Waverly is located in Morgan County Indiana near State Road 37, on old State Road 144. It is approximately 12 miles north of Martinsville and 17 miles south of Indianapolis. White River borders the village and allowed its settlement in the early 19th century.
Waverly is the oldest existing village in Morgan County. Hiram T. Craig settled in what is now Waverly in 1819. Jacob Whetzel had settled about a mile upstream at Port Royal in 1818. Port Royal had been a French trading post and was considered as a state capital site. Port Royal was fading by the 1840s and by 1860 was off the map. The tombstone at the right is that of Jacob Whetzel and may be found along with a number of family graves in the MacKensie Cemetery on Old State Road 37 just south of Waverly.
The proposed construction of the Central Canal caused a boom and Waverly was born. Waverly was on the canals' path from Broad Ripple to Martinsville. In 1831 Cornelius Free contracted Benjamin Sweet of Martinsville to build the largest grist mill in the state. It was four and a half stories high and had five sets of stones. As many as a hundred wagons at a time are reported to have waited for service. J.H.B. Nowland followed with the first store in 1838. In anticipation of the canal, Free went on to build a sawmill, storehouse, corn drying kiln, and a woolen factory.
Far West was just east of what is now Waverly and was absorbed when the post office name changed to Waverly in 1855.
The population had grown to 150 by 1870. The canal project had gone bankrupt but the town continued to thrive.
Below is a list of the businesses in 1870:
William Bellows, carpenter
D. Carter, artist
David Evans, dry goods
Francis M. Fields, dry goods
George W. Miller physician
Coleman Robinson, lumber
V. Sedam, blacksmith
J.K. Vincent, physician
J.O. Wharton, physician
David Yoe, wagon maker
Hiram Craig organized the first school in 1820. The first school structure stood across from the present school and was erected in 1842. The current Waverly Elementary School was built on 15 acres in 1964 with an addition in 1969 and accommodates 360 students k-6. Grades 7-12 ride buses to the junior and senior high school in Mooresville. Waverly Elementary is a part of the Mooresville Consolidated School District
The Congregation of the United Methodist Church may be the oldest in Morgan County as it is reported to have held services in the home of Ruhama and Jacob Whetzel as early as 1819. The present site was deeded to the (at that time) Episcopal Church in 1858. The church burned in 1889 and was rebuilt in 1890. This structure still stands and the centennial was celebrated in 1990.
Waverly Baptist Church was organized in 1972 and built in 1974.
The Waverly Chapel was built in 1956.