History of Anderson Township, Rush County,
From: Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
This township, in the southern part of the county, was one of the first sections of the county to secure the
overflow of immigration which began to come this way after the admission of the state to the Union in 1816 and
at the time the county became a separate civic entity in 1821 had a considerable pioneer settlement. The township
is at the southern border of the county, bounded by Eushville township on the north, Richland on the east, Decatur
county on the south and Orange township on the west. The town of Milroy, situated at almost the exact geographical
center of the township, is the center of the township's commercial and social activities and the people are energetic
and progressive. Milroy, however, was not laid out as a town until about ten years after the county had been organized
and in the meantime and even prior to county organization local business had been carried on in other pioneer trading
centers nearby, the first of these, according to an older chronicle, having been a small store which was opened
by William Brown in a building he put up adjacent to Miller's mill, at a point about a mile south of the present
town of Milroy, this mill having been the first grist mill erected in that section of the county, a convenience
for the pioneers thereabout for some years before the organization of the county in 1821. It also is said that
John Julian, who was afterward a member of Rush county's first board of county commissioners and an influential
factor in the early doings of the county, had carried on a considerable "huckster" business thereabout.
There also was another neighborhood store, this having been operated by Wilson Stewart in a little log house at
a point a mile west of the present town of Milroy. Nathan Tompkins presently erected a tavern on Little Flat Rock
adjacent to a mill which Gossett & Miller had set up there, and Nathan Julian opened a store at the same point,
this industrial center becoming a nucleus around which other settlers gathered, and in 1830 the town of Milroy
was formally platted and officially placed "on the map." In 1832 Thomas J. Larimore put up a mill at
that point, thus giving the place two mills, and Anderson township thus early became widely recognized as a busy
and "going" community. Williamstown was a small village on the Decatur county line in this township.
Upon the advent of the V. G., & R. railroad, one half mile east, this town began its decline, and is now but
a memory. Earl City was platted along the new railroad and the postoffice was moved to the new town, retaining
the name "Williamstown."
Milroy - It was on November 3, 1830, that Nathan Tompkins and Nathan Julian, as noted above, filed the
plat of the town of Milroy, thus officially identifying the village which was growing up around the tavern of the
former and the store of the latter. Other stores were beginning to start up, the early merchants of the town being
noted as having been John Corbin, Harvey Hedrick, Seneca E. Smith, Richard Robbins, Samuel Green, George B. Euston,
Reuben Johnson, John L. Robinson, Aaron VanKirk, James Cox, Alexander & Thorne, Wesley Morrow, Alonzo and Frank
F. Swain, Joel F. Smith, John Barton and William Burton & Son, Hugh C. Smith, who came from Cincinnati, was
one of the early tavern keepers. Robert Scott was Milroy's first doctor. and among other early physicians in the
place are mentioned: Doctors Barber, Reynolds, Sharp, Robb, Bracken. Day, Bussell, Tompkins, Innis, Thomas, Pollitt,
Riley and Rogers. When the railroad reached Milroy in 1881, the village took "a new lease on life," and
has since enjoyed a steady and substantial growth, its various commercial and industrial interests being well established.
When natural gas was "struck" in this county Milroy secured an ample supply and still enjoys the use
of this convenient fuel.