History of Harrison Township, Dearborn County,
From: History of Dearborn County, Indiana
Her People, Industries and Institutions
Archibald Shaw, Editor
Published By: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1915
Harrison township was created out of the territory taken from Logan township. It is situated in the extreme
northeast corner of Dearborn county, and was organized by the board of county commissioners at the June session,
in 1844. Like Logan, Lawrenceburg and Center townships, settlements were made in this township very promptly after
the treaty made by General Wayne with the Indians, and lands were entered at once after the land office was opened
at Cincinnati for the sale of the lands west of the Miami river.
STORY OF WILLIAM McCLURE.
In 1879 William McClure, then a very old man, living just over the line in Franklin county, wrote the following
account of the early times as he remembered it: "My father moved from Harrison county, Kentucky, in 1804,
when I was about two years old, and settled in Cleves, Ohio, about five miles below the town of Harrison, Ohio.
He remained there one season, and then moved to a place called "Stone Lick," and built a log cabin, which
was on the farm of the late Peter Rifner, about one mile above Harrison. I learned from Capt. Isaac Fuller, of
this county, that his father lived as early as 1794 or 1795, at North Bend, and in the Big Bottom, and that he
helped to raise the first patch of corn that was raised by white men in the Big Bottoms.
A PIONEER MINISTER.
One of the most successful and well known Methodist preachers in the Whitewater country was Rev. Allen Wiley. His father moved to a place about three miles above Harrison in 1804, at which time Allen Wiley was in his sixteenth year. In 1845 and 1846 Rev. Allen Wiley published a series of articles in the Western Christian. Advocate entitled "Introduction and Progress of Methodism in Southeastern Indiana." He was a man of unusually large experience and knowledge of the people and of the times whereof he wrote. He says: "In the autumn of 1804 my father came to Indiana. The country was then somewhat densely settled along the river up what was called the Lower Narrows, six or seven miles above where the Whitewater leaves Indiana. As well as I remember there was but one family living on the southwest side of the river opposite the before mentioned narrows; another family lived opposite the narrows above the present town of New Trenton, and another on the same side opposite Cedar Grove. Three quarters of a mile above Big Cedar Grove creek, John Connor, an Indian trader, had a store, kept by a Frenchman, hence the store was called French's store. I have now gone to the ultima thule or verge of the white population in the Whitewater valley in 1804. The first settlers in the Whitewater bottom were in many respects a charming people, when I became acquainted with them in 1804. They were generally a sober, industrious and kind hearted people."
An emigrants' directory, published in 1817, speaks of the village of Harrison considerable number of the inhabitants
are from the State of New York. Mr. Looker from Saratoga county, Mr. Crane from Schenectady and Mr. Allen, the
postmaster, from New Jersey, own the surrounding lands. They are all very fine and valuable farms worth from forty
to sixty dollars per acre. The settlement was commenced about sixteen years ago."
SOME EARLY SETTLERS.
George W. Lane says in regard to the early settlement of Harrison township: "In 1807 Moses Tebbs removed
from North Carolina and settled on the Whitewater river in Harrison township. Mr. Tebbs had previously resided
in Virginia. On coming here game of all kinds were very plenty, and the male portion of the Tebbs family became
expert hunters. When the Indian war broke out in 1811, Warren, with his brother Willoughby (sons of Moses) and
most of the young men in the neighborhood joined the 'rangers.' and were stationed at the various block houses,
as the frontier forts were designated. After the war, Warren married and settled in Logan township. Adamaners Andres
and family, from Maryland, settled on the east bank of the Whitewater in 1813. He was the father of James Andres,
a highly esteemed citizen of Harrison. Mr. Andres and family were accompanied by Isaac Mettler and family from
the same state. Mr. Mettler was born in that state in 1774, and had four brothers who served throughout the Revolutionary
War, and he himself attended the funeral of President Washington, on which occasion he was one of the strewers
of flowers. Both Mr. Mettler and Mr. Andres had several children at the time of their locating."
The town of West Harrison joins onto the state line and is separated from Harrison, Ohio, by State street which
is directly on the line dividing Indiana from Ohio. It was laid out in 1813 by John Allen and Peter Hanan. It is
given a population of two hundred and eighty one by the census of 1910. The town was evidently laid out on the
site of a mound builders' city if the numerous mounds and other relics of this prehistoric race are any evidence.
An emigrants' directory, published in 1817, speaking of these evidences of a previous race living here says: "The
traces of ancient population cover the earth in every direction. On the bottoms are a great many mounds very unequal
in age and size. The small ones are from two to four feet above the surface, and the growth of timber upon them
small, not being over one hundred years old, while the other mounds are from ten to thirty feet and frequently
contain trees of the largest diameter. There is a large mound in Mr. Allen's field about twenty feet high and sixty
feet in diameter at the base, which contains a greater proportion of bones than anyone I ever before examined,
as also every shovelful of dirt would contain fragments of a human skeleton. Almost every lot in the village of
Harrison contains a mound and some as many as three. On the neighboring hills northeast of the town are a number
of remains of stone houses. They were covered with soil, brush and full grown trees. We cleared away the earth,
roots and rubbish from one of them and found it to have been occupied anciently as a dwelling. It was about twelve
feet square; the walls had fallen nearly to the foundation. They appeared to have been built of rough stones like
our stone walls. Not the least trace of any iron tools having been employed to smooth the face of them could be
perceived. At one end of the building we came to a regular hearth, containing ashes and coals, before which we
found the bcnes of eight persons of different ages, from a small child to the heads of the family. The positions
of their skeletons clearly indicated that their deaths were sudden and simultaneous. They were probably asleep
with their feet to the fire, when destroyed by an enemy, an earthquake or a pestilence."