History of Harmony, Clay County, Indiana
From: A History of Clay County, Indiana
By: William Travis (of Middlebury)
The Lewis Publishing Company
New York - Chicago 1909
Harmony, the oldest surviving town in the Van Buren township, on the National Road and on the Vandalia Railroad,
nineteen miles east of Terre Haute, and three miles east of Brazil, originally laid out by John Graves, in 1839,
but owing to the insolvency of his estate the land was sold and the town plat vacated. Some time after the building
of the railroad a town site was again platted, by Isaac Marks, which was put to record in 1864. This town was the
eastern terminus of the Rapid Transit Electric Railroad line built in 1893-4, afterward purchased by the Terre
Haute Electric Company, and still later becoming a part of the Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Line.
There is no reason to be assigned for the naming of this town and of the postoffice, also, other than that of euphony
and suggestiveness. The original Harmony, whatever there may have been of it, was on the National Road. Owen Thorpe
is said to have done business there before founding Brazil George G. McKinley operated a sawmill on the site of
the town in the fifties, perhaps as late as 1857, who was succeeded in this industry by John and Isaac Marks. As
a station on the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad, Harmony was preceded by Croy's Creek, a mile or more
eastward, where there was a store and a postoffice, kept by Orville S. McGinnis. In 1859, James Robinson bought
this stock of general merchandise and moved it, with the postoffice, to Harmony and was the pioneer merchant of
the town. During his first year of business, his stock was kept in a very small box like room on the south side
of the railroad track and east side of the roadway, where he built, the following year, what was known as the "Red
Store House," in which he did business until the latter part of 1864, when he was succeeded by David A. Cox.
On the removal of the store and postoffice, Croy's Creek station was discontinued, succeeded by Harmony. At the
time of Robinson's doing business, there was on the opposite or northwest corner what was known as Frazier's drug
store. Cox was succeeded by his son in law, John L. Stephens, who conducted business on the same corner. Other
merchants and dealers in the progress and history of the place, including those now in business, may be enumerated
as follows: R. M. Wingate, Zeller & Riddell, Zeller & Sigler, Charles G. Ferguson, John Killion, Shaffer
& Son, John D. Walker, The Ferguson Brothers, Smythe & Terry, Joseph Crooks, Shanks & Hillier, Thomas
Thomas, Baily O'Neil, John M. Marks, John Thomas, Jacob Pell, Kistler & Finley, George Rohrig.
The fraternal societies maintained here are: Clay Lodge I. O. O. F. No. 368, instituted in 1871, with a charter
membership of 9, now numbers 160. The Encampment, instituted on the 17th day of March, 1873, has a membership of
100 or more. Shasta Tribe No. 283, Improved Order of Red Men, instituted April 9, 1898, has a present membership
of 329. The Modern Woodmen, instituted in July, 1908, with a membership of 17.