Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

Recipient of Indiana Historical Society's Awards--"2013 Outstanding Project Award" &
"2009 Outstanding Historical Organization".  Welcome to our web site!  Enjoy using this Portal to Our Past!

  Home  Eel River  Native Americans  Pioneers  Agriculture  Businesses  Roads  Railroads  Banks  Military    
N.Manchester   Liberty Mills   Laketon   Townships  College   Schools  Churches  Cemeteries  Deeds
Photographs  Biographies  Family Roots  Obits  Newspapers  Architecture  Newsletters   More  


  Copyright © 2009-2020
North Manchester
Historical Society
All rights reserved.

Please contact
our Center for History
if you find
inaccuracies or
inappropriate content.


Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 1998

Daniel U. Funderburg

Daniel U. Funderburg a well-known resident of Pleasant township, Wabash county, was born in Huntington county, January 20, 1853. He was the fifth of a family of nine children born to Jacob and Christian (Ulrich) Funderburg. The father was born near New Carlisle, Clark county, Ohio and died at his home near Laketon, Ind., in November, 1896.

In 1867 Jacob Funderburg brought his family to Wabash county, He was a minister of the German Baptist Church. The mother was born on what was known as Nettle creek near Hagerstown, Ind. and died near Laketon in November, 1894.

Daniel U. Funderburg is (was) a gentleman of liberal education who for many years was recognized as one of the most proficient teachers of Wabash county. He took up the profession of teaching at the early age of eighteen years and his work as an educator was always that of a most skillful, painstaking, conscientious teacher. He spent several terms in the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute preparing himself for his chosen vocation.

In the summer of 1878 Mr. Funderburg suffered a great affliction which materially changed his plans for life. From his early boyhood he had been afflicted with weakness of his eyes which was increased by the close application of his studious life. In the summer of 1878 he was overcome by the intense heat, and as a result of this calamity he became totally blind.

He entered the state school for the blind at Indianapolis, where he remained for three years completing a thorough course of instruction in that excellent institution. On returning to his home he again resumed his place in the schoolroom. He was eminently successful, parents, pupils and school officials being untiring in their words of praise for his work. His last position was that of superintendent of the Laketon schools which position he filled to the entire satisfaction of all until he was obliged to resign on account of failing health.

While Mr. Funderburg was teaching in the Laketon schools his reputation far and wide as a successful teacher brought visitors from distant cities to see the work of this blind teacher, who was so proficient in school management as well as instruction, and many a young teacher on the verge of despair and utter failure has been encouraged to strive for higher attainments by the example of the blind teacher of Laketon.

In 1891 Mr Funderburg was elected the first president of the Alumni Association of the State School for the Blind.

Mr. Funderburg was united in marriage August 7, 1884 to Miss Carrie T. Patterson at the residence of Albert E. Ebbinghous in North Manchester. Five children have been born to the union, four of whom are living: Stella C., Lawrence J., Helen, and Truth. Mrs. Funderburg is the daughter of Joseph and Mary or Estella (McFarren} Patterson and was born at Liberty Mills.
After Mr. Funderburg retired from teaching in 1885 he engaged in farming and fruit growing with the help of a hired man. He has been successful and has prospered notwithstanding the disadvantages which he has had to overcome.

Daniel's daughter, Helen once wrote in a letter "My father Daniel....lost his sight when a very young man, as a result of sunstroke after working too long and strenuously in my grandfather's harvest fields.....Even before I started to school he taught me the Braille alphabet so that I could aid him with my eyes when there were indistinct dots which his finger-tips could not discern."
The letters Daniel wrote home when he was attending the school for the blind carried no hint of self pity or defeat. But another letter written to a cousin contains his true feelings. It was in his own handwriting and was hard to read as the words and lines are uneven and sometimes overlapped.

"Levi Ulrich -

My dear cousin: The feelings that come over me as I take up my pencil to try to answer your letter are indescribable. When I think of you I think of you not as a young man just blooming into manhood, but as the rosy checked boy that you were when I last saw you only a few years ago. Only a few years, but what changes those few years have wrought! They have made a man of you, but a wreck of me.

As you are now, I was then; young and vigorous with life and bright prospects before me. My, how different is my condition now. Two years and eight months will soon have passed since I last looked upon the beautiful earth and sky, or beheld a human face. And now, as I try to write to you, I do so without being able to see this sheet or the hand that holds the pencil. The thousands of beautiful things which surround you -perhaps almost unnoticed-live in my memory like the things of some beautiful fairy land. If you never become blind you will never know how beautiful the earth and the sky are, or how great a blessing the sense of sight is. I believe it is impossible to appreciate such a blessing without being first deprived of it.

When I think of all that has happened to me within the past two years it all seems so strange and unnatural-my thoughts become bewildered and I sometimes almost wonder if it is not all a strange dream. May you never be blind! Perhaps it may seem unmanly to you for me to speak of my affliction as I have done. Do not imagine from what I have said that I have given up the struggle of life, for that is not so. Great as my disadvantages are, I hope still to be able to do something in the world-still believing that one's success in life cannot be estimated by what one does, without knowing the advantages one has had....."