Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900A regional history written by Timothy H. Ball . . . .

Source Citation:
Ball, Timothy H. 1900. Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900 or A View of Our Region Through the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, Illinois: Donohue and Henneberry. 570 p.







Mention has elsewhere been made of the abundant yield of cranberries and huckleberries. The following statements are added. From a marsh, not very large, near his home in Hanover township, Mr. H. Van Hollen gathered one year a few hundred bushels, and the price that year was not less than three dollars per bushel.

Another of the early settlers saw a prospect for a good cranberry crop, he also had an opportunity to buy forty acres of marsh land for two hundred dollars. He made the purchase, the berry crop was large, and the price, it is said, was that season five dollars for a bushel. He paid for his land and had some hundreds of dollars left.

Professor Cox, the geologist, who explored the region around Michigan City in 1873, and mentioning the huckleberry bush on the sandy knolls, which, he says, "is native and very prolific," the fruit of which "is highly esteemed and much sought after," adds: "The shipments in the height of the season reach near three hundred bushels per day, being, to the berry gatherers, a dispensation of ten thousand dollars per


annum." He mentions our other abundant native fruit, cranberries, and says that "about two miles northwest of Michigan City is a marsh of sixty acres * * * which, it is asserted, yields, annually from one to two hundred bushels of berries per acre." These vines are cultivated, that is, they have been planted, but they are, in many marshes, the wild or native growth.


A strip of land, or of marshes and sand ridges, across the north part of Lake County, bears the name Calumet Region. It barely extends into Porter, but does pass out into Illinois. Through it the Calumet River flows west and south, and then returning crosses the strip almost a second time, passing now north of east. The whole area is about seventy square miles. The river, winding quite a little in its lower course, makes probably seventy-five miles or eighty miles in its entire circuit. It is a singular river, a peculiar region. Before the railroads came it was peculiarly a trapping ground and a grand resort for water-fowls, and then for sportsmen. From one of their noted resorts on this river have been sent away twelve hundred ducks as the result of two day's shooting. One trapper has taken in the trapping season about three thousand musk-rats and mink. As late as 1883 this same trapper and his son caught in the fall about fifteen hundred of these valuable fur bearing animals. But the region now is mostly given up to railroads and to cities.


When the last deer was seen in Lake County can-


not certainly be known, but surely very few have been in any of the island groves since 1884.

Occasionally a wolf is yet found, or until very recently. In the spring of 1869 a wolf and eight young ones were killed on the Knoph farm only a mile or two east of Crown Point.

A few musk-rats of the noted Kankakee variety yet remain, and now and then there is found a mink. John Loague, who has a camp at Red Oak Island, in February of 1900 caught a mink which measured three feet from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. It was considered a very large one.

Quails to some extent remain, a few "prairie chickens," some few, very few partridges, may possibly be found on well protected grounds, a few squirrels, many rabbits, some foxes, woodchucks and skunks, and a wolf, the last one yet heard of was killed near Lake Station in February, 1900, a straggler no doubt. Plover and other water fowls yet remain along the Kankakee.


"During one of the very cold and snowy winters of our early times, a large white owl, not a native of this region, was shot on the west side of Cedar Lake. The bird seemed, from its appearance, so thoroughly protected was it from cold, and so white, to be a mountain or an Arctic denizen; and it was agreed to call it a Rocky Mountain Owl, brought out of its usual range and haunts by the great westerly storm.


"In 1857 a bald eagle was shot on the west side of Cedar Lake by David Martin, which measured from tip


to tip of the wings, some seven and a half feet. These American birds, formerly frequent visitors at that lake, have been rarely shot, and are now seldom seen. This is supposed to have been the last one killed around that lake.


"In 1869, Herbert S. Ball, coming up to his home at Crown Point, through the woods east of Cedar Lake, met a magnificent water-fowl which he captured and killed. The plumage was of snowy whiteness, very pure and beautiful. The wings extended from tip to tip nearly eight feet. The head was almost twice the length, and some three times the magnitude of the head of a wild goose. Its neck was very long. Its wings were broad and strong. The long bone of the wing was in length nearly eleven inches. When examined at Crown Point this majestic bird was unhesitatingly pronounced to be an American wild swan, of which a few individuals were shot in Cedar Lake by Alfred Edgerton a number of years ago."


Mills in La Porte County. In 1830 a saw-mill by Captain Andrew near the present La Porte. In 1832 a saw-mill by Chester Vail. In 1833 a saw-mill by Jacob Bryant at Holmesville. Also in 1833 the Ross mill in Springfield township by Erastus Quivey. Also in 1833 three mills in Cool Spring township: One by General Orr, one by Arba Heald, one by Walker & Johnson. Also in 1833 two grist-mills, in Union township, one by John Winchell, one by John and Henry Vail.

In 1834 a fine grist-mill on Trail Creek near Mich-


igan City. This mill became noted, customers coming to it from long distances. Also in 1834 two gristmills in Springfield township, one by Joseph Pagin and one by David Pagin. Also in 1834 a saw-mill in Galena township, the first, and another in Cool Spring township.

In 1835 the first saw-mill in Pleasant township on the Little Kankakee. And in 1835 two more in Springfield township, one by Jacob Early, one by Charles Vail.

In 1836 a saw-mill in Scipio township on Mill Creek by Asaph Webster, and a grist-mill on Spring Creek by Aaron Stanton.

In 1837 the Bigelow mills completed, and in 1838 the grist-mill at Union Mills by Dr. Everts.

It thus appears that there was no lack of mills in La Porte County before the year came of 1840.*

Mills in White County.

In 1836 Joseph Rothrock built the first saw-mill.

In 1844 William Sill started the first grist-mill at a place called Norway on the Tippecanoe. An earlier mill for the settlers was in the edge of Carroll County. Robert Barr had a saw-mill on Moot's Creek in 1838.

Mills in Porter County.

In 1836 on Fort Creek at City West was a saw-mill erected, one of the early ones, but not one of long duration. After sawing up timber into the lumber for that young city it was abandoned.

In 1835 or 36 Samuel Shigley built a saw-mill on Salt Creek south of Valparaiso one mile. Here
*Authority, History of La Porte County by C. C. Chapman & Co.


William Cheney in 1841 built a grist-mill. This is said to be one of the best water powers in the county. This became in after years William Sager's flouring mill.

The first saw-mill in what is now Liberty township was built by Samuel Olinger in 1836 on a little stream called Damon Run. About 1837 William Gossett erected a saw-mill on Salt Creek, and soon after started a grist-mill which became quite noted in early years.

Casteel's mill on Coffee Creek is mentioned as 1836.

Eglon's was another early mill.

It is said that the first regularly laid out road in Porter County connected Casteel's and Gossett's

In later years many mills have been erected in the county. Mills for carding wool were put in operation not far south of Valparaiso, perhaps as early as 1836, one of these on Salt Creek built by Jacob Axe. Cromwell Axe built a saw-mill in 1842.

Mills in Lake County.

Four saw-mills were built in 1837, called Walton's, Wood's, Dustin's, and Taylor's. The last one was on Cedar Creek and soon commenced grinding corn as well as sawing. It afterward became known as the McCarty mill, but was never very profitable. Wood's mill on Deep River soon became a grist-mill with a large amount of grinding to be done, persons coming with the grain from long distances, and at length it became the fine flouring-mill of Nathan Wood of Woodvale. Built by his father it passes to his son.

Other flouring-mills of the county at Hobart, Lowell, and Dyer are of later date.

Mills in Starke County.


These are not early mills, yet the earliest in the county. In 1849 Samuel Koontz built the first sawmill, and in 1853 the first grist-mill commenced work, the lumber of which it was constructed having been sawed at the Koontz mill.


The first Normal school work in Lake County was in 1872. In August of that year T. H. Ball opened a school for the instruction of teachers which at length took the name given above. Gymnasium was used in the German and not the American sense. This school closed in 1879. In the first term thirty lectures were given on subjects beyond the elementary branches of study. Normal classes were afterwards, taught by the county superintendents. Of these superintendents, the present one, Frank E. Cooper, who has been in office since April 17, 1882, at length gave up holding a "summer Normal," and the superintendents of some of the larger graded schools of the county have since conducted a normal school, in July and August of each year, at Crown Point. The normal work in Lake County is largely now reviewing elementary branches for a short term each summer, and is not like the work at Valparaiso.


It has been mentioned as a result of drainage in Starke County that it was leading into beet culture for making sugar. The prospect is now good for this to become a large branch of industry. At Shelby, on lands of the Lake Agricultural Company, many acres in this year of 1900 have been devoted to beet culture.


Beets to be shipped to a sugar factory in Michigan are growing this year at LeRoy, and in Porter and La Porte counties. Near La Crosse a tract of seven thousand acres of land, called the Huncheon tract, was in the spring of this year of 1900 sold to Illinois men at the rate of twenty-five dollars per acre, and these men, it is reported, "intend putting up there soon a large sugar-beet factory." One at La Crosse, one at Shelby, and one at North Judson, will furnish employment for many men and boys, and may help to balance the influence of the northern line of manufacturing cities.


Several years ago, before the days of steam dredges on the Kankakee Marsh, as that marsh region had been a great trapping and hunting and camping ground for Indians, so it became an attractive region for white sportsmen. Not hunters were they nor yet trappers, but simply sportsmen, killing wild animals for the sake of killing. Sportsmen's homes were built at different places on the north side of the river, and persons came from various cities to enjoy wild life, to shoot wild game. On section sixteen, in township thirty-two, range nine, there was a beautiful grove. In those years quite far back, it was an island. Marsh with water was all round it. The surface among the trees was quite level and largely covered with beautiful moss. Being on section sixteen it was called School Grove Island. In these later years it is called Oak Grove. It is still a grove, but not an island now. Its first inhabitant, when it was an island, was John Hunter, a true frontier hunter and trapper, living for years, that secluded trapper life, along the


Kankakee, camping on different islands. He at length made this island his home.

Heath & Milligan of Chicago bought some land on the island, and they with eight other Chicago men built in the fall of 1869 a house for a sportsman's resort. It was called Camp Milligan. It was kept by G. M. Shaver and family. From Chicago and other cities men would come with their guns, spend a few days, register in a book kept for the purpose their success, pay their bills and depart. A regulation of this camp was that no game should be sold. It was not designed for hunters. Some records are these: Eight men in a few days shot sixty-five snipes and five hundred and thirteen ducks; four men, days not given, shot fifty snipes and five hundred and fifteen ducks; "September 11th, Sunday, no shooting"; shooting from September 1st to 17th "except Sunday." Certainly those sportsmen of thirty years ago left a good example for the sportsmen of to-day, an example which is not very closely followed. G. M. Shaver himself shot in one year eleven hundred ducks and other water-fowl. He no doubt could sell.

In 1871 some Englishmen visited Camp Milligan. One was William Parker, understood to be a member of the nobility of England, accompanied by an older man, Captain Blake.

In 1872 they returned with a still younger Parker, (a very agreeable, pleasant, well educated young man, a "younger son" of some noble house), bought land, laid out quite an amount of money, established "Cumberland Lodge," besides a dwelling house and barns, built kennels and brought from England some sixteen very choice hunting dogs of different varieties and other choice blooded English dogs, also some Alder-


ney cows and some horses, obtaining also a black bear and some foxes, and seemed to be laying a foundation for an English country seat.

The Parker brothers, especially the younger one, the elder one was not at Crown Point much, made a very favorable impression upon Crown Point society; but for reasons certainly not made public, they soon disposed of their costly establishment, and, probably, returned to England. Their place, the name, Cumberland Lodge, being retained, went into the hands of some business men of Chicago, some of them very gentlemanly men, who kept it up for many years as a sportsmen's club house.

At English Lake, in La Porte County, a quite similar club house was built. This has been kept open for many years.

On the south side of the Kankakee, in Newton County near Thayer, is quite a large club house, built several years ago, and on the river and the Monon road, just across from Shelby are several small houses for individuals or small parties that come from the cities on the Wabash and south of it. On the other roads where they cross the Kankakee, are special resorts for fowling and fishing. The river is very well shaded, the water quite pure, the seclusion all one need to desire. All these resorts are devoted, partly to rest and recuperation in the summer, but largely to pleasure.

At Baum's Bridge on the Kankakee some wealthy men from Pennsylvania, from Pittsburg, built a summer resort several years ago. Some of them come each season to rest and shoot and fish.

Some families living on the marsh line also take sportsmen as boarders in the shooting season, and


from many cities wealthy business men or men of leisure have for many years spent a few days or a few weeks in a year far from the business world in the shaded and wild retreats of the noted Kankakee Region. But as the drainage becomes more perfect, and when the sugar beet enterprise brings thousands of acres of that land into cultivation, there will be less to attract sportsmen.

When the time for the land sale for Pulaski County was near, it was found that speculators were likely to buy up lands which had been improved by squatters. While accounted dishonorable and worse than dishonorable this was sometimes done. The Golden Rule did not bind men even in those good pioneer days. Fearing that their lands might be thus bought some early entries were made by a few pioneers who had money in their hands. In 1838 S. McNutt entered 640 acres; N. Benjamin and J. H. Thompson 320 acres each; and Josiah C. White 800 acres.

Some speculators or large land buyers were quite honorable. Of this rather small class, it is to be feared, was William Wilson, who in 1834, located Indian floats upon two sections of land, 1280 acres, in Clinton township, La Porte County.

The record is: "Mr. Wilson honorably paid the settlers on the two sections for all the improvements they had made."

There was one feature of pioneer life that does not seem to have been brought out in any descriptions of it referred to in Chapter V., nor yet even in that


chapter. This special feature may be called "Donation Parties." These were gatherings of a congregation, bringing good things and also money, to aid the pastor and his family. Sometimes the people met at some home, or at the pastor's residence, sometimes at a school house. They were made very pleasant occasions.


The Jasper County Telephone Company, stockholders Delos Thompson, C. C. Sigler, and others, was organized in 1895, and work commenced July 5th of that year. Before the year closed poles were erected and wires extended to "Remington, Wolcott, Reynolds, Brookston, Chalmers," and to Lafayette. The towns, and the large farms, and the cattle ranches along the Kankakee, indeed all of Jasper, may be considered as connected by these wonderful telephone wires. The center, of course, is the enterprising city of Rensselaer.

The Crown Point Telephone Company was organized April 6, 1896. About two hundred and forty telephones are now in Crown Point, and lines lead out to Lowell, where is also a company, to LeRoy, to Eagle Creek, to Cedar Lake, and to Hammond. From Lowell there is connection with Hebron and Valparaiso, and with La Porte, and Rensselaer, and over all of Northwestern Indiana. In the directory a list of 126 toll line stations is given extending to Logansport and Kentland and Michigan City and Lake Village. There is a network of telephone wires all over these counties now, the prediction of which sixty years ago would have astonished the pioneers. It is a wonderful means of communication. In some of


the neighborhoods in Lake County, connected with Crown Point, as at Plum Grove, the families of farmers in their homes can talk with their neighbors, or with persons in their homes at Lowell, at Crown Point, at LeRoy, at Hebron, and enjoy the benefit of a personal visit. The same in the other counties is also now the result of this network of wires.


For a number of years Michigan City was the great grain market for the majority of the grain raisers in this part of the State. From Lake County many did their marketing in Chicago. On some of the roads was deep sand, and on others, at times, was deep mud. Better roads were needed. The first experiment in roadmaking was done with planks.

About 1850 the construction commenced of a plank road between Valparaiso and Michigan City, and one was built on part of the road between Valparaiso and La Porte. Some of this latter road was in good condition in 1856. These roads were built by companies or corporations and had toll gates. When new they were very good; but they wore away rapidly; then the roads were very bad. They were expensive and not durable and in a few years were given up.

Years passed. Earth only was used in "working" the roads. Small ditches in low places and raising a central road bed made some improvement. But during portions of the year many of the roads were still in bad condition. Over the country largely the best way to secure good roads was studied and discussed. It was a question for years to quite an extent before the American public. At the Columbus Exposition in 1893 it received no little attention. But as early as


1885 in White County a beginning was made in constructing "gravel roads." The making of such roads has been there continued, and now in this county they build "macadam roads." The Auditor of White County reported for 1898, bonds for the Ormsby Gravel Road, the Chilton Gravel Road, the Thompson Gravel Road, the Fox Gravel Road, the Powell Gravel Road and for two macadam roads, the Vogel and the Winkley. Work on some of these roads was going on in 1899. Number of miles of gravel and macadem roads in White County, when the present roads are completed, 100.

In Lake County the gravel and macadam roads are built "by the townships, Calumet commencing such work in 1890. Roads of one variety or of the other, the macadam roads, so-called, being the latest, are now in Hobart, Calumet, North, Ross, St. Johns, Center, and Cedar Creek townships. Number of miles in Lake County of these improved roads 75. When all are completed in this year of 1900 there will be 130 miles.

In Marion township, in Jasper County, are some good gravel roads running through Rensselaer made in 1893, and all paid for in 1899.

In Newton County are also some gravel roads leading out from Rose Lawn towards Lake Village and one line of road going to Thayer.

These improved roads in all these counties will form not a little part of the large heritage that will be left for the coming generation.

By an act of the Legislature of Indiana in the winter of 1834 and 1835, provision was made for the organization of fifteen counties, among which was Jas-


per, but the organization of this county did not take place till 1838. Says the Historical Atlas of Indiana, certainly a good authority, "This large and sparsely inhabited area of thirteen hundred square miles, including, in the southern portion, some of the finest lands in the State, was then a far-stretching wild, dotted here and there by a solitary cabin, and the Indians roamed almost undisturbed in all directions. The northern part of this territory was then called Newton and the southern part Jasper; the dividing line between the two parts was not far from Rensselaer. This division was only nominal, however." And this appears from the fact that when the County Commissioners met in March, 1839, one of their first acts was to divide Newton County, "or what was more properly Newton township, into two townships." One of these was named Newton and the other Pinkamink.

In Newton the house of Joseph D. Yeoman was selected as the place for holding the coming May election, and the residence of William Donahoe for Pinkamink township, who, although living in a locality said to be near Francesville, was in Jasper and not Pulaski County.

A great advance in population and in wealth took place in Jasper County after 1856, the year in which the inhabitants learned the value of the mucky prairie lands, for Jasper is an agricultural county; but the great development of the county has taken place since 1880, or in the last twenty years, and this by means of ditching and tiling, the steam dredge having come into use for cutting ditches. Many thousands of acres have thus been rendered very productive.



"The Protestant Methodists have half a dozen classes and one or two churches. The Presbyterians organized in 1847, and soon erected a church, which now gives place to the grandest and best edifice in the county. A church was built in Remington in 1866, The Missionary Baptists organized in 1857. The Free Wills in 1853. The Church of God in 1860. The Disciples at Remington in 1867, while the Catholics built at Rensselaer in 1866, and at Remington in 1865. Within a few years the Lutheran and other denominations have erected places of worship at Wheatfield, De Motte, Kniman, and various places in the county."

The above extract is from an editorial in a "Holiday Souvenir Edition" of the People's Pilot, published at Rensselaer in January, 1896. The same publication containing long and interesting articles concerning different denominations, states that "Methodism invaded Jasper County in 1836," and that an organization was effected in 1838, and the first church building at Rensselaer dedicated in 1850.


In La Porte County a sad death took place in the cold of a winter evening. The month was February. The year was 1831. Settlers were not very many then. The township was, in 1834, organized and called Wills. In May, 1836, the northeast corner of it became Hudson township. Into Wills township, as afterwards marked out, came in 1830, John Wills and three sons, Charles, Daniel, and John E., and other settlers followed, among whom were Andrew Shaw, John Sissany, and John S. Garroute. Mrs. Mary


Garroute, wife of the last named settler, went on horseback in February, 1831, over the line into St. Joseph County, to visit a sick friend, Mrs. Garwood. "The day was clear and cold, and, on her return, she stopped at the house of John Wills. After resting a short time she continued her journey homeward. The wind in the meantime had risen, and the snow drifted in sheets." She ought to have staid in the shelter of that home; but her sense of duty no doubt urged her forward. Her struggle for life in the few hours that followed had no human witness. It was supposed that she dismounted at length
from her horse, and sought by the exercise of walking to keep herself from freezing. What was known was the sad fact that the mail carrier, travelling on snow shoes the next morning, found her frozen form lying on the snow, and a fierce wolf, which he had succeeded in scaring away, making directly for it. Evidently she was a kindly disposed and a heroic woman, and so sad a death could not soon in that pioneer neighborhood have been forgotten. That more persons did not perish from exposure and from getting lost on the prairies or in the woodlands may in part be accounted for from the caution exercised not to have women and children exposed in the night time. That men should be thus exposed was sometimes almost unavoidable, and there were some remarkable escapes.

