Underground Railroad: The Lindley Family
The Lindleys were a Quaker family in North Carolina; Thomas Lindley started a family mill on Cane Creek in 1755. During the Revolutionary War, the Lindley Mill turned into a bloody battle which left Thomas himself a casualty. Jonathan Lindley, one of Thomas’s sons, led a pilgrimage of eleven families from North Carolina to Lick Creek in southern Indiana in what is now the Hoosier National Forest. Jonathan’s eldest son, Zacharias, settled into Lick Creek two years prior to the caravan. The Lindleys originally intended to move further north into the region, but local Indian skirmishes held them closer to the Kentucky border. Upon arrival to Lick Creek, Jonathan established the Lick Creek Friends Meeting, the first Quaker institution in southern Indiana. He also served as the first representative of his county in the new State of Indiana’s General Assembly. Jonathan’s grandson Thomas Elwood Lindley, built a house in Paoli near Lick Creek in the mid-nineteenth century. Jonathan, an influential Quaker, fought slavery at the institutional level and served in the Indiana State Legislature. Although the function of the Lindley house during the Underground Railroad is unknown, the house is listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. The restored house currently operates as a museum near Lick Creek. Eli and Elizabeth Lindley (other relatives) owned a house in Chambersburg that was a known station in the Underground Railroad. A local Quaker descendant of the Lindleys, Howard Hall, described a trap door covered by a rug near a fireplace in the Lindley house that hid escapees. Sources: Cheryl LaRoche, Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: the Geography of Resistance USDA Forest Service, “Underground Railroad in Indiana: Lick Creek, Hoosier National Forest,” http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r9/home/?cid=stelprd3790778 [http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r9/home/?cid=stelprd3790778] USDA Forest Service, “Lick Creek African American Settlement,” http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5303625.pdf [http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5303625.pdf] Orange County Historical Society, “The Lindley House,” http://www.historicorangecounty.org/lindley.html NCPedia, “Jonathan Lindley,” http://ncpedia.org/biography/lindley-jonathan Our State, “Mill with a Meaning: Lindley’s Mill,” https://www.ourstate.com/lindleys-mill/ [https://www.ourstate.com/lindleys-mill/] “Looking at History: Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest Region, 1600 to 1950,” http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/9/hoosier/sec1a.htm [http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/9/hoosier/sec1a.htm] This information about the Underground Railroad is part of a geo-located multi-forest interpretive program. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources program leadership with any questions or to make changes. SGV – Recreation Data and Information Coordinator.