I grew up in Knox County, the youngest of six children.
The Korean War had just ended and people were starting to get ahead.
Farming was difficult back then. My siblings worked hard alongside our mom and dad. Yes, the work was hard, but these were happy, good times with all the family together on the farm.
Most of the stories about walking to school in deep snow, gleaning corn in the freezing cold and going to the outhouse were all true.
One time, our well water started to taste bad, so my father tied a rope around my brother’s waist and lowered him down to the bottom — about 30 feet. Then he lowered a bucket down, and Floyd filled it with water. It was then raised and emptied and lowered over and over. Floyd and I took turns going down in the well. He was 6, and I was 5. The well was 3 feet in diameter and lined with bricks.
We finally found the source of the pungent water. It was a dead lizard about 6 inches long.
Stories from our past are wonderful. We all have them. They take us back in thought when things were much different than today. Dad was a very good storyteller and made me proud of who I was.
Knox County was a great place to grow up, full of American history and heroes: William H. Harrison, George Rogers Clark, Tecumseh, Fran Vigo and others.
After Clark captured Vincennes, he gave Vigo a large tract of land for his monetary help and support. Vigo sold 400 acres to David Snyder who, in turn sold it to my great-great grandfather in 1825.
The existing house was built around the late 1700s and the large addition was built in 1870 by my grandfather. The house and farm are still owned by the Root family. My oldest brother lives in the house.
Five years ago, my wife, Linda, and I were visiting the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair. We stopped to admire a man working on a woodburning project. Later that year, he asked me to work at the village. We discovered that we both went to school at Fritchton in the early 1950s.
Three years ago, I began building a replica of our old family farmhouse and finished it during the spring of 2016. It was displayed at the arts building at the state fair and received a first-place ribbon in the toy division. It is now on display at the Brown County History Center in Nashville for all to enjoy.
In 1790, Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Northwest Territory, organized the first Indiana county, Knox, named for General Henry Knox, Secretary of the War.
Knox originally extended into Canada, encompassing all or part of what is now know as Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio; so, Brown County was a part of Knox County. Today, Knox County is average size, located on the Wabash River in southwest Indiana.