|Source: CFH Files, Presentation to NMHS on July
9, 1984, by Glen Beery
BLACKSMITH SHOPS &
BEERY – Those of you who are
regular attendees to these meetings will recall that in
April you had a program on the doctors and medical care
back in the early days.
I think you will agree that Dr. Bunker was a real
good choice of speakers on that topic.
In May we had a speaker
talk on early
churches in the community.
Orrin Manifold was your speaker that evening and
I’m sure you’ll agree that he is well qualified to speak
on that subject.
Last month we invited Jack Miller to talk about
After a short talk on that subject ,he switched
to a talk about the early founding of Wabash County and
many of the early towns.
And I’m sure you’ll have a hard time finding
anybody better qualified than Jack to talk about the
history of Wabash County.
Now tonight, you have a program on blacksmith
shops and livery barns, and it’s beyond me what
qualifications Keith Ross thought
I have to speak
on this subject.
Some of my friends even asked me what I knew
about blacksmith shops and livery barns.
I had to say not one darn thing!
So if you’ve come here tonight with the intention
of hoping to hear a professional speaker like you’ve
been hearing these past few months, you’re in for a
To set the mood for this tonight,
I’ve asked my wife to read some familiar words.
I think most of you will recognize it when she
MAURINE BEERY – By this time you
probably already know how I’m going to start –
Under a spreading chestnut tree the
village smithy stands.
The smith a mighty man is he with large and
sinewy hands, And the muscles of his brawny arms are
strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp and black and long; his face is
like the tan.
His brow is wet with honest sweat.
He hears what ere he can,
And he looks the whole world in the face for he
owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till
night, you can hear his bellows blow.
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge with
measured beat and slow.
Like a sexton ringing the village bell, when the
evening sun is low, And the children coming home from
school look in at the open door.
They love to see the flaming forge and hear the
bellows roar, And catch the burning sparks that fly like
chaff from a threshing floor.
BEERY – I think most of you, when
you hear the word blacksmith, what she read there
probably is the image that comes to your mind about the
big burly fellow and the shop and the bellows and the
fire and everything.
Many people think too that the main thing a
blacksmith did was to shoe horses.
But the poem doesn’t say anything about shoeing
I think many people think right away of a blacksmith as
A blacksmith did a lot of things besides shoeing
horses back in the early days.
We’re talking about the horse and buggy days and
I don’t know how many of you can remember back that far.
I drove a horse and buggy and worked a team of
horses in the field.
There were a lot of other things they had to do
with iron in those days.
The days of welding and that kind of thing was
not known then, so everything had to be done by the
blacksmith by heating and hammering iron.
One of the things you’ll notice
during my talk is that many of these shops were closely
related to wagon manufacturers or buggy-making jobs with
the blacksmith shop.
I have out in my garage at home a set of old
wheels from an old wagon.
Wooden spoked wagon wheels with a steel rim
And after doing some work on this speech, I
decided to go out and look at the steel rims around the
wheel and see where it was put together and where it was
most fellows who do welding, even the best ones, you can
usually find out or see where the weld is.
But I swear I took that round and round that rim
and you can’t see where that band of steel
is put together.
That’s how good a craftsman they were.
Plus that was a perfect circle of pretty stiff
metal and when it was done that had to fit snug enough
on that wooden spoked wheel to stay on there.
And you didn’t have a lot of degree of tolerance
there to make those things.
Those guys were really craftsmen.
Another thing I discovered I had
out there, when I got to messing with this topic, is a
How many of you would know what a chimney saddle
made out of wrought iron in the old days, when they had
a house that they wanted to have some heat in the
upstairs and didn’t want a stove there, they would run
the stove pipe through the ceiling up into the room and
then into a chimney so you would get heat from the pipe
as it would come up through to the outside.
Now you didn’t want to build a chimney clear down
through the house to the floor in order to have a
chimney, so they would get a blacksmith to make this
wrought iron metal saddle thing made out of heavy metal.
I would have brought it along if it hadn’t been
It’s up to about this high, out this way, and way down
this way, and then down at the bottom a metal cage or
platform is there where you start to build the chimney
would hang that over the joist at the top of the ceiling
of the room divider and that would hang right against
the wall and they just built bricks right up on that and
right on out the roof.
We’ve got a chimney hanging in one room of our
house now and that’s the reason I have it.
When we did some remodeling we tore one of those
That’s where it came from.
You can see the marks of the hammer on this
wrought iron metal where the ole boys hammered it out.
In those days you could take anything you wanted
made, if you had the right dimensions, and those fellows
could hammer it out the way it ought to be, out of steel
I wondered what “blacksmith” really
what do you do?
You go to Webster.
And Webster says that a smith is a man who works
And the word “smith” is used many times in connection
with various kinds of trades: gunsmith, coppersmith,
silversmith, locksmith, and a blacksmith.
My image of a blacksmith was always of a man with
a dirty, heavy apron on.
I thought he was called a blacksmith because he
was dirty looking.
But in reality black iron or wrought iron is
black, so it’s a black metal.
Therefore, he’s called a blacksmith. So that’s
where you get you word “blacksmith”.
I would like to give credit to some
of the sources of my information for tonight.
I know on television they give credits after the
show, but tonight you are going to get the credits
before the show.
One source was the Heeter family letters.
Those are the first and second generations of
Sebastian Heeter, from 1842 to 1888.
Edith Heeter is a member of this club although
she isn’t here tonight.
An old classmate of mine gave me this book when
she heard I was preparing this program.
This book was put together and edited by our own
It’s right from our own hometown.
Many of the oldtimers around here remember the
Straws in the Wind column in the News Journal by
Then there was Industries Past and Present
written by W.E. Billings and Tales of the Old Days
also by Billings.
We also spent some time interviewing a couple of
I had been asked to do this ten years ago, I could think
of half a dozen more people I might have talked to about
some of the things I would like to know about the old
But they’re all gone now, so there’s no way to
But I did think of two people who might know
something about some of the early days and might have
been associated with horses.
Paul Shanahan was one who lives out south of
spent time talking with Paul one day about it and I also
stopped in Servia and talked to Roy Krichbaum.
Roy is a man in his middle 70s and he filled me
in on some things I’ll cover later.
So these are the sources of my information.
LIVERY STABLES (TIE
The topic is blacksmith shops and
livery stables, or tie barns, as they were known.
I’m going to cover those rather quickly before I
get into the blacksmith shops.
There were, in those
horse and buggy days, water troughs for your
horses when you came to town.
One of those was located on Market Street north
of Main on the east side.
That would have been located about where Mr.
Dave’s is now, I suppose.
Another one was on the west side of Mill Street
north of Main Street somewhere north of the monument
Now for the livery barns or tie
call them tie barns.
Some are called livery barns.
I’m not sure of the difference, but I think tie
barns were more just a place to put your horse while you
were in town.
And the livery barn provided additional services.
One of the first ones I have listed here was one
owned by Al Ramp.
It was located on Walnut Street north of the
alley between Second and Third.
That would be north of the post office.
He leased that to Al Martin and Matt Quinn, who
were horse dealers.
They would buy horses and ship them to the
eastern markets to be used as dray horses to haul
brewery wagons, coal wagons, ice wagons, whatever it
There was a note in part of that story that the people
who lived close to that barn were quite upset by some of
the language these fellows would use when it was time to
handle and load these horses.
They probably used some words that I did when I
had a contrary horse to handle.
Another barn was Moe’s Tie Barn on
the east side of Mill Street.
The feature about this one was that it was large.
When you came to town in your rig, you could just
drive your rig and horse all the way in and tie up there
and when you got ready to leave, just untie the horse
and be ready to go.
You didn’t have to unhitch anything.
