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Van Blaricum, John

    This brawny son of Vulcan was the first in Indianapolis to lay a plow, steel an ax, make a grubbing-hoe, or shoe a horse.  He might have been the same that forged the bolts of Jove.  He had a will to dare do anything.  He was as much a terror to the children in an early day as Dave Buckhart was in after years to the "colored society."

    The old man was very clever if you would get on the right side of him, but very few had the good fortune to do so.  He claimed the same right for his hogs, geese and cattle that he did for himself, i. e., to do as they pleased.

    He had an apprentice boy named Jim Shannon.  This boy he whipped with an iron nailrod, as he said it was the only thing that would reach the quick.  He said his skin was like an alligator's, and when he struck him with an iron rode the scales would fly off.  Perhaps he meant the scales of iron from the rod. 

    On one occasion his gees had got intro trouble.  He wished for the power of King Herod for twenty-four hours.  He said he would slay every boy in the setlement of the age of six year and under.  He would commence with John Nowland, and when he got to the Carter boys would take the old man with them.

    Captain John Cain had a very fine dog, which he kept chained in his yard.  Mr. Van Blaricum became very suspicious that this dog was kept for protection against his hogs.  He took his gun and went down to the Captain's house and shot the dog in the presence of the family, and while the dog was chained.  Out of this transaction grew a suit for damages.  It commence in the circuit court, and, I think, ended in the supreme court.  It cost Van Blaricum several hundred dollars.  It was during this suit that it was proved his hogs had been seen in the second story of Hawkins' Hotel.

    A gentleman went to his shop to have some work done, which he needed very much.  Van Blaricum told him he would not stop to make a nail for his coffin.

    Mr. Van B. owned the lot, and had his shop, on the southeast corner of Washington and Meridian streets, where Blackford's block now stands.  He also owned and lived on the lot immediately back of it, fronting on Meridian street.  He sold them and removed to a farm four miles from town, on the Crawfordsville road.

    It was John Van Blaricum who whipped the captain of the steamboat "The General Hanna," and cleared the boat of the balance of the crew in 1831, an account of which will be found on another page.

    He died at his residence in the year 1850.  Like every person else, he had many traits of character--some were bad and some were very bad.

    "In yonder on Whitewater, near Brookville, furnished us with John Van Blaricum, in the year 1821.  He had several sons, some of whom will be mentioned in another sketch.

    "The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands'
    The muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
    Thus, at the flaming force of life our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus, on the sounding anvil shaped, each burning deed ad thought."

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. 114-115.