Wayne township was created in 1829 and named in honor of Gen. Anthony Wayne. As it was originally formed, it contained the area of the present day Harrison township making it 6 miles from north to south and 4 miles from east to west.
In 1837, Harrison township was cut out of it and then also a strip one mile wide was added to Wayne township from Morgan township, this makes the present day Wayne township just over twenty square miles. White River runs through just the southeast corner of the township.
The first recorded settlement within the present day limits of Wayne township was made in the spring of 1818 by Ephraim Goss which is located in section 30; this land had been purchased two years before from the governmen by Jonathan Lund and he then sold it to Ephraim Goss in 1817 when Goss was making a tour of observation through the area. Goss was a native of North Carolina. his grandfather having immigrated to America from Switzerland in 1727. Mr. Goss migrated to Washington county IN in 1810. Mr Goss was the founder of the town of Gosport and is described as a man of sterling quality. Many of his descendants are still in the township presently.
In the year 1819, Col. John Wooden of Kentucky settled about 3 miles northwest of Gosport on land owned by his son, Dr. J. Wooden. Abner Alexander also came to the township in 1819 and settled in section 32 a short distance from Gosport. Upon his arrival in the township he initially resided with the Ephraim Goss family.David Lukinbill also came here as early as 1819, all of these men were natives of North Carolina, Lukinbill also having stopped in Washington county previously. David Lukinbill later migrated to Iowa and died there.
By the year 1820 additional settlers with the names; Bartlett Asher, James Thompson, Isaac Brasier, James Partlow, Thomas Waters and Thomas Sandy also settled in Wayne township.Mr. Asher settled about 3 miles north of Gosport, his brother John became a resident at about the same time.
In 1820, the first wheat was raised in the township was harvested by Ephraim Goss, who hauled a part of his crop to Louisville and sold it for 50 cents a bushel and taking a portion of his pay in merchandise. The remainder of his crop was distributed among the other settlers. The nearest market in the early days was Louisville and that being a 100 mile trip which took about twenty days. It was common practice for one person to make the journey for the neighbors. Items such as coon and deer skins, wild honey and venison were used to trade for the items that the settlers needed.
The first orchard was planted in the township by Ephraim Goss in the fall of 1818 with small trees brought from Washington county. Another profitable business of the time was in raising hogs, these were normally allowed free range, however, each man was required to have on record his method for marking his ownership.
The first marriage in the township was of Phillip Hodge and Mary, daughter of Ephraim in the year 1819. Ephraim Goss, Jr and his cousin, Sarah Goss were married in the year 1823.
The first white person born within the township was William, son of Jeremiah andElizabeth Sandy in 1818. Abigail Goss, daughter of Ephraim was most likely the second person in 1819 andthe Dittemore family had a son in 1824.
The first burial in the township was that of a man named Clark who is buried in the Old Union Graveyard in 1821, he was a resident of Montgomery township. Abigail Goss died in 1824 as did Daniel Goss and his wife and they are all buried in the Old Goss cemetery on the old Homestead in Gosport.
Little Mount Cemetery in the northern part of the township was laid out in the year 1850 and the Gosport Cemetery, the principal place of burial was laid out a few years later.
(Debbie's note: This about Little Mount puzzles me, as I have an ancestor buried there and the stone clearly states 1832 as another one states 1837, so I feel that this date is in error.)
The second ferry at Gosport was kept by Ephraim Goss and ran by his son in law, Benjain Arnold for a period of three years. (This was the same B. Arnold that was a Baptist minister.) A James Beck ran a ferry a short distance above Gosport for a number of years; the ferry was discontinued in 1870 when the bridge was completed.
Schools were established as early as 1825, although buildings were not erected specifically for that purpose until years later. The Old Union Church which stood a short distance from Gosport was the first place in the township where schools were taught and John Mitchell appears to be one of the first teachers. The second school taught there was instructed by J.T. Moberly and later followed by a Mr. Young. An older man named Anderson began a school at Gosport at an early date, but was not able to complete it. One man prominent among the other teachers was Elder J. M. Mathes who had taught for a number of years and brought with him the advantage of classical education. Most of the early schools were made of logs and not very well supplied with educational appliances. There were some home missionaries who were paid 8-30 dollars a month, one third by public money and the rest by the patrons.
The first religious service in the township was held at a private residence of the Christian denomination known as the New Lights and the Baptists. . The oldest religious society was the Union Christian Church in Gosport.
Little Mount Baptist in the northern part of the township was organized in the year 1824 by Rev. John Jones. The first meetings were held at the home of James Baldwin. Among the early members were : James Baldwin and wife, John Wilson and wife, Benjamin Mugg and wife, John Mugg, Sr and Jr and wives; John Asher and William Truax.
After a time the meetings were held in a schoolhouse for about two years and then a building was erected on land donated by James Baldwin and John Wilson. This building remained for about twenty years and was replaced about the year 1846. Among the preachers in the church record were: Solomon Dunnagan, Leroy Mayfield, Benjamin Arnold, John Mugg, Thomas Roberson, M. McNutt, Rev. Terry, F.D. Bland. This was at one time the strongest Baptist Church in the county. It is the mother church of the church in Gosport and Quincy. In later years the church split to form the Samaria Baptist Church in Morgan county.
The first Sunday School in the township and maybe the county was as early as 1824 at what is known as the Big Spring by a Presbyterian Family from the east by the name of Reed. Mr Reed had been sent to Indiana as a missionary and he formed the Bethany Church in Montgomery township.