Some history of Grandma's home town


The Wea Plains, and

The Cattle Barons

Brian Capouch


  • Benton County Recorder's Office
  • Dr. James Hoover
  • Hunt and Gather Estate Sales
  • Quinnell Gutwein
  • the late Elmore Barce

Yesterday was the sesquicentennial 

of Raub's founding!!

Exploring Raub's creation myth

  • Places and people that played major roles
  • The historical context of the times


It all starts on the Wea Plains

(Click for list of Tippecanoe county markers)

Why the Wea Plains?

  • Natives were already intensively farming there
  • Soils are naturally well drained
  • Prime farmland--just like Benton County
  • Acquired via the Treaty of St. Mary's (1818)

That map is INCORRECT!!

Wrong v. Right


James and Susannah Hawkins

  • Very early settlers on the Wea Plains
    • Established Shadeland Farm in 1829
  • Quakers--part of Underground Railroad
  • Co-founders of the Farmer's Institute
  • Their children are well-connected to our story
    • daughter Eliza married Moses Fowler
    • daughter Martha married Adams Earl
    • son James Jr. married Jane Sumner, Edward's daughter 

Springvale Cemetery

Greenbush Cemetery, moved from High Gap

Jacob Raub, Sr. 1796-1849

  • Went from New Jersey to Ross Co. Ohio 1820s
  • Moved to Tippecanoe County 1836
  • Likely founded grain business later run by his sons
  • His wife Maria from the noted New York Ostrander family
    • Dr. Tobias Ostrander -The Mathematical Expositor
    • Dr. Edward Ostrander - First physician in Ross Co., Ohio

Mintonye Cemetery

John Raub 1805-1849

  • Little is known about his life
  • Came to Indiana at the same time as his brother?
  • Married Caroline Earl in Tippecanoe Co. 1837
  • Died in 1849, buried in Sumner Cemetery, Earl Park
    • Odd, no record he ever lived near Earl Park
    • Earl Park wasn't platted until 1872
    • I'm betting he was moved there--or empty marker

Sumner Cemetery

Subsequent generations of the Raub family spread out over the area

Locations of communities found by Raub family

Area towns founded by Raub family members

South Raub


Earl Park


Adams Earl (1828-1895)

  • Came to the Wea Plains in 1836
  • Lafayette banker, grocer, trader
  • Railroad executive
  • Interest in packing and slaughterhouses
  • Crystal Ice Co. Kankakee
  • Partnered with his brother-in-law Moses Fowler
  • Early importer of Hereford cattle

Earl & Hatcher Block, Lafayette, 1865

Earlhurst, at Fountain Grove, erected 1857

Springvale Cemetery

Moses Fowler (1815-1889)

  • Original business partner of John Purdue
  • Banker, Farmer, Cattleman
  • Partner in Chicago slaughterhouse
  • Sold groceries and dry goods
  • Railroad Founder with Earl etal.
  • Founder/benefactor of town of Fowler
  • Said to be richest man in Indiana
  • Owned thousands of acres of Benton County
    • Originally partnered with A. Earl and A. Raub
    • Also owned big farm abutting Brookston
  • He and his wife lived apart for many years

Lafayette Journal & Courier File Photo

Springvale Cemetery

Adams Danforth Raub (1840-1918)

  • Father was John Raub, mentioned earlier
    • Mother was Caroline Earl
  • Married Nancy "Nanny" Hardesty Jones​
    • her sister married Senator Daniel Voorhees
    • Raub's stepson John Paul Jones was prominent lawyer in Washington D.C.
  • Platted both Raub (April) and Earl Park (July) in 1872
    • Earl Park partners were Adams and Martha Earl

He was also an author

Sumner Cemetery

He was one of the "Land Barons"

Prairie Land Barons

(also known as the "Cattle Kings")

  • *Moses Fowler 25,000
  • *Adams Earl 11,000
  • Edward Sumner 36,000
  • *Parnham Boswell 12,000
  • Cephas Atkinson 12,000
  • *Adams Raub 6,000
  • Lemuel Milk 65,000
  • J.M. Gaff 16,000
  • *Alexander Kent 25,000
  • James Goodwine 10,000

Henry L. Ellsworth

Sumner was a very relevant baron for us

Edward Culver Sumner (1811-1882)


  • Born in Vermont
    • Stops in Scioto Co. Ohio, Fountain Co. near Newtown
  • Came to Benton County (York Township!!) in 1846
    • Original homestead at "Sugar Grove" (aka Sumner's Grove)
  • Eventually owned vast acreages in Benton and Iroquois counties
  • His daughter married James Hawkins, Jr.

Sumner Cemetery


Why was Benton County, with the state's richest soils, the very last to be settled?

There were some stiff impediments

  • The raw prairie was inhospitable
    • The groves were the first to be settled
  • Drainage was poor
  • No railroads

George Ade--Saturday Evening Post

Big holdings meant fewer farmers

Grazing cattle is not an intensive land use

Tenant farmers were generally poor

The barons' estates were a problem, too

  • Fowler's will froze his lands for 25 years
  • Bitter fights amongst the heirs delayed land sales
  • The media reflected citizens' concerns
    • No farmers == No trade
  • Fowler's family fights were legendary

All of this put Benton about 20 years behind

The big question: why is Raub sited where it is?

Sumner bought his original ~484-acre Benton County holding from Alex Coquillard, who later went on to found the city of South Bend

Benton Co. deed record bok #1, P. 214

The holding was originally known as "Topenebee's Grant" or "The Indian Float," and was written into the Treaty of Tippecanoe

From Ogle's Atlas, 1909

Click for complete map

Sumner's family still owns part

The Chicago Road 1829-ca 1865

(click image for article)

From Colton, ca. 1860

From Gray's map of Indiana ca. 1880

You're on the Chicago Road!!

Asher, Adams and Higgins 1870 

Raub was at the intersection of the new railroad and the successor to the old Chicago Road!!

Historic Images

Clickable image gets larger, scrollable map!

Original Plat of Raub

Ogle's 1909 Atlas

Click for larger map

Raub's main HQ was in Earl Park

  • General store
  • Grain elevator (partnered with Earl)
  • Drain tile factory

Plat of Earl Park

Raub and Earl brought 2,000 people by train from Lafayette a few days after it was platted, fed them, and then sold them lots.

Thank you!!