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Towns’ names relate to founders

Celebrating Statehood
Towns’ names relate to founders Towns’ names relate to founders
Karen Schwartz, Special to The Corydon Democrat

There are many small towns in Harrison County and each has a fascinating story.
The goal of this column is to provide a brief synopsis of the town’s founding and namesake.
Several towns were named after the location where the settlers came from with the addition of “New” or a cardinal direction to the town name. Midway towns were designated by the use of “Central.” Most boasted amenities that no longer exist today, including stores, post offices, blacksmith shops, schools and other establishments.
Below are the communities listed by township:
Blue River Township
Depauw was platted by Felician Henriott on April 8, 1884, and named for the wealthy Depauw glass manufacturers.
Hancock Settlement was founded by John Hancock in 1819. Hancock Chapel Methodist was built in 1820.
Milltown, first known as Leavenworth Mills,was platted by Seth and Zebulon Leavenworth at Fredonia in 1827.
Boone Township
Laconia, platted on March 9, 1816, by John Boone, was named by settlers for Laconia, N.H.
Tobacco Landing’s name is derived from a wrecked tobacco shipment that was spread to dry on the riverbank.
Franklin Township
Lanesville’s original plat was sworn to by Edward Pennington on Dec. 11, 1817, although there had been a settlement there since the early 1800s. The town, which featured a salt spring, was once owned by William Henry Harrison and was named for Mr. Lane, a government surveyor.
Breckinridge was located on the turnpike between Lanesville and Corydon.
Harrison Township
Corydon was platted by Harvey Heth in 1808 on property originally owned by William Henry Harrison. Harrison named the town in honor of Corydon, a young shepherd boy who dies in one of Harrison’s favorite songs, “The Pastoral Elegy.”
Heth Township
Central was platted in May 1890 by William Smith.
Mauckport was platted in the spring of 1827 and named for early settler Frederick Mauck as Mauck’s Port. It was renamed New Market in 1847 but reverted to Mauckport in 1850.
Morvin, across from Brandenburg, was platted on Sept. 17, 1816, by Harvey Heth but failed.
Valley City was platted in November 1859 by James H. Trotter and Jacob C. Lopp.
Jackson Township
Byrneville, platted in October 1838, was named for early settler Temple C. Byrn, who came here in 1809.
Corydon Junction was divided before 1882. The north half was named Gresham for Walter Q. Gresham and the south O’Bannon after Lew O’Bannon. The name Corydon Junction came with the construction of the Southern Railroad Depot in 1882.
Crandall, platted June 11, 1872, by Cornelius F. Crandall, was also known as Crandall Station.
Central City, also known as Mott Station, was platted May 12, 1883, by Charles A. Crosby who came from Virginia.
New Salisbury was platted by John Kepley on Aug. 28, 1839, and named for his former home in Salisbury, Rowan County, N.C.
Ramsey, once known as Jackson City, was laid out by H.C. Ramsey in 1883 although the post office was known as Barren.
Morgan Township
Bradford was platted by Ulrich H. Hon on July 20, 1838.
Central Barren was established about 1848.
Palmyra had its beginnings in 1810 as McCallen’s Crossroads, then was renamed Carthage in 1836, and, on March 25, 1839, became Palmyra.
Sennville started in the 1950s when Arthur Senn subdivided his farm.
Posey Township
Elizabeth was platted on land on April 17, 1812, and named in honor of the land donor’s wife, Elizabeth Veatch. The town was incorporated on March 8, 1819.
Bridgeport, about 15 miles from Corydon, was laid out in September 1849 by David Farnsley and Thomas Joyes. The name identifies it as a river shipping point. The post office was known as Locust Point.
Scott Township (now nonexistent)
Colorful names abounded in the old Scott Township, including White Cloud for Chief White Cloud, Cold Friday after a man froze to death on a Friday, Potato Run for flooded potato fields, Moonshine and Lime Kiln Hollows for former occupations, Fox Hollow for the large number of foxes, Dutch Valley for its German settlers and the name Idlewild speaks for itself.
Spencer Township
Wynnsboro was laid out on paper by John Wynn on April 25, 1820, in the Thompson’s Chapel area but never materialized.
Sharptown (Sharp’s Mill) was a bustling community that featured grist and carding mills operated by Horatio Sharp. George P.R. Wilson also operated a township library there.
Moberly was settled in about 1850.
Slabtown, where Harrison Spring empties into Blue River, was named for the sawmill’s wood slabs.
Frenchtown, first called St. Bernard, was settled by French families who arrived in 1840.
Fairdale, on the railroad line, was platted by John McPheeters on Oct. 15, 1867.
Taylor Township
Buena Vista, a crossroads town whose name means beautiful view, was laid out by William Wallace in 1850.
Boston was a flourishing town that has been washed away by the Ohio River.
Washington Township
New Amsterdam was platted Sept. 1, 1815, by Revolutionary War veterans Jacob Funk and Samuel McAdams.
North Hampton, once lively but now nonexistent, was platted by James Riley on May 25, 1815.
Webster Township
New Middletown was laid out by Henry Sechrist on Oct. 16, 1860.
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 812-736-2373 or 812-738-2828, by e-mail at [email protected] or by regular mail at 5850 Devil’s Elbow Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112.

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