Samuel Harden.

Early life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... online

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Online LibrarySamuel HardenEarly life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... → online text (page 15 of 38)
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woods in the western part of Jefferson Township. His father
died soon after, leaving his mother with a large ftiraily and
small means. The subject of this article, while young, went
to Gosport,in this state, where he read medicine with Dr.
Taylor. In the spring of 1844 he began the practice of his
profession in Montgomery County, two or three miles west ot
Shannondale. During the holidays of that year he moved to
Jamestown, in this (Boone) county, where he has resided ever
since, ai>d is to-day a living monument of what energy ant.


common sense, when properly applied, can do. At James-
town he went into a large and lucrative practice, and has held
the same up to the present, a term of forty-three years. He
is yet hale at the age of sixty-five years, is a fine specimen of
physical mauhood, open-hearted and generous to a fault. None
were so poor as not to be able to command his services. Dr.
Burk started in the world under any but flattering circum-
stances, poor and comparatively uneducated; yet by his force
of character, his zeal and industry, he reached a prominent
standing in the county, and rises at four o'clock, A. M., to this

Dr. John J. Nesbit came to this county in 1835 or '36, and
began his professional life at Thorntown. Soon, however, he
moved to Lebanon, where he had a fair practice and enjoyed
the undivided confidence of the people. He was remarkable
for his fine appearance personally, was an excellent conversa-
tionalist, happy under most all circumstances. Was elected
county treasurer iu 1850, after which service he went to the
farm, and finally, when his health failed, he moved back to
Prebble County, Ohio, his nativ(; county, where he died of
consumption, iu 1864, lamented by all whose pleasure it had
been to make his acquaintance.

Dr. Jesse S. Reagan was born in Warren County, Ohio, in
1831, is, consequently, fifty-seven years old. Came to this
county in 1852, and began the practice of medicine at Keese's
Mills in 1854. Is a raau of strict integrity and fair ability,
with great energy and industry. He has remained at the same
point where he began his successful professional career to the
present. He has enjoyed the fullest confidence of the people.
Was elected clerk of the Circuit Court in November, 1886.
Is a man of good constitution, enjoys fair health and is in
affluent circumstances.

Dr. H. G. Larimore, one of the pioneer doctors of Boone
County, came to Eagle Village in the year 1836, where he
practiced medicine for over forty years, with fair success as an
old time doctor. The doctor in his make-up had vim and fire


about hiiu. He was a strict Methodist and an old-time \vhig.
He was four times married. About the year 1860 he moved
to Fayette County, Indiana, and died there a few years hitor
in liis ninety-first year. He was the father of Dr. Jeremiah
I^arimore, Thomas J. Larimore, Mrs. Eliza Inibler, G. W.
Larimore, Mrs. Sarah Hogan, Mrs. G. A. Titus, Mrs. Mary

, formerly Miss Mary Larimore. Dr. Jerry is buried

at Mounts Run Cemetery. Eliza resides one and one-half
miles east of Zionsville ; T. J. Larimore, deceased ; G. AV.,
whereabouts not known; G. A. resides in Clinton Townsliip;
Mary in Rush County, Indiana ; Sarah in Zionsville. Dr. H.
G. Larimore was a strongs Methodist all his life.

Dr. "NY. P. Davis v;as an Ohio man. Came to Thorntown
in 1837 or '38 ; removed to Lebanon in 1840 Yfas a man of
more than ordinary ability; positive in his convictions, and
politically was radically a Y'hig. Afterwards he became an
intense Republican. He died in DesMoines, Iowa, in 1878.

Dr. William M. Simpkins was born in Ohio. Came to
Lebanon in 1839. Was as fine a specimen of physical man-
hood as any country produces, and possessed full medium
ability in his profession, and was full of energy and industry,
and died in 1849 at his home in this place, of consumption,
the result of hard work, exposure and sleepless nights. In^o
man was ever more interested in the welfare of his patients.

