History of Salt 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


This township received its name from the stream which flows southward across it, also from the great industry of manufacturing salt which is conducted within the borders. The township was organized in 1825. Throughout the township there are many salt springs, principally along the course of Salt creek, thus giving the waters of the stream a high saline quality. The deer gave rise to their discovery by white men, the animals coming to the stream in great numbers to drink. Many of the beasts were killed at these "deer-licks," as they were easy prey then. As salt was a valuable and scarce commodity in those days, the pioneers resolved upon an idea of evaporating the water and obtaining the salt for their own consumption. In 1822 and 1823 Henry Wampler, Thomas Literal and others bored down on section 12 and found an abundance of brine. They constructed huts at the place and procuring several iron kettles, began the manufacture of the mineral. Their product was in great demand, and during their period of activity it is said they got at least eight hundred barrels from the ground. The county board was petitioned in 1823 to construct a road to the works, as the travel hence was becoming very large. This was done accordingly. In later years numerous other wells were sunk within the township, and the industry became very lucrative to the operators.

With the exception of the lowlands and slopes, the ground of Benton township is not of tillable value. The good soil is scattered about in small tracts, but these, nevertheless, are made to produce to their utmost. On the hilltops and uncultivated land the native timber is left. Hard water springs abound, and there are also many sulphur springs whose waters are of high medicinal value as a blood purifier. Salt creek, of course, is the main source of irrigation. The stone in the township is not quite so easy of access as in other portions, but by persistent effort very good specimens may be obtained. Lime is manufactured on a small scale, also brick and tile.


Moses Williams, on the 19th of September, 1817, purchased one hundred and sixty acres of section 7, this being the first purchase in the township; he later entered land in section 22, and in 1821 and 1824, on section 12. Lowe and Lee bought one hundred and twenty acres on section io in 1818, and on August 2, 1820, Elisha Pollard settled on section 18. Henry Wampler bought land in section 23 and 27. John Huff and Elisha Pollard also purchased, the former in section 27 and the latter in section 6. James Matlock entered in section 27 in 1822; John W. Lee on section It in 1824; J. O. Howe on section 12 in 1826. Howe also bought eighty acres on section 2 in 1824, and John Barnes on section 10 in 1828. Alexander Owens purchased ground on section to in 1832, and in the same year William Boruff entered on section to, and Jacob Stephens on section 2 in the following year. The men who entered land (luring 1836 were: Samuel Smith, section 3; Finney Courtney, section 4; Henderson Myers. section 4; Aquila Rogers, Ambrose Miller and William Martin, section 6; John McKissock. section 7: Andrew Harshberger. section 8; J. O. Howe, section 11; Edward Walker and John Huff. section Is; Jonathan Huntington, section 17; George Johnson. section 18: Thomas Ferguson, section 19; Archibald Wilson, section 31 Reuben Clark, section 27; Samuel McCalla and George Johnson, section 28; William Taylor and Thomas Ferguson, section 30; David Killough and Michael Wampler, section 31: James Wakefield, section 32, and Daniel Butcher, Archibald Wilson and Aaron M. Wilson, on section 34. In 1837 there were: W. W. Duncan. section 4; W. D. Maxwell, section 4; Garret Moore, section 7: Isaac Bolinghouse. section 9: Edward Walker, section 1; Alexander Miller. section 15: John Cherry and John Armstrong. section 15; Michael Wampler and James Wakefield, section 31. in 1838 there were: Charles M. Cunningham. section 6: Samuel Curry, section 7: Daniel McCaughan, Daniel Kilpatrick and James Gordon. section 8: John Barnes. section 10: Hamilton Gray. section 21. In 1839 there were: Lankston Brummet, section 4: Alexander Kerr. section 6: Samuel Latimer. section 8: Jonathan Huntington. section 9: William Cabot. section 17; George Johnson. section 28; also David Johnson: John Campbell, section 31; and John Lucas, sections 33 and 34.

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