The Horse Pandemic in 1872
By Bob Schmidt
Just when you think you’ve read about every deadly virus, we find articles about one that just about put America at a standstill. Believe it of not in 1872 there was an epidemic of flu called the Canadian Flu or what became known as the Great Epizootic of 1872. The New York Times ran a long article about it in late October 1872 saying, “There is hardly a public stable in the city which is not affected, while the majority of the valuable horses owned by individuals are for the time being useless to their owners. It is not uncommon along the streets of the city to see horses dragging along with drooping heads and at intervals coughing violently.” In another issue it said, “Large quantities of freight are accumulating along the Erie Railway in Paterson, New Jersey. The disease is spreading rapidly in Bangor, Maine. All fire department horses in Providence Rhode Island, are sick.”
The horse epidemic, which started on October 1, 1972 in Toronto, Canada, spread like wildfire and by late that month it was in the northeastern United States. It arrived at Cleveland, Ohio on October 28 according to veterinarian reports, but by then it was known that dry feed and not putting the horses back to work too early would prevent their deaths thus causing fewer fatalities. By late November it was at Indianapolis.
In Indiana it was reported in the Jasper Weekly Courier of Jasper, Indiana on November 1, 1872 as follows:
“Horse Epidemic [There were four short articles about the epidemic in this paper on this day. The information was gleaned from other newspapers such as the New York Times.]
- “Three hundred horses have died in Buffalo and Rochester, in twenty-four hours, from attacks of the Canadian horse-disease, which was at first said not to be fatal. All the stables in Western New York are affected; the street-cars , the livery-stables, and the express companies of Rochester are all at a stand-still. The disease exhibits no worse symptoms than those of a bad cold, and the great mortality is attributed to improper treatment. The disease has also broken out at Brooklyn and Boston. Importation of horses from Canada has been prohibited at Detroit. There is much alarm in New York, lest the epidemic should break out in that city. The stables at Jerome Park and other places have been put in quarantine, and the owners of valuable horses are sending their stock to the country.”
- “The new horse disease is still rapidly spreading in the East, but the alarm among horse men is subsiding as the disease and its mode of treatment become understood. It is an influenza more resembling diphtheria than catarrh. When first taken, a horse appears to have a slight cold; a cough sets in, and still later a running at the nose. Frequently a horse will cough up a large mass of mucus. The epidemic is raging throughout the New England States. In Brooklyn the horse-cars have ceased running, and nearly all the horse-cars and omnibuses have stopped in New York, Broadway showing less than one-fourth of its usual traffic.”
- “The horse epidemic has reached Boston and New York. In the latter city 1,000 horses were disabled in twenty-four hours in one stable. And in another, 200 in four hours. Up to Friday last, over 10,000 had been attacked. On the Third avenue railroad alone, over 2,000 were affected. It has caused an advance in the freights on the Erie canal, and it is feared there will be difficulty in getting horse power for towing the boats.”
- “HORSE DISEASE.—A singular epidemic has broken out among the horses in the East, and is so virulent that nearly all the horses in the cities are afflicted by it, and business in a great measure stopped, by the inability of manufacturers or merchants to transport anything to the shipping points. Street-car lines, stage lines, and omnibuses in many instances have been compelled to stop running. The disease is a kind of catarrhal affection and is not generally fatal. Fears are entertained that it may communicate itself to the human family.”
The New York Times in November 1872 stated, “What will be the effect of even a temporary withdrawal of the horsepower from the nation is a serious question to contemplate. Coal cannot be hauled from the mines to run locomotives, farmers cannot market their produce, boats cannot reach their destinations on the canal…”
On Saturday November 9, 1872 fires raged over 65 acres in Boston when the fire engines couldn’t get to the fire. Seven hundred fifty-six buildings were destroyed.
Much like the virus we have today, this horse virus caused fever and cough. It then attacked the respiratory system of the animal. It usually lasted 10-15 days with a death rate of about 2-5%. Horses who appeared fine in the morning were lying down by afternoon. It is estimated that the flu impacted about 85% of all horses in America. By the end of winter, March 1873, the disease had run its course.
Without horses and mules even the doctors and veterinarians had to walk to their patients. The Indianapolis News of November 25, 1872 reported, “in less than one week there will not be a well horse in its limits.” Oxen were used to pull heavy wagons, but they were slow. Mail was delayed, street-cars cut back on their services.
It got so bad that men had to pull the fire engines, carts, wagons, and even street-cars. Although Indiana’s canals were no longer in operation as transportation canals, elsewhere canals were impacted by lack of horse power.
The Great Epizootic of 1872 came quickly and extended across the entire United States and to Havana, Cuba, it lasted about 6 months and was gone. Since we no longer use horses as our main source of motive power, we don’t worry about it returning.
These articles tell of the chaos it created by knocking the wind out of trolley lines, disabling fire fighting, and hindering the delivery of basic supplies. Just like today in 2020, the food distribution system was impacted. As our country becomes more urbanized we become more vulnerable to any disruption. Who can forget the toilet paper panic this past Spring. Think what would happen today if our transportation system was shut down.
Metamora Canal Boat Put on Indefinite Hold
Mike Morthorst, a CSI director from Cincinnati learned from a newspaper article that the Ben Franklin III canal boat replica in Metamora, Indiana, did not run this year due to the virus, that the boat ride will be suspended and that employees at the historic site have been cut back. CS headquarters asked Tom Castaldi, a CSI director who had been on the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites board, to find out if this was true. His query had the following message returned from Cathryn Ferree of the ISMHS:
“We have had to suspend the running of the canal boat indefinitely. As you can imagine, the pandemic is making for difficult economic times for everyone and we are no exception. We have made some changes across the ISMHS system, including reducing our days of operation from six to five, reducing staff, freezing positions and shifting job responsibilities. It has been a challenge and will continue to be for everyone.”
Headquarters also learned that the horse that pulled the boat was getting too old and needed to be replaced. The grist mill has been updated, has new signage and will continue to operate.
Shutting down the canal boat ride is very bad news for the Canal Society since it actually showed how the boats were towed by horses walking along the towpath. We wonder what effect it might have on the Whitewater Valley Railroad, which uses Metamora as a destination, and the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway, which follows the route of the canal.
John Hillman, CSI director and president of the Whitewater Valley Scenic Railroad, said that when the canal boat didn’t run during the pandemic, the short 1/2 mile train ride from Metamora that goes past the aqueduct toward Brookville had many more passengers than ever before. We hope that continues hereafter.
The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway is trying to keep afloat by having “Christmas in the Whitewater Valley,” a decorating contest for home owners and businesses with prizes. There will be a map printed with the locations of the decorations for a driving tour trough Dearborn, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley, Union and Wayne counties to view them. Further information may be found on the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Association’s Facebook page.
Boat Building in Cedar Grove
By Carolyn Schmidt
Platted and christened “Rochester” in September 1837 by John Ward, it was located on the Whitewater River in Franklin county in southeastern Indiana. On the opposite side of the river Ward built a large grist mill using the river water to power it. In 1844 D. F. Cooley made an addition to the village. It was later called Cedar Grove, because there was another Rochester, Indiana. It was incorporated as a town in 1907.
The Whitewater Canal was the impetus behind the growth of the village, which was a very important point along the canal. Canal boat building and the mills were important factors in building up a busy commercial center at the time.
Cedar Grove was one of three main canal boat building yards on the Whitewater Canal. The other two were located at ManLove Park and Milton.
According to Reifel in his History of Franklin County, Indiana, “Canal boat building was at one time quite a profitable industry in this town. A large number of the boats used on the White Water canal were built there. The following from a newspaper published in October, 1842, is self-explanatory:
‘Canal Boats. — The subscribers have established a Boat Yard, for building Canal Boats at Rochester, on the White Water Canal. Two of the Company are regular ship-builders of long experience, and will be engaged in the construction of boats in a few weeks. They solicit the patronage of the public. They have good lumber ready, and boats will be built on reasonable notice. The business will be transacted under the style of ‘T. Morse & Co.’
‘B. G. CHILD.’
The “Native,” a packet and freight boat, was the first boat built at T. Morse & Co. in Rochester (Cedar Grove). Her builder and master was Stephen D. Coffin, who, whenever he started out on a trip, always made a good deal of fuss about it.
The “Native” arrived in Brookville on July 3, 1839. On the 4th of July ladies and gentlemen from Brookville crowded aboard the boat. Stephen Coffin took a “merry party of excursionists to Case’s feeder dam, three and one-half miles below town.”
The “Native” was fitted up in a manner that was luxurious for those days. There were two cabins and large state rooms ranged on the side, the same as is now seen on passenger steamers. Trips on the canal were scheduled from Brookville and Lawrenceburg. She left Brookville at six-thirty A.M. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrived at Lawrenceburg on those evenings. Then she left Lawrenceburg at six-thirty A.M. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to return to Brookville later on those nights. The fare for passengers was one dollar and twenty-five cents and one dollar and fifty cents. Perhaps the additional twenty-five cents paid for a meal. Thirty-seven and one-half cents out of the fare was sent to the State of Indiana.
On August 18, 1839 the State of Indiana announced that it was in financial difficulties. It sold the Whitewater Canal to Henry S. Vallette, a wealthy Cincinnatian, in 1842 to complete it.
In November 1843 Captain Crary, who had become master of the “Native,” conducted a grand excursion from Brookville to Laurel. She was crowded with ladies and gentlemen from Brookville. They were entertained by the Brookville band as they glided up the canal. After feasting and much revelry they started on their return trip to Brookville the next day at 11 o’clock A.M. They were accompanied by some of Laurel’s citizens for part of the way. Then they parted speeches were made by Messrs. George Shoup, John Farquhar and Henry Moore as was the custom of the day. At Metamora, the crowd was entertained by Judge Mount, Ezekiel Tyner, Esq., and others.
On January 13, 1898, A. R. Ryman reported in the “Brookville American” about going to Laurel on the “Clinton,” one of the first boats. He said that on the way up the passengers assembled in the cabin of the boat where they listened to speeches by Captain Farquhar and James N. Tyner, who afterward became a member of Congress. Upon reaching Laurel they were given a free supper that was set on long tables that were lighted by tallow candles. Unfortunately it rained heavily during the previous night softening the newly formed canal banks, which broke.
Those remaining in the company had to walk through mud and rain from 8 miles above Brookville for the rest of the journey home.
George Moore said, “I was just a little fellow, about 5 years old, when the boats stopped running, but I remember them quite well. And I remember playing in the boat yards. The boats were set on scaffolding while they were being caulked. We liked to play under them and chew the pitch, used in caulking.” He also remembered two carpenters Allen McAffee and George Dent, who worked on the boats. He said his father was a cooper and the barrels he made were used to ship produce on the canal.
Today many Canal Society of Indiana members know Cedar Grove best for Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church, which was visited on several of our tours. It was built in 1812 and is the oldest church building still on its original location in Indiana. The interior has rifle openings in its walls, a balcony and a raised pulpit. A burial plot adjoins the church.
Baudendistel, R. Paul. The Whitewater Canal Boat Log: Notebook No. 1. Metamora, IN: Canal Society of Indiana, 1995.
Fox, Henry Clay. Memoirs of Wayne County and the City of Richmond, Indiana. Madison, WI: Western Historical Association, 1912.
Rifel, August J. History of Franklin County, Indiana: Her People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc., 1915.
Ryman, A.R. “Brookville American.” January 13, 1898.
Hurrah / HuzZah / HuzZay
By Bob Schmidt
How did the cheer “Hip Hip Hooray!” that we currently use at Canal Society of Indiana events or to praise members or others for their work develop?
Today, when we attend historical events, it is sometimes difficult to decide what kind of affirmation of approval we should cheer. In early American reenactments we often hear the cheer of “Huzzah.” Any soldier of that era would surely ask “what are they saying? We always said Huzza” – pronounced HuzZAY. This pronunciation is verified by poetic writings of the late 1700s where you see words like say, play, and day, which are used to rhyme with the HuZzay. This cheer meant approval or a means of group response. The cheer has a long history going back as far as the 13th Century when Mongol invaders of Europe cried out “Hurree.” The spelling of Huzzah vs. Huzza only occurs much later in the early 1900s and is clearly not historical.
During the American Revolution British infantry used Huzza preceding a bayonet charge. This was a means to fortify the group and intimidate the enemy. It began with Huzza, Huzza, followed by a long drawn out Huzza as the infantry ran forward. Americans also used this cheer in any occasion of approval. Both British and American sailors used “Huzza” as a cheer when friends boarded or disembarked the ship.
This use of Huzza we know continued into the early years of the United States. General Harrison just after the defeat of the Indians at the battle of Tippecanoe was heard to say “Huzza! My sons of gold, a few more fires and victory will be ours!” As the Indians retreated from the battlefield a deafening roar erupted from the American troops of “Huzza, Huzza, Huzza.”
By Mid 1800s Huzza had transitioned to Hurrah. Prussian soldiers began using Hurrah as a battle cry in the War of Liberation 1812-1813. We see this use of Hurrah in the songs of the American Civil War: “Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star” – S. Carolina- 1861 by Harry McCarthy and in The Battle Cry of Freedom – April 1862 by George Root “The Union Forever Hurrah, Boys, Hurrah.”
Similar to the British use of Huzza, the Rebel Yell in the Civil War was not a cheer but another way to instill fear in the enemy and build up confidence in the charging Confederate forces moving forward. Today we may say Hurray or Hurrah, but in early American interpretation we should say HuzZay not HuzZah to be technically correct with the period. So be careful to use the correct cheer at your next historical reenactment.
So, what about “Hip Hip Hurray!” that we use often at our CSI canal events? In England in the 19th century the custom developed that just before making a toast, one would say “hip, hip” versus “here, here” as a means to gather a group’s attention. Gradually this evolved into the full “hip, hip, hurrah” chant that we use today.
Three cheers also has a long mystic history among the world’s religions, for example: The Christian Trinity, the three wise men, Peter denies Christ three times, and the three jewels of Buddhism. At some point in time, probably during the early 1800s, the attention-getting, “hip, hip,” was introduced preparatory to giving “three cheers” to get the crowd’s attention to cheer the person being toasted, or perhaps just to get their attention to the cheers being given. The result was the now-familiar, “hip, hip, hurrah!” or our “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”
David Cassatt: 1778-1854
& Son, Jacob Duryea Cassatt: 1812-1888
By Bob and Carolyn Schmidt
The Cassatt ancestors trace their lineage back to Holland, at a somewhat remote period in its history, their descendants on this continent coming down perhaps through families who settled at an early date in the State of New York or in Eastern Pennsylvania, where many of that nationality found homes nearly three and a half centuries ago. Their last name changed as it was handed down—Cossiart, Cossart, Cossatt. This may have been the result of census takers misspelling it.
Peter Cossart married Maria (Mary) Duryea, the daughter of Samuel and Lavina (Banta) Duryea. Their first six children were born in Conewago, York, county, Pennsylvania and their seventh child was later born in Kentucky. In the spring of 1780 Peter and family along with the Duryeas, Bantas, and a few other friends and neighbors set out from near Gettysburg and Hunterstown, Pennsylvania, to the newly opened settlement of Daniel Boone in the interior of Kentucky. Peter met his death at the hands of the Indians while out gathering blackberries for his family in July 1781 and was buried in Boonesborough, Kentucky. After his death his widow with three of her sons: Peter, Henry and Albert, went with some of the Banta family and others up to Warren county, Ohio while his son, Jacob, remained in Kentucky and died near Harrodsburgh. One son stayed in Pennsylvania and another went to Wabash, Indiana. The latter, David Cassatt, is one of the subjects of this biography along with his son, Jacob Duryea Cassatt.
David Cassatt was born in Conewago, Adams county, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1778 to Peter (1746-1781) and Maria (Duryea) (1749-1800) Cassart. At Age 27 he married Polly Banta in Harrodsburg, Mercer county, Kentucky on March 10, 1805. They had four children: Anna, Elizabeth, Jacob Duryea and Mary. About 1834 they moved to Noble township, Wabash county, Indiana, where they were the fourth white family to settle there. At this time David’s son Jacob was about 22 years of age. He assisted in the development of the country, lent a helping hand in laying out the present city of Wabash, erected the first house, and helped in laying out and opening the first roads that radiated from its center.
At that early period, and in the immediate neighborhood, it was common to witness Indian dances with as many as 500 participants. This was their social enjoyment and was not fully understood by the less demonstrative and more pretentious white people. Jacob Duryea Cassatt reminisced later in his life about witnessing the Indian adoption of an Indian boy who eventually married one of Frances Slocum’s daughters. The Miami Indians had the custom that, upon the death or loss of children that threatened the extinction of the family, they adopt another into the household. Black Raccoon (Allolah) had no children of his own so he married a squaw who was the mother of a son by a former marriage. This son was entitled to all the rights of descendants by blood. However, this son met a violent death and Allolah was again left childless.
After a proper time elapsed, another boy was selected to replace the deceased. To formally approve this selection, Chief Allolah notified the head man of the tribe in that vicinity. Preparations began for an extensive celebration. A 1,800 pound beef was killed, dressed, cut into large pieces, boiled in great kettles, and the cooked meat cut into small pieces and piled on bankets spread on the ground in preparation of a great feast.
Near to the appointed hour a distant rumbling was heard in every direction, as of many horses in rapid flight. The sounds became more ominous as they approached. About 10 P.M. a fierce yell resounded from all around the site as Indians on horseback dashed in, meeting at the designated spot.
The arrivals were announced, a flat area suitable for a grand dance was selected , and the dance commenced. First two young squaws entered the ring dressed for the dance, followed by two young braves, and, as the dance continued, the number of participants increased from time to time. Meanwhile Chief Allolah met in a wigwam with the head men of the tribe. Ever so often they sent messengers to inform the congregation of the progress made in their proceedings. The messengers made the announcements and usually gave an eloquent speech that was greeted by approvals from the dancers. Those who were hungry during these events went to the huge supply of pieces of beef piled on the blankets and ate their fill. Then the final announcement was made very late at night that the adoption had been consummated and two of the festive throng made demonstrations of joyous satisfaction. Gradually the congregation departed for their homes. From then on Peter Bundy was acknowledged as the son and heir of the great chief Allolah.
May 4, 1834, was a very busy time for those living around or visiting Wabash county. The town of Wabash had recently been platted and, on May 4, 1834, lots were put up for sale. The first settlers in town were: Alpheus Blackman, David Cassatt, Jacob D. Cassatt, Dr. Jonathan R.
Cox, Michael Duffey, Dr. Isaac Finley, Dr. James Hackleman, Col. Hugh Hanna, Andrew Murphy, George Shepherd, Allen W. Smith, John Smith, Col. William Steele, Sr., and Zera Sutherland. Very soon thereafter the public lands south of the river were surveyed and could be purchased. A tract of 109 acres that were located southeast of the city, on Treaty Creek, were purchased at a cost of $300. At this early stage of Wabash, there wasn’t enough farm land in cultivation to produce enough provisions to meet the wants of the settlers. Their supplies were purchased at Lafayette and further south, at fabulous prices, and carted or brought up in pirogues, as the only practicable means of transportation.
Also on May 4, 1834, contracts were awarded for building sections of the Wabash & Erie Canal. A survey of the canal had been made in 1833 under the supervision of Jesse Lynch Williams, the chief engineer, with the assistance of Stearns Fisher, Solomon Holman and Charles Voorhees. Notice was given “to contractors’ for proposals to construct the work, by sections. The propositions were opened and considered before the large body of people present, who were either seeking contracts or who were curious to view the progress of things. After due consideration of whether or not regulations were being met, the first contract was let to Lewis Myers & Lemuel G. Jones, for building the section adjacent to Wabash and to build the lock. The second section was let then sublet to Banjamin Mariner, the next to Thomas Hayes of Pennsylvania, and the next to William Terrell, also of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately Lewis Myers died before he could finish his contract. His partner, Lemuel Jones, in conjunction with David and Jacob Cassatt, finished the section and built the lock. From the lock to the stone bluff, the work was done by Zera Sutherland.
In 1835 David Cassatt opened the second tavern in Wabash, Indiana, on the northwest corner of Canal and Allen streets, opposite the round house. The “Cassatt House,” for a time, had its fair share of patronage.
Jacob Duryea Cassatt was born in Mercer County, Kentucky on April 9, 1812 to David and Polly (Banta) Cassatt. Early on, after his family moved to Wabash, Indiana, he floated logs down the Mississinewa River to McClure’s Mill where they were sawn into lumber for building the homes in Wabash.
On August 4, 1835 the Wabash Circuit Court met at the home of David Burr and then adjourned to meet and hold court in the home of Andrew Murphy. The grand jurors that were put forth by William Johnson, the Sheriff of Wabash county for that term were: Thomas, Curry, Solomon Seamans, Ezekiel Cox, Ira Burr, Sylvester F. McClain, Mahlon Pearson, Jacob I. Barrette, Joseph S. McClure, Thomas Hays, Jacob D. Cassatt and Anthony H. Keller. Then the sheriff summond the following by-standers to serve as grand jurors: Lemuel G. Jones, Isaac Finley, Isaac Thomas, Isaac Fowler and Benedict Lowry. This made a total of 16 grand jurors and Isaac Thomas was chosen to be its foreman.
When David Burr and Hugh Hanna, applied for consideration of the seat of justice to be located in Wabash county on May 20, 1835, they guaranteed the first installment to be paid on March 1, 1837 toward erecting a brick court house in the public square of Wabash to be forty feet square, finished throughout in good, plain, workmanlike manner with bench and bar for court and jury, steeple, ball and spire; the building to be completed except plastering within four years from and after November 1, 1836, for not less than $3,000. They also agreed to give $300 toward a county library, to give money for one and a half acres of land suitable for a graveyard on Section II on which Wabash stood, to give two lots for seminary purposes and two other lots to two religious denominations to erect a frame or brick building not less than thirty by twenty feet.
They took subscriptions and Jacob D. Cassatt paid $20.00.
On August 7, 1836, the marriage of Jacob D. and Louisa Jane Roberts was solemnized in the third brick house erected within the original limits of the city of Wabash. This marriage was blessed with two children—Edward R, born April 14, 1839, later living in the State of Iowa, and Anna E. born June 24, 1842, later living in Florida. After just a few years and at the beginning of Jacob’s service in the Indiana legislature, Louisa Jane, his wife died on January 26, 1846, at Indianapolis. Place of her burial is unknown.
In 1836 Col. Hugh Hanna conceived a plan to set up a town in the fertile valley of the Eel River. He associated himself with Isaac Thomas and Jacob D. Cassatt, and in September, 1836, platted the Village of Laketon. It was the first town platted away from the Wabash River.
Soon after the organization of Wabash county, Josiah L. Wynes, the first elected Sheriff of the county, resigned his position to accept another. To fill his vacancy in 1835, Mr. Cassatt was appointed and at the next annual election was chosen to fill the place, but he, also, resigned before the expiration of this term on December 12, 1836, and Alpheus Blackman became his successor by appointment.
In 1839 the February term of Probate Court of Wabash was held at the house of Lemuel G. Jones. The second term was held at the house of Jacob D. Cassatt.
Jacob’s second marriage occurred on May 1, 1849, his bride being Emma Townsend, who died less than a year later on January 24, 1850, leaving one child—Mary Catharine Cassatt.
In 1845, he was chosen to represent his county in the Lower House of the State Legislature, during the following session. When he was a member of the Legislature in 1846-47, he introduced a bill, which became a law, changing the name of “Twin Springs” to “Somerset.” In 1847 he was elected to the State Senate, and served during the three succeeding sessions: 1847, 1848, 1849. On January 16, 1849, he secured the passage of a bill incorporating Wabash. In the meantime, he had also filled other offices —Justice of the Peace and School Commissioner. The History of Miami County, Indiana [Miami and Wabash counties constituted a district] describes how he carried out all of these positions saying: “discharging the pertinent duties with the strictest fidelity to the trust imposed, and a discreetness of judgment equaled only by his disposition to do the right thing in the best manner, fully and satisfactorily. As an evidence of the possession of these valuable qualities, the people of Wabash county, his neighbors and friends, without distinction of party, place an estimate upon his character commensurate therewith. During his long career in the midst of the people, as office and citizen, few, if any, have enjoyed to a larger extent the approbation and confidence of his fellow-citizens.”
In the U.S. Federal Census of 1850 David Cassatt was age 73 and living with his daughter Mary and her husband, John L. Matlock, in Wabash. At that time David owned property valued at $500.
Jacob was married for the third time on April 10, 1853 to Mrs. Elizabeth (Barker) Jones. They had two children—David Charles Cassatt, born January 5, 1855, and later living in Pueblo, Colorado, and Charles Ellesworth, born March 25, 1857, who later lived with his parents in the family mansion, administering to their comfort in their declining years.
David Cassatt, Jacob’s father, passed away on October 8, 1854. He was laid to rest in Matlock
Cemetery, Wabash, Wabash county, Indiana. His first wife Polly (Banta) Cassatt, who died in 1838, and his second wife, Sarah (Johnson) Cassatt, who died in 1864, are also buried there.
On August 19, 1886 Jacob D. Cassatt’s wrote his will. His heirs were Eliz Cassatt, wife; Edw R., son; Anna E. McPherson, daughter; David C., son; Charles E., son’ Birdie, daughter of Edw R. Cassatt and Nellie, daughter of Edw R. Cassatt. Moses W. Ross was given money in trust for Anna E. McPherson and Mary Catharine Good, daughter. He wished to be buried in the old grave between his deceased wife, Emma Jane and baby boy, “little Johnny.” His father and mother are buried there also. In a codicil of December 27, 1887 he added Jacob D. Cassatt, the son of David C. Cassatt as a heir. He added another codicil on January 19, 1888, but it had no new heirs.
Jacob Duryea Cassatt died on June 25, 1888. His obituary appeared in the Wabash Times and the Wabash Plain Dealer on January 27, 1888. He was buried in the Matlock Cemetery in Wabash, Wabash county, Indiana.
Public Member Trees: Cassatt
U.S. Federal Census 1850, 1860, 1870: Cassatt
Banta, Theodore M. The Frisian Family: The Banta Genealogy. New York, NY: New York Genealogy and Biographical Society, 1893.
Bodurtha, Arthur L. History of Miami County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1914.
Buck, Dee Ann (Shipp). A Tabulated Genealogy of the Family of Jacques Cossart Jr & Lea Villeman. Virginia, March 1991.
Cady, C. W. The Annual Register and Pocket Manual. Indianapolis, IN: Samuel Turner Publisher, 1846.
Executive Proceedings of the State of Indiana 1816-1836. Wabash County, IN: Wabash County, 1836.
David Cassatt #33287504
Jacob Duryea Cassatt #33287649
And other family members
Helm, Thomas B. History of Wabash County. Chicago, IL: John Morris Printer, 1884.
Wabash County, Indiana Will Records 1842-1894.
Weesner, Clarkson W. History of Wabash County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1914
Woodward, Ronald L. Obituaries Wabash County, Indiana 1873-1839. Wabash, IN: Wabash Carnegie Public Library, 1984.
Internal Improvements: Canals in 1830
The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1830, published by Charles Bowen, in New York in 1833 has the following report on canals in the United States in 1830. It is interesting to note all the canals that had already been built that year. With all these canals and others underway, it is no wonder that Indiana wanted to build canals. We didn’t break ground for the Wabash & Erie Canal until 1832, two years after the canals on this list.
“The following list, which was drawn up for the “Yeoman’s Gazette,” gives a summary view of the principal canals, now finished, in progress, or in immediate contemplation in the United States.
- Middlesex Canal. — This has been finished and in operation for several years; its length is 29½ miles; it has 136 feet lockage. It runs from Boston harbour to Chelmsford, in Massachusetts.
- Blackstone Canal. — This has been in operation between one and two years. Its length is 45 miles, from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island.
- Farmington Canal. — This is unfinished. Length 37 miles, from Northampton Mass., to New Haven, Connecticut.
- Hudson and Erie Canal. — This is in operation. Length 360 miles, from Albany to Buffalo, N. York.
- Champlain Canal. — Completed; length 63 miles, from Albany to White Hall.
- Oswego Canal. — Completed; length 38 miles, from Salina to Oswego, connecting the Hudson and Erie canal with Lake Ontario.
- Seneca Canal. — Completed; its length 20 miles, connecting the Seneca and Cayuga lakes with Hudson and Erie Canal.
- Delaware and Hudson Canal. — Length 65 miles, from Delaware, in Orange county, to the Hudson, near Kingston.
- Morris Canal. — This is in progress; its length 86 miles, from Easton to Newark, N. Jersey.
- Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. — Completed; length 14 miles, from Delaware river to Chesapeake bay.
- Port Deposite Canal. — Completed; length 10 miles, from Port Deposite, on the Susquehannah, to the Maryland line.
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. — This was begun on the 4th of July, 1828, when ground wa broken by the President of the United States. Length 360 miles, from Georgetown, District of Columbia, to near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
- Ohio State Canal. — Unfinished; length 306 miles, from Cleveland, on Lake Erie, to the Ohio, at the mouth of the Sciota.
- Miami Canal. — Unfinished; length 265 miles, from Cincinnati to the Maumee, near the head of Lake Erie.
- Lehigh Canal. — Unfinished; length 46 miles, from Stoddartsville, on the Lehigh, to Easton, on the Delaware.
- Little Schuylkill Canal. — Its length 25 miles from the mouth of Little Schuylkill river to the coal mines.
- Conestogo Canal. — Length 18 miles, from Lancaster to the mouth of Conestogo creek.
- Schuylkill Canal. — Finished; length 108 miles, from Philadelphia to Mount Carbon.
- Union Canal. — Finished; length 79 miles, from Reading to Middletown.
- Pennsylvania Canal. — In progress, it having been commenced at both extremities; length 269 miles, from Middletown to Pittsburg.
The three last mentioned canals form a line from Philadelphia to the Ohio, at Pittsburg, and may be considered parts of the same great enterprise.
- Ohio and Erie Canal. — Its length 213 miles, from Pittsburg to Erie, on Lake Erie.
- Delaware Canal. — This will run from Philadelphia to meet the Delaware and Hudson Canal. It has already been begun.
Erie Canal Was Hawley’s Idea
Almost everyone credits DeWitt Clinton for the creation of the Erie Canal, which was known as Clinton’s Ditch. It is true the Clinton, who held positions as a U.S. senator, New York City’s mayor, unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate, and governor of New York, was a champion of the idea to built the Erie Canal and presided over its construction, but it was the brain child of Jesse Hawley. Although others had wanted a canal in New York, its was Hawley who wrote essays under the pseudonym of “Hercules” that appeared in the Genesee Messenger, a Canandaigua newspaper. They came to the attention of Clinton, who had been born to a prominent family in New York City and who had the education and power to carry on this grand scale project.
Jesse Hawley had been born in Connecticut, attended a country school, purchased fertile farmland on which he grew wheat, but had no way to get his flour to market. He went bankrupt and was in a Canandaigua debtor’s prison in Ontario County at the time he wrote his essays. Rotting in jail for twenty months gave him plenty of time to lay out the route for a statewide canal to begin in Buffalo, continue to the Hudson River at Albany, provide a direct connection to Manhattan and create a way to transport farm commodities and other products to urban markets. He painstakingly laid out precise plans for the canal in his essays that were published in 1807-1808. In 1810 a group of commissioners checked out a possible route using his essays along with other key documents.
Construction of the Erie Canal began at Rome, New York, on the Fourth of July 1817. It was completed and opened to traffic eight years later. It was 363 miles long and furnished a practical way to export local goods to markets around the world. It made Buffalo an inland port, Syracuse and Rochester prominent cities, New York City a global economic capital, and shaped both population centers and migratory patterns, according to historian Duncan Hay.
When the Eire Canal opened in 1825, Clinton invited Hawley to give an opening address in Buffalo and to ride on the canal boat “Seneca Chief” at the opening festivities honoring his idea. But it was Clinton’s persistence and political contacts that made it a reality.
Although Clinton had been the wealthier of the two, he later fell on hard times. Hawley was more fortunate. He eventually purchased land at Lockport and served as the “boom town’s” treasurer (1836-1842). The Erie Canal helped him become a commercial success.
Today Hawley is remembered by a historical society sign in front of his former home at 143 Ontario Street in Lockport and by his monument in its Cold Springs Cemetery.
Kirst, Sean. “Erie Canal was conceived in a prison cell.” The Buffalo News. 4 July 2017.
Sent to CSI Headquarters by Frank Timmers, a CSI director.
Letter Concerning Travel on the Erie Canal
Neil Sowards, CSI member from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, found this letter on e-Bay from Oliver H. Buckley to his parents detailing his trip on the Erie Canal, Lake Steamer and Stage Coach to get to a school in Ohio where he will teach. The letter was mailed in 1841 from Chili, NY to Morrefield, OH.
