Mar 092011
 

Leave-it competition – The dogs are not supposed to eat the hot dog!

Feb 072011
 

The first settlement of Avon was about the year 1830. It was dense forest everywhere. In small clearings little cabins of round logs sprang up and in a very short time this became a “neighborhood.”

In 1833 the first of many post offices were setup and the area was known as Hampton. Later in 1852 it was called White Lick.

In 1867 a Mr. Smoot ran a store and a headed petition to Washington for a post office but no name was suggested for the new office, so the authorities used the first name on the petition. When the commission, dated April 28, 1868, reached him the listed name was Smootsdell.

When the Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad was being surveyed the man marking the stakes made fun of the name of our post office, and said, “I’ll name the town.” He penciled “New Philadelphia” on a stake and drove it in. When the road was completed the company drove another stake with “Avon” painted on it. The people liked the name and petitioned to have the post office name changed to Avon.

So we really don’t know why Avon came up as a name for the road company but that’s why Avon is the official name now. I do think it has a better ring than Smootsdell (sorry Mr. Smoot).

Information from “The History of Hendricks County” John V. Hadley 1914

Dec 272010
 

One of those interesting places in Hendricks County that you may not even know about, the Hendricks County Historical Museum is a great place to check out interesting history about the local area. The museum is located in the former Sheriff’s Residence and jail. Built in 1866 at an approximate cost of $30,000, it served as the county jail until 1974. The building is now owned and maintained by the county. The museum is filled with artifacts dating back to 1866 when the Museum served as the Sheriff’s Residence and jail.

Connie and I have recently joined and I will be helping with updates to the web site and photography in the museum. As a local history buff I find all the stuff in there fasinating! The museum is normally open every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM except for January & February so it is now closed for 2010. During these months certain rooms are chosen for updates and /or remodeling.

The Military Room is slated to be redone in 2011 so I went over the other day and took these pictures of what it looks like now:

The museum reopens March 5th so put that on your calendar to see the latest and greatest of our local history!

Nov 132010
 
Edison & his light bulb.

Edison & his light bulb.

On a cold night on January 9th, 1896, the switch was thrown in Danville and the streets lit up with electric street lamps. Danville Electric Light Company was the first power company in Hendricks County and that night the snow covered ground reflected the light and lit up the town like never before, even though a section of lights north of Main Street failed to light up.

In addition to the street lights the power company provided power for lights in businesses and more affluent homeowners who could afford the new fangled “light in a bottle”. In March of that year the company ran and ad in the local paper, the Danville Republican, to explain to consumers that they were to turn off the lights during the day as no one had used lights before. Many people thought the power company did that for them (at the time meters were not used as consumers paid a flat monthly fee per light).

Initially most power was provided in towns by smaller local power companies. As the electric interurban and the Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Company had commuter train lines in Hendricks County with power plants to drive the electric trains, they often sold excess power to communities as well. Around 1935 a group formed the Hendricks County REMC to provide power under the Rural Electrification Act to those too far from towns to be serviced by local power companies.

Eventually all the private companies were bought and sold and today most of Hendricks County homes and businesses either receives electric power from Duke Energy or Hendricks Power Cooperative (the REMC). And today’s savvy consumers know to turn off those lights to slow down the meter!

Some information in this post from “The History of Hendricks County 1914-1976”.

Aug 262010
 

The man directly responsible for the naming of the newly incorporated county seat of Hendricks County was Judge William Watson Wick, one of the pioneer jurists of Indiana. He was judge of the Indiana’s fifth circuit covering several counties. Judge Wick was holding court in Hendricks County when the commissioners were discussing what to name the county seat as they considered the incorporation in 1858. The Judge had a brother named Dan and in honor of him he urged the commissioners to adopt the name Danville, which was done.

About the time of the incorporation of Danville the local water was regarded the best in the area with springs of pure water at several locations. One of those springs was even located right in the court house yard. When an election was held in the town some of the voters would get thirsty and depart for the spring in the hollow to get a drink. However, their source of supply was a keg hidden in the bushes alongside the spring.

Makes one wonder if they were heading out to the keg to drink one to Dan, the man their new county seat was named for.

And the name Danville stuck and whether you agree or not, you’ll have to be the Judge…..

This Information from the History of Hendricks County by Hon. John V. Hadley published in 1914

Apr 142010
 

On August 25th, 1835 a man by the name of William Harris recorded a plat of land under the name of Harrisburgh. This land had been purchased by him and other family members during the early 1830’s. At the time he recorded the plat in Danville, he mostly owned the land to the north of what is now SR 136 and Joshua Harris owned the land to the south side extending west of White Lick Creek.

As William seemed to be determined to develop the area, Joshua sold a portion to William on September 17, 1836 making William the sole owner of the area around what is now SR 136 and Green St. William then divided the area into lots to establish the town center at this point to be known as Harrisburgh. When the first post office was to be setup in the new town, it was determined there was already a town named Harrisburgh in Indiana (that no longer exists) so the town name was changed to Brownsburgh in honor of James B. Brown, the original settler of the area.

In 1848 the town was incorporated and a chairman and 5 trustees were elected to oversee town affairs. Due to reasons not clear this status was lost afterwards until 1893 and the county commissioners revived the status but the “h” was dropped from the name.

So if not for a town that no longer exists, we would be cheering on the Harrisburgh Bulldogs.

This information from a great book, “The Village of Brownsburg” by Peg Kennedy and Frankie Konovsek.

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