Scott County Heritage Center and Museum

Centre Hill

November, 1839, John Harrod was president of the Board of Justices (the County Commissioner system having been abolished previously by a Legislative Act), the County Agent was “authorized and required to proceed to lay off, or have laid off, at the new county seat a public square, not to exceed ten rods square”. January, 1840, the County Agent presented to the Board of Justices’ “a plat of the said new county seat:. The Board accepted it and unanimously agreed to call the new town “Centre Hill”. Then in May, 1840, the Board “allowed Harper Cochran $17.00 for his services as surveyor in laying off the town of Centre Hill, furnishing chain carriers, staker, etc.”

The new town is to serve as county seat and was authorized by law and approved by the voters of the county at a general election. The location was provided by interested citizens, funds were donated and the town plans were accepted by the Board of Justices. Why the change from Lexington to Centre Hill was never made, and why the town which existed only on paper never materialized, we do not know. The land eventually was deeded back to the Traylors by the County Agent.

The town location was 110 acre tract of land in Sections 15 and 16, T. 3 N. R. 7 E in Jennings Township. “This land being the most suitable near the center of the county which they could select.” The land was donated to the county “forever” by Nicholas Traylor (1772-1857) and his wife, Polly. They, with others, also pledged $1,395 to be used for the purposes of the proposed move from Lexington. Isaac Hougland was appointed County Agent to superintend the erection of the new county buildings.

Material taken from The Early History of Scott County, Indiana 1820-1870, written by Dr. Carl Bogardus, Sr.. To purchase a copy of the book, contact the Scott County Public Library, 108 S Main St., Scottsburg, IN 47170 or telephone 812.752.2751.