Jennings County LST-846 - History

Jennings County LST-846 - History

Jennings County

A county in Indiana.

(LST-846: dp. 1,625; 1. 328'; b. 50'; dr. 11'; s. 12 k.; cpl.
266; a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm.; cl. LST-542)

LST-846 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 27 October 1944; launched 12 December; sponsored by Mrs. L. P. Quill; and commissioned 9 January 1945.

After shakedown off Florida, LST-846 loaded cargo at New Orleans, then sailed for the Pacific in mid-February. Steaming via the Panama Canal and San Francisco, she reached Pearl Harbor 27 March. For the next 6 weeks, the landing ship operated in the Hawaiian Islands before departing for Seattle 12 May.

Following repairs, LST-846 received oil, gasoline, and mechanized equipment for transport to the western Pacific. On 9 June she was underway, arriving Guam 11 July. For the rest of the war she supported American forces in the Marshalls and Okinawa. After the Japanese acceptance of Allied peace terms, LST-846 transported occupation forces and equipment between Japan and the Marianas. She sailed for the United States 3 November, arriving Seattle in early December.

Returning to the Far East 5 months later, she arrived Shanghai, China 28 May 1946 and commenced cargo runs among Chinese ports. From 1946 to 1949, LST-846 con_ tinued these operations and in addition shuttled cargo between China and the Marianas. After the Communist takeover of Mainland China, the veteran landing ship returned to the United States, arriving San Diego 17 June 1949. LST-846 decommissioned at Astoria, Oregon 14 October 1949.

When Communist aggression in Korea shattered the stability and peace of Asia, the United States acted to halt the advance. To aid in the movement of men and equipment, LST-846 recommissioned 3 November 1950, Lt.

Marion V. Reeder in command. After amphibious training along the West Coast she departed San Diego, 16 April 1951 for duty in the Western Pacific. Arriving Yokosuka early June, the landing ship operated out of Japan performing cargo runs and amphibious training until 6 September when she sailed for the east coast of Korea. After two cruises from Japan to Korea, LST-846 sailed 5 November for a stateside overhaul.

She was back in the Far Fast 5 June 1952, then resumed cargo operations in Japan for the remainder of the year. Returning San Diego 29 March 1953, LST-846 served off the West Coast until 27 January IV54 when she sailed for another Westpac tour. During the late summer LST-846 transported French troops and vehicles along the Indochina coast, following the end of the Indochinese War. She also performed station ship duties during the "Passage to Freedom" Operation, as naval units transported thousands of Vietnamese who chose a free form of government during the partition of their country.

Departing Yokosuka 12 October, the veteran landing ship arriving San Diego 4 weeks later. Following amphibious exercises along the West Coast, she steamed to Astoria, Oreg., arriving 9 April 1955 for overhaul. LST-8416 was named Jennings County 1 July and decommissioned at San Diego 7 December 1955.

After 10 years with the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Jennings County recommissioned 11 June 1966, to support U.S. forces giving assistance to South Vietnam in their struggle against Communist aggression.

Jennings County departed San Diego 11 September, arriving Chu Lai, Vietnam 11 November. For the remainder of 1966 she conducted river patrols and in 1967 she continued her patrols supporting "Game Warden" operations.

LST-846 received one battle star for the Korean conflict.


Jennings County LST-846 - History

(LST - 846: dp. 1,625 l. 328' b. 50' dr. 11' s. 12 k. cpl. 266 a. 8 40mm., 12 20mm. cl. LST-542 )

LST-846 was laid down by American Bridge Co., Ambridge, Pa., 27 October 1944 launched 12 December sponsored by Mrs. L. P. Quill and commissioned 9 January 1945.

After shakedown off Florida, LST-846 loaded cargo at New Orleans, then sailed for the Pacific in mid-February. Steaming via the Panama Canal and San Francisco, she reached Pearl Harbor 27 March. For the next 6 weeks, the landing ship operated in the Hawaiian Islands before departing for Seattle 12 May.

Following repairs, LST-846 received oil, gasoline, and mechanized equipment for transport to the western Pacific. On 9 June she was underway, arriving Guam 11 July. For the rest of the war she supported American forces in the Marshalls and Okinawa. After the Japanese acceptance of Allied peace terms, LST-846 transported occupation forces and equipment between Japan and the Marianas. She sailed for the United States 3 November, arriving Seattle in early December.

Returning to the Far East 5 months later, she arrived Shanghai, China 28 May 1946 and commenced cargo runs among Chinese ports. From 1946 to 1949, LST-846 continued these operations and in addition shuttled cargo between China and the Marianas. After the Communist takeover of Mainland China, the veteran landing ship returned to the United States, arriving San Diego 17 June 1949. LST-846 decommissioned at Astoria, Oregon 14 October 1949.

When Communist aggression in Korea shattered the stability and peace of Asia, the United States acted to halt the advance. To aid in the movement of men and equipment, LST-846 recommissioned 3 November 1950, Lt. Marion V. Reeder in command. After amphibious training along the West Coast she departed San Diego, 16 April 1951 for duty in the Western Pacific. Arriving Yokosuka early June, the landing ship operated out of Japan performing cargo runs and amphibious training until 6 September when she sailed for the east coast of Korea. After two cruises from Japan to Korea, LST-846 sailed 5 November for a stateside overhaul.

She was back in the Far East 5 June 1952, then resumed cargo operations in Japan for the remainder of the year. Returning San Diego 29 March 1953, LST-846 served off the West Coast until 27 January 1954 when she sailed for another Westpac tour. During the late summer LST-846 transported French troops and vehicles along the Indochina coast, following the end of the Indochinese War. She also performed station ship duties during the "Passage to Freedom" Operation, as naval units transported thousands of Vietnamese who chose a free form of government during the partition of their country.

