Friday, May 23, 2014

MAY 23, 1814

200 years ago this week in Washington County, Indiana Territory, Zachariah and Mary Magill McAllister were awaiting the visit of the delegation of Road Viewers to their cabin in Blue River Township. The judges of the Washington Circuit Court had determined on April 12, 1814 on their own motion to lay out a public road running from what was to become Salem to Charlestown in Clark County.  The proposed route was described as “from Salem, the nearest and best way across the Middle Fork of Blue River near Zachariah [McCollister] on said water course, thence the nearest and best way to the gap in the Knobs joining Clark County where the road now crosses that line to Charlestown generally called the New Trace Gap”.

The viewers appointed were John Brazelton, Phillip Hoggatt and William Lindley.  Their charge was to “view and report any conveniences or inconveniences that will result to individuals or to the public from any such road that shall be opened”. 

Brazelton was a neighbor of the McAllisters as his registered claim was just downstream on the Middle Fork.  He had been born in Frederick County Maryland and married to Sarah Bradley in Guilford County, NC. They then moved to Mercer County Kentucky and then to the Indiana Territory in 1811. William and Mary Thornburg Hoggatt were Quakers from Guilford County NC had settled on a tributary of Royse’s Fork of Blue River [Hoggatt Branch] that was later named after them.  Lindley, of course, was the temporary host of Washington County government while Salem was under development by John DePauw.  He was also appointed as the first County Surveyor so his being a road viewer was expected.

Zachariah McAllister was a Virginian of Scotch heritage on his father’s side and of German Pietist heritage on his mother’s side of the family.  The Scotch Irish and German Palatine cultures often intermarried in the Great Valley/Piedmont and Transappalachian frontier.  As McAllister had served in the 2d Regiment of the Indiana Militia the Judges of the Washington Circuit Court knew of him so as to name him as the waypoint for this new road. Mary Magill McAllister was expecting a child at this time.  She was hoping that her children would have the opportunity to learn to read so that they could protect the integrity of their name as present county records had their name as McAllister/McCollister/McEllister. The McAllisters would live out their lives on their farm and were buried in the Rodman Cemetery.

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