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   The Founding of Herrick
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The town of Herrick is located on the southern boundary of Herrick Township, Shelby County and the northern boundary of Fayette County.

A town of different names and location had begun just west of what we presently know as Herrick. There are none of us living today that remember that town. We are relying on histories written by our fellow townsmen from days past.

We know there was a settlement of Beck's in Bowling Green Township, Fayette County. There were other settlers in southern Shelby County. Some located at Williamsburg and others in section thirty-one of Cold Spring Township along Beck's Creek.

Gradually, more settlements came into being and were given names for the first or most important families who founded them. It is believed that Beck's Creek is named for Guy Beck in this manner. Then, perhaps, the little settlement that sprung up in this area, is named in honor of Guy Beck or from the creek itself. First known as Beck's Creek, the town had a post office in 1860. It was located on the Old Shelbyville to Vandalia trail.

It is believed Ben Overton ran the nearest store to Beck's Creek. It was located in the woods not far from Mitchell Creek.

In 1858, Simon P. Hadley, a son of Levi F. Hadley, moved his family, including William T. Hadley, into Cold Spring Township. He later located at Beck's Creek. He opened a post office in his dwelling. This dwelling was located in the northeast one-fourth of the southeast one-forth of section seventeen.

Simon P. Hadley served as postmaster for fourteen years and after that, his son Squire William T' Hadley, became postmaster. William T. Hadley represented Cold Spring Township on the board of supervisors, was a justice of the peace and practiced law.

Mail brought to the post office was carried by a star route mail carrier, which traveled on horseback, first from Shelbyville and later from Lakewood.

Eventually, the original name of Beck's Creek was changed to Hadley. The site where Herrick stands today was called Hadley or Dog Prairie. This is where the animals grazed.

When the post office was established, the settlement nearby was definitely a farming community, The country filled up rapidly, but the town development was slow due to poor roads and no railroad.

In 1880, great news came to the community. The narrow gage Toledo, St. Louis and Western, was planning to build a railroad through Hadley.

In 1881, William T. laid off the land around his post office for a town site and called it New London. It was located in Southeast Quarter of Southeast Quarter of section seventeen. Our town elders record the date as May 29, 1882, when Beck's Creek post office was changed to New London.

New London became a bustling little place. The Oare family opened a restaurant and hotel. Mr. Bob Loy is credit as the first merchant. Otis Sloan and Johnny Jones ran a store, Mr. Gregory had a grocery, and Mr. Higgins and Mr. J. H. Sutton also ran stores. Dr. J. B. McNutt was the first physician. Although a thriving little town, it did not endure. Mrs. Margaret M. Basye, a daughter of General W. F. Thornton, owned the land now occupied by Herrick. J. T. Herrick was managing the land for her and was instrumental in bringing the railroad through it.

In July 1883, he had the land platted by John P. Brisban of Windsor, who was the county surveyor. J. T. Herrick prevailed on the railroad to locate their depot building and other inducements. It is believed one of the inducements was $1000.00 to build the depot with on his land. The proposition looked favorable to the company and was accepted and work started at once on the depot.

The survey of the original town of Herrick consisted of sixteen blocks on both sides of the railroad. Broadway extending north and south and Main extending east and west.

The town of New London moved over August 14, 1883. An interesting story written about the moving of the town tells of customers coming into Sloan store, doing business, while it was moving along to Herrick.
Sarah Jane Adams

The town added to its population that very night, with the birth of Sarah Jane Adams, daughter of John C. and Louisa (Eubanks) Adams.

Picture: Sarah J.[Adams] Bryson, first child born in Herrick.

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