Extract From :
The Early History of Greene County, Indiana (1875)
by Jack Baber
The first old pioneer settlers in this locality were, old Isaac Stalcup, Ephraim Owen, John H. Owen, Evan Owen, John L. Buskirk, Colonel Jack Stokely ,James Jackson,Timothy Jessup, Robert Baber and John Kelley. Afterwards came William J. McIntosh, Jacob McIntosh, Moore McIntosh, Samuel Kelshaw, Thomas Osborn, Edward Buckner, Richard Buckner, David Deem, Rev. Samuel Meddley, Dr. Simon Snyder, Bailey McCutchan, Grandfather Baber, George Baber, John Hunter, John Cloud, William Bland, Jesse Martin.
NAMES OF CREEKS AND BRANCHES
Richland creek was named for its good bottom lands; Beech Creek for its many beech trees; Kelley's creek for John Kelley, its first settler; Jack's creek was named by old Uncle Henry Jackson; Goose Creek took its name from the old women fussing about geese. Indian Camp Branch was named by the old settlers, on account of the many Indian camps, where Elisha McDaniel now lives; Big Branch was named for its great number of big springs; Mosquito Branch for its wet bottom lands; Dead Hoss branch was first called the Jewell Branch, for Old Mr. Jewell, its first settler. - - The Jewell Branch was afterwards named Dead Hoss, by a party of surveyors on the old central canal, down on the east side of White River. The Dover branch was named for its first settler, Neely Dover; and it is said of him that he moved from that house and left an old hen sitting; changing his location twice during his absence. He finally returned to the first place before the hen had succeeded in hatching out her brood, thereby giving his wife a chance to take care of the chickens. The Beaver Pond near Aunt Katie Ballard's , was named by the old settlers on account of the dams made in the slough by ancient water beavers.
The Baber Hill, seven miles from Bloomfield, on the Newark road, was named for its first settler, old grandfather Baber, father of George and Robert Baber. William Baber and wife lived, died and were buried there. Uncle Jack Baber was born on the old Major Sarver farm, just southwest of that old cemetery. The old Rock Bullet-Laidle, where the Indians used to melt lead, was found fifty years ago, and is yet in the same place, half mile east of James McCutchan's, in the old field of Charley Turley.
Our first school was taught by Samuel Dorrity, Esq,. on the farm of old Johnny Cloud, near where Peter Ressner now lives. It was an old fogy subscription school of three months and the teacher's wages were thirteen dollars per month. The names of the pupils were Bice and Anderson Cloud, John and Andy Hunter, Wash and Jack Baber, Riley and Bluford Greves, Darrel Long, Edmond Martin, Celia Martin, Lucinda and Mary A. Hunter, Mournen and Kissie Bland, Susanna and Cynthia Hunter, and Elizabeth Martin. This little old school house was made of round logs, without floor, clapboard roof, stick and mud chimney, and no glass except a few milk bottles. We had a small window, pasted over with greased paper, and our desk was a puncheon, placed on two pegs in the wall; the seats were benches, made of split poplar poles, with flat side up. The second school was taught by George R. H. Moore, at the old Bethlehem log church, on the farm of Simon Bland, with many pupils, among whom were Simon Bland, Mournen and Kissie Bland, George and James McCutchan, Dorrel and Sexton Long, Marinda Long, Elizabeth Martin, Hunters's girls and others. Our third school, was taught by Samuel R. Tincher in a log house on Israel Wilkie's farm, thirty years ago. We had a few old women medical advisors in those days; Aunt Rachel Jessup, Granny McCutchan, Lucy Arthur, Grandmother Hunter and Dr. Simon Snyder; and by the way, Dr. Snyder was a practical faith doctor, it being said of him that he could cure a person just as well where he wasn't, as where he was. Charles Beasley built the first and second distill -houses, and made whisky. Dr. Snyder built a little tub-wheel water-mill on the Mosquito Branch, and afterwards sold it to George Walker. Walker's mill ground about eight bushels of corn per day. Old Sammy Jewell built a horse mill.
