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


Lewisville is situated in Franklin Township, eight and three fourths miles south and one mile east from the court house in New Castle. and nine miles east from Knightstown. on the Pittsburg. Cincinnati. Chicago and St. Louis railway, and the Indianapolis and Eastern railway (electric line). and on the west side of Flatrock. It is in the E. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 25. Tp. 16 N., R. 10 E. and the W. of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 30, Tp. 16 N., R. 11 E. The original plat was laid out and platted by Thomas Brown. Surveyor, and was acknowledged by Lewis C. Freeman and Tames B. Harris. proprietors. December 25, 1829. The main street running east and west is designated as "The Great National Road." The original plat contains eight blocks. consisting of sixty four lots.

The first Eastern addition, situated immediately east of the original plat. was platted March 2, 1836, and on the same date was acknowledged by Rozel Spencer and William D. Westerfield, proprietors, and contains ten blocks, consisting of eighty four lots.

The first Southern addition. situated immediately south of the original plat. was platted April 28, 1836, and was acknowledged by Dr. M. Strong, proprietor, May 2. 1836, and contains fourteen lots, no blocks designated.

The George B. Morris' addition, situated immediately east of the school lot, on the south side of the National Road, was platted November 26, 1902, and was acknowledged by Morris on the same date and contains four and ninety four hundredths acres, divided into thirty lots, no blocks designated.

It was first proposed to name this town Freemanville, after Lewis C. Freeman, one of the original proprietors, but as it was discovered that there was another town of that name in this State it was finally determined to call it Lewisville, incorporating the first or given name of Mr. Freeman.

Lewisville is today a better town than ever before. No saloon is permitted there, while there are two, perhaps three, fine churches, and many handsome residences. These taken in connection with the excellent business blocks all denote a prosperous and happy community of people.

That the country around Lewisville is in a high state of cultivation is evidenced by the fact that the First National Bank of that town, with a capital of only $25,000, has deposits of about five times that amount. The town only has the one banking institution which is treated of elsewhere in this History in the chapter entitled "Banks and Banking." In the chapter in this history entitled "Newspapers, Past and Present" will be found a full account of the newspapers that have been published and of the one now in existence in Lewisville.

Lewisville is the only town in Franklin Township and is also the only postoffice that was ever established in that township. There is a tradition in South Franklin Township that before the postoffice was established in Lewisville there was a postoffice on the county line a mile and a quarter south of the town kept by Garnette Hayden. However, there is no official record in Washington City of such an office. It is probable that mail was carried from established offices to Hayden's house, which was on the main line of stage travel, for distribution in that neighborhood. Lewis C. Freeman was the first postmaster at Lewisville and opened the office for business. May 27, 1831. On pages 38 and 39 of this history will be found a list of the postmasters. together with the names of the two rural route carriers connected with the office.

The census of 1900 places the population of the town at 404.


This place with only a remnant of its former greatness remaining is situated in Prairie Township. nine and three fourths miles north and one fourth mile east from the court house in New Castle. and is in the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 27, Tp. 19 N., R. 10 E., and was laid out and platted by Lot Hazelton. proprietor, and acknowledged by him, January 19. 1836, and contains six blocks, consisting of eighteen lots. No addition appears to have been filed to the original plat.

The early settlers of Prairie Township came principally from Virginia and named this town Luray, after the county seat of Page County, in the "Old Dominion."

The author of this History well remembers when Luray was the most important point between New Castle and Muncie. At an early day, before the advent of railroads, aside from the fact that New Castle and Muncie were each county seats. Luray was as good a trading point as either and probably did as much business. Some of the most enterprising and prosperous merchants of the county obtained their start in Luray, notably the late Isaac R. Howard, for many years the leading wholesale merchant of Richmond, Indiana, and in whose name the business is yet carried on by his son John: Jeremiah Page, who built the first brick hotel in New Castle, where the Bundy House now stands, was for many years an enterprising citizen of this place. One of the finest flouring mills in the county stood a half mile east of Luray. The building, an imposing structure, still stands and is used as a barn and for other farming purposes.

The decay of Luray began when the Bellefontaine railroad, now a part of the Big Four railway, was built north of it through Delaware County. and when the present Panhandle railroad was built south of it through New Castle: thus the trade was drawn away from it to New Castle and Muncie. Later, when the road was built north from New Castle to Muncie it left Luray one and one half miles to the east. and the establishment of the village of Springport in Henry County and of Oakville in Delaware County. both of which are but two miles distant. was the death knell of the place for business. The establishment of the rural routes caused the abandonment of the postoffice Now there are less than a dozen houses in the place and one small store operated by a man named McKinley. Thus do the ravages of time tell on towns as well as on individuals.

Prairie Township had four postoffices - Hillsboro (Dan Webster). Luray Mount Summit and Springport. The two first named have been discontinued. The postoffice at Luray was established May 15, 1838, and was discontinued June 15, 1901. On page 39 of this History will be found a complete list of the postmasters of this place.


This village is situated in Fall Creek Township. nine and three fourths miles west and five miles north of west from the court house in New Castle. and three and one half miles south and one mile west of south from Middletown. and is in the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 13 and the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 24 Tp. 18 N. R. 8 E. and the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 18 and the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 19. Tp. 18 N. R. 9 E. and was laid out and platted by Peter Keeling, Margaret Keesling, William Alexander, Frances Alexander, George Keeling and Elizabeth Keesling. proprietors. and was acknowledged by them September 22, 1858, and contains four blocks. consisting of thirty four lots. No addition to the town has ever been filed.

The place is so named from the fact that when the settlement was started there were so many mechanics, representing the different trades, living there that it was determined to recognize them by calling the place Mechanicsburg.

This is the only village or town in the county that was laid off and platted since the advent of railroads that is not located on a railway line. Despite the fact that it has no railroad and that railroads have been built all around it, it has not only maintained but it has also increased its importance as a trading center. Its nearest railroad point and shipping place is Middletown, but the railroad stations of Honey Creek, Sulphur Springs, Kennard and Shirley, in Henry County, and Markleville and Emporia, in Madison County, are easily reached from the 'burg.

Before the days of railroads and steam mills, and before the streams were all reduced to their present diminutive size by ditching and drainage, there were a woolen factory, a grist mill and a saw mill, all adjacent to Mechanicsburg, on Deer Creek; all these have disappeared.

Mechanicsburg is noted for the many exterprising and progressive young men that have gone out in the world from that village. The leading citizen for many years was the late Nimrod R. Elliott, a full biographical sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this History.

The author of this History in gathering the facts has found that no place in Henry County, according to its population, sent more soldiers to the Civil War than Mechanicsburg and vicinity; in fact its record in this respect is far ahead of many other localities having a much greater population.

Mechanicsburg had an existence as a trading point more than a score of years before it was laid off and platted as a village. The first merchant to establish a store in that neighborhood was Thomas Dunning, who began business about the year 1845, the exact date is disputed. The year named is from the best information obtainable, furnished by William H. Keesling.

A postoffice was established July 14, 1849, and its first postmaster, Thomas B. Keesling, who was born in Preble County, Ohio, May 15. 1824, is still living in San Jose, California. A list of the postmasters will be found on page 4o of this History. Mechanicsburg is one of the three postoffices that have existed and that still exist in Fall Creek Township, the other two being Honey Creek and Middletown. It shares with Cadiz and Greensboro the honor of being the only postoffices in the county not on the line of a railroad.

Notwithstanding its importance, this village has never been incorporated; therefore its population is included only in that of Fall Creek Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII).


The village of Messick is situated in Blue River Township, four and three quarter miles northeast from the court house in New Castle, on the Big Four railway. This village was never laid off or platted into town lots by anyone and was founded in the year 1882. The real estate there is described by metes and bounds. Said village is in the S. W. of Sec. 29 and the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 32. Tp. 18 N., R. 11 E.

It is so named after a well known family that has for so many years lived there. The place has an existence antedating many years the building of the Big Four railway. Before the building of the Panhandle railway through the county and the establishment of Ashland, there was a postoffice at Messick known by that name which dates back to February 26, 1847. It was a country affair, kept for some time in the respective homes of the successive postmasters and afterward in a country store owned by Millikan and Messick. and perhaps by others. Later. Messick postoffice was discontinued and moved to Ashland. as is recorded in the short description of the last named place found at the beginning of this chapter.

When in 1882 the Big Four railway was completed through the county, east from New Castle, Messick was again given official existence and a postoffice was established, dating from April 7, 1884. and on page 40 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters. However, the postmasters as set out under the head of Ashland in Chapter I of this History from James M. Conner to William Mulligan, senior. inclusive. should be considered as at the old country office of Messick. Messick, Mooreland and Rockland are Blue River Township's three postoffices. the last named, however, having been discontinued.

All the population of the village is included in that of Blue River Township, (See Chapter XXXVIII.)

Messick is on the projected line of the Indianapolis. New Castle and Toledo railway (electric line).

*** Middletown is on a seperate page. ***


The most eastern village in Henry County on the line of the Panhandle railroad is situated in Liberty Township. six and one fourth miles east and one half mile south of east from the court house in New Castle. and is in the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 15 and the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 14. Tp. 17 N., R. 11 E., and was laid out and platted by John Minesinger, Deputy Surveyor, December 4. 1854. by order of the Court of Common Pleas of Henry County, in January. 1854. from the lands belonging to the estate of John Hershberger, deceased, and contains eight lots, no blocks designated.

Abbott's addition, situated immediately west of the original plat, was platted and acknowledged by Abraham Abbott, August 28. 1856, and contains five blocks, consisting of twenty lots.

Forkner's addition, situated immediately north of the original plat, was platted and acknowledged by Micajah C. Forkner June 20, 1870, and contains five blocks, consisting of twenty one lots.

A plat of Millville, surveyed and platted by William R. Harrold. Surveyor, the same being a resurvey and plat of the original plat and all additions thereto was made and filed in the Recorder's office, August 7, 1873.

The village takes its name from a mill which stood nearby, when the Panhandle railroad was completed to that place. owned by John Hershberger. The railroad established a station there and called it Millville. About this time Hershberger was accidentally killed in the mill, and it being determined to survey and plat the lands into lots, an order of court was obtained therefor as above stated.

The first store room in the town was built by Micajah C. Forkner, father of Judge Mark E. Forkner, of New Castle, who, if he did not start the first store himself, only rented the room for a short time to other parties, and then occupied the store room himself with a stock of general merchandise.

Millville has always been considered a half way point between. New Castle and Hagerstown. For many years, as a shipping point, it had the trade of Blue River and Stony Creek townships on the north and of the northern part of Dudley Township on the south, now lost to Millville by the construction of railroads through New Lisbon, Mooreland and Blountsville. It now, as a point for the purchase and shipment of grain and live stock, ranks high from the fact that Samuel D. Wiseheart and Sons, most enterprising merchants in this line, have made it their headquarters for many years.

A postoffice was established June 7, 1855, with Andrew J. Cromer, as postmaster. On page 41 of this history will be found a list of the postmasters. Millville is one of the four postoffices that have existed in Liberty Township, the other three being Chicago (discontinued), Devon (discontinued) and Ashland.

Millville has never been incorporated, and for that reason its population is included in that of Liberty Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII).

Return to [ Indiana History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Indiana Biographies ]

Indiana Counties at this web site - Cass - Clay - Dearborn - Elkhart - Fayette - Gibson - Hancock - Hendrick - Henry - Miami - Monroe - Montgomery - Porter - Posey - Putnam - Rush - St. Joseph - Tippecanoe - Wabash

Also see the local histories for [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ PA ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy