History of Wea 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


Wea township is directly south of Fairfield township, north of both Randolph and Lauramie townships and between Sheffield and Union townships. It contains thirty six sections, hence is six miles square. Prior to 1857 this territory was included in the territory of Fairfield, Randolph and Lauramie townships. Its surface consists largely of rich prairie lands known as "White Plain." But little timber land is found within its limits Hence the settlers who first invaded its fair domain were not obliged to make clearings before they set about the work of improving their lands.

As early as 1822, possibly a year earlier, the first settlers came to this township for the purpose of making themselves a home. These pioneers were Levi Thornton and Samuel Black. Until the following springtime they were the only settlers within the township as now described. That season they were joined by Judge Wiley, John I. Davidson, Judge Provault, William Burke, Stephen Kennedy, Samuel Gwinn and William Jones. In the following autumn came Thornton Parker and Joseph and George Broderick, with their widowed mother. Other early and prominent settlers were Billings Babcock, Dr. Mendenhall, Daniel Bugher, Stephen Waymire and John Hoover. In 1825 came others, including Philip Harter, who entered a hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which he built a carding mill, the first in Tippecanoe county. He entered this land at Craw fordsville in 1824, but did not occupy it until 1827.

During the years 1826-27 came quite a number of additional settlers, prominent among whom were John and Philip Crose, G. H. Rondebush and John Miller.

In 1827 John Miller opened a small distillery, which he continued to operate several years.

The first surveys were made by John I. Davidson, who rendered valuable services in locating farm lands prior to the appointment of L. B. Stockton as county surveyor.

The first log house was erected by Levi Thornton and Samuel Black, the first settlers of the township, in 1822. With the arrival of each newcomer to the little pioneer settlement the others would help to "raise" a cabin for them.

In 1827 George W. Kirkpatrick bought a tract of land, partly in Sheffield and partly in Wea township. Upon that portion lying in Wea township he built a rough log house, in which he lived for two years, after which he built a hewed log house on that part of his estate in Sheffield township, to which place he removed his family, thus his name appears as being an early settler in the histories of both townships.

In 1825 a subscription school was taught in a log cabin on the farm of Samuel Black, and was known as the "Black Schoolhouse." In 1827 Joseph Tatman taught school in a cabin located on the banks of the Little Wea creek. Several years later a school was taught on the farm of Stephen Kennedy, known as the "Yount Schoolhouse." The first attempt at maintaining a free school was inaugurated by some of the older boys of the township, who assembled during the winter evenings for mutual consultation and mental improvement. The teacher or leader, as he was styled, was chosen from among their number by ballot, and the meetings were conducted under his directions. This was superior to the other schools, as the young people could make much more rapid advancement. However, this system did not long continue. Other and better schools soon took their place. The total enrollment of pupils is now two hundred and six.

The first church erected was that built by members of the United Brethren denomination and was known as the "Otterbein church." It was located near the Black schoolhouse, and for several years was the only house of public worship within the township. While it really belonged to the United Brethren people, Presbyterians and Methodists also occupied it. Later on other church buildings were found necessary and the Spring Grove Union church, Wild Cat church and the Methodist Episcopal church were all liberally supported by the citizens of the township.

The first justice of the peace in the township was Mr. Kennedy, elected in 1828.

The first custom grist mill was erected by Philip Harter in 1829. Before that date the only means of obtaining grinding was the rude contrivance known as "Indian mills," corn being the only article ground by them.

The first death in Wea township was that of a child of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Bugher.

Among the earliest, if not the first marriage, was that of William Trimmer and Miss Keziah Talbert.

Wea Lodge, No. 450, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted April 3o, 1874. There were ten charter members.

Other items concerning this township will be found in other sections of this work. and there the churches and schools will be named.

Wea township has three small towns within its present borders, Crane Station, with about one hundred and fifty population; Culver Station and South Raub, the latter having but about fifty people within its limits. The population of this township in 1900 was one thousand and twelve.

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