At all elections and general musters, the candidates must and did treat the people to whisky, and when they succeeded in getting up a big fight at any place near here, big Isaac Stalcup and Benjamin Stalcup were the principal bullies in it.
We have only three old brick houses, and James Stalcup built the first brick house in Greene county. He afterwards sold that farm to a Mr. Allen, and moved to White river bottom, where he built another Brick house. John H. Dixon afterwards built his brick dwelling.
We had no peddlers in early times. Old Grandmother Baber attended all public gatherings and sold ginger cakes at fourpence apiece, for pocket change and pin money. The names of the first preachers were Elder H.S. Doaty; Rev. Samuel Medley; James Birtch; Thomas Oliphant; Abraham Kearnes; Obediah Winters and others. William Welton built the first mill on Richland creek, at the old Benjamin Turley mill seat. Old Doctor Simon Snyder built a little corn mill on the Mosquito Branch, and ground about three bushels per day. The toll taken at that mill was the eighth bushel.
Old John Hunter and wife raised ten children, five boys and five girls, all of who lived to be men and women. The old man and woman lived to see them all buried, except one -Daniel Hunter -who has since died of consumption. The largest family was old Isaac Stalcup's. We have been told that there were twenty-one children in that family. Mr. Nations and wife raised a family of deaf and dumb children. The names and ages of some of the old people now living in this neighborhood: James Vandeventer, aged 83; William Bays, aged 75; Aaron McDaniel, aged 77; John Bucher, William J. McIntosh, and Mrs. Susanna Lang, aged respectively 83; Anna McCutchan, aged 82; Mickey Pickard, aged 81; and Elizabeth Moore, aged 82 years. The first white children born in Highland township, were JohnG. Owen, Charles Kelly, Armstead Owen, A.J. Baber, William W. Baber, Simon Bland, William Stalcup, Mary J. Turley, Mary Bland, George and James McCutchan.
The first weddings in this locality, were Bailey McCutchan and Anna Baber; Aaron Bland and Lavina Bryant; big Isaac Stalcup and Miss Mournen Martin. It is said that Mr. Stalcup was a drinking man and a widower, having sold his first wife to another man for a new fur hat and ten gallons of whisky. The man and woman then floated down White River in a water craft. The next lucky couple were George Baber, aged 40 years and Margaret Hunter, aged 15 years. Next were Reuben Martin and Jennie Beasley; Hiram Martin and MargaretCloud; Eli Martin and Sallie Baber; Charles Turley and Nancy Walker; then Alexander Martin and Olive Walker, of another family, there being two families named Walker.
We will now give a short sketch of a few of the old pioneer settlers. Old Isaac Stalcup was born in North Carolina, and Married Catharine Osborn. They came to Greene county in the year 1817, and settled on White river, and that fall built the first little log cabin, on the old farm where William Crites now lives. He crossed at the Yellow Banks on the Ohio River, and came by way of Vincennes to Greene county. Grandfather Stalcup and wife had twenty-one children - fifteen boys and six girls.
James Stalcup was born in North Carolina, from whence he moved to Sumner county, Tennessee, and married Miss Margaret Marlin, an Irish lady. They came to Greene county in the year 1818, and settled on the hill just east of where Worthington now stands. He established the first blacksmith shop in this neighborhood. Mr. Stalcup afterwards moved over on the east side of White river, and lived there fifty years. He made the best axes and Cary plows of any blacksmith in Greene county. He also built the first brick house in the county. James Stalcup and wife had eight children - three boys and five girls. About three years ago the old man and old lady passed away from among us. He died at the aged of eighty-six years and was buried on the old homestead farm, [Stalcup Cemetery] just west of where Solomon Dixon now lives.
Jonathan Quakenbush came from North Carolina about fifty years ago, and settled on White River, and lived the first year in the old log school house on the farm where John Quakenbush now lives. Mr. Quakenbush and wife raised three boys and one girl.