This was located at what is now Bryan
Manufacturing or the old Leedy Building, as I call it,
on Mill Street on the east side just north of Main.
At that time it was one of the largest tie barns
K. Denny bought it in 1909 and he hired F. P. Freeman to
operate it for him.
In 1919 Franz Null and his brothers from South
Whitley, bought the lot, I presume tore the building
down, and built the present building there.
It was built for an automobile agency.
It was one of the largest and fanciest automobile
agency buildings built in this part of the state at that
bought a new car from there in 1939 and I remember going
upstairs to look at it.
It was a – the building was built solid enough
that they had a ramp on the north side so you could just
drive a car up to the second floor and you could also
drive it out.
I remember going up on that second floor and
looking at the car they sold me and eventually driving
it down out of that upstairs.
That building has now been made into a factory.
The next barn I have is the Harter
was located on Front Street north of Fourth Street.
That one was a little bit out of the
downtown—would have been then—and I figured it was
located someplace about where the Woodcraft Furniture
I think that would be north of Front and Fourth.
I had no other information on this one at all.
The Willis Barn was built in 1870
at the southeast corner of Main and Maple Street and
that was bought by Al Ramp, the guy who had leased the
one up on Walnut Street.
He bought that after they had a big fire at the
old wooden hotel that was located on the corner where
Maynard’s Store is now.
There used to be a big wooden hotel there and it
burned in 1883.
Before that burned, Al Ramp managed, or took care
of the tie barn for the hotel which was just beyond the
hotel right on the ally beside of where Ace Hardware
Store is now.
So after the fire when that hotel burned, he
then, bought this Willis Barn.
Now the one that most of you are
probably more familiar with than any around is the
Jefferson Livery Stable.
That was right directly across the street over
here on—close to the old Opera House—actually under the
old Opera House, I guess it really was.
And he operated a taxi service.
I think there were somewhere close to eight or
ten passenger trains stopped in a day here in N.
He had taxis, horse taxis, that would meet all the
There were two hotels, the Young Hotel and the Sheller
Hotel, and he would have taxis, or buggies, with the
name of the hotel on it.
So if you got off the train and were going to the
Young Hotel, you knew you got into the buggy and came up
to that hotel or if you were going to the Sheller Hotel,
you’d go that way.
And if you just wanted to come uptown, you just
got in to come uptown and it would cost you a dime to
If you didn’t want to pay the dime, you just
walked and carried your luggage uptown.
That was there for a number of years and I’m not
sure when that came to an end there, but in an 1875
atlas that I saw, it had ads for livery barns, one for
S. P. Young and one for Witts and Clarley, and Johnson.
The Johnson address was the same one as given for
the Jefferson Livery Stable.
And there was one that they called the Leevy.
By the way, don’t hold me to all these dates and
things because some of our information was pretty
sketchy and I’ve found lots of discrepancies in trying
to make things jive with the dates that were given to
Now we’ll go into the blacksmith
first one I want to—I’m going to take it from this book
that Edith gave me, the one that Lester compiled.
I got so intrigued with it.
This is a compilation of letters from the Heeters,
back and forth between the ones who had moved out here
and their relatives who lived over in Ohio yet.
And some of their wording and some of their
spelling and things—I got so intrigued that I read a lot
more than I should have in here as far as hunting
But I want to read to you about what must have
been one of the first ones around here.
This is a letter, I think, from
Abram Heeter to—that’s to Abram Heeter from Henry, and
I’m not sure about the relationship to Edith, but
they’re some of her relatives.
And he says in this letter dated February 18,
1851, “I made a first-rate log sled and a sugar sled and
a shaving horse.”
(I’m not going into what a shaving horse is.
I think most of you would know what that would
be. I don’t
know if any of you have ever shaved a horse or not!@!!)
He said, “I fixed my grindstone.
I bought 100 feet of poplar inch boards for six
And I must tell you, your brother, John Heeter, has
built a blacksmith shop with hewed logs sixteen by
twenty and laid floors in it for him to live in till he
can fix his other house.”
