of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.
VOLUME XX NUMBER 2 MAY, 2003
This advertisement and others in this issue are from the 1875 Atlas of Wabash County.
Dr Woodward was born at Hyde Park, New York, April 10th, 1832. In 1840 his parents removed to the then wilds of western New
York where Indians were plenty and he acquired an early knowledge of their language, habits and medicines. From 1843 to '46 he was sent to school in New York, and in 1846, went to St. Louis where he joined a party of explorers, and in company with them crossed the continent, finally reaching Puget Sound on the Pacific coast. Here he took up his abode with the Blackfoot Indians and trapped for the Hudson Bay Fur Company, where he remained as one of the chief's family until 1852 when he returned home in company with some trappers by way of the Red River of the North, wintering in its valley. He reached St. Paul in November, 1853 and arrived in New York in December, after an absence of seven years. From 1854 to '55 he attended Medical College of Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1856 moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and commenced the practice of Indian medicine. He carried on a successful practice there for two years, when he buried his young wife, and in a distracted state of mind started for South America, visiting the principal cities of the coast, and spending a season in Cuba. He subsequently returned to New York in the spring of 1860 and started west to visit friends at Fort Wayne, Indiana, who prevailed upon him to remain and practice there. In 1861 he married again, and his practice becoming extensive, he took a student, who is now his partner.
Dr A. Simon was born in Allen County, Indiana in 1839 and commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Woodward in 1861. In 1865 he and Dr. Woodward commenced practice together in Warsaw, Indiana and in 1866, Dr. Woodward, finding his health failing left him in charge of his practice, and with his wife and child crossed the plains to the Rocky Mountains, where he renewed many old acquaintances. In 1867, he was engaged in a trading expedition which left Denver City, Colorado for the Red River country. In Wyoming several hostile bands of Indians were encountered and in one affray Dr. Woodward was severely wounded but subsequently recovered so as to proceed with his party. Communication being cut off in their rear for two years their friends supposed the party to have been totally destroyed until their return to Denver City in 1869.
In 1870 the Doctor was at the head of another party who travelled through Arizona, New Mexico, Mexico and Lower California, spend
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ing some time in mining in those regions with varied success until at last, when they had made rich and valuable discoveries and seemed on the point of realizing unbounded wealth, they were obliged, on account of a general uprising among the Indians to flee for their lives. Upon reaching the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Doctor sent his wife and child home by rail, but being short of funds, started across the country on horseback himself. In this dangerous trip the Doctor became separated from his companions and came very near being captured by Indians, being hotly pursued by them until his horse, exhausted by the length and severity of the long ride, without food and water, fell dead under him. In the long and tedious journey which was left him to perform on foot, The Doctor suffered hardships from which he has never fully recovered. He finally reached Fort Dodge in safety, however, from whence he was sent home to Fort Wayne on a free pass. He found Dr. Simon still practicing, and prevailed upon him to re-establish the old firm of Woodward and Simon at North Manchester in 1874.
By Jack Miller, former curator of the
Wabash County Historical Museum
When I visit my old home town of North Manchester, I most often include a drive around the beautiful Peabody Retirement Home. It is like a magnet to me. Not the home so much as the ground on which it stands. I wonder if any of the good people living there feel the vibrations of excitement that generated on these grounds so many years ago. I am talking about the North Manchester Fairgrounds.
When I was a kid, for one week in August, this was my Disneyland and Seven Flags of America all rolled up into one. I think it even surpassed Santa Claus in excitement. I was four years old when I started anticipating the fair. We lived on West Third Street and on the week of the fair I was allowed to walk down Beckley Street to the Big Four Railroad crossing at Peabody factory. From there I could look northeast out over Seventh Street and there it stood so far away - the
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ferris wheel - the symbol of excitement.
Come on, would you like to go to the Fair with me? Good, but wait as I had to. My mother and aunt always said Wednesday afternoon was the best day at the Fair. Don't ask this impatient kid why. The year is 1923 and this seven year old boy and his mother walk over to Grandma Miller's house across from the West End grocery. My aunt Iona and cousin Margaret are waiting for us. Buffalo Street is right across from the house and that magic street will lead us directly through the archways into the south entrance to the fairgrounds,
The sidewalks are crowded now as we cross Seventh Street. Only a block to go. There is a line at the ticket booth to get into the grounds. Look who is selling tickets, that big man, John Isenbarger, who owns the fairgrounds. The first thing facing us is the high bank of the south west turn of the half-mile race track. Wow! A race is on. Listen to the clomping of those trotters as they race by on that clay track, and the people cheering their favorites on from the big white grandstand on the west side of the track.
A glance to the southeast turn and look at all the horse and buggies tied up there. There is a good turnout of the old order Dunkards today. We glance to the southwest of the grounds. Wow! What a big tent! A Wild West Show with cowboys and Indians! Right out in front of that is the merry-go- round and the ferris wheel a short distance north of that. We have arrived. Mother gives me a dime and I mount the meanest looking horse while my cousin Margaret sits with the women in the couch-like seats. The music starts booming and we start going around as my horse moves up and down. I am Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson and Buck Jones all rolled into one.
Next, we ride the Ferris wheel, each with our mothers. We can see all the race track from up here. There is Jonnie Warvel's deer park to the east, and Peabody Factory and Oaklawn Cemetery to the west. Oh, that sensation as that ferris wheel drops you down. A few rounds and the man stops our car, releases the safety bar and it is all over for another year.
There is the whirling chair swing, but mother says perhaps later on in the afternoon. Let's walk the fair and look at other things. There is a row of "throw the ball and knock the dolls off the rack." If you
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can knock one off the shelf, you might win a Kewpie Doll. Another one had dishes and another, ashtrays. These were for the big boys to impress their girlfriends with what good arms they had. Once in a while one of them would succeed in knocking one off the shelf. Oh look, something new. Throw the ball at a bulls-eye target. A good hit and up in the balcony a little pen would open and a small pig would come sliding down to the ground on a slide. There was a big crowd of people standing around watching this.
There were all kinds of tents or stands, barkers selling everything from kitchenware to magic tricks to snake oil.
The building our mothers were working their way to was the big, white frame building, just to the west of the grandstand, The Memorial Exhibition Building. This was the ladies' section of the fair. Here they showed off their good work of home canning, dress-making, food demonstrations and the latest household gadgets. It seemed like we spent too much time in there for a seven year-old boy.
Once outside we had a pink lemonade from a stand and over by the west fence was a row of HIS and HERS outhouses. I don't believe they had any connection to the city sewer lines. Just north of that was the poultry tent with chickens, ducks, geese and then the north end of the fair grounds the horse barns on Ninth Street. These were for the beautiful trotters and pacers the race horses that excited the male attendees of the fair.
I hope this gives you residents who live at the Peabody Home some idea of what took place on these grounds before it all ended at the 1929 fair which was a flop as a dispute arose over the price of rental and all the concessionaires walked out. The only thing at the fair that year was a rodeo show in front of the grandstand.
Oh! I could talk about other events that took place during the summer on your grounds. Automobile racing with souped up Model T engines, local talent productions in front of the grandstand. How about the House of David baseball games with the North Manchester Giants and the year they had the brawl in which bats and skulls were fractured out there in the infield.
How about those early Twenties when the KKK had their big parade downtown in North Manchester and then the hundred or so
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whitehooded clan would march out to the grounds you sleep on tonight and burn the fiery cross. Hey! Enough of this! Sleep tight tonight you who are sleeping on my old North Manchester Fairgrounds.
Reprinted from The Paper with permission of Jack Miller
From actual Surveys by and under the direction
This stream is called by different names. Near Manchester where it empties into Eel River, and for several miles above it is best known as Ogan Creek, deriving this name from John Ogan who was one of the very first settlers in the township and built a cabin on its banks in
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1834. Further up and from thence to its source (in Huntington County) it has the name of Pony Creek, by which title it is designated on the maps. Tradition tells how it received this name, and the legend seemed worthy of a place in this work.
Years and years ago at the time when the first pioneers had just begun to penetrate this region, and white settlers were few and far between while the dusky Miamis hunted the deer through the forest-covered lands of Chester and adjacent townships, a band of white desperadoes organized and carried out a plan of stealing their ponies, which evinced much ingenuity; and for a time was very successful.
In the central part of the township extending through sections 23 and 24 in Range 7 and Sections 19 and 20 in Range 8, there was a strip of land known as the "Windbrake" in which all the trees had been blown down by a tornado some years before and here among the young timber that had sprung up since, vegetation was more luxuriant than in the surrounding forest. To this spot, the Indian ponies when turned loose were wont to find their way.
Taking advantage of this circumstance these renegades constructed a trap or pound, with a converging lane leading to it which was so placed as to intercept the trail taken by the ponies on their way to the "Windbrake". Entering the lane, it was an easy matter for them to find their way into the inclosure through its narrow opening, but once fairly inside they could not readily escape. From here they were taken by the gang, who ran them off to the northward until they came to the creek, half a mile above, and near the county line. They followed down the bed of the stream "to break the trail" and so elude pursuit. Keeping to the creek for about a mile and a half, and reaching Sect. 19, they secreted their stolen property in a pen on the farm now belonging to Warren Jenks. This pen, like the former, was strongly built, being about eighteen rails high, and enclosed an area of nearly two acres. When a sufficient number of ponies had been brought together in this way, and a favorable opportunity occurred, they were then run off to some remote locality and there disposed of.
Stealing ponies, however, while it might have been profitable for those engaged in it, was an occupation that had its risks and dangers. The Indians learned to keep a closer watch over their property; and
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though it is doubted by some whether they ever discovered the mysterious traps, yet the gang on several occasions were closely pursued and narrowly escaped with their lives. One of them, Wicks by name, had lived among the Indians a large part of his life and having adopted their dress and habits was hardly distinguishable from one of the tribe. About 1840 he disappeared mysteriously and it has always been supposed met with summary retribution at their hands. This band of pony thieves had their headquarters in a hut on the farm later owned by Lewis Dailey in Section 20.
Indian ponies in those days were worth from fifteen to twenty dollars each. Though much too light for farm work, they were very tough and hardy and from the scarcity of better animals were often made use of by the settlers.
The Indians and their ponies together with the men who stole them, have all passed away. The place where the lower pen was built is now a cultivated field, and all traces of its existence long since obliterated. A few old and nearly rotten rails, and a space in the woods which shows by the absence of large trees that it had once been cleared, is all that is left to show where the trap once stood; but the name of Pony Creek still remains to perpetuate the legend of border times which has been related here.
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Total in 1870/Total in 1860/Total in 1850
Chester 3,143 2615 1539
La Gro 4,066 3581 2515
Liberty 1816 1810 1425
Noble without 4485 3650 2523
Wabash City 2881 1520 964
Pleasant 2533 2137 1312
Waltz 2361 2288 1856
Total population of the State of Indiana - 1870 1,680,637
Marion County 71,939
Allen County 43,494
List of Villages in the County:
America, Belden , Dora, Ijamsville, Lafontaine, La Gro, Laketon, Liberty Mills, Lincolnville, Mount Vernon, New Harrisburg, New Holland, New Madison, North Manchester, Pleasant View, Rich Valley, Roann, Somerset, Stockdale, Treaty, Wabash, Waltz, Urbana.
Each of these had a postoffice.
The biography of the one whose name heads this sketch furnishes a notable example of what industry and good financial management may accomplish, even when unaided by the possession of average bodily health and strength. In the sping of 1844, John Aughinbaugh came to the then straggling village of North Manchester, in poor health, without money and an entire stranger. Being a saddler by trade, he opened a small shop here--the first in the place--having managed to borrow money enough to make a start. In the course of time he accumulated a sufficient amount to enable him to buy out Richard Helvey's tavern stand, and in 1847 to start a drug store. A general grocery, dry goods and hardware establishment was subsequently added, and in course of time he came to own more than one-half of the
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town of Manchester
A close calculator, though by no means a penurious man, he has been remarkably successful from the very first. On the ensuing spring after his arrival in the place a total stranger, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and afterwards appointed Postmaster, serving in the former capacity five years, and fulfilling the duties of the latter seven.
In April of 1855, Mr. Aughinbaugh, having at that time a large family and becoming tired of town life, sold out his interests in the village and bought a part of the large farm on which he at present resides.
At the time of his coming to the country Mr. Aughinbaugh brought with him a pony which he had purchased of the Wyandotte Indians (with whom he had passed seven years of his younger life very happily) and the pony is at the present time, May, 1875, still living. Her age, according to the best information at hand, is thirty-six years.
The 1875 Atlas
The land in this township was not subject to entry by pre-emption, but was sold at public sale and in this way much of it fell into the hands of speculators. At the various sales, in order to prevent this, the settlers resorted to various pretexts, some of them perhaps not strictly honest. One of them was to attend the sale in a body, and when the land was offered, run up the price to a figure higher than the speculator dare
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offer, whether they had any intention of buying or not. Though, in the latter case, the land was put up again the following day, another would repeat the game until the speculator became discouraged and withdrew, he often being unable to distinguish between a bona fide bid and one made purely to worry him.
Sometimes eligible tracts remained without an owner, parties often fearing to purchase land they had not seen and in this way some pieces escaped attention. An incident may be related to show how these were sometimes entered. Mr. James Ridgely, passing through the southeast part of the township, discovered that part of Sec. 30 (Town, 29, Range 8) was good land and had never been entered.
While looking at the land, another party put in his appearance with design upon it also, and it became then a question as to which of them could get to the land office at Fort Wayne in the shortest time. The stranger was afoot, and setting his pocket compass took a bee-line for his destination. Mr. Ridgely, being mounted, struck down to the tow-path of the canal, a more circuitous route, but was fortunate enough to reach the land office at Fort Wayne about half an hour in advance. He afterwards returned to Montgomery County, Ohio, from which point he set out for his new home in the forest where he arrived in September, 1841 bringing with him about a year's supply of provisions. He found the little hut he had previously built used as a sort of stable by the Indian ponies. During the winter following he occupied himself in clearing up a patch on which to raise corn the following year. The tops of the fallen trees served as a "browse" for the cattle and horses and were about all they had to live on until grass came in in the spring.
Chester Township has long been ranked as one of the foremost in the county not only in the quality of the soil but in the enterprise of its inhabitants as shown by substantial farm improvements. A large tract of land lying in the southeast part of the township was returned as swamp land and for many years was called the "Bear Swamp" and was supposed by many to have no agricultural value. But it was taken up by an industrious and thrifty population mostly of German birth , and through their labors in clearing and draining, it is taking a high rank as one of the best and richest spots in the township.
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A Story from Pleasant Township
Incidents, ludicrous and pathetic, abounded in the experiences of early pioneers. The sage-grass of the barrens or oak openings, and the wild red-top of the prairies furnished most attractive pasturage for the cattle when it was young and tender, but as it grew coarse and straw-like later in the season, the temptation to wander off in search of fields fresh and pastures new was very strong among them and no fences or natural barriers limited their ramblings. The family cow frequently had quite decided ideas of her own regarding the proper time for returning. Sometimes she would come home at night; and very often she would not, just as happened to suit her fancy. In the case of her non-appearance at the proper time, it became the duty of the good housewife to hunt her up and bring her home; and so, leaving the children shut up in the cabin, she would start on her search, stopping ever and anon, as she went, to listen for the sound of the tinkling cow-bell, and then calling 'co'boss," 'co' boss," until the woods rang again.
