From Time to Thyme

By Paula Dunn

Jackson Township History Quiz

Are you ready for another quiz?  I know it hasn’t been that long since the first one, but April is Jackson Township’s month in the Bicentennial spotlight and I promised to catch up.

See how well you know your Jackson Township history. (Again, this shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re a regular reader of this column, but the answers are below if you get stumped.)

1. What two schools were combined to create Hamilton Heights High School?

2. In what year was Jackson Township first settled?

3. What was Deming’s original name?

4. Who were the three men who founded Roberts Settlement?

5. What was the first year for Atlanta’s New Earth Festival?

6. Which Jackson Township town was once known for its cheese?

7. True or false — Millersburg was named for its mill.

8. In 1916 a Jackson Township high school became the first Hamilton County school to play in the state basketball finals. Which school was it?

9. What three towns were combined to create Atlanta?

10. How did Cicero Creek (and therefore, presumably the town of Cicero) acquire its name?

And the answers:

1. Hamilton Heights was formed in 1965 when Walnut Grove and Jackson Central were consolidated. (Jackson Central was itself the consolidation of Cicero, Arcadia and Atlanta’s high schools.)

2. 1828. That year Henry Jones, William Taylor and a man named Blanch or Blanche (I believe his first name was John, but I’m not 100% sure) settled on tracts of land a short distance west of the future site of Cicero.

3. At the time Deming was laid out by Elihu Pickett, Solomon Pheanis and Lewis Jessup in 1837, it was called Farmington.  The name was changed in 1854 when a post office was established there because Indiana already had a Farmington post office.

4. Elijah Roberts, Hansel Roberts and Micajah Walden. In the summer of 1835, they bought 400 acres from the federal government. Five years later, the African American farming community had a population of about ten families and had grown to cover 900 acres.

5. The first New Earth Festival took place October 5 and 6,1974. Celebrating its 50th year in 2023, it’s the oldest festival in Hamilton County.

6. Arcadia. The colby-type “Arcadia Cheese” was made from 1898 to 1942, then again from 1959 to 1961. The cheese was so popular, customers who moved away from this area had it shipped all over the country. Once, it was even sent to China!

7. False. Although Millersburg did eventually have a grist mill, the name comes from its founder, Peter Miller.

8. Cicero High School. (They accomplished this feat despite having no gym, playing with the same ball all season and being forced to travel to away games by rail, by car and even by hay wagon!)

9. Spargerville, Shielville and Buena Vista. The combined community was initially called Buena Vista, but the name had to be changed when the town acquired a post office. (A Buena Vista post office already existed in Indiana.)

I couldn’t find a definitive reason “Atlanta” was selected to replace “Buena Vista,” but it seems likely the choice was influenced by Civil War veterans who’d been to Atlanta, Georgia during the war.

10. According to Shirts’ 1901 county history, Dr. William Beattie Laughlin of Brookville named the creek. Dr. Laughlin came here in 1821 to survey some of the recently acquired New Purchase land and brought along his young son, Cicero.

One day, while attempting to drink from the creek, the boy lost his balance and fell in. Dr. Laughlin promptly dubbed the creek “Cicero Creek.”  The name stuck.

(Dr. Laughlin, also referred to as Judge Laughlin, was a man of many talents and the founder of Rushville, Indiana.)

– Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears on Wednesdays in The Times. Contact her at