Confirming the location of Conner’s patent

The patent contains a legal description of the precise location of the 80 acre parcel that William Conner “patented” in 1823. We gave the legal description to a registered land surveyor, Mike Deboys, and it was a fairly straightforward matter for him to locate the parcel based on its legal description: The east half of the south east quarter of section twenty eight in Township seventeen of Range two, in the District of Brookville and State of Indiana, containing 80 acres. This is the parcel’s DNA, its unique marker that enables us to confirm today the location of Conner’s patent. His 80 acre land parcel would be the first parcel legally owned in Pike Township of Marion County following the native American occupancy of the area, so it has some significance just for that reason. But we now believe Conner, who was neither a farmer nor a settler in Marion County, was motivated by his knowledge of the unique characteristics of this specific parcel. We believe his desire to patent this particular parcel (as opposed to parcels more tillable) was motivated by his business interests that already were taking place on the site (such as a trading post) or that he believed a business enterprise such as land speculation might be profitable in this location. The discovery that the patent was graded second rate for farming, by the original surveyor of the Indiana Territory, further confirms that the parcel was being acquired for speculative purposes.


About Ross Reller

I am pleased you have expressed interest in learning more about the historic Traders Point area in Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1980 to 1982 I was employed in the PR department at Conner Prairie Museum in Hamilton County. There I learned about William Conner, an important figure in Indiana's pioneer days. A decade later I became interested in the history of the Traders Point area and was surprised to learn that William Conner had been the first land owner in the area. In 1823 he acquired, through the Federal land office in Brookville, a patent for an 80 acre tract carved by Eagle Creek and an Indian trail that was about to be named the first toll roadway through the township (Lafayette Road). Thirty years later a village took shape within this tract. A grain mill on the creek, houses, churches, stores, restaurants, and two gas stations would take shape here in the creek valley hamlet of Traders Point. By 1962 all improvements (except a farmer's co-op) had been removed by the Indianapolis Flood Control Board to make way for Interstate 65 and a new reservoir. This blog is dedicated to preserving evidence of this historic area but I will occasionally use it to discuss related topics. To activate this follow, simply click the confirm button below. If you don't want to follow, ignore this message and we'll never bother you again. I am also a member of the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a non profit association still selling burial plots for those who would like to spend all eternity in Traders Point, and I am an officer in the Pike Township Historical Society and the Traders Point Association of Neighborhoods.
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