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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 Through Putnam County History, there was apparently a dispute when it came time to name the town of Fillmore, which was laid out in 1852 by Benjamin Nicholson, James Sill and Leonard C. Catterlin, on land then owned by them, but formerly forming a part of Richard Sinclair's farm.. Some wanted the new town to be named after President Fillmore, but others wanted to name it Darwin or Delmar. The name Fillmore won out, but it was said that for several years many still referred to the area as Darwin. When the Big Four Railroad came through north of Fillmore in 1870, a flag station called Darwin was located at that point. It seems interesting that the Darwin Flag Station was only a few miles west of the Malta Flag Station, and there does not appear to have been any other flag stations for many miles on this rail line in either direction. In fact, a search of the Big Four railroad shows no other flag stations marked in the 1879 Atlas along that rail line in Putnam County, except these two. Other stops on that rail line were marked as regular depots.

A review of the United States land patents shows that Reuben Regan was the first settler of this area, acquiring lands in the northern part of Section 4 of Marion Township, north of Darwin in 1824. These properties are noted in the 1864 Putnam County Map.

Page 219 of Weiks 1910 History of Putnam County contains the following sad but uplifting passage of our early patriots. Please refer to that publication for the entire account, which is abridged here:

"There is a small section of country lying immediately north and west of the village of Fillmore," related Mr. Ragan, "in which five survivors of the Revolutionary war spent their last days on earth and in which their sacred ashes still remain. I doubt if there is an area so small within the limits of the county, or even of the state, where so many of the patriots of our war for independence spent their last days.”

Their deaths occurred in the order in which they are named. "Abraham Stobaugh came from Montgomery county, Virginia in company with his son, the late Jacob Stobaugh. and settled in the southern portion of Floyd township. This worthy patriot died in September of 1836, and he was buried with the honors of war. A militia company from Greencastle, commanded by the late Col. Lewis H. Sands, fired the salute at the grave. He was buried in a private cemetery on the old Gorham farm, in Marion township. There is today no trace of his grave remaining, none at least that would identify it among those of numerous friends and relatives.” (Keep in mind this was written in 1910, I have searched diligently for any trace of these graves, with no success.)

After publication it was determined this school had been misidentified in prior records. It has been determined this school was actually the Crossroads school at the intersection of Hwy 240 and the Mt. Carmel road.

"Silas Hopkins, if tradition may be credited, was a native of the city of Baltimore, and a supposed relative of the late millionaire merchant and philanthropist. Johns Hopkins, whose name will go down to posterity in connection with the great university his beneficence endowed. His death occurred near the close of the fourth decade of this century. At least four grandsons also served in the Union army, two of whom, Silas and Thomas Gorham, laid down their lives in their country's service, and now rest side by side in the village cemetery at Fillmore. There is something sadly pathetic in the story of the death of these patriotic grandsons of Silas Hopkins. They had survived the mishaps of the war from 1861 to 1865, when one of the brothers began to decline in health. The war was over, and they were really no longer needed at the front. So, the sick brother was given a furlough to his home, and for company the well one was sent with him. On the Vandalia train while halting at the Greencastle station, and within six miles of home and friends, the invalid brother quietly breathed his last. The survivor tenderly supported the lifeless form of his brother in his arms until the train reached Fillmore, where kind and loving friends performed the last sad rites. But one month elapsed until the remaining brother was gently laid by his side ''in the shadow of the stone." In those early days almost every farm had its private burial place, in which members of the family were interred. The Gorham farm was not an exception to this general rule. On the north end of this farm, known to the older residents as the Judge Smith, or Gorham farm, and now owned by Albert O. Lockridge of this city, and the first land in the township conveyed by the government to a private individual, is one of these neglected burial places. The location is obscure, and but for a few rough stones, one of which bears the inscription "W. B.". there is naught to indicate that it is a pioneer cemetery in which many of the early settlers sleep their long sleep. Here rest the mortal remains of Abraham Stobaugh and Silas Hopkins of Revolutionary memory. But a few fleeting years will elapse until this graveyard will be entirely unknown and forgotten, and posterity will then have naught but tradition as a guide to this sacred spot where lie two of the founders of our republic.”

"Samuel Denny resided in the southern part of Floyd township, on what is now known as the Gravel Pit farm, which is owned by the Big Four railway. His home was with an adopted daughter, Mrs. Isaac Yeates, he having had no children of his own. Mr. Denny first settled in Warren township, where his wife died and was buried. Patriot Denny had long predicted that his death would occur on the Fourth of July, which prediction was verified by the fact. In the early summer of 1843, his rapid decline was noted, and on the nation's sixty-seventh birthday, his gentle spirit took leave of earth. He was buried in Warren township at what is known as Deer Creek Baptist cemetery by the side of his deceased wife.”

"John Bartee's home was on a fraction of the same farm on which Patriot Denny died, and to which he had in some way acquired a fee simple title. There were ten acres of the little homestead upon which he resided. He lived in a humble log cabin, with but one room. Here, in company with his feeble-minded second wife and still more imbecile daughter, he spent his last days in extreme poverty. The family were objects of charity. Through the exertions of the late .Anderson B. Matthews, himself a member of the board of county commissioners, that body made a small appropriation. At the age of sixteen he participated in the siege of Yorktown and the capture of Lord Cornwallis. His death occurred in February of 1848, and he was buried in the little graveyard on the Yeates farm, near by his former home.”

"Benjamin Mahorney. the fifth and last survivor, and perhaps among the very last of his race, died in the summer of 1854, more than seventy years after the close of the great struggle in which he was an active participant. His residence was in the northern portion of Marion township, and immediately on the line of the Big Four railway, one mile east of the little station of Darwin. He lived with his son, Owen Mahoney, who made him comfortable in his last days. He was a most venerable personage, known to the people of the neighborhood as one worthy of veneration and respect. His hair was as white as the driven snow. He was a Virginian and enlisted from Fauquier county, in that state, in the spring of 1779, for a term of eighteen months. He served under Captain Walls, in Colonel Buford's regiment of Virginia militia. His regiment met the British cavalry under the celebrated Colonel Tarleton, at Waxhaw, North Carolina, and were repulsed with great loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. Patriot Mahoney was one of the few who escaped injury or capture. His term of enlistment closed on October 25, 1780, nearly seventy- four years prior to his death in this county. At the time of his death there was in the neighborhood a military company with headquarters at the village of Fillmore and commanded by James H. Summers, a Mexican war veteran and afterwards colonel of an Iowa regiment in the war of the Rebellion. Captain Summers called together his company and fired a salute over the open grave of the last survivor of Revolutionary memory in the neighborhood. The interment was at what is known as the Smythe graveyard, just south of the Vandalia railway, and one mile east of Fillmore. It is probable that the grave of Mr. Mahorney might still be identified. An incident occurred after the burial of Patriot Mahorney, when Captain Summers, with his company, returned to Fillmore to store their guns in the company's armory, A member of the company, Noah Alley, also a Mexican veteran, and afterwards killed at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, as a member of the Twenty-seventh Indiana Regiment, through an awkward mishap thrust the fixed bayonet of his musket through his leg just above the ankle, making a serious and painful wound."

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