Cardonia

“Cardonia, a town in the western central part of Van Buren township, three and a half miles northeast of Brazil, near the line of the Central Indiana (formerly the Chicago & Southeastern) Railroad, founded in 1871, by the Clay County Coal Company, and named in honor of John F. CARD, who was at the time the president of this company. The old cross-roads at the Easter schoolhouse, on the hill, are the intersection of the two principal streets of the town, the plat including all the four corners, the company’s store building covering the site on which stood the district schoolhouse of more than forty years ago. The first post office here, which was granted in the latter part of the year 1873, was named Alexander, in honor of John S. ALEXANDER, who acknowledged the execution of the plat of the town, May 25, 1872, by his attorney, William H. ZIMMERMAN, then changed, at a later date, to conform to the name of the town. This office was discontinued in 1904, Postmaster Richard RAYBOLDT having resigned. A few months later D. W. V. MORTON, the druggist of the town, consenting to accept the position, the office, on petition, was reinstated. Other postmasters were W. D. BLACK, James PRICE, George EASTER, Jr., and Edward CROSSER. Mail delivery to this office was for a number of years by the Carbon-Brazil stage, or hack line, and later, for a time, by the Chicago & Southeastern Railroad, a carrier making the daily trips between the office and the point on the railroad popularly known as “Sundown.”
Among the merchants of the town were Pliny F. SHARP, W. D. BLACK, A. P. HAND, Isaac BARNETT, – BURGER, B. F. WITTY, Edward CROSSER, John L. MORGAN, Benjamin REYBOLD, D. W. V. MORTON.
Of the practicing physicians were Drs. PRICE, MORGAN, and GILBERT.
A two-story frame schoolhouse and a Congregational church are maintained here. Ante-dating the founding of the town, ten years, perhaps, a Christian church occupied the northeast corner of the public crossing, a site now in the central part of the town, of which church society Elder Isaac NICOSON, a resident of the immediate locality, is said to have been the pioneer pastor. This was, perhaps, the first and only instance in the geography and history of the county that the original plat in the founding of a town-site covered the ground occupied by both a schoolhouse and a church, doing away with both.
In its early history Cardonia was distinctly a mining town, with coal works in the immediate vicinity, when, at times, its population would have numbered from three to four hundred, but as the field of coal production receded, the population, business and life of the place was correspondingly affected. Lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor, Independent Order of Good Templars, and Chosen Friends, have been maintained here. Estimated population at present 250.” William TRAVIS, A History of Clay County 1909; page 163