Throughout the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of pioneers travelled westward across the American plains and mountains. Many followed the Oregon Trail and the Sante Fe Trail, among others, and these journeys were long, brutal, and rugged. Our book trailer below features a popular children's book that recounts some of the adventures along the Oregon Trail.
Those early Morgan County and Mooresville, Indiana pioneer days are recounted in several books, including:
- The Pioneers of Morgan County: Memoirs of Noah J. Major. (S. Cline, ed. & comp.) Indianapolis: Edward J. Hecker, 1915; republished by the Morgan County History & Genealogy Association (2006).
- Fogleman, Margaret W. Early Mooresville: Centennial Souvenir, 1824-1924 (1924).
- Matthews, John. Ye Early Pioneers (1875), reprinted in Fogleman, op. cit.
- Hadley, Almira Harvey. A Brief History of Mooresville and Vicinity (1918).
Modern Hoosiers can hardly imagine what it must have been like for these hardy folks to settle this territory, with its unbroken forests that stretched literally from Ohio to Illinois. Using hand tools and the strength of humans, livestock, and horses, they cleared the trees and cultivated the soil. My own family's settlers told of cut-down trees large enough for a team of oxen or horses AND wagon to stand upon a single stump. Can you imagine majestic oaks or sycamores, some nearly a thousand years old, with circumferences so large that a classroom full of children could hold hands and barely encircle the trunks? Those were true pioneers, and, thanks to them, we live today in places they settled and towns they founded. It would truly be a privilege to shake their hands and express our gratitude. This is why I sometimes visit the old town and county cemeteries and sit in quiet contemplation, silently expressing my thanks to the spirit of these people from whom some of us are descended.