History of Adams Township, Cass County, Indiana
From: History of Cass County, Indiana
Edited by: Dr. Jehu Z. Powell
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1913
Adams township is situated in the northeast corner of Cass county and embraces an area of about thirty square miles It is hounded on the north by Fulton county, on the east by Miami county, on the west by Bethlehem and Clay townships, and on the south by Eel river which separates it from Miami township. It is not a full congressional township, is irregular in shape, being nearly eight miles in length from north to south, and five miles from the eastern to the western boundary and lies in congressional townships 27 and 28 north, range 3 east. In the northern part of the township the surface is level, with some marshy land, but in the southern portions it is undulating. It is well watered by Twelve Mile creek, which has two branches, eastern or upper, and western or lower, Twelve Mile, that begins in the northern part of the township, winding about in a southerly direction a. distance of about twelve miles, hence the name Twelve Mile creek. The two branches unite about a mile north of Eel river and empty into that river a mile and a half west of the town of Hoovers. This was quite a. large stream and afforded power for numerous mills in the early settlement of the township, but since the land has been ditched and tiled the water runs off rapidly and the water power is no longer available. The eastern half of. the township was originally covered with heavy timber of walnut, poplar, beech, etc., but the western part was what is termed "barrens," being covered mostly with scrubby oak. The timber, however, has been largely cut and only enough remains for the farmers' private uses. The land adjacent to Eel river is a black loam and very fertile soil, except in the southwest corner, where the soil is lighter. The north and northwest part of the township, known as the "range," contains a light soil, not so well adapted to agriculture as the southern sections. Adams, however, is a fair average township, and under better and more careful methods of her farmers in recent years, is very productive of all the agricultural products adapted to a temperate climate.
The early settlers of Adams township who first sought homes in the dense forests of this section, were not adventurers,
but plain, matter-of-fact people, Who were induced to locate here and endure the hardships and privations of pioneer
life by the advantages that were afforded by cheap lands, which could then be obtained at congress prices, $1.25
per acre. To make a home in the dense woods was an undertaking attended with great trials and difficulties, of
which we, of today, can have no conception. The wild condition of the country, the absence of roads, mills, the
long distances to be traversed to the nearest markets, together with the general poverty of the settlements and
the immense amount of hard work and drudgery required to clear the land and make a living at the same time during
the first few years, were obstacles well calculated to shake the determination of the most energetic and brave
hearted pioneer. These were years attended with many dangers and constant struggle and the motives which animated
and impelled them forward are certainly deserving of the highest praise of we, of today, who are profiting by the
results of their labor and industry.
FIRST LAND ENTRIES
The first entry of land in Adams township was made in 1831 by Samuel Hall, who obtained a patent for the east
half of the southeast quarter of section 29, township 28 north, range 3 east. In 1832 entries were made by Nathaniel
Williams in section 32; John Cox in section 29; Samuel Leffel in sections 20 and 28; Samuel Lowman in section 28;
James McPherson, section 20; Isaac Young and Samuel McKinney in section 21, and Franklin Douglass in section 22.
During the years 1833-34 the following persons made entries from the government: Abraham Garst, section 27; D.
H. Morris, section 27; William Stapleton, section 22; Wm. Halston, section 28; Miles Thomas, section 29; Nathaniel
Williams, section 29; John Daggy, John Gilliland, and E. Gilliland, in section 30. During the years 1835 and '36
many entries were made in all parts of the township by Silas Enyarf, Wm. Reed, James McClung, Wm. Lowman, Joel
Martin, Richard Ferguson, Geo. Lowman, Thos. Sheridan, Henry Lewis, Miner Alley. John Arnold, Elijah Cox, John
Kelly and Geo. Harland. Prior to 1840 the following names appear to have received patents for land: Calvin Taylor,
Wm. R. Davis, Sam'l Harp, J. Lathrop, J. L. and J. Carney, Jos. Shamburg, Wm. Stroud, James Payne, John Denny,
John Euritt, Henry Conrad, Jesse McLean, Jonathan Washington, C. W. Lowe, Wiseley Craig, E. Morse, Geo. H. Sherwood,
Joel H. Davis, Wm. Filley, Jacob Metz. Wm. Bromenbaugh, John Simons, Jos. Lowman, Jesse Greathouse, Henry Alexander
and Silas Wells; not all of these, however, became settlers.
