From the Bartholomew County History, 1888 under Religious History reads:
United Brethren -- The first church of this denomination organized in the county, was in 1826 or 1827, at Newbern, by Revs. Aaron Davis and Aaron Farmer. John Lawrence and M. M. Hook were other early preachers at this church, and among the more prominent who followed in later years were, Revs. John Riley, J. L. Stearns, J. M. Dosh, Jacob Antrim, J. W. Dougherty, Daniel Shuck, H. Floyd, Thomas Elrod, W. L. DeMunbrun, and Noah Elrod; Rev. David Clark is the present minister in charge. The early members were Richard Davis, Ransom Davis, Aaron Davis, John Edwards, John Davis, M. M. Hook and their wives; of these Mrs. Edwards still remains, a faithful and devoted member. A plain comfortable frame church about 30x40 feet, was erected about 1838 and is still used. Mt. Pleasant, in Clifty Township, three miles south of Hartsville, was organized as early as 1843, at the house of John Rohrer, probably by Rev. Peter Gray. A number of families from Ohio, chiefly New Light Christians, settled in Decatur County near the borders of this county, and through the preaching of Aaron Farmer, Aaron Davis, John G. Eckees, and others, were converted to the faith of the United Brethren. Rohrer's house was in Decatur County, but the church, a neat frame structure, was erected on the soil of this county, soon after the organization was effected. John Rohrer was the leader in establishing the church. His wife, his sons, Martin and John and his daughters, Magdalen and Solome, were members, and such was his zeal that he provided all the money used in building the church, and donated one hundred days of his own labor to its construction. Solomon Dillman, Henry DeWitt, William Smith, Enos Woodruff and their wives were other members of the first class. Beside the early preachers named, others who have ministered to this congregation are, Revs. Joseph Stearns, J. A. Ball, John Smith, Daniel Shuck, David Shuck, Amos Hanaway, Caleb Witt, Amos Day, and James Crow. Through deaths and removals the society was much decreased in numbers, when, about six years ago, through the effective work of Rev. Asbury Myer, the church was revived and put in a prosperous condition. The meeting house was remodeled some years ago at a cost of $600. The work (the rest is missing)
From Peoples Guide for Bartholomew Co., 1874 Clifty Township
CLIFTY TOWNSHIP is located on the east side of the county, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Haw Creek Township; on the east by Decatur County; on the south by Rock Creek, and on the west by Clay, and contains an area of (20) twenty square miles. The surface is generally level or rolling. Except the breaks along the creeks the soil is very rich and productive, and the farm improvements of this township are scarcely second to any other in the county. Its only village is Newbern, situated in the northwest part of the township. The church and school privileges of the township are good; the citizens enterprising and industrious. Some of the first settlers of the township were Wm. McClintic, Francis Miller and Thomas Hook.
The population of the township in 1870 was 1,133. The present population is about 1,300. The vote for Governor, in 1872, for Brown, 122; For Hendricks, 111; total 233; Republican majority, 11.
Township Trustee, John Park.
From the Bartholomew County, History, 1888 shows:
Clifty and Clay Townships, -- These two townships having been under one organization until 1842, we shall consider them as one in giving their school history. William Morris, a young teacher from Pennsylvania, taught the first school in this township in 1822-23, on the south bank of Clifty, about two miles west of Newbern, where General Charles Scott's Army crossed Clifty on their expedition against the Indians in May, 1791. George D. Roland, Mrs. Sally Hook, Mrs. Luke Covert, and perhaps others yet living, attended this school. Mrs. John Morris, mother of William, taught three summers in the same house. The old log house where these schools were held, was built by Samuel Phillips in 1819, and used first as a dwelling. The cabin of the first settler became the school house a few years later. Joseph Hart, great grandfather of George Pence, of Pencecalla, these county, taught school at the Sandhill Cemetery about 1824-25. He continued teaching for several years. Bond Burnett, John S. Foster, William Branham, and J. Swain were pupils. Hestin Buchanan taught here in 1832. Joseph Hart in 1833, and Justin M. Dudley in 1836. The last named was a classical scholar. Dr. J.C. Beck, of Cincinnati, attended the last three schools. John Williams taught in this school house a few years later. It was then called the Hart Schoolhouse. Aaron Davis taught the first school in Newbern in an old cabin, in the summer of 1831. Rev. Aaron Farmer taught there in 1836. John Edwards, a lame man, taught school in his own house in Newbern, where he kept "bachelor's hall" in 1830. A hewed log school was built by citizens in the western part of Newbern in 1839. This was the first school house erected in the neighborhood, and we are at liberty to assume that it was built in regulation style "according to statue" made and provided. Mr. James T. Garrettson was the first teacher in this house. He continued to teach there for several years. Dr. J.C. Beck, who was a pupil, says he was one of the best teachers of the early day. Dr. W. T. Stott, now president of Franklin College, taught in District No. 6 in Clay Township, previous to 1860. Samuel J. Beck taught at Newbern in 1857. (The remainder is missing)
From the Bartholomew County History, 1888 reads:
German Township -- The first school in this township was taught by William Morris as early as 1824-1825. It was held in a small log cabin one-fourth mile west of present residence of Joseph Steinbarger. Eli Pence, who still lives in the township, was one of his pupils. A school was taught by a Yankee teacher in an old deserted cabin on Judge Jones' farm at an early date. His name was Morey Artie. He came from Vermont. He was a bright, wide awake teacher, and made his mark. The boys of Judge Jones and Samuel Brown were among his pupils. James T. Garrettson taught school in a log school house near the old Union Church in 1847. Strander and George Bozell and Benjamin Schuder, were patrons of this school. Among the later teachers G. W. Chandler, David Stobo, Jesse M. Hook, H. H. Winn, Mrs. Sue W. Buxton, Mrs. Myra W. Edson, and H. S. Struble, deserve honorable mention. This township has been noted for long terms of school, and it was one of the first in the county to build bruck school houses in each district. Taylorsville has a commodious four-room structure -- neat in appearance and a model of convenience. Large school districts, together with a large list of taxable property and wide awake school officers, supported by generous-hearted patrons who believe in the education of their children as early in life as possible, will account for their valuable school property and long terms of school. Such townships who have the ability should establish a Township Graded School and employ a teacher of well known scholarship and large experience for the benefit of their young men and women.
History of Beaver County, PA. -Hookstown Borough-1888
This borough, situated near the center of Greene Twp., is three and one-half miles from Georgetown, eleven from Beaver and about 28 miles from Pittsburgh, PA. It was named in honor of Matthias HOOK, a worthy citizen who came from Maryland, and having purchased the land upon which the town was subsequently built, was accustomed to go to the East and bring salt across the mountains to sell to the early settlers. Some of HOOK's neighbors in the early days were Thomas Dawson and John Parks, both from Maryland, as well as Joseph McFerran, Charles Blackmore, Andrew Poe, Samuel Witherspoon and others. In 1837 the town is represented as having had two tanneries, two smith-shops, one wagon maker, two tailors and two hatters. At that time the business interests of the place were thus represented: Post-master-Joseph McFerran, Esq. Merchants-McFerran & Lawrence...etc.
Matthias M. Hook was born in Worcester County, Maryland on August 28, 1808, the son of McKinney and ? Parker. Matthias died on December 9, 1880 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 72, and is buried in the New Palestine Cemetery, Hancock County, Indiana. He married Amanda Melvina Jacques. Amanda was born in PA. on July 11, 1811 and died on August 12, 1896 in Indiana. She is buried in the New Palestine Cemetery, next to her husband and their son Francis Marion. Amanda & Matthias had nine children 1. William H., 2. John M., 3. Lott E., 4. Francis Marion, 5. Samuel Thomas, 6. Mary C., 7. Martha, 8. Sarah Ellen, 9. Louisa.
Matthias and Amanda were among the first settlers in Bartholomew County, Indiana. Land records show that they purchased land in Hartsville on October 17, 1833 for $300. Jacob Rhodes, the husband of Amanda's sister Esther, was a witness to the land purchase.
The History of the White River Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, published in 1925 contains an account of the antecedent annual conference. M. M. HOOK is listed on many pages as an elder of the church and active participant in church activities. He entered the Indiana Conference in 1843 and was elected an elder of the church on February 20, 1846 at the Mount Pleasant meeting house, Bartholomew County, Indiana. He became a charter member of the White River Conference and arranged the original session of that Conference at the Mount Pleasant meetinghouse on February 21, 1846.
In 1848, M. M. HOOK was the treasurer of the Benevolent Fund and was appointed a solicitor for the Home Missionary Society. In 1851, he was elected Chairman of the Sixth Session of the White River Conference, and in 1853 he was elected Secretary at the 8th Session of the Conference, at which point he served for four years. His active itinerant service continued for 8 years (1846-1854). He was a circuit- preacher in the southern district of the county.
(Circuits were organized by some protestant denominations, particularly the Methodists, and it was not very long after a hardy pioneer erected his log cabin before an itinerant circuit-riding preacher would be knocking at his door with Bible and hymn book in hand. (citation).
Illustrated Historical Atlas, at 7:
When Bartholomew County was about ten years old, and her original dense forests had given way to some extent to productive fields, several villages sprang into existence when there was no especial advantages or demands for them, beyond those of furnishing a post office and a small trading house to the farmers. Newbern was one of these. It was laid out by Aaron Davis into sixty-eight lots on July 14, 1832, and was named for Newbern North Carolina. to which town of his native state old Mr. Davis was always devoted.
Ransom Davis started the first store, and carried a small stock of general merchandise. He was succeeded by M. M. HOOK, afterward the venerable judge. [Author's Note: Ransom Davis was the father of Sarah Davis who married Thomas HOOK, cousin? of Matthias M. HOOK. Aaron Davis, who has been mentioned as Rev. Aaron Davis, was the father of Ransom]. Judge M. M. HOOK and Ransom Davis were prominently identified with the town from its early days.
History of Bartholomew County--1888, reprinted 1976, at 175
Matthias M. HOOK was elected to the bar of Hancock County, Indiana on February 15, 1867 on motion of R. A. Riley. Reuben A. Riley was the father of James Whitcomb Riley, later to become the "Hoosier Poet."
History of Hancock Co., IN, Federal Publishing Co., Inc. - 1916
When New Palestine, Hancock County, petitioned for incorporation on May 22, 1871, one of the signers of that petition was M. M. HOOK. Another petitioner was D. J. Elliott, a son-in-law of Matthias (married to Mollie), and a druggist in New Palestine. The first of two officers was held on March 29, 1872, and Samuel HOOK, son of Matthias, was elected town clerk. Matthias was elected trustee for the western district.
From the Bartholomew County History, 1888 under Towns reads:
Hartville - This town was perhaps in honor of the father of Gideon B. Hart, remembered as a noble leader among the pioneers, but this is not certain. Some say it was named for John Everhart, an early land owner and merchant, but this idea is not countenanced by those best informed. The venerable Eldridge Hopkins, who is the only one left of the pioneers who helped to raise the first log cabin on the present site of the town, says it stood where the Philipy House now stands. The records show that June 15, 1832, Andrew Calloway laid out the town into fifty-six lots, with a public park 296 feet square. The following additions have been made: July 27, 1832, by A. Calloway, 30 lots; September 24, 1860, by the Board of Trustees of Hartsville University, 51 lots and a campus 560x312 feet; June 15, 1866, by William Fiz and Shelby Fullen, 30 lots and a block for the use of the district school; June 23, 1866, by Lewis Mobley and Thomas Apple, 16 lots. John Everhart and Jacob Rhodes came on foot through the woods on the day the first cabin was being raised, and the following fall a stock of general merchandise was put into this house and a store opened by John Everhart and M. M. HOOK. For a time the place was very rough, socially as well as otherwise; these three men, Hook, Everhart and Rhodes, who were brothers-in-law, were the most prominent citizens and encouraged morality. They owned all the land about the present site of the town and started it for the convenience of a post office and the benefits of trade. Jacob Rhodes raised a cabin on the north side of the public square and about two years after his coming kept a little store in the first cabin, already vacated by Everhart & Hook. Shortly afterward Dunn and Painer opened a store in a house erected a little south of the first cabin, and were succeeded by Judge Joseph Hiner. The next who sold goods was Elijah Brady, who occupied a house standing on the lot where Dr. W. H. Beck now lives. After Brady, came John R. Moreledge, who commenced early (the rest is missing)
also under towns reads:
Newbern was one of these. It was laid out by Aaron Davis and Aaron P. Taylor into sixty-eight lots on July 14, 1832, is situated in the west half of the southeast quarter Section 9, Town 9, Range 7 east, and was named for Newbern, N. C., to which town of his native State old Mr. Davis was always devoted. The only addition to the town was that made by Samuel Dillman, January 7, 1850, of seven lots. Aaron Davis was a pious and honored clergyman from his youth to old age, and died about eight years ago, leaving a large family, and a great circle of friends. Ransom Davis started the first store, and carried a small stock of general merchandize. He was succeeded by M. M. Hook, afterward the venerable judge. Activity and enterprise were not characteristics of the early merchants here. There were never more than two stores at a time. Before and during the Civil War period, Daniel McClintic was in business here, and probably kept the largest and best assorted stock of goods ever offered for sale in the town. Subsequently the principal merchants were Thomas McCallie and Anderson Hones. At present J. L. Jones, general store, William Scott, drugs, and S. Davis, poultry dealer, represent the business interests of the place.
More than fifty years ago Aaron P. Taylor and Aaron Farmer built a mill here, a little water power cor-cracker, which passed into the possession of J. K. Lawrence, and then of Christian Mdee, who sold it to Ezra Robinson, a progressive and enterprising man, who re-built, re-modeled, and introduced the use of steam in it. From Robinson the mill went to R. Dunlap, then to J. H. Braden, and from him to James Shea, who, while engaged at his work, was caught in the machinery and drawn to his death, being horribly mangled. William H. Shea, after this sad accident, took possession of the property and managed it until about four years ago, when it was destroyed by fire.
Judge M. M. Hook, Esq., Ransom Davis and Capt. Samuel Beck, father of Dr. John C. Beck, of Cincinnati, and of Dr. W. H. Beck, of Hartsville, were prominently identified with the town from its early days.
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