Documentary History of American Water-works

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North Central States
Indiana Attica

Attica, Indiana

Attica was settled in 1825 and incorporated as a town in 1849 and as a city in 1866.

The first waterworks were built by Levi Hollovy in 1835, when he leased the McDonald Springs and distributed water through wooden pipes.  He transferred the system to the Attica Hydrant Company.

The Attica Hydrant Company was incorporated in 1848 with William Zeigler, William Crumpton, and Norman S. Brown appointed as commissioners to sell stock "for the purpose of furnishing said town with hydrant water."  They expanded and improved the earlier system, which operated well until 1858 when the logs began rotting and were not replaced.  Marshall M. Milford, J. L. Standard, and others, at their own expense, bought and laid iron pipes from the springs to the top of the hill in order to keep the water flowing and preserve the lease.  The city became involved in 1873 and began running pipes, and in 1875 began work on a new system.

Water is provided by the City of Attica.

1848 An act to incorporate the Attica Hydrant Company.  February 16, 1848.

1881 History of Fountain County, by Hiram Williams Beckwith
Pages 181-182:  WATER-WORKS.
The greatest of Attica’s improvements are her water-works. As early as 1835 Levi Hollovy leased the McDonald Springs (the same now owned by the city), and commenced the work of bringing the water down town. He built a dam where David Smith’s residence now is, and in it he “water-seasoned ” the logs, which he afterward bored by hand and laid down as water-pipes. He brought the water down the ravine as far as N. S. Brown’s lot, then diagonally across to Main street and across to a boarding-house that stood near McDermond’s corner. A section of these old pipes was unearthed a few years ago in digging a cellar, and was found almost as sound as the day it was laid, forty years before. After remaining in his control a few years he transferred the lease to a stock company, which brought the water upon the hill near J. C. Dick’s residence, and ran a line of pipes as far south as James B. Walker’s. From this line other lines, running down the intersecting streets, were laid, and for a long time these furnished Attica with a bountiful supply of clear, cool spring water. Up to 1858 the water continued to flow, but the logs rotted in different streets and were never replaced, and at length the enterprise was allowed to fall through. Marshall M. Milford, J. L. Standard, and others, at their own expense, bought and laid iron pipes from the springs to the top of the hill in order to keep the water flowing and preserve the lease. In 1873 the city council took the matter in hand, and finally laid pipes from the Milford hydrant down Main street, and afterward conveyed it to Jackson and Mill streets, and located public hydrants at convenient distances. This partial system failed to give satisfaction, and in 1875 the work of furnishing the entire town with water began in earnest, and resulted in the buying of the springs, the building of a reservoir at the foot of the hill, another larger one at the top of the hill, and purchasing of two Dean pumps to force the water from the lower one to the upper one, whence the water is distributed to all parts of the city. The laying of pipes continued until now the following streets are supplied: Main, Jackson, Monroe, Brady, Mill, Perry, Columbia, Pike, New, Yount, Vine, Logan, Fifth and Sixth, making altogether five miles of pipe. The business part of town, which is 149 feet lower than the upper reservoir, is protected by a system of fire hydrants (and this is being extended to other portions of the city), for which about 2,000 feet of hose, with reel-carts, is provided. This fall is equivalent to a stand-pipe 150 feet high, and, while our works are natural, the water is pure and cool. The entire cost of the works, which are surpassed by none in the state, is only $40,000.

1883 Attica, from Engineering News 10:449 (September 22, 1883)

1888 "Attica," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Attica," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Attica," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Attica," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

© 2017 Morris A. Pierce