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The growth, development and expansion of the city are indicated in a way by the additions that have been made since the town was first laid out.
The original plat was surveyed on April 12, 1844, by Morris Pierson, county surveyor; Joshua Meek and Thomas Vanvern, chain carriers, and Benjamin Franklin, axeman.
First South Addition, laid out May 3, 1839, by Edward K. Hart.
Pierson's Addition, laid out April 14, 1853, by Morris Pierson; contains sixty lots.
Pierson's Second Addition, laid out February 27, 1854, by Morris Pierson; contains twenty-three in-lots and four out-lots.
Meek & Hart's Addition, laid out July 23, 1853, by Cornwell Meek and Andrew T. Hart; contains fifty-one in-lots and twelve out-lots.
Western Addition, laid out July 25, 1856, by James R. Bracken; twelve out-lots.
Junction Railroad Addition, laid out July 28, 1854, by the Junction Railroad Company, fifteen lots.
Fletcher & McCarty's Addition, laid out by Margaret McCarty, Henry Day, Margaret C. McCarty, Frances J. McCarty, Nicholas McCarty and Calvin Fletcher, on September 14, 1860; eighteen lots.
Bradley's Addition, laid out September 23, 1867, by Nelson Bradley, Lysander Sparks and A. T. Hart; forty-five lots.
Elder's Addition, laid out April 18, 1870, by Benjamin Elder; eighty-two lots.
Snow's Addition, laid out August 19, 1870, by Anna M. Snow; fifteen lots.
Elder's First Addition, laid out March 27, 1871, by Benjamin Elder.
Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's Addition, laid out by William S. Wood, William F. Pratt and Joseph Baldwin; sixty-three lots. As soon as this addition had been surveyed and platted the owners sold the lots at public auction. The Greenfield band was employed for the day and a large number of people moved back and forth over the addition as the lots were sold.
Burdett's First Addition, laid out July 28, 1871, by William C. Burdett; forty-seven lots; also seven and one-half acres for the resident of William C. Burdett. After this addition had been surveyed and platted, Mr. Burdett offered the lots for sale at public auction, and employed the Greenfield band for the day. At each of these sales by Wood, Pratt & Baldwin, and Burdett, one lot was given free, as previously announced to purchasers.
Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's Addition of Out-lots, laid out by William S. Wood, William F. Pratt and Joseph Baldwin; seven out-lots. The owners again adopted the plan of selling lots of this addition at public auction. The Greenfield band was again upon the scene, and a large number of people were in attendance.
Teal's Addition, laid out October 17, 1871, by William A. Teal; twenty-four lots.
Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's Second Addition, laid out October 26, 1872.
Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's Second Addition of out-lots, laid out October 26, 1872, by William S. Wood, William F. Pratt and Joseph Baldwin; four out-lots.
Hinchman's First Addition, laid out April 9, 1873, by John Hinchman; five lots.
Hinchman's Second Addition, laid out June 2, 1873, by John Hinchman; ten lots.
Stuart's First Addition, laid out July 3, 1873, by Ithamer W. Stuart; twenty-eight lots.
O'Donnell's Addition, laid out May 28, 1874, by Patrick O'Donnell and James O'Donnell.
Wood's Addition, laid out by William Spencer Wood on May 8, 1875; thirty-seven lots.
Burdett's Second Addition, laid out October 10, 1877, by William C. Burdett; twenty-three lots.
Bradley's Addition, laid out June 14, 1880, by order of court in matter of petition of J. Ward Walker, administrator, with will annexed, of estate of Frederick Hammel, deceased. By sub-division, block 5 was sub-divided into twelve lots.
Portion of Noblesville road, Noble street, vacated August 7, 1884. Petition of William W. Webb et al.
Walker's Addition, laid out in April., 1889, by J. Ward Walker and Sarah Walker; forty-eight lots.
Board of Trade Addition, laid out July 18, 1889, by Richard A. Black, president, and Edwin P. Thayer, secretary; seven lots.
Chandler's Addition, laid out August 17, 1889, by Henry L. Smith, trustee for John Landers, W. G. Wasson, E. C. Eagan and W. C. Whitehead; four hundred and forty lots.
Exchange Addition, laid out January 31, 1890, by the Greenfield Real Estate Exchange, By S. S. Boots, president, and V. L. Early, secretary; one hundred and seventy-five lots.
Boyd's Highland Home Addition, laid out February 5, 1890, by Philander H. Boyd; thirty-two lots.
Pierson's Third Addition, laid out January 31, 1890, by Lucena S. Pierson; fifty lots.
Hazelwood Addition, laid out May 1, 1890, by Mary E. Swope; sixteen lots.
Hill Grove Addition, laid out May 5, 1890, by Nelson Bradley; five out-lots.
Thayer's Park Front Addition, laid out September 8, 1890, by Levi C. Thayer; seventy-four lots.
William New's Addition, laid out December 30, 1890, by William New; five lots.
Brandywine Addition, laid out February 3, 1891, by Hollis B. Thayer; twelve lots.
Edward W. Felt's Addition, a sub-division of out-lot No. 2 in Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's second addition. Laid out May 19, 1891, by Edward W. Felt; thirteen lots.
William P. Wilson's Addition, laid out June 3, 1891, by William P. Wilson; twenty-eight lots.
Arthur P. William's Addition, laid out June 20, 1891, by Arthur P. William Williams; twenty-two lots.
Rebecca J. Enright's Addition, laid out May 11, 1892, by Rebecca J. Enright; six lots.
David S. Gooding's Sub-division of out-lots 3 and 4 in Pierson's second addition; laid out January 5, 1893, by David S. Gooding; twelve lots.
C. M. Kirkpatrick's Addition, laid out January 5, 1893, by C. M. Kirkpatrick and S. J. Kirkpatrick; nine in-lots and one out-lot.
Dunn, Et Al., Addition, laid out December 30, 1893, by James H. Witty, Nathan H. Carrithers, Francis M. Dunn; twelve lots.
Corrected Plat of C. M. Kirkpatrick's Addition, made April 16, 1894; seventeen lots.
F. G. Banker's Addition, laid out July 31, 1894, by F. G. Banker and Laura M. Banker; twelve lots.
John G. Carriger's First Addition, laid out April 10, 1895, by J. G. Carriger and Sarah T. Carriger; nineteen lots.
Mason's Addition, laid out April 23, 1896, by Robert L. Mason; six lots.
Banker's' Second Addition, laid out June 2, 1896, by Francis G. Banker; eight lots.
McCully's Sub-division of O'Donnell's Addition and Reserve, laid out July 1, 1896, by Jane McCully.
Wilson's Addition, laid out January 19, 1897, by George S. Wilson and others; thirty-nine lots.
Kinsley's Addition, laid out November 30, 1896, by Nannie Kinsley and Marcus M. Kinsley; nine lots.
Arthur P. Williams' Addition, laid out May 15, 1901, by Arthur P. Williams; twenty-two lots.
Bentley & Crider's Addition, sub-division of out-lot No. 1 in Wood, Pratt and Baldwin's second addition. Laid out by D. H. Bentley, Rose E. Bentley, M. S. Crider and Esta Crider; seven lots and one out-lot.
Beecher's Addition, laid out June 18, 1902, by Fred Beecher; six lots.
Eagan's Addition, laid out April 22, 1903, by John F. Eagan; nine lots.
Randall Place. First Section, laid out by George T. Randall and Eliza Randall; sixty lots.
Rose Hill Addition, laid out June 3, 1903, by William R. White; fifteen lots.
Randall Place, Second Section, laid out December 13, 1905, by George T. Randall.
Snow's Sub-division of a part of lot A in Pierson's Third Addition, laid out March 9, 1908, by Henry Snow; nine lots.
Banks' Sub-division of Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 37 in Wood's Addition. Laid out October 4, 1913, by Rosalind Corcoran, et al.
Greenfield was selected as the county seat of Hancock county by a legislative committee composed of Levi Jessup, of Hendricks, county; James Smock, of Johnson county; Richard Blacklidge, of Rush county; John Anderson, of Henry county, and Thomas Martin, of Marion county. Their report, making this selection, was filed with the board of county commissioners on April 11, 1828. On the same day the board also ordered that "the seat of justice of Hancock county shall be known and designated by the name and title of Greenfield."
The original site of the town included sixty acres and was donated to the county by Cornwall Meek, Benjamin Spillman and John Wingfield, as an inducement to the legislative committee to select this site for the county seat. The ground so donated was at once surveyed, and Jared Chapman was appointed county agent to sell the lots and account for the moneys received therfor, as provided by law. As soon as the plat of the town had been made, the lots, of course, were put on the market by the county agent. The first purchaser was John Anderson, to whom a deed was executed on June 4, 1828. Other lots were sold to other people, but they were probably not taken as rapidly as might have been expected. In consequence thereof a sale of the lots was order to be made at public auction on August 12, 1828. They were not all sold, however, for some time afterward.
A few buildings were at once constructed. Among the first residents were Cornwall meek, Jeremiah Meek, Morris Pierson, Lewis Tyner and Dr. Lot Edwards. All of these names, with others, appear prominent in the first records of the county commissioners of Hancock county. A log jail was also built somewhere on the east side of the public square in 1828. In 1829 the county erected a two-story log court house, which stood on the west side of State street just south of the Gooding hotel. Between the jail and the court house was a big pond in which travelers washed their horses and which in wet weather was deep enough to swim horses. It covered the northern and western parts of the public square and extended to within a few paces of the Gooding House. It left only space enough adjoining the Gooding corner for a road, so that all travel went around that way. When the National road was opened this pond was drained and filled.
These first public buildings, as well as all of the first residences, were log houses built in the most primitive fashion. In 1830 the first frame dwelling house was built by Benjamin Spillman, one of the donors of the site. A two-story frame house was also constructed by James Hamilton a year or two later, on the north side of Main street just west of where Mount street is now located. In 1832 the north half of the Gooding hotel was completed by Joseph Chapman. In 1831 the board of county commissioners let the contract for the first brick court house upon the public square. It was not completed until near the close of 1833. In 1835 the board let the contract to Cornwall Meek for the construction of a brick jail on the south side of the public square.
During the thirties a brick yard was established north of the little town by Joshua Meek. This brick yard stood northwest of the present corner of State and Fifth streets, on the hill above the residence of Dr. Justice. For a number of years Joshua Meek made all the brick used in the buildings at Greenfield. This included the first brick jail, the first brick court house, the early brick dwellings, and probably the county seminary. He was also a mason and did brick construction work. It was under him that many of the early masons at Greenfield learned their trade.
The following interesting description of the little town appeared in the Indiana Gazetteer, published in 1833: "Greenfield is surrounded by a body of rich, fertile land and is in a very prosperous and flourishing state of improvement. Its present population is about 200 persons. It contains two mercantile stores, two taverns, one lawyer, one physician, and craftsmen of many trades. The town is supplied with water by a very notable spring within its limits and has the advantage of mills at convenient distances on the streams which pass through the county."
A reference to the licensed groceries in the early history of the county will indicate the first merchants and grocers of the town.
The spring mentioned above has been located by several of the older people. John Fielding Meek was born just a mile or two east of Greenfield a little more than ninety-two years ago, and lived in Greenfield and vicinity until about 1855. He directed his son to say, in reply to an inquiry concerning the location of the spring: "Father says there was a spring northeast of his father's house (which stood about where the jail now stands, east of the public square), across the National road about one hundred feet and down a little slope. About one hundred feet east and probably two hundred feet north of their old house there was a hollow sycamore log that was used to wall up the spring. Father said he fell into the spring when he was about six years old. My mother remembers it also. Father said it must have been drained out by improving the country." Mrs. Permelia Thayer also has a clear recollection of the spring and locates it just east of the Christian church. It was in the hollow along the branch now known as the Pott's ditch. In the early history of Greenfield this hollow added a picturesque feature to the town. It followed the course of the ditch from the northwest, crossed North State street near the end of Walnut street, then extended in a southeasterly direction. The National road was graded across it, and the branch itself was spanned by a stone arch, described later. It was a favorite playground for the children of the town. The filling of this hollow from East North street to the National road was viewed with a sense of disappointment by many of the older citizens whose memories clustered about it. Upon learning of the proposed improvement, one of the Crawfords is said to have remarked that he never cared to visit Greenfield again.
