History of CLoverdale 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


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 Unity church.

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.

Return to [ Indiana History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Indiana Biographies ]

Indiana Counties at this web site - Cass - Clay - Dearborn - Elkhart - Fayette - Gibson - Hancock - Hendrick - Henry - Miami - Monroe - Montgomery - Porter - Posey - Putnam - Rush - St. Joseph - Tippecanoe - Wabash

Also see the local histories for [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ PA ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy