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Boone County Introduction
Boone County History
City & Town Histories
Pioneer Poetry
Recollection of Samuel Evans
Recollection of George Gibson
Recollection of William Lane
Recollection of John Lowe
Recollection of Emma Marvin
Recollection of Thomas Miller
Recollection of William Mills
Recollection of George B. Richardson
Recollection of James Richardson
Recollection of Solomon Sering
Recollection of Amelia Zion
Roads and Bridges
Schools & Teachers
Albert S. White
Township Histories I
Township Histories II
 

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City and Town Histories


Boone County has numerous small cities and towns located within the larger twelve main townships. Below are some historical descriptions of these locales and their early residents circa 1887. For many individuals you will also find short biographical details including birth and death information. Jane A. Heine transcribed these excerpts from, "Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana," 1887. Complete source information is given below.


Advance

This town is located in the northeast part of Jackson Township and on the Midland Railroad, nine miles southwest of Lebanon and five miles north of Jamestown. The place is comparatively new, springing up when the above railroad was proposed. The people here have waited long and patiently for the completion of it, and the outlook to-day, March, 1887, is encouraging. When this railroad is finished here it will give the town and surrounding country an outlet which is very much needed. The town contains several stores, shops, mechanics, doctors, churches, school house, etc. The population is near one hundred, all told. We hope before long to hear that the above railroad is a fixed fact. Advance contains several good residences; also a postoffice, which is a great convenience to the people of northeast Jackson and surrounding country.

Clarkstown

This once thriving little town was situated on the Michigan road, just north of where Little Eagle crosses the same. It kept this name for years, when it was changed to that of Hamilton, about the year 1838 or 1839. It was first named after Walter Clark, who came from Ohio. It was laid out on the land of Jacob Hoover, in or about the year 1833. The following were its first citizens: Frederick Lowe, who built the first house and kept public house, Elias Bishop, John Lowe, George Lowe, the Duzans, Jacob Hoover. The first blacksmith was Critchfield. The first doctors were W. N. Duzan, George Selders, George W. Duzan. The first merchants were Jacoh Hoover, John Duzan, Oel Thayer, Zachariah Owsley. Zachariah Torpin kept a grocery and something for the inner man occasionally. The first tanner was James Sheets. The first carding machine was built by Jacob Hoover and Moses Lyons as early as 1837, and has been kept up ever since; is now owned by Paul D. Liebhardt, with a saw mill attached. Andrew Hopkins, Clinton Osburn and Allen Brock were the saddlers and harness makers in an early day. The town has all gone down, there are only a few dilapidated houses remaining that mark the site of the once flourishing town of Clarkstown.

Dover

By Levi Denny

The above town was first laid out in 1850, by Aries Pauly. It was first known as "Crackaway." It is situated in Jefferson Township, eight miles west of Lebanon, in a fine part of the county. In 1860 a postoffice was established here and named Cason, in remembrance of Thomas J. Cason, of Lebanon. It has been for years the center or voting place for the township. The first merchant was Wesley Adkins, who started a store in 1860. The first postmaster was Wm. Goldsburgh; present one, Joseph S. Miller. In 1851 James Stephenson built a sawmill here. The following doctors have practiced here: Drs. Clair, Oxly, C. Smith, Hamilton, John S. Smith, Finch, Crafton, and W. H. Ware, who is now in practice and who is a clever gentleman and doctor as well. The first wood shop was by J. L. Pyles; first blacksmith, Wm. Goldsburgh. The following are the names of the present merchants and mechanics: McDaniel & Bro., general merchants; Lewis neers [? transcriber error?] all earning their living by the sweat of the brow, but in the year 1859 William and John Goldeburrough purchased the saw mill of Mr. Dalzell and erected a dwelling and a log blacksmith shop near the crossing. Then the neighborhood of Crackaway began to show signs of a village in the near future, for in a few months the long-looked-for postoffice came and with it a commission for William Goldsburrough as postmaster, and the U. S. check bore the name of Dover. Then the name of Crackaway passed into oblivion. Progress was slow for a season, but in 1862 one Wesley Adtkins, now deceased, built a 10 x 12 storeroom near the blacksmith shop and supplied the villagers and weary travelers with groceries and an occasional dose of "Old Kaintuck," and in the following spring Jacob Pyles moved from Lebanon and opened a wagon and repair shop, in a log building, on the corner where McDaniel & Bro's magnificent storeroom now stands. Prosperity crowned his efforts and he now lives on his farm adjoining town. He is the only one of the oldest settlers living in the county. There were but few changes or improvements made until the year 1865, when Fielding Denny bought the Pauly farm which had passed through several hands prior to this, and also bought a small tract on the northwest corner of John Darrough's land. This he sold out in small lots to parties who began to build and improve the town. In 1866 Dr. Israel Kirk located here; he was the first resident physician. In the following spring John Hall built a tile factory and continued in the manufacture of that much needed article for three or four years. In 1866 a Mr. Chaney bought the stock of groceries from Mr. Adtkins and moved into a more pretentious building and increased the stock of merchandise, but in 1868 he sold his stock of goods and moved away. The first church was built by the Baptist and Methodist denominations, but in a few months the former bought out the interest of the latter. Fielding Denny donated the lots for the church and cemetery. During the same year Dr. Kirk moved to Darlington and Dr. W. A. Ware located in his place and is still here practicing his profession. In 1871 the Presbyterians built an elegant frame structure for worshiping in, and in 1873 the Reformers, or Campbellites, through the instrumentality of Thomas McDaniel, erected quite a respectable church of a rather more modern style than either of the other two. At present all three of the churches are in a prosperous condition. There have been various changes in the past few years, which we fail to note on account of space."

