Randolph County, Indiana Genealogy
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- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History of Randolph County, Indiana
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
History of Randolph County, Indiana
Randolph County was created on 10 January 1818 from a portion of Wayne County, Indiana. Frontier settlement had begun to reach the area by 1814. The county was named for old Randolph County, North Carolina, many settlers having moved westward from the Carolinas. Winchester was established as the county seat the same year the county was founded.
The first settlement was made in 1814 by a Quaker family, which was joined by five other families. By late 1816 the influx of new settlement and land entries grew rapidly. The years of most rapid growth were 1817-18 and 1836-37, much of the land purchased by speculators. The first school in Randolph County was built by Quakers in 1815. The first election was held in August 1818. The first road opened was the Quaker Trace in 1817, running from Richmond to Ft. Wayne. The first Court House was built in 1818. The first railroad through the county was the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine, completed in 1852-53.
Frame and brick structures, mills, orchards, factories, stores, hotels and banks followed.
Winchester was the first town established in Randolph County. Lots were laid out in 1818 and the sales began in February the following year. The area was heavily timbered with unbroken forest. Buildings of hewed logs predominated. The town grew slowly.
Townships of Randolph County were organized as follows: Greensfork, 1818; White River, 1818; Ward, 1820; Stoney Creek, 1826; Wayne (North), 1820; Liberty, 1825; Washington, 1831; West River, 1831; Jackson, 1833; Green, 1834; Nettle Creek, 1835; Wayne, 1838; Monroe, before 1851; Franklin, 1859; Union, 1838; Salamonie, 1834; Madison, 1835.
Anti-slavery sentiments were common in Randolph County, as many early settlers had left the Carolinas to be free of the practice. Active supporters of the emancipation movement were found around 1816. The Underground Railroad functioned, and runaways were sheltered and assisted in their escape.
Early newspapers were The Journal at Winchester, and The Times at Union City. Early banks were Citizens Bank and Commercial Bank of Union City, and Farmers and Merchants Bank and Randolph County Bank of Winchester.
Societies and Libraries
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).