HANCOCK COUNTY, Indiana, is located a little east of the geographical center of the state. It is in latitude 40° north, and longitude 86° west, of Greenwich, or 9° west from Washington, and is in townships fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen north, and ranges five, six, seven, and eight east. In size it is about an average county of the state, being composed of 307 sections, or square miles, and containing about 196,480 acres. It is bounded on the west by Marion and Hamilton, on the north by Madison and Hamilton, on the east by Henry and Rush, and on the south by Shelby, Rush and Henry. It is chiefly bordered, however, by Marion on the west, Madison on the north, Henry on the east, and Shelby on the south. Hamilton forms only one mile of the western boundary and four of the northern; Rush forms six miles of the eastern and two of the southern, and Henry forms but one mile of the southern boundary. The greatest length of the county is nineteen miles, east and west, and its greatest width seventeen miles north and south.
Hancock county was cut off from Madison and organized in the year 1828, and named in honor of John Hancock, president of the convention that adopted the immortal "Declaration of Independence."
At the time of the organization of the county it contained but few inhabitants, and they were scattered. At the first presidential election held in the county, which occurred November 3, 1828, the whole number of votes cast were 101, and by 1880 the whole number was, according to the census of 1880, 4,170. Then the entire population of the county was about 400; by the time of Binford's History (below), it was 17,123.
This township was first settled about the year 1827, in the southern portion. The first entry of land was made in the year 1822, January 18, by George Worthington, being the south-east quarter of section thirty-four, in township sixteen north, in range six east. The second entry was made by John Chamberlain, and the third by John Smith.
The first settlers in this township were James Burris, John Shirley, Thomas Craig, William Smith, William Arnett, Obadiah and John Eastes, J. A. Dunn, Thomas Rodgers, Isaac Snider, John Dance, Daniel Skinner, Archy Smith, Benjamin Percell, Charles Fish, Landis Eastes, Hance Steel, and the Beechman family. Burris, Smith, Rodgers, and Dance were from Ohio; Shirley and Craig were from Kentucky; Snider from Virginia; and Skinner from Delaware. At a little later date came George Grist, Joseph Wright, J. W. Shelby, John and Samuel Steel, John and William Collins, Jacob Smith,: W. A. Dunn, Lawrence and O. O. Harvey, E. Scotten, S. Arnett, Owen Griffith, J. H. Murphy, J. W. Campbell, and the Barnards and Parkers.
- Joseph Shelby, Bucks Creek
- William A. Mints, Bucks Creek, from Southern New Jersey, perhaps via Ohio
- James M. Campbell, (1807 - 1853) Bucks Creek, from Pennsylvania
- James Hare Murphy,(1815 - 1884), Bucks Creek, from Virginia