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


Connersville township, one of the five townships of the county organized February 9, 1819, was set off as follows: "Beginning at the southwest corner of section 5, township 13, range 13; thence west to the western extremity of said county of Fayette: thence north four miles: thence east to the line dividing sections 20 and 17, in township 14, range 12: thence east to the northeast corner of section 20, in township 14, range 13; thence south to place of beginning," Thus the township included as much territory as it does today, with the addition of the two northern tiers of sections of Orange township, and the two southern tiers of sections of Fairview township, With the creation of Orange township February 18, 1822, Connersville township was left with its present limits.

The township is the largest in the county, containing thirty two full sections of land. An examination of the original entries of the township discloses the fact that practically all of the township had been entered before the county was organized in 1819. The first land entries were recorded in 1811, no less than twenty settlers entering land in that year. The last entry was made in 1833. A complete list of the land entries of the township. described by township, range and section, is exhibited in the following table:

Six Sections of Township 13 North, Range 12 East.

Section 1 - Sold in 1811, 1813 and 1817 to Jeremiah Worsham, James Teudy, Nathan Aldridge and Basil Roberts.
Section 2 - Sold in 1811 and 1812 to William McConkey. Roberts & Birson, Arthur Dixon and John Reed.
Section 3 - Sold in 1811 and 1814 to Joshua Porter, John Vance, Samuel Snodgrass and James Kitchen.
Section 4 - Sold in 1813 and 1814 to William Conner, John Thomas, Joseph Vance and Thomas Cully.
Section 5 - Sold in 1814 and 1820 to Benjamin Sailor. William Martin and William Dailey.

Two Sections of Township 13 North, Range 13 East.

Section 5 - Sold in 1814 and 1815 to Daniel Norris, John Milliner and Cornelius Cummins.
Section 6 - Sold in 1811. 1813 and 1814 to Samuel Harlan, Richard Thomas, Cornelius Williams and Thomas Bray.

Eighteen Sections of Township 14 North. Range 12 East.

Section 19 - Sold in 1821, 1822, 1824 and 1830 to John Huston. Scott Horsely. Isaac Martin, A. R. Orr. David, Milton and Benjamin Huston.
Section 20 - Sold in 1811 and 1813 to Timothy Orr. Zachariah Glover. John Henderson and William Denman.
Section 21 - Sold in 1811 and 1813 to David Milton, Paul Davis, Benjamin Bond, and William Bennett.
Section 22 - Sold in 1811 and 1814 to Richard Tyner. Platt B. Dixon. Adam Hamilton and James DeHaven.
Section 23 - Sold in 1811, 1812 and 1815 to Lewis Johnson. John Conner, Benjamin Sailor, Larkin Sims and A. Bails.
Section 24 - Sold in 1811 and 1812 to Jacob Cass. Jacob Hackleman Benjamin Sailor and Noah Beaucamp.
Section 25 - Sold in 1811 and 1812 to James Adair. Alexander Saxon, John Conner and A. Tharp.
Section 26 - Sold in 1811, 1814, and 1815 to A. Hathaway, Jonas Williams, John Perin and James Port.
Section 27 - Sold in 1813, 1814 and 1815 to Abner Ball, John Henderson. Smith Lane and William Hall.
Section 28 - Sold in 1813, 1814, 1815 and 1816 to John Fallen. James Alexander, Thomas Smith and James Smith.
Section 29 - Sold in 1813. 1814, 1815 and 1816 to Alexander Saxon. James Alexander. James Smith and Jonas Williams. Jr.
Section 30 - Sold in 1814, 1820 and 1823 to William Sparks. Jonathan Eddy, Ira Wilcox, John McCrary and John McMillan.
Section 31 - Sold in 1812, 1820, 1821 and 1823 to Hezekiah Mount. John Gregg. Jonathan Wilson and Samuel Ennis.
Section 32 - Sold in 1813, 1814, 1816 and 1833 to John Vance. William Weir, William Bridges and James Greer.
Section 33 - Sold in 1811, 1814 and 1817 to Joseph Justice. William Snodgrass, John Hughes and Platt E. Dixon.
Section 34 - Sold in 1811, 1813 and 1814 to Thomas Reed, Moses Lockhart, James Brownlee and Thomas Hinkson.
Section 35 - Sold in 1811 and 18i3 to John Russell. Joseph Miner, John Perin, H, Sailor and B. Sailor.
Section 36 - Sold in 1811 and 1813 to Arthur Dixon, William Sparks, Larkin Sims and William Denman.

Six Sections of Township 14 North, Mange 13 East.

Section 19 - Sold in 1811 to Abraham Heaton, David Heaton, Robert Brown and Jacob Case.
Section 20 - Sold in 1812 and 1813 to George Death, E, Homar, James Death, Sr., and Thomas Brown.
Section 29 - Sold in 1813, 1814 and 1815 to Isaac Martin, Joel White, James Ward and Phineas McCray.
Section 30 - Sold in 1811 to Robert Brown, George Fragin, John Hughes. and George R. Adair.
Section 31 - Sold in 1811 to Samuel Harlan.
Section 32 - Sold in 1814 and 1815 to James Freel, Daniel Conner, Robert Williams and John Wilson.

The first settlement in the township was clustered around the trading post established by John Conner: The history of Connersville township is largely the history of the county seat, which for many years has contained more than half of the population of the county. In 1910 the total Population of the county was 14,415, while the population of Connersville and East Connersville combined was 8,444
The list of original land entries has been given, but in this township, as in all other townships of the county, many of those who entered land never settled on it. Since there was no land in the county open for entry before 1811, all of the settlers prior to that date were "squatters" and Were nominally tinder the jurisdiction of either Franklin or Wayne counties, both of which were organized in 1811, In fact, if the year 1868 is taken as the

date for the first settlement in the county, that of John Conner, it follows that there was a period of more than ten years that the territory no comprehended within the limits of Fayette county was a part of either Franklin or Wayne counties.

When John Conner conceived the idea of laying out a town in 1813, he probably had no idea that it would ever be a county seat If tradition may be trusted in any way. the town of Waterloo father than Connersville was looked upon as the future county seat of a county which was to be organized out of parts of Franklin and Wayne counties, In the organization of the county the fact was set forth that the northern limit of Franklin county Was the present boundary line between Connersville and Harrison townships of Fayette county. Consequently, the history of Connersville township from 1808 until Fayette county was organized on February 8, 1819, is a part of the history of Franklin county.

As has been stated, practically all of the land in the township had been entered prior to the organization of the county, although as late as 1815, it seems that there were not more than three or four houses on the present site of Connersville. A large number of the men who entered land during the War of 1812 that is, between the years of 1812 and 1815 - did not settle on their holdings until after the close of the war. While there is no record of any trouble with the Indians during this period, vet there is no doubt that it was because of the Indians that the first settlers did not locate with their families until after the treaty of peace with England. In the history of other townships of the county references have been made to block houses which were built to provide protection against the Indians, and, as far as is now known, the block house which stood on the present site of Connersville was built for the purpose of housing all of the settlers of the vicinity in case of an Indian uprising,

Prior to 1815 the following families located within the limits of Connersville township:

John Conner probably settled on the site of Connersville in 1808 and for at least three years was the only white man living in the township, He had an Indian wife, talked her language and existed solely by bartering with his Indian friends. In 1811 Alexander Saxon came with his family from Georgia and settled on the southeast quarter of section 25, now within the limits of Connersville, and established a ferry across the river near his cabin. The only other settler to venture into the township in 1811 for permanent settlement appears to have been John Perin, a native of Massachusetts, who entered a part of section 26 in that year and at once located upon it, This section adjoins the city of Connersville on the southwest,

The War of 1812 naturally hindered the settlement of the township, but a few sturdy settlers brayed the Indians and located in the township in the year the war opened, Moses Lockhart and Thomas Reed, both of Kentucky, were among the first to arrive in the township in the spring of 1812. Joseph Minor, John and Thomas Reed, Larkin Sims and Tobias Smith appeared to have made up the group of settlers who came into the township during 1812. It is not known whether all of these men brought their families with them, but they became permanent settlers and either brought their families at this time or the following year.

The year 1813 saw a few more settlers locating in the township, Thomas Sargent, a native of North Carolina, later a resident of Virginia, still later (1807) a resident of Kentucky, came to Connersville township in 1813 and settled along the river south of the county seat. After Rush county was organized he entered land in that county and soon afterward left Fayette county for his new home, There were undoubtedly other settlers in the township in 1813, but it is impossible to determine who they were.

The year 1814 saw the close of the War of 1812, but there was still sufficient apprehension of the Indians to keep the settlers who had entered land in the township from settling on it. Among those who located here in that year were Thomas Hinkson, a native of Ireland, who had come to America in 1791 and located in Adams county, Ohio. In February, 1814, he came to Connersville township and settled in section 34 on land which he had entered two years previously, Hinkson became the first surveyor of the county and served in this capacity for several years, He did much of the early surveying, not only in Fayette county but also in adjoining counties. He laid out the first addition to Connersville. He died in 1850, John Philpott, a native of Kentucky, arrived in the township in the fall of 1814. About the same time William Sparks, James Adair and Samuel Harlan, all of South Carolina, settled in the township, Still others to reach the township in the fall of 1814 were Nathan Aldridge, James Tweedy, Cornelius Williams, William Edwards, J. F. Marshall and Benjamin Booe.

It was not until the spring of 1815 that it was known that the War of 1812 had closed, General Jackson fighting the battle of New Orleans on January 7, 1815, and this occurring about three weeks after the treaty had been signed. From this year emigration to Fayette county was very rapid and by the time the county was organized in 1819 there were settlers scattered all over Connersville township, In fact, they came in so fast that it is impossible to trace them year by year. Among those who located here in 1815 may be mentioned the following: Nathaniel Hamilton, two of whose sons were in the War of 1812, the family then living in Franklin county; Stanhope and Robert Royster, the former of whom served as associate judge and county commissioner; Benjamin Sailor, who had lived in Franklin county for a number of years; Paul Davis and James Alexander, both of South Carolina: Zachariah Glover and two others, Hazelrigg and Lacy by name,

It is not possible, even if it were profitable, to list the heads of all of the families who located in the township prior to 1820. The population of the county in 1820 was three thousand nine hundred and fifty and it is undoubtedly true that Connersville township had a heavier population than any other township in the county. An enumeration of some of the leading families of the township who settled here before 1820 is given in the succeeding paragraphs,

James Brownlee, a native of Ohio, first settled in Franklin county, whence he was sent as one of the delegates to frame the state Constitution. He moved on to this county and township about 1816 and soon' afterward was chosen as one of the associate judges, In 1813 Douglass Burton, a native of South Carolina, moved his family to Kentucky and from thence to land north of Connersville, where the father died the following summer; the widow with her family thus moved onto what is now the farm of the county infirmary. John Swift, along with his parents, natives of New Jersey, first made a temporary settlement in Ohio and in 1818 settled permanently' in Connersville township. Although coming from Virginia, the same can be said of William Jones, who came here with his parents from Kentucky in 1816.

Jonathan John came from Kentucky in 1816 and settled near the village of Connersville. He was one of the first business men of the village and was an intimate friend of John Conner, He died in 1838, The Russell, Martin and McCrory families settled in the township about 1819, Jeremiah Worghaman, a Virginian. was one of the very early settlers along the river, entering land about 1811. John Baily removed from Kentucky to the village of Connersville in 1819 and shortly afterward located on a farm five miles north. Those who settled in the township in 1817 were, William Edwards, from Maryland, Rawlston Shields, from Pennsylvania, and probably W. H. H, Tate, Another early settler was Thomas White, a native of Tennessee.

What is thought to be the first frame house in the township, outside of the village of Connersville, was erected on the farm of Larkin Sims about 1818 and was built by John Perin.


As early as 1815 there were a sufficient number of families along Williams creek and in the Hinkson neighborhood to justify a school, of which Thomas Hinkson, Sr., was the teacher, Hinkson had received a liberal education in the Catholic schools of his native state, and taught in the settlement for a number of years, A small school was taught close to this settlement in 1819 by a young lady whose name was Ingham, John Justice, Hannah Hathaway and Millie Perin were also early teachers in the same school. Located in the southeastern part of the township was another school built at an early date and taught by Jonathan Shields.


Doubtless the first industry of any kind in the township was a gristmill owned by John Reed and built in 1814. The first building was built of logs in their natural state, but during the following year a frame building was constructed. The exact location cannot be ascertained, but it was on Williams' creek about three or four miles below Connersville. John A. White was one of the early carpenters and assisted in the construction of the saw mill which was added. Prior to 1819 and as early as 1820 John Vance and John Hughes operated grist mills on the same stream.

It is quite a noticeable fact that all of the early industries were located along Williams creek, In 1818 James Brownlee built a carding and fulling mill and also a saw mill in connection, About 1825 the same man erected a building for a grist mill, but the mill was never put into operation, A man by the name of Buckley later purchased the property and removed the carding machine into the building built for the grist mill, Saw mills were also operated by Avery Gates and Miller & Clink, Subsequently William Miller became the owner of the latter and added a still house and an oil mill. In the northwestern part of the township and on the same stream an early saw mill was built by John Kellum, He also operated a grist mill in the same neighborhood.

Thomas Moffett was the owner of two grist mills, one in Harrison township, built by John Philpott, and the other in Connersville township, erected in 1847. There was also a saw and grist mill located on Village creek, built and operated in 1829 by Christian, Furry. Moses Wolverton is supposed to have been the first owner.

Stills were so numerous that it is impossible to mention all of the owners, but among the many were Thomas Burris, Glover Perin, John Perin, John Reed, William Miller, Tobias Smith, Larkin Sims, William Thompson and James Vance.


The hamlet of Longwood is located in the northwestern part of Connersville township on the Indianapolis and Cincinnati electric line. On December 15, 1832, a postoffice was established at Philpotts Mills, William Philpott being the postmaster from 1832 to 1837. On April 3, 1837, the office was changed to Longwood, The following persons served as postmasters: Ross Smiley. 1837-1861; Thomas Moffett, 1861-September 28, 1868 (discontinued); Philip N, Marks, March 25, 1872 (re-established); to 1873; Samuel M, Atherton. 1873-1876: Matthew P, Hawkins, 1876-1879; William C. Moffett, 1879.


East Connersville, a village of about seven hundred people, is located a half mile east of Connersville, on the east side of the West fork of White Water, and on the Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Western railroad, The town is really a part of Connersville, but has its separate town government, The village was laid out and platted by Basil McCann in October, 1857. Not many years passed until the little town was provided with a brick school building and several thriving industries, The industries of the present time include the following: C. C. Miller, general store; Charles H. Rigor, grocer; John W. Jones, grocer; J. S. Petro, grocer: Dora Ball, grocer; Walter Newell, confectionery: East Side Fuel Company (E. E. and A. V. Henry); National Burial Vault Company, Joseph Woodward. The latest industry in the town is the Moorish tile factory, which began operations in the spring of 1917. Its plant is located along the Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Western tracks at the east side of the town. This plant manufactures all kinds of plain and decorative tiling for floors and a wide variety for other interior furnishings.

East Connersville is connected with Connersville by a cement highway, which is continued south through the town to the corporation limits.

Within the last few years several handsome residences have been built in the town, An excellent school is maintained, including instruction in all of the common branches. The religious life is cared for by an active church organization.

[Also see history of the City of Connersville.]

Return to [ Indiana History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Indiana Biographies ]

Indiana Counties at this web site - Cass - Clay - Dearborn - Elkhart - Fayette - Gibson - Hancock - Hendrick - Henry - Miami - Monroe - Montgomery - Porter - Posey - Putnam - Rush - St. Joseph - Tippecanoe - Wabash

Also see the local histories for [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ PA ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy