Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEWSPAPER TIDBIT: History of Clay Township (1924)

from The Republican (Danville, Indiana) – issue of Thursday, April 3, 1924 – page 1, column 4:

CLAY TOWNSHIP’S ORIGIN AND NAMING OF AMO
Girl Who Studied Latin Now Aged Woman

(By Our Amo Correspondent)
Clay township was organized as a separate corporation by an act of the board of county commissioners March 3, 1845. It was formed by separating from the north end of Franklin township three tiers of sections of land and three sections from the southeast corner of Marion township, giving an area of about 24 square miles.

The early settlements were made between the years of 1825 and 1831, principally, though the exact identity of the first settlers is not known. Among the families that came prior to 1832 were Obediah, George and John Tincher, Joel and Jesse Hodson, William Benbow, Dr. James Kersey, Newby Hunt, Edward Estes, Abram West, Nicholas Osborne and George Handcock. The poll book of the first election which was held in Springtown, August 3, 1846 gives the names of 101 voters.

Springtown is probably the oldest town in Clay township, and at the time of the completion of the Vandalia railroad in 1852, was a flourishing business village, with stores, a church, shop and nice homes. Abram West had a saw mill there and made a specialty of gray ash flooring so much in use at that time. He furnished ties for two miles of the Vandalia railroad. This road missed Springtown by about one half mile. Joseph Morris owned some of the land and laid out a town plat in 1850 which he called Morristown. This village sprang up quickly and the population was augmented by most of the inhabitants of Springtown moving their houses there. Mr. Morris built him a large house in the west part of town, procuring the lumber from one immense poplar tree which he had sawed into boards. He became the postmaster and soon learned the name of the town must be changed because there was another within the state. Miss Phoebe Lawrence, daughter of Isaac Lawrence, who was then a school girl and studying Latin, suggested the name of Amo which Mr. Morris accepted. She afterward married and is now living in Cincinnati at an advanced age.

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