History of Clay Township, Hendricks County,
From: History of Hendricks County, Indiana
Hon. John V. Hadley, Editor in Chief.
B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914
The land surface of Clay township is in most respects similar to the rest of the county. The township is one
of the smaller ones and is drained by the three forks of Mill creek. The land is practically level, with slight
valleys made by the streams, and the drainage, now aided by artificial means, is adequate. The quality of the land
in this township is good. The farmers have managed, by skillful cultivation and intelligent study, to derive large
profits from the soil and are to be commended, especially for this work and progress. The St. Louis division of
the Big Four railroad, the Vandalise, and the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern interurban line traverse
the township and, supplemented with an excellent system of gravel and macadam roads, make the township strictly
a modern one and a pleasurable location in which to live.
The township was formed by separating from the north end of Franklin township three tiers of sections of land
and taking three sections off the southeast corner of Marion township, thereby giving Clay township an area of
twenty four square miles. This organization was executed by the board of county commissioners in the year 1845.
The first settlement in Clay township was made near the year 1825. The exact identity of the first settler is
not known, but among the families which came prior to 1832 were those of Obadiah, George and John Tineher, John
Hadley, Joel and Jesse Hodson, William Benbow, Doctor Kersey, Newbry Hunt, Abraham West, Nicholas Osburn and George
The village of Pecksburg was named in honor of the first president of the Vandalia railroad. The village is
located near the east line of Clay township on section 31. The plat of Pecksburg was officially recorded on May
24, 1853. Some of the earliest settlers in the neighborhood of Pecksburg were David Wreitzel, John Sheerer and
Daniel Wreitzel. They settled two miles south of the present village in a very early day and constructed a log
church of the Lutheran denomination. This afterwards was abandoned and a frame built in Pecksburg, which still
stands, about sixty years old. It is not used at present, however. Abraham West had a grist mill near here in the
early days, but sold out to John Sheerer. When the Vandalia was built, through the village, Sheerer opened the
first store, having a general assortment of goods.
Two miles west of Pecksburg, on sections 2, 3, 34 and 35, is the town of Amo, one of the voting places of the township. This village was laid out in 1850 by Joseph Morris and was originally Morristown. The first house in this village was constructed by William Tomlinson. The present town has a population of about three hundred people and is incorporated, this having been voted in 1913. The board of trustees is composed of G. G. Hunter, J. S. Carter, H. C. Summers; C. C. Burch is clerk and W. A. Barker is marshal. The town of Amo bears the appearance of prosperity and will in all probabilities have a marked growth in the next few years. The incorporation has been a good thing for the town and the business men have planned to make the most of it.
The First National Bath, of Amo, was organized on January 20, 1906, by John Kendall and others. J. N. Phillips
was the first president of the bank; H. C. Summers, the first vice president; John Kendall, cashier; W. H. White
and E. B. Owen, second and third vice presidents. The capital stock is $25,000, the deposits amounted to $88,168
and the surplus is $5,000. The present officers are as follows: E. B. Owen, president; George W. Christie, vice
president; J. N. Phillips, cashier; Milber Kendall, assistant cashier. This bank opened for business on July 23,
Reno is a small village located in Clay township on section 30. The village originated with the building of
the Indiana & St. Louis railroad, now the Big Four, in 1870. The official plat of the village was recorded
on December 10, 1870. The town in 1914 is exceedingly small and with no industrial activity.
The village of Hadley, in Clay township, is a railroad station on section 23. The official plat was recorded
March 28, 1872.
It is unfortunate that more of the early history of the town of Coatesville is not obtainable. Even the official
plat of the town has been lost. The town, however, was orginated sometime in the late sixties and quickly became
a prosperous community. The town, by the census of 1910, had a population of four hundred and seventy two people,
but this is conceded to have grown to nearly six hundred in 1914.