Eagle Village

Eagle Village, one of the oldest towns in Boone County, was laid out in 1831. It is located on the Michigan Road, in the southeast part of Eagle Township, about one mile east of Zionsville. Until 1852, when the Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad was built the village was a place of some importance. From the year 1850, when it was at its zenith, it gradually went down, until now there are but few houses left. Many of the buildings were removed from there to Zionsville in 1852, when the latter place was laid out. Among the early merchants and business men of Eagle Village, most whom are now deceased, we find the following: Daniel and James M. Larimore, Reuben Price, J. F. Daugherty, John Harden, Addison Nicholas, J. B. Pitzer, John P. Welch, Oel Thayer, T. P. Miller and Fielding Utterback, all of whom sold goods from 1835 until 1851. Among the physicians who practiced here from time to time, were H. G. Larimore, S. W. Rodman, Jeremiah Larimore, J. M. Gaston, Nathan Crosby and Dr. Johnson. H. G. Larimore died in Fayette County, Ind., in 1874, aged near ninety years. S. W. Rodman lives in Washington Territory. J. M. Gaston, who did not remain long in Eagle Village, lives in Indianapolis. Dr. Johnson's whereabouts are unknown. Jeremiah Larimore died in Indianapolis about the year 1880. He is buried at Mount's Run, in this county. Nathan Crosby, quite an old man, lives in Zionsville. He came from the East to Eagle Village in 1849. Of the early merchants we give the following: Daniel Larimore came from Fayette County, Ind., in 183-, was engaged in business only a few years when he died. He died in 1839, and is buried at Eagle Village. J. M., his son, succeeded him, and was engaged in active business until March, 1849, when he died of consumption. He was a fine-looking man, was never married, and is buried by the side of his father. He was the first Odd Fellow in Boone County. J. F. Daughterty came in 1836, and was in business a number of years. He finally moved to Zionsville, where he sold goods a number of years. He now resides in Indianapolis. John Harden engaged in business in 1842. He died in Ohio, February, 1877, and is buried at Zionsville, Boone County. Fielding Utterback was engaged in business several years. He was elected county sheriff in 1845. He went West and died there ten or fifteen years ago. Oel Thayer came to Boone County in 1839; was first a merchant in Clarkstown, then in Eagle Village. He finally removed to Lebanon, where he died February 4, 1877. John Welch engaged in business with J. B. Pitzer (his brother-in-law), in 1846. He died in September, 1850, and is buried on Eagle Creek, six miles southwest of Zionsville. J. B. Pitzer was in business several years. He was elected county auditor in 1863. He resides in Zionsville, and is seventy-four years old. T. P. Miller was born in Tennessee. He came with his father to Eagle Creek in 1829. He was engaged several years at Eagle Village as merchant, postmaster and justice of the peace. He was the second Odd Fellow in the county. He resides in Indianapolis, aged seventy-five years. James McCoy, Jesse Essex, William Gouge, William Lakin and John Gates were early blacksmiths. McCoy was married five times and then said he was on his first legs. He lived to be ninety-five years old. Mr. Gouge was a local preacher, and lived to be quite old. Mr. Essex died a little past middle life. He was the son of Jesse Essex, Sr., and the father of George Essex, of Lebanon. James Handly was the tailor; he moved West, and the last account of him he was still living. Andrew Hopkins was about the first saddler. He was born in Ohio, married a daughter of Austin Davenport, and died at Lafayette, Ind., in 1852, in middle life. William Farlan, an attorney, was born in New York. He resided in Eagle Village many years, where he taught school in early times. He went to Wisconsin, where he died about 1865, aged seventy years. Jesse Essex was the first tanner, followed by William Manteeth and M. S. Davenport. The carpenters of that time were Starling C. Rose, Luther M. Oliphant, Isaac L. Davenport and Thomas Oliphant. The shoemakers were Henry Breedlove, A. W. Larimore, Henry Davenport and Mr. Danforth. James Armstrong and Henry Gardner made saleratus here at an early day. "The ashery,'' as we called it, was started by J. M. Larimore and Mr. Bishop in 1846. Mrs. Polly Larimore kept the tavern many years after her husband died. T. P. Miller also kept the "Pavilion." The "Eagle Village Hotel" was kept by Mrs. Larmac, Joseph Larimore, George Craft and Mr. Hurd. It went down about the year 1852, with Joseph Larimore at the helm. The Odd Fellows organized a lodge here about the year 1846 or 1847, with the following as first members: J. M. Larimore, T. P. Miller, J. F. Daugherty, Joseph Larimore, James Handly, Oel Thayer, I. L. Davenport, Jacob Tipton, T. W. Oliphant and L. Oliphant. Among the early preachers were James McCoy, Jacob Myers, Robert H. Calvert, Madison Hume, Mr. Wells, William Gouge and George Dye. A man by the name of Wesley George, from Indianapolis, started a tin shop, but did not stay long. The following have served as postmasters: T. P. Miller, Fielding Utterback, J. F. Daugherty, Nathan Crosby. A temperance society was organized here about the year 1845; flourished for several years, and about the year 1853 went down with the general crash of the village. Adjoining on the east is the cemetery, where lie buried many old citizens, among whom are Daniel Larimore, J. M. Larimore, William Miller, Mrs. Polly Larimore, Peter Gregory, and Patrick H. Sullivan, the first settler in the county and who helped to select the present site of Lebanon as the place for the county seat. He died about the year 1879, when he must have been eighty-five years of age.

