A Brief History of Jasonville, Indiana

Jasonville, IN was established in 1858. The area started as a flat prairie without trees and was covered with prairie grasses. The territory surrounding Jasonville had belonged to the Painkeshaw Indian Tribe, which ceded it by treaty to the Delaware Indians in 1767. The Delaware Indians called what we know as the Eel River "Shakamak", meaning "The Waters of the Long Fish". This is where the name for Shakamak State Park came about, and hence Shakamak School District. Soon after the Battle of Tippecanoe, the Indians began to move West. The last Indians left Greene County in 1819.

Jasonville was once a part of Kentucky. In 1818 Indiana was admitted to the Union. In 1821 legislature was passed to create Greene County. Prior to 1810 no white man resided within the borders of Greene County except for a few Indian scouts who were paid by the government. Only bands of Indians came to invade the territory on war or hunting expeditions, or just roaming. Crude axes made of stone and arrowheads made of flint can be found to this day in the area. The first white habitation in Greene County was a log cabin built by John Latta in 1816. Hence the name Latta's Creek. John LEWIS was the first inhabitant in what is known today as Wright Township, where they built log cabins along East Shanklin St. Road. In February of 1822, the first foreign born person became an American citizen through naturalization. Robert ANDERSON, a Scottish immigrant, led the way for hundreds of Europeans that made Greene County their home.

The Journey...The journey of the first settlers to Jasonville was not easy. Possesions such as dishes, simple tools, bedding and clothing were carried by horseback with children carried in arms. Seed and sprouts of herbs, vegetables and trees were carried for planting when establishing a new home They rarely turned back despite death from plague etc. Settlers reported deaths of entire families from typhoid and cholera, with wolves and vultures leaving little behind except a page in a book or the Bible. Most of the first settlers in Jasonville came from Kentucky and Tennessee who came from Virginia and North Carolina, of course.

Jasonville's first school house was built around 1900 south of Meridian and Cooke Streets. In 1902 a new school was built and in 1907 an application was filed with the State Board of Education that the school be accredited as a commissioned high school. After an exhaustive survey and inspection, the high school inspector, Prof. W.W. Parsons, of Indiana State, recommended that the application be approved and the school was commissioned. During the 1918- 1919 school year the Flu epidemic was at its worst in the local community. All schools, churches, lodge and picture shows were closed in an attempt to stem the spread of the dreaded disease. The Red Cross brought in doctors and nurses and the school building was converted into a hospital. Several local citizens passed away in the building. This was the only year, after 1908, that we failed to have a high school graduating class. In 1908 Jasonville had its first high school football team under the management of Oscar R. Shields, principal of the high school, Jerry Ulen, a teacher, was captain. In 1910 the cramped quarters called for additional expansion and the grade, or ?ward? building as it was called, was erected that year. Soon increased enrollment made necessary further room and two portable buildings were erected at the site of the grade building on South Park Avenue. The latest addition to the building program was the high school gym in 1924.

The Jasonville post office was established the same year that Jasonville was founded in 1858. The first postmaster was Dr. William B. Squires who had purchased a tract of land with Jason Rodgers. This land was what is known as Jasonville's Heritage Block, located between south Meridian Street on the east and Lawton Street on the west, and Main Street on the north and Cooke Street on the south. With the coming of the railroad in 1900 Jasonville was able to receive mail daily. This was the first connection from Jasonville to the outside world except by horseback or horse drawn vehicle.

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