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Photo by Traca Gwaltney


To the Jennings County People
Who have wandered from the fold
Some in search of fame and glory
Others for the pot of gold
I recall to your attention
Wheresoever you may roam
That the soil of Jennings County
Still remains your native home

Rolling hills and lovely valleys
Where your feet once loved to stray
Ere you packed your goods and vanished
At the time you went away
Still retain their old time beauty
As it was in days of yore
Don't forget them but remember
They are safe in Natures store

Flowers that bloomed along the roadway
And the rustic country lanes
Still are blooming in those places
Nourished by the sun and rain
Just as when you drove to market
As you often used to do
With a load of corn or pumpkins
That in Jennings County Grew

Streams that flowed along the valleys
Where the drooping willows grow
Past the clifts that cast their shadows
On the waters down below
Still flow in unceasing currents
On their journey to the sea
As they did before you left us
Source of joy to you and me

The Muscatatuck still wanders
On along its winding way
Sand Creek joins the Wyalusing
As it did in elder days
Graham beautifies the landscape,
As above its waters clear
On the bank you sat delighted
In the days when you were here

Out amid the autumn forest
Where you often spent your time
Hickory nuts grow in abundance
On the trees you used to climb
And the pawpaws golden yellow
And the grapes of purple hue
Still grow in shaded valleys
As they always used to do

Beech and Ash and Oak and Maple
Sycamore and Dogwood trees
Still adorn the woodland pathways
Swaying in the autumn breeze
Other choice spots in the landscape
Where you loitered many a day
Still are waiting for a visit
From the folks who moved away

Then remember good old Jennings
Where you spent your childhood days
Don't forget its hills and valleys
And its flower bordered ways
As on lifes path you journey
Growing older year by year
Don't forget your native county
And the friends remaining here

by Frank E. Little

FRANK E. LITTLE-City attorney of North Vernon, was born in the traditional "log cabin" within two miles of this city June 3, 1854. He obtained his education in the district schools and high school of North Vernon. In 1870 at the age of 16 he removed to Camden Co., Missouri, where he engaged in farming. Returning in 1871 to this county, he worked by the month during summer seasons on farms, in Bartholomew and Shelby counties. He also took a course in Fable's brick yard, Greer's stone quarry and on the O & M construction train. In 1874 he went to Indianapolis and entered the service of the father of William Forsythe the artist. In 1876 he returned to Jennings Co., and obtained a two year license to teach in the common schools. In 1882, 1883, 1884 he was employed in the high school of this city. He read law in the office of the Hon. John Overmyer, and in 1885 entered into a partnership. He married Ella Welsome on November 18, 1880.

From Prominent Citizens of Jennings County.

Did you ever wonder why your ancestors chose Jennings County when they were deciding where to settle in what was then a frontier area? The recent pictures below may give you some hint, the area was beautiful and remains so to this day. Of course the heavy forests are mostly gone and with time the soil proved to be difficult to farm but the area draws one back and at least in my case gives me a feeling of peace and of returning home. I wanted to include this section as a tribute to those who settled here, many of whom left family buried in the area and for those of you who have not been able to travel here to do research to give you an idea of what Jennings County is like.

James Covered Bridge
by Andrea McMahon, taken 2011

A Country Road in Montgomery Township
by Andrea McMahon, taken 2011

M&I R.R. Overpass - Vernon - built 1837
First elevated R.R. west of the Alleghenies
by Sheila Kell taken 2010

Old Farm not far from Vernon
by Andrea McMahon taken 2012

At the first session of the County Commissioners, the county was divided into 3 townships.
1. Montgomery was all that part south of the line which divides townships 5 and 6. This takes in all of the present Montgomery Township, all of the present Marion Township which was set off in Feb. 1843 and most of Lovett Township formed from Montgomery and Vernon in Sep. 1871.
2. Vernon was all that part north of the line divided townships 5 and 6, or most of the rest of the county.
3. Franklin Township was all that part that went to Ripley County.

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