Sandford Cox was born July 1, 1811 in Richmond and is remembered primarily for his dedication in documenting Lafayette’s early years of development. The author, lawyer and teacher wrote a book titled “Recollections of the Early Settlement of the Wabash Valley,” though it is more affectionately known now as “Old Settlers.” According to the book’s foreword, Cox served as Tippecanoe County’s deputy county recorder for 22 years. Cox, whose first name is spelled in historical documents as “Sandford” and “Sanford,” died October 4, 1877.
Albert Smith White was born on Oct. 24, 1803 in Orange County, N.Y., but spent much of his life and energy in Indiana. White felt a connection with the area and respected its progress, spending several years representing Hoosiers in government. White served in Congress and practiced law, though his talents and interests were expansive. He pushed to have railroads chug through Lafayette and succeeded, increasing the city’s population and progress. White’s final duty to the state was as a judge on the U.S. District Court for Indiana. He died Sept. 4, 1964.
Caleb Scudder was born April 11, 1828. His claim to fame is as the first male born in Lafayette, or so says the stone beside his grave in Greenbush Cemetery. However, skeptics point out the city was founded three years before Scudder entered the world, making his proclamation unlikely. According to his obituary, he took after his father in “the furniture and undertaking business.” Scudder and his wife, Sarah, never had biological children, though they were foster parents. He died Sept. 1, 1888. His obituary reads, “In the death of Caleb R. Scudder, the community deplores the loss of an upright and noble hearted citizen, perfect in every personal relation of life.”— Sources: Mary Anthrop, L.A. Clugh, “Old Settlers” by Sandford Cox and “Commemorative Book of Tippecanoe County, 1826-1976” from by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Elizur Deming became a faculty member at the Indiana medical college of LaPorte . He was a doctor and early settler in 1834 who later turned out to be a Liberty Party candidate for governor who was also very active in Masons and a “Leading Underground [Railroad] agent of Tippecanoe County.”
Albert Wells was a local medicine manufacturer and owner of the Wells Yeager Best drugstore. The building that he donated was to be used as a public library that was children friendly. Mr. Wells selected the inscription on the building that reads, “THIS LIBRARY IS DEDICATED TO ALL LOVERS OF BOOKS.”
Lawrence B. Stockton was another one of the earliest settlers in the county and has been considered to be one of the fathers of the city of Lafayette. He was delegated to be the first surveyor at Tippecanoe County by Governor Ray in 1826; he held this office for ten years. Furthermore, Mr. Stockton was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention, held at Charleston, South Carolina, and a few weeks later in Baltimore. During this time, he alleviated open threats of secession that were made by some of the Southern delegates. He asserted, “If they should attempt to accomplish their purpose by going out of the Union, instead of standing manfully by it, they would certainly get the worst of it.”
Judge Cyrus Ball was the youngest of six. Ball was born in Lebanon, Ohio on May 30, 1804 to a relatively poor family of farmers. For most of his life, he worked on the family farm and did not spend much time in school. However, on his own, Cyrus decided early on in his life to become a lawyer so he set out to do so. He spent much time reading and studying on his own and eventually began reading law after leaving his family farm in 1825. In 1826, Ball was admitted to the bar in Ohio and then to the bar in Indiana a couple of years later. To start a business, he traveled to Baltimore to buy goods which were sent to Lafayette by ship, where he started a general store with his brother. In 1831, Ball was elected Justice of Peace and held that position for five years. After serving in positions such as one of the first toll collectors for the Wabash and Erie Canals, Ball was elected “one of the three associate judges in 1840 for this district. Upon his election, he came to be known as fair and possessed much integrity. Cyrus Ball made a solid name for his family and was well-regarded throughout the county and surrounding areas. Later, he became involved in Lafayette Artificial Gas Company and was named president of the company.
William F. Reynolds, also a founder of Greenbush, was born on November 6, 1811, and is considered one of the most successful businessmen of his time” Married with two daughters, he was a prominent local figure in Lafayette and Tippecanoe County. His closest friend was none other than Albert S. White for whom he created a monument for after his death. Coming to Lafayette at the age of nineteen, Reynolds was ripe with ambition. He dreamed to one day be worth thirty thousand dollars. At the time of his death, he was worth three million, surpassing his dream by one hundred times. Reynolds worked his way from the bottom up starting as an employee in a little county store. He worked for Nathan Stockwell, then with Moses Fowler and Robert Stockwell. Eventually he ventured out to start his own wholesale grocery business with his brothers John and Edward. After much success, Reynolds began construction and management of the roadway connecting Lafayette and Indianapolis. He was able to sell the roadway property for $2,800,000.
Dr. Richard Benbridge Wetherill: The chemistry building on Purdue’s campus is named after Dr. Richard Benbridge Wetherill, who is buried in Greenbush Cemetery alongside his wife, Mary. A “commemorative booklet” published by the American Chemical Society about the Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry after its dedication into the National Historic Chemical Landmarks gives a very brief description of the building and the man behind the name. The booklet notes Wetherill as a “local surgeon, lecturer in the Purdue University School of Pharmacy, and donor to the University” Among Wetherill’s specialties and knowledge areas were organic chemistry and surgery; he was a surgeon at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lafayette. He authored many studies such as “History of the Origin of Syphilis” and “The Origin of Tumors”. His papers were well regarded and looked to as current and cutting-edge at the time of their publication. Wetherill was well-known for his research and insight into numerous scientific topics throughout his life. Among his research was a study of “the first quantitative analysis of the water of artesian wells at Lafayette” Not only was he a local physician, but he was also a member of many medical associations, both local and national, as well as a charter member of the Indiana State Medical Society. Business and the ownership of land were also hobbies of Wetherill’s. He owned much land throughout the country, more than most people in the area and was a director of the First National Bank in Lafayette.