Hancock County Indiana
Brandywine Township

This township takes its name from Brandywine, the principal stream in the township. It was organized in 1828, and then consisted of the entire central part of the county, what now constitutes the second commissioner's district, to-wit: Brandywine, Center and Green townships. In 1831, it was reduced in size to thirty sections, its present length east and west and one mile greater north and south. This reduction was made by' striking off Center and Harrison townships. Center then consisting of eighteen sections and Harrison of the remainder north. In 1835, Brandywine township was further reduced in size one tier of sections, six miles long on the north, which was added to Center. From 1835 to the present she has remained unchanged.

It is located in the central southern part of the county, and is bounded by Center township on the north, Blue river on the east, Sugar creek on the west, and Shelby county on the south. In extent, it is six miles east and west and four miles north and south, being the smallest township in the county. It is all located in township fifteen north and ranges six and seven east. Two tiers of sections on the west are in range six, and four on the east are in range seven. The range line dividing the two fractional congressional townships of which Brandywine is composed, runs past J. G. Service's land, dividing the farm of B. F. Wilson.

The principal streams are Brandywine and Little Sugar Creek. The former enters the township on the north line, one and one half miles west of the north-east corner, and flows south by south-west through the township, passing out through section thirty two into Shelby county. Little Sugar Creek is a small stream, which rises in the southwestern part of Center township, enters Brandywine township on the northern line, one mile east of the north-west corner, and flows south four miles to within one mile of the southern line; thence south-west, entering Shelby county at the south-west corner of the township. Both of these streams are small and sluggish, and not now considered available for water-power; hence this township, unlike Blue river, Sugar creek, and others, intersected by larger streams, has no water mills at present; yet, in the early history of the county there were two small mills on Brandywine, one in Harrison township and one in Bran­dywine.

The first grist-mill in Brandywine township was built by N. Swim in the year 1826, and located on Brandywine Creek, in the central part of the township. Swim afterwards attached a small saw-mill; but soon sold out to Geo. Troxwell, who added a tiny bolt to run by hand. Troxwell was a man of considerable enterprise. He carried on a hatter shop at the mill, and also built a still house near by. The water some times got too low to grind, when the people patronized a small horse-power "coffee mill" on the Dickerson farm, then in Brandywine, now Center, township.

William Wilkins run a saw-mill in the south-east part of the township for several years.

There is at present no flouring mill in the township. There was one at Carrollton run for a number of years, but recently moved away.

In 1856, H. and J. Comstock erected a steam saw-mill in Carrollton. It was burned down a few years since, and was rebuilt by Wm. Gordon. It is now owned and run by James Boyce.

Brandywine township was first settled in about 1820. Isaac Roberts and family came in 1819. Prior to which then- were located: David Stephenson, James Montgomery, and a Mr. Rambo. Soon afterward came James McKinney. Jonathan Potts, James Montgomery. N. Swim, George Troxwell, James Goodwin, J. H. Anderson, Robert and James Smith. Jacob and Joseph Zumalt, and William Lucas. Among the oldest present residents of the township are: Mrs. Isaac Roberts, J. P. Banks, John Roberts, William Thomas, sen., Mrs. Andis, Richard Milburn. Wellington Collier, and Alfred Potts.

This township is rather level, with portions undulating. no swamps.     The soil is good.

The township once abounded in tine timber in great quantities, similar to that in adjoining townships. She has recently sold off her walnut and large quantities of the oak.

Brandywine has fourteen miles of toll-pike and three miles of railroad. The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Indian­apolis cuts off the south-west corner of the township.

The first school-teacher in the township was Abraham Vangilder.

The first birth was Mercer Roberts, daughter of Isaac Roberts.

The first burial in the township was Emily Roberts. The next, a child of James Montgomery. The latter in 1824.

The first man married in the township was Zedric Stephens, who was married in a shed covered with brush. The supper consisted of spice wood tea, corn-bread, venison and hominy.

The first church house was built of logs and puncheons, by voluntary labor, in 1830, on the farm of James Smith. It was burned down in 1858. The first ministers were Hale, Horn, Vangilder, and a blind man by the name of Hays.

Brandywine township has seven public school-houses, numbered and named as follows, and at present supplied with eight teachers, whose names are set opposite the respective numbers:

District No. 1. .............. . Sugar Creek.....Allen Bottsford.
District No. 2................ ... Cowden's...........John F. Peck.
District No. 3. ................ .Pleasant Hill.....Henry W. Buck.
District No. 4. ................ . Porter's..............Vickie Wilson.
District No. 5........................ Scott's.............James White.
District No. 6...................... Lows'..............Chas. A. Reed.
District No. 7........Carrolton.. W. H and Allie Glasscock    
The estimated value of school-houses, including seats and the grounds, is $5,000; value of school apparatus, globes, maps, etc., $200; total value of school property, in the judgment of the writer, $5,200. Total number of school children, 416.
The population of the township in 1880 was 1,216; number of polls, 207.
The population in 1870 was 1,061
in 1860, 986
in 1850, 826.

