History of Franklin Township, Montgomery County,
From: History of Montgomery County, Indiana
Published By: A. W. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1913
What is styled in the government of Montgomery county as Franklin civil township, is situated in the eastern
tier of townships in the county, and is west of Boone county, south of Sugar creek, east of Union and north of
Walnut township and is geographically described as being in Congressional township 19, range 3 west. This township
has been changed from the original survey, which is given below: In 1831, at the May term of the county commissioner's
court. Franklin township was set off as follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of Sugar Creek township
(township 20, range 3); thence south eight miles; thence west six miles; thence north eight miles; thence east
six miles to place of beginning." At the September term of the same year the commissioners changed Franklin
township to accommodate the survey of the new township called Walnut. This left Franklin comprising township 19,
range 3 west, in which boundary it stood until 1845, when that part of sections 34, 35 and 36 in Sugar Creek township.
lying south of Sugar creek was taken from said township and attached to Franklin. The territory now embraces thirty
eight square miles or sections of land. Its population in 1910 was given by the United States census reports as
one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight.
THE TOWNSHIP'S ORGANIZATION.
For various reasons, in this instance, the history of the organization of the township will be referred to prior
to the subject of "Early Settlers" in this chapter.
THE FIRST TO ENTER LANDS.
In the month of March, 1822, Louis L. Cooper entered the first tract of government land within what is now Franklin township. It was a part of section 33. This is three miles west of Shannondale - here then commenced the work of developing this goodly township. In November. the same year, came Samuel Flanigan to section 3; Abner Crane in section 8; James Ventiner in section 32, and James Scott in section 32. About the same date a part of a section of land was entered in section 4 by James Abernathy. November 9, of the year last named, Louis L. Cooper also entered another tract in section 33. Then followed William B. Guthrie, in section 8. In 1823 there were eight purchases made: William Pickett, James Abernathy, Joseph Cox, Abner Crane and Thomas Pettenger. The largest sale of public land in this township was on June 2, 1832, when section 16 was sold to Solomon Bigler, Daniel Willis, William Cox and Anthony Brown. Of this Brown bought four hundred acres. Prior to 183o there had been one hundred and nine land entries made, and up to 1837 there were made one hundred and eighty six land sales, which ended the sale of lands by the government land office, which had then been removed from Terre Haute to Crawfordsville. Thomas Gray bought the last tract, it being situated in section 24, the date being October 3, 1837.
Then it has been established that the township was first settled in 1823, but the homes in that and the following
year were few and far between. These included Henry Wiseheart, John Harland, Samuel Flanigan and John Brewer. Wiseheart
came in the fore part of 1823 and settled in the vicinity of present Darlington and erected his cabin for his family
and then cleared up land enough on which to raise a crop. He was the first in his part of the township. His only
neighbors were the Indians, who were peaceable and friendly toward him. Later that year John Abernathy settled
in the present limits of the town, and built a small cabin near the present Christian church site. He soon lost
his wife and child and, leaving them in a lonely graveyard in the howling wilderness, he returning home the same
The first things needed most for internal improvements in the new country was the construction of mills and
factories. The first mill in the township was by Enoch and Benjamin Cox about 1833, on Sugar creek, one mile to
the east of the present town of Darlington. In 1832 they had put in a saw mill, in which lumber was cut for building
their flouring mill. These two mills were greatly needed by the farmers.
This town is in the northwestern part of the township, a half mile from Sugar creek, on the Honey Creek branch. It is now a station on the andalia railroad, nine miles northeast from Crawfordsville It was originally platted by pioneer Enoch Cox, February 1, 1836, in the northeast corner of section 8. John Abernathy was the original owner of this tract of land, but it fell to the ownership of Mr. Cox, who planned to lay out a town site there, which he wisely accomplished. A postoffice was secured in 1842 with William Armstrong as postmaster. Other postmasters have been Margaret Beck, Jacob Harnsbeck, D. D. Dyson, J. M. Hollingsworth and T. B. McCune. According to the census of 1910 Darlington had a population of seven hundred and eighty. It has five secret orders, two banks, two newspapers, three hardware stores, two drug stores, five groceries, with many shops and restaurants; also an undertaking establishment. It is a "dry" or saloonless town. Improvements are excellent, including a system of water works. The grain elevator and grist mill add to the trade and wealth of the place, which is conducted on purely modern and thoroughly up to date notions. (See other general chapters for schools and churches.)
BUSINESS INTERESTS, ETC., 1913.
Banks, Farmers and Merchants', People's Banking Company, and Darlington State bank; bakery, Fletcher & Co.; blacksmith shops, W. C. Painter, Moore & Miles, William Block. Welliver Brothers; barber shops, Butler & Warren, Henry Justice, C. W. Burk, Thomas Campbell; dry goods, G. O. Goddard, C. C. Thompson; drugs, Campbell & Kersey, Mrs. M. A. Greene; dray line, Frank Smith; dentist, B. O. Flora. D. D. S.; furniture, Brainard & Butler; grocers, Isaac Carrick, J. M. Woody, V. Craig, D. K. Young 0 M. Mote; grain dealer, "Farmer's Co-operative Company:" garage, Booher & Booher; hardware Flanigam & Booker. Cox & Booker. Anuial Booher: hotel, Sands House; jeweler, Ed. Stephenson; livery, William Hiatt & Son; lumber, Joshua Saida & Son; meat market, R. H. Snyder; mill (saw), W. P. Lynch, (feed), Cox & Malsbary; newspapers, Echo and Record; notary public, Samuel Martin; photographer. John R. Rettinger; postmaster. W. C. Woody; physicians, Drs. Peacock, Kendall, Pollom; shoe repairer, Calvin Toney: restaurants, J. H. Lewis. Floyd Hopper, Ben Honeker; sheet metal, tin and plumbing. W. W. Chambers & Son, Chesterson & Carrick; tailoring, E. Chambers.
The present town board is made up as follows: President, Alexander Buchanan; George Booker, F. W. Campbell. Clerk and treasurer, N. A. Booher; marshal, William Hiatt; health officer, Dr. Peacock.
About 1897 a system of water works was put in; at first springs were used for a supply of water, but these failing
a system of excellent drive wells was installed, and from these waters of the purest kind is pumped and a direct
pressure is had. This plant, however, is a stock company's property and not owned by the town. The town, however,
owns its own lighting plant, which is of the acteclene type and affords a good illumination for public streets
and stores, as well as residences. A volunteer fire company composed of ten citizens, with D. V. Booher as chief,
wards off the fire fiend by a hook and ladder and hose cart apparatus.
VILLAGE OF SHANNONDALE
This village is situated in the extreme southeastern portion of Franklin township, and it was platted in 1857, by Isaac Cane .and George A. Woods. It has never materialized to be much of a trading center. It has but a dozen or so buildings; a store, a school, and church, with three physicians. It is now only one mile north of the interurban line running from Indianapolis, which of itself is unfortunate.
HOME OF THE LATE GOVERNOR MOUNT.
Franklin township has the honor, for such it is, to have been the lifelong home of the late deceased Governor James A. Mount, who was originally in youth from Boone county, this state, but spent almost his entire life in this township. He was a farmer, good and successful and true in all that pertained to agriculture and stock raising. He was elected governor by twenty thousand majority, on the Republican ticket and served four years faithfully and impartially. He owned a splendid five hundred acre farm in this township, about four miles south from Darlington. In 1895 he erected one of the most up to date houses in all western Indiana, at a cost of ten thousand dollars. He finished his term of office as governor in 1901 and was tendered a reception upon his retirement. After the closing scenes of this he was packing up preparatory to going back to the farm he so dearly loved. He said: "I am tired of public life and want to go home and shake hands with my neighbors." But ere the time arrived he was taken suddenly ill and died at a hotel in Indianapolis. His remains were buried in Oak Hill cemetery at Crawfordsville. His good wife passed from earth's shining circle in about four years after his death. They left two children - Rev. Mount, of the Pacific coast, and a daughter, now Mrs. Charles Butler, who occupies the old homestead in Franklin township.