Source: NMHS Newsletter, August 2001

The Old Atlas

The 1875 Wabash County Atlas is one of the most delightful books I know to spend a long fall or winter afternoon with if your family lived in Wabash County then. There one finds recorded the owners of each plot of land in the various townships of the county. It is a marvelous collection of the names of the early settlers in this area and we recognize many of the names because their children, or, more accurately their great grandchildren, live among us.

In 1875 there were twenty-three villages and town in the county, and a chart in the book gives the miles between each and shows the location. They were America, Belden, Dora, Ijamsville, LaFontaine, Lagro, Laketon, Liberty Mills, Lincolnville, Mount Vernon, New Harrisburg, New Holland, New Madison, North Manchester, Pleasant View, Rich Valley, Roann, Somerset, Stockdale, Treaty, Wabash, Waltz and Urbana. Since them some have disappeared or remain only as some identifying landmark, and a few have different names. New Madison is now Servia and New Harrisburg is now Disko. Rose Hill came into existence after 1875 with a Douglas saw mill, a post office and a store but now even it is hard to find.

Unfortunately, these books are scarce. They were stored in attics


and finally burned as terribly outdated. The North Manchester Public Library has several copies and, if you live in Wabash county, you can almost surely find a copy. If your family has one, treasure it, even if all the pages are loose. It's full of history. Or give it to your local Historical Society as a very special gift.