Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana


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

In placing "Chadwick's History of Shelby County. Indiana" before the citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have carried out the plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every biographical sketch in the work h-a> been submitted to the party interested, for correction, and therefore any error of fact, if there be any is solely due to the person for whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our efforts to please will fully meet the approbation of the public.


Table of Contents

CHAPTER I. — Discovery — Indian Occupancy — Exploration — Vincennes — Missionary Work by Catholics — British Policy — American Policy— Exodus of the Indians — Indian Titles Extinguished — Land Sales — Great Ordinance of 1787 — Northwest Territory — Admission of Indiana Territory 17

CHAPTEPv II. — Territorial History of Indiana — Seat of Government at Vincennes — Slavery Practiced — First Territorial Legislature — First Newspaper - Indiana in 181O — First Bank Charters — Peace and Prosperity - Population in 1815 29

CHAPTER III. — Indiana Organized as a State— Last Session of Territorial Legislature — Constitutional Convention — First State Election — Rapid Increase of Population — Indiana and the Mexican AVar — Indiana's Part in the Civil War — Indiana After the Close of the Civii War — War Claims Allowed — Divorce Laws — Financial Standing — Internal Improvements — State Forges to the Froat 35

CHAPTER IV. — Pioneers — Early Hardships — Topography of the County — Glacial Drift — Hot Wells — Archeology — Indian Occupancy — Important Treaty With the Delawares — Reminiscences by Isaac Wilson — Geology 44

CHAPTER V. — Early Settlement of Shelby County — Indian Traders — First Cabin Home — Land Office Opened — First Settlements — Land Entries - Character of Early Settlers — Churches and Schools Established — Early Day Struggles - First Events — First Settlers in Town of Marion — First Settlers of Shelbyville — The Pioneers of the County 51

CHAPTER VI. — Organization of Shelby County — Naming of the County — Commissioners' Court — Locating a County Seat — County Whiskey Dill — County Board Abolished and New Board Established — Organization of Townships — Townships Re-organized — Additions to the Original Plat of Shelbyville — Village and Town Plats — List of Town Plats with Population in 1875 60

CHAPfER VII. — County Government — Clerks of the Court — County Auditors - County Treasurers — County Recorders — Sheriffs — County Surveyors — Coroners — County Commissioners — Jail — Court House History - First and Second Court-Houses — Poor Farm— Expense Statistics — Public Highways — Indian Trails— State Roads — Plank and (:ravel Roads — P-ridges— Property Valuations in Shelby County — Finances of the County — Population of the County, and by Townships and Wards 71

CHAPTER VIII. — Presidential Vote in Shelby County — National, State and County Representations — Congressmen — State Senators — Members of the Legislature 83

CHAPTER IX. — History of Townships — Hanover Township — Van Buren Township - Union Township — Ray's Crossing - Marion Township — Sugar Creole Township — Moral Township — Brandywine Township - Addison Township — Hendricks Township — Jackson Township - Washington Township — Shelby Township - Liberty Township — Noble Township

CHAPTER X. — Military History — Shelby County's Part in the Great Wars of Our Country — War With Mexico — The Civil War — Political Excitement of 1860-61 — The Famous Boggstown Resolutions — Quick Response to Call For Troops — Second Company Organized — Sword Presentation — The Morgan Raiders - Guerillas — Mayor McGuire's Proclamation — Public Opinion in 1863-64 — Knights of the Golden Circle — The Indiana Legion — Bounty and Relief — Soldiers Furnished — Civil War Roll of Honor — Spanish-American War — Grand Army of the Republic — Woman's Relief Corps — Sons of Veterans 98

CHAPTER XI. — Church History — Methodist Pioneer Preachers of the Gospel — The Presbyterian Church — Second Presbyterian Church, German — Disciples of Christ, Christians — Shelbyville Christian Church — Mt. Auburn Christian Church — Morristown Christian Church — Cave Hill Christian Church— Fountaintown Christian Church — Christian Center — Christian Church of Shelbyville — German Evangelical Protestant - Shelbyville Evangelical Protectant — Catholic Church in Shelby County — St. Vincent's Church — Shelbyville Catholic Church — Christian Union Church — United Brethren - Methodist Protestant Church — Seventh Day Adventist Church — Lewis Creek Baptist Church — Episcopal Church — St. Vincent's Church — Methodism in Shelby County — First Methodist Episcopal Church — Church Buildings — West Street Methodist Episcopal Church — Church Finances — Other Methodist Churches - Baptist Denomination in Shelby County — First Baptist Church of Shelbyville — Separate Baptists — New Lights — Lutherans — Christian Science— African Churches 128

