Brown County was organized Feb. 4, 1836, named in honor of Major General Jacob Brown, a hero of the War of 1812. Nashville has always been the county seat; however, a year after the county’s organization, the town was known as Jacksonburg.
Brown County was divided into five townships: Hamblen, Jackson, Johnson, Van Buren and Washington.
Hamblen Township was named after Job Hamblen at the request of Eliakim, the son of Job, in honor of his father, a Revolutionary War soldier and one of the first settlers of the locality, along with several other families of the same name. The county commissioners adopted the suggestion and it was so named July 25, 1836.
There is a historical landmark for Job Hamblen on Sweetwater Trail, north of Gatesville on the east side of the road.
Job was born July 14, 1762, and died Sept. 1, 1833. His wife, Eleanor Mullings Hamblen, was born March 10, 1765. She died Sept. 9, 1852.
The Hamblens established a residence 145 yards east and 15 yards north of the monument.
Some of the earliest settlers of Hamblen Township were the Hamblen, Taggart, Taylor, Waltz, Walker, Curry, Weddle, Stilgenbauer (Stillabower), Wirey, Anderson, Milnes, Cordray, Coy, Pruitt and King families, Daniel and Alfred. Alfred King was known for his carving and lettering of tombstones, which he made from Brown County stone.
James Taggart was the first to enter government land on Hamblen Township, but at that time it was part of Bartholomew County. Mr. Taggart was born Dec. 12, 1774, and his wife, Rachel Peterson Taggart, was born July 13, 1773. Both were natives of North Carolina.
The first election in Hamblen Township was at his residence; he was elected assessor and received $5 for assessing the township.
In this locality you will find the Taggart Cemetery. The earliest date is that of John Goforth, son of Preston and Sarah Hamblen Goforth, born Dec. 1, 1832, died Aug. 14, 1833.
In the cemetery there is also a stack of native stones that mark the spot where the school/church United Brethren, built in 1837, once stood. The building burned many years ago.
—Pauline Hoover, Brown County Historical Society
We thank reader Allen Bell of Juneau, Alaska, for identifying the uniform the soldier was wearing in our Looking Back article in the Aug. 15 Brown County Democrat. Mr. Bell (father of Brown County Democrat editor Sara Clifford) reports the uniform is a Masonic Knight Templar uniform. We were not sure about the uniform identity; however, we really wanted to use the photograph.
At the Brown County Historical Society, History Center & Pioneer Village, 90 E. Gould St.:
- Friday to Sunday, Sept. 22-24: Brown County Historical Society Quilt Show presented by the Pioneer Women. Information: 812-988-7106 or browncountyhistorycenter.org.
- Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1: Rock and mineral show. Information: 812-320-6237.
- Saturday, Sept. 30: Fall Gathering and Old Settlers Reunion. Fall Gathering information: 812-988-2377. Old Settlers information: 812-597-4932.