of the North Manchester Historical
VOLUME X, NUMBER 1
Historical Society Undertakes Preservation of [photo] The Thomas Marshall house was purchased with Historical Society funds which had been held for several years for that purpose. The total project of moving the house to a permanent site, renovating it, restoring it to the period of the 1850's securing funds to endow the operation as an educational center and museum is now underway. The Community Foundation is playing a major role through the assistance of the Lilly Endowment. This Endowment fund will match one dollar for every two contributed to the Community Foundation for the Marshall project up to $12,000. Lilly Endowment has already contributed $10,000 to enable the town to purchase the Tyner house which will be moved and eventually sold for endowment funds.
While at Wabash College, Thomas Marshall became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. While vice-president, he noted that this fraternity was one of the major contributing influences in his life. When a member of this fraternity at Wabash College learned about the project the Historical Society was starting with the Marshall house through an article in the New-Journal, support for the project by this fraternity was undertaken in several ways. First, they have provided direct hands-on labor-- a major and encouraging contribution. Second, they have started a fund raising effort to support the project with dollars and have worked to enlist the national fraternity organization to assist in that effort.
The end result of this campaign will be to provide a legacy for future generations to learn about North Manchester's favorite son, who became Indiana's governor and then vice-president for two terms. The house, as a museum, will also provide an ideal place to learn about the 1850-1900 time period in U. S. history.
To be able to renovate and restore, to provide an endowment for maintenance and funds to purchase period pieces as they become available, and to provide free admission to school children, the Historical Society is launching the Thomas Riley Marshall Commemoration Campaign.
Current estimates of expenses include:
Marshall House Purchase $20,000
Moving two houses 20,000
Restoration of Marshall house 25,000
Endowment for Operation 70,000
Campaign Expenses 2,000
Total Project 162,000
From the town- share in cost of Tyner property 20,000
Lilly Endowment match for Tyner 10,000
Possible further matching funds from Lilly Endowment 12,000
The Challenge for the Campaign $120,000
We believe this is a worthy project for your contribution. It will benefit the town by adding an important attraction to Market Street which is currently part of the focus of the trees project and which already includes the swimming pool and the sports complex. It will benefit the children of many coming generations by providing a setting for a better understanding of their history. It will provide a unique commemoration of an important historical figure who was born in our town.
How much are you expected to give? Only you know your financial capabilities. We hope that with all of us-members and non-members, town supporters, and members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity family-we can reach the goal of $120,000. We want to do an authentic and professional job that will make us all proud, and that will cost money. We also want to have enough endowment that the house can be well maintained without constant worry.
The house is currently being restored to its former configuration by the removal of "fake" siding, porches, a dormer and modern bath and kitchen appliances. If you are close enough, drive by and note the progress. A new old-fashioned shingle roof may be the next special project. Some utilities have promised free wire removal as we prepare to move the houses- another major contribution.
There are many details. Several members of your historical society have and are giving major amounts of time and work to the project. Your money contributions are and will be essential to our success.
Proper recognition of donors will be made at the restored home. Special consideration will be given to gifts of larger amounts. Multi-year pledges can also be given. All contributions should be sent to the Community Foundation.
A Hoosier Lawyer Serves His Country Thomas Marshall said about his going to Washington, "I went, as I think the average American goes, somewhat in awe. I was impressed with the feeling that the American people might have made a mistake in setting me down in the company of all the wise men of the land." His inaugural speech pointed out that he was entering four years of silence for his vice-presidential term.
Even that admission did not prepare him for the discovery that his office was one room near the Senate chamber which he said did not differ "much from a monkey cage, except that the visitors do not offer me any peanuts." The vice-president's car was not immediately available so he rode the street car.
The Congress soon demanded his full attention. His reputation as a Governor had been a liberal one but he moved toward a conservative stance. He accepted the President's leadership and kept quiet when he disagreed. In some cases he did oppose certain legislation but if the party favored it Marshall made no further resistance. He declared that "no decent Democrat" could favor prohibition and he consistently resisted women's suffrage.
One speech which he made early in this term raised a real storm of comments. Simply, he said that "if the tendency of certain men to accumulate vast fortunes was not curbed, America might face socialism or paternalism." He was accused of inciting class hatreds or threatening property confiscation. Amid the furor there were several who called for the vice-president to return to his traditional position of silence. The Washington Star replied that "he is a ready and entertaining speaker, and owes his prominence in affairs to his success on the stump in Indiana. For years the simple announcement that Tom Marshall would speak collected great crowds "on the banks of the Wabash."
