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James and Sophia Clemens Farm

The Clemens Farmstead is one of the few remaining structures of Longtown AKA the Greenville Negro Settlement. Mr. Clemens (1781-1870 founded the settlement, officially bought the land there in 1818 and lived in the settlement until his death. It is estimated that the house was built between 1822 and 1857. According to William Siebert in his manuscript The Underground Railroad, Longtown was a stop in the Underground Railroad. In Siebert’s interview with Col. David Putnam of Palestine August 13, 1898 Mr. Putnam states “At the Greenville Negro settlement was another station. The Clemens and the Alexander’s were the leaders in the movement there. These were Negro families.” The Clemens are listed as Darke County operators in Appendix E (Directory of the Names of Underground Railroad Operators) in Wilbert H. Sierbert’s The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom. Also in the manuscript is a letter from Jno. Reily Knox dated on August 7, 1884 to Professor Siebert Mr. Knox that states “The hunters visited Greenville, and after consultation with a certain law firm, they went in the night to the colored settlement and searched several cabins.” In a 1981 letter from Mrs. Kenton Dye of Winchester Indiana to Mrs. Toni Seller the Director of the Garest Museum, Mrs. Kenton writes that she talked to Maze Clemens a descendant of James Clemens. He stated to her that “His grandfather escorted runaway slaves from Newport (now Fountain City, Indiana) to Longtown where they were hidden all day before being transported to Paulding, Ohio, where it was assumed they were safe.”

Visitor Information: Currently not open to public.

Location: 467 Stingley Road, Greenville, 45331

Website: James and Sophia Clemens Farm

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Cleo Mason & Mary Goens

Location Type: Site

UGRR Operatives: James Clemens,Sophia Clemens