I take this opportunity according to agreement to inform you of my health and hope this will find you all in good health and quiet mind. My health is good and has been ever since I left you. I think I shall be considerably contented when I get acquainted for the folks here have plenty yo eat and drink and are not stingy with it. I took a line boat at Spencer’s Basin for the packet did not arrive there until 11 o’clock in the evening and calculated to have taken the packet when it came up with us but the Captain told me he would be in Lockport the next day at noon and that would be soon enough. We changed boats at Brockport got a better one but it had been chartered from Lockport to Brockport and the man that chartered it had only one team got offended at the passengers and when he stopped to feed stayed longer than was necessary on purpose to provoke them and consequently I did not get to Lockport until Thursday evening. I inquired at the public houses and the boats for Mr Paul but could not find him. The Captain got his own team here and by constant jogging we got to Buffalo Friday morning about 8 o’clock. I went to the dock to find a boat and found the Commodore Perry was to start about 9 o’clock while looking about the boat I found Mr Paul on it. He arrived but a short time before I did. The wind blew quite brisk when we put out, not enough to make the sea rough and increased all day. We kept near the Canada shore in order to keep clear of a NW wind until we got opposite Erie but to no avail, Old Boreas blew so stoutly that he got the advantage of the Commodore entirely she bounded equal to Alexander’s Buciphelus fore and aft. The Captain had his choice of 2 things, go ahead he could not, he must either about face for Buffalo ot left wheel for Erie, he chose the latter maneuver then we took it right and left in the troughs and on the swells. My berth was clost to the wheel and it was my business to lie in it or fall 8 feet onto floor. When the wheel met a swell it made three jerks that shook the boat like thunder next swash came the water into the window; yaw O dear! . I shall die ??? ??? ! O! dear hand that O! pail yaw yaw. I never was so sick in my life. I shall die ! We had such fun as that until we got to Erie Saturday morning between 1 and 2 o’clock – 90 miles from Buffalo in 16 hours. We left Erie about 10 o’clock had fine weather the remainder of the voyage ! The wind turning to the SW broke the swells leaving a smooth sea; and arrived in Lake Huron about 1 o’clock Sunday morning about 120 miles from Erie in 20 hours. We made several stops or it would ben made sooner. We left Huron Monday morning in the stage. We passed through Milan, Norwalk and landed in Peru all villages in Huron County. We hired a man to carry us from there to Mr Kelly’s, an old acquaintance of Mrs Pauls. We remained in that neighborhood until Thursday morning waiting for some goods that C P left at Huron to be sent to New Haven a village near this place we stopped. Thursday the day we started was a very rainy day. We drove 17 miles and found no tavern and had to stop at a private house to feed. While waiting I enquired of a gentleman that came up what county and town we were in and found we were in ¾ of a mile from Mr. E Sawyers. The gentleman Mr Ross is a neighbor of Mr D White of Gorham said Mr Sawyers folks were very kind neighbors would be glad to see us and if we concluded to go there he would go with us through the woods. It being about night we concluded to go and stay all night there. Mr Ross introduced me to Mr S upon which he dropped his head and said let me see George Buckley: is Philander P to him my name he then said he remembered I was a little shaver when he left Middlesex. Mr S has a good farm under first rate improvement good buildings and all things about him to make him as comfortable as the situation of the country will admit. Mr S was about the house but his health was quite bad; he said he had an ulcer break about 5 weeks before, had been confined to the house ever since before that broke he said he was quite smart did some chores thought he would recover his health if hr was prudent of it. He told me to write to you that he received a letter from you and had not been able to write since or he would have answered it. I learned of him that Margaret Williams was married to a tanner and courier and lives in Norwalk a village we passed through. We arrived here Sunday the 14th of November. Since I have been here I have travailed about town 8 or 9 days, made 1 cupboard and so forth and so on. I have taken a school about 2 miles south of Urbanna-Champlain Co and 5 miles from the Pauls in Clark County. Commence next Monday. I left the pills and a woolen shirt I expect for I cannot find them. There has been considerable rain here since we arrived & thunder showers. I have not taken much pains in writing nor composing this. I thought when I commenced it I would fill up the sheet but it is almost 12 o’clock and a journey to Springfield tomorrow I expect. Write not very often unless something special and fill a sheet when you do write. Direct your letters to Springfield, Clark Co OH or Urbanna-Champlain Co OH. Perhaps I shall return in June and perhaps not until Nov.
Yours with much respect &c
Oliver H Buckley
W & E Signage Warrick County
David Kurvach, CSI Director from Newburgh, Indiana, has recently made two videos of the Wabash & Erie Canal— one south of Seven Hills road and one north of Seven Hills road — in Warrick county, and two videos about the Wabash & Erie Canal’s Newberry Slackwater Locks and the Newberry Dam, Canal Lock and Wabash River Lock in Greene county, Indiana. These videos were taken in remote areas that would be hard to reach on a tour. They are excellent and really show the remains of the canal today in these counties. They are now on our CSI website.
David has also been instrumental in getting two Wabash and Erie Canal signs erected in Warrick county. The first sign is located on Tow Path Road, 4,500 feet north of where Tow Path Road intersects Heim Road. This location was chosen because it is the best example of preserved canal along the graveled portion of Tow Path Road—where one does not need to leave his vehicle to see the canal. This section stays watered throughout the year.
The second sign is located in the northeast corner of the intersection of Tow Path and Warrickton Roads. This location was chosen because it is on the property of Mr. and Mrs. Merta, who also owns the 1,000 feet long preserved section of canal just north of the sign. Mr. Merta is a former Warrick County Sheriff and said he would try to look after the sign. At first the sign was to be along this preserved section, but the road at that point is poorly maintained, little used, and very few people would see the sign. The road department told David they would not trust their vehicles driving up Tow Path Road beyond Warrickton Road.
CSI greatly appreciates all the work David has done to increase awareness of Indiana’s canals.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Hagerstown Canal Signage in Cambridge City
Jerry and Phyllis Mattheis, CSI directors from Cambridge City, Indiana, recently placed the sign for the Hagerstown Canal Extension to the Whitewater Canal on the north side of Delaware Street in Cambridge City. The prism of the canal heading north to Hagerstown is behind the sign. They used the two existing poles that direct people who are following the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway. While they were erecting the sign, ten people stopped to watch them. Mark Mattheis took their picture standing by the sign for the newspaper and for “The Tumble.”
Phyllis wrote an article about the sign and the Hagerstown Extension that was the major portion of an article entitled “Local Canal Enthusiasts Install Sign.” It appeared in Western Wayne News on August 19, 2020. It told how the Whitewater Canal was built between 1836-47, but it ended in a turning basin by the Vinton House at Cambridge City. Hagerstown businessmen wanted it to come to Hagerstown so provided private financing for its 8-mile-long extension. It made the Whitewater Canal, 76-miles-long from Lawrenceburg to Hagerstown.
It told how the Hagerstown Extension depended on the Whitewater Canal being operable. It mentioned the canal having to be closed for repair due to floods that washed away canal banks and lock structures, that it froze during the winter months, and that the railroad came through the area in 1853 and took away canal traffic.
It also said a canal museum is located in the Vinton House and that the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway has put up signage to direct people along the canal route. The WCSB is headquartered in Metamora, Indiana.
The article noted that the sign was donated by the “Canal Society of Indiana, which is providing brown signs with white lettering to many areas of Indiana with a goal of promoting the locations of early canals.” It is Wayne county’s first canal sign from CSI. It also plugged our website and “The Tumble.” We thank the Mattheis’ for putting up the sign and for the publicity.
Hip Hip Hooray!
In Memoriam: Guy “Finney” Filchak
Guy “Finny” Filchak, 77, of Clinton, passed away at his residence on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:02 a.m. He was born in Chicago, Illionis on April 11, 1943, to William and Nema Houser Filchak.
Finny was a performing artist for 55 years and a member of the Wabash Valley Music Hall of Fame. He also was a member of the Illiana Antique Power Association; enjoyed meeting with the Old Coots regularly; and performed at the CHS Days programs. He played and sang with numerous bands over the years and was well-known throughout the Wabash Valley.
As a member of the Canal Society of Indiana, Finney worked with Terry Bodine, CSI Director from Covington, Indiana, in building the model canal freight boat, “The General Grant,” that is now in the Canal Interpretive Center in Delphi, Indiana. He painted the boat and lettered its name. He attended the CSI tour of the Wabash & Erie Canal in the Covington area. Always smiling and friendly, he will be missed.
Finney was preceded in death by his parents; 3 sisters, Millie Weir, Sally Fields, and Joan Dollard; 1 brother, Terry Filchak; and 1 stepson, Jimmy Shuler.
He is survived by 5 sons, Matt (Donna) Filchak, Terry (Gina) Filchak, Mark (Tonya) Filchak, Scott Filchak, and David Filchak; 2 daughters, Amy Shuler and Beth (Dave) Shuler; 7 grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 4 to 8 pm at Frist Funeral Home, 458 Blackman street in Clinton, Indiana. Funeral services were conducted on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 1 p.m. at the funeral home with Celebrant Marta Adubato officiating. Burial followed at Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Memorials to Guy Filchak and Chuck Whiting
CSI has received a memorial to Guy Filchak from Bob & Carolyn Schmidt that is matched by the Prudential Insurance Company.
CSI has received a memorial to Chuck Whiting from Tom & Linda Castaldi.
Canal Word Puzzles
CSI members have received puzzles by E-mail during the Coronavirus quarantine. These have been scrambled canal words, canal word searches and canal quotes. The July issue of “The Tumble” had the winners of the first three puzzles. The September issue had the winners of the next 16 puzzles. The following members have been the quickest to send in their correct answers for the next puzzles to CSI Headquarters:
Old Canal Postcards
Neil Sowards, CSI member from Ft. Wayne, found the following postcards on e-Bay. The first is a canal dredge operating at Canal Dover, Ohio, circa1910 when the Ohio & Erie Canal was being improved and the locks rebuilt. The second is the lock at Delphos, Ohio on the Miami & Erie Canal.
Neil also found this Canal Land Certificate No. 3332 for $10. I says that “This certificate will be received of A. Stitt or bearer for TEN DOLLARS with interest from the 5th of November 1840 in all payments to the State of Indiana for Wabash and Erie Canal Lands except the annual payment of interest being apart of original draft No. 90 issued for work on Sec.” No. 200 of said canal. PERU, IND. June 1st, 1841 J. L. Williams Com. W & E Canal
News From The Past
These short articles were found while looking for topics for CSI’s daily “Day in Indiana History” E-mails to members. Many of them are reprints from other newspapers, which was a common practice in those days. Although some are not about canals, they might be of interest to you.
Western Sun Vincennes, Ind.
October 18, 1817
The Canal. (Erie Canal of New York)
We are informed that contracts have been made for the construction of the Canal for a distance of about thirty miles and that the work is progressing as fast as was expected—
Mr. Timothy Hunt, of Boson, a gentleman who has had much experience in the making of canals, having been for a number of years employed on the Middlesex canal, near Boston, has contracted to make some part of ours, and has already commenced his work. — Utica Obs.
Western Times Richmond, Ind.
September 19, 1828
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
Contracts were lately entered into for the excavation of about 20 miles of this canal. Great competition existed between the contractors, no less than four hundred and sixty proposals were received from seventy-five associated companies or individuals. The contracts were taken considerably before the estimate of the engineer. The total cost of the amount of line as contracted for will be $469,000. The cost of the same was estimated by Messrs. Geddes and Roberts, two eminent civil engineers at 590,000. There is every prospect of the completion of this stupendous scheme of internal improvement. The West views its progress with no common anxiety for its accomplishment. — O. S. Journal.
Indiana Palladium Lawrenceburg, Ind.
September 20, 1828
Canals.—The Albany Daily Advertiser says, that one of the canal boats which arrived in that place on the 22d ultimo, from the city of New York, contained goods for the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and the territory of Michigan, and that contracts have been made for carrying goods from the City of New York to Pittsburgh, by way of the canal, for $2 25 cts. And to Cincinnati for $2 75 cts. per hundred. This is one of the many evidences of the great importance of internal improvements, and particularly to canal navigation.
Indiana Palladium Lawrenceburg, Ind.
September 11, 1830
Louisville and Portland Canal.
The excavation of the rock in this canal is going on with great energy, and if no unforeseen accident should occur, it is confidently expected that the work will be completed during the present season. Western Tiller.
Western Register and Terre-Haute Advertiser
September 11, 1830
From the Indiana Journal.
A considerable crowd of people have been drawn to this place by the prospect of obtaining contracts on this road—proposals for the grading and bridging of which were received till Tuesday evening. From the Superintendents we learn that the money appropriated will about complete the grading and bridging of 28 miles—16 miles east and 12 miles west, of this place. The average per mile at which the contracts for grading has been taken, is about 800 dollars. The abutments of bridges, we understand, will be of stone where it can be had at a reasonable rate, and of hard burnt brick where stone cannot be obtained.
