County historical marker at Elkhart River

A field stone historical marker was put in place in 1923 by the Elkhart River just outside the small community of Benton in Elkhart County by the county historical society. This marker, still in place, signified a place where the very earliest settlers in the county forded the river. Because of the location of the marker near U.S. Highway 33, I’m guessing many of these settlers used the old Fort Wayne Road to get to this point. Depending on when the settlers came, it was likely nothing more than a trail which had yet to be improved much at all. I’ve often wondered if there are places where you can still see where wagons forded rivers in the early days. Someone told me such a place may exist at the Tippecanoe River near Warsaw, but I’ve yet to check it out. We are so far removed from the 1820s and 1830s it is difficult for us to really understand the hardships the early settlers faced when traveling here. Some of them died on the way. Others became very sick and somehow made it. They had very little in the way of material things and persevered anyway. I hope this marker stays for a very long time.

Elkhart River Marker at Benton 005

County historical marker at the Elkhart River.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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