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New Castle, IN's First Recorded History


      In 1889, a reporter from the New Castle Courier was in the basement of the old courthouse going through the old books that had been filed away down in the cellar, he came across an old book, six by nine inches in size, that recorded the first proceedings of the 1st board of trustees for the town of New Castle.
     The first board of trustees was composed of the following members: John Taylor, Joseph Shelley, Miles Murphey and Ashael Woodward, with Jacob Thornburg afterward being chosen to succeed Ashael 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 record shows that the amount of money received by the treasurer of the corporation for the year 1840, amounted to $57.00; 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, Rotheus Scott collector, and Lorenzo 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 a total of $2.25. John and William Grubbs, editors of the Indiana Courier, were exempted from working on the streets for the year 1843 in consideration of their publishing in their paper all of 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 treasure for the year 1843 was $88.12. Edmund Johnson was president and James A. McMeans clerk of the board for 1843.
     The allowances show in one place where Joseph Allender was allowed ten cents for work done on the streets. In the year 1844 Rotheus Scott was allowed 32 cents for serving as treasurer and James A. McMeans 30 cents for serving as clerk.
     Continuing through the records many interesting chapters are found and as the time advances the business increases in proportion and the 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.
2003 UEB

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