As the treaties with the Delaware tribes and the forging of the Whetzel Trace opened central Indiana for settlement, the town of Franklin emerged from wilderness, echoing the development of newly christened Johnson County. Founded by Kentucky natives Simon Covert, Garret Bergen, and George King, the land that became Franklin was chosen because of ample waterways and the availability of game. Previously populated by Native Americans within the dense forest, the area was often overlooked because of flooding and harsh, thicketed landscapes. George King persuaded the Indiana Legislature to create Johnson County on December 31, 1822, before persuading the new county’s commissioners to establish the town of Franklin, named after Ben Franklin, as the seat of county government.

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