History of Hancock County, Indiana
Nearly forty years have elapsed since the first newspaper was established in Greenfield, and it is a singular omission that there has never been a history of the county published. In this respect Hancock is behind her sister counties.
The necessity of the work at this time is apparent to all. The first settlers, in whose bosoms are contained our unwritten local history, are fast passing away, and it is our duty to snatch from oblivion those facts, figures and items of interest worthy of record ere it is too late.
The sketch of Westland Church and school contained herein was furnished by John Brown, an old citizen, and the only man living who knew all the facts, and in the absence of the records, which were burned, could furnish the same, and he is now no more on earth, save in memory. Other instances might be cited. Had the publication of the work been postponed a few years, much of the rarest and best history of the county would have been forever lost. Besides, it is a duty we owe to the memory of the noble fathers who have cleared the forests, made the roads, and prepared this fair land for our habitation, to preserve a record of their lives and noble acts.
The plan of the work is simple and convenient. The reader is first furnished with a bird's-eye view of the county, from which he obtains a general idea of the territory to be surveyed and the magnitude of the undertaking. The townships are then considered in regular alphabetical order, and discussed as fully as practicable, consistent with the limits of the work. Following these are numerous chapters, charts, tables, essays, sketches, biographies and discussions of all matters of historical interest in the county.
It has been the constant aim of the publishers to furnish a complete history in every respect, including an elaborate pen picture of the present. Portraits and personal sketches of the prominent men of the county and all the county officers will be found herein. The heavy tax-payers, all the business men and officers are noted in the proper place, that our patrons may have a book to hand down to their children and grandchildren that will give them not only our past history, but such a complete view of the present, as we should be happy to have of the past when our parents and grandparents were the pioneers, county and township officers, tax-payers and business men of the day.
The publishers have striven to give a fair and impartial history, without fear or favor, regardless of race, color, party, sect, or any other consideration, hence the reader will find herein sketches and portraits of representative men, past and present, white and colored, rich and poor, churchmen and non-churchmen, native-born and foreigners, Whigs, Free-Soilers, Know-Nothings, Republicans, Democrats and Nationals.
The publishers are vain enough to think that the book will be interesting, not only as a volume to be road, but as a work of reference on all important data connected with the county. They have endeavored to give their patrons more, in every respect, than was promised in the prospectus. The book contains a hundred and fifty pages extra, twice as many portraits, vastly more "rule and figure" work, and is fuller and better in contents and mechanical make-up than was originally contemplated or ever represented. In making these additions, however, it has delayed the delivery of the work somewhat, but, in view of the extra labor and expense expended thereon, they trust their friends will be satisfied. To partially offset this extra outlay, which the publishers were scarcely justifiable in making on a work with necessarily a small circulation, owing to the limited territory, they have introduced a very few advertisements in the rear of the book, and there only. Not a cent has ever been received or asked for any notice in the various "business directories " herein, nor for any biography, personal sketch or other complimentary remark about any person or property, man or matter. Only what follows page 536 is subject to the charge of "paid notice, " and even that in a few years will be valuable history, and appreciated by the public as showing who were some of the enterprising business men of to-day. The publishers emphatically repudiate any charge that may be made, as is often done against county histories, that it is made up of " advertisements" and "paid puffs."
The first steps looking forward toward the publication of this work were taken about a year ago by King & Harden, the latter of whom did most of the canvassing, and aided materially in getting the work under headway, when he sold his interest, September first, to J.H. Binford, who had previously been employed to do the writing, since which the new firm of King & Binford have been the sole proprietors and managers, and upon the former has devolved largely the labor of collecting the materials from official and other sources.
