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New Castle's Early Government History


-New Castle Courier 1889-

   While looking over a pile of old books in the courthouse cellar recently, a Courier representative came across the first record kept of the proceedings of the board of trustees of the town of New Castle, IN. The book in which the minutes were recorded is a little volume, six by nine inches, with paper covered backs and is in strange contrast with the big volumes used in recent years for the town records.
   The first board of trustees was composed of the following members: John Taylor, Joseph Shelley, Miles Murphey and Asahel Woodward. Jacob Thornburg afterward being chosen to succeed Mr. Woodward. The board was organized May 21, 1840, with Miles Murphey as president., Samuel Hoover was elected clerk and Martin L. Bundy collector and treasurer. The records shows that the amount of money received by the treasurer of the Corporation for the year 1840 amounted to $57.30; and for the year 1841, $75.04. In 1841 Edmund Johnson was appointed clerk to succeed Samuel Hoover. At an election held on November 7, 1842, the following trustees were elected: John Powell, Eli Murphey, Henry Shroyer, William Wayman, Lorenzo D. Meek, John G. Welch and Nathan Livezey. John Powell was chosen president of the board and James A. McMeans clerk. James Hiff was elected assessor, R. Scott collector and L. D. Meek, treasurer.
   April 11, 1843, the tax duplicate for the corporation amounted to $72.70. James Hiff, assessor, received for his services for the year $2.25. John and William Grubbs, editors of the Indiana Courier, were exempt from working on the streets for the year 1843 in consideration of their publishing in their paper all the by-laws and ordinances of the town.
   At the November election in 1843, Martin L. Bundy, Adam Beam, John W. Grubbs, Joseph Allender, Edmund Johnson and William Murphey were elected as members of the town board. The amount of funds received by the town treasurer for the year 1843 was $88.12. Edmund Johnson was president and J. A. McMeans clerk of the board in 1843. The allowances show in one place where Joseph Allender was allowed ten cents for work done on the street.
   In the year1844 Rotheus Scott was allowed thirty-two cents for serving as treasurer and J. A. McMeans thirty cents for services as clerk. Continuing through the record many interesting chapters are found and as the time advances the business increases in proportion and growth of the town, on down to the present, which in less than half a century has grown from a country village to a busy little city, where business is done on the principle of more metropolitan places, the primitive customs of the past standing in strange contrast with the prosperous present.


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