Source: North Manchester Journal, January 19, 1893

PIONEER SKETCHES. Some Interesting Reminiscences from the Life and Experience of Early Settlers.

Harvey Ruse says his father, Daniel Ruse, came to this township to stay in the fall of 1838. He had made two trips a year or two before and had bought 160 acres of land now owned by Jacob Ruse one mile southeast of Liberty Mills. The family stayed at the house of Daniel Swank, since known as the Blickenstaff farm, until the father got out the logs for a hewed log house. All the bridge there was across Eel River at Liberty Mills, was a foot log "toggled Up" on forks. "The first school I went to" said Mr. Ruse, "was in a cabin near where Thomas Johns now lives, and the Simonton, Calhoun and Abbott boys were among my schoolmates. David Hidy was one and perhaps a few others. A Miss Thompson was the first teacher. I remember well about seeing the Indians going to their annual payments. The trail to Fort Wayne ran across our land the their whoops as they passed along single file on horse-back were enough to frighten a boy of my age. My father made a trip to Goshen for salt. Three barrels made a load and it took a week to make the trip. Only a few people lived in Liberty Mills then. 'Squire Long and a Mr. Bingham and but a very few others were all there were. Our folks were well pleased when Comstock's mill began grinding wheat. I was a hunter in those days and we now have the antlers of a very large buck that I killed when a boy. Deer were very plenty, fire hunting was followed by everybody. I remember killing a deer and a blue crane at one shot one night. It was with a shot-gun loaded with bullets." Mr. Ruse and his three brothers are well known and respected citizens of this township who have witnessed the growth and improvements of the country from near the start until now. Well might Harvey exclaim as he did: "It is wonderful how things have changed since we were boys."