Franklin County, Indiana
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It is not certain when the first townships were created in Franklin county owing to the fact that the records from 1811 to 1814 are missing. The first mention of townships is found tinder the date of January 3. 1816. at which time the county court appointed overseers of the poor for the townships of Posey. Brookville and Bath. It is probable that these townships were organized previous to this date, hut if such were the case the record has not been found. The first township boundaries are set forth in the county court book (D, p. 82) on January 6, 1816. At this time the boundaries of the three townships just mentioned are given, as well as those of White Water town-ship. In the following table is given a list of the townships in the order of their organization. .As has been said, the date. January 3. 1816. is the first time Bath, Brookville and Posey townships are mentioned, and does not imply that they were organized on that date.
Brookville January 3. 1816
Highland February 12. 1821
Bath January 3. 1816
Fairfield February 12. 1821
Posey January 3, 1816
Somerset May 14, 1821
White Water January 6, 1816
Ray January 8, 1828
Union July 16, 1816
Salt Creek May 8, 1844
Connersville July 16, 1816
Laurel March 5, 1845
Blooming Grove May 12, 1817
Butler September 5, 1849
Springfield May 12, 1817
Metamora September 5, 1849
Liberty February 9, 1819

Three of these townships. Connersville. Liberty and Union, were in that part of Franklin county which was later set off as Fayette and Union counties, and consequently disappear from Franklin county records with the organization of the counties of which they became a part. A fourth town-ship, Somerset, was organized in 1821 and included practically the same limits as the present township of Laurel, but before the year was over the commissioners dissolved it and attached the territory in question again to Posey. This leaves thirteen townships in the county, the last two dating from 1849.   The townships are discussed in the order of their organization with exception of the four no longer in existence. They are treated at the close of the history of the present thirteen townships of the county.


This is the central and largest civil sub-division in Franklin county, and contains the whole of congressional township 9, range 2: sections 1 to 12, inclusive, of township 8. range 2; two fractional sections of township 9, range 3 west: three fractional sections of township 10, range 3 west: nine full and six fractional sections of township 11, range 13 east: and six sections of township 12, range 13 east. The total territory embraced within Brookville township is about sixty-eight sections or square miles. The greater portion of this is within the original Wayne Purchase of 1795. while the remainder is between the 1795 line and the boundary line of 1809.


Brookville township was one of the three townships which first appear in the commissioners' records on January 3, 1816. and three days later its limits are defined as follows :

"All that part of Franklin county included within the following boundaries, towit: On the north by a line beginning on the west boundary line of the said county of Franklin; and thence running east so as to intersect the township line dividing the ninth and tenth townships; thence running east along with the said township line to the east boundary of said county, and on the south by a line beginning on the west boundary line of said county of Franklin; and thence running east to White Water so as to cross White Water at the mouth of Big Cedar Grove creek; thence running along the Big Cedar Grove creek with the meanders thereof until the same intersects the line dividing the eighth and ninth township line to the east boundary line of the county—shall compose a township, which township shall be called and known by the name of Brookville township."

Thus it will be seen that Brookville township extended across the county from east to west and for the most part was seven miles and a half in width. On May 12, 1817. Springfield township was cut off with practically its present territorial limits. At some time in its history Brookville township has included within its limits all or part of every township in the county with the exception of Fairfield and Bath. In the history of the various townships will be seen a discussion of boundary limits.   At the present time Brookville township includes as much territory as is found in Bath, Fairfield, Posey and half of Butler townships, a fact which leads one to suspect that there may have been political considerations in the formation of townships in the county.

When the commissioners defined the limits of all the townships on January 8. 1828, Brookville township was set forth as follows:

"Beginning at the southeast corner of section 12. township 8 in range 2 west: thence west on the section line to the Grouseland purchase line: thence southwesterly on said line to the west corner of fractional section 6. town 10. range 13 east: thence north on the township line to the northwest corner of section 19. township 12. range 13 east: thence east on the section line to the old boundary line: thence northwardly 10 where the line dividing towns 9 and 10 in range 2 west intersects the said boundary line: thence east along the township line to the northeast corner of town 9, range 2 west: thence south on the township line to the place of beginning, to be called Brookville township." ft did not get its present limits until after the organization of Metamora and Butler townships on September 5. 1849.


Brookville township has a varied topography and wonderfully beautiful scenery. The surface is quite uneven and broken. The many creeks that flow through its borders give much bottom land which is of a very productive quality and especially is this true along the While Water river where the valley is a mile wide in places. The main water courses include the West and East Fork of the White Water river. West Fork flows from the west and north till it meets the waters of the East Fork, which come from the north, near the center of the township at the town of Brookville. Then the main stream flows on till it crosses the southeastern part of the town-ship and crosses over into Dearborn county.

Little Cedar rises in the northeast part of the township and unites with the main river about three miles below Brookville. Big Cedar crosses the extreme southeast corner of the territory. Richland creek, a small streamlet, with a deep valley, lies between the Little and Big Cedars,  Templeton's creek enters the East Fork of White Water river in the northern part of the township. Blue creek is the chief stream in the southwestern portion of the township. Wolf creek, in the southwestern part, unites with Blue creek before the latter empties into White Water.   Others are McCarty's run, Snail creek, and lesser streams, the waters of which enter West Fork in the western part of the township.

The hillsides along most of these streams which are rapid running water courses, are generally of such an easy slope that the lands can he cultivated or used for pasturing purposes with case and profit. However, when the timber is cut from some of the steeper hills, and cultivation is attempted, the land washes badly. Fanning and stock growing at present engage the attention of the land owners, although at an earlier date the forests were a source of much revenue.


It is not always an easy matter in counties as old as Franklin to establish the facts concerning who were the first to settle in a given township, for be it remembered that no one now lives who saw the "green glad solitude" of what is now llrookville township in its virgin state. It is known of record, however, that the first land entered from the government within what is now Brookville township was the east half of section 4. township 9. range 2. and that it was entered by Robert Templeton on September 24. 1804. The second entry was made four days later (September 28. 1804) by William Tyner, who claimed the southwest quarter of section 33. town-ship 9. range 2. Then came the following land entries: William Arnett. December 27: James McCoy. October 22; James Taylor; October 23: Thomas Williams. November 17: Amos Butler. December 4: John Ramey, October 13: Solomon Tyner. November 30, all in the year 1804.
1805—James Adair. William Wilson, John Milholland. Samuel and Charles Scott. John Logan. John Allen. Amos Butler. Jesse B. Thomas, Samuel Arnett. Thomas Henderson and John Brown.
1806—William Henderson. Anthony Haberstadt, Agnes Taylor. David Bell. John Vincent. Abraham Hackleman and four additional quarters of land by Amos Butler.
1807—Solomon Tyner. an additional tract.
1808 -James Knight. John Kennedy. John Norris. James Moore. John Penwell.
1812—John Lefforge, John Shank, John Stockdale. Lismand Basyre— all of whom were actual settlers east of the 1795 treaty line. West of the 1795 treaty line the early settlers were as follow:
1811—William Simes, John Neal. John Brown, William Wilson (a Baptist minister), Simpson Junes. John Stafford, Henry Calfee.
1814—Benjamin Smith. Thomas Owsley.
1816—Henry Teagarden, Robert McKay.
1817—Charles Collett, Henry Hinds, John Melone, Robert W. Halstead.


The land entries along the river southeast of the town of Brookville were nearly all improved immediately after their original entry. It generally believed that William Tyner was among the very first to set stakes and commence building for himself a home in the forests of this township. His farm included the place later years known as the "Bruns Grove" farm, on which was a fine group of springs. John Quick came in 1809 and entered land the next year. He was a justice of the peace under the territorial government and later probate judge of Franklin county. He was a leader among his fellow pioneers, lie was descended from Maryland and Kentucky families.

David Stoops, who came with Amos Butler in 1805, settled on the river west of Brookville. He was the father of twenty-three children, of which number. Robert, William. John. Richard. David, Jr. Thomas and Elijah reached man's estate here, and performed well their part in building up Franklin county. Many of the descendants of this pioneer family -till reside here. John Vincent was one of the first settlers in the valley west of Brookville. He had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. and here he became a leader among his neighbors during the Indian troubles. He was born in England, and was the father of ten children, one of whom. Samuel, died from the effects of a rattlesnake bite. Henry Berry came in 1816 and settled east of town on the Hamilton road, where he carried on blacksmithing many years. He was a justice of the peace and became probate judge of this county. Giles Martin and his sons. William and George, were among the early comers to Brookville township: also Jacob Hetrick. James Moore. Fielding Jeter and the Halstead families. A Universalist minister named Daniel St. John came early and served as sheriff two terms and later was a justice of the peace in the county.   James Goudie located near Judge Berry's. He was an early member of the Legislature from Franklin county. It is said he had the first grindstone in all his section of the neighborhood, and that it was freely used by one and all. Patrick McCarty settled west of town, near the stream called McCarty's run, named for him. Spencer Wiley, a pioneer in these parts, was a member of the Legislature, and a member of the constitutional convention in 1831. On the extreme eastern side of Brookville township settled John Wynn. who served as county surveyor and justice of the peace at an early date. Giles Grant was numbered among the pioneer band; he was an associate judge and member of the Legislature from this county. In 1817 John Harris platted fractional section 18. north-west of the town of Brookville. into out-lots. It was known as "Harris" Section" More than fifty years ago it was vacated and reverted to farm land.

There was a block-house in section 3. west of the boundary line. In 1813 there were four cabins picketed and fortified on the old Jeter farm.


Besides Brookville, the county seat. Brookville township has had platted within her borders small villages. Union (also called Whitcomb). was platted by Ebenezer Howe, September 14. 1816. It was later added to by Samuel Goudie about 1834 and again in 1850 by Isaac Updike. Whitcomb postoffice was established at this point and in the seventies there was established a grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. In the early eighties the village had the usual number of stores and small shops found in country-villages. The steam saw-mill was another of the helps to the place. At present the population of Whitcomb is about one hundred and ten. The towns of Buncombe and Butler's Run were platted July 11, 1851 and June 10, 1859, respectively. Both joined Brookville on the north, but neither ever materialized as a town, although parts of both have later been taken within the corporate limits of Brookville. Another town which nourished for a few years was located a mile west of Brookville and was known as Woodville. in fractional section 24. Its history is shrouded in more or less mystery. No plat ever was recorded and the flood of 1848 seems to have terminated its existence.

Yung was a hamlet in section 34, township 11. range 13. but was never platted. At this point there was a distillery established which ran until about 1905.   The Yung brothers were proprietors.   There was a post-office known as Blue Creek here at one time, but it has been long since discontinued.   The hamlet once had a store, a blacksmith shop and saloon or two. The township officers are as follows: Trustee. Frank Deutsch: assessor. Gus Baither; advisory board, William Howies, William Meeker. George W. Klipple: justice of the peace. P. T. McCammon: constable. George Amrbein: supervisors. Christ Hammer. No. ?, Frank Reddelman. No. 2, Joseph Sturwald. No. 3. James A. Clayton. No. 4.


