of the North Manchester Historical Society, Inc.



View of Second Street Bridge  

Second Street Bridge


The Second Street bridge was of iron construction, two spans supported by center pylons. Built in 1889, it provided access to the east and was the main traffic artery on State Road 114 entering North Manchester. For many years it was the site of a Decoration Day ceremony where prayers were offered and flowery wreaths cast in the river for the unreturned of the Civil and Spanish American wars. The bridge was removed after the present Main Street bridge was built.


North Manchester Foundry

The North Manchester Foundry Company was incorporated July 3, 1911. Common stock was issued to J. C. F. Martin, president W. J. Ranger, vice-president and John Stauffer, secretary-treasurer. John Stauffer purchased the stock of W. J. Ranger in 1913 and the stock of J.C.F Martin in 1919. Mr. Stauffer had come to North Manchester

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earlier after a foundry he had operated in Dayton, Ohio burned out. The major part of the common stock remained in the Stauffer family until January 1947 when all of the outstanding common stock was purchased by the M. H. Detrick Company with main offices in Chicago. After this transaction the foundry became a division of the M. H. Detrick Company.

John Stauffer served as general manager from 1911 until his death in April, 1927. His son Robert M. Stauffer succeeded him as general manager, and became a vice-president of the Detrick Company and continued to manage the North. Manchester plant. The found is one industry that has never called upon the town for financial assistance.

The foundry was originally organized to make castings for the Peabody Seating Company and for approximately twenty years this production was 90 per cent or more of the total castings produced. In the early 1930's the foundry was forced to branch out into other lines of castings due mainly to the fact that steel movable school desks began to replace the cast iron stationary desks. Among other types of production, the foundry began the manufacture of coal burning heating and laundry stoves, producing 20 to 25 thousand stoves a year in the late 1930's and early 1940's. Then the use of coal began to decline and stove production was phased out. In 1935 the foundry began making castings for the Ford Meter Box Company at Wabash.

During World War II the foundry produced farm machinery castings for the J. I. Case Company of Rockford, Illinois. As there castings carried a high priority rating, the foundry experienced no trouble in getting raw materials. Soon after the was when the M. H. Detrick Company purchased the plant the work for the company took an increasing percentage of the total capacity. This production was engineered refractory heat enclosures who are applied to open hearth



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furnaces, metallurgical and steel processing furnaces, refuse incinerators, clinker coolers for the cement industry, etc. M. H. Detrick Company operated foundries at North Manchester and Peoria, Illinois to produce mechanite metal for heat resisting castings which support the special fire brick shapes.

Foundry operations were not highly mechanized due to the great variety of patterns involved in their production. The new building improved production somewhat going from melting 22 to 24 tons of iron daily to a capacity of 30 to 36 tons daily.

In 1959 the plant began a rather unique plan of construction of a new building. The entirely new structure was built over the old structure without interrupting operations within the old structure. Once the outer structure was complete, the removal of the old structure began and that was completed by 1961. In the summer of 1961.. on the fiftieth anniversary of incorporation the management considered having a day for open house but decided it was impractical. They did invite any who were interested in watching the iron being poured to call and arrange to watch any afternoon from Monday to Friday. Visitors on any day were to be limited. The new building had a 50 per cent greater capacity than the old.

Smoke pouring from the chimney of the new plant was a daily sight as the fire was lighted in the big cupola every morning about 10:00 o'clock. Within a few minutes after the proper heat was reached the smoke was dissipated and the cupola was loaded with the metal to be melted. Iron was poured every day from 2:00 o'clock until 4:30.

In addition to Robert Stauffer, other member of the management staff in 1961 were Clyde Brindel who had been with the foundry since 1915 and became plant superintendent in 1935; Don Roberts who joined the company in 1927 and had been foundry superintendent since 1945; Jack Richards who had worked since l938 and had been assistant foundry superintendent since 1959; Dale Berry who had worked since 1947 and had been in charge of quality control since 1960; Gene Coe had been office manager since 1955. Workers in the plant included Dick Reed, Laymon Howard, Ronnie Bridegroom, Roy Hippensteel , Homer Kerr and Charlie Conrad. There were as many as 85 on the payroll in about 1960.

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The North Manchester Foundry was among the first in this area to stall a profit-sharing plan for its employees beginning in 1935. Group insurance benefit began in 1929, vacation pay in 1944, holiday pay in 1950 and an employee loan plan since 1954. All of these were innovative at the time.

Alumni Association Makes Splendid Gift to Manchester College

From the Manchester Journal, August l, 1912

A new fountain is to be unveiled at the college grounds Friday at the annual reunion of the students of the Manchester college. The fountain is to be placed in the basin in which the historic alligator floated for a long time and is a work of art that will add much to the beauty of the grounds. It is something over five feet in height. The fountain is a present to the college from the alumni association.

Besides the unveiling of the fountain and the suitable remarks at that time, there will be a big basket dinner at noon in which everybody is invited to participate. It is by no means to be restricted to the student of the school, but is for all. In the afternoon there will be an interesting program given by the students of other days who gather to renew old acquaintances. These college reunions are always pleasant occasions, and a good time is looked for at this one.

Note: If anyone has in their family "lore" anything about the "historic alligator" please contact the editor at 260-982-2354 or at Box 361 No Manchester 46962.

Gift and Henney

Manchester Journal

In establishing the general aggregate of the commercial and manufacturing importance of North Manchester, the tobacco trade in its various branches must not be overlooked, as it is a factor of no insignificant proportion in the many and varied enterprises which influence the prosperity and advancement in our city. In the cigar manufacturing business the annual production is no small item and we deem a sketch of the above named gentlemen as worthy of space in our columns. Mr. Gift commenced the manufacture of cigars in our city three years ago [i.e., 1876,click here for research article]continuing the business under his own name until one

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month ago when he admitted Mr. C. Henney as partner changing the firm name to Gift and Henney. They manufacture several brands "The Winner" being among the leaders.

The cigars these gentlemen manufacture have a wide reputation and have gained such a hold upon the smokers that they ask for them and will have no others. They have become so popular they have ready sale for all they can produce. They also manufacture the celebrated Clippings smoking tobacco and have a large local trade in the same. In the manufacture of their goods these gentlemen use only the best leaf for both fillers and wrappers. This being the case if may readily be inferred that the products of their factory are among the best to be found in the market. Messrs. Gift and Henney are young and energetic business men and we are glad to know that the people appreciate their efforts to please them and that they are enjoying a large and steadily increasing trade.

The First Kindergarten

Information from Dr. L. Z. Bunker

First kindergarten was started in 1907 and continued until 1910. A Mrs. Edna Boots was the teacher. Her husband was in business with a Mr. Goldsmith and they had a general merchandise store on Main St. Mrs. Boots had 5 children of her own which included a set of twins. She was remembered as a large woman with blue eyes, dark blond hair worn in a pompadour. Her usual dress was a shirtwaist and skirt. She was a kind, caring woman.

The large living room of her home was given over to the approximately twelve 5-year-olds who came to her kindergarten. The children sat on chairs around a counter type table with legs sawed off to accommodate the children. A one horse cab called a hack was sent to pick up the children, deliver them to the school and pick them up and return them home each day. They attended five days a week.

There was a fee to attend this private school and the children who attended were considered privileged children. Dr. Bunker remembers the Tom Wetzel, Joe Urschel and Vera Hayes were among her classmates. She remembers being sent to school each day wearing a clean white apron over her dress and a clean white handkerchief in her apron pocket. The school was structured; there was a plan for each

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day. The children did hand work at the tables such as place mats. They were developing eye and hand coordination. Dr. Bunker recalls carrying a pair of blunt scissors each day on a string around her neck.

The children were very good, quiet and well behaved. No discipline was necessary as that was done at home and the children knew how to behave. Occasionally the children played but there was not much play. They were not taught to read but those that attended were considered ahead of others in the regular school. No rest time or naps were taken at school nor was a snack provided. There was no pressure to perform but projects were done nicely and the atmosphere was a calm one.

