Title Reviewed:
The Plank Road

Author Reviewed:
Anna E. Kelley

[Author Unknown]


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 102-102

Article Type:
Book Review

Download Source:

The Plank Road. By Anna E. Kelley. (Greenfield, Indiana: The Old Swimmin' Hole Press, 1951, pp. 141.)

In The Plank Road, Mrs. Kelley relates the story of her ancestors. The first of these to settle in Indiana was Virgil Soper who came to New Harmony about 1830. Approximately three miles south of New Harmony he erected a home which was on the east side of the Plank Road when the latter was completed years later.

The fall of 1833 proved eventful for Virgil Soper as he returned to East Cranby, Connecticut, for his bride, Martha Deborah Thrall. Since she was a young woman of culture, the adjustment to pioneer life was very difficult. As the years passed the family increased and it seemed desirable to move to Mt. Vernon to ensure better educational advantages for the children.

Various events of family life are noted among which was the annual trip made by Soper during the winter on the flat-boat to New Orleans to market his produce. Here he was introduced to the slave market which made an indelible impression on him.

The Thrall lineage indicated ability to write verse and a number of pages are devoted to display lines from their pens.

Virgil and Martha Soper returned to live in New Harmony and in December, 1859, died of pneumonia.

The remaining chapters are devoted to the descendants of the Virgil Soper family. Mrs. Anna Elliott Kelley was a granddaughter of Virgil and Martha Soper.

Published by theĀ Indiana University Department of History.