Wednesday, May 14, 2014

MAY 14, 1814

200 years ago today, Jonathan Hensley was among the newly appointed township officials contemplating their new duties. Jonathan Lindley, Godlove Kamp and Simeon Lamb as the Judges of the Circuit Court had been given a wide range of powers by the Indiana Territorial Council and Governor of both a judicial and administrative nature.

They divided Washington County into 5 townships: Madison, which was the southwestern part of the county; Lost River, which was the northwestern part of the county; Blue River, which was the southeastern part of the county, Washington which was the central and eastern part of the county; and Driftwood which was the northern part of the county.

 The Circuit Court Judges then named various township officers. Overseers of the school sections were named. They were to manage the renting of each Section 16 for eventual funding of public schools. Overseers of the Poor were also named although they had no funds to provide to the needy. Constables were named for each township. They were to carry out orders of the court and the justices of the peace.

 Jonathan Hensley was named as the first constable of Washington Township. In 1814, he was working to pay for his homestead claim just southeast of Royse’s Lick on the north slope of Spurgeon Hill. His brother Jimmy and friend John Menaugh had been kidnapped 3 years before by the Delaware Indiana Tow Head who was the son of Old Ox. One of the boys died during their period of captivity and upon the return of the survivor after the Battle of Tippecanoe, there was uncertainty as to which boy survived. It was determined by an ad hoc jury of settlers around Royse’s Lick that John L. Menaugh was the survivor.

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