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Patterson, Robert

Was among those who came to this place in the year 1821.  He was directly from Jennings County, where he had lived a short time prior to his coming here.  He was originally from Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky.

            Mr. Patterson had a large family of children (about ten) when he first came, with the addition of several after he came to this place.  Those of his children that are yet living still remain in the city and neighborhood.

            Samuel J. Patterson, the eldest son, lives on his farm adjoining the city, where he has lived for the last thirty-five years, and near his old mill, where he carried on milling for many years.  This mill was originally built by his father-in-law, Isaac Wilson, and was the first built in the new purchase.  It has been abandoned for some years, and the water power, which was so valuable, turned and used in the mill near the west end of Washington street.

            Elliott M. Patterson, the second son, and as noble hearted a man as ever lived, was killed in Green County, in 1851, by being thrown from a wagon while the horses were running away.  He lived but a few hours after being found.

            Madison, the third son, is the present engineer and surveyor for the city.  He has been engaged in this business for nearly thirty years, and is very proficient in that line.

            James M. Patterson, the fourth son, was, for many years, engaged in the livery business.  In the year 1862 he fell from his chair and expired in a few moments.  He was sitting at his table door, apparently in good health.  It was thought he died of apoplexy.  There are two of Robert Patterson’s daughters yet living, one the wife of the Hon. David Macy, President of the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad, and one of our most enterprising citizens.  The other is the wife of James L. Southard, secretary of the company above referred to.           

            Robert Patterson was for many years Probate and Associate Judge of the county.  He has done a great deal o work on the National road and canals.  He also had the contract for delivering the laws to the different county seats.  This was before we had railroads, and wagons were brought into requisition.  He brought the first pair of mill-stones that came to the new purchase, in 1821, for the mill built by Isaac Wilson, and owned by his son, Samuel J. Patterson, for several years.


Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 120-121.