History of Jackson Township, Dearborn County, Indiana
From: History of Dearborn County, Indiana
Her People, Industries and Institutions
Archibald Shaw, Editor
Published By: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1915


Jackson township lies in the northwest corner of Dearborn county, and the old Indian boundary line divides it on the west from Ripley county. On the north it is bounded by Franklin county. On the east lies Kelso township and on the south is Manchester township. The southern row of sections in Jackson township are bounded on the east by York township, which is one section farther north than the line of Manchester township. The township is about the three and one half sections wide, from its northernmost limits to Manchester township, and seven sections long. It lies about the headwaters of Tonners creek in its west fork. In some places it is nearly level, while in others it is very rough and broken, especially is this true where the various branches of Tanners creek run through the lands.

The first settlement of Jackson township commenced about 1817. In 1818 Nathan Lambert, Eli Hill, Samuel Y. Allen, Thomas Morgan. and Samuel C. Vance all entered lands. There seems to have been an unusual large family by the name of Lawrence for there are recorded during the year 1817-18 twenty five entries of land from the government, in the name of Lawrence. The Lawrences entered all the land in section 17, township 7, range 2 west. They entered five tracts in section 7, of the same township, three tracts in section 8, and two tracts in section 18. The lands were entered in the name of Isaac, Daniel, Abraham, James, Philip, George and Johanna Lawrence.

Samuel C. Vance entered three tracts in the township, and Daniel S. Majors entered one. George J. Buell also entered two tracts, and in 1836 there is one tract of land entered in the name of Salmon P. Chase, the famous secretary of the treasury, under President Lincoln.

The emigration from Germany commenced about 1831 and continued until most of the lands in the township were owned by them. They, however, have became possessed of the western fever as well as the people who have lived longer in this country, and many of the second and third generations have moved on to other fields that to their eyes looked more inviting.


George W. Lane says that it was thought that "The first actual settlement was made by the Lawrence families during the year 1818. Isaac Lawrence and family, consisting of eight sons and two daughters. emigrated in the spring of 1818. from the state of Pennsylvania, and settled in the neighborhood of the present site of the village of Lawrenceville. All of the sons and daughters, save two, were persons of families. They came by boat down the Ohio, and from Lawrenceburg up the meanderings of Tanners creek to the place of settlement in wagons. They brought with them $I,500 in gold and among them was purchased from the government ten quarter sections of land. The home place, as it was called, was the northwest quarter of section 17, the home of Isaac Lawrence. This large body of land was all situated within two miles of the home place. From this beginning the families of Lawrence became very numerous and at one time numbered over three hundred persons. Although at this writing there are but two families of the name in the township."

Isaac and Samuel Alden came to Cincinnati from the state of New Hampshire in 1817, and shortly afterward selected lands along the western border of the township where they "batched" for several years. In 1822 Isaac Alden married and moved out on the land. He was the father of A. J. Alden, who represented the county in the Legislature in 1848 and 1855.

William Cairns settled in the township in 1818, coming from New Jersey. Members of the family are yet living in the township.

Among the first Germans to settle in the township was Feldie Gutapfel. and his brother John. They arrived about 1825. and Peter Buchert settled in the township in 1827. In 1831 Claudius Anderson settled in the township, emigrating from Ireland. Members of his family are yet residents of the township. In 1832 John G. Tangman arrived in the township from Germany, and also George Knerr and family.

The Lawrence family were members of the United Brethren church and they were active in erecting a church in the neighborhood. It was erected out of logs, in 1819 or 1820, and was called a Union church, where all denominations held services. The character of the neighborhood changed with the incoming of so many Germans and the congregation dwindled until the house and ground were finally sold to Isaac S. Lawrence, who again opened its doors to every sect of religion, excepting Universalists and Mormons. The oldest gravestone in the cemetery adjacent is that of Abraham Lawrence, who was buried there in 1827.

For some time after the Lawrence families settled in the township they made a hand mill for doing the grinding for the neighborhood. The stones used in the old mill were in the possession of Isaac S. Lawrence in 1885, but whether anyone now is keeping them, like Mr. Lawrence, just for a souvenir of "old times" is not known. Later on, a grist mill was erected on the west fork of Tanners creek, run by water power. A good steam mill for making flour and other products is now being operated at Veisburg. The town was named for the owner of the mill, Philip Weis.


The towns of Lawrenceville and Morgantown were laid out as rivals. They are, in fact, one and the same place, a road separating the towns. Morgantown was laid out by Jonathan Lawrence. in November, 1836. Robert Rowe was the engineer. The original plat contained thirty six lots. It is claimed that the name of Morgantown was given after Daniel R. L. Morgan, a nephew of Gen. John Morgan, the raider. James and Philip Lawrence kept the first store in the town, and the store was run by Mr. Morgan, after whom the town received its name. The place is practically eliminated as a town at present and the whole neighborhood is now known as Lawrenceville. Lawrenceville was laid out on October 25, 1836, by John K. Lawrence. It will be observed that he was eleven days ahead of the founders of Morgantown. Isaac Johnson, John Bird and Lewis Snyder were the early storekeepers in the place. The village has a population of 100, while the town that was once a rival seems to have been wiped off the map.

Weisburg was laid out by Jasper Montgomery on January 7, 1858, and platted by Samuel Kennedy, one of Dearborn county's old time engineers. Besides the flour mill mentioned it has a store, blacksmith shop and several saloons, and is a place of considerable business, being a good shipping point for all the country near by.

Hubbell's Cross Roads was called after Merritt Hubbell, who located there as a merchant and was made a justice of the peace. A postoffice was established there and flourished for a time, but it was discontinued long before the advent of the rural routes.

A tannery was carried on for a number of years at Morgantown by George S. Williams. He commenced the business in 1838 and discontinued in 1875, on account of old age. The first blacksmith in the township was Jacob V. Lawrence. The coopering business was conducted at Lawrenceville for a time, but has been discontinued now for a number of years.

George W. Lane says of Jackson township that "In 1818 Job Beach came from New Jersey and settled on the land now owned by Daniel Taylor, near Hubbells Corners. Also came Samuel and Isaac Alden, who settled in the western part of the township on section 23. In the fall of the same year, Thomas Ehler emigrated from Pennsylvania and settled in the south part of the township, as also did Zachariah Conger. In 1819 a church was erected by the United Brethren in the northwest quarter of section 17, and was known as Zion church, which was removed in 1838 to section 8, where it still remains. In 1820 Jacob R. Lawrence built on his land—near the present village of Morgantown—a log cabin in which the first school of the township was taught by John Yeriger during that same year, he being employed and paid by Mr. Lawrence for that purpose. The school was afterwards taught in Zion church by the same teacher. In the absence of a school building in the west part of the township, Mrs. Samuel Alden volunteered her services as a teacher, and taught the children of the neighborhood at her home."

The township now contains nine schools and three churches.

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