From "The History of Wabash Co Indiana", 1884, Thomas B. Helm; John Morris Printer, Chicago

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Paine. 10/3/00

Liberty Township

Page 377

First Settlement

In the autumn of 1834, William GRANT, Daniel GRANT and Smith GRANT, with their families,settled in the forest of Liberty township. William Grant settled at the eastern line of the Indian reserve, andis said to have built the first house in Liberty on the north bank of grant Creek, in September, 1834, near the present town of La Fontaine. the creek took its name, of course, from the fact that those Grant families first settled along its banks. Mahlon PEARSON came about the same time (November 9,1834)and is said Tahoe been the first to enter land i the region,which he did, as we shall now state: East /2 of the NE /4 of Section 23, Township 26, Range 7, eighty acres, March 2, 1832.

The only other entry up to the close of 1833 was by Presley PRICKETT as follows: East 1/ of the SW 1/4 of Section 31, Township 26, Range 7, Preseley PRICKETT, April 17, 1833; eighty acres.

It seems that Mr. PEARSON had been there nearly three years before his removal to his land, and purchased for himself a home, which,home, moreover,he occupied through all the following years, almost to the present day, his departure to the land of spirits blessed having been made since the fall of 1881.

The GRANTS, and Mr. PEARSON were the only ones in 1834. Further inquiry seems to show that only William GRANT came in 1834, and the GRANTS shortly afterward. A large number came in the course of 1835. Among them we mention the following: Jesse D. SCOTT, Baptist preacher, and afterward elected Associate Judge, came in 1835, and he entered and owned the land on which the little old town of America was built; Jonathan SCOTT (a young, unmarried man) came with Jesse D. SCOTT, his uncle; Elihu, Jeremiah and William GARRISON, sons of Samuel GARRISON, who lived on Killbuck Creek in Madison county, about the same year; William R HALE settled a mile north of Ashland (La Fontaine), on the Indian boundary line; Mr. HALE is dead, but his widow is still living on the old place; Henry MCPHERSON settled north of William R. HALE'S on the "boundary". He moved away and resides at Springfield Ill.. John L. STONE,still further north along on the boundary. He now resides on the place which his father first entered. Mr. S. is a man of prominence among his fellow citizens. He is a preacher among the Disciples, and was elected to the House of Representatives at Indianapolis not very long ago (during the war). John MCDANIEL, one and 1/2 mils southeast of La Fontaine; David RUSSELL. one-half mile east of America, uncle of John RUSSELL residing near Hopewell Church, in North La Gro; Right SCOTT, one-quarter mile east of America, a brother of Jesse D. SCOTT, and living still where he first settled: John De COURCEY, SE corner of Liberty Township and of Wabash County, resides there still; he moved to the West, summer of 1883. John SPARR, son-in-law of Elijah QUICK, settled in the NE corner of The township, the first in that immediate region. He cleared a piece of land planted a large nursery in 1836 though he had not a neighbor within four miles. He died in 1838 or 1839, and his wife soon afterward; and the place was abandoned and the nursery grew up into a thicket and became a deer pasture. Mr. Elihah HACKLEMAN has seen deer running in the nursery and feeding from the leaves and shrubs. He has also taken trees from it and planted them in the woods to see what they would do, and the trees thus planted have grown to be forty or fifty feet tall, much like forest trees.

Others were these: George K COOK, settled two miles south of America. He had been a soldier in the war of 1812, under Gen Jackson, and had been wounded at the battle of New Orleans. William SPRADLING, father of Simon SPRADLING, ESQ.,now residing in North La Gro; John TYLER, one-half mile south of America. He lived and died there.

Robert STEWART, who came in 1852, {this is becky -it says 1852. Should it be 1832?} settled three miles southeast of America and resides there still. He has been Commissioner of Wabash County for one or two terms. John S. WILLIAMS came in 1836, and settled east of William R. HALL's, having entered his land in August, 1834, and built a cabin for himself and family, not far from the same time moving to it in 1836. {Becky again. That's what it says, word for word. Makes no sense to me, but...} Phillip and Joel MARTIN were early pioneers south of STEWART's. Henry BRUNER settled close to DE COURCEY's.

Many of these people came from Fayette County, Ind.,or from that region. Levi BEAN from that section of country, had explored the Wabash Valley, and had settled north of the Wabash River; and his warm approval of that new country had greatly excited the minds of his neighbors and acquaintances, and the result was shown in a large emigration thence to Wabash County.

