History of Connersville, Indiana (Part 1)
From: History of Fayette County, Indiana
Her People, Industries and Institutions
By: Frederick Irving Barrows
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1917


The annals of Indiana are rich in stories recounting the settlement and development of many industrial and civic centers within its domain, but none eclipse in interest the marvelous growth of the city of Connersville, county seat of Fayette county.

Connersville is picturesquely situated on the west bank of the west fork of White Water river, occupying what forms a natural terrace to the streams and river bottoms. Its western and southwestern boundaries are dotted with a range of hills, rising about one hundred feet above the valley, and whose summits are crowned, at irregular distances, with antique and more modem suburban homes, from which is obtained a pleasing view of the city and surrounding country. The city is located near the center of Fayette county, and by rail is distant 67.2 miles, a little south of east from Indianapolis and 57.1 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio, lying in latitude 39 degrees 36 minutes north, and longitude 7 degrees 54 minutes west.


John Conner, the proprietor of the original plat of the town, some time between the years 1804 and 1808, had established an Indian trading post at this point. Hence the name Connersville. On March 4, 1813, the city was laid out by John Conner, though the original proprietor of the land on which the original plat was made, as shown by the original entry book, was A. Tharp, who entered the northeast quarter of section 25, township 14, range 12 east, April 4, 1812. The original plat comprised only sixty two lots, which were bounded on the west by Monroe street (now Central avenue), on the east by Water street, and extending from a little beyond Head street (now Sixth street), on the north to a little beyond High street (now Third street) on the south. The place was laid out in Franklin county and the plat there recorded, which it seems from the records was not transcribed on the records of Fayette county until October, 1841. Attached to the plat is the following descriptive heading and certificate:

Part of town of Connersville first laid off by John Conner. Laid out on the west branch of White Water, on the north side of the river, on part of the northeast quarter of section 25, township 14, range 12 east, second principal meridian; course of street running up and down the river and north 25° east, commencing at the lower end of the town, and the other. north 65° west, extending from the river, and all of them four poles wide; the alleys are one pole wide. The public grounds contain two blocks or four lots. The lots are five poles front and two poles back, each containing fifty square perches of ground, and laid down by a scale of ten poles to the inch by me, Enoch McCarty, March 4, 1813.

Indiana Territory, Franklin County, ss:
On the 1st day of October, 1813. personally came before me, Benjamin Smith, a Justice of the Peace in and for the county aforesaid, John Conner. and saith on oath that the within plat is a true representation of the within described town of Connersville, and further saith not.
BENJAMIN SMITH, Justice of the Peace.


In 1817 Joshua Harlan made additions embracing lots extending above Boundary (now Second) street, east of Market and south of the alley above Head (now Sixth) street. The same Joshua Harlan in 1818 made further additions embracing lots west of Market street to Tanner, south of Madison, and to one street further west north of Madison, extending from Boundary along Market to an alley between Harrison and Head streets, the northern boundary of these lots consisting of a line from said alley on the south to an alley on the north between Madison and Harrison streets; and again in 1819 by the same, embracing lots south of Boundary street. In 1818 by Dale; in 1819 by Jonathan McCarty; in 1819 by John Conner. The ground comprising the public square, on which are now located the city hall and court house, bounded by Central avenue, Market Court, and Fourth streets, was a part of the Harlan plat of additions to the town.

On February 17, 1819, Connersville was selected as county seat by the locating commissioners designated by the legislatve act of December 28, 1818.


Dr. Philip Mason, an early pioneer and well known historian, who died April 26, 1869, published the following:

I came to the valley of the White Water in the Spring of 1816, and early in the summer of that year I visited Connersville. A small tract of laud had been laid off by John Conner into town lots, which lay along the river bank on Water street and along Main street, and a few log cabins had been erected. The most of the land which comprises the present site of the town was then a dense forest. In traveling up the river to the place there was now and then a small opening to be seen. with an inhabited log cabin on it. John Conner, after whom the town is named, and who owned the land on which it stands, had built a mill just above the town. and not far above the site of the present mill now owned by A. B. Conwell. The town had but one small retail store.

