TALE OF A TOWN

Rick Adams writes he was talking to someone from out of state recently and they asked where the name “New Palestine” originated. They assumed that it was settled by people immigrating from Palestine. I assume that is not so but have no idea where it came from. We’ve lived here nearly 25 years, and I don’t know the story.

New Palestine was laid out by Jonathan Edwards on Oct. 1, 1838. His house was the first to be built, and next door was his store and post office, which he operated. The land from which New Palestine was carved out was entered by John Weston on May 1, 1824.

For many years the town had difficulty with its name. The post office was known as Sugar Creek; the railroad and express stations as Palestine and the name of the town itself was named New Palestine.

Because a town in Kosciusko was named Palestine people were having their mail going to the wrong place. A great deal of the mail, of course, was addressed to Palestine instead of Sugar Creek by people who simply knew the name of the town. Through the efforts E.F. Faut and Congressman Bynum the name of the post office was changed from Sugar Creek to New Palestine on Jan. 16, 1889. The name of the railroad and express office was changed to New Palestine.

The town was incorporated May 22, 1871. Some this information can be found in the Richman history and also there is a marker in town at the site of Edwards’ store. It is interesting to note the oldest town in the township is Philadelphia platted on April 11, 1838, by Charles Atherton.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.