Hoosier Dusty Files - January 3, 1838 - Indiana Pottery Company Petitions Legislature for Land in Troy
|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
The towns along the Ohio River became the first important commercial centers during the early part of the Nineteenth Century. Troy, Indiana was one of these towns and in 1838, Reuben Bates’ Indiana Pottery Company promised more economic development for the growing town.
The first white settlers landed at the confluence of the Anderson and Ohio Rivers in 1800. The early settlers found a good landing spot for the boats, ample wood for fires and plenty of water and game in the hills. A man named Captain Tarascon probably gave the new settlement its name, Troy. Legend says that this was because there was an attractive Indian maiden there that reminded him of Helen of Troy. Surveyor Samuel Moore surveyed the town of Troy on 120 acres on August 15, 1815. The town became the seat of newly formed Perry County in 1815. The town included about twenty houses by 1818, Mr. Reuben Bates being one of the first inhabitants. Another local legend is that Troy is where the Lincoln family came across from Kentucky in 1816. According to local lore, Thomas Lincoln stayed in the town awhile, tending the ferryboat that crossed over to Kentucky. The Lincolns departed for Spencer County in the fall of 1817. This lore also indicates that young Abraham Lincoln departed from Troy on a flatboat for New Orleans in 1828. It was that flatboat journey in which Lincoln first saw a slave auction and vowed to end the practice. Many other Ohio River communities claim to be where the Lincoln’s came in, however, so whether this is true or not, no one can tell.
Mr. Bates opened the first store around 1818. He packed pork into barrels and shipped the meat, along with corn and other grains by flatboat to New Orleans. From New Orleans, he purchased sugar and other goods for his store. By the 1830's he was one of the leading businessmen of Troy.
Indiana Pottery Company
The area around Troy contains coal deposits. Many felt that the clay that under laid the coal seam was suitable to make white queens ware pottery. Interest rose in pottery making and Bates petitioned for land for a pottery company and received his charter in 1838. Bates brought potters from Europe make the pottery. After about a year it was determined that this clay was not suitable for the queensware pottery. It was suitable for making yellow clay ware. Samuel Cassidy of Louisville, Kentucky took over and ran the company until 1851, making the yellow clay ware that became known as Troy Ware. The company did not succeed and in 1851, Samuel Wilson and John Sanders bought it out. They continued making pottery until around 1863 when another pottery company opened. This one lasted until the 1870's when it failed.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning