Genealogy Trails

Pipe Creek Township.

Pipe Creek township derives its name from a small but pretty stream that enters the township on the east and leaves it about midway on the south. The name " Pipe " was given to the stream in honor of the noted Indian chief, Captain Pipe, or Hopocan (which signifies in the Delaware tongue, " tobacco-pipe"). The township is peculiar in shape, having ten inside and outside corners, with an area of forty-three square miles. It is well watered.by Big and Little Duck creek, Big Branch, Pipe creek and their tributaries, and when Joseph Schell, the first settler in the township, located in 183(1 on what is now section 11, was densely timbered. In 1882 a number of settlers, among whom were Walter and William Etchison, from North Carolina, Reuben Kelly, from Virginia, Peter Job and John Chamness located in the vicinity of the present site of Frankton, and in 1883 Jacob Sigler, from Virginia, and John Beeson, from Wayne county, Ind., located on the ground where Frankton stands. Others followed and the township was organized on the 13th of May, 1883.

By the following order of the Board of Commissioners it will be noticed that Pipe Creek was originally apart of Jackson township :

" Ordered that there be a new township organized and stricken off from Jackson township as follows, to-wit: Beginning on the county line at the south-west corner of Section 9, in Township No. 20, in Range No. 6 east, running thence east on the section line to the south-east corner of Section No. 8, Township 20, Range 7 east, thence north to the county line, thence west to the north-west corner of the county, thence south to the county line to the place of beginning. To be known and designated by the name and style of Pipe Creek township. It is also ordered that the Sheriff notify citizens of said township, that they on the last Saturday in June next proceed to elect one Justice of the Peace in said township, and that all elections in said township be holden at the house of Walter Etchison until otherwise ordered by the Board.'


The boundary of Pipe Creek township as originally made and established by the County Board was changed at the May session, 1885, as follows :

"On petition filed it is ordered by the Board that the boundary lines of Pipe Creek township be altered so as to include the following territory, viz: Commencing at the southeast corner of Section 10, Town 20, north of Range 7 east, running thence north to the county line, thence west with the county line to the north-west corner of Madison county, thence south on the said county line to the south-west corner of Section 8, Town 20 north, Range 6 east, thence east to the place of beginning; an,d that the said acquired territory and the same is stricken from the township of Richland. It is ordered that Jesse Harris be appointed Constable ; James French and Jesse Etchison, Supervisors; Jacob Sigler and William Flint, Overseers of the Poor; Robin Erwin and Jeremiah Deny, Fence Viewers of the township of Pipe Creek, and it is also further ordered that an election be. held in said township on the first Monday in June next for the purpose of electing an additional Justice of the Peace, and that the Sheriff give notice accordingly."

It will also be seen by this that Richland, though now one of the smallest townships in the county, was at one time one of the largest, containing all the territory of Pipe Creek, Monroe and Lafayette.

An election was held the following June at the house of Walter Etchison, and James Beeson was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace. Shortly after this Elijah Dwiggins settled in the township and was soon followed by John and Daniel Dwiggins. In April, 1886, Noah Waymire settled on Section 24 and in June of the same year Henry Plummer located on Section 80.

The names of others who settled in the township prior to 1840 are : James and William Montgomery, Jonathan Reeder, James M. Dehority, Caleb Canaday, James Barrow, Benjamin and Hezekiah Denny, John Hardy, Jacob French, Jacob Sigler, James Tharp, Edmund Johnson, Starling and Hezekiah Kidwell, John Benifiel, Arthur Legg, Joseph and Jonathan Miller, Frank Dennis and Lindsey Blue. A majority of these early settlers located along the creek from which the township gets its name. These. pioneers have long since gone to their reward, but they have numerous descendents living in the township and in other portions of the county who take pride in recounting their virtues. The first public highway in the township was the old Indianapolis and Fort Wayne State road, which was cut out but never improved.

The first mill erected in the township was a "corn-cracker." It was built in 1839 or 1840, and was located on the Big Branch on the old J. C. Montgomery farm, north-west of Frankton. It was a rude affair, but ground out a very good quality of corn meal. Previous to this the pioneers were compelled to take their corn to Perkinsville or Anderson to have it ground. About this time a saw-mill was built on Pipe, creek, three miles north-east of Frankton, by Joseph and Daniel Franklin. This mill is still standing and is owned by David Fesler.

The first schoolhouse in the township was built in 1836 on Jacob Sigler's land, and the first school was taught by Dr. Perry. Joseph Sigler, who was afterwards elected Auditor of the county, was one of the first teachers in the township and taught school for many years. Hezekiah Denny, Tighlman Armfield and John Ring also taught in an early day.

In 1887 the first store in the township was opened by Elijah Dwiggins, about a half mile north-west of where Frankton now stands.

The first village in the township was a place called " New Madison." It was situated about a mile and a half north-east of the present site of Frankton, on the south side of Pipe creek, and was laid out by John Chamness, December 8, 1849. Two years later another town called " Monticello" was laid out by James Hilldrup and a Mr. Sanders, about two miles northwest of where Frankton is situated. The town at one time consisted of a store, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and six or seven houses. James Hilldrup owned the store, and Hezekiah Denny taught the school. Considerable business, considering the sparse population of the vicinity, was done here in the early '50s, but immigrants to the township preferred a different location, and the village declined. This was likewise the case with New Madison, or " Chamnesstown," as it wassometimes called by the old settlers, and that such places ever existed is now but an old-time memory.


This village was originally known as " Mudsock," the name being conferred on account of the marshy condition of the land where it is situated. Back in the early '50s Riley Etchison erected a log cabin near the present site of Dundee, where he traded in peltries,giving in exchange, when desired, dry goods and groceries. There were no roads at that time leading to his place of business, only forest paths or traces, as they were called by th« backwoodsmen. Mr. Etchison's nearest neighbors were Anderson Brannock and Edmund Johnson, the latter the father of the present Clerk of the county. ExSheriff Albert Ross, who is at present a resident of Anderson, traded coon-skins and other peltries for goods at this place in 1856, and has a vivid recollection of many interesting and amusing incidents that occurred here about that time and later. In the course of time quite a settlement sprang up and a postoffice was established here, the place being given the name of Dundee. On the 6th of December, 1883, Mr. Etchison platted the land upon which the village is situated and placed it on file in the Recorder's office. Dundee is four and a half miles east of Elwood, on the L. E. & M. R. R. The population at this time is estimated at 150 people.


This interesting town is situated on the P., C, C. & St. L. Railroad, in the southeast part of. the township, and was laid out March 8, 1858, by Alfred Makepeace and Francis Sigler. The first house erected in the place was built in 1848 by John Hardy, and a stock of general merchandise was placed in it by Alfred Makepeace. This store at one time was in charge of the Hon. Eli B. Goodykoontz, of Anderson. The building is still standing. Mr. Makepeace purchased his goods in .Cincinnati and hauled them to Frank ton in wagons.

The growth of the town was slow until 1887, when the discovery of natural gas caused it to assume an air of thrift and importance, such as are seldom witnessed outside of the Indiana gas field or rich western mining districts. It now has an estimated population of 2000 people. The town was incorporated in 1871, and the first Board of Trustees were: Dr. S. W. Edwins, William Cochran and Dr. R. Harvey. The present Trustees are: Solomon Smelser, Richard Lewellyn and William Johns.

The first postmaster in the township was probably William Taylor, who lived about one mile east of Frankton and kept the office at his house. The office was established in 1837 or 1838 and the mail was conveyed on horseback from Indianapolis via Strawtown, Perkinsville and on to Alexandria. The present postmaster is William T. Wright. The first church organized in the township was in the summer of 1886 at the house of Reuben Kelly about one mile east of Frankton. A number of devoted Methodists, among whom were William Taylor, Joseph Miller, John Chamness, Jacob Speck, Amos Goff and their wives, gathered at the house of Mr. Kelly and the society was organized. This society for many years belonged to the Anderson circuit and its meetings were held during that time at the houses of the membership. Among the early ministers who preached to the congregation were Revs. Hezekiah Smith, J. F. Stiles, I. N. Ellsberry and J. C. Bradshaw.

The next religious society organized in the township was the Frankton Christian church. This church was organized in 1889 by Daniel Franklin at the house of Elijah Ring. The first membership included among others, Daniel Franklin, Joseph Franklin, Henry Plummer, Elisha Lawson, Edmund Johnson and their wives. Services were held at the homes of the members. In 1854 a majority of the congregation united with the Elwood church and assisted in building a house of worship at that place, but in 1859 they returned and the Frankton church was reorganized. In 1867 a place of worship was erected by the congregation, since which time the membership has had a permanent home. Among those who have ministered to the spiritual wants of the church at times are Elders Daniel Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, his son, Joseph Franklin, Henry Blount, Cornelius Quick, and Grafton Nailor, the latter being the present pastor.

Besides the Methodist and Christian Churches, the United Brethren and Adventists each have an organized society at Frankton and a permanent place of worship. The new church .edifice erected this year by the United Brethren is one of the handsomest places of worship in the county.


Much pride is taken in the public schools of Frankton by the citizens of the place, and the result is that a liberal policy is pursued by the School Board in providing educational accommodations and facilities for pupils. The enrollment this year was 482 pupils, for whose benefit a corps of teachers is employed. H. H. Belden is Principal of the schools. The present School Trustees are W. H. H. Quick, J. H. Daugherty and Joseph Quinn.


The following are the factories thus far located in thisthriving little city: Clyde Window Glass Co., two factories; Frankton Window Glass Factory, Wetherald Rolling-Mill,. Hoosier Fence Co., Frankton Brick Works, Dwiggins Fence Co., Quick City Novelty Works, Bradrick & Lineburg Fence Factory, Frankton Lumber Manufacturing Co., Frankton Flouring Mills, Orr & Campbell Saw-mill. These factories employ a large number of hands, and are in active operation.

The Clyde Window Glass Factory was the first located at Frankton after the discovery of natural gas. It was located through the instrumentality of Joseph M. Watkins, October 22, 1889. He owned certain lands at Frankton, which heplatted as Watkins' lst, 2d, 3d and Fairview additions. He was one of the leading promoters of the "boom " that subsequently transformed Frankton from a village to a thriving,, bustling town. Mr. Watkins is now Deputy County Treasurer. He is the son of Francis Watkins, one of the early pioneers of Richland Township, but for many years past a resident of the city of Anderson.


This institution wa6 established in the year 1876 by Cornelius Quick, a leading citizen of Frankton and gentleman of wealth. His son, George Quick, now interested in the Anderson Banking Company, was a partner in the bank and took an active interest in its affairs until he retired to accept his present position. The business of the bank is conducted upon conservative principles, and is one of the safest and soundest financial repositories in the county.


Frankton has three fraternal and benevolent orders, the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. Frankton Lodge, I. O. O. F., was instituted January 81, 1872. The first officers were W. L. Philpott, N. G.; J. H. Wagoner, V. G.; R. R. Cramner, Secretary, C. C. Mays, Treasurer.


Elwood is the second city in size and importance in the county. It is situated in the north-west part of the township on the P., C, C. & St. L. Railway, and near the Tipton county line. It was originally called Quincy, but on account of another village, or postoffice, of that name in Owen county which caused no little.confusion in delivering mail, the name was changed through the efforts of Captain F.M. Hunter and others, to that of Elwopd on the 21st of July, 1869, Captain Hunter being at that time, and for fifteen years thereafter, postmaster.

The town was laid out March 1, 1858, by James Anderson, Mark Simmons and J. B. Frazer, and soon after a postoffice was established. The office was called Duck Creek, and William Barton was appointed postmaster. Mr. Barton opened the first store (in 1852), also the first bank (in 1870), and built the first grain elevator. The office of postmaster has been held by the following gentlemen in the order named: William Barton, J. M. Dehority, W. F. Morris, P. B. Smith, F. M. Hunter, James M. Parsons, James M. Overshiner and Franz Harbit, the latter being the present incumbent.

The Pittsburg, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad was completed to Elwood in 1857, and Andrew J. Griffith was appointed depot agent. It is related that Mr. Griffith was compelled very often to walk out from the " station " to the train on a log for the mail, the land in that immediate vicinity being covered with water at that day nearly the whole year round. No man at that time could have predicted the future possibilities of the place; no man dreamed that it had beneath it that which, in a day, would cause it to mount to prominence later on as a busy mart, a proud manufacturing city. The growth of the town was like that of other Indiana towns until the discovery of natural gas—" nothing to boast of," although it was always a good business point. In 1872 it was incorporated, and the following officers were elected : Huston Clendenen, G. W. Hupp and John Ross, Trustees; George Ross, Treasurer; J. H. Hunter, Clerk; and J. M. Parsons, Marshal.

The following concerning Elwood is taken from a brief sketch in Harden's history of Madison county, published in 1874:

" A large amount of lumber and heading and stave material is shipped from this place. It contains a Methodist Episcopal and Christian church, a brick schoolhouse, a railroad depot, a good hotel, a livery stable, a tanyard, a flouring mill and several neat and tasteful private residences. The business firms are Burriss & Quick, J. M. DeHority & Son, H. C. Calloway, R. Free and A.'Chamness & Dwiggins. The druggists are F. M. Hunter, J. F. Mock & Hunter and Waymire. The harnessmakers, T. Samuels & Bro. Shoemakers, James Parsons, William Hopenrath and John Buchanan. Wagonmakers, J. M. Overshiner & Co. Blacksmiths, George Barns & Son and James Hannah. Lumber dealer, Augustus Kramer. Sawyers, Cochran & Sons. Miller, J. T. Adair. Postmaster, F. M. Hunter. Railroad agent, Perry A. Taylor. Elwood contains a population of four hundred."

This picture presents Elwood as it was twenty-two years ago. It would require a volume now to give the details of its progress and history since that time. It is the marvel of the Indiana gas belt, and the pride not only of its citizens, but of the people of the entire county. It arose "as if from the stroke of the enchanter's wand," and yet there is not, perhaps, in the country a city of equal size whose improvements are more substantial, or whose various enterprises are operated upon a sounder basis. Immediately following the drilling of the first gas well the town began improving; manufactory after manufactory was located by its enterprising citizens; capital was invited to safe and profitable investment; the old landmarks disappeared and its busy population prospered.


On the 27th of April, 1891, an election was held for the purpose of determining the sentiment of the people with reference to incorporating the town as a city. The result of this election was 377 for and 146against the proposition. Soon after the city was divided into four wards, and the following officers were elected : W. A. DeHority, Mayor; O. A. Armfield, Clerk; T. L. DeHority, Treasurer; F. M. Hunter, Jr., Marshal; Councilmen, First Ward, G. W. Bryer and Jacob Kraus; Second Ward, Martin E. Goode and Hugh Lyst, Third Ward, Daniel Heck and S. H. Cochran; Fourth Ward, John Frith and W. B. Willets. Since the first city election the following gentlemen have been elected members of the Common Council: Francis Harbit, W. L. Austil, Joseph Boyer, Theo. Harwick, C. C. Kestner, T. O. Armfield, M. L. Shores, James Howard, A. L. Starkey, F. M. Headley, R. H. Mount, A. B. Williams.

