History of Posey 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 is another of the "square" townships of the county, being made up of thirty six sections, and lies on the western edge of the county, being bounded on the north by Ripley township, on the east by Jackson and Rushville townships, on the south by Walker township and on the west by Shelby county. Arlington, a thriving station on the old C. H., & D railroad, now known as the C. I., & W., is the only village in the township. The township is traversed by Little Blue river and by North Fork, Meadow and Mud creeks and one or two other small streams. These are sluggish streams, however, and the generally flat character of the surface has necessitated considerable ditching.

Settlement in Posey township began about the year 1822, and it was not long until all the land. in the township was taken by original entry. Levin Birt, who laid out the town plat of Burlington (present Arlington) about the year 1830, opened the first store in the township and also is referred to as having been the first school teacher there. A second store was opened by Carr, Wooster & Co., and the first physician was Dr. Erastus Bussell. The coming of the railroad through the township not only afforded a rail shipping point conveniently accessible to all parts of the township, but gave an impetus to development along other lines and what had before that time been regarded as a somewhat "backward" township stepped up into the front rank and has remained there. The later coming of the trolley cars also was a valuable contributing factor in the township's progress, as it has been of all townships touched by this convenient mode of transportation.

The older chronicles carry quite a list of the names of the early settlers of this township, among which are noted Rev. James Havens, Adam M. C. Gowdy, Jefferson Arnett, William Davis, Hiram R Tribbey, Recompense Murphy, Levin Birt, Obed Meredith, Garland B., George and William Allender, James Eaton, John Alsman, William Collins, John Jordan, John Spencer, Samuel Gordon. George Moore, Thomas Gruell, John Stapleton, William Drysdale, George Hamil, John Moore, Sabert Offutt, Jonathan Ball, Henry Ball, John McMichael, Jesse Leonard, Hezekiah Clark, Capt. Christian Nelson, Henry Bogue, Wiley Bogue, Jesse Morgan, William McHatton, James Allender, Eli Claville, Jesse McDaniel, James Walker, Morgan and Ransom Baity, Drury Holt, James Junken, John Junken, Alexander Woods, Thomas Heaton, Obed Worth, Obed Swain, Jesse Adams, Archibald Kennedy, Lewis Bravard, Henry Beckner, Jacob Beckner, Sr., James Smith, Caleb Doudge, Daniel Bebout, Jesse Kellum, Hugh S. Fleehart, Rev. Gabriel McDuffie, William Brun, Thomas Swain, Peter Sapp, Wright Smith, Richard Rutter, Wright Donnelly, Samuel Swinhart, Nimrod Adams and George W. Leisure. Uncle Jeff Arnett was the first justice of the peace in the community. He was also postmaster, the profits of the office amounting to about $1 a quarter. Mr. Arnett also was proprietor of a tannery, which offered a local market for hides. The first physician was Doctor Clark, and it is said that the first church building erected in the village was a structure twelve by fourteen feet put up by the pioneer Langden, who had settled there in 1824.

Arlington - The town of Arlington in sections 19 and 24 of Posey township is a pleasant village of about 450 population. It was platted by Levin Birt and James Collins in April, 1832, and was given the name of Burlington, but presently was changed to Beech Grove, its first postoffice name, on account of another postoffice of the nanie of Burlington in the state. This name later was changed to Arlington and so remains Additions to the original plat have been made by Fletcher Tevis, C. C. Lee and James W. Green. Levin Birt, founder of the town, mentioned above as the first merchant and schoolteacher, also operated a carding mill in the early days of the town, the site of the mill having been on the present site of the Christian church, and later added a corn mill. Joseph Hamilton also was an early merchant; Peter Sapp was the village blacksmith; Jefferson Arnett carried on a tannery and Robert Ford had a harness shop. Business since those days has developed until now all essential lines are represented. The town has a commissioned high school and two live churches, the Christian and the Methodist Episcopal. The Arlington Bank offers an admirable medium for local exchange and Hutchinson & Son's grain elevator affords convenient facilities for marketing the products of the farm. Fred Woods, the postmaster, has a grocery store, and other mercantile lines are represented as follows: D. M. Baldridge, hardware and implements; Perry Reddick, general store; J. M. Eaton, general store; C. F. Cline, grocer; C. M. Kuhn, grocery and restaurant; Stella M. Davis, drugs; Charles L. Stout, restaurant; Lee Silvers, vulcanizing and motor accessories; O. F. Downey, garage; W. T. Newhouse, W. B. Hinton and L. Snider, blacksmiths, and two poolrooms. There are two physicians in the village, Dr. A. G. Shauck and Dr. Fred H. Finlaw. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is represented by a subordinate lodge, a lodge of the Daughters of Rebekah and the encampment and the Improved Order of Red Men has a lodge and the auxiliary Daughters of Pocahontas. Arlington has the oldest brass band in the county, the same having been a continuous organization for more than twenty five years, now under the leadership of C. Earl Downey.

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