also called Paige Cemetery
Sheffield Township
Tippecanoe County, Indiana


  • BUSH, Wm Sr. d. 1 June 1854 (b. 1780)
  • BUSH, Elizabeth, w. of Wm Sr., d. 11 Feb 1846 in her 62nd yr (b. 1784)
  • STEVENS, Abigail, d. 26 Dec 1839 in her 89th year (b. 1750)
  • WEED, James, d. 16 Aug 1833 in his 63rd year (b. 1770)
  • BUSH, a small stone, not readable

William and Elizabeth Stevens Bush arr 1824 (1780-1854; 1784-1846)
William Bush was born near Sheffield, Mass. He married Elizabeth Stevens, and about 1812, with three children, the family moved to Oswego County, N.Y., where two more children were born. About 1816, with Elizabeth's mother, Abigail Fairchild Stevens, they moved to Indiana, settling at Connorsville, now in Fayette County. There Bush erected a mill. In Indiana, Bush came into contact with the Connors, two brothers who had grown up knowing Indian culture and had married Indian women. John Connor had a trading post at Connorsville. In 1819, Bush and several families left the Connorsville area and moved 60 miles northwest to land occupied by John's brother William, south of Noblesville, near the site developed today as Connor Prairie. Where Stony Creek flows into the White River they established a settlement known as Horseshoe Prairie.  Bush was elected Justice of the Peace, met at William Connor's house to set up the Hamilton County government, and served on the first grand jury. The 1820 Indiana census lists Bush on the same pages (pp. 25 and 26) as others who later settled Sheffield township: James Paige (arrived 1823), Samuel McGeorge (arrived 1824), and Timothy Horram (arrived 1824). Their proximity on the census suggests the families were acquainted before they arrived and may even have encouraged each other to come to Sheffield township.

The Move to Sheffield Township
Bush and his neighbors had established their settlement before land sales were opened. When the land was put up for sale in 1822, John Connor bought several sections of land on which families were already living. The settlers, who by custom should have had first chance at the land, were unaware of the transaction until they were notified that they must leave.   In addition, Connor refused to pay for the improvements the settlers had made. Surviving stories about James Paige suggest this may have been the cause of his move to Sheffield township, and it may also have been the reason Bush, McGeorge, and Horram came. In the fall of 1824, the Bush family (now with six children) moved to the area where Dayton is now located. Here their last two children were born. DeHart, local biographer, states that Bush bought 1500 acres of land in Tippecanoe County, although records show only 160 entered in Sheffield township. One of his descendants, Ralph Bush, asserts William bought land near Dayton from the Indians. The 160 acres he bought in 1825 and 1826 were north of Richardville Reserve (Indian holdings in Sheffield township), and therefore did not legally belong to the Indians. Perhaps Bush made a sort of double arrangement, one to satisfy any possible Indian claims, the other to secure the title in the American courts. It is possible that Bush also owned land at Peru, Indiana, since two of his sons made trips there. If so, this may have been the land referred to as purchased from the Indians, since there was a large Indian presence there.

Built House Overlooking Wild Cat Valley

Soon after their arrival in the fall of 1824, the family constructed a log cabin overlooking the Wild Cat Valley.  Nearby they established the family cemetery. Home and cemetery were on land that today lies south of the railroad.

Settled at Area Now Known as Dayton
Others settled near the family, and soon a small settlement had developed that would eventually be known as Dayton. It appears that Bush sold small parcels to several individuals without recording the deeds, for several families claim to have settled in Dayton in 1825, before the town was platted or any deeds recorded. Among these are John S. Heaton and a man named Fancher.

Founder of Marquis (Dayton)
The traditional date for the founding of Dayton is 1827, and it seems likely that settlement began at that date, at least along Bush's side of  the road, making him the founder of Dayton. In 1829 he platted the town of Marquis de, a single row of houses along the south side of present State Road 38, called Lafayette Street in his plat. On the same day Dr. Timothy Horram platted the town of Fairfield on the north side of the road.  Since Horram had just purchased the 80-acre piece containing his plat that same year, perhaps he determined to lay out a town across from the existing settlement and invited Bush to join him by platting his side of the road.   This was the beginning of Dayton. In the middle of Bush's 16-lot plat was an unplatted block known as Fancher's Acre, probably a field or farm which had been transferred informally to Fancher and which for some reason was not included in the plat. The Dayton town hall sits on the northwest corner of this piece today. Bush must have been interested in history and politics, for he named the town Marquis de, and the two streets included in his plat Lafayette and Washington.

William, who was know as "Squire" Bush, was elected Justice of the Peace at the first election, probably in the spring of 1825. He was elected president of the county Board of Justices when the county was organized in 1826. When Sheffield township was set up in 1829, he may have suggested the name, since it was the name of his birthplace. He was a Mason and a Whig.  The Bushes were Methodists, and visiting Methodist circuit riders usually stayed in their cabin.

Son Jared died from pneumonia, and Luther in a mill accident, both at Peru, Indiana. Another son, John, died in Placerville, Ca., where gold was discovered. Perhaps he was a casualty of the Gold Rush. Orlando became a doctor and practiced in Dayton before moving to Illinois. Ezra ran a tavern for a while, farmed south of Dayton with second wife, Martha McGeorge, and finally moved into Lafayette and engaged in the monument business.  Daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Toole, and the couple lived in Dayton. Little is known of David, who died at age 32, or William, Jr.   Elizabeth died in 1846, and William, who was living with the James Cole family in the 1850 census, died in 1854.

Submitted by Susan Yost Clawson.   Bibliography prepared by Susan Y. Clawson from censuses, local records, newspaper clippings, and Tippecanoe County published biographies. Any corrections welcomed.

 Cemeteries  |   Tippecanoe County INGenWeb Project

© 2002-2009 Susan Yost Clawson
All rights reserved