History of Center Township, Rush County, Indiana
From: Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
Indianapolis 1921


This township's situation in the northern tier of townships of the county did not attract any considerable number of settlers for several years after the general settlement of the southern part of the county had well set in and it was not until 1823 or later that there were sufficient numbers of settlers there to begin to regard themselves as a neighborhood. Center township is bounded on the north by Henry county, on the east by Washington township, on the south by Jackson and Union townships, and on the west by Ripley township. It is traversed by Little Blue river, which rises in the northeast corner of the township, and by Three Mile creek, admirable natural drainage thus being afforded. It is said that the first physician in the township was Dr. Robert Moffett, after whose death his widow married Dr. Abner Dillon, who continued the practice. Alfred Reeves established the first store in the township and John Waggoner was the first blacksmith. The state Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home, proper mention of which is made elsewhere in this volume, is situated in the northwestern corner of Center township. It was not until the coming of the railroad in the early '80s that Center township had established trading points, local trade having prior to that time gone to Knightstown, just over the line in the neighboring county of Henry, and to Carthage, the business center of Ripley township, but with the building of the railroad north and south through the eastern part of the township two railway stations were established, that of Hamilton (now called Sexton) on the border line between Center and Jackson townships, and Mays, in section 17, both of which at once became convenient shipping and commercial points.

In the considerable list of pioneers of Center township that has been preserved by the older chronicles appear the names of William, Robert and John Huddleston, David Price, John James, Robert Hamilton, Robert. John and Joseph Knox, Hiram Bitner, William, Samuel and John Shields, John Bell, David McBride, Moses Clifford, John Ruby, George Heffner, John Reddick, George Brown, George and Abraham Rhodes, George Appel, Zachariah Sparks, Aaron and John Purcell, William McBride, John Brooks, William Bell, Jabez and Ila Reeves, William James, James Ewing, William Kirkpatrick, Peter Siler, Cordil DiAmick, George Grandstaff, William Baker, Asa Blanchard, Asa Reeves, Levi James, Joshua Florea, Burrell Akers, Thomas Craft, Thomas Brooks, Joseph and Samuel Barrett, Jesse Garten, Jacob Ruby, John Walker, John Mallis, John Brown, James Oldham, John Peters, Robert Brooks, Jacob Shiveley, John Waggoner, Joshua Sparks, Dr. Abner Dillon, Alfred Reeves, Samuel Huddleson, James Cochran, Samuel Maze, James and Samuel Young, James Gray, James Johnson, David Sutton, Thomas Atkins, Leroy Pugh, Daniel Bayliss, Thomas C. Stewart, Nelson Sisson, Jacob Cooper, Jonathan Kirkham, John Somerville, Jacob Buck, John R. McBride, James Pinkerton, Arthur Boyd, Leroy Scott, William Reeves, Samuel Kirkpatrick, James Henry, Bailey Pendergrast, Alexander Sears, Benjamin Pritchard, James English, Linden Addison, Jonathan Hulley.

Mays - This pleasant village in section 17 of Center township was established with the opening of the railroad through that part of the county, and was laid out as a town by Samuel Kirkpatrick and Charles H. Thrawley, March 25, 1884. The present population of the village is about 250, and it is the center of trade for a considerable area thereabout. The village has a bank, an elevator, a sawmill and the usual complement of stores. It has an excellent school and two churches, the United Presbyterian and the Christian.

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