BROWN COUNTY INDIANA
THE GOLD DEPOSITS
The natural features of Jackson Township are too unusual and important to be passed over with only a cursory notice. It may be stated in general that the high ridge extending across the county east and west, just south of the general course of Bean Blossom Creek, formed the wall against which the masses of ice from the north during the glacial era of the world's history, piled themselves, unable to move farther south except in small quantities, which escaped through gaps in the ridge. Here, then, in the valley of the creek, are the remains of what the ice transported from British America. Here is where the great ice glaciers were stopped and were melted by the recurring summer's sun, and were forced to deposit their loads of Canadian soil and rocks. The fact that south of this ridge the drift is rarely, if ever, found, proves the ridge to have been the southern limit of the enormous masses of ice. All over the northern slope of the ridge and throughout the valley of Bean Blossom Creek are large quantities of the remains of the Laurentian Hills of British America, greenstone, quartzite, quartz, magnetite, gold, etc. But the township has valuable native minerals as well. There are rich beds of limestone and sandstone, and large quantities of geodes from the Keokuk beds, which have been left from the destruction of the rocks. The surface soil of the creek valley is composed of the rich debris of the native rocks, washed down the hillsides through long periods of years, and mingled with the warmer sands and clays from the glacial drift. The geodes locally known as " nigger-heads " are very abundant on Bear Creek, and are usually roughly mammalated and homely, but filled with variously tinted or pellucid crystals of silica, with occasional beautiful specimens of calcspar and sulphuret of iron and zinc. At the old gold placer " of John Richards, on Bear Creek, several of them are geodized fossils of the genera Zaphrentis, Bellerophon, Croniatites and Nautilus. The valley of Bean Blossom Creek was, doubtless, at one time, much deeper than at present, having been filled up with washings from the adjacent elevations. It is probable that at some future time, borings or excavations in the valley will be rewarded with paying quantities of gold found mingled with the famous black sand or magnetite brought by the ice from the Canadian highlands. Occasional pebbles of Canadian white quartz, containing bright particles of pure gold, are found in the creek valley. Gold has been known to exist in the county and in Jackson Township for many years, and persons ignorant of the geologic formations have vainly supposed that there was no end in quantity to the valuable mineral. It may be stated that while gold may continue to be found, even in paying quantities, at certain lucky " placers," continuous quantities are not present, and need not be sought. The gold does not belong here. It was brought from Canada and deposited by the ice thousands of years ago. Numerous gold excitements, growing out of some lucky discoveries, have occurred in the past, during which time companies were formed, leases were bought, sluice ways were constructed, and long-toms and rockers prepared. The companies did not average in gold more than 25 cents per day. On the contrary, single individuals of California experience, by careful selection of location, have " panned out " from $1 to $2 per day. The most valuable nugget found was worth about $1.10. It is probable that the best pay dirt lies at the deepest part of the trough of the creek valley. Bores would establish this line ; then, by shafting, the richest dirt may be brought to the surface. The following estimate of gold found in Jackson Township has been made:
Richard's farm and adjoining $400 The little village of Needmore, situated in the southwestern part of the township, on the Bean Blossom Ridge, rests upon a bench of modified drift. Here it was that the ice overreached the ridge and scalped the original or native deposits of rock, and permitted the glaciers to partially pass over and rest upon the bench where the village stands. Hence there are scattered all around the remains of the drift—bowlders of quartz, quartzite, granite and black sand, or magnetite containing gold and a sufficient quantity of garnet "that a bushel may be panned out in a day." Fine specimens of sulphuret of zinc, sulphuret of iron and calcspar are often found. At Baughman's Hill, on Section 9, Township 9 north, Range 2 east, the geologic formation is as follows:
Plum Creek 100
Lick Creek 150
Christopher Stumps, Georgetown 500
Bean Blossom Creek 800
Surface soil, yellow loess.... 12 feet.
Keokuk limestone, with geodes, and chert containing
Hemi-pronites crenistria, Productus semi-reticulatus,
and crinoidal stems 8 feet.
Sandstone . 2 feet.
Knob shales with plates and band of sandstone 230 feet.
Quarry knob sandstone to water level 4 feet.
Total 256 feet.
The township has all varieties of soil and scenery. Orchards of peaches are numerous on the hill-tops, and are quite sure and productive. Other fruits are numerous, large and fine. The township is covered with a valuable growth of native forestry, and sends abroad annually large quantities of staves, hoop poles, etc. Three fourths of the township are drained by Bean Blossom Creek and its branches, Bear, Brier, Lick, Opossum and Plum. The two tiers of sections on the south are drained by Owl, Jackson and other branches of Salt Creek.