The present city officers are : W. A. Finch, Mayor; W. A. Hupp, clerk ; T. L. DeHority, Treasurer; James Parsons, Marshal; Geo. W. Alford, City Judge.

The police department of the city is in charge of a chief and five patrolmen appointed by a Board of Police Commissioners. The city also has a fire department and system of water-works, which afford ample protection against fire.


The school facilities and accommodations of Elwood compare favorably with those of any city in the State of equal population. The progress made in this respect is commensurate with the advancement made by the city in its material interests. In 1876 the city had but one school building, which was known as the "Elwood Graded School," the faculty being J. T. Jennings, Principal; John Gronendyke, C. M. Greenlee and Joseph Howard, teachers in the grammar, intermediate and primary departments, respectively. The city to-day has four large school buildings of modern design and a corps of thirty-three teachers. The number of children of school age this year was 2,764. Every facility for acquiring a common school education is afforded pupils by an active and liberal Board of Trustees. Thomas F. Fitzgibbon, a gentleman well qualified for the position, is school Superintendent.


The principal cause of Elwood's remarkable growth and

prosperity in the past ten years will be found in the following list of her manufacturing industries, all of which have been located since the discovery of natural gas : Pittsburg Plate Glass Works, George A. Macbeth Glass Factory, W. R. McCloy Glass Factory, Elwood Furniture Company, El wood Furniture and Planing Mill Company, Elwood Boiler and Engine Works, Elwood Crystal Ice Manufacturing Company, Superior Radiator Company, Elwood Window Glass Company, Nivisen & Weiskolp Bottle Works, Phil Hamm Boiler Works, Akron Steam Forge Works, Elwood Brick Company, Starkey Brick Company, George Heffner Planing Mill Company, American Tin Plate Works, Elwood Box Factory, Elwood Iron Works, Excelsior Works.

In addition to these industries the city has an'electric 'street railway system that is operated in connection with the Elwood electric light plant; also n telephone system, at -the head of which is James M. Overshiner.


The city has two banks, the Citizens' Exchange Bank and the First National Bank, the former having been organized in 1881 by B. T. and H. C. Calloway, and the latter in January, 1892. The National had been doing business, however, as a private institution, known as the Farmers' Bank, until it was reorganized. The" officers of this bank are J. H. DeHoiity, President; Nathan J. Leisure, Vice-President; J. A. DeHority, Cashier. The building in which this bank conducted its business was burned in 1892, and another was built on the north-west cornerof Anderson and Main streets, where it is now located. Both banks have ample capital and enjoy the fullest confidence, not only of the business men of Elwood, but of the public generally.

Richland Township.

This township contains an area of twenty»eight and onehalf square miles and is situated in the eastern central part of the county. It is bounded on the north by Monroe township, on the east by Delaware county, on the south by Anderson and Union townships, and on the west by La Fayette township. The land is as rich and productive as can be found in Central Indiana, and hence the township was christened " Richland." It was Organized in 1884, or about four years after William Curtis entered and settled on the east half of the southwest quarter of Section 31, where he built a log cabin—the first erected by a white man in the township. Soon -after Mr. Curtis located in the township, David Penisten entered a part of what is now known as the David Croan farm. John Shinkle was the next settler. Following these two early settlers came John Beal, William McClosky, James and William Maynard, Adam Pence, Joseph Brown, Joseph Bennett, Peter Keicher, Samuel Stephens, J. W. Westerfield, John Hunt, Christian Lower, J. R. Holston, Thomas Thornburg, Michael Bronnenberg, Randolph Chambers, Jonathan Dillon, John Coburn, Weems Heagy, Jacob and Michael Bronnenberg, Jesse Forkner, Jacob Stover and others. The first settlers were compelled to cut their way through a dense forest as the township was heavily timbered and the underbrush so thick that travel on horseback or in wagons was impossible. In the fall of 1830 the State road from Shelbyville to Fort Wayne was laid out and, as it passed through this township, the settlers soon had an outlet to Anderson.

Big and Little Killbuck flow through the township and are its only streams. The former in an early day furnished water power for several mills, all of which have disappeared save one, the Broadbent Woolen Factory. Among the mills that once stood on the banks of this unpretending, but important stream was a saw-mill built in 1888 by Matthew Fenimore in the extreme south-west corner of the township. Soon after this mill was built, William Curtis and James Barnes erected a small grist-mill near by it. These mills both used the same dam, but divided the water until the saw-mill was abandoned. The grist-mill was afterward purchased by Robert Adams, an Englishman, who, in 1850, converted it into a woolen-mill, which he operated successfully for many years. This mill was situated at the intersection of the road now known as the Alexandria pike and the road running east and west along the south line of the township. It was destroyed by fire in 1876. It was thought at the time that the fire was the work of incendiaries, and a number of the employes at the factory were arrested on the charge of arson, but nothing could be proved against them and they were acquitted. Benjamin Walker built a saw-mill on Killbuck on Section 28 at an early day, and in 1840 added a carding machine, which he operated with indifferent success for a few years. Not long after this John B. Purcell built a woolen factory near the same site, which he operated for several years, when he sold the property to Stephen Broadbent.


A small class of Methodists was organized at an early day in the edge of Monroe township and their meetings were held for several years in private houses. The class or society afterward held its meetings in the Holston school house for a number of years and in 1860 erected a neat place of worship on Section 8 at a cost of $1,200. This church was christened "Wesley Chapel," and is as widely known as any place of worship in the county. The membership at the present time is about thirty. Among the early ministers who held services regularly every two weeks at this church were Revs. B. H. Bradley, Isaac King, H. Smith, Joseph Marsee, J. H. Hall, J. R. Lacey and J. H. Jackson.

In 1882 the AsburyM. E. Church was organized by Elias Hollingsworth and Joseph Barnes near the Union township line, and in 1883 Elias Hollingsworth, Samuel Shinkle and Joseph Barnes were selected as a Board of Trustees for the purpose of erecting a permanent place of worship. On the 28th of December, 1888, Joseph Barnes and wife deeded to the trustees one and a half acres in Section 28, on what is still known as the John Nelson farm, where a log church was subsequently erected. Meetings were held here for many years, Elias Hollingsworth officiating. In 1870 the society built a new place of worship on the bank of Killbuck, a short distance west of the old meeting-house. This building cost about $1,500, and was dedicated September 18, 1870, by Rev, Dr. Bowman, President of Asbury, now DePauw, University, Among the early members of this church should be mentioned the names of Samuel Shinkle, Joseph Barnes, Daniel Goodykoontz, David Tappan, and their wives. The church maintained a flourishing Sunday school for many years.

In 1854 Hiram Chambers and wife, John Chambers and wife, Susan Chambers, Mary Chambers and Nancy Scott organized what has since been known as the Chambers Christian Church. Hiram Chambers deeded the society a small piece of land on Section 27, and in 1869 a place of worship was erected there at a cost of about $1,500.

What was known as the Wesleyan Camp Meeting Association flourished at one time in this township, and meetings were held annually for many years and were largely attended by people from all over the country. Meetings have not been held for several years past. The camp grounds were situated on the old J. R. Holsten farm near Wesley Chapel.


In 1858 the township had 401 children of legal school age; in 1868 it had 398; in 1872 it had 386, and in 1896 it had 239, or a decrease of forty-three per cent in thirty-eight years. The township has seven school buildings, five of which are brick and two frame, and employs seven teachers. Mr. Joseph Keicher is the present trustee of the township.


The population of the township in 1850 was 850; in 1860 it was 926 ; in 1870 it was 1,056 ; in 1880 it was 985; and in 1890 it was 891.

The value of lands in the township in 1896 was $524,865; value of lands and improvements $555,085; total value of taxables $663,605.