Departing Yokosuka 12 October, the veteran landing ship arriving San Diego 4 weeks later. Following amphibious exercises along the West Coast, she steamed to Astoria, Oreg., arriving 9 April 1955 for overhaul. LST-846 was named Jennings County 1 July and decommissioned at San Diego 7 December 1955.

After 10 years with the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Jennings County recommissioned 11 June 1966, to support U.S. forces giving assistance to South Vietnam in their struggle against Communist aggression.

Jennings County departed San Diego 11 September, arriving Chu Lai, Vietnam 11 November. For the remainder of 1966 she conducted river patrols and in 1967 she continued her patrols supporting "Game Warden" operations.


Contents

World War II, 1945 [ edit | edit source ]

After shakedown off Florida, LST-846 loaded cargo at New Orleans, then sailed for the Pacific in mid-February. Steaming via the Panama Canal and San Francisco, she reached Pearl Harbor on 27 March. For the next six weeks, the landing ship operated in the Hawaiian Islands before departing for Seattle on 12 May. Following repairs, LST-846 received oil, gasoline, and mechanized equipment for transport to the western Pacific. On 9 June she was underway, arriving Guam on 11 July. For the rest of the war she supported American forces in the Marshalls and Okinawa.

1945� [ edit | edit source ]

After the Japanese acceptance of Allied peace terms, LST-846 transported occupation forces and equipment between Japan and the Marianas. She sailed for the United States on 3 November, arriving Seattle in early December. Returning to the Far East five months later, she arrived Shanghai, China on 28 May 1946 and commenced cargo runs among Chinese ports. From 1946 to 1949, LST-846 continued these operations and in addition shuttled cargo between China and the Marianas. After the communist revolution in China, the veteran landing ship returned to the United States, arriving San Diego on 17 June 1949. LST-846 was decommissioned at Astoria, Oregon on 14 October 1949.

Korean War, 1950� [ edit | edit source ]

After the outbreak of war in Korea, the United States intervened. To aid in the movement of men and equipment, LST-846 was recommissioned on 3 November 1950 with Lieutenant Marion V. Reeder in command. After amphibious training along the West Coast she departed San Diego on 16 April 1951 for duty in the Western Pacific. Arriving Yokosuka early June, the landing ship operated out of Japan performing cargo runs and amphibious training until 6 September when she sailed for the east coast of Korea. After two cruises from Japan to Korea, LST-846 sailed on 5 November for a stateside overhaul. She was back in the Far East on 5 June 1952, then resumed cargo operations in Japan for the remainder of the year.

1953� [ edit | edit source ]

Returning San Diego on 29 March 1953, LST-846 served off the West Coast until 27 January 1954 when she sailed for another WestPac tour. During the late summer LST-846 transported French troops and vehicles along the Indochina coast, following the end of the Indochina War. She also performed station ship duties during "Operation Passage to Freedom" as naval units transported thousands of Vietnamese from North to South Vietnam after the partition of the country. Departing Yokosuka on 12 October, the veteran landing ship arriving San Diego four weeks later. Following amphibious exercises along the West Coast, she steamed to Astoria, Oregon, arriving on 9 April 1955 for overhaul. LST-846 was named USS Jennings County (LST-846) on 1 July and decommissioned at San Diego on 7 December 1955.

Vietnam, 1966� [ edit | edit source ]

After ten years with the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Jennings County recommissioned on 11 June 1966 to support U.S. forces in South Vietnam. Jennings County departed San Diego on 11 September, arriving at Chu Lai on 11 November. For the remainder of 1966 she conducted river patrols and in 1967 she continued her patrols supporting "Game Warden" operations. In 1970, while off the coast of Son On Doc at the southern tip of Viet Nam she suffered a serious fire in her auxiliary generator room that rendered her unable to continue supporting her on-board crew. She was removed from station, and later, the USS Garrett County, LST-786 took her place as a river boat tender in support of river control operations.

Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 25 September 1970, she was sold to a mining company as an ore hauler. Her final fate is unknown.


See also

Cam Ranh Bay is a deep-water bay in Vietnam in Khánh Hòa Province. It is located at an inlet of the South China Sea situated on the southeastern coast of Vietnam, between Phan Rang and Nha Trang, approximately 290 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Republic of Vietnam Navy was the naval branch of the South Vietnamese military, the official armed forces of the former Republic of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The early fleet consisted of boats from France. After 1955 and the transfer of the armed forces to Vietnamese control, the fleet was supplied from the United States. With assistance from the U.S., the VNN became the largest Southeast Asian navy, with 42,000 personnel, 672 amphibious ships and craft, 20 mine warfare vessels, 450 patrol craft, 56 service craft, and 242 junks.

USS Luzerne County (LST-902) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Marion County (LST-975) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Like many of her class, she was not named and is properly referred to by her hull designation. She was later named after counties in seventeen U. states, she was the only US Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Caroline County (LST-525) was an LST-491-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for counties in Maryland and Virginia, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Cayuga County (LST-529) was an LST-491-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Cayuga County, New York.

USS Coconino County (LST-603), originally USS LST-603, was a United States Navy LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1955 and from 1966 to 1969. Named after Coconino County, Arizona, she was the only U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name.

USS Dodge County (LST-722) was an LST-542 class Landing Ship Tank, built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was renamed USS Dodge County on the first of July, 1955, for counties in Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, and was the only United States Navy vessel to bear the name.

USS Floyd County (LST-762) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after counties in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Texas, and Virginia, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Garrett County (LST-786) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Garrett County, Maryland, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS LST-821, renamed USS Harnett County (LST-821/AGP-281), was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Harnett County, North Carolina and was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. She served the United States Navy in World War II and the Vietnam War. She was transferred to South Vietnam's Republic of Vietnam Navy, which named her RVNS My Tho (HQ-800).

USS Sedgwick County (LST-1123) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship in the United States Navy. Unlike many of her class, which received only numbers and were disposed of after World War II, she survived long enough to be named. On 1 July 1955, all LSTs still in commission were named for US counties or parishes LST-1123 was given the name Sedgwick County, after counties in Colorado and Kansas.

USS Maricopa County (LST-938) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Like many of her class, she was not named and is properly referred to by her hull designation. She was later named after Maricopa County, Arizona, she was the only US Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Park County (LST-1077) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship in the United States Navy. Unlike many of her class, which received only numbers and were disposed of after World War II, she survived long enough to be named. On 1 July 1955, all LSTs still in commission were named for US counties or parishes LST-1077 was given the name Park County, after a county in Wyoming.

USS Washtenaw County (LST-1166) was a Terrebonne Parish-class tank landing ship in commission in the United States Navy from 1953 to 1973. Named for Washtenaw County, Michigan, she was the only U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name.

USS Iredell County (LST-839) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Iredell County, North Carolina, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Jennings County (LST-846) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Jennings County, Indiana, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS Madera County (LST-905) was a LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after Madera County, California, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.

USS St. Clair County (LST-1096) was a LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy in World War II. Like most of the ships of her class she was originally known only by her designation, USS LST-1096, and, like all remaining LSTs, was renamed on 1 July 1955. She was named for counties in Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri.

USS Vernon County (LST-1161) was a United States Navy, Terrebonne Parish-class tank landing ship in commission from 1953 to 1973. She saw extensive service in the Vietnam War before being transferred to the Venezuelan Navy, where she became Amazonas (T-21).


History

Vinegar Mill State Park
Vinegar Mill State Park was adopted as Indiana's fourth state park in 1921. The Park was named after the early pioneer stone cutting mill located on the banks of the Muscatatuck River .

The name of the park was changed the next year to Muscatatuck State Park. During the park's early history many amenities were added. The park adopted the William Read Home as a bed and breakfast type inn. The state park inn also hosted meals for cabins that were located in the general vicinity. Many reports convey the popularity of the inn and its home cooked meals.

During this same time period the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked together to build many structures throughout the park.

The workers built the main road leading into the park. They also built bridges, a fire tower and the stone steps at the river overlook area, the Vinegar Mill. Two stone shelters with fire places were also built in this era.

For years the Muscatatuck State Park was a popular destination for visitors. The park was small though and had never charged admission. In 1956 the state reevaluated the facility and decided to use the grounds for its quail and pheasant raising operations. The state created a species re-introduction program that was dropped after 6 years. Biologists warned the state, but regional hunting groups seemed to carry more clout. There are oak barn structures that were built during this era still at the facility.

The state then adopted the park for its Youth Camp initiative in 1962. The state and Gov. Welsh were creating camps specifically for youth. The Muscatatuck Park was the third in this initiative. The first two were for convicted youth, but the Muscatatuck Park camp was to be used by the general public.

Sources reveal that the state was evaluating the park for upgrades during the mid-sixties. After subsequent studies the state opted for not upgrading the park and had a plan to give the park back to the county of Jennings. The park was almost not adopted by the county. After much discussion amongst the local community, they eventually pulled together to manage the facility. In 1967 the Jennings County Parks and Recreation Board was created, and in 1968 the governor signed a bill giving the grounds back to the county to be forever used for recreation.

For almost twenty years the facility experienced low funding and some mis-management, but was showing an increase in family reunions and family picnics.

During the early 1990's the park was successful in securing more funds and correcting some problems. Finally, the park was starting to get support from its local funding leaders. During the late 90's the facility seemed to be coming into its own. The Walnut Grove One-room School was moved to the park in 1991, and the local preservation association received honors from the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation for its efforts.

Jennings County Tourism Bureau moved to the William Read Home in 1998, yet had internal issues and left in 2007. The park received a State Historical Marker in 1999 celebrating its history. 2000 marked the Park's most successful year to date. Via the Jennings County Community Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc., the park renovated the historic Vinegar Mill site. This overlook area is one of the most picturesque sites in the state.

Today the park is visited daily by locals and visitor's alike. Hiking, trail running, and mountain biking are witnessed daily. Increasing numbers of rock climbers get strange looks as they carry in portable pads. Camping has increased to a significant resource. Family reunions and picnics are commonplace. The Muscatatuck Park is a true gem with a significant history. Come in a few more years and help us celebrate our 100th anniversary!

Copyright © 2021 Jennings County Parks and Recreation
Website Developed and Maintained by
Wolf Creative Services


Jennings County LST-846 - History


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Jennings County Indiana

JENNINGS COUNTY lies in the southern part of Indiana. It was organized in 1816, and named for Jonathan Jennings, the first Governor of Indiana, after it was admitted into the Union as a State. It is bounded on the north by Bartholomew and Decatur counties, on the east by Ripley, on the south by Jefferson and Scott, and on the west by Jackson and Bartholomew. It contains 375 square miles, and by the census of 1880 it had 16,453 population. The surface bordering the streams is broken, while rich alluvial valleys, and high table-lauds or "flats" form the water-shed between the streams. The ground is well drained by Big Creek, which washes the county on the southwest Big and Little Graham, uniting below San Jaciuto the north or west fork of the Muscatatuck, which unites with the South Fork at Old Vernon Sand Creek, rising in Decatur county, flowing through the western part of this county, with its various branches, Rock, Nettle, Wyalusing, Rat Tail, Bear and other small tributaries, making one of the main feeders of the White river Coffee, Six Mile, Tea, Ice, Storm, Wolf, etc.

Heavy timber originally covered the county. The timbered lands were of two different kinds first the " flats," which were covered with large and tall timber white oak, beech, gum, soft maple, burr oak, hickory, and some other varieties, with a thick undergrowth in many sections, interwoven with native grape-vines. Second, the rolling land, where the timber is white oak, black oak, beech, sugar tree, linden, ash, black walnut, white walnut, cherry, poplar, with an undergrowth on rich bottoms of pawpaw and an occasional large sassafras. On the bottom lands along the streams, sycamore, hackberry, elm and buckeye flourish. These forests have, as a general thing, been stripped of the best timber. The white oak has been extensively cut for staves, the upper parts of the trees being left to decay upon the ground. In some sections the native forests remain untouched, and from these may be formed some conception of their vigorous growth.

A killing frost which occurred here May 8th, 1833, is still vividly remembered by many of the older people. The timber in certain localities was much injured. On the "west flats" the beech growth was nearly entirely killed and in other places the tops of the white oaks were killed. Coming so late in the season and being so severe, all the fruit in this section was killed, except a few varieties of late, hardy apples. A frost so late in the season is rare in this latitude and is productive of great harm. It also becomes a kind of chronological event from which all neighborhood happenings date.

Productions. As a general rule, the rolling lands bordering the numerous streams are more productive than the flats. Bordering on Sand Creek, North and South Forks of the Muscatatuck, and Big and Little Graham, are rich alluvial bottoms yielding bounteous corn crops. In fact, all the small streams of Coffee Creek have more or less of such lands along their borders. The principal productions are corn, wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat and hay. The following are the crop statistics, according to the census of 1880: Corn, 651,119 bushels wheat, 159,358 bushels oats, 67,904 bushels buckwheat, 1,280 bushels hay, 9,919 tons Irish potatoes, 34,611 bushels value of orchard products, $26,117. A considerable area is in pasture and large numbers of mules, horses and cattle are raised for the Cincinnati and other markets. Large numbers of hogs are fattened for the various

markets. The same statistics (census of 1880) show the following: Horses, 4,816 head cattle, 12,456 hogs, 22,273 sheep, 9,354 wool, 53,436 pounds. The disease known as " hog cholera," is sometimes quite prevalent and the most practical farmers attribute the disease to parasites which find lodgment in the intestines of the hog, and fin-:lly develop themselves into worms, which destroys its health and terminates in death.

Fruit culture is becoming more and more extensive every year and the soil proves that it is a good fruit region. The usual varieties of summer and winter apples do well occasionally, cherries and pears. Peaches are not extensively grown. Wild blackberries grow in profusion, and are quite a source of income at some points, also wild grapes. Strawberries are successfully cultivated in certain localities.

The most valuable minerals of this county are building stone, limestone for lime, brick and tile clay. The continuous beds of North Vernon blue limestone are very valuable and extend over a large area of the county. The amount of this stone quarried for the Cincinnati Southern railroad bridge, over the Ohio river, besides a great many other shipments which are constantly being made from the various quarries, has given employment to a large number of hands within the county. " The layers of blue limestone," says Mr. W. W. Borden, "will alone, in the course of time, bring an immense revenue, while immediately below are the white limestone layers which afford good material for white quick-lime. * * * Below the white limestone are the Niagara rocks, which are noted for making good lime and for building and nagging purposes. Good (ocherous) clay, suitable for red brick is found convenient to all the large towns. Sand for all ordinary purposes is to be found along all the streams throughout the county."

Few are aware that gold exists in Indiana, but it does in almost every part of it. It nowhere exists, however, in sufficient quantities to pay for working it. It was found in greater quantity in the bed of the south fork of the Muscatatuck river than anywhere else, in the black sand washed down from the glacial drift of the uplands, and at one time the excitement occasioned by its discovery was very great.

Settlements. Jennings County was settled principally from the Southern States most of the early settlers coming from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, with a number of families from Kentucky. They were of that hardy class whose trials and hardships were as nothing compared to the longing desire to possess a home of their own. They had come from States where the bane of slavery rendered the poor man's lot a hard and disagreeable one. Hence, to obtain a home in the distant West, where slavery would never disturb the peace and tranquility of their settlements was the dream

of their life, and when the end was accomplished they would not have been willing to exchange their little unpretending home for the slave-owner's acres and slaves. They did not come in great rushing crowds as emigrants now go West, on railroad trains, but they come on foot, in ox-wagons, on horseback and, in fact, any way they could get here. But without following them in all the hardships and vicissitudes of their settlement, we will leave them and their descendants to the pleasures and enjoyments their courage and perseverance have won them.

County Organization. Jennings County was organized in 1816. Following is the act of the Legislature for its formation:

An act for the formation of a new County out of the Counties of Jackson and Jefferson, and for other purposes.

1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That from and after the first day of February next, all that part of the counties of Jackson and Jefferson which is included in the following bounds, shall form and constitute a new county (that is to say), beginning on the line of the Grouseland Purchase, at the intersection of the line dividing ranges six and seven east thence south with said line to the line dividing townships III and IV north thence east six miles thence north six miles thence east with another township line four miles thence north two miles thence east two miles thence north two miles thence east two miles thence north two miles thence east with the line dividing townships V and VI north to the southeast corner of section thirty-one in township VI north, range X east thence north with the sectional line to the Indian boundary line thence westwardly with said line to the place of beginning.

2. The said new county shall, on and after the first day of February next, be known and designated by the name and style of the county of Jennings, and it shall enjoy all the rights and privileges and jurisdiction which to a separate county does or may properly appertain and belong, Provided always, that all suits, pleas, plaints, actions and proceedings which may, before the said first day of February next, have been commenced, instituted, and pending within the now counties, of Jackson and Jefferson, shall be prosecuted to find judgment and effect in the same manner as if this act had never been passed, Provided also, that the State and county's levies and taxes which are now due within the bounds of said new county, shall be collected and paid in the same manner and by the same affairs as they would have been if the erection of said new county had not taken effect.

3. Robert Simington and Daniel Searles of Jefferson county, William Cranshear of Jackson county, Thomas Carr, of Clark county, and Elijah Golay, of Switzerland county, be an
they are hereby appointed Commissioners to designate the plan for the permanent seat of justice of Jennings county, agreeable to an act entitled, "An act for the fixing the seats of justice in all new counties hereafter to be laid off" the Commissioners above named, or others appointed by the proper court, shall convene at the house of John Vawter, on the second Monday in February next, and then to proceed to discharge the duties assigned them by law.

4. The Board of Commissioners of said new county, shall within twelve mouths after the permanent seat of justice be established, proceed to erect the necessary public buildings thereon.

5. Until suitable accommodations can be had, in the opinion of the Circuit Court at the seat of justice of said new county, all the courts of justice shall be holden at the house of John Vawter in said county after which time the Circuit Court and all the courts necessary to be held at the county-seat shall be adjourned to the same.

6. The said new county of Jennings, be, and the same is hereby attached to, and shall form a part of the third circuit and the Circuit Courts shall be holdeuin the said County of Jennings, three times in each year hereafter, and shall commence on the first Mondays of April, July and November, and shall sit six days at each term, unless the business shall be sooner dispatched.

7. Whenever the seat of justice within the County of Jennings shall have been established, the person or persons authorized to dispose of, and sell the lots at the seat of justice, shall reserve ten per centum on the net proceeds of the whole sale for the use of a county library in said county, which sum or sums of money shall be paid over to such person or persons as may be authorized to receive the same, in such manner and in such installments as shall be authorized by law.

Two or three more sections follow but are not specially pertinent to the formation of the county. The act was approved December 27th, 1816, and was signed:

have been established, the person or persons authorized to dispose of, and sell the lots at the seat of justice, shall reserve ten per centum on the net proceeds of the whole sale for the use of a county library in said county, which sum or sums of money shall be paid over to such person or persons as may be authorized to receive the same, in such manner and in such installments as shall be authorized by law.

Two or three more sections follow but are not specially pertinent to the formation of the county. The act was approved December 27th, 1816, and was signed:

Isaac Blackford,
Speaker of House of Representatives. Christopher Harrison,
President of the Senate. Jonathan Jennings, Governor.

The county was organized under the foregoing act, officers elected and all the legal machinery set in motion. Vernon was fmally chosen as the county seat, and the public buildings erected according to the act of the Legislature.

Vernon. The county seat of Jennings county, is beautifully situated at the junction of the North and South forks of the Muscatatuck river, and on the Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis railroad. It is a rather dull old town of 616 inhabitants by the last census (1880), but has a sound and solid foundation from a financial and business standpoint. The court house is a handsome brick structure, with white limestone trimmings, obtained from the neighboring cpjarries, and was built under the supervision of Isaac Hodgson, of Indianapolis. There is, and has been, considerable manufacturing done in Vernon, among which may be mentioned spoke and hub factory foundry and plow shop stave and heading factory woolen and flouring mill wagons and buggies pumps and rakes etc., etc., etc.

North Vernon, the largest and most prosperous town in the county, is situated at the junction of the Louisville division of the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, with the main line, and the crossing of the Madison branch of the J. M. rail road. It had a population of 1,842 by the census of 1880 and is a brisk business town. The manufacturing interests are flouring mills, furniture and planing mills, woolen mills, chair factories, and others of lesser note. The town is well supplied with churches and schools the church denominations being Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Catholics and a large and fine school house being located here, with an excellent graded school.

Other villages and hamlets are Scipio, situated on the J. M. & I. railroad Queensville is located on the same road, and between the latter place and North Vernon Paris is an old town

" A place for idle eyes and ears,

A cob webbed nook of dreams
Left by the streams whose waves are years

The stranded village seems situated on the bluffs of Graham creek Paris Crossing is on the O. & M. railroad, and is a live little place Commisky, Sherman, and Lovett are located on the O. & M., south of North Vernon Butlersville and Nebraska are east of North Vernon on the O. & M. and do a large mill and lumber business Zenas is situated on the North Fork of the Muscatatuck, in Columbia township Brewersville is situated on Sand Creek, and Hardinburg on the O. & M. railroad. These are all small places.

Railroads. Jennings county is well supplied with railroads and North Vernon, its principal town, is quite a railroad center. The main line of the Ohio & Mississippi railroad crosses the county from east to west, and is intersected by the Louisville division at North Vernon, where it is also crossed by the Madison division of the J. M. & I. These roads have been of great benefit to the county in moving its surplus produce and facilitating trade also of causing a number of small manufacturing enterprises to spring up in various sections of the county which give employment to many people, and are the means of distributing considerable money in business circles. Upon the whole, the county is doing well and is in a most prosperous condition.

Population of Jennings County, Indiana
from Census of 1870 and 1880, by Townships


History of the Jennings name

The family name Jennings is patronymic, meaning it is a variation of a father’s name. In this case , ” John,” which means in Hebrew “God’s grace.” The popularity of the name is due to two revered saints of the New Testament. The first is John the Baptist, considered Jesus Christ’s forerunner, and the one who baptized him. The second is the apostle John, the only apostle present at the crucifixion, and the author of the fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation.

According to, “Jennings, Davidson and Allied Families,” by Lillie Pauline White, the name evolved as:

John, Jons, Johnson, Janson, Jennings. Other variations of the name are Jinnins, Jennins, Jenyns, Jenynges, Jannings, and Jenning, with Jennins, and Jennyns being found in the colonial records Gennequin is the French form and Gening is old German of the eighth century. In this connection it is interesting to note that Hanson and Hancock are from Hans, the Flemish nickname of John or Johannes.

One also has to recognize the Welsh variation of the name , “Jones”, and the appearance of the name “Johansen” and “Hansen,” with all their variations, in Scandinavian countries.

The suffix “ings” is derived from Old English, that is the language written and spoken by the Angles and Saxon tribes who invaded and settled in the eastern half of the British Isles. It is closely related to Frisian, a language spoken by those who for milenia lived along the northern coast of Europe in present day Holland, northern Germany, and Denmark. The suffix simply denotes a descendant of the family name.

Who was the first Jennings in America?

This question is subject to debate and the need for further research. Needless to say, there were many individuals carrying the name Jennings who migrated to America from England in the first half of the 17th century. A good resource to explore is the early ships and their manifests is “Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600’s” compiled by Anne Stevens.

Lillie White has identified Nicholas Jennings, unmarried, and age 22, of Ipswich, sailing on the ship Francis in 1634, destination Massachusetts Bay, as the first and this name is included in Anne Stevens’ list. (Geoff Sherwood for transcribed the list of pasengers to The OLIVE TREE Genealogy. 30 April 1634. The passenger list of the Francis includes 80 individuals, the youngest, two children at the at the age of two and the oldest at the age of 60. There were 11 families, 3 couples without children, and one unaccompanied mother and child. Nicholas was one of 15 single men. There were three single women. [Check these numbers when you have time.] Mr. John Cutting, captain, bound for New England (landed at Plymouth or Boston, MA): from the Pubic Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, England) A caveat needs to be inserted here in claiming direct ancestry, as other Jennings, related and otherwise, soon followed. Nicholas Hollis gives a fine survey of the early Jennings to arrive. Following Nicholas, there is mention of father, John, brother John, and another brother Joshua who follow within a year.

Where is the Jennings family from?

Ipswich is the county town for Suffolk County, which lies in the east of England next to the North Sea. The area around Ipswich is for the most part lowlands. In the past it was called the Fens, or Fenlands, a naturally marshy region subject to periodic floods especially in winter. With limited land for development, the Fenlands were dedicated to small isolated farms, fishing, fowling and the harvesting of reeds used in thatching for roofs. Under King Charles I, in the 1630’s, drainage of the Fens was taken on as a capital venture. Large grants of land were given to the venture capitalists, with the result that many locals lost their means of livelihood. At the time, King Charles I also exacerbated the religious controversy in England. Puritans were English Protestants who felt that the Church of England did not go far enough in reforming religious practice. Charle I took the side of the Church of England, dissolved Parliament, which by and large represented the Puritans, and, thus, the stage was set for the English Civil War that began in 1642. Prior to the beginning of the Civil War, many Puritans left England for the colonies of New England where they could practice their religion without crown interference.

Whether Nicholas Jennings, and the others who followed, left for new lands, religious freedom, or for other reasons is a subject for further study.


Tag: Indiana Territory

“Drawing of George Washington as Surveyor” in Andrew G. Gardner, “How Did Washington Make His Millions?” Colonial Williamsburg Journal (Winter 2013) accessed http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/winter13/washington.cfm

A small group of men made their way through the thick southern Indiana forest dragging chains in their wake. Once in a while, they stopped to score a tree, plant a post, and record their progress. For those residents of the Indiana Territory who witnessed this bizarre parade in the fall of 1804, this group represented vastly different futures. For Thomas Jefferson and other leaders of the young United States, this group of men sent to survey the Indiana Territory represented the spread of democracy. For the indigenous people who first called this land home, the marks cut and burned into the trees represented the impending and permanent loss of that home. Despite their disparate perspectives, both would soon see the redefinition and reorganization of the landscape by the rectangular survey system.

Indiana Historical Bureau, “Indiana Territory,” The Indiana Historian (March 1999), 4, accessed in.gov/history.

After the American Revolutionary War and via the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the British surrendered their claim to the thirteen colonies and ceded a vast amount of western and southern territory to the young United States. In order to grow the republic and repay war debt, the new government needed a system of organizing this land for sale. In response to these needs, the Continental Congress created a committee chaired by Thomas Jefferson to create a system for surveying the new territory.

Jefferson passionately believed that the system had to make small plots of land available to the individual farmer (as opposed to large plots available only to the wealthy, to speculators, or to large companies) in order to spread democracy throughout the territory. In 1785, Jefferson wrote:

We have now lands enough to employ an infinite number of people in their cultivation. Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s [sic] liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.

“Jefferson” engraving by William Holl, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The committee’s answer was the Land Ordinance of 1784 which attempted to define and standardize surveying methods to create a grid of small plots of land across the territories. These surveyed squares could then be subdivided, numbered, and recorded for sale. In this manner, the landscape could be divided and sold to settlers unseen — that is, without the surveyor having to physically walk the entire area, mapping the land in the old system of metes and bounds (which used natural markers like trees and rivers to define property). This older system was time consuming, required the surveyor’s physical presence in a sometimes dangerous landscape, and often led to land disputes as natural markers were altered or disappeared. While the 1784 Ordinance did not become law, it did define the rectangular system and laid out the principles that would measure and divide the landscape into what it is today.

“Surveyor’s Compass” in Andrew G. Gardner, “How Did Washington Make His Millions?” Colonial Williamsburg Journal (Winter 2013) accessed http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/winter13/washington.cfm

On May 20, 1785, Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785, a revised version of the 1784 plan which further described the system and codified a detailed survey plan which used mathematics and standardized chains for measuring. The ordinance stated that surveying would begin on the Ohio River, at a point that shall be found to be due north from the termination of a line which has been run as the southern boundary of the state of Pennsylvania.” According to historian Matthew Dennis, this rectangular survey system allowed the leaders of the young government to apply their “nationalistic, scientific, and engineering mentality in transforming the continental landscape of North America, reconceptualizing its space, subduing and organizing it, and distributing it to white yeoman farmers in the interest of national expansion, and, they believed, democracy.”

Committee of Congress. Draft Report of Northwest Ordinance, March 1784. Broadside with emendations by Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

The removal of the native tribes living in the territories was the first step of the survey process. Both the proposed 1784 Land Ordinance and the adopted 1785 Land Ordinance called for American Indian removal. The United States government worked towards this end through both military action, economic pressure, and treaties in order to make space for white male settlers to farm the land. On July 13, 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, an act which created the Northwest Territory (an area that would become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota) and provided a system for settling the area to create new states.

Map of the Northwest Territory, Indiana Historical Bureau, “Indiana Territory,” The Indiana Historian (March 1999), 4, accessed in.gov/history.

The U.S. government viewed conflict with indigenous populations in the area as the greatest obstacle to the expansion and settlement of white Americans in the territory. According to historian Eric Hemenway of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians:

Between 1774 and 1794, Indian villages in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio were constantly attacked by the American army and militias. The Shawnee, Delaware, Iroquois, Miami, Odawa, Wyandot and Mingo saw unspeakable violence committed against their villages during this time period. Over 100 Indian villages were burned and destroyed, leaving an unknown number of civilian casualties.

“Battle of Fallen Timbers,” engraving, 1846, in John Frost. Pictorial History of the United States, accessed http://ushistoryimages.com/sources.shtm#F

The U.S. government applied military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on native peoples to cede land and create a peace, no matter how tenuous. The military pressure was applied by President George Washington’s assignment of General Anthony Wayne to battle a confederacy led by Miami, Shawnee, and Lenape (Delaware) chiefs. After suffering major losses at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, many tribes living in the Northwest Territory were resigned to settling for peace. This resulted in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, in which some tribal leaders ceded large sections of land in Ohio and Indiana to the United States and opened much of the area to white settlement. Many Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, and Kaskaskia lost large portions of their homeland. Still other native leaders resisted and contested this and subsequent treaties, and would later fight to regain their land under the leadership of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa.

Detail of “Painting of Indian Treaty of Greenville,” oil on canvas, 1795, Chicago History Museum, accessed http://digitalcollection.chicagohistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16029coll3/id/1660

While the U.S. government offered payment in goods for signing the treaty, some Native Americans became dependent on these annuities as the land on which they made their living was taken from them. In some cases, they fell into debt and lost even more land as a result. This situation was often exploited by the United States government. For example, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson wrote William Henry Harrison:

We shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among [Great Lakes Indians] run in debt, because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands.

After the Treaty of Greenville provided prospective colonists the security of peaceful settlement, Congress passed the Land Act of 1796. This legislation provided for the sale of land in the Northwest Territory. It reiterated that surveys would be conducted in areas “in which the titles of the Indian tribes have been extinguished.” It also appointed a Surveyor General directed to employ deputy surveyors.

Jared Mansfield, Essays, mathematical and physical : containing new theories and illustrations of some very important and difficult subjects of the sciences, New-Haven : Printed by William W. Morse, [1801], accessed HathiTrust. General Rufus Putnam, a Revolutionary War veteran and an organizer of the Ohio Company, became the country’s first Surveyor General in 1796. Jefferson, however, became unhappy with Putnam’s irregular results and soon began to seek a more mathematically minded candidate who could factor in the curvature of the earth among other issues. Jared Mansfield (1759-1830) came to the attention of President Jefferson in 1801 upon the publication of his book Essays, Mathematical and Physical, one of the earliest works of original mathematics by an American. On May 21, 1803, Jefferson wrote to Mansfield, and conveyed his disappointment with Putnam for errors in “laying off the townships, not having been able to run parallel East & West Lines.” Jefferson expressed his confidence in Mansfield: “I am happy in possessing satisfactory proof of your being entirely master of this subject, and therefore in proposing to you to undertake the office.” Mansfield began his work as Surveyor General in the fall of 1803 as Congress and other U.S. government officials worked to open up the territories to settlement.

“Roger Woodfill, Greenville & Grouseland Treaty Lines,” accessed Virtual Museum of Surveying.

The land which would become Indiana was difficult to survey because much of it had yet to be acquired through treaty. The Vincennes Tract, an area ceded by local tribal authorities to French settlers in 1742, provided another unique obstacle. This area ran along the Wabash River and thus had been surveyed at an angle, and French settlers acquired titles to the land based upon this survey. Since 1787, the inhabitants of the Vincennes Tract regularly petitioned Congress to validate their titles. In May 1802, Congress determined that the territory should be surveyed by the rectangular method except where it had been previously surveyed. In other words, the Vincennes Tract would sit like an oddly angled puzzle piece within the rest of the rectangular pieces. The lines forming the rectangles would stop at the edge of the Vincennes Tract and then continue after it on all sides. According to survey historian Bill Hubbard, since the purpose of the rectangular survey was to organize the land for sale, there was no need to resurvey the tract.

Map of the Northwest Territory, Indiana Historical Bureau, “Indiana Territory,” The Indiana Historian (March 1999), 4, accessed in.gov/history.

Meanwhile, in March 1803, Ohio attained statehood, which left the rest of the former Northwest Territory as the Indiana Territory. Congress wanted the Indiana Territory surveyed in full in preparation for American colonization. In June 1803, the Vincennes Tract’s boundaries were confirmed through Indian treaties and the edges surveyed. Surveying the Indiana Territory around the irregular tract became Mansfield’s first challenge as Surveyor General. U.S. government officials assumed it was a matter of time before the rest of the territory would be acquired from the Native Americans, and thus Mansfield needed to develop a technique for surveying this vast landscape that did not include the time-consuming and even dangerous physical trek through the entire landscape measuring with steps and chains. Instead, he determined that he could create a meridian and a baseline ran off the corners of the Vincennes Tract which would be the foundation of a grid made up of six-mile by six mile square plots of land called townships.

Mansfield planned a baseline that would start at the southwestern corner of the Vincennes Tract and run east-west to the edge of the territory and a meridian which ran from the southeastern edge of the tract north through the territory. The north-south line was called the Second Principal Meridian and coincides with 86° 28’ west longitude. The base line coincides with 38° 28’ 20” north latitude and became known locally as Buckingham’s Base Line. From the intersection of these lines, survey lines could be calculated every six miles in all four directions to create the grid of townships. Each township could then be further divided into one mile squares creating thirty-six sections of land. Each section contained 640 acres of land which could then be divided further in half, quarter, half-quarter, and quarter-quarter sections as needed. These plots would then be numbered and sold to settlers without the surveyor hiking the entire territory, the running of the two lines being the only physical surveying needed.

While Mansfield mathematically planned the baseline which would serve as a foundational line for the survey of the Indiana Territory, someone still had to mark the line into the landscape and take measurements. That task fell to a small crew led by deputy surveyor Ebenezer Buckingham, Jr., and he would long be remembered for his efforts. Originally from Connecticut, Buckingham migrated to Ohio in 1796 and began work as a farmhand for General Putnam. He assisted Putnum on survey trips in several Ohio counties, and in 1799, Putnam swore in Buckingham as a deputy surveyor.

Michael P. Conzen, The Making of the American Landscape (New York and London: Routledge, 2010), 143.

In 1804, Mansfield appointed Ebenezer Buckingham to lead a crew to run the base line. They began at a point on the south-side of the Vincennes Tract and ran a line east for 67.5 miles, marking off miles and half-miles on trees. Buckingham and crew then went to the southeast corner of the Vincennes Tract and ran a line due north until they reached the baseline. When they intersected the baseline, they marked the initial point. Then, they marked section corners and half-section corners until they reached the east end of the Vincennes Tract again. They packed up for the winter and returned the next season to finish extending the baseline east twelve miles and the meridian north in September 1805. The placement of the baseline and meridian in these locations allowed Buckingham and his crew to lay the foundations for the survey system and include the Vincennes Tract in it, all without encroaching on lands that still belonged to Native Americans. After this, the townships could be numbered and the land further divided. The township numbers would be increased east and west away from the Principal Meridian and be numbered away from the Baseline north and south, starting at the Initial Point where the two lines crossed.

“Abraham Lincoln, Congressman-elect from Illinois,” daguerreotype, circa 1846-7,Daguerreotype collection, ibrary of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, accessed https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.53842/

Because the rectangular survey clearly mapped the land, organized, and numbered it, settlers knew that any land they purchased had a secure title. This was not true in states not mapped in such a standardized way. For example, in Kentucky, the same land was sometimes surveyed multiple times in different ways giving rise to title disputes. For example, in 1808, a carpenter and cabinet maker named Thomas Lincoln purchased a farm near Nolin Creek, Kentucky. The following year, in the cabin that Thomas built on his land, his son Abraham Lincoln was born. The family soon moved to another farm, along Knob Creek for which Thomas paid cash years later in 1815. However, the titles of both his farms were challenged by competing claimants. According to Abraham Lincoln biographer William E. Gienapp, because Thomas did not have the resources to fight a possibly extensive court battle, “he simply sold out at a loss and in December 1816 moved to Indiana, where the federal government had surveyed the land.” Thus, the survey system played no small role in bringing the studious young man who would become the sixteenth President of the United States to Indiana.

Survey Map (left)accessed Elkhart County Surveyor, http://elkcosurveyor.org/history/
Aerial View of Indiana (right) accessed Indiana Public Media,

The legacy of the survey system still defines how Hoosiers interact with the landscape today and is seen in our counties, townships, and the quilted pattern of Indiana farmland. In fact, much of the country is organized by this system. According to historian Michael P. Conzen, “Except for the original 13 colonies, Texas, and some western mountainous areas, most of the country is parceled out on the township and range system.” The methods perfected by Mansfield and executed by men like Buckingham were applied throughout the vast landscape of the United States to the benefit of some and the anguish of others. In 2018, IHB will place a state historical marker for Buckingham’s Base Line in Dubois County at one point of the line, literally inserting the story of this complex landscape back into the landscape itself – a reminder that as Hoosiers we share both the legacy of those industrious settlers who arrived following a dream of a better life in a bright new democracy and the legacy of those native peoples who were harmed to make that dream a reality.

Photo from Miami Nation of Indiana, accessed http://www.miamiindians.org/

Special thanks to Annette Scherber who contributed research for this post.


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