Thursday, October 27, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Salisbury Court House

Salisbury Courthouse built 1811 (Front)

In the early 1800s Salisbury was a small Indiana settlement to the south of Richmond and Centerville in Wayne county. This log courthouse was Wayne county's first seat of justice and was built in 1811 and used until 1818 when the county seat was moved to Centerville. It was dismantled and reconstructed in 1952 and was finally moved to it's permanent location in Centerville in 1998. It is the only original log courthouse still standing in the Northwest Territory. Salisbury no longer exists.

Salisbury Courthouse built 1811 (back)
My interest in this courthouse was due to the fact that my maternal third great grandfather, Giles Cook, lived on a farm near Salisbury, Indiana in the early 1800s. Eventually his family, including two of his mother's brothers, decided to move west. They sold their household effects and purchased six oxen and a Carolina Wagon (a smaller version of the Conestoga Wagon). Unfortunately, just prior to the move, Giles' father was on his way home one night when he stumbled into a creek "having about one foot of water and, not being in full possession of his senses, failed to get up; he was found dead of drowning the next morning."   

Well, I suppose "not being in full possession of his senses" was a polite way of saying he was drunk...that's the only thing I can imagine that would cause a man to drown in one foot of water!

After her husband's death, his wife sold the farm and, it is said, some of her sons left for the Kansas gold fields.

My ancestor, Giles Cook, stayed in Indiana and bought a plot of land (88.2 acres) to farm in Rush county where he later married my third great grandmother, Martha Brown. 

The photos of the courthouse were taken by me on June 5, 2011. The story of the preparation to move west and the drowning of Giles' father comes from the diary of Giles Cook's great granddaughter, Ardesta Jane Duffy b.1905.


1 comment:

  1. Very cool looking courthouse, Lisa, and a very interesting story. Drunk would be my guess too :)