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Henry County Genealogical Services

December, 1902

T. L. Dickerson, New Castle Democrat

What "The Tourist" Learned of it and of New Lisbon in a Few Days Sojourn.

      Dudley township was formed or erected June 11, 1822. The first election was held at the private residence of a gentleman named Daniel Paul about a mile southeast of New Lisbon, the 8th of July, 1822, to elect a Justice of the Peace. William McKinney and Garnet Hayden were the first Overseers of the Poor of Dudley Township.
      John Huff and a man named Carter were supposed to be the pioneer settlers in the township as early as 1820. The population in the year 1822 was 150.
      Joseph Leakey, Thomas Lennard, Elisha Shortridge, Daniel Paul and Thomas Gilbert were among the first settlers.
      The first meetinghouse built was the "Hopewell" church about the year 1822 by the Friends or Quakers.
      Caleb Cope, a son-in-law of the late Benjamin Stratton, was a noted coon hunter and a pioneer teacher.
      Among other pioneer farmers of Dudley township who helped clear up the forest and ditch the swamps near New Lisbon were Seth Nation, the Grandfather of Enoch Nation, John VanBuskirk and Joseph Swafford, who at an early day went to mill on horseback to Vandalia east of Dublin, and occasionally as far south as Connersville.
      The first mill of any description erected was built by Abijah Hammer in 1837. This was a sawmill of upright saw pattern. Afterwards a corn cracker attachment was added, both run by water.
      This township at present writing is one of the best-improved townships in Henry County.
      New Lisbon's every day name was originally "Jamestown." It was platted by James Donaldson and Wm. Crane, so called after the given name of Mr. Donaldson. This village when it had been in existence improved so rapidly by age that in 1838 it was called New Lisbon on account of there being another Jamestown in the state.
      The first business house erected was a store managed by Rufus Crane, located on the site where the present Christian building now stands.
      A cooper shop was run by Aaron Yore, while John and Isaac Ware were the blacksmiths.
      About the year 1837 a steam sawmill was erected in Jamestown, which was a grand wonder to the natives who came from miles to see the great mechanism run by steam.
      The first pill peddler was Dr. Benjamin Harrison, who died after two or three year's practice. He was succeeded by a Dr. Wm. H. Castor, who prescribed calomel and jallop and bled and blistered men, women and children for 14 years. He in turn was followed by Drs. C. N. Gibbs and Samuel Pickering. Both were successful physicians and popular.
      Among other industries that were introduced in years gone by was a Drain Tile factory by Messrs. Johnson and Sullivan, who had a good business.
      A Mr. Sloniker and a Mr. Miller run a sawmill near the present site of the depot, perhaps six rods north.
      A Mr. Johnson and a Mr. Sullivan also had charge of a blacksmith shop and a wagon shop in partnership.
      Two stores came to town on or about the year 1880. One was conducted by Mrs. Jacob Wiseman. The drug and variety store and Post Office was conducted by E. W. Waldreth.
      About 1867 or perhaps earlier the Lake Erie & Western railroad came through New Lisbon and it carried the mail. Previous to that date the mail was carried by horseback from New Castle to Cambridge City. William House was one of the pioneer mail saddlebag officers of Uncle Sam. He is now a retired farmer and a resident of New Lisbon.
      Having given a synopsis of the first beginning of New Lisbon, we will tell what we know of the present business of this prosperous and peaceable inland town which someday may be a suburb of New Castle.
      Joseph Thomas is the owner and proprietor of the New Lisbon sawmill.
      One of the industries of New Lisbon that is greatly appreciated by farmers who own cows, is the New Lisbon Cheese manufactory that turns out a superior article which commands a ready sale in every market. We have sampled it and can recommend the New Lisbon cheese as OK. This is a company concern and is managed by O. P. Hatfield. The clever cheese manipulator is Herbert Reynolds, who is an expert and a great favorite with the young ladies who call frequently to sample "curd" but in reality to feast their eyes on Herbert.
      The grain elevator is owned by Charles Mouch and Clay Millikan, it receives and handles at least 125 car loads of grain per year and gives a good market for the farmers. Both are well known and do not require special mention for they are gentlemen and promoters of business.
      Mr. Goar and Mr. Shaffer run a general store and do a large business. "Jot" Goar is the present Postmaster and famous baseball pitcher. His partner in business, W. M. Shaffer, is an ex-school teacher and ex-township trustee.
      Thomas & Hartzler are the proprietors of the brick store and handle a general assortment of merchandise. Mr. Thomas is the owner of a sawmill and both men are popular.
      Raffe Bros. Are the gentlemanly blacksmiths and handle a full line of farm machinery, buggies, wagons and harness, also hardware and heating stoves.
      "Gus" Dickerson is the tonsorial artist, where the citizens of New Lisbon are made presentable on short notice with a neat haircut or a shave. He can accommodate his costumers with the best brand of cigars, chewing tobacco or "cracker jack."
      Dr. H. H. Koons is the only physician but is well liked. He commands a healthy practice in both town and country for miles around. He is also a medicine man and Keeper of Records of the "Moggweone Tribe," No. 269, I. O. R. M.
      William Crawford is the official Justice of the Peace. He settles legal difficulties, ties the matrimonial knots and makes all proper acknowledgements. He was a soldier of the Civil War and has wounds to show of many hard fought engagements.
      Lute Riggle, boot and shoe repairer and handyman when you want a saw filed or a shoe sole saved.
      Joe Lacey is a carpenter and a repair workman of note. He is one of your jolly souls and enjoys a story or anecdote immensely. He is also one of Uncle Sam's valued soldiers.
      New Lisbon, whose week day name is "Jimtown," can proudly boast of having an auctioneer in the person of Walter Vanderbeck, who is only second to Clint Brookback, of Liberty, Ind. The knack of Mr. V. is his witty sayings, truthfulness, personality, mimicry and other virtues which endears him to all who know him.
      We must not omit Edward Peyton and son Ed, whose ability, as painters are second to none in the state. They are in demand and their work is first-class.
      Patrick and W. L. Cornelius are well-known plasterers and paperhangers. They do nice kalsomine work.
      Ephraim Leakey has charge of the telephone exchange, known as the New Lisbon Company, connected with the principle towns in Henry and Wayne counties.
      We will tell our friends who read this scattering narrative that New Lisbon has ladies gifted as singers and music manipulators on the piano and organ besides being excellent cooks. Mrs. Mary J. Silson and daughter, Mrs. Eva Dare, Mrs. Elizabeth Paul, and Mrs. Mary Dickover are accomplished dressmakers and keep up with fashion fads.
      For fear of giving offense I will state that among the prominent stock buyers are James Black, Earl Thomas, James Maroney, Thomas Wisehart, Charles Hall and others.
      The Christian, U. B. (liberal) and Evangelical churches are well attended by her population.
      New Lisbon has an excellent High School of three rooms. Herschel Reynolds is the Principle. Joseph R. Leakey jr. teaches the intermediate room, while Miss Lillie Keller instructs the juveniles in the primary department. The enrollment is large and daily attendance is good.
      New Lisbon supports only one secret order- Moggweone Tribe No.269, Improved Order of Red Men, numbering about ninety warriors and braves, with an auxillary Pocahontas council of seventy-six members. This tribe owns their reservation teepee, which is built of brick. Last Monday they went on the hunt and on the second sleep of the "cold moon" kindled their council fires and dedicated their hall.

T. L. Dickerson

2001 UEB

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