The keeping of the first store at Connersville has been credited to Joshua Harlan. This, of course, is excepting Conner's trading post, where he had been bartering with the Indians for several years. The first business house built on the town plat is said to have been a log building which stood on the west side of Main street (now Eastern avenue), on or near the corner of the alley on the site of the dwelling house formerly occupied by the widow of William Bunnell. He is known to have kept a store at that point in 1815. Mr. Harlan, who had been a judge under the Territorial Government, was a native of Chester county, Pennsylvania, born in 1763. He lived for some years in Kentucky and Brookville, and in 1813 came to Connersville. He has been described as a tall man, fully six feet two inches, and of strong and clear mind. About 1820 he built a brick house on the northeast corner of what is now Eastern avenue and Fifth street. Here Judge Harlan kept one of "ye olden time inns" for a number of years. He died at Connersville on September 15. 1827.


Newton and Solomon Claypool. young unmarried men, came to the village in 1817 and for a time carried on a bartering trade with the Indians and the few white settlers. Newton embarked in the tavern business, and Solomon engaged in farming. The Hon. Oliver H. Smith, a United States senator from Indiana, in alluding to Mr. Claypool as a landlord, said: "When I arrived at Connersville in May, 1820, I stopped at the hotel of Newton Claypool. He was about my age. I had been licensed to practice in March before, and was looking for a location. My last dollar had escaped from the top of my pocket. Breakfast over, I met Claypool in the bar room; as we met I remarked: 'Look me over and see whether you will risk me for my board for a year. Who are you? Where did you come from? What is your trade and how do you expect to pay for your board?' 'My name is Smith; I am from Lawrenceburg; I am a young lawyer, and I expect to pay you from my practice. Rather a bad chance, but I will risk you. The board bill was paid.

It appears from an inscription on a tombstone at Connersville that the Claypools were Virginians; that, with their father. Abraham Claypool, they migrated to Scioto Valley. Ohio. in 1798, thence to Clermont county, same state, in 1808, and then to Connersville in 1817.

Silas Ford, a wheelwright, came to the village from Virginia in 1817. Here he followed his trade, and for a time he also kept a house of entertainment. A young man from Pennsylvania, by name Joseph Nelson, and by trade a saddler, settled in Connersville in 1819, and at once opened the first saddlery in the place.

In 1819 Austin Bishop opened a store on the northwest corner of Eastern avenue and Fifth street. The building was erected by Benjamin Berry. Absalom Burkham built the Heinemann corner. The same year were built the hotel of Joshua Harlan, a house for Charles Mount. the old United States Hotel, which stood on Central avenue opposite the court house, and a house for George Reed.


Jonathan John, from Kentucky, settled in 1816 on the site of the McFarIan residence, on the western border of the city. The father of Amos R. Edwards, from Pennsylvania, settled in Connersville in 1817, and in 1819 came Douglas Burton and family from Kentucky, though previously migrating from South Carolina. At this period those engaged in keeping tavern or merchandising were required to make application for a license for same. In 1819 the county commissioners granted a tavern license to Newton Claypool and George Reed, and in 1820 to Joshua Harlan and Archibald Reed. The rate charged per annum was ten dollars.

The following business interests were represented in Connersville in 1821: Arthur Dixon kept a dry good store; Austin Bishop conducted a grocery; Joshua Harlan was running a tavern; John Sample, Sr., had an inn; Newton Claypool kept a house of entertainment; Archibald Reed carried on a similar house; Absalom Burkham also vended spirituous compounds; Silas Ford conducted a hotel; Bartholomew McCleary carried on a general store; Barnet and Jonas Levi had a jewelry establishment; a Mr. Bouton had a cooperage; Joseph Nelson was the only saddler; Martin Remington was the village blacksmith; one Rankin sold hats to suit all heads; the United States tavern was in the hands of William W. Wick, and David Beck was sartorial outfitter to the community; William Burnett and Julius Whitmer were carpenters; John D. Stewart sold shoes; Stebbins & Ball ran a pottery works; William W. Wick and Oliver H. Smith were the resident attorneys; Dr. Joseph Moffit was the only physician; John Conner had in full blast a saw and grist mill and distillery; A. B. Conwell owned a tannery, as also did a Mr. Rees; Asher Cox, Edmund I. Kidd and Hervey Bates had in operation a carding and fulling machine. At this time there was no church building or school house in the village, yet the circuit preachers of the Methodist Episcopal church visited the place occasionally. William W. Wick, above referred to, was the first attorney in Connersville; he was later a judge and congressman, and also served as postmaster at Indianapolis for four years.

Licenses to keep tavern in the village from 1821 to 1830 were granted to the following: Thomas Murphy and Moses Cox, in 1821; Archibald Reed, Joshua Harlan, Newton Claypool, Abraham W. Harris, Andrew Wallace, John McIntosh, John Sample, Martin M. Ray and John Allen, Jr., in 1824; Abraham Bays, in 1826; Abner Smith and Benjamin Johns, in 1829. Licenses to vend merchandise during the same period were granted to: W. & S. Walton and George Frybarger, in 1824; Joshua McIntosh, in 1825; A. Clark & Company, Robert Swift, Andrew Wallace, Hugh Wooster, Samuel Walton and Meredith Helm, in 1826: William Walton, 1827: Amzi Clark and Theodore R. Lewis, and Daniel Hankins and James Mount, in 1828; Meredith Helm, Robert Cox, Amos Conklin, Charles Shipley and John Picket, in 1829.

Other business interests in Connersville up to 1830 were the tin, sheet iron and copper factory, owned by J. Dawson; Hull & Fearis, saddlers; John Willey, meat market: Merrifield & Miller, hatters: Christian Beck, gunsmith: H. Goodlander, jeweler; A. Van Vleet and Hiram Bundy, weavers; John Perin and Lyman Carpenter, oil millers; A. Conklin and W. H. Coombs, chair factory; Thomas Rutter was a hatter; ____ Frisbee, tannery; George W. Parks, blacksmith; George W. Reed, tailoring: Nicholas Baker, shoemaking; J. Hart, tinner: Silas Ford, spinningwheels; Robert Griffis, saddlery; John McCoy, hatter, and Isaac Wood, spinningwheels.


The first newspaper, the Indiana Statesman, was started in 1824 by Abraham Van Vleet, and was followed in 1826 by the Fayette Observer, under the proprietorship of Van Vleet and Daniel Rench. The Methodists erected a house of worship in 1824: this was the only church in the village up to 1830. A seminary building was erected in 1828, and was the first regular school building in Connersville.

In 1826 John Sample was postmaster; he requested "all letters and packages to he sent in the mail to be in the office half an hour before the mails closed." That summer the arrival and departure of the mails from the postoffice in Connersville were: "Eastern mail arrives on Thursdays 11 o'clock a. m. and departs west in half an hour. Western mail arrives on Tuesdays 11 o'clock a. m. and departs east at 12 o'clock midday. Southern mail arrives on Fridays at 9 o'clock a. m. and departs north at 10 o'clock a. m."


As early as 1820 there was a circulating library in the village, and in November, 1825, the Fayette county library was opened to the public. One year later it contained one hundred and fifty one select volumes, and this number was later augmented by one hundred and twenty five volumes. The library was under the management of a board of trustees, of which Daniel Rench was secretary. The library was open every Saturday afternoon from one to six o'clock. An announcement in the Observer reads:

There are volumes in the library to suit the tastes and inquiries of all. The citizens, we hope, will not be slow in availing themselves of its great advantages, which may be had for fifty cents a year. All citizens over sixteen years may draw books, by giving bond and security for damages, etc. The rules governing drawers are public in the library room.

