Saturday, May 17, 2014

MAY 17, 1814

200 years ago this week, John Storm, Cornelius Williamson and James Hutchinson were attempting to execute their duties as Road Viewers.  They had been appointed by the Washington Circuit Court to determine the best route for a road that was the subject of a petition filed by Thomas Ewing of Driftwood Township on April 12, 1814.  Ewing on behalf of settlers in his neighborhood at the northern end of Washington County, Indiana Territory was seeking to have a public road established from “Joshua Lindsey to Vallonia by way of John Kethcum and James Hutchinson;  thence the nearest and best way to the Muscatatak at the old ford;  thence up the best way up the ridge by Andrew Housh;  thence to Samuel Lindley’s Horse Mill; thence in a direction toward Charlestown as far as the county line”.

When John DePauw heard of this, he wondered why these Driftwood residents didn’t petition to have the road run to his plat of Salem.  The obvious was pointed out to him as Charlestown existed as the county seat of Clark County but Salem was only a plat and not yet an actual town. On the other hand, Samuel Lindley was pleased with the route as he had recently purchased the horse mill near Royse’s Lick from Moses Hoggatt.  Adam Housh’s tavern on his brother’s property was also likely to prosper if the road was laid out as Ewing intended.

The pending report of Storm, Williamson and Hutchinson as to their determination of the route for this road was a matter of general interest as many were curious as to how they planned to climb the Knobs from the Muskatatuk River.

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