History of Alum Creek Friends Settlement
The first settler was Cyrus Benedict, his wife,
three children, and Adam Vanduser in 1809. He
built a cabin near South Woodbury in 1811.
Meetings were held in a house from 1813 - 1815.
The first church was built of logs in 1816. Land
purchased in 1817 for a meeting house and
graveyard is the present site of the church.
The first building of today's church was in
1857. The most enduring houses in the area
were constructed of brick by Reuben Benedict
and David Osborne in 1828 and Aaron
Benedict in the 1830's. The Reuben Benedict
house served the community as "Temperance
Hotel" during the stagecoach era. In 1825
the Worthington-New Haven Road was
completed and these buildings, among
others were used to shelter slaves.
Alum Creek Friends and the Underground Railroad
The Alum Creek Friends were legendary among UGRR circles
for their skill and success in spiriting folds to Canada.
Friends involved were David Osbourne, Griffith Levering,
William Taber, Miicajah Dillingham, and three generations
of Benedicts; Reuben, Aaron,William, a second Aaron,
Gardner, Daniel, Aaron L., who had a $1,000 bounty
placed on hius head by Southerners. Cousins Mordecai
and Livius Benedict drove wagonloads of fugitives up to
Joseph Morris in Marion County when they were but six years
old. In 1835, a slaveholder and two accomplices came to
the Alum Creek Settlement to reclaim his slave property, a
mother and her three sons. When the mother refused to leave,
William Benedict sent word to the church for help just as
the Friends gathered for the Quarterly Meeting. Soon, 25- 30
people confronted the slaveholder, including Justice-of-the-
Peace Barton Whipple who read the penalties for kidnapping-
a fine up to $1000 and 10 years in the penitentiary. At
this, the two hirelings fled into the woods. One of them
remarked he couldn't understand how all these people
appeared so suddenly, as if "the Quakers rose right up out of
the ground!" he exclaimed.