HISTORY OF CRAWFORD COUNTY
Crawford County, one of the poorest and smallest counties of the
lies nestled among the hills of south-ern Indiana. This county
bounded on the north by Orange and Washington Counties, on the
Harrison County, on the south by the Ohio River, and on the west
Perry and Dubois Counties.
The territory out of which the county was formed originally
Harrison, Orange and Perry Counties. In those days there were
counties in the state. Hence, the counties were large and men
travel so far to the county seats; for that reason many new
were laid out from territory belonging to the others. During the
of 1818 the people of what is now Craw-ford County petitioned
General Assembly of Indiana, praying that a new county be formed
Harrison, Perry, and Orange Counties. Martin H. Tucker, who was
the prominent citizens, presented the petition to Senator
Harrison County. He introduced a bill in the Senate on January
where it passed January 5, 1818. Later the House
measure which the Governor signed on January 29, 1818. Hence,
January 29 is the county's birthday. The boundaries of the
not definitely estab-lished until 1831. During that year the
Assembly enacted a law fixing the boundaries of the various
Since that date the county has had the following bound-aries :
Beginning at the mouth of Big Blue River and follow-ing the
its meandering until it reached the line dividing section 26
from 27 in
township three south, range two east, thence north along that
until it intersects the river, thence following the river with
windings to Wash-ington County, thence west to Orange County
thence south two miles, thence west twenty miles, thence south
miles, thence east six miles, thence south four miles, thence
miles, thence south to the Ohio River, thence following the
the mouth of Big Blue River.
On different occasions the citizens of Perry County and Harrison
petitioned the General Assembly to be allowed to unite certain
these counties to Crawford County, but many of the petitions
When the county was first organized there were five townships.
were Ohio, Jennings, Patoka, Sterling and Whisky Run.
Ohio was over on the river, from which it probably was named.
which was in the west end of the county, was named after the
River which is in that vicinity.
Mount Sterling township, which was later called simply Sterling,
named after Mount Sterling, Kentucky, both of which doubtless
named after Lord Sterling. This Sterling was an American general
Jennings was named after Governor Jennings who lived up about
Charleston. Whisky Run was named after an Indian named Ouiska.
those days creeks were called runs. Ouiska lived over on a small
where his tepee was located. Being a friendly Indian whom the
liked, they often spoke of Ouiska Run. Later the
written Whisky Run.
Crawford County was named in honor of William H. Crawford, who
candidate for the presidency in 1824. At that time he was a
Monroe's Cabinet and had many warm friends in Indiana. Other men
that the county was named after the unfortunate Indian agent
Washington sent west to deal with the Indians. That agent was
Crawford. He was captured by the Indians and burned to death at
Sandusky, Ohio, about 1782. The county contained about three
square miles. When it was organized in 1818 the county was
forested. There were not many acres of swamp land in the county.
uplands were covered with oak, hickory, gum, beech, poplar and
while the creek bottoms were covered with sugar, elm and
sycamore. As a
hunting ground the county was not surpassed by any in the state,
the streams of Big Blue, Little Blue, Turkey Fork and Bogard
the very best for fishing. The white sulphur well at Sulphur,
is unsurpassed by any spring of mineral water in the state. The
and Wyandotte caves are considered by some to be the most
When the county was organized in 1818 many settlers had located
various parts of the county. Map I will indicate who had bought
in Crawford County before 1818 with names and descriptions of
Just how many settlers were in the county in 1818 one can not
but there must have been a large number. Uncle Peter Peckinpaugh
located in the Big Bottom near Cape Sanday about 1806, but
Indians he moved back into Kentucky and did not return for
years. Mr. - "Walker moved from Kentucky and "located at the
Little Blue about 1806, where he built a cabin house and reared
family of children. His grandson, who keeps the
Hotel at English, is Mr. A. C. Walker. The Jones
another old family among our early settlers. Gorry
who was born in Hardin County. Kentucky, moved to Crawford
1814. He settled near Beechwood in Ohio township where lie
McCoy, who was a popular Hardin County girl. Gorry
had a family of seven children, five of whom were boys and two
girls. John Jones, who was his oldest son, was born in
1802. He married Jane Abell in 1822, to whom
born fourteen children. He lived in Ohio township until his
1875. George Jones, who was related to these Joneses, was also
settler. Luther L. Jones, who lives at Schooner
Ohio township, is a grandson of Gorry Jones. The
pop-ulation of the county in 1820 was 2,583.
The first county seat was located in section 33, town-ship two
range one east. The site is about four miles southeast of the
town of English. The site occupies a level plain of land located
elevated tract of land. The settlers named the seat
justice Mount Sterling, after a town of the same name in
County, Kentucky. The old records show that Birney Labruk made
of the town. Thomas W. Aubrey, who was probably the first
the peace in the county, states that Birney Labruk came before
Jan-uary 25, 1818, and acknowledged the plat to be the true plat
Mount Sterling. Brice Patrick, who was the county agent, brought
plat to the recorder's office where Will-iam Samuels recorded
November 11, 1818. One may see the original drawing on pages two
three of book one in the recorder's office of Crawford County.
Section 4 of the law which organized the county ap-pointed John
of Washington County, Joseph W. Doke of Orange County, Samuel
Perry County, John McClure of Daviess County, and Thomas Carr of
County to compose a committee who would locate a seat of justice
the county. This committee was ordered to meet at the house of
Brown and on the third Monday in April of that year proceed to
the new seat of justice.
Section 5 reads: "It shall be the duty of the sheriff of
County to notify the commissioners of their appointment. The
commissioners of the new county were authorized to pay the
this commission a reason-able sum out of the first money
Section 6 reads: "The board of commissioners of.Crawford County
within 12 months after the seat of justice shall be established
to erect the necessary public buildings thereon."
Section 7 reads: "Until suitable accommodations can be had at
seat of justice all the courts which are held in the county
held at the house of James Barker, after which the courts shall
at the new court house."
Section 8 reads: "The agent who shall lay out and sell the lots
new seat of justice shall reserve in his hands 10% of the net
for use of a county library in the county. The sum of money
paid over to the proper one who is selected to receive the sum."
The commission met at the home of James Brown and, after due
examination, selected Mount Sterling for the seat of justice.
The streets of the town ran north and south and east and west.
streets running north and south were named Carr, Ribble, Doke,
Hall, and Totten, while those running east and west were named
Mar-ket and Water streets. The streets were sixty-five feet wide
the alleys were ten feet wide.
Only a few houses were ever built in Mount Sterling. On February
1819, Brice Patrick, who was the county agent, sold to William
Thomasson lots 73, 101, 105, 76, 102, 93, 127, 75, 138, 74, 128,
122, 105, 107, 137, for $1,500. These lots were known as bond
record of which is found in Book I, page 11.
The old log jail which was built in those early days was still
in the sixties. Minor Satterfield, who lives near the site of
in 1921 told the author that he remembered seeing the old jail
was a boy. So_ it must have been standing as late as 1865. The
of William Beasley, who lives near English, once'lived in the
William remembers when they lived there.
The county clerk's records showed that the August and December
the Circuit Court were held there in 1818. James Brashear, who
there, let the officers use his new log house for a court room.
old apple trees of the horse apple variety were still standing
The writer was informed that Henry Batman, who cleared up some
old fields in 1900, said that the appletrees were still living.
Some effort was made to get settlers to locate in Mount
General Assembly enacted a law in 1819 authorizing the county
commissioners to lay out new lots and to alter the old lots if
The most serious objection to the growth of the town was the
water. Settlers in those pioneer days did not want to locate
there was a quantity of wholesome water near by. In the year of
the Sep-tember session of the Board of Justices one finds that
Pepper, who was a prominent lawyer in Leavenworth, was appointed
attorney for the county. He gave notice in the Harrison County
warning all men not to buy any county orders issued by the said
for the improvement of lots in Mount Sterling. This order was
all the townships. The bill to appoint commis-sioners to
county seat of Crawford County was introduced Saturday, December
1821, and passed Decem-ber 13, 1821. More will be said about the
seat later. Mr. George Beasley lives on the very plot of ground
the old town was laid out.
The records of the county have a very interesting book on which
written the names of all men who bought land from the Government
dates and description of the land. The county recorder has the
which he calls the "tract book." Prom it the writer has taken
of the men given below:
Henry Green moved into Crawford County where he bought a farm,
1, 1812. This farm was located in section 34,
south, range 2 east, being the south-west quarter of the
section. Squire Henry Green's farm lay near Mount
Lebanon. Judge Green, who was born in Ireland, came
country when he was a young man. From Virginia he moved west and
finally located on the west side of Big Blue River.
land then was part of Harrison County. Henry Green was a
useful citizen. During his long life he was employed in many
of service. Crawford County honored him in electing
judge of the court. When Davis Floyd visited the county in
to organize the first circuit court in the county Judge Green
Glenn were present to help him. Under the old Constitution in
days there were three judges. David Floyd was the chief
with Glenn and Green as assistants. Glenn and Green
associate jus-tices, which name was used in those
Green, who was elected to represent Crawford County in the
As-sembly in 1821, served the state and county well. He voted
nearly all the important bills, among which was one to establish
office of attorney-general.
He introduced petitions sent to him by Honorable James Glenn and
others, praying that a commission be appointed to relocate the
seat of Crawford County. These petitions were referred to a
committee com-posed of Henry Green of Crawford County, Charles
Orange County, Alexander Wallace of Orange County, and Moses
Kirkpatriek of Floyd County. After the com-mittee had duly
the matter, Green reported a bill providing for the appointment
board of commis-sioners to select a permanent site for a county
The bill having been passed, the Governor signed it on Decem-ber
1821. Besides the good work done by Green as a legislator, he
of the prominent citizens of the county to whom the others could
for guidance. He was supervisor on the "Governor's Old Trail"
long time. He was justice of peace for many years. He died at
near Mount Lebanon, at which place he was buried in his own
No farms were sold in the county during the year of 1813. The
1812 was on then and men were not locating in the West so freely
account of the Indians.
In 1814 the following men bought farms in Crawford County: James
Totten, Henry Fullenwider, William Mc-Kay, Andrew and Joseph
Moses Smith and Rob-ert Fields.
Of the above named men probably Henry Fullenwider was the most
He was a leading citizen at Alton for many years. He built a
his home to which the farmers took their grist. When the
divided up township four south, range one east, into school
about 1837 Henry Fullenwider was elected district trustee for
No. 4. One finds in those days that each man had his private
So on the hill west of Alton about two miles, "Uncle Henry," as
good neighbors called him, selected the site for the cemetery.
follow-ing article appeared in the Crawford County Democrat a
months ago. "A handsome and appropriate monu-ment, a gift of
living sons, Doctor Jack Fullen-wider of Mount Vernon, Professor
Fullenwider of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, John,
Marshall of Roberta, Kentucky, was erected over Haden
grave, a descendant of Colonel Henry and Delilah, his wife at
Fullenwider's cemetery, Tuesday, October 13th. This ceremony
the open hospitality of this honored couple for many years of
happy life spent at the old Colonel Henry home which was the
center of the community during the years in which they raised
family of six boys and four girls. The ceme-tery also contains
grave of Jonathan Boone, a nephew of Daniel Boone, who died in
The colonel's part is separated from the rest by a stone wall.
descendants live near Alton to-day, one of whom married Doctor
Deen, who has a large practice at Leavenworth."
James Totten, who was a very interesting character, was
sheriff of Crawford County in 1825.
The two Kinkaids were members of the Christian Church. They
organize the class at the Three Forks of Little Blue about 1819.
lived in a one-room log house. David M. Stewart was the one who
organized the church in October, 1819. There were thirteen
Kinkaid's class. After a few years a log house was built. One
references to it in the Commissioner's Records. It was named
River Meeting House." The father, Joseph Kinkaid, and his son,
Kinkaid, were very prominent citizens of the county. They held
offices of different kinds. Mary E. Miller of near English is
granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Kinkaid.
Moses Smith's farm was located near English. For many years he
leading citizen in Sterling township, where he raised a large
children, one of whom was Minor Smith. Minor was the father of
C. Smith and James Smith. The people elected James Smith
1916 on the Republican ticket, by a handsome majority over James
During the year of 1815, John Hastings, John Green, Robert and
Sands bought farms.
During 1816, Michael Harvey, James Mcintosh, Abra-ham Sheckels,
Sharp, Eli Wright, Riggs Penning-ton, George Repley and Robert
bought farms in the county. Of the above number Robert Yates was
commis-sioned County Commissioner by Governor Jennings when the
The list of men who bought farms in 1817 was much larger. The
men were the most important: George Jones, Henry Richards,
Scott, John Flan-nery, John Sturgeon, John Sands, Robert Scott,
Green, Daniel Weathers, and Archibald Allen. These men were good
citizens, hardy pioneers, and patriotic men.
Martin Scott, who was born in 1777, came from Vir-ginia. His
situated about four miles north of Leavenworth, on the "Old
and Salem" road. Many of his descendants live in the county
Davis Floyd came to "Old Mount Sterling" in Crawford County to
the first circuit court, Mr. Scott was a member of the first
jury. He was road supervisor and lister of Jennings township for
years. At times Mr. Scott seems to have displayed a very bad
The records of the county show that he was fined $1.00 in May,
for swearing. He lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1858. He was
in his private cemetery. Aniel Fro-man owns the well-known farm
Daniel Weathers and his brother Richard were born in Wales. They
to Virginia and from there to Ten-nessee. Daniel Weathers, who
Tennessee in 1800, cast his vote for Adams. Richard Weathers
Knos-ville, Tennessee, and voted for Adams too. While living in
Knoxville Richard Weathers married a southern girl. Neither one
brothers liked slavery, so they decided to move north. They
Ohio River near Tobacco Landing, on a raft which they pushed by
pole. Rich-ard settled just east of Milltown, in Harrison
what is now known as the McCutcheon farm. Here he lived in a
three-sided log cabin.
While hunting one day he crossed the Big Blue River near where
now stands and came over into Craw-ford County. The scenery
so much that he decided to locate in Crawford County. So he
where Marengo now is and squatted on what is now (1919), Lyman
farm. Here he worked for 25 cents a day until he had saved $75,
which was continental paper money. One night his old cow found
purse and chewed the money till it was damaged. So Mr. Weathers
buy the farm, but sold out his claim, and squatted on what is
Apple's farm. Meanwhile Daniel Weathers had been more fortunate,
had bought the farm men-. tioned above. Richard Weathers, who
hard-working man, did not buy till 1825.
After the law was enacted providing for Crawford County,
Jennings selected Daniel Weathers to be the first
The commission was issued September 8, 1818. The bond of Sheriff
Weathers is here given: "Know all men by these presents; that
Daniel Weathers, James Barker, John Smith, Robert Yates, Thomas
Roberts, Riggs Pennington, and Richard Weathers are held bound
Gov-ernor Jennings and his successors in office for the sum of
for which payment we jointly and severally promise to pay
Jennings and his successors in office, pro-vided, however, that
Daniel Weathers discharges his du-ties according to law, the
obligation is null and void. Signed for the State
James Barker and
Recorder op C. C.
Signed for Weathers
Daniel Weathers performed his duties faithfully till he was
from duty about 1822. These two Weathers reared large families,
of whose sons served their country well in the Civil War. Major
Weathers, Captain Enoch Weathers, James M. Weathers, Andrew E.
Weathers, and James Weathers have remarkable war rec-ords. When
Thomas Hines of Bowling Green made his daring raid into Crawford
in 1863, he talked with Captain Enoch Weathers at his home in
Of course Weathers did not know who he was then. Last, but not
of the many descendants of the two Weathers is Honorable John
Weathers of New Albany. The Republicans nominated him for judge
1896. The district was generally Democratic by 600. Weathers was
defeated by Judge Cook after a hard fought campaign by a narrow
of 52 votes.
The names of the men who bought farms in Crawford County in 1818
Malachi Monk, George Wyman, Moses Smith, Thomas Easley, George
Charles Springer, Elisha Tadlock, Elisha Tatten, Peter Funk, Sam
Westfall, Abraham Wiseman, Cornelius Hall, John Lee, Jacob
Elizabeth Wright, and Peter Sonner.
Cornelius Hall was appointed County Commissioner in 1818. Mr.
was well read in law was one of the jurors at the trial of
which much will be writ-ten later. When Mr. Hall's term of
expired he be-came associate justice of Crawford County which
held for many years.
