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Delaware County Courthouse
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The county was given its present name on
account of its the home of a large tribe of the Delawares. The
surface is quite level, with but slight undulations.
Small, wet prairies abound in the county to one-twelfth of the extent of the surface; but these, besides affording good pasturage, are tillable with the slight expense of drainage. Timber was formerly very plenty in this county, and of the best quality. Almost every foot of land is adapted to farming. White River in the centre, Mississinewa in the north, Buck creek, and their numerous tributaries, supply the county abundantly with water power.
It was in this county where the Prophet, brother of Tecumsell, resided, and there, until it fell by decay, stood the post at which he caused his enemies, whites and Indians, to be tortured. David Conner, an Indiana trader, was the first white man to settle in the county; others soon followed, and all have become independent and wealthy.
Muncie is the county seat. It is a city of about four thousand five hundred inhabitants, an enterprising commercial and manufacturing centre. It is located on the O.C.C.&I. and Fort Wayne, Muncie & Cincinnati railroads. Having all the advantages of a rich agricultural section around it, and being in direct communication with all the great cities of the northwest by railroad, it will undoubtedly continue to prosper, and will ultimately attain to considerable importance. It has excellent schools. Indeed, the schools in the whole county are well conducted.
(Transcribed from the History of the State of Indiana, published 1876)
Following the American Civil War the county experienced an economic boon caused by the discovery of natural gas, which spurred rapid industrial growth in the surround area.
The first discovery of natural gas of Indiana occurred in 1876 in the town of Eaton. A company was drilling in search of coal, and when they had reached a depth of six-hundred feet, there was a loud noise and foul smelling fumes began coming from the well. After a brief investigation, it was decided they had breached the ceiling of Hell, and the hole was quickly filled in. In 1884, when natural gas was discovered in nearby Ohio, people recalled the incident. They returned to the spot and opened Indiana's first natural gas well. The gas as so abundant and strong that when the well was lit, the flames could be seen from Muncie.
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