Greencastle in Putnam County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Founding of Greencastle, Indiana
Indiana was part of the great Northwest Territory, stretching west to the Mississippi River, first claimed by England, then by the U.S. Continental Congress following the Revolutionary War of 1776. The state of Indiana became a part of the Union on April 19, 1816. The land we call Indiana was covered with virgin forest from the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Michigan. On April 1, 1822, Putnam County was created by Act of the Indiana Legislature.
On September 27, 1823, Ephraim and Rebecca Dukes gave 70 acres of land located on a hill overlooking Walnut Creek, with the provision that the county seat be located in Greencastle. A further gift of 80 acres by Dukes’ daughter, Elisabeth, and her husband, John Wesley Clark, was made on June 7, 1825. The original Greencastle site
Ephraim Dukes, a successful early land developer, was born in 1760 in northern Maryland. He married Rebecca Miller of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the city of Greencastle was named in remembrance of her childhood home. It was from Kentucky and Ohio that the Dukes moved to the new county of Putnam in Indiana in 1821. Here, Ephraim Dukes became active in civic affairs, and a street was named for him. This street was later renamed College Avenue. In 1837 the Methodist Church had established Indiana Asbury University (now KePauw University) in Greencastle.
Ephraim and Rebecca Dukes are recognized as the founders of Greencastle. In late 1822, they built a log cabin on the corner of what is now Washington Street and College Avenue.
In 1835 the Dukes, of the generous hearts, moved to the LaPorte area in northern Indiana. Dukes died there in 1839 at the age of 79, leaving a sizeable estate. Rebecca died soon after him. As our pioneer ancestors moved ever westward across this land, the story of Ephraim and Rebecca Dukes is the proud story of a new nation pushing its boundaries from “sea to shining sea”. It is the story of America.
- -§- -( Signature )- -§- -
Nancy Michael, Mayor
May 12, 2001
Erected by Heritage Preservation Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 38.635′ N, 86° 51.812′ W. Marker is in Greencastle, Indiana, in Putnam County. Marker is at the intersection of South Vine Street and East Washington Street (U.S. 231), on the right when traveling south on South Vine Street. Located on "Heritage Wall" in bottom row - - fifth from the left end. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greencastle IN 46135, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Founding of the Lilly Family in Greencastle, Indiana (here, next to this marker); John Dillinger Was Here (here, next to this marker); Women in Greencastle History (here, next to this marker); Abraham Lincoln's Biography (here, next to this marker); Donald J. Cook (1915 - 2005) (here, next to this marker); Eli Lilly & The Civil War (1861–1865 ) (here, next to this marker); Cannon's Men's Wear 1891 -- 1985 (here, next to this marker); Prevo 1900 - 1992 (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greencastle.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 15, 2012, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 472 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 15, 2012, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.