Jackson township was organized at the May term, 1831, of the board of commissioners of Hancock county, and was made to include all of what is now Jackson and Brown townships. At the September term of the board, 1832, Green township was organized, which was made to include all of what is now Green and Brown townships. This left Jackson township with its present dimensions. At the June term, in 1850, the board of commissioners organized Worth township, which included twenty-four square miles, or all of what is now included in Jackson township except a strip two miles wide crossing its south end. Thus from 1850 until the March term, 1853, of the board of commissioners, Jackson township consisted of a narrow strip two miles north and south by six miles east and west. This included, however, the more thickly settled portion of the former township along the National road, and gave Jackson township probably as many inhabitants as were included in Worth township above. Since March 11, 1853, Jackson township has had its present boundaries. It is six miles square. The civil township of Jackson lies in two congressional townships. Sections 1, 12, 13, 24, 25 and 36, along the west side, lie in congressional township 16 north, range 7 east. The remaining part of the township, consisting of thirty square miles, is located in township 16 north, range 8 east.
Its natural drainage consists of Six Mile and Little Six Mile creeks, both flowing south through the eastern part of the township. Nameless creek, formerly known as Straight creek, flows southwest through the central part of the township, and Brandywine creek drains six or eight sections in the northwest corner of the township. The township has also been well drained by a system of artificial drainage, including the large open drains with their covered arms.
The first land entry was made by William Oldham, who on November 20, 1824, entered the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 23, township 16, range 8, which lies about two and one-half miles north of Charlottesville. Other entries followed in rapid succession, and on the entry book may be found a number of the family names still familiar in the township and county. Among them are included, Margaret R. Bracken, James Davis, Elisha Earls, Francis Craft, George W. Hatfield, William Hawkings, Robert McCorkhill, John Kirkpatrick, Ezra Miller, Samuel Smith, Benjamin Cooper, Lemuel D. Fort, James Oldham, Edward Lewis, Jacob Brooks, Jacob Slifer, John Lewis, Robert Earl, Andrew Pauley, Edward Barrett, James Dille, William Oldham, William Leamon, James Sample, Abraham Watson, William Hazlett, Thomas Hatfield, William Cox, David Scott, Elijah Ballenger, Robert White, John Wood, Calvin Roland, James Steele, David Priddy, John R. Jacobs, James Lowney, Samuel Longnaker, James Vanmeter, James P. Foley, James Fort, Jordan Lacy, Thomas Craft, Isaac N. Hill, Samuel Dille, William Scott, Robert H. Wilson, John Sample, Moses Braddock, William Ramsey, Rebecca Snodgrass, Henry Wilson, Meredith Gosney, John Stephens, Samuel Overman, Moses McCray, Michael Hittle, Richard R. Earls, Ebenezer Goble, William Kirkpatrick, George Craft, Jacob S. Hewey, Sovereign Earl, John Catt, Joseph Lewis, Joseph Fort, James Williams, James Hinchman, Solomon Hull, Joseph Pauley, Basil Meek and James Templeton.
Nameless creek furnished water power for several mills at a very early date. Of the mills established in Jackson township were the following: Grist-mill, erected by John Fort, in 1827, at about the middle of section 26, township 16, range 8, stood about one mile north of Charlottesville. A saw-mill was erected by David Longnaker about 1833, on Six Mile creek about the middle of section 23, township 16, range 8. A saw-mill was erected about 1855 on the west half of the northeast quarter of section 16, township 16, range 8, on the place known as the Henderson McKown farm. It was operated by different parties and was finally moved to the northeast corner of section 7, township 16, range 8, on a farm owned by Joseph Higgins. Another saw-mill, erected in 1860 by Walton & Rule, on the southeast corner of section 13, township 16, range 7, at what is commonly known as Leamon's Corner, was operated here until probably in the early seventies, when it was moved to Cleveland. In 1881 it was purchased by a Mr. Mingle and moved to Eden.
A tannery was erected about 1844 by James R. Bracken, probably along the east side of the northeast quarter of section 1, township 16, range 7, or just a short distance south and west of what is now Willow Branch. A tile factory was erected in 1869 by Thomas L. Marsh and William Draper, just below the northwest corner of section 8, township 16, range 8. Draper finally bought the interest of Marsh and operated the factory until during the eighties. A blacksmith shop was operated during the thirties by Abraham Huntington, on the northwest quarter of section 1, township 16, range 7, or in the extreme northwest corner of the township.
The first nursery in the county was established immediately north of Charlottesville about 1840, by Isaac Barrett.
The first school houses in the township were erected along the National road. The first school house was probably erected somewhere in the south half of section 31, township 16, range 8, in the extreme southwest part of the township. These of course were private schools. The first public school seems to have been erected at what is now known as Leamon's Corner. Another very early school was erected immediately north of Charlottesville, and a school that was very prominent in the early township was Cleveland Academy, erected one-half mile north and one-fourth mile east of Cleveland. The teachers of the county held their institute at this school a time or two, all of which has been discussed elsewhere. The first school at Charlottesville was erected on the bluff of Six Mile creek south of the National road. After the free school law was enacted, in 1852, the township was divided into nine districts. Later, two extra schools were built. The first brick school house in the township was constructed at the northwest corner of section 17, township 16, range 8, then known as district No. 11. The second brick house was constructed at the northwest corner of section 19, township 16, range 8, which has ever since been known as Leamon's corner. Later, brick houses were of course constructed in all of the districts of the township. Several of them were entirely destroyed by the storm of June 25, 1902.
Among the very early teachers of the township were James Loehr, Edward B. Sample, Burd Lacy, A. T. Hatfield, George W. Sample, William Sager, Jesse Leonard, John A. Craft, James Sample, Thompson Allen, C. G. Sample, H. H. Ayers, Nathan Fish, John McIntyre, John H. Scott, George W. Hatfield, Milton Heath, Penelope Heath, and Catherine Stephens.
Among the later teachers that will be better remembered by the younger generations are William M. Lewis, A. V. B. Sample, who also served several years as county examiner of Hancock county, J. H. Landis, E. W. Smith, Ancil Clark, E. A. Lewis, George Burnett, S. C. Staley, Richard Warrum, George W. Williams, Vinton A. Smith, Edward P. Scott and Edwin Braddock.
During the eighties a county normal or two were held at Charlottesville. The regular high school work that was the beginning of the present system of high schools was installed in the fall of 1896, during the principalship of Charles Mauck. The school has been maintained since that time with the following principals: Charles Mauck, 1896-98; Ora Staley, 1898-1907; William Stafford, 1907-08; Roscoe Thomas, 1908-13; Sylvester Moore, 1913-14; Walter Orr, 11914 to present date. Before the close of the term of 1912-13 the high school was commissioned by the state department and has been a commissioned high school since that time.
The population of Jackson township is 1,450, as shown by the United States census report of 1910. In the spring of 1915, 425 children between the ages of six and twenty-one years were enumerated for school purposes. There were 338 pupils enrolled in the schools, of which 53 were in the high school and 285 in the elementary grades. The average daily attendance in the elementary grades was 238; in the high school, 48. The total cost of maintaining the elementary schools for the year 1914-15 was $5,109.58. The total cost of maintaining the high school was $2,962. The teachers in the township were paid for the school year of 1914-15, $7,128.60. The estimated value of all school property belong to the township, as reported by the township trustee on August 1, 1915, is $35,000. The total assessment of taxables in the township as represented by the assessor in 1914 was $1,615.000. During the school years of 1914-15, 34 children were transported to school at a cost of $857.50 to the township.
Following are the men who have served Jackson township in the office of township trustee since the office was created, in 1859: Burd Lacy, 1859; David Priddy, 1863; Philip Stinger, 1867; George W. Williams, 1869; James B. Clark, 1871; A. V. B. Sample, 1882; Elisha Earles, 1884; James L. Foley, 1886; Henderson McKown, 1888-90; Allen Hill, 1894; William C. White, 1900; George Burnett, 1904; William T. Orr, 1908; Marshall N. Hittle, 1914.
During the administration of David Priddy there was no bank in the county, and probably not a safe except the one in the county treasurer's office. Priddy kept the township funds in this safe and when it was robbed, on the night of January 12, 1866, about $1,100 of this money was stolen. Priddy reimbursed the township from his own funds, but the amount was a complete loss to him. He had the sympathy of the community and a little effort was made at one time to raise funds to reimburse him. Nothing was accomplished, as far as can be learned, nor was he as fortunate as some of the later officials who were reimbursed by special acts of the Legislature.
The local courts have been presided over by a number of men, among whom are Basil Meek, 1831; Samuel Thompson, date unknown; David Templeton, 1832; Robert McCorkle, 1834-38-42-49-54; Henry Kinder, 1841; Edward Barrett, 1845, James P. Foley, 1846; G. Y. Atkison, 1848; John A. Craft, 1849-56; John Stephens, 1850; Andrew Pauley, 1855-60; Thomas M. Bidgood, 1858; John Reeves, 1859; Ellison Addison, 1859; W. M. L. Cox, 1860; William Brooks, 1862; Cyrus Leamon, 1864-72; G. J. T. Dilla, 1864; James McClarnon, 1865; John H. Scott, 1866; G. W. Landis, 1867-72-76; Elijah C. Reeves, 1868-72; Lafayette Stephens, 1869; Ira Bevil, 1870-74-78; John W. Wales, 1876; John E. Leamon, 1880, William R. Williams, 1880, Arthur Thomas, 1882; S. C. Staley, 1886-90; John W. Reeves, 1898; ---Leamon, 1899; John F. Duty, 1902-09-14; Jonh W. Reeves, 1902; Arza E. Cox, 1902; Daniel Burk, 1906; Dora Crider, 1906-10.
The following men from Jackson township have served the county in official capacities: James P. Foley, Noble Warrum and John Addison, representatives; Jacob Huntington, John Barrett, C. H. Fort and Philander Collyer, county treasurers; Basil Meek, George W. Sample and William M. Lewis, sheriffs; John R. Reeves, Recorder; J. H. Landis, surveyor; Richard Williams, Jordan Lacy, John Addison, John S. Lewis, Jacob Slifer, Sr., and Linza Walker, commissioners.
Among the families that have long been established in the township are the Addisons, Braddocks, Barretts, Earls, Forts, Glascocks, Loudenbacks, McClarnons, Oldhams, Rocks, Simmons, Smiths, Scotts, Slifers, Thomases, Walkers, Warrums, Williamses and Derrys.
Among the heavy taxpayers of the township who paid taxes in sums exceeding $100.00 in 1915 are: Joseph N. Addison and wife, $260.87; Samuel M. Addison, $254.03; John W. Addison, $160.83; Alva A.Apple, $127.68; Jacob E. Barker and wife, $110.39; David H. Bundy, $116.85; Nathan O. Cranfill, $771.05; Frank Craft, $151.33; Aaron E. Carroll, $149.91; John T. Collins, $176.89; Citizens Bank, $142.50; William H. Eib, $210.71; Noah W. Braddock, $1,774.89; Freeman Braddock, $588.59; George Brooks, $128,.06; Elijah A. Barrett (heirs), $212.61; James M. Brunson and wife, $112.29; James H. Davis, $123.69; Kem Derry, $124.35; Martha K. Derry (heirs), $288.80; John B. Dimick, $154.85; Milo Goodpasture, $178.69; Allen T. Hatfield (heirs), $111.15; Marshall N. Hittle, $151.85; Noah F. and Etta M. Loudenback, $126.25; Perry Lewis, $119.32; Sarah B. McGraw, $173.31; Elizabeth J. O'Banion, $107.16; Andrew Ormston and wife, $122.75; Robert S. N. Oldham, $280.44; Guy M. Oldham, $127.58; George R. Smith, $134.23; Thomas S. Smith, $379.33; William H. Simmons, $417.24; John S. Simmons, $624.15; Mary E. Simmons, $270.56; John E. Scott, $118.18; Charles E. Sipe, $170.14; Samuel N. Shelby, $131.23; John W. Simmons, $102.12; Martin R. Thomas, $243.48; John W. Thomas, $144.78; Leonidas R. Thomas, $455.05; William D. Thomas, $129.77; Albert Williams, $101.16; John W. Williams, $107.63; John W. Wales, $266.76; William M. Wilson, $147.25; Mary A. Johnson, $173.47; Charles A. Jackson, $139.46; James F. McClarnon, $201.59; Robert S. McClarnon, $328.32; David R. McClarnon, $165.49; Daniel G. McClarnon, $392.08; Frank McClarnon, $129.86; Elizabeth Pierson, $117.42;; Harriet Patterson, $193.52; John W. Reeves, $129.57; Minerva Smith, $182.59; John H. Smith, $427.88; William L. Smith, $132.81; Charity E. Simmons, $149.34; Robert M. Simmons (heirs), $248.71; George Scott, $222.49; William D. Steele, $111.24; S. C. Staley, $195.32; William S. Thomas, $133.19; Minor M. Thomas, $155.61; Lucian B. Thomas, $156.18; Safronia Thomas, $197.22; C. M. Vandenbark and wife, $490.22; Andrew J. Walker, $146.96; William P. White, $120.27l; Halbert F. Wilson, $108.47.
Jackson township has two towns- Cleveland and Charlottesville. Both are located on the National road; Cleveland at just about the middle of the southern part of the township, and Charlottesville in the southeast corner of the township.
Cleveland was originally known as Portland. It was surveyed and platted by that name on July 8, 1834. The original plat consists of sixty-four lots. No additions have ever been made to it. It was known as Portland until a few years prior to the Civil War. Reference to the early licensed grocers and tavern keepers will show that they gave their location as Portland. Like Philadelphia and several of the other smaller towns that seem to have crystallized and become incapable of further growth, Cleveland at one time did quite a great deal of business. A saw-mill was located there for a number of years, and with its store, blacksmith ship, physicians, etc., it became quite a business center for the community. It seems that after the railroad was constructed, however, business sought other channels and for the past thirty or forty years Cleveland has simply had a store and a blacksmith ship, with now and then some other branches of business.
The town now has one frame church and has also become the meeting place of the Eastern Indiana Holiness Association, which has a camp consisting of a number of buildings at the northeast part of town.
Charlottesville is one of the oldest towns in the county. Its original survey was made by David Templeton, on June 16, 1830. The original plat consisted of fifty-six lots. Since that time the following additions have been made to the town: Foley's Addition, laid out by James P. Foley, December 28, 1853; fifty-nine lots. Smith's First Addition, laid out by Timothy F. Smith, January 29, 1868; twenty-nine lots. Smith's Second Addition, laid out by Timothy F. Smith, February 1, 1869; five lots. Walker's Addition, laid out by Samuel Walker, February 2, 1869; four lots. Watson's Addition, laid out by William C. Watson, February 3, 1869; nineteen lots. Stringer's Addition, laid out by Philip Stringer, February 2, 1869; four lots. Edward Earl's Addition, laid out by Edward Earl, June 11, 1869; twenty lots. Edward Earl's Second Addition, laid out by Edward Earl, February 9, 1870; sixteen lots (or fifteen lots and one acre for school lot.)
The very early business men of Charlottesville appear on the list of licensed grocers, taverns, etc. Among the later men were James P. Foley, Richard Probasco, William Thornburgh, Hutton & Overman, J. A. Craft, P. H. Bowen, William McGraw, W. S. Lane and H. G. Wilson.
Charlottesville was at one time an incorporated town. The petition asking for its incorporation was presented to the board of county commissioners at their June session, 1867, and was signed by John A. Craft, H. M. Morris, S. R. Danner, Henry Frederick, G. W. Dungan, Thomas Springstead, John Keller, Philip Stringer, Samuel Grunden, W. W. Thornburg, I. M. Jones, Lafayette Griffith, William Henley, J. N. Chandler, R. B. Weese, Gideon Johnson, H. Chambers, James O'Banion, Warner M. L. Cox, W. H. H. Rock, J. H. Allison, Joseph Schaffer, Jeremiah Goddard, John Girty, Jacob Brown, Ira Schaffer, A. H. Allison and A. T. Lemay.
The petition showed that the town had a population of 254, including sixty-four voters. The board of commissioners set the 29th of June, 1867, as the time for holding an election to determine whether the town should be incorporated. Thirty-six votes were cast, all being in favor of the incorporation of the town. At the September session, 1867, the board of commissioners ordered "said town of Charlottesville incorporated under the name and style of Charlottesville." An election was held on October 7, 1867, at which the following men were elected as the first officers of the town: J. H. Allison, clerk; Henry Morris, treasurer; Sylvester Baker, Assessor; John Girty, marshal; Thomas Springsteen, William Thornburgh and J. H. Allison, trustees, the latter declining to serve.
Charlottesville has one rural free delivery route, which was established on April 1, 1903.
This was one of the unique corporations of Hancock county. The company was organized on March 7, 1870. Its articles of incorporation were recorded on April 15, 1867, in the miscellaneous records in the county recorder's office of Hancock county. The purpose of the incorporation as stated in the articles was "to buy, own and hold the necessary real estate in said town of Charlottesville, in the county of Hancock and state of Indiana, and to erect and maintain thereon suitable and sufficient buildings, and from time to time make such changes, alterations and repairs thereto as to the association may seem right and proper, and to establish, maintain and control a school or schools therein for the education of males and females, upon such terms and conditions and upon such plan or system as such association may from time to time agree upon and adopt." The capital stock of the association consisted of $5,000 in shares of $10 each, which could be increased from time to time as the interest of the association might require. Article 8 provided, "said association shall procure the ground laid off for a school house lot in Earle's Second Addition to the town of Charlottesville:" Article 9, "The main building to be first built shall be substantially built of brick, not less than forty-four feet square and two stories high."
Following are the names of the stockholders: T. G. Smith, W. H. H. Rock, John McGraw, R. C. Niles, Jacob Brown, Jacob Orr, H. P. Lantz, Thomas Springstead, Edward Earle, C. M. Rock, H. J. Bogart, John F. Girty, S. H. Brown, Hiram Griffith, Martin Fort, Daniel Bohn, John A. Craft, H. M. Morris, H. F. Miller, J. H. Allison, I. M. Jones, W. W. Thornburgh, John S. Orr, Henry Frederick, ---Thompson, Henry Kinder, William Thomas, William Johnson, J. O. Lane, A. J. Lemay, Philip Stringer, John R. Hill, William Oldham, R. B. Weese, S. F. Williams, Isaac N. Bartlow, Jackson Galloway, Burd Lacy, Samuel Grass, John Addison, Joseph Higgins, Harvey B. Smith, W. S. Byrkit, D. C. Hasting, Meredith Walker, A. V. B. Sample, Charles White, Frank Smith, Joseph Hill, James Wilson, Kitturah Fort, Daniel Grass, William Myers, John Taylor, Enoch Pierson, Thomas J. Owens, Samuel Hill, A. J. Foley, W. B. Cox, George W. Landis, J. Lewis Coskins, William White, Zenos Bundy, Henry Burk, Robert H. Ross, Joseph B. Liddall, Z. W. Coffin, W. N. White, Henry Loudenback, Nathan C. Hill, George M. White, Harvey Galloway, Asenath H. Nicho, J. C. Stewart, Lafe Griffith, P. J. Bohn, Henry Carroll, Joseph Stultz, James Forts, Joseph Hoskins, Andrew Jackson, Jeremiah Goddard, J. H. Miller, James O. Powers, M. M. Thomas, Temple Stewart, William B. Tweedy, Anthony Smith, J. M. Clark, John M. Tygart, J. H, Kiser, Am. M. Hoskings, William Wilkins, Rafe Orston, S. M. Wales, George I. Girty, Jehu Stewart and Robert Brown.
Pursuant to the purpose for which the company had been organized, it proceeded to erect the first brick school house which stood on the site of the present school, north of the National road and east of Charlottesville. After the completion of this building the Charlottesville Educational Association leased it to the town of Charlottesville for school purposes. The terms of the contracts may be best seen from the contract itself, which was dated May 31, 1872, and of which the following are the essential parts:
"The trustees, directors, etc., have this day rented, leased and let unto the town of Charlottesville, for the term of twenty-five years from this date, for public school purposes, so much of the building and real estate hereinafter named as may be necessary for the public free schools of said town; and when said building shall have been finished as is hereinafter provided for, said town shall have possession for school purposes as aforesaid, of a sufficient portion of said building and ground whenever said town shall require the same for a public free school, and at the expiration of such term or sessions of such free public school aforesaid all of said property shall be delivered unto the possession of said trustees or directors, their successors, etc., of the said Charlottesville Educational Association, and shall remain in their possession and subject to their use and control and be subject to be let or occupied by such trustees, directors, etc., until the same shall again be required for public free schools of said town as aforesaid. All of said property shall be delivered unto the possession of said trustees, directors, etc., at the end of said twenty-five years and all right or interest of said town under this lease shall forever cease and expire. And when during this lease said town shall not need any part of said property for the actual occupation of public free schools of said town, all of said property shall be subject to the absolute use and control of said trustees and directors of said association. And at any time during the continuance of this lease if the whole of said property shall not be necessary for the use of such public free school, such remaining portion shall be subject to the use, occupation and control of said trustees and directors. And the trustees and directors of said association agree to complete said building ready for occupancy, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the use of such public free school., as soon as sufficient money is paid by the trustees of said town, but are not bound to complete any more than may be so necessary, and they agree to complete and provide with furniture for such school such parts as may be so necessary for such school, and have such part ready for occupancy as soon as the same shall be required by said town for such public free school provided sufficient money shall have been paid to do the same, and the trustees and directors of said association agree to keep said portion of said building in repair but are not bound to repair in cases of any unnecessary waste or damage, nor destruction by fire or the act of God, committed during the occupancy by said town."
"And in consideration of the above of the agreement made by said lessors said school trustees of said town, for said town, agree to put a good plain plank fence around said school lot and said school trustees agree to pay said lessors the sum of $2,000 in further consideration of this lease, and the said school trustees and town shall devote all available means now on hands in the payment of said $2,000, and said town shall levy and collect money as fast as possible for said town to do to pay the sum of $1,500, and the remainder of said $2,000, to-wit: $500 shall be paid in full within twenty-four years from this date, but if after said $1,500 shall have been paid, the said trustees and directors of said association shall need said money remaining for repairs the said town, on demand of the trustees and directors of said association, etc., shall pay the sum of $50 annually, until the same shall be paid, commencing with the day of such demand, but in any event said whole sum shall be paid within twenty-four years as aforesaid. Formally closed, dated May 31, 1872, and signed, sealed and acknowledged by T. F. Smith, H. M. Morris, Anthony Smith, Enoch Pierson, William Oldham, John Addison, John A. Craft, as trustees on the part of said association, and by John McGraw and Isaac N. Bartlow, school trustees for the town of Charlottesville."
This rather unusual procedure did not prove to be wholly satisfactory to everybody concerned. The mention thereof made in the local papers shows that it later became more or less of a local political issue in the township. It seems too, that the town of Charlottesville did not comply with the terms of the contract, or at least "did not devote all available means now on hands in the payment of said $2,000." Possibly the town did not "levy and collect money as fast as possible for said town to do to pay the sum of $1,500." At any rate the Charlottesvillle Educational Association brought a suit in the Hancock circuit court and recovered a judgment against the town of Charlottesvillle for the sum of $600, in June, 1873. (Cause No. 533 in the Hancock Circuit Court.)
The above judgment remained unpaid, other debts accumulated, portions of the town were disannexed, and on August 24, 1880, Charles M. Butler, prosecuting attorney for the eighteenth judicial circuit of Indiana, of which the Hancock circuit court formed a part, filed a bill of information in said court in which he alleged, charged and averred "that the said corporation, the town of Charlottesville, have forfeited their charter in the manner and way following, that is to say: That said corporation, the town of Charlottesville, since its organization has failed and refuse to keep the streets in repair and has filed and refused to take steps to promote the interests of the citizens. That said corporation has allowed judgments to remain unpaid against it form more than a year. That there is now and has been for more than three years last past a judgment of the Hancock circuit court, of Hancock county, Indiana, in favor of the Charlottesville Education Association and against said corporation of the town of Charlottesville, amounting in the sum of about $700 remaining unpaid, and the said prosecuting attorney would further inform the court that said corporation is insolvent and unable to pay all of its bona fide indebtedness, and that said corporation has exceeded her authority in this: That she has narrowed the corporate limits of said town, thereby relieving numerous persons from contributing their proportionate share of taxes into the corporate fund, thereby increasing the taxes on the property of the residue of the citizens of said town, and releasing and relieving Daniel Grass and Edward Barrett from any corporation taxes, all of which is contrary to the form of the statute in such cases. Wherefore, the said Charles M. Butler demands that the charter of said corporation be forfeited and that a receiver be appointed to discharge her indebtedness, etc."
And the court after having this information under consideration, and "after having heard evidence adduced and being sufficiently advised in the premises, finds that all matters and facts set forth are true. It is further ordered, adjudged and decreed by the court that all the rights and franchises of said defendant, the town of Charlottesville, be forever forfeited and lost to her and her agents of every kind or character, and the court now here appoints P. Jacob Bohn, a receiver, who shall give bond to the satisfaction of the clerk of this court, who shall reduce the assets of said defendant to possession and pay the debts of said corporation under the same rules prescribed for the government of administrators." (State vs. town of Charlottesville. Cause No. 3333e in the Hancock circuit court.)
Mr. Bohn refused to qualify as receiver and James M. Barrett finally qualified. Under the order of the court he made a tax levy or two and raised funds to pay the town's indebtedness. The charter was forfeited on October 19, 1880, and Charlottesville never reincorporated as a town.
During the summer of 1886 the brick school that had been constructed by the Charlottesville Educational Association was blown down and it became necessary to construct another building. The Educational Association was insolvent. James L. Foley, trustee of Jackson township, therefore filed his petition for the appropriation of real estate for school purposes during the summer of 1886. He alleged in his petition that it was "necessary for the purpose of erecting a public school house thereon to purchase the real estate owned by the Charlottesville Educational Association, being the school lot of Earle's Second Addition to the town of Charlottesville; that the directors of the Educational Association own the lot in fee simple; that they have failed to use it for educational purposes and that said association is wholly insolvent." He therefore asked the court for the appointment of appraisers to appraise and assess the value of said real estate and to make such further orders in the premises by the appointment of a commissioner or otherwise to divest the title of said real estate from said Charlottesville Educational Association and to vest the same in Jackson school township; to forever quiet the title to said real estate in said Jackson school town as against said association.
James F. McClarnon, Lucian B. Thomas and John H. Lane were appointed appraisers on June 8, 1886. Upon the filing of their report the township paid to the clerk of the circuit court the sum of $250 and the court ordered the title quieted and vested in Jackson township as prayed. (Foley vs. Charlottesville Educational Association. Cause No. 5269 in Hancock circuit court.)
The second brick building and the one that stood until just a few years ago was then erected by James L. Foley, in the fall of 1886. This school house was condemned by the state board of health in the spring of 1911. William T. Orr, township trustee, then employed George W. Gordon to draw the plans and specification for the present building. It was erected during the summer and fall of 1911 at a cost of approximately $30,000. At present it stands as the newest and probably the most modern township high school building in the county.
Sardis Lodge No. 253, Free and Accepted Masons, at Charlottesville, was organized on January 25, 1860, with the following charter members: John A. Craft, Richard Probasco, Joseph Loudenback, J. M. Chandler, Dr. A. B. Bundy, Ellison Williams, Thomas N. Bidgood, George W. Sample, John Shipman, John Thompson, Jr., William W. Thornburgh, Albert White, Joseph J. Butler, Joseph R. Hunt, Samuel B. Hill, Edward Butler, Temple Stewart, Andrew Pauley, Ambrose Miller, Thomas Conklin, S. A. Hall, C. E. Allison, William Cook, Joshua Moore and John Kiser. The first meeting place of the lodge was on the second floor of the building on the north side of Main street above the store then owned by John A. Craft. John A. Craft was the first worshipful master, Samuel B. Hall the first senior warden, and C. E. Allison the first junior warden.
A charter was granted to the lodge by the grand lodge on May 29, 1860. The organization was maintained until 1878 when the building and all of the effects of the lodge, except the records, were destroyed by fire. There was no other room that could be used for lodge purposes and the members, feeling that they were unable to build, surrendered their charter on November 20, 1878. Among those who acted as worshipful master in the lodge were John A. Craft, A. V. B. Sample, Jesse Leaky and I. B. Smith.
Charlottesville Lodge No. 277, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was granted a charter on May 22, 1867. The lodge was organized with eight charter members: A. H. Miller, Thompson B. Burch, R. B. White, P. Johnson, John Johnson, William S. Hill, Drury Holt and George S. Chandler. It has a present membership of one hundred and seventeen. The lodge meets every Saturday night in its own building, which consists of a two-story frame house forty by sixty feet, with two business rooms in the first floor and the lodge room on the second floor. The property of the lodge is worth about $4,000. It has a degree staff under the management of Charles W. Ramsay, which has achieved a high degree of excellence in the presentation of lodge work. It has given the work in many halls, including those at Carthage, Arlington, Knightstown, Dunreith, Lewisville, Cambridge City, Greenfield, Eden, Fortville, McCordsville, Wilkinson and Shirley.
Blonda Lodge No. 318, Daughters of Rebekah, was instituted on January 28, 1890, with eleven charter members. At present the lodge has one hundred and ten members.
The first brass band was organized at Charlottesville about 1869 or 1870, by W. L. Niles. The members of the band were W. L. Niles, leader; Isaac J. Hatfield, C. M. Niles and Homer Hackleman, cornetists; James Danner and Charles Owens, altos; William Scott, tenor; Alvin Johnson, baritone; Jere Hilligoss, tuba; Foster Miller, bass drum; Charles Leamon, snare drum.
Mr. Niles was the only teacher of the band. He had had two years of instruction under Prof. L. W. Eastman, who was the teacher of the first Greenfield bands. About 1871 or 1872 the people of Charlottesville assisted the boys in raising money to purchase a new set of band instruments, and also a band wagon and uniforms. The organization was then maintained, with a few changes, during the seventies. In December, 1883, a reorganization was effected, and the greater number of the members named above, with a few others, incorporated under the laws of the state. The new band, as shown by the miscellaneous record in the county recorder's office was composed of William L. Niles, E-flat corner (leader); Isaac J. Hatfield, E-flat cornet; Willie White and Omer Hackleman, B-flat cornets; C. M. Niles and Charles Owens, altos; Frank Craft and Edward Carroll, tenors; John A. Johnson, baritone; Wilbur Carroll, tuba; Foster Miller, bass drum; Charles E. Leamon, snare drum. This band continued to play until in the nineties. Isaac J. Hatfield was its leader during the last few years of its existence.
The Citizens Bank of Charlottesvile opened its doors for business on November 1, 1913, with the following officers and directors: James F. McClarnon, president; Luther F. Symons, vice-president; Clarence Haskett, cashier; H. T. White, C. F. Binford, J. M. Addison and H. M. Fort, directors. The capital stock of the bank is $10,000. Following are the stockholders: J. N. Addison, Charles F. Binford, Irvin H. Binford, Ernest H. Bond, H. M. Fort, Levi Gurley, Ezra Hill, Amos Hill, Allen Hill, Hawley Hall, Robert Hall, Clarence Haskett, Mary Hanna, Roy Lowe, James F. McClarnon, S. H. Murphy, W. L. Niles, W. C. Overman, Mina Overman, Andrew Ormston, Donald J. Peacock, W. E. Ross, H. T. White, F. E. Whte, Frank Weeks and Zona M. White.
The present officers are James F. McClarnon, president; Robert Hall, vice-president; Clarence Haskett, cashier; H. T. White, C. F. Binford, J. N. Addison and H. M. Fort, directors.
The Charlottesville Burial Club was organized on January 27, 1912, by W. R. Walker, with Willard Lowe, president; W. R Walker, secretary and treasurer, and Joseph N. Addison, George Haman and Guy Oldham, committee. The club was organized with two hundred and twenty-five members. It now has a membership of three hundred and forty. It is maintained by making assessments in advance, the money being place in bank for payment on the death of a member of the club.
The membership is divided into three classes: Those from two years of age to twelve years of age pay twenty-five cents and received $50 at death; those aged from twelve years to forty-five years pay fifty cents and receive $100 at death; members from forty-five to sixty years of age pay seventy-five cents and receive $100 at death. Money is paid directly to the members of the family of the deceased, and any undertaker may be employed. No applicants are received for membership unless they are in good health.
Eleven deaths have occurred in the club since its organization, including ten adults and one child. No officer receives a salary; expenses only are paid. The club has made a gain at each assessment and at present has a deposit in bank from which to draw. W. R. Walker has been secretary and treasurer of the club since its organization.
In December, 1911, some women of Charlottesville, feeling a desire for a closer social tie and also intellectual development, met together and organized what is known as the Charlottesville Thursday Circle. Its object is to aid in general culture through the programs, to strengthen bonds of friendship, and afford some profitable social life to busy women. Each year the work has been of a solid nature and has been a source of much wholesome pleasure and broader culture. The work for 1916 is to be on "Our Country," devoting some time to Indiana because of its centennial.
The first president was Mary E. Roland. She was followed by Edith J. Hunt and Cora L. Craft. The president for 1916 is Doris Binford. The circle conducted a lecture course in 1912-13 and has done some philanthropic work. It belongs to the Federation of Clubs of the sixth district and also to the Federation of Country Clubs of Hancock county. In January, 1915, it joined with the latter club in celebrating the birthday of Lee O. Harris, at Greenfield. Although organized only a short time the club can already see the real advantage of such an organization in the better development of its members.
Leamon's Corner is located on the range line where sections 13, 18, 19 and 24 meet. It has always been a well-known corner in the township. For many years a postoffice, a little store, a blacksmith ship and a saw-mill were maintained there. The postoffice was kept by Cyrus Leamon from a very early day, but was discontinued in the summer of 1881. The blacksmith ship was operated for a number of years by Bud Phillips, son of Thomas Phillips, who had had a blacksmith ship for a number of years in Blue River township. The little store was kept until about the time the postoffice was taken away.
Stringtown is located in the extreme southwest corner of Jackson township, in section 36. In the early history of the township Rufus Scott maintained a store there for a number of years. One Danner operated a blacksmith ship and William Baxter had a little chair shop. Just across the road to the west, in Center township, at a later date stood Newhall's saw-mill. The railroad maintained a switch there and the accommodation trains stopped to let passengers on and off. At a still later time a machine ship and foundry was built just south of the National road and adjoining the east line of section 35, township 16, range 7, by the Trees. This machine shop is still operated by L. J. Trees and is thoroughly equipped for doing iron work, repairing of engines, machinery, etc. It is one of the well-known corners in the county.
Jackson township has two railroad and two interurban lines. The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis follows the township line between Jackson township and Blue River township. A branch of the Big Four and the Indianapolis & Newcastle interurban cross the southwest corner of the township for a distance of a little more than a mile. The Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern traction line follows the National road through the township from east to west.
There were several churches in the early history of the township that are no longer in existence. Among them was the Missionary Union Baptist church. This church was organized on July 19, 1852, at what was known as Pleasant Hill, which stood probably a half-mile east of the range line and one-half mile south of Willow Branch. The first house of worship for the Baptist congregation, however, was erected at the southwest corner of section 16, township 16, range 8, or just across the road from where Center school house is now located. This house was erected in 1856 and was used by the congregation until 1878. At that time it was torn down and moved to a point one-half mile west of Leamon's Corner. The new church stood at the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 24, township 16, range 7.
Among the original members of the church were William Brammer and wife, Samuel E. Wilson and wife, John O. Moore and wife, and James Brammer. Among the later members were Benjamin Clift, A. C. Dudding and S. W. Felt, all of whom took an active interest in the work of the church. Services were conducted by the congregation until at some time in the early nineties, when on account of deaths and removals, the church organization was dissolved and the building sold.
The Baptists also held regular services at the residence of Silas Huntington, in the extreme northwest part of Jackson township for a number of years during the very early history of the township. The New Light Society also had a little log church in the northeast corner of the township, where they worshipped for several years in that very early day.
This church stood about one and one-half miles north of Charlottesville. Its location is still indicated by the cemetery at the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 26, township 16, range 8. A history of the church is included as a part of the history of the Charlottesville Methodist Episcopal church.
The church building used by this congregation is still standing at the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 24, township 16, range 7. It was erected in 1879 at a cost of probably $500. The first trustees of the church were Joseph O. Binford, Aaron White and John S. Lewis. Among its pastors were Joseph O. Binford, Micajah M. Binford and Winbern Kearns. Services were discontinued during the nineties. The church was originally organized in 1878 and services were conducted at the Leamon's Corner school house until the above church was constructed, in 1879.
The Pleasant Hill church was organized at the residence of Moses Braddock, in 1834. At first it belonged to the Knightstown circuit. Among the early ministers who aided in the organization of the church were Benjamin Cooper, Alfred Thomas, F. C. Holliday, John F. Truslow, W. W. Hibben and James Hill. During the ministry of the two latter, in 1837, a class was organized composed of Polly Burris, Margaret Braddock, Nancy Braddock, Barbara Braddock, Benjamin Cooper and wife, Alfred Thomas and wife, John M. Thomas and wife, and David Thomas and wife.
In 1838 the membership contributed their labor and built a little log church which was used for worship as well as for a school. The seats were made of split poles and in one end was a huge fire-place about six feet in width. Along the north side of the room was a narrow oiled paper window. Among the early teachers who taught in this church were Isaac Barrett and Frances ( Brown) McCray, the latter of whom taught twelve successive terms. In 1839 L. P. Berry preached the first sermon in this house. George Havens, Greeley McLaughlin, D. F. Straight and D. W. Boles were among the early ministers who preached at the log church. In 1841 the church was made a part of the Greenfield circuit. In 1852, under the pastorate of Francis M. Richmond, a new church house was erected, at a cost of about $1,000. Both this building and the former church stood about eighty rods east of the range line and one-half mile south of Willow, in the northwest quarter of section 6, township 16, range 8.
The first trustees of the church were John Jones, George Fisk, Elisha Earles, John M. Thomas and David Thomas. A Sunday school was opened in the church in 1839, by David Thomas, and was maintained as long as the church remained in Jackson township. After the Big Four railroad was constructed, which now passes through Willow Branch, the congregation erected a new house, which is the church now standing at the west side of Willow.
Some of the first settlers in the vicinity of Charlottesville were Methodists. In the early pioneer times they held services in a school house one mile north of town on the west bank of Six Mile. Later a small frame church was built at the Six Mile cemetery, two miles north of Charlottesville. This church cost $70 in money; liberal donations were made in work and material and the church was dedicated by John B. Burt in 1838. The first trustees were Benjamin Fort, Raleigh Ramsey, Andrew Jackson, Anthony Fort and William Oldham. Traveling preachers found their way to the church for many years, when it finally became necessary to have services in town. At this time the town school house stood on the east bank of Six Mile and was used until a church was built.
James P. Foley donated a lot in his addition to Charlottesvile, which helped greatly in building the large frame church which was dedicated in 1855, by Rev. Cyrus Mutt, a graduate of Asbury University. The pastor then in charge was the Reverend Mendenhall. This church was remodeled and new seats prucahsed therfor in 1890. through the efforts of Rev. T. D. Tharp, assisted by the Ladies' Aid Society, of which Mrs. George Girty was president.
The storm that swept through the county on June 25, 1902, did great damage to the church. Soon thereafter the pastor, Rev. James A. Ruley, called the trustees together to plan a new church. The people had had their crops destroyed by the storm and were very much discouraged, but the pastor, with an efficient board of trustees, was successful. The work was begun in 1903. Thomas Moxley, of Greenfield, was employed as architect, and Winfield S. Lane, of Charlottesville, took the contract for the construction of the church. The trustees at that time were Robert S. N. Oldham, William McGraw, Winfield S. Lane, James C. Pratt and James Cranfill.
The new church is a frame structure, and part of the timber of the old church, in good preservation, was used in the new building. During the pastorage of Rev. William Anderson the parsonage burned down and was rebuilt. In 1893, under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. J. W. Bowen, the parsonage was papered, painted, and a new veranda built, at a cost of $125. Again in 1902-03 the parsonage underwent needed repairs; was painted, a new dining room built and the veranda extended, costing about $100. This work was done by the efforts of the pastor, Rev. J. A. Ruley.
The corner stone of the new Methodist Episcopal church was laid with short appropriate ceremonies, September 21, 1903, the pastor, J. A. Ruley, officiating, assisted by Rev. Omer Hufford, pastor of the Christian church, and Rev. Benjamin Hutchins, pastor of the Friends church. In the corner stone was placed a tin box containing the names of the church membership, a history of the church, a picture of the pastor, a Bible, a hymn book, Sunday School Journal and the Western Christian Advocate.
The new church was dedicated on January 31, 1904, by Dr. William D. Parr, assistant secretary of the Church Expansion Society, assisted by Rev. G. E. Hill, presiding elder, and by Dr. Perry E. Powell, of Greenfield, and J. F. Radcliffe, of Knightstown. A sum of $2,100 was raised to liquidate the indebtedness by one o'clock. In the afternoon Doctor Hill conducted memorial services in the church, assisted by the following ministers: Albert Cone, of Greenfield; J. F. Radcliffe, of Knightstown; J. T. Scull, of Carthage, and J. A. Ruley, the pastor. Additional money was raised in the evening for the benefit of the church. Among the large pledges was that of $100 by class No. 7, composed of fifteen young men, taught by Mrs. W. S. Lane. The Ladies' Aid Society subscribed $500 in addition to the previous contribution of $500.
The new church has five rooms, a vestibule, auditorium, lecture room and pastor's study. Between the lecture room and auditorium is a rolling partition. The floors were bowled, elevated and carpeted throughout. Memorial windows were donated by friends of deceased loved one. The names in the windows are Mrs. Anna Probasco, Mrs. Eunice Allison and daughter, Mrs. Ashsah Lemay Wilkinson, Martin Fort and wife, William and Sarah Oldham, Alexander T. Foley and wife, Elias and Maria Roberts, Joseph and Leah Evans, Homer Kemp Ruley, Mrs. Louise Naftzger, Miss Rua B. Lane; also the Epworth and Junior Leagues.
A history of Methodism at Charlottesville would not be complete without mentioning the names of some of the old pioneer members, who have long since passed away, and some of their children and grandchildren are members of the church today. Mrs. Anna Probasco, wife of Peter Probasco, is said to be the mother of Methodism in this vicinity. Mrs. Probasco was the first Sunday school worker here and was superintendent, secretary, treasurer, teacher and chorister, and often swept paths in the snow so the children could get to Sunday school in the school house, before any church was built. She was very active in all church work and would ride on horseback, and sometimes go on foot, to collect money to carry on the work. At one time when the water was high and she could not get across the creek she secured the services of two men and had a large tree felled for a foot log. It is said, by the way, that it that tree were standing today it would be worth fifty dollars, but trees were plentiful in those days.
The house of Peter Probasco was one of the stopping places for traveling preachers, who went on horseback, and who many times arrived with wet clothes, having forded the swollen streams. They found a welcome with Mr. and Mrs. Probasco, who loaned them clothes while their wet clothing was dried. Mrs. Anna Probasco lived to be nearly one hundred years old. One of her children, Mrs. George Kinder, of this place, is still living. Many other homes welcomed the preachers, and at quarterly meeting at the Six Mile church the people came for many miles and were entertained. The meetings were spiritual and were greatly appreciated, and the church was crowded to its utmost.
William and Sarah Oldham and family, and James P. Foley and family took a great part in this work, and also the families of James and Nancy Lemay, Benjamin Fort, Andrew Jackson, Rolla Ramsey, James Lakin, Henry Woods, Anthony and Katurah Fort, Reuben Loudenback, Isaac Hill, Jesse Atkins, Joseph Tygart, Richard and John Probasco, Mrs. Sarah Earl, Mrs. Phebe Bartlow, Mrs. Parkhurst, Mrs. Abigail Goddard, Mrs. Sarah Armston, Mrs. Lafayette Steffy, Mrs. Isaac Leamon, William Johnson, Charles White, and Jackson White, a local preacher; Dr. Daniel Grass and family, Martin Fort, Talbert Fort, Henry Morris, Edward Barrett, David and Mary McClarnon, Reuben Niles, Robert Jewell, Henry Carroll, Joseph and Leah Evans and their families, and Mrs. Eunice Allison, who lived to be more than ninety years old.
Rev. John T. Hatfield, now widely known as the "Hoosier Evangelist," was for many years a class leader and was a great help to the church as a special leader in the doctrine of holiness. Alexander T. Foley was also a class leader and co-worker with John Hatfield. At that time, Thomas McClarnon, who was then eighty-one years old, was the class leader and was very active and enthusiastic.
The first Epworth League was organized in 1890 by the pastor, Rev. T. D. Tharp, and wife.
The ministers who have served on this circuit cannot all be given in order. Among the first were John B. Burty, Kelley, McDonald, Metts, Stout, Kinnan, Beamer, Armstrong, James Havens, Milton Mahin, Thomas Stabler, Ambrose Stevens, D. F. Straight; J. C. Clayton, 1860; S. Saulsbury, 1867; J. S. McCarty, 2868; James Pierman, 1869; E. L. Freeman, 1870; William Anderson, 1872-75; W. E. Curtiss, 1875-77; M. Waymann, 1877-79; James Leonard, 1879-81; I. N. Rhodes, 1881-83; Charles Harvey, 1883-86; R. S. Reed, 1886-88; A. M. Patterson, 1888-90; T. D. Tharp, 1890-91; J. H. Slack, 1891-93; J. W. Bowen, 1893-95; E. F. Albertson, 1895-96; Albert Cone, 1896-98; Earl F. Naftzger, 1898-1902. James A. Ruley, who came here in 1902 had been abundant in his labor, as was also his wife, who was superintendent of both the Sunday school and Junior League, and was an ardent worker in the missionary cause.
Pastors who have been in charge of the Methodist Episcopal church since the dedication in 1904, are M. R. Pierce, J. W. Richey, William E. Whitelock, W. H. Gray, Rolla I. Black, J. W. Miller, M. A. Harlan, and E. H. Taylor, present pastor. Several young men and women have gone out from this church to work in other vineyards of the Master. Among the number the Rev. Maurice Barrett, who graduated from Depauw University in 1912, and from the School of Theology, Boston University, in 1915, and who was recently appointed as a missionary to India by the Bradley Methodist Episcopal church, of Greenfield, should be mentioned. In November, 1915, he conducted a revival, the result of which was one hundred and twenty converts, the largest number in the history of the church. This revival stands alone as the most successful within the memory of any of its now living members.
An Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized at Charlottesville by Reverend Wells, about 1847, or a little earlier. In that year a frame church was erected on a lot donated by Daniel Bohn at the north edge of town. Among those whose families worshipped here were Daniel Bohn, Daniel Fries, Thomas Dungan, John Blessinger, Michael Shaffer, John Lenox, W. H. Ferris, Zachariah Fries, Michael Fries, Jesse Dawson and John Kinder. Philip J. Bohn and some of the Danners and Schultzes were also probably members of this church. The first pastor to preach in the new church was Rev. S. P. Snider. Others whose names can be recalled were Reverend Friday, Jackson Cromer, John Cromer, and Thompson.
The Lutherans were prosperous for several years, at one time having a membership of about one hundred and fifty. The members scattered, however, and services ceased to be held during the early sixties. In the latter eighties the house was bought and remodeled by the Christian congregation that had just been organized.
The Christian church at Charlottesville was organized in 1888, with thirteen charter members: T. J. Owens and wife, George Herkless and wife, Mrs. Anna Fort, Mrs. Ettie Niles, Mrs. Dorzena Smith, Mrs. Rebecca Rock, Anthony Smith and wife, Macklin Jeffries, Henry Waldon and John Bell, Sr. Only four of the charter members are now living: Mrs. Herkless, Mrs. Ettie Niles, Mrs. Dorzena Smith and Mrs. T. J. Owens, now Mrs. James McClarnon.
The little congregation had no place of worship but later it secured an old abandoned Lutheran church building, remodeled it and furnished it so that it was satisfactory for a place of worship until the organization became sufficiently strong to erect a new house of worship. The first church building was erected in the north part of town and continued to be occupied until it was destroyed by the storm on June 25, 1902. A few months later a new building was commenced and by the donation of work and money was rapidly pushed to completion. This building is now standing. It is a substantial frame church with a seating capacity of four hundred. It was dedicated in 1903 by the Rev. Omer Hufford.
The pastors who have served the congregation are Reverends McHargue, Kuhn, Shults, Colliins, Gard, Campbell, Willoughby, Burkhart, Hufford, Thompson and Hosier, the latter being pastor of the church at this time. The church has had a prosperous Sunday school from its earliest organization. Among those who have served as superintendents of the Sunday school are Mrs. Anna Fort, Mrs. John Fry, Mrs. Niles, Hugh Conway, Messrs. Jeffries, Shelby and Davis, Miss Nellie Davis and Mrs. Nellie White, who is the present superintendent. The church has an auxiliary organization known as the Willing Workers, consisting of thirteen members.
This church was established during the latter sixties. The house of worship is located south of the railroad in Rush county, but a number of the residents of Charlottesville worship there. A Sunday school is conducted in connection with the church.
A little congregation of Methodists was organized in the northwest part of Jackson township about 1840. It seems that at first they worshipped at private residences, but in 1850 erected a church just a short distance north of Cleveland. Among the charter members were Wesley Williams and wife, Elisha Earle and wife, John Sample and wife, Joseph Barrett and wife, Andrew Smith and wife, Thomas Hatfield and wife, George Hatfield and Deborah Earls.
The congregation worshipped at the church above described until during the latter sixties, or possible until 1870, when the church was moved to Cleveland and remodeled. The same building is still standing, though it was again remodeled in 1913. The congregation has grown until now there are one hundred and fifty members.
A Sunday school was organized when the church was first built, or soon thereafter, which now has an attendance of eighty-five or ninety, and more than one hundred are enrolled. Practically all of the adult members of the church attend the Sunday school. Theodore Miller is the present superintendent.
Among the pastors who have lately served the congregation are the Reverends R. I. Black, Miller, Harlan and Taylor, the latter being pastor at this time. The church now forms a part of the Charlottesville circuit. When the remodeled building was dedicated two years ago Mrs. Vinnie Hatfield and Mrs. Phebe Miller were present, as the only members who had also attended the dedication of the church during the sixties.
Rev. Joseph Williams and others conducted a camp meeting in 1838 and organized a class in the neighborhood of Wesley Williams, on the line between sections 19 and 20, township 16, range 8. A year or two later they built a log church which was used for worship until about 1861. About that time, after a number of the original members had moved away and others had died, a reorganization was effected by the Rev.. D. S. Welling, in the school house on the Robert Smith farm, at the northeast corner of section 36, township 16, range 7. William Leamon, James M. Clark and William Williams were elected trustees. Harvey Collins, Thomas Shipp and S. M. Lowden were among the first pastors.
In 1868, during the second pastorate of Thomas Shipp, a new house of worship was erected, at a cost of $1,000 on the corner described above, known as Brown's chapel. Robert Smith, J. M. Clark, C. G. Sample, John M. Leamon and Peter Crider were trustees. The house was built by J. P. Clark and was dedicated in October, 1868, by Rev. George Brown, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The church was named Brown's chapel in his honor. This house was used until 1898, when it was repaired and remodeled. The building then stood until June 25, 1902, when it was destroyed by the cyclone that swept over Hancock county.
A new church was at once erected, which is now standing. It is a neat frame house standing on the site of the former building. A Sunday school is conducted in connection with the church, with an average attendance of probably forty-five. Preaching services are held every two weeks and prayer meetings every Thursday night.
This little congregation was organized at Stringtown in February, 1915, by F. E. Harding, present state superintendent of the Nazarene church. It included the following members: John Mitchell and family, Charles Mitchell and family, Nathan Derry and family, Benjamin Lowe and wife, Mrs. Nancy Mitchell, Miss Frankie Crider and Arthur Crider. A sum of $500 was subscribed for a new church on the evening of the organization. Grover Van Duyn and wife donated a plot of ground for the church at the northwest corner made by the crossing of the National road and the east line of section 35, township 16, range 7. The church will stand just across the road from Trees' shop. Some work has been done on the new house which is to be completed in 1916.
The Nazarene church is a comparatively new organization. The first church of this order was organized in 1895. It teaches the Wesleyan doctrine of Christian perfection, but has a Congregational form of church worship.
In the fall of 1907 a great revival was held under a tent at Cleveland, under the leadership of John T. Hatfield and others. As a result of this meeting a number of persons, on September 7, 1907,associated themselves together as a corporate body under the laws of the state. This incorporation adopted the name appearing as the caption hereof. The purpose of the association as stated in its articles," is the salvation of souls and to promote holiness." Its plan" is to carry on religious services and to promote religious worship."
The original incorporators were John. T. Hatfield, Milo Goodpasture, Roscoe Thomas, Thomas Williams, John O. Mitchell, Maurice Barrett, John Williams, John M. Havens, Maud Thomas, John Butler, and Evert Chalfant. The first officers were Milo Goodpasture, president; Roscoe Thomas, vice-president; John T. Hatfield, secretary; Thomas Williams, treasurer and general superintendent; John O. Mitchell, John M. Binford, Rev. John Seelig, John Williams, Rev. John Butler, John W. Crawford, John W. Thomas, John Havens, Frank Edwards, William Macy, Rev. Homer Cox, H. H. Mitchell, Rev. Maurice Barrett, Rev. Evert Chalfant and T. B. Leary, trustees.
The association now owns ten acres adjoining Cleveland on the northeast, and has erected a number of buildings thereon, including a large tabernacle, and other buildings for the temporary resident of people who may come to attend the yearly revival services. Trees have been set out, and over the entrance appear in large letters the words "Salvation Park." Two revivals have been held each year since the fall of 1907, each covering a period of several weeks. Great throngs of people gather at these revivals and much religious enthusiasm is evinced. The first meeting is usually conducted in June, the second one in September. The association preached the doctrine of justification and of immediate, entire, sanctification
At the northeast corner of section 17, township 16, range 8, stands the house of worship of one of the oldest congregations in the county. For several years prior to any regular church organization there seems to have existed among the settlers a co-operation in spiritual matters, although they differed somewhat in their religious beliefs. They erected a rude log house for worship and named it "The Union Meeting House." It stood a few rods south of the present church. Like many of the early places of worship, it was built of unhewn logs, with clapboard roof, and puncheon floor. The doors were hung on wooden hinges, and the seats, without backs, were made of puncheon with heavy wooden pins for legs. The house was heated in cold weather by burning charcoal in an open space in the puncheon floor at either end of the room. The charcoal was obtained by burning, during the summer of autumn months, large piles of wood covered with a thin layer of earth.
Realizing the need of a permanent church organization, a council of elders was called to ‘constitute a church in Gospel order." The council met at the house of Daniel Priddy, September 8, 1839. It was presided over by Elders John Walker and Peter Reder, and the following named persons: Aaron Powell, Elizabeth Powell, Sisom Siddle, Elizabeth Siddle, Lemuel Perrin, and Charlotte Tygart, who "upon being examined and found in the faith of the Gospel were constituted a legal church of Jesus Christ."
The minutes also show that "The church in council being regularly organized covenant our faith to be as follows, to wit: "we believe the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God and of Divine authority and the only true and infallible rule of faith and practice of all Christians to follow. As such we take the Word of God for our man of council which is able through faith in Jesus Christ to make us wise unto salvation."
Thus was formed a nucleus of men and women with avowed principles of faith and practice which attracted kindred spirits, and in a few years such men as Samuel Smith, Jordan Lacy, Meredith Walker, John Level, John Street, Peter Furman, Hardy Wells, Aaron Powell, John B. Simmons, Elbert Wales, and a number of others with their families united by obedience and letter with the little band already organized.
The records of the church also show with what degree of care the members sought to carry out the injunction, "Let everything be done in decency and good order." The officers, for instance, were chosen not as "lords over God's heritage, but as servants of the church." On February 13, 1844, the members sitting as a council "say that the church at Union Meeting House shall be called the Reformed Baptist Church of Christ." On December 18, 1844, "the Reformed Baptist Church met at Union Meeting House for the purpose of striking off a part of their peculiar name, and the church say that their name that has been known heretofore as the Reformed Baptist Church of Christ, the word, Reformed Baptist shall be struck out from their name, and the church hereafter shall be designated and known only as the Church of Christ." Thus it seems that those pioneers were not only anxious that the church be one of "gospel order," but that its name should honor the Master.
The second house of worship, a substantial frame structure, forty by sixty feet, was erected in 1853. It served its purpose for more than half a century. The present house, a modern rural church home, was dedicated July 10, 1904.
The congregation is widely known throughout the county for its benevolent and missionary spirit. It has a membership of one hundred and fifty, a well organized and graded Sunday school, and an auxiliary of the Christian Women's Board of Missions, numbering twenty-six members. The church has had as ministers in the past such men as Elders John Walker, Drury Holt, James Conner, Daniel and David Franklin, James, James W. Samuel, and E. S. Conner,; Seth Bennett, Robert Edmundson, G. C. Price, Jacob Blount, Omer Hufford, B. F. Dailey, William Mullendore, W. R. Carter, Joseph Sherritt, Carl Van Winkle, and Frank W. Summer.
The average attendance at church service for the past several yeas has been about one hundred and fifty. The average attendance at Sunday school has been probably seventy-five. Among the superintendents of the Sunday school have been James T. McClarnon, Orange Julian, George Smith and Marshall N. Hittle, the latter having served about sixteen years, since 1897.
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 714-740.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI January 15, 2002.
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