Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DECEMBER 30, 1811

203 years ago in Washington Township, Harrison County, Indiana Territory, two men of German ancestry obtained their titles to land in the Brock Creek Valley.  These titles were the eleventh and twelfth deeds issued by the Commissioner of the General Land Office for land that would be located within Washington County, Indiana.  These two men in the vanguard of settlement of the Indiana Highlands were Joseph Ryman/Reiman[Reyman]and Jacob Shreader[Schroeder].

The 160 acre tract claimed by Joseph Reyman was the southeast quarter of Section 5, T2N, R4E.  Brock Creek flowed through the southeast corner of this quarter section.  It was located near the trail that led from the ford at “The Forks” of the Driftwood and Muscatatuck Rivers to Royse’s Lick.  George Brock was the nearest neighbor as his burgeoning homestead bordered on the south. Reyman’s land is seen today at the address of 2279 N SR 135 which is ten furlongs north of the present city limits of Salem.   This real estate was originally claimed by Adam Coonrod of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Coonrod sold his claim to Reyman and then made a claim in Harrison County, Indiana in the upper Indian Creek basin northeast of Corydon.

The land purchased by Jacob Shreader was the southeast quarter of Section 33, T3N, R4E, which was immediately northeast of the Coonrod/Reyman ground.  It is located today in Washington Township at the northwest corner of Lewellen Road and John Bell Road.  Shreader bought out the claim for this land from his brother in law Martin Pottorff.  Pottorff used the proceeds from his assignment to make the down payment on the land that bordered on the west of the Shreader tract.

Joseph Reyman and Jacob Shreader had similar backgrounds.  Both were of German descent.  Reyman was born in 1766 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.   Shreader was born in 1771 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  Reyman migrated south down the Great Valley Road to Shenandoah County Virginia where he was married in 1793 to Elizabeth Houshauer who was also of German descent.  The Reymans then came to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap and settled in Fayette County, Kentucky where they were living when the Indiana claim was purchased. Shreader migrated south down the Great Valley Road and west through the Cumberland Gap and settled in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  He was married there in 1793 to Eva Elizabeth Pottorff who was also of German descent.

Although Reyman and Shreader shared common heritage and experience in much of their lives, they differed greatly in how they used the land they invested in on the Indiana frontier.  Shreader went on to buy additional land patents from the U. S. government in Morgan County, Indiana and in Edgar County, Illinois.  However, Jacob Shreader never left Kentucky and finally settled in Oldham County, Kentucky.  The primary reason that Shreader never came to Indiana with the Pottorffs is that he was a slave owner.  In the 1810 Federal census, the Shreaders were listed as owning seven slaves.  In the 1820 Federal census, they were listed as owning ten slaves.  Although Shreader could have temporarily brought his slaves to Indiana to assist in clearing his newly purchased land, he could not bring them to Indiana for permanent residency.  Jacob Shreader remained a slave owner and Kentucky resident for the duration of his life.  He died in Oldham County, Kentucky in 1837.

Unlike the Shreaders, Joseph and Elizabeth Houshauer Reyman left Fayette County, Kentucky in 1811 and spent the remainder of their lives in Washington County, Indiana.  Joseph Reyman was a Lutheran and hosted services at his home near Brock Creek until a log meeting house was built in 1822 on a ridge southwest of Spurgeon Hill.  Besides farming, Reyman was a carpenter and cabinet maker and according to the Stevens Centennial History built the first frame building in Salem which may have been the first store building of Jonathan Lyon. The Reyman children remained near Salem and married into the McMahan, Lindley, Trueblood, Moore and Cutshaw families. Joseph and Elizabeth Houshauer Reyman both died of a common illness on  August 26, 1835. There are hundreds of Reyman descendants living in Indiana today.  Seventy two acres of the original homestead from 1811 is still owned by the Reyman family today.

                                          GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF JOSEPH REYMAN
                                             AND JACOB SHREADER LAND PATENTS

                                                 HOOSIER HOMESTEAD FARM SIGN
                                          AWARDED TO FARMS OWNED BY HOOSIER
                                                    FAMILIES FOR OVER 100 YEARS

                                                               JOHN W REYMAN

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