History of Scott Township, Montgomery County,
From: History of Montgomery County, Indiana
Published By: A. W. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1913
Scott civil township is in the southern tier of townships in Montgomery county. To its east is situated Clark township, at its south is Putnam county, to its west is Brown township and on its north is Union. It comprises all of Congressional township No. 17, range 4, west and thus contains thirty six square miles of territory. The Vandalia railroad traverses the very extreme northwestern corner of this township, while the northeastern corner is touched by the Monon route. The Central Indiana line passes through this township from west to east. Its population in 1910, according to census reports was one thousand and four, not quite so many inhabitants as it had in the decade just before. The land is generally clay of a reddish hue, but quite productive. The eastern and southeastern portions are drained and watered by the Big Raccoon and Cornstalk creeks. The western and northwestern sections are watered by Indian and Rattlesnake creeks. A system of underground drainage was put in operation a quarter of a century ago which greatly enhanced the value of the land.
It has generally been conceded that the first to invade this township with a view of making it his permanent
home, was Jacob Shuck, who reached this locality at least as early as 1820, some contend, but it is not likely
he came quite so early, for 1821 seems to be established as the first settlement in Montgomery county, by most
of the early historians. He settled in 1820 or 1821, probably the latter year, on section 31, probably on account
of the famous spring of pure, cold water he found gushing out from the earth on that section. He was soon followed
by his brothers, who located where Parkersburg now stands, but soon after the Black Hawk war they removed to Iowa.
The Presidential election was held at the house of Robert Harrison, in 1828. This place was located in the northwest
quarter of section 23. At that date Scott comprised all that territory now embraced within its own and Clark township.
The first store was opened here by James Secrest. Robert Ramsey and Jacob Durham followed soon with another.
In its youthful years the village also had a store operated by Benjamin Wasson. In the early eighties the dealers
included the Jameses.
THE TERRIBLE TORNADO OF 1866.
The most teriffic wind storm that ever visited Montgomery county passed through this township March 20, 1866, just after the Civil war. It was seven o'clock in the evening that an awful hurricane rushed into the township three fourths of a mile north of the southwest corner of the territory, passing in a diagonal direction like a mighty sickle of death and general destruction. The sound of the rushing wind was frightful to hear. Thunder was loud and heard many miles distant. Buildings and trees were crushed and twisted in all kinds of shapes. The unearthly cry of animals of many species filled the ears of the inhabitants with awful sounds. Huge logs were as feathers before a tempest. The wind completely demolished new and older structures. Among the buildings blown to pieces are now recalled those of Dr. Straughan. M. F. James and H. A. Foster. All the buildings of John Frame were unroofed. and hundreds of dollars' worth of timber destroyed. A child of Mrs. M. F. James was killed outright. H. A. Foster's wife was found dead, and two children were killed. Dr. Straughan had a child blown a hundred yards and seriously wounded. Others were more or less injured. After the passage of the storm, birds, rabbits and other small animals were found dead in the track. H. A. Foster was in his sugar camp at the time, and although the air was completely filled with dust, dirt, rubbish, timbers and boards, his life was spared, but upon getting to his home. the scene was awful. Pieces of buildings. machinery, garments and various articles were carried many miles away. A bed sheet was left hanging in the top of a tall tree for more than a year after the storm. A feather bed was found beneath the trunk of a large oak. Clothing belonging to both men and women, was found four miles distant. M. F. James claimed that a portion of the roof of his house was blown fifteen miles. and this was proven to be true from the fact that his was the only house that had a pitched roof between there and Terre Haute. A bureau drawer was found eight miles distant from where it belonged. A tin wash boiler was found in the top of an oak tree forty feet from the ground. All in all, this was the most terrible storm tragedy ever witnessed in this portion of Indiana.
AN EARLY STORM.
When the first settlers came to the county they found the pathway of a most destructive tornado or cyclone. which, in some places. had prostrated the entire forest. It passed about two miles south of the present site of Crawfordsville, sometimes rising above the tops of the trees, and then again descending and sweeping down everything in its course. On a part of the land entered by Edmund Nutt, southwest of Crawfordsville, and immediately south of where Iohnathan Nutt's new brick house now stands. not a tree was left standing. At the time Mr. Nutt entered this land a dense new growth of young walnut trees had sprung up, and grown to the height of thirty and forty feet. They were, perhaps. between twenty and thirty years old. which would fix the date of the tornado not far from the commencement of the present century. The precise time will probably never be ascertained. The prostrate forest had not all decayed when the first settlers came to the county and the locality of the tornado was spoken of for years by them as the fallen timber country. On the east side of the road. between the residences of John A. Harding and Henry B. Wray, about two miles from Crawfordsville, may yet be seen a beautiful grove of young timber, which has grown up in the pathway of this whirlwind. The grove is remembered as a thicket of young saplings fifty years ago by someof the citizens of the county, who were boys at that time. Traces of the same tornado, or a similar one, were visible fifty years ago in Marion county, between Eagle creek and White river. The young walnut trees on the Nutt land were all cut down by Mr. Nutt and made into rails with which to fence his fields. Had they been left standing to the present day they would readily have sold for fifty dollars.
SINGULAR INDIAN BURIALS.
About five miles to the southwest of the town of Ladoga, in Scott township, on Cornstalk creek, the pioneers
observed a number of strange grave lots where the Indians who had lived there before the coming of the white settlement,
had placed many of their departed dead. They were buried not in the fashion of white people, neither like most
of the Indians, but the bodies had been carefully wrapped and placed upon the ground, when small pens about two
feet high had been built around the corpses, and over them a roof was erected. The open spaces between the poles
or logs forming the pen or enclosure, were all nicely chinked and plastered with mud, to make them impervious to
the elements, also to keep the small animals from digging through to the bodies. Most of these wooden tombs had
fallen to decay when first seen by our pioneers. Many of the skeletons were found beside the rubbish and mortar
used One thoughtful farmer gathered together several skeletons and ,placed them in a shed on his premises to show
to those interested in such things.
This is the most important place within the township. It really is situated, in these townships — Scott, Union and Brown. The plat is described in the records as being in the east half of the northeast quarter of section 1, township 17, range 5, west. The depot stands in Brown township. New Market was platted July 1, 1872, by Joseph White, Sr., William K. White, Carson Wray, Sr., and Joseph M. Kelsey, on sections 31 and 36 of Union township, section 6 of Scott, and section of Brown township. Its population is about three hundred and fifty.