Eller Chronicles Aug 92 p-3

The Eller Chronicles


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Letter from Roberta B. Reagan, Genealogical Chairman, Hamilton County Historical Society, dated Feb. 28, 1992, to Jean Oliver. Excerpts follow:

"Enclosed are copies found in the Vertical Files in the Noblesville Southeastern on Eller.

"Cline & McHaffie. The People's Guide, A Business, Political and Religious Directory of Hamilton County, IN. (Indianapolis: Indianapolis Printing and Publishing
House, 1874). 411 pp.
p. 365: "Delaware Twp.)

Eller, G.; farmer; Fisher's Switch; b. OH 1823; Settled Hamilton Co. 1824; Methodist.
Eller, P.W.; farmer, Fisher's Switch; b. Hamilton Co. 1842.
Eller, M.A.; farmer, 3 1/2 m se Carmel; b. Hamilton Co. 1846; Republican; Methodist.
Eller, F.C.; farmer; Fisher's Switch; b. Hamilton Co. 1844; Republican; Methodist. p. 208 Jackson Twp.
Emrick, Isaac; farmer; 1 1/2 m ne Cicero; b. PA 1836; Settled Hamilton Co. 1856; Republican; Lutheran."

"Helm, T.B. History gf Hamilton County, IN. (Chicago: Kingman Brothers, 1880). 176pp.
p. 147: Business Directory -
Eller, Geo. W; Delaware Twp., Sect. 3; Settled H.C. 1824; b. OH; Address: Fisher's Station; farmer
Eller, M.A.; Sect. 8; Settled H.C. 1845; b. IN; Address: Mattsville; farmer
Eller, J.W.; Sect. 3; Settled H.C. 1839; b. IN,, Address: Fisher's Station; farmer/Stock dealer.
Eller, James W.; Sect. 3; Settled H.C. 1841; b. IN; Address Fisher's Station; Farmer/Stock dealer

ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 166

Index to Supplemental Records, Marriaige Transcripts Hamilton Co, IN 1880-1905 (Indiana Works Project Administration, 1941).
Farmer, Zurba (Luzerba); Father: A.B. Farmer; Mother: Laura Eller; white female; age 21; m. 9/22/1897; C-4 p. 4
Farmer, Winnie M.; same father and mother; age 22; 12/5/1891; C-2 p. 18
Farmer, Fannie; same father and mother; age 20; 5/15/1892; C-2 p. 22
Emrick, Robert Dewitt; Father: Robert; Mother: --Smith; white male, age 24; 9/22/ 1897; C-4 p. 6
(Note: Jean Oliver- All of these are my family members)

Index to Birth Records, Hamilton Co., IN 1880-1920, 2 Vol. (Indiana Works Progress Administration 1941)
Emrick, Catherine (Katherine) child of Robert and Zerba (Luzerba)(Farmer) Em- rick, b. 1 Aug. 1900; Books CH-2 p. 4 and H-5 p. 46.
(Aunt of Jean Oliver)

Index to Death Records, Hamilton Co. IN 1882-1920. (Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1942)
Eller, George, white male, age 88, Feb. 19, 1912; Noblesville; CH-3 p. 20.
(Note: Jean Oliver- Feel certain this is the George Eller- father of Laura Eller Farmer.)
Farmer, Abigale B., white male, age 69; May 30, 1903; Noblesville, CH-2 p. 12

Obituary Card File Index

ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 167


Information from Hamilton Co. (labeled G pf 977.201 Huncat no. 1-15 16-25)

White Chapel Cemetery on 116th St. between State Roads #37 and #431 in Hamilton Co. A sign on the small church says it was erected in 1853. Across the road is a flowing well. In 1926 a marker was erected and dedicated to the pioneer families of the community. When I was there in June, 199 1, there were a number of people filling containers of water from the well which is still flowing abundantly.

From Gravestones:

Farley Cemetery W. Salem - Gibson also called Stunkel E. Hwy. 68 Johnson Twp.

Marriages: June 1843 to April 1851

Court Document: Noblesville Southeastern Public Library:

[Eds.- See Hook p. 48. "Pulaski W. Eller5" is listed as the son of "John Eller4, (Joseph3, Leonard2, Georize Michael1. " Hook p. 47, "Phoebe Eller5 1853; d. 20 May 1881. "Hook lists her as d/o Absolom Eller4, bro/o Jphn Eller. This is probably the Phoebe in the above deed who was wife of John Wickersham.]

ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 168

H = History of Hamilton County" by J, P, Haines
Hi= History of Hamilton County by Kingman Bros.
P = People's Guide, Cline and McHoffie
Po= Portrait and Biographical Record of Madison and Hamilton Counties, 1893.


Absolom, (1815-1871) Hi 116(3): Po 388. 491 624 623, 627
Allie, (Hankley) w. Jess. H 852
Alonzo, Po 625
Andrew, H 852; Po 609
Annn (Overdgrf) w. John. M. 1871, H 852
Catherine, H 852
Celinda (Rooker) w. John. Po 388
Charles, H 852
Chauncy M.. Po 625
Clifford, H 853
David, H 852
Donald Murrell, H 852
Eda, H 852
Edward, H 852, 853
Elizabeth H 852
Elizabeth, m. Francis Beck, Po 624
Elizabeth, (Auchenback) w. Andrew H 852
Elizabeth (Rooker) w. Absalom, d. 1881. Po388, 491,625, 627
Elsie, m. B. Newby. H 852
Ethel, H 852
Eva, H 852
Eay Olive, H 852
Fernando C., b. 1843?, P365; Po 491, 625
Flora, m. Frank Landis H 852
Frank, Po 625
George, Po 624
George W., b., 1823, Hi 147; p 365
Grace (Black) w. Frank, Po 625
H., H 249
Hannah Elizabeth, m Asa Williamson 1882, Po 625. 627
Harvey, Po 624
Henry, H 852; Po 624
Hervey, Po 625
Lmgram ?. Po 491
J., b. 1847. P 326
J.H., H 207
Jacob, Po 624
James W., b 1841, H 139. Hi 83, 147, Po 155, 491, 624-25
Jess, H 852
John, Po 388, 625
John, b. 1851, H 851-53
Joseph, Hi 57, 113; Po 625
Joseph, (1788-1854) Hi 114; Po 491, 624; S? 23, 115
Kenneth. H 852
Laura (Jack) w. Edward, H 853
Leonard, (1754-1840) Hi 113. Po 491. 624
Letha, H 852
Luella (Young) w. William, H 852
Lydia, m. Frank Kauffman, H 852
Lydia (Sanders) w. Fernando C.. b. 1844. Po 491
M.A., Hi 147
M.A., b. 1846, p. 365
Marie, H 852
Marion- d. 1892. Po 625
Martha (Applegate) w. James W., b. 1846. Po 625
Mary, m. Alfred Leaman, H 852. Po 609
Mary A. (Myers) w. Pulaski, H 986
Mary M., m. David Wilkinson, H 628
Matilda, m. David Allison, Po 624
Maude, Po 625
Nora. H 952
Orlie, H 852
P.W., b. 1842 P 365
Paul, H 852
Peter, H 852
Phoebe Po 625
Pulaski- H 986. W 77
Rachel, m. David Wilkinson, d 1886. Po 375, 422, 624
Rachel (Eller) w. Joseph, b. 1791. Po 491, 624
Ray, H 852
Ruth. H 852
Salinda m. P. Farley, Po 614
Sarah, m. George Dunn, H 852
Susan (Sumner) w. Charles, H 852
Venita- H 853
Wayne, H 852
William. H 852; Po 624
& Beaver, H 949
& Heady, Hi 58
family, C 14.

ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 170


Note that Eller tracts were located on each side of the White River in 1866 and 1880. The 1922 map shows only two Eller tracts, Martha Eller and Wm. H. Eller, both on the east side of the river. Seven different Eller tracts appear on the 1866 map, 5 on the east side of the river and two on the west; one tract extends to both sides of the river:

( Note: Boundaries of Eller tracts cross-hatched on all maps)

1866 Map:
East side of river:

  1. Plat No. 113, H. Eller, the most northern plat.
  2. A. ELLER plat, to the southwest of #1 a portion extends across river.
  3. Plat No. I 1 0, H. Eller directly south of plat No. 1 1 3.
  4. J. ELLER plat directly west and adjoining plat no. 1 10.
  5. G. ELLER plat along eastern shore of river adjoining A. Eller plat.

West side of river:
  1. A. ELLER plat closest to river.
  2. D. ELLER? and W. ELLER to the northwest of the A. Eller plat.

(Eds. J.W. Hook, pp. 45-46, says: Absolom Eller, b. 3 April 1815; d. 18 May 1872 owned two farms ... an 80 acre farm [probably #6 above on the west side of river] and was partner in a 200 acre farm [probably # 2 on east side of river with a portion extending across to the west side.]) The remaining plats were probably properties of the sons of Absolom Eller.

The 1866 map which shows large plats of land owned by a single ELLER is in marked contrast to the 1880 map which, only sixteen years later, show numerous small subdivisions of the 1866 plats. Some of the original Eller tracts in the 1922 map are owned by Eller descendants - example: Plat No. 114 on the west side of the river is listed for Asa Williamson. Elizabeth, daughter of Absolom Eller married Asa Williamson; Asa Williamson is also listed in Plat No. 120 on the west side of the river, a part of which was Eller land in 1866.)

(Eds. The identity of the owners is not readily apparent from the maps; many, no doubt, are descendants of Leonard Eller of the George Michael Eller line while some may belong to descendants of David and John Eller of the Roanoke Co., VA Eller line.)

ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 171


The ELLER BRIDGE near Noblesville, Hamilton Co., Indiana, was described in news stories published July 20, 1930 and in 1946. JOSEPH ELLER, the person for whom the bridge was named was the son of LEONARD ELLER and grandson of GEORGE MICHAEL ELLER. (Sketch of bridge on front cover by Jean Oliver)

ANOTHER ELLER LANDMARK --- the ELLER ROAD on plat maps for 1973 and 1988. Locate route 37A in lower left hand comer and follow north to the inter-section with ELLER ROAD.

Hook, p. 45:

"Joseph Eller3, (Leonard2, George Michaell) b. 25 Oct. 1788 in N.C.; d. in Hamilton Co., Indiana in 1854. (Order Book 1, p. 533, 543, 587. Order Book 2, p. 110, 145. Order Book 3, p. 216 Hamilton Co., Ind., Clerk's Office.) He m. 15 Mch. 181 1, Rachel Casey, b. 19 Feb. 179 1, who predeceased her husband. (Miami Co., Ohio Marriages, also see "Portrait and Biog. Record for Madison and Hamilton Counties, Ind., 1933, pp. 624/625.) The family removed from Miami Co., Ohio to Hamilton Co., Ind. in 1822. The children of Joseph and Rachel (Casey) Eller were as follows." Hook lists 12 children; only names and dates extracted below:

  1. - Matilda Eller4, m. 4 Dec. 1839, David Allison
  2. - Absolom Eller4, b. 3 April 1815; d. 18 May 1872.
  3. - John Eller4, m. 24 Dec. 1840, Celinda Rooker.
  4. - Rachel Eller4, m. David Wilkinson.
  5. - Harvey Eller4, b. 1820/21 in Ohio; d. 13 June 1891 in Noblesville.
  6. - Henry Eller4, b. 1822 in Ohio; m. Sarah Ann, probably Sarah Ann Heady.
  7. - George Eller4, b. 1824; m. 4 May 1848,. Lucinda Stipp.
  8. - William Eller4, d. unmarried.
  9. - Jacob Eller4, b. 1830; m. 29 May 1856, Susan Catherine West.
  10. - Elizabeth Eller4, b. 1832; m. 22 Feb. 1852, Francis M. Beck.
  11. - Salinda Eller4, b. 1834; m. 6 June 1850, Freeman Farley.
  12. - Joseph Eller4, youngest son. He is said to have died young.
For each of the above children, Hook, on pp. 45-50, provides additional details including children bom to each couple.)

ELLER REUNIONS AND THE BEN HUR PARK IN HAMILTON COUNTY, INDIANA. from The Elkin (West Va.) Inter-Mountain. Sept. 22, 1947

"As the years continued the Eller reunion was held in the early fall each year and as it continued to grow in attendance, Mr. Eller [George H. Eller] developed a park on the bank of the river known as the Ben Hur Park...... see following story: West Liberty: Gone But Not Forgotten and the name, U.F. (Union Forever) Eller, we have seen many unusual Eller names but this takes the prize so far.


ELLER CHRONICLES Vol. VI:3,   August. 1992 pp. 179

West Liberty: Gone But Not Forgotten

(First of a series)

Back when Fishers was known as "Mudsock" and Ben Hur was a thriving park on the South bank of White-River, a settlement existed in Delaware Township by the name of West Liberty.

In its day West Liberty included a church, a school, a grocery store, a blacksmith's shop, a cluster of farm residences, and a race track once rumored as a likely location for Indiana's State Fair. Today only three of the original structures remain. The Marion Leatherman farm home is still standing near the Allisonville Road and 106th Street intersection as is the home of John Neiman, the area's blacksmith. Old District School No. 8 has meanwhile been converted into a private residence.

The race track with its colorful sulkies has long since been replaced by Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport, and a nursery occupies the premises near the church site, a three cornered plot where Willow Road comes north from the county line;

In its l00-year-old history the brick school building has served various roles. Stories are legion regarding this familiar landmark, particularly during the 1940s when it was a chicken dinner place operated by Paul and Virginia Brown. One anecdote concerned two Noblesville attorneys. Disappointed to find the popular eating spot had closed for the evening, the two proceeded to kick out the panels of the establishment's front door.

JOHN THOMPSON, West Liberty's grocer, is shown seated on the porch of the Marion Leatherman home in this early photograph provided by Leatherman's granddaughter, Mrs. John R. Jones, Indianapolis, nee Marian Castetter. Leatherman descendants still living in Hamilton County include Mrs. Jones' daughter, Merry Ann Dodd (Mrs. Kenneth); grandchildren, Kathryn Wyant (Mrs. Dennis F.), Debbie, Mark, Christine, John, Tom, and David Dodd; and great-grandchildren, Leigh Ann and Michael Dodd, and Jennifer Lynn Wyant. Mrs. Jones' son, John R. Jones, Jr., lives in Marion County.

"Anybody within walking distance was a part of West Liberty," recalls Mrs. John R. Jones, Indianapolis, whose grandfather, Marion Leatherman was one of the area's early settlers. The Lcaiherman's spacious yellow poplar frame home, constructed in 1877 was a show place in it's time and a convenient focus for West Liberty activities. Neighbors got together for winter sledding, school and church events, or, as was frequently the case, just dropped in. "Doors were never locked in those days," Mrs. Jones remembers.

The community's name may have derived from the Quaker church which crowned the hill, but historians think otherwise. The name preceded the church's construction, they believe. Just how or when West Liberty acquired its name is for the time being undetermined. Mrs. Jones recalls no stories as to its origin. Nor do other longtime residents.

Many American towns established during the 19th century were named Liberty, testimony perhaps to the patriotic fervor of the times. Moving West, settlers commonly applied popular or familiar names to new surroundings. Since a Liberty, Indiana already existed near the Ohio border,

the designation "West Liberty" may have been geographically as well as patriotically inspired. Whatever the case, the name continued in wide usage at least through several generations. Newspaper headlines as late as 1935 refer to the West Liberty community or West Liberty neighborhood.

The Quaker church was another matter. Founded in 1896 as a preparative meeting under the guidance of the larger monthly meeting at Carmel, it survived until World War I and no longer. The West Liberty Friends Church was discontinued or, in the more picturesque church terminology "laid down" in 1917 or soon afterwards. Willard Heiss's book, "A List Of All The Friends Meetings That Exist Or Ever Have Existed In Indiana," refers to it simply as a mission church, "1896-circa 1920, location unknown, probably Marion County"

Hamilton County records show that the church property. a rectangular section 75 by 135 feet, was deeded Carmal Monthly Meeting proviso that if religious worship or Sunday services ceased for a period of five years the property would revert to the owner or his heirs. Such quit claim was executed by the trustees at Carmel in 1923, giving credence, according to Quaker authorities, to the church's 1917 or 1918 demise.

NO LONGER standing, the out-buildings of the Leatherman farm included a smoke house and two barns, shown in the photographs The historic barn at right was given to Conner Prairie Pioneer Setiement in 1975.

West Liberty's congregation, small in numbers, was apparently large in commitment. A report to the Carmel Monthly Meeting in 1907 refers to its "18 active members and five dedicated families." Among these were many names long associated with Delaware Township history - the Leathermans, the Overbys, the Guilkeys, the Thompsons, the Whitesells, and U.F. (Union Forever) Eller, whose name, now legendary in Hamilton county, reflected his parents' political sentiments if not his own. Members also came by horse and buggy from as far away as Castleton. Marion Leatherman, as his granddaughter remembers, moved his fences back for the convenience of churchgoers coming north from Marion County along what is now Willow Road. But all their enthusiasm could not sustain the small white frame church indefinitely. With diminishing numbers,,, the church was forced to close its door.

Delaware Township in 1978 displays few traces of its once small and self-sustaining comunities. New settlements of the subdivision variety have sprung up with populations far larger than the earlier settlements such as New Britton and Fishers Station, the town's official title prior to 1915. The names as well as the houses are contemporary: Sunblest 1, 11, and 111, Lynnwood Hills, Willow Crest, Cottingham Estates, Connerwood, White Oaks, Hamilton Hills.

In the midst of these modern communities are reminders such as West Liberty, Their stories, still repeated, are the enduring legacy of earlier days.

(Next week: An old story ends happily.)

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