This township took its name from
Prior Brown, one of the first settlers. It was organized and
incorporated in the year 1833, at which time it was struck off from
Green, of which it had formed the eastern part for one year, prior to
which it had been a part of Jackson for a similar time, and preceding
that a part of Blue river for three years.
Brown not being one of the original
townships, like Blue river and Brandywine, just described, and Sugar
creek, yet to consider, it now becomes necessary to digress a little
and introduce a map and explanations, in order to make clear to the
mind of the young reader the origin and early history of the township
now under consideration, and of the other non original townships to
Suggestions, and Historical Facts
In order to comprehend the
descriptions of the origin and early history of the county and several
townships, the reader should study carefully our outline maps and
history connected therewith; also the wall map published in 1875 by the
senior member of this firm. To show the number of the townships and
their exact size and location by maps, would require eight
illustrations. We hardly deem it necessary to give all; but with what
we shall introduce, together with the printed history, the student may
easily comprehend the various political changes.
Let the reader ever bear in mind that
the county consisted of:
With this brief outline, in
connection with the maps given, to which we shall often refer, the
reader may readily locate any and all of the civil and congressional
townships, present and historical.
|In 1828, three townships
|| Blue River, Brandywine and Sugar
|In 1831, seven townships
|| Center, Jackson, Harrison and
Buck creek being added.
|In 1832, eight townships
|| Green being added.
|In 1833, nine townships
|| Brown being added.
|In 1836, ten townships
|| Vernon being added.
|In 1838, twelve townships
|| Jones and Union being added.
|In 1850, thirteen townships
|| Worth being added.
|In 1853, nine townships
|| Harrison, Jones, Union and Worth
Boundary Size, Topography, Timber, etc.
Brown township is located in
the north-east corner of the county, and is bounded by Madison county
on the north, Henry on the east, Jackson township and Henry county on
the south, and Green township on the west. It is the only township in
the county that is not partially bounded by Center.
In dimensions, Brown is six miles
east and west and five miles north and south; and, consequently,
consists of thirty sections. It is all located in township seventeen
north and ranges seven and eight east, the west tier of sections being
in range seven and the remainder in range eight east.
In topography, the face of the
township is mainly level, though somewhat undulating in- the vicinity
of the streams; soil, limestone deep, rich and lasting; subsoil, gravel
It was once heavily timbered with
beech, sugar maple, oak, elm. walnut, cherry, and poplar, and
especially abounded in fine oak. The destroying angel passed over his
township and selected out the fine walnut and poplar And claimed them
for his own.
It is almost wholly an agricultural
and grazing district. The only manufactories in the township, outside
of the flouring mills, are a saw-mill and a tile factory.
Sugar Creek enters the township at
the north-east corner and flows south-west three and one half miles to
the center of section twenty one, and within half a mile of Warrington;
thence north-west, dipping into Madison county at the north-west corner
of section eight: thence south-west, passing out on the west line of
the township, one and a half miles south of the north-west comer, on
the west middle line of section thirteen. Brandywine rises west of
Warrington. in section twenty, run south by south-west and passes out
of the township one- and a hall" miles east of the south-west corner,
and near the middle southern line of section thirty one. Willow Branch
rises in the Western central part of the township, in the eastern part
of section twenty four, and flows south two miles; thence west, passing
out a half mile -north of the south-west corner. The Pedee rises in the
south-east part of the township, flows north-west four miles, passes
Warrington on the north-east, and empties into Sugar Creek in section
seventeen. " Brandywine, in Brown, is a small, torpid stream. The first
of these streams once furnished limited water-power for "corn crackers"
and "muly saw-mills," but has no mills on its banks to-day. The last
two are short, sluggish brooks, rising in wet. marshy land and flowing
through level territory, are of little use save for drainage.
The first land entered in the
township was on July 3rd. 1830, by Prior Brown, being the east half of
the north-east quarter of section thirty three, in township seventeen
north, and in range eight east. The second entry was made on December
2nd of the same year, by Isaac
Davis. This land was then in Blue river township.
Among the first settlers of the
township were : Prior Brown, after whom the township was named ; John
and Ezekiel Morgan, Geo. Nance, Mr. Davis, Perry Wilson, Sarah Baldwin
and her family of seven children, Morgan McQuery, the Johnses,
Nibargers, Sparkses, Hiatts, Seth Walker, Mosby Childers, Stephen
Harlan, and Thomas Collins. All of whom are gone to the happy hunting
grounds beyond the rolling river, and with the spirit's eye look with
pleasure on the pleasant surroundings of their posterity, now enjoying
the fruits of their labors. At a later date came Alfred and John Thomas
? Jonas Marsh, the father of William, Montgomery, Ephraim, and Dr. John
L. Marsh ; William Bussel; Aaron Cass, grandfather of Annetta Cass,
murdered in Green township ; John Hays and Joel Cook, steady,
The first election in the township
was in 1834, held at the residence of Barzilla Rozell. The ballots were
cast in a hat, and covered with a kerchief. There were no complaints of
" stuffing the ballot box " in those halcyon days.
muly and modern.
