Firsts of Liberty Township

William M. Prewett and John Smith settled in Liberty township in 1834. Smith came from Clay county, where he was reared. Prewett came from Lafayette county, but was originally from Kentucky. H. W. Creekmore and Elisha B. Creekmore were also from Kentucky. Prewett and Smith came early in the spring and the Creekmores and Tobias Miller came in the summer and early fall of the same year. T. P. Gilreath, another Kentuckian, came about the same time, but had lived in Lafayette county before he removed to Daviess. The latter, with Prewett, settled on section five in the northwest corner of the township and not far from South Big Creek, being something over a mile. Mr. Prewett was the first man who broke prairie in. Daviess county and was one of the early justices of the peace in the township.

There was no great rush of settlers in those early days. Liberty was originally a part of Grindstone, one of the three original municipal townships. The settlement on Grindstone Creek was only a few miles distant, and that was one of the largest in the county at that time, unless Lick Fork, in the southeast, might have been a little larger. There was very little to trouble or change the even tenor of the ways of the pioneers of Liberty township. They built their cabins, plowed their fields, and secured themselves fine homesteads. They went to mill and would be gone several days, for the route led them to Richmond, Ray county, and to Liberty, in Clay county. This only lasted two years before a horse-mill was in operation but a few miles from there on the border of DeKalb county. There was also one or two hand-mills that did duty until the demand exceeded their capacity.

It was several years after the first white man located upon the soil of Liberty township that a wedding took place. Not until 1840, and then William Weiser stepped forward and claimed the hand of Mary Myers. It was in the fall of the year that the wedding took place. Mary was willing for the nuptials, and the ceremony was performed at. the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Myers. Squire William M. Prewett said the words which bound two loving hearts together. The presents were not numerous, but of great practical value. The mother of the bride gave her a new iron pot, and the groom’s parents furnished a bake-pan. The rest of the wedding outfit was gathered together by the new made husband and wife. There wasn’t as much style in those days as now, but -for solid happiness and pure enjoyment the log cabins of those days could largely discount the brown stone fronts of the present age.

John A. Creekmore was the first child born in Liberty township, and he first saw the light on March 20th, 1834. He was the son of H. N. and Ann Creekmore.

The first death in the township was that of Green Blakely, who died in December, 1838, and was buried on what is known as the Tobias Miller farm.

Dr. William Livsie had the honor of being the first regular physician who settled in the township, but he remained only two years, leaving for the West in 1840. He was a native of Virginia.

The first sermon was preached in 1835, by the Rev. James McMahan, at the house or cabin of John Smith, the first settler. There was no regular service, but the cabins of the settlers were always at the service of the circuit riders, or any traveling minister who was willing to hold service.

The first school was taught by Joseph Starling, and the school-horse was situated on the east half of the northeast quarter of section eight. He had some fifteen pupils and received $2 per scholar for a three months session. He removed to Texas. The neighbors joined together to put up the schoolhouse, which was simply logs placed one on top of the other. The floor was mother earth, and the roof of clapboards kept to their places by weight poles. One end was a fire-place and the children gathered around, and when the fire got fairly under way their faces would become nearly parboiled while the chills danced a gallop up and down their backs. Still there was lots of fun to be had at the old log school-houses, and those who received their schooling at those primitive establishments have nothing but happy memories of their school days.

The inevitable spinning-wheel and rough loom, which were two of the necessities of pioneer life, found a lodging place at Mr. Prewett’s, and Mrs. Nancy Prewett, as early as 1835, was using these very essential articles of domestic furniture. She was able to keep her family in the necessary wearing apparel in the shape of homespun.

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