OHIO COUNTY INFO: Pioneer Migration Routes through Ohio
The Delaware Indian Road
Merle C. Rummel
email - [email protected]
Submitted December 13, 1998

Here's another migration route --it goes into Indiana -and was one of the early MAIN roads into Indiana!

The Delaware Indian Road

Just above the bridge over the Whitewater River at Yankeetown, south in Richmond IN, is a hard packed ford some 6 ft. wide. The river bottom is soft and mucky on either side, but here the bottom is packed hard from its first use by buffalo, or the American Bison, that used to roam this woodlands, then to its use by the Indians and the "Indian Road" that is traced across the county. Early deeds identify this as "the Indian Road from Muncytown to Ft. Hamilton". The route across Union County IN has been plotted from surveyor records on early deeds and collected by former county surveyor and Four Mile Church deacon, Albert Brown. Some of the physical route has been identified by farmers, due to the improvement of the Indian trail by early settlers, who widened it to a wagon road and filled the low spots with gravel. Local farmers, when plowing, suddenly find gravel in their clayloam fields.

The traced route started at Rossville, at Hamilton OH, directly acrossed the Great Miami River from old Fort Hamilton or the bridge over the river there. It is picked up west of Darrtown where it passed Chaw Raw Hill along the Four Mile Creek banks. [Chaw Raw Hill -its named that -because one early migrant father and sons decided to camp on top of the hill, along the Indian Path. They had killed a turkey for their meal, but just as they were getting ready to cook it -they discovered that a group of Indian warriors were coming down the trail. They dare not start a fire -so they "chawed the Turkey -Raw!"] The old road there has been washed away as the creek has shifted its banks. Somewhere north the old road crossed the creek and went past what became the town of Oxford, OH. Brown Road going north out of Oxford to the Hueston Woods State Park seems to be the old Indian Road. In the Park, the Indian Road would have started down the drive to the Sugar Camp, but where the drive turns right, the access road going ahead to the beach area follows an old road shown on early maps. The Indian Road is identified as about 1/2 mile from the juncture of the Middle and Little Four Mile Creeks, about where the circle drive cr osses the Little Four Mile, where the College Corner Road enters at Park Headquarters. The boat storage there could be the site of the old trading post and the Indian village was possibly in the open grounds by the office buildings. The Indian Road passed around the Indian Mound, at the far west end of the campgrounds on the ridge above the Little Four Mile. A long winding gully at the south-east corner of the campgrounds is probably the Road climbing out of the Four Mile creekbed where the settlers could pull their wagons. On the Eaton Pike, out of College Corner, just south of the Buck Paxton Road, there used to be a residence building sitting back of the current house. It faced southwest on an angle, just above the decline into the ravine there. This would be where the Indian Road crossed the ravine.

On the State Line Road, where the Union County survey shows the Indian Road, an old pair of foundation sites were remembered, again on an angle to the world, in back of the present barnlot. Just west of this, on the back of the Hartman farm, is an old crossing over Little Four Mile Creek, still used to get to the fields east of the creek. This was originally the Christian Witter Farm and the Witter cemetary is on the bank of the Four Mile. Mrs. Hartman is a Witter. The Indian Road continued north-west and crossed first the Nine Mile Road then IN 44 south and west of the corner. It continued more northward till it crossed Hannas Creek a little south of the Hanna's Creek Church. Then turned nearly due west across Union County. South-west of Clifton it angled northward to the Buffalo Ford. The road then seems to have angled north-west, to the old Universalist town of Philomet, and on toward Hagarstown, IN.

Just north of the Nettle Creek Church at Hagerstown, is the old Stout Farm. In the early years of this century, Indians walked between the house and barn of that farm, on what they claimed was their old pathway. The scout-camp at Muncie, Ind. (old Muncytown) tells Indian lore about the old Indian Path to Richmond. The road actually passed south and west of Richmond. From Hagerstown, the Indian Road would have followed on or close to the Buck Creek Road, to Mt. Pleasant onto US 35, south of Muncie. This would account for the Dunker settlement along it called the Buck Creek Church. The winding and twisting of this old country road could be the original winding and twisting of the Indian path as it wove along the higher ground around the giant forest trees, swamps and steep gullys.

The early migrants used an extension of this road from Muncie IN going northwest. One route went westward, to the Wildcat Creek which flowed into the Wabash River at Lafayette IN. Most of the Brethren settlers stopped along it, few going farther than Flora IN. The other went more northerly, through Kokomo and Peru IN. This triangle was a major settlement area in western Indiana during the early 1830s for the Four Mile families and their kin and neighbors in Preble and Montgomery Counties OH.

Early settlers also used the Wayne Trace (General Anthony Wayne's army road) -north to Fort Wayne IN.

Elder Jacob Miller (lived on the west side of the Great Miami River, at Dayton -c1806) would come visit his children on the Four Mile. This is still used -US 35 going STRAIT west from Dayton to Eaton OH, and OH122 continueing strait west to Boston IN -the trace wound southward to Connersville IN -trading post of the half-breed Delware/American -John Conner (family survived the massacre at Schoenbrunn Village)

Merle C Rummel
Church Historian

Pioneer Migration Routes through Ohio

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