History of Boone County
The county at one time was low and level. Although it was low and level, it was no less the dividing summit of White River and the Wabash. The water flowed in almost every direction in Boone County, and it was said the highest point between lakes and the Ohio River were between Lebanon and Whitestown. Boone County was named in honor of Daniel Boone. It was organized in 1830, with only 622 citizens in the county. Lebanon was chosen as the name of the county seat. The principal streams in the county are Sugar Creek, Eel River, Big and Little Eagle Creeks, and Prairie Creek just to name a few. The streams at one time or another afforded propelling power for the mills and machinery.

Boone County had a tremendous growth in population, starting with 622 people when the county was founded back in 1831. In 1840, the population grew to 8,121. In 1850, the population was 11,631 and in 1880 the population was 31,778. There were 6,760 voters in 1886, a total of 9,788 school children and 165 schoolteachers back in 1885.

 

Jamestown, also known as Jimtown, is an agricultural community of over 850 residents. Jamestown is located 30 miles west of downtown Indianapolis and 17 miles southwest of Lebanon. Jamestown's central Indiana location places it within one hour commuting distance of 9 public and private academic institutions: Butler University at Indianapolis; DePauw University at Greencastle; Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; IVY Tech State College at Indianapolis, Lafayette and Lebanon; Marion College at Indianapolis; Purdue University at Lafayette; University of Indianapolis; Wabash College at Crawfordsville.

 

In 1976, Jamestown was recognized as a Bicentennial Community by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration in Washington, D. C. Jamestown celebrated its sesquicentennial June 6-8, 1980. Residents and friends were entertained by performing groups, a parade and floats,  The citizens of Jamestown and surrounding counties participated in numerous activities and contests. The festivities also included a ham and bean supper, hog roast, picnic and union church services. Former President Jimmy Carter, former Senator Birch Bayh, former Governor Otis R. Bowen, M.D., former Congressman John Myers, former State Senators Keith C. McCormick and Lillian M. Parent and former State Representative John W. Donaldson all attended the ceremony.

 

There have been a few distinguished citizens from Jamestown. One was Buren H. McCormick, a Jamestown native, became a Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Dow Jones and Company, Inc. Mr. McCormick, born in Jamestown on March 4, 1909, lived in Matthieson Park, Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y. when he died in February, 1972 at age 62. Mr. McCormick's career, which began in 1931, spanned forty years with Dow Jones where he played a vital part of the growth at the Wall Street Journal. Mr. McCormick set up the production organization, which enabled the publication of the Journal from nine plants located coast to coast. Another distinguished citizen from Jamestown was Dr. Herman B Wells, a Jamestown native. At age 35, he became the youngest president of any state university in the United States. On March 22, 1938, the Indiana University Board of Trustees named Dr. Wells, the 11th President of Indiana University. Dr. Wells held this position until his retirement as President in1962 at which time he became University Chancellor. Dr. Wells had been named Acting President of Indiana University in June 1937 following the retirement of President William Lowe Bryan. Dr. Wells served the university as assistant professor of economics from 1930 to 1933 when he became secretary of the State Commission for Financial Institutions. In 1935 he returned to Indiana University as Dean of the School of Business.

 

Lebanon was founded on April 30, 1830, following action from the Indiana General Assembly. Lebanon was selected as the county seat later in 1832. In tradition, Lebanon was founded on May 1, 1831, by two young, prominent, Indianapolis men, General James Perry Drake and Colonel George L. Kinnard. Their military titles were derived from their service in the Indiana Militia. Both men, in addition to being progressive community builders were shrewd developers and speculators.

From the beginning, Zionsville was built with care to create the charming, unique village that exists today. The orginal plan was to name the town after a woman named Mary who was the wife of one of the area's early settlers. After she declined the honor, William Zion, whose portrait is on view in the P.H. Sullivan Museum, was elected as the town's namesake. Zion was a politician, a merchant, and a surveyor. He left Virginia in 1834 and ultimately settled in Lebanon, Indiana, opening Zion's Store. He was elected Boone County sheriff in 1836. William Zion retired from the mercantile business in 1862 and lived the remainder of his life in Lebanon, where he died in 1880.