Little Turtle, the Great Eel River Chief

One of the first references in American history to the Miamis is a treaty made by them and other Indians with the English at Lancaster, Pa. in 1748. One of the chiefs to sign that treaty was Aquenackque whose home was on the Eel. In 1760 this Eel River chief and others had a conference with Gen. George Washington at Philadelphia. Some say that Aquenackque was part French and that he married a Mohican squaw. Others declare that both he and his wife were full-blooded Miamis. Tradition says that Aquenackque won his fame and leadership among the Indians by his bravery in the war with the Iroquois. When that fierce tribe from the east made war upon the Miamis of the west and had all but driven them from their homes, it was Aquenackque who planned an ambush of the enemy and so decisively defeated them that they came no more on their marauding expeditions.

Here on the bend of Eel River, the Kenapocomoco, Aquenackque raised a remarkable family. Me-she-kin-no-quah, the Little Turtle was born here in 1751. Aquenackque had a number of daughters. One of these, Tacumwah, became the wife of the French trader, Joseph. Richardville and the mother of the famous chief, John B. Richardville.

We do not know the exact date of the death of Aquenackque nor when Little Turtle was recognized as chief of the Miamis. Inheritance alone would not have made him chief. Some great deed of valor must commend him to this position. This he performed in the defeat of La Balme in 1780 described in a previous issue of this Newsletter. This

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battle brought the Eel River Indians into a determined conflict with the Americans who after the end of the Revolutionary war were moving in great numbers to the Northwest. Little Turtle and all Indians began to see what the inroads of the whites would mean. Unless they could check the white man and keep him out of this Northwest territory the time would come when they would lose their hunting grounds and their ancestral homes. So with revenge for what they considered injustice, they began a long series of attacks upon the whites. Our view of Indian atrocities should be considered in light of their love for and the desire to hold their own country.

From 1780 to 1790 there was a constant series of raids upon the white settlements in Kentucky and wherever the whites attempted to settle north of the Ohio River. While many tribes and many chiefs participated in these attacks no one was more active than Little Turtle who led his Eel River Indians on many successful expeditions. No doubt many white captives were brought back to this place, and perhaps some were executed here though most of this terrible work was done at the main Miami Town, Kekionga. Tradition records that Little Turtle himself was always inclined to mercy. His capture of the young boy, William Wells, in Kentucky, adopting him as his son, and their life long friendship is one example.

When George Washington became president of the United States he at once recognized the importance of the territory north and west of the Ohio river. Due to the conquest of George Rogers Clark this territory had been granted to the United States by the treaty of 1783. However, the British continued to plot how they might secure it and annex it to Canada. They, no doubt, were back of many Indian attacks upon the Americans. Washington realized that if the Americans did not occupy this territory soon it would be lost to the British. So he urged congress to support him in his effort to confirm the ownership of the United States to this great area.

Washington realized that the strategic point in all this Northwest territory was the Miami capitol, Kekionga where Little Turtle, the Eel River Miami was the acknowledged chief. To capture this place he sent Gen. Josiah Harmar with an army in 1790. The two defeats of Gen. Harmar at the hands of Little Turtle were described in the last

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issue. It was a sad thing for the American cause that the American generals did not realize the military genius of this great Indian chief. But humiliated by their defeat they gave some explanations other than the real one. Washington, however, realized that he had a great task on his hands and the next year sent Gen. Arthur St. Clair with the largest army ever sent against the Indians. It was so large that when it marched through the wilderness from Fort Washington, Cincinnati, Gen. St. Clair and his men never dreamed that the Indians would attack an army so large.

So sure were they that they would capture Kekionga that some two hundred women accompanied the expedition so they would be there to start new homes at the new settlement to be established in the wilderness. But Little Turtle was watching the approaching army every mile of the march. He collected a large body of Indians from many tribes, trained them thoroughly and calmly waited for the best time and place to strike. This came at what is now the site of Ft. Recovery, Ohio, in the early morning of November 4, 1791. With fewer men he attacked the army of St. Clair and within a few hours his men killed more than half of the force and sent the rest in wild flight back to the protecting forts. Some nine hundred out of a force of about fourteen hundred were killed, besides many of the women. Little Turtle had completely destroyed the army of Gen. St. Clair. This was the greatest defeat ever inflicted upon the whites by the Indians.

The defeat of St. Clair had a great effect upon President Washington and the American people. Many now favored surrendering completely this great northwest territory, making the Ohio river the boundary line between the United States and the Indian Country. But Washington would not listen to such proposals. With great difficulty he persuaded congress to vote more money for another army to conquer the Indians. He made a careful study of all American generals that he might get the best for his hazardous enterprise. He finally chose the hero of Stony Point, General Anthony Wayne.

General Wayne did not underestimate the difficulty of his work nor the military genius of the great Indian chief. With great care and skill he collected and drilled an army for the struggle with the Indians. He spent two years getting his army in readiness before he started

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northward from Fort Washington, October 7, 1793 over the same route taken by Harmar and St. Clair in their disastrous attempts. Wayne moved cautiously, determined that he would not be taken unaware as had the generals before him.

Little Turtle knew Gen. Wayne and had great respect for his ability. He was ever ready to harass the American army wherever possible. While Gen. Wayne was at Fort Greenville, Little Turtle attacked a baggage train near where Eaton, Ohio, now stands, on October 17. He inflicted great damage but could not long prevent supplies from reaching Wayne's army. During the winter Gen. Wayne sent men to build a fort at the place where St. Calir had been defeated. The first work of these men was to gather up hundreds of skulls and many bones of those who had been killed two years before and bury them. The new fort out here in the wilderness was called Fort Recovery indicating that the lost ground had been reclaimed. Here on June 30, 1794, Little Turtle led a large body of Indians and British sympathizers in an attack but he was disastrously defeated. He now began to see the futility of further resistance by the Indians. During all of these months he had been trying to surprise Gen. Wayne but he could not do it. And now since Wayne was offering honorable terms of peace, Little Turtle advised his people to listen to favorable overtures, for, said he, "The Americans are now led by a general who never sleeps." But the Indians, overconfident because of the previous victories and, encouraged by the British, refused to consider.

In the meantime Gen. Wayne was advancing northward, building forts at Greenville, Fort Recovery, St. Marys and Defiance. The Indians were retreating down the Maumee to some favorable place where they hoped to inflict another serious defeat upon the Americans. They also had hopes of help from the British who had built a fort on the Maumee some ten miles from its mouth. In a final conference of the Indians Little Turtle again advised peace, but the Indians accused him of cowardice, deposed him from leadership and elected Blue Jacket as their leader. They would not listen to Little Turtle's advice as to the plan for the battle, He as a brave and true soldier, fought with his people in the battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794. The Indians were completely defeated. Gen. Wayne then

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marched up the Maumee, destroying Indian towns and cornfields on the way to Kekionga where he erected the fort that bears his name, Fort Wayne. It was completed October 22, 1794. Little Turtle accepted the Indian defeat as final and was ready to make peace.

Early Cabinet Makers in Chester Township - 1850 

 In the pioneer period in this area many specialized skills were needed to supply the needs of the citizens of the area. Obviously, doctors, lawyers and teachers were especially important but close behind them were artisans of all sorts. And, because it was a heavily wooded area furniture makers, carpenters and/or joiners, wagon and wheel makers, and barrel and stave makers were in great demand. Cabinet makers or furniture makers were necessary to make repairs of furniture damaged in the long and rugged journey from the East or to make furniture for families just setting up a household. Seven men were listed as cabinet makers in Chester Township in the 1850 census.

Lewis Davis, Chair Maker, age 22, from Pennsylvania.

William Krisher, Cabinet maker, age 18, from Pennsylvania.

Emuel I, Mowrey, Cabinet maker, age 22, from Ohio.

James Oakley, Cabinet Maker, age 34, from North Carolina

John F. Smith, Cabinet Maker, age 24, from Ohio.

David M. Story, Cabinet Maker, age 18, from New York

John Townsend, Cabinet Maker and painter age 49, from Kentucky

These men usually advertised their business in local papers. Most ads included lines such as "All kinds of country produce taken in exchange for work and cash not refused." or "Lumber will be taken in exchange for furniture, and money not refused." Cabinet Makers often doubled as Undertakers. This line in one ad.. "Coffins made on request at all times and suitable conveyances furnished, when desired, without charge." Though much of the furniture making was custom built, most cabinet makers had some supply "on hand". One especially well-stocked business listed "Sofas, secretaries, sideboards, Centre, Pier, Sofa and Card tables, plain or knock-down wardrobes, enclosed washstands, divans, ottomans, Tete-a-tetes, dressing stands.

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lounges, French bedsteads, (veneered posts) French, and half French Sociables, Reclining, parlor and rocking chairs of Walnut, Rosewood or Mahogany; and all kinds of plain work, as bedsteads, tables, cupboards, bureaus and all other articles in his line, all of which he warrants to be of the best materials and workmanship, and gotten up in a style that, he flatters himself, will generally please the eye of this intelligent and enlightened community; at least those wishing to buy would do well to give him a call before purchasing elsewhere as his prices will be as reasonable as can be found in the Wabash Valley."

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the apprentice system common in earlier times. It is believed that Tighlman I. Siling known in North Manchester but living at that time in Whitley County apprenticed with Samuel Rufer as did Milton Siling. William Krisher and David Story apprenticed with John F. Smith.

The Mascot of Main Street

In February or March of 1947 a big friendly, long-haired, stray dog moved to North Manchester. He had what appeared to be scald wounds and was afraid of women. He was befriended by Joe Urschel, vice-president of the bank who took him home and nursed him back to health. Miss Jo Joyce Urschel named him "Georgie" for a nurse who had helped her after her auto accident. In the summer of 1947 a fully recovered George moved to Main Street. The bank and the Stuckey Garage were favorite hang outs but we would have to say that he was at home anywhere on the street. The Stuckeys brought him milk regularly from their farm. But as old and growing blind in one eye there was an effort to keep him on the south side of the street

Then came a rabies scare. Richard Hornaday bought him a collar. Mike Stuckey "passed the hat" to buy a license. But Mrs. D. C. Hayden took him off the street and tied him in her apartment. Then Veterinarian John Wright vaccinated the town pet. He was confined for 30 days. Friends sent him food , He especially appreciated bones from Faurots Grocery. People said he smiled when the quarantine ended and he was back on the street. Like a person back from a long vacation he called on friends up and down the street: the fire department, Frank Ryan, the barber, his best friend, Oscar, the dog at the lumber company, Louis Longo who never refused ice cream when

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he begged, Druggist Harold Marks and especially the children who sometimes took rides on his back.

We know George had at least two years longer on Main Street. On Saturday, January 15, 1949 he was featured in the Roto Section of the Ft. Wayne The News Sentinel as George, The Mascot of Main Street. Do you remember George? You can write us the end of this story. or the next chapter.

Some Early Ordinances

Ordinance #3, 1874

Unlawful to engage in any game of chance or make any wager by which any money of other article of value may be lost or won. Unlawful to ride or drive any animal of the horse kind in the streets or alley faster than a moderate trot except in cases of necessity. Unlawful to make or allow any loud noise disorder or tumult to disturb peace and quiet of town or inhabitants. Unlawful to allow animals of horse kind standing in the streets or alley without hitching. Unlawful to be found in state of intoxication within city limits.

Ordinance # 4, 1874

Prohibited cattle from running at large on certain streets and alleys in town from Nov. 1st until April 1st between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on following streets: Main or First street, Second Street between Front and Sycamore, and on Front, Walnut, Market, Mill and Sycamore Streets between First and Second. Also alleys within these bounds.

