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


  1. Wow!
    I love your blog. I am an amateur family historian and know much about my surname family history in Basel Canton, Ch, Lancaster County, PA, Rowan County, NC and Gosport, IN. My missing pieces were Ephraim and Anne (Workman) Goss' doings upon arriving in Indiana Territory in the fall of 1810 until they arrive in sweet Owen County in the spring of 1818. Your blog helps fill in this period. Interesting how some of their neighbors in Rowen County show up in Washington County.
    Jan C Goss
    4th great grandson of Ephraim & Anne Workman Goss

  2. Where did you locate the maiden name of Rorie for Judah Lofton, wife of Isaac Lofton, Jr.? I have searched for her maiden name for 40 years, as she is my 2X great grandmother. Love to have your source. Thanks.

  3. I have exactly the same question as the individual above: where did you find information about Judah Lofton?


    1. I have just noticed your comment. The source for Judah Rorie was not preserved in my notes. It would have come from some ancestry source on the internet. I have not been able to refind it. Rorie is not a surname that appears in the records of Washington County, Indiana. It does appear in Mecklenburgh and Anson Counties in NC. Isaac Lofton Jr. is said to have been born in Cabbarus Co NC which adjoins.