On such an occasion a worthy dame who is still living, but whose modesty forbids mention of her name in this connection, wandered so far from home in search of the festive bovines that, when she found them at last, she discovered that she herself was lost. Night was approaching, hurried on prematurely by the unusual fogginess of the atmosphere and extreme measures must be adopted or she would be compelled to stay out with the wolves alone for company throughout the livelong night. Some women would have been at a loss what to do, but not so with this one. Seizing one of the cows by the caudal extremity, she gave her a smart blow with a cudgel; and started in the direction of home at a pace which was, of necessity, very far from a slow one. If she once let go she would never be able to follow them in the gathering night, through the dim woods and tall sage-grass; and so she clung to the tail with the grip of despair, plunging through swamps, streams, and fallen tree-tops, whatever came her way, until she at length reached the cabin in safety. She had travelled over three miles in this harum-scarum manner; and was a trifle out of breath, and some the worse for wear when she got there.
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Her husband had returned home from his work some time before she arrived; and, becoming alarmed at her long absence, was pounding on a barrel outside the house to attract her attention if she were lost. This was a common method of guiding a lost one home at that time, and when the good man did not return from his labors until the darkness had come on, his wife would take up her position outside the cabin and pound on the head of a barrel with a heavy stick in order to enable him to find the direction of the clearing. The story is told of a negligent husband who forgot to tell his wife that he was going to attend a "cornshucking" at a neighbor's one evening, and the devoted woman stayed out and pounded on that barrel-head until long after midnight.
It was no uncommon thing for children to stray away from home and become lost in the woods, while woods were so common and clearings so small and so unfrequent. One of the most noted of these cases, in local history, is the losing of one Henry Penrod, at that time aged three years. He disappeared about four o'clock one afternoon, and the family, failing to find him, when it began to grow dark, called in their neighbors to assist in the search. The news spread like wildfire that a child was lost, and everyone turned out to hunt for the wanderer. They searched all night, and when morning came he was still missing. A more thorough and systematic search was organized with the large force then on hand, and about nine o'clock a gun was fired which denoted that he had been found. An old hunter named Isaac Place, who was as good on a trail as any Indian, had tracked him to a cornfield about a mile from home, where he had slept soundly and safely all night; the prowling wolves, for a wonder, having failed to find him.
from The Kenapocomoco by Otho Winger
Continued from February 2003 Newsletter
From each of these long journeys, Little Turtle returned to his home here on Eel River. His home at the Eel River Post has already been described. Here he evidently lived in ease and comfort, but always concerned about the events of the day and the welfare of his
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own people. He made frequent trips to Fort Wayne and to other places where treaties were being made with the white men. His last days were saddened by the oncoming conflict which he saw was inevitable. On the one hand he was true to the peace treaty of Greenville and refused to have anything to do with the attempts of Tecumseh and the Prophet to stir up another war. In this way he incurred the displeasure of the Indians and lost much of his prestige as a leader among them. On the other hand he saw the selfishness and unfairness of many of the whites in their dealing with the red men. General Harrison in his letters to the war department often complained of Little Turtle and even doubted his integrity. But after the death of the great Indian chief, when Gen. Harrison had learned the full truth about the matter, he wrote in highest terms about little Turtle, admitting his faithfulness and help to the American cause: "He continued to his last moment the warm friend of the United States and during the course of his life rendered them many important services."
Little Turtle did not live to experience the events of the War of 1812, though he was preparing to help the American cause. At least he would have done all possible to keep the Indians faithful to the treaties with the Americans. He had long been afflicted with the gout, though it developed into what we know as Bright's disease. In order to receive medical treatment he went to Fort Wayne where he died at the home of his son-in-law, Capt. William Wells in July of 1812. He was buried with great honors by the officials of that day, but his grave was unmarked and was almost unknown for a century. It was discovered in 1912 near the west bank of the St. Joseph river. In his grave were found the sword and gun presented to him by President Washington. Also many other relics, all of which are now in the Fort Wayne Historical Museum. Only a small slab marks the place of his burial. In Fort Wayne there should be a suitable monument to the greatest chief of a vanishing race. The fitting inscriptions on the beautiful monument erected on the battlefield of Fallen Timbers gives to Little Turtle due credit and honorable mention along with Gen Wayne and the brave pioneers of the west. A memorial equally fitting should be erected in the former capital of the great Miami Nation where once their great chief reigned supreme.
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