History of Towns and Villages in Henry County, Indiana
Elizabeth City to Kennard
From: Hazzard's History of Henry County, Indiana 1822-1906
Military Edition Volume 2
By: George Hazzard Author and Publisher
New Castle, Indiana 1906

ELIZABETH CITY.

This old village, now much decayed, is situated twelve and one fourth miles southwest from the court house in New Castle, and six miles northwest from Knightstown, and is in Wayne Township, being in the N. W. corner of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 1, Tp. 16 N., R. 8 E. Elizabeth City was laid out and platted by Robert Overman, proprietor, and acknowledged September 17, 1838, and contains six blocks, consisting of thirty six lots. No addition has ever been filed to the town. It was at an early day, a place of some promise. After the Civil War, Elnathan and Thomas B. Wilkinson, brothers. now of Knightstown, maintained here for several years a general mercantile establishment and did a highly prosperous and satisfactory business. However, no postoffice was established until 1878. It was called "Maple Valley," for the reason that there was a prior postoffice in the State named Elizabeth City.

The construction of the Big Four railway through the county west from New Castle and the establishment of the towns of Kennard in Henry County and Shirley in Henry and Hancock counties, and of Wilkinson in Hancock County, all on the line of the railroad and within a few miles of Elizabeth City, was the death knell of the last named place as a business point. The establishment of the rural free delivery system from Shirley and Wilkinson was another blow to Elizabeth City, for then the postoffice was finally discontinued. On pages 39 and 40 of this History will be found a list of the respective postmasters of "Maple Valley."

Elizabeth City (Maple Valley) is one of the four postoffices that have existed in Wayne Township, the other three being Grant City, (Snyder discontinued), Knightstown and Raysville.

Robert Overman, the proprietor, was from Pasquotank County, North Carolina, of which Elizabeth City is the county town, hence this name.

FAIRFIELD.

This defunct place was situated somewhere on the National Road. The county records do not show where it was located or by whom it was laid out and platted. Henry Lewelling appears to have been the surveyor, who laid out and platted the village about the year 1828. The main street running east and west is designated as "The National Road," and contains four blocks consisting of thirty two lots. Lewis Tacket was the proprietor. Its location was probably east of Lewisville in the neighborhood of the present town of Straughn. It never reached the dignity of a postoffice.

GRANT CITY.

Grant City, so named after our great military chieftain, General Ulysses S. Grant, is situated in Wayne Township. ten and one half miles southwest from the court house in New Castle and five miles north and one mile west from Knightstown. It is located on the E. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 and the E. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 5 and the W. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 4, Tp. 16 N. R. 9 E., and was laid out, platted and acknowledged by Jacob Green. who was a soldier in the Civil War, and by Margaret Green, his wife, October 31, 1868. It contains five blocks, consisting of thirty six lots.

Jacob Green's northern addition, situated immediately north of the original plat, was platted by the same parties March 24, 1869, and was acknowledged July 14, 1869. It contains four blocks, consisting of twenty eight lots.

When Jacob Green returned from the Civil War he was ambitious to found a town, and, being a great admirer of his old commander, named it as above stated. From the fact that there was a prior postoffice in the State of the same name, no postoffice was established until January 26, 1888, when one was established called "Snyder." In the meantime the Big Four railway had been built through the county west from New Castle and the town of Kennard located two and one half miles north and one half mile east of Grant City. Later the rural free delivery system abolished the postoffice. The stores which had been established found their way to the railroad or were discontinued. Thus the glory of Grant City as a business center disappeared. "Jake" Green, the founder of the village. was for many years a well known character in Henry County. Some years ago he moved to Iowa where he died and is buried.

A list of the postmasters at "Snyder" will be found on page 45 of this History. Grant City (Snyder discontinued) is one of the four postoffices that have existed in Wayne Township, the other three being Elizabeth City (Maple Valley), Knightstown and Raysville.

GREENSBORO.

This old historic town is situated in Greensboro Township. six and one fourth miles southwest from the court house in New Castle. and is in the E. of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 35 and in the W. 1/2 of the S. W. of Sec. 36, Tp. 17 N., R. 9 E., and was laid out, platted and acknowledged by Jehu Wickersham, February 27, 1830, and contains six blocks, consisting of forty eight lots.

The first or Eastern addition, situated immediately east of and adjoining the original plat, was platted and acknowledged by Seth Hinshaw, Jonas Pickering, Enoch Wickersham, Abraham Moore, Jehu Wickersham and Mary Wickersham, proprietors, March 26, 1836, and contains six blocks, consisting of twenty eight lots.

The second or Northern addition, situated immediately north of the original Plat and east of High Street, was platted and acknowledged by Thomas Reagan, April 13, 1855, and contains one block, consisting of twelve lots.

Reagan's addition to the Northern addition, situated immediately north of the original plat and west of High Street, was platted and acknowledged by Thomas Reagan, October 16, 1866, and contains one block, consisting of six lots.

A plat of the town of Greensboro was surveyed and platted by William R. Harrold. Surveyor, and acknowledged August 6, 1873. This plat includes the original plat and all the additions above mentioned and also out lots numbering from one to twenty four inclusive; and also out lots numbers seven to thirteen inclusive, north of Reagan's Northern addition.

Greensboro is situated on the east bank of Duck Creek. about one mile from its junction with Blue River, and nearly seven miles north by east from Knightstown. Being in the midst of a tract of fertile farming lands, it has ever enjoyed a considerable local traffic, though its growth in wealth and inportance has not been as rapid as that of some other towns in the county, from the fact that it is not reached by a railroad. Then the construction of the Big Four railroad through the county, two and one half miles north of it, and the establishment of the town of Kennard, two and one half miles northwest of it have drawn from it much of the trade that it once enjoyed.

Greensboro has a number of excellent turnpikes radiating from it; but it was as a "station" on the "underground railroad" that it won a. national reputation. As the home of a number of determined and veteran abolition agitators, it had a reputation, fifty years ago, second to no place of its size in the whole country. In those early days a large building. known as "Liberty Hall," was often filled with enthusiastic audiences, who listened to such apostles of freedom as Arnold Buff, Abby Kelly, Frederick Douglas, George W. Julian and others of note.

The "underground railroad" was the system employed by abolitionists to transport slaves fleeing from bondage to the land of freedom. principally Canada. The plan was to move them in the night time from the home of an abolitionist, or some other place where they were secreted, called a "station." to some point or "station" further on toward their ultimate destination. This was all clone in such a secretive and mysterious way that the term "underground railroad" was applied. Greensboro was known far and wide as a permanent "station," and the abolitionists there were numerous ands determined, having at their head the veteran Seth Hinshaw.

The early emigration in and around Greensboro was from Guilford County, North Carolina, of which Greensboro is the county town. and from this fact Greensboro Township and town are so named.

A list of the postmasters from William Reagan. April 18, 1831, to the present time, will be found on page 37 of this History. Greensboro Township has had three postofflees. all of which are retained Greensboro. Kennard and Shirley. However, at the present time the Shirley postoffice is on the west side of Main Street in Hancock County.


The census of 1900 places the population of the town at 284.

HILLSBORO.

This old village on a hill is situated in the southeast corner of Prairie Township. three and one half miles northeast from the court house in New Castle, and is in the south part of the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 36, Tp. 18 N., R. 10 E., and was laid out, platted and acknowledged by Jacob Huston. Thomas Huston and Samuel Rinehart. proprietors. July 26, 1831, and contains twelve blocks, consisting of sixty lots.

The first addition, situated immediately east of the original plat, was platted March 2, 1852, and acknowledged by Clement Murphey. proprietor, April 19, 1852. and contains twelve lots, no blocks designated.

The second addition, also by Clement Murphey. situated immediately east of his first addition, was platted and acknowledged by him. April 16, 1853, and contains twelve lots, no blocks designated.

The name of the village undoubtedly comes from the fact that one can hardly reach the place from any direction without climbing a hill. It was once a trading point of some consequence. The author of this History well remembers when as a boy he first saw Hillsboro, going there in company with his mother to visit her brother, Franklin Woodward, then residing there. At that time there were three stores, two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, and a saw mill, with corresponding population. At the foot of the hill on the road leading to New Castle, on Little Blue River, there was then and for many years afterward, the most pretentious woolen mill in the county, known far and wide as the "Mower and McAfee Factory," later owned by Ice, Dunn and Company. Before this, at the foot of the hill on the road now leading to Messick, on a little stream that would not now 'float a duck so thorough has been the drainage, there was a grist mill and still house combined, known as the "Byrket mill." Then on the Little Blue, near the factory there had been a saw mill owned and operated by a man named Neziah Snyder and connected with it he operated one burr for grinding wheat and corn, principally corn. What little flour he ground was bolted by hand. Now these industries have all disappeared and Hillsboro has not only passed into history but ahnost into oblivion. It was one of the towns projected before the days of railroads and with their coming it began to decay.

A postoffice was established March to, 1851, named "Dan Webster," from the fact that there was already in Indiana a postoffice called Hillsboro. The first postmaster was Samuel S. Canaday, who moved around a good deal in the county and seemed to be the choice of the people wherever he lived for postmaster, for he served as such at Ashland, Hillsboro and New Castle. A list of the postmasters at "Dan Webster" will be found on page 36 of this History. Prairie Township has had four postoffices - Hillsboro "Dan Webster," Luray, Mount Summit and Springport. The two first named have been discontinued.

