New Washington Township, Clark County, Indiana was organized in 1816. The village of New Washington was laid out in 1815 by David Copple, Bala Johnson and Adam Keller, all of whom owned land in the vicinity. They platted 128 lots, each 90x150 feet. There were roads to Charlestown, the Ohio River and Scott and Jefferson Counties. Because New Washington was on the main roads to Madison and Lexington, it grew rapidly.
Taverns with stores and produce exchanges were common. The first was operated by John Lowder, then came Joseph Bowers, Jacob Duges, Robert Tilford, William Robinson, and others. Mills were an early industry, either water mills or, sometimes, horse mills. Stills were also important, many of them associated with mills. Both whiskey and brandy could be traded to the Indianans for furs. Among the first distillers, most of whom were on Fourteen Mile Creek, were James Owens, Andrew Bowers, and James Smith. Corn produced about three gallons of whiskey per bushel; peach brandy was popular, and often made by local settlers. Tanneries, while not as common as still houses, were still frequent, and another early industry. Andrew Kimberlin began the first in 1812-1813, before the town was laid out. A Post Office was established in 1817, once the town had fifty to sixty inhabitants. Mail was carried by horseback, starting at Jeffersonville, through Madison, New Washington and Charleston. Early Post Masters, although not the first, included Joseph Bower and Robert Tilford.
In 1819 Bala Johnson added an addition to the west side of town, with an additional nine lots. David Frazier, resident before 1820, who ran a gristmill and later a sawmill, was also a wheelwright and edge toolmaker, while Charles Downey became the first blacksmith about 1820. A Baptist church was also built in town in 1820, of hewed logs.
By 1833 the Indiana Gazetteer described New Washington as a post-town with 150 inhabitants, 3 mercantile stores, and several mechanics of various trades.