The Observer of June 17, 1826. over the signatures of Kidd & Cox, carried the following advertisement:

Wool Carding. - The undersigned return their grateful acknowledgments for the liberal support they have heretofore received, and now inform the public that their machines are in complete operation, and ready to receive wool, which they will card in the best manner and on the shortest notice. Every exertion will be made to accommodate persons living at a distance. The following articles of produce will be received in payment - wool, sugar, linen. beeswax, flax, wheat, tallow, etc.

In the Observer of February, 1830, J. M. Ray, as agent, advertised that on May 26 would be offered for sale Conner's grist mill, saw mill, distillery and mill farm adjoining Connersville, the farm below town, the tavern and store stands opposite the court house in said town and some out lots in the vicinity. Mill farm about eighty acres cleared land under good fence. The mills and distillery are in fine operation, and the tavern stand occupied by Captain Sample. and the store room by Messrs. Hankins and Mount. The whole property is now under rent at $600 per annum. cash.


On March 1, 1830, the following notice, under the title of "Regimental Orders," was issued:

Captains commanding companies in the Eleventh Regiment of the Indiana Militia, are hereby ordered to attend the following musters with subaltern officers, first sergeants and musicians at the following time and places, to wit: Drill muster, at the town of Connersville, on the 26th and 27th of May next; battalion' muster, at the house of N. McClure, on the 28th day of May next; at the house of Amos G. Pumphrey, on the 29th of May next, and regimental muster at Connersville, on the 2d day of October next, armed and equipped as the law directs, at 9 o'clock on each day. Court of Assessment in Connersville on the first Monday of November, and Court of Appeals on the first Monday of next December, at the house of Archibald Reid.
Commanding Eleventh Regiment, I. M.


The preceding pages in a general way, give a summary of the conditions up to 1830, and before returning to the beginning of the decade, when it may be said that Connersville began to grow, the point may be made that its first step towards development and prosperity, which have followed it for almost a century, was coincident with its selection as the county seat. A brief reference to some of the men who pioneered the development, is worthy of record. Among them were Joshua Harlan. Arthur Dixon, Newton Claypool, John Sample, Jonathan McCarty, James M. Ray, Oliver H. Smith, William W. Wick, Jonathan John, Samuel C. Sample, George Frybarger, A. B. Conwell, and later. Marks Crume, Martin M. Ray, Samuel W. Parker, Caleb B. Smith and Daniel Hankins - future legislators, judges, members of Congress, a United States senator, a cabinet officer, and business men of great capacity. In the hands of such men it is no wonder that the village became progressive and interesting. An anecdote will serve to illustrate the peculiar talents of the taverns heretofore referred to. An old Englishman by the name of John Knipe was asked by a traveler who kept the best hotel. "Weel, hif thee wants good grub, go to Samples; hif thee wants thy 'oss well cared, go to Claypool's, and hif thee wants gude whisky, thee will better stop at Arlan's."

It will not be amiss here to chronicle a few particulars of the early men who figured conspicuously in the greater business interests of Connersville, and whose advent into her business circles marked an era in her history. Of the men referred to, Newton Claypool was native of Virginia. where he was born in 1795, though at an early day with his father removed to Ohio. and in 1817 settled in Connersville. In 1818 he returned temporarily to Ohio and was married to Mary Kerns, of Ross county. Claypool was a tavern keeper until 1836. when he purchased and removed to the farm just north of the city limits, where his son. Austin B. Claypool, later resided. Newton Claypool was elected to the Legislature first in 1825, and to the Senate first in 1828, and subsequently served a number of years in each branch. Oliver H. Smith writes of him in this connection: "He was one of the most efficient men in the Legislature for many years. His greatest forte was in his practical knowledge applied to the subject by his strong common sense. For many years he was closely identified with the banking business of this community." Another writer thus alludes to him: "Luck was not one of Newton Claypool's words; it was not in his lexicon. He did but little on faith, either - had his own philosophy, both of church and state. He fought all of his enemies with the same weapon. He was a consistent, enemy of the Democratic party, through a life longer than is usually allotted to a man. It can be said of him that he was eminently successful as a financier, in earlier life as an economist and producer, and in after life as a banker. In this latter capacity his reputation was brilliant and enviable throughout the state." Claypool died at Indianapolis on May 14, 1866.


