History of the City of Lawrenceburg, Indiana (Part 1)
From: History of Dearborn County, Indiana
Her People, Industries and Institutions
Archibald Shaw, Editor
Published By: B. F. Bowen & Co., Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1915


Capt. Samuel C. Vance, a soldier under Washington, an aid to Gen. Anthony Wayne and by marriage a grandson to Gen. Arthur St. Clair, being familiar with the nature of the ground at all the prominent points along the Ohio river in the Wayne Purchase, conceived the idea that the location just below the mouth of the Great Miami called for the site of a city. On July 23, 1801, shortly after the land office at Cincinnati was opened, he entered the land on which the city of Lawrenceburg is located; which is fractional sections 13 and 14 and section 15 in congressional township 5, range 1 west of the Miami river.

In April, 1802, bringing James Hamilton and Benjamin Chambers with him, he came down from Cincinnati and proceeded to survey and plat the town site of the city of Lawrenceburg. The plat comprised one hundred and ninety six lots and lies facing the Ohio river, which runs in a southwesterly course at that place. The streets on that account parallel the river and run northeast and southwest, while the cross streets run northwest and southeast. The town site was bounded on the northeast by Elm street and on the southwest by Mulberry street, to the northwest by Partition lane, since about 1882 called Center street, and on the southeast by the Ohio river.

The town site was originally on a rather level bottom with one or two sloughs or indentations where during the spring months water would stand. At the time it was laid out, it was thought to be above floods from the Ohio river. The years have, however, shown the citizens of this fair city that the Ohio, when it reaches high flood, inundates every foot of the original plat.

In addition to the tract of land on which the town site was laid out, Captain Vance entered fractional section 13 and section 15, but it was said that he was unable to pay for them, so on December 3 of the same year Benjamin Chambers re-entered the three tracts and received the patents for them. On the river front the plat called for a street called Front between which and the river there was at one time a common. Vance provided for a public square which is the present site of the court house. A cemetery was provided just outside the town at the foot of High street.

Samuel Morrison is authority for the saying that Dr. Jabez Percival erected the first house in the autumn of the same year, 1802. Vance having great confidence in the future of the place reserved for himself the very desirable location for a residence where the Tousey house is now located, and here he made his home until his death years later. Early additions were made to the infant city as desirable lands were called for, for building purposes. Captain Vance married a granddaughter of Gen. Arthur St. Clair, a lady by the name of Lawrence, and he gave the newly platted location the name of Lawrenceburg, after the family name of his wife.

Like the western country generally at that time the infant town grew very slowly. In the year 1806 it is said that the principal buildings were the ferry house, on the bank of the river above Walnut street, and a warehouse below Walnut street. The residences were those of Benjamin Chambers and Gen. James Dill on the bank of the river. James Hamilton and Michael Jones lived on the alley by the Fitch livery and undertaking establishment. New street at that time went by the name of Second street and on it lived Dr. Jabez Percival, Jesse B. Thomas, Captain Vance and Elijah Sparks. Below Maple street, on High, lived Rev. Baidridge. William Cook was jailer and the jail was a log building on the public square. On the northeast corner of Vine and High streets lived James Foster, who was a chair manufacturer. John Gray kept a store on the corner of Short and High streets and Jacob Homer a tavern in a log house on the corner where the Grand Hotel now stands. On the Parry corner William Morgan lived, and on the opposite corner where the Gordon store now is he carried on a blacksmith shop. Judge Isaac Dunn lived on the corner of Elm and High streets near where he died in 1866. The houses were then, six years after the town had been laid out, built almost altogether of logs. A newcomer would land at the river front, locate a lot and in a few days have a log but erected, where in a short time he would be found confortably at home. Buckeye was very plentiful, and it is claimed that on account of the ease with which it was cut with the axe most of the houses were erected out of this material. If this was true it would only be a few years until they would decay, for this timber was short lived. If cut in the spring they would sprout and the first summer would make quite a picturesque appearance.

Jahez Percival was the first doctor to serve the sick in the new town and Jesse B. Thomas, Elijah Sparks, James Noble and Michael Jones were the first attorneys. The first school house was built on the public square, and the early teachers were Rev. Baidridge and a Mr. Fulton. The courts of that day were held in the house of William Morgan, on the Parry corner, and were presided over by Benjamin Parke, district judge, who lived at Vincennes. Benjamin Chambers was the associate judge, Samuel C. Vance, clerk of the court, and David Lamphere, sheriff.


