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 32 of 38)
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once. He, without ceremony, jumped upon a carpenter's


bench ou the sidewalk and comnjenced a speech. He had a
book that he said he would soon publish to the world, givinrr
his life. He said that the speech he was then delivering
would be in it. He quit as abruptly as he had begun, leaped
down and was about to start when my wife called to me to
come to dinner. He was just then passing me. I asked him
to go O'ith me to dinner. He readily accepted, ate very
heartily, and talked vehemently all the time. He had book
on the brain badly. When he had finished eating he gathered
his big summer hat, never said a word, went to the front fence,
put one hand on the top rail, leaped over like a boy of sixteen,
though he could have opened a gate and went out as well. He
went on toward Newcastle, in the middle of the road. This
was the last time I ever saw him. While getting material lor
the historjT of Hancock County in 1S81, fourteen miles east of
Indiana[)olis I struck a place where he lived or sojourned for
several years. The place of his little rude 8x10 cabin was
pointed out by William Smith, an old citizen who knew him
well, and told of him carrying a stove from Richmond to put
in it. Here he lived the life of a hermit, composed and sang
his songs ; here he was in love with a Miss Craig, whom he
loved to distraction. I called to see her in 1881. She had a
vivid recollection of him, told of his actions and his songs;
also of the little cabin not far from her father's house. on Buck
Creek. He was then what we now call a "crank." His
whole life was like a stormy sea, ever chasing the imaginary,
but never getting to it. He is in all probability long since
dead. The stormy sea carried the little craft safe-housed on a
shore that ha^ no storms, and where the weary soul is forever
at rest.




Joseph Abrahams was a frequent visitor during his life, and
when not in possession of his right mind he was a terror to
many, as he had the strength of two men. Especially was he
a terror to boys and women. When he came at night it was
a signal for 'Mights out," or if in the daytime for "blinds
down." When he would come into the store the small boy
would have business some place else. He would shake hands
with persons across a hot stove, and invariably dab their hand
on the stove. One day the sound of horses' hoofs were heard
in the distance, when Abrahams was in hot pursuit of his son,
both on horseback. Joseph had a long gad with which he w"a3
lashing young Abrahams' horse at every jump. Late one
night he was passing father's house, singing. I was fearful he
would stop, but he only came to the gate, placing a stone on
each post, saying when father and mother died to put them at
their graves, and went on his way rejoicing. I felt relieved
as his retreating voice told he was going. He was not always
crazy, but at times quite easily handled ; had nothing to say
when himself, but a real terror when cranky. He died many
years ago. Some who read this will call to mind " Crazy Joe

Luke ^liller was another terror when drinking. There was
no harm about him. He was for fun, and his weakness was
for children, but the childr-'r-n did not have any relish for such
fun. He would take after them and then the fun would set in.
He would have the whole town in an uproar before he left.
Those who did not hide he would have crying, and mothers
inuil, when Luke would apologize, say he was just in fun, and
Would not hurt them for the world. It took the kids a long
•time to find that out. I w^as at Uncle Luke's ffrave on Ea2:le


Creek a short time ago. Aside from a little too much " tea "■
at times, he was, in many respects, a good man.

George Aston's visits to the village were the signal for fun.
He had a black horse called George that was well trained ami
a' valnable beast. Aston would get the horse in the middle ol
the street, and at full speed run alongside of him and all at
once jump upon him, circus style. This he would do for hours.
The street would be lined with viewers on both sides. This
usually was on Saturdays, when the village was full of persons.
George was also a big man and a bully, would fight and growl
with any one, until at last he met his match in the person o\
Norris Carr, who whipped him, and after that he was easily
whipped. He is living yet, eight miles north of Indianapolis.
At the time 1 write of he lived four miles south of Eagle Vil-
lage on the Michigan road, and kept tavern — not like the man
in Illinois, but a real tavern. I was almost afi'aid to pass hi-
house when a boy, for he had a peculiar hankering for boys,
as well as Luke Miller. Well, there were some others win*
came periodically and were in the habit of kicking up a rackety
such as Sam and Lewis Jones, Johnny Sargeant — he was a
harmless old man who would get drunk every time he came
and that was quite often. In ray next I will tell you abciii
the pioneer preachers of that day in and about Eagle Vilk'g' -




When in your city on the 4th inst., I saw John Lowe, who,
with his brother George, were the musicians at a school exhi-
bition in 1842. I thought it the {Inest music I had evrr
heard, and so it was, for it was the first. It was at the ch'-r
of a school taught by W. S. Beaty. The village was then at
its zenith, and the exhibition was a decided success. The


declamations were fine. I had one myself that I have never
heen able to come up to since. It was something like this:.
"You would scarce expect one of my a_^e/' etc., at seven years
of age; I can't beat it now at fifty-three.

