This was posted in the Tribune Star,Sunday,January 31,2010.Has many names and is interesting.
Published: January 30, 2010 07:53 pm
Historical Perspective: Looking at life in Vigo County 155 years ago
By Mike McCormick
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE — On Jan. 12, 1855 — 155 years ago — the canal boat “Eclipse,” carrying a valuable load of pig iron from the blast furnace of Downing, Rose, Peck and Voorhees of Greene County, arrived in the canal basin in downtown Terre Haute.
Major Andrew Downing, an original principal of the Furnace Mill, located about a mile south of Bloomfield on Iron Mountain Road, reported that an abundance of iron ore and coal discovered in Greene County recently brought promise of expansion.
“We expect to employ about 200 new men in the Spring,” he offered. “None but sober men need apply.”
Major Downing’s partners in 1855 were Chauncey Rose of Terre Haute and Edward J. Peck and Abraham L. Voorhees of Indianapolis. The town of Furnace, once a bustling Greene County community, is now a ghost town.
During the winter of 1854-55, Terre Haute’s porkpackers slaughtered 62,976 hogs. The number of hogs packed during the winter of 1853-54 was 78,542.
Jacob D. Early’s Pork House, on Water Street south of Canal Street, accounted for 21,200. Alexander McGregor and Warren B. Warren’s slaughter house between Railroad and Tyler streets, killed 17,000 and George R. Wilson & Co. butchered 11,176.
John L. Humaston & Co., on the west side of Sixth Street across from St. Stephen’s Church, recorded 7,000 while Henry D. Williams & Co., on South First Street south of Sheets Street (now Crawford Street), cataloged 6,600.
A convention of soldiers of the War of 1812, and other American wars, assembled in Washington, D.C. during the second week of January 1855.
An estimated 1,600 veterans, not including a large delegation of Native Americans, were in attendance.
Capt. Landon Cochran, recipient of a medal for heroism from Congress as the result of his participation in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, was Vigo County’s most visible delegate.
Capt. Cochran also played an important role in the Mexican War, assembling the Fort Harrison Guards to compose a company of the Fourth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers. The regiment mustered at Fort Clark, near Jeffersonville, on June 5, 1847.
Tragically, Capt. Cochran died May 22, 1855, at age 63, after a two-month bout with “Inflammatory Rheumatism.” He was interred, with full Masonic honors, at Terre Haute’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
On Jan. 23, 1855, “The Terre Haute Daily American” was resurrected by editor-publisher Isaac N. Coltrin.
A native of Lost Creek Township, Coltrin was born Dec. 16, 1832. He attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville for several terms but decided to learn the printing trade.
On Nov. 5, 1853, he married Emma Fearn, a native of Nottingham, England, and they eventually raised three children.
Isaac served a one-year term as Terre Haute city clerk in 1854 before assuming responsibilities as editor of the American. He resigned when he was summoned to Kansas to publish a newspaper but that project did not materialize.
Instead of returning to Terre Haute, Coltrin located in Clinton. Ill., in 1856, to establish a Republican newspaper. After 10 years, he bought an interest in a printing plant at Decatur, Ill., and published the “Decatur Tribune” for a few years. He later worked with William J. Usery of the “Decatur Gazette.”
Coltrin spent the rest of his working life in the printing trade in Decatur.
A member of the 68th Illinois Volunteers, Coltrin was a charter member of Post No. 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Decatur. He died, at age 75, on April 25, 1908.
On Jan. 19, 1855, a new fire engine received by the city council from Boston earned considerable notice.
The new engine proved to be ineffective in its first two tests. On Jan. 22, both the new and the old fire engines responded to fires at the respective residences of Ira Grover, a salesman for Simon Wolf & Co., stove dealer, on South Fifth Street, and S. R. Franklin, a cooper, on North Fourth Street.
“The works” of the new fire engine froze and there was insufficient water. Nevertheless, neighbors and firefighters saved most of the Grover’s furniture.
During the week of Jan. 28, 1855, a petition was circulated by residents of Sibleytown, a neighborhood within the Terre Haute corporate limits north of the Wabash & Erie Canal, to the Indiana legislature seeking separate corporate existence.
The petitioners complained that, though they paid the same property taxes that others were assessed, the Terre Haute City Council continually ignored their pleas for street improvements.
“The Terre Haute Journal” acknowledged that “the streets of Sibleytown are in wretched condition.”
The editors of two Indiana newspapers spent several days in Terre Haute during the middle of January 1855 and were overwhelmed by the experience.
One of the editors of Vincennes “News of the Day” — probably William H. Jackson or James G. Hutchinson — visited Arba Holmes’ Foundry, Sykes hat factory and Britton Moore Harrison’s large soap and candle factory and was astonished by the efficiency of work performed.
Daniel M. Cantrill, editor-publisher of the “Waveland True American,” wrote that he would rather spend one week in Terre Haute than one year in any other city he has visited. He was especially impressed by the diversity and devotion of its many churches.
After spending 10 days in the city, Cantrill asserted: “Terre Haute, lovely as she may be in many respects, is a theatre of much vice and intemperance.”
That negative element did not alter his belief that Terre Haute would be a great place to live and raise a family.