The township was organized May 6, 1835, and received its name from President John Quincy Adams. Soon after the declaration of the county board fixing the boundary lines of the township an election was held at the house of Nathaniel Nichols, who acted as inspector and was chosen the first trustee and John Cox the first justice of the peace.
The first marriage ceremony performed in the township was that uniting Samuel Kelly and Sirena Cox, on March 5, 1834, Rev. Wm. M. Rayburn officiating.
In the early settlement of Adams township, Eel river, in times of high water, afforded transportation to the
southern part of the township and Indian trails to the interior. While the pioneers opened up roads, that is, cut
down the timber so as to permit an ox team to pass around and over the stumps, through the mud, to reach this township,
yet the first main road leading from Logansport to Perrysburg in Miami county, a distance of about twenty miles,
was opened up about 1840-44. It ran on a comparatively straight course northeast, passing entirely through Adams
township. This road was a great thoroughfare for travel and all that section of country passed over this. road
in coming to Logansport, then the principal town in Northern Indiana. This road was improved by grading and used
for thirty years, but as the farms were cleared up the road was changed to section lines so that it is now on a
zig-zag on two sides of every man's farm between here and Perrysburg and is used only for local travel.
Adams township has two railroads extending through the entire township. One, the C. C. & L., running from the southeast to the northwest, built in 1901, and passing through the towns of Hoover and Twelve Mile. The other railroad is the Eel River division of the Vandalia, which passes through the southern part of the township and crossing the former road at Hoover. This road was begun in the fifties but the work was suspended, but taken up by a new company and pushed to completion in 1871. These roads. afford ample shipping facilities to the farmers of the township.
OLD WATER POWER MILLS
As has been stated elsewhere, the pioneer, landing in the midst of a forest, hundreds of miles from mill or
factory, first began to feel the necessity of grinding his corn and sawing lumber for his buildings, and consequently
set about to erect mills on the banks of the creek and harness its waters to run them; so here, as in other sections
of the country, we find the pioneer early building mills. The first one was erected by Samuel Lowman about 1835-37,
on the banks of Twelve Mile creek in section 29. This was a saw mill and corn cracker attachment. It served a useful
purpose for many years but has long since been abandoned and no vestige of this old mill is left to mark the spot
of its past activities, although it was a picturesque as well as a useful adornment of pioneer days.
About 1840 Taswell Richardson erected a small distillery where be lived, on the north bank of Eel river. It was a small affair but often did a big business for the sheriff. Some time in the sixties a Mr. Myers moved the still further east near the Miami county line and did a "moonshine" business in a small way, but soon abandoned it.
After the passing of the old water mills. and facilities for transportation improved, steam mills began to make their appearance and the first mill of this kind was erected in the town of Twelve Mile in 1852 by Daniel and Jacob Brubaker and since that date there has been a saw mill in Twelve Mile village almost continuously, operated by different parties. At present Theodore and Samuel Hoover own and operate it. About 1874 a large steam saw mill was erected in the town of Hoover to saw the timber in what was known as Taber's seven sections and surrounding country, and did a very extensive business for many years, and is still operated, on a smaller scale, however, as the timber is nearly all cut off.
Probably the first business in the way of manufacturing was a cooperage for the making of barrels, run by Nathaniel Nichols, some time in the thirties, but as "Taswells" distillery could use only a limited number of barrels and kegs, Mr. Nichols' cooper shop did not prosper long and only furnished kraut barrels in which the farmers could make that standard of pioneer diet.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES
Newburg is a paper town that was laid out in 1838 by Sam'l Lowman and Joel Black, located on the east branch of Twelve Mile creek in section 29, near the first mill erected in the township a few years before. Benjamin Powell was the surveyor who run the lines and made the plat of the town, which shows seventeen blocks, fifty four lots and five streets, three of which, Main, North and Spring streets, run north and south, the other two, Poplar and Mill streets, cross them at right angles, running east and west. Although this was a beautiful site for a town and the proprietors had visions of becoming millionaires, yet they were doomed to disappointment and the great metropolis, of which they would be the leaders, never materialized and the town site has never passed the agricultural stage and cannot be found today except by an expert surveyor who is capable of unraveling the field notes of its projector.
This, the recognized capital of Adams, is situated near the center of the township in section 17 and dates its
history from 1852. when a saw mill was erected here by Mr. Brubaker and soon after became a local center of trade.
Hammond Ludders was the first merchant, opening a general store and since then Richard Ludders. John Walters, Geo.
Lowman, Frank Wait, J. L. Clouse, Noah Simons, Milton Enyart, Sam'l Pence, James Wilson, J. S. Rannels and T. P.
Swigart have operated country shires in the village. Isaac W. Eggman opened a. general store about 1882 and succeeded
in building up and holding an extensive trade and is still in active business, having continued in business longer
than any other merchant in the history of the town.
Three general stores and a hardware and agricultural implement store have locatedhere, kept by Ira Slifer, Jerome
Jones, Geo. Brown and Becker & McMahin; furniture and undertaking establishment by J. B. Grindle; butcher shop
by Dudley Dalzelle and Sam Cover, also barber shops, blacksmith shops, livery stable, pickle factory and stock
yards, and an elevator operated by F. P. McFaddin, giving ready market for all kinds of farm products. J. E. Black
runs an up to date restaurant, Dr. C. L. Miller looks after the health of the community and two resident preachers,
a Methodist and United Brethren, administer to their spiritual needs. A new U. B. church has recently been erected,
also a handsome eight room brick schoolhouse in which all grades are taught, including the high school. A hotel
accommodates the traveling public and all kinds of building crafts and mechanics are well represented, as carpenters,
plasterers, brick and stone masons, painters, etc.
The Twelve Mile Telephone Company was organized in 1903, with the following officers: President, Wm. Carson;
vice president. Wm. Dalzelle; secretary, Dr. C. L. Miller; treasurer, Isaac W. Egman. Directors: J. W. Denniston,
Ira Gehman, E. M. Kine, Chas. Dalzelle, August Swanson.
Twelve Mile postoffice was established about 1852-4 in "Old Hen Peck," and John Waiters was its first postmaster. The office was supplied by star route, part of the time from Dcedsville in Miami county, but most of the time on a route from Logansport to Perrysburg, where Stephen G. Conrad was mail carrier for many years and Daniel Fetrow the last star route carrier from Logansport, when the building of the railroad in 1901, replaced the star route service. Isaac W. Egman, the present incumbent, has been postmaster for thirty years. Two rural mail routes, Nos. 21 and 22, established eight or ten years ago, lead out from Twelve Mile, now carried by Charles Jones and Elzie Martin, and are a great convenience to the farmers of Adams township, bringing daily mail to their doors. Prior to the establishment of this office the people in this township had to go to Logansport, 10 to 18 miles distant, for their mail.
LODGES AND SOCIETIES
The fraternal spirit of the people of Twelve Mile is shown by the societies they have organized since the rapid development of the new town on the advent of the railroad in 1901.
I. O. O. F.
Odd Fellows Lodge, No. 519, was organized December 17, 1881. with only a small membership, but in recent years the numbers have rapidly increased. Present membership, 77.
A Masonic lodge was instituted in Twelve Mile in 1908, and Dud Datzelle was its first master. Their membership now numbers 36.
WOODMEN OF THE WORLD
Twelve Mile Camp was organized December 5, 1905, and is said to be in a prosperous condition, with a membership
PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY OF FARMERS' GRANGE
This, perhaps, was the first secret fraternal order organized in the township in 1870, and James P. Ferguson was its first "master." The officers consisted of a master, overseer, steward, secretary, treasurer and chaplain. Women were eligible to membership. This organization was popular among the fanners all over the western country about this time. They combined for mutual improvement, benefit and protection against what they termed imposition and extortion of moneyed interests and middlemen. The Grange held its meetings in schoolhouses and for a time was prosperous and helpful in many ways, but did not last many years, when. it was entirely abandoned.
KNIGHTS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
This was a political secret order in sympathy with the South during the Civil war and opposed to President Lincoln's
methods of conducting the prosecution of that war. These treasonable societies under the above name, were organized
all over Indiana. They were often composed of otherwise good citizens, but who, in their political and party animosity,
were carried to the extreme of opposing the government and organized secret societies with that object in view.
There were a few men of this character in Adams. township, who, in 1862, organized a lodge of the Knights of the
Golden Circle and Joseph Lease, who was a strong Union man and ardently supported President Lincoln's policies,
joined the order with the object of exposing the treasonable workings of the society, which he did.
is a small station in the southern part of Adams township, at the crossing of the two railroads that pass through
the township, the Eel River division of the Vandalia and the C. C. and L. R. R., and about nine miles east of Logansport.
It dates its history from about 1871 or '2, soon after the Eel River R. R. was completed. At this time a large
steam sawmill was erected here, which was the nucleus around which the town developed. In April, 1874, Riley Hoover,
proprietor. laid out the town, surveyed and platted 14 lots and a few houses to accommodate the mill hands were
erected. For many years the sawmill was the chief industry. It had been located here to saw the timber from the
big woods, known as the "Seven Sections," belonging to the Taber heirs, and there has been a mill located
here ever since, run by different parties, although in recent years, owing to the scarcity of timber, the mill
does not do the business it formerly did. J. L. Clouse was probably the first merchant to open a country store,
which he continued to manage for many years or until his death. He was the first postmaster in the village. Win.
Obenchain also engaged in the mercantile business for a. while and Willard Place bought and shipped grain and stock
extensively for some years. At present there is a general store managed by John Crumpacker: an elevator, and stock
yards operated by P. P. McFaddin; blacksmith and repair shops and the usual "press brick" workers found
around a country village store.
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS AND HAPPENINGS
The first automobile in Adams township was purchased in 1906 by James Black, when he was looked upon as an aristocrat
or a plutocrat or anything but a plain Hoosier, and it was quietly noised around that Mr. Black must have received
a tip from Andrew Carnegie or John D. and would soon be a director in Standard Oil or the Steel trust. For a time
in old Adams everybody was craning their necks when that automobile Caine up the road; but now the people are accustomed
to the innovation, rather like it and an automobile is not as much of an attraction today as the old ox cart of
the pioneer, and each year finds the number increasing.
Dr. Thomas Crook was the first physician to locate in Adams township in 1853. He was a brother of General Crook, of the Indian and Civil wars, and was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, December 18. 1822, and died in Adams township, December 26, 1882, and lies at rest in Bethlehem M. E. cemetery. He was twice married. First wife was Louisana Worst; second, Eliza Dudgeon. He had three children by his first wife and two by the last. He came to Cass county in 1853 and practiced in Adams township, residing on a farm, until 1870, when he returned to Dayton, Ohio, but in 1876 moved back to Adams township, where he practiced until his. death. Dr. Crook was not an educated physician, but possessed the intuitive faculty of a good physician.
DR. JOHN C. WAITE
was a native of West Virginia, where he was born July 15, 1835. He moved to Cass counts in 1862; graduated from Rush Medical College, 1869; practiced at Walton, Indiana, 1873-74, then for a time at Adamsboro, Hooverville, and finally locating at Twelve Mile, where he had been in practice prior to his receiving his degree, about 1867; later he engaged in practice at Chili, Miami county, and finally, moved to Julietta, Idaho, where he died in 1903. He was a member of the Idaho legislature for two terms. Dr. Waite was a charter member of the Cass County Medical Society. He was married three times and has one daughter living.
DR. JAMES McKEE
Dr. James McKee, a former resident of Bethlehem township, is a son of Robt. F. McKee and brother of ex-Mayor Geo. P. McKee. He was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, about 1840; educated in the public schools of his native state, attended a college in West Virginia, and graduated from Rush Medical College in 1878-9. He first began practice at Macy, Indiana, then at Mexico, and about 1878 located in Twelve Mile, where he practiced his chosen profession until about 1881, when he moved to Newton, Kansas, residing there until about 1905, when he was appointed as an official in the pension department at Washington, District of Columbia, where he now resides. He was elected to the office of coroner for several terms while in Kansas He was joined in marriage to Miss Mollie Grable of Bethlehem township in 1866, and they have three children.
