According to the best data that can be had the several townships of the county were organized and settled as follows:
Anderson Township was first settled in 1807, by Bailey Anderson, (in honor of whom it was named,) ___Shelton, the Briscoe and Vandana families, and others. Joseph Arnold was the first Justice of the Peace therein.
Boon-Was first settled by Ratliff Boon, from whom it took its name and who subsequently held many important positions of honor and trust, among them Lieut. Governor of the State. He finally emigrated to Missouri, where he died. Hudson Hargrave, Mr. Lawrence, Joseph DeForest, John Couts, were also among the first settlers of this township, and were soon followed by Joseph Adams, John B. Kelley, Wm. Webb, and Edward Baker. Of these, Mr. Kelley, Mr. Webb and Mr. Baker are still living
Campbell - This township was named in honor of Thomas Campbell, who emigrated from Kentucky, and was afterward County Commissioner. Isam West, Joseph McDonald and Phillip Miller settled in the vicinity about the same time with Mr. Campbell. Mr. Miller built a corn or flouring mill, on a small scale, where the village of Millersburgh now is, about the year 1824.
Greer- Was named in honor of Richard Greer, who resided in it for many years and died two years since - 1866. The first settlers were Larkin Birchfield, a Baptist minister, who still resides in the township on the farm he first occupied with his son, Henry Hopkins, and a large connexion by the name of Taylor.
Hart Township - Was named after a good and highly respectable old man named John Hart, who was once elected Associate Judge of the Circuit Court. He has been dead seven or eight years, and has many descendents still living in that township. Tubby Bloyd and
Lane. W. Posey were also among the early settlers of Hart.
Lane Township - Named in honor of Gen. Joseph Lane, was first settled by Capt. James Ashby, who still resides there, Mr. Powers, Steven Hanby, and others whose names cannot be ascertained.
Ohio - Was settled by John Sprinkle, John V. Darby, Felty Hay, a family named Gay, and Gaines Roberts.
Owen- Taking its name in honor of Robert Dale Owens, was organized in 1848 or 1849. The first settlers were the Philips and Gentry families, extensive connexions of whom still reside there and in other portions of the country.
Pigeon -Took its name from Pigeon Creek, which empties into the Ohio River three or four miles above the town of Newburgh. The early settlers were the Skelton and Taylor families. George Taylor settled on the land upon which the village of Taylorsville is located. Other emigrants from the East and other parts of the country soon came in.
Skelton - The territorial limits of this township having been materially reduced by the erection of Pigeon, Owen and Lane, which were mostly taken from it, there remain but few very old settlers within its present borders. It was named in honor of Zachariah Skelton.
It will be noted that these townships are attended to in alphabetical order, it being more convenient for the future reference to thus arrange them than in the order in which they were organized.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES
It appears that the town of Darlington (the location of which has already been described) was laid out on the 26th July, 1816. A log Court House was built, and the courts held therein for two years, when, in 1818, the Seat of Justice was removed to Boonville. Wm. Briscoe was the agent of Warrick County to sell lots in Darlington. The first sale, of which any record is made, was to John
Sprinkle. The deed was acknowledged before Daniel Grass, one of the
Judges of the Circuit Court, W. C. The existence of this town was of
short duration, for the expiration of about two years afterits
incipiency an act was passed by the Legislature removing the seat of
justice to Boonville. In accordance therewith the thing was done and the
fond hopes were forever blasted as far as making their settlement a city
was concerned, at least.
Boonville _ The order to remove the county seat from Darlington to Boonville having been complied with, the courts were held for some time in a small log cabin which had been erected for the purpose on the site where the present Court House stands - or nearly so. This diminutive structure soon proved inadequate to the wants of the people and to the ends of Justice and a brick building was ordered to be erected for the accomodation of its courts and public offices. As an item of interest we here copy ver batim, the order for the erection of this structure as it appears on the Auditor's books.
"Ordered : That there be a Court House built in the town of Boonville, to be built of brick, and not to exceed thirty five feet square, and that Ratlif Boon, Clark A, Hale, David L. Smith, James McCulla. Thomas Campbell, David Luce, Jacob Keel, or a majority of them do draft a bill for said house, and that the County Agent let the lowest bidder the building of the same agreeably to the bill made out by the Commissioners herein named, as soon as he may receive said bill."
Although the Commissioners and their Clerk seem to have been rather formal and particular in regard to their requirements in this matter it does not appear that anything further was ever done in the premises. The project, it seems, was abandoned by general consent; but instead of a brick, a frame house was erected on the ground originally designed for the contemplated brick one.
To give the reader an idea of the manner in which architects and
designers in those days constructed buildings - or rather the
foundations of buildings - we will state that, to receive the foundation
of this structure a ditch two feet wide and two feet deep was dug to
receive the timbers, each to be squared to the dimensions of one foot,
around the entire building. There were to be enough of these timbers to
fill the ditch to a level with the tip of the ground - all to be nicely
hewn. Upon these timbers a wall of hewn stone, eighteen inches high, was
placed, and then above this was the frame proper. This building was
never completed. It was barely roofed and weatherboarded without being
lathed or plastered but was comfortable for occupation in summer.
Unfinished as this temple of justice was, it so remained until 1836,
when an order was made and a new brick house was erected for the
accommodation of the litigent portion of the community. This building
was about forty feet square, and was two stories high, with the Clerk's
and Treasurer's offices in the second story. Not many years elapsed
before the Court House was also found to be too limited in its
dimensions to accomodate the wants of the people, and in 1851 it was
removed from the ground on which it stood to give place to the present
The first Jail in Boonville was located on the southeast corner of the present public square, and built by a man named John Upham, who furnished the material and performed the labor at a price stipulated. The second Jail was located where the present one is. It was of brick but soon became dilapidated when it was torn away and the present one erected in its stead.
The first Church build in Boonville was for the Congregationalists. It was a frame structure, and stood immediately north of where the present Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located, and is now occupied as a dwelling.
Since then the Methodist Episcopalians, Luthernans, Ger-
man Methodists, with the Cumberland Presbyterians, have each and all
erected respectable and commodious houses of worship.
Until within a year or two there have been no public school houses in Boonville, except the ordinary buildings usually devoted to such purposes; but we would not by this suggestion intimate that the good citizens of this thriving town have ever neglected or forgotten the cause of education. They have appropriated private and other buildings to the callings of teachers and sent their sons and daughters abroad for the purpose of gaining knowledge. Within two years past the authorities have erected an elegant three story brick building of suitable dimensions, in which is established a first class graded school, under the superintencence of Professor Forest, and is well filled with pupils of both sexes.
Among the first settlers of Boonsville were Nathaniel Hart, Adam Young, John Upham, James McCula, Samuel Steel, the Graham family and Dr. Alva Pasco. Dr Pasco was a physician of good ability, had a good practice, and died in 1824.
At the time of the location of the county seat in Boonville the population of the town was very meager. The first census which was not taken until 1830 , shows a population of but 37 souls- all told. The number of inhabitants of the county was only 2,964.
Since the resources of the county have been more fully developed and trade and society become better established Boonville has improved and prospered in a fair ration with other portions of the county and other interior towns. Its stores, mechanics' shops, manufacturing establishments and businesses generally, are as numerous and extensive as may be desired, and her people are social, generous, and hospitable. there is not a more inviting place in Southern Indiana for one to locate than Boonville.
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.