Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameJohn Slinkard
DeathOct 1821 Age: 51
BurialOld Slinkard Cemetery, near Newberry, Greene Co IN
1Catherine (Katterine) Wentz , Step GGG Grandmother
Birthca 1775, Mecklenburg Co NC
Marriageca 1790, Lincoln Co NC
ChildrenAndrew (1794-1868)
 Frederick (1796-1860)
 Susanna (1798-ca1875)
 Mary Ann (1800-)
 Moses (1802-1849)
 Henry (1804-1872)
 Anna Catherine (1807-)
 John (1811-1864)
 Daniel (1819-)
Notes for Catherine (Katterine) (Spouse 1)
Ebenezer Jones married the widow Catherine Wentz Slinkard in 1831, about two years after the death of Mary Roten Jones. Ebenezer was 68 and Catherine was about 56. At the time, all of the children of Ebenezer and Mary Jones had grown and left home but Catherine Slinkard still had a 12-year old son, Daniel Slinkard. The following essay was written by a researcher of the Slinkard family.378

The Delaware Indians occupied the land that is now Greene County until 1810. In and around the vicinity of Newberry, evidence has been found of crude axes and well-formed arrowheads.

The first settlement was that of Chesterville, located on the North side of the White River in 1815. The chief business was that of a flour mill. A village of 15 families was destroyed by flood and the settlement relocated to the South bank of the river.

Newberry was founded in 1818 by pioneers from North and South Carolina. Having taken decided grounds against slavery was one of the reasons that lead John and Catherine Wentz Slinkard and their family to come from Lincoln County, North Carolina to Indiana in 1817. They first settled in Knox County, but in the spring of 1818 moved to what is now Cass Township, Greene County where residents of that family have resided since.

John Slinkard purchased land in Greene County in 1818, two years after Indiana was admitted to the Union as a State. Consequently the Slinkard family, among other pioneer families, helped to develop the state into one of the leading agricultural states of the Nation. Many of the early settlers of Greene County were from Southern states and brought with them seeds from that area. A large number of the first residents grew one to five acres of cotton and some tobacco, both of which were mainly consumed at home.

The town of Newberry was first located one-half mile east of the present location. John O'Neal, a Quaker preacher and Mark O'Neal, a surveyor, who came from South Carolina to Indiana in 1818, laid out and named to town for Newberry, South Carolina. Some time later the business section was moved to a location near where the old covered bridge was built crossing the White River on Section Street. John O'Neal's son, Gary, opened the first store at this site in 1827. In 1828, Reason Hilburn, Sr. became a partner in the business. John O'Neal and his wife Hepsabah are buried on a knoll near the location of the first store, East of the present location of the town. Jonas Slinkard and sons operated the New York Store and a general merchandise store was owned by John Slinkard, Jr. Andrew Slinkard and sons (Pierce and John) also owned a store. Perry and Riley Slinkard operated a drug store and Daniel Ward operated a wagon repair shop. Later Peter Lester opened a general store and Thomas Plummer opened a distillery. Benjamin F. Morse was assigned as the first postmaster in 1826. In 1855 the business section was located where it currently sits spanning Broad Street (Highway 57S).

John Jr. and Henry Slinkard owned mills on First Creek (named Furst Creek at the time), Southeast of Newberry, where wheat and corn were ground. Later John built a steam mill about 200 feet above the bridge on the North bank of the White River. Fred Slinkard also owned a mill. The belts of the mill were made of twisted rawhide and the wheels were constructed of wooden cogs

Pioneer homes of the time were built of logs with clay chimneys and huge fireplaces. Herbs, skins, dried venison and beef, rifles and axes hung from the ceilings and walls. Moses Ritter built one of the first log cabins and later used this structure as a store. In 1828 there were 15 homes in Cass Township.

The first canning was done in the Jonas Slinkard home. The fruit was packed in tin cans and a tinsmith was hired to come to the home to solder the lids to the cans. Bears and deer could be killed at any hour of the day or night. Panthers frequented the salt licks and wolves were numerous. Wildcats infested the woods and wild turkeys, geese and ducks maintained the food supply. There were also a few beavers, otters, pheasants and brants (a wild goose with a black head and neck).

In 1821, when Greene County was organized, Plummer Township was organized and named for Thomas Plummer who was the first township trustee. That same year, O. T. Barker and Frederick Slinkard were elected Justices of the Peace and Andrew Slinkard became the constable. One of the first marriages was that of Andrew Slinkard to Mary Wesner on February 2, 1822.

In 1830 the original plat of the town of Newberry was surveyed again. This new survey consisted of 58 lots which were bordered on the North by the White River. The street names were Warehouse, High, Ferry, Water, Main and Wall.

In 1849 the Wabash and Erie Canal was built. Flat boats were built at Neff's Mill by Robert Bratton from 1856 to 1859. They were used to transport grain and other goods to the south on the canal. Huge, three story warehouses were constructed on the South side of the canal by Jonas Slinkard and Benjamin Morse. The warehouses were built with the third floor protruding out over the canal to enable the boats to pass under the upper story for ease of loading. A trip from Newberry to New Orleans on the canal took six weeks. Newberry continued to grow steadily and many new businesses were established. There were four dry goods stores, two hotels, three churches, two schools, one tanner, one shoe shop, one millinery, a planing mill and a cabinet mill. The canal continued a fair business until 1859 and was revised up to about 1863, when it was finally abandoned. There were six locks in the county, one of which was West of Newberry. Most of the employees were Irish immigrants who were believed to be hardy drinkers. Their employers kept them "liquored up" because it was believed that was the only way to keep the workers around.

In 1855 the Evansville and Indianapolis Railroad was built along the old Canal toe path. After the canal was abandoned, the town was extended until the principal business section was one-quarter mile Southwest of the canal in its current place. At one time Slinkard Station was located about one mile Southwest of Newberry on the E&I Railroad.

For two years in 1859 and 1860 strong attempts were made to form a new county from portions of Daviess, Greene, Knox and Sullivan Counties. The proposed new County was to be called White River County with the County Seat located in Newberry. It was rejected.

Before 1879 when work began on the covered bridge spanning the White River, ferry boats were used to cross the river. The bridge was built at a cost of $12,000. The following articles were taken from the Bloomfield newspaper during its construction:

August 22, 1879 - "Our bridge is progressing slowly, but I think they will get along a little faster now they have plenty of stone on hand. They have the pier in the river on the North side, just above the water and can proceed faster."

October 3, 1879 - "The second pier of the bridge is finished and work has commenced on the other in the river. The hands struck for higher wages while in the water. They wanted $2.00 a day and $1.50 was offered. After a day or two, they made a compromise on $1.75, and all went to work again. Since that time, Kesler and the stone quarry hands have jumped the bounty so to speak and all quit work. Muhler is on the hunt of Kesler. He claims to have paid the latter more than he was entitled to. Thus the matter stands. Some few hands are at work, one pier is raised and the work will soon be completed, if the stone was at hand."

December 5, 1879 - "Our bridge is progressing finely, since the wood work has commenced. The Superintendent, Mr. Wheelock, and Mr. W. E. Wood, boss are pushing the men. They have the first span South up and weather boarded, floor down and lathing on, ready for shingles. (Amos Musselman, age 20, was to have tacked the first shingle on the bridge.) The middle span is nearly finished, the third span and last span North is on and the lateral braces in. I think by Christmas they will get this work done."

In December of 1940 a contract was awarded to Pioneer Company of Evansville for the construction of a new steel bridge on Highway 57 over the West Fork of the White River. It was to be constructed at the end of Broad Street in Newberry, running to the Northeast with a long high approach across the river bottom. In 1941 construction began and was ready for service in June 1942. The old covered bridge was torn down soon after, but the piers are still there.

HISTORICAL INFORMATION: Newberry data contained in this site was taken from the booklet on the Slinkard Family 1817-1940. Compiled by Winifred Slinkard Heidenreich, supervised and checked by W. L. Slinkard, Newberry, IN, Greene County, August 18, 1940. Greene County data contained in this site was taken from the History of Greene County, compiled in 1884, published by Goodspeed Bros., Chicago, IL. Other information furnished by descendants of the Slinkard family.
Last Modified 21 Aug 2003Created 21 Aug 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
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