George Frybarger came to Connersville from Dayton, Ohio, in 1821 and opened a dry goods store. A writer speaks of him thus: "Like most of the early settlers he was fearless and self reliant, and entered upon the duties of his calling with decided purposes of usefulness and accumulation. His industry and energy gave him success, and for many years he ranked among the foremost merchants and traders of the White Water valley. It has been said that, perhaps, there never was a man in Connersville who knew the business as well as Frybarger, none at least who did so much business as he. There can be no doubt but the ruling trait and the carefully guarded ambition of George Frybarger was honesty. Even to the minutest details of ever raging trade throughout a long life of successful mercantile pursuits, he adhered in theory and practice to his passion - honesty. The charity of Frybarger was in business, that is, he was charitable to those that deserved it. He loaned to the unfortunate honest; he gave, too, and encouraged with his advice and credit and means, stimulating them to all the demands of success. He had an unbounded credit at home and abroad. He always kept safely stored in his vaults coin to put against his credit. He is said to have been the first man in the West in a crisis, well remembered in the commercial world, to promptly pay his Eastern debts with coin stored for the purpose of adversity." An inscription on his tombstone indicates that he was born in 1797 and died in 1853.

A. B. Conwell was born in Delaware in 1796, and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed to a tanner, with whom he served five years. In 1817 he, with a brother, walked from Washington, D. C., to Pittsburgh, where they separated, A. B. going to Kentucky, and in 1821 he located in Connersville, and began his successful career on an acre of ground which he purchased of John Conner. Here he put in operation a tannery, which business he subsequently abandoned and engaged in mercantile pursuits. For many years he was engaged in the milling business, and erected and carried on one of the most extensive flouring mills in this section of the state. The large mill on what is now north Eastern avenue, was a monument to his enterprise. Pork packing for a number of years claimed his attention, and this business he successfully conducted on a large scale. He was a man of much natural intellect and judgment, and had ever been known for his wise forecast of events, as well as for his sustained success in his business ventures and speculations.

Daniel Hankins settled in Connersville in 1827 - six years later than Frybarger and Conwell, yet he figured in the latter years of that decade. Colonel Hankins, as for some unexplained reason he was known, was a native of New Jersey state, born in 1795 and died in 1860. He began as a dry goods merchant in Connersville and so continued throughout his business career. He was possessed of great activity and energy. A writer has given as his chief qualities. "untiring industry, coupled with worthy ambition; a restless. eager spirit, he was a fretful business man. Dull times only conquered him." He engaged extensively in speculation, pork and grain receiving his attention in large investments. His influence is said to have been great. because his trade was great. In 183o he, with Marks Crume, represented the county in the Legislature. In writing of his death the Connersville Times said: "He accumulated a vast property; he had a farm of fourteen hundred acres north of Connersville, which he superintended, though his attention was largely engrossed with the extensive mercantile trade and speculations in pork and flour. Perhaps no man of one county has ever managed as much business, and managed it as correctly and successfully, as has Colonel Hankins."


The "Indiana Gazetteer" of 1833 gives the village of Connersville as having a population of five hundred inhabitants. In that year the village comprised seven mercantile stores, one drug store, four taverns, four physicians, four lawyers and two printing offices, besides mechanics engaged in various occupations.

C. B. Smith and M. R. Hull, editors of the Indiana Sentinel, published the following on April 20, 1833:

This place is truly in a flourishing condition. The citizens are quite as industrious as any others in the great West, and complete marks of their persevering habits are displayed on every street. New houses are in successive building, and the hum and buzz of business are made to resound in the distant valley, and to the approaching traveler bespeaks the industry of mechanics. Our merchants are daily receiving thousands of dollars worth of goods. The spring sales progress with much vigor, which makes the active salesman skip the counter with a business like spirit. Our physicians (poor fellows) have but little to do; they droop their heads beneath the influence of general good health. Our streets present a lively picture of enterprise and industry. While other presses are falling out with their subscribers and placing their names on the "black list," the Sentinel still holds an undiminished patronage, and its conductors continue, daily, to place good names on their "white list." All this prosperity we owe, in a great measure. to the farmers of Indiana - "the staff of life." But a few years of such prosperity and Connersville will become the most flourishing village in the Western country.


Connersville kept on in the even tenor of its way during the following ten years, making no notable advance in the way of industries, yet increasing gradually in numbers and business and quietly laying the foundation upon which was to be built the city that now occupies a prominent place in the sisterhood of eastern Indiana cities.

A noteworthy event of the decade was the passage of the great Internal Improvement bill for the state of Indiana, at the head of which stood the White Water Valley Canal bill, and it was this canal that was to mark an era in the history of all villages and towns along its proposed path. The bill was passed on January 16, 1836, and the news was received at Connersville on the 18th. When twilight came on the houses and buildings in the village, with few exceptions, were in a brilliant blaze of illumination. The court house was lighted up from the basement to the steeple. About sundown the one cannon of the village was hauled out to the canal line and six guns fired - one in honor of the governor, one to the senator and one to each of the representatives of the county in the General Assembly and one to the White Water Valley canal.

In the evening a meeting was held at the court house, which was addressed by Oliver H. Smith and Samuel W. Parker. A number of toasts were drunk, after which the whole assembly repaired to the river bank east of the village, which was still brilliantly lighted up with a number of bonfires, and under the illumination of the buildings. A sad accident, resulting in one death, occurred during the progress of the celebration, owing to the premature explosion of a piece of artillery by which four young men were maimed and wounded. Alexander Saxon had one arm torn off and the other so badly injured that both were amputated above the elbow. His eyes were blown completely out of his head and his death resulted next morning. Joseph Clark had his right arm blown off, and Abiather Williams and William Worster were severely burned.

The canal was completed to Connersville in June, 1845, and the first boat to reach the village was the "Patriot," commanded by Captain Gayle Ford, which arrived in the fall of the year. The imports and exports on the canal for the week ending November 20, 1845, ( from the village) were as follow:




Wheat, number of bushels



Cider, barrels



Industries, pounds



Merchandise, pounds



Salt and castings, pounds



Lumber, feet



The canal ceased to be used for through traffic in 1849, but was operated between local points up to 1862. The last boat to pass over it was the "Union," owned by David McCarty. Subsequently the railroad company (now the Big Four) purchased the undertaking and laid their rail lines over the towpath.


Fortunately there has been preserved a complete directory of all the business and professional interests of Connersville in 1858-59. Many of the older citizens of the city living in 1917 will recognize many of the men below listed, a large number of whom were in business for many years after the Civil War. Since this directory is not generally accessible to the people of the county at the present time it is given in this connection as it was published in 1859

