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Title: The Creation of Fountain County
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On the 30th day of December, 1825, the Act of Legislature of the State of Indiana, creating Fountain county was approved. It is in the following language:

"An Act for the formation of a new county out of the counties of Montgomery and Wabash,

Sec.I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Indiana that from and after the first day of April, next, all that tract of country included within the following boundaries shall form and constitute a new county, to be known and designated by the name of the County of Fountain, to-wit: Beginning where the line dividing the townships 17 and 18 crosses the channel of the Wabash river; thence east to the line running thru the center of range 6, west of the second principle meridian; thence north to where said line strikes the main channel of the Wabash river; thence running down with the meanderings of said river to the place of beginning.

Sec.II. The said new county of Fountain, shall, form and after the first day of April, next, enjoy all the rights, privelages and jurisdictions which to separate and independent counties do, or may, properly belong or appertain.

Sec.III. That Lucius H. Scott, of Parke county, William Clark , of Vigo county, Daniel C. Hults, of Hendricks county, Daniel Sigler, of Putnam county, and John Porter, of Vermillion county, be, and they are hereby, appointed commissioners aggreeable to the Act entitled "An Act for Fixing the Seats of Justice in all New Counties Hereafter to be Laid off." the said commissioners shall meet at the at the house of William White, in the said county of Fountain, on the first Monday in May, next, and shall immediately proceed to discharge the duties assigned them by law. It is hereby made the duty of the sheriff of Parke county to notify said commissioners, either in person on or before the third Monday in April, next; and for such service he shall receive such compensation out of the County of Fountain as the Board of Justice thereof may deem just and reasonable, to be allowed and paid as other county claims are paid.

Sec.IV. The Board of Justices of said new county shall within twelve months fix the location of the permanent seat of justice therein and proceed to erect the necessary public building.

Sec.V. That all suits, pleas, plaints, prosecutions, and proceedings, heretofore commenced and pending within the limits of said county of Fountain shall be prosecuted to final issue in the same manner, and the state and county taxes, which may be due on the first day of April, next, within the bounds of the said County of Fountain, shall be collected and paid in the same manner, and by the same officers, as if thei Act had not been passed.

Sec.VI. At the time and place of elected the coutny officers for the County of Fountain, under the writ of election from the executive department, the electors of said county shall elect five justices of the peace, in and for said county, who shall meet as a board at the house of Robert Hatfield, in said county, on the first Monday in May, next, or as soon thereafter as they may be enabled to do after being commissioned, and then and there proceed to transact all the businesss and discharge the duties hereto devolving on county commissioners at the organization of a new county, as well as all the duties required of boards of justices of such sessions. The circuit and other courts of said County of Fountain shall meet and be holden at the house of said Robert Hetfield until more suitable accomodations can be had at some other place in the said county.

Sec.VII. All that part of the county of Wabash lying north and west of said County of Fountain shall be, and is hereby, attached to the said county for the purpose of civil and criminal jurisdiction. This Act is to take effect and be in force from and after it publication in the Indiana Journal."

These boundaries have never been changed. They have remained the same as they were fixed by that faraway legislature on the 30th day of December, 1825. Tippecanoe county was created that same year but it was not until 1829 that Warren was brought into existence.

It has been said that Fountain county was so named because of the many springs that bubbled forth fromt eh lips of Mother Earth-fountains of pure water- along the hills and terraces of the Wabash river and the smaller streams of the county. And another legend is that it was named for a Major Fountaine, who at that time lived in the state of Kentucky and afterwards moved to Terre Haute.

It is not my purpose in these articles to write a history of Fountain county. I am only aiming to write sketches of this part of the Wabash Valley, and in these sketches I will necessarily include incidents in which the adjoining counties to Fountain have as much interest as Fountain county itself. And for those sketches I am much indebted to Patrick Henry Weaver, of Tippecanoe county, Thomas Atkinson, of Benton county, John Pugh, of Warren county, Jesse Marvin, of Fountain county, and "Recollections of the Early Settlement of the Wabash Valley" by Sanford C. Cox, and to Newlin H. Yount, who did more to preserve the local history of this locality than anyone who has ever lived it it. Judge Thomas F. Davidson, in his history of Fountain county, says: "The limits to which the writer in confined, as well as to make it possible only to give a brief outline of the settlement and growth of Fountain county. It has for some years been the design of the author of these sketches to gather up the threads of personal history of the pioneer men and women of this county and them into a memorial that would do justice to their sterling worth and perpetuate the story of their toils, their perils and their virtues. This design cannot be carried out now, if ever it can be done. The hardships endured by men and women who made the first openings in the forest and the courage and fortitude displayed in meeting them deserve to be permanently recorded." Judge Davidson wrote the best history that has ever been written in Fountain county and he was able to gather up the threads of person history of the pioneer men and women of the county, more ably than any man who has ever lived in the county. We may thank him for the splendid work he did. But what a splended gift to posterity had this scholarly jurist have taken the time to write a complete history of Fountain county! It is unfortunate that he failed to do this, and, as he himself says, "it will be still more unfortunate if it is not done before the few who are lef to tell the story should pass away."

Date: 1/1/1916
Origin: Historical Sketches of the Wabash Valley
Author: J. Wesley Whicker
Record ID: 00001136
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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