INMONROE-L ArchivesArchiver > INMONROE > 2001-10 > 1004373830
From: Randi Richardson <>
Subject: [INMONROE] Blue Springs Community, Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 11:43:50 -0500
In one of the wills sent to the INMONROE list earlier today there was a
reference to the Blue Springs Community. In anticipation of questions
about the Blue Springs Community, and because I didn't know what it was
myself, I did a little research. I located an article in the book HISTORIC
TREASURES compiled by Forest M. "Pop" Hall in 1922 (see page 36) that
provided an explanation. It is noted, below, in part:
"An educational and religious community was located at what is known as
'Harmony,' situated northeast of Stanford in Van Buren Township, and was
the earliest union of religious sentiment in the county. Members of an
orthodox Christian organization were eligible to membership. This was not
a local enterprise but grew out of the nationwide 'community' theory which
arose throughout the United
States from 1820 to 1860.
"It seems that the purpose of this movement was for increasing the sources
of better educational systems and morals than was afforded by the
denominational and educational organizations of the country at that early
time. This idea was propagated through a tendency of the thinking people
of the day to unite means and influence in the formation of what was called
a 'community,' for this advance purpose...
"One institution of this kind bloomed forth in Monroe County, Indiana,
right in Van Buren Township in 1826 and was called the 'Blue Springs
Community.' A man named Berry, who came from Vermont to Indiana, headed
"Those desiring to become affiliated with this movement as members of the
organization gathered at what soon became known as 'Harmony,' where the
village later called by that name is remembered today. The members placed
their property in common, erected dwellings, laid out a public common or
square, started one of two stores, opened an excellent school in a log
school house, erected for the purpose, and soon were in a seemingly
"The neighbors laughed and made much fun of the pretentions of the
communists and scornfully predicted the speedy or ultimate dissolution of
the community. But the members, with noble intentions, went to work
resolutely, determined to do all that was in their power to make a success
of the attempt they had made for the betterment of conditions for their
fellow man and the future generation.
"The first year things went along smoothly or until cold weather came on
when many families left for their former cabins.
"Some conflict had occurred, misunderstandings through human imperfections
crept in. And when the spring of 1827 arrived, all attempts to continue
the community were voluntarily abandoned...
"Upon further investigation we find in an old record the following: Dudly
C. Smith, first school teacher, father of Dudley F. Smith and grandfather
of Ulysses Howe Smith, Bursar of Indiana Univeristy and Dr. Rodney Smith,
cousins, married Elizabeth Berry, of English birth, whose brother founded
the institution called "Harmony" where everything was in common."
|[INMONROE] Blue Springs Community, Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana by Randi Richardson <>|