The History of Batesville!
Batesville earned its "Best Little City in America" nickname from the beginning. Native Americans roamed the rich loam, old growth forests and creeks that provided the right climate to grow valuable hardwoods like oak, black walnut, wild cherry, ash and poplar. No wonder the Shawnee cherished this slice of the earth for its beauty.
Both the French and British explored Ripley County, while American settlers didn't arrive until 835 when Teunis Amack purchased 120 acres and built his log cabin. Seventeen years later, he sold his homestead to the Callahan Trust Company, which broke up the acreage into 45 lots for a town on the main line off the Lawrenceburg-Upper Mississippi River Railroad. This new community was supposedly named after Joshua Bates, an engineer, surveyor and member of the Callahan Trust Company who bought the first lot (there are those who contend the town honors Harvey Bates, the railroad director).
The forest attracted German immigrants, many of whom found Batesville while traveling the rail system to Oldenburg. By 1853, that transportation line stretched westward to Indianapolis, further connecting the rural town to the hum of Midwestern life. Before the turn of the century, Batesville stood as a thriving commercial center, thanks to the sawmills. It was the first city west of Cincinnati to install electric streetlights.
For more information, please with the Batesville Historical Society at
The Batesville Historical Society