John Wesley McCormick
John Wesley McCormick, Sr. (1754-1837) was a nineteenth-century settler in Indiana. He was one of the first white settlers in the future Indianapolis area. McCormick's Creek State Park, near Bloomington, Indiana, is named after him.
John Wesley McCormick was born near Winchester, Virginia, on 30 August 1754. He served in the Revolutionary war from 1776 to 1783, his first enlistment being with Captain James Robinson's Company in Col. Church's regiment, He enlisted in January 1778, in Captain James Shelley's Company and afterwards served in Captain Mark's Company of the 14th Virginia regiment, then with the same Company in the 10th Virginia regiment under Col. Charles Lewis. His last enlistment was from Pennsylvania for three month's service.
Part of his service was against the Indians on the frontier, where he engaged in a fight on the Wataga River. His residence at the time of his first enlistment was Molachucky River, Virginia, now a part of Tennessee. With the expiration of his second enlistment in 1780 he moved to Bedford, Pennsylvania, where on 24 March he married Catherine Drennen (born 25 January 1769 in Pennsylvania). In 1808 the whole family moved to Ohio, settling in Preble County, not far from Eaton. The overland trip was made in wagons, then down the Ohio River in flatboats.
They remained in Ohio only a short time before moving to the territory of Indiana, accompanied by John's two brothers (Samuel and James) and their families. They lived initially at the fort at Connersville because of trouble with the Indians, but John was the first man to leave the protection of the fort to look for permanent settlement. In 1816 he settled nearly 100 acres (0.40 km2) along a canyon by waterfalls in what later became Owen County, in the area of what is now McCormick's Creek State Park.
On 11 December 1816 Indiana became the nineteenth state admitted into the union.
John also built the first white settlement in Indiana, a log cabin on the east bank of the White River in 1820, where he lived with his wife and their eight children. He also built a tavern where a meeting was held in June 1820 to decide the location of the capital of the new state of Indiana. In 1822 be became one of the first county commissioners of Indiana, and in 1825 the state capital was moved from Corydon to Indianapolis.
John died on 18 April 1837, aged 83, and Catherine died 22 February 1862, aged 93. The site of the McCormick log cabin is today marked with a rock in the White River State Park, and a student residence at nearby Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is named after John.
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