NAME: Terre Haute
COUNTY: Decatur
CLIMATE: Hot Summer, Cold Winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring, Fall, cooler summer days
COMMENTS: Only residents live on existing farmstead; used to be a cabin/house nearby, but not sure it's still there. Four miles south of IA-2 on gravel road; one mile west of I-35 (no road - as crow flies). Graveyard nearby.
REMAINS: Some minor signs of former townsite, but no buildings. Graveyard nearby. Some locals claim to be able to find more, but have never been there with them.
Founded in early mid-1800's by Mordecai Miller and named for the city in Indiana. Family members and other pioneers followed. There was a mill and other improvements, even talk of boat traffic on the Thompson Fork of Grand River (way too shallow). There was a trading post variously reported to be upriver about one mile or at the Terre Haute location. Pottawattamie Indians frequented the area until they were relocated to Oklahoma Territory and returned each spring to make maple syrup even until about 1880. Some of their copper pots have been unearthed over the years - they buried them after syruping each year. When the Des Moines & Southern Railroad was building south, it decided to head east to Leon instead of continuing south to Lamoni; thus, there was no rail connection for Terre Haute. The school burned in the '30s and there were still some remains of other buildings until the '50s and maybe into the '60s. A classic example of a town founded for the river and missed by the railroad - now dead. The following URL's have considerably detail. Submitted by: Larry Gibson