This is the extreme northeastern subdivision of Franklin county and was in existence on January 3. 1816. at which time it included not only what is now Bath township, but also all of Fairfield and a strip nine miles north of the present limits of Franklin count} and east of the 1795 treaty line. On January 3. 1816. the commissioners* record described this township as follows: "All that part of Franklin county which lies within the tenth town-ship, in first range, the tenth township in the second range, the eleventh township in the first range and the eleventh township in the second range— shall compose a township, which township shall be called and known as Bath township."

The next change in boundary-lines was made February 10. 1817. although no new townships were created at that time. At this date Bath town-ship was described as follows: "Beginning at the northeast corner of Brookville township: thence north until it intersects the lines dividing the tenth and eleventh townships, range first; thence west along said division line until it intersects the old boundary: thence southwardly along said old boundary line until it intersects the line dividing the ninth and tenth townships in range two; thence east along said line to the place of beginning.

Upon the organization of Union county. February 1. 1821. Bath town-ship was given its present northern limit and was reduced in width from twelve to three miles.

In 1828, when there were eight townships in the county, the records show that Bath was described as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of township 10. range 1 west: thence north on the line between the states of Indiana and Ohio to the corner of Union county; thence west on the line of said county to the northwest corner of section 19. in the township and range aforesaid; thence south to the southwest corner of said township; thence east on the township line to the place of beginning—to be called Bath township." The present boundary conforms to the last-named description. Its territory now comprises the south half of congressional township 10 north, range r west, and includes sections 19 and 36, inclusive.

The population of the township in 1890 was six hundred and fifty-eight and twenty years later, or in 1910. it was placed by the census reports at six hundred and four.


Aside from the rough lands along the streams, this is a very level and even surfaced township, with some of the finest and most valuable farms in Franklin county, and sells at from one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars an acre. The central part of the township has a watershed sufficient to throw the waters each way into small streams, the principal of which is Big Cedar creek, and finally empties into White Water river. Pleasant run. or Brandywine creek, rising in the northeastern part of this township, falls into Indian creek, which crosses the corner of the township. Another stream is Templeton's creek, running to the west.

From the most reliable evidence it appears that the township was named Bath from the formerly well-known mineral spring, which in an early day-was used for medicinal baths. This spring is not now within the present bounds of the township, however.

The first land entered in this township was the southeast quarter of section 27. The date was May 29, 1805, and the man entering this tract was William Forbes, who was not. however, an actual settler.

Daniel Hansel made the next entry. September 30. 1805. in section 24. In November, that year, lands were entered by Abraham and Daniel Miller, who selected lands in the same section last named. Other entries were by James Crooks. January 28. 1806, the northwest quarter of section 24; Thomas Burk, April 8. 1806. northeast quarter of section 26; William Dubois. January 21, 1806, southeast quarter of section 30; Chatfield Howell. June 21. 1806. southeast quarter of section 30. Three other tracts were entered about 1806. but by men who were never residents of the township. Abraham Lee entered the southeast quarter of section 36 September, 1807. and settled there the following year. In July. 1808. Abraham Jones located in the southwest quarter of section 36. In 1809 James Barton entered several tracts: John Harper also claimed land in the township that year. In 1810 came in Moses Maxwell. Joseph Lee. William Stephens. Andrew Cornelison and David Gray, all claiming government lands by entry right.   John. Sr.. and John. Jr., of the Flint family, and also Benjamin Heargorider were settlers of 1811. In 1812 came Lemuel Lemmon, Abel Dare and Jacob Bell. In 1813 the settlement was increased by the advent of pioneers William Goff, Samuel Kain. Adam Nelson, John Morris and possibly a few others.

Of Abraham Lee. one of the pioneers of this township, it is related that he temporarily located on what was later styled Lee's creek. He devoted much time to exploring the western portion of the Wayne Purchase while it was being surveyed in 1801-2. After he had settled in present Bath town-ship, the Indians were quite numerous and were hostile toward the whites on several occasions. He had to get his breads tuffs ground at a mill on Dry Fork. He lived with his wife and two children in a rude cabin. Their supply of corn meal was much reduced and someone must needs to go to mill again. The Indians had a camp near the Lee cabin. He believed that his family would not be safe in his absence, and the matter was talked over between him and his good wife, who felt that if her husband did not object she had best go to mill and leave him in charge of the cabin and children. He finally consented and she placed a sack of corn on the trusty family horse and started off to mill, many miles distant. She made the trip in safety and all ended well, notwithstanding the husband was called on several times by his Indian neighbors, and there came near being trouble, but, through Lee's firmness and tactics, they did not molest him.


Among the very earliest justices of the peace in Bath township was Jacob Bake.

The first tavern license in the township was issued to John Flint, in May, 1817. By order of the court the elections of the township were held at this tavern for many years.

Bath township is first mentioned in county records as being organized January 6. 1816. and the description of the township was as follows: "Ordered that all that portion of Franklin county which lies within the town-ship 10, range 1 ; township 10. range 2: township II, range 1, and township 11, range 2, shall compose a township which shall be known and called Bath township." William Dubois was the first one to be appointed by the court as superintendent of elections.

After January 1. 1817. the board of county commissioners had charge of county affairs largely. It was under this board that most of the town-ship organizations were perfected.   Esquire William Dubois, supposedly a justice of the peace, "swore in" William Coulson, as constable for Franklin county.

In May, 1817, Thomas Thomas was appointed "lister" for Bath town-ship.

Thomas Crislow was appointed overseer of the poor, and Jacob Bake, inspector of elections.

On July 12, 1817, the board ordered an election of one justice of the peace for Bath township, to take the place of William Dubois, deceased.

It is believed by all of the older citizens that in 1811 Col. John Miller built and operated a mill on Brandywine creek, in what is now Union county, but which was for many years in Bath township. This, or possibly the "Bake mill" on Indian creek, was the first in the township. Another mill was also constructed higher up the stream in this township at about the same date. Probably a horse-power system was employed when water was too low in stage to propel the old over-shot water-wheel. Another mill is recalled as being located in section 25, built by Abraham Lee and Nathan Bourne.

The first reaping machine in Bath township was probably the McCormick reaper, with an iron finger-bar. purchased by John W. Smolley in 1853.

Among the pioneers here called out for service in the War of 1812 are known to have been Colonel Miller, Abraham Lee and Jacob Bake.

Joshua Harris was a pioneer tanner of the township, and conducted his business on Brandywine creek, where later resided Esquire Caleb Barnum.

The first school house was a log building standing where the hamlet of Mixerville now stands, on lands owned then by Abraham Jones. The earliest school taught was in a log cabin, where J. J. Lee later built. This school was taught by Miss Abigail Smith.

William Bake was the first man who had courage enough to refuse to furnish intoxicating liquors for men working at harvest and logging bees in Bath township, he being a radical temperance advocate at a time when it was very unpopular to say anything against the drinking habit. Times have changed remarkably with the Might of a century in Franklin county.

With the flight of years many changes have been wrought out in Bath township. Where a century ago were hut a few settlers, forging their way through the forests and seeking to make humble homes for their families, today the scene presents one of charming rural life, with hundreds of beautiful farm houses, surrounded by all that the heart of an independent agriculturist might wish for. The scythe and cradle have given place to the reaper and harvester, the mower and the hay-making implements which make farm life more desirable and profitable. The log cabin has disappeared and in its dooryard one sees the modern farm home with all the conveniences found in city houses. Schools and churches abound and railroad facilities arc within reach of all the progressive husbandmen of the "kingdom of Franklin.''

The census reports of 1910 gave Bath township a population of one hundred and twenty-five.

The present township officers are: Trustee. Charles Wilson: assessor, Marshall Kay; advisory board, John T. Briar. Bennett Raider and Mark Maloy.


There are three little hamlets within Hath township—Colter's Corner. Bath and Mixerville. These are small country trading places, with but few inhabitants each. The township being called Bath, it was natural when a postoffice was established there, many years ago. that it should be called Bath, although it was located at a country store and a hamlet styled Colter's Corner, which place is something over a mile to the west of the present railroad station on the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, known as Bath (by some called New Bath, but not rightfully). Colter's Corner was established before the Civil-war period, and has never grown to a place of much importance. At the present time the business is in the hands of the following: A general store, operated by O. R. El well: a grocery and meat shop, operated by D. W. Spenny: two blacksmith shops—one by J. C. Dare and one by W. E. Smith. Then there is one professional man. in the person of Dr. A. W. Johnson. Bath postoffice. which was formerly located here, was discontinued about 1907, and mail is now received by the rural free delivery routes from Brookville and College Comers. This hamlet is within a most fertile and beautiful fanning section, with signs of prosperity on every hand.

Bath, the railroad station of the township, is situated in section 27. township 10. range 1 west. The railroad was constructed through the town-ship in 1902-03. and the station at once became the feature of this portion of the county. A two per cent, tax was voted in Bath township to aid in building this line of railway, and this brought about twelve thousand dollars in way of aid for the construction company. The first buildings in the village were the grain elevator and a resilience of John Stout. The pioneer store of the village was that of John C. Hunt, a railroad engineer, who continued to run his locomotive until a year or so ago. since which time he has devoted his time to the store of general merchandise, which has been operated largely by his wife since first opened, in 1903. F. A. Rigsby, an early factor in the building up of the town, came in as soon as the place was platted and soon opened a small general store, and continued a few years, then sold to its present owner. Adam Kunkle.   Mr. Rigsby removed to Colorado.

The grain business has been in the hands of Rigsby & Stout, who sold to the Inter-State Grain Company, and they'll turn sold to the Willey. Brown Company, who now have a line of five grain elevators along the line of road running through Bath.

O. S. Dubois vs: Son came in 1905 and have been the only ones engaged in buying and selling live stock. They bought and shipped before the rail-road was finished by driving the stock to Cottage Grove.

The first blacksmith in Bath was George Collier, who fired his glowing forge about as soon as the town had an existence, he was succeeded by several other smiths.   The present blacksmith is Ward Loper.

J. C. Hunt, before mentioned, built a hotel in 1913, but its landlords have not been successful and today the house is vacant. At one time it was conducted by Ed. Peek, and later by the telegraph operator. John Gormaine. It is a good two-story frame building.

Soon after the town started a tile manufacturing company was formed and operated for a while and then failed, causing a loss to many of the stock-holders.

H. E. Majors is the only person who has run a meat business; he opened his meat shop in 1909 anil is still running the market.

The livery business is in the hands of Dubois & Son. who keep five horses and attend to all the livery demanded in the village.

Adam Kunkle. the general dealer, also handles lumber.

Milk is bought and shipped daily to Richmond. Both the local and long distance telephone systems are to be had from this point. Lands sell from one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars per acre, and not much changing hands at this time (1915).   The chief products are corn, hogs and wheat.

As to schools, it may be stated that the patrons of schools here send their children to the new graded school building, a brick structure erected a half mile west of the village in 1911. It is modem and has a basement and is heated with steam.

The nearest church is the one at Colter's Corner—about a mile to the west—(see church history).

Mixerville is a small trading hamlet in the southeastern portion of Bath township, in section 36. Here the first postoffice in the township was established, but long since it has been served by the rural free delivery system.

The only business there at this date is the general merchandise store of Mrs. Wilson. A town was platted here in 1846 by William Mixer, but it never materialized into a place of much importance.


