PARKE COUNTY AREA TOWNS
also known as Caseyville, is situated in section 34, Raccoon Township, at the
line separating Parke and Clay counties. About 1890 the Brazil Block Coal
Company opened its mines in this locality. The town was platted, and the company
built approximately a hundred cheap houses for the use of the miners and their
families. Business houses and substantial dwellings were constructed in a
short time. The town was incorporated for civic and School purposes. A four room
schoolhouse was built, and four teachers employed. The population in 1900 was
1,070. Only a few of these lived in Parke County before the mines were opened.
There were many Austrians, Italians, and some French who could not speak
English. There were many licensed saloons, and also four churches. In a few
years the coal was worked out, and the mines closed. Then the exodus began. The
miners moved away, and many houses were sold and removed. On October 20, 1910
most of the business houses were destroyed by fire, leaving only one good brick
business house and several dwellings. The schoolhouse was abandoned on January
1, 1926, and the pupils conveyed to Bridgeton. One church remains. The
population at present is estimated at 175.
a mining town situated in sections 7 and 8 in Raccoon Township, obtained its
name from the class of coal found there, known as Minshall coal, the same as
that at Mecca and Nyesville. After a small plat of lots was made, cheap houses
were built and occupied by a hundred or more miners. The business of the town
was almost exclusively to supply the miners and their families with the
necessities of life, thus making a good market for farm products from the
surrounding country. The mines were opened about 1885, and a number of Negroes
worked there for a while. The coal in this basin was soon exhausted, however,
the miners found work elsewhere, and the town became extinct.
This town is situated in the central part of section 34,
Washington Township, and is three miles northeast of Rockville. In 1871 the Sand
Creek Coal Company purchased six hundred acres of coal land in sections 28, 33,
and 34 in Washington Township. The south half of section 34 was owned by the
Parke County Coal Company, the French Mining Company, John Batty from Wales,
William Harrison, and Mr. Nowling. These lands are on a narrow plane between
Sand Creek on the west and Little Raccoon Creek on the east. A plat of fifty-six
lots was made and later Mr. Nowling platted six additional lots. The village was
named in honor of W. H. Nye, the first president of the Sand Creek Coal Company.
General Lew Wallace was the first secretary; Captain J. H. Lindley, the second
president; N. W. Cummings, Secretary; General M, D. Manson, treasurer. These
companies and individuals did a large business for a good many years, A switch
was constructed from the mines to Sand Creek station on the Terre Haute and
Logansport Railroad. This was later abandoned, the coal having been worked out
except a small portion that is being mined for local use.
in section 26, range 9, in Florida Town- ship, was first settled by John Wilson,
who laid out a plat of seventy-two lots in 1837. The first frame structure in
the village was a hotel built by Mr. Wilson. The stagecoach that carried
passengers from Terre Haute to Lafayette stopped here to change horses and to
allow passengers to take lunch. During the construction of the Wabash and Erie
Canal, on which the village was located, a good deal of business was transacted,
but when the canal was completed, business and growth declined. Numa is
surrounded by a large area of river bottomland which furnished employment for
the few inhabitants of the village.
named for a pioneer of this locality, is a station on the Terre Haute and
Logansport Railroad, now the Michigan division of the Pennsylvania system. It is
situated in the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 14,
Florida Township. A post office, store, blacksmith shop, sawmill, and hotel were
business enterprises here, but most of these have ceased. No plat of the village
was made, but about a dozen dwelling houses were built on small parcels of land.
1841 William Piatt entered the northeast quarter of section 36, range 7, in
Adams Township. Here in a narrow valley along Strange's Branch, he founded a
village which took his name. It was also known as Van Ness Town, probably for
Joseph Van Ness, who built a shoe shop and tan yard. About 1850 William Michaels
built a two-story frame cabinet shop. In 1858 Thomas Boardman and Company kept a
store of general merchandise. A post office was located here for a short time.
