Meet the Author

Larry Tippin has served as County Historian since 2008. His interest in history grew out of extensive research of his family roots and restoration of pioneer cemeteries. A semi-retired CPA, Mr. Tippin has served in a variety of civic and professional organizations.


He was a founding member of the Central Indiana Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants and served as Chapter President and Regional Vice President of the National Association of Government Accountants. He has also served as Treasurer and President of the North Putnam Alumni Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the local Heritage Preservation Society, Putnam County Museum and the Friends of the Roachdale Library.


Mr. Tippin has also recently written a book on the short life and tragic death of local girl Pearl Bryan, which is due to be published and available by October 2018.

Hamrick Station

Hamrick Station was a small community in Washington Township about five miles south of Greencastle on the Manhattan Road. One of the focal points of the community was the depot along the Vandalia rail line, which was completed in 1852 and later became known as the Pennsylvania railroad. The depot was not shown in the 1864 Putnam County map but is on the 1879 map from the Putnam County Atlas, as is the Hamrick Post Office which began in 1866. School No. 1 was located close enough to the west to be called the Hamrick School. The original Hamrick School building was believed to have been located about a mile west of the Manhattan road and about a mile north of the Hamrick Road (now 550S), in de

Greencastle Junction and Limedale

As we can see by the detail map in the 1879 Putnam County Atlas, the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad and the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad (later the Pennsylvania and Monon lines) crossed just southwest of Greencastle. Someone in a flash of brilliant deduction decided to call this area Greencastle Junction. This community was laid out in 1864 by William Stegg and surveyed by William H. Shields. In the year 1856, a lime and stone quarry began operation at the Junction by Hellens, Butcher & Stegg, and carried on extensively, shipping stone and lime for a number of years. It has been said that the peak population of Greencastle Junction reached approximately four hundred and at


I am going to jump from Hanna's Crossing to Groveland. Malcolm Romine is in the process of writing an excellent book on the Bainbridge area which should be available in a few months. Brief history of the village of Groveland Groveland is a small community in Sections 2 and 11 of Floyd Township in Northeast Putnam County. Originally platted in 1854, it was never incorporated as a legal town. As noted in the following historical records, a railroad had been anticipated, but was never built. One of the more noteworthy incidents of the community was the double murder of Tilgham and Lydia Hanna in 1861, which we discussed a few weeks ago. From Groveland Centennial 1854-1954 prepared by Ethel Ade

Hanna's Crossing

Hanna’s Crossing was a collection of homes in Monroe Township where sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 meets. This community was four miles west of Bainbridge and nine miles north of Greencastle, at the intersection of what is now U. S. 36 and U. S. 231. Because this area is nine miles north of Greencastle, some people refer to it as Nine Mile. The prominent families in the early days included the Darnall’s and the family of Col. Alexander Shores Farrow. As noted in the map of Monroe Township in the 1879 Atlas, there were two cemeteries which were split by what was then State Road 43. To the east was the Darnall Cemetery and to the west and a little north was the cemetery of the Col. Farrow family. Thes


Morton is a small community in northeast Clinton Township, at the intersection of Sections 2, 3, 10 and 11. Malcolm Romine prepared a history of Morton, which is available at the gift shop at the Putnam County Museum. I am going to just throw out a few pieces of information about the community and early newspaper articles here. You can read Malcom’s book for more detailed information. The first land patents in the area were taken out by Samuel Vest in 1826 and 1828 in Section 10, which is southwest of Morton, and also in 1827 in Section 2, which is northeast of Morton. James Butcher also took out several land patents in Section 2 in 1826. As noted on page 10 of the Illustrated Atlas of Putna


Mt. Pisgah (typically pronounced PISS-key) was a small community north of Portland Mills and south of Russellville, near the Putnam/Parke County Line. The community centered around the Mt. Pisgah Church and Graveyard, and a few nearby schools, including school number 9, also referred to as the Spencer School to the southeast, which operated until 1908. School number 5, sometimes referred to as Russell Central and later the Grimes school, was located a few miles to the northeast. School number 4, also referred to as Swamp College, was located several miles north. About the only thing remaining of this community now is the Mt. Pisgah cemetery. The Fordice family owned a large portion of land n

Brief history of Cairo in Russell Township

Brief history of Cairo in Russell Township As county road 1100N goes west from US 231 north of Fincastle, it intersects with county road 375W, near the intersection of sections 13, 14, 23 and 24 of Russell Township. In the mid to late 1800’s a small community named Cairo was located at this crossroad. It does not appear that this community was ever platted out as a town. The focal point of the area was nearby Schoolhouse #6, and a small scattering of homes and businesses. One of the prominent families in the area in early days were the family of David Pefley, sometimes spelled Peffley. David Pefley (1792-1869), whose great grandfather Jacob Pefley came from Germany to Pennsylvania about 1765


Let’s move a few miles west of Fort Red/Barnard to the community of Wheaton. Located about a quarter of a mile north of what is now U. S. Highway 236 on County Road 625E was the small community of Wheaton. Like Barnard, Wheaton prospered when the Springfield, Indianapolis and Decatur Railroad came right through town in 1880. I have always pictured this community as a stop on the railroad where the farmers would put their “wheat on” the trains but have no actual documentation for that theory. The community was significant enough that it had its own newspaper correspondent who included the news from Wheaton in the newspapers from the 1880’s until about 1920. The area was never really platted


Over the next several weeks we will be posting information from some of the small, and often long-gone, communities throughout the county. These stories will include a brief history of the community, as well as representative samples of contemporaneous newspaper articles and photos, if applicable. Please note that these summaries are not intended to be comprehensive histories of the community, but rather a brief description of their early times. Comprehensive histories can often be found in the various historical records of Putnam County, many of which are contained in the collections of the Putnam County Public Library. Why don’t we start at the extreme northeastern corner of Putnam County?


Oakalla was a stop on what is now the Big Four Railroad a few miles west of Greencastle in Madison Township. Marked as Oakalla Station and PO in the 1879 Atlas, the little community was located near the confluence of Big Walnut and Little Walnut creeks. Noted for the fine limestone deposits nearby, Oakalla was one of the earlier places settled in Putnam County. We see Isaac Wolverton, Arthur McGaughey, Peter Stone and Matthew Cole taking out land patents in 1821 and 1822 near Oakalla. William Torr settled nearby about 1823 and the Torr’s become one of the more prominent families of the area. As evidenced by the newspaper articles in the 1800’s, Oakalla was a busy depot, as was Fern Station,

A Gruesome Murder or Two

As you drive through the small village of Groveland in northeastern Putnam County you notice a gas station, about twenty homes, and a few small businesses. It is easy to picture this sleepy little hamlet as a quiet and peaceful place. But that was not always the case. If you close your eyes and let your mind drift, you might be able to picture the terrifying figure of a deranged man with a scar on his face and a blood-stained axe in his hand, peering through your window late at night. One of the more colorful events in the early history of this sleepy little community was a notorious and particularly gruesome double murder. On Center Street in the village of Groveland lived twenty-year-old T

Darwin Flag Station

There are two flag stations in northern Marion Township on the Big Four rail road. We previously discussed the Malta Flag Station northeast of Fillmore. The Darwin Flag Station is marked on the Marion Township Map in the 1879 Putnam County Atlas, north of Fillmore. A flag station is a designated stopping place along a rail line which typically has no depot and does not have regular stops. A train will stop at a flag station if a passenger requests to be let off, or if a train is flagged down for a passenger requesting to board. Sometimes a flag station is at or near a water tank along the rail line, such as the case for Malta, which is a mile or so east of Darwin. According to A Journey Thro

Malta Flag Station and Nicholsonville

There are two flag stations in northern Marion Township on the Big Four railroad. The Darwin Flag Station is marked on the Marion Township Map in the 1879 Putnam County Atlas, north of Fillmore. We will discuss that area at a different time. In Section 3 on that map there is marked a Water Tank, and also School No. 2. This area is generally referred to as Malta or the Malta flag station. A flag station is a designated stopping place along a rail line which typically has no depot and does not have regular stops. A train will stop at a flag station if a passenger requests to be let off, or if a train is flagged down for a passenger requesting to board. Sometimes a flag station is at or near a

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