History of Porter County, 1882County history published by F. A. Battey and Company . . . .
Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Lake and Porter, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey and Company. 771 p.
HISTORY OF PORTER COUNTY
BY GEORGE A. GARARD.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- CREATION AND EARLY SETTLEMENT -- TOPOGRAPHY -- ERECTION OF
VILLAGES -- INDUSTRIAL GROWTH -- EDUCATION AND RELIGION -- CEMETERIES --
CATALOGUE OF EARLY SETTLERS -- ELECTION OF AUGUST, 1836 -- THE BANNER OF FEDERAL
THIS township was created at the time of the general division in 1836. It is stated in the county atlas that it was named for Lemuel Jackson, but old settlers, who ought to know, claim that it was named for Andrew Jackson. The first election was held Saturday, April 30, 1836, at the house of A. K. Paine. Samuel Olinger was Inspector.
Physical Characteristics. -- In surface the township is quite broken or hilly. It is better adapted to fruit and stock than to grain, although fine crops of wheat, oats and corn are raised. It was all heavily timbered originally, but now there are not many "monarchs of the forest" left, although there is much fine young timber. Since a great city has grown up so near, the natives have ceased to deaden and fell and burn. Much cord wood is cut and shipped to Chicago. Clear Lake, on the east, is cut through the center by the county line. Part of its beach is sandy, and the rest is muck. On Section 16 there is a small but deep lake, covering, perhaps, five acres. There is another small one on Section 16, south of the Cady Marsh. Both of these furnish an abundance of good water for stock. The water-shed runs through the southern part of the township. This parts the waters of the two great gulfs. There is said to be on this water-shed a spring or spring marsh, the waters of which divide, one part flowing through the Sunny South to the Gulf of Mexico, while the other
part goes through the great lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. On this water-shed are found many bowlders which seem to indicate that during the period of glaciation this was for a time the southern limit of the glaciers. The soil of the township is very varied. Even in the same field many different kinds of soil may be found.
Early Events, Mills, etc. -- In early times Jackson Township was a fine hunting ground. Its heavy forests made a fine retreat for all animals native to the region. A bear was killed by Alfred Williams about twenty-five years ago. He was out squirrel hunting and came unexpectedly upon this monarch of the woods. The log-rollings and house-raisings that the primeval forests of Jackson have witnessed are numbered by the score, but they are of the past, and most of the brawny arms that felled the trees and hewed their trunks are folded in the sleep of peace that knows no waking. The good cheer and hospitality of the pioneer have given place to our modern, enterprising, but selfish civilization. The first, last and only tavern in the township was kept by a man named Page, south of the Page Marsh, as early as 1836. The marsh took its name from this man. The tavern was built of logs, and there was a log stable also. The road was changed, which change caused the tavern to go down and Page to move away. There was at one time a pigeon roost south of Page Marsh that covered a hundred acres or more. Here they made their nests and hatched their young. They used the beach trees principally, and there would be as many as a hundred nests upon one tree. When the squabs were almost large enough to fly, the people would cut the trees so as to get them. L. Jackson built the first saw-mill on Coffee Creek in 1834-35. Olinger had a saw-mill on Coffee Creek as early as 1838. Abe Hall and Dilley built one about the same time. Jackson had one burnt soon afterward. Casteel had a saw and grist mill farther down the stream. These have all been gone for many years. In 1846, Beech and Baum built one on Fish Creek. This is now the property of the heirs of Loren Hall. It is not running at present. George B. Smith and Becker now have the only grist-mill in the township that is running. It is situated on Coffee Creek, and was built in 1856. It has two run of buhrs for wheat and one for corn. A distillery was established by a Mr. Enox at Casteel Mill. In 1849, it burst its boiler and went down to rise no more.
Schools, Teachers, etc. -- The first school taught in the township was held in a log cabin dwelling on Section 26. The site is now owned by J. P. Noble. The first schoolhouse was built in 1838, one and a half miles east of Jackson Centre. It was a log cabin about 16x18 feet, with a Yankee chimney and greased paper for windows. Jane Jones taught the
first term and received a salary of $1 per week, from which she had to pay her board. In 1840, Chancey Moore, the first male teacher, was employed. The second schoolhouse was built at Carter's, in 1846, and made a good summer blacksmith shop after it was no longer used for school purposes. At first the civil township formed one school district; now there are seven districts. The buildings are all frame, and not in very good repair. The following are some of the teachers of the township, with the dates of their work and the price per day paid them for their services: 1874, District No. 1, Lizzie R. Andrews, $1.75; 1875, No. 2, Lizzie R. Andrews, $1.75; 1874, No. 3, William M. Cobbs, $1.75; No. 5, Olive L. Wood, $1.75; No. 6, R. A. Harte, $1.75; 1875, No. 2, M. E. Alyea, $2.00; No. 7, Carrie E-. Hall, $1.75; No. 3, Nettie Costler, $1.00; No. 7, Clara Jones, 85 cents; No. 7, Allie Robbins, $1.25; No. 1, W. M. Winters, $1.75; No. 4, Nettie Castle, $1.50; No. 5, Olive L. Wood, $1.50; No. 2, Louise S. Bliss, $1.25; No. 3, S. B. Shaw, $1.50; No. 4, Mary E. Alyea, $1.75; and A. M. Melville, $1.75. The teachers employed for the fall of 1882 are as follows: In District No. 1, Belle Henton, $1.25; No. 2, Orra Paine, $1.25; No. 3, Milton Winton, $1.50; No. 4, Clara Jones, $1.25; No. 5, Nora Paine, $1.25; No. 6, Belle Shinabarger, $1.25; No. 7, Martha Williams, $1.25. It is the policy of the present Trustees to employ home talent.
Villages. -- The villages of Jackson are numerous, but small. They are Jackson Centre, Burdick, Sumanville and Steamburg. The latter place is now non est. At one time it was as large as five houses and a store. When the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, a station was established over the line in Washington Township, and Steamburg united with Coburg by moving over, and thus lost its name and identity. Sumanville is a very small ville in the southwestern part of the township on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. A post office was established here about nine years ago, with Col. I. C. B. Suman as Postmaster. He held the office until about two years since, when Robert S. Greer took it, and still keeps it. A Mr. Jones established a store here when the railroad was built, but kept open only four or five months. Another store was started here in 1881, but was closed in about four months. Jackson Centre received its name from the township, and its central location therein. A post office was started here about 1856, with E. H. Johnson as Postmaster; after him, S. H. Runnels had the office for a time. It then went down, and seven years passed before it was opened again. When started again, it was in the hands of James S. Sanders for two years, when it came into the hands of the present incumbent, William Hill, who has handled the mail for six years. The first store here was established in 1874, by J. S. Sanders, and sold to E. Hill in 1876. In 1881, he sold
to John Sackman, who now keeps a small stock of goods. Burdick is a place of about twelve houses, situated on the railroad, in the northwestern part of the township. It was named from A. C. Burdick, of Coldwater, Michigan, a lumber dealer. The place was started in 1870. The post office was established in 1871, with J. M. Burdell as Postmaster. From Mr. Burdell it passed into the hands of the present incumbent, O. J. Sackman, who has held it for five years. Peterson Anderson, a Swede, laid out the first lots, and Simpson Brothers built the first house. The town has been built up and sustained on the lumber traffic. Sackman and Williams began business here in 1877, and now handle from 6,000 to 7,000 cords of wood per year. Lush & Co., of Goshen, Ind., have cut about 1,000,000 feet of lumber here in the last year. O. J. Sackman has a good, general stock of goods, and does a large business for the size of the place. Loveland & Co., of Chicago, have here two kilns for burning charcoal. These have been built about two years, and cost not less than $500 each. Both of these will burn about 72,000 bushels in a year.
Churches, Cemeteries, etc. -- The Quakers who settled in this township at an early day erected on the site of what is now called the Quaker Schoolhouse, a double hewed-log church. In this connection it may be remarked that no authentic history of the Quakers can be collected at this late day. Before the war, the Methodists bought the old schoolhouse at Jackson Centre, and built an addition to it so as to use it for church purposes. They still use it. The first members of this organization were: Jefferson Zenu, Mr. Massey, Elijah Hill, Mr. Hamilton, Joseph Shumaker, John B. Johnson, Jacob Carter, Abraham Ashey and Chancey Moore, who was class leader for a number of years. At one time there was a large class here, but now it is quite small. There have been services at Jackson Centre for over thirty years.
