Population statistics and some other matters, Rush County, Indiana
From: Centennian History of Rush County, Indiana
Edited by: A. L. Gary and E. B. Thomas
Historical Publishing Company
Indianapolis 1921


According to a preliminary announcement of population (subject to correction) issued by the Census Bureau early in 1921 giving figures of the fourteenth census (1920), the population of the several townships of Rush county is as follows: Anderson township, 1,457; Center township, 1,376; Jackson township, 582; Noble township, 945; Orange township, 1,015; Posey township, 1,299; Richland township, 695; Ripley township, including town of Carthage, 1,815; Rushville township, including city of Rushville, 6,782; Union township, including that part of Glenwood lying in this county, 1,158; Walker township, 1,192, and Washington township, 925. Total for county, 19,241. Rushville's population is given at 5,498, as follows: First ward, 1,641; Second ward, 1,364; Third ward, 2,493.

The trend of population away from the farm which has been so noticeable a feature of census statistics in the middle West during the past two decades has been noticed with concern in Rush county, where, as in nearly every other section of the state, the rural communities have suffered a loss in population. Comparison of the above figures with those of the census report for twenty years ago will show a decline in population in all townships of the county save Rushville township, which is saved by the gain in the city's population, the figures for 1900 being as follows: Anderson township, 1,481; Center, 1,753; Jackson, 706; Noble, 992; Orange, 1,102; Posey, 1,495; Richland, 767; Ripley (including Carthage), 2,118; Rushville (including city of Rushville), 6,027; Union, 1,341; Walker, 1,361; Washington, 1,005. The total population of the county in 1900 was given as 20,148, as against 19,241 for 1920, and the population of the city of Rushville in 1900 was given as 4,541, as against 5,498 for 1920. The gain in the city, however, was not sufficient to offset the loss in the rural communities and Rush county is thus shown to have suffered an actual decline in population of 907.

Township Trustees - The present (1921) trustees of the several townships of Rush county are as follows: Anderson township, Frank McCorkle, of Milroy; Center, John F. Cohee, of Mays; Jackson, Alvah Newhouse, Rushville rural route; Noble, E. R. Titsworth, Glenwood; Orange, Wilbur Brown, Milroy; Posey, Thomas It. Lee, Arlington; Richland, Fred Goddard, New Salem rural route; Ripley, Jesse Henley, Carthage; Rushville, James V. Young, Rushville; Union, John F. Mapes, Glenwood; Walker, Lew Lewis, Manilla, and Washington, Edward V. Jackson, Mays rural route.

Some "Deserted Villages" - An interesting and somewhat pathetic record of blasted hopes and fruitless ambitions is carried in the plat book at the county recorder's office, where have been filed in all the pride of budding hope plats of towns that "died a bornin' " in this county. One of the earliest of these projects that failed of fruition was that of Moses Coffin and Joseph Leonard, of this county, and two men living over the line in Shelby county who platted a "town" of forty eight lots, half in Rush and half in Shelby, in June, 1834, and gave the name of "Savannah" to the same. Its location was one mile south of the northwest corner of Walker township. Unhappily for the promoters' dreams of a metropolis rising there, Savannah did not materialize beyond the pen and ink stage and the old plat book is the only present record of it.

In June, 1835, Reuben Johnson filed a plat of "Ashland," set out as lying in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 17, township 12, range 9 east, and containing thirty lots just east across Big Flat Rock river from the town of Moscow. Whether the lots were sold or not, Ashland is not on the current maps of Rush county.

Mt. Etna was another paper town laid out about that time, John Scott in June, 1836, filing a plat of such town carrying sixteen lots in the east half of the northwest quarter of section 7, township 14, range 10 east, but Mt. Etna failed to develop. This proposed town was located in Jackson township, one mile south of the north line of the township and near the center of township, east and west.

In September, 1836, Alexander B. Luce filed a plat of the town of Marcellus, also containing sixteen lots and lying in the northeast corner of the west half of the southeast quarter of section 36, township 14, range 10 east, near the town of Farmington, but search of a modern map of the county fails to reveal Marcellus.

The same is true of the town of Carmel, a plat of which was filed in April, 1837, by John W. Barber and others setting out the limits of the town in the northeast quarter of section 5, township 13, range 10 east. This was a somewhat more ambitious project than the others for the plat carried 110 lots, but of Carmel there is now no note on the county's map, although on account of the high ground the townsite occupied its projectors had hoped to make of it a rival to Rushville and the eventual metropolis of the county. The "boom" that was hoped for never came.

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