Sunday, June 8, 2014

JUNE 8, 1814

200 years ago in Washington County, Indiana Territory, William Lindley, Phillip Stucker and Ephraim Goss were viewing a road “from Salem, to the farm of William Hoggatt from there in a direction toward New Albany passing near Ephraim Goss and then to the County Line”.  William Hoggatt and others had filed a petition with the Washington Circuit Court Judges during their first quarterly session occurring in April 1814 asking that such a public road be established.  Lindley, Stucker and Goss were appointed by the Court to be the viewers to recommend the route of this road.  They were to give consideration to the route that was the most convenient for the public and the least inconvenient for individual landowners along the road

After spending several days on the matter, they determined to recommend that the road run from Salem to the northeast corner of Thomas Hight; then east of William Hoggatt; then to northeast corner of Ephraim Goss and  then generally south along an existing trail that had led to the Buffalo Trace. The ultimate destination of the road, New Albany, was barely a year old but its location below the Falls of the Ohio at the base of the Silver Creek Hills placed it in an advantageous position.

Thomas and Priscilla May Hight were originally from Charlotte County, Virginian where Hight had served in the War of the Revolution.  He had served and the Indiana Militia upon his arrival north of the Ohio and would obtain title to his first Indiana land patent on October 1, 1814 and his second on June 27, 1816.  The Hights later moved to Jackson County and then to Monroe County.  They lived just southeast of  DePauw’s plat of Salem and were pleased that the trail across their partially cleared farm would be maintained at public expense.

Ephraim and Anna Workman Goss came to the Indiana Territory from Rowan County, NC in 1810 and obtained their first land patent on October 3, 1814 in the rolling uplands north of Dutch Creek along the trail that led from the Falls of the Ohio to Royse’s Lick.  Goss was the son of Frederick and Isabella Rickard Goss and grew up in the German Reformed congregation near Lexington NC.  On April 18, 1815. Goss manumitted a slave  named John after a 4 year period of  indenture.   The emancipation papers were drafted by attorney William Hendricks who would later become a US Congressman representing Indiana. Goss moved north in 1818 and took title to land where the 10 O’Clock Treaty Line crossed the West Fork of White River.  In 1829 he gave land that was platted in 1829 as the Town of Gosport which was named after him.  He became a successful processor and shipper of salt and sugar cured pork.  Family legend says that another former slave, Aunt Betsy, continued to live with the Goss family and that she is buried in their family cemetery near Gosport.

Phillip and Mary McCrosky Stucker were married in Franklin County, Kentucky in 1797 and came to the Indiana Territory about 1811 when he served in the Indiana Militia.  The Stuckers eventually were able to purchase their registered land claim from the Federal Government on October 4, 1825.  Their 80 acre farm was located west of Bear Creek just north of the Harrison County Line about a mile west of the road he viewed and helped establish.  The Stuckers live on this farm the rest of their lives and are buried in the Bethlehem Church Cemetery.

This road that Sheriff William Hoggatt and others requested would eventually become Martinsburg Road and Indiana SR 335.   Martinsburg was established along its route in 1818 by Dr. Abner Martin.

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