John James

John James - Founder of Rising Sun

John James was a respected, independent planter from Fredrick County, Maryland. Like so many others at the time, he was taken with an urge to immigrate west. In 1800, there were only 5,000 settlers in the Indiana Territory. By 1810, there were over 24,000. It was during this time that James, his wife Martha, and their children traveled by flatboat to Lawrenceburg, Indiana. After living there for two years and then for two years in Cincinnati, Ohio, James moved his family into a log cabin built by Benjamin Chambers near the Ohio River. In 1814, James purchased 776 acres from Chambers and on May 30th of that year they began to plot out the city of Rising Sun. The original plat contained 96 full-sized lots and 18 fractional lots. Some lots were offered for free as long as settlers built a two story house with a brick or stone chimney. He set aside lots for churches, a school, and a cemetery.