So he apparently built a blacksmith shop before
he built his house and he fixed the blacksmith shop so
he could live in it till he got a house built.
I assume that’s what he means there.
Then in a later letter, the same
one that Henry’s writing to Abram, and this was dated
November 20, 1851.
“It was reported that you are going to sell your
land out here and buy a piece out with you.”
I suppose he means out by where he has some land.
“I think it would be a poor idea.
That is my simple opinion.”
Now there he’s telling him he didn’t think much
of it, I guess. And a few lines to John Imler, “There’s
a blacksmith shop with two furs,” (I think he means
fires in it, or forges) “one set of smith tools, for two
hundred and fifty dollars, that’s on a corner lot.
The lot’s fenced in, the man wants to sell and go
to Illinois in the spring.” (Illinois is spelled Elenoy
– now that’s the way I’d spell it if…)
There’s a lot of that in here and it just gets so
intriguing you can hardly put it down.
The odd part of it is that nowhere else in all
the hunting I did, did I see John Imler’s name mentioned
anymore in any of the blacksmith shops around town here.
I have no idea where this one was.
It says in North Manchester, but I have no idea
which one of these was the one that John Henry was going
You’ll find out a little bit later that what the village
blacksmith said, that you could trace anybody because
you didn’t owe anybody, is not always true with
And it wasn’t true with John Imler.
Now the next reference to John
Imler was in a letter on September 25, 1857.
I won’t read all of the first part of it.
“Further to let you know that John Imler is
would like to know what to do with your notes”.
He must have borrowed some money from Abram and
he wants to know… “John was up to see John Heeter, the
farmer and he told him he was bale (I don’t know what
that means” and if he could see you they could fix these
I think if you’d come you would soon see how much John
Heeter has bought.”
No, it says, “John Heeter has bought some of his
property trying to save himself and help you.”
Evidently he had loaned him some money too and he
was trying to buy property to save his money.
Then on a little later on here in a
letter in November, he said, “John Imler was here the
other day and wanted John to sue him for that note of
yours and John said he could not.”
Now these were the Brethren people and in those
days they didn’t believe in suing one another.
So I suppose that’s what he means there that he
“But he told him he should go home and work and try to
pay for it.”
What the fella meant by coming here and wanted
John to sue him we can’t tell.
“He is going to move to the town of Lagro
“He has rented there and has a blacksmith shop
there and he’s going to try his luck once more.”
And it said, “Your cousin John Heeter has bought
some of the property but it wouldn’t stand.”
Now I assume he meant that there was a mortgage
on it and he bought the property and it probably
wasn’t—couldn’t sell it—probably couldn’t sell it
because of the mortgage on it.
I’m reading that into it.
“So it’s all for nothing.
He owes David Shock a good deal.”
This is the one that I laughed about.
“He don’t like to lose and growls like an old
bear about it.
He said he don’t give me any satisfaction at
all.” I was
really intrigued in reading those letters in there.
I won’t take that much time…
By the way, besides people
questioning my qualifications for this, I had several
other calls about another matter about this meeting.
That was about the length of it.
I guess some of you last time thought that
program ran a little long.
Evidently it didn’t seem that long to me because
I think I snoozed through part of it.
So it didn’t seem that long to me.
What I had here was three typewritten pages of
notes and rehearsing this it just took half an hour for
So that would be an hour and a half to get through it!
Now we go on down to the blacksmith
Harmony on the northeast corner of Main and Market.
That would be about where the water trough was
someplace down in there along the alley.
He bought the lot from Michael Henney after the
fire in 1890.
In 1890 the corner up there where Mr. Dave’s is,
that whole corner there clear to the alley-there were
about four buildings in there—and they all burned.
Evidently John Harmony bought the north end of
those lots and put a blacksmith shop in there after the
fire in 1890.
Alvin Bugby (who will come up later in another
one of the shops) was a smith for Harmony.
Henney sold the south part of the lot to W. J.
Sirk to build a theater and Sirk died before he got the
movie house built.
His wife then sold the property of Phil Goehler
and Howard Rager.
Now Phil Goehler many of you will know I think,
was a custodian at the Chester School for a number of
years and I think maybe even at the post office in later
Howard Rager was from over around Laketon the last I
heard of him.
I knew both of those men personally.
They bought the lot and built the first filling
station that was ever built in North Manchester.
That’s the one—then in 1923 that Standard Oil
Company bought—the filling station.
In 1925 our own Russell Michaels went to work
there for Standard Oil.
So that was the history of that one.
Down on—there’s another one called
Whitlow and Ed Enyeart on the southwest corner of Main
That would be across over here where the block building
is facing on Sycamore Street.
That would be facing toward the Standard station,
I guess. In
1850 it was a two-story building.
John first made wagons and buggies on the second
1880 John Knowles made wooden pumps and sold the place
Now in some of these Heeter letters
it tells about one of those families had come to
Manchester to help somebody to make wooden cylinder
may have been working for John Knowles, I don’t know.
The next one is William Harper,
south of the alley between Main and Second Street,
facing on Sycamore Street.
That would be back of the old Leedy Building,
facing the other way on the other side of that block.
I just read that didn’t I?
I got in the wrong line of my notes.
My glasses slipped down. [Crowd Laughs.]
This Whitlow and Enyeart over here,
that was an area they called the “Beehive” area.
I couldn’t find any explanation to why they
called it the “Beehive” area.
They always had the “Beehive” in quotes.
The old sawmill, as I understand, was along south
further than that.
Whether there might have been—somebody uncovered
a nest of bees and someone got stung sometime or what, I
But they called it the “Beehive” area.
In the back of that shop they had a novelty shop
in the rear that made wagon bodies, buggys, wooden
harrows, ladders, and childrens’ hobby horses.
Then about 1900 S.S. Gump bought the lot and he
built the present building that’s there now.
The Harpers, the one I read about
on Second Street over here, was between Main and Second
Then we had one that was called
Jess Miller, Sr., and His Son, Jess, Jr. on the east
side of the alley between Walnut and Mill.
That would be right at the alley right east of
the building here.
Later it was moved to the southwest corner of
Mill and Second.
That would be over about where the card shop
[Joyful Scribes] is now, just north of the Pyramid Oil
Company right in that area there, where that would be
Later you’ll find that another one of these shops
gives the same address.
Whether it followed that one or preceded it, I
don’t know which it was.
It was later moved to the corner of Wayne and
Main and that would be down where the old—where Bonded
Oil station is now.
And they built a brick building with a cupola for
Miller, Sr. was an expert machinist
and could mold and machine almost any part to repair
So if you had something that you wanted made and had the
pieces, he could put it together and made a mold for it
and he could mold it and then machine it out for you and
you could get the piece repaired.
I think that building-I remember it still
standing there back in the ‘30s and I am not sure when
it was taken down.
As near as I can tell, sometime around 1938 or
think perhaps that Harold Urschel owned it at that time.
I’m not that positive of that.
We’ve got another one that is
called D. J. Rupley.
That’s the shop that some of you referred to and
told me about at the east end of the covered bridge.
Some people say that that bridge runs north and
south, but I swear it runs more east and west than it
does north and south.
So it was on the far side of the river on the
other side of the covered bridge.
And he bought it from—in 1878—from Ed Taylor and
Whether it’s one of the Heeters in here, I’m not
had a blacksmith shop and a wagon shop and Rupley was
the blacksmith and did the iron work for the buggies and
Tobias Pugh did the woodwork.
There were a lot of craftsmen in
the woodworking and making buggy wheels and wagon wheels
as well as the blacksmith work that goes into putting
the metal on them.
And they advertised or bragged, or whatever you
want to say, about their wagons.
They made a wagon that would track.
Now I’m sure most of you know what that means.
That means when you went down the road, that the
back wheels tracked in the same tracks as the front
Apparently some of them made in those days didn’t always
The assembling of the hub and wooden spokes and the
felly—now the felly is that wooden part that surrounded
the outer edge of the spokes that the iron band goes on
that I was telling you about that the blacksmith puts
call that “upsetting the wheel.”
Nobody seems to know why they called it that but
when they go to put the wheel together, put the hub and
the spokes and the felly all together, they were
“upsetting the wheel” when they did that.
I’m not sure when that shop was discontinued but
in later days he had a son, Mark, who ran a blacksmith
shop in South Whitley.
Now here’s this S. P. Young whose
name came up in a livery barn story back a little bit
ago. He was
on the southeast corner of Walnut and Second.
That would be
where the cleaning place [Town & Country Cleaners] is
I think that there was a house there and Young lived in
that and the actual shop was east of that a little ways.
They made wagons and buggies.
He had a foster son, George Shupp, who ran a coal
yard from that same area there at the back of the
Then Shupp was the blacksmith and after the wagon
and buggy making was discontinued (he ran the blacksmith
shop until about 1915) then Von Shupp, the son of
George, opened a tire and battery store in about 1915
when he opened that.
I remember Von Shupp running that
place of business in the ‘20s because my mother bought
an old 19-? (I don’t know what year it was) a
Model T Ford anyhow, and went in there and bought a new
set of tires from Von Shupp.
Goodyear tires and they weren’t worth a darn.
All four of them blew out with a month.
And if she had been a widow with seven kids…
Had an awful time in getting any adjustment out
of Von’s Goodyear tires and I haven’t used Goodyear
The one that many of you know
about, I think would be more familiar with, is the
Thrush Blacksmith Shop.
According to the stories, I had some conflicting
information about where all the thing was located.
It was first located on the southwest corner of
Mill and Main.
That’s the same place the Whitlow and Enyeart was
located to start with.
It was later moved to north Mill about where the
Pyramid Oil Company is now.
That’s where this other one said he—on the
southwest corner of Mill and Second.
But later that shop was moved to the east side of
Mill Street just north of what I call the Leedy Building
and that’s where it was, I remember, even after I was a
young man—going in there and having blacksmith work
done—at that shop.
So then Thrush had four sons and they were all
Alvin Bugby worked for Thrush in there, but I’m
not real sure about that.
I got the feeling that he might have been a
partner with Thrush before it was all over.
I’m not real sure about that.
That was one of the last shops that I can
remember being operated here.
Marie [Dillman] called me and said that she had
given a picture of a blacksmith shop to the Society that
was located on the west side of Walnut Street north of
the Sheller Hotel.
That would be in the area about where the bakery
shop was built, I think.
MARIE DILLMAN – No, it was on the
BEERY – Oh well, then that would be
about where that livery barn was then.
Someone said that Chet Ulrey had—he worked there
as a blacksmith or worked there in the shop.
My brother, Dee, was telling me that he remembers
going to that shop to have some work done on a bicycle
one time. I
don’t know what a blacksmith would do to a bicycle.
DUANE MARTIN – John Penn was the
bicycle man and was in there with John Parmerlee.
BEERY – Oh, that’s the way it was.
He said he thought there were two brothers.
Were there two Penn brothers in there?
DUANE MARTIN – Yes.
Jim and—I can’t remember the other one’s name.
BEERY – He said that he remembered
that when they weren’t busy they had a croquet thing
fixed out behind there and when they weren’t busy, were
out there playing croquet when they didn’t have anything
else to do.
So that must be the same place.
Then in talking with Paul Shanahan
about what might have been around Servia, there was a
blacksmith shop in Servia and Paul worked there.
Even after he was married he worked there some.
And that was owned by Pete Baker.
Paul said he thought Pete was Noah Baker’s, the
old shoe cobbler’s son, but I have some doubts about
don’t remember the Baker family that well, but I don’t
believe Noah had any sons, did he?
SOMEONE – It might have been his
BEERY – Well, I didn’t question
Paul about it, but was almost certain that Noah didn’t
have any sons.
And Roy Krichbaum said he remembered going up to
this shop as a kid living there in Servia, and watching
them hammer out things.
He was telling me how they made those rims on the
This old boy could do it.
He would get both of the ends of the rod real hot
and bevel one down and then the other one, and they’d
place them together and put some kind of powder—he
wasn’t sure what it was.
Paul Shanahan thought it was soda that they put
on that hot metal before they really hammered it tighter
and smoothed it out.
But they could make a weld better than you can
make a weld with acetylene torch or electric weld now.
Roy wasn’t real sure when that shop discontinued
but he thought sometime in the middle ‘30s.
I don’t remember the shop ever being there.
We lived out in that area north of Servia a few
years before that and I don’t remember that shop being
the other thing I want to cover here doesn’t have
anything to do with blacksmith shops.
There was a wooden wagon factory here in town
about that same time that was located in the brick mill
on West Main Street.
It was in the first brick building that was built
in N. Manchester and as near as I can figure out from
deciphering all the information I had, it must be the
old brick building that stands down toward the railroad
tracks on the south side of Main Street.
Does anybody know for sure it that’s the one?
ORPHA BOOK – That’s the one where
Joe Brown had a wagon factory.
BEERY – Well, that’s what it was
That was the one then.
It was one of the first brick buildings—it was a
They called it the brick mill, but there was never any
bricks made there.
But they called it that.
It was the first brick building built, so that’s
where it got its name.
It was owned by Eicholtz, Petry, and Valdenaire
(I don’t know who he was) and later sold to J. A. Brown
and Henry Mills.
They made wagon spokes, axles, neck yolks, and
Now how many of you know what a neck yolk and a
single tree is?
I suppose most of you do.
I had some of them at home but I didn’t bring any
of them in either.
As far as the trade of a blacksmith
tradesman anymore, there aren’t any.
I mean there’s just not any around anymore that
can do what those old boys used to do with black metal.
There are a few guys around here who still shoe
horses, and I suppose they call themselves blacksmiths.
But the ones-names that I had were…There’s one at
Roann; Welby Simpson.
Paul Shanahan said he has him do his work.
And by the way, Paul told me he was 76 years old
and still training colts and breaking horses at 76.
I said to him, “It’s about time you learned to
Then there was another, Bud
Rhoades, who lives in Wabash, and an Adkins who lives in
Lafontaine, and there used to be a man in Bippus.
Now they didn’t have shops.
They had traveling blacksmith shops.
They had a little outfit they put in their
trailer—the forge and everything.
So they really weren’t blacksmith shops.
Then on top of everything else, a
week ago yesterday, in the Sunday Fort Wayne Journal
Gazette, there was a big headline article about a fellow
by the name of Kenneth Lynch, Sr. of Wilton,
He has a collection of 500 tons of blacksmith
has worked on the Statue of Liberty, he’s worked on the
Chrysler Building, he’s worked on St. Patrick’s
Cathedral, and he had the Rockefellers as one of his
The collection is valued at over two million dollars.
He’s hired a curator to catalog and help him set
it up in a museum.
If I ever get to Wilton, Connecticut, I’m going
to look it up.
The curator’s name is Ted Monnich.
He bought one set of tools-a 500 piece set-from a
silversmith and he said the silversmith hated to part
with those because—now this is in quotes, “He knew men
would never be born again to make these tools.”
And I doubt whether there’s ever men going to be
born again that will be truly blacksmiths as we
understood them back in the 1830’s to ‘50s.
Now that’s the end of my notes, I
So I appreciate you bearing with me.
It’s kind of a disconnected dissertation, but
it’ll give you some idea of what went on in the 1800s.