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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 out as a town, and there was no development other than a scattering of buildings near where the rail road passed over what is now County Road 625E. School House No. 6 was just south of Wheaton, and a little east, as was a Baptist Church, as noted on the 1879 Atlas.

Historical records indicate the existence of two burial grounds in the community, the larger of which was referred to as the Dean Cemetery, probably due to the fact it was located on the property of the Dean family and of the 25 or so burials there, about half are members of the Dean family.

Let’s look at a few members of the Dean family. William Isaac Dean was born October 16, 1781 in Virginia. He was the son of John Wilson Dean (1747-1813) and Mary (Walton) Dean (1748-1814). John was born in Delaware and Mary was born in Devon, England. Both died in Virginia. William Isaac Dean was married twice, first to a woman named Anna about 1802 or 1803, with which he had six children. One of the children of that marriage was John Wilson Dean (1806-1877), who is also buried in the Dean cemetery near Wheaton.

William Isaac Dean married second to Sophia Mary Huston (1783-1854) on October 5, 1813 in what is now Morgantown, West Virginia., and they had about eight or nine children. William Isaac Dean died September 6, 1846 and he is buried in the Dean cemetery near Wheaton, as is Sophia, who died August 4, 1854.

John Wilson Dean, son of William Isaac Dean, married Harriet Ann Kern or Current (1810-1882) about 1833 or 1834. They had about ten or twelve children, of whom four are buried in the Dean cemetery.

John Thomas Dean, son of John Wilson Dean was born August 7, 1835, probably in Putnam County. John T. Dean married Mariah Cox (1836-1892) on October 30, 1856, probably in Putnam County. They had about ten children, of whom five are buried in the Dean cemetery. John T. Dean died January 27, 1897, and he is buried in the Dean cemetery, as is Mariah who died October 18, 1892.

We see John W. Dean of Harrison County, Kentucky taking a land patent for the W½ of the SE¼ of Section 4 in Jackson Township, Putnam County, Indiana, on June 6, 1832. The family likely moved to this area soon after that. The family is living in Jackson Township, Putnam County, Indiana, in the 1840 census.

The 1864 Putnam County Map is courtesy Library of Congress.

The 1879 Map is courtesy of Historical Atlas of Putnam County, 1879.

The map by Geo. A. Ogle & Co. 1908, which shows Wheaton on the Indianapolis, Decatur & Springfield Rail Road.

The Map of Putnam County, Indiana rural delivery service at about 1910 is courtesy of the Indiana State Library.

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