Dr. John Sanders, early settler of Indianapolis
John H. Sanders was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1791, and lived and worked there before first moving to New Castle and then to Indianapolis in 1829.
In the spring of 1830, Sanders and Nicholas McCarty (see McCarty Street) bought land on the near southeast side of downtown. He lived on the land for several years and then sold a portion of his land to Calvin Fletcher. Sanders also bought three lots on the northwest corner of Market and Illinois streets and built a house which he later sold to the state for use as the governor’s residence.
In 1839, Sanders and his family moved to Ozark Mountains in Missouri, but returned to Indianapolis two years later and built a house on South Meridian Street. In 1850, he went to visit his daughter, who at the time lived in New Orleans. On the return trip home, he was stricken with cholera and died on April 4 aboard a steamer on the Mississippi River.
He was survived by his wife and several daughters, one of whom was Zerelda Wallace, the wife of former Governor David Wallace, step-mother of General Lew Wallace and one of the nation’s leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Another daughter, Jemima, was married to Dr. Richard Gatling , inventor of the Gatling gun.
All photos courtesy of Sergio Bennett.
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