George B. Stalcup was born in Sumner county, Tennessee, in 1814, and came with his parents to Greene county, in the year 1818. When he became a man, he married Miss Mary Buckner, the third daughter of Edward Buckner. Mr. Stalcup and wife have had eleven children, and raised only two of them to be women. Our friend Stalcup is a common farmer, sixty-one years old, and owns one of the best farms in this part of Greene county. He lives at home, and says that he can take care of himself without the help of the women crusaders.
John H. Owen came from Stokes county, North Carolina, to the new Indiana Territory, in the year 1814, and settled on Lost River, near Paoli, Indiana and remained there two years, when he married Miss Susannah Elrod. They came to Greene County in the year 1817, and settled on the old farm of Armstead Owen, in Highland township. John H. Owen and wife raised five children - four boys and one girl - and all of them lived to be grown. The second boy of this family of children was the first white male child born in Greene county. Old Quaker-style, John Gallettley Owen was born on the 8th day of the 8th month, in the year 1818, or August 8th, 1818 .
John G. Owen married Miss Margaret Mock, eldest daughter of David and Elizabeth Mock. Mr. Owen and wife have had seven children - three boys and four girls. Mr. Owen is a common farmer, fifty-seven years old. And live on a good, farm, five miles north ofBloomfield. John H. Owen and his wife, and their son, Armstead Owen, are all buried in the old homestead Owen cemetery. Old Uncle Evan Owen came from North Carolina to Lost River, in Orange County, Indiana, in 1814, and from there to White river, in 1817. He brought apple and peach seed from North Carolina, and planted out the first orchard in Highland Township. Mr. Owen married Miss Priscilla Sanders, and they had twelve children - six boys and six girls - and among them are our fellow citizens, Charles G. Owen, Hastin B. Owen, Mrs. Verlin Jessup and Mrs. Martha Allen. Uncle Evan Owen died about fifteen years ago, aged seventy-four years.
Mrs. James Gallettley, a Scotchman, while stopping at Chillicothe, Ohio, wrote a letter to Colonel Jack Stokely, of Greene County, asking information about the new territory, opportunities, mode of living, etc. Colonel Stokely, in reply, said: "We have fat pork, turkey soup, and mush-and-milk plenty. By the Lord, come on!"
The first school teacher was John S. Owen, and among the pupils were Lott Lindley, Amos Owen, Samuel Owen, William and Robert Owen, Aaron Bland, Jesse Osborn, Ruth Lindley, Hannah Owen, Susan Burris, Ruth Owen, Iredell Green, Frank Jessup, George B. Stalcup and others.
JOHN H. DIXON'S BIG TREE
On the east side of White river, in Highland Township, on the land of John H. Dixon, stands the giant tree of the forest. This monster old sycamore tree is perhaps a thousand years old, nearly a hundred feet high and measures thirteen feet in diameter. We undertake to say that the tall sycamore of the White River valley, rather beats the Tall sycamore of the Wabash valley, by at least ninety feet in height and thirty feet in circumference. Our old tall, giant sycamore never meddles with politics or religion and therefore occupies a very high position among men, and we hope the old tree may always be spared by the storms and the woodsman's ax. On the third day of August, 1875, at five o'clock p.m., when the water in White river bottoms was at the highest mark, Mr. John D. Allen, John W. Padgett, John W. Carmichael, ThomasWalker and William Goodwin, paddled John D. Allen's big canoe, and ran it up in the fork of Dixon's big sycamore tree, and on the south side of each tree, above the fork, cut the notch for high water mark for the year 1875. Having a bottle full of good whisky, they all took a big dram, and had a grand, high old time, while standing on the fork of the big tree.
Links: Greene County Indiana site: http://greenecountyindiana.com
Uncle Jack Baber, History of Greene Co. Indiana, Article by Dixie Richardson
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