Town Square Publications

Brookville, IN



Welcome Letters

photoPresident's Letter

Welcome to Brookville

We are a small, but growing community with something to offer everyone. Hidden for many years here in the Whitewater Valley, we are being discovered by a great many people. Visitors come, like what they see and come back again and again, sometimes to stay.

Our scenery rivals any place else in the state, our parks and schools and recreation facilities are second to none and our people are just down home friendly.

A recent annexation project expanded Brookville boundaries to the south and a new project will allow us to expand to the west, providing sewer and water services to one hundred and two homes in that area. In the future we expect to spread to the north and grow even more. Town Council is excited about what lays in store for Brookville and we’re planning ahead to meet the needs of our residents and future residents.

If you’re in the area, we invite you to stop by, stay awhile, and see what Brookville and the Whitewater Valley has for you. Who knows, you might just decide to stay.

Paul Chaney
Town Council President


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to share with you the many value-added features that Brookville and Franklin County, Indiana has to offer. Our community has a strong belief in religious values, a better quality of life for our families, and a high standard of work ethic. We provide a quality educational program for our children in a school system that we believe is second to none. Our recreational facilities, which include beautiful Brookville Lake, Kent’s Harbor Marina, The Mounds State Park, and rafting on the Whitewater river are top-notch and provide many opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

The county tax structure and cost of living are very favorable for corporations and individuals alike. Our goal is to achieve economic growth and preserve our quality of life. We welcome the opportunity to tell you more about our fine community. We are confident that you will find that we have the available resources, infrastructure, and governmental leadership to make your relocations here a positive experience. Please feel free to call us at anytime.

Michael A. Sorrells

Franklin County Economic Development Corporation


photoChamber's Letter

The Brookville/Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is proud to present this booklet of our community. A place where the history, beauty and friendly people will leave you wanting more. A place where you’ll want to raise a family and sit on the porch with grandparents. A place where the door is always open with an invitation to come back.

Our education system, both public and parochial offers not only an excellent education, but many opportunities to excel in your favorite sport, band, foreign language, drama or the Academic Team. Our county has many organized youth sport activities as well as 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and our town library and the new Laurel Community Library.

Franklin County actively supports many philanthropic organizations. Adult activities include golf, softball and bowling leagues, Metamora Performing Arts, The Franklin County Historical Society and The Franklin County Arts Council. Our community is full of volunteer fireman, Rescue 24, emergency medical service and good folks who never hesitate to help.

The agriculture and industry of our county, along with the new health care facilities, the schools, and area businesses, leave many employment opportunities. The history and recreation of the old town of Metamora, Brookville Lake, hunting, fishing, camping and canoeing, the many bed and breakfasts and a variety of restaurants offering unique and gourmet dining.

From our participation in the Cincinnati Boat & Travel Show, the Indianapolis Boat & Travel Show, National Secretaries Day, Indiana Century Awards, FCHS Career Days, Old Timers Ballgame and 10K race, joint meeting with Kiwanis, 4th of July fireworks, Annual Golf Tourney, Home Coming Parade, November Noel and Annual Improvements Awards, the Brookville/Franklin County Chamber is there. There is always something going on in Franklin County. Whether you drive through our rolling hills and valleys, or along the fields of grain, or down Main Street and see the American flags on each lightpole, there is always someone with a new idea or an old-fashioned tradition to share. A place where two rivers and a lot of good people come together...a place to raise a family. Our door will always be left open with an invitation to come in.

Cheryl L. Kaiser



Cheryl Kaiser
Peoples Trust Company

Vice President
Wayne Bauer
Bauer Ford & Mercury
Treva Reiboldt
Bath State Bank
Gretchen Zimmer
Zimmer Tractors Inc.

Board of Directors

Annabel Looker, The Fudge Shoppe
Bill Thompson, Owens Corning
Charlene Rauch, Save-A-Lot
Don Reimer, J & J Packaging
Joetta Phillips, McCullough Hyde Hospital
Tag Nobbe, 52 Pik Up
Arthur Hildebrand, FCN Bank
Bob Carroll, PSI Energy
Ginny Neeley, J & J Packaging
Lisa Brown, FMH Home Health Care
Mike Fridericks, Owens Corning
Penny Hofer, Fayette Federal Savings Bank

Tom & Karen Niedenthal, Four Seasons
Wayne Howery, Hop On Inn
Barbara Cooper, Sperry Rubber & Plastics
Bob Kumli, B & B Machining
Clay Huelseman, Graphic Enterprises
Mike Sorrells, National City Bank FCECDC
Sandy Cates, Peoples Trust Company
Dr. Daniel P. Bukofchan DC, Franklin County Chiropractic Clinic

Lois E. Clark, Executive Secretary

photoCounty Commissioner's Letter

A Big HELLO from the Board of Commissioners of Franklin County.

We would like to WELCOME you to our rural, historic and recreational community.

As you look through this publication, you will want to experience for yourself what Franklin County has to offer. Franklin County has something for everyone. You may want to take a quiet ride through the rural countryside and visit one of the two covered bridges left in the county. A visit to the historic Metamora Whitewater Canal and take a ride on the Ben Franklin III through the canal or take a stroll through the many shops in Metamora. Then there’s the beautiful Brookville Lake with camping, boating, skiing and swimming. Let’s not forget the Franklin County Park for a quiet walk, camping or just a leisurely picnic.

County government is proud of our part in making Franklin County a great place live and a friendly place to visit any time of the year.

Franklin County Board of Commissioners

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Community Introduction

photoFranklin County...Indiana's Best Kept Secret

Known in tourism circles as the gem of Indiana, Franklin County has quietly spent the last decade polishing its sterling hospitality reputation and broadening its appeal. In a nutshell, Franklin County is reinventing what it means to be a small community.

Franklin County is among the most innovative places in Indiana. It draws on statewide resources to assist the entrepreneurs who seek its nurturing atmosphere. Economic opportunities flourish here, as government and business work together to form healthy partnerships for the next century. Business owners and residents greet visitors with a smile, a handshake and offers to help in any way possible.

photoIn Franklin County, home sites are well-manicured with shaped hedges to the meticulously green lawns. There’s room to spread out and build an estate of your dreams, but if you choose to live in the towns’ historic homes, the people on either side of your property are neighbors in the truest sense of the word. Here, respect underpins the culture—children are taught to place flags on veterans’ graves and toss flowers on the water in memory of those who died overseas each Memorial Day weekend.

Proud of its Past...a strong confidence in its future

Friendly People: Mother Nature smiles on the 23,500 folks that live in Franklin County—3,000 who live in the county seat, Brookville. Much of the population that moved here in the ‘90s commutes to nearby Cincinnati during the day and retreats to their slice of heaven on their time. Local work ethics and the moderate cost of living has captured the attention of several manufacturing companies who seek hard-working, honest, well-educated employees in a place where lifestyles are comfortable and families can grow and prosper.

Small Town Values: Expect small-town living and rural setting with community involvement. The Directory of Churches, printed by the Franklin County Ministerial Association lists 45 churches in the area, including all denominations. Service clubs include Lions and Kiwanis with fraternal organizations, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Masons, Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Tri Kappa Sorority and Delta Theta Tau Sorority. But the Chitwood Club and Brookville Women’s Club are more than 100 years old and going strong.

Quality of Life, Scenery and Open Spaces: One only has to look out any window and glory in the outstanding hills, dales and water ways to enjoy nature at its best.

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photoFollow the leader

Franklin County is governed by three elected commissioners and seven elected members of the council. Planning and zoning is handled by a county-wide Area Plan Commission. Citizens are diligent, maintaining a Brookville Police Force of a chief and six members. The Franklin County Sheriff Department adds eight deputies and nine officers to the law enforcement. Fire protection is covered by a 28-member volunteer department, 14 first-class firemen, 13 second-class certified firemen and three master firefighters that cover the Brookville area. However, a host of volunteers also maintain active fire departments in Cedar Grove, New Trenton, Eagles Fire Dept. of Oldenburg, Blooming Grove, Drewersburg, Laurel and Metamora.

photoTaxes: Property taxes fall in the reasonable category and are comparable to surrounding counties.

Volunteerism: One of the biggest assets of our community is the hundreds of volunteers that give of their time, money and experience to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth athletics, county government, schools, churches, charitable organizations…and the list goes on. Basically, whenever help is needed, there’s always someone that will give of their time.

Franklin County residents have found the secret to having it all: a proud past and a strong confidence in its future.

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photoYesterday's heritage

Only a small band of Indians on the hunt were camping at the fork of the Whitewater River when two Moravian missionaries and the wife of one arrived on April 24, 1801 at the present site of Brookville.

They could not know, as we do now, that they were on the "Dearborn Highland"—a part of Indiana and Ohio where upheavals within the Earth’s crust forced rocks from the earliest geologic ages upward. They may well have been puzzled by the unusual fossil formations found in the rocks along the streams. Nor did they know that ancient Mound Builders lived in this region before the Indians who greeted them.

photoBut the newcomers were quite sure that they were safely within the "right to settle" according to the Greenville Treaty. On May 25, 1803, Benjamin McCarty signed for the first land entry in the county—a site in New Trenton. Amos Butler from Pennsylvania soon followed suit. (His son, William Wallace Butler, was the first white child born in Brookville.) Industry in the form of paper mill, grist mill and bank sprung up, and on August 8, 1808, the original plot of Brookville was duly recorded in the Court House at Lawrenceburg. Consequently, the county began its corporate existence on February 1, 1811 as the seventh county in the Indiana Territory—and named in honor of Benjamin Franklin.

Still, the flood of pioneers truly began after the War of 1812, when thousands came on the "horns of a crescent moon," up the Whitewater. Many were in search of religious freedom.

photoTo ship their commerce to the world, these pioneers established an impressive 76-mile horse-drawn canal and lock system that cost several million dollars to build, and ran through Metamora. (Much of the canal was completed through the efforts of private citizens who organized into construction companies.) In particular the 80-foot long Duck Creek aqueduct, built in 1848 to carry the canal 16 feet above Duck Creek, was once featured in Ripley’s "Believe It or Not" as the only working wooden structure still in the United States. However, the canal was no longer used for transportation by the 1860s—today its heritage is preserved as a unique tourist attraction.

A host of famous people have called Brookville home, starting with Indiana governors James Brown Ray, David Wallace and Noah Noble. General Lew Wallace, author of such classics as Ben Hur, was born here, and painters J. Ottis Adams, T.C. Steele, William Forsythe and Otto Starke set up a studio/art colony in the 19-room house today known as The Hermitage. It’s one of the properties in the town that qualified Brookville to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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