for some years afterward, the village was second to none in the county
as a prosperous community of substantial prospects. Their mills,
with auxiliary improvements, constituted the most important enter-
prise ever undertaken in Plain Township. In order to secure enough
water to operate the plants a large dam was built across Grassy
Creek, about two miles from Oswego and just below the outlet of
Barbee Lake. A three-foot head of water was thus secured, and con-
ducted through a race to Tippecanoe River at Oswego, where the
mills were built. Their flouring mill was the only one in the county
for several years, the next probably being the Harris Brothers' plant
at Monoquet, completed in 1844. The Barbee-French mills were run
by the original owners for many years, and during that period Oswego
was quite a town.
The Decline op Oswego
"After several years," says J. W. Armstrong in his histoiy of
Plain Township, "the big dam across Grassy Creek broke during an
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUXTY
excessively rainy season. The dam was rebuilt, but later was again
broken, it was thought by parties who were opposed to it on account
of the fact that it caused the overflow of a lai-ge tract of low land
which otherwise would be valuable for agricultural purposes; and
as those opposed to the rebuilding of the dam threatened to bring
suit for damages it was not reconstructed, and a new site was ar-
ranged about one mile down the river from Oswego.
POSTOFFIUE AT OsWEUU
Oldest Building in the Countv
"To this new location the old mill building was moved and was
run for several years, but finally abandoned on account of the opposi-
tion of those whose lands were flooded by water. The old mill bxiild-
ing stood until a few years ago (written in 1914), when the waters
of the river undermined its foundations and it fell to rise no more.
The old race can still be traced almost the entire length east from
"The only mill now in the village is a feed mill built of cement
Scene ox Tippecanoe Lake
364 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
blocks on the river bank as you go into town from the west. This is
owned and operated by G. W. Craven, who is enjoying a nice little
business. ' '
Tippecanoe Lake Resorts
Tippecanoe Lake, lying just northeast of Oswego, has of late years
gained quite a reputation as a summer resort. Along in the early
'80s, Eli Summy and others from Leesburg built a club house on
the southern shore of the lake, which was the first place erected for
summer resort and sporting purposes on that body of water. Although
it has been moved, the old club house is still in existence, standing
rather as a memorial of the earlier times than as a representative
G. W. Gregg, of Marion, Silas Adams, of Portland, Charles Spen-
cer and George Smith, who had been camping for several years on
the northern side of Tippecanoe Lake, bought a strip of land on the
south shore, and platted it into lots as a summer resort. Stony Ridge
Hotel was then built ; Cripple Gate Heights, Pleasant View, Govern-
ment Point, Fair Oaks, Kalorama, and half a dozen "landings,"
have since appeared on the shores of Tippecanoe Lake, with a fleet
of pleasure boats and all the accessories of an attractive watering
Tippecanoe Township, Another Lake Region
Tippecanoe Township stands for another political and civil divi-
sion of the county which nature has plentifully sprinkled with lakes ;
little bodies of water which are decidedly ornamental, as well as
useful in the form of reservoirs and natural catch-basins. They are
not only attractions to those seeking recreation and refreshment in
the open .seasons, but are of untold value to the farmers and stock
The township is a square, six miles each way, and since its low
lands in the lake regions have been drained and made tillable to a
large extent, the condition of its agricultural residents has greatly
improved. Most of Tippecanoe Lake is within its borders, and old
Boydston and Barbee lakes farther to the east and southeast are the
other similar features of the township which represent, in general
terras, the headwaters of Tippecanoe River. Boyd.ston Lake of the
olden days is now Webster Lake, and the Village of Webster, one
of the old towns of the county, has been incorporated in later years
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 365
as North Webster. The larger of the bodies of water which used to
be known as Barbee's Lakes is now designated as Hammond.
The first settlements in the township were made between Tippe-
canoe and Boydston's lakes. In the spring of 1835, Benjamin John-
son, from Harrison County, Virginia, settled on section 9, and in
the following fall entered 160 acres of land which he finally tranis-
formed into a homestead.