Only two deaths from freezing are on record in Lake County. The death of David Agnew is elsewhere recorded. In 1842, November 17, William Wells, "a very steady, sober, stout, healthy man, perished with cold in a severe snowstorm while returning home from mill," at Wilmington in Illinois. When his body was found


the evidence appeared that, feeling no doubt that he was lost, and becoming, probably, benumbed with cold, he unhitched his horses and set them free, and instead of endeavoring to protect himself as best he could with the means at his disposal in his wagon, started out to get warm by walking. But the intense cold of that November storm was too much for any ordinary endurance. As he was traced out from the wagon his footsteps at first were the usual distance apart as though he had set out with some vigor and hope. But soon the space between the tracks grew shorter and shorter, until at last one foot scarcely advanced at all beyond the other, and the form above them evidently barely moved, and fell at length, without a struggle, asleep in the snow. Very sad, but probably not painful, is such a lone death in a cold winter night.


In Galena township, covered originally with heavy timber, genuine "thick woods," an incident took place which deserves to be placed on record as illustrating the unselfish love of a true father for his child. William Mathews, with a wife and one child, a boy about six years of age, came from Missouri and settled in this township. He is represented as having been a large, powerful man, quiet, unobtrusive, industrious, and devotedly attached to his only child. He was cutting down a large tree one day when a strong wind was blowing. Having cut as much as he thought prudent, he stepped back a few yards to look at the tree, his son by his side. As he looked he saw to his surprise the tree falling rapidly toward them, aided, no doubt, by that strong wind. It is supposed that he


saw no hope of the escape of both, and in an instant with his strong arms he threw the child out of danger and the next instant he lay dead, crushed to the earth beneath that fallen tree. As there is only conjecture to guide here, it is reasonable to suppose that the father determined to make sure of the safety of his son first, and so tossed him out of danger, and then designed to follow him if he could, but the tree caught him before he escaped.

In Wills township in 1835 were the following settlers: John Wills, Asa Warner, John Sissany, Andrew Shaw, David Stoner, Jesse N. West, Howell Huntsman, Mr. Kitchen, Dr. Chapman, Matthias Dawson, George Hunt, John Bowell, Asher White, Edmund Jackson, Joseph Lykins, John Sutherland, Joseph Starrett, William Ingraham, Scott West, John Hefner, Jesse Sissany, William Nixon, William West, Gabriel Drollinger, Andrew Faller, John Vickory, Nimrod West, Jacob Glygean, Jonathan Stoner, John Clark, George Belshaw, Samuel Van Dalsen, Martin Baker, Jesse Collum, John Golbreath, Benjamin Golbreath, and Mr. Gallion.


La Porte. General Packard says: "It is related that when the act for the incorporation of the county was before the legislature a representative from one of the older counties arose to inquire what outlandish name it was they were about to give the new county, and he desired to know what it meant. He was told that the word was French for 'door' or 'gate,' and took its origin from a natural opening through the timber of a grove leading from one part of the prairie to the other. 'Well, then,' said he, ' why not call it Door


County at once and let these high-flown, aristocratic French names alone?' But his advice was not followed, and the county, as subsequently the city, received the beautiful name 'La Porte,' instead of being forever heralded to the world as Door County and Doorburg." This explanation is certainly good, so far as it goes, but if one should ask the further question, Why was a French word taken instead of a word meaning door from some other language? and the true answer would probably be, Because French explorers and traders who were on this region in early times called this natural door-way "La Porte." The English name, however, was given of Door Prairie, and also the name Door Village, both having an agreeable sound.

Hog Prairie in La Porte County derives its name from the fact that some native hogs were found there supposed to have "been scattered by the Indians," whatever that may mean. Hog Creek, of course, took its name from the Prairie.


The figures given above are the present estimated population of this town; but as the number of school children is only "about 380," it is not likely the census returns will give more than 1,400, as the real population. Brookston is in the south part of White County, about four miles south of Chalmers and thirteen miles north of Lafayette. The churches are five: Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, "Christian," and Universalist.

The town is noted for enterprise and has the largest freight business of any town on the Monon line between Hammond and Lafayette. "The streets are


well built and in good condition. The side walks are principally of cement, of which there are about four and a half miles."

Note. As Brookston is south of township 26, and so does not appear on the map, it was not named among the other towns of White County.


1. Immunity from what is called the common lot. Mr. and Mrs. H. Boyd of South East Grove were married in 1843, and had three children and thirteen grandchildren, and their first death was that of the mother and grandmother, Mrs. Boyd, who died in May, 1899, nearly eighty-two years of age. For more than fifty-five years death made no call at any of their homes.

2. An instance of longevity. Mrs. Betsey R. Wason, born in Wilton, New Hampshire, in August, 1818, a member of the noted Abbot family, was married to the Rev. Hiram Wason in October, 1844, was with him in pastoral life at Vevay, Ind., and came with him to Lake Prairie, where he became pastor of the Presbyterian church, in 1857. She was for many years an active and devoted woman in church and Sunday school work, a leader in society, having been a teacher for many years in her earlier life. Having lived and labored together for more than fifty years, Mr. Wason died in June, 1898, in his eighty-third year of life, and Mrs. Wason died December 15, 1898, eighty years of age.

3. Longevity yet more rare. Peter Surprise, the father of Henry Surprise, who is well known in the central and southern parts of Lake County, has been for several years reported as over one hundred years


old. His exact age is not known, but it is considered sure that he is as much as one hundred and five years of age.

4. A large household. Julius Demmon was born in the East July 24,1821. He came into Lake County about 1838, and in June, 1850, was married to Miss Nancy Wilcox, and commenced farming. He began life with but little property, but, as a careful and successful farmer, he accumulated, until he became owner of about two thousand acres of valuable land not far from Merrillville. He had six sons and six daughters, all of whom married and settled within some three miles of his home. He died in October, 1898, and at the burial services there were gathered eighty members of two generations, six sons with their wives all present, and six daughters with their husbands, all present, and sixty-one grandchildren, these nearly all present, making some eighty-two or three, beside the minister and Mrs. Demmon's sister, Mrs. Inez Gibson, who stood for a few moments in the crowded room for a short service before the body was removed for burial. That minister, who had stood amid many groups gathered around their dead in Indiana and Illinois and Alabama, and amid large households, never expects amid such a peculiar group to stand again.

The city of La Porte, in regard to its burial ground, called Pine Lake Cemetery, shows that its inhabitants have reached a high grade of civilization. It is situated about two miles north of the city, "was laid out under the State laws in 1835, and contains forty-seven acres." The first president of the association was Gilbert Hathaway. President for many


years, General Joseph Orr, under whose directions the grounds were improved, and these improvements with its natural advantages render it "one of the most beautiful places in La Porte County." And for those who know La Porte County that is saying much.


The names of the papers published in these counties will here be given, followed by the names of the editors of each, the editors being generally also the publishers.

1. Newton County. At Kentland, The Kentland Democrat, Edward Steinback, and Newton County Enterprise, H. A. Strohm. At Brook, The Brook Reporter, O. B. Stonehill. At Morocco, The Morocco Courier, W. W. Miller. At Goodland, Herald and Journal, A. J. Kitt. At Rose Lawn, Review, J. W. Crooks. In all six.

2. Jasper County. At Rensselaer, Democratic Sentinel, James W. McEwen, Jasper County Democrat, F. E. Babcock, Journal, Leslie Clark, Republican, George E. Marshall. At Remington, The Remington Press, Griffin and McNickol. At Wheatfield, Kankakee Valley Telephone, F. H. Robertson. In all six.

3. White County. At Monticello, Evening Journal, C. M. Reynolds; Monticello Herald, J. B. Vanbuskirk; White County Democrat, Clarke & Simons; White County National, J. C. Smith. At Wolcott, Wolcott Enterprise, E. A. Walker. At Chalmers, The Chalmers Ledger. W. A. Watts. At Brookston, The Brookston Gazette, George H. Heeley. At Monon, Monon News, W. D. Harlow. At Idaville, Idaville Observer, B. E. McCall. In all nine.


4. Pulaski County. At Winamac, Democrat-Journal, "Established in 1857," bought by the present editor, M. H. Ingrim, in 1865, then Democrat, consolidated with the Journal in 1884; the Winamac Republican, "Newton Brothers, Publishers," C. W. Riddick; Pulaski Democrat, J. J. Gorrell. At Star City, Star City News, C. W. Riddick. At Monterey, Monterey Sun, Young Bros. At Francesville, Francesville Tribune, E. D. Knotts. At Medaryville, Advertiser, H. C. Schott. In all seven.

5. Starke County. At Knox, Starke County Democrat, S. M. Gorrell; Starke County Republican, John L. Mooman; The Knox Crescent. At North Judson, North Judson News, J. Don Gorrell. In all four.

6. La Porte County. At La Porte, La Porte Argus, H. E. Wadsworth; La Porte Herald, E. Molloy; La Porte Republican, C. G. Powell; La Porte Bulletin, Catholic American, Harry B. Darling, Monthly. At Michigan City, Michigan City Dispatch, J. B. Faulkner; Michigan City News, Robb & Carpenter; Frei Lanze, Karl Freitag, Kirchenbote, Antone Hudster, Ph. D. Congregational Conference. At Wanatah, Wanatah Mirror, L. J. Gross. At Westville, Westville Indicator, Charles E. Martin. In all eleven.

7. Porter County. At Valparaiso, Messenger and Evening Messenger, E. Zimmerman; Porter County Vidette and Star-Vidette, Welty & Cook; Porter County Journal, G. W. Doty; Evening Hoosier, E. E. Small; Independent Forester of America (monthly), Frank H. Klier. At Chesterton, Chesterton Tribune, A. J. Bowser. At Hebron, Hebron News, A. W. Barnes. At Kouts, Record, R. E. Helms. In all ten.


8. Lake County. At Crown Point, Crown Point Register, A. A. Bibler (Bibler & McMahan, publishers), now in Vol. 43; The Lake County Star, J. J. Wheeler, in "twenty-ninth year;" Crown Point Freie Presse, Henry Barck. At Lowell, Lowell Tribune, Ragon & Ragon. At Hobart, Hobart Gazette, Smith & White; Hobart Cyclone, Z. E. Irvin. At East Chicago, East Chicago Globe, Allison P. Brown. At Whiting, Whiting News, J. H. Barnett; Whiting Sun, Cecil Ingham. At Hammond, The Hammond Tribune, Percy A. Parry; Lake County News, S. E. Swaim; Hammond Daily Republican, Porter B. Towle; Deutsche Volks-Zeitung, Wilhelm Schnett. In all thirteen. Total number sixty-six.


Among the four quite aged men now residing in Crown Point is Mr. John Millikan, an aged and now retired journalist. He was born in Delaware County, Ohio, July 16, 1814, while war with England was still going on, and his birthplace was called Fort Morrow, a fort built on his grandfather's land. When twelve years of age he commenced in the town of Delaware to learn the art of printing. In February, 1837, then twenty-two years of age, he came to South Bend, and as a practical printer he commenced his editorial life on a paper called the Free Press. This paper was at length bought by Colfax and West, who changed its name to the St. Joseph Valley Register, and Editor Millikan, in 1845, removed to La Porte, where he purchased of Thomas A. Steward the La Porte Whig. This name, in 1852, was changed to La Porte Union. In 1867 he left the newspaper line and went to Chicago, but in 1871 returned to Indiana and resumed


at Plymouth editorial work, purchasing there and publishing the Plymouth Republican. After six years in Plymouth he made one more change and came to Crown Point in 1877. He soon commenced the publication of a new and interesting paper called the Cosmos, but before long he purchased one-half of the Crown Point Register, a paper established in 1857, and not very long after he obtained the entire interest and control of this paper and published it successfully until 1891, when already seventy-seven years of age, and for a time in rather feeble health, he sold all his interest in the Register and retired to a more quiet life. He is a good printer, has been a judicious editor, and has spent fifty years of a long life in printing offices at South Bend and La Porte, at Plymouth and in Crown Point. Although now eighty-six years of age his step is quick like that of a vigorous man of sixty, his hearing is remarkably good, and all his faculties seem to be unimpaired. 



Transcribed by Steven R. Shook, April 2012


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