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The Decade was 1880's

1880 - By this time all major Indiana cities have some sort of sewers, mainly to carry off rain. No more than 10% of private houses in Indiana have indoor plumbing.

1880 -
70% of the school age population of Indiana (ages 5 to 21) are enrolled in school--an increase from less than 50% in 1863.

Tombstone, Arizona - Deputy Marshall Wyatt Earp and his brothers gun down the Clanton's in a showdown at the O.K. Corral.

1888 - George Eastman introduces the Kodak, a square box camera using roll film, making photography practical for the first time.


The Decade Was 1880's

Various newspaper items concerning Boone County and its residents in the 1880's. You'll find a bit of everything ... deaths, births, accidents, crime ... and even humor. All items are transcribed exactly as they appeared in the publication, so please bear in mind that it was a different time and sometimes those editors wrote with a bit of flair, and describing gory details seemed to be their specialty! Even if you don't find an ancestor or two among these pages, you'll still find it interesting to read the news of their day. And if you *do* find a relative in some of these news clips, you might turn up a real surprise or two!

Use the "find" feature on your browser to locate particular surnames

The New York Times
New York, New York
March 19, 1886


Greenville, Ohio, March 18 -- Cora Green, a pretty 14-year-old girl, who escaped last Sunday from Jobu McVey, a gypsy, and his two female companions, relates a horrible story of her treatment. She states that she was kidnaped [sic] from her home, near Lebanon, Ind., over a year ago, and was compelled to travel about the country with the gypsies. McVey, she says, shot her in the head, kicked her, cut her on the body with a hatchet, beat her with a club, flogged her with a buggy whip, and outraged her. He also drove a nail through her foot, fastening her to a board, and swung her up to the wagon bows. Marks of the girl's wounds are still plainly visible. Her parents have been communicated with, and they will arrive here in a day or two. McVey and his two companions decamped as soon as they learned of the girl's escape. A large number of citizens are hunting for the party, and, if they are captured, a lynching will probably follow.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - July 17, 2007

The New York Times
New York, New York
March 28, 1886

From the Indianapolis Sentinel

Lebanon, Ind., March 24 -- A few days since George Shelton, living west of this city, near Dover, put a bar of lead in a quart of water, then boiled it until the water was reduced to one pint, which he drank as a cure for boils, with which he was afflicted. He was taken sick immediately, and despite all efforts of the attending physician, died to-day after lingering a few days in great pain.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - July 17, 2007

Decatur Morning Review
Decatur, Illinois
October 31, 1889

While trying to arrest George W. Wade near Lebanon, Ind., Tuesday, Deputy Sheriff Buffinger became excited at having his intended prisoner start to run and shot him. Wade's friends came near mobbing Buffinger.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - July 17, 2007

Decatur Morning Review
Decatur, Illinois
November 8, 1889

Oliver Ham was discovered Wednesday hanging to a beam in the barn at his home near Lebanon, Ind. He had been but lately married, and no cause for suicide is known.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - July 17, 2007

The Salem Daily News
Salem, Ohio
April 27, 1889

At Lebanon, Ind., the other night, Dr. White was horsewhipped by John Conrad, a section boss on the Big Four railway, living at Zionsville. Conrad claimed that White insulted his wife. After whipping him severely he knocked the doctor down with the butt end of the whip.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - July 17, 2007

Lebanon Pioneer
Lebanon, Indiana
March 22, 1888

-- Among the lucky Boone county people who have been awarded pensions from Uncle Sam's treasury during the past week are H. C. Brush and J. W. Williams, Lebanon, and the widow of I. M. Vanarsdall, Thorntown.

-- RICHMOND and SHIRLEY will start a branch of their buggy repository at Ladoga, in charge of M. E. Shirley and John Shirley. For honesty and square dealing THE PIONEER recommends them to the citizens of Montgomery.

-- John Adair has contracted with George Busby for an elegant residence on his lot opposite the new school building. He will occupy the old Blair residence west of the Rose House from April until the new house is built.

-- David M. Powell left his horse tied up to a post in the rear of the Baptist church last Wednesday night, and it was taken in and cared for the next morning by Marshall Herod. Powell was tried before Mayor Kelsey yesterday forenoon, and fined $5 and costs.

-- Eight pupils of the Thorntown high school graduated Friday night. They are Edward J. Miller, Lillian Pearl Perrin, David M. Robinson, Anna A. Gilbert, Chauncey J. Van Nuys, Mabel Bonsel, Will A. Brown and May Handlin. The class was delivered by Prof. L. S. Baldwin. The exercises were well attended.

-- Elliot Carriger, of Topeka Kansas, is visiting his brother George in Jackson township. They emmigrated [sic] from Tennessee forty years ago, and have not seen each other until now.

-- Miss Ada Smith, of Indianapolis, will return to Lebanon to take charge of the trimming department of Miss Dora Beck's millinery store. She is well and favorably known here.

Court Cases

-- The court has heard the evidence in the claim of Samuel M. Bone et. al. against the estate of Melvina Bone, deceased, and taken same under advisement.

-- Elizabeth Millikan et. al. vs. Alice E. Coulson et. al. Report of commissioner approved, and each commissioner allowed $7.30 and surveyor $5.00 for plat to surveyor.  P. H. Dutch allowed $25.

-- Joseph Artman, guardian John Nichols, insane, vs. Harlan C. Nichols et. al.  Demand.

-- Edward A. Lane vs. Midland Railway Co. Damages.

-- Sarah O. Cavin vs. C., I., St. L. & C. R. R. Co. Damages.

-- John W. Hedges vs. Reuben Staton. Demand.

