BROWN COUNTY INDIANA
This is one of the most valuable sections of Brown County. It was earlier settled by numbers than any other portion, and that too, by a class whose courage and industry were only surpassed by their cordial though homely hospitality. Many of the earliest came from Johnson County, where they had located at a still earlier date, coming largely from the Southern States, originally. The rich valley of Upper Bean Blossom possessed too many inviting features to be passed by by home seekers. The hills were clothed in fine raiment of poplar, hickory, maple, white, black and chestnut oak, walnut, cherry, elm, sycamore, sassafras; and the luxuriant verdure in open glades revealed the fertility of the soil. And the judgment of the fathers was wise. In the southwest were the vast deposits from the glaciers of pre-historic times. Here the rich washings from the adjacent hills had been freely mingled with the warm sands and looms of the drift beds, and here were the deposits of magnetite, quartz, boulders, jasper and gold from the Laurentian Rocks of Canada. In this portion of the township has since been found probably $2,000 worth of gold, occurring with but little or no alloy. Both North Salt Creek and South Bean Blossom rise in the northern part, not far apart, and both flow southward within a mile and a half of each other. In the northeast corner is Saddle Creek which flows eastward, and belongs to another river system. High ridges with spurs along their sides occur throughout the township. The stone is not as valuable as in other parts of the county.
The following is the formation a short distance east of Georgetown :
Alluvial soil 1 to 2 feet.
Loess 10 to 50 feet.
Polishing sands 0 to 1 foot.
White potter's clay, apparently of excellent quality 2 to 4 feet.
Modified glacial drift with black sand, gold, etc. 25 feet.
Indurated tough dark clay, silt to creek, more than 12 feet.
Total 94 feet.
THE WHITE SETTLEMENT
It is next to impossible to name the first settler of this township. It was one of the first to be visited of Brown .County. The older counties over east, Johnson and Bartholomew, were settled early in their western parts, and the settlement was extended westward into Hamblen Township. It is quite certain that the first settlers appeared as early as the year 1820, and by 1824 there were probably ten or twelve families, if not more, living within the present limits of the township. The township in about 1830 was attached by Legislative enactment to Johnson County and remained a part of the same until the creation of Brown County in 1836. Upon its creation Hamblen extended two miles farther south, but the township of Washington was created a few months afterward, as will be seen in another part of this work, thus taking away two tiers of sections on the south, and leaving the territory as it is at present. The first election was held at the residence of James Taggart, and continued afterward to be held there. Mr. Taggart was the first Township Assessor. Daniel King and Cornelius Kirts were the first Overseers of the Poor. Taggart was paid $5 for assessing the township. William King was the first Constable. Taggart also assessed the township in 1837. In 1837, the place of election was changed to the house ot Wiley Gily. In 1838, Eliakim Hamblen and Abraham Chappel were Overseers of the Poor. Jacob Walker and John Maxwell, Fence Viewers; David King, Inspector. King was yet Constable. James Taggart was Assessor in 1840, also in 1841. In 1841, Mr. Taggart killed an old wolf near his house, and seceded in finding her five young ones. He took the six scalps to the County Auditor and received county orders to the amount of $3.50. The township took its name from Jesse Hamblen, not because he was the first settler, because he was not, but because he was a prominent man and had much to do with early public affairs. This accounts for the peculiar spelling of the name of the township, it .being the same as the family name. In 1840, Wiley Guy and C. W. Tucker were Overseers of the Poor; Conrad Kirts and Benjamin Pitcher, Fence Viewers. The Road Supervisors at this time were Jesse Hamblen, Preston Goforth, and James Parks. Henry Stivers and Sarah Harris were married by L. F. Raper, Associate Judge, on the 29th of July, 1836. Elijah Curry and Mary Richards were married by James Taggart, Justice of the Peace, September 15, 1836. G. M. Parks and Elizabeth Harris were married by Squire Taggart, October 30, 1836. Cornelius Tucker and Mary Hamblen were married January 19, 1837 by William Taggart, Justice of the Peace. Conrad Kirts and Jane Rariden were bound in Hymen's chains, by Squire Watson, April 20, 1837. In 1836, on the old Sparks Ferry road, from the creek at Owen Simpson's to Sections 13 and 14, Pleasant W. Weddel was Superintendent, and was given the following hands. Archibald Taylor, John King, James Kirts, William King, Isaac King, Jesse Hamblen, Pleasant Hamblen, Owen» Simpson, William Taggart, John Brown, Jesse Brown, William Taylor, Henry Taylor, James Taggart, Mordeica Weddel, Thomas Taylor. Preston Goforth, Abraham Chapel, James Weddel, Elias Weddel and Eliakim Hamblen. On the same road, from Sections 13 and 14 north to the Johnson County line, James Walker was appointed Superintendent, with the following hands : Ed Duncan, Isaac Bell, John Conner, Benjamin Pitcher, Levi Petro, Jonathan Watson, Willis Rowden, Harrison Stivers, John Gibson, Luther Calvin, William Campbell, John Terhune, Charles Bolt, George White, William Spears, Sandy Walker, Zephaniah Walker, Wiley Guy, Moses Thorp, John Rariden and Josiah Goodwine.
