African American rural settlements documented: 1
In the census for Patoka Township, Dubois County, there were 13 black people in 1850, 12 in 1860, and 30 in 1870. Though there are currently 12 townships in Dubois County, there were only 6 townships in 1800. Audrey Werle, in her Head of Household Index, lists five African American families. All of these families were located in the Pinkston Settlement. Three of the families were surnamed Pinkston. The other two were Martin and Adams. The Pinkstons owned the land with the most value. In total, the value of their property in 1870 was $1,400. Other family names included: Allen, Davenport, David, Deadwiler, Hagen, Huston, Payne, Seward, Thompson, and Williams.
The Emanuel Pinkston family settled in Dubois County in Patoka Township in present day Ferdinand and Cass Townships. Pinkston was born in Georgia. The 1850 census includes Manuel Pinkston (Emanuel), Permelia and six children. There are records of Emanuel buying land in May 1857. He purchased 40 acres in the SE-NE in section 14-3S-5W for $365. He also bought land in 1870 and 1871. He set aside land for a church and a school in 1875.
In 1874, Ben Hagen is noted as having land next to the Pinkston farm. Tobacco and watermelon were, reportedly, raised on the farm. Hagen was a minister at the Missionary Baptist Church. Ida (Hagen) Whitaker became deputy postmaster for the city of Ferdinand and later became a pharmacist. Ben Hagen and Larkin Pinkston were said to have been the last farmers at the settlement. Ben Hagen passed on November 30, 1939. Though the provenance is unknown, there is a house from the time period extant at the location of the settlement.
Tretter, Kathy. "May They Now Rest in Peace." Ferdinand News [Ferdinand, Indiana] February 26, 2014.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III State of Indiana,” 1:124 Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 Washington D.C., 1852.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III State of Indiana,” 1:124 Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 Washington D.C., 1862.
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III State of Indiana,” 1:124 Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 Washington D.C., 1872.
Audrey C. Werle “Research Notes on Indiana African American History,” M0792. William Henry Smith Library, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Indiana.
By Lishawna Taylor, July 27, 2014