Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pierceton, Indiana

Image from Kosciusko Visitors Bureau

OMG (as the youngsters are so fond of texting these days), I grew up not far from a town named after Franklin Pierce, and didn't know it till today. I still subscribe to the Mail-Journal, the weekly newspaper which covers Milford, Syracuse, and North Webster in Kosciusko County, Indiana. Last week's edition included a supplement about the county and its towns. One of the factoids included about Pierceton was that it was named after the snakebit 14th President of the U.S.

Subsequently, I found this at the website yesteryear.clunette.com:
Pierceton, the second largest town in the county, was laid out Dec. 6, 1852, by Lewis Keith and John B. Chapman on the north part of the northwest quarter of Section 27, and christened Pierceton in honor of President Franklin Pierce.

John B. Chapman, one of its founders, inaugurated business enterprise by opening a general stock of merchandise in a small log house, on a farm outside the now corporate limits of the town.

In 1853, three frame buildings were erected and in the one that occupied the site of the building formerly owned by Lawrence Spayde & Co., a post office was established in 1854, with O.P. Smith as postmaster. Dr. William Hayes, one of the first medical men in the town, succeeded Smith as postmaster in 1855.
Note that the town was laid out shortly after the election in 1852 and before Pierce embarked on his tenure as one of the worst presidents in history after being sworn in on March 4, 1853.