Source: T.B. Helm, History of Wabash County, Indiana (1884), p. 296.
HENRY STRICKLER. Among the pioneers who had the courage to cast their fortunes in the heart of the wilderness, and the energy to wage deadly warfare with its giant trees, standing in formidable and defiant array, was the gentleman of whom we write. Henry Strickler, son of Conrad and Elizabeth (Allen) Strickler, was born in Pennsylvania March 21, 1804. His parents were also natives of that State. His father was a weaver by trade, but became an invalid, and for ten years was unable to work. Finally, his infirmity ceased to trouble him, and he believed his recovery an answer to prayer. He was a licensed preacher in the Dutch Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife and children were also members. The grandfather of Henry Strickler was a merchant in Chester County, Penn. Just prior to the Revolutionary war, he went to England to purchase goods, but was pressed into the British service, and his goods and lands were confiscated by this Government. Henry Strickler came to Wabash County, Ind., in 1835, and entered 320 acres of land. He hired a man from La Gro to assist in the construction of a cabin. In 1836, Mr. Strickler moved upon his purchase, and began the arduous duties of clearing the dense forest which at that time covered his land. here he spent the best days of his early manhood in the labor of improving his farm, and here he has prosecuted the vocation of farming for many years, enjoying in the "sere and yellow leaf" of his life a competence well earned by years of toil. He has been a prominent and highly respected citizen of his township from the first; his life is full of the true spirit of Christianity, which has so characterized his dealings with the world, that all unite in pronouncing him one of "God's noblest works"--an honest man. Mr. Stickler was married in November, 1822, to Elizabeth Bricker, a native of Pennsylvania, of which State her parents, Christian and Margaret, were also natives. The fruits of this union were nine children, six of whom are living, viz., John, William, Henry, George, Abraham and Mary. Two of the sons were in the Union army. One was honorably discharged for disability, and the other is among the "missing." Mr. Strickler erected the first Methodist Episcopal Church in North Manchester, and was long a member of its official board. Mrs. Strickler was a kind and loving woman, and left a large circle of friends and relatives who mourn her loss. The thread of life was severed in June, 1880. Mr. Strickler resides upon the old homestead a short distance west of North Manchester, and is enjoying in his old age the reward of a well-spent life.
Source: North Manchester Journal, September 21, 1893
An Old Relic.
Our attention was attracted the other day to an old and rather interesting document displayed in Ebbinghous Bros.' store window. It was a government deed or land patent issued to the late Henry Strickler for land entered by him near this place. Some time, probably in the year 1836, Mr. Strickler came to this county from Richland county, Ohio, and took up a piece of land across the river and just below where this city now stands, but in those days the country was all woods and there was no town in existence here. All the people of this vicinity know the farm of Mr. Strickler, as he was one of the earliest settlers here and a familiar figure in the pioneer days of the country, and when once took up his residence on the land he continued to live upon it and retain the ownership until the time of his death a few years ago. Since then in the settlement of his estate it has been sold to Charles F. Ebbinghous who now owns and lives upon it. There are but few of these old land patents in existence and still fewer people living in recent years on the same land they had bought of the government, so that it may be considered quite a curiosity. The deed is printed upon parchment, but judged by modern standards the printing would be called a very rough job today. It is however in an excellent state of preservation. This patent was issued on March 15th, 1837, and signed by Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, and H.M. Garland recorder of the general land office. On the back of the instrument are two entries by officers of Wabash county. One by Ira Burr, auditor, states that the land was entered on the books for taxation on October 26th, 1842, and the other that it was recorded on the following day by William Steele, recorder. The next entry on the county records was that of the transfer to Mr. Ebbinghous. Anyone who has curiosity to see this document will find it at Ebbinghous Bros.' store.
Source: W.E. Billings, TALES OF THE OLD DAYS (1926), pp. 17-18.
Though he did not locate in North Manchester, Henry Strickler was one of the first to settle here, he coming even before Joseph Harter, as he landed on Eel river in February of 1836 while Mr. Harter did not come until in September. Mr. Strickler was the grand father of Jacob Strickler, who lives in this city today. He walked to Wabash county from Mansfield, Ohio, late in the fall of 1835, walking not because the walking was good, but because that was the only way to come. He built his cabin on the bank of Eel river, west of town, near where the old tile mill stood for so many years. He was really the father of Methodism in North Manchester, he building the first Methodist church that was erected here....
Source: W.E. Billings, TALES OF THE OLD DAYS (1926), pp. 39-40.
THE FIRST CHURCH IN NORTH MANCHESTER
...it was not until in the spring of 1845 that Rev. Warren A. Griffith made that memorable talk before the trustees of the Liberty Mills church, saying that if they did not build him a church and a parsonage he would come to North Manchester and have Henry Strickler build one for him. They didn't build, and he came to North Manchester, interested Mr. Strickler, and the first church in North Manchester was built. At that time Mr. Strickler was preparing to build a house of his own, and had a considerable amount of lumber to use in it, but he brought that lumber to town, and spent much time in building the church, which stood on the lot where the present building stands.
This church served the Methodist congregation at North Manchester until in 1873, when, not without many saddened memories it was removed to give place to the present building. Though possibly there are pictures of this building in existence, yet the writer has never seen one. It is said to have been a very nice appearing building for its time. It was probably forty by sixty feet in size, with a belfry, and faced on Second street. When plans were made to build a new house it was sold to David Krisher and moved to his farm in the north edge of town where it did service as a barn for a long time and finally burned.