City was founded on a high place

    Max Miller, who, along with Larry Isch, co-chaired the Decatur 175th Anniversary Committee, read a summarized history of Samuel Rugg at Sunday's ceremony to honor the founder of Decatur.
    Rugg was born in 1805 in Oneida County, New York; came to Cincinnati in 1825; and moved into Indiana in 1833.
    He made a home in what became Root Township and, after the county was created three years later, he began riding a horse around the area to find a suitable place for a county seat.
    Rugg met Johnson, who told him the land on which Decatur now rests was high enough to avoid flooding and heavily-wooded enough to provide plenty of material to build a town.
    Miller noted that Rugg went on to serve 20 years as Adams County's clerk, four years in the state senate, and some years as the state's superintendent of public instruction.
    Rugg moved to Huntsville, Alabama, because it is warmer and died there in 1871, age 66. He always considered Decatur his home, so he was buried in Decatur Cemetery.
    Miller pointed out that various ideas in the 20th century to honor Rugg with a sculpture, a bust, or other memorial never succeeded, although historian French Quinn did get the words "Founder of Decatur" inscribed on Rugg's headstone in 1941, 70 years after his death.