Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Original Town lots Sold to Woman in 1824

Two of the original 48 lots sold by the County Commissioners when the city of Lawrenceville was platted in June 27 1821 were sold to a woman, Delilah Matson. 

Delilah Stewart married Luke Matson in 1819 in Knox County. Luke had been in Captain Andrew Wilkin’s company of Infantry in the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811). 

The 1820 census for Crawford County shows Luke living there with a wife and three daughters under the age of 10.  (Remember Crawford County included the northern part of Lawrence County so they could have been living on the north side of the Embarras, close to the Mill operated by Caius M Eaton, Austin B Chafey and Onatis D Chafey in 1823.  

On Dec 6, 1822 Luke paid $225 for Lot 6 north of the Elks now in the 600 block of 12th St.  It is believed that he may have died because two years later, on Sept 8, 1824, Delilah purchased Lot 5 (across the street where Matt Pargin has his office ) for $62 dollars in cash and also Lot 16 (Stoneberger’s Jewelry now) for $141 dollars in cash. Lot 5 and Lot 16 combined to form all the property in the 600 block on the east side of 12th Street then called Market Street. E M Eaton and the Chafey boys  bought original lots too.

Since Delilah was also the first women to hold a liquor license, it seems obvious the purpose of her property.  


For this widow (she was remarried in 1825, although she may have been divorced by 1830) with three young girls to raise, to have had the capital to purchase two lots in the newly formed town, and to apply for a liquor license shows the character of this early Lawrence County woman.