Elisha Tadlock was the first Seminary trustee. When the law was
in 1818, Governor Jennings appointed him trustee. On December
he made his first re-port to the General Assembly of Indiana,
showed that he had $100.50 of the Seminary funds. He was elected
represent Crawford County in the General Assembly in 1825. He
overseer of the poor in Whisky Run Town-ship for many years. In
days there was no county farm to which paupers were sent. The
Commis-sioners generally appointed some one in each township. In
the board allowed him $37.50 for keeping Timothy Bennett for
months. Mr. Tadlock was collector of the state revenues in 1827.
Tadlock has many descen-dants in Crawford County, all of whom
well respected people.
Moses Smith bought a farm near where English is now. He reared a
family. His son, Minor Smith, grew up in Sterling township,
reared a large family of children, two of which were George C.
and James J. Smith. The Smiths have always been good citizens
popular with the people. In 1914 George Smith was elected
Patoka township by the Republican party. Patoka being a
township by 200 majority, one can see that Smith must have
large number of their votes. James Smith was elected county
in 1916, by the Republicans, over James M. Brown. His majority
Hence 200 Democrats must have voted for him. This will give the
a good idea of the re-spect the people have for them.
Malachi Monk, who was one of the early settlers, built the "Old
Block House" near where Marengo now stands. The exact site of
house was near where County Clerk Ross' house now stands. His
elected county auditor in 1868, which office he held till 1876.
Abram Wiseman located in what is now Ohio township. He and Jacob
Wiseman moved to Kentucky and later into Crawford County. These
Wisemans reared large families in Crawford County. Among the war
records one finds George E. Wiseman, Philip Wiseman, Abram
William Wiseman and Henry Wiseman were soldiers in the Union
Henry Newton Wiseman was in the Spanish American War. In
World War, many of his descendants took part. The Wisemans have
been, since the Civil War, Republicans.
The Wisemans claim that in the early history of the West a
Wiseman boy was captured by the Indians who adopted him into the
of Shawnees. When he became a man, he married an Indian girl. To
was born an Indian boy who became the famous Tecumseh. Later he
Captain Peter Funk was an outstanding character in
When Harrison called on him and wanted him to organize a company
cavalry and march against the Indians, he lived in
Kentucky'. He mounted a horse, and at great speed
the Capitol and asked permission from the Kentucky
Governor. The road from Louisville was so bad that
horse died from exhaustion. In the battle the man
judgment and his men gave a good account of
men kept cool and fired where they saw flashes of the Indians'
guns. When day came they were easily routed by a few
vigorous charges. The historian affirms that the Prophet told
Indians that he would stand on a certain high rock and sing the
songs during the battle, and that he could charm away the balls
from the Kentucky rifles. After the battle he was
account for his conduct. He saved his reputation
Indians to some extent by explain-ing that his squaw had
with the beads on the chain, but many of the Indians still
Harrison, Punk, and Daviess. Mr. Funk, after the war
over, settled al out two miles north of Milltown.
have been a prominent family all through the history of the
Solomon Funk and John E. Funk were supporters of the Republican
in 1860. Later John E. Funk, who was elected County Commissioner
1894, helped to move the seat of justice from Leavenworth to
1895. Another descendant of these Funks is Cadmus Funk, who was
Sheriff over the Democratic candidate by 331 votes. The county
heavily Democratic, one will see that Funk must have been very
since his opponent, Louis V. Byrum was a very good man too.
The names of the men who bought farms in the county in 1819,
Roth, Henry Richards, John Hughes, Henry Jones, John Sheckels,
Bird, AVilliam Groves, and David Rice.
In 1820, Dave Miller, Sam Kemp, John Morgan, Joseph Van Winkle,
Williams, and Reuben Wright bought farms in Crawford County.
Sam Kemp's farm was west of Fredonia about two miles, in section
town 4 south, range 1 east. Here he reared a family. One of the
was John Kemp who was a member of the 49th Indiana Volunteers.
wounded several times in action. Uncle Sam Kemp's grandson lives
Alton today. His name is Clay Kemp.
Much can be said about Addison Williams whose farm was located
section 14, town 3 south, range 1 east. He worked hard to secure
settlers for the county. He platted a town which he called New
The plat was recorded at the county seat. No one bought lots so
grew up. Later he platted a town called Magnolia. Here several
bought lots and built houses. Mr. Williams operated a large
still and a
mill in Magnolia. The plat was filed in the Recorder's office
1838. Magnolia is situated northwest of Leavenworth
four miles. Today it has several houses, store, and postoffiee.
