Liberty Township is bounded north by Delaware Township, east by a portion of Randolph County, south by Perry and west by Center Township. The north tier of the sections in Liberty township is in congressional township 21. The balance of the township sections 1 to 30 inclusive being in township 20 and all in range 11 east.
Commencing at the northwest corner of the township, we find section 31. This section was entered in 11 different tracts by eight different parties. The first of these entries was the east half of the northwest quarter (80 acres) entered by Lewis Smith November 20, 1832, and now owned by J. H. Satterfield and P. C. Hirons. After this entry by Mr. Smith the government lands of this section were purchased by Jefferson Cox, John Guthrie, Stewart Cecil, Monroe Goff and John Dragoo in1835, and Jefferson Cox, John Moody, Jesse Holland and Monroe Goff in 1836.
The present owners of the land in section 31 are J. H. Satterfield, P. and S. Hirons, Samuel Bell, P. C. Hirons, S. Cecil and C. E. Reed. The section has three and a half miles of public roads, one and one-third of which is free pike. The L. E. & W. railroad crosses the section from the southwest to northeast and Muncie branch of Prairie creek drains the section. Lying east of 31 is section 32. There were no entries of public land in this section until May 30, 1836, when Thos. Points entered 40 acres in the southwest quarter, after which time all the remainder of public land in the section was purchased by the June following, by Joseph Newman, John Newcorn, George Moody, Thomas H. Weirman, John Moody, Jesse Holland and Samuel Moody.
At present (1899) the land owners in section 32 are L. & W. Gooritz, L. A. Gooritz, E. M. Thornburg, J. Jenkinson, P. C. Lillie, P. C. Hirons, M. M. Moody and A. Miller. The L. E. & W. railroad crosses the northwest corner of the section, about a mile southwest of DeSoto station. The section has three and a half miles of public road, one mile of which (that on the south line) is free pike. School No 3 is located in the southwest corner of this section.
East of section 32 is section 33. John Sparr entered the northeast quarter of this section (160 acres) on December 22, 1835. William W. Orr, of Muncie, now owns this tract. In 1836 the entire remaining lands of the section were purchased of the government by Thos Zarner, Joseph Newman and Thomas Bloom. The present land owners in section 33 are William W. Orr, F. H. Pittenger, F. Hitchcock, E. Evans, L. A. Goontz, S. S. Williams and N. Wood.
Section 34 was entered in the years 1835, 36 and 37, as follows: By James Orr, Adam Boots and William Henry Williams in 1835; Ila Lake and Wm. H. Williams in 1836; Robert Lake and Pendroy in 1837. At present the land owners in section 34 are J. and C. Orr, J. H. Orr, Wm. W. Orr, G. T. Orr, N. Truitt, J. S Hopping, P. E. Mott and L. Mott. School No. 2 is located near the west center of this section, just across in section 33 The section has three miles of public road, two and a half miles of which are free gravel pike.
Section 35 lies just east of section 34. Its lands were entered in 1835 by John Dinsmore (southwest quarter), and in 1836 by Daniel Fox, William Woods and Samuel Lewellen. At present the section is divided up into small farms and are owned by S. R. Strong, A. Shroyer, P. and A. Pittenger, L. S. Sparks, J. A. Shroyer, M. J. Murray, I. K. Ketterman, M. R. Sparks, J. E. Campbell and W. Orr's heirs.
Section 36 lies in the northeast corner of Liberty township. It was entered in 1836 and 1837, in small tracts, there being twelve entries made by eleven parties, as follows: In 1836 by Samuel S. Swain, David Fox, Samuel Malcolm, Solomon Rohrbaugh, John W. Baughn, Elijah Reeves, Samuel Lewellen and John Hines, and in 1837 by James Sparr and Thomas Gough. Section 36 is now owned by J. W. Meeks, A. F. Meeks, J. and T. Mills, S. A. Tharp, W. W. Current, S. R. Strong, S. A. Leavell, M. Leavell, P. and S. Pogue, J. H. Baughn, A. B. Hoover, J. A. Shroyer and M. S. Tharp. The section has some four miles of public road, about one-half of which is free gravel pike.
Section 1 is the east section of the north tier of sections in Township 20. On February 19, 1833, Benjamin Irwin Blythe entered the fractional northwest quarter of this section. Subsequently, by act of Congress of June 23, 1836, the balence of the public land in section 1, together with all of section, 2 (also fractional) was reserved for school purposes. Section 1 is now owned and generally occupied by Oliver Jones, S. C. Bartlett, S. Ketterman, A. Ketterman, D. A. Stephens, M. S. Tharp, Joseph Meeks and A. B. Hoover. This section has nearly three miles of public road, and is very thoroughly drained by the headwaters of Campbell's creek.
Section 2, lying west of section 1, is owned at present by N. Ketterman, I. K. Ketterman, W. C. Swander, W. and H. Swander, A. C. Dragoo, W. H. Hitchcock, D. A. Stephens and William H. Murray. The section has three miles of road, one of which is free pike. School No. 1 is located near the northeast corner of the section, in the corner of section 35.
Section 3 was somewhat late in getting into market, as its lands were all entered in the years of 1836 and 1837-during the first of these years by James H. Neal, who made three entries, and in 1837 by Moses E. McConnell, Meeker Shroyer and John Givan. The present land owners of section 3 are J. H. Hopping, N. Truitt, D. R. Hopping, J. and M. Shroyer, J. C. Huffman, M. F. Mason, N. J. Shroyer, J. Searls, S. and E. Whitney and J. Hitchcock. This section has two and-a-half miles of public road, the Albany and Selma free gravel pike passing north and south through the center.
Section 4 was first entered by John Morrison on July 24, 1834, after which time there were no further entries until 1836, when purchases were made by James H. Neal, James Huffman, George Barton, Jonas Huffman and Samuel M. Kinsley. In 1837 the entries of the section were completed by John Morrison and John Givan. Section 4 is now owned by T. B. Small, F. Hitchcock, J. Searles, G. W. Sayers and W. H. Phillips. This section has 2¼ miles of public road, 1¼ of which is free pike, and school No. l0 is located in the southwest quarter.
Section 5, like section 4, was first entered in 1834. However, the pioneer of section 5 was William Bromfield, who entered a 40-acre tract at that time (October 22, 1834). The other parties purchasing in this section were Joseph Howrey, in 1835, and George W. Miller, William Broadrick, William L. Gough and Willis Ball, in 1836. This section is now owned by G. and L. Miller, A. Miller, John Shafer, W. H. Phillips and E. M. Gough. The section has free gravel pike on both its north and south lines, with a public road on a portion of the west line.
Section 6 joins Center township. Its lands were entered in 1834, by Reuben Preston, and in 1836, by Reuben Preston, John Kinsley, Washington Heck and Dr. Samuel P. Anthony. The present owners of section 6 are P. M. Carpenter, A. Harmon, S. Holt, A. H. Gough, C. C. IIitons, M. E. Bell and John A. Jones.
Section 7, Liberty township, lies three miles east of the north part of the city of Muncie and adjoining Center township. The first of its congress lands ever purchased of the government was by Charles Points on June 18, 1833, and was the east half of the southeast quarter, 80 acres, and now owned by the heirs of Milton Truitt and J. R. Sprankle. During the year 1835 entries were made by Joseph Rash and Willis Hance. In 1836 the remainder of the public lands in this section were taken up by Henry Phillips, John Richey and Washington Heck. We find the land owners at this time to be A. Gough, L. F. Miller, C. C. IIirons, Milton Truitt's heirs, J. and O. Jones, J. R. Sprankle and J. S. Wood. This section has the Centennial pike on the north, and the Selma pike on the south line.
As early as May 27, 1831, there were two entries of government land in section 8, the one was the northeast quarter 160 acres by Eli Babb, and the other was the east half of the northwest quarter 80 acres by John Robinson. In 1833 one entry only was made and that by John Barton. In 1834 but one entry by John Richey. In 1835 one entry by Ranzel Barton, and in 1836 two, one by Thomas Sweetman, and the other by Peter Clark. The land lords of section 8 at the present time are M. and W. Hufford, W. H. Phillips, E. T. Babb's heirs, E. M. Gough, L. F. Miller, Delaware county (for infirmary) and Milton Truitt's heirs. This section has four miles of public roads, two miles of which is free gravel pike. The north half of the section is drained by Hog creek, a tributary to White river.
Section 9 had but one land owner prior to 1836. This was William Barnes who entered the east half of the southwest quarter (80 acres) on January 3d, 1834. This tract is owned at present partly by J. F. Jackson and partly by W. H. Burtt. In 1836 entries were made by Aaron Stout, John Neal, Gilbert Winsett, Ranzel Barton and Charles Metone and the last public land in the section was purchased by William M. Clark on December 6, 1838. Section 9 is owned in small farms generally by R. S. Arbogast, I. P. Arbogast, J. H. Hitchcock, G. W. Sayres, J. M. Putney, C. Sholtz, S. E. Dotson, J. E. Neal, Jr., J. F. Jackson, and W. H. Burt. The section has five miles of public road, that on the south line being the Muncie and Selma free pike. The southeast corner of this section joins the town of Selma.
The east half of section 10, 320 acres was also reserved for the use of schools by an act of congress passed June 23, 1835. The west half was sold to Isaac Barnes, John Neal and Daniel Lutz in 1837 and the last 80 tract to John McConnell April 6, 1837. Section 10 is now owned by J. W. Bortsfield, C. Sholtz, T. Barnes, J. McCall, S. E. Dotson and the town of Selma, a portion of which occupies a small portion in the southwest corner of the section. The section has nearly five miles of road, the Albany and Selma pike crossing the center north and south.
All of section 11 was entered in the year 1836 by four persons and all entered in the month of August. Isaac Dunn entered the southeast quarter and the northwest quarter, and John A. Gilbert the southwest quarter August 13. Thomas Wallace entered the west half of the northeast quarter August 17, and John VanBuskirk the east half of the same quarter August 20. Eleven is now owned by A. C. Dragoo, J. Shrack, A. B. Hoover, W. H. Murray, J. A. Fowler, M. J. Gunkle, A. A. Yates, J. Pittenger, T. J. Simmons and N. Jones, Jr. Section 11 is surrounded by public roads, having one on each section line.
All the public land in section 12, Liberty township was purchased of the government on the same day, August 19, 1836. Joseph Brandon purchased the northeast quarter, 160 acres, Jacob M. Johnson, the southeast quarter, 16O acres, and Peter Clyne the west half, 320 acres. This section joins Randolph county and its present owners are R. Meeks, J. Meeks, J. Simmons, N. Jones' heirs, C. Jones, W. H. Pierce, L. J. Reed and S. F. Shrack. The section has public roads on the north, south and west lines.
Section 13 lies south of section 12, and also adjoins Randolph county. The lands of this section were also all taken up in 1836. Levi Bowersby entered the northwest quarter on June 13; George Dickey the southwest quarter August 26, and the southeast quarter the same day; John VanBuskirk entered the east half of the northeast quarter August 20, and Lewis Kendall the west half of the same quarter August 26. The section is now owned by N. Jones' heirs, and C. Jones, H. Yates, J. W. Goings, S. Jones, J. M. Patterson, H. B. Murray, I. E. Crampton, G. M. Dunkin, M.J. Patty, and J. M. Davis. The section has public roads on the north and west; also east and west, through the center. The Big Four railroad crosses the northern part of the section in an east and west direction.
Section 14 was purchased of the government in 1836 and 1837. During the first mentioned year the purchasers were: Eleazer Coffeen, Benjamin Plantz and Daniel Ellenberger. In 1837 purchases were made by Lewis Shroyer and John McConnell. The section is now divided up into small parcels and owned by R. L. Vaught, B. Stonebreaker, N. Winger, M. J, Gunkle, G. and G. Goings, W. Moore, E. Simmons, L. R. Black, J. Winget, L. A. Winget, W. Dunkin, Jr, B. F. Dunkin and J. Dotson's heirs. The section has public roads on the north, east and west; also through the center, with the Big Four railroad running through the northern part. School No. 6 is located on the east side of the section, near the half section line.
Section 15 was entered in small tracts, there being eleven entries in all, and al, with one exception, were made in 1836. The entries during this year were made by Henry Ellenberger, Daniel Ellenberger (2), David Mays, Aaron Marshall, George Dickey, Chester Searles, William Weir (2) and Gilbert Winset. The entry in 1837 was made by William McConnelI. Section 15 is now owned by William Hanna, J. and N. Hutchings, A. E. Hoover, J. Greenwalt, E. J. Price, N. E. Black, D. C. Sweeny, J. Dotson's heirs, William Lewis, and the greater part of the town of Selma, which town ties principally in this section. The section has five miles of public roads besides the streets of the village.
Section 16, as in all other townships, is the school section, and as such was sold to the highest bidders on May 12, 1832, and brought the minimum price, $1.25 per acre, making the total receipts for the section $800. The parties purchasing this section were: Jacob Earhart, 80 acres; William Barnes, 40 acres; Samuel G. Campbell, 160 acres; William Stansbury, 40 acres; William Poland, 40 acres; Frederick Goings, 40 acres; James F. Davis, 80 acres; A. R. East, 160 acres. The present owners of this school section are: R. Dunkle, S. J. Williams, J. Goings, M. W. Campbell, J. Jackson, C. Carmichael, J. W. Goings, W. Bortsfield, and N. Black, E. G. Campbell and D. C. East. The section has some four miles of public road, and one mile of the Big Four railroad in the northern part.
Section 17 was entered as early as 1833 and as late as 1837. The entries in 1833 were made by Joseph Humphreys, William Payton, Jr., and Jacob Payton, in 1835; by Frederick Goings, in 1836; by George Dickey, John Morgan, Lewis Kendall and Alexander Addis, and in 1837 by John Norris. We now find this section owned by W. H. Campbell, J. W. Goings, W. H. Burtt, L. Skiff et al, C. Hedrick, M. Cowley, D. C. East, M. Whitney, H. Whitney, H. Graham and J. C. Watt. The section has three miles of public road, that on the north line being free pike. School No. 4 is located in the northwest corner of the section. The first entry of land in section 18 was made on the 24th of August, 1829, by Elijah Casteel. Then followed the entries of Washington Downing, in 1830; David Hamer and Joseph Mulkins, in 1832; James Tilden, in 1834, and John Guthrie, in 1835. The present land owners in section 18 are: J. S. Graham, S. A. Graham, P. Graham, C. and V. Bullock, A. Guthrie, Catherine Meeker, J. C. Watt, Charles W. Cecil, J. M. Graham and William Ribble. The section has a free pike on the north, and also one on the south line, and a public road on the east line. The Big Four railroad runs east and west through the northern part.
Section 19, Liberty township, lying east of, and adjoining Center township was entered in the years 1831-'32 and '33. John Moore was the first pioneer land owner of this section, he entering the northwest quarter (fractional) 147 5-100 acres, and the west half of the northeast quarter 80 acres on February 2, 1831. In 1832 entries were made in the east half of the section by Reuben Preston and William Payton. In 1833 the southwest quarter was entered by Jacob Payton, Jr., and Joseph Dungan. The present land owners in section 19 are J. C. Watt, Charles W. Cecil, C. Guthrie, P. Guthrie, Z. T. Williams, J. R. Koons, G. Fulhart, D. Rees; Jr., D, H. Simmons and J. L. Simmons. The section has three miles of public road 1¼ miles of which is the Muncie and Smithfield free gravel pike. The Mt. Tabor cemetery is on the south line of this section near the southeast corner.
Section 20 was entered in the years of 1831 to 1839, as follows: In 1831 by James Truitt, Reuben Preston, Thomas Whitney and Lewis Smith. In 1832 by Thomas Hamilton, Asaiel Thornburg and William N. Smith. In 1833 by Thomas Hamilton, 1836 by Parker Truitt and John Smith, and in 1839, by David Rench. The present owners of these lands are Jane Lenon, Walter A. Cecil, M. Whitney, J. Babb, E. C. Gough, Jesse Truitt, O. S. Lenon, J. C. Hoover and J. Snider. This section has three miles of road, also 1¼ of which is free pike.
James Jackson entered the east half of the southeast quarter of section 21 on the l1th day of November, 1822. This was among the earliest purchases in the county, and the second entry ever made in what is now Liberty township. This tract is now owned partly by Jane Lenon and partly by Walter A. Cecil. After the advent of Mr Jackson in this section, entries were made in 1825 by David Stout, in 1827 another by James Jackson, in 1828, another by David Stout in 1829 and 1830 by Parker Truitt, also in 1830 by Andrew Collins. In 1833 by John Stout and in 1835 the last of the section was entered by James Truitt. Section 21 is now owned by A. S. Cecil, M. M. Hopping, Jane Lenon and Jesse Truitt. The section has about three miles of public road, and is well drained by the White river passing through the east, central and southern parts.
Section 22 is the section in which is located the old town of Smithfield. This section was settled early. The first entry was made by David Branson and Morgan Thornburg in 1923 ( My note: most likely intended to be 1823 ). In 1824 entries were made by David Branson and Thomas Cox. In 1829 by William Wire and James Jackson. In 1936 entries were made by John Richardson and Abraham Bush. Section 22 is now owned by J. Dotson's heirs, J. S. Dunkle, J. and N. Hutchings, William Lewis, W. Bortsfield, H. Hutchings, J. L. Hutchings, W. Dunkle, F. N Cannady and the town plat of Smithfield. White river crosses the southeast and southwest corners of the section, which is also well supplied with public roads.
The first entry of public land in section 23 was made by John G. Decas, January 9, 1824. After this other entries were made in 1827 by Asa M. Thornburg, in 1829 by John and Solomon Stout, and Levi Bawlsby, in 1832, by John Rush Deeds, in 1836 by Eleazer Coffeen, Christian Life, John Richardson and Loring A. Waldo, and in 1837 by Landrine Rash and Thomas Rash. The section is now owned by L. D. Wright, W. Dunkle, Jr., W. Bush. J. S. Dunkle, H. Spangler, E. Cecil, A. D. Spangler, O. Sherwood, and M. Lesh. White river passes through the section in nearly a west course generally, although meandering around considerably and somewhat crooked. School No. 7 is located near the southeast corner of this section.
Section 24 was settled in 1823 to 1837. The land was purchased in 1823 by George Blalock; in 1829 by John Connor; in 1830 by Michael Mayer; in 1835 by James Burr and Thomas Wallace; in 1836 by Joseph Lewis and Samuel Cray, and in 1837 by Lewis Shroyer. This section joins Randolph county and is owned by Joseph Meeks, J. C. Naylor, J. Cline, T. Naylor, W. H. Naylor, W. Stephens, C. E. Sutton, J. G. Cecil, et al., and D. Brooks, et al. The section has but 1½ miles of public road. This section is well watered by White river in the southern and Phillips creek in the northern part.
(My note: Ellis did not identify this as Section 25.) Some six years before any other purchase of public land was made in section 24, John Fowler entered an 80 acre tract in the northeast part of the section, this was on April 4, 1825. After which time entries were made by Michael Pepper, in 1831; John B. Bailes in 1832; John Conner in 1833; John Gardner in 1834, and Henry Clyne, Isaac Cline and John Pennington in 1836. This is the southeast corner section of Liberty township, and its lands are owned by S. E. McAlister, J. Clyne, J. G. Cecil, D. Brooks, et al., J. W. Odle, M. and J. Grable, S. Kegrice, J. O. Gable and J. Will.
The section has nearly four miles of public road, most of which is free gravel pike. The first entry of the public domain in section 26 was made by Levi Bawlsby in 1829. Then followed the entries of Peter Clyne and Lowring A. Waldo in 1831, Peter Clyne, Uriah Bulla and Jacob Thornburg in 1833, John Gardner in 1834, and Samuel Williams and Isaac Clyne in 1839.
The public land in section 27 was entered by Peter Halstead and Lowring A Waldo in 1830; David Stout in 1831, Norse Main in 1832; Willian Williams, Sr., George Turner, Jr., Jonas Hammer, Francis Collins and Joseph Shields in 1836. Twenty-seven is now owned by P, C. Spangler, A. D. Spangler, H. Parrott, F. N. Cannady, M. A. Eckberg, J. C. Williams, Z. T. Dunkin, J. T. Stiffler, M. Dunkin, G.F. Dunkin, A. C. Dunkin and L. L. Denny. The section has 3½ miles of public road, and White river passes through the north part of the section for a distance of half a mile.
One of the first entries of land ever made within the present bounds of Liberty township and among the first in the county, was that of the west half of the northwest quarter of section 28, 80 acres entered by William Blunt. Sr., December 9, 1822. The other lands of this section were entered by Wilder Potter in 1822 (but seven days later); William Barnes in 1826; William Pallen in 1831. William Barnes in 1832; Samuel Cecil in 1835; James H. Cecil and William Barnes in 1836, and Henry Bates and William I. Poff in 1837. The present land owners in section 28 are Arthur A. Cecil, Z. T. Dunkin, A. R. Lenon, O. S. Lenon, L. L. Denny, G. A. Ribble, I. B. Cline and M. Marley. White river crosses the northwest, and school No. l0 is located in the sontheast corner of this section.
In section 29 Wilder Potter was the first landlord entering the east half of the southeast quarter, December 16, 1822. Then William Stansbury, John Smith and Asael Thornburg in 1830 John Richey in 1831; Thomas Wilcoxon, Isaac DeWitt, John Smith and John W. Cecil in 1832. At present 29 is owned by O. S Lenon, C. W. Collins, Walter A. Cecil, B. Frank Smith's heirs and W. Ribble, et al. White river angles across the the southeast corner of this section, affording good natural drainage.
Alson Ashley and Henry Bolton jointly entered the east half of the southeast quarter of section 30 on May 30, 1823. After this entries were made in this section as follows: In 1828 by Samuel Simmons; in 1830 by Thomas Crawford and Henry Bolton; in 1831 by Samuel Simmons; in 1832 by Jacob Payton, Samuel Hutchings and Henry Bolton, and in 1834. by Samuel Cecil. The present owners of section 30 are: Walter A. Cecil, D. Rees, L. W. Rees, B. Frank Smith's heirs, E. and M. Rees, H. Shroyer, S. J. Guthrie, C. Fullhart, R. Lenon and J. M. Lenon. School No. 9 is located near the northeast corner, and the famous Inlow Springs are in the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of this section.
(End of Liberty Township-Click NEXT for Delaware Township)