OHIO COUNTY, INDIANA
Ohio County, Indiana
Ohio County, the smallest county in Indiana, was carved out of Dearborn
County in 1844. Colonel Abel Pepper, who oversaw the removal ol the
Native Americans in the 1830s, was influential in the establishment of
county. As a citizen of Rising Sun, he and his wife donated land and
money to the building of the courthouse. The courthouse, built in 1844,
is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in Indiana.
documentation of Ohio County Indiana, covers the years
at the close of the 1800s to the present. Rising Sun, the county's
seal, was home to J.W. Whitlock, a name familiar to many raceboat fans.
photographs of Whitlock and his famous Hoosier Boy, the Empire House
Hotel, the 1937 flood, the electric chair made by Smith Riggs, and the
steamboats Cincinnati and Louisville seen daily at the turn of the
twentieth century. Also featured is the Laughery
Club, located on an island in the Ohio River. Though small, Ohio County
could throw a big party as demonstrated by the 1940 and 1950s regattas,
and the 1964 sescquicentennial of the founding of Rising Sun. William
Dichtl is the director of the Ohio County Historical Society,
and was previously employed by the Tippecanoe County Historical
Association in Lafayette, Indiana.
Cream Station in Aberdeen, 1920.
Farmers living in the vicinity of Aberdeen brought their cream to this
cream station. At one time Glenn Dorrell operated the cream station.
Earl Green operated the station depicted in this photograph. Note the
cream cans on the porch. It is hard to believe, but Aberdeen was home
totwo gun makers at the same time in the 1800s. Other businesses in
town included blacksmith shops, broom makers, a cooper, and a grocer,
to name a few.
Riverside Hotel, C. 1915. The
Riverside Hotel, southwest corner of Main and Front streets, was one of
three hotels in this area of town. The hotel was built in the early
1800s. George Jarvis, J.D. Kilburn. and Joe Marsh had been owners of
the hotel at one time. With the steamboats docking daily, this was the
ideal location for a hotel. In 1968, the hotel was razed after years of
Black Horse Tavern, 1939. The
trademark black carousel horse on the property easily identified the
Black Horse Tavern located on the southeast comer of the main road
through Aberdeen. During the mid-1900s, the tavern was a popular
destination for travelers and local people.
Black Horse Tavern, 1939. The Black
Horse Tavern served sandwiches and ice cream. The ice cream was made on
site and was said to be very good. It was a relaxed atmosphere where
friends gathered to sit in the shade and share stories in a variety of
chairs. Note the Black Horse Tavern sign over the door. The sign is in
the collection of the Ohio County Historical Society.
Black Horse Tavern Cabins, 1939. The
Black Horse Tavern accommodated weary travelers with their cabins tor
rent. Similar to a shotgun house with the cabin being long and one room
wide, each one had a bench outside for relaxing in the cool summer
breeze. The cabins faced a nicely landscaped garden.
GAS TRUCK, 1924. Russell
owned this sharp looking gas truck. During the 1920s he delivered gas
for the Ohio Pep Company. On the back of the tank read Go Devil Benzol
Gas "Fresh From the Still."
Denver Dorrell later on bought this
business from Russell, and also had an oil delivery business in the
late 1920s that he operated out of Aberdeen. He sold Ohio Pep and later
United Petroleum products.
Source: Ohio County, Indiana By William J. Dichtl