, On the Shores of Gr.\S8y Creek
Ephraim JMuirheid, of Virginia, was the next permanent settler
of prominence; in fact, he built a cabin near the outlet of Boydston's
Lake, as early as the winter of 1834-35, but in the following spring
returned to his old home in Virginia, and when he re-visited his
claim in Tippecanoe Township, in the summer, found that his kins-
man, Benjamin Johnson, had occupied his own cabin and was fairly
established as a permanent settler.
Road .\nd Mills Built
The first road, running from White Pigeon, Michigan, to Hunt-
ington, Indiana, by way of Goshen and Northeastern Kosciusko Coun-
Vt^EBSTER LAKE. I/NDIANA
ScKNES ARotTxn Webster Lake
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 867
ty, had already been surveyed through the township, so that the
pioneers of the late "30s were not completely shut in by the wilds of
this section of Northern Indiana.
In 1836, Mr. Muirheid erected a saw mill near his cabin home,
and in the following year built a grist mill in the immedate vicin-
ity. The latter was remodeled in later years and was in good run-
ning order in the early '80s.
In 1837 William Barbee also erected a saw mill near the outlet
of the lakes which had taken his name.
In 1835-36 William Divinney settled near Benjamin Johnson oil
section 9, and Henry Warner also joined them in that locality.
Messrs. Divinney and Warner were Ohio men. In the latter year
(1836) Thomas K. Warner also came from Cincinnati and located
on the present side of North Webster, and Andrew Woodruff, of
Huron Coiinty, Ohio, took up his homestead in section 6, near the
northwestern shores of Tippecanoe Lake.
In fact, not a few of the early settlers of Tippecanoe Township
were either from Virginia or Ohio.
The Warners were especially prominent at this time. The first
school in the township was taught by Thomas K. Warner in the win-
ter of 1838-39 in a cabin which had been built by Warren Warner.
The first marriage in the township was celebrated in 1840 between
Rev. Samuel K. Young and iliss Amelia Ann Warner.
^'ILLAGE OF North Webster
In May, 1837, R. R. Shoemaker platted the village of Webster on
the southeast cpiarter of section 10, near the W'estern end of wliat
was then Boydston's Lake. Henderson Warner was its first mer-
The first post office was established at BoycLston's Mill, about a
mile east of the village in 1848. Thomas G. Boydston was the first
postmaster and an empty flour barrel did duty as a general deliv-
ery. The postofSce was moved to the village in 1861 ; then returned
to the mill in 1862, and, within comparatively recent years, the little
town has taken the name of its postoffice. North Webster.
Xoi'th Webster, although quite a distance from any railroad, is
the center of quite a large rural territory, and supplies the farmers
with general goods, as well as with their banking accommodations.
The Farmers State Bank of the place has total resources of over
$120,000 and operates under a capital of .$25,000. Its average de-
posits are about .$90,000. Tlie officers of the Fanners State Bank of
North Webster are as follows: Albert Garber, president; Samuel
Miller, vice president: James E. Ruhl. cashier.
The Barbee Lakes
SEWARD AND JACKSON TOWNSHIPS
Seward Township Well Watered â€” Early Settlers and Events â€”
BuRKET â€” Jackson Township â€” Early Settlements and Set-
tlersâ€”Village OF Sidney.
Seward Township embraces another thirty-six square miles of
varied country, the central districts of which are largely occupied by
lakes. The surface is sufficiently undulating to supply a good natural
drainage, and artificial ditching has largely supplied the means of
bringing under cultivation many lands which otherwise would have
been useless to the farmer.
Seward Township Well Watered
Yellow Creek Lake occupies nearly all of the south half of sec-
tion 27, and has an outlet by way of Yellow Creek, which flows from
the northern extremity of the lake through Seward and Franklin
townships. Its neighbor, Beaver Dam Lake, lies to the southwest in
the central part of section 33, and in the very early times was the
favorite resort of the industrious little wood cutters. Again to the
east of Yellow Creek Lake and the south of Beaver Dam, are pretty
widenings of the creeks into little lakes or ponds. The entire coun-
try is so well watered as to furnish almost ideal surroundings for live
Early Settlers and Events
Among the early settlers of Seward Township were Samuel Bishop,
William Davis and James Garvin, who located in 1836 ; Girdon Hurl-
but, with his three sons, who settled in 1837 ; John and Robert Robin-
son, who came in 1838, and Milo R. Barbour, who joined the Seward
Township colony in 1839.
The first white child born in the township was a girl Rhoda L.,
the daughter of C. B. and Gratia Hurlbut. Her birthday was Sep-
tember 23, 1838.
Vol. 1â€”24 QfiQ
370 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
The first marriage was solemnized between Daniel Hulbut and
Ann Robinson, on September 10, 1839.
Rev. Asa Johnson, a Presbyterian minister from Peru, Indiana,
conducted the first religious exercises in the township some time in
1839, but the first house of worship was not erected until 1850.
Also in the year 1839, William Magner built a saw mill on the
north fork of Trimble Creek, and operated it suceessfullj^ for several
years, when he sold it to Thomas King.
The first schoolhouse was erected on the farm of John Robinson
in 1842, and Mark Smith, Sr., was the teacher.
A number of churches were organized near Yellow Creek Lake
many years ago â€” the United Brethren in ilarch, 1859, and the
Church of God in February, 1863.
There was no center of population, business or finances, however,
until the Nickel Plate line cut across the northern sections of the
township in the early '80s, and the station and postoffice of Burket
was established. This place has now a number of stores, a bank,
two cream stations, two saw mills, a grain elevator, two coal depots
and a hay station. The Burket High School, with Howard Berkey-
pile as principal, has a good reputation for thoroughness, and two
churches conserve the religious principles and morals of the place:
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Henry Laeey, pastor, and
the United Brethren Church, Rev. H. C. Pence, pastor.
Jackson Township is in the well-drained southeastern part of
Kosciusko County, which is netted with creeks, but not so abun-
dantly studded with lakes as to be overburdened with what the old
settlers used to call "wet lands." In fact, it has no body of water
large enough to be dignified by the name of lake. The surface of the
township is usually rolling, the natural drainage is excellent, and the
farms, whether devoted to grain or live stock, are unusually produc-
Early Settlements and Settlers
Most of the early settlements of the township were made in the
northeastern sections, not far from where the Nickel Plate line
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 37]
passed through its northern and northeastern sections in the early
'80s, and on which Sidney and Kinsey became stations.
In September, 1834, James Abbott and family came from Preble
County, Ohio, and located on section 13, near the Eel River and not
far from where the Vandalia line now passes. His son, Samuel
Abbott, and wife, however, entered 160 acres on section 25, in the
northeastern part of the township and there resided for many years.
In the fall of 1835 Abner McCourtney and Alexander Hapner,
of Montgomery County, also Ohio, each entered eighty acres in sec-
tions 25 and 26, and in the year 1836 Jesse Kyler and James Per-
kins both settled on section 25.
The first white child born in the township was Abner Abbott, sou
of Samuel Abbott and wife, and his coming dates from June 11, 1835.
The first postoffice was established at the house of Jesse Kyler,
on section 25, in the year 1839, and that gentleman was postmas-
ter. He served in that position until his decease, when his son Jacob
Jesse Kyler was also elected one of the first justices of the peace
for the township, at the election held in the spring of 1838 in the
house of Abner McCourtney.
The first road in the township, surveyed in 1837, also passed
through its northeastern sections, being a part of the highway run-
ning from Warsaw to Springfield, Whitley County.
Village of Sidney
Sidney, on the Nickel Plate Railroad, in the northeastern part
of the township, is the business and banking center of considerable
territory. The place has also a light plant installed in April, 1917,
by A. T. Ronk, and about a year afterward purchased by J. Haines
and C. C. Shira.
The Bank of Sidney has a capital of $10,000 and is responsible
to the extent of $300,000; average deposits, $170,000.
The village has several good .stores, both general and special; a
hotel ; repair and blacksmith shops and garage ; hardware and agri-
cultural implement store; a produce and live stock house, and a
Sidney was incorporated as a town in August, 1914.
The United Brethren Church is the only religious body of suflB-
cieut strength to warrant a settled local pastor. Rev. L. A. Myer.s
being now in charge. The Christian Church has an organization,
but no pastor.
THREE RURAL TOWNSHIPS
Prairie Township â€” Its Pioneer Whites â€” Indians Refuse to Be
Made Farmers â€” Galveston Platted â€” Jefferson Township and
Its Settlement â€” The Marshy Barrier â€” A Powerful Single
Vote â€” Gravelton â€” Scott Township Settled â€” Millwood and
The three northwestern townships â€” Scott, Jefferson and Prairie â€”
are entirely devoted to agriculture and live stock raising. In all this
area of more than 57,000 acres of land, there are only a few miles
of railroad, and only one station entirely within the limits of the three
A tip of Jefferson Township is cut off to the northeast by the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and Gravelton is a station near the Elk-
hart County line. Atwood, in the southwestern corner of Prairie
Township, on the Pennsylvania line, is partly in Harrison Township.
The first of the three divisions of this large rural domain to be
settled was the distinctive prairie section in the township by that
name. Fully half of the thirty-six square miles of Prairie Town-
ship is covered by Turkey Creek Prairie. The soil was so produc-
tive and well drained that although the country bore little or no
timber, which many of the early settlers considered necessary for
purposes of home-building, Prairie Township was settled several
years before several of the townships farther north.
Its Pioneer Whites
John Powell, the first white settler of the township, located on
section 21, in March, 1833, his homestead being selected near the
center of its territory. There he resided until his death in 1874.
In the following month James H. Bishop, with his family, located
on section 1, in the northeast corner of the township ; he built his
Scenes in the Rural Townships
374 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
cabiu. planted a small amount of corn, and brought other things to
pass which were necessary to the advancement of the pioneer of those
In the summer of 1833, Jacob Smith erected his cabin on section
13, and at a somewhat later day took up 160 acres on section 14,
the latter tract finally being improved as the family homestead.
Section 25, in the far southeastern part of the township, also re-
ceived James Gari'in in the same year as a settler.
Samuel D. Hall came to the township in 1835 and was prominent
among the early settlers. He was the second justice of the peace in
Prairie Township, and in 1852 was elected to the State Senate.
Indians Refuse to Be Made into Farmers
It is said that previous to the arrival of the families mentioned,
the Government caused a ten-acre tract of land to be fenced and
prepared for corn, in the hope of inducing the Indians to adopt a
profitable occupation and engage in farming; but after the sod had
been broken and all prepared to their hand, they refused to take the
trouble of planting the corn ; whereupon General Tipton, agent for
the tribe, caused it to be planted and cultivated at Government ex-
pense. It is not known that they refused it after it had been har-
vested and tendered to them.
The first schoolhouse was a rude log structure erected on section
10, in 1836.
William Bowman erected the pioneer forge at Stony Point in the
In the southeast quarter of section 10 and the northeast quarter
of section 15. Felix Miller platted the Village of Galveston in 1846.
Although it retained a po.stofiiee for a number of years, it never be-
came very much of a village. The rural settlement is now known as
Clunette. The United Brethren organized a church in the village
some time during 1876 and erected a house of worship therein.
In that part of the Village of Atwood which lies in Prairie Town-
ship, the Methodists organized a society and built a church in the
late '60s, and in 1878 the graded schoolhouse building was erected
in that part of town.
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 375
Jepfkrson Township and Its Settlement
Previous to its settlement in 1836, Jefferson Township was gener-
ally covered by a heavy growth of timber. Through its central sec-
tions, however, a marsh extended across the entire township from
east to west. It was from half a mile to a mile in width, and has been
subsequently drained and made arable. But, with the exception of
this marsih, Jefferson Township was considered most desirable land
as it came from the hand of nature.
The first white settler in the township was Jacob Brumbaugh,
who came from Elkhart County with his family in October, 1836.
He erected the first log cabin in the township ; cleared a tract of land
during the ensuing winter and in the spring planted a crop.
Late in the fall of 1836, Mr. Brumbaugh was joined by John
Leatherman, Andrew Sheely, James Martin, James Simpson and
George Platter, with their families.
The Marshy Barrier
This settlement was formed on sections 1 and 2, north of the
large marsh and near the line of Elkhart County, not far from the
future site of Gravelton.
During the summer of 1837, the first settlement south of the marsh
was formed by David and Samuel ]\IcCibben, Joseph Alexander and
Isaac Bliven, with their families.
For some time, the marsh formed an impassable barrier between
the two neighborhoods, and neither was aware of the fact that there
were other residents of the township beside themselves; but later,
roads were surveyed and close communication established between
the north and the south of Jeiferson Township.
A Powerful Single Vote
The first township election was held at the house of David McCib-
ben, in April, 1838. He had been chosen as inspector, and, as the
result of the election proved, his office was a necessary one ; for of the
five votes cast it was found that four were illegal, as the voters had
not resided in the township a sufficient length of time to entitle them
to the local I'ight of suffrage. Thus the single legal vote of Isaac
Bliven elected the ticket, consisting of a justice of the peace, constable,
two road supervisors, three overseers of the poor and one inspector of
376 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
The first school in Jefifei-son Township was taught in 1840 in a
log cabin on section 11, north of the marsh. The settlement in that
section was largely German and as early as 1837 representatives of
that nationality organized a Baptist Church, and held their meetings
for many years in the schoolhouse. After Gravelton was platted as a
station on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, a church building was
erected in town and the activities of the society centered therein.
Gravelton, which is still a station and a shipping point on that
line, was laid out by David Brumbaugh in 1876, at the time when
the road was completed through the county. He opened the first
store in the new town, and was afterward postmaster for many years.
Scott Township Settled
Scott Township was the last of the three northwestern townships
mentioned to be settled, and it compares favorably, as to soil and
drainage, with other portions of the county.
In the fall of 1837 Casper Hepler and family, Jacob and Henry
Yocky and Jacob Hepler settled on section 11. During the following
winter and spring, they were engaged in clearing land and planting
crops. The Hepler and Yocky cabins were the first to be erected in
the township, and the death of Daniel Hepler, son of David, which
occurred in August, 1839, was the first in the township.
Millwood and Heckaman
The first postoffice was established at Millwood, on the southwest
quarter of section 25, in the southern portion of the township, during
the year 1853. J. D. Koffel was the postmaster and carried the mail
from Leesburgh to Millwood. The location of the postofQce was after-
ward transferred a mile west, to the southeastern quarter of section 27.
Scott Township settled very slowly, although a small hamlet com-
menced to form in the neighborhood of the Hepler and Yocky farms.
The original name of the village was Hepton. A general store, a
mill, a creamery, a good school and other evidences of an intelligent
and settled community gradually appeared in that neighborhood, and
all were stamped by Uncle Sam as the Heckaman postoffice. Of late
years this has been consolidated with the rural service; Millwood had
already been discontinued, so that, at present, Scott Township has no
FRANKLIN AND MONROE TOWNSHIPS
Forest Land Along Indian Highway â€” Pioneers Drift in â€” First
Birth and Marriage â€” School and Church Come to Stay â€” â€¢
Beaver Dam Postoffice â€” Primitive Industries â€” Village of
Sevastopol â€” Monroe Township â€” The Pioneers â€” Mills â€” Town-
ship Organization â€” First Aids to American Development.
In the southwestern corner of Kosciusko County, Franklin Town-
ship has an irregular area of thiitj^-six square miles, its northern
portions five miles east and west, by six miles north and south, with
a southeastern projection of six square miles. Its soil is mostly black
loam and the surface of the township is naturallj^ drained by Yellow
Creek, the waters of which have also been thoroughlj' utilized by
means of artificial ditching until there is little waste land.
Forest Land Along Indian Highways
As the township was originally covered with a dense growth of
timber, the saw mill industry was for many years in the lead of its
sources of industrial support.
As Franklin Township was right in the Indian highway from
Peru to the Northwest and for years after its fii-st settlers located
therein, the red man's trail could be distinctly traced on its soil, it
was of late occupancy by the whites. The first roads surveyed
through this section of the county were the Logansport and Misha-
waka State Road, in 1836, and the Logansport and Warsaw State
Road in 1838.
Pioneers Drift in
Midway of these years the first white settlers in Franklin Town-
ship commenced to drift in from Ohio and Northern Indiana. Ben-
jamin Blue, the leader of the Ohio colony, settled on section 2 in
1837, and continued to reside in the township until his decease in
378 Hf. STORY OP^ KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
For a number of years Mr. Blue's only neighbors were Pottawa-
tomies. Benjamin West built a cabin and settled on section 7, where
he remained for two years ; but his homestead was two or three miles
east of the Blue place, although in those days all within that distance
were considered by many as constituting a "neighborhood."