Brownsburg Indiana History

William Henry Harrison Medsker was 19 when he began to engage in daily activities at his home in Brownsburg, Indiana, in the late 19th century. His photographs of the everyday life of his family and friends give a unique insight into the life of a young man in a small town in western Indiana.

The Indians of Delaware lived along the White Lick Creek, then called Wa - ke - way or White Salt, in what is now Lincoln Township, on the west side of the Ohio River near its confluence with the Delaware River. The Delaware Indian Reservation, a group of Delaware Indians who lived in the western part of what we now call Lincoln County, Indiana, at the mouth of White Leck Creek, near what was then called Wa-ke - Paths or "White Salt." The Delaware Indians live along White Licks Creek in Lincoln County, Ohio, along the right - or middle - creek near the Confederate settlement of Washington, Pennsylvania, and near Whitelick Lake, now called Lincoln Township.

The Delaware Indians occupied what is now known as Brown and Lincoln Township, which was once an unbroken wilderness along White Lick Creek.

At that time, the area was a dense, unbroken wilderness, inhabited only by hunters and trappers. It was and still is a densely populated area with only a few hundred inhabitants.

As more people moved to the county, Plainfield, Danville and Brownsburg began to grow into commercial centers. Stagecoach lines built roads in the 1820s that connected the small, remote communities with Indianapolis. In 1910, the Interurban made daily trips between Indianapolis and Crawfordsville with regular hourly stops in Brownburg.

The Dawes Act proved a disaster for American Indians, and most of the remaining land was sold to white settlers. For thirty years, these people lost control of the land they controlled before it came into force in 1887. The Indians were not "Americanized" and could not become independent - and support farmers and ranchers as the creators of this policy had wished. They lived under policies that banned their traditional way of life, and for the next decade they did not provide crucial resources to support their businesses and families.

Reservations about the isolation of the indigenous peoples of whites were built to reduce the potential for conflict in order to pave the way for increased US expansion and engagement in the West. While the Kiowa and Comanche Indian tribes shared areas of the southern plains, the American Indians in the northwestern and southeastern territories were limited to the Indian territory of what is now Oklahoma. In fact, they regularly helped the settlers cross the plain - and, though some settlers lost their lives to American Indian attacks, this was not the norm. The method of allocation led to hostilities between the Indians and the United States government, sometimes ruining land that was the spiritual and cultural center of Indian activities.

The purchase of Gadsden led to the creation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the first military base in the United States, but America's expansion would not end there.

The lives of American Indians were dramatically changed by discriminatory and shady measures taken by the US authorities between 1850 and 1900. Indians were cheated of their land, food, and way of life when the federal government's "Indian regulations" forced them to make reservations and tried to "Americanize" them. When the government heard of the arrival of thousands of non-Indians in the Great Plains, it broke its promises from Treat and Fort Laramie and allowed them to stream into the area.

A stagecoach line built a road connecting the small, remote communities with Indianapolis in the 1820s. A railroad line served the Baltimore and Ohio B & O Company well into the 1960s, competing with the railroad lines of the late 19th century. Small schools were built on the outskirts of the city, as well as a small church and a public library.

In 1836, the city tried to establish a post office, discovered that Harrisburg existed in Indiana and founded it under the name Harrisburg. Although all post offices in Indiana County used this name, it was later changed to Brownsburg in 1839.

I used a magnifying glass to decipher some of the words that were harder to read and needed some additional research. When I went to the local cemetery, I stopped to do some research on the history of that time. I typed this entry and traveled back and forth between Brownsburg and Harrisburg, Indiana County, for a few hours.

I could see that William's father Peter Metsker was born in Ohio in 1814, although the sources for that year are different. It is noteworthy that Peter probably bought the land in Brownsburg in the late 18th or early 19th century, since he lived in Hendricks County around 1830.

More About Brownsburg

More About Brownsburg