Local History and Genealogy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 Early Steuben County history tells us that in 1837 there was a competition between Steubenville and Angola to become the county seat.  Why would Steubenville be chosen for the county seat when it was nearly in Dekalb County, certainly not central to most of Steuben County?  The answer to this lies in the early county history.

Steuben, commonly called Steubenville was the first village in Steuben Township. It was located in the area of today's 400 South and 150 West, north of Pleasant Lake.  A dam was constructed and several mills.  A number of business places were constructed and in all,dwellings and business places, there were about thirty buildings. (1)
Steubenville, which was platted in November, 1835, was the competitor of Angola for the location of the county seat, early in 1837,  Isaac Glover, Abner Winsor, and others endeavoring unsuccessfully to have the county buildings in their town.  Steubenville was situated not far from the present village of Pleasant Lake.  When the county seat was located at Angola, in 1837, Steubenville commenced declining, and was never destined to fulfill expectations of its pioneer proprietors. (2)

Another Steubenville was laid out March 10, 1873, on section 34, township 36, range 13, by Daniel Till and Samuel Teeters.  It was started when the Canada Southern Railroad was surveyed, and was located at the crossing of that road and the Fort Wayne & Jackson Railroad, but since the former road failed to be built it has rapidly declined.(2)

 The first schoolhouse in Steuben Township was built in the village of Steubenville, which was located about one mile north of Pleasant Lake on land later settled by Dr. A.P.Clark and now owned by Allan Landis.  Lucy Avery was the first teacher.  The landowners on this locality desired very much to have the County Seat at this place but others outbid them and Angola was chosen, and soon thereafter Steubenville was abandoned.
In March, 1873 another town by the name of Steubenville was platted by Daniel Till and Samuel Teeters where the survey for the Canada Southern Railroad crossed the Fort Wayne and Jackson branch of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, now (1955) known as the New York Central.  As the Canada Southern was never built the town failed to grow and when the Wabash Railroad later built along this route and established a round house and shop about 4 or 5 miles west of the crossing, they platted the town of Ashley.  Steubenville gradually grew smaller until now there are only a few houses remaining. (3)

The original Steubenville was located near the intersection of 400 S. and 150 W. south of the Clark Matson Cemetery.

1. Centennial of Pleasant Lake and Steuben Township Indiana, pg 8
2. The History of Steuben County 1885,  pg 767   
3. 1955 History of Steuben County, pg 81
Pictures from the Carnegie Library Collection