Early Reminiscences, Personal Incidents and Anecdotes,
And A Complete Business Directory Of The County
By Samuel D. Chapman 1879
Contributed by Patty Delmott and Transcribed by Cyndi Vertrees
This township derived its name from the large number of Indians, living in the vicinity of old Indiantown, at its organization.
The first settlement effected in the township was in the year 1849 by Isaac Asher. E. W. Daily, N. J., A. J. and M. Blodgett, S. Chase, J. H. Voorhies, E. Stump, P. Rouse, A. Dingee, J. Cronk, w. Murty, I. butler, P. Helm, J. Huston, S. B. Dunton, J. Jack and T. D. H. Wilcoxen were among the early settlers, coming in at an early day and improving farms in various parts of the township.
The Iowa River passes through this township almost diagonally, in a southeasterly direction, and along its bank will be found one mill known as the Indiantown Flouring Mill, which was established in 1855 by Fisk, Helm & Gray, now owned and operated by Charles Gray, who bought their interest in 1856. This township has peculiar advantages over the adjacent ones, from the fact that a large body of timber lines the bank of the river in its course through the township, and also from the amount of stone to be fund here. The bluffs through this section contain abundance of rock for building and other purposes. The quality of this stone and its extent are spoken of in a previous chapter. It contains three towns. Orford, now Montour, Indiantown, (which is know as Butlerville, the name of the P. Office) about two miles apart, and Le Grand Station, located on section 18. The country is fine; the bluffs in general are of gentle ascent and timber and water plentiful, making it a highly productive township.
The township was organized in 1853 with William Taylor, E. W. Daily and L. Appelgate as Trustees. The first election was held at the house of E. W. Daily on the first Monday in August, 1853. The township contains several stone quarries and lime kilns, from which stone are taken and lime made in abundance.
At an early day an exciting shooting affray took place in “Whiskey Bottom” – so called from the immense quantity of whiskey sold there by one Rouse, and the roughness of the people. The old settlers well remember its character. The shooting took place between a Samuel Reed and one Scamerhorn, and resulted in the killing of Reed.
It appears from the facts we can gather regarding it that between this Reed and Scamerhorn a feeling of jealousy existed in regard to a girl that both were wooing. These two men in company with five or six others, were turkey hunting. After proceeding some distance the party seated themselves on a log, when they separated a little while after this a report of a gun was heard and upon examination it was found that Reed was dead, having been shot completely through. Scamerhorn was indicated, but the crime was not fastened upon him, owing to the fact that sufficient testimony could not be had to convict the prisoner.
The first marriage was S. Davidson and Miss A. Asher, July 18th, 1850, three years before the County was organized.
The first school was taught by C. J. Stevens our present County Clerk, at Indiantown in 1856.
The first death was Mariah Blodgett in 1853.
The first birth was Mary M. Blodgett, March 4th, 1853.
But little was done in the settlement of the township until the completion of the Chicago & North Western Railroad, when, in a short time nearly every quarter was occupied.
The township is well improved and has living within its boundaries some of the most enterprising farmers in the County, among whom we many mention J. L. Magee, N. J. Blodgett, W. C. Salsbury, S. Strain, A. B. Taplin, R. M., A. C. and Charles Tenny,
Below will be found the names of those who have served in the offices of Justices, Trustees, and Clerks, from the organization of the townships to the present.
Justices: - W. B. Mumbrow, H. Welton, J. W. Wyman, B. W. Fellows, C. Stevens, G. H. Hall, I. Butler, A. Dingee, P. Helm, J. B.Moffitt, J. M. Preston, L. Appelgate, J. H. Stevens.
Clerks: - A. L. Range, T. P. Smith, T. R. Oldham, C. D. Torrey, A. J. Dingee, H. G. Wallace, B. F. Fellows, E. Taplin, J. H. Voorhies, D. D. Appelgate.
Trustees: - R. E. Tewksberry, S. D. Tyner, J. Paxton, E. Garrison, C. and R. M. Tenny, J. M. Mills, J. Abbott, J. Smith, A B. Taplin, J. Dunn, T. D. H. Wilcoxen, H. G. Wallace, M. and N. J. Blodgett, B. W. Fellows, P. Helm, R. T. Armstrong, C. Gray, G. Blake, C. J. Stevens, A. C. Tenny, J. Moore, J. Bradley, F Hollingshead, E. Ruggles, J. S. Townsend, A. Dingee, M. Dunn, W. Taylor, E. W. Dailey, J. Jack, L. Appelgate, A. Bricker, I. Asher.