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I Hi STORY OF Decatur Cduhtv: Indiana o Qaa^^-l^ HISTORY OF DECmi R-CQl MO: INDIANA ITS PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS LEWIS A.
HARDING Member The American Historical Association; author, "The Preliminary Diplomacy o£ the Spanish-American War," a study in international law, "The Call of the Hour," "A Few Spoken Words," etc.
Solo- mon Turpin entered one hundred and sixty acres of land on Clifty, where the Michigan road crosses that stream, and Jonas Long, it is believed, the same year entered eighty acres one mile farther west, just east of the present town of Adams. Joel Clark entered lands in the east part of the town- ship in 182 1, where Phillip Martin subsequently lived.
He was a Baptist minister and quite an old man at that time.
In passing from Flatrock to Clifty, in the spring of the year, and sometimes a good part of the year, water from one to three feet deep would have to be waded for near half the distance, the scene being enlivened by the croaking of innumerable frogs, and occasionally by a deer which went bounding through, or over, the thickets of spice and other underbrush. Wilson's "trace," from Napoleon through by the present site of Greensburg and on to Flat- rock, and perhaps farther west; Freel's "trace," which, branching off from the former at the big fallen timber, ran through by the forks of Clifty and on to Connersville ; and another from Brookville, through or near the present town of Clarksburg and on to the settlements on Clifty and Flatrock, were the roads followed by settlers.
The trees along the route were merely "blazed," and a few brushes cut out.
Jonathan Paul entered a half section or more at the falls of Mill creek, near to the present St. Omer, on the Michigan road, and William Peterson, one hundred and sixty acres just east of the present site of St. John Shelhorn entered lands between Big and Little Flatrock, and erected a mill on the latter stream about the time, or soon after, that Paul built on }ilill creek.
This process, hard and tedious as it was, was easier for most than going to mill — the most convenient being four miles below Brookville.
Colonel Pierce, who was the first to sow wheat in the township, and perhaps in the countv, that being in the fall of 182 1, was compelled to go to that distance to get it ground — taking two days to go and two to come back. It was some years before a store was established in the township, the nearest being Benson's, where Spring Hill now is, and at Arthur Major's, two or three miles below the present St. But very little store goods sufficed in that day: all articles of wear were home-made; spinning and weaving were a part of the regular employment of the women of every l OO DECATUR COUNTY, INDIANA.
Enoch James, a young man who had accompanied a family to which he was related, was the first to procure a marriage license in the township, and, it is believed, in the county. The first postoffice was established in 1822, or 1823; \'V. The streams were all unlaridged, and in times of high water, which sometimes continued for weeks, the mail carrier had no means of crossing but to swim.
A canoe was usually kept at the crossing, and sometimes he would go over in that with the mail bags, swimming the horse by the side of the canoe ; but if the canoe happened to be on the other side, or no one could be found to row it, he would plunge boldly in, protecting the mail bags as best he could.