The bear fight at Dye's mill, in 1846, was one of the big
things of that day. Some of the Dye boys had captured two
cub bears in the reserve near Kokomo, brought them home,
kept them until they were perhaps eighteen months old, when
it was given out that they were going to have a shooting
match, bear fight, dog fight, etc., at the mill, in the fall of
1846, I think it was. The time came, and with it came a large
crowd for that time. Perhaps two or three thousand persons
were present. The best dogs were on hand, eager for the fray.
Also the best marksmen, with their rifles in the best possible
trim. After the bears cleaned out all the dogs, the shooting
commenced, which re-nlted in several getting a slice. George
Craft, who kept the hotel at the village at that time, and with
whom I was hoarding, brought home a piece and iiad it cooked
up in fine style for his guests. It was like the music — the
best to me, for it was the first and last I ever ate. There were
several fights at (hat match, and whisky flowed freely. I
doubt, however, if a meeting could be had now, everything
considered, which would be more creditable to the neighbor-
hood than the one referred to. It brought together many hard
cases from all |)arts of the county.

In 1844, L. M. Oliphant, now of Jamestown, in Boone
County, and Alexander Miller captured a bald eagle near tlie
village. Mr. Oliphant shot and crippled it slightly, when it
was caged and taken to the battle ground, near Lafayette. I
saw if when in the cage on the eve of its going. It cut a
swath eight feet when on the wing, and was one of the finest
of its species ever caught in the county. When at the battle
ground it was the object of attention. Reared up in the air
on a box, it would make one swoop at a chicken and there
would be nothing left. The boys were offered fabulous prices


for it but refused, and brought it back to the village again,
where it died soon after. Too much chicken, I suppose.

One of the most laughable scenes I call to mind, was on
the occasion when it was said one James Armstrong had
'whipped his wife, not only once but on divers occasions. The
villagers got tired of this, and one evening went in a body to
where James was at work and wanted to know tiic cause why.
He was at work at the okl "ashery/' buying or making sal-
-aratus, and when about entering the building he drew out the
long, retl-hot iron used to stir up things with and said : '"Stand
back! Stand back, gentlemen ! " Most of us considered we
had got altnost close enough to James. His wife, about this
time, appeared on the ground, and, woman-like, entered an
-excuse for James; said he was a good, kind husband, and, in
fact, he had not wliipped her as per report. The iron having
-cooled off by this time, as well as the general spii'it that led us
forth, one Frank Imbler, as good a man as ever lived, went
forward and he and James had a little set-to, Frank coming
out on top. James promised not to whip her any more, the
crowd disappeared, and this was the last of wife whipping,
and the first I ever heard of in Eagle Village.



As I write the word '' pioneer," my mind goes back to my
boyhood days, when a citizen of your county, at a point now
only known in history, then a town of some five or six hun-
dred souls. I refer to Eagle Village. JVfy recollections go
back to about 1840. Others living more in your county
recollect further back, and were indeed pioufers, most of wlmni
arc now dead. As we see and recollect incidents from dilU'r-
ent standpoints, I hope to be able to say something that \vill
interest a few, at least, of your many reudi-rs. Tlie early mer-







-chants were James M. Lariraore, Reuben Price and J. F.
Daugherty & Co. Mr. Lurimore was a born merchant, and
one of the finest looking men in his day. He dressed to i)er-
fection and was very jxtpular. He was the sou of Polly Lar-
iinore, so long and well known as tlie proprietress of the
Eagle A^illage hotel. James died in 1849, scarcely in the
-prime of life, of consumption, and in the spring. He wanted
to .live, and a few hours before he died lie called for his boots,
put one on, and gave up to die. He is buried at the cemetery
at Eagle Village. He was never married, and I think was
4ibout twentv-eight vears of age at his death.

