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Title: Williamsport, Indiana
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We had the occasion to visit this place a few days ago, and could not help but be impressed with the importance and improvements there over many County Seats in Indiana. It is the capitol of Warren County, one of the best in the State, (abounding in coal and superior stone in the timbered portion, and fine farm land on the prairie,) and has in its suburbs some of the finest natural scenery to be found anywhere. It is on the Toledo, Wabash & Western Railway, just mid way between Lafayette and Danville, and is the distributing point of a large amount of freight for neighboring towns in the County and furnishes more passengers than Attica, as is shown by the books of the company. One of the greatest stone queries in the west is situated near the depot, and many smaller ones near the town, from which large quantities of stone are yearly shipped to different points on the railroad, east and west, giving employment to a large number of men and much capital. The stone trade of itself, if properly managed, would be a great source of profit to the twon, and ere long it will be.

Plenty of stone coal is to be had only a mile or two from the town, and of a quality that is equal to almost any we have in this city.

One half mile south of the town is a beautiful Spring, the waters of which gush forth from the solid rock. The scenery at and near the Spring is beautiful, and with a small amount of labor could be made one of the most pleasant and picturesque watering places in the country. The waters of the Spring are said to contain valuable medical qualities. We give the report of Prof. E.T. Cox, State Geologist, as the properties of the water:

[office of E.T. Cox, State Geologist, Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 25, 1869.]
The following is the result of a qualitative chemical examination made of the "Williamsport Chalybeate Spring," at the State Laboratory:

It is a free running spring, and deposits a reddish brown gelatinous substance on the bottom and sides- oxide of iron. The chemical constituents are:

Sulphate of protoxide, (Coperas); sulphate of lime; sulphate of magnesia; (Epsom salts;) chloride of sodium, (common salt;) carbonate of iron; bi-carbonate of lime; free carbonic gas; free sulpherretted hydrogen gas, (trace)- Medical properties: Tonic and Aperient.
E.T. Cox, State Geologist.

Near the depot is a second Niagara- a small stream called "Fall Branch," after meandering through "fields and wood," come to an abrupt offset in its rocky bed, and leaps over the precipice a distance of about 74 feet, which at "high water" makes a grand and imposing sight. The banks, or we may say the walls, of the stream below the falls are of solid sand stone, in places over 100 feet high, forming a canyon of several hundred feet in width, thoroughly 'riled,' rushes on with "tailrace" velocity to the Wabash. The canyon in many places is relieved from "boldness" by caves grottos and ninches, many of which are large enough to hold a dozen persons. Not far below the falls is a crevice- a seam in the solid rock over a hundred feet deep, just wide enough for a man to pass through, which leads from near the bottom of the canyon to the high, up-land above. There are many other attractive features connected with the falls, but we have not sapce to mention them. If you are a lover of the wonderful works of nature, just go to these falls during the Spring months and you will be well repaid for your trouble, and pronounce it one of the most picturesquie places in the west.

The T.W. & W.R.W. have just completed a very nice, commodious passenger depot at this place, and also put up a platform with railing, along the side of the track next to the falls, adding much to the comfort and safety of the traveling public.

A large grist mill, capable of making 100 barrels of flour per day, situated at the depot, is now undergoing repairs, and will soon be under successful management, giving a fine market for all kinds of grain.

The large grain and warehouses of Mess. Kent & Hitchens, are to be enlarged and put in proper condition to receive all the grain, produce, &c., that the wealthy farmers in the neighborhood can bring to them, for which the cash will be paid, at prices equal or better than other towns are paying.

The "new town" - that is, the part built near the railroad, is doing a lively business. Almost all kinds of business is represented. The Thomas Bro's are still at their old place,a nd have a mammoth stock of dry goods, and everything else that a farmer wants. Mr. Martin Schoonover has a good stock of groceries, boot,shoes, &c., and is doing a good business.- Mr. John Pearson has a very neat and well stocked drug store, which has only been in operation a short time, but is succeeding beyond his expectations.

Mr. Brownlee has an extensive lumber and coal yard, and supplies a large portion of the County with these indispensable articles, at very satisfactory prices.

Other branches of trade are represented at the "new town" but we cannot enumerate all- suffice it to say that they are doing their best to merit a good business.

In the "old town," or the part near the Court House and its surroundings there have been some very expensive and valuable improvements, this fall and winter. The "Warren Block," just completed, is a buildig that would do credit to the enterprise of Danville, or any other city. It is a business block containingseven large and commodious salesrooms, two stories high, the first story being of cut stone, with arched doors and windows, presenting a beautiful and business like appearance. (We can right here say that this extensive job of masonry was contracted and built by Mr. John W. Smith, of this city.) The frontage on the street facing the Public Square, of the new block, is the length of a whole block , commencing at the street running into the alley. On the opposite side of the alley is the Boston Block, which was erected a few years ago, and runs to the other street, thus making the entire side of the Square a solid line of business houses, all the same height and finish, containing thirteen rooms. The appearance of the east side of the Square cannot be excelled by any town we know of. The rooms are not all quite finished, but the workmen are busy, and it will not be long before the "Warren Block" will be ready to receive the large stocks of different merchandise that will be replaced therein.

Among the most enterprising business men and builders of the new block, are Messrs B.F. Gregory, Samuel Messner, Dr. Geo. T. Richardson, Dr. F.M. Tebbs, Jacob Holtz, Maj. Lev. Miller, Henry Held, Jacob Held, P. Gemmer, John and Richard Nodurft, and others whose names we cannot call to mind.

The Warren Republican, published by J.V. & H.F. Canutt, is the only paper in the County, and is a very well conducted sheet, doing all it can to advance the interests of the town and county in which it is published, and deserves a liberal support.

The "old town" like the new, is having a good lively trade, doing more business, perhaps, from the fact that the different branches of business are more largely represented. B.R. Gregory is getting the "lion's share" of the dry goods trade, and has a very nice stock, well displayed and advantageously offered to the public by Mr. I.C. Miller, a thorough merchant.

Mr. E.A. Boardman keeps a large and well chosen stock of boots and shoes and has two good workmen in his employ- T. and M. Beebe, who maunfacture to order.

John H. Messner and P. Gemmer sell lot of groceries, and are both doing a good business ath their respective houses in Boston Block.

Thomas Templeton has recently opened a nice Bakery in the above mentioned block, and is reaping a rich reward for his labors.

We cannot attempt to give the names of all parties engaged in business, nor is it necessary, and will say to our subscribers in Warren County that we have written this for the benefit of the County in general and Williamsport in particular, hoping that ou will all see, ere long, the necessity and importance of building up a good town at your County Seat. We understand that the County Commissioners are all in favor of building a new Court House, and it should be done, as nearly all the citizens of the county are in favor of it, or should be. With the new Court House and its present improvements, Williamsport will at once go forward with rapid strides.

O.E.H.

Date: 1/6/1870
Origin: Commercial News
Author:
Record ID: 00001551
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Clippings Scrapbook
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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