The township is democratic by about one hundred and forty majority. At the presidential election for 1880, the vote stood as follows:
Democratic vote, 203 ; Republican VOte, 57 ; Greenback vote, 22 ; total vote, 282.

This township has 15,245 acres of taxable land, valued at $351,940; improvements valued at $41,370; value of li-ts, $1,116; improvements on same, $3,245 ; value of per­sonal property, $108,520; total value of real and personal property, $506,235.
The township will pay, in 1882, for this year's taxes, $5,717.85. The following will show who pays $40.00 and upwards of this amount:

Andis, Isabella
$4 .25

Andis. J. R

Andis, Morgan.

Banks, J. P

Hentley. T. E

Comstock, J. W

Comstock, Jas., heirs.

Duncan, Eph.

Espy, Paul

Gates, Henry

Hutchinson. Smith

Hackleman, Abe

Jeffries, Uriah

Low, Julia A.

Laribee, F. W.,

McDougall, D. and D.
47 55

Milborn, Richard..
$170 05

Milborn, Leoniilas.. . .

Milborn, Win. A

Porter, W. H

Porter, J. W

Parncll, James

Pope, Sarah

Roberts, John

Randall, Ed

Service, J. G.

Smith, T. L

Thomas, J. S


White, J. Q.

Wilson, W. F

Wilson. B. F

This township has one brass band.

There are three churches in the township, one Christian, one Radicl Methodist, and one United Brethren.

Carrollton, on the Junction R. R., is the only village :n the township, a full description of which appears else­where.

Cowden's School-house, in the central northern part, is the voting precinct.

Duncan McDoujfall, a native   Scotchman, a teacher, farmer, tile manufacturer, democrat and a gentleman, is entrusted with the school interests of the township, and the care of her poor in addition to other minor matters.

B. F. Wilson and T. W. Laribee preside over the scales of justice in this township. The following are the ex-justices of the township, with the date of election, since her organization, from the best information accessible:

Benjamin Spillman 1828 Abram Liming 1856
Orange H. Neff 1830 Mark Whitaker 1859
Joseph Chapman 1831 Abram Liming 1860
Joseph Thomas 1832 Benjamin F. Goble 1863
Elcazer Snodgrass 1836 Alfred Potts 1865
Abram Liming 1842 Andrew J. Smith 1868
G. Dillard 1842 Geo. W. Askin 1867
Abram Liming 1847 Alfred Potts 1870
Henry Lemain 1847 Uriah Low 1872
Mark Whitaker 1849 Ephraim Ward 1874
Abram Liming 1852 John Q. White 1876
Mark Whitaker 1855 Uriah Low 1876

The following are the township trustees, with the date of their election, from the time they were empowered with authority to levy local taxes: William Service, the father of J. G. Service, was elected in 1859, an(* served for ten years. Andrew Williamson was elected in 1869, and served his township faithfully till the election of his suc­cessor. J. G. Service was elected in 1874, anc* continued till the election of the present trustee.

William Wilkins, ex-county sheriff, who died in office during his second term, was from this township.

William Thomas, jun., ex-sheriff, and James Tyner, ex-commissioner, are both residents of the township.

It was here that Ezekial Wright, aged twenty-five, and Thomas Hughes, aged eighteen, were instantly killed by the falling of a tree, April 19, 1849. Mr. Wright's only daughter is now the wife of A. T. Brown.

In this township William Alyea was killed by the fall­ing of a limb, in about the year i860.

Near Carrollton, a son of Henry Carrington was killed by the cars soon after the railroad first passed through the place.

The chief exports of the township are corn, cattle, hogs, wheat, horses, and flaxseed.


This little village is located in the south-west part of the township, on the C, H. and I. R. R., about seven miles south-west of Greenfield. The railroad gave the station at this point the name of Reedville, but the town has always borne the name above.
It was laid out by Hiram Comstock, on the 25th of February, 1854, and consisted of twenty five lots. The first and only addition ever made to the town was by Rev. M. S. Ragsdale, in 1870.
It contains a school-house, one church, one steam saw­mill, two merchants, one grain shipping firm, two blacksmiths, one wagon maker, one physician, two carpenters, one painter, one postmaster, one shoe-maker, and one barber.
It has a daily mail and United States express.
The present business men are :
Lucas & Son.
Merchants and Grain Dealers
Boring & Hutton.
Thomas Taylor,   Emanuel Matillo.
James Peck,
Wm. Thompson.
Wagon Maker  
William Strope.
Shoe Maker  
Edward Seacrist.

John Peck.
J. W. Larimore.

Homer Willis.  
Express Agent

L. Boring.
John D. Lucas.
Among the first business men of this little burg were : John Elmore and the firm of Andrews and Roseberry, merchants; Hiram Comstock and Warren King, physicians ; Frank Lucas, blacksmith ; Martin Eakman, wagon maker, and William Eskew, shoe maker. The first postmaster, O. H. P. McDonald.

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