|In 1772, Captain John Wetzel, his wife and children, along with 10 other families, moved to near Wheeling, VA., now WV. The little settlement immediately became the target of various Indian raids. Jacob Wetzel and his brothers soon became legendary for their adventures in Indian fighting. The brothers served as scouts with General St. Clair's forces, against Indians, in the Northwest Territory.|
Jacob Wetzel, with his wife and children, moved to the new state of Kentucky, in 1809. Jacob moved, 2 years later, to the Indiana Territory. The family settled near the present site of Laurel. That year, Jacob Wetzel took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe, with General William Henry Harrison's militia. For more information on "The Battle of Tippecanoe," go to the following site:
After the War of 1812, Jacob Wetzel selected a tract of land near Worthington, Indiana. He discovered that the trip to the new site would involve several weeks of long and difficult travel. He then devised a plan of cutting a direct trail, or trace, through the south central part of Indiana, from Laurel to the White River area. Cyrus Wetzel accompanied his father in this endeavor, as well as others: Thomas Howe; Thomas Rush; Richard Rush; and Walter Banks.
This trail, known today, still, as the Whetzel Trace, became the first east-west route through Indiana. It was just wide enough for a team of oxen. It was 60 miles in length, through dense, primoral forests. In 1820 a group of Indiana Commissioners nearly chose the Whetzel settlement as the state capitol, but choose Indianapolis, instead, by only 1 vote.
Jacob Wetzel lived in the vicinity of Waverly until his death, July 2, 1827, at the age of 62. He was buried in a small family cemetery on his farm, and his grave is marked with a simple sandstone slab, as graced many of the pioneer graves. The little cemetery, today, is located near State Road 37, about 18 miles from Indianapolis. (The above information is shared in "The Whetzel Family," compiled by Lewis H. Yankey, who quotes from Orville Funk.)