History of Fountain County, Indiana

In presenting this History to the public the editors and publishers have had in view the preservation of certain valuable historical tacts and information which without concentrated effort would not have been obtained, but with the passing away of the old pioneers, the failure of memory, and the loss of public records and private diaries, would soon have been lost. This locality being comparatively new, we flatter ourselves that, with the zeal and industry displayed by our general and local historians, we have succeeded in rescuing from the fading years almost every scrap of history worthy of preservation. Doubtless the work is, in some respects, imperfect; — we do not present it as a model literary effort, but, in that which goes to make up a valuable book of reference for the present reader and the future historian, we assure our patrons that neither money nor time has been spared in the accomplishment of the work. Perhaps some errors will be found. With treacherous memories, personal, political and sectarian prejudices and preferences to contend against, it would be almost a miracle if no mistakes were made. We hope that even these defects which may be found to exist may be made available in so far as they may provoke discussion and call attention to corrections and additions necessary to perfect history.

The "History of the Wabash Valley "— necessarily the foundation for the history of this part of the country, by H.W. Beckwith, of Danville - has already received the hearty endorsement of the press, of the historical societies of the northwestern states, and of the most accurate historians in the country. Mr. Beckwith has in his possession perhaps the most extensive private library of rare historical works bearing on the territory under consideration in the world, and from them he has drawn as occasion demanded.

The general county history, written by Judge T.F. Davidson, will be found by our readers to be in a bold, fearless style, dealing in facts as so many causes, and pursuing effects to the end without turning to the right or left to accommodate the opinions or preferences of friend, party or sect.

The township histories, by Messrs. Peacock, Coen, Carnahan, Hyde, Turner, Kicker and Converse will be found full of valuable recollections, which, but for their patient research, must soon have been lost forever, but which are now happily preserved for all ages to come. These gentlemen have placed upon these counties and the adjacent country a mark which will not be obliterated, but which will grow brighter and broader as the years go by.

The biographical department contains the names and private sketches of nearly every person of importance iii each township. A few persons, whose sketches we should be pleased to have presented, for various reasons refused or delayed furnishing us with the desired information, and in this matter only we feel that our work is incomplete. However, in most of such cases we have obtained, in regard to the most important persons, some items, and have woven them into the county or township sketches, so that, as we believe, we cannot be accused of either partiality or prejudice.


Table of Contents


Topography — The drainage of the Lakes and the Mississippi, and the Indian and French names by which they were severally called 11

Drainage of the Illinois and Wabash — Their tributary streams — The portages connecting the drainage to the Atlantic with that of the Gulf 17

The ancient Maumee Valley — Geological features — The portage of the Wabash and the Kankakee 21

The rainfall — Cultivation of the soil tends to equalize rainfall, and prevent the recurrence of drouths and floods 26

Origin of the prairies — Their former extent — Gradual encroachment of the forest — Prairie fires — Aboriginal names of the prairies, and the Indians who lived exclusively upon them 29

Early French discoveries — Jaques Cartier ascends the St. Lawrence in 1535 — Samuel Champlain founds Quebec in 1608 — In 1642 Montreal is established — Influence of Quebec and Montreal upon the Northwest continues until subsequent to the war of 1812 — Spanish discoveries of the lower Mississippi in 1525, 37

Joliet and Marquette's Voyage — Father Marquette's Journal, descriptive of the journey and the country through which they traveled — Biographical sketches of Marquette and Joliet 43

La Salle's Voyage — Biographical sketch of La Salle — Sketch of Father Hennepin and the merit of his writings 54

La Salle's Voyage continued — He erects Fort Miamis 63

The several rivers called the Miamis — La Salle's route down the Illinois — The Kankakee Marshes— The French and Indian names of the Kankakee and Dc3 Plaines — The Illinois - "Fort Crevecaeur" — The whole valley of the great river taken possession of in the name of the King of France 73

