History of Olive Township, St. Joseph County, Indiana
From: History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Hon. John V. Hadley, Editor in Chief.
Chas. C. Chapman & Co.,
Chiago 1880


Scarcely any township in Northern Indiana presents a fairer domain or more fertile soil than Olive township; but not until 1830 was it occupied by enterprising members of the white race. At the date mentioned there were about half as many Indians in this section of the county as there are whites at the present day.

Among the oldest settlers of Olive township we may mention that man of great memory, Mr. Barvilla Druliner, of New Carlisle, who was born July 7, 1807; Joseph Adams and wife, of section 31, the oldest couple now living in the township. Mr. A. made his start in the West by splitting rails, at 50 cents per 100, while boarding himself. He has made as many as 500 rails in one day. The young men of today would as soon try Dr. Tanner's experiment of fasting 40 days as to make 500 rails in one day. Jacob Rush, who was born in Ohio in 1806, is now living on section 36, one of our oldest pioneers. He held the plow for the first furrow ever turned in this township, and he also helped to raise the first cabin here, which belonged to his brother Israel Rush, who was afterward the first Justice of the Peace, and died in 1837. Jacob is still a lively and energetic man. Asher White was a boy of only 16 years of age when lie came here in 1830. His biography is given more in full on a subsequent page.

Among the oldest settlers now deceased we mention Samuel and Jesse Goward, Jeremiah Williamson, John Balker, James Shingleton, Nathan Haines, Isaac Phillips, Jacob Egbert. There are others whose names we did not fully Obtain.

What is now known as Olive township was once called the Indian reserve. In 1830 the northern line of the State was removed 10 miles farther north, in order that Indiana might have greater access to the lake.

At this time it was thought that it would be no great task to civilize and Christianize the untutored savage, and soon to have him wash oft his paint, lay aside his tomahawk, change his wigwam to a permanent house, his habits of idleness to those of industry, from reading the tracks of wild animals to the tracts of Christianity, etc., and consequently the whites established the " Carey Mission one and one fourth miles below Niles, at a point now called the Big Springs. It had at one time 200 Indian pupils. By a law of the general Government each pupil at this mission was to have 160 acres of land, to be selected for him by the Indian agent from the ten mile strip mentioned above. Hence a large portion of this township was selected for these pupils; and hence also the Indians in this community were more quiet and friendly than elsewhere, and the whites felt safe among them. It is true that they suffered an alarm in this vicinity at the commencement of the Black Hawk war in the Northwest. It was reported that an Indian had killed a white man in the wild country where Chicago now stands, and ten men went from this settlement to examine the situations, but they returned the next day, having found no cause of alarm. A fort was built at Plainfield.

This part of Indiana was surveyed in 1830 by William and Noah Brock, the latter running the base lines, and the former dividing the land into sections; and this township received its name in honor of the wife of Charles Vail. She is still living in New Carlisle. Mr. V., who settled here in 1830, was afterward elected County Judge. After the survey of the township, the first Justice of the Peace acted as County Commissioner until the regular annual election.

The first death in this township was that of Jonathan Garwood; another of the earliest deaths was that of Mrs. Garoutte, by freezing. She lived, however, just outside of the present limits of the township. See sketch, a little further on, of Hon. T. J. Garoutte, her son.

The first couple married in this township, according to the Atlas of the county, were Charles Vail and Olive Stanton, but this is not correct.

By the year 1836, about all the Government land was taken up. The land office was at Crawfordsville, and there. were residents enough to justify the holding of public religious services. The first church was built at Hamilton in 1838, by the Methodists, who still hold meetings in it. At that time Hamilton was the great business center for this part of St. Joseph county. Since the railroad has been built through the county and made a station at New Carlisle, Hamilton has run down. This place is frequently called Terre Ooupee, from a postoffice of that name near there. There are also at Hamilton a neat school house, a grocery and several residences. This village is situated near the center of section 24, in Terre Coupee Prairie. This prairie was very marshy before it was drained and cultivated; it is now one of the most fertile spots in the State of Indiana. It is over four miles in diameter and contains 3,000 or 4,000 acres, which is worth $80 to $120 an acre. It is almost as level as a barn floor, and just sandy enough for agricultural purposes.

New Carlisle is beautifully situated on a hill at the southeastern extremity of this prairie, and it therefore overlooks this fertile plain. Most of the village is on section 34. It was founded by Richard R. Carlisle, a sportsman and traveler of early day, who finally died. in Philadelphia. The land at this point was first owned by Bursaw(?), a Frenchman, whose wife was an Indian; after his death the property descended to his children, and it was from them that it was bought by Mr. Carlisle.

Olive township is wealthy, as we see that while 18 sections are yet untilled and even unpastured, it pays a large tax. Most of the untilled lands are marsh or timber, and the timber and underbrush are so heavy that it seems as if it would take a man a life time to clear an acre; but the Polanders are clearing it up fast. Fred G. Miller imported the first company of Polanders into Indiana in 1865, most of them settling in this township, in what is called the marsh timber. At the present time there are 35 families living in this timber, where in a short time they have succeeded in clearing and subduing to cultivation 20 to 80 acres apiece,with plenty more land to clear; one strip of timber in the southern part of the township surrounded by marsh, is called Long Island; and another piece of timber similarly situated is called Hog Island, on account of the great number of wild hogs which fattened themselves here in early day on the plentiful mast. Mr. Kinney relates that he and Mr. H. H. Clark once passed through this island and found two large piles of skeletons of hogs, which had piled themselves up in this manner to keep warm during a spell of severely cold weather, but froze to death.

Politically, Olive township is pretty evenly divided; but during the last war it did its duty toward putting down the Rebellion. The draft was executed here, and the township voted to raise money by taxation to fill her quota. A few men thought to resist this tax, particularly George W. Woods, who was quite obstinate. Some roughs thought they would try something else than moral suasion upon him, and they put him under a pump spout and pumped water upon him to a damaging extent. Since that time they say he has never " rebelled."

Among the prominent and wealthy citizens of this township are John Reynolds, said to be the richest man in St. Joseph county; James Reynolds, Henry H. Clark and H. B. Instead, who, with Mr. John Reynolds, are the largest land holders in the township; J. H. Service and R. Hubbard, wealthy pioneers. The Messrs. Reynolds, Clark and Ranstead all together own 7,433 acres of land, a great deal of which is on the Terre Ooupee Prairie. This, as before shown, is very valuable.


Methodist Episcopal. - James Armstrong was the Evangelist of Methodism in this county, influencing many persons to move from older parts of the State. He remained here as an enterprising missionary till his death, in the fall of 1834. The first Methodist society in St. Joseph county was organized at the house of Paul Egbert, on Terre Ooupee Prairie. It consisted of eight individuals, and John Egbert was appointed class leader. According to tradition among this people, the class was formed by Rev. E. Felton, of the Ohio Conference, in 1830. This class was supplied with pastors somewhat irregularly until 1834, when the work was thoroughly re-organized by Mr. Armstrong, the Presiding Elder; since that time this society has been regularly supplied.

The first Methodist house of worship in the county was erected at Hamilton, and was dedicated in May, 1841, by Rev. Aaron Wood, D. D. The first Methodist preaching at New Carlisle was by Rev. Abram Saulsberry, in 1849, then on " Byron Circuit." The first class in New Carlisle was formed in 1853, of the following members: Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Pidge, Josiah Pidge, Jacob Hopkins, James and Delilah Egbert, Mr. and Mrs. James S. White and Eliza White. Rev. A. H. Pidge was the class leader. This year the parsonage was built, and ever since then it has been the home of the circuit preacher. The church building at this place was erected in 1858.

Since those early dates of organization, etc., many changes have, of course, taken place.

Christian Church. - Early in 1868, Elder Ira J. Chase, of Mishawaka, Ind., at the request of two or three resident disciples, began in New Carlisle a series of sermons on primitive Christianity, assisted at the first by W. M. Roe, pastor of the Christian Church at Rolling Prairie. The result was an accession of several converts to this Church, and March 29 the Church was regularly organized in the chapel hall of the New Carlisle Collegiate Institute. Arrangements for erecting a house of worship were immediately made; a very desirable location was secured, and during the winter of 1869-'70, the building was finished, a neat and tasteful structure with a seating capacity of about 260, and costing $2,500. March 13, 1870, the dedication sermon was delivered by Elder Chase. Since the organization the Church has had the following pastors: W. M. Gleason, Jesse Roe, Joseph Pickard, J. P. Lucas, M. L. Blaney and M. J. Thompson. The society has been growing in numbers and influence until now it has a membership of about a hundred. It also has a well sustained Sunday school.

Olive Chapel, on section 11, is a house of worship occupied by the "Church of God," "New-Lights," " Campellites," or 'Christians," as they are variously called; they prefer the last mentioned title. This society was organized in an early day, and they have had many trials. The chapel is a neat and substantial building, 34 by 48 feet, with ceiling 16 feet high, and cost $1,900. It was dedicated Oct. 10, 1869, by Elder Summerbell, of Cincinnati, Ohio. The membership at the time of organization, Jan 1, 1841, consisted of James S. Parnell, at whose house the society was formed, J. S. Hooton, Esther Hooton, Polly Parnell, William Hooton and Jackson Hale and wife. Elder John Spray was the first preacher; William Hooton was the first elder, and he has been elder ever since. The membership at the present time numbers over 150. In 1877 Rev. S. C. V. Cunningham held a series of meetings here, which resulted in a greater accession to the membership than has ever been enjoyed at any other time. The Church is now without a minister.


The old saying that it is better to be born lucky than rich may be applied to New Carlisle. The citizens here built their waterworks in 1879, when everything was cheap. If they had waited until next year, this public improvement would have cost twice as much as it did. Likewise, they bought an $8,000 school house for $1,500, happening to select a lucky time for the purchase. It is a two story brick structure, 44 by 75 feet, neatly finished, and was first erected by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1859, which failed to pay its indebtedness on the building, which was $1,500. And as another element of good fortune to the people of this municipality, a large number of people in the adjoining country added themselves to New Carlisle for school purposes, on account of this very purchase that had been made. It turned out that this building cost some of the M. E. Church members more than it would had it been built by regular taxation. For example, J. H. Service gave $500 to start it as a Methodist college, and afterward was taxed to buy it for the town. Every dollar, he says, was a good investment.

At the present time the school is in a flourishing condition, under Prof. A. E. Rowell, an old and experienced teacher; he has three assistants.


Masonic. - Terre Coupee Lodge, Number 204, was organized in 1856, with the following members: E. Whitlock, Abraham Pyle, A. A. Whitlock, James L. Perkins, J. H. Service, T. L. Borden, E. Bacon, J. C. Williams, E. H. Keen and R. Pierce. Mr. Pyle was chairman at the organization, and the following officers were elected: Abraham Pyle, W. M.; A. A. Whitlock, S. W.; J. L. Perkins, J. W.; E. Bacon, S. D.; J. C. Williams, J. D.; J. H. Service, Treas.; T. L. Borden, Sec.; and E. H. Keen, Tyler. This meeting was held over T. L. Borden's store, July 24, 1856, where they continued to meet until 1862, when they changed the place of meeting to a room over the store of J. II. Service; here they met until 1876, when the new brick block was erected, one third the expense of which was defrayed by the lodge, and this society has exclusive control of the upper story, all of which, except two rooms, they lease.

The lodge is in a flourishing condition, having a membership of 69, and comprising most of the leading men of the community. Eight members are Sir Knights. George Bissell is the present Master. The lodge is strict in the execution of the laws and regulations of Masonry.

Good Templars. - Olive Branch Lodge, Number 149, I. O. of G. T., was organized Jan. 4, 1875 by G. W. C. T. J. J. Talbott, with the following persons as its first officers: A. T. Evans, W. C. T.; Mary Hoyt, W. V. T.; Josie Service, W. S.; Eli Miller, W. A. S.; Martha Lyda, W. Treas.; E. H. Harris, W. Fin. Sec.; John Grigg, W. M.; Hattie Flanegin, W. D. M.; Libbie Albright, W. I. G.; Thos. M. Grigg, W. O. G.; Emma Miller, W. R. H. S.; Charlotte Harris, W. T. H. S.; and Joel Harris, P. W. C. T. There were also 30 other members.

From Nov. 1, 1878, to Aug. 1, 1880, the membership increased from 95 to 143, and the lodge is now the second in size in the State.


The Terre Coupee Anti Horse Thief Association was organized in 1853 or 1854, for the purpose of protecting the property of its members against the depredations of thieves, and for detecting and apprehending parties guilty of horse stealing. The association agrees to recover stolen property or indemnify the owner of the same, if he is a member of the society. The charter of this association expired at the end of 20 years, according to law, and it was reorganized, with the same objects and purposes, but on the plan of a mutual insurance company. They pay for stolen horses 30 days after they fail to find them, at the rate of two thirds the value of the property. If, after the payment has been made, the horse is found and recovered, it is optional with the owner whether he returns the horse or returns the money, for the horse might be damaged.

This society has been a great protection, not only to its own members, but also to every horse owner in the community. During the 25 years of its existence, not as many as 30 horses have been stolen within their jurisdiction, and all have been recovered but two, and one of these was a two year old colt, not gone 30 days yet at this writing. The membership is 120 strong, each " rider" being authorized to act as constable for the purposes of the association by a State law; and they seldom fail to capture every thief that dares to steal a horse in this neighborhood. At first the territory of this. association was unlimited, but now it is confined to Olive and Wills townships, in this county, and Hudson township in La Porte county. H. Reid was the first President, T. L. Borden, Secretary, and T. J. Garoatte, Treasurer; the latter has acted in that capacity ever since. The present officers are I. N. Miller, President; S. C. Lancaster, Secretary; T. G. Garotte, Treasurer; Managing Committee - Granville Woolman, Eli Wade, Wm. P. White, H. B. Knight and Charles Ivins. Committee on Communications - J. H. Service, Joel Harris and T. G. Garoutte. Riders - T. B. Fawcette, J. G. Druliner, Wm. H. Deacon, Joseph Burden, Wm. P. Lane, L. H. Rush, H. V. Compton, Charles Ivins, D. M. Cury, Milton Thompson, John Ackerman, T. L. Borden, Eli Wade, W. W. France and James Nickerson.


New Carlisle has a successful system of water works just established. When the project was first proposed in 1879, there was considerable opposition; and as it required a two thirds vote of the property holders to carry the measure through, it required skillful engineering to insure success. As the expense was the principal objection, Mr. George H. Service offered to insure the sale of bonds at par, and thus the people were encouraged to vote for the issue of $7,000 bonds, which were negotiated at par, at seven per cent.; with a savings bank in Vermont, to run 15 years; and now the village has a perfect system of water works.


This was established as an independent newspaper, by G. H. Alward, of South Bend, and G. M. Fountain, of Mishawaka. The first number was issued Feb. 6, 1880; in size it was a six column folio, and was enlarged to a seven column folio on its reaching the 11th number. Aug. 20, 1880, Mr. Fountain purchased the interest of his partner and enlarged the paper still farther to an eight column sheet, and made it a Republican paper. Its growth, though rapid, has been warranted by the liberal patronage bestowed upon it by the people, especially the merchants of the place, who, with few exceptions, have done all in their power to make the paper a success. A biographical notice of Mr. Fountain will be found on page 777.

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