9 - Earliest History

posted Aug 24, 2015, 9:44 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Aug 28, 2015, 10:10 AM ]
At the time the community of North Judson was formed from 1850 on, there must have been the usual pioneer activities:  clearing of land, building of homes and crude outbuildings, marking and improving of trails.  The first land entry in Wayne Township is recorded in 1847. 

The land on which our town of North Judson is situated was conveyed by the 13th President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to Ebanezer Jones on July 1, 1851, in pursuance of an Act of Congress entitled, “An Act to raise for a limited time additional Military force and for other purposes.”

Moses Lain was the owner of the land on August 24, 1857, having purchased it for $2.50 per acre and selling it to David D. Adair and Levi Lightcap in 1861. 

By 1851 there was a considerable community, as records indicate that a log school house had been erected on a site which is now in the west part of town along Highway 10.  The teacher was a Rev. Arnold, a Methodist minister who also conducted church services in this building on Sundays. 

These pioneers of over a century ago lived an extremely simple life by our standards.  Yet none can say, that they accomplished less than we do.  They worshipped their God; they educated their children to the best of their ability; they cleared their land, they tilled it; they built roads; they began drainage; they hunted; visited their neighbors; they buried their dead. 

Doctors were few, hospitals non-existent, and the modern conquest of disease had not yet begun; smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and the ‘white plague,’ tuberculosis, took a heavy toll of lives.  Headstones in the older cemeteries tell a mute tale of early death.  In 1850, life expectancy was less than 40 years.  Today, it is over 70.