Source: Ruth M. Brubaker, THE HISTORY OF PLEASANT TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS 1835-1962 (1979), pp. 426-429.
HISTORY OF IJAMSVILLE
Ijamsville or South Laketon as it was known in the very early days. South Laketon was a little village all its own. Even at the beginning, even if it were some distance south of Laketon proper, it may still be felt it was part of Laketon property. mainly because the road leading to Laketon was so close and Laketon had been settled first.
But Ijamsville had always possessed the advantage of a railroad, for it was there before Ijamsville was even platted. In 1872, the "Continental Railroad" had drawn its endless track directly between the two towns. In 1873, this "suburb", upon completion of the D.E. & I. RR was laid out by the proprietor, Daniel Van Buskirk. It was known as the VanBuskirk addition to Laketon. Even if Laketon was a mile north and the Eel River separated it. Laketon had a post office which was used by Ijamsville people. But now that it had been laid out it wanted its own post office. it was given one by the government but they could not use the name Laketon being so close. So the name was changed to Ijamsville by using the name of one family living there and adding 'ville' to the end. In 1874, Ijamsville got their own post office. This was in use until 1923 when it was closed. Mail routes had become popular and it was much easier to get to Laketon. So to save money the government closed this office. As to just how many postmasters Ijamsville had, is not known for sure or just who they were. But the last one was Miss Effie Clark.
Ijamsville had hopes to spread herself over all regions around and become a town or village of long standing.
The first plat of Ijamsville, was made by Daniel Van Buskirk, proprietor and acknowledged and recorded September 9, 1872; Hann, sixty-three lots; located on both sides of Eel River Railroad, on the south side of Eel River and on the highway from Wabash to Laketon, in Section 14, Township 29, Range 6; streets, north and south, Wabash Avenue, Vaughin, Osmer; and east and west, Grafin, Gary, Minkler.
James Van Buskirk, Addition; James Van Buskirk, proprietor, acknowledged and recorded October 14, 1873; Hann, Recorder; sixty lots; located west of the original plat off Wabash Avenue, on both sides of Eel River Railroad, in Section 15, Township 29, Range 6.
Mr. Van Buskirk set the ball rolling in a very proper manner, by himself establishing in 1874, a general store with the sale of dry goods and groceries. In the same year, a saw mill was set in operation by Phillip & Thomas Ijam, brothers and were the ones referred to, whose unique surname was compelled to do duty in furnishing a suitable appellation for Uncle Sam's post office.
Van Buskirk and Brother also gave the village the blacksmith shop.
The shop was perhaps built in 1875 and was operated by John Donovan for a time. In 1880 a brick yard was established by F.H. Williamson. Then some time in 1876 Edward Green & Co. established a grocery; another grocery by Jacob Ohmart in 1882; J.V. Van Buskirk established a tile factory in 1883 and saw mill in 1873. A shingle factory by George W. Harter in 1882; Barber Shop by Charles Henry in 1882; the depot agent was William Gruber; physicians none were discovered in the very early days; agricultural and implements James Downly in 1882; there were two meeting house Disciples and Methodist; another brick and tile factory by Jacob Buzzard in 1880; post office Edward T. Green.
There was a grist mill but since it was beyond the river it was felt more proper that it belong to Laketon.
There had been as many as forty dwellings that furnished homes for as many as 200 people living in the town.
Among some of the early citizens were by the name of: I.V. Van Buskirk, E.T. Green, Abram Ohmart, Jacob Ohmart, James Platt, George Harter, Darius Crill, John Lindsey, Reuben Brindle, Jacob Brindle, G.W. Harter, James Downey, Charles Sanders, Robert Clark, Samuel Knaugh, Joseph Parrott, R.L. Palmer, Irwin Middlecough, William Roaker, E. Shoemaker, John Sheak, Silas Arnold, Marin Kimmel, William Sewell, Edwin Howland.
Some of the residents in the vicinity of Ijamsville were: Washington Ogden, John F. Smith, J. Weaver, Gilead Dixon, David Wittenberger, G.H. Grown, George Reed, Samuel Ohmart, John Reahard, John Hendricks, Mrs. Hardbaugh, Noah Lindsey, jacob Funderburg, Christopher Gerlach, Levi Miller, and Jere Dixon.
Although Ijamsville was suppose to be a town or village of its own, one will find when you buy a home site there, you will still be a part of Laketon for that is the way it was recorded and it still is that way.
Even though it was not far to go to Laketon for church, Ijamsville wanted to have their own. In 1882 C.U. Wade, a preacher from Roann organized the Methodist church with a membership of thirty-six. With this membership they raised by subscription $1,100 to build a church. Mr. Van Buskirk helped and they were soon debt free. The church was like most of them with a pot-belly stove.
The post office of Ijamsville closing brought other things to a halt also. The post office closed on July 31, 1923, and after that date all mail matters for the patrons of Ijamsville office were to be handled at the Laketon offices, most of Ijamsville people were being served by rural routes from Laketon. The closing order was brought about by the resignation of Miss Effie Clark. She had served as postmaster for some time, but her father T.B. Clark was soon to move to Rich Valley, where he was to operate a store.
For a number of years Ijamsville got their mail from the Laketon route. But that too came to an end. For in 1933 that was done away with. Few of the people still get their mail in Laketon but because they have a post office box. The rest get their mail by route out of North Manchester, but there are a few who are on the Roann route.
Not only the closing of the post office but also there was the loss of a store. The store was owned by the People's Co-Operative Company of Ijamsville, organized some years ago by people in the vicinity who hoped to be able to keep the store in operation in that place. But arrangements were made by Dwight Harbaugh, as secretary of the company, and as representative of the directors of the company to sell the stock of merchandise and the building and equipment at public auction Friday, August 3, 1923. Some of the merchandise was sold piece meal to individual customers, and the store equipment was either sold with the building or separate as may best suited the purchaser. This action was taken by agreement of the board of directors, who were acting for the stockholders.
There have been other stores there over the year: the Flenars, Sheaks, McCullough, Blacksmith shop run by Sickafus, Ijamsville stockyard, Garage by David McCullough, Brubaker's Garage, Stout's Well; Sharp TV; along with others.
David J. and harriet Minnick Sickafus lived in Laketon at one time. Their home was where Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Vergon presently live. As to just what kind of work David did is not known. David was the father of Thomas E. Sickafus who lived in Ijamsville and for some time was a blacksmith. He had been a blacksmith in Laketon and was the last blacksmith Ijamsville had.