Hall of Fame Inductee John Vawter
John Vawter was a pioneer of Morgan County. Even though he was not born in the county he was instrumental in helping to settle and establish the area.
John Vawter, the son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Watts) Vawter, was born in Orange (now Madison) county, Virginia, January 8, 1782. He was married four times, the first time to Polly Smith on December 17, 1805. Polly Smith was born December 30, 1781; died July 19, 1825. Their children were Smith, Jane, and Emily. After the death of Polly S. Vawter, John Vawter married Jane Smith, a sister of Polly. She died October 4, 1826 leaving no children. Then John Vawter married Ruth Minton, who was born in January, 1817, and had three children, Marion, Mary and Allan. Ruth (Minton ) Vawter died September 2, 1850, and John Vawter married, October 17, 1850, Mrs Martha Pearce, by whom he had one child, Emma, who was born May 11, 1854, and killed by falling lumber November 13, 1859. Mrs Martha (McGannon) Pearce Vawter was born March 8, 1822; died January 21, 1892. "John Vawter was licensed as a Baptist preacher in 1804, and removed from Kentucky to Madison, Indiana, in 1807. He was the first magistrate of Madison, and was soon afterwards elected sheriff of Jefferson and Clark counties, and in 1810 was appointed U. S. Marshal for the state. He served as frontier ranger during the Indian campaign of 1811-13; was elected colonel of militia of Jennings county in 1817; founded Vernon, the county seat of Jennings county; laid out Vernon and gave every third lot to the town.. He was pastor of the Baptist church in Vernon from 1821-48, a member of the legislature from 1831-5, and in 1836 of the senate, where he was instrumental in securing the adoption of a policy of internal improvement by the state. He moved to Morgan county in 1848, and was instrumental in the organization of Morgantown. He presented a brick church to the Baptist congregation to the area.
He died August 17, 1862. He is buried in Old Baptist Church Cemetery in Morgan County.
You can read more about John Vawter from his own words at this link. https://www.vawterfamily.org/Bicknell/Bicknell%201-197.pdf his narrative begins on page 17 of the journal.