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Livingston County History
Celebrating 150 Years, 1821-1981
Published by The Retired Senior Volunteer Program
The town of Mooresville lies north of the present Highway 36 and South of the west branch of Grand River. The Burlington Railroad goes through the town but for several years, the mail was just thrown off and the train did not stop.
In 1860 the town of Mooresville was platted and named for W. B. Moore. Mr. Moore came to the county in 1844. He lived in a rough cabin, which was already there, located just across north from where the old depot was built. When he arrived, he brought a small stock of goods and kept store for a short time.
Moore left there and went to California but returned in 1849. He built a new home soon after his return and gave some land for the first school house for the newly organized district. The location was where the former Vadnais garage was located.
In 1860 the first post office was established and the postmaster was S. A. Brock. The first regular 30 depot was built in 1865. The town now had a Brock Store, post office, and blacksmith shop.
The town grew slowly after the Civil War. New dwellings were built, some in the springs and some “uptown”.
In 1874, Mooresville was incorporated because of fast and reckless driving through the town street by horse drawn rigs.
In 1871 the Cumberland Presbysterian Church was organized. In 1872 they built a frame building costing $800. In 1886 they had a membership of 25. In 1864 the Methodist (South) Church was organized. In 1888 a building was built costing $1400, In 1886 the membership was ninety. The church is still located there and used.
In 1874 the Christian Church was started. They built a building in 1875 and in 1886 had twenty-four members. The church still serves the community and just a few years ago they added a fine new edition.
The bank was organized about 1904 and its president was Mr. Cusick. It closed about 1930 and not one cent was lost as every depositor was paid in full.
By 1912 Mooresville had street lights, two garages, one general store run by Mr. Edson and as often as once or twice a week, they had a picture show. Nearly every home had a radio and car. The first car was owned by Mr. Mayhew in 1901. From near the first of the 20th century a private telephone system was in use for 35 years. Later, there was a community telephone system. About 1950 this was bought by the Green Hills telephone system. This is still in service.
The town, in 1912, had a community well, using a bucket and pulley to secure clear sweet water for town use. This was located just south of the Burlington Depot.
Mooresville Springs or first called Sulphur Springs was located 1/4 mile north and 1/4 mile west of Mooresville. In 1842 Mr. James Lawson, traveling from Kentucky, found several springs and needing a rest, stopped. He was disturbed by a thick mineral coating on the cooking utensils and moved to another spring of fresh water.
Mr. E. J. Moore decided the sulphur water might cure the dreaded disease of hog cholera. There the hogs drank and not a one was lost from cholera.
About 1901, the spring was analyzed and found to contain valuable minerals to combat diseases of the stomach and liver. The water became famous as a “cure” and a large frame hotel was built there by D. T. Fiske. The hotel had a balcony around two sides and a central hall. Accomodations were superior, rates were reasonable and the hotel gave curative baths, both hot or cold. Dr. Fiske had many satisfied patients for many years.
A pop bottling company located near by, had bottled a health giving drink from the spring water. They had routes to every town to sell the bottled water until about 1905.
About 1925 the hotel burned and was not replaced as spring water, bath and drinking water use had declined everywhere. The site of the Spring hotel and dance floor became a picnic grounds and many reunions and 4th of July picnics were held there. A few people came to drink the curative waters until 1936, where a pump and little shelter house still stood over the springs.
The Mooresville cemetery was laid out in 1870. In 1878 a Masonic Lodge No. 407 was organized, in 1886 the membership was twenty-seven.
The United Workman Lodge was organized in December of 1877. The lodge had forty members.
In 1920 the town boasted of a cooperative general store, Hudgins Grocery and post office, four sandwich shops or eating places, a garage, lumber yard, Vadnais and Zullig General Produce (chickens and eggs), Austin’s Meat Market, Bank and Depot.
In 1980, Mooresville has a post office but the mail carrier comes from Ludlow, two churches are in use, and many fine people live there. The population is about 150 and the citizens drive to work on relocated highway 36. Grocery shopping and doctors are located in Chillicothe or other large cities.
Since 1958 all school students are bussed to Southwest school located near Ludlow at a central location of four small towns which were consolidated in 1957; they were Dawn, Utica, Mooresville and Ludlow. Before the new building was made the students went to Mooresville for high school and the grade school students stayed in their local schools. Mooresville school was first consolidated about 1920 with the surrounding districts for the education of high school pupils; because of controversy over the election, the new building couldn’t be built until 1926. It was located just south of the old frame one-story building and several additions were added over the years.
-- Mildred Bozdeck and Linda Thomas