ENTRIES OF LAND
Township 9 north, Range 3 east;
Section 1—Pleasant G. Weddel, 18-53 ; Robert Millsop, 1833 ; James Taggart, 1834 ;
Section 11—Jesse Brown, 1836; John Brown, 1835; James Taggart, 1839 ; Jonathan Fox, 1836 ; Thomas Brown, 1834.
Township 10 north, Range 3 east,
Section 1—Abraham Martin, 1837 ; H. Wyatt, 1836; Dawson Walker, 1839; John Peterson, 1836; M. H. Lancaster, 1837; Humphrey Wells, 1836 ; Thomas McClary, 1837; Elizabeth Duncan, 1837 ;
Section 2—S. Welch, 1837; John Wells, 1837; John Buttram, 1839 ; Isaac Bell, 1837; Avery Chase, 1838; John Frad, 1836 ; Stephen Elder, 1836; Andrew Raymon, 1839
Section 3—Luther Calvin, 1831 ; John Calvin, 1839; James Calvin, 1836; James Culley, 1835; Elisha Mathis, 1836; Melinda Pritchard, 1836; John Harris, 1833;
Section 4—Maj. Mitchell, 1836 ; David Zook, 1837; Isaac Holman, 1839 ; Idy Terhune, 1838; Isaac Walker, 1838 ; James Newill, 1836 ; W. J. Hogg, 1837 ; John Terhune, 1836 ; James Culley, 1836; Pat Keefe, 1837 ; William Culley, 1837 ;
Section 5—John Culley, 1836; John and Timothy Griffith, 1839 ; Henry Goodpasture, 1836 ; Jonathan Porter, 1837 ;
Garrett Terhune, 1838; Edward Allen, 1837; Richard Bowling, 1836;
Section 8—Jerry Graham, 1839 ; Jonathan Porter, 1837; David Parkhurst, 1836; John Gox, 1836; Gideon Stephens, 1839;
Section 9— William Keaton, 1837 ; Henry Admire, 1837 ; John Varris, 1836 ; A. B. Debord, 1838; Jacob Barret, 1837 ; John Graham, 1836 ; J. T. Tucker, 1836; Mark Mitchell, 1836; Section 10—Peter Handy, 1839 ; William Shears, 1837 ; John Lemon, 1837; William Keaton, 1837 ; James Wallser, 1837 ; Jacob Barnett, 1837 ;
Section 11—George Sparks, 1837; Andrew Raymon, 1839 ; Pat Smith, 1841; W. W. Cotton, 1836; Harrison Stephens, 1837 ;
Section 12—Abe Martin, 1837; Thomas McClung, 1837 ; Thomas Bowles, 1839; Robert McClung, 1837 ;
Section 13—Thomas Milliken, 1837 ; George Smith, 1839 ;
Section 14—M. H. Lancaster, 1837; Benjamin Pitchen, 1835; James Stewart, 1833; Samuel Walker, 1838 ; Levi Petro, 1834 ; John Connor, 1834;
Section 15—William Hodgin, 1839 ; William Kennedy, 1836; George White, 1833; Charles Bolt, 1836 ; James Bolt, 1833; Ed Duncan, 1843;
Section 17—David Parkhurst, 1836 ; Fountain Devore, 1836; John Gratner, 1838; Ezekiel Parkhurst, 1837; William Murphy, 1835;
Section 20—William Phillips, 1837; Josiah Goodwine, 1833; Thomas M. Adams, 1839; Jesse Richards, 1837;
Section 21—P. Wilkins, 1836 : Jonathan Watson, 1836 ; Michael Richards, 1835; Thomas Kennedy, 1837;
