Monroe City

MONROE CITY. This place, situated in Donation 37, in Township 2 north, Range 9 west, was laid out August 29, 1856, by W. C. Davenport. The land was conveyed from Monroe Alton and wife to Alexander Lesley. George Shouse's Addition was made to the town on October 20, 1856, being surveyed by Andrew Armstrong. Martin's Addition of twenty-five lots was made April 11, 1871, James E. Baker being the surveyor. Monroe City, or Nashville or Lively Dale, as it is variously called, is surrounded by an excellent farming country and is far away from other rival towns, in consequence of which it has made a steady and healthful growth. Dennis P. Coonrod, who was one of the first business men of the place, is still in business. Other early merchants were James Lee, who was in business a short time and sold to Albert Smith, and he to John Howell; other business men have been Joseph Summit, Emanuel Beel, Dr. Trent, B. V. Alton, J. B. Snyder, A. Helderman, M. J. Stafford and Vankirk & Simpson. Physicians: N. M. Bonham, A. Harrington, Daniel Trent, W. T. Martin, J. H. Barnett, N. Young, W. O. Barnett, N. B. Sparks, E. C. Vantrees, W. Ashton and Dr. Vankirk. At the September term of the commissioner's court, in 1874, a petition was presented to the commissioners by John N. Hart, W. J. Pry and John H. Barnett and signed by forty-two voters of the town, praying to have the town incorporated.

The town was surveyed by James E. Baker, and a census taken by J. H. Barnett and the same sworn to before J. G. Soners, J. P., and placed in the postoffice for inspection twenty days before presenting to the commissioners. The prayer was granted and an election ordered, in October following, at the office of Dr. J. H. Barnett. The election board consisted of William Madden, inspector; A. W. Sampson, clerk, J. G. Soners and A. P. Larkin, judges. The result of the votes were forty-seven "for incorporation" and one "against incorporation."

Dry goods and general stores — Dr. P. Coonrod, David Vankirk, Washington Smith, Mallory & Snyder, Martin L. Vanada and Hebert Snyder.

Grocery — Martin Goldman.

Drugs — Elijah Shouse & James West and Albert Falls.

Shoemaker — formerly A. Helderman, now Scott Pry.

Blacksmiths — Mathias Berry and Gerrard Bobinson & Son.

Harness — Franklin Myers.

Undertaker — Albert Falls.

Flouring mill — Baldwin & Snyder.

Physicians — Williams, Sparks, Barnett, Van Trees, Trueblood, Hunt and Kensenger.

Monroe City Lodge, No. 548, F. & A. M., was organized June 18, 1878. Charter members : Harvey Baldwin, H. A. Baldwin, John H. Barrett, D. P. Coonrod, A. C. Falls, J. N. Hart, William Madden, J. B. Snyder, J. G. Soners and W. C. Wilmore. The officers were : W. C. Wilmore, W. M. ; J. N. Hart, S. W. ; William Madden, J. W. ; D. B. Vankirk, Treas. ; Harvey Baldwin, Sec; A. C. Falls, S. D., and J. H. Barnett, J. D. The present officers are E. N. Hart, M. ; M. A. Campbell, S. W., and Joe Belsher, J. W. Membership, thirty-five. Lovely Dale Lodge, No. 566, I. O. O. F., was instituted in February, 1869. E. N. Hall was N. G. ; J. J. Laswell, V. G. ; D. B. Vankirk, Sec, and David Miller, Treas.


The only town in Widner is Freelandsville, located in Section 16, Township 5 north, Bange 8 west. The town was named in honor of Dr. John T. Freeland, who was for many years a prominent physician of the place. The town was first surveyed by Samuel E. Smith for John ritterskamp on July 31, 1866. This survey, however, was never legally acknowledged. Dr. John T. Freeland's Addition was made to the town in May, 1867. C. E. Baker's Addition was added January 3, 4 and 5, 1870. Henry Heithecker's, March 16, 1870; his second addition March 16, 1872. John Eitterskamp 1 s Addition was made November 14, 1877. Chamber's Addition was made July 2, 1871, and the Christian Church Addition was made December 25, 1871, through its trustees, Herman L. Bergeman, Austin P. Cox and William Hooper. C. E. Baker and E. Bierhaus began business where the town now is in 1857 or 1858. The style of the firm was C. E. Baker & Co. and continued in business up till 1868. John Ritterskamp began about 1860. George Krebs was in business for a short time. The mill was erected about 1864 by Baker & Ritterskamp; afterward, about 1868, Nolting became owner. It is now owned by Dierman & Co. Hardware, Farming Implements, etc. — L. Bergeman. Dry goods— John Ritterskamp & Sons and C. E. Baker. Stoves, Hardware, etc. — French & Sons. Cooper shop — C. H. Weitzel. Drug stores — H. F. Albert and A. M. Berry. Steam mill — Dreiman, Merch & Co. The town has also a butcher shop, tailor shop, milliner shop, three blacksmith shops, two hotels. The physicians are Drs. McDowell, Geo. T. Martin, McGauchey and Myers.