HONEY CREEK.

The village of Honey Creek, so named for the little stream near whose banks it is situated, is in Fall Creek Township, nine and one half miles northwest from the court house in New Castle and four miles southeast from Middletown, on the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis railway. It was founded in 1858 and was called Warnock's Station. after a Henry County pioneer who then owned the land on which Honey Creek is now located, the same being in the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 10, Tp. 18 N., R. 9 E.

The only addition, known as the Western, and situated immediately west of the original village, on the north side of the railroad, and on the west side of the street running north and south, was platted July 28, 1873, for Joseph M. Brown, Commissioner, in the matter of the real estate of John Myers, deceased, of which decedent, Adam Evans was executor, Brown having been appointed Commissioner by the Court to sell the real estate. This addition to Honey Creek was made by the Commissioner to facilitate the sale of said real estate. It contains five acres and seven rods and is divided into three blocks, consisting of twelve lots.

A postoffices was established June 18, 1861, with Zadock G. Tomlinson as postmaster. On pages 37 and 38 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters from Tomlinson to Lenin R. Fairly, the present incumbent.

Honey Creek is one of the three postoffices that were established and that still exist in Fall Creek Township, the other two being Mechanicsburg and Middletown.

Honey Creek not being incorporated the population as given by the census of 1900 is included in that of Fall Creek Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII).

KENNARD.

This town is situated in the northwest part of Greensboro Township, seven and three fourths miles west and two miles south from the court house in New Castle and is on the Peoria and Eastern division of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis railway, commonly called the Big Four railway. It is located in the E. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 20 and the W. 54 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 21 and the N. E. 1/4 of the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 29 and the N. W. 1/4 of the N. W. 1/2 of Sec. 28, Tp. 17 N.. R. 9 E. It was surveyed and platted by Daniel K. Cook, Surveyor, September 6. 1882. and was acknowledged by Cyrus C. Hinshaw. John W. Payne. Westphalia M. Dixon. Charles Hartley and Martha A. Weasner, proprietors. September 6, 1882. and contained twelve blocks, consisting of fifty six lots and ten out lots.

The first addition, situated immediately north of the original plat and west of Main Street, was platted February 12, 1885, add was acknowledged by Cyrus C. Hinshaw and John W. Payne, proprietors, February 19. 1885, and contains four and sixty nine hundredths acres, divided into two blocks, consisting of eleven lots.

Then comes Westphalia M. Dixon with an addition which is situated immediately north of the original plat, on the east side of Main Street. It was platted February 8, 1887, and was acknowledged by Dixon March 11, 1887. and contains two blocks, consisting of six lots.

Alexander Younts' addition, situated immediately north of Dixon's addition on the east side of Main Street, was platted April 5, 1888, and was acknowledged by Younts December 22, 1888, and contains three and one half acres, divided into one block, consisting of eight lots.

Alexander Younts was ambitious to add to Kennard's territory for he filed a second addition, situated immediately east of the original plat, on the north side of Broad Street, which was platted in October, 1890. It wads acknowledged by Younts November 11, 1890, and contains two and forty five hundredths acres, divided into three lots and one out lot, no blocks designated.

Martindale, Madison and Hinshaw's addition, situated immediately south of the original plat and south of the Big Four railway, was platted April 27, 1893, and was acknowledged by Frank Martindale, Martha F. Martindale, Cyrus C. Hinshaw, John Madison and Alonzo Hinshaw, proprietors, April 28, 1893, and contains nine and forty seven hundredths acres, divided into forty eight lots, no blocks designated.

George I. Jenckes made the last addition. It is situated immediately west of the original plat and Martindale. Madison and Hinshaw's addition and was platted May 10. 1898, and was acknowledged by Jenekes on the same date. It contains ten and one fourth acres, divided into two blocks, consisting of forty nine lots and one out lot.

Cyrus C. Hinshaw was instrumental in having the town named for Jenkins Kennard. an old and highly respected citizen of Henry County, a farmer who has lived for many years in the northeastern part of Wayne Township, not far from the Stone Quarry Mill.

A postoffice was established September 12, 1882, with Cyrus C. Hinshaw as postmaster. On page 38 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters from the establishment of the office to the present time. Greensboro Township has had three postoffices, all of which are retained - Greensboro, Kennard and Shirley. However, at the present time the Shirley postoffice is on the west side of Main Street, in Hancock County.

The census of 1900 places the population of the town at 417.

The projected Indianapolis, New Castle and Toledo railway (electric line) passes through Kennard.


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