of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.



The Story of the College Chime

by Lila Hammer

February 2, 2000

What weighs over 5 tons, is more than 77 years old and has the ability to make students run up several flights of stairs in seconds? Yes, it's the College Chime.

The ringing of the chime is one of the longest running traditions at Manchester College. People come and go; buildings come and go; pranks and causes come and go, but the bells ring on - as they have for the past 77 years. New students are surprised; visitors stand in awe; alumni reminisce; the local community nods and checks their watches; the students groan. The sound of the bells has been woven into the culture of North Manchester and Manchester College.

The 10 bells that make up the College Chime are each inscribed with scripture verses or phrases that represent the ideas to which they were dedicated. Inscriptions that speak to the values and ideals espoused by members of the College community throughout its history. Values and ideals that were held dear to the graduates and friends of Manchester College who raised the funds for the set of bells; and values and ideals that are important to those of us who continue to teach, encourage, counsel and guide students today.

The linking of the Bible School Building and Bumgerdner Hall in 1920 created a spacious, updated facility named the Administration Building, which included a large library, numerous classrooms, offices, a large auditorium, and a tower. Mrs. Vernon Schwalm suggested that a chime be installed in that new tower. That idea was discussed at an alumni meeting in 1920 where the decision was made to raise the funds for a set of bells; the estimated cost was $10,000. A committee, headed by Aaron Ulrey, was dedicated to raising the funds

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  and the bells were ordered in May of 1922. 

The bells were purchased from the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland. The McShane Bell Foundry still exists and is now the only large Western-style bell maker in the United States, one of about seven in the world. Western-style bells are rung with a clapper inside; oriental bells are struck from the outside.

Since the founding of the McShane Bell Foundry in 1856, more than 300,000 large bells manufactured by the company hang in churches, city halls, statehouses, fire stations, and, as we know, colleges, throughout all 50 states and in at least 7 foreign countries. In its heyday in the 1880s the firm employed 90 people; today without the demand for large bells, there are six workers employed. The company makes bells today much the same way they were made in the 1800s - using mammoth cast-iron molds. Because not many places can afford to purchase new bells and because bells are so durable and long-lived, only 40 percent of the company's work today is in making new bells; they are kept busy otherwise refurbishing bells and wiring them to ring on their own. Today, a McShane bell costs from over $3000 for a 100-pounder to over $13,000 for a 1000 pound model. 

B.F. and Sadie Wampler were sent to the McShane Foundry to purchase the bells, which arrived to the campus in early August of 1922. They were displayed on a special stand in front of the main entrance of the Administration Building and were hoisted by ropes and pulleys to the tower on August 11. Hundreds of people came to help hoist the bells into place. I don't know how many of you have been to the bell tower or have stood in the room directly below the bells, but it is an eerie feeling to be in that room and know that 5 tons of cast bronze are directly over your head! Imagine the tension and excitement on the day the bells were raised - I wonder if they evacuated the building!

A dedication service of the Manchester College Chime was held on August 15, 1922. It was attended by the largest crowd ever gathered at the College until that time. In the address, President Otho Winger announced the actual cost of the Chime - $8700; I estimated the cost today would be around $145,000. As a part of the dedication, hour chime concerts were presented on Tuesday, August 15 at 7 pm,

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  Wednesday, August 16 at 7:30 am, and 12:30 and 7 pm, and Thursday, August 17 at 12:30 and 7 pm.

The Manchester College Chime consists of 10 bells, which form one octave, the flattened 7th and a major second above the octave - CDEFGABflatBCD - and range from 550 to 2650 pounds. 

There were originally 2 methods for playing the bells. The first method was a mechanical keyboard device located in the northeast corner of the Administration Building - which is now the education office. The keyboard had 2 rows of keys, one for playing the bells loudly and one for playing them softly. The bells were pulled down by large magnets; this was such a drain on the electricity that the lights in the vicinity of the College dimmed when the bells were played. Within a year of installation, the keyboard was removed; the combination of the pull on the electricity and mechanical malfunctions, proved this method of playing the bells was unacceptable. 

The second and current method uses hand levers. The levers are located in a room directly below the bells. The levers are attached to wooden rods that go up through the ceiling and attach to chains and leather straps which are then attached to the clapper. By pushing down the lever, the clapper is pulled against the bell. 

