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LAWRENCE COUNTY,
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HISTORY & GENEALOGY

CHAPTER III.

History of Shawswick Township
(Source: History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana; their people, industries and institutions.  Publ. Indianapolis, Ind. - B. F. Bowen & Co., 1914)

     In the central part of the county is Shawswick township.  On the south the East fork of White river flows, and on the west Salt creek.  The land adjacent to these streams comprises the best agricultural ground within the borders of the county.  Also Leatherwood creek flows diagonally across the township from northeast to southwest, and teh land through which this stream flows is named the Leatherwood district, and is famous for the richness and fertility of the soil.  Nearly all the land to the east of Bedford is under cultivation and the farms are supplied with the latest and best improvements all indicative of the prosperity of the region.  The bottom land along White river is a strong rival of the land of the Leatherwood district, and it is even claimed by some to be richer.  The number of land entries made prior to and in 1820 proves how inviting the locality was to the settler coming on his way to the northward.  These early land entries were as follows:
James Mandell, Samuel Lindley, Ezekiel Blackwell, Hiram Kilgore, Charles Kilgore, Preston Beck, William Bristoe, Reuben and Simpson Kilgore, Marquis Knight, Joseph Glover, James Gregory, John Hays, William Thornton, William Foot, John Gardner, John Williams and William Fisk in 1816; Dixon Brown, David Johnson, Thomas Thompson, JOhn Horton, Melcher Fehgelman, Robert Whitley, Vinson Williams, Peter Galbert, Martin Ribelin, William Dougherty, John Hawkins, Thomas McManus, Ross and McDonald, James Maxwell, Samuel Dougherty, Robert Dougherty, Alexander Butler, George Silver, Thomas Elrod, Roger McKnight, Jacob Castleman and Thomas Allen in 1817;  Pleasant Padgett, Lewis Woody, James Blair, Andrew Owen, James Riggins, Mark Tully, William Denson, Stephen Shipman, Absalom Hart, Abraham Mitchell, John Spears, David Wilson, Timothy Ward, Arta Garrison, Ebenezer McDonald, Fetler and Hughes, Peter Harmonson, James Erwin and Henry McGree in 1818;  T. McAfee,,,,,,, Michael Johnson, R. Bowles, James Blair, James Denson, Joseph James, James Owens, in 1819; Jacob Geiger, Bartholomew Thatcher, Fetler and Hughes, Philip Starr, J. Thompson, James Allen, Jonathan Henderson, Isaac Jamison, Samuel Gwathney, Thomas Maffith, James Pace, Thomas Hill and Jacob Clark, in 1820.
     Shawswick is one of the original five townships, and the name came in the following manner:  A judge in the early history of the state born the name of Wick, and he had many admirers in this county who insisted that the township should be named after him.  One of the county commissioners at the same time, by the name of Beazley, had a comrade by the name of Shaw, who was killed in the battle of Tippecanoe.  Beazley advocated the name of Shaw and had many supporters of his desire.  The two parties finally compromised on the name Shawswick.
    
It is highly probably that the first elections were held at the town of Palestine.  Pleasant Parks was the inspector at the first voting, but in the following year was succeeded by William Kelsey.  Joshua Taylor and James Mundle were chosen overseers of the poor in the same year.  Instead one constable, Shawswick township maintained that the dignity of the law could be upheld by no less than three, so accordingly Nathaniel Vaughn, William Dale and John Sutton were appointed as constables.
     The many streams in the township gave rise to many water mills of various types, some for grinding grain and others for sawing timber.  Early in the twenties Alexander Butler and Robert Dougherty built a saw mill on Leatherwood creek, about a mile and a half southeast of Bedford.  The mill was run by a flutter wheel, which was faster and easier of operation than the undershot wheel.  Edward Humpston, whose name was prominently identified with the mills over the whole country, built another saw mill above the above mentioned one and on Leatherwood creek.  After a time, and as was his custom, he sold the mill to Richard Evans, who rand the plant for seven years before abandoning it.  Humpston also built a grist mill in 1826, which lasted for several years.  It was operated by a breast water wheel.  Farther up the creek, and near the present site of Erie, a grist and saw mill was built in 1832 by Wesley and Michael Johnson.  Also the Rawlins mill was among the best of the day, and was built by Joseph Rawlins about 1835.  It was one of the largest in the county, having three runs of buhrs, and quantities of flour were shipped from here to all parts of the country.  By railroad it was shipped north to Detroit and other northern cities, while the southern transportation was conducted by means of flatboats,, principally down the Mississippi to New Orleans.  There were many other mills, but each in turn suffered an ignominous end, either being abandoned by the owners or being washed out by a sudden rise in the streams.

SHARON WICK'S NOTE:
James Love & Elvira Murray
were married in Shawswick County, Indiana.  They are Sharon's Great Great Great Grandparents.

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