The Dearborn county history says that the principal citizens of the town in the year 1813 were: Samuel C. Vance, Benjamin Chambers, James Dill, Stephen Ludlow, Isaac Dunn, Benjamin Piatt, Dr. Jabez Percival, Jacob Homer, hotel proprietor; John Homer, blacksmith; Walter Armstrong, innkeeper; Samuel Fancher, constable; Timothy Davis, James McLeaster, shoemaker; Charles Lee Brashear, hatter; William Cook, jailor; Mr. Kimball, wheelwright; John Cox, William Chamberlain, horse mill proprietor; Dr. Ezra Ferris, Chambers Foster, Zenas Hill, school teacher; Mr. Shaw, Mr. Thornbury, James Hamilton, William Caldwell, justice of the peace; and David Gerard. At that time there were two brick houses, one of stone and five frame houses. Samuel C. Vance, Benjamin Chambers, James Dill, Stephen Ludlow and Isaac Dunn were the owners of frame houses. The court house, which burned in March, 1826, was built in 1810. Dr. Percival had a brick house on the corner of New and Vine streets back of the present Methodist Episcopal church. It was torn down about thirty years ago. Of the young men prominent at that time Walter Hayes, Andrew Morgan, Davis and John Weaver and Samuel H. Dowden are all that can be recalled in the reminiscence of Samuel Morrison.

In Daniel Drake's picture of Cincinnati and the Miami country, published in 1815, it is stated "Lawrenceburg, having occasionally suffered inundation, has grown but little, and a new village called Edinboro has been lately laid out on higher ground, about one half mile from the river, but it is not a place of much promise. The inhabitants of the counties of Dearborn, Franklin and Wayne received their supplies of foreign goods almost exclusively from Cincinnati, but little mercantile capital being employed at Lawrenceburg, and there being on the Miami no depot of merchandise for the region." Two years later, 1817, the author of an emigrant's directory says, "In traveling seven miles through the woods of Dearborn county I counted two bears, three deer and upwards of one hundred turkeys. In the course of the day I missed my way and wandered several miles in the wilderness."

Real estate, about the time of the War of 1812. was not moving very rapidly. Neither was it bringing very high prices. May 5, 1812. Samuel C. Vance sold to William Remy lot 84, on the corner of Mary and William, just opposite the Baltimore & Ohio depot for $50. January 3, 1811, Samuel C. Vance sold to Stephen Ludlow for the sum of $300, lots 161, 162, 163 and 164. These are the lots on the south side of High street between Short and Elm, the Fitch corner to the residence of Clarence Hunter. March 5. 1812, Samuel C. Vance sold to Stephen Ludlow for the sum of $100, lot 43 in the original plat, which is the lot which the residence of George Volkert and the office of' Givan & Givañ now occupy. January 4, 1811, Samuel C. Vance sold to Stephen Ludlow for the sum of $200, ten acres just above and joining Elm street and extending to the river. March 14, 1810, Samuel C. Vance sold to Stephen Ludlow for $10, lot 1, at the foot of Walnut street, on the west side. The Big Four occupies the ground at present. June 29, 1812, Samuel McHenry, of Hamilton county, Ohio, sold to Stephen Ludlow for $200, lots 41 and 42, which are the lots on the corner of Walnut and High, from Walnut street to the alley, known as the Parry corner and extending to the alley at John F. Hornberger's. McHenry purchased the lots in 1810 from Thomas O'Brien at sheriff's sale. June 6, 1813, Jonathan W. Lyon sold to Stephen Ludlow lots 167 and 168 for the sum of $150. These are the lots extending from Stockman's corner to the alley at W. S. Fagaly's. October 1o, 1808, Samuel C. Vance sold to James Smith, Jr., & Sons, of Philadelphia, to satisfy a claim the parties had against him, four hundred and forty nine and one half acres in section 15, and thirty nine acres just east of the corporation. It was sold for the sum of $4,339. Zebulon Pike and James Findlay were appointed commissioners to view the personal property and they allowed Vance the corn that was grown on the property that year. February 1, 1811, Samuel C. Vance sold to James Hamilton for the sum of $150, lots 71 and 72 of the original plat, being lots on William street between Vine and the Baltimore & Ohio depot, where George H. Wood resides, to the alley.

Stephen Ludlow seemed to be the principal purchaser of real estate about Lawrenceburg at that time. There was little business going on and no demand for produce. August 4, 1815, Jesse Hunt, of Cincinnati, sold to Stephen Ludlow, four hundred and forty and one half acres adjoining Lawrenceburg, it being the Ludlow grounds just north of the corporation, much of it still belonging to Mr. Ludlow's son, Omar T. Ludlow.

As it became evident, in the year 1815, that the war was not going to be carried into the Ohio Valley, real estate commenced slowly toe improve in price and the demand grew proportionately. January 4, 1820, James McLeaster sold the lot where the Carnegie library now stands, being the west half of lot 47, for $500. Farm lands about Dearborn county began to sell on account of emigrants pouring in from the East and transfers of real estate were plentiful.

A number of substantial buildings were erected about this time. Among the principal business people of the town in the period from 1815 to 1820 were David P. Shook & Company, Samuel C. Vance, John Gray, John H. and Benjamin Piatt, David Guard, Isaac Dunn, John Eads & Company, William Pyne, Stephen Ludlow, John Gibson, Israel J. Canby, Andrew• Morgan, Frederic Lucas, James W. Weaver, David Rees, William Ewing, Joseph H. Coburen, Jacob Brashear, Collins Fitch, Ephraim Hollister, James Hallowell, Harris Fitch, Jesse Hunt, William Tate. Benjamin Stockman, Walter Armstrong, Thomas Shaw, John Bates, Noah Noble & Company, Mary Brooks, milliner; Jared Evans, justice of the peace; and David Bruner, barber.


In 1817 it is claimed that a paper was published by a man named Brown. The Dearborn county history telling of those times says. "Dennis Duskey ran a trading boat from here to Cincinnati, leaving every Monday morning." Duskey was a peculiar character and the history narrates. "Every attention was given to goods committed to his care, and every accommodation possible afforded to passengers. There was no bar on this boat, and smoking was positively forbidden, and the first person caught playing cards was at once set ashore." It continued facetiously to say, "The captain reserved the right to indulge in profanity whenever the occasion required it." It was probably a keel boat.

This first paper published in Dearborn county was published by B. Brown and was called the Dearborn Gazette. The office was located in a building on the west side of the alley where the residence of Edward Hayes now stands. The motto of the paper was "Equal and exact justice." During Mr. Brown's editorial career the following incident occurred. Mr. John Jackson was the mail carrier. His route was from Cincinnati to Madison. He lived at Georgetown and made Lawrenceburg a way station and would bring the mail matter, tied in his red cotton handerchief, from Cincinnati and Georgetown. Brown took him to task for his seeming carlessness, which irritated the courageous carrier, who was a man of great physical strength. and as brave as he was powerful, and he determined to chastise the impertinent editor. Brown was a small man, but did not lack courage. When Jackson entered the office to inflict the punishment he was engaged busily with his ink balls in hand, printing his paper, and as soon as Jackson had come within striking distance, Brown struck him in the eye with the ink balls and succeeded in making a "good impression." Jackson was so astonished at the mode of defense and the weapons used by the Yankee printer, that he retired from the contest blinded and blackened, proclaiming he could whip his weight in "wild cats" but always preferred to pass by the small odoriferous animal whose defense was more effectual than a Chinese stink pot.

During the period from 1815 to 1820 a bank was organized under the name of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank. Isaac Dunn was its president and Thomas Porter, father of ex governor Porter. its cashier. This bank, it is claimed with good authority, did business on the north side of High street next door to the former residence of W. D. H. Hunter, now the residence of Louis Schusterman. Its board of directors elected at the annual election, January 3, 1820, was Isaac Dunn, Ezra Ferris. Isaac Morgan, Walter Armstrong. John Weaver, David Guard, Lazarus Noble, Stephen Ludlow, Levi Miller, Moses Schott, George Weaver, Samuel Bond and Amos Lane.

The town seemed to have its quota of physicians, for records show that at least seven practiced upon the woes of the people to relieve their sufferings. The list obtainable is Dr. Jabez Percival, Dr. John S. Percival, Dr: Ezra Ferris, Dr. Marmaduke E. Ferris. Doctor Finch, Dr. Abraham Brower and Doctor Easton. If there were any disputes to be settled by law there was no difficulty in finding an attorney to present the matter to court, for a list of twelve attorneys of more or less ability is given as follow: James Dill, Jesse B. Thomas, Elijah Sparks, Thomas Wardell, John Lawrence, Amos Lane, James Noble, Jesse L. Holman, Stephen C. Stephens, William Hendricks, Daniel J. Caswell, Moses Hitchcock, Isaac S. Brower and George H. Dunn. Some of these, however, only practiced here and resided in other county seats. The system in vogue at that time was a circuit court of a number of counties and attorneys would ride from one county seat to another to get their practice, often riding in the course following the circuit, hundreds of miles.

Prices of merchandise were different from now. On some things for which we now pay a stiff price, at that time the price was ridiculously low, while other things were very high. Muslin was seventy five cents a yard. Calico at sixty five cents a yard would now be thought too high to wear. Indigo was four dollars per pound. Coffee at seventy five cents per pound made it a great luxury. Tea was two dollars and fifty cents per pound; salt four dollars and fifty cents per barrel; flour five dollars per hundred; potatoes fifteen cents per bushel; corn fifteen cents per bushel; pork one dollar and fifty cents per hundred; eggs six and one fourth cents per dozen; butter twelve and one half cents per pound.

George Weaver ran a saw mill in Newtown by horse power or oxen. It is probable that not many hundred feet were sawed in a day. The hotel at the corner of Walnut and High streets was partly built at that time. It is probable that the residence of Louis Schustermann, owned by Mrs. Conrad Stumpf, is the oldest house in the city and the corner part of the Grand Hotel is the next oldest.

Jesse Hunt built the hotel and Benjamin Stockman was the brick mason. This hotel building lays claim to being the oldest three story brick building erected in the state.


Lawrenceburg was, if anything, more of a religious town then than it is now. January 6, 1820, the ladies of the town met at the house of David Guard, when they proceeded to organize a Sunday school society. Mrs. Frances Dunn was chosen chairman and Polly Lane, secretary. The committee on constitution and by laws was Miss Elizabeth Brewer, Miss Mary Brooks and Mrs. Elizabeth Percival. Those appointed to have charge were Mrs. Elizabeth Percival, Mrs. Frances Dunn, Mrs. Polly Lane, Mrs. Rebecca Wright, Mrs. Elizabeth Rice, Mrs. Elizabeth Brower, Mrs. Ann Eads and Mrs. Huldah Gardner. Class teachers were Mrs. Mercy Porter, Miss Mary Brooks, Miss Elizabeth Brower, Miss Mary Ann Brower, Miss Lucretia Earl and Miss Electa Wright. Mrs. Beulah Guard was elected treasurer and Miss Elizabeth Brower secretary.

The men of, the town, not to be outdone in well doing, met on the 24th of December, 1819. It seems that the men were the first to see the necessity for religious instruction, for their meeting was about two weeks earlier than that of the women of the town. At the men's meeting to organize a Sunday school society, Dr. Jabez Percival was made president and George H. Dunn, secretary, David P. Shook, treasurer; and Dr. Ezra Ferris and Dr. Abram Brower, superintendents.

Literary matters too were not neglected and the town, even that far back in its history, was the possessor of a public library. It is recorded that during the winter of 1820 the directors of the Lawrenceburg Library Company were John Porter, John Weaver, Joseph H. Coburn, Isaac S. Brower, Jabez Percival, James Dill and George H. Dunn.

The infant city felt some hope of future prosperity, for the town council that same year assumed an indebtedness of three thousand five hundred dollars for the purpose of digging public wells and filling High street. Some of the dug wells now in existence date their existence back to the year 1820. High street, in the business portion, has had little filling since that time. The country west of Lawrenceburg commenced to fill up so rapidly during the period following the peace with Great Britain that Lawrenceburg became a town of first importance in the state. Emigrants began to swarm in to the "New Purchase," as the Grouseland purchase from the Indians wads then called. These settlers commenced to raise a surplus of produce and Lawrenceburg was the nearest town where money could be obtained for it. The Lawrenceburg merchants at that time were very enterprising and an extensive trade was maintained with New Orleans and the country along the lower Mississippi. Flat boating, which had ever since the first settlers came, been the best method of transporting the products to market, commenced to be an important factor in the commercial life of the town. Hay boats, cattle boats and boats of every description and kind could be seen at the Lawrenceburg wharf. The New Orleans market governed the prices of all kinds of farm products. As the settlements extended farther and farther in the wilderness of central Indiana the amount of farm products received and shipped south via, the flatboat route increased. River men were in evidence in the town everywhere.


Almost every dealer in merchandise of any description carried on a trade with the South. Hogs and cattle, hay, corn, potatoes, apples, poultry, in fact every conceivable product of the country, brought a ready market on the lower Mississippi. This brisk trade was much encouraged by the advent of steamboats. Formerly the return journey was made overland, via the Natchez trail, Nashville and Louisville, from New Orleans, and few cared to undertake it. John Callahan, Walter, Joseph and Jacob Hayes were some of the hardy boatmen and traders who were ready in those pioneer days to undergo the hardships and dangers of such a trip. The boatmen would, after selling out their cargo, purchase a horse and start out, generally with what money they received for their produce on their person. Desperate. characters were plentiful along the route, who would commit most any kind of a deed in order to secure the hard earned earnings. In order to prevent such outlaws from robbing them the boatmen, if possible, came home in squads of eight or ten rand were amply ready to take care of themselves.

The produce was brought in wagons, or if live stock was driven in, and the town in these brisk commercial days presented a lively appearance. It is probable that from a commercial standpoint the volume of country business far exceeded what it is today. This brisk commercial prosperity brought here many noted characters, men of strong intellects and broad minds. Keen business men and bright active men of affairs were here, brought from all quarters of the East on account of the great volume of business caused by the opening of the new country. Some of them were merely birds of passage staying only a few weeks, others remained for some years; but the majority in time moved on to find other and more promising fields, for their abilities.

It is probable that if the city had been laid out on ground not subject to overflow, that the period between 1815 and 1820 would have been the starting point for a large city. It was the natural outlet for all the country northwest for many miles, before the railways were built; but the overflow and the poor roads in time gave other river towns a chance to compete and divide the business.

Among the characters that the influx of population and trade brought into the growing town was a man by the name of Brown. The early "Dearborn County History" thus tells of him: "There were many noted characters here in the zenith of the town's commercial prosperity, many whose names have come down to us, brilliant with the memory of their many good deeds and acts, and whose reputation was co-extensive with their young and rising state, and who did much with laying the solid foundations upon which we have builded, while there were some, as in this day, noted for their dark and infamous deeds; of the latter class we will mention one, Daniel Brown, and there are quite a number of our elder citizens living today who will remember him well. He is said to have been one of the most powerful men of his time, nearly six feet in height, straight as an arrow, and very active, at all times appearing in a smiling mood, subtle and courageous as a lion. He was an active business man and a member of the county board of supervisors. He kept a store on High street in a building situated about where John Roehm's store is now. He traded on the river in addition to his business at the store, as most business men of the town did in those days. He was a noted counterfeiter and gambler and in one of his trips south he got into difficulty with gamblers at a noted place known in those days to all river travelers as 'Natchez Under the Hill' and killed one of them. He succeeded in making his escape and proceeded to New Orleans, where he at once entered largely on counterfeiting, and was very successful, and it was some time before he was detected. He was placed in jail with others of the gang and some reports said he died, while others claimed he succeeded in making his escape. Be that as it may he was never heard of by citizens of Lawrenceburg after that time."

In the period from 1820 to 1830 the town continued to prosper and small fortunes were made by the active business men of the period. Captain Vance completed what is now known as the Tousey house during that period. Other houses that are yet in existence were erected. Business began to take on a more permanent character. Flatboating increased. Sugar, molasses, rice and other products of the Louisiana country were brought up on the steamboats that now began to ply between the upper Ohio ports and the lower Mississippi, and these were exchanged for the foodstuffs of this country.


To give an idea of what the volume of business was in those days we quote from an article in the "Dearborn County History" from the pen of a Mr. John Scott: "Some idea of the commercial and growing importance of this town and the country adjacent can be formed by the following statement of produce shipped at the river for the Missippippi and lower country market, from the 1st of January, to the 1st of May, 1826, four months. In giving this statement we have confined ourselves almost exclusively to the produce of the neighborhood of the town, not having it in our power to give the whole amount of produce exported from the county, which would, it is believed, swell the sum to $80,000 or $100,000.


14,140 bushels of corn at fifty cents per bushel

$ 7,070.00

51 horses at $75 each


136 tons of hay at $20 per ton


45 head of cattle at $25 each


2.131 barrels of pork at $6 per barrel


1.393 kegs of lard at $3 per keg


493 live hogs at $5 each


66 hogsheads of hams at $32 per hogshead


10 tons of hams at $5 per cwt.


11 barrels of hams at $8 per barrel


80 bushels of potatoes at fifty cents per bushel


186 barrels of flour at $3 per barrel


500 gallons of whisky at twenty five cents per gallon


453 kegs of tobacco at $10.50 per keg


74 dozen chickens at $2 per dozen


12,250 pounds of pork in bulk at four cents






"The writer said he made no mention of small articles, such as oats, hoop poles, flax seed, etc., etc., which he thought would run up to $6,000.00 or $7,000.00 additional. He also informed us that it required twenty flatboats to carry this freight at a cost of at least $100.00 per boat. He placed the population of Lawrenceburg at that time at 700. It had 150 handsome brick and frame residences, nine stores, five taverns, six lawyers and three physicians, with a number of mechanics of various professions. There was, he said, a storehouse of five stories which was considered the best between Cincinnati and the Falls, there is also an extensive silk lace factory established in the town that supplies a large district of country with the article and the only one of the kind west of the mountains. Also a printing office and a Masonic lodge."


In 1828 a description of Lawrenceburg published in a current geography of the time was as follows: "It stands on the north bank of the Ohio twenty three miles below Cincinnati and two miles below the Big Miami, which is the eastern limit of the state. This town is in the center of a rich and deep bottom. The ancient village was built on the first bottom, which was frequently exposed to inundation. It is not uncommon for the water to rise four or five feet above the foundations of the houses and stores, in which case the inhabitants remove to the upper story, and drive their domestic animals to the hills. Visits and tea parties are projected in the inundated town, and the vehicles of transport are skiffs and pirogues. The period of flood, from ancient custom, and from suspension of the customary pursuits. has become a time of carnival. The floods, instead of creating disease, wash the surface of the earth, carry off vegetable and animal matter that would otherwise putrify, and are supposed to be rather conducive to health than otherwise. The old town built on the first bank has been stationary for many years. New Lawrenceburg has been recently built on the second bank and on elevated ground, formed by the bank of Tanners Creek. Since the commencement of this town, few places have made more rapid progress. Many of the new houses are handsome, and some of them make a splendid show from the river. Its position in relation to the river and the rich adjacent country and the Big Miami is highly eligible. It has a number of commencing factories and promises to be a large town."

In March, 1826, the courts house burned and all the records up to that date were destroyed. It was during the freshet of that year and the water was several feet in depth around the building. It was so cold that the next morning after the fire, ice was frozen all around the ruins. It was thought to have been the work of an incendiary.

The people of Lawrenceburg were not lacking in patriotism in those early days. The Fourth of July was the favorite time for holding celebrations, in which twisting the tail of the British Lion was the favorite pastime. It was only a few years since the War of 1812 and it had not been forgotten. Many of the public men of the time had either been active participants in the struggle, or had taken part in the St. Clair and Wayne campaigns and were imbued with much bad feeling against the conduct of the British in their dealings with the Indians during those campaigns. Captain Vance, General Dill and many other of the leading citizens were bitter against the British and whenever occasion offered never forgot to deal in severe terms with our cousins over the water. Many of the people were either Revolutionary soldiers or sons of soldiers of that struggle, and patriotism was rampant on such occasions as the Fourth of July or the 22nd of February. July 4, 1825, a celebration was held in which "Major Longley was marshal; Major Spencer, assistant. The procession proceeded to the Methodist church. The Declaration of Independence was read by Captain Vance, an oration by George H. Dunn, after which the procession proceeded to the hotel of John Gray, where a dinner was had. After the ladies had retired, the patriotic old gentlemen proceeded to drink twenty four toasts, and acquitted themselves heroically, as they did every task imposed, and with unfaltering courage never shrank from any undertaking, and the record of that day no doubt did no discredit to their valor. With patriotism swelling in every bosom, they closed the scene amidst many cheers; in response to the following toast: 'O. H. Perry, the Hero of Lake Erie.

