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New Castle, IN


   Soon after the organization of the county this place was chosen ass the county seat, and while the assumed proprietor is recognized as Mr. Charles Jamison as the first settler of the town, the records show that he had less to do with it than some others. Mr. Absalom Harvey gave twenty acres and John Brumfield about twenty-eight acres. Andrew Lewis gave fourteen acres, Allen Shepherd ten acres, Joseph Holman and Henry Rue of Wayne County, gave twenty-four acres, less five lots.
   The first sale of lots occurred in July 1822. Dwellings now began to be erected and the settlement to prosper. The first merchant was Isaac Bedsaul, who erected a log cabin 12' x 16' in size. It had only a dirt floor with roof, counters and shelves constructed of stakes, pins and clapboards. The stock, though small, consisted of every variety of commodity of mercantile commodity appropriate to those early days, and the sales were chiefly in barter, a large portion being in skins and furs.
   The first M. E. Church was organized in 1823 with Father Havens as preacher. The first Circuit Court, met at the house of Joseph Hobson, September 30, 1822, at which were present Associate judges Thomas R. Stanford and Elisha Long. The first entry on the court docket is, "Andrew Shannon, so forgot himself as to swear two profane oaths in the presence of the court, for which he is fined $2.00." The total amount of taxes or 1822 were $74.50. The total vote for the county in 1825 was 366.
   The contract for building the first courthouse was given May 24, 1822, to George Barnard, to be constructed of logs 20 x 26 feet in size, at a cost of $247.00. The second courthouse was built of brick in 1832, but not accepted until 1836, at a cost of $4,500.00.
   This house was destroyed by fire in 1864 and the present large and beautiful structure was completed at a cost of $120,000, and accepted 1n 1869. The present jail is also a model of solid masonry and iron and was built at a cost of $40,000. The first newspaper published in New Castle was called the Henry County Sun, though it was not for some time published with any regularity. The first postmaster was James Bedsaul, he was also the first auditor of the county.
   New Castle is situated within a mile of the center of the county and is chiefly on upon elevated ground. About ninety-four acres were originally donated to the town, and additions have since been made. In 1833 it contained but 300 inhabitants, while today (1884) not less than 3,000 inhabitants. While its growth was comparatively slow up to 1854, the completion of the Chicago and Eastern railroad at this time greatly facilitated its growth and business importance, and subsequent completion of the Muncie, New Castle and Fort Wayne railroad, and more recently I. B. and W. railroad, giving it superior shipping facilities and stimulating manufacturing enterprises. Its fine manufacturing enterprises and fine business houses, as well as its fine public buildings and palatial private residences entitles it to rank among the most beautiful inland cities in the state.
   New Castle has seven churches; the best of public schools, taught nine months of the year. Two established weekly newspapers are published, The Henry County Courier published by W. H. Elliot, with a circulation of 3,000. The Mercury, published by Parker & Wickersham, also enjoys a liberal circulation. Nine turnpikes lead from the county seat to the utmost corners of the county. Few cities of its size in any section will strike the stranger more favorably as a desirable place of business or residence than that of New Castle, IN.

2008 UEB


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