A dozen townships make up Harrison County
Karen Schwartz, Special to The Corydon Democrat
Did you know that Harrison County is currently divided into 12 townships?
The namesake and year of origin of each township are chronicled, alphabetically, below.
‘Blue River Township (1818) was named for its proximity to Blue River, which forms the township’s western boundary. Towns include the western half of Milltown, Hati, Hancock’s Chapel and the northern half of Depauw.
‘Boone Township (1818) was named for Squire Boone, an early explorer and brother of Daniel Boone, who made his home in the township. Laconia is the largest town.
‘Franklin Township (1817) was named for Benjamin Franklin, a well-known statesman, inventor and patriot from Pennsylvania. Lanesville is the largest town in the township.
‘Harrison Township (1811) was named for Gen. William Henry Harrison, who named the town of Corydon, served as Indiana territorial governor and went on to become the ninth U.S. president. Harrison actually owned four tracts of property in Harrison County. Corydon, the First State Capital and the county seat, is the largest town in the township.
‘Heth Township (1818) was named for Harvey Heth, who served as U.S. surveyor and was one of the original proprietors of Corydon, along with his friend, William Henry Harrison. Mauckport, on the banks of the Ohio, and Central are the main towns.
‘Jackson Township (1853) was named for Gen. Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and seventh U.S. president. Jackson visited Harrison County in June of 1819 accompanied by then-President James Monroe. Ramsey, Crandall, New Salisbury, Byrnville and Corydon Junction are the township’s largest towns.
‘Morgan Township (1818) was not named in honor of Gen. John Hunt Morgan, even though the school mascot for Morgan Township schools was the Raiders. The namesake for Morgan Township, in fact, gained fame in the Revolutionary War. This northern township was named for Gen. Daniel Morgan, a brigadier general. Palmyra and Bradford are in the township.
‘Posey Township (1817) was named for Gen. Thomas Posey, who took office as Indiana’s last territorial governor in 1813. Posey was defeated by Jonathan Jennings in the first Indiana gubernatorial race. Posey’s son, Thomas Lloyd Posey, remained in Corydon and lived in the Posey House at 225 Oak St. in downtown Corydon. The largest town in the township is Elizabeth. The Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino is located at the site of the town of Bridgeport.
‘Spencer Township (1853) was named for Capt. Spier Spencer, who served as the first sheriff of Harrison County. Spencer was killed fighting under Gen. William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Spencer was leader of the famed Yellow Jackets. Towns in the township include Frenchtown, Moberly and the southern half of Depauw.
‘Taylor Township (1846) was named for Gen. Zachary Taylor, military hero of the Mexican War and the 12th U.S. president. Taylor became the second president to die in office. Buena Vista is in Taylor Township.
‘Washington Township (1838) was named for Gen. George Washington, hero of the Revolutionary War and first U.S. president. New Amsterdam is the township’s largest town. Valley City is also located there.
‘Webster Township (1853) was named for Sen. Daniel Webster of New Hampshire, who was a nationally famous orator, lawyer and U.S. secretary of state. The largest town in the township is New Middletown.
The former Scott Township (1853) was named for ‘Old Fuss and Feathers’ Gen. Winfield Scott. This township was dissolved on Jan. 1, 1839, after the Harrison Crawford State Forest was established, removing much of the township’s properties from the tax rolls. There was brief flirtation about joining Crawford County due to Scott’s proximity to Leavenworth, but eventually Scott became part of Harrison Township. White Cloud, Worth and Idlewild were towns in the old Scott Township.
Other former Harrison County townships include:
‘Exeter Township ‘ This township was named by Daniel and Squire Boone for their former home in Exeter Township in Berks County, Pa. In 1818, Exeter Township was divided to form Boone and Heth townships in southern Harrison County.
‘Ohio and Whiskey Run townships ‘ These two townships became part of Crawford and Orange counties in 1818.
‘Madison, Driftwood and Washington townships ‘ These three northern townships formed Washington County in 1814.
Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, serves on the legacy group of the Harrison County Committee for the Indiana Bicentennial. In preparation of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, she is providing a monthly column ‘ focusing on a person, place or event from Harrison County’s history ‘ that gives insight to our history. She said the columns should serve as an introduction and/or summary of a topic but are not intended to include all known facts and information. To suggest a topic, contact Schwartz at 736-2373 or 738-2828, by e-mail at [email protected] or by regular mail at 5850 Devil’s Elbow Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112.