History, Independence and Freedom: the Founding of Mount Vernon

mount vernon, history, fourth of july, celebration

Few holidays are as widely recognized in our country as Independence Day. After all, it is the nation’s celebration of history, independence and freedom. Fewer still, however, are connected with the history behind the city of Mount Vernon and the man who made many amenities  of the town possible.

Early History

The history of Mount Vernon, Indiana spans hundreds of years. The area’s geography and location on the Ohio River attracted people from the earliest of times. In fact, our town’s founder, Andrew McFadin, was so impressed by the land’s beauty and high elevation (Mount Vernon is the highest point on the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Cairo, Illinois) that he when he found it, he was determined to make it his permanent home.

Andrew McFadin was a dear friend of Daniel Boone, and like Boone, was a courageous hunter and adventurer. He was always willing to take on the challenge of following old trails and making new ones through the then unknown land to the west of the original 13 colonies. While on an expedition in 1798, McFadin crossed the Ohio River into what is now Posey Countymount vernon, history, celebration, riverfront

He loved the location so much that eight years later in 1806, he built his log cabin home at the foot of what is now College Avenue in our beautiful town of Mount Vernon.

McFadin’s Bluff

Soon after McFadin moved to the land, he was joined by several others, many of whom are descendants of current Mount Vernon residents. As the years flew by, the town was becoming more established. In 1810, a man by the name of James Black built the first mill. It was a horse powered mill used for the grinding of grain, the sawing of lumber, and the making of whiskey. This was an important development because, since the settlement was becoming more and more populated and established, it pushed McFadin to actually name the settlement. At the suggestion of his cousin, William McFadin, the settlement was named McFadin’s Bluff.

This year was also an important year because the Indians, who were still claiming title to the domain in Indiana, were again on warpath. It was in the Battle of Tippecanoe that Tecumseh and the great Miami Confederacy were finally crushed. History books state that thirteen men from McFadin’s Bluff were in the winning battle.

Mount Vernon

In the years that followed the defeat of the great Miami Confederacy, the settlement of McFadin’s Bluff continued to become more established and flourish. In 1816, a group of men gathered in McFadin’s cabin to discuss further development of the settlement. One of them, Sam Rowe, suggested that the name of the village be changed from McFadin’s Bluff to Mount Vernon in honor of his father’s general, George Washington. George Rowe, Sam’s father, had served with General Washington during the Revolution and now his son proposed calling the town Mount Vernon after Washington’s home. The proposal was agreed upon by all the men, and as the story goes, “The men tossed their hats in the air and passed around the jug. Thus McFadin’s Bluff became Mount Vernon.”mount vernon, riverfront, history, celebration, independence


And just as we saw at our town’s Independence Day Celebration at the Riverfront, Mount Vernon is just as beautiful and loved by its people as it was in 1806.  Even though 151 years have passed since Andrew McFadin found our town, his original observations still hold true- our town remains beautiful and we wouldn’t trade living here for anything. As you take time out of your busy lives to celebrate our country’s independence, also remember to take time out to celebrate our beautiful town.

2017 Copyright Greater Mount Vernon. All rights reserved.