-- W. H. Lindsay vs. Margaret E. Lindsay. Divorce.

-- Arnal Sedam vs. Blanch A. Sedam. Divorce.

-- Lewis W. Fellows vs. Wm. H. Orear. Damages.

-- Isaac T. Davis vs. John J. Carriger et al. Damages

Transcribed by: T. Stover - May 7, 2007

The Patriot
Lebanon, Indiana
Thursday, January 5, 1888


-- Wm. Ross has returned from a trip to Illinois.
-- Mrs. Carr, of Gadsden, died on Friday night.
-- Charles Peter's baby has been sick, but is better.
-- Will Cobb, Jr., has returned to Terre Haute to school.
-- Thos. Kane was home from DePauw during vacation.
-- Sid Nichols has moved from Slabtown to Rosston.
-- Esq. McMillin has gone to California to spend the winter.
-- Mrs. Mary Koo_s [Koons?], who has been sick for some time is slowly improving.
-- Protracted meeting commenced at Bethel, Sunday evening. Rev. Rogers preacher.
-- Geo. Stephens [Stephenson?] has gone to Chicago, in the interest of a patent seed sower of his own invention.
-- Revs. Hurt and Cobb closed a protracted meeting at Lane's chapel, with thirteen sessions.
-- Rev. Cobb and family, who have been visiting Slabtown relatives, returned to Indianapolis, this week.


-- William Fall is sick.
-- James Perkins feeding a lot of fine cattle.


-- George Rader's wife is sick of the fever.
-- Miss Mamie Roberts is visiting Zionsville friends.
-- Miss Mildred Smith spent Saturday with friends in Zionsville.
-- Miss Annie Hoop spent the holidays here, with her many old friends. She is now at the city. May she visit us often.
-- Mr. Chamberlain and wife returned Tuesday evening from a holiday visit to relatives in the eastern part of this state.
-- Charles Ross treated his pupils to an oyster dinner at the school house Tuesday. He says that New Year's, like Christmas, comes but once a year and treats ought to be in order.
-- Lost - A ten dollar bill was lost on our streets Wednesday, Dec. 28th. Thought to have been dropped in the postoffice. The finder will please return to Hazelrigg's drug store and received [sic] a suitable reward.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - May 7, 2007

Daily Republican
(Decatur, Illinois)
March 22, 1889

Arrested at Last

Last evening Marshal Mason arrested Charles Patterson, night clerk at the Willis hotel, on a telegram received from Thorntown, Ind. He is wanted there for assault to murder and for highway robbery. He is in jail. This forenoon Marshal Mason got word to hold Patterson until an officer arrived with a requisition. Two years ago Marshal Green McDaniel had a man under arrest at Thorntown, when Patterson slipped up behind him and knocked him down with a deadly weapon. After many days McDaniel recovered. Patterson was put in jail, but he escaped. Since then efforts have been made to recapture him. Marshal Mason will receive the reward and Patterson will receive his just punishment.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - April 14, 2007


Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Thursday, July 21, 1881
Page 6, Col 1

Mr. James Roberts and wife of Thorntown, while driving towards Colfax on the 4th to attend a picnic, met with a serious accident that may yet result fatally. The bit broke, causing the horse to become unmanageable, and he ran at breakneck speed for over a mile, throwing out the
occupants of the carriage, and seriously injuring both.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - December 18, 2006


Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
August 5, 1881
Page 3, Col 2

A stable and carpenter shop at Thorntown, owned by William Fugate, were
struck by lightening and burned the other night.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - December 18, 2006

Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel
Fort Wayne, Indiana
February 23, 1881
Page 4, Col 1

CHARLEY TIMBERLAKE, a young farmer living near Thorntown, besides
having some bones broken, had a foot mashed, by a horse falling on him

Transcribed by: T. Stover - December 18, 2006


Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel
Fort Wayne, Indiana
April 25, 1883
Page 2, Col 8

A freight train going west ran over John T. Dodson near Kellogg a mile__ [?] near Lebanon. He is probably fatally injured.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - December 18, 2006

Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel
Fort Wayne, Indiana
May 16, 1883
Page 3, Col 2

The State Medical society elected officers last week as follows: President, S. E. Munford, Princeton, vice president, Wm. H. Shulse, Lebanon, secretary, E. S. Elder, Indianapolis, assistant, George A. Rowland, Covington, treasurer, G. W. H. Kemper, Muncie.

Transcribed by: T. Stover - December 18, 2006

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Sunday Morning, May 8, 1881

Not discouraged by former failures, a new paper has been started at West Lebanon. It is called the Warren News, is republican but not partisan, and is edited by A. W. Baker.

Transcribed by: T. Stover

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Saturday Morning, July 16, 1881

At Lebanon, this afternoon, John Gibson, a farmer, was shot to death by Richard B. Chandler. The murder occurred in Keagh's bar-room, where a game of cards was in progress. Chandler is in jail.

Transcribed by: T. Stover

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
August 19, 1882
Page 2, Col 6

List of Patents

List of patents granted to residents of Indiana for the week ending August 15, 1882. Reported by Voorhees & Singleton, solicitors of patents, 21, 22, and 23 St. Cloud building, Ninth and F Streets, Washington, D. C.

G. W. Barton, Thorntown, carpet stretcher
A. Wysong, Lebanon, shot case.

Transcribed by: T. Stover

Fort Wayne Daily Gazette
Fort Wayne, Indiana
July 14, 1881

Mr. J. C. Comstock, the newly elected superintendent of the Thorntown schools, has resigned his position. The county superintendent refused to grant him a license.

Transcribed by: T. Stover