I am very excited to release a project I have been working on for months: the digitization and mapping of 118 illustrations of Clinton County homes and businesses from the 1878 atlas of Clinton County. If you have never seen this atlas, the illustrations are amazingly detailed and accurately portray many farms and towns as they were in 1878. You may even find (and recognize) the place you live in today.

an example of the illustrations

By using the plat maps in the atlas in conjunction with Google Earth and Bureau of Land Management data, I have mapped all but four of the illustrations to the property they represent. Some of them are fascinating to compare to modern satellite imagery and see what has remained and what has changed. For instance, look at how much has stayed the same for 140 years on this property:

Obviously these structures have been altered and possibly rebuilt over time, and I don’t know enough about trees to say whether that’s the same tree with 140 years of growth or another in its place, but it shows how much effort and detail went into these illustrations and, more importantly, just how much we unconsciously retain from our past.

You can use the Google map embedded below to see the illustrations in your area or click here to view it full screen. Clicking an arrow on the map will pop up a thumbnail of that illustration. Click the thumbnail to view it entirely. (This works better in full screen. There, you can also view–and search–a list of names on the sidebar.)

Alternatively, you can look through them in the gallery and sortable list below. The four illustrations I have not mapped yet are:

  • John Pence’s residence in Frankfort
  • E.H. Staley’s residence in Frankfort
  • The Flour and Feed Mill of Hodge & Hinkle in Kirklin
  • John Hodge’s residence in Kirklin

This is because the town maps in the atlas are not as detailed with property owners. We should be able to locate them once social distancing is over and libraries, etc., are open.

The quality on some of the images is not the best, due to limitations in equipment we have access to for digitizing such a large document. Hopefully it can be given the professional treatment it deserves at some point in the future.

Please note that there are 5 pages to the gallery below. The images may be slow in loading, as some are rather large.

Here they are listed by name and location:

Name Location
Barner, J.H. & Co.; Comley & GaddisCenter Township – Frankfort
Young, Dr. M.V. Cedar Grove CottageOwen Township – Geetingsville
Coulter HouseCenter Township – Frankfort
County Asylum For The PoorCenter Township
Court HouseCenter Township – Frankfort
Crescent OfficeCenter Township – Frankfort – North side public square
Morrison, O.A.J. Dealer in Drugs, Groceries & Notions; Property of Floyd, F.R.Warren Township – Middle Fork
McGilvery, James Residence and Drug StoreRoss Township – Rossville
Farmers Bank, etc.Center Township – Frankfort
First National BankCenter Township – Frankfort
Hodge & Hinkle Flour & Feed MillKirklin Township – Kirklin
Fisher, Dr. S.B. Residence and OfficeRoss Township – Rossville
Gard, Oliver M.D. Residence and OfficeWarren Township – Middle Fork
Siegfried, D.K. Pennsylvania HotelRoss Township – Rossville
Ghere, Aaron PropertyCenter Township – Sec. 24
Maish, David PropertyJackson Township
Maish, Henry PropertyCenter Township – Sec. 01
Maish, Mathias PropertyCenter Township – Sec. 18
Rice, Daniel PropertyOwen Township – Sec. 12
Staley, E.H. Farm PropertyOwen Township – Sec. 29
Wilhelm, Christian PropertyWarren Township – Sec. 19
Public School BuildingCenter Township – Frankfort
Aderson, ElijahPerry Township – Sec. 24
Anderson, JamesPerry Township – Sec. 23
Ashpaw, James R.Johnson Township – Sec. 15
Bayers, John B.Center Township – Sec. 29
Bailor, JacobRoss Township – Sec. 07
Baker, AbnerWashington Township – Jefferson
Barner, D.P.Center Township – Frankfort
Beisel, Solomon K.Ross Township – Sec. 18
Bell, JamesCenter Township – Sec. 20
Bennett, Cyrus L.Madison Township – Sec. 22
Blinn, Jesse C.Center Township – Sec. 17
Bogh, Jacob E.Ross Township – Sec. 31
Brown, Frank M.Ross Township – Sec. 25
Buntin, Elihu home built 1831Jackson Township
Caldwell, Hon. Frank D.Center Township – Sec. 23
Carter, G.W.Michigan Township
Catterlin, N.T.Center Township – Frankfort
Clark, A.F.Ross Township – Sec. 06
Clark, F.M.Jackson Township – Sec. 31
Clendening, Arthur J.Madison Township
Combs, Wm. B.Madison Township – Sec. 21
Crouse, Hiram B.Ross Township – Sec. 12
Davis, JoelPerry Township – Sec. 32
Earhart, S.S. formerly of the late Earhart, GeorgeMadison Township – Sec. 21
Earhart, SusanahMadison Township – Mulberry
Fickle, IsaacWashington Township – Sec. 06
Fickle, JamesWashington Township – Sec. 09 and 17
Fickle, Wim.Madison Township – Sec. 30
Fisher, Samuel P.Center Township – Frankfort – Cor. Main & South Sts.
Ghere, AaronMichigan Township – Sec. 19
Hamilton, Francis J.Ross Township – Sec. 18
Harryman, Mrs. ElizabethJackson Township
Harshman, MosesWashington Township – Jefferson
Harshman, TaylorWashington Township – Sec. 11 and 14
Hodge, JohnKirklin Township – Kirklin
Holdridge, Thomas J.Center Township – Frankfort – Washington St.
Hollenbeck, Wm.Perry Township – Sec. 30
Jacoby, JonathanRoss Township – Sec. 11
Jacoby, MosesRoss Township – Sec. 09
Kesler, Joseph residence; property of Maish, DavidCenter Township
Kyger, IraMichigan Township – Sec. 30
Kyger, JamesMadison Township – Sec. 33
Kyger, SamuelCenter Township – Sec. 25
Lecklitner, Daniel Sen.Madison Township – Sec. 18
Lewis, JosiahRoss Township – Sec. 18
Mabbitt, W.L. (insert)Owen Township – Sec. 24
Mabbitt, W.L.Owen Township – Sec. 24
Maish, DavidCenter Township – Sec. 13
Maish, DavidCenter Township – Sec. 22
Maish, Frederick Jr.Center Township – Sec. 22
Maish, FrederickCenter Township – Frankfort – Cor. Gentry & Jefferson Sts.
Maish, GeorgeCenter Township – Sec. 01
Maish, HenryCenter Township – Sec. 01
Maish, MathiasCenter Township – Sec. 18
Maish, WillardJackson Township
Major, JosiahMadison Township – Sec. 29
Martz, JohnMadison Township – Sec. 22
Martz, SolomonMadison Township – Sec. 16
Mattix, RobertWashington Township – Sec. 19
McClamrock, RobertKirklin Township – Sec. 11
McDavis, JamesMadison Township – Sec. 23
McKinney, W.V. Sen.Sugar Creek Township – Sec. 33
McKinsey, U.C.Jackson Township – Sec. 25
McNutt, JamesWashington Township – Sec. 07
Merrick, JohnWarren Township – Sec. 31
Messler, James W.Michigan Township
Miller, Mrs. ElizaJackson Township – Sec. 23
Miller, O.P.Jackson Township – Sec. 23
Miller, Thomas L.Madison Township – Sec. 32
Paige, Hon. A.E.Center Township – Frankfort – Cor. Columbia & Jefferson Sts.
Pence, JohnCenter Township – Frankfort
Piner, Thomas C.Michigan Township – Sec. 25
Porter, W.G.Ross Township – Sec. 24
Pruitt, JohnJohnson Township – Sec. 28
Rex, JohnMadison Township – Sec. 16
Rex, JosephMadison Township – Sec. 15
Rice, DanielMichigan Township – Sec. 18
Rothenberger, EphraimMadison Township – Sec. 22
Ruch, GeorgeWashington Township – Sec. 30
Ruch, Joseph J.Washington Township – Sec. 19 and 30
Silverthorn, WilliamRoss Township – Sec. 24
Sims, PageWarren Township – Sec. 31
Smith, GeorgeRoss Township – Near Rossville
Smith, H.L.Ross Township – Near Rossville
Snyder, JohnWashington Township – Sec. 02
Staley, E.H.Center Township – Frankfort
Stuart, John W.Michigan Township – Sec. 26
Thompson, DavidWashington Township – Sec. 07
Thompson, Wm. R.Washington Township – Sec. 06
Toops, TaylorCenter Township – Sec. 17
Widner, DanielRoss Township – Sec. 32
Wilhelm, ChristianWarren Township – Sec. 25
Zaring, EliCenter Township – Sec. 33
Sheriff’s Residence and JailCenter Township – Frankfort
Weidner, Joseph S. Store & ResidenceMadison Township – Mulberry
Earhart, A.J. Residence & WarehouseMadison Township – Mulberry

2 thoughts on “1878 Homestead Illustrations Mapped

  1. Disappointed that there are no Dunbar properties listed. My Dad John William Dunbar was the town marshall of Colfax, one arrest he made was 1895. He also, pioneered the automobile in Clinton Co and had the “popular Dunbar Garage and picture show” in town. Moved to Dunbar Park in Thorntown, IN ca 1918. He was born 1863 and is in the 1913 CC History by Claybaugh.

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