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Steubenville, IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DnRseekers
N 40° 16.585 W 085° 08.888
16T E 657440 N 4460083
Quick Description: One (and a half) ghost towns? Google Steubenville, Indiana and you won't find it here! Tons of history abounds all around in what is now the Indiana woodlands of Randolph County in east central Indiana.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 8/3/2011 1:10:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMC75R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 7

Long Description:
What there is of Steubenville, Indiana today is in Steuben County (north east Indiana). The town is comprised of 8 homes in an unincorporated area - pretty close to qualifying as a ghost town itself. Its full fledged ghost town brother, Steubenville, Indiana in Randolph County is comprised of 0 homes. Was the town just moved?

Oddly enough evidence seems to indicate both towns existed in the same time period. In 1841 the Steubenville in Steuben County was being considered for the county seat. It was at the intersection of two railroad lines; it even had its own railroad stop. Meanwhile one year earlier in 1840, the other Steubenville was recorded in Randolph county and some think a post office was even opened.

Steubenville, Indiana of Randolph County was officially plated on the day before Christmas in 1839. It only had three or four homes even in its heyday. One of them was a general store run by Israel Writ. Israel just happened to be one of the two men who designed the town and sold lots. He also still resides in Steubenville, by the way! He hasn't been much of a local power broker or mover and shaker though since about August 9, 1880. You can find him just east of his old store down in the cemetery. He's been waiting for you for the last 100 or so years.

When you visit the site you will see there was also a church. Well what isn't mentioned on the sign is it was never used for religious activities--and by some accounts never even finished. Finished or not, what there was of it was moved south to the corner of what is now the memorial woods. ( The idea of a building that was possibly never finished, never used for religious purposes and then moved away is kind of stretching the idea of being a church in my mind.) In any case, don't get the idea folks were showing up here on a regular basis on Sundays or the cemetery was an outgrowth of the church. The earliest burial in the cemetery was 9 months before the town was even formed.

The last mention of Steubenville as an active town that I could find was in a publication dated 1882, two years after Israel's death. It seems likely that the demise of Israel and his store/post office was the death blow to Steubenville as well. Even in an 1854 gazetteer it was described then as a small village so there couldn't have been too much activity to carry on. Then 8 years later, in 1862, the main cross road in town leading to the ford on the Mississinewa was abandoned in favor of the "new" bridge about half a mile away. Things just didn't go well for Israel and his town.

Visit the site and you will find an informative marker with maps of the area and lots of history of things going on around where Steubenville stood. There is also a waymark for the remarkable Ft.Wayne - Ft. Vallonia road that went right through Steubenville. It's no wonder someone tried to make a go of a town on this site. Up the road on the other side of the river is a cemetery plot with 3 graves of soldiers from the 1812 era and markers telling of the times when armies camped there on the banks of the Mississinewa.Three bridges crossing the Mississinewa were built a half mile from the site. The ford that the early exploers and armies used to cross the Mississinewa is only a quarter mile directly east of Steubenville. It was an area of much activity in the early 1800's.
Reason for Abandonment: Economic

Date Abandoned: 1/1/1885

Related Web Page: Not listed

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DnRseekers visited Steubenville, IN 10/26/2011 DnRseekers visited it