"'May the British Lion lie and wheeze
While swift the eagle flies,

Spreads her broad pinions o'er the seas
And picks out both his eyes!' "


The Indiana Palladium of December 9, 1826, published a report of the county treasurer showing that the volume of business done by the county at that time was nothing like that of the present day. It says: "The following is an account of the expenditures of the county of Dearborn from the date of the former exhibit, believed to be the 7th of November, 1825, until the nth of November, 1826, inclusive; together with an account of the amount of the county debt at that time, with the receipts of the present year, showing the situation of the county debt at this time:


For this sum paid the Associate Justices


For this sum paid Grand Jurors


For this sum paid Petit Jurors


For this sum paid for support of and entering paupers

347.19 1/2

For this sum paid for record books and stationary for the Clerk and Recorder's offices

134.21 1/2

For this sum paid for repair of Jail

12.37 1/2

For this sum paid for Constables attending Court


For this sum paid for rent of house for Circuit Court


For this sum paid for wood for Circuit Court


For this sum paid Coroners and Jurors of Inquest, holding inquests on dead bodies


For this sum paid sheriff for extra services


For this sum paid Clerk for extra services


For this sum paid road viewers, chain carries, etc


For this sum paid Collector for collecting County Revenue


For this sum paid County Treasurer, receiving and paying out

66.50 1/2

For this sum paid Jailer boarding prisoners and jail fees

54.06 1/4

For this sum paid for rent of jury rooms


For this sum paid attorney defending criminals who were unable to employ counsel


For this sum paid to returning judges of elections


For delinquencies on duplicate in 1825


For this sum paid Listers of Taxable property


For this sum allowed for rent of room for supervisors


For this sum allowed printers for printing this expose


For this sum paid Clerk for making duplicate in 1825 and 1826


Supposed County debt last Monday in November, 1825





$3,102.56 1/2


For amount of duplicate of 1826


For Tavern licenses


For Store licenses

$290.29 1/2

By tax on law process





$2,224.65 1/4

County Debt


"Done by the Board of County Supervisors John Porter, President.
James Dill, Clerk."

One peculiar advertisem is found in this issue of the Palladium as follows: "Ad scenes in domestic life and the cruel interferene of others in my family circle, compels me publicly to state that the woman who is by law my wife, has been, induced to leave my family. Although I can not consent hereafter to be responsible for her contracts, it is far from my feelings to wage war with women, or to add a stain to the reputation of her with whom I have lived with affection. A serpent hath beguiled my Eve; a worm contemptible in its native dust has prevailed to corrode a flower which I once deemed fair for domestic bliss."


In the decade from 1830 to 1840 Lawrenceburg suffered from the great flood of 1832 and from the nation wide financial depression of 1837 to 1839. But the prosperity of the town was only checked, not stopped. Buildings were erected on every hand. The row of buildings from Short to Elm on the south side of High street were all built during this period. Much of what is called Germantown was built at that time and many of the business houses and the private residences were erected during that time. Schools commenced to flourish and the town took on more of a permanent appearance.

George H. Dunn commenced the promotion of the railway to Indianapolis. It was first a vast dream for those early times. It was to be called the Charleston, South Carolina & Upper Mississippi railway. It was projected to be built from here to Indianapolis as a part of a great railway trunk line leading from Charleston, South Carolina, to the Ohio river at this point and thence to Indianapolis and on to Fort Snelling. Much of this was talk and dreams, but the road from here to Indianapolis took on a definite character. Many of the monied men of the town and vicinity were interested in the matter. The road was surveyed, in various places along the route work was commenced as early as 1835. The chief engineer, a Mr. Vandegraff, died about this time and the tightening of the financial affairs of the country caused it to lapse, only to be taken up again by Mr. Dunn and carried on to success some ten or more years later. But the postponement of the undertaking meant a heavy loss to the stockholders and the business of the town.

The flood of 1832 was a record breaker and up until the flood of 1883 Was looked upon as a flood that would perhaps never be paralled in the years to come. Much property was destroyed but there was tittle suffering among the people.


The White Water canal was constructed during this decade and it brought some additional business to the town. Manufactories were erected and business houses. The old flour mill at the foot of Elm street was erected at that time and the river bank at Elm street was lined with warehouses. The canal was brought down to Elm street affording considerable water power. that was made use of to run the mill. Brown & Lamping manufactured furniture on the corner of Short and William. The A. P. Hobbs distillery was built during this time. A foundry was built in Newtown by Edwin G. Pratt. John B. Carrington was manufacturing steam engines. George H. Dunn and John Test were trying to promote a cotton factory, unsuccessfully. Much pork was packed. The New Purchase and the Big Miami bottoms brought to the town thousands of hogs that the merchants slaughtered and packed The new flour mill, under the management of Enoch D. John, was stimulating the wheat production and the state road out through Manchester and to Greensburg, Shelbyville and points still farther, began to be crowded with farm wagons loaded with grain for this market. Money in those days was scarce and it was claimed that at this point, where a good bank was located, made it the only point where money could be obtained for the farm products.

The following is taken from the Political Beacon of December it, 1839: During this period some of the business men of the town were John Ferris. druggist; Frederick Lucas, jeweler; Lewis and Hobbs, ready made clothing E. P. Bond, M. D.; J. F. Crider, saddlery; William Tate & Son, lumber; E. S. Close, druggist; John Wymond, merchant; Stephen Burr, boots and shoes; John Hunt, insurance; T. C. Thorp, tinware; Norval Sparks, merchant; James T. Brown, and Daniel S. Majors, attorneys; Warren Steele, jeweler; Dr. Ezra Ferris, William Brown, furniture; Lane & Holman, attorneys ate law; George B. Sheldon, tinware; N. N. John, agent for the Rising Sun foundry; C. S. Stevenson, wholesale grocery; J. J. Mayers, bakery; D. T. Laird, ready made clothing; E. McNealy, butcher; E. Morehouse, butcher; J. P. Ulrey, dentist; William G. Monroe, county treasurer; John Weaver, deputy treasurer; W. H. Vaughan, grocer; James A. Morgan & Company, books and stationery. M. Gregg, as treasurer, offers for sale the furniture in the office of the defunct railroad company. Cyrus and Uel Armstrong announce a dissolution of partnership in the manufacture of chairs, and the latter announces he will carry on the business."

An article in the paper is a criticism of the reports of the shipments on Whitewater canal as compared with the report of shipments on the twenty two miles of railway, just completed from Madison out to Jennings county. The editor of the Beacon was Milton Gregg. "It appears by the message of Governor Wallace that the tolls collected on the Madison railroad for the six months it has been in operation amount to $8,470, and that the tolls collected on the Whitewater canal for the same time amount to only $620, and on the Wabash and Erie canal $4,248. Now we would like to know how it happens that there is such a great disparity in the proceeds of these works. Can it be possible that there has been, within the last six months, twice the amount of goods and produce transported on the twenty two miles of railroad which has been completed, than there has been on the entire length of the Wabash and Erie and Whitewater canals combined? Does the poor and sparsely settled county of Jennings ship off more produce than the rich and populous valleys of the Wabash and Whitewater? We hope Mr. Lane, the vigilant chairman of the Committee on Canals and Internal Improvements, will call for a bill of particulars. Let us know the nature and the amount of the shipments which enter into the account, and whether the tolls have arisen from the legitimate business of the country, or otherwise. All may be fair in the matter, but we confess, to our imperfect vision, it looks very much like a tub thrown out to the whale."

In the same paper E. G. Brown, as master of the steamer "Indiana," announces that the boat will make regular trips between Rising Sun and Cincinnati, leaving the former place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Beacon announces that the agents of the boat line are Luke Evil at Wilmington, Daniel Bartholomew at Aurora, Craft & Lynn at Rising Sun, Lewis Mason at Hartford, Thomas Guidon at Guionville, Jacob C. Egleston at Dillsboro, Mark McCracken at Manchester, William S. Ward at York Ridge. George H. Dunn and Philip Spooner announce that they are practicing law with an office over the Lawrenceburg Insurance Company, corner of High and Short streets. J. Meyer & Company advertise that they are doing stone cutting and engraving on the corner of High and Walnut streets, opposite the Jesse Hunt Hotel. County Treasurer William G. Monroe advertises four hundred and eighty four shares of the capital stock of the Branch of the State Bank of Indiana at Lawrenceburg, for sale on account of the non payment of taxes.

[Continued in the History of Lawrenceburg, Indiana Part 2.] [ also see Lawrenceburg Township. ]

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