Pike Township is named for explorer Zebulon Pike


The chronology of the naming of the 9 townships in Marion County in the 1820s leads me to conclude that Pike Township is one of the many tributes to explorer Zebulon Pike. Occurring simultaneous to the Lewis and Clark expedition, Pike’s was not sanctioned by President Jefferson. And there is some evidence that General Wilkinson, who dispatched Pike to find the source of the Mississippi, may have been acting as a spy for a double agent of our government on behalf of Spain. Pike’s expedition to New Spain (the American southwest) resulted in many acheivements, including identifying a peak he never climbed. Pike played an important role in our nation’s history that deserves further inquiry. The above link is the best accounting I have seen of his life. Pike was not a native of the area but he did fight in the Battle of Tippecanoe. (approximately 20 miles northwest of Traders Point) The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought in 1811 between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and forces of Tecumseh‘s growing American Indian confederation. The battle took place outside Prophetstown, near present-day Battle Ground, Indiana, and was part of what is sometimes known as Tecumseh’s War, which continued into the War of 1812. The battle was an important political and symbolic victory for the American forces. Pike died in the War of 1812.
Here’s an excerpt from the above linked website:
In the summer of 1805, while in the midst of conspiring with Aaron Burr at Fort Massac, Wilkinson gave Lt. Pike the difficult assignment of conducting a reconnaissance of the upper Mississippi River. While Lewis and Clark were at the headwaters of the Missouri River far to the West, Pike left Fort Bellefontaine on August 9, 1805, with orders to find the source of the Mississippi, purchase sites from American Indians for future military posts, and to bring a few important chiefs back to St. Louis for talks. He took a force of 20 men on a 70-foot keelboat up the Mississippi, but he had little time to prepare for his trip. There was no interpreter of Indian languages along, no physician or anyone with medical training, and scientific equipment was limited to a watch, a thermometer, and a theodolite (a device to determine latitude).

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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