History of Fairview 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


Fairview, the last township organized in the county, was created by the county commissioners on December 4, 1851, out of parts of Harrison and Orange townships. Its boundaries as first defined have not been changed and are as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of section 25, township 14, range 11, running thence west three miles to the Fayette and Rush county lines; thence north Six miles on said line to the southwest corner of Posey township; thence east three miles to the range line; thence south six miles to the place of beginning."

This is the only township in the county which lies wholly within the new purchase of 1818, and consequently none of its territory was entered until after 1820. However within three years practically the entire township had been disposed of to enterprising settlers. The complete list of land entries follows:

Township 14 North. Range 11 East.
Section 1 - Sold in 182o and 1821 to Hugh and William Dickey, Stephen Hull and James B. Reynolds.

Section 2 - Sold in 1820, 1821 and 1824 to John Stephens, Samuel Shortridge, James B. Reynolds, Jonathan Wallace, Ananias Gifford and Harrison Baker.

Section 3 - Sold in 1821 and 1823 to John Wheeler, John Smelser and Benjamin B. Isles.

Section 10 - Sold in 1822. 1824, 1825 and 1828 to Jeremiah Jeffery, John Wallace, John Hair, Ira Alward, William Jeffery and Zachariah Parish.

Section 11 - Sold in 1820. 1829 and 1831 to Michael Brown, Hugh Dickey,`Solomon Gifford and Lewis Robinson.

Section 12 - Sold in 1820, 1821, 1830, 1832 and 1833 to Tames Smith, John Darter, Minor Meeker, Daniel Campbell, David Scott. Philip Bilbv and Samuel Davis.

Section 13 - Sold in 1820, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1829 and 1830 to William Smiley, John Ellis, John Bogar, John Philpott, John Smith, Andrew Moffitt and Joshua Wallace.

Section 14 - Sold in 1820 and 1823 to Ross Smiley, Jacob Kinder, Thomas Smiley, Thomas Keaton. James Putman and Houseworth.

Section 15 - Sold in 1820, 1821, 1823 and 1830 to James Smiley, Thomas McConnell, William Parker. Jacob Aspaugh, John Clifford. J. Justice and A. Sloan.

Section 22 - Sold in 1822 and 1830 to Joseph Putenny, Robert McCrory, George Heifer, John Rees and Samuel Heifer.

Section 23 - Sold in 1821 and 1822 to Thomas McConnell, Thomas Moffitt and John Morrison.

Section 24 - Sold in 1820, 1821. 1822 and 1831 to Jonathan Eddy, John Jake, John Rees, Jr., David Stewart John Darter and John Rees.

Section 25 - Sold in 1820 and 1827 to William F. Conaghv, John Ryburn, Alexander Russell and William Ennis.

Section 26 - Sold in 1820, 1821. 1822 and 1828 to Alexander Russell, William H. Putenny, Ephraim Frazee, John Rees and William Nash.

Section 27 - Sold in 1821, 1822 and 1823 to William Banks. John Morris, William Linder, Richard Nash and John McColm.

Township 15 North. Range 11 East.

Section 34 - Sold in 1822 and 1823 to Ira Starr, John Gifford. John Mattison, Samuel B. Louden, John Murphy and Edward Mattison:

Section 35 - Sold in 1822, 1823 and 1824 to Joseph Relfe, Jams Beakley, William Brooks, Thomas Legg, William Leer and Abraham Baker.

Section 36 - Sold in 1821 and 1822 to William Dickey, Trueman Mun, Edward R. Munger and William Berkley.

The period of immigration into Fairview township began about 1820 and, roughly speaking, extended over a period of nearly ten years. However, it may be said that there were a few settlers prior to the date mentioned and among them was Charles Williams, a young man from New York. He settled in section 12 and to him is given the credit of being the first settler in the township. He was a carpenter by trade and during the pioneer days was identified with the erection of many of the early houses in this section of the country.

Among the settlers who became permanent residents of the township in 1819 were William Nelson, William and Alexander Russell. who located in the northern part of the township, and John Ryburn. Two years later another tide of immigrants came in. among whom were Andrew Nelson, Robert McCrory. Sr., John Rees, Sr., and his son John, Robert Hastings, Matthew Hastings, Richard Nash and Ananias Gifford. Not far from the same time came Samuel Knot, Abraham Kinder, from Virginia, and Samuel and George Heizer, from New Jersey. All located southeast of the village of Fairview.

In 1825 Josiah Piper and family and Ellis D. McConnell settled in the vicinity of Falmouth and in the northern part of the township respectively. Hugh and William Dickey emigrating front Kentucky located in the northern tier of sections in 1825.

Among other pioneers in this locality were Ross Smiley, William Lear, Collin Banister, Jacob Ashpaw, John Hawkins, Samuel Shortridge, James Runnels, John Rees, G. Saxon, Zachariah Parish, Thomas Keaton, John Baker, David Baker, James McConnell, the Jacks family, Andrew Moffett, P. M. Wiles, Joseph Booe, Ezekiel Parish, John Gifford, John Bates and Daniel Rhea.

There being no roads at the time of the advent of the early settlers, they were obliged to cut out the undergrowth in order to reach their respective homes. The pioneers underwent hardships and endured inconveniences that seem almost unbelievable in the present day. An instance is told of how the Pipers resided for some time by the side of a large poplar tree that had fallen, or until their cabin was built and reach for occupancy. They were compelled to carry water for family use about three fourths of a mile and the only vessel was a five gallon keg They were so far distant from their neighbors that weeks and even months passed without seeing anyone outside of their own family.

There were very few industries during the early period. Frank Jeffrey operated a tan yard on the Jeffrey land. There have been very few mills and industries in this section. The pioneers and subsequent residents of the township have depended upon the mills of neighboring subdivisions for such conveniences. in about 1838 John Moffitt operated a saw mill on Williams creek and on the Nelson land. Joshua Wallace also operated a saw mill near the one owned by John Moffitt.


The first school house in the township was erected in 1825 and stood a half mile east of Moffitt's crossing, and was then in the third district of Orange township. A vivid description given by an old pioneer follows: "It was of round logs, afterward hewed down: clapboard roof; no chimney, but a stone fireplace in the center of the puncheon floor; a flue, built of sticks and mortar, rested on six posts; the fire being in the center of the house, all parts of the room were heated equally. The crevices of the house were closed with mortar except those fronting the writing desks, where they were enlarged to furnish light, which was admitted through greased paper which was pasted to frames fitted to those apertures." Jonas Price taught the first school in this house in the fall of 1826.

The first school house in what is now Fairview township was built in about 1827 on the Jeffrey land and the first school was taught by Thomas Dawson. About two years later a school house was erected in the northern part of the township and John Legg was one of the first teachers.


The village of Fairview is a settlement in Fairview township on the Rush county line. The hamlet was laid out on land owned by W. W. Thrasher, but the date is not known. The first house built in the village was a log structure, erected by William Powers about 1828. The first merchant to open a store was John McCline and he was succeeded by Birdsall & Company, in 1835. William Moffitt became the successor to this firm. A man named Vanvalkenburg was probably the first blacksmith. He was followed by Brown Brothers and they by William Irwin. Fairview was made a postoftice, February 17, 1835, with Woodson W. Thrasher as postmaster. The office was discontinued. August 3. 1836. A postoffice was again established here, February 7, 1840, under the name of Groves. John McClure was the postmaster and served until 1845. He was followed bye Arthur Miller. who served only about a year. William Clifford was the next postmaster and served until May 14, 1847. At this time the name of the postoffice was changed to Melrose, with John Abernathy as postmaster. He held the office until June 12. 1849, when the name of the office was again given the name of Groves and William Clifford. Jr., became the postmaster. Following is a complete list of postmasters with their dates of service; William Clifford, Jr., 1846-1852: Jacob B. Power, August 7, 1852, to November 12, 1852: William B. Clifford, 1852-1853: William A. Bush, 1853-1858; Smith Fry, 1858-1859; Leander C. McConnell, 1859-1860; Thomas Moffett, 1860-1861; Christian Wiles. 1861-1865: John McClure, 1865-1871: Joseph W. Groves. 1871-1878: Lafayette Groves, 1878- 1880: John McClure, 1880-1881; Caroline Caldwell, 1881.


The village of Falmouth is located in the northwestern part of Fairview township on the Rush county line and is a station on the Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis railroad. The town site was surveyed by Thomas Hinkson, July 24, 1832. on the land belonging to James and Elijah Patterson and Patrick McCann. Additions were made in 1838 by Edward L. McGee, Stephen Isles and Jeremiah Jeffery.

William Smith bears the distinction of building the first house on the Fayette county side. Among the first merchants were P. Shawhan, William Stewart and John Birdsall. An early cabinet maker was John Carr, who had a turning lathe and manufactured all kinds of furniture.

The village is in the center of a rich farming community and a large amount of grain and live stock is shipped each year from this place. It has one bank. A. E. Bilby. cashier, and a number of industries. Among its business enterprises may be enumerated the following; Wilbur E. Chance, general store and postmaster; Jacob Gross, grain elevator and coal; Falmouth Mutual Telephone Company; E. H. Hackleman, undertaker; Shelby D. Davidson. wagon maker and blacksmith; Charles W. Beck, general store; Henna Benson, grocer; Alfred Collyer, general store; G. H. Cummings, cigars and pool; W. S. Thompson. blacksmith; William Higley & Son, blacksmith and implements: Falmouth Natural Gas Company; D. C. Allen is the express and telegraph agent.

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