Clay Township Museum / Library

Clay Township Museum and Thrift Shop - click for larger view.The Clay Township Historical and Preservation Society is the proud owner of this stately museum in Greens Fork. The Museum is located in a Federal-style home on Indiana 38 on the corner of  Pearl and Green Streets.

The museum features items from Clay and other Wayne County Townships, photos, a genealogy library and more. Be sure to notice our post clock that stands outside the museum.

The Stephen & Anna Elliott House (Circa 1848) - Special Features

  • Federal design stairway made with native walnut
  • Original eight- to ten-inch plank flooring in entryway with square nails
  • Entry Hall with open stairway
  • All-purpose room and kitchen with fireplaces
  • Bedroom upstairs with fireplace
  • Wide heavy entrance door with large key in the lock

History of the Project

FireplaceOn October 22, 2002, the day before approval from the State Highway Department was received, the Historical Society was notified that the 1848 Federal Style Brick house was for sale. Approval was granted by the Society to purchase the house, as long as funding could be obtained.

On January 30, 2003, the final papers are signed. The transaction from David and Susan Brockman is completed.

The clock location will now be in front of the dwelling.

Many people today refer to it as the "Winkle Home" or the "Maraba Bennett House" It was originally built by Stephen & Anna Elliott.

Additional rooms, a garage, inside plumbing, and electricity over the years have been signs of change and progress.

Until recent years, the original tract of land included the restaurant and the former bank building to the west of the house.

Post ClockFebruary 8, 2003, the first group of volunteers began to restore, refurbish and revive this home into a museum, genealogy center, and historical library for Clay Township.

We planned a three-phase project. The house was re-wired and new plumbing installed. Three floors were sanded and refinished. Insulation and drywall was done. Two kitchen windows were replaced as well as new carpet in five rooms. We took out a full bath upstairs and installed a half bath downstairs. Two of three fireplaces were opened. New lights purchased and the front porch replaced with a Williamsburg pediment and columns. It required 40 gallons of paint to spruce up the house.

Hopefully, our many basic decisions will make it easier for others in the future.

Yet to be done this summer will be a museum sign, window treatments, tuck-pointing the brick, painting exterior windows, sunroom, and garage. This is "Phase I".

Phase II: New roof, tuck pointing, and museum sign were completed in 2007.

Phase III: Memorial Garden with gazebo, iron fence, lighting, shrubs, planters, a fountain, and flowers. Our goal in five years is to have our loan paid in full.

StaircaseOver 2,000 hours of work by volunteers (15 men, 17 women, and 2 children) has been done in five months. What a group!

Oh yes, we even found $2.64 in the house and yard, a biscuit recipe in the wall, two knives, and a 1956 valentine.

Please take time to see our "before" photos when you visit the museum. They will give you a better appreciation of our efforts.

You'll be surprised at the native walnut stair banister (in 1848 people were shorter). Ask about the secret drawer. The house also features the original eight- to ten-inch plank flooring in the entryway with square nails.

In 2009, Greens Fork High School graduates and former students were invited to be a part of the "Grad Room" project. It would be a way for them to "Pay It Forward" and leave a legacy of GHS memorabilia and history. The "Grad Room" and a Memorial Garden were dedicated on June 25, 2011.

Upstairs, you'll find the area where we are opening a "Thrift Shop" to help meet our financial obligations.  We would welcome good, clean clothing, toys, books, furniture, etc.

If you have items for the museum - you may loan or donate them. Wayne County memorabilia as well as Clay Township articles are desired.

To each of you who have given us gifts, made monetary contributions, or volunteered labor - we are deeply grateful. You have made this venture possible.

If you would like to assist us in the Thrift Shop, museum, or by volunteering your services, please let us know. Your monetary benefactions will allow us to meet our goals.

Thank you for visiting our museum, library, and thrift shop.

Correspondence should be sent to:

The Clay Township Historical & Preservation Society
19 Pearl Street
P.O. Box 5
Greens Fork, IN 47345

Circa 1848 Brick Home - Owners Abstract

  • Oct. 24, 1811 - United States of America to James Martindale
    (This was re-deeded to James Martindale officially on June 17, 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt)
  • Sept. 28, 1818 - James & Elizabeth Martindale to Thomas Hatfield
  • March 15, 1819 - Thomas & Sarah Hatfield to Charles & Louisa Tharp for $30
  • Nov. 18, 1847 - Charles & Louisa Tharp to Stephen & Anna Elliott for $50
  • abt. 1848 - the Elliott's build the two-story brick home on Lot 15
  • June 20, 1861 - Stephen & Anna Elliott to Benjamin W. Elliott
  • Jan. 5, 1864 - Benjamin W. & Catherine Elliott's to blacksmith John Winkle for $1200
  • 1886 - Alvern Dean purchases the property from Winkle's heirs (Alice A. & Ephriam M. Doutut, Leonora & John F. Clawson, Susan & Wm. Royan) for $900
  • Sept. 3, 1888 - Elizabeth Dean inherits the house after the death of her son, Alvern Dean
  • Jan. 23, 1892 - Siblings Charles Dean & Maraba (Dean) Bennett inherit the house after the death of Elizabeth Dean
  • Sept. 10, 1894 - Maraba (Dean) Bennett buys out her brother's share in the house
  • Jan. 12, 1904 - Maraba (Dean) Bennett sells a portion of Lot 15 to the First National Bank of Greens Fork.
  • April 6, 1939 - Charles Bennett (son) of Columbus, OH, children of Charles - Donald Bennett, and Dorrit Bennett inherit the house from Maraba (Dean) Bennett
  • Sept. 27, 1941 - Charles A. & Mary Wright Bennett to Maud & Rena Manning
  • Nov. 17, 1944 - Maud G. Manning sells another portion of Lot 15 to Ed & Nola Allen (Restaurant section)
  • July 15, 1949 - Estate of Maud G. Manning to Edward E. & Marjorie Ann Fewell
  • Oct. 16, 1954 - Edward E. & Marjorie Ann Fewell to Roy G. & Edith Hatcher
  • July 30, 1960 - Roy G. & Edith L. Hatcher to Herbert F. & Audra L. Oler
  • May 31, 1962 - Herbert F. & Audra L. Oler to Charles E. Gaynell Freeman
  • May 15, 1963 - Charles E. & Gaynell Freeman to Katie LaBoyteaux
  • Dec. 20, 1971 - Gaynell Freeman to Catherine Bricker
  • May 24, 1982 - Catherine Bricker to Charles C. & Betty M. Goodpaster
  • Sept. 20, 1985 - Charles C. & Betty M. Goodpaster to James R. & Judith A. Rahdert
  • May 31, 1991 - James R. & Judith A. Rahdert to Ramath & Susie Tandy (Restaurant only?)
  • 1995 - James R. & Judith A. Rahert to David & Susan Brockman
  • January 31, 2003 - David & Susan Brockman to the Clay Township Historical & Preservation Society

Thrift Shop

Thriftshop goodsA Thrift Shop has been opened to help support the new museum. Shoppers and browsers are welcome, along with donations of clean, saleable goods.

Special thanks to Jayne Beers of the Clay Township Historical and Preservation Society for providing this information.

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Did You Know?

Hagerstown native, Ralph R. Teetor, respected automotive engineer and former president of Perfect Circle, was the inventor of the "Speed-O-Stat", now known as cruise control.