This place is situated near the western line of the southern part of Vigo Township, on the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad. It is in Sections 21 and 15 of Town 4 north, range 8 west. The town was laid out for John Bicknell, for whom it was named, October 1, 1869. The first business house in the place was erected by George W. Fuller, who had purchased land there before the town was laid out. Here he built a frame store and dwelling house near. About 1870 Bruce, Reel & Mitchell began business on Lot 7, where they continued business for about six months, when they were burned out. They rebuilt and soon after sold to Slater & Bicknell, who after a short time (1873) sold to William Hollingsworth, who moved to Edwardsport about 1875. In 1874 Chambers & Bros, sold goods; the house was soon closed. A drug store was opened in the same building by S. W. Slinkard, who sold to Jones & Denton. Hugh Barr sold goods for a time in the house where Hollingsworth had done business. He soon after sold to J. L. Cox & Sons, who continued in the old building till 1875, when they erected a new building. In 1876 G. W. Fuller erected a new store building. In 1876 Samuel Slinkard began business again, but sold to Emanuel Freeman. The first blacksmith was Moses Reeves, who opened a shop in 1872; the next was Henry Kixmiller. Among the physicians that have been are Emanuel Reel, James Moore, J. G. Martin, E. C. Vantrees, William Jones, James Wells, Isaac Wells, and J. W. Trueblood. A flouring-mill was built in 1873 by John Sholtz, who sold it to Slinkard & Co. in 1873, and they to Wells & Winter in 1875. Present business of Bicknell: General stores — Joe Freeman, John Paul, and George Donaldson. Drug stores — W. S. McLinn and Samuel Bunting. Boots and shoes — Kixmiller & Bros. Grain and stock dealer — George W. Fuller. Livery stable — N. Alton. Hotel — Joseph Buckles, formerly J. L. Cox. Physicians — Drs. Dorsey, Staley, and Huron. Secret societies — Masonic Lodge, No. 535, was instituted in 1876; also I. O. O. F., No. 527, in the same year.


Bruceville is located eight miles from Vincennes on the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad. It lies in Donation 184. The land on which the town was built was owned by William Bruce, for whom the town was laid out on December 10, 1829. A "mapp of thirty-six lotts" was made and sworn to before A. G. Roberts, a justice of the peace. The original plat contained only Washington, Main Cross, and Poplar streets. To the old town John H. Bruce' s Addition of seventeen lots was made to the south side on May 5, 1870. Although the town was not laid out till the above date, it was known as a town before 1820. As stated elsewhere, the house in which Mr. James Bruce now lives was begun in 1811 by Maj. William Bruce, the proprietor of the town site. Jacob Harper is said to have been the first blacksmith in the place ; William Hummer the first wagon-maker ; Peter Ruby the first carpenter ; Thomas Alton the first tanner ; J. T. Simpson the first merchant; Obed Macy the first physician, and John Green the first tavern-keeper. Henry Wheeler built the first wool carding machine in the county at Bruceville in about 1820. Other early businesses were a store by Bruce & McDonald; an inn by William Bruce ; an oil mill for extracting the oil from the castor bean, John T. and George Simpson. Bruceville had an ox tread-mill, a small still-house, and a mill at a very early day. Late business houses: Barr & "Willis, Barr, Willis & Boberts, and Steffey. Physicians — Drs. Dinwiddie, Macy, and Fairhurst. Present business of Bruceville: Dry goods and general stores — Roberts, Emison & Steffey, Willis & Barr, Hill Bros., and J. H. Scroggin. Blacksmiths — Elias Kackley and John Slawson. Boots and shoes — William Martin. Physicians — Z. G. Martin, J. W. Milam, and James McDowell. Drug store — Milam & Alexander. The I. 0. 0. F. Lodge, No. 547, Bruceville, was instituted May 17, 1877, on application of L. C. Roberts, James Emison, G. W. Melton, Calvin Clark, Thomas Hollingsworth, Hiram Antibus, Thomas Winemiller and Alfred Green. The charter was granted by Leonidas Sexton, G. M., and B. F. Foster, G. S. The membership of the lodge is twelve.


