History of Towns and Villages in Posey County, Indiana
From: History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago, 1913



This place was laid out in January, 1837. It is situated twelve miles above Mt. Vernon on the Ohio river. It is claimed that Jacob Winemiller settled there in 1807. Daniel Lynn ran a ferry there at that time, and in 1813 Elcana Williams ran the ferry. The place was then called Diamond Island Ferry. It was the favorite crossing place for immigrants from Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina into Posey county. For a number of years the place was quite a promising village, but with the advent of the Louisville & Nashville railroad through Caborn it dwindled into a place of very limited extent. Daniel Lynn died here of cholera in 1833. Although no town site was laid out there were a great many settlers here as early as 1815. The first store was kept by John M. Hayne about 1835. The first physicians were F. H. Pease and Floyd Williams, about 1848. The first school house was built in 1850. The first school taught in it was by James B. Campbell. Mr. Campbell was elected county school superintendent in 1868. The first church was built by the Methodists in 1848. It was destroyed by the flood in 1883 and a new building was erected in the summer of 1885.

At present the town has a general merchandise store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, a school and a church.


The town of Blairsville is located on Big creek in Robinson township. It was named in honor of Stephen Blair who, in company with Ebenezer Phillips, laid out the town on the Fourth of July, 1837. It soon grew into prominence as a half way place on the Evansville and New Harmony stage road, besides it was fairly well located for the convenience of settlers in all directions from the town as a trading point.

Political speakings were held here quite often in the old days of the Whig and the Democrat. A joint discussion was held here during the campaign of 1842 between Robert Dale Owen, the Democratic candidate for Congress, and John W. Payne, the Whig candidate. Among the first residents of Blairsville were Stephen Blair, after whom the town was named, Ebenezer Phillips, who surveyed the town, Charles Kimball, a Dr. Owens and later a Dr. Mitchell, Henry Theuerkauf and Henry Weber, shoemakers. Henry Newman was one of the first blacksmiths. Charles Kimball ran a feed mill. John B. Gardner and John Becker were among the early successful merchants and business men. The extension of the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad through Wadesville in 1880 was a severe blow to Blairsville from which the town never recovered. For several years the population has been composed largely, if not entirely, of Germans. The importance of the town in 1842 may be judged by the fact that the following petitioned the "honorable board" for tavern licenses (which meant to sell whiskey also): J. H. Owens, Daniel Cox, William Watson, David R. Downen, M. Duty, Robert Stevens, William Dodge, Nelson Doty, Daniel Elkins, Benjamin Garris, Soren Sorenson, M. Watson, H. W. Young, William F. Phillips and Richard Ramsey. At present there is one saloon in the town and the place is practically a mere settlement.


Stewartsville was laid out October 29, 1838, by James Stewart. The town was first called Paris, but on the establishment of a post office in 1853 the name was changed to Stewartsville. John W. Robb was the first postmaster. The first store in the place was that of Perry & Schneider, established about 1844 Since then other merchants have been John Robb & Silas Cox, James Montgomery, Thomas Robb, John & Thomas Robb, Demberger & Faul. About the year 1842 George Gleichman built a horse mill. In 1845 Schneider & Wise started a still house. In 1853 David Knewler built a saw and grist mill. For a while a man named Montgomery ran a moonshine distillery, but was soon stopped by the government.

At present the town has one general merchandise store, one grocery store, one grain elevator, one church, a blacksmith shop and a livery stable.


Farmersville marks the location of one of the oldest settlements in Posey county. The first settlers were Samuel Black, Anson Andrews, Rufus Johnson, Elisha Ellis and Samuel Phillips. As they were mainly from the New England States, the settlement was for some time known as the Yankee settlement and sometimes called Yankeetown. On account of being at the corner of four farms the place was sometimes called the "Corners." Mr. Phillips settled on 100 Acres lying to the northeast of town, Mr. Johnson to the southeast on 250 acres, Mr. Andrews on 120 acres to the northwest and Mr. Ellis on an eighty acre farm to the southwest of town.

For some time the place gave promise of becoming a place of considerable importance, but other places having more advantageous sites have far outstripped it. The first store was conducted by Anson Andrews on the corner of his place where the store now stands. This store was burned down and a larger store was built on the same spot by E. Ellis, A. S. Osborn, D. F. Johnson and A. Andrews. This was called the "Union Store." This store was also burned down and a second union store was built which was burned in 1863.

In all there have been nine other stores, nine blacksmith shops, one furniture store and one cooper shop. At present there is one store and one blacksmith shop. The first building in the place was a log school house. It stood where the old store now stands. The present school building is a brick structure of four rooms. It was built in 1875 at a cost of $6,000. At present only two of the rooms are in use. Sylvanus Johnson is principal and Vina K. Ellis is the primary teacher.

In the early days religious services were held in private dwellings or in the old school house, but later a building was erected by the Christians. Then, later, the Baptists built a church and this was followed by the Methodists, all of which are still in existence.

At present the town has one general merchandise store, one blacksmith shop, a Baptist church and a school.


The town of Wadesville was laid out by Daniel Leffel, James Pelt and William Moye in February, 1853. At that time the place belonged in Robinson township. Previously, the place had been called Cross Roads, but after it was laid out it was named Wadesville in honor of the Wade family. Daniel Leff el owned and operated the first business house in Wadesville. He kept a small stock of dry goods and groceries. The next was that of the Moye Bros., with whom Zachariah Wade afterward became associated, and later, for a time, Abner Wade. This firm did an extensive business in clocks Other business houses were those of James Gardner, William Haines, Nicholas Joest and Finley Allison, and Nicholas Joest and James Cross. The last named, under the firm name of Joest & Cross, did an extensive business in dry goods, groceries, etc., besides having an extensive warehouse for grain. Other lines of business were agricultural implements, blacksmith shops and hotel.

The first physician in the town was Richard Smyth. He settled there in 1852 and remained for several years and finally moved to Mt. Vernon.

At present the town has two general merchandise stores, one implement store, one blacksmith shop and a grain elevator.


The town of Cynthiana was laid out March 6, 1817, by William Davis, who, with about forty others, came from the vicinity of Cynthiana, Ky. Almost the entire colony settled in the neighborhood. It was laid out with a public square which still remains unoccupied, as the conditions were that it shall remain to the public so long as kept for public purposes exclusively. The growth of the town was very slow, a great many of the original lots remaining unimproved sixty years later.

Andrew Moffat and John Shanklin kept the first store in the town in a small log house. George Jaquess and Thomas Blackhurst later did business in the same place. Goods were brought mainly from Henderson, Ky.

Clement Whiting did business on the corner on which the residence of D. B. Montgomery was built many years later.

Robert Long is believed to have built the first mill in the western part of the town. Other mill men in the early days of the town were: Tol Grigsby, George W. Lindsey and Jesse Kimball. About 1858 a steam saw mill and grist mill was built.

The first school house was located in the south part of town on the Evansville road. The first teachers were Ebenezer Phillips, John Grant, Elijah Goodwin and Thomas Barrett. The first physician is believed to be Enoch Jones.

The first enlargement to the town was made by Clement Whiting in June, 1819. This was known as the "Whiting enlargement," but the growth of the town was very slow until about the year 1876. In January of that year D. B. Montgomery's enlargement was added and James Redman's enlargement was added in February, 1885. James Redman owned a tile factory at that time.

The town gave liberally to the Evansville & Terre Haute railroad as an inducement to the building of a branch of that road through the town, and on its completion in 1880, and since that time, the town has had a healthful and substantial growth.

At present the town has two dry goods stores, one drug store, two hardware stores, one meat market, two grocery stores, three confectioneries, three blacksmith shops, a lighting system and a grain elevator.

Cynthiana has many beautiful and substantial residences. Many retired farmers have built comfortable homes in the town, contributing materially to the hospitality, sociability and moral tone of its citizenship.


This place was laid out August 11, 1881, by William Price. It is situated in section 6 in Bethel township, between the Black and Wabash rivers, on the Illinois Central railroad, and is an important shipping point. The post office is called Griffin, but the place is sometimes called Price's Station. The place is surrounded by rich farming lands.

The town has two general merchandise stores, two blacksmith shops, two grain elevators, two physicians and four churches. A new, up to date school building, modern in every detail, is now under construction and will cost approximately $5,000.


The town of Blackford was laid out in 1815 for the county seat of Posey county. It was located in section 29 of Marrs township, about a mile northeast of the present town of Caborn. It was named in honor of Hon. Isaac Blackford, who was the first circuit judge. The last term of court held there was in May, 1817, when the county seat was moved to Springfield and Blackford became a mere settlement and the land on which it stood is now a part of a cultivated farm.


This town was laid out by John Cox in 1838. It is situated in section 26 in Harmony township. Previous to the year 1859 Joshua and John Cox kept a store there. At present the place is a mere settlement, sometimes called Bugtown.


Hovey, Point township, has one general merchandise store and one blacksmith shop.


Solitude is located on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad in Lynn township. It has a general merchandise store and a blacksmith shop.


This town site was laid out in 1837 by Wilson J. Johnson. The plat contained fifty six lots. Mr. Johnson opened the first store and, for a time, did a good business. Later merchants were David Waller, James L. Jolly, Wash Wheeler and Isaac Williams. The town was located at the mouth of Black river. It was an important river landing and large quantities of produce found a ready market here and many flat boats were built here, but towns soon sprung up in more accessible localities and, with the opening of roads, business found outlets elsewhere and the town soon ceased to exist.


Oliver is located on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois railroad in Center township. This place has a general merchandise store, a blacksmith shop, an elevator and a saloon.


This village is situated eleven miles east of Mt. Vernon in Marrs township, on the Louisville & Nashville railroad. It is in a rich agricultural settlement. One of the finest churches in the county was built here in 1870 at a cost of $10,000. On the completion of this church Elizabeth Deig, a lady noted for her liberality and Christian spirit, purchased an organ costing $2,000 and presented it to the church. The place is largely made up of German Catholics and the town has a Catholic school and a creamery.


The town of Caborn was laid out in 1871 by Cornelius Caborn, the leading farmer in that locality, and was originally called Caborn Summit. It is located on the Louisville & Nashville railroad and the Evansville & Mt. Vernon electric railway, in Marrs township. Benjamin Crack was appointed postmaster in 1876 and opened the first store the following year. Cornelius Caborn began buying grain in 1871 at the station and John Fox started a blacksmith shop and wagon shop in 1877. H. C. Bradley conducted a saloon and grocery store. At present the place has one general merchandise store, one saloon, one blacksmith shop, one grain elevator, a Modern Woodman hall, a church and a school.


The town of Grafton was laid out in June, 1852, by George W. Thomas, who owned a steam flouring mill there at the time. It is located in section 14 of Black township, on Big creek. It is surrounded by a rich farming country. Grafton has one general merchandise store, one saloon, one blacksmith shop, an Odd Fellows' hall and a school.


The town of Upton, a short distance south of Grafton, is a station on the Louisville & Nashville railroad, important as a shipping point for grain. It was named in honor of a man living in the vicinity of the station, but no plat of the place has ever been made.


This village was never formally laid out. It is supposed that its name was derived from Wendel Wasem, who contributed liberally to the building of a large Catholic church, which cost about $10,000. The village is located in the northeastern part of Robinson township, on the Vanderburg county line, the line running through the center of the village. Raben & Naas for many years owned and operated a mill and a large mercantile house there.

The population is made up almost entirely of Germans. The town has two general merchandise stores, three saloons, three blacksmith shops, two implement stores, one Catholic church and school, and the residence of the sisters. The present population is about 300.


The beginning of Springfield dates from the time it was selected for the location of the county seat of Posey county in the year 1817. George Rapp donated 100 acres of land to the county on which to locate the town, having entered these lands the same year.

The town was laid out in rectangular form and contained 189 lots and a public square. The surveying was done by Mathew Williams, assisted by Andrew Hindman, Thomas Wilson and William Alexander. Frederick Rapp was given the contract for the building of the court house March 2, 1817. The building was of brick, two stories high, with stone foundation. A well was dug in the public square by John Hinch for $25. James Campbell was given the contract for clearing the public square. The town immediately began to boom on account of its being the new county seat. Lots sold well for a time, but the people soon realized that the place did not have the elements to make a flourishing town, and real estate began to decline and the development of the town was very slow.

Finally, in 1825, the county seat was removed to Mt. Vernon. This was the death blow to Springfield. In May, 1827, the legislature passed an act for the relief of property owners in Springfield and a committee was appointed to assess the damage to property incident to the removal of the county seat, and damages amounting to $1,313 were paid to the owners of the lots. The court house was fitted up and used as a school house and continued to be used as such until very recently.

At present the place has no business houses.

Return to [ Indiana History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Indiana Biographies ]

Indiana Counties at this web site - Cass - Clay - Dearborn - Elkhart - Fayette - Gibson - Hancock - Hendrick - Henry - Miami - Monroe - Montgomery - Porter - Posey - Putnam - Rush - St. Joseph - Tippecanoe - Wabash

Also see the local histories for [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ PA ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy