The busiest "little" township in Indiana
Clear Creek Township
Monroe County, Indiana

It is not the province of this work to treat what is termed the pre-historic race, who possibly
inhabited this portion of the country long years before the territory was held by the North
American Indian tribes, but in compiling the annals of any county, in any state in this Union,
it is of interest to the reader to know something concerning the Indian occupancy of the
county, or group of counties, to be written about, hence the following brief account of the
tribes who once held as their own the lands within what is now Monroe county, Indiana.

The territory now comprising Monroe County was formerly the rightful property of the
Miamis. The same is also true of all Indiana, for at the treaty of Greenville, Ohio, in 1795,
Little Turtle, or Mish-e-ken-o-quah, the head chief of the Miamis, and one of the most brainy
and famous Americans of any tribe that ever lived, stated to the government commissioners
that the Miamis formerly owned all the territory within the following /bounds: From Detroit
south to the Scioto river and down the same to the Ohio, then down the Ohio to the mouth
of the Wabash, thence up the same to near Covington, thence north to Lake Michigan,
thence east to Detroit. Soon after the war of the Revolution, the efforts to colonize the lands
west of the Atlantic coast were so extensive and persistent that the natives inhabiting those
regions were forced back into the wilderness upon the territory of their western brethren,
and thus the broad domain of the Miamis was invaded by homeless natives of various
tribes, who were given tracts of territory upon which to hunt and live. At what time the
Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandots, Pottawattomies, Piankeshaws, Weas, Kickapoos, etc.,
gained a footing upon the soil of Indiana cannot be stated for certain, but there seems no
doubt that Little Turtle stated the truth when he claimed all the lands of the above bounded
territory as the former domain of his people, the Miamis. It is possible that some of the tribes
named above occupied portions of Indiana before the Revolutionary war. The former home
of the Delawares was on the Delaware River, and later in western Pennsylvania -and
eastern Ohio, and still later in Indiana. The original home of the Wyandots was in Canada
and later in Michigan and northern Ohio, and still later in southern Indiana. The Shawnees
were of Southern origin, and also occupied a Section of country on the Wabash about
Lafayette. The Pottawattomies seem to have owned territory in northern Illinois, southern
Wisconsin, and to have gained from the Miamis at some early period by invasion or
conquest much of the land north of the Wabash. The Weas, Kickapoos, Piankeshaws and
Paincashaws seem to have owned lands along the western boundary of the state. At the
Fort Wayne treaty, September 30, 1809, the second article was made to read as follows:
"The Miamis explicitly acknowledge the equal rights of the Delawares with themselves to
the country watered by the White river. But it is also to be clearly understood that neither
party shall have the right of disposing of the same without the consent of the others, and
any improvements which shall he made on the said lands of the Delawares or their friends,
the Mohicans, shall be theirs forever." As to the Territory of Monroe County, it seems to
have been on the boundary line between the lands of the Delawares and that of the
Piankeshaws, so that it was the home and hunting ground of the three tribes as well as the


The lands now composing Monroe County were not obtained from the Indians wholly at one
time. The old Indian boundary which extends from near Gosport in a southeasterly direction,
leaving the country on Section 26, Benton Township, divides two important Indian cessions.
The territory of Monroe county south of that division was part of Harrison's Purchase,
obtained from the Indians by the treaty of Fort Wayne, September 30, 1809, and all of
Monroe county above that treaty line was part of the New Purchase, obtained from the
Indians by the treaty at St. Mary's, Ohio, October 2 to 6. 1818. As Monroe county was
organized before the last named treaty was effected, it will be seen that all the present
county north of the Indian boundary was not at first a part of the county.


The survey of lands in this county, south of the Indian boundary, was executed in the fall of
1812, with Arthur Henrie and William Harris as government surveyors. All that portion to the
north of this Indian boundary was not surveyed until 1819 by Thomas Brown and J.
Hedges. There was no land thrown open to the public until 1816, when many entries were
made. None were entered before September, 1816, and all were within what is now styled
the civil townships of Clear Creek, Indian Creek, Van Buren, Richland, Bloomington and
Bean Blossom. Several tracts were entered by speculators, but, generally speaking, the
land was taken up by actual settlers, or by those who at once sold to actual settlers.