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).