Local History and Genealogy

Monday, March 29, 2010

Organization Of Steuben County

The county of Lagrange was organized by an act of the General Assembly, approved Feb. 2, 1832, and " all the territory lying east of said county to the State line and south of said county and said
territory to the line between townships 33 and 34," was attached thereto for civil and judicial purposes. The county of Steuben was organized in pursuance of an act of the General Assembly, approved Jan. 18, 1837, which provided that from and after the first day of May, 1837, the county of Steuben should " enjoy all
the rights and jurisdictions which belong to separate and independent counties."

John W. Yiolet, of Elkhart County; Henry Hosteller, Sr., of  Noble County; Isaac Eaton, of St. Joseph County ; Benjamin Jones, of Lagrange County; and John Mcintosh, of Allen County, were appointed Commissioners for the purpose of locating the permanent seat of justice of said county. These commissioners were required to meet, as soon as a majority of them could agree, at the house of Cornelius Gilmore, at or near the center of said county.


The county was named in honor of Baron Frederick de Steuben, a noted soldier who served under the great King Frederick, of Prussia. He came to America during the war of the Revolution, and
tendered his services to the patriot cause. He was commissioned, and rendered efficient aid to the army by greatly improving its discipline. He was killed at the battle of Camden, S. C, in 1780.

History of Steuben County, Indiana 1885 : Inter-state Publishing Co., Chicago,
Pages 273, 274


County Seat War
 Steuben County had all of its county seat trouble before the first site was selected. The locating commissioners named in the act of January 18, 1837, were ordered to meet "at or near the center of said county on the third Monday of January, 1838," at the house of Cornelius Gilmore.00 Two sites were offered for their consideration, the present site of Angola and Steubenville. The Steubenville advocates, led by Isaac Glover and Abner Winsor, offered to donate $16,200, but their site was too far from the center of the county to receive serious consideration. The Steubenville of 1837 was not the same town as the town of that name at the present time. The first Steubenville was north of Pleasant Lake in range 13, township 36, near the line between sections 10 and 15. Angola's claims were presented by Cornelius Gilmore and Thomas Gale, and their offer to give a site for the courthouse and erect the building, was accepted. The central location has proved entirely satisfactory and no other town in the county has ever been considered as the seat of justice.

Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 10  March, 1914 No. 1
County Seats and County Seat Wars in Indiana By Ernest V. Shockley, PH.D.
Pages: 35, 36