History of Howard County, Indiana


Soon after beginning the editing of the History of Howard County, at the request of B.F. Bowen & Company, two facts became Very prominent. The first was that the undertaking was greater than at first appeared and the other was that there are now very, every few of the pioneers remaining to rehearse the beginnings of Howard County history. It is largely now the verifying and arranging such historical matter as has heretofore been published, supplemented by matters already known by the writer, and others, gathered from old newspapers and the few survivors of a far away time.

In preparing this work it has seemed very unfair and short sighted to assume that all this magnificent country should have remained idle and unused by man for thousands of years until seventy years ago. for the coming of the white man, and so I have devoted a chapter to the Mound Builders and another to their successors the Indians. Since the coming of the white man I have tried to describe conditions as they were in the beginning and the many changes he has wrought along the various lines of life.

This work has been largely along general lines. The limits of this work have precluded the going into the purely local and individual. There have been certain individual schools of more than passing importance as the Old Normal and some out township schools, of which it would have been a real pleasure to have written. Beautiful Crown Point Cemetery is another instance and the Old Cemetery, where lie the unmarked graves of many of the early pioneers of Kokomo and vicinity whose memory should especially be cherished as the real founders of our goodly heritage; and too, our delightful City Park.

I have consulted and drawn freely from the Kingman County Atlas of 1876 and the History of Howard and Tipton County of 1S83. Mr. Otis C. Pollard has rendered much valuable assistance; the chapters prepared by him are accredited to him. Mr. Miilton Garrigus has prepared a very valuable history of early financial conditions, a compact statement of facts difficult to find, especially interesting in our pioneer history as the Blue Dog and White Dog and the Wild Cat currencies. Posterity is under a real debt to Mr. Garrigus for this chapter.


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All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and suffering. The deeds and motives of the men that have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the residents of Howard county. Indiana, with what they were one hundred years ago. From a trackless wilderness it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, systems of intersecting railways, grand educational institutions, marvelous industries and immense agricultural productions. Can any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the incentives, hopes. aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of preservation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. The work has been in the hands of able writers, who have, after much patient study and research, produced here the most complete biographical memoirs of Howard county. Indiana, ever offered to the public. A specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the sketches of representative citizens of this county whose records deserve perpetuation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to these gentlemen, who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Howard County. Indiana, for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.


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In writing the history of Howard county we must not omit the people who dwelt in the country of which it is now a part before the coming of the Europeans.

An ancient race, entirely distinct from the Indians, inhabited all that vast, fertile valley system extending- from western New York on the east to Nebraska on the west, and from the great lakes on the north to the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

These people possessed a modified degree of civilization. They tilled the soil and grew corn, potatoes, tobacco and other products of this western hemisphere of that early time. They carried on commerce, both domestic and foreign, not so extensively perhaps as do the present modern inhabitants. They had made considerable progress in the arts; their pottery wares especially displayed skill and finish. Their sculptors reached a high degree of perfection. They were an industrious race. Many of their public works were massive and required the labor of many men for months or perhaps years to construct. They were evidently a people of fixed habitation and settled and organized government, and were given rather to the pursuits of peace than war.