The Reno Brothers Terrorize Seymour
Oct. 5, 2012
by Rick Osmon – THEI Web Manager/Writer
No, I’m not talking about the blood-sucking plant of the Little Shop of Horrors named Seymour. Although there may be a little bit of blood sucking associated with Seymour, Indiana as well.
After the end of the War Between the States (alternatively named the War of Northern Aggression), there was little work and nearly no prosperity in Seymour, Indiana, a town that had held many sympathizers for the Confederacy, and had even been home to a double handful of saboteurs and provocateurs who went out to aid John Hunt Morgan’s raid into Indiana. Another person of note that went forth to conquer from Seymour was John Mellencamp. His raids continue.
By early October of 1866, the local economy was in a dire state. The only business besides banks that was, to one extent or another, thriving was the railroads. Two rail lines crossed one another in Seymour, and both were doing fairly well. The North/South line, the Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, was built in the 1840s connecting Indianapolis to the Ohio River at Jeffersonville. It ran through the Shields farm at the area that is now Seymour. In 1852 when the East/West railroad, the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, was going to be built, Capt. Meedy Shields who was the cousin of General John Tipton talked the surveyor, John Seymour, into putting it through his land. In return he named the town Seymour. All trains had to stop at a crossroad, making Seymour a bustling community and also making its railroad industry and associated travelers prime targets for criminals. Read more