Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Union Township 1890 History  



Union Township

Union Town twp No 1 was organized May 1 1838 It was taken from the west part of what was originally Green township It is six miles wide from east to west and seven miles long from north to south It is bounded on the north by West township on the east by Green township on the south by Fulton county and on the west by Starke county.


Some sources state that it was likely named after Union County, Indiana, the former home of some of the early settlers. Also that it was the 4th township of Marshall county.

A list of early land patents.

The first settlement in this part of the unorganized territory was made in 1835 John Anderson's and another family or two were however the only ones now known who were there that year

In the spring and summer of 1836 in the vicinity Maxinkuckee lake and farther north and east in the of Plymouth the Voreises, Morrises, Thompsons, McDonalds, Dicksons, Brownlees, Houghtons , Blakelys and others and made a permanent settlement From this on the of this region was rapid

Except that portion of the township known as the Burr Oak Flats and the wet prairies or marshes the land was thickly timbered and full of undergrowth

Cabins of the roughest of logs were for many years built and covered with clapboards rived out of oak timber and were held The cracks between these sticks. The cracks between these sticks. The cracks between these sticks. The cracks between these sticks. The cracks between these sticks. were daubed with mud as were the cracks between the logs that made the walls of the house after they were properly chincked with short blocks of wood of proper size if it was desirable to have a window part of the log in the wall was cut out and a rough frame covered with greased paper would be put in the furniture except such articles had been transported by wagons when the emigrants came from the most primitive workmanship

At this time there were no white people nearer than the Michigan road and a few of these. The Indians outnumbered the whites two to one and it was uncertain at that time whether or not the treaty entered between them and the government by which they were to leave the country could be carried out The average Indian that inhabited this region could hardly be made to see the justice of forced to leave his hunting ground for the accommodation what he looked upon being a few white adventurers and until they were driven away two years later they were terror of timid men and women and were generally peaceable however and the anticipations of were never in a single instance realized and in the disturbances any kind occurred

There were no regularly laid out roads nor any bridges in those days and he who did the milling for the neighborhood often blazed his way as he went and if he succeeded in making the trip to Logansport or to Delphi the nearest grist mill and returned in two weeks he was applauded as having accomplished a great feat Sometimes he would break his wagon sometimes get stuck in a mud hole and have to unload pry and pull out or wait until some fellow traveler in distress would come along and double teams with him put his shoulder to the wheel and lift him up and out of his present troubles In case of delay the rations would run short and those dependent upon his return would have to crack corn with such appliances as were at hand live on lye hominy and such wild game as the hunters of the neighborhood could procure

If the fire was not properly covered up and went out at night which was not an infrequent occurrence then the fleetest boy in the family would be stirred out of bed and sent on the double quick to the nearest neighbor for a chunk of fire or a sun glass or a jackknife and a piece of punk attached to a flint had to be brought into requisition In those days these articles were considered essential in every well regulated family for there were no friction matches in those days nor did they enjoy the luxury of the kinds of tea coffee sugar molasses etc that are in general use now a days but the only tea that could be afforded was made of spice wood or sassafras roots the coffee of roasted rye and all the sugar and molasses was made from the sugar trees that were quite plentiful in many parts of the timbered lands

There were no churches then no schoolhouses no country stores no shoe shops no blacksmith shops no wagon shops in fact nothing that the people needed Homespun flax pants and shirts of a little finer material the sleeves and collars being fastened with a needle and thread a homemade straw hat and boots or shoes of an inferior quality generally badly worn constituted the average Sunday outfit or many years after the organization of the township The habit our mothers had of fastening our sleeves and collars with needle and thread induced every boy of average tact to have his needle and thread properly secreted near his usual swimming place By the aid of these and the proper drying of your hair when you had come out the last time you could go home and face the frowning world or our suspecting and inquisitive mother

The country was full of swamps and wet places and the malaria that arose there from in the spring and summer was sufficient to prostrate more than half the population annually

Then there were no driven wells and but few wells that were dug deep enough to get good or pure water and the water used from surface springs and shallow wells undoubtedly added much to the sickness of the early settlers of this entire region Such a time as was experienced with bilious fever ague and all other bilious diseases will doubtless never again afflict any people on God's footstool The proper medical remedies could not be prescribed and many died for want of care and medical attention

Dr Thomas Logan who came with those who arrived in 1836 was the first doctor who practiced the profession in this region He rode on horse back far and near often sleeping in the saddle from overwork and want of sleep but was at times unable to attend to half the calls made upon him He saved many lives and did much to alleviate the suffering that was everywhere prevalent Later on Drs Crum Hard Bennett and White came and practiced the healing art in the county generally for many years But these doctors too had to succumb to the fell destroyer and all have since passed away