Oscar F. Meek, a son of Joshua Meek, who was born at Greenfield in 1829, used to say that he remembered well when his mother and other women of the town, in the early thirties, took their kettles to the branch where there was an abundance of water and there did the family washing. Mrs. Thayer also remembers similar scenes.
In the Greenfield Reveille, in April, 1845, is found the first complete business directory of the town. This was seventeen yeas after the organization of the county: Merchants, A. T. Hart & Company, J. Templin & Company, A. G. Selman. Attorneys,
R. A. Riley, T. D. Walpole, D. S. Gooding, J. H. Williams, D. M. C. Lane. Physicians, N. P. Howard, B. F. Duncan, R. E. Barnett, S. Alters, A. G. Selman, J. Wilkinson, Tanner & Currier, Nathan Crawford. Carpenters, J. D. Furgason, E. Ballinger, Hatter, A. M. Pattison. Machinist, T. W. Sargent. Wagon-maker, H. McClemen. Cabinet-maker, P. H. Foy. Boot and shoe maker, Ezekiel Mills. Blacksmiths, J. Anderson and J. Sharp, Wilson Sears. Tailors, Kieffer & Meek, S. Stone. A. Martindale. Taverns, Mrs. Gooding's hall, William Sebastian's hotel.
In September, 1848, another complete business directory appeared in the Greenfield Spectator, which shows several changes and also some additions that had been made to the town: Merchants, John Templin & Company, A. T. Hart, C. Meek, George Tague. Drug stores, Harry Pierson. Grocery stores, George Wetherald, William Franklin. Saddlers, Joseph R. Nixon, A. Randle. Hatter, William R. West. Cabinet-makers, Phineas H. Foy, P. Guymon. Blacksmith, George Plummer, Joseph R. Tharpe, John Lindsey. National Hotel, by Mrs. M. Gooding. Temperance Hotel, by Samuel Longnaker. Lawyers, Thomas D. Walpole, James Rutherford, David S. Gooding, Reuben A. Riley. Physicians, Drs. Duncan & Barnett, Edwards & Howard, M. C. Falconbury. Tailors, E. E. Skinner and Brother, F. Kieffer.
The Indiana Gazetteer, published in 1850, reported Greenfield as a town with sixty dwellings and a population of three hundred; that it included good residence of both frame and brick buildings. It was in this year that Greenfield was incorporated as a town.
The first road running east and west through Greenfield was the old Centerville state road, which came into town from the east a short distance south of the National road, and probably about where South State street is now located. About 1834-35 the National road was opened, but was unimproved except that bridges and culverts had been built and that the road had been graded. In 1852 it was planked and in 1853 the Indiana Central railroad was completed. Prior to the completion of the railroad the mail was brought probably two or three times per week from each direction by the Dayton and Indianapolis Express. Joseph Chapman and William Sebastian were among the very early postmasters, but their duties in caring for the mail were not very arduous. It is said that Chapman frequently carried the mail under his hat and delivered it to people as he met them.
The principal streets in the town were Main street and North street. North street was commonly known as the "back street." Prior to the construction of the plank road all the streets were "dirt" streets, without gravel or other material to furnish a substantial roadbed.
The town of Greenfield was incorporated in 1850. The first meeting of the town council was held on April 15 of that year. There were present, William R. West, mayor; James Rutherford, recorder; A. K. Branham, treasurer, and Councilmen Templin, Hart, Pattison and Barnett. William Sebastian had been elected as a councilman but refused to qualify, and Cornwell Meek was appointed to fill the vacancy. Nathan Crawford, the first marshal-elect, also refused to qualify, and N. P. Howard was appointed in his place.
The second regular meeting of the council was held on May 2, 1850, at which Cornwell Meek and N. P. Howard filed their bonds, which were approved. At this meeting the common council also adopted its first ordinance. The necessity for the first few sections of the ordinance were probably occasioned by the exigencies of the times. Following are the sections:
Section 1. Be it ordained by the common council of Greenfield that any person who shall unlawfully, in a rude, insolent and angry manner, touch, strike, beat or wound another, shall forfeit and pay the sum of five dollars.
Section 2. If two or more persons fight by an agreement, each shall forfeit and pay the sum of three dollars.
Section 3. If any person or persons shall be found quarreling, making a great noise, or in any wise disturbing the peace of the citizens of said town, or any citizen therein, such person or persons shall each forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar.
The council met again on the evening of May 3, 1850. On motion the sidewalks of Main street were declared to be ten feet in width. The following ordinance was also adopted: "Any person who shall lead, ride or drive a horse or other animal, or a two or four-wheeled wagon or carriage, on or over any completed sidewalk on Main street in said town, or on or over any unfinished sidewalk while the work is in progress, shall forfeit and pay one dollar for every such offense."
On May 2, 1851, the foregoing section was amended so as to include all sidewalks in the town of Greenfield and "that all sidewalks be limited to the width of eight feet, sidewalks of Main street excepted."
On January 5, 1854, the common council passed another interesting ordinance "to prevent the lighting or burning mischievously of any shavings, wood or other rubbish, or shooting fire-crackers or sky-rockets, by any boy or children under the age of twenty-one years, except the parent or guardian be present with him or them at the commencement and during the whole time of said burning or shooting in any streets or in-lots in the town of Greenfield." The record, by the way, fails to show that the above ordinance has ever been repealed.
At a special meeting of the council on May 8, 1854, an ordinance was adopted for grading and graveling the sidewalks, and it was ordered that on or before the first day of November, 1854, "the owners of property on the several streets hereinafter named be required to grade and gravel or pave the sidewalks in front of their several pieces of property according to the specifications herein directed: The walks on both sides of Main street, commencing at the Noblesville road on the west and continuing east to East street, and from thence on the north side of said Main street to the west end of the tanyard, to be graded as directed by Nathan Crawford, councilman, ten feet in width and six feet of the middle of said grade covered with gravel six inches deep in the center and rounded to the edges, and from the west end of said tanyard eight feet grade and four feet gravel to William Sebastian's east end. State street, or Main cross street, from the north line of William Sears' lot to the Indiana Central railroad, on both sides, and from thence to the south line of the house now occupied by David D. Dobbins on the west side. Mechanic street from Main street to the railroad on both sides; West or Seminary street from North street to the railroad on both sides; South street from Mechanic street to East street on the south side, and North street from the Noblesville road to State street on the north side, be graded as directed by Nathan Crawford, eight feet wide and four feet in the middle of said grade covered with gravel six inches deep in the centers and rounded to the edges. Be it further ordered, that all walks that are not, in the opinion of the council, in a state of progress by the first of October next, to warrant the belief of their completion by the time specified, the work on the same will be done by the council, and property held liable for the amount so expended and such damages as may have been sustained by such neglect."
The above was the first ordinance passed for a general improvement of the sidewalks of the town. The ordinance, it will be observed, included practically all the streets of the town.
At a special meeting on August 12, 1854, the following interesting dog ordinance was adopted: "Be it enacted that from and after this date, the 12th of August, 1854, that any dog or dogs found running at large within the corporate limits of the town of Greenfield be declared a nuisance, being considered dangerous to the safety of the citizens, and that the marshal be and is hereby empowered and directed to shoot or otherwise kill any such dog or dogs, and further that said marshal have power to deputize any citizen or citizens of said town of Greenfield to assist him in carrying out the spirit of this ordinance."
Under an act approved June 11, 1858, the council of the corporation of the town of Greenfield met about January 1, 1859 (record fails to give exact date), and reorganized in conformity with the provisions of the above act. There were present, C. H. Burt, trustee first ward; Jonathan Tague, trustee second ward; J. H. Carr, trustee third ward; W. R. West, trustee fourth ward; Matthew McKinnie, trustee fifth ward. Matthew McKinnie was elected president of the board and H. J. Williams was appointed clerk pro tem.
The new council readopted the greater number of old town ordinances, several of which have been set out above. Other ordinances were of course adopted from time to time. On April 1, 1864, Freeman Crawford and Presely Guymon were appointed chimney and flue inspectors for the town of Greenfield, and were clothed with full power to consider any chimney or flue within the limits of the town that they found imperfect or unsafe.
An ordinance that created more excitement probably than any other, was the famous hog ordinance, adopted on April 9, 1866. This ordinance was adopted to restrain hogs of the age of two months and upwards from running at large within the corporate limits of the town, unless such hog or hogs should "be by ring or rings in or through the nose, or by some other means effectually prevented from rooting." The ordinance provided that all hogs running at large should be taken up by the marshal and confined in a pen, the owner to pay a forfeiture of one dollar to the corporation for every hog so taken up, etc.
Hogs and cattle were running at large in the town and country, and this ordinance at once aroused bitter opposition. On December 19, 1867, the matter was discussed in the Hancock Democrat, from which the following is taken: "Several of the porkers were arrested and placed in the stray pen, from whence a majority were redeemed by their unfortunate owners; but three were sold at auction by the marshal to pay the expenses. Relief was sought from the trustees but they repealed the old ordinance and passed a new one preventing hogs from running at large at all. There was no consolation in this sort of action and a petition was resorted to, setting forth the advantages of hogs running at large by those favoring this idea. The petition, we understand, is signed by about 160 voters and householders and asks the repeal of the present ordinance and the re-adoption and enforcement of the old one."
The petition mentioned above seems to have been ineffective, and the marshal was kept busy, much to the annoyance of the owners of the hogs. The matter was generally discussed in the newspapers, and the following is taken from the issue of January 23, 1868:"The marshal is enforcing the hog ordinance and has his pen about full. Among the lot are quite a number belonging to country gentlemen, one or two of them residing nearly two miles from town. Are they violators of the ordinance, and should they be mulcted the same as the town gentleman, who is presumed to know the law on the subject? Will some of the strenuous advocates of this ordinance answer the question? How long will it take to lose the respect and trade of our country neighbors if they are thus fleeced of their hard earned money when they have the right to let their hogs run at large and have no intention of being in contempt of the town ordinance? A hog will follow a corn wagon and pick up shattered grains and is thus tilled into town."
From all that appears in the newspapers of that day it seems that the hog ordinance was enforced, and gradually the hogs disappeared from the streets of Greenfield.
Several ordinances were passed in 1867 to grade and gravel streets and sidewalks, especially State street and Main street.
At the close of the Civil War Greenfield was still a town. A number of buildings, however had been constructed that are still well remembered. On the northeast corner of State and Main streets stood a two-story hotel, known as the Dunbar corner. A part of this building now stands on the west side of South State street just north of the railroad, and is owned by John F. Eagan; the remaining portion of the building now stands on the northwest corner of Grant and Spring streets. Just east of the Dunbar corner stood a one-story frame building which contained J. B. Chappius's marble works and June Hunt's oyster bay Next stood a little one-story dwelling, the home of Humphrey Offutt, where the Thayer block now stands. These buildings stood just across the street north of the public square. On the northeast corner of East and Main streets stood the Nathan Crawford home. From this point there was a rather sharp declivity on both sides of the street to the branch. On the north side of the street was a tanyard, extending to the branch.
At this point the roadway had been graded, possibly sixteen or eighteen feet higher than the sidewalks. The branch, which is now known as the Pott's ditch, was spanned by one of the substantial stone arches that were put in when the National road was constructed. At the east side of the branch a hill arose; at the top of this hill, on the north side of the road, was the residence of Charles Burk. The brick residence just east of the branch now stands on about the same spot. There was then a vacant space to a point now midway between Spring and Swope streets, where stood the residences of A. T. Hart and A. K. Branham, both of which had been built on the back part of lots on an elevation, the front of the lots being too low for building purposes. These properties were located on either side of the street about where the M. C. Quigley and Gordon residences now stand.
