The territory out of which the county was formed originally belonged to Harrison, Orange and Perry Counties. In those days there were few counties in the state. Hence, the counties were large and men had to travel so far to the county seats; for that reason many new counties were laid out from territory belonging to the others.
During the year of 1818 the people of what is now Crawford County petitioned the General Assembly of Indiana, praying that a new county be formed out of Harrison, Perry, and Orange Counties. Martin H. Tucker, who was one of the prominent citizens, presented the petition to Senator Pennington of Harrison County. He introduced a bill in the Senate on January 1, 1818, where it passed January 5, 1818. Later the House passed the measure which the Governor signed on January 29, 1818. Hence, January 29 is the county's birthday.
The boundaries of the county were not definitely established until 1831. During that year the General Assembly enacted a law fixing the boundaries of the various counties. Since that date the county has had the following boundaries: Beginning at the mouth of Big Blue River and following the river with its meandering until it reached the line dividing section 26 from 27 in township three south, range two east, thence north along that line until it intersects the river, thence following the river with its windings to Washington County, thence west to Orange County line, thence south two miles, thence west twenty miles, thence south nine miles, thence east six miles, thence south four miles, thence east six miles, thence south to the Ohio River, thence following the river to the mouth of Big Blue River.
On different occasions the citizens of Perry County and Harrison County petitioned the General Assembly to be allowed to unite certain parts of these counties to Crawford County, but many of the petitions have been rejected.
When the county was first organized there were five townships. They were Ohio, Jennings, Patoka, Sterling and Whisky Run.
Ohio was over on the river, from which it probably was named.
Patoka, which was in the west end of the county, was named after the Patoka River which is in that vicinity.
Mount Sterling township, which was later called simply Sterling, was named after Mount Sterling, Kentucky, both of which doubtless were named after Lord Sterling. This Sterling was an American general in the Revolutionary War.
Jennings was named after Governor Jennings who lived up about Charleston.
Whisky Run was named after an Indian named Ouiska. Back in those days creeks were called runs. Ouiska lived over on a small creek where his tepee was located. Being a friendly Indian whom the settlers liked, they often spoke of Ouiska Run. Later the word was written Whisky Run.
Crawford County was named in honor of William H. Crawford, who was a candidate for the presidency in 1824. At that time he was a member of Monroe's Cabinet and had many warm friends in Indiana. Other men claim that the county was named after the unfortunate Indian agent whom Washington sent west to deal with the Indians. That agent was named Crawford. He was captured by the Indians and burned to death at Sandusky, Ohio, about 1782. The county contained about three hundred square miles. When it was organized in 1818 the county was heavily forested. There were not many acres of swamp land in the county. The uplands were covered with oak, hickory, gum, beech, poplar and walnut, while the creek bottoms were covered with sugar, elm and sycamore. As a hunting ground the county was not surpassed by any in the state, while the streams of Big Blue, Little Blue, Turkey Fork and Bogard Fork were the very best for fishing. The white sulphur well at Sulphur, Indiana, is unsurpassed by any spring of mineral water in the state. The Marengo and Wyandotte caves are considered by some to be the most beautiful in the world.
When the county was organized in 1818 many settlers had located in various parts of the county. Map 1 will indicate who had bought farms in Crawford county before 1818 with names and descriptions of the land. Just how many settlers were in the county in 1818 one can not now say, but there must have been a large number. Uncle Peter Peckinpaugh located in the Big Bottom near Cape Sanday about 1806, but fearing the Indians he moved back into Kentucky and did not return for several years. Mr. ____ Walker moved from Kentucky and located at the mouth of Little Blue about 1806, where he built a cabin house and reared his family of children. His grandson, who keeps the Commercial Hotel at English, is Mr. A. C. Walker. The Jones family is another old family among our early settlers. Gorry Jones who was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, moved to Crawford County in 1814. He settled near Beechwood in Ohio township where he married Miss McCoy, who was a popular Hardin County girl. Gorry Jones had a family of seven children, five of whom were boys and two were girls. John Jones, who was his oldest son, was born in 1802. He married Jane Abell in 1822, to whom were born fourteen children. He lived in Ohio township until his death in 1875. George Jones, who was related to these Joneses, was also an early settler. Luther L. Jones, who lives at Schooner Point in Ohio township, is a grandson of Gorry Jones. The population of the county in 1820 was 2,583.
The first county seat was located in section 33, township two south, range one east. The site is about four miles southeast of the present town of English. The site occupies a level plain of land located on an elevated tract of land. The settlers named the seat of justice Mount Sterling, after a town of the same name in Montgomery County, Kentucky. The old records show that Birney Labruk made the plat of the town. Thomas W. Aubrey, who was probably the first justice of the peace in the county, states that Birney Labruk came before him January 25, 1818, and acknowledged the plat to be the true plat of Mount Sterling. Brice Patrick, who was the county agent, brought the plat to the recorders office where William Samuels recorded the plat November 11, 1818. One may see the original drawing on pages two and three of book one in the recorder's office of Crawford County.
Section 4 of the law which organized the county appointed John Ribble of Washington County, Joseph W. Doke of Orange County, Samuel Connor of Perry County, John McClure of Daviess County, and Thomas Carr of Clark County to compose a committee who would locate a seat of justice for the county. This committee was ordered to meet at the house of James Brown and on the third Monday in April of that year proceed to select the new seat of justice.
Section 5 reads: “It shall be the duty of the sheriff of Harrison County to notify the commissioners of their appointment. The commissioners of the new county were authorized to pay the members of this commission a reasonable sum out of the first money collected.”
Section 6 reads: “The board of commissioners of Crawford County shall within 12 months after the seat of justice shall be established proceed to erect the necessary public buildings thereon.”
Section 7 reads: “Until suitable accommodations can be had at the new seat of justice all the courts which are held in the county shall be held at the house of James Barker, after which the courts shall be held at the new court house."”
Section 8 reads: “The agent who shall layout and sell the lots at the new seat of justice shall reserve in his hands 10% of the net proceeds for use of a county library in the county. The sum of money shall be paid over to the proper one who is selected to receive the sum.”
The commission met at the home of James Brown and, after due examination, selected Mount Sterling for the seat of justice.
The streets of the town ran north and south and east and west. The streets running north and south were named Carr, Ribble, Doke, Samuel, Hall, and Totten, while those running east and west were named Main, Market and Water streets. The streets were sixty-five feet wide and the alleys were ten feet wide.
Only a few houses were ever built in Mount Sterling.
On February 11, 1819, Brice Patrick, who was the county agent, sold to William P. Thomasson lots 73, 101, 105, 76, 102, 93, 127, 75, 138, 74, 128, 113, 122, 105, 107, 137, for $1,500. These lots were known as bond lots, the record of which is found in Book I, page 11.
The old log jail which was built in those early days was still standing in the sixties. Minor Satterfield, who lives near the site of the town, in 1921 told the author that he remembered seeing the old jail when he was a boy. So it must have been standing as late as 1865. The parents of William Beasley, who lives near English, once lived in the old jail. William remembers when they lived there.
The county clerk's records showed that the August and December terms of the Circuit Court were held there in 1818. James Brashear, who lived there, let the officers use his new log house for a court room. A few old apple trees of the horse apple variety were still standing in 1900. The writer was informed that Henry Batman, who cleared up some of the old fields in 1900, said that the apple trees were still living.
Some effort was made to get settlers to locate in Mount Sterling. The General Assembly enacted a law in 1819 authorizing the county commissioners to layout new lots and to alter the old lots if occasion required it.
The most serious objection to the growth of the town was the absence of water. Settlers in those pioneer days did not want to locate unless there was a quantity of wholesome water near by. In the year of 1842 at the September session of the Board of Justices one finds that Samuel Pepper, who was a prominent lawyer in Leavenworth, was appointed attorney for the county. He gave notice in the Harrison County Gazette, warning all men not to buy any county orders issued by the said county for the improvement of lots in Mount Sterling. This order was posted in all the townships. The bill to appoint commissioners to relocate the county seat of Crawford County was introduced Saturday, December 1, 1821, and passed December 13, 1821. More will be said about the county seat later. Mr. George Beasley lives on the very plot of ground where the old town was laid out.
The records of the county have a very interesting book on which are written the names of all men who bought land from the Government with dates and description of the land. The county recorder has the book which he calls the "tract book." From it the writer has taken the names of the men given below:
Henry Green moved into Crawford County where he bought a farm August 1, 1812. This farm was located in section 34, township 2 south, range 2 east, being the southwest quarter of the section. Squire Henry Green's farm lay near Mount Lebanon. Judge Green, who was born in Ireland, came to this country when he was a young man. From Virginia he moved west and finally located on the west side of Big Blue River. The land then was part of Harrison County. Henry Green was a very useful citizen. During his long life he was employed in many capacities of service. Crawford County honored him in electing him judge of the court. When Davis Floyd visited the county in 1818 to organize the first circuit court in the county Judge Green and James Glenn were present to help him. Under the old Constitution in those days there were three judges. David Floyd was the chief judge with Glenn and Green as assistants. Glenn and Green were associate justices, which name was used in those days. Green, who was elected to represent Crawford County in the General Assembly in 1821, served the state and county well. He voted for nearly all the important bills, among which was one to establish the office of attorney-general.
He introduced petitions sent to him by Honorable James Glenn and others, praying that a commission be appointed to relocate the county seat of Crawford County. These petitions were referred to a select committee composed of Henry Green of Crawford County, Charles Dewey of Orange County, Alexander Wallace of Orange County, and Moses Kirkpatrick of Floyd County. After the committee had duly considered the matter, Green reported a bill providing for the appointment of a board of commissioners to select a permanent site for a county seat. The bill having been passed, the Governor signed it on December 22, 1821. Besides the good work done by Green as a legislator, he was one of the prominent citizens of the county to whom the others could look for guidance. He was supervisor on the “Governor's Old Trail” for a long time. He was justice of peace for many years. He died at his home near Mount Lebanon, at which place he was buried in his own private cemetery.
No farms were sold in the county during the year of 1813. The war of 1812 2as on then and men were not locating in the West so freely on account of the Indians.
In 1814 the following men bought farms in Crawford County: James Totten, Henry Fullenwider, William McKay, Andrew and Joseph Kinkaid, Moses Smith and Robert Fields.
Of the above named men probably Henry Fullenwider was the most noted. He was a leading citizen at Alton for many years. He built a mill near his home to which the farmers took their grist. When the citizens divided up township four south, range one east, into school districts about 1837 Henry Fullenwider was elected district trustee for District No. 4. One finds in those days that each man had his private cemetery. So on the hill west of Alton about two miles, “Uncle Henry” as his good neighbors called him, selected the site for the cemetery. The following article appeared in the Crawford County Democrat a few months ago. "A handsome and appropriate monument, a gift of their five living sons, Doctor Jack Fullenwider of Mount Vernon, Professor Percy Fullenwider of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, John, William and Marshall of Roberta, Kentucky, was erected over Haden Fullenwider's grave, a descendant of Colonel Henry and Delilah, his wife at Fullenwider's cemetery, Tuesday, October 13th. This ceremony recalls the open hospitality of this honored couple for many years of their happy life spent at the old Colonel Henry home which was the social center of the community during the years in which they raised their family of six boys and four girls. The cemetery also contains the grave of Jonathan Boone, a nephew of Daniel Boone, who died in 1827. The colonel's part is separated from the rest by a stone wall. His descendants live near Alton today, one of whom married Doctor H. H. Deen, who has a large practice at Leavenworth."
James Totten, who was a very interesting character, was appointed sheriff of Crawford County in 1825.
The two Kinkaids were members of the Christian Church. They helped organize the class at the Three Forks of Little Blue about 1819. They lived in a one-room log house. David M. Stewart was the one who organized the church in October, 1819. There were thirteen members in Kinkaid's class. After a few years a log house was built. One finds references to it in the Commissioner's Records. It was named "Blue River Meeting House." The father, Joseph Kinkaid, and his son, Andrew Kinkaid, were very prominent citizens of the county. They held various offices of different kinds. Mary E. Miller of near English is the granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Kinkaid.
Moses Smith's farm was located near English. For many years he was a leading citizen in Sterling township, where he raised a large family of children, one of whom was Minor Smith. Minor was the father of George C. Smith and James Smith. The people elected James Smith treasurer in 1916 on the Republican ticket, by a handsome majority over James M. Brown.
During the year of 1815, John Hastings, John Green, Robert and Isaac Sands bought farms.
During 1816, Michael Harvey, James McIntosh, Abraham Sheckels, William Sharp, Eli Wright, Riggs Penningtoin, George Repley and Robert Yates bought farms in the county. Of the above number Robert Yates was commissioned County Commissioner by Governor Jennings when the county was organized.
The list of men who bought farms in 1817 was much larger. The following men were the most important: George Jones, Henry Richards, Martin Scott, John Flannery, John Sturgeon, John Sands, Robert Scott, James Green, Daniel Weathers, and Archibald Allen. These men were good citizens, hardy pioneers, and patriotic men.
Martin Scott, who was born in 1777, came from Virginia. His farm was situated about four miles north of Leavenworth, on the "Old Leavenworth and Salem" road. Many of his descendants live in the county today. When Davis Floyd came to "Old Mount Sterling" in Crawford County to organize the first circuit court, Mr. Scott was a member of the first grand jury. He was road supervisor and lister of Jennings township for many years. At times Mr. Scott seems to have displayed a very bad temper. The records of the county show that he was fined $1.00 in May, 1829, for swearing. He lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1858. He was buried in his private cemetery. Daniel Froman owns the well-known farm of Martin Scott.
Daniel Weathers and his brother Richard were born in Wales. They moved to Virginia and from there to Tennessee. Daniel Weathers, who lived in Tennessee in 1800, cast his vote for Adams. Richard Weathers lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, and voted for Adams too. While living in Knoxville Richard Weathers married a southern girl. Neither one of the brothers liked slavery, so they decided to move north. They crossed the Ohio River near Tobacco Landing, on a raft which they pushed by a long pole. Richard settled just east of Milltown, in Harrison County, on what is now known as the McCutcheon farm. Here he lived in a three-sided log cabin.
While hunting one day he crossed the Big Blue River near where Milltown now stands and came over into Crawford County. The scenery charmed him so much that he decided to locate in Crawford County. So he moved to where Marengo now is and squatted on what is now (1919) Lyman Jones' farm. Here he worked for 25 cents a day until he had saved $75, most of which was continental paper money. One night his old cow found the purse and chewed the money till it was damaged. So Mr. Weathers did not buy the farm, but sold out his claim, and squatted on what is now Dave Apple's farm. Meanwhile Daniel Weathers had been more fortunate, and had bought the farm mentioned above. Richard Weathers, who was a hard-working man, did not buy till 1825.
After the law was enacted providing for Crawford County, Governor Jennings selected Daniel Weathers to be the first sheriff, The commission was issued September 8, 1818. The bond of Sheriff Weathers is here given: "Know all men by these presents: that we, Daniel Weathers, James Barker, John Smith, Robert Yates, Thomas Roberts, Riggs Pennington, and Richard Weathers are held bound to Governor J ennings and his successors in office for the sum of $5,000, for which payment we jointly and severally promise to pay Governor Jennings and his successors in office, provided, however, that if Daniel Weathers discharges his duties according to law, the ahove obligation is null and void.
Signed for the State
JAMES BARKER AND WILLIAM SAMUELS
RECORDER OF C. C.
Signed for Weathers
Daniel Weathers performed his duties faithfully till he was relieved from duty, about 1822. These two Weathers reared large families, several of whose sons served their country well in the Civil War. Major W. V. Weathers, Captain Enoch Weathers, James M. Weathers, Andrew E. Weathers, and James Weathers have remarkable war records. When Captain Thomas Hines of Bowling Green made his daring raid into Crawford County in 1863, he talked with Captain Enoch Weathers at his home in Marengo. Of course Weathers did not know who he was then. Last, but not least, of the many descendants of the two "'catlle1">; is Honorable John Henry Weathers of New Albany. The Republicans nominated him for judge in 1896. The district was generally Democratic by 600. Weathers was defeated by Judge Cook after a hard fought campaign by a narrow margin of 52 votes.
The names of the men who bought farms in Crawford County in 1818 were: Malachi Monk, George Wyman, Moses Smith, Thomas Easley, George Wilks, Charles Springer, Elisha Tadlock, Elisha Tatten, Peter Funk, Sam Westfall, Abraham Wiseman, Cornelius Hall, John Lee, Jacob Conrad, Elizabeth Wright, and Peter Sonner.
Cornelius Hall was appointed County Commissioner in 1818. Mr. Hall who was well read in law was one of the jurors at the trial of Ouley, about which much will be written later. When Mr. Hall's term of office expired he became associate justice of Crawford County which office he held for many years.
Elisha Tadlock was the first Seminary trustee. When the law was enacted in 1818, Governor Jennings appointed him trustee. On December 18, 1821, he made his first report to the General Assembly of Indiana, which showed that he had $100.50 of the Seminary funds. He was elected to represent Crawford County in the General Assembly in 1825. He was overseer of the poor in Whisky Run Township for many years. In those days there was no county farm to which paupers were sent. The County Commissioners generally appointed some one in each township. In 1825, the board allowed him $37.50 for keeping Timothy Bennett for three months. Mr. Tadlock was collector of the state revenues in 1827. Mr. Tadlock has many descendants in Crawford County, all of whom have been well respected people.
Moses Smith bought a farm near where English is now. He reared a large family. His son, Minor Smith, grew up in Sterling township, where he reared a large family of children, two of which were George C. Smith and James J. Smith. The Smiths have always been good citizens and popular with the people. In 1914 George Smith was elected trustee of Patoka township by the Republican party. Patoka being a Democratic township by 200 majority, one can see that Smith must have secured a large number of their votes. James Smith was elected county treasurer in l916, by the Republicans, over James M. Brown. His majority was 191. Hence 200 Democrats must have voted for him. This will give the reader a good idea of the respect the people have for them.
Malachi Monk, who was one of the early settlers, built the "Old Indian Block House" near where Marengo now stands. The exact site of the block house was near where County Clerk Ross' house now stands. His son was elected county auditor in 1868, which office he held till 1876.
Abram Wiseman located in what is now Ohio township. He and Jacob Wiseman moved to Kentucky and later into Crawford County. These two Wisemans reared large families in Crawford County. Among the war records one finds George E. Wiseman, Philip Wiseman, Abram Wiseman, William Wiseman and Henry Wiseman were soldiers in the Union army while Henry Newton Wiseman was in the Spanish American War. In the World War, many of his descendants took part. The Wisemans have always been, since the Civil War, Republicans.
The Wisemans claim that in the early history of the West a certain Wiseman boy was captured by the Indians who adopted him into the tribe of Shawnees. When he became a man, he married an Indian girl. To them was born an Indian boy who became the famous Tecumseh. Later he left the Indians.
Captain Peter Funk was an outstanding character in history. When Harrison called on him and wanted him to organize a company of cavalry and march against the Indians, he lived in Kentucky. He mounted a horse, and at great speed rode to the Capitol and asked permission from the Kentucky Governor. The road from Louisville was so bad that the horse died from exhaustion. In the battle the man used good judgment and his men gave a good account of themselves. The men kept cool and fired where they saw flashes of the Indians' guns. When day came they were easily routed by a few vigorous charges. The historian affirms that the Prophet told the Indians that he would stand on a certain high rock and sing the magic songs during the battle, and that he could charm away the balls fired from the Kentucky rifles. After the battle he was called to account for his conduct. He saved his reputation among the Indians to some extent by explaining that his squaw had "tinkered" with the beads on the chain, but many of the Indians still feared Harrison, Funk, and Daviess. Mr. Funk, after the war was over, settled about two miles north of Milltown. The Funks have been a prominent family all through the history of the county, Solomon Funk and John E. Funk were supporters of the Republican party in 1860. Later John E. Funk, who was elected County Commissioner in 1894, helped to move the seat of justice from Leavenworth to English in 1895. Another descendant of these Funks is Cadmus Funk, who was elected sheriff over the Democratic candidate by 331 votes. The county being heavily Democratic, one will see that Funk must have been very popular, since his opponent, Louis V. Byrum was a very good man too.
The names of the men who bought farms in the county in 1819, were: John Roth, Henry Richards, John Hughes, Henry Jones, John Sheckels, Jonathan Bird, William Groves, and David Rice.
In 1820, Dan Miller, Sam Kemp, John Morgan, Joseph Van Winkle, Addison Williams, and Reuben Wright bought farms in Crawford County.
Sam Kemp's farm was west of Fredonia about two miles, in section 7, town 4 south, range 1 east. Here he reared a family. One of the sons was John Kemp who was a member of the 49th Indiana Volunteers. He was wounded several times in action. Uncle Sam Kemp's grandson lives in Alton today. His name is Clay Kemp.
Much can be said about Addison Williams whose farm was located in section 14, town 3 south, range 1 east. He worked hard to secure settlers for the county. He platted a town which he called New Haven. The plat was recorded at the county seat. No one bought lots so no town grew up. Later he platted a town called Magnolia. Here several men bought lots and built houses. Mr. Williams operated a large still and a mill in Magnolia. The plat ws filed in the Recorder's office July 4, 1838. Magnolia is situated northwest of Leavenworth about four miles. Today it has several houses, store, and postoffice.
In 1821, these men bought farms in the county: James Brown, James McMartin, Robert Samuels, Richard White, Hamilton McKee, ____ Gwartney, Ed Sturgeon, William Riley, Lawrence Beers, John VanMeter, Archibald Stone, John Condra, Mason Jenkins, B. Bogard, Joel Lyons, Richard White, James Mansfield, Jackson Nicholson, James Totten, Abram Bird, John Goldman, David Lowe, Burton Parr.
The Mansfield family lived at Leavenworth. James M. Mansfield, who was a son of James Mansfield, was a Union soldier in time of the Civil war. In 1866 he was elected clerk of the county. The school at Mansfield was named after him because he gave the lot of ground on which the house was built.
Burton Parr was a very useful citizen. One of his grandsons was E. E. Parr, who is trustee of Boone Township at date of writing.
James Totten proved a good citizen. He was appointed sheriff in 1825. At that time the office was hard to fill.
Abram Sheckel bought a large farm near Cape Sandy. There he built a double log-house which is still standing. Men use it for a tobacco barn now. The Sheckel school which stood near the East Cemetery, was named after him. This school house was burned down about 1806. Oliver Morton Sheckel, who is superintendent of the city schools of Brownstown, is a descendant of "Uncle Abram" Sheckel.
In 1822 these men bought farms: Julius Woodford, Peter Frakes, David Brown, Obadiah Childs, Jacob Conrad, Wilson Scott, Samuel McMahan, Robert S. Thom, Reuben D. Thom, Thomas Conon, and Ebenezer E. Morgan.
Julius Woodford for many years was one of the leading citizens of the county. He was elected county commissioner from the second district in 1833, to succeed Zebulum Leavenworth whose term expired that year. He was one of the first merchants of Leavenworth. In those days men were compelled to get a license to keep a store. The record shows that he was granted a license in 1825) to sell foreign merchandise. He sold the lot to the seminary trustees in 1835, on which the old seminary was built.
E. E. Morgan became one of the county's most influential citizens. He held many offices of trust one of which was the office of County Recorder. He was appointed to this office in 1825, and retired in 1846, after 2l years of service .
John Austin and William Patton bought farms in 1823. This year saw the entries of the Austins and Pattons whose desendants are found scattered over the hills of old Crawford County.
The list in 1824 was: John H. Wyman, Henry Rhodes, David Wilbur, Edward Riddings.
For 1825, these men bought land: David Beals, Joseph Bea1s, Richard Weathers, John Mahan, Robert Baldwin, Adam Denison, Walter Gresham, John Funk, Will Stroud, and Thomas Walker.
This year saw a new list of men enter the county. The Beals family has been one of the most prominent. Supt. S. A. Beals, of English, is a grandson of Joseph Bea1s, whose farm lies in Jennings township. The farm is now owned by Marsh Parr. The Gresham famiy later located in Harrison County, where Walter Q. Gresham was born. He became a wel1 distinguished citizen of Indiana, a learned judge on the Federal Bench in Illinois, a candidate for the presidency in 1888, and Secretary of State under Cleveland in 1893, until his death in 1895.
One should not pass by the Walker family without comment. Thomas Walker’s farm was near the mouth of Little Blue. Here he reared a family of children, one of whom married a southern girl about the time of the Civil War. The southern men never liked this man. When the Civil War was going on they caught him and tested him thoroughly with all kinds of questions. One asked him for whom he voted for president. When they heard him answer “Lincoln” they became furious but for some reason he was spared. A. C. Walker, who is proprietor of the Commercial Hotel at English, is a grandson of Thomas Walker.
In 1826 these men bought farms: Henry Brag, Sam Scott, William Good, R. S. Thom, and Dudley Gresham.
John Peckinpaugh, David Lone, Charles Springer, William Riley, David Attleberry, Robert Mileseat, Francis Able, Thomas Parr, Milton Holecraft, O. Raymond, Thomas Davidson, Samuel Bird, W. P. Thompson, Edward Butler, William Taylor, James Stuart, and Isaiah Bullington bought farms in 1827.
No farms were sold in 1828. The list for 1829 was: John Leggett, J. H. Mills, Seth and Zebulum Leavenworth, Woods Proctor, Librim Frisbie, John Lynd, and Thomas Davidson.
The preceding lists contain the names of all the men who bought farms until l830. By referring to the map one can see where each man's farm was located.
History of Crawford County Indiana
by Hazen Hayes Pleasant, A. M.
Wm. Mitchell Printing Co., Greenfield, IN 1926
Early History of Crawford County
When Crawford County was cut off from Harrison County, it was put into the New Albany district for court purposes. Our first circuit judge was Davis Floyd. This Floyd had been a conspicuous character in the early history of Indiana territory. He joined Aaron Burr's conspiracy and was his agent to collect boats and men at Jeffersonville. He left Jeffersonville December 16, 1806. Burr's company was broken up. Davis Floyd was caught, tried for treason, convicted, and sentenced to serve three hours in the Government prison at Jeffersonville. Later he was judge of the circuit. Floyd County was named after him.
He made the circuit of the district holding court at each county seat. The first session was held at Mount Sterling in Crawford County August 1, 1818. Judge Floyd was assisted by Judge Henry Green and James Glenn, both of whom were honorable men. The new court house and jail had not yet been built. James Brasher let the judges use his new cabin house. This house was too little to accommodate all the jurors, so they sat around on logs in the yard.
Sheriff Daniel Weathers, who was commissioned sheriff by the Governor was present and handed into the court the following men's names for a grand jury: Cornelius Hall, Lazarus Stewart, Alex King, William Osborn, James Lewis, Elias Davis, Elisha Potter, Alex Barnett, William Potter, Robert Yates, Peter Peckinpaugh, William Scott, Reuben Laswell, Abraham Wiseman, George Tutter, Martin Scott, John Sturgeon, Robert Sands, Isaac Lamp, Ed. Gobin, and Malachi Monk. Just how the men were selected the records do not explain. They were certainly good men.
These men elected Cornelius Hall foreman. After due consideration the jury returned a bill against James Ouley for murder in the first degree. The evidence showed that Ouley had followed Briley through the woods for some distance and had shot him in the back, about where his suspenders crossed.
The ball came out in his neck, making a wound about eight inches deep. Briley died almost instantly and Ouley escaped. Just what motive Ouley had for shooting Briley one can hardly tell now. References and information are so meager. Probably he took what money the man had and his horse and escaped. No one knows.
Briley lived on Patoka Creek, in what is probably now part of Orange County, not far from the present town of English. He left home with a sack of wool and was on his way to Condon to get the wool carded. He was traveling on the governor's old trail which ran from Vincennes to Corydon. The exact spot where the shooting occurred the writer is not able to locate. It happened near the top of white oak hill about one-half mile south of where the old Bushow school house used to stand, on the farm owned some time ago by Billie Troman. The location is just east of the Marengo and Leavenworth road. It served that Ouley and Briley were angry about some trouble they had had.
This horrible murder occurred on July 1, 1818. Ouley dragged the body a few feet from the Old Trail and put it behind a log near the road. He then escaped with the horse.
Several hours later one of Lazarus Stewart’s sons was returning from a mill on Big Blue River with a grist of corn. Darkness came on in the heavy forest. Still he moved on his way. As the horse neared the spot where the fatal shooting occurred the animal began to snort and show signs of fear. The boy, who was about fourteen years old, for some reason was not afraid at all. He kept urging the horse up gently toward the big log near the road from which the foul odor appeared to come. Nearing the log he saw some dark object behind it. On careful examination, when pieces of bark were removed, the form of a man was discovered. Hastening on to the town of Big Springs he told the men what he had found. A crowd of men with lights took the boy back with them, so that he could show them the exact spot where the corpse was. When they arrived there and examined the body, it was found to be Briley. Who lived away out on Patoka Creek somewhere. Some say he lived out on Dog Creek, but the fact of the matter is that the northwest part of the county was so thinly settled then, that one cannot well locate the exact home of Briley or Ouley. It might have been the second day too, before his body was found. Ouley took his horse and traveled east on the Old Trail.
The men after finding the body took up the trail of the horse by its tracks in the soft earth. Over near the Big Blue River the men found a saddle hanging in a tree. This encouraged them very much. Pursuing the trail through the woods farther, suddenly they found a horse tied to a dogwood. Evidently the horse had been there some time, because bark was gnawed off of the bush, and the ground was torn up considerable where the horse had been standing.
Going on, the men came to the bottom land near the river. Here they were greatly surprised to see James Ouley in a pawpaw patch. He seemed to have been there for some time just walking around devoid of reason. Sheriff Weathers arrested him and brought him back to Mount Sterling. Later he was put into the famous olb block house at Marengo. As far as known, Weathers had no writ for Ouley, but captured him. Ouley did not seem to talk and was in a stupor of some kind.
The bill returned by the grand jury read: James Ouley, late of Crawford County, a yeoman, not having the fear of God before his eyes, but moved and seduced by the spirit of the Devil on July 1, 1818, with force and arms in Whisky Run Township in and upon William Briley in the peace of God, then and there, being wilful and of malice a fore thought did make and against James Ouley with a certain rifle gun of the value of $10, loaded with gun-powder and a certain leaden bullet, with which gun the said Ouley did shoot William Briley in the back, and the ball came out in his neck, making a wound about 8 inches deep, from which wound Briley died almost instantly."
The trial began immediately. Ouley plead not guilty, and demanded that the County furnish him an attorney. The court appointed Henry Stephens and Harbin Moore to defend him, while William Thompson ,vas appointed prosecuting attorney for that session of the court.
Daniel Weathers, the sheriff, had a large number of men present from whom these men were selected for a petit jury: Elisha Lane, Constance Williams, Marcus Troelock, Joseph Beals, Andrew Troelock, David Beals, John Goldman, James Richie, William May, George Peckinpaugh, Thomas W. Cummins, and Robert Grimes. Constable Williams, who had been in the Revolutionary War, was selected as foreman of the jury.
The trial was conducted out-of-doors in the wood yard.
The jury sat around on logs. There was no doubt but they were the best men in the county. From them have come the Lanes, Williams, Deals, Goldmans, Richies, Peckinpaughs, Grimes, and Cumminses. They were sworn to hear the evidence and decide the case. After all the witnesses were examined, the pleading done, and the judge had instructed the jury, the men retired to consider the evidence. After some time the jury returned a verdict of guilty and placed his sentence at death.
The counsel for the defense asked for a new trial on these grounds: 1. That the verdict was contrary to the state law; 2. that the evidence was not sufficient; 3. the conduct of the jurors was not proper; 4. that outsiders talked to the jurors during the trial; 5. that Elisha Lane had expressed his opinion before the trial began; 6. that one juror was too much indisposed to pay the proper amount of attention that such a case demanded. That juror in question was said to have been asleep.
The court not being fully advised adjourned until the next day, when it refused the defendant a new trial, and asked him if he had any reason why sentence of death should not be passed upon him. He asked the court to arrest the judgment of the jurors on these grounds: 1. That he was a wheelwright made the evidence uncertain; 2. that the bill did not have the name of the state or county in it. The court over-ruled the argument and passed this sentence upon him: That he should be kept in the old block house in custody of the sheriff till October 1, 1818, when he should be taken out on the same road 01' on whatever new road might be laid out by that time in one-half mile of Old Mount Sterling, between the hours of 10 a. m. and 2 p. m. and hanged by the neck till dead.
Sheriff Weathers took the prisoner back to the old block house, where he was kept till the day of execution. Farmers of the neighborhood volunteered to help guard the jail. Men say that Ouley became desperate as the time grew near. He tried to gnaw through the logs. Long years afterwards, when the block house was torn down, one could see where he had gnawed through the white of the oak logs probably an inch deep.
Cornelius Hall, who lived near where Marengo now stands, was a cabinet maker. He made the coffin for Ouley. When the day came, Richard Weathers, who was a brother of Sheriff Daniel Weathers, hauled Ouley out to the scene of execution in his ox cart. Ouley sat on his coffin in the wagon while guards well armed were on all sides. When they came to the trees a rope was fastened to the limb of a tree and Ouley was put on a barrel in the wagon with the noose over his head just right. When everything was ready Daniel Weathers gave his brother a nod. He hit the oxen a tap and they started forward, leaving Ouley swinging from the branch. He was buried in a grave near the tree.
Many years later, in 1900, Henry Batman cleaned up the old field and planted it to corn. He found near the road a large oval spot of clay dirt, while all the rest was dark loam. This must have been the clay which was dug up and thrown out from the grave. The details of the above story were furnished by M. E. Stewart, grandson of Richard Weathers.
History of Crawford County Indiana
by Hazen Hayes Pleasant, A. M.
Wm. Mitchell Printing Co., Greenfield, IN 1926
Early History of Crawford County
When brought before the bar of justice Fields pleaded that he was not guilty in the sense in which the Grand Jury had indicted him. The following men were selected for a jury: A. B. Tower, James Van Winkle, Sam McMahon, Walker Main, Swango Hadden, William Armstrong, Marmaduke McCarney, James S. Temple, James G. Sloan, Charles Comcien, Nincom Haskens, and Gabriel Williams. After all the evidence was in the case argued by the attorneys, the jury retired to consider the case, but the jury could not agree. The jury was discharged on November 11, 184G.
A new trial was held with this jury: George Jones, Oliver Hannon, John Jones, Greenbury Roberts, John Goldman, N. C. Peckinpaugh, Tich Warner, James D. Jones, William Dean, Andrew Beers, Elias 0' Bannon, John K. Tyler. This jury found Fields guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced him to death.
Judge John Lockhart called Fields to him and read the sentence to him: That he should be kept in the Leavenworth cell till December 18, 1846, and on that day he was to he taken out and hanged by the neck till dead, and may the Lord have mercy on his soul.
The sheriff with his assistants built the gallows near where the old carding machine used to stand. That morning hundreds of men had come to Leavenworth to see the hanging. Sheriff Clark took every precaution to see that the law was enforced. Six men with guns walked behind the wagon when the procession left the county jail. The coffin was put in the wagon and Fields was placed on the coffin in a sitting position, in which condition he was driven to the gallows. He was taken to the trap door and the noose was adjusted over his head. The death cap was placed on his head. When all was ready Sheriff Clark struck at the rope with a knife, but he was so nervous that he missed the rope. The second time he cut the rope. The trap door fell, letting the victim fall directly clown. The rope broke, but several men sprang forward and caught Fields in their arms and held him as high as they could till some one tied the rope. The writer's father, who saw the whole affair, said that Fields just kicked a little with one foot when he hit the ground and while they were holding him up, till the rope was tied again. The men pronounced him dead after sufficient time had elapsed. He was taken down and buried near the Leavenworth and Corydon road just east of Leavenworth. Thus ended the hangings in Crawford County.
History of Crawford County Indiana
by Hazen Hayes Pleasant, A. M.
Wm. Mitchell Printing Co., Greenfield, IN 1926
Early History of Crawford County