The first school house or rather the first house where school was taught was located nearly exactly in the center of the southwest quarter of section 11 in township 32 north of ran e I east This tract of land was then owned and occupied by Vincent Brownlee later by Jeremiah Mosher and at this writing by Elsworth Thompson a grandson and heir of Mr Mosher Mr Mosher having died several years ago on the farm The school was taught by Thomas McDonald in the winter of 1836 37 He taught during the day and at night by the light of a turnip lamp mended and made boots and shoes for his family and his neighbors This school was afterward taught by Uncle Ed Thompson and then a new hewed log school house was built about eighty rods east of the old or first one The new one was quite a pretentious building being of hewn logs an extra puncheon floor two long widows in the south and the other in the north side made by cutting out a log and fastening in greased paper the seats were benches made by boring holes in split and hewn slabs of wood with long and short legs in them to suit the size of the scholars and in the east end there was a brick chimney and fire place made from the first kiln of brick ever burnt in the county The bricks were made by the Dickson brothers Elias B John B Bayless L and Hugh B Dickson and the chimney and fire place were built by Uncle Sam McDonald All of the last named parties have passed away except Hugh B Dickson who at the age of three score and ten is still hale and hearty walks as straight as an Injun and bids fair to live yet many years to run a very successful business he has engaged in in Indianapolis within the last three years In this new school house schools were taught by Theophilus Jones Hugh B Dickson Lois H Leland James M Wickizer and Hugh Brownlee all of whom are still living except Theophilus who died some forty years ago

Among the first religious services in the township were those held at the house of Grandfather William Thompson who conducted the services and preached the gospel to the original sinners in that neighborhood without money and without price Uncle Henry Logan and Grandfather Voreis also preached there and at other places in the vicinity

The petitioners for the organization of the township were Vincent Brownlee William Thomson John A Shirley Lewis Thompson John B Dickson Wiliam Hornady John M Morris James Houghton Elihu Morris D C Hults Thomas McDonald Donald John Morris John H Voreis Platt B Dickson Elias Dickson John McDonald Eleazer Thompson No change has been made in this township as to its boundary lines since its organization

The following notice appeared in the Marshall County Republican of February 15 1858 and indicates that the people of part of the county were alive even at that early date to the importance of preserving for future generations the early history the county
    NOTICE 1st That a meeting will be held at the schoolhouse in Union Town on the evening of March 4 1858 to into consideration the propriety of forming a society to be as the Antiquarian and Historical society for the purpose collecting as many of the circumstances and incidents relative the settlement of this region of country from the first by the white man to the present time that it may be read by posterity which we believe will be of great interest Union Town February 15 1858


Who the movers in the matter were or whether the organization was effected nothing can be ascertained Bayless L Dickson who was founder of Union Town and one of the earliest settlers in that region was probably at the head of it Isaac N Morris who was something of a historian and a great reader and who lived near by was undoubtedly of those who were interested in preserving the history of that locality but these early pioneers and many others who resided here then have passed away leaving no record to perpetuate the history they helped to make

Early Settlers Among the early settlers those who came prior to the year 1840 are the following Jacob Bickel, Vincent Brownlee, Amos Brown, Joseph Conklin ,Elias B Dickson, Platt B Dickson, Hugh B Dickson, Bayless L Dickson ,John B Dickson, George Francis, Daniel C Hults , Joseph L Hults, Uriah S Hults, James Houghton, Emery Hallet, George Jessup, Theophilus Jones ,Noah S Lawson, George C Lawson, John Lindsey, William F Lewis, James Logan, Ephraim Moore, Levi Moore, Elihu Morris, Samuel McDonald, Thomas McDonald,James Moore, David C Morris, William McMillen, Ransom H Norris, George M Osborne, Tivis Porter, Robert S Piper, Daniel Romig, John A Shirley ,Samuel Shirley, Reuben F Shirley, George S Stone, Eleazer Thompson, William Thompson, William E Thompson, Lewis Thompson, John Thompson, John H Voreis ,Abraham Voreis, David R Voreis, Ezra Willard, George Wilson Of these all have passed away except Hugh B Dickson who resides in Indianapolis ;George C Lawson who was recently known to be living in Missouri ; Reuben F Shirley near Sterling Ill ;William E Thompson near Lincoln Neb and David R Voreis who alone out of all his old neighbors and acquaintances of those days still lives in Union township The first in this township

