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This Changing World

The Columns of Will Ball

Logansport Press, June 26, 1949

 Early Settlers

 Personal profit was undoubtedly the sole reason the firm of Walker and Davis of Ft. Wayne furnished an Indian trading outfit to Edward McCartney and sent him to the Mouth of the eel to fit up a trading post for dealing with the Indians.  He had with him the usual trade articles:  brightly colored beads, knives, hatchets and axes and fire water.

 McCartney built his cabin in the spring of 1825.  Williamson Wright, who came here in 1835, says it was located on the north side of the Wabash on what later became the Seybold farm just west of town.  He did not stay there very long as he got into trouble with the authorities by selling his liquid wares to the red men.  He built another cabin, moving his store into it.  A little later, within a year or so, he moved his stock of merchandise and his two Indian wives to Kosciusko County.

 In the meantime, in 1826, Alexander Chamberlain had arrived and built his first cabin on the south bank of the Wabash, probably on the ground of the present residence of Judge Clifford Wild at what is now 505 Cliff Drive.  Chamberlain seems not to have been primarily a trader; instead he hung out a shingle advertising accommodations for travelers.

 The first whites who probably came down the Wabash from the Great Lakes by way of the portage from the Maumee to Little River, found the Indian villages at the forks of the Wabash, near what is now Hungtinton, at the Mississinewa, the Eel, Rock Creek, Deer Creek, Tippecanoe and all other tributaries.

 That is why George B. Walker, the Ft. Wayne trader, sent Edward McCartney to this place to trade his trinkets for the Indian beaver pelts which were the only articles that they owned which were of value to the whites.

 Cyrus Taber, grandfather of Jesse and Graham Taber, came in the spring of 1828, blazing the first trail for wagons from Ft. Wayne.  There were enough whites here by that time to justify the thought of laying out a town so Chauncey Carter bought a section of land from George Cicott, a Frenchman who had been adopted into the Pottawattomie tribe and had used that adoption to secure the reservation of several sections of land in this vicinity.

 John Tipton, from Tennessee, was born in 1786.  His father, Joshua Tipton, had been slain by Cherokee Indians when the boy was seven years old.  He came to Indiana territory with his mother and the rest of his family in 1807 at the age of 21.  An energetic, active, able man, he had at once gotten into the heart of affairs in the new community and quickly assumed a place of leadership that he was to occupy all through his residence in Indiana territory and state.  His first political position was that of justice of the peace, an office that carried much more weight at that time than at present.  His appointment as justice of the peace was made in June of 1811. 

 In November of that same year, he was elected captain of a rifle company following the Battle of Tippecanoe, during which he had distinguished himself by assuming command of his company after the death of his superior officer in the fighting.  His advance in military rank was rapid.  He became successively a major, lieutenant colonel, brigadier general and finally major general in the Indiana militia. 

  He assumed the duties of Indian agent at Ft. Wayne in May of 1823.  From that time until his death at his home in Logansport 13 years later, he was, heart and soul, a partisan of the Upper Wabash.  Tipton built his home on the extreme eastern end of the tract, clearing the land and farming it, until the town outgrew its eastern boundary.  He laid out additions and sold the lots.  His fourth addition reached to 9th Street at the time of his death.  He was “land poor” when he died and his administrators petitioned the court to sell more land in order to get the dollars with which to pay the debts of the estate.

Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April, 2009

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