of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.



North Manchester Historical Society Contributes to Town of North Manchester

One of the first major tasks which the Historical Society undertook for the benefit of the town was to do a census of the old Halderman Cemetery. This two-year project was started sometime in 1984 and involved searching through the obituary columns of old newspapers to recover the names of those thought to be buried in this pioneer cemetery. The census appeared in the Society's May 1986 newsletter. Many of the gravestones had disappeared; taken away by relatives or used for doorsteps or driveways. Some were simply piled in one corner of the plot. Some members of the Society helped to move most of the remaining stones to the town water plant lot. All of the legible inscriptions were copied and the best preserved were selected to be incorporated into the planned memorial.

Thirty tombstones are built into two of the walls of the memorial and six anodized aluminum pewter plaques carry the names of those buried there and are mounted on the inside of the east wall. The whole project was financed by private donations from the Historical Society along with the Jaycees and some federal revenue sharing funds granted by the Town Board. The dedication was scheduled during Fun Fest in August, 1886. A significant number of the original burials were removed to Oaklawn Cemetery (as noted on the Master List) and Thomas Marshall's parents were removed to the Oddfellows Cemetery in Marion.

Considerable expenditure of time and funds by the Society has been used to record interviews with citizens of the town such as Eldon Wright and Russell Michael. Many presentations about the business and industry of the town made at the regular monthly meetings of the Society have also been recorded. Most of these have been transcribed and some have appeared in the Newsletters.

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  Since 1972 the Historical Society has conducted research and arranged for a Tour of Historic Homes on alternate years. This event has been a significant attraction for both North Manchester citizens and for many in surrounding towns. Perhaps even more importantly, these tours have been a means whereby the history of many of the beautiful and historic homes of the town has been publicized and preserved. The tours themselves demanded detailed planning and considerable ezpense. Many non members have also contributed long hours to the success of these events.

The editing and publication of the quarterly Newsletter is an important part of the Society's effort to preserve and make known the history of the town. All members of the Society receive the Newsletter and free copies are sent to schools in North Manchester and to libraries, museums and Historical Societies in Wabash and surrounding counties. Anyone reviewing copies of that publication would be introduced to many of the leading historical personalities and events of North Manchester and its environs. A special note related to the Newsletter is that many former residents of the town subscribe to the Newsletter and keep in touch with the town in that way.

The Historical Museum is another means of preserving and making visible the history of the town. Materials of historic interest contributed by many persons over the years has resulting in that is now an impressive collection. Highlights include a full-size replica of the DeWitt which was produced in North Manchester beginning in 1909 in the building which is now occupied by Custom Magnetics; some original furniture manufactured by Peabody factory and the Opera House curtain. In some periods the Museum has had a part time curator and was open more hours than it is today. Now it is open only one afternoon a month. Located on the second floor of the Town Life Center, it is not readily visible and is not easily accessible for many.

The Historical Society Board of Directors has now set its sights on moving the Museum from its present location to a site on Main Street. There the Museum can be a real part of what is often called The Victorian Village. Planning is underway. We have a bounty of materials to be displayed and many plans. We believe that if we have a more suitable site many residents and former residents will be happy 

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  to deposit historical items for all to see and more and more of the history of the town will be available for school children and for all of us to come to understand. We also believe that it will add to the attractiveness of the town and be an important addition to the "must-see" items on the Tourism list for the town.

One thing is needful money. We wish we had deep pockets for this project but we all know that most of the funds we had gathered over the years have gone into the Thomas Marshall House renovation. And that is an on-going project especially, as we continue to gather furnishings for the House. Still we are ready to challenge every member to make a contribution for the Museum on Main Street project.. We are convinced that every member can see the value of this project. We want to make it something that we as a Society and the town itself will be proud of. We will be excited to receive your contribution at P. O. Box 361 or at the monthly meeting if you are able to attend. We want to aim for 100% participation.


The Big Meeting -1900 From the town's viewpoint.

Articles from the News Journal

Last week it was our privilege to visit North Manchester, Ind., and look over the Annual Meeting grounds. The place selected for the Conference is in a beautiful grove on the west side of the city. Many of the trees composing the forest are quite large, and there are sufficient trees to furnish an abundance of shade on all part of the ground. We do not remember ever to have seen a grove better suited for a meeting of this kind. In the enclosure, may be found scores of delightful spots, where friends can while away many pleasant moments.

The people of North Manchester are preparing to throw their houses wide open, and will do their utmost to shelter the thousands who are in attendance. A number of tents will also be placed on a high and dry section of the ground, and not a few people are preparing to enjoy tent life for one week.

The membership at North Manchester is large. They are energetic and open-hearted people, and we feel certain that they will do their

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  utmost to make the meeting a success in every way possible.

We left North Manchester feeling confident that the Locating Committee acted very wisely in locating the Conference at this place. The meeting will doubtless be very largely attended. It is looked forward to with far more than ordinary interest, and it is to be hoped that all who can do so will come to the meeting and enjoy the good things provided for them.

Supplies for the Big Meeting

Copied from the Peru Chronicle

Rev. Dan Shively brought into town from North Manchester yesterday a list of groceries on which he will get prices from Peru merchants. The good are intended for the Dunkard conference in May. Sugar 1,500 pounds; coffee, 600; tea, 50; smoked hams, 1,500; lard, 350; prunes, 1,400; pepper, 25; crackers, seven barrels.

From the Huntington News-Democrat 

Rev. Dorsey Hodgden arrived in the city to-day from North Manchester, where he had been in consultation with the German Baptist conference committee. Rev. Hodgden had the following list of groceries on which he will get prices from the Huntington merchants: (same list)... (Several other towns were solicted for prices including, we assume, North Manchester.)

The Daily Journal

It will be Issued During the Big German Baptist Annual Meeting in the Next Month

This issue of the JOURNAL begins its twenty-sixth volume and finds it hale and hearty. It is the custom of some papers to celebrate such occasions as the completion of their first quarter century by the issue of some specially prepared edition. We will not conform to this custom but wish to take this occasion to announce that during the big annual Dunkard meeting we will issue a daily edition.

It is our desire to make the DAILY JOURNAL a credit to ourselves, an honor to the town and worthy of the occasion in every respect. We will endeavor then, as always, to give the news and make the very best report of the big meeting from all points of view that the facilities of this office and the ability of its editors will permit. In short, to get out a first-class daily for the Brethren.

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  This will not only require great labor but much expense and we hope to meet with as generous a patronage as possible. The daily expenses of the office at that time will considerably exceed the ordinary expenses of a week and it is a venture we enter on somewhat in the spirit of "fear and trembling." In order to make it the success we would like to have it we would respectfully solicit the favors and patronage of the public generally and the business men especially. We promise to do everything possible to deserve it. Further announcement of this matter will be made later.  

The Brethren Generally Say This is the Largest and Best Meeting Ever Held by the Church

At 2 o'clock yesterday if you had asked anybody, "who's in town?" the reply could have very appropriately been, "Everybody."

North Manchester has never had such a crowd in its borders as was brought here Sunday on account of the great annual meeting of the German Baptist or Dunkard church now in session in Harter's Grove. People were here from far and near, and from the faces on the grounds and about the streets one would think that about all the neighboring towns had been depopulated.

Ten or a dozen excursion trains came in on both roads loaded to the guards. The Big Four alone brought in 55 cars of people. The Wabash brought in about as many. People from all the country about for 25 miles in every direction drove in, and these, added to the great influx of Brethren who came in on Friday and Saturday to remain throughout the meeting has made a crowd the like of which was never seen here before.

The crowd has been estimated all the way from 25,000 to 40,000 people, but probably a conservative figure would be 30,000 people. It has taken an immense amount of provisions to feed this great gathering, but so far as we are able to learn all were provided for, though it taxed the town to the utmost.

To tell the individuals who were here or even a small percentage

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  of them is an impossibility. But very few towns in Northern Indiana were not represented in the throng. Harter's Grove, comprising some thirty acres, was full of people, and at the same time the streets of the town were lined with a surging mass moving to and fro. While this big crowd was principally composed of one day excursionists the great body of Brethren who came to attend the meeting are still here, and will remain until the meeting closes, which will probably be Thursday.

Many old Brethren who have attended the annual meetings of the church for years, and some times in much larger cities than North Manchester, say that the attendance Sunday was larger than they had ever seen at any annual meeting, both of members of the church and citizens generally. They are also well pleased with the general treatment and reception accorded them by the people of the town, which they say is one of the most hospitable they have ever experienced. This is the third time for the annual meeting in our town, and many are here who were present on both former occasions, so they do not feel just as they would in going to an entirely strange place.

Certainly our town has made a reputation among the Brethren which will be favorable and lasting.


What Our Neighbors Say

Some Comments of the Press on the Big Meeting, Complimentary and Otherwise

It is said there were 50,000 or 60,000 people at North Manchester last Sunday at the big Dunkard Meeting. After eating out the boarding houses and everything else in sight they spread out over the country and surrounding towns in search of victuals. This is the misfortune of pulling up the meeting from Peru after it was located here and taking it out into a little country town. Peru Republican

The accommodations at North Manchester have been so utterly inadequate to properly care for the German Baptist people attending the conference that the towns along the line of the Eel River railroad have been impressed to help it out. Mexico has ever since Sunday found hospitality for severaal hundred every night, and Denver has also been drawn upon for accommodations. ---Peru Chronicle

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  An immense crowd was present at the German Baptist meeting at North Manchester Sunday. Four hundred and thirty-seven tickets were sold by the agent here and a proportionate number of people were present from other towns in the vicinity. Notwithstanding the great multitudes the accommodations furnished by North Manchester seemed to be sufficient for their needs. Columbia City Commercial.

At North Manchester the crowd was variously estimated at from 30,000 to 50,000. There were excursions from Dayton, O and other points and the entire assembly seemed orderly and well behaved. Eight thousand tickets were sold for dinner at the large dining hall and visitors who inspected the cooking departments were astonished at the large scale on which this part of the meeting was carried on Huntington Herald.

Many went to the various restaurants and although extensive preparations had been made, all were not satisfied. The efforts made to feed those present, however, reflect credit on North Manchester and the committee having the meeting in charge. The crowd was very orderly and was easily handled by Sheriff Stewart and his deputies except at train time, when the press of the crowd allowed some pickpockets to get in their work. A few arrests were made. Wabash Plain Dealer.

Sunday was a big day in North Manchester and will no doubt be the largest of the German Baptist meeting. Order was quite good during the day and some of the special officers had nothing to do. One was so anxious to make a showing that he went to the deport and tackled some of the Columbia City boys who had indulged some, took them from the train and had them fined $11.50. Columbia City Post

The Sunday crowd was good natured and the best of order was maintained. The day was pleasant, the exercises novel, the crowd simply immense and the sentiment of the excursionists is that they had an "awfully nice time." Scouting for something to eat made them forget the flight of time. It is conservatively estimated that 4,000,000 bags of peanuts were eaten Sunday and enough lemonade drank to float the United States navy. ---Huntington News-Democrat.

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Interview with Eldon Wright, lawyer.

January, 1985

From the files of the Historical Society.

Alan White - Has the Wright family been in this community from the beginning?

Wright - Yes, I was born in this town and I'll probably die here. I was the only one that has been a lawyer. I'm the third professional generation. My grandfather was a Church of the Brethren minister. He was up here at what was then called the Walnut Street Church.

AW - What was his name?

Wright - Albert. He had a twin brother, name of John. And they both had little beards, so long. My grandfather was well, just to show you in those days he got $600 a year for being the minister at both the Walnut Street Church and out there at the West Manchester. He had to maintain a horse and buggy and had to entertain all the visiting preachers and all that.

AW - Over what period of time was he minister of this?

Wright - Well, he died about 70 some so I can't tell you how long he had been a minister or in this church here in this routine between here and West Manchester.

AW - Were they in the habit of sharing pastoral duties among various members of the church like they do at the German Baptist Church sometimes? Or did they maintain fixed ministers?

Wright - I think he was a regular minister and he got paid the $600 compared to about $30,000 of our ministers now. So he got too little and now I think they get too much. That's my opinion. In fact, he couldn't make it on that; he had to clerk in stores. This Gressos Store that was there where Maynards is now (East of Chicago) he clerked in that one and in its predecessors Helm and Snarp.. and about the time he died he went over to Oppenheims and was a clerk over there.

AW - What did his twin brother do?

Wright - He was a minister too, but he wasn't a minister here at this church. I think maybe he had one of the outlying churches. It seemed to me that he had one maybe around Servia.

Wright - The Wright family sprang from a place southeast of

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  Servia. There was a big house back on the hill, long since gone now. There was a large family of brothers and sisters.. 8 or 10 maybe. They scattered to all corners of the country.

AW - Was your grandfather one of that family in Servia?

Wright - Yes. He was one of those that came from out there. Several of them went out west. One went to Arizona and one to California, as I recall.

AW - So your father was also a resident of this area?

Wright - Oh Yes. He was the only child of my grandfather, Albert Wright, and he married a Baker, so we're related to some of these Bakers living around here now. My father was a school teacher first. Taught in some of the little schools around here in these one-room schoolhouses. And somewhere along the line he decided he wanted to become a dentist. So he abandoned the profession of teaching and went to Indianapolis and took dentistry.

AW - Then he came back here?

Wright Yes, He came back here to practice. The plaque that I have down in the office says he practiced 47 years. Now I'm not sure that is right. I got the information from somebody but he was,,, it was right up about in that area.

AW - Did he have his office in the building that you occupy now?

Wright - No. He had his office first, when I was a kid, in what would be now it was at that time the Lawrence National Bank. That was located at the spot did you ever notice the plaque that says on this spot Thomas R. Marshall was born? Well, it was that place. The bank was located there and he was in the upstairs of that. He later moved across the hall and he was above Oppenheims. Always had upstairs offices. Downstairs office in those days were rather rare for practioners, medicine, and dentistry and so on. You about had to have an upstairs office. He practiced there until he died and that was 1952.

AW - Did you train to become an attorney from the beginning?

Wright - No, I took a little whirl at the newspaper business. .. I went to college up here. graduated up here in 1934... I had the idea that I wanted to be in the newspaper business but I wanted a small one like the News Journal or even smaller. There were a lot of them in those days. Now the field is quite shrunken. In other words, I can remember

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  there used to be a little newspaper up here at Silver Lake, down here at Roann, Lagro, Lafontaine. They all had little newspapers. They're all gone now.

AW - Probably doubled as job printing shops.

Wright - Yeh. I worked down here for two of them here. I worked in the News Journal and I worked at one on the south side called the Herald that's now defunct and of course there's no print shop in there now. .... The history of that was this. When I was just a little kid there was a fellow name of Hopkins ran that and it was called the Journal. It was a pretty well-established paper for the time and place, but then he later sold to a fellow who ran the North Manchester News and then that's where we get the name today The News Journal.

AW - Did this happen under Billings?

Wright - Yes, that's right. Billings was the one that bought it. They called him Josh. I used to work for him for four or five years.

AW - Sometimes a journalist has an excellent view of the local happenings.

Wright - Well, he ran the paper until he died and he died about 1950. He had a brother-in-law, Harry Leffel.

AW - I didn't realize he was related to Billings. ... Harry's legacy is having indexed he has a very interesting index at the library that, I think it's arranged by dates, where he's indexed by date important events in N. Manchester history which makes a very handy tool. So you were a newspaper man for a while?

Wright - Yes, I even owned one. It wasn't very long. It was down in Maryland, on the eastern shore. Used to locate newspapers that were for sale through the publisher's auxiliary. ...I think I located it through that and went down and bought it. After a couple of months I became somewhat disillusioned about it because I couldn't see any long-time future. It was a very historic area but the chances of growth were rather minimal, if any at all. So I disposed of it and came back and while I was down there I contacted some lawyers and I decided I wanted to go into law. It didn't seem to be as over-crowded as it is now. So after about a year or two, I went to Valporaiso University, graduated there in 1939. In those days you got a LL.B but it was later converted to a JD degree which about all of them get now. You spend

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  about as much time as a Ph.D. or any of these others.

AW - Did you have to do any internship or reading of law with another attorney?

Wright - No, I did not. I did some with a man who was here at that time named Raymond Brooks, But it wasn't a necessity. AW - I get the impression that in Thomas Marshall's day, to become an attorney, rather than going to school, you just simply signed on...

Wright - Yes, you signed on as you were about to say, or the saying then was you read law in a lawyer's office. And then there was nother thing, too, up until about 1934 or 5, there was a provision in the constitution that said anybody could practice law. It was the Indiana State Constitution. But then through the interpretation of law, they said that wasn't good anymore. So then after that you had to go to law school. I got in on the tail end of that. I signed up to take the bar exam. I could have have taken it anytime before I went to law school, but I thought, well if I'm going to become a lawyer and do it right, I might as well go to law school. The Depression was on in those days and I figured I wanted to be a lawyer around here. So I had a choice of the Indiana Law School, and Valparaiso which is 90 miles and you've got Notre Dame up here, so I went to Valparaiso. In those days they had approximately 450 students and a law school of about 30, as compared to a law school which they have now of about 300 or something of that kind. It was a fully-recognized law school by the American Bar Association. American Association of Law Schools recognized it, so I went there for three years and graduated in 1939. 


Grace Quivey Von Studiford

Grace Quivey who became Mrs. Von Studiford was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Quivey of North Manchester. The Quiveys were part owners of a general merchandise store in North Manchester. Their five children were Maude, Ralph, Grace, Claude, and Mary. The three daughters of the family were involved with music during most of their lives. Maude attended the Conservatory of Music in Chicago and played in the Thomas orchestra which became known as the Chicago Symphony. She then played organ and piano in the local Methodist Church.
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  Grace was the one known nationally. In the early 1900s she starred in operas in Chicago, New York and other major cities in the United States and Canada. Notes about her appearances and at least one feature article about her appeared in the New York Times. The following was in the News Journal in 1900:

Retires From the Stage

Mrs Grace Quivey VanStuddiford Said to Have Resigned from the DeAngelis Opera

The following which is taken from Monday's Chicago Record, will be of interest to many people in this city.

