SETTLEMENT IN 1824


    In the year 1824 the population of the county was estimated to be one thousand people, settled mostly in the regions in the southeast, with a few settlers near the present site of Danville, Nathan Kirk and Jere Stiles in the southwest corner, and Noah Bateman and a few others along Eel river. The portion of the county now occupied by Union, Middle, Brown and Lincoln townships was then a mosquito infested swamp, and no settler had the boldness to risk his health by settling there. As late as 1830 there were not. more than thirty settlers within this locality. The more rapid and thicker settlement of the other portions of the county was due in a large measure to the better drainage facilities. The northeastern portion of the county was also settled slowly. The building of the Cumberland or National road through the south part of the county in 1830 gave a great advantage to the southern part, this road being a highway for the tide of immigration to the far West. Many of these transcontinental travelers found reason to stop in this locality and remained and became permanent residents. Practically every farmer kept open house; every home was a hotel, and many of the settlers became moderately wealthy by their hospitality.

FIRST IMPROVEMENTS

    The first mill constructed in the county was a horse mill on East fork of White Lick. It was built and owned by James Tomlinson.
The first water mill was built by John P. Benson on Rock branch in Eel River township in 1826.
The first merchandise was sold in Danville by James L. Given.
The first resident attorneys were Judge Marvin and Colonel Nave, the latter locating in Danville in 1832, where he was engaged in the practice of law for more than fifty years, until his death, in 1884. In the summer of 1823 the two first school houses were built in the county, one in Liberty township, below Cartersburg, and the other on Thomas Lockhart’s land in Guilford township, and in them W. H. Hinton and Abijab Pierson taught the first schools in the county. In this paragraph it is well to mention that the first birth in the county was that of Silas J. Bryant, who was born in Guilford township in 1820, the son of J. W. Bryant.

OTHER FIRST EVENTS

    The first marriage license issued by the county clerk was for the marriage of James Reynolds and Rachel Demoss on November 17, 1824. Samuel Jessup, the first justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. In this same month Charles Merritt and Jemimie Leaman were married by Aaron Homan a justice of the peace. The first land deed was made on November 3, 1825, between Samuel Woodward and his wife, Abigail. The first will recorded in the county was that of Uriah Hults, a farmer.

FIRST INDIAN INHABITANTS.

    At this time the country now comprising the state of Indiana was held by the Miami confederacy of Indians, the Miamis proper,  originally the Twightwees, being the eastern and most powerful tribe. Their villages were few and scattering. These Indian settlements were occasionally visited by Christian missionaries, fur traders and adventurers, but no permanent settlement was risked by the whites. The Five Nations farther to the east, in the New England states, comprised the Mohawks, Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Senecas. In 1677 the number of warriors in this confederation was two thousand one hundred and fifty. About 1711 the Tuscaroras retired from Carolina and joined the Iroquois, and the organization then became known as the Six Nations. In 1689 hostilities broke out between the Indian tribes and the French colonists of Canada, and the following series of wars served to check the purpose of Louis XIV and to retard the planting of French colonies in the Mississippi valley. Missionary efforts, however, continued with more failure than success, the Jesuits allying themselves with the Indians in habits and customs, even encouraging inter-marriage between them and their white followers.


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