of Hortonville Program 06/21/2005
the article from the Noblesville Daily Times 06/22/2005.
Look at the pictures from the newspaper.
Stillness in the midst of growth
One piece of Washington Township is comfortable with
its slower pace
By Katie Wampler | Staff writer
Posted: 06/22/05 - 11:18:59 am EST
Photo by Robert
Herrington | Hortonville can be seen from atop a Hamilton
Co-op grain silo, with a view
of Hortonville United Methodist Church.
HORTONVILLE — Contrary to commercial and residential
trends across Hamilton County, one corner of northwest
Washington Township has watched local activity ebb
in recent decades n and few people seem to mind.
Take 203rd Street west of U.S. 31. The gently sloping
road winds through stretches of corn and soybean fields,
peppered with content, cuddling cattle in shady pastures
to the barely there spot known as Hortonville.
Little traffic occupies the main vein out of Hortonville,
even at rush hour. The once-bustling town that saw its
prime in the late 19th and early 20th centuries has settled
into a slower pace with fewer businesses and passers-through,
now functioning primarily as an agricultural and bedroom
The dissolution of the Monon Railroad contributed to
the town's lag in activity. The only businesses that
still exist are Horney's Jerseys, a dairy farm, and the
Hamilton County Co-op grain elevator, which siphons grain
from four sturdy silos. One steel and three concrete
silos stand like community pillars diagonally from another
Hortonville landmark, the United Methodist Church.
Sitting around the dinner table with golden sunlight
streaming through the kitchen window, Gene and Karen
Jones sipped lemonade and eat with two of their now
grown six children.
The Joneses are among those who are just as happy their
hometown is less busy than before.
house has not changed much in the 44 years they've
there, Karen Jones said, "but Hortonville
sure has. That used to be our backyard," she said,
pointing to a row of four 100-foot silos in behind her
house, with a small swing set less than 10 feet in front
Daughter Gayla Hart said she prefers the pace of her
Photo by Robert Herrington | June Millikan Cordell (left)
reminisces with fellow Hortonville resident Mary Jane
Carey and her son, Walt Carey, Tuesday at the Westfield-Washington
Historical Society presentation at Hortonville United
I just like the country feel," she said, adding
that the rest of the county is "too commercialized
anyway. Traffic (outside Hortonville) is just ridiculous
Her father agreed.
"We like it here," he
The most dangerous activity he can remember was a thief
who continually ransacked the candy money from the Hamilton
County Co-op trailer on his property two years ago.
The Westfield-Washington Historical Society assembled
old photographs, essays and relatives of founding residents
for a program on the history of Hortonville Tuesday evening.
Mary Jane Carey spoke to the crowd of about a dozen
people at Hortonville United Methodist Church for the
presentation on Hortonville.
"This is home to me," she
said, standing at the front of Hortonville United Methodist
presentation. She played the church's organ for more
than 50 years.
Carey's mother was a Horton, she said. Carey spent 88
years in Hortonville before moving to Westfield but still
attends the United Methodist Church.
Millikan Cordell was born on "Horton Hill," pointing
southeast. Her grandfather, Lemuel Venable, was a carpenter
who helped build many local structures. She lived in
the apartment above the grocery store that used to occupy
the corner across the street from the United Methodist
Church when she was young, she said.
"This is all familiar," she said, standing
outside the church. "This is where I used to ride
remembers listening as Hortonville's two churches — the
United Methodist and the Friends church — chimed
their bells every Sunday morning.
"The churches really worked together back then," she
said, though she did not discount the possibility that
they still do.
Walt Carey, Mary Jane's son, still attends Hortonville
United Methodist. He said the biggest problem facing
the churches of Hortonville today is the church demographic.
"That's the future of the church," he