That series of levers, chains and leather straps has been the focus of pranksters on campus for years. Students have been known to dismantle the straps and levers and scatter them around campus. When I was playing, a favorite prank was to rearrange the straps, so that when I pushed a lever, the wrong bell rang. It only took me one or two pushes to know someone had gotten into the bell tower during the night. Another prank played on me was to hook the chain so tightly to the clapper that when I pushed down, the lever would not move. A prank that required some scurrying by the prankster was to ring the bells in the middle of the night. Since the sound carries all over the community, security officers quickly got to the building. Occasionally, the clappers were stolen from the bells. Last fall I asked the current chimers what pranks had been played on them. They looked at me curiously and replied "none." They thought the stories I told of pranks pulled on me were funny for me, but were not interested in having them happen now. Occasionally, the leather straps break on

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  their own, which then ends the playing for the day.

Traditions surrounding the bells have come and gone. At one time the bells were played at 6 am - until community people complained about the disturbance to their sleep patterns. Now the bells are played at 7:45 am and 6 pm. Secular selections are played in the morning and sacred pieces are played in the evening. In the 60s the school song was played after sporting events. If the song was played like a dirge, it meant the College had lost the game. If we won, the song was played briskly and the score was rung also. One low note represented five points and one high note represented one point. Through the years the bells have been played prior to Commencement services, for weddings and special concerts for alumni or visitors.

Each chimer has their own favorites to play; or pieces they won't play. I remember that I would not play "Are you sleeping, Brother John." in the morning. I don't remember playing the College songs much when I played, but now they are some of my favorites to play. The chimers often are asked to play for someone's birthday. I remember last year on the 20th anniversary of the original Star Wars movie, that the theme song was played. Also, on opening day of baseball season, we often hear "Take me out to the ball game." And of course, everyone loves to hear Christmas songs and carols played on the bells. Until recently there was only one chimer each year, currently we have 3 student chimers, so the same person doesn't have to get up early every morning - some change is good.

Last May I was asked to play the Chime for the Alumni Days. It was a bit unnerving to play, since I hadn't played for over 20 years, there really is no way practice! A chimer from the 40's accompanied me to the bell tower, but he was not interested in playing. I was surprised and pleased to see the songbook that I compiled was still being used, along with several contemporary additions.

The bell tower has been a tour stop for local elementary school students, College alumni and visitors from other countries. Above the bells, on the highest point of the Administration Building, is a beautiful view of the College campus and surrounding neighborhoods. 

Yes, those 10 bells inscribed with the words Christian Education,

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  Praise: Gloria Patria, Devotion, Peace, Brotherhood, John 3:16, Hope, Faith, Evangelism and Watchfulness, have become a part of the life of Manchester College that will ring on for many years to come.  

North Manchester in 1900--The Last Turn of the Century

It was the best of times it was the worst of times... In this small midwestern town of North Manchester in 1900, the 2000 and some population might have been rather evenly divided in their opinion. Your newsletter editor sat down to the task of reading somewhat carefully the issues of the NEWS JOURNAL for the year to try to understand the concerns and the events of the year as we look at them 100 years later and decided it was a very different town.

Rural mail delivery had the struggling days of beginning during the year. The census was in process and - not surprisingly- most towns in the area were not happy with the final count. Some were happy with the outcome of the national election - some made it clear they were not. The Big Annual Meeting of the German Baptist Brethren was a major event of the year and the paper thought it worthy of a daily issue during that week.. No one finally decided how many were attending but everyone agreed that the railroad facilities and all the eating places and sleeping arrangements were stretched to capacity.

At least four Physicians and Surgeons advertised regularly one a woman -in the local paper. In fact, maybe the advertisements were most strange to our eyes. Prices were totally unrealistic and the items advertised seemed to be from another world. An auction of 60 horses at the local livery needs translation for a child of 2000.

The most noteworthy fire seems to have been the one at M. Giek's brick kiln. Unfortunately it was out of reach of the water works and when they attempted to take out the old fire engine which had'nt been used for several years, one of the horses of the four-horse team refused to pull and the front team broke loose and ran away with Charley Ulrey riding one of the horses. As the headline noted the whole thing "relieved the monotony of a dull day" and with hard work, only one shed was lost with an estimated value of $400.

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  All in all, maybe it was a very normal year with columns discussing the progress of the crops, the latest town scandal, school activities, events at the young, struggling College, marriages, deaths, a few crimes, condition of the roads, illnesses, concerns about securing factories for the town. So here's some of the things that happened in our town - or nearby- just l00 years ago.

A Landmark Removed--Tearing Down of an Old Corn Crib Brings to Mind Days of Liberty Mills Former Greatness

A prominent landmark is this week being removed from its place in the town of Liberty Mills and, as one of the prominent citizens of the place said to us, "you can't think what a vacancy its removal makes." The building is nothing more than the large corn crib built by Judge Comstock in the year 1840, when that town was the big torn in the Eel river valley. The voting done in the township was done there, the biggest dry goods store and the popular hotels were there. Besides these a flouring mill, a sawmill, a tannery, a wool carding machine, a coloring and fulling plant, where farmers' wives could have there home made cloth colored, fulled and pressed, and also a distillery, where the men could have their corn made into highwiner. The crib was built to hold corn for the distillery. It was two stories high, long and wide. Levi Walters has bought the upper story and is moving it to his farm and proposes to make a sheep stable of it. The lower story W. T. Banks will remove to his farm. This crib is the last one representing the buildings of the various industries, except the dry good store on the corner, now used as a grocery and restaurant


Another Fox Chase Advertised

Fox chases seem to be a very popular sport with the people of Pleasant township, notwithstanding the two chases already held have yielded a very limited quantity of foxes. Another chase is advertised for next Saturday, Jan. 21. The boundary lines will be as follows: North line commencing at Dan Smith's corner on Manchester and Disko road, thence west to Disko school house, thence south on county line to Stockdale thence east following the river to the Tryon
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  bridge, thence north to Smith's corner. The meeting points for all who take part will be on the crossroads on the different lines. Lines will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp and center on the S.H. Rager farm. No dogs or firearms allowed and throwing of stones while fox is in the ring will be prohibited. A liberal premium will be paid for catching the fox alive. Special inducements to bowlegged men for catching the fox. Jacob Cook will be captain of the day assisted by a competent corps of marshals. Every body is invited to take part in the chase.


Items From the General News Columns

An automobile in town last Thursday evening created considerable interest on the part of the public generally as it was the first one ever seen in town. We understand the parties were from Fort Wayne. They put up their machine over night at Quinn's barn (paper dated June, 14, 1900). 


The squirrel shooting season is now on. The law which prohibits the killing of squirrels during a certain part of the year is now out. Sportsmen state that there are a number of fox squirrels this season, but that the grey and back squirrels are seldom seen in this section of the state. 


Lessel Long, the defaulting town treasurer of Andrews, has been placed under arrest. Mr. Long, while holding office eight years ago, used $3000 in the treasury, set aside to redeem bonds. The bonds were carried until recently, Mr. Long meeting the interest payments and concealing the fraud. Mr. Long has always been regarded as one of the leading citizens of the town and his trouble causes much regret and sympathy. 


David Krisher, at his went end meat market, is gaining a great reputation for the time he has been in the business. Good meat and good weight with fair prices is bound to win the attention of the best customers. 


Perry Williamson and wife were in town Monday trying to buy a

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  stylish driving horse. M. Williamson is a wealthy farmer living near South Whitley and knows when prosperity has struck him as well as people generally. 


Joseph Neher, one of the leading farmers and stock raisers in this section, has just received a fine Jersey bull calf to add to his herd. The calf is six months old and cost quite a neat sum of money. It is from the Brown Bessie Herd of H.C. Taylor, of Oxfordville, Wis., and of the best stock. 


O.V. Lautzenhiser, who formerly was engaged in the tailoring business in the Sala room, re-opened a shop there last week. Mr. Lautzenhiser formerly did a very good business and there is no reason to believe but what it will be better still. He is a popular gentleman and it is to his credit that his customers have always been perfectly satisfied with their work.


Gradually the old farms are passing from their early owners into the hands of younger man. The old Mason Kester place was sold by Isenbarger & Arnold last week to Mr. Karl Martinson, of Newton county. The price paid was a little more than $30 an acre. This farm has been owned by the late Mr. Kester and his heirs for more than half a century. Messrs. Isenbarger & Arnold inform us that the new purchaser will not more his family to their new home until next fall. 


Several ice men have been putting up ice this week, hauling it from Laketon. Ice on the lake did not melt when it went off the river and a very fine quality of ice is being secured. 


Prof. George Byrd, the colored man at the Sheller Hotel, took in a big cake walk at Marion last Friday night. He says it was a very brilliant event and that he had the distinguished honor of leading the walk. 


People who take a local newspaper want one that gives the news. The Journal is such a paper and it costs only $1.00 a year in advance.

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  If you want the news take the Journal. 


The Telephone Co. now has a line to Liberty Mills in operation and people can converse between the two towns for ten cents. 


The farmers of Seward township, Kosciusko county, have organized themselves into a detective agency for the purpose of catching and punishing evil doers of all kinds, and especially the hunters. In the past months the farmers over there have suffered all kinds of depredations and the culprits go unpunished. They have resolved to put a stop to it. 


Messrs. Cassel & Goshorn gave an exhibition in the Henney room Saturday evening with their moving picture machine which was very satisfactory to all who saw it. They have a very fine machine, a number of good views and altogether gave as good an exhibition as was ever seen here. They expect to tour the surrounding towns and will give an entertainment worth attending. 


Manager Hatfield fired a young man who goes by the name of "Kickapoo" from the opera house during the performance of "Ten Nights in a Bar Room" last week. It appears that the performance was so realistic that the young man imagined he was in a bar room and persisted in smoking cigarettes, which was more than Mr. Hatfield could stand and he ejected the young man quite forcibly. 


G.B. Heeter, who has for some time been clerking for Helm, Snorf & Co, resigned the position this week. He has bought an interest in the Manchester Marble Works and hereafter will devote his time to that business. Mr. Heeter has had some experience in that line and prefers it to other business because it affords an opportunity of being out of doors more than the store. He is a well known and popular man and there can be no doubt of the new monument firm being very successful. 


Mr Kilgore, government inspector of wagon materials for the

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  Jeffersonville barracks, was in town this week inspecting a lot of wagon stock being got out by J.A. Browne and Co., for the government. This firm has the contract for furnishing a part of the timbers for l,000 wagons which are to be sent to the Phillippines and the inspector passed very favorably on the work. 


About the first of next month Emanuel Grossnickle will begin soliciting and collecting for the college. But a small part of the territory tributary to it has been canvassed for students and the faculty now feel that the standing to which it has attained justifies them in inviting others to its doors from greater distances. It is probable that Mr. Grossnickle will be in the field continuously and others at times through the early spring. 


Farmers say that the public highways were never in a worse condition than they now are. Wabash county has many miles of graveled roads which have been constructed at a big expense to the farmers and a great injustice is done to them when heavy loads are hauled over the roads in such times as these. Free pikes are a blessing, but the law should be enforced on those who persist in cutting them up. 


Judging from the appearance of small pox at so many places in this state we conclude that now is the time to have all children vaccinated before exposure to that terrible disease, a case of which may appear any day when least expected. Those who have had a case of it in their homes will not be found opposing vaccination. 


The young people of our city can again enjoy their pastime in skating for "Old Man Winter" has once more transformed the river into ice.


Ladies, why do you persist in washing your hair with soap? It should never be done. Get a bottle of "One Day Dandruff Cure" and the head washing process will stop forever. It will grow nice new heavy hair where only a thin patch existed before. Fifty cents a bottle.

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  For sale by George Burdge. 


There will be a meeting of people interested in North Dakota at the opera house Friday evening at 7:30 o'clock. C. H. Shaw, emigration agent of the Northern Pacific railroad, will address the crowd.


Rural Mail Route Established

The Delivery of Mail Will Begin Next Saturday, March 15, Providence Permitting

The free rural mail delivery route to the south and east of this city, which was surveyed some time ago, as all the readers of the JOURNAL are aware, has been ordered by the postoffice department at Washington, and if there is no hitch in the proceedings from now on the first delivery of mail on the route will be made on March 15. This route covers a territory estimated at forty square miles in which something over 1,300 people reside. The number of families is probably 300. The distance to be traveled by the mail carrier is twenty-six miles and he will make the trip every day, except Sunday, leaving the postoffice here at 8 o'clock in the morning.

Each patron of the route is required to put up a substantial mail box on a post by the roadside in front of his residence or at whatever point he expects to get his mail. This the only expense the people along the route will be to. The mail boxes are to be put up in such a way that the carrier can drive alongside and put in or take out mail without getting out of his rig. All who expect to receive mail on the route should notify the postmaster of that fact. According to the rules of the department people living within a mile of the road traveled by the carrier can be served providing they put up boxes along the route. The carrier will both deliver and take up mail.

Charley Taylor has been appointed carrier and he will start out in grand style with his little red, white and blue wagon. His salary will be $400 annually. The first trip will be mainly devoted to delivering the boxes which are sold to the patrons who will put them up. It will take a trip or two to get the route in good working order. 

  • March 22, 1900
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Rural Mail Delivery Experience Where it Has Been Tried Shows it to Be of Wonderful Advantage

The rural Mail delivery route in charge of Charles Taylor is getting into shape as fast as possible. Not all the people along the route have their boxes up yet but he carries quite a large quantity of mail already. The people along the route are taking to the plan with pleasure. Some of the numerous advantages of the rural delivery are summed up as follows. The results of the introduction of the rural delivery of mail, as recorded by the postoffice department, show that it is a great promoter of educational influences. Not only does it increase the amount of mail received in country districts, but it greatly augments the number of letters written. The farmer finds his letters at his hand each day, and instead of waiting for the week to end, he replies at once. His correspondents increase in number, his interchange of letters become much more rapid and he finds himself in closer touch with the great world.

Newspapers reach him before the world has speed by the events they record, and he feels as if he were a part and parcel of the great whirling stream of life, and he awakens to a new consciousness of life.

The number of periodicals taken by farmers has vastly increased in all places where the new plan operates, and the education which comes from contact with the outer world is gladly absorbed. But there are other good results that come and will continue to expand. 

  • June 14 1900
It is reported that Charley Swank, mail carrier on rural route No 1 out of this city has had his salary increased to $500 a year. Heretofore carriers received $400 per annum for their work which is about $l.25 per day. They must furnish a horse and buggy and drive from twenty-five to thirty miles a day, and their compensation is very small for the services rendered. They are compelled to go over their routes in all kinds of weather.


Groninger's Red Hogs

A breed of red or sandy colored hogs has been the rage with some farmers of late and the report comes to us that Hen Lou Groninger, the
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  jovial Pleasant township farmer, has a little bit the reddest hogs of any red hogs in the country. It appears that at the sale of a neighbor a week or two ago, Mr. Groninger made some purchases among which were a couple of pigs and a bucket partly full of red paint with which was a brush. He put the pigs in a box in the hind end of his wagon and on starting home several of his neighbors got in to ride. On the way his friends used the paint on the hogs and when Mr. Groninger got home he had a pair of the most beautiful red hogs you ever saw. The boys think they have a great joke on Hen Lou, but he says he has been wanting red hogs for a long time and never knew he could get them so easily before. 


Farmers who feed pumpkins to hogs should see that the seeds have been extracted. At several points over the state, hogs have been dying off by the hundreds on account of indigestion caused by pumpkin seeds. Cholera was supposed to have been the cause of death, but a post-mortem examination of several porkers disclosed the fact that the stomach was packed with undigested seeds.


A Case of Reckless Driving

The JOURNAL is in receipt of a communication which says that last Sunday at the Ulrey church (Eel River) north of town, while Ford Landis and Lizzie Miller were driving away from the church after services they were run into by Elmer Burch, who came driving up at right angle toward them, his horse going at high speed. The buggies came together with a crash damaging both of them to some extent and pitching Landis to the ground, Miss Miller remaining in the buggy. Landis' horse became frightened and ran at full speed down the road but Miss Miller by presence of mind gathered up the lines which were dragging under the buggy and succeeded in stopping the animal after he had run almost a quarter of a mile. Young Burch, who has the reputation of being a very careless and reckless driver, had another wreck in the afternoon of the same day while racing. In this wreck the buggies were upset but so far as we have learned no {one} was hurt. If all this story is true the young man had been mend his ways and be a little more careful in his driving. 

And then in the next issue...

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Always Two Sides to a Story

Last week on the authority of a gentleman who vouched for the absolute truth of his statements the JOURNAL published a story about "a case of reckless driving" in which Ford Landis and Elmer Burch were the star actors, the blame rather being placed on young Burch. Now comes the other side of the case and with all due solemnity vouches for the entire truth of their side of the story. They claim that the accident was as much the fault of Landis as of Burch and that both were driving out of the church yard in a frantic endeavor to see which could get to the road first. Also that Landis is as reckless a driver as Burch.

So you see it is all a matter of personal opinion after all, and as some wise man once said, this is evidently a case "of which much might be said on both sides." The JOURNAL has no desire to decide the respective merit of these young men as reckless drivers and haven now given both sides of this controversy the public and those interested can "pay their money and take their choice" and settle the matter as they see fit.


College President Resigns

It will no doubt be a surprise to many people to learn that Mr. H. P. Albaugh has resigned the presidency of the college in this city to take effect at the end of the school year in June. Mr. Albaugh has found college work not altogether to his liking and has decided to reengage with his former employers, Powers, Highley & Co., educational publishers, in Chicago, at a salary of $2,500 a year. He has done good work in the time he has been connected with the college and it is a matter of regret to his friends to see him leave although they wish him success. He expects, however, to retain his residence here

As to his successor nothing definite is known at this time. The college trustees have in mind some men for the place of wide experience and learning, who cannot help but satisfy the most fastidious minds, and probably by the time Mr. Albaugh's year is up they will have filled his place to the satisfaction of all. The college authorities tell us that the outlook for the future of the institution is very bright and eminently satisfactory.

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