Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

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Property Address: 108 E. Main Street, North Manchester, IN
Timeline—includes Ridgley Building, also known as Cigar Factory – Chain of Title
Researched and compiled by John Knarr, Sept 18, 2010

The original entry or purchase of the fraction of the north east quarter (north of Eel River) of Section No. 5, Township No. 29 North, of Range No. 7 East, in Wabash County, Indiana, containing 59.75 acres was made by Peter Ogan on Oct 12, 1835.

Above deed acknowledged by Peter Ogan on Oct 22, 1836, before John Anderson, Justice of the Peace, Wabash County, IN.

U.S., by Martin Van Buren Pres. to Peter Ogan – Date of Patent Mar 30, 1837

Ogan purchased 59.75 acres, the lot or fraction of the north east quarter (north of Eel River) of Section No. 5, in Township No. 29 North of Range No. 7 East in the District of Lands subject to sale at Ft. Wayne Indiana, according to the official plat of the survey of the said lands returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General.

General Land Office, Fort Wayne Indiana Cash Entry No. 5720

New Plat of the Town of Manchester. January 4, 1837. Manchester is situated in Wabash County at the great bend of Eel River on the Lagro and Goshen State Road.

J.L. Tomlinson, Surveyor of Fulton County

The lots are 4 ¾ perches wide by 9 ½ long, except the fractional ones.

The marks along the bluff of the river made thus (  ) indicate springs running into the river.

Lot No. 1 begins at the end of a line drawn south 28 perches and 20 links, then east 20 perches from the quarter post on the north side of Section No. 5 in Town 29 North, of Range No. 7 East of the principal meridian.

The streets north of the Mill race run north and south or east and east; those south of it form an angle of 46 degrees with those north.

Feb 13, 1837, Peter Ogan went to William Steele, Recorder of Wabash County, and acknowledged the described plat of the Town of Manchester for the uses and purposes  therein described and mentioned.

Oct 22, 1836 Peter & Mary Ann Ogan to Joseph Harter. Warranty Deed. Consideration $50.00. Lots 21 & 22.

July 13, 1844 Joseph & Elizabeth Harter to Jesse Davis. $30.00 Lot 21.

June 14, 1847 Jesse Davis to William Mowrer, $275.00. Lot 21.

Jan 5, 1854 William & Rachel Mowrer to Franklin Templin & Benjamin Wise. $900.00 Lot 21.

Feb 3, 1855. Benjamin Wise to Franklin Templeton [sic]. $400.00. Undivided half of Lot 21.

Oct 8, 1856. Franklin & Julia Templin to Charles O. Barrett. $1000.00 Lot 21.

Feb 4, 1858. Charles & Sarah Barrett to Franklin Templin. $850.00. Lot 21.

August 11, 1860. Sheriff’s Sale. $300.00. Lot 21. Deed to John Hough, Jr.

Note: The Templins apparently retained control of 37 feet on east side of Lot 21.

Nov 5, 1862. Franklin & Julia Templin to Samuel Wertenberger. $250.00 37 feet off east side of Lot 21.

Mar 17, 1865. Samuel Wertenberger to John Herr. $1500.00 37 feet wide on east side of Lot 21.

Dec 15, 1868. John & Harriet Herr to Miss Nettie Krishier. $550.00. 20 feet of east side of Lot 21.

Note: Feb 25, 1872. Nettie Krisher married Joseph H. Boner.

Jun 19, 1872. Nettie & Joseph H. Boner to Samuel Mylin. $1200.00 20 feet on east side of Lot 21.

Note: Nettie Boner held mortgage for sum of $1000.00 on said premises, Jun 19, 1872.

Aug 8, 1872. Samuel & Louisa Mylin to Elias Blickenstaff & John J. Martin. $1200.00. 20 feet, east side of Lot 21

April 18, 1873. John J. & Mary E. Martin to Elias Blickenstaff. $600.00. Undivided half of 20 feet wide off east side of Lot 21.

Sept 16, 1873. Elias Blickenstaff to Stephen W. Jenks Sr. & Chancery [Chauncy] Hamilton. $2000.00. Undivided half of 20 feet wide off east side of Lot 21.

Feb 20, 1875. Chauncy & Susan A. Hamilton to Stephen W. Jenks Sr. $1000.00. Undivided half of 20 feet wide off east side of Lot 21.

Oct 6, 1877. Stephen W. & Sarah J. Jenks to Jacob Lines. $2000.00. 20 feet wide off east side of Lot 21.

Nov 1, 1877. Jacob & Rachel A. Lines to Beverly W. Tyner. $2000.00. 20 feet off east side of Lot 21.