Fayette

Fayette is located in Whitelick, in Perry Township, and in the southern part of it near the Hendricks County line and on section ten. The town is well located on an elevated, well-drained piece of land. The town contains two stores, school house and several good private residences. Fayette was laid out on the land originally owned by Edmond Shurly and Mr. Turner. The present merchants are Mr. McDaniel and Shurly, Drs. W. E. Everts and Jourden. Drug store by Josephus Dodson. Former merchants mere Charles J. Lumpkins and Thos. Fitch. Dr. Jorden's family kept the drug store here. Fayette is the voting place of Perry Township, and is the center of considerable trade, not only of Boone County, but that also of Hendricks County. The postoffice is now kept by Dr. W. E. Everts, who has been here several years and has a fine practice. The town contains some three hundred inhabitants, of sober, industrious habits. The settlement here on Whitelick dates back in the thirties. The town, however, is not quite that old.

Hazelrigg Station

This town is located on the Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad, six miles northwest of Lebanon, in the southeast corner of Washington Township. It was laid out on the land originally owned by the late H. G. Hazlerigg, and named in honor of him. It has been a stopping and shipping point of some note for the last twenty years. The town contains a store, kept by S. Klepfer, a blacksmith shop, postoffice, and several dwelling houses. Over the store of Mr. Klepfer is a public hall, used for general purposes, such as lectures, meetings of a religious character, etc. Hazlerigg is located in a fine part of the county; its nearness to the county seat and Thorntown will in all probability keep it from becoming a town of large proportions, but it will no doubt increase to some extent and will be a place of considerable local trade. The people here could illy do without a postoffice and other conveniences now afforded at Hazlerigg Station. The population of the town is eighteen persons, all told, big and little.

Jamestown

No town in Boone County is situated in a more beautiful country than the above, located near the south line of Jackson Township, also the county line adjoining Hendricks County, on the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad, also on the State Road leading from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville, on the west bank of Eel River. It is about twelve miles southwest of Lebanon. Jamestown has an interesting history, for it was here one of the first settlements was made, away back at least to 1826 or 1827. The town was perhaps laid out in 1832, by James Mattock and John Gibson, two worthy pioneers. It was Mr. Gibson who first built his rude cabin here in 1829. From that time to this Jamestown has survived, and is now one of the principal trading points in the county, commanding a large trade from the adjoining counties of Hendricks and Montgomery. From this little humble cabin in the woods Jamestown has grown to a thriving town of fifteen hundred inhabitants. On the completion of the railroad here the town began to grow rapidly; many substantial buildings have been erected; a good M. E. Church of brick, which is a credit to the people in Jamestown and vicinity. The same might be said as to the Christian Church here, also of brick, well located and of good size. Martin's mill is one of the fixed institutions of the place. We must not forget the school building, one of the finest as well as best the located in county or state. There is no, better evidence of a people's industry and thrift than a good schoolhouse. The Trotter's Grove adjoining the town on the northeast is one of the loveliest to be found anywhere. Nature has lavished her gifts on this beautiful grove, where annual gatherings are held. Good stores and many tasteful residences adorn the town, which speak out in tones not to be misunderstood by those visiting this ancient town. Following will be found a sketch written for the Pioneer December 18, 1886, which will be read with interest.
 
We must not forget the Jamestown Tribune, edited by tile old veteran, George Snyder, who so long and well has managed it. It is well gotten up, issued weekly, and its appearance every Thursday is hailed with delight. Long may this good old man live to edit the Tribune. The Jamestown band is a credit to the town. Its members are a wide-awake set of young men, and the notes of their band are always received well by the people hereabouts.
 
" The town of Jamestown was laid out about the year 1832, by James Mallock and John Gibson - John Gibson was the father of G. W. Gibson, one of the present business citizens. The first store was opened by Samuel Hughes on the north side of. Main street. John Galvin, some few years after, sold goods on the corner now occupied by J. H. Camplin & Son. This place being located on the State Road was a town of great importance during the day of stages. Having several hotels and livery stables it was made a central point, and consequently the changes of coach horses. It is now situated on the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad, twenty-seven miles west of Indianapolis, this being built about 1870. Has improved considerable since that time, reaching a population of nearly 1,100, but has labored under several difficulties and misfortunes, there being three large fires, viz: September 5, 1876, which originated in a saloon, burning nearly all the principal business rooms and a large hotel, leaving the town in a rather critical condition, but by some few determined citizens it was mostly rebuilt; on the morning of November 10, 1880, another fire started in the wareroom of a drug store on South Main street and burned seven of the best business rooms, and September 11, 1883, another one, burning seven large rooms. Since then seven have been erected. No doubt in a year or so all the vacant lots will have as good or better rooms and be in a more prosperous condition than heretofore. But labor under all these fires has somewhat kept up the necessary buildings for business occupancy.
 
The town is surrounded by as good country and as intelligent, industrious farmers as could be asked, and with all this and our energetic citizens there is no reason why it shall not rise to as good a point as any in the county. The place at one time had a very hard name, about the time of the building of the Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railroad, one or two men being murdered by the gang who worked on the road; also at that time there were several places of disreputable character, several saloons, which most certainly was the cause. But now we have as quiet and peaceable a town as is anywhere to be found. Still the bad name hangs over us, by parties who are not visitors here. We have two churches-Christian Church, under the pastoral charge of Elder Pritchard, and M. E. Church, under the pastoral charge of Rev. E. W. Lawhon.
 
The high school, which building was erected in 1873, is most certainly in a prosperous condition under the principalship of Prof. P. V. Voris; the faculty are as follows: Academic department, Prof. Voris; Preparatory, Prof. Storm; Intermediate, Miss Effie Gibson; Primary, Mrs. Belle Emmons. Our oldest settlers are G. W. Gibson, who has been a citizen for fifty-eight years, and Dr. G. L. Burk, who has been here for forty-six years. The gentlemen who look after the physical welfare of our citizens are Dr. G. L. Burk, A. M. Finch, S. J. Banta, W. S. Heady, G. M. Van Arsdell and F. M. Austin. The legal fraternity is ably represented by W. J. Darnall and D. C. Brackney. We have four secret societies. I. O O. F., No. 222, founded June 20, 1861, with a membership of nearly one hundred; F. A. M., with a good membership and in prosperous condition; G. A. R., No. 162, with a membership of seventy-five; and Knights of Labor.
 
The amount of business done in Jamestown is exceedingly large. Emmons & Richmond are doing a large business, working about fifteen hands at their sawmill and from five to ten teams hauling logs; have the last year shipped fifteen cars of walnut limber, and for contract on railroad works bills averaged at least five cars a week. During the autumn months they sawed about 75,000 feet of quartering out, which it; used as finishing lumber This is done only by mills which stand as first-class This firm deserves great praise for their energy and employment of so many laborers, which has been an aid to many families. In the mercantile department are J. H. Camplin & Son, John H. Cline, W. T. Free, C. K. Slonnegar, W. H. Orear & Co., Thomas: B. Williamson, J. H. Steele, Thomas Porter, J. T. Burhop, S. B. Summerville and G. W. McKeehan. The Eel River Mills are running night and day in order to keep up with orders for flour and feed. This mill is managed by Wesley Martin & Sons. Mr. Martin, Senior, was our miller in an early day, removing from this county to Minnesota, and returning only a short time since. Crose & Hendricks are our liverymen. John Huber has been running a restaurant here for the last twenty years. Peter Smith operates a tile factory. Besides supplying the home market with his products he has shipped several carloads to Illinois during the past summer. Our wagon factory is conducted by Richard Miller, who also does carriage painting and ironing."

The City of Lebanon

In pursuance to an act of the Legislature of 1830, this county was organized, and in conformity to the same act, the Governor of the State was authorized to appoint five commissioners, whose duty it was to locate the county seat of this county. Three of these five commissioners for this purpose met near the center of the county about the 1st of May, 1832. It was their duty, according to the law, to locate the site for the county seat within two miles of the center of the county. After prospecting various sites near the center of the county, they finally came on to the tract of land where Lebanon is now located. This tract of land then belonged to Colonel Kinnard, in which it appears that Colonel Drake was also interested. Here then stood a tall, dense forest of large trees, among which the small growth of underbrush and saplings were so dense as to obstruct the passage of man or beast. After two or three days of toil in looking for a location for the county seat, the commissioners stopped on the rise of ground where the court-house now stands, though this particular spot was then surrounded by willow ponds, and outside of these ponds the trees were a hundred feet in height. Here the commissioners were reposing. Meantime quite a crowd of unkempt Hoosiers had assembled to see the commissoners and find the location of the new county seat in the deep, wild woods. The Commissioners had made their decision that here was the county seat; they drove a large stake where the court-house now stands. That stake was all that was then done in the construction of the city of Lebanon. Then there was not a human being residene in Lebanon - no, not even an Indian wigwam nor a log hut. It was in its native glory; but the name - it was yet without a name. The commissioners had failed as yet to give it name; they could not agree, Mr. .A. M. French, the youngest of the commissioners, lay near by, quietly sleeping, unconcerned what the name might be. He was aroused and told the others, having failed in agreeing on a name for the county seat of the State of Boone, had deferred the name solely to him. He gazed up at the tall trees around him, and thought of the tall cedars of Lebanon in sacred history thought of the river Jordan -- here were the tall trees, a way off was Prairie Creek; thus the name was evolved in his mind - he shouted " Lebanon." The name was fixed. Lebanon it has henceforth been.

In the year 1832 Abner H. Longley, the first settler, located in Lebanon, and erected a one-room log cabin on lot No. 1, block No. 16, where the marble front building now stands. In the summer time, in front of his round-log cabin, he set posts in the ground, and of the green leafy boughs of the trees he constructed a portico, such only as it was. Such was Lebanon's beginning. Then railroads, gravel roads, telegraphs, telephones, gas, and coal "ile" were uncivilized and unthought - of institutions. Then cities were not built by electricity nor gas; in most instances their growth - was slow. To clear away the great forest which stood where Lebanon now "booms" was no easy task. To drain the willow ponds, then within the limits of the present city, was no small job of work; yet Lebanon did grow -- or rather, it has evolved, or been made to evolve. The wonder is, considering its adverse environments, that it has accomplished as much as it has; but it was the county seat, and it had to become something. The county could not exist without the county seat. It was the capitol of the "State of Boone," and grow it must, otherwise it might have become a "distressed" farm, with drain tile privileges.

In 1840, when the writer first visited Lebanon, the city consisted of a few frame buildings, then mostly surrounding the public square. In a wet time the streets were, in many places, impassable. The sidewalks around the square were made by blocks of wood sawed off and set upon end, and upon these blocks planks were laid lengthwise of the walk, and in a time of high water these became afloat, and passing afoot was not desirable; neither were swimming privileges very good - the pedestrian could often float. The walls of the first brick court-house were up in 1840, but the house then was not finished. It stood where the court-house now stands, the new house being erected in 1856. To "outside barbarians" Lebanon, even in 1856, had no great promise of being anything more than a dull, unattractive town. The first railway (i.e. the iron one) was completed through the city in 1852. This, for the city and county, was a hopeful institution, for, in places, it was above high tide. In growth Lebanon never has had any sensational "boom," though it has what might be called a good and convenient court-house, also an excellent jail, several convenient and substantial church edifices, and an excellent opera building, besides the usual number of good business buildings for a city of its size, and quite a number of fine and In every way. At this writing (1887) preparations are being made to bore for natural gas, and perhaps before this is in print the flames from a well may light up the city. In December, 1886, the city was first lit by manufactured gas, and it is one of the many improvements made recently.

The town was incorporated in 1853, by an act of the Legislature the winter previous; but, as time advanced, its clothes got too short for it, and in 1875 it was incorporated as a city, with the following officers serving as mayors, for it was first organized up to 1886: Samuel L. Hamilton, T. W. Lockhart, W. C. Gerrard, J. L. Pierce, J. C. Laughlin, J. M. Kelsy. The following have served as clerks: W. A. Zion, Charles E. Wilson, C. Copeland, C. P. Kern, W. O. Darnall. Treasurers: W. H. Richey, J. M. Conyears. Marshals: Jesse Perkins, J. W. Herrod, O. C. Witt, W. A. Mellett, F. Laugher. Assessors: Lysander Darnall, H. A. Shultz. The following have served as Councilmen: From the first ward, from 1875 to 1886 -- A. 0. Miller, A. C. Daily, Jesse Perkins, J. L. Hall, L. S. Lakin, H. C. Brush, Charles Daily, Jesse Neff, A. J. Sanders, F. M. Kersy, J. P. McCorckle. From the second ward -- J. R. Ailsworth, James Males, F. M. Busby, Elias W. Brown, J. W. Garner, Granville Hutchings, James Combs, James Weed, Peter Cox, Patrick Ryan, H. C. Ulin, Jasper J. Cory, D. A. Rice. From the third ward -- Sol. Witt, Jasper Kelsy, John L. Crane, M. C. Kleiser, J. A. Alexander, Wes. Lane, C. N. Kellogg, William L. Higgins, W. T. Hooten, Jacob Byerly, J. A. Brown.

Mechanicsburg

This thriving town, so beautifully located on a high piece of ground near the junction of Brown's Wonder and Sugar Creek, was laid out in the year 1835, by James Snow. It is near the Clinton County line and also near the line dividing the townships of Clinton and Washington, being, however, in the latter, on the road leading from Lebanon to Frankfort, about nine miles from the former and seven from the latter. The town contains many handsome residences, three churches, school house, etc., and is the center of a fine local trade. This is the home of Dr. Jesse Reagan, Dr. Walker, Nathan Garrett, all well known and valuable citizens. Below will be found a sketch of Mechanicsburg, written for the Lebanon Patriot in December, 1886, which will account for this short, imperfect sketch:

"Mechanicsburg is situated on the hanks of Sugar Creek, midway between Lebanon and Frankfort, and has a population of about 200. It has been called "The Burg" longer than the oldest inhabitant can recollect. The place is well known throughout the country, as its flouring mill, at one time owned by George Ryan, was patronized by farmers from far and near, not only of this, but by those of the adjoining county, Clinton.

"A. R. Garrett has a complete stock of groceries, dry goods, glass and queensware, boots, shoes and notions. John R. Beach keeps groceries, dry goods, ready-made clothing, boots, shoes and notions. E. E. Armstrong deals in drugs, patent medicines, school books, stationery, paints, oils, cigars, tobacco and notions. Dr. J. S. Reagan has been practicing medicine here for thirty years, has accumulated considerable property, and was elected to the office of county clerk at the last election. Dr. D. R. Walker has been practicing medicine here about ten years, has nice residence property and a farm one-half mile north of town. Dr. C. D. Umberhine is a young man, a graduate of Rush Medical College, and has been practicing medicine for the past two years in partnership with Dr. Reagan. Dr. U. built a substantial house the past summer and has come to stay. The blacksmiths are Frank Moore and W. H. Brown, both good workmen who have plenty to do the year round. William Keller is the justice of the peace and works at shoemaking during odd spells. J. S. Moore has a wagon shop, keeps the postoffice, and is probably the only Republican postmaster now in the county. Frank Mills familiarly known as " Handle," carries the mail to and from Lebanon, hauls goods for the merchants and does errands for everybody. Hart Lodge No. 413, I. O. O. F., is the only secret order in the town. It has a membership of about 24, owns its hall and seems to be in a fairly good condition. The religious denominations are the United Brethren in Christ Methodist Episcopal, and Christian. The pastor of the United Brethren Church is Rev. Perry Cooper; of the Methodist Episcopal, Rev. Jesse Hill; and of the Christian, Rev. Howe of Irvington. All the churches are in good condition."

