Early Recollections of Lanesville, Harrison County, Indiana, by a Former Resident of That Town
Rock Hill, Ky., July 11,. 1913.
From information received from my grandparents, Hilary and Sarah Lane, they came from Barren county, Virginia, about the year 1822. They had four or five children at the time—Henry, who later went South; Winifred (my mother), who married Abraham Kerr, of Corydon, about 1824; Mary (or Polly), who married Ira Crandall; Willis, who went South; Sarah, who married Thomas Reese, of Louisville. One daughter, Betsy, married a merchant named Rhodes, of Elizabeth, Indiana. Their other children were John Lane, who married Anne White, of Corydon; George Lane, who married a girl from Alabama; Martha Lane, who married Johnson,, a hatter; Anne Lane, who married Garvey, an old bachelor farmer, back of Jeffersonville, Ind.; Harriet Lane, who married Rawls, and died a few years later.
Hilary Lane's home, from which daughters were married, was about one hundred feet from the Constitution Elm Tree, under which the Constitution of the State was first read. It was also near Wind Cave, which is historic on account of its proximity to the big elm tree.
The tannery of Jacob Kintner and Abraham Kerr was located on a rise to the northwest of the big elm tree and Wind Cave, When Kintner and Kerr discontinued business (Kintner was very wealthy and retired) my father, Abraham Kerr, decided to build a tannery at Lanesville. While it was being built my parents moved to Louisville, where I was born March 22, 1827. When I was about a year old we moved to Lanesville and my recollections of the place date from 1832, when I vividly recall the big flood, during which Big and Little Indian Creek, which almost surround Lanesville. flooded the entire vicinity. I recall the crash of the falling trees when we all rushed to the door and saw the immense trees lapping across the creek.
My earliest recollections of Lanesville. The only tailor shop in town is that it was almost surrounded joined the Sackett home, by Big and Little Indian Creek, which come together just below  Davis farm. Big Indiana Creek runs the entire length of Lanesville. The Sellers farm was on the north-west corner of Lanesville street, the  only street in Lanesville. The Gresham farm was on the other side of the street—northeast corner. Big Indiana Creek crossing this street between the Sellers and farms.
The elder Gresham's children were Larkin, William, Dennis, John, George and daughter Joyce. Larkin Gresham married my oldest sister Rhoda Kerr. William Gresham's children were Benjamin, Anne Amelia (or Andromeda, as I think she was named), and Walter Q, who was born and raised on the Gresham farm, attended school in the little one room log school house with his brother. Joyce, myself and most of the other old-timers around there. He afterward became Secretary of State during Cleveland's administration. He is buried at Arlington, not one hundred feet from the front door of General Lee's old home.
Dennis Gresham built a house on his father's farm, next door to Aunt Milly Gwin's Tavern, the only hotel in the town. It was a one story log house of about five rooms. Often her guests brought their own provisions and cooked for themselves in her kitchen.
Across from Dennis Gresham's house was the shop of George Betty, the only cabinet maker and carpenter in town. Rhoda Gresham's son (my nephew), still has an old bureau which George Betty made in this shop. George Betty married Lydia at the home of my parents. She wore a pretty white dress and a white cap, of which the present day cap is a revival. the bride dressed at the home of Mrs. Goodwin and walked next door to our home, where she was married by a Methodist minister in the presence of about fifty people. those not invited chivareed the young couple at our house, that night, which was against the law at that time, and the ____ were presented at the  ___ink smeared_______________office
___________cy Gwin, daughter of Aunt Milly Gwin. Fullenlove was kicked in the jaw by a horse, lingered about a month and died. They had two boys.
There were about twenty-five houses in Lanesville in 1837. The woolen mill was owned and run by Philo, Simson, Alexander and George Goodwin. the father being an invalid for years. Mrs. Goodwin, their mother, was the only milliner in the town. She bleached and trimmed hats for people for miles around.
The Goodwin woolen mill adjoined the tannery of Abraham Kerr, who came from Cannonsburg, Pa., located awhile in Corydon, then went to Lanesville, about 1828.
When I was about nine, a man named Sykes shot and killed William Gresham, Father of Benj.. Anne Amelia and Walter Q. Gresham, as the sheriff was called to break up a riot in a log cabin about three miles below Lanesville. on main road to Corydon. Sykes came out and shot Gresham from his house. At daylight I saw him carried on a sled past my house, and 1 well remember the blood sprinkling the snow on the way. He was buried in the family burying ground on his father's place.'
Not far from Wm. Gresham's. was the farm off Samuel Cook, noted for his hospitality and geniality. Nearby was the farm of Baird or Beard, who had a large family, some of the children going to the old log school house. The HARBESON place was below Lanesville, leading to Corydon. Mary Jane Harbeson, about fourteen, (a schoolmate and friend of mine) was accidentally shot by a hunter in her father's orchard. She lingered a few days and died.
The Sackett family lived next door to the currying department of Abraham Kerr's tannery. Father's home was across the street from the Sackett's. William Sackett, wife and sons, Charles and Oziam lived there. Chas. Sackett married Joyce Gresham. She attended school with me, though much older.
The only tailor shop in town adjoined the Sackett home.
My father's home was on a several acre tract of land opposite the Sackett's home and the Goodwin woolen mill. His tannery was further down the street on a nigh rise and right on the creek. The bark was ground by horsepower, which turned a large wheel.
When I was a child I was almost killed when I caught one of the projected timbers fastened to the large wheel of the Goodwin woolen mill. The wheel was turning as the horse was treading and I thought I would take a little ride. I barely let go in time to save myself from being carried down into the deep hollow.
On a high hill, back of the town, was the Davis place, in front of which the Big and Little Indian Creeks ran together. The Davises had a great many sheep, which went into the big crevasses in the rocks, or under the overhanging rocks, to rest or sleep. They had large orchards and every one was welcome to help themselves to the fruit. They always sent cider to my mother.
Uncle Billy Pennington was another prominent farmer, and I remember chasing turkeys with my brother Henry, through the thick leaves. We each caught a turkey and went home to exhibit them to mother as "wild  turkeys" When asked where we got them we told her that while gathering walnuts at Uncle Billy Pennington's we saw a big flock of about fifty, and we chased them till we caught two. We were much crestfallen when mother made us trot back to take the turkeys (sort of turkey trot). We tarried them till we heard the others gobbling and turned them loose. Years afterward, while it West Baden Springs. I , met Dr. J. Ross Pennington, a grandson of Uncle Billy.
Will never forget how Betsy Pennington, a young bride, saved my sister Rhoda from being drowned, when a little girl. After the big storm the water was rising rapidly, and Rhoda was about to cross the bridge on her way home. The bridge was covered with water and ____________late the creek __________ _____ ____ ______drowned when a little girl. After the big storm the water was rising rapidly, and Rhoda was about to cross the bridge on her way home. The bridge was covered with water and the __________________into the creek_____drowned.
During another big storm, brother Henry and I were going home in a roundabout way with Nancy Gwin. We were so late our parents feared we were drowned and everyone was out hunting us. In the meanwhile Uncle Billy Pennington carried us across the creek on a big log, which washed away just as we reached the other side. This was right in front of William Gresham's house. Wet as drowned rats we met the rescuers hunting for us as we were going home.
The school-house was on a little hill, about a mile from William Gresham's. Whoever reached school first made the fire, and the boys always chopped the back-logs for the big fire-place. There were thirty-five or forty children. Boys and girls recited together, but had separate playgrounds. The schoolmaster was a bachelor named Ross. Sessions were all day, recess at noon, dismissal at four. Whichever girl could get excused would poke a snowball through a crack in the corner by the fireplace, and we girls passed it around, holding our books before our we were surprised when the school-master said, "Well, you two Janes (Jane Davis and I, Jane Kerr) have had a good time today with your snowballs."
There was no church in town and services were sometimes held in the school-house. They had camp-meetings every summer below Lanesville, and people would ride and drive for miles to get there. Occasionally circuit preachers would hold revivals, either in the school-house or one of the larger homes. On such occasions the boys would have to sleep in the barn, for the houses were always crowded.
Whenever the circus came to town, my father gave the tanbark for the circus rings. They always gave him passes for his entire family or any one who wanted to attend with him.
Once a year a shoemaker came to measure our entire family and others for shoes, father furnishing leather for the whole town. One night this shoemaker nearly choked to death at our table. Father gave him a hard knock in the back, which dislodged the food.
In those days each family had its own loom for weaving cloth. Old Mrs. Gresham always kept the best supply of dye and gave her neighbors a start so they could make the different colors. We took the wool to the Goodwin woolen mill, where it was made into rolls or however we wanted it. for weaving or knitting.
We made either dip or molded candles, everyone saving the tallow when beef was killed. Candle wick came in big balls and often a number of families would send to New Albany for a supply at once. . We had no matches and if the fire went out we would go to the nearest neighbor for a red coal. We had no stoves, and used old fashioned Dutch ovens, or cooked in the fire-place.
Father went security for his best friend and nearest neighbor, also for Dr. Luke Coon, about the same time. Both these men failed. Dr. Coon skipping to St. Louis, and Abraham Kerr ad to sell most everything he had to any his debts. This broke him up in Lanesville.  He sold his tannery to a German named Haller, from  New Albany, and moved with his large family to Georgetown. Across the street from oar home in Georgetown was George Walts, who kept a general store.
After living in Georgetown about a year (father dealing in stock and farming), we moved back to Corydon then to New Albany, than to Madison, then to Louisville, where, about two years later, in 1841. I married James Callahan, a miller. Afterward he engaged in the grocery business, then built a grain elevator elevator,
Callahan and Sons at Fourteenth and Magazine Streets, and at the time of his death was the President and founder of the grain elevator at Thirteenth and Lexington.
My father died a few years after my marriage, just as he was preparing to revisit his old home in Cannonsburg, Washington county Pa., which he had left at the age of eighteen. Besides the Father and Mother, Samuel and I  _________ __________ __________
there were eight brothers, Joseph, John, Samuel,_______,  Walter, Robert, Abraham and  ________, one sister Gabrielle Kerr___________  _______  ____ ____ have ten children, twelve grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. My husband died in 1907, aged eighty-five. These are only a few of the many facts I recall about Lanesville and vicinity.
New Albany Public Press July 29 1913
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