Indiana Phoenix, Salem
October 19, 1831
Roads—Canals. — Ten years ago in the north of Ohio, where wheat sold at 31 cents per bushel, it has sold this year at 75. This enhance in value is solely attributed to the facilities of commerce, and not to a scarcity of grain! Through the Welland canal in Canada, and the Erie and Hudson canal in New York, the farmers through no extensive region of country find an easy access to market for all their surplus produce! Reader, did you cast your eye upon the map and reflect how remote the northern parts of Ohio & Pennsylvania and the western part of New York, are from market?—The tremendous obstruction in the Niagara river, which would otherwise be the natural outlet for produce as well as water, is obviated by the Welland canal which unites lake Erie and lake Ontario, and furnishes a safe, cheap and expeditious passage for produce to a sure market at Montreal and Quebec! New-York, wide awake to her own interest, knew that much of her future prosperity depended upon a facilitious [sp] commercial intercourse with the growing west, laid the mighty project of her Erie and Hudson canal. This being constructed and in successful operation the people of the far west imagine that New York city is not very far distant, inasmuch that as soon as their grain is ready for market the city folks are at their door with ready cash in hand, offering more than double the old price for all they have to spare. The farmer that once offered his land at congress price because there was no market for what he raised, now clings to the earth, nor would he part with it at ten or fifteen dollars per acre, for it brings him the grain as fast as he knows well what to do with it. All this is the legitimate effects of canals and good roads. Produce generally bears a price some where, and the facilities of commerce, i.e. good roads, and canals, or other means of quick and cheap conveyance, will furnish a good market for a great extent of country. Farmers can always sell if they can but get their produce to market at the right time. But here lies the rub with thousands! They have good soil and if they could sell grain at a price that would make them feel cheerful & merry while raising it, they would raise double or treble what they now do. A prospect of remuneration will excite industrious habits in most men. Labour is delightsome only where there is a prospect of enjoying its fruits. Dull and spiritless are the toils of the farm while either rigid hills or marshes surround it and intercept the ways to market. As little as we may think of it, good roads, and other means by which easy access is secured to market, have a wonderful effect upon the industry, happiness, morals, and prosperity of neighborhoods. Nature has made man an active and a progressive being, and it is well if he do [does] not progress in vice. Open to him the way to competence, or wealth, and however dispirited he may have been, and it seldom fails to excite energies that would otherwise be dormant and useless. But we approach the subject which we intended to introduce and to which these remarks were to serve as a preface. Roads and canals is our subject!. No canal can be constructed so as to effect, in any considerable extend, the interest of Salem.— We must look to roads, and turnpikes, and railroads, and we feel that this is the interest of the state. But we should not look too fast, or anticipate more than can be brought into real existence. Thus far, however, should be known, and remembered, and talked of, wherever the future prosperity of the state is made a theme, that in proportion to the actual goodness of roads, the value of all contiguous lands and other property is enhanced, which is clearly elucidated by the raised value of wheat in the north of Ohio. Grain and lands are not only made more valuable by good roads but farmers are encouraged and raised to the scale of being! We lament a disrespectful backwardness on this subject in this neighborhood, and in this county. Men regard roads as a subject in which they have no interest, and when called to apply their quota of physical power in repairs, complain of hardships, and slight that self interest of which they are willfully ignorant. We know not that this remark should be located to any one county or neighborhood, for we believe much in the truth of an old saying that “That which is every body’s business is no body’s business.” That being the case, the mud holes from this to the Ohio may long serve as mementos of many a narrow escape.
Indiana Palladium, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
November 5, 1831
From the Vincennes Gazette
Extract from a letter dated “Fort Wayne, Sept. 26th, 1831,” to a gentleman of this town.
“I arrived here from the St. Josephs country last evening; and am happy to say, that in all my route, the enterprising character of our citizens is evident. The growing effects of the Canal Land Sales, and the avidity now manifested for land on the Michigan Road, are happy omens of the future greatness of our state. The tract of country selected by our worthy commissioner for the Road, is equal to any in the world—he has finished his surveys, and will only have time to prepare the maps, plats, &c. for the approaching sale. There are probably twenty good farms on the lands selected, and the settlers would have been removed this fall by the Indians, if it were not for this indicious [sp] choice of Mr. Polke [sp]. The Indians had complained to their Agent, and he must under such circumstances have done his duty. Trails, and tracks of strangers, viewing the country, are now to be seen in every part of it; and I anticipate much competition at the sales. Many Indian traders had calculated on some of this choice land as reservations for their families at the next treaty, and had designated some of the tracts selected; they are disappointed; but the entire of that section of our state is good land. The Indians, I am satisfied, will hereafter be more willing to sell out, and seek a country better supplied with game and more retired. Indeed, from all I could learn, the greater part of them are now willing to remove west of the Mississippi; and the sooner they go the better for them and for us.—Why the President has so long delayed to treat for the final extinguishment of all Indian claims within the state is a cause of wonder! If our members in Congress neglect our state interests, and alter an appropriation for this special purpose is made in the Senate, suffer it to die in the lower House—surely the five hundred thousand dollars placed at the disposal of Gen. Jackson some years ago, for that object is not all to be expected to the south?
“I do candidly believe when the Miamies [sp] and Potawattamies [sp] disappear, and the Canal and Michigan Road be completed, this north-west section of Indiana will become the most desirable portion of the great valley of the Mississippi: its position, climate, and soil, will tender the whole Wabash country unequalled. But our advantages must be attended to, the Canal has been most injuriously delayed.”
Indiana American, Brookville
October 24, 1846
The Canal.—From the following letter from the energetic Engineer of our Canal [White Water Canal], we learn that the serious breach in the Canal at Metamora is repaired. This is good news:—
MATAMORA [Metamora], Sept 30th, 1846.
Mr. Clarkson, Dear Sir:—I have the pleasure of informing you that the new Aqueduct [over Duck Creek] at this place is now ready for the water, which will probably pass over it some time to-night—at all events it will do so on to-morrow (the 1st of October). I think the Canal
will be filled to Brookville, and ready for navigation by Saturday afternoon, next. Yours Respectfully; H. C. MOORE, Engr.
Indianapolis Daily State Sentinel
October 14, 1857
The new foot bridges across the [Central] Canal, on the avenues leading to the State Fair Ground, and recently erected, were, during the recent throng in the city [those attending the State Fair], demonstrated to be of wonderful convenience. Therefore we hope to see hereafter all the bridges over this artificial stream kept in good order for the public, as well as those over Pogue’s run—that classic current.
Indianapolis Daily Herald, Indianapolis, Indiana
November 7, 1866
From the Terre Haute Journal taken from the Lafayette Courier.
It appears from the Lafayette Courier, that the Wabash and Erie Canal up that way is being repaired for navigation purposes. Down here [Terre Haute] it is nothing but a worthless idtch, the common receptable of all the filth in the country. — Terre Haute Journal.
October 5, 1883
Gen. Butler’s “Dutch Gap” canal on the James river, which was built so that gunboats could be taken by the rebel batteries, up the river, is about to be utilized. Proposals to widen and deepen it have been called for. The depth of nineteen feet must be obtained at mean low tide. A government inspector will superintend the work. [The “Dutch Gap” canal is located near Petersburg/Richmond, Virginia.]
Crawfordsville Daily Journal
September 22, 1890
Flags for the School-Houses
Elkhart, Ind.—Sept. 22.– Mrs. A. R. Beardsley, of this city, has presented elegant flags to all the schools. The G.A.R. posts, city fire department and about 3,000 school children headed by a band, paraded and assisted in public exercises. The public school buildings and business houses were decorated. The flags will fly from the school buildings 365 days in the year.
September 22, 1890
Jessie Roberts in the Canal. — Miss Jessie Roberts, after a quarrel with her sweetheart yesterday, jumped into the [Central] canal. She was rescued and Dr. Cross says she will be all right in a day or two.
September 23, 1902
Towpath Case at Logansport.
Logansport, Ind. Sept 22.—The fight for possession of the Wabash and Erie Canal towpath was transferred from the Wabash to the Cass Circuit Court to-day, when the condemnation proceedings instituted by the Fort Wayne, Logansport & Lafayette Traction Company were begun. The Wabash Valley Company claims to have the first right to the property, and the Wabash-Logansport Company has already nearly completed its track over the towpath from Peru to Logansport, having acquired that potion through condemnation proceedings by order of the Cass Circuit Court.