History of Clinton Township, Putnam County, Indiana
From: Weik's History of Putnam County, Indiana
BY: Jesse W. Weik, A.M.
B. F. Bowen & Company, Publishers
Indianapolis, Indiana 1910


Clinton township joins Russell on the south, and is the preceding congressional township of the same range. It is bounded on the north by Russell, on the east by Monroe. on the south by Madison township and on the west by Parke county. A small portion of Clinton is a little rough and broken. though most of it lies well, and the township altogether is a fine body of land and very well improved.

The first entry of land in this township was made by Ashbury Vandever, on June 17, 1821: the next by Roan Irwin, July 22, 1821: the third by Sampson Sutherlin, August 2, 1821; the fourth by Israel Linder, October 8, 1821. Some of the entries of the year 1822 were made by the following named, in the order in which they are given: Alexander Johnson, Abner Goodwin, John Holt, John Dougherty, Isaiah Vermillion, Andrew McG. Walker, Andrew J. Walker and James Peakle.

Among the old settlers are named James Johnson, Arthur Walker, Thomas Hart, Edward Newgent, Wilson Spaulding, Oliver McCoy, Moses Spurgeon, Stephen C. Burk, Jonathan Manker, Michael Etter, James Crawford, Oliver Tally, Eli Brackney, Robert Johnson, John Butler, Isaiah Ratliff William C. Butcher, Jonathan Bee, Judge William McKee, Scady Chandler, Daniel Herron, William Angel, Mr. Shonkwiler, John Newgent, Mrs. Ed Newgent, John Raglan, Luke Gardner, Charles Newgent, Clark Hamilton and H. L. Hamilton. Andrew Sigler and Rev. Turpin Darnall were also among the earliest settlers of this township.

The first birth in the township was that of John Sigler, son of Andrew and Sarah Sigler, on December 15, 1825. Andrew Sigler and Sarah Heady were the first persons married in the township. The first blacksmith was a man named Twigg. The first grist mill was put up in the year 1825 by Captain Goodwin, on Little Walnut creek. Like many others of those early days, it was a kind of wet weather mill and could run only when the heavens gave a supply of water. Capt. William H. Thornburgh, so well known to the citizens of Putnam county, taught the first school in Clinton township at Captain Goodwin's mill. The first physician in the township was Doctor Hubbard, who lived where Dr. R. S. Hamilton resided.

The first church organized in this township was the Predestinarian Baptist. This took place about the year 1831, and was conducted by Rev. Turpin Darnall, of Bainbridge. John Leatherman and Jesse McClain were among the earliest ministers of this congregation. A house was soon built and the organization was kept up for a number of years, but it is now disbanded and the house has gone to decay. The Methodist Episcopal church was organized about the year 1832, by Rev. William C. Smith. and a log house was built a year later. Revs. Wood, DeMott, Beck, Preston and Wright were the early ministers of this church. A few years later two other Methodist churches were organized in the township and the log houses were erected. All three of these buildings have been replaced with frame ones of substantial character. About forty years ago. the Tunker denomination organized a church in this township and built a good frame house of Worship, where they still hold regular services.

In Clinton township there are three villages, Portland Mills, Morton and Clinton Falls. The first named is an old town, and is so situated that a part of it is in Clinton and a part in Russell township, Putnam county, and a part in each of two townships in Parke county.

The postmasters at Clinton Falls have been as follows: L. K. Dille, August 31, 1874; William R. Mead, January 19, 1875; William H. Boswell, June 12, 1877; M. W. Spaulding, August 27, 1879; James T. Brady, December 15, 1880; William Davis, February 18, 1884; J. T. Tucker, August 21, 1885; A. D. Miller, April 19, 1888; C. W. Batchelder, June 10, 1889; John T. Craig, December 30, 1890; Priscilla M. Vermillion, May 19, 1893; Charles W. Keyt, June 3, 1897; postoffice discontinued August 31, 1901. At Morton they have been: Andrew Dierdorf, October 9, 1855; James Nicholson, December 6, 1855; Thomas I. Darnall, July 17, 1857; Melvin McKee, August 19, 1857; John M. Wilson, October 19, 1859; Martin Frank, November 4, 1864; Walter Sewall, August 12, 1868; George W. Hanna, May 31, 1878; Robert H. Whitted, January 30, 1885; M. E. Thomas, May 25, 1885; R. H. Burkett, November 26, 1887; Thomas J. Mount, February 14, 1889; Charles M. Bettis, May 31, 1889; A. V. Thomas, April 5, 1893; C. L. Clodfelter, March 21, 1895; Christian Crodian, July 22, 1897; discontinued January 14, 1905. The postmasters at Portland Mills, and dates of appointment, are as follows: Samuel M. Hart, September 15, 1851; William C. Dickson, January 15, 1853; Henry Baker, November 6, 1854; Jesse D. Alexander, April 29, 1859; John Cook, June 25, 1861; John M. Hart, August 1, 1862; James T. Scott, April 5. 1864: A. E. Ramsay, January 25. 1875; Andrew French, August 1, 1876; Abraham H. Garver, May 16, 1881; Philip Kendall, December 13, 1881; John O'Meara, August 3, 1885; Mathew F. Harmer, July 21, 1886; Reeve C Peare, October 19, 1887; R. C. Peare. December 7, 1888; John S. Alexander, May 3, 1889; F. S. Hamilton, April 1, 1893: John T. Carpenter. May 31, 1895; John S. Alexander, May 18, 1898; William Torr, July 12, 1902; discontinued December 31, 1904.

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