History of Clear Creek Township, Monroe County, Indiana
From: History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana
Their People, Industries and Institutions
B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914


Lying in the fork formed by Clear creek and Salt creek is Clear Creek township. For agricultural purposes the township is one of the best of Monroe county, the country being mostly lowland, and narrow and rich valleys adjoining the stream. The surface soil is especially rich in elements necessary for the raising of crops, and every square foot of available soil is at present producing to its utmost capacity. The geological description of this township is very complicated, although interesting to the scientist. Keokuk and St. Louis limestone are found in great outcroppings in the township and in places where the surface soil has been washed away may be found hundreds of geodes, comprising crystalline and butryoidal. The argillaceous layers containing these beautiful geodes also hold numerous species of fossils, some of them of plants that have thousands of years been extinct. A portion of the western side of the township is covered with the Warsaw division of the lower St. Louis limestone, also containing other and different species of fossils, some of them being placed in the most complete scientific museums of the world. From the east the first stone found is the Knob sandstone, then lapping this west of center is the Keokuk limestone, and lapping the Keokuk is the Warsaw division of the lower St. Louis limestone. thus giving the township, at the surface, both limestone and sandstone of the most excellent quality.


Clear Creek township hold's the honor of having the first settler of Monroe county. This was David McHolland, who settled in the northwest corner of the township in 1817. He came to this place in 1815, when the state of Indiana was but a territory. Mr. McHolland had been preceded by white hunters and Indians, but none of them brought their families and made a home. This early settler, or squatter; supported his family by his rifle, and also cultivated a few acres of ground. After a few years the McHollands moved to the northwest portion of the County, where they lived for inany years. The second settler is not known; although in 1816 Bartlett Woodward entered considerable land in the township and built a log cabin thereon for his family. Mr. Woodward became a very influential citizen in Clear Creek township, and in 1818 was elected as one of the county commissioners. The early industries were composed mostly of mills, of all descriptions, and among the first ones being built were those owned by Colonel Ketchum, Chambers, and Shirley. Green's mill was another. The Taylors built flatboats and transported the first boat load of pork, grain, etc., either down Salt creek or Clear creek to the Southern marts. The Chambers, Colonel Ketchum and Elias Bruner were others who shipped their goods southward.

In the year 1816 the following entries were made of the land in Clear Creek township: Thomas Grimes, Henry Burkhart, William Anderson and Bartlett Woodward on section 3; Adam Darling on section 4; Robert Fields on section 5; William Bigger and Routt & Brenton on section 6; Fetters & Hughes on section 7; Bartlett Woodward entered one hundred and sixty acres on section to; Thomas Grimes, George Paul and John Musser, section 15; Michael Buskirk, section 17; John Vanderott and Fetters & Hughes, section 19, also Michael Harvey; Jacob Mumma and Jonathan Lindley, section 20; George Paul, section 21; William Chambers and John Durham. section 28; Jonathan Lindley had three hundred and twenty acres, George Paul one hundred and sixty acres, and Samuel Caldwell on section 29; John White entered the whole of section 3o; Jonathan Lindley and Fetters & Hughes on section 31; William Carl on section 32, and William Craig on section 33. In the year 1817 the following entries were made: Solomon Lucas, on section 2; James Cully and Thomas Hancock, section 5; John Scott, section 9; Bartlett Woodward one hundred and sixty acres on section to; Silas Woodward, section 11; Jacob Beals, section 18; Joseph. Strean, section 20, with three hundred and twenty acres: William Chambers, sections 21 and 28; Samuel Allen and John Farley, section 32; Conrad Hanson, section 33. In 1818 there were: James Mitchell on section 5; John Storm, section 8; George Buskirk and Thomas Grimes, section to; William Waymore and John Storm, section 17; Thomas Duffield, section 18; Samuel Smith, section 19; John Smith, section 32; William Shields, section 33; Elias Bruner, section 34. Andrew McKean settled on section 22 in 1819; Michael Myers on section 2 in 1825: John H. Anderson on section 4 in 1824; the same again in 1827; David Scott, section 8 in 1828; John Deckard. section 11 in 1824; George Kimberlin, section 14 in 1828; Edmund Phillips, section 18 in 1824; Anthony and William Chambers, section 21 in 1829; George Paul, section 21 in 1829; Michael Deckard, section 22 in 1824; John Scott, section 26 in 1819; George Reddick, section 28 in 1821; Elijah Elliott, section 32 in 1827, and William Lemon, section 33 in 1829.


Harrodsburg, the principal town of the township, was laid out by Alexander Buchanan and Surveyor John Sedwick in December, 1836, on the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 29, township 7 north, range I west. The whole comprised twenty four lots, and was first given the name of Newgene. Levi Sugart added three lots in May, 1837, and for some unaccountable reason the town name was changed to Harrodsburg.

In the commercial interests of the town Berkey & Isominger first took out a license to run a general store in 1836, and were followed closely by Tilford & Glass, and A. & P. Carmichael. Jacob Corman paid twenty five dollars for a liquor license in 1839. The early families in the village were those of Henry Berkey, Joseph Cranshaw, Job Horton, Samuel Baugh. Richard Empson. Alexander Buchanan and the. Widow Cully. In the year of 1844 S. W. and J. D. Urmey opened general merchandise stores. James Beatley held the honor of being the first resident physician in the town, being also a teacher of considerable merit Baugh and Empson were tanners, also Rufus Finley. The latter conducted his tannery down the little stream which flows past the village, and which, the settlers have said, took its name from Ro-si-neah. an old Delaware chief, who was encamped in a huge hollow sycamore tree on the bank when the first white men came into the township. Distilleries, grist mills and woolen factories have flourished in the town at different times since that faraway day, some of them prospering and others dwindling to failure. In 1884 the town had a population of about two hundred and sixty, and in 1913, three hundred and fifty eight.

The traveler to this village of Clear Creek township experiences no little difficulty, as the residences and business houses are fully a mile, over winding roads and steep hills, from the one railroad station: Despite this deficiency, however, Harrodsburg has developed a commendable status of commercialism and other standards by which a town is measured. The general stores are conducted by Johnson & Jackson. Gore & Meredith, a F. Voightchild, and Sam McGlothlin; there are two blacksmiths, those of James Buchanan and Treadway & Crum; one barber, 011ie Graves; Andreas Conder runs a livery: A_ W. Young has a restaurant. and H. Bricefield buys and sells live stock. Nance & Brassfield have a general store. where implements, buggies. wagons and general farm equipment, including cream separators. are sold. J. T. Nance, one of the partners, is the postmaster of Harrodsburg, also an undertaker. E. M. Lowery runs a first class hotel. F. E. Walther owns a grist mill, and grinds grain for most of the farmers of Clear Creek township. Dr. D. J. Holland is the only doctor of the village. Harrodsburg is not an incorporated town, and there is just one official, the justice of the peace, who is Frank Dowd. The citizens have a town hall. The Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, including the Rebekahs, are represented with over a hundred members each, almost every man being interested in fraternalism. Religiously, the town of Harrodsburg has the Cumberland Presbyterians, the Methodists and the Church of Christ.

The village of Fairfax has also existed since early in the thirties. N. Whisenand and R Wilson started a liquor shop there in 1835, and in 1838 Scarborough & Wilson opened a merchandise store. The old Helton grist mill was an early landmark of the town, and was a successful plant, its owner shipping quantities of goods down the creeks south.

Smithville was born when the New Albany railroad was built in 1852-3. Mansfield Bennett and George Smith laid the town out on section 3 in November, 1851. Thirty eight lots were platted on each side of therailroad. Smith opened the first store, and was succeeded by a blacksmith and a few scattering families. Its population is now three hundred and seventy five people. Although very small, the town is well connected with the larger cities of the county and state, being on the Monon railroad. G. M. Deckard is the postmaster, and also owns a first class general store and caters to the best trade of the community. O. E. Deckard also runs a general store, and Miss E. A. Deckard has a millinery shop. J. L. Waring, Stull Brothers and W. G. Updegraff also have general goods in stock. Ralph Carpenter is the blacksmith, and Lee Horton, the barber. In connection with the blacksmith shop there is a mill and corn crusher. R. B. Carter conducts the newspaper, The Smithville News, which is published weekly. The physician is Dr. J. Kentling.

Smithville is not incorporated, and there are no town officials, other than the justice of the peace, James H. Burkhart. The Methodist and Christian churches have houses Of worship here. The Knights of Pythias have a lodge here and, in connection with the Improved Order of Red Men, have a handsome brick building. Plans are on foot to establish an electric light plant here. The business houses and residences are wired and have been supplied with current. but financial reasons compelled the failure of the former plant.

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