Starting a town: Carmel’s history


The following is an excerpt from Zina Warren’s 1911 book, “Reminiscences of the Long Ago,” a historical account of the early settlement of Bethlehem, which later became Carmel.


In 1837, my father (Daniel Warren) set about starting a town here, being the intersection of the roads and where four farms cornered, the southwest being his own. Two others, Alexander Mills on the northeast and John Phelps on the southeast, were willing to have land platted and sell lots, but on the northwest, the owner was unwilling. My fathered offered him $100 for an acre, enough for four lots. That being such a big price, he accepted it. Then the grounds were platted and recorded under the name of Bethlehem.

There were a plenty of tadpoles then, and my father, meeting a neighbor who was opposed to having a town, told him we had a town and its name was Bethlehem, and his answer was “Yes, Tadpoles Glory.”

My father sold lots at whatever he could get for them in order to start the town. One he sold for 5 yards of homemade jeans of indifferent quality, and the purchaser was to build a house on it and did, of small round logs, the cracks filled with clay and about large enough for a poultry house; but it filled the contract.

The post office was named Carmel, because there was one in the state by the name of Bethlehem. In the early ‘60s when the town was incorporated, the name was changed to Carmel to accord with the name of the post office.


Celebrate Carmel’s 175th

A Founders Dinner will be held April 13 – the actual date of Carmel’s founding – to celebrate the community’s 175th anniversary. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Ritz Charles and features Carmel High School graduate Steve Inskeep of National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Carmel Clay Historical Society. For more information, visit


Zina Warren was the son of Daniel Warren, who founded Bethlehem, now Carmel. Zina was born in 1831 and died in 1911.