When the fog rises off the Whitewater River, and the cool, crisp autumn air rustles the colorful trees, and you hear the sound of deer walking softly in the cornfields, and smell the pungent aroma of a wood fire, you feel like you are transported back to a quieter, simpler time. There is a part of Union County, Indiana, that time has forgotten. But it is also a place for modern day pioneers to enjoy the beauty and adventure.
Union County was settled in 1805, and was established from parts of the surrounding Indiana counties in 1821. The rolling hills and fertile fields have drawn settlers and residents here through the years.
The original county seat was Brownsville, located on the banks of the Whitewater River. It was later moved to a more central location in the village of Liberty.
Union County has been the home of many people who have marked history in one way or another: Major General Frederick Leroy Martin, commander of the Army Air Force base at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941; Joaquin Miller, Poet of the Sierras; Mary Alice “Little Orphan Annie” Smith; Bob Jenkins “Voice of the Indy 500”; General Ambrose Burnside, of the US Civil War fame, and many more.
With a population of a little more than 7000, we are a small, mostly agricultural community. We have had and do have some industry. Historically, we have been home to the Cockefair Woolen Mill, largest textile mill west of the Alleghenies until after the Civil War. Garden-All tractors and Rude Brothers manufactured mowers and implements here. Currently there are many small business and manufactures including D&L Industrial Finishes and NSK Americas, the leader in quality ball bearings.
Today tourists may enjoy camping, fishing and hiking in Whitewater Memorial State Park. We are also at the head waters of the Brookville Lake reservoir with Quakertown Beach, a popular summer spot.
The summer and fall are alive with festivals, farmer’s markets and celebrations centering around our beautiful Indiana limestone courthouse. Christmas in our hometown reminds us of a peaceful, quieter time.
Union County may be small, but we are full of surprises and fun!