Jewell Branch

Highland Township, Creeks and Rivers, p. 48

“Indian Camp branch was named by the old settlers, on account of the many Indian camps, where Elisha McDaniel now lives; Big Branch was named for its great number of big springs; Mosquito Branch for its wet bottom lands; Dead Hoss branch was first called the Jewel branch, for old Mr. Jewell, its first settler.—The Jewell branch was afterwards named Dead Hoss, by a party of surveyors on the old central canal, down on the east side of White river. The Dover branch was named for its first settler, Neely Dover; and it is said of him that he moved from that house, and left an old hen sitting; changing his location twice during his absence. He finally returned to the first place before the hen had succeeded in hatching out her brood, thereby giving his wife a chance to take care of the chickens. The Beaver pond, near Aunt Katie Ballard’s, was named by the old settlers on account of the dams made in the slough, by ancient water beavers.”

Jack Baber, Early History of Greene, Indiana: as taken from the official records, and compiled from authentic recollection, by pioneer settlers… (Worthington, Indiana: N.B. Milleson, 1875), 48; digital image, Internet Archive ( : accessed 7 Decmeber 2013).

Dead Horse Branch

Image via Google Maps (click to enlarge)

Satellite view of Dead Horse Branch, formerly Jewell Branch. The White River flows through the top left corner of the image. East of the pin mark are the original land patents purchased by John P. Jewell in 1837 and 1839. Although Samuel built the mill, he does not appear to have owned the land.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
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3 thoughts on “Jewell Branch

  1. davidmadison1942

    Very cool excerpt. Jack Baber captured some history there, but I suspect some folklore crept into his account, i.e, the part about the hen. 🙂 Very cool satellite imagery as well.

      1. Genealogy Lady Post author

        You have to think about who was telling the “stories” and why. A census taker has no motive to incorrectly record information even though mistakes are made. A brag book usually has the motive of painting people in a favorable light. I would definitely consider some of the book to be contemporary but a 90 year old retelling events from fifty years prior needs to be backed up with additional sources.

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