Lake Maxinkuckee

Lake Maxinkuckee and its beautiful surroundings its flowing wells and other peculiarities makes Union township the most noted and interesting township undoubtedly in the county This is evidenced by the fact that the state geologist thought it of sufficient importance to incorporate in his report for the years 1885 86 the following concerning the lake its surroundings etc

Maxinkuckee In many respects this is the most beautiful the multitude of small lakes with which northern and northeastern Indiana are studded Its shores are high beautifully rounded and clothed with the native forest The waters are clear cold Hundreds of springs flow out from the banks and more rise from the bottom of the lake Very few weeds in the water and there is far less of moss and peaty formation than is common to our Indiana lakes Here to a large extent sand gives It is one of the deepest of our small lakes. It is the name of the bottomless one. It is the name given to many of the people who live in the shores and their imaginations to fill the blue depths with wonders. We gravely told by that

We were gravely told by one that every attempt to find bottom was a failure by another that he knerv that the water more than 300 feet deep and by another that he had seen feet of line let down only I00 yards off shore and no bottom found When we informed them that we did not expect to any water 100 feet deep they smiled contemptuously

The result of our soundings gave seventy six feet to the maximum depth This was found at a point almost in the center of the lake being very slightly to the west of the middle on an east and west line drawn through Rochester Point and a little to the north of that line There is however a large area of this deep water perhaps 1,000 acres which will average the depth of fifty feet The bottom of the lake is very compact bowlder clay covered in places with gravel at others with sand and at a few places notably along the northwest shore with heavy black muck In many places a deposit of marl was found A cross section taken by a line of soundings from Rochester Point on the west shore in direction of thirty degrees north of east to West Point on the east shore gave the following depths 6 feet 7 feet 34 feet 72 feet 68 feet 66 feet 76 feet 62 feet 60 feet 4I feet 31 feet 17 feet These soundings were taken at intervals of about 120 yards The lake abounds in excellent fish The mouthed black bass (Micropteros salmoides) was at one time very plentiful but have either been too fished out or have become so wary that the skilled and patient fisherman can succeed in sticking him with his hook The perch are very abundant and fine strings of croppies are taken early in the spring The fish are now being protected from the seine the net and spear and it is hoped that the lake may again become as noted for fine fish as it was two years ago

The springs which feed Maxinkuckee are very abundant only from the shores but they may be seen in the clear water a depth of ten feet gushing up from the bottom and from the deepest parts of the lake rise bath These springs suggested the probability of obtaining successful flowing wells and now so many have found that all along the east shore one can scarcely get the sound of the spouting waters The water from these is very clear and cold or less ferruginous a few of wells being so highly impregnated with iron as to render water slightly unpleasant to taste until one gets used to it

Mr Vajen dug a well several years ago which on reaching depth of eight feet began to flow a milk white water of the consistency of cream and which deposited a silicious lime like marl and whitened the water of the lake for a distance thirty feet from the water's edge In the back part of Mr lot was a low wet spot which began to sink when the well to flow and continued to sink until the white flow changed clear pure water Mr Vajen has utilized the pressure of from his well the stream running a ram which supplies his premises with water and also furnishes the power which revolves beautiful colored light at the landing pier before his gate upon the hill beside the Plymouth road about 100 yards from lake and fully thirty feet above it gushes out the Spring as it Is known which pointed the index finger the first flowing well This spring pours out a four inch stream and the boring of wells has never diminished the flow

Union Town

Union Town The following is a copy of the statement made and the certificate attached to the original plat of Union Town
    Uniontown is pleasantly situated in the southwest quarter of section 16 town 32 range 1 east

    It is laid out in such a manner that it presents to the eye a view of Lake Maxinkuckee and is surrounded with as good a country as can be found in northern Indiana

    It has the advantage of three state and two county roads running through it The lots are all 66 feet in width by 82 in breadth The streets are all 66 feet in width and the alleys are 16 ½

    BAYLES DICKSON ‘Proprietor
    Witness GS Cleaveland , John L Westervelt
    Uniontown June 8 1844

    State of Indiana Marshall county ss
    Be it remembered that on the 28th day of June in the year eighteen hundred and forty four personally came before me the undersigned recorder within and for said county Bayless L Dickson known to me to be the person who executed the within town plat and acknowledged that he did sign seal and give the same as his free and voluntary act for the purposes within mentioned

    Given under my hand and ink seal the da and year above written
    GILSON S CLEAVELAND, Reorder of Marshall county


