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Green Township

According to the most authentic records available, Green Township was first settled in 1833, or perhaps a little earlier, by a man named Krewson, who squatted in the southwestern part.  He had a wife and two or three children, the wife being a large, coarse woman with a stentorian voice, and much addicted to profanit.  About 1834 or 1835 the land on which the Krewsons settled was entered at Fort Wayne by Samuel Gray, and Krewson was obliged to leave, going no one knew whither.  Gray sold the property about 1839 to Samuel Lindsey, who, with his family, took immediate possession.  Stories are told of Gray which indicate that he was much addicted to sharp practices in regard to land transactions.  Mr. Lindsey had purchased of him another tract, lying east of the Krewson property, but it afterward appeared that the transaction was not lawfully made, as Gray did not own the property, not yet having entered it at Fort Wayne.  Mr. Lindsey, however, kept the land.  Soon after this he was taken sick and was attended by a pioneer doctor, but grew steadily worse until he died, leaving his wife and a large family of children practically without means of support.  In addition to this calamity, the eldest son, about sixteen years old, was drowned in Lindsey Lake, and the care of the family fell upon the mother and Hiram, a lad of thirteen years.  Rightly or wrongly, the family suspected that the doctr had been bribed to poison the father by some one having a grudge against him, but the mystery was never cleared up.

In 1835 Jacob Eyman and ZBenjamin Macemore arrived, the former locating in the northern part on land which he entered the following year, and the latter some distance to the south.  William E. Boner came in 1828, as also did George Benner, Christian Kinsey, William Caswell and perhaps others.  Several also rrived in 1838, including William McDaniel, Robert Gaff and David Boner.  The last mentioned was inspector at the first election, held probably in March, 1839, at which about fifteen persons were present.  Benjamin Macemore, it is said, was elected township clerk and William Caswell, a squatter was elected justice of the peace by the vote of the canal men.

In addition to those mentioned, among the earliest settlers in Green were Oliver McWilliams, John Allen, Noah Blue, George Brown, Peter Coil, David Crimmins, John Carothers, Anson Herandeau, Thomas Kiger, John Lindsey, John Olinger, George Ott, John Ramer, John Richard, Daniel Ragan, Solomon Sanford, Lyman B. Whelan, Oliver Strong, William Widup, Thomas Weeks, David A. Kester, Adam Dingman, Chauncey Walker and Christian Kinsey.  At that early period there was no lack of wild game, including bear, deer, and turkey, which the settlers shot for food, as well as wolves, which they destroyed whenever they had the opportunity to protect their sheep, pigs and fowls.  One of the best huners was William McDaniel, of whose prowess many stories were told.  He went one day to an early election, and on his arrival discovered that the men who had arrived before him had been shooting at a mark -- a nail-head as far off as it could be seen.  No one had hit the mark.  Mr. Gaff offered to bet the whiskey for the crowd that McDaniel could hit the nail at the first attempt.  The bet was taken and Mr. Gaff won, as on examination it was found that McDaniel's bullet had split itself on the nail-head.

In 1855 a double tragedy occurred.  In June William Applegate and Franklin Weirich were engaged in digging a well for George Shmbaugh.  They had been to dinner and it was Applegate's turn to descend into the well and dig.  A moment later Weirich looked won and saw Applegate lying at the bottom.  He called for some one to let him down to go to ssistance of his friend, but as soon as he had reached the bottom he gasped for breath and called to be pulled up.  This was hurriedly attempted, but when half way up, he fell back to the bottom, breaking his neck.  Both men were dead and their bodies were rescued by means of hooks.  Great excitement prevailed and much sympathy was felt for the friends of the victims.  Weirich left a wife and several small children who suffered great hardships after their natural protector was taken from them.

Some of the blacklegs and counterfeiters who infested the county in pioneer days had their homes or rendezvous in Green Township, and on one occasion, a few years after the tragedy above nrrated, Samuel and Jacob Kester found under an old stump half a bushel of unstamped copper pieces, which had evidently been designed to be galvanized with silver and stamped as half-dollars.  In a swamp not far from the same place a buggy and rusty gun-barrel were also found, the mute evidences probbly of some former crime.  The eastern part of the township was mostly settled by Irishmen who had been employed to work on the canal, and who, when that work was abandoned by the state, found the readiest means of making a livelihood in the cultivation of the soil.

Perhaps the earliest mill in the township was erected by Chancey C. Walker, about 2 1/2 miles south of Green Center, on Blue Grass Creek, or Blue River, as it was later called.  It was a large building designed originally as a saw-mill, but a grist-mill department was attached to it soon after, and it was well patronized in its double capacity for eight or ten years, after which it was abandoned.  About 1857 Solomon G. Swigart built a saw-mill half a mile southwest of the Center, putting in steam and a muley-sa.  After being operated for many years it was burned down, but was rebuilt by Levi Diller, who improved it into a mill with a capacity of 10,000 feet or more a day, and for a number of years did a good business.  In 1844 Mason M. Merriam opened a small grocery store, where he also sold liquor, and Hiram Lindsey also for a number of years kept a general store on his farm which was found a convenient trading-place by the people in the vicinity.  Christian Kinsey kept a tavern on the Goshen road, and a number of the other early settlers also entertained travelers, for lack of public accommodations.  Stores were also kept at the Center by A. H. Andrews, William Hale, Edward Matthews and others.  The churches and schools may be found elsewhere mentioned.

Robert M. Waddell, History of northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties, Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1920, Noble County, pgs. 439-440.