Source: NMHS Newsletter, August 1986

BUCKEYE HILL (Now the Home of Dr. & Mrs. Howard Terrill) Some Memories of Eunice (Cripe) Ribley
I have lived most of my life on land that my great-great-grandfather, Daniel Cripe, purchased in 1840.  He came here from St. Joseph County, Indiana, where he had lived since 1828.  His land consisted of two sections and extended west from the intersection of State Roads 13 and 114 to the first county road north, across from the West Manchester Church.  He soon sold most of his land to others.  A tract of about 116 acres was obtained by my great-grandfather, David Cripe.  This included the land on both sides of Clear or Crooked Creek on the north side of road 114.  His father, Daniel, must have been interested in the community; as he subscribed $500 in 1853 in an effort to get a railroad through North Manchester.

Clear Creek was one of the best mill streams near North Manchester, and great-grandfather, David, built a sawmill (the blade moved up and down) that could saw logs that were four feet in diameter.  It is said that much of the lumber used in the early days in North Manchester came from that mill.  I do not remember anything about the mill, but I know that it stood just east of where I now live and about 500 feet north of road 114.  It was on the old crooked channel where the water ran before the creek was dredged.  I believe it was in 1908 that a dredge boat was put in the stream, somewhere up stream, and worked down to Eel River.  David died in 1855.  He was only 41 years of age and was buried in the little cemetery north of road 114 and just west of the lane that leads to my house.  All the persons who were buried there were members of the Cripe family except one.

I knew my grandfather, Isaac C. Cripe, when he lived on what is now the farm of Dr. H. F. Terrill, D.M.V.  This farm had belonged to his father-in-law, Nicholas Frantz.  In about 1876, Isaac had the large three-story brick house built that still stands on this property and that was restored in 1972 by Dr. Terrill.  It is said that the bricks for his house were obtained from a mill near Marion, Indiana, and that they were transported to the farm by wagons.  There is another Cripe cemetery on this farm, but it was first known as the Frantz Cemetery.  I remember that grandfather had a sawmill on this farm and that he was also a thresherman.  He was always a hard worker and very religious.

When I was a child, he had a large steam engine, the essential water wagon, a separator to thresh wheat and oats, a clover huller to hull clover seed, and a shredder to shred corn in the fall and winter months.

In the late 1980’s he and his sons, David and John, moved their shipment by rail to North Dakota and spent whatever time was needed and then returned the equipment by rail.  Sometimes the two daughters-in-law went along to cook for their men and some additional help that went along from this area.

My father, David S. Cripe, first lived on the farm of which my home was a part in 1902.  At that time the buildings were in the middle of the section.  He moved the barn to its present location and had the house build in which I now live.  He stacked the lumber on what he thought was high ground near the creek, and then came the 1913 flood.  The lumber did not wash away, but the end of each piece stood in water about two feet deep.  After it dried out, he contracted to have this ten-room house built.  The cash cost, including the basement, fixtures for the bathroom, kitchen and furnace came to $2,000.  We moved in on my thirteenth birthday, August 27, 1914.

When my father took over the threshing job, he went where he was wanted in rotation.  Then, later, they started what were called threshing rings.  These consisted of about 12 or 15 farmers who agreed to work together as a group.  Each farmer furnished a team and wagon and an extra man.  Father had about four rings at the last; and during this time, he changed from a steam engine to a large tractor.  Wherever they were working a noontime, the woman of the house, with help from friends and relatives, prepared enough food to feed all workers.  The meal consisted of everything they could think of: and if you could get it today, it would probably cost about $25.  At the end of the season, everyone would meet in a group to settle up.  In each ring there were some persons who were slow in paying up; so father proposed that if they would all pay up at the meeting, he would furnish all the ice cream and cake that they and their families could eat; and it worked very well.

There is a new bridge on road 114 now.  I recall that the culvert that was removed in construction was installed in about 1918.  Before that, there was an iron bridge with planks for a floor, and when they excavated for the new bridge they uncovered some heavy timbers that were likely part of an earlier bridge.

THRESHING DAY!  Hot July days ripened the wheat and haste was made to store or sell it.  The evening before threshing day the steam engine and threshing machine, with their crews, arrived at the farm for an early start in the morning.  Then neighbors arrived with wagons and extra horses.  Wives came along to assist the farm wife in preparing the bounteous noon meal the hungry threshers required.  Soon loads of grain were threshed and removed from the fields.  The straw stack grew to monumental proportions.  It was a great day as the sun bonnet girls and straw hatted boy could attest.