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History of the town of Mooreland Indiana

1882 - 2002 Blue River Township

     Miles Moore, in whose honor the town of Mooreland was named, laid out the town and had it recorded August 9, 1882. Originally it was planned to have the town at Circleville or Five Points. A store was opened there by Dr. W. M. Kerr. But when it was learned that the Big Four Railroad was coming through this area, the present site of Mooreland was selected.
     Construction of the railroad was begun in 1882. The town was first called Leonard for a railroad constructor who built much of the grade of the railroad. When application was made for mail service, it was found that Indiana already had an office named Leonard.
     About this time, Miles Moore who owned land on the west side of what is now Broad Street was plotting the first addition. Two blocks with sixteen lots were laid out. It was suggested and agreed to change the name of the town to Mooreland.
     Marcus Holaday built the first store. Soon afterward two other stores were built, one by Harvey H. Main. These were followed by a saw and planing mill, an agricultural implement store, and a grain elevator and feed mill owned by Jefferson Pressnal and Samuel Replogle. This mill was equipped to grind flour and meal.
     Among other early businesses were J. L. Brook livery stable, furnishing horses and vehicles for driving; Pearl Koons general hardware and implements; and Perry Davis Carriage Company, carrying buggies, carriages, farm wagons and harness. J. M. Ledbetter had a meat market. J. E. Rogers’ store carried furniture, carpets, stoves, tin ware, and granite ware. Charles M. Daniels’ and Neve Bouslog’s stores carried groceries, china, carpets, shoes and dress goods. Daniels advertised as the “Big Store that made Mooreland Famous”.
     On March 8, 1882 a post office was established, and Henry Main was the first postmaster. The rural route was established September 2, 1901. Nathaniel Lewis was the first mail carrier. Raymond McGunnegill served the rural route longer than any other carrier, and Jeannette Manifold was postmaster longer than any other person. The present post office was dedicated October 6, 1968 with Ralph Manifold as postmaster.
     The earliest homes built in Mooreland were the home that is now the South Church parsonage, and the home across the street where later Dr. Stauffer’s office was built.
     Dow Adamson had the first drug store. He was followed by Lon Chamness and then Aaron Brown.
     Frank Main was postmaster from 1904 to 1913, and about 1912, he opened a furniture store and also started the undertaker business.
     A small building near the railroad was the Railroad Restaurant. That building later became Ike Wrightsman’s barber shop.
     Mooreland’s first school building was a two-room brick building built in 1885. U. T. Moore taught there. Records of 1887-1888 tell of students attending Mooreland College or Normal in that building.
     Later that school building became Oscar Whit’s blacksmith shop, where he did repair of buggies and wagons as well as general blacksmithing. The Piano String Factory is on the site of that building.
     In 1901 the first part of the second Mooreland school building was built. A second portion was added about 1905 or 1906; the gymnasium and assembly was built in 1924-1925; the stage and the farm shop were built in 1939; and the last upstairs classrooms were added in 1953-1954.
     The Blue River Valley High School and Junior High building was built in 1967-1968. Elementary grades were continued in Mooreland and Mt. Summit buildings until the Blue River Elementary building was completed in 1977.
     Mooreland’s early doctors were Doctors Blossom, Clapper, Spitler and Davis. Dr. Davis’ grandson, son of Marian Davis Scott, was an astronaut in the first manned flight of the Lunar Module in March 1969.
     The Rozell House was a hotel of eighteen rooms, most of them filled every night by traveling salesmen who got off the train in Mooreland. Lewis Hazelton would take their luggage in his dray from the depot to the hotel. At that time there were two daily passenger trains through Mooreland.
     Arthur Collins had a restaurant across the street from the hotel. Later he acquired the Rozell House and operated both restaurant and hotel in that building. The hotel was torn down in 1968. An article in the New Castle Courier of February 1894 states “Charles Moore, Newton Davis and A. W. Wrightsman were re-elected as trustees of the Mooreland Cemetery Association, and this cemetery is one of the finest in the county, and in on a firm financial footing”.
     Mooreland’s greatest asset has been the influence and inspiration which has gone forth from the churches and the school. The first place of worship was the North Christian Church built in 1887 and enlarged in 1905. The basement was done in 1916. John Newhouse was the first minister.
     The Mooreland Monthly Meeting of Friends was organized March 1, 1888, and the Friends Church was erected in 1889. Elwood Hinshaw as the first paid minister in 1909.
     The Christian Disciples Church was organized in 1892, and the church was built in 1894. Aaron Moore was the first minister. This church was destroyed by fire October 23, 1952. The new building was built of cement blocks and the exterior was later covered with aluminum siding. It was dedicated February 28, 1954.
     The Stanley Automobile Manufacturing Company was organized in 1906. James Stanley was the founder and general superintendent. Twenty-five automobiles were manufactured here. Then the company moved to Ohio. Among those employed by the Stanley Company were Joe Sherry, Lewis Hazelton, Gordon Clapper, Edgar Neavis and Pete Wright.
     Labor Day was a day of celebration in Mooreland. Oscar White would set off an explosion of gunpowder at 3:00 o’clock in the morning to awaken people and get them ready for the day. There was a carry-in dinner with tables set up in the main street. Potato and sack races and a parade were part of the activity, and there was the Chamness Brothers’ Merry-go-Round with rides for five cents.
     Among the many business and services valuable to the community were Howard Manifold’s plumbing and electrical work, Ed Waltz well drilling, George Brown’s and Elmer Waltz’s garages, Mooreland State Bank, Main’s Funeral Home, S. D. Christner Justice of the Peace and Iley Corey’s grist mill.
     Businesses and services of the seventies were the Farmers State Bank of Henry County; Mooreland Grain Company established by George Keever and Verl Pierce in 1924; Main and Frame Funeral Service; Volunteer Fire Department, which has recently constructed a new emergency lighting unit; Nelson’s heating and Plumbing; New Castle Piano String Factory established in 1945 with Walter Murray as director and located in the building that was the Stanley Automobile Factory; Masonic Temple erected in 1941; U. S. Postal Service; Austerman’s veterinary service; Carnes’ grocery; and the Marathon and Sunoco Stations.
     Doc Brinson conceived the idea of the Mooreland Free Fair which was started in 1937, and which draws crowds from miles around for its many displays, horse and tractor pulling contest, foods, rides and parade.
Miss Sylvia Bird of Mooreland 2/19/1901 - 10/5/1995
     As of 2002, Mooreland businesses and services include, First United Bank, Volunteer Fire Department with Todd Brown as Fire Chief, U. S. Postal Service, Mooreland Animal Hospital, Ron Meyers General Store, Mooreland Sunoco, Lucas’s Greenhouse, Mooreland Community Lions Club, Mooreland Pizza Shop, Friends Church, First Christian Church, South Christian Church, Landreth’s Car Wash, Markers Auction House, Luellen’s L P Gas, Gard’s Auction Service, Madison’s Auction Service, Brawn’s Storage Buildings, The Town Hall is now where the Masonic Lodge was, Mooreland Historical Society, Piano String Company went out about 1986 and Joyce Cassidy is Township Trustee.

Submitted by: Norman Thornburgh and Wilma Massengale


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