Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 1815

200 years ago today in Madison Township, Washington County, Indiana Territory one of the first settlers in Washington County, THOMAS POULSON (1775-1829), finally acquired title to land he had squatted on before the rights to settle in the area had been purchased from various native American tribes by General William Henry Harrison through the Treaty of Grouseland.  The land title issued to Poulson on this date was to the southeast quarter of Section 17, T1S, R3E. This location featured Hunter Spring which flows west a short distance to Blue River.  This farm was along a sweeping bend of Blue River just downstream from the Vincennes Road.  It is today located south of Blice Point, north of Moore Hill and at the west end of Kay Bottom. The south line of this land claim was the boundary line between Washington and Harrison County.

The Stevens Centennial History of Washington County says that Thomas Poulson was the third person to settle in what was to become Washington County.  Thomas Hopper squatted on land near present day Hardinsburg in 1803 and Jesse Spurgeon arrived at Royse’s Lick in 1804.  Thomas and Susannah Dollins Poulson squatted on the land they eventually purchased in 1805.  Several soldiers, Indians, settlers and itinerants stopped at Hunters Spring and the Poulson became accommodating hosts. The Poulson cabin was noted for its hospitality and an extra bed for those travelling between Vincennes and the Falls of the Ohio on the Vincennes Road.

Thomas Poulson was born in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1775.  This was where the west edge of the coastal plain met the Appalachian Mountains.  It was the home county of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Susannah Dollins was also a native of Virginia.  They were married in Albemarle County, Va. in 1798.  It is unknown whether Thomas Poulson came to the Indiana Territory alone or whether his family immediately relocated with him.  It was not uncommon for the husband to scout out land in the Indiana Territory and establish a cabin and small farmstead before bringing his family from Kentucky, North Carolina or Virginia to settlement on the frontier in the former Northwest Territory.  After the Poulsons settled along Blue River, they made a second land claim to the northwest quarter of Section 21, T1S, R3E located in Harrison County.  They actually paid off this second claim first and received their deed for this piece of land on May 21, 1814.  This second tract shared its northeast corner with the original homestead on Blue River. A third adjoining quarter section was purchased by the Poulsons in 1827.

Thomas Poulson wrote a death bed will on October 15, 1829.  He died three days later and was probably buried on his land.  The will was witnessed by neighbors Benjamin King and John Royse and his brother in law from Lincoln County, Kentucky, William Dollins.  The will named his twenty seven year old son, Shiloh, and his wife as the co-executors.  The preface of the will committed his “soul to God and his body to dust”.  The will gave “Sukey” Susannah Poulson a life estate to the entire estate.  The estate was then divided equally among the seven children, to-wit: Elizabeth Broadwell (plus $10); Shiloh Poulson; Nancy Poulson; John Poulson (plus $20); Rebeckah Poulson; Sarah Poulson; and Thomas Poulson. The wife was given the discretion to advance part of each child’s inheritance upon their marriage.

The estate was liquidated and the family of Thomas and Susannah Poulson moved to different locations in southwestern Indiana. Elizabeth and Henry Broadwell moved to Warrick County, Indiana. Shiloh Poulson married Selah Smith and moved to Dubois County, Indiana. Nancy Poulson married John T. Jones and moved to Dubois County, Indiana.  John Poulson became a physician, moved to Dubois County, Indiana and died in 1842. Rebecka Poulson married Dr. Austin Brown and they moved to Warrick County, Indiana. Sarah Poulson married John G. Lee and moved to Daviess County, Indiana.  Thomas Poulson moved to Dubois County, Indiana.


                                 GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF HUNTER SPRING FROM WEST

                                                DR. JOHN POULSON GRAVESTONE

Monday, May 18, 2015

MAY 9, 1815

200 years ago today EDWARD LINTHICUM and ELIZABETH HEPNER were married in Madison Township, Washington County, Indiana Territory.  The nuptials were solemnized by neighbor Robert Catlin who was a Justice of the Peace. This connubiation is the first marriage presently recorded in the public records of Washington County, Indiana.  The first page of Marriage Book A is missing from the rebound volume that is now two centuries old.  This means that the first four to six marriages filed with the Clerk of the Washington Circuit Court in 1814 and 1815 are now lost to history.

Marriages in the southern uplands of the Indiana Territory were usually rather informal affairs.  There were few established church congregations and ever fewer church houses.  Therefore, most early marriages were conducted by Justices of the Peace.  If the Justice of the Peace was a considerable distance away from the court house, the record of the marriage may not have ever been filed with the County Clerk.  Public notice of marriages in the early days of the Indiana Territory were sometimes posted in three public places and that may have been their only public record.   At the time Justice of the Peace Robert Catlin took the marriage vows of Edward Linthicum and Elizabeth Hepner, there was no Court House yet completed in which to file marriage records.  The original marriage records maintained  by Clerks Isaac Blackford and Basil Prather were transferred to the Washington County Court House when it was opened for public matters in May of 1816.

After his marriage, Edward Linthicum registered a land claim for the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 19, T1S, R3E, in Blue River Township, Harrison  County, Indiana Territory. This tract was riparian land on Blue River located on the north coursing part of the large bend the river downstream from Fredericksburg and immediately south of Lambert Hill.  Its north line is coincidental to the boundary line between Harrison and Washington Counties. Edward Linthicum died sometime before March 25, 1825 as the United States General Land Office issued the deed for this land patent to “the heirs and representatives of Edward Linthicum”. 

Elizabeth Hepner was probably the daughter of George and Mary Hepner who either registered or paid off three different land patents in Washington County between the dates of August 1, 1816 through October 4, 1825.  The first Hepner homestead was in the northeast quarter of Section 15, T1S R3E.  This tract was advantageously located where the Vincennes Road was near a bend in Blue River. The value of this location was apparent when the Hepners sold it on March 21, 1817 to John Gregg for $1,000. The Hepners next acquired the rights to a land claim registered by Joseph Shaw.  This 160 acres was the southeast quarter of Section 14, T1S, R2E.  This land contained a large spring the was the outlet for the sinking creek karst system flowing southeast from the edge of the Crawford Upland to Blue River.  The Hepners sold this tract to Benjamin Radcliff on January 22, 1820. Radcliff built a mill there and ran a distillery from this spate of cave water.  The Hepners had registered a third  land claim at the Jeffersonville Land Office for the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 13, T1S, R2E, but sold it to David Radcliff who then obtained his title on October 4, 1825. This tract was immediately east of the land where the Benjamin Radcliff mill and distillery were operating.

                                                         COLLEEN ALICE RIDLEN

                                                            RADCLIFFE SPRINGS

                                         GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF RADCLIFFE SPRINGS
                                                              AND BLUE RIVER

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 13, 1815

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory, STEPHEN GLOVER (1787-1826) was granted his title to the northeast quarter of Section 8, T2N, R2E. Glover selected land for his settlement north of the North Fork of Lost River near the road laid out from Beck’s Mill to the Jesse Roberts homestead southeast of present day Orleans.  This land is located today in Orange County, Indiana on Washington County line midway between SR 60 and SR 337.

Stephen Glover was born in Essex County, New Jersey in 1787. He married Sarah Kirkham in Nelson County, Kentucky on August 1, 1808.  She was a native of Kentucky having been born near Lexington.  They crossed the Ohio River into the Indiana Territory sometime before 1812 as Glover was a resident of Harrison County, Indiana when he filed his claim for the land on Lost River which was then part of that county.

Stephen Glover was a son of Uriah Glover, Jr. (1740-1830) and Elizabeth Robinson Glover (1744-1822) who came to the Indiana Territory from Shelby County, Kentucky. Uriah Glover, Jr. was born in Long Island, New York.  He married Elizabeth Robinson and they lived in Essex County, New Jersey where they became parents of twelve children.  Uriah and Elizabeth and many of their children came to Kentucky where they lived for about twenty years.  Uriah Glover, Jr. took out six land patents in the Indiana Territory between August 13, 1812 and December 23, 1822. All of these pioneer farms were drained by Lost River upstream from its junction with Carter’s Creek.  Stephen Glover’s tract was adjacent to two of his father’s claims.  They undoubtedly worked together during their years along Lost River clearing almost 1,100 acres and raising crops and livestock to pay for their land claims. Uriah Glover, Jr. was also an experience miller as he served as mill foremen for the Bullitt Brothers at Spring Mill.  Uriah Glover, Jr. died at the age of 89 thereby outliving his son by eight years.  They are both buried in the Trimble Cemetery which was established on the neighboring land of David McKinney.

                                            MAP OF LONG ISLAND NEW YORK 1776

                                   GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF STEPHEN GLOVER FARM

                                                 URIAH GLOVER, JR. GRAVESTONE
                                                              TRIMBLE CEMETERY

Friday, May 8, 2015

MAY 8, 1815

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory, seven pioneers received deeds from the United States government for their perfected land claims.  These early settlers were: Solomon Bush, Robert Hollowell, Isaac Lofton, Jr., Frederick Phillips, James Redus, Christopher Trinkle and Peter Zink. Four of these seven were of Germanic heritage.

SOLOMON BUSH (1788-1874) was granted title to the  southeast quarter of Section 1, T1S, R4E, on this date. This pioneer farmstead was located immediately east of the land of Philip Shults and bordered the farm of Frederick Phillips on the south.  The land is found today just north of Martinsburg, Indiana on the east side of SR 335 and south of Lovell Road.  Solomon Bush was the son of John Jacob Bush and Mary Phillips Bush who both of Germanic stock.  John Jacob Bush’s father was born in Baden-Wurttemberg and settled in Pendleton County, Virginia and then in Shelby County, Ky.  Two generations of the Bush family came to the Indiana Territory in about 1811.  John Jacob Bush took at a land patent on Dutch Creek on June 22, 1813 in the southwest quarter of Section 2, T1S, R4E.  Solomon Bush married Nancy Elizabeth Beck in 1814 after staking his claim. His father died in 1820 and was buried near his Dutch Creek farm.  Solomon Bush then relocated to a homestead on a ridge between the two branches of Rush Creek where he lived until his death in 1874. Bush operated on of the many distilleries in his Rush Creek neighborhood.  The Stevens Centennial History states that between 1820 and 1835 half of the land in Jefferson Township, Washington County, Indiana was paid for by the sale of whiskey.

ROBERT HOLLOWELL (1772-1865) received title from the United States General Land Office to the southeast quarter of Section 33, T1N, R2E.  This acreage was located on the Vincennes Road just northwest of the present town limits of Hardinsburg.   This grant of land was the fourth purchased by Hollowell from the US government in this part of the Indiana Territory. As mentioned in my post of June 26, 2014, Hollowell acquired eighteen land patents in Washington, Orange  and Lawrence County, Indiana between 1813 and 1838. He and his wife Elizabeth Cox Hollowell were members of the Lick Creek Friends Meeting. They were in the vanguard of the Quaker emigration from North Carolina when they came to Indiana in 1809.

ISAAC  LOFTON, Jr.  (1784-1859) was issued a deed by the US government for the southwest quarter of Section 10, T1S, R3E. Lofton was attracted to this location as it contained both river bottoms and a karst ridge between the river valleys of Royse’s Fork and the Mutton Fork of Blue River. This ground is northeast of Fredericksburg where the Fredericksburg Road makes a right angle turn.  Isaac Lofton Sr. and Isaac Lofton Jr. both came to the Indiana Territory from Mercer County, Kentucky.  Isaac Sr. was born in Frederick County, Virginian in 1745.  Isaac Jr. was born in Cabarrus County, North Carolina in 1784.  One of Isaac Lofton’s neighbors was Roland Voyles who also was one of the early settlers of Washington County, Indiana Territory. The Loftons crossed the Transappalachian frontier and entered land in Mercer County, Kentucky in about 1806.  The Loftons made their land claim near to the Blue River crossing of the Vincennes Road  after selling their Mercer County, Kentucky farm in February 1810.  Isaac Lofton Sr. died on December 10, 1813.  Isaac and Judah Rorie Lofton were the head of a very industrious family as they purchased twelve land patents from the Federal government between 1815 and 1848 in Washington, Harrison and Spencer Counties.

FREDRICK PHILLIPS (1769-1836) obtained his land patent on this date for the northeast quarter of Section 1, T1S, R4E. The Phillips tract was one of the oversized quarter sections located on the south boundary of the division line between T1N and T1S.  Phillips operated a horse mill for the grinding of grain for several year on his farm. The neighbors of Frederick and Mary Scott Phillips were his nephew Solomon Bush, Philip Shults, Ephraim Goss, Philip Hynote and Christian Bixler. The father of  Frederick Phillips was a native of Alsace in southwestern Germany. The Phillips family first came to Pennsylvania and then followed the Great Wagon Road south to Frederick County, Virgina.  Frederick Phillips married Mary Scott in Virginia in 1790.  They came through the Cumberland Gap and had settled on the Pennyroyal Plateau in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky by 1800. While living there, the Phillips had an indentured servant named William Cutsinger.  Their contract of indenture required them to teach him “the farming business, reading, writing and common arithmetic including the Rule of Three”.  The Philipps sold their farm in the Pennyroyal for $500 on July 15, 1811.  They then relocated to their Indiana homestead on the headwaters of Dutch Creek. Presumably, Mr. Cutsinger could figure out by this time how much 20 bushels of corn would cost if 15 bushels of corn cost $1.

JAMES REDUS (1744-1821) acquired his title on this date to the northwest quarter of Section 6, T1N, R3E.  His choice for settlement was found where the trail from Beck’s Mill to Vincennes passed through a valley on the west edge of the Barrens into the hills outlying the Crawford Upland.  Redus was a native of Cecil County Maryland which is located in the very northeast corner of that state at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. He married Sarah Chalfant in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1786.  James and Sarah Redus were buried in the Livonia Cemetery upon their passing.  Archibald Boston had originally made a claim to the land settled by James Redus.  Boston assigned his claim to Redus so that he could serve in the Kentucky Militia during the war of 1812.  After he mustered out of the militia, Boston took out a land patent in Lawrence County, Indiana.  He later moved on to Shelby County, Illinois.

CHRISTOPHER TRINKLE (1752-1829) was issued his deed from the General Land Office on this date to the southwest quarter of Section 15, T1N, R2E.  The Trinkle homestead is now located south of Livonia on the south side of McCullough Road.  This land was part of the Dr. McCullough farm for many years  Christopher Tinkle was a son of Johann Stephen Traenkle who came to the American Colonies from Baden-Wurttemberg in 1738. Christopher Trinkle was born near Winchester, Virginia and married Elizabeth Wysor in 1776. He served in the Revolutionary War for the Montgomery County Militia.  Their children were baptized in the Lutheran tradition of the family. Elizabeth died in 1812 after most of their children had grown. Christopher brought his younger children with him to the Indiana Territory soon thereafter and made his claim in the karst plain north of the Vincennes Road. He was buried in the Sinking Spring Cemetery near his farm.

PETER ZINK (1755-1836) became the owner of the southeast quarter of Section 12, T2N, R3E, 200 years ago today.  Zink selected his claim on a tributary of Highland Creek because it had a prolific spring.  His first neighbors were Samuel Blankenbaker and Godlove Kemp.  The burgeoning county seat of Salem was about 2 miles to the east.  Zink was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1755.  His parents moved to Washington County, Virginia where Peter lived until he was lured to the West to settle in the Indiana Territory. Peter Zink was of German ancestry as his father was Gottlieb Zink.  At least three of his siblings came to the newly established Washington County, Indiana Territory.  Jacob Zink lived near Harristown.  Daniel Zink took out a land patent near the west bank of Royse’s Fork of Blue River below its junction with Highland Creek.  George Brock who was the subject of my post of  April 23, 2014 was his brother in law.

                                              CHRISTOPHER TRINKLE GRAVESTONE

                                                 JAMES REDUS GRAVESTONE

                                 LOCATION OF BADEN-WURTTEMBERG IN GERMANY

Saturday, May 2, 2015

MAY 2, 1815

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory, Philip Shultz/s obtained a land patent to the southwest quarter of Section 1, in T1S, R4E.  This 160 acres was located between the upper tributaries of Dutch Creek where the old trail from the Falls of the Ohio to Royse’s Lick coursed near the crest of the Knobstone Escarpment.  The Shults homestead is found today on the west side of SR 335 north of Martinsburg and north and east of Dutch Creek Road. At the time Shults filed his land claim, he was named as a resident of Harrison County, Indiana Territory.  This means that he commenced settlement on his land before January of 1814 when Washington County was organized.

Philip Shults obtained a second land patent on July 14, 1820 for the northeast quarter of Section 35, T1N, R4E.  This tract was also on the old trail from the Falls of the Ohio to Royse’s Lick on some of the highest elevation that drains southwest to a creek that empties into the Mutton Fork of Blue River. This part of Shults’ land is located today north of Trainer Lane and west of the Martinsburg Road/SR 335 intersection.  Shults’ wife was named Elizabeth.  With only four children, they had a small family untypical of pioneer families on the Indiana frontier.

Philip and Elizabeth Shults were part of the community of Germanic heritage that settled along Dutch Creek.  The  Bush, Karnes, Wyman, Lukenbill, Busey and Fogelman families lived between the Shults and the confluence of Bear Creek and Blue River.  As there was no German nation in the early 1800s, their native language was called Deutsch [as in Deutschland].  Dutch Creek takes its name from these “Deutsch” families.

Philip Shults died before November 1830 leaving his wife Elizabeth and four sons (Jacob, Andrew, George and John) surviving.  His burial location is not recorded although it may be on the farm where he lived.  Neighbor John Pew served as the administrator of  the Philip Shults estate until he died in 1834.  Valentine Baker finished out the administration of the Shults estate as administrator de bonis nom. One of his sons, Andrew, bought out  another  son,  Jacob,  on September 29, 1832.   The widow Elizabeth and their minor child John moved north with Jacob to Tippecanoe County, Indiana  soon after Philip died.  Elizabeth Shults died in Porter County Indiana on September 8, 1847.  Andrew Shults eventually sold parts of  the family homestead to Edmund Turner, Wilson Grimes and Mr. Graybill.

                                    GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF PHILIP SHULTS HOMESTEAD                                                                         

                                                    RHINELAND PALATINE FLAG

                                                ELIZABETH SHULTS GRAVESTONE

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

APRIL 15, 1815

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory JOHN MOORE received his title to the land claim he had made in the northwest quarter of Section 13, T1N, R4E.  He was the first settler to hold title in this square mile of land.  In fact, the Stevens Centennial History relates that Moore came to the Indiana Territory in 1806. Moore’s deed from the US government indicates that he first registered his claim to his land while the area was part of Harrison County, Indiana.  Moore’s homestead today is found at  4862 S  SR 60, Pekin, Indiana which is centered on a gentle valley through which an unnamed stream courses south toward the west side of Pekin before its confluence with the Mutton Fork of Blue River.

John Moore married Elizabeth Sowder on December 3, 1818.  She was probably the daughter of Jacob Sowder who also took out a land patent in Section 13 in 1822.

