INDIANA GENEALOGY EXPRESS
History of Flinn Township
(Source: History of Lawrence and Monroe
Counties, Indiana; their people, industries and institutions.
Publ. Indianapolis, Ind. - B. F. Bowen & Co., 1914)
is situated on the eastern border of the county near the
center, and was called after the Flinn family, whose
history is written above. The early settlers were
classed as squatters, or, in other words, men who lived on the
land without any title. Not until the year 1817 was
there a land entry made in the township, and then they
followed in rapid succession. Some of these are:
R. Huston, 1820; M. Wooley, 1820; Noah Wright,
1819; Thomas Hodges, 1817; Israel Hind, 1819;
John Parr, 1819; H. Nichols, 1820; James Ellison,
1820; Enoch Parr, 1817; T. Carr, 1820; Arthur
Parr, 1819; Martin Flinn, 1820; Patrick Welch,
1817; Noah Wright, 1820; William White, 1820;
D. Flinn, 1820; James Taggart, 1820; John
Guthrie, 1820; Thomas Flinn, 1820; Benjamin
Drake; 1818; William Flinn, 1820; J. Allen,
!820, Hugh Guthrie, 1820; Robert Flinn, 1819;
Benjamin Newkirk, 1820, George Stell, John Speer,
Ephraim D. Lux, John Trespey, Abraham Sutherland, David White,
Alfred Alexander, Jacob Weaver, Moses Flinn, William Smith,
Elijah Curry, Micajah Poole, and Gamaliel Millgar,
were early residents around Leesville.
Perhaps the most important feature of the early
settlement of Flinn township was with the grist mills.
A "stump" mill, at the place where Leesville now stands, was
owned by John Speer, and was the first mill in the
township. The next was the Forgey mill, on Guthrie
creek, a half mile from Leesville. The first mill
built here was constructed by William Flinn about the
year 1817. This structure descended to his son,
Robert Flinn, whose successor was Andrew Forgey.
The mill bore the name of the last owner, and was in
operation for many years; in the year 1840 it was run by
horsepower, the tread-mill method, although in a great many
cases a steer was used in place of the horse. Hiram
Guthrie owned the mill for a time, and then it passed into
the hands of the Hollands. The latter owners
supplied the mill with steam motive power, and three sets of
buhrs, two for wheat and one for corn. John C. Voyles
was the last owner, and after he discarded the plant it
A Mr. Phillips owned a horse mill at Pin Hook
about 1830, and on Back creek, northwest of Leesville, a water
mill known as the McGlemery mill was built about the
same time. Edward Montgomery possessed a water
mill on Back creek in 1840, operated by a turbine water wheel.
This mill was the last in the township, failing in 1872 while
under the ownership of Matterson Broiles.
Distilleries were also operated in this part of the
country during the early days. A great many of the
settlers were from Virginia and Kentucky, where "stills" were
a common feature, so it is not surprising that they should
continue the practice here. Also it is a well known fact
that corn was the principal produce of the pioneer region, and
the facilities for conveying the crop to market were very
poor. Consequently, the corn was brewed into whiskey,
which commodity was easier handled and yielded a better profit
than the grain itself.
Leesville is the namesake for
Lee county, Virginia, from whence the first settlers came to
thsi locality. The town was laid out in June, 1818, and
is next to the oldest town recorded in Lawrence county, Bono
leading. John Speer was the first merchant, and
he owned a small huckster shop about 1817. George
Still began the same trade in 1819, and was followed by
merchants whose names became well known in the entire county.
A few of them were: Turner J. Holland, William Turpen,
William McNealy, William and John Holland, Norman
Benton, John Ferguson, W. C. Richards and John Hunter.
In 1831, Leesville decided to incorporate by election, and
accordingly did so. However, the incorporation did not
last very long. The population is now one hundred and
The two Carolinas and Virginia
supplied the first settlers of Marion township. The
township was named after Gen. Francis Marion, the
famous Southern commander in the Revolutionary War. The
township is about sixty six square miles in area, about eight
miles square. The northern boundary is the east branch
of White river, the south is Orange county, the east Bono
township, and on the west Spice Valley township.
In the early fall of the year 1815, Lewis Phillips
built himself a cabin at John Tolliver's upper
spring, near the meridian line, on the southwest quarter of
the northwest quarter of section 31, town 4 north, range 1
east. The cabin was made of round poles and was
primitive in every respect. The last of the family
was Mary Ann White, who died near Juliet in 1883;
there are now no descendants of the Phillips family
In November, 1815, when the first drear signs of
approaching winter were seen in the seared leaves and gray
skies. Samuel G. Hoskins, who had broken through the
rough country from South Carolina, pitched his quarters on
Rock Lick creek, on the southeast quarter of section 19, town
4 north, range 1 east. At this spot Hoskins built
a cabin of hewn logs, and prepared to brave the winter
through. This occurred when Phillips family was
the only other family in the township. The winter passed
quietly enough; Indians passed by, and frequently stopped, but
not one lived in the township. Hoskins afterwards
became prominent in the affairs of the county. He was a
justice of the peace, and captain of the first military
company organized in this county south of White river.
