The History of Englishton Park

Englishton Park has a long history of tradition and community involvement dating back to the early 1800s. Various influential political figures have played a huge role in what Englishton Park is today. It has gone through many changes since its inception, but it has always kept one goal in mind: to help drive positive influence to those who need assistance the most.

Iconic Figures

William Hayden English

1822-1896

- Born in Lexington, IN as the 5th generation of the English Family

- Attended Hanover College before practicing in the Circuit Court at the age of 18

- Elected Secretary of Constitutional Convention in 1850

- Member and Speaker of the Indiana State House of Representatives from 1851-1852

- Served as the US Representative for the Indiana 2nd District from 1853-1861

- Organized the First National Bank in Indianapolis (1863) and served as the president until 1877

- Ran as the Vice President of the United States for William S. Hancock during the 1880 election

- Moved to Indianapolis with his family in 1880, leaving Englishton Park as his families summer residence

- Upon his move to Indianapolis, he began construction of the "English Block" on the northeast corner of the circle in Indy which included the English Hotel and the English Opera House

- William H. English married Miss Emma Mardulis Jackson and they had two children, William Eastin English and Rosalind English

William Eastin English

1850-1926

- Born in Lexington, IN to William Hayden English and Miss Emma Mardulis Jackson in 1850

- In 1892, William Eastin English served as a delegate at the Chicago National Democratic Convention where he gave a successful speech to nominate Grover Cleveland as President of the United States

- A delegate of the National Convention again in 1896, William changed parties and was a popular speaker for Presidential nominees McKinley and Roosevelt

- In 1898, William was offered a position as Major of the Army during the Spanish-American War which he declined, but was commissioned as a Captain

- During the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba, his horse (Santiago) was struck by a shrapnel shell causing the horse to fall on top of William, severely injuring him

- Accompanied President Taft during his speaking tour of Indiana in 1904

Rosalind Orr English

1903-1924

- Daughter of Captain William Eastin English and Helen Orr English

- Named after the sister of William E. English

- Unveiled the statue of William H. English in Scottsburg, IN at the age of four in 1907

- In 1924, Rosalind was admitted to the State Bar for her Lawyer License

- Hobbies included horseback riding and piloting airplanes

- Tragically died at a young age due to an automobile accident in 1924

Dr. Harve Rawson

1934-2011

- Born in Webb City, Missouri

- Received his BA in Psychology from Antioch College and his MA and PhD in Psychology from The Ohio State University

- Post-doctoral studies at the University of Iowa and Florida State University

- Worked as a Professor of Psychology at Hanover College for 32 years

- 2-time Fulbright Scholar in Psychology

- Founded the Englishton Park Summer Children's Program in 1970

- Served as the head of the Psychology Department at Hanover College

- Dr. Rawson was the Program Director of the "Englishton Park Academic and Training Program" from 1970-1993

- He has been recognized by the state of Indiana as a "Sagamore of the Wabash" and by the state of Kentucky as a "Kentucky Colonel"

- Rawson was a prolific writer of over 100 scholarly journal articles, over 500 professional presentations, and nine books, including "Captain English's Legacy: The Englishton Park Children's Program" and "Purposeful Parenting: A Practical Guide for Today's World"

- Founded the Jefferson County Youth Shelter in Madison, IN

- Rawson was also a world traveler who has visited over 100 countries and has been to all 7 continents

Events

Englishton Park

- The English Manor Home was constructed in 1840-1841

- The home was expanded in 1896 to a 23 room, Mount Vernon style house

- The still-standing barn was built in 1914 in 100 days by a large group of laborers

- Upon Captain William E. English's death in 1926, Englishton Park was left in trust in his will to be utilized as a summer home for needy children "primarily of Marion County, secondarily of Scott County"

- Unfortunately, the manor home was razed in 1969 due to structural concerns and issues

- From 1926-1958, the 800 acre estate was essentially abandoned until the court awarded it to Presbyterian National Mission Homes, Inc. from the Lincoln Trails Synod

- The court interpreted the will to allow the corporation to use the estate for children in other counties and age groups as they saw fit

- The Manor House began being used for housing and care for the elderly in 1959

Roe-Seal Retirement Home

- Built through a bequest of Miss Mary Roe of Kentland, IN

- Named in honor of her father, mother, and sister (Charles, Addie and Mildred Roe) and her aunt, grandfather, and grandmother (Mary, Robert, and Mary Stewart Seal)

- The building originally had 17 apartments in 1962 for the elderly before an additional 22 apartments were built in 1977

- The expansion was called "The Parker Wing" and was made possible by the sale of 100 acres of land

- Katherine Parker lived in a home on the main campus and played a very large role in fundraising for Englishton Park

- Dr. R.F. Struck was another notable fundraiser for the Park and served as the administrator for the Roe-Seal Retirement Home in 1975

- Dr. Struck also served as the part time Director of Public Relations and Promotion for Englishton Park in the 1970's

- The population of the retirement home slowly declined over time before changes to Medicare and Medicaid rules allowed for the decision to close in 1997

- A new tenant came and went after expenses became too high in 2000 largely due to a downturn in the national economy

- This led to Englishton Park selling 406 acres of unused land from the original estate to allow them to continue searching for a new tenant

Children's Summer Program

- Following a pilot run of the program in 1969, Dr. Harve Rawson founded the nationally recognized camp program in 1970

- Rawson coordinated and led the 10-day training program leading up to the start of camp

- Marion and Scott county make up the majority of children at the camp, but many other counties in Indiana and surrounding states have been included in the camps long history

- The children accepted into the program come from referral agencies and are between the ages of 6-12

- Each summer, Englishton Park hosts 3-4 sessions with around 130-140 campers

- Every child receives and individual therapy program upon arrival put together by 16 staff members working with the kids

- This program currently one of the longest-lived short-term residential treatment programs in Indiana

- The Children's Program has shown to help individuals achieve higher academic success in areas they struggled with before and is still happening every summer to this day

The information above was compiled from past and present board members, friends of Englishton Park Presbyterian Ministries, and condensed from the book "Lexington" by Mary Wilson and Sharon Asher (later updated Carl L. Boyd and Cory Walker for reprint). Many of the facts after 1955 were gleaned from articles in The Give-away, The Scott County Journal, The Scott County Chronicle, and the Madison Courier. Lexington resident Joe Gibson also shared an abundance of facts and photos of the English family and the Lexington area. 

Executive Director: Larry Truax

Children's Program Supervisors: Thomas and Lisa Barnett

Groundskeeper: Terry Alcorn

Call us:

Summer: (812) 889-2046

Other:      (812) 889-2681

Find us: 

2426 S. English Dr. Lexington, IN 47138