The next property was the William Sebastian home; it stood on a high hill just west of Swope street. To reach it from Main street one had to climb some forty or fifty steps made of hewed logs, the steps reaching from one end of the property to the other. The vacant ground between the Burk and Branham properties described above was used for stage coaches and early settlers going West. It was one of the well known stopping points between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. This vacant space was located about where the Carey Walton property now stands.
Just east of what is now Swope street stood the Morris Lineback property. This was the last house within the corporate limits. The next house on the north side of the National road was just east of Brandywine creek, which was then spanned by a covered bridge. The house stood about a quarter of a mile north of the bridge and was the home of Irvin Hunt, the first colored man in Greenfield. At this house was located one of the best springs known in the community for a number of years. Just a little east of Brandywine creek, on the north side of the National road, was the home of Gen. John T. Milroy who then had one of the showy residence between Columbus and Indianapolis.
Coming into town from the east the first house on the south side of the road was the McGann residence, which was known for many years as "the haunted house," and was made famous by Riley. Next was the residence of John T. Sebastian, which stood just across the street from the home of William Sebastian above described. The ground on which it stood, however, was much lower than the William Sebastian home. A couple of small houses then stood on the south side of the street about half way between Spring and Swope. The next was the large two-story frame building occupied by Dr. Jacob Hall. and Capt. R. A. Riley; it stood on the southeast corner of East and Main streets. On the southeast corner of this lot was an old barn. It was perhaps here that Riley was first inspired to go on the stage. It was in this barn that he and his boyhood friends gave circus performances. It is said that there was always something doing when Riley announced his date for a circus. He was ably assisted by George A. Carr, later mayor of Greenfield; "Eck" Skinner, Will Hammel, Will Salla, Jesse Millikin, and others.
(Contributor's note- see James W. Riley poem -"When We First Played 'Show'."
Going south on State street after leaving the Gooding corner was the Lloyd Offutt property north of the railroad and immediately south of the William Mitchell Printing Company. South on the railroad stood the old Methodist Episcopal church; below the church was the property of Sarilla Destribue, and still below that, the Cruey property. Coming north on the east side of South State street the first property was the Samuel Heavenridge home, just north of what is now Cemetery street. Then come the properties of William Mitchell, John T. Barrett and S. A. Wray, the latter being just across the street from the Mitchell printing plant, where Dr. Wilson now resides.
There were very few residences on North State street. On the west side of the street, near the present east entrance of the Masonic Temple, was a foot bridge leading to the south line of what is now the blacksmith shop of Morford & Son. This bridge was over marshy ground and spanned a branch that crossed the street, passing along what is now known as the Rottman building. Next was the Henry Newby property. The street was then vacant as far as Walnut street.
The McGruder property stood on the southwest corner of what is now Walnut and State streets. Next was the home of Thomas Snow, which stood a short distance north of what is Walnut street and was reached by board walks built high off the ground. Returning south on the east side of the street stood, first, the Rardin property, of some eight or nine rooms, which faced State street; the wood house stood between the street and the front of the house. It stood about halfway between North street and the branch. Humphrey Offutt had another property on what is now the southeast corner of State and North streets; between this and Main street. Thomas Osborn owned a stable, which stood about where the Rottman building now stands.
On the north side of Main street, just west of Pennsylvania, stood the Patterson hat-makers' building. Next in order were the Dr. Howard residence, the Lot Edwards property, the Riley property, the one-story cottage of Thomas Carr, where Lee C. Thayer now lives; the home of William Lindsey, made famous by Riley, the one-story home of John W. Ryon; Cartwright's wagon works and James Mahan's home. On the south side of West Main street, at the west, stood the Ferd Keefer property, where James Rader Boyd now has a handsome residence. To the east stood the little residence of Rev. Monfort. Next the half frame house on the southeast corner of what is now Main and Mechanic streets, where Dr. Bruner has his office. To the east of the Monfort residence stood the L. W. Gooding property, the Gwynn property and the James Carr property.
It is interesting to observe that in those early days, when timber was yet abundant, that the town marshal found it necessary to give the following notice by publication and posting:
"Notice is hereby given to all persons obstructing the streets or alley within the corporation of the town of Greenfield, Hancock county, Indiana, with wood, saw-logs, lumber, or other material, that such obstruction must be removed within ten days from the date hereof, or the guilty parties will be duly prosecuted.
|December 14, 1865||Henry Newby, Marshal."|
The following is also a directory of the principal business men at Greenfield during the latter sixties and about 1870, as shown by the advertising columns of the local papers: Dr. Lot Edwards, druggist; J. B. Chappius, marble works; Frank H. Weaver, jeweler; G. W. Dailey, "Star" photographer; James L. Dennis, Auctioneer; Freeman H. Crawford, druggist; Walker and Edwards, dry goods; Branham and Barnett, stoves and tinware; W. C. Burdett, dry goods; P. Guymon, livery; James Mahan, harness-maker; W. F. Pratt, dry goods; N. R. Smith, dry goods; Banks & Wilson, agricultural implements; E. W. Patton, dry goods; Bradley & Boots, groceries; J. B. Hinchman, furniture; W. S. Wood, implements; L. D. Roark, dentist; Williams & VanSickle, carriage manufacturers; Chapman & Barnett, stoves and tinware; Hart & Thayer, groceries; A. T. Hart & Company, general store; Barnett & Kane, general store; Morris Pierson & Company, woolen mills; S. S. Chandler, proprietor of Guymon House; James M. Morgan, harness-maker.
The town was incorporated as a city in 1876. The vote on the city charter was taken on May 8 of that year. The result of the election showed that 342 votes had been cast; of these, 270 were cast in favor of adopting the city charter, and 72 votes were cast against it.
The first meeting of the city council was held on June 2, 1876. There were present, Thomas H. Branham, mayor; Alonzo Ford, clerk; James A. Flippo, treasurer; and John L. Fry, Samuel W. Barnett, Frank Rosenberger, George H. Alford, W. G. Smith and Frank E. Glidden, councilmen.
Following is a list of the mayors, clerks and treasurers who have served Greenfield since its incorporation as a city:
Mayor- Thomas H. Branham, 1876-81; William J. Sparks, 1881-85; Ambrose J. Herron, 1885-94; George W. Duncan, 1894-98; John F. Eagan, 1898-1902; George A. Carr, 1902-06; John B. Hinchman, 1906-10; Ora Myers, 1910-14; Jonathan Q. Johnson, 1914.
City Clerk-Alonzo Ford, 1876-77; James W. Wilson, 1877-79; William J. Sparks, 1879-81; Eugene C. Boyden, 1881-83; Hamlin L. Strickland, 1883-85; Jonathan Q. Johnson, 1885-92; Harry G. Strickland, 1892-94; William R. McKown, 1894-98; John G. Mannon, 1898-99; William R. McKown, 1899-1902; Robert E. Martin, 1902-04; Oscar O. Bever, 1904.
City Treasurer- James A. Flippo, 1876-94; William G. Smith, 1894-98; Isaiah A. Curry, 1898-1902; Cassuis M. Curry, 1902-06; David Walsh, 1906-10; David H. Elllis, 1910.
With the incorporation of the town of Greenfield as a city began a general system of improvements, which has made the city what it is today. In that year more general street improvements began. Pennsylvania street was the first to be improved and from many years it remained one of the best streets in the city. It was built by the late John R. Johnson. Brick sidewalks were constructed and later a composition was used in the construction of several sidewalks. During the last quarter of a century practically all of the sidewalks in the city have been constructed of cement, there being now but few pieces of brick sidewalk left.
The first streets were paved with brick in 1897. The following statement will show the dates at which these streets were paved: Howard alley, 1897, by H. B. Thayer; Whiskey alley, 1897, by W. S. Fries; Main street, from Pennsylvania street to Pott's ditch; also South State street, South East street and South street, 1898, by C. M. Kirkpatrick; Depot street, 1899, by C. M. Kirkpatrick; North East street, from Main street to South street, 1899, by C. M. Kirkpatrick; State street, from Main street to North street, 1899, by C. M. Kirkpatrick; West Main street, from Pennsylvania street to Broadway street, 1901, by Daniel Foley; Pennsylvania street, from South street to Depot street, 1901, by C. M. Kirkpatrick; Mount street, from Main street to North street, 1909, by Elam J. Jeffries.
At a meeting of the town council on April 12, 1875, nineteen street lamps were ordered placed along the principal streets, and also at the railroad crossings. These were the old-fashioned oil lamps placed on posts. They were continued in use until 1886, when a committee appointed by the city council made a favorable report on lighting the city with electricity. A petition, which had been generally signed by the citizens, asking for such light, was also placed on file in the office of the city clerk. Nothing further was done with the matter at that time.
In the following spring the first natural gas well was drilled in the city, after which, of course, the city was lighted with gas lights for several years.
At a meeting of the council in May, 1892, the subject of electric lights was again presented and a verbal contract was made with Irwin & Company, of Crawfordsville, Indiana, to light the city. Thirty-five street lights were agreed upon at that time. On June 1, 1892, the council instructed the mayor to contract with Irwin & Company for thirty-five street arc electric lights when Irwin & Company should have submitted a bond for $10,000 with approved security, etc. The bond was submitted and the contract with Irwin & Company was entered into by the city. On November 30, 1892, the Greenfield Electric Light & Power Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $30,000, and with Charles G. Offutt, Orfila C. Irwin and Robert S. Thompson as directors. This corporation took over the contract of Irwin & Company with the city and continued to provide the city with light for a period of two years, or a little more. On November 22, 1894, Irwin brought a suit in the Hancock circuit court against the Greenfield Electric Light & Power Company asking that a receiver be appointed for the concern.
On February 12, 1895, Charles L. Henry purchased the stock, or at least a greater portion of the stock, of the company and became its owner. Under his management the company continued to furnish light for the city at a stipulated price per year. For the year ending January 1, 1897, the street lighting cost the city $3,850. On November 17, 1898, an ordinance was adopted providing that the mayor and clerk be "authorized and directed to execute to said Greenfield Electric Light & Power Company nineteen obligations for the rental, maturing at the end of each quarter." The terms of the lease referred to in this ordinance provided that the city pay to the company a rental of $1,000 per quarter, except the last quarter, for which a smaller amount was stipulated. By virtue of this contract the city also had an option to purchase the plant, with all poles, wires, etc., at any time before the termination of the lease, for the sum of $16,000.; all rentals that had been paid under the lease to be considered as part payment on the purchase price. Before the contract expired the city purchased the plant, and has operated it since that time. The cluster lights in the business section of the city were installed by the business men in December, 1911. The city maintains them.
On March 20, 1880, the citizens of the city of Greenfield met at the court house to organize a hook and ladder wagon brigade for protection against fire. Following were the members: E. P. Thayer, R. A. Black, Harry Hunt, Thomas Selman, N. P. Howard, Jr., H. C. Rummell, Marcellus Walker, Thomas Randall, E. B. Howard, Joseph Serrill, R. Boyd, James Wilson, C. T. Cochran, Andrew Tague, S. W. Barnett, A. L. Fitz, S. E. Duncan, James Farmer, J. W. Selman, Thomas Carr, William Snider, Eugene Glidden, Samuel Spangler, John T. Tindall, J. A. Flippo, Joseph Pauley, Fred Beecher, O. P. Moore, William Cook, William Webb and Joseph Baldwin.
A wagon with ladders was purchased, which the fireman pulled by hand. After the waterworks plant had been installed, a hose wagon was purchased. This wagon was kept at Kinder's livery barn until the erection of the present city building on North street, in 1895. In December, 1894, a fire department was also organized, composed of the following men: William H. Cosby, chief. Company No. 1, E. B. Howard, assistant chief; Clinton Parker, Allen Cooper, and J. E. Hatfield, nozzlemen; Company No. 2, Austin Boots, assistant chief; Charles W. Huston, Edward Watson and Arlington Ross, nozzlemen; Company No. 3, W. A. Hughes, assistant chief; John R. Abbott, William Tolen and George H. Gant, nozzlemen; voulunteers and assistants, Taylor Morford, John Walsh, John H. Brown, Emery Scott, E. J. Jeffries and Ben Porter.
The fire department also adopted the following resolutions: "Resolved, that we recommend to the city council the following: First, that they purchase a mocking-bird whistle to put at the pumping station. Second, that they purchase for the use of this department, one dozen rubber hats and coats."
The city council complied with the recommendations of the department and purchased a mocking-bird whistle. It was adjusted and was to be sounded at twelve o'clock on December 31, 1894. Many people sat up to hear the strange whistle. They waited patiently, but only a very few, who lived in the immediate vicinity of the pumping station, heard it. Some said it sounded like a small dog barking or howling; others said it made a noise like the wind blowing through the whiskers of a councilman. The mocking-bird whistle was unsatisfactory and it was removed from the pumping station.
On February 20, 1895, the council adopted a resolution favoring the construction of a city building, to be used for a council chamber and engine room. John H. Felt was employed as architect to prepare plans and specifications therefore. After due deliberation it was decided to locate the building on the south side of North street, where it now stands. On March 25, 1895, bids were opened, and on April 3, the contract for the construction of the building was awarded to William H. Power for $2,791. The building was constructed during the summer of 1895, and has since that time been used as an engine room and as a residence for the driver. Two or three years after the engine house was built a team was purchased by the city for the hose wagon and for several years "Old Tom" took the hook and ladder wagon to the fires. Five or six years ago another team was purchased for the hook and ladder wagon and old Tom was retired, after a service of many years in the department.
During the first ten years of the organization of the present fire department the wagon was driven by William H. Cosby, James Warrick and Samuel Morgan. Since June 27, 1905, Fred Sitton has had charge of the engine house and has driven the hose wagon to the fires. Following are the names of the men who at this time compose the fire department of Greenfield: Fred Sitton, driver; James Moran, chief; assistants, Earl Q. Jackson, Robert C. Fair, William Sitton, Charles S. Duncan, John G. Young, James Walsh, Frank Hafner, Charles W. Huston, Johnson R. Abbott, Charles N. Eastes and Guy W. Richie. William H. Cosby served as chief for two years, 1894-96. He was followed by William A. Hughes, who served four years. After this changes were made practically every year until recently. James Moran is now serving his third year as chief.
During the winter of 1888-89 the city council had under consideration the construction of a waterworks plant. At a meeting on March 20, 1889, a resolution was adopted "that the plans, specifications, etc., of a system of waterworks, as prepared by Joseph H. Dennis of the city of Indianapolis, and now on file in the mayor's office of said city of Greenfield, he and the same is hereby in all things accepted and confirmed and adopted by the said common council, as and for a system of waterworks for the said city of Greenfield." The clerk was ordered to advertise for bids for the construction of the plant, which were received on August 19, 1889. After the bids had been received and before a contract had been entered into, dissatisfaction arose among the members of the council and the entire matter was rescinded.
Irwin & Company met the city council on January 10, 1893, and discussed with them the proposition of putting in a water plant for the city. At a March meeting of the council, in 1893, Irwin made a proposition to give the city a water supply system at a cost not to exceed $2,500, the city to be at no expense for fuel, engines, pumping station, pumps, etc. They agreed to give the city fifty or sixty hydrants located in all parts of the town so that property owners would be equally protected. The company was to be given a franchise and was to collect water rentals from private consumers, the prices to be so fixed as to meet their approval. The council was to have exclusive control over the system. Objections were made to this proposition and an argument was advanced that the city ought to own and operate its own water supply plant. In the end the proposition of Irwin & Company was rejected.
During the summer of 1893, however, an agitation was kept up for city ownership of a water plant. An election was ordered by the council to be held on September 12, 1893, to determine the matter. At this election 292 votes were cast in favor of city ownership and 114 against the city ownership of the waterworks.
Following this election, the council, at a meeting on October 20, 1893, accepted the proposition of Voorhees & Witmer, of Buffalo, N. Y., to make plans and specifications and superintend the construction of a water plant. The firm was to do all work and make all necessary plans for $1,200. Bids were received for the construction of the plant on March 21, 1894, and that of Snider & Williams, of Dayton, Ohio, for $23, 875, was accepted. For this amount they were to construct the entire plant with everything complete. The contract was closed on March 22. Water was turned into the mains for the first time of August 14, 1894, and the plant was accepted. Since that date the city has supplied the residents with water.
Four or five buildings seem to have been used for school purposes in Greenfield before the time of the Civil War. There is some conflict as to where the first buildings stood and the confusion occasioned thereby may make it appear that there were more buildings than were actually used. It seems pretty certain, however, that the first school in Greenfield was taught in a small log building that stood on the hill just south of the old cemetery. It was perhaps one-third of the way between the old and the new cemetery. This building was erected in 1820 and was used for school purposes about two years. The names of the teachers who taught here are now beyond recall.
Another house seems to have been erected in 1832 on the east side of State street just above North street. It was also a log school house and some of the teachers who taught in this building were Mrs. Church, Caroline Depew, Messrs. Coy, Corkings, Fisher, Mitchell, Ensminger, Meredith Gosney and James Templin. Although the above named were all teachers in the early schools of Greenfield there is probably some doubt whether all of them taught in the little log school house on North State street. There is also some uncertainty as to how long this school house was used. It is certain that before the county seminary was built schools were conducted on South street and also at two points on North East street.
On August 23, 1843, a contract was entered into with Cornwell Meek for the construction of a county seminary building. It is again a little uncertain as to just when the first school was taught in the seminary. From an issue of the Greenfield Spectator, published in 1848, it is clear that on September 24 of that year, P. Lawyer and Miss M. Walls were to open their second term of school in this building. William T. Hatch also taught several terms and was followed in 1850 by John Wilson, who is still remembered as an old resident of Greenfield. Mr. Wilson was followed by H. R. Morley and James L. Mason. At the June term, in 1855, the county commissioners ordered the auditor and treasurer to proceed to sell the county seminary, in accordance with the provisions of an act approved January 12, 1852.
With the adoption of the new state constitution in 1852, a system of free schools was inaugurated in the state. Under the new law a house was erected in Greenfield on the north side of North street just east of the first alley west of Pennsylvania street. There seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether this house was erected in 1852 or 1854. It was probably erected in 1854, and stood on the site now occupied by the Catholic church. The first teacher in this house was Jonathan Tague who taught during the winter of 1854-55. John B. Herod taught the school during the next winter and was followed in 1856 by James L. Mason. In 1857 the Rev. David Monfort established his school, which soon outgrew the building, and was then removed to the second story of the Masonic hall. After the removal of the school to the Masonic hall, it was organized as an academy and was attended by quite a number of students from Hancock county, and from surrounding counties. This school, known as the Greenfield Academy, has been treated under a separate caption. The public school was made a part of the term of the academy and a catalogue of the school, in 1859, indicated that it included a session of nine weeks.
At the beginning of the Civil War the only schools in Greenfield were those located in the Masonic hall. There was no school house in Greenfield except the little building on North street, which was entirely inadequate. This occasioned quite an agitation, and much that was said and done appeared in the columns of the local paper of that date. On December 19, 1860, the situation was summed up in the following statement by the Democrat: "The fact that there is now no public school house in a town of the size and with the population of Greenfield, and that to secure the advantages and blessings of a school alike free to all, our school trustees have to go a-begging for rooms in which to hold it, does not speak well for the public spirit and enterprise of its citizens; or for that appreciation of the benefits of education, which ought to stimulate all good citizens. If, as has been said, education is the guardian of our rights and liberties, and the hope of the world, in this perilous time, to the free institutions of our common county, it behooves every citizen to concern himself in the rearing of the temple of learning in which the rising generations are to be prepared for successful action in riper years. The old and unsuitable building recently parted with for a church for our Catholic fellow citizens, was a miserable apology in size and suitableness, as well as in external appearance. We suggest that the money derived from its sale, together with the funds that have and will hereafter accumulate for building purposes, and such contributions as may be made by citizens, be employed in the purchase of suitable grounds and the erection of a building of sufficient capacity to accommodate all the children of the town. Such a building would not only be of incalculable advantages for school purposes, but would be an ornament to the town and an honor to its citizens. Besides it would be a strong invitation for thrifty and energetic tradesmen and others, to settle among us, and assist in making Greenfield what it ought to be-the seat of learning and the emporium of the county."
On January 11, 1861, a school meeting of the citizens was held at the Methodist Episcopal church for the purpose of selecting a teacher. Ninety-nine citizens were reported present. Thomas Carr, one of the corporation trustees, called the meeting to order; A. K. Branham was elected president and Jonathan Tague, secretary. A motion was then made to select a teacher, and M. C. Foley was placed in nomination. There seem to have been factions in this meeting and also strong feeling with regard to the school situation generally. An angry discussion followed the above motion, as reported in the local paper of that date, and the motion was tabled. A resolution was then adopted by a vote of fifty to forty-nine, the substance of which was to have no schools at all until a suitable and adequate building should be erected for school purposes. A heated discussion followed the adoption of this resolution; many left the meeting and Mr. Branham withdrew from the chair. At the request of a number of citizens who were present, H. B. Thayer took the chair. Proceedings were then continued and Mr. Foley was elected.
In the latter part of January, 1861, the corporation trustees appointed H. J. Williams school trustee. He secured a hall and the Methodist Episcopal church for rooms and authorized Q. D. Hughes to ascertain which of the schools the citizens desired to patronize. This created a spirit of rivalry between the two schools. There was more or less ill feeling manifested by the friends of the schools, which caused Mr. Hughes to destroy his list of names and Mr. Williams to resign.
During the winter of 1861 a school was taught at the Methodist Episcopal church by Lee O. Harris, with Miss Mahala Roney as assistant. In the fall of 1862 Rev. M. H. Shockley and Lee O. Harris were chosen joint principals of the public school which was taught in the Masonic hall. Mrs. L. S. Gephart, Mrs. Neal and M. V. B. Chapman were assistants. From this time until the close of the war the schools of the city were taught by various teachers, among whom were Mr. Mendenhall, Mr. Johnson, Miss Hall, Lydia Martin and Miss Linda Osborn. In the meantime an agitation was kept up for an adequate school building. In March, 1861, the local paper recited: "We are grateful to learn that the corporation trustees have commenced to work in earnest toward securing a school house for the corporation. They have purchased of Jacob Slifer one acre of ground fronting on the National road, just east of Mr. Sebastian's residence. Brick for the building are to be burned on the ground during the spring months." This, however, proved to be a vision and the building failed to appear.
At the close of the Civil War, on September 13, 1865, another meeting of the citizens was held at the court house to take steps for the erection of a school house. R. A. Riley was elected president of the meeting and William Mitchell, secretary. J. Ward Walker offered the following resolution; "Resolved, that a committee of one from each ward of the town be appointed to solicit subscriptions to build a good and sufficient school house of sufficient dimensions to accommodate all of the children in town." This resolution was adopted and the following committee appointed: Morgan Chandler, William Mitchell, H. J. Williams, J. Ward Walker, John W. Ryon and P. H. Boyd. A committee composed of H. B. Thayer, F. H. Crawford and P. Guymon was also appointed to report on the location and plan of a building and the probable cost thereof. A. K. Branham, school trustee, reported that he has $1,300 on hands in the building fund and that the current levy would raise the amount to $1,500.
The above all looked very favorable and yet it was several years before a new building was constructed. In 1865 Lee O. Harris was again elected principal, with J. M. Stevenson first assistant, and Miss Lou Foley, Miss Linda Osobrn and Mrs. Lavina Gephart as other assistants. This school was started in the Masonic hall but was later divided between the Masonic hall and the Methodist Episcopal church. Miss Linda Osborn was principal at the hall, with Miss Mary E. Ogle, Miss Alice Pierson and Mrs. L. S. Gephart as assistants. Miss Lou Foley was principal at the church, and Hattie B. Spinning and Inez Gwinn, assistants. The term continued for sixty-five days.
During the fall and winter of 1867-68 the school was conducted by James Williamson; Lizzie Stevens and Miss Linda Osborn were assistants. There were likely other assistants who cannot be recalled at this time. In the meantime, on December 12, 1867, the trustees of the Masonic hall gave notice that "after the present winter the hall cannot be procured for school services, public or private." The spring term, however, opened on April 6, 1868, with Lee O. Harris, principal, again at the hall, with William M. Johnson, Miss Mary E. Ogle, and Edward C. Galbreath as assistants, and M. C. Foley principal at the church, with Miss Linda Osborn and Miss Nannie Foley, assistants. During the winter of 1868-69 the school was taught by D. R. VanWie and H. F. Spencer, assisted by Mrs. L. S. Gephart and others. Mr. Van Wie afterward taught two private schools in rooms that were rented from the business men of the town.
On May 4, 1868, an election was held in Greenfield to determine the site for a school building. The voters were to choose between two sites, one where the West building now stands and the other at the southwest corner of Bradley's addition. In this election one hundred and forty-six votes were cast in favor of the West site and seventy-three in favor of locating the school in Bradley's addition. Benjamin Elder had offered to give the ground now occupied by the West school building on condition that the school house be erected thereon. After the election the school trustees advertised for bids for the construction of the new school house. The bid of Harmon Everett was the lowest, and the contract for the construction of the West building was awarded to him for $10,794. About December 1, 1869, another meeting of the citizens was held for the purpose of taking steps to procure furniture for the new school At this meeting R. A. Riley offered the following resolution, which was adopted: "Resolved, that the board of town trustees be required to issue corporation orders, payable in one year, in such sums as may be needed for convenient use in procuring seats and other necessaries for the school house and that they levy such tax as they many be authorized by law to levy for the payment of the same." H. B. Wilson, Thomas Bidgood, William S. Wood and William Mitchell were appointed as a committee to solicit citizens to accept such orders for money advanced. During the evening and in the following morning this committee raised seven hundred and fifty dollars for the purpose above mentioned.
On January 26, 1870, the Greenfield free school was opened in the new building with two hundred and thirty-six pupils. N. W. Fitzgerald was principal, and Miss L. A. Osborn, Mrs. Julia Fitzgerald, Miss Mary F. Ogle, Miss Mattie Flanner, Mrs. E. E. Galbreath and Mrs. J. W. Lacy were assistants. The school board at the time was composed of A. K. Branham, P. H. Boyd and H. B. Wilson. Mr. Fitzgerald was principal of the school just one year, but he introduced some methods that were copied for several years in a greater number of the schools of the county. For the purpose of encouraging industry and attendance at school, he placed upon "Honor Rolls," which were made at the week ends near the close of the term, the names of all pupils who had been perfect in their recitations and deportment and had lost no time by absence or tardiness. These Honor Rolls were published in the local papers. Following are lists of the pupils whose names appeared upon the Honor Rolls that were published from time to time during the spring of 1870.
|Room 1.||Mary Ogle, teacher-Willie Shenway, Amelia Pie, Charles Danner, Georgia Creed, Emma Rardin, Nancy Anderson, Thomas Webb, Bell Baker, Lorenzo D. Pallou, Mary Lace, Allen Cooper, Eva Lacy, Alice Dobbins, George Gephart, John Crush, Juliet Cooper and Parthenia Slifer.|
|Room 2.||L. A. Osborn, teacher-Charles Keefer, Arthur Gorman, Willie Sears, Arthur Chapman, Thomas H. Mitchell, Thomas Hogan, Jefferson Cox, Glespie Vickrey, Belle Marsh, Lelia Walker, Anna Chambers, Sarah Lace, Sarah Earles, Mollie Creviston, Kate Howell, Allie Anderson, Douglass Hamilton, Charlie Skinner, Charles Personette, Samuel C. Mitchell, R. Willie Brown, Willie Randall, Frank Addison, Ottie Skinner, Rosa L. Gant, Lina Banks, Fannie Adams, Miranda Nicholson, Allie E. Walker, Ella Nicholson, Jessie Randall, Louisa Sears, George Cooper, Ernest Williams, Joseph Walker, Frank Hammel, James Walsh, John Walsh, Fernando Carmichael, Emma Carr, Rosalind Banks, Lizzie Crowell, Elza Wharton, Anna Shepard, Josie Tague, Ida B. Cox and Isadora Wilkins.|
|Room 3.||M. E. Flenner, teacher-Quinn Johnson, Iona Williams, Laura Pope and Arthur Walker.|
|Room 4.||Elmer Swope, Elva M. Riley, Annie Carr, Fannie Keefer, Penn Bidgood, Edgar Tague, Annie Chittenden, Angie Williams, George Wilson, Eliza Slifer and Brainard Cooper.|
|Room 5.||Principal department, N. W. Fitzgerald, superintendent-H. G. Amick, Clint Hamilton, Mary L. Wilson, William Hammel, Lizzie McGregor, James A. New, Julia Wilson, Jennie Roberts, John F. Mitchell, Mollie Lacey, William Pierson, J. R. Boyd, Mellie Ryon, Samuel C. Fitzgerald, Laura Brown, T. M. Morgan, Paulina King, Pet Guymon, Edwin Howard, Kizzie Short, William Wilson and Annie Tague.|
The Honor Roll proved to be a popular idea. Several teachers in the county adopted the plan before the close of the school in 1870, and for almost ten years thereafter the local newspapers continued to publish such lists from schools in all parts of the county.
The Honor Rolls published by Superintendent Fitzgerald also put the pupils in a much more favorable light than that in which they had found themselves during the previous summer, when an unsympathetic observer wrote of them in the local paper: "The boys of Greenfield are probably on a par with boys of other towns, but they are a decided nuisance when congregated at the court house yard playing marbles, killing the grass and endangering the trees by their continual tread, saying nothing of their loud and improper talk. They had better be pulling weeds in their gardens, or reading some useful book."
In the fall of 1871, George W. Puterbaugh was elected principal, with F. C. Doran, Lee O. Harris, Miss Frank Ross, Miss Rachel Howell and Miss Mary E. Dille, as assistants. In 1872, Mr. Puterbaugh was again elected principal, with Lee O. Harris, W. P. Smith, W. S. Fries, Abram W. Frost, Jacob Rothenberger, Argie H. Parker, Kate R. Geary and Julia Mathers, assistants. With a few changes the same corps of teachers was employed in the fall of 1873. In 1873 a colored school was organized, with fifteen pupils, and with John L. Bailey as teacher. The school was discontinued after 1895. The corps of teachers employed in the fall of 1874 was composed of George W. Puterbaugh, principal, and Theodore Winn, Kate R. Geary, Bessie R. Good, Angie H. Parker and Julia Mathers.
A little incident occurred in the school in 1875 that aroused quite a great deal of interest. One R. M. Hughes, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was in the state of Indiana, visiting schools. He seemed to be especially interested in arousing a love for Shakespeare among the pupils. He offered a beautiful gold medal to the pupil in the Greenfield schools who would best interpret Hamlet's "Soliloquy on Death." Thirty-five pupils read, many others listened and were to have taken part, but gave up the contest. The judges were John H. Binford, James A. New, and Dr. Alvin J. Thomas, minister of the Christian church. The winners of the first, second and third places respectively were Alice Creviston, Earl Brown and Ida Geary. The inscriptions of the medal given as first prize were: "Presented as a token of respect by a lover of talent, February 25, 1875;" on the reverse side, "Trust in God and allow nothing to prevent you from acting honorable at all times. R. M. Hughes." This gold medal is still treasured by Mrs. Alice Glascock.
In 1875, John H. Binford was chosen principal, with W. S. Fries, Maggie Brown, Jennie Sisson, Bessie R. Good, Clara L. Bottsford and Julia Mothers, assistants. Jacob Rothenberger taught the colored school.
In 1876-77 John H. Binford was again elected principal, with Maggie Brown, Kate R. Geary, Jennie Sisson, Cornelia Lowder, Angie H. Howard, Prudence Hougham and Eva Williams, as assistants. The colored school was taught by Edward H. Tiffany. This was the first term of school taught within the corporation of the city of Greenfield.
In 1877 W. H. Simms was elected superintendent. His assistants were J. J. Pettit, Clara B. Bottsford, Prudence Hougham, Kate R. Geary, Mrs. J. W. Jones, Jennie Sisson, Eva Williams. Edward H. Tiffany taught the colored school.
Mr. Simms was retained as superintendent for the year 1878-79. Miss Mary E. Sparks was the principal of the high school and Mrs. Kate Applegate, Ella Creswell, Aggie McDonald, Ella Bogu, Eva Williams and Kate R. Geary were grade assistants. Edward H. Tiffany taught the colored school.
In the spring of 1879 the first class graduated from the Greenfield high school. On Wednesday evening, April 9 of that year, the first commencement was held and the following program rendered at the Masonic hall:
Class motto- Palama non sine labore. Music, Prayer. Music. Salutatory, "The Kaleidoscope," by E. J. Williams. Oration, "Great Men are Beacon Lights," by Samuel C. Mitchell. Music. Essay, "Simon Says Thumbs Up," by Miss Laura Pope. Oration, "Gold Basis," by George H. Cooper. Music. Valedictory, "The Web of Life is Strangely Woven," by Ida B. Geary. Music. Presentation of diplomas, by W. H. Simms, superintendent. Music. Benediction.
The essays and orations delivered by the students on that evening were all published in the issue of April 17, 1879, of the Hancock Democrat. The program above is typical of the programs that were given for a number of years-in fact, until 1896. For a number of years the essays and orations of the students were published in the Hancock Democrat.
In the spring of 1896 the plan of holding the commencement was changed, and for the first time a lecturer was brought to the city to deliver a "commencement address." The high school commencement was held on April 10, of that year, at which Dr. J. T. Headley, of Cleveland, Ohio, delivered a discourse on "The Sunny Side of Life." The plan of employing a speaker instead of having the essays and orations of the students was not very kindly received by a great many people. Many preferred to hear the students and felt that a commencement was a students' occasion and that a lecturer had no business on the platform. It is interesting to observe the comment of the subject that appeared in the local papers at that time. It was not until a year or two later that protests entirely disappeared from the local press.
Mr. Simms was retained as superintendent of the schools during the years of 1879-80-81. Miss Sparks was also retained as principal of the high school during those years. Only a change or two was made in the grades. Laura A. Pope was added to the list in the fall of 1879. Calvin Gillium was employed to teach the colored school in the fall of 1879 and was retained until the spring of 1882. In 1881 John W. Stout was elected superintendent of the schools and Mary E. Sparks, retained as principal of the high school. The grade assistants were Miss Ada Anderson, Kate Applegate, Mattie Sparks, Ida Geary, Laura Pope, Eva Williams and Anna Harris.
In 1882-83 Mr. Stout and Miss Sparks were retained, the grade assistants being Ada Anderson, Ida Geary, Laura Pope, Eva Williams, Vickey Wilson, Edna Smith and Anna Harris. Robert A. Roberts taught the colored school.
During the summer of 1883 the east school building was erected. Hunt & Herron were the contractors and Albert Fitz did the brick work. The contract price for the building was five thousand four hundred dollars. During the school years of 1883-84 J. M. Strasberg was superintendent and Miss Mary E. Sparks, principal of the high school; the assistants at the West building were Ida Geary, Vickie Wilson and Laura Pope during the first part of the term. The term was finished by Mattie Sparks, Artie Linville, Jennie Willis and Anna Harris.
The first teachers at the East building were Mrs. Strasberg, Ada Anderson, Iduna Smith and Iola Coffin. Robert A. Roberts again taught the colored school. In 1885 J. V. Martin was elected superintendent of the schools and Mary E. Sparks, principal of the high school. Mr. Martin served as superintendent until the time of his death in 1889. Will H. Glascock was elected in the fall of 1889 and served until the spring of 1891.
Until 1887 the Greenfield high school offered only a three-year course. After that, another year was added. There were no commencement exercises at the close of the term, the class not graduating until the spring of 1886, when they had finished the four-year course.
During the superintendency of Mr. Glascock the schools became crowded and an agitation was started for another building. In 1890 plans for the new building were made before a site for the building had been selected. At that time the school board was required by law to obtain an order from the city council to build a school house. This privilege the city council refused to give until it was determined where the new school house should be located. The council wanted the building in the second ward, the school board was opposed to locating it in the second ward but wanted it more centrally located in order that it might serve as a high school building for the entire city. To aid in the determination of the matter a meeting of the citizens was held at the court house on the evening of May 10, 1890. Reuben A. Riley was elected chairman of the meeting and William J. Sparks, secretary. Judge Gooding stated the object of the meeting to be "to consider the question of further school privileges for the accommodation of the children of the city." The question for consideration was whether the building should be located in the south part of town or north of Main street. Henry Snow and William R. Hough both spoke on the question urging that the house be located in the second ward, south of the railroad.
The chair then appointed David S. Gooding, William R. Hough and Elbert Tyner as a committee on resolutions. This committee reported in substance that, whereas petitions had been presented to the school board signed by 245 persons, representing more than one-half of the taxpayers of the city and two-thirds of the residents in the first and second wards, asking that the school building be located within the second ward, and that since the people of the second ward were asking for a grade building and not for a high school building, that therefore a four-roomed building out to be erected in the south ward not nearer than four square to Main street, etc. This resolution was adopted. The present site of the South building was then determined upon by the school board, composed at the time of D. H. Goble, Joseph Baldwin and Edward P. Scott. On June 14, 1890. a contract was entered into between the school board and Orr & Lane for the construction of the house, for $5,946
The action taken above settled the matter of the South building. There was still an agitation, however, for a high school building. The high school was still located in the West building, which was becoming inadequate. On March 20, 1895, the city council ordered an ordinance prepared to authorize the city school board to erect a $30,000 high school building. Steps were taken for issuing bonds, which were sold on April 3, 1895, for $28,850. The purchasers, on examining the transcript of the record, however, refused to take the bonds on the ground that they were illegal, exceeding the two per cent limit. Later in the summer the bonds were sold.
On July 31, 1895, the school board, composed of Ephraim Marsh, Brainand Cooper and Elmer E. Stoner, contracted with Geake, Henry & Greene, of Ft. Wayne, for construction of the present high school buildings, for the sum of $29.400. The building when completed and furnished cost the city approximately $35,000. The last building in the city was a one-roomed frame house constructed in East Greenfield, in 1906.
Music was introduced into the schools in the fall of 1892. Mrs. Alice Glascock was the first supervisor and devoted four days of each week to the work for two years. She was followed by J. E. Mack, who gave all of his time to the subject. Music met with more or less opposition when first introduced. Many people opposed it because they considered it a useless expense and the time wasted. Even the teachers were not all in entire sympathy with the movement. Manual training and sewing were introduced in the fall of 1905; drawing in 1906. In 1914, a kitchen or laboratory for domestic science was fully equipped in the high school building with gas hot plates, white enameled kitchen cabinets, white enameled cabinet tables with wooden tops, aluminum cooking utensils, etc. Preparations for teaching agriculture were also made in the fall of 1914.
Following is a list of the men who have served as superintendent of schools since Greenfield has been incorporated as a city: John H. Binford, 1876-77; W. H. Simms, 1876-81; John W. Stout, 1881-83; J. M. Strasberg, 1883-84; J. V. Martin, 1884-89; Will H. Glascock, 1889-91; George W. Wilson, 1891-99; Alpheus J. Reynolds, 1899-1901; A. E. Martin, 1901-03; William C. Goble, 1903-11; Frank Larrabee, 1911.
With the discovery of gas, in the spring of 1887, and the establishment of factories at Greenfield, the number of school children increased, which, of course, caused a greater number of teachers to be employed in the schools. It would be impracticable to give the complete lists of teachers for each year since that time, but following is a list of those who have taught for several years of more since the latter eighties:
Grade teachers- W. B. Bottsford, Lulu Dove, Anna L. Harris, H. D. Barrett, Kate D. Wilson, Audrey Barnard, Elsie Huddleson, John Radcliffe, Etta Barrett, Nelle Baldwin, Virginia Morton, Martha Stockinger, Katherine Grifffin, Maude Flowers, Leona M. Garrett, Frank C. Bryant, Emma Parnell, William M. Coffield, Iola Coffin, Viola Ham, Hiram Thomas, Lizzie Baldwin, Merritt Wood, Bessie Z. Jackson, Hannah M. Test, Edna Penfield, Will Leamon, Maude Iliff, Mabelle Smith, Arthur Boone, Abbie Henby, Horatio Davis, Ida B. Geary, Mrs. Ada New, Hattie Rains, Minnie Grist, Louise Hill, Neva Roney, Minnie Houck, Nida A. Card, Mary Badger, Rhoda Coffield, Ethel Clift, James A. Furgason, Agnes Fort, Mary C. Pavey, Lulu A. Gillatt, Zoe Ham, S. C. Staley, Nellie Hoel, John T. Rash and Kate Nave.
High school teachers- Mary E. Sparks, Ida Steele, John H. Whitely, Henrietta Pagelson, Bessie Herrick, John H. Johnson, Frances L. Petit, Elwood Morris, Gertrude Larimore, Effie A. Patee, Hugh E. Johnson, Clara Hagans, Arthur Kinold, Sylvester Moore, Jesse Warrum, J. M. Pogue, Edna B. Carter, Mary Sample, Nora Corcoran, Ruth Allerdice, Lena A. Foote and John W. Kendall.
Supervisors- Mrs. Alice Glascock, J. E. Mack, Della M. James, Genevieve Engibous, Laura E. Jennings, Myrtle Woodson, Elizabeth Williams, Leah Arthur and Nellie C. Winkler.
The names of the present teachers are given in the chapter on "Education."
There were enrolled in the schools of Greenfield during the year 1914-15, 966 pupils, with an average daily attendance of 799. Of these, 190 were in the high school and 776 were in the grades. The total cost of maintaining the grade schools for the year ending July 31, 1915, was $50,672.50. The total cost of maintaining the high school was $7,628.90; a total of $21,355.34 was paid out to the teachers in the schools. The estimated value of the school property is $90,000. The total assessment of taxables in the city was reported as $2,213,760. Greenfield has a good public library in connection with her schools.
In 1878, W. H. Simms, who was then superintendent of the city schools, organized a library. The first class which graduated from the high school in the spring of 1879, canvassed the city in an effort to collect books, and on November 24, 1879, an association was formed, composed of the members of the Greenfield high school. The following were its officers: President, George S. Wilson; vice-president, Miss Crissie Gilchrist; secretary, Miss Jessie Randall; treasurer, Josie B. Tague; corresponding secretary, Thomas S. Mitchell; executive committee, Eddie Thayer, Lenna Gwinn and William Atherton. The object of this association was to procure means to enlarge the high school library that had been started.
The high school at that time was held at the West building. Books were added to the library each year. In 1895, the present high school building was constructed and was occupied in the fall of that year. The school now had more commodious apartments and on November 5, 1897, a meeting of the citizens of the city was held at the building for the purpose of considering ways and means of established a public library. A large number of people were in attendance. The high school cadet band, under the direction of Professor Mack, made its first appearance at this meeting. E. E. Stoner was elected president of the meeting and Dr. Charles K. Bruner, secretary. The subject for discussion was "Best plans for establishing a library." After due consideration of the matter, the president was directed to appoint twelve citizens to constitute a committee to solicit funds to the amount of $1,000.
Such a committee was appointed and as a result of their efforts the following subscriptions were made: Mrs. J. L. McNew, $100; Ora Snider, $100; James W. Riley, $100; S. R. Wells, $50; E. E. Stoner, $50; Jerome Black, $25; George H. Cooper, $25; Hesperian Reading Club, $25; J. Walker Company, $25; Mrs. Ephraim Marsh, $25; W. R. Hough, $25; Lee O. Harris, $25; William Mitchell Printing Company, $25; Cosmopolitan Club, $25; George S. Wilson, $25; R. D. Andres, $250; J. D. Conklin and Son $20; W. S. Fries, $15; Mrs. M. J. Elliott, $15; F. G. Banker, $10; C. K. Bruner, $10; H. L. Strickland, $10; J. H. Binford, $10; E. W. Felt, $10; D. B. Cooper, $10; J. K. Henby, $10; H. Snow, $10; Ida B. Steele, $10; Bessie R. Herrick, $10; William H. Glascock, $10; C. W. Morrison & Son, $10; W. A. Service, $10; W. G. Smith, $10; A. J. Reynolds, $10; A. C. Pilkenton, $60; J. F. Reed, $5; C. M. Curry, $5; William J. Cleary, $5; L. E. McDonald, $5; C. A. Tolen, $5; W. S. Montgomery, $5; J. H. Moulden, $5; Charles Downing, $5; J. S. Jackson, $5; C. E. Kinder, $5; John F. Eagan, $5; M.E. Brown, $5; Neva Roney, $5; George W. Duncan, $10; H. D. Barrett, $5; Ella M. Corr, $5; Fred Beecher, $5; William Ward Cook, $5; E. S. Bragg, $5; Mrs. W. H. Gant, $5; Mrs. A. J. Banks, $5; Nettie Adams, $5; Thomas New, $5; E. E. Thomas, $5; W. R. McKown, $5; M. C. Quigley $5; Jeffries & Son, $5; William A. Hughes, $5; Ella M. Hough, $5; E. P. Thayer, Jr., $5; Iola S. Bragg, $5; Mrs. Kate Martin, $2.50; Anna H. Randall, $5; Lizzie Harris, $2.50; H. L. Thomas, $2.50; S. C. Staley, $2.50; Elizabeth Baldwin, $2.50; Kate Wilson, $2; Louise Hill, $ 2; Ada New, $2; Viola Ham, $2; Viola Spencer, $2; Harry Strickland, $5; C. S. Brand, $5; V. L. Early, $5; Pearl E. Tyner, $5; Mrs. I. P. Poulson, $5; John Corcoran, $5; F. S. Hammel, $5; John Larrabee, $2.50. Total, $1,103.50.
In the fall of 1898, a committee of the following persons was appointed to select books: Lee O. Harris, Charles K. Bruner, William R. Hough, Mrs. Ephriam Marsh, Mrs. Blanche McNew and Mrs. George W. Duncan. This committee purchased books with the funds on hand and the new library was established in the room just north of the hall, on the first floor of the high school building. It was kept in this room until October, 1909, when it was moved into the new library building. Miss Minnie Hughes was appointed first librarian and served until 1902. Miss Manie Handy acted as librarian from 1902 until 1907. Since 1907 Mrs. Kate G. Poulson has been librarian.
About ten years ago the high school building was becoming crowded and for this reason it was found desirable to have a separate library building. Andrew Carnegie had aided in the establishment of a number of library buildings, and the school board, composed of J. W. Harrell, George H. Cooper and Samuel J. Offutt, applied to him for a donation. In this they were entirely successful. Mrs. Melissa Cooper, mother of George H. Cooper, donated the ground for the building. The following tablet, placed in the vestibule of the library, is explanatory of how the building came to be erected.
"Andrew Carnegie Gave Ten Thousand Dollars to the Erection of This Building. The Ground was Donated as a Memorial to Mrs. Malissa Cooper."
The building was constructed in 1908-09 and was occupied by the library in October, 1909.
Since its establishment a number of citizens have donated pictures and books. The lower hall has been named Harris Hall, in honor of Lee O. Harris, and the County Federation of Country Clubs has placed a large portrait of the Captain in this hall. A picture painted by the late Richard Brown Black hangs in the reading room above, and the D. H. Goble collection of corals and shells comprises one of the valubable donations to the library. The report of the librarian made in May, 1899, soon after the establishment of the library, showed that it contained 1,758 books. On January 1, 1900, 2,030 volumes were reported. Many additional books have been purchased so that at present the library contains approximately 6,800 volumes.
On its return to Philadelphia from the St. Louis Exposition, the train bearing the Liberty Bell to its destination was stopped for possibly an hour at Greenfield on November 18, 1904, to give the people an opportunity of seeing the historical bell. This opportunity was provided through the efforts of W. C. Goble, then superintendent of the city schools. All of the teachers of the city with their pupils were at the depot, where there was an immense gathering of the people of the county, to see the bell. Short addresses were made by Mayor Bookwalter, of Indianapolis, and by Mayor Weaver, of the city of Philadelphia.
A tan yard was established in Greenfield immediately north of the National road and west of what is now the Potts ditch. It was first owned by Henry Chapman; later owners were Samuel Henry, Nathan Crawford, A. T. Hart and Randall & Milton. Milton finally came into possession of it and suspended operations some time previous to the Civil War. Henry B. Wilson, who was postmaster for a time at Greenfield, operated a tannery from 1865 to 1873.
The first saw-mill in Greenfield was built in 1848 by James R. Bracken and John Templin. It was located just across the National road from the first tan yard above described. It was possibly just a little east of the tan yard. A large amount of lumber that was used on the plank road in 1852 was sawed at this mill.
A grist-mill was erected south of the railroad in 1855, by Nathan Crawford, Freeman H. Crawford and Samuel Longnaker. It burned in 1860, but was rebuilt a few years later by Mr. Chaney. Later owners were Hiram Woods, during whose ownership it was again burned; Alexander, New & Boots, and New Brothers. About ten years ago the company owning the mill was incorporated as the Barrett Elevator Company. Its principal owners now are A. J. New & Son. The name of the corporation has also been changed and is now known as the Greenfield Milling Company.
A saw-mill was erected south of the railroad by Benjamin Cox, in 1860. In 1862 a circular saw-mill was erected south of the railroad and east of the depot. It was operated only a few years.
Morris Pierson erected a woolen-mill south of the railroad and just below the depot, in 1868. It was owned and operated for several years by Morris Pierson, Craig & Minnick, and Scofield. It was destroyed by fire.
A planning-mill was erected by Williams Brothers and Hamilton, in the south part of town, about 1870. These men operated the mill for a number of years. It was burned a time or two and is now owned by the A. P. Conklin Lumber Company.
A grist-mill was erected by Joseph Boots, J. B. Fouch and Samuel E. Gappen, in 1872. It was later owned by Nelson Bradley, W. G. Scott, W. S. Fries and others, and was known for many years as the Hancock Mills. The plant was later bought by Albert L. New and others, who incorporated and are now known as the New Milling Company.
A flax factory, built in 1875 in the east part of the city, did a flourishing business through the latter seventies, but when flax culture was abandoned in the county, in the early eighties, there was little business for it. It burned.
A saw mill, erected by George Newhall in 1876, was located in the west part of town, south of the railroad, and operated a planer in connection with the saw-mill. It burned about 1878 or 1879.
A desk factory was erected in the southeast part of town, in 1876, by F. M. Gilcrist. It was bought in 1879 by J. E. Brown, who operated it for several years thereafter. A desk factory was erected in 1876 by A. E. Teal and George W. Puterbaugh, in the southwest part of town, and was operated for eight or ten years.
A saw-mill was erected by Gordon & Son, in 1877, in the southwest part of town. Jerome Black later bought an interest in the mill, when it was operated under the name of Black & Gordon. The owners of the mill have since incorporated and are now known as the Greenfield Lumber and Ice Company.
While good timber was yet plentiful in the county several heading factories were established at Greenfield. The first one was established in 1880 by Charles Cammack, and another in 1881, by Pratt and Puterbaugh. Both factories were located in the south part of town.
After the discovery of gas, in the spring of 1887, several large concerns moved to Greenfield. Among them were four glass factories; two window houses and the Greenfield Fruit Jar and Bottle Works, in the west end of town, and the bottle works, at the east end of Greenfield. The window houses have been gone for a number of years. The Greenfield Fruit Jar and Bottle Company have a new plant that is kept intact, but has not been operated for three or four years. The plant was purchased a few years ago by Ball Brothers, who are said to have taken the glass-blowing machines to their factories at Muncie. Since that time the local factory has not been operated. The east end bottle works was operated until about a year ago, when it was destroyed by fire.
Two other large factories that came to Greenfield following the discovery of gas were the Home Stove Company, which built a factory south of the railroad, and the Nail Works, which was a large factory at the east end of town on Chandler's addition to the city. The opening of both of these factories, the Home Stove Company, and the Nail Works, was attended with elaborate ceremonies, including a barbecue, etc.
A paper factory was also erected on the hill just east of Brandywine creek and south of the National road. It was operated for a number of years and finally suspended because of prosecutions for poisoning the waters of Brandywine.
The Greenfield Novelty Works was established on the north side of the railroad at the west end of town, in 1890, by J. H. Moulden, and was operated until a few years ago. The plant is still standing.
The National Adjustable Chair Company was established and owned by E. J. Andrews, J. E. Webb and others. It manufactured a very fine grade of Morris chairs and was operated until five or six years ago.
There have been other smaller concerns in operation, but the above includes practically all of the larger mills, factories, etc., that have been established at Greenfield.
Greenfield has had several commercial clubs for the purpose of building up the town. The first one was organized on March 11, 1875. On that date a meeting of the citizens was held at the court house at Greenfield for the purpose of taking steps to attempt to bring factories to Greenfield. W. S. Wood was elected president, and John A. Hughes, secretary. The specific purpose of the meeting was "to take such measures as would induce the Wooten Desk Company, of Indianapolis, to move their factory to Greenfield." The following committee was appointed to confer with representatives of the desk company: H. B. Thayer, John A. Hughes, S. T. Dickerson, S. War Barnett and J. V. Cook. A great deal of interest was manifested by citizens in attendance, and among those who offered to donate land and money in order to get the desk factory were Montgomery Marsh, W. S. Wood, W. C. Burdett, S. T. Dickerson, John V. Cook, H. B. Thayer, H. J. Dunbar, George T. Randall and W. F. Pratt. In the accomplishment of its immediate purpose the club failed.
Soon after the discovery of natural gas, in 1887, a Board of Trade was organized. A meeting of the business men was held on February 7, 1888, who elected the following officers for the board: R. A. Black, president; L. H. Reynolds, vice-president; E. P. Thayer, secretary, and W. P. Wilson, treasurer. The first directors appointed were J. K. Henby, W. P. Wilson, William New, E. P. Thayer, R. A. Black, George W. Duncan and L. H. Reynolds.
The object of the Board of Trade was "to hold gas for home consumption and to build up industries in and about Greenfield." A great field was open for the efforts of such an organization and these men no doubt had a great deal to do with bringing to the city such industries as the glass plants, the stove foundry and the nail works.
Within the last few years, at least two Commercial Clubs have been organized for the purpose of bringing industries to Greenfield; one was organized on February 15, 1910, and another has been organized since that time. No large factories, however, have come to Greenfield during the past five or six years.
A social and commercial club known as the Temple Club was organized in December, 1896, with about fifty members. The directors for the first year were S. R. Wells, Charles G. Offutt, Ephraim Marsh, E. P. Thayer, Jr., R. A. Black, George S. Wilson, Walter O. Bragg and Charles Downing. The club is still maintained and has its headquarters in the Masonic Temple. It is a social club, however, rather than a commercial club.
The Greenfield Business Men's Association was formed on March 15, 1916. Practically all of the business men are members. The purpose of the association is to increase acquaintceship and foster the highest integrity among its members; to take concert action in matters pertaining to the general welfare of the members where individual effort would be powerless, such as observance of holidays, protection against adulterated and inferior goods; to maintain credit rating, etc. ; to take any other action that may be necessary for mutual protection of the general business interest of the city. Although the association has been in existence only six weeks, a "clean up, paint up week," and the "Wednesday sales" have been promoted.
It has only been within recent years that Greenfield has had adequate protection against fire. As far as people can remember, and as far as there is any record, the first great fire occurred in 1839, eleven years after the organization of the county. It destroyed all of the property on the north side of Main street between what are Mount and State Streets. This fire destroyed several business blocks and also a large hotel and stable that stood on the northwest corner of State and Main streets, where the Masonic Temple now stands.
In 1857 another fire occurred in the same district and destroyed several valuable buildings.
The greatest fires of later years have destroyed individual buildings, such as the elevators, saw-mills, etc. Not over ten years ago the mill and elevator then standing immediately south of the Pennsylvania depot, was burned. Not many years previous to that the Greenfield Lumber and Ice Company's plant was destroyed. Since that time the west end glass works burned and just a year ago the east end bottle works was consumed by fire.
With Greenfield's splendid waterworks plant and her efficient fire department, almost any fire within the city can be effectively controlled if the department is notified in time.
The first charity organization organized in Greenfield seems to have been the Greenfield Benevolent Society, founded in May, 1874, before Greenfield was incorporated as a city. It was a ladies' organization, and in February, 1875, numbered twenty-five members. The first officers of the society were: Mrs. H. B. Thayer, president; Mrs. N. P. Howard, vice-president; Mrs. Inez Lyons, secretary, Mrs. Brown, treasurer. The committee on collections was composed of Mrs. H. J. Williams, Mrs. F. H. Crawford, Mrs. J. B. Lawrence, Mrs. Morris Pierson, Mrs. James L. Mason and Mrs. H. J. Dunbar. It seems that the society collected clothing, and at times food stuffs for the poor of the town. Donations of wood and flour were also frequently made by the citizens of the town as well as by people from the country. A report shows that from a festival given by the society in June, 1874, $38.70 was realized, and that a concert given by the Eolian Club also netted the society $33.70. During the winter of 1874-75 the society expended for shoes, dry goods and groceries the sum of $32.90 and had left on hands $40.27.
It was this society that promoted the spelling match at the court house on March 13, 1875, in which practically all of the business men, as well as others, participated. Three cords of wood and a ham of meat were the prizes offered to the winning side for the benefit of the society. Spelling matches were frequently held and a small admittance charged to raise funds for the poor.
This society was kept intact for six or seven years; in fact the local papers still mention a Benevolent Society in 1886. It is difficult to say at this time whether this was the same society or whether it was another society under the same name. For many years Mrs. Lemuel Gooding was its secretary.
The churches of the city have always done a liberal share of charity work among our needy poor. In 1904, another society was organized which has come to be known as the Associated Charities of Greenfield. In November of that year class number 9 of the Christian Sunday school, known as the "Sunshine Circle," took all of their collection from that time until Christmas and sent it to Indianapolis for the poor children of that city. It was suggested that they give a Christmas charity and invite a committee from each of the several churches of Greenfield to co-operate with them. This was done. A literary and musical program was given on December 13, 1904, at which admittance fees were collected in eatables, toys, fuel and money. Later a permanent charity organization was effected with the following officers: Mrs. Mattie J. Elliott, president; Mrs. Hiram Eshelman, secretary, and Mrs. W. H. Hughes, treasurer. On January 17, 1905, a constitution and by-laws were adopted for the association. A citizens' meeting was called at the court house on January 30, 1905, and about one hundred and fifty citizens attended. A program was given, including such subjects as "Charity as a Character Builder," "Moral Forces in Social Life," "Reaching the Higher Ideals," etc.
This organization has remained in existence to the present. Its presidents have been Martha J. Elliott, William C. Goble, N. R. Spencer, George J. Richman, John K. Henby and Alice M. Collier, the latter being president at this time. People during the last decade have responded generously to the appeals of the organization and the association has been able to give care and comfort to many cases of destitution that have been reported.
Aside from these organizations for home charity, Greenfield has also made liberal donation on various occasions. In 1884, $223.35 was donated to the Ohio river flood sufferers; in 1906, $608.80 was donated to the San Francisco earthquake sufferers. Liberal donations, amounting to several hundred dollars, were also made to the Belgium relief fun in 1914. Other donations have also been made of which no record has been preserved.
During the latter seventies the colored folk, under the leadership of George L. Knox and others, were active in building up a church organization and in doing other religious work. During these years literary societies flourished generally over the country, and the colored people of Greenfield also had their debating society and literary clubs, by which programs were given and which were greatly enjoyed by those in attendance. Among the most interesting of these was a colored debating club, organized in 1878. Its members include George L. Knox, James Kelley, Cook White, Brazelton Watkins, Thomas and Morrison. Knox has, since that time, become one of the most prominent men of his race in the state of Indiana. He has been the editor of a newspaper, and has also become known as an able speaker upon political and other topics. His services have been in demand beyond the confines of the state of Indiana. Even as a younger man and as a member of the colored debating society of Greenfield, he recited poems and told his boyhood stories to the delight of his audiences. Several of the debates in which the members of the society participated included the discussion of such questions as, "Which is the most destructive- fire or water?" "Resolved, that there is more happiness in single than in married life;" "Who caused the freedom of the colored people- Abraham Lincoln or Jeff Davis?"
Concerning the debate on the second question, the newspaper report of the event recited: "It was simply immense and laughter resounded in the hall from the opening to the close of the exercises." An admittance fee of five cents was charged by the society for the benefit of the church.
In the fall of 1881 a colored camp-meeting was also held at Boyd's Grove, or at what is now the old fair grounds, north of the city. It opened on September 2, and remained in session for about twelve days. It was in its nature a great revival service, led by E. W. S. Hammond, the presiding elder of the colored Methodist Episcopal church of this district. Such meetings were also held for two or three years following and became more than local affairs. Special rates are said to have been obtained from the railroads, and people from all over the country, especially young people, came to attend the meetings. If the newspaper reports of these colored camp-meetings are correct, there were frequently fifteen hundred to two thousand people in attendance. The grounds were well lighted and policed. There were tents for those who came from a distance and who wished to remain for a period of time. Seats were arranged so that all could be comfortable and a portion of the ground was set off for horses and buggies so that they would not interfere with the services. Stands were also maintained for refreshments. Services were ordinarily held at 10:30 A.M. and 2:30 and 7:30 P. M. The last camp-meeting was held in 1884.
Following the camp meeting, the Second Methodist Episcopal church was organized in the American Methodist Episcopal conference, in 1884, including the following charter members: Mrs. Johnson, Ransom Neal, Rachel Neal, Mrs. Hunt, George Knox, Aerie Knox, Mamie Hatten and Nancy Harvey. The church went into the Methodist Episcopal Lexington conference in 1890. Among the early pastors were Reverend Hutchison, Nathaniel Jones and R. S. Denny. In the latter year the frame church building was erected on the seat side of South State street, just a short distance north of Cemetery street. The building committee was composed of Ransom Neal, A. Y. King, Sallie Hampton, George W. Page and John Knox.
A Sunday school was also organized in 1884. Among its superintendents have been A. Y. King, John Knox, Lucy Page, Minnie Knox and Mellie Hampton. Mrs. Lucy Page has had charge of the Sunday school work of the church since 1897. Since that time there has been but one class, with an average attendance of fifteen. The church now has ten members. It has had a number of pastors, yet no one, likely, has rendered so valuable a service to the little congregation as Mrs. Lucy Page, with her home assistants.
The old cemetery, which is located immediately north of the railroad and two squares east of the court house, was donated to Hancock county as a burial ground by Andrew P. Jackson, on May 9, 1843. The spot had been used as burial ground ever since the organization of the county. The county commissioners, in turn, conveyed the cemetery to the city of Greenfield on March 3, 1868. It is no longer used for burial purposes and for the past several years has been under the care of the township trustees, as provided by recent statutes for the care of such cemeteries. In this cemetery lie some of the oldest residents of the county. On the stones that mark the resting place of our older people are the names of Cornwall Meek and wife, Jeremiah Meek, Nathan Crawford, William Sebastian, John Sebastian, the wife of Alexander K. Branham, the Chapmans, the Templins, James Rutherford and wife, Dr. B. F. Duncan, H. J. Williams, Robert Barnett, Thomas P. Snow, Harry Pierson, Lewis Sebastian and others. After the new cemetery had been laid out, many of the bodies were removed to lots purchased there. But the stones that still stand on the cemetery impress the visitor with the flight of time and, to the older people, recall memories of the long ago.
Park cemetery, which lies a short distance south of the old cemetery, was purchased by the town of Greenfield, on April 7, 1863. The original tract consisted of six acres. When the town bought it, it was covered with timber, and on September 4, 1863, the town council ordered that the privilege of cutting the timber and clearing the cemetery be sold to the lowest and best bidder, the bids to be received on Saturday, September 19, 1863.
The record of the town council also shows that on April 7, 1865, on motion of J. W. Walker, councilman, the plan and plat proposed by Lemuel W. Gooding for laying off the ground of the Greenfield cemetery was adopted. The cemetery was laid off with streets and alleys as we now know it. A number of additions have been made to it since that time so that now it contains about thirty-five acres. The last addition was made just a few years ago, and the survey, with the circular drives, etc., was made by the county surveyor, O. H. Monger. It is maintained by a tax levied by the city of Greenfield and is known as one of the most beautiful cemeteries of its size in the state.
Here rest many whose names are prominent on the pages of the county's history. Observing the names on the memorial stones as one enters the cemetery gate and turns to the southward are James A. Flippo, Matthew L. Paullus, Alfred Potts and Lafayette H. Reynolds. Turning eastward in the first street, we see the names of William H. Glascock, Joseph Baldwin, John H. Binford, James A. New, Lee O. Harris, Wesley Addison, Jonathan Tague, Adams L. Ogg, Salem O. Shumway, Philander H. Boyd, James L. Mason, Madison Hinchman, Dr. Elam I. Judkins, William New, Morris Pierson, Benjamin F. Wilson, Hamlin L. Strickland, Elmer E. Stoner, Ephraim Thomas, James K. King, Capt. Isaiah A. Curry, David S. Gooding, Jacob Slifer, William G. Smith and Montgomery Marsh.
Standing at the mound and looking to the south and west, are the names of S. War Barnett, William G. Richey, Dr. Noble P. Howard, Andrew J. Banks, Aaron Pope, Henry Swope, Andrew T. Hart, Hollis B. Thayer, Edward P. Scott, Alexander K. Branham, D. H. Goble, William Mitchell and Charles Atherton, who laid out the town of Philadelphia more than eighty years ago.
To the southeast of the mound lie Dr. Lot Edwards and George Y. Atkison.
To the northeast of the mound stand the memorials of J. Ward Walker, Rueben A. Riley, Calvary G. Sample and William Sears.
To the northwest of the mound lie William Willkins, formerly sheriff of Hancock county; the Burdetts, Penuel Bidgood, John W. Ryon and W. S. Fries.
Coming west along the north side, we observe the names of Samuel H. Dunbar, James P. Foley, Richard A. Black, Dr. Warren R. King, Samuel P. Gordon, Jackson Wills, Chesteen W. Gant, Nelson Bradley, Morgan Chandler, James L. McNew, William C. Dudding, Charles G. Offutt, Moses Braddock and Stokes Jackson.
On the newer part of the cemetery to the south stand the memorials of William C. Barnard, W. H. H. Rock, Aquilla Grist and Morgan Caraway. Here, too, lied Ephraim Marsh and William Ward Cook, resting through the eons of eternity, even as they fought life's battles- side by side.
Following is a directory of the business men of Greenfield during the early eighties:
Merchants - J. Ward Walker & Company, Hart & Thayer, William C. Burdett, Jackson & Brother, Lee C. Thayer
Banks-Greenfield Banking Company, Nelson Bradley, president; Morgan Chandler, cashier. Citizens Bank, P. H. Boyd, president; J. B. Simmons, cashier.
Druggists- F. H. Crawford, E. B. Grose, V. L. Early.
Grocers- J. J. Hauck, T. A. Gant, Sanford Furry, W. S. Gant, G. F. Hauck, Q. D. Hughes, Alexander & son, Richard Hagan, Alexander, New & Boots.
Private Banking- John A. Hughes
Agricultural Implements- A. J. Banks, Baldwin & Pratt, D. H. Goble, Corcoran & Wilson.
Jewelers- F. E. Glidden, L. A. Davis
Hardware Dealers- A. J. Banks, Baldwin & Pratt
Smiths and Wagon-makers- Walker & Morford, Lineback & Barr, Huston & King. S. W. Wray, William Newhall.
Physicians- R. E. Barnet, Howard, Martin & Howard, J. A. Hall, E. I. Judkins, M. M. Adams, S. S. Boots, L. A. Vawter, O. M. Edwards, J. W. Selman and J. Francis.
Boots and Shoes- G. T. Randall
Undertakers- Williams Brothers & Hamilton, Corcoran & Lantz, Trueblood & Alford.
Dentists- E. B. Howard, R. A. Hamilton.
The following are also the names of business men in Greenfield who agreed to keep their business houses closed on December 25, 1884, from one to four P.M.: Harry L. Strickland, V. L. Early, A. Hackleman, E. B. Grose, Hart & Thayer, L. A. Davis, George F. Hammel, G. W. Randall, S. Furry, M. C. Quigley, F. E. Glidden, J. J. Hauck,, New & Hammel, Lee C. Thayer, Baldwin & Scott, J. A. Dalrymple, C. M. Jackson, A. J. Banks, Edwards & Corcoran, Boyd, Hinchman & Company, E. P. Thayer; Walker Brothers, A. K. Branham, J. Ward Walker & Company, W. S. Gant, Amick & Alford.
Although Hancock county is now covered with a net work of telephone wires, it has only been a little more than thirty years since the first line for public service was brought into the county. This line was constructed from Indianapolis to Greenfield and was ready for operation on June 21, 1884. The telephone office was installed in Early's drug store. A private line or two may have been constructed within the county prior to that time, and several private lines may have been constructed in the few years following. The first regular telephone exchange was not installed at Greenfield until February 1, 1895, when the Morrison exchange was established, with about sixty phones contracted for. Among the first subscribers for the telephone system of Greenfield and Hancock county were the following: H. S. Hume, Frank Morgan, Jacob Forest, L. B. Griffin, Ephraim Marsh, S. R. Wells, James A. Wells, H. L. Strickland, John Borrey, William Mitchell, Jr., W. A. Wilkins, Herald Publishing Company, M. M. Adams, D. S. Bragg, William Tolen & Company, W. B. Cuyler, W. S. Montgomery, Black & Gordon, Harry Strickland, A. P. Conklin, W. R. King, N. P. Howard, Jr., C. W. Morrison & Son, H. B. Thayer, J. E. Dailey, Dr. S. S. Boots, William Ward Cook, W. S. Gant, W. H. Pauley, J. Ward Walker, Edmund P. Thayer, J. W. Ramsey, W. S. Walker, Samuel P. Gordon, C. K. Bruner, C. E. Kinder, U. S. Gant, J. H. Binford, Marsh & Cook, William Hughes, Mitchell Printing Company, J. W. Cooper, J. Ward Walker & Company, New Brothers, E. P. Thayer & Company, G. W. Sopher, J. G. Alexander & Company, J. M. Hinchman, Jeffries & Son. J. W. Carter and Arthur Walker. Seymour Morrison had started the telephone business at McCordsville and branched out until his lines reached Greenfield. V. L. Early, George H. Cooper and William A. Hough then bought an interest in his business and made Greenfield the center of the Morrison lines. V. L. Early, as general manager, probably has had more to do than any other one person, with the establishment of telephone service in Hancock county.
On April 1, 1896, a line was also completed between Greenfield and Knightstown.
About 1900 the Hannah-Jackson Telephone Company, was organized as a second county system in opposition to the Morrison system. It was found to be unprofitable, however, to operate two telephone systems in the county and after a few years the Hannah-Jackson Company went into a receiver's hands and was bought by the Morrison Company. Since that time the Morrison Company has grown and rural lines have been installed until it is now possible for any person in the county to converse with any one else in any other part of the county. The New Long Distance and also the Bell lines connect with the Morrison exchange, so that practically any point in the United States that has telephone connections may be reached from Greenfield.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 595-638.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI December 20, 2001.
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