History of Richland 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, situated in the southeast corner of the county, is a township of thirty sections, and is bounded on the north by Noble township, on the east by Franklin county, on the south by Decatur county, on the west by Anderson township. It is well drained, Clifty creek making a loop in the south central portion of the township, the North Fork of Clifty traversing the northwest section and Salt creek and Bull Fork creek draining the eastern section. By reason of its situation with respect to the older counties to the east and south Richland was one of the first centers of population in Rush county, a settlement having been effected on Clifty creek in this township as early as 1820, George Brown, Jesse Morgan, James Henderson, John Ray, John Ewick, Joel Craig and James and John Gregg having located there in that year. Jacob Fisher came in the following year, and in 1822 and 1823 quite a number of other families had located thereabout, making quite a settlement in the Richland neighborhood. Joel Craig started a store at the cross roads dividing sections 10 and 15 for the accommodation of the pioneer settlers and around this trading center the village of Richland grew up. Larrimore & Eyestone, afterward Eyestone & Hackleman, opened the second store, and in 1824 Harvey Bros. also started a store. Jesse Morgan, who later represented this district in both houses of the state legislature, was the first justice of the peace. His brother, Jonah Morgan, was a pioneer schoolteacher and Methodist preacher. The Hopewell Methodist church, organized by the Greggs in this township in 1821, is commonly regarded as having been the first formal church organization in Rush county. it is noted that Lorenzo Dow in his itinerary through this section of Indiana preached to the pioneers in the Hopewell grove. The first white child born in the township was Hannah, daughter of Jacob Fisher, whose birth occurred in September, 1821. The first marriage, in that same year, was that of Jonathan Richeson and Ann Wheeler. It is well to note that this pioneer couple raised thirteen children, an evidence, as an older chronicle notes, of their "good citizenship." The first teacher was Mr. Ricker, who conducted a pioneer school in a cabin in the Richland neighborhood. Doctor Bradshaw was the first physician and he was followed by Doctors Bracken and Howland. The presence in this township in the old days of Richland Academy gave an impetus to the cause of education in that community which was reflected throughout this whole region.

Among the pioneers of this township may be noted the names of Jesse Morgan, George Brown, James Henderson, John Ray, John Ewick, Joel Craig, John and James Gregg, Jacob Fisher, John Stewart, Abraham Bever, Joseph Washburn, Peter and Joseph Miller, Charles Robinson, Charles and Archibald Miller, John Cook and John Walker.

Richland - Though this village, as noted above, had been a trading point since the day of the beginning of a settlement in Richland township, it was not formally platted until in 1854 when A. P. Butler and others "laid out" the town, the original plat consisting of sixteen lots. When the railroad came to Milroy, about four miles to the west, that village became the natural center of trade for that region and Richland's commercial development went into a decline from which it never recovered, a further decline ensuing when the postoffice was taken away, mail being brought by rural delivery from Milroy. Richland has a population of about 150. The Methodist Episcopal church is the only one there, but there formerly was a congregation of United Presbyterians, the old Richland Academy having been conducted under their auspices, but they gradually were absorbed by other communions. The United Brethren have a church in the southeast part of the township. When it first became a community center this village was known as Harvey's Corners. Later it took the higher sounding name of Palmyra and it was not until the '70s that it became known as Richland. There are two stores at Richland, Messrs. Lusk and Hawkins being the merchants.

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