The first schoolhouse was made of round logs; the second, of hewed poplar logs,
was built on the summit of a high hill at the south side of the village on a lot
containing one-eighth of an acre for which the trustees paid ten dollars. In
1865 the log house was torn down, and a substantial frame house constructed on
its site. The village is now extinct, and the schoolhouse abandoned.
village arose in pioneer days, prospered for a few years, and vanished. It was
situated on Roaring Creek near the southeast corner of section 6, Washington
Township. There were a carding machine, woolen factory and storeroom,
schoolhouse number 3, and several dwelling-houses for the workers. John and
Joshua Engle were the proprietors of the woolen industry here. Now there is
scarcely a trace of the village.
is situated in section 34, Reserve Township. It is not platted, but there are
nearly a score of resident houses on small parcels of land in a thickly settled
community composed mainly of Quakers. Here is a church and also a school that
employs three teachers. Formerly a tile factory, sawmill, and post office were
This village is
situated in section 14, range 8, in Liberty Township, and is surrounded by a
large area of excellent farmland that was settled chiefly by Quakers from North
Carolina. The town was established near the close of the Civil War. Mr. Henry
Durham, with his blacksmith shop, was the first to begin business. At its best
there were two stores, a harness shop, a tile factory, a broom-handle and
picket-fence factory, a wagon shop, and a factory for making beehives and their
supplies. The physician was Dr. Ira H. Gillum. Kingman and Tangier, near-by
railroad towns, absorbed the business that had not already become extinct,
leaving the village almost deserted.
located in section 16, Liberty Township. The beginning of the town occurred in
the spring of 1886, when the Indiana Coal Railroad established a station here.
It was platted and named by Captain J. T. Campbell, the name being suggested by
current events at Tangier, Africa. A flour mill was built here prior to 1900. It
was a steam-power mill, sufficiently equipped for doing good work, but since the
milling business was declining, the life of the mill was short. About 1900 there
was a hotel, a canning factory, a grocery and dry goods store, and a good
hardware store which burned down in 1924. The railroad became bankrupt on
December 31, 1921, and ceased to operate. There remains only a drug store, two
stores of general merchandise, a post office, a consolidated school, and a
township high school. Dr. William S. Price, who located here in 1890, still
practices his profession. He is a veteran of the Civil War. The late Dr. J. J.
Garrigus practiced here a number of years. The present population of Tangier is
This town, so
named for General Howard, of Rockville, and also named West Port, is located in
Liberty Township, a mile from the Wabash River and adjacent to the Wabash and
Erie Canal. That part of the town named West Port consists of sixty-four platted
lots, and an equal area of small parcels of land in the southwest corner of
section 18, range 8. That part known as Howard is composed of fifty-six lots in
the southeast corner of section 13, range 9. The range line separates the two
parts, while Market Street extends east and west through the entire town. The
Burtons entered the land, and in 1827 laid out the town, built a house, and
opened a store. Residence and business houses were built rapidly. James H.
Beadle, Harlan Harvey, and other dealers shipped grain to New Orleans on
flatboats. After the canal was opened, business increased greatly. Two large dry
goods stores, two grain warehouses, and a number of shops were actively engaged
in business. The decline of the town began with the closing of the canal. A few
of the old houses are still standing on Sand Ridge, but the town is almost
extinct. On the long ridge of sandy soil north and south from Howard lies the
superior watermelon field of Parke County.
located in section 7, Greene Township, had its beginning as a station on the
Terre Haute and Logansport Railroad about 1872, and was also a station on the
Indianapolis, Decatur, and Western road at about the same time. The latter road
passes over the former on a bridge at the west end of a large fill across Little
Raccoon Valley. Abraham Smock was station agent on the Terre Haute and
Logansport road until recently, when he was retired on a pension, having served
the required time and reached the age limit. William Settles has been the agent
on the Indianapolis, Decatur, and Western road about thirty-five years. A hotel,
store, blacksmith shop, post office, church, and a few resident houses
constituted the village.
The beginning of
Milligan, also known as South Waveland, was its location as the first station
east of Guion on the Indianapolis, Decatur, and Western Railroad. The agent's
office, the telegraph and post office, and a small store of general merchandise
were housed in the depot. For some time Jasper McClain was agent. Allen R.
Spencer and Ellis Branson con- ducted the store for a short time. The late G. W.
Spencer , township trustee, was also in business here prior to his election to
the office of coul1ty treasurer in 1908. Elmer McCutcheon, present trustee of
Greene Township, is engaged in business here. The depot burned down recently but
a better one has been constructed. There are about a dozen dwelling- houses
was the second village in Union Township, and is situated in section 9. The
first building was a hewed log house built by John Collings. The village was
named in honor of a Baptist minister, Mr. Holland, about 1855. No plat has been
made, and all of the houses border on the road-both sides of the road being
occupied. The village at its best did considerable business. Wright and Stout
conducted a large store of general merchandise and clothing. W. H. Cutbirth was
a blacksmith and wagon maker; John Barclay had a carpenter shop here. About 1860
John McGilvrey built a large two- story frame house to which he moved from the
old brick house a mile southwest of the village, built on his farm about 1835.
Later the house was owned and occupied by L. D. McGilvrey who was the first
postmaster. J. 0. Stout built a large modern residence, and a cattle barn for
his herd of thorough- bred cattle. In the 1860's Jeremiah Rush and Goldsmith
Harlan, farmers near the village, bought many mules and shipped them to southern
markets. A church and a brick schoolhouse are located here. Dr. W. P. Darroch
had an extensive practice before he moved to Cayuga, Indiana.
Annapolis is situated on the line between sections 1 and 12 in Penn Township. The town was started about 1826. The original plat consisted of 48 lots, to which four plats were added, making a total of 140 lots. Bloomingdale and Annapolis were rival towns for many years, with Annapolis in the ascendancy until Bloomingdale became a station on the Indianapolis, Decatur, and Western Railroad in 1873. Henceforth the decline of Annapolis, which had already begun, continued rapidly. Another cause of its decline was the closing of the canal and the cessation of traffic on Sugar Creek.
potteries, tanneries, and cabinet shops, there was a pump factory in the early
1850s, and two more were established in the sixties. They did a flourishing
business while the best poplar timber could be procured for making pumps. The
manufacture of wagons, buggies, and carriages was quite extensive here sixty
years ago. The cooperage of Annapolis was large during the period that the canal
was in operation. Many barrels and vessels were made for the shipment of flour,
pork, and lard on flat boats to New Orleans and other river markets. For several
years this was the boyhood home of Joseph G. Cannon, whose father brought him to
this locality when he was four years old, and here he received his education. He
was speaker of the National House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911, but
perhaps his greatest fame as a United States Congressman was gained in his work
on the committee of appropriations, of which he was a member for twenty-two
years, and was chairman in the 51st, 55th, 56th, and 57th Congresses.
a town and post office in the north part of Van Buren township, near the Parke
county line, six miles from Brazil, at the crossing of the Indianapolis &
St. Louis and the Central Indiana Railroads, the halfway point between Terre
Haute and Greencastle. This place was founded by the Carbon Block Coal Company
in the year 1870, so named from coal, which is largely carbon. The post office
was established in 1871, and made a money order office in 1892. Carbon is the
most populous and commercially important town in the county north of Brazil.
area of the south part of Parke county is commercially tributary to this place.
Carbon was incorporated in 1875, with a population of 500. There are seven other
towns and post offices on the map of the country bearing this name, all located
in the coal fields and so named for the same reason. Carbon has a weekly
newspaper, “The Chronicle,” now in its eighteenth volume. It has also a
state bank, incorporated August 26, 1904, which began business January 18, 1905.
The postmasters at this office have been: B. F. Witty, James H. Throop,
William Hayward, Barney Gallagher, Thomas Anderson, T. E. Beeson, Ben. F.
The individuals and firms who have done business here from the time of
the founding of the town, including the present, may be enumerated as follows:
A. L. Witty, B. F. Witty, W. E. D. Barnett, James H. Throop, Elisha Adamson,
John J. Webster, Charles Stryker, John Syester, H. D. McCormick, Hamilton &
Craig, J. D. Bence, John Craig, L. B.
Pruner, Stanley Barton, A. S. Maxwell, John L. Stephens, L. C. Turner, A. P.
Hand, John Killion, The Crawford Company, William Risher, John D. Walker,
Simpson & Holler, William Baxter, Edward Wilton, Mrs. M. A. Wilton, Carbon
Mercantile Co., James Kerr, Brown & Owens, The Brosius Co., Siner &
Pell, James McIntyre & Son, Mrs. Beeson & Son, Joseph Blower; A. F. Pell
& Sons, Frank Durkin, Mrs. Dawes.
The physicians who have been located in the practice here
from time to time during the practically forty years of the history of the place
are enumerated from recollection: George W. Bence, F. A. Matson, W. H. Vansant,
B. F. Witty, Dr. Birch, Dr. Slocum, Dr. Gooden, F. C. Ferguson, B. F. Spelbring,
M. A. Johnson, George M. Pell, F. C. Lewis, L. G. Brock.
The Methodists, Missionary Baptists and Catholics have houses of worship
here. The first M. E. church, built in 1873, was burned on the 2d or 3d day of
February, 1889, and the second built four years later, and dedicated on the 16th
day of June, 1893. For both these houses Stewart Webster donated the ground.
This house was wholly destroyed by the big fire of March 25, 1905. The present
one was built in 1905-6 and dedicated on the 20th day of May of the latter year,
services by Dr. T. J. Bassett, of
Greencastle. The charter membership of the Carbon M. E. church numbered just
six—Mrs. Indiana Orme, Stewart Webster, Samuel D. Buck, Oliver Carlisle, John
Brooks, Daniel Clark.
The Carbon Missionary Baptist church was built and dedicated in the year
1881, contract price on construction $600. The dedicatory services were
conducted by Rev. J. W. Terry. This was originally organized at Pontiac with a
charter membership of twenty-two, when services were sometimes held at the
schoolhouse prior to the, building of the church. Of the Catholic church there
are at hand no data from which to write.
A number of the fraternal organizations and societies are maintained
here, of which nominally all are reported to be in flourishing condition. The
Masons, Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias have good buildings and halls of
their own. Other lodges are the Red Men, Home Defenders, Pythian Sisters,
Rebekkas, Eastern Star, Pocahontas.
Industrially, aside from the coal mines which have been operated within
the immediately surrounding territory, a heading factory was conducted here for
a number of years by the Sourwine Brothers, and, for a time, a flouring mill, by
the Tyler-Cowman Company, which, after having been burned, was not rebuilt.
There is here a clay plant of large proportions, equipped with up-to-date
machinery for the production of a variety of utilities, with the best of raw
material immediately at hand, which, however, for reasons not well understood by
the uninitiated, produces comparatively little. The
most disastrous fire in the history of Clay county was that suffered by the town
of Carbon on the 25th day of March,1905 which was caused by the falling of live
sparks upon shingle roofs emitted from the smokestack of a passing locomotive on
the Big Four Railroad. The estimated loss of property consumed was in round
figures $85,000, a heavy and damaging affliction to befall a town of this size.
Many of the business houses were swept away by the flames. Numerous damage suits
were filed against the railroad company to recover the losses sustained, which
were compromised at the January term of Clay Circuit Court, 1906, the railroad
company agreeing to pay $60,000 in liquidation of all claims from this source.
But the town has not yet recovered from this disaster and reverse, neither in
property nor population. By the census report of 1900 Carbon enumerated 951, but
its present population is not thought to exceed 800 at most. All the town
records up to that date were lost in the fire of 1905.
This town stands, in part, on the farm owned and occupied by William
White, prior to the building of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad.