HISTORY of JACKSON TOWNSHIP
Jackson township is situated in the southwest corner of Tippecanoe County. It is bounded on the north by Wayne and Union townships, on the east by Randolph township, on the south by Montgomery County, and on the west by Fountain County.
SAMUEL O. CLARK located in Jackson township in 1824, building his cabin near what has since been know as Clark's Point, or Pin Hook. For two years he was the only white occupant of the territory embraced by this township.
Shawnee Mound is a natural elevation, seventy-five feet from base to summit, and is situated on the farm of JESSE MEHARRY. During the days of Indian supremacy in Indiana, it was the rendezvous around which clustered the warriors of the powerful tribe from which it derived its name. The Shawnee Village was situated west of this point, on what subsequently became Longlois Reserve.
In 1826 LEWIS WHEELER settled on the farm since owned by his son DAMAS, and WILLIAM L. NEWMAN located on a farm in Sec. 26. In 1829 JESSE MEHARRY entered 320 acres in Sec. 22, and soon after returned to his home in Athens County, Ohio. Two years later he located in Jackson township permanently. His brother DAVID also entered 320 acres in 1829, but did not come to the township until 1836. In 1831 JOHN W. ODELL settled at "Odell's Corners" on the farm since owned by his son WASHINGTON.
Other early settlers were: THOMAS MARKS, ANDREW INSLEY, JOHN K. McMILLEN, ROBERT FLOYD SAYERS, JOHN MONTGOMERY, THOMAS EZRA, JAMES FRANCIS, JOHN HIETT, WILLIAM WILES, WILLIAM STEWART, JOHN KILPATRICK, JAMES STEWART, SAMUEL RANKIN, DAVID FARNSWORTH, GEORGE KIRKPATRICK and JOHN SHULTZ.
Source: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888.
HISTORY of LAURAMIE TOWNSHIP
Lauramie Township is located in the southeast corner of Tippecanoe County, bounded on the east by Clinton County and on the south by Montgomery County. It was first named after JAMES COLE, who settled here in 1828, but was later named Lauramie. The earliest settlers who came to Lauramie Township in 1828 were LEONARD, ANTHONY, WILLIAM and DANIEL STINGLEY, NATHAN PARSON, JOHNSON, JAMES and RICHARD COLE, JACOB THORN, WILLIAM VAN HORN, KEALY, THOMAS HEWITT and ISAAC WICKERSHAM. The next year the settlement was increased by the arrival of HEZEKIAH, ENOS, DANIEL and JOHN HUNTER, HENRY WUNDSTAFF, DANIEL STONER, THOMAS ELLIS, JOSEPH GLADDEN, GEORGE, SAMUEL, LEONARD and JERRY BARCUS, all of whom located in the vicinity of the present town of Stockwell. In the same year, GEORGE P. ROUDEBUSH settled near Concord, where he was joined later by JOSEPH STONER, JOHN STUTESMAN, GEORGE KESSLER, FREDERICK HANGER and MOSES GUINN. Also coming in 1829 was THOMAS H. O'NEALE who settled at Monroe.
Other early settlers were: THOMAS T. CHENOWETH, ARMSTRONG ROSS, DAVID CLOYD, JAMES B. JOHNSON, SAMUEL CLARK, JOSIAH ASHBY, JOSEPH and JONATHAN CONARROE, and WILLIAM, DANIEL, PHILIP, DAVID, CLARK and ROBERT CAULKINS. These men all settled north of Concord, but the date of their settlement is not known.
In 1829 Mr. CORMEEN opened a subscription school, the first in the township. The first religious services were conducted by Rev. VREDENBURG, at the house of JAMES COLE, SR., near Stockwell. In 1832 DANIEL HUNTER erected a double log house for use as a hotel on the road from Lafayette to Indianapolis. The little village of Huntersville soon sprang up in this area. The earliest post office of which there is any record was kept by HEZEKIAH HUNTER, at Huntersville. He remained in charge of this office until 1838, when GEORGE W. ANDERSON became postmaster for eighteen months, after which time the office was transferred to JOHN KILGORE, who remained in charge until the completion of the railroad, when it was removed to Stockwell.
In the fall of 1829 Mrs. JAMES COLE gave birth to a male child, the first white child born in the township. The first death in the township was that of an aged lady, Mrs. WATERS, who was interred on the farm of JAMES COLE, and subsequently removed to Barcus Cemetery.
