Poe, formerly Williamsport, Allen County, Indiana

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A small town in Marion Township, in southwest Allen County, Indiana. Originally named Williamsport for land platted by my 4th greatgranduncle William Essig, who deeded land for a church and the Poe Williamsport Cemetery south of town where he is buried with his wife and several of his children and their descendants including Heckbur, Lipes, and Turner, for a total of 13 with the Essig name. His brother, my 4th great-grandfather, George ESSIG lived in neighboring Whitley County, Indiana. They both arrived in the mid-1800's from Stark County, Ohio near Canton, where their father Simon ESSIG a Revolutionary War Veteran is buried.

Badly eroded Williamsport Memorial Williamsport Memorial location

I assume the concrete memorial behind William Essig, his wife and a couple of their children used to say something about William Essig donating the land for the cemetery and church.

If you know what used to be on the memorial on the left, located near the large pine tree on right, or know of a photo with the inscriptions from the memorial please contact me.

On the Allen INGenWeb site they state: "The town of Williamsport was established at Muldoon's Mill on the St. Mary's River in 1848 on land owned by William Essig from whom it derived its name. When the post office was established it was found that the name Williamsport was already on the map of Indiana so the post office was given the title of Poe. An addition was platted in 1874 and the town attained a population of about one hundred."

Internet Archive aka Archive.org has the short little book Stories about the history of Poe: Allen County, Indiana, on the letterhead of Fort Wayne chapter, Order of DeMolay . It mentions dates and details about William Essig laying out the town, naming it Williamsport, the post office required a name change, selling lots, establishing churches, the cemetery, fording the river, building the first mill, bridge, and more. It mentions William Essig's sons-in-laws Solomon Lichtenwalter (married to Sarah Essig) bought the first lot for 50 cents and Harvey Turner (married to Harriet Essig) bought lots 29 and 30 from the United Brethren Church for establishing the Christian Church. August 26, 1851 William Essig gave a deed to the Lutheran Church to establish a cemetery "except that the bodies of suicides and notorious blasphemers shall not be interred." William Essig operated the first mill on WInchester Road at Mosquito (Lipse - [Lipes ?]) Creek in the early 1840's.


Genealogy research is never complete, more documents are coming online all the time so what wasn't found today, might appear another day. If you find research that adds to, or contradicts mine, please leave a Comment in my Guest book, join my Follis Families on Facebook page, or send me an Email.

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