Genealogy Trails

Wayne County, Indiana


Boston Township

    This township was formed from "Wayne in February, 1835, and lies in the south-east corner of the county. Its length east and west is 6 miles; its breadth north and south is 4 miles, making an area of 24 square miles. The principal stream in this township is the Elkhorn, which enters it about 1 1/2 miles west of Ohio line, and, running a south-westerly course, leaves the township I 3/4 miles south of the north-west corner, about half a mile above the mouth of the stream. Some of the earlier settlements in the county were trade within its limits. With the exception of Holman, Rue, and a few others in that neighborhood, and John Cox, the Endsleys, and perhaps a few others in what is now called Abington, there were probably no earlier settlers in "Wayne county. Thomas Bulla, Jacob Fouts, and Jesse Davenport settled on the Elkhorn, 4 or 5 miles south-east of Richmond; Davenport and one or two of the Foutses, lower down, within the present township of Boston, all the same year in which the Hoovers settled north of Richmond. The Hunts, the next year, settled on and near the Elkhorn, several miles below where Davenport settled.

    In the north-west part of the township, Peter Weaver settled in 1807, on a part of the section, [19,] in the north-west corner of the township ; the land now owned by Christopher C. Beeler, of Richmond. John Collins, in 1807, settled where Milton n. Beeson lives. James Lamb, a native of Scotland, on land now owned by Catharine, widow of John Lamb. James Lamb died in September, 1841, aged 85 years. George Stevenson, on land now owned by his descendants. Abraham Gaar, from Kentucky, in April, 1807, where his son Larkin now resides. Aaron Martin, in 1807 or 1808, on a quarter, a part of which is now owned by Jeptha Turner. Jackson Rambo, an early settler, who died in 1816, aged 55 years, and in 1846, his widow, in her 87th year; his land owned after his decease by James Sulser, now by his sons, Garrison and Hiram Sulser.

    Lazarus Whitehead, in 1806, settled on land now owned by John Sedgwick. William Burk, on land now a part of the farm of Stephen Farlow. Wright Lancaster, from N.C., in 1808, on the quarter lately owned by George and Nathan Farlow, now by Wm. Paddock. Christopher Roddy, a blacksmith, on land now owned by John Raper. Joshua Meek, where now George W. Stevenson lives. Hugh Cull, in 1806, on the land now owned by John W. Hort, lately by James P. Burgess. Isaac Beeson, from N. C, in 1807, where his Bon Augustus Beeson lives. Robert Grimes, about 1808, on land now owned by his son Robert, and Henry Rodenburg. Abraham Esteb, on lands where Samuel and John Moore, and Alfred and Jacob S., sons of John Moore, reside. Jacob Keesling, from Pa., afterward Wm. Fouts, on land now owned by Isaac N. Seaney. Armstrong Grimes on land now owned by Eli Kilmer. Wm. Parsons, where James Watson resides.

    In the north part of the township, Fielding Gaar settled on a part of section 21, lately occupied by R. Rue, now owned by Justice Kroskopf. Wm. Williams settled in 1814, where Isaac Bulla resides. He was a maker of spinning wheels, and removed to Richmond; was also a minister in the society of Friends. Asa Jeffers settled on land now owned by Alonzo Osborn and Daniel W. Shaffer. Adjoining this section on the south, James, William, and Robert Grimes owned the land now owned by John T. Williams. Daniel Hart, from N. C, settled, in 1814, on the land now owned by Francis Hendricks. Jesse Davenport, before mentioned, in 1806, settled on section 22, adjoining Wayne. A part of his land is now owned by the heirs of George Grimes. Other parts of the section were owned or settled by Jeremiah Parker, Clark Williams, and Daniel Clark. Portions of the section are now owned by James McLain, Samuel S. Brown, Clayton Brown, Joseph Kokayne, Wm. Roberts, W. Elmer, and others. On the section adjoining, south, [27,] John McCombs, afterward John Ray, settled where now Wm. Ray resides. Jonathan Townsend, on the land now owned by Edward Timberlake.

    Jacob Keesling bought the south part of the section, now owned by Joseph M. Bulla, David Fouts's heirs, and Nathan Druley.

    In the north-east part of the township, [sec. 26,] Wm, Jones settled on the north half, now owned by Joseph M. Bulla, Wm. Teazel, and Benj. Brown. The south half, early owned by Jacob Keesling, now by Joseph M. and William Bulla, William Feazel, Henry H. Highly. Section 23, west half, first owners not remembered; north quarter now owned chiefly by Andrew Gifford; the south quarter by Jacob Shaffer, James Watson, and Edward Scarce. The north-east quarter is owned by Nathan Druley. The south-east quarter, formerly owned by James Hartup and Samuel Watts, now by Wm. Wolf and Wm. Watson's heirs. Daniel Shaffer,-from Virginia, came to the Whitewater country in 1809, and settled, in 1811, on section 24, on Ohio line, where he now resides, at the age of about 85 years. His wife died the 1st of January, 1867. On the quarter south, John Raper from Va., settled early ; land now owned by James W. Shaffer, and the heirs of Joseph Doran. Adam Zeek settled on the northwest quarter, which is now owned by his heirs, and David and Wm. Wolf. Henry Tinkle, on the quarter south, afterwards Benj. G. Moore, now owned by Harbin H. Moore. On the section south, [25,] John Hollett settled on land lately owned by Jacob Shaffer, now by Joseph Bosworth. Thomas Taylor, on the south-east quarter, where he now resides, at the age of 86 years. He first settled near the Falls of Elkhorn.

    In the south-east part of the township, [sec. 36,] Joshua Benton settled on the quarter owned by David Fouts's heirs, on Ohio line. Jeremiah Girton on the quarter owned by Nathan Druley. On the section west, [35,] James Holman settled where Dennis Druley lives; John Jordan, about 1810, south-east qr.; sold out about 1813, to John Esteb, from Pa., and removed to Perry township, where he died; land now owned by Wm. Esteb's heirs, Levi G. Druley, and Edward Ryan. Absalom Rambo, on the south-west quarter, now owned chiefly by Nathan Druley and Sylvester Girton. Joseph Cravens settled about 1818 at or near where Charles and Richard Allen own, on the corner section of the township ; the north half of the section owned by Levi Druley. On a part of the section west, Thomas Wyatt, from Tenn., early, on land now owned by John Druley. He was a Revolutionary soldier and pensioner, and died at a very advanced age. Isaac Conley, on the quarter adjoining the town, now . owned by his son, John J. Conley, where he died in 1864. He had early settled a mile north-west of town, on a small farm, where he also carried on for a few years the tanning business.

    Wm. Holman settled on the south-east qr. of section 34, adjoining town, now owned by Levi Druley. North-east qr., owned lately by A. Lane, now by Nathan Druley. John Miller, one of the first settlers on the south-west qr., where his son Wm. Miller lives. The north-west qr., land now owned by David Fouts's heirs; first settler not remembered. Thomas Ward, early on section 33, where Ira Starr lives. Thomas Young, where Peter Shidler now lives. John Brat-tan, from N. C, where Levi Stanley lives. Sec. 3, south-west of town, Samuel Beck, from N. C, on the south-east qr., where Wm. Davenport lives. James Fisher, north-east qr., now owned by Wm. Seany and Oliver H. Fouts. Owen Beany, Sen., from N. C, about 1809, south-west qr., where he resided until his death, in 1831. Pleasant Seany lives on the farm. Owen Seany, Jun., on a part of north-west qr., where he died in March, 1871; land previously, though per¬haps not first, owned by Thomas Cuppy. Section next west, [4,] Peter Mellender, 1 mile west from town; land lately owned by Isaac Mellender, his son, now by Polly Mellender. John Rife, (not first,) on the land now owned by his son, Jacob Rife, a German Baptist [Dunker] preacher. Isaac Esteb, on the north-west corner of the section, now owned by his son Isaac M. Esteb's heirs. Benj. Jarvis, very early on the south-west qr., at or near where Zachariah Osborn lives. He died in 1862, aged 82 years.

    In the south-west part of the township, Joel Moore is said to have settled on the qr. now owned by Samuel Moore. His son John Moore and sons, Jacob and Alfred, own and live on the east half of the  section north, [32.]  Samuel Jobe, a Baptist preacher, on the land now owned by Samuel Osborn's heirs. Lazarus Whitehead, in 1805, where now John Sedgwick lives; land on west line of the township. Isaac Beeson, probably, where his son Augustus now resides.

    The first Physician resident in the township is not remembered. Among those who have at different times lived and practiced here, were Drs. Stevens, Butler, Wheeler, Hiram Bull, David S. Evans, and Wm. H. Evans. Present practicing physicians, John J. Rife and Wm. F. Miller.

    The first Merchant is supposed to have been a McMaster. According to the recollection of early settlers, the following succeeded McMaster, very nearly in the order named: James Iliff, Baxter & Dunham, Jacob W. Wisher & Wm. outs, Bull
& Hanies, Wm. & John Russey,  Irvin. From 1839 to1845, the following are on record as having paid for store licenses: In 1839, Doughty & Widup, Joseph F. Chapman, Isaac Craig, until 1845, (perhaps later.) In 1844, Strattan & Burbank, John Strattan; in 1844 and 1845, Harvey & McCullough, Aaron Druley. There have also been named, Samuel & LeRoy McWhinney, Hiram Bulla& Joseph Druley, Smith, Druley & John Deal, John Druley, John Steele, Jacob F. Rinehart, Robert Swishey & Frank Templeton, David Jenks. Present merchant, Jacob F. Rinehart.

        The following names of justices of the peace appear in a number of old dockets now in the office of J. F. Rinehart, Esq. The years in which their respective records commence are also given. Isaac Esteb, 1819; James P. Burgess, 1829; Abraham Cuppy, 1834; Joseph A. Simpson, Stephen Mc-Whinney, 1835 ; Isaac Mellender, 1839 ; Wm. Druley, 1841; Alfred Moore, 1851; John H. Stearns, 1854; James Esteb, 1856; Jacob F. Rinehart, 1869. Present justices, Jacob F. Riuehart, James P. Burgess.
    The first Grist-mill in the county was built by Charles Hunt, in 1807, on the Elkhorn, about a mile above its mouth, now near the west line of Boston township. It was a tub mill, and a cheap one, called in those days "corn-cracker." He afterward built a new mill, which, after four or five years, was destroyed by fire. A steam saw-mill on the same site, is now owned by J ames and John Ensley. [Since the above
was written, John Ensley has died.] Jesse Davenport built a grist-mill on the falls of Elkhorn creek, believed to have been the third one in the county. A few years later he built a saw-mill at the same place. These mills are but a few rods above the present mills, on the Richmond and Boston turn-pike. There are at present a grist-mill and a saw-mill, called "Relief Mills owned by Samuel S. Brown, Vm. A. Elmer, and John Wolf. A steam saw-mill was built in 1837, by Eliphalet Stanley, at Boston, and sold soon after to Jacob TV. Fisher and Wm, Fouts, who sold to Smith Rader, and he to Irvin and others. James L. Harris, half a mile north of town, built a steam saw-mill, which is now owned by Wm. T. McCoy. There was for a time attached to it a run of burr stones for grinding corn. A lath-machine is now attached.

    There are at Boston two tile factories; one owned by Sylvester Girton, the other by Wm. Hart.

    A sorghum mill was built in 1866, by John J. Conley, near town. It has the capacity to manufacture 100 gallons of syrup per day. During the season, which continues throughout the fall months, about 4,000 gallons are made.

    A Baptist Church was formed in 1806 or 1807, in what is now the west part of this township, composed chiefly of settlers on and near the Elkhorn creek, and is familiarly known as the "Elkhorn Church." It was the earliest church organ-ization in the county. The number of its members was small. Richard Rue, Lazarus Whitehead, Charles Hunt, and Isaac Esteb, and their wives, are believed to have been among its first members. Lazarus Whitehead was their pastor, and was the first minister with a charge in the county. Their meeting-house is near Elkhorn creek, about a mile above its mouth. Probably none of its first members are now living.

    The Friends, soon after the Baptists, formed a society, and built a log meeting-house about 2 1/4 miles north of Boston. The house had a stick and clay chimney, and was warmed by a charcoal fire in the center. Few persons living remember the names of their early members. Only two have been mentioned, as certain: John Clark and Jeremiah Parker.

    A Methodist Episcopal Church, in the north-west part of the township, was formed early, 1807 or 1808.   Hugh Cull, who settled there about the time Rue and Holman came, was a Methodist preacher. He early invited the few families in the neighborhood to come to his cabin, and preached to them. As soon as the itinerant ministers came within reach of him, he invited then to his home. They formed a class at his house, which was a regular preaching place for many years. This church still exists, and, it is believed, has been regularly supplied with preaching until the present time.

    A second Methodist Episcopal Church in the township was formed at the town of Boston. The date of its organization has not been ascertained. An old inhabitant, and one of the early members, names the following as having joined at the time, or very soon after the class was formed: Jacob Meek, Peter Mellender, Nicholas Druley, Samuel Druley, James Holman, Samuel Beck, Joseph Craven, Andrew Jones, Absalom Kambo, John Esteb, James Esteb, and probably the wives of some or all of them. They built a frame meetinghouse in or about the year 1838. As in some other places mentioned in our history, a separation was caused by anti-slavery agitation. The church was greatly enfeebled by the division, so much so, that for many years it could hardly be said to have an existence. Although it has recently been reorganized, its membership does not exceed about twenty-five in number.

    The Free Methodists organized a church some five or six years ago. Some of their early members were Ira Starr, Harbin H. Moore, John Druley, Wm. Miller, Emsley Davenport.

    The Universalist Church was organized in July, 1869. In 1868, they built a brick meeting-house jointly with the Free Masons, who occupy the upper story.

    The town of New Boston was laid out by James Hiff, Stephen McWhinney, Wm. Druley, Samuel Shinn, proprietors. The plat and survey were recorded August 30,1832.

    Downey Lodge, No. 233, of Free and Accepted Masons, was organized under a charter granted May 25,1858. Charter Members: Nicholas Druley, W. M.; John H. Steams, 8. "W.; Joseph M. Bulla, J. W.; Joseph Clengenpul, S. D.; Joseph T. Druley, J. W.; Louis Pigg, Tyler; J. M. Jones, Secretary.
Present Officers: John I. Kife, W. M.; W. P. Druley, S. W.; John Moss, J. W.; Joseph S. Benheim, S. D.; Erasmus Stover, J. D.; Samuel Oler, Treasurer; Samuel I.Johnson, Secretary ; Charles Allen, Tyler.

    Rinehart Lodge, 310, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized June 11, 1868. The charter was granted May 20, 1868, on application of Jacob F. Rinehart, Henry Hawkins, Enos Geary, Philip Schneider, and Charles Corns. First Officers: Jacob F. Rinehart, K G.; Oliver H. Toney, V. G.; Samuel J. Johnson, Secretary; Henry C. Fouts, Per. Secretary; Levi G. Druley, Treasurer.

Biographical and Genealogical


JOSEPH M. BULLA, son of Thomas Sulla, an early settler, was born where his father first settled, on the Elkhorn, in the southeast part of Wayne township. He was married to Nancy Wilson, and settled in the township of Boston, about five miles from Richmond, where he now resides. They had eleven children, three sons and eight daughters. Besides sundry trusts of minor importance, Mr. B. held, from 1842 to 1848, the office of county commissioner, and was soon after elected a representative of the county in the state legislature.

JAMES P. BURGESS came to this county about the year 1820. He was married in 1821, and settled on the place where he now resides, in the north-west part of the township, about two miles and a half south from Richmond. Mr. Burgess and his wife are both still living. In March, 1871, the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage was celebrated by the modern popular festival, "golden wedding," at which,among the numerous guests, there were present five persons who attended the marriage in 1821. One of these was Lewis Burk, of Richmond, who then served at the table as carver, and who performed a similar service on the late occasion. Mr. Burgess, soon after his settlement, united with the Methodist Episcopal church in his neighborhood, and has ever since been one of its most active members and liberal supporters. He has been several times elected a justice of the peace, which office he now holds.

CONLEY, JOHN J., son of Isaac Conley, was born in what is now Boston township, February 23, 1812. After his majority he worked as carpenter and joiner and cabinet-maker about ten years. In 1841, he removed to Richmond, where he also, for several years, carried on the manufacturing of shoe pegs, and subsequently the horticultural business for eleven years. In 1864, he bought his father's farm at Boston, on which he still resides. He has been twice married; first, to Isabella Grimes; secondly, to Martha Curry, of Eaton, O.; by each of whom he had two sons and two daughters: all but one daughter are living. The following are married: Robert G., who was in the late war three years; was in thirteen battles; was captured in the battle of the Wilderness; confined in Andersonville prison seven months; paroled and sent home, and discharged January 18,1865. He married Ella Benton, and is a hardware merchant in Richmond, in the firm of G. W. Benton & Co. Mary, who married James Dean, and resides near Bloomingsport, Ind. Margaret, who married John Short, and lives in Wayne township.

HUGH CULL, who has been mentioned as one of the earliest settlers in the county, was born of Roman Catholic parents, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, October, 1759. He removed, when four years of age, with his father, to Pennsylvania, and thence, in 1777, to Kentucky, near where the city of Lexington now stands. He was married in 1785, in Henry county, to Rachel Meek, then in her sixteenth year; and in 1805 removed to the place where he died, now in Boston township, about five miles below Richmond, near the Elkhorn. He was a Methodist local preacher, and actively engaged for years in preaching the gospel before traveling preachers had found their way into the new settlements. He was a member of the convention which framed the first constitution of the state, and which then met at Corydon. His biographer, Rev. Wm. C. Smith, dates his death August 31, 1862, and adds, " aged 104 years and 10 months." If, however, he was born and died at the dates given, he would have been but 102 years and ten months. As he is generally said to have been 105 years, Mr. Smith probably erred in giving the year of his birth or that of his death.

NICHOLAS DRULBY, from North Carolina, in 1812, settled in Wayne county a mile and a half south of the town of Boston, now in Union county.   He had nine children who attained to  the age of majority, and were married. 1. Lethe was married to Greenup Holraan, and removed to Grant county, where she now resides. 2. Levi, to Agnes Sedgwick, and lives in the township. 3. Elizabeth, to Leonard Templeton. 4. Aaron, to Martha, daughter of Stephen G. Hunt, son of Charles Hunt, Sen. 5. Dennis, first to Nancy Jane Grimes, and after her death to Mary Jane "Watson. 6. John, to Nancy, daughter of Stephen G. Hunt. 7. Martha, to Levi Wyatt, now in Preble county, Ohio. 8. Nicholas, to Elizabeth Nutter, (?) and lives in Harrison, Union county. 9. Joseph, to Elizabeth Price, and resides in Richmond. Several of the SODS of Nicholas Druley, Sen., are large landholders. Levi and Nicholas own nearly equal quantities, about 700 acres each.

ABRAM GAAR was born in Hanover county, Virginia, February 28,1769, and in 1805 removed to Kentucky. la 1807, he came to this county, and settled about four miles and a half south of Richmond, in the north-west part of the present township of Boston, where his son Larkin Gaar now resides. He lived on the farm on which he first settled until his death, August 20,1861. He married in Virginia, and had eight children : Jonas, who resides in Richmond; [Sk.] Fielding, who died in Utah; Larkin, who lives on the homestead; Abel, who resides at Berrien, Michigan; Fanny, wife of Wm. Lamb who died in Iowa, where she resides; Rosa, wife of John Ingels who died at Milton, where she resides with her son; Martha, who married Jeptha Turner; Eliza Jane, who married Thomas Henderson.

THOMAS YOUNG, a native of Virginia, after a residence of several years in Ohio, settled in this county in 1833, on the farm on which Jacob Shidler now resides, about a mile and a half west from the town of Boston. He had six children, four sons and two daughters; of whom only two son, John F. and Thomas N., settled in this county. John F. married a daughter of Nathaniel McClure, Jr., of Wayne township, and after her death, _____, of Ohio, also deceased.   He resides in Richmond. Thomas N. also resides in Richmond.    

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