History of Terre Haute, Vigo Co., IN - 1880 - page two
EARLY SETTLEMENT AND HISTORY, cont.
The following statement was made by Chauncey ROSE at one of the meetings of the "Old Settlers" in Terre Haute:
"In the fall of 1817 I traveled in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, looking for a location at which to reside and engage in business. I spent several days at Terre Haute; it had been laid out the previous year. The following winter I spent in Kentucky. Favorably impressed with the location and people in and about Terre Haute, I returned, and became a resident in April, 1818. There were but two cabins at Terre Haute, occupied respectively by Dr. O.P. MODESITT and William MARS. The nearest boarding place was at Fort Harrison, where I boarded, where also the county officers boarded, at a house kept by Mrs. STEWART, until the first log house was erected during that year. In that house the courts were held for about two years. * * *
"The fall was very sickly, and many settlers staid (sic) at the fort. Friendly Indians, in various numbers and of different tribes, roamed in the neighborhood. * * * The first settlers were intelligent and worthy pioneers,--a very superior class of men and women. The deprivations to which they were subject had their enjoyments. Game was abundant. It was furnished chiefly by the Indians, at very low rates.
"Major MARKLE erected the first mill, on Otter creek. Drs. MODESITT, CLARK (army) and ASPINWALL were the first physicians.
"Nathaniel HUNTINGTON opened the first law office. There were no direct roads. The trip east was made by way of Louisville, Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was not until Indianapolis was selected as the capital that more direct roads were made. It was a source of rejoicing when the first steamboat landed at Terre Haute, in 1822. In 1819 I moved to Parke county and engaged in the business of milling. I sawed and furnished the lumbar for the court-house, erected on the public square. I returned to Terre Haute in 1825."
The people of that day were really more troubled about the money question than at the present time, although perhaps not as much was said about it. To supply this lack of currency people resorted to the expedient of cutting silver dollars and half dollars into ten and five cent pieces respectively. These formed the medium of exchange and were denominated "bits." They formed the only currency, if we except the famous "coon-skin." A "round" piece of money was scarcely known.
In 1823 corn was worth 6� cents per bushel. It was said that it would not pay to shoot wild turkeys, since after being shot they were not worth the ammunition. A wild turkey was worth six ears of corn. Problem--If corn was worth 6� cents per bushel, what was a turkey worth?
The following is a list of prices that ruled in the Terre Haute "markets" in 1822, taken from an old paper: Wheat, 25 cents per bushel; corn 12� cents per bushel; oats, 14 cents per bushel; potatoes, 18 cents per bushel; apples, 37� cents per bushel; peaches, 12� cents per bushel; pork, 2 cents per pound; beef, 3 cents per pound; butter, 6 cents per pound; eggs, 4 cents per dozen; chickens, 5 cents each; salt, $1 per bushel; tea, $1.25 per pound; coffee, 37� per pound; loaf sugar, 37� cents per pound.
In 1820 the river became remarkably low; the wells were all dried up; general sickness prevailed; the pestilential miasma [poisonous vapors thought to infect the air] visited every family. Many deaths occurred, among them many prominent citizens. The general health of Terre Haute received a severe blow from this visitation, from which it did not recover for some years, and not until the marshes of Lost creek were drained, in 1837 [makes one think it may have been cholera]. This creek, previous to being drained, had washed down and saturated the prairie east and south of town, creating an immense morass of several hundred acres in extent, without any outlet except by absorption and evaporation. It was, however, effectually drained, and the evil was thus removed.
[Here the author inserts several biographical sketches, which I've removed to the Biographies section of this site:]
Major John T. CHUNN; General Peter B. ALLEN; Benjamin McKEEN.
JOSEPH RICHARDSON came with his family in 1816, from Genesco county, N.Y. Mr. RICHARDSON was a man of considerable wealth. The year previous he had visited this region and purchased twenty-two entire sections of land on the White and Wabash rivers, and also in Illinois. Mr. RICHARDSON, in company with Major Abraham MARKLE, and their families, proceeded to Olean Point, on the Alleghany river, and there built a flat-boat, in which they embarked with all their household goods and such other articles as would probably be needed in their new home, and floated down the Ohio. Reaching the Wabash, the "poled" up that river to Vincennes. Other boats accompanied them. At this point a halt of about two weeks was made and then the "fleet" proceeded up the river to Fort Harrison. It seems that considerable emulation had risen among the boats, as to which should reach their destination first, and an "exciting race" ensued. Mr. RICHARDSON had for a pilot an old Frenchman, and under his guidance his boat was the first to round the bend below and come in sight of the fort. The soldiers were drawn up in line to receive them, and as the boat approached the shore a salute from a small cannon was fired in their honor. The boat landed July 4, 1816. A lunch of cake and wine was spread on the deck under direction of Major MARKLE, and the officers invited on board. Mr. RICHARDSON's boat was a large one, being eighty-one feet long by fifteen wide. On this were transported the two families, Mr. RICHARDSON's consisting of nine persons, and Major MARKLE's of eight. In addition were several men who had been hired to "pole" the boat, besides farming implements and a carriage. This carriage was the first ever seen in Terre Haute. It was in use for many years, and was frequently loaned to the officers for their pleasure, until at length, on one of these excursions, it was upset and broken in crossing Honey creek, and was never after repaired.
Mr. RICHARDSON succeeded in obtaining a small cabin in which to house his family. Soon after he was obligated to go to Washington on business, and it was during his absence that the family were obliged to seek protection in the fort from the Indians. These Indians had become greatly dissatisfied, history informs us, with matters growing out of certain treaty stipulations, and their conduct for some time had been such as to fill the settlers with increasing alarm. Mrs. RICHARDSON, among others, had been excessively annoyed by them. Among other articles which she was obliged to keep on her bureau, in sight, were a large, bright metal dish cover with handles and a silver castor. These the Indians wanted, and for months would abruptly enter the house, at times, and seizing these would swing them over their heads, exclaiming "In" (so many) "Moons" (indicating the number 3, 2 or 1 as the time approached for the consummation of their plans) "this will be mine." In September matters came to a crisis. One day the Indians, decked in their war paint, held a dance in front of the settlers' cabins about the fort, calling it a "begging" dance; asking for provisions, saying they were going on a hunt and wanted to leave the food with their squaws. They were also very busy that day in grinding their knives and hatchets, getting ready to hunt--settlers. Late the following night a man came to the cabin and told Mrs. RICHARDSON to go to the fort immediately, as the Indians were crossing the river with muffled paddles and evidently meant mischief. She went at once; two of her children were very sick at the time. These were wrapped in blankets and carried to the fort. The Indians finding their hostile purpose discovered, desisted from the threatened attack. The family remained at the fort for three days, when Mrs. RICHARDSON determined to face all dangers and remove her family to Vincennes. Taking the old flat-boat, and securing the assistance of two men, she had her household stuff removed on board and set out on her dangerous voyage. At the time of leaving, the banks of the river were lined with Indians, watching her movements in silence. As the boat pushed off from the shore the Indians jumped to their feet and shouted "Brave squaw"! "Brave squaw"! but did not molest them. Her bravery in facing these dangers seemed to compel their admiration.
While the family were in the fort an Indian endeavored to crawl into the cabin to secure the coveted articles before mentioned. He was seen, however, and ran away upon hearing a threat to shoot him.
During their residence near the fort a neice of Mrs. RICHARDSON's, who had accompanied the family from Marietta, Ohio, became the object of an Indian's attentions, who wanted her for his squaw; and so persistent was he in "pressing his suit" that she was compelled to hide herself whenever he came to the house.
Mrs. MATILDA (ANDERSON) TAYLOR is one of the very few "earliest settlers" who still survive. She was born at Fort Knox June 7, 1807. Her father, Isaac ANDERSON, was an early pioneer in the then northwest territory. He was an orderly sergeant in Gen. HARRISON's army, and also served under Gen. WAYNE in the Indian wars of his time. Mr. ANDERSON spent the best part of his life in the army. When the daughter was eight years old her father took his family to Fort Harrison, and thus she came to live in the fort. A Mrs. DICKSON was in the fort at the time of the Indian attack and helped run bullets; the Indians expected a sure victory, especially after the block-house was on fire. Mrs. TAYLOR has often see the Indian who set the fort of fire. He told her how he managed to do it. He dug out the dirt from under the block-house and crawled into this space with a camp kettle filled with "lime" bark saturated with bear's grease; this he set on fire and supposed the work was thoroughly done. Mr. ANDERSON, when a young man, and while in the army, was detailed to carry the mail between Fort Massick on the Ohio and St. Louis. He made these journeys on foot, and was obliged to carry his provisions with him. He performed this this dangerous and difficult duty successfully, and though often seeing Indians was not molested by them. In 1824 Mrs. TAYLOR was married, and immediately removed with her husband, Wm. TAYLOR, to Terre Haute, where she has lived constantly ever since.
We must not fail to notice a famous "character" in his day, TOM PUCKETT. He was one of the first settlers of this county, and was at Fort Harrison in 1814. He was in the government employ, in some capacity or other, and was remember for many years as the oldest resident in the county. Mr. PUCKETT lived in southern Indiana before he came to the fort, and chased the wolves and bears as early as 1812. This old pioneer was with Uncle Joe LISTON, and helped turn the first furrow of the virgin soil of this beautiful prairie. There are but few of the old settlers who have not heard of Tom PUCKETT's encounter with the bear. While on a hunting expedition to Eel river, he came across a large black bear, so fat that he could scarcely walk. To kill the bear did not suit Mr. PUCKETT, for he had no way to haul him to town, so he undertook to "drive him in," and did so after a march, both slow and sure, of twenty miles, consuming the best part of two days.
Caleb CRAWFORD came to Terre Haute at an early day. Mr. MODESITT had just built his house. He first landed at Vincennes, but soon after came to Terre Haute. His daughter (familiarly known as AUNT EAST [CRAWFORD]) was born in 1796, and was married in Vincennes. When she finally came to Terre Haute, she relates, she could not find her father's house, or indeed see any signs of a house, and in her search found herself on what is now called Strawberry Hill, when darkness compelled her to seek the shelter of a friendly cabin which she fortunately found. Mr. CRAWFORD died in 1829. The old house, corner of Third and Cherry streets, was built by him.
Aunty EAST gives some reminiscenses of those days. She lived some distance out toward the fort. She was frequently alone in the house when the Indians would come there. On one occasion she was in her yard when an Indian approached the house. She had just baked some bread, and fearing the Indian would get it, she rushed in and hid it. He took up a small looking-glass, and going to the door called to some companions to come and see themselves. Mrs. EAST made the fellow return it. While in great fear of these Indians, she yet felt the necessity of seeming brave. Once, while driving alone from the fort to town she was met by an Indian on foot, who seized her bridle and wanted to "swop" horses. She asked him where his horse was; he told her; whereupon she told him to get it and she would trade. As the Indian started for his horse Mrs. EAST whipped her horse into a run and reached town safely.
Mrs. Sarah E. BALL, daughter of Joseph RICHARDSON, says that when a girl, living near the fort, she and a neighbor's child were playing near a grocery kept by _____ SMITH, when she saw a drunken Indian come up and ask for liquor. He was refused and went out. SMITH, in his shirt sleeves, was sitting up in a chair, with his back toward the door. Presently the girls saw the Indian sneaking around the corner of the building, and, too much frightened to say anything, watched his movements. As he approached the door he saw SMITH in this position, and, drawing a knife, darted forward and plunged it into his back, killin him instantly. The Indian then jumped on a horse, standing near, and made off. He was, however, immediately pursued, overtaken and shot. Mrs. BALL witnessed the funeral of the Indian, conducted after the peculiar fashion of the redman.
The reader must not be surprised if he finds that the events here recorded are not given in the exact chronological order, and if the accounts given seem to be in somewhat detached portions. The writer has endeavored, to the best of his ability, to give the items in the order of their occurrence.
In 1871 Capt. William EARLE, the first white male child born in Terre Haute, wrote a letter embodying his recollections of Terre Haute as it was in 1823. His statements are pronounced, by those able to form an opinion on the subject, as remarkably correct, and as the letter covers so many points of general interest it is here quoted almost entire. It may be well to state, by way of preface, that Capt. EARLE left his home at an early age to pursue his chosen calling--a sea-faring life--and his letter is dated "Bark Emily Morgan, at Sea, Lat. 0� 16' S., Long 121� 17' W., March 25, 1871." He says:
In going back to olden times, I propose to describe Terre Haute as it was at my earliest recollection (1823). I think there were then about fifty houses in town. Commencing at the south end of Water street, half way between Oak and Swan, on the west side of the street, was a story-and-a-half hewed log house. On the east side of the street, half way between Swan and Poplar streets, stood a similar house; on the bank of the river, in front of this house, was a slaughter-house. On the southeast corner of Water and Poplar streets, standing a few yards back from the street, stood a story-and-a-half house; one half of it was of hewed logs, the other part was frame. In that house, on September 22, 1818, was born the writer of this. On a line with this house, but facing on Poplar street, was the "store" which my father had occupied as such previous to his death, which occurred in 1819. Between these two houses and the street was a pleasant little flower-garden, with borders of currant bushes. On the southwest corner of Water and Poplar was an old, dilapidated house, of round logs, and the remains of a blacksmith shop near it. On the south side of Walnut, at the southwest alley corner, was the dwelling of Mr. George HUSSEY, which was part of logs and part frame. On the northwest corner of Water and Walnut streets was a small log house. On the southeast corner lot of Water and Ohio streets, at the south part of the lot, was the dwelling of Dr. C.B. MODESITT, which was a frame building two stories high, painted white, with a red roof. Fronting on Ohio street, on the same lot, was a long, low frame house, sometimes used for a school-house. Hon. W.P. DOLE finished his "schooling" in that house. On the northeast corner of the same streets was a house similar to Dr. MODESITT's; there was a store in it, and I think it was kept by John F. CRAFT. There were no other houses on Water street. Taking ths south end of First street, the first house was a blacksmith shop, on the northeast corner of that street and Poplar. William MARS worked in it. On the next lot north was a two-story frame house, occupied by Ezekiel BUXTON, a painter. The next house was midway between Walnut and Ohio streets, and was occupied by a man by the name of BACON, a carpenter. On the west side of the street, nearly opposite BACON's, was McCABE's hat shop. On the southwest corner of First and Ohio was Col. Thomas H. BLAKE's law office. Dr. CLARK's office was in the same house; law and physic in the same room. On the northwest corner of the same streets was a large frame building. Isaac C. ELSTON had a store in the corner room, and Dr. SHULER lived in the other part. * * * On the east side of the street, midway between Ohio and Main, was a small house, with one room, occupied as a grocery. On the southeast corner of First and Main, stood the "Eagel and Lion tavern." It was built of hewed logs, and weather-boarded. At the corner, on two posts, hung the sign, representing an eagle picking out a lion's eye--America tearing England into shreds. On the west side of First street, nearly up to Mulberry, was a small frame house, occupied by James HANNA, a chairmaker by trade. On the southeast corner of First and Mulberry streets was quite a large two-story house, in which lived Mr. Enoch DOLE, and nearly adjoining it, on the south, was another house of the same size, in which last named house was born, early in October, 1818, Matthew REDFORD.
Beginning at the north on Second street, the first house stood on the southeast corner of that street and Mulberry, a two-story hewed log house, occupied by Mr. JACQUESS, a wheelwright. Turning off Cherry street east, on the northeast alley corner, between Second and Third, stood a little square frame house, in which worked a man by the name of Charles THOMPSON, a shoemaker. One day, while at work on his bench, a boy by the name of Decatur HANNA (Cate HANNERS) came in, and seeing a gun in the corner of the room, said, "I am going to shoot you, Thompson!" at the same time pointing the gun at him. THOMPSON told him to put the gun away, as it was loaded, but the poor man had hardly ceased speaking before the trigger was touched, and THOMPSON was almost instantly killed. HANNA could not have been more than nine years old at the time, and, of course, the killing was an accident. This was the first dead person I ever saw.
Still following Second street, the next house was on the west side, second lot north from the corner of main, a two-story frame. In that house was first printed the "Western Register and Terre Haute General Advertiser," by John W. OSBORN, Esq., editor, proprietor and publisher. On the northwest corner of Second and Main streets was a tavern kept by Francis CUNNINGHAM. On the northeast corner was the store of Mr. John D. EARLY, a large frame building. On the north side of the public square, midway between Second and Third streets, was a store kept, I believe, by Messrs. Josephus and Stephen S. COLLETT, two-story frame, with a red roof; afterward by Mr. John F. CRUFT. On the west side of the square was the store and dwelling of Mr. WILSON, father of Ralph WILSON; they were both frame houses and one-story. Half way between Ohio and Walnut streets was the store of Maj. George W. Dewees; it was of round logs, with the end to the street; his dwelling was in the rear of the store, and was a one-story frame building. On the southeast corner lot of second and Walnut streets was the dwelling and hat-shop of Mr. Robert BRASHER. On the northwest and southwest corners of Second and Poplar streets were two large hewed log houses. There were no more houses on Second street. The jail stood on the southeast alley corner, on Swan street, between First and Second. It was built of smoothly hewed logs, the floor being the same. Light was admitted by a small grated window and the keyhole. I remember of one person being confined in it; that was black Dan, for stabbing Bill, another negro; he made his escape by digging away one of the floor logs, which was rotten. Aunt Sue, a colored woman, lived in a little log cabin, a few yards south of the jail.
The first house on Third street, commencing at the south, was Robert S. McCABE's dwelling, on the west side, south and near the corner of Poplar street, built of hewed logs, two stories. It was afterward occupied by Mr. Salmon WRIGHT, who weather-boarded it. On the opposite side of the street was a large two-story hewed log house belonging to Dr. MODESITT. On the southeast corner of Third and Walnut streets was a frame dwelling, occupied by Mr. Malcomb McFADDEN, but owned by Joseph and Samuel EVERSOL, coopers, whose shop was of round logs, adjoining, to the south. On the east side of the street, a short distance from Walnut, was Miss Hannah AUSTIN's house, a small frame, of two rooms, end to the street. On the west side of the street, near the alley, was George ELLISON's blacksmith shop. On the east side of the public square, near the corner of Main, was the store and dwelling of Wm. C. LINTON, Esq., a two-story house, painted white, with a red roof. On the northeast corner of Third and Main streets was McQUILKIN's tavern, a large frame house. The sign was on a post at the corner--a war horse, fully caparisoned, rearing, as if impatient for some one to mount and ride into some imaginary battle to the southwest. We boys always called it the "Light Horse tavern." On the northwest corner was a two-story house, painted white, with a red roof, occupied first, I believe, by Mr. BARNET, afterward by James FARRINGTON. The next house was midway between Cherry and Mulberry streets, well back from the street, and on the west side. A small frame house, also on the west side, stood near the southwest corner of Third and Mulberry. The last house on Third street was on the west side, nearly up to Eagle, and was occupied by Mrs. Patty NELSON, mother of the late James NELSON, at one time sheriff of Vigo county.
There were only two houses on Fourth street. The northernmost was on the west side of the street, near the corner of Eagle, a small frame house, occupied by John DISBROW. When his little daughter died, I, for the first time, realized that the young could die. I remember well looking at her pale, sweet face, as she lay in her little coffin, and wondering if she were never to wake from her still sleep. On the northwest corner of Fourth and Walnut streets was the other house. In it lived, solitary and alone, old Jacob, a negro, who was small in size, with hair very white. He could play the fiddle, and always kept time with his half-shod foot. I think he must have been very kind, as the boys delighted to go to his house on rainy days to hear the music and to dance. Old Jacob brought water from the river for a great part of the town, on a sled made from the fork of a tree, and drawn by an old horse, which, had its body been as rich in flesh as its tail was in burs, would have shown its ribs less conspicuously. Adjoining Jacob's house on the west was a dilapidated old mill, from which he supplied himself with fuel. Both houses were of round logs. On Oak street, north side, lived Mrs. HODGES. As this was "out in the woods" in my young days, I am at a loss exactly where to locate it, but I think it was on the corner of Fourth and Oak streets. It was built of round logs. The only houses on Fifth street were William MARS' blacksmith shop, frame, at the southwest corner of that street and Main, which, with Mr. MARS' dwelling, of hewed logs, stood at the southwest corner of Cherry and Fifth streets, and the school-house at the northwest corner of Fifth and Mulberry, a roughly hewed log house of one story. By the shape and size of the windows, I think it must have been built for a school-house. On the south side of Mulberry street, a short distance west of the school-house, was a large two-story hewed log house. That finishes the town as I first remember it, with the exception of the court-house. I cannot remember when it was commenced. It was not finished, however, until 1822 or 1823, when William PROBST, Ebenezer PADDOCK and somebody else were county commissioners. On the public square, to the south of the court-house, was a small grove of sycamores, and near the southeast corner of the building was the low stump of a large tree. Tradition says that a carpenter by the name of HOVEY fell from the eves of the house upon this stump, and a chisel or gouge which he held in his hand entered his breast and he was killed.
The first brick houses were built in 1826 or 1827. I was absent from Terre Haute from May, 1826, to May, 1828, and I do not know which was the first, but I think Mr. LINTON's (Rem. David) two-story house (Rem. still standing), on the southwest corner of Second and Main, was. The other brick buildings erected were as follows: a two-story store and dwelling built by Lucius H. SCOTT, on the southwest corner of Third and Ohio streets; one on the southeast corner of First and Swan (very small); one on the southwest alley, corner of Swan street, between Water and First; Benjamin I. GILMAN, pork-packer, had built one on the northeast corner of First and Mulberry for an office; Russell ROSS had built another, of one story, on the west side of Water, between Eagle and Chestnut; Joseph MILLER had erected another, of two stories, on Chestnut, a little way east of Water street; and James and Harry ROSS one, nearly abreast of the end of Second street, also two stories high, both on out-lots.
The first burial-ground was on the square east of Sixth street, between Ohio and Main. Curtis GILBERT afterward built his dwelling on the site (Rem. still standing). The second burial-ground was on an out-lot, north of the town, on the hill overlooking the river, west of Water street. Many good people were buried here. It was in what was called the "Old Indian Orchard." The third was on Third street, north of the town, on land which in my early childhood was an Indian corn-field. A lone grave, surrounded by a picket fence, was on the west side of Seventh street, near the end of Walnut street. The man buried there was Mr. DAVENPORT. I never knew anything of him.
In my rememberance there were no large trees in the town plat east of Water street, but many stumps were standing and large trunks of trees were lying in several places in the town. The river bank was lined with willows and sycamores south of Modesitt's ferry, while north of it was a large growth of maple, cottonwood and sycamore trees, with willows on the bank. The line of lots on the east side of Water street, from Swan to a little north of Ohio, were cleared. The line of bushes, hazel and oak, was along the alley between Water and First, from Swan to Walnut, thence eastward along Walnut to Second, thence south along Second to near the corner of Poplar, thence northeast to near the crossing of Third and Walnut, thence southeast to the prairie line. From the northwest corner of Water and Walnut northerly to half way between Ohio and Main, thence northeasterly by the crossing of Second and Cherry, til it reached the prairie line near the school-house, corner of Fifth and Mulberry streets.
There were several fenced fields east of the town on the prairie, and I remember being called out at night to fight the prairie fires that threatened the fences. Some of the streets were pretty well worn, but roads and paths crossed the town at all at all conceivable angles. The principal road was the Vincennes road, which left Second street at Poplar, running southwest nearly to the corner of First and Oak streets, thence south. Another road, much used by Indians in those days, left the corner of Water and Poplar streets, led down the hill to the bottomland, and southerly along the river bank to the "Island Ford." Another road left the north part of the town along the bank of the river to the "Indian Ripple Ford," two miles above the town.
A gully led down to the river from Walnut street, commencing in front of Mr. HUSSEY's house; another from Poplar street, but I can remember when Thomas ROGERS ran a plow over the brink of the hill to make this gully. There was another gully just to the north of Poplar street, which was older. There were very few wells in the village, and many people brought their water from the springs that then gushed out from the river banks.
I can barely remember when the Indians lived to the north of the town, near the old Indian Orchard. There were only a few families of them. A number of backwoodsmen lived "over the river" in the Sugar creek country. They often passed by our house roaring drunk. The next worse animals were the wolves, but there were not many of them. I never saw the large kind but once: I was riding behind Mr. Elisha U. BROWN, coming from his house to town. Just as we passed the old Hunnewell house on Strawberry hill we came upon a gang of four or five, devouring a hog. Of the common prairie wolves there were more, but they were very timid, and I have seen them scampering through the long grass frightened at the very sight of anything human, no matter how small. A panther I never saw or heard, but it was not unusual to hear people say that they "heard a painter last night."
The first steamboat arrival occurred in 1824 or 1825. (Rem. Another statement makes it in 1822.) Her name was the Florence. She landed at the old boat-yard south of the foot of Oak street. Of course the whole town went to see her, besides the country round about. The steamboats were always welcomed by firing the "old cannon." This old cannon was an institution. It had no carriage, and was elevated by placing a log of wood under it near the muzzle. James HANNA, a poor, jolly fellow, acted as artilleryman. Every time he discharged it he would spin a long yarn about what he had seen while "in the service." On the Fourth of July the old cannon was honored with a pair of cart-wheels. On the approach of a Fourth of July, the people of Clinton would steal the cannon, thus compelling the worthy people of Terre Haute to steal it back again, which they always did, being adepts in that particular branch of the fine arts. The people of Clinton stole it once too often, for it burst on their hands.
Before the days of steamboats, goods were brought overland in wagons (mostly dry-goods) and by keel-boats, which came up the river in summer time when the water was low, propelled by men with poles. These men, I remember, were a particularly rough set, the citizens of the town having very little communication with them.
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HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Terre Haute, pp. 41-54
View the Biographical Sketches associated with this township
Additional sketches: Page 2; Page 3; Page 4; Page 5; Page 6; Page 7; Page 8; Page 9; Page 10; Page 11; Page 12; Page 13; Page 14; Page 15; Page 16; Page 17; Page 18
Terre Haute & Harrison Twp. biographies.
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