The extreme northwestern .subdivision of Franklin county is Posey town-ship. It is west of Laurel and north of the western portion of Salt Creek township. It derived its name from Thomas Posey, governor of Indiana Territory 1812-16. Posey township was one of the three townships in the county on January 3, 1816, the other two being Brookville and Bath. At that time Posey included all of the land between the middle of town 12 north and town 14 north, lying between the treaty lines of 1795 and 1809—an area approximately twelve miles scpiare. On July 16, 1816, it was cut in two in order to form Connersville township on the north. Somerset township was cut off from it May 14. 1821. but before the end of the year (November r2. 1821) this township ceased to exist and its territory again became a part of Posey. Blooming Grove township was cut off of Posey on May 12, 1817. The formation of Salt Creek (May 8. 1844) and Laurel (March 5, 1845), reduced Posey township to its present size, six miles in length by three in width. It is composed of eighteen sections of township 12 north, range 11 east, or the east half of congressional 12 township. The township was settled by pioneers who came late, and as a rule followed the streams, as this loca-tion was best suited to pioneer life. The population of Posey township in 1910 was 713. as against 8 to in 1900. and 882 in 1890.


On January 6. 1816, Posey township was defined by the commissioners as "all that part of Franklin county which lies within the following boundaries, towit: On the north by so much of the northern boundary line of said county as lies between the northwest corner of township 11, range 2, and the northwest corner of the county, on the west by so much of the western boundary line as lies between the northwest corner of the county and a line to be drawn so far south that the same by running east will strike the line dividing the ninth and tenth township in the first and second range, on the south by the last described line, and on the east by the western boundary line of the tenth and eleventh township of range 2—shall compose a township, which township shall be called and known by the name of Posey township."

The next change was on February 10, 1817. when the county commissioners ordered the county of Franklin to be divided into six townships. White Water, Brookville. Posey. Bath. Union and Connersville. Posey town-ship was ordered bounded as follows:

"Beginning at the northeast corner of Brookville township: thence running east to the old boundary line at the corner of ninth and tenth townships: thence along the said boundary line in a northerly direction to the center of township 13 and range 13: thence west to the western boundary line of said county, thence to the place of beginning, running on the western boundary line of said county."

The same year, in the month of August. (See book E, p. 45), the following change was made in the territorial lines:

"Ordered, that all that part of Brookville township lying west of a line drawn due south from the southeast corner of Posey township, until it intersects the north line of White Water township be added to Posey township."

In October. 1818. the central part of the state was purchased by the United States government from the Indians, and this immense tract of land now comprising all or parts of thirty-eight counties, has always been known as the New Purchase. New counties were organized out of this territory as fast as the population would justify, and many of the counties already formed which were contiguous to this tract were enlarged by incorporating parts of the territory in epiestion.

The state Legislature of 1823 added part of the New Purchase to Franklin county, and on February 11, 1823. the commissioners of Franklin county "ordered that all that part of Franklin county which has been attached to Franklin by a late act of the Legislature, which lies west of Posey town-ship, be and the same is hereby attached to the said township of Posey."

In 1828. in describing the bounds of all the existing townships, the commissioners' record shows the following on Posey township:

"Ordered, that the fifth township he bounded as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of township 12. in range 12 east: thence due west along said township line to the western boundary of Franklin county: thence north along said boundary line to the northwest corner of Franklin county: thence east along the northern boundary of said county to the northeast corner of township 12 in range 12 east: thence south on the township line to the place of beginning, to be called Posey township."


Its streams are Little Salt creek, which takes its rise near the northwest angle of the township and courses in a southeastern direction through more than a third of its area. Bull's fork of Salt creek drains the southwest corner of the township. The South fork of the Little Salt creek crosses much of the territory and passes out near the southeast corner. The streams afford a good acreage of rich bottom land. The general surface of the township is gently rolling, with some level table land in the central portion. Its soil is substantially the same as that found in Salt Creek and Ray town-ships.

The first white man to invade this portion of what is now Franklin county was a Revolutionary soldier who was present at General Braddock's defeat. The name is Joseph Mires, who settled on Seine's creek. He was a model frontiersman, and his name is frequently referred to by older residents and writers of local history. Just what spot he located on is not known, but that it was near the township line is usually conceded by historians. It is likely that lie was a "squatter," as his name does not appear on the government land office records. The following entered lands, at government prices, at the dates indicated in the subjoined list of land entries:

1820—Simon Barbour, Atwell Jackman, William Wilson. Eliphalet Barbour.
1821— Jared Lockwood.
1822— Ephraim Goble. James Miller. Stephen Hamilton.
1823— Daniel N'eff. Joseph Rash. John Lewis.
1827—Eli C. McKee. Morgan Lewis.
1829—Timothy Allison. William Hite.
1831— Alexander rower.
1832— Charles Malone. Edward Scott. James Wallace. Joshua Watkins, William Brown.
1833— Abraham Miers. John Ryan. James S. Grimup. William Xichols, Mason Palmer.
1834—John Morgan. James Cox, John Bishop.
1836—John Linville. Thomas Moore, Buckley C. Harris. William Carpenter. Elijah Misner. Jolm H. Scott. John Thomas. Thomas Flint. Henry H. Partlow. Thomas Sims. Jacob Partlow. William Simonson. Jacob Partlow, William Pruet.
1841—Silas Andrews.


There were numerous saw-mills and corn-crackers scattered here and there throughout this township at an early flay, hut owing to the uncertainty of the water power and other reasons they have-all disappeared. The last saw-mill in the township—the old John Barter mill—erected in 1849, two and a half miles south of Andersonville. was found one morning in September, 1914- to have collapsed and in ruins. It was not operated after about 1898. The dam went down stream in 1813. It was a typical old sash saw-mill, whose long, Upright saw could handle very large logs. It was propelled by the waters of Salt creek, running through a double-turbine wheel, giving sixty-horse power. M.r. Barter cut thousands of feet of the finest black walnut lumber over seen, and at first he shipped it to Cincinnati, by the old canal, and later by rail. It is believed that this was the last of the many saw-mills propelled by water power that ever run in this county.


A store and tavern was opened at a very early date by Thomas Anderson at the forks of the Brookville and Shelbyville state road. His tavern was a popular one and he soon became an influential, prominent pioneer.

Atwell Jackman, a wheelwright and farmer, settled a short distance from Anderson's, and was the first to work at wagon-making.

The first tannery in the settlement was established by a Mr. Redpath. He remained only a short time and removed from the township. He was succeeded as a tanner by Alexander Power, whose tannery was a little distance east of "Hull Town."   He also made shoes and horse-collars.

The first saw-mill in this township was on Little Salt creek and was put in operation by Samuel Jinks. A steam saw-mill was next set in motion by Simpson Barbour. who continued to cut lumber many years.

The earliest physician was Dr. R. D. Logan, who subsequently studied law and became a circuit judge. Another pioneer physician was Doctor Gillin.

The first school in the township was kept by a Mr. Sally, in a hewed-log house, which had a clapboard roof; the windows were exceptionally high and very narrow. This was. of course, a subscription school. More concerning the schools of the township is found in the Educational chapter.

Rev. John Morgan, who came to the township in 1828. wrote as follows in the early eighties:

"At our log-rollings and raisings we used to have what they called 'good whisky,' which made them feel very funny sometimes and would occasionally cause friends and neighbors to get into difficulty and right. In 1831 I thought something ought to he done about it, so I made an appointment to deliver a temperance lecture at a certain time and place. When the time arrived there were quite a number out and I delivered the first temper-ance lecture I ever heard and the first one in the township. We soon had a strong temperance society, and the practice of using liquors at public gatherings soon ceased to a great extent."

The first religious society in the township was the United Brethren in Christ.   (See chapter on churches of this county.)


Andersonville. a part of old Buena Vista and. Bull Town, are all the attempts made at town building in this township. Buena Vista is only a small hamlet, while Anderson is a thriving village of about three hundred and fifty inhabitants. Bull Town has ceased to exist and is only known in memory.

The following description of this place occurred in the Drookville American in May, 1852:

"As to the improvements at Bulltown we might say that there are in and near the place three very respectable water saw-mills (one of which has just been rebuilt), all owned and run by very worthy, industrious, resectable men, and in which large quantities of lumber are annually manufactured, both for home consumption and for the Cincinnati market, besides a steam saw-mill, which we hear has recently been sold for over two thousand five hundred dollars. Besides this, the workmen are now actively engaged in constructing through the place one of the finest turnpikes in the country, the grade of which in no one place exceeds three degrees: and that neighbor-hood does its full share of the work."

Andersonville, in the northwest part ot the township, in section 10. was laid out in November. 1837, by Fletcher Tevis. and it was first known as Ceylon, later changed to Andersonville. on account of Thomas Anderson dedicating an addition to the place in May. 1849. He later succeeded in having the postoffice named for him. adding the "ville" to his name and making it Andersonville. Anderson conducted a tavern, where liquor was freely sold and used by traders and hunters thereabouts. At present the town has numerous churches, good schools and lodges, each of which are mentioned in chapters relating to such topics. The United Brethren are a strong sect at and near Andersonville. The lodges include the Masonic and Improved Order of Red Men. A very unique newspaper is published there, known as the Herald, owned and edited by F. Wilson Kaler. and it is said to be the only publication at a rural free delivery point in the world, Andersonville being six miles off of the railroad, to the west of Laurel. The merchants of the village in the spring of 1915 were Messrs. drier. Bryson. Morgan and Stevens.   The physicians there are Doctors Coffee and Metcalf.

The township officers serving in 1915 are as follow: Trustee. George Meid; assessor. C. H. Mitchell: advisory board. H. H. Stevens. Thomas G. Kelso. Leroy Barber: constable, Clark Denumbrum; justice of the peace, George Mc Barber: supervisors, James W. York. Luther T. Davis.


White Water is in the extreme southeastern corner of Franklin county, and is bounded on the north by Springfield, on the west by the Indiana-Ohio state line, on the south by Dearborn county, and on the west by Highland and Brookville townships. This subdivision of the county contains thirty-six sections and comprises all of congressional township 8 north, range I west. White Water township was created by the commissioners on January 6, 1810. The record (Book D, p. 82), shows that it was one of the four civil townships in the county at that date. Its territorial limits were described as follow: All that part of Franklin county which lies south of a line beginning at a point on the west side of the said county and thence running east to White Water so as to cross the river at the south of Big Cedar Grove creek: thence running along the Big Cedar Grove creek, then meanders thereof until the same intersects the line dividing the eighth and ninth town-ships: thence running east with the said township line to the east boundary of the county—shall compose a township. which township shall be known and called by the name of White Water township."

The next change in boundary appears on pages 3-7 of Record Book E. and bears date of February 10. 1817. when Samuel Rockafeller and Enoch D. John, commissioners, ordered that the township limits of White Water. Brookville. Posey. Bath. Union and Connersville be redefined. The record shows that White Water township was described by the commissioners as follows:

"Commencing at the southwest corner of Franklin county, running east with the southern boundary line of said county to the southeast corner of said county: thence north along the eastern boundary of said county until it intersects the line dividing the eighth and ninth townships on range I; thence west with the aforesaid line until it strikes the Big Cedar Grove creek: thence down this same with the meanders thereof to the mouth of said Cedar Grove creek: thence due west to the western boundary line of the county: thence south to the place of beginning."

In 1828 the commissioners defined all the township limits and at this time "ordered that the eighth congressional township, in range 1 west, shall compose and constitute the first township to, he called White Water town-ship."   And it so stands at the present time.


White Water river courses across about six sections of the southwest portion of the township. Johnson's fork takes its rise in the north-central portion, runs south and easterly to the White Water, which it forms junction with in Dearborn county. Big Cedar creek crosses the northwest section, and a good-sized branch of Big Cellar crosses the north-central portion and unites with the main stream in Brookville township. Dry fork crosses the extreme northeast corner, while Syers' run rises in three of the northeastern sections of the township.

The north and eastern portions of the township are quite level, but other parts are rolling, and along the streams the surface is very hilly and rolling: yet there is but a small amount of waste land. The streams of the township are not constant in their stage of water, varying with the seasons, sometimes almost dry. For this reason it is hard to maintain and keep in good repair mill-dams, hence hut little has been attempted at milling, though several early-day attempts were made, nearly all ending in failure.


Coming to the pioneer settlement here, it may he stated that most of the early settlers passed through this township to other townships and adjoining counties. The first land entered here was section 32. by Benjamin McCarty. in May. 1803. Then other entries were made, as shown in the "Original Entry List" of all lands entered in the county, the same appearing elsewhere in this volume, by township and range.   (See township 8. range 1 west.) John Seeley came in 1819.   It is probable that many of the men whose names are here given came sooner than these entries indicate. It is also well established that settlements were made at an early date by men who bought government lands of those who had entered them.

John H. and Samuel Rockafellar came in 1805, purchasing a portion of section 32, originally entered by Benjamin McCarty in 1803; the land later fell into the hands of John Allen. The Rockafellar family came from New Jersey, as did other families who located in this neighborhood. Among this colony may be recalled the names of John Allen, the Watkins, Ralph Rieley, Ralph Wildridge, Benjamin and William Lewis. John H. Rockafellar settled on the west side of the river opposite and above the present site of the town of New Trenton. Thomas Manwarring's place was directly west of New Trenton, across the river. Samuel Rockafellar located where now stands the village of New Trenton, at the northern part, where the main road turns to the left in passing up the valley, and there stood his famous old tavern, one of the most popular stopping places in the entire White Water valley for many years. He commenced business in a log house, which was soon replaced by a i^ood brick structure. Hon. E. K. Rockafellar had it for a residence in the eighties. It was among the first brick buildings in the valley. Thomas Manwarring. however, kept his hotel in Xew Trenton, at a much later date, and was also popular.

Benjamin McCarty made experiments and sought to obtain salt from a spring which flows into the White Water near New Trenton. It is believed these experiments were carried on about the summer of 1803. It seems quite certain that some salt was produced from the waters of this spring, but the article was not_of sufficient strength or purity of saline properties to make it a profitable enterprise. A deeper shaft was sunk and a strong stream of pure, fresh water came gushing in and ruined all prospects of obtaining salt at this point. McCarty had numerous workmen, who scattered here and there through the valley, became roving "squatters," and none ever became permanent settlers in the county.

On the lands of A. R. Case. Esq., a little west of the railroad station, there are several graves, supposed to contain the remains of a few of these early explorers.

In the northwest portion of the township, chiefly on sections 5 and 8. was an English settlement; the families were those of the Ashtons. Kerrs. Millers. Carters, Beesleys. Lertenshaus. Heaps. Halls. Harts and a few-others.

Another English settlement was effected in the northeast quarter of sections 11 and 12, and near that location. Here settled the Kirks, Jeans, Kings, Prices and other well-remembered families.

Down in the southeastern portion of the township, and up as far as Drewersburg, there was scattered a class of settlers from New York state. These included the names of Gulley, Israel Davis (an early Baptist preacher), Seeley Russell. Hollowell Benton and Stalcup.

New England-was represented by the Nyes and La Rues, all of whom located west from Drewersburg, in the center of the township.

The Jenkins families were in the extreme northwestern part of the town-ship of Whitewater, where Prince Jenkins entered laud in 1.814. In the eighties this family was among the most prosperous in the township.

After a sufficient number of settlers had entered and settled permanently in the township, it was legally organized as one of the subdivisions of the county. This was effected by the act of the county commissioners, February 10, 1817. at which time the territory consisted of all its preset area and also the greater portion of Highland. Cutler and Ray townships. It was a narrow strip running across the southern portion of the county, with a line due west from the mouth of Cig Cedar creek for its northern boundary. When Highland was formed about 1822 or 1823, the present boundary appears to have been established. Matthew Sparks was appointed superintendent of the school sections; Adolph Guiley. Lister and Ralph Wildridge. overseers of the poor, at the May term in 1817. Elections were ordered to he held at the house of John Vanblaircum; Thomas Manwarring was appointed inspector of elections at the same session of the county board.

In July, 1817. Ralph Wildridge was licensed to conduct a hotel: Joseph Bennett, John H. Rockafellar and Benjamin Gulley were appointed constables. Ralph Waldridge kept an early tavern, for his license was issued to "keep a tavern or house of public entertainment" in April, 1812.

White Water township has had many towns and villages platted, many of which are now defunct and their names unknown to many. These include New Trenton, Edinburg (now Drewersburg), Rockdale. Sharptown and Ashby.

The present township officers are: Trustee. Reed Moffett; assessor. F. M- Wright; advisory board. W. S. Stout. W. F. Winters, C. Strohmier; supervisors, William Yauger. Albert Waltz. Louis Lenkel. J. F. Hass.


New Trenton, situated in section 32. was laid out in December. 1816. by Solomon Manwarring. as surveyor, tor Samuel Rockafellar and Ralph Waldridge, proprietors. In September, 1847, William B. Cox made an addition of a small tract of lots. This old village is on the Whitewater river and was (Sue of the important points On the old canal. It was popular on account of being where the Rockafellar tavern was situated. Here Thomas Manwarring also kept a tavern and conducted a general store, entertained the public, both "sacred and profane." He was a well-known class leader in the Methodist denomination; attended camp-meetings; opened his doors to all traveling preachers; made a good grade of whisky, and sold it to all who desired it.

A Methodist church was erected here in 1835. Benjamin Lewis was one of the leading spirits in this church-building enterprise.

For a list of the early physicians of the village the reader is referred to the medical chapter in this volume.

The first militia officers in the place were: Major George Radicil and Capts. John L. Case. Joseph Harper and James Scofield.

The first schools were kept in the cabins of the pioneer settlers. The first regular school house was a log building at New Trenton; the next was on Elkhorn creek, a mile and a half to the west of the village.

At New Trenton the following is a list of postmasters who have served from the establishment of the office in April, 1817. to the present. This list was furnished by the postal department at Washington especially for this history, and the dates indicate time of appointment: Samuel Rockafellar. April 3. 1817: Thomas Manwarring. November 14. 1833: Eliphalet Barber. September 5. 1836; Joseph Sizelove. February 20, 1838. Moses Hornaday, February 7. 1840; J. B. Sparks. March 31. 1840; George Barber. January 27, 1841; Earl Power. February 18. 1842: Samuel Boatcher. May 7. 1845; J. B. Campbell. May 19. 1847: Samuel Davis. June 13. 1849: J. B. Carter. June 25, 1852; Fred Deike. April 28. 1853; J. R. Cooley. August 20. 1860; H. J. Carr. January 27, 1864; Samuel Davis. February 21. 1865; Fred Deike, February 8, 1868: Samuel Davis. September jo. 1869: E. K. Rockafellar, Jr.. July 13. 1870; Conrad Hull, November 8. 1871: George M. Lewis. December 20. 1880; Conrad Hull. June 14. 1881 : Hannah Miller. August 7, 1885; Conrad Hull. April 15. 1889: Hannah Miller. June 24. A. R. Greatbach, December 24. 1S97; James A. Mabis. July 6. 1914.

At New Trenton, in fact in various parts of the township, there were two classes of settlers—one known as the 'Tuckahoes," from the two Caro-linas. and the others the "Easterners," and when these two met in arguments and dickerings over business affairs, they frequently disagreed. At general training occasions and house raisings, etc.. especially in political campaigns and election times, both sections were warmed to fever heat by the free use of liquors, when encounters ensued, resulting in many black eyes' and not a few loosened teeth.

It is believed that the first to engage in merchandise at New Trenton was William Walker, in a log building, which was still standing twenty-five years ago, possibly partly in existence today. It was later weatherboarded and painted, making it look like a modern frame structure. All of the pioneer merchants have long since been gathered to their fathers and in many cases their names have been long forgotten to the community of which they were once a part.


The old Manwarring tavern in this township was one of the most prominent "meeting houses" in early times. In the same room in which Mr. Manwarring sold whisky, of his own make, by the dram, he also preached the Gospel on the Sabbath to a score or more old settlers. The bottom step of the stairway served as a pulpit and from this improvised rostrum the early ministers wielded a wide influence for good. This old brick tavern still stands and with its large "L" of rooms extending from the side of the building, it is practically as good as it was more than a century ago. This old bar room and "meeting house" is now used as a general store room. It was built in 1810. hence it antidates the little Cedar Baptist church building which was erected in 1812.

The business of New Trenton in the years 1914-15 was as follows: General dealers—Albert Witt, Miller Sisters, successors to their mother. Mrs. C. Witt: hardware. Clarence Lake. John Sintz: hotel. August Widan: saloons, Omer Brown, August Sintz: postmaster, J. A. Mabis; lumber and planing mill, Louis Brown, who had a yard and mill at this point until the flood of 1913, when all his property was washed away, even the lot on which his plant stood. lie then removed to the village of Cedar Grove where he is now located; blacksmith. John Sintz. The Methodist Episcopal is the only denomination having a building at this place now.

Among the first events of this village may be named the following: The first cook stove brought to the village was in 1832 by Z. A. Nye. The first piano of the place was that purchased by Z. A. Nye, about 1852. The first sewing machine was that purchased for the family of Dr. Samuel Davis, in 1860. The first railroad ticket and freight office was erected and opened to the public in August. 1866. The substantial wagon bridge was built over the swift-flowing waters of the White Water at this point in 1877-78.

Drewersburg, originally called Edinburg, now has a population of about seventy-five. It was platted in November, 1833, by John W. Hancock, William Ramey, Joseph Stevens and John Russell. It is located on the southeast quarter of section 33. It took the name Drewersburg from William S. Drewer, who resided there at the time of the platting. It has a few business houses and affords a trading place for those living along the eastern line of the county.

Sharpstown was originally a postoffice on the Mt. Carmel and Johnson Fork turnpike. A store or two and a few shops were all that ever went toward making up a village. The population is placed at thirty. It is situated on section 3.

Rockdale is an interesting little village, situated at the foot of a large hill, and it is safe to say that no village of the county can rival it in natural scenery. This is one of the newer towns of the county and its buildings indicate that its people are possessed of thrift and prosperity. The mercantile interests of the town are in the hands of James Stewart and David Jaisle, both of whom have well-stocked general stores, doing a flourishing business in the town and immediate vicinitv. One of the best rural school buildings in the county is found here and the people take a just pride in their excellent schools. A United Brethren church serves the religious interests of the town and has exerted a wholesome influence in the community ever since it was established.


On the southern boundary of the county, second from the western border, is Butler civil township, with Metamora and one section of Brookville township at the north, Brookville and Highland townships to the east and to its south is Ripley county, while to the west are Ray and Salt Creek townships. It contains thirty full congressional sections in townships 10 and 11 north, ranges 12 and 13 east.   The township was erected by the board of county commissioners September 5, 1849, by taking nine sections of town-ship iif range 13; nine off of township 11, range 12; six off of township 10, range 12; and six from township ii, range 12. which sections were previously, respectively, in Brookville. Highland. Ray and Salt Creek townships. This change was effected on account of the inconveniences of getting to and from elections when the water was at a high stage in the creeks. It was named for Butler county, Ohio, from which many of the settlers had emigrated. At the same time the township was set off as a separate subdivision, its first officer was appointed, in the person of Aaron B. Line, who was made inspector of elections for the newly created township.

The surface of Butler township is somewhat broken and in many places extremely rough. Yet within the bounds of the territory there is a sufficient amount of both bottom and upland to afford a good farming district. The soil, which is largely clay and drift soil mixed, is well calculated to produce good crops of the grains and grasses common to this latitude and climate. Originally, the township was covered with a good growth of timber, especially valuable trees of oak of various varieties. On Pipe creek there is a grove of cedars, which for many years attracted the passer-by. There stood, in the eighties, a huge cucumber tree, measuring fully two and a half feet in diameter and sixty feet high—the only one known in this section of coun-try.   It stood on the farm owned then by Mrs. Grinkemier.

The streams are Pipe creek, a branch of the West fork of White Water river; Wolf creek, which rises in the central portion, runs north to the north-east part of the township, turns directly east and from Brookville township falls into Blue creek. Cedar fork takes its rise in the southwest part of the township, finally finding its way into Pipe creek. Little Walnut fork of Pipe creek and a few more lesser streams afford an abundance of water and good drainage for the adjoining lands.


The records show that the first land was entered in this township by James Alley, who settled in the northwestern quarter of section 19. township II, range 13. in October. 1812. Regarding the actual settlement, it is known that John Alley, father of Samuel. Thomas W. and Rev. David Alley, moved into the township in 1814. John Gibson came the same year. The mother of James T. Osborn (then a widow) settled near where St. Mary's church now stands, in 1816. or possibly as late as 1817. So far as can be learned the first white man to effect a settlement and remain a resident of Butler township was William Russell, who settled at the mouth of Russell's branch, and remained there some forty years, then removed to Morgan county, Indiana, where he died at a ripe old age, respected by all who knew of his many manly virtues.

In 1813 James Jones was shot by John Gibson, who mistook him for an Indian or for a deer.

In 1816 William McCafferty settled; he married the sister of John T. Osborn.   These all located on Pipe creek, or very near that stream. The settlement in 1818-19 included Eli Stringer, who claimed a tract on the uplands of this township, in section 21, township 11, range 13. In 1836 this tract was occupied by a Revolutionary soldier named Richard Smith, who later purchased the land where stands St. Mary's church, and at that place he died.

In 1822 John Longacre effected his settlement; his family consisted of his mother, two sons and two daughters. This property was sold in about 1835 to Jesse Woodward.

Rev. Josiah Coen located in section 20, township 14. range 13. in 1823.

In 1832 Bernard Myrose, a German. located in the township, and it has been said that he was the first of his nationality who claimed land and established his home in Butler township.

The Ronnebaums, Ackermans. Michael Schafer, Ouirin Volz and Henry Crusa came in a little later. Others came in. but not very many, until 1836. when the building of the White Water canal attracted many home-seekers to this part of the state. This caused most of the vacant lands in Cutler town-ship to be taken up for actual settlement <>r for speculation. It was during 1836 that two men named Roberts, residents of Cincinnati, entered all the remaining vacant lands in the county, except a few small tracts. These Speculators held these lands for higher prices, and the result was that settlement was retarded west of the boundary line for a number of years. In 1846 this land syndicate was broken, after which actual settlers had a better chance to procure lands. William McCarty purchased the interests held by-one of the Roberts brothers, and George Holland, of Brookville. was made the agent of the other interests. Soon the lands were sold out in smaller tracts to settlers at reasonable prices. The last lot entered was an eighty-acre piece in section 33. township 11. range 13. by John D. Shryer. about 1845,

The early schools and churches have all been treated in separate chapters, hence need not be further mentioned in this connection.

About 1830 John Aller erected a mill on Pipe creek, but, owing to the wash-outs of his dam, it never amounted to much and was soon abandoned. The same year James Alley built a saw-mill on the creek running across section 30, township 11, range 13. Later there was added a corn-grinding attachment and, between the saw-mill and corn-grinder, for many years the enterprise proved of great usefulness to the pioneers. It was still in operation early in the eighties, when it was owned by Jeremiah Jones.

It was not far from 1830 that William MeCafferty built his saw-mill and corn-cracker on section 8, township 10, range 13. A Mr. Clark built another mill on the same stream further up than McCafferty's, and a corn-cracker was put in operation on Pipe creek by Mr. Patzner about 1841. Other mills were erected by Jacob Jones on Wolf creek in 1851, and Lawrence & Flemming started their steam saw-mill in section 32. township 11 range 13. Later two run of stones were put in operation, and both flour and corn were ground in large quantities. It was in 1857. or possibly a year later, that John F. Dickman commenced to operate his steam saw-mill. About that date William Higlehoff operated another steam mill, both having circular saws, an innovation in the saw-mill business in the county. The Terry Jones grist-mill was early and long since gone, save a trace of the race and mill-posts which can still be seen on Pipe creek.


The first mowing machine was brought to Butler township in 1864, but threshing machines had been in use a dozen years before that. Foster & Alley brought the first grain separator from Hamilton, Ohio.

George Ertel, Sr., and George Ertel, Jr., father and brother of Jacob Ertel, were killed by falling trees near the old salt works. These accidents occurred a year apart and cast a gloom over the settlement.

A Miss Kemp was drowned while crossing Pipe creek on her way from Brookville, where she had been engaged to work.

About 1852 a young man named Hutchinson was drowned in Clear creek fork on a Sunday while bathing. A Mr. Coleman was drowned in the same stream while attempting to cross in a high stage of water about 1847.

In 1882 it was stated that the oldest inhabitant of the township who was born here was Mrs. Squire Harvey, who was born in the village of St. Marys in 1851.

The first person buried in the township was Washington Osborn. son of James and Ruth Osborn:   He died in childhood.

Very early in the settlement of the township there was much excitement over a supposed "find" of salt, a commodity then much more appreciated than now, when it has come to he such a cheap article. Wells were sunk and there was much exploring for the saline product. John Shaw, in 1832, made and sold salt from wells at the mouth of Salt Well branch of Pipe creek, in Butler township. He died in the autumn of that year and there were no further developments in the salt industry he had started.


At one time or another there have been the following villages in Butler township:   Oak Forest, Haymond {Jennings), Franklin, New Vernon.

Haymond was made a postoffice in 1S61, with Henry -Moorman as post-master. This is also known as St. Mary's, after the Catholic church at that point, and has a population of about fifty. It is located in section 5, town-ship 10, range 13 cast. Its present interests are inclusive of these: The large Catholic church, a history of which appears in a chapter on this denomination: a general store by Joseph Ronnebaum. who also conducts a saloon. Then there is another saloon by Henry Kruthaupt, and a blacksmith shop run by William Jansing. The village is on the rural free delivery route from Batesville.

Jennings postoffice was established in 1838. Franklin was laid off on Pipe creek, where about a dozen buildings, including a school house, were erected. The school house burned in 1S58. New Vernon was laid off by Jacob B. Lawrence about 1839. There were erected a few cabins and one large frame building. It is the site of St. Mary's Catholic church. The history of this, with all other churches of the county, form a separate chapter in this work.

Oak Forest, in the northeastern part of this township, now has a population of one hundred and twenty-rive. There one finds, today, a general store, for many years prior to 1913 operated by Fred Stumpf: two blacksmith shops, one by William Becker, to the west end, and George Williams, to the north side of the village, which is on the rural free delivery route from Brookville; there is also a saloon run by Joseph Vonderheide. There have been churches of the Catholic. Methodist and United Brethren denominations located at this point.

The population of Butler township in 1910 was onlv 876; it had a "population of 1,073  in 1900 and m 1890 it had 1,243.

The present ( 1915) township officers are as follow: Trustee, Hen H. Vonderheide; assessor. Henry Raspholer; advisory board. Joseph T. Lanning, Ben Langferniann, Charles Amberger: justices of the peace. Henry Pulskamp; constable. Joseph Wallpc; supervisors, Henry Friese. Herman Fleddermann. Frank Laker, Jacob Hildebrand.


Blooming Grove township is on the northern line of the county, midway east and west, with Fairfield and Brookville on the east. Brookville and Metamora on the south and Laurel on the west. It consists of twenty-four sections from congressional township 12, range 13 east, which are numbered from one to twenty-four. Four of these sections are fractional—1, 12, 13 and 24—being so made by the Indian boundary line of 1795. which divides the Ohio and Indiana system of surveys. There are twenty-one and one-half square miles within the limits of Blooming Grove township. But prior to the date when the above boundaries were set. and really the first mention made of this subdivision of Franklin county, we find in volume E. commissioners' records, page 7. under date of Monday, May 12. 1817. a statement, part of which reads as follows:

"This day came Isaac M. John and presented to the board a petition signed by thirty and more signers praying for a division of Posey township, in the county of Franklin, aforesaid. And it appearing to the satisfaction of the board that it is expedient and necessary that the division should be had of the township aforesaid, it is therefore ordered that the following shall be the boundaries of the said new township: Beginning on the Brookville township line, at the southeast corner of Posey township, thence with the boundary line between Bath and Posey townships to the center of town-ship 13. range 13: thence west with the line dividing Posey and Connersville townships to the line dividing township 13. range 13. and township 13. range 12; thence south to Brookville township line: thence east to the place of beginning."

"Said township to be known and styled Blooming Grove, and that all elections in said township shall he held at the house of Ezra McCabe. in the town of Greensboro." Later there were three tiers of sections detached and placed in Fayette county, leaving the present territory of Blooming Grove township, as above stated, consisting of twenty full and four fractional sections.

The first officers of the township in 1817 were as follow : John Walter, lister: James Craig, overseer of the poor; Isaac M. Johnson, inspector of elections: John Brown and William Skinner, constables: William Goe and Christopher Swift, supervisors of the roads of the new township. All there above officers were appointed by the county commissioners. Among the early justices of the peace were Samuel Miller. John Allen and Joseph Evans.

In 1828 the commissioners defined the boundaries of the eight town-ships in this county and Blooming Grove was given the following limits:

"Ordered, that the fourth township be bounded as follows: Beginning at the southeast corner of section 32, in township 10. range 2 west; thence north on said section line to the south boundary of Union county; thence west along said county line to the old boundary line; thence northwardly along said boundary line to the southeast corner of Fayette county; thence west on the line of said county to the northwest corner of township 12. range 13 east: thence south along said township line to the southwest corner of section 18 in said township: thence east on the section line to the old boundary line: thence northwardly to the line dividing townships 9 and 10 in range 2 west; thence east along said section line to the place of beginning, to be called Blooming Grove township."

The population of this township in 1890 was 664. in 1900 it had dropped to 653, and the last federal census gives it 631.


The most important stream in the township is Duck creek, which takes its rise in the north-central portion of the township, among a cluster of never-failing springs and creeks, and takes its course in a general southwesterly direction. leaving the territory less than a mile from the southwest corner, near where it received the waters of James creek, or commonly called "Jimmies Run." Wolf creek heads in the central part and Hows eastward to the East fork.   All other streams mentioned are branches of West fork.

The township is an excellent agricultural section. The northeastern portion is well timbered with the varieties of trees common to the entire county. The center and eastern parts have a clay soil, with a slight loam mixture. The central and eastern portion, however, are better as a farming section. Underdraining. in the western part of the township, has subdued and changed the soil so that it has come to be very productive of later years.

No general settlement was effected here until the close of the War of 1812-14. There were but two entries in 1811, none in 1812 and seven in 1813; in 1814 and 1815 the real tide of immigration set in.

The major part of the original entries up to 1817 were as follows: Jacob Baldridge and Ralph Williams settled (probably first in the township) in 1811; David Ewing, Josiah Allen. John Allen, Jr., J. Curry. Benjamin Norwell, Christopher Swift, all in 1813; Tyler McWhorter, Michael Kingery, Solomon Shepard, Caleb B. Clements. James Webb. Thomas Sherwood, James Sherwood, William and James Harvey, William Smith, Charles Harvey, William Skinner, John Delaney, Richard Clements. Joseph Hughell. Thomas Smith, all in 1S14: Samuel Steel. James Fordyce, Thomas Slaughter and Richard Dunkin. in 1815; Emory Scotton. 1816; Colvin Kinsley, 1817; William Harder, 1817.

It is thought that Jacob Baldridge and Ralph Williams were probably first to enter the township. They located .in section 19. in the southwest corner of the township. From records and general hearsay, it is believed that such men as the following were prime movers in starting the development in this section of the county, laying well the foundation for future township and county government: The Webbs, Swifts. Harveys. Sherwoods. Slaughters and Glenns, with their near neighbors.


The only village in the township is Blooming Grove, with a present population of one hundred and twenty. It is in the central part of the town-ship, and was platted in section 10 July 23, 1816, by Surveyor Joseph Allen, for the proprietors. John Naylor and James Sherwood. During February, 1817. an addition was platted by the same men, and lots Nos. 18 and 23 were donated to the public for a "school and meeting house." The place was named Greensboro, but some who did not favor the site for a town dubbed sit "Greenbrier." Perhaps no better account of the early history here can be given today than to quote what was written by Henry C. Harvey about 1881 or 1882, which article reads as follows:

"The writer came to the town on the first day of September. 1834. to begin a six years' apprenticeship at a trade, which term he fully and faithfully served and from that date to the present time has witnessed the growth and changes that have occurred. The oft-repeated statement about the original name of our village being Greenbrier is incorrect. The founders of the village were natives of Maryland and they named it in honor of a town in that state. The township was called Blooming Grove. Some time between 1830 and 1835 (for want of a mislaid old diary I cannot give precise date) the people of the township petitioned Uncle Sam for a postoffice at their village, to be called Greensboro. In due time word came to them that there was already an office by that name in the state. Then they sent the name of Blooming Grove and also the name of the man chosen for postmaster, and the petition was granted. The postmaster was an alien, but he made an efficient officer. At the next session of the Legislature after getting their postoffice, the citizens petitioned that body to change the name of the town from Greensboro to Blooming Grove, which was granted, and that is the way it all came about. As far back as 1820 the directory of business would have said: Samuel Miller, hotel, west of Main street; Peter Miller, chair-maker, east of Main street: John Ply, potter, northeast corner of Main and 'Cross streets; Rlanthan Cory, tanner and currier, north side. As yet there had been no store in the town, nor was there any until after 1825. The first store was kept by Beverly R. Ybun: the first wagonshop by Parismis Wilkinson. In 1829 Martin W. Morris, of Ohio, bought and fitted up property for a store and hotel. He occupied it for a time and then sold the property to William King, who also carried on merchandising and tavern-keeping, subsequently selling out to Coleman & Clements. Some time in 1830 or 1831 James Whorten. of Cincinnati, brought out a large stock of old goods and remnants and sold them at auction on long credit, greatly to the disgust of the resident merchants. The sale lasted nearly a week. Up to this time there had been no blacksmith shops in town, but shortly afterward Thomas S. Webb, brother of Squire John Webb, commenced the business. The first frame dwelling was built by Robert Runyan about 1834. and is now (1882) occupied by William Cooper. About this time a lot of 'exodusters' from Maryland swooped down upon the town and it began to grow. As yet there was no meeting-house in town."

At an early date there was erected by William Richardson a mill on Duck creek, hut it was abandoned after a few years.

James Harvey. Jr.. it is believed, was the first person to be buried within Blooming Grove township, his death occurring in 1819.

The first child born was James Hughell. and Henry C. Harvey the second.

The first school house was erected in cither 1817 or 18iS; it was in the Harvey neighborhood and the teacher was a Mr. Orr.

There are three churches within the township—"Old Ebeuczer,'' on the south line; the Methodist Episcopal at the village of Blooming Grove, and a Protestant Methodist church, all of which arc treated in detail in the chapter on Churches.

In the spring of 1915 the following interests were represented at the village of Blooming Grove: A Knights of Pythias lodge, an account of which the reader will find in the Lodge chapter of this volume. A Methodist Episcopal church—see Church chapter. General dealers. Powers & Perdiue andW. L. White. The former firm has been in business a half century, and as the firm is now constituted since 1891.. Thomas Ellis is the village blacksmith. Fairfield is on the rural free delivery route from Brooksville. the postoffice. established many years ago. having been discontinued in

The brick and drain tile factory of this place is operated for the owner. Mrs. Jennie Waggoner, by John Van Meter. Until recently there was a good steam saw-mill here, but it is abandoned.

The public school building is a good two-room frame building, erected in 1900.

Mrs. Mary Powers Deter, the oldest living resident in the township as well as in Franklin county, is in her ninety-ninth year, possessed of all her faculties, save defective eyesight. She is the last of a family of ten children, in her parents' family.

The township officers in 1915 in Blooming Grove township are: Trustee, Deward Wilson: assessor. Lee Wright: advisory board. Charles L. Schcisz, Aaron Apsley, Robert J. Vanmeter: justice of the peace. Louis C. Chambers; constable, J. W. Chowning; supervisors. Lon Stewart. No. 1. William J. Fields. No. 2.


Springfield township lies between Bath and White Water townships, on the section line of Franklin county. It contains thirty-six sections. It is identical with congressional township 9 north, range 1 west. Prior to May 12, 1817. it had been a part of Brookville township, but on that date the county commissioners set it off as a separate subdivision on the petition of Jacob Fausett and thirty other citizens of the township proposed to he formed.

The order follows: "So much of Brookville township as composed the ninth congressional township in range 1 west, shall constitute and be known as Springfield township, and that all elections in said township shall be held at the house of Nimrod Brackney."

This portion of Franklin county, generally speaking, is level, except where broken by some one of the streams that How through its territory. Big Cedar creek Hows through the western side of the township from north to south. The banks along this stream are very steep and bold. The stream has a main branch coming from the north-central part. Dry fork, a tributary of White Water, rises cast of the central portion, (lows south and easterly and leaves the township near Scipio at the southeastern corner. When first known to the white settlers this township had several ponds, but with the passing years the hand of the owners has caused them all to be drained and today there is not to be discovered a trace of them. The land in the old pond beds is among the most productive within the county.


The first land entered In this township was by John Remy, October 13. 1804, in the southeast quarter of section 28. hence it stands as one of the first settled portions of the county. Samuel Stewart was next to invade the township, making his advent August 1. 1806. During the same year lands were entered by William Cloud. John Coulter and William Rail. The complete entry list, elsewhere in this volume, give the settlers by years. After the War of 1812 the township grew rapidly and immigration kept up until most all of the good land was taken by actual settlers. The above entries have been copied and verified by public land records. However, there were many who entered land, made slight improvements thereon, and. being dissatisfied with the country or because they were unable to pay for the same, to those who had loaned them money to enter the land at government prices, sold or traded ''for a song" to some other man. who became a permanent settler. Hence, it does not necessarily follow that a man who entered land in the township was in fact a permanent settler, but the man who purchased from him who had entered the government land was entitled to be classed among the first settlers in the township. So it will be understood how easy it is to make the mistake of calling an original land purchaser "first settler."

Among the first to become settlers in the true sense was the Fruits family, in the central eastern part of the township, although the name does not appear in the laud entries.

Moses Raridcu came in from Kentucky with his family, and settled in section 14 in March. 1810. He had previously entered and improved these lands, hut through some irregularity in records and red-tape rules 01 the land office, the record was not made until 1810.

Philip Lynch was another actual settler who came in very early, purchasing an original claim. Following came others, who were in after years well-known factors in the development of this township, and these included Nixon Oliver, Samuel Lee. William Applegate. Moses Hornaday. R. P. Clarkson, Isaac Woods, Thomas Mathews. Philip Rowe. Cyrus Saunders. Joseph Wallace, Amos Appleton, James Anlery. N. V. Simmonson. Samuel Shirk, David Shirk. Timothy Scohey, David Russell. Eli James, Ira Stout. Powell Gulick, William Clark. Joah Howell. Henry Grover, John Merrill. John Barbour, William Armstrong, Samuel Harbour, Philip Jones, Daniel Shafer, W. T. Swift, John Abbott, Nimrod Brackney, James Thompson, Michael Owens, William Ferguson, W. and Thomas Crayton. Alexander Telford, Arthur Cunningham, Captain William Webb, William Gilchrist.


During 1812 there was a block-house built on land owned by Moses Rariden. at least it was partly constructed when the war closed and no further trouble was expected by Indian invasions This was near a large spring, the waters of which were still flowing a few years since.

The early roads were merely traces blazed through the timber, with a notice at each end of the trace, telling where the trail ran to and from.

The name of this township, it is believed, was derived from a large spring, where the block-house was to be erected. Others believe it was named for some town in the East from which came many of the pioneers.

Among the first to bring to the township graded stock was John Barbour. One of the first blacksmiths was the father of Isaac Wamsley, whose shop was located on Big Cedar, where the pike crosses that stream.

The Seal family owned a small single thresher, known by some as a "pepper-mill."   This was probably the first threshing machine in the county.

"Granny Singhorse," as Mrs. Singhorse was commonly called, was probably the first to treat diseases in this township. She used to travel on horseback and wore a hat of peculiar make-up. The earliest regular physicians in the county were Drs. Freeman Terry and G. Oliver.

The first school was taught in section 24. in 1814. by Margaret Rariden. About 1816 a school was taught by Thomas Craven, in section 33. on the Clendcning property. This man, it is related, used to apply the birch rod very effectively.

