Early Settlements - Part 1

By Melody Moorehouse

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a two-part installment regarding settlements in Grant County. The first installment 
includes Ain to Lucian. The second part includes Macedonia to Winston. Ain, Bookman, Brush Creek and Providence are names of 
four of the many communities in Grant County. But do you remember Amber, Appling, Delay, Frog Level, Humble Hope or Tightwad? 
These communities are among the several that have likely faded from most residents’ memories although they were once important 
small settlements in Grant County. As the population increased in the county during the 1800s and early 1900s, so did the number 
of developments around natural springs, crossroads, churches, post offices and early schools.

Elwin Goolsby, director of the Grant County Museum, which is located on Shackleford Road in Sheridan, noted people soon called 
the places by name and eventually located some of them on maps. “Most of these places had no definite boundaries, originally had 
only a small number of families and usually consisted of widely scattered dwellings and out buildings,” he said. “When a 
prominent building such as a school was removed, the identity of a small community soon diminished.” He added the relocation of 
churches and post offices often resulted in the gradual movement of a settlement’s designated center and changed the boundaries 
of a community from one generation to another. A community could also have more than one name.

“For example, people in the Paxton Community were served by the Turin Post Office. As a result, some residents claimed to live 
in Turin, while others called the same area Paxton,” he explained. There have been about 107 settlements or communities in Grant 
County and although many are now gone, several of them still survive. AIN was important enough to have a post office in 1879. 
Goolsby noted early maps from 1879 to 1900 show the central location at the junction of present highways 35 and 190 east of Cross 
Roads. The area known as Ain today extends south of this point for about 2 miles and around the local church.

AMBER has also been known as the Walnut Ridge Community. Some present-day maps still identify the area as Amber.

AMITY had a church and school. The community was located southwest of Grapevine between Hwy. 35 and Davis Cemetery. The residents 
called their community Amity as early as the 1880s, Goolsby said.

ARTHUR was another name given to Thiel on the Rock Island Railroad.

APPLING was a settlement southeast of Grapevine near the Cleveland County line and once maintained its own school.

BASSVILLE was a community about 2.5 miles north of Junet. A small settlement had developed around the post office there by the 
1880s. It was described as being about 6 miles northeast of Brushyville and south of Simpson Creek.

 BATCHELOR was located about 2 miles south of Poyen.

BETHEL is generally considered to be just east of Ico on Hwy. 167 around Bethel Methodist Church and is today included in the Cane 
Creek Community.

BOIS D’ARC, sometimes spelled and pronounced as Bodark, was a school located in the Millersville Community on Hwy. 167 south of 
Sheridan. The name was sometimes substituted for Millersville. Bodark School consolidated with Sheridan in 1929.

BOOKMAN is located along the old Princeton Pike east of the junction of highways 35 and 190 in the Darysaw Township. This place was 
also known as Okay and Goolsby said is believed to have been originally populated by ex-slaves and their descendants following the 
Civil War.

BRATTON was an area located about 1.5 miles east of Cross Roads on Hwy. 167. Located just west of Hurricane Creek, it consisted of 
land and dwellings owned and occupied by the Bratton family.

BRIGHT had a school in the early 1880s and was in the vicinity of the old Lost Creek Community northwest of Sheridan.

BRINKLEYVILLE was described in a 1939 Sheridan Headlight story as being a few miles out of Sheridan. The direction was not mentioned.

BROOKS had a post office as early as 1872 and was located about 4 miles south of Grapevine on Hwy. 35 in Madison Township. 

BRUSH CREEK is an old settlement still located northwest of Leola in Tennessee Township about a mile east of the Hot Spring County 
line. It is also called Lucian and Cooper.

BRUSHYVILLE was a name given to an 1870s post office and community located about half a mile northeast of present-day Oak Grove Circle 
north of Hwy. 270 east of Sheridan. Brushyville, Ebb and Oak Grove were all in the same general area.

BUIE is located about 3.5 miles north of Prattsville in the vicinity of the Buie Church in River Township. It is sometimes referred 
to as Tightwad. BURROW was a post office established about 1907 that was renamed Poyen in 1908.

BYRD’S SPRINGS was a small community dating from the 1860s in Simpson Township on the county line about 15 miles north of the Darysaw 
Post Office at Cedar Branch. Because the community extended into both Grant and Jefferson counties, Goolsby said records of that period 
reflected a problem in determining the exact location of the local post office.

CAMP CREEK dates from before the Civil War and once developed across a wide-ranging area surrounding the Camp Creek Cemetery and church. 
The only visible sign of the place today is the cemetery.

CAMPBELL, on an 1878 map, is shown in the extreme northeast corner of Grant County. A post office was located there at that time.

CANE CREEK was built around a school and church and occupies a roughly defined area east of Ico on Hwy. 167 and west of Orion. Stretched 
along County Road 58, it is located in the vicinity of the creek from which it takes its name.

CARDER developed around the Carder School, which before 1945 was about 1.5 mile east of New Belfast.

CEDAR BRANCH is another name for the Darysaw Community.

CHERRY GROVE was an old settlement first located in Saline County territory during the 1850s. A post office and at least one store were 
there about 4.5 miles southwest of Sheridan. Today it does not exist.

CLEARWATER LAKE is a present-day residential community that developed around a man-made lake just north of Hwy. 270 at the Grant and 
Jefferson county line. The area was originally known as Midway Beach.

COOPER’S CORNER was north of Prattsville in the vicinity of the Buie Church.

CORINTH, known as Henslee Springs in 1860, is located about 6 miles north of Sheridan and about 2 miles southeast of New Belfast. It is 
in the area of Corinth Baptist Church and cemetery. A school once stood near the present church before it consolidated with Sheridan in 
1930.

CROSS ROADS is a name given to several locations including Poyen, as well as the settlement which developed around the present New Hope 
Church and old Cross Roads School about 6 miles south of Sheridan. A cemetery near the old Tabor School site in Franklin Township also 
bears this name.

DADE was a small community that once developed around a post office in 1886. It was located near Tollman Branch about 7 miles northeast 
of Sheridan just north of Providence.

DARYSAW, once located in Jefferson County prior to 1869, had at least one store and a post office. It is also known as Cedar Branch and 
is located on Hwy. 190 at the Grant and Jefferson county line.

DAVIS CREEK is situated about half a mile southwest of Prattsville and east of the Saline River. The local church was established as 
early as 1867 and was first located in the Sweet Home Community north of Prattsville.

DELAY Post Office was established at a site previously known as Pine Ridge, located east of Prattsville and about 1 mile west of Lost 
Creek. This place dates from the 1870s and was on an old road now known as Hwy. 270 connecting Sheridan with Prattsville.

DODD was once in the vicinity of the present Hwy. 46 crossing on Hurricane Creek and probably extended northeast toward the Providence 
Community. The Dodd School was later called Providence.

DOGWOOD, first called Jenkins’ Ferry, is located in an area surrounding the current junction of highways 46 and 291 northeast of the 
Jenkins’ Ferry crossing on the Saline River. A post office was in Dogwood as early as 1871.

DORTCH TOWN was a collection of small frame houses once located between the present Toler Addition and the old city dump on Hwy. 46 in 
Sheridan in 1946. Prior to this date, the area was known as Moore Town. EBB was a post office established in the 1890s in the Oak Grove 
Community east of Sheridan. Early maps show Ebb at various points along the west end of Oak Grove Circle where this road meets Hwy. 270.

EPHESUS Church was meeting in 1885 about 5 miles southwest of Sheridan. Persons living near this church said they lived at Ephesus, 
although the Cherry Grove settlement was only a short distance to the east. Ephesus Church is often said to be in the Cherry Grove 
Community.

ERIN was another name for Millersville.

EWING was a store and post office about 3.5 miles west of Ico. Established during the 1880s, it was also called Ewingsville.

FENTER is located about 3 miles north of Poyen on Hwy. 229. This place was settled in the early 1800s and later competed with Poyen for 
economic survival on the Rock Island Railroad.

FIKE’S TOWN was a community with a school found about 3 miles southeast of Grapevine.

FROG LEVEL was a region near the Ashcraft Cemetery south of Tull.

HARVEST BELL was a community with a school and church located between Sweet Home and Jones Cemetery south of Tull. HEDDEN CHAPEL 
Community developed around its church and is on County Road 14 between Pine Ridge and Hurricane Creek.

HENSLEE’S SPRINGS was a name for the Corinth Community prior to 1860.

HENRY’S was a name for the Orion Community from 1844 until about 1860.

HICKS TOWN was a logging camp settlement which lasted only a short time during the early 1900s. It was once located between Tull and 
the Old Belfast Community.

HUMBLE HOPE is a name given to a Baptist church which was once situated about 4.5 miles south of Grapevine.

HOOD was just west of Cherry Grove and Ephesus Church and is often referred to as part of the Ephesus Community.

ICO was called Wardsville prior to 1886 and occupied an area extending northward from Hurricane Creek at the Hwy. 167 crossing to the 
junction of Hwy. 167 and County Road 58. Ico was regarded by some to be in the Cane Creek Community and today is said to be at the 
highway 167 and 58 junction.

JAMESTOWN was about 3 miles northeast of New Belfast at the Saline County line and had a post office in 1872.

JUNET Post Office was established, and a small community developed around it by 1880. This place is north of Prague at the intersection 
of Hwy. 270 and County Road 75.

KELT Post Office and community was established in the 1880s about 6 miles north of Sheridan and 1.5 miles west of Hurricane Creek, 
according to postal records.

LAMONT was a settlement about 2 miles east of Brooks.

LOKEY settlement and school were located near the Palestine Community in the 1880s.

LOST CREEK Community was located about 3 miles northwest of Sheridan and south of Hwy. 35. There was a church there in 1886 and also a 
school. In the early 1900s the church was moved to Sheridan at a location near the present Lost Creek Cemetery. This was also a name 
given to the area just east of Philadelphia Church in the 1840s.

LUCIAN Post Office was established in the Brush Creek settlement in the 1890s. earlier, in 1876, an office located there was called 
Cooper. Lucian, Cooper and Brush Creek generally refer to the same area.