Recollections of the Early Settlement of the Wabash Valley
 By Sandford C. Cox
The Formation of the Government and the First Election in Tippecanoe County

"More than a year after the town was laid out, while some of the settlers of the Wabash were attending court at Crawfordsville, a wag jeeringly encored: "How does your new town 'Lay-Flat' or 'Laugh-at' come on?  I have a mind to take a bacon rind and go up and grease the little thing, and let the next dog that comes along eat it."  The Wabasher did not deign a reply to this impudence, but turned off with as consequential an air as if Crawfordsville was then a mere kitchen to Lafayette.
All that wide district of land lying north of Montgomery county, as far as Lake Michigan, was then called Wabash county, and was attached to Montgomery for judicial purposes.  Those who had law suits, or deeds or mortgages to be recorded, were compelled to go to Crawfordsville to attend to such business, until and act of the Legislature was passed and approved January 26, 1826, entitled "An Act for the formation of a new county out of the county of Wabash, and for establishing the county seat thereof."  It was "enacted that all that part of the county of Wabash contained in the boundaries therein specified, shall form and constitute a new county, to be known and designated by the name Tippecanoe."
ELSTON, WILSON, POWERS, and RICHARD JOHNSON, as commissioner on behalf of the heirs of SAMUEL SARGEANT (who had died shortly after his sale to ELSTON and others), on the fourth day May, 1826, executed a title bond to the board of justices of Tippecanoe County, for all the even numbered lots, in a penalty of $10,000 to convey said lots to said board of commissioners appointed by the Legislature to locate the county seat of Tippecanoe county, should locate the same permanently at the town of Lafayette.
 This liberal offer of these gentlemen, with an additional donation or two by REUBEN KELSEY, ROBT. ALEXANDER, and others, induced the commissioners to accept their terms, and the seat of justice for Tippecanoe county was permanently located at the town of Lafayette.
Soon after the organization of the county, the inhabitants of Tippecanoe, who were like angels visits, "few and far between," began to look around for suitable persons to fill the various county offices.
 The sparse settlements were confined mostly to the borders of the different prairies, and along the streams.  At the first election held in the county, SAMUEL SARGEANT was elected clerk, DANIEL BUGHER recorder, DAVID F. DURKEE, sheriff, JOHN PROVAULT and WILLIAM JONES associate judges, the Hon. JOHN R. PORTER being president judge.  REUBEN KELSEY and JOHN BISHOP were elected justices of the  peace for Fairfield township, in which Lafayette is situated, and LAWRENCE B. STOCKTON was appointed by the Circuit Court county surveyor.
SAMUEL SARGEANT died shortly after his election, and SAMUEL HOOVER was elected to fill his vacancy.  Judge WILLIAM JONES (father of the Hon. MARK JONES) also died soon after his election, and JAMES WYLIE was elected his successor.

Contents of Old Settlers   |   Tippecanoe County INGenWeb Project

©1998-2008 Adina Dyer