History of Barton Township, Gibson County, Indiana
From: History of Gibson County, Indiana
BY Gil R. Stormont
B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914
Barton township is located in the southeast corner of Gibson county. It is bounded on the north by Center and
Columbia townships, east by Pike and Warrick counties, south by Warrick county, west by Johnson and Patoka townships,
This township was organized in August, 1843, but afterward the boundary lines then fixed were changed, The township
was formed by request of many of its later citizens who drew up a petition,
John Miller is accredited with being the first settler in Barton township, He came in the autumn of 1814 and
located on section 8, township 3, range 9, builded himself a rude cabin of logs and housed his family there during
the following winter, He was a native of Kentucky, and traveled here on foot and with a pack horse. Elisha Strickland
came in the summer of 1815, and also Jacob Skelton, In 1818 came William McCleary, The first settler in the southeastern
part of the township was John Kilpatrick, who came in 1821. William Barrett, Andrew McGregor, James Breedlove and
Eli J. Oliver were other early residents.
AN EARLY UNPUNISHED CRIME,
In the early days at a log rolling an incident occurred which would now be called a great crime. An Indian came
to where a party of settlers had assembled at a log rolling, on which occasion it was always the custom for the
host to supply a plentiful supply of liquors as well as good meals at meal time. Some of the crowd had become in
a measure intoxicated, particularly a man named Wheeler, and when the Indian above mentioned had imbibed quite
freely of the liquor he became boastful of his former exploits, relating a circumstance of how he went to the house
of a white family when they were at dinner and compelled them to eat until they were gorged. after which he offered
other indignities, This so enraged Wheeler that he attacked the Indian. striking him over the head with a handspike,
crushing his skull and killing him instantly. As the victim was only an Indian but little attention was given to
this cowardly crime by the settlers.
This was formerly known as Summittville and was laid out by J. E. Smith in 1853. The town site being located
on an elevated piece of ground, Mr. Smith chose the name "Summittville." The first house there was erected
by Van Nada and Baldwin and was used by them as a general store. The first postmaster was George Van Nada. In 1853
Jackson Taylor built a blacksmith shop, the first industry of the sort in that neighborhood. Other persons who
have been connected with this village are C. T. Shanner & Son, Robert Moore, S. G. Barrett, J. W. Skelton,
John Walker, William Helm, J. S. McCoy, A. Woodruff and Thomas Moore.