Madison County Historical Society

Madison County Historical Society The preservation of Madison County, Indiana history, artifacts, photos, and stories.. Our organization is staffed by all volunteers.
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Bonge's is located in Perkinsville and well-known in Madison County.  Picture by Stephen Jackson, and it appears in his ...
07/25/2020

Bonge's is located in Perkinsville and well-known in Madison County. Picture by Stephen Jackson, and it appears in his book WHAT'S IN A NAME.

This beautiful Jackson Township home is located on the site of the Nanticoke Indians who resided in this area around 180...
07/24/2020

This beautiful Jackson Township home is located on the site of the Nanticoke Indians who resided in this area around 1805-1813. The Indian Village was called Nancy Town, as this village was probably named after Chief James Nanticoke's wife Nancy. Info and picture found in Stephen Jackson’s book WHAT’S IN A NAME.

Jacob Sigler along with his large family traveled from Virginia and came to the land that is now known as Frankton.  Fra...
07/14/2020

Jacob Sigler along with his large family traveled from Virginia and came to the land that is now known as Frankton. Frank Sigler helped design and develop this land; hence, the town was named after him. The Siglers and many other founders are buried in this cemetery. Daniel Dwiggins, also of a large family who traveled to the Frankton area, was a captain in the Civil War. Many of these family members are buried at the Sigler Cemetery, and many of these very old headstones of the founders of Frankton were covered with black mold and fungus and became illegible. In September 2011, Boy Scout Mason Shoaf with the help of family and friends cleaned these stones in order to help Mason earn his Eagle Scout distinction. These stones are now legible and in good repair. More stories of many of the early settlers of Frankton along with pictures are available at cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

One of the oldest, most honored stones in the old section of the Vinson Cemetery in Summitville is that of Willis Swinde...
07/14/2020

One of the oldest, most honored stones in the old section of the Vinson Cemetery in Summitville is that of Willis Swindell. Swindell served in the North Carolina militia toward the end of the Revolutionary War. After the war, Swindell moved his family several times before settling in Madison County Indiana. His monument is in its original location, legible, and intact. The ANDERSON HERALD has used a picture of his monument when honoring Revolutionary soldiers buried in Madison County. More information and many more pictures can be seen at cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

Cemeteries Today Are ProtectedThe Cottrell Cemetery, also known as the Chapman Cemetery, at one point was almost totally...
07/14/2020

Cemeteries Today Are Protected
The Cottrell Cemetery, also known as the Chapman Cemetery, at one point was almost totally destroyed. Former land owners "took heavy equipment and cut into the burial area, dumping earth, markers, and bones over the side of a nearby hill. Rain and erosion then caused unearthed bones to be washed into neighbors' yards. The neighbors alerted authorities, and the situation was brought to the attention of the Green Township Trustee, the cemetery commission, and the county coroner." Damage to the cemetery was over $75,000. The INDIANAPOLIS STAR ran two articles and pictures in their January 12 and February 4, 1998 editions. The Department of Natural Resources also became involved. The Madison County Cemetery Commission took six years in working with the descendants, the Green Township trustee, nearby land owners, neighbors, and the DNR to complete the restoration of this burial site. In 2005, the Cottrell Cemetery's reclamation was finalized. To see the complete article and pictures, go to cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

07/14/2020

Folk History in Lafayette Township
In the early to middle of the 1800s, a Madison County Historical Society member was told that Indians used a spot in what is now known as Florida Station as a burial ground for their deceased. This spot was between the railroad and CR 375N on the east side of CR 200W. There is no written documentation of this, but stories arose when the railroad was being constructed next to the site. It was noted that the last Native Americans in Madison County (IN) migrated west in the 1830s which was also the time that Florida Station was being planned. Out of respect for this folklore, the Madison County Historical Society recorded the burial site for future reference and research. Information attained from cemeteries-madison-co-in.com

This monument of Samuel Wise is located in the Perkinsville Cemetery and shows the " Victorian symbol for husband and wi...
07/13/2020

This monument of Samuel Wise is located in the Perkinsville Cemetery and shows the " Victorian symbol for husband and wife, the clasped hands, which stood for their partnership in life and fellowship in the after-life. . . There are over sixty members with the Wise surname on the burial list for the Perkinsville Cemetery." Picture and information provided by cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

The medallion under the mourning angel of this elaborately decorated Victorian memorial reads:  "Dr. T. F. Cook was born...
07/13/2020

The medallion under the mourning angel of this elaborately decorated Victorian memorial reads: "Dr. T. F. Cook was born in Wilkes County, N.C. Sept. 1, 1819 and died in Madison Co., IN May 6, 1874. Picture and information provided by cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

The Perkinsville Cemetery is located in Jackson Township on the north side of 8th Street between CR 900W and SR 13.  Pic...
07/13/2020

The Perkinsville Cemetery is located in Jackson Township on the north side of 8th Street between CR 900W and SR 13. Picture provided by cemeteries-madison-co-in.com.

07/08/2020

Theodore Roosevelt Visits Madison County (IN) from "Welcome to Madison County, Mr. President - Part Three" by Stephen Jackson

The first was October 11, 1900, when the New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Anderson to perhaps the greatest welcome ever seen in Anderson. Roosevelt was President William McKinley's running mate on the Republican ticket.

His railroad route brought him through Alexandria where he spike around 9 o'clock to a crowd estimated at 8,000 people assembled at the Big Four station there.

Roosevelt's train arrived in Anderson ten minutes ahead of the scheduled 10:07 am arrival time. He was then taken to the speaker's stand which had been erected on the east side of the court house in the area then called the Commons.

He was greeted by prolonged cheering by those who had arrived early when he arrived on the stand and acknowledged this by gracious bows in all directions. To the right of the stand a party of men gave the Rough Rider yell. Roosevelt rose to his feet, lifted his hat and helped them complete it.

His speech was delivered to a crowd estimated between ten and twelve thousand with one estimate at fifteen thousand. Regardless of which estimate is correct, it ranks as the largest crowd in Madison County's history to witness a speech by a president either future, current, or former.

On May 30, 1907, the Big Four Railroad's Detroit Special train with the president's car, the Magnet, attached and carrying President Theodore Roosevelt stopped in Anderson the second time not once, but twice that day.

On his way to Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis where he was to speak at the unveiling of the General Henry W. Lawton monument. The President appeared on the car's platform where he shook hands and engaged in small talk with the hundreds who had gathered to see him. On the return trip that evening, his train arrived one minute ahead of schedule at 6:59 and made a scheduled eight minute stop. His speech lasted only a few minutes, and he was still speaking when the train began to move out. He stopped and waved his hands to the crowd as the train departed the station headed east.

On October 13, 1910, former President Teddy Roosevelt appeared for a third time when he delivered a speech in support of U.S. Senator Albert J. Beveridge's bid for re-election from Indiana.

07/08/2020

Donations to the Madison County (IN) History Society

If you would like to donate to the Madison County (IN) Historical Society, you may do so in any of the following ways:
- Send a check to Madison County (IN) Historical Society, PO Box
696, Anderson IN 46015-0696
- Bring a check to Madison County (IN) Historical Society at 15 W 11th Street, Anderson IN 46015. Please call ahead to make an appointment.
- Make a donation through your PayPal account to [email protected] (This is the Madison County Historical Society email.

07/07/2020

Richard Nixon's Visit to Madison County from "Welcome to Madison County, Mr. President--Part Three" by Stephen Jackson

At 11:30 AM on November 7, 1966, a plane landed at the Anderson Airport. On board was Richard Nixon. He addressed a crowd of 5000 in the Anderson High School Gymnasium at what was described as an old time political rally.

Nixon spoke for 30 minutes encouraging support for Indiana's Congressional candidates in the election the following day. Afterwards the future 37th President of the United States returned to the airport.

It was Nixon's only visit to Madison County unlike Theodore Roosevelt who appeared in Madison County on three occasions."

07/06/2020

The World War II display is now open from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Your temperature will be taken, masks are required, and hand sanitizer is to be used upon admittance.

07/06/2020

If you have reminisces of growing up during World War II, please share those by contacting the Museum of Madison County (IN) History at 765-683-0052 or you may email your story at [email protected].

07/06/2020

Consider being a member of the Madison County (IN) History Society, Inc. Dues are $25 for single and $40 for family memberships. The dues and any donations collected go toward operation costs and building renovations. This 1902 building is in need of upgraded furnace and air conditioning systems, as well as a fire suppressant system to protect and preserve the artifacts, textile, pictures, and written documents. Dues and donations may be sent to Madison County Historical Society, Inc., PO Box 696, Anderson IN 46015-0696.

