The establishment of the national road through Richmond, very naturally inspired our citizens with a zest for additional improvement; an outlet was opened for us by the nation: it was left to us to empty the produce of the county into it, by running turnpikes in all feasible directions through the county. Previous to this, however, the national road became a corporated turnpike. The General Government having relinquished the road to the States through which it passed, after opening, grading and bridging it, application was made to the State legislature for the incorporation of Wayne County Turnpike Company; and a charter was granted for that purpose in the winter of 1849-50, and the road was completed in 1850,—since which it has greatly facilitated western emigration; 700 wagons of movers sometimes passing through Richmond, in the course of six days. The Williamsburgh turnpike was completed in 1850. The Newport turnpike and the Boston turnpike somewhat earlier; the Liberty turnpike and the Middleboro turnpike a few years later. Thus we have well paved roads running from Richmond into the country in an east and west, north and south, north-east, south-west and north-west directions; giving ready access to a large scope of country, and facilitating the ingress of a large population to our city.
During a system of internal improvement commenced by the State government in 1836, the “Whitewater Canal Company” obtained a charter to construct a canal from Cambridge, at the western side of this county, to Lawrenceburg, on the Ohio river, by way of Brookville. Authority was likewise granted, in 1838, to the “Richmond and Brookville Canal Company,” to open a like communication betwee these two points. The former canal was completed by the pecuniary assistance of the State; the latter was undertaken without such aid. According to the engineer’s measurement, the distance to Brookville, in the route of the proposed canal, was nearly 34 miles; the estimated cost about $508,000; whole lockage, 273 feet; Richmond alone taking $50,000. The work was let to the amount of $80,000, and about $45,000 expended. The enterprise was then abandoned; but patches of ditches and embankments yet remain to testify to our inefficient willingness to accomplish a great work. The anticipated value of such a water connection with Cincinnati is thus portrayed in the report of Simpson Torbert, the engineer;—it was supposed the work could be completed in three or four years, and would “open with a trade equal to 50,000 tons annually,” yielding a revenue of $32,250 per annum:
Although Richmond missed this opportunity of becoming the Pittsburgh of Indiana, it was well for her citizens that the great undertaking was arrested as soon as it was. Unforeseen floods, with a fall of 273 feet in 34 miles would have washed it to ruins, at a total loss to the stockholders of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The very first day of the year 1847 “will be remembered as a day of almost utter destruction.” On the Whitewater Canal, “aqueducts, bridges, locks and embankments, from Cambridge to Laurel, are either wept away or greatly damaged,” says a reporter. This destruction our canal escaped by not being completed.
and it was a great day for Richmond when, in the projection of these, our city was made a point. In the year 1853, a communication of this was effected between this city and Cincinnati, by way of Dayton. In the same year a similar road was completed from Richmond to Cincinnati, by way of Eaton, and another to Indianapolis. The Cincinnati and Chicago road was completed from Richmond to Logansport during the present year; and the Richmond and Fort Wayne road is in the course of construction. In a word, Richmond was soon interwoven into the great network of railroads spread over the country.
From this period we may date the third and most prosperous era of our city. All that was anticipated from such an outlet to a market, and more, has been realized. An expansion of the town immediately commenced, and has steadily continued to the present time. Richmond has received an impulse heretofore unknown to her history. Prices have been greatly enhanced; manufacturing establishements of various kinds have been multiplied; and business generally increased. We may yet become the “Pittsburgh of Indiana,” without the aid of a canal.
COMPARISON OF PRICES,
before and after the completion of railroads, may gratify the curiosity of the reader, and serve to show the influence of railroads upon the prices of produce. The prices of a few articles would be governed by other causes; fruit is often higher in a new country, in consequence of the scarcity of orchards, than in long-settled districts.
RICHMOND PRICES CURRENT.
As late as 1829, according to a Price Current in the writer’s possession, fire-wood sold at 40 to 50 cents per cord; and when, at last, the price was raised to 75 cents per cord, much complaint was made at the extravagant charge.
Richmond having become the master-city of Wayne Co., we have, on several occasions, referred to the latter in the same spirit in which the Frenchman says “Paris is France!” With the same latitude of feeling, we have at times written as if Richmond was Wayne Co.; their interests, indeed, are intimately interwoven; the prosperity of one is the prosperity of the other. We feel no hesistancy, therefore, in showing our progress in another point of view, by quoting the subjoined list of
indicated by the paragraph below, cut from the Palladium of 1835, is equally true of all subsequent years to the present time. It has always, within the recollection of the writer, been rare thing to find upon a house in Richmond the notice, “To Let.” A house will scarcely be vacated before there will be, in the same day, perchance, half a dozen applicants for it. Whatever may be the future destiny of our city, this has been the current reality for years past; and the tendency of this state of things is to induce those who are able to do so to purchase and build for themselves, if they desire a habitation among us. “Our town,” says the Palladium, “has been, for a few weeks, crowded with strangers. Many have been compelled to leave for want of suitable tenements to accommodate their families, and even boarding is difficult to be had among private families. We hope it will not long be thus. We think our capitalists might make a profitable investment of their funds, by erecting houses to rent, so great is the influx of emigrants.”
PROGRESS OF OUR POPULATION
We have seen that the conjectural number of inhabitants in Richmond,
For want of statistics, which may yet come to light, for a future edition of this work, we are compelled to leave blanks for many subsequent years. And in later years, we are under the necessity of indicating the population by the ratio of increase of the polls; thus,
In the year 1848 the polls were 392, and the population, as carefully taken by Samuel Pierce, 2,531—making the polls bout 15 per cent.of the population; and, if this should prove to be a correct measure, for other years, the year
which it is presumed is not very far from the truth. But it must be borne in mind that, in these estimates, the thick population of the immediate vicinity is not included; the calculations being made for the rigid limits of the Corporation proper.
The poll-tax for the county, in 1826, was 2,291; which, according to the same mode of calculation,would give a county population of 15,273; the poll-tax for the present year being 4,021, and the estimated total population, at the same time, 28,500.
The total number of polls in Wayne county at last Presidential election, 1856, was 5,756; Wayne Township, 1,681.
Most of the earliest residents of Wayne county were members of the Society of Friends. The attentive reader will have noticed a specimen of their scriptural way of dating in the proceedings of the first town meeting, given on page twenty-one. A meeting of this society was established here as early as 1807, and was first held in a log building vacated by Jeremiah Cox, and by him furnished with seats; soon afterward in the log building, referred to and characterized on page thirty-three. Jesse Bond, John Morrow and William Williams were among their earliest ministers.
Whatever the religious educational predilections of others may have been at that time, they either attended the meetings of Friends, or staid [sic stayed] at home. The chief religious division in the community, was into Friends and Nothingarians; the lives of the former giving quite a tone to the principles and practices of the latter, even in many instances inducing them almost imperceptibly to adopt the use of the plain language by habitual contact.
The next religious denomination that established a society here was the Methodist Episcopal. The first meeting was held in 1819 in a small log house on Front street. Daniel Fraley was perhaps the first Methodist preacher in this section of country. He officiated as chaplain in 1814 to Chryst, the first legally convicted murderer in Wayne county. John W. Sullivan was the first stationed Methodist minister in Richmond.
In this connexion, it may be proper to mention that in the year 1826 that eccentric preacher, Lorenzo Dow, visited Richmond, and delivered one or two sermons in the large brick meeting house of the Friends. Part of his discourse was on the reconcilability of Justice with Mercy, in the Divine Character. He put up at the house of our now aged friend, John Barnes, on Front street; this was a frame building on lot No. 15, and is now no more. Lorenzo’s traveling expenses were paid in part, by the sale of a “Family Medicine,” as he termed it. This consisted, as he told the writer, of Epsom salts dissolved in water, with the addition of nitric acid. It was recommended as valuable in bilious derangements. The medicine was patented; the patent having expired, he applied for an extension of the time; “for” said he, “the sale of the medicine thus far, has not enabled one hand to wash the other.”
The first Presbyterian church (old school) was established in Richmond in 1837, by T. E. Hughes and P. H. Golliday, with twenty-eight members. The first minister in regular charge was Charles Sturdevant. “The congregation,” says the report of one of its members, “have erected a beautiful church edifice 45 by 65 feet, which, when entirely finished, will cost about $10,000.”
The “English Evangelical Lutheran congregation” was organized in Richmond in 1853. In the course of the succeeding summer “a chaste and convenient church edifice,” says D. S. Altman, the minister of this congregation, “was erected at an expense of $7,000, principally by the generosity of Lewis Burk,” one or our citizens. The present number of communicants reported by the same authority, is twenty-five.
In the year 1828, a division took place in the Society of Friends in this place. One part claiming the ancient name of Friends; the other, assuming the title of “Orthodox Friends.” The large brick meeting house, just north of town, was retained by the latter; the former erected two frame buildings each 60 by 40 feet on a lot at the junction of Ft. Wayne Avenue and Franklin street, and marked B in Dewy’s Plot of the city of Richmond. The “Orthodox Friends’” meeting house was erected in 1823, is 100 feet long by 60 feet wide and 30 feet high. The walls are 22 inches thick in the first story, 18 in the second; and they consumed 266,000 bricks.
The “Catholic Church” was organized here in 1846; and a meeting house was erected in 1847 on south Pearl street. The dimensions of the building have not been furnished. It is a neat, but comparatively small and plain brick house, of one high story. —“Membership,” says the reporter, “700.”
“St. Paul’s (Episcopal) Church, in Richmond, was organized in 1838.” George Fiske, was the first missionary of this denomination in Richmond, and officiated as early as 1837. He was elected Rector of the church in 1838, and continued in that capacity till 1855, when he resigned on account of ill health. The present Rector is John B. Wakefield.—At the time of this organization there were twelve communicants; the present number is fifty-one. “The church edifice and parsonage house, belonging to the Parish, including the ground, have cost about $13,000. The church is clear of debt.” The size of the building has not been obtained. It is probably the largest house for worship in the city.
The German Evangelical Lutheran church in Richmond, was organized in 1845. A brick house for worship was erected in1846, on south Front street, and enlarged in 1855, costing about $6,000.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, situated on south Marion street, was organized in 1836, and number fifty-four members. They meet in a two-story frame building.
For the number of our day-laborers and lawyers,* the number and variety of our artisans, merchants, ministers, doctors, &c., the reader is referred to the “DIRECTORY.”
A little upwards of fifty years ago, where nettles and grass, arising from a mellow vegetable mold, grew to a height sufficient to hide a horse, there now treads a busy and thriving population of more than six thousand inhabitants, dwelling in substantial brick buildings, two, three and four stories high. And, instead of the yell of the Indian in the solitude of a forest, is heard the hum of a city in an open plain.
The extent of the Corporation limits north and south is about a mile and a half, and east and west about three-quarters of a mile, with abundant room without, for further expansion.
Among the Public Buildings, there is erected on north Fifth-street a DISTRICT SCHOOL HOUSE, 71 feet long, by 61 feet in width, and 40 feet in height. It is a staunch brick building, costing about $14,000, paid by a tax upon the citizens. It was erected in 1854.
The STARR HALL, owned by James M. Starr, is 95 feet long, by 46 feet wide, and three stories high, and was completed in the present year, at an expense of about $10,000. It stands on the north side of Main-street, near Marion. The Hall is devoted to public meetings and entertainments of various kinds.
The HOUSES FOR WORSHIP have already been noticed.
The WARNER BUILDING has also been named. It stands on north Pearl-street, east side, near Main, and is used for public meetings, lectures, &c.
The PUBLIC SQUARE, the gift of John Smith, the early proprietor of South Richmond, consists of one acre of ground, well laid in grass and partially shaded with trees, and enclosed in a substantial and neat board fence. A small brick building stands upon the north side, and is used principally for a school-house.
The city is furnished with three FIRE ENGINES, with their accompanying hooks, ladders, hose, &c.
An extensive system of GRADING, DRAINAGE and PAVING was commenced in 1843, on Front-street, and has been prosecuted annually to the present time, giving to our town a more city-like appearance, and conducing to the healthfulness of the place.
GAS WORKS were built in 1855, and gas supplied to the city, on Main and Fifth streets, in the same year. Pipes are now laid on Main, Franklin, Fifth, Pearl, Sixth, Seventh and Spring streets.
OUR BANKS are : a Branch of the State Bank, begun in 1834; the Citizens’ Bank, in 1852; the Wayne County Bank (afterward Peoples’ Bank), in 1853; and Branch of the Bank of the State of Indiana, in 1857—all on the north side of Main-street. The Citizens’ Banking-house is among the most splendid building in the city.
In the vicinity of Richmond we have : “22 Flouring Mills, 24 Saw Mills, 1 Oil Mill, 2 Paper Mills, and a large number of Woolen factories.” We add : 2 very large brick houses, several stories high, devoted to Boarding Schoools. The larger one is owned by the “Orthodox Friends;” the other is private property. Both are within a mile or two of Richmond, the one west, the other south of the city. Also, several extensive Nurseries; a Floricultural establishment; 2 Sash, Blind, Door and Flooring Mills; a Cutlery Manufactory; a Shoe Peg Manufactory; a Soap and Candle Factory, beside two in town, in the limits of which we find two or three Coal-yards, Machine-shops, Manufactories, &c., &c., as per “DIRECTORY.”
JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT
* Resigned, to take effect when successors are elected
The following are the principal officers of the Executrive Departments, who form the Cabinet, and hold their appointment at the will of the President:
COMMISSIONER OF PATENTS.
JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT.
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