One of the first mills in this township was erected by Moses Rariden, on a branch of Dry fork, in section 14. Another was constructed by Isaac Wamslcy, in section 28. on the Rig Cedar. Another very early mill is recalled as having been built near Scipio. What was styled a "husk frame" mill was erected by James Seal in either section 32 or 33, on Big Cedar. Here he had a run of mill stones and did coarse grinding. Later this mill was removed to Laurel Hill. It was covered by a rude shed and had a hand bolting machine, each customer having to turn the crank if he wished bolted flour or meal. Power was furnished by means of a ten-foot overshot water-wheel.

A tannery was established by Thomas Mathews, and Thomas Upjohn also, at a very early date, had a tannery in the township. John Shafer had a tannery in the neighborhood at a very early date.

W. H. Tucker, of Decatur county, many years ago furnished the subjoined incident for the newspapers: "Walter Tucker settled on Little Cedar creek in 1815. About 1818 he built what was styled a 'tub-wheel* mill on his place.

"There were plenty of Indians about then. One day an Indian came to his house, when there was no one but a sister of Tucker's at home. The Indian, of course, wanted something to eat. and. upon looking up the chim-ney, he espied some hog entrails which had been hung there to smoke and dry. Mr. Indian pulled down a 'gut' or two. and, after feasting from a pewter plate upon which he laid the sweet morsel, he threw the plate under the bed and the remains of his "feast" upon the lloor and glided out of the house." John Clendcning, one of the township's most influential and energetic pioneers, was killed by lightning while standing under a tree in 1844.

Nixon Oliver was among the first militia captains in this section and was also a justice of the peace.

The first brewery in Franklin county was in Springfield township. It was located in the southeastern part of the township, not far from the Indiana-Ohio state line, and was owned and operated by a Mr. DeParr.

.Up to 1880 there had been four villages, four postoffices. seven churches and nine brick school houses within this township, bespeaking the thrift and enterprise of the population.

The village of Springfield was platted by William Snodgrass in l816. It does not now exist.

West Union was platted in 1818. but is defunct.   Lebanon, platted in 1819. is also now defunct. Scipio was platted in 1826. the post office being called Philanthropy. Mt. Cannel was platted in 1853 and now has one hundred and forty-three population. Other villages were Palestine 'called Wynn now), platted in October. 1847, by Paul Hollidav, having a present population of about twenty. Peoria, another hamlet of this township, has fifty inhabitants. The latest platting in the township is Raymond, platted in 1903. as a railroad station on the Chesapeake & Ohio railway line.


The principal village is Mt. Carmcl, in the southern part of the town-ship, which was laid out by J. and S. S. Faucett, in February. 1832. and August, 1836. This section of the county has much of historic interest connected with it. At one time there were numerous factories located here, including the celebrated red factory of Bishop, which factory manufactured, for forty years or more, reeds for woolen mills and cotton factories in all parts of the United States. It was the first industry of its class in all the West.

The first store at Mt. Carmcl was conducted by Joseph Halstead. It was a log building. The next to engage in merchandise was Isaac Burkholder, after whom came the Faucett brothers, who platted the town and remained many years.

The citizens of Mt. Carmel. as a rule, have always been opposed to liquor traffic and hence the village has been saloonless.

The town took its name from Mt. Camiel Presbyterian church, which was organized previous to the platting of the town. If it were not celebrated for anything else, Mt. Carmcl would have a place on the map. because of the fact that it was the birthplace of Miss M. Louisa Chitwood, a child of genius, whose poems arc known far and near: among these may be named "The Old Still House." Mention is elsewhere made ill this volume of this striking character, who passed from earth's shining circle all too early

The present business of the village is as follows: General stores. T. J. Gates & Son, Roy Patterson: blacksmith shop. F. M. Gant. Alexander Campbell: steam saw-mill. Henry Ferung; hotel. Charles Logan.

The village has Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias lodges, an account of which is given elsewhere in this volume in the Lodge chapter. The present churches are the Methodist Episcopal, Universalist and Presbyterian.


The following persons have served as postmaster at what is now known as Mt. Carmcl postoffice since its establishment, in January. 1832. The list was furnished the author by the postoffice department at Washington and the dates indicate time of appointment: R. P- Clarkson, appointed as post-master of what was then known as Sentinel. January 12, 1832; name changed to Mount Carmcl, February 14, 1840. R. P. Clarkson still postmaster: Jacob Lanius. March 16, 1848; Caleb Yocum, December 31, 1849; James Has son, September 4. 1850: Casper Fogel. May 26, 1833: Philip Rowe. February 13. 1856; S. R. Jenkins. March 24. l863; I. S. Larue, March 9. 1864: J. B. Smith. April 28, 1868; J. A. Gates, October 21, 1869; T. E. McCoy. January 27, 1870: E. M. McCrcady, January 18, 1871; P. B. Millepaugh. June 4, 1873; Thomas Heap, August 12. 1873: C. W. Stewart. August 24, 1874; William Laird. April 12, 1889: J. W. Merrill, April 14. 1890: Emma Richard, November 14. 1893; Thomas J. Gates. December 13, 1897; office discontinued March 31, 1906.

The corporation officers in 1915 were: Trustees, William Luse. T. J. Gates, J. J. JolIiff; clerk, A. W. Lewis; treasurer, E. L. Gates. The date of incorporation was 1881.

Peoria is a small village on the state line, three miles north of Scipio. Ingleside Institute, once a popular academy, was located there. Prof. William Rust was the founder of the school. Prof. J. P. Gassedy opened a normal school in the same building at a later date: both educational institutions have long since passed out of commission.

Mt. Pisgah was a small community of people in the vicinity of Asbury church. There, at one date in the history of the township, there was a saw and grist-mill, which made it a business center: this place, however, was never platted.

The present officers of Springfield townships are: Trustee. Roscoe Hubbard: assessor. John Waltz: advisory board. Albert Biddinger. John D. Nutty. Thomas J. Gates; justice of the Peace, Addison Lewis: constable. Harry West: supervisors. John Rockwell, John S. MeClure. AL George. Thoinas Freeland.

The population of the township in 1910 was. including Mt Carmel. 1,118. as against 1.130 in 1900 and 1,224 in 1890.


Highland township is on the southern boundary of Franklin county, between White Water and Butler townships. It is bounded on its north by Brookville. which also extends a distance of one mile on the west. This civil township of the county comprises twenty-four sections of congressional town-ship 8 north, range 2 west, three whole and four fractional Sections of town-ship 9 north, range 3 west, and three fractional sections in township 10 north, range 13 east; in all about thirty-one square miles. This township wa.s originally a part of White Water township, which once extended across the lower part of the county. It was cut off from White Water township by an order of the county commissioners February 12, 1821. at which time it was "Ordered, that all that part of White Water township lying west of White Water compose and constitute a new township to lie called Highland township, and it is further ordered that all elections held in said township to be held at what is now called the Republican school house on the lands of William Fred."

In 1828 the county commissioners described the boundary of this town-ship as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of township 8 in range 2 west; thence north on the township line to the northeast corner of section 13 in township 8 in range 2 west: thence west along the section line until it inter-sects the Grouseland purchase line: thence a southwesterly course on said line to the western corner of fractional section 6 in town 10 north, range 13 east; thence south to the county line; thence east to the place of beginning to be called Highland township."

The boundary line between Brookville ami Highland townships was not definitely established (Record Book page 179) until September 6. 1842. when the commissioners ordered Thoinas Winscott. the surveyor of Franklin county, to establish a line between Brookville ami Highland townships, commencing at the corner of sections 12 and 13 on the boundary line and running due west until it strikes a line dividing Brookville and Ray townships. On December 6. same year, the commissioners declared that the boundary line established by Thomas Winscott pursuant to the order of the board on September 6. 1842. be set aside, and ordered that "said line be re-established on the section line south of the line dividing sections 12 and 13 in township 9. range 13; thence southwest with said boundary to the southeast corner of township it. range 12: the last named points to  te the line between Brookville town-ship and Highland township."  Subsequently it was reduced to its present size by the formation of Butler township. September 5. 1845.   It was named on account of the high laud within its limits. White Water crosses the northeast corner of the township. Blue Creek flows across the west-central portion, having several branches, all of which unite within the township. (logic's and Ramsey's branches are small tributaries of White Water. The soil is of clay nature and in a few places quite thin. By proper care the fanners have been able to produce good crops of corn, wheat, barley and oats, while live stock has always been a paying branch of the agriculture of the township. The township was originally heavily forested, but most of the valuable timber is now gone.


Here, as in other places in the county, the first settlement was effected along the streams. Along White Water river, the extreme northeast corner of the township, there was a settlement of "squatters," who made slight improvements before 1805. To John Conner will ever be credited the honor of being the first white man to enter land in this township. but the record shows that he did not buy government land until August, 1810, although he had without question been a resident of this section a few years before that date. It was in this neighborhood that Conner had a store and Indian trading post. In an old account of the first settlement there appears paragraphs such as the following:

"During the latter portion of the last and the first years of the present century [meaning the last years in the eighteenth and first of the nineteenth century], there stood on the river bank a half mile up stream from present Cedar Grove village, a trading post, known as Conner's Post. At present all trace of it has gone, even the land where it stood has long since been washed away by the changing of the stream's current. After it was vacated, the trader, Conner, went further up the river and established another post at the point where now stands Connersville, the town being named for him. This structure was rudely and strongly built of logs, containing for barter those necessities required by the first settlers and many trinkets and bright woven fabrics to attract the Indians to whom they were exchanged for furs. Chief among these commodities were powder, lead and whisky.

"At this post the trappers, scouts and hunters would meet and relate their various experiences and purchase their staples, and often the squalid Indian, too, would idle away the long hours in lounging and drinking.

''Thus it happened on a sunny afternoon in autumn time, when a few men were seated about on open boxes, benches and barrels, conversing with the trader and each other, there strolled into their midst a tall, powerful savage with an evil countenance, who, for want of a better name, may be styled The Wolf.' He deposited a small quantity of furs and asked for liquor in return, and. having received it, he immediately swallowed it and sat down, glancing here and there, his black eyes flashing with delight and a metallic glitter. He seemed to be known and disliked by the whites, as they seemed to be hated and suspected by him. He drank freely of the whisky traded for, and as his brain became elated with it, he forgot his cunning and grew garrulous and boastful, seeking to awe the hunters by stories of his powers and of what to him were his mighty deeds of valor, but which, in reality, were thefts and murder, executed oftener through treachery and cunning than any boldness on his part. Stopping every few sentences to refresh his memory with potent drafts of the whisky, he boasted of securing scalp after scalp, until he led up to what he gloried in as his grandest feat of arms, which victory procured for him the most beautiful of all the scalps which hung in his lodge."

"The Indian finally boasted of having killed and scalped a beautiful young white girl; told all the cursed details, as only a drunken Indian can tell such particulars.

"At the termination of the narrative some of the white men sprang to their feet with bitter curses on the red demon, whose heart was stone, and while the hand of all sought guns and knives, the trader hurried forward, and a gray-haired scout, with a fierce, determined look, pointed up the river trail and said, 'Wait.'

