History of Sheffield Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana
From: Past and Present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana
General R. P. DeHart, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen & Company, Publishers
Indianapolis, Indiana 1909

SHEFFIELD TOWNSHIP.

Sheffield township is south of Perry, east of Fairfield and south of Washington, with the line of the county for its eastern border. In form it is square and contains thirty six sections of most excellent land. To become known as the pioneer settler of so goodly a township as Sheffield has come to be, is indeed an honor, and such honor rests on the names of James Paige and Richard Baker, who entered this part of Tippecanoe county in the month of March, 1823. For a week or more their only abode was the wagons in which they had come to the county. In the meantime they set about clearing away a patch of timber land, cut and hewed logs with which to build the cabin. Within two weeks after their arrival in this green, glad solitude, they were cheered by the coming of two families from the East. These were the Thompson and Luther Corbin families, who located at or near where Wyandot now stands. The next summer came Adam Spring and Mr. Skinner.

In 1824 came Jonathan Lupton, with his family and two brothers, unmarried, and still later came Dr. Timothy Horram, who settled on what later became the Davis farm. In the southern part of the township settled James Wade, whose home was on the banks of Lauramie creek. Late in the same year came William Bush and Samuel McGeorge. The former located near Dayton, while the latter purchased the Richardsville Reserve, in the center of the township, fourteen hundred acres of which was subsequently sold to William Heaton.

In 1825 came in the family of Mr. Carr, who located on the banks of the Wild Cat creek, in the southern part of the township; the families of Alexander and Frank Booher located on Lauramie creek, the Parishes also choosing the same part of the township for their home.

Several families located at Dayton, including the Franchers, Bensys, Chisoms and Wolcott. John Heaton, Andrew W. Ingram and Bruce Wilson came to the township about that date.

FIRST EVENTS.

There always lingers around the first events of any given community a certain interest that even follows down into later generations, and it is for this reason that in this connection will be given some of the more important events styled "first" in this township. The virgin soil was first broken by the plow of James Paige, the first settler, in the early spring of 1823, the first corn being planted by him a few weeks later. Around this corn field was constructed the first rail fence of the township. That autumn he sowed the first wheat planted in the soil of this part of Tippecanoe county, the seed for which he brought from Terre Haute in a pirogue. This pirogue was made at Wyandot, loaded with honey and run out by the Wild Cat creek into the Wabash river, thence to Terre Haute, from which point it was brought back laden with three bushels of wheat, a barrel of flour, and a small supply of groceries. The cutting of that wheat on the Fourth day of July following was the first Fourth of July celebration in the township. All the neighbors within a radius of several miles participated in the festivities of the occasion, the crowning feature of which was a bountiful repast prepared by the genial host and his most excellent wife.

The first grist mill in the township was erected by Carr & Scircle, in 1828, and two years later William Heaton erected a mill on the Wild Cat creek, near Wyandot. About 1829 a saw mill was built east of Dayton, by Mr. Stafford, who soon after sold and removed from the county.

To James Paige is also due the honor of building the first brick house in the township; this was in 1827, and while rather rude, was much superior to those had by his neighbors.

The first religious meetings in this township were held at the house of James Paige, in the autumn of 1823. The first minister was of the Methodist Episcopal faith - the then venerable Rev. James A. Carnahan. He was followed by Revs. Crawford and Post. The Presbyterians erected the first house for public worship in this township in 1833. (See "Religious Chapter" elsewhere in this book.)

The first school was taught by Mrs. Richard Baker, in 1825. This was a subscription school taught at her own home. On Sunday she converted it into a Sunday school, and there, in addition to the Sunday school lesson, taught the elementary branches to the young. Schools have kept pace with the times and at present the total number of student enrollments in this township is two hundred and twenty three, while the township is supplied with modern school buildings.

The first marriage in the township was solemnized in the fall of 1825, the contracting parties being James Wade and Mrs. Bailey. The next marriage was that of John Holloway and Miss Emily McGeorge.

The first birth in the township was the daughter born to Mrs. Richard Baker, in the fall of 1824.

The first death in the township was Mrs. Thompson, whose husband and two children followed in less than a month. All died at the house of James Paige. Their coffins were made of puncheons, split from black walnut logs by the neighbors, who bore the remains to their last resting place.

VILLAGE HISTORY.

This township has no large towns, but has had several plattings of villages. In 1827 William Bush divided a portion of his land into town lots, and to such platting gave the name of Fairfield, but it soon developed that there was already another town by the same name in Indiana. and the postal authorities forbid two of the same name within the same state. About the same date Dr. Horran divided eighty acres into town lots and gave it the name of "Marquis." In 1830 David Gregory platted and laid out a north division to the town, and at his suggestion the name was changed to Dayton.

The first merchant in Dayton was Samuel Favorite, who later removed to Lafayette. David Padan was also among the earliest to engage in merchandising in the place

Dayton Lodge, No. 103, Free and Accepted Masons, was established at an early day and is still maintained.

Grand Army Post, No. 16o, was formed at Dayton in 1882, by Captain J. B. Shaw, of Lafayette. Dayton now contains about four hundred population.

WYANDOT.

This was another town of some importance in this township. It was about 1828, when William Heaton purchased fourteen hundred acres of the Richardsville Reserve, and a year or so later platted the town of Wyandot. The name was suggested by the name of the Indian village of like orthography, and which was about half a mile to the north. This town once figured quite largely as a trading post. A mill was there erected and for a number of years a lively trade was conducted, one of the major industries being the large export of hogs and cattle. But in the seventies the course of the creek was changed, the mill went to decay and the business interests of the embryo town soon went to naught. It is now in the environments of a beautiful farming section.

The churches of Sheffield township are treated in the portion of this volume entitled "Religious Chapter."

The population of the township in 1900 was one thousand two hundred and six.


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