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Crothersville, Indiana History

The land which we today know as Crothersville first belonged to Tecumseh, Shawnee Indian Chief. The land around the Crothersville area was free of Indians and settlers began building homes there around 1848. When the railroad was constructed from Louisville to Indianapolis, John Hamacher founded and surveyed the town and named it Haysville. Mr. Crothers was a depot agent of the railroad at that time, and proposed to build a good depot by the Railroad Company IF they would honor him by changing the name of the town from Haysville to Crothersville.

Crothersville then became a thriving business town and an important shipping center. At one time, Crothersville ran the largest stave factory in the state. The original plot of the town consisted of 39 lots being laid off from the railroad.

Crothersville FIRSTS:

  • The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held August 11, 1892 and Preston Rider was elected president. The newly elected officers were installed, the Incorporation Laws were established, and the Corporate Seal was approved.
  • The first house built in the present city limits belonged to John Hamacher and was on Main St.
  • The first store was kept by the Houghland Brothers in a house that stood beside the depot.
  • The Post Office was established and residents no longer had to travel to Retreat for their mail. Henry Williams was the first Postmaster.
  • The first grist mill was built by Williams and Baker in 1857.
  • The first tannery was built by William Hudson in 1864, supplying the local demands as well as shipping to different points along the line of the railroad.
  • The first babies born in Crothersville were Laura Alice Hamacher and George “Lop” Applegate in April of 1858.
  • Alex Adams had the first drug store that was where the library used to be.
  • The first doctor in Crothersville was Dr. Moses Applegate and the first teacher was named Denslow.
  • Isaac Rawland was the first undertaker.
  • The first streets and sidewalks were made of mud – next came sawdust walks.
  • The first church organized in Crothersville was the Evangelical Reformed Church with 20 members and school was also held in this building.

Perfect history is impossible – facts and photos appearing here were taken from the Greater Crothersville Centennial published July, 1958.

Highway 31was a mud street in Mule Team Days.

Highway 31 was a mud street in Mule Team Days.

Updated Street