First Settlers of Fairmount Township

Original Site of the McCormick Tavern.

The little pile of rock in the foreground indicates the location of the historic McCormick cabin, often in the first settlement of the new country the first stopping place of the pioneer who came to seek a home in the wilderness. This cabin was the center of hospitality in the early days.

    In the fall of 1826, about the month of September, Robert McCormick came from Fayette County, Indiana.

    On August 15, 1829, he entered land and built his cabin soon after near the crossing of the Ft. Wayne, Muncie and Indianapolis State Road, on the farm later owned by J. and M.E. Wilson, situated one-half mile south of Wilson's ford.

    McCormick moved his family to their new home in October, 1829. His cabin became know far and near as McCormick's Tavern. As the State Road in those days was the principal highway through this section of Indiana, the tavern enjoyed a good trade.

    Near the site of this old tavern is Bethel Graveyard, the quiet spot where lie buried the early settlers of this neighborhood, including Daniel and Mary Coleman, the donors of this land, and Isaac Sudduth, who served in the War of the Revolution, and died at the Coleman home at the age of ninety-nine years. Mrs. Rachel Coleman Haynes, who lives at the Coleman homestead, takes great pleasure in bringing to mind the scenes about the old tavern house in the days when the girls wore poke bonnets and shawls and skirts of great fullness. Her father, Daniel Coleman, a son of Thomas Coleman, served for sixteen years as Justice of the Peace in pioneer days. Mrs. Haynes was married August 26, 1868 to Francis Marion Haynes.

    Robert McCormick came from New York State to Indiana. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1779. He was the father of seven children, namely: Jacob, John, Katie, Eliza, Enos, Lewis and Jane, McCormick was of medium size, dressed plainly, was sober, industrious, thrifty, and exceedingly kind to his neighbors. He was helpful to others and popular with all. He kept tavern from 1826 until 1836, the year of his death. The funeral services, held at his tavern, were attended by a large number of people. The cause of his death was fever, the insidious disease which carried away, prematurely, so many pioneers. He was sick but a short time. McCormick was a member of the Baptist Church. In politics he was a Whig. At the time of his death he owned a section of land. This land was not all comprised in one body. It lay in several different localities within and adjacent to the boundary lines of what is now Fairmount Township. South Jonesboro is situated on part of an eighty-acre tract once owned by McCormick.

    In 1829, according to official records, the first settlers came to Fairmount Township to make their permanent home.

    On June 10, of that year, Josiah Dille purchased from the Government the south fraction of Section 10. James H. Clark, about 1834, bought his land of Dille. Josiah Dille was a brother to James Dille, who at one time lived in Fairmount. Josiah was a younger half-brother to Ichabod Dille, who was many years his senior. Josiah lived for about five years where he first bought land, then moved to what was known as the Dille neighborhood, tow miles north of Jonesboro, on the river. In later years he moved West, with his family, where he died. As he was not given to writing letters, it is not definitely known which State he finally settled in, and there appears to be no information regarding this family now in possession of Grant County relatives.

Source: The Making of a Township, being an account of the early settlement and subsequent development of Fairmount Township, Grant County, Indiana 1829-1917.

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