History of Jackson 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


Jackson township is formed of the full congressional township 16 north, range 3 west, embracing the northeast corner of Putnam county, and is bounded on the north by Montgomery county, on the east by Hendricks county, on the south by Floyd township, on the west by Franklin township. It is divided diagonally from northeast to southwest by the Walnut fork of Eel river, familiarly known as "Walnut." The other principal streams of the township are Lick creek, in the north, Rock branch, in the east, and Clear creek, in the southeast. There are many other small streams, but not of sufficient importance to deserve special notice. The land near the streams is either hilly or gently undulating, originally covered with a heavy growth of timber, among which the sugar maple and poplar predominate, though interspersed with white oak, chincapin, oak, black walnut and sycamore, immediately along the stream, as well as some hackberry and honey locust.

The soil on the undulating lands, near the streams, is a rich. clay loam; but back from the streams it is wet and cold, interspersed with more elevated portions. It is in this township that the swamp lands of Boone extend into Putnam county. The soil is very productive. The black lands, especially, when properly drained, produce large crops of corn and other cereals.

William Welch and John Smith built their cabins in section 34, about the year 1825 or 1826. being the first settlers of the township. George Sutherlin contests with these two the honor of making the earliest permanent settlement in the township. In the year 1827. Othniel Talbott, from Shelby county, Kentucky, settled in Jackson, where he found a Mr. Crabtree and Mr. Brown. Garrison Thompson and John Johnson, father of the late J. B. Johnson, of Greencastle, also came in 1827. In 1828 came James Chitwood, Levi Woods, Martin Blythe and Henry Harmon. and about one year later James Proctor settled in the township. Within the next two years there was a large increase of population. Among those who came at that time may be mentioned John Keith, John Boyd, Wilson Warford, William Elrod, William Hillis, Edward and Isom Silvey, John Blake, James Goslin, James Duncan, John Leach, William Beecraft, Isom George, James Mooreland, the McClouds, the Pinkertons, the Rileys and the Barneses. This period also embraces the arrival of three more of the Talbott pioneers, Capt. John S. Talbott, Lorenzo Talbott, Aquila Talbott. In 1831 and 1832 there was a large immigration, embracing Richard Biddle, Rev. John Case, George Keith, James Dale, S. Shackleford. George and Harvey Jefferies, Jacob Crosby, John and William Miller, and, perhaps, others equally worthy, who, with equal heroism, struggled with the hardships of pioneer life.

David Johnson, son of John Johnson, born on section 34, March 8, 1828, was the first white child born in the township.

The first who died was the daughter of Wilson Warford. She was buried east of New Maysville, in a lot on section 26. which is vet used as a grave yard.

The first marriage was that of Jesse Evans and Miss Bartima Welch.

In the spring of 1831 the first school was taught by Mark Hardin, in a log building on section 26.

John Crabtree was the first blacksmith. His shop was on the bank of Walnut creek.

John S. Talbott kept the first store. In 1832 he commenced to sell goods in a log building on section 27.

The first mill erected in the township was built by Joseph Hillis. The next mill was erected by George Sutherlin, the next by Abraham Hillis. The first named and the last were on Walnut, the second on a small tributary. The last named ground corn only, the other two ground wheat also.

D. Barnes and Othniel Talbott were the first justices of the peace, followed by Thomas Watkins, John C. Goodwin, George Stringer, Wallace Perry, L. T. Herod. O. Owsley, James Moreland and Jesse Kendall, the last named having filled the office three different times, amounting in all to a term of twenty five years.

The first postmaster was John S. Talbott, the office having been established in his store in the year 1832. He was followed by William Long. John H. Roberts, William Epperson, R. C. Boyd and Jesse Kendall.

Dr. William Long. who located in the township in the year 1834, was the first physician.

The Methodists held the first meetings in the township. at the house of John Johnson, under the ministry of Rev. William Smith. Shiloh church, on the east bank of Walnut, erected by this denomination about the year 1834, was the first structure of the kind in the township. Rev. Thomas J. Brown dedicated the building and preached the first sermon within those venerated walls. Lorenzo Dow, E. Wood, L. Smith, Joseph White and Eli Fanner were the pioneer Methodist preachers of Jackson township.

The Regular Baptists organized a congregation here about 1832. John Case. William Hogan and Carter Hunter were among their first preachers. For many years their church building was located on the farm of Jesse Eggers. The second house of worship in the township was built at New Maysville by this denomination, soon after the town was laid out.

The organization of the Missionary Baptists in the township dates from 1841. Elders Palmer, Davis, Kirkendall and Rhinerson were among the first pastors of this congregation.

The Christian church was organized in 1839. by Nathan Waters and Gilbert Harney. In 1840 they erected a church at New Maysville, which was occupied until 1856, when they built their present house in the same village. The early preachers of this denomination were Elders Thomas Lockhart. Oliver P. Badger, Wilson Barnes, Coombs, Blankenship and O'Kane.

There are two villages within the bounds of Jackson township. New Maysville is located on sections 27 and 34. It was laid out in 1832. by Richard Biddle. on land owned by John Johnson. William Welch and Aquila Talbott. The place was named by Richard Biddle. after Maysville. Mason county. Kentucky.

The postmasters at New Maysville, with dates of appointment, are as follows: John S. Talbot, June 14. 1834; William Long. November 27, 1839: John B. Mayhall November 9, 1841; J. H. Johnston, October 24, 1844: Jesse Kendall, July 6, 1846; John H. Roberts, October 20, 1833; B. F. Mills, April 8, 1854: Robert C. Boyd, December 29, 1854; William W. Epperson, December 18, 1856; Jesse Kendall, April 7, 1859; John W. Sutherland, August 1, 1879; William E. Vendling, April 27, 1885; L. B. Mills. May 3, 1889; L. T. Buchanan. May 15, 1893; Leonidas B. Mills, April 9, 1897.

Fort Red. now called Barnard. is located on sections 1 and 12, and was laid out by William DeMoss in 1876.

Perhaps John Johnson did as much as any other for the moral and religious training of the people. as he had four sons who were circuit riding preachers. and his family was of unimpeachable character. In regard to its moral status. Jackson stands as high. perhaps, as any other township in the county, never having had a representative in the penitentiary, or even in the county jail. The township has never contained a saloon. Three of the leading religious denominations have a fair representation in the township. In politics the township is overwhelmingly Democratic; especially is this true of the north and northwest side of Walnut; on the southeast side of the creek the parties are more equally divided.

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