DR. J. M. MORRIS
is a native of Fairfield county, Ohio, and was born in 1841. He studied medicine with Dr. Peters in Ohio, attended medical lectures in Columbus, Ohio, and at Keokuk, Iowa. He moved to Twelve Mile in 1870, where he continued in practice until 1881, when he removed to Fulton, Indiana, where he is still in active practice. While at Twelve Mile he was married to Sarah Jane Sargent, to which union six children were born, three of whom, two sons and one daughter, are living.
DR. H. DUDLEY SKINNER
is the son of Richard Skinner, a pioneer of Adams township, where the doctor was born November 21, 1854. He was educated in the public schools and later taught district schools for several terms. He studied medicine in the office of Fitch and Coleman and received his degree of M. D. from the Indiana Medical College in 1881 and at once engaged in the practice of medicine at Twelve Mile, in the township that gave him birth, where he continued in practice until 1884, when he moved to Denver, Indiana, and about a year later went to Minnesota and finally located in Condo, North Dakota, relinquished medical practice and engaged in the legal profession. The doctor was united in marriage September 15, 1882, to Miss Sarah A. Williams of Indiana, and they have several children, only one of whom is living (1910). While located in Twelve Mile he was twice elected township trustee and was an energetic Republican in politics.
DR. GEO. WALTER HARDING
was born at Five Corners, Miami county, Indiana, December 27, 1858, educated in the public schools and one term at De Panw University and graduated from the medical department of Michigan University in 1886 and in 1896 attended a post graduate course in Chicago. He located in Twelve Mile in 1887 and continued in active practice until 1896, when he moved to North Manchester, Indiana, where he is still engaged in professional work. In 1882 he was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Lester and they have several children.
DR. LEWIS CRAIG MILLER
is a native of Ohio, where he was born (at Alliance) in 1869 and educated at Union College, Ohio; received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1895 and at once located at Twelve Mile, where he has been a successful practitioner to the present time (1913). The doctor has attended strictly to professional duties and east aside official honors. Recently, however, lie has been elected to the presidency of the Twelve Mile Bank, established in 1912. IIe was joined in marriage in 1897 to Miss. Snyder of Deedsviile, Indiana., and they were blessed with three children.
CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES (Were at this point)
Adams township, lying so far from Logansport, the center of trade and being covered by a dense forest, the pioneers of this township underwent great hardships in the early settlement and had to content themselves with what they found on the land, as it was next to impossible to transport goods or merchandise from the outside world, never. theless they were brave and energetic and were not slow to appreciate the value of mental culture and as soon as settlements were formed they erected schoolhouses and employed teachers to instruct their children, yes, before public houses were built, the first school was taught in an old log cabin on the Dalzelle farm in the northwest quarter of section 29, in the winter of 1836-7, by Wm. Davidson. The first school house erected in the township was in 1838 or '9. It was a primitive round log house with the cracks closed with sticks and mud and cost, completed, the munificent sum of $39.50. The first schoolhouse stood on the Joel Black farm, section 29. S. A. Custer taught the school at $12 per month. In 1842 this first schoolhouse was destroyed by fire, the patrons disagreed as to the location, the result was two houses were built, one on the Dillman farm near Corinth church, section 28, and the other on Wm. Murden's farm in section 30, then owned by Logan Thomas. Both were hewed log houses, the former was occupied until 1859, when it was abandoned and a frame house, No. 6, was erected on the southeast corner of section 33 and about the same time the Thomas log schoolhouse was replaced by a frame, located near the same site, this was consumed by fire in 1910, but has never been rebuilt, its pupils being hauled to the Twelve Mile school.
The Custer, log schoolhouse was known throughout all that section, S. A. Custer, August Morse and many other
well known pioneers wielded the birch in this primitive temple of learning and the first religions meetings were
assembled here. The first school in the Skinner neighborhood was taught in a log house over the line in Miami county
and the first school in that section was held in the log church about 1850 or '51, taught by Jos. Davis. It was
not until 1856 that a frame schoolhouse was erected near the northeast corner of section 22 on the T. Skinner farm.
Its first teacher was G. I. Reed, second teacher, Katherine Wickham.
One object in compiling this work is to secure biographical sketches of the pioneers who developed the county
and made history. The sketches of many have been written by Mr. Helms in his history in 1886. These will simply
be mentioned as they are now of record and can readily be referred to.