In presenting this work to the public the publishers beg the indulgence of their patrons and friends for any errors that may have crept in. The materials have been collected from various sources, at a considerable expenditure of time, labor and patience, and the memories of some of the aged pioneer reporters being a little deficient, their accounts may occasionally differ, yet it is believed on the whole to be correct, more so perhaps than are histories generally, yet, should the reader discover errors, as he doubtless will, let him "pass them lightly o'er," for no one regrets their occurrence more than the writer. As to the style of the composition, it was intended to be plain and simple and as free from the diffuse, labored and pompous as possible, but is not at all times as far removed from some of these detects as would have been had the writer had the time to rewrite and properly revise, but such was impossible in the limited time that could be spared from his other duties. As to the comprehensiveness of the work, should any one look in vain for some biography or early reminiscence, let such a one remember that it is impossible to crowd in a single volume an account of everything of interest in a county of the size and age of Hancock. To do so would require a half-dozen such works as this and more labor and expense than the legitimate patronage would warrant, hence it is only a question of a judicious selection of mate- rials and representative facts. However, there are a few churches, individuals, bands, lodges and other matters left unnoticed that would have received proper attention, not- withstanding the amount of matter claiming admittance, had the publishers been able to find any person sufficiently interested in perpetuating their memory to open the bolted doors or furnish the necessary facts, but perhaps " what is our loss is their gain."
As to the arrangement of the portraits, with the exception of a few mistakes, it is the best that could be done under the circumstances, consistent with an even distribution of the same and a logical treatment of the subject. In this respect, as in every other, the publishers have endeavored to be wholly impartial and non-sectional, hence each township is fully and fairly represented, the contrast being seldom greater than the difference in size and population.
To Senator Ben Harrison, State Superintendent John M. Bloss, the county officers, older citizens of the county, and others who have contributed materials and substantial encouragement to the enterprise, the publishers would return their sincere thanks and make their final bow, admitting, after all, that how well they have succeeded is for their patrons to decide, whose verdict is irrevocable.
Table of Contents
BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF COUNTY. 25-48.
BLUE-RIVER TOWNSHIP. 49-57
BLUE-RIVER TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 57-76.
BRANDYWINE TOWNSHIP. 77-83.
BRANDYWINE TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 83-87.
BROWN TOWNSHIP 87-98.
BROWN TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 98-112.
BUCK-CREEK TOWNSHIP. 113-123.
BUCK-CREEK TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 124-140.
CENTER TOWNSHIP. 141-172.
CENTER TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 172-190.
CENTER TOWNSHIP— CONTINUED. 191-207.
GREEN TOWNSHIP. 208-222.
GREEN TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 223-330.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP. 231-245.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP— CONTINUED. 245-272.
SUGAR-CREEK TOWNSHIP. 273-289.
SUGAR-CREEK TOWNSHIP — CONTINUED. 289-310.
VERNON TOWNSHIP. 311-326.
VERNON TOWNSHIP— CONTINUED. 326-343.
HANCOCK COUNTY IN GENERAL. 344-353.
MEDICAL PROFESSION IN HANCOCK COUNTY. 354-366.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL SKETCHES. 367-383.
COURTS, JAILS AND EXEMPTION LAWS. 384-394.
SEQUEL TO BLUE-RIVER TOWNSHIP. 395-403.
SEQUEL TO BRANDYWINE TOWNSHIP. 404-408.
BIOGRAPHIES AND SKETCHES. 409-429.
GENERAL TOPICS. 430-449.
PERSONAL SKETCHES AND BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES. 450-475.
CHARTS AND MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS. 476-506.
PATRIOTISM OF HANCOCK COUNTY.
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After Christopher Columbus had returned from making his
great discoveries which brought another continent into existence, all the enterprising nations of Europe fitted out vessels to
make explorations in this land of promise, Spain sending her
men to the Southern, France to the Northern and England to
the Atlantic Coast of North America. Their claims necessarily conflicted, as the grants of Spain extended from the Gulf of
Mexico to the Arctic Ocean, France from the Arctic Ocean to
the Gulf of. Mexico, and England passing over both of these
from the Atlantic to the Pacific.