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MONROE COUNTY, INDIANA

HISTORY & GENEALOGY

Source:
History of Lawrence and Monroe County, Indiana
their people, industries and institutions. 
Publ. Indianapolis, Ind. - B. F. Bowen & Co.,
1914

CHAPTER XXV.
VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP

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     Van Buren township was settled earlier and more rapidly perhaps than any other township in Monroe county, with the exception of Bloomington.  The soil of the locality is rich and productive, hence the influx of settlers began at a very early period, most of the pioneers being from the Southland, and bringing with them all the chivalry and courtesy of their ancestors.
     The surface of Van Buren township is not so hilly and rough as various other townships; the land approaches a fair level, and is well watered and drained.  Numerous small streams and clear springs are scattered over the country, enriching the alluvial qualities of the surface soil.  Valuable timber at one time covered the land, but has been mercilessly destroyed by the inroads of commercialism.  The trees included black and white walnut, maple, oak, elm, chestnut, poplar, beech, sycamore, ash, cherry, gum, dogwood, sassafras, spicewood, etc.
     An important geological feature of the county is Puett's cave, in the northwestern portion.  The cave is of unknown depth in places, and is characterized by many winding passageways, stalactites, stalagmites, fossils, and other rock formations as curious as well as beautiful.

     SETTLEMENT.

     The name of the first resident of the township is not on the reliable record.  It was doubtless one of the men whose names are enrolled as land buyers in 1816, namely:  Arthur Patterson, on section 1; David Matlock, Jacob Cutler, Daniel Sears, James Parks, James Matlock, section 2; John Cutler, section 4; Archibald Wood bought three hundred and twenty acres on section 10; John Allen and George Matlock, section 11, the latter also on section 12; Jonathan Rains, John Carr and John W. Lee, section 13; John Allen, James Borland and John Carr, section 14; Archibald Wood, Michael Wood, David Matlock, section 15; John Collins and Joseph Berry, section 21; William Wilson and William Newcomb, section 22; John Harvey, Jonathan Nichols and Arthur Patterson, section 24; Solomon Green and Archibald Wood, section 25; Levin Lawrence, section 26; Adam Darling, section 27; Joseph Berry, Adam Bowen and John Briscoe, section 28; Jesse Tarkington, Arthur Patterson and John Sadler, section 31; Arthur Patterson and Joseph Berry, section 32; the latter also on section 33; John Storm section 34; Thomas McCrang, section 35; John Johnson, Joseph Jackson and Joseph Richardson, section 36.  In the year 1817 the following entries were made:  David Matlock, section 2; Francis Charlice, section 11; James Matlock, section 12; Eli Lee, section 14; William Newcomb, section 15; Pierre Chacurn, section 22; Solomon Phillips, section 23; Joseph Gerrard and James Parsons, section 26; Adam Kern and Isaac Rogers, section 27; John Berry, section 33; Joseph Berry, section 34.  In 1823 Austin S. Reeves made entry on section 9, and Littleton West on section 21; Vincent Lindsey settled on section 1 in 1824, and in the same year Eli Farmer bought on section 2; John Mahala on section 10 in the same year; John M. Berry, section 29; Lemuel Lyons, section 1 in 1825; George Moss, section in 1829; Thomas Snoddy, section 6 in 1826; John Watson, section 8 in 1828; Robert Dice, section 9; Henry Sanders, section 10 in 1827; William Deskins section 10 in 1828; George Milam, section 12 in 1827; Isaac Rogers, section 21 in 1825; Joseph Berry, section 21 in 1825; Gaspard Koons, section 26 in 1825; William Morris, section 29 in 1829; John H. Bunger and Orion Crocker, section 33 in 1829.  Several men brought their families here in 1816.  There are many who believe that there were white families living in this township as early as 1815, although there is no definite proof of this.
     There are others who came to this locality early, accompanied by their families, and a few of them were James Gentry, Absalom Baker, Robert B. Givens, Andrew Gray, George Grubb, Samuel Grabeal, Solomon Green, Seth Goodwin, William Gray, Andrew Gray, Lewis Harman, Jasper Koons, Felix Landers, Matthew Legg, Benjamin Neeld, William Neeld, the Prices, Hiram Pauley, Solomon Phillips, Rebecca Rawlins, the Renshaws, Benjamin Rice, Robert Rice, William Rice, John Sadler, Henry Sanders, L. G.Shryer, James G. Sparks, Noble Stockwell, James Shipman, John Shipman, Thomas Snoddy.  John Tarkington, W. C. Tarkington, Sylvanus Tarkington, Samuel Turner, Reuben Ward, Luke Ward, Booker Wit and others.

