Local History and Genealogy

Monday, March 29, 2010

The First Settlers Of Steuben County Indiana

The smoke from the first permanent settler's cabin first arose within the present limits of Steuben County in the spring of 1831. That settler was Gideon Langdon. His rude cabin was in the southwest quarter of Section 5, Jackson Township, afterward known as the Town farm. Langdon, on the 17th of September, in the year following, made the first entry of land recorded in the county, being the east half of the quarter named.

It was in what is now Jackson Township that the first settlers mostly located. Jackson Township contains considerable prairie land, and the first immigrants, at a time when their choice was unrestricted, naturally selected the rich, fertile soil there, because of the comparative ease with which it was brought under cultivation.

The next settlers were John and Jacob Stayner, and their families - twelve persons in all. The Stayners came from Ohio, and arrived in Jackson Township on May 16, 1831. John built on the north side of the prairie, and entered the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 5, September 27, 1832, being ten days after Langdon's entry, and the second made in the present limits of the county.The two brothers had been soldiers under Jackson in the War of 1812, and were both strong and hearty men. John Stayner lived upon the land entered by him until his death in 1870. He was sent to the Legislature, and the township in which he lived was, at his instance, named Jackson in honor of his old military chieftain.

The first white child born within the present limits of the county was Zephaniah Stayner.

The first death was that of Mrs. Gideon Langdon, in 1832. The remains were interred in the prairie burying ground.

The first marriage was contracted between James Huntsman and Hannah Davis, in 1832, before the organization of the county.

The first schoolhouse erected in the county was on the north side of Jackson Prairie. Hannah Davis, the first bride in the little community, was the first teacher. The first schoolhouse was a rude tamarack cabin, erected at a cost of about $50, by John Stayner and Adolphus Town. Eliza Eaton was the next teacher, and received $2 for each pupil, that being the tax levied on those sending their children to the school.

Andreas, Alfred T. (1876). Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana, Baskin, Forster, Co., Chicago.