The first grist-mill in the township
was simply a corn cracker, built by Stephen Harlan in 1835, and located
on Sugar Creek, one and one half miles north-east of Warrington, near
where the Concord church now stands. This mill was run
successfully for several years, when Harlan abandoned it and erected a
new one on a more extensive scale lower down the stream propelled by an
overshot wheel. The older citizens declare that the wheel was too large
and set too high to secure the proper fall for the water, which in the
dry season was low ; so that on the occasion of letting the water into
the race, it passed down very slowly till it came to a craw-fish hole,
when it suddenly disappeared, to the utter chagrin of the enterprising
miller and the amazement of the rural spectators.
In about 1852, Lane & Co. built a
sash saw-mill in the central
southern portion of the township, which they run for a number of years,
when they sold to Dr. S. A. Troy, who refitted it and kept it in
operation for two years, and then traded it off, and it was moved away.
Daniel Blakely, in about 1836,
erected a small sawmill on Sugar Creek, near Nashville, which fed
upon the choice logs of the vicinity for a number of years.
A Mr. Jenkins built a steam saw-mill
in the north-east part of the township in 1850, and run it for a
considerable length of time.
Harlan & Brown, about 1855,
erected a steam sawmill near the old Harlan mill, referred to
above, which was successfully operated for, probably, ten years.
Trees & Company erected a steam
circular saw-mill in Warrington about 1863, just across the road east
from where the present flouring mill now stands.
A little west of Nashville, on the
pike, Allen Walton & Brother built, about 1868, the largest and
most successful circular saw-mill ever erected in the township, if not
in the County, which continued in operation till 1879, when it was
This township is reasonably well
supplied with good public roads, many of which have been graded and
graveled by her enterprising citizens. There are in (In- township nine
and three fourth miles of toll pike, besides about six miles
surrendered to the public. Tn this township belongs the credit of
having the first gravel rood toll pike in the county, built in 1859,
and known as the " Knightstown and Warrington Gravel Road"
This township has do railroad
completed. The I.. B. and W. are extending n line through the county,
which will pass through the township, entering at the south-west corner
and passing out near the central middle line on the east.
Brown township has four churches,
to-wit: Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal. United Brethren, and
There are three secret orders
in the township" Masons, Odd Fellows, and Daughters of Rebecca.
It has two villages,
Warrington and Nashville, and two post-offices, Warrington and Willow
Branch. The former is the only voting precinct.
She has a tile factory, flour
mill, saw-mill, three pikes, one county officer, one mill stream, two
border counties, and is democratic by about sixty majority.
The names and numbers of the schools,
and the teachers at present employed, are as follows :
|District No. 1.
|| Miss Laughlin.
|District No. 2.
|| P. H. Copeland.
|District No. 3.
|| W. P. Bussel.
|District No. 4.
|| S. N. Ham.
|District No. 5.
|| M. J. Scuffle.
|District No. 6.
|| Jennie Kitterman.
|District No. 7.
|| Rose M. Thompson.
|District No. 8.
|| Lucy Morris.
|District No. 9.
|| W. J. Thomas.
These several schools are numbered
similar to the numbering of the sections in a congressional township,
No. 1 being found in the north-east corner and No. 9 in the south-west,
there being three tiers of houses of three each. The Buchanan
school-house is located in the western middle part, near J. N.
Martindale's farm. The senior member of this firm once swayed the green
birch with regal authority at this point, and had the honor of having
under his instruction the future county clerk, Ephraim Marsh; Dr. John
L. Marsh; and Dr. David Myers, since deceased. At the old original
Spiceland school-house, Dr. J. G. Stuart, of Fortville; Wm. Sagers, and
Montgomery Marsh, also received his instruction.
In 1838, Montgomery Marsh attended a
school located just north of the Buchanan, the building of which was
made entirely of buckeye logs. The teacher was David McKinsey, now in
the poor-house of this county.
The scholastic population of Brown
for 1881 is 489. Polls, 243. Population for 1850, 878; for 1860, 1,161
; 1870, 1,329; for 1880, 1,400
The number of votes cast in Brown in
1836 were 51; in 1840, 110: in i860, 205; in 1870, 235 ; in 1880, ,328.
Her vote for President in 1881 stood: Republican, 125; Democratic. 186;
of Real and Personal Property.
Brown township has 19,248 acres
of assessed land, valued at $423,620. Her improvements on the same are
valued at $53,810. Value of town lots, $2,330; with improvements on the
same valued at $6,380. Personal property, $158,605. Total value of real
and personal property. $644,745.
This township is assessed for the
current year, to be paid in 1882, for $7,141.45 taxes. Of this amount,
the following men pay $40 and upward, viz.;
|| $43 .10
|BusseI, M. P
|Collins, R. J
|| 54 .00
|| Collins, J.
|| 49. 95
|Cook, J. F
|| 67 .55
|| Combs, John
|| 70 70
|| 98. 90
|| Eakins, W.
|| 57. 75
|| 42 .55
|| Forts. J.
|| 80 .50
|Foust H E.
|| Harlan, S.
|| 48 .55
|| 47. 75
|| Howrin, T. J
|| 62. 60
|| Havs, J. B
|| 43. 90
|Hays, Wm. M.
|| 64 .15
|| Hays. R. R
|| 58. 05
|| 64 .90
|| Johns, Mat
|| 50 25
|| 44 15
|| 88. 50
|| McCray, S
|| 68. 40
|| Mays, John
|| 55. 00
|Reeves, B. F
Elijah heirs .
|| 70 .80
|| Risk &
|Sparks, W. A
|| Thomas, M.J
|| 51. 45
|| Trees, Wm.
|| 91. 40
|Trees, J. R
|| Trees, J.
|| 78 .75
|Thomas, A. B.
|| 86 .20
|| 49 .80
|| 80 .00
|White, J. W
|| 42 .35
It was in this township that a Mr.
Bell, brother of Senator Bell, of Madison county, was eaten by the
wolves in 1838. His body was found by Mosby Childers north-west of
Nashville in a badly mutilated condition. His bones, and fragments
of his clothing and pocket-book, were picked up in different places.
Cause of death never known.
Suicides and Remarkable Deaths.
In 1832, a child of Vincent Cooper
was frozen to death on the banks of Sugar Creek, in this township. It
had wandered from home and was lost.
In the early history of the township
a man by the name of Tullus committed suicide, by hanging, within one
hundred yards of Warrington.
In 1856, William Mitchell, a young
man, was killed by horse racing, being thrown against a tree by the
horse taking an opposite side of the tree from what the rider intended
he should, and supposed he would, take.
Alfred Jones' wife committed suicide
in 1875, by hanging in a small house near her residence. Cause unknown.
Her husband was absent from home at the time
The following are the names of the
township trustees from the time they were empowered with authority to
levy taxes, together with the date of their appointment:
|Wm. L. Garriott
|| J. W. Trees
|| Wm.. Marsh
|B. F. Reeves
|| Wm. L. Garriott
It will be seen from the above
that William Marsh held the office of trustee for more than a dozen
years, and wfe speak from our own personal knowledge in testifying to
his earnestness and efficiency. William L. Garriott sways the scepter
at this date, being the first and last trustee in the township under
the new regime. Attorney Marsh and Esquire Reeves carried the township
safely through the perilous times of the civil war.
of the Peace.
The following are the justices
of the peace for Brown township from
its organization to the present time. We copy from the records since
1840. Prior to that time we find no records either in our own
court-house or at Indianapolis in the state records.
|| Wm. L. Garriott
|| Benjamin McCarty
|| Benjamin F. Reeves
|| Benjamin McCarty
|| Fred F. McKinsey
|A. D. Childers
|| Benjamin F. Reeves
|| Benjamin F. Reeves
|A. D. Childers
|| H. B. Collins
|| Benjamin F. Reeves
|A. D. Childers
|| Joseph Garriott
Reeves and Garriott hold the scales of justice in Brown at present.
Brown township, like Virginia, the
mother of Presidents, has not been wanting in furnishing county
Among these ex-officers we call to
memory Ex-Auditor Lysander Sparks, one of the pioneers of the township.
His father was the first merchant in Warrington.
Captain Taylor W. Thomas, deceased,
late resident of Center township, was elected and served as sheriff
Wm. G. Caldwell, one of the staunch
resident farmers of Brown, was the immediate predecessor of William
Wilkins as sheriff of the county.
Of the ex-commissioners were Seth
Walker, Daniel Wilkinson, and Nevil Reeves, all honest, honorable, 44
Ex-Prosecuting Attorney M. Marsh and
Ex-County Surveyor James K. King were both elected in Brown township.
There may be others ; but as there is
no record of the residence of
the various county officers, it must be taken from memory and hearsay,
which are not always reliable.
The chief exports of Brown are corn,
wheat, hogs, cattle, horses, lumber, and flaxseed, with small
quantities of apples,.potatoes, and sheep.