Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Ulrich, Sr.

When John Ulrich, Sr., came to Indiana in 1822 to attend a sale of public land at Richmond he brought his funds in the form of gold in a saddle bag. He rode horseback from Roaring Spring (PA) and after spending the winter at Dayton, Ohio came on to Richmond, Indiana. He could not speak English so when he bid he held one finger for One Dollar and then with the fore finger on his right he made a sign on the fore finger of his left hand of one-quarter more to indicate that he bid $1-1/4 per acre. He had bid off 1200 acres of land on Nettle Creek for $1500. He had this much along in his saddle bag in gold. This he had obtained from the sale of the Mill and Mill Seat at Roaring Spring. This mill he had operated since 1795 and it had been willed to him by his father Daniel Ulrich in the year 1781.

John and his second wife, Elizabeth Clapper Ulrich, came to Wayne County, Indiana and located north of Five Points along Nettle Creek and built a log cabin there. This cabin was built near an Indian Trail. Tradition has it that when the men folks were gone from the house grandmother Ulrich would hang several men's hats on pegs outside the door so that any Indians passing by would suppose that there were men at home. In this way she was able to keep away unwelcome visitors.

John also brought with him his son Daniel and his family. The story goes that as they came horseback across Ohio and Indiana they carried willow switches to help the horses along by switching them. And then it is said that these willow sticks were thrust into the ground near the place alloted to Daniel and his family to live and that from them grew willow trees. In fact about three generations of large willow trees have grown on the area where this is said to have happened.

Source: People and Places, Lawrence W. Shultz