Source: The News-Journal, January 18, 1923



Mrs. Phoebe Butterbaugh Born in Little Cabin Near Where the Martin Building Stands.

The following story is taken from the Walnut Street Messenger, the official paper of the Church of the Brethren of North Manchester, and will be of interest to many people of North Manchester. The picture and story is used through the courtesy of the paper, the historical part of the sketch having been prepared by Otho Winger, president of Manchester college. It follows:

Not many towns as old as North Manchester and not many churches as old as the Manchester Church of the Brethren have a living link connecting them with their very first history. The first white child born in North Manchester is still living. She is Phoebe Ann Butterbaugh. She has lived more years in and about North Manchester than any other living citizen.

The first house in North Manchester was built by Peter Ogan in the spring or summer of 1836. Andrew Jackson was then president of the United States. The northern part of Indiana was almost an unbroken forest, inhabited by Indians and wild animals. But sturdy pioneers came pouring in from the east in the later thirties.

Among the first to arrive was Joseph Harter and his son, Eli, from Preble county, Ohio. In September, 1836, Eli Harter built the second house in North Manchester. It was but a log cabin, on the banks of Eel River, on the south side of what is now Main street. Here, on October 27, 1836, Phoebe Ann Harter was born.

The Harters were members of the Church of the Brethren when they came. Other members settled near--the Swanks, the Ulreys, Cripes and Metzgers. Elders Daniel Cripe, Jacob Miller, William Moss and others made visits and held meetings. In 1838 the Manchester Church of the Brethren was organized, and Joseph Harter was chosen the first minister. Soon after this he was ordained, and though other ministers moved in, he continued as senior elder until his death, February 25, 1861. His preaching was generally in Dutch, mostly exhortations. He had some important part in the councils of the church and committee work.

When Phoebe Ann was less than one year old, Eli Harter entered a farm two miles west of North Manchester, known in recent years as the Crill farm. Here she lived until sixteen, when the Harters moved fro one year south of Wabash. In 1853 she was married to David S.T. Butterbaugh. He had come from Union, Ohio, where he was born in 1833. They went to housekeeping on the Harter farm, two miles west of town. In 1854 they moved two miles further west to what is now the Lyman Metzger farm. Here they lived for 33 years when in 1888 they moved to the east end of Seventh street, North Manchester. Brother Butterbaugh passed away in 1902. Though a layman, he took much interest in the church. He was church clerk and Gospel Messenger reporter for many years. At the same time he was district treasurer for Middle Indiana. In the seventies when the Manchester church was growing rapidly, he was active in achieving results for the Kingdom.