Oaktown is the principal place of business in Busseron Township. It is situated in Section 17, Town 5 north, Bange 9 west. It was laid out for George Bond by Samuel E. Smith, May 20, 1867. To this was added Shepard's Enlargement, of fifty lots June 19, 1867. Adam and Watts Bond's Enlargement was made October 4, 1876. One of the business houses of Oaktown was the grist-mill of Bond & Co. This mill is still in operation. Dry goods and grocers — Sproatt & Son, Watts Bond, and C. L. Haughton, all substantial firms. Groceries and notions — George H. Bond. Hardware and agricultural implements — formerly Polk, but now Polk & Walker; also, George Shepard. Drug stores — William McGowen and Pifer & Beed. The town has its complement of physicians, two hotels, two blacksmith shops, millinery shops, etc. The population of the place is estimated at 300. The business houses of the place are above the average for size and quality. Large quantities of produce are handled here.

Secret Societies — The Oaktown Lodge, No. 471, was organized under dispensation May 26, 1874, and a charter granted October 17, 1874. The following were charter members: T. T. Townsley, W. M. ; W. H. Wise, S. W. ; A. B. Pike, J. W. ; W. H. Bell, Treas. ; J. W. Pugh, Sec. ; David Williams, S. D. ; J. M. Shepard, J. D. ; James Williams, Tyler; others, J. W. Burnett, John Wolf and J. T. P. Clark. The present officers are C. L. Haughton, W. M. ; Frank Starner, S. W. ; John Brener, J. W. ; D. W. B. Grigsby, Sec. ; Alonzo Ashley, S. D. ; Elmore Scanlan, J. D., and A. Tewalt, T. Membership is about thirty. The Caldwell Lodge, No. 271, I. O. O. F., was granted November 21, 1866, on petition of J. M. Shepard, J. H. E. Sprinkle, H. J. Smith, W. R. Miller and J. W. Benefield. The officers are J. E. Reed, N. G. ; W. H. Blann, V. G. ; Alonzo Collen, Treasurer; J. N. Shepard, Sec. Membership about thirty. This lodge had the misfortune to lose by fire, within the last year, its hall and records.


This town is located on the southeast quarter of southeast quarter of Section 4, Town 5 north, Range 7 west. The town is on the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad in the Northern part of Vigo Township, and was laid out by George Halstead, October 7, 1868. The place was named in honor of a civil engineer on the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad. It is in a good farming community, and large quantities of grain and stock are shipped from this point. An extensive business was done in the place, between 1865 and 1870, by Dewey, Crane & Co. Stores have been run at Sandborn by Alonzo Hays, Henry Houghland, Simon Kaufman, Bailey & Son, and Hill. Present business is represented by Hill and Lowdermild, each in dry goods and general stores; drug stores, Wiley McGinnis and John Beck; restaurant, William DeLay; blacksmith shop and gunsmith, C. Copper. The mill was owned by Robinson for about twelve years, when it was sold. It is now owned by Hill & Hill, and is run as both a saw and grist-mill ; hotel, C. E. Crane. On May 11, 1878, Hayden Hayes had seven acres of land laid out almost adjacent to Sandborn. This lay mainly on the west side of the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad, and the new town was to be called Banham. The town did not materialize. Additions: Presley Anderson's Addition of six lots was made to Sand- born, December 20, 1871, and Isaac Cade's Addition of eight lots was made January 22, 1873.


Wheatland is situated in Donation 107, near the central portion of Steen Township. It is on the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. It was laid out December 29, 1858, by A. Armstrong for William Long, guardian. The town is divided into three parts: North, South and East Wheatland. North Wheatland is the town proper. South Wheatland is R. E. Steen's Addition, and consists of sixty-seven lots. It was surveyed by George Calhoun, June 29, 1859. East Wheatland was surveyed by Samuel E. Smith, April 6, 1868. for R. E. Steen. It consists of thirteen acres of land. The town was named Wheatland from the amount of good wheat land around the town. James Green was the first to do business in the place. He began before the town was laid out. He bought grain, wheat, corn, and all kinds of produce. His place of business was near where the postoffice now stands. He became dissipated, and closed about the be- ginning of the war. Thomas Brooks was the next in business. Horace Anderson, from Maysville, began business about 1859. William Wallace was in and out of business for several years. Others were Emison & Evans, Fay & Byers. Barber & Clemens, and Barber, alone. Present businesses: Dry goods — S. B. Niblack, M. E. Anderson & Son. Drug store — W. J. Nicholas & Co. Furniture and undertaker — James F. Woods ( twelve years ) . Shoemaker — John. W. Burrus, who has been in business for twenty years. Livery stable — Jacob Comer. In 1805 a mill was erected in the place by John W. Emison. of Bruceville, but the machinery has recently been taken out, and the town is now very much in need of a mill. Dare & Sons are running a small machine shop and blacksmith shop. The following have been postmasters at Wheatland since the removal of the office to that place: Will- iam Wallace, George Barber, William Clemens, J. E. Smith, J. W. Burrus, W. J. Nicholson, Anderson Nicholson and Robert Grider.


This place, usually known as Deckers, is almost on the line between Johnson and Decker Townships, and lies on White River. It is in a fractional part of the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 16, Township 1 north, Range 10 west. The town was laid out by Isaac Decker in June, 1869. There are platted forty-two lots, each 145x75 feet. The streets running parallel with the railroad are numbered 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Those at right angles to the railroad are Main and Oak Streets. The first business house in the place was built by Hugh O'Neal. This was afterward sold to James Dick, but it again passed into the hands of O'Neal. Robert McCracken and Jacob Kimmons started the next store in the place. The only dry goods store in the place now is owned by the Jourdon Bros. The mill was erected by Robert McCracken about 1874. It afterward passed into the hands of William Wallace. Drs. Littlepage, Bell and Morgan were the earliest physicians. The present are the Drs. Davis. The place is of some importance as a ship- ping point on the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad for Johnson and Decker Townships. Albert' C. Shreve's Addition was made to the town November 17, 1876, and William M. Anderson's, of twelve lots, was made April 27, 1875, and his second addition of 18 lots September 3, 1875.


This now extinct town was located in Donations 6 and 7, lying immediately on White River below Deckertown. The land was conveyed by Thomas Dick to Andrew Purcell December 1, 1836. The town site consisted of ninety-three lots, aboiit half of which were never sold. The streets parallel with the river were numbered, First, Second and Third, in order. Those at right angles were named Purcell, Hill and Coddington, respectively. The owners of lots were James Patterson, James Crow, James and Joseph Kimmons, Landers Bilderback, James Edwards, James Youngman, Henry Fisher, Isaac Purcell, Hiram Minor, John Anthis, Henry Martin, Thomas Johnson and a man named Coddington. The place was long known as rather a "hard place," being the resort for the rougher class. Tilts at fisticuff and cocking mains were common pastime. The place has long since gone down, and a great portion of the land where the town stood has been washed away by the river.


This place was laid out March 31, 1839, on land owned by Purcell, in Donation 54, in Palmyra Township, on the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. The plat contained thirty-nine lots, and the streets were given city names. The only thing that now marks the place is a side track on the Ohio & Mississippi Eail- road. The town plat embraced twelve acres of land. The place took its name from the character of the soil around it.


This place was laid out and surveyed by E. P. Mayfield for Frederick Pohlmeir, in December, 1881. It is on the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad, in Town 5 north, Eange 7 west. The lots were laid out 75x150, and the streets 75 wide. As a town it never had existence in reality. Near the place is a large Lutheran Church, to which the majority of the community belong. The place was named from Westphalia in Europe. A little south of this place, on the railroad, is a station called Wagner's Station. The community of this section is largely German. This place is located near the middle of Busseron Township, when measured from north to south. It was laid out May 30, 1854, and is on the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad, twelve and one-half miles from Vincennes. The town is located in Sections 29 and 30, Township 5 north, Eange 9 west. It was surveyed by George Calhoun for W. W. Harper, J. A. McClure and T. P. Emison, as proprietors. The town contains twenty lots, each 100 feet square. The town now is one only in name, being simply a station on the railroad.


The town site of Emison was laid out by C. S. Kabler for Samuel A. Emison, in May, 1867. The town site contains twenty- six lots, the full size being 120 feet square. It is in Donation 207, Town 4 north, Eange 9 west. The place was of some im- portance as a lumber market. Some grain and other produce are shipped from this point over the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad.