Historical Markers of Scott County: Self-Guided Driving Tour

Historical Markers of Scott County: Self-Guided Driving Tour

I bet you didn’t know that Scott County, has one of the largest collections of Historical Markers in the state of Indiana.  It is important to continue to preserve Indiana and Scott County’s history and as we continue to celebrate this year and Scott County’s Bicentennial.  The markers are a great snapshot of the past; as they tell us about significant people, places, events and organizations that have had an impact on our county and our state.  For many people in Scott County these historical markers are a source of pride for the community and the state.

Here is a turn by turn directional to each of our county’s historical markers.  

We hope you enjoy visiting and seeing our incredible country landscape and points of historical significance, as well as learning a little about the people that helped forge Scott County and our history.  If you have an idea for a new Scott County Historical Marker let us know and we’ll begin our research.

Let’s Start our self-guided driving tour in Austin, Indiana.

Town of Austin

US 31 & Morgan Drive – Austin, IN

Platted in 1853 after the completion of the Jeffersonville Railroad.  Tradition is that the town was named by Mexican American War veterans who had served in Austin, Texas and had received land vouchers for their service.

Notable Surroundings:

  • Dairy Queen with original franchise neon sign
  • Morgan Foods the largest private canned foods company in the US
  • Austin Train Depot & Caboose


Take SR 31 South from Austin to Marshfield Train Robbery Marker located near City of Scottsburg welcome sign.



Marshfield Train Robbery

Westside of US 31 as you enter the City of Scottsburg near Terrell Road – Scottsburg, IN

One of earliest U.S. train robberies occurred May 22, 1868 at nearby Marshfield, a refueling and watering stop. Engine and express car were detached from Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad train and abandoned near Seymour. Notorious Reno Gang took U.S. treasury notes and government bonds from Adams Express Company safes in car.

Indiana-based Reno Gang operated after the Civil War during a period of unemployment and lawlessness. Vigilante organizations continued to be active. Pinkerton National Detective Agency investigated Marshfield robbery and apprehended several suspects. Before any were tried, members of Reno Gang were lynched by vigilantes.


Continue on US 31 South to Lakeshore Drive.  Turn East on Lakeshore Drive to Hyland.  Turn North on Hyland to enter Lake Iola Park.



Lake Iola Park’s Interurban Train Center

Scottsburg, IN

Indianapolis and Louisville Traction Company built a track between Seymour and Sellersburg, Indiana as part of the Interurban line which extended from Indianapolis, IN to Louisville, KY.  Lake Iola created a water source for power equipment that created 1200-volt high tension direct current system for the trains powered by generators located on this site.


Exit Lake Iola Park on Meridian Street South.  At Owen Street turn East.  Cross railroad tracks

And turn South on Main Street.



Scottsburg Train Depot

90 North Main Street, Scottsburg, IN

Built in 1872 as one of the classic combination depots for passengers and freight.  This building served as the Scottsburg train depot until early 1950s.  The structure was moved one block north, restored and is now known as the Scottsburg Heritage /station.


Continue South on Main Street for one block to McClain (HW 56) turn East (Scott County Courthouse is located on the southside of HW 56)  Turn South on First Street.  Scott County Courthouse entrance is located on the east side of the building.



Scott County Courthouse

1 East McClain Avenue – Scottsburg, IN

Scott County formed February 1, 1820 and the first county seat was given to the town of Lexington.  In 1871, the county seat was moved to best centrally locate for the people of Scott County.  The west section of the Scott County Courthouse was built in here in 1873.


From First Street turn West on Wardell Street (going around the courthouse square) to Main Street, turn South.  Our next stop is on your immediate right.



Scott County’s Carnegie Library

Main Street & Wardell Street – Scottsburg, IN

Scott County Commissioners appointed a library board in 1917.  Funding was raised locally and through a Carnegie Grant to construct the library that opened in 1921.


Continue South on Main Street to the Scott County Home (Poor House) located at 1050 South Main Street.



Scott County Poor Farm

1050 South Main Street – Scottsburg, IN

Built in 1892 on the 180 acre County farm.  The first county home was originally in Lexington home for the original county seat.  Now the Scott County Home is host to the Scott County Heritage Center & Museum.  This building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.


Continue South on Main Street, please use caution as this road becomes very curvy, to SR 356.  Turn West on SR 356 to the Vienna Township Fire Department located on the North side of SR 356 just before the railroad tracks.



Morgan’s Raid – Vienna

284 SR 356 – Scottsburg, IN 

During the Civil War, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan led a raid through southern Indiana reaching Vienna on July 10, 1863.  At this location, General Morgan and his troops burned the railroad bridge and depot, then tapped the telegraph line before moving on to Lexington, IN.


Continue West on SR 356 to SR 31.  Turn South on SR 31 to Edrington Boulevard.  Pigeon Roost Monument sits back off the road over the railroad tracks.



Pigeon Roost Settlement Burial Site

US 31 & Edrington Boulevard – Scottsburg, IN

A small settlement, established here in 1809, was attacked by Indians on September 3, 1812; 15 children and nine adults were massacred, as part of the War of 1812, with one family escaping.


Turn North back on US 31 to SR 356.  Turn East on SR 356 to SR 3.  Turn South on SR 3 and soon you will be driving through the northern boundary of Clarks Grant.



Northern Boundary of Clark’s Grant

Intersection of SR 3 & Kinderhook Road – Scottsburg, IN

Northern Boundary of Clark's Grant near here. Land grant provided by Virginia 1781 to General George Rogers Clark and his men for American Revolutionary War service against British in Illinois country. Grant was 150,000 acres divided into 298 lots of approximately 500 acres, with 1,000 acres reserved for town.

Clarksville, first American settlement northwest of the Ohio River (1784), located at southwestern corner of grant.


Continue East on SR 3.  Turn East on SR 362 to Westport Road.  Turn North on Westport Road.



John Kimberlin Farm

5765 South Westport Road – Nabb, IN

Kimberlin, a Revolutionary War veteran, was first person to purchase land in what is now Scott County. In 1804 he bought Tract 264 of land grant to soldiers of George Rogers Clark. His family settled 1805 in well-built cabin northwest of here, cleared land, built fences, and farmed. He and his wife are buried in the cemetery southwest of here.

After Pigeon Roost Massacre in September 1812, his cabin was converted to fortified blockhouse and sheltered area settlers. Nearly 600 mounted volunteers from Kentucky and Indiana Territory came to protect the area, encamped on his land, and used his supplies. He petitioned the U.S. Congress in 1832 for payment and received $150 in 1834.


Continue on Westport Road to SR 203.  Turn North SR 203 to SR 356.  Turn East on SR 356.  At the corner of Roberts Lane and Mulberry Street in our next historical marker for the site of the Western Eagle.



Site of the Western Eagle

Intersection of Roberts Lane & Mulberry Street – Lexington, IN

The Western Eagle was the second Indiana Territory newspaper.  Move to Lexington, IN in 1815 from Madison, IN.  Jacob Rhoads, publisher, was the official printer for the Indiana Territory from 1814-1816.


Continue on SR 356 to Lexington’s Volunteer Fire & Rescue House



Joseph Hooker Shea

Lexington’s Volunteer Fire & Rescue House parking lot

Joseph Hooker SheaShea was a member of the Indiana Senate from 1897 to 1899.  He was a judge of the Fortieth Judicial Circuit of Indiana from 1906 to 1912, then a judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals from 1913 to 1916.  He was appointed United States Ambassador to Chile by President Woodrow Wilson and served as ambassador from May 30, 1916 to May 5, 1921.

Photo Courtesy - By Bain - Library of Congress, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30266637


Turn around in the Lexington Volunteer Fire & Rescue House parking lot and get back on SR 356 to SR 203.  Turn North on SR 203.



Lexington Original Scott County Seat

Marker is located on SR 203 next to Lexington Elementary School/ Lexington Square – Lexington, IN

Scott County was created in 1820 with Lexington as a county seat.  Several attempts were made to relocate the county seat to a more central location.  In 1870 a petition to the County Commissioners was successful with Scottsburg becoming the new county seat.


You can see the next marker from this same location on SR 203 next to Lexington Elementary School/Lexington Square.



Town Creek Encampment - John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail

Marker is located on SR 203 next to Lexington Elementary School/ Lexington Square – Lexington, IN

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his soldiers spent the night of July 10, 1863, in Lexington, IN.  He left for Vernon on the morning of July 11, 1863 where Morgan and part of his force were eventually captured in eastern Ohio.


Continue North on SR 203



Site of the William Hayden English Estate Home

SR 203, English Park – Lexington, IN

William H. English, Scott Counties most prominent resident.  English was a politician, banker, and historian.  He served as Secretary of the 1859 Indiana Constitutional Convention, as Speaker of the Indiana House, and in the US House.  English was Indiana’s first major presidential campaign candidate running for Vice President in 1880.  English also served as President of the Indiana Historical Society.

The home was located on an 800-acre English family estate, Englishton Park, near Lexington, Indiana. It was built in 1840-1841 and expanded to a 23-room home in the style of Mount Vernon in 1896. The estate stayed in the family, until the death of William E. English in 1926 when it was left for the establishment of a summer home for Hoosier children in need. The estate stood abandoned until 1958, when the court awarded it to Presbyterian National Mission Home, Inc. to use the estate for children and other age groups from Indiana.

The original home was in great disrepair and razed in 1969.

Click here to learn more about William Hayden English


Visit these Great Scott County Destinations & Special Events

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.