Anson Wolcott

  The founder of the Town of Wolcott was born in Lockport, N.Y. in 1819. His early education was acquired in Richmond, N.Y. Later he taught school for a time, then moved to Louisiana and studied law. Returning to New York, he became a successful lawyer, practicing law before both the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the Supreme Court of the United States.

   Also a businessman, he became interested in real estate investment. In the 1850's Indiana was a prime target of land speculation. Anson arrived in Indiana in 1858 and held original holdings of about 2,000 acres. In 1861 he plotted the town of Wolcott and arranged for a railroad station by that name. He built a large grain elevater and became active in farm and politics.

   During the Civil War he served briefly in the Union Army and was active in the State and Federal government on behalf of Governor Morton. He was elected to the State Senate in 1868 on the Republican ticket. Being interested in the farm and currency problems of the day, he broke with the party in 1876 and ran for governor on the the third party Greenback ticket. Throughout his life he was active in business and political matters both in Indiana and other parts of the country. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Knights Templars and Scottish Rite.

   His second wife, Georgia Sayen de Mosquera Wolcott, was important in the early cultural development of this area.
They had one son, Eben, who also became a prominent man in Indiana business and political matters. Eben had two sons, Ryland and Roger. Roger wolcott, who died in 1958, was also a noted Indiana citizen. Ryland had three daughters Nancy, Jean and Katrina. Eben and his sons were educated at Wabash College, Crawfordsville.

   Anson Wolcott died at his home in the town of Wolcott on January 10, 1907. He is buried in Meadow Lake Cemetery.

 

The "Land Baron" Era in Indiana History

  The last part of Indiana to be settled was the northwestern area, primarily because much of it was prairie, wet, swampy, with sand hills, etc. and it was considered not to be a very desirable area.

  This changed in the 1850's as a number of land promoters from the east bought up large acreage, had ditches dug to drain the land, then proved to be some of the best farmland in the United States, took advantage of railroads being built westward, and founded many of the towns in the area, often naming them after themselves. Examples would be Wolcott, Fowler, Kentland, Boswell, Brook, Earl Park, and others. As the value of the land increased these "Land Barons", originally holding thousands of acres, gradually sold off their holdings into smaller parcels.