Death of La Salle, in attempting to establish a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi — Chicago Creek — The origin of the name — La Salle assassinated and his colony destroyed — Second attempt of France, under Mons. Iberville, in 1699, to establish settlements on the Gulf— The Western Company — Law's scheme of inflation and its consequences 87

Surrender of Louisiana to the French Crown in 1731 — Early routes by way of the Kankakee, Chicago Creek, the Ohio, the Maumee and Wabash described — The Maumee and Wabash, and the number and origin of their several names — Indian villages 96

Aboriginal inhabitants — The several Illinois tribes — Of the name Illinois, and its origin — The Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Tamaroas, Peorias and Sletchigamis, sub- divisions of the Illinois Confederacy — The tradition concerning the Iroquois River — Their decline and removal westward of the Missouri 105

The Miamis — The Miami, Piankeshaw and Wea bands — Their superiority and their military disposition — Their trade and difficulties with the French and the English — They are upon the Maumee and Wabash — Their Villages — They defeat the Iroquois — They trade with the English, and incur the anger of the French — Their bravery — Their decline — Destructive effects of intemperance— Cession of their lands in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio— Their removal westward and present condition 119

The Pottawatomies — Originally from the north and east of Lake Huron- Their migrations by way of Mackinaw to the country west of Lake Michigan, and thence south and eastward- Their games — Origin of the name Pottawatomie — Occupy a portion of the country of the Miamis along the Wabash — Their villages — At peace with the United States after the war of 1812 — Cede their: lands — Their exodus from the Wabash, the Kankakee and Wabash 137

The Kickapoos and Mascoutins reside about Saginaw Bay in 1612; on Fox River, Wisconsin, in 1670 — Their reception of the Catholic fathers — On the Maumee in 1712 — In southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois — Migrate to the Wabash — Dwellers of the prairie — Their destruction at the siege of Detroit — Nearly destroy the Illinois and Piankeshaws, and occupy their country — Join Tecumseh in a body — They, with the Winnebagoes, attack Fort Harrison — Their country between the Illinois and Wabash —Their resemblance to the Sac and Fox Indians 153

The Shawnees and Delawares — Originally east of the Alleghany Mountains — Are subdued and driven out by the Iroquois — They war on the American settlements — Their villages on the Big and Little Miamis, the St. Mary's, the Au Glaize, Maumee and Wabash — The Delawares — Made women of by the Iroquois — Their country on White River, Indiana, and eastward defined — They, with the Shawnees, sent west of the Mississippi 170

The Indians — Their implements, utensils, fortifications, mounds, manners and customs 180

Stone implements used by the Indians before they came in contact with the Europeans — Illustrations of various kinds of stone implements, and suggestions as to their probable uses 195

The war for the fur trade — Former abundance of wild animals and water-fowl in the Northwest — The buffalo; their range, their numbers, and final disappearance — Value of the fur trade; its importance to Canada 208

The war for the empire — English claims to the Northwest — Deeds from the Iroquois to a large part of the country 224

Pontiac's war to recover the country from the English — Pontiac's confederacy falls to pieces — The country turned over to the English — Pontiac's death 234

Gen. Clark's conquest of the "Illinois" — The Revolutionary war — Sketch of Gen. Clark — His manuscript memoir of his march to the Illinois — He captures Kaskaskia — The surrender of Vinoennes — Capt. Helm surprises a convoy of English boats at the mouth of the Vermilion River — Organization of the northwest territory into Illinois county of Virginia 245


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Joliet and Marquette's Voyage

The day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, whom I had always invoked, since I have been in this Ottawa country, to obtain of God the grace to be able to visit the nations on the River Mississippi, was identically that on which M. Jollyet arrived with orders of the Comte de Frontenac, our governor, and M. Talon, our intendant, to make this discovery with me. I was the more enraptured at this good news, as I saw my designs on the point of being accomplished, and myself in the happy necessity' of exposing my life for the salvation of all these nations, and particularly for the Illinois, who had, when I was at Lapointe du Esprit, very earnestly entreated me to carry the word of God to their country.