Source: NMHS Newsletter, August
Center for History Accessions
By Joyce Joy
Some of the acquisitions we’ve received this year (2012-2013) include:
> A Ledger belonging to
Place, when he lived in Richmond, Ind., later moving here where he operated a
Quaker school and was a conductor in the Underground Railroad.
> We have journals from William Comstock, John’s son, who became a Methodist
minister, after going to the Seminary in Lima, New York.
> A hand painted hinged wooden box found in the Ulrey Building
> An album full of photo postcards of North Manchester Buildings and scenes.
> A Western Auto Catalog from the 1950s.
> Dr. C. E. Cook’s hat and gun holster from World War II
> Several albums of school children who were taught by Helen and Ray Hardman
> A laundry bag, compliments of C. E. Brady Clothing, for Manchester College
> Dresses from the late 1800s
> Two books of James Whitcomb Riley’s poems and seven books by Gene Stratton
> A very large collection of children’s toys, doll cradle and bed, rocking
horse, child’s wicker cradle, dolls, dollhouse, service station, and much more
from Ed & Martha Miller, some of which will be on display in the window.
Source: NMHS Newsletter, August
Recent Acquisitions at the Center for History.
By Joyce Joy
Among the more important and interesting acquisitions we received this year,
were from Dave Tranter and his three separate collections.
One was the Knights of Pythias memorabilia, which included the K
of P rose colored silk robe,
several ritual booklets, lodge badges,
ribbons, and photos.
We also received Ace Hardware items from Dave, which included a
portrait of Ivan Little, owner of Little’s Ace Hardware.
We also received a horn seeder made by Cyclone Seeder from Urbana, a 48
star flag, a wooden Hardware sign and several small items. The largest part of
the donation was The Print Shop.
It included antique printing machines, presses, two Forgery Proof check
writers, a lead slug cutter, a chase, quoins and quoin keys, used to hold print
in a chase. We were also given a
book stapler, desk press, almost 200 print blocks along with many pieces of
metal type. There were wooden and
metal spacers used in setting up type.
Also antique typewriters, desktop calculators, a Comptometer (hand
operated adding machine), several Lino Type books, several wooden Print Shop
signs and photos.
Another interesting acquisition we received are three advertising posters from
the “pink house” at 508 Miami Street, where Ferne Baldwin lived, and which she
still owns. The posters are
advertising “Seiberling Rubber Heels”, with a fashionable young lady on two of
them. The other is advertising
“Cat’s Paw Rubber Heels”. This is
where Noah Baker had his shoe repair shop in the late 1920s. While remodeling
the house recently, these posters were found in the wall, and retrieved.
Source: North Manchester
News-Journal, Jan 27, 2010
WILL YOU SAVE IT?
By Bill Eberly
No, that is not a religious
question. It is about historical items, called
artifacts. Many of you have old objects in your attics,
trunks, basements, garages, anywhere, that represent
life as it was in some earlier time. If we don’t save
these objects, how will our children and future
generations know what life was like when grandma was a
girl (or something like that). Will you save them?
More specifically, will you save
them for the Center for History, the museum of the North
Manchester Historical Society? We already have more than
19,000 things (artifacts) accessioned in our collection
and many more waiting to be accessioned. Joyce Joy and
her helpers (Bea Knarr and JoAnn Schall) have done a
marvelous job of accessioning, storing, filing, and
otherwise keeping track of these many objects. But we
are always getting new items.
For example, not long ago we
received the family Bible of Rev. Bryant Fannin, a
pioneer preacher of North Manchester and northern Wabash
County. Mr. Fannin bought the first tract of land in the
new Chester Township on October 1, 1833, a little three
cornered piece north of the Second street bridge on the
east side of the river. Of course, the town of North
Manchester was not there then.
He later bought four more tracts
near North Manchester. One source says he moved his
family here in 1836 to his property on the east side of
Singer Road very close to town. Rev. Fannin probably
preached the first sermon in North Manchester in 1835 at
the house of Peter Ogan. Fannin was also reputed to be
one of four conductors for the Underground Railroad at
Not long ago we were given the
large registration ledgers for the Sheller Hotel, back
to 1892 when it was known as the Grimes House. This is
an invaluable record of visitors to North Manchester,
where they lived, how long they stayed, etc.
We have a very complete ledger from
the Liberty Mills Flour Mill in the early years of the
20th century. The Rittenhouse family also
manufactured a shoulder carried seed sower at this
location. The ledger records everyone who worked at the
factory, when they worked, how long they worked, what
they were paid, and how many sowers were produced and
where the sowers were sold.
We have objects and letters and a
diary from Henry Lantz, one of the earliest hotel owners
in North Manchester. In the 1850s, he went to California
hoping to find some gold. These letters to his wife back
in North Manchester record his experiences during this
great adventure. Included in this collection is a
marvelously well-preserved Melodeon, a rare musical
instrument which looks like a mixture of a piano and a
Space does not permit listing all
the wonderful artifacts we have received recently. But
there are many more items out there that could be saved
in the Museum. Sometimes these objects are simply
destroyed, thrown away, dumped, whatever. We heard
recently of an old building in a nearby town that was
being razed to make room for a new building. In the
upstairs of this old structure were a number of record
books, ledgers, etc. of the community school dating back
more than a hundred years. These books were simply
placed in a dumpster and taken to a dump somewhere. Such
This is a call reminding people
again that the Center for History is anxious to receive
and save a variety of items relating to North Manchester
and the surrounding area. What kind of things should be
saved? These include:
Photographs of people, places and
events of this area (the older the better).
Letters to and from local residents
(again, the older the better).
Printed material, including
business receipts, advertising ephemera, from local
Any Items actually manufactured in
North Manchester and the area.
Home and farm objects used by local
residents or like those that could have been used
Old clothes, especially late 1800s
and early 1900s.
Land abstracts. These are very
useful. If you do not want to give these to the Museum,
perhaps we could copy them and return the originals to
Anything related to churches and
schools of Chester and Pleasant townships.
Because of the unique location of
North Manchester, our home territory also includes Lake
and Jackson townships in Kosciusko County, Cleveland
township in Whitley County, and Warren township in
If you have anything you think
might be of interest to us, please contact the Museum
and describe your items. Call Joyce Joy at 982-0672, or
Nancy Reed at 982-2858, or Bill Eberly at 982-6527.
Help us save the history of our
by Joyce Joy, Archivist
May 5, 2009
Our collections date from 1984 when
we first started collecting items. We now have over
17,500 items, including display and archival objects,
books and photos.
Among some of these items is Mary
K. Peabody’s sterling silver nine-piece dresser set with
her initial on each piece. We have wedding gowns,
children’s ladies and men’s clothing, some dating from
the late 1800s to the 1990s, sports uniforms and many
other clothing items.
Our archives consist of abstracts,
diplomas, report cards, genealogy and many other
Our library has old school books,
such as McGuffey Readers, old geography and arithmetic,
medical and music books, family Bibles, school and
college yearbooks, literature, genealogy, cemetery
records, booklets about North Manchester history,
ledgers from old businesses, including one recent
donation dating from 1848-1852 (Jacob Simonton’s Ledger,
Liberty Mills), and William Comstock’s diaries from
1853-1855, and many other interesting books.
Our largest and most recent and
significant donation was from the Harold/Ellis Miller
family, with four generations of items, including what
was in their “Barn Museum.” It consists of farm
equipment and toys, crocks, a sellers cabinet, tools and
much more from the barn. Items from the house include a
wedding dress belonging to Ellis Miller’s first wife,
Anna Metzger, children’s dresses, family photos, letters
from family including letters from a World War One
soldier, Jake Albright. The total items from the
Miller’s will number over one thousand.
In our photo and postcard
collection, we have many wonderful photos of our
downtown area, one dating back to 1876. We have photos
of many prominent local persons including business