Apert, A., wagon maker; Applegate, W. P. & A., carriage manufacturers; Bailey, J. L., dry goods; Barnard & Hall, carpenters and joiners; Bateman & Gates. staple and fancy dry goods; Beck & Brothers, merchant tailors; Brown, J., clothier; Bunnell, J., livery stable; Bunnell, W., livery stable; Burk, N. H., dry goods and grocery; Burton. T., merchant tailor; Durham, R., proprietor Bates House; Conwell, A. B. & Sons, proprietors Conwell mills; Clark, J. H., town officer; Campbell, G. W. merchant tailor; Cassady, J., saddler and harness maker - (town officer); Claypool, A. J. & Company, dry goods, etc.; Claypool, B. F., attorney; Collins, E., dentist; Compton, Lizzie, milliner; Dawson1, D. H., county coroner; Cooley, cabinet warerooms; Erwin, ____, civil engineer; Edwards, C., county clerk; Fearis, G. L., saddler and harnessmaker; Felton & Smith, grocery; Frybarger, W. W. & Company, staple and fancy dry goods; Gregg, V. H., physician and surgeon; Green, William H., publisher of Connersville Times; Gates, Bateman; dry goods; Greer, W. H., proprietor Scofield House; Goodlander, H., jeweler; Huston, J. & W., millers; Hack, Anthony, meat market; Henry, R. B., clergyman; Hawkins & Griffis, dry goods and groceries; Hall, D. D.; physician and surgeon; Hall, D. H., physician and surgeon; Johnson, ____, boot and shoe dealer; Johnson, A. H. & Company, agricultural implements; Justice, J., druggist; Tames, W. W., marble worker; Kunphlon, Augustus. merchant tailor; Lewis. Josephine, milliner; Line, A. J., blacksmith; McLain, John, justice of peace; Marks, Robert, blacksmith; Mullikin, J., town officer; Minor, A. S., saddler and harness maker; Morrow & Mason, hat and cap dealers; McFarlan, J. B., carriage manufacturer; Morehouse & Youse, manufacturers of wagons, buggies, etc.; Mullikin, J. & E., manufacturers of agricultural implements; McIntosh, James C., attorney; McCleary, William, sheriff; Morris, Harry, county surveyor; Marshall, Joseph, attorney; Morris, B. F., clergyman; Newkirk, W. & Company, hardware; Parry, L. D., town officer; Powell, I., auctioneer; Pelan, William, clergyman; Parker; Samuel W., attorney; Pumphrey, N. R., proprietor Connersville Hotel; W. J. Pepper, physician and surgeon; Rawls & Morrison, druggists; Roots, P. H. & F. M., manufacturers of woolen goods; Rhodes, J. K., county recorder; Scott, James, livery stable; Stewart, William, clergyman; Shumate, H., dry goods and groceries; Smith, W. 34., town officer; Smith, J. W., paper hanger and painter; Reid, John S., judge court common pleas; Tate, W. A. H., justice of peace; Tate, J. F., county treasurer; Thislewait, ____, saddler and harness maker; Thomas, S. B., furniture; Taylor, W. W., physician and surgeon; Trusler, Nelson, attorney; Vance, Elisha, attorney; Vance, Samuel W., physician and surgeon; Victor, J., grocer; Wallace, R. J., carriage maker; White, T. J., editor Connersville Telegraph; Wilson & Co., grocery, bakery and confectionery; Wilson, J. S., blacksmith; Wood, John, blacksmith; Youse, J. F. & Company, stoves and tinware; Zellar, Ignatius, jeweler.


Two years after the directory of 1858-59 was issued a larger and more complete directory of the city and county was published. This second directory not only gave a complete list of all the business and professional interests of the city, but also preceded it with a brief historical sketch of the town. There is also a directory of Brownsville and Liberty, towns in Union county. This brochure of sixty pages is in the collection of Theodore Heinemann, of Connersville. It contains a two page history of the city, a "Review of the Business of Connersville," a complete list of all the county and town officers of 1861, a list of lodges, churches, libraries (three in Connersville alone), schools (three in number - Connersville Female Institute, English and German school and Connersville Seminary), and finally, an alphabetical list of all the business interests of the town of Connersville. Not the least of the valuable features of the 1861 directory is the assortment of advertisements scattered through it.

A study of the advertisements reveals some very interesting industries. Caldwell, McCollem & Company, pork packers and wholesale and retail grocers, state that they have a pork house with a capacity of twenty five thousand, while they are killing on an average of one thousand hogs a day. E. Collins, dentist. says that "my operations upon the living organs shall always be the most thorough." Henry Holland conducts what he calls a "Hair Dressing and Shaving Saloon." and from the quaint cut which features his advertisement, it appears that he was an ordinary barber. Wilson & Company, wholesale and retail grocers and confectioners, give notice to the public that they "have a fine oyster and eating saloon attached to our business to feed the hungry," and that "warm meals are served up at all hours." There were at this time six regular saloons: Anthony Apert, Frank Doll, John H. Fattig, John Muller. Adam Pfister and Daniel Scotton. A man of the name of Davies informs the public that he deals in "Ambrotypes and Melaineotypes" and that he gives "lessons in the art on reasonable terms," while at the bottom of his advertisement he adds: "P. S. - Pictures of sick or dead persons at a distance promptly attended to."


