Sample Chapter – A History of Napoleon, Indiana – Miles Mendenhall

Sample Chapter

A History of Napoleon, Indiana

Miles Mendenhall

A History of Napoleon, Indiana

Miles Mendenhall (1804 – c. 1880)
The son of John and Elizabeth (Betsy) Jennings Mendenhall, Miles was native to South Carolina. Miles married Nancy F Craig, George Craig’s daughter, on October 29, 1828. The couple would have six children. The Mendenhall family migrated to Vevay in Switzerland County sometime around 1815. The family became established as politicians and merchants in the Vevay area. Census records indicate that the Mendenhall family moved to Napoleon in Jackson Township between 1830 and 1840. He opened a store, known locally as the Elkhorn Store, on Madison Street, Lot 29. The name of the store probably derives from the Elkhorn Association of the Baptist Church. Mendenhall’s father in law served as a minister in this church. Mendenhall served as an Associate Judge of Ripley County in 1839 and as Justice of the Peace in Napoleon in 1845. Mendenhall was a major landowner in Napoleon. He acquired his father in law’s property after his death, including the property on which the Central House is located on December 16, 1845. The date of his death is unknown; however the last census listing him was around 1880. At that time he was still listed as a merchant.

Sample Chapter – A History of Napoleon, Indiana – Underground Railroad in Napoleon

Sample Chapter
A History of Napoleon, Indiana
Underground Railroad in Napoleon
Residents of Napoleon, Indiana played an important role in the Underground Railroad system that developed during the years before the Civil War.
Underground Railroad in Indiana
The Underground Railroad was a vast network of people in the North and South who aided fugitive slaves in their flight from slavery. In Indiana the route stretched from communities on the Ohio River to the Michigan border. From Michigan the fugitives fled to Canada and freedom. Forefront in this movement was groups like the American Colonization Society and the Quakers. Many of these groups used agents to go south of the Ohio River to aid slaves wishing to flee.
The Underground Railroad in Ripley County
Many communities in Ripley County served as conduits for the complex Underground Railroad system that developed from about 1820 through the end of the Civil War in 1865. Escaping slaves had several routes from which to choose, depending upon the region they originated. The largest percentage of refugee slaves passing through Southeastern Indiana would have escaped bondage in Tennessee or Kentucky. Others filtered up from the Deep South states of Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana. The route escaping slaves took when fleeing bondage was never a static route; it changed constantly due to many factors.
The Michigan Road
The Michigan Road, completed in 1837, passed through Napoleon and provided a route from Madison on the Ohio River and Michigan City, in the extreme northern part of the state.  Slave bounty hunters traveled the road, searching for runaway slaves. This necessitated a great deal of ingenuity on the part of the Underground Railroad system participants to hide the fugitives on their flight north to Canada and freedom.
Napoleon’s Role
Historical lore indicates that several houses and businesses were involved in the Underground Railroad system and were equipped with a variety of trap doors and hideaways that hid fugitive slaves as they fled. The Railroad Inn and the Elias Conwell structures played a role in the system. Many times slaves in hiding could hear conversations between bounty hunters and residents as the hunters searched for signs of runaways.
Underground Railroad Map
The Ripley County Tourism Bureau publishes a map that details five loops that identify important sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system in Indiana. Trail 5, the Napoleon Route, shows seven spots in and near Napoleon that were part of the movement.

Trail 5 – The Napoleon Route
This tour includes Underground Railroad activity in the village of Napoleon. The route travels north from Versailles on US Route 421 to Napoleon, with side spurs on the Michigan Road and Millhousen Road. It returns to Versailles via US 421.
Trail Stop 1 – Old Michigan Road
Trail Stop 2 – Red Ware Potters Isaac Morris
Trail Stop 3 – Rail Road House
Trail Stop 4 – Barbara Fox
Trail Stop 5 – Mill Pond Thicket
Trail Stop 6 – Elias Cornwall Home
Trail Stop 7 – Barrackman Inn
For more information of the Ripley County Tourism map, visit this link.
https://ripleycountytourism.com/business-directory/4369/underground-railroad-driving-trai

A History of Napoleon, Indiana

A History of Napoleon, Indiana
The Story of Napoleon and Jackson Township

Publishing Date:
December 4, 2019
Description:
Named for Napoleon Bonaparte, the town of Napoleon was platted in 1820, the second town in Ripley County, Indiana. Early in its history, Napoleon was a center of transportation and an important hub in the Underground Railroad. Berry’s Trace, the Michigan Road and the Brookville/Napoleon Road connected the village to distant towns in Indiana as well as with the new state capitol in Indianapolis.

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Other Books in the Ripley County History Series
Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County
A History of Indiana Libraries – Ripley County Edition
Indiana Fire Departments – Ripley County Edition

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Sample Chapter – A History of Batesville, Indiana – Batesville Memorial Public Library

Sample Chapter

A History of Batesville, Indiana

Batesville Memorial Public Library
The Batesville Town Board first approached the idea of building a library in Batesville in January 1905. The Board discussed the idea at the January 9 meeting and passed a resolution to approach the Carnegie Foundation for funds to build it on February 27, 1905. The Carnegie Foundation offered ten thousand dollars on condition that the town commits ten percent of that amount annually for the upkeep of the library. This effort failed, as did others later. By 1913, the Carnegie funds in Indiana ran out.
New Life
The effort to establish a new library in Batesville flared into life once again on February 23, 1928. Miss Hazel Warren, representing the Indiana State Library gave a presentation to interested Batesville citizens at the High School. Her talk, “How to Organize a Public Library” outlined different procedures a community may follow in establishing a library. In 1928, Batesville still utilized the Public Library Service, offered by the State Library. Under this system, the Indiana State Library would send a lot of books to a community for the community to use for three months. At the end of that term, the books returned to the State Library, who would then send out another lot of books. Miss Warren stated that Batesville was the largest town in Indiana still using the Public Library Service. She also noted that there were ten townships in Ripley County with no access to a library. Following this meeting, the Parents and Teachers Association began holding meetings during the remainder of 1928. The following year, a group of citizens met at the Memorial Building on April 10, 1929 to discuss plans.
Success
Finally, in 1933, the reading public of Batesville succeeded in establishing a library. The modest beginning of the library consisted of one room at the new grade school building on Mulberry Street. The library would occupy these modest digs until 1938, when room became available in the basement of the Memorial Building on Main Street. Library patrons and staff continued an ongoing campaign to obtain more space for the library. This almost happened in 1945, when three rooms on the top floor of the Memorial Building became available. The new librarian, Hazel Andreas, lobbied city officials heavily for the space; however, they gave the space to the Girl Scouts instead. At about this time, Head Librarian Andreas began compiling annual reports to use to try to justify the need for more space. Meanwhile, she made do by having the shop class at the high school build more bookshelves and came up with ingenious ideas to better utilize the space she had. Her first report, in 1945, noted that the library contained 2300 books and 246 cardholders and was open only ten and a half hours per week.
Expansion
The Girl Scouts moved into their new home at the corner of Pearl and Mulberry Street, leaving the top three rooms in the Memorial Building open again in 1948. This time Andreas was successful. She gained access to these rooms and engineered the move to this more spacious area. Local businesses donated furniture for the expanded library, which would serve the Batesville public until 1974. Mrs. Andreas initiated a number of programs designed to increase library usage. These efforts included a children’s story hour, reading clubs and poster contests. The effort succeeded and by the late 1960’s the library again needed more space.
Batesville Memorial Public Library
The John A Hillenbrand family donated a tract of land located between Walnut Street, Schrader Street, Elm Street and Hillenbrand Avenue for a new library in 1974. The land had served as the Hillenbrand family home. Hazel Andreas, still serving as head librarian, engineered another move, to the new Batesville Memorial Public Library, which was dedicated on October 20, 1974. Mrs. Andreas retired the following February, after serving as head librarian for thirty years.
George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing
By 1988, the library needed more room, so they constructed an addition that almost doubled the size of the facility. This new George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing was dedicated on October 2, 1988. In 2003, the Library acquired the Cinergy office building on Boehringer Street. They allowed the Batesville Area Historical Society to use the building, now called the Library Annex, as a museum until 2007, when the BAHS moved to its current museum on George Street. The library uses the Annex to host various events and programs. Meeting rooms in the Annex are available for individual or group use. Other services offered by the library include public computers, wireless internet access, meeting rooms and of course, books to read. Visitors will also find DVD’s magazines, special collections audio books, ebooks and newspapers. The library also has an extensive genealogy room for local families to use to research their family trees.

Batesville Memorial Public Library
131 North Walnut Street
Batesville, IN 47006-4897
(812) 934-4706

Sample Chapter – Origin of the County Form of Government – Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana

Sample Chapter

Origin of the County Form of Government

Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana

Origin of the County Form of Government
The county form of local organization originated in England. The English counties, called shires, came into being as local units of government organization in the Ninth Century. The word “shire” derives from the Old High German word “scira” and means “care” or “official charge”. A shire is a unit of local government control with a sheriff, appointed by the king, as the principal executive authority. The word “county” originated from the Old French word, “conté” which denoted a governmental division under the sovereignty of a count, or viscount. When the Normans of France conquered England in 1066, they brought the word with them. County and shire have become synonymous. When the English began colonizing North America they began organizing shires, or counties, as they spread inland. In the United States, and Canada, the county evolved as a local unit of government that originally used geographic features, such as creeks and rivers, as boundaries. These units typically have local officials, such as sheriffs and trustees, to govern them. Each county is subdivided into smaller divisions known as townships.
Counties in Indiana
Indiana has 92 counties, each with its own county seat, or capital, and governing local officials. The first county organized in what is now Indiana was Knox County, established when Indiana was still part of the Northwest Territory. Knox County, organized on June 20, 1790 included the current states, or parts of, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. The last county organized in Indiana was Newton County, created by the state legislature on December 8, 1859. The oldest counties, in general, are in the southern part of the state along the Ohio River.  Most modern counties were separated from either the original Knox County or other later counties. Indiana’s counties were named after either United States Founding Fathers or Revolutionary War heroes. Most have little or no connection to the county whose name they bear.
County Seat
In general, county seats, the seat of a county’s government, are located near the geographic center of the county.  The county court house is located in the county seat. During the early phase of the state’s history, various towns within a county competed fiercely for the county seat. The seat, as the center of county government, attracted settlers in greater numbers and all citizens in the county had to visit the county seat periodically to pay taxes, obtain marriage licenses, file land deeds and other official tasks. Thus, businesses located in county seats had more traffic than businesses in outlying towns. Property values were usually higher and there was higher prestige in having the county seat located in a particular town. Many county seats have been moved at least once and sometimes several times. These moves sometimes created conflicts, both legal, and physical, over the relocation. Shots have been fired over relocations and more than one time county records had to be moved secretly in the middle of the night to stave off conflicts.

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Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana

Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana

Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County, Indiana

Approximately 570 Pages
Sample Chapter
Discover the historic nooks and crannies in Ripley County, Indiana. The Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County reveals the many places history has touched in the county. The author’s included Ripley County History Auto Tour takes the traveler through the many historic places in the county. The book covers many Ripley County towns including Batesville, Versailles, Osgood, Napoleon, Sunman and Milan.

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Other Books in the Series
A History of Indiana Libraries – Ripley County Edition
A History of Napoleon, Indiana

Available In Multiple Formats – Ebook And Softbound:
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Amazon Softbound
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Sample Chapter – A History of Batesville, Indiana – Batesville Area Historical Society Museum

Sample Chapter
A History of Batesville, Indiana
Batesville Area Historical Society Museum

The Batesville Area Historical Society formed on May 20, 1999, with new Batesville resident Doug Evans spearheading the group, which included Judy Tonges and Jean Struewing . Mr. Evans served as the organizations first president, followed by Jean Streuwing in 2000. Mrs. Struewing served as president for many years. On August 18, 2008, BAHS purchased the historic house on George Street and transformed it into its museum, a function it serves today.
Batesville Area Historical Society
The BAHS met monthly, most times at the Batesville Memorial Public Library. Some meetings took place at other sites of historic interest to the community. Many of the early meetings featured speakers or demonstrations of historic interest to the members.
Batesville Area Historical Society Museum
The first museum operated by BAHS operated in a vacant store structure on Main Street during Batesville’s 2002 Sesquicentennial year. After the year of celebration, the Batesville Memorial Public Library agreed to allow BAHS to operate a museum in a building it had purchased on Boehringer Street. This facility opened in 2003. It would remain open until BMPL needed the building, forcing BAHS to put the displays into storage.
Batesville Area Historical Society Museum
BAHS member Elsa Soderberg provided a substantial donation to BAHS to establish a museum in Batesville. On August 18, 2008, BAHS purchased the historic home on George Street to use as a museum. John O. Kaiser, who had established a tavern in Batesville in 1899, had built the home around 1910. The home’s original location was on the site of the current Post Office. It had been moved to its current location when the post office relocated there in 1937. The structure has served as a home and medical office until BAHS purchased it. The structure features a mural painted by students of the 2002 Batesville High School art class and the wood basketball floor from the old Batesville High School Gym.
The first floor of the museum features special exhibits hosted by the museum during the year and the upper floor displays from local businesses in Batesville.
For more information, contact:
Batesville Area Historical Society
15 West George Street
812-934-3266
http://www.batesvilleareahistoricalsociety.org/

Sample Chapter – A History of Batesville, Indiana – Batesville Memorial Public Library

Sample Chapter
A History of Batesville, Indiana
Batesville Memorial Public Library
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The Batesville Town Board first approached the idea of building a library in Batesville in January 1905. The Board discussed the idea at the January 9 meeting and passed a resolution to approach the Carnegie Foundation for funds to build it on February 27, 1905. The Carnegie Foundation offered ten thousand dollars on condition that the town commits ten percent of that amount annually for the upkeep of the library. This effort failed, as did others later. By 1913, the Carnegie funds in Indiana ran out.
New Life
The effort to establish a new library in Batesville flared into life once again on February 23, 1928. Miss Hazel Warren, representing the Indiana State Library gave a presentation to interested Batesville citizens at the High School. Her talk, “How to Organize a Public Library” outlined different procedures a community may follow in establishing a library. In 1928, Batesville still utilized the Public Library Service, offered by the State Library. Under this system, the Indiana State Library would send a lot of books to a community for the community to use for three months. At the end of that term, the books returned to the State Library, who would then send out another lot of books. Miss Warren stated that Batesville was the largest town in Indiana still using the Public Library Service. She also noted that there were ten townships in Ripley County with no access to a library. Following this meeting, the Parents and Teachers Association began holding meetings during the remainder of 1928. The following year, a group of citizens met at the Memorial Building on April 10, 1929 to discuss plans.
Success
Finally, in 1933, the reading public of Batesville succeeded in establishing a library. The modest beginning of the library consisted of one room at the new grade school building on Mulberry Street. The library would occupy these modest digs until 1938, when room became available in the basement of the Memorial Building on Main Street. Library patrons and staff continued an ongoing campaign to obtain more space for the library. This almost happened in 1945, when three rooms on the top floor of the Memorial Building became available. The new librarian, Haze Andreas, lobbied city officials heavily for the space; however, they gave the space to the Girl Scouts instead. At about this time, Head Librarian Andreas began compiling annual reports to use to try to justify the need for more space. Meanwhile, she made do by having the shop class at the high school build more bookshelves and came up with ingenious ideas to better utilize the space she had. Her first report, in 1945, noted that the library contained 2300 books and 246 cardholders and was open only ten and a half hours per week.
Expansion
The Girl Scouts moved into their new home at the corner of Pearl and Mulberry Street, leaving the top three rooms in the Memorial Building open again in 1948. This time Andreas was successful.  She gained access to these rooms and engineered the move to this more spacious area. Local businesses donated furniture for the expanded library, which would serve the Batesville public until 1974. Mrs. Andreas initiated a number of programs designed to increase library usage. These efforts included a children’s story hour, reading clubs and poster contests. The effort succeeded and by the late 1960’s the library again needed more space.
Batesville Memorial Public Library
The John A Hillenbrand family donated a tract of land located between Walnut Street, Schrader Street, Elm Street and Hillenbrand Avenue for a new library in 1974. The land had served as the Hillenbrand family home. Hazel Andreas, still serving as head librarian, engineered another move, to the new Batesville Memorial Public Library, which was dedicated on October 20, 1974. Mrs. Andreas retired the following February, after serving as head librarian for thirty years.
George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing
By 1988, the library needed more room, so they constructed an addition that almost doubled the size of the facility. This new George C. and Margaret Hillenbrand Wing was dedicated on October 2, 1988. In 2003, the Library acquired the Cinergy office building on Boehringer Street. They allowed the Batesville Area Historical Society to use the building, now called the Library Annex, as a museum until 2007, when the BAHS moved to its current museum on George Street. The library uses the Annex to host various events and programs. Meeting rooms in the Annex are available for individual or group use. Other services offered by the library include public computers, wireless internet access, meeting rooms and of course, books to read. Visitors will also find DVD’s magazines, special collections audio books, ebooks and newspapers. The library also has an extensive genealogy room for local families to use to research their family trees.

Batesville Memorial Public Library
131 North Walnut Street
Batesville, IN 47006-4897
(812) 934-4706
http://ebatesville.com

Sample Chapter – A History of Batesville – Bischoff Reservoir

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Sample Chapter 
A History of Batesville 
 Bischoff Reservoir
Elevation – 957.43 Feet Above Sea Level
Brief History
Constructed in 1960 on Bob’s Creek, the city owned lake provides about 1200 acre feet of water to serve Batesville’s need. Since this is about 79% of the lakes capacity, managing for fishing is difficult. Workers drained the lake in 1966 to improve the quality of the water and remove undesirable fish. A fish survey at the time of draining revealed that the lake held about 300 pounds of fish per acre. The city restocked the lake after it refilled with large mouth bass, red ear sunfish, channel catfish, and white catfish.
Location
Bounded by Indiana State Road 46 on the north, Indiana State Road 129 on the west, County Road 1300 N to the south and County Road 450 E, the 200 acre lake serves as a major water supply for the City of Batesville. The thirty-eight foot tall, 640 foot long earthen dam may be seen from County Road 1400 N, accessed from Indiana State Road 129. Residential housing developments, forest and agricultural lands surround the lake. Bischoff’s has an average depth of  8.1 feet, with the deepest point about 27 feet. Bischoff’s has a watershed of about five square miles.
Water Capacity and Lake Access
With a capacity of 624 million gallons and 1920 acre feet capacity, the lake also affords area anglers with ample catches of channel catfish, large mouth bass, smallmouth bass and white crappie. Anglers will find a concrete ramp public access site on County Road 1400 N, accessed from Church Street in nearby Morris, Indiana east of Batesville on Indiana State Road 46. Boats with gasoline motors of up to six horsepower and electric trolling motors are permitted to use the lake. Anglers must possess an Indiana Fishing License. Bischoff’s is also locally known as the Morris Reservoir or the Batesville Reservoir.

A History of Batesville, Indiana

A History of Batesville, Indiana
Description:

A history of Batesville, its organizations, churches, highways, waterways and more.
Publishing Date – TBA
Sometime in 2020
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Sample Chapter
Sample Chapter
Sample Chapter
Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter
Ripley County History Series
Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County
A History of Indiana Libraries – Ripley County Edition
A History of Napoleon, Indiana
Indiana Fire Departments History – Ripley County Edition – Published Spring 2020
A History of Batesville, Indiana

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© 2020 Paul Wonning