Filson Family Farm

Filson Family Farm

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tiny Bloomimgsburg aka Talma, Indiana (Coplen lineage)

My grandmother Grace Coplen Filson was born in 1905 to Elmer R. Coplen and Frances A. Rodabough in the little country town of Talma, Indiana. Situated on the Tippecanoe River, Talma is in Newcastle Township, Fulton County, Indiana. It is so small you would be hard pressed to find documentation of the population.

Talma was originally named Bloomingsburg by my third great granduncle, Asa Coplen. When Asa was asked why he named the area Bloomingsburg, he replied, "Because it is the most bloom-ingest place I’ve ever seen."

Asa was born to Richard Copeland and Euphamine Henderson in Coshocton, Ohio in 1805 and traveled to Fulton County, Indiana in 1840. Many other Coplen family members followed him, including my 2nd great grandfather Martin Van Buren Coplen. Asa bought land from the federal government for $1.25 an acre and soon had four farms. He married Lucretia Abbott in 1830 and they had a family of seven children.

He surveyed the land and by 1854 he was selling lots. The 1854 map of Bloomingsburg below shows the lots southwest of the original town. Make note of the Grist Mill next to the river, which would one day be owned by my 2nd great grandfather Martin Van Buren Coplen.

In 1858 Asa grew restless, sold three farms and headed west. But financial misfortune came upon him and his family, he grew tired of the windy country and he lost his beloved wife Lucretia in 1859 and laid her to rest in Kansas. Before she died she made Asa promise to return to Indiana with the children. He kept his promise and by 1860 he had returned to his farm in Bloomingsburg. In 1869, he married Minerva Jane Fisher and had two additional daughters. 1

Asa and Mirerva Coplen 1875  4

When the civil war came along he was eager to offer his service but was told he was too old. He proudly sent his three sons Lyman, James and Chauncey off to war. Fortunantly all returned.

In 1888 Asa and Minerva moved to Joliet, IL where they lived until 1896 when he was laid to rest at the age of 91.

Uncle Asa, as many people called him, was an honest man and a good friend. He was always willing to help someone who was down on their luck and his motto was The Golden Rule. He was very active with Fulton County Democratic party.

In 1896 the United States Post Office wanted to rename the tiny town of Bloomingsburg, claiming the name was too long. They ran a contest in the local paper and the winner was William R. Kubley. Kubley was a resident of Talma at the time and had a reputation as a puzzle wizard and avid contestant. His obituary states in one year he won 12 cars, also that he found the word Talma in a crossword puzzle. 3

In 1976 a historical marker was placed in Talma honoring both Asa and William for their roles in the naming of Bloomimgsburg and Talma.  2

THE HISTORICAL MARKER DATABASE photo taken by By Alice Mathews, July 12, 2011 5


1) Fulton County  Historical Society, Talma The Blooming Burg, Shirley Willard, Fulton Co Folks,Vol. 2

2) Roch Sen oct 4 1976

3) News-Sentinel, Friday, February 5, 1954

4) Fulton County Historical Society Collection


  1. Thank you. I found this to be very interesting and did not know any of it. My family has lived in and near Talma since at least the early 1900s-not sure beyond that. I grew up in Talma, and well remember going to "the store" there, owned by Ralph Hatfield. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and I remember there was a couple next door to us whose name was Coplen. I always said growing up there was like having 20 sets of grandparents, as most of the people at that time were around my grandparents age (or at least it seemed so to me).