The Families of Adam Keith

“Once upon a time ...”, family facts and tales


Brown county war

Hon. Lewis Prosser [1826-1863]


Ancestry: Adam Keith1>Adam Keith2>John Keith3>Catherine [Keith] m. [Daniel] Prosser4>Lewis Prosser5


Biographical Sketches of the Members of the Forty-first General Assembly of the State of Indiana ... 1861




Mr PROSSER was born in Richland county Ohio September 18th, 1826. When he was 14 years of age his parents removed to Brown county Indiana. He has ever since resided in that county. His father Daniel M Prosser being a farmer Lewis was brought up to the same calling to which he has devoted all his life excepting about nine years while he was acting as County Auditor to which position he was elected in 1849 and re elected in October 1854. At the expiration of this term he returned to his farm where he still resides. At the age of 21 years Mr Prosser entered the University at Bloomington and graduated in 1849 a short time previous to his election as County Auditor. He was married on the 4th of February, 1850 to Miss Mary Jane Day, daughter of William Day of Morgan county Indiana.  Retiring from the office of Auditor to his farm he was again called out by the Democratic party and put in nomination for Representative and elected over William W Hays a prominent and influential Republican of that county by a majority of 333. Taking his seat in the special session of 1858 and regular session of 1859 he served until the close of the session and returned with honor to his home. His political course was indorsed by his constituents and in the mouth of April 1860 he was nominated for a seat in the present session of the Legislature His opposing candidates were James W. Mcllvain Republican and John Beck independent Democrat over whom he was elected by a majority of 275 votes. As County Auditor and as a Representative in the General Assembly of the State Mr Prosser has always proven himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him by his fellow citizens A man of more infinite jest and genial good humor does not live in the State. He is a faithful and consistent Representative being conservative in all his political notions and not following after the wild chimeras of that class of political leaders who deem that their own views of State policy embody a panacea for all the ills of the body politic. Post office address Bean Blossom Brown county Indiana.


The Indianapolis Star [Indianapolis, IN] 6/24/1924


Brown Co. [IN] War


"Referring to the draft of October, 1862, Weston A. Goodspeed, in a history published during the year 1884, said: 'Brown County enjoys the distinction of having been one of fifteen counties in the state to clear themselves of this draft [the Civil War draft] ...


This will show about the course taken by the disloyal element of the county [Brown].  It was during this year also that the 'Brown county war' occurred. The facts are substantially as follows: A war meeting was held in the northern part of the county and Lewis Prosser and a companion who had been hunting squirrels in the woods attended with their guns on their shoulders. There was present a detachment of soldiers that had been sent to the county from Indianapolis to arrest one or more deserters who were said toi have secured a hiding place in Brown county.


Prosser, who was a prominent man, and against whom the charge of disloyalty had been made was invited to speak, but refused, as he had made no preparation, and did not care to speak then anyway.  He was rather outspoken against the war and soon had a small crowd around him. A soldier present named Daniels, who it is said had been drinking, hearing some remark about Prosser that he did not fancy, stepped up to him and with the statement that he had no right to be carrying a gun there, twisted the weapon from his hands. Prosser instantly drew a revolver and shot the soldier dead and turned to leave the ground, but as he did so he was shot by one of the bystanders in the leg and was brought to the ground. Two or three other shots were fired but no damage was done.  Prosser afterwards died from the effects of his wound."


"The Indiana Copperheads rampant - Murder of Union Men


Indianapolis, April 19 [1863] - A Union meeting in Brown county Indiana, was broken up yesterday by a party of Knights of the Golden Circle, under the leadership of Lewis Prosser, Ex-member of the Legislature, and a man named Snyder, who came armed with rifles and revolvers, and threatened to shoot two Sergeants there for arresting soldiers.  Sergeant Daniels took Prosser's gun from him when the latter drew a pistol and shot Daniels dead.  Prosser, in turn, was shot and severely wounded by Capt. Cummings, who was addressing the meeting. Snyder also fired at another sergeant but missed him. He has been arrested and brought here.  A sufficient force has been sent to arrest all parties concerned."