In 1837, an enslaved family of three escaped from Missouri; settled six miles north of here 1839 with name Rhodes. In 1844, Singleton Vaughn arrived at their home to claim them; family resisted until neighbors arrived. Vaughn agreed to take family to Noblesville for trial. In route, a crowd stopped Vaughn, demanding the family be taken to Westfield.
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Urged on by the crowd, driver of wagon carrying family sped to Westfield; family escaped before wagon reached town. Vaughn sued some in crowd, for interfering with his right to reclaim slaves. In Vaughn v. Williams, 1845, jury found defendants not guilty, finding Rhodes family had been freed when a previous owner moved them to Illinois, a free state.