This township was originally a part of Warren and Jefferson townships. It was organized in 1846, and is composed
of the southern tier of sections of township 13, ranges 3 and 4, and the northern half of township 12, of the same
ranges It is bounded on the north by Warren and Jefferson townships, from which it was detached; on the east, by
Morgan county and Mill Creek township; on the south, by Owen county, and on the west, by Washington township. The
surface is hilly and broken, and was originally covered with a dense growth of timber, such as white and yellow
poplar, maple, walnut, oak, ash, elm, gum, beech and mulberry. The soil is good and of the quality known as limestone
land. The whole township is underlaid with a fine quality of limestone, well adapted to building and manufacturing
purposes. The principal streams are Mill creek in the east and Doe creek in the center.
The first settlers in what is now Cloverdale township were William Hamilton and James Robinson, who came together
from Kentucky in the spring of 1823, and built the first cabins. Hamilton located in section I, township 12, range
4, and Robinson, in section 6, township 12, range 3. Abraham Van Sickle, Anthony Kilgore, Thomas James, Robert
Hadden, Arthur McNary, Mr. Goodman, Ambrose Bandy, G. Macy and Robert Macy, all came from Kentucky in the autumn
of the same year and settled around where Cloverdale now stands. Jubal Meadows, John Macy, George Bandy and John
Taber came in 1824. In 1825 came John P. Sinclair, John Briscoe and Robert Conoly. During the next year, William
Martin, Thomas Evans, Enoch Patrick, A. Tabor, N. Nolin and Nancy White became citizens. The next four years witnessed
the arrival of Philip Rouse, Peter Lyon, James Woods, Robert Donnoson, James Gilmore, O. Owen, Daniel Morgan, Robert
Hood, Jacob Rule and Samuel Logan, John P. Sinclair, John Briscoe, Nancy Van Sickle, wife of A. Van Sickle; James
Macy, son of John Macy; James Gilmore, A. Taber and J. White, son of Nancy White.
The first white child born in the township was Elizabeth Tabor, daughter of John Tabor, in 1824. At that time,
the family lived in section 36, township 13, range 4. The first death was that of a child of Ambrose Bandy. It
was buried in the graveyard yet used in the town of Cloverdale. The first persons married in the township were
David Martin and Betsy Tabor, or Berry Brannaman and Morris Sinclair.
In 1831 Abraham Waters built the first sawmill. It stood on Doe creek in section 6, township 12, range 3. There
was no flour and grist mill in the township until the steam mill erected by Joseph Pearcy and Gabriel Woodville
in the year 1863. Moses Nelson kept the first tavern in the township. It was located in section 6, township 12,
range 3, and was opened for custom in 1836. In the same year, Thomas Nelson put up the first store, which stood
on the same section with Moses Nelson's tavern. Isaac J. McKason, who located in the township in 1838, was the
first blacksmith. The first school was taught by Thomas Evans in 1835, in a small log building in section 1, township
12, range 4. Thomas Nelson was the first postmaster, an office having been established in his store in 1836. William
Hamilton was the first justice of the peace. His successors have been Robert Martin, Thomas Nelson, Henry Magill.
John Sandy, B. D. Burgess, William A. Sluss, Peter McClure, William Mosher, E. Long, C. Woodville, T. Horn, R.
Williamson, C. Walls and Moses Bridges. The first physician was H. D. Dyer, who came in 1845.
The first religious meeting in the township was held by the Methodists, at the home of John Macy, in 1824. and
conducted by John Cord, an itinerant Methodist preacher, who died the same year. After him came John McCord, Stephen
Grimes, Daniel Anderson, William H. Smith and Mr. Strange. They were followed by the Revs. Forbes. Ames. Hevenridge,
Horton, Walls, Wood, Scammahorn, Jackson. Bruner, Davis, Williams, John and Byron Carter, Lee, Rosson, Poynter.
Allison. Walls, Webb, Hewring, Pewett, Tansey, Johnson and McNaughton. This denomination erected a log church in
section 1, township 12, range 4. in the year 1827, which was the first built in the township. They continued to
use this house until 1848, when they built a frame church in Cloverdale, which was occupied up to the year 1873.
In that year they erected their present frame church, which stands as a monument of their zeal. There is another
Methodist church at Poplar Grove, in this township. The Regular Baptists organized a church in 1827 or 1828, and
held meetings at the house of Elder Owen Owen, who was their first regular preacher. A church was erected by them
in 1841, on section 6. In 1844 this church divided, a part joining the Missionary Baptists and holding the building.
The Regular Baptists built a new house two miles west of Cloverdale. They now have a church three miles west of
town, on the farm of A. Davis. Cyrus Taber, J. W. Denman, Samuel Arthur, Samuel Denny, A. Davis, Joseph Callthrop,
Joel Vermillion, Eli Beman, John Case, John Leatherman, Benjamin Parks and William Walden are some of the ministers
who have served this church.
The Christian denomination was organized into a congregation at Cloverdale, July 24, 1841, by Elder James Mathes.
assisted by John Pearcy, Reuben Maginnis, Joseph Colwell, George W. Crose, Andrew T. McCoy, Moses Nelson, Thomas
W. Dowell, Michael Crose, J. B. Ross, Andrew McMains, J. C. McCoy, I. J. Nickson and others. Meetings had been
held in the township before the organization of the church, generally in private houses and groves. Among those
who preached at this point are Elders Colwell, Headrick, George Pearcy, Perry and James Blankenship, Franklin,
Smith, Hawn, Lockhart, Burgess, Swinford, Wrights, Wilsons, Black, Harris, Badger and Pritchard. The last named
held a debate with the Rev. Mr. Brooks, of the Methodist Episcopal church, March 19 to 28, 1866, which created
quite a local excitement. It is claimed by the Christian church that about seventy members were added to its organization
as the result of the debate. This denomination erected a frame church, in the year of its organization, on land
donated for that purpose by Andrew McCoy, in the south part of the town of Cloverdale, which was occupied until
1858, when they built their present commodious brick building in the north part of the same town. This church has
a large membership and is free of debt. There are two other Christian churches in the township, Higgins Creek and
The town of Cloverdale is situated on the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago railroad, twelve miles south of
Greencastle. and is the second largest town in the county, exclusive of the county seat. It was laid out by Andrew
T. McCoy and Moses Nelson, who owned adjoining tracts of land in 1839, and stands on section 1, township 12, range
4, and section 6, township 12. range 3.
The first store was opened in a small hewed log building by Thomas Nelson, who was also the first postmaster. The
Louisville. New Albany & Chicago railroad, now the Monon route, was constructed through the village in 1853,
which stimulated enterprise, increasing the number of stores, shops and other enterprises. About twenty five years
since the town had what seemed to be a new birth and since that time it has had a constant growth in population
and business until it has become one of the most attractive and enterprising little towns in this part of the state.
It has fifteen stores, a large flouring mill, a saw mill, planing mill and two telephone exchanges and for twenty
years has been without a saloon. It has a population of about eight hundred and two churches, Methodist and Christian.
The house of John Macy, in which the Methodist church held its first meeting in 1824, stood in the present side
of the town of Cloverdale. In 1828 Rev. William Martin, John Sinclair, Enoch Patrick, Thomas Evans. and Jubal Meadows,
trustees of the church, purchased two acres of ground one mile west of the present location of the church, upon
which was built a large log house for the congregation. It was named Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal church. At this
church Mathew Simpson, president of Asbury University and afterwards bishop, preached the funeral of Rev. William.
Martin in 1849. Afterwards the society erected a good frame building in Cloverdale and later the more tasteful
and commodious building in which it now worships. Its present trustees are J. W. O'Daniel, H. G. Macy, Estes Duncan,
James W. Vestal and E. A. Wood, The pastor is Rev. Robert E. Gornell: church membership, two hundred thirty five.
In addition to the Christian church in the town of Cloverdale already mentioned are two churches of the same denomination
in the east and west parts of the township. known as East Unity and West Unity. The regular Baptists have a good
church building southeast of Cloverdale. known as Smyrna church. W. E. Gill is the pastor; membership, thirty two.
Cloverdale has one bank, called the Bank of Cloverdale. D. V. Moffett is president. W. E. Gill, cashier, and O.
V. Smythe, assistant cashier.
A newspaper called The Bee, was established in Cloverdale, January 1, 1877, by W. B. Harris. It lived one year.
In April, 1874. Lyman Naugle launched the Local Item, which lived several years. Soon thereafter came The Graphic.
which is still published. Its editor and proprietor is Harry B. Martin.
The oldest fraternal order in Cloverdale is Cloverdale Lodge, No. 132. Free and Accepted Masons. The lodge was
organized in 1851. Its charter members included Solomon Akers, Henry M. Gill, G. B. Lyon. William F. McGinnis.
William Williams. M. D. F. Black, James H. Sparks and George Smith. The officers at present are: Herschel C. Foster,
worshipful master; Louis Morrison. senior warden: W. Fred Farmer, junior warden; David E. Sluss, treasurer; Henry
B. Martin, secretary; Robert C. Horn, senior deacon; James E. Macy, junior deacon; Homer T. Broadstreet, senior
steward; Joseph P. Omullane, junior steward; William E. Morrison, tyler; membership, eighty five.
Sanders Lodge, No. 307, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted May 20, 1868. Charter members: T. J. Johnson,
A. H. Gilmore, T. J. Walls, T. H. Stevenson, J. B. McCormick, J. H. Allison, H. G. Dyer and H. Marshall. Present
officers: J. F. Ransopher, noble grand; F. L. McKee, vice grand; John Ward, secretary, and T. C. Utterback, treasurer.
Diamond Lodge, No. 349, Knights of Pythias, was instituted March 7, 1892. The following were the charter members:
Parks M. Martin, James P. Beaman, William A. Moser, Charles E. Pickens, Benjamin F. Truesdale, William M. Moser,
George B. Rockwell, John W. Thornburgh, William Sackett, Charles S. Sinclair, Michael F. Flannery, David E. Watson,
James A. Sandy, Frank E. McCarney and Francis M. Cole. The officers at present are: James F. Hartsan, chancellor
commander; John A. Omullane, vice chancellor commander; O. E. Collins, prelate; J. F. O'Brien, master of work;
W. J. Hood, keeper of records and seal; C. A. Rockwell, master of exchequer; W. J. Hood, master of finance; F.
L. McKee, master of arms; P. M. McAvoy, inner guard; Charles McAvoy, outer guard; membership, one hundred twenty.
Cloverdale Camp, 7194, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized November II, 1899, and has a membership of one
hundred and five. Its officers are: B. B. Hamilton, venerable consul; Roy D. Vestal, worthy adviser; John Meek,
banker; W. E. Horn, clerk; Ellis Tabor, escort; R. E. Keller, watchman; James Oren, sentry; Jesse McCoy, George
Wingfield, Jesse Hubbard, trustees.
Cloverdale also has a Grand Army post. It is called General Frank White Post, No. 422. Its officers are: W. R.
Larkin, commander; H. B. Martin, senior vice commander; W. P. Allen, junior vice commander; H. E. Keller, officer
of the day; J. M. Scott, quartermaster; S. B. Man, adjutant; Rev. Mathew Masten, chaplain.
Charles A. Rockwell is postmaster and George B. Rockwell assistant postmaster. Cloverdale is the second largest
office in the county. The salary of the postmaster is thirteen hundred dollars per year and there are five rural
mail routes from the Cloverdale office.
The officers of the town of Cloverdale are: Frank M. Cole, Leander L. Runyan, John F. Richardson, trustees; Charles
Hunter, marshal: Otho V. Smythe, clerk and treasurer: Wilson E. Horn, health officer; school board, Uly Denny,
president, Walter K. Pritchard, secretary, and Willis E. Gill, treasurer.
There is one woman's club called "The Fortnightly Club."
Through the instrumentality of Doctor Dyer, a seminary was erected in Cloverdale in 1850, which was carried on
for about three years. Prof. William Bray was the first principal, and was followed by N. C. Woodward. The institution
was chartered and was organized under promising circumstances Doctor Dyer, Andrew T. McCoy and John Sandy were
the largest stockholders. The school finally failed, because a majority of the stockholders refused to be taxed
for its support.
The Cloverdale postoffice has been administered by the following named: William L. Hart, February II, 1836; Thomas
Nelson, August 7, 1841; John V. Hopkins, August 23, 1845; John Sandy, January 19, 1849; Thomas E. Martin, June
16, 1853; John Sandy, January 30, 1854; Solomon Akers, October 10, 1855; George L. Talbott, March 29, 186i; Moses
Akers, April 8, 1863; H. M. Rockwell, March 23, 1864; Jacob Smith, February 21, 1865; Parmenus Davis, August 17,
1865; Jacob Smith, October 5, 1865; Parvenus Davis, April 6, 1866; S. S. Haviland, April 10, 1867; Henry B. Martin,
September 2, 1869; A. P. Kunkler, March I, 1870; Harvey Denny, February 28, 1871; C. C. Foster, May 25, 1885; John
C. Merwin, May 3, 1889; W. E. Horn, April 18, 1893; Charles A. Rockwell, April 15, 1897.