History of Patoka Township, Gibson County, Indiana
From: History of Gibson County, Indiana
BY Gil R. Stormont
B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914
The life of the early pioneer, now that the softening caress of time has been placed there, has been set in
scenes of romance and dramatic interest. The tales of privations, of battles, of sacrifices in the struggle to
build a home, are becoming a bit of folklore, and have become traditional epics, to us the same as the Saga to
the Norseman, the tales of Siegfried to the German, or even as our own Anglo-Saxon fathers. The American pioneer,
wherever he traveled, met primal conditions, and with primitive implements he coped with them. The magnificent
forest dwindled before his axe and was superseded by golden rows of grain. Heroic in combat, as he was gentle in
his home, the settler is monumental. Simple, religious, family loving and sturdy, the present generation thus holds
him in memory and ennobles him.
With the opening of the nineteenth century settlements began to be made in Gibson county. John Severn had settled
near the south bank of the Patoka river, at Severn' bridge even before the opening of the century. He was undoubtedly
the first man to live in Gibson county. In 1798 John Johnson, a native of Virginia, came to this county in 1802,
by way of Kentucky, accompanied by his family. The old soldier, Capt. William Hargrove, was the next settler of
any note. He was a native of North Carolina and emigrated to this section in the year 1803. He was afterward an
officer in the battle of Tippecanoe. In 1805 James McClure and his brother in law, Isaac Montgomery, came to this
county. The person of Gen. Robert M. Evans is one of the most prominent of early Gibson history. He was born in
Virginia. He came to the county in 1811, and immediately afterward joined Harrison's army and participated in the
campaign against the Indians, including the battles of Tippecanoe and the Thames. He afterward filled many important
official positions in this county. His brothers, James. Alexander Lyle and Thomas Jefferson, moved here in 1810.
James Wheeler, William Latham, William Harrington, Robert Archer, Capt. Henry Hopkins, Joseph Woods. Daniel Putnam,
Rev. Alexander Devin, a Baptist minister, John Braselton, Stephen Strickland, John Clements, Eli Strain, Chauncey
Pierce, John C. Fisher, William Barker were others among the early settlers, and many of them lived to distinction
in the growing community.