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Leroy Mayfield Home on National Register of Historic Places

Blog post by Randi Richardson

Richland Township, Monroe County, Indiana, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Lisa Schock did a nice article about the home published in the Bloomington Herald-Times on July 9, 1994.  It was accompanied by a lovely photo taken by Phil Whitlow that showed shuttered windows and a nicely kept lawn.

Leroy Mayfield, a native of Kentucky, was among the first settlers in Monroe County.[1]  He reportedly was born in 1791 to Isaac and Mary (Banks) Mayfield, the oldest of eleven children.

While living in Garrard County, Kentucky, he married Sally Steen and came with her and two babies to Indiana about 1815.[2]  They settled first in Lawrence County.

Three years later, in 1818, together with a member of Sally’s family, he and several others purchased 160 acres from the government. [3]  That property was located in Section 34, T9N, R2W, Richland Township, Monroe County.

Upon his arrival in Monroe County, Leroy and Sally united with the Vernal Baptist Church which was organized in 1817 and dissolved in 1908.  Initially, the church did not have a regular pastor.  In 1824 Leroy was ordained and became the pastor of the church which he served without pay until the time of his death.[4]

Another of his duties was related to the position he held on the Board of Trustees for Indiana College, later Indiana University.  He was appointed as one of 15 board members in 1828, seven of whom were from Monroe County, and served until 1841 or 1842.  His primary responsibility, however, was farming, and he became one of the wealthiest men in the county.

Leroy’s first wife, Sally, with whom he fathered nine children, died in June 1829 at the age of 42.[5][6]  His second wife, Martha Basket, was younger than him by about 15 years.  They married on January 21, 1830, in Monroe County and she gave Leroy six more children.[3]

Perhaps anticipating more children, or providing more space for the children he already had, about 1830 Leroy built a nice home for his family on what is now known 110 N. Oard Road.  He was living in that home with Martha and seven others in 1850 when the property was valued at $5000 or more than $155,000 according to 2019 values.[7]  The children ranged in age from 7 to 28.  Leroy, age about 60, died the following year and was buried near his home in the Mayfield/Vernal Cemetery[8][9]

By 2020, the Mayfield home on Oard Road had begun to languish while several commercial buildings adjacent to the property appear in better repair.  The road, less than a mile in length, is heavily traveled as gravel trucks go back and forth to Ralph Rogers at the end of the road.

 

Fast forward to 1967.  By that year five families had lived in the home.  It was in relatively good condition to be so old but, nevertheless, needed TLC .[10]   Wayne and Rose Horn purchased the home that year with the intent of razing it and building a new home.  However, the longer they lived in the home, the more they loved it.  So over the course of the next seven years they did a complete restoration.

After many happy years in the home, Wayne Horn died in 2009 at the age of 81; Rose survived her husband and died in 2018.  A few years before her death, the home was sold to David Devitt.  Unfortunately, by that time the home no longer looked like the showpiece it was in 1994.[11]


1 Lisa Schock, “Oard Road House Accepted as National History Place,” Bloomington Herald Telephone, July 9, 1994, p. 1.

2 Lora Radiches shared this information on an Ancestry message board for Orange County, Indiana.  She noted her source was a book she purchased on ebay with no cover or author noted.  It is available online at https://www.ancestry.com/boards/localities.northam.usa.states.indiana.counties.orange/997

3 William Taylor Stoff, Indiana Baptist History, privately published, 1908, p. 192.

4 John F. Cady, The Origin and Development of the Baptist Church in Indiana (Berne IN:  Berne Witness Co.) 1942, p. 175.

5 Marcella Deckard, et. al., County Cemeteries of Monroe (Bloomington IN:  Monroe County Historical Society) 1998, p. 268.

6 See “Ancestors of Phil Norfleet:  Mayfield Family Report,” available online at https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/n/o/r/Phil-Norfleet/BOOK-0001/0008-0019.html.

7 Rachel Rice, compiler, Monroe County (IN) Marriage Record Index:  August 1818-November 1881 (Bloomington IN:  Monroe County Historical Society) 1995, p. 81.

8 1850 Population Census

9 Leroy Mayfield obituary, Vernal Baptist Church Registry 1817-1855, Local Family History Microfilm Collection Roll #14, Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, Indiana.

10 Monroe County Historical Society, County Cemeteries of Monroe (Bloomington IN:  Monroe County Historical Society) 1998.

11 Schock, ibid.

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