The Crawford County Historical and Genealogical Society at its annual meeting on June 14, 2004 accepted the gift of the Proctor house with its seven acres from the town of Marengo. The two story red brick structure was built about one mile east of Marengo just prior to the U.S. Civil War of clay bricks made on site. Two other similar houses were built nearby at about the same period. Of the three original homes, two remain. The other remaining house has been restored and is the current home of Robert and Mary Wiseman of Marengo. The third house was razed in the 1960’s to make way for improvements of SR 64 at Marengo.
Several proposals have been suggested for historical use of the house and the associated acreage. One proposal is that the house be restored to the period of time in which the house was built, and furnished accordingly. The grounds could be landscaped with appropriate out buildings, gardens, orchard, and animals that would complement a pre-Civil War rural family. A visitors center and parking area would be added to serve the visitors and tour groups.
The original property was a grant from the U.S. Government to Malachi Monk in 1818. In May of 1825, William Proctor and Mary Watson were married in Clark County, IN and within a year the couple settled in Crawford County. A recorded deed for the property was dated March 21, 1826, in which William Proctor and Abasalom Wood made the purchase from Malachi Monk. William and Abasalom had married sisters. The 1830 Crawford County census for Liberty Township shows these two families sharing the same dwelling, number 488. The Proctor residence served as a post office when William Proctor was appointed postmaster on January 12, 1835 and changed the name of the location to Proctorville. The post office continued to be operated from this home until July 3, 1852 when the post office was moved into present day Marengo.
William Proctor conducted a store business here also. County Historian Richard Eastridge has a list of some of the customers beginning in 1833. William became an influential citizen; even served as trustee of the first library located at Leavenworth and was trustee of the Seminary in Crawford County also in Leavenworth.
Eventually, William and Lula Byrd became owners and possibly they put the wooden additions onto the brick house. They sold the property to George and Anna Dean on March 01, 1919. Their son, Hershel Dean, took over when his father died. His mother continued to live on the property until her death in 1953. Hershel later sold the farm and buildings to the town of Marengo for the development of the Industrial Park. Hershel had lived in the house until his death in 1984.
(Proctor history was researched by Evelyn Jackson, Co-Chair of the Proctor House Restoration Project.)
CCHGS President Jim Kaiser appointed Hugh and Evelyn Jackson and Bobby and Mary Wiseman to co-chair the restoration with volunteer help from other society members.
Gregory Sekula of Historic Landmarks toured the site March 12, 2005 and confirmed the Federal style home is worthy of the society’s restoration efforts.
Major fund raising activities will be necessary in order for our society to restore this historical
landmark of Crawford County. Our society’s operations are funded by the annual dues. Work of the society is done by volunteers.
The Crawford County Historical and Genealogical Society gratefully appreciates the gift of the pre-Civil War home and grounds by the Town of Marengo. Our pledge is to graciously preserve and present the history of our county to present and future generations.
. . . Jim Kaiser, President
“A jewel waiting for us to polish . . . a treasure Crawford County should not lose”,
. . . Becky Hammond Stetter, Editor, The Crawford Countian.
Donations and volunteers are welcome and needed. Contact CCHGS for more information
The Crawford County Historical and Genealogical Society received a $500 grant from the Indiana Genealogical Society in June, 2005, for restoration of the Proctor / Wood Cemetery. Dorothy Rice, IN Gen. Soc. South Central District Director, made the grant presentation at the June meeting of CCHGS.
CCHGS Proctor House Historical Committee Co-Chairs Bobby Wiseman and Hugh Jackson cleared a trail to the cemetery, mowed the cemetery, and put flowers on the tombstones. Bobby spoke with personnel at Marengo Monument, who said several grave markers at the cemetery could be repaired. Hugh and other CCHGS members met with District I County Commissioner Larry Bye, to request the county to construct a road to the cemetery. The road work is set for the fall of 2005.
William Proctor Father
d. 07/18/1872 81 yrs. 5 mos.
Mary Proctor Mother
d. 11/10/1862 59 yrs. 6 mos. 3 days
Elizabeth Proctor Daughter
d. 09/14/1835 6 yrs. 5 mos. 5 days
William Proctor Jr. Son
d. 12/26/1842 8 mos. 8 days
John Proctor Son
d. 09/22/1855 20 yrs. 11 mos. 17 days
Isabel Proctor Schoonover—Wife of E. R. A. Schoonover
b. 05/04/1831 d. 07/01/1885
Arthur Stewart Son of David M. & Mary (dau) Proctor Stewart
d. 10/23/1850 1 yr. 3 mos. 1 day
Thaddeusa Stewart Son of David M. & Mary (dau) Proctor Stewart
b. 07/22/1861 d. 07/23•/1863
b. 05/07/1797 d. 06/03/1843
Anna Watson Wood
b. 05/26/1800 d. 06/10/1868
Luke Wood, Civil War veteran
b. 11/09/1825 d. 10/11/1906
Harriet McIntosh Wood
b. 03/22/1826 d. 03/15/1907
Melville T. Esarey
b. 09/20/1852 D. 01/20/1889
Luke W. Esarey Son of Melville T. & Susan Wood Esarey
b. 07/25/1887 d. 04/20/1888
Alice Isadore Murphy Dau. Of Issac & Martha Wood Murphy
d. 06/04/1856 2 yrs. 3 mos
Cora H. Wood Dau. of John & Mary Ann Stewart Wood
d. 05/26/1861 11 yrs. 9 mos. 22 days
Leona McIntosh Dau. of George & Eliza Wood McIntosh
d. 07/23/1863 1 yr. 5 mos. 6 days
At least 2 or more un-marked graves.