CHAPTER XII. — Freemasonry in Shelby County — Higher Degree Masonry — Odd Fellows - Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks — Knights of Pythias 164

CHAPTER XIII. — Bench and Bar — Circuit Riders — First Sessions of Shelby Circuit Court - Lawyers Last to Abandon Dueling — First Case — Character of Early Judges — Courts Under the New Constitution - The Judges Who Have Presided — Common Pleas Court — Circuit Judges — Associate Judges — Probate Judges - Common Pleas Judges — The Bar of Shelby County — The Shelby County Bar Association — Tenth Annual Banquet — Memorial Resolutions on the Death of Stephen Major James Harrison. Oliver J. Gessner and Benjamin F. Love - Prosecuting Attorneys — Roll of Attorneys — Present Attorneys of Shelby County Bar 180

CHAPTER XIV. — Physicians of the First Decade in Shelby County's History - Deceased Physicians Who Have Practiced in Shelby County — Physicians of the Present Day in Shelbyville and Shelby County - Physicians Who Have Practiced in Shelby County, But Now Reside Elsewhere - Shelby County Medical Society — Fee Bill of 1856 — Protective Resolutions 202

CHAPTER XV. — Shelby County Newspapers — The First Newspapers — The Recorder — Numerous Changes in Owners and Titles — The First Daily Paper — The Daily Democrat — Republican — The News — Liberal — Chronological List of Newspapers 246

CHAPTER XVI. — Agricultural Societies - First Fair in 1848 — Stock Company Formed 1876 — Livestock Association Organized — Sid Conger and His Chickens 253

CHAPTER XVII. — Educational — Statistics — Beechwood Manual Training Academy 257

CHAPTER XVIII. — Railroads— Early Conditions — Railroads of the County — Electric Interurban Lines 259

CHAPTER XIX. — History of Towns and Villages — Boggstown - Mount Auburn — Waldron — Brookfield — Cynthiana — Doblestown — Brandywine — Fairland — Gellettsburg — Middletown — Flatrock — Smithland — Pleasant View — Norristown — Marietta — Fountaintown — Gwynneville — Freeport — Vinton — Geneva — London — St. Paul — Prescott — Marion — Morristown 263

CHAPTER XX. — City of Shelbyville — Beginning in 1822 — Facts of Early History — Business Men of 1856 — Incorporated as Town Then as a City — Present City Officers— Population — City Hall — Fire Department — Postoffice History — City Illuminated by Gas — Lighted by Electricity — Streets First Paved — Police Department — Waterworks — Natural Gas — County Children's Home — First Settlers — Lodges, Associations and Unions — Public Schools — Cemeteries — Manufacturing Industries — Newspapers — Hospital and Sanitarium 278

CHAPTER XXI. - Miscellaneous — Origin of "Log-Rolling" — Old Settlers' Association — Reminiscences of Elephlet Kent — Banking Business — Gas Explosion — Explosion at Waldron — Missouri Harmony Singing Class — Woman's Club — Wihub Circle — Public Libraries — Carnegie Library — Shelbyville Distillery - Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange) — Milling in Shelby County — Reminiscences of Captain Haymond — First Fourth of July Celebration — Early Day Snakes — Native Animals — Pioneer Dress and Early Fashions — Interesting Narrative — Early Day Trade and Commerce — The Log Cabin — Pilots Then and Now 300

Biographical Sketches 333


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 31.0 MB PDF)



Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 31.4 MB PDF)

Shelby county in 1842, and hie was a Union soldier during the Civil war. He has devoted much of his life to farming, but at present he resides in Shelbyville.

Ernest G. Reece obtained his early education in the public schools of Johnson county, and wound up with a two years' course in Franklin College. Me also perfected himself in bookkeeping by a private course in a commmercial school of the same city, and was able to secure employment in that line shortly after finishing his studies. He is a Republican in politics, a Baptist in religion, and his fraternal relations are continued to membership of Chillon Lodge, No. 129. Knights of Pythias, at Shelbyville. He is an energetic business man.

September 26, 1894, Mr. Reece married Carrie Vaught, a native of Franklin, Indiana, where she grew up and was educated. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Vaugh,. the former a well known farmer of Johnson.