Dr. A. G. Porter, who wrote the above, and has done it so
well, is too modest to say anything about himself, while so
worthy. It is left to one to write about him who is unprepared.
"What he says about his fellow Drs. respecting their ability
and worth might truthfully be said about him, so long and
well known in Lebanon, the home of his youth, his manhood,
his old days. He is honored and highly respected among all,
and as a Dr. he has no superior in the county. Always ready
to go to the bedside of the sick and dying, whether there was
any money or not in the visit, how could he be otherwise than
loved? He has always acted in the Democratic party, and
was the nominee for County Recorder iu 1886, but was

'''^^m^iiUiiliS^ \ ^^••; ^




•defeated by a few votes by F. M. Moody. The Dr. has a fine
practice in Lebanon, where we hope he may live h^ng and
prosper. I thank him for writing so long and well of the
early Drs. of the county, only regreting so poor a tribute in




Boone County, named in honor of the heroic pioneer of
Kentucky, was organized by act of the legislature in 1829.
It is situated just west of the center of the state, and is bounded
on the north by Clinton County, on the east by Hamilton, on
the south by Marion and Hendricks, and on the west by Mont-
gomery. The county is twenty-four miles in length from east
to west, and eighteen miles in width from north to south, and
embraces an area of 432 square miles.

At the time of its organization Boone County was a dense
wilderness, the total population being less than five hundred.
The following table, taken from the United States Census Re-
ports, shows the population of the county in the several de-
cades since 1830:

Population m 1830 621

" 1840 8,121

" 1850 11,631

" 1860 16,753

" 1870 22,593

" 1880 25,922

There are twelve civil townships in the county, viz : Sugar
Creek, in the northwest corner of the county; Washington
and Clinton, in the northern part of the county; Marion, in
the northeast corner ; Jefferson, in the Western; Center, in
the central, and Union, in the eastern part of the county ;
Jackson, in the southwest; Harrison and Perry, in the south-
ern, and Worth and Eagle, in the southeastern part of the


Lebanon, the county scat, is iu tiie exact geographical cen-
ter of the county. The .second principal meridian runs
through the center of the city. The population of Lebanon
in 1870 was 1,572; in 1880 -it was 2,625, an encouraging

Lebanon is mainly a commercial city, though manufactures
receive considerable attention. Commodious and elegant
churches, school buildings and other public structures attest
the enterprise, taste and general prosperity of the citizens.
The Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railroad
passes through the city, running a northwest and southeast
direction through the county. This road furnishes excellent
facilities for traffic. The Midland Railroad, formerly known
as the Anderson, Lebanon & St. Louis Railroad, runs nearly
due west from the east line of the county until it reaches
Lebanon, where it crosses the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St.
Louis & Chicago Railroad, and then pursues a southwesterly
course to the Montgomery County line. The Midland Rail-
road is now in process of construction, and it is expected that
it will be completed at an early day. The proposed Toledo
& St. Louis Air Line Railroad runs southwesterly across the
northwest corner of the county, crossing the Cincinnati, In-
dianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago Railroad at Thorntown. A
oonsiderable portion of this road was graded some yeai-s ago,
but owing to a lack of funds to complete the road the work
was temporarily abandoned. The Indianapolis, Bloomiugtou
<fe Western Railroad crosses the southwest corner of the county.

The public roads of the county are being rapidly put into
the very best condition. Xo county in the state is at the
present time showing more enterprise in the construction of
gravel roads and other public improvements than Boone.
With one or two exceptions the graveled roads are all free.
The very best of gravel for road building is found at conven-
ient points, and the citizens are rapidly utilizing this excellent
and cheap material in every part of the county.

Thorntown, situated in the northwestern corner of the


county, in Sn^^r Creek Township, is <a pleasantly situated
town of nearly 2,000 population. It is an important station
upon the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis & Chicago

Zionsville, the next town in size and commercial import-
ance, is situated iu the southeastern corner of the county, in
Eagle Township. The population of this town, in 1880, was
855. It is a station on the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis
& Chicago Railroad.

Jamestown, a station on the Indiana, Bloomington &
Western Railroad, is situated in the southwest corn^" of the
countv, in Jackson Township. This is a growing town, also,
which had, in 1880, a population of 696.

Besides the towns above enumerated, there are the follow-
ing: named villao;es,^manv of which show remarkable evidences
of prosperity :

Whitestown, on the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis &
Chicago Railroad, in AVorth Township ; Holmes Station, in
the southeast corner of Center Township, on the same rail-
road ; Eagle Village, one mile northeast of Zionsville ; North-
field, in Union Township, five miles north of Zionsville ;
Rosston, one mile northwest of Northfield ; Royalton, five
miles southwest of Zionsville; Fayette, in Perry Township,
three miles west of 'Royalton ; Brunswick, six miles east
of Jamestown; Millegeville, six miles south of Lebanon ;
Advance, nine miles southwest of Lebanon ; Dover, eigiit
miles west of Lebanon ; Mechanicsburg, eight miles north of
Lebanon ; Elizaville, seven miles northeast of Lebanon ;
Ratsburg, three miles east of Lebanon ; Slabtown, nine miles
northeast of Lebanon, and Big Springs, three miles southea-t
of Slabtown.

The territory embraced in Boone County was originally
the home of the Eel River tribe of the Miami Indians, from
whom it was acquired by treaty and purchase in 1828. \^
early as 1819 the French and Indians had a trading-post at
Thorntown. It is even claimed by some historians that tiie


tra'ling-post at Thorntown was established as early as the year
1715. The Indians coutinued to occupy the county, to some
extent, until 1835.

The first permanent white settler in Boone County was
Patrick H. Sullivan, who located near the site of Zionsville,
where he continued to reside until his death, in 1826. Jesse
Lane settled in the eastern part of the county, near Northfield,
in 1826. George Dye, a noted Indian scout and enterprising
pioneer, with his family, settled in the same vicinity soon after.
Settlements were commenced at Thorntown and Jamestown at
al)out the same period.

Lebanon was located, named, surveyed and ])latted, and
made the county seat in 1830. Mechauicsburg surveyed
and platted in 1835. The Michigan Road was located through
the county in 1828.

For a number of years the growth of the county was slow,
compared with many other counties in the state, but recent
years have shown a marked increase in the population. Ihe
material growth of the county, iu the meantime, has fully kept
pace with the advance in population. The farming lands of
the county are of the most productive character, and suscep-
tible of the highest state of cultivation. The best improved
farm machinery may readily be operated upon any of the farm
lands. The intelligent manner in which the fields are being
cultivated gives evidence of the fact that the benefits to be
derived from superior cultivation are fully appreciated by the
Boone County farmers.

The Boone County Agricultural Society holds an annual
fair at Lebanon, and the displays of stock, choice cereals,
fruits and veg-etables exhibited there rank with those of the
very best agricultural counties of the state.


Boone County lies wholly within the drift area of Indiana,

consequently the surface consists of level or gently rolling lands.

he central portion of the county consists of a broad, slightly


elevated plateau, with frequent depressed areas of considerable
extent. These depressions, though now only a few feet in depth,
formerly accumulated enough water and vegetable matter to
form in many places swamps or bogs of considerable depth.
Thorough drainage, however, has transformed these impassible
swamps into fertile fields, and the numerous bogs that formerly
yielded nothing but malarial poisons, now produce enormous
crops of grain, grass and fruit. This plateau forms the height
of land or summit between AVhite River and the Wabash. It
is really a low, broad ridge, or series of ridges, built up of the
transported sand, gravel, bowlders and clays of the glacial
period. The general direction of the ridge is from east to

The eastern part of the county, along Eagle Creek, is con-
siderably rolling. Eagle Creek rises in Marion Township, in
the northeast corner of the county, flows south, until it
reaches the Hendricks County line, whence it pursues a
southeasterly course to White River, into which it flows a few
miles below Indianapolis. Several small branches enter Eagle
Creek from the east and west, and the modifications of the
surface produced by the erosions of these small streams tend
to create a diversity of surface scenery that would otherwise
have maintained a monotonous outline.

The southeastern part of the county, in the vicinity of
Zionsville, and west for five or six miles, is quite rolling.
Numerous small, deep valleys lie between high, prominent
ridges. The general direction pursued by the small streams in
this part of the county is southerly, consequently the ridges
generally run north and south. The valleys are the result of
local erosions since the deposition of the drift. The dej)th of
the valleys varies from twenty-five to one hundred and twenty-
five feet. Fishback Creek, which rises near Whitestown, flows
.south through this region.

The north and south forks of Eel River rise in the central
part of the county and flow southwesterly to the Hendricks
County line near Jamestown. The two branches unite about


two miles northeast of Jamestown. The course of Eel River^
after it leaves Boone County, is southwesterly, then southerly^
until it finally unites with the west fork of White River, at
Worthington, in Greene County.

The southern part of the county is generally level, or only
slightly rolling, except a considerable portion along Eel River
and the smaller water courses, which, owing to erosions, is
more rolling and declivitous. West of Lebanon, and south
and west of Dover, and also in the vicinity of Advance, the
lands are just sufficiently rolling to give suitable facilities for
draining the occasional swampy tracts. Raccoon Creek flows
southwesterly through Jackson Township, and Walnut Creek
flows westerly through the southern part of Jeiferson Town-
ship. Muski'at Creek flows westerly through the central part
of Jefferson Township, while Wolf Creek flows northwesterly
through the northern part of the same township, and empties
into Sugar Creek about two miles west of Thorntown. These
streams, with their smaller branches, receive the drainage from
the swampy tracts through the surface- ditches and under-
ground tiles.

Sugar Creek rises in the eastern part of Clinton County
and flows southwesterly until it crosses the Boone County line
north of Lebanon. It then flows a westerly course through
the northwest corner of Boone County. Crossing the Mont-
gomery County line, it again pursues a southwesterly course to
the Wabash River. Prairie Creek, which rises in the vicinity
of Lebanon, flows northwesterly through Center, Washington
and Sugar Creek townships, and empties into Sugar Creek just
north of Thorntown. Mud Creek, and some other small
streams, rise in the northern part of the county and flow into
Sugar Creek. v

The citizens of Boone County fully appreciate the benefits
to be derived from a thorough system of drainage. When the
swamps and bogs of the county are thoroughly drained there
are no lands in the state that excel them in productiveness.
The number of rods of drain tile in operation in the county in


1882, was 293,484; in 1883, 397,8(32; in 1884, 519,151. or
1,622 miles. During 1884 there were constructed 4,160 rods
— thirteen miles of surface ditches. In a few more years a
perfect and complete system of drainage will be in operation
throughout the entire county.


The following is the definition of " loam " : " A soil chiefly
composed of silioious sand, clay and carbonate of lime, with
more or less of the oxide of iron, magnesia and various salts,
and also decayed vegetable and animal matter, giving propor-
tionate fertility."

The soils of Boone County consist largely of a loam com-
posed of the materials enumerated above. A large portion of
decomposed vegetable matter enters into the composition of
the soil in all the low, swampy tracts, and the great fertility of
these lands when they are thoroughly drained, is well known
to every agriculturist.

Frequent patches occur throughout the county, varying in
extent from a few acres to several hundred acres, where the
soil consists of light-colored or gray clay. This clay contains
a large percent, of silica, and it is probably a mass of the blue
or bowlder clay exposed at the surface, and changed to a light-
gray color by years of bleaching and washing. NVithout the
liberal application of fertilizers this clay soil does not produce
profitably. In somejocalities there is a very large proportion
of sand in the soil, in others clay predominates, and in others
various modifications of the two elements produce soils of
great diversity. These diverse conditions of the soil enable
the farmers to cultivate a greater variety of crops with success
and profit. A proper knowledge of the constituent elements
of the soil, and a further knowledge of the elements required
to produce a particular crop, will enable the farmer to apply
economically the very elements required to make his land
yield the desired crop. In a county like Boone, where there
IS not necessarily an acre of waste land, where the land is gen-


■erallj level or nearly so, and where there is no waste of the fer-
tile elements of the soil during; the periodical rainy seasons, the
thorough application of suitable fertilizers is attended with the
most satisfactory results.

Nature has already accomplished much for the farmers of
Boone by the deposition of suitable sub-soil and later accum-
ulations containing the most productive elements. To retain
the productive qualities of the most fertile lands, and bring the
less productive areas up to the highest standard of excellence,
and at the same time secure remunerative crops from his tilled
land, is the ultimate object of every farmer in the management
of his farm. To accomplish this he must have a perfect sys-
tem of drainage in operation upon his farm ; he must exercise
•eare in securing a proper rotation of crops so as not to exhaust
the soil, and then, by the continued application of those fertil-
izers that will restore the lost elements, and a careful cultiva-
tion of the crops, he may expect the most remunerative results.

In 1884 there were 634,438 bushels of wheat harvested in
Boone County from 52,113 acres, an average of a little more
than twelve busliels per acre. In the same year there were
produced 1,635,763 bushels of corn from 51,189 acres, an
average of about thirty-two bushels per acre. The yield of
oats was 106,277 bushels from 3,339 acres. In 1882 the yield
of wheat in Boone County was 852,955 bushels; corn, 2,095,-
090 bushels; oats, 78,992 bushels.

In 1884 Boone County had 13,012 acrc^s in timothy meadow,
which produced 21,861 tons of hay. In the same year there
were 16,029 acres in clover meadow, producing 24,483 tons of
hay, and 3,609 bushels of clover seed. The yield of tiraotliy
hay in 1882 was 24,994 tons, and of clover hay 32,560 tons.
The foregoing examples of crops show that the soils of Boone
Oounty are fully up to the average in productiveness.


The surface deposits of Boone County consist wholly of
fand, gravels, clays and bowlders. Xo exposures of solid rocks


in place appear in the county. In the western part of the
county the rocks are sometimes reached by the auger or drill
in boring or driving wells, but they are always at a consider-
able depth below the surface. In a few instances limestone
has been touched in the wells, and occasionally sandstone has
been found, but more commonly the stone reached in the bores
is a silicious shale or '' soapstone." In the eastern half of the
county the total depth of the drift is unknown, as no wells
have ever been bored through it. It is known, however, to
be more than 100 feet thick, and in places is probably 300 or
400 feet in thickness. The blue clay generally alternates with
layers of sand and gravel, but in some localities it lies in great
compact, homogeneous masses, without laminations or evi-
dence of stratification.

The elevated area, extending through the county from east
to west, was evidently the summit of an ancient terminal mor-
aine, the origfinal height of which far exceeded the altitude of
the highest elevations now to be found in the county. It is
also evidently true that a series of high ridges occupied al-
most the entire area of the county. As the glaziers were grad-
ually dissipated under the influences of a temperature which
slowly increased in fervency, the waters from the melting
masses of ice sought out various courses through the many
depressions between the more elevated heights, and struggling
on from one depression to another at last found their way to
the sea. Since the transported masses of drift were once
piled up, in places, to a height exceeding, by hundreds of feet,
the greatest elevations now remaining in the drift area, it is
very probable that the valleys, or depressions between the
ridges and hills, were once considerably below the level of the
lowest lands of the present day. In many places, doubtless,
the bare, planed surfaces of the rocks were exposed. The re-
turn of congenial seasons, with continued days of sunshine and
frequent moistening showers, resulted in the spread of vegeta-
tion over a large portion of the drift area. It is quite evident
that in some localities vegetation grew in profusion, especially


along the southern limits of the drift deposit. The growing
plants covered the sides of the slopes, and also the lower
grounds around the margins of the lakes and streams. Even
in the marshes, ponds and lakes, aquatic and semi-aquatic
plants grew in wild luxuriance. Evidence of these facts
abound throughout the drift area. The continued rainfall
washed the loose particles of material from the slopes of the
hills and ridges and gradually filled up all the low places,
completely covering the masses of vegetable matter that grew
and accumulated in the low grounds, and thus underground
"peat bogs" were formed. These buried masses of vegetation
are quite frequently found in digging and boring wells in
Boone County, and many other counties of the state. They
are found at a depth of from ten to sixty feet below the sur-
face. Professional well diggers and drivers call them "swamps."
The appearance of the mud and accumulated vegetable matter
found in them is almo-t identical with that of a surface swamp.
The mud is black, usually soft and mirey, and consists largely
of decayed vegetable matter. Leaves, twigs, and trunks and
branches of trees are frequently found in them.

On the farm of Mr. John M. Shelly, in Jackson Township,
four miles north of Jamestown, a well was bored in which, at
the depth of forty-six feet, a sicarnp was reached which was
twelve feet in thickness. The following is the complete sec-
tion of the bore :


Soil and yellow clay, mixed with sand ... 12 ft.

Yellow Sand 2 ft.

Online LibrarySamuel HardenEarly life and times in Boone County, Indiana, giving an account of the early settlement of each locality, church histories, county and township officers from the first down to 1886 ... Biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and women ... → online text (page 15 of 38)