Messers. HALE and STONE were originally from Kentucky. The GRANTS also were from Kentucky. The SCOTTS were from Tennessee, and so was Mr. PEARSON. But almost the entire settlement were directly from Fayette county, most of them being relatives of blood or marriage. America is the oldest town in that region, having been laid out (recorded) October 16, 1837 but Jesse D. SCOTT and Elihu GARRISON. It became a smart little place for a few years. But there is now almost no business, and only the feeble remnant of of its former prosperities.

The first school house in Liberty was simply a cabin, which had been built by William GRANT. He had a double log dwelling, and he allowed one of the rooms to be used for a school. The time was probably in the summer of 1837, and the place was perhaps 100 yards north of La Fontaine. That first school was taught by Eli DILLION. The first religious gathering also was held in that same double log house, as may be found stated at length in the account of the Churches of Liberty Township.

Page 392.

America Cemetery

Thomas MOORE's Daughter, six months; died April, 1836
William KENT's daughter, died in the winter of 1836-1837
Charles SCOTT, father of Rev. Jesse D. SCOTT, died in 1839, aged about seventy five years.
Sarah Anna BARNETT, date and age unknown
Sarah Ann (wife of William) GARRISON, died October 3, 1850, forty fourth year.
Jesse CROUCH, born September 6, 1843, died July 11, 1864
William SPRADLING, died September 6, 1852, sixtieth year
Rinard RYNEARSON died August 9, 1863, fifty-seven years
Nancy, wife of Rinard RYNEARSON, died August 29,1860; sixty-five years

The cemetery is 100 rods southeast of America. approached by a lane leading only to the grounds, on a fine, level, high location; poorly fenced, and not well cared for, with a considerable number of graves, but few of those named on the monuments being old persons.

Ezekiel RHODES, died January 15, 1864; fifty-third year.
Martha (wife of Nathan) SPRINGER, died September 5, 1846; sixty second year.
Elizabeth (wife of John F.) BROWN, died November 12, 1857' sixtieth year.
John F. BROWN, born March 20, 1792, died September 28, 1847, fifty-sixth year.
Rebecca (wife of Jeremiah) GARRISON, died July 18, 1856; fifty years.
Allen C. SCOTT, died September, 1847, twenty-eighth year.
Mary (wife of Charles R.) SCOTT, died July 24th 1854; thirty-ninth year.

Boundary Church Cemetery

Purchased and laid out by Elias B. STONE, in 1863, but used also by the community in general.
John THOMAS, born in Baltimore, MD., April 6, 1783; died December 3, 1864; eighty-second year
Elias B. Stone, died July 17, 1870, eighty years
Catharine, wife of Elias B. STONE, born September 17, 1795, died August 21 1873,
     seventy-eighth year.
Rebecca CAROTHERS, b August 1884, died August 24, 1875; eighty-one years [That's what it says..]

The cemetery is on the northeast quarter of Section 22, Township 26, Range 27, at the Boundary church.

ELLIOTT's Graveyard

This cemetery is located on Section 31, Township 26, range 8, upon lands entered by Presley PRICKETT, (Second entry in the township) and now owned by Mr. ELLIOTT. It is located far in the fields, and can be reached only by goin through Mr. ELLIOTT's house lane, his barnyard, his field lane, and several gates. The situation is somewhat picturesque, being mostly surrounded by native forest, and, as is somewhat common, on the high bluffy banks of a creek. It was established soon after the commencement of the settlement,earliest date being June 24, 1844. We give the epitaphs on the tombstones, as in other cases.

Michael MOYER, a worthy member of the United Brethren Church, died June 24,1844,
    forty-four years.
Lewellen MARTIN, died September 15, 1844; seventy-fourth year.
Elizabeth (Wife of Lewellen) MARTIN, died November 25, 1845, seventy-first year.
Mary (wife of Presley) PRICKETT, died June 3 1863; sixty years
John KETNER, died August 1866; seventy-fifth year
Presley PRICKETT, born January 14, 1802, died January 27, 1869; sixty-seven years.
Mary E. (wife of John) KETNER, died October 21, 1869; seventy-fifth year
Joel MARTIN, died August 28 1879; seventy-four years
Eli KEITH, died September 25, 1879; sixty-second year.

HALE's Cemetery

This cemetery has been in use a long time, having been laid out about 1845. It is located a short distance east of the boundary line road, north of La Fontaine, on a rising ground, near a small creek, and is kept in reasonable repair. The inscriptions taken from the tombstones may be thus stated:

Delilah, wife of Benjamin HOPKINS, born June 17, 1798; died March 2, 1849;
  fifty-first year.
Amelia, wife of Abram HALE, died October 3, 1856; seventy-seventh year
Matthew HALE, born January 18, 1795, died September 16, 1876; eighty-second year.
William R. HALE, died December 3, 1880, seventy-fifth year; born in Fleming Co KY.
  Mr. HALE is to have for his monument a huge bowlder {sic} rock that required six horses
  to haul it to the burial ground, by his special desire and request.  The intention is to
  place this great stone as his memorial with the appropriate inscription engraved thereon.

