Old Settlers of Jamesport Township

The first settler, as we have mentioned above, was Thomas N. Auberry, – who came from Ray county in 1834 and settled about two miles from where the town of Jamesport now stands. His place took the name of Auberry Grove. Mr. Auberry came from Kentucky and he located on section twenty-nine.

His Eccentricity

Thomas Auberry was an old pioneer of the genuine backwoods stripe. He was a sort of “Jack of all trades,” could turn his hand, and voice for that matter, to most anything. He was a preacher, doctor, farmer, horse-trader, horse-racer, surveyor, and could play cards so as to come out ahead about as – often as his opponent. Before he came to this part of Ray county now called Daviess, he platted the town of Richmond in 1830, laying it off in blocks and lots. It is reported that his wife was an Indian woman, by name Ruvedas, the daughter of a chief, and that when she died he helped to bury her, assisting in the burial service, and placing in her coffin, as was customary with Indian rites, a large amount of jewelry belonging to the deceased. She was buried in the grove known as Auberry Grove. Auberry was a valuable acquisition to his neighborhood on account of his numerous qualifications, and his willingness to put them to profitable use.

The township did not settle fast. The settlers gathered about Millport, and at that time, with the exception of the west side, had located in the timber. In 1831, 1835, and 1836, the timber land had decidedly the advantage of the prairie in point of settlers. Many believed the soil poor and that it was an impossibility to turn the sod of the prairies. Along the banks of the Little Muddy and the southwest corner of the township the first settlers located, Auberry Grove being the principal settlement in the township and that section for several years. In 1837-38 quite a number came in from Virginia. James Callison, Richard Will, John McClung and Robert Miller, all came from that State and in the above named years. They were soon after followed by Isaac Jordan, James C. Hill, and a number of others. It was not long before they had secured themselves comfortable homes. Of course, the same routine of pioneer life was their lot. Miles of travel to go to mill, a trip to Brunswick, Camden or Lexington for a few groceries, dry goods, and a jug of wet goods, in exchange for deer skins, venison hams, honey, etc., was now and then taken, and the usual amount of wild game filled their larders with meat. Soon after the year 1840 the rich and inviting prairies were found to be as rich in productive qualities as they were beautiful to the eye, and Jamesport then found her population growing, and soon a large portion of her open prairies became fertile fields, and where the wild game had roamed free and undisturbed, was now being rapidly filled with lowing herds; flocks of sheep fed upon the luxuriant wild grasses which covered the-broad expanse of open country. There was little to disturb the monotony of pioneer life. The Black Hawk. War had passed away, the Mormons had come and gone, and there was little to do, but improve their rich farm lands, and garner the proceeds of their toil.

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