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Bobtown

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.

“Grinner” Bob McCammack may have been partly satisfied for his defeat of the location of Belle Union by being appointed its first postmaster on April 6, 1870.

Information on Belle Union is discussed elsewhere.

 

According to page 385 of A Journey Through Putnam County History, 1966, Schoolhouse No. 13 was near the southeast corner of the N 1/2 of W 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of section 14 township 12. The McHaffee School was probably the early name, but it also was probably the Bobtown or the Black Hawk School. It must date back to before the Civil War days. Until its closing days the children carried in the wood for heat and drinking water from the neighbors.

 

The 1887 History of Putnam County indicates Robert McCammack was instrumental in securing a post office for Jefferson Township. He first opened a store on his farm, section 13 [one mile south of the present Belle Union], where the first office was held and called it Belle Union. It was subsequently removed to the present site, where his store was also removed. On May 29, 1860, a cyclone swept over his farm, destroying his buildings, fences, etc., and Mr. McCammack was carried along about seventy-five yards and injured quite seriously. His residence has been burned twice, without any insurance.

 

Additional information on Bob McCammack provided by local resident Jordan Vaughn, who also provided a photo of the Bob McCammack home:

 

Robert McCammack Sr. was born 1-8-1817 in Claiborne Co. Tenn. to John & Nancy (Hurst) McCammack and died 2-4-1892 Belle Union, In. He married 12-14-1836 to Delila Jones, dau. of Lewis & Mary (Black) Jones, born 7-14-1814 in Pittsylvania Co. Va. and died 6-5-1893, Belle Union, In.

 

Robert was known as "Grinner Bob" because he smiled all the time. He was referred to as "senior" on occasion to distinguish him from his younger cousin. Grinner Bob worked on the National Road for 25 cents a day in the 1830's as it made its way through Mt. Meridian, a mile away from his father's farm. Bob entered 80 acres in Jefferson Township of Putnam County, Indiana on March 7, 1836, using the name “Cammack”.

 

A member of the Union Valley Baptist Church since 1868, Bob was a 33rd degree Mason and a leader of the local Granger Association. He was a firm Republican in politics. Robert McCammack was reported as being one of the richest men in Putnam County on January 24, 1878, paying taxes on $18,135. A fox drive was held on Bob’s land on February 12, 1880. He was reported to be feeding 125 head of cattle that winter. Bob built a new residence in August of 1883. In 1884 he joined the Walnut Chapel Friends Church. Well respected when he died, Bob and his wife are buried in the Walnut Chapel cemetery. The inventory of Robert McCammack’s estate on March 2, 1892 was valued at $4,158 and included 50 head of cattle, 67 hogs and a horse and buggy. The Republican newspaper of Danville, Indiana reported on February 11, 1892 that “Robert McCammick (sic), very much the richest man in Mill Creek Township, Putnam County, was buried by Samuel Swope on Saturday last, another victim of la grippe.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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