It's location is on the northeast quarter of Section 22, Township 26, Range 7, a little east of the boundary and not far south of Mrs. William R. HALE's residence, and upon lands belonging to her.


This burying-ground is supposed to have been the first in the region, having been laid out by William GRANT in about 1837. The first person buried therein is stated to have been Polly WILLIAMS, as sister of John S. WILLIAMS. She has no tombstone;. (1838 or 1839.) This cemetery has lately been enclosed with a neat and tasteful iron fence, but no shubbery. But few elderly persons seem to have been interred therein. We give the following inscriptions:

Hiram KENDALL, born September 15, 1800; died February 13, 1867; sixty-sixth year.
Adeline, wife of John HETTLE, died April 17, 1881;fifty-sixth year.
John s. WILLIAMS, born August 21 1805, died October 14,1847; forty-second year.
  His monument is stated to have been the first erected in Liberty Township, and
  at a cost of $200. The stone of which it was made is not durable, and shows
  already signs of breaking and crumbling at the edges, having also greatly faded
  from its original beauty and polish.

The burial ground is upon a knoll, a short distance north of La Fontaine,upon the northeast quarter of Section 27,Township 26, Range 7, on the east side of the boundary line.

La Fontaine Cemetery

This cemetery is located half a mile west of La Fontaine, in Section 27, Township 26, Range 7, immediately south of the highway leading westward from that village, and near the north bank of Grant Creek. The first burials are said to have been Rev. Benjamin ALTON and his wife, who both died in the spring of 1846. They were members of the Disciples Church. The third burial was that of Jacob EMERY, who died in May of the same year. The cemetery seems to have been more extensively used for purposes of burial than any other country graveyard in Wabash County. It was established in 1846, being located upon nearly level ground, and is now surrounded by a wooden fence, the front portion being composed of pickets. The cemetery is filled with monuments of various sizes and shapes, and many elderly persons have been buried there, as will be seen by the list given below:

John H. TYNER, died 23 May 1851, killed by the falling of a tree.
Elizabeth, wife of John JACOBS, died October 28, 1852, sixty-sixth year
Mary, wife of G. B. LINES, died August 27, 1852; sixty-fourth year
Abraham HACKLEMAN, died October 16, 1858; eighty-third year.
(not complete) 

Page 376

Land Entries

The following statement shows the progress of settlement in Liberty Township (to some extent at least), stating the number of acres each year from 1832 to 1848, inclusive.

The actual settlements represented by the entries of 1847 and 1848, were mostly made years before that, and when the land officers (one or more) were opened, each one went through the form of paying for his parcel and getting his "patent". Some of lands had been selected by the State as "canal lands" by permission of the United States,andthose lands were sold sooner than the rest of them.

Township 26, Range 8

The land off the 'reserve' was entered largely between 1834 and 1838 inclusive, and that on the reserve, of "canal land" was entered chiefly in 1844-45 and if United States land in 1847-48. Two entries only were made up to the close of 1833 as follows:

E 1/2 of NE 1/4 of S 23, T 26, R 7          May 23, 1832 Mahlon PEARSON   80 Acres
E 1/2 of SW 1/4 of S 31, T 26 South, R 8  17 April, 1833 Presley PRICKETT    

Mr. PEARSON's entry was about half a mile north of America, a little east of the Marion & La Gro Road, and is now owned by the son-in-law of Mahlon PEARSON, Jonathan SCOTT, now a resident of La Fontaine.

Mr. PRICKETT's selection was a part of what is now the ELIOTT farm, three miles southeast of LaFontaine, on the extreme southern boundary of the township and the county.

The next entries were partly near America and also near La Fontaine, and along the "boundary" northward from La Fontaine for a a considerable distance. Entries in the region of America and along the Indian boundary with the dates thereof, etc., as follows:

