Jackson County, Indiana, History & Picture Archive

Reading: 1886: History of Jackson County, Indiana. Brant and Fuller.

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450 HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY.
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CHAPTER XIV.

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP - SOIL AND SURFACE SETTLEMENT - LAND
ENTRIES - EARLY CHURCHES - PANTHER HUNTING - DUDLEYTOWN -
CHESTNUT RIDGE - LANGDON.

A PLEASANTER task can scarcely be conceived than that
which devolves upon the chronicler of early history, could
he but reproduce the scenes of one hundred years ago with all
their natural surroundings. They would present a series of tab-
leaux, in which the reader might see the unhewn log hut, its crev-
ices filled with clay, the stick chimney, the broad fire-place, the rough
unseemly furniture and the small clearing. Such pictures were
most familiar to the pioneers, and yet under all these uncomfort-
able circumstances, they were happy and contented, and enjoyed
life to the utmost. They knew nothing of railroads; they had
heard of no locomotives nor dreamed of the grand system of im-
provements we have to-day. Steam thrashers, sulky plows,
mowers and reapers, were alike unknown to them, and are inven-
tions far beyond their most extravagent expectations. The old
wooden plows drawn by a yoke of oxen, the scythe and cradle and
reap hook, were implements with which they were better acquainted.
To note the changes and improvements which have been in the
eighty years that have come and gone since the first settlement
of the county, is the most interesting part of the writer's work.
By the traditions handed down through the past generations,
he sees the "wilderness rejoice and blossom as the rose," the sav-
ages and wild beasts disappear, the log cabins changed into the
comfortable and luxurious homes, and thus, in the great trans-
formation presented, witnesses the culmination of civilization and
refinement.


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