Mrs. Grace Van Studdiford has surrendered her position as prima donna of the Jefferson DeAngelis Opera company, which served to restore her to professional notice at the beginning of the season, after the retirement consequent upon her marriage. She is doubtless better remembered as Grace Quivey, one of a number of beautiful young women who, with Miss VanDresser and Miss Methot, began their musical careers in Chicago, and have attracted much attention within a wonderfully short period.

At the time of Mrs. VanStuddiford's marriage it was said her husband was a very wealthy and aristocratic young man. However, her retirement was brief, and last fall she announced that she would go back to the stage in order to improve her husband's financial condition. The re-entrance upon her interrupted career has not been without its storms. Last week when the DeAngelis company was playing in St. Louis her home town, Mr. DeAngelis' rule forbidding flowers to be handed over the footlights interfered with her and happiness and she resigned.

  Grace Studdiford returned to North Manchester not long after her resignation. She lived with Maude in a house on North Mill (later purchased by the Hardmans) and soon was giving voice lessons to students who were pleased to have lessons from such a well-known person. Nothing further is known about her husband but it is believed that he had mis-represented himself and was not the wealthy person he was thought to be. Mrs. Leigh Freed is one of those who remembers going to the house each week for a lesson.

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Bad and Expensive Habit.

Profanity is a bad habit and some times expensive. Lena Martin, a mulatto girl residing in the west end of town, who, unlike Caesar's wife, is not above suspicion, was fined $5 and costs, amounting to $14 in Squire Abbott's court a few days ago for using vulgar language in public. The complaining witness was a neighbor woman also of the name of Martin, but not colored. It appears that the parties have had bad feeling between them for some time and, like the Boers who are beseiging Ladysmith, at stated times the colored Miss Martin would go out and bombard her enemies with about all the choice selections known to the profane vocabulary. This became rather tiresome to the other parties and they sought relief in the law which resulted in the young lady's conviction upon her plea of guilty and may have a wholesome effect upon her tongue.


From the Atlas of Wabash County, 1875

Patrons' Directory for Manchester Village

Name, Date of Settlement, Nativity, Occupation

Amiss, John L, 1850 , Perry Co. Ohio , Lumber Dealer 

Arnold, Jesse, 1852, Darke Co. Ohio, Banker 

Andrews, John L, 1841, Richland Co. Ohio, General Agent 

Bates, Garrison & Co, 1874, Ohio , Mattress and Spring Bed Manuf. 

Bond, Lavinia H., 1838, Indiana , Farmer 

Card, V. J., 1874, Ohio , Hardware Dealer 

Cowgill, J. L., 1845, Ohio, Shoemaker 

Harter, J , 1836, Montgomery Co. Ohio, Druggist 

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From the Atlas of Wabash County, 1875

  Harter, J. B., 1836, Montgomery Co. Ohio, Druggist 

Hiler, J. V., 1874, Delaware Co. Ohio, Architect and Builder 

Hagans, D. N., 1873, Huntingdon Co. Pa, Prop of Restaurant and Confec. 

Hamilton, Schuyler C, 1864, Wabash Co, Ind. 

Hymer, Isaac B., 1838, Clermont Co. Ohio, Farmer 

Johnson, C.D., 1864, Washington Co. Pa, Proprietor of Livery Stable 

Kinney, J. F., 1850 , Ohio, Boot and Shoe Dealer 

Lawrence, G. W., 1841, Ohio, Merchant 

Layton, J. T., 1874, Clarke Co. Ohio, Hardware Dealer 

Noftzger, L. J., 1842, , Ohio, Hardware Dealer 

Pleas, M. E. Editor, Manchester Republican 

Riley, James E., 1874, Proprietor of Livery Stable 

Shively. Jacob, 1851, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Lumber Dealer 

Sheller, John, 1849, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Cooper 

Sellers, A. J., 1847, Franklin Co. Pa., Merchant Tailor 

Shellenberger, Jno., 1838, Stark Co. Ohio, Proprietor, Meat Market 

Strauss, Daniel, 1861, Stark Co. Ohio, Miller 

Winton, C. H., 1869, Indiana, Physician

Woodward, R. H., 1874, Hyde Park NY, Physician

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