"The vaunting savage dimly understood that he had told too much, struggled to his feet, and, after again drinking freely of the liquor, pur-chased a quantity of powder and lead and staggered away from the post up the trail.

"It will not be necessary to follow the Indian very far on his course, because he came to a sudden halt about sunset, at which time a sharp report rang out, a puff of blue smoke floated heavenward, a heavy body fell to the earth. Two hours later the moon rose and sent down through the branches long slanting rays of light that touched red stains which were not drifted sumach leaves! The Indian was never seen again: none of the white men at the post ever questioned whither he had gone."

The land entries in this township were, according to the county and government records, as follows: In 1811, William Helm, Thomas Clark and Stephen Goble. 1814, Nathaniel Herndon. William Ramsey. 1815, Robertson Jones, William Fread, James Jones. Jr. 1816. Peter Prifogle. the first German in Highland, and among the earliest in the county; Corbly Hudson. In 1S17, John Halborstadt, William Mintz, Samuel Price, Levi Fortner, William Knowls. J. B. Chapman. In 1818, John Stafford, George W. Matthews. Robert Douglass, William Walker, Bradbury Cottrell, Joseph McCafferty, Pliineas Johnson. In 1819. Joshua L. Sparks, Edward Black-burn, Jonathan Moore.

John Ward came to the township in 1816 and founded the town of Cedar Grove.

The following are the present, 1915, township officers of Highland township: Trustee. Theodore B. Schuck; assessor, Anthony Ripperger; advisory board, Frank Bischorf, William Beckman, John Fold; justice of the peace, John J. Wilhchn; supervisors, Charles Schuck, Joseph Strotlunan, Lewis Klenuue, Joseph Boehmer.

Before 1830. the great mass of new-comers to the western lands were beyond Franklin county, where a rich soil could be had to build homes for themselves. About 1831. the unoccupied area of the southern and western part of the county began to attract the attention of certain German emigrants, who had assembled at Cincinnati as a center from which to diverge for final settlement. Many of the good people came in parties of two or more families, and had lived in the same neighborhood in the Fatherland.

There were a few farms settled and improvements begun between 1820 and 1830, mainly by the following persons: John Lefforge, 1829; Joseph S. Whitney, 1821 ; John Bradbuin, 1828, he was the pioneer doctor of the township; Samuel Ward, 1826; John Hardin, 1826; Colvin Owen. 1826; Henry Speckman, 1826; Valentine Dill, 1826; William Spradling. 1827; John Spradling. 1833: James McCleary, 1830, the last named settling in what was long known as "Burnt Woods"

In 1832-33 the German people began to settle this part of the county. The immigration came from Cincinnati, by way of Harrison and Dearborn counties, and was entirely independent of the Brookville settlement, except for legal and civil purposes. Among the earliest Germans were Michael and Ignatz Ripperger, who entered lands in section 31, in September, 1833. adjoining the town of St. Peters.

Later settlers were: Louis Sliockley, William Sturwold, Conrad Schomler (who was killed by a falling tree). Christian Floor. John Stockinger (who was bitten by a rattlesnake in the harvest field, and from it lost his life), Catherine Rtpp. John R. Dirkhuesing, Henry Holbert. Joshua Bacher. Philip Waldorf. John H. Ellerman, Henry Beckman. Henry Mires.

Henry Poppe, Valentine Dill, Valentine Fuller, Sarah Kecler, all of whom settled here previous to 1837.   John Bath settled in section 33 in 1837. In 1838 Godfrey Seibel built a brewery on the branch of Blue creek. This was the first brewery in all this section of the country, save one in Springfield township.

Among the English-speaking settlers may be named James Robeson, of Kentucky, who came in 1809 to Brookville township and to Highland in 1816. William Robeson, who settled in 1831, was justice of the peace and county treasurer two terms, as well as county commissioner. The first school house in the township was on Joshua Baker's land, built of buckeye logs, which persisted in sprouting for a long time after the logs had been laid up. George W. Matthews was one of the first teachers.

The first meeting house in this township was built of logs, situated west of present South Gate village. . It was first used by the Methodist denomination.


The towns and post offices of this township are, Cedar Grove, with a population of 185; St Peters, with 150; Blue Creek, with 75; South Gate, with 100, and Highland Center, a mere hamlet.

Cedar Grove is situated on the White Water river, on the railroad and the old Valley pike. It was platted and christened "Rochester,"' by John Ward, in September, 1837. In 1844 D. F. Cooley made an addition to the town. This place sprung into existence on account of the construction of the old canal, and was formerly a very important point along that water-way. The Wards erected a large flouring mill on the opposite side of the river and were important factors in building up what was at one time a busy commercial center.

James Roseberry, another pioneer, there conducted one of the earliest taverns of the place.

The great flood of 1847 destroyed the Ward mills, and parts of the saved machinery were taken to the Cedar Grove side of the river and placed in operation as a mill by Withers & Knote. The present mills, built about twenty years ago, are operated by Casper Fohl.

The first church of the town was a union building erected in 1850. and built by subscription, and it is still used by any Protestant denomination who chooses to use it. The churches of today are the Catholic and Methodist Episcopal (see Church chapter).

Canal boat building was at one time quite a profitable industry in this town. A large number of the boats used on the White Water canal were built there. The following from a newspaper published in October, 1842, is self-explanatory:

"Canal Boats.—The subscribers have established a Boat Yard, for building Canal Boats at Rochester, on the White Water Canal. Two of the Company are regular ship-builders of long experience, and will be engaged in the construction of boats in a few weeks. They solicit the patronage of the public. They have good lumber ready, and boats will be built on reason-able notice. The business will be transacted under the style of T. Morse & Co.'
"T. Morse, "U. Kendall. "S. Coffin, "B. G. Child."

Cedar Grove, was incorporated in 1907 and its first officers were: John Fold, president; diaries Jonas. Charles Wiwi. Its officers in 1915 are: Thomas Moore, president; John II. Schuck, Charles G. Jonas; clerk and treasurer, Alfred Moore; marshal. E. Merkel. The council meets at the townhall.

In the spring of 1915 the business interests of Cedar-Grove were conducted as follows:
General Dealers—John Doerflein & Son, Charles Jonas. Shuck Brothers and Defner & Fohl.
Blacksmithing—Thomas Doerflein, John Witherlin.
Lumber and Wood Work—Louis J. Brown, who for years operated at New Trenton, but the flood of 1913 swept all he had away, including the land on which his plant stood, causing a total loss to him of all that he had accumulated by years of toil. He is an ex-county commissioner of Franklin county. He is now installing modern wood-working machinery and has a fine lumber business.

Hotel—Peter Hirsch. Joseph Munchcl.
Saloon and bar—Frank Schneider, and the two hotels.
Bakery and Meats—Thomas Moore.
Stock Dealer—Frank Schneider.
Flour Mills—Casper Fohl.
Tobacco Warehouse—Owned by Fred Reese, but leased by Kentucky operators. As many as three carloads of leaf tobacco are shipped from this warehouse in a single day. The postoffice has a rural free delivery route extending out into the surrounding country.

The town has two school houses, one built in 1873. a one-room brick building, and a more recent structure of brick, with two rooms.

The following have served as postmasters at Cedar Grove since the office was established in January. 1833. The list and dates of appointment were furnished by the postal department at Washington, especially for this history: Hezekiah Coffin, January 30. 1833; Charles Coffin. November. 11, 1833: William McCIure. March 18. 1834: Isaac G. Morgan. December 6, 1836; James Rosebery. January 3. 1838: Thomas Filton, July 3. 1849: J. C. Knecht. July 14. 1853: E, H. Chambers. December 16. 1854: J. S. Whitney, July 16, 1856; B. Y. Boyd. January 16. 1858; J. S. Rockafellar. January 6, 1859; Thomas Filton. September 29, 1859: J. S. Rockafellar. June 15, 1861: George Barber. April 9, 1863: S. M. Ryker, November 30. 1864: John Lincgar. April 28, 1865: E. H. Hayes, September 20. 1869: J. A. Hardy. January 5. 1872: Ebenezer Cooley. January 22. 1886; E. M. Collier, June 29, 1889; Casper Fohl, September 19. 1890; A. R. Ryman. January 10, 1891 : Belle Cooley, April 22. 1S93: A. R. Ryman. May 12. 1897: John Reister. September 17. 1902: E. W. Becker. March 9, 1907; E. J. McClaffcrty. December 7. 1908; Alfred Moore. May 4. 1909.

Another village is South Gate, situated in the southeast portion of Highland township. This was platted in September. 1850. by Richard Wood. The postoffice goes by the same name. The population of the village is about one hundred. The usual amount of stores and shops of a hamlet of its size are found there. In February, 1915. the list of business places were: General dealer. Jacob Shuck: blacksmith. Peter Emerein: the postoffice is a star-route office, and its postmaster is Adam Stinger. The place has a brick school house. The following have been postmasters at South Gate since June. 1843, date of the establishment of the office: James Tread. June 7. 1843: John E. Shilling. September 29. 1852: Joseph Saner. March 23. 1855; J. J. Ripperger. October 31. 1856: Albert Knabe. April 29. 1858; Jacob Schuck. December 5. 1859: Philip Eschemhack. February 10. 1862; Jacoh Schuck. April 9, 1862; Adam Stonger. November S. 1878.

St. Peters is another little village of this township: it is the seat of a large Catholic church and a German settlement established in 1853 added to later by that nationality.   The moving spirit in establishing this colony was Rev. Maurice de Palais.   It is located at the corners of sections 25, 30, 31 and 36 in township 8, ranges 13 and 14. Its present population is about one hundred and fifty. It receives mail over the rural free delivery route from Brookville. Its present dealers are: General stores, Anthony Gillman and Zeigler Brothers. Zeigler Brothers also conduct a hotel, or at least accommodate travelers passing to and from the village.

Highland Center is situated between South Gate and St. Peters, in this township. It is on the rural free delivery route from St. Peters and has but few residents. Its business interests consist of a general store, con-ducted by Joseph Schuck. who also runs a small saloon. Mr. Strothman is the village blacksmith.

Klemme's Corner (old Blue Creek) is on section 17, township 8, range 14. and receives its mail from Brookville over the rural free delivery system. There are two Lutheran churches there, an account of which will "be seen in the chapter on churches. There is one general store operated by Albert Klemme. The village has a population of about seventy-five persons.


The St. Peter's Mutual Fire Association was organized in 1869 by a number of prominent citizens in the vicinity of St. Peters. The first officers were as follow: Godfried Hubcr. president: Mathew Fussner. treasurer: Joseph Boehmer, secretary: Conrad Weiler and George Zimmer. appraisers. According to the incorporation articles, the membership was restricted to those living within a radius of eight miles from St. Peters. This means that the company does business in Ripley and Dearborn as well as in Franklin county. The company insures both personal and real property against fire, whether caused by incendiaries, spontaneous combustion or lightning.

This company has done a safe and conservative business for more than forty-five years and now has a membership of more than four hundred. The present officers are as follows: John Hornberger (Dearborn), president; Henry Ranch (Franklin), secretary: George A. Ripperger (Franklin), treasurer; Frank Rosefeld (Franklin) and John Huber (Dearborn), appraisers.


Source: History of Franklin County Indiana by August J. Reifel 1915


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