J. F, Daugherty now lives, or did a short time ago, at
Indianapolis. He was a good salesman and had the confidence
of the }jeople. He was for many years captain of the Eagle
Village Light Infantry, so popular at the time I write.

Reuben Piice came from Clarkstown to tiie village about
the year 1844. His whereabouts I do not know.

My father, Joiin Harden, constituted the *' Co." of J. F.
Daugherty. He was well known to many of your citizens.
He was born in Irehmd in 1S02, and is sleeping at the beauti-
ful little cemetery at Zionsviile, near where he lived the best
part of his life. He died in 1879.

A word about the doctors of that day. Dr. S. W. Rod-
man came as early as 1845, and here made his start in his pro-
fession. He was married to Martha Rose about the year 1847.
He now lives in Washington Territory. Samuel Duzan was
•a young man, and was about to begin the practice in which he
was so well qualified, when he was taken sick and diid. He
was a fine looking man, six feet high, of commanding aj)|)oar-
aiice. -He was pirhaps twenty-five years of age at his death.

Jerry Larimore — what shall I say in memory of ])oor
Ji'rry? In many respects a splendid man, and at one time
commanded a large practic'; was in tiie saddle almo-t day and
night. Ho went to California in 1849; returned .some three
years later. Many of your people know his sad fate. I


believe he is buried at Whitestcwn, your county. He Nvas
married in 1845 or 1846.

Dr. George Gaston swung out his shingle here in 18-14.
Did not stay h:)ng. He was then young — just entering a long
life, for he is yet living at Indianapolis. He was a fine look-
ing man all through life, and now, with almost snow-white
hair, is manly in form. He also went to California. I saw
him there in the Sacramento postoflfice in 1852.

H. G, Larimore, father of Jerry, was old th;' first time I
ever saw him. He never was a handsome man. He came to
the village early — perhaps in 1830. He was a very excitable
man. He could pray, preach or swear, as the case required,
and would fight rather than be called a coward. He came
from Fayette County, Indiana, with others of the Larimore
familv. He died some twenty-five years ago. Was married
four times.



I attended a revival meeting not long ago in this county,
when a young woman arose in a speaking session and said:
"I do not recollect the time when my parents' home was not
' the home of the preachers ; when there was no altar there."
This is true with many of us. It is certainly true with me,
and I early formed a good opinion of preachers. I loved to
see them come, for preaching at the time of which I write, did
not occur every Sunday, by any means, and when it was given
out- that there would be meeting at the house of a neighbor, it
was the signal for an outpouring of the people. Y'es, I have
a good opinion of preachers in general, though there is one
occasionally turns up to disgrace his calling. I can t
help thinking that of tho:;e of whom I write about to-dny.
and who have gone to their reward, were good men and are
enjovinir the repose of the land of the blest.


Thomas Lockhart was one of the first preachers I evov
saw. This was about the year 1840. He came once a raonrh i')
hold mcetinp;. He was always well received, and considering
the sparse settlement, had good attendance. He was then in
his prime, and an earnest worker. I read recently of his
death at some town in Hendricks County, at the age of ninety-
two years. What a grand life he spent ! What a grand crown
he must wear ! Don't say ail the preachers are bad men. ]Mr.
L. was a Christian preacher.

Hugh Wells, that grand old man, for he is yet living, or
was recently, often preached at our house and in the vicinity.
He lived at that time, back in the forties, near Augusta. He
was formerly a Methodist, but late in life joined and labored for
the Lutheran Church. He was not a finely educated man, but
thoroughly in earnest and commanded the respect and esteem
of all. He was a fine looking man in persoii, with a gleaming
countenance when thoroughly lit up with the fire of a zealous
worker, as he was.

D. F. Straight was sent to the Augusta circuit about the
year 1842. He was then a young man ; liad not been preach-
ing long. He is yet living, and has nearly got back to wliere
he was preaching forty-three years ago — not far from Alli-on-
ville. He must now be near seventy-five years of age. AVhat
throngs of peo})le he has spoken to ! What numbers he has
warned to flee from the wrath to come, and what a vast mul-
titude has gone on before that has listened to him in years

James McCoy, a Presbyterian preacher, (;ame to the village
in 1844. He was a polished man, a born preacher and fine
singer. ' He was very popular for years. If living, he must
be eighty years of age, for he was at his best at the time spoken
of, of medium size and always went w^ell dres-ed. I do n^t
know where he went after leaving the village ; in all probabil-
ity he has gone to the goodly land. One of the ablest ser-
mons ever preached at the Augusta camp meeting was preached
by him. This, too, when such men as W. 11. Good,


Miirsee, J. H. Hull, Augustus Eddie and others preached in
their best days. All have preached at Eagle Village.

Madison Hume, a Baptist preacher, lived eight miles north
of Indianapolis. He was an occasional visitor at the village,
and none were more welcome than he — a noble man and a
good speaker. He labored and built up the Crooked Creek
Church near his home, where he was loved and respected for
his work. His brother v»as at my house two years ago, and
said Madison died at Indianapolis ten or twelve years ago and
was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery. Will not some keep his
grave green ?

R. H. Calvert, I think, succeeded Straight on the Augusta
circuit in 1844. He was a thorough Methodist and had some
fight about him — that is, in a war of words He was quite
able in debate or fireside argument, which was his delight.
Father had made arrangements for a talk or chat between hira
and Matt Council at our house in 1844. Council was a Camp-
bellite, or Christian preacher of some note, and was also a
''fighter." The lime came and both were on hand, eager for
the fray. Father introduced them, when the fun began, and
lasted till very late. This was the first debate I was ever at,
and perhaps the first in or near the village. jNIr. Council has
been dead many years. Calvert's whereabouts I do not know
anything about. In all probability he is dead. If living, he
is near eighty years of age.

Among other local preachers of that day were William
Gauge, Joseph Lanuer, Joshua AVright, George Bowman,
George Duzan, Mr. Sims, Wm. Patterson, Matt Couucil, Mr.
Dod«on and George ^Morgan.


The first time I visited I^ebanon was in the spring of 184/,
during the session of the circuit court. It was abo the first
court I was ever in. Judge Peaslev was on the bench, witli


Samuel Cason and Nash Pitzer as associates. The little, old-
fashioned court house looked big to me, and the lawyers, it
seemed, were superior beings. Among them were Hiram
Brown, Hugh O'Neal, Abraham A. Hammond, William
Q,Liarles, of Indianapolis, L. C. Daugherty, W. B. Beach, S.
S. Strong, Mr. Hamilton, Joseph Hockett and others, of Leb-
anon. It was a very muddy time and the streets were in a
terrible plight. There were no walks, either plank or gravel,
but I was raised in the mud and did not expect anything bet-
ter. The town looked large to me, for it was about the largest
one I was ever in up to that time. There was a sign on the
north side of the square I call to mind. I think it was in
front of a hatter's shop. It was a coon and a hat. A man
by the name of Olive, I think, made hats for the natives there
in an early day. Wm. Zion was then in business on the cor-
ner of the two main streets. A. H. Shepard kept tavern, and
a good one for the times. It was known far and wide as
"Shep's." There was a young man from Jamestown that
spring, asking to be admitted to the bar. His name I do not
recall. He was the butt-end of all the jokes of the season.
He was a big, two-fisted, good-natured fellow. Judging from
surroundings, he would have made a better "Jehu" than a
disciple of Blackstone. But we can't always sometimes tell
how a man will turn out.

When in \our city last July, I thought of the ones referred
to above. All, or nearly all, are dead now. The muddy strerts
present a different appearance. The old court house is gone.
Time has brought changes. The sparkling, light eyes <»t
Quarles are closed forever. The powerful voice of Brown is
hushed. The quick retort of O'Neal is indulged in no more,
and the pleasant smile of Daugherty has passed away forever.
Judge Peasly has been summoned to a higher bai', where a
Judge that knows no erring is presiding, and where no appeals
are taken.




The Odd Fellows' picuic here on last Thursday was one of
the best I ever attended. First, the day was all that could be
desired — no dust, and in the beautiful grove of AVilliam Heck-
athorn it was deliorhtful. The people came, and I judge nearly
three thousand persons were present, all well behaved and well
dressed. Never was there better order at any out-door meet-
ing than at this. The committee was successful in procuring
good speakers. Hon. Will Cumback spoke in the forenoon,
and it was one of his best efforts, too. He was listened to
with close attention while he spoke the golden words of truth.
Dinner was then in order, and, oh, such a repast as was spread
out on the hillside on the snow-white tablecloths, covered
v^'ith the grandest dinner one could imagine. An hour or two
was spent in feasting and general social greetings, after which
B. F. Foster spoke for about an hour. It was a rare treat to
listen to two such speakers on such an occasion. Rev. Atkins,
of New Ross, spoke fifteen minutes, and acquitted himself
well. The Lebanon juvenile band was on hand, and rendered
sr>me orood music, as it alwavs does. The vocal music, by the
Jamestown choir, was good. It was a gala day for Jamestown
and Odd Fellowship — a day well s{>ent.

To canvass a conmumity when there are seven threshing
machines at work, besides the making of hay, cutting oats,
and other -work going on at the same time, is not a very de-
sirable job, especially when the thermometer is in the nineties.
Among the older citizens called on during the f»ast week were
Elijah Jackson, Bart Miller, G. W. Shockley, Peter Deweese,
J. H. Kibbey, Milton Young, W. H. Coombs, and J. y^-
Sandy. All are interested in the early history of Bo(n)C.
Among the younger men called on were J. M. Ashley, Thos.
Ashley, J. M. Einmert, Stephen D. Emmert, Ephraim Kibbey,


D. H. Slioekley and W. H. A-rhley, all very intelligent young
men, a majority of whom are teachers. "W. H. Ashley and
Ephraim Kibbey are candidates on the National county ticket.
Should they l)e elected they will fill rlie offices with credit to
themselves and their constituency.

The finest grove of timber to be seen anywhere is on the
farm of Mrs. Ashley, two and one-half miles northeast of
Jamestown, and in sight of the L4)auon road. But one has
to be in it to behold its beauties — one hundred and forty pop-
lars and as many oaks standing on eight or ten acres. It is a
great sight now, and would in time to come, if preserved, be-
come more so. It is worth thousands of dollars, but it would
be almost a sin to cut down those monarchs of the forest, tow-
ering over their surroundings. While 4ooking at those grand
old trees I thouglit of tiie lines:

" Wooilman, sjiare that tree," etc.

I am told that much of the land in Jackson was originally
covered with the choicest walnut, poplar and oak timber. I
saw a poplar stump on the land of W. H. Coombs that meas-
ured nine feet through. Some who read this may have seen
the tree when it was standing. But those grand old trees, like
the first settlers, are only found here and there, and will soon
be known only in history; and as we measure the stumps of
trees, their names will be measured by the good they have

One of the finest farming communities to be found ajiy-
wiiere is located around Old Union Church. With its splen-
di<l growing corn and already harvested wheat fields it is a
grand sight to take in the church and one of the finest located
cemeteries to be found in the county. It is to be hoped that
when the pike is made, in place of going through it may be
made around on the north side and give all' this hill to the use
of the cemetery, as the road now passes through or near the
center of the hill. It is none of my business, but to a stranger
it looks like this would be about the right step.


The people of Jackson should be, and I think are, a happ\v
contented people, ^vith good farms and houses, and plenty on
every hand, with good roads and prospects of getting better
all the time. It certainly is a desirable place to live. My
short stay Nvith the people here has, on my part, been pleasant.
In the future I hope to call u]) many kind faces and incidents
that naturally came up while canvassing Jackson Township.


After having been over Jackson Township in the interest
'of my work, "Early Life and Times in Boone County," and
being liberally patronized, I wi^h, in a general Avay, to thank
those who so kindly and well have assisted in the work. Forty
years ago I heard Dr. Rodman, formerly of Eagle Village,
now of Oregon, say Jamestown was the garden spot of Boone
County. It was many years after that when I first saw this
part of the county, and not until quite recently was 1 at all
acquainted with the people or township. All strangers must

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 32 of 38)