I will be writing a series of blogs highlighting the first settlers of Elkhart County. I will be using the book titled “History of Elkhart County, Indiana”, Chicago: Charles C. Chapman &Co., 1881 for my source.
The first settler of Elkhart County was Jesse Rush. Jesse was born May 1791 in Pennsylvania. At the age of 19, Jesse moved to Darke County, Ohio. He then moved on to Miami County, Ohio where he married Mary Sumption on April 12, 1812.
Traveling from Ohio in a wagon with a team of four oxen, Jesse, Mary and their son Peter arrived in Elkhart County on May 18, 1826. Jesse and Mary had nine children. In 1881, it was reported in the” History of Elkhart County” there were seven Rush children living in Elkhart County, one son living in Alabama, and one son living on the old homestead.
Jesse was a voter in the first election in the Elkhart area. He also aided in building the first school and church in Elkhart County. He helped in laying out Elkhart County and Elkhart City, along with helping to form the city and county government.
In 1838, there was a cholera epidemic in Elkhart County. All of his family fell victim to the disease and recovered. Jesse was the only person in his family to succumb to the illness. Jesse died in Elkhart County on September 3, 1838.