On the 9th day of June 1857 the following certificate to what purported to be an amended plate of Uniontown
    Uniontown is situated in the SE of SW section of section 16 T 32 North Range 1 East Marshall County Indiana the SE SW corner of said section is the commencing point of this town plat the streets are all of a width 66 feet the alleys is 16 feet the lots are 66 feet in front and feet back So planned by the original survey all lines North and South bare No 10 E and those that run East West bare S 89 E The magnetic variation at this date 5º 10’ East

    I J B N Klinger Surveyor of Marshall County certify above to be correct
    J B N KLINGER, S M C

    State of Indiana Marshall County
    On this 6th day of May 1857 personally appeared before me Thomas K Houghton and acknowledged that the survey was locating and laying off said town of Union was done by his order and directed for the purpose of locating a town by that name and as therein specified by the surveyor that said survey and plat is intended to supply the place of the old survey made by HB Pushing that being accurate
    M W SMITH, Justice of the Peace {seal}


On the 16th day of February 1884 the following statement and acknowledgment was filed in recorder's office of Marshall county PLYMOUTH Indiana Feb 13th 1884
    I herewith file for record the annexed plat as a addition to the town of Uniontown Marshall County Indiana known as Vandalia Addition to said Uniontown Said addition being out of the south forty acres of the West Half of the West of Section Sixteen Township Thirty two North Range East except Thomas K Houghton's corrected and plat of said Uniontown also except three acres known as Bowles Lot and also except three acres adjoining in the south of said Bowles Lot Said addition being in twenty four lots and numbered from one to twenty-four inclusive also five out lots and numbered from one to five The length and breadth of said lots being indicated by on said plat also the width of all the streets and alleys

    Witness my hand and seal this 13th day of Feby 1884
    PETER ALLERDING [seal}
    STATE or INDIANA Marshall Co
    Before me SL McKelvey a Notary Public in and for said county this 13th day of Feby 1884 Peter Allerding personally appeared and acknowledged the execution of the annexed Plat <

    Witness my hand and official seal this 13th day of Feby 1884
    S L McKELVEY Notary Public


On the 21st day of December 1886 the following and acknowledgment were filed for record in the recorder's of Marshall county
    I herewith file for record the annexed plat as also the Vandalia addition to the town of Uniontown county Indiana known as A D Toner's addition to said to the town of Uniontown aforesaid said to be laid out of lots No 3, 4 and 5 of school subdivision of 16 township 32 range one (1) east commencing at northwest corner of said lot No 3 said additions being as shown on plat in thirteen lots and numbered from one thirteen inclusive and also eleven out lots numbered from to eleven inclusive The length and breadth of said lots indicated by figures on said plat also the width of all streets alleys they are indicated except from this plat out lots No 2, 7, 8, 10 and 11

    Witness Our hand and seal this 5th day August AD 1886
    ALBERT D TONER

    STATE or INDIANA County of Fulton
    Before me Frank L Wagner a notary public in and for said county this 5th day of August AD 1886 personally came Albert D Toner and acknowledged the execution of the annexed plat

    FRANK L WAGNER Notary Public


On the 20th day of March 1890 the following affidavit concerning the correction of Thomas K Houghton's corrected and amended plat was filed for record in the recorder's office of Marshall county
    I J B T Klinger former surveyor in and for Marshall counties state of Indiana swear upon the request of Thomas Houghton then owner and owner of the town of Uniontown in said county employed as county surveyor of said county April 24th 1851 to re surve and plat said Uniontown in out the location I made a cerical error locating in the corner of section No I6 township 32 north range 1 east when should read southwest corner of said section No 16 township north range 1 east and the same was not overlooked the eponent sayeth not

    J B N KLINGER

    Subscribed and sworn to before March I7 1890
    E C MARTINIDALE Notary Public


Since Maxinkuckee lake has become such a famous resort and the Vandalia railroad has been completed now called Marmont has grown greatl in wealth and importance as is evidenced by the laying outo the above named additions thereto and at this writing August 1 1890 the papers are being circulated to have it declared an town and this will probably be done at the approaching September term of commissioners court Maxinkuckee is a small village one half mile east of the central part of the lake but has never been regularly laid as a town as it should have been but like Uniontown as merits of the lake as a summer resort have become known it is growing into more importance but owing to the la of the country and the location of the public highways it never rival Uniontown at least not until it gets a railroad should the east side get one what is now rough rugged inconvenient would at once become romantic and desirable the village would move down to the lake in a hurry

Burr Oak Station and Addition

Burr Oak Station and Addition on On the 15th day of December 1882 the following description of the situation or location of Burr Oak station was filed together with the lat of said Burr Oak station in the recorder's office of Marshal county for record
    Burr Oak station is situated on the east line of northwest quarter of section four (4) township thirty two (32) north of range one (1) east commencing twelve hundred and fifty-five (1255) feet south of north quarter section corner of section four (4) township thirty two (32) north of range one (1) east at north line of right of way of NYC & St LRR north with center section five hundred and seventeen 517 feet thence west at right angles with center section line three hundred and thirty two (332) feet thence south parallel center section line four hundred and twenty two (422) thence east parallel with north line three hundred and two (302) feet thence south ninety three (93) feet to north line of the way of railroad thence southeastwardly with said line (30) feet to the beginning of the beginning

    This November 1st AD 1882
    J M KLINGER Surveyor
    Michael Burn (Seal)

    STATE or INDIANA County of Marshall
    Before me the undersigned a justice of the peace in and for said county this 10th day of November 1882 Michael Burn acknowledged the execution of the plat Vitness my hand and seal this 10th day of November 1882
    J W Houghton J P

    The above named plat referred to contains eighteen 18 lots being numbered from 1 to 18 consecutively The streets are fifty feet and the alleys twelve feet wide and the lots are forty feet wide by 120 feet in length On the 8th day of October 1885 Franklin Overmeyer filed the plat of Overmeyer's addition to Burr Oak station properly described and acknowledged This addition lies immediately east of the original plat of Burr Oak station and contains lots numbering from one to eight inclusive the lots being the same size as those in the original plat This village is nearly in the center of what is known as the Burr Oak Flats which is as beautiful and productive a region as the sun e’er shone on


Dante - Hibbard - "Helltown"

Dante The following is the description of Dante filed in the recorder's office November 1st 1883 by John Listenberger proprietor

Dante is situated on west line of section number two 2 township thirty two 32 north of range one 1 east in the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of said section and is bounded as follows Commencing at a point 140 ft north of the center of the track of the New York Chicago and St Louis railway where it crosses the west line of said section No 2 township 32 range 1 cast thence north along said section line 630 feet thence east at right angles with said section line 480 ft thence south parallel with said west section line until it intersects the north line of the right of way of the “Y” or switch connectmg the Terre Haute & Logansport RR with the NY C & St Louis RR thence southwesterly along the north line of the right of way of said “Y” or switch until it intersects with said west section line thence north along said line to place of beginning

The plat contains lots numbering from one to twenty four They are sixty feet wide by 120 in length The streets are sixty and the alleys fifteen feet wide Lots one seventeen and eighteen are fractional where they join on the railroad ground north of the “Y”

The station and postoffice are called Hibbard by the and the postal service These same corners used to be "Helltown" and when laid out the village was named in of Dante who had such vivid dreams or visions of the regions but now by common consent of the more and civilized citizens the less suggestive name of Hibbard adopted by all Although situated at the junction of the railroads owing to the uninviting surroundings and the nearness of other trading places more convenient and inviting will undoubtedly never amount to much in the way of business

Union township has two railroads running through it the Terre Haute & Logansport or Vandalia railroad and the New York St Louis & Chicago railroad The following is a statement of the number of miles of main and side tracks valuation of rolling stock personal property etc

New York Chicago & St Louis Railroad

Personal property   $
45 00
Improvements on right of way    
115 00
Main track 6 and 38 100 miles at $12,000 per mile   
76,560 00
Side track 1 and 80 100 miles at $2,500 per mile    
4,515 00
Rolling stock proportion    
22,330 00
Total    $
103,565 00


Terre Haute & Logansport Railroad

Personal property   $
30 00
Improvements on right of way    
1,035 00
Main track 7 and 86 100 miles at $4,500 per mile   
35,370 00
Side track 1 and 73 100 miles at $1,500 per mile    
2,595 00
Rolling stock proportion    
11,005 00
Total    $
50,035 00


Western Union Telegraph Co

Poles wires etc Total   $
$2,905 00


Recapitulation of Union township

New York Chicago & St Louis Railroad    $
103,565 00
Terre Haute & Logansport Railroad    
50,035 00
Western Union Telegraph Co    
2.905 00 0
Total    $
156,505 00


History of Indiana: Containing a History of Indiana and Biographical Sketches of Governors and Other Leading Men. Also a Statement of the Growth and Prosperity of Marshall County, Together with a Personal and Family History of Many of Its Citizens, Volume 2 Brant, Fuller, 1890 Pg. 34 – 44 & Pg. 442-443






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