During the Hamilton County Bicentennial, each of our nine townships will get special treatment for one full month. In this post, we’re heading north to Jackson Township, which will be put on the Bicentennial pedestal in April 2023. (Visit our FAQs to see when your township will be the star.)
If you’re a Jackson Township resident or have a special place in your heart for the area, we encourage you to connect to its history and get to know your Bicentennial Commission representative.
So here we go!
Population: As of the 2010 census, an estimated 10,368 people hang their hats in Jackson Township.
Cities and Communities: Sandwiched between Adams and White River townships in the far northernmost part of Hamilton County, Jackson Township consists of Cicero, Arcadia and Atlanta, as well as the unincorporated communities of Deming and Millersburg.
By Water and Air: In addition to popular Morse Reservoir, running through the township’s 55 square miles are the streams of Bear Slide Creek, Bennett Ditch, Cicero Creek, Hinkle Creek, Little Cicero Creek, Possum Run, Sugar Run, Taylor Creek and Weasel Creek. Look up and you might spot a plane taking off from Heizman Airport.
Some of the highlights from history for Jackson Township include:
Jackson Township was organized in 1833.
After being diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, Ryan White was denied a public school education in Kokomo, sparking national media attention and debate. Seeking a more normal life for their son, his family moved to Cicero, where Ryan started at Hamilton Heights High School in 1987.
The Jackson Township Fire Department was established in 1955 in Arcadia. It provides fire and EMS service for the unincorporated areas of Jackson Township and contractually to the Towns of Arcadia and Atlanta.
The nationally known Hoosier Hot Shots included star Paul "Hezzie" Trietsch of Arcadia. The entertainers were nationally known from the 1920s through the mid-1940s, and ended up in Hollywood performing in Westerns. (If you want to sound like a true Hot Shots fan, sneak their signature line into your next conversation: "Are you ready, Hezzie?")
Roberts Chapel at Roberts Settlement was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Arcadia’s Bishop’s Park once had a 250-foot “roller coaster” and watering hole to entertain visitors. It’s biggest crowd gathered on Independence Day in 1912, but the keynote speaker didn’t show. (See more here.) It is still home to a flowing well.
Nicole Duncan, Jackson Township Bicentennial Commission
The Bicentennial Commission has members from each of the nine townships to help celebrate and commemorate the history of the county. The representative for Jackson Township is Nicole Duncan.
Nicole’s family has called Jackson Township home for many generations. While studying Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, she focused much of her research on her small community and its Trustee’s Office specifically.
“I was fortunate enough to be appointed as the Deputy Trustee in 2019 by our current Trustee, Robyn Cook. I truly enjoy serving our residents,” she says. “I can't imagine living anywhere else!”
As a township made up of three towns, it is truly one community.
“It would be wonderful if this celebration not only brings back fond memories, but sparks new motivation in the community for future township engagement,” Nicole says.
Her wheels are turning on plans for the Bicentennial. Some of those ideas include:
Working with the school system and highlighting projects they are currently working on that will showcase the history of all of Jackson Township’s schools.
Incorporating the bicentennial theme into events that are already on the 2023 calendar. Those could include the Arcadia Farmers Market, Spring Fling market at Remnant Coffee Shop (Arcadia), Cicero’s Halloween event to share scary Jackson Township stories, and the forthcoming education-focused “mini museum.”
Planning musical events around the Hoosier Hot Shots and maybe a historical marker.
Creating a tour of local historical sites from Atlanta to Cicero.
If this list excites you, contact Nicole firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-984-3826 to get involved. If you live outside of Jackson Township but you’re inspired to think about projects for your own township, email us at email@example.com or call 317-674-3150. We’d love to help!
Preorders are available for the upcoming photographic history book, Celebrating Hamilton County, Indiana: 200 Years of Change. The large format, hard-cover book will feature stories from Jackson and all of the townships in our fair county. Find details and order your copies here.