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A farm and the former Bethesda U.B. Church are all that is left of the small community called Makin that was busy enough for its own post office from 1855 to 1859, intermittently from 1882 to 1886, and then continuously from 1886 until 1902.

Makin today - looking southeast along the Bracken Rd. towards 750 W.

Plant, Automotive tail & brake light, Sky, Vehicle registration plate

Former Makin United Brethren Church (now a private residence)

Plant, Sky, Wheel, Building

Jean Gernand’s article on Warren Township has this to say about Makin:

“A small settlement called Makin sprang up around Elias Sprinkle’s shoe cobbler’s shop. It later had two stores, a Blacksmith shop, post office and a brick school house. …

It may be surprising to learn that President Theodore Roosevelt once appeared at a political rally in Huntington, and that the Makin area had its own group of ‘Rough Riders. They were 70 young men in uniforms who practiced their drills on horseback in a field near Makin. ‘T. R.’ was so impressed with their performance in the parade that he asked them to go around a second time.”

[The practice field was just south of Makin at the intersection of 900N and 750W.]

District School #4 was located in Makin from before 1866 until sometime after 1879 but before 1903 according to the maps when it was relocated one mile south. Even then, the school fell victim to consolidation after the 1917-18 school year. Neither school building survives. 

Township by Township relates:

“As early as 1837, settlers in the [Makin] area began gathering in a cabin to worship. They next built a log church, which was called Plank Road Chapel, or the Slusser Church. In 1875, a frame church was constructed and given the name Bethesda. This was an active congregation and once had 90 members. … There is a beautiful painting of the church done by John R. Michael on display at the Huntington County Historical Museum.”

It is said that during the Civil War of the twelve men of the church’s congregation who enlisted, only three returned. Makin’s church continued to exist long after the hamlet. It finally closed in 1991 and has been a residence ever since.

In July 1855, Makin’s first post office was approved under the name of “Australia.” Benjamin Slusser was its post master. He was succeeded by Henry Dishong and then Anthony Youkinan(?) [the ledger of appointments is very hard to read]. Only a week after Anthony was appointed, the Australia post office was discontinued in Sep 1859. It was reestablished under the name of postmaster Abraham Makin in 1883 and operated until Aug 1885 when it was discontinued once again. In January 1886, when the hamlet once again applied for a post office, they asked for the name of Hensel. That was rejected, but the former name of Makin was accepted. It’s been Makin ever since, although the post office was closed for good at the end 1902. 

  1. Ghost Towns of Huntington County. 1971. Doris Chambers, p26-31
  2. U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, 2010. Original data: Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls. Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group Number 28. Washington, D.C.: National Archives
  3. M1126, Post Office Department Reports of Site Locations 1837-1950. Roll 162: Indiana, Hancock – Jasper Counties. Image 778 and 822 – 825 of 1190 – Application for post offices at Australia and at Makin/Hensel. 1986. National Archives and Records Administration. Online access at
  4. Huntington County, Indiana History: Township by Township. 2004-2005. Jean Gernand.
  5. Map of Huntington County, Indiana: 1834 – 1984. 1984. Huntington County Historical Society.
  6. Huntington County, Indiana: History & Families. 1993. Huntington County Historical Society. Paducah, Ky: Turner Pub. p57.
  7. “Bracken … established out of necessity … faded into obscurity.” 23 Sep 2010. The Tab (Huntington, Indiana).
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