Filson Family Farm

Filson Family Farm

Monday, December 3, 2012

Inwood Indiana (Filson/Coplen lineage)

Inwood, Indiana, in Marshall County, is a tiny community one mile from the Filson family farm— the farm where Grace (Coplen) and Russell Filson raised their family. But it was not always a tiny community.

1872 Map of Inwood Indiana

You can find the following description of Inwood in a book published in 1908, by The Lewis Publishing Company, in Chicago, entitled;
A Twentieth Century History of Marshall County, Indiana, Vol 1, by Daniel McDonald

“This village, situated seven miles east of Plymouth on the Pennsylvania Railroad, was, before the railroad was built, called Pearsonville in honor of Ezra G. Pearson who platted and laid out the town December 29, 1854. Mr. Pearson had located there and built a sawmill. At that place and for miles all around it was even difficult for men used to the “thick woods” to get through it in places. When the railroad was built through that place two years later, the company, looking for a shorter name then “Pearsonville” and finding themselves “in the woods” the name of Inwood easily suggested itself and from that day to this it has been called Inwood.

For many years, until the timber was mostly cut off, it was a fine lumber region, and those who purchased land for the timber alone made enough out of the timber to pay for the timber and the land and had enough land left, and much of it is now among the best farming land in the county. The following additions have been made to the original plat: Pierson's first and second; A.W.Hendrick’s; Croup & Core’s first and second; Fredrickson’s, and Lee & Dickinson’s.

This village has a two-story brick schoolhouse, in which is taught a grade school. The Methodists have a church building here; there is a telegraph office. An express office, and stores and shops of various kinds where such articles as the inhabitants need can be purchased.”

Original Inwood School late 1800s

Inwood School Early 1900s

The schoolhouse was expanded three times to meet the needs of the population. In the two pictures above you will see the original school and then a newer school with the addition.  It grew to be a 12 grade school house. My grandmother Grace attended 12th grade at the school in 1923, but stopped short of graduating by one class because, as she told a friend, she went to work instead of “wasting” her time on a diploma. This was a very typical attitude for young woman in rural America of the 1920’s whose biggest dream was to raise a family. Her children also attended there through grade school and then in the 40s they moved onto Plymouth High School. My own siblings attended in this school in the early 1960s for a short time.

Grace Coplen 1922

In 1905 the Methodist Church of Inwood, which was and still is attended by many of my family members, laid its cornerstone according to the Plymouth Democrat Newspaper on Sept 21, 1905, they had  500 to 600 people attending the ceremony.  In the cornerstone they put current issues of newspapers, a bible and other papers of local interest. It also stated the church was too small for the crowd and people had to be turned away.

Inwood Methodist Church, Inwood, Indiana

Inwood at one time had a saloon, a saw mill which brought the railroad, along with a grain elevator and a stock yard. It even had a little hotel which filled up because it was an “on the way” stop to the Chicago World’s Fair.
In the wake of Prohibition you can see that in 1908, 95% of the voters filed a petition against the sale of alcohol in Inwood. The Plymouth Democrat Newspaper on Thursday February 20, 1908, states, “The people of Inwood are without police protection.. and they claim that the selling of whisky there has caused them considerable trouble and they are determined to rid the place of saloons.”
Sadly, because it was not a big enough town to have police or a fire station, many fires helped to bring on the decline of the little community. In The Bourbon News-Mirror Newspaper Aug 3, 1905 issue we see,
 “Fire started in the Livery Stables of E.O.Warnacut… Spread to the saloon owned by Ed Brown, …an Opera House owned by John Caldwell and The Carlston Hotel.”
Much of the town was burned and despite reconstruction efforts, the fire took the town multiple times. As the timber in the area was cut down, people moved into Plymouth and South Bend to work in factories.
At the Marshall County Historical Society in Plymouth, Indiana,  Judy McCollough has complied a 100 year history on the small community of Inwood and I credit her with providing me much of this information.
Inwood, Indiana (Marshall County)

Grain Mill in Inwood Early 1900s

Town Street Inwood Indiana Early 1900s

Town Street Inwood Indiana Early 1900s


  1. thank you Shelley i have always been curious how Inwood just suddenly stopped being as big as it was. I am only 14 so in all of my life it has been pretty run down was the hotel where the little set of apartments is now across the road from the Clevengers's house?

  2. Thank you for the history. My husbands grandmother and all the way back to her grandmother have lived in Inwood all their lives as me and my husband do now. I am interested in the history further back. I have heard it was also called Tintown along time ago. Do you know anything about this?. My husbands grandmother is still living. We stay with her here at the south end of Hawthorne Rd. She will be 95 this May. I showed her some of the pictures on her. They made her smile! Tks so much

    1. I am so happy to hear you shared this with your husband's grandmother. The Marshall County Historical Society, in downtown Plymouth, has three large binders on the history of Inwood. I am sure they would love for her to see it. I recently recorded my 80 year old Aunt telling me stories and I was so happy to record them. If you could show her those books, I bet many things would be triggered and your family would have some great stories. If she can't travel, I bet someone from the society would come out and bring them to her. They love to do pioneer interviews. Remember to ask her about her parents and grandparents. Maybe they told her stories of their grandparents and you may get stories of three or four generations. Once we lose these generations, the stories of past generations are gone forever. I have found that even if people are losing their short term memory they still have long term memory and they are so happy that someone just cared enough to ask. You can find great interview questions on line such as

      Regarding your question about Tintown. Stay tune because I have some additional information that I just found and I will do another post.

      Thanks for reading my blog