Miscellaneous ItemsA catch-all category of Porter County items of interest . . . .

Porter County Histories

    1876 History of Porter County by A. G. Hardesty
    1878 History of Porter County by Hubert M. Skinner
    1882 History of Porter County by W. A. Goodspeed and C. Blanchard
    1912 History of Porter County by The Lewis Publishing Company
    1923 History of Porter County by Deborah H. Shults-Gay
    1936 History of Porter County by Mabel Benney
    1956 History of Porter County by John Drury

Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900

Timothy H. Ball wrote Northwestern Indiana from 1800 to 1900, which was published by the printer Donohue and Henneberry of Chicago, Illinois, in 1900. Ball was an early settler of Porter County, arriving in the northern portion of the county in 1837. He later moved to Lake County, Indiana, where he was very actively involved in writing histories of Lake County and the surrounding region. This book embraces historical information concerning the counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, Starke, and White. However, rather than presenting material on a county-by-county basis, Ball provides a more holistic review of the entire area embraced by Northwestern Indiana. Substantial information concerning Porter County is included in this book.

The Country Hearth Journal: The Journal of Northwest Indiana

With only four issues published in 1993 before ceasing operations, The Country Hearth Journal: The Journal of Northwest Indiana covered historical events and people in Porter County, as well as surrounding counties. Each of the four issues is provided below as a full content and searchable pdf file. Note that these issues are large files and may take considerable time to load on slower Internet connections, such as dialup.
    The Country Hearth Journal - September 1993
    The Country Hearth Journal - October 1993
    The Country Hearth Journal - November 1993
    The Country Hearth Journal - December 1993

Shadbonna: An Historical Journal of Northwest Indiana

With only four issues published in 1998 before ceasing operations, Shadbonna: An Historical Journal of Northwest Indiana covered historical events and people in Porter County, as well as surrounding counties. Each of the four issues is provided below as a full content and searchable pdf file. Note that these issues are large files and may take considerable time to load on slower Internet connections, such as dialup.
    Shadbonna - Volume 1, Number 1
    Shadbonna - Volume 1, Number 2
    Shadbonna - Volume 1, Number 3
    Shadbonna - Volume 1, Number 4

Catalogs, Souvenir Programs, and Informational Brochures

The following catalogs, souvenir programs, and informational brochures, sorted by date of publication, provide considerable information concerning past citizens of Porter County, as well as the historical development of various communities and organizations within the county. These documents are provided as full content and searchable pdf files. Note that several of these documents are large files and may take considerable time to load on slower Internet connections, such as dialup.
    The Central Card and Penmen Supply Illustrated Catalog, 1880s
    The College Current, Northern Indiana Normal School, 1898
    Headlight: Sights and Scenes Along the Grand Trunk Railway, 1898
    Porter County's Celebration of Indiana's Centennial, 1916
    An Historical Pageant of the Dunes of Indiana, 1917
    Dodge's Institute of Telegraph Promotional Announcement, 1926
    Descriptive Map of the Famous Dunes of Indiana, 1927
    Indiana Dunes State Park History, 1930
    Trails in Indiana Dunes State Park, 1932
    Porter County Centennial, 1936
    Indiana Dunes State Park Brochure, 1940s
    Valparaiso Woman's Club, 50th Anniversary, 1945
    Chesterton Retail Merchants' Directory, 1949
    Chesterton Centennial, 1952
    St. Paul Lutheran Church (Kouts) 75th Anniversary, 1955
    Trinity Lutheran Church (Valparaiso) 25th Anniversary, 1959
    Kouts Centennial, 1965
    Porter County Sheriff Mounted Posse Rodeo Souvenir Booklet, 1966
    Valparaiso Centennial, 1966
    The Guide to Valparaiso, 1971
    The Popping Corn Book, 1975
    A Photographic History of Valparaiso, 1976
    Popcorn Festival: Orville Redenbacher Recognition Day, 1979
    St. Paul Lutheran Church (Kouts) 100th Anniversary, 1980
    Porter County Sesquicentennial, 1986
    Hebron Charter Centennial, 1990
    Kouts Quasquicentennial, 1990
    Enchanted Forest Family Theme Park Auction Brochure, 1991
    The City of Valparaiso, Quasquicentennial, 1991
    How We (Valparaiso) Got Our Name, 1999

Settlement Patterns of the Calumet Region

In the mid-1950s, Alfred H. Meyer, a former professor at Valparaiso University, published two lengthy articles concerning the settlement patterns of the Calumet Region - including Porter County. These two articles, both published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, are valuable in that they detail early habitation of the region, its geographical influences on settlement, and the development of various communities.
    Circulation and Settlement Patterns of the Calumet Region of Northwest
        Indiana and Northeast Illinois (The First Stage of Occupance - the
        Pottawatomie and the Fur Trader, -1830
)
    Circulation and Settlement Patterns of the Calumet Region of Northwest
        Indiana and Northeast Illinois (The Second Stage of Occupance  -
        Pioneer Settler and Subsistence Economy, 1830-1850
)

Civilian Conservation Corps

Many Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps throughout the United States published camp newsletters and newspapers. Copies of numerous issues of two publications from a Porter County CCC camp were preserved, which provide a glimpse into the everyday life of the young men employed by the camp. These issues can be accessed by viewing the Civilian Conservation Corps Publications webpage.

The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial Edition

On August 18, 1936, The Vidette-Messenger, a Valparaiso newspaper, published the Porter County Centennial, 1836-1936, Special Edition, a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time. We have transcribed all of the articles from this special edition, which contain a wealth of information concerning Porter County people and places not found elsewhere.

Early Recollections of Porter County by Isabel (Stewart) McKnight

These early recollections of Porter County were obtained from a small fourteen page booklet written by Isabel (Stewart) McKnight. The booklet appears to have been published in memory of Isabel Stewart, who died in 1917.

Archeology of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

An Archeological Overview and Assessment of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana, by Dawn Bringelson and Jay T. Sturdevant was published by the National Park Service in 2007 and contains considerable information about the history of the northern portion of Porter County.

Porter County Guardianship Cases, 1914-1963

The Porter County Public Library maintains a searchable database of Porter County Guardianship Cases from 1914 to 1963. The index includes guardian, ward, court, case number, case type, and filing date.

Credit Ratings of Porter County Residents, 1916

In 1916, P. M. Tuttle published a book titled Merchants Rating and Credit Association Local Credit Reports. This book provided the credit ratings of thousands of individuals residing in Porter County and Lake County. The book also published the credit ratings of some residents of adjacent counties conducting business in these two counties.

City/County Directories

City and county directories listed here are in Adobe Acrobat pdf format and are fully searchable. Note that these are large files.
    Valparaiso City Directory, 1885
    Valparaiso City Directory, 1893
    Porter County Directory, 1902

Index to Part I of 1882 Porter County History

The William Henry Harrison Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution published An Index to Part I, Pages 11-230, Porter County, Indiana of the Book "Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana, Historical and Biographical, Illustrated" prepared by Marvin Phares. This county history was published in 1882 by F. A. Battey and Company, and authored by by Weston A. Goodspeed and Charles Blanchard. It is believed that this 33 page index of the county history was published during the 1960s or early 1970s. Note that the text in this pdf file is at times quite faint and difficult to read.

Dream Cities of the Calumet

Dream Cities of the Calumet was written by John O. Bowers and published in 1929 by the Lake County Historical Association. Bowers' article provides a historical survey of early platted towns that never came fully into existence, most notably City West, all of which were vying to be the next Chicago. No evidence today exists of City West, which was located very near today's beach pavilion at the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Ball's Villages and Towns of Porter

Villages and Towns of Porter was written by Timothy H. Ball (1826-1913) in 1900 and published in his book Northwestern Indiana From 1800 to 1900: A View of Our Region Through the Nineteenth Century. Ball was likely the foremost historian of Northwest Indiana. Having resided as a young boy in City West, a village that once stood near the present day Indiana Dunes State Park beach pavilion, his family later removed to Lake County. Ball wrote numerous books and articles concerning the history of the counties of Lake, LaPorte, and Porter.

Fishing in a Mid-West College Town

In 1919, Outing magazine published a story titled Fishing is a Mid-West College Town, which discussed the lakes located in Center Township and Liberty Township.

The Woodville Train Wreck, 1906

Perhaps the most significant disaster to occur in Porter County was the Woodville Train Wreck on November 12, 1906. The estimated of the number of individuals who perished in this train wreck range from 55 to 61.

Baillytown

A history of Baillytown and Swedish settlement in the area written by David McMahon and published in the Swedish-American Historical Quarterly in January 1997.

History of the Village of McCool

A brief history of the Village of McCool in Portage Township prepared by Lois Mollick.

Bible Records in Porter County, Indiana

The William Henry Harrison Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution published Some Bible Records in Porter County, Indiana, prepared by Mrs. Robert R. Mefford. It is believed that this 32 page book was published during the 1960s or early 1970s. Note that the text in this pdf file is at times quite faint and difficult to read.

Broncho John H. Sullivan

The life and times of one of Valparaiso's most colorful citizens, Broncho John Sullivan, as prepared by Larry Sullivan. In addition, we include a transcription of a Vidette-Messenger newspaper article concerning the memories of Broncho John, as told to and recorded by his son, John H. "Texas Jack" Sullivan.

We also have available a complete transcription that was taken directly from a book written by Broncho John H. Sullivan in 1896 titled Life and Adventures of Broncho John: His First Trip Up the Trail.

Brief History of the School System of Porter County

A history of the Porter County school system written in 1917 by Fred H. Cole, Superintendent of Porter County Schools.

High School Annuals (Yearbooks)

High school annuals listed here are in Adobe Acrobat pdf format and are fully searchable. Note that these are large files.
    Valparaiso High School, 1907
    Valparaiso High School, 1909
    Valparaiso High School, 1911
    Valparaiso High School, 1920
    Valparaiso High School, 1923

High School Alumni Lists

Crisman High School Alumni, 1918 through 1930
Liberty Center High School Alumni, 1914 through 1929
Valparaiso High School Alumni, 1874 through 1914

 

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