It would not be profitable to give in detail a complete list of the business interests of Connersville as set forth in the directory of 1861. It may be interesting. however, to give the number of men or firms engaged in the various lines of activities which are listed. They follow: Agricultural implements, two; attorneys. eight: bakers and confectioners, two: banks, one (called the Branch Bank of the Bank of the State); barbers, two (both colored - Henry Holland and A. H. Turner); blacksmiths, three; books and stationery, two; boots and shoes, three; brewers, one (Willman & Billau); butchers, two; cabinet makers and furniture dealers, three; carpets, one; carpenters and builders, five; carriage makers, three; clothiers, three: coopers, three; daguerreotypists, two; dentists, two; druggists, four; dry, goods, seven; express company, one (American Express Company); flour mills, three; foundry, one; general stores, eight; grocers, seven; gunsmith, one; hardware, one; hats and caps, one; hotels, four (Cone House, Connersville Hotel, Durnan House and Scofield House); iron and steel, one; livery, two marble dealers, two; merchant tailors, three; milliners, four. (Miss M. A. Blake, Mrs. Brown, Miss E. Compton and Mrs. Talbert),; news agent, one; newspapers, two (Connersville Telegraph, J. M. Higgs, and Connersville Weekly Times, W. H. Green) notaries public, five; physicians, nine (G. W. Barber, G. R. Chitwood, Joshua Chitwood, V. H. Gregg, D. D. Hall, S. W. Hughes, James M. Justice, W. J. Pepper and S. W. Vance); pork packers, two; saddlers, three; saloons, six; sash, doors and blinds, two; stoves and tinware, two; tailors, two; tanner, one; undertakers, three; wagons and plows, three; watches and jewelry, four; woolen factory, one. (P. H. Roots and F. M. Roots).

The brief sketch of the town's history in 1861 - it was not a city until 1869 - may be summed as follows: Population, twenty five hundred; a seminary with two hundred pupils; seven churches - First. Presbyterian (Old School), Second Presbyterian (New School), Methodist Episcopal, Christian, Episcopal, Colored Baptist and Catholic; no railroads, but the Junction Railroad (now the Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Western) "is expected to. be in running order by the first of July, 1861"; three libraries - McClure Workingmen's Institute, Fayette county library and Connersville township library; teachers - J. W. Stewart in Female Institute, George Held in basement of Catholic church, and W. T. Moffitt, ____ White, Augustus Nast, Miss Johnson, Miss Youse, Miss Millikin and Miss Talbert in the seminary; Masonic, Odd Fellow, Sons of Temperance and Good Templars lodges; John B. Tate, postmaster.

This 1861 account of Connersville may very fittingly be concluded by adding the closing paragraph in the sketch of the town: "Thus the future prospects of Connersville are flattering. With a steady increase it will soon become a place of importance. If there be a speedy impulse given to its manufacturing interests by the attraction of capital from abroad, it must eventually become a large inland point, and if it does not surpass, it may become equal to any city in the state."


It seems fitting to digress at this point to take a survey of the population of the city during the sixties. The population of the county in 185o was 10,217, which had, by 1860, increased to only 10,225. Connersville had a population of 1,396 in 1850 and 2,119 in 1860. Doctor Mason in his invaluable volume gives some interesting statistics on Connersville as the city stood in 1867. The table follows:

No. Ward.






First Ward






Second Ward






Third Ward






Fourth Ward






Fifth Ward












At the time the above census was compiled, in September, 1867, there were 772 children of school age; 379 males and 393 females. The total amount of personal property and real estate placed on the tax duplicate at that time was $1,360,364.

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