Section 22—Caleb Kennet, George White, 1833; Stephen Debord, 1838; Franklin Walker, 1834; S. B. Walker, 1836; Moses Tbarp, 1838;
Section 23—John H. Smith, 1838 ; Charles Walker, Jr., December 24, 1829; Samuel Walker, 1833; Henry Burton, 1842;
Section 24—Joseph Spangler, 1839 ; John Mcllvain, 1840 ;
Section 25— W. N. Taylor, 1836; Ransom Smith, 1839 ;
Section 26—Wiley Guy, 1834; Conrad Kirts, 1834; William Chappel, 1837; Abe Chappel, 1834 ; E. W. Curry, 1836 ; Robert Lingo, 1841;
Section 27—Stephen Debord, 1838; Preston Goforth, 1839; Moses Tharp, 1834; James Kirts, 1836;
Section 28—Preston Goforth, 1835; Jonathan Watson, 1837; John McDaniel, 1837; John Adams, 1836; Gorge Burkhart, 1839; S. B. Walker, 1836; Curtis Maris, 1839; John Hyatt, 1839; Joshua Richardson, 1837 ;
Section 29—Isaac Crum, 1839; George Smith, 1834; John and Abe Prosser, 1839; William Hesse, 1837; Charles L. Hesse, 1837;
Section 32—Robert McClung, 1837 ; Thomas Waltman, 1837 ;
Section 33—Elias Weddel, 1836; S. S. Parsley, 1837; William Kennedy, 1839;
Section 34—Curtis Maris, 1839; William Hodgin, 1839 ;
Section 35—Eliakim Hamblen, 1834; Pleasant Hamb-len, 1836 ; Christopher Stump, 1834;
Section 36—James Taggart, November 15, 1828; Samuel Smith, 1834; M. B. Weddel, 1834.
Township 10 north, Range 4 east,
Section 4—Charles Walker, 1836 ; Henry Mowery, 1837 ; Elijah McEndree, 1838; Richard Lewis, 1836 ; Joseph Wheaton, 1837 ; Benjamin Phillips, 1837; William Wells, 1837 ; Zeph W. Baker, 1839 ; William Skidmore, 1836; George Botchford, 1837 ; John Wheaton, 1837 ;
Section 5—Solomon Hicks, 1839 ; William Gil-laspy, 1839; William Handy, 1839;
Section 6—J. S. Rutherford, 1839 ; J. H. Smith, 1838; Leah Martin, 1834; Edward Duncan, 1834 ; William Duncan, 1836 ;
Section 7—Elijah Bolander, 1839; Joseph Mc-Nichol, 1839 ; James Martin, 1836;
Section 8—Sydney Hanks, 1836, W. W. Lyon, 1841;
Section 9—Aaron Hendrickson, 1838 ; Benjamin Harris, 1889; Fred Storch, 1839 ; Samuel Lewis, 1839 ; Sydney Hanks/ 1836;
Section 17—George Smith, 1839 ;
Section 18—Abraham Martin, 1837;
Section 19—Joseph Spangler, 1839 ;
Section 20 (for schools).; Section 21—Joseph Anderson, 1837; J. R. Smith, 1837 ; Jacob Moxey, 1837 ;
Section 28—Bennet Cardry, 1840 ; Section 31—Jesse Hamblen, 1837 ; Patrick Sullivan, 1829; James Taggart, Sr., 1834 ; Section 32— Daniel King, 1834; Section 33—Abe Waltz, 1840.
This list includes many of the old settlers.
INDUSTRIES, INCIDENTS, ETC
It is said the first mill in the county was built on Salt Creek, in this township, as early as 1827 by a man whose name is not remembered. It ceased running about 1835. Eliakim Hamblen built a water mill in about 1838, placing therein a good set of buhrs. He ground considerable grain for about six years. Thomas Waltman built a water saw mill a short distance east of Georgetown at an early day and operated it a few years. William Taylor built a water grist mill on Bean Blossom, also at an early day, and, it is said, continued it about five years. Scores of wolves were killed in the township in early years, the incentive being threefold: 1. The sport; 2. To rid the country of the pests; 3. To get the bounty offered by the County Board. Many bears have been killed in the township. The dogs of Eliakim Hamblen one day treed a bear, and Mr. Hamblen shot it from the tree. It was not killed by the shot or the fall, and sprang up to ran off, but was pounced upon by the dogs. In its efforts to get away, it ran over Mr. Hamblen, knocking him down. The animal was finally killed. The Kennedy corn-field had suffered from the depredations of a bear, and young Stephen thought next night he would get up a tree and watch Mr. Bruin. The animal duly appeared for another feast on the green corn, but the boy was so scared that he called the dogs. Away the bear went with the dogs in pursuit. The pursuit could be heard all the remainder of that night, the deep baying of the hounds reaching a distance of over five miles. The next day the bear was shot near Needmore by Lloyd Brummet. Eliakim Hamblen went to a dear lick one night to get some fresh venison. After waiting some time he saw a panther approaching through the bushes, and, when close enough, he shot the animal dead. Log rolling and house or barn raisings were made very interesting in early years by the presence of many hardy men, plenty of whisky, and many handsome women, who gathered to do the cooking. Thomas McAdams, of Iowa, had this to say in 1878 of an ' incident which occurred in Hamblen Township :
" It was common in those days, upon the arrival of a new-comer, to ascertain at once whether he had sand in his craw. To illustrate this, I will relate a circumstance which took place under my own eyes. The settlements on Bean Blossom and Salt Creeks were sparse at that time, and it was no uncommon thing for persons to go ten or twelve miles to a house raising in 1837-38. The Prosser families moved to the vicinity of Georgetown, among them being old Uncle Billy Prosser, who was familiarly known as 4 Billy Plumpsock.' He was a man fond of his cups, and usually got pretty happy whenever opportunity offered. A house, in those days, could not well be raised without a big jug of whisky. He and I went to a raising at Jesse Richards', a few miles east of Georgetown, and the old man soon got lively and talkative, and somewhat boastful of his manhood. He being an entire stranger and new-comer, soon attracted the attention of the crowd. It was not long until I overheard a conversation by some of the party present, to the effect that as soon as the raising was over, old Johnny Stivers (a bluff, rugged, old man) should try Uncle Billy Plumpsock a twist. Being anxious to avoid any such trouble, because the old man had come with me, I took him to one side and undertook to tell him what was brewing, and try to get him to go home with me, but before I could finish telling my tale or persuade him off, he began to roll up his sleeves. He commenced walking before the crowd, swearing by all the saints that he was the veritable Plumpsock, and if any one in that crowd had any desire to test his muscle, to just step out and they would settle that while the house was being finished, so that all could be ready for supper at once; but, suffice it to say, no one there seemed anxious to try it on, and we got off without a scratch.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
Hamblen Township has fourteen school districts. That number is certainly sufficient to supply the children with all necessary educational advantages. There are also five or six churches, so there is no reason why all may not belong to some religious class. The township is not surpassed by any other subdivision of the county in these respects. So far as known, the first term of school was taught in the Taggart-Hamblen neighborhood about the time the county was organized, by a man named Edgington. The house had been used for a dwelling by some pioneer family, and when it was deserted it was fitted up and occupied for school purposes. A man named Rice was another early teacher in the township. John C. Marshall also taught in the southern part. In about 1837, the old log United Brethren Church was built on the Taggart farm, and this, for many years, was used as a schoolhouse; in fact, the building was built as a combined church and schoolhouse. Schools were supported in that day largely by private expense. The only public money was from the sale of school lands. In 1840, the Township Treasurer received $19 from this fund, which was distributed to the four school districts which then comprised the entire township. In 1843, there were seven school districts, and the fund received amounted to $66.28. In 1850, there were ten school districts. A man named Washington (not the first occupant of the White House) was the first teacher in the old United Brethren Church. Among the members of this church were the families of Taggarts, Duncans, Hamblens, Taylors, Kings, Hicks, Hemphills, Weddels and others. The building was burned down after a few years. Above there, a class of the Christian denomination was organized, the Walkers, Watsons, Chappels, Kirts and others belonging. The Methodists also had a class in the western part, among the members being the families of Mcllvains, Richardsons, Gruys, Millsops and others.
Spearsville was named for William Spears, who founded it not far from 1835. If Mr. Spears kept a store there, such fact is not now remembered. John S. Burns was selling goods there in 18S7, and continued for some time. He secured a post office, and attracted a blacksmith to the spot- In 1838, George Sparks opened there a liquor and grocery store, his license being $15. Late in the forties, James Burnes became merchant there, with a stock of merchandise worth about $1,200. Henry Musselman was thus engaged in 1851, and onward for a few years. The village has usually had one store and about a dozen families. Cleona, Ramelton and Mt. Moriah Post Offices are in this township.
POLL-TAX PAYERS OF 1848
George Anderson, Robert Allen, George Admire, Daniel Alexander, J. W. Applegate, John Bleik, Henry Burton, Lewis Brummet, Acles Bickum, Joshua Brummet, GranviUe Brummet, Josiah Brummet, Charles Bolt, Thomas Cardwell, James Calvin, Elias Curry, Elijah Curry, John Conner, John Calvin, John A. Coons, John A. Campbell, Peter Conner, Benjamin Comiford, John H. Colvin, David H. Chase, John Cordray, Thomas S. Colvin, William Cordray, Absalom^ Comiford, Besky Crumperg, Josiah David, Joshua Dean, Stephen Debord, Elias Downing, Jesse Duncan, Edward Duncan, William Duncan, Fountain Devore, Cornelius Dine, Elaskin Dehart, Stephen Elder, Ananias Ellison, John Frod, Stephen Frod, James Frod, Anthony Fraker, Guthry Frod, Wilken Forester, M. Galoway, Preston Goforth, Tilmon Guy, John Griffin, Wylie Guy, Jackson Grums, James Griffin, John Gibson, James T.. Gillaspy, Hiram Graves, Richard Goforth, W. E. Gillaspy, Michael Groves, Martin Hemphill, William Handy, Josiah Handy, Solomtm Hicks, William Hogg, Pleasant Hamblen, ^ Thompson Henry, Sydnor Hanks, Amos Hicks, Jesse Hamblen, Robert Hicks, Jr., Trueman Holeman, David L. Hamblen, William Henry, W. C. Hubbard, Levi Hatten, William Hamblen, S. Hubbard, John Jackson, Jr., Joshua Jenkins, Alfred King, John D. Kennedy, John King, William King, James Keaton, Caleb Kennett, Stephen Kennedy, John H. Kennedy, Isaac King. James Legins, Henry Legins, George Lamb, Michael Lanegan, William Milnes, Elisha Mathis, George McKinny, John Millsop, James W. Mcllvain, Thomas Mcllvain, Mills Mcllvain, J. W. Markwell, Israel Mordie, William Marcum, Hannibal I. Mead, James Murphy, James C. Parmelee, M. H. Parmelee, Solomon S. Parsley. D. I. Parsley, Abraham Prosser, Timothy Page, Hardy Pace, Franklin Pitcher, George Petro, Jonathan Pitcher, Z. R. Porter, Hiram Procise, Hugh Peck, Hugh Quinn, John Quinn, Dudley Richardson, Nathaniel Roberts, Jessie Richards, Isaac Redwine, George Ray, Mathew Redwine, Jesse Smith, W. L. Smith, Harrison A. Stiver, William Smith, Benjamin Steward, James Sparks, Adam Stilenbauer, David Scripter, George Scripter, C. W. Tucker, William N. Taylor, William Taggart, Archibald Taylor, William Thomas, Absalom Waltz, Samuel Walker, B. F. Walker, M. B. Weddel, Pleasant G. Weddel, George White, William Wells. John Wells, William Waltz, Otho Wolf, Dawson Walker, Thomas Waltman, Jacob Wayman, Jonathan Watson, L. B. Walker, Charles Walker, James Wilkerson, Henry Weaver, Phillip Weaver, Darius M. Watson, Solomon Wyatt, Hulett Wyatt, William Watson and Elas Weddel. The heaviest tax payers were John D. Kennedy, $10.30; William Murphey, Sr., $10.85; Thomas Mulliken, $11.-83; James W. Mcllvain, $9.45; Abraham Martin, $8.67; James C. Parmelee, $11.85; Dudly Richardson, $8.52; William Taggart, $10.-14. The number of polls was, 165; number of acres, 15,997.16 ; value of lands, $43,903; value of improvements, $27,305; value of personal property, $23,409; total value of taxables, $94,617; total tax, $809.14; delinquent tax and interest, $223,37 ; total tax, $1,032.51.