History of Wayne 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


Wayne is on the west line of the county, north of Jackson, east of Union, south of Shelby townships and contain parts of townships 22 and 23, making about thirty three sections of land, the river Wabash cutting off a part of the northwest corner of the domain that would otherwise make the even thirty six sections. Its population in 1900 was, according to the United States census reports, one thousand two hundred thirty eight.

This sub-division of the county was without doubt named in honor of General Anthony Wayne, of Revolutionary and Indian war fame. Its northern boundary being the Wabash river, it is at that point somewhat irregular in its shape. Its surface features are level prairie, greatly undulating in places. Before the settlement by the white race, its undergrowth was annually burned by the Indians, thus preventing it becoming a timbered section. In later years, the timber has been permitted to grow on lands not absolutely required for farming purposes.

Up to 1871 Wayne township was included in the west half of the territory now embraced in Union township.

It seems a well settled historic fact that the first white man to invade this portion of Tippecanoe county was Elijah Moore, who came from Bloomington, Indiana, in 1822. Before that time he had been engaged as a brick mason, but having bright visions of the romance and profit of the development of rich, new country, he located at this point. He remained there until winter had depleted his store of provisions, when he was forced to return to his former home. The next spring, however, he again came to the township, and was joined by Lewis Thomas, John McFarland and John Brockus. During the same year came Samuel Clark, William Brady, Peter Weaver and Moses McFarland.

The survey of the land in the township was effected in 1822, at which time it was sectionized, and again sub-divided into smaller tracts the ensuing year.

At first the settlement was greatly retarded on account of the sickness which prevailed, mostly on account of malaria, and cases of ague and fever were almost in every household. But steadily the hardy pioneers persisted in draining the land, and as the years one by one rolled by, the country was more healthful and the settlement increased more rapidly. The public land sales began at the government land office at Crawfordsville in 1824, after which event this township was advanced in its population to quite a considerable extent. The pioneer settlers here were not obliged to make clearings and literally hew out homes from forest lands, as in many other portions of the county, hence could plant crops at once, and begin to harvest crops, the first of which was planted by Lewis Thomas and John McFarland in 1823. The following year a French trader stopped at the house of Peter Weaver. He had with him some oats, which he fed to his horse, and in consideration of a few bushels of corn, traded Mr. Weaver a portion of his cereal. The oats thus procured were sown, and in due time harvested; but the following year all were surprised to find several varieties of wheat springing up from the stubble that had been made by the oat crop. How the wheat came there was never positively known, but the most plausible theory was that the seed was sown inadvertently with the oats. However, it was regarded as very mysterious by all who witnessed it. So it was that Mr. Weaver raised the first wheat as well as the first oats in Wayne township.


The pioneer school was held in 1826 by a Mr. Wiles, on the banks of the Wabash river, near the western extremity of Wea Plain, and the number of scholars was all the house would accommodate.

The first sermon was preached by Rev. Emmett, of the Methodist church. A little later religious services were held by Rev. J. A. Carnahan, of Dayton, Indiana. Up to 1837 there was no church building within the township, but that year the Methodist Episcopal people built at West Point, and although it belonged to this denomination it was generously offered to and used by all denominations. Several years later a church was built by the Baptist church, erected in West Point. (See Religious Chapter for full account of the churches of this township.)

George Lutz erected a saw mill in 1831, on Flint creek. To this he added a "corn cracker," and in connection with his lumber trade ground corn for meal. John Sherry erected a grist mill and distillery on the same creek. He was successful for a number of years, but finally got into an endless litigation which finally ruined his business.

In 1840 a hotel was built, or rather a tavern, as then called, at West Point, by John Fraley, a blacksmith, who conducted the shop as well as the tavern.

In 1826 the first township election was held at the house of Abel Jenny, and, by a majority of the votes cast on this occasion, Mr. Jenny was elected justice of the peace, and John Jones as constable.

The first child born within this township of the white race, so far as is known, was in 1824 to Mrs. John McFarland, who gave birth to a daughter. Later in the same year a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Staley.

The first death was that of the passing away of John Julian, whose remains were buried on his own land.

Wayne township had a population of one thousand two hundred thirty eight in 1900.


The town of Granville is in the extreme northern part of this township, three miles west of the ancient town of Ouiatenon, elsewhere described in this volume. The present town was laid out by Thomas Concannon August 23, 1834, and an addition was laid out to it by James Cancannon, who gave it the name it now bears. It is located on the Wabash & Erie canal, and, like many canal towns of earlier days, once gave promise of blooming into a metropolitan place; but on account of railroads, it was nipped in the bud, and now stands as one of the defunct places on the map of Tippecanoe county.

West Point was platted in 1833-34, by Samuel Kiser. and soon thereafter a north addition was made to it by Miles Dimmett. The name given to the place by its founder was Middleton; but as this did not meet the approval of all concerned, including the postal authorities, it was settled by a mass meeting that met for the purpose of changing the original name and at this instance the name West Point was selected. The first store opened in the place was by Henry Banta, in a one story building built from brick, and for several months he sold goods at this point without opposition, but soon Joshua and Isaac Heath opened a similar store, in which a lively trade in general merchandise was carried on, and is still. Its population is three hundred.

Grand Army Post No. 39 was organized in West Point, in 1881, by Capt. J. B. Shaw, of Lafayette.

On section 6 a town was platted by Joseph Hall and it was named Glen Hall, but it never grew to the expectation of its founder was a mere hamlet where but little business was carried on for a time. It still has a place on the maps of Tippecanoe county.

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