[Lawrence W. Shultz was a well-known churchman in the Church of the Brethren. He was best known as a teacher at Manchester College, for his key role in the beginning and development of Camp Mack and as a lover of books. He died very suddenly in 1982.]
B: Lawrence, you've been connected with the Chautauqua movement in North Manchester. Tell us some of your recollections about that.
S: The Chautauqua in this town was active for several years. For about three years I acted as secretary to arrange the programs and sell tickets to pay the bills. These week-long programs of lectures and music were one of the greatest things that ever came to our town. Chautauqua grew up at Chautauqua, New York, under John H Vincent. It spread across the country in week-long programs of education and entertainment. They had great speakers. Chautauqua was held at the fairgrounds - the area where Peabody Home is now located.
I remember one time William Jennings Bryan was here - sometime between 1916 and 1920. He came to town and had to wait about an hour down at the depot for someone to come pick him up. He didn't know who to call. John Isenberger always regretted the fact that they let William Jennings Bryan sit at the deport for an hour and didn't know he was there. John was the outstanding Democrat in this town.
B: The meetings would last a whole week?
S: Afternoons. Afternoons for a week once a year.
B: Who would come?
S: Oh, anybody we could sell tickets to. College people, teachers, anybody who was interested in what you would consider a lecture course these days. It was more popular than I suppose our lecture series here at the College now. It drew people from all over the area. Farmers, people from Wabash. It was quite an undertaking.
I don't think Wabash or any other town in the county had one but we were interested because Manchester is a cultural center. Chautauqua New York is a very interesting place to me because John Vincent influenced two or three people there to do a lot of writing of music. For instance, "Day is Dying in the West" was written for Chautauqua for a evening vesper service. "Break Thou the Bread of Life" was written by the same woman for a morning service. Both came out of Chautauqua. Very wonderful!
It lasted three or four years and then sort of faded away like the fair did. Our fair faded out, too. They held the Chautauqua on the old fair grounds in a big tent, with seats out in the open.
B: What was the cost of a ticket? Was it a major expenditure for a family.
S: My records on that have disappeared. I suppose around four or five dollars. Not a high price but in terms of people's ability to pay in this area it was pretty high. It was very well attended for this community. The College folks responded quite well.. but others did, too.
B: Why did it end? Do you have any insight?
S: I can't answer.. just like an old pilgrim, it faded away. But it was an excellent thing. I appreciated the fact of being connected with it.
Now you should ask me about the Chautauqua salute. At the end of the missionary program at the Annual Meeting of the Church of the Brethren everyone pulled out their handkerchief to wave to say goodbye to the missionaries who were leaving for the foreign field. I did that many times and it was a good experience
B: I've done that several times.
S: Didn't think you were old enough. When I asked for the Chautauqua salute one time one man said we didn't do it anymore because it wasn't sanitary. Anyway that came out of the Chautauqua movement. They did it at the end of a speech they appreciated very much. I liked that - the Chautauqua salute.
B: You've written a book about your life experiences called "People and Places". So we won't duplicate a lot of things from that, but just to go back for the record, you were born....
S: October 24, 1890 in Huntington County, Lancaster township. I came to Manchester in 1907 when I was sixteen plus. I went to the training school. It was a training school in those days for getting ready to teach. I'd finished school early and the trustee persuaded me to teach for him. That was really an honor. A boy sixteen years old asked to teach school, and his home school too, to boot. And so my father said, "You go to Manchester where I want you to go." And I said no because I wanted to go to Valparaiso. All my chums were going there. But he said to go to Manchester for one term and if you don't like it you can go wherever you want to after that. So I went one term and here I am yet. That was 1907 and this is 1975.
B: Why have you stayed in Manchester when you had a number of opportunities to go to other places?
S: Well, because of friends and then later on, because I married a girl. I was only sixteen. I didn't know of too many places then to go for training to teach. Valparaiso was the only one I'd ever heard about besides Manchester. I came over to take a short training course in ten weeks to be able to teach common school. My father taught school but he never went to any training to teach. All he did was to get a license after he got -well, he never went to high school even. Those days you didn't have to have special training. The year I began teaching there was no requirement except a license. The next year they required twelve weeks. And the next year they required twenty-four weeks; the next thirty weeks and the next thirty-six. And now it's four years and sometimes five.
Strode: Was there an examination for your license?
Shultz: Yes, you had to have an examination for your license. I have those papers here yet. I'm very proud of some of my records that I had published. I've got a record of my six years in school; the last two years in common school and all four years in high school. I wouldn't take a million dollars for that. Those days we had to have examination papers. There were six months of school and you'd take examinations every two months. At the end of the year they'd give you all the examinations you had during that year. I couldn't answer some of the questions myself now.
B: Then you taught your way through Manchester College- first at the Academy and then at the College?
S: I came to get training to teach and I was here for four summer terms for that. Then I taught four years. Then I began doing College work but Otho Winger persuaded me to come and gave me a chance to teach my way through College. I was a tutor. I had some of the same folks I was teaching in the dormitory. I was there three years with my kids and my wife even went to school to me. Some of the persons I taught are here right now in Timbercrest with me. In the Academy I taught mainly mathematics and history. It was a great experience. I taught my way through College.
B: Shortly after you came back to teach they made you librarian?
S: That didn't happen until later - 1924. My teaching here was in 1911, 12 and 13. In 1914, I graduated from the College and then I began teaching some high school. Then Winger asked me to come back to Manchester to serve as the Principal of the Academy. In those days the College was more academy than it was college work. When Vernon Schwalm became dean a little later on he asked President Winger one day, "When will Manchester ever become a college?" For a time we had on campus the second largest high school in Wabash County with something like l30 enrolled. I was in that work for about six years until most people decided to send their children to public high school.
B: Why did they make that decision?
S: Just the local situation. Partly because of finances -the public school was cheaper than the Academy. There was a little depression back there before 1923, you know. and the Academy just faded out all over the country. Except the Mennonites and the Quakers. The Academy here closed in 1923 and I was asked by Winger to go to Northwestern University and take a course and come back and teach the field of Christian Education. So I did. i took my degree at Northwestern in 1924. I hadn't been here a year until he asked me to also become half-time librarian. So I did that. I worked at that for seventeen years.
B: How did you feel about that? Does your love of books go back to your childhood?
S: Oh boy! I liked it! At about five years of age I began reading. When I started to school, I had my first reader and primer by heart. I made the first four grades in two years and the third year there wasn't any fifth grade so I started sixth grade. We didn't get along too well so I kept the sixth grade two years and did very well and finished common school in six years. In the library I had a great experience working with books in all fields and also working with teachers who wanted certain books. I became a collector of books for the library as well as for myself.
B: Where was the College library when you first took it over?
S: When I first came to Manchester the library was one room in the northwest corner of the second floor of the old administration building -way over towards the dormitory. Later on it was expanded into the next room to make two rooms. That's when I became librarian. Ollie Miller was working at that time and she became the cataloguer. I worked there for several years and then we moved to what was then the science building - now the communications building. We moved to the lower floor of that and upstairs was the Academy where I taught my classes in the same building. At the west part of the second floor was the assembly room where all the students assembled in one room and the classes were around it. We often said to each other -we need to sometime have a real library here. Now we have the Funderburg Library. I never got to serve in it but I did help to move the books from the old one to the new.
B: What was your philosophy as librarian? What kind of books would you get?
S: I ordered books that the teachers could use and the students would read. Just like here in the Timbercrest Library. We're sorting out a lot of dead wood because there's a lot here that no one will read and we don't have any more space. I read a book once in a while and I'll take it over and say, "Here's one you ought to have," and I'll give it to them. I took one the other day, SO BIG by Ferber. That's a good one. I'm still looking for Gene Stratton Porter books. They ought to be in here - that's Wabash County stuff you know. Have you read her books?
Strode: Not yet.
S: Oh, my goodness! I have one there right now that I'm taking down to the Historical Society tonight to sell to Edna Heeter, the secretary of the Society. She's making a collection of all the Porter books she can get. This one is FOOT OF THE RAINBOW. I've sold her LADDIE and SPECKLES, GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST.
B: When did you become a collector of Brethren history?
S: I became interested in the historical library at the College because we had a room available finally on the second floor which became the historical seminar room. It became the south part of the room we had used for assembly. It's the southwest room of the second floor of the communications building. I secured permission from the trustees to put into that room what we would call a seminar room for historical research. In it we put all historical books of Brethren material. George L. Studebaker, father of Mark, had a library and for a long time we kept that intact. That was the beginning of the historical library. Then when we went to the new building we were able to have a very fine place for an archives for the historical collection. I'd like to take you through that room in the northeast corner of the second floor of Funderburg and tell you some stories about that. A part of it is a vault which is closed
B: What kind of policy did you have for people using that room?
S: There were open stacks in the room. Anybody could get in that made application to the library, secured a key and brought it back. Many of the teachers - especially church history teachers, and we did have a few such in those days - would assign people to go to that room to do research. I was also interested in what happened at Elgin and at Bethany in Brethren history. I didn't help set up their libraries but I helped work with them to find material for them. I made some trips to the east and secured historical material that I brought to Elgin and Bethany to be placed in their files. I always enjoyed those trips. I have recorded one in PEOPLE AND PLACES, telling where we went and what we found on the trip.
Scott Fairchild, a North Manchester police officer, was patrolling on North Walnut street about 2:00 a.m. on the morning of January 7, 1998 when he detected smoke from the Manchester Church of the Brethren. A quick look at basement windows showed live flames on the ceiling of the kitchen. His alarm brought the fire department and Pastor Susan Boyer called several members of the congregation including the custodian, John Dome, a firefighter from the Sidney Department. Other alarms brought firefighters from ten other departments: Chester, Pleasant, Henry and Noble townships, Roann, Bippus, Silver Lake, Wabash, Urbana and Sidney. Police officers and Traffic Assistance Patrol officers also gave important assistance.
At first, there was hope that the fire might be contained in the education wing but the flames continued to spread to other parts of the church. Soon fire was visible on the north end of the roof and as it crept toward the south firefighters brought furniture including a piano out of the Jubilee Room.
A crowd gathered. Soon the media arrived. Hurried plans were made to have a worship service on the front lawn that evening, and later in the day arrangements were made to have Sunday morning services at Manchester High School Performing Arts Center the following Sunday. By midday investigators from the State Fire Marshalls office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were on site to conduct the formal investigation of the fire. The number of church fires in recent months has led to the federal requirement that the cause of every church fire must be determined by this agency.
Meantime the battle with the fire continued. The roof of the main expanse over the sanctuary collapsed and eventually fell into the basement in a jumble of great charred timbers. Firefighters were on the scene through Wednesday night because of hot spots and Thursday morning smoke was rolling from the area. As much as six feet of water was pumped out of the basement. Some 175,000 gallons of water were used fighting the fire.
This fire destroyed one of the landmarks of the town of North Manchester. The first church house on Walnut street was erected in 1881. It was brick 40 x 60 feet and cost $3300. Members of the Building Committee were: Daniel Horning, Stephen C. Ulrey and John Miller. The Dedicatory sermon was preached by Elder R. H. Miller, Sr.
The first German Baptist Brethren (Church of the Brethren since 1908) came to this area from Montgomery county, Ohio. Joseph Harter and wife settled on Eel River in 1836. Their son Eli and his wife built the second residence in North Manchester and soon after, their daughter became the first child born in North Manchester. Other settlers followed:. Daniel Swank, Samuel Ulrey, Jacob Cripe, Jacob Swihart, Jacob Metzger with wives and families. William Moss came from Mexico, Indiana and preached occasionally.
In 1852 the original congregation was divided into the Eel River and the Manchester congregations. During these early years worship services were held in houses and barns of the members. Many members only understood Pennsylvania Dutch and some preachers preached in Dutch and some in English.
The initial building was torn down in 1907 to make way for a larger church house. A committee of seven was chosen to direct the work and solicit funds. John Delauter was chair, E. L. Lautzenhiser, John P. Dickey, Jacob Baker, Jacob Warner, John Fouts, and Samuel Haines. On the first Sunday of January, 1908, the Dedicatory sermon was preached by Dr. P. B. Fitzwater, then a teacher at the College.
With the continued growth of the church there was desperate need for Sunday school space and in 1925 an addition was built to the east side of the church to provide class rooms.
Growth continued. In September, 1950 a new cornerstone was laid with Edward Kintner as the Elder and H. F. Richards the Pastor. Members of the Building Committee were Clay Syler, H. E. Leedy, Robert Cussen, Mrs. V. F. Schwalm and William Hartsough. The Dedicatory service was November 4, 1951 with Dr. Rufus D. Bowman, President Bethany Biblical Seminary preaching. During this remodeling all services were held in the Manchester College chapel.
In 1950 noteworthy changes included reversing the chancel to the north end of the building, all new pews and the carpeting of the sanctuary.
In 1982 another addition provided more rest rooms, a social room and accessibility for all. The addition currently being built provided updated Church School space and was planned to bring the offices into the church building. The new construction was not damaged in the fire.
James B. Peabody, of the firm of Peabody Brothers Company, is a native of Indiana, and was born at Arcola, Allen County, October 25, 1859, where he passed his boyhood years. His father, John L. Peabody, conducted the Pioneer Sawmill at Arcola and turned out lumber used in the construction of the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago, now the Pennsylvania Railroad, the first road built into Chicago.
The subject of our sketch, together with his brother, S. J. Peabody, now of Columbia City, Ind. have been continuously in the sawmill business from that time to the present, and for some years in partnership at Columbia City, but in 1881 James B. withdrew and purchased a mill at Peabody, Ind. on the Nickel Plate Railroad in Whitley county, which he operated for several years still maintaining his residence at Columbia City. During this time he purchased a tract of timber of four hundred acres at a cost of $40,000, which was a record-breaking price for timber land at that time, but it proved a very profitable investment. In 1893, about one month prior to the great financial panic of that year, Mr. Peabody sold out at Peabody, and in the fall of the same year removed to Fostoria Ohio, where, in company with E. W and W.O Allen, he engaged in the manufacture of buggies, the company being incorporated as The Peabody Buggy Company, under which name it is still running. Two years later, or in the fall of 1895, Mr. Peabody disposed of his interest in the business at Fostoria, and with his family went to the Pacific coast where they spent four years in travel, covering the entire coast as well as the interior of Colorado and Utah.
In July, 1890 he entered the sawmill business by purchasing, together with his brother, the timber on about five hundred acres, known as the "Woods Land," lying in Wabash and Grant counties, near Lafontaine, for which they paid $50,000 A company, known as the Peabody Bros. Company, was incorporated, with a capital stock of $20,000, the company being composed of S. J. Peabody, J. B. Peabody and Joseph W. Brockie. A large band-mill was immediately built at Lafontaine on the Big Four Railroad where this timber, as well as large quantities purchased since, is being sawed for the domestic and foreign markets.
In April, 1901, the plant of the Hardwood Lumber Company of Wabash, was purchased, and the principal office moved from Lafontaine. This plant and office is under the immediate management of Mr. Peabody, while Mr. Brockie remains in charge at Lafontaine. The company does an annual business of $100,000 and gives employment to about one hundred men.
J.B. Peabody is a Republican in politics and fraternally is a Knight Templar, having attained to the ineffable thirty-second degree in the Masonic Order, and is a member of Murat Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Indianapolis. Mr. Peabody was felicitously married when twenty-one years old to Miss Estella B. Prickett, at Columbia City. To them one son has been born, Thomas A. who now has charge of the office work at Wabash, and who expects soon to assume some of the more important duties of the business.
The indomitable courage and persevering energy of James B. Peabody places him among the leading business men of Wabash county and the state of Indiana, and his social standing, as well as that of his wife and son, is pre-eminent wherever the name of Peabody is known.
Levi J. Noftzger, hardware dealer and prominent business man of North Manchester, was born on a farm in Wayne county, Ohio, on September 3, 1836, but at the age of six emigrated to Wabash county Ind., where his parents settled on his farm in Pleasant township. Here young Levi grew to manhood amid the environments of the country, imbibing the strengthening influences of life on the farm.
At the age of twenty-four, having just been married, he moved to Kosciusko county, where he settled on a farm, remaining there for eight years. In 1869 he returned to Wabash county, engaging in the dry goods business in North Manchester, being a partner of the late G.W. Lawrence. At the same time he did a pretty extensive stock and grain business. He made such a success at this that he has continued following that vocation ever since, with the exception of two years. In 1871 he purchased an interest in a hardware store and has retained such interest up to this time, having had a number of partners. He owns one business block in North Manchester, which he erected, and he has always been very closely identified with the growth and development of the town and its enterprises. To him, possibly more than to any other one man, is due much of the advance that the town has made in the past decade.
A township trustee for many years, and also a justice of the peace in Jackson township , Mr. Noftzger has been at the forefront of all official matters in the history of the town for many years past. He superintended the building of the first graded school-house in North Manchester and, though he gave it a great deal of his personal attention, he got not one cent for his services.
On November l5, 1860, Mr. Noftzger was married to Miss Mary C. Bussard, daughter of the late Samuel Bussard. Mrs. Noftzger was born in Pleasant township, Wabash county, September 2, 1840. To the union was born six children, two dying in infancy. The survivors are: Thomas A.; Edith, the wife of J. S. Lautzenheiser; Samuel A. and Charles F.
In 1972 the North Manchester Historical Society cooperated with the FunFest committee and Child Care Association to present a historic tour which also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the covered bridge. Five houses were scheduled but at the last minute one had to be withdrawn because of the owner's illness.
Every kind of house has been represented from the oldest Greek Revival structures in town such as the Lantz house (part of the hotel)1847 to more recent energy efficient houses. Big and small: all are special. The tours are an important activity for the society. Some people are drawn because they are interested in the restoration; many admire the beauty of the houses and the decorations. A record number of tickets was sold for the Christmas tour of 1983 when 1200 people passed through the Peabody-Dziabis home.
The income from the project supports the Historical Society's work for the benefit of the Manchester community.
The tour headquarters this year is the Blocher Community Room of the North Manchester Public Library. A continuous slide presentation of the homes featured on past tours will be shown there. Refreshments and memorabilia will be offered. Six homes plus the former Carnegie Library will be shown on the December 7, 1997 Tour. Research in the abstracts forms the basis for the sketches of the history of the homes.
Steve and Debbie Dotson own the house at 205 W. Fourth St. They saw potential in a nondescript house with overgrown shrubs and they have worked hard to reveal the true beauty of this 1893 Folk Victorian style house with Queen Anne surface decorations. They removed a layer of broken stucco and a layer of fake brick siding to reveal the original wood which they painted in eye-appealing colors. The original fretwork, oak Eastlake style woodwork and moldings, floors and dining room pocket door are the perfect background for all the beautiful antiques the Dotsons have collected.
Tighlman I Siling, a colonel in the Civil War and a local furniture manufacturer, built a splendid Greek Revival house at 202 W. Second St. in 1858. A number of changes over the years include the removal of a wall between the living and dining rooms, adding a fireplace, family room, kitchen and garage and changing the front porch. Gaye and the late John Eckert, superintendent of Manchester Schools, bought the home in 1985. Gaye and daughter, Megan, enjoy living here amidst family antiques. The imported floral carpeting in Gaye's office is a special feature.
The unusual stucco house at lll S. Elm St of the Arts and Crafts style was built around 1912 by Tobias Peugh in the garden of their first house. It was purchased by Charlie and Karen Macke in 1995. The exterior has experienced little change except for a marvelous deck designed and built by Charlie. A glorious view of the Eel River is seen from the deck as well as the upstairs master bedroom Beautiful gum woodwork and copper door hinges, knobs, and pulls are interesting features. Karen will play her grandmother's handcarved oak organ at various times during the afternoon.
Rose Mary Olinger and her late husband Fritz bought the house at 202 S. Maple St in 1965. After returning from the Civil War, Captain Elias Rager built this home for his wife and five children around 1865. The house is a mix of styles including Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate. The original siding was clapboard and there probably was a hood over the front foor. The family room and garage were added in the 1940s by the Kramer family. The Olingers added two bedrooms above the garage. They raised eight children in this spacious home. Most of the antiques scattered throughout the house are family treasures.
The home of Robert and Marie Quick at 203 N. Mill St originally was the carriage house of the large brick Italianate house on the corner owned by Dr. Ladoska Z. Bunker since 1933. Dr. Bunker had the carriage house made into a dwelling around 1939. Huge timbers from area woodlands form the support of this cozy two story home that has a Colonial Revival style. Both structures were built by David T. Risher around 1884. Many of Robert and Marie's antique treasures were other folk's throw-aways. Marie related that during the early days of their marriage, Robert was often asked to haul away discards with his pickup. Some of this furniture was rescued by Marie and lovingly restored.
Bob and JoLynn Robison rescued this circa 1876 farm style house at 505 N. Sycamore in 1991. They have carefully restored missing front porch posts, railing and gable ornaments. Doing one room at a time, they have leveled floors, repaired or replaced walls, replaced woodwork with Eastlake style replicas, painted, stenciled and wallpapered. An inviting window seat in the dining room is a special feature. The kitchen was gutted and now is a cozy room with beamed ceiling, corner sink, lots of gorgeous oak cabinets and touches of auction finds. Family antiques and treasures enhance the various rooms.
The Daggett, Schlitt & Stoops Law Office at 204 W. Main St is the town's former Carnegie public library. It was purchased by Al and Ruth Ann Schlitt and Elden and Kathy Stoops in 1996 for their law office. They diligently worked at keeping the integrity of the Arts and Crafts architecture as offices were carved out of the main floor. The second floor was restored to the original assembly room with the exception of the book shelves needed for their law library. This building was completed in 1912 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.