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

NEW LISBON.

New Lisbon. the oldest village in Dudley Township, is situated seven and three quarters miles southeast from the court house in New Castle and is in the S. W. 1/4 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. I and the E. 1/4 of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 2 and the N. W. 1/4 of the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 12. Tp. 16. N., R. 11 E., on the Lake Erie and Western railroad and the New Castle and Dublin pike. The original plat was made by Thomas R. Stanford, Surveyor. July 29, 1833, and acknowledged by James Tomlinson and William Crane, proprietors, August 5, 1833 and contains six blocks, consisting of forty lots.

An additional plat is situated immediately south of the original plat and was laid out, platted and acknowledged by John Shortridge July 2, 1835, and contains two blocks, consisting of five lots.

The first Northern addition, situated immediately north of the original plat, on the east side of Broad Street, was platted and acknowledged by Thomas Shearin and Aaron York, proprietors, November 22, 1836, and contains two blocks, consisting of eighteen lots.

A plat of New Lisbon, laid out and platted by Daniel K. Cook, surveyor, and acknowledged February 2, 1880, includes all of the foregoing additions and thirty three out lots.

Cornelius C. and Louisa R. Weaver's addition, situated immediately east of the Northern addition, on the east side of the Lake Erie and Western railroad and south of the pike, was platted and acknowledged by Cornelius C. Weaver and Louisa R. Weaver, August 31, 1886. and contains six blocks, consisting of twenty three lots.

Keller's addition, situated immediately east of Weaver's addition, on the south side of the Millville pike. was platted October 10, 1903, and was acknowledged by John W. Keller and Lydia Keller. October 15. 1903, and contains four blocks, consisting of thirteen lots.

This village was originally called Jamestown after the Christian name of one of its original proprietors. Indeed, the designation of the village on the records of Henry County was probably not changed until the consolidated plat was made by Daniel K. Cook, Surveyor, February 2, 1880. On account of its original name the village has from the beginning been commonly known as "Jimtown."

When, soon after the village was located, it was proposed to have a postoffices established, it was found that there was already a postoffice named Jamestown in Indiana. which necessitated the substitution of another name for the office and accordingly New Lisbon was chosen, this name probably coming from New Lisbon, the county seat of Columbiana County, Ohio.

A postoffice was established December 28. 1836 and on pages 42 and 43 of this Historic will be found a list of all the postmasters to date, together with the name of the one rural route carrier. One of its early postmasters who served from January 12, 1838. to March 23. 1846. was William Grose. who in the Civil War was Colonel of the 36th Indiana Infantry, and Brigadier General and Brevet Major General United States Volunteers. The place divides with Straughn the honor of being one of the only two postoffices ever established in Dudley Township.

As New Lisbon has never been incorporated such population as it has is included only in that of Dudley Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII).

Caleb B. Smith's Short Line railroad from Cincinnati was projected in the early fifties and most of the work was done on the road in Henry County before the panic of 1857. The ties were placed on the roadbed and the bridges built as far north as New Lisbon. They all rotted away. Fourteen years later the road was again taken up and constructed north to Fort Wayne. and is now known as the Lake Erie and Western.

Before the days of railroads, New Lisbon. being on the main traveled road to Cincinnati and the half way point between New Castle and Cambridge City, was a general stopping place for drovers driving hogs and cattle to Cincinnati and for teamsters hauling supplies from Cincinnati. and later from Cambridge City, after the WTlitewater Valley canal was completed to that point. It is the center of as fine a farming region as there is in Henry County or for that matter in Eastern Indiana.

OLDEN.

The village of Ogden is situated in Spiceland Township. seven miles southwest from the court house in New Castle and three miles due east from Knightstown, on the Panhandle railway and the Indianapolis and Eastern railway (electric line). The main street running east and west was designated as "The National Pike." It was laid out and platted by Hiram Crum and acknowledged December 18, 1829, and contains four blocks, consisting of thirty two lots.

Lasure and Davis' addition, situated immediately west and south of the original plat, was platted and acknowledged by Harvey Lasure and Thomas Davis July 8, 1837, and contains eight blocks, consisting of fifty four lots.

The addition of lihu Griffin and others, situated immediately north of the original plat and south of the Panhandle railway, was platted March 9, 1853, and acknowledged by Elihu Griffin and Adam Griffin, on the same date, and contains twenty two lots, no blocks designated.

Griffin, Johnson, Hiatt and Company's addition, situated immediately south and east of the original plat, on the south side of the National Road, was platted and acknowledged by Elihu Griffin for Griffin, Johnson, Hiatt and Company, May 28, 1855, and contains nine blocks, consisting of fifty three lots.

The original plat and all additions are in the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 36, Tp. 16 N., R. 9 E.

Ogden was first named Middletown on account of being the half way point on the old National Road between Richmond and Indianapolis, and was for some time known by the name originally given it. Soon after the place was established it developed that the town of Middletown, in Fall Creek Township, had been laid out and platted October 9, 1829, two months before, therefore it was necessary to select a new name for this. village, and it was named Ogden, in honor of a United States Engineer engaged in the construction of the old National Road. It is the oldest village and the first voting precinct in Spiceland Township.

As a village or town Ogden is the second place in Henry County, on the line of the old National Road, to be platted, being preceded only by KGiightstown.

In early days Ogden enjoyed a large trade. The development of Knightstown on the west and the establishment of Dunreith on the east and Spiceland on the northeast has taken away all of its trade, as well as its railroad depot. However, since the construction of the electric line through there the village has taken on new life.

A postoffice was established July 15, 1840. On pages 43 and 44 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters.

Ogden not being incorporated, the population of the town is included in that of Spiceland Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII.) The only postoffice that ever existed in Spiceland Township are Dunreith, Ogden and Spiceland, and all are still in existence.

PETERSBURG.

The old village of Petersburg is situated in Liberty Township. eight miles east and one mile north of east from the court house in New Castle and one half mile south of the Daniel Bowman farm, and is in the N. E. 1/4 of the N. E. 1/2 of Sec. 12, Tp. 17 N., R. 11 E. and the N. W. 1/4 of the N. W. 1/4 of Sec, 8. Tp. 17 N., R. 12 E., and was founded in about the year 1845.

The village was never laid off and platted into lots but all the real estate descriptions are by metes and bounds of the section, township and range above mentioned. It is one of the old places in the county projected before the days of railroads and canals. The first thing to blight its future ambition was the extension of the old Whitewater Valley canal from Cambridge City to Hagerstown. which latter place is about two and one half miles southeast of Petersburg. This artificial waterway carried most of the trade from Petersburg to Hagerstown. Later, the construction of the Panhandle railway from Richmond through Hagerstown and on through Henry County, and the establishment of Miliville in the same township two and a half miles southwest, marked the final decay of Petersburg.

In an early day there were some stores in the village, but for more than a half century its few straggling houses have simply stood as memories of the past. The place is within one half mile of the Wayne County line and surrounded by some of the most highly improved farm lands in Henn and Wayne counties. No postoffice was ever established there. In an early day mail was carried there from Hagerstown and distributed as a matter of accommodation to the people.

The name comes from Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, the place where the Confederate army. under General Robert E. Lee. made its last stand behind entrenchments, preceding the surrender at Appomattox.

PUMPKINTOWN.

Pumpkintovvm was hardly a village but was a cross roads point in Prairie Township, now known as West Lebanon Church. on the road leading from Mount Summit to Springport, on the east side of the railway, about midway between the two places. In early days and prior to the advent of the railway there was a store located at this point where it remained for a number of years and did a large country trade. It was owned and managed for a long time Cy Sampson Jetmor, who afterwards became a leading merchant of New Castle, being a member of the firm of Mowrer, Wetmore and Company.

At one time there was an attempt made to get rid of the name "Pumpkintown" by calling it "Winona," but the name which was given it in derision because of the fact that a great many pumpkins were raised in the neighborhood. stuck, and the change in name was never effected.

There was no postoffice, but the mail was gathered from New Castle and Luray for the neighborhood and distributed from the store. At this time there is nothing left at Pumpkintown save the West Lebanon Church and one house which was formerly used for a toil gate at the cross roads.

RAYSVILLE.

This village so named for one of Indiana's early Governors, is situated in Wayne Township. thirteen and one half miles southwest from the court house in New Castle and one half mile due east from hnightstoven. on the Panhandle railroad and the Indianapolis and Eastern railroad (electric line), and in the N. E. of Sec. 34, Tp. 16 N., R. 9 E., and was laid out and platted by Thomas R. Stanford, Surveyor, April 10, 1832, and acknowledged by John Anderson proprietor. May 7, 1832, and contains one hundred and seven lots, no blocks designated.

The original plat was replatted by Waitsei M. Cary and acknowledged by him August 9, 1838, and includes thirty four lots in the west part of the above plat made by John Anderson and is probably a subdivision of a part of the original plat.

The village does not extend west to Blue River for the reason that east of Blue River and west of Raysville there is an addition to the town of Knightstown, made by Edward K. Hart and William M. Tate, March 2, 1839, consisting of one hundred and fifty one lots and one out lot.

Raysville was for many years a rival of Knightstown, with which place it had an even start in business, and in an early day many of the leading and most enterprising merchants of Southwestern Henry County had their headquarters at Raysville. When the old Indiana Central railroad was constructed east and west through the southern part of Henry County there was for many years a station at Raysville which did as much business as the one at Knightstown.

The decay of Raysville and the successful growth of Knightstown must be attributed partly to the fact that the latter place was on the west side of Blue River and the trade, which came mostly from the west and northwest would not cross the river, and partly to the fact that the mills and warehouses were constructed near the Knightstown railroad station.

Raysville, according to the census of 1870 had a population of 465; now, that it has lost its corporate existence its population is not given in this History save as included in that of Wayne Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII).

A postoffice was established as early as October 30, 1830, nearly three years before one was established at Knightstown. On page 44 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters to date.

Charles S. Hubbard, for many years a leading and influential citizen, a merchant at Knightstown, member of the General Assembly from Henry County, and who now devotes his time and energies to religious and charitable work, has as far back as the author of this History can remember, resided in Raysville.

The "heights" around Ravsville furnish quite commanding and picturesque building sites, with advantageous views of the Blue River Valley. Fine springs in the neighboring hills have been tapped and the water conveyed along Main Street for the use of the inhabitants.

James B. Ray, for whom Ravsville was named, was the fourth Governor of the State of Indiana, serving as such for nearly seven years. His predecessor, Governor William Hendricks, having been elected a United States Senator, resigned as Governor, February 12, 1825, when he was succeeded by Ray, then the President of the State Senate. Ray was elected Governor at the August election. 1825, and served two full terms of three years each.

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

ROGERSVILLE.

Rogersville was named after one of the founders of the village and is situated in Stony Creek Township, seven and one half miles north and three and one half miles east from the court house in New Castle and is in the S. 1/2 of the N. W. and the N. 1/4 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 5. Tp. 18 A., R. 11 E., and was laid out and platted by Joseph G. Rogers and John B. Colborn, proprietors, and acknowledged January 16. 1837, and contains twelve blocks, consisting of forty eight lots. No addition has ever been platted.

Rogersville is another one of the early villages of the county located before the days of railroads and whose decay began with the whistling of the locomotive engine. At an early day it had merchants, doctors, and mechanics representing the different trades. Doctor William NI. Kerr was for many years its leading citizen, physician and merchant, although he never quite lived in the village, his residence and place of business being one mile south. Lycurgus L. Burr, of New Castle, as a young man, was a clerk in Dr. Kerr's store, afterward marrying his daughter, Martha J. The Luellen family was also prominent, five of its members having served as postmaster.

A postoffice was established November 19, 1849, and on page 44 of this History will be found a list of all the postmasters. The office was finally discontinued in June, 1901, through the establishment of the rural route system.

As a place of business Rogersville, through changed conditions and the ravages of time, has been marked off the map. The village never reached the dignity of a corporation. Such population as it has is included in that of Stony Creek Township. (See Chapter XXXVIII). The discontinuance of Rogersville as a postoffice, as above noted, left Blountsville the only remaining postoffice in Stony Creek Township.

SHARINGTON.

Sharington is another "paper" village of Henry County and is situated in Fali Creek Township. somewhere on the road leading from Sulphur Springs west' to Mechanicsburg, probably one half to three fourths of a mile east of College Corner, about nine and one half miles northwest from the court house in New Castle, and three and one half miles south of Middletown, and was laid out and platted by Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Showalter and James Personett. February 23, 1835, and acknowledged March 2, 1835, and contains eighteen lots, no blocks designated.

It is a curious omission on the records of.the county that while the official plat shows all the facts requisite for the subdivision of land into lots, yet there is no description of the land from which the lots were made; hence the location of Sharington is fixed by tradition only.

It never had a postoffice and so far as the author of this History has been able to ascertain never had any buildings or population, nor is there any record of the sale of lots in the alleged village. Tradition fails to give any information as to the derivation of the name.

SHIRLEY.

That part of the most recently incorporated town located in Henry County is situated in Greensboro Township, ten and three fourths miles west and two and three fourths miles south from the court house in New Castle and on the line between Henry and Hancock counties at the crossing of the Peoria and Eastern and Louisville and Benton Harbor divisions of the Big Four railway. and on the projected Indianapolis, New Castle and Toledo (electric line), and seven miles north and three miles east from Knightstown. It was laid out and platted by John H. Landis, Surveyor and Civil Engineer, and acknowledged by William D. Thomas and Casinda A. Thomas, November 27, 1800. and contains fourteen lots, no blocks designated.

William D. Thomas' first addition, situated immediately north of the original plat, on the east side of Main Street, was platted March 23, 1897, and was acknowledged by William D. Thomas and Casinda A. Thomas, on the same date, and contains four and fifteen hundredths acres, divided into eighteen lots, no blocks designated.

Woodlawn addition, situated immediately east of the original plat and Thomas' first addition, was platted April 16, 1901, and was acknowledged by William H. Wood and Harriet O. Wood, proprietors, on the same date, and contains thirty two and seventy three hundredths acres, divided into nine blocks, consisting of one hundred and twenty two lots and five out lots.

SHIRLEY (IN HANCOCK COUNTY).

Main Street of the town of Shirley is the dividing line between Henry and Hancock counties. That part of the town situated in Hancock County is in the S. E. 1/4 of the S. E. 1/4 and in the N. E. 1/4 of the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 26. TP. 17 N., R. 8 E. It was laid out and platted in October, 1890, by John H. Landis, Surveyor and Civil Engineer, and acknowledged by John W. White and Sylvester Hamilton, proprietors. December 1, 1890 and contains thirty eight lots.

White's addition, situated immediately south and west of the original plat, on the west side of Main treet, was platted May 14, 1894, and was acknowledged by John W. White, proprietor. on the same date. and contains eleven and one fourth acres, divided into forty four lots.

George W. Sowerwine, Trustee's addition, situated west of Main Street and west of both the original plat and White's addition. was platted and acknowledged by George W. Sovrerwine, Trustee for John W. White, May 21, 1896, and contains seven hundred and ninety eight lots.

Kuntz and Higi's addition, situated north and west of the original plat was platted October 30. 1893, and was acknowledged by Charles P. Kuntz, of the Shirley Lumber Company, represented by Kuntz and Higi on the same date, and contains seven lots.

The town takes its name from Joseph A. Shirley who at the time was division superintendent of the Ohio. Indiana and Western railway, since taken under control by the Big Four railway and now constituting the Peoria and Eastern division of that line. Mr. Shirley is now a resident of Indianapolis where he is engaged in the real estate business.

In this History. Shirley. which is incorporated as one town in the two counties, is treated of as if it were all in Henry County and as such it is the fourth town in the county in point of importance. being preceded only by New Castle, Knightstown and Middletown.

A postoffice was established June 10, 1891. On page 45 of this History will be found a list of the postmasters to date with the names of the two rural route carriers.

The Big Four railway was built through in 1882, but there was no movement made to establish a town there until after the north and south line of the Big Four railway was in course of construction, which was completed about the time the postoffice was established.

Shirley has two banks. The history of each will be found in the chapter in this History entitled "Banks and Banking." Several newspapers have been started. Only one is now in existence - The Shirley News. In the chapter in this History entitled "Newspapers, Past and Present" will he found proper reference to the press of Shirley.

Much natural gas has been developed at Shirley and from that cause and on account of the transportation facilities of the place, coupled with the enterprise of its citizens, it is a manufacturing center of considerable importance.

The postoffice is on the west side of Main Street and therefore in Hancock County, in which county it has probably been since its origin. Shirley, Kennard and Greensboro are the three postoffices in Greensboro Township, and all that have ever been established. Woodville never having had a postoffice.

The population of Shirley, according to the census of 1900, was only 381. The population has more than tripled since that time.


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