254 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
and two twelve-foot stories high, was built by the township in 1879, the contract price being $2,200. It is now the property of the town corporation. It has three rooms. The enrollment of pupils is about 150. Fred Rush is the principal.

(By the way, the historian was referred to the stone over the door for the date of the building. Repairing thither, he found, instead of any date, only the legend, "Keep out of debt!")

The Dana News was established in October, 1885, by M. L. Griffith, from Monticello, Illinois, as a Democratic organ. April 15, 1887, he sold it to the present proprietor, J. L. Smith, who immediately enlarged it to a six-column quarto, making it the largest paper in the county, and during the first ten weeks (up to date of this writing) increased the subscription list by 250! He has in every way improved the paper, still conducting it in the interests of the Democracy. In connection with the paper Mr. Smith has a nice little job office.

Mr. Smith was born in New England, in 1860. When he was an infant, his father was killed, in the war of the Rebellion. His mother then returned with her three children to New York, and placed them for six months in an orphans' home on Randall's Island. In May, 1867, he and one sister were brought to Williamsport, Indiana, where they were indentured out. Mr. Smith was in the care of various parties, -- of Hugh James for eight years. Up to the conclusion of this period he had had no educational advantages, and his noble nature asserted itself in an effort to educate himself in spite of his poverty and the absence of sympathizing relatives. Accordingly, during the school year of 1875-'76 he worked for his board and sent himself to school. He came to Vermillion County in 1878, where he worked for one man, on a farm, for five years, attending school during the winter seasons. In 1881-'82 he attended the Terre Haute Normal School, and in the fall of 1882 he began teaching, in Helt Township, continuing in the profession five consecutive years, -- up to the time of his purchase of the Dana News. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

Mr. Griffith returned to Monticello, Illinois, where he became foreman of a printing-office.

Dana has a cornet band, organized in 1885 and led by Carl Temple.


Dr. Hiram Shepard was born in Newport, this county, graduated at the Miami Medical College at Cincinnati, and has been practicing at Dana since 1874.

Dr. Granville O. Newton was born in Helt Township, this county, graduated at the above mentioned college, and, after practicing in the country in this township for a time, came to Dana, in Septemberm 1885.

Dr. Thomas C. Hood, also a native of this township, graduated at Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia in 1884, located in Terre Haute for a short time, and moved to Dana in 1885.

A full sketch of Dr. Otis M. Keyes appears in the biographical department of this work.

Dr. John C. Harrison was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, was a soldier in the late war, graduated in medicine at the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, began to practice in partnership with his brother in 1868, and located in Dana in 1886.

Dr. A. H. DePuy, who practiced in Helt Township 1856-'71, is now a resident of Chicago, but sometimes re-visits this point as a physician. He is a regular graduate.

Dr. Frank Foncannon, another native of Helt Township, practiced in this township

Helt Township - 255
but a short time, and went to Emporia, Kansas.

Dr. Cadle, from Newport, was here during the season of 1885, and went to Terre Haute.


Asbury Lodge, No. 320, F. & A. M., was organized at Bono in 1865, the charter being dated May 24, that year. Selah (or Sahla) Temple was the first master, for two years. Thomas Edmanston (or Edmuntson) was the first senior warden and Thomas S. Hood, junior warden. The Lodge was instituted by Aquilla Nebeker, assisted by others. Some years ago the place of meeting was removed to Dana. The present membership is about thirty, and the officers, George W. Sturm, Worshipful Master; C. N. Hunt, Senior Warden; Joel Hollingsworth, Junior Warden; W. M. Taylor, Secretary; C. Bales, Treasurer; O. M. Keyes, Senior Deacon; William F. Ford, Junior Deacon; William B. Wood, Chaplain; G. W. Allen, Tyler.

Dana Lodge, No. 581, I. O. O. F., was instituted February 10, 1881, with eighteen members, and Hiram Shepard, Noble Grand; Julius C. Groves, Vice Grand; and Fred Rush, Secretary. The present membership is forty, and officers, Solon Johnson, Noble Grand; L. H. Reed, Vice Grand; H. Wells, Secretary; G. H. Fisher, Permanent Secretary; J. M. Taylor, Treasurer; Samuel Jackson, Inner Guard; T. J. Hutchinson and H. Herbin, Supporters. The lodge has a very nicely furnished room in the Peer Block. The furnishings and regalia cost about $2,000.

H. D. Washburn Post, No. 220, G. A. R., was organized in 1883, with about eighteen members, and the following officers: William B. Hood, Post Commander; G. H. Fisher, Senior Vice-Commander; O. B. Lowry, Quartermaster; H. Wells, Adjutant; J. B. Fillinger, Officer of the Day. The present member-ship is twenty-six, and the officers: J. B. Fillinger, Post Commander; G. W. Saxton, Senior Vice-Commander; James Burnett, Junior Vice-Commander; J. N. McClure, Adjutant; James Knight, Officer of the Day; Henry Thomasmeyer, Quarter-master; G. H. Fisher, Quarter-master-Sergeant; Daniel Riland, Officer of the Guard; J. C. Harrison, Surgeon; W. B. Hood, Chaplain. Financially, the post is in fair condition. This year they are building a hall, being the second story of the brick business block to be erected by Charles Norris, which is to be 22 x 50 feet in dimensions. For a sketch of H. D. Washburn, in honor of whom the post is named, see history of Clinton.


Methodism in Helt Township has of course existed from the earliest pioneer period, and has always been strong and influential. The Methodist class in Dana was organized in 1879 by Rev. Daniel Morrison of the Greencastle District, Northwest Indiana Conference. The pastors since his time have been Revs. Elijah Johnson, J. C. McDaniels, Mr. Woods and William Smith, the present incumbent, who lives west of Terre Haute, although there is a parsonage at Helt's Prairie. There were about forty members at the time of organization, led by J. O. Rogers. The present membership is about sixty, and the class-leaders, J. O. Rogers and Andrew Carmack. Sunday-school is maintained throughout the year, with an attendance of sixty to 100, superintended by J. O. Rogers. The house of worship, 30 x 50 feet, was erected in 1882, at a cost, including grounds of $1,800.

The Toronto Presbyterian Church, at Bono, was organized many years ago, but the members are now changing their places of meeting to Dana, where they have just completed one of the most beautiful frame church