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PARKE COUNTY AREA TOWNS


DIAMOND

Diamond, 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.

 MINSHALL

 Minshall, 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.

 NYESVILLE

 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.

 NUMA

Numa, situated 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.

 JESSUP

Jessup, 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.

 PIATTSVILLE

 In 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.

 CINCINNATI

This 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.

 COLOMA

Coloma 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 located here.

 SYLVANIA

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.

 TANGIER

Tangier is 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 thirty.

HOWARD

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.

 GUION

This village, 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.

 MILLIGAN

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 here.

 HOLLANDSBURG

This 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

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. 

Besides the 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.

 CARBON

 Carbon, 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.

A considerable 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. Beeson.

    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.