(Transcription of John Saxon Land Bounty Application from copy from the National Archives-All spelling, punctuation, 

grammar is as written-Blank spaces  indicate words that were illegible.)


State of Indiana

Blackford County  

	On this 21st day of March A.D. 1855 personally appeared before me Ira Casterline, a 

justice of the peace within and for the county and State afore is duly authorized to administer 

oath John Saxon aged ninety three years a Resident of Blackford County in the State of Indiana 

who being by me duly sworn upon oath says and declares that his is the identical John Saxon 

who was a Private in the Company Commanded by Captain Richard Sackett of Volunteers under 

Lieutenant Wm. Mosher of Regiment of Volunteers also a                                    Col Sheeton 

Commanded by Colonel                Scammel in the war of Great Brittain declares in A.D. 1776 

that said John Saxon enlisted at                  Pond, New York on or about 1st day of May A.D. 

1781 for the term of Eight Months and continued in active service in said war for the term of 

Eight Months and was honorably discharged at Stephen Town, New York on or about the 1st day 

of January A.D. 1782 as were appear by the muster Rolls of said company.

	He makes this Declaration for the purpose of obtaining the Bounty Land to which he 

maybe entitled under the act granting additional Bounty Land to certain officers and soldiers who 

have been engaged in the military service of the United States approved March 3, 1855 and that I                                     

any Bounty land nor pay for said                                                 .

							John Saxon (his signature)

	Sworn to and subscribed before me this day and year above written and I hereby certify 

that I believe the said John Saxon who signed and executed the above declaration is now present 

to be the identical man who served as afore said and that he is the age of above described or 

stated and that I have no interest in said claim.

						Ira Casterline   (Seal) J.P.

						(his signature)

State of Indiana

Blackford County  

	Personally appeared before me Wellington Stewart and Angeline Depew who are citizens 

of said County and State afore and who being duly sworn deposes and says that they are 

personally acquainted with John Saxon and that he is the person now present who signs and 

executes this written Declaration.

					Wellington Stewart (his signature)

					Angeline Depew (her signature)

	Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year above written and I certify that the 

said Wellington Stewart and Angeline Depew are creditable and respectful citizens.

						Ira Casterline (his signature) (seal)


Transcribed by J. Burkhardt

Submitted by Peggy Karol

Nathan Dodge, father of Mrs. Barger of this sketch, was born April 14, 1817, at West Woodstock, Connecticut, and his death occurred at Hebron, Nebraska, January 31, 1895. He followed the trade of carpenter, and became also one of the pioneer exponents of farm industry in Thayer County, Nebraska, where he established his residence in the year 1879 and where he passed the remainder of his life. In 1838 Nathan Dodge moved to the State of New York, where, in 1840, was solemnized his marriage to Mary Maria Ellis. In 1842 he removed with his family to Indiana, and in 1846 he became a pioneer settler in Dodge County, Wisconsin, in which state the family home was maintained until the removal to Thayer County, Nebraska, in 1879. He became a staunch advocate of the principles of the prohibition party, and he and his wife were devoted members of the Free-Will Baptist Church. His maternal grandfather, Eliab Snow, was a lad of but fourteen years when he entered service, in place of his father, as a soldier in the war of the Revolution, in which he served seven years. Mary Maria (Ellis) Dodge, mother of Mrs. Barger of this review, [p.397] was born in Steuben County, New York, March 21, 1824, the third of the children of Selah and Hepsey Sprague (Saxon) Ellis, her father having represented Putnam County, New York, as a soldier in the War of 1812, and her mother having been the second child of John and Elizabeth (Evans) Saxon. John Saxon served as a patriot soldier during the entire course of the war of the Revolution, and while in service he was so wounded as to lose the first joint of the third finger of his right hand, he having later been granted a government pension of $26.66 a year. He was born in England, November 17, 1761, and was in New York City when he enlisted for service in the Revolution. He accompanied his son-in-law, Selah Ellis, to Hartford City, Indiana, and there his death occurred in the year 1862.

According to John Saxon's Revolutionary War Pension Application he only served a few months and was never wounded. He also states in his pension application that he was born in New York. See the Blackford County Indiana Query Board for the transcription of the pension application.

Nebraska: the Land and the People: Volume 2 page 397
Submitted by Peggy Karol

For many years, for many centuries perhaps, the aboriginal inhabitants of this section of the western continent roamed through the forests of Blackford County in pursuit of abounding game, wild indeed, but no wilder than its rude pursuers. Little did they dream of the wonderful transformation that was to result from the advent of a superior race. Of these original, dusky squatter sovereigns very little will be said for reasons satisfactory to the writer and that will readily suggest themselves to the reader. On the reservation south of the Salamonie river was an Indian burying place from which quite a number of relics were taken by the first white settlers. The last claim, of the Indians to any part of the territory embraced in the limits of this county was extinguished by the deed of conveyance of the chief, Francis Godfrey, of Miami county, Indiana, to Richard Suydam, David Jackson and Alexander Keever, of the city of New York, dated February 2, 1836. The land described in this conveyance was the tract or parcel of land lying on the Salamonie river, to-wit: four sections of land in township 24, in range 11, and in township 24, range 12, and being the remaining part of the reserve granted to said Francis Godfrey by the treaty between the Miami Indians and the United States at St. Marys, in 1818, on the Salamonie river, known as Godfrey's land, as appears on the plats in the land office at Fort Wayne, containing twenty-five hundred and sixty acres, be the same more or less." The first settlements were made in the southwest corner of the county along Lick creek and in the north part of Harrison township along the Salamonie, for the reason that the best natural drainage existed in these two places and a better opportunity was thus afforded for the cultivation of the soil.

Benjamin Reasoner, Sr., made the first entry of lands in the county, July 9, 1831, the tracts entered being in section 6 in the southwest corner of Licking township. At that time he and his family, with the exception of his married son, Peter, resided in Muskingum county, Ohio. In December of that year probably, and certainly not later than December, 1832, he and his wife, Mary (Hill), came to Indiana and with them came five of their children, viz: Peter, with his wife and two children, and Nancy, Sarah, Jacob and Noah, who were unmarried. They stopped a few weeks with the family of John Grimes, just across the line in Grant county, until a cabin was built in their land, into which they moved the following month. Soon afterward a hewed-log house was erected as a place of residence for the old gentleman and lady.

Benjamin died in 1841, or 1842, and his wife died some ten years later. Mary, the third child of Peter and Rhoda (Fry) Reasoner, was the first white child born in the county, and their next, Noah II., now residing in Hartford City, was the second. Peter died in 1868 at the age of seventy years. Nancy married Hiram Dille, also one of the pioneers. Sarah married Thomas Dunn, and his sister, Elizabeth, married Jacob Reasoner, and Noah married Matilda Stotts.

A few years later another son, Benjamin Jr., came, and after remaining some years returned to Ohio. Near the same time, Stephen, another son, came and after as few years went westward to Iowa. Probably near the same time James Hughes Reasoner, a nephew of Benjamin Sr., came also to this county. Jacob died August 24, 1897, at the age of eighty-seven years and six months.

In the early part of 1834 James A. Gadbury, Sr. and John Beath came from Ross county, Ohio, and Aaron and Archibald McVicker, brothers, came from Guernsey county, Ohio, at the same time. They settled along the creek from one to two miles northeast of the Reasoners. Mr. Gadbury was the father of Allen K., Samuel L. and James A. Gadbury, Jr.

Aaron McVicker probably taught the first school in this county. The school was taught in the single-room cabin in which he resided. His wife did the cooking and baking at one side of the fire-place and the pupils kept warm on the other side. The children of Gadbury, Adam Cunningham and a few others in the neighborhood, made up the school.

Eli Rigdon, a cousin of Sidney Rigdon, the noted Mormon elder, came at a very early day. He was a member of the first board of county commissioners and one of the first teachers in the county. The first water power grist-mill in the county, built on Lick creek, on the Reasoner land, must have been managed by him for a time as it was long known as the Rigdon mill. He was a believer in the Universalist faith, and died at Wheeling, Delaware county.

Adam Cunningham and his wife, Mary, were among the first to locate in the southwest corner of the county. They were the parents of James W., John, Henry, Andrew J., and Mrs. George Needler, of Grant county. Adam died after a residence of nearly forty years in the county. David Adams, another pioneer, was a unique character and fashioned considerably on the rough order. Henry Secrest located on land entered by his father in section 5, just east of the Reasoners. After several years he went to Illinois. Hiram Dille and James Romine settled in the same section. Daniel Geyer and his wife, Susanna, natives of Pennsylvania, came from Muskingum county, Ohio, and located in section 5, in 1833 or 1834, both being then over fifty years of age; with them or near the same time, came their sons, Michael, Jacob, Casper and Abel; also near the same time came his daughters, Catherine, wife of Leonard Cline; Elizabeth, wife of Michael Cline; Margaret, wife of Henry Secrest, and Hannah, wife of Jacob Clark. Daniel died about the beginning of 1863. Michael and Elizabeth Cline were married in Muskingum county in 1832, and came to Blackford county in 1834; his widowed mother, Catherine Cline, came also. Among other pioneers in this vicinity were John Jennings, Eli Sabin, Jacob Clark, Jr., and Jacob Clark, Sr. In the Gadbury and McVIcker neighborhood was Elias Craw, who afterwards came to the farm first occupied by Andrew Boggs south of Hartford City, and built the frame house still standing there as an old landmark. Levi Connelly and Jane, his wife, were natives of Pennsylvania and came from Ohio to Blackford county at a very early date; he was probably sixty years old when he came here. Three of his sons, Simon, Eleazer and James, were among the early residents of the county. Jacob Hart and David Hart were among the first comers in the southwest part of Licking township. They were not relatives.

The brothers, Aaron Hughes and Jonathan Hughes, came about 1836, in the prime of young manhood, and they and their wives Emily and Keziah, spent the remainder of their days in this county. Lair Runyon, a Methodist local preacher, came about 1837, and after residing several years in the Hughes neighborhood, removed to Hartford City, where he died about thirty years ago. In the southeastern part of Licking township the pioneers were Phillip Groves, who died in 1863 at the age of fifty-nine years; Henry Hays, the father of William and John J., who died in the early `40s; and William Underhill, who also died at an early date. Among others were Patrick Carmichael, a soldier of the war of 1812, and his sons, William and Andrew, and James H. Sprague. Along the line between Licking and Jackson townships was the Stewart neighborhood, where Robert Stewart, Sr., and his sons Adam and Robert Jr., were in Licking township and the Henry, the doctor and one of the early commissioners, and John were in Jackson township. Jacob Shroyer was also in the edge of Licking township. His wife, Rebecca, and Emily, wife of Aaron Hughes, were daughters of Robert Stewart, Sr. The Stewarts and Shroyers came from Virginia. Shroyer died at the age of twenty-nine years; he was a man of unusual strength, tall and well built. Samson Dildne used to relate an incident, prefacing it with the statement that Shroyer was either the first or second man he ever met who was a match for himself in strength. They were at a log-house raising for James Parker, who entered in 1837 and lived for some ten or twelve years on the farm known for nearly fifty years past as the Guseman farm. The logs were green timber, mostly beech and quite heavy; there were four men to carry up the corners and only eight to carry and push up the logs. Some of the men complained of the heavy work, and proposed to quit at once and wait until more hands could be had. Dildine suggested that he and Shroyer would handle one end of the logs if the other six men would handle the other. They divided off in that way and then went to racing, and in nearly every instance Dildine and Shroyer had their end of the log up to its place first. The custom of racing at the raising of log buildings was quite exciting, but was certainly imprudent and dangerous.

Elijah Sims came from Tennessee about 1836 and established his home about two miles south of Hartford City. He was an anti-slavery man and one of the original abolitionists. He was a local preacher in the Methodist church, and married a large proportion of the early couples who were married in the south half of the county. He had three sons, John A., James M., and David W. James was a man of remarkable strength and activity; he served during the war in the Twelfth and Thirty-fourth Indiana Regiments. While in the vicinity of New Orleans he and some comrades, including a lieutenant, crossed the river in a boat to the city and were taking in the sights. In one of the business houses the proprietor indulged in the expression of some radical rebel sentiments. Sims knocked him down and administered a punishment such as he thought the disloyal offender deserved. On their way back across the river the lieutenant told him he would report him at headquarters for his disorderly conduct. Sims very promptly seized him and held him out at arm's length over the edge of the boat and told him he would drown him then and there unless he would promise not to report him. The officer made the promise and it was kept.