There is a burying-ground on Section 27. Here an infant of Jacob Carter's was buried in 1845. This is the largest in the township. One and one-half miles east of Jackson Centre is what is called the Quaker Burying-Ground. It is just beside the schoolhouse of District No. 1. Lansing's Burying-Ground is one mile west of Jackson Centre. It is not now used. Noble's Burying-Ground is eighty rods east of Oliver Stell's. It has not been used for thirty-seven years. The last one buried here was a stranger from New York.
First Settlers. -- Asahel K. Paine, who settled here in 1834, built the first house, and has the honor of being the first settler in Jackson Township. In the same year came John P. Noble, who arrived in April; H. E. Woodruff, in June; Mr. Hamilton, Calvin Crawford, Samuel Olinger, Mr. Massey, L. Jackson, E. Casteel, F. Oliver, D. Page, Joseph Wright and Johnson Crawford; in 1835, William Barnard, Benjamin Malsby and
many others. Jacob Carter came in 1837, and Oliver Stell in 1844. Among the other early settlers, are Jesse McCord, who came in 1837 and erected a blacksmith shop on Section 26; Archer Dumond, James P. Cain, Eli B. Lanson, Hiram Dilley and Walter and William Thompson. In 1836, a man named Shinabarger lived where Steamburg was built later, and entertained travelers, but did not keep a regular tavern. Even at that time the building looked old, and although, as stated above, so far as known, Mr. Paine was the first settler, yet this would indicate that others had preceded him.
Elections. -- The first election in the township was held at the residence of A. K. Paine, in 1836. Mr. Paine's place was at that election named Paineville. Mr. J. P. Noble, now of Westville, La Porte Co., carried the returns to Valparaiso. H. E. Woodruff was elected Justice of the Peace. Adam Hamilton was elected to the same office in 1837.
At an election held at the house of William Eaton, in Jackson Township, December 24, 1836, to elect an Associate Judge in the place of Lemuel Jackson, resigned, the following vote was polled: George G. Salyer, Solomon Cheney, William Eaton, Thomas Clark, J. M. Buel, Warner Winslow, George Shegley, William Sheridan, William Walker, William Frakes, John Bishop, George Cline, George Willey, Washington Ault, James Blair, Martin Rees, G. W. Coghill, P. H. Coghill, Edmund Billings, Jacob Fleming, Robert Fleming, Benjamin Saylor, Michael Ault, Isaac Morgan, White B. Smith, George W. Smith, Miller Blachly, Nelson H. Smith, Robert William, Allen Baxter, William Bingham, Benjamin Bingham, P. D. Cline, Jeremiah Hamell, Samuel Eiler, S. L. Cannon, Daniel Droulinger, Isaac Werninger, Warner Pierce and Richard Clark. At this election Seneca Ball received for the above office forty votes. John Bishop, William Sheridan and William Frakes were Judges of Election. The following appeared in The Western Ranger, August 11, 1847: "The strong Federal township in this county is called Jackson. This is disgraceful. A township in which three-fourths of the people are Federalists and Abolitionists should never bear the name of the illustrious Jackson! Some of our friends have suggested that the name be changed to Tom Corwin, and we go for it distinctly. No name would be more suitable."
1882 HISTORY OF PORTER COUNTY
CHAPTER I. - EARLY HISTORY OF COUNTY
CHAPTER II. - EARLY HISTORY COUNTY (Continued)
CHAPTER III. - MILITARY HISTORY
CHAPTER IV. - VALPARAISO AND CENTRE TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER V. - WESTCHESTER TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER VI. - BOONE TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER VII. - WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER VIII. - MORGAN TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER IX. - UNION TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER X. - JACKSON TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER XI. - LIBERTY TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER XII. - PORTAGE TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER XIII. - PLEASANT TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER XIV. - PORTER TOWNSHIP
CHAPTER XV. - PINE TOWNSHIP
Transcribed by Steven R. Shook, February 2012