Local lists help define 19th century demographics


Originally published May 18, 1949

Last week, I gave a list of landowners and voters in Fall Creek Township in 1843. This is the earliest reliable statistic that I have found on the township. No doubt there were some men whose names do not give some lead to the Census of the township, some 10 or 12 years before 1843.

To begin with, the list gives 399 names. Three or four of these were women who were landowners, and some half a dozen firms or partnership. Of the remaining 390, there were 230 landowners, and if I figured correctly this would be 57 percent.

There were 160 men 21 years or older who did not own property. Wonder how what would compare with the present time?

Checking the poll count, there were 269 of the 390 who were between 21 and 50 years of age. I have no way of knowing the ages of the people who entered the land, but when I check the list of entries and this 1943 list I find about a fourth of entry names missing.

Is there anything that would give us a lead on an earlier day, say around 1830?

I still do not have all of the entries, but so far I find 65 entries were made before 1830, and from all indications I expect to find two or three more in Section 31, so lets place the entries at 70 for this date.

Now if the percentage of landowners and non-property owners compares to 1843, this would indicate that there was a hundred or more men in the township in 1830.

My early list is not complete, but here is what I have so far. In 1822 there were seven entries, in ’23 there were eight, in ‘24, five in ‘25, three in ’26, three in ’27, four in ’28 and in 1929, 15.

No doubt this is credited to the building of the National Road.

What about the seven, who entered in 1822? Was this the group historians refer to camping along Fall Creek? Part of them may have been, but William Williams and John Ellsworth were five miles to the east, and they are included in this seven.

Of course, there is a possibility that some of this first group entered in Green Township.

If the abstracts for these 65 or 70 entries were checked, they would give some new names.

What about our neighboring townships, Adams, Green and Anderson? I have checked the 1843 list, and here are data on them: Green Township had 168 voters, 72 percent of these were landowners; Adams had 260 voters, and 68 percent of these were landowners.

There’s some difference between Fall Creek’s 57 percent and the other two. This probably can be accounted for by Pendleton and Huntsville as the only villages of any size; this seems especially true when this same tax ledger lists only 319 voters in Anderson Township.

This is the last of these articles for the time being, I hope I have interested you in the history of our own community. Just one thing more: Read your abstract, get your county map and follow the description on through.

Editor’s note: There are many more Loy columns to be published in upcoming editions of The Times-Post.