Feb 13, 1878. Beverly W. & Sarah C. Tyner to Jesse J. Tyler. $2000.00. 20 feet off east side of Lot 21.

May 27, 1878. Jesse J. Tyler to Lydia E. Fanning. $4400.00 East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Feb 25, 1880. Lydia E. (formerly Fanning) & Jesse J. Tyler, her husband to Jacob M. & Nancy M. Jennings. $2000.00. East 20 feet of Lot 21. Subject to mortgage given to J.W. Ford by Lydia E. & Jesse J. Tyler.

Sept 8, 1887. Jacob M. & Nancy M. Jennings to Nancy J. Ridgley. $2000.00. East 20 feet of Lot 21. Subject to mortgage of grantee in favor of Janny [Fanny] Dembufsky for $1000.00.

Sept 2, 1891. Nancy J. & John B. Ridgley to Jonathan B. Ridgley. $2200.00. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Dec 17, 1894. Jonathan B. & Mary E. Ridgley to John B. Ridgley. $2200.00. Lot 21 [sic].

Dec 17, 1894. John B. & Nancy J. Ridgley to Mary E. Ridgley. $2200.00. Lot 21 [sic].

Nov 11, 1898. Elizabeth Ridgley redeemed said real estate in foreclosure and sheriff sale on Dec 11, 1897. Suit had been filed by Fanny Dembufsky.  $506.31 paid.

Jan 3, 1899. Mary E. & Jonathan B. Ridgley to John B. Ridgley. $2200.00. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Aug 18, 1900. John B. Ridgley successfully filed suit to quiet title.

Aug 29, 1900. Sworn Affidavit of Joseph B. Harter [Exhibit A]: Comes now Joseph B. Harter who being duly sworn, upon his oath states that he is 73 year of age; that he is a resident of North Manchester, Wabash County, Indiana; that he has resided in said County since the year 1836.

Affiant states further, that he was well acquainted with one Jesse Davis on and prior to the 14th day of June 1847, who was the owner of Lot No. 21 in original plat of the town of Manchester, now North Manchester, and who on said last named date executed a deed to one William Mowrer for said lot; and affiant knows from personal knowledge of the facts that said Jesse Davis was a single man on said June 14th 1847.

Affiant further states that prior to, on and subsequent to the 3rd day of February 1855, he was well acquainted with Benjamin Wise and Franklin Templin who were the joint owners of said Lot No. 21; that on said last named date said Wise executed to said Franklin Templin (by the name of Franklin Templeton) a deed for the undivided one-half interest of said lot, as set out under Count #8 of the foregoing abstract, that on said last named date, to-wit; February 3rd 1855, said Benjamin Wise was unmarried. Affiant also further states that the Franklin Templeton, named as grantee in the deed last above mentioned is the same person as the Franklin Templin named above, and the same person as the Franklin Templin named as grantor in a deed of conveyance of said Lot 21 to one Charles O. Barrett on the 8th day of October 1856, set out at Count #9 of the attached abstract. Affiant further states that on the 17th day of March 1865, on which date one Samuel Wertenberger executed a deed for said Lot No. 21 to one John Herr, and that on said last named date said Samuel Wertenberger was a single man.

Affiant further states that one Elias Blickenstaff was an unmarried man on the 16th day of September 1873, on which date said Blickenstaff executed a deed for the east 20 feet of said lot No. 21, to Stephen W. Jenks and Chauncy Hamilton.

Affiant further states that he is and was well acquainted with one Jesse J. Tyler; that on the 27th day of May 1878, the date on which said Tyler executed a deed to one Lydia E. Fanning for the east 20 feet of said Lot No. 21 and set out at No. 24 of the attached abstract the said Jesse J. Tyler was a single man, and further and further affiant saith not. [Affidavit signed by Joseph B. Harter on August 29, 1900]

Mar 26, 1902. John B. Ridgley to Burrows R. Johnson. Rental Lease. $30.00 per month. East 20 feet of Lot 21. Lease term of 2 years, with privilege of 6 years from first day of April, 1902.

Nov 23, 1908. John B. Ridgely to Emanuel L. Mort. Lease of one year, starting Dec 1, 1908.

Mar 11, 1909. New replacement lease causing previous lease terms “null and void.” John B. Ridgely to Emanuel L. Mort and Harry Mort. Morts doing business under firm name of E.L. Mort & Son.  Lease agreement.  $40.00 per month. “It is expressly understood and agreed that said premises…to be used for the purpose of feed and fruit store….”  Lease covered the ground floor of the building then existing on east side of Lot 21. Ridgely reserved from this lease the entire second floor of the building, and also the use of the stairways leading thereto.  Ridgely agreed under the terms of the lease “to erect on the north end of said lot, a ware house, or building two stories. The first floor or story which is to be included in this lease, and is to be used by said Mort & Son.” Ridgely reserved from this leas the entire second floor of said ware house, and also reserved for his own use the right and privilege of a four foot hall way on the first floor of said ware house building. Lease was for a period of three years, from June 1, 1909 to June 1, 1912, with the privilege of two years longer from June 1, 1912 under the same terms and conditions for the monthly lease amount of forty dollars.

Ridgley agreed to erect said ware house by June 1, 1909.

Mechanic’s Liens placed on new building by The Indiana Brick Company on July 16, 1909. Amount $150.87. Released lien on Dec 16, 1909.

Also by Marion V. Grim, the contractor, on August 12, 1909. Amount $89.42. Lien released on Nov 24, 1909.

Dec  6, 1909. John B. & Nancy J. Ridgley to Walter S. Bent. Mortgage $1350.00. Assigned to Farmers & Merchants Nat. Bank of Wabash, Indiana.

Dec. 6, 1909. Mortgages.  John B. & Nancy J. Ridgley to North Manchester Lumber Company. To secure payment of five promissory notes totaling$2337.87.

April 1, 1911. Mortgage. John B. & Nancy J. Ridgley to Noah Garber. $2500.00 @ 7%.

April 28, 1916. Mortgage. John B. Ridgley (unmarried man) to Samuel T. Oldfather. $1,000.00.

April 11, 1917. John B. Ridgley to Audrey E. Henny. Same real estate described above, for consideration of $1.00, subject to a mortgage calling for $2500 to Noah Garber.

Note: Audrey E. Henney died on May 8, 1917. Her will filed in Probate Court. Her only child, Maxine Marcella Henney was to receive “all household effects, wearing apparel, jewelry, pictures, heirlooms and all personal property of any and every nature whatsoever, and also, all moneys, except the sum of one thousand dollars to her brother Bertrand B. Ridgley. Her father, John B. Ridgley, was to receive “all real estate of which I may die seized, to be owned by him for and during his natural life only, and at his death, all of said real estate shall pass and belong absolutely to my said daughter, Maxine Marcella Henney, in fee simple.”

Suits filed against John B. Ridgley, May-August 1917. Plaintiffs: Bonners; Union Trust Co.; George Burdge; J.W. Jennings & Son (Jacob & William); Frame Hardware Store ( Chas. B. Frame & Gus B. Frame).

The court ordered the real estate to be sold “to satisfy a mortage that had been executed and which was a lien upon said real estate.”

Note: Audrey Henney’s daughter was living in North Manchester with Charles E. Henney, the divorced husband of Audrey. Audrey Henney had been granted a divorce from Charles H. Henney, and given custody of their child. She was to be paid $300 & $250 for attorney's fees plus $6/month for maintenance of the child. [See North Manchester News, January 11, 1915]. Audrey’s estate was of virtually no value. Some old books including two Christian Science volumes and a trunk of clothes were turned over to Audrey’s child, Maxine Marcella. Bertrand B. Ridgley and John B. Ridgley were residing at 5220 South Homan Avenue, Chicago.

Oct 1, 1918. Administrator’s Deed. Estate of Audrey E. Henney, deceased. To Noah Garber. $3400.00.

Noah Garber paid delinquent taxes on property to avoid having the lot sold for delinquent taxes.  Garber as mortgagee also paid and kept up the insurance on the building.

Jan 24, 1921. Noah Garber to Glen M. Keppler. $3200.00. East 20’ of Lot 21.

May 18, 1928 Glen M. & Opal Keppler to Floyd E. Sims. East 20 feet of Lot 21. Grantee to assume mortgage in amount of $1400.00. Floyd married Birtie M. and both their names appear on warranty deed, April 3, 1946.

Oct 20, 1945. Floyd E. Sims to Charles W. & Kathryn Bundy; Zainard & Lucile Layman. Lease Agreement for five years, Oct 1945 – Oct 1950. $90.00/mo for first year; 100.00/mo. for remaining four years of lease.

Aug 11, 1947. Bundys and Laymans assigned lease to John H. Wilson and W.H. & Ruth C. Wilson. Business operated on said real estate known as “Playmore Recreation Center”.

Jan 20, 1949. Lease Agreement between Floyd E. Sims, of Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, and Arden J. & Joan Urschel and Harry & Beata Wible, new owners of “Playmore Recreation Center”.  Continuation of earlier lease agreement, with option to renew for five years after 1950.

Aug 23, 1955. Floyd E. & Bertie M. Sims to Fred A. Barnes. Contract. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Mar 4, 1961. Birtie M. Sims (unmarried survivor) to Fred A. & Betty Barnes. Warranty Deed.

Note: Floyd E. Sims died on Feb 23, 1956.

Mar 6, 1961. Fred A. & Betty Barnes to Birtie M. Sims, and Albert Sims. Mortgage. $9,600.00. East 20 feet of Lot 21 used to secure payment of promissory note in sum of $9,600.00.

July 19, 1966. Satisfaction of above mortgage, was fully paid.

July 19, 1966. Fred A. & Betty Barnes to Indiana Lawrence Bank & Trust Co. Mortgage, $11,500.00. Mortgage secured by said property, East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Jun 18, 1973. ILB Mortgage fully paid and satisfied.

May 28, 1981. Fred A. & Betty Barnes to Paul L. & Elvadene Frieden. Warranty Deed. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Oct 1983. Rental Agreement. James W. & Shirley Mishler and John R. & Beatrice O. Knarr, doing business as MicroWorld Systems, a computer firm. The Mishlers were buying premises on land contract from the Friedens.

June 15, 1987. Paul L. & Elvadene Frieden to James W. & Shirley Mishler. Warranty Deed. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

June 15, 1987. James W. & Shirley Mishler to John R. & Beatrice O. Knarr. Warranty Deed. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Aug 1, 1989. Lease Agreement between John R. & Beatrice O. Knarr and Keith Ring & Lorin Dotson, doing business as Silver Creek Printing.

Mar 29, 1995. John R. & Beatrice O. Knarr to Keith & Susan Ring. Warranty Deed. East 20 feet of Lot 21.

Feb 2, 2010. D. Keith & Susan D. Ring to North Manchester Historical Society, Inc. Quitclaim Deed. The Rings hereby release and quit claim to North Manchester Historical Society Inc. the following described Real Estate in Wabash County in the State of Indiana, to-wit:

Part of Lot Twenty-One (21) in the Original Plat to the Town of North Manchester as recorded on pages 87 to 88 of Plat Book 2 in the records of the Office of the Wabash County Indiana Recorder, being contained entirely within the boundaries of a tract of land now (or formerly) owned by D. Keith Ring and Susan D. Ring as recorded on Page 5 of Deed Record 290 in the Records of the Office of the Wabash County Indiana Recorder, being more particularly described as follows:

Beginning at the northeast corner of said Lot 21 as depicted on a survey completed by John H. Stephens on September 15, 2009, marked by a surveyors marker nail; thence South 00 degrees 51 minutes 41 seconds East along the east line of said Lot 21 a distance of 58.22 feet; thence South 89 degrees 14 minutes 41 seconds west, along the south line of a three story building structure 20.75 feet; thence north 00 degrees 42 minutes 36 seconds west, along the west line of said Ring tract, 58.46 feet to an iron rebar stake on the north line of said Lot 21; thence north 89 degrees 55 minutes 55 seconds east, along the north-line of said Lot 21, a distance of 20.60 feet to the point of beginning.

Containing 1206 square feet, more or less.

Also subject to any and all easements, tile drains, legal ditches, rights-of-way, streets, highways, valid restrictions presently existing and of record, and any zoning ordinances applicable hereto.


Note: The above legal description is that for the so-called “cigar factory”. Nothing in the deeds would call attention to any active cigar business. The cigar manufacturers must have leased these premises. Newspaper accounts reveal that Chester W. Kilborn manufactured cigars in North Manchester between 1915 and 1916. Some circumstantial evidence would indicate that Kilborn was operating out of this building. His cigar labels included the “Hand Made Little Duke” and “Chester W. Kilborn” brands. Karl Morris, manufacturer of the Blackmore Cigars, was in business between 1920 and 1922. Old photographs reveal the prominent billboard ad on the side of this brick building: “Home of the Blackmore Cigar”. The building was also a “Rooming House” at various times, with the interior being divided up into smaller apartments. Joyce Joy recalls when her in-laws once lived in this building. Todd Richards’ uncle  also had a wood-working shop on the premises at one time. Tom Baker relates how his mother used to play as a child in the large attic of this building. According to Tom, that large space made for a wonderful play area for youngsters. Fred Barnes told John Knarr anecdotal bits of history about the cigar makers, when there were three “rollers” who worked at tables near the large windows on the second floor.

For more information on the cigar factories that once existed in North Manchester, click here. 

Recently a grant has been received to rehabilitate the old cigar factory building. This Historic Preservation Fund Rehabilitation Project is administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. The rehabilitation of this property, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (as part of the Historic North Manchester District), has been funded in part by a matching grant-in-aid from the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. Initially, a grant amount of $30,000.00 will fund work on the brick exterior and a replacement roof. It is not anticipated that the windows can be replaced until a second stage of funding exists.