Milledgeville

The above village is situated rather in the north part of Harrison Township, and five miles south of Lebanon. It was laid out on section twenty-six, by G. O. P. Crawford. The following have sold goods here from time to time: W. H. Campbell, Henry Tomlinson, J. E. Pernell, Henry Ulin, William Higgins, John Bartlett and Theodore Dickerson. The following doctors have practiced here: Henry Tomlinson, Melvin Leachman, E. W. S. Hilligoss, and James Turner, who is now located here, a young man of promise. Postmaster, John Bartlett, who is now keeping it. The office was discontinued for several years, but was restored in November, 1886. The blacksmiths have been William Edwards, John Troutman and ____ Edwards, the last two now located here. The village contains a good brick school house, Protestant Methodist Church and several good dwelling houses. The postoffice was formerly kept by J. P. Pinnell before it was discontinued, and he was perhaps the first one here.

New Brunswick

The above town is in the southwest part of Harrison Township, and about seven miles southwest of Lebanon, in a rich fertile part of the county, containing several good residences, Christian Church, brick school house, postoffice, store, doctors, etc. Among the first merchants here were Samuel Vest & Son, Dr. Horner, Mr. Sexton, Aaron Frazee, Colonel Letcher, Franklin Walters & Son, D. M. Watts. I. W. Smith is present merchant and postmaster. The doctors who practiced here from time to time are Dr. Horner, George and William Kane, W. E. Everets, James Leach and Dr. T. N. Bunnell. The last two are now practicing here. W. H. Crose, the old veteran wagonmaker is here, and has been for many years. Blacksmiths have been here as follows: Wash Dale, O. C. Willson and Joseph Chitewood; the last named is now located here. The first postmaster was Nelson Watts, The town was laid out in 1850, on the lands of Joseph and Nathaniel Wainwright.

Northfield

Northfield was laid out in the year 1834. Jesse Lane was the proprietor. It is situated in Union Township, on the Michigan road. Big Eagle crosses the Michigan road just north, and Findly Creek on the south. It at one time was a place of considerable business, and at one time a piece of ground was purchased with a view of building a court-house. But the prospect of the county seat being located there vanished. But Northfield lived, notwithstanding. Among the first settlers and business men were as follows: Hiram McQuidy built the first horse mill or corn cracker. Mr. A. Sanburn was the first postmaster. First merchants were Mr. Long, Chance Cole, Jacob Tipton. Doctors were Knowlton, McLeod, Presly and Samual Hardy. First blacksmith was Mr. Robinson. First school teacher Mr. Bray. First justices of the peace was Mr. Sanburn and Riley B. Hogshier. The first church was built by the Methodists. A church called Adventists' was built here in 1886, and dedicated in December of that year by Rev. Covert, of Howard County. It is a very good frame building; cost $800. Northfield now and for the past forty-five years had a postoffice, and is now the voting place of Union Township. Election day several years ago was looked forward to with interest, when it was understood that sundry disputes were to be settled, and an occasional fight was no unusual sight. Among the early families of the place were: George Shirts, Hiram McQuidy, Mr. Sanburn, Jacob Tipton and Mr. Robinson. The first tavern was kept by Hiram McQuidy. The town contains a good brick school house and M. E. Church. Northfield was once the home of Jonathan H. Rose, also that of Jacob Tipton. The present postmaster is Henry Nicholas. Among the early citizens of Union Township now living within its borders are: Mrs. Nicholas, Mrs. Koontz: Washington Hutton, Mr. Alexander, Mrs. Sedgewick, Andrew Harvey, Squire Duly, Samuel Davis, John J. Ross and Jesse Lane.

Royalton

Royalton is like the whisky was said to be by the Indian: "Very little to its age." It nestles among the hills of Fishbeck and Eagle Creek, and near the Marion County line on the south, in Eagle Township, southeast of Lebanon. Among the first merchants were John Rodman, Dr. Horn, John W. Vaughn. The early doctors were Dr. Horn, Dr. Ross, Dr. Graham First hotel kept by John Smock; first blacksmith shop by Thomas Smock; first postmasters were Dr. Horn, John McCabe, J. W. Vaughn; first shoemakers, Jeremiah Washburn and Daniel Thompson. Samuel Jones was the first to sell whisky in Royalton. Mr. Strowmire is the principal merchant of Royalton at this time. There is a postoffice kept here; also trades of the various kinds going on. It was near here that the famous Forman murder occurred sixty-eight years ago in Marion County.

Thorntown

No one could write up the early events of the county and forget the above town, for it is located on historic ground. Not only was it here that the first settlement took place by the whites, but it was the early home and scenes of the red man and the French trader and trappers for perhaps near one hundred years. Here the Indian built his hut; here the braves wooed their dusky mates, and the war dance and songs were: indulged in for years before the whites came to make a settlement. Reader, let us go back sixty years. What do we find -- here and there a cabin or a vacated wigwam, left by the retreating Indians. About this time a few hardy pioneers settled on Sugar Creek, where the now thriving town stands. Slowly but surely it has advanced - first the cabin, then the hewed log house, then the frame and finally the brick mansion has come to take the place of those rude structures. It has taken time to bring about these changes. Many have fallen by the way. But few if any now remain who were actors in the first settlement of Thorntown. When the railroad was completed here it was the signal for general improvement, and its future became a fixed fact. Up to that time it was the trading point in the county, outrivaling the county seat, Beautifully located on Sugar Creek, on one of the best sites in the state, amidst one of the finest countries in the state, could not be less than a good town. With its natural advantages it at once and all the time takes rank among the towns of the great State of Indiana. Thorntown is known far and wide as one of the healthiest places, as well as the most desirable to live in, to be found anywhere. From its few cabins 1829, it has grown to be a little city of 1,500 inhabitants - industrious, intelligent, thorough-going citizens. The people are justly proud of their place, with its bright past; its future is no less prosperous. At this writing, February, 1887, preparations are being made to dig for natural gas, which is now agitating the people in our state. Thorntown was the first in our county to move in this direction. Let us hope her most sanguine expectations may be more than realized, and that light may soon come to them. Following will be found a letter to the Lebanon Patriot, written December, 1886, which will give some very interesting facts in regard to Thorntown and vicinity, which will account for this seeming short article.

"This thriving little city is the oldest in Boone County. In the year 1827 a settlement was commenced in this vicinity, and in 1831 the town was surveyed and platted by one Cornelius Westfall. As far back as 1719 there was an established French and Indian trading post at this point. From the year 1840 to 1875 there was not a licensed liquor establishment in the place, and spirits could only be had at the drug stores.

"The first church (Presbyterian) was organized in 1831, with Clayborn Young as its minister. The first Sabbath school was organized in 1834. Rufus A. Lockwood, of whom the Indianapolis News recently gave an interesting sketch, was the first attorney at law in the town. Relatives of this once famous and eccentric lawyer are still living here. The first school house was built in 1834, and was undoubtedly the first school house in the county. Today Thorntown has one of the finest and best arranged schools in the state, with 375 pupils. Prof. Linnius Baldwin, of Hamilton County, is the present principal, with the following corps of efficient teachers: H. C. Heal, Nelson Hetherington, Frank Moore, Mrs. Mary Gaddis, Miss Kate Beck, Miss Stella Horner and Miss Mattie Matthews. As above slated, the first church organized was the Presbyterian. This church has a membership of about 200, with Rev. Samuel Sawyer as its minister. The Methodist Episcopal Church has a membership of about 375. Its pastor is Rev. Isaac Dale, of La Porte. The Baptist Church has nearly 100 members at present. This church has no regular minister. The Christian Church has a membership of about 70. It also has no regular pastor. The secret societies are also well represented: Thorntown Lodge No. 113, F. & A. M., was organized in 1852, and to-day has a membership of 85. Osceola Lodge No. 173, I. O. O. F., was organized in 1856 and at present has a membership of 85. This order has a beautiful hall, which it erected in the year 1873, at a cost of $5,000. Moriah Encampment No. 83 has 60 members. Eden Lodge No. 149, Degree of Rebecca, has 50 members. Less than two years ago, through the efforts of a few of our young men, a Knights of Pythias Lodge was instituted here, with a membership of about 30. The growth of this order has been phenomenal. Today they have over 100 members, nearly all young men. This order has suffered a loss of one member (Mr. Frank Morton) since its organization. They have a neat and comfortable hall, recently fitted up, and are in an exceedingly prosperous condition. The P. E. & Q. Fraternity, composed entirely of ladies, was organized in 1885. Nothing can be learned regarding this society, as the members will not even give the meaning of the mystic letters representing their order. The Grand Army of the Republic also have a neat hall and have about 50 members. The Knights of Labor have an organization here, but we fail to get any particulars regarding their order.

"The first merchant in Thorntown was C. H. Baldridge, who opened up a small merchandise store in the year 1832. Of our present business interest we may mention the following: Dry goods merchants -- A. Mossler, Stutesman & Son, James L. Sailors and Harris & Gamso. Grocers -- Wm. Curry, W. Matthews & Co., Charles Johnson, A. S. Stall, J. T. McKim, -- Dunbar, Barker & Barker, Daniel Hutchings and Mrs. Thomas Maiden. Hardware and agricultural implements - C. B. Rous & Co., W. S. Hall and John V. Young & Son. Druggists -- W. C. Burk, James Hanna, T. E. Bradshaw and Geo. Coulson. Watchmakers and jewelers --Chas. E. Wasson, Robert A. Stall and Sam Sohl. Boots and shoes - Hanna Brothers, Charles Snyder and H. W. Henderson. Millinery - Mrs. Allie Shilling and M. A. & L. E. Cheeks. Bankers -John Niven & Co. Our physicians are A. Dunnington, Wm. F. Curryer, M. H. Rose, S. W. Hawke, J. A. Utter, D. B. Davis and E. L. Brown. The legal profession is ably represented by the following gentlemen: P. H. Dutch, Samuel M. Burk and Abner V. Austin. Solomon Sharp, L. B. Moore and M. M. McDowell are the gentlemen who deal out justice to suit the occasion. Our meat markets are operated by Dan B. Buser, Charles Buser and Albert Jaques. Witt & Kleiser are proprietors of the steam roller flouring mills. The steam sawmills are owned by Moses Hardin. Photographers -- M. A Keeler and Fred Hoffman. N.W. Weakly has for twenty-five years, and is still, managing the interests of the "Big Four" at this place. Our corporation affairs are managed by the following gentlemen: City Board, A. C. Clark, M. C. Moore and A. S. Stahl; Clerk, T. E. Bradshaw; Treasurer, James Hanna; Marshal, Green McDaniel; Township Trustee, Isaac Wilson. In conclusion we will say that we have a beautiful little city and by far the prettiest girls of any town in the state." We must not forget the Arguss, so long and ably published by F. B. Rose. It speaks for itself every week, and is hailed with delight every issue, by its hundreds of readers. It is one of the fixed institutions of the lively little city of Thorntown. Long may it live.

