the post office was moved to a new brick building, but this soon burned and the mail was then delivered from Bennington.
Near the store was a large warehouse, a grist mill, harness shop, black-smith shop and a saw mill. The saw mill was later moved south of the house where I live now. It was torn down in 1925. The blacksmith shop went out of business in 1919.
The church for the community was located, about a mile away, on Chapel Ridge. It is known as the Union Chapel United Brethern. No services have been held in it for about twenty-five years except funerals and decoration services. It is kept in repair and is surrounded by a very beautiful cemetery.
In 1918 a new rock road was built through our town. Men were hired with their horses and wagons to haul the rock to the crusher and apread them on the road. The men traded at the store, and a lot of work was done in the blacksmith shop. My grandmother opened a boarding house for some of the men who came from other communities. As soon as the road was completed our little villiage was again very neglected.
There is nothing left of this little town of Aaron but the school house, store building, three rebuilt houses and four old homes. People often stop at our house and ask where the town is located.
SOURCES: Some neighbors and from some stories which had been handed down through the years.
(Stamped: Switzerland County Public Library, Vevay, Indiana 47043)
This paper was obtained in 1990 at a Society in Brown County, I believe. Over time the ink has faded so it is almost impossible to read, therefore I thought that now is the time to type it over. Aaron Osborn was a direct relative of my wife. The daughter of Aaron Osborn, Permelia Jane Osborn would marry George W. Pelser the daughter of Peter Pelser and Mary Ann Coledin, and Myrtle Jane Jackson who would marry Benjamin Franklin Barrett in Kansas. So my wife has lots of roots in Switzerland County, Indiana
Donald W. Read, 9 Jan. 2010
NOTE: Sara Brown Boyken is a descendant of Aaron Osborn through both Mrs. Dora Cole and Mr. & Mrs. C. L. Jackson and states the portion above about the 18 year old boy named Brown is not correct and sends the following.
Aaron, born 1793, and Lydia, born 1796, (Sisson) Osborn were from New York state. This Osborn line can be traced to England when Richard Osborn sailed the Hopewell in 1634 from London. Aaron Osborn was a fifth generation American. Aaron served in the War of 1812 and came to Indiana in 1821 to an area north of what is now State Road 250 in Switzerland County. He took a claim from the government and a deed was signed by President James Monroe in 1821. Aaron and Lydia had ten children -- Daniel, Moses, Aaron, Josiah, Elmer, Phoebe, Hannah, Permelia Jane, and Jolen [a list of children which differs from the one given by David and Joan Sisson's "Sisson Newsletter."] Aaron Osborn was a great supporter of schools and churches. He assisted in building most of the schools for many miles around. He was a strong believer in education and passed on through the generations the quest for education which endures today. He was a very patriotic man and it was said that on the 4th of July each year he shot his shotgun in honor of Independence Day. As each of his grandchildren married he gave them approximately twenty acres of land of which nearly sixty are still in the Osborn-Jackson-Brown family. Aaron, Indiana is on the old Florence-Cross Plains Road, where the Harrison school once stood. The road is now called Aaron Road. His great-grandson Carl H. Brown taught there for many years. There was once a post office called Aaron named for him. He died in Aaron October 30, 1872, at the age of 79.
Source: Switzerland County Historical Society - THE GRAPEVINE, Volume ix No. l, Spring/Summer 1997., Ellyn R. Kern, Editor. Mary Malone took pictures of Aaron's and Lydia's gravestones which give their date of death as recorded here: http://www.landersgen.com/landers/296/55106.htm
Pictures of the headstones of Aaron & Lydia (Sisson) Osborn contributed by Don Read.
The following additional information submitted by Sheila Kell
BIOGRAPHY OF MOSES OSBORN
From "The History of The Indiana Conference of the Church of The United Brethren In Christ"
by Rev. Adam Byron Condo.
Published by Order of the Indiana Conference, 1926.Transcribed & Compiled by Phil Jones, 2000.
Switzerland County [pages 233-235]
There is a great deal of history connected with this church, for the reason that Union Chapel is a granddaughter of the first United Brethren Church that was organized in Switzerland County. In 1833 John G. Eckels organized the first United Brethren Church in this county which was located near the town of Bennington. It was known as the Bennington church for a number of years, then later they moved over near the little village of Aaron, and then in the course of years they moved to the present location, which is not far from Aaron. It was in the old Bennington Church community where the Chittenden family lived. It was here where Rev. Lyman S. Chittenden was born, and where he was converted and joined the church.
There were three families that were prominent in the United Brethren Church, and in the Indiana Conference; viz., the Chittenden, Richardson, and Cole families, and these were early settlers in the vicinity of Bennington. There were two out of the Chittenden family that became ministers in the United Brethren Church, four out of the Richardson family, and two out of the Cole family. Union Chapel has an honorable ancestry. In later years when Union Chapel was established, we find that Rev. J.J. Goodner was a product of this church. Union Chapel built their church house in about 1868. This church is still active, and it should live on through the years to come.
From the Minutes of the Seventy-Fifth Annual Session Indiana Conference Of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, held at Marengo, Indiana
September 9-13, 1903 ? E.B. Kephart, D.D., LL.D., Bishop
VEVAY CIRCUIT ? J. M. Osborn, Pastor. [page 40]
Union. ? S. Adams, $2: F. Cole, $1; J. S. Teel, H. Wycloe, each 50 cents; S. Johnson, Mrs. S. Johnson, I. Montooth, H. Montooth, A. Johnson, E. Adams, E. Richards, each 25 cents; P. Cole, 35 cents; collection, 55 cents. Grand total, $30.
From the Minutes of the Seventy-Sixth Annual Session Indiana Conference Of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, held at Medora, Indiana
September 7-11, 1904 ? E.B. Kephart, D.D., LL.D., Bishop
VEVAY CIRCUIT ? C. C. BREDEN, Pastor. [page 50]
Union Class. ? S. and F. Johnson, each 50 cents; L. Goodner, J. Steal, S. Cole, J. Cole, P. Cole, E. Cole, F. Cole, S. Goodner, each 25 cents; Scott Cole, 35 cents; J. S. Cole, 40 cents; collection, $1.55. Total, $5.30.
Minutes of the Seventy-Seventh Annual Session Indiana Conference Of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, held at Dale, Indiana
August 30 to September 3, 1905 ? G.M. Mathews, D.D., Bishop
VEVAY CIRCUIT ? J. W. SETTLE, Pastor. [page 53]
Union Chapel. ? S. B. Johnson, $1; P. Hinman, J. Cole, J. Kinder, P. Cole, R. Johnson, W. Day, M. Kinder, F. Johnson, F. Cole, S. Cole, each 50 cents; J. Goodner, I. Montwoth, E. Richards, J. Cole, Brother Sissen, N. Day, S. Goodner, L. Goodner, Mrs. Montwoth, each 25 cents; R. Montwoth, Miss Hinman, each 10 cents; collection, $1.39. Total, $9.84.
Minutes of the Seventy-Ninth Annual Session Indiana Conference Of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, held at Washington, Indiana September 4-8, 1907 G.M. Mathews, D.D., Bishop
VEVAY CIRCUIT ? J. W. SETTLE, Pastor. [page 60]
Union Class. ? P. Hinman, F. Cole, each $1; S. Cole, 25 cents; (?)sel Winscot, 5 cents; collection, $25.69. Total, $27.99.