CHAPTER IX. THE TOWN OF SULLIVAN The town of Sullivan was founded as the result of the selection of the site as the county seat, and in this respect was a made-to-order town. Members of the Wralls family had entered the land in this vicinity only about three years before the site was chosen by the county commissioners, so that the place now occupied by the court-house square and all the surrounding ground was little changed from its state of virgin wilderness. William Reed, Samuel Brodie and Abraham F. Snapp were the county commissioners who selected the site. They were free to exercise their own discretion in the matter of selection, provided their choice was fixed upon a place for the court house within a mile and a half of the geographical center of the county. The comparatively high ground between Buck creek and Busseron on which they determined to locate the seat of justice would appear to have been the most eligible place within those limits. It is an interesting fact, and one that is confirmed by numerous bits of evidence throughout this history, that the site of the central portion of Sullivan was formerly wet and swampy notwithstanding the slope toward the beds of the creeks on either side. It is said that in 1843 water sometimes stood to a depth of two feet on the court house square. The Democrat (July 31, 1885) reported that in digging a cistern ON the northwest corner of the square, about three feet below the surface the workmen found the stump of a small tree, and when it was removed a vein of water was discovered which was believed to flow from a spring which about forty years before had been situated about where Julius Hatry's store stands. It was thought that the stump was of a swamp willow, many of which once grew on the ground now covered by the business houses of the town. The townsite was deeded to the county agent (who was the legal agent for the transaction of the business connected with the establishment of the seat of justice), to be divided into town lots, and such as were not reserved for official purposes were to be sold. Of the proceeds, one-sixth was to be given to the former owner of the land, that being a condition of the deed, and the balance was to be used for the erection of a court house and other purposes connected with the county seat. The survey of the original site was completed May 25, 1842, and the first sale of lots occurred the following day. The thirty-five lots sold on that day brought prices ranging from $20 to $100 apiece. The original plat of Sullivan was four blocks square. On the north it was bounded by Beech street, on the east by Broad, on the south by Harris, and on the west by Section. From north to south the streets were Beech, Wall, Washington, Jackson, Harris; from east to west they were, Broad, State, main, Court and Section. Altogether there were 136 lots in the plat. In 1842 it is said that the principal houses of the new town were the log dwellings of Hugh S. Orr, Mason F. Buchanan, George Smith and Squire McDonald and a little blacksmith shop owned by the first named. "Hugh Orr, who bought the first lot in the sale of town lots 23 years ago, is moving to Greene county. His smithy, the oldest building in town, will soon be gone." (Democrat , April 5, 1S66.) Hugh S. Orr died May 19, 1873. After the removal of the county records to Sullivan and the building of the first court house, this soon became a center of business and residence. A description of the village in 1848 mentions a number of well-known citizens of the county and town. On Section street in that year were some one-story frame houses occupied by James C. Allen, then a young lawyer but later congressman from Illinois; John H. Wilson, who was sheriff of the county at the time the county seat was moved from Merom; James W. Hinkle, who had just moved to town and was teaching school; and Drs. John E. Lloyd and James H. and D. B. Weir, also Elias Albertson, John Bridwell and A. J. Thixton. Joseph Gray was one of the few residents of that time who lived in a two-story house. On the corner of Section and Washington streets was Howard's tavern stand, which the proprietor had enlarged to two stories, and of which Washington Lilley became proprietor about this time. (In 1855 this was called the Railroad House, and J. P. Dufficy was proprietor.) Another two-story frame hotel, owned by John R. Mahan, stood on Court street near the corner of the square. On Washington street near the northwest corner of the square were two small store buildings which had been built by Major Stewart of lumber sawed by whip-saw. Maj. Isaac Stewart, Dr. William M. Crowder and James H. Reed also had their dwellings on Washington street. Daniel Turner and F. C. Freeman (a cabinetmaker) were among the few who then lived on the south side of the square. The village was better supplied with physicians at that time than with merchants, artisans or lawyers. James, Samuel and John J. Thompson were practicing here in addition to those already mentioned. For a number of years the affairs of the county seat were conducted in the quiet manner which leaves little record on the page of history. Considerable business was done by the early merchants, who had their small shops around the square and brought their stocks of merchandise overland from Louisville or from some of the river ports. The county officials for the most part lived in the village, and the court sessions and the annual payment of taxes brought a large part of the population of the county into town at least once a year. The county seat was a natural focus of interest during political campaigns. In 1843 James Whitcomb, then candidate for governor, made a speech in Sullivan, which was the first of many successive occasions at which the people have congregated from different parts of the county to listen to political oratory. Besides the social activities that centered around the churches, there were special occasions that brought the people together in social pleasures, and at the homes of the principal families of that day there reigned a hospitality and cheerful ease that compensated for many of the inconveniences that would seem intolerable in this twentieth century. Municipal Growth. Altogether it was a period of individualism, softened by the firm adherence to justice and the general spirit of kindly neighborliness which characterized the people of the time. The churches, the schools, and the countv institutions themselves were products of the instincts and habits of a people who had always been accustomed to the forms and usages of self-government. But the citizenship of Sullivan had not vet advanced far in those activities of a social community which characterize the well organized and highly efficient town government. The growth and improvement of Sullivan as a town corporation may be observed with profit by those who desire to understand the development of municipal affairs. (Sullivan was incorporated as a town government December 8, 1853, by act of the county commissioners, who at that date were William Beard, Levi Maxwell and Jacob Hoke. The population within the corporation limits at that time were enumerated as 350, and the signers of the petition for incorporation, which was dated August 20, 1853, were the following, who may be considered in the light of charter citizens: John J. Thompson, H. S. Hanchett, Robert M. Griffith, John Richards, James Martin, John Bridwell, William C. McBride, Elias Walls, H. S. Orr, Alfred Turner, Alex Talley, William P. Hale, James McKinley, John T. Turner, Thomas J. Carey, John T. Gunn, William E. Catlin, B. Hasselback, William Wilson, Chester O. Davis, James W. Hinkle, John Eaton, James H. Chase, Craven Reed, S. O. Reed, G. W. A. Luzader, C. W. Eaton, Squire McDonald, John B. Hughs, M. E. Chace, James H. Reid. B. C. Sherman, Pleast. Miller, E. Bowyer, Alex. Snow, Daniel Brickey, John S. Davis, Milburn Reed, Eli Shepherd, Andrew Turner, S. Nichols, J. P. S. Reed, W. N. Humphreys, B. V. Wible, Benjamin Stice, W. B. Ogle, A. McIntosh, G. W. Hanchett, W. Griffith, Isaac Copeland, John E. Lloyd, M. Kirkham, William R. Benton, Isaac Stewart, L. H. S. Orr, James McIntosh, B. H. McGrew.) It will be understood that for a number of years after the founding of the town there existed practically no regulations upon the peaceful vocations of the citizens. People lived in town and experienced no more responsibilities and likewise few more conveniences than the rural inhabitants. The streets were not different from the highroads through the country, except that increased travel upon them made them more nearly impassable. For many years there were no sidewalks, except the paths 011 the sides of the streets, and here and there a few boards or some gravel or cinders to keep the feet from burying in the mud. The ragged gleams of an old-fashioned lantern or torch, carried in the hands of those whom business or pleasure led abroad at night, were the only illumination out of doors. The town pump in the public square and the wells and cisterns in private homes were the only sources of water supply. The slops and garbage were disposed of after the fashion of each individual home, and while cach citizen had ample space about his doors it was not a matter of grave concern whether his home and premises were strictly sanitary. But in time, as population increased and as the sense of responsibility of the individual to the community grew, all these matters began to receive attention, and it is a subject of considerable interest to trace the gradual evolution of the present municipality through the many stages of public sentiment and custom. One of the earliest references to be found concerning the municipal condition of the town is contained in the issue of the Democrat for November 24, 1864, and pertains especially to the town burying ground (which was still in the town limits). The citizens were accused of a most lamentable deficiency in public spirit. "Our graveyard (though the public commons in which our dead are interred does not merit the name) has never been enclosed; hogs wallow above the neglected graves; cattle roam through it and eat off what little shrubbery the hands of affection have planted there; no care is taken to protect the stones and monuments from defacement, and the graves are huddled together without order and in utter confusion." A few citizens had made repeated efforts to convene the public and get some action on the matter, but so far without success. The sidewalks were also declared to be a matter of reproach to the town. A year or two ago, said the editor, a few temporary plank walks had been constructed on several leading thoroughfares, but they were imperfectly made at first and have now become almost worthless. The schoolhouse was called "a complete old rookery," which had never been suitably arranged and had now become almost worthless. The next items that are found relating to the status of the town are more optimistic. A letter that was quoted under date of December, 1864, vaunted the population of Sullivan to be about 3,000, and summarized its business as comprising the well filled stores of eleven merchants, three jewelry shops, two merchant tailors, mechanics of all kinds, three hotels, one flouring mill, sawmill and woolen factory and a steam stave and heading factory. In October, 1865, the editor finds the sidewalks and streets to have been put in good order, and a new fence had been built around the court house. It is stated that the town officials have determined that there shall be an equal number of schoolbouses and churches, but the saloon-keepers, not to be outdone in this regard, have called for two more saloons, so that there might be four churches, four school- houses and eight saloons. At a meeting of the town board June 5, 1866, A. F. Estabrook was employed as town engineer to survey and fix the uniform grade of the streets. Work on the streets had hitherto been done under the direction of the supervisors, and the same amount required of each poll. Now it was proposed to put a commissioner in charge and to tax the inhabitants for street maintenance according to their property values. Evidently the year following the close of the war witnessed considerable improvement of the streets. In October, 1866, it was stated that within the previous three months about 4,000 feet of plank walks, four feet wide and uniform in appearance and grade, had been constructed, and that on the business streets 2,500 square yards of brick pavement had been laid. A short time before the sidewalks to the railroad station had been completed. Some new phases of the street improvement question appear to have arisen during the seventies. A paragraph in August, 1878, calls attention to the fact that a few days before some hogs had been turned into the court house yard to act as scavengers in cleaning up the large quantity of decaying rinds and remnants of melons with which the ground was littered. A few months later public sentiment seems to have been aroused against the running at large of hogs. In June, 1880, the Democrat estimates that not less than five hundred hogs were running loose in town without rings in their noses, contrary to the ordinances in such cases. A little earlier in the year a doubt had been expressed whether the town council had the power to prevent by ordinance hogs at large. Their ordinance required that hogs at large should have rings in the nose, but provided no penalty of impounding for animals without the rings. So far as regarded the littering of the court yard with melon rinds, the council imposed a fine of five dollars for eating melons in the square, which proved effectual. Cows shared the privileges of the public streets with hogs. The ordinance prohibiting cows running at large was unpopular with many, and in March, 1882, the board was asked to repeal it. There was much discussion of this matter during the following summer, but the ordinance seems to have fallen into desuetude since during the winter months complaints were heard from the farmers who had made their wagons and sleds comfortable with linings of straw that during their absence in the stores stray cows browsed along the line of vehicles and stripped them of all their forage contents. The cows and hogs continued to have their freedom for a year or more, until in July, 1885, a stock ordinance was passed and a pound was built on the north side of the engine house, after which the subject of strays ceases to attract attention. The first attempt to sprinkle the streets of Sullivan seems to have been made during the very dry summer of 1864, when the merchants around the square tried to use some sort of sprinkler for that purpose, though the scarcity of water rendered the effort almost futile. No evidence of street sprinkling is found until the summer of 1879, when an item states that a machine was to be started by Gilbert Bond. One of the first subjects to demand the attention of a town community is facilities for fighting fire. Fire being the greatest destructive agency that threatens property, it is naturally the first to be guarded against. In fact, public sanitation and comfort generally receive attention only after a community has advanced far in civic importance, but a fire department of some sort is always among the first institutions. In a rural community fire brings loss to but one individual, but the business interests of a town require that buildings shall be placed 011 adjacent lots, so that a fire at one point endangers the entire adjoining neighborhood. Thus it is to the interest of the entire town that a fire be extinguished quickly, and for that purpose organization and discipline become necessary. In the early stages of a town's growth this organization is usually voluntary, and though the spirit of willingness is seldom absent, effectiveness is sometimes sacrificed. Thus during- the first years of Sullivan's existence, a fire brought the citizens together with buckets, which were used to carry water from the nearest well. A fire well started could seldom be quenched by such methods, and it was fortunate if the blaze could be kept from spreading. Sullivan has a long record of destructive fires, and the organization and equipment for fire fighting have never seemed to be adequate for the occasion. No account can be given of the earlier efforts at co-operation in preventing fires, and aside from the purchase of a few ladders and other supplies of a primitive sort there was no organized system in the town until within comparatively recent years. In January, 1870, a meeting was held at the court house, presided over by Lafayette Stewart, for the organization of a hook and ladder company, but the movement did not succeed. A paragraph in the Democrat in 1879 says: "The damage to the Van Fossen and Hunt property, both burned recently, is enough to purchase the best hook and ladder apparatus in the state." The ladders that had formerly been purchased were lost. In January, 1882. a petition was circulated, asking the town board to issue bonds to the amount of $7,000 for the purchase of a fire engine and other apparatus, to build cisterns, and to purchase property in which to keep the apparatus and the street tools. The purchase of some hose and a building on Main street during the following summer shows that the agitation had resulted in some good. The hand engine which was ordered, however, was refused by the town board in April, 1883, and it is probable that the town continued without apparatus for a year or two longer. In June, 1885, the board paid five hundred dollars for a lot west of the McCammon Hotel (which is still the site of the engine house). An issue of bonds ($6,000) had been ordered, and were sold to a Sullivan County bank at a premium after the council had provided that interest on them should be paid semi-annually. The next month, plans and specifications for the engine house and city hall, as prepared by Kent Coulson, were accepted by the council, and a contract let to Hoke & Co. for the building at $1,942. The contract for building fire cisterns was awarded to Ben Hubbard, who began digging them at the corners of the square. About the same time a hand engine arrived, and a steamer was ordered from Cincinnati ($2,650). It was guaranteed that twelve men could pull the engine without difficulty, that it could pump fourteen barrels a minute. Two hose carts and 1,200 feet of hose were also bought. On August 31st the town board selected Elliott Hamill for chief of the fire department. Ben Briggs was chosen captain of the fire company and Charles Crawley first lieutenant, while John Glass became foreman of the hook and ladder. January 12, 1886, is chronicled the arrival of the first steam fire engine in Sullivan. Ed Devol was chosen engineer. Little improvements were made in the town fire department from this time until the building of the water works. The establishment of water works is a notable event in the history of every town. While a center of population consists of little more than a collection of individual homes and the stores, churches and schoolhouses, every detached dwelling may have its well, and the town pump affords a general supply. While people live without crowding, after the manner of a village, there is slight danger of contagious disease, and sanitation is left largely to individual care. But as population increases and concentrates, there comes the necessity to take more and more the care of these details from the individuals and entrust them to the collective management of the community. This is done for the better health, the greater convenience and comfort, and, in the end, the superior economy of all who live in the community. October 29, 1895, a petition of more than a hundred Sullivan taxpayers was filed, asking for an election to take the sense of the town on the subject of increasing the municipal debt for the purpose of establishing water works. The following November 22d the citizens voted 011 this question, casting 267 votes for and 197 votes against the proposition. Early in the following year a civil engineer was employed to prepare plans, which were adopted by the council on the 18th of March. In May supplementary specifications were adopted for the dam across the Busseron, and on June 4th the council entered into a contract with the Howe Pump and Engine Company for the construction of the plant. The latter undertook to construct a complete system of water works according to the plans, to hold the town harmless from all damages in case of overflow, to procure the consent of the county commissioners to dam the Busseron. The contract also provided for the formation of a water company, to procure all real estate, right of way, and to purchase and pay for all material to the amount of $18,000, as specified, and to issue bonds to the amount of $18,000 on the property and franchises, ami eventually all the property of the water company was to be conveyed to the town of Sullivan and also all the company's stock fully paid up. For the establishment of water works, the town board issued bonds to the amount of $22,000, with interest at five per cent payable semiannually. Under this contract the company at once began the work of construction. In August, 1896, the Democrat reported the failure of the Howe Pump Company, through a "flattening out" of the market for municipal bonds, of which the company had a large amount on hand, and the work was suspended for some time, leaving the streets in a damaged condition. The plant was finally completed, the total cost being $41,857.61. The cost was more than the constitutional limit of municipal indebtedness allowed, and it was for the purpose of evading this limitation that a private company was organized, known as the Sullivan Water Works Company, which took title to the property and franchises and gave a mortgage on the system for $18,000. In a few years the water works were found to be inadequate, and the supply was insufficient and of poor quality. In 1901 private capitalists offered to buy the municipal plant and assume the bonded debt, promising to furnish an ample supply of pure water. The town found that it was operating the plant at a loss of one thousand dollars yearly. Various proposals have been made within the past few years by private companies to buy the plant and supplement the supply either by wells or by bringing water from the Wabash. In the winter of 1902-03 the town sunk a well which it was estimated yielded about 350 gallons a minute, but this was insufficient. In 1905, the Commercial Club offered a solution of the problem. It organized the Sullivan Water Works Co., which was to assume the franchises, property and debts of the municipal plant, in return for which the town should retain a controlling share of the stock of the company. Much enthusiasm was aroused over this enterprise, and the Commercial Club undertook, with much energy, to carry out the details of the plan. However, the test wells at New Lebanon and elsewhere, which were expected to furnish the water supply, proved disappointing, and the decision of the supreme court, early in January, 1906, that the mortgage on the water plant constituted a part of the town indebtedness, blocked the way for all the improvements planned by the town board. The available credit as a result of the decision was reduced to $12,500 instead of $25,000. upon which basis the board had proposed the improvements. At this writing the water works problem is still before the people of Sullivan. During the drouth of 1908 only the most stringent regulations of the use of city water maintained a sufficient quantity of water in the standpipe to afford fire protection. This failure of the system, however, cannot be charged entirely to the plant, since the severity of the season was such that few towns in the state escaped water famine. Until about twenty years ago. the streets of Sullivan were as dark as the highways of the country. An item dated in August, 1883, records the failure of an effort to induce the business men to procure lamps to light the streets in front of their stores, but only two firms adopted the suggestion. Early in 1888 the lighting of the streets began to receive more serious consideration. By that time electricity had become popular as a source of municipal lighting, and it is of interest that Sullivan was among the most progressive towns of the state to use this kind of lights. In April of this year a local company contracted with the town board to supply thirty lights for the streets, at $208.33 per month, and in the following July the company arranged for the construction of the power house on the west side of Court street, near the mill pond. The plant was completed, the dynamos installed, and on October 8th a public test of the lights was made, which took the form of a celebration, large crowds of people gathering on the streets, entertained by music from the Sullivan band, and with speeches delivered from the band stand by Judge Buff, John S. Bays, John T. Hays, and John T. Beasley. The electric light company had not carried out its contract without considerable opposition. After the contract had been made between the company and the town board, suit was commenced to enjoin the town treasurer from collecting the tax. Meantime the company had bought its plant, commenced building the engine house, putting up poles. When Crowder and McCammon forbade the company to dig holes in the pavement near the bank and hotel, the company replied by seeking an injunction to prevent these parties filling up the holes, etc. . The contract between the company and town expired at the end of 1893, and in anticipation of a renewal of the contract a new company was formed and erected a plant to supply the town with arc lights for street lighting. The new company offered thirty arc lights to the town for $50 each, which was a saving of over thirty dollars per lamp over the former price. The plant was completed and a test of the lights made in April, 1894. Two months later the new company had failed, the engine and equipment being replevined by the firms which had installed them. The town could not agree with the old company on satisfactory terms for arc lights, and in September contracted with Noah Crawford to furnish lights at $63 each, the contract to run seven years, including the remaining four years of the contract with Mr. Cluggage, of the company which had failed. In May, 1901, the Sullivan Light, Heat and Power Company purchased the Citizens Electric Light and Power Company, which was the company owned and controlled by Mr. Crawford, the consideration being $10,000. Both companies had continued in competition until that time, but the plants were now consolidated. In April, 1907, Michael McMonan, of Sullivan, and C. R. McGaughey, of Brazil, purchased the electrict light plant, and after operating it for less than a year, on petition of William F. Poole, the plant was put into receivership in February, 1908. Sullivan Schools. The old county seminary was a central institution of the school system at Sullivan for many years, and the building was used for the town schools long after it was sold by the county authorities. The public funds were insufficient to support free schools more than three or four months each year, and during the remaining months of the year some teacher would usually conduct a private school. Mrs. Jane Booth was one of the teachers of the fifties and sixties who taught both public and private schools. For the fall term of public school in 1864 Mrs. Booth was chosen principal; Miss Lizzie Moore, first assistant; Miss Dora Brouillette, second assistant, and Miss Laura Parks, primary. The seminary building was hardly habitable at the close of the war, and there was not enough money to pay for repairs and the maintenance of school, too. Yet the district was unable to provide better accommodations for several years. The seminary building was last used during the year 1871-72, when a free school of seven months was taught, with 434 pupils enrolled, and one principal and five assistants. In 1872 school was first taught in the new building. That year was also notable for the removal of Professor Crawford's seminary from Farmersburg to Sullivan. The public schools and the normal department were conducted together for several years, but this arrangement, although it brought a large number of students here from out of town, proved a burden upon the common schools, and the partnership between Ascension Seminary and the public schools was dissolved. O. J. Craig was selected as superintendent of the schools in 1880, and for the first time in the history of the town there was promise of sufficient funds to continue the public schools for nine months. In May, 1882, the first class was graduated from the Sullivan high school, consisting of James R. Riggs, Addison E. McEneny and C. R. Hinkle. The school accommodations became very inadequate during the decade of the nineties. In May, 1901, the citizens defeated by a vote of 327 to 297 a proposition to issue $20,000 in bonds for the building of a new schoolhouse. But in January, 1904, an overwhelming majority was given in favor of the erection of a high school building, and in the following September the cornerstone of this building was laid. Sullivan now has excellent school buildings, both ward and high school. Sullivan Landmarks. By the processes of time, decay and fire and ruin, our American towns quickly cover up the past, and in Sullivan it is hardly possible to find any buildings that bear the dignified marks of old age. The court house itself is the oldest building of any note, having stood at the center of the square for more than a half century. In December, 1878, fire destroyed the old National House, about which many of the early associations of visitors to Sullivan gathered. It had been in existence since shortly after the founding of the town, and had known various proprietors, Squire Van Fossen being the last. The Hotel McCammon, which was recently burned, was of much later date than the National. It is stated that at the formal opening of this hotel, February 14, 1882, nearly all the business men and leading citizens of town were invited to a sumptuous dinner. The two-story building on the east side of the square, with its double balconies, was built by Dr. Coffman in 1897, an old frame building being removed from the site. The Davis House, which is the most modern hotel of the town, was built by the Davis brothers, the plans being accepted in the summer of 1897 and construction work begun shortly afterwards. Its ground dimensions were 90 by 35 feet, and it was designed to have 48 sleeping rooms on the second and third floors. The front is of stone and pressed brick. The business block on the south side of the square, which was subject to the ravages of the fire of January, 1909, was built more than thirty-five years before. The laying of the foundation of this block, according to an item of September, 1873, was commemorated with a salute of thirteen guns, one for each business house in the row. The salute was in charge of Colonel McBride, chief of the local artillery corps. To those who have been familiar with the growth of buildings about the square, the following paragraph from the Democrat of May 13, 1884, will prove of some interest: The store room now occupied by T. K. Sherman & Son was the first brick business house in Sullivan. It was built by William Wilson. It has been remodeled for its present purposes, large plate glass windows put in, vestibules and side lights, and handsome walnut doors. The passing of another landmark drew forth the following comment from Mr. Briggs in the issue of June 28, 1876: The old tavern on the corner of Section and Washington streets is being torn down, the present proprietor, James B. Patten, intending to remodel the main building and to move off the attachments. At an early day this locality was a focus of business and trade. Mr. Gray had a store house on the opposite corner, and John Bridwell a store 011 the west side of Section street, while the Bamberger store was on the corner south. When we first knew the tavern Mr. Dufficy was proprietor, and it was then in its palmiest days. Afterwards it passed into the hands of Maguire, who opened a bar in the office, and later Squire Van Fossen conducted it semi-occasionally until within the last few years, when it failed to pay. This corner was visited by fire in September, 1884, resulting in the destruction of the old house on the southwest corner and the warehouse of Crawley and McKinley. "If there was an older house in town than the two burned last Saturday night, we don't know where they are," remarked the Democrat . "Thirty years ago the dwelling was occupied by John S. Howard. The other was erected by the late Joseph Gray for a store house, and upstairs was located the Democrat office for the first two or three years of its existence." (Referring to the time when the Democrat was publishing in this old building, in an issue of 1890 the proprietor of the paper mentioned the use of the Washington hand press for printing, and said that copy for the paper was sometimes cut from an almanac. Mail was still carried on horseback from Merom, there were no sidewalks in town, and a polished boot or shoe was rarely seen. Except the courthouse, there were only two or three brick houses in the place.) For over fifty years Barnett Saucerman followed the trade of gunsmith in Sullivan, and hunters came from miles around, bringing him their defective or broken firearms. With the tearing down of his old shop at the corner of Broad and Beech streets, in the summer of 1901, passed a landmark that had stood for nearly forty years. A few days before the old shop was knocked to pieces the venerable gunsmith was photographed at the door of the shop, having a trusty old rifle on his knees. The proprietor of the gunshop died June 27, 1902, at the age of eighty-one. He was a native of Coshocton county, Ohio, had learned his trade as a boy, and came to Sullivan county in 1847, his first home being on a farm near Abbey Mill in Cass township. He served in the 85th Indiana Infantry, and was with Sherman's army in the campaign to the sea. Chronology of Sullivan Fires in Recent Years. April, 1885-Fire destroyed the Masonic building, corner of Main and Washington, and so quickly that the records of the lodge on the third floor could not be saved. The town was still without fire protection. The loss was between $30,000 and $40,000, the Times office, the American House, and the Calvin Taylor law library being among the list of damage and ruin. September 12, 1886-Livery stables of Lucas, Russell & Joyce, at rear of brick building on the north side of the square, burned. Other attempts to start fires indicated incendiarism. October 1, 1886-Burning of two frame buildings at the south end of the west side of the square causes talk of establishment of fire zone. October 29, 1886-Fire destroyed Johnson's photo gallery on north side of square. October 31-Crowder's hay press and a barn at rear of buildings on the west side of the square burned. January 11, 1887-South side corner of Court and Jackson streets ruined by fire. July 5-Planing mill of Hoke & Co. burned; loss, $7,000 to $10,000. December 14, 1889-Bauer & Son's flouring mill, near depot, burned, total loss being $18,000 to $20,000. September 25, 1891-In early morning fire broke out in Leach warehouse, near E. & T. H. depot, extended across right of way to freight depot, north to warehouse owned by P. R. Jenkins and Miss Jennie Thornhill, south to the Snow warehouse, and two box cars burned. Total loss about $20,000, with only $3,000 insurance. February 10, 1892-Sawmill of Mahley and Co. burned, after being in operation two years. February 26-Stivers and Bland pork packing house burned, at a loss of several thousand dollars. August 12, 1892-The Sullivan expert fire company disbands after seven years' existence. The members have always responded promptly to fire arms, even going beyond the city limits. Dissatisfaction because of failure to remit their taxes as provided by law. November 23, 1899-Jacob Mahley's sawmill burned; total loss, $10,000. October 21, 1906-National Bank building damaged by fire to extent of several thousand dollars. August 13, 1908-The McCammon Hotel, on the corner of Washington and State, gutted by a fire that burned for four hours, leaving all of third and most of second and first stories in ruins. Loss on building, $12,000; to the proprietor, Mrs. Hinkle, $4,000. September 9, 1908-Fire of unknown origin, beginning in the livery barn of J. Ed. Blume, on South Alain street, destroyed the livery stable; loss $2,000, insurance $2,000. The Colonnade Theater, loss $14,000, insurance, $8,000; Baptist parsonage, loss $2,200, insurance, $1,600; J. B. Mullane's hardware and furniture store, loss $4,600, covered by insurance; F. M. Douthitt clothing store, loss $8,000, insurance $4,000; Central store, loss $4,000, covered by insurance. Total amount of property destroyed was about $40,000. The severe drouth of this season and limited water supply accounts for the destructiveness of this fire. January 31, 1909-Fire starts in Herman Schmidt & Co.'s hardware store from stove or crossed wires. The water plugs were frozen, much time lost in getting them to work, and a strong northeast wind carried the fire 011 until property to the value of more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was consumed. The detail loss was: J. B. Mullane, $30,000 stock, $15,000 building; Central Store Co., $25,000 stock; Ben Davis and Joe K. Smock, $12,000 building; F. M. Douthitt, $16,000; C. H. Edwards, building, $5,000; Herman Schmidt, $8,000 stock; Ella Dix, $4,000; Herschel Ford, $4,000 stock, building owned by local company, loss $4,000; Leonard & Goodman, $4,000 stock, $4,000 buildings; Reed and Batey, $4,000 stock; Dale and Son, $2,000 stock; Sullivan Light & Heat Co., $4,500 fixtures and equipments. Insurance carried amounted to about $52,000. Public Improvements and Growth. November 3, 1864-Sidewalk mania is prevailing to an alarming extent. Almost every individual you meet has a subscription for the construction, of a plank walk out his street. The most important one projected is to reach to the depot and will cost $500. March 23, 1865-There has never before been such a demand for houses to rent, not only dwellings, but business houses, shops, etc. February 3, 1875-J. C. Briggs petitions for continuance of Harris street west, and R. H. Crowder for a new street between his lot and Charles F. Briggs', due north to a point west of Jackson street, thence east to west end of Jackson. (These are the streets that meet at the library). August 6, 1879-Court house has no janitor. The sheriff is employed to clean up the court room previous to each term of court, but it becomes foul before the term ends and thus remains until the succeeding term. September 15-Bill Joyce enters upon duties as janitor. May 5, 1880-Contract awarded for excavating, grading, slagging and graveling the streets around the square. June 29, 1883-Most exciting case in court last week was damage suit of John Fordyce against town for opening Harris street west; was awarded $373 damages. July 17, 1883-Nice brick sidewalks have been put down on Court street, south from the square. October 12, 1883-Town board has ordered sidewalks on the east side of Broad street and the south side of Gray to the depot. The property owners on West Washington street have presented a petition agreeing to grade and slag that street next spring if the board will rescind order for sidewalks. A petition generally signed by property owners in the southeast part of town states that Broad street is simply a deep ravine and receptacle for all kinds of rubbish. July 4, 1884-The town has undertaken to put in tile along the streets where property owners pay cost of the material. (This order rescinded August 15). September 26, 1884-Trouble arises over the order of the board to widen the south end of Court street. The town marshal in pursuance of an order from the town board proceeded to remove the fences which obstructed the widening. One woman whose grounds were exposed by this action penned up all the stock that trespassed 011 them, and among other strays thus taken in were some hogs belonging to one of the town trustees. (The case got into the courts, and by change of venue went first to Greene and then to Knox county, and was eventually compromised except with one party). April 24, 1885-West Washington street, after many vexing delays, has been graded and graveled. The residents along the street are grading the space between the sidewalks and the street, and are sowing it with grass seed. The effort will not prove successful if cows and hogs continue to roam the streets. July 1, 1887-County commissioners have contracted for stone walks from the court house to each entrance of the park, to be of sawed Bedford stone. November 18, 1887-Contract let for sewer on Broad street from Washington street to a point south of the I. & I. S. R. R. To be built jointly by town and county, at a cost of about $4,000. The county is taking part in order to secure drainage for the jail, injunction proceedings having been begun to restrain the emptying of sewage on a near-by lot. August 30, 1888-The grading of Main street preparatory to graveling begun. September 9, 1890-Town board has an engineer employed to straighten boundary lines of streets in east part of town. There is some antagonism from men whose fences must be removed, but fences are useless and unsightly since cattle have been kept off the streets. February 13, 1891-Misfortunes of town in way of damage suits have aroused the trustees, and the marshal is now ordered to inspect crossings and streets once a week. March 13, 1891-The town board has ordered the improvement of Court street, the engineer being ordered to survey and establish the grade and a committee being appointed to determine the style in which the work will be done. March 31-Town board and committee decide to pave Court street with brick, contrary to the wishes of the property owners, who want gravel. April 10, 1891-Bids were received by the town board 011 April 10 for the extension of the Broad street sewer. The sewer was made necessary by threats of the property owners south of the woolen mill to sue the factory owners for allowing the waste to run down the ravine. August 4, 1891-The town board has let the contract for graveling the streets in the southwest part of town-Jackson from Court to Crowder, Crowder street, and Johnson street from Crowder to Bell. August 18-Brick walks ordered 011 the south side of Jackson street, both sides of Crowder street, and both sides of Johnson, west from the intersection of Crowder. December 15-Graveling of Thompson street and brick walks ordered. May 24, 1892-Contracts let for grading and graveling Court street. June 28-Contract let for graveling from head of Main street to depot. August, 1894-Contract let for graveling North Court and Thompson streets. Thanks to energy and management of John L. Thompson, West Washington street has been graded to the bridge, and Vineyard hill has been cut down and the bottom filled. Mr. Thompson collected some of the money and donated his own time and money to the work. June 25, 1895-Graveling ordered done on State street, south from Washington to Marion and north from Cochran; on Section street, south from Harris to corporation line; on Sylvan Dell, from Crowder street to corporation line. July 13, 1897-Town board votes to pave with brick the alley back of the buildings on the north side of the square. January 30, 1902-J. B. Mullane lias placed on sale a number of lots north of town. April 17--Town is growing rapidly, changes being especially noticeable on East Washington street, where, houses now extend beyond the old fair grounds. July 23, 1903-Silver Chaney, John C. Chaney, and L. A. Stewart purchase for ten thousand dollars 134 acres south of town, with the intention of making a new subdivision. September 3, 1903-The town board decides to pave the square with brick and remove the hitch racks. (A protest follows against brick paving). August 4, 1904-At recent town board meeting, the city engineer, Richard L. Bailey, made a report of his survey of the sanitary and storm sewerage system for that part of town lying west of State street. The report has been accepted, and the work will be performed under the law empowering a city to assess the cost of such improvements against property owners. September 8-The board having set a time for hearing objections to the proposed sewerage construction, not a citizen appeared to enter his objection. September 15, 1904-Auction sale of lots in South Sullivan results in sale of 99 at total of $7,592.50. November 3-Walks of vitrified brick to be built from Court street to new Southern Indiana depot. January 19, 1905-Sewer system, after many revisions and the protest of many citizens, adopted. February 23-All bids from contractors for construction of