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 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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Laketon





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LAKETON

“Laketon Platted” and “Laketon and Ijamsville Joined” in Weesner, History of Wabash County (1914), 453:

On September 8, 1836, Laketon was platted by Hugh Hanna, Isaac Thomas and J.D. Cassatt. This was the first town laid out away from the Wabash River, and it was the ambition of its proprietors to make it a rival of North Manchester as a trading center in the Eel River Valley. There were ninety lots lying near the river on the north side, and the streets were Pottawatomie, Spring, Main, Mill and Tamarack, north and south, and Eel, Wabash, Lake and Wayne east and west. Additions were afterward made by S.P. Petrie and I.R. Mendenhall.

The site of the old Laketon is a level and beautiful tract, with Round Lake at the west and Long Lake at the northwest. A mile west, on Silver Creek, James Cox established a grist mill, or corn cracker, about the time the town was platted. William Johnson and Ira Burr were the first merchants of the place, and within a few years a blacksmith shop was built and several dwellings appeared, while along in the ‘80s it had a number of stores, a schoolhouse (District No. 12), and a newspaper. The last-named, the Laketon Herald, was established in 1883 by Charles A. Richards, then a veteran printer who had been “at the case” for over sixty years.

Soon after the completion of the Detroit, Eel River & Illinois Railroad, in 1873, Daniel Van Buskirk laid out South Laketon, south of the river, as an addition to the original town, a mile to the north. In 1874 Mr. Van Buskirk established a large general store, and in the same year Philip & Thomas Ijam set a saw mill in operation. Not long afterward they gave their family name to the postoffice established at the new addition, which was long known as Ijamsville or South Laketon and is now designated by the former name.

Mr. Van Buskirk, however, continued to be perhaps the strongest moving force at South Laketon, operating at times a sawmill, a blacksmith shop and a tile factory. Among the other early industries was the brickyard of F.H. Williamson, established in 1880, and the shingle factory of George W. Harter, started in 1881. For many years the Ohmart family has been a strong factor in the progress of Laketon—Abram, Jacob and J.E. Ohmart, the last named being a present-day resident of the pace. In 1883 the Chicago & Atlantic Railroad was completed through Pleasant Township, running between Ijamsville and Laketon.