In April 1915, The Review Republican asked who had the longest continuous residence in Warren County. An absence of less than one year or military service would not be counted. The contest would end in June and the winner would receive a five-year subscription to the newspaper.
Submitted letters were to include facts about one’s early life, when they first settled in the county, and a few conditions of the county. All letters would be published in the paper.
First place went to Ulyses Leslie. “I was born in Warren County September 4, 1832, about four miles northwest of Williamsport, on the place that one time belonged to James Schoonover, but at that time my father owned the farm.
“In my boyhood days there were some few wandering bands of Indians in the community, plenty of wolves and wild deer by the hundreds. In the winter time, big snows would fall and a crust would form on top of it. Then the men and boys would get after the wolves and kill a large number of them with clubs.
“At present I am engaged in selling medicine and notions; and have been in the business for over 30 years, and am as spry as many of the boys, even at my advanced age of 82 years.”
Elisha Little received a two-year subscription for coming in second place.
“I was born on the edge of the Grand Prairie on the east bank of Kickapoo, Oct. 13, 1837, and have been a continuous resident of Warren County ever since. True, I took a trip down into Dixie in 1861, but not finding it especially healthy down there, I was glad to get back home in the fall of 1864.
“Don’t ask me how many wolves and rattlesnakes I killed on the farm, for I was nearly grown before I ever seen either, and then the wolf was one that someone had captured out in Illinois.
“When a young man from Ohio stayed all night at father’s, the next morning, when getting ready for breakfast, he exclaimed, ‘Just listen at the wolves!’ The prairie chickens were holding high carnival in the old north field. He must have thought he was in the wilds for sure, but it was fun for us boys. I suppose the ‘boo-hoo-hoo’ (crow) of a hundred prairie roosters would sound wolfish to him. In the early ’30s there were plenty of Indians, but I have no recollection of ever seeing a wild one.”
Third place and a year’s subscription went to John P. Brown.
“I was born in Warren County, Pine Township, September 20, 1840. I first bought 80 acres of land within a half-mile of Walnut Grove, on which I lived for eight years, and then I bought land in Liberty Township, where I still live.
“I remember seeing in my boyhood days great droves of wild turkeys, herds of deer and listening to the frogs croak until I was sick and tired of the monotonous noise.”
Terri Wargo writes for the Warren County, Indiana, Historical Society.