He was a member of the first grand jury, was a surveyor and a
teacher. In the spring of 1816 many new settlers began
to come in from North and South Carolina, among them being
George Sheeks, William Erwin, John Finger, Joseph Pless,
Elijah Murray, Thomas Rowark,
John Sutton, James Boswell, and Joseph Boswell.
All of these men followed farming as an occupation, except
Rowark, who was a blacksmith.
In 1817 many families came into the township from the
South, and built their cabins along the banks of White river,
and in the valleys of Rock Lick and Mill creek.
Robert Hall erected his home on the George Field
place. Squire Hoskins built a hewn-log house on
the old Erwin place, and there the first election was
held the first Monday in August. There were thirteen
voters, ten Federalists and three Republicans. The
former were Samuel G. Hoskins, William Ervin, Joseph Pless,
James Boswell, Joseph Boswell, Elijah
Murray, James Mathis, Robert Erwin, Thomas Rowark,
and Arthur Dycus. The Republicans were George
Sheeks, John Finger and Joseph Culbertson.
The voting place was afterward changed to Hoskins'
new home on the Terre Haute and Louisville road until 1842,
then the precinct was moved to Redding, thence to Woodville,
and in 1856 to Mitchell.
A rifle company was organized in Marion township in
1817, and some thirty men enlisted, a few from Bono. The
men armed themselves and were clad in blue hunting shirts,
trimmed with red, and cap with a feather.
Some time previous to 1815, Sam Jackson - not
Samuel - had entered the southwest quarter of Section 32;
the entry antedates the Lawrence county records. This
Jackson was a Canadian, and had seen service in the war of
1812 along the Canadian border. For his services he was
given a land warrant, which accounts for the taking up of his
land. On the tract is a noted Hamer's cave and the
picturesque valley in which the old stone mill stands.
During the period of Jackson's ownership there was a corn mill
erected there, close to where the mill stood, built of logs,
and the water was carried from the cave by poplar logs hewn
into troughs. William Wright of Orange county, was the
miller. In September, 1816, Jackson sold the land to
Thomas Bullett and Cuthbert Buillett, and in the
spring of 1817 the stone was quarried for the stone mill.
In 1818 the mill was finished and was a model for the day.
The Bulletts sold the mill in 1823 to the two Montgomery
brothers, who improved the property and started a
distillery. There had been one distillery previous to
this one, owned by William Mallett and Dennis Frost, on
Lick, below Tomlinson's lime kiln. In 1825
Hugh Hamar bought the property of the Montgomery boys,
paying seven thousand dollars in seven annual payments.
The new owner re-established the distillery, started a store
gathered many laboring men about him, hauled produce to
Louisville, built flatboats at the boat yards on White river,
and shipped flour, whiskey, pork, etc., to New Orleans by
water. In 1826 the first postoffice was established at
Mill Springs, and Hugh Hamar, who in turn sold it to
Isaac Flight built a mill, with overshot wheel,
at Shawnee cave in 1819. This mill passed into the hands
of Shelton and William Smith, and they erected a
distillery in connection in 1831. Fulton had a
distillery at the end of Fulton's creek about 1825, and ground
his grain on a treadmill. James Beasley also had
a distillery afterwards at Lindsey's Spring.
The early hand entries of Marion township are as follows:
Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt. 1820; Tetlow,
Hughes and Geiger, 1820; Moses Gray, 1816; R. Hall, 1820; Abraham Hatman,
1818; Sanuel Jackson, 1816; Ambrose Carlton,
1816; Robert Lewis, 1817 and 1816; Samuel
Brown, 1820; John Carlton, 1816; Robert Lewis,
1817 and 1816; Samuel Brown, 1820; John
Edwards, 1820; John Maxwell, 1819; William
Terrill, 1816; William Tolliver, 1818; Robert
McLean, 1817; William McLean, 1816;
Zachariah Sparling, 1818; John Workman, 1817;
William Baldwin, 1817; Theophilus Baldwin, 1819;
Jesse Hill, 1817; Martin Hardin, 1817; William
Maxwell, 1819; Charles Tolliver, 1817; William
Connerly, 1817; William Denny, 1818; Alfred
Maden, and John Hays, 1818; John Lowrey, 1817;
William Blair, 1817; John McLean, 1817; James
Fulton, 1816; Lewis Byram, 1817; Henry Speed,
1816; William Trueblood, 1816; Jonathan Lindley,
1816; G. Eli, 1817; Joshua Taylor, 1817;
Robert Fields, 1817; William Connelly, 1818;
George Hinton, Jr., Arthur Henrie and Benjamin Drake, 1818;
Ezekiel Blackwell, 1818; John Finger, 1817;
Joseph Culbertson, 1818; William Erwin, 1818;
Isom Maden, 1816; William Carmichael, 1818; Joel
Conley, 1817; Josiah Trueblood, 1818; William
Connelly, 1817; Aaron Davis, 1819; Lewis
Phillips, 1817; Zebedee Wood, 1820; Michael
Dunihue, 1817; David Harris, 1817; John Sutton,
1817; Robert Hollowell, 1816; Robert Fields,
1816; Jacob Piles and Jonathan Williams, 1815.
Hunting was a great diversion and pastime in the
early days of Marion township. There were many
interesting incidents which happened in connection with these
sports, the first of which occurred in the fall of 1816.
Thomas Rowark killed a panther near his cabin on Rock
Lick creek. Rowark espied the animal in a three
and shot it. Everyone went to see the beast, and all
pronounced it the largest ever seen in the township. The
animal measured three yards in length. Many bears have
been killed in the township. Neddy Edwards chased
to bear into a cave in Allen C. Burton's orchard and,
calling assistance, smoked Mr. Bruin out and killed
him. In the same year, 1820, a party of hunters killed a
large bear in a cave on John L. Dodson's farm, just
west of the Solomon Bass residence. The last bear
killed in the township was shot from a tree by William
Edwards, in 1821. An interesting and amusing
incident occurred in 1825, in which the chief actors were
John Sutton and a very credulous bear. Sutton
was searching for his hogs in the woods north of Mitchell,
when he discovered fresh bear tracks in the snow. He
urged his horse on and took up the trail. He had not
gone far when bruin loomed up before him. Sutton's horse
cavorted and beat a retreat, leaving his rider lying in the
snow and within arm's length of the bear. Sutton
was too much frightened to move, so he lay still. The
bear lowered himself and smelled of the prostrate man, then
unexpectedly walked away. Sutton, once sure of
his solitude, arose and made off in the direction the horse
had gone. The many caverns and caves of Marion township
were ideal homes for packs of timber wolves, and up until 1832
it was next to impossible to raise sheep, for the nightly
raids of the packs were common. The sport of wolf
baiting became very popular, among the most skilled being
Hugh Harmar and Benjamin Turley, and it was not
long until the animals were exterminated. Deer and
Turkey and numerous other small game were plentiful, and
constituted the chief meat supply. The present
population of this township is 6,482.
THE CITY OF MITCHELL.
Mitchell, Marion township, was named
in honor of Gen. O. M. Mitchell, an officer in the
Federal army, who died at Huntsville, Alabama, in 1862.
The location of the town is on the south half of section 36,
town 4 north, range 1 west, and on the north half of section
1, town 3 north, range 1 west, and was platted on September
29, 1853, by G. W. Cochran and John Sheeks.
Good railroad facilities are afforded the people of this town,
the Baltimore & Ohio and the Chicago, Indianapolis &
Louisville, or the Monon, passing through the town at present.
West Mitchell, an addition, was laid out January 17, 1859, by
Jonas Finger, and on November 26, 1865, there was
another addition by D. Kelley & Company. Since
that time other additions have been made and now the town
covers quite an extent of territory. Some earlier
merchants were Silas Moore & Son, John R. Nugent and
Robert Barnard. J. T. Biggs and G. W. Dodson
were early druggists. Sam Cook was the premier
blacksmith, and J. T. Biggs was the hotel keeper.
In 1860 the town contained six hundred and twelve people, and
in 1880, one thousand, four hundred and forty-three.
INCORPORATION AS A TOWN.
On December 23, 1864, Mitchell was
incorporated as a town. Joshua Budd, R.
Barnard and Z. L. Warren were named as the first
trustees, and A. T. McCoy, the first clerk.
McCoy resigned later in favor of H. S. Manington.
The same officers served in 1865. In 1866, S. Moore,
J. D. McCoy and F. M. Lemon were elected trustees,
and H. S. Manington, clerk. In 1867, the trustees
were S. Moore, J. D. McCoy, and William A. Burton.
In 1868, S. Moore, J. D. McCoy and Z. L. Warren.
The following list gives the successive trustees, with the
year of their entrance into office, from 1869 until the time
of incorporation as a city; 1869, W. V. T. Murphy, A. L.
Munson, Samuel Cook; 1870, same officers; 1872, Allen
Edwards, J. P. Tapp, William A. Burton; 1873, Isaac B.
Faulkner, Isaac H. Crim, James A. Head; 1875, Allen
Edwards, Dennis Coleman, Jacob J. Bates; 1876, James D.
Moore, A. A. Pearson, David L. Fergurson; 1877, John
Mead, I. H. Crim, Milton N. Moore; 1878, John
O'Donnell, James Richardson, Jacob Bixler; 1879, John
O'Donnell, James Richardson, Jacob Bixler; 1880, George
Z. Wood, James D. Moore, George W. Burton; 1881, Thomas
Richardson, Wilton N. Moore, William J. Humston; 1882,
Milton N. Moore, William H. Edwards, Thomas Richardson;
1883, Milton N. Moore, Charles W. Campbell, William H.
Edwards; 1884, John Mead, M. N. Moore, Thomas Welsh;
1885, A. Edwards, F. J. Wolfe, H. H. Crawford; 1886,
M. N. Moore, H. A. Trendley; 1887, Abbott C. Robertson;
1888, H. A. Trendley, 1889, Allen Edwards, Gus
Levy; 1890, Cam Cook, F. R. Blackwell; 1891,
Allen C. Burton; 1892, James D. Moore, F. R. Blackwell;
1893, Milton N. Moore; 1894, William Newby, John
Mead; 1895, J. L. Holmes, Sr., Ralph Prosser; 1896,
Charles Coleman, Ralph Prosser; 1897, M. N. Moore;
1898, Thomas W. Welsh, Fred R. Blackwell; 1899,
same; 1900, David Kelly, M. N. Moore, James F.
Mitchell; 1901, David Kelly, Henry Scott, James F. Mitchell;
1902, G. W. Walls, Lewis Barlow; 1903, George W.
Walls, Henry S. Scheibe, Lewis Barlow; 1904, M. N.
Moore, H. Scheibe, Henry Chapple; 1905, H. S. Scheibe,
Harry Chapple, and Noble L. Moore; 1906, Harry
Chapple, John L. Murphy, and N. L. Moore; and in
1907, Chapple, N. L. Moore and John T. Murphy.
INCORPORATION AS A CITY.
On July 29, 1907, an election was
held in Mitchell to determine whether or not the town should
be incorporated as a city, under the statutes of Indiana.
The result was a majority of four hundred and nine in favor of
incorporating. The town was divided into three wards,
and an election ordered for August 23, 1907, to elect the
mayor, clerk, treasurer, and five councilmen, one for each
ward, and two at large. The result was as follows:
Mayor, William L. Brown; treasurer, Harry V. Shepherd;
clerk, Clyde A. Burton; councilmen, Thomas W. Welsh,
William H. Dings, John L. Holmes, John B. Sims and John A.
Dalton. E. Massman later too the place of Dalton.
Frank L. Dale was appointed chief of police, Dr. James
D. Byrnes, health officer, and Sam S. Doman, city
attorney. The first regular meeting of the common
council was held on September 2, 1907.
Mayor Brown resigned on January 30, 1909, and
Clyde A. Burton took the office, Perry M. McBride
succeeding as clerk. Burton, in turn, which on
June 11, 1909, and William H. Dings was appointed mayor
pro tem, which office he held two weeks. William
Stipp was elected by the council on June 25, 1909.
At the regular election on November 2, 1909, the following
city officers were chosen, and are at present active: Mayor
Joseph T. Dilley; clerk, Kenley E. Harn; treasurer,
Edward M. Keane; councilmen, Will D. Ewing, Joseph A.
Munger, Frank Collier, Albert Morris and Walter C. Sherwood.
The city of Mitchell has had a wonderful growth
during the last ten years. The population by the census
of 1900 was 1,772, and in 1910 the startling increase was made
to 3,438. In 1910 the total assessed valuation, less
mortgage exemptions, was $953,505. In the city clerk's
report for 1910, the city bonds outstanding amounted to
$15,500, which has since been reduced to $13,700. The
gross debt then was $27,702, but this has been lowered to less
than 23,000. The cash in the City treasury at present
amounts to $4,563. The electric light plant of Mitchell
was established in February, 1907, with a one-thousand-light
dynamo. Seven thousand dollars in bonds were authorized
by the council when the subject of a light plant was first
forwarded, and accordingly the money was borrowed. The
plant in 1910 embraced thirty-six arc lights, and twenty-six
hundred incandescents. The Central Union Telephone
Company was granted a twenty-five year franchise on July 16,
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF 1913
LEHIGH PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY
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