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Jacob Singer of Chester Township had sons named Ulysses Grant and James Monroe Singer; also a grandson named Victor Hugo Singer. READ MORE - BIOGRAPHY OF JACOB SINGER.
The Speicher family originated in Switzerland. Samuel S. Speicher founded the
Cyclone Seeder Company. The Speicher Seeder business operated in North
Manchester, 1880-1890, manufacturing from 2,000 to 5,000 seeders annually. In
1890 the business was moved to Urbana and the product of the factory there was
to average from 30,000 to 40,000 seeders per year. An international trade office
was established by Daniel E. Speicher, son of the company's founder, on Queen
Victoria Street, London, England.
READ MORE - BIOGRAPHY OF DANIEL E. SPEICHER.
Henry Strickler, pioneer in Chester township, was of distinguished ancestry. He was a son of Conrad and Elizabeth (Allen) Strickler. Henry's mother was a granddaughter of William Penn.
In the early 1870s John W. Domer tried farming in the state of Missouri. Severe drought and a grasshopper plague caused him to return to Indiana. In the fall of 1874 he moved to North Manchester. Domer operated a marble establishment and later became a prominent banker. He owned much property in North Manchester and in Chicago. READ MORE - BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN W. DOMER.
In 1845 Henry Strickler built the first church in North Manchester (Methodist Episcopal Church) and served a long time on its leadership board. Strickler was one of the earliest settlers in the North Manchester area. He had walked from Mansfield, Ohio, to this area in the fall of 1835. His grandparents originated in Chester County, Pennsylvania. READ MORE.
Dr. Daniel M. Marshall removed his family to Illinois from North Manchester in early 1856. Dr. Horace Winton came to North Manchester at that time to "replace" Dr. Marshall. Both physicians had been enrolled in the Rush Medical School, Chicago. Horace Winton's father was a pioneer in Fountain County, Indiana. Dr. Marshall and wife Martha Ann (nee Patterson) were living in Fountain County in 1850 according to the federal census for Attica. Horace Winton's father William Winton was one of the first Trustees of Wabash College. Horace Winton was the fourth white child born at Crawfordsville, Indiana, the date of his birth was June 19, 1831. Both Horace Winton and Daniel Marshall's son Thomas Riley Marshall attended and had a four-year education at Wabash College in Crawfordsville. READ MORE - BIOGRAPHY OF DR. HORACE WINTON.
Silver Lakeville was the original name given to North Manchester's northern neighbor (Silver Lake) when it was surveyed and platted by Jacob Paulus in 1859. (News-Journal, August 16, 1973)
A newspaper, the Laketon Herald, was established in Laketon in 1883
by Charles A. Edwards, an experienced printer.
(News-Journal, August 16, 1973)
In March 1834, a man named Col. Richard Helvey located on the bank of the Eel River, about one mile northeast of North Manchester. He was a native of Virginia but had moved to Indianapolis at an early age and about 1831 opened a farm in LaGro, Wabash County, where he lived until he moved to the Eel River location. There he cleared a farm of about one hundred acres, the first in Chester Township. (News-Journal, August 16, 1973)
The original city water works for North Manchester was commenced in 1895. The supply was drawn from half a dozen wells and contained about twelve miles of pipes. The early daily consumption was from three hundred thousand to three hundred and fifty thousand gallons. (News-Journal, August 16, 1973)
Jesse Moyer was the first settler in Pleasant Township, Wabash County. He came in 1835 from Wayne County, Ohio, telling of a difficult journey with two families and only one wagon. (News-Journal, August 16, 1973)
Mary Travelbee ran off with a traveling circus at age 16. She married the owner of the circus, William Colgrove. She became a prominent lady rider and an equestrian star, giving exhibitions all over the United States and Canada. The Colgrave Circus went to Europe, and she was decorated there by the crowned heads. She was Annie Oakley's friend, and invented the divided riding skirt for her. Late in her career she returned to North Manchester and gave performances at the Fairgrounds appearing side-saddle on a beautiful black saddle horse. READ MORE.
Jacob and Joseph Harter were brothers who married sisters, Katherine and Rowena Cowgill, daughters of a pioneer trader in North Manchester.
The Jacob Harter house was built in 1871 at 202 West Main Street. Joseph Harter built his house in 1877 across the street at 201 West Main Street.
White picket fences were often used by the early homeowners to keep out family cows and pigs that roamed at will through the streets.
In the vicinity of 703 South Street, east of the former Controls plant, was the site of an Indian cemetery.
The Isaac Place house was located at 309 South Maple Street. Mr. Place was a Quaker and before the Civil War, a conductor of the Underground Railroad, Marion to Goshen Division. "He hauled slaves hidden in loads of hay, or in a wagon with a false bottom, assisting them in their flight to Canada, where they became free." (L.Z. Bunker, Old Houses of North Manchester, 1966)
A tanning business was at one time located along the Eel River below 301 West South Street. The leather was used in boots, shoes, harness, pump fittings, etc. Harness making and shoe making were trades in high demand. According to L.Z. Bunker, Old Houses of North Manchester (1966), "At one time eight men were employed in one shop, making new boots and shoes."
The brick house at 202 East Third Street was built by Melitus Andrews in 1863. Private Andrews enlisted on March 1, 1864, and died on June 16, 1865 at Charlotte, NC in the Civil War. Consequently he was unable to enjoy the home he had carefully built. Pvt. Melitus Andrews was interred in the Salisbury National Cemetery, North Carolina (Section 6 Site 396).
Many of the limestone foundations of buildings in North Manchester were made of stone brought by ox team from Lagro. Stone for foundations, steps and side walks was quarried at Lagro.
The pre-Civil War Francis Eagle home was originally erected in 1847 at 102 West Main Street. It was a Greek Revival structure built for two families. The house was later moved to 402 West Fifth Street. An historical marker is located there.
Snyder's IGA Supermarket traced its origins to a little grocery store opened at 108 Walnut Street in 1934 during the Great Depression. F.E. Snyder, father of Paul and Eugene, also operated another grocery in South Whitley. READ MORE.
The Heckman Bindery grew from an interesting hobby into a significant business. In 1931 Vernon Heckman and son Paul started repairing worn books in the basement of their home in North Manchester. By the 1970s the company was North Manchester's largest industrial employer and the largest producer of library binding in the nation. READ MORE.
The 84,000 square foot North Manchester plant of Controls Company of America (a subsidiary of the Singer Company) was built in 1958. In the 1970s this factory employed more than 400 people and produced nearly 3 million timers annually for the U.S. home appliance industry. READ MORE.
Local gunsmith Robert Sherer made a rifle barrel that won the gold medal in
the 1968 Olympics (300 meter Rifle Shoot).
North Manchester Historical Society's Covered Bridge float won first prize in the Fun Fest Parade in 1972. Learn who was the builder of this prize winning float.
A large wooden post filled with lead bullets now stands in the display room of Frantz Lumber. It is thought that folks waiting to resume travel by train (the then busy tracks ran nearby) would pass the time with shooting contests using that post as target.
The recycled products from a rendering plant are used in soap, animal and pet foods, biodegradable detergents, plastics, cosmetics, paints, concrete additives, lubricants and a host of other items used every day. LEARN MORE.
Martha Winesburg School, originally the West Ward, was named after a dedicated teacher who taught there for many years, Miss Martha Winesburg. READ MORE.
One of the area's finest motion picture piano players (before 1927) was Mary Rockwell who later became Mrs. Chet Ulrey.
The seating capacity of the Marshall Theater was 250 and the seating capacity of the Ritz Theater was 270.
The Marshall Theater featured action movies such as cowboy and detective movies, while the Ritz featured the popular feature movies of the day. It was not therefore uncommon to find a mother in The Ritz and her kids in the Marshall. LEARN MORE.
The first graduating class of Manchester High School received diplomas on June 1, 1882, with public exercises in Hamilton's Opera House on Main Street. The class consisted of one young man--Albert F. Sala, and four young ladies--Nellie Eichholtz, Emma E. Harter, Addie Hopkins, and Ada E. Rager.
The American House, the hotel/tavern which was located on Main and Walnut Streets, was of log construction and it burned on January 25, 1883. READ MORE.
The old guest registers at the Sheller Hotel included the names of entertainers Lillian Russell and Fay Templeton, dated 1904.
Frank James, brother to Jesse James, stayed in the Sheller Hotel when he came to North Manchester to start the horse races at the old fairgrounds. READ MORE.
Sheller Hotel traced its origins to the year 1847 when the Lantz House was opened. READ MORE.
Harry Wible sold shoes in Kendalville, Indiana, before he moved to North Manchester in 1935 and opened Wible's Shoe Store on Main Street. READ MORE.
The North Manchester Foundry manufactured 20 to 25 thousand stoves a year in the late 1930s and early 1940s. These were coal and wood burning heating and laundry stoves. READ MORE.
In August 1910, the output of the Peabody School Furniture factory was in excess of thirty-eight railroad car loads of school desks and eight car loads of castings (shipped from the foundry) in addition to local shipments.
The gymnasium and auditorium erected by Manchester College in 1926 was equipped with the popular No. 600B opera chair model produced by the Peabody School Furniture Co. in North Manchester.
More than 30,000 Peabody desks and 23,000 folding chairs were sold to California schools in 1926.
Over the years, the Peabody company furnished seating to well-known outdoor venues such as Boston's Fenway Park, Cleveland American League Park, Baltimore American League Park, Yankee Stadium, Roosevelt Raceway, Aqueduct Racetrack, Kentucky State Fairgrounds, Fort Wayne Coliseum, a soccer stadium in Saudi Arabia where the chairs had to be packed into the interior by camels.
In 1905, Peabody School Furniture Company shipped school desks to Rangoon, Burma. That was probably the longest distance that goods had ever been shipped from North Manchester. READ MORE.
The North Manchester Peabody "Singing" Tower, constructed in 1937, was designed after the 205-foot Bok Tower in Wales, Florida. See NMHS Newsletter, August 2010. READ MORE & MORE.
J.A. Brown & Co. of North Manchester filled orders in railroad car load lots for the government. In 1898 they received an order for all they had in stock of wagon axles and hounds. Numerous railroad car loads of this material were then distributed to various Indian reservations, to be made up into wagons for the use of the Indians under treaty with the Government. READ MORE.
Local lumberman Joe Browne (J.A. Browne & Co.) in 1893 bought a large lot of over 300,000 sawed wagon felloes (wooden wheel rim portions), enough for 11,000 complete wagons. READ MORE.
In 1905, the Hoosier Skirt Company of North Manchester shipped several orders for its "Famous" line of skirts to the Sandwich Islands and New Zealand. READ MORE.
When the founder of the Oppenheim's dry goods store, Jacob Oppenheim, arrived in North Manchester in 1875-1876, there were thirteen competitive dry goods stores already established. Who were at that time the other owners of dry goods establishments?
A North Manchester newspaper boasted in 1874 that the town had as many as fourteen doctors. Click here to learn their names and to read the advertisements for their medical practice.
During which presidential campaign did Benjamin Harrison visit North Manchester? Find out now.
According to the 1860 Census for Chester Township, Wabash County, Daniel Shoemaker's occupation was that of "Shoe Maker" and Fredrick Miller's trade was that of "Miller".
A North Manchester mill received in 1888 a large contract from Pullman Car Co. to furnish enough oak lumber to build nineteen hundred freight cars for the Chicago & North Western railroad. Find out which mill provided the hardwood.
At one time, nine of the ten cedar chests listed by Sears, Roebuck were made in North Manchester. Click here to learn who made these cedar chests. See also the Feb. 2002 issue of the NMHS Newsletter.
North Manchester's popular barber, Lew Russell advertised in 1877:
A daughter of Henry Studebaker (one of the prominent Studebaker Brothers in South Bend) married a local businessman who sold Studebaker wagons. Click here to find out his name and the North Manchester business.