According to the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Los Angeles Times, William (Bill) Walker was born on July 1, 1896, in...
07/03/2020

According to the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Los Angeles Times, William (Bill) Walker was born on July 1, 1896, in Pendleton IN. Walker was the grandson of slaves, an actor, civil rights activist, bandleader and singer, World War I veteran, and a board member of the Screen Actors Guild . He was best known in the role of Reverend Sykes in the Academy Award-winning 1962 film TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

William worked closely with actor and future President Ronald Reagan to obtain more roles for African Americans. According to the Los Angeles Times, Walker said he had tried throughout his career to defy racial stereotypes in his pictures. Walker said, "I had a lot of arguments with directors. Most of them knew nothing about how a Negro feels, how he lives, what he thinks."

Walker married Peggy Cartwright, a silent film star, and they were one of Hollywood's early interracially married couples. William died in 1992 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA, of complications of cancer.

Moss Island Mills, con't 4Information supplied by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) HistorianA small community flourished...
07/01/2020

Moss Island Mills, con't 4
Information supplied by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) Historian

A small community flourished about the site for a time known as "Toadlevel". But gradually the term "Moss Island" came to embrace all the surrounding territory. In later years the area became a popular swimming, fishing, and picnic spot for Andersonians.

Early on there was a ford above the mill race that allowed easy passage across the river. But later another means of crossing the river was found.

In the early horse and buggy days, travelers desiring to take the road into Anderson had to pay a toll of five cents at the gate house located next to the grist mill for the privilege of fording the tail race back of the dam. The tail race is the downstream part of the dam where the impounded part of the water re-enters the river. There the water was not so swift, and one could drive across to the island and over the dam to the other side of White River, proceeding to Andersontown.

An item in the August 18, 1930, issue of the Anderson Daily Bulletin stated that a few weeks previous a part of the mill overhanging the mill race had fallen into the water.

And finally in 1932, the paper reported that until recent years the mill continued to grind feed, but at present it lies idle in a rather dilapidated condition. The shingles and siding have fallen off, and the framework of hand hewn logs, mortised and tenoned, and held wooded pegs, is exposed.

The iron under-water buckets were turned over to the Boy Scouts and salvaged as scrap during World War II.

Moss Island Mills, con't 3Information of the history submitted by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) HistorianThe Moss Isl...
07/01/2020

Moss Island Mills, con't 3
Information of the history submitted by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) Historian

The Moss Island Mill was then called both "Brown's Mill" and "Davis Mill". If it had a name from an earlier time, it has been lost to history. The mill changed hands several times in a short span of years before John and Ann Moss purchased the property. In 1867 the mill was known as the Moss Island Flouring Mills. James Moss, the son of John and Ann, owned the property for many years and even after it was sold out of the family, the name Moss continued to be identified with not only the mill, but the surrounding area.

The Moss family at one time owned an estimated 2,200 acres west of Anderson. The east edge of the large tract skirted Raible Avenue on the east and extended a mile or so north and south.

John's son, William Moss, bought the mill for $10,000 shortly before his death. In 1873 the mill was consumed by fire, and since there was no insurance, it was a complete loss.

Samuel Moss, another of John's sons, built a new three-story mill on the site of the old one. Three sets of mill stones were capable of making 75 barrels of flour every 24 hours when it began operating in 1875. It is this mill that stood until it was torn down in 1935 and the one pictured on postcards for many years.

The mill's large stone burrs ground the farmer's corn into meal, his wheat, oats and barley into flour. Many of the millers also operated a saw mill at the site.

Research reveals at least 16 owners of the mill during its history. While some of them made money, others lost. The improved machinery in mills in the later part of the 19th Century to a large extent killed them off as merchant mills, and the fact that they were so far from the railroads put shipping at a disadvantage leaving small neighborhood grinding as their only source of income.

07/01/2020

History of Moss Island Mill, con't 2
Information supplied by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) Historian

The mill race, which was also know as Snelson's mill race, was about 20 feet wide. Presumably, someone named Snelson was responsible for the race being there but who that was is unknown.

The reason that mill's builder, Jospeh Mullenix, selected the site was its close proximity to the planned northern extension of the Central Canal from Indianapolis with its destination being Lake Erie at Toledo, Ohio. Research shows the proposed route of the canal would have passed within a few yards of the mill site. The canal's southern extension was planned to reach Evansville on the Ohio River, thus providing a convenient outlet for the shipment of the mill's products to all the major markets in the country.

Shortly after the mill began ominous clouds were forming on Indiana's financial horizon. Financial problems caused a halt to construction efforts, and the entire canal system became a financial failure.