The Stevens History also reports that Moore planted the first apple orchard in the area in 1808.  The apple species that he planted  then were probably the Baldwin, Pippin and Grimes Golden.  The Baldwin species was called the Woodpecker apple as birds were particularly attracted to them.  These early American apples were more suited to cider making and baking than eating raw as they were more tart and sour than today’s apple hybrids.

John Moore was a contemporary of the famous nurseryman and missionary Jonathan Chapman [Johnny Appleseed].  Although Chapman had a large estate near Fort Wayne, Indiana where he died in 1845, it is unknown whether he ever encountered our first Washington County pome producer.

                                         JOHN MOORE HOMESTEAD AND ORCHARD
                                                          GOOGLE EARTH VIEW

                                                   BALDWIN (WOODPECKER) APPLE

                                                JONATHAN CHAPMAN GRAVE
                                                        (JOHNNY APPLESEED)
                                                      FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

JANUARY 20, 2015

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory, John DePauw entered into a contract with John E. Clark of Shelby County, Kentucky to perform the brickwork, plastering and penciling subcontract for the construction of the Washington County Court House. He filed a $3,000 performance bond to secure his completion of the contract according to the plan filed in the Clerk’s office.  The brick work and the forming of the pillars work for the new seat of justice was to be completed by Clark by October 10, 1815.  Clark was to complete the plastering and penciling “as soon as circumstances will admit”.

 DePauw had been the successful bidder for the court house construction contract awarded by the Washington Circuit Court on August 24, 1814.  DePauw’s bid was in the amount of $2,490.  The specifications for this contract were first set out in my post of July 13, 1814.  These specifications were:
A building 45 feet by 30 feet
Arches not less than 8 feet high
Supported by 14 pillars of stone sunk 3 feet deep in the earth unless founded on solid rock
One story above the arches to be 14 feet high built of brick
4 windows of 24 panes each in the court room
2 windows for the jury rooms of the same size
2 outside doors and 2 inside doors in proportion to the building
A fireplace in each of the jury rooms
Walls to be laid in limestone mortar well pointed and pencilled and to be plastered and whitewashed [“Penciling” is the technique of painting narrow, straight white paint stripes on brick, stone or stucco walls to emphasize and visually straighten the mortar joints or to simulate mortar joints as on marbleized stucco. Most Federal Period and Greek Revival brick houses were “penciled.”]
The cornice to be handsomely made of brick moulded for the purpose
The materials to be of the best kind and also the work to be done in a good workmanlike manner

One can see that the brickwork to be performed by Clark was a major component of the construction.  In addition to laying the brick, Clark also had to make the bricks from the clay soil available in the uplands and river terraces adjoining Royse’s Fork of Blue River. The fact that Clark’s performance bond was greater than the total cost of DePauw’s construction contract highlights the importance of the subcontract he was to perform. John DePauw had faced the obstacle of the limited pool of available masons to do the brick work for Salem’s first substantial building. Those in Washington County with some masonry experience were too busy clearing their newly claimed or titled land patents to give up a year in the construction of the court house.  As reported in the post of January 17, 1815, DePauw was banking his reputation on the character and skill of John E. Clark when he induced him to leave Shelby County, Kentucky to be his prime subcontractor. Clark was successful in performing his contract and DePauw was able to complete the court house in substantial compliance with the original plans.  The Washington County Court House was accepted as complete on May 6, 1816.  Its appearance led to the sobriquet “The Stilted Castle of Justice”. At the end of this post are two different depictions of how Washington County’s first court house may have appeared.

Upon completion of his masonry work, John E. Clark was now established and determined to remain in Salem and Washington County, Indiana.  Clark used his earnings from the court house contract to stake his purchase of at least two quarter sections and a lot in Salem.  Clark’s first land purchase was from Jacob Hattabaugh.  He paid Hattabaugh $40 for lot 169 in Salem. Lot 169 is today part of three residences located on the northwest corner of South Mill and West Small Streets. Clark next bought out a land claim from his patron, John DePauw, on April 2, 1818 for the southeast quarter of Section 29, T2N, R4E.  This 160 acres was located north of Hoggatt Branch and is bordered today by SR 135 on the west and Rose Lane on the north.  Clark also purchased the claim of Allen Hodges for the northeast quarter of Section 32, T2N, R4E, on April 10, 1821.  This tract abutted the first tract on the south and today includes the site of the Lake Salinda dam and water treatment plant.

John Ellis and Catherine Hardman Clark through his masonry skills and her inheritance owned several hundred acres in the following years.  Their success fostered affectation.  They changed the spelling of their name to “Clarke”. Risky investment in the Salem and New Albany plank road and milling interests resulted in financial setbacks which precipitated the sale of much of their land holdings. Catherine Hardman Clarke died on July 10, 1849 of cholera.  John Ellis Clarke died on March 1, 1853 at the age of 1967. They were members of the Blue River Christian Church where he was an elder and were buried in the church cemetery on Blue River Church Road.  Their children married into the Morris, Cooper, and Berkey families. Descendants of John E. Clark/Clarke include George Clarke Shanks who owned Shanks Abstract and Title Co.; Hoyt Clarke Hottel who was a professor of chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and local attorneys, William L. Thompson and Trent Thompson.

                                                              BY M.M JAMES  1976

                                                               BY JOHN SIMPSON

                                                           HOYT CLARKE HOTTEL
                                             PROFESSOR OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
                                      MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
                                                    GREAT GREAT GRANDSON OF
                                    JOHN ELLIS AND CATHERINE HARDMAN CLARKE

Saturday, January 17, 2015

JANUARY 17, 1815

On this date 200 years ago today, John DePauw and John E. Clark of Shelby County, Kentucky entered into a partnership agreement to operate a store in Salem for a term of one year.  As the land agent for Salem, DePauw had sold a lot on December 23, 1814 located on the northwest quadrant of the Public Square to Madison merchant Jonathan Lyon who intended on opening Salem’s first general store. DePauw must have thought that if an out of town merchant saw a future in Salem then he should benefit from his status as the central figure in the establishment of the new Washington County seat by opening a competing store.  In the Old West there was a saying that if a town was too small to support one lawyer, it could easily support two.  Maybe DePauw believed the same principle applied to general retail as well.  As there were going to be many new buildings under construction and many new households being set up, there surely would be opportunity for two general stores.

The agreement between DePauw and Clark provided that DePauw would furnish goods at a value of $1,745.40 and Clark would furnish goods at a value of $1,943.47. At the end of the year if there is a sufficient stock of goods on hand, the parties were to take out the retail value of what they each put in.  If there was not the value of goods on hand equal to the amount originally put in, then money was to be drawn from the partners in “lieu of deficiency”. One or two clerks were to be hired to be paid out of a joint fund.  All expenses necessarily attending the store were to be paid out of joint stock except for services of DePauw and the rent of a store house. At the end of year a dividend was to be paid from profits, with John DePauw receiving 2/3 of any profit with Clark receiving 1/3. Goods were also purchased on credit from Jonathan P. Brady of Shelby County, Kentucky for the sum of $1,595.  DePauw and Clark each gave their personal notes to Brady to be paid from the joint stock.

John Ellis Clark was a 28 year old native of Henrico County, Virginia born of Welsh descent. He was married to Catherine Hardman in Shelby County, Kentucky in 1810.  Catherine was a native of Shelby County, Kentucky being a daughter of Abraham and Margaret Leatherman Hardman.  The Hardman [Hartmann] family came to the American colonies as part of the wave of migration from the Palatine area of the lower Rhine River in modern day Germany.  John Ellis Clark would eventually benefit greatly from marrying into the Hardman family.  Abraham Hardman who was probably a Dunkard invested widely in Washington and Jackson County, Indiana land.  When he died in March of 1823 in Shelby County, Kentucky, his will was probated.  In addition to providing for his widow, Margaret, and his children, the will also made significant devises of land to his son in law, John. A summary of the Abraham Hardman will which was recorded in Washington County, Indiana in Deed Book H, pages 324-325 reads as follows:

   “Wife Margaret Hardman - to have "land on which I now live (318 acres); also quarter section near White River, Ind., and 3 town lots in Salem, Ind. and slave Simon, all personal property & money."
   Daughters:  Hannah Hostetler, Betsy Hostetler and Catherine Clark - to have 3/4 of my 4 gr. sections of land in Indiana.  In trust for "my daughter Polly Mitchell, after the death of her mother."
   John E. Clark to have 3 remaining gr. sections in Indiana - also tract on which she now lives in Shelby Co., on Gusse's Creek.
   Son:  Daniel Hardman "land which I bought of Knight in Ind."
   Witnesses:  Thomas Jenkins, Jacob Rush”

John Ellis Clark was a brick mason by trade and had little if any experience as a merchant when John DePauw made his partnership agreement with him regarding the Salem store.  Clark’s reputation as a mason must have been substantial as this is the reason that DePauw set him up in Salem in 1815.  As of late August 1814, John DePauw was under contract with the Washington Circuit Court to build a court house for the sum of $2,490.  As both the governmental agent to sell the platted lots in the fledgling town of Salem and the contractor to build the seat of justice for the newly established county, the establishment of a viable town was now almost entirely in the hands of John DePauw. With a shortage of younger men with proven construction skills available on the Indiana frontier, DePauw desperately needed someone with Clark’s masonry skills to fulfill his contract. The next post will describe how DePauw and Clark were able to work together so that the contract for the construction of the first Washington County Court House could be completed.

                                                       PIONEER GENERAL STORE

                                                             PIONEER BRICK YARD


                                          GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF  GUIST CREEK
                                                   SHELBY COUNTY, KENTUCKY
                                                    HOME OF JOHN ELLIS CLARK

Sunday, January 11, 2015

JANUARY 11, 1815

200 years ago today in Washington County, Indiana Territory, Thomas Saint was holding a deed for recording with Basil Prather--the Recorder of Washington County, Indiana.  Joshua and Chlorinda Redman Thompson had sold their land patent located in the upper reaches of Brock Creek which was described as the northeast quarter of Section 3, T2N, R4E on January 9, 1815 to Thomas Saint for the sum of $500.  Saint had traveled to Silver Creek Township in Clark County, Indiana to close the transaction. The deed was witnessed by Chapman Denslow and certified by Absalom Littell who was a Justice of the Peace in Clark County, Indiana.  Although Joshua Thompson was designated as a resident of Harrison County when he acquired title to this land on August 27, 1812, the Thompsons soon moved to Clark County, Indiana where Chlorinda’s father had a large 500 acre tract to clear, farm and manage.

Joshua Thompson was born in 1785 in North Carolina and died in April 16, 1876.
Chlorinda Redman Thompson was born in Montgomery County, Maryland and died on April 11, 1840.  Both are buried in the New Chapel United Methodist Cemetery near Watson, Clark County, Indiana.  Chlorinda Thompson was the sister in law of the son of Basil Prather who would be receiving the Saint deed for entry.  More significantly, she was the daughter of Benjamin Redman who purchased Clark Grant #69 on Silver Creek from William and Lucy Croghan in 1801.   Lucy Croghan was sister of George Rogers Clark.  The Croghans were wealthy planters who lived at Locust Grove which was their plantation east of Louisville.  Their restored Georgian mansion built in 1790 and grounds on Blankenbaker Lane can be visited today.

The witness to the Thompson to Saint deed, Chapman Denslow, was born in Kent, Connecticut in 1772.  As a young man he moved to Columbia County, New York where he married Sarah Hogeboom who was of Dutch descent.  They then came west with their four children to the new State of Ohio and settled in the Scioto River Valley at Circleville in 1806. Two years later they resettled in Clark County, Indiana.  Being a pair of peripatetic persuasion, the Denslows then moved to Jennings County, Indiana when it was organized in 1817.  Chapman Denslow being a “Connecticut Yankee’ had received more education than the typical frontiersman.  His literacy and experience led to his appointment as one of the first associate judges of the Jennings Circuit Court.

The Justice of the Peace that certified the Thompson to Saint deed, Absalom Littell, was a leading preacher in the Restoration Movement in Indiana.  He was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania in 1788. In 1799, his family moved to the Clark Grant above the Falls of the Ohio in the Northwest Territory.  As a young man, Absalom Littell, served in the Indiana Militia during the Tecumseh uprising.   In November of 1813 he was baptized into the Silver Creek Baptist church which was the oldest protestant congregation in the Indiana Territory.  He began preaching in 1816 and travelled to many recently formed congregations in his ministry.  During one of his travels along one of the roads in Washington County that led from New Albany to Vincennes he met Achsah Marin while taking a meal at the home of her father, John W. Martin.  They were married in November of 1819.  The frontier Baptists became engaged in the theological debate as to whether the creeds of man were consistent with the text of the Bible.  Absalom Littell left the Silver Creek Baptist Association in 1829 over this issue.  From that point on he preached in the Restoration movement along with Elder John Wright and others.

Thomas Saint was a Quaker born in Perquimans Co, North Carolina who came to the Indiana Territory with the migration of The Society of Friends.  He married Margaret Trueblood at the Lick Creek Meeting House on March 3, 1814.  Margaret was born in Pasquotank County, North Carolina. The Saints sold the land they bought from Joshua and Chlorinda Thompson in four different transactions.  Five acres were sold to Lewis Munden in 1818.  Sixty acres were sold to Levi Munden on February 18, 1823.  A half-acre on the south bank of a small bluff above upper Brock Creek was sold to Nathan Trueblood, Willis McCoy and Elisha Denny as trustees for a private school in 1823 for $5.  This school would have been an ecumenical endeavor as Trueblood was a Quaker while McCoy and Denny were not.  Willis McCoy died the next year and the school was never organized.  A residence was built on the lot and it became a residence for members of the black community that lived in the Blue River Friends neighborhood.  On August 14, 1840, Trueblood and Denny sold the lot and home to Thompson Newby for $102.25.  Newby was one of the members and a trustee of the African Methodist Episcopal Church that had organized in 1836.  His family lived here for twenty four years.  Given its location next to the farms of James Thompson and William Penn Trueblood, I believe it was part of the Underground Railroad network existing in Washington County, Indiana.

The Saints sold their remaining acreage and moved to Milford in Wayne County, Indiana in 1826.  In the 19th century there was a protocol for the acceptance of relocated families into a new church.  The church in which the family had been a member issued a letter to the church in the family’s new community that certified their membership and their character.  The Saints requested the Blue River Monthly Meeting to issue such a letter to the Milford Monthly Meeting.   It read as follows:

To Milford monthly meeting Wayne County

Dear friends,
Thomas Saint and his wife Margaret have removed to settle within the verge of your meeting, requested our certificate to you, for themselves and their children, viz.: William, Joseph, Thomas, Samuel and Daniel; after inquiry we do not find but their outward affairs are settled to satisfaction: there are to certify that they are members of our society; and as such we recommend them to you.

Signed by direction of the Blue River monthly meeting this 2d day of the 12th month of 1826.

John L. Harned
Avis Macy

                                                                 LOCUST GROVE
                                 HOME OF WILLIAM AND LUCY CLARK GROGHAN

                                                            ABSALOM LITTELL
                                                     RESTORATION PREACHER

                                       GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF THOMAS SAINT FARM
                                                 AND THOMPSON NEWBY HOME
                                                      (LOOKING SOUTHWEST)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

JANUARY 10, 1815

200 years ago today in Salem, Washington Township, Washington County, Indiana Territory, Isaac Moss of Rossville, Butler County, Ohio became the owner of Lot 104 in the DePauw Plat.  Moss paid $40 for this lot located at the northeast corner of South High and East Cherry Street.  This lot is now identified as 108 South High Street.  William Lindley was the original purchaser of this lot.  After making his 25% down payment, Lindley assigned his interest to Moss who completed the purchase.  The deed issued by John DePauw to Moss was witnessed by Robert Hutchinson and John Wolfington.

Moss must have been successful in making a living on the southwest Ohio frontier. Within the same year, Isaac Moss purchased 3 more lots in Salem from John DePauw.  Moss bought out the purchase agreement Thomas Hight had made for Lot 88 on April 17, 1815. This must have been considered a less desirable lot as Moss only paid $16 for it.  This wooded lot was a short distance from the previously purchased Lot 104 on the west side of South High Street between Poplar and Cherry Streets. This lot is now the southeast corner of the Eddie Gilstrap Motors display lot. Moss then bought Lots 143 and 171 from DePauw on December 2, 1815.  He paid $124 for these two lots. Lot 143 was located on South Water Street on the east bank of Brock Creek.  Lot 171 was sited at the northwest corner of West Cherry and South Mill Street near the west bank of Brock Creek.

In the next few years, John DePauw was disappointed that the gentleman from Ohio never moved to Salem or did anything to improve his four lots. Although Moss may have had aspirations for being one of the first lot owners in a new town under development, circumstances prevented him from pursuing life in the Indiana Territory.  The wife of Isaac Moss died shortly after his investment in Salem.  Moss who had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War then became infirm and applied for federal pension in 1818 as an “invalid”. Eleven years after the purchase of his four lots in Salem, Isaac Moss sold them to James H. Ready who was also a Butler County, Ohio resident.  Moss must have been under financial distress as he sold these four lots for a total sum of just $50.

James H. Ready must have taken these lots off of Moss’s hands as a favor as he resold them in a year.  Eli W. Malott bought these lots from Ready on December 6, 1827 for $160.  Ready did make the trip along the Cincinnati Road to Salem to sign his deed in the presence of Justice of the Peace John McMahan.  These four lots that originally sold for a total of $180 in 1815 were worth $20 less twelve years later. Eli W. Malott did finally develop these lots while becoming one of the most successful merchants in Salem during second quarter of the 19th century.  The firm of Malott and McPheeters purchased much of the agricultural produce from local farmers and carted it to Louisville for marketing there and in New Orleans.  Malott and McPheeters also  bought most of the distillery output of Jefferson Township for resale in the South during this time.

Butler County Ohio which was the home of Moss and Ready was settled in April 1801 shortly after the U.S. Government initiated land sales west of the Great Miami River. This area was part of the land purchased from ten Indian Tribes through the Treaty of Greeneville of 1795.  Rossville was platted in 1804 on the west bank of the Miami River several miles northwest of Cincinnati.  Its founders envisioned Rossville as a shipping port for the rapidly growing population of farmers settling west of the Great Miami. The most practical outlet for their farm products was by flatboat down the Great Miami, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. This became possible on April 30, 1803 when the treaty for the Louisiana Purchase was signed thereby making the Mississippi River a United States possession. 

Now that the War of 1812 was reaching its conclusion, the farmers of southern Ohio and of Indiana looked south to New Orleans as the central market for their meat and crops grown from the bounty of the Ohio River Valley which was now at peace. It appears that Isaac Moss was unable to transfer his modest success from the banks of the Great Miami River of Butler County, Ohio to the banks of a tributary of Blue River in Washington County, Indiana.

                                       GOOGLE EARTH VIEW OF ISAAC MOSS LOTS

                                           ROSSVILLE OHIO HISTORICAL MARKER

                                     LOUISIANA PURCHASE TRANSFER CEREMONY
                                                         BY THUR DE THULSTRUP