MT VERNON - County Seat of Posey County, Indiana
In 1798, a lone hunter ventured into the Indiana terriroty and came down the Ohio River. In 1805, ANDREW MCFADDIN returned and built a cabin on "the rocks" below the present river landing. This settlement was known for nearly ten years as McFaddin's Bluff.
Most early settlers came from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee by way of Kentucky and the Ohio River. Early settlers included: William Weir, Thomas Givens, Aaron Williams, Aaaron Burlison, Absalom Duckworth, Paul and Thomas Casselberry, Thomas Duckworth, William and Hugh Todd, William and Andrew "Slim" McFaddin, John Black, and the Rev. Samuel Jones, a Baptist minister. Malina Weir was the first child born in the settlement.
This land belonged to William Henry Harrison, the territorial govenor and the settlers used squatter's rights. The indians also claimed title to the land which led to the battle of Tippecanoe. Thirteen men from McFaddin's Bluff were in this battle.
By 1816 the population had grown to fifteen families with about one hundred residents. A group of pioneeer men gathered in the McFaddin cabin to discuss civic problems. Samuel Rowe, who came to the settlement in 1809 from North Carolina, recommended the name of the village be changed to Mount Vernon. It was suggested as the name of George Washington's home on the Potomac. The action was approved and they tossed their hats into the air and passed around the jug.
On November 17, 1832 the citizens of Mount Vernon gathered at an election and voted to incorporate their settlement as a town. A second incorporation in order to meet laws of the State was recorded October 1, 1846. William Nettleton was elected as the first mayor December 27, 1865 and Mount Vernon was officially incorporated as a city.
The river traffic increased more and more as flatboats piled high with produce and grain plied the waters of Ohio on the way to the New Orleans market. A stopover at the local wharf brought welcome rest and a chance of refreshment for the crew at one of the two taversn. Thus came about the tale of HOOP-POLE TOWNSHIP.
The professional boatmen were a colorful, hard drinking, rough and tumble lot. Strong of muscle and courageous, they loved to fight and would do so just for fun. About 1832 ten or twelve flatboats were tied up at the local whart while the boatmen did a bit of merry-making at John Carson's aloon on Water Street. They were joined by men from an adjacent cooper shop; soon a general fight ensued in which the local coopers were badly beaten. When some of the rougher element of the town heard of the defeat, they armed themselves with hoop-poles (wooden staffs made of saplings cut in Lynn Township woods and used in the making of barrels) from the nearby cooper shop and converged upon the rivermen. The fight was renewed with such intensity that the boatmen were glad to flee back to their boats, their bodies bruised and their faces bleeding. All the way down the river their unsightly appearance was noticed and news of the hoop-pole fight spread quickly. From then on Mount Vernon was considered a rough river town and often referred to as "Hoop-pole Township."