Shelby  County,  Indiana

J.  R.  French

The  Shelbyville  Republican

Wednesday, October 19, 1910
Page 4, column 1
          St. Paul, Ind., Oct. 18, 1910-- Editor Republican--- Being the oldest native born in Shelby county, I take the liberty to address you as such and through your paper will speak of some of the early things.  First, my father was one of the first to come to this county.  He moved here in an ox cart with mother and a young child in the cart with a cow tied behind, and after they left Whitewater there was no road and he had to cut the spice brush out of the way in many places.  He settled in the Green woods in Shelby county before Shelbyville was thought of and some time before it was laid out by  John WalkerJohn Hendricks  had settled on the east end of town near where the stillhouse once was, and started a tan yard.  When my father came here he had a few hundred dollars and could begin to improve.  He was a brick mason and made the first brick and built the first brick chimney and the first brick house in the county.  He made the first shingle roof and mother had the first cook stove and father bought the first carriage in the county and opened the first hotel.  Father and mother for some time rode to church in an ox cart and when he bought his carriage the people would stare at them, and when mother got her cook stove women would come for miles to see her cook on it.  Father's barn was the first building in the county with a shingle roof and it is standing yet, but not with the first roof.  This will do as a start and I will give you more later.
Yours as the oldest native born in Shelby county.     J. R. FRENCH
Submitted by Barb Huff.

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