SHARON WICK'S NOTE:   I made a diagram to show where they may have lived.  See below.

6.
1826 Thomas Snoddy
 
5.
1829 George Moss
4.
John Cutler
3.
 
2.
1816 David Matlock
1816 Jacob Cutler
1816 Daniel Sears
1816 James Parks
1816 James Matlock
1817 David Matlock
1824 Eli Farmer
1.
1816 Arthur Patterson
1824 Vincent Lindsey
12
1816 George Matlock
1817 James Matlock
1827 George Milam
11.
1816 John Allen
1816 George Matlock
1817 Francis Charlice
10.
1816 Archibald Wood
     320 acres
1824 John Mahala
1827 Henry Sanders
1828 William Deskins
9.
1823 Austin S. Reeves
1827 Robert Dice
8.
1828 John Watson
7.
 
18.
 
17.
 
16. 15.
1816 Archibald Wood
1816 Michael Wood
1816 David Matlock
1817 William Newcomb
14.
1816 John Allen
1816 James Borland
1816 John Carr
1817 Eli Lee
13.
1816 Jonathan Rains
1816 John Carr
1816 John W. Lee
24.
1816 John Harvey
1816 Jonathan Nichols
1816 Arthur Patterson
23.
1817 Solomon Phillips
 
22.
1816 William Wilson
1816 William Newcomb
1817 Solomon Phillips
1817 Pierre Chacurn
21.
1816 John Collins
1816 Joseph Berry
1823 Littleton West
1825 Isaac Rogers
1825 John Berry
20.
 
19.
 
30.
 
29.
1825 John M. Berry
1829 William Morris
28.
1816 Joseph Berry
1816 Adam Bowen
1816 John Briscoe
 
27.
1816 Adam Darling
1817 Adam Kern
1817 Isaac Rogers
26.
1816 Levin Lawrence
1817 Joseph Gerrard
1817 James Parsons
1825 Gaspard Koons
25.
1816 Solomon Green
1816 Archibald Wood
36.
1816 John Johnson
1816 Josiah Jackson
1816 Joseph Richardson
35.
1816 Thomas McCrang
34.
1816 John Storm
1817 Joseph Berry
33.
1816 Joseph Berry
1817 John Berry
1829 John H. Bunger
1829 Orion Crocker
32.
1816 Arthur Patterson
1816 Joseph Berry
31.
1816 Jesse Tarkington
1816 Arthur Patterson
1816 John Sadler

STANFORD.

     This very small village was platted and laid out by Jesse Tarkington in the late thirties.  James Crane soon afterwards opened a general merchandise store there, probably about 1839.  Kemble, Klein & Company, Zachariah Catron, Sylvester Dory, Nicholas Dillenger, Victor Dory, Odell & Walker opened up places of business during the forties and were very prosperous.  In 1850 there were four general stores, two or three blacksmiths, a saw mill, several grist mills, and a population of one hundred and fifty.  In 1885 the number of people in the town was estimated at two hundred, and in 1913, one hundred and twenty.  The business consists of a store, a few shops and a postoffice.

THE BLUE SPRING COMMUNITY.

     The organization of the Blue Spring Community in Monroe county in 1826 was the result of a movement which extended over the whole of the United States.  In this country, during the years from 1820 to 1860, there was much dissatisfaction in the educational and moral systems in vogue for the development of a community.  Accordingly people began to co-operate, to form groups and consolidate their wealth and influence to promote a better system of teaching.  The would live together, work together and eat together, and were controlled by a common set of by-laws and a constitution.  Such eminent men as Horace Greeley, Charles Fourier and the Owens of Posey county, Indiana, were in sympathy with the scheme and used their efforts to build up these communities in every part of the country.
     In Monroe county the members of the newly-formed community assembled at a place later called Harmony.  They built their homes placed their property i common, built a few stores, and erected an excellent school, all on a public square  Despite the abuse and ridicule they were subjected to by their neighbors, the first year was very successful.  Their ideals were high and their intentions were of the best, but the inevitable was bound to creep in.  No matter how a community may be formed, such familiarity will lead to trouble, caused probably by one or more individuals.  When the bitter winds of winter commenced to sweep down on the gathering many returned to their former homes.  The spring of 1827 came, but a continuation of the community was abandoned.  Such is the frailty of human nature.

NOTES:

 



 

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