Union Township, Parke County Indiana
"From the History of Vigo and Parke Counties, together with Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley, Gleaned from early authors, old maps and manuscripts, private and official correspondence, and other authentic, though for the most part, out-of-the-way sources. By H. W. Beckwith, of the Danville Bar; Corresponding Member of the Historical Societies of Wisconsin and Chicago. Chicago: H. H. Hill and N. Iddings, Publishers. 1880." (Pages 190 - 205)
Union township embraces all of T. 15, R. 6 W. of the 2d P.M., and is six miles square. Union is one of the eastern tier of townships, and is bounded on the north by Greene township, on the west by Adams, on the south by Jackson, and on the east by Putnam county. The Big Raccoon creek enters the township in the northeast corner of Sec. 1, and running southwest, with many bends in its bed, passes into Jackson township near the southeast corner of Sec. 32. The township is further watered by the effluents of the Big Raccoon, the principal of which are Troutman's Run, rising in the southern part of Greene and running south, emptying into the Big Raccoon in the northeast part of Sec. 28. Bain's branch has its source in the east, and flowing westward joins the larger stream in Sec. 10. Limestone branch flows from the eastern part, and taking a southwestern course unites with the Big Raccoon in the southern part of Sec. 28. Besides these branches, there are Sutherlin's branch and Rocky fork meandering across the southeastern part of the township, uniting in Sec. 35 and flowing thence as one southward; and Stranger's branch, taking its rise in the southwest, and passing out into Adams township at the northwest corner of Sec. 31. In summer these streams, with the exception of the Big Raccoon, can be crossed by footmen by stepping from stone to stone that lie along their beds. In many places their beds are solid stone, either sand or lime, hence bridging is unnecessary. The Big Raccoon covers a very wide bed in places, and the water is said to have risen much higher in freshet season in earlier times than now. The current, on account of the great fall of bed, is very swift. Along the banks sandstone and limestone crop out, sometimes rising perpendicularly or projecting in crags many feet. This stone affords material for building, and is quarried for local use.
A curiosity is the natural bridge situate on the west side of the creek on the B. A. Martin place, and spanning a gully. It is solid stone, averaging from twenty to twenty-four inches through the center in thickness, having about forty feet span, with about twenty feet track. One can walk erect under this bridge, and at one time it was much higher from floor to ceiling, the soil having in late years washed in from above.
In a state of nature was the country which now constitutes Union township when John Martin purchased at the Terre Haute land office, in 1820, 1/2 of Sec. 33, and such he left it, but to return the following year, 1821, with his family. It is true that companies of hunters and fishers had before penetrated these forest depths and camped on the banks of the Big Raccoon, but they came not as settlers. Mr. Martin came with his wife and family of eleven children. The Martins migrated from South Carolina in a four-horse wagon and a two-horse wagon, a distance of 600 miles, and were over six weeks on the way. They camped out and slept in their wagons. The ways were often so densely covered with timber that the axe was obliged to be brought into frequent use. Arrived at their possessions they built them the log hut of those times. Here they labored monarchs of all around them for miles in extent. Their log house stood on the hill near the present dwelling of Win. B. At the foot of the hill a spring furnished them cold water. The Indian trail from Terre Haute through Mansfield and along the Big Raccoon to Cornstalk passed close by. This trail crossed and recrossed the creek several times, and it is said is still visible on the B. A. Martin place. The elder Martin was a blacksmith, but more especially a gunsmith, as well as farmer, and kept a shop on his farm. Here he did repairs for those calling for his labor. The Indians passed up and down their trail and frequently camped on the Martin land near the creek. These consisting of Delawares and Miamis, furnished the gunsmith with considerable work in repairing their fowling-pieces. For this work they generally paid cash. Mrs. Martin made clothes for the children out of buckskin, while they also had plenty of venison for the table. Wm. B. relates that the Indians would occasionally drink heavily, all becoming beastly drunk except one. One always remained sober to care for the rest. They would often quarrel severely among themselves, but never molested the whites, and always paid for what they got from settlers. There are said to be two or three Indian graves on the Martin farm, but they buried their dead mostly at Cornstalk. Many implements, such as arrow heads, pieces of peculiarly wrought stone, stone axes, and other curiosities, have been picked up along the creek and on the farms adjacent, other whites moved in the red men moved out. The elder Martin continued his business till 1827, when he died and was buried on farm. He had served at the age of sixteen as a substitute for father under Washington in the revolution; had experienced hardships of war, so was well fitted for pioneer life. The family began to separate and divide the farm, and move and buy, and families of their own, until now they are many more than they who entered Parke county in the spring of 1821.
In the same year that John Martin bought land came Thomas Woolverton from Ohio, who purchased land in Secs. 29 and 30. He then went to Virginia and stayed five years, when he returned, built a house, dug a well and made some other improvements; then went to Ohio. While in Indiana he aided in raising Dixon's Mills, at which Indians also assisted. In March 1, 1827, he married Rebecca Crawford, of Franklin county, Indiana, then sixteen years of On April 18 following their marriage, having ridden horseback all the way. they arrived at the farm and took possession of the little cot which forms a part of the house still occupied by Mrs. Woolverton and her maiden daughter Eleanor. Mr. Woolverton died about 1848, leaving a wife and family; six of the children are dead, four, James, Eleanor, Ann (Aydelott), and Elizabeth (Neal), survive and are well situated in Union township. Aunt Becky is now in her seventieth year and has a remarkable memory, giving facts and dates in a clear, forcible manner. James Woolverton possesses the old flint-lock rifle with which his father brought down the game.
In 1821 John Miller entered land in Secs. 29 and 30. He built his cabin and began farming, when his parents came from Union county and bought his place. He then entered what is now the George Mater place, and in 1838 built the large brick dwelling which still stands on the place. Besides these two farms he bought the Joseph Neal place. He was married in 1823 to Margaret Crooks. They had fourteen children, six of whom are living, one in Raccoon township, one in Texas and four in Union township. He died in 1875 in his seventy-fourth year. Perhaps no one has done more than he toward improving and building up the township, having improved three different farms. He was prominent as a citizen and as a member of the church.
In 1821 also Win. Sutherlin arrived from Virginia and bought land in both Putnam and Parke counties for his sons. In 1822 he moved his family, consisting of his wife and nine children. They settled near the eastern line. Mr. Sutherlin died at the age of sixty-six, and Lyda his wife, at the very advanced age of ninety-six. All the children are dead but John and Madison.
Isaac Norman helped survey the county about 1820, and selected his land, but did not settle for some time. John Duncan entered land in 1822 or 1823, and Thomas Carmichael could not have been non-resident far from this date. In 1822 also the Troutmans, Stephens and Kays made their advent. The Troutmans entered the land now owned by Harvey Johnson. The branch running through this place received their name. On Troutman's Run they had a tannery for several years. About this time the Jameses and Nathan Plunket were here, and Lemuel Norman lived on the Big Raccoon. In 1823 Thomas C. Barton entered land in the New Discovery, east and northeast of where Bellemore now stands. Mr. Burton has lived on this land ever since. It is now farmed and partly owned by his son and Evan Stokes. The old gentleman now makes his home with Mr. Stokes. He has taken an active part in the affairs of the township, and has seen its development. The year 1823 also found James and E. McDonald in these parts, called New Discovery. There is some dispute as to the circumstances giving rise to the name of this section west of the Big Raccoon. Thomas Woolverton is said to have taken special notice of this piece of country while looking for a stray horse and to have called it by this name, while some claim the honor for some one else. We cannot assert facts as to the origin or time of this appellation. Gideon Bristow, with his two sons, George and Nathan, settled and improved a farm near the eastern line, and were highly respected people.
Other early settlers were John Blake with a large family, John McGilvery, John Noble, Robert Broaddus, and Samuel Harlan. All of these were here prior to 1830. Among the many who came during the decade 1830-40 John Collins, John and "William Bulion, the Akers, the Mershons and Cyrus Goss are prominent.
Within the few years that center around 1840 the Wimmers, Connellys, Samuel Blacketer, Samuel Scott, Zebulon Collings, the Johnsons, and later still the Thomases settled, and Union township began to appear alive with cultivated fields and habitations of civilization. The large estates have been divided among heirs, so that the names of forty or fifty years ago are the names of today.
In the infantine days of Union the settlers were obliged to carry their grain on horseback to Dixon's, and a little later to Portland mills. This was exceedingly toilsome and necessity demanded mills nearer home. In 1829 was built the Noble mill on the Big Raccoon, south of the present site of Hollandsburgh. John McGilvery hauled the burrs from Vigo county. Soon after this Sapinfield erected a mill, so also did John and Ira McGilvery. These mills did the sawing and grinding for many years. Later, Moore and Snow built their steam flour and saw mills at Bellemore, which received most of the patronage up to 1878 or 1879, when they were removed. The grain is now carried to Portland or Piattsville. The Plain mills, on the Big Raccoon, owned by a firm in Greencastle, are sawing an immense amount of lumber, and the best timber is being felled for the purpose.
As the township became populated mechanics came into demand, and blacksmiths seem to have been first needed. Somewhere about 1830 Wm. Aydelott settled one half mile north of where Bellemore now is. There he started a blacksmith shop, and did the work for a large scope of country. This was the first shop in New Discovery, but Martin's shop must have been the first in the township. In those days a round rod of iron was seldom seen in these parts, so Aydelott kept a forge and he and his boys forged their own iron. In 1846 the Guisingers moved to the township. They started a shop north pf the state road, and afterward another on the present site of John Seybold's residence. Long prior to this the Baldwins owned a tract of this land, and had built a little cabin. They sold to William Alexander, who probably enlarged the house and put out his shingle, taking in wayfarers of all kinds, whom he fed and lodged. This was the first boarding-house in the township, and stood on the rise of ground where Jacob Palmer lives, and might be said to be the germ of Bellemore. A few cabins were put up around the Guisinger shops, and John Bulion Sr., having come from the east, suggested that the cluster north of the state road be called Northampton, after a town of that name in Massachusetts, and that south of the road be called Southampton. The shop at the latter place was soon abandoned, so the town was known as Northampton. John Aydelott built a blacksmith shop, which was owned by Thomas Hughes in 1855. John M. Turner rented the back room for a wagon shop, while Hughes occupied the front room. In 1856 Turner built a wagon shop, the first in the township, and carried on quite an extensive business in that line. Samuel Sharp owns the building and uses it for a paint and wagon shop, while the Masons utilize the upper story as a lodge-room.
About 1839 Wm. Thorn ton built the first store-room in what is now Bellemore. In 1850 Isaac Wimmer bought the Alexander property, and in 1853 or 1854 he sold to Moore and Snow, who built the steam flouring and saw mills, put up a store building and also a dwelling each. The hamlet began to be the center of trade, and the people wanted a post-office. Accordingly a petition was circulated praying for the same and asking that the office be named Northampton. The petition for the office was granted, but there being already a Northampton in Indiana, the office was named Bellemore. This name is said to have arisen from the following circumstance: Mr. Moore, at that time a resident of the hamlet, had some daughters whom Gen. Steele, a guest of Mr. Moore's, admired. The general one- day said to his host, "This town ought to be called Bellemore (Belle-Moore) in honor of your daughters!" Hence the origin of the name. Mr. Snow was the first postmaster if the memories of some are correct. Later Mr. Cole bought out Moore and Snow, and carried on milling and merchandising for some time, and George Cole kept post-office. Since that time Mrs. Whitford, Jesse Partlow and James Brackenridge have filled the office. On April 11, 1874, Richard L. Smith was appointed postmaster, and has held the position since. The office has increased in business during his term, paying in 1874 about $60, and now about $125. The mail is carried three times per week to and from Rockville, by stage. For many years past Dr. Paxton lived and practiced here. Prior to him doctors from adjoining country were called.
The cornet band furnishes open-air music. It was organized in 1878. Its membership is twelve, and its officers are: Perry Reid, president; leader, John Thompson, J. H. Reid, and treasurer, Aaron Harlan. Bellemore is situated on Secs. 7 and 8.
The second village of the township is Hollandsburg. About 1855 John Ceilings built a hewed log house on the spot, and Abraham Collings afterward built a store 16x24, and sold goods, carrying a stock of perhaps §400. The building stood just east of the present store of Wright & Stout. Thus started the town. The Collingses gave it the name it bears, in honor of a Baptist minister in Kentucky whose name was Holland. The first store building is now used as a carpenter shop. Harvey Connelly early built a blacksmith shop, in which he worked for some years. It is now occupied by James Stout as a dwelling. L. D. McGilvery erected a dwelling. Others, as Jesse Collings, Lemuel McClain, Robert Daniels ^wagon-maker), and Wm. Brackall (shoe-maker), were added to the hamlet. About 1860 John McGilvery built quite a large house, which he now occupies. In 1859 the Baptist church was erected, and since that time the store building used by "Wright & Stout was built by L. D. McGilvery. The town now has a blacksmith, wagon and carriage shop, two carpenter shops, one store and one church.
L. .D McGilvery was the first postmaster. The mail line was suspended for a time. The post-office is now kept by John D. Wright. Hollandsburg is situated on Sec. 9.
Bellemore and Hollandsburg are the only villages in the township. They neither have a village organization, but are merely small trading places with post-offices. The township has no railroad. Most of the grain is hauled to Rockville for shipment.
The roads of this section have been difficult of construction. For many years the settlers blazed the trees and chopped out the brush. The first road doubtless was that from Mansfield to Crawfordsville, passing through the township and cutting off the southeast part. Wm. B. Martin carried the chain when this was surveyed. Thomas C. Burton, the McDonalds, and John Troutman blazed a road from the Burton place to Rockville in 1823. They aimed to finish and get to town to vote, but accomplished neither. About 1826 a road was blazed from Portland to Rockville. John McGilvery ordered the men out to clear this road. The Indianapolis and Danville state road was surveyed in 1834. This road runs through the middle of the second row of sections, from the north line. A large oak stood east of Bellemore which marked fifty-one miles to Indianapolis. This road is graveled from Rockville to Bellemore, and an effort is making to finish it to the Putnam line. There is also another gravel road from Rockville extending parallel with the last named as far east as Bellemore. This is to be finished to Bellemore. Albert Thomas and Wm. Carmichael have been prominent among the officers of the Bellemore and Rockville road. On account of the extremely broken surface, it has been necessary to make these roads very irregular in their courses.
The early elections prior to 1830 were held at the house of Mr. Marts, who settled the place now owned by O. G. Harlan. After Samuel Harlan bought the property elections continued to be held there. Samuel Duree is said to have been the first justice of the peace in the township, and to have filled the office long and well. Alexander and James McDonald were among: the very early comers. and were at different times justices of the peace. James filled that office for many years till 1842. John McGilvery was constable in early days. Few escaped the supervisorship. Mr. White was very prominent wherever known, and was engaged in the state surveys. He located roads and disbursed the state moneys to road employees. The township is republican, but there are democrats enough to make political elections very warm. Daniel Thomas has been foremost in the republican party for many years. He has represented the district in the state legislature two terms.
In the course of events, the township has not been free from accidents. A man by the name of Shaw having felled a tree, and the tree having fallen against another, attempted to move it from its position, when it fell on him, breaking his back. This was very early, and the neighbors, being few. took turns in waiting on him till he died. Charles Nugent's son, Louis, nicknamed;”Bose," served his time in the army, came home, and being a boasted swimmer, entered the water with a party. After being in awhile he disappeared, and it is said was never found. It is said that a young man, whose name is unknown, rode up to the well on the Darnel farm, and dismounted to get a drink. "When stooping to drink his revolver fell from his pocket and discharged accidentally, killing the man. The report was heard by some one near, and Dr. Hamilton called, who pronounced death accidental. It afterward became known that he had stolen the horse and saddle, and was then trying to escape. About 1838 a terrible accident occurred while raising a United Brethren church near the eastern line of Union township. One side was raised and set in the mortises. The workmen wished to brace it, fearing it might fall, but the contractor thought this unnecessary, considering it perfectly safe. Unexpectedly, however, it fell, killing Isaac Bell, wounding Sampson Sutherlin so badly that he died in a short time, and also severely wounding a third. But very few years ago Garret Hamilton was mortally injured in the abdomen by a large piece of bark thrown from a log by the force of the saw. Mortification setting in, he lived but a short time. The VanFaughsen tragedy occurred not far from Joseph Noble's. It is still fresh in the minds of the people, yet very conflicting are the accounts. Whisky seems to have exceedingly magnified some grudge which resulted in the death of VanFaughsen.
The malaria and exposure have not been tardy in their deadly mission. The white tombstone points out the resting-place of nearly all the oldest pioneers. Those who do still live were but the children or young of 1821. The people seem to have desired even the dead as near them as possible. They have buried their loved ones beneath nature's green carpet upon which they had been wont to play or toil, consequently cemeteries are not large but many. The Martin graveyard, appropriately situated on an elevation of the Martin homestead, folds many of Union's flock. John Martin, the hero of Union, lies in these grounds, and round him rest those who shared his toils, and others who have sympathized. The Nobles, the Kalleys, the Colemans, the Harneys, the Coopers and others fill its graves. The Blake graveyard contains William Blake, who has slept the longest sleep of any here, having died in 1828. Many of his family and his children's families lie near him. Here, too, are buried the Normans, the Millers, the Mitchells, the Woolvertons, the Davises, the Maters and the Aydelotts. This necropolis is pleasantly situated on a rise of ground on the Blake farm. Mount Moriah has spread green turf over the tombs of the Harlans, the Thomases, the Collingses, the Connellys, the Johnsons, and many others, whose names on the stones at their heads speak of "homes here and yonder." The family burying-ground and the single grave we cannot mention but to say they are many and sacred. All dead sleep in one common bosom.
From earliest times the gospel has been read and preached throughout Union township. Ere even the log school-house or "meeting-house" gave welcome to worshipers, old and young communed, read and listened in the lowly but cherished log cabin. Now they gathered at Thomas C. Burton's, now at Brother Bristow's, next at John McGilvery's or Charles Beache's or other private houses. One of the Baldwins used to preach some. George Bristow was a Baptist minister.
The first church built was a Baptist ''meeting-house" called Providence, built out of the raw material of the forest, with but little hewing. This house of worship stood on the Johnson place, in the southwest corner, and here, too, was a graveyard. In this house Ben Lambert, Jerre Baldwin, Samuel Medley and others exhorted. To this place of praise the Troutmans belonged. In the "churchyard” Moses Baldwin was the first to go to rest. The log house was finally abandoned, and the Mount Moriah church was built across the line in Greene township, and will receive special attention in the history of Greene. The Missionary Baptist sect was quite strong in the township and adjoining territory, and it was thought well to organize into a body for work; and October 2, 1855. A. L. Thomas, Harriet Thomas, Jeremiah Rush, Lucinda Rush, John M. Galey, Margaret Galey, W. M. Jerome, Mariah Jerome, Martha Thomas, Margaret Thomas, John Moler and Mariah Pratt met at the house of James and Rhoda Stout. These were representatives from New Discovery, Freedom and Bridgeton societies. These fourteen organized by electing P. T. Palmer moderator, and J. N. Stout clerk. P. T. Palmer was the first preacher and elder R. Davis assistant. The society, in the glow of newness, moved on, and at a meeting held February 5, 1859, it was voted to build a church 40x50 feet, and on August 6 the new house was dedicated. P. T. Palmer was elder, A. L. Thomas, clerk, and L. D. McGilvery, A. L. Thomas and Jeremiah Rush were trustees. The church has been very prosperous. Large accessions have been made, especially in the years 1859-60-63-65-66-73-74—76-80. The present membership is seventy-two. S. K. Fuson has been pastor for the last nine years. The church is pleasantly situated in Hollandsburg.
The United Brethren in Christ became well represented throughout the township. They frequently met at James Bulion's or John McGilvery's, Moses Hill's or Charles Beache's. In 1849 the denomination built a church 31x36, on Sec. 20, calling it Otterbein. The church grew, and in the winter of 1873-4 there were forty-one additions. Rev. Low had charge of the church at the time, but Rev. A. Wimsett, an evangelist, conducted the meetings. Elija Cook, John Eckels, John Fetterhoff and John Dunham were primitive preachers of this charge. A. M. Snyder now officiates. In 1866 about forty of the same, denomination met at the Martin school-house to organize a class, which was accomplished by electing Joseph McCrary leader and D. S. K alley steward. In March, 1867, they held a revival, and thirty-one united with the church. They concluded to build immediately, and a church 30x40 was erected. The dedication services took place November 10, 1867, the society numbering forty-five. James A. Smith was pastor in charge. The present membership is about, seventy.
The first Methodist class-meeting was probably held at Thomas C. Burton's very early. Much later than this, about 1846, Canaan church was built. This region was part of the Rockville circuit for some time, but came to be known as the Bellemore circuit. Among the more prominent members may be mentioned the Maters, the Burtons, Isaac Wimmer, Mr. Moore, the McDonalds, Evan Stokes, the Aydelotts, R. L. Smith, etc. In 1868 the society built a new church at Bellemore. It is large and commodious, and was dedicated September 27 of the same year by Bishop Bowman of Greencastle. Rev. T. C. Webster is now presiding for the second year. The church is in good condition. A Sunday-school is sustained during the year.
January 10, 1849, a large number, of the Christian denomination desiring union in the work of religion, fifty-seven persons met at New Discovery and organized a church. In the following year a house was erected at New Discovery, where the church became quite large. In 1867-8 a new building was erected at Bellemore, using all of the available materials in the old one at New Discovery in its construction. In this Abner D. Darley was the first preacher. The present membership is twenty-five.
An informal meeting was called at the store of James Bracken-ridge, November 7, 1874, for the purpose of considering the expediency of organizing a Masonic lodge. December 26, 1874, thirteen persons met for this purpose. J. M. Jerome was elected W.M.;A. B. Collings, S. W.; James Brackenridge, J.W.; W. P. Blake, treasurer; J. D. Wright, secretary; W. Jerome, S.D.; P. L. Reid, J.D.; Albert Beach, tyler. The present lodge numbers eighteen, and meets on the Saturday night on or before the full moon. in their hall in Bellemore. This is the only secret society in the township.
Probably the first school-house in the township was the small log •”structure" which stood for many years on the Burton farm, just east <>f' Bellemore. There was also an “educational institution “built in a very early day in the Noble district. Here the Nobles and probably the Martins said their letters. The Burton school-house was four-cornered, but the latter had five corners. One corner was used for a fire-place, and from this ascended a stone chimney. The floor was “ready-made." Lumber was too scarce, so the "fathers" thought the ground would do. The window was an opening provided by leaving a log out of the side of the house, and covering it with greased paper. The roof was of clapboards, fastened down by means of a binder, as one would make safe a load of hay on a wagon. The seats were halves of linden logs, with flat sides up and wooden pins for legs; the backs the children carried with them. There were no desks. Along the side of the house and below the window, that there might be as much light as possible, was an eighteen-inch plank, used as a writing desk. Big and little reached up and bent down that they might learn to write. The desk didn't exactly fit all. If there were any other fixtures besides the benches and writing-desk they were in keeping with the style of the house. Such was the primitive school building. Thomas Nugent is said to have been the first teacher in the township, but other memories may differ. It is said and confirmed that Mr. Nugent was extremely sleepy in the school-room. He would sit and doze and nod, and actually fall asleep. This, of course, tickled the boy of that period quite as much as it would the boy of today. The '-spellin'-book" and the " rethmetic " were stand-bys. The pupils recited each in his turn. The teacher, with an educator three or four feet long in his hand, would occasionally cause a young idea to shoot in a very lively manner. And thus the subscription school (for they had no free school then) hastened to its close but to "take up" again in about nine months from " last day." However, after awhile these rude and unhewn log huts were displaced by more modern buildings of hewn timbers, and these again by frame edifices that stand to-day. The teacher of them long since died, and his system died with him.
In 1838 the board of trustees, Wm. Stephens, Wm. Aydelott and Charles Beach, laid off that part of the township west of the Big 13 Raccoon creek in four districts. In the same year, at a meeting of the citizens, it was resolved to build a frame house on Sec. 4, 20x21 feet, and to support a three-months school per year. Three months were also voted for school in district 6. A brick school building was put up in quite an early day in the southern part of the township. Cyrus Goss taught the first school in the new frame school building on the Burton place in 1839, and continued teaching it for some years. Other teachers like Mr. Goss came from the more eastern states better prepared to impart instruction. But not till comparatively late years did the schools begin to approach their present standard. Union township now has nine school buildings and ten teachers. The Bellemore graded school has two departments. There are now four highest grade teachers among the ten licensed in the township. John D. Wright is school trustee.
School section 16 has been frequently alluded to in our writing, and some have asked as to the manner of its disposal. Prior to 1828 the Tippins lived on part of this land belonging to the schools of the township. In 1828 the board of trustees, Alex. McDonald. clerk, Thomas C. Burton and Nathaniel Bristow, gave over all books and property of the township into the hands of the new board, John McGilvery, Samuel Davis and Thomas C. Burton. At a meeting of March 20, 1830, they leased the school section 16 to John "Wright, said Wright agreeing to clear twenty acres, five in each year for four years, with liberty to clear ten acres more; further agreeing to fence a part and sow three acres to grass, build a house 24x18 and a stable 18 x 12; certain forfeits to be made in case he failed to fill the contract. The farm continued to be rented till 1840. The rents were expended for school purposes. In 1840 a petition signed by ninety voters was presented to the trustees, Wm. Aydelott. Samuel Davis and Charles Beach, praying for the sale of school section 16, which petition was handed to the Parke county school commissioners on January 11, 1840. The land was sold all but the improved 160 acres. This was rented to N. M. Mershon for one year, when it was sold. The following named persons purchased parts of this land at the sale of 1840: the N. ½ N.W. 1/4 of Sec. 16. L. D. McGilvery; the S.W. ¼ N.W. ¼,, Wesley Norman; the S.E. ¼. N.W. 1/4, William Gassaway; the W. ½ S.W. ¼ James Callaway; the E. ¼ S.W. ¼ Archibald Collings; the N. W. ¼ S.E. ¼ William Gassaway; the S.E. ¼ S.E. ¼ Ab. Sapinfield: the N.E. ¼ S.E. ¼ and S.W. ¼ S.E. ¼ James Mershon. In 1841 the improved farm, N.E ¼ was sold to Stephen and Robert McCorkle. The proceeds were used for school purposes. The land is now some of the best in the township. Much <>f it has changed hands.
If you have any information you would like to add, please send it to my attention. Thank you. James D. VanDerMark