I have had the best time calling small towns in Wayne County and talking to the residents. Calling the city building in these little towns of 200-750 people might mean you get a hold of the police department or fire station if it is after 2:30 p.m., when they take over for the rest of the day.
Another quaint aspect of the small towns is that everyone knows everyone else. They know the historians, the librarian, the elderly and the young. They know who is on vacation, who has a sick relative and who is having a baby.
Most helpful for this series of articles is that if the person I talked to didn’t know the history of their town—they knew exactly who would.
For instance, when I called Sue Brooks, clerk of Fountain City, she had several answers to my questions. But her husband Gerald actually wrote for the Sesquicentennial Celebration booklet so she referred me to him for in-depth answers.
Nancy Shank, billing clerk of Dublin, had many great facts about her town that she researched as we talked. However, as she shared the information we both agreed that one of the many elderly people from Dublin would have a great story or two to share. But alas they usually come to the clerks office at the end of the month—not in time for our story. (maybe we can print some of their stories later).
So this is how most of these stories of small towns in Wayne County came to being. The best way to write a story like this, I found, is to go to the townspeople—the source of all the information. If they don’t know, they will point you in the right direction.
Spotlight: Dublin Indiana
This little town next to Cambridge City was founded in 1830 by a Quaker man named Harman Davis. He bought a tract of land for $500.00 and later named the town Dublin.
In 1850 the population was between 713-720 people, higher than the current population of around 500. When the town was founded there were ghost towns both north and south of Dublin.
An Anderson man who once traveled through Dublin said he was visiting Dublin Ireland and would send something back to the little sister city. He eventually sent them an Irish blessing. However, the origin of the name of Dublin does not have roots in Ireland.
There are several theories. One is that there was an early tavern or inn with double entrances possibly called “Double Inn” which later was shortened to Dublin. Another theory is that because it took a team of horses to overcome the muddy hills of the area which was called “doubling up” or “doubling in,” this may have been shortened to Dublin. The mystery of their name is just one of the interesting facts of this quaint town.
An interesting ancestral note for those of you who research your geneology: In 1832 Jessie Pike, once a tanner, became the first undertaker. The first person to die from Dublin was buried in Milton, which continued to be the burial site until 1936 when Dublin finally had its own burial ground. So if you are a gravestone seeker you may want to visit Milton for some of your ancestors.
Other historic facts about Dublin include:
1834 Built covered bridge
1837 Established the Dublin Academy
1851 Home to the first Women’s Rights Meeting in Indiana (See photo above)
1854 Connected to the Indiana Central Railroad
1903 First Trolley Car
Just goes to show you can’t judge a towns worth by its size or population. Dublin certainly has deep historic roots in Wayne County.
Karole Passmore is a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles and short stories, interviewing local people, and researching non-fiction subject matter– preferably historical. Graduate of RHS, Ivy Tech Richmond, and Earlham College– with a major in History, Karole has spent most of her life in Wayne County and enjoys the quaint atmosphere of a small town.
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