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History of Shelby County, Indiana : from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the Northwest, the Indiana Territory, and the State of Indiana online

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Online LibraryBrant & FullerHistory of Shelby County, Indiana : from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the Northwest, the Indiana Territory, and the State of Indiana → online text (page 1 of 79)
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I L L XJ S T R A.T E 33.








n. 1933 L

Democrat Printing Company, Madison, Wis.


After several months of almost uninterrupted labor, the History
of Shelby County is completed. In issuing it to our patrons we do
not claim for it perfection; but that it contains that reasonable de-
gree of accuracy which onl}^ could be expected of us, is confidently
asserted. The ditficulties that surround such an undertaking can
scarcely be realized by one who has never engaged in work of the
kind. To reconcile the doubtful and often conflicting statements
that are so frequently made by those who would seem to be best
informed, is a task both perplexing and tedious. Yet we beheve
that we have been able to present a history of the county that is as
nearl}^ complete as reason can demand, and the book exceeds our
promises in almost every particular. We have endeavored to set
forth the facts in as concise and unostentatious language as possible,
believing it is for the facts and not for rhetorical display that the
book is desired. The mechanical execution and general appear-
ance of the volume will recommend it, even to the fastidious. The
arrangement of the matter is such as to render an index almost
superfluous, as the subject under consideration is at the top of ever}?-
right-hand page. For further details the italic subdivisions will
enable the reader to refer with readiness to any topic. In the spell-
ing of proper names there is such a wide difference, even among
members of the same family, and is a matter of so arbitrary a nature,
that our only guide was each man's desire. Every clew that gave
promise of important facts connected with the county's history has
been investigated by those engaged in the work. We believe the
volume will be favorably received and highly appreciated by those
for w^hom it was prepared. Our thanks are due to those who have
rendered us assistance and to our patrons.

Chicago, III., October, 1887.




PfifiHlsTOKic Races 17

Antiquities 19

Chinese, The 18

Discovery by Columbus 33

Explorations by the Whites 37

iDdians, The 31

Imiuigratiou, The First 18

Immigration, The Second 20

Pyramids, etc. The 21

Relics of the Rfound-Builders 23

Savage Customs 34

Tartars, Tlie 23

Vincennes 39

Wabash Kiver, The 39

White Men, The First 37


National Policies, etc 41

American Policy, The 46

Atrocity of the .Savages 47

Burning of Hinton 48

British Policy, The 46

Clark's E.xpedition 52

French Sclieme, The 41

GilbauU, Father 65

Government of the Northwest C7

Hamilton's Career 64

Liquor and Gaming Laws 74

Missionaries, The Catholic 42

Ordinance of 17S7 70

Pontiac'.s War 46

Ruse Against the Indians 64

Yigo, Francis 6


Operations Against the Indians 75

Battle at Peoria Lake 104

Campaign of Harrison 92

Cession Treaties 93

Defeat of St. Clair 79

Defensive Operations 76

Expedition of Harmer 75

Expedition of Wayne 79

Expedition of St. Clair 78

Expedition of Williamson 78

Fort Miami, Battle of 80

Harrison and the Indians 87

Hopkins' Campaign 105

Kickapoo Town, Burning of 78

Mauniee, Battle of 75

Massacre at Pigeon Roost ]o;i

Mississinewa Town, Battle at loG

Oratory, Tecumseh's 114

Prophet Town, Destruction of 100

Peace with the Indians 106

Siegeof Fort Wayne 101

Siege of Fort Harrison 103

Teeumseh HI

Tippecanoe, Battle of. 98

War of 1812 101

War of 1812, Close of the 108


Organization of Indiana Territory 82

Bank, Establishment of , 120

Courts, Formation of 120

County OtRces. Appointment of. 119

Corydon,the Capital 117

Gov. Pospy 117

Indiana in IHIO 84

Population in 1815 118

Territorial Legislature, The First 84

Western Sun, The 84


Organization of the State, etc 121

Amendment, The Fitteenth 147

Black Hawk War 126

Constitution, Formation of the 121

Campaigns Against the Indians 128

Defeat of Black Hawk 130

Exodus of the Indians 131

General Assembly, The First 122

Guadalupe-HidalgOj Treaty of. 142

Harmony Conmuauty 134

Indian Titles .'. 132

Immigration 125

Lafayette, Action at 127

Laud Sales 133

Mexican War, The 135

Slavery 144


Indiana inthe Rebellion 148

Batteries of Light Infantry 182

Battle Record of States I88

Call to Arms, The 149

Colored Troops of Indiana 182

Calls of 1864 177

Field, In the 152

Independent Cavalry Regiment 181

Morgan's Raid 170

Minute- .Men 170

One Hundred Days' Men 170

Regiments, Formation of 151

Regiments, Sketch of. 153

Six Months' Regiments 172


State Affairs After the Rebellion 189

Agriculture 209

Coal 207

Divorce Laws 193

Finances 194

Geology 205

Internal Improvements 199

Indiana Horticultural Society 212

Indiana Promological Society 213

Special Laws 190

State Bank 196

State Board of Agriculture 209

State Expositions 210

Wealth and Progress 197


Education and Benevolence 215

Blind Institute, The 232

City iSchool System 218

Compensation of Teachers 220

Denominational and Private Institutions.... 230

Deaf and Dumb Institute 236

Education 265

Enumeration of Scholars 219

Family Worship 252

Free School Sysiem, The 215

Funds, Management of the 217

Female Prison and Reformatory 241

Houseof Refuge, Thr 243

Insane Hospital, The 238

Northern Indiana Normal School 229

Origin of School Funds 221

Purdue University 224

School Statistics 218

State University, The 222

State Normal School 228

State Prison, South' 239

State Prison, North 240

Total School Funds 220





Geology— Surface Corfl?uration — G lacial
Drift — General Section of the County —
HoL WelJs— Paleozoic Geology — Devon-
ian and .■-.ilurian Ages — Fossils — Local
Details — Conn's Creek and " Waldron
Beds, " etc



Indian History— Early Tribes— The Dela-
wares — Tieatv Ceding Shelby County
to the United States — Reminiscences —
Miscellaneous Items 267


County Organization— Act of the Legisla-
ture — First Townships — Locating the
County Seat — Sale of Lots— Early acts of
County Board— Reorganization of Town-
ships — Early Jails-C mrt House — Finan-
ces — County Poor— Roads — Raih'oads —
Elections— CiiiTity Officers— Medical So-
ciety — County Fairs —Local Industries . .



Early Settlements— The Indian Trader —
First Settlers and Where They Settled-
Early Land Sales — Ihe Log Cabn —
Early Jlilling— First Crops— Wild Ani-
mals—A Keniiniscenci- — Snakes — Trade
and Commerce — Amusements — Inci-
dents, etc



Military History— Mexi'^an War- Causes
of the Civil War— Public Opinion in
Shelby County— The l^oggstnwn Resolu-
tions-News From Fort Sumter — First
Company for the Front — Flag Presenta-
tion — Other Companies— Ciiange in Sen-
timent—The County's Early Record-
Democratic Resolutions — Renewed Vol-
unteering— Sword Presentation— The 100
Days' Men— Tne Morgan Raid— PuLlic
Opinion in 1863-4— Men Fur: ished for
the War— Indiana Legion— Bounty and
Relief— Roll of Honor 3-30


Religious History — Early Piely — The
Methodist Episcopal Church— Its Classes
at Marion, Shelby ville, Wrays. Beggs-

; town, Brandy witie, Failand. Flatruck,
Norristuwn. Jlarietta.Morristown. Fopii-
taintowii. Pleasant Hill, Waidrou, Win-

[ Chester, Rij^ple's, Toners, Geneva, Acton

Circuit and Cvnthiana — The Presbyte-
rians at Shelby villa and Bojgstown —
The Roman Catholics — The Missionary
B-iptists — The Disciples at Shelby ville,
jMt. Auburn, Morris'own, Cave Hid,
Gwynnville — Uni'ed Brethren — Metho-
dist Prote-itant — Southern Methodist
Episcopal Cnun h — Adventists — Ciiris-
tian Union — Lutherans, etj



Towns— Shelby ville — Early Items — Publle
Improvements — Banks — An Old Map —
The Town in 1856- Incorporation^- Ad li-
tions — Reminiscen.-e of 1836 — Poimla-
tion — Secret S'^cieties — Manufacturing
Enterpi ises — The Press — Other Towns
of the Cuunty , etc 401


To find any particular biographical sketch
tm-n to the township in wliich it should ivgu-
Lirlj' appear, where they will be found arranged
in alphabntical crder.