So the first year of his term he was surely not popular. Some considered him wild; others were very displeased with his humor. "Wit makes enemies. It stirs up the hornets." The first step toward changing his image was a deliberate move by an old friend from Columbia City who had become a well-known corporation lawyer in New York. He arranged a lunch which Marshall attended and invited a number of prominent New Yorkers. "Marshall provided such genial conversation, spiced with his usual stories, that men who had come to spend an hour, rushed away in the late afternoon just in time to close their offices." It was a beginning.
By March, 1917, the New York Times said in an editorial that Marshall spoke with a sense and sanity that was urgently needed. There was widespread approval of his conduct as presiding officer of the Senate. The New York Times said in an editorial when he left the vice-presidency in 1921, "He has been impartial, alert, urbane. His humor, his sound sense, his courtesy and his entire lack of self-importance have made both sides of the chamber treasure him. He has played perfectly the difficult and self-effacing part of the Vice President." There is strong evidence of his fairness; in fact, some believed he leaned over backwards to be fair to Republicans. Some of his closest personal friends were members of that party.
Marshall did not hesitate to shake the dignity of the Senate. Later, Senators would realize that his humor had eased tempers and led to progress. In a most unusual occurrence in July, 1913, the Vice-President took the chair with a baby in his arms. It was Thomas Marshall Sutherland, the son of Marshall's former pastor. The conflict over the Chair of the presiding officer brought mixed reactions. The Chair of the Committee on Rules came into the Senate chamber one afternoon soon after Marshall arrived and discovered that the "beautiful and gilded and dignified chair was gone from the desk of the vice-president." In its place was what the committee chair described as "a dinky little chair." He discovered that the exchange had been made on direct orders of the Vice-President.
Marshall's explanation was that he expected "in the next four years to have to sit in the Senate Chamber and listen to many long-winded speeches which you and other Senators will deliver, but I'll tell you right now, I am not going to have any additional punishment inflicted upon me by having to sit in an uncomfortable chair, too big for me and so high my legs will not reach the floor. Dignity or no dignity, I will not do it."
Marshall's humor enlivened many a dull moment in the Senate. Perhaps it is unfortunate that the statement most often remembered is one made during a long speech when the minds of many senators were relaxed. Marshall leaned over to speak to one of the secretaries of the Senate in a voice loud enough that others could hear. He probably said, "What this country needs is a really good five cent cigar." It is hard to say just why that witticism has been so popular.
War became an important issue during Marshall's term as Vice-President. In 1915 Marshall was described as "second only to William J. Bryan in his pacifist policy and he supported Wilson in his attempt to maintain neutrality. Even when the Lusitania was sunk, Marshall counseled against precipitate action. As time went on, he came to see the war as a national emergency and the U. S. as engaged in a struggle to make the world safe for democracy. Even so he later stated that he made the kind of speeches he was instructed to make by his commander-in-chief.
The year after the war several royal visitors came to the United States and, because of the illness of President Wilson, Marshall served as host in the place of the President. The additional expenditure caused a real strain on his $12,000 salary. No extra funds were supplied to care for the expense of entertainment.
Except for one summer they made their home in a hotel for the eight years they were in Washington. His auto was supplied by the government and kept in the Senate garage.
Mrs. Marshall helped sponsor the Diet Kitchen Welfare Center and there she came to know the chronically ill child of a maid and a church janitor. She persuaded her husband to allow her to bring the baby to their home. He wrote later that "I had said to her that she might keep him, provided he did not squall under my feet. He grew out of his crib; but he never walked with as sure a certainty on the streets of Washington, as he walked into my heart." They gave him every special care available but he died at the age of three, never having been adopted. The Marshalls went to Arizona, even though Congress was in session, "to get away from the toys."
Marshall was determined to live on his salary while he was in public office but because of the necessary expenses he felt he had to find an additional source of income. He later wrote, "I went on the Chautauqua lecture platform and received compensation for addresses while vice-president. I either had to do it, steal, or resign." He traveled and made many speeches for which he received no honorarium nor payment of expenses. Reporters liked him and he provided lots of copy. As the war developed there were crank letters and threats on his life. He threw them in the wastebasket but one bomb exploded near his desk in 1915.
He was physically small and thin, walked with a limp, weighed only about one hundred, twenty-five pounds. Many assumed his health was poor; actually he was quite vigorous. During the long months when President Wilson was incapacitated, Marshall had no more accurate information than did the general public. Many now think and others thought then that the functions of the Presidential Office should have moved to Marshall but the nation was lift in limbo without active executive leadership for weeks or months at a time.
Marshall was criticized by those who thought he should assume the position and end the government drift and he was suspected by Wilson's friends of planning to do just that. Marshall resisted and prevented the replacement of the President without Wilson's consent. Actually the rules for a change of leadership were not definite and the crisis might have been compounded by Marshall's action. There were proposals that President Wilson should resign and Wilson, himself, planned his resignation in 1916 and maybe, again in November, 1920.
The 1920 Democratic National Convention was in San Francisco. By that time Vice-President Marshall was enjoying quite wide public approval and was considered a likely candidate for the presidential nomination. The Indianapolis News described editorially plans for winning the nomination. He had strong support from the State party. But the party was mostly ready to drop the Wilson administration and Marshall's greatest vote was thirty-six on the second ballot.
So Thomas R. Marshall was retired on March 4, 1921, as one of the most popular vice-presidents Washington had seen. He moved his legal residence to Indianapolis in 1915 and now he proposed to spend the rest of his life there. He was appointed to the Lincoln Memorial Commission and in October, 1922, to the Federal Coal Commission. He asked for office space in the law office of Fred A. Sims who had been Secretary of State during Marshall's governorship. They also had built a cottage in Scottsdale, Arizona. Again Marshall taught a Bible class and Mrs. Marshall assisted in the primary department of their church.
Marshall was a baseball fan all of his life and had umpired in college. Now he attended games with friends. He had not gathered any financial reserves and he returned to lecturing and writing regularly syndicated articles in order to make it possible for them to live well. By 1925 he needed some extra money and decided to write his Recollections. He told a friend he wanted to get away from the coal burning in Indianapolis. The cough he had was more likely from his constant cigar. He worked about five months dictating the book. It went on sale immediately after his death and brought almost fifty thousand dollars into the estate.
Other activities included his duties as Trustee of Wabash College, a position he had held during his governorship and his vice-presidency. Wabash was the first college to grant Marshall an honorary degree and six other colleges had followed before 1918. The couple traveled to Europe in 1922 and made return visits to several who had made official visits to them in Washington. He was under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge as a delegate to the International Conference in Switzerland.
In his seventieth year his health failed. He had a heart attack in April, 1925, but recovered enough to make some graduation speeches in Indiana including at Manchester College. In May, the Marshalls went to Washington but he was soon confined to bed. He died suddenly on the morning of June 1 while reading the fourth chapter of Mark. The funeral was conducted by the Masons and he is buried in Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis. Wabash College received his library, a bronze bust and most of his other mementos. An oil painting of Marshall hangs in the dining room of his old fraternity, Phi Delta Gamma.
The Intriguing Mr. Gaddis By Jay A. Taylor (Prepared for the North
Manchester Historical Society and to be followed by a "slice of the life" of George Fox(x) Gaddis shared by those who have such memories of him.)
There was always something mysterious about George Fox Gaddis to me as a child and a teen. He was known to me because my father was always finding things to sell in North Manchester during the depression. Dad would deliver "Taylor Pure Maple Syrup" and later hard maple firewood in town. Most of North Manchester was uneventful to me except for the girls on Main Street and the unique area to the south. At the time this was known as Riverside.
The warranty deed given when Max Kester bought the Gaddis property from the estate describes it as "The Town of Riverside" in Chester Township, Wabash County, Indiana. The Gaddis Home was located in Riverside on what is today called South Market where the James R. C. Adams family lives. The home is on the west side of the street and a bend of Eel River comes near the east side of the road. At the very peak of the Gaddis home the roof was flat and a banister was installed to create a "widow's walk" similar to those along the sea where women watched for their fishermen to return with the catch. In the middle of this high point an arch stood with an electric bulb that burned all night long.
The mystery of this man was as profound to me as the apocalypse-- the second coming of Christ. The rumblings of World War II had begun. Rev. Pascal of Calvary Tabernacle, Fort Wayne, had decreed that the end of the world would be in November or December, 1941. Considering himself to be grounded in scriptures he would do no more than name Hitler as the anti-Christ, and would not dare to give the exact day or time for this event.
It was also at this time I heard a story from my older brothers that the light on the arch high upon the "widow's walk" at the Gaddis home was to direct the returning steps of Jesus. The way it was told to me was that Jesus was to return with one foot on land and one on water. George wanted the Lord to know he was welcome at his house. I wasn't sure I wanted any of this at our house!
Someone who had not heard the land and water bit was hard pressed to know how the returning Messiah was to get down from the roof-top since there were no known trap doors, ladders or stairs inside the house leading to and from the "widow's walk." Of course less compulsive persons speculated the light was a practical way at night to guide Mr. Gaddis' steps home from uptown.
In 1945 the draft ended my speculations when I left this community not to return until retirement in 1989. Meanwhile, I had made my peace with the apocalypse. Remember, I have a compulsive nature that still wanted to solve the mystery of George Gaddis. By this time he was dead, as was his wife, Julia, who had survived him for a number of years. In my search I found access to the Historical Society Newsletters that gave helpful information. While visiting with Harold French, Lagro Township, I discovered he had lived here, and had worked for George Gaddis as an older child and junior high boy while they lived west of the Gaddis home about 1925. In addition, I went to our walking historian, Dr. Bunker, and then at her suggestion to Mary Bazzoni who with her husband moved from Chicago to the Riverside neighborhood about 1945. Max Kester also gave valuable information from his ownership and remodeling of the property.
Let me apologize to all the historical "purists." My intent was to attempt to get the color and flavor of the Gaddis family. I certainly don't want to cast aside exact information, so would welcome any additions or corrections.
George Gaddis moved to North Manchester in August, 1903. He came from the Philippine Islands where he was in the standing army after the Spanish American War, and where he had met Julia Cornwell, a missionary teacher. A copy of his obituary found in a piece of furnishings bought by Mary Bazzoni at the estate auction confirms that he and Julia were married November 20, 1903, in Wabash. His birth was at Neponset, Illinois in 1873 and his death was at the VA Hospital, Fort Wayne, Indiana, September 6, 1959.
Upon coming to town he had first built a small dwelling. Then he constructed the larger house, doing all carpentry, heating, plumbing and electrical work himself. To these buildings he had added a machine-shop in which he could create all joints, turnings, and castings, and he even crafted the machines to create whatever he needed to build! There were no eave troughs on the house, but instead a concrete apron surrounding the foundation to keep the house clean and protect the ground from washing away. Since there was a cistern, that water must have been caught from the eaves of other buildings. Typical of Gaddis' ingenuity, the cistern water was pumped to the attic of the house where it was plumbed to some of the faucets of the home and into the garden for irrigation.
Mr. Gaddis and Julia were small people, and since he created his own doors, door frames and stairways, they were usually made low and narrow for their smaller size. It is reported that rooms originally were so small that in one instance three of the small ones made just one average size room. The Newsletter carried an article telling of his system of mirrors that allowed him to see who was at the door before answering. Dr. Bunker reports that he bought much of his pipe from her father's salvage yard on West Main Street for the steam heating system he designed. He seemingly was able, without resorting to standard sizes and practices, to create everything he needed from scratch. Unfortunately, when he was no longer able to maintain the property, much of his creation stopped functioning. Persons unfamiliar with his inventions found them impossible to repair.
Gaddis was well known for the arbor he created across the road on the river bank. He seemed to be so energetic that one might think he never took time to sit down. Harold French tells of one learning moment when the two of them sat on the arbor's bench overlooking the river. Gaddis said, "Harold, if anyone ever hits you say, 'Don't do that again.' If they hit you a second time, just maul the earth with them." French went on, "That was the lesson he gave me about turning the other cheek."
Mr. Gaddis maintained honey bees and extracted the honey for use and sale. Mr. French helped him raise asparagus for sale and helped him in the shop. He reported that Mr. Gaddis had unending patience. When screens had been crafted they were given to Harold to put on the moldings which had been bought and stored in long lengths at the shop. As a youngster Harold often made a mistake in the cutting and so wasted many pieces. He shares that, "Gaddis was a good man. I want to emphasize that! He never said a thing. I remember that every nail and screw had to be dipped in red lead before I drove it."
It didn't surprise Dr. Bunker that French reported another instance of patience and ingenuity. Gaddis had just fastened a piece of wood that appeared to be 2 1/2 X 2 1/2 by 42 inches long in his lathe. As soon as he put the chisel to it the piece flew out, hit Gaddis on the forehead and opened a gash 2 1/2 inches long from which the blood spurted. George said nothing, but went up the steps into the house. In about half an hour he returned with his wound sutured with common black thread. Since there was no one else in the house and he had not left the property, Julia had to have been the one to have sewn him up. Again he said nothing, but calmly put the piece back in the lathe and finished it as if nothing had ever happened.
Truck chassis were delivered to Mr. Gaddis much as those delivered to school bus factories in our day. He would set about designing and building both truck cab and body. The cabs were designed with sliding doors that opened and closed with precision.
Periodically while the man and boy worked in the ship there would be a disturbance among the birds. At this point Gaddis handed the boy a 22 rifle and he took another and they went hunting predators. The predator was usually a cat. Cat lovers might be offended that Harold and George usually got the culprit. It was also known that the Gaddis home had several small port holes from which aim could be taken at the undesirable bird predators.
Every reporter on the life of George Gaddis mentioned that he was known for following the astrological signs. He liked to use bass wood, which had to be cut in the woods, sawed into rough lumber, and cured under his roof, all by the sign, of course. He was generous with giving tree seedlings, asparagus roots and various cuttings to any who would accept them. This, too, was done at the proper moon phase. Few of us know these signs, but I remember those who would only plant early potatoes on Good Friday. An educated guess is that this root crop needed to be planted in the dark of the moon, or when the moon was waning. Remember, Good Friday, just before Easter, comes after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Hence, potatoes were planted in the dark of the moon.
Long after working for George, French remembers his daughter's seventh birthday. George and Julia Gaddis also wanted to celebrate that special day. Thus, timing the moon phase, they showed up at the Huntington home of the French's with a blue spruce seedling which he planted. After all these years that tree still lives and thrives in the front yard of the current resident.
Adjectives used to describe Mr. Gaddis have been: alert, intense, well coordinated, determined, kind, courteous. Mary Bazzoni remembers that he taught her to garden. Many a child in North Manchester swung a ball bat with no trade mark which was turned by the generous hand and heart of George Gaddis. Not only was there a light always burning on top of the Gaddis house, but there was always a flag of the United States of America flying and well cared for. Now his army mementos are in the custody of the local post of the American Legion.
Mr. Gaddis was found frequently at the town board meetings and other gatherings where he was vocal about general morality and specifically about the saloons. He was always courteous to Julia and even when he was fighting an evil issue, his behavior was always proper. He was frequently called wherever there was a construction problem where he helped work through whatever issues were presented.
He was a staunch supporter of the Christian Science Reading Room which was maintained in a building at the back of Sam Oldfather's residence on Market Street, north of Second Street. Public meetings were scheduled there for a time, and later the group meetings were held in private homes. The reading room was still maintained for private study for many years. The residue of the Gaddis estate was given to the Christian Science Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Interestingly, when Julia left the Philippines, her students made and gave her a delightful silk gown which she treasured through the years. At her request it was prepared for her burial dress.
I am sure this is not the end of the story of the Gaddis sojourn in our town. For instance, I am curious why he was named for the Quaker divine, George Foxx. Perhaps the memory pump has been primed for additions and corrections to flesh out more of the story.
Widow of Thomas Marshall Dies
Mrs. Lois Marshall, widow of Thomas R. Marshall, died Monday at Phoenix, Arizona, where she had lived most of the time since the death of her husband in 1925. Thomas R. Marshall, born in North Manchester on what is now the site of the Marshall theatre, was governor of Indiana and vice-president of the United States when Woodrow Wilson was president. Mr. Marshall died shortly after he had given the commencement address at Manchester College. The Thomas Marshall school in North Manchester was named in his honor. The Marshall family had moved to Columbia City during the boyhood of Thomas. He became a practicing attorney at Columbia City and became acquainted with Lois Kinsey, who was working as deputy for her father, clerk of Steuben County at Angola. She was 23 and Mr. Marshall 41 when they were married.
appeared in the News-Journal on January 9, 1958.
After completing his two terms as vice-president, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall returned to Indianapolis where he continued the practice of law. The funeral service for Mrs. Marshall will be held at Phoenix Friday, and the body will be brought to Indianapolis for burial in the Marshall mausoleum in Crown Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Marshall was 85 years old.