You’ve played at and visited DePauw Park in Salem but have you ever wondered how it came to be?
This week, Washington County Historical Society Historian Jeremy Elliott shares this Throwback Thursday with us.
This is the pioneer homestead of the Honorable General John DePauw and the present site of DePauw Park, on W. Market St.
A versatile man, DePauw, an attorney and land speculator came out of Kentucky and at 1st had a little cabin, somewhere in the neighborhood of today’s Heritage Chapel.
Once the site of Salem was selected as the county seat, he quickly moved to the western hill, overlooking Salem.
DePauw laid out the town, into lots for sale to the public, in 1814 and built our 1st county courthouse, he also opened one of the 1st general stores in town.
He was appointed Colonel and commander of our local 9th Regiment of the Indiana Militia, today’s Indiana National Guard, and held that appointment until statehood in 1816.
He served as an elected delegate of our county at the Constitutional Convention in Corydon and was a part of Jonathon Jennings popular party. Later, he served in both, the house and senate of our state legislature.
His son, Washington C. DePauw, became the richest man in Indiana and is the benefactor of DePauw University.
His house still stands on millionaire’s row in New Albany.
General DePauw’s grandson, Newlon, donated the old homestead to Salem, as long as it is used for a public park and it opened in 1935