A.dd!son Township Biographies 591

Brandy wine Township Biographies 005

Hanover Tiwnsbip Biogiaphies 629

Hendricks Township Biographies 651

Hendricks, Tliomas A., Biography of 457

Jackson Township 666

Liberty T iwnship Biograi hies 684

Marion Township Biographies 607

Moral Township Biographes 712

Nob'e Township Biographies 7S3

Shelbyville Bi igrapliies 470

Shelby Townshiii Biogranhies 7.38

Sugar Creek Townsh p Biographies 744

Union Township Bio^rapnies 7'57

Van Buren Townshiii Biographies 780

Washington Towustiip Bitgi-aphies 785


Carson. Joseph L 427

Conger, Sid 5-^9

Cotton, Wdliam 291

Cotton , Jn. s. A 4 .1

Davison. Ithamar 393

Day. S. D 359

Glessuer Oliver J . 563

H^nd licks. Thomas A Frontispiece.

N.ail, Samuel 598

Nail. Che. ry 599

Hay, ^V. S 3-'5

Steuart, James K 6.33

Steiiart, W. P 667

Toi line. Hf-nry H 495

Vmarsdall, L W 735

Wheeler. John L 701

Wilson, Isaac 257




Scientists have ascribed to the Mound Builders varied origins
and though their divergence of opinion may for a time seem incom-
patible with a thorono^h investigation of the subject, and tend to
a confusion of ideas, no doubt whatever can exist as to the compar-
ative accuracy of conclusions arrived at by some of them. Like
the vexed question of the Pillar Towers of Ireland, it has caused
much speculation, and elicited the opinions of so many learned
antiquarians, ethnologists and travelers, that it will not be found
beyond the range of possibility to make deductions that may
suffice to solve the problem who were the prehistoric settlers of
America. To achieve this it will not be necessary to go beyond the
period over which Scripture history extends, or to indulge in those
airy flights of imagination so sadly identified with occasional
writers of even the Christian school, and all the accepted literary-
exponents of modern paganism.

That this continent is co-existent with the world of the ancients
cannot be questioned. Every investigation, instituted under the
auspices of modern civilization, confirms the fact and leaves no
channel open through which the skeptic can escape the thorough
refutation of liis opinions. China, with its numerous living testi-
monials of antiquity, with its ancient, though limited literature
and its Babelish superstitions, claims a continuous history from
antediluvian times; but although its continuity may be denied
with every just reason, there is nothing to prevent the transmission
of a hieroglyphic record of its history prior to 1656 anno tnundi,,
since many traces of its early'settlement survived the Deluge, and
became sacred objects of the first historical epoch. This very sur-
vival of a record, such as that of which the Cliinese boast, is not
at variance with the designs of a God who made and ruled the
universe; but that an antediluvian people inhabited this continent,


will not be claimed; because it is not probable, thougli it may be
possible, that a settlement in a land which may be considered a
portion of the Asiatic continent, was effected by the immediate
followers of the first progenitors of the human race. Therefore, on
entering the study of the ancient people who raised these tumu-
lus monuments over large tracts of the country, it will be just
sutiicient to wander back to that time when the flood-gates of
heaven were swung open to hurl destruction on a wicked world;
and in doing so the inquiry must be based on legendary, or rather
upon many circumstantial evidences; for, so far as written narra-
tive extends, there is nothing to show that a movement of people
too far east resulted in a Western settlement.


The first and most probable sources in which the origin of the
Builders must be sought, are those countries lying along the east-
ern coast of Asia, which doubtless at that time stretched far beyond
its present limits, and presented a continuous shore from Lopatka
to Point Cambodia, holding a population comparatively civilized,
and all professing some elementary form of the Boodhism of later
days. Those peoples, like the Chinese of the present, were bound
to live at home, and probably observed that law until after the con-
fusion of languages and the dispersion of the builders of Babel in
175Y, A. M. ; but subsequently, within the following century, the
old Mongolians, like the new, crossed the great ocean in tlie very
paths taken by the present representatives of the race, arrived on
the same shores, which now extend a very questionable hospitality
to them, and entered at once upon the colonization of the country-
south and east, while the Caucasian race engaged in a similar move-
ment of exploration and colonization over what may be justly
termed the western extension of Asia, and both peoples growing
stalwart under the change, attained a moral and physical eminence
to which they never could lay claini under the tropical sun which
shed its beams upon the cradle of the human race.

That mysterious people who, like the Brahmins of to-day, wor-
shiped some transitory deity, and in after years, evidently embraced
the idealization of Boodhism, as preached in Mongolia early in the
35th century of the world, together with acquiring the learning of
tlie Confucian and Pythagorean schools of the same period, spread
all over the land, and in their numerous settlements erected these
ratiiSj or mounds, and sacrificial altars whereon they received their


periodical visitinor gods, surrendered their bodies to natural absorp-
tion or annihilation, and watched lor the return of some transmi-
grated soul, the while adoring the universe, which with all beings
they believed would be eternally existent. They possessed religious
orders corresponding .in external show at least with the Essenes or
TheraputaB of the pre-Christian and Christian epochs, and to the
reformed TlieraputjB or monks of the present. Every memento
of their coming and their stay which has descended to us is an evi-
dence of .their civilized condition. The free copper found within
the tumuli; the oj^en veins of the Superior and Iron Mountain
copper-mines, with all the modus operandi of ancient mining, such
as ladders, levers, chisels, and hammer-heads, discovered by the
French explorers of the Northwest and the Mississippi, are conclu-
sive proofs that those prehistoric people were highly civilized, and
that many flourishing colonies were spread throughout the Missis-
sippi valle}-, while yet the mammoth, the mastodon, and a hundred-
other animals, now only known by their gigantic fossil remains,
guarded the eastern shore of the continent as it were against sup-
posed invasions of the Tower Builders who went west from Babel;
while yet the beautiful isles of the Antilles formed an integral
portion of tliis continent, long years before the European Northman
dreamed of setting forth to the discovery of Greenland and the
northern isles, and certainly at a time when all that portion of
America north of latitude 45*^ was an ice-incumbcred waste.

Within the last few years great advances have been made toward
the discovery of antiquities whether pertaining to remains of organic
or inorganic nature. Together with many small, but telling
relics of the early inhabitants of the country, the fossils of pre-
historic animals have been unearthed from end to end of the land,
and in districts, too, long pronounced by geologists of some repute
to be without even a vestige of vertebrate fossils. Among the
collected souvenirs of an aije about which so verv little is known,
are twenty-five vertebrte averaging thirteen inches in diameter,
and three vertebrae ossified together measure nine cubical feet; a
thigh-bone five feet long by twenty-eight, by twelve inches in
diameter, and the shaft fourteen by eight inches thick, the entire
lot weighing 600 lbs. These fossils are presumed to belong to the
cretaceous period, when the Dinosaur roamed over the country from
East to West, desolating the villages of the people. This animal
is said to have been sixty feet long, and when feeding in cypress
and palm forests, to extend himself eighty-five feet, so that he may


devour the budding tops of those great trees. Other efforts in this
direction may lead to great results, and culminate probably in the
discovery of a tablet engraven by some learned Mound Builder,
describing in the ancient hieroglyphics of China all these men and
beasts whose history excites so much speculation. The identity of
the Mound Builders with the Mongolians might lead us to hope
for such a consummation; nor is it beyond tlie range of probability,
particularly in this practical age, to find the future labors of some
industrious antiquarian requited by tlie upheaval of a tablet, written
in the Tartar characters of 1700 years ago, bearing on a subject
which can now be treated only on a purely circumstantial basis.


may have begun a few centuries prior to the Christian era, and
unlike the former expedition or expeditions, to have traversed north-
eastern Asia to its Arctic confines, and then east to the narrow
channel now known as Behring's Straits, which they crossed, and
sailing up the unchanging Yukon, settled under the shadow of
Mount St. Elias for many years, and pusliing South commingled
with their countr3''men, soon acquiring the characteristics of the
descendants of the first colonists. Chinese chronicles tell of such
a people, who went North and were never heard of more. Circum-
stances conspire to render that particular colony the carriers of a
new religious faith and of an alphabetic system of a representative
character to the old colonists, and they, doubtless, exercised a most
beneficial influence in other respects ; because the influx of immi-
grants of such culture as were the Cliinese, even of that remote
period, must necessarily bear very favorable results, not only in
bringing in reports of their travels, but also accounts from the
fatherland bearing on the latest events.

With the idea of a second and important exodus there ard many
theorists united, one of whom saj'S: "It is now the generally
received opinion that the first inhabitants of America passed over
from Asia through these straits. The number of small islands
lying between both continents renders this opinion still more
probable; and it is yet further confirmed by some remarkable traces
of similarity in the physical conformation of the northern natives
of both continents. The Esquimaux of North America, the
Samoieds of Asia, and the Laplanders of Europe, are supposed to
be of the same family; and this supposition is strengthened by the
affinity which exists in their languages. The researches of Hum-


boldt liave traced the Mexicans to the vicinity of Behrin^'s Straits;
whence it is conjectured that they, as well as the Peruvians and
other tribes, came originally from Asia, and were the Iliongnoos,
who are, in the Chinese annals, said to have emigrated under Puno,
and to have been lost in the North of Siberia."

Since this theory is accepted by most antiquaries, there is every
reason to believe that from the discovery of what may be called an
overland route to what was then considered an eastern extension of
that country which is now known as the " Celestial Empire," many
caravans of emigrants passed to their new homes in the land of
illimitable possibilities until the way became a well-marked trail
over which the Asiatic might travel forward, and having once
entered the Elysian fields never entertained an idea of returning.
Thits from generation to generation the tide of immigration poured
in until the slopes of the Pacific and the banks of the great inland
rivers became hives of busy industry. Magnificent cities and
monuments were raised at the bidding of the tribal leaders and
populous settlements centered with happy villages sprung up
everywhere in manifestation of the power and wealth and knowL
edge of the [)eoj)le. The colonizing Caucasian of the historic
period walked over this great country on the very ruins of a civil-
ization which a thousand years before eclipsed all that of which he
could boast. He walked througli the wilderness of the West over
buried treasures hidden under the accumulated growth of nature,
nor rested until he saw, with great surprise, the remains of ancient
pyramids and temples and cities,. larger and evidently more beauti-
ful than ancient Egypt could bring forth after its long years of
uninterrupted history. The pyramids resemble those of Egypt in
exterior form, and in some instances are of larger dimensions. The
pyramid of Oholula is square, having each side of its base 1,335
feet in length, and its height about 172 feet. Anotlier pyramid?
situated in the north of Yera Cruz, is formed of large blocks
of highly-polished porphyry, and bears upon its front hiero-
glyphic inscriptions and curious sculpture. Each side of its
square base is 82 feet in length, and a flight of 57 steps conducts to
its summit, which is 65 feet in height. The ruins of Palenque are
said to extend 20 miles along the ridge of a mountain, and the
remains of an Aztec city, near the banks of the river Gila, are
spread over more than a square league. Their literature consisted
of hieroglyphics; but their arithmetical knowledge did not extend
farther than their calculations by the aid of grains of corn. Yet,


notwithstanding all their varied accomplishments, and they were
evidently many, their notions of religious duty led to a most demo-
niac zeal at once barbarously savage and ferociously cruel. Each
visiting, god instead of bringing new life to the people, brought
death to thousands; and their grotesque idols, exposed to drown
the senses of the -beholders in fear, wrought wretchedness rather
than spiritual happiness, until, as some learned and humane Monte-
zumian said, the people never approached these idols without fear,
and this fear was the great animating principle, the great religious
motive power which sustained the terrible religion. Their altars
were sprinkled with blood drawn from their own bodies in large
quantities, and on them thousands of human victims were sacri-
ficed in honor of the demons whom they worshiped. The head
and heart of every captive taken in war were offered up as a bloody
sacrifice to the god of battles, while the victorious legions feasted
on the remaining portions of the dead bodies. It has been ascer-
tained that during the ceremonies attendant on the consecration of
two of their temples, the number of prisoners offered up in sacri-
fice was 12,210; while tlieir own legions contributed voluntary
victims to the terrible belief in large numbers. Nor did this
horrible custom cease immediately after 1521, when Cortez entered
the imperial city of the Montezumas; for, on being driven from
it, all his troops who fell into the hands of the native soldiers were
subjected to the most terrible and prolonged suffering that could be
experienced in this world, and when about to yield up that spirit
which is indestructible, were offered in sacrifice, their hearts and
heads consecrated, and the victors allowed to feast on the yet warm

A reference is made here to the period when the Montezumas
ruled over Mexico, simply to gain a better idea of the hideous
idolatr}' which took the place of the old Boodhism of the Mound
Builders, and doubtless helped in a great measure to give victory
to the new comers, even as the tenets of Mahometanism urged the

Online LibraryBrant & FullerHistory of Shelby County, Indiana : from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the Northwest, the Indiana Territory, and the State of Indiana → online text (page 1 of 79)