Centennial history of Rush County, Indiana

VOLUME I

History is a systematic record of past events; especially the record of events in which man has taken part. "The perfect historian," says Macaulay, "is he in whose work the character and spirit of the age is exhibited in miniature." A glance at the Table of Contents of this "Centennial History of Rush County" will disclose a design on the part of the publishers of this work to set out here a systematic record of the events which have led up to the present state of development of this favored region, beginning with the time when white men first set foot on this territory, and in carrying out this design the historians have sincerely sought to preserve something of "the character and spirit of the age." so that there shall here be preserved a faithful chronicle of the aspirations and the achievements of the pioneers, at the same time tracing and recording the social, religious, educational, political and industrial progress of the community from its inception. The context will reveal the sincerity of purpose upon which the motive for the present publication is based; a purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation for the information of coming generations and which shall serve as links uniting the present to the past. To those who have so faithfully labored to this end, the publishers desire to extend their thanks. An expression of obligation also is due to the people of Rush county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in behalf of the historiographers. It is believed that it will be found that this unselfish collaboration has secured to Rush county a history that will stand as a standard in this field for the next generation and as an authentic guide to future generations.

In passing, it is thought that it will not be regarded as out of place for the publishers conscientiously to claim that in placing this work before the people of Rush county they faithfully have carried out the plan as outlined in the prospectus upon which the work is based. Every biographical sketch in the work has been submitted to the party interested, for correction, and therefore any error of fact, if there be any, is due solely to the person for whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our effort to please will meet the approbation of the public, we are, Respectfully, The Publishers.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY 17
CHAPTER II INDIAN TRIBES AND INDIAN OCCUPANCY 29
CHAPTER III EARLY SETTLEMENT 36
CHAPTER IV AGRICULTURE 66
CHAPTER V TRANSPORTATION 92
CHAPTER VI BENCH AND BAR OF RUSH COUNTY 110
CHAPTER VII MILITARY ANNALS 141
CHAPTER VIII COUNTY ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT 198
CHAPTER IX TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGES 219
CHAPTER X RUSHVILLE; THE COUNTY SEAT 257
CHAPTER XI BANKS AND BANKING 291
CHAPTER XII THE PRESS OF RUSH COUNTY 313
CHAPTER XIII THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 337
CHAPTER XIV THE SCHOOLS OF RUSH COUNTY 351
CHAPTER XV THE CHURCHES OF RUSH COUNTY 396
CHAPTER XVI LODGES AND CLUBS OF RUSH COUNTY 456
CHAPTER XVII SIDELIGHTS ON RUSH COUNTY HISTORY 494

 

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VOLUME II

 

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Centennial history of Rush county name index


VOLUME II

 

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By the treaty at St. Marys, October 2 to 6, 1818, the land which now comprises Rush county was ceded to the United States by the Delaware Indians. Immediately the government surveyors began their work, and by April 29, 1820, it was completed, and the land was opened to buyers October 1, 1820, at the Brookville land office. But even prior to this time squatters had gone into the new country. Probably the first of these was Enoch Russell. This man lived in Franklin county, where the town of Sommerset (now the town of Laurel) was laid out in 1818. In the fall of that year, a few days after the treaty with the Indians was effected, or as soon, at least, as the news reached him, Russell and a man named Zach Collins went out into the new purchase and put up a cabin in order that they might hunt through the winter. It had been usual for citizens along Whitewater river to go out to hunt in the Indian land, in what is now Rush county, prior to the signing of the treaty, but this cabin was probably the first permanent structure erected in the county. It was built about one and one-half miles north of the present town of New Salem, and during the first winter was used only as a hunting cabin. In the spring of the year, however, Russell moved his family in, and Collins built himself another cabin not far distant. In the fall of the same year, 1819, Isaac Williams built a cabin near by, as did Isaac Phipps and one Merryman. All this region was then known as "Congress land," and those who moved into it before the land sales did so for hunting purposes. When the Brookville office opened in the fall of 1820, John Smith entered the land on which the Russell cabin stood, and when Smith died, his heirs sold the property to General Robinson.