Fountain County Courthouse Murals
Mural Tour (Desktop Version)
North Wall Second Floor

CIVIL WAR PERIOD

Above the courthouse door, we glimpse the Adamson toll bridge spanning the Wabash as a back-wheeler boat journeys the waterway. The stone for the bridge’s piers and abutments was brought from the Adamson quarry, one mile up the river, on flatboats. The bridge was of two spans, in the covered fashion, with a draw between that allowed for the passage of canal traffic.  It operated as a privately-owned toll bridge until its sale to Fountain County in 1886.

Beside the door is an agonized mother pleading with her duty-bound son who is about to enlist for service. Watching this scene from above, a contemptuous woman’s face expresses hatred and bitterness for those who would hold their men back in time of national need.

In a more pleasant scene of the era, county citizens, in their wardrobe’s finest, admire the new courthouse. In this group stands Dr. Weldon, a prominent physician and proponent of the Catholic church, with his daughter.  This new structure was the third to serve as Fountain County’s courthouse. It was built in 1859 and was damaged by fire in 1860. The building featured picturesque spires and a tower with clocks on each side, supposedly visible from all points in the county seat.

In the center, Elijah Earl tests the riding cultivator that he invented. A mechanic and inventor, Earl was born in Ohio and reared in Tippecanoe County. He moved to Davis Township in 1858, bringing with him a threshing machine that he had made. In Fountain County, he invented and manufactured the first riding plow (single corn cultivator) and corn planter in the world.  He patented the plow but missed the first patent on the planter by three days.

Woman and children toil in the grain fields while the men are on the battlefield.  We are led to the Indiana home as it existed in the 1860’s and was held in the memories of the men far away. The women remain industrious in their household duties, but their minds and hearts certainly dwell on thoughts of their loved ones bearing arms far from home. Note the sadness in the eyes of the woman at the spinning wheel.  Near her, a young child tends a baby - an infant perhaps never seen by its patriotic father.