sewer system rejected. August 17, 1905-Street Commissioner Scott appears before the county commissioners asking that they keep the hitch racks clean and put in cement curb, gutter and sidewalk around square. July 5, 1905-The district around the E. & T. H. depot becoming quite a business section and new buildings going up. Some older residents remember when this was the principal business part of town, and trade centered in and around the half dozen stores near the depot. Recently only shacks have existed in "depot town." September 21, 1905-The town board decides to pave with brick Washington street from Section street to the E. & T. H. railroad, Jackson street from Section to State street, and also the pulpit square; and to lay cement walks 011 the north side of Beech, from section to Broad, on the west side of Court, from Gravsville to Wall, and on the east side of Cross, from Gravsville to Washington streets. April 25, 1907-Town board orders the paving of North Court street with brick, and the improvement of Troll street with crushed rock, cement walks, gutters and curbing. Sullivan Cemetery. The first cemetery of Sullivan was abandoned over forty years ago. It was located within the corporation limits. It is said that when Sullivan was platted, no provision was made for a burying ground. The first death was in the family of H. K. Wilson. It was suggested, as the only suitable place at the time, that the child be buried in broken ground southeast of town. The site was out-lot No. 12, of the original town plat, a little less than two acres. Broad street was on the west side, and the cemetery ran south from Harris street. After a quarter of a century the old ground was filled up. The location was unsatisfactory, as the town had by that time grown around it. An association was formed to locate and lay off a new cemetery, and in the spring of 1867 selected the ridge west of town on the old Hughes farm. This point, when the county seat was located at Sullivan, had been designated as the exact geographical center of the county. This fact suggested the name for the burying ground, "Center Ridge," the name which now appears carved in the stone arch of the new entrance to this beautiful God's Acre. In the southwest corner of Center Ridge is a row of stones marking the graves of some who had first rested in the old cemetery. The bodies were removed from the old to the new cemetery, but in some cases the relatives and friends of the deceased could not be found and the town trustees bought the lots in the southwest corner of the cemetery for the graves of those who had no relatives and friends to attend to the removal. Center Ridge occupies a high ground above Buck creek. There are many native trees, and little artificial landscape gardening was needed to produce the quiet beauty that should adorn the home of the dead. Several years after the cemetery was laid out, rose bushes and other shrubbery were set out, and the beginning thus made has been continued. A sidewalk was built from town to the bridge over Buck creek, and at the present time a cement walk leads to the new gateway, and a new concrete bridge will also be constructed over Buck creek. In December, 1893. it was reported that the trustees of the cemetery association had expended between three and four thousand dollars in grading and graveling drives in the cemetery, in making lots with stoneware posts and clearing the north end of the grounds. The following year, the management of the cemetery was made more systematic, rules being made for the filling and grading of lots, planting of vines, shrubs and trees, all to be done under the supervision of the superintendent. About 1896 twelve acres additional ground was bought, on the west side of the first plat. The cost of this new ground was $3,584.75, and the cost of surveying, fencing and planting of trees was about $250 more. A few years ago there existed in Sullivan an organization known as the Literature Club. Rev. Bartlett, pastor of the Presbyterian church, was the leader in the movement. The members studied and read the standard works of English poetry, drama and fiction. The last meeting of the club was held in June, 1890. In 1893 a meeting at the home of Judge Briggs took steps to reorganize, but the plans seem to have been somewhat changed, for during the following winter the Sullivan Historical Club took its place and studied the history of the United States. It is of interest that on the occasion of the club banquet at the home of Judge Briggs, in February, 1894, Mr. A. G. McNabb introduced a discussion of the needs of library facilities for the work which the club was doing, and this was followed by a talk from Judge Briggs, in which he suggested an organized movement to obtain a library. The topic was a favorite one among the club members during their subsequent meetings. The coming of the Van Amberg circus to Sullivan in 1906 recalled an interesting bit of pioneer history. The original circus of this name was the first traveling show, it was said, to exhibit in Sullivan. The story was that when the advance agent appeared to engage a site for the tent, he found none available that was large enough, but he advertised the circus and went away. When the wagons of the circus drove into town on the appointed day, they could find no place to pitch their tent. The county commissioners were just beginning to clear the ground for the court house, and the versatile circus manager offered to clear the site if he might be allowed to pitch his tents there. The bargain was made, and some of the citizens took part in the arduous frolic which the circus men made of clearing off the brush and trees. The pioneer days of Sullivan were recalled in an issue of the Democrat in February. 1906, in speaking of Air. William Catlin, whose parents had moved to the county about 1823. Mr. Catlin recollected seeing Indians pass along the trail which crossed the site of Sullivan town. This route was sufficiently used by the Indians, who, of course, walked single file, to keep the trail worn hard and smooth. At the day of the first sale of town lots in Sullivan a large crowd of settlers stood on the northwest corner of the square. The day was rainy and it was difficult to find a spot which was not covered with water, and Mr. Catlin, with others, took their stand on a log which lay across a pool of water near the auctioneer.




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