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!

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Source: NMHS Newsletter August 1990

Those Abstracts to Title  of Property:
Our Irreplaceable Key to Early Residents
By L. Z. Bunker, M.D., Ret.

Much of our information of the first white people living in our area has come from property abstracts, family records, and family history.  The problem for researchers has been that the Wabash County Court House burned down in 1871, and all records stored there were lost.  So we have no single repository to go to for much of the early information about North Manchester. 
Property abstracts, however, which remain in family hands are an authentic tie with the past up to 1871.  We have searched nearly 200 abstracts and have found invaluable information. 

In the last few years, it seems, many of the land abstracts have been discarded and have been supplanted by “title insurance” which supplies no information whatever.  We are fast losing our only source of authentic information dating from the land grants, the earliest of which are from 1826.  Property transfers after 1871 are recorded in the Wabash County Courthouse.  What are particularly sought are records of property in the Original Plat of North Manchester, 1836. 

If you have the abstract to the title of your property, be sure to keep it in a lock box and have it photocopied.  Take good care of the copy.  Or consider giving an additional copy, photocopied, to the North Manchester Historical Society.  If you have an abstract to property you no longer own, this could also be given to the Society.
Attached is an incomplete list of persons living in the town and its early additions, 1834-1865.  A further listing from 1865 to 1900 is in the making.  If you have relatives who were early residents or knowledge of persons on this list, any information would be much appreciated.
Andrews, Melitis, 202 East Third Street
Beauchamp, Asa, owner of the American Hotel
Bonewitz family
Butterbaugh, Phoebe, first white child
Cowgill family, shoemakers, tanners: Cowgill family, 201 North Mill:  son Carey, daughter Kate (Harter), Rowena (Harter) Tryon
Dailey, J. R., Black Hawk war veteran
Eagle, Francis, came here with the Harters, prominent attorney in Wabash
Fannin, Rev. Bryant, circuit rider
Flook, Columbus, potter
Ford, Ezra, 201 West Third Street; William Ford
Frame family, Mahlon, James; William Frame, Mexican War veteran
Goshorn family, one a physician
Grist family, builders
Halderman, Allen, donated land for (pioneer) cemetery
Harter, Joseph, the pioneer, 11 children by first and second wives, came here 1836; sons Joseph B. Harter, Jacob Harter, prominent citizens through early 1900’s
Helvey, Col. Richard, 1834, 202 East Main Street
Lantz, Henry and wife, Lantz House (hotel), 202 Walnut Street, had flour mill and other enterprises; to California in the Gold Rush, 1849
Metzger family.  One member went to California with Henry Lantz, 1849
Noftzger family, 1845.  L. J., sons Charles and Sam.
Ogan, Peter, founder of the town, cabin at 125 East Main Street, wife Mary Anne; John Ogan, brother of Peter, miller
Place, Morris, operated the Quaker school on South Maple Street
Place, Isaac, 309 South Maple Street, with the “Underground Railroad”
Rager, Eli and wife, Jennie Willis, 204 South Maple Street
Ruse family, Third and Walnut Streets
Sheets, Hiram, with “Underground Railroad”
Siling, Tighlman I. and brother, furniture makers before 1854
Spurgeon, Alex and son John, builders
Stone, Daniel, here in 1836
Thorne, William, merchant, residence at 207 West Main Street; George, 1840+, had racetrack at the edge of town
Ulrey family, 401 East Third Street
Wallace-Marine family, South Mill Street
Wicks, Martin, a pioneer
Willis, William E., first postmaster, 1839
Whitlow, Hiram, blacksmith
Windle, Albert, 311 North Market Street