History of Franklin County, Indiana
The history of Franklin county extends over more than a hundred years, and this makes the task of the historian difficult, in view of the fact that the complete records of the county were not available for examination. It is impossible to write history without records, and the absence of the early records of Franklin county necessarily left a gap which had to be filled from traditional accounts. However, the county is fortunate in having a file of newspapers running back fur nearly eighty years, and these proved to be of inestimable value to the historian in getting first-hand information. In addition to the official records and newspapers, frequent use was made of scrap books containing much valuable data. These three sources — records, newspapers and scrap books — have been supplemented with numerous interviews with various people of the county, and the editor is under obligation to scores of persons in all parts of the county who have volunteered information on a wide variety of subjects.
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The first governor of the newly organized territory was Gen. Arthur St. Clair, a gallant soldier of the Revolution, who was appointed on October 5, 1787, and ordered to report for duty on the first of the following February. He held the office until November 22, 1802, when he was dismissed by President Jefferson "for the disorganizing spirit, and tendency of every example, violating the rules of conduct enjoined by his public station, as displayed in his address to the convention." The governor's duties were performed by his secretary, Charles W. Byrd, until March 1, 1803, when the state officials took their office. The first judges appointed were Samuel Holden Parsons, James Mitchell Varnum and John Armstrong. Before the time came for the judges to qualify, Armstrong resigned and John Cleves Symmes was appointed in his place. The first secretary was Winthrop Sargent, who held the position until he was appointed governor of Mississippi Territory by the President on May 2, 1798. Sargent was succeeded by William Henry Harrison, who was appointed by the President on June 26, 179S. and confined by the Senate two days later. Harrison was later elected as the first dele- gate of the organized Northwest Territory to Congress and the President then appointed Charles Willing Byrd as secretary of the Territory. Byrd's appointment being confirmed by the Senate on December 31. 1799.