In 1821, these men bought farms in the county: James Brown,
McMartin, Robert Samuels, Richard White, Hamilton
Sturgeon, William Riley, Lawrence Beers, John VanMeter,
Stone, John Condra, Mason Jenkins, B. Bogard, Joel Lyons,
White, James Mansfield, Jackson Nicholson, James Totten, Abram
John Goldman, David Lowe, Burton Parr.
The Mansfield family lived at Leavenworth. James M. Mansfield,
a son of James Mansfield, was a Union soldier in time of the
In 1866 he was elected clerk of the county. The school at
named after him because he gave the lot of ground on which the
was built. B urton Parr was a very useful citizen. One of his
was E. E. Parr, who is trustee of Boone Town-ship at date of
James Totten proved a good citizen. He was appointed sheriff in
1825. At that time the office was hard to fill.
Abram Sheckels bought a large farm near Cape Sandy. There he
double log-house which is still standing. Men use it for a
now. The Sheckel school, which stood near the East Cemetery, was
after him. This school house was burned down about 1896. Oliver
Sheckel, who is superintendent of the city schools of
Brownstown, is a
descendant of "Uncle Abram" Sheckel.
In 1822 these men bought farms: Julius Woodford,
Frakes, David Brown,
Childs, Jacob Conrad, Wilson Scott, Samuel McMahan, Robert S.
Reuben D. Thom, Thomas Conon,"and Ebenezer E. Morgan.
Julius Woodford for many years was one of the leading citizens
county. He was elected county com-missioner from the second
1833, to succeed Zebulum Leavenworth whose term expired that
was one of the first merchants of Leavenworth. In those days men
compelled to get a license to keep a store. The record shows
was granted a license in 1825, to sell foreign merchandise. He
lot to the seminary trus-tees in 1835, on which the old seminary
built. E. E. Morgan became one of the county's most influential
citizens. He held many offices of trust one of which was the
County Recorder. He was appointed to this office in 1825, and
in 1846, after 21 years of service.
John Austin and William Patton bought farms in 1823. This year
entries of the Austins and Pattons whose descendants are found
scattered over the hills of old Crawford County.
The list in 1824 was: John R. Wyman, Henry Rhodes, David Wilbur,
For 1825, these men bought land: David Beals, Joseph Beals,
Weathers, John Mahan, Robert Baldwin, Adam Denison, Walter
John Funk, Will Stroud, and Thomas Walker.
This year saw a new list of men enter the county. The Beals
been one of the most prominent. Supt. S. A. Beals, of English,
grandson of Joseph Beals whose farm lies in Jennings township.
is now owned by Marsh Parr.
The Gresham family later located in Harrison County, where
Gresham was born. He became a well distinguished citizen of
learned judge on the Federal Bench in Illinois, a candidate for
presidency in 1888, and Secretary of State under Cleveland in
until his death in 1895.
One should not pass by the Walker family without com-ment.
Walker's farm was near the mouth of Little Blue. Here he reared
family of children, one of whom married a southern girl about
of the Civil War. The southern men never liked this man. When
War was going on they caught him and tested him thoroughly by
of questions. One asked him for whom he voted for president.
heard him answer "Lincoln" they became furious but for some
was spared. A. C. Walker, who is proprietor of the Com-mercial
English, is a grandson of Thomas Walker.
In 1826, these men bought farms: Henry Brag, Sam Scott, William
R, S. Thorn, and Dudley Gresham.
John Peckinpaugh, David Lone, Charles Springer, William Riley,
Attleberry, Robert Milescat, Francis Able, Thomas Parr, Milton
Holcraft, 0. Raymond, Thomas Davidson, Samuel Bird, W. P.
Edward Butler, William Taylor, James Stuart, and Isaiah
bought farms in 1827.
No farms were sold in 1828. The list for 1829 was: John Leggett,
Mills, Seth and Zebulum Leavenworth, Woods Proctor, Librim
John Lynd, and Thomas Davidson.
The preceding lists contain the names of all the men who bought
until 1830. By referring to the map one can see where each man's
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