History of Fayette County, Indiana

(From TJP document.)
Note that John Nipp's bio. sketch states that in 1815, Connersville was a small Indian station on the outposts of the white settlements.

Indiana became a territory in 1800, with roughly the same shape as currently, and became a state in 1816. Fayette County was organized Dec. 28, 1818, effective Jan. 1, 1819. People had been settling here for about 9 years, and already the population was large. By Feb. 1819, first officers were in place (appointed) and the county fairly in business, meeting at the home of John McCormac, about a mile north of Connersville. The first official act of the county Commissioners, Feb. 9, 1819, was to divide the county into 5 townships: Columbia, Connersville, Brownsville, Harrison, and Jennings. Waterloo Township was formed in 1821 from Harrison and Brownsville twps. Springersville, on the Connersville-Brownsville road, was a hamlet laid out in 1840. The post office and store was kept by Mr. Simpson. Ground which is now the graveyard was early owned by William Dawson; it was "entered" by Thomas Dawson and set up under Mr. Simpson with trustees. Included among the older burials are William Walker, age 82, and his wife Jane, age 72. The first school in Posey Township, as early as 1818, was built of round logs, with greased paper windows. The western portion of Fayette County belonged to the Indians until 1818; as late as 1820, "Connersville was filled with them every day." First sales of land in Fayette County began in 1811 from offices in Cincinnati; later a land office was established at Brookville. In 1811, 103 tracts of land were sold; only 36 in 1812 because of "Indian troubles". In 1813, 80 tracts; in 1814, 99. "Doubtless" in part because the "choicest tracts had been secured", only 34 sold in 1816, 19 in 1817, and "very few" in 1818 & 1819. The treaty of St. Mary's in 1813 provided lands known as the New Purchase, and when these were opened up (in 1820), sales revived: in Oct., Nov., & Dec. 1820, 40 tracts sold in Orange and Fairview townships. In 1821 about 120 tracts entered, mostly within Posey, Fairview, and Orange townships. Of the total of 131,000 acres in the county, nearly 2/3 or 79,333 acres had been entered prior to 1819. In 1820 the white male voters totaled 1153. (JDH: note that the 1885 History says William Walker entered 160 acres. His first purchase appears to have been in 1821). Of the early settlers, a larger portion were from Ohio than from any other State. In talking with Mr. A.B. Conwell, he declares that 'the first settlers were nearly all poor, but honest'. Many of them having emigrated with little more than they could carry on their backs, and a man was looked upon as being in affluent circumstances who had a good team and money enough to buy 80 acres or a 'quarter' of land at government prices. Before 1828 there were 1162 taxpayers in the county, of whom only 29 were required to pay more than $5.00 each for state, county, and road purposes. Tavern keepers were furnished with a schedule of prices as follows:

1/2 pint whiskey            12 1/2 cents
strong beer, per quart      12 1/2 cents
dinner, breakfast or supper 25 cents
lodging per night           12 1/2 cents
horse, per night to hay     25 cents
oats or Indian corn per gal 12 1/2 cents