Rick Henley writes, “I was born on the Blue River in Rush County, Carthage area. I cannot picture a Blue River in Hancock County unless it is in the vary southeast of the county. … My ancestors settled in Rush County around 1835. I am one of the last descendants …”
The first settlers came into Blue River Township in Hancock County around 1818. Blue River Township takes its name from the Blue River the principal stream in the township.
Other streams in the township are Six Mile and Nameless Creek. Other streams and rivers in the county include Sugar Creek, Brandywine Creek, Buck Creek, Little Brandywine Creek, Little Sugar Creek Flat Fork, Swamp Creek and Little Swamp Creek.
On these waterways many mills were constructed. The first mills were water powered, followed later by steam mills. These mills were corn crackers and sawmills to provide the necessities for the pioneers.
Other early pioneers industries included tanneries, tie, shingle, woolen and flax factories. Also there were blacksmith shops and nurseries. In fact, Elijah Tyner was a prominent nurseryman who had a store south of the Shiloh Church.
The first white settlers entered the southeastern corner of the Blue River Township. In 1818, Andrew Evans built his log cabin in the vicinity of Peterburg, which was developed and named after Peter Binford.
Peterburg has long disappeared. Peterburg was a stop on the old Knightstown Shelbyville Railroad built in 1858. This line ran off and on for 10 years. It was one of the first steam railroads west of the Alleghenies.
Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.