The Union County Historical Society
Meetings are held the 4th Thursday each month @ 7pm in the First Missionary Baptist Church located on Eaton St. across from the elementary school.
The Union County Historical Society was organized on March 22, 1924 at a meeting called in the basement of the public library. Founding members were; Martha Craft, Gertrude Gregerson, Addie Garrett, Flora Kennedy, Ella Miller, Clara Reynolds, Minnie Stivers, Ethel Laird, Marie Guard, Louis McMahan, and Ester Hamilton.
Purpose of the Union County Historical Society as stated in part in the adopted constitution of April 9, 1924 was “the promotion of historical study and research in the history of the State of Indiana and the County of Union, the collection, the collation, preservation, and publication of historical facts pertaining to the State of Indiana and the County of Union.
The promotion of historical study and research in the history of the State of Indiana and the County of Union, the collection, the collation, preservation, and publication of historical facts
Keeping History Alive
In 1884 the “new depot” was the talk of the town. The old frame structure on the west side of the tracks wasn’t big enough to handle the growing passenger needs. In October of 1886, construction began on the new depot. Built on the East side of the tracks, the depot had unique high arch windows of stained glass and sported a round turret on the roof above the ticket office. (The turret is longer a part of the structure.) The lawn had low iron posts supporting chains, flowerbeds, and grass plots. Brick pavement extended along the rails south of Union Street. Line ownership changed hands several times between 1852 and 1957. In 1957 the Baltimore and Ohio R.R. ceased passenger service at the Liberty Depot. The depot was then used for storage. In 1989 the Union County Historical Society saved the depot from demolition. The depot was moved 100 ft north and 20 ft east of its original locations and now serves as the Union County Historical Society Museum. The Depot Museum is open from June-August 2pm-4pm on Sunday’s, and by appointment.
The First Missionary Baptist Church was built in early 1920, this Historic Church continues to serve its congregation still today. In 1995 the Union County Foundation and Union County Historical Society teamed up to save the church from disrepair due to lack of membership. This Historic building and its testimony to past community members were preserved, and services are still held on Sunday’s here. The church is also used by the community who may reserve the community room for meetings, parties, and receptions.
Believe it or not, Templeton’s Cabin has the distinction of having been in three different counties without leaving its original site. Can you name the counties ?
In 1804 a group of pioneers from Laurens County, South Carolina made their way to the Ohio River. Leaving their families in a village on the Dry Fork by present day Harrison Ohio, that spring, these men explored the Whitewater River Valley for a place to settle, and after months of searching they found an area on the East Fork, well elevated from the river with fine timber and good water. The Carolina settlement then built cabins for each family along the river. After returning to the Dry Fork, the men along with their family’s ventured to their new homes creating the “Carolina Trace”. The names of these early families that settled in what is now Union County include: Templeton, Hanna, Leviston, Swann, Abernathy, and Logan.
The Templeton cabin (originally 10 logs high) that now sits on the Courthouse Square, was built in 1805 by John Templeton. The original site of the cabin was just north of where Hanna’s creek flows into the Whitewater. In 1937 the cabin was moved to the Jail yard on Union Street, then moved again in 1980 to the Courthouse lawn.
The cabin is open on the 4th of July and by appointment.
The town of Liberty purchased the property for the “Old Liberty Water Works” building in 1895 from the Liberty Manufacturing Company. It was only used as a Water Works until 1901, after which it was used as a residence. The Union County Historical Society purchased the property in 1999. Future home of the Union County Artisans Gift Gallery and Farmers Market, this historic building is currently used to display and house historical items and local artists’ work.