Original Plat of The Town of Cambria
|plat of Cambria as of 1905|
BackgroundBefore I understood the timeline of when the town of Cambria came into being, I would look over old maps and atlases hoping more than anything that I would come across a detailed plat of Cambria as it was originally laid out. Alas, it turned out Cambria did not exist until 1885, seven years after the last of these atlases to feature such plats was made. And at least one source claimed the town was never even officially platted. The closest I came was looking over the modern property lines on the Clinton County Beacon website, which gave tantalizing clues.
|modern property lines in Cambria|
|rights of way in teal|
But I still yearned for more. For instance, why are only the streets on the left side marked, but not the one on the right, which, after all, still exists? My Dad told me when he was growing up they called the area of town left of the railroad tracks "Cambria" and the area right of the tracks "Krammesville." So presumably Krammesville came along after Cambria? Or perhaps separately but simultaneously, with less formality and therefore no registered right of way?
Lacking a plat, I decided to recreate one. I had the township, section, and the names of the original landowners, so it should be a simple matter of going through the old deed books and watching for when the land transaction shifted from large farms to small plots. In fact, since I had an 1881 atlas showing no Cambria and a 1903 showing the town, I could start with '81 and move forward.
Here is a sample of the data I collected, minus the details. The bold line shows when the Monon railroad came through in 1882. Using this, I was able to generate a map showing the state of land ownership in the section at that time. The town of Cambria would eventually be right in the bottom-right corner of Elizabeth Michael's land (her name is sometimes written Michael, sometimes Michaels).
|22N1W Section 8 in 1882|
In 1884, after the railroad had come through, Daniel Sharp purchased most of Elizabeth Michael's land for $1,600. One year later (I now know), he platted the town of Cambria on that land. This is what the narrow line in the above table represents, and it was on that first transaction to Joseph Cripe that I came across not an aliquot of land designated by section as before, but the notation "Lot 5 of the town of Cambria." At which point I thought, "how can there be a lot number if it wasn't platted?"
So, four hours into my research that day, I stepped out of the reading room of the Clinton County recorder's office and asked the clerk there where I would look to see if a town was platted--which is what I should have done from the beginning. But again, I had read that it was never platted. It took the kind clerk about three seconds to look up the three plats.
The PlatsThe first plat was made on March 14, 1885, and was comprised of only this section:
|original 1885 Cambria plat|
Here is the text:
Know all men by these presents that I, Daniel H. Sharp of Clinton County in the State of Indiana have caused to be laid out a town on the South West quarter of the northwest quarter of Section eight (8) township twenty two (22) north of range one (1) west in said county to be known by the name of "Cambria". The southeast corner of Lot number one is one hundred and eighty six and one half (186 1/2) feet west and twenty two and six tenths (22 6/10) feet north of the southeast corner of the west half of the north-west quarter of said section and the lots are numbered and the dimensions given on the accompanying plat. The streets and alleys in width as indicated on the plat we hereby donate to the public as highways.
In Witness Whereof "we" have hereunto set out "our" hands and seals this 14th day of March A.D. 1885.
Daniel H. Sharp
State of Indiana, Clinton County } SS:
Before me the undersigned Recorder of said county Daniel H. Sharp personally came and acknowledged the execution of the above plat and dedication to be his voluntary act and deed.
Witness my hand and official seal this 14th day of March 1885.
James A. Hedgcock
The second plat of the "Union Addition" came on June 8th, 1903:
|1903 Union Addition to Cambria|
By this instrument notice is given to the public that we John H Lewis and wife Anna B. Lewis, David A Siegfried, and wife Hannah D. Siegfried, Helena Siegfried, widow, Nancy Neher and husband Daniel D. Neher, Margaret D. McCorkle, and husband William McCorkle, Ross C. Hays, and wife Daisy P. Hays, all of Clinton County, Indiana, hereby write in platting our lots adjoining the town of Cambria on the west, and which are described in our deeds by metes and bounds, with intervening streets and alleys opoened[sic] but not dedicated, and make them a regular addition to the town of Cambria, Indiana, to be known by the name of the "Union Addition to the Town of Cambria."
The said Addition consists of Six (6) lots in size and outline as marked on the plat, the south east corner of lot no. 1 in said addition being thirty three (33) feet west of the south west corner of lot number four (4) in the original plat of the town of Cambria, and 507 1/2 feet west and 22.6 feet north of the south east corner of the west half of the north west quarter of section 8, Township 22 North, Range 1 West.
The vested ownership of the lots in said addition is as follows, to wit: Helena Siegfried lot no. 1, David Siegfried lot no. 2, Nancy Neher, lot no. 2, John H. Lewis lot no. 4, Margaret D. McCorkle, lot no. 5, and Ross Hays lot no. 6. The Streets and alleys in said Addition in width as marked we hereby donate to the public as highways.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals this 8th day of June 1903.
John H. Lewis
Anna B. Lewis
Ross C. Hays
Daisy P. Hays
Margaret D. McCorkle
Daniel D. Neher
Helena Siegfried (her X mark)
David A Siegfried
Hannah D. Siegfried
State of Indiana, Clinton County } SS:
Before me Daniel H. Sharp, Justice of the Peace in and for said County this 8th day June 1903. John H Lewis, Anna B. Lewis, David A. Siegfried, Hannah D. Siegfried, Helena Siegfried, Nancy Neher, Daniel D. Neher, Ross Hays and Daisy Hays, acknowledged the expectation of the foregoing instrument for the use and purpose therein mentioned.
Witness my hand and seal this 8th day of June 1903, Daniel H. Sharp Justice of the Peace. (My commission expires 1906.)
The State of Indiana, White County } SS:
Personally appeared before me the undersigned Clerk of the Town of Monticello Indiana, William McCorkle and Margaret D. McCorkle his wife well known to me and acknowledged the execution of the written instrument as their voluntary act and deed, this 11th day of June 1903.
Witness my hand and seal of office affixed at Monticello Indiana this 11th day of June 1903.
W. J. Gridley, Clerk of the town of Monticello, White County Indiana
The third plat came two years later on April 4th, 1905.
|1905 Rice addition to Cambria|
By this instrument notice is given to the public that I, Harvey A Rice of Clinton County Indiana have laid out an addition to the town of Cambria in said County and State as indicated and shown on the plat to which this instrument is attached to be known by the name of "Rice's Addition to the town of Cambria".
The said addition consists of seven (7) lots in size and outline as marked on the plat and is laid out on the east half of the North West quarter of the South West quarter of section 8, Township 22 North, Range 1 West, of the 2nd Principal Meridian, the north west corner of lot no. 7 being twenty five and one half (25 1/2) feet south of the north west corner of said sub-divisional tract.
The Streets and Alleys in width as marked on the plat I hereby dedicate to the public as highways.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 4th day of April 1905.
Harvey A. Rice
State of Indiana, Clinton County SS:
Before me James R. Brown, a notary Public in and for said County Harvey A. Rice acknowledged the execution of the foregoing instrument for the use and purpose therein mentioned.
Witness my hand and notorial seal this 4th day of April 1905.
J. R. Brown
Commission expires March 11, 1908
I hope some day I have occasion to declare, "Witness my hand and seal." It sounds like the last step of making a covenant with some dark god.
The Final CompositeI combined the three plats to make one master one which is pretty much exactly what you would find in one of the old atlases I had first searched. That is the plat at the start of this post. If you overlay that with the modern property lines, you can see that it all lines up pretty well:
|Cambria plat composite with modern property map overlay|
The section right of the railroad tracks, hinted at by the above modern property lines, remains to be figure out. I have started to plot its progression but am not yet far enough along to post anything. Soon! And then I will move on to cross-checking the names of owners with their occupations and mapping the various stores, businesses, the school, etc. Hopefully.