Mormon War Disrupts Hardin Mill on Honey Creek

Remains of one of Daviess County’s early grain mills is still evident today (May, 2005) to those walking along Honey Creek, located mostly south of Gallatin. Rock debris forming a dam, wooden planks for a water run, and the remains of a log “road” to the dam site are evidence of the Hardin Mill, a business that scarcely got started before the interruption of the Mormon War.

Remains of one of Daviess County’s early grain mills is still evident today (May, 2005) to those walking along Honey Creek, located mostly south of Gallatin. Rock debris forming a dam, wooden planks for a water run, and the remains of a log “road” to the dam site are evidence of the Hardin Mill, a business that scarcely got started before the interruption of the Mormon War.

In Gallatin township of Ray County in 1830 the family of Christopher Stone moved to what later became Monroe Township of Daviess County. Christopher and his wife were about 65 years old at that time and had four sons, James, Hardin, Robert and William. They had John Stokes and John Edwards as sons-in-law. Jane Stone may have also been a daughter. She married Wesley Perman in 1840.

Hardin is reported to have been the first resident of Monroe Township and the first service by the Rev. Ellington was at Hardin’s cabin in 1833. Hardin married Judith Mann in the spring of 1832. James married Elizabeth McHaney in 1829 and William married Elizabeth McCrary in 1841. Johnathan Stone’s son Wiley was the first child born in Monroe Township. Wiley’s daughter, N.S. married Gab Cox.

Most of the Stone family built cabins “settled” near the fork of Honey Creek. Stokes north of Honey Creek and Edwards north of Mill Port.
The Stone family lived off the land for seven years before purchasing any. Hardin was the first to buy Gout land in the area when in February 1838, he purchased 160 acres in the south half of Section 8/58/27. I believe he started a mill that year on Marrowbone Creek at the northwest corner of that land. William purchased 40 acres west of the Mill location in April of 1839.

Late in 1837 to October 1838, 23 Mormon families reported to have moved into what was called the
Honey Creek settlement scattered around the Hardin Stone cabin. One of those settlers was Jabez Durfee who had worked on the Arthur Mill in Clay County and may have helped Hardin construct his mill during the summer of 1838. If so, this Mill would have been the first water mill constructed in Daviess County since the mill on Grindstone was believed to have been built in 1839.

After the Mormons departed in late 1838 there may have been less need for a mill at this location; however, court records note the Hardin Stone Mill in 1842 and 1851, but the location was confused. We don’t know if the mill was just for sawing logs or was a general purpose mill or much else about it. In the 1850 Census, Christopher Stone was living with his son William and the record shows him as 85 years old, born in South Carolina about 1765. Christopher’s son James was reported to have moved to Awbrey Grove at the time that Thomas Awbrey moved there in 1834.Current records show no person with the last name Stone are in our local yellow book. William Stone and wife are buried in the McCrary Cemetery and Jonathan’s family are with markers in the Lile Cemetery.