“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Spencer in Owen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Pedens: First Family of McCormick's Creek

The Pedens Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 31, 2020
1. The Pedens Marker
The early arrivals to McCormick's Creek worked hard to create a life for themselves and their children.

Although John McCormick first owned this land, it is believed that he never set foot on it. Upon his death, the land was divided among his children. Two sons took portions of the creek and built mills. His daughter, Nancy, received the land north and east of the creek. It was here that she and her husband, Jesse Peden, established a farm.

The Family Farm
Nancy and Jesse Peden built a log cabin and barn where they raised cattle, sheep and grain. Before taking the sheep to market, they were washed in the creek to remove oil from their wool.

Nancy regularly walked to the White River to sell butter and eggs to passing flatboats. A spring house provided a cool place to store these and other perishable foods.

The Peden Barn
Jesse and Nancy's son, Tom, took over the farm. In 1857, the log barn burned. Tom had a large barn with a limestone base and 64-foot long hickory timbers built in its place.

The timbers were long enough that no central support
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was needed. This allowed the Pedens to thresh wheat on the barn floor. A team of twelve horses would circle over the harvested wheat, separating the grain from the chaff.

The barn's stonework, still visible, was quarried near the Statehouse Quarry and assembled by a mason from England. Notice "1857” on the stonework.

"In the center of the circle stood my grandfather, Jesse Peden, with a whip - just like a ringmaster."
- Walter Peden

Did You Know?
John McCormick was a captain in the Revolutionary War. Following the war, the young country was land-rich, but cash-poor. Instead of payment, veterans were allowed to mark off desired property. John McCormick recorded his acreage at the Vincennes Land Office on September 1, 1816.
Erected by Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is September 1, 1816.
Location. 39° 17.617′ N, 86° 42.683′ W. Marker is in Spencer, Indiana, in Owen County. Marker is on Bridal Trail, 0.2 miles north of Park Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spencer IN 47460, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker,
The Pedens Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, May 31, 2020
2. The Pedens Marker
measured as the crow flies. The Springhouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Company #589, Camp SP 4 (approx. 0.9 miles away); Owen County (Indiana) War Memorial (approx. 2.8 miles away); Owen County War Memorial (approx. 2.8 miles away); Owen County Courthouse (approx. 2.8 miles away); Civil War Cannons - Owen County Indiana (approx. 3.1 miles away); American Revolution War Memorial (approx. 3.1 miles away); To the Memory of Those Who Served Their Country (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spencer.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 2, 2020, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 2, 2023