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.

A Short Trip Down the National Road

I thought we would end our series with a trip down the Old National Road, featuring those Putnam County communities located on this historic roadway. But first, we need to explore the history and little-known facts about the old National Road. There had been some debate in the early days of our country about creating a roadway to connect the nation’s capital to these major waterways, which were the major transportation routes at that time. But some questioned the authority the United States government had under the Constitution to use federal funds for interior public improvement projects. This question was not settled during George Washington’s or John Adams’ terms as President and carried


In the January 14, 1930 edition of the Daily Banner two lost communities in old Mill Creek Township were described, Vettersville and Mt. Washington: Attorney John H Allee owns an entire town site, and sometimes wishes he did not. On the town site he raises corn, rather than sky-scrapers. The corn thrives just as well on town lots as it would if the land were not town lots, but John Allee knows there is a difference—a snake in his grass, so to speak, which raises its head whenever the land owner seeks to write the abstract of title. The town was known as Vettersville, and was in Mill Creek township, Putnam County, on Mill Creek, several miles south of the National road. When it was laid out,

Frank Staley Murder

One of the more interesting events that occurred in the Bobtown/Belle Union/Mt. Meridian area was the death of Frank Staley in 1877. The following was taken from A Journey Through Putnam County History, 1966: On August 9, 1877 occurred an unsolved murder about three miles southeast of Belle Union. Frank (Francis E.) Staley was shot from outside his cabin. He was a bachelor and lived alone. Robbery was probably the motive since his money box was rifled. He was known to always keep his gun handy and when his body was found he had a pickle in one hand and was in a position that indicated he had made a last desperate dive to reach the gun. A neighbor, Ed O’Neal had heard a shot about nine o’cloc

Belle Union

As we previously discussed, after “Grinner Bob” McCammack (not to be confused with his younger cousin “Muley Bob” McCammack) was unsuccessful in permanently locating Belle Union near his store one mile south of its present location, he was made the first postmaster of Belle Union. Here is additional information on Belle Union as noted in A Journey Through Putnam County History, 1966: The original village [of Belle Union] was in the eastern part of section 12. By 1879 there were two additions, Hills and the Scott and McAnich, the part in section 13. The east and west street was called Washington. The three north and south streets were Jefferson, Franklin and Mill Street. Two items in the GREE


It appears that more than one local area vied to be a new town in the eastern part of Jefferson Township. The following was taken from A Journey Through Putnam County History, 1966: After the Civil War it was thought another town was needed in the eastern part of Jefferson and some competition arose as the exact location. Robert McCammack owned considerable land south of the present site and he had a store next to his home. He was trying to get a post office at the rural corner he called Bobtown [sometimes called Bob’s Corner]. Before he could accomplish all this, two other men started Belle Union, which is located in the northwest corner of section 13 and the southwest corner of section 12.

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