Wabash township, derived from the name of the river which forms its southeastern boundary, contains parts of
three congressional townships - townships 22, 23 and 24. It comprises about forty eight sections, but is in an
irregular shape with five civil townships adjoining it.
James Suit, who came about 1822, was probably the original settler. He did not, however, engage in the usual customary
labor of the pioneer, his real occupation being more directly that of a trapper. He had other men in his employ
who assisted him in trapping beaver and collecting the wild honey with which the primeval forests of Tippecanoe
county were so bountifully supplied. With a cargo of beaver skins and honey he loaded a keel boat, in which he
floated down the Wabash river to Vincennes, and in exchange for these goods brought back a cargo of salt, Mackinaw
blankets, dry goods, whisky and general merchandise, which he sold and traded to the Indians in the surrounding
country. In 1823 he was joined by Benjamin Cuppy, a native of Montgomery county, Ohio, who embarked in the same
In 1824 an addition to the white settlement was made by the coming of Francis Sunderland, who established a ferry
at Cincinnatus. For one year he continued to live in his boat, but at the end of that time, failing to realize
the net profits which he had hoped to receive, he abandoned it and purchased an eighty acre farm, which he improved
and cultivated. The same year came James Emerson, who bought six lots on the prairie, returning soon thereafter
to his home in Pickaway county, Ohio. The landĽ named he did not permanently locate on until 1828.
In 1824 other settlements were effected by James Pierce, James Severson, Peter Caster, John Tolliver, Mr. McGuire,
Michael and Philip Hoboy and James McCune.
From 1825 on for a number of years the settlement increased with great rapidity.
The first religious meetings in Wabash township were held in 1828, when services were held by a United Brethren
minister at the house of Benjamin Cuppy. The following year religious services were held by the Methodists, the
same being conducted by Rev. Emmett, at the home of James Emerson. Later on religious meetings were frequently
held at various farm houses in the township.
In 1869 the Methodist people erected a church, but previous to that date services were held by them in the school
house known as No. Seven.
The first school in the township was taught by Sanford C. Cox, the well known author. The first school house was
built in about 1832. At present the township contains good school buildings, and has an enrollment of two hundred
As a civil township Wabash was organized in 1829, and an election held with the following results: Justice of
the peace, Philip McCormick; constables, John Cuppy and Martin Murphy; supervisor, James Emerson.
The pioneer postoffice of this part of Tippecanoe was kept by James McCune, in 1824, near the present site of West
Lafayette, but originally called Chauncey.
To the reference already made to religious meetings in the township, it should he stated that about 1869, the Baptist
congregation erected a house of worship, previous to which date services were held at the school house. For the
present religious standing of this section of the county, the reader is respectively referred to the religious
chapter of this work.
What is now known as West Lafayette has had different names at various times in the history of the county. At
first it was known as Kingston, and the land on which it was platted was largely owned by Jesse B. Lutz, who surveyed
and converted it into lots and gave it its original name. Subsequently, however, the Chaunceys. of Philadelphia.
located a town on land adjoining, to which they gave the name of Chauncey. Still later the two towns were united
into one municipality, styled Chauncey and continued to be so called until recent years, when it has become virtually
a part of Lafayette and is called by all "West Lafayette."
Concerning the organization of a town it may be stated that January 2, 1866, the citizens met at the Kingstown
school house to consider the propriety of organizing the place as a village, and James H. Marsteller was chosen
chairman of the meeting, and Daniel Royse as secretary. They then and there decided to incorporate and call the
place a town. The first board of trustees selected from their number Mr. Marsteller as their president. At the
first meeting of the trustees the name of Chauncey was adopted. (See history of Lafayette, proper.)
In the history of Tippecanoe. published in 1887, appeared this concerning this town: "Nearly all of the public
improvements have been made by the corporate management. Chauncey is rapidly growing. and more residences were
erected there than in Lafayette itself. The present population of the place is about two thousand."
As the history of this place is given complete under another head, this description of the origin of the chief
town within Wabash township will suffice in this chapter.
The village of Porter is a station point on the railroad, and is on section 44, township 23, range north. Its
population is small as compared to other villages in Tippecanoe county, but serves well as a shipping and passenger
The population of this township in 1900, including West Lafayette, was four thousand two hundred two.