In 1835 Zimri Moon laid out a town on Section 15, which was afterwards known as " Moonville." From 1888 to 1840, or during the time of the construction of the Indiana Central Canal, considerable business was done here, but with the collapse of that enterprise Moonville began to decline and is today a village of memory, as its houses long since disappeared and its site is now devoted to agriculture. The farm where the village stood is owned by Joseph Hancock, of Anderson, and his son, William H. Hancock, cultivates it. Among those who did business in Moonville were Abraham Adamson, Nathan Williams, James Trimble, and James Swaar, Riley Moore, Samuel and Joseph Pence, John C. Gustin, and John Winslow. The late John W. Westfield was the only resident physician the village ever had. He practiced his profession here in the latter '30s. At that time the locality of the village .was very unhealthy, but it is now one of the healthiest sections in the country.

One of the noted characters of Moonville was a man of the name of Zachariah Cook who kept a lodging house on his farm near the village. Mr. Cook had a handsome daughter, Eliza, who was a general favorite and is still well remembered by the old-timers in that and other parts of the county. She was a fearless horsewoman and won many premiums for superior riding at county fairs.

The authors are indebted to Joseph Hancock and Wesley Dunham, of Anderson, for information concerning this once interesting village.


Pittsborrough was a village situated on the Alexandria turnpike, just north of the present site of the village of Prosperity, in Richmond township, on the old Beal farm. John Beal was one of the founders and sold considerable real estate in the town. It was in the days of the building of the canals through the country, and towns sprang up all over the county near the scene of the works. Pittsborrough contained several houses, stores and a " tavern." Of course it had its place where liquors could be had by the small, and Jeremiah Judd was the man who dealt it out to the thirsty laborers on the public works. At the March session, 1889, he was granted a license by the Board of Commissioners, as follows :

"On petition presented and duly supported by a competent number of freeholders, it is ordered that Jeremiah Judd be allowed a license to vend groceries and liquors by the small in the town of Pittsborrough, in said county, for the term of one year from this date."

It is said that Sims Garrison also kept a place there, but there is no record of his having obtained a license in the courts.

Among those who once owned real estate in this village were William Coburn, John Beal, Ninevah Berry, Sims Garrison, James Carroll, Martha Shinn, Lewis Maynard and Isaac Snelson. Many others held lots there whose names do not now come to mind.

James Hollingsworth, an old resident, says many fights occurred in this place during the construction of the canal between the different sets of hands employed, generally happening on pay day. The stores and business houses were log cabins, such as were common in that day. There is nothing now left, save tradition, to tell where Pittsborrough once stood.


Among the many towns and villages that sprang up along the route of the projected canal that passed through the county, Mount Pleasant, in Richland township, is one that is almost forgotten. It was situated in the neighborhood of the Dillon and Thornburg farm, adjoining the Jacob Bronnenberg land. Joshua Shinkle, who is yet living in Anderson, owned the land prior to the laying out of the village. It was not a success as a business venture, as but few lots were disposed of. It came too late in the days of canal fever, as the work had been abandoned in 1889, the year it was laid out, and the enterprise was never resumed. John Thornburg purchased a lot and built a house there, which was the only residence in the town. All traces of the place as a town have long ago been obliterated, and it is only now and then that an old settler calls to mind that there was ever such a place in the county.


Prosperity, the only village now in the township, was founded by John Beal and Hiram Louder, who opened up a small general store there at an early day. The place prospered for a time and a postoffice was established for the convenience of the inhabitants and the farmers of the surrounding country. In the course of a few years, however, the postoffice was removed, and the place went into a decline, from which it has never recovered. The individual who gave the place its name is not known, but it has been suspected that he was something of a wag.

The township has furnished a number of county officials since its organization, as follows : Dr. John Hunt, State Senator and Treasurer of the county; Hon. David Croan, Representative ; John Coburn, County Commissioner; Weems Heagy, County Treasurer, and Jacob Bronnenberg, County Commissioner.

Among other citizens of the township who were well known and highly respected in their time were B. F. Walker, Dr. William Parris, Samuel and Madison Forkner, Peter Keicher, Isaac Sellars, John Nelson {known throughout the county as " Hog " John on account of his extensive dealings for many years in hogs), John Matthew, Staman Croan and Joseph Pence. The late Dr. William A. Hunt was also a resident of the township for many years. Of the old-timers who are still living may be mentioned John and James Blacklidge, Curran Beall, Chauncy Vermillion.


The first schoolhouse in the township was erected in the fall of 1831 on the Harrison Canaday farm, and the first school was taught by an Irishman in the spring of 1882. John Treadway taught school here in 1884.

The first birth in the township occurred in 1882, a daughter being born to Mr. and Mrs. John Parker.

The Nelson graveyard, on Section 15, was the first in the township.

The first graded country school in Madison county was taught by W. M. Croan at " College Corner" schoolhouse, in which the first graduating exercises in the country schools of Madison county took place.

The first house erected in the township was built by James Curtis, and stood where the barn on the old Robert Adams farm now stands.

At the March session, 1884, Richland township was formed and bounded by the Board of Commissioners as follows :

" It is ordered by this board that a new township be organized in the county, to be known as Richland township, to be bounded as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the southeast corner of Section S3, Town 20, Range 8 east, running thence east with the line dividing Townships 19 and 20, north to the east line of said county, thence north, with the county line, to the northeast corner of Town 21, on said line, thence west to the northeast corner of Section 4, Township 21 north, Range 7 east, thence south to the place of beginning,

" And all elections held in said township shall be held at the house of Peter Ehrhart, until otherwise ordered and -directed."


Away back, perhaps as far as 1888, Benjamin Walker, an old citizen of Madison county, who in an early day lived in Richland township, but who ended his days in Anderson a few years since, erected a dam across Killbuck and built a small saw-mill for the purpose of doing the neighborhood sawing. It was a rude affair, but served well the purpose in its day. After running it for several years he sold the mill and site to John Purcell, who, about the year 1840, transformed it into a woolen-mill and " carding machine," where he did business of that kind for several years. He afterward sold the mill to Stephen Broadbent, who has for forty years done the carding, spinning and weaving for the north part of the county. It is the only factory of this kind now in Madison county.

Mr. Broadbent has, in a quiet way, made a handsome fortune by operating it.

It is known far and wide as one of the best mills of its kind in the country. Mr. Broadbent not only does a local trade, but is a large buyer and seller of wool in season.

Mr. Benjamin Walker, the first owner of the property, was the father of Mrs. Nathan Armstrong and Mrs. J. E. D. Smith, well known in Anderson and vicinity.

The scenery surrounding this old mill is one of varied beauty. In the summer time, when the trees are bearing their foliage and the fields are carpeted with their green coverings of grass and growing grain, the little mill situated on the rippling stream would be a subject for the artist's hand that could not be surpassed In Madison county.

Richland township, besides being one of the wealthiest, can also boast of having the only woolen-mill in the county.

This mill is spoken of in the general history of Richland township.

Stony Creek Township.

This township derives it name from Stony creek, a small stream that flows through the north-west part of the township. It has an area of twenty-eight square miles, and, notwithstanding the axe and saw have been busy in the forests since its first settlement in 1828, there is yet considerable timber left, more, perhaps, than in any other township in the county. The township is bounded on the north by Jackson township, on the east by Anderson township, on the south by Fall Creek and Green townships, and on the west by Hamilton county.

In 1828 D. E. Studley, Thomas Busby, John Anderson, George Reddick and two or three others settled along Stony creek, near the present site of Fishersburg. They were followed by Benoni Freel and Henry Studley, the former settling on Section 21, near the present home of David Conrad, and the latter on Section 28, on what has since been known as the Hoffman farm. Each built a log cabin and began the arduous task of clearing up a farm. Mr. Freel came from Ohio and first settled in Jackson township, opposite the present site of Perkinsville, in 1828, when he moved to the vicinity of the present site of Lapel. He had in the meantime married the widow of Benjamin Fisher, who had been killed by the Indians, while chopping down a tree, near where Strawtown now stands. Besides his wife, he left several children, among whom was Charles Fisher, who is still living and a resident of Lapel. Mr. Fisher is the oldest resident of the township and one of the oldest in the county, having been born in Ohio in 1819.

In 1881 John Fisher, of Clermont county, Ohio, settled on the tract of land lying between Fishersburg and Lapel, that is now owned by Charles Fisher. About the year 1885 James and Jesse Gwinn, of Virginia, settled on section 28, and in 1886 W. A. Aldred located in the same neighborhood. About this time Arbuckle Nelson located on what is now known as the Bodenhorn farm. Other early pioneers were Peter Ellis, Newton Webb, Isaac Milburn and Noah Huntzinger. Many of the descendants of these men reside in the township and cultivate large farms.


The first public road through the township was laid out in 1882. This road was laid out from Strawtown to Pendleton, and that portion of it passing through the township afterwards (1866) became the Fishersburg and Pendleton pike. It was purchased by the county in 1888, and is now a free gravel road.


The Methodists in this, as in the other townships of the county, were the first to organize a society. It is thought that the first religious society in the township was organized about the year 1886, and afterwards became a part of the Noblesville circuit. The first meetings were held at the homes of the membership, but after the erection of a school house at Fishersburg the meetings were held there until 1848, when the society built a small building. This place of worship was occupied for about thirteen years, when a more pretentious building was erected and dedicated, free from debt. Among the early ministers were Mr. Miller in 1888, Lucien Berry in 1840, W. Smith in 1842, and James Scott in 1846. This church is in a prosperous condition.

Rev. Nathaniel Richmond organized a Baptist society here in 1848 and a year afterwards built a small house of worship in Fishersburg. The society was never strong in numbers and after a period of about twenty years passed out of existence.

In 1860 Forest Chapel Christian church was organized with a membership of sixteen and in the following year a neat little place of worship was erected on Section 32. Rev. B. F. Gregory was pastor here for sometime, but the society did not prosper and regular services were discontinued.


The first schoolhouse in the township was built in 1835, and was situated near Stony creek, a short distance southeast of the present site of Fishersburg. There are at the present time nine schoolhouses in the township, including Lapel, and a total school enumeration of 683. The school at Lapel is graded, and three teachers are employed. The principal of the school is Absalom Knight.


This village was laid out in May, 1837, by Rev Fletcher Tivis. It is situated on Section 28, on the west bank of Stony creek and near the Hamilton county line. Z. Rogers built the first house in the village. It was constructed of logs and stood near the point where the Anderson road joined the Pendleton and Fishersburg pike. William and Benjamin Sylvester were the first merchants in the place, having brought a stock of goods here in 1844. They afterwards sold out the stock to Charles Fisher, who increased it and conducted a general merchandise business for about ten years. In 1853 a postoffice was established here and Charles Fisher was appointed postmaster. He was succeeded by W. A. Fisher; he by J. W. Fisher; he in turn by J. W. Taylor and he by George Dunham in 1867, who held the office for a number of years. Christopher Bodenhorn is the present postmaster. Considerable business was done here previous to the completion of the Chicago & Southeastern railroad to Lapel in 1876, since which time its trade has been absorbed by the latter place. At this time there is but one store in the village, that of Bodenhorn & Son. Among the professional men who have lived here have been Drs. Daniel Cook, J. M. Fisher, J. A. Aldred and L. P. Ballinger. Dr. Cook is the only physician now in the village. Dr. Fisher resides between Fishersburg and Lapel and cannot be said to be a resident of either place.


This town was laid out April 27, 1876, by David Conrad and Samuel E. Busby, and incorporated January, 1898, the first officers being O. C. Shetterly, James Armstrong, E. R. Rambo, Trustees, and J. C. McCarty, Clerk. It is situated three-fou'rths of a mile southeast of Fishersburg, on the Chicago & Southeastern Railroad, and is one of the prettiest towns in the county, the residences of a number of its citizens being as fine and neat as can be found on the fashionable thoroughfares of any of the cities in the county. For several years after it was laid out the town consisted of a few scattering houses, but since the discovery of natural gas it has grown rapidly, having an estimated population at the present time of 1200.


Lapel is supplied with two large flouring mills, a flint bottle factory, planing mill, tile works, pump and gas regulator factory, and several other industries of minor importance. These manufactories give an air of thrift and enterprise to the little city such as but few places of equal population can boast. It is surrounded by a fertile country, its people are moral and industrious, and there is no reason why the place should not continue to grow and prosper.


There are three churches in Lapel, the Methodist, United Brethren, and Friends. The Methodists have a large congregation and a handsome place of worship. The membership is growing and the church is in a prosperous condition. This may also be said of the United Brethren society.


The following fraternal societies have been instituted at Lapel: White Oak Camp, No. 29, Woodmen of the World; Knights of Pythias ; Onaway Tribe, No. 50,1. O. R. M.; also a Pocahontas Council. Besides these orders there is Hiram G. Fisher Post, G. A. R., with a membership, at this time, of twenty-five.

Among the leading professional and business men are Drs. Jones and Moore; Woodward & Woodward, millers; G. E. Bird & W. J. Huffman, hardware; Oliver, Thomas & Shetterly, millers; David Conrad, general business; N. W. Clepfer, grocer and postmaster.


The population of Stony Creek township in 1850 was 291; in 1860 it was 597; in 1870 it was 1,082; in 1880 it was 1,488, and in 1890 (including Fisherburg and Lapel) it was 1,488. The last assessment made for taxes shows the value of lands to be $527,880; lands and improvements, $588,995; total amount of taxables, $798,495.


The first marriage in the township was that of Samuel Shetterly and Jane Freel. The event occurred on the 8th of July, 1884, and was solemnized by Ancil Beach at the residence of the bride's father, Benoni Freel. The first death in the township was that of George Shetterly, who died about the year 1830.


There is a tradition that the lands of Stony Creek township were once the favorite hunting grounds of the Indians, not only of the county, but of the tribes living to the north along the Mississinewa, Wabash and Eel rivers. Excavations made in recent years have discovered bones and other remains indicating that the red men were at one time numerous in this part of the county. It was in this township that the " Dismal " was situated, a tract of land several miles in extent that was noted for its dense underbrush and dark, dismal appearance. During the early settlement of the county and for many years after Anderson had become a town of considerable importance, the " Dismal" was esteemed the best hunting ground in this part of the county. This locality that was once so forbidding is now one of the fairest and most productive portions of the county.
Union Township.

This civil jurisdiction contains nineteen and one-half square miles and is the smallest township in the county. It is bounded on the north by Richland township, on the east by Delaware and Henry counties, on the south by Adams township and on the west by Anderson township.

The township was organized by order of the Board of Commissioners May 8, 1880, the following being the order :

"Ordered that a new township be laid off from Anderson township to commence at the corner of Section 23, Township 19, Range 8, thence north to the north corner of the county, thence west three miles to the north-west corner of Section 4, Township 22, thence south to the south-west corner of Section 12, Township 19, Range 8, thence to the place of beginning, being known and designated as Union."

The township was originally covered with a dense growth of valuable timber, the principal varieties being black walnut, poplar, ash, sugar, oak, hickory, beech and elm. The township was named no doubt after the Federal Union, although it has been claimed that it derives its name from the circumstance of its being situated opposite the line where the counties of Delaware and Henry unite. The lands are generally level excepting along White river, which flows through the township from east to west, where bluffs and hills abound.

The celebrated mounds—a complete description of which is given in a previous chapter—are situated in this township, and near them, but across the river, on the land that was originally entered by Frederick Bronnenberg, the paternal ancestor of the numerous family of that name, was, no doubt, situated the burial ground of the mysterious people who built them.

William Dilts has the distinction of being the first white man to settle in the township. He came from Montgomery county, Ohio, in March, 1821, and located near Chesterfield, on what is known as the Willard Makepeace land. He erected a cabin and cleared a few acres of land, but not having sufficient means to enter it and acquire a title, a man of the name of Joshua Baxter entered the land in 1824, and he moved to Delaware county. He returned, however, a few years later and entered 160 acres of land in the same section, but south of where he had first located. He built a double log house, where he furnished entertainment for travelers passing through the new country. This was the first tavern in the township. In 1885 Mr. Dilts erected a two-story brick house, near the same building, where he continued to entertain the public for many years. This building was the first brick house erected in the township and is still standing. The property now belongs to John Dusang and is the oldest house in the township, save one—the old frame Makepeace residence in Chesterfield.

The next settler in the township was Frederick Bronnenberg, Sr., who came to the township in June, 1821. Mr. Bronnenberg was on his way with his family to the "prairie country" of Illinois when one of his oxen gave out at " Stup Hollow," or what has since been known as " Shiner's Hill." Mr. Bronnenberg called upon Mr. Dilts for assistance and that gentleman prevailed upon him to go no farther west. An Indian trader of the name of McChester had built a cabin in the vicinity a year or two before, which he abandoned, and Mr. Bronnenberg took possession of it. He remained here until the following spring, when he built a cabin north of White river, on what is now known as " Larmore's Hill." This land was a school section and he soon after entered the land that is now owned by his son, Frederick, and cultivated by his grandson, Ransom Bronnenberg. The mounds are situated on this land.

Following Mr. Bronnenberg came David Croan, of Ohio; Isaac K. Errick, of New York ; Daniel Noland, Joseph Carpenter, William Woods, John Martin, Jason Hudson, of North Carolina, and John Suman, of Maryland, all of whom were heads of families except the latter, who made his home with William Dilts. Amasa Makepeace, of Massachusetts, also settled in the township about this time, and in 1827 Bazil Neely, of Ohio county, West Va. (at that time Virginia), came to the township where, in 1883, he purchased eighty acres of land. This land was a part of Section 85. He cleared up a farm and resided here for a period of sixty years. Mr. Neely's portrait and a sketch of his life, contributed by his daughter, Miss Hester A. Neely, are presented in these pages.


From 1821 to 1815 the early pioneers of the township were compelled to take their corn to the Falls of Fall Creek to have it ground. But some time during the latter year Amasa Makepeace, with the assistance of the settlers, built a "corncracker" north of the present site of Chesterfield, on what was afterward called Mill creek. This mill was a great convenience to the pioneers of this part of the county.

In 1887 Frederick Bronnenberg built a saw-mill on White river where his son, Carroll, now lives. A run of buhrs for corn and wheat were soon after added to the mill, and subsequently a carding machine, the first and only one ever in the township. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1847 and never rebuilt. Soon after the completion of the Bellefontaine (Big Four) railroad to Chesterfield, Brazleton Noland erected a large flouring mill near the line of the road at that place. Afterward J. B. Anderson built a steam saw-mill, which was also located near the railroad. Both mills in their time did a large business, but are now things of the past. There is not a grist mill at the present time in the township, and but one saw-mill.


Shortly after the Makepeace mill had been completed, in 1825, Allen, son of Amasa Makepeace, opened a store in a log cabin near the mill. His goods were of that character most needed by the pioneers and were hauled from Cincinnati in a wagon. Mr. Makepeace continued in active business for a great many years and accumulated a fortune that was estimated at the time of his death at a quarter of a million dollars. He left but two heirs to inherit his wealth, a son, Quincy Makepeace, who resides in the township, and Mrs. John E. Corwin, of Middletown, New York.


The first church organization in the township, perhaps, was that of the United Brethren in 1840. The society was organized in the neighborhood of Chesterfield by a Rev. Mr. Smith, who selected Henry Russell as class leader. The society at one time numbered about forty members, and built a brick church on what is now the poor farm, where religious services were held regularly; but through deaths and removals from the township the society dwindled in numbers, services were discontinued, and the little house of worship, built by the contributions of citizens of the township, was abandoned to decay. A portion of the ground where this church stood was devoted to burial purposes, and many of the pioneers and earlv settlers of the township are buried here. This, it may be added, was the first public burial ground in the township. The late Allen Makepeace is buried here.

A Baptist society was organized at Chesterfield in 1869 through the activity of J. B. Anderson, who was chosen clerk of the organization. Rev. J. C. Skinner was pastor. The society did not prosper, and the members transferred their membership to the Baptist church at Anderson.

In 1870 a Methodist church was organized at Chesterfield by Rev. John Pierce, Robert Goodin and others. In 1871 a place of worship was erected, and for a time regular services were held therein once every two weeks. The society did not prosper, however, and the church was dropped from the circuit.

In 1890 the State Spiritualist society purchased of Carroll Bronnenberg thirty acres of land, situated just north of Chesterfield, for a camp ground. Workmen were at once employed to clear up and improve the grounds. A large auditorium, capable of seating five hundred people, was erected, together with several cottages for the use of mediums or others who desire to remain on the grounds during the meeting, which is held yearly and usually during the month of August. Spiritualists from every part of the State, and from almost every portion of the country, assemble here annually to confer with each other and enjoy a revival of their peculiar faith. The society is responsible financially, and is adding many substantial, as well as attractive, improvements to its property. Interest is also increasing in the meetings held here, and the society is rapidly growing in numbers and influence.


There are several school houses in the township, and seven teachers. In 1858 there were 214 children of legal school age in the township; in 1874 the number was 288, and this year 237. The population in 1850 was 623; in 1860 it was 858; in 1870 it was 851; in 1880 it was 917, and in 1890 it was 897, showing a decrease for the past decade.


This village is one of the oldest in the county, and at one time one of the most prosperous. It was laid out in 1880, by Allen Makepeace, and was originally known as West Union. At the September session, 1884, of the Commissioners' Court, the name of the town was changed. The petition for the change was signed by the citizens generally and was presented by Allen Makepeace. It set out an act of the Legislature on the subject, and other important reasons for such change. The Board, after due consideration of the matter, made the following order :

"It is ordered by the Board that the name of the town of West Union be changed, and that the same be henceforward known and designated as Chesterfield."

At the time of the completion of the Bellefontaine railroad to this point, and for many years afterward, considerable business was done by the mills and other enterprises located here, but owing to certain causes the place entered upon a decline about the year 1860, from which it has never recovered.

Prominent among the professional and business men who have resided here are : Dr. Henry, the first physician, Dr. Godwin, Dr. Ballingall, Dr. William Cornelius, Dr. J. W. Crismond, Dr. T. Kilgore, Dr. Kelly, Dr. M. H. Pratt, Dr. C. L. Armington. Dr. Downey is the present and only physician in the village. The merchants have been Allen Makepeace, Jacob Shimer, J. M. Dilts, J. D. Carter & Bro., Trueblood & Dusang, A. J. Cornelius. James K. Trimble for many years kept the only hotel in the village.


At the crossing of the State road and the Pan Handle railroad, one mile south of the residence of Daniel Noland, in Union township, there once stood what promised to be the metropolis of that locality.

It was commonly known as Slyfork station, but the United States gave it the name of Branson's Post Office.

This village sprang up after the building of the Pan Handle railroad, in 1855, and was for a while quite a little trading point for the neighborhood, Ballingall & Tucker being the merchants and in charge of the post-office. A saw-mill was also added to the industries of the town, and for a while did the neighborhood sawing.

There is not a vestige left now to tell where this hamlet once stood, the old store building having long since been torn away, and the saw-mill gone to decay.


The first distillery in the township was built by Samuel Suman. Frederick Bronnenberg, Sr., afterwards built and operated a still on his farm. This distillery was destroyed by fire.

There was a Masonic lodge at Chesterfield at an early day, but surrendered its charter long since to the Grand Lodge.

The county infirmary is located in this township, four miles east of Anderson and one mile west of Chesterfield.

The P. C. C. & St. L. railway passes through this township in a south-easterly direction, but has no .station.

Among the prominent citizens of the township who have been elected to county offices, are Hon. William C. Fleming, Representative ; Brazelton Noland, County Treasurer; William Noland, County Treasurer; Henry Bronnenberg, County Commissioner.

In 1894 the grade of the Chicago & Southeastern railway was constructed through the township. William Cronin was the contractor and superintended the work.

The late Michael Bronnenberg, of Richland township, was the first child born in the township and the second male child in the county. He was born on the 24th of November, 1821, and died of heart disease, either on the night of the 22d or early in the morning of the 23d of October, 1896, as he was found dead in his bed on that morning. He had been in Anderson on the 22d to attend a political meeting at which the Hon. William J. Bryan, Democratic candidate for the Presidency, spoke, and appeared unusually lively during the day. He returned home in the evening in his usual health, and retired without a premonition of his approaching dissolution. During the night he expired, but at what hour will never be known.

Van Buren Township.

This township was organized March 4, 1887, and named in honor of the eighth President of the United States at the suggestion of George Moore, one of the earliest residents of the territory comprising the township.

The township originally contained all of the territory lying in Congressional Township 22, Range 8 east. The record for its organization is as follows :

" On petition filed, and due deliberation thereupon had, it is ordered by the Board that Congressional Township No. 22, north of Range 8 east, in Madison county, be organized into a township, to be known and designated by the name of VanBuren township. And it is also ordered that they hold an election in said township at the house of Hiram Palmer, therein, on the first Monday of April next, for the purpose of electing township officers and one Justice of the Peace. And it is ordered that the elections in said township be held at the house of said Hiram Palmer until otherwise directed. And it is ordered that Hiram Palmer be and he is hereby appointed Inspector of Elections for said township until a successor shall be chosen and qualified."

The township contains twenty-five square miles and is situated in the north-east corner of the county. It is bounded on the north by Grant county, on the east by Delaware county, on the south by Monroe township, and on the west by Boone township. The topography of the township is similar to that of the other northern townships of the county, being generally level, well watered and originally heavily timbered. The soil is principally black loam and well adapted to the cultivation of cereals, particularly corn and wheat, large crops of which are produced annually, especially of corn.

According to the best information obtainable the settlement of the township began about the year 1880, when Thomas Gordon, Jacob Davis and Hiram and John Palmer emigrated from Virginia and settled in the county just north of the present site of Summitville, on Section 20. Between the years 1880-30 quite a number from Virginia settled in the township, among whom were John and William Kelsey, who located on Section 8 ; Thomas Cartwright and James Blades, who located on Section 81; John Cree, who located on Section 17 ; Samuel Fenimore, who located on Section 20. The latter came from Ohio, and chose as a location for his future home a spot on the Fort Wayne trace, where he erected a log house, which he subsequently converted into a tavern for the accommodation of hunters and travelers over the trace. This was the first inn, or tavern, in the township. The locality was afterwards known as " Old Wrinkle." In the fall of 1836 John Moore, of North Carolina, settled in the same neighborhood, also Robert Robb, of Johnson county, Indiana. They were soon after followed by Ephraim and Madison Broyles, John Shields, David Culberson, John M. Zedeker, Harrison Allen and Zachariah Robinson. Many of the first settlers afterwards removed to Illinois and Iowa, particularly the latter, when those states were organized, believing that better opportunities awaited them in the " prairie country." This disposition to follow the " star of empire" was not peculiar to the early settlers of this township alone, it may be observed, as many of the first comers to nearly all of the townships in the county afterwards " pulled up stakes" and went farther west. Occasionally one would return and settle permanently, but not often. They preferred a country where it did not require so much labor to prepare the land for a crop.

From 1889 immigration to the township increased year after year. School-houses were erected and churches organized. In every township but this it has been an easy matter to ascertain when and where the first school-house was erected. But in this township there is so much diversity of opinion on the subject among the old-timers and their descendants that but little definite or satisfactory information can be learned about the matter. It is sufficient to say, that a small log school-house was erected at ah early day, about a mile and a half north of where Summitville now stands. The name of the school teacher was George Doyle. In 1858 the number of school children in the township was 256; in 1874 it was 3S6, and at the present time the school enumeration shows that there are 510 children eligible to the privileges of the public schools. There are eight school buildings in the township, including Summitville, and ten teachers are employed. The Summitville schools are graded and compare favorably in every respect with the schools of other towns in the county.


The early settlers in the township enjoyed religious services,without regard to their denominational predilections, long before a religious society had been organized. Itinerant preachers, during the pioneer period, would visit the township from time to time, when word would be sent out to the settlers that religious services would be held at a certain private cabin or log school-house. During the winter of 1859-60, a Christian minister of the name of George Newhouse visited the township and held a number of meetings, which resulted in the organization of a society composed of about sixty members. A log church was afterwards erected, about one mile north of the present site of Summitville. Samuel Moore, Pleasant Victory, John Beck and Philip Cramer were among the most active members of the society.


The population of the township in 1850 was 406; in 1860 it was 672 ; in 1870 it was 874 ; in 1880 it was 1,691, and in 1890 it was 1,979, including the town of Summitville.

The total value of lands, as taken from the tax duplicate of the present year, is $416,595; value of improvements, $975,065 ; total value of taxables, $639,930.


The original name of this town was " Skipperville," but was afterwards changed on account of its proximity to the " cone," or summit level, of the State, a point two miles north of the town, from which the waters of Mud creek and Black creek flow in opposite directions, the former emptying into Pipe creek and the latter into the Mississinewa. Aquilla Moore, the oldest living inhabitant of the township, came to this part of the county and settled in the neighborhood of where Summitville now stands in 1886.

On his seventy-seventh birthday, the writer sat beneath the shade of a spreading cherry tree in the grounds surrounding his residence, and elicited from him much information in relation to the town and its surroundings.

Mr. Moore is an exceptionally bright gentleman, and has a wonderful memory for a man of his advanced years, being able to go into the minutest details of the happenings of the long ago.

John Palmer and Isaiah Davis were the first settlers, and came to this vicinity in the year 1885, and located about two miles north, having removed from the State of Virginia.

Robert Robb, the father of Mrs. Aquilla Moore, came here from Johnson county in the year 1887, and started the first store in this part of the country, north of Summitville about two miles.

Aaron M. Williams was among the early settlers, and erected the first and only tannery in this neighborhood, which he operated together with his farming interests for a good many years, and was for a long while engaged in the dry goods and merchandizing business, and kept a place to lodge the weary traveler. He sold the first town lots in the place, and was really the founder of the village. No regular plats of the lots were laid off, but when a man purchased one, Mr. Williams would stake off the amount and size of an ordinarv town lot and describe it by metes and bounds. This manner of proceeding has since given the assessors and county officials much trouble in assessing the real estate in the place.

Summitville proper was laid out in 1867, by Aaron M. Williams. Henry Roby was the first merchant in the town, and opened business in November, 1807, and did quite a thriving trade, and was succeeded by Aquilla Moore & Son.

Samuel Fenimore was an early settler and lived about two miles north of Summitville, being one of a number of large land owners and thrifty citizens of that locality. Prior to the laying out of Summitville as a town, and before a settlement was made there, there was an old staging station kept near that place by Aquilla Moore, where the stage that ran from Anderson to Marion made a change of horses and stopped for feed and dinner. William Pittsford, Richard and A. J. Hunt, the Anderson liverymen, were among the prominent stage drivers of that day- The first stage coach that passed over the line was driven by the late Colonel O. H. P. Carey from Marion to Anderson. He owned the stage line for a number of years, and operated it until he volunteered his services in the army during the late war. The last one was driven by Walker Winslow in 1876.

When Aquilla Moore first settled in these parts, there was no mail route between Summitville and Anderson or Alexandria, the mail came there via Strawtown, being carried on horseback over roads blazed out through dense forests. Daniel Dwiggins was the first mail boy to deliver mail in this section, and Elijah Williams was the next; both are long since deceased.

One of the first physicians in these surroundings was Dr. S. B. Harriman, who died in Richmond, Indiana, a few years since. He was succeeded by C. V. Garrett, John Wright, W. V. McMahan, M. L. Cranfill, S. T. Brunt and T. J. Clark. The first doctor in Summittville, after it became a town, was Dr. Cyrus Graul, who established himself here in 1867.

William Wellington and John S. Moore started the first grist mill in the township in 1854. It was a small corn cracker with a saw mill in connection with it. They did a very thriving business for a number of years. Farmers came for quite a distance from the surrounding country to have their sawing done, and have their grists ground.

The first flouring mill was built in Summitville by Columbus Moore in the year 1808. It was of an improved pattern and for many years enjoyed an extensive business.

The first ministers of the gospel in this locality were William Brunt, a brother of the late Thomas Brunt and Peter Casteel. The old timers are not able to agree as to which of the two was the first.

In the year 1868, Columbus Moore was appointed the first postmaster in Summitville, receiving his commission from Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. George Moore, the father of Aquilla Moore, was one of the first Board of Trustees of Van Buren township, and died at the residence of his son about eighteen years ago.

At the time he was an incumbent in this office, each township had a Board consisting of three Trustees.

At an early day Aquilla Moore and his neighbors hauled wheat raised upon their farms to Hamilton, Ohio, the nearest market, and sold it for thirty-seven cents per bushel.

The first railroad agent in Summitville was J. P. Smith, who came to this place on the completion of the C. W. & M. railroad in 1870. The first grain warehouse was built by James H. Woolen about the time of the building of the railroad. Harrison and Reuben Allen were also early settlers in the immediate vicinity of Summitville, having moved here from North Carolina in the early '40s.

The only newspaper published in this place is the Summitville Wave by George P. Louiso, which was established in 18'.K).

It is independent in politics and enjoys a large circulation in the town and surrounding country. In 1888 the Summitville Times was published here by J. A. Wertz, lately connected with the Anderson Bulletin and other Anderson publications. The first paper published here was by a young man of the name of Pinkerton, in 1885.

Summitville from the time of its first location as a village grew very slowly and made but little progress until the time of the perfecting of the C. W. & M. Railway, when it took on an air of prosperity for a short time, and remained stationary until the discovery of natural gas, when it at once entered upon another season of rapid growth, and it is at this writing one of the liveliest and most enterprising towns in Madison county, having many industries, fine school buildings, brick paved streets and handsome residences, and many fine brick business blocks erected on its main thoroughfares.

It was incorporated as a town on the 81st of December. 1881. The first Board of Trustees was elected on the first Monday in May, 1882, and took the oath of office before Miles F. Wood, a Justice of the Peace, on the 8rd day of the same month. The first Trustees were Moses Stone, George W. Fear and Joseph A. Allen. The Board organized by electing Mr. Stone, President; Frank Hernley was the first Clerk, and W. H. Williams, the first Treasurer, and J. M. Williams, the first Marshal of the town.

The present officers are William Howard, Clerk; Vincent R. Love, Treasurer, and Jeremiah Simons, Marshal. A. F. Kaufman, Eddie E. Thomas and William J. Peale are the present Trustees. The School Board is composed of Robert McLain, John M. Gordon and George W. Green.

A question was raised as to the legality of the incorporation of the town, and therefore an act was passed by the Legislature of 1895, through the influence of Hon. J. M. Hundley, legalizing the same.

The following industries are located at Summitville: The Central Glass Company; the Crystal Window Glass Company ; the Rothschild Glass Company ; W. C. Fear & Co., saw, lumber and planing mill ; W. W. VanWinkle, saw mill; and L. R. Webb, flouring mill ; the Summitville Brick Factory ; and last, but not least, the Summitville Tile Works, owned solely by Samuel C. Cowgill, being the largest manufacturer of farm tile in the United States. It was erected in 1880, commencing in a small way, but has grown at the present writing to be of huge dimensions. Mr. Cowgill employs on an average about one hundred men all the year around, and has a weekly pay roll of $500. L. R. Whitney is the general book-keeper and business man of the institution, to whom we are under obligations for valuable information, and for having shown us through this establishment. We are also indebted to Mr. George Whitney and J. A. Allen for much information in reference to this place.

Summitville enjoys the distinction of being the home of several secret societies. The Knights of Pythias lodge, No. 361, was organized on the 5th of May, 1892. It has a large membership and is in a flourishing condition. J. D. Armstrong is the Chancellor Commander, and A. H. Jones, Keeper of Records and Seals.

The Improved Order of Red Men, Lodge 149, Neoskaleta Tribe, has a membership of one hundred, and was organized in the year 1893. James Farmer, Sachem.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Summitville Lodge No. 475, was organized in the year 1875, and has a membership of seventy-five. It owns a handsome lodge property, built in the year 1892.

The Methodist Episcopal church, the Presbyterian church, the Baptists and the Wesleyan Methodists, each have congregations here and own their own houses of worship.

Summitville has two banks, both of which are on a sound financial basis, and enjoy a large patronage in the community and the surrounding country. The Citizens' bank has a capital of $25,000. J. T. Sullivan is president, and A. B. Hardgrave, cashier.

The Summitville bank has a capital of $24,000. William Warner, president; Maurice Warner, cashier, and O. E. Gordon, assistant cashier.

The person familiar with the appearance of Summitville twenty-five years ago, and who has waded through its muddy streets during its early existence, could hardly imagine that it would in so short a time become the handsome, thrifty business center that it now is, and from all indications we predict a great future awaiting it. Many accidents and incidents that have occurred in its early history are detailed elsewhere.


The first election held in the township occurred November 1, 1887, at the house of Hiram Palmer. It is related that Samuel Fenimore and Hiram Palmer were opposing candidates for the office of Justice of the Peace. Each candidate had his "wires" in proper order and thought that he had things "fixed," or at least Mr. Fenimore did. The voting population of the township at that early day did not exceed ten or fifteen voters, so that it required but a few votes to elect, and consequently not so much effort on the part of candidates as at present. On the morning of the election Mr. Fenimore, with three of his friends, appeared at the polls and cast their votes for Fenimore. They lingered around the polls until it was nearly time for them to close, and, as Palmer and his friends had not made their appearance, they were congratulating themselves over their success. But just before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the polls Palmer and his " force," consisting of four voters besides himself, emerged from the brush and voted for Palmer, much to the chagrin of Fenimore and his following. Palmer was elected by one vote, and re-elected subsequently a number of times.

The first Trustee of the township was George Moore.

The first saw mill in the township was built and operated by Moore, Wellington & Harold.

The first postmaster in the township was John Kelsey.

The first blacksmith was Jasper Webb.

The first druggist was J. D. Marsh in 1874.

The first shoemaker was R. Snelling.