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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Turnham, David. 'David Turnham to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon216.html


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156. David Turnham to William H. Herndon.

Dale Ind Feb 21st 66

Dear Sir.

Yours of the 5th inst is at hand. as you wish me to answer several questions, I will give you a few items of the early settlment of Ind. when my father Came here in the spring of 1819 he settled in spencer County with in one mile of Thomas Lincoln then a Widdower. the Chance for schooling was poor, but such as it was Abraham and myself attended the same schools, we first had to go seven miles to mill and then it was a hand mill that would Grind from ten to fifteen bushels of Corn in a day. there was but little wheat Grown at that time and when we did have wheat we had to grind it on the mill described and use it without

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bolting [1] as there was no bolts in the Country. in the Course of two or three years a man by the name of Hufman built a mill on Anderson River about 12 miles distant Abe and I had to do the milling on horse back, frequently going twice to get one grist. then they Commenced building horse mills of a little bitter quality than the hand mill

the Country was verry rough especiely in the low lands, so thick with brush that a man Could scarcely git through on foot, these places were Called Roughs, the Country abounded in game such as bears deers turkies and the smaller game. about the time Huffman built his mill there was a Road laid out from Corydon to Evansville, runing by Mr Lincolns farm and through what is now Gentryville. Corydon was then the state Capitat

About the year '23 there was another Road laid from Rockport to Bloomington Crossing the aforesaid at right angles where Gentryville now stands James Gentry Entered the land and in about a year Gidian Romine brought Goods there and shortly after succeded in geting a post ofice by the name of Gintryville post office. then followed the laying of lots and selling — and a few were improved but from some Cause the lots all fell back to the original owner. the lots were Sold in 24 or 25. Romine kept goods there a short time and sold out to Gentry. but the place kept on increasing slowly. Wm Jones came in with a store, that made it improve a little faster but Gentry bought him out. Jones bought a track of land 1/2 mile from Gentryville moved to it went into buisness and drew the po and nearly all the Custom. Gentry saw that it was ruining his town he Compromised with Jones and Got him back to Gentryville, and about the year 47 or 48 there was another survey and sale of lots, which remains

This is as good a history of the rise of Gentryville as I Can give after Consulting several of the old setlers, at that time there was a great many dear licks and Abe and myself would go to those licks sometimes and wach of nights to kill deer, though Abe was not so fond of a gun as I was, there was 10 or 12 of those licks in a small Prarie on the Creak lying between Mr Lincolns and Mr Woods the man you Call More. This gave it the name of the Prarie fork of Pigeon Creak, the people in the first settling of this County was verry socieble. kind and accomidating, more so than now, but there was more drunkenness and stealing on a small scale, more immorality, less Religeon, less well placed Confidence.

you wish me to inform you if Abraham Lincoln was ever arested in Indiana. I was well and intimately acquainted with Mr Lincoln, from March 1819 until he left for Illinois having lived in one mile of him all that time and went to school with him, hunted game with him. worked on the farm with him, worked on the River fiting up a flat boat with him where the surrounding influance was verry bad. I believe I knew as much of Abraham Lincoln until he left Indiana as any other man living, and I never knew any thing disonerable of him, nor was he ever arrested to my knowladge or belief, nor did I ever hear of such a Charge until lately, the source of such a falshood Can well be immagined.

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I believe I have answered your questions substansielly, if there if there remains any thing in which I Can be of service to you all you have to do is to drop me a few lines, and when you are ready, my son, T R Turnham wishes an Agency for Spencer County, I want a Coppy of your book an I know several that is wating and will buy no other til yours is out. Thomas had Just got home when you was at my house his is impared by being in the army he is not able to work and if he Can git an agency I think he Can sel a good many books, and as soon as he Can git a Canvasing book he will go to work

yours respectfully
D. Turnham

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2504 — 7; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:180 — 84

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Turnham, David. 'David Turnham to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon216.html
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