Douglas Bruce McFadden died June 14, 2017 and took a lot of intellect, humor and history with him. Fortunately, he wrote a book, The McFaddens: A Family of Frontiersmen 1258-1950 (now 2017), which left us his Posey County historical legacy.
Doug was great fun to talk with about history and politics; he knew both subjects thoroughly. Of course, his family was the McFaddens of McFaddens Bluff, now Mt. Vernon, Posey County, Indiana. When the McFaddens landed here in 1805 they were greeted personally by General William Henry Harrison who told young Mary McFadden she was the first white woman to land in the Indiana Territory, which was then part of the Northwest Territory.
As Doug says in his book: “The McFadden name has several spellings depending on the mood of the individual … All belong to the same Scottish Clan that originated in the 12th century.” Father George Rapp when he was trying to buy land for his New Harmonie community wrote several letters and referred to the owners variously as McFadin, MacFahrlin, McFadians and McFadden from whom he sought to buy land at less than $15.00 per acre.
To have had the pleasure of knowing Doug was to know the history of not only Posey County, Indiana but also America, directly and personally. As Doug said in the Introduction to his book:
“This is not a story about celebrity or fame but of courageous, honest, hardworking people … who participated in the carving of a new nation and the building of America.”
That pretty well describes Doug. Even those of you who did not have the pleasure of his company have suffered a deep loss.