History of Franklin Township, Hendricks County,
From: History of Hendricks County, Indiana
Hon. John V. Hadley, Editor in Chief.
B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914
In the extreme southwest corner of the county is located Franklin township, containing parts of township 14 north, ranges 1 and 2 west. It is bounded on the north by Clay township, on the east by Liberty, on the south by Morgan and Putnam counties, and on the west by Putnam county. The soil level is comparatively flat in.the northwestern and southeastern portions. but in the central part it assumes a rolling character. Mill creek and its tributaries drain the township in the central and west and Mud creek drains the southeastern part. These streams are small but of great value to the land. For cultivation the soil of Franklin township is unsurpassed in Hendricks county, especially for corn. It has a rich, alluvial quality, free from sand and alkali, and is of high productiveness.
EARLY SETTLEMENT AND EVENTS.
Judge Nathan Kirk was the first settler in the township of Franklin. In 1820 he located on Mill creek, where
it was crossed by the old Terre Haute trail, and in this place he kept a sort of tavern, a resting place for the
weary traveler. Jeremiah Stiles, the founder of Stilesville, was the next settler of whom there is any account.
He came in 1823. He was followed shortly by the following: John Swart, John and Isaac Wilcox, John Eslinger, David
Orsborn and Jacob Reese.
At Stilesville, on August 1, 1831, was held the first general election of the township. Forty voters were registered
on the poll books. Their names:follow: William Shipley, Jonathan Sparks, Joseph Petty, Jacob Reese, Jeremiah Stiles,
James Kelly, John Brown, George H. Keller, George Morris, 'George Hancock, Henry Reese, William Thomas, Peter Pearson,
Thomas Wood, Edward Shipley, Samuel Wick, Daniel Austin, Lorenzo D. Cleghorn, James Walls, Isaac Odle, William
Scott, Charles Smith, Silas Rustin, William Wilcox, Absalom Snoddy, Samuel Gerber, Monroe Cleghorn. Joseph Leghorn,
William Snoddy, James Pritchett, Eli Lee, Frederick Cosner; William Becknell, Joshua Rustin, James Bray, James
Wiece, John Hancock, Silas Bryant, Nicholas Osborn and Garry Morris.
THE TOWNSHIP IN 1914.
To give a proper description of the present Franklin township would require much more space than is available here. In a word, the township has become one of the best in the county and her institutions, schools, churches, commercial activities, etc., have grown rapidly in the past twenty years or so. Railroad facilities are poor in this township and the chief town, Stilesville, is entirely removed from the steel lines of transit. Nothwithstanding this deficiency, the excellent roads and the automobile have enabled the farmer and business man to maintain adequate communication with the rest of the county. And, too, the telephone, both local and long distance. have been a great factor in the growth of Franklin township.
Stilesville was laid off as a village in 1828 and a small settlement started. The opening of the national road
through this county, in 1830, passing directly through Stilesville, made the town of some importance in the early
day, but now the place has been forced to the rear by the absence of either railroad or interurban line. Passengers
are transferred to Amo, four miles northeast, in order to reach the steel lines.