Ordinance #6, 1875

No person shall throw into streets, alleys, public place, or Eel River any animal or vegetable substance which may become offensive or unhealthy. Any person possessing an animal dying within the town limits shall within 24 hours after death remove said animal out of corporate limits. If animal is not in possession of anyone at time of death, then Town Marshall is to cause same to be removed. Whenever Town Marshall is satisfied of existence of any nuisance whatever, he shall give notice to person and ask removal or abatement of such nuisance forthwith and if this fails to be done within 24 hours, the Marshall shall cause same to be removed at cost of person failing to do so. Able persons are required to keep privies and cellars clean and to keep their premises clear of pools of stagnant water and to remove

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unclean, filthy or unhealthy substances whenever notified by Marshall. For each violation a fine of not more than $5.00 nor less than $1.00.

Ordinance # 7, 1875

First town tax and additional tax for paying interest on school bonds 25 cents on each poll and 15 cents on each $100. valuation. School bonds 50 cents each poll and 10 cents on each $l. valuation. Marshall to collect before October 1st, 1876 or declared delinquent. 10% attached to delinquent taxes by Treasurer and collected by Marshall within 30 days. Dog tax of $1.00 for 1876

Ordinance #12, 1876

Unlawful for owners of hogs, pigs, or shoats to allow them to run at large in streets, alleys, or public ground unless with rings in the nose to prevent them from rooting. Duty of Marshall to take up all animals found at large and hold them for payment of penalties. Must show proof of ownership and pay 40 cents per head plus cost of feed. Marshall shall keep 25 cents per head. In case animals held three days and not claimed they may be sold after proper notice given.

Ordinance #17, 1877

Making it necessary for downtown signs to be at least seven and one half feet above the sidewalk. subject to fine of $2.00 - $5.00. Same fine for not providing a light in the cellar ways of those businesses below the sidewalk. Unlawful to block the sidewalk with vehicle, boxes, barrels, furniture, other material or by hitching or tying any animal on any sidewalk except for loading and unloading purposes. Four feet of space next to building may be used for display purposes.

Ordinance #108, 1892

To restrain and regulate the keeping for hire of billiard tables, pool table or pigeon hole table

Ordinance #126, 1893

To Prohibit the depositing of coal or wood ashes, decayed vegetation or garbage in street or alleys or to obstruct streets or alleys with logs, lumber, wood boxes or material of any kind.

Ordinance #132, 1895

Prohibits the throwing of clubs, stone or other missiles along or across any street, alley or unenclosed lands within the town.



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Street Paving in North Manchester

Began Summer of 1908

The project of paving Main Street began in the summer of 1903. Ralph Liggett told later that he, Roy Abbott and Charles Girard of Liberty Mills community got jobs working on the street. The pay was 15 cents an hour, $1.00. for a ten hour day and that was above average pay. Mr. Liggett recalled that they boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Phillips for $1.75 a week and Mrs. Phillips put up lunches for them because it was too far to walk for lunch to the Phillips home at the East end of College Avenue. All the labor on the street was done by hand, shoveling, mixing concrete, etc., and the grading, material hauling and such was done with horse or mule teams. It was customary then for a man and team to be paid double the wage paid for a man, so the going wage was $3. a day for man and team.

Main and the one block of Walnut were the first streets paved in North Manchester and the brick stood the test of time better than any street or road surface built until near the end of the 1900s. Seemingly the brick withstood the weight of vehicles with little wear as the section of Walnut Street remained smooth and showed comparatively little wear after 63 years when the last block of brick pavement was covered with hot-mix asphalt on June 24, 1966, The brick pavement on Main Street between Mill and Beckley Streets was surfaced with blacktop shortly after World War II and was resurfaced before 1966.

When Main and Walnut Streets were paved the town board also required that sidewalks be built out to the curb to replace the old wooden sidewalks. That was part of the paving contract. The old hitching racks also disappeared from the business section. A lot for hitching horses was provided on the vacant lot, the former site of the old Bee Hive later the site of Harting Furniture on the south side of Main Street east of the Legion. When business buildings were later built on the site, livery stables and so-called tie barns did a lively business for a few years until the Horseless carriage superseded the horse drawn vehicles.

It was a major step forward from the dusty highway of Main Street in summers and the mud and ruts of winter and spring.

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