The Slater family and its connections have constituted a considerable element of the population of this county ever since its organization. The ancestors, Jacob and Sarah Slater, came here from Guernsey county, Ohio, some three or four years before the county was organized, locating some three miles south of Hartford City. Jacob died in 1839 and his wife died soon thereafter. Their oldest son, James, came at the same time, with his wife and four children. Three other sons came with the patriarchal Jacob, viz: Thomas, Isaac and John, and their single daughter, Rachel, who married Washington F. Reasoner. Not far from the same time came their married daughters, Keziah, wife of Jonathan Hughes; Maria, wife of Lewis Kirkpatrick, and Elizabeth, wife of William Hellyer. The latter is still living in Hartford City. The Kirkpatricks cane soon after the Slater and Hughes families and were near neighbors to both. They came from Guernsey county, Ohio. David Kirkpatrick was a soldier of the Revolutionary war. He lived here some years with his children, and is buried in the Stewart graveyard. Jane, the wife of James Slater, was his daughter. His sons Alexander, Lewis and Francis, came with him or very near the same time. Alexander died about six or seven years after coming here, and Lewis died some years later. Francis and his wife, Polly, both lived to a good old age. Kenzie D. Ross came to this neighborhood a few years later. John Lewis, a farmer and miller, purchased a large tract of land, but sold it in a few years and went away. His successor was George Atkinson, who came from Highland county, Ohio, about 1839 and for several years run the corn-cracker mill which had been erected by Lewis. He was for a number of years one of the main supporters of the Presbyterian church in Hartford City. Joseph Atkinson, a brother of the foregoing, came two or three years later and located further up and on the opposite side of the creek, where he improved a large farm and accumulated a considerable amount of wealth. His widow still lives on the old homestead. Abraham Shideler and Levi Bowman were early residents four or five miles south of Hartford City. Quite a number were located west and northwest of Hartford City at the time the county was formed. Ira and John Casterline were natives of New Jersey, and resided about sixty years in this county, the former dying at the age of ninety-three and the latter at ninety-one. Their father was a soldier in the Revolution and their mother when a girl was in the employ of Martha Washington during the winter at Valley Forge. Uriah B. Hull lived in that neighborhood and the county commissioners' records show that he was the proprietor of a beaver dam. John and Elizabeth Saxon were pioneers along the north line of Licking township. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary was and resided in New Jersey prior to coming to Indiana. Elizabeth Saxon died April 25, 1852, aged eighty-two years and twenty-six days, and John Saxon died September 24, 1862, at the age of one hundred years, ten months and seven days. Two of their children came also to Blackford county, viz: Mary, wife of Gilbert Townsend, Sr. and James Saxon.

Gilbert Townsend, Sr., son of Eber and Elizabeth (Drew) Townsend, married Mary Saxon in New Jersey and there their five older children were born. In 1815 they moved to Steuben county, New York where six other children were born. In 1839 they came to Blackford County, and settled in the southwest corner of Washington township and afterwards lived in Licking township. Nine of their children came with them, five or six of whom were grown at the time. Beginning with the oldest, their names are as follows: Charles, who married Harriet Bennett, and was the father of Gilbert W. and James B.; John, who married Temperance Householder, and was the father of Mrs. P. M. Covault and Lewis B. Townsend, now living in Hartford City; Gilbert Jr., who married Rachel Hess; Lucy Ann, who was the wife of Allen K. Gadbury; Sarah, wife of Thomas Ashen; James S., still living, who married Mary Leffler; Alva, still living, who married Elzara Shields; Elizabeth, who married Daniel Leffler and Mary, the wife of Fantley L. Foy. Gilbert Sr., died in 1861, aged eighty-one years. When he came here Hartford City consisted of one log cabin and a blacksmith shop.

Joseph Gettys, a native of Pennsylvania, with his wife, Maria, came here in 1837, and remained here until his death. July 9, 1861. His widow is still living as are two of his children, John R. and Mrs. D. Wheeler. His brothers, Edward and Samuel, came soon after but did not remain here long. About 1845 another brother, James came from Pennsylvania and at or near the same time came Jacob Hedge and John S. Fordney, from the same state. James Getty's sons, Joseph N., John S., and Samuel, live near Hartford City. Wallis Benedict and his wife, Rachel, were among the oldest persons who were here at the formation of the county. Rachel died July 20, 1839, nearly sixty-five years of age and Wallis died in 1855 at the age of seventy-nine. Their sons, Peter and Daniel, probably came with them. Another couple who were old as well as early settlers were Jacob and Elizabeth Foy, who both died in 1856, aged respectively eighty and seventy-eight years. Peter Kemmer, a Kentuckian, was a soldier of the war of 1812, and was elected a representative to the legislature in 1843. Lewis Bailey served in several official stations already noted. Phillip and Peter Smell were brothers who married sisters, all being natives of West Virginia. They both served in the war of 1812. Peter died in 1844 and Phillip died in 1876 at the age of ninety-three years. The maiden names of their wives were Elizabeth and Hannah Whiteman, daughters of Edward and Elizabeth Whiteman. The latter is buried in the old cemetery at Hartford City, she was born March 18, 1756, earlier in point of time, probably, than any other person buried in this county. She died August 21, 1842.

Jacob Stahl came from Pennsylvania in the fall of 1839, and bought land adjoining Hartford City on the east, where he resided until his death, fifteen years later. His son, Abraham Stahl, who had a family and was thirty years old, came with him. His other children who came with him were: Sarah, the oldest child; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Sealy Havens; Bethuel; Rebecca, who married Phillip Huffman, and Moses S. These were the children of his first wife Mary, who was the daughter of Bethuel Covault. These were the two children of the second wife (Eleanor Reese) namely: Jonathan and Mary L., who was the wife of S. L. Gadbury. Jacob and Catherine Hess came from Pennsylvania in 1842, and their children were: Abner, Jacob, David and Rebecca; also William C. Hess and Fanny Covault, his children by his first wife. In Zseptember, 1842 Jacob Covault, a son of Bethuel, previously mentioned, and his wife, Fanny, came and settled southwest of Hartford City. They had a large family of children. One of their children, Philip M., has been for some time in the jewelry business in Hartford City. Ephraim, Abner and Nathaniel were farmers for many years. In August and September, 1859, the Covault family has a terrible visitation of diphtheria. Five of Fanny's children died, and another partially recovered and died with consumption some three years later. Two of Abner Covault's children also died.

John Ervin was a prominent among the early settlers. His early life was spent in Maryland; then he lived in Perry county, Ohio and came here in 1837. He was married twice, his wives being half sisters. There were five children by the first wife and eight by the second. The oldest, Naomi, married Hamilton Wheatcraft, and after his death she married Nicholas Friend, the first sheriff of Blackford county. They soon went to Iowa; the second Nancy, married Francis H. Graham, probably the first merchant in Hartford City, who came from Belmont county, Ohio. He returned to Ohio and in about 1865 went to Missouri. He was a methodist preacher, and died in 1875 wile he was presiding elder of the Macon City district. Mary, the next child, married Frederick Seelig, at one time county agent and afterwards county commissioner. Samuel was the next, and was one of the county's best citizens, and Sophia, the youngest of the first Sophia, the youngest of the first children, became the wife of Abraham Cassel, the first county surveyor. Elizabeth, the oldest of the last wife's children, married Rev. William Anderson, a Methodist minister. The other children were: George W., James E., Daniel A., William McK., Jacob E., Benjamin F. and Josiha E. The latter, the only one living, has been for many years a Methodist preacher in the North Indiana conference, and John Ervin himself was a local preacher of considerable ability.

Jacob Brugh built a horse-mill on South Jefferson street, in Hartford City, at an early day, and afterwards sold it to John Moore. Samson Dildine, another pioneer, located on land then adjoining and now in Hartford City. Henry Harmon lived south of town, and William Bolner southeast. Both had large families, and a large number of their descendent are still in the county. Joseph P. and Asher Vancleve, Jeremiah Handley, Nelson D. Clouser, William Payton, James E. B. Rose and Sylvester R. Shelton were men of prominence in local affairs. William Tanghinbaugh came here in 1843, and was a man of influence and something of a politician. He had served a term as sheriff, in Adams county, Pennsylvania, and in this county was justice of the peace, county recorder, clerk of the circuit court and a representative in the legislature.

Our space will only allow the mention of the names of a few others: As John Bush, Thomas Beckford, Jacob Clapper and William Cale, Barnabas Carver, John J. Cook, Joseph and Isaac Careuff, John Craw, George W. Chinn, Samuel and Levi Dennis, William Hellyer, Daniel Heck, Adam Hart, Samuel Inman, David Johnson, Nathan Jones and his sons, William and Joshia Jack, Peter Kemmer, William Leedom, Daniel M. Mercer, John J. Moreland, Jacob and Hazel Oswalt, William and Robert Rouseau, David Stout, James Slack, Thomas Shearon, William Turner, Edward Ward and Benjamin and Smith Wixson.

Submitted by Peggy Karol

Deb Murray