Monroe, located on the Lafayette and Indianapolis state road was laid out about 1832, by WILLIAM MAJOR. The first store opened was by WILLIAM McBRIDE, who removed to Illinois about three years later. REUBEN BAKER then opened a store in the same building, which was later bought by C. P. LEE. ALEXANDER HUTCHINSON then purchased the building and conducted a grocery store for a number of years. Dr. BENJAMIN CARTER was the first physician locating in Monroe in 1832. He was succeeded by Dr. M. BAKER within a few years. Other early physicians were Dr. UMPHREY and Dr. FERGUSON. The town of Concord was laid out about 1831-32, by JAMES B. JOHNSON, who owned several thousand acres of land, upon part of which the town is located. Mr. JOHNSON erected a mill at this point, which was the chief industry of Concord.
Clark's Hill was laid out in 1849, by DANIEL D. CLARK, the owner of the land upon which it is situated, and the name of Clark's Hill was given it by him. DANIEL CLARK, born in Connecticut in 1813, came to Lauramie Township in 1845 with his brothers RUFUS and JOHN MILTON CLARK. The first general store was opened by E. J. LOVELESS, who was also involved in grain dealing and was owner of a large warehouse. Other early merchants were CLARK, MITCHELL & CLARK, general merchandise, and ALFRED CAVES, who also owned a warehouse. The first hotel was opened by JAMES BUCKLEY in 1853. He operated the hotel for about four years, after which time W. S. BRYANT became the proprietor.
Stockwell, the largest and most important town in Lauramie Township, was laid out in or about the year 1850. REUBEN BAKER was the original owner of the land upon which it is located. The favorable location for a town was suggested to him, and accordingly, at the time mentioned, he laid out a town to which he gave the name of Baker's Corners. In the the course of a few years he disposed of this land by sale to a company composed of ROBERT STOCKWELL, WILLIAM F. REYNOLDS, MOSES FOWLER, Rev. JOHN L. SMITH, Hon. ALBERT S. WHITE, AND Rev. JAMES COURTNEY, who prosecuted the work commenced by Mr. BAKER, and substituted the name of Stockwell.
Source: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888.
HISTORY of PERRY TOWNSHIP
Like the trail of a wandering wildcat, three branches of the Poucepichoux meander into Perry Township from the east and south. Flowing together first near Monitor, the Middle and South Forks rush deliberately westward to join with the North Fork near Eisenhower Road. All three combined flow directly to the west and then north to the Wabash River above Lafayette. This Poucepichoux, this wild wandering of water, is now known as the Wildcat Creek.
Even before the county was organized, settlers began coming into what is now Perry Township, which is named after the War of 1812 naval war hero. DAVID UNDERHILL arrived in 1823, erected a log cabin, cleared a plot of land and began farming. Other early squatters were THOMAS MAHON, JOHN HEDRICK, HENRY KITCHEN, and MATHIAS LUCE. For two years these were the only white occupants of the territory. In 1827 came CHARLES SEWARDS with his wife and three stepsons, JAMES H., DAVID, and A .J. PATTON. The following year there arrived WILLIAM VIRGIN, ELIAS and JOSEPH GIRRARD, MICHAEL GUNKLE, JOSEPH BUCK, JOHN LESLEY, JOHN SHIVELY, DAVID ULERY, WILLIAM GADDIS, MARTIN STALEY and his son JOHN, and LOT PIERSON.
The next families of whom we have any positive record are those who came in 1832: THOMAS LEARY, DANIEL PETER, HENRY MILLER (who was called "Ohio Henry" to distinguish him from a gentleman of the same name who came from Kentucky about the same time). Later that year came CHARLES, MAHLON, SEWELL, SHOCKLEY, ISAAC and JOSEPH CLEAVER, all young men, bringing with them their mother and three sisters.
Civil government for the township took form in 1828 when qualified voters assembled at the home of DANIEL UNDERHILL. They elected DAVID CLEVER and DANIEL UNDERHILL as Justices and HENRY RERICK as Constable. The township received its name at that meeting also. Formal education began with a subscription school opened by JAMES THOMPSON from Ohio.
In 1830 SAMUEL LAMB erected the first grist-mill. Afterward the CLEVER brothers erected a corn-cracker, later a wheat mill, and finally a saw mill at the same site on the North Fork. ISAAC LAMB started the Weaver Mill in 1830 on the South Fork. This mill was later known as the Eagle Mill, and did such a good business that a barrel factory was added. The Middle Fork helped power DANIEL PETER'S Mill where he ground flour at night and sawed lumber by day.
A Reverend ROBERT BROWN preached the first sermon to a congregation of about twenty. They assembled in the woods, near DANIEL UNDERHILL'S house. For several years after services were held in the houses of: EPHRAIM TUCKER, WILLIAM GADDIS, SAMUEL LAMB and ELIAS GIRRARD.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana, 1888 and Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana 1826-1976
HISTORY of RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP
Randolph Township is located in the southern part of Tippecanoe County between Jackson Township on the west and Lauramie Township on the east.
As early as the year 1826 this township contained the following families: Mr. BUELL and family, who settled on the farm since owned and occupied by George W. HOUSE, Jr., Major RISTINE, who settled on sec. 19, Judge WILEY who settled first in the northern part of the township (now Wea), subsequently removing to this neighborhood, Judge ALLEN who settled on the land since owned by Dr. SIMINSON, JOHN T. JACK, Mr. McDEED, GEORGE W. HOUSE, Sr., and WILLIAM WEBSTER.
In the early 1840's, five LEAMING families left their homes in Philadelphia and settled near a little village called Columbia. Here they built five consecutive farms along a trail that was later to become State Highway 28. By this time Columbia was the home for several families, who like the LEAMINGS, were pleased with the land and the location. It was on the trail between Lafayette and Crawfordsville, the two thriving villages of the area. Columbia's name was changed to Romney in 1846; several families had moved here from Romney, Virginia, and had named the village after their old home town. Romney is a flourishing village, laid out in 1832 by JOSEPH HALSTEAD, who owned the land upon which it is situated. He was the first merchant at this point, having kept a general merchandise store previous to the time of incorporating the town. Among the early merchants at Romney were WILLIAM THROCKMORTON, JOHN RYAN, and ISAAC MESSICK. In 1832, a hotel was built by JOHN MACK.
Among the early preachers were Rev. RICHARD HARGRAVE and Rev. SAMUEL BRENTON, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Rev. J. A. CARNAHAN and Rev. BRIAR of the Presbyterian church. In 1835 the Methodists erected a building for church purposes at Romney.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana, 1888 and Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana 1826-1976
HISTORY of SHEFFIELD TOWNSHIP
The area that was to become Sheffield Township was at one time the home of a small Wyandotte Indian village, located along the South Fork of Wildcat Creek. There is a large tract of land located in the center of Sheffield Township that is known as Richardville Reserve. It is named for JOHN B. RICHARDVILLE, one of the prominent figures in the early history of central Indiana. Known among his Indian friends as PESHEWA, "the wildcat," it is this man that Wildcat Creek is thought to be named after. RICHARDVILLE was born in 1761 at Kekionga, the large Miami village near Fort Wayne. His father was JOSEPH de RICHARDVILLE, a French trader of noble birth. His mother was TACUMWAH, a sister of the great Miami chief, LITTLE TURTLE. PESHEWA had five daughters whose names give testimony to their Native American heritage: DIFFICULTY, LONG HAIR, NOON, TWILIGHT, and WOMAN STRIKING. By the treaty of St. Mary's in 1818, these girls were awarded five sections of land around the Wyandotte village in Sheffield Township, and this tract is still known as Richardville Reserve today.
The first permanent settlement here was made by JAMES PAIGE and RICHARD BAKER in March 1823. Within two weeks after they arrived came the families of Mr. THOMPSON and LUTHER CORBIN. The following summer came ADAM SPRING and Mr. SKINNER. In 1824 came JONATHAN LUPTON with his family and two brothers, who were unmarried; then came Dr. TIMOTHY HORRAM and JAMES WADE. Late in the same year came WILLIAM BUSH who located near Dayton, and SAMUEL McGEORGE who purchased the Richardville Reserve, which he subsequently sold to WILLIAM HEATON, who, in 1829, laid out the town of Wyandot. In 1825 came the family of Mr. CARR, the families of ALEXANDER and FRANK BOOHER, and a family of the name of PARISH. Several families settled in Dayton, some of them being the families of: FRANCHER, BEUSY, CHISOM, and WOLCOTT. JOHN HEATON, ANDREW W. INGRAM, and BRUCE WILSON came about the same time.
The first religious meeting was held at the house of JAMES PAIGE in the fall of 1823. Some of the ministers who conducted services over the years were Rev. JAMES A. CARNAHAN, Rev. Mr. CRAWFORD, and Rev. Mr. POST, who recently died in Logansport. Ministers of other churches during the early years were Rev. JOHN DUNHAN, Rev. HIRAM CURRY, Rev. ERASMUS MANFORD, a missionary, Rev. B.F. FOSTER, of Indianapolis, and Rev. W. WILSON.
The first school, a subscription school, was taught by Mrs. RICHARD BAKER, in 1825, at her house. On Sunday she converted her school room into a Sunday school, and there, in addition to the Sunday school lesson, taught elementary branches of the common school.
The first election was probably held in the spring of 1825, at which WILLIAM BUSH was elected Justice of the Peace. The first marriage was in the fall of 1825, that of JAMES WADE and Mrs. BAILEY. Later that same year JOHN HOLLOWAY and EMILY McGEORGE were married. In the fall of 1824 Mrs. RICHARD BAKER gave birth to a female child, this being the first white child born in the township. The first death in the township was that of Mrs. THOMPSON, whose husband and two children followed in less than a month. All died at the house of JAMES PAIGE.
The first grist mill was erected by CARR and SCIRCLE in 1828. Two years later WILLIAM HEATON built a grist mill on Wildcat Creek, near Wyandot. About 1829 a saw mill was built east of Dayton by Mr. STAFFORD, who sold out soon after and removed from the county.
In 1827 WILLIAM BUSH divided a portion of his land into town lots, and originally named the town Fairfield. There already being a town in the state by that name, great difficulty was experienced in securing a post office here under that name. About the same time Dr. HORRAN divided eighty acres into town lots, and Marquis was settled upon as the name of the town. In 1830 DAVID H. GREGORY laid out a north addition to this town, and at his suggestion the name was changed to Dayton.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888, and Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe County 1826-1976.
HISTORY OF SHELBY TOWNSHIP
Located in the northwestern corner of Tippecanoe County, Shelby Township is bordered on the north by White County, and on the west by Benton and Warren counties. This township was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, a pioneer settler. In 1827, Shelby laid out a town on the Wabash River and named it LaGrange after the ancestral home of General de Lafayette. ISAAC SHELBY was appointed to survey and locate a road from Logansport to LaGrange, on the line of Warren County. Shelby Township was originally the home of vast herds of buffalo that roamed at will on the prairie lands between the Wabash and Mississippi Rivers.
In the summer of 1838, the Potawatomi Indians of this area were forcibly resettled in Kansas. Part of their route, which became known as "The Trail of Death," went through Shelby Township. Years earlier, Harrison's army also passed through the township on its northward march from Vincennes. Beside Little Pine Creek there is a marker, indicating the site where the men camped overnight on their way to Prophet's Town.
Residents of the township in 1828 were: JOHN CUPPY, JOB HAIGH, JOHN DOLLY, WILLIAM FOSTER, JOSEPH MOORE, JOHN BRINGHAM, WENDELL BROWN, ZEPHANIAH BROWN, JOHN FOSTER and WILLIAM McCREA. Those who came in 1829 were: MOSES and JOHN McFARLAND, ENOS MOORE, JOHN S. VAN NATTA, WILLIAM LAYTON, HENRY GATES, JOHN BEST, GABRIEL BILDERBACK, FRANCIS ROCK, THOMAS MOORE, HENRY H. MOORE, WINGATE TIMMONS, JOSHUA TIMMONS, BENJAMIN LEIGHTY, and STEPHEN SAPPINGTON. Other early settlers were: Abraham SWITZER, Benjamin EASTBURN, Samuel I. GODMAN, John WHITE, William JORDAN, Jacob SHAMBAUGH and James W. HOLLIDAY.
The first church, which was Methodist Episcopal, was organized at the house of PELEG POTTER, in 1829. Later in the same year another church in that same denomination was organized and met at the house of WILLIAM McCREA. The first regular traveling minister was Rev. TOPP, who began preaching in 1830. He was followed in later years by Revs. SAMUEL C. COOPER, AMASA JOHNSTON, WILLIAM CLARK, WILLIAM VREDENBURG, and others.
SAMSON HINKLE was probably the first merchant of Shelby Township, starting in business in 1830 at Montmorenci. During the same year a man named HARNETT erected a small water grist mill on Indian Creek.
Trustees of Shelby Township have been GEORGE WESTFALL, 1859-62; SAMUEL I. GODMAN, 1863-65; THOMAS DOUGHERTY, 1866-69; WILLIAM T. FOSTER, 1870-71; R. G. McQUEEN, 1872-75; JEREMIAH EDWARDS, 1876-77; GEORGE W. KING, 1878-82; HENRY A. MILLER, 1882-86; JACOB SWITZER, 1886-87.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana, 1888
HISTORY of TIPPECANOE TOWNSHIP
Tippecanoe township, historically the banner township of Tippecanoe county, presents, perhaps, a greater variety of soil and scenery, and more points of interest to the traveler, than any other township in the county. The Grand Prairie, its borders on the north and west, the Pretty Prairie and the rich bottom lands of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers in the east and southeast; the bluffs skirting the river on the south.
The historical period of the township dates from the Battle of Tippecanoe. The breaking up of Prophet's band after this battle left the adjoining country in the possession of fragments of different Indian tribes, among whom were the Kickapoos, Miamis and Pottawatomies. They offered no hostile annoyances to the white settlers, and after a few years abandoned the territory to possession of the "pale faces."
The first white man known to have resided in the township was a Frenchman, named BURNETT. he established a trading post at Stringtown, on Burnett's Reserve, a tract of land skirting the Wabash River just below the mouth of the Tippecanoe, extending to Burnett's Creek and including the site of Prophet's Town. JOHN DAVIS married NANCY, daughter of Mr. BURNETT and established himself at what is known as Davis Ferry, near the mouth of Burnett's Creek.
Among the earliest settlers in the township were CHARLES and JOHN MOOTS and JOHN LUNG. In 1827 WILLIAM KENDALL and PASCHAL WATSON settled in Pretty Prairie, along with JOHN BEEKER and a number of others. In 1829 DANIEL CORWIN settled near the mouth of Moot's Creek. Other early settlers were: JOHN S. FORGEY, WILLIAM THOMAS, JOHN SHIGLEY and his brother ADAM SHIGLEY, JOHN SHIGLEY, JR., JOHN MAHIN, MICHAEL HARE, LISMOND BASEY, NATHAN RENFROW, JOHN G. SMITH, BASIL CLEVINGER, BENJAMIN LUCAS, JACOB DEWEY, JOHN SHAW, JOSEPH COOPER, JOSEPH ALLEN, ELIJAH FORBES, SAMUEL McCORMICK, JOHN STEWART, P.O. BROWN, JOHN GOODMAN, J.H. DOWNING and WILLIAM SIMS, the first practicing physician in the township. WILLIAM SIMS died in 1845.
The first school was taught by DAVID McCONNAUGHEY on the farm of WILLIAM KENDALL. JOHN S. FORGEY and JOHN McNARA also taught school in the township.
In May 1840 the first great political meeting held at the battle ground was held by the Whigs, its object to assist in the election of General WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON as president of the United States. There was a crowd of at least 40,000 people, from many states of the Union.
In 1857 Bishop E.R. AMES and Elder BENJAMIN WINANS, of the Methodist Episcopal church, conceived the idea of founding a town and an institution of learning near the battle ground. Accordingly, the land upon which Battle Ground City now stands was secured; a survey made, and funds collected for the erection of an institute. Elected as trustees were: BENJAMINWINANS, HIRAM SHAW, MARK JONES, CHAUNCEY JONES, and ABIJAH JOHNSON. Town lots sold quickly and a thriving village came into existence. Those who taught at the institution were: PROF. G.W. RICE, MISS CARRIE BOWLES, PROF. E.H. STALEY, REV. DAVID HOLMES (principal).
Trustees of Tippecanoe township have been: GEORGE PIERCE, 1859-66; D.F. SEXTON, 1867; WILLIAM MOTE, 1868; JOHN BARNARD, 1869; H.D. RIDDILE,1870-71; J.G.SMITH, 1872-1873; JOHN W. SCOTT, 1874-80; WILLIAM J. WALTERS, 1880-84; MARTIN L. SNYDER, 1884-87.
Transcribed from: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888.
HISTORY of UNION TOWNSHIP
Until March 10, 1871, the west half of the territory now comprised of this township was attached to Wayne, the south portion of the east half to Randolph, and the north portion to Fairfield. The area now encompassed by Union Township has probably been inhabited for over 10,000 years. Artifacts located along Wea Creek bear out the presence of these prehistoric people. Early explorers of the region describe large Indian villages along the southern bank of Wabash River in Union Township and also on the northern side in Wabash Township. The Ouiatenons, or the Weas, a tribe of the Miami Confederacy, settled in the area sometime around 1718. The French established a post across from the mouth of the Wea Creek about 1720.
Among the earliest white settlers to this area were JOSEPH HAWKINS and WILLIAM JONES. They came to the area in the spring of 1824, planted crops, remained until fall, then returned for their families. They were joined that fall by BAKER GUEST, POLSTON STIDHAM, JAMES ELLIS, and WILLIAM DIMMITT. The following spring there arrived JOHN MURDOCK, JOHN PROVAULT, JOHN LITTLE, MORDECAI MENDENHALL, JOSEPH and WILLIAM HOLLINGSWORTH, ABLE JENNY, ISAAC, SAMUEL and DAVID JOHNS, PHINEAS HESTON, JAMES WEST, PETER HUGHES, and DR. DURKEE.
The first church erected was in 1827 by the Society of Friends, among whom the southern part of the township was largely composed. The founders of this church, which is now known as Farmer's Institute, were a group of families by the names of HAWKINS and HOLLINGSWORTH, all of whom were interrelated. These families were of Quaker stock, having come to America with William Penn on his second voyage in 1682. The HOLLINGSWORTHS were descendants of VALENTNE HOLLINGSWORTH, founder of the family in America. In that same year of 1827, JOSEPH HAWKINS erected a grist mill on Wea Creek. Another mill was built by a Mr. WAYMIRE in 1830.
The first marriage in the township was celebrated in 1826 when JOHN HUFF married BESSIE PIATT. The first death is said to have been that of HARRIET, daughter of ABEL JENNY, in 1824.
ADAMS EARL was a major figure in early Union Township. He moved to the Wea Plains from Ohio about 1838. By 1840, he was building flat boats to ship produce to New Orleans. ADAMS EARL was married to MARTHA J. HAWKINS, a daughter of JAMES and SUSANNAH (JONES) HAWKINS.
Farmer's Institute was a school organized in 1851. It served as a private institution for two years. After this a stock company was organized, improvements were made and a boarding house added. Original trustees were: ELIHU HOLLINGSWORTH, BUDDELL SLEEPER, P. ELLIS, and MILTON HOLLINGSWORTH. JOSEPH FISHER was the first principal.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe
Co., Indiana, 1888
Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana 1826-1976
A History of Farmer's Institute Monthly Meeting of Friends; and It's Community, by Nellie Taylor Raub
HISTORY of WABASH TOWNSHIP
In a sense Indiana history had its beginning in Wabash Township over 250 years ago. The French, seeking to protect their holdings in North America, built a chain of forts that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Valley. The first of these garrisons in the Wabash and Ohio country was built along the Wabash River, six miles southeast of the present city of Lafayette. Its name was Ouiatenon, and in 1717 it became the first fortified European settlement in what is now Indiana. At its height, Ouiatenon was the home for as many as 3,000 inhabitants, mainly French and Indians. After the French and Indian War in 1756, however, France lost Ouiatenon and her other holdings in North America. The post passed into the hands of the British, the Spanish briefly, and then the Indians. Finally, in 1791 President Washington ordered Ouiatenon destroyed in an effort to stop the Indian raids on the white settlements in Kentucky.
The first white man to come to Wabash Township was probably JAMES SUIT, a trapper, who came in 1822. He employed a number of men to assist him in trapping beaver and collecting wild honey from the forests of Tippecanoe County. He would take these items down the river by flatboat to Vincennes where he would trade for salt, Mackinaw blankets, dry goods, whiskey and general merchandise.
In 1823 came BENJAMIN CUPPY, a native of Montgomery Co., Ohio, and in 1824 came FRANCIS SUNDERLAND, JAMES PIERCE, JAMES SEVERSON, PETER CASTER, JOHN TOLLIVER, Mr. McGUIRE, MICHAEL and PHILIP HOBOY and JAMES McCUNE. JAMES EMERSON also came in 1824 and purchased six lots on the prairie, and soon after returned to his home in Pickaway Co., Ohio. He did not locate upon this land until 1828.
In 1829 the township was organized and an election held with results as follows: PHILIP McCORMICK, Justice of the Peace, JOHN CUPPY and MARTIN MURPHY, Constables, and JAMES EMERSON, Supervisor. The first Post Office was kept by JAMES McCUNE, in 1824, near the present site of Chauncey (now West Lafayette).
Several communities developed in Wabash Township. The first was Burton, named after BURTON STINESPRING, an early storekeeper. During the 1890's news of the Alaskan gold rush excited the little community enough to change the town's name to Klondike. Officially, Klondike's cemetery is still Burton Cemetery. The town of Cincinnatus was platted near the site of Fort Ouiatenon. This town was a ferry terminus, established by FRANCIS SUNDERLAND, but it did not survive. Across the river from Lafayette was a small settlement called Jacktown, then Kingston, later Chauncey, and finally became West Lafayette. Other crossroad communities in the township included Hebron, Number Ten, and Octagon.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888, and The Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe County, 1826-1976.
HISTORY of WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
This township is situated in the northeastern portion of Tippecanoe County. It is bounded on the east by Carroll Co., and on the south by Perry and Fairfield townships, the Wabash River forming the boundary line from northeast to southwest. Washington township differs from most parts of the county, in the fact that every acre of its farm lands has been cleared from a dense forest. From north to southwest the surface is characterized by hills which slope gently toward the center of the township, forming beautiful fertile farm lands.
The first white man known to have resided within Washington township was JESSE JACKSON, who came in 1826. Later that year he was joined by JOHN MARTIN, JOHN BURGETT, and BARNEY DE WITT. JOHN FISHER, JAMES ANDERSON, JOHN BLACKBURN and THOMAS HOYT settled here in 1827. DAVID LYON, JESSE LARGE and JONATHAN TULLIS came in 1828, with JOHN STAIR, JOHN STANFIELD, SR., WILLIAM COX, and JAMES SCHOOLCRAFT in 1829. During the years 1830 and 1831 came HENRY STAIR, GEORGE SNODGRASS, JOHN BURLEY, EMANUEL THOUSE, ROBERT WILLIAMS, and DAVID RANDLE. The majority of these settle between Sugar Creek and Buck Creek. Farther eastward, up Buck Creek, a settlement was formed comprising the families of JOHN ISLEY, WILLIAM HILT, EMERY HARRIS, JOHN RICHARDSON, JOSEPH MILLER and JAMES BULGER. During the year 1831 others settled at various point in the township as follows: JOHN CUNNINGHAM, JAMES WILLISON, JOHN ELLIOTT, ALEXANDER JOHNSON, GEORGE WALTON, and HENRY SWANK. Other settlers include LEWIS ROGERS, PHILIP STAIR, DAVID GISH, SILAS BURGETT, DAVID KUHNS, JOHN BOWMAN, JOHN LEONARD and MARTIN MAY.
Early improvements in the township included a saw mill built in 1831 by PHILIP STAIR near Sugar Creek and a blacksmith shop by JOHN GRAY. In 1832 a tannery was built by JOHN D. MILLER. The first physician was Dr. ANTHONY GARRETT, who located in 1833.
The earliest marriages were: ABRAHAM BUSH to POLLY TULLIS, 1830; DANIEL FISHER to MARY A. CHAPMAN, and DANIEL KESSLER to RACHEL FISHER in 1831. The first death occurred in August 1828, that of HENRY ANDERSON. He was buried in the Union Cemetery. His son died the following month, and his wife the following year. DAVID LYON died in September 1830, and BARNEY DE WITT and ELIZA SCHOOLCRAFT died about the same time.
The first election was held at PHILIP STAIR'S saw mill in April 1832. JOHN CUNNINGHAM was elected Justice of the Peace, and JAMES FISHER, Constable.
Following are a list of towns in the township and the dates they
Americus in 1832 by WILLIAM DIGBY, founder of Lafayette.
Colburn, or Chapmansville, was laid out in sections 13 and 24 by JACOB CHAPMAN in 1858.
Transitville was laid out in section 33 by SAMUEL MILLER in 1851
Source: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe Co., Indiana, 1888.
HISTORY of WAYNE TOWNSHIP
Wayne Township was designated as a township in 1828 and was named for General Anthony Wayne, a favorite among the early settlers. Its surface is a level prairie, and originally included all of what is known as "the Wea Plain". In the early days, prior to the settlement by white men, the Wea Indians built their villages along the banks of the Wabash and hunted and farmed these nearby plains. Every fall they would burn the grasslands to prevent any trees and brush from growing there. In later years, however, timber has been permitted to grow on lands not absolutely required for farming.
The first settler of Wayne township was ELIJAH MOORE, who came from Bloomington, Indiana, in 1822. In the spring of 1823 he was joined by LEWIS THOMAS, JOHN McFARLAND, and JOHN BROCKUS. Later that same year there arrived SAMUEL CLARK, WILLIAM BRADY, MOSES McFARLAND, and one of the township's best known settlers, PETER WEAVER, whose house still stands in the township today. He purchased land at the lower end of the Wea Plain and operated a popular tavern there.
The first town was Middleton, platted by SAMUEL KISER in 1831. Lots sold quickly, and many people soon located here. Soon after, a north addition was laid out by MILES DIMMETT. Middleton was given its name by SAMUEL KISER, but later its residents changed the name of their town to West Point. The first store was opened by HENRY BANTA, in a one-story brick house. Another store was opened by JOSHUA and ISAAC HEATH.
The town of Granville marks the site of the ancient French and Indian town of Ouiatenon that extended along the Wabash to the mouth of the Wea Creek. The present town was laid out by THOMAS CONCANNON. An addition was subsequently laid out by his uncle, JAMES CONCANNON, who gave it the name it now bears. This little town once looked as if it would rival Lafayette in importance. It was located right along the Wabash and Erie Canal and, like many canal towns, seemed to have great promise and future. The canal from Lafayette to Granville took seven long years to build, and when the first boat finally went through in 1852, everyone was there to join in the celebration. The celebrating was short-lived, however, with the coming of the railroads.
A saw mill was erected by GEORGE LUTZ, in 1831, on Flint Creek. In 1840 JOHN FRALEY, a blacksmith, erected a tavern at West Point.
In 1826 the first township election was held at the house of ABEL JENNY, who was then elected Justice of the Peace, and JOHN JONES, who was married to Mr. JENNY'S daughter, DEBORAH, was elected Constable. The first school in the township opened in 1826 by Mr. WILES, on the banks of the Wabash River. The first sermon was preached by Rev. EMMETT, of the Methodist Episcopal church. Religious services were also conducted at a later date by Rev. J. A. CARNAHAN, of Dayton, Indiana.
In 1823, JOHN JULIAN'S death was the first in the township, and he was interred on his farm. In 1824 Mrs. JOHN McFARLAND gave birth to a female child, the first born in the township. Later that same year, a male child was born to Mr. and Mrs. JOHN STALEY.
It was in Wayne Township that the Underground Railroad was active. Quakers living here were most outspoken against slavery and helped to smuggle many a runaway slave to freedom. BUDDELL SLEEPER operated a "station" in the basement of his home.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1888; Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe County 1826-1976.
HISTORY of WEA TOWNSHIP
Prior to 1857, the territory now embraced by this township was a part of the townships of Fairfield, Randolph and Lauramie. Wea is bounded on the east by Sheffield, north by Fairfield, west by Union and south by Randolph and Lauramie. It consists, to a large degree, of very rich prairie land known as the "Wea Plains."
The first white men to locate within this township were LEVI THORNTON and SAMUEL BLACK, who came as early as the year 1822, and, until the following spring, were the only white inhabitants of this township. At that time they were joined by the families of JUDGE WILEY, JOHN I. DAVIDSON, JUDGE PROVAULT, WILLIAM BURKE, STEPHEN KENNEDY, SAMUEL GWINN, and WILLIAM JONES. In the following autumn came THORNTON PARKER, and JOSEPH and GEORGE BRODERICK with their widowed mother. Some of those who came in 1824 were BILLINGS BABCOCK, DR. MENDENHALL, DANIEL BUGHER, STEPHEN WAYMIRE, and JOHN HOOVER. In 1825 came Mr. SHORTRIDGE, JAMES COCHRAN, JACOB and ADAM DE HART, JOHN and SAMUEL HOLLIDAY, DANIEL CLARK and PHILIP HARTER. During the years 1826 and 1827 a number of families were added to the settlement: JOHN and PHILIP CROSE, G.H. RONDEBUSH, JOSEPH CONNAROE, JAMES FRANKLIN, MICHAEL BUSH, and JOHN MILLER. In 1827 JOHN MILLER opened a small distillery, which he conducted for several years, finally selling out and removing from the county. The first grist mill was erected by PHILIP HARTER in 1829.
The first surveys were made by JOHN L. DAVIDSON, who located farm lands prior to the appointment of L.B. STOCKTON as county surveyor. The first log houses were erected by LEVI THORNTON and SAMUEL BLACK in 1822. In 1827 GEORGE W. KIRKPATRICK purchased a tract of land located partly in Wea and partly in Sheffield Township. Upon that portion lying in Wea Township he erected a rough log house, in which he resided two years. He then built a hewed-log house in Sheffield Township, to which he moved his family, thus his name can be found in connection with the early settlement of both townships.
In 1825 a subscription school was opened and taught in a cabin on the farm of SAMUEL BLACK, and was known as the Black Schoolhouse. In 1827 JOSEPH TATMAN taught school on the banks of the little Wea Creek. Several years later a school was taught on the farm of STEPHEN KENNEDY and was known as the Yount Schoolhouse.
In 1824, occurred the first death in the township, that of a child of Mr. and Mrs. DANIEL BUGHER. Among the earliest marriages were those of WILLIAM TRIMMER to KESIAH TALBERT, and MORGAN SHORTRIDGE to CLARRISA BURKE, daughter of WILLIAM BURKE.
This township was hit hard by the cholera plague of 1852. It was reported that people died so quickly that coffins could not be built fast enough. At Fink Cemetery, the bodies were buried at night along the east side of the cemetery in unmarked graves.
It was just north of Crane Station that the fatal train wreck of 1864 occurred. A passenger express and a stock train met head-on, killing 30 men and injuring 35 others. Most of the dead were Union soldiers, home on furlough from the War. One of the injured was nursed back to health by RACHEL CLARK, a Wea Township resident. She declined pay for her effort, so later a monument was placed in Kenny Cemetery in her honor. Those soldiers whose bodies were not identified or claimed were buried in Greenbush Cemetery in Lafayette.
Sources: Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe
Indiana, 1888; Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe County
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