Ward

The above village is located in the northeast part of Jackson Township, in section twenty. It was laid out in 1883 and named after Congressman Thomas Ward, who was instrumental in getting a postoffice established there. It is situated in a fine productive country, about seven miles southwest of Lebanon, and five miles northeast of Jamestown. The first merchant was John B. Bennington, succeeded by Greenville Dodd, and he by the present merchant, Thomas Burris. The first postmaster was J. C. Bennington, succeeded by G. Dodd, and he by Thomas Burris, who is now postmaster. There is a Christian Church, a brick school house, and two or three residences. About the year 1870 George Jackson built a steam saw mill here which is now in operation.

Whitestown

The above town is situated in Worth Township, on the Indianapolis Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad, seven miles southeast of Lebanon and about the same distance northwest of Zionsville, surrounded by one of the best agricultural districts in the county. It is the center of a large local trade and where the township elections are held, and in fact all the elections when held in the county. It has been for years the central point for Worth Township. Whitestown was laid out in the year 1851, or about the time the railroad was built. The first plat was on the land of Abram Nese. The first merchant was Harrison Spencer, followed soon after by Henry Lucus and William Laughner. The first grist mill built here was by Isaac Dye and Alfred Osburn, which was in a few years burned down; rebuilt by Henry Lucus. The present mill was built by J. W. Bowser, who operated it successfully for years and built up for it a good reputation at home and abroad. He sold it in October, 1886, to Riley & Vaughn. It has all the new milling facilities for making the best flour in the state. It is valued at $12,000. Among those doing business in an early day at Whitestown in the various capacities we might mention the following merchants: W. J. Givens, Daniel Echman, Ceaser Echman, F. M. Moody, Neese & Keefe, J. T. Ross, Dr. I. T. Ross, Dr. Starkey, Dr. Larimore, J. S. Hardy who is now practicing. Postmasters. Henry Lucus, Dr. Ross, Henry Walters, S. M. Trout. The present one is J. O. Barb. Hotel, G. W. H. Roberts. The school house here is an excellent one of brick, and fully up to the times in every respect, as well as the churches and other buildings. The annual business transactions here amount to thousands of dollars including the railroad business, which alone is very large.

Zionsville

This is comparatively a new place, dating back only to 1852, on the completion of the Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad. It was laid out on the land of the late Elijah Cross, just below and west of where Big and Little Eagle Creeks unite. It was named after the late William Zion, of Lebanon. It is fourteen miles from Indianapolis and about the same distance from Lebanon, and one mile from south line of Boone County, on the Indianapolis, Cincinnati & Lafayette Railroad. Among the first merchants were John Vaughn, John Smith, Daugherty & Nichols, B. M. Gregory; followed soon after by William Yoh, Smith & White, W. H. Neuhouse, B. F. Coldwolader, B. W. Harden, shoe dealer; J. M. Bradly, drugs; C. H. Tingle and J. M. Biggers, groceries; Croplen & Mills, undertakers; M. S. Anderson, wagon maker; Perrell & Perrell, drugs; attorneys -- Jesse Smith, H. D. Sterrett, M. M. Riggins, John A. Pock and C. N. Beamer (the last two now practicing); physicians - Drs. S. W. Rodman; Samuel Hardy, Jones, N. Crosby, M. S. Anderson, Jeremiah Larimore, F. Long, G. W. Duzan, H. T. Cotton; shoemakers -- (have been) A. W. Larimore, H. Davenport, John Tull, B. W. Harden, John Martz; dentist -- J. O. Hurst. The first hotel was kept by John Miller. John Holmes built an extensive grist-mill here in 1854; it was afterwards converted into a distillery, and operated as such a short time, when it went down. Among the postmasters have been S. W. Rodman, P. Anderson, Mary May, William Thompson, James W. Blake, W. F. Morgan, G. F. Essex, William McGuire, R. Beard. Monument dealer -- Frank Alford; harness makers -- A. W. Hopkins, William Harden; bankers -- P. Anderson, S. H. Hardy, Mark Simpson, ____ Alford. The old Dye mill was built here at an early day, but is now no more. M. S. Davenport operated a tan-yard here occupied by himself and family as a boarding-house or hotel. The same building still does service as a dwelling house, but has been removed to the west end of the same lot, immediately north, across the street from the Christian Church. The first store was conducted by Vaughn & Wiley in a two-story frame building situated on the same lot where the M. S. Anderson wagon works are now located. From the time these first buildings were erected the town has steadily increased in enterprise and population until it has become one among the best business points in the county and has accumulated a population of about eleven hundred persons. There are but few towns of the size in the state that can boast of better school buildings and school facilities and none that have naturally a more beautiful location for school buildings or town either. There are four churches in the town, Methodist, Presbyterian, Christian and Christian Union, all of which support ministers, and all are as well attended as churches usually are in towns this size. There are six secret orders in the town: Odd Fellows, Masons, Knights of Honor, Secret League, Horse Thief Detective Association and Grand Army Post. All of these orders are in flourishing condition both numerically and financially. The town supports two banks, two cornet bands, a town hall, with seating capacity of six hundred, one of the best weekly newspapers published in the state in a town of the same size, one large flouring mill, one sawmill, wagon works, the Blue Grass Dairy farm, owned and managed by J. M. Byers, and many other things which can not be mentioned in detail. The town is well supplied with shade-trees, and the streets and sidewalks are generally in good repair. Take all in all Zionsville ranks shove the average as to its beautiful location, business enterprise and the social and moral character of its inhabitants."


Submitted by: Jane A. Heine
Source Citation: City and Town Histories [database online] Boone County INGenWeb. 2006. <http://www.rootsweb.com/~inboone> Original data: Harden & Spahr. "Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana." Indianapolis, Ind. Carlon & Hollenbeck. 1887.