Mahlon PEARSON           E 1/2 of NE 1/4        S 23, T 26, R 7        Mar. 2, 1832
Presley PRICKETT         E 1/2 of SW 1/4        S 31, T 26, R 8        Apr. 17, 1833
Danial JACKSON           SW 1/4& W 1/2          S 11, T 26, R 6        Feb. 13, 1834
Danial JACKSON           E 1/2 of NW 1/4        S 11, T 26, R 7        Mar. 1, 1834  
Manasseh THOMPSON        E 1/2 of SW !/4 
                         & W 1/2 of SE !/4      S 26, T 26, R 7        Sept 11, 1834
William GRANT            NW 1/4 of NW 1/4       S 23, T 26, R 7        Sept 16, 1834
John MINNEAR             W 1/2 of NE 1/4        S 23,T 26, R 7         Sept. 11, 1834
Thomas KISER             NW 1/4                 S 26, T 26, R 7        Sept. 11, 1834
Ammon JOHNSON            SE 1/4                 S 12, T 26. R 7        Mar. 9, 1834
Mahlon PEARSON           NW 1/4 of SW1/4        S 26, T 26, R 7        July 30, 1834
Danial GRANT             part of                S 27, T 26, R 9        Oct. 15, 1834
Samuel GARRISON          W 1/2 of NW 1/4        S 25, T 26, R 7        Oct. 15, 1834
Samuel GARRISON          E 1/2 of NE 1/4        S 26, T 26, R 7        Oct. 15, 1834
H. W. MCPHEARSON         fraction section of    S 15, T 26, R 7        Oct. 29, 1834
Elias B.STONE            fraction section of    S 10, T 26, R 7        Oct. 29, 1834
William R. HALL          fraction section of    S 22, T 26, R 7        Oct.29, 1834
Isaac HINES              NW 1/4                 S 25, T 26, R 7        Nov. 10, 1834
John S. WILLIAMS         E 1/2 of NW 1/4 &
                         W 1/2 of NE 1/4        S 23, T 26, R 7        Nov. 19, 1834
Elihu GARRISON           SE 1/4 of SE 1/4       S 23, T 26, R 7        Dec. 4, 1834
Elihu GARRISON           SW 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 24, T 26, R 7        Dec. 11, 1834           
James SHANNON            SW 1/4                 S 12, T 26, R 7        Dec. 29, 1834
Elizabeth DUNCAN         NE 1/4                 S 11, T 26, R 7        Dec.27, 1834
William DUNCAN           SE 1/4                 S 11, T 26, R 7        Dec. 27, 1834
Jesse D. SCOTT           SE 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 23, T 26, R 7        Jan. 9, 1835
Jesse D. SCOTT           SW 1/4 of SE 1/4       S 23, T 26, R 7        Jan. 9, 1835
Charles R. SCOTT         E 1/2 of SW 1/4        S 24, T 26, R 7        Jan. 9, 1835
Jonathan SCOTT           E 1/2 of NW 1/4        S 24, T 26, R 7        Jan. 9, 1835
Moses HARRELL            W 1/2 of SE 1/4        S 24, T 26, R 7        Jan. 9, 1835
John MINNEAR             NE 1/4 of SE 1/4       S 26, T 26, R 7        Feb. 7, 1835
Page 377
Jesse D. SCOTT           W 1/2 of SW 1/4        S 23, T 26, R 7        Feb. 15, 1835
Jeremiah GARRISON        SW 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 26, T 26, R 7        Mar. 1, 1835
Elihu GARRISON           E 1/2 of NW 1/4        S 25, T 27, R 7        May 21, 1835
John MORRIS              NE 1/4                 S 12, T 27, R 7        May 21, 1835
Smith GRANT              SW 1/4 of NW 1/4       S 23, T 27, R 7        Jun. 8, 1835
Samuel JACKSON           fraction of            S 34, T 27, R 7        Aug. 19, 1835
Alexander SHANNON, Jr.   E 1/2 of SE 1/4        S 25, T 26, R 7        Sept. 29, 1835
David RUSSELL            E 1/2  of SE 1/4       S 24, T 26, R 7        Nov. 2,1835
John DILLE               W 1/2 of SE 1/4 &
                         S 1/2 of SW 1/4        S 25, T 26, R 7        Nov. 9, 1835
Samuel BROWN             E 1/2 of NE 1/4        S 24, T 26, R 7        Nov. 23, 1835
John B. TAYLOR (TYLER)   NW 1/4                 S 12, T 26, R 7        Mar. 8, 1836
John B. TAYLOR           SE 1/4 of SE 1/4       S 26, T 26, R 7        Mar. 8, 1836         
Thomas MOORE             W 1/2 of NW 1/4        S 24, T 26, R7         Mar. 9, 1836
Charles R. SCOTT         NW1/4 of SW 1/4        S 24, T 26, R 7        Mar. 9, 1836          
James POINTS             N 1/2 of SE 1/4        S 23, T 26, R 7        May 30, 1836
Levi DALLAS              NW 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 25, T 26, R 7        May 10, 1836
Austin H. WELLS          NE 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 25, T 26, R 7        July 19, 1836
Edward BUSICK            NE 1/4 of SW 1/4       S 23, T 26, R 7        July 20, 1836

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