FORMATION OF THE TOWNSHIP
On the 1st of March, 1825, the three tiers of sections on the west side of the present townships of Jackson and Washington, as far south as the line dividing Townships 8 and 9 north, were made a part of the township of Jackson, created in Monroe County, of which that much of Brown County was then a part. An election of two Justices of the Peace was ordered held at the house of Banner Brummet, on the last Saturday in April, 1825, with Elias Swift, Inspector. This election was held, but the results cannot be given, except that Banner Brummet was elected Justice of the Peace, and served as one of the Board of Justices of Monroe County. In January, 1826, Henry Kendall was appointed Inspector of Elections in Jackson Township; Banner Brummet and James Brummet, Overseers of the Poor; John Young and John Hensley, Fence Viewers. The greater portion of this Jackson Township was in the present Monroe County, five tiers of sections, while only three were in the present Brown County. When Brown County was created in 1836, and formed into townships, the old name 'Jackson' was kept for the township in the northwest part of the county, leaving Monroe County without any Jackson Township. The original boundary of the Jackson Township of Brown County will be found elsewhere. It took in all of the present township together with two tiers more of sections on the south, and included within its limits Jacksonburg, the county seat, the name being taken from the name of the township, in accordance with the suggestion of Banner Brummet. The township took its name from the old township which had been named in honor of Gen. Jackson, the hero of New Orleans. The August election in the new township of 1836 was ordered held at the house of James Dawson. This was true also of Johnson Township. The September elections were ordered held at the house of Simon Weatherman. Ira Wilson was appointed Inspector of both elections. The Justices of the Peace elected prior to 1846 will be found in another chapter. Early in 1837, the township of Washington was created, which took from Jackson the two tiers of sections on the south, and removed beyond its limits the county seat. William Snyder assessed Jackson in 1836. William Murphy and John Hubbard were the first Overseers of the Poor. John Jackson was the first Constable, but within a month or two it was found necessary to have two, and Ben Brummet was appointed in September, 1836. In December, 1836, elections were ordered held at the house where Silas Young formerly lived;, and March, 1837, at Georgetown, where they continued to be held for some time. At the first meeting of the County Board, in 1836, a district was established on the "Jackson's Licks & Martinsville road," to extend from the Licks northward to Bear Creek, and William Davidson was appointed Superintendent, and the following " hands " living along or near the road were ordered to report to him for work: Samuel Pogue, Israel Mullinix, Joseph Parks, William Robertson, Robert Robertson, Shadrach Robertson, Pleasant Robertson, William Robertson, Jr., Abram Woodeny Michael Fleener, Aaron Fleener and Henry Young. The southern part of this road district was in Washington Township. D. D. Weddel was the Township Assessor in 1837. John Prosser and D. D. Weddel were Overseers of the Poor in 1838; John Harris and Christopher Stump, Fence Viewers; S. Robertson, Inspector. In 1839, Chris Stump was Inspector; Michael Tomey and William Dunaway, Overseers of the Poor; John D. Kennedy and Robert Robertson, Fence Viewers. John Richards assessed Jackson Township in 1840, and Michael Tomey in 1841.
THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS
The Youngs and the Fleeners were among the very first in the township. Several families had lived on the creek as early as 1823 or 1824, and about this time the first permanent settlements were formed-James A. Baker was an early settler, as was also one or two of the Wed-dels, John Hubbard, the Robertsons, John David, John Richards, and others. By 1830, not less than eleven or twelve families lived in the township in rude round-log cabins. Bear Creek took its name from the great number of bears which could be found along its course. When pursued by hunters in surrounding localities, these animals made a bee line for the ravines and heavy woods along Bear Creek. The following comprises all the early entries of land in the township and includes the names of many of the earliest settlers and most prominent families. The descendants are scattered all through the hills and ravines where their grandfathers first squatted forty and fifty years ago.
The following were the entries in
Township 10 north, Range 2 east.
Section 1—James Pratt, 1839; William Fesler, 1837 ; J. M. Williams, 1837; John Fesler, 1837 ;
Section 2—William Marcum, 1837; Sampson Coatney, 1838; Jacob Fleener, 1835;
Section 3—Preston Doty, 1839; A. B. Kelso, 1841; Samuel Fleener, 1837 ; John Lake, 1839 ;
Section 8—Daniel Thomas, 1837;
Section 10—Josepli Anderson, 1839 ; C. H. Hill, 1844 ; J. W. Baker, 1845; John Harris, 1839; Evan Reynolds, 1840; Samuel Fleener, Jr., 1838;
Section 11—Dolly Hickman, 1843 ; Nancy Conatsey, 1839; Fred Goings, 1841; Jerry Harrel, 1837; John Morgan, 1840 ; W. B. Harris, 1837; Alexander Uroten, 1836;
Section 12—Peter Obenchain, 1837; William Fesler, 1837; T. J. Obenchain, 1839; Elizabeth Fesler, 1839; James P. Abbey, 1843;
Section 13—Lewis Brummet, 1839; Jerry Davidson, 1837; Charles McGinley, 1837; Allen S. Anderson, 1837 ; John C. Gould, 1843; Sarah Anderson, 1839 ; Raleigh Rains ,Gillis Hitch, 1840; Section 14—Z. Fairrie, 1839;
Section 15—Alfred Hicks, 1837; James A. Baker, 1833 ;
Section 17—Daniel Thomas, 1837; Harvey Young, 1837; Thompson Weddel, 1833; Thomas W.Weddel, 1836 ;
Section 18—D. D. Weddel, 1837;
Section 19—John Hubbard, 1832 ; Stephen Richards, 1837 :
Section 20—David Weddel, 1836;
Section 21—Curtis Morris, 1839; William Hodgin, 1839;
Section 22—Henry Gratner, Jr., 1836; Willis Earles, 1837; J. A. Lockridge, 1837; Elijah Long, 1840;
Section 23—Owen Barker, 1837; Silas Smith, 1837; William Shannon, 1840; Christian Hesse, 1837; Jerry Harrell, 1837 ;
Section 24—John Harris, 1836 : Alex Evans, 1838; M. Melden, 1836 : Thomas King, 1838 ; William Day, 1841; G. M. Sparks, 1837; Jesse Ritter, 1835; G. B. Myers, 1839; John True, 1837; Joseph Robertson, 1835;
Section 25—Joseph Dunlap, 1837; Jesse Carr, 1837; John Brooks, 1836; Isaac Prosser, 1837; Michael Twomey, 1837; Arthur Mulekin, 1838; Shad Robertson, 1835 ; William Dunamby, 1836; John Maxwell, 1836;
Section 26—Thomas M. Adams, 1836 ; Caleb Cane, 1839 : Thomas Golyear, 1837; David Rousseau, 1837; Thomas Dunaway, 1836; Elijah Long, 1837; John Cartright, 1837; James Niles, 1839;
Section 27—Joshua Boles, 1837; Daniel Laughbough, 1841; Mary Myers, 1839 ; Nancy Myers, 1836 ; P. I. Pearce, 1837; Catharine Neidigh, 1839; William Hodgin, 1839; John Neidigh, 1839; J. A. Lockridge, 1837 ;
Section 28—John Roach, 1839; Christopher Baker, 1837; Joseph Rank, 1841; Jacob Daggy,; Daniel Branstutter, 1840 ;
Section 29—Silas Young, 1833 ; Hugh McClary, 1839 ; Thompson Weddel, 1839; John Richards, 1834 ; John David, 1832 ; Arnold Helton, 1837 ;
Section 30—John Richards,1833: L. W. David, 1839; John Home, 1837; Christopher Baker, 1837;
Section 31—Samuel Dunn, 1836 ; John D. Faghner, 1841;
Section 32—Alexander Neidigh, 1839 ; Michael Branstutter, 1842; W. B. Slaybough, Isaac Robertson, 1841; Charles Neidigh, 1839;
Section 33—Arnold Helten, 1837 ; Christopher Baker, 1839 ; James Mitchell, 1834 ;
Section 34—J. H. Blackbower, 1837 ; Samuel Lockridge, 1837 ; Wm. W. Hornish, 1839;
Section 35—William Kennedy, 1839; W. P. Twomey, 1837; Catharine Stump, 1837; Christopher Stump, 1836;
Section 36—William Dunaway, 1836 ; Israel Weeks, 1836 ; William Snider, 1836; John Adams, 1836; Merinda Kesterson, 1833; George Snider, 1837.
Township 9 north, Range 2 east;
Section 4—-G. W.Snyder, 1844 ;
Section 5—Lazarus Robertson, 1837 ; Robert Robertson, 1837;
Section 6—Charles Neidigh, 1839;
Section 9—John Fleener, 1843; W. W. Cotton, 1839..
Township 9 north, Range 3 east;
Section 7—Jackson Woods, 1844; John Knox, 1839; Banner C. Brummet, 1837.
Township 10 north, Range 3 east;
Section 6— James Terhune, 1836; Paulina Demott, 1838 ; Garret Terhune, 1839 ;
Section 7—John Cox, 1836; Garret Terhune, 1838; W. R. Hunt, 1838, M. Boaz, 1843 ; Owen Barker, 1837;
Section 18—Chris. Long, 18-36; Lewis Brummet, 1837; Hezekiah McKinney, 1836; Joshua Brummet, 1835 ; Henry Bates, 1836; Owen Barker, 1837 ; Griffith Davidson, 1835 ; Section 19—Joshua Brummet, 1835 ; Calvin Moser, 1839 ; George Grove, 1835; S. M. Gillaspy, 1837; William Owens, 1836;
Section 30—John Conner, 1837; George King, 1839; John Gillaspy, 1836; George Burkhardt, 1839; M. B. Weddel, 1837; William Nickerman, 1838 ; Henry Taylor, 1836; John D. Kennedy, 1839; J. B. Hornish, 1837; William Snider, 1833;
Section 31—C. L. Hesse, 1837 ; John Prosser, 1837 ; Abe Prosser, 1837 ; John Barnhill, 1887.
Probably the first marriage in the township was that of Jesse Richards and Anna Grove, in November, 1836, by Jonathan Watson, Justice of the Peace. Charles Smith and Irenah King were married by Rev. Jerry King in 1836 also. This is said to have been the first. The Youngs built a horse mill in the western part at an early day, where a fair article of flour and excellent, coarse meal could be secured. It was quite well patronized. Christ. Stump's water mill, built on Bean Blossom, about two miles west of Georgetown, not far from the year 1848, supplied the region around for many years. A saw mill was connected with it and the two were operated several years. The old George Grove Mill was built as early as 1835, and was operated about ten years. It was operated by horse power.
George Grove was probably the first man to live at this village. H. was there as early as 1833, and very likely several years before. He founded the village which took its title from his given name. James Dawson lived there very early before he moved down into Washington Township. Adams & Kennedy opened the first store there in 1836, having about $1,500 worth of variety merchandise. Brooks was an early resident. William Snider came there not far from 1835, and for many years was the leading man in business. McIlhenny moved there in 1837, and Thomas Waltman soon afterward. William Murphy was another early resident. In about 1839, Jacob McNeeley erected a large tannery there- He sunk between forty and fifty vats, and manufactured leather on a large scale for that early day. His buckskin was well known in Eastern markets. The tannery was conducted until about 1848, and was abandoned after his death, by lightning. A man named Nordyke also conducted an early tannery there. Cooper & Becket were merchants about 1839. W. W. Baker sold liquor as early as 1837. Samuel Lawrence followed suit a year later, and Daniel Parsley trumped them both about the same time. Charles and George McLish opened a store in 1840, with a general stock worth, $4,000 ; they sold liquor, groceries and merchandise, and paid a license of $25 per year. Robert Mcllhenny also started a small store in 1839, continuing to about 1841. T. and R. Pugh were merchants in 1846. John R. Davis opened with $1,000 worth in 1842. William Snider began merchandising in 1847. Robert Mcllhenny sold goods in 1850 and onward. William Banta was in later and also Samples, Peoples & Co. The Watermans have long been in business there, and are yet doing well. The Staples jewelry establishment has long been an important industry there. All kinds of repairs in gold and silver are turned out, and gold, silver and nickel spectacles and silverware are manufactured. The village had a newspaper a few years ago, edited by A. S. Helm. It also has a couple of lawyers, Waltman & Cooper. A fine grist mill was built by the Waltmans a few years ago. It is now in excellent shape and has a liberal patronage. The population of the village is about 100.
SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
So far as can be learned, the first school in Jackson Township was taught at Georgetown about the year 1838, by John C. Marshall. A log building was erected there about that time to serve the double duty of a church and schoolhouse—in fact it was used for everything of a public nature. Traveling small shows exhibited there, and various and all denominations of religion were entitled to use it. Marshall was a good teacher for that early day. He had received a fair education, but the greatest value he possessed as a teacher was in his muscle and sand. The big boys (and boys were big then), found in him a " master " of the typical character. He taught in many places throughout the county. The second school is said to have been taught in the Anderson neighborhood, probably by a man named Rice, and the third down the creek near the Richard farm. In 1845 there were three or four school districts, and in 1860 about ten. Now there are fourteen. Rev. Eli P. Farmer, an earnest Methodist from near Bloomington, preached the first sermon in the old log building referred to in about the year 1838, possibly 1837. Godfrey Jones was another early preacher of the same persuasion. These men formed a small class of the Kennedys, the Walkers and others. Rev. Aaron Farmer, of the United Brethren Church, preached there in 1838, and afterward organized a small class. The Presbyterians started up there later, and finally built their church, which is yet standing.
This little village, in the southwestern part, is of recent origin. A post office was first established there and a store. At last a blacksmith appeared, and other houses were built, and finally another store was started, and now there are three or four, and the village has a population of probably 100.
Georgetown was a famous place for horse races in early years, as there was a long level tract of ground there. William Snider, Matthew Mathis, Edward David, the Brummets, the Grahams and others in all parts of the county, owned fast horses and would assemble on a given day to test the merits of their animals. Of course, whisky cut an important figure at these gatherings. Betting on horses was carried to an extravagant extreme very often
POLL TAX PAYERS OF 1848
Allen S. Anderson, M. B. Anderson, James P. Abbey, Charles G. Adams, Levi B. Anders, William Adkins, Jacob Baughman, Owen Barker, William Bowman, Lewis Brummet, Henry Brock, Daniel Branstutter, Isaac Bolt, A. G. Bergen, Banner C. Brummet, William Barker,William Brummet, James Blasingen, Robert Blain, John B. Baker, Benjamin Boles, Michael Branstutter, R. S. Brummet, John J. Cain, Caleb Crane, William Crane, Norflet Dolsberry, John David, James Daggy, Samuel Daggy, Thomas Dunaway, John Donelson,
L. H. David, Felix C. Dunn, Aaron Fleener, Jacob Fleener, George Followell, Milton Fleener, Frederick Fleener, Jackson Fleener, Abraham Fleener, Austin Franklin, Cornelius Followell, William Fusselman, George Fusselman, Frederick Goings, W. A. Guinn, W. P. Holman, Daniel Houtz, Alfred Hicks, W. B. Harris, John Harris, John Hitch, Alexander Jenkins, David Kessel, A. B. Kelso, John Knox, Thomas Kemp, James Kemp, B. R. Kelley, G. W. Lambert, Elijah Long, Samuel Lockridge, Christopher Long, Andrew Long, Calvin Moser. H. A. McClary, William Murphy, William Marcum, Elisha Marcum, John Mooney, Robert Mcllhenny, William McCoy, James McCoy, William Murphy, John D. McClary, Samuel Marshall, John C. Marshall, James Martin, George Morgan, Zedekiah Morgan, John Neidigh, Alexander Neidigh, Abraham Neidigh, Elias Nail, Isaac Neal, Nathan Pruitt, Lewis Prosser, John Prosser, James Prosser, Isaac Prosser, A. M. Proctor, John Richard, Thomas Ross, Isaac Robertson, Joseph Robertson, Sr., Joseph Robertson, Jr., W. R. Robertson, Claiborne Robertson, Jesse Ritter, Thomas Swift, William Shannon, Robert Shannon, Harmon Snider, Calvin Skinner, William Snider, Alexander Shannon, Jacob Stephens, Stafford Smith, George M. Sparks, William Stone, William Taylor, Daniel Thomas, James Terhune, William Terhune, Michael Tomey, William Tuttle, George Tultro, Michael Waltman, V. H. Watson, David A. Wallace, Ephraim Ward, Daniel Weddel, Abraham Wooden, Theodore Whitney, David D. Weddel, W. E. Weddel, Samuel White and Aaron Zook-. The heaviest tax payers were Allen S. Anderson, $9.01; Owen Barker, $7.25; Daniel Branstutter, $7.87; A. G. Bergen, $11.65; W. P. Holtman, $7.53; John Hitch, $9.86; David Kissel, $6.36; Elijah Long, $8.11; Samuel Lockridge, $9.56; Calvin Moser, $6.79; Hugh A. McLary, $8.95; T. & R. Pugh, $8.80; John Richards, $8.12; Christopher Stump. $7.03; William Snider, $30.12; total number of polls, 127 ; total acres, 12,653.92; value of land, $29,912; value of improvements, $22,230; value of lots, $1,010; value of personal property, $21,198; total value of taxables, $74,350; total tax, $651.77; delinquent tax and interest, $147.25 ; total tax, $799.02.