Historical Markers

Grave of Jane Todd Crawford

Location: West Side of SR 63 in Johnson Cemetery, 1 mile north of Graysville (Sullivan County, IN).

Pioneer Heroine of Abdominal Surgery

Jane Todd was born in Virginia in 1763. In 1805 she and her husband, Thomas Crawford, moved to Green County, KY. Suffering from a huge abdominal tumor, she rode 60 miles to Danville, KY. to submit to an operation never before performed. On December 25, 1809, Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed this, the first ovariotomy, in his home. The ordeal lasted 25 minutes. There was no anesthesia. Mrs. Crawford recovered completely. Years later she came to Graysville to live with her son, Thomas, a Presbyterian minister. She died in 1842 at age 78. She is buried here. The restored McDowell home in Danville is a surgical shrine.

Westernmost Naval Battle of The Revolution

Location: 0.7 mile south of junction of SR 58 & US 41, between Old US 41/Eaerl J. Abe Rogers Road & new US 41, Carlisle (Sullivan County, IN)

On 25 February 1779 Col. George Rogers Clark, captured Ft. Sackville at Vincennes from the British. About 6 miles west at Pointe Coupee on the Wabash River on 2 March 1779 Capt. Leonard Helm, commanding 3 boats and 50 volunteers from Vincennes captured a reinforcement fleet of 7 boats carrying 40 soldiers, valuable supplies, and Indian trade goods. This small naval battle completed destruction of British military strength in the Wabash Valley.

Merom Conference Center

Location: Phillip & 5th Streets at Edward Ouellette Drive, Merom (Sullivan County, IN)

Dedicated in 1862, Union Christian College served as a preparatory school and college until 1924. In 1936 it became Merom Institute – a rural enrichment center. Now owned by the United Church of Christ it serves as a camp, conference, and retreat center.

Merom Bluff Chautauqua, 1905-1936

Location: Merom Bluff Park overlooking Wabash River near pavilion, Merom (Sullivan County, IN)

Organized nationally to bring culture to rural communities, Merom’s 10 day religious and educational event featured concerts, debates, plays, and lectures. Carrie Nation, William Jennings Bryan, William H. Taft, Warren Harding, and Billy Sunday were among the speakers here.

Merom Founded 1817

Location: 1997 Third Street/SR 63 north of Market Street intersection, Merom (Sullivan County, IN).

A log courthouse here served as Sullivan’s first county seat from 1819-1842. Merom was an important river port and a stop on the stage route – The Old Harrison Trail. Harrison’s troops camped near here on their 1811 march to Tippecanoe.

Fairbanks Massacre

Location: NW corner SR 63/Main Street & CR 925 N/Market Street, near post office, Fairbanks (Sullivan County, IN)

A War of 1812 military action occurred in September 1812 three miles west/southwest of here. While escorting supplies from Fort Knox near Vincennes to Fort Harrison at Terre Haute, Sergeant Nathan Fairbanks and approximately a dozen soldiers were ambushed — and most killed — by Indians.

A Civil War Murder

Location: Main Street/SR 63 & North Street, east side of highway, north edge of Fairbanks (Sullivan County, IN).

Numerous violent conflicts erupted in Sullivan County during the Civil War over differing war sentiments. On July 14, 1864, anti-war Democrat John Drake was fatally shot at a community picnic near here. The Union soldier who shot Drake was apparently never prosecuted.

Sullivan Carnegie Library

Location: Sullivan Public Library, 100 S. Crowder St., Sullivan, IN).

Side one:

Women’s Club of Sullivan was instrumental in forming Public Library Board 1902. Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 after site and required local funding secured December 1903. Cornerstone was laid June 11, 1904; building dedicated January 19, 1905; Sullivan Public Library opened January 30, 1905 with a collection of 1,222 books.

Side two:

Built of Bedford limestone by architect Paul O. Maratz, its domed tower is an unusual Carnegie feature. Interior restored to original look in 1986, with 2,400 square foot addition in 1995. One of 1,679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.