accuracy. The proceedings of the different courts seem to be very
much mixed up, and it is difficult to tell, sometimes, "which is which."
In some instances the proceedings of the Board of Commissioners are
found recorded, commencing at one side of a book, and then the same book
is reversed, turned "end for end," and the doings of another tribunal
are found recorded therein. There is no inscription or entry made in
some of them denoting what office they belong to, or when or by whom
they were first opened.
October 2, 1818, Nathaniel Ewing made Isaac Blackford (who was afterward Chief Judge on the Supreme bench of Indiana) his agent and attorney to sell and convey lots and lands located in the town of Cyprus, at the mouth of Cyprus Creek, to purchasers. This was an embryo city, and was destined, no doubt, by Mr. Ewing and other zealous friends, to become the great emporium of the county.
In 1818 the Legislature passed an act creating the counties of Vanderburgh and Spencer from territory belonging to Warrick, and removing the County Seat of the later to Boonville.
May 15, 1818, Chester Elliot, Surveyor of the county, recorded an official map, or plat, of the town of Boonville, and on the 4th, 5th and 6th of June following, John Hargrave, county agent, made the first sale of lots at public auction an outcry. At this sale, of three days' duration, there were 56 lots sold, at prices ranging from $25 up to $141. The aggregate amount of sales was $3,057.75. The bidding was quite animated and a general good feeling seemed to govern all concerned.
The first official account of any court being held is found in a rather mutilated and dilapidated old book in the Clerk's office. This court was held at the house of Bailey Anderson, near the mouth of Cyprus Creek, on the 18th of October 1813, and entitled "The Court of Common Pleas
for Warrick County." The Judges were Aneas McCalister, James Mars and
Bailey Anderson; N. Claypoole, Clerk; S. R. Mars, Sheriff. A Grand Jury
was empanneled composed of the following named gentlemen: Samuel Jones,
Archibald Clayton, James Black, John Tant, John Hait, John Luce, Lucius
James, John Meeks, Lawrence Yaunce, Thomas Higgins, Jacob Seivors,
George McHenry, Wm. Wagmon -13.
Wm. Prince and G. R. C. Sullivan were admitted to practice law in Warrick County.
The first case docketed is that of "James Craw v Preston Gaforth, for damages." A jury of twelve men tried the case and found a verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $32.80. The names of the jurors were: Thomas Casselberry, Wm. Black, David Mills, David Bromfield, John Crunk, John Bullett, Wm. Dannen?, Jonathan Baird, Jacob Garrett, Keeton Murry, Samuel Hamilton. The record goes on to say that these were "twelve good and lawful men, elected, sworn," &c., but there are only eleven of them.
The Grand Jury returned two indictments against Green B. Williams, in the name of U. S., but don't say for what offense.
The first term of the C. C. was held by Benjamin Parke, Esq., John Johnson, Attorney for U. S.; W. Claypoole, Clerk; Sheriff, Samuel R. Mars. The names of Grand Jurors were, Charles Carson, George W. Tevault, Wm. Vaughn, Thomas Higgins, George Griscoe, Abraham Harman, Joel Garret, Thomas E. Casselberry, Paul Casselberry, John Simpson, Samuel Jones, Samuel Aldridges, Absalom Duckworth, Wm. Stephens, William Downey, Nicholas Long -16.
The first business of this Grand Jury was to find an indictment against one John May for passing counterfeit money -bank bills.
The next indictment was against one Joshua Elikins for
"selling whisky, or strong water," without license. It may be proper
to state that all indictments and complaints in those days were drawn up
in the old style, requiring a man to possess the patience of Job to read
them, letting alone the capacity to understand them.
Upon the return of this instrument into court it appears that a complaint was entered before His Honor against Thomas Higgins, one of the grand jurors, for having, while deliberating upon the case of Elkins, got shamefully intoxicated and created a disturbance in the grand jury room. The Court acted promptly and summarily in the matter and fined the delinquent five dollars.
This court was also held at the house of Bailey Anderson, Jun 14, 1813, at the mouth of Cyprus Creek.
The first Circuit Court was held at the house of Daniel Rhoades, in what is now Anderson Township, on the 27th of March , 1815. Hon. Isaac Blackford was Judge. The Sheriff returned the following named gentlemen as Grand Jurors, who were duly empanneled and sworn: Bailey Anderson, Joseph Arnold, Miner Lewright, David Aiken, John Lout, Bartholomew Wood, William Campbell, John Love, Joseph Inglish, John Couts, William Webb, Isaac Wright, Jacob Garrett, David Casselberry, James Abshear, William Spencer, Lewis Taylor.
There was not much business of importance transacted at this term of the Court. Several bills of indictment were found by the Grand Jury against various persons for minor offenses, and some civil trivial complaints disposed of.
The first mail route through the county, of which we can give any account, was established in 1812 or 1813, from New Harmony to Louisville, via the site of the present town of Boonville, by John Williams. The mail was carried on horse back, and required two weeks time to make the round trip, and frequently the high waters, severe storms, or other stress of weather, prevented the carrier
from making his trips more often than once in three or four weeks.
Very often it happened that both horse and rider were compelled to swim
streams and ponds of water which they could not ford or go around, and
the mail bags, with their contents, were so completely soaked that it
required great care and no little trouble to dry and preserve them.
After Evansville became noted as the probable future seat of justice of
Warrick County, the course of this mail route was changed from New
Harmony to Evansville; thence to Boonville and Louisville.
Soon after this a mail route was established leading from Evansville, and following up the river bank, through the town of Darlington, terminated at Corydon, Harrison County. Mr. Samuel Pier was the first Postmaster in Darlington. From this time on mail facilities were more numerous, though many years elapsed before it could be said that they afforded that relief to the early settlers that was desired.
It is in controversy as to where the first structure, built expressly for religious worship, was located, but from the time of the arrival of the first emigrants they had worship in their own dwellings or under the branches of the forest trees, every Sunday at least, when a dozen or more of the inhabitants could be collected from within a circuit of as many miles. It is generally conceded, however, that in 1824 a log house was erected at the present forks of the road near Boonville, and within a short distance where the Fair Grounds now are and dedicated expressly to the worship of God. This house was never completed. The earth was always used for a floor and the crevices between logs were never "clincked" though it was rendered very comfortable for its purpose in the summer season, while in the winter the inhabitants took turns in opening their doors to their neighbors for the purpose of public worship. We have no data from which we can determine the name of the first minister of this
If you have questions or problems with this site, email the County Coordinator. Please to not ask for specfic research on your family. I am unable to do your personal research. I do not live in Indiana and do not have access to additional records.