Mullenix did not pay the taxes due on the property causing it to be sold at a sheriff's sale. The new owners were Lloyd Brown and his partner, Frank Davis, who took possession January 18, 1845.

History of the Moss Island Mill, by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) HistorianThe Moss Island Mill was named for a man-m...
07/01/2020

History of the Moss Island Mill, by Stephen Jackson, Madison Co (IN) Historian

The Moss Island Mill was named for a man-made island in White River and became an institution on Anderson's west side for almost 100 years before it was finally dismantled in 1935. Gone too is the island, a victim of dredging in the river years ago to remove obstacles that impeded the flow of water during floods. In its day the mill served the whole Anderson community in its needs for flour, meal, and buckwheat.

The first mill on the site was built in 1836 and was located two and one-half miles west of Andersontown. The heart of the mill's two acres of property was located at a curve in the river with an island made by an artificial canal, or mill race, cutting across the bend and thereby diverting part of the water flow into the race. When the flow of water filled the mill race an island was created in between the two bodies of water.

A dam was constructed just above the entrance to the mill race creating an area in the river above the dam call slack water. In the slack water area, the river's flow was slowed enough by the dam to cause it to form a pool of water. With the river side of the flow slowed by the dam, the canal side flowed faster. It was this increased water flow that provided enough power to propel the mill's horizontal wheel know as a "tub mill". When the water struck the blades of the tub, it turned the wheel. Extending from the wheel's hub or center was a shaft that, when connected to other shafts by a series of gears, powered the mill stones which ground the farmer's grain.

Elwood Opera House.      Photo by Stephen Jackson
06/30/2020

Elwood Opera House.
Photo by Stephen Jackson

Taken from Stephen Jackson's book WHAT'S IN A NAME: "A community called Moss Island Mills was present in 1846. It was cl...
06/30/2020

Taken from Stephen Jackson's book WHAT'S IN A NAME: "A community called Moss Island Mills was present in 1846. It was clustered around the grist and saw mills by the same name that were a center of commerce west of Anderson for years."

The historic Gruenewald House is a three-story Italianate/Second Empire style house built in 1860.  The house was built ...
06/29/2020

The historic Gruenewald House is a three-story Italianate/Second Empire style house built in 1860. The house was built in two parts: the back was built in 1860 and the front in 1873 by Moses Cherry. Later, Martin Gruenewald purchased the house and lived there for 50 years. The Madison County Historical Society helped to preserve this
beautiful house.

Address

15 West 11th Street, P O Box 696
Anderson, IN
46015-0696

General information

The Madison County Historical Society, Inc. is housed in the Museum of Madison County History in downtown Anderson, Indiana. We are open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibitions are open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We are closed on major holidays. Activities and events are free to the public.

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Mission Statement:

The mission of the Madison County (IN) Historical Society, Inc. and its museum is to serve our community by collecting, preserving, and displaying objects, artifacts, documents, photographs, and books relating to the historical development of life in Madison County, Indiana. Through exhibits, education, and research, we promote and provide an awareness of and appreciation for the historic past of our community to benefit our present and future generations.

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Comments

Posted by my friend and funeral director Larry McCoy...Russell Baker of the former Baker Brothers Funeral Home in Anderson picking up a new funeral coach....
Many Andersonian's remember my Uncle Matt and Aunt Rosemary's Pure Oil station at the corner of Alex Pike and Lindbergh Rd. In this pic Lonnie Whitehead won a nice prize!
To read Samuel Harden's book on line, check out this site. You can do a search for names you might want to research. His other books may say Boone or Hancock County but they are full of cross over families. I feel so blessed to have him as a part of my family.
The photo is in Pendleton, IN ca 1938. The traction presentation is coming October 7 at the Museum of Madison County History at 11th and Meridian (The History Center).
MCHS Model Railroad Museum - Meet the Author of "If The River Could Talk" at MCHS this Sunday the16th of September. 2 to 4 for a book signing, Book Purchase if you need one, open WWI and Train Exhibits and light snacks. A slide show featuring 200 photos of White River will be running.
Other side
Voter ?
Just want to take a moment and remind everyone that I have a Railroad Website ranging from very old to today's photos..
Come relive some good ole' days Tuesday Nights in Anderson with Hoosier Street Rods & Classics! 5-9 Open Cruise IN!
My 2x grandfather, Samuel Harden, was a historian in the 1800's. He wrote several books and this one is about Madison County.
Samuel Harden, who was my 2xgrandfather, was a historian who wrote a series of books in the 1800's. He wrote one about Madison County that might be of interest.