History of Knightstown, Henry County, Indiana
From: Hazzard's History of Henry County, Indiana 1822-1906
Military Edition Volume 2
By: George Hazzard Author and Publisher
New Castle, Indiana 1906

KNIGHTSTOWN.

The town of Knightstown is situated in Wayne Township, fourteen miles southwest from the court house in New Castle, on the west bank of Blue River, at the crossing of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis railway and the Louisville and Benton Harbor division of the Big Four railway and on the main line of the Indianapolis and Eastern railway, (electric line) and is in the N. E. 1/4 and the S. E. 1/4 of Sec. 33 and the W. 1/4 of the N. W. 1/4 and the W. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 34, Tp. 16 N., R. 9 E. It was laid out and platted by Mr. Waitsel M. Cary in 1827, and contains twelve blocks consisting of eighty five lots. Main, or Clay Street, running east and west was then known as "The National Road." The records do not show before whom it was acknowledged, or by whom it was surveyed and platted.

Samuel Brown's plat of out-lots, situated south of the original plat. was platted and acknowledged by him February 7, 1831, and contains thirty three and three fourths acres, consisting of twelve out lots, no blocks designated.

Waitsel M. Cary's additional plat, situated west of the original plat, was platted and acknowledged by him November 19, 1836, and contains three blocks, consisting of seventeen lots.

Hart's first Southern addition, situated immediately south of the original plat, between Franklin and Adams streets, was platted and acknowledged by Edward K. Hart, April 27, 1837, and contains thirty nine lots, no blocks designated.

The first Eastern addition, situated immediately east and across Blue River from the original plat, was platted March 1. 1839, and was acknowledged by Edward K. Hart and William M. Tate, proprietors, March 2, 1839, and contains eighteen blocks, consisting of one hundred and fifty one lots and one out-lot.

Cary and Church's addition. situated immediately west of Carry's addition, and west of Madison Street, was platted and acknowledged by Waitsel M. Cary and Uzziel Church, March 4, 1839, and contains five blocks consisting of twenty one lots.

The second South addition, situated immediately south of Hart's first Southern addition and east of Jefferson Street, was platted April 11. 1839, and was acknowledged by John Lowrey and Edward K. Hart, proprietors, on the same date and contains six blocks, consisting of thirty eight lots and two out-lots.

Hiram Gaston's addition, situated immediately south of Cary's addition and south of Jackson Street between Madison and Franklin streets, was platted April 12. 1839, and was acknowledged by Gaston, April 13, 1839, and contains two blocks, consisting of ten lots.

An additional plat, block 13, probably a subdivision, situated immediately west of the original plat, between Franklin and Jefferson streets, north of Brown Street, was platted and acknowledged by Waitsel M. Cary, May 28, 1839, and contains one block, consisting of four lots.

A plat of out lot number two of the Second Southern addition platted and acknowledged by Jesse Charles, proprietor, January 17, 1851, contains four lots, no blocks designated.

The Northern addition, situated immediately north of the original plat, between Franklin and Adams streets, was platted and acknowledged by Robert I. Adelson, Joseph M. Whitesel, Asa Heaton and Morris F. Edwards, September 6, 1853, and contains three blocks, consisting of twenty-three lots.

White's addition, situated immediately south of Gaston's addition. between Madison and Franklin streets, was platted and acknowledged by Edmund White. Margaret White, Harriet White, Jesse F. Pusey, Jane W. Pusey, Charles White. Lucy H. White, James White and Jemima White, heirs of Caleb White, April 1, 1861. and contains twenty two lots, no blocks designated.

The first Northwestern addition, situated immediately north of Cary and Church's addition, and Cary's additions, between McCullum and Franklin streets, was p latted and acknowledged by Mary M. Heaton, Phebe S. Adelson, Joseph M. Whitesel. Morris F. Edwards, Jesse B. Hinshaw, James T. Hudelson and Ann Maria Hinshaw, proprietors. September 3, 1863, and contains eight blocks, consisting of forty two lots.

Edwards' addition, situated immediately north of the first Northern addition, on the west side of Washington Street. was platted and acknowledged by. Morris F. Edwards June 3, 1868. and contains three and one-half acres, divided into two blocks. consisting of twelve lots.

Hudelson's addition, situated north of the First Northwestern addition on the west side of Franklin Street and on the south side of Lincoln Street. was platted and acknowledged by Phebe Hudelson July 13, 1868, and contains twelve lots, no blocks designated.

Charles' Block, by which name this addition is known, situated immediately east of the first Southern addition and east of Adams Street. was platted August 3. 1868. and was acknowledged by John T. Charles, Oliver Charles and Eunice S. Charles. proprietors, on the same date, and contains two blocks. consisting of twelve lots.

Heaton, Peden and Scovell's addition. situated immediately south of the Panhandle railway, between Madison and Jefferson streets, was platted in October. 1868. and was acknowledged by John W. Heaton. Reuben Peden and Ezra Scovell proprietors, November 19, 1868. and contains eight blocks, consisting of thirty two lots.

Stuart's addition, situated in the extreme north end of town and east of Franklin Street, was platted and acknowledged by Ithamer W. Stuart, January 14. 1870. and contains ten lots, no blocks designated.

Watts' addition. situated immediately west of White's addition, on the west side of Madison Street and on the south side of Pine Street, was platted and acknowledged by Peter and Harry Watts, June 11, 1870, and contains two blocks, consisting of eight lots.

Lowrey's addition, situated immediately south and west of White's addition. on the east side of Madison Street, was platted in March, 1886. and was acknowledged by John W. Lowrey. July 30. 1886, and contains four lots, no blocks designated.

Harry Watts' North addition, situated immediately north of the Northwestern addition. on the west side of Franklin Street, was platted January 12. 1887. and was acknowledged by Watts, on the same date and contains seventeen lots, no blocks designated.

Green, Allison and Wagoner's addition is a subdivision of lot seven in Stuart's addition and was platted November 4, 1887. and was acknowledged by Alpheus W. Green, Morton Allison and Peter Wagoner, proprietors. November 7. 1887. and contains six lots. no blocks designated.

Barrett's addition. situated immediately north of the Northern addition, between Franklin and Adams streets, was platted May 27, 1889. and was acknowledged by the heirs of Charles A. Barrett. deceased. June 17. 1889, and contains seven and seventy four hundredths acres, divided into four blocks, consisting of twenty four lots.

Noah W. Wagoner's addition, situated immediately north of Harry Watts' addition, between Madison and Franklin streets, was platted January 3, 1890, and was acknowledged by Wagoner on the same day and contains twenty lots, no blocks designated.

James M. Woods' subdivision of a part of out-lot thirty five, situated immediately southwest of Lowrey's addition; on the west side of Madison Street, was platted April 8, 1891, and was acknowledged by Woods, May 8, 1891, and contains ten lots, no blocks designated.

The Knightstown Improvement Company's addition, situated west of the corporate limits of said town, and west of Montgomery Creek, on the south side of Clay or Main Street, was platted March 28, 1892, and was acknowledged by Leonidas P. Newby, Thomas B. Deem, Frank J. Vestal, James Hall, Edward. G. Mostler, George W. Williams, Gilliam Call, Harry Watts, Shepperd Bowman and Aaron E. Carroll, directors of the Knights-town Land and Improvement Company, April 23, 1892, and contains seventeen and thirty eight hundredths acres, divided into seventy two lots, no blocks designated.

Sadie V. Roberts' addition, situated immediately south of Cary and Church's addition, south of Main Street, between Hill Avenue and Madison Street, was platted September 8, 1892, and was acknowledged by Sadie V. Roberts and Joseph H. Roberts, November 14, 1892, and contains twenty four lots, no blocks designated.

The Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association's addition, situated immediately north of Stuart's addition, in the extreme north end of town, and extending from the Greensboro pike on the east to McCullum Street on the west, was platted October 16, 1902, and was on the same date acknowledged by Robert Silver, President, and John A. Sample, Secretary, of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association, and contains one hundred and fifty lots and two out-lots, no blocks designated.

The town of Knightstown is pleasantly situated on Blue River, or rather between that stream and Montgomery Creek. Waitsel M. Cary, the original proprietor, kept the only hotel for some years and built the first frame house in town. The place was named in honor of Jonathan Knight, a United States Engineer, who located the Cumberland, or National Road, through the State. At first the town only extended back two or three tiers of lots from the river bluff.

Levi Griffith and Isaac James owned the first dry goods establishment here about the year 1830. There" were about a half dozen houses in the place at that time, and the population was less than three hundred in 1833.

The first church built here was by the Presbyterians, in 1834 - a frame, about thirty by forty feet. The Methodists erected a small frame building, about the year 1837. A distillery was erected just over the river, about 1825, by one John Lewis, and about 1828 a carding machine was built near the present Panhandle depot.

About two years after the inception of Knightstown, the Ithamer W. Stuart farm of 160 acres could have been bought for $400. One of the best corner lots sold for $96. which was regarded as a fancy price indeed. Part of this Stuart farm has long since been platted as additions to Knightatown, and one acre of the balance of the unpiatted land is now worth what the whole could have been bought for as above stated.

As late as 1830 the country was such a "howling wilderriess" - with little more than a bridle path through the woods - that Dr. Whitesel was badly lost in going to see a patient on Six-Mile Creek, and bears came out of the river bottom and were chased through the streets more than once after that period. A young physician named Hiatt was the first to locate in town; his stay was short. James Wilson was Knightstown's first attorney.

Whisky was in much more general use in early days than at present. A judge, the "squire" and all the constables were seen drunk on one or more occasions in early days, and pugilistic encounters were among the cherished amusements. But great changes have been wrought.

Knightstown is in the midst of splendid farming lands, the productions of which find here a ready market.

About 1853 the Knightstown and Shelbyville railroad, the first which reached our county, was completed to Knightstown, and business received a new impetus, and "corner lots" rapidly appreciated in value. This was a primitive railroad, the rails of which were of wood, stripped with flat bar iron. It was abandoned in 1853 but when the present Louisville and Benton Harbor division of the Big Four railway was completed in the summer of 1891, running south through the western part of the county, it followed this old abandoned right of way for a short distance in Rush County.

The Knightstown Academy building is a commodious structure and the graded school has for years ranked high.

The town has two banking institutions, but these are treated of in another part of this History in the chapter entitled, "Banks and Banking." Knightstown is one of the best towns on the line of the old Indiana Central railroad between Richmond and Indianapolis. In the chapter of this History entitled "Newspapers, Past and Present" will be found a full account of the newspapers that have been published and of those now in existence at Knightstown. Knights-town 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 Raysville. The postoffice at Knightstown was established January 30, 1833, with Joseph McCalley, as postmaster. On page 38 of this history will be found a list of the